In addition to her psychotherapy practice, Ms. Keisler teaches group coping skills and yoga classes. She owns and operates Mind Body Knoxville.
Classes are currently paused to help slow the spread of Covid-19.
Our Mind Body Knox website is undergoing updates to incorporate more videos for at home practice and will be back up and running shortly. In the meantime, here is a link for a 30 minute yoga sequence designed to connect breath with movement. More information regarding Mind Body Knox is below.
Owner and founder, Paige Keisler, has worked as a licensed therapist for ten years treating children and adults with a wide range of mental and behavioral health struggles. Over the years she has noticed that clients recognize the need to better manage stress, however, they have difficulty finding time to actually integrate and apply these skills in their daily life. This is not surprising, though. Life is hard, especially given how busy everyone is these days. Also, technology has rapidly changed our lives. Our brains do not have time for rest. We are constantly under pressure, have unrealistically high expectations, and are experiencing negative emotions such as feeling overwhelmed, defeated, and frustrated. Many individuals rarely get a break, and when they do, it is often filled with unhealthy habits or pure exhaustion.
The biggest issue affecting our health is chronic stress. It is estimated that between 75% to 90% of all doctor’s office visits are for stress-related ailments and complaints. Stressful situations trigger a cascade of stress hormones that produce physiological changes. This is known as hyperarousal, the acute stress response, or fight-or-flight response.
Chronic, ongoing stress is unnatural. Humans are not adapted to operate in this condition. Over time, repeated activation of the stress response, or fight-or-flight response, takes a toll on both our mental and physical health. Research suggests that chronic stress contributes to high blood pressure, promotes the formation of artery-clogging deposits, and causes brain changes that may contribute to anxiety, depression, and addiction. Stress can play a part in problems such as headaches, diabetes, skin conditions, asthma, ulcers, back and neck pain, digestion issues, and arthritis – just to name a few.
Mind Body Knox is the first of its kind in our community. We aim to target and treat chronic stress as well as provide a time and space for self care, emotional regulation, and relaxation. We offer well-rounded services including:
Physical practices involving yoga and breath work
Evidence-based, cognitive behavioral therapeutic techniques that assist with coping, relaxation, stress management, and emotional regulation
Classes providing education related to integrative health and nutrition
These techniques decrease stress reactivity and increase a state of balance by developing a healthier, more resilient brain. These practices make us better equipped to handle what life throws our way.
The purpose of Mind Body Knox is to provide a space and time for health, well-being, and balance. Mind Body classes are designed to build upon the connection between our mind and body. Mental health is physical health and physical health is mental health.
The Science of Yoga and Breathing Techniques
Research has shown that yoga helps us transition from our amygdala (fight-or-flight response) to our prefrontal cortex (problem-solving and regulating emotions), so that we are able to maintain self-control and rational thinking. Yoga also increases the level of gamma-aminobutyric acid, or GABA, and increases gray matter in our brains, which leads to numerous positive effects. (It’s important to note that GABA activity is low in individuals struggling with anxiety). Hundreds of studies have shown that yoga is a powerful tool to manage stress, improve mood, and reduce markers of inflammation. Yoga is an evidence-based coping skill that can rewire our brain and improve its chemical composition.
The stress hormones cortisol and aldosterone change the pH of our blood, making it more acidic. Even small deviations from the normal pH range in our blood can cause inflammation and severely affect our heart, arteries, brain, muscles, and many organs. Breathing techniques have an immediate effect on our mind and bodies by altering the pH of blood, changing our blood pressure, and dampening the production of harmful stress hormones. Deep breathing has been scientifically proven to affect the brain, heart, immune system, digestive system, and expression of genes.
We are looking forward to being back to in person groups in the future, but until group meetings are once again considered safe, you will soon be able to access coping skills videos and instructions on our updated website. In the meantime, check out our blog for handouts and resources.