Holistic approach for depression seeks natural balance: an Alternative Paths column By Brie Zeltner, The Plain Dealer January 12, 2010

The conventional definition of clinical or major depression includes a long list of familiar symptoms — persistent sadness, loss of interest in activities, sleep disturbances — that last weeks, months or even longer.

Ask a holistic or integrative practitioner, a health-care provider who integrates alternative treatments into the traditional medical world, for a definition of depression and you’ll get quite a different answer.

David Santoro, a psychologist in private practice in Twinsburg, treats depression in his patients as a chronic state of “excessive imbalance.” A little imbalance is to be expected, he says, but depression reflects over-the-top, long-lasting imbalance.

Santoro’s goal is to restore to his patients the natural balance that all people are capable of. “The human system is meant to feel good,” he says.