Lessons on Balanced Health from Hannah Romano, NP-C

Jan 31, 2020 | Provider, Staff Stories

How body and mind connect on the journey to better health.

 

“Mind over matter.” Or so the saying goes. But for nurse practitioner Hannah Romano, a more accurate version of the common idiom might be: “Mind and body – they both matter.”

From her psychology background and time in AmeriCorps VISTA to her daily yoga routine, life experience has shown Hannah the overwhelming connection between body and mind. And that helping people live healthy means helping them live fully.

From psych major to nurse practitioner

Hannah’s professional journey began with an undergraduate degree in psychology. “I worked in mental health for a time,” she says. “The more I saw, the more I found that the mind and body really go together. I was inspired by a nurse practitioner at my first job and realized nursing could be a career I might want to pursue.”

Hannah’s interest in the nursing profession was only invigorated by a year-long volunteer experience with AmeriCorps VISTA. “I worked with the National Council of Alcoholism and Drug Dependence in Juneau, Alaska – an amazing 18-month drug court program that helps people with DUIs work and stay with their families,” Hannah recalls. “I saw how the community was so threatened by alcoholism. And while mental health was an important component of the issue, I wanted to dig even deeper. I wanted to understand how to empower people from a physical and medical perspective, too.”

“…many factors come into play with health, and we can achieve great success by simply giving patients the right resources.”

So, Hannah did just that – letting her AmeriCorps experience propel her toward a Master of Science in nursing. Now, as a nurse practitioner at Associates in Family Medicine, Hannah brings past lessons into her present family practice.

“My time with AmeriCorps gave me more compassion for people,” Hannah smiles. “It showed me how so many factors come into play with health, and we can achieve great success by simply giving patients the right resources.”

Whether those resources include healthy food choices or social workers who connect patients to mental health services, Hannah continues to see that better health is about the big picture.

Finding her flow

So what helps Hannah stay focused on the bigger picture and practice what she preaches for a healthy body and mind? Yoga.

“I start each day with yoga – even if it’s just ten or 15 minutes,” she says. “It gets my blood flowing and heartrate up, but it also connects my body and mind in preparation for the rest of my day.”

What began as a high school hobby has since become a daily source of calm and inspiration for Hannah – both in her personal and professional life.

“The four virtues of yoga are loving, compassion, empathetic joy, and equanimity – all the things that are important to me whether I’m with my family or my patients,” she explains.

In addition to these virtues, Hannah brings the mind-body benefits of yoga into her medical practice – sharing the importance of breath and movement with patients every day. “Deep, slow breaths help engage the parasympathetic nervous system, which tells the body to calm down, slow the heartrate, and alleviate anxiety,” says Hannah. “Also, so much of our health can be controlled or improved with regular exercise. It doesn’t have to be yoga. It’s just about moving your body.”

Motivating mindful health

Drawing from past experiences and breathing in the lessons of yoga (and of life), Hannah loves inspiring patients to stay engaged in their health. “Even in Fort Collins – one of the healthiest cities in the country – there are still people struggling,” she says. “Primary and preventative healthcare resources can have such a big impact on the community when we motivate people to take control of their health.”

So, Hannah did just that – letting her AmeriCorps experience propel her toward a Master of Science in nursing. Now, as a nurse practitioner at Associates in Family Medicine, Hannah brings past lessons into her present family practice.

“My time with AmeriCorps gave me more compassion for people,” Hannah smiles. “It showed me how so many factors come into play with health, and we can achieve great success by simply giving patients the right resources.”

Whether those resources include healthy food choices or social workers who connect patients to mental health services, Hannah continues to see that better health is about the big picture.

Finding her flow

So what helps Hannah stay focused on the bigger picture and practice what she preaches for a healthy body and mind? Yoga.

“I start each day with yoga – even if it’s just ten or 15 minutes,” she says. “It gets my blood flowing and heartrate up, but it also connects my body and mind in preparation for the rest of my day.”

What began as a high school hobby has since become a daily source of calm and inspiration for Hannah – both in her personal and professional life.

“The four virtues of yoga are loving, compassion, empathetic joy, and equanimity – all the things that are important to me whether I’m with my family or my patients,” she explains.

In addition to these virtues, Hannah brings the mind-body benefits of yoga into her medical practice – sharing the importance of breath and movement with patients every day. “Deep, slow breaths help engage the parasympathetic nervous system, which tells the body to calm down, slow the heartrate, and alleviate anxiety,” says Hannah. “Also, so much of our health can be controlled or improved with regular exercise. It doesn’t have to be yoga. It’s just about moving your body.”

Motivating mindful health

Drawing from past experiences and breathing in the lessons of yoga (and of life), Hannah loves inspiring patients to stay engaged in their health. “Even in Fort Collins – one of the healthiest cities in the country – there are still people struggling,” she says. “Primary and preventative healthcare resources can have such a big impact on the community when we motivate people to take control of their health.”

Hannah is accepting new patients at our Timberline office

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