Exercise and Mental Health Issues - Exploring the Benefits

Treatment for mental health issues includes medications, innovative treatment services, behavioral therapies, and more. But, while all of these treatment methods work to effectively relieve some of the debilitating symptoms of mental health issues and are important for healing, there are also some things that people can do outside of the treatment in order to help to manage symptoms of mental health issues as well. This includes using exercise as a method of self-care and mood management. Exercise and mental health is a topic that every person struggling with mental health issues should consider as exercise promotes a number of mental health benefits.

Exercise Can Help You Sleep Better

Many people who are diagnosed with mental health issues also struggle with sleep issues. This can include either not being able to fall asleep and not sleeping enough or sleeping too much. Sleep issues can actually make mental health issues even worse. So, it’s important for people living with mental health issues to attempt to get better and more effective sleep. Exercise can help to get both the body and mind more tired. Thus, making it easier to go to sleep when you want to and stay asleep longer. Furthermore, getting more exercise reduces the chance of sleeping throughout the day, which can make falling asleep and getting enough sleep at night more difficult.

Exercise Can Help Stimulate Positive Emotions

Living with mental health issues often comes with experiencing a wide range of negative emotions that can be uncontrollable. Exercise can actually help to promote positive emotions. This is because exercise can lift self-confidence and make you feel better about yourself. In addition, exercising actually works on a physiological level by stimulating the release of endorphins, which can actually help how the brain manages moods. So, if you’re looking for a way to better manage moods that are brought on by mental health issues, exercise can be a good tool to use.

Exercise Can Make You Feel More Energetic

A symptom of mental health issues can be chronic fatigue and exhaustion. But, physical exercise can actually make you feel more energized. When you first start exercising, your body may feel more tired as your body gets used to the activity. But, after a while and with a set routine, exercise can actually improve energy levels and make you less exhausted. So, people living with exhaustion as a mental health symptom can utilize exercise as a way to experience higher levels of energy.

Exercise and Mental Health – Getting More With Treatment Services

Exercise isn’t a cure-all for symptoms of mental health issues. But, it can be a useful tool to combat many of the issues that come with mental health conditions on a daily basis. For more intensive care and symptom relief, treatment is necessary. For example, outpatient treatment services like counseling, behavioral therapy, psychiatric medications, and other treatment services are all available and helpful to reduce the severity and frequency of symptoms of mental health issues.

Synchrony Brain Health offers mental health treatment approaches that are geared towards treating the brain. As the brain is responsible for many of the symptoms of mental health issues, it’s imperative to assess and treat the brain if you’re looking to find relief from mental health issues. We offer a number of brain-based mental health treatment services at our outpatient facility. Find out more about these services right on our website to learn about how we can help you or a loved one living with the debilitating symptoms of a mental health condition.

How Trauma Informed Yoga Can Help People With PTSD

Yoga is a type of exercise that utilizes mindfulness-based techniques in order to heal both the body and mind. But, for people who suffer from the lasting impacts of trauma, traditional yoga settings and sessions can actually do more harm than good. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), is a mental health condition that develops as the result of experiencing a traumatic event. While not every person who has experienced a traumatic event will develop PTSD, over 12 million people in the US are diagnosed with this condition. For these individuals, it’s important to find ways to manage the effects that trauma has on life as symptoms of PTSD can be debilitating and severe. And, one of the ways that people living with PTSD can work to manage symptoms is by utilizing trauma informed yoga. This type of yoga provides a safe and understanding environment, unlike traditional yoga studios and sessions, in order for people who are impacted by PTSD to use yoga for what it’s intended – to heal.

Understanding More About Trauma and PTSD

Trauma differs from PTSD. Trauma is a natural reaction to a dangerous or life-altering situation that leads to negative impacts on physical and mental health. But, almost everyone in their life will at some point experience a traumatic event. PTSD is a mental health disorder that is developed as a result of experiencing a traumatic event or series of events in which the effects of trauma do not resolve after a period of time. Furthermore, people who are diagnosed with PTSD may have traumatic responses when they are no longer in danger or physically impacted by the traumatic event or events they’ve experienced.

Some examples of traumatic experiences that can lead to a PTSD diagnosis may include:

  • war combat
  • being diagnosed with a life-altering injury or illness
  • surviving a natural disaster
  • losing a loved one suddenly
  • witnessing or being the victim of a violent crime
  • abuse (sexual, physical, emotional, or neglect)
  • being in a vehicular accident
  • and more

Identifying What Trauma Informed Yoga Is

So, what is trauma informed yoga? Yoga is a type of therapy that impacts not only the body but the mind as well. The same goes for trauma – it can affect both the mind and body. So, during trauma informed yoga sessions, individuals have a chance to explore how yoga can help to heal the impacts that trauma has on both the mind and body.

Trauma informed yoga differs from traditional yoga because instructors in trauma informed yoga sessions understand that each participant has been affected by trauma in some way. This allows for an open and understand environment that doesn’t place any expectations on individuals. And, rather than offering yoga approaches that can trigger the thoughts and memories of traumatic experiences, trauma informed yoga provides space and methods of yoga that can in fact stimulate the healing of experienced trauma.

For example, some of the factors of trauma informed yoga sessions can include:

-helping individuals improve their self-awareness and control of their bodies in a guided and supportive way to make them feel safe
-improve the dysfunctioning of the nerves which is a common response to trauma and can help people with PTSD feel more connected to themselves and the world around them

Trauma Informed Yoga at Synchrony

If you are diagnosed with PTSD and are looking for a safe and supported space to heal, trauma informed yoga may be an asset you can utilize for your treatment planning. Synchrony Brain Health provides individuals who are diagnosed with PTSD with a number of treatment tools, including trauma informed yoga. Find out more about our Trauma Resolution services and our introduction to trauma informed yoga from our website to learn more.

What are the Benefits of Using Alpha Stim Treatment?

Alpha stim treatment, or CES therapy, is a type of treatment that is gaining popularity among people looking to ease symptoms of various mental health issues. There are many advantages to choosing this type of therapy. So, what is it, is it something you should consider, and what are its benefits?

What is Alpha Stim Treatment?

Alpha stim treatment, also known as cranial electrotherapy stimulation (CES), is a type of therapy that uses electrodes that are responsible for sending current pulses in order to provide neurostimulation. These electro currents work to target the vestibulocochlear nerve and the regions of the brain that surround this nerve. The vestibulocochlear nerve is located near the ear and is responsible for balance and the transmittance of sound. So, alpha stim devices are attached to the earlobe in order to send wave signals to this nerve.

What Can Alpha Stim Treatment Help With?

There are a number of things that alpha stim therapy can help with. Some of these issues include:

Symptoms of Depression: This type of therapy is known to help with mood stabilization. So, people diagnosed with depressive disorders can use this treatment in order to help manage moods, including feelings of sadness and despair, which are common symptoms of depressive disorders.

Symptoms of Anxiety: Along with mood management for people with depressive disorders, alpha stim therapy can also help with feelings of anxiety. People diagnosed with anxiety disorders who utilize alpha stim therapy may feel more relaxed and have less severe levels of stress.

Sleep Disturbances: Many mental health issues, including substance use disorder and PTSD, can come with symptoms that affect sleep habits. Alpha stim therapy can promote better sleep, making it a helpful tool for people living with these types of mental health issues too.

Some of the Benefits of Alpha Stim Therapy

Along with helping to ease symptoms of multiple mental health conditions, there are also some benefits of alpha stim therapy that make it a better option for many people than other types of available treatments. Thus, making it a considerable option for people who may be wanting to add to their treatment planning and improve the outcomes of other types of treatments. Some of the benefits of using alpha stim treatment during mental health treatment include:

Minimal Side Effects: There is no anesthesia, medication, or downtime required for patients who choose to use alpha stim therapy. It’s a completely non-invasive treatment that isn’t painful. Furthermore, due to its non-invasive nature, there are little to no side effects associated with this treatment. Thus, making it a great therapy to choose when people want to steer clear of side effects, pain, and invasive procedures.

It Can Improve Balance: Alpha stim therapy is one of the only types of therapies that can treat both symptoms of anxiety and depression. This is because it improves mood management, helping patients to balance their emotions. As alpha stim can assist with normalizing brain activity, this allows for a more balanced and regulated brain which can result in feeling more balanced overall as an individual.

It’s Simple and Easy: People who want to use alpha stim therapy don’t have to worry about uprooting their lives and taking large chunks out of their day to utilize this type of therapy. Typical alpha stim devices are easy to use and can be implemented easily in daily life. Alpha stim units are traditionally hand’s-free, making it possible to enjoy and participate in other activities while utilizing this therapy.

Using CES Therapy at Synchrony Brain Health

Synchrony Brain Health is an outpatient mental health treatment center located near Chicago that offers a number of brain-focused treatments, including alpha stim, or CES, for patients in our care. Find out more about our available treatment services and CES treatment on our website.

Who Does dTMS Help and How Does it Work? | Synchrony Brain Health®

Around the globe, dTMS is becoming a popular therapy for use in both physical and mental health ailments. But, who are the candidates for dTMS therapy, what conditions does it help with, and how does it work to provide results?

As the first and now leading provider of dTMS therapy in Chicagoland, Synchrony Brain Health is committed to providing answers about this type of therapy so that more people in the area can get the sustained and lasting healing they’re looking to find.

What is dTMS?

Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, or dTMS, is an innovative therapy that helps provide symptom relief for both physical and mental health conditions and symptoms. It’s completely non-invasive, so it doesn’t require surgical techniques, medication for sedation, or any recovery time post-treatment sessions. Essentially, dTMS uses brain mapping technology to pinpoint areas of the brain that are responsible for various physical and mental health symptoms. And, after brain mapping, uses a device that works to send electromagnetic pulses into the brain to painlessly stimulate brain function in areas of the brain that may not be functioning properly.

Who Does dTMS Help?

Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation therapy can help people who are dealing with a number of physical and mental health issues. FDA approved indications for dTMS include:

  • Major Depression
  • Depression with anxiety
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
  • Nicotine addiction; (smoking cessation)
  • Other psychiatric conditions for which there is clinical experience of improvement with dTMS include:
    -Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
    -Chronic Pain

Some Things You Can Expect to Happen During dTMS Sessions

It’s easy to become overwhelmed with all the different types of treatments available for both physical and mental health issues. Knowing what you can expect during treatment sessions can help ease apprehension and help you gain confidence in knowing that you’re choosing the best treatment option for you.

Some of the things you can expect during dTMS therapy sessions include:

  • Measuring your head to determine where the machinery will sit during the session
  • Having the helmet placed on your head in order to administer the electromagnetic pulses
  • Turning the equipment on so that the coil can send electromagnetic pulses through the brain
  • Sitting in a comfortable position for 19 minutes throughout the session in order to complete the session
  • Going about your day as sessions don’t require any form of sedation or recovery time
  • Receiving sessions a number of times during the week for 6 weeks up to 3 months (depending on the severity of your symptoms and the diagnosed condition)


Getting Help Through dTMS From Synchrony Brain Health

Looking for a qualified dTMS practitioner in Illinois? Synchrony Brain Health offers a number of revolutionary therapies for people dealing with both physical and mental health issues, including dTMS. Find out more about what to expect from dTMS sessions and this therapy offered at our Evanston location today on our website.

Exploring the Benefits of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)

Mindfulness-based stress reduction, or MBSR, is an approach to treating symptoms of various mental health issues without psychopharmaceuticals or invasive treatment. It allows for a holistic, complementary tool that’s commonly used alongside other types of mental health treatments in order to stimulate further healing and symptom relief. Essentially, the goal of MBSR sessions is to provoke feelings of mindfulness, which is basically the skill of remaining in the present moment. Mindfulness is used in mental health treatment to alleviate stress and worry about the past and future so that individuals can better focus on their present healing journey and treatment.

MBSR is growing in popularity due to its effectiveness in helping to reduce debilitating symptoms of mental health patients. And, because it offers a number of helpful benefits for those who utilize it. But, what can one expect from using this type of approach? Furthermore, what are the benefits you can expect from using MBSR on your own mental health recovery journey?

What Are MBSR Sessions Like?

MBSR sessions occur on an outpatient basis typically once a week for a period of 8 weeks time. Traditionally, sessions last about 2 or three hours each session. During the time spent in an MBSR session, individuals can expect to be guided by a mental health specialist. And, introduced to various mindfulness techniques that can help to reduce feelings of stress, anxiety, and even chronic pain. MBSR uses mindfulness in order to help individuals practice living in the present moment which can help to promote feelings of calmness and a better sense of emotional control. Sessions are group-based, so they are conducted in a group environment and are usually led by one counselor.

Practices Used During MBSR Sessions

There are a number of mindfulness techniques that may be introduced during MBSR sessions including:

Journal Writing: One of the ways to promote mindfulness is to journal about what a person is grateful for in their life. This can help to remind oneself about the things in life that are going right and what they appreciate. Thus, providing a more positive, hopeful perspective.

Meditation: When most people think of mindfulness, they think of meditation. Meditation is a great mindfulness practice because it allows a person to sit and focus on the present moment and ward off any outside distractions. During meditation, individuals focus on specific feelings, breathing, and areas of the body. This way, they can direct their thoughts on what they can control in the here and now.

Yoga: Along with meditation, yoga is one of the most popular tools that evokes mindfulness. Yoga is a type of stretching exercise that is slow-paced and helps a person to focus on what’s happening in the current moment. It also helps a person to relax and stimulate a calming and peaceful state.

Breathing: Practicing breathing techniques is another way to provoke mindfulness. Deep breathing exercises can help the body and mind to relax. And, help a person to focus on what they’re currently feeling and release negative tension and thoughts that can relate to anxiety and stress.

The Many Benefits of MBSR

The benefits of MBSR can vary from person to person, depending on each individual and their mental health goals, needs, and expectations. However, MBSR is shown to provide a number of benefits including:

  • reduced chronic pain
  • reduction in severity and duration of migraines
  • improved quality of life
  • reduced stress
  • improved organ/bodily system functioning
  • reduced anxiety and depression
  • reduced suicidal thoughts and idealization
  • reduction in destructive thoughts and beliefs
  • improved memory and concentration

Using Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction at Synchrony

Synchrony Behavioral Health is an outpatient mental health treatment facility that believes that people living with mental health issues should have access to treatments that go beyond traditional therapy and treatment. That’s why we offer MBSR as a complementary tool for people who want to access this kind of help. Find out more about our mental health treatment services and facility on our website.

Why Ketamine Therapy for Depression is Becoming so Popular

If you’ve been diagnosed with a depressive disorder and haven’t gotten the relief you want with traditional treatments like antidepressants or talk therapy, you may be searching for alternative methods of symptom relief. That’s where ketamine therapy for depression comes in. Ketamine therapy is becoming exceedingly popular for its use in reducing symptoms in people struggling with treatment-resistant depression, and for good reasons. Find out why this type of therapy is making the news and becoming so widely available and whether or not you may be a good candidate for ketamine treatments.

The Need for Ketamine Treatments

Treatment-resistant depression is when a person with a depressive disorder doesn’t respond well to traditional treatment methods like psychiatric medications or counseling sessions. Unfortunately, according to statistics, treatment-resistant depression is very prevalent, with 2.8 million individuals living with this type of depression in the US today. This presents a need for treatment that goes beyond traditional therapies for depression, and ketamine is that solution. Rather than mask the symptoms of depression, ketamine therapy works to address the causes of depression by influencing specific neurons in the brain that are responsible for depressive symptoms.

The Different Types of Ketamine Applications

Currently, there are a few different ways to administer ketamine for use in reducing symptoms of treatment-resistant depression. The different applications for ketamine therapy include:

Intravenous: This is the most typical and common type of ketamine administration. It involves administering ketamine straight into the bloodstream by use of an IV. Low doses of ketamine are slowly introduced into the bloodstream in a medical setting. This way, medical staff can carefully monitor patients. These therapy sessions can take up to 45 minutes, but as the ketamine releases immediately, symptom relief also happens instantly.

Esketamine Nasal Spray: Esketamine is another form of ketamine. It was produced for use to administer the medication in other ways. For example, by inhalation. Brands like Spravato make inhaling esketamine an easy method of using ketamine for depression treatment as they’ve made an esketamine nasal inhaler. This administration is also necessary under the guidance of medicinal care but makes application quick and easy. Plus, inhaling a substance introduces the medication directly into the bloodstream. Therefore, patients also see immediate symptom relief with this type of administration as well.

The type of administration of ketamine depends on the needs and preferences of each patient. If you’re considering using ketamine treatment for depression, speak with your mental health practitioner to determine which application may be best for you.

Some Important Information to Know About Ketamine Therapy

People looking to utilize additional tools to manage depression symptoms may have questions about ketamine therapy. Therefore, there are some things you should know about this type of therapy for depression include:

  • the dose used in ketamine therapy for depression is very low which reduces the risk of tolerance and dependency
  • symptom relief can often occur in as little as 1-3 treatment sessions
  • people who experience symptom relief in the first few sessions can continue the use of ketamine treatments

Talk to Synchrony About Your Treatment-Resistant Depression Relief Options

Finally, if you or a loved one is struggling with treatment-resistant depression, ketamine therapy may be the tool you’re looking for to reduce and relieve symptoms. Synchrony Brain Health offers ketamine treatment for qualifying patients. So, learn more about how we offer alternatives to traditional mental health treatments at our facility from our website.

What is Neurofeedback Therapy and What are its Benefits?

Wanting to have better brain function and manage more of the symptoms brought on by mental health issues? With a revolutionary therapy approach, neurofeedback, people all over the world are beginning to experience these benefits. But, what is neurofeedback therapy, and what are the advantages of using this type of therapy for someone living with mental health issues?

What is Neurofeedback Therapy?

Neurofeedback is a type of therapy that uses brain training and biofeedback simultaneously in order to condition the brain to change certain functions and be able to self-regulate. Thus, allowing for a number of different changes to a patient’s lifestyle including behaviors and reduced mental health symptoms.

The Process: How Does Neurofeedback Work?

Essentially, Neurotherapy begins by hooking a patient up to an electroencephalography device to perform an EEG, which monitors brainwaves. Then, the patient is given visual and auditory cues and the brain waves are recorded for the neuro therapist to review. Finally, feedback allows for the subconscious brain to respond differently to the visual and auditory cues, which allows for a change in how the brain responds to these cues. Therefore, helping the brain to gradually respond differently and self-regulate to various cues on its own, allows for a number of benefits and better brain function altogether.

Overall, neurofeedback therapy helps to identify and regulate brain waves that are either over-responsive or under-responsive. In many cases of mental health issues, symptoms arise due to brain patterns. Brain waves either over-respond or under respond to various cues in people with mental health issues. This is either due to genetics or environmental factors. So, helping the brain to regulate, rather than over or under-stimulation, promotes a better functioning brain. And, a reduction in symptoms of all types of mental health issues.

What are the Benefits of Using This Type of Therapy?

Neurofeedback involves measuring brainwaves and conditioning to respond differently so they do so even after therapy sessions conclude. Thus, the results of this therapy are long-lasting. So, it’s a great technique to use for individuals looking for long-lasting changes to the way their mental health issues impact their lives.

Some of the benefits of choosing neurofeedback therapy to help with the symptoms of mental health conditions include:

Better Brain Function: With self-regulation brought on by this type of therapy, the brain is better prepared to respond to arousal. Therefore, helping patients who use this therapy to better respond both cognitively and behaviorally to various life events.

Eases the Nervous System: Those living with anxiety and high levels of stress can benefit from neurofeedback as it helps to calm the nervous system. When the brain is able to self-regulate, it can better focus on helping to keep the body calm.

Managing ADHD Symptoms: Along with anxiety and stress, ADHD is a condition that may be caused by overstimulation of the brain. So, self-regulation through neurofeedback can help individuals living with ADHD to reduce symptoms of this condition as well.

Neurofeedback at Synchrony Brain Health in Illinois

Dealing with the symptoms of mental health issues can be challenging. And, taking medications and using different types of therapy may not work for everyone. Are you ready to approach your mental health symptoms from where they begin, the brain? If so, you may be interested to try neurofeedback therapy. This revolutionary, FDA-approved therapy offers long-lasting and real results for patients living with a number of issues including:

  • Anxiety and stress
  • Depression and other mood disorders
  • PTSD
  • ADHD
  • OCD
  • Addiction
  • Eating disorders
  • and more!

Learn more about our outpatient approach to healing the brain on our website and contact us today to speak with us confidentially about how we can help.

Some Helpful and Simple Ways to Deal With Anxiety

Those diagnosed with anxiety disorders live with high levels of stress and anxiety, so much that it’s debilitating to everyday tasks and responsibilities. Anxiety disorders are some of the most prevalent mental health disorders in the world, affecting over 19%, or more than 40 million Americans. But, while anxiety and the symptoms that come with it are challenging, it doesn’t have to take over your life. Fortunately, there are ways to deal with anxiety so that people diagnosed with these disorders can establish a high quality of life. And, continue doing the things they love.

Some ways to deal with anxiety and reduce symptoms of anxiety disorders include:

First Thing’s First; Learning to Accept Your Anxiety Diagnosis

Getting a diagnosis for an anxiety disorder can be a challenging and overwhelming process. It’s hard to accept that an anxiety disorder is something that you’re living with and need to manage. But, one of the best things you can do after you get a diagnosis is to begin working on acceptance. Once you give up the fact that you can’t control every aspect of your life, you can begin to work on what you can do to make your life more manageable and meaningful. So, the best way to address anxiety right off the bat is to learn to accept your diagnosis and the work you may have to put in to manage symptoms and establish a life of mental health wellbeing.

Don’t be Stagnant; Get Outdoors and Begin an Exercise Routine

Staying in one place and sitting at home can induce anxiety as you spend time thinking about things you can’t control. But, both nature and exercise are proven ways to reduce anxiety and promote mental health and wellbeing. So, rather than stay stagnant, begin to establish a routine in which you stimulate healthy behaviors that work to combat anxiety. For example, going for walks in nature, which can help to reduce anxiety levels by evoking mindfulness (living in the present moment). And, getting started with an exercise routine, which can boost natural, biological chemicals that work to reduce anxiety and even boost mood, which is helpful to manage many symptoms of anxiety disorders.

Try to Eat the Right Foods That Work to Reduce Anxiety

Many people don’t understand how important it is to eat the right foods that promote better mindsets and allow for anxiety management. The food you eat can affect the anxiety symptoms you experience. So, try to implement some foods into your diet that are known to combat anxiety symptoms. Some of these foods include greens, beans, grains, eggs, almonds, and certain types of fish (salmon and other fish with high levels of fat).

Get the Right Amount of Sleep Every Night

Not getting enough sleep is a symptom trigger for many people with anxiety disorders. So, if you’re serious about managing symptoms of an anxiety disorder, begin to implement a sleep regimen to ensure you’re getting enough sleep. Eight hours of sleep per night is enough to help reduce and manage symptoms of anxiety. Therefore, getting this amount of sleep is crucial while you’re trying to figure out what triggers your anxiety and establish a life that’s not debilitated by anxiety symptoms. One thing you can do is set an alarm every night 30 minutes before bedtime so you can begin your nighttime routine and get to sleep at the right time every night.

Practice Your Favorite Passions or Hobbies

When you dwell on your anxiety, it’s likely to get worse. During these times, it’s a good idea to attempt and distract yourself from feelings of anxiety by doing things you know will reduce your anxiety levels and get your mind off whatever may be making you feel anxious. For example, practicing your favorite passions, whether it be painting, playing an instrument, or even playing with your children. And, do some hobbies that you enjoy like kayaking, hiking, playing sports, creating things, or even watching your favorite TV show.

Get Help From the Professionals to Better Manage Anxiety

One of the most efficient ways to deal with anxiety as a person who has been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder is to get professional help. Psychiatric and psychological care, medications and therapy, are both proven, successful methods in reducing symptoms brought about by anxiety disorders. Synchrony Brain Health offers treatment individualized to a person’s needs, goals for recovery, and individual diagnoses. This way, individuals who come to us who want to better manage symptoms of their anxiety disorders get the relief they need in order to establish a life they enjoy and mental health balance.