Tag / Mental health

Sometimes, the Answer Lies in the “How,” Not the “Why”

We often search for answers to life’s big questions: “Why did this happen to me?”… “Why didn’t that?”… “What’s the point of it all?”…

We feel like we need to have the answers in order to relax, let go, carry on with life, and feel happy. This is the nature of the human brain. We think, theorize, and analyze for the sake of accomplishing practical tasks, which can be helpful and exciting in many ways. However, emotionally speaking, the thinking brain has the potential to do a lot of harm.

Can Physical Activity Change our Mood Through our Gut?

Gut Microbiota

The gut microbiota are microorganisms or bacteria that reside in our intestinal tract. Everyone has approximately 100 trillion microorganisms within their digestive system! Each person has a unique collection and assortment of these bacteria which are unique as our fingerprints. These gut bacteria play a fundamental role in shaping our metabolism, neuronal, and hormonal (endocrine) systems.

Microorganisms also impact our immune function and if dysfunctional, can contribute to problems such as obesity, diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease or depression. There are many research articles that show that the administration of certain strains of gut bacteria to rodents, results in decreased anxiety and depression

A Scandinavian Model of Nature-Based Therapy

 

Stress is a growing problem across the globe. The World Health Organization (WHO, 2017) ranks stress-induced disorders, such as depression, as a leading cause of disability worldwide. In response to the growing number of individuals suffering from stress-related mental disorders, researchers in Scandinavia have designed a nature-based therapy model for those on stress-leave. In 2001, The Healing Garden in Alnarp was established at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, and soon after, in 2010, Nacadia Healing Forest Garden was constructed at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.

This emerging model of green care is based on findings that individuals suffering from stress experience limited cognitive, emotional, and social resources, which often makes it difficult to think, learn or otherwise problem-solve in ways that might be required, for example, in talk therapy (Stigsdotter & Grahn, 2002; 2003).

Nature’s Benefits For Chronic Pain

Chronic pain is a widespread, disabling condition than affects an estimated 20% of people in the world. Pain is usually regarded as chronic if it lasts or reoccurs for periods of 3 to 6 months, which is beyond the normal amount of time for healing. Chronic pain can contribute to anxiety, depression, disability, sleep disturbances, poor quality of life and certainly impacts healthcare costs.

An article published in February, 2018 studied the connection between chronic pain and negative emotion.

Love Hormone (and Heart Rate Variability)

Have you heard about the love hormone? It’s called oxytocin, and research correlates high levels with being in-love, mother-infant bonding, trust, and empathy. Most research focuses on your brain as the production site of this hormone, but your heart actually produces and stores a significant amount of it. Your heart also produces other critical hormones, such as dopamine, norepinephrine, and Atrial Naturietic Peptide. The old idea that the heart is just a “pump”, has not served us well in medicine.

The heart has a direct connection to the brain via the Parasympathetic Nervous System, which some people refer to as the “Rest and Digest” state of the body. In fact, there are more nerves carrying heart signals to the brain than vice versa. What kinds of signals do you think it’s sending, and how much are these affecting your health? Your behavior? Your thoughts?

Your Limitless Living Community

Here’s the online community you’ve been searching for to support and encourage you to be the best you can be. Annual membership includes weekly coaching videos (intuitive eating, movement, motivation, strength training that makes sense), all designed to help women feel stronger, happier, and healthier. Their tool kit includes dozens of perks and offers from local businesses with mandates that align with these ideals. Limitless Living has only recently launched in Kingston and we’re so happy to be a part of this passionate, inspiring, and genuine community. Please check out their website or Facebook page.

Why Not to Make New Year’s Resolutions. And, what to try instead.

I don’t like to sound like a downer, but only about a quarter of Canadians who set new year’s resolutions will actually keep them in the long-run, according to a recent Ipsos poll. That means that if you’re one of 77% of people who make a resolution come the new year, then statistically, you’re more likely than not to keep it.

I’m personally not a fan of new year’s resolutions.

Unlikely Inspiration For Meaningful Change

In a few weeks I’ll be speaking at the South Eastern region Hospice Palliative Care conference about the value of integrative medicine for people who are dying. To help me prepare, I’ve been reading Die Wise by Stephen Jenkins, a philosophical and critical exploration of the phobia our culture has about death. This manifesto (as he calls it), would seem the least likely place for inspiration for New Year’s resolutions! In fact, of all the happiness and change-your-life books I’ve come across, this one offered me the deepest motivation and inspiration for making meaningful change in my life.

Mindful Forgiveness: Finding Peace in the Hurt

 

For many, forgiveness is viewed as a way of giving in, making allowances or excuses, letting another person “win,” or showing weakness.

For the unforgiving, grudges are held, intense emotions are clung onto with a sense of desperation, for the purpose of fighting back, trying to obtain justice, or somehow attempting to prove a point or change what was done in the past.

However, resisting forgiveness in this way is exhausting, defeating, and ultimately, a way of letting the other person take control over you.

On Starting Something New: How to Embrace & Own Change

Change is stressful, especially when it’s unexpected change. But even planned, positive change can put you on your toes!

People have a general tendency to fear the unknown. Oftentimes, we’d rather stick with what we know because it’s familiar and, well, let’s face it, the familiar is comfortable. When we look into a future of unknowns it tends to feel largely out of our control, and this lack of control is what tends to make us feel stressed. So, when we think about starting something new, we might hesitate, make excuses, or save the change for “one day when…”

How is it, then, that you can stop procrastinating and actually make change happen?

Introducing Our Private Mindfulness Meditation Training Sessions

How It Changed My Life, and How It Can Change Yours, Too

No matter where I go or what I’m faced with in this life, one consistency that I find myself with is my ability to turn inward – not in a self-destructive way (although, admittedly, this does happen from time to time), but in a way that allows me to befriend, get to know, and take care of myself like I would my own best friend, a loved one, or my very own child.

The Importance of Reconnecting with Your Values

(3.5 min read)  We all get lost from time to time. That’s part of being human.

Sometimes life throws you unexpected curve balls, but sometimes you make a series of conscious decisions that, without you even realizing it at the time, end up throwing you so far off course that you wake up with the sudden realization, one day, that you hardly even recognize yourself anymore.

Introducing Our 4- Week Introduction to Mindfulness Meditation Course

Did you know that, according to Statistics Canada, nearly a quarter of all Canadian adults rate their daily stress levels as moderate to high? And, did you know that stress accounts for lower quality of life and can have significant negative impacts on your physical and mental health?

If ongoing stress is playing a role in your life, or if you would otherwise like to practice slowing down the fast pace of your busy world, then this is the course for you!

Join Lindsay Dupuis, Mental Health Counsellor, for this 4-week course in which you will learn how to take control of your mind and gain energy back through a series of educational lessons and guided meditations…

Start Your Day off Right with this 10-Minute Morning Routine

(4 min read)  Everyone has a morning routine as unique as the house they live in.

Some are long and complex. Others are quick and to the point. I’d be willing to bet, though, that just about everyone’s morning routine involves making themselves look more presentable. Showers wash away flat morning hair, toothpaste strips away bad breath, make-up covers flaws, and clothing camouflages bodily imperfections. For a society that values physical appearances, many of us make this a priority in order to put our best faces forward.

When Anti-Depressants Don’t Work For You

depressedBefore the year 2000, most medical approaches assumed that the adult brain continuously lost brain cells and was incapable of regeneration. We now know that the brain is incredibly plastic, meaning that it can adapt, grow, and heal. Up until 2 years ago, we believed that the brain was anatomically entirely separate from our immune system. However, the very recent discovery of lymphatic vessels that directly connect the brain to our immune system have incredible implications for our broader understanding of brain health. Add to this a growing body of compelling research linking aberrant immune function to mood disorders, and we finally have some serious tools to investigate alternatives to the traditional serotonin-promoting antidepressant pharmaceuticals that fail for so many people with depression. 

The Vein of Gold: All are welcome to join us.

vein-of-goldIn the spring of 2016 some of us gathered at the clinic to do Julia Cameron’s book The Artist’s Way. It is a 12 week course on recovering the creative self. We started each week with a brief check-in to update each other regarding our creative journey. After our check-in, and a discussion of the week’s chapter, we each took a turn weekly to introduce and share a creative activity with the group. There was lots of laughter, learning and play time.

IN JANUARY 2017 we would like to take on another one of Julia Cameron’s books on creative recover, The Vein of Gold.

Anxiety in Children

with child

By Dr. Angela Hunt, BSc ND

 When I started in naturopathic medicine I was so excited to work with kids. I assumed I would be treating lots of upset tummies and stubborn rashes. Don’t get me wrong, I do commonly treat gastrointestinal issues and eczema in little ones. Yet, there is another condition that I treat far more and it may surprise you. Anxiety is by far one of the most common ailments I see in children walking through my door. I never would have guessed that stress and anxiety are so rampant in our children, but research confirms my experience and shows that anxiety is on the rise.

Several studies show consistently that there has been a dramatic increase in anxiety and depression among children and adolescents over the past three decades. It should not be shocking that with this increase we have also seen a marked increase in the prescribing of anti-anxiety medications among pediatric populations. Children as young as two years old have been reported to be on Prozac (a common anti-anxiety medication). This is clearly alarming, and I’d like to go over what anxiety looks like in children, why it is on the rise, and some naturopathic alternatives to pharmaceuticals. 

Improving Memory with CogMedTM

5, 8, or 10 week options ● Ongoing one-on-one sessions

with Phillip Wendt, Occupational Therapist

CogMedTM is a medically proven computer based solution for attention problems caused by poor working memory. Increased working memory allows you to experience better focus, resist distractions, control impulses, and engage in longer and more complex discussions.

Please read more about brain training options, here on our blog.

Some insurance providers may cover the entire cost of the program when facilitated by an Occupational Therapist.