by Nicola Schuler, CNTP, MNT and Dr. Miles Nichols
Last week, we wrote about trauma and the many ways in which it can physiologically affect the body (see here for the full article). This week, we focus on solutions to address trauma using Functional Medicine.
SOLUTIONS TO TRAUMA
Is there a Functional Medicine approach?
What does Functional Medicine do in cases of trauma or PTSD?
In Functional Medicine, we will assess the general state of health in the person suffering from trauma or PTSD. This includes looking very deeply at gut health, the HPA axis, sources of potential inflammation, chronic hidden infections and many other aspects of health.
- IMPROVE GUT HEALTH: As we have written about in our Gut Series, we work extensively on improving gut health. We seek to identify any GI infections or overgrowths, dysbiosis or other gut issues, resolve them and rebalance the gut to an optimal state. You can read up on our approach in the Gut Series starting here. Or for a quicker and more individual approach, call us for a free discovery call.
- ADDRESS HPA AXIS DYSREGULATION: In our approach, we also look into the status of the HPA axis in our patients. We can do specific testing using the DUTCH test to identify hormonal imbalances and address them through diet, supplements and lifestyle changes. It is important, in the case of trauma, PTSD, anxiety and other stressful states, to help the central nervous system to move out of sympathetic mode (typically called ‘fight or flight’ mode) and into parasympathetic mode (typically called ‘rest and digest’ mode). It is also important to reset any disruptions to the circadian rhythm of the body as this will strongly impact the rhythm of cortisol and other stress hormones. We can help you to do this.
- BALANCE BLOOD SUGAR: It seems a simple thing but imbalanced blood sugar can have quite a strong impact on mood and anxiety, as well as deeper implications for insulin resistance ad possible diabetes. We can help you to adopt a diet that balances out blood sugar issues.
- REDUCE INFLAMMATION: Inflammation can be a consequence as trauma negatively impacts the microbiome, the HPA axis and the limbic system function. We can help to identify what may be causing inflammation and to reduce and calm the inflammation with our FM approach.
SUPPLEMENTS: There are a number of supplements that have proved in research to be helpful with cases of trauma:
- Cannabidiol or CBD
- Omega-3 fatty acids
- Silymarin or Milk Thistle
OTHER THERAPEUTIC OPTIONS: In addition to the above suggestions, there is a wealth of therapy options and activities that have shown to help in coping with trauma. Research shows that each of these modalities can be very effective in addressing trauma and in reducing the symptoms of PTSD, anxiety or depression often associated with exposure to trauma. Different modalities work better or less well on different people, as we are all individual. It is worth trying a few different techniques to find the one or the combination that best helps a particular individual struggling with trauma or PTSD.
In our clinic, we can help you with meditation, brain photobiomodulation, acupuncture and self-care techniques. Please ask us if you want more info on any of these:
- Meditation & mindfulness: We practice and teach Sheng Zhen Meditation – https://shengzhen.org
- Vielight or brain photobiomodulation
- Tai Chi
- Aerobic exercise
- Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing or EMDR
- Emotional Freedom Technique or EFT
- Self-care across the board, including anything calming to the individual
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Group therapy
As always, please get in touch with us. If you or someone you know is suffering from trauma, get in touch with our clinic today. Book a free 15-min discovery call to see how we can help you with your symptoms. We can answer your questions and help you book an initial consult with one of the functional medicine doctors in our clinic.