Archive Monthly Archives: March 2019

What do Allergies & Anxiety Have in Common?

Spring is in the air, and many are looking forward to enjoying the outdoors. Others though, may be a bit anxious over the excess pollen that will soon be in the air, causing coughing, sneezing, itching, and much discomfort to say the least. Living with allergies puts stress on the body and the mind. While anxiety and allergies are independent of one another, allergies may make anxiety worse, and vice versa. allergies and anxiety

Seasonal allergies, food allergies, or skin allergies can all create some amount of anxiety. Anxiety in turn, may weaken the immune system, making allergy symptoms worse. Under stress, the body releases cytokines, which effect the severity of an allergy attack. Anxiety and stress weaken the immune system further, making symptoms of allergies worsen. Physical symptoms coupled with decreased quality of life can heighten anxiety. Therefore it becomes cyclical. How can we nip these issues in the bud?

Holistic treatment options are helpful in supporting overall wellness, providing support to various body systems, and helping the mind and body to work in harmony with one another. Allergy medications can provide temporary relief, yet there are natural and effective ways to avoid relying solely on medications.

Exercise is one of the best ways to alleviate anxiety and support the immune system. Endorphins  are released through exercise, promoting a positive mood, while cortisol is lowered and toxins are released. Thus, allowing the body to function more as it should and reducing allergies and anxiety.

Therapy can also be a positive way to manage anxiety. Learning coping skills and ways to promote more positive thought processes, while releasing negative patterns can all be achieved through therapy sessions. Lifestyle and diet change are also an essential aspect in supporting the mind and body.

Whole foods have multiple benefits in giving the body what it needs, enabling us to function at our best. Incorporating relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and aromatherapy can help relieve anxiety while supporting the immune system, so that allergy symptoms may be lessened. Lavender, lemon, and peppermint essential oils can help soothe allergies, giving both a calming and uplifting effect. Learn more about therapeutic grade essential oils for emotional support by clicking here!  allergies and anxiety

Here at Makin Wellness we are happy in providing support through a holistic approach. Contact us today to begin your wellness journey!

About Makin Wellness

Founded in 2017 , Makin Wellness is Pittsburgh’s premier therapy & coaching centers located in Downtown Pittsburgh and Downtown New Kensington. The company’s mission is to help people heal and become happy again.  Makin Wellness specializes in depression, anxiety, addiction, trauma, medical marijuana assited treatment and relationship counseling.

Laura Stewart, BA, CHN Makin Wellness

Laura Stewart, BA, CHN Makin Wellness

PTSD – Common Symptoms & Holistic Treatment Options

Post traumatic stress disorder affects mental health, causing symptoms such as anxiety, flashbacks, nightmares, and uncontrollable thoughts about a traumatizing event.

Many people who have experienced a traumatic event often can have temporary difficulty coping and adjusting, but are able to recover with the time and self-care.  If symptoms worsen, lasting months or even years, and interfere with daily activities – this may be an indication of PTSD.

Syptoms of PTSD are grouped into types including avoidance, intrusive memories, changes in emotional reactions, and negative changes in thinking or mood. Let’s consider each of these:

Avoidance

  •  avoiding thinking or talking about the event
  •  avoiding people, places, and activities reminding you of the traumatic event

Intrusive Memories 

  •  flashbacks – reliving event as if it were happening all over again
  •  dream/nightmares about the event
  •  recurring memories of the traumatic event – even when trying to not think about the event
  •  experiencing severe emotional distress, or physical reactions to things reminding you of the rtaumatic event

Changes in Emotional Reactions 

  •  overwhelming guilt/shame
  •  jumpiness – easily frightened or startled
  •  sleep disturbances
  •  difficulty concentrating
  •  defensive – on guard for danger
  •  irritability
  •  angry outbursts
  •  aggressive behaviors
  •  self-destructive behaviors (substance abuse/reckless driving)

Negative Changes in Thinking/Mood 

  •  negative thoughts about self and others
  •  lack of interest in activities
  •  difficulty maintaining relationships with others
  •  memory problems
  •  feeling hopeless of future
  •  emotional numbness – feeling detached

To be diagnosed with PTSD, one must experience one or more of the following symptoms:

  •  reliving the event
  •  upsetting dreams/nightmares
  •  experience of flashbacks
  •  emotional distress related to the event

Holistic Treatment Options 

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – CBT can be used to help turn BLUE thoughts into true thoughts, helping one move in a more positive thought process.
  • Tapping (EFT) – Emotional Thought Field Therapy is a technique used to help with negative emotions. A trained professional can help you through this technique and it can even be done at home.
  • Deep Breathing – Diaphramatic breathing is a technique used to help calm the mind and body.
  • MMJ Assisted Therapy – Medical marijuana or CBD oil can be used to help reduce the symptoms associated with PTSD.
  • Exercise/Time in Nature – Spending time outdoors helps reset and recharge the mind and body to promote a positive mindset.
  • Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils – Essential oils have long been used to promote a calming effect and overall wellness.

Contact us today at Makin Wellness for a free consultation and begin your wellness journey today! 

About Makin Wellness

Founded in 2017 , Makin Wellness is Pittsburgh’s premier therapy & coaching centers located in Downtown Pittsburgh and Downtown New Kensington. The company’s mission is to help people heal and become happy again.  Makin Wellness specializes in depression, anxiety, addiction, trauma, medical marijuana assited treatment and relationship counseling.

Disclaimer:

Getting an evaluation at Makin Wellness does not guarantee you will have or be diagnosed with PTSD or Opioid Use Disorder . We are able to provide ongoing treatment in all of our offices and via telepsych.   For those struggling with Opiate Use Disorder, you may qualify if conventional therapeutic interventions are contraindicated or ineffective, or for which adjunctive therapy is indicated in combination with primary therapeutic interventions. We are not certifying physicians for medical marijuana in the State of PA.  We are able to evaluate, diagnose and provide treatment for mental health and addiction conditions.  If you fit criteria for PTSD or Opioid Use Disorder , you would still need to see a certifying physician after the evaluation in order to get your medical marijuana card. Cannabis is still considered illegal under federal law. Please refer to the Pennsylvania Department of Health  or contact us if you have any additional questions.

Laura Stewart, BA, CHN Makin Wellness

Laura Stewart, BA, CHN Makin Wellness

Holistic Nutrition & Addiction Recovery

“As one goes through life, one learns that if you don’t paddle your own canoe, you don’t move.” – Kathryn Hepburn

Addiction recovery takes hard work, dedication, and introspection. A little determination coupled with adequate support, can provide the needed tools to successfully recover from addiction. It is a day-to-day, continuous effort.

Finding a recovery center that supports holistic nutrition with other holistic treatment options is especially helpful in reducing severity of withdrawal symptoms and prevention of relapse.

Nutritional deficiencies are common through addiction recovery, as well as junk food cravings and at times, forgetting to eat due to withdrawal symptoms. Low levels of folic acid, B6, and thiamine are often seen in those recovering from addiction.

Depletion of nutrients and lack of calories may result in weight loss, poor muscle tone, weakness, electrolyte and hormonal imbalances, and increased risk of developing other life-threatening diseases.

Stress management techniques, exercise, nutrition, and rest are all part of the recovery process and in helping to reduce relapse. Holistic nutrition gives consideration to the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being, providing a comprehensive approach to long-term recovery.

Benefits of holistic treatment for addiction recovery includes repair and healing to damaged tissue and organs, immunity boost, improved energy and mood, management of withdrawal symptoms, reduced relapse, and stress management. Stress plays a large role in addiction, therefore learning effective coping mechanisms helps in reducing relapse.

A healthy diet provides essential nutrients to the mind and body, giving one better ability to manage stress and increase happiness. Other holistic treatment options such as aromatherapy and supplementation can support the healing process, while reducing relapse. Digestive enzymes, magnesium, and other supplements may be recommended to improve sleep, promote calming, and refuel the mind and body.

Makin Wellness offers a holistic approach to addiction recovery through stress management techniques, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), holsitic nutritional counseling, medical marijuana assisted treatment, aromatherapy, and other natural treatment options.

If you or a loved one are looking for holsitic treatment for drug or alcohol addiction, contact us for a free consultation and begin your journey to recovery today!

About Makin Wellness

Founded in 2017 , Makin Wellness is Pittsburgh’s premier therapy & coaching centers located in Downtown Pittsburgh and Downtown New Kensington. The company’s mission is to help people heal and become happy again.  Makin Wellness specializes in depression, anxiety, addiction, trauma, medical marijuana assited treatment and relationship counseling.

Laura Stewart, BA, CHN Makin Wellness

Laura Stewart, BA, CHN Makin Wellness

Social Anxiety: Causes, Affects, & Tools to Cope

We all deal with degrees of social discomfort at times. Fear of judgment and feelings of self consciousness are felt by many in social situations. Giving a presentation or meeting new people may cause us to have sweaty palms and the common “butterflies in the stomach”.

Social anxiety disorder however, presents a stress that is more than shyness, possibly causing one to avoid social contact entirely. It can be experienced in various ways, such a as fear of being judged, feeling embarrassed or humiliated, or fear of offending someone.  Symptoms include stomach trouble, rapid heartbeat, muscle tension, and dizziness to name a few.

What are the Causes? 

Genetics are likely part of it. For example, if a close family member has social anxiety or social phobia, you are more likely to experience it as well.

An over active amygdala may also play a part, as this is the part of the brain controlling fear response.  History of bullying, teasing, or abuse can be linked to social anxiety.

What Affect does it have on Your Life? 

Avoiding social situations affects personal relationships, preventing one from fully living and enjoying their life. It may lead to depression, low self-esteem, negative thought patterns, and poor social skills.

What are some Tools to Cope?

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can provide positive changes to thought processes and patterns of behavior. A trained professional can help one work through social anxiety in practical ways. Support with building self-esteem and positive self image are some of the benefits of therapy.

Aromatherapy is another tool to reduce social anxiety. Essential oils can be used to provide feelings of confidence and promote a calming effect. Vanilla, lavender, and orange have shown to soothe nervousness and stress. Using pure, therapeutic grade oils will provide the best results.

Exercise and diet are also essential to promoting harmony between the mind and body, helping reduce anxiety by boosting endorphins and releasing toxins.

Makin Wellness is happy in providing support to anyone dealing with social anxiety or social phobia. Our trained professionals will provide holistic options and therapies to promote healing for the mind and body. Contact us today for a free 15 minute consultation!