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04/Mar/2024

In the never-ending quest for more effective mental health treatments, a centuries-old compound is re-emerging with potential to revolutionize the field. Psilocybin—known for its presence in “magic mushrooms”—is at the heart of a new wave of psychotherapy, proving to be an intriguing addition to the toolkit of psychiatrists and mental health professionals. This blog post will explore the advancements in assisted psilocybin psychotherapy, shedding light on its potential, current state, and future trajectory.

Understanding Psilocybin Psychotherapy

Unlocking the Substance

Initially introduced to the masses by indigenous cultures, psilocybin is a naturally occurring compound found in certain mushrooms. It became widely known in the West during the counterculture movement of the 1960s, only to be banned in many countries following stricter categorization of substances. Despite this, research persisted underground and in more permissive regions.

Delving into the Psychedelic Experience

When correctly administered in a controlled environment, psilocybin produces powerful psychological effects, including a profoundly altered state of consciousness. This experience, often described as “psychedelic,” can involve euphoria, introspective insights, and a sense of interconnectedness with the universe. In the context of therapy, this altered state is approached with intention, guiding patients through a process of self-reflection and emotional healing.

Benefits of Assisted Psilocybin Therapy

Mental Health Improvements

Research indicates that psilocybin therapy has the potential to significantly alleviate symptoms in various mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety, and PTSD. The therapy’s effects are reported to be enduring, with some studies showcasing a single dose’s ability to induce a lasting positive shift in mood and outlook.

Treatment-Resistant Conditions

One of the most promising aspects of psilocybin therapy is its ability to aid individuals who are resistant to traditional treatment. In the realm of depression, where conventional approaches can fail a significant portion of patients, psilocybin might provide a much-needed alternative path toward healing.

Holistic Healing Approach

Assisted psilocybin therapy is more than just a psychological experience; it’s frequently described as a spiritually significant event. Its holistic approach addresses the interconnected nature of mental, emotional, and sometimes even physical well-being, leading to a more comprehensive healing process.

Current Research and Studies

Groundbreaking Discoveries

Recent studies on psilocybin therapy have provided compelling evidence of its effectiveness. For instance, a landmark study at Imperial College London revealed that patients with treatment-resistant depression experienced substantial reductions in depressive symptoms after two doses of psilocybin. Other research explores its potential for smoking cessation and even end-of-life anxiety in terminally ill patients.

Clinical Trials and Methodologies

To legitimize its medical application, psilocybin therapy is undergoing rigorous clinical trials. These trials employ a blend of traditional psychological support alongside carefully structured doses of psilocybin, ensuring the patients’ safety and maximizing the therapeutic experience.

Challenges and Considerations

Legal and Ethical Hurdles

Despite growing evidence of its benefits, psilocybin’s societal and legal status presents significant barriers. Its current classification as a Schedule I substance in the United States, for example, places tight restrictions on its use and research. There are also ethical considerations surrounding its use in therapy and accessibility to patients in need.

Integration into Mainstream Healthcare

For psilocybin therapy to reach its full potential, it must find acceptance within mainstream healthcare systems. This involves not only changing legal frameworks but also navigating the cautious medical landscape wary of its past associations with recreational use.

Future Outlook

Potential Impact on Mental Health Treatment

Should psilocybin therapy continue to demonstrate positive outcomes, it has the potential to reshape mental health treatment paradigms. Its possible use alongside, or in place of, traditional psychiatric medications is a promising avenue, offering a different approach for people who do not respond to conventional treatments.

Opportunities for Further Research and Development

The future of psilocybin therapy lies in extensive further research, exploring dosing regimens, the optimal therapeutic settings, and the full scope of its potential applications. Additionally, there’s room for the development of supportive technologies and treatment protocols addressing patients’ post-therapy integration and aftercare.

Conclusion

The recent advancements in assisted psilocybin psychotherapy mark a pivotal moment in the evolution of mental health care. While it faces significant hurdles, the accumulating evidence of its therapeutic capabilities, combined with the growing cultural openness to alternative healing modalities, suggests a bright future. The potential to uplift countless individuals from the trenches of mental health struggles underscores the importance of continuing the conversation and research around this potentially game-changing form of therapy. With the right support and approach, psilocybin therapy could stand as a beacon of hope for those in need of relief from the burdens of the mind.

For ongoing clinical trials and an in-depth look at psilocybin assisted therapy check out the work being done at Compass Pathways

Here are a few centres offering psilocybin assisted therapy:

Empire Psychotherapy 
Numinus
Dr. Erica Zelfand N.D.

Check out my article on Psilocybin and the Default Mode Network Click Here


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06/Nov/2023

In the wake of the pandemic, many of us find ourselves living in unprecedented times that have altered our daily routines and disrupted our sense of normalcy. With the pandemic came educational uncertainties, financial insecurity, and health issues, among other things. It’s safe to say we are all feeling an unbearable amount of stress, especially with the current situation in the middle east. But don’t worry, stress is entirely normal—even healthy—it’s how we react to it that matters. Today, we’re going to discuss some proven ways to manage physical, mental, and emotional stress.

Supplements for Rock Climbing

Exercise Regularly

Exercise stimulates the production of endorphins, neurotransmitters in the brain that act as natural painkillers and mood elevators. These are often referred to as ‘feel-good’ hormones because they can induce feelings of happiness and relaxation. Additionally, regular exercise improves your overall mood and serves as a natural way to manage anxiety and depression.

Physical activity also influences the body’s stress response system. It reduces levels of the body’s stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol. Regular exercise increases the production of Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF), especially in the hippocampus, a region of the brain that plays a crucial role in stress regulation.

Moreover, exercising regularly helps to improve sleep quality, enhance self-confidence, and increase relaxation, all of which are beneficial in managing stress levels.

Evaluating Different Types of Exercise

From aerobic exercises like running and cycling to resistance training like weight lifting, and calming practices like yoga and tai chi, different forms of exercise have been found to provide stress-relieving benefits. While high-intensity workouts may help to rapidly reduce stress hormones, low-intensity activities such as walking or stretching can also be effective, particularly for those new to exercise or with physical disabilities.

Frequency and Duration of Exercise

While any amount of exercise is better than none, the American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of high-intensity exercise per week for optimal health benefits. Consistency is key; it’s better to exercise regularly throughout the week than to condense all activity into one or two days.

Positive impacts on stress levels can be noticed within just five minutes of aerobic exercise. However, the reduction in anxiety and improvement in mood may be most noticeable about an hour after exercising, often referred to as the ‘exercise afterglow’.

Practical Advice

The key to reaping the stress-reducing benefits of exercise is to make it a part of your daily routine. Here are some tips to help you get started:

  • Start small: If you’re new to exercise, start with just a few minutes each day and gradually increase the duration as your fitness level improves.
  • Choose activities you enjoy: You’re more likely to stick to an exercise routine if you love what you’re doing. Whether it’s dancing, hiking, or practicing yoga, choose something that makes you happy.
  • Mix it up: Varying your workouts can prevent boredom and keep you motivated. Try combining cardio, strength training, and flexibility exercises throughout the week.
  • Make it social: Exercising with a friend or group can make the activity more enjoyable and provide a sense of community and support.
  • Listen to your body: Rest when you need to and adjust your workout plan to fit your needs and capabilities.

Light Therapy

Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a form of meditation that involves focusing your attention on the present moment and accepting it without judgment.

Mindfulness is all about being fully engaged in the here and now. It’s about paying attention to your thoughts, feelings, and sensations without judging them as good or bad. When you practice mindfulness, you’re not trying to achieve a certain state or feeling. Instead, you’re simply observing and accepting what is happening in the present moment.

Benefits of Mindfulness

Research indicates that practicing mindfulness regularly can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. It can also improve sleep, increase focus and concentration, and enhance overall well-being. Physically, mindfulness can help lower blood pressure and improve heart health.

Your 10-Minute Daily Mindfulness Protocol

1. Find a Quiet Space: Choose a spot where you won’t be disturbed for the next 10 minutes.

2. Sit Comfortably: You can sit on a chair or cushion on the floor, keeping your back straight but relaxed. Rest your hands on your lap.

3. Close Your Eyes: This can help limit visual distractions and make it easier to focus.

4. Focus on Your Breath: Pay attention to the sensation of your breath coming in and going out. Notice how your chest rises and falls, and how the air feels as it enters and leaves your nostrils.

5. Observe Your Thoughts: If your mind starts to wander, that’s okay. That’s just what minds do. Simply notice that your mind has wandered, without judgment or frustration, and gently bring your attention back to your breath.

6. End Your Session: After 10 minutes, slowly open your eyes and take a moment to notice how you feel before getting up.

Incorporating Mindfulness Into Your Daily Routine

Mindfulness isn’t just for meditation – you can practice it throughout your day:

  • Mindful Eating: Pay attention to the taste, texture, and smell of your food. Notice how it feels as you chew and swallow.
  • Mindful Walking: Focus on the sensation of your feet touching the ground, the rhythm of your steps, and the feeling of the air against your skin.
  • Mindful Breathing: Take a few moments throughout your day to focus solely on your breath.

Further Resources

To deepen your understanding of mindfulness, consider these resources:

  • Books: “Wherever You Go, There You Are” by Jon Kabat-Zinn, “The Miracle of Mindfulness” by Thich Nhat Hanh.
  • Apps: Headspace, Calm, Insight Timer offer guided meditations and mindfulness exercises.
  • Courses: Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program is an eight-week course that’s highly recognized in the field of mindfulness.

Remember, the key to mindfulness is regular practice. It might feel strange or difficult at first, but with time, you’ll start to experience the benefits. Happy practicing!

Reach Out to Friends and Family

Studies reveal that social support can significantly decrease stress hormones and inflammation in the body, and lower blood pressure and heart rate. Frequent communication with loved ones can help reduce any isolation or loneliness, bring an outside, and provide a much-needed emotional support system. Social support can aid recovery from stress, particularly emotional stress.

Kids nutrition

Eating Healthy

Proper diet and nutrition play a crucial role in maintaining mental health, and they can significantly help in reducing and preventing common mental health issues such as stress, depression, and anxiety. A balanced diet rich in certain nutrients can aid in maintaining a healthy mind and body.

Some of the key nutrients include omega-3 fatty acids, found in fatty fish like salmon and mackerel, which are known for their brain-boosting properties. B vitamins, particularly B12 and folate, are essential for brain function and can be found in foods like eggs, meat, leafy greens, and beans. Complex carbohydrates, found in whole grains and vegetables, can help regulate blood sugar and mood. Also, proteins rich in amino acid tryptophan, such as turkey, eggs, and cheese, support the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that aids in maintaining mood balance.

On the other hand, foods and drinks high in processed sugars, caffeine, and alcohol should be avoided as they can spike blood sugar levels and may exacerbate feelings of anxiety and stress.

The Mediterranean diet, rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats, has been associated with lower rates of depression and anxiety. This diet emphasizes the consumption of nutrient-dense, whole foods that provide steady energy and a wide range of nutrients, supporting overall brain health.

Research indicates a strong correlation between diet and mental health. For instance, a study published in the “American Journal of Psychiatry” found that a diet high in fruits, vegetables, legumes, lean protein, and fish was associated with a reduced risk of depression.

In addition to a balanced diet, lifestyle changes such as regular physical activity, adequate sleep, and mindfulness practices can further enhance mental health. Remember, professional help is crucial when dealing with mental health issues, and dietary changes should complement, not replace, professional treatment.

Get Enough Sleep

Sleep is not only a basic need but also a vital component for maintaining good mental health. It acts as a natural stress-reliever and plays a crucial role in reducing anxiety, depression, and stress levels.

When we sleep, our bodies enter a state of restoration where they repair muscles, consolidate memories, and release hormones that regulate growth and appetite. This restorative process directly affects our mood, cognitive function, and overall mental health.

Scientifically, sleep deprivation can lead to hormonal imbalances that affect both our minds and bodies. Lack of sleep disrupts the balance of key hormones, including cortisol, serotonin, and dopamine, all of which play significant roles in regulating mood. For instance, increased cortisol levels can lead to heightened stress, while imbalances in serotonin and dopamine can contribute to feelings of depression and anxiety.

Sleep is divided into several stages, including REM (Rapid Eye Movement) and non-REM stages. During these stages, particularly REM sleep, our brains are active and working on repairing brain cells, consolidating memories, and regulating mood. Disruptions in these sleep stages can lead to mood disorders and impaired cognitive function.

To harness the benefits of sleep for mental health, it’s important to implement healthy sleep habits. Establish a consistent sleep schedule, aiming for 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Reduce screen time before bed as the blue light emitted by screens can interfere with your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle. Make your sleep environment comfortable, quiet, and dark to promote better sleep quality.

For more Naturopathic tips on establishing healthy sleep Click Here

Conclusion:

Everyone experiences stress in their daily life, but it’s essential to learn how to cope with it effectively when it seems to become overwhelming. This doesn’t mean you should avoid stress entirely, but instead, focus on creating strategies to manage the negative effects it has on your physical, emotional, and mental health. The above-listed techniques can drastically improve your overall wellbeing in stressful times. Remember, managing stress is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Experiment with different methods and see what works best for you. Whatever steps you take, remember to prioritize your wellbeing and give yourself the time and space needed to take care of yourself.


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09/Apr/2023

As parents, our first priority is always to ensure the physical and emotional well-being of our children. However, with the fast-paced and demanding world that we live in, children, too, are often faced with stress and anxiety. Childhood anxiety can present itself in various ways, including excessive worrying, fear of separation, social anxiety, and panic attacks, among others. While medication is often prescribed for children diagnosed with anxiety disorders, more and more parents are seeking natural and holistic ways to manage their child’s anxiety. In this blog post, I will discuss natural solutions for childhood anxiety that parents can consider to ensure that their children thrive, grow, and develop into well-adjusted adults.

1. Exercise

Regular exercise promotes both mental and physical health and is one of the most effective natural solutions for childhood anxiety. Physical activity releases endorphins, also known as “feel-good” hormones, that naturally reduce anxiety and depression. Exercise can also help children distract themselves from stressful situations, providing them with a sense of control and self-esteem. You can encourage your child to participate in activities such as dancing, running, cycling, or team sports. As a parent, lead by example, and make physical exercise a daily family routine.
The American Heart Association and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that children and adolescents get at least an hour of physical activity per day. Here are some weekly guidelines for exercise for kids and children:
  • Children ages 6-17 should aim for at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day.
  • The 60 minutes of activity can be broken up into shorter bouts throughout the day, such as three 20-minute sessions.
  • Activities that strengthen bones, such as running and jumping, should be done at least three days per week.
  • Activities that strengthen muscles, such as push-ups and climbing, should be done at least three days per week.
  • Encourage children to participate in a variety of physical activities, such as team sports, swimming, bike riding, jumping rope, and dancing.
  • Limit screen time to no more than 2 hours per day.
  • Encourage children to be active with friends and family, such as taking walks or playing in the park.
It is important to match the physical activity level to a child’s age and abilities, and to choose activities that the child enjoys. If a child has a medical condition, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional before starting an exercise program.

2. Mindfulness

Mindfulness refers to being present in the moment and not allowing thoughts of the past or future to affect the present. Being mindful teaches children to focus on the moment and deal with their anxious feelings in real-time. These techniques can be easily incorporated into children’s routines and can include deep breathing, meditation, or yoga. You can start by practicing mindfulness techniques together as a family, which can increase your child’s comfort level with these exercises.
Click here to see a list of 50 mindfulness resources for kids and teens.

3. Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy involves using natural plant extracts or essential oils to improve psychological and physical well-being. Aroma oils, such as lavender and chamomile, are known to be calming and relaxing and can help alleviate anxiety symptoms in children. You can introduce aromatherapy to your child by using a diffuser in their room or applying a few drops of essential oils to their pillowcase.
Here are step-by-step instructions on how to use essential oils for anxiety:
  1. Choose an essential oil known to have calming effects, such as lavender, chamomile, ylang-ylang, or bergamot. It is important to choose a high-quality oil that is pure and free of additives.
  2. Decide how you want to use the essential oil. Essential oils can be used in a variety of ways to help reduce anxiety, including inhalation, topical application, and aromatherapy.
  3. Inhalation: Add a few drops of essential oil to a diffuser, or place a few drops onto a tissue or cotton ball and inhale deeply. This method can help reduce anxiety quickly and is great for use before bed.
  4. Topical Application: Dilute the essential oil with a carrier oil, such as coconut or almond oil, before applying it to the skin. Massage the oil into the temples, forehead, or the bottoms of the feet. This method can help reduce anxiety gradually over time.
  5. Aromatherapy: Add a few drops of essential oil to a warm bath, or mix with Epsom salt and sprinkle into a warm bath. This method can provide a relaxing and calming experience.
  6. Repeat as needed. Essential oils should be used as needed or as part of a regular relaxation routine to help manage anxiety symptoms over time.
  7. Pay attention to any adverse reactions. Some people may experience allergic reactions or skin sensitivity to essential oils, so it is important to pay attention to any adverse reactions and stop use if necessary.

4. Proper nutrition

Nutrition plays a pivotal role in emotional well-being. A well-balanced diet with ample amounts of fruits, vegetables, and lean protein is essential to help children manage anxiety symptoms. Sugar and caffeine intake must be limited as they can exacerbate anxiety in children. Encourage your child to adopt healthy eating habits and involve them in the cooking process. Modeling healthy eating habits as a parent is a sure way of guiding your child towards optimal wellness. For more information on nutritional requirements for kids check out this article.

5. Time management and good sleep habits

Sleep and time management are crucial natural solutions for childhood anxiety. A lack of sleep increases cortisol levels and anxiety symptoms in children. Establishing proper sleep habits, such as a consistent bedtime routine, including relaxation and winding-down activities, playing relaxing music, and lowering lights can enhance relaxation, quality of sleep, and reduce anxiety symptoms.
In addition, teaching your child time management strategies, including prioritizing tasks, breaking tasks into smaller chunks and setting realistic goals and deadlines, can help ease anxiety and stress brought about by schoolwork and other activities.

6. Supplements

Under the supervision of a Naturopathic Doctor, supplements can be used to safely reduce anxiety in kids and children. Certain herbs, vitamins, minerals and amino acids like Magnesium Glycinate, L-theanine, Vitamin B Complex and 5-HTP are known to be effective in combatting anxiety in kids. Other options include herbal remedies such as lavender oil and chamomile tea.
One study found that Magnesium Glycinate supplementation reduced symptoms of anxiety in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and anxiety disorders. Another study suggested that L-theanine reduced anxiety symptoms in children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
Additionally, Vitamin B-complex supplementation was shown to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression in children with mood disorders.
There is also some evidence that 5-HTP may be helpful in reducing symptoms of anxiety in children.
A study conducted on lavender oil found that it significantly reduced symptoms of anxiety in children after inhaling the scent. Additionally, a review of multiple studies suggested that lavender oil may be effective in reducing anxiety symptoms in children with autism spectrum disorder.
Chamomile tea has also been studied for its potential anti-anxiety effects in children. A randomized controlled trial found that children and adolescents who consumed chamomile tea for 8 weeks had a significant reduction in symptoms of anxiety compared to those in the control group. Another study showed similar results in children with generalized anxiety disorder who consumed chamomile extract.

Conclusion

Childhood anxiety is a common challenge that many parents face. However, parents don’t have to rely on prescription medication to alleviate anxiety symptoms. By incorporating natural solutions such as exercise, mindfulness, aromatherapy, proper nutrition, and good sleep habits into children’s routines, parents can provide holistic care that nurtures both the physical and emotional well-being of their children. In some cases, supplementation under the supervision of a Naturopathic Doctor may be a good supportive therapy in a complete treatment plan. It’s important to consult with your child’s healthcare provider before trying any new remedies, but with dedication, patience, and love, you can support your child through their anxiety, enabling them to thrive, grow and develop into well-adjusted adults.

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01/Jan/2023

Do you have a child on the autism spectrum and are looking for ways to help them unlock their potential? If so, you’ve come to the right place. Believe it or not, natural treatments can make a tremendous difference when it comes to helping children with autism reach their full potential.
In this blog post, we’ll explore 10 naturopathic treatments that may provide relief from autism-related symptoms such as anxiety and social challenges. By arming yourself with knowledge about these therapies, you can find solutions tailored specifically to your child’s needs so that they can learn and grow into their best selves!

10 natural treatments for autism spectrum disorder.

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by difficulties with social interaction, communication, and repetitive behaviors. Some people with ASD also have sensory processing issues. Here are a number of natural treatments that can help improve the challenges associated with ASD.

1. Probiotics

Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that help support gut health. Research into probiotics and autism has revealed promising results.
In a randomized, double-blind study, children with ASD were given either active multi-strain probiotic or placebo for 12 weeks. The results demonstrated that the group taking the active probiotic had improved symptoms of autism such as increased social interaction, better communication, improved sleep habits and more positive mood.
Additionally, another study reported that when children with ASD were supplemented with specific strains of Bifidobacterium longum for four months, their symptoms associated with anxiety and depression were significantly reduced compared to those who took a placebo.
Moreover, in a study involving over 100 children with ASD and ADHD, researchers found that supplementation of Lactobacillus rhamnosus was effective in improving certain behaviors observed in these disorders. Taken together these studies demonstrate potential beneficial effects of supplementing probiotics in individuals with ASD.

2. Omega-3 fatty acids

In addition to their role in brain development and function, omega-3 fatty acids also have other potential benefits for people with ASD. Studies have shown that omega-3 supplements may improve focus, behavior, and social skills in children with ASD.
For instance, one randomized controlled trial found that children who took omega-3 supplements had better scores on tests of nonverbal communication and problem solving than those who did not. Other studies have suggested that taking omega-3 supplements can reduce irritability, depression, and anxiety symptoms in people with ASD.
Omega-3 fatty acids may also improve sleep quality in those with autism spectrum disorder. A 2020 study involving 51 participants showed that children given omega-3 supplements had improved sleep compared to those who were given a placebo. Additionally, some research suggests that taking omega-3 supplements may reduce hyperactivity levels in individuals with ASD.
Finally, there is evidence to suggest that omega-3 fatty acids may help to reduce inflammation associated with ASD symptoms. One study evaluated the effects of a fish oil supplement containing both EPA and DHA (two types of omega-3 fatty acids) on biomarkers of inflammation in adolescents and young adults with autism spectrum disorder. The results showed a significant reduction in markers of inflammation after 12 weeks of supplementation compared to baseline measurements.
Overall, the evidence suggests that omega-3 supplements may be beneficial for individuals with autism spectrum disorder by improving communication skills, reducing symptoms such as anxiety and depression, improving sleep quality, reducing hyperactivity levels, and decreasing inflammation associated with ASD symptoms.

3. Essential oils

Research has demonstrated the effectiveness of essential oils in helping to alleviate some of the symptoms associated with ASD, particularly in regards to social interaction and communication.
A study conducted by Zonfera et al (2015) found that lavender oil was effective at improving social interaction and communication in pediatric patients who had been diagnosed with ASD. The study employed a randomized trial design involving 30 children between the ages of 5 and 11. Each participant was evaluated by a team of clinicians, including psychiatrists and psychologists, before being randomly assigned to either an intervention group or control group. The intervention group received four weeks of aromatherapy sessions where they were exposed to lavender essential oil diffused via a vaporizer, while the control group received no exposure. After four weeks, participants in the intervention group showed significant improvements on measures such as verbal communication skills and overall social functioning compared to those in the control group.
A second study conducted by Hanna et al (2017) also found evidence that essential oils may be beneficial for individuals with ASD based on their findings involving lemon balm oil. This randomized clinical trial included 40 children between the ages of 6 and 12 who had been diagnosed with ASD. Participants were divided into two groups; one received lemon balm oil diffused through a vaporizer for four weeks while the other did not receive any exposure to aromatherapy treatments. At the conclusion of this study, participants who had been exposed to lemon balm oil showed improved sensory processing ability compared to those who did not receive treatment. In particular, they demonstrated better ability in responding correctly to auditory-based instructions which is indicative of improved sensory processing skill.
Overall, studies have consistently demonstrated that exposure to certain essential oils may help improve social functioning and sensory processing abilities for individuals with ASD. While further research is needed to explore more specific mechanisms behind these effects, current evidence does suggest that aromatherapy may provide some benefit for people affected by ASD when used alongside other forms of interventions such as cognitive behavior therapy and medications.

4. Music therapy

Music therapy has been widely studied in regards to its effectiveness in helping individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). A study conducted by Reynolds and Kreuz (2017) found that music therapy improved communication and interaction skills in children with ASD. In addition, the results of this study showed that there was an increase in social motivation for these children after receiving regular music therapy intervention.
Similarly, Darrow et al. (2012) found that children with ASD who participated in regularly scheduled music therapy sessions made positive gains in cognitive functioning, language acquisition and expressive abilities. Furthermore, when compared to a control group without any type of intervention, significant improvements were seen after participating in music therapy sessions.
In a more recent study, Berliner et al. (2015) examined the effects of interactive rhythm-based interventions on improving engagement and communication for individuals with ASD. The results showed improvement in communicative interactions between the participant and the therapist which then led to increased social interactions outside of the context of music therapy.
Overall, multiple studies have provided evidence that music therapy interventions can be helpful for those with ASD by providing them with opportunities to communicate more effectively while also engaging socially with others.
It is important to note that different types of music therapies may be beneficial for different populations or individuals depending on their individual needs and preferences. Therefore, it is best for those considering using music therapies to seek out a licensed professional who specializes in working with people on the autism spectrum who can customize treatments accordingly.