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Holistic Approach... What are you even talking about?


Okay so I know I go on a lot about my "holistic approach" but I also recognise that not everyone would know what that even means, or why you should care about it. In today's fast-paced world, dealing with the stresses of daily life can take a toll on our mental well-being. The idea of seeking therapy can often feel daunting, with stigmas attached and misconceptions about what it entails. However, therapy isn't just about addressing individual symptoms; it's about nourishing the mind, body, and soul. One approach that has gained traction for its comprehensive way of addressing mental health concerns is holistic therapy. In this post, we delve into what holistic therapy is all about and how it can transform your therapeutic journey.


Understanding Holistic Therapy


Holistic therapy is an approach that focuses on the interconnectedness of the mind, body, and spirit to promote overall wellness. In the not so distant past, the mind and the body were treated as seperate by medical and mental health professions, and the relationship between them were not often considered. Unlike traditional therapy that may solely address symptoms or a specific issue, holistic therapy looks at the individual as a whole. It recognises that mental health is influenced by various factors such as lifestyle, nutrition, relationships, and spirituality.


Holistic Therapy

Vagus Nerve


Most of my clients will have heard me talk about our Vagus nerve - I will do a seperate blog explaining this more as there is a LOT to it, but here is a little bit you should know about it now so you can understand how the brain + body are working together:


Connection to Mental Health

  • Parasympathetic Nervous System: The vagus nerve is a key component of the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for the body’s “rest and digest” activities. It counteracts the “fight or flight” response of the sympathetic nervous system.

  • Mood Regulation: The vagus nerve influences the production of neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine, which are critical for mood regulation.

  • Stress and Anxiety: High vagal tone (the activity of the vagus nerve) is associated with a greater ability to regulate stress and emotional responses. It helps lower heart rate and blood pressure, reducing the physical symptoms of anxiety.

  • Inflammation: The vagus nerve helps regulate inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation is linked to several mental health conditions, including depression and anxiety.

Gut-Brain Axis

  • Bidirectional Communication: The vagus nerve forms a communication pathway between the gut and the brain. This gut-brain axis plays a significant role in emotional and cognitive functions.

  • Microbiome Influence: The gut microbiome can influence the brain via the vagus nerve. Probiotics and a healthy diet can positively impact mental health by affecting this connection.



The Pillars of Holistic Therapy


1. Mind

Holistic therapy places a strong emphasis on mental well-being (DUH). I work with individuals to explore their thoughts, emotions, and behavioural patterns. Through techniques like CBT and mindfulness practices, my clients can gain insights into their thought processes and develop healthier coping mechanisms.


2. Body

The mind-body connection is at the core of holistic therapy. I work with clients to realistically and simply improve physical well-being through exercise, nutrition, and sleep, as this plays a vital role in mental health. I often recommend techniques like yoga, meditation, or relaxation exercises to help reduce stress and improve their overall physical health, and I also work with a dietician if clients want more in-depth support.


3. Spirit

Holistic therapy recognises the significance of spirituality in healing. This doesn't necessarily refer to religious beliefs but rather a sense of purpose, connection, and inner peace. I encourage clients to explore their values, belief systems, and practices that promote spiritual well-being in which ever way that feels right for them.


Is Holistic Therapy Right for You?


Short answer is yes, because I strongly believe its the only long term solution to overall wellbeing and hopefully now you see that too. Whether you're struggling with anxiety, depression, relationship issues, or simply seeking personal growth, holistic therapy offers a space for exploration, healing, and growth.


Final Thoughts


Hopefully now you can understand my holistic approach a little more and know why I believe its so important. Holistic therapy is not just a treatment; it's a mindset that embraces the complexity of human nature and the interconnectedness of our experiences. By adopting a holistic approach to therapy, individuals can embark on a journey of self-discovery and healing that transcends the boundaries of traditional therapy.


Remember, you can't have a healthy brain without a healthy body. Learn to treat both with the love and compassion they deserve, and they will take care of you in return!


Ready to start working together to improve your overall mental and physical wellbeing? Contact Kierra on kierra@mywellnessmindset.com or 0487 933 653

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