My name is Dr. Randi Fredricks and I created this blog because of my passion for complementary and alternative medicine and mental health. I have long been interested the integration of the two fields, blending natural remedies with traditional counseling psychology. Towards that goal, I have studied both areas, earning a Ph.D. in Psychology, Doctorate in Naturopathy, and Certifications as a Nutritionist and Herbalist.
Complementary and Alternative Options
The field of natural remedies for mental health are diverse. It encompasses practices spanning diet and exercise changes, hypnosis, chiropractic adjustment, and acupuncture. The benefits of natural remedies are controversial although there are thousands of studies showing their value.
Of course, more research is needed to determine the efficacy of even more of these practices. Still, that hasn’t stopped people from engaging in them. In 2008, more than 38 percent of American adults used some form of alternative medicine, often to treat a mental health issue.
Natural Remedies and Biologically Based Practices
The idea of using natural remedies to treat mental health is based on a number of different approaches. First, using natural medicine for mental health is a neurobiological treatment that emphasizes the body’s potential to heal and focuses on prevention and balance. Remedies that focus on neurobiology are actually altering brain chemistry through the use of specific treatments.
This approach explores complementary and alternative options including botanical supplements (herbal medicine), nutritional counseling, and treating environmental toxicities; tangible and emotional. This also includes the use of dietary supplements and diet manipulation, such as fasting.
Manipulative and Body-Based Practices
Manipulative and body-based practices encompass a system of therapies that use either manual manipulation or movement of one or more parts of the body to address structural or systematic imbalances of the bones and joints, the soft tissues, and the circulatory and lymphatic systems.
Practices include Chiropractic and Osteopathic manipulation, therapeutic massage, and a variety of other “bodywork” therapies. Although there is not a lot of peer reviewed literature on manipulative and body-based practices, many people report improvement for mental health issues from these therapies. For example, there is probably nothing more relaxing and stress-reducing than a good Swedish style massage.
Spiritually Based Practices
One growing area in mental health is the intersection of spirituality with traditional counseling psychology practices. According to the American Psychological Association (APA), approximately 80 percent of Americans state they practice some type of spiritual or religious-based faith.
For some people, this can mean going to church. For others, this may mean they meditate, pray or offer their time in service work. Because of this reason, researchers and health professionals are digging deeper into how faith or spirituality can influence a person’s mental and physical health.
In psychology there is an approach to therapy that addresses all these types of alternative therapies called Transpersonal Psychology. In fact, no other approach to psychology is in such close alignment with complementary and alternative medicine.
The Focus of The Natural Mental Health Blog
Dr. Fredricks Natural Mental Health Blog features articles and information on all types of natural remedies including herbal medicine, nutrition, various diets, and other natural remedies. This blog also has latest information and research on all types of fasting, including water fasting, juice fasting, intermittent fasting, and diets that mimic fasting.
Because nutrition plays such a big part in mental health, there is a lot here on the subject. I love to cook, but I believe in the philosophy of Eat To Live rather than Live To Eat. Because of this, you will find many of my favorite recipes here as well.
Most of my recipes are SOS (salts, oil and sugar free), vegan, or vegetarian. This is because I believe in diet rotation, that is being carnivorous, vegan, and vegetarian for a few months each year. Since most people know how to cook meat, I focus my recipes on making delicious meatless options. Also, I advocate water fasting at least once week if possible followed by at least a few months of a vegan SOS diet.
I also discuss both traditional and alternative therapies for mental health that are currently being researched and have been proven effective. I hope you enjoy this blog as much as I have enjoyed working on it. To learn more about how I use natural remedies for mental health, visit my practice website DrRandiFredricks.com.