Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Consistent Physically-Spiritual Practice vs. Anti-depressant Medication

Question: Are there any people who have a consistent (daily), physically spiritual practice (where breath work is involved, like yoga, and t'ai chi)  who also are on anti-depressant medication or long-time (years) therapy?

I am hoping to gather some data.  This is a question that is so obvious to me that I wonder why I have never thought to ask it before. 

I am sure there are plenty of people out there who have absolutely no spiritual practice and are also not on any medication -  bless those hearty souls. My interest is with those who are on such medication and have no physically spiritual practice - that it not only might be able to help them, but that it possibly, beyond the shadow of a doubt, would be able to help them.

My wonder is whether most depression (even the chemical/biological kind) can be treated by a practice which is a combination of these three things: 1) Daily, 2) Physical, 3) Spiritual.

Most of the people I know who have a daily physically spiritual practice are not on medication or seeing a therapist on a regular basis. But that is a small sample and I would love to hear other folk's experience around this.

There is something about arts that combine breath, meditation, and  movement that balance the mind/body. Even going so far as to regulate chemical balances within the body.

I also believe that yoga and t'ai chi connect you powerfully, feelingly, physically, experientially with a Reality that is....... well...... 'realer' than the so-called 'reality' of everyday life. A Reality beyond that which gives rise to depression, anxiety, and fear. Not that people who practice yoga and t'ai chi never get depressed (I get depressed, I get fearful, I get anxious), but that we have a way out; an anchor point, a touchstone, a grounding ---- an expansiveness that we can connect to that dispels the contractive states of mind of depression and fear.  Oftentimes if it is some simple, everyday gnarliness I am feeling I can dispel it just by remembering to breathe!

This is a non scientific poll. I am interested in hearing from health care professionals regarding their own experience in this matter as well as from people who are directly affected. So please feel free to get in touch with me. I promise confidentiality. I really want to know what people's experience is around this question. Feel free to forward this blog to people you know who might be able to add to my knowledge. I will report out here, afterwards, with what I find.

Thanks! Happy Playing.