Break Out of the Anxiety Loop

Written by Casey Hersch, MSW, LCSW TFL Coping with Anxiety
December 2020 issue

Published at Taste for Life Magazine

This story originally appeared on Taste for Life

Pay Attention To Your Body's Signals

With the holiday season upon us, we need to be mindful of our anxiety levels and incorporate ways to alleviate stress. Conventional anti-anxiety plans often focus on our thoughts, supplements, and pharmaceuticals, missing the relationship between the body and anxiety.

Pat Ogden, PhD, founder of the Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute, describes the body’s crucial influence on anxiety like this: “Everything lives in the body, including anxiety.... If I imagine being anxious, my shoulders go up a little bit, my breathing gets more tight, and I feel a little bit of tension in my stomach. Everybody’s body is different, of course, so anxiety would live in each person in a different way. But I think the problem with working only cognitively is that it doesn’t typically address physiology, tension patterns, posture patterns, movement patterns that go along with the anxiety.”

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Make Your Holiday Bright with Gluten Free Bread

plain bread medical medium1Written by Casey Hersch, LCSW
December 15, 2020

My diet has been gluten-free for as long as I can remember. Living Gluten-free has been essential to addressing my symptoms of Crohn's disease and also for my overall health. Until this year, I have not been able to eat a sandwich on a piece of bread. I cannot eat yeast, soy, corn, dairy, and many other ingredients so finding a bread recipe that includes the foods I can tolerate, tastes good, and that can actually hold a sandwich together has been challenging to say the least. 

Fortunately, I stumbled upon a recipe that changed my life. As of this week, I am eating sandwiches!!! I am thrilled. This recipe is a life changer--so versatile and tasty. Also, the bread is loaded with nutrition and gives me the energy I need to cope with my general fatigue and anemia. See recipe link below for a yeast-free, dairy-free, soy-free, gluten-free, and corn-free recipe! Enjoy!


Natural Practitioner Magazine: Diagnostics and prevention during a pandemic

Casey Alfa Report 1Written by Casey Hersch, MSW, LCSW
November 17, 2020

I am so excited to be quoted in Natural Practitioner Magazine along with some of my colleagues, mentors, and icons. In the November 2020 issue of Natural Practitioner Magazine, editor Lisa Schofield, in an article titled Testing Methods, interviews clinicians, researchers, and physicians on trending diagnostics and screening tools. The article sheds light on the importance of diagnostics and preventive services amid the pandemic, and the new terrain of healthcare as we move forward.

Dr Dan Beilin, founder of Alfa Thermodiagnostics, is featured in the article. The AlfaSight 9000 is a noninvasive, FDA approved, and affordable method of screening for weaknesses in body systems, the immune system, and whole body health. I have personally used the AlfaSight and am grateful for a way to "look inside" my body as an alternative to routine colonoscopies, mammograms, and other invasive procedures. In less than 30 minutes I have information about my whole body, which can then be used to determine if other conventional diagnostics are necessary. 

In my quote in Natural Practitioner Magazine, I comment on my observations of the AlfaSight:

"Casey Hersch, clinical social worker and founder of added, “Alfa Thermometry gives patients a MAP of their own bodies. It serves as an adjunct to other treatments. By providing immediate feedback on the interconnectedness of every organ and body system, it is easy to track and respond to changes. This empowers patients by allowing them to consider treatment options that were otherwise unexplored and are now brought into awareness.”

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Coping with anxiety: Dr Pat Ogden and body centered approaches

In this interview, I speak with Dr. Pat Ogden, one of my icons. We discuss ways to manage anxiety in the midst of the pandemic, holiday stress, and ways to break arousal patterns. 

Dr Pat Ogden is a pioneer in somatic psychology and the founder of the Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute. Her work addresses the very important link between the body and psychological issues, which I have found is often overlooked in treatment and unfortunately not yet mainstream. Her work focuses on how to heal the disconnect between the body and mind as a result of traumatic events and stressors

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Alfa Thermometry: Bridging the Gap in Women's Healthcare

Casey Alfa Report 1Written by Casey Hersch, MSW, LCSW
October 6, 2020

Chronic illness leads to many diagnostic dead ends

I have spent my life dealing with chronic illness. My symptoms were confusing to my doctors because they didn't fit the criteria for any singular diagnosis. As a teenager I was severely fatigued and was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome. I was shunned by my peers who spread rumors that I had AIDS. I felt unheard and misunderstood when I was told my debilitating symptoms were "all in my head" (a common sentiment experienced by women whose complex symptoms are a 'medical mystery'). Disparities in women's healthcare and treatment added to the vicious cycle of diagnostic confusion.

The BBC's Health Gap series highlights how women and men experience the healthcare system and their own health in very different ways. Maya Dusenbery, author of Doing Harm, states that "Women are more likely (than men) to wait longer for a health diagnosis and to be told it’s ‘all in their heads.’ That can be lethal: Diagnostic errors cause 40,000-80,000 deaths in the US alone." In Doing Harm, Dusenbery points out that it takes an average 12 months for men to receive a diagnosis of Crohn's disease; for women, 20 months. It took decades to confirm I had Crohn's disease, an autoimmune inflammatory disease affecting the small and large intestine. By the time I was properly diagnosed at age 30, I was seriously ill.

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NAET: Strengthen the immune system, clear allergies, and stay healthy through COVID

In this interview, I speak with Dr Roy Nambudripad about a technique NAET (Nambudripad's Allergy Elimination Technique) which changed my life in so many ways. Before NAET, I was literally "dying" of Crohn's disease and autoimmunity. I could not eat, keep weight on my body, and I had internal bleeding. After the basic 15 treatments, I started to shift and to this day I incorporate the technique into my life, sometimes daily. It is an optimal noninvasive, affordable treatment that supports the immune system and overall health. 

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Other articles of interest:

Simple calming exercises to cope with COVID, Trauma, and Stress

yoga squirrelWritten by Casey Hersch, MSW, LCSW
September 27, 2020

During this time, we need ways to manage stress more than ever. Those of us with histories of trauma are especially triggered by this "universal trauma." Even if you don't know anyone with covid or are not working in direct client services, it is impossible to not be impacted by the grief and stress around you. Whether it is knowing your small business friends are struggling, missing contact with your friends/family, not being able to go to the gym or dance class, or wondering if our political climate will find balance, there is a lot happening. Not to mention, fires and environmental tragedy. 

These calming exercises are invaluable---they are simple and effective. I attended a training where these resources were shared and now I want to share them with all of you. Click the link below to explore the many resources available and find the ones that fit for you! A few times a day is all it takes to calm your stress respose and bring your body and mind back to clarity and peace. 


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