Category Archives for Essential Oils

Holistic Treatment for “Summertime Blues”

“Keep your eyes lifted high upon the sun–and you’ll see the best light in everyone.” – Tess Guinery

Summertime is full of outdoor activities, spending time with friends, cookouts, and more. Planning a weekend getaway or other summer events may be on your bucket list. While many find this season to be an exciting time of year, others may find themselves dreading the change of pace. Large crowds, extra socialization, and pressure to have that “summer body” may leave some feeling discouraged with unmet expectations of how things “should be.”

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is common in the fall and winter months, but may also present itself in summer months. Anxiety about events in large crowds, or depression over unmet expectations may result from increase in activity during the summer. Medication is often prescribed for depression and anxiety, yet natural, holistic treatment options are also available! holistic treatment

Focus on Your Diet

Low levels of serotonin can increase the chance of developing depression. While antidepressants may normalize serotonin levels, simple diet change can help to increase serotonin levels. Avoiding excess caffeine and sugar is essential. Eating foods with protein, healthy fats, fiber, and greens work to improve mood, energy, and overall wellness.

Soak up the SUN!

Spending 15-30 minutes in the sun each day is the best way to get vitamin D, helping to boost mood and immunity. Remind yourself that it is good for your health if you find yourself struggling to get motivated. Grab an all natural sunscreen, sunhat, and spend a little time outdoors each day. Doctors are even treating depressed patients with a light box, or good ol’ natural sunlight.

Get Moving

Taking time to stretch in the morning is a great way to start your day. Deep breathing while stretching has shown to reduce anxiety, anger, and depression. Exercise releases endorphines, also known as “feel-good chemicals” which act as a natural antidepressant.

If you are interested in support with holistic treatment options, Makin Wellness offers a natural, holistic approach incorporating individualized, customizable therapy, nutritional counseling, aromatherapy and other holistic treatment options. Contact us today for a free consultation and start your wellness journey today! holistic treatment

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.

Herbal Remedies for Cognitive Function

Cognitive decline and neurocognitive disorders may be the result of aging, head injury, or other medical conditions. Alzheimer’s and dementia have been associated with high cholesterol, inflammation, hypertension, high body mass index, and diabetes.

Anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have also been reported as risk factors of dementia and cognitive decline. The hippocampus (the memory center of the brain) can shrink from high blood pressure. And since higher blood pressure is linked to cognitive decline, taking measures to eat well and reduce stress is essential.

Poor nutrition, head injuries, and vitamin B12 deficiency may also cause memory and other cognitive issues. Foods such as grapes, blueberries, and beets support brain cell connection and function. Spinach, broccoli, and other cruceferous vegetables are beneficial for reducing inflammation and improved arterial function.

Stress-reducing activities, adequate sleep, and exercise are all necessary in preventing cognitive decline. In today’s busy world, it can at times be difficult to find the time to get all the nutrients and exercise our bodies need. Simple herbal remedies and supplementation can be a helpful aid.

Best Brain Boosting Herbs and Supplements

Aromatherapy – a 2009 study was done with Alzheimer’s patients, consistently administering rosemary and lemon essential oils in the morning, and lavender and orange in the evening. The oils showed a positive effect on psychological and behavioral symptoms, as well as improved cognitive function. Rosemary oil has clinically shown to improve cognition and memory. Melissa oil has also been used in patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia to aid in anxiety and insomnia. cognitive function

Sage – Sage has been identified as one of several herbs that may aid Alzheimer’s patients. A study published in 2003 in Pharmacology, Biochemistry, and Behavior indicated sage to possess memory boosting properties. Sage can be added to chicken, soups, or taken in tea form.

Turmeric – Turmeric is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Research suggests it may prevent break down of nerve cells in the brain boost overall brain function.

B Vitamins – In a study of elderly men and women, it was found that a B-complex supplement prevented decline in participants ability to plan, prioritize, and organize. Those taking B-complex with Omega-3 supplements had the best results. Taking a high potency supplement is best.

Ginkgo – Two recent medical journals confirmed extracts of Ginkgo biloba can improve cognitive function and memory in people with dementia.

MMJ and CBD oil – Medical marijuana and CBD oil have shown to be beneficial in patients with alzheimer’s and dementia, improving cognitive function, symptoms of aggression, improving sleep, and other physical and emotional benefits. cognitive function

Makin Wellness offers a holistic approach to wellness with holistic treatment options including stress relief techniques, aromatherapy, supplementation, and nutritional counseling. Contact us today for a free consultation!

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.


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.

Spring Wellness: Essential Oils to Naturally Reduce Pollen & Allergens

While Spring is an enjoyable season of beautiful new blooms, vibrant colors, and new growth – allergy symptoms such as itchy eyes, sneezing, runny nose, and feelings of being run down, may cause irritability, anxiety, and mental fatigue – making Spring anything but enjoyable.

Antihistamines are readily available, providing some relief, but not without side effects. It may surprise you to learn that natural remedies, when used properly, can provide allergy relief – essential oils included! essential oils

What is the root of the issue?

Studies have shown the connection between the immune system and allergies. When the immune system is overburdened, allergic response may be intensified. Poor gut health is directly linked to seasonal allergies.

A diet high in refined oils, sugar, dairy, and processed grains is a primary cause of gut disorders. This type of diet may also cause candida overgrowth – which has proven to be a primary cause of allergic reactions.

Stress directly affects the immune system. Stress management is vital to immune function and reduction of allergies. If you find yourself suffering from excess stress, talking with a professional counselor can help with managing it more effectively.

Essential Oils for Allergies

Essential oils are steam distilled from plants and have been used medicinally for centuries. These concentrated aromatic liquids can support physical, mental, and emotional wellness. They can be diffused or applied topically. essential oils

Peppermint, lemon, and lavender have shown to reduce pollen and allergens. These oils may be diffused together into the air, or applied topically to reduce allergy symptoms. Peppermint helps with mental clarity and alertness, while reducing nasal congestion. Lavender provides a calming affect, helping with stress reduction and restful sleep. Lemon oil is cleansing, uplifting, and may inhibit bacterial infection.

Here at Makin Wellness we provide custom essential oil blends and other holistic approaches to promote harmony between the body and mind. Therapeutic grade essential oils affect various body systems, providing support to overall wellness.essential oils

Contact us today for support with stress management, nutritional counseling, life coaching, or other wellness related goals and concerns!

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 assisted treatment and relationship counseling.

Laura Stewart, BA, CHN Makin Wellness

Laura Stewart, BA, CHN Makin Wellness

Spring Cleaning: Emotional and Mental Detox

Winter months have passed, with new life sprouting and feelings of renewed energy in this spring season. It’s the time for clearing out clutter and spring cleaning. Perhaps you’re planning on cleaning windows, clearing away cobwebs, or getting out in your garden. The feeling of a fresh clean home, with sunshine pouring through the windows may come to mind.  No doubt, a feeling of satisfaction follows after completing these chores…..even feeling therapeutic!

What about decluttering the mind?

After a long winter cooped up inside, spending some time outdoors can clear the mind, and renew the spirit. This may be difficult for some who have suffered seasonal depression, making transitioning to a new season a challenge as well. Mental and emotional detox, also called emotional pruning, may be necessary to allow for healing of the mind and body. emotional detox

Sun exposure in small doses promotes healing, helping the body make vitamin D, which is vital for functioning of blood cells, bones, and the immune system. Lack of sun and low levels of vitamin D pose risks of serious health conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease.

The sun also promotes a good nights rest, which is essential to mental and emotional well-being. Taking a short walk outside in the sun while breathing in fresh air, has an array of benefits. Scientists believe the sun’s rays may even shrink fat cells!

Spending time to self-evaluate and realign priorities is the perfect way to start fresh this season. Self-care and positive thinking supports overall wellness. Letting go of negative thought patterns and behaviors, and replacing them with more positive ones allows for personal growth and healing. Reflecting on where you are and where you would like to see yourself is also a positive step to move in the direction you would like to go. emotional detox

Emotional detoxing, sometimes referred to as emotional pruning, is much like pruning a tree or shrub. Pruning away negative patterns reduces risk of developing further physical and emotional complications, creating room for positive growth and healing. When pruning a shrub, or taking away the dead part, the plant can grow and thrive at its best.

Emotional wounds take time to resolve, and at times, enlisting in the help of a therapist is a necessary step toward healing. Being mindful, and embracing the present, is a helpful approach to letting go of past hurts – leaving more room for improvement. Other wellness activities like journaling or deep breathing can reset the mind, helping reduce stress.

Tips for Emotional Detox

  • Let go of negativity – Reliving past traumas or continually thinking over negative scenarios can be harmful to the mind and body, preventing positive growth. Talk to someone you trust and practice letting go of past hurts, by focusing on positive solutions.
  • Embrace positive relationships – Spend time with those who make you feel loved and encouraged. Negativity can bring your energy down, making it difficult to move in a positive direction.
  • Effectively manage time – Effective time management is essential to stress reduction, so that you may live a higher quality of life, and maintain more positive relationships. Carve out time to sit and have a healthy meal, grab coffee with a friend, or take a moment in your day to do something you enjoy. We make the most of our time when we’re not overly stressed.
  • Practice positive self-talk – Be mindful of how you are speaking to yourself. The way we speak to ourselves affects interactions with those around us. Carefully consider the messages you are saying to yourself – this will reflect in your relationships with others.
  • Create a wellness routine – Choose activities you enjoy doing to positively impact your mental health and wellness. Cooking a nice meal, spending time in nature, or getting together with a friend are all positive ways to support wellness, helping to reduce and weed out negativity.

Makin Wellness is happy in supporting you on your wellness journey. Please contact us if you would like support in setting wellness goals with a holistic approach in promoting harmony between the mind and body. Mindful eating habits, spending time in nature, and aromatherapy are a few of the ways we help our clients support their overall wellness. Spring into wellness by calling now free 15-minute 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.

Laura Stewart anxiety stress therapy makin wellness

Laura Stewart, B.A., CHN

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

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!


Holistic Remedies for Anxiety

Anxiety, stress, worry, and fear are all too common in today’s world. In our hurried lives we’re all looking for a quick fix to stress and anxiety. Finding calm in the chaos is a much more holistic process, though. It takes looking inward with an honest self-evaluation. Being mindful, self-aware, and present with ourselves is the first step in finding healthy approaches to reducing anxiety. The more in tune we are with ourselves, the more ability we have to promote healing.

“Holistic medicine gently works on correcting an underlying condition, and requires a high level of participation on the part of the patient.” – David Crow 

In our last post, we defined wellness as “the state of being in good health, especially as an actively pursued goal.” This is therefore a day-to-day effort that often requires breaking old habits, and moving outside of our comfort zones. As we open ourselves to change and become more adaptable, we move into growth and become better versions of ourselves. anxiety

Fear of the unknown may cause us anxiety, making us move back into comfort, in turn making change more difficult. Techniques to promote positive thinking are especially helpful in taking action toward positive change, allowing us to move out of our comfort zones.

In some instances, other health conditions such as food sensitivities, or an overactive thyroid, may be the culprit of anxiety disorders. Excess sugar and caffeine is something else to consider. Finding the root cause will provide the resources and tools necessary to gain control over anxiety, before it gains control over you. anxiety

While anxiety medications may provide temporary relief, it is like a band-aid versus getting to the root cause, and does not come without side effects. To bring balance to the mind and body, daily wellness habits need to be incorporated.

Consider the following holistic remedies for anxiety relief:

  • Deep Breathing – Deep belly breathing is a quick way to reduce cortisol and promote a calming sensation to the mind and body. Diaphramatic breathing is a relaxation technique shown to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression.


  • Walk Barefoot – A term called “earthing” is a natural technique used to reduce anxiety by stimulating the mind and body. It may improve sleep by improving circadian rhythms, improve mood and energy, boost immunity, and reduce stress. In warmer months, take a walk outside in the grass, breath deep, and feel the healing effects of nature!


  • Eat Whole Foods – Fueling our mind and body with nutrient dense foods provides the needed vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to keep our bodies functioning at its best. A whole-foods plant based diet has shown to be the optimum diet for wellness, vitality and longevity. Eating a variety of fresh foods is best.


  • Exercise – Exercise is one of the best tools for wellness. Walking outside and exercising in nature has even more added benefits with oxygen from fresh air, greenscapes raising serotonin levels, and sun exposure increasing vitamin D levels.


  • AromatherapyEssential oils are the lifeblood of plants, steam distilled from leaves, stems, and flowers. They provide support to each body system, helping to relieve stress, boost immunity, and promote restful sleep. Inhaling lavender has shown to produce a calming effect, reducing stress and anxiety. Bergamot may help reduce the stress response, along with chamomile. Lavender and chamomile have long been used as a sleep aid – calming the mind and helping you let go of worries. Contact us at Makin Wellness for your very own custom blend of therapeutic grade essential oils! Incorporating massage with essential oils is the perfect way to relieve tension!


  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) CBT is a form of talk therapy that may be used by a mental health counselor to promote positive thought processes. It focuses on improving emotional regulation and developing coping skills. This technique helps find new approaches to problems, helping boost happiness and positivity.


  • Cannabidiol OilCannabidiol or CBD, has shown to reduce anxiety and promote restful sleep. Unlike THC, CBD is non-psychoative, meaning it does not get the user “high,” rather it promotes a feeling of calm and focus. Ayurvedic medicine believes CBD to be most beneficial with the combination of other herbs. A naturopathic doctor can recommend what would work best with your unique wellness goals and circumstances. NuLeaf Naturals is an all natural, organic brand made in Colorado.


Makin Wellness is happy in providing an individualized and customizable approach to support optimal wellness. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Nutritional Counseling, Aromatherapy, and stress management techniques are just a few of the ways we help our clients heal and become happy again. Contact us for a free 15 minute consultation and begin your wellness journey today! wellness

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. anxiety

Winter Wellness: Natural Mood & Immunity Boosters

Tis’ the season for sniffles and various germs flying around, putting a damper on winter wellness. With all of the fun festivities this time of year, who wants to be stuck inside not feeling well? Colder temps can make it hard to get outside and lack of sunlight may cause low levels of vitamin D, reducing immunity. Low mood may also result from lack of sunlight.

It’s been said that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” What are some preventive measures we can take to stay well this season?

Natural remedies, such as herbs and tinctures, have been used medicinally by various cultures for thousands of years, and are known for their preventative and curative properties. Think of herbs as preventative medicine, helping get to the root cause of the issue. Herbal remedies can help with a variety of ailments from anxiety to skin issues. Fresh herbs like basil, oregano, and thyme have anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and antioxidant properties. Including these herbs in soups and stews can provide support against the common cold, flu, digestive issues, and support overall wellness. winter wellness

While over-the-counter medicine can provide quick relief, familiarizing yourself with the healing powers  of nature can provide safe alternatives that get to the root of the problem and may very well prevent a visit to the doctor. Healthy foods, fresh herbs, essential oils, and tinctures all have a variety of benefits for the mind and body.

Here are some of the top remedies to give a boost to your mood and immunity this winter: winter wellness

Ginger: Ginger is anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial. Try slicing fresh ginger and marinating it in honey overnight. Take one slice each morning to prevent colds and flu.

Elderberry Syrup: Elderberry is a fruit with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, helping prevent colds. Studies have shown elderberry syrup to short colds and flus, and help relieve sinus infections.

Probiotics: Probiotics can provide a boost to the immune system with a probiotic pill or foods like yogurt and sauerkraut.

Garlic: Garlic is a powerful remedy that can be found right in your kitchen with antimicrobial, antiviral properties. It can be added to your meals, or eaten whole if you’re brave and needing an immediate boost!

Essential Oils: Eucalyptus has antiviral and antimicrobial properties to help with the common cold. It is also a natural expectorant, making it an amazing remedy for coughs and congestion. Peppermint oil is used as a natural fever-reducer and decongestant. Add a few drops to the bottoms of your feet with socks! (Always use caution with children. Using a carrier oil is best when applying topically) Lavender oil is safe for use on children, helping promote restful sleep. Lavender is anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and has shown to boost mood by increasing serotonin levels. Stocking up on essential oils can be an excellent addition to your natural medicine cabinet, helping support mental, emotional, and physical well-being! winter wellness

If you’re interested in purchasing therapeutic-grade oils, follow this link:

Cooking with fresh herbs and essential oils is a simple way to boost overall wellness. Plenty of fluids and rest is always a key remedy when feeling under the weather. Read more on beating the winter blues in our previous blog post. We hope you have found this helpful and are staying well this winter! 

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. 

Bipolar Disorder – Causes & Alternative Treatments

Mental illness is becoming more and more common among all ages. According to the World Health Organization, over 450 million suffer from mental illness worldwide. Suicide rates have increased by 60% in the last 45 years, with 90% having a diagnosable mental disorder. Anxiety disorders, depression and mood disorders like bipolar disorder have similarities, yet require different treatments. A person with depression often has some type of anxiety, while a person with anxiety often shows some symptoms of depression.

Brain health plays an integral part in all types of mental disorders. Bipolar disorder in particular, is unique in comparison to anxiety and depression. Manic episodes of bipolar may include high energy, reduced need for sleep, and loss of touch with reality. Depressive episodes of bipolar may include low energy, decreased motivation, and loss of interest in daily activities. Treatment typically is lifelong, involving a combination of medication and psychotherapy. Lets look further at the causes and complexities of this disorder. bipolar disorder


Most researchers agree there are physical and environmental factors that contribute to bipolar disorder. While a person may have been born with a predisposition, for many a stressful life event or upbringing triggers the illness. Studies show a low or high level of a particular neurotransmitter such as serotonin, norepinephrine or dopamine is involved in mood disorders – affecting the overall balance of how these chemicals work together. Stress levels also play a role with increasing stress causing cortisol levels to rise. In turn, these high cortisol levels alter brain function and communication.

The Prechter Bipolar Research Program at the University of Michigan performed a study which found more people with bipolar disorder have a history of childhood trauma than those without the disorder. These traumas were associated with changes in self-control and attention. Childhood traumas such as emotional abuse or neglect has shown to affect mood, impulse control, cognitive function, and feelings of self-worth – all of which are associated with bipolar disorder. bipolar disorder

The study showed higher levels of saturated fats had an association between certain levels of fat molecules in the blood and mood. Patients taking an antipsychotic also showed less diversity of microbes in the gastrointestinal tract. Bad microbes in the gut can create gut inflammation, which may cause depression and other brain ailments and imbalances. It has been noted that those who have daily mood swings have food allergies or hypoglycemia. With brain health being so dependent on gut health, it is essential to provide the body with proper nutrients to provide greater harmony between mind and body. Lets look further at some alternative treatments to support mental health and overall brain health. bipolar disorder

Alternative Treatments

Dr. Drew Ramsey, author of “50 Shades of Kale,” says omega 3’s, vitamin D, B vitamins, zinc, iron, and magnesium all play a vital role in brain health. Ramsey notes that kale provides 134% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C, 684% of vitamin K, 206% of vitamin A, and more. It is of utmost importance to eat nutrient rich foods to help support a healthy gut such as, cruciferous vegetables, bananas, beans, artichokes, blueberries, polenta, kimchee, saurkraut and tempeh. Slow digesting foods that are high in fiber such as beans, oats, brown rice, and other fruits and vegetables are all supportive to brain health. Folic acid, B12, and glutathione has shown to be deficient in manic depressive patients. Diet changes, supplementation, and alternative treatments can be used in conjunction with other therapies. Bipolar disorder can be successfully managed through a strong support system, psychotherapy, and lifestyle changes. It is always best to discuss any treatments with your health care provider. Consider some practical ways to support mental health.

Tips to Support Mental Health

  • Take care of your body – Eat nutrient dense meals, avoid excess alcohol, drink plenty of water, exercise, and get enough sleep.
  • Spend time with others who support you – People who have strong family or social connections are generally happier and healthier.
  • Learn coping skills – Take a walk in nature, journal, and practice self-care by spending time doing something you enjoy.
  • Quiet your mind – Mindfulness and relaxation techniques helps improve your state of mind and promotes a positive outlook on life.
  • Acupuncture – Symptoms of mood swings can be alleviated with acupuncture by helping to balance the energetic qi (chee) within various body systems and minimize the frequency and intensity of mood swings. Medical Wellness Associates offers acupuncture and other homeopathic therapies for a variety of conditions, helping to support balance between mind and body.
  • Aromatherapy – Essential oils promote balance between mind and body. Oils like lavender, bergamot, frankincense, jasmine, and many others can be used to uplift mood. Contact Makin Wellness for a custom blend to support mental and emotional wellness!

If you or someone you know is struggling with anxiety, depression, or other mood disturbances, contact Makin Wellness today for a free 15 minute consultation! Our services include a holistic approach of cognitive behavioral therapy, nutritional counseling, and life coaching.

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. bipolar disorder

Laura Stewart, BA Makin Wellness

Laura Stewart, BA Makin Wellness