There are many natural remedies for depression, however the one with no cost is regular fitness. People may have different notions of aging gracefully, but they all may involve higher levels of physical activity. There are strong correlations between physical activity and perceived health, functional fitness and mood. Lack of activity tends to correlate with poor balance, depression and perceptions of poor health.
Maria Machado, M.Sc., has led a new study involving 350 Portuguese seniors, ages 65 to 96. Those who reported being more physically active had better perceived health. They also had greater functional fitness, giving them an improved ability to perform tasks of everyday living.
“Helping people live longer is one of humanity’s greatest triumphs,” says Machado. “It is also one of our greatest challenges because it increases economic and social demands. The expected burden of disease and disability has become a critical concern. To increase the autonomy of the elderly becomes critical to the survival of the system and poses a challenge to policymakers.”
In Japan, researchers there found a relationship between functional fitness and depression. Yoshinori Kitabatake and colleagues assessed the daily activities of 21 subjects ages 73 to 79, who had been diagnosed with minor depression. Those who stood and walked more had milder symptoms of depression, less fatigue and confusion, and more vigor.
Older people should follow an exercise program to balance and elevate mood. Causes of mood swings are:
- Chemical and hormonal imbalance.
- Side effects of some medications
- Improper diet.
Acupuncture has been shown to stabilize mood by re-balancing the hormonal system. Acupuncture also alleviates symptoms of mood swings, such as irritability, lethargy, depression, headaches, insomnia, and concentration difficulties.
Acupuncture treats the physiological aspect of mood imbalance by increasing endorphin, dopamine and norepinephrine levels; which reduces mood swing occurrence and produces a positive mood state. Acupuncture treatments may be the key to a better quality life in your senior years.
For more information about natural remedies for depression, call the Acupuncture and Massage College at (305) 595-9500.