I believe your physical AND mental and emotional health are your greatest assets.
After focusing primarily on nutrition for more than 20 years, I noticed that many of my clients were facing not only physical symptoms but also mental and emotional challenges that were affecting their physical health and sometimes keeping them stuck.
My desire to offer a truly holistic approach to wellness inspired me to pursue a master’s degree in psychology counselling. Combining counselling with nutrition is more effective and complete than either one alone.
What do I mean by mental health? Our emotions, our thoughts and feelings, our ability to solve problems and overcome difficulties, our social connections, and our understanding of the world around us.
Here are a few examples of how, as a nutritionally-informed counsellor, I can help you connect the dots:
- Nickel, a toxic metal, is sometimes referred to as the ‘depression and suicide’ metal. One way it can enter the body is through certain foods, including bran, oats, buckwheat, soy, legumes, chocolate, nuts and licorice. Nickel can cause mood issues and also common skin problems such as eczema and dermatitis (1).
- Gluten can seem like a buzzword but its effect on mental health is documented. A case study (2) was done on a woman who developed adult-onset psychosis. Initially, she was given psychiatric medications. She was later diagnosed with Celiac disease but didn’t follow a gluten-free diet and her symptoms continued. When she was re-hospitalized at a psychiatric facility she was placed on a gluten-free diet and within 3 months her delusions resolved.
- Oxalates are natural chemicals produced by plants to protect themselves. Antibiotics and other factors can compromise our ability to break them down. In some sensitive people oxalates can contribute to body pain, emotional symptoms, kidney stones and more. For these people, changing to a low oxalate diet can offer significant relief.
- Did you know that our gut sends more messages to the brain than the other way around? This is revolutionizing medicine’s understanding of the links between digestion, mood, health and even the way you think.
- Dr. Paul Eck (founder of Mineral-Nutritional Balancing) called copper the ‘emotional mineral’ because copper and imbalances related to it can have a profound impact on the central nervous system. Symptoms such as panic attacks, migraines, spaciness, brain fog, mind racing, insomnia, nervousness, irritability, rashes and others often involve copper. So it’s important to focus on mineral balancing, not just counselling, to address this root cause.
Along with removing foods and other things that can interfere with your bodymind being at its best, it’s just as important to look at your core beliefs. This can often be the missing piece of your health puzzle. Core beliefs might be causing trauma looping in your brain’s limbic system, keeping you stuck in old patterns.
What are core beliefs and why do they matter?
Core beliefs are our deeply held assumptions about ourselves, others and the world.
Core beliefs are often established during childhood in response to specific situations but then become a lens through which every situation is seen. Core beliefs can be inaccurate, and often they’re just not helpful. They’re responsible for our insecurity, self-doubt, low moods, and constant desire for external validation and approval. Like magnets, core beliefs attract evidence that make them stronger and repel anything that might challenge them.
But it is possible to change them.
What is the limbic system and why does it matter?
The limbic system is the part of the brain involved in our behavioural and emotional responses, especially when it comes to behaviours we need for survival: feeding, reproduction and caring for our young, and fight/flight/freeze responses.
When a person is in a limbic system trauma loop the stimulus-reaction pattern becomes unconscious and automatic so it’s common to feel anxiety, worry, fear and hopelessness as well as experience a racing heart, perspiration and light-headedness.
To change a limbic system trauma loop and our core beliefs we need to start thinking, feeling and behaving differently.
Along with supporting your bodymind with the nutrition and activities that are best for you, it’s important to consciously think, feel and behave in ways that are bigger than the trigger. You’ll begin to build new pathways in the brain, which is important to your overall healing.
Mental and emotional health symptoms result from a variety of different causes. I also consider difficult and traumatic life experiences, and bring attention to these areas in a way that is safe and supportive for you.