Adaptogens for Immune System Balance, Overall Health, and Wellbeing

August 13, 2019
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Anyone else noticing mushroom coffees and other such products showing up everywhere? Certain mushrooms bring some amazing health benefits and it is really starting to catch on! I am not talking about psychedelics (although interestingly those are also being researched for their specific uses). I am referring to medicinal mushrooms which are considered “adaptogens” and have been used for thousands of years in Eastern medicine to treat a variety of ailments. Indigenous cultures used these special mushrooms in teas, soups, and more. Now some manufacturers are making it easier for us to benefit from this amazing fungus, as adaptogenic mushrooms are currently available in a variety of forms: drinks, powder, capsules, extracts, and whole foods (on a side-note some are higher quality than others).

What does adaptogenic mean? Online searches will basically state that an adaptogenic substance (or adaptogen) is a natural non-toxic material (often derived from a plant), used in herbal medicine to help the body adapt to stress and restore normal balanced bodily functioning. Even though Western medicine does not yet officially acknowledge adaptogens, supporters say they effectively improve and maintain health without the potentially harmful side effects of synthetic pharmaceuticals.

Mushrooms are actually one of the most researched superfoods. Studies show that medicinal mushrooms have incredible benefits for the immune system, brain, hormones, energy levels, memory, mood, and more. Therefore, it is definitely worth a look! I will focus here on one specific popular adaptogenic mushroom as I have had personal experience with the powerful effect it can have on health and healing.

Reishi (formally known as Ganoderma lucidum) is like a natural form of Xanax. Often called the “queen of mushrooms”, it has powerful adaptogenic effects on the body and mind. Full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, reishi has been used for thousands of years for immune health and longevity. It can help in regulating hormones and decreasing cortisol levels, therefore can be perfect for relaxation. It is also beneficial for sleep as it has been shown to enhance both the quality and quantity, promoting deep restorative sleep. Studies are also showing it to be helpful in lowering blood sugar in diabetics and decreasing excess fat storage. It is used for immune system health, stress relief, tamping down anxiety, obtaining a feeling of balance, and again deepening sleep. I have experienced multiple autoimmune conditions throughout my life (not to mention the fast-approaching menopause) and I have tried countless treatments. Most of the natural and alternative interventions have helped (some of those much more than others). As far as supplementation goes, reishi is definitely at the top of my list! It somehow knows where my system needs to be tamped down and where it needs to be stepped up. It helps with fighting off invaders while at the same time not over-reacting to everything encountered within the environment (including stress and dietary factors). I feel balanced and energized, at the same time experiencing more restorative sleep. On a side-note, I do not need to take as many of my other supplements now due to the continual use of reishi, so that is a money-saver!

There are several other types of medicinal mushrooms that are considered adaptogens and they each seem to have their specific strengths as far as for what conditions they are best used. Some examples of these adaptogenic mushrooms are: Lion’s mane, shiitake (can also be used in cooking), turkey tail, and chaga. Herbal adaptogens of the non-mushroom type also exist (examples: panax ginseng, milk thistle, licorice root, and ashwagandha).

As with all supplements, it is usually best to start your dosages “low and slow”. Be sure to always do your research, including consultation with your healthcare provider. Absolutely feel free to ask any questions about this article and beyond. I truly love helping people navigate throughout their holistic healing journeys!

Gina Spielman is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Certified Hypnotist with 30 years of healthcare experience. She is also Certified in Natural Holistic Remedies and is a Certified Mental Health Integrative Medicine Provider. A personal journey with autoimmunity has given first-hand knowledge of her own healing ability. The experience with her own healthcare, and all of the service providers and healers she has learned from over the years, has helped solidify her knowledge of holistic healing. All of that background, along with extensive research, has merged to create the life-changing book “The Blueprint for Vibrant Health: A Guide to Healing the Mind, Body, and Spirit” (Amazon).  Gina practices in Illinois which includes consultation via videoconference. Website:  

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Get 7 Inspirational Books Free!

July 1, 2019
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*Exciting News*
Some fellow inspirational authors and I are running a book contest – Contact me and/or let’s connect on FB ( ~ More info is on my page.  7 FREE BOOKS are involved 📚📕📖   My holistic healing publication: “The Blueprint for Vibrant Health: A Guide to Healing the Mind, Body, and Spirit” is in the contest.
Participating inspirational authors: Joan Aubele, Rob Besecker, Emily Assell, Chiara Talluto, Gina Spielman, and Mona Williams.

Thanks everyone and remember: Love yourself, it’s good for your health!

Gina Spielman, LCSW, CH

Professional Review of Holistic Healing Book

March 28, 2019
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Hello everyone!

Here’s a link to a great review of my latest book, which covers all aspects of holistic healing~

The review is written by a professional social worker/author, and has recently been posted on her educational and inspirational blog.  Enjoy!

Thanks everyone, and as always ~ Love yourself, it’s good for your health!

Gina L Spielman LCSW CH

Grow Your Practice!

March 1, 2019


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Hello everyone!  For those of you who are healthcare providers or healers, one of the many ways to grow your practice is to get onto as many lists as possible.  As you open yourself up to opportunities, you will notice that many directories  you are coming across are actually free!  Of course sign up for all of those that fit your business.  As I recommend in my practice-building book, sign up for a few paid listings as well.  You can usually negotiate some kind of deal if there is not already a promotion going on at the time of signing up.  One example is the following opportunity for holistic healers and natural health providers:

Holistic Therapies Directory is currently offering a lifetime listing membership for 375 (regular price is 1250).  They are SEO specialists and one-on-one assistance is provided ~ many benefits to joining.    For this discount, use COUPON CODE: counsellife

Feel free to ask any questions you may have about growing your business!

Thank you, and as always ~ Love yourself, it’s good for your health!

Until next time,

Gina L Spielman, LCSW, CH

Why Choose Online Therapy?

February 14, 2019

Hello everyone!  Today I wanted to talk about the benefits of online therapy and provide a bit of education.  Actually, I have recently run across some potential clients who were not even aware that sessions could be done this way and were grateful to be informed of the option.  There are numerous plusses to doing counseling via videoconference!  Research is also confirming that it can be just as effective as in-person therapy.  

Some of the benefits of online counseling include the following:

  • Sessions can be conducted in the comfort of your own home.  In fact, some of my online clients see me while in their own meditation rooms!  On a related note, meditation before and/or after sessions can make the therapy even more powerful.   
  • There is no traffic to deal with and no time spent trying to get to an office location.
  • Related to traveling to an office is the concern about those living in remote areas or in a location where there is difficulty getting to professionals who specialize in their particular needs.  This problem then usually becomes a non-concern as the only location limits are state lines (due to clinician licenses).
  • For college students, or those who move around within their state multiple times per year, there is continuity of care.
  • The weather typically does not matter, which has been absolutely necessary during this winter we are experiencing here in Illinois!  
  • If there happens to be a contagious illness happening with the client (or therapist) there is no fear about passing that onto the other person. 
  • Childcare issues are non-existent or at least significantly lessened.  If it is determined that a sitter will be needed, it is for a much shorter period due to having no driving time adding to the total.
  • Home bound and handicapped clients can receive professional attention like those who are fortunate enough to be able to get to an office.
  • If there is something at a client’s home that would be helpful in the assessment or treatment (such as specific food choices in the pantry or a closet needing organizing) it can easily be seen via videoconference. 
  • The chances of missing an appointment are much less, due to several of the above factors, plus the online therapy platforms most therapists utilize send multiple appointment reminders to clients typically on the same device as what will be used to enter the session.

Please feel free to ask any questions you may have about this type of counseling.  The iTherapy online platform is my current secure videoconference provider.  Their system is quite easy to use, and the customer service is excellent including 24/7 technical support!  Appointment request:  

Thank you and as always ~ Love yourself it’s good for your health!  After all it is Valentine’s Day today!

Gina L Spielman LCSW CH

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Kathleen Biel LCPC Retiring

January 24, 2019

Practice Announcement:  Kathleen D. Biel, LCPC, is retiring and leaving the profession of Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor.  She will be greatly missed by all of her clients as well as our practice.  We want to thank Kathleen for her many years of professional service and wish her well in her retirement! 

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Thank you, and as always ~ Love yourself it’s good for your health!

Gina L Spielman LCSW CH


Today I became a Certified Mental Health Integrative Medicine Provider!

January 23, 2019

Hello everyone!  I am excited to announce that I just completed a program and passed the test today ~  I am officially a Certified Mental Health Integrative Medicine Provider!  It was quite a bit to learn and process, but excited to use the knowledge gained.  It also undoubtedly makes me more “credible” with all of the holistic healing writing I have been doing lately.

I encourage all of you to keep working on everything and anything that you are passionate about!  Keep working on your goals and keep learning.  There’s always more to know about everything.

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Thank you, and as always ~ Love yourself it’s good for your health!

Gina L Spielman LCSW CH

“The Blueprint for Vibrant Health: A Guide to Healing the Mind, Body, and Spirit” has been published!

November 26, 2018
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Hello everyone.  Exciting news!  My holistic healing book has finally been published after many years of hard work.  What a great feeling!

This informative book contains everything you will need to know in order to naturally restore emotional, spiritual, and physical wellbeing. This is one of those books that all of us can benefit from reading, especially those who have been diagnosed with a chronic condition and are open to alternative approaches. It shows countless ways to awaken your own innate healing power, which exists inside yourself, in order to overcome illness and unleash vibrant health. What most of the mainstream medical doctors are not telling you is that the human body actually has a tremendous ability to heal itself, especially when mental, physical, and spiritual health all come together. This book addresses how psychological, physical/biological, and spiritual interventions can all unite for true healing and overall long-term health.  If you feel like there is something missing in your treatment plan, this book can help, and it is truly inspirational and uplifting.

Book is available on Amazon (in Kindle and paperback forms)   ~ Feel free to ask any questions!

Thank you, and as always ~ Love yourself it’s good for your health!

-Gina L. Spielman, LCSW, C.H.

Mindfulness for Holistic Healing

April 12, 2018
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Hello everyone! Today I wanted to write about how mindfulness can be used to assist in healing the mind, body, and spirit. Mindfulness helps people focus more on the present moment and really take it all in. Some benefits of this practice, among many, are that it aids in ending too much focus on the past (therefore helping relieve depression), and prevents too much focus on the future (therefore decreasing anxiety and fear).

For this activity, I would like you to go out into nature and really take it all in, being fully present. With all the sights and sounds, using all senses. One aspect to mention is that with mindfulness there is no judgment. Whatever appears in your present moment activity just IS.

Therefore, get into the scene that you have chosen and really SEE the beauty of nature, all colors, plants, trees, flowers, the sky, and all wildlife. HEAR the birds and any other sounds. SMELL the fresh air, flowers, pine trees, and any aromas that are in your present moment. FEEL the wind on your skin, the sun on your face, touch a tree or a flower, and maybe place your feet directly on the ground. Use anything else that helps you use all senses and be fully present in the moment. Spend some time and really feel how peaceful it is.

You can use the basics of this activity many times during your day and in any moment or setting you wish.  Train yourself (and your brain) and it will begin becoming second nature, like a way of life.

Let me know any comments or questions you may have about this activity, including any ways using mindfulness has helped you. Feel free to add a note in the comments section or send a private email ( I just love getting messages!

Until next time… Love yourself, it’s good for your health! Goodbye everyone.

-Gina Spielman, LCSW, C.H.


Journaling from the Heart for Holistic Healing

April 4, 2018
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Hello everyone!  Today I wanted to write about how journaling from the heart can assist in healing the mind, body, and spirit.  It is one of the best activities that can be done on your own in order to identify, process, and release what many call “repressed” feelings.  Repressed feelings can of course result in emotional concerns, like depression and anxiety, as many of you know.  But they can also cause a lack of clear connection to Spirit.  In addition, interestingly, stuck emotions can contribute to physical symptoms and issues.

So, go ahead and gather up some of your favorite items for this activity.  You can begin with a beautiful journal and a preferred writing utensil.  Perhaps you can include a rose quartz crystal (cultivates self-love), some chamomile tea (or other relaxing herbal or natural tea), and some “aromatherapy” such as natural essential oils or herbals that resonate with you.  Adding some healing or spiritual music can be another consideration if it helps you relax and get into the journaling “mode”.

One perk with this activity is that there is absolutely no judgment from anyone else.  No one will be able to read your journal or see what is going on, because you will be in a private place.  This helps the free flowing of feelings onto paper as well as any emotions that need to be expressed in a healthy manner.

For this activity, find that private spot away from others, and switch off any devices so that you will not be disturbed.  Relax and get into a comfortable position, again with all of your favorite things.  Do some deep breathing.  Then begin your journaling asking the question “If my heart could speak what would it say?” writing anything and everything that comes to mind.  Let all feelings free flow onto the paper and be sure to allow emotions that arise to be fully expressed.  Keep writing, focusing on your heart area.  Do some deep breathing really filling up that chest area, slowly breathing in and out.  Completely relax, releasing everything.

You will know when you are done with this activity when you feel like everything has been released for now.  You may have some more tomorrow and the next day (and I do suggest doing this on a daily basis or at least several times per week), but you will probably know when it is time to cease journaling for the day.  You will likely feel at peace and calm at the end of the activity.  Clarity and insight may also come to you, along with a reduction in physical symptoms which can be a nice addition.  Positive feelings may also arise during this process as the “negative” clears from your heart and mind making room for feeling and recognizing the positive.  It also has the potential to help you see clearly the things that matter most in your life.  If you feel the need for a therapist to help with this process of course feel free to connect with one that resonates with you.  This activity can be a great addition to your therapy.  After journaling, I want you to pat yourself on the back for a job well done and do something nice for yourself as a reward for doing this work.

Feel free to let me know any comments as well as how this activity may have helped you.  Questions are also welcome.  Feel free to send me a confidential email at  I absolutely love receiving messages!

Love yourself, it’s good for your health!  Until next time!

-Gina Spielman LCSW, C.H.


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