If you are considering the benefits of CBD softgels or capsules you are likely exploring your alternative wellness options. With a growing focus on the connection between mind, body, and spirit many patients and physicians are exploring integrated and holistic options as both a proactive and reactive approach to health. Here’s a closer look at a few modern and timeless options you can turn to when personalizing your wellness routine.
Identifying The Root Cause First
When it comes to chronic conditions or recent changes in health, prescriptions most often treat the symptoms, not the root cause. For example, if you have recently developed migraines your physician may provide a prescription to alleviate your intense pain. However, they may ask you to keep a food journal and daily journal with specific questions to address the root cause of your migraines—such as a food allergy or extreme weather changes. Or, referring you to a chiropractor to realign your spine. This is the approach an integrative physician takes.
Integrative physicians are trained in both western and eastern medicine. Their initial intake visit is often an hour-long as they take a detailed medical history and run standard blood, urine, and stool tests. Unlike in some doctor’s offices, you will never feel rushed and always feel like you are a priority.
While they aim to minimize extreme symptoms ASAP, your treatment plan is long-term and holistic. You aren’t just asked about your physical health but also your mental, social, and emotional health, job, relationships, family, and more—all of which can be contributing factors to everything from pain to insomnia, weight gain, and a long list of chronic conditions.
For example, diet and exercise are often considered the way to resolve weight gain. However, weight gain could be a symptom of insomnia, a thyroid disorder, ovarian cancer, trauma, and more. Without identifying the root cause, diet and exercise can only go so far.
Integrative physicians are more likely to prescribe lifestyle changes, nutritional changes, and therapies of every kind—physical, mental, and alternative. This can be an adjustment because we are all used to the prescription-centered healthcare model.
Alternatives To Addictive Pain Relievers
Although legal in all 50 states, CBD is not regulated by the FDA and is considered a dietary supplement along the same lines as food. The benefits of CBD softgels or capsules have not been studied enough to be classified as a drug.
There is far more research on the medicinal benefits of marijuana. The research is so powerful that it has led to the legalization of medicinal marijuana in 36 states and full legalization in 18 states, with a growing list of states working on laws.
What CBD and marijuana have in common is the active compound (CBD) that activates the endocannabinoid system, linking the central and peripheral nervous systems. Linking these two systems activates the process of homeostasis in the body which is responsible for promoting natural pain relief. So, with CBD you can enjoy the benefits of marijuana without the THC—therefore without the high.
Between the rise in the opioid epidemic and the long-term side effects of over-the-counter anti-inflammatories, many are turning to CBD to soothe and calm their muscles. This includes many who once were anti-CBD.
Patient-Centered And Personalized Wellness
Instead of implementing a primarily “one-size-fits-most” approach to health and wellness, many physicians are shifting towards personalized patient care. This approach requires more time upfront and ongoing from both the physician and the patient, meaning more doctor’s appointments—not less.
This often includes a combination of telemedicine and in-person visits, where your physician or nurse practitioner video chats, emails, or calls to check in. The objective is to determine what is and isn’t working and to make adjustments sooner than standard follow-up visits—but without the need to take time off of work. This approach also holds patients accountable for their health, which is also a growing trend.
Real-Time Patient Accountability
Modern technology is holding patients accountable for their wellness plan better than ever before. Even simple tools such as a smartwatch generate health and wellness reminders throughout the day. Other wearables and at-home devices can track vitals, prescription consistency, physical fitness, sleep patterns, and more. With increasingly busy schedules, the reminders alone can have a powerful impact.
All data collected is shared in comprehensive reports for both the patient and the physician. This modern technology is also integrated and provides real-time updates to the physician. While the information securely transfers to the physician in real-time, they are only updated when the patient falls within the parameters they have designated. For example, an extreme spike in blood sugar, several missed prescriptions, or high blood pressure.
Many physicians are also utilizing predictive AI that takes each patient’s data and suggests the direction their health is most likely heading at their current rate. This is an exciting new way to be proactive and catch many health concerns before they progress.
Personalized Physical Fitness
Physical fitness must also be personalized. This includes working out at least 150 minutes per week, combining cardio and strength training. However, traditional workouts are no longer enough. With many of us sitting 8 or more hours a day at work and more when we get home, we must move more all day long.
Begin by finding a workout you enjoy, but also consider working short-term with a personal trainer to discuss your fitness goals. A trainer can help you tone the areas you are self-conscious about and identify exercises that won’t irritate old injuries. They will also improve your body mechanics and increase the intensity of your workout. You may enjoy personal training so much that you stick with it, even if only a day or two a week.
If traditional workouts aren’t for you or you often get bored, mix things up by playing sports, trying different workout studios, hiking, swimming, cycling outdoors, jogging, yoga, Pilates, and more.
Beyond the gym, consider adding either or both an AM and PM stretch session. Also, head online for fitness or lifestyle-specific stretching and strengthening. For example, many of us have technology-induced pain or stiffness so identify counter stretches. For small areas such as the fingers or wrists, daily exercises and stretches are fast and easy and can be done almost anywhere.
Last but not least, program your wearable technology to remind yourself to stand, walk, and stretch at least once per hour. It may not sound like much, but without reminders, it’s easy to forget to get up—particularly when at work. Also, take advantage of any ergonomic office upgrades offered by your employer or invest in your own. If you work from home, squeeze a micro workout in during the day.
We covered personal trainers above, but they are just one of the specialty practitioners to consider. Begin by asking your physician for referrals to practitioners that may be able to help you refine your wellness routine. If your physician doesn’t have any suggestions, search on your own—paying particular attention to specialists that resonate with you.
Most of us are unaware of the range of wellness options available to us, as there are so many to choose from. Begin by performing an online search for “alternative treatments for XYZ”. Don’t count anything out that pops up because what you’re doing now isn’t working so it’s time for a change. For example:
A nutritionist can teach you how to transition back to whole foods, ensure the proper calories and nutrients for your lifestyle, and select foods for your chronic conditions.
While massage therapy is often thought of for relaxation, it can be powerful for managing pain and stress. It is a practice that is proactive and reactive and there are many massage modalities to choose from.
Your integrated health practitioner may suggest acupuncture or acupressure. Both activate your body’s natural healing abilities by releasing blockage and increasing flow in your body’s meridians and energy centers.
There are an increasing amount of sound and energy therapies to choose from. While they may sound a bit woo-woo, they can rapidly improve focus, relax your body, or calm your racing mind. Consider live gongs and chimes, tuning fork practitioners, ASMR, binaural beats, sounds of nature, and more.
Prioritizing Mental Health
We are in an empowering time where the stigma of mental health is slowly but surely being erased. This shift is occurring nationwide, including communities of color where silence has long been the expectation. Mental health treatments include traditional talk therapy and alternative therapies for depression, anxiety, grief, racism, trauma, addiction, anger issues, PTSD, family systems, and any chronic or acute behavioral, health, or lifestyle changes.
Many people are still unclear about how a licensed professional can help, especially what the benefits are if you don’t have a diagnosed chronic concern. First, you may have a disorder that hasn’t been diagnosed yet. A diagnosis is beneficial, as being able to name your area of opportunity can bring an immediate sense of relief. Then, you can create a strategic plan to manage or reduce your symptoms and their impact on your life.
Some diagnoses are short-term, such as grief and depression after a loved one dies or you separate from your spouse. Or maybe you have severe stress or anxiety after being diagnosed with cancer, losing your job, or while in the midst of financial stress.
Always search for a mental health practitioner who specializes in your condition, and ensure you are aware of the treatment strategy they utilize. Treatment strategies almost always include talk therapy but are often combined with complementary methods such as EMDR, behavioral therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, humanistic therapy, and more. Just like anything, you must find both the method and the practitioner that is right for you.
Let’s take a quick look at the general types of mental health practitioners:
- Psychotherapist, psychiatrist, and psychologist are terms that are often used interchangeably. These are licensed professionals who treat patients who require long-term treatment for chronic conditions. As long as they have both their license and their doctorate, they can prescribe medications.
- Therapists and counselors are licensed professionals who often assist with shorter-term conditions, even if over a long period of time. For example, a marriage or family counselor who you and your spouse or family check in with as-needed. They cannot prescribe medication but may discuss the benefits of CBD softgels or capsules with you.
- Some coaches are licensed therapists who work in hyper-targeted areas to accelerate a predetermined change. However, many coaches do not have a therapy license and have formal coach training instead. For example, a career coach when you know you want to make a career change but aren’t sure what you want to do next or aren’t sure where to begin. Coaches are often worked with short-term at least a few times a week. They provide an unbiased opinion, help you create a strategy, hold you accountable to your goals, and cheer you on. They cannot prescribe medication.
Long-Term Lifestyle Changes
The shift to holistic health is broken into physical, mental, emotional, social, intellectual, and spiritual. So, it’s time to look at each of these areas of your life and consider where you can improve. Make one small change at a time so that you don’t feel overwhelmed. Here are a few factors to consider in each holistic area:
Physical lifestyle changes—getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night, improving quality of sleep, improved nutrition, physical fitness, proper hydration, and keeping sugar and alcohol to a minimum.
Mental—we discussed mental health above, but in addition to therapy consider practicing mindfulness, eat brain-healthy foods, and prioritize gut health.
Social—prioritize quality time with those who lift you up, set boundaries with those who drag you down, and get more involved in your community.
Intellectual—learn and try new things, read books, play brain games, and challenge yourself in exciting ways.
Emotional—talk therapy, learn how to accurately identify your emotions, learn how to identify other’s emotions, and journal to get things out.
Spiritual—practice or recommit to your faith of choice, explore other religions, read about the history of religion, spend time in nature, or meditate.
As you can see, there are countless natural wellness options to choose from. While they require a high level of participation on your part, you will feel empowered and in control as you listen to your body and make choices that are right for you. We invite you to the Holmes Organics blog to learn more about the benefits of CBD softgels or capsules for your personalized wellness routine.