Iris Healing Arts

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Nurturing Body, Mind, Soul, and Spirit

Iris Heal Site Logo

Nurturing Body, Mind, Soul, and Spirit

The Benefits of a Wellness Approach to Therapy

Lit Yoga candle as a symbol - Yoga promotes wellness.
Building upon our strengths leads to wellness.

If you are struggling with emotional distress, a wellness approach to therapy will nourish your inner self and help you become conscious of your true needs. It will then become easier to honor them.

So many of us are not feeling up to par. You may be among those who have sought help and yet continue to experience chronic feelings of anxiety, depression, or loneliness. Or perhaps you struggle with weight gain, insomnia, fatigue, or low motivation.  If so, a comprehensive wellness approach to therapy empowers you to take charge of your health.

For example, you may have noticed models of care that focus primarily on your symptoms have not led to a full recovery. My work as an integrative mental health therapist incorporates a strength-based positive psychology model that facilitates whole-person healing. This approach enhances your internal strengths and resourcefulness. Then, it becomes possible to release your pain and move toward your goals with a clear sense of self.

Walking a dog in nature promotes wellness.
A wellness model includes healthy relationships of all kinds.

Integrative health is an aspect of holistic health, and the terms are often used interchangeably with the term ‘wellness’. They represent a paradigm shift that is becoming very popular globally. The Integrative health model blends the best of traditional healthcare models with what was previously called alternative medicine. Many clinics are utilizing more integrative and holistic wellness methods; some may choose not to use this terminology. This is because effective healthcare is holistic by nature. However, many practitioners prefer to use terms that reflect their advanced training and philosophy of care to the public.

The holistic health and wellness model promotes optimal health by nurturing the body, mind, soul, and spirit, and healthy relationships with people, animals, and the natural environment. My approach is integrative and holistic. As such, it is comprehensive, empowering, and personalized.

The Flowering of Self-Trust Enables Healthy Relationships

Open hands trusting a Higher Power
Trusting yourself leads to trust in others.

As a therapist, I often witness the effects of trauma on the ability to trust. However, healing involves trusting your ability to feel your pain and knowing that you can move through it successfully. Then, it becomes possible to trust others.

However, one effect of the pandemic is that many people still suffer from loneliness and social alienation. The internet has provided a way for people to connect, but it may not meet your deeper needs for close relationships. Disconnection from others exacerbates other emotionally painful issues you may be experiencing. And it does take courage to connect with others. I offer tools and support that enhance self-trust, emotional healing, and healthy relationships.

Removing Barriers to Healing: a Wellness Model of Care

Woman alone at the beach- Nature promotes wellness.
Nature transforms loneliness to aloneness.

A wellness model of care also identifies and removes obstacles to health and healing. These obstacles may include loneliness, unhealthy relationships, active addiction, and excessive internet or social media time. Various physical, dietary, or environmental toxins may be some of the physical barriers to feeling well. Additionally, psycho-spiritual issues like low self-esteem, unworthiness, or guilt may need to be healed.

Furthermore, therapy also emphasizes building upon what has been helpful in the past. We will then use this foundation to further empower you with practical tools that can be used in everyday life. When you create healthy habits, your self-esteem and confidence will improve.

Older couple on bench in fall - Healthy communication leads to wellness.
Effective communication heals relationships.

Another important aspect of wellness care is supporting your relationship health. Developing clear communication skills and effective coping strategies can help decrease interpersonal stress.

For example, one common issue that creates anxiety and interferes with healthy communication is a tendency to avoid conflict in many situations. This may manifest as a tendency to deflect, redirect, or even tell lies. If conflict avoidance is one of your issues, your relationships will benefit by learning to practice assertive communication and healthy boundaries.

If you are in a toxic or abusive relationship, it is important to know that healing only occurs when you are safe.  I am here for you. Please reach out to me below. Thanks.

Improve Motivation with Holistic Health and Wellness Approaches.

Yoga dolls as a symbol for this popular wellness therapy
Yoga can be done by anyone.

Low motivation is another major obstacle for many people. For example, you may not feel like getting out of bed in the morning to face your day. Or you may be frustrated with not doing the things you want to do. You may use TV, internet, work, excessive exercise, stress eating, or other addictive behaviors to manage anxiety and depression. However, if your motivation is low, how can you expect to make any significant lifestyle changes?

In addition to motivational interviewing, I may recommend stress management tools to help you move forward. For example, restorative yoga is one way to strengthen your belief in yourself and your motivation for change. Additional modalities that may be helpful include breath work, progressive relaxation, and meditation. For more information on yoga and breath work, see Resources, Psycho-Spiritual. Thanks.

Man running on sunny beach-exercise boosts wellness!
Exercise boosts dopamine.

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter made in your brain and gut. It is associated with motivation, mental energy, pleasure, and satisfaction. It is often low when motivation is impaired. There are many integrative medicine approaches that can naturally boost your dopamine levels. Thankfully, exercise raises dopamine, but if you are unable or not motivated to exercise, professional nutritional support may benefit you. This is an area of my clinical expertise.

Serotonin, another important neurotransmitter, affects mood, sleep, and digestion, reduces worry and anxiety, and has many other functions. Since all our neurotransmitters work together, supporting the serotonin pathway simultaneously with the dopamine pathway is often essential. This is because when dopamine is low, serotonin may be high, and vice versa. 

Additionally, if anxiety or panic accompanies physical symptoms, GABA, another brain chemical, may need to be enhanced. Importantly, each person is biochemically unique; what helps one person may not work for another. When we work together, we will discuss which integrative therapies best meet your personal health and wellness goals.

Pumpkins nurture us. Holistic nutrition is a wellness therapy!
Pumpkins nurture our body, mind and spirit.

Holistic nutrition is an essential part of an integrative wellness model. For instance, diet and nutritional approaches help the body make neurotransmitters and stabilize blood sugar and cortisol levels. Additionally, adrenal, thyroid, and other hormonal imbalances benefit from these approaches. According to research, reducing inflammation in your body is also essential.

Sometimes, medications may have been tried and are no longer working. Or you may be looking for additional support. Thankfully, many integrative health approaches may be used to supplement what you have been doing and improve your overall health and well-being.

However, even when your brain works better, you may still experience psychological issues such as low self-esteem, lack of worthiness, exhaustion, burnout, or insomnia. A holistic and integrative health approach offers an array of beneficial therapies. These may include supportive counseling, plant medicine, health information, and body-mind practices. 

For more information, see Holistic nutrition and stress eating HERE. Thanks. I look forward to hearing from you! I can be reached below.

Person meditating by a stream. Meditation is a popular wellness therapy!
Meditation centers us.

An exciting aspect of wellness therapy is plant medicine. Also referred to as botanical or herbal medicine, plant medicine includes some forms of energy medicine.

For example, plant medicine formulas exist for many psycho-spiritual issues. These remedies can significantly assist in reducing the invisible psycho-spiritual impediments to healing. Remedies for burnout and exhaustion are restorative for many people. There are also many formulas for various forms of anxiety and depression. In our work together, I offer a variety of solutions that nurture your health and well-being.

If you are feeling a bit lost or disconnected from your life’s purpose, plant medicine may be the missing key to your full recovery. See ServicesDream Work and Intuition, Blogs, Soul Care, and Plant Medicine to learn more. Thanks.

Hands holding bowl of berries. Holistic nutrition helps us make healthy food choices.
Gut health affects body and brain health.

A wellness approach emphasizes the connection between our mind, body, soul, and spirit. A vitally important health concept to grasp is the gut-brain connection. Research on healing the gut-brain is exploding and is influencing the current standards of holistic health care.

Healing the gut-brain involves understanding that this axis is bi-directional. This means that attitudes and emotions affect the gut, and inflammation in the gut also affects the mind and emotions. You may have also heard that more neurotransmitters are created in the gut than in the brain. Research also indicates that emotional stress and various toxins impact the type and number of organisms in the gut, also known as the microbiome.

As a result of these stressors, the gut lining becomes inflamed and porous, and neurotransmitter production is diminished. This creates a cycle of uncomfortable symptoms that impact how people feel physically and psychologically.

Because healing our digestion is now known to be an essential and complex factor in our mental and physical health, I offer support and guidance to overcome this obstacle to good health. Reducing inflammation and supporting the body’s ability to make neurotransmitters are often required for promoting good health.

hand touching ocean
Gently exploring the emotional waters enhances self-love.

If you are uncertain where to begin or have found the information on the internet confusing or overwhelming, I can help you achieve clarity. The various tools mentioned above will improve your motivation. Then, we will proceed gently, step by step, and prioritize your care.

Often, relationship stress is the reason many reach out for help. Undeniably, our relationships reflect the quality of our personal growth. No matter what concerns you the most, I am here to listen, support, and guide you on your path to health.

The therapeutic process is often like peeling off the layers of an onion. When you have improved coping strategies such as with nature healing and are ready, we will address any core traumatic wounds with supportive therapies. I will also encourage you to trust yourself and to believe in your innate healing potential as we work together.

Since our life experiences such as past traumas and climate anxiety affect our core beliefs, my work focuses on re-programming the unconscious to make the breakthroughs you may be seeking.

Budding Flowers
We all blossom in our own time.

For more information, see Services, Integrative Medicine for Mental Health,

Resources, Health Information,

and Blog, Holistic Nutrition.

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