Health In The Bay – AILMENTS – Well-Being
Well-being can be defined as the state of being happy, healthy and prosperous. There are many factors in our busy lives that can and do impact on our sense of well-being. As such when we feel a sense of ill-being, it can be difficult to determine what factors in our life are contributing to this. At Health In The Bay we have a combination of practitioners that cover a range of modalities that can help you realise your health goals and achieve a state of well-being.
These are terms used to describe an overall feeling of tiredness or lack of energy. It isn’t the same as feeling sleepy, when you’re fatigued you have no motivation and no energy. This can be a normal response to inadequate sleep, overexertion, overworking, stress, lack of exercise, poor nutrition, boredom, or a symptom of a disorder, such as sleep apnea or depression. It may also be a side-effect of medication. When part of a normal response, lethargy often resolves with rest, adequate sleep, decreased stress, and good nutrition.
If you suffer from fatigue, as so many people do, a Nutritionist can help. Fatigue is often attributed to nutritional deficiencies, such as B vitamins, magnesium or zinc. These are utilised in numerous reactions in the body involved in energy production. A diet lacking in fresh whole foods, or high levels of stress increases the body’s requirement for these nutrients, so working with a holistic nutritionist can help you identify and address these factors and improve your energy levels.
If depression is a factor there are several resources available to support you (see Depression). Speaking with a Psychotherapist is also important, as they have several methods they may utilise that are useful in helping with depression, including Cognitive Behaviour Therapy.
Studies have also shown that Acupuncture can be effective in helping patients deal with pain that can be associated with depression. If stress is an issue for you, then both Psychotherapy and Acupuncture are very helpful in supporting our body and nervous system to deal with it.
Motivation is a concept used to explain behaviour. It is the act or process of having a reason for doing something, or being eager to act or work, and gives the reasons for people’s actions, desires and needs. A lack of motivation can impact many aspects of life, such as home, work, relationships and in pursuing goals, which often leads to indifference, unhappiness and dissatisfaction. Reasons for lack of motivation include lack of faith in one’s abilities, fear of failure (due to failure in the past), fear of what others might say, the habit of procrastination, laziness, being too stressed or nervous (which may be a disordered brain chemical response i.e. Dopamine), or inadequate stimuli or incentives.
Many of these factors can be addressed with the help of a Psychotherapist. They will help you recognise underlying reasons, and give you tools and work with you to address these issues, so they no longer have a negative impact on your motivation and consequently your relationships and goals.
Dopamine is our ‘reward’ neurotransmitter in the brain, and this governs our motivation and behavioural responses. If we have high levels of stress, this can upset the Dopamine balance. Seeing a Nutritionist can help rebalance this by using nutritional therapy and working on the gut–brain connection.
Acupuncture is also very beneficial in supporting your body to deal with stress.
Nutrition is the science that interprets the interaction of nutrients and other substances in food. It includes food intake, absorption, assimilation, energy production and excretion. Complete nutrition requires ingestion and absorption of vitamins, minerals, and food energy in the form of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Diet is the sum of food consumed, and the term often indicates the specific intake of food for health and/or weight management. Although we are omnivores there are naturally variations in our diets due to cultural, ethical and individual preferences and tastes. Dietary habits and choices play a significant role in the quality of life, health and longevity.
Poor eating habits include under- or over-eating, not having enough of the healthy foods we need each day, or consuming too much food and drinks that are low in fibre or high in fat, salt and/or sugar. These unhealthy habits can affect our nutrient intake, which directly impacts on our energy, stress, growth, reproduction and general health and wellbeing. Over time this can contribute to health problems such as being overweight or obese, some cancers, heart disease and stroke, eating disorders, type-2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, tooth decay, osteoporosis, and more.
Good nutrition and diet is the foundation of health and wellness. Understanding the right diet for you is essential to help you reach your health goals and achieve your potential. There is no ‘one fit’ for everyone, and an individualised meal planning and recipe session with a holistic Nutritionist will certainly help you on your way to finding your best diet. Think plant based, whole foods, healthy proteins and fats, and a big dollop of deliciousness and you are already halfway there!
Stress is the feeling we have when we are under pressure, when we feel everything has become too much, and we are unsure how we will cope with the pressure. A stressor is the agent or stimulus that causes that stress. Our body perceives anything that poses a challenge or a threat to our well-being as a stress. Stress can be good for you as it motivates us to do our best, and can even help keep us safe, but if the stress affects our mental and physical health, that’s considered bad stress. Our physiological reaction to stress is a response by our Nervous System to keep us safe. It responds and alters our physiology to either get away as fast as we can, or to fight. This is our Fight or Flight response.
How we respond to stress affects our health. We don’t all respond equally as we don’t interpret the situation in the same way. When managing stress what matters more than the event itself is our thoughts about the event, which influences how we interpret the level of stress. Our interpretation of events and challenges in life can determine whether they are invigorating or harmful for us.
Most of the time we can’t control the stress around us but we can change the way we perceive it, and control the way our body responds to it, and how it affects our mood, sleep, energy and overall well being. Seeing a Psychotherapist can have a great impact on how we perceive, and hence how we (and our body) respond to stress. In certain situations we can feel we are ‘over-reacting’ which means we feel it as more stressful than we expect to. These reactions can be lessened with help from a Psychotherapist.
Seeing a Nutritionist is also important, as they help and advise on supportive nutrients, the right diet for your body, and instigating positive lifestyle changes which is essential for optimal stress management.
Insomnia is an extremely common sleep disorder that can make it difficult to fall asleep, difficult to stay asleep, or cause you to wake early and not be able to get back to sleep. Insomnia can sap not only your energy level and mood but also your health, work performance and quality of life. It can be either short-term (acute) insomnia, which lasts for days or weeks, which is usually the result of stress or a traumatic event, or it can be long-term (chronic) insomnia that lasts for a month or more, which can often be due to a less obvious cause. Insomnia, especially chronic insomnia, will often lead to other problems such as: daytime tiredness or sleepiness; irritability, depression or anxiety; difficulty paying attention, focusing on tasks or remembering; increased errors or accidents; and ongoing worries about sleep.
Apart from stress, other causes can be imbalances in brain neurotransmitter chemicals, (which can be associated with disrupted circadian rhythms including jet lag), dietary deficiencies or the overuse of stimulants. Adrenal health may also be a factor as the body operates more in a ‘flight or fight’ response, and doesn’t allow optimal time for recovery, rest and relaxation.
Seeing a Nutritionist can help in a number of ways. They may refer you for a Neurotransmitter and Adrenal profile, which can provide excellent data regarding your diurnal cortisol / melatonin cycle and brain health. Nutritional support for this can result in healthy sleep and optimal energy levels at the correct times of the day.
If you’re suffering from trauma and/or stress it can be helpful to see a Psychotherapist who can help you identify, address and cope with the stress. They can also support you and give you tools and resources to help you through these traumatic periods.
Anxiety is defined as feelings of stress and worry that do not subside once the cause has passed. They are ongoing and exist without any particular reason or cause. It is a condition that interferes with life and makes it difficult to cope with daily life. Common symptoms are panic attacks, racing heart, tightness in chest, quick breathing, hot and cold flushes, and feeling tense and edgy, as well as feelings of excessive fear, worry and obsessive thinking. Anxiety can result in avoiding a situation that makes you feel anxious, and will often impact on study, work, social life and relationships.
There are different types of anxiety, e.g. phobia, social phobia, panic disorder, PTSD, OCD.
Treatments vary depending on the phobia and the severity of the symptoms. If moderate to severe, medication may be useful. If mild, a change in lifestyle including reducing stress levels and having regular exercise, and learning to meditate can be enough. Often Counselling and Psychotherapy are important to help you recognise and work through past experiences that are contributing to your present emotional situation.
Acupuncture is also very helpful in getting the body to be more relaxed, and by reducing stress in the body, day-to-day life becomes less overwhelming.
Nutritionally we can look at gut health (is leaky gut or dysbiosis present?), deficiencies, impaired methylation or whether Pyrroles is present. Correcting and balancing gut health is very important due to the gut-brain connection and the impact it has on our mental health status.
Depression is described as intense feelings of sadness, moodiness or feeling low/down for extended periods of time, and sometimes without any obvious reason. You commonly have these feelings for more than 2 weeks and you may have lost interest or pleasure in usual activities. Common symptoms or behaviours include not going out much; not getting things done; withdrawing from friends/family; relying on alcohol and/or sedatives; unable to concentrate; feeling overwhelmed, unhappy, disappointed, miserable, frustrated, irritable and guilty; and thoughts of being worthless and feeling that life is not worth living. Physical symptoms include being tired, alert, sick and run down, headaches, insomnia, change of appetite and significant weight changes.
If you are experiencing these symptoms and thoughts it is important to get support. There are many resources available with someone to talk to often 24hrs a day, such as:
- Lifeline 13 11 14 https://www.lifeline.org.au/
- Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800 https://kidshelpline.com.au/
- Sane Helpline 1800 18 7263 https://www.sane.org/get-help
- Headspace 1800 650 890 http://headspace.org.au/
- Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636 https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/get-immediate-support
- Mensline 1300 78 99 78 https://www.mensline.org.au/
Speaking with a Psychotherapist is important, as they have several methods they may utilise that are useful in helping with depression, including Cognitive Behaviour Therapy.
If you need immediate help, please call Helpline 123-123.
If you need immediate help, please call Helpline 123-123.
The information on this website is not intended to diagnose, treat or replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional who is familiar with your individual situation and is not intended as medical advice. You should not begin treatment with us if you have a medical condition that precludes any of our therapies or changes to nutritional or exercise routines.