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Our complementary therapies in Atlanta for mental health disorders can increase feelings of well-being, ease symptoms of anxiety and depression, and promote relaxation. As a result, these approaches are recommended alongside traditional mental health treatments, such as medication and psychotherapy.

At Southern Live Oak Wellness, we offer a variety of complementary therapies in Atlanta to help our clients cope with symptoms and improve their quality of life.


Mental health disorders have been found to frequently co-occur with other metabolic disorders in the brain, such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. In recent years, there has been an abundance of research and evidence on the role diet plays in mental health outcomes.

Besides how nutrition affects our physical health, what we eat influences how we feel including:

  • Emotions
  • Moods
  • Sensations
  • Experiences
  • Motivations

The brain is the most complex organ in the body. Everything we eat affects the major brain cells called neurons. An unhealthy diet that contains a lot of fats and sugars causes inflammation of brain neurons which inhibits the formation of new ones.

Consequently, this affects how the brain works and contributes to brain disorders like depression. Problems that affect the brain can alter our thinking, emotions, and behaviors. In contrast, a diet rich in nutrients, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids decreases inflammation and promotes the formation of neurons. As a result, there is improved thinking, memory, mood, and focus.

Good nutrition is an important part of maintaining both physical and mental health. At Southern Live Oak Wellness, our nutritionist is certified to treat eating disorders and also guides clients in living healthier lifestyles through nutrition. We can design a healthy meal plan based on each client’s individual needs. In addition, we offer fitness classes to help clients stay active and healthy.

Picture of various foods including fruits, vegetables and nuts

Outdoor Recreation

Research has shown that spending time outdoors supports an active and healthy lifestyle. Consequently, when people discover they feel happier after doing outdoor recreational activities, they naturally want to do it more often. Further, exposure to nature and natural light provides a wide range of mental health benefits associated with mindfulness and cognition. At Southern Live Oak Wellness we hold weekly outings for our clients to promote the many benefits of outdoor recreation.

The Benefits of Outdoor Recreation

  • Increased vitamin D: Vitamin D is also known as the “sunshine vitamin” because it is produced in the skin when exposed to sunlight. Adequate levels of vitamin D can boost the immune system and reduce the risks of multiple diseases and also reduce depression symptoms. 
  • Improved self-esteem: Both being in nature and physical activity have a positive impact on the brain, making people feel better about themselves.
  • Elevated mood: Spending time in nature can improve mood and reduce stress and depression symptoms. Engaging in physical activity produces similar benefits and often relaxes and cheers people up.
  • Increased physical activity: People tend to exercise longer and harder outdoors than indoors. As a result, they burn more calories. Being outside makes exercise more pleasant while increasing overall health and a sense of well-being. Additionally, physical activity increases the production of endorphins, the brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters.
  • Improved sleep: Disruption of sleep is common with many mental health disorders. Spending time in nature, fresh air, and sunshine, and participating in outdoor recreation can improve the quality of sleep.
  • Improved physical health: Outdoor activity and recreation have been linked to increased fitness and cardiovascular functioning. Other benefits are reduced obesity, reduced blood pressure, and reduced risk of diseases such as type 2 diabetes and cancer. Outdoor recreation is associated with better physical and mental health as well as increased quality of life.
  • Reduced stress: Some studies show that exposure to nature can enhance cognitive performance and recovery from mental fatigue. In addition, time spent on outdoor recreational activities can reduce the production of stress hormones and improve concentration.

Woman with red backpack taking a hike

Red-Light Therapy

This complementary therapy was originally a skin treatment for acne, scars, and wrinkles. However, red-light therapy (RLT) has been shown to be a beneficial therapy for numerous other conditions such as depression and seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

Today, RLT is used in medical, dental, spa, and home settings to promote tissue repair as well as relieve pain and inflammation. Red-light therapy is a safe and natural, nonmedical method for improving many conditions alongside conventional treatments. RLT delivers light particles to the brain that stimulate mitochondria—the energy generators of cells.

This encourages blood flow and helps lower inflammation in the brain. It can also help the brain create new cells. Thus, by adding 10 to 15 minutes of red-light therapy a day, energy production may increase and result in a wide range of health benefits.

Woman undergoing red light therapy

Animal-Assisted Therapy

Animal-assisted therapy (AAT) is an approach to mental health care that incorporates animals into the psychotherapy process. This method utilizes the bond created during human-animal interactions. Because of this interaction, emotional and psychological transformation often occurs.

Therapy animals can participate in a wide variety of therapeutic activities and interventions. Southern Live Oak Wellness provides animal-assisted therapy with our own pup on staff.

Clients who interact with animals during therapy often show improvements including:

  • Enhanced mood
  • Reduced anxiety
  • Decreased stress levels
  • Reduced anger, hostility, and aggression
  • Improved social interactions
  • Lower heart rate and blood pressure
  • Elevated endorphins
  • Increased self-esteem, patience, and trust
  • Sense of empowerment

Group riding horses during animal assisted therapy

Life Skills

Southern Live Oak Wellness offers Life Skills as one of our complementary therapies in Atlanta, Georgia. The most effective mental health treatment includes appropriate lifestyle changes. Our professional staff provides education and guidance to help clients utilize essential life skills that support their mental well-being.

These may include:

  • Cooking classes
  • Job coaching
  • Resume building
  • Physical wellness

Man and woman chopping vegetables during cooking classes

Music Therapy

Music therapy (MT) is the evidence-based use of music intervention to accomplish individualized therapeutic goals. MT uses musical interaction as a means of communication and expression. The aim of therapy is to help people with mental disorders, including serious mental disorders (e.g., schizophrenia or other similar conditions) develop relationships. They can also address concerns they may not be able to by using only words. MT sessions may include making music, music listening, and discussions. 

Musical ability is not needed to participate or to experience beneficial results that may include:

  • Increased joy
  • Lowered blood pressure
  • Improved memory
  • Self-regulation of emotions
  • Enhanced communication and social skills 
  • Self-reflection
  • Reduced muscle tension
  • Increased motivation

Group engaging in music therapy, one of the many forms of complementary therapies


Reiki is a form of biofield energy healing that originated in Japan in the early 1900s. It is now used all over the world, including in hospitals and hospices, to complement other forms of medical treatments. This therapy guides energy throughout the body to promote self-healing.

This energy healing practice may enhance physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual healing and improve the quality of life for people suffering from numerous health conditions. Also, it can help individuals prepare for surgery and boost recovery afterward.

Conditions Reiki May Help With

  • Depression and anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Cancer
  • Palliative care
  • Chronic pain
  • Stress-related disorders
  • Digestive problems
  • Trauma and PTSD
  • Infertility
  • Parkinson’s disease

Reiki is a type of touch therapy but without pressure. A Reiki practitioner gently places their hands, palms down, on or just above the client’s body in specific energy locations. They use a series of different hand positions.

The length of time that the practitioner leaves their hands in each position is determined by the flow of energy through their hands at each location. Some people may experience sensations like heat or tingling. Generally, people will feel very relaxed and peaceful during and after a session.

Benefits of Reiki 

  • Relaxation
  • Better sleep
  • Lower blood pressure and heart rate
  • Symptom relief
  • Boost healing after injury or surgery
  • Relieve pain and tension
  • Stimulate the immune system
  • Elevate mood
  • Improve overall health and well-being

A woman getting Reiki treatment during a complimentary therapy session in Atlanta

Overcome Mental Health Disorders With Complementary Therapies in Atlanta, GA

A mental health treatment plan is not one-size-fits-all. At Southern Live Oak Wellness we recognize every client as the unique individual they are. That’s why our compassionate team of professionals collaborates to design a comprehensive individualized treatment plan based on each client’s needs and preferences.

Our wide variety of complementary therapies in Atlanta, Georgia works alongside our evidence-based mental health treatments to provide each client with the care they deserve. If you or a loved one are struggling with mental health issues, please reach out to us today to learn more about us.


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Our Testimonials

What Our Clients Say

  • star star star star star

    I have so much to say about this wonderful place, but I’m sure my words will never do my experience justice. Southern Live Oak Wellness and it’s people not only helped me find myself again, but they saved my life.

    Alex M.

    Johns Creek, GA
  • star star star star star

    Southern Live Oak Wellness saved my life. The therapists genuinely care about the clients and helping them get better. Working on yourself is not easy, but the therapists help guide you and make you be able to work through whatever may be going on.

    Rachel S.

    Lawrenceville, GA
  • star star star star star

    I can easily say that Southern Live Oak wellness saved my life. I had hit rock bottom when I first got admitted and they helped me build myself up from nothing. I have learned how to cope with things I never thought I would be able to handle.

    Taylor R.

    Dallas, GA
    • star star star star star

      Going to SLOW has impacted my life in ways I never thought possible. I came for help with my mental state and came out with so much more; life skills, medical advice, mental health counseling and addiction treatment. SLOW is a whole life transformation program and I highly recommend it to anyone I know!

      Kaylan F.

      Kennesaw, GA
    • star star star star star

      When I was a part of this program, I had the most personal growth I’ve had in my entire life. All of the tech staff were willing to talk to me whenever I felt like I needed someone to talk to and the group sessions gave me multiple perspectives I never would’ve thought of from people in similar situations to me.

      Dylan C.

      Belleville, IL
    • star star star star star

      This place has changed my life. For the first time in my life I felt heard and cared about. The clinical staff is amazing. The groups are well structured. You learn a lot of different skills to help you in life this is the best mental health facility to come to.

      Ashley H.

      Brunswick, GA

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