121 South Madison St.
Denver, CO 80209
Monday - Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Holistic Mental Health
After all the spectacular human accomplishments from landing on the moon to exploring ocean depths, mapping the human genome to transplanting human organs, the mind still stands as one of the most intriguing and largely unknown regions of modern medicine. Certainly, theories abound and some progress has been made regarding the role of the mind in all forms of illness, psychiatric or other. The mental-physical overlap is well known: physical disease such as a malfunctioning thyroid can present to clinicians as psychosis, and psychiatric diseases such as anxiety often have physical expression in fluttering hearts and tense muscles. But, frustrating to patients and doctors alike, many of our current treatments impart side effects that make it difficult for patients to initiate or continue treatment. Thus, the need for more options, conventional and holistic alike, is almost palpable.
Homeopathy is a gentle, safe system of medicine that utilizes natural substances in a holistic, individualized way. Homeopathic medicines, often referred to as "remedies," are prescribed with the underlying philosophy called the law of similars, or put simply, "like cures like." The basic idea is that a substance causing a particular set of symptoms in a person can cure the underlying illness manifesting those same symptoms. A couple of examples of this in the natural world include drinking a little coffee in order to address a coffee induced withdrawal headache, or the pharmaceutical prescription of Digoxin for cardiac arrhythmias (Digoxin can cause arrhythmias). The idea of prescribing medicines in a similar way is the single most important principle of homeopathy. A secondary principal of homeopathy espouses that remedies are diluted in order to make them safe to use in many contexts, including usage in infants, children, pregnant women, and elderly patients.
Of the many different natural treatments available within naturopathic medicine, homeopathy stands as quite possibly the most effective tool to address all manner of mental health conditions. Anxiety, depression, coping with the loss of a loved one, bipolar disorder, ADHD, behavioral problems, and stress are some of the mental health conditions that homeopathy can address. Within naturopathic circles, homeopathy's reputation and strong affinity for addressing mental-emotional conditions has meant that some practitioners do not utilize this therapy unless the patient carries a psychiatric diagnosis. While understandable that this reputation has developed, homeopathy also treats many physical concerns remarkably well. In fact, historically, homeopathic physicians from the early 1900's effectively treated mental illness including psychosis alongside ravaging influenza epidemics prior to the introduction of conventional drugs or antibiotics.
Nonetheless, conditions do exist where homeopathy will not be or at least is less likely to be an appropriate form of treatment. For more information on the appropriateness of homeopathy for your particular illness, please call our office to schedule your free 15 minute consultation. If Dr. Botham thinks that you are not likely to benefit from our services, you will be notified and given the contact information of a physician offering other forms of treatment for your condition.
A wholesome diet is the foundation for health. Nutrition can powerfully influence every organ system in the body, including the nervous system. Brain cells are predominantly made up of fats. A diet adequate in Omega 3 fats contributes to membrane stability and is important for brain health. Omega 3s are found in foods like salmon, walnuts, flax seed oils, and other fatty fish oils.
Sometimes excesses and deficiencies of particular nutrients can cause symptoms of mental illness. For example, low levels of Vitamin D have been associated with symptoms of depression in addition to many other symptoms. Both deficiencies and excesses of Iodine can cause problems in the Thyroid gland. When it seems warranted, Dr. Botham tests for nutrient deficiencies and recommends treatments to address particular findings.
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Exercise is critical to all health, both physical and mental. The benefits of regular exercise have typically been underestimated by most people particularly when applied toward mental health. We live in a society that does not have enough time to pursue change that may take 6 weeks to manifest.
Unfortunately, too many of us live in such a way that we are cut off from the natural world of plants, trees, animals, and all living things. We drive on concrete freeways, work in boxed cubicles, sometimes do not even see out the window during the course of our day. Many children no longer play in the dirt. While we may not consciously realize the effects of being disconnected from nature, the soul of humanity carries this grief. Often holistic healing involves developing new ways to reconnect with nature.