Emotional and Mental Wellness
Many people are looking for help to manage their anxiety, depression, and other mood issues as well as improve concentration, memory and mental clarity. Naturopathic doctors view health in a holisitic manner that doesn’t separate physical wellness from mental, emotional and spiritual wellness.
Our goal is to support you whether you are struggling during a transitional period or have an ongoing deeper problem.
Whatever stage you are at in your process, whether that is taking or getting off a prescription medication or just starting to consider natural options—we respect what you are going through and create a safe and sacred place for your healing.
We take a team approach to your care and work alongside your other healthcare practitioners. Safety is always our first concern when recommending the use of natural supplements, as we recognize that you may be taking prescription medications. Naturopathic doctors understand the possible interactions between pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals and would only make recommendations that we know are safe and supportive.
There are many factors that contribute to emotional and mood wellness. Our role is to help uncover imbalances and support your body’s healing process with the goal of restoring balance. In addition to hands-on therapies such as acupuncture and craniosacral therapy, we offer specialized lab testing to determine if there are underlying physical problems that affect mental and emotional well being. Some of the key areas we can evaluate and address include:
Sometimes, the brain and body produce too much or too little of chemical messengers called neurotransmitters. These neurotransmitters can have a huge influence on moods and mental function, and the actions of many pharmaceutical drugs aim at addressing these neurotransmitter imbalances. We offer saliva and urine tests that measure key neurotransmitters such as serotonin, GABA, dopamine, norepinephrine, epinephrine, glycine, glutamine and histamine. Understanding specific neurotransmitter imbalances can lead to more effective and individualized approaches to address your specific imbalances and symptoms.
We are just beginning to understand the significant effects the bacteria in our gut have on mental and emotional balance. The gut-brain-microbiome triad plays a large role in mood and behavior. Your “gut instincts” stem from the enteric nervous system (ENS) which is composed of over 500 million neurons. Food intolerances that can lead to “leaky gut” as well as dysbiosis, meaning imbalances in gut flora, can result in sub-par mental and emotional health. Functional gastroenterology examines the digestive system as a dynamic and living ecosystem and its relationship with the nervous system, hormones, and the environment.
Ongoing physical and emotional stress can cause the adrenal glands to make improper amounts of the stress hormone cortisol. This may manifest as symptoms of anxiety, depression, poor memory and difficulty focusing. Using a 4-point cortisol and DHEA test, we can evaluate adrenal health and determine if it plays a role in your symptoms.
Deficiencies in vitamins, minerals, macronutrients and amino acids can adversely affect mental well-being. Some of the key players include vitamins B6 (pyridoxine), B9 (folic acid), B12 (cobalamin), vitamin C, vitamin D, magnesium, calcium and Omega-fatty Acids. One of the tests we can run at SFNM is a micronutrient test to determine if you are deficient in one or more nutrients important for mental and emotional health.
Exposure to heavy metals such as lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium and tin can result in psychological and neurological problems. Lead piping and paint, mercury dental amalgams, fish consumption, eating canned foods and cosmetics are some of the sources of exposure. If a toxicity is suspected, we offer a urine test that detects the presence of heavy metals that can lead to targeted therapies.
Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) are small changes in your hereditary DNA. In some people these minute differences can greatly affect mood and behavior. Some of the key SNPs that are involved with neurotransmitter regulation include MTHFR, COMT & MAO. Knowing your genetic profile can also lead to targeted nutritional approaches that are specific to you.
Specific testing as well as a careful and complete history and physical examination can help see the “big picture” and understand approaches and interventions that are specific to your needs and goals.
Our doctors offer personalized integrative treatment plans that may include botanical medicine and supplements, diet and nutrition, acupuncture, craniosacral therapy, breath-work guidance, nutritional counseling, homeopathy and intravenous and injection therapy.
We have helped many patients make significant improvements in their mood and emotional wellness using a natural approach. If you’re interested in an integrative approach, give us a call.