WHO IS THIS FOR?
WHO IS THIS FOR?
Welcome to Underwood Functional Wellness in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley of Virginia!
Are you in a helping profession and feeling the weight of stress and trauma? Do you tend to put your own needs last in favor of others? Are you worried about burnout and declining mental health resilience?
We understand that mental wellness goes beyond just talk therapy and medication. There are many bodily depletions, burdens, and imbalances that can impact your mental health, especially when coupled with chronic stress and neglected self-care.
At Underwood Functional Wellness, we specialize in helping professionals who need to be at their best. Whether you're in a profession where mental health and wellness is crucial to your position or you just want to ensure this is a lifelong calling rather than a burnout statistic, we're here to help.
Join us in uncovering what we call the mental health pretenders, or health depleters that can masquerade as mental health issues. Let's work together to prioritize your mental and physical wellness for optimal function and performance.
Do You Have One of These Mental Health Pretenders?
Chronic inflammation is implicated in nearly all chronic diseases including mental health. Food and stealth infections are primary causes of chronic inflammation and, coupled with poor nutrient and antioxidant status, can manifest as chronic anxiety or depression.
Impairment or imbalance in detox pathways
While conventional wisdom is correct in that the liver knows exactly what to do, it was not designed to process our current level of environmental toxins. The liver utilizes specific nutrients to convert hazardous toxins into harmless substances for elimination. High toxic burdens coupled with poor nutrition can overwhelm the liver's capacity to neutralize and eliminate environmental & metabolic toxins.
Vitamin & mineral deficiencies that serve as co-factors in metabolic pathways
When most people think about nutrition, they primarily focus on protein, carbohydrates and fats but vitamins and minerals play a vital role in converting those macronutrients into energy as well as supporting biochemical and neurotransmitter pathways.
Hormonal imbalances (sex, adrenal, thyroid, pancreas, pituitary)
There are many lifestyle factors, nutrients and imbalances that impact endocrine health. And much like tugging on one strand of a spider web affects the whole web, upsets in one part your hormone system can affect multiple systems in the body and vice versa. Sleep, stress, food, toxins, gut health can affect hormones, which in turn, impact sleep, memory, brain fog, mood, and energy.
Heavy metal toxicity
Heavy metals and environmental toxins can mimic mental health disorders. A few ways they do this is by displacing or competing with nutrients, hormones and neurotransmitters or by poor detox/elimination mechanisms in the body.
Did you know that the gut is referred to as the second brain? Biochemically, the brain and gut are influenced by many of the same nutrients & neurotransmitters so altering the gut environment can impact the brain and vice versa.
Dysbiosis (imbalanced gut bacteria), impaired absorption, food sensitivities, reflux, and stealth infections are but a few of the gut issues that can negatively impact mental health.
The brain is not anchored inside the skull and while helmets protect the skull, they do not prevent the brain from ricocheting inside your skull.
Even minor concussions can lead to neuro-inflammation and have many downstream effects. Despite getting a clean bill of health from a medical evaluation, never losing consciousness, or always wearing a helmet, you may still be susceptible to the effects of neuro-inflammation.
Learn how to protect your brain if you engage in high-risk activities, sports, or occupations.
Genetic predispositions that respond well to targeted nutrition therapy
Epigenetics is the influence of the environment on your genes. Your genes are turned on and off by many environmental factors including stress, nutrition, pollution, microbes, sleep, and exercise. While you can't choose your genes, you can choose many environmental factors that impact your genes.
You may also have genetic predispositions that dictate the form or amount of nutrients that support your optimal mental health.
And many more...
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Professions That Would Benefit From A Functional Wellness Approach
Certain professions carry a heavier burden of mental health pressure or their employment is contingent on mental wellness.
First Responders (fire, rescue, police)
Did you know that there is a higher prevalence of ADHD amongst our heroes, those that run toward danger when everyone else is running in the other direction? There is also a higher prevalence of addiction in those with ADHD. ADHD can be a gift professionally, but coupled with addiction, can wreck havoc on personal lives and eventually, your professional life. Learn more about this interesting triad of hero, ADHD, and addiction and learn how to support your unique physiological needs.
Medical Personnel (Doctors, Nurses, Allied Health)
Can I be real? Conventional medicine is educated about disease, not health. When I struggled with unrelenting migraines and depression, and wanted more than management, I had to go outside of conventional medicine to really learn how to restore my depleted health.
Most health care workers don't even realize how lacking conventional care is in health building until they experience it first hand. Shiftwork, long hours, critical demands, and constant vigilance are but a few of the circumstances that can wear down health resilience, especially mental health. Book a call and learn how to restore your health!
Our military and their families sacrifice a lot to ensure our freedom!
Unrelenting physical & psychological stressors & injury take a toll on physiology and mental wellness. Even with medication, it can be difficult to recover from a depleted state. I encourage you to include our customized health rebuilding plan in your recovery efforts.
In an industry where minimum mental health standards are required of pilots and air traffic controllers, protecting your mental wellness is not a luxury but a necessity. You have an opportunity to be proactive and discover your unique requirements and develop a plan that protects your mental health.
AREAS OF EXPERTISE
Support for the Collection of Health Challenges Unique to First Responders:
Lifestyle & nutrition can be utilized as initial care, adjunctive care or rebuilding following conventional care and is determined on a case by case basis.
WHY I DO THIS
Underwood Functional Wellness, LLC
Tamara Underwood, MS, CFMP
Clinical Nutrition and Functional Medicine
I began my healthcare journey as an EMT and, following college, worked for several years in the clinical laboratory. However, like many in helping professions, the demands of shiftwork, staffing shortages, and adrenaline rushes led to burnout, resulting in depression, fatigue, and chronic migraines.
While conventional medicine provided numerous medications for migraine management, I sought a long-term solution. Through persistent effort, I discovered that my depression stemmed from severely low vitamin D levels (likely due to my night shift schedule). Additionally, eliminating gluten eradicated my 40-year history of migraines, and I found that certain forms of B vitamins helped me combat fatigue.
These discoveries sparked my curiosity about other factors that impact mental wellness and prompted me to return to school to earn a graduate degree in Clinical Nutrition and Functional Medicine.
As a former EMT and member of a veteran family, I feel a strong connection with first responders.
I started my healthcare career as an EMT and after college, worked several years in the clinical laboratory.
Like many who work in the helping professions, shiftwork, staffing issues, and adrenaline surges led to burnout and eventually, depression ,fatigue and unrelenting migraines.
Conventional medicine offered medication which I did try for the migraines but I was really seeking resolution.
Through my own investigation, I discovered
This started my fascination with what other depletions and burdens impact mental wellness so I returned to school and completed my graduate degree in Clinical Nutrition and Functional Medicine.
As a former EMT and coming from a family of Veterans, I have a soft spot for my fellow helpers!
Underwood Functional Wellness, LLC
21 North Broad St, Suite E10048
Luray, VA 22835
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