Holistic treatments comprise an all-encompassing approach to the wellness of the patient. Known by many different names, holistic practices cover a wide range of curative and palliative treatment options beyond surgery and pharmaceuticals.
Natural healthcare, alternative medicine, integrative medicine, and holistic practices are synonymous with holistic practices. By definition, any wellness approach that tackles a malady outside of traditional medicine can be considered a holistic approach.
OCD is a mental health condition that seriously interferes with day-to-day life. Obsessive thoughts and compulsive actions can disrupt interpersonal relationships, work, and everyday activities if left untreated. Fortunately, there are a variety of holistic approaches that can be adopted that do not require a surgical approach or a pharmaceutical approach.
Introducing TMS Therapy for Treating OCD
The strict definition of holistic medicine is one that does not involve pharmaceuticals or surgery. Deep TMS certainly fits that profile. Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is an alternative to medication, and to invasive surgical procedures. With Deep TMS, magnetic fields are used to regulate neural activity. It is completely safe and non-invasive.
The American Journal of Psychiatry published a controlled study from 2019 demonstrating the efficacy of Deep TMS relief from symptoms of OCD. The treatment is conducted in a medical setting, with no pharmacology required. Patients do not need to be sedated, no IVs need to be hooked up, and no incisions are required. In fact, the entire treatment regimen is conducted with a specialized helmet that sends magnetic pulses into the core areas of the brain.
Naturally, the patient must undergo a full evaluation with the clinician to establish the extent of the mental health condition. Deep TMS has been cleared by the FDA as an effective treatment option for OCD and major depressive disorder. Unlike ECT (Electroconvulsive Therapy) there is no surgical element involved with Deep TMS.
While a purely holistic approach can certainly be beneficial, Deep TMS has been shown to be highly effective when coupled with OCD medication like SSRIs and SNRIs. A third-string of treatments in the form of mental health counseling in tandem with Deep TMS and pharmaceuticals can be more effective. With talk therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is the preferred option. In fact, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is often the go-to solution when treating mental health conditions such as OCD.
What is the Efficacy of Alternative Medicine and Herb Treatments?
Alternative medicines are growing in popularity, with the growing repudiation of medical overreach in treating health conditions. The popularity of alternative treatment options for anxiety-related disorders, mood disorders, depression, and the like is growing at a steady clip.
While herbal remedies for OCD certainly have an audience in the world, the jury is still out on their efficacy. The types of plants that are used in treating OCD need to be identified accurately, the dosages need to be monitored, and control groups must be accurately assessed. In any controlled study, placebos must be administered to assess the effectiveness of the treatment options.
As it stands, there is scant evidence that herbal remedies have any effective curative properties vis-a-vis treating OCD and mitigating its ill effects. The severity of OCD symptoms does not appear to be reduced in any meaningful way with alternative medicines and herbs.
Some of the substances used as part of a holistic healing regimen include Milk Thistle, Kava, St. Johns Wort, and 5-HTP and Inositol. There are also potential side-effects to consider, some of which can be particularly harmful in patients. Since alternative medicines and herbs are not regulated, there is no way to assess their safety
OCD is a very real condition affecting millions worldwide. There are a number of approved therapies on the market and also a number of emerging alternative therapies. While one waits for more scientific support for these non-approved therapies, it’s essential that one works alongside a licensed mental health professional to ensure the most effective therapy. After all, without the proper experience, one might make things much worse!