There is growing scientific evidence about complementary and alternative treatments.

Complementary medicine is used along with conventional medicine. An example is in-home treatment to help modify symptoms of panic attacks. Alternative medicine can include a special diet to treat cancer instead of undergoing surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy recommended by a medical doctor.

Treating Anxiety Disorders and Depression

The following complementary and alternative practices may be used to treat anxiety and depressive disorders. We advise that you speak with your primary physician and/or mental health provider before selecting any alternative/complimentary treatment:

  • Stress and Relaxation Techniques
    Relaxation techniques may produce modest short-term reduction of anxiety in people with ongoing health problems. These techniques have also been shown to be useful for older adults with anxiety. Find out more.
  • Meditation
    Moderate evidence suggests that meditation is useful for symptoms of anxiety and depression in adults.
  • Yoga
    Yoga, which combines physical postures, breathing exercises, meditation, and a distinct philosophy, is one of the top ten practices of CAM (complementary and alternative medicine). It may also help alleviate anxiety and depression.
  • Acupuncture
    Evidence for the use of acupuncture — the Chinese practice of inserting needles into the body at specific points to manipulates the body's flow of energy — to treat anxiety disorders is becoming stronger.

ADAA Podcast

Integrating CAM (Complementary and Alternative Medicine) Into Anxiety and Depression Treatment