These self-treatment methods are focused on depression, insomnia, and anxiety, but may be relevant to other conditions. Acupressure self-massage, acupuncture's self-help cousin You can get many of the benefits of acupuncture from acupressure self-massage...and it's free! If you are pregnant, please don't try acupressure unless it's been recommended by a healthcare professional. Acupressure Self-Massage For Treating Depression And Insomnia There are a lot of other conditions that can be treated with acupressure. Blue Poppy press, or other publishers may have books showing acupuncture treatments for other conditions Regular, gentle, aerobic exercise A half-hour per day of gentle aerobic activity has been found to be an effective treatment for depression. One study found that it was effective as treatment with the drug "zoloft". An intensity level that is just sufficient to break a very slight sweat is usaully recommended. Exercising for more than a half-hour per day is not necessarily needed, though some people might want to exercise for longer. Really intense exercise with heavy sweating is often counterproductive. It's important to try to exercise every day, or at least three times per week, in order to get the benefits of exercise. Exercising for longer periods once or twice per week may not produce any benefits. During the winter, you might want to go easy and just do something like light walking, tai-chi, or yoga. Meditation Meditation may be helpful with depression, and also anxiety, insomnia, and other conditions that may be stress-related. As with exercise, regular practice is necessary in order to get good results. It is better to meditate for 10 minutes every day than to meditate for two hours once a week. There are many methods of meditation. A simple method is to simply sit on the edge of a chair, with your back straight, with your eyes closed. Breathing gently, trying to clear the mind. You might want to look for more information about mediation on-line. "Headspace" and "Insight Timer" are two popular online sources for guided meditations. They offer phone apps to download, but the meditations are also accessible via web browser. There are also plenty of other meditation that you could find online, or via youtube videos. Joining a meditation group can greatly increase the benefits of a meditation practice. Yoga, Tai-Chi, and Qi-gong These practices can also be beneficial for treating depression and other illnesses. Some forms of these practices may not be appropriate for people who have certain, serious, mental health conditions. An acupuncturist may be able to recommend a specific medical qi-gong style that matches your particular health conditions Dietary Changes There are a number of approaches to diet, but I recommend reducing or eliminating anything processed, raw, or served cold (including water). Also, thoroughly chewing food is beneficial. This is the basic approach of traditional Chinese dietary therapy for treating most conditions. There are often more specific dietary recommendations that can be made if you are diagnosed with having particular conditions. If you'd like to read more about traditional Chinese dietary therapy, Bob Flaws has a book that may be worth checking out, The Tao of Healthy Eating. Books I also recommend the book Curing Depression Naturally with Chinese Medicine, Blue Poppy Press. The book contains information about many of the treatments above. It also has additional information about an acupressure self-massage, agarwood incense, and jasmin flower tea. This may only be available as an ebook, or you may be able to get it from your local library. Interlibrary borrowing may be necessary to get a copy. You can see a preview of the book on google books. Some of the theoretical elements of the treatments may be hard to digest for those who are unfamiliar with Chinese medicine, but you may still find the treatments very helpful. Reading-Well "Books on Prescription" reading-well.org.uk has a list of books for adults, adolescents, and children on a wide variety of topics about physical and mental health. The books have been vetted by health professionals and can be "prescribed" in the UK. Topics include depression, anxiety, panic, bullying, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), insomnia, anger management, grief, phobias, stress, self-esteem, body image, body dysmorphic disorder, ADHD, dyslexia and other learning disabilities, autism, eating disorders, mood swings, dementia, chronic fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), asthma, diabetes, arthritis, chronic pain, stroke and heart attack recovery, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), crohn's disease, general injury and illness recovery, and long-term care giving. Miscellaneous Finding the reason why you are depressed and trying to fix it is often very effective. Often people can get to this with therapy. Fixing problems in a relationship, or getting out of an abusive relationship or situation can help. Safety Plans If you are at risk for a suicide attempt, making a safety plan can help keep you safe Help for Suicide, 12/2012, please read Gratitude If someone has recently experienced a really traumatic event, thinking of things to be grateful for may be impossible or counterproductive, but under less extreme conditions, thinking of things that you are grateful for make you happier. You may want make a list of things that you are grateful for to help remind you. Other Helpful Things Positive, caring contact with other people and with pets. Watching some funny movies and having some laughs in general. In addition to exercise, just getting some fresh air and sunshine. Taking a break from the world news or stressful situations. While it is good to care about others, it's possible to care too much and to over-stress yourself. Taking a vacation from worry can make you feel better, and be better for everyone in the long run. You can't do much to help others if you yourself are unable to function. This one is a bit awkward to mention, but important. For men, (from the perspective of traditional Chinese medicine) not ejaculating frequently, especially during the winter time.