Yes, another month has passed. And, the physicians at Bambú Clinic want you to know that your emotional health is just as important to us as your physical health. Just like the daily health routine we have prescribed, we want you to have a basic mental health routine. Whether it is some meditation, an hour each day for yourself, time with friends or therapy. Start thinking about what keeps you in contact with your essential self and incorporate it daily! Here is some more information…
Mind-Body: Just the Facts
Did you know that in America, approximately 25% of adults suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder during the course of a year? Often mental disorders go undiagnosed due to social stigma, lack of insurance coverage, or insufficient detection. Since mental health is grouped into its own specialty in the conventional medical model, often it is seen as separate from the other systems of the body.
October 3-9 marks mental health awareness week in the US, and the physicians at Bambú Clinic would like to take the opportunity to discuss mental health as a part of your overall healthcare.
Mental health is defined as a state of emotional and psychological wellbeing in which an individual is able to use his or her cognitive and emotional capabilities, function in society, and meet the ordinary demands of everyday life. At Bambú Clinic, we think of mental health as a part of your overall health. Many of you who are patients have likely been asked, “how’s your mood?” by your ND here at Bambú.
While mental health encompasses more than just mood, our question is an opening for you to tell us whatever it is you would like to share about your mental health. Mental health is an issue for everyone in modern society – our environment demands a lot of us every day. In addition to your current health regime, we’d like to introduce a few special techniques we have found to be particularly helpful in addressing the mental health aspects of overall wellness.
More than Emotional Pain
Psycho-therapeutic Naturopathy seeks to integrate our life history in a way that is meaningful to our present experience. Everything we have ever experienced has contributed to who we have become. This system of healing embraces the intricate interconnections of our beliefs, emotions, physical body, and symptoms, and honors how each help shape and are constantly reflected in one another.
This work involves investigating how our experience and our environment shape the way our minds evolve and our bodies manifest physically. As young children, what do we learn about ourselves and about the world that influences the beliefs we hold, the way we interact with and relate to other people, and how our bodies grow? How are we oriented toward and what are our responses to major themes of life (safety, belonging, support, power, freedom, control, responsibility, love, sexuality, spirituality, etc.)? Sometimes our behavior in response to these life issues supports our being who we wish to be. Sometimes, however, our behaviors were learned in response to acute and chronic stress, and limit us from having full access to how we want to experience the world.
Psychotherapeutic Naturopathy utilizes mindfulness in combination with somatic based experiences to create space for awareness, insight, and healing. Many people will do the work with their eyes closed, or gently lowered with their focus on a corner of the room, so that they can turn inward and study reactions, responses, impulses, voices, memories, emotions, and physical sensations or postures that come up. This careful study provides information about subconscious material/beliefs that drive us everyday – most of the time without our even knowing it. So much of our behavior is truly automatic – these mindful, experiential techniques help to clarify why behavior that we want to change is occurring, and with this understanding provides a platform for change.
Dr. Senders is currently offering Psychotherapeutic Naturopathy as the focus of her practice. For more information on this effective technique, please call the office.
Issues in Your Tissues
Have you ever noticed that a pain in your abdomen, back, or neck seems related to a particular emotion? Many of us store emotional experiences from the past in our physical body. Resulting from a mental stress, our nervous system responds by placing a strain on our fascia – the connective tissue that holds our muscles, organs, and bones in place. At the time, we think nothing of it, and do not feel the pull on our fascia. Perhaps we process the emotion fully and let it go from our consciousness. However, over time, that fascial strain can contract and cause pain. It acts like a splinter, irritating surrounding tissue, which in turn tries to wall off the irritation so it does not create full-body discomfort. Craniosacral therapy, a gentle form of bodywork, can identify and begin to unwind that fascial strain. As the strain lessens, the emotions that may have been trapped in the tissue begin to fade, leaving behind fascia that is supple and pain-free. The term for this technique is somatoemotional release, or SER, a global release of body strain. Rarely does a patient actually re-experience the emotions that led to the strain during this work. The general sensation is a relaxing, calming overall sense of well-being as the body lets go.
Dr. Karon-Flores is a certified Upledger Craniosacral Therapy practitioner, and holds advanced certification in somatoemotional release. She is available for appointments, and is happy to answer questions about these techniques. For more information, please contact Bambú Clinic.
We hope you found this information helpful. We strive to help our patients find a healthy way in the world. If you have topics you’d like us to address in future issues please let us know. We are always available for questions and comments.
The Physicians of Bambú Clinic