Dancing Away the Blues: Soul Therapy & Brain Booster

Dancing Away the Blues: Soul Therapy & Brain Booster

Losing yourself in a dance trance provides a freeing sense of self. While the joy and social connections that foster feel good moments on the dance floor provide fuel for our souls. There is great healing power in the rhythmic movement that exercises the body, as well as through the music that melds mind and spirit to the energy that surrounds us. Dance, especially movement to rhythmic percussions, forms a foundational ground for spiritual worship and an excellent source of emotional release, as experienced throughout human history. Music also constitutes one of the primordial forms of energetic connection to the pulse of life. No doubt when you loosen up and allow your bodies to follow the groove, and truly allow yourself to be guided by the musical rhythms, your soul rejuvenates and energy flows more freely. 

Multiple layers of healing permeate and boost the body when we use dance as a form of exercise and therapeutic release. More importantly, for the millions of Americans who suffer from depression and anxiety each year, the increase in synaptic activity that accompanies cardiovascular exercise can help reverse the effects of depressive brain states. As we exert physical exercise, we also enhance activity in our prefrontal cortex providing a brain boost. Dance increases brain connectivity leading to better working memory, reducing stress and increasing levels of serotonin, as recognized through current research in neuroscience. A wonderful resource, the Harvard Mahoney Neuroscience Institute highlights some of the beneficial neurophysiological changes that dance can bring about, on their page Dancing and the Brain.  

As scientists try to understand the neurophysiology of depression through brain morphology, animal models provide some revealing findings. One such study connects the atrophy of dendritic spine density in regions of the prefrontal cortex to depressed brain states.  Research into the antidepressant effects of Ketamine highlights how Ketamine reverses depressive neurophysiology by “increasing dendritic spine density in the prefrontal cortex, reflecting structural remodeling” and at times the creation of new neuropathways. Providing more acute effects than dancing can for individuals in need of more targeted therapeutic treatments, Ketamine infusion can provide immediate and sustained benefits to brain-based behavioral changes. 

A recently published study, this one focusing on Electrophysiological Biomarkers of Ketamine on individuals with depression, reviews “markers of synaptic potentiation…[including] gamma oscillations and long-term potentiation.” The study points to “changes in long-term potentiation as a promising measure of synaptic [restructuring] following ketamine administration” leading to changes in synaptic activity that helps loosen entrenched neuropathways. In fact, the full effects of Ketamine infusion may not be felt immediately, as reported by some patients, but instead may become more apparent a few days following treatment, and up to about 10-14 days after, as increased synaptic activity and rewiring takes place.  

Along with other therapeutic activities such as dancing, Ketamine infusion treatments establish neuro and electrophysiological restructuring in the brain that potentially lead to behavioral changes, and often an enhanced outlook on life. Contact Ketamine Health Centers today to discuss your specific needs and one of our specialists will help tailor your treatment options. We are dedicated to helping you or your loved one boost mental and emotional wellness to healthy living.

Creating a Calming Space for Children

Creating a Calming Space for Children

For several generations now, we have placed greater emphasis on providing better methods of childrearing and parenting strategies, as we’ve increased awareness of childhood developmental stages and overall emotional and mental health for our youngest members of society. However, the rapid societal changes, driven by technological development, has led to increased stressors for all individuals, and arguably the impacts of social media have hit older children the hardest. From cyberbullying to the constant barrage of screen time, as some children move from one device to another in a given day, these aspects of our modern lives add to the emotional stressors that kids face. Often caregivers have a hard time managing the mental and emotional consequences, even when children are not exposed to high anxiety situations in their daily lives. For children who do experience more anxiety, or trauma, it is crucial to provide a variety of outlets to work through their stress, and possibly depression that may develop. While children are quite resilient, they still need the emotional development and mental health focus that we all need in order to become our better selves.

There are a wide range of coping methods and healing strategies to help children find a calming space in their lives. One easy way is to create a quiet corner for your children at home. It doesn’t have to be more than a corner of a room situated with pillows or a comforter that can provide a comfy spot to sit. Allow your child to decorate that space as s/he would like, using various arts and craft projects along the way. Let them add a few calming mantras or objects, and various activity pieces to provide modes of distraction. It can serve as a calming space for ‘time-out’ moments when they need to reflect on their behavior or think of better ways to express their frustrations. It can also serve as a reading space or play area to enjoy a ‘brain-break’ for electronic-free time. I’ve heard reporting on several programs in various school settings across the country, in hard hit opioid centers in some cases, that are implementing similar settings and strategies to help their youngest students cope with trauma, depression, and high anxiety. Even in communities where children experience less stressors, implementing a growth mindset that focuses holistically on the individual’s development can help children and young adults grow into healthier adults and caregivers.

Ketamine infusion therapy can be effective for young adults experiencing treatment resistant depression, according to a 2018 study, although more research is required to learn about the effects of ketamine on growing minds. Please contact us today to discuss your unique mental health concerns, and a member of our team at Ketamine Health Centers will guide you through our treatment options and help you create that internal calming space for you or your loved one.

Guiding our Way to Emotional Health

Guiding our Way to Emotional Health

Mental wellness takes center stage this January as we start off 2020 with an increased focus on emotional health. January also marks National Mentoring Month. Mentorships go hand in hand with helping individuals develop emotional intelligence, as well as relationship bonds that will help strengthen the overall well-being of a given community. Developing coping skills and learning to navigate emotional stressors are essential for children and young adolescents, and can, in part, be taught through peer-to-peer mentoring programs. Elementary schools often have a reading buddy program pairing 5th and 4th grade students with K and 1st graders. Aside from learning to read with a new friend, the relationship bonds that form also help increase self-esteem for all students involved. Middle school is an especially important and vulnerable time for adolescents. A structured mentoring program that pairs older students with the newest members of the school can help guide them into the fold, provide an outlet for those struggling emotionally (which ideally would lead to parental, and if necessary professional, support once identified) and help build an overall sense of community spirit.

As our education system incorporates mental health awareness in school initiatives as a goal to educate the whole individual, mentoring programs will become more commonplace to help achieve that goal – for they help provide support, guidance and a rooted connection through fellowship. We not only garner wisdom from a senior member of a community, we also strengthen our resolve to work through challenges when we feel part of a whole; with the potential to learn to see different aspects of a problem through various lenses, an essential aspect of emotional intelligence. Mentorships can also help us turn our efforts inwards. We become equipped to focus on aspects of our development that we may not have achieved on our own. As we develop emotional intelligence we learn to focus on our own ground and more easily develop our sense of self. By honoring who we are we guide our way to those individuals in our world who resonate with us; who can help guide us towards a fuller sense of self. With early mentorships we can learn to develop these life-coping skills and practices that help us build our inner strengths.

Unfortunately, trauma, genetic predisposition to mental conditions, or the lack of any real connection with others can make the path of self-growth a difficult climb. Ketamine Health Centers provides a variety of treatment options through ketamine assisted therapy, and other procedures, that can help you or your loved one find relief from PTSD, depression, chronic pain and other conditions that impede the journey to emotional wellness. Contact our friendly staff at one of our clinic locations throughout Florida to learn how Ketamine Health Centers can help guide you to a life of wellbeing.

Reflections: Shimmers on the Horizon

Reflections: Shimmers on the Horizon

It’s the end of the decade. To a certain extent, it’s the end of an era. It’s fascinating to look at our trajectory since the turn of the century, for it certainly feels as if we are at a crossroads entering 2020. As we move solidly into the 21st century, we can’t help but reflect on where we’ve come and where we are heading. There is a historical weight at present that brings us to a point of closure and requires an open eye to the future.

If you are a Star Wars fan, no doubt you are reminiscing about what this cultural phenomenon has meant to you and your childhood or your children’s. There is a buzz around the sunset of this story that in a very real way forms a bridge between the end of the 20th century, pocked by previous centuries of nation-building and war machines, to the rebellious spirit that marks the start of the 21st century as we moved into a new era of geopolitics. There is a nostalgia that looms as we say goodbye to this amazing galactic world that we know will continue to be a force in our lives. Its influence has been that widespread in our culture.

As we round out the decade, we also face a historical political moment that highlights the changes to our social and political landscapes, as they have been transformed by the digital era. There is a need for reflection; an earnest need to reshape our trajectory given the very real local politics that we face as we tackle huge challenges ahead. Coming to a crossroads elicits a Janus stance to establish a delicate balance between honoring tradition and stability and embracing change and new cycles. So too must we embrace new perspectives that carry with them the weight of experience and growth through change. We must prepare our minds and bodies for the demands that a nimble future will present us.

Reflecting on the past with an eye to the future allows an open, but rooted approach to manage the many areas in our lives that require attention and refocus. Life feels out of balance at the crossroads. In the final analysis, we realize that we must care for ourselves and for the social fabric that subtends us (through our relationships with others) with a healthy equilibrium. We cannot lose sight of the threads that tie us, nor can we be tethered by them. That balance of stability and growth, or tradition and possibility, often through the unknown, is what we honor in various cultural (holiday) traditions. What marks each tradition that I can think of around the globe is the connection with family and friends that comes about through fellowship and gathering around food, sustenance for our body and soul. And the honoring of traditions that unite us and provide a ground for us to reflect on our past, as well as looking to our future promise in part by instilling these connections in the youngest generation.

As we start to say farewell to 2019, to another decade, let us reflect on the blessings that have touched us, and the ways we have helped create a brighter future. There is immense possibility for holistic and synergistic growth leading to new patterns of living. And we are here to move that paradigm of growth forward. Ketamine Health Centers would like to wish you all growth and stability in health this holiday season!

Overcoming Suicidal Ideation with Ketamine Therapy

Overcoming Suicidal Ideation with Ketamine Therapy

On September 10th, we bring attention to the epidemic of suicide with World Suicide Prevention Day. During this month of September, we highlight the national problem and its devastating effects on our society. But as the WHO’s report states, “Suicide is a global public health issue. All ages, sexes and regions of the world are affected (and) each loss is one too many”. It is a symptom of the lack of resources and education for mental health issues that affect all individuals around the globe. When suicide takes the life of “one person every 40 seconds”, we can only assume that we are not doing enough to help our children grow into healthy individuals. “It is the second leading cause of death among 15-29 year olds”. That is staggering.  We are losing our future generation the world over to immense stress and pain.

Only recently we have begun to bring more attention to and create educational fronts to establish wellbeing across the cultural divides. But more needs to be done to help the countless individuals suffering in silence. We must lift the stigma that surrounds mental health to include a much wider net of care and solutions to the symptoms of depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and the painful reduction in quality of life that leads so many individuals into states of hopelessness. We must provide opportunities for our young and growing adults to learn to express themselves and develop core strengths, and to learn the important coping skills in life that take practice to establish. We need to teach growth mindset and resilience, and provide healthy outlets to release stress, along with a safe place to discuss painful and traumatic experiences – as a regular aspect of their lives. By necessity, government programs and policies must be created and/or properly funded to increase access to mental health care for individuals who need additional support in the form of treatment.

However, individuals that do seek help, so often challenged with major depression and/or post-traumatic stress disorder, and who are receiving medication still suffer from suicidal ideation.“About one in five patients with major depressive disorder experienced high or fluctuating suicidal ideation despite receiving antidepressant treatment for 12 weeks, according to results published in Journal of Clinical Psychiatry”. Which partly explains why suicide is such a great problem globally.  Even individuals who are seeking mental health treatment may not benefit from traditional psychiatric medications. Thankfully, there are new and more effective tools available to us that relieve individuals of these symptoms of suicidal ideation. 

Ketamine infusion therapy, and especially Ketamine assisted psychotherapy, provides proven results and great promise for overcoming the epidemic of suicide. Of patients who have tried ketamine infusion therapy, over 95% have reported that suicidal ideation abated after just one infusion. That is amazing promise for individuals who are suffering greatly. Using this effective treatment method in combination with lifestyle changes, and wellness strategies (in addition to other prescribed treatments as needed) provides a lifeline for individuals suffering from suicidal thoughts. We at Ketamine Health Centers are dedicated to providing cutting edge treatment that works. By offering this new medical tool, we help our clients find relief as they begin to open up a space in their lives to continue the deeper work of holistic living. Call or set up an appointment today for a free consultation to learn more about Ketamine infusion treatment and how it can help you find your path to wellness.

   

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