Mood Support Protocol
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Mental health almost always has a relationship with stress. Most people experience mental and emotional stress at some point in their lives, which if prolonged, can lead to mood concerns. It’s helpful to remember that mood concerns are often symptoms of, and triggered by stress.
Generally, stress is a response to an external cause, such as a tight deadline at work or having an argument with a friend, which may even lead to a variety of emotional and physical effects – uneasiness, irritability, loss of sleep, headaches, change in blood pressure or heart rate – but which usually subside once the situation has been resolved.
Mood concerns are reactions to stress and the origins are internal. Unlike stress, mood concerns may persist, without external cause.
Addressing mood concerns early, through lifestyle management, may support better outcomes.
Conventional clinical options for mental/emotional health concerns often involve a combination of talk therapy and medications. But there’s also an incredible opportunity to support these individuals in a more holistic way. Approaches aimed at optimizing nutrition, lifestyle, and biochemistry can support and strengthen the body and mind—and may lead to improved clinical outcomes.
Genetics, nutritional status, hormonal status, inflammation balance, concomitant medical concerns, stress levels, and sleep quantity and quality all play a role in mental health, which is why integrative approaches are so important.
As a family medicine physician Dr. Jessica Nagelkirk, ND has a special interest in integrative mental health, cardiopulmonary medicine, hormonal/reproductive health and chronic conditions. In addition to supervising medical students and resident physicians providing direct patient care, Dr. Nagelkirk is the course director for the psychology and mental health curriculum in the naturopathic doctorate program. Dr. Nagelkirk is sharing her favorite Mood Support Protocol with the Wellevate community.
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Jessica Nagelkirk, ND, is the chief medical officer and dean of clinics at the National University of Natural Medicine (NUNM). She has been with NUNM for over a decade, providing integrative patient care as an attending physician through the university’s health clinics, and teaching in the classroom setting. As a family medicine physician Dr. Nagelkirk has a special interest in integrative mental health, and piloted NUNM’s collaboration with Pacific University to establish a multimodal psychiatric clinic with services from naturopathic physicians, psychologists, and physical and occupational therapists, Dr. Nagelkirk is the course director for the psychology and mental health curriculum in the naturopathic doctorate program. She lectures in this curriculum as well as in the cardiopulmonary, neurology, and therapeutic modalities