Family, Friends and Fellowship

Family, Friends and Fellowship

The holiday season is here! Hard to believe already. Stores went from marking down Halloween items to stocking Christmas decorations, skipping this month of November, it seems. A small section of Thanksgiving table settings remind us of the current season. Many retailers, as you know, began their grand holiday a few weeks early, too, with Black Friday sales starting off the month. I suppose I’m all for it. I am happy to see more signs this year noting store closing hours and the reason for doing so, allowing employees to celebrate the holiday in leisure. Even if it isn’t the most leisurely of holidays. Still, rooted deeply in our history and in our psyche, the Thanksgiving holiday marks a turning point in the year for many. It highlights a sacred time that allows us to take a moment to appreciate and share, and create a space for reflection. A space that emerges as we let traditions bring us together in a spirit of giving that carries into the start of the new year.
Many spiritual themes around the world speak to our need for fellowship and remind us of our responsibility to others, to those less fortunate than ourselves. To fellowship is to break bread with others, to share, to create a space where one feels bolstered by those around. Traditions are like glue, allowing us to join together in fellowship and create a bond, create meaning in our life, establishing a sense of belonging when we celebrate with loved ones and within our communities. True fellowship allows us to see ourselves reflected in others. Reflection is never an easy process, not if you’re honest with yourself. But with the salve that sharing with others during the holidays provides our psyche, often we find that simply being present helps us let go of our stress and often heals our soul. Of course, we do not always have family or friends close by. Some individuals feel more acutely the hardships they carry, and may feel more isolated still if the joy of the holidays feels out of reach. But we are not alone. We are all connected by our common thread – that deep rooted need for fellowship. The magic of this time of year is felt when we highlight that thread and nurture the bonds that grow from it.
But as many have experienced at some point in their life, the holiday season highlights more acutely a sense of loss and loneliness. The holiday blues are real for many who feel the weight of depression and chronic pain. If you or a loved one needs additional support, please contact our knowledgeable staff today for a free consultation, and explore the benefits of Ketamine infusion treatment.
And today, let us honor ourselves by sharing in genuine fellowship with others as we gather around the holiday table. Fill your soul by helping those less fortunate in your community who may not feel close ties. Let us share wholeheartedly in the traditions that bond us. Or begin a new tradition that will set the tone for closer family or community relations. You can challenge yourself in today’s polarized society and open your mind to opposing views should you find yourself sitting next to that “obnoxious” person at the table! Open your heart to understand people different than yourself – with respect one can truly listen. Of course, if you can donate of your time and talents to those in need of fellowship, do so. For it is by virtue of moving past our own needs, and feeding the souls (and filling the bellies) of those around us that we create a richer life for all.

Enhancing Mental Health & Wellbeing

Enhancing Mental Health & Wellbeing

We live in complex times. A nuanced age that astonishes me daily with the power of what we know. A time when words such as ‘multidisciplinary’ and ‘integrated’ pepper all fields of inquiry. As a result, we are creating a rich tapestry of related knowledge that provides us a deeper understanding. The subtleties that we have gleamed through science, and the reach that we have through technology is simply astounding. And thankfully due to our global village mentality that is changing how we see the world, we have a greater respect for (and now more widespread circulation) of local or indigenous philosophies that help enhance our own. These different ways of seeing provide us with a more nuanced worldview to help bring about respect through knowing, and direction for a sustainable future. Today our children are taught more than we were to discover and learn by exploring a topic from various perspectives. A great lesson in life is to take a multi-pronged approach to problem solving. Our pursuit of knowledge, and how we have shared that across the spectrum, provides us with tools to manage life’s complexities. So too when we make long-lasting lifestyle changes from various angles, it helps us create traction and keep-up our motivation to make it stick.

Make a choice to bring forth positive changes in your life. Instead of deciding to stop whatever behavior is putting you on a detrimental course (negative thinking), think instead about starting a new practice that will ensure your continual development. Something that can take the place of the behavior you want to stop. Approach it from a multi-perspective position to help you move forward, to see the strengths and opportunities that change can bring; as well as assess the weaknesses and vulnerabilities that may result. This way you can better prepare for them, rather than be thrown off guard by them. Be honest with yourself about where you are in the process, not only focused on where you want to be. As with all things, it is by way of the middle ground that we build strength in our core – finding that balance of keeping yourself honest without losing sight of your goal.  

Considering the effects of diet and exercise on overall wellbeing, let’s take a multifaceted approach to how one may work on incremental improvements. You can look at how you shop for food (are you hungry and tired while at the grocery store?). How one prepares food (what small changes can you make to eat healthier?). How one eats (are you eating on the run or sitting down for 30 minutes to destress while you digest?). Finally, assess your level of activity throughout the day (how can I add 20min of moderate exercise to my day?). We need to be realistic about our goals so that they fit our schedule and help keep us motivated. Making several small changes to establish a solid routine, rather than setting oneself up for discouragement by trying to take on too much at the start.

So too, clinicians can provide more robust treatment in mental health with a multifaceted approach, and help patients take ownership of their lifestyle changes.

Looking at depression in particular, we know there are many non-medicinal ways to boost serotonin levels to help curb depression. Exercise, diet rich in serotonin producing foods, meditation, building-up social connections, music and drumming, art therapy, etc. There is talk therapy (and psychoanalysis) and various methods that rely on cognitive biofeedback mechanisms, to help one learn to process and move past the depressive state. More often than not, a multifaceted approach using many of these non-medicinal methods is enough to work through one’s depression. However, we know many individuals need more direct support in the form of medication, the use of SSRIs, and thankfully now Ketamine infusion treatment. The downside of medication is the length of time needed for it to begin working effectively, on the order of a couple of weeks to a month. Ketamine treatment has shown tremendous promise. Patients experience immediate relief from symptoms, and together with other non-medicinal methods, will help keep depression at bay. Perhaps even more importantly for certain individuals, it can be an effective prong in a varied approach when one uses Ketamine treatment at the start. Given the timeframe that most SRI/SSRIs require to reach effective levels, Ketamine infusion treatment can provide an immediate relief of symptoms, while giving the body time to develop a more heightened response to medication.

Ketamine for Treatment-Resistant Depression: The First Decade of Progress is, according to the publisher (http://www.springer.com/gp/book/9783319429236), the “first book to systematically review the robust clinical and preclinical research on ketamine use for treatment resistant depression.” Regarding depression and OCD, some studies suggest ketamine infusion, combined with other established CBT treatments such as exposure and response therapy or EX/RP therapy (as well as SRI/SSRI medication), may accelerate and prolong the efficacy of overall treatment.

To discuss these findings and learn how Ketamine infusion can enhance your current treatment plan, please call us today for a free consultation.

Confronting the Aftermath

Confronting the Aftermath

We live in a delicate balance in nature. Often that balance is overlooked and even ignored with all of the technology and engineering to buffer ourselves. But she never fails to remind us of her presence, her power. Perhaps no natural disaster is as disruptive to our psyche, to our daily life, as a hurricane. The anticipation alone creates a tremendous amount of stress. The uncertainty of a storm’s track as we watch days out, and the ambivalence that experience creates for our decision making, adds layers of anxiety on our psyche. If a storm approaches, panic creeps in during preparations, and naturally the level of fear rises as the anticipation of the storm grows intensely. The down time that comes when all of the preparations are complete usually becomes a waiting game, which adds yet another layer of stress that riding out a hurricane entails. For most it is difficult to turn that down time into quality time because of the fear and excited energy. The strain on one’s psyche and physical health is tremendous, and often there is little time to acknowledge and mitigate it with moments of rest or reflection. While we all may experience some of the same stress throughout the preparations, seeking out the same essential materials and securing our homes in the days before a storm: Every person’s experience of a destructive storm is different. Everyone’s experience of the aftermath, the arduous recover and clean-up process, is very different. After the storm, thankfully (hopefully) with everyone safely together, each person in their own way begins to pick up the pieces and rebuild.

It’s important to keep in mind the different ways in which we need to heal during any aftermath.  A difficult task given the demands on our bodies and our temperaments. Realize that it is impossible to know how a storm has affected someone, what emotional stress has bubbled up or what losses they have suffered. Each person deserves the space and time to heal and work through the rebuilding process at their own pace. We should take time to express our gratitude for our safety and for the cherished things that we hopefully still possess after a storm. Allowing ourselves to feel grateful, also allowing ourselves to grieve the losses not comparing them to anyone else’s, and to empathize with others worse off – these are all aspects of psychic healing, and will help strengthen the bonds of any community. Most often the support required in a particular area is supplied by the members of that community. We see with pride the many images and hear the stories of neighbors helping strangers.  But sadly there are many individuals who do not find a helping hand when needed. Or find they are unable to heal at their own pace due to a myriad of circumstances. For some the loss will be devastating. Others who may have been close to pulling out of a difficult place in their life will find themselves lost again, needing support to get back on their feet continuing their path to emotional and physical health.  For an individual already facing the challenges of depression or chronic pain, confronting the emotional and immediate aftermath of a hurricane can be debilitating.

We are here to help.

By establishing a space to realign one’s emotional energy, Ketamine Infusion treatment provides an effective path to recovery. Providing immediate relief, Ketamine treatment can help with the emotional rebuilding process that is often overlooked in an aftermath. We encourage an open space for restoration and self-healing. Please call us for a free consultation for yourself or someone you love to learn how Ketamine treatment may help in your recovery process.

Ketamine Infusion Process – What’s It Like?

Ketamine Infusion Process – What’s It Like?

Ketamine therapy is a revolutionary source of relief for patients suffering from mental illness and chronic pain. But, before you decide if it’s the right fit for you, let’s walk through the ketamine infusion process from beginning to end.

For your first visit, we’ll schedule an initial assessment to review your overall health. Our experienced psychiatry team will take you through a comprehensive mental health screening, followed by a general physical and medical exam with a certified nurse anesthetist or anesthesiologist. These tests are designed to give our staff a full picture of your mental and physical health to give you the personalized care you’ll require during your ketamine treatment.

For the safety of our patients, we also conduct a precautionary urine test to rule out indications of illicit drug abuse. We also require proof of a valid prescription for those patients who are actively taking controlled medication. Our pre-treatment process is thorough, but designed with care for your well-being.

After you’ve cleared these initial steps, we’re ready to schedule your infusion sessions. We require that our patients have a pre-arranged ride home from the treatment center, as driving is not permitted within the first several hours of the session. Patients are encouraged to invite a family member, friend or spouse to accompany them to treatment.

On the day of your session, you’ll meet with one of our anesthesia care providers who will walk you through the treatment process in our state-of-the-art facility. When you are at ketamine health centers, it’s time to relax, we will sit you in a comfortable lounge chair , provide you with headphones to listener to music, or you can watch TV while you receive your treatment. Each infusion session last 45-60 minutes and is closely monitored by an anesthesia professionals. After your session is complete, you’ll be led into the spa-like recovery area where our medical staff can assess you before you’re clear to go home.

In the days following treatment, you may already feel improvements in your mood and symptoms. But, we provide our patients with ongoing support to ensure that the benefits of ketamine therapy are long-lasting and meaningful. Our staff will stay in touch with you for periodic phone assessments at your convenience. We are more than happy to be a resource to our previous patients for tips on recovery and maintaining a healthy life. ​​

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