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Stress Reduction is Key to Curbing a Mental Health Crisis

Stress Reduction is Key to Curbing a Mental Health Crisis

More than a year of living through a pandemic and significant social change has levied a toll on us. There exists immense loss and trauma on many personal fronts. Unfortunately, we will see the effects in rising cases of mental health concerns (especially among our young adults, those in their teens and early 20s). A survey, Stress in America taken at the beginning of 2021, “reveal[s] that physical health may be declining due to an inability to cope in healthy ways with the stresses of the pandemic.” It provides tips on how to identify unhealthy coping skills, such as making poor food choices, drinking and other unhealthy means to manage the increased levels of stress, and offers ways to change those behaviors. 

Here, I highlight the layered impacts of stress in order to provide a multifaceted approach to stress relief. The aim is to target each of those layers of impact and establish a wellness approach to carry you through the remaining phases of this year, in the short term, and hopefully establish a lifestyle for the long haul.

One layer is the mental realm that is affected at various levels. At the emotional level stress triggers reactive responses such as hypersensitivity, anxiety, flight-fight-freeze response, or feelings of sadness and despair. At the behavioral level one may exhibit hostility or be non-cooperative or argumentative.  And at the cognitive level (a mental-physical space) stress leads to poor decision-making and affects memory and organizational skills, leading to loss of productivity.  

Next is the energetic layer, an intermediary level that comprises our relational connections between the mental and the physical (both of our bodies and of the world around us). This is the level that regulates how we interact with our environment, our object relations with the world. This field is filtered through our psyche and felt through our bodies. Stress affects our energetic levels by leading to a withdrawal from others, from the things we enjoy. We often describe it as a sense of disconnection that can lead to lethargy, which literally means ‘a lack of energy and enthusiasm’ for life. 

It is key to remember that if we can regulate some of the emotional and physical stress markers, we can bring more healthy dynamics into play with your relationships, including with our self. This allows us to read those energetic clues about others with more clarity. Often anger, stress and pain cloud our ability to read these signals clearly, thus affecting the course of our relationships. Stress impedes our ability to re-energize our psyche and physical state of wellbeing if it goes unchecked.

There is the physical space where stress shows more visible markers. Stress increases heart rate levels, changes in appetite, leads to body tension, and tension-building headaches, among other signs, which could ultimately lead to a compromised immune system. More extreme conditions, such as ulcers, may develop when stress becomes chronic. 

Ignoring these multitude of symptoms can lead to more complex mental health issues such as substance abuse, increased anxiety, depression, and the predisposition to illness. Given the varied levels of impact that stress has on our mind, body and energetic spirit, one should approach stress relief with a well-rounded philosophy to healthy living in general. Of course, nature is the most effective space to realign all layers in tandem. 

 

Here are several things that you can do to engage each level:

Self-care habits of proper diet, stretching and exercise, getting enough sleep, minimal drinking – all help us work through the stress and tension that affects us physically. Stretching regularly, getting massages, acupuncture or other treatments to release built-up tension are extremely helpful in curbing the physical effects of stress. Deep-breathing is a simple practice that takes 2-5 minutes of mindful breathing, filling the belly on your inhale and emptying the chest and belly on the exhale. Deep breathing lowers blood pressure and reduces the stress hormone cortisol. It engages the parasympathetic nervous system that works as a medium between our energetic, mental and physical levels, by naturally reversing the stress response, our ‘flight, fight, freeze’ response to stress.

Connections of all types are the life force that sustains us. Staying connected to others through whatever means of communication helps build our interpersonal spaces. And working through challenges with love and self-compassion helps us connect with others in order to manage our difficult moments with support. The energetic level thrives off the vibrational energy that comes from deeply felt bonds. Also, that of music, aesthetics, the energy of life in nature, spiritual connection and especially by developing one’s talents and passions.

Finally, using calming techniques such as breathing exercises, meditation, Tai Chi, etc., all help us work through some of the emotional and behavioral effects of stress. Bringing us into mind, body, spiritual balance to help place our focus on our work, family (wherever you place value) and strengthen our cognitive states of mind. Mindfulness techniques, practicing gratitude and being in the present moment – on a consistent basis – allows calm to resonate through all levels of the self, and puts one in a state of mind that is physiologically incompatible with some stages of stress.

The various alternative treatment methods provided by Ketamine Health Centers are helpful for individuals at every level of the mental health spectrum. We offer wellness procedures and resources to help you manage stress and create that necessary balance in your life. And we provide the latest techniques available to treat mental health concerns such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, chronic pain and more. Please reach out today for a free consultation to learn how we can help you or your loved one find the best treatment tailored to your needs.

Ketamine Infusion Therapy Provides a Lifeline for Suicidal Ideation


Ketamine Infusion Therapy Provides a Lifeline for Suicidal Ideation


People suffering from depression or other feelings of hopelessness may feel that the pain has become unbearable to the point of developing suicidal ideations, but there is help available for people struggling. Ketamine infusion therapy has been an effective method in assisting to change one’s perspective from the overwhelming feelings of hopelessness to recognizing there are other solutions. By adjusting the emotions that focus on situational permanence, one can reshape the narrative with the brain– a restructuring that occurs during Ketamine infusions that assist in creating pathways to healing. No other treatment exists that can immediately, and so effectively reduce the feelings of suicidal ideation. 

In highlighting suicide awareness, we want to invite you to learn more about Ketamine infusion therapy, and how it has brought relief to many. Ketamine Health Centers has provided immediate and long-term relief to countless individuals suffering from treatment-resistant depression and suicidal ideation. While intravenous treatments of Ketamine provide more profound neurophysiological change in patients, the nasal spray version, Esketamine, provides immediate aid (as explored in this study) showing the potential of Ketamine treatment for addressing suicidal ideation.

Though not all individuals who experience moments of hopelessness develop practices of self-harm, suicidality does afflict individuals more readily who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), mood disorders, anxiety or depression, and chronic pain.

Some of the warning signs to keep in mind and look out for are:

A loss of interest in activities and hobbies
Isolating oneself
Giving away prized possessions 
Talking about death and dying
Self-injurious behavior or evidence
Increased high-risk behavior 

Ketamine Health Centers can provide a pathway forward from the pain of suicidal ideation.
(Help is available at all hours at suicidepreventionlifeline.org or 1-800-273-8255). For help from one of our professional staff, contact us today to begin a treatment plan and your path to healing. With locations throughout South Florida and now Mexico, Ketamine Health Centers can provide immediate relief and a hopeful way forward for you or your loved one.

    Mental Health Screenings: The Importance of Checking-In

    Mental Health Screenings: The Importance of Checking-In

    The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted many social and civil shortcomings, but thankfully, it has also provided a much needed change in perspectives, sometimes from unexpected corners of life. Overall, while adjusting to the pandemic, daily anxiety levels are on the rise. Now we must shift to mitigate the spread of Covid-19 through the emerging cold and flu season as the winter season sets. Entering a new wave of the pandemic requires us to stay the course with our behavioral changes in hygiene, as well as, maintaining social distancing measures. Coping with the changes faced has put into sharp relief the much needed global focus on mental health. 

    The sustained stressors, like public health, social institutions, and the environmental changes, increase anxiety and fear for many. The emotions that some individuals have expressed during this pandemic, highlight a reality that individuals with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) live with every day. During OCD Awareness Week we recognize millions of individuals who experience the restrictive fears that OCD, and their various coping behaviors, creating barriers to moving and living freely in the world.


    OCD affects about 1% of the population in the United States or 2.2 million Americans each year (visit adaa.org for more facts and statistics on anxiety disorders). With many experiencing the onset of symptoms in their late teens. The realities of managing Covid-19 and the ramifications of a health scare may impact some individuals more than others. Especially, if fears are centered around contagion and the cold season demands of extra hand cleaning and disinfection against germs. This can lead people to a predisposition of developing compulsive behaviors around staying clean. Young adults are a vulnerable age group during the pandemic particularly since the social networks that help strengthen emotional development are constrained and are now more restricted through remote learning.  

    Psychiatrists have continued to work with OCD patients during the pandemic using effective cognitive-behavioral treatments, yet the nature of the virus has curtailed some of those efforts. Ketamine Health Centers (KHC) can support a traditional CBT with alternative approaches. Ketamine infusion therapy, for example, works at the neurological level to help dislodge old, repetitive behaviors as one is practicing new behavioral patterns through cognitive behavior therapy. The majority of patients claim instantly diminished symptoms early into treatment, which is what makes this treatment option unique. KHC can provide a combination of procedures to augment your existing treatment plan. 

    Thankfully, many OCD patients have felt little change as a direct result of the pandemic simply because their fears are of a different nature. For some, other fear factors are more immediate than the concerns brought to bear by the pandemic. Yet anxiety, just as mental health in general, works along a spectrum. Before the year began many individuals were already in a fragile place for anxiety and depression. The many layers of difficulties (health, economic, social, emotional) and the ongoing need to re-establish new states of “normal” is too great a challenge to carry alone.


    Ketamine Health Centers can provide relief through alternative treatment for an array of mental health concerns. We encourage a multifaceted approach to mental health. Contact our highly trained professionals, at one of our conveniently located clinics, to discuss new treatment options that can strengthen your current practice or take you in a new direction for effective treatment. Set up your free consultation today!

    Mental Health Screenings: The Importance of Checking-In

    Mental Health Screenings: The Importance of Checking-In

    October is Mental Health Screening month! This initiative was started by the World Health Organization (WHO) in order to raise public awareness of mental health issues. One in five Americans is affected by mental health conditions and despite the high prevalence, mental disorders often go undiagnosed, untreated, or under-treated in primary care. 

    What is a mental health screening?

    A mental health screening is an exam of your emotional health and helps you detect a mental health disorder. They are private and anonymous, cost-effective, quick, and accessible. Screening assesses risk factors, which can be genetic, behavioral, or environmental. Additionally, benefits include distinguishing between those who could benefit from minimal intervention and others who may require further diagnostic assessment or possible treatment. 

    After completing a  screening, a mental health provider (a doctor or a therapist) can give you a full assessment and talk to you about options for how to feel better. Screenings are beneficial, because they allow for early identification and intervention, leading to better outcomes. Screenings may also lessen long-term disability, preventing years of suffering. 

    Why are mental health screenings important?

    Depression, Anxiety, Eating Disorders, and PTSD are among some of the most common mental health diagnoses detected from mental health screenings. With a high prevalence of condition related symptoms, often we may be unaware of severe underlying problems requiring extra attention. Instead of creating an environment filled with shame or fear, which stops many from seeking help, Ketamine Health Centers urges everyone to do their part in ending the stigma. Mental health illnesses are real, common, and treatable; recovery is very possible with the right steps.  

    Participating in a mental health screening is just as important as getting regular check-ups with your doctor. Seven to ten million people in the United States have at least one mental health disorder, in addition to an existing alcohol or drug abuse disorder. Too often, these individuals are treated for only one of the two disorders or receive no treatment at all. In an effort to bridge the gap, mental health screenings help address these discrepancies and allow people to receive not only the help they need, but the help they deserve.  

    What can Ketamine Health Centers do for you?

    At Ketamine Health Centers, we believe mental health screenings play a crucial role in preventative care and overall well-being, so we will be offering free mental health screenings this October. If you or someone you know is in need of a team to help them regain control, please contact us. From our therapy programs to our cutting-edge treatments, our medical team takes the time to get to know you and your goals, personalizing your experience at any of our locations. What are you waiting for? Better days are ahead.

    Effective Solution For Nicotine Dependence

    Effective Solution For Nicotine Dependence

    Stop Smoking Today – Regain Control 

    From the debilitating mental health symptoms to the desire to quit smoking, many look for alternative ways to meet their health goals and regain control. The CDC reported an estimated 34.2 million American adults smoke in the United States and of those smokers, more than 16 million live with a smoking-related disease. Of these active smokers, 70% have expressed interest in wanting to stop smoking, but in reality, only 7% manage to successfully quit. Based on these facts, tobacco use is still an issue for many, which can be attributed to the highly addictive nature of nicotine.

    Nicotine dependence is linked to many conditions, like heart disease and cancer, and due to its sedative and stimulant properties, can cause a surge of adrenaline by the adrenal glands and a reduction of insulin in the pancreas. These effects lead to increased heart rate, breathing, blood pressure, and blood sugar. Additionally, nicotine is associated with many brain pathways related to the reward system, which is believed to involve the autonomic nervous system. 

    The toll of nicotine dependence can leave many feeling overwhelmed, but Ketamine Health Centers is here to bring hope for a better tomorrow through life-changing techniques. 

    What is a Stellate Ganglion Block?

    A Stellate Ganglion Block (SGB) is an injection of local anesthetic (numbing medicine) using ultrasound guidance on the sympathetic nerves, located at the base of the neck. By targeting the sympathetic nervous system, which is a part of the autonomic nervous system, the body’s response to stress, also known as your “fight or flight” response, can be reset to baseline. Dysfunction of the sympathetic nervous system can lead to prolonged hyper-arousal, hyper-vigilance, and stimulated PTSD related anxiety symptoms. Stellate Ganglion reduces the nerve impulses and messages sent to the brain center, thereby, providing relief in the symptoms. 

    This minimally invasive procedure has low risks and no major side effects and takes less than an hour and a half! Results and relief have been seen within 30 minutes and can last from a few months to years. SGB can be used to treat many conditions such as Anxiety, Depression, Lymphedema, Nicotine Dependence, Migraines, Facial Pain, Upper Extremity Pain, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, Post-Herpetic Neuralgia, Hot Flashes, and Hyperhidrosis. 

    The overall benefits of SBG include improved quality of life, better sleeping habits, decreased alcohol and substance use, improved cognitive function, improved physical functioning or exercise capacity, and healthier relationships.

    While the Stellate Ganglion is not FDA approved, the FDA has ruled that approval is not needed for this approach since SGB is a conventional procedure that has been used worldwide since 1925.

    Schedule Your FREE Consultation

    Here at Ketamine Health Centers, we have expert faculty to perform this procedure in the safest and most effective manner. We offer a professional and relaxing environment for the best patient experience.  If you or anyone you know would benefit from this treatment, we urge you to contact our team for a FREE consultation: 1-833-542-3040.

    Amidst the Tragic Toll of Substance Abuse, KHC Provides a Path to Healing

    Amidst the Tragic Toll of Substance Abuse, KHC Provides a Path to Healing

    September marks Substance Abuse Awareness Month. The scope and depth of substance abuse and addiction are devastating not only for individuals and families but also for society as a whole. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 19.7 million American adults (aged 12 and older) battled a substance use disorder in 2017. With the events and tragedies that occurred this past year, it will take years to fully see the ramifications of the events that unfolded in 2020. The economic hardship faced by millions and the many thousands of individuals grieving loved ones will leave an indelible mark around the globe. Even with our current uncertainties, Ketamine Health Centers seeks to curb the most devastating of mental conditions, including substance abuse cases.


    Substance abuse is not only a crippling mental illness for society with its correlation with domestic violence and increased crime rate, but also has been associated with lost productivity and is known to cause additional stress on our health care system. It is most preventable within a social framework that allows for healthy developmental growth. Meaning, that in a society that fosters self-care and provides citizens with the tools to manage emotional and mental health concerns, there is no doubt that there would be a curb in substance abuse and addiction per capita. Many individuals fall into addiction as a result of depression, trauma, sustained stress, or social habits and when combined with a genetic predisposition, it leads one down the rabbit hole. Substance abuse, like mental health, in particular, falls along a spectrum.

    If today’s youth was equipped with the coping skills to manage difficult and traumatic life experiences (given that not all families can establish healthy dynamics without societal support), many more of our youth and adults will learn to use healthy methods to manage life’s challenges. We are slowly starting to move in this direction with our renewed focus on wellness and growth mindset perspective. Ketamine Health Centers is here to help you re-ground and focus on your overall wellness. 

    The benefits of developing coping skills in adolescent years foster a positive mental health environment for children and families. It is important for individuals to understand the unique set of coping skills that are available for different kinds of stressors. Self-soothing, distraction, action, emotional awareness, mindfulness, and crisis planning are some of the categories of coping skills that can support those struggling with substance abuse. Here is our list of suggested coping:

    •  Comforting yourself through your five senses.
    • Taking your mind off the problem for a while. 
    • Doing something the opposite of your impulse that’s consistent with more positive emotion. 
    • Tools for identifying and expressing your feelings. 
    • Tools for centering and grounding yourself in the present. 
    • Contact info of supports and resources, for when coping skills aren’t enough. 

    The underlying factors that lead to substance abuse and addiction are unique to each individual, and so treatment must be tailored to each person. Multifaceted approaches to overcoming addiction are essential, as some individuals will need therapy, a change of lifestyle, cutting-edge treatments, and most importantly change of perspective. With our alternative treatment methods for individuals who have found traditional options to fall short of their needs, Ketamine Health Centers is ready to help.

    There are layers to every addiction story, and each of those layers may require a distinct approach to healing. First, is the lived experience of the individual that should be worked through in a therapeutic setting. Ketamine assisted psychotherapy provides an alternative method to talk therapy during ketamine infusions, proving to be effective for individuals with a genetic component to their addiction. Ketamine infusion therapy helps dislodge entrenched brain circuitry and reestablish new neuronal connections, thus breaking down some of the genetic pull of addiction.  Other treatments offered at our clinics, such as Stellate Ganglion Blocks (SGB), can provide relief for individuals that have developed an addiction due to trauma by resetting the body’s internal fight or flight responses.  Combining traditional therapy with alternative treatment methods can help one heal more quickly and more effectively, leading to sustained sobriety and recovery from other types of addictive behavior. 

    Ketamine Health Centers offers an array of wellness procedures to enhance any therapeutic approach. Schedule your free consultation today to learn how Ketamine Health Centers can help you make your life your own again.

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