The MLRA Therapy Blog

Insights and ideas from the therapist team at Meghan L. Reitz and Associates.

The Whole Person: Successful Treatment Options

If you struggle to get a handle on physical, mental, and/or emotional aspects of yourself, this article is for you. Often people struggle with one or more of these areas in their lives. We tend to turn towards medications to relieve ailments of both the physical and non-physical sort. There is a tendency to be reactionary rather than proactive in our approaches to taking care of ourselves.

It is important to recognize your stressors and triggers in order to truly get an idea of what the root causes are for your problems. By simply putting a band-aid on it, we may see some brief relief, but the true problems still exist. This is why it is extremely imperative that individuals take a serious look into how to bring about healthy alternatives for every piece of his/her well-being.

In simple terms, make a brief evaluation of what you're struggling with. This could be physical pain, mental exhaustion, or emotional distress. Putting this information in black and white is key to really hit home what types of issues you might be tackling. The next step is to look at what you are currently doing to help relieve some of this distress. You might be suprised that you aren't doing much at all or that how you cope with it tends to make it worse.

The following suggestions should be taken into account while you're sorting out your problems/issues:

  • What is your family physical and mental health and substance abuse history?
  • Are you seeing a physician that you feel comfortable with and trust?
  • What does your diet look like?
  • What does your level of exercise look like?
  • What are your sleep habits?
  • What are your alcohol and drug habits?
  • Do you practice some type of spirituality (this is not necessarily a religious belief)?
  • What does your support system consist of?

It certainly can be exhausting sitting down and putting answers to all of these questions. However, once you make that step, you can then look at what types of things need to be changed or tweaked. It can be overwhelming to figure out how to tackle each and everyone of these areas. That is why it is extremely important to take baby steps when challenging yourself. If you take on too much, you might find yourself giving up. The key to all of this is to take care of you!

So you have made your list of triggers, put answers to paper to the above questions, and now what? Consider the following options to help make forward progress:

  • Consider seeking therapy or counseling.
  • Consider seeing a dietitian or nutritionist.
  • Obtain a physical from your primary care physician to rule out any medical issues.
  • Consider joining a gym or simply start walking or do yoga.
  • Implement meditation (you can get free meditation techniques online).
  • Cut out alcohol and drugs.
  • Search for your higher power.
  • Establish a phone or email tree of those in your support network whom you can reach out to when needed.

Something else to think about is what other approaches are out there rather than traditional Western Medicine? Luckily in this day in age, Eastern/Holistic Medicine and thought practices are being incorporated into health and wellness. All you have to do is a little research on what appeals to you. A brief list of options include:

  • Acupuncture
  • Aromatherapy
  • Massage
  • Hypnosis
  • Yoga
  • Meditation
  • Herbal Supplements
  • Tai Chi
  • Reiki
  • Reflexology

This of course is not an exhaustive list, but many of the above approaches are natural and without added chemicals or harmful consequences to the body. Please know that there is definitely a place for Western Medicine in all of this. If you take medication for diabetes, keep taking medication for diabetes. If you take medication to manage Bipolar Disorder, keep taking your medication and consult your psychiatrist.

A combination of mental health therapy, physical activity, and medications often work well together. It is when we only do a piecemeal job of it that we tend to see little to no relief from the issues that ail us. For more information on some of the approaches above and more, check out this website:


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