Traditional and Alternative Therapies in India: Complementing Modern Mental Health Care

Traditional And Alternative Therapies In India_ Complementing Modern Mental Health Care 2023062101
Traditional and Alternative Therapies in India_ Complementing Modern Mental Health Care 2023062101

Mental healthcare needs a holistic approach with integrative solutions of mind, body, and soul. Traditional and alternative medicines are the best suited to complement mental healthcare along with integrative solutions.

If you are dealing with chronic mental health issues like depression or anxiety, it is important to opt for traditional therapies which help in tapering down your conventional mode of treatment gradually over a period of time by taking a natural mode of healing.

Let us help you discover the best traditional and alternative therapies in India which are important for mental health care for sound well-being. Apart from following a regular healthy lifestyle, you can also start with holistic medicine which is the best solution to all mental health issues.

Different forms of traditional therapies for mental health

The different forms of natural therapy. for mental health issues:

  • Alternative medicine

Alternative as the name suggests, is a substitute for conventional medicine that involves active herbal or plant-based ingredients which is free from chemicals with no side effects.

For example – Choosing homeopathy or Ayurveda for pain relief as a natural anti-inflammatory works better than conventional painkillers or NSAIDs. 

  • Complementary medicine

The complementary system of medicine is focused to run parallelly with the conventional or standard system of medicine to reduce the side effects. Let’s face the fact! In some cases, conventional or standard medications cannot be ignored but reducing side-effects is always possible.

For example, the intake of chronic long-term anti-depressants has major side effects of weight gain, indigestion, and constipation which can be controlled by boosting metabolism with Ayurveda or plant-based high-fiber supplements.

  • Integrative medicine

Many patients are opting for an integrative system of medicines which helps in combining alternative or complementary therapy along with conventional medicines for better and faster healing, especially in cases of chronic diseases that are difficult to deal with. Clubbing up alternative/complementary medicines with conventional ones can help reduce your drug dependency and helps prevents side-effects as well.

Let us know more about alternative, complementary, and integrative medicines and their approach to sound mental health.

The basic principle of alternative, complementary, and integrative traditional medicines for mental health

Alternative, complementary, and integrative traditional medicine works on principles of holistic health. It provides a holistic approach to addressing or treating all problems on mental and physical planes.

When it comes to mind, it is important to treat holistically as both mind and body are interconnected with each other.

For instance-

Any form of stress just does not affect the mind but also the body in the physical aspect. Similarly, any sort of pain, such as joint pain, may not just affect the physical aspects but also make you irritable and fatigued due to the mental exhaustion of bearing the pain.

Explore more about holistic health

Holistic health has multidimensional aspects of wellness. It typically considers the whole individual while treating disease and does not just treat the disease or disorder.

Moreover, holistic health helps maintain a healthy mind, body, and spirit to keep diseases, disorders, or any kind of health issues at bay with the natural healing process.  It works beyond recovery and aims at optimum wellness to prevent any recurrence or relapse.

Integrative medicine is the new approach to modern mental health care

Taking long-term anti-psychotic pills such as anti-anxiety medicines, anti-depressants or sleeping pills can make you dependent on them. It is important to stimulate natural hormones in your body to control stress levels by secretion of cortisol (stress hormone) for mental health. This helps maintain a perfect balance of all-natural hormones such as hunger hormones, thyroid hormones, skin hormones, growth hormones, sleep hormones, and much more. Here is where complementary, alternative, or integrative medicines play a major role as one of the best therapies in the world.

So, let us go ahead and check out the different forms of natural therapies for mental health issues.

Top 7 forms of natural therapies in India for mental health

The top 10 forms of best mental health therapies are :

  1. Homeopathy

Homeopathy is the natural mode of treatment that is scientific and holistic in nature. Homeopathic treatment involves the use of herbal active constituents and potent extracts to stimulate the body naturally in minimal quantity. With no side effects and high efficacy, it tops the list as one of the best forms of natural therapies in India.

  1. Ayurveda

Ayurveda is derived from the traditional roots of India and is considered an age-old therapy mentioned in the Vedas even before standard medical science came into existence. It is also known as the “Science of Life” and the ancient system of alternative medicine in India. One cannot stay away from the benefits of the Ashwagandha, which is a natural de-stressor and the best adaptogen used by millions across the world. 

  1. Naturopathy

Nature is the best healer. This quote is very true. Naturopathy is a system of medicine involving a healthy diet, good hydration, sleep, and exercise to heal naturally. It is a combination of traditional practices with optimum healthcare. Naturopathy works great as a preventive solution for better health care by focusing on nutrition levels.

  1. Physiotherapy or Kinesiotherapy or Chiropractic therapy

All these are forms of physical therapy that involve certain movements and exercise to improve stamina and vitality of the muscles, bones, and joints. These physical therapies help treat pain, stress, depression, and anxiety. Exercise is a great stress-buster that helps release happy hormones or endorphins and keeps you motivated.

  1. Touch therapy such as reiki and acupuncture

Healing touch is a therapeutic treatment to help restore energy levels. Tai chi, reiki, and acupuncture are best known to stimulate blood circulation and oxygen levels which helps in internal healing. This is also called “energy therapy.”

  1. Spiritual therapy like meditation, and mindfulness

Spiritual practice is best for relieving stress, tension related issues. It will help you control your thoughts and emotions making you focused and confident. Mindfulness is the new mantra to stay away from any issues like anxiety and depression.

What are the benefits of alternative or complementary therapy?

Prevention is better than cure. This quote is quite true and many of us tend to follow it. Each therapy has special expertise on a particular health issue depending on the best doctor you consult. Here are some of the benefits of alternative or complementary therapy.

  • Safe and effective
  • Helps in alleviating pain
  • Helps build immunity
  • Helps improve mood
  • Reduces stress
  • Helps increase energy levels
  • Boosts blood circulation and oxygen levels
  • Improves muscle flexibility
  • Helps maintain sound sleep
  • Stimulates the natural healing process of the body
  • Helps reduce and taper the conventional medicines
  • Help in the faster recovery process by boosting it along with standard treatment
  • Can be absorbed well by the internal system
  • Helps prevent recurrent and relapsing diseases
  • Can be taken along with standard medicines under the supervision of an expert doctor

Recent updates on traditional medicine in India

As per WHO (World Health Organization), alternative,  complementary, and integrative traditional medicines can be used for maintenance and preventive therapy after professional diagnosis in the improvement or treatment of physical and mental health. To promote alternative or complementary and integrative medicine, a global summit will take place on the 17th and 18th of August 2023 in Gujarat, India. Along with this, the G20 health ministerial meeting will also be held for appropriate action on traditional medicines for creating global awareness among millions to address healthy well-being.

Click on this link to know more about the First WHO Traditional Medicine Global Summit 2023.


Alternative or complementary medicines is a form of natural therapy which has been practiced globally to provide healing and wellness which is a part of a healthy lifestyle. So, what are you waiting for? Discover and explore alternative, complementary and integrative traditional medicines by choosing some of the best therapies like homeopathy, ayurveda, and other holistic therapies for cure.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are alternative and complementary medicines better than conventional treatment?

Yes, alternative or complementary medicines are better than conventional medicines as they have no side effects. They help in stimulating the immune system naturally for the overall health of the patient in all aspects, mental and physical.

What is the philosophy of natural alternative and complementary therapy?

Is alternative or complementary medicine a mainstream medicine?


Dr. Rati Parwani

Dr. Rati Parwani is a Professional Practising Medical Doctor with expertise in treating chronic diseases. With over ten years of clinical experience, she currently provides medical and holistic care for all age groups with professional case consultation and medicine. She also has expertise in health and medical writing with research-based proven ethical writing.