At 5280 Functional Medicine we utilize a functional, holistic approach to health. This means we are looking to optimize the function of the body, and we emphasize the importance of your mental, emotional, and spiritual self in an effort to increase vitality in all of our patients. While western medicine often treats the mind and body as separate when it comes to treating chronic complaints, there is a growing amount of research to prove the interconnectedness of the two. If there are any doubts, you can listen to Dr. James S Gordon, founder of The Center for Mind-Body Medicine, as he leads you through a guided imagery exercise.
Your mind is very powerful, and it is well documented that your mental wellbeing has a significant impact on your physical wellbeing. Many patients find that when they look back at when they started experiencing physical symptoms of dis-ease, it often correlates with a period of acute stress or trauma. And vice versa, there are physiological ailments that affect one’s psychological health. For some, it can be in your genetic expression, like slow MAOA genes. For others the culprit may be micronutrient deficiencies or an imbalance in the production of excitatory neurotransmitters as a result of gut dysfunction. Whether you are experiencing symptoms of depression, anxiety, bipolar, schizophrenia, or other diagnosed mental health disorders or find yourself mentally struggling with day to day living, we strongly recommend seeking help from a team of people who can support you.
When seeking help, who might be on your team?
- A Licensed Therapist, Counselor, or Social Worker
- Having someone to help you as you process past traumas, daily struggles, finding root causes of your behaviors, and connecting more closely with yourself can be extremely supportive. Talking with a good friend can feel therapeutic, but licensed mental health professionals are trained and come with a plethora of tools to explore uncomfortable areas while balancing your stress response in these areas. Some examples of their tools are: EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) that helps people recover from trauma and reprocess it, making new connections in the brain or EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), also known as tapping.
- If you are in need of a mental health provider, you can check with your insurance to see if they have in-network coverage. You can also use Psychology Today to sort through licensed professionals in your area and read their bios to see who might be a good fit for you. Sondermind is also a great virtual option for finding an online therapist.
- A Functional Medicine Practitioner
- This person can guide you as you look into possible physiological reasons behind mental health symptoms. Dr. Spencer or Dr. Riggs can look into nutritional deficiencies, HPA axis dysfunction, and various underlying causes of chronic systemic inflammation such as an inflammatory diet, sleep dysfunction, food sensitivities, chronic low-grade gut infections, etc. The doctors can also recommend botanicals and nutraceuticals that have been shown in the research to promote an anti-inflammatory state and greater mental well-being as they support optimal functioning of our bodily systems.
- A Health Coach
- Having someone on your team that helps you make a plan and creates accountability for making the needed changes is incredibly helpful. Whether it’s creating a plan for reading the book your therapist recommended or making a lifestyle change your functional medicine practitioner advised, a health coach can help you make a concrete plan for creating the space, time, and commitment to change.
- A Support Person
- This can be a good friend, spouse, family member, coworker, etc. Making change is easier when you aren’t doing it alone. Being able to connect with someone who knows you on a personal level and can help you keep going when it gets tough, makes a huge difference. We are wired for true connection with other humans.
If you have questions or are ready to add people to your support team in order to improve your mental wellbeing, please reach out to our office. We can work with you to identify your next steps and support you as you move forward on your wellness journey.