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Heal Your Body, Heal Your Life

JenlehrLMFTJenlehrLMFT Member, Medical Advisory Board Posts: 172 ✭✭✭

We tend to think of psychotherapy as dealing only with the realm of mental health, mental illness, negative thoughts, and emotions. Psychotherapy is actually much broader and is not just talk therapy, but also includes the body and body awareness. It includes positivity. It encompasses self-actualization, mindfulness, and so much more. 

For example, in Gestalt Therapy, you may find yourself becoming more aware of your flow of consciousness. As an illustration, you may notice that when you talk about a specific situation, you blank out for a moment, or jump quickly to another topic. Those are cues that there is anxiety or trauma around that topic, and you have an unconscious strategy that protects you from getting too close to that topic. A lapse in awareness is not just mental. It also includes your feelings and your body. You lose track of not only the mind but the physical and emotions as well.  

As psychotherapy expands and integrates with various aspects of our lives, our definition of health is changing. The body and the mind can no longer be split, nor seen out of context with the whole of our lives. What we eat, how we integrate into our world, and our sense of spiritual connection, exercise, and more all contribute to our total mental and emotional health.  

Because I have suffered severe (and unexpected) health challenges, I have learned we have to pay attention, not just to our thoughts and emotions, but also to what we put in our bodies. Food can be medicine. Remember the saying, “you are what you eat.” Healing requires addressing body, mind, and emotions, as well as how we relate to our lives as a whole.

The connection between the gut and the brain

Over the last few decades, much has been discovered about the connection between the gut and the brain. “The Second Brain,” “The Mind Gut Connection,” and other books are educating us on this connection. Some emphasize the brain in the gut, while others emphasize the impact the digestive tract has on mood. They all, however, connect soma (body) with the brain. And the brain, of course, includes emotion and thought. The brain is also part of the body.

Other practitioners, such as Dr. Natasha McBride, a medical doctor, have specifically linked disorders that traditionally have been considered within the realm of “mental health,” to the body. Dr. McBride developed the “Gut and Psychology Syndrome” for natural treatment of Autism, ADHD, Dyslexia, Depression, and more. She found that by adjusting the diet and thereby the microbes within the gut, you can heal disorders.

She healed her son from autism through diet. You can find her book The “GAPS Diet” here.   

Julia Ross, MA, moved away from practicing psychotherapy towards using diet to heal diagnoses that have traditionally been addressed in the realm of talk therapy. She found that without including the body, it was more difficult to solve what has previously been seen as mental health issues.

Julia uses nutrition for the treatment of mood problems, eating disorders, and addictions (as well as insomnia). She is helping to bridge the gap between diet and emotional/mental health. You can find her book, “The Mood Cure,” here

Love Wellness helps 

With this and growing relationship between our mental/emotional health and our bodies, we can support some of our challenges with diet and supplements. Love Wellness addresses gut health with these specific products: 

With a healthier gut, we can expect a healthier mind and healthier emotions. While you will probably still have to focus on how you integrate with your world, look at your attitudes, heal past trauma, etc., you will have your body on your side! 

A two-way street

The relationship between body and mind is, of course, a two-way street. Not only does our physical-self affect our mood and functioning, but our mood also affects our body. For example, stress (and stress is not just an event – but how we respond to an event), can contribute to high blood pressure or an ulcer. 

Thus, it is essential to develop supportive foundations, such as good self-care, healthy eating, learning to self soothe, and delay gratification. Therapy can help us access buried feelings and change our thoughts to more positive ones. Couples therapy can help us achieve better relationships. You can learn more about how to improve your relationship (without a therapist) in a variety of articles on the WeConcile blog here.  

Whatever challenges you have in your life, make sure to address your body, your mind, and your emotions. You can start by supporting your gut! 


Sources:

Staff, F. E. (2019, July 22). Mind/Body Connection: How Emotions Affect Health. Retrieved February 12, 2020, from https://familydoctor.org/mindbody-connection-how-your-emotions-affect-your-health/

 My Son. (n.d.). Retrieved February 12, 2020, from https://gutforlife.us/pages/my-son-watashinomusuko

About Julia Ross. (n.d.). Retrieved February 12, 2020, from https://www.juliarosscures.com/julia/

Home. (n.d.). Retrieved February 12, 2020, from http://www.gapsdiet.com/

Design, W. W. (n.d.). Dr Natasha - Home. Retrieved February 12, 2020, from http://www.doctor-natasha.com/


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