Our Integrative Wellness services are designed to bridge therapeutic body-based practices with our mental health services. By integrating the two, clients gain a better understanding of how their emotions and thoughts impact their bodies and receive tools to help them feel more comfortable in their skin. These services include a comprehensive evaluation with our Integrative Wellness Director who will provide personalized recommendations. Integrative Wellness sessions include acupuncture, therapeutic massage, nutritional counseling and personal training and can be combined with any of our treatment programs.

More and more, research in psychology, physiology, and neuroscience are showing that the mind and body are intimately connected.  Whether you are having sleep problems, headaches, or stomachaches, there is very likely a psychological component at play.  What is more surprising to most people is that the reverse is also true:  All of your psychological and emotional issues also have a physical counterpart. For example, when you are stressed out, you might tense your shoulders and over time develop chronic shoulder and neck pain.  When you are nervous, you might get butterflies in your stomach, which can contribute to digestion issues such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Integrative Wellness sessions work with your mental health treatments to address both of these types of issues at one time.

WHAT IS BODYWORK?

Bodywork is a broad term that includes touch-based therapies such as therapeutic massage and acupuncture. Therapeutic massage is a touch-based treatment that helps with many physical issues such as muscle tension, injury, postural problems, as well as psychological and emotional concerns such as stress, anxiety, depression, trauma, fatigue, focus, and sleep. Acupuncture is a discipline of Traditional Chinese Medicine that works with how energy, or chi, moves through the body. It has been shown to help with a broad range of problems such as anxiety, depression, grief, headaches, sleep problems, stomachaches, IBS, and physical pain.

What to expect from bodywork sessions:

Each week you will receive a one hour session of bodywork, which may include a combination of techniques including acupuncture and/or massage.

  1. You will start the session by talking with your practitioner about the focus of the session and any concerns you may have.
  2. You will lie on a massage table with your clothes on to receive the treatment. You will need to wear comfortable clothing, such as workout apparel.
  3. Sessions may include stretching or exercises to help you rehabilitate your body beyond the session itself.
  4. In an acupuncture session, you may need to move clothing aside in order to receive needles.
  5. Communicate with your practitioner. Bodywork should not be painful. You may have a feeling of things ‘hurting so good’, the way it feels when you work out and stretch.  However, you never want to strain or brace yourself during sessions.  This is true for acupuncture as well.  Needles are not generally painful, but don’t hesitate to speak to your practitioner if you don’t want to be needled and/or you would like modifications or alternative treatments to feel more comfortable.

WHAT IS NUTRITIONAL COUNSELING?

Nutrition counseling addresses how you are feeding your body and offers food and supplements as medicine to support physical and mental health. Nutrition can address a broad array of concerns including healthy organ function, managing illness and disease, and improving mood and energy.

What to expect from nutrition sessions:

  1. During your initial session, your practitioner will assess your nutritional baseline and needs. This may include a range of questions related to how you feel when you eat and your food cravings to assessment of organ functioning and blood work.  Together, you will come up with eating and nutritional goals.
  2. During follow up sessions, your nutrition counselor will help come up with solutions to address your eating habits and/or symptoms.
  3. Sessions may include a variety of techniques such as education, intuitive eating skills, cooking classes and recipes, and assessment/evaluation.
  4. Follow-up sessions may take place over a secure phone or video conferencing platform.
  5. Communicate with your nutrition counselor. We want to set you up for success, so it is important that you feel that your goals, concerns, and needs are being met.

WHAT IS PERSONAL TRAINING?

Personal training is an umbrella term used to describe one-on-one sessions that help people meet their physical goals.  As many of us know, exercise is critical for physical fitness, such as building muscle and cardiovascular health. It also stimulates many important processes in the body that are good for mood and mental health, such as endorphin secretion and the ‘so-called’ runner’s high.  More and more, exercise is being used to improve our executive functioning, including focus, attention, and planning.

What to expect from personal training sessions:

  1. During your initial session, your trainer will assess your fitness baseline and needs. Together, you will come up with your goals, which may include increasing muscle mass, weight loss, improving energy and mood, and increasing attention and focus.
  2. Your personal trainer will create a work-out plan to address your goals and needs and help you implement it, both during and between sessions.
  3. Over the course of your time together, you and your trainer will learn about the types of fitness routines that energize you and support your needs and how to modify and adjust exercises that don’t work for you.
  4. Sessions may take place in a treatment room at Community West or off-site at a park or nearby physical fitness facility.
  5. Communicate with your personal trainer. While your trainer is there to push you, he or she is also there to empower you.  It is important that you feel that your goals, concerns, and needs are being heard and met.

Erica Ellis, PsyD, CMT is the director of the Integrative Wellness Program.

Menu