Best All-Natural Alternatives for Mental and Physical Wellness

Our bodies and mind are interconnected. To improve one, we must focus on the other. And while there are several over-the-counter medications to help with our well-being, many turn to all-natural alternatives.

An all-natural alternative is defined by medication or therapy that contains nothing artificial or synthetic. In many regards, they can be healthier alternatives with fewer side effects.

Throughout this article, we’re going to explore a number of all-natural alternatives that can help improve various aspects of your daily life.

Acupuncture

As an ancient Chinese practice, the purpose of acupuncture is used to carefully placed needles as a means of redirecting the body’s flow of energy. Traditionally, the Chinese recognized that the five key emotions are addressed through acupuncture:

  • Water (fear)
  • Wood (anger)
  • Fire (happiness)
  • Earth (worry)
  • Metal (grief) 

While the validity of acupuncture is questioned by western medical professionals, many have ignored these queries and given acupuncture a shot. And it’s proven to be effective in promoting well-being throughout the mind.

Some studies have found that acupuncture has similar effects to cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). This type of psychotherapy is often used to treat various mental health conditions, such as anxiety and depression.

Biofeedback

Biofeedback is a type of therapy people use to gain control over various aspects of their body, such as heart rate. Through this technique, you’re attached to electrical sensors that will retrieve information concerning these aspects of your body. 

This feedback is meant to identify very subtle changes within the body. For example, through this information, you may come to realize you need to relax certain muscles.

There are various types of biofeedback, each of which is meant to identify certain health complications and help you reach certain goals. The biofeedback types include:

  • Brain Waves - through scalp sensors and an electroencephalograph (EEG), your brain waves are monitored.

  • Breathing (Respiratory Biofeedback) - through bands that are set on the abdomen and chest, your breathing patterns and respiration rate is monitored.

  • Heart Rate - through finger or earlobe sensors along with a device used to detect blood volume changes (photoplethysmograph), your heart rate and the way it varies is monitored.

  • Muscle Contraction - through skeletal muscle sensors (electromyographs), your electrical activity that generates muscle contraction is monitored.

  • Sweat Gland Activity - through finger, palm, or wrist sensors (electromodographs), your sweat glands and the quantity of perspiration on your skin are monitored. This can help to alert you of anxiety.

  • Temperature - through finger and feet sensors, the blood flow to your skin is measured. This can help to identify stress as your temperature tends to drop when experiencing it.
  • Through one of the above types of biofeedback, you may be able to identify certain symptoms of a condition. If you struggle with a mental illness, one of the goals of biofeedback is to help you reduce your need for medication.

    Cannabidiol (CBD)

    One all-natural supplement that’s garnered a lot of attention recently is cannabidiol (better known as CBD). This is a naturally occurring chemical compound (known as a cannabinoid) found within the cannabis plant. Unlike its fellow cannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD doesn’t cause psychoactivity. Or, in other words, it won’t get you high.

    While scientists don’t fully understand how CBD interacts with our bodies, we do know it has an influence over our endocannabinoid system (ECS). This system is responsible for a number of aspects in our day-to-day life, including our mood and pain levels.

    It’s theorized that CBD helps to balance out our ECS. Through this, CBD has been found to help with a number of medical conditions, including:

    • Antibacterial
    • Anti-inflammatory
    • Inhibits cancer cell growth
    • Promotes better sleep
    • Promotes healthy immune function
    • Promotes healthy skin
    • Reduces blood sugar levels
    • Reduces nausea and vomiting
    • Reduces risk of artery blockage
    • Reduces seizures and convulsions
    • Reduces small intestine contractions
    • Reduces withdrawal symptoms
    • Relieves anxiety
    • Relieves pain
    • Suppresses muscle spasms

    While a lot still needs to be discovered about CBD, many have reported it has helped them to ease anxiety and stress while promoting better sleep.

    Kava Kava

    Kava kava has been at the center of debate for some time as long-term health risks still aren’t fully understood. However, in the short-term, kava can be a fantastic supplement for reducing anxiety and stress.

    Natives of South Pacific islands have been taking kava for centuries - namely, for spiritual reasons. However, many westerners have claimed it produces calming, euphoric effects. 

    In a controlled trial, scientists dosed 75 people with an anxiety disorder either with kava extract or a placebo. They then observed the effects it had over a period of 6 weeks. What they discovered was kava had the ability to significantly reduce anxiety symptoms.

    Magnesium Supplements

    Magnesium is a mineral already naturally found in our diets, through things like seafood and coffee. It’s also been known as a home remedy for various ailments, such as headaches and restlessness. Today, many are turning to magnesium supplements as a way to boost their health.

    A few of the things magnesium can do to help us are:

    • Build stronger bones
    • Keep blood pressure normal
    • Steady heart rhythm

     One of the reasons supplements have been so popular is most adults don’t get their daily dose of magnesium through foods and beverages. An average weight adult is expected to get around 320mg to 420mg of magnesium a day.

    Meditation / Yoga

    While meditation and yoga are two separate practices, they’re often interlinked for their ability to ease stress and anxiety. Meditation is a workout of the mind - allowing you to focus on breathing patterns and positive thoughts. Yoga, on the other hand, is a physical practice that puts your body in positions that better mindfulness.

     By practicing meditation, you’re benefiting your brain and body in a few different ways:

    • Boosting your immune system
    • Calming your nervous system
    • Focusing your energy
    • Optimizing your circulatory system

     By practicing yoga, you’re giving yourself the ability to:

    • Build strength
    • Foster mental wellness
    • Increase muscle tone and definition
    • Improve balance
    • Improve flexibility
    • Prevent back pain
    • Support joint health
    • Teach better breathing

    Final Word

    Of course, these are just a selection of all-natural alternatives to consider. With a bit of research, you’ll find there are tons and tons of options. Since all-natural alternatives are usually better for particular ailments, we highly suggest looking into what people have tried for your condition. 

    It’s important to mention that none of these alternatives are solutions in and of themselves. Rather, they can make a great therapeutic sidekick alongside both traditional and other all-natural remedies.