It’s Mental Health Awareness Month, a month that is important to us here at Root. Over the last year especially, with the addition of Counseling to our Clinic, we have been on a mission to end the stigma surrounding Mental Health, and to bridge the gaps between physical health, mental health, and self-care, as we know they are all so intrinsically connected.
As with all our integrative approaches including Naturopathic, Functional Medicine, Mental Health care, and Traditional Chinese Medicine, we know that there is not a one size fits all solution to Mental Health. Each of us has a unique story, circumstances, preferences, and needs. Our goal is to always create a safe healing space, take the time to listen, and help you customize your Whole Body Health journey, including mental and emotional well-being.
We hope that wherever this finds you, we meet you where you are, with no expectations or judgment. This gentle guidance to optimal Mental Health is intended to compassionately encourage your own empowerment of finding what modalities and services may resonate with you.
COMMON AS THE COMMON COLD
Occasional mental health concerns are as common as occasionally coming down with the common cold. In fact, in the United States, mental illnesses and concerns are among the most common health conditions. More than half of Americans will be diagnosed with a mental illness or disorder at some point in their lifetime and 1 in 5 will experience a mental illness each year. Factors contributing to these numbers range from trauma, relational issues, work stress, discrimination, and poverty or debt, to name a few. Basically, anyone living a human life will probably face a mental health concern at one point or another.
IS YOUR MENTAL HEALTH A CONCERN?
You likely know when your mental well-being is off. It’s important to note that optimal mental health doesn’t mean that you’re always being positive and happy. On the flip side, having a mental illness isn’t limited to extreme depression, anxiety, or suicidality, for example. Defining whether your mental state is in good health or a state that could use more attention probably looks different for each of us.
Perhaps you love to socialize and laugh with others but feel foggy-brained and have trouble concentrating. Or maybe you’ve noticed you don’t take an interest in doing the things you used to love to do. Maybe you’ve never felt more grounded before, but you’ve found yourself purposefully isolated. Perhaps you seem to have it all, but you feel overwhelmingly nervous or anxious to keep everything just right. You might not feel sad, but you also haven’t laughed or felt connected in forever. Or maybe you’ve found that you struggle to cope with and find resiliency when presented with difficult experiences. These scenarios, and not limited, could all indicate that your mental health may need a little love.
THE FOUR PILLARS
What you eat, your social circle, how you move your body, how often you spend time in nature, your hormone and micronutrient levels, and what kinds of, if any, self-care you take part in all are all included in the aspects that affect your mental health. At Root, we group the dynamic aspects of your health and health habits into the four pillars of Whole Body Health: food, movement, immunity, and pause. Evaluating these four pillars can help address what’s causing mental health concerns and how to take action to start feeling better.
DON’T WORRY, YOUR HEALTH ADVISOR WILL FIGURE OUT THE DETAILS
Not knowing exactly how the four pillars are affecting your mental health, and not knowing what to address first and how to do it, makes perfect sense! In our busy lives it’s hard to be able to assess what’s causing what, and most of us simply do not have the clinical knowledge of how to address the issues we face. And, even if you have a general idea of what to do, the options may be overwhelming.
An easy and convenient way to evaluate your Whole Body Health, including your mental and emotional well-being, is by taking the Whole Body Health Assessment, an online assessment you can take out of the comfort of your own home. When you take the assessment, you will be assigned your own personal health advisor, a practicing clinician at Root Whole Body, who can take the wonder out of what factors may be causing a struggle with your mental (and physical) health. The Health Advisor will also offer a custom treatment plan with solutions you may never have considered before to improve your emotional well-being.
THERAPY WITH A HOLISTIC APPROACH
Have you met Alma Hadzidedic, LCSW, our licensed social worker and therapist? Therapy with Alma may offer you a healing experience better than you could have dreamed of. Why? Not only is Alma an exceptional human being who is compassionate, intelligent, approachable, and embodies what it means to be resilient; Alma is also a fitness coach, who earnestly understands the connection between mind and body and when desired, weaves appropriate fitness modalities into her work with clients. Sometimes, she guides her clients with the importance of caring for the physical, to facilitate understanding and breakthrough that supports one’s emotional and mental well-being. Coming to Root for therapy with Alma may mean a ‘sweat it out, let it out’ session in the sauna before or after therapy, or a wind-down journal moment in the tearoom. She may recommend complementary services to enhance your therapeutic process, such as acupuncture for anxiety and depression relief, or an organic facial, just because you are worth it!
Choosing the right therapist is an incredibly important step in the therapeutic process. We honor this experience and offer free 15-minute consultations with Alma to make sure she is the right fit for you and your journey.
Alma Hadzidedic, LCSW, alongside Clinic Director, Scott Baker, LAc, IFMCP, and Acupuncturist, Gina Snowden, LAC, created the Resilience Workshop, a three-series workshop involving guided meditation, breathing techniques, group discussion, group acupuncture, and learning other resiliency tools to empower participants to practice their own healthy coping skills. We recommend doing this workshop with your friends, family, or team. To learn more about this experience, reach out to us today.
To be a human means to have experienced trauma. A traumatic event can be so difficult to work through that the thought patterns and associations can lead our brains to get stuck in the response of fight, flight, or freeze. Being in this response for too long can have real physical consequences. These physical consequences may include tension, hormonal issues, and disruption to immune system functioning, potentially leading to diseased cells, organs, and other bodily systems. So, how do we get unstuck?
Craniosacral massage uses soft holds at the base of the skull and sometimes under the sacrum to release restrictions, improving the function of the central nervous system. This non-invasive treatment can help relieve post-traumatic stress, emotional difficulties, and stress and can also relieve migraines, chronic neck and back pain, scoliosis, and fibromyalgia.
Hormones, the body’s chemical messengers affect many aspects of our mental health including mood, energy levels, and sexual function. In our modern world, and depending on your age, hormonal imbalance is common and can be causing emotional distress and mental health concerns. We recommend getting a hormone evaluation by our Naturopathic Doctor to ensure your hormones are balanced. If they aren’t, there are various natural methods of hormone optimization that you and the doctor can discuss together.
NATUROPATHIC & ACUPUNCTURE
Did you know that the clinicians of Root’s Naturopathic and Acupuncture teams all specialize in mental health care?
Dr. Walker, ND, IFMCP, is our in-house primary care physician, who believes the only way to optimize true health is by engaging in a whole-person approach to wellness that nurtures the mind, body, and spirit. Her attention to patient-centered care and compassionate approach, along with her effective and intelligent treatments often make her booked out months in advance, so be sure to secure your appointment with her as soon as you can.
Acupuncture is an evidence-based treatment for anxiety, depression, stress, addiction, and PTSD, according to a large number of studies. Stimulating the central nervous system, acupuncture points produce biochemical changes that promote the body’s natural healing abilities, homeostasis, and emotional well-being.
However you and your personal team of compassionate and caring Root Clinicians and Practitioners decide to bring more emotional well-being and balance into your life, we are committed to doing whatever it takes to get you there. We are here to hold space, encourage modalities to restore balance, joy, and concentration, improve sleep and the quality of your relationships, and support healing processes of all kinds. Your unique story is important to us, and so we look forward to providing a totally customized and holistic treatment plan that is right for you.