Many of us experience trauma in our lives. In some respects, hardships are what help us create our character strengths as we grow. Life is hard. Full of great losses and unforeseen events that shape us along the way. But not everyone can overcome every situation as a learning experience, nor with time, reflection or even one’s character armor. Post-traumatic stress disorder may intervene in one’s ability to heal if trauma memories become entrenched and, for a myriad of reasons, block one’s ability to move past the experience. PTSD requires a multifaceted, yet targeted, approach to help an individual process the trauma and move beyond the crippling triggers that impede their healing.
Ketamine infusion therapy and trans-cranial magnetic stimulation treatment (TMS), along with the meditative arts and other holistic therapeutic approaches, offer the best way to help individuals who experience the debilitating consequences of PTSD finally heal. According to a 2016 study, only 59% of those afflicted with post-traumatic stress disorder find relief from traditional medications, thus alternative methods are required. The study, published in the Journal of Trauma & Dissociation, highlights that “many existing treatments…do not directly target trauma memories that lay at the core of the PTSD pathogenesis. Notable exceptions are medications like ketamine,” among other treatments such as TMS, SGB (Stellate Ganglion Block) and using yoga and mindfulness.
It is important to pair PTSD treatment with yoga, tai chi or some type of movement meditation, which allows the body to release pent-up energy, that visceral body tension that helps trigger an individual. Releasing the energy throughout the body is very important. Muscles are controlled by the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system, and the sympathetic system produces our fight or flight response. Releasing tension in the body is directly tied to healing the body’s nervous system at the muscular and molecular level. Stretching allows for healing at the physiological level with the release of endorphins. Releasing tension also helps one reach deeper sleep states which is necessary to fully process the experience at the subconscious level. Mindfulness and focusing on breathing allow for the release of healing chemicals such as serotonin, “the feel-good” neurotransmitter, thus working at the emotional level by helping strengthen neural connections. This is precisely the site of treatments such as Ketamine, which aims to dislodge entrenched trauma pathways. And Stellate Ganglion Block treatments which directly target the Stellate Ganglion of nerves that are mainly responsible for the fight or flight response.
Ketamine Health Centers offers these new mental health tools such as Ketamine infusion and ketamine assisted psychotherapy, TMS, and SGB treatments; especially important alternative methods for patients with treatment resistant PTSD (TR-PTSD), but also effective for a wide range of mental health concerns. The meditative arts help enhance these targeted treatments. A holistic approach allows trauma patients to dislodge old neuropathways and create new connections, working through various levels in the body matrix. The key to lending efficacy to these deeper healing methods.
The meditative practices that should accompany these various alternative treatments are numerous and should be tailored to an individual’s disposition. Contact one of our clinics today to learn more regarding new PTSD treatment options, and a specialist will help you create a treatment plan that best fits your needs. Treatment can be initiated via telemedicine services. Ask about available insurance options at our Coral Gables clinic. We are here to help you, or your loved one, create a path to mental health and wellness.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The month of August is National Wellness Month. An appropriate time of year to take stock of where we stand and where we’re heading in life. In the short term, as we start to gear up for an often-hectic fall season, it’s vitally important to evaluate how our needs have changed over the year, and how we can best meet them now. Yet also looking at our long-term goals and setting new sights for the years to come. A helpful way to begin this reflective process is by focusing on eight wellness dimensions. Because one’s well-being is so much more than reaching and maintaining physical and emotional health. Holistic wellness requires that we focus on all aspects of living to help establish meaning and purpose. This process is especially important for young adults in a critical period of their lives – perhaps starting college this month. A time when the choices made either open doors to a bright future or takes one down dead-end roads that require more time and energy to reroute from.
The eight areas of emphasis are the Emotional, Environmental, Financial, Intellectual, Occupational, Physical, Social and Spiritual dimensions of wellness. An introspective focus on each of these aspects of our lives can lead to genuine happiness. The foundational ground of wellness centers on the mind body soul connections that shape and are shaped by our unique niches in the natural/material world; and both guide and are guided by the inner worlds that we inhabit as we grow into our authentic Self. This 8-dimensional web produces a system of self-care that rounds out our needs and desires, and shapes our actions with a goal-oriented vision.
Our Physical health is determined by our genetics, our diet, our ways of being in the world. And of course, is the most immediate and foundational ground for wellness. Also, perhaps the easiest check on our well-being because of the many ways we can measure and improve it. From this ground flows all the other points that allow us to self-actualize as we grow. Each dimension carries its own weight in establishing meaningful directions in our life.
Emotional wellness is the sphere most influenced by all the others, as we learn to mitigate the pressures each of us face. Different for all because of the varying physical, environmental and social factors. Building up our character strengths and learning to honor our unique gifts (our emotional intelligence) prepares us for life’s endless challenges. When we’re filled with purpose, we use our talents to help others, however indirectly it may be, which ties into our Environmental, Social and Spiritual wellness checks. These three dimensions are shaped by our interactions, our relationships with others, with the divine, with the world around us.
Focusing in on our relationships with others, and with our connections to nature and the spiritual ground of our existence, helps us hone our physical & emotional needs. Which the cultural and social institutions that we establish for ourselves can either bolster or strip away. Each of us requires a healthy and robust environment to help support our dietary and mental health goals; underpinned by traditions (often spiritual in nature) and institutions that allow us to find our purpose and make a difference in this world.
The wellness dimensions that we can shape perhaps most directly with our unique experiences are those of our Financial, Intellectual and Occupational frameworks. Intellectual wellbeing is not simply shaped by our cognitive and mental health development, but also by our values and how we come to understand the world and our place in it. Especially important for young adults, as it is fundamental to our continual growth, is to view knowledge as an end goal; not simply a means to financial wellbeing. Occupational wellness involves not just finding fulfilling work that allows you to use your intellect and provides financial stability. More importantly, your career or favorite hobby should allow you to develop your capabilities to happily enjoy life and provide meaning and purpose. Financial wellness opens the door to help bolster emotional and physical health for us and our families. We come full circle to growing our core self by using our unique attributes. Financial wellness also involves planning for our future goals, and responsibly using our wealth (however limited) to continue the work of self-growth, caring for others, and creating a joyful and fulfilling life.
Ketamine Health Centers is committed to helping individuals work through their challenges and establish wellness in all dimensions of life.
We are entering that lull brought on by the intense heat of midsummer that forces you to slow your Self down; to breathe more deeply, more intentionally to break through the malaise. Despacito (slowly) and purposefully, let’s take a moment to reflect on the way in which our rhythms, that of our bodies and of our days, respond to energy around us. This time of year it is important to eat more fresh, cold fruits and dishes that juxtapose against the slow simmer of a summer day. Especially with the ever so hectic rhythm of our daily lives, which take us away from moments of reflection and calm that refresh our mind and spirit. A cold fruit drink to spring our bodies back from the slump of the heat, embracing the coolness as it coats us, is one way to re-energize our body.
So too can we help our minds refocus on the present when we let go of our preoccupations with the what-ifs of our past. For some of us, finding the peaceful calm to enjoy life’s present moment can be a greater challenge. It eludes us, or moves over us too quickly to positively harness it to our psychic needs. Often times we simply do not hear the rhythm of our spirit loudly enough to know what those needs are. Establishing a space to hear our bodies and minds speak our spiritual truth is a lifelong process. Creating that meditative rhythm takes time and practice. But it is by virtue of surpassing that threshold that one reaches a state of embodiment, when our mind, body and soul begin to align and create a synergistic energy within us. One that provides new perspective of our Self and our surroundings. That meditative state can come from many pleasurable activities beyond what you think of when meditation is mentioned. It’s not just the cross-legged yogi stance. Meditative walking, walking with a focus on one’s breathing and body rhythm is a great way to enjoy nature and harness additional health benefits. Music and art therapies bring the mind into focus, aligning our energies with expressive modes of being. Eating slowing, with purpose, mindfully enjoying each texture, sensing each flavor, brings a new pleasure to what can be a mundane activity. Despacito, slowly enjoying the small pleasures of life with mindful intention reenergizes us.
Still for others, additional help may be needed to open up our synapses to the anticipation of pleasure, and Ketamine infusion treatment can help. A press release put out by the National Institute of Health a few years ago highlights the promising treatment that Ketamine infusion provides for individuals who suffer from anhedonia (the loss of the ability to look forward to pleasurable activities). Ketamine infusions help by boosting activity inthe dorsal anterior cingulate cortex and related circuitry. Creating that space for meditative and pleasure-seeking activities is possible for individuals facing depression, PTSD and other mental health challenges. Please contact one of our offices today for a free consultation to learn how Ketamine infusion, and other treatments offered at Ketamine Health Centers, can help you or your loved one.