Underwood Functional Wellness, LLC

Customized Whole Body Solutions for Brain Health & Mental Wellness


WHO IS THIS FOR?

 

Welcome!

Benefits of Functional and Mental Wellness in Virginia


At Underwood Functional Wellness in Page County, VA, we help professions that shoulder a greater burden of stress and trauma, either directly or as a witness to another’s suffering.

 

Typically, mental wellness is evaluated from the neck up and treated with medication or talk therapy, but there are also many bodily depletions, burdens, and system imbalances that can have a negative impact on your mental wellness, especially if you couple chronic stress with neglected self-care.

 

     If you are in a helping profession and:

  • feel your mental health resilience is declining
  • tend to put your own health on the back burner in deference to others’ needs
  • are uncomfortable seeking help because you need to be the strong one
  • are in a profession where mental health and wellness is paramount to your position or employment.
  • want this to be a lifelong calling rather than succumbing to professional burnout...

 

I urge you to uncover what I call the mental health pretenders, or health depleters that can masquerade as mental health issues.

Common Mental Health Pretenders

​that respond to nutrition & lifestyle strategies

 

  • Chronic Inflammation

    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.

  • Gut dysfunction

    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.

  • Concussion/TBI

    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.  If you get a clean bill of health after a medical evaluation, never lose consciousness, or wear 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.

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Professions That Would Benefit From A Functional Wellness Approach

  • Certain professions shoulder a greater burden of mental health stress 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!

     

  • Military, Veterans

    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.

     

  • Aviation

    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

 

  • Lifestyle and nutritional support for:

    • Post-Concussion/TBI
    • ADHD
    • Neuro-inflammation
    • Mood disorders
    • Memory 
    • Focus
    • Brain health
    • Post-Addiction support

    Lifestyle & nutrition can be utilized as initial care, adjunctive care or rebuilding following conventional care and is determined on a case by case basis. 

Communities & Locations We Serve in Virginia

Underwood Functional Wellness offers convenient telehealth services to clients throughout Virginia.  If you are located in another state, please contact us to see if we can work with you.

 

Onsite support is available in the following Virginia counties:

  • Page County
  • Prince William County
  • Fairfax County
  • Shenandoah County
  • Rockingham County

WHY I DO THIS

Underwood Functional Wellness, LLC

Tamara Underwood, MS, CFMP

Clinical Nutrition and Functional Medicine

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 a plethora of medications which, out of desperation,  I did try for migraine management, but I was really seeking resolution.  

 

Through my own persistence, I discovered

  • severely low vitamin D was at the root of my depression (nightshifter!),
  • 40 years of migraines disappeared by removing gluten
  • genetic mutations meant I needed certain forms of B vitamins.  Bye bye fatigue.

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 feel a kinship with my 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

  • severely low vitamin D was at the root of my depression (nightshifter!),
  • 40 years of migraines disappeared by removing gluten
  • genetic mutations meant I needed certain forms of B vitamins.  Bye bye fatigue.

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!

Disclaimer: The material on this website is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice nor is it intended to replace the relationship with your primary health care or mental health care professional.   Underwood Functional Wellness, LLC makes every effort to provide information that is accurate and timely, but makes no guarantee in this regard.  The entire contents of this website are based on the opinions of us and Underwood Functional Wellness, LLC unless otherwise noted. By using this website, you agree to the Terms of Use and The Privacy Policy. The statements on this site have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.

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Underwood Functional Wellness, LLC

Mailing Address:

21 North Broad St, Suite E10048

Luray, VA 22835

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