Dr. Martinsen enjoys working with a wide range of ages and diagnoses. His practice is largely focused on complex clients with multiple health challenges. He diagnoses psychiatric and behavioral health conditions, makes recommendations for treatment, and prescribes/manages medications for clients of all ages. Much of his work focuses on maximizing health, treating illness, and promoting healthy longevity through lifestyle medicine.
Host Tim Unsinn:
Welcome to Mind Your Mind, a podcast presented by Dakota Family Services, an outpatient behavioral health clinic located in Minot, Bismarck, and Fargo, North Dakota. In this podcast, I will talk with our experts about understanding and nurturing our mental health and wellness. I'm your host, Tim Unsinn. Join me each episode as we explore the intricacies of our minds, decrease the stigma of mental illness, learn practical tips for managing our mental health and well-being, and recognize when it's time to ask for help. Join me now to Mind Your Mind.
Host Tim Unsinn:
On today's episode of Mind Your Mind, I'll be talking with Dr. Wayne Martinsen. Dr. Martinsen is a medical director and psychiatrist in Fargo Minot. Dr. Martinsen diagnoses psychiatric and behavioral health conditions, makes treatment recommendations, and provides medication management for clients of all ages. Our topic today is meditation. However, before we get to meditation, and I should have forewarned Dr. Martinsen, there's always that question I ask at the beginning, and that is why do you do what you do?
Dr. Wayne Martinsen:
I think it is totally fascinating. I'm one of the people who, even if it's hard for me to get out of bed in the morning, I love what I do. I love the people. I love the complexity of the problems. And when I can make a difference and help people live the life that they want to live, I find that just incredibly rewarding.
Host Tim Unsinn:
Thanks again, for being with us. Our topic is meditation and we hear a lot about meditation. So what are the different types of meditation?
Dr. Wayne Martinsen:
Well, there's when we think meditation, generally, what we think about, the sort of most popular form of that, would be a mindfulness meditation, but there's, there's concentrative meditation. And that would be the repetitive prayer meditation would be a real common one. Or the use of a mantra that somebody repeats over and over and focuses their mind. And so a lot of the religious meditation is concentrative meditation. There's also expressive meditation, and this would be movement meditation like Tai Chi or yoga or dance.. Repetitive dance could be a type of meditation. The most common form of meditation that we hear about in modern society is really a mindfulness meditation or awareness meditation. These categories are not exclusive, right? So there is a concept in Scandinavia of forest bathing, which is sort of a meditative experience where you walk through nature. Soo you're moving rhythmically at the same time you're emptying your mind of day to day thoughts and really focusing on nature, on that experience of being in nature.
Host Tim Unsinn:
Yeah. Spending time in the woods is always a relaxing opportunity. What is meditation used for?
Dr. Wayne Martinsen:
Meditation is used for a number of things. It's used for emotional well-being. There's even evidence that it treats trauma. So it's like typically we think of state-of-the-art care for trauma is psychotherapy, right? It's the re-experiencing that or doing a narrative. For some people that's really hard to do, or it's like, they're not ready for it. And for those people, meditation has a real role to play. It's also a stress reducer. When you look at the research on burnout, job burnout, one of the things that can really bring that down is meditation. When you look at lifestyle in terms of longevity, when you look at preventing dementia, meditation comes into play. When you look at physical health. So blood pressure and immune disorders, meditation also has a big role to play there. And one of the emerging concepts in psychiatry and in medicine is that what's good for the heart is good for the brain. What's good for the brain is good for the heart. And so when you control blood pressure, for example, you add to longevity, you add to mental well-being, but when you add to mental well-being, you typically lower blood pressure, you improve cardiac function. And so it's one of the pillars of a healthy lifestyle as defined by the American Academy of Lifestyle Medicine.
Host Tim Unsinn:
So we've talked about the types of meditation, what it's used for. Now, how do I meditate?
Dr. Wayne Martinsen:
There's a lot of options, right? So some people will come to meditation and not even realize they're doing it, because they're saying a rosary every day as a part of their religious experience. There are other people who culturally, or in their family, Tai Chi is a part of what they do. There are people who will have friends that invite them to work out at a yoga studio. And so those are all legitimate ways to get to meditation. Probably the most common, uh, approach to meditation now is the use of apps on our phones. So Calm or Headspace, those are probably the biggest ones, but there are any number of them that step you through meditation. It's hardest the first few months of meditation, because you don't know exactly what you're supposed to do with your brain at each step. And, and the brain is undisciplined. Even after years of meditation. It's like the brain wants to go back to thinking. The brain wants to process what I'm doing today. The brain wants to think about what I did yesterday. And you have to create a clear space. And so the, the step-by-step guidance from an app like Headspace is incredibly helpful because it periodically will redirect you to think about where your thoughts are and to help you focus on breath or on your heart rate or on a particular mantra for the meditation.
Host Tim Unsinn:
Sounds like the key to meditation, maybe one of those keys is turning our minds off. So we're not, it's not going a hundred miles an hour and focus on what we're doing at the time.
Dr. Wayne Martinsen:
There's various definitions, but it's sort of defined as a relaxed period of awareness. Um, and so the, but the awareness is not on it's on the body, or it's on the experience of calm or serenity. It's not an awareness of I have to meet with this many clients today, or I have to pick my kid up after school. And I have to remember that.
Host Tim Unsinn:
Our guest on Mind Your Mind is Dr. Wayne Martinsen. Today, we are talking about meditation. And now how do I know if I'm doing meditation right? It just seems like there's just a lot of things to keep in mind when we're meditating. And then to know that we're doing it right.
Dr. Wayne Martinsen:
Things that after you've done it for a while, even a week or so, one of the things you notice is a sense of alertness and calm after the experience. So first part of it is sort of knowing what to do during the 10, 20, 30 minutes that I'm meditating, and that's where the apps help or having a coach helps. That's where your yoga master will help. But beyond that, there's an experience after you meditate. And so one of the things that I think about when I talk about meditation is that people think about it as a discipline. When I say I've meditated for years, they'll say, oh my God, that's, that's such discipline. And it's really not. It's no more discipline than, um, most of us will brush our teeth in the morning before we go to work. And if we don't brush our teeth, there's just this feeling of, of being gross. It's like the day isn't quite right. And similarly, it's like, it's like brushing the teeth for the brain. You find your brain much more subtle, much more aware, much more responsive, much more calm if you've meditated.
Host Tim Unsinn:
So it sounds like if, if we notice that change, we're doing it right. If we still have the same frustrations after we're meditating, maybe not so much. How does meditation affect the body?
Dr. Wayne Martinsen:
You know, it's remarkable. There is an amazing amount of research. So at a superficial level, we know that meditation reduces blood pressure. We know that meditation affects the immune system, and so it decreases inflammation in the body. And when you decrease inflammation, you have a number of positive health experiences. It improves sleep. And not only does it improve sleep, the amount of time spent in meditation up to about a half an hour, a day, replaces some of the sleep at night. So it doesn't take away from the day, the 16 hours that most of us are awake. It replaces some of the time for sleep. It actually enhances or enlarges a little bit the hippocampus, which is the memory part of the brain. The hippocampus is where memory is. That's the problem area when we develop dementia as we get older. That's a disease that runs in my own family. And it's one of the reasons that I've looked at meditation and a number of lifestyle changes as a part of that, to avoid that process. So you look at improved cardiac function. There's also, and this gets into the weeds a bit, Tim, but when you look at cellular division, there's something called telomeres that line up all of our DNA in order to replicate a cell. As we get older, the telomeres, which are the proteins on the ends of this lining up process get smaller and smaller and smaller. And one of the ways that cell lines actually die is, there's several ways, but one of the ways is that these telomeres get too small to function and repeatedly in the last 15 years, what we see is that those telomeres actually lengthen with regular meditation. And so it has, even at a cellular level, an impact on physical health.
Host Tim Unsinn:
Meditation our topic on Mind Your Mind. Our guest has been Dr. Wayne Martinsen. Dr. Martinsen, we always appreciate your time. You're just a treasure trove of insights and knowledge and wisdom. And thank you for sharing that with us. Before we wrap up. There's always that final question in the wrap-up and that, what is, what do you do personally to mind your mind?
Dr. Wayne Martinsen:
You know, I really do a lot. Not only do I work with people psychiatrically and teach at the medical school, I'm a practitioner of meditation, of healthy, whole food plant-based diet, of close relationships with the people I love, and getting adequate sleep. And so all of those things are really not just what I tell my patients to do, but they're a part of my own life.
Host Tim Unsinn:
Awesome. Thank you so much again for your time. We appreciate you. And that was Dr. Wayne Martinsen. Again, our episode, Mind Your Mind, talking about meditation.
Host Tim Unsinn:
Thank you for joining us for "Mind Your Mind," a podcast presented by Dakota Family Services. You can't have health without behavioral health. Remember to mind your mind. For more information, links to additional resources, contact information, and much more, go to dakotafamilyservices.org.
People tend to perceive risk as being inherently negative. But for teenagers, risk-taking is a healthy, normal, and important part of growing up. In this episode of Mind Your Mind, Host Tim Unsinn talks to Vanessa Lien, Nurse Practitioner, about creating a safe environment for your teenager to take risks—and knowing when to step in when they start taking risks that could result in serious and long-term negative consequences.;
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In today's episode of Mind Your Mind, your host Tim Unsinn talks with Dr. Wayne Martinsen. Dr. Martinsen, Medical Director and Psychiatrist at Dakota Family Services, defines wellness as more than just the absence of disease, but as a state of well-being. In this episode he will share current wellness research, questions to ask to determine your own well-being, and steps you can take to achieve and maintain wellness.;
When someone in our life has cancer, it's difficult to know what to say or how to help. In this episode of Mind Your Mind, Host Tim Unsinn talks to April Morris about how you can best support a friend or loved one who has cancer. Morris, an outpatient therapist at Dakota Family Services, shares tips for knowing what/what not to say, and actions that speak louder than words.;
Sleep is just as important for mental health as it is physical health. During sleep, our brains process our memories, emotions, and other information. In this episode of "Mind Your Mind," April Morris tells us why sleep is so important for overall well-being and encourages us to prioritize sleep. April, a therapist at Dakota Family Services, provides practical tips for improving sleep hygiene so you can live your best life.;
Stress does not discriminate, and it comes in many shapes and forms. In this episode of "Mind Your Mind," Dr. Megan Spencer talks about ways to identify and listen to the stress in our bodies. Learn relaxation techniques for managing stress over time, self-care routines that decrease negative stress, and things you can do to bring calm into your life.;
Physical activity has a huge potential to enhance our well-being. Exercise increases our mental alertness, energy, and positive mood. In this episode of "Mind Your Mind," Christy Wilkie, therapist at Dakota Family Services, talks about how movement, even for five minutes, can promote changes in the brain that lead to neural growth, reduced inflammation, and feelings of calm and well-being. Listen now to learn more about how moving your body can improve your mental health.;
Diagnosing children with a mental health-related condition can be controversial. Many worry this gives children a label that is set in stone and will follow them around their entire lives. In this episode of Mind Your Mind, Dr. Wayne Martinsen talks about the role of diagnosis in getting children the help they need. Martinsen encourages us to think about mental health diagnoses the same as we do any health diagnosis. If you go the doctor and they diagnose you with strep throat, that doesn’t mean you’ll have strep throat forever, or that you are a strep throat victim. It just means that you have a collection of symptoms that point to strep throat, and the doctor will use that diagnose to provide the appropriate treatment.;
ADHD is diagnosed and treated at a much higher rate than in the past, especially in the United States. Why? In this episode of Mind Your Mind, Dr. Wayne Martinsen, Psychiatrist/Medical Director at Dakota Family Services, explains how the changing world has made it harder for people with shorter attention spans to be successful. In the past, if school was hard for you, you could get a job, work your way up, and live a middle-class lifestyle. Not so in today’s world. Learn more about this fascinating take on ADHD.;
In today's episode of Mind Your Mind, your host Tim Unsinn talks with Christy Wilkie about the Feelings Wheel*. Christy, a therapist at Dakota Family Services, says humans experience 34,000 different feelings! She demonstrates how to use the Feelings Wheel to help you identify your emotions so you can control the behaviors associated with them. *Adapted by classtools.net from the Emotional Wheel. The Emotional Wheel was developed by American psychologist, Dr. Robert Plutchik.;
In today's episode of "Mind Your Mind," Vanessa Lien, Nurse Practitioner, talks about the many changes occurring in the teen brain. The teenage brain is highly susceptible to stress, but it is also very resilient. Learn coping strategies you can teach your teen to protect their brains and help them cope with stress and emotional struggles.;
Going back to school after summer vacation can be a stressful time for both kids and parents. The transition from the unstructured summer to a more regimented routine can lead to stress and anxiety. Worries about fitting in, bullying, homework, getting to school on time, and dealing with peer pressure are all additional stressors that may weigh on children when it's time to go back to school. In this episode of “Mind Your Mind,” Tim Unsinn speaks with Therapist Falan Johnson. Falan helps us understand why back to school anxiety is common, provides strategies for managing the added stress, and shares resources parents can use to prepare their children for the new school year.;
The grief of losing a friend or loved one to suicide is complicated and can be especially difficult. In addition to the grief, sadness, and loneliness of any loss, people might experience guilt, confusion, rejection, anger, and shame. The stigma of suicide complicates it even more, often preventing survivors talking about their loss or getting the help they need. In this episode of Mind Your Mind, Tim Unsinn visits with Dakota Family Services' therapist, Christy Wilkie. Christy helps listeners understand the complicated nature of suicide grief and how to move through it with compassion and self-acceptance.;
You will be shocked at the seemingly safe places predators can connect with your children online. In this episode of Mind Your Mind, Lucas Mitzel, a therapist at Dakota Family Services, talks about the things you need to know to keep your children safe. Learn the many websites and platforms used to target children, how to monitor their internet usage, and how to talk to your children about the dangers.;
Pregnancy and the birth of a child can be a joyous and exciting time, but some women struggle with their mental health as they transition to motherhood. Depression, anxiety, and other pregnancy-related mental health conditions may surface during or after pregnancy. In this episode of "Mind Your Mind," Tim Unsinn speaks with Clinical Psychologist Dr. Megan Spencer. Dr. Spencer helps us understand the common symptoms and causes of postpartum depression, as well as what to do if you think you may be experiencing it.;
Anxiety and depression are invisible illnesses—meaning they don't have outward symptoms visible to others. Because they are invisible, they are often hard for people to explain. In this episode of "Mind Your Mind," Host Tim Unsinn visits with April Morris, LCSW, Therapist, Dakota Family Services. April references the spoon theory of chronic illness created by Christine Miserandino, an award-winning writer, blogger, speaker, and lupus patient advocate. Listen now to learn more about spoons as a metaphor for energy and how you can use them to understand and explain anxiety and depression.;
While we hear a lot about autism in the news, many of us still have misconceptions about its causes and symptoms. In this episode of Mind Your Mind, therapist Falan Johnson dispels some of these misconceptions and explains the three levels of autism. Johnson then focuses on the least understood level—high functioning autism. Learn how to identify symptoms of high functioning autism in your child, the importance of early intervention, and ways you can support them.;
In this episode of Mind Your Mind, therapist April Morris talks about boundaries. April will define boundaries, explain their importance, and help you set boundaries that match your values and strengthen your relationships. Learn how healthy boundaries can improve your mental and physical health, and how you can say “no” respectfully.;
Going through infertility tests and treatments can be an extremely difficult and lonely time for couples. In this episode of Mind Your Mind, Lucas Mitzel talks about his own experience. He also shares tips for couples struggling with infertility, and for friends and family members who want to be supportive but don’t know what to say or do.;
In this episode of Mind Your Mind, Host Tim Unsinn talks to Therapist Falan Johnson about panic attacks. What do they feel like? What causes them? How can you prevent or manage them? Listen now to learn more and discover techniques that might work for you or your loved one.;
Are you concerned about your child's mental health but aren't sure what to do? Join Host Tim Unsinn and his guest, Therapist Jesse Lamm, as they discuss ways you can support your child through a difficult time.;
Are the stresses of college (constant worry, fitting in, lack of sleep, etc.) affecting your ability to function? Join Host Tim Unsinn and his guest, April Morris, LCSW, as they discuss ways to manage or eliminate the stressors that are impacting your well-being.;
Are you struggling to get enough sleep each night? Maybe you have difficulty falling and staying asleep. You can't get comfortable. You feel anxious and your brain just won't shut off. According to the Sleep Foundation, over one-third of adults in the U.S. sleep for less than seven hours a night. Join Host Tim Unsinn and his guest, April Morris, LCSW, in this episode of "Mind Your Mind," as they discuss how insomnia can affect many other areas of your life, as well as practical tips to improve your sleep hygiene.;
It's not unusual for children to have temper tantrums or for adolescents to be angry. But when they become out of proportion to the situation in intensity and duration, your child might be suffering from a mood disorder. In this episode of Mind Your Mind, Host Tim Unsinn visits with Dr. Megan Spencer, a psychologist at Dakota Family Services. Listen now to learn how to distinguish between normal mood changes and mood disorders, and some steps you can take to help your child.;
Resilience is not a personality trait or characteristic. Resilience isn't ignoring or emotional numbing or pretending that a problem doesn't exist. And being resilient doesn’t mean we won’t face adversity. Rather, resilience is our ability to bounce back from adversity. In this episode of Mind Your Mind, Dr. Megan Spencer, psychologist at Dakota Family Services, shares ten ways to build resilience so you are ready when adversity strikes.;
You can probably think of a dozen things that make you feel sad. Sadness is a normal human emotion that helps us process the events in our lives. But what is "normal" sadness? When does sadness move from "normal" to something you may need help processing? In this episode of "Mind Your Mind," Falan Johnson, a therapist at Dakota Family Services, will answer these questions and more. Learn the importance of allowing yourself to feel sad so you can move past it, and, when it might be time to seek professional help.;
In today's world, we are constantly bombarded by messages about who we should be, how we should look, what we should do or wear, and more. With the increased accessibility and prevalence of social media, kids and adolescents are hearing and seeing these messages at younger and younger ages. How do we help ourselves and our teens combat these messages and find our true selves? In this episode of "Mind Your Mind," Therapist Jenika Rufer helps us wade through the unimportant things to find what we truly value so we can become our best selves.;
Unsure of whether your therapy is working for you? In this episode of “Mind Your Mind,” our host Tim Unsinn talks with Dakota Family Services therapist Lucas Mitzel about how to make your therapy sessions more productive. Making progress in therapy can often come down to simply having an open mind and a plan for discussion. Although each session can evoke a wide range of emotions, you should always leave feeling that some sort of movement has happened.;
In this episode of Mind Your Mind, host Tim Unsinn and Dakota Family Services therapist Christy Wilkie talk about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and its effectiveness in battling unhelpful thoughts and beliefs. Utilizing cognitive restructuring, CBT helps change inaccurate and damaging self-perceptions and perceptions of others, leading to healthier day-to-day thought patterns. Christy also touches on multiple CBT exercises to try at home, as well as some of her own tactics for promoting helpful thoughts.;
Are your worries and fears about the future getting in the way of daily life? If so, you may be one of the many people who suffer from anxiety. In this special Community Chat episode of Mind Your Mind, Christy Wilkie and Lucas Mitzel talk about the many types of anxiety and what they can look like in both children and adults. They also touch on ways to combat anxiety attacks, including using grounding techniques, mindfulness, muscle relaxation, and more.;
In this episode of Mind Your Mind, host Tim Unsinn and psychiatrist Dr. Wayne Martinson discuss autism and signs of it in children, touching on the different levels of the autism spectrum and where people fall. Learn about how autism often affects children's social skills, communication, and behavior, as well as its connections to other disorders and how to handle it.;
Many people find themselves dealing with high levels of stress and anxiety in their daily lives. However, there are plenty of simple strategies to help regulate these emotions. In this episode of Mind Your Mind, host Tim Unsinn talks with therapist Sandy Richter about various coping exercises to help you regulate and calm yourself, including breathing and movement exercises for both children and adults.;
Medication can affect people in many different ways. In this episode of Mind Your Mind, host Tim Unsinn and psychiatric nurse practitioner Amanda Daggett talk about genetic testing and its use in discerning how different individuals might react to various medications. Tim and Amanda also touch on some of the facts and myths surrounding genetic testing, including what testing can and can’t indicate and where the science is currently at.;
Anxiety is one of the most common mental health problems people face. However, there are many ways to manage and understand it. On this episode of Mind Your Mind, host Tim Unsinn and therapist Lucas Mitzel discuss what causes anxiety and how it can affect people’s day-to-day lives, as well as the difference between anxiety and fear and how to combat chronic anxiety with grounding techniques.;
In this special Community Chat episode of Mind Your Mind, Psychologist Megan Spencer and Psychiatrist Wayne Martinsen discuss how loneliness and social isolation are increasing in our country, as well as what that means for individuals’ health in the long term. They also give advice on how to get yourself or your loved ones more connected with others, including how to connect both in-person and online.;
Does it seem like your child is “stuck” in therapy, or engaging in dangerous behaviors like self-harm and suicidality? In this special Community Chat episode of Mind Your Mind, Psychologist Hannah Baczynski and therapist April Morris discuss Dialectical Behavior Therapy and its effectiveness in treating patients who have found traditional therapy unsuccessful. Learn about the 4 core skills of DBT and what makes DBT unique from other forms of therapeutic treatment.;
When our children are struggling with their mental health, it can be hard knowing how to help them. However, in addition to therapy, medication can be a viable and effective option for improving your child’s mental health. In this episode of Mind Your Mind, our host Tim Unsinn talks with psychiatric mental health nurse Amanda Daggett about how to know if your child needs medication, what the process is for a prescription, and how to tell if their medication is right for them.;
Did you know that depression occurs in about 15% of children? In this episode of Mind Your Mind, our host Tim Unsinn talks with Psychiatrist Dr. Wayne Martinsen about depression in kids and adolescents, including signs of depression to look out for and how to know when to reach out to a care provider. They also touch on how to know whether your child’s sadness is caused by depression or other external factors and what you can do to try and prevent depression in your child.;
It can be difficult knowing how to recognize and treat depression in children and adolescents. In this special community chat episode of Mind Your Mind, Psychologist Megan Spencer and Therapist April Morris discuss signs of depression to look out for, including both behavioral and physical signs that your child may be depressed. They also touch on the influence of environment, physical illnesses or diagnoses, and genetics on children’s mental health.;
While often perceived as only relating to those who’ve experienced warfare, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can affect anyone. In this special Community Chat episode of Mind Your Mind, Psychologist Dr. Hannah Baczynski and therapist Lucas Mitzel explain what trauma is, how it affects each person differently, and when to seek treatment for trauma-related symptoms. They also discuss different treatment options for PTSD, touching on the pros and cons of each.;
Though autism is one of the most commonly discussed mental health diagnoses in the community, it is often one of the most misunderstood. In this special Community Chat episode of Mind Your Mind, therapists Lucas Mitzel and Falan Johnson discuss what autism is, how it appears in children and adolescents, and how it may look different between individuals. They also touch on how autism can show up differently in boys than in girls and offer intervention tips for parents and caregivers.;