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Education

THIRA Health / Education

Understanding Hunger: Decoding Important Messages from your Body

By Emily Fitch, Resident Dietician    Food is among the greatest, simplest pleasures of being human. Every piece of food we digest offers our bodies something different, and personally understanding our relationship to food is the first step in building health and mental well-being. For example, upon tasting something naturally delicious—like an apple—the human tongue sends immediate sensory reward signals to the brain, and within 15 minutes the apple’s carbohydrates are converted to blood glucose that gives our body a burst of energy and endorphins. Apples are rich in a variety of phytonutrients (plant chemicals), and studies have linked the consumption of apples with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, asthma, diabetes, and some forms of cancers. Food is a fundamental fuel for our personal and collective mind,...

Healthy Brain Checklist: Different Ways to Feed Your Mind

Despite the fact that the hardest working part of the body is the brain, one is far more likely to hear commentary about nourishing only the visible parts of the body. Informed with new research, it’s clear that what we put into our guts—personally and collectively—has more influence on our brainpower and social wellness than previously thought possible. And while it’s admittedly harder to observe the gains of a well-fed brain than it is to appreciate the physical earmarks of time spent in the gym, nutrition is the key to getting the most from our work, our work-outs, and our brains in general. Here are four simple habits for building your brain up each day, and a friendly reminder that you’re a mental and physical by-product...

Maintaining A Balanced Fitness Program in 2018

By Dr. Mehri Moore, M.D. We’d like to take a brief moment to discuss the at-times aggressive, counter-productive resolutions that so often accompany the New Year (“new year, new me”) which can cause feelings of anxiety and depression. Instead of feeling pressure to hit the gym, we here at THIRA Health encourage you to focus on holistic self-care in your quest to get healthy ––and considering that 80 percent of Americans with a gym membership don’t use it––the importance of a balanced and sustainable approach to fitness becomes more clear. Here are some simple ideas for promoting a new year of personal wellness: Benefits of Outdoor Exercise Fresh air has been shown to improve blood pressure, heart rate, and strengthen the immune and digestive systems. A balanced exercise routine...

Challenging the “New Year, New You” Message

By Dr. Mehri Moore, M.D. Around this time of year, it’s nearly impossible to escape messaging relating to revitalization or renewal. Gyms are offering discounted memberships, talk show hosts are discussing how to craft the perfect set of New Year’s resolutions, and media outlets of every stripe are running “Best of 20__” or “Year in Review” segments — and telling you what to look forward to in the coming year — on a nightly basis. It’s hardly a mystery why people get swept up in this “new year, new you” thinking, but it’s worth pausing for a moment to consider whether this approach to a fresh calendrical cycle is the right one. Celebrations of Renewal across Cultures This way of thinking is neither new nor, in a broad...

Tips for Self-Soothing with Your Basic Senses

By Dr. Mehri Moore At THIRA Health, much of the work we do is built around dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), a modified form of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) that was developed in the 1980s by University of Washington researcher and professor of psychology and psychiatry and behavioral sciences Dr. Marsha Linehan. DBT is grounded in the idea that certain individuals have a lower tolerance for distress than others, and thus are more prone to having intense emotional responses to seemingly ordinary circumstances. These individuals are quick to respond to stressful stimuli, have a more pronounced than average response to such stimuli, and tend to be very slow in their return to a baseline mental/emotional state. By building patient's’ skill-sets in four areas – mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, distress...

The Value of Yoga as Part of a Mental Health Treatment

By Dr. Mehri Moore As we’ve written about before, THIRA Health takes a holistic approach to our patients’ treatment. Unlike strictly biomedical regimens, holistic treatments consider a broad range of factors – physical and psychological, but also social, environmental, and spiritual – while still focusing on working toward cures for specific ailments. Like all medical practitioners, physicians who take a holistic approach aim to make their patients as healthy as possible, they simply conceive of “health” in a broader, more far-reaching way than is standard in most schools of Western medicine. As such, in addition to extensive therapy, THIRA’s Partial Hospitalization Program strives to nourish the whole self. We emphasize the importance of good mind-body balance by incorporating nutritious meals, community-based relational support, art and movement therapy,...

Understanding ‘Back to School’ and Adolescent Anxiety

By Dr. Mehri Moore This article was originally published in PsychCentral's Mental Health Library. As summer winds down and returning to school becomes an unavoidable reality, many teenagers are experiencing a rush of varied emotions. Some teens enjoy school and are eager to trade their dull summer jobs for daily intellectual enrichment. Others find school intolerable and wish that the steamy summer months would carry on forever. A third set sees the first day of school as a landmark of dread and anxiety and spend most of August worrying about whether they’ll get along with their new teachers, whether they’ll be able to keep their grades up, and whether they’ll be able to continue navigating the at times treacherous waters of adolescent sociality. When Butterflies Turn into Something...

Women-Only Facilities for Sustainable Recovery

By Dr. Mehri Moore   Since founding THIRA Health, a clinic in Bellevue, Washington, offering intensive, focused, and individualized mental health treatment for women and girls grappling with anxiety and depression, one of the most frequent questions I receive is, “Why a women-only facility?” Though there are a number of convincing arguments to be made in response to this question, in my view the answer comes down to the very nature of mental illness itself. After spending decades working with women suffering from eating disorders – some 90% of whom experienced a co-occurring psychiatric disorder like anxiety or depression – I realized that the underlying issues plaguing a majority of my patients revolved first and foremost around the development of the self. The Double-Bind of Womanhood As I’ve written before,...