Therapy for Pain Management, Autoimmune and Chronic Health Conditions in Aspen, Colorado

Compassionate support for individuals suffering from autoimmune disease, chronic health conditions, chronic pain and medical diagnoses.

Therapy for Managing Pain, Autoimmune and Chronic Health Conditions

Pervasive and debilitating, autoimmune diseases are an unfortunate reality of our time and they are on the rise. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) estimates that 23.5 million Americans suffer from autoimmune diseases and, among these, scientists have identified more than 80 different types.

Some are well-known such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis, Psoriasis, Crohn’s Disease and Type 1 Diabetes while others are very rare with few treatment options. Whatever the presentation, because symptoms can seem vague and seemingly unrelated to each other many healthcare providers write them off as “all in your head” and autoimmune sufferers are often labeled as “chronic complainers” before receiving a diagnosis.

By the time a patient finds their way to a compassionate and supportive medical or mental health provider, they are often struggling with provider fatigue and medical trauma. Add all this to the constant pain and discomfort, limits on daily activities and fears that nobody and nothing can help and you can clearly understand why many individuals with chronic health conditions seek out mental health support.

Autoimmune, Stress and Adverse Life Experiences

The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study is a well-known study that examined adverse childhood experiences such as abuse, neglect, poverty, homelessness, having a parent who struggled with mental illness and violence in the home. This study determined a connection between an individual experiencing at least one adverse childhood experience (ACE) and an increased risk of being hospitalized for an autoimmune disease.

The data showed further that the risk for autoimmune disease goes up for those individuals that have experienced more than one adverse childhood experience (ACE). One theory is that extreme stress in childhood can cause the body to respond with higher levels of inflammation which results in inflammation-related health conditions that often don’t show up until later in life.

How can Holistic Mind-Body Therapy Help?

At Aspen Holistic Therapy, we take a holistic mind-body approach to your mental health and wellbeing. We believe that in order for real change and healing to occur, the mind, body, spirit and brain must all be attended to. Trauma resolution requires building new neural connections and working with the body in order to release old wounds and stimulate long-term healing.

Every person’s history and experience is unique, but a holistic trauma-focused approach tailored to your specific symptoms might entail some combination of the following evidence-based practices: Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, Body Awareness, Traditional Talk Therapy, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Mindfulness based practices, Nature Therapy and Nutritional Psychology if appropriate.

Together, we can work on:

  • Validating your experience with chronic health pain and discomfort
  • Identifying health-related triggers that put you into a state of fight-or-flight
  • Creating your own personalized “tool kit” of resources to calm the nervous system
  • Creating a sense of real and perceived safety
  • Working though internalized feelings of anger, confusion and hopelessness
  • Harnessing neuroplasticity to interrupt traumatic health-related thought patterns and refocusing your attention in order to build new, more adaptive, neural circuits
  • Developing compassion for all parts of yourself, especially the vulnerable ones
  • Empowering you to become an active participant in your health and treatment plan
  • Examining possible cognitive distortions that might be exacerbating your distress
  • Psychoeducation around the connection between pain, toxic stress and inflammation
  • Practicing your version of self-care, boundaries and how to ask for help
  • Learning how to take a pause from the internal chatter to feel more grounded and present
  • Examining aspects of your lifestyle and diet that may be exacerbating symptoms
  • Exploring past trauma and family-of-origin issues that may be causing barriers to healing

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