There's no "right way" to treat mental health
The purpose of this blog is to discuss different mental health topics and perspectives, as well as tools to live a happier life. Our brain chemistry and the way we think dictates our entire perception of life. I will be covering topics from an alternative medical perspective, as well as a more biomedical approach and psychotherapeutic. I believe that a truly integrative approach must consider the many different viewpoints. This is driving force in creating my wellness company Elemental Compounds. My goal is to create custom formulas using natural ingredients used for thousands of years also backed by science.
In my 10 years of patient care, I have come to realize that the state of one’s mental health can be a clear indicator of the level of one’s physical health. The two are not mutual exclusive and they have a strong affect each other. A person with heart disease often has higher levels on perceived anxiety. On the flip side, one with generalized anxiety disorder could be more likely to have high blood pressure. This is one of the reasons I was drawn to Chinese Medicine- the emphasis on the connection between body and spirit. The Chinese Medicine perspective sees the body as a multifunctional machine. Everything that we eat and drink, and extract from our environment is transformed into energy for the body. We are also born with a finite amount of energy received at conception. This energy works together to fuel our specific systems to carry out the functions of our body. When a particular type of energy is deficient or excessive, or a particular system isn’t function properly, specific syndromes develop in the body. This perspective sees certain emotional upsets- anxiety, depression, fear, anger- as a symptom of an internal imbalance. This was always profound to me because sometimes you feel emotions that don’t necessarily match your situation. Sometimes you wake up super irritable because you’re on your menstrual cycle and you feel like you can’t control it. Or maybe your body feels anxious with shortness of breath and palpitations but nothing upsetting is happening in your life. According to Chinese Medicine, these can be related to stagnation of liver energy or a deficiency of heart energy. It also emphasizes the damage excessive trauma and stress have on the energy of our bodies. I will go into this more in a future post but want to bring up the idea that sometimes our emotions are a reaction to the balance of our internal systems.
While that perspective can be highly beneficial in explaining the effect of emotions on our physical health and how to heal ourselves energetically, it lacks the practical tools in managing trauma, life circumstances, and the catastrophes in our life when they’re happening. I believe that psychotherapy/counseling are a must when dealing with the lasting wounds of life. I also believe techniques for processing trauma and managing triggers when they arise are paramount to living a happy life. I know that emotional upset effects our health but how does one deal with it? If a child was abused or their parent died at a young age, this will have a lasting effect on the psyche of the adult. The human mind is truly complex and the field of analyzing and treating it is ever evolving. In future blog posts, we will delve into these topics form a biomedical, energetic, psycho-emotional, and spiritual perspective.
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Yours in Health,
Patrick Allen DACM