The mind and body are not separate. They reflect each other! (Photo credit Mbz1)
Integrated Practices for physical and mental health
Many are surprised when they find out that Dr. Barbara Baumgardner and I work together on many cases of Stress, Depression, Anger and Mental Health. They often will say a ‘Psychologist and a Chiropractor working together… how does that work?’ It isn’t really that confusing when you understand that mental health can also be a reflection of physical health.
One excellent example of this is that of hormones. Low thyroid hormone can lead to depression. Lower sex hormones can lead to a loss of libido. Having high levels of the hormone cortisol during a stressful time can lead to lower production of neurochemicals like serotonin, leading to loss of self control, or Dopamine, making you feel less satisfied or loose interest in things that you used to find joy in.
Pain is a big motivator for people. It can also modify their behavior. Next time you see someone stub their toe try to have a calm, rational conversation with them! Sometimes people have dealt with pain or physical stressors like a blood sugar issue for so long they don’t even recognize the need for help. They don’t know why they are angry or unhappy with their lives. They just are!
Classic example: Japanese woman experiencing real stomach pain due to stress (Photo: tototo)
Many don’t know that we hold stress in our bodies. Psychologists have recognized for many years now that mental health issues can manifest in a very physical way. This is not imagined, but a real physical outcome. This can manifest as high blood pressure, digestive distress, or even muscular complaints. These are not things that can be imagined up, but are a real sign the the brain is in charge and if it is stressed it will show in the rest of the body!
What I can do
Because of the number of patient referrals from Dr. Barbara I have felt the responsibility to go and learn how I can help support the body in its effort to deal with these types of issues. I approach these cases with a combination of care that might include:
Through aiding the body with the pain, psychosomatic issues, and hormone balances in this way we take much of the physical stress off of the patient. They are then able to focus on their mental health and see much greater progress.
It is always a pleasure to work with patients who want to become, not only mentally healthy, but also physically healthy so that the work they do is much longer lasting and effective. It is certainly easier on their pocketbook in the long run!