Introducing The Gut Psychology Program by Dr. Nicole Cain, ND MA

Introducing The Gut Psychology Program

by Dr. Nicole Cain, ND MA

•Did you know that 95% of your mood altering neurotransmitters are made in your gut?

•Are you looking to solve the mystery of what foods are right for you?

•Are you ready to go beyond the prescriptions and heal from the inside out?

•Do you want to become the happiest, healthiest person you know?

Dr. Nicole Cain ND, MA has published her first book on health. The Gut Psychology program 61 pages of life-changing material!

The e-book is broken up into a 4 stage program that will take you through the steps necessary to improve your gut health, overall health, and mood! The program is empirically researched with 50 scholarly references combined with Dr. Cain’s clinical experience. In addition to the state of the art knowledge provided to you, and formatted into four stages (each can be completed in one week or one month–work at your own pace), the program includes exercises and reflections for you to utilize at each stage of the program. It is now available to you at an affordable price.

You can purchase the e-book, instantly downloadable below:

https://gumroad.com/gutpsychology

gut psychology by Dr. Nicole Cain ND MA healthy gut = happy mind

Gut Psychology: The Most Comprehensive & Empirically Researched Dietary Program for Mental Health

It starts here with just four steps…

After decades of research, we know just how important gut health is to our mental and emotional health. Gut health influences your mood for better or for worse, but how do we know which diet is best for us? Learn how you can improve your digestion, eat your way to happiness and gain your life back by following the Gut Psychology program.

Through the Gut Psychology four-week program you will be empowered with the tools to help you get back to the best you. While it’s powerful, it isn’t complicated. With over 2,000 happy customers, it’s clear Gut Psychology was created to make big improvements with simple, small shifts. Dr. Cain seamlessly guides you through the modules as you implement the information at home.

In one transformational month, you will be able to:

•Identify the foods to improve your mood

•Get the tools to heal your gut

•Give your body the nutrients its been depleted of

•Develop the healthy habits to maintain a happy gut and happy mind, through every season of life.

 

Below are a list of recent blogs written by Dr. Nicole Cain, ND MA available exclusively at Gut Psychology.com:

http://gutpsychology.com/the-dopamine-diet/

http://gutpsychology.com/guide-to-mentally-healthy-kids-diet/

http://gutpsychology.com/the-serotonin-diet/

http://gutpsychology.com/gut-psychology-gut-health-muscle-building/

 

To learn more about Dr. Nicole Cain ND MA and her work visit www.DrNicoleCain.Com

Dr. Nicole Cain, ND MA Expert on alternative psychiatric care
Dr. Nicole Cain, ND MA – The Author of the Gut Psychology Program.

 

Sample Pages below:

the Gut Psychology Program by Dr. Nicole Cain ND MA: Proteins; expanding your palate from chicken and cheese
This is a low resolution screenshot of the first page of Module 2 of the Gut Psychology Program by Dr. Nicole Cain ND MA
he Gut Psychology Program by Dr. Nicole Cain ND MA
This is a low resolution screenshot from some of the content in the Gut Psychology Program by Dr. Nicole Cain ND MA

 

 

the Gut Psychology Program by Dr. Nicole Cain ND MA, researching the root cause, the link between your gut health and emotional well-being.
This is a low resolution screenshot from the Gut Psychology Program by Dr. Nicole Cain ND MA

To learn more about the Gut Psychology Program visit www.GutPsychology.com

Gut Psychology by Dr. Nicole Cain, ND MA is now available!

The bruise under my toenail

The bruise under my toenail

By Paul Krauss MA LPC

As you can see in the picture, I have a bruise under my toenail. The marker of the bruise under my toenail is almost gone, and in a few weeks my nail will have grown and pushed the mark to an area where my toenail will eventually be clipped off, and with it—all evidence that it ever existed. Yet, six months ago this bruise was much closer to the skin on my right toe and it still hurt for, the original bruise showed up when I dropped a full 32-ounce metal water bottle on my big toe from about 5 feet in the air.

This painful bruise happened during one of the most stressful months of my life. I was so stressed that I walked out of a meeting, which I had scheduled (too late) to help me reduce my stress. Instead, everything just kept getting worse, because I was not prioritizing my health—I let stress creep up on me. Stress is the killer of joy, of calm, and of peace in our lives. Yet, it is inevitable that in my daily life, I will have stress and major life events that give me stress will come again. Stress in a part of life. However, it is important for me and for you to apply measures, each and every day to reduce stress. Getting back to the story: For me, moving across the country (again) and starting from scratch, was a perfect storm of stress factors, which caused me to have multiple anxiety attacks, doubt myself, and doubt my abilities.

My family, friends, and mentors told me “just take your time and take care of yourself…don’t overwork…believe in the long term goal you are working toward.” But yet, I couldn’t hear them. In fat, I believe my nervous system was deeply affected, and my inner confidence was off-kilter due to the biggest move (Phoenix to Grand Rapids) I’d had in nine years (Since I moved from Chicago to Phoenix in 2008) and I was determined to get everything in my life and business ready as fast as possible. As a result of this I stressed myself out by not taking care of myself, not resting, not reflecting, and running from place to place and conversation the conversation to the point where my functioning became somewhat impaired.

Eventually, I experienced what I thought I would never go through: “Burn out.” Me, burned out? No way! I was totally in denial for a few weeks! I mean, I have an entire 6 hour Continuing Education Course I wrote for Counselors, Social Workers, and Marriage and Family therapists about best practices in counseling and one of the sections is about “Self-care” and “Avoiding Burn Out.” I mean I preach this stuff! I had made it a point to live this stuff! I helped my clients with this very issue—yet I was experiencing a burn out from stress? This was an awful experience that I don’t wish on any person.

Burn out from stress is worse than you can imagine (if you haven’t had it). My body would not do what I asked it to do. I had little to no energy, yet I still had trouble sleeping. I was almost shaking at times when I would get stressed, and other times I couldn’t seem to move. My mind would not respond normally to almost anything—I was having trouble doing both complex and simple tasks for several weeks. I had never experienced anything like this in my life before. My creativity had vanished and I began to experience depression-like symptoms. It began to affect my personal relationships. That is when I knew something had to change. I sought help from multiple people in my life and from professionals. Within 4 weeks I was feeling better, but it took about 3 months until I felt normal again.

How many times do we put unnecessary pressure on ourselves through arbitrary goals that we set? How many times do we become fixated and worried about something that is only short-term issue? How often do we find ourselves rushing toward a goal and forgetting about the important journey of learning? How often do we find ourselves not trusting that if we are putting in effort, something will work out—even if it not what we originally tried for? Trust me, it is not worth sacrificing your health to move anywhere, set up anything, or meet any goal faster than the pace you naturally work. If you are going through a large transition, or wanting to work toward a goal, or just living your life and worrying a lot—it is important to get into a rhythm of giving yourself time and space to work to lower your stress level. Getting in a rhythm of “being” instead of always “doing” will help keep your stress level low, and thus you will be less susceptible to burnout, anxiety and depression.

be like a tree and defeat stress

  • Having a rhythm is not having a perfect schedule. Rhythms can be adjusted and goals can be reworked. If we stick to rigidly to a goal, we are missing the point and we are probably missing out on life. In fact, I make it a point to set a lot of goals, yet I am constantly adjusting and moving them to make way for the “flow” of life. Perfection will never be apart of nature. Look at the trees–they are beautiful the way they are, but their roots are not symmetrical, nor their foliage, nor their growth patterns–they are often shaped by their environment and the weather around them. If trees are too rigid and don’t bend from the wind, they may snap in half and die. Trees must bend and become “elastic” in the elements for their survival. If they impose a false sense of perfection on themselves, they will die. We too will always be imperfect (so will our schedules); we are part of nature too, if we accept this, life doesn’t get easier, but our reactions to life are certainly more balanced and helpful to us.

 

  • Make sure you insert spaces in your schedule to “just be”, or any spaces will get filled with something that you had not intended –tasks or mindless activity or social media or mindless TV—something will end up there, invited or not. People, media, tasks, are all vying for your time. The trick is that we want to be with the people that we have decided make up our family or close group of friends, we want to consume the “right media” (not just any media), we want to invest ourselves in meaningful tasks and work, just to name a few aspects of our focus. If we don’t put spaces in our schedules to reflect or “just be”, we will hardly grasp what the “right thing” is for us.

 

  • Find activities that reduce stressed, things you get “lost in” and make sure you have 1 or 2 activities in your life per week, if possible.
    • These activities could be almost anything, but some ideas I will suggest are exercise, walking in nature, mindfulness based stress reduction, reading, cooking, cleaning, meeting with certain friends, darts or bowling league, dancing, arts and crafts, social groups, discussion groups, having a favorite TV show or podcast that is engaging and not mindless, sports, getting involved in causes that you believe in, spiritual or religious activities, volunteering, helping others, spending time with animals, mentoring a child, etc.

If you have to make a large change in your life and your living environment, please allow yourself extra time to get done what you need to do (if possible), make sure that you do not give up your “self-care” activities, do not give up your time with your friends, helpers, or family, and do not put to much on your “to do list.”

Here’s to hoping that the next time you or I bruise our toenail, it is just an accident, and not because of a period of “burnout” caused by excessive stress that we could have avoided.

Take care of yourself. You are worth taking care of.

If you are finding yourself stressed out and not knowing what to do, call our office (Health for Life Grand Rapids) at 616-200-4433 and schedule a complimentary 15 minute phone consultation with one of our clinicians.

Why you need an accurate Food Allergy Panel

Why you need an accurate Food Allergy Panel

by Dr. Shannon Bennett, ND

Have you heard about the Food Allergy Panel? It’s been a popular test for the past few years, and with good reason! But we are hearing some people are still confused, so let’s clear it up. The Food Allergy Panel is a blood test that will highlight foods you’ve been eating that are causing your immune system to be activated and initiate inflammation in the gut and can wreak havoc elsewhere.

The first important item to understand about this test is the big difference between IgE and IgG-mediated immune responses. While many allergist are in search of the foods or items that bring about an IgE response, they are searching for those that increase the release of histamine leading to severe and even fatal situations like hives and anaphylaxis. However, the Food Allergy Panel is testing for the IgG-mediated immune response. Unlike the fast-acting IgE, this is the delayed reaction your immune system can have when ingesting food items that your body has developed a sensitivity to. It can take up to 72 hours for symptoms to appear from a food that your blood levels show a high IgG-mediated response. This delayed response makes it difficult to correlate which foods are causing what symptoms. You may be eating the same thing every morning without knowing it’s leading to those chronic migraines your experiencing, that depression, or the joint paint that won’t go away. The presentation of symptoms from the IgG response is usually chronic, low-level and slow to progress with wide variety. These symptoms can range from headaches, nausea, skin symptoms like eczema, joint pain, tinea and discoloration, mood symptoms, gastrointestinal distress and neurocognitive disruption. An IgG food allergy panel may be the ticket to track down and overcome these unresolved symptoms you are struggling with.

The Food Allergy Panel is a functional test, which means it isn’t just looking to rule in or out a disease, it’s looking to find where your body is functioning suboptimally and how to get it back on track. Utilizing functional testing, it’s possible to see diseases before they are present and reverse them from progressing into more serious and severe cases.

Some alternatives to the food allergy panel is the elimination diet, which is a food based cleanse that removes the most common inflammatory, or IgG-activating foods, for a period of time allowing the immune response to decrease. During the elimination phase, supplements and nutrients to heal the gut are introduced. Slowly, the common allergen foods are re-introduced in a strategic way to reveal the symptoms associated with that food, with a 72-hour watch period after ingestion.

Often times this is done in place of the Food Allergy Panel, however it is most effective to gather all the information specific to your body and implementing the elimination diet, not with the most common allergens, but the ones that are actually affecting your body. Sometimes the food(s) responsible for the havoc on the gut aren’t in the top 12 common allergens and could be something that is being eaten daily, like oats or bananas. We see foods that are very unsuspecting, such as almonds showing a red flag, when typically we would think of food families like dairy or gluten as most harmful and the replacement of those top allergens are products like almond milk or almond flour. You can see how this can get very confusing and frustrating without a detailed map of what foods are affecting you, and that’s where the Food Allergy Panel testing comes in. The Food Allergy Panel is a way to test 96+ food families for any reactions in your unique body.

For more information or to set up a Food Allergy Panel for yourself you can call Health for Life Grand Rapids at 616-200-4433 or purchase the test online by clicking here.

Nationwide Food Allergy Testing Program

Rewind, reset, and give yourself “permission” in the New Year!

How to rewind, reset, and give yourself “permission” in the New Year!

by Jen Belmonte, LMSW, CHC

It’s that time of year again!  Gym memberships significantly increase, families and individuals adopt healthier food choices, and many homes experience greater organization, cleaning, etc!

But how do we approach the New Year in a way to make fulfilling, sustainable changes?

As January approaches, it’s easy to become overzealous in our quest for personal growth and change; however, as mental health professionals, we’ve found that when individuals set lofty, tough-to-attain goals, the outcome is often feelings of defeat rather than fulfillment.

Here are a couple of recommendations I’d like to offer, in order to help the New Year be one of intention and fulfillment for you.

  1. Start saying NO.  In fact, try to say NO to more things (commitments, activities) than you say YES to!

As Dr. Edmund Bourne highlights in The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook,

“Learning to say no requires a willingness to relinquish cherished beliefs about yourself—which can be one of the hardest things for anyone to do. This may involve expanding your identity beyond taking care of others, or taking care of business, and learning to take the time to nurture and attend to your own needs. It means accepting the reality that taking care of yourself—even at the expense of what you do for others—isn’t selfish. Can you really offer your best to others or your work if you are tired, stressed, or burned out?”

Our society today tends to normalize busy-ness…. at times, we may even obtain a significant amount of our self-worth from how full our calendar is.  Saying NO may seem strange, awkward, and uncomfortable at first, but the more you do it, the easier it will become!  Ask yourself a couple of questions before agreeing to a commitment…. First, is this what’s BEST for me right now?  In other words, am I likely to leave this encounter/activity feeling energized, or depleted?  Second, am I the best person to carry this out?  Stay true to who you are, and how you’re wired. For example, if your child’s school is looking for a volunteer to organize a fundraiser, and you know that you struggle in the areas of project management and philanthropy, saying NO to this will create and offer space for you to do things that align with your temperament and your own personal interests. Too often we agree to things from a sense of guilt or obligation, and in the end, no one wins when these are the motivators. At times, we need to give ourselves permission to say NO.

Another way to say NO is to create a NO-FLY zone for you and/or your family’s schedule. In other words, give yourself a “time-out.” Create some space/margin where you do not schedule anything. Maybe that means staying home on a Saturday morning or taking a raincheck on a dinner invitation. The art of quietness and rest has been lost, as individuals and families today are pulled in so many directions.

  1. Explore a practice such as meditation, mindfulness (check out mindful.org), or yoga to cultivate rest, optimism and intention.

According to the Mayo Clinic, learning relaxation techniques has many health benefits, including improving concentration and mood, improving quality of sleep, lowering blood pressure, improving digestion and maintaining normal blood sugar levels!

Practicing gratitude is another powerful factor in helping to alleviate stress. According to Harvard Medical School, practicing gratitude has consistently shown a correlation with greater feelings of happiness, ability to deal with adversity, and build strong relationships. Cultivating gratitude can be done by keeping a gratitude journal, creating a gratitude jar, praying, and thanking individuals who’ve offered help and support.

  1. Consider investing in yourself with counseling and/or health coaching!

The road to self-care and personal growth can be lonely and challenging. The staff at Health for Life GR would be honored to partner with you in your personal, relational and health & wellness goals! In fact, Health For Life Grand Rapids’ Health Coaches, Nicole Vega and Jen Belmonte are offering a special discounted New Year’s rate! Please contact the office at 616.200.4433 for details!

Or email [email protected] and [email protected]

 

References:

The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook, 6th edition, by Edmund J. Bourne, PhD, New Harbinger Publications 2015

www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/relaxation-technique/art-20045368

https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/in-praise-of-gratitude

Set an intention for the New Year. That alone can be powerful!

New Year's Intentions. How to say no and give yourself permission.

Exclusive & Affordable Food Allergy Testing Now Available!

Exclusive & Affordable Food Allergy Testing

Now Available from Health for Life Grand Rapids.

Did you know that over 30% of adults and 40% of children suffer from food allergies?* Food allergies are the foundation for of symptoms related to your brain chemistry, immune system, hormones and more.

If you are suffering from any of the following, you should get your personalized Food Allergy test:

  • Symptoms related to brain & mood health: Anxiety, depression, sleeping issues, irritability, concentration issues, brain fog, ADD/ADHD and more.
  • Digestive and gut health symptoms: Abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, bloating and gas, and irritable bowel syndrome.
  • You have a history of: Congestion, post-nasal drip, asthma, itchy and watery eyes.
  • You have been told you are allergic to environmental allergens like mold, grass, animal dander, and others.
  • Symptoms affecting your immune system: Psoriasis, eczema, acne, colds, flus, respiratory tract infections and more.

Your gut health is the foundation of your immune health, brain health, and impacts your risk factor for acute and chronic diseases. If our gut is compromised and out of balance, than our entire system will be out of balance resulting in the symptoms listed above as well as many others.

Food allergies are foods that your body has become hypersensitive to. A well-known example of this is Celiac Disease. Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disease where your immune system mounts a response against gluten and the small intestine. A celiac panel looks at immunoglobulin made by the immune system in affected individuals; similarly, a food allergy panel will look at immunoglobulin(s) compared against other types of foods that your body might be reacting to.

Because the health of the gut is the foundation for your entire body’s health, when the gut becomes damaged you will experience many other systemic symptoms, and the gut becomes a breeding ground for imbalances in the yeast and flora in your gut.

There are hundreds of dietary programs on the market. The problem with these programs is that every fad-diet assumes that every single person has the same dietary needs. These diets do not take your individual biochemical makeup into consideration. By looking at your unique biomarkers, we can discern what foods are good for you and what foods are not.

You can easily identify what foods you are allergic to and calculate if your candida is out of balance by simply by signing up today.

Because of our commitment to offering affordable health solutions to the larger community, we have deeply discounted food allergy and candida testing and the physician analysis and program creation.

Upon signing up, (1) we will send you your personalized Food Allergy Kit in the mail and give you the address of a lab where they will do a quick and easy blood draw. (1b) Your kit will contain all the materials you need, including overnight shipping.

(2) Once we have received your results (from the lab), one of our highly specialized doctors will analyze your results and (3) send you your personalized analysis and dietary plan.

( Program Value = $700 Dollars! Normal Cost= Comprehensive Food Allergy & Candida test: $325

Evaluation of results & dietary program development by doctor: $375 )

Health for Life Exclusive Rate:

Your Cost= ONLY $300 Dollars!

Get started today by clicking HERE!

To learn more you may call the Health For Life office at 616-200-4433.
You may also sign up by phone!

Food Allergy Testing Program Flyer (Downloadable)

 

Further Discussion:

An allergy is defined as a damaging response of the immune system to a substance, particularly a pollen, dander, food or dust. The person becomes hypersensitive to these, resulting in unwanted symptoms upon exposure. Your gut health and immune system are inextricably linked, in fact, 78% of your immune tissue is in your gut. The gut is the foundation for our immune response. If our gut is out of balance, our immune response will be out of balance. Allergies originate in dysfunction with the gut and a healthy gut is a safety buffer against allergies, and contrastingly, an unhealthy gut is the foundation of allergies (WebMD). To learn more about the relationship to the gut and the immune system, read the article published in Johns Hopkins Medicine Journal entitled: “The Gut: Where Bacteria and Immune System Meet” by Helen Fields (2015).

*The statistic of 30% and 40% is derived from the aforementioned understanding of allergies starting in the gut.

The evidence is clear that the immune system is regulated by the gut and that allergies are a dysfunction in the immune system in response to an external substance (food, dust, etc). Allergies start in the gut and the treatment of allergies—even if the “symptom” is only seen with exposure to trees or grass, for example—must begin by addressing the gut health and the gut’s response to food.

The challenge is that many allergists are not yet testing gut health. Partly this is because of the systems-based nature of our health care system. Psychiatrists only look at the brain, gastroenterologists only look at the gut. Allergists do IGE (immediate anaphylaxis) testing, and unfortunately this results in many people not identifying the root cause which may be an IGG response to a food they are eating, which causes an immune cascade and therefore reactivity to their environment.

You can learn more from Dr. Nicole Cain’s research on the gut-brain axis at www.GutPsychology.com .

 References:

https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/research/advancements-in-research/fundamentals/in-depth/the-gut-where-bacteria-and-immune-system-meet

https://www.webmd.com/allergies/news/20041223/healthy-gut-may-resist-allergies-asthma

A New Health Care Resource for Grand Rapids, Michigan

The team at Health for Life Grand Rapids has created an easy to use website for the people of Grand Rapids called www.GrandRapidsCounselor.com . This website provides a mobile-phone and tablet friendly overview of all the Counselors, Naturopathic Doctors, and Hypnotherapists at Health for Life Grand Rapids providing many different types of therapy–all customizable for the people of Grand Rapids, MI.

The Grand Rapids Counselor.com website is easy to use and guides users through learning about counseling, to learning about the people that work at Health life for Grand Rapids, followed by what specific services are offered by the staff, followed by information for new patients (including insurances accepted, cash rates) and an easy to use form to request information. Lastly, the site features an easily accessible contact form where you can request that a Counselor, Therapist, Naturopathic Doctor, or Hypnotherapist contact you directly.

The staff at Health for Life Grand Rapids are constantly working to make healthcare more accessible. The new website called “Grand Rapids Counselor.com” was a natural extension of this service. If you have questions, you can always call our front desk at 616-200-4433  or  email our manager, Paul Krauss MA LPC at [email protected].

Grand Rapids, MI is the second largest metropolitan area in Michigan, and we (at Health for Life Grand Rapids) are aiming to bring the highest quality healthcare, counseling, therapy, and health education to the Midwest. So far, we have two licensed Naturopathic Physicians from the State of Arizona providing excellent health education at our office. Both of them are committed to the people of the State of Michigan and, at the same time, they maintain their medical licenses through the State of Arizona. Currently, we have five counselors providing excellent therapy and health education in the Grand Rapids, MI area. Each therapist has a unique focus and approach to therapeutic process and works to customize care for each person and family they work with. We also have a Clinical Hypnotherapist providing amazing hypnotherapy to clients in the Grand Rapids area.

We are highly intentional about offering a diverse array of providers and services in Grand Rapids, MI.

 

 

 

 

Are you ready to Quit Smoking?

Quit Smoking for good at Health for Life Grand Rapids

Even if you’ve smoked forever…

Even if you’ve tried to quit a million times…

Even if you enjoy smoking…

You can quit.

Hypnosis has been shown to be an effective method for quitting. No gum, patches,

or prescription medications required.

Clients who use hypnosis to quit tend to experience fewer withdrawal symptoms

and begin their smoke-free life motivated to making healthy choices!

The Great American SmokeOut is November 16th!

To quit smoking, contact Stacey PreFontaine CMS-CHt, FIBH

at Health for Life Grand Rapids.

Call Stacey directly at 616-828-2153.

Or email Stacey at : [email protected] 

 

Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States, accounting for more than 480,000 deaths every year, or 1 of every 5 deaths.1

In 2015, about 15 of every 100 U.S. adults aged 18 years or older (15.1%) currently* smoked cigarettes. This means an estimated 36.5 million adults in the United States currently smoke cigarettes.2 More than 16 million Americans live with a smoking-related disease.2

Current smoking has declined from nearly 21 of every 100 adults (20.9%) in 2005 to about 15 of every 100 adults (15.1%) in 2015.2

Source: https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/adult_data/cig_smoking/index.htm

“If there’s everything all health professionals agree on, it’s this: put down the smokes, any way you can, no matter how silly you feel about being hypnotized or obsessively chewing Juicy Fruit or starting talk therapy with a counselor. Don’t feel foolish if you start describing yourself as “smober,” as some NicA members do. It may be corny, but getting sober while continuing to smoke is tantamount to rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic: a nice way to relieve stress in the moment but an activity that’s still going to take you down.”

Source: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/11/hypnosis-quit-smoking_n_1248444.html

quit smoking with hypnotherapy at health for life grand rapids

Why I stopped making fun of yoga …

Why I stopped making fun of yoga …

by Jennifer Belmonte, LMSW, CHC

(licensed therapist in Grand Rapids, MI)

Truth be told, I am a former yoga-mocker. I could not comprehend how intentional body contortions and even the practice of stillness could possibly alter one’s physical health. After all, isn’t exercising about working up a sweat, increasing your heart rate, and being near collapse at its conclusion? At one point in my life, I was a cardio junkie…running, kickboxing, stepping, even spinning. What then, could possibly be the point of something low-impact, slow-paced, and well…seemingly downright boring. The whole notion of yoga was rather confusing to me. Silliness, actually.

A few years ago, my dear sister announced she was going to pursue certification in yoga instruction. I tried my best to be supportive of her perplexing vocation. She used fancy words like “shavasana” and “namaste.” Interestingly, I began to notice that people practicing yoga seemed more relaxed, more balanced…more grounded, if you will. Slowly, and I do mean slowly… I came to a realization… Do we not practice things that don’t come easily to us…such as riding a bike, cooking, or public speaking? Perhaps I needed to practice relaxing. Yes…practice relaxing!! I was well-acquainted with the concept of mindfulness (we’ll talk about this further in a later post), and its importance on one’s mental and emotional well-being. Yoga, of course, is a manifestation of mindfulness…both physically and mentally. I began attending a few classes. Yoga eventually no longer seemed a waste of time! In fact, I began to experience greater mental clarity as well as physical strength. I realized that ideally, a strong body and a strong mind are two sides of the same coin.

Moreover, the mainstream medical culture has begun to recognize the importance of consistently practicing relaxation…ideally, deep relaxation. As Dr. Edmund Bourne highlights in The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook, when we engage in this discipline, we experience a myriad of physiological changes including decrease in heart rate, decrease in blood pressure, and decrease in muscle tension. According to Dr. Bourne, other benefits of deep relaxation include increased energy and self-confidence, reduced insomnia and fatigue, and even an increased awareness of your emotions (as muscle tension is a significant barrier to emotional awareness).

The idea of practicing mindfulness or even deep relaxation may seem daunting at first. So, let’s start with intentional, every-day choices… making eye contact during a conversation, enjoying a cup of coffee (or a meal!) while seated, saying NO to things that do not nurture our bodies, our spirits, our healthy relationships. These are things that require intention and practice, especially in a culture, which glorifies busyness.

Part of my role at Health for Life GR is to help you connect the dots of your life…experience greater balance, find your voice, and be intentional in your relationships. After all, this journey called life is much more enjoyable that way.

You can see Jennifer Belmonte for counseling or health coaching, in addition she loves to teach and will be hosting many classes at Health for Life GR.

You can contact Jennifer Jennifer Belmonte LMSW, CHC directly616-920-0428 or [email protected] 

Jennifer Belmonte at Health for Life Grand Rapids

Grand Opening Sept 21st 2017!

Health for Life Grand Rapids Celebrates Their Grand Opening

Integrative Counseling Office Hosts Open House

Grand Rapids, MI: Health for Life Grand Rapids, an integrative mental health facility, will host an open house to celebrate their grand opening. This event will take place on Thursday, September 21st, 5:30-7:30pm EST, at Health for Life Grand Rapids. 781 Kenmoor Ave SE, Suite C, Grand Rapids, MI 49546.

Enter your name and email address when you arrive and you will be entered to win one of many raffle items! Items include Norwex products, salon gift cards, a Naturopathic First Aid Kit, and many more. There will be snacks and refreshments for all who stop by.

Dr. Nicole Cain, ND MA

Dr. Nicole Cain, ND MA is a licensed Naturopathic physician (AZ), who strives to find the root cause of illnesses of all kinds. Dr. Cain is known for helping people suffering from mental and emotional concerns–yet she treats the entire person. Dr. Cain treats patients all over the United States and internationally.

“We believe in long-term solutions. We want our clients to come out of their experience with us as changed people, who can go back into their community and bring their healthy new perspective and the tools to share with their loved ones.”

Dr. Nicole Cain, ND MA resides in Grand Rapids, but still practices part-time in Scottsdale, AZ as she is a licensed physician in the state of Arizona. Michigan has not yet passed legislation for Dr. Cain to practice as a physician in Michigan, but she is able to provide health education for people based on her years of medical practice in Arizona. Paul Krauss is a clinical supervisor as well and has supervised and trained clinicians for 7 years and has been practicing as a counselor for 10 years. Learn more here: www.drnicolecain.com

Ashley

Ashley is our wonderful office manager. Ashley will make sure that your experience at Health for Life Grand Rapids begins with a smile. She is eager to answer all of your questions and ensure that you get the information you need. Do not hesitate to call if you have questions or concerns and Ashley will help find the answer for you 616-200-4433.

Paul Krauss, MA, LPC

Paul Krauss is the co-founder of Health For Life Grand Rapids. Paul has his own podcast, he has over 10 years of experience and has consulted for several major behavioral health agencies. He is an expert in trauma, anxiety, depression, helping the parents of struggling young adults. In addition, Paul is a business consultant, and is extremely passionate about providing expert mental health care to the West Michigan area. If you are suffering from trauma, PTSD, anxiety, depression, anger, relationship issues or if you want to be more successful in your job, call Paul Krauss for a complimentary meet and greet today. To learn more about Paul, click here: https://www.healthforlifegr.com/experts/paul-krauss/

Nicole Vega, LMSW, CHC

Nicole is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Certified Health Coach. She is an expert at working with women and is passionate about helping new moms who are struggling with depression, anxiety postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety and more. Nicole is an excellent counselor with women of all ages, including teenagers! If you are a single woman, a new mom, seasoned mom, or if you are a woman suffering from depression, anxiety, or if you want to become a greater expert in living your own best life, call Nicole today! To learn more about Nicole, click here: https://www.healthforlifegr.com/experts/nicole-vega/

Billie Walters, Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Billie has advanced training in Mindfulness & Self-Compassion. She brings her advanced skills and healing presence to each therapy session. Her passion and calming personality will help you feel balanced, inspired, and empowered. Billie has solutions for almost every situation. She is an expert at helping people with  anxiety, depression, stress reduction/ management, anger management, and she will work with you and your family. If you you’d like to work with a highly skilled, warm, and compassionate clinician, call Billy today to set up your first consultation! To learn more about Billie, read here: https://www.healthforlifegr.com/experts/billie-walters/

Adam Nash, MA, LLPC

Adam is a leader in the field working with helping teens, young adults and parents thrive. He has over a decade of experience working with teens/young adults not only as a mentor, but as an outpatient counselor and inpatient clinician. Adam has the experience, wisdom, knowledge, and skills to –whether you are a teenager, young adult, or the parent of one. If you are a parent of a struggling teen or young adult, or if you are ready to conquer your symptoms and to achieve your goals of wellness, definitely give Adam a call today! To learn more about Adam, read here: https://www.healthforlifegr.com/experts/adam-nash

Jennifer Belmonte , LMSW, CHC

Jennifer is an excellent therapist and certified health coach. Jennifer Belmonte provides therapy to children, adolescents, and adults in the Grand Rapids, MI area. Jennifer specializes in the following areas: Emotional Neglect, Difficulties with food and healthy lifestyle, Children & adolescents, Help with emotional regulation and symptoms of depression and anxiety, Faith-based counseling, Health Coaching, and Women’s Issues read more here: https://www.healthforlifegr.com/experts/jennifer-belmonte/

Stacey Prefontaine, Clinical Medical Hypnotherapist

Stacey is a wonderful Hypnotherapist. Stacey is passionate about helping people improve their lives and manage their stressors through the power of hypnotherapy.  She helps people heal from trauma and other issues both mentally and physically.
“Through my practice as a hypnotherapist, I have been able to help clients improve self awareness and intuition, become confident in challenging relationships and situations, put an end to unhealthy habits, reduce and manage pain, improve sleep quality, and gain confidence.” Learn more here: 
https://www.healthforlifegr.com/experts/stacey-prefontaine-hypnotherapy/

Emotionally Supporting Your Child with Anxiety [1 of 6]

Emotionally Supporting Your Child with Anxiety [1 of 6]

“Anxiety disorders are the most common of all mental illnesses and affect 25 percent of all teens and 30 percent of all teen girls” (1).

Are you a parent whose child is struggling with anxiety? Are you unsure of how to support them when they are overwhelmed? Are you always trying to push your kid into going to social events but they would rather stay home? Does your child experience great distress in social situations? Does your child get paralyzed by a desire/an internal pressure to be perfect?

If any of these ring true then know that you are not alone. With an estimated 25% of teens struggling with anxiety, parents are trying/scrambling to figure out how to raise children who are feeling overwhelmed with anxiety and being held back from reaching their goals/help their child cope with crippling anxiety that is holding them back from achieving their goals. As a parent, it can be difficult to know what to say or do in these situations. Here are some tips that may be helpful the next time your child becomes anxious.

Three Tips for Supporting Your Kid

#1: Allow them the space to be Anxious:

As a parent without anxiety, it can be frustrating when a solution appears obvious, but your child’s behavior seems illogical. Remember to give your child space to be anxious. Rushing them to make a decision or fix a problem will only exacerbate their anxiety. Your child may struggle with feeling inadequate and fear they are letting others down by having anxiety. Allowing your child to take their time will help them take ownership of their problem-solving process.

#2: Validate their worry:
“It’s just not that big of a deal.” Do you find yourself saying this to your child? While phrases like this can easily slip out without much thought, this can be a detrimental message to your child with anxiety. In that moment, your child may interpret that you are minimizing their emotions instead of the magnitude of the situation. They may feel that they are unimportant or even broken because they cannot seem to function like everyone else. With such a large population of kids and teens (estimated 25%) struggling with anxiety, it is clear that this is a common issue and should be addressed with care. Great ways to encourage your child the next time they become anxious about a problem may be to use phrases such as, “I can see you’re feeling anxious, but I know you can get through this and I am always here to support you.”

#3: Don’t push them into social situations:

As much as you may want your child to interact more with peers, pressuring them into social situations only increases their anxiety. Your child may fear being rejected or bullied by classmates or neighbors for their anxiety, and avoid opening up and letting others in. Of course, there is nothing wrong with encouraging your child to engage, but allowing them to decline increases their sense of control, and will likely lessen their anxiety. When your child is ready to initiate socially, they will. Give them time.
Anxiety among kids and teens is becoming increasingly common. However, its prevalence does not make parenting easier. If you are feeling alone, in this there is help for you. Check back next week for Part Two when we discuss supporting your child when anxiety prevents them from doing the things they want to do.

You can call 616-200-4433 or directly 616-676-7081 or email me at [email protected] and I will give you a complimentary 15 minute consultation.

adam nash helping teens with anger, depression, and anxiety

Beginning in September 2017, Adam Nash MA, LLPC and Nicole Vega LMSW, CHC will be offering a free support group for both parents and adolescents struggling with anxiety. Groups will be held every other Thursday night at Health for Life 7:00 pm.

For more information and a complimentary 15-minute consultation, call 616-676-7081 or email [email protected]

“Thank you for reading” – Adam Nash MA LLPC 

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