Green mental health advocates contend that getting the body back into balance will go a long way in healing the mind. Traditional alternative treatments such as exercise and spiritually based life coaching make up only part of the regimen. A green mental health approach looks at nutritional deficiencies and toxins in our body that predisposes us to anxiety.

When she saw her child’s autism dramatically improve with the removal of gluten and dairy from her diet, Sue Westwind thought she should try the same thing on herself. A long history of battling fatigue, depression and migraines made her open to almost anything.

“In less than two weeks I started to feel so much better,” she said. “I dropped 30 pounds without trying. I thought, really, you can have energy and optimism? Whole thought patterns of anxiety and depression — things I had worked on for decades — simply disappeared.

“I say my daughter Matty saved my life. I can now work full time. It’s been a miracle, really.”

This early success prompted Westwind to wonder about other mind–body connections. She began exploring the burgeoning field of green mental health, or alternative treatment without the use of drugs.

Diet & Detox

In addition to getting a full complement of nutrients often missing from the American processed food diet, such as vitamin C, people also need to detoxify their bodies of aluminum, cadmium, lead and other heavy metals that accumulate in their bodies as a result of environmental contamination. Many of these toxins can cause depression.

More and more medical doctors, such as Dr. Alan Sosin in Irvine, CA, are embracing such natural methods as a way to help their patients to overcome long-term effects of trauma, anxiety and even depression.

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