ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Alternative/Ayurvedic Treatments for Anxiety and Depression

Updated on January 17, 2015
Source

Ayurveda’s Holistic Alternative

Many people in the West today are seeking an alternative approach to medicine, especially when it comes to treating stress-related disorders like depression, anxiety and insomnia.

The biggest flaw of the Western approach has been an over reliance on synthetic pharmaceuticals like Prozac, Xanax and Ambien. These drugs treat symptoms much more than they treat disease (dis-ease).

For example, Xanax (alprazolam) may reduce the symptoms of anxiety in the short term, but will it “cure” the underlying cause of the anxiety, the stress? No.

Zoloft (sertraline) may temporarily elevate the mood, yet the underlying depression, frequently caused by a lack of love and connection, will still be there.

If you are open to a non-conventional medical approach, then Ayurveda, the 5000 year old system of holistic medicine from India, may be for you. Ayurveda gives us many ways to calm the mind without the use of synthetic pharmaceuticals. Ayurveda treats the cause of disease, not just the symptoms.

Ayurveda means “The Science of Life.” It is a natural approach to health, championed by Dr. Deepak Chopra, that balances the mind, body and spirit...without the use of Western pills and capsules.

Ayurvedic treatments are highly individualized, chosen specifically for each patient, based on dosha, or body type. Treatments include Ayurvedic herbs, Ayurvedic Sound Healing (with music and mantra), mindful meditation, Ayurvedic massage with therapeutic oils, and even aroma therapy. These therapies are combined with holistic psychology in the form of Ayurvedic Psychological Counseling.

The goal is to return the body-mind-Spirit to a sense of wellbeing, joy and happiness...something pills cannot do.

Source

Ayurvedic Sound Healing

Many Westerners are surprised to learn that the most important Ayurvedic treatment for the mind is not herbal. It is Ayurvedic Sound Healing...healing with music and mantra.

According to leading Ayurvedic physician Dr. David Frawley, Sanskrit mantras, starting with AUM, “are the most important part of the spiritual and mental therapy of Ayurveda. Ayurveda uses mantra therapy to correct psychological disorders.”

Ayurvedic Sound Healing is also called TheYoga of Sound or Mantra Yoga.

How are Yoga and Ayurveda related? Ayurveda is the healing branch of yogic science, while yoga is the Spiritual aspect of Ayurveda.

The Yoga system has 8 parts and the poses, the yoga postures, are just one part. The last 3 parts of yoga have to do with meditation. That’s where mantric chanting comes in....as a form of mindful meditation... that leads us naturally and easily into a state of peacefulness, without the use of prescription drugs.

Just as the asanas (poses) in yoga class keep the body and internal organs healthy, Sanskrit mantras keep the mind and Spirit healthy. Mantras can be thought of as asanas for your mind.

Healing Sanskrit mantras penetrate deeply into the conscious, subconscious and unconscious mind…into the place where real healing occurs.

According to the sage Patanjali, “Yoga is that which calms the thought waves of the mind.” What thought waves? The worries and the hurries. The 40-50 thousand thoughts and counter-thoughts most humans have each day.

Because there are already many books on Ayurvedic herbs, the rest of this blog will cover the basics of mantra and Ayurvedic Sound Healing as alternative and complementary medicine to treat depression, anxiety and insomnia. We will examine some of the most important Sanskrit mantras used for holistic healing.

What is mantra, and why are Sanskrit mantras so important?

Man-tra comes from the Sanskrit words manas, meaning mind, and tra, meaning tool. Mantras are some of the most important mind tools in our yogic toolbox.

Common Misconception: A mantra is a special phrase that must kept secret and can only be given by a guru.

Truth: The most important Yoga of Sound mantras are not secret. They can be chanted by anyone, though proper training is essential, as with hatha yoga.

The general meaning of mantra, of course, is a word or phrase repeated over and over, mentally or out loud. A Sanskrit mantra, however, is something special.

Sanskrit is the mystical language of ancient India that is also the language of mantra. Unlike other languages, Sanskrit is based on the science of sound vibration. Word meanings are secondary. The most important thing is the effect of the sound vibration itself on the body and the mind. The best example of a Sanskrit mantra is AUM (OM). AUM is the most important mantra and the source of all other mantras The sound vibrations produced by chanting AUM create feelings of calmness and harmony in all the cells of the body. AUM is yogic Xanax.

The Cosmic AUM

Chant AUM now with author Harrison Graves

Source: The OM Channel, a youtube companion for the book, The Mystical Chakra Mantras (amazon). OM (AUM) is the most important mantra and the source of all other mantras.

Mantras From Yoga Class

If you have ever attended a yoga class, you have likely had a brief introduction to three Sanskrit mantras: AUM, OM Shanti and Namaste

Those who chant AUM tune themselves automatically to the “highest vibration.” It is the vibration of the highest consciousness (awareness) expressed in the form of the sound waves of AUM.

AUM, which became Amen in the Christian tradition, connects us to the one conscious awareness that has many names: Buddha consciousness, Christ consciousness, Shiva Consciousness and so on.

Chanting AUM can also produce feelings of love, connection and oneness. AUM is often written as OM, especially when used as a prefix for other mantras.

Chanting the peace mantra, OM Shanti Shanti Shan-ti-hi (e.g. at the end of yoga class), produces feelings of peacefulness and calm, like a natural tranquilizer. The sound vibrations produced by chanting Shaaan are soothing to the nervous system. Chanting OM Peace Peace Peace in English does not have the same effect.

Om Shanti is chanted three times: for peace of body, peace of mind and peace of Spirit.

Namaste, often used as a yogic greeting, is shorthand for “the divine light in me recognizes and honors the divine light in you.”

Sanskrit vibrations, like the first few notes of a harp solo, can calm and soothe every cell in the body. Ayurvedic Sound Healing prescribes these Sanskrit sound formulas (mantras) instead of chemical formulas (pills).

Regular Sanskrit chanting leads to emotional healing on all levels: conscious, subconscious and unconscious.

For more examples of healing mantras, please see my interactive ebook: The Mystical Chakra Mantras.


A Collection of Mantras

AUM is just the beginning. Ayurveda has given us an entire treasure trove of mantras for calming the mind and soothing the nervous system. These mantras are sound healing formulas, sonic packages of energy and vibration.

How Sanskrit Mantras Work

In any language, mantras work on the basis of two powerful forces: sound waves and thought waves (intentions).

The 50 letters of the Sanskrit alphabet have a unique power to energize, calm or heal. When the Sanskrit vowels and consonants are combined into words like AUM, they become even more powerful sound formulas that affect the entire being...body-mind and Soul.

It’s like acupuncture with sound waves. Our energy bodies (acupuncture bodies) and chakras are extremely sensitive to the sound waves generated by Sanskrit chanting.

Some mantras promote physical healing. Others, like OM Shanti, create mental peace. Still others, like the Chakra Mantras, work directly on the astral (energy) body to activate and balance the energy centers.

Mantra therapy is one of the main tools for achieving the original aim of yoga, “calming the thought waves of the mind.”


Ellen explains what Mantra Meditation has meant to her.

THE POWER OF SANSKRIT and TM

Transcendental Meditation is a meditation practice that uses a simple mantra based on one's age and gender. It is practiced for 15–20 minutes twice per day while sitting with one's eyes closed.

According to the Mayo Clinic, "Transcendental meditation is a simple, natural technique... This form of meditation allows your body to settle into a state of profound rest and relaxation and your mind to achieve a state of inner peace, without needing to use concentration or effort."

Quite similar to TM, “Primordial Sound Healing” by Dr. Deepak Chopra uses Sanskrit mantra as the keystone of its practice for healing the mind, for making the mind more sattvic, or balanced.

Ayurvedic Psychological Counseling

Research on depression has shown that people with depression often have inaccurate beliefs about themselves, their situation and the world.

In my next blog, I will introduce you to another important part of Ayurveda: Ayurvedic Psychological Counseling, a type of short-term therapy that focuses on present thinking, behavior and communication rather than on past experiences.

Ayurvedic Psychological Counseling is based on the theory that much of how we feel is determined by what we think. Disorders, such as depression, are believed to be the result of faulty thoughts and beliefs and not brain chemistry. By correcting these inaccurate beliefs, the person’s perception of events and emotional state will improve. Mindful meditation, mantra and self-inquiry are three of the most important tools used by the Ayurvedic Psychological Counselor.

Ayurveda Quiz

What is the most important part of Ayurveda for calming the mind?

See results

Benefits of Meditation

Benefit
Reduction in Anxiety
39%
Benefit
Reduction in Depression Relapses
50%
Benefit
Reduction in Chronic Pain
57%
Benefit
Decrease in Cancer Rate
55%
Benefits of Meditation, Including Mantra Meditation

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Pink Jacky profile image

      Jack Leo 

      3 years ago from Chicago

      I hope I can overcome it.

    • joyeshm profile image

      JOYESH MAZUMDAR 

      3 years ago from INDIA

      Great Info! Thanks!

    • mecheshier profile image

      mecheshier 

      3 years ago

      Fabulous post! Very informative, unique and great prose. Thank you for sharing!

    • Christy Maria profile image

      Christy Maria 

      3 years ago

      Hello Harrison,

      I am someone who suffers a lot of anxiety in my daily life. Thank you for writing such an interesting and helpful article. I am going to look into all of this and try to use some methods to soothe myself in the future.

    • culinarycaveman profile image

      culinarycaveman 

      3 years ago from Dem Woods, Sussex, England

      Superb hub, very informative.

      Positive Harmonious Vibrations . . .

    • eilval profile image

      Eileen 

      3 years ago from Western Cape , South Africa

      I'm an advocate of natural healing and the holistic way of life - found your article immensely useful !

    • Chriswillman90 profile image

      Krzysztof Willman 

      3 years ago from Parlin, New Jersey

      Great article. I'm always looking into alternative medicine because I do believe it works.

    • Best of Aying profile image

      Best of Aying 

      3 years ago from Philippines

      Great article! I am a believer of alternative medicine...

    • CorneliaMladenova profile image

      Korneliya Yonkova 

      3 years ago from Cork, Ireland

      Great article and very useful information. I sometimes suffer anxiety and feel really awful, your hub is really helpful.

    • aida-garcia profile image

      Aida Garcia 

      3 years ago from Anaheim, CA 92801

      I already have and thank you for your response.

    • profile image

      Dr. G 

      3 years ago

      Thank you, Aida. Pass it on... to all those interested in Alternative Medicine.

    • aida-garcia profile image

      Aida Garcia 

      3 years ago from Anaheim, CA 92801

      Loved this article.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)