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Alternatives: BODY

In this section, you will find resources and testimonials on alternatives related to the body.  

When we talk about mental health, we sometimes tend to forget the body, as if we could completely distinguish between body and mind. There are of course important links between the two. As Bessel Van der Kolk's phrase about trauma says so well, "the body keeps score", and emotions often tend to leave their imprints in the body. This is why bodily approaches can be a good alternative as a response to distress, in situations where words are not enough or not accessible. The very process of withdrawal from psychiatric drugs shows the importance of the body: stopping a drug means being confronted with symptoms that are often physical. Withdrawal also highlights the importance of giving the body (and the mind) time to adapt to life without medication. Acupuncture, yoga, nutrition, and physical activity are all ways to take care of ourselves and remind us of the importance of taking our body into consideration in our processes of well-being.  



The Body Keeps Score. Bessel van der Kolk 


When the Body Says No. Gabor Mate  


Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma . Peter Levine and Ann Frederick 

My Grandmother's Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Mending of Our Bodies and Hearts​. Resmaa Menakem


7 keys to good health through diet

Nutrition and Mental Health in Every Way , Priscillia Ross, Dt. P

Depression: 9 Ways Diet Influences Risk and Symptoms

The nutritional revolution. Anxiety, Depression, Sleep ,  Uma Naidoo

Medicinal plants and supplements for mental health: new recommendations


A little exercise for big benefits

Exercise for the treatment of anxiety?


The NADA approach in Acupuncture

translated by Google

The NADA protocol is a protocol of five auricular acupuncture points. The National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA) approach is a five-point auricular acupuncture protocol with proven mental health outcomes. Used for nearly 50 years, today there are approximately 3,000 NADA programs around the world. Generally integrated in mental health and addiction management, this protocol is also used as a therapeutic complement for pain management, in behavioral health for post-traumatic stress disorder and in cancer treatments.

The treatment rebalances the body's energy, helps restore inner calm, while improving vitality. It has demonstrated its clinical efficacy in the treatment of post-traumatic stress syndromes, then in mental health, in the management of anxiety, stress, depression or sleep disorders. Since it is offered in groups, in a non-verbal mode of intervention, it is a complementary tool that is simple, effective, safe and inexpensive.

Since the fall of 2021, the RRASMQ and the Association des acupuncteurs du Québec have been conducting a pilot NADA clinic experimentation project in certain alternative resources. A NADA clinic is also open at Collège de Rosemont in Montreal.

“I was expecting to improve my sleep in order to be able to pursue my medication reduction project. I attended 9 sessions. I really had a lot of benefits that went beyond what I expected. My sleep was really deep, with nourishing dreams and information that I could look up in my dreams. (Sylvia)

"You should know that I am currently in withdrawal and therefore have various symptoms such as constipation, itching, body and visual dryness, blurred vision, loss of vision, severe weight gain, and many other effects that it would take too long to list. NADA treatments help me get through these effects, and make them more tolerable to me. I also felt like I dealt better with stress and had more perspective on things. " (Married)

“I have severe insomnia issues and frankly within 3 sessions I started to see an effect and sleep better. It was clear to me. Even after a few more weeks, I decreased my dose of sleep medication. It's been years since I've been able to do that!" (Dayna)


For more information

The contribution of acupuncture for mental health and the treatment of withdrawal symptoms

Discover this interview on page 31 with Clément Courteau, professor in the acupuncture department at Collège Rosemont, practitioner at the Center de Recherche et d'Aide pour Narcomanes (CRAN) and at the Lajeunesse Affordable Alternative Medicine Clinic.

Withdrawal and Nutrition

by Novembre Mercier translated by Google

In this article, I share with you one of the keys to my successful tapering: the anti-inflammatory diet!


I did two withdrawals with the help of my family doctor and my psychiatrist. 


You can imagine… I was so happy to FINALLY have the support of my medical team! I dove into this first weaning without any preparation. The psychiatrist proposed a three-step, one-year drug reduction plan. I said GO! Unfortunately, following nine months of unbearable worsening effects, this withdrawal ended in a resumption of medication. 


Let me tell you that the second weaning, I did it with good preparation. This time, I took three years from the first decrease to complete cessation. During this time, I consulted with various psychiatrists and read A Mind of Your Own by holistic psychiatrist, Kelly Brogan MD. Fortunately, this second withdrawal went like a letter in the mail and ended in success. I have been stable and symptom free for almost 6 years.


For me, the preparation made all the difference! On my journey, several interventions have played an important role. However, the anti-inflammatory diet has been a major key. It's a power that I can exercise three times a day in my kitchen, without outside intervention! It's a nourishing dance between nature, my body and my culinary creativity!


Here I share with you the three eating habits that made a big difference in my weaning process:


Increase my intake of micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) and proteins (amino acids). My brain and my neurons need a lot of nutritional support to perform their roles well.

  • Prioritize (50-75% of your plate) vegetables of all colors of the rainbow (raw, fermented and cooked).

  • Vary protein sources (vegetable and animal), if possible, consume homemade chicken broth and organic liver.


Stabilize my blood sugar and satiety from my first meal. A plummeting blood sugar triggers a rush of adrenaline that causes restlessness and feelings of emotional instability.

  • Balance the carbohydrates on my plate (bread, bagel, cereal) by giving a central place to proteins (eggs, meat, legumes), good fats (avocado, olive oil, coconut oil) and foods rich in fiber (vegetables, berries, whole grains).


Reduce or remove foods that cause a delayed hypersensitivity reaction (IgG). Delayed hypersensitivity (IgG) is a digestive and immune response that causes some people to experience symptoms of inflammation, especially in the brain and neurons. These symptoms result in anxiety, hyperactivity, insomnia. The main sources of food sensitivities are gluten and casein.

  • Reduce dairy products, as they contain casein.

  • 100% remove grains that contain gluten for 6 to 18 months.


It may seem like a considerable effort. However, I got there


I aim for simplicity! For example, I don't need to buy gluten-free products. I simply replace the bread with gluten-free grains (rice, quinoa, buckwheat), legumes (chickpeas, beans, lentils) and root vegetables (sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips). There are plenty of recipes on my website here: .


Before you start weaning, take the time to support and prepare your brain and neurons with good daily nutrition. I wish you with all my heart, this nourishing dance between nature, your body and your culinary creativity, it is the best guarantee of a solid feeling of inner security!


Adapted from recipe by holistic psychiatrist Kelly Brogan, MD

Servings: 1 to 2


30 ml (2 tbsp) of collagen + 15 ml (1 tbsp) of nut butter


45 ml (3 tbsp.) hemp seeds OR pumpkin seeds


125 ml (½ cup) cherries (fresh or frozen)*

3 organic egg yolks OR ½ avocado

250 ml (1 cup) vegetable milk OR water

15 ml (1 tbsp.) ghee OR coconut oil

5 ml (1 teaspoon) cocoa powder (optional)*


  1. Reduce in a blender, until a homogeneous texture.


*Replace the cherries with 2 grated sweet carrots, replace the cocoa with spices (cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg or cardamom). Result: a carrot cake smoothie!


*Replace the cherries with ½ apple and 125 ml (½ cup) of blueberries, replace the cocoa with a pinch of cinnamon.

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  • Casein: protein from dairy products.

  • Carbohydrates: form all the sugars present in food. They include sugars, starch and dietary fiber.

  • Gluten: proteins from wheat, kamut, spelled, rye and barley.

  • Glycaemia (blood sugar level): refers to the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood at a specific time.

  • Immunoglobulin G (IgG): antibodies that participate in the body's defence.

  • Micronutrients: elements that the body does not know how to synthesize with a few exceptions. They must therefore be provided by food. Although they are only necessary in very small quantities, their role is preponderant in many physiological processes.

  • Minerals: magnesium, calcium, iron, copper, zinc, sodium, selenium, they are found in food and are essential to the body.

  • Neuron: nerve cell, constituting the basic functional unit of the nervous system. Role: ensures the transmission of a bioelectrical signal called nerve impulses.

  • Proteins: long molecules made of small blocks called amino acids. Roles: repair and maintenance of organs, slow the rate at which carbohydrates from sugar and digested starch are sent to the blood.

  • Vitamins: organic substances, necessary for the metabolism of a living organism, which cannot be synthesized in sufficient quantity by the organism.



November Mercier is Head Coach and Mentor . She invites you on a personalized exploration to reclaim the sovereignty of your body. Novembre intervenes in individual consultation and group support with its VitaliA program. She is also a research assistant and peer moderator in the Youth Mental Health and Technologies laboratory (SMJ-techno) at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute.


David R Seaman, The diet-induced pro-inflammatory state: a cause of chronic pain and other degenerative diseases?, (2002), /11986578/

Chieh-Hsin Lee, Fabrizio Giuliani, The role of inflammation in depression and fatigue, (2019), National Library of Medicine

Karin de Punder, Leo Pruimboom, Dietary intake of wheat and other grains and their role in inflammation, (2013), National Library of Medicine /PMC3705319/

Joseph Firth, Nicola Veronese, Jack Cotter, Nitin Shivappa, James R. Hebert, Carolyn Ee, Lee Smith, Brendon Stubbs, Sarah E. Jackson, Jerome Sarris, What is the role of dietary inflammation in severe mental illness?, (2019), National Library of Medicine

Julia Rucklidge, Nutrition as Part of the Solution to the Mental Health Crisis, 2018, UC SCIENCE BLOGS the-solution-to-the-mental-health-crisis/


Joyce Cavaye, Why Nutritional Psychiatry is the Future of Mental Health Treatment, (2018), The Conversation treatment-92545

Dr. Kelly Brogan MD (2019) Own Your Self: The Surprising Path beyond Depression, Anxiety, and Fatigue to Reclaiming Your Authenticity, Vitality, and Freedom. Harper Wave.


Dr. Kelly Brogan MD, Kristin Loberg (2016) A Mind of Your Own: The Truth About Depression and How Women Can Heal Their Bodies to Reclaim Their Lives Hay House.


Dr. Terry Wahls, MD (2014) The Wahls Protocol, How I beat Progressive MS Using Paleo Principles and Functional Medicine. Avery Dr.


Datis Kharrazian (2013) Why Isn't My Brain Working? A Revolutionary Understanding of Brain Decline and Effective Strategies to Recover Your Brain's Health. Elephant Press


Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride MD (2010) Gut and Physiology Syndrome: Natural Treatment for Allergies, Autoimmune Illness, Arthritis, Gut Problems, Fatigue, Hormonal Problems, Neurological Disease and More, Medinform

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