(Least)* Complicated

Walking the tightrope between being a current MSII medical student and a Naturopathic Doctor is a delicate balance sometimes. I never know whether my career as an expert in alternative medicine is going to be a blackball or a gold star because of the very mixed opinions people have about my former profession in the medical world. My plan, heading into the first day of medical school was not to tell anyone my (second) degree when I started (my third degree) at UNECOM, but it was announced in orientation so my cover was blown.

Being a ND in general is pretty complicated – working outside of insurance in most states is a financial challenge for patients as well as doctors, and public knowledge about the profession is highest on the west coast of the US and Canada, and in more affluent areas of the NorthEast. Many people get excited when I say I am a doctor, then look back blankly when I tell them what kind of medicine I practice(d). People who know the field have reactions that are pretty love: hate. Lots of lovers, quite a few haters, and an ever-growing population of quiet converts who realize that, as one anonymous Twitter medical student said in my recent Twitter Flaming on the topic: people who are interested in alternative medicine are usually trying to take care of their health and make themselves feel better.

IMG_6031I have recently been made aware of a woman who attended a west coast Naturopathic Medicine College who has turned against the profession “with an inside view” and who is engaging in aggressive muckraking. She is getting recognition and validation as an “insider” to Naturopathic Medicine as she did complete our 4-year postgraduate degree before she quit and moved to Germany. She has started a petition to defame the profession worldwide. The unfortunate thing is she lives outside the US and is not accountable for US or CDN slander laws. What she is doing is poignantly effective because she has inflamed the haters. One doctor in particular is a physician and educator with the influential Doctors in Training Boards Exam Review Series. He has a large Twitter following and has enthusiastically joined in the slander of the Naturopathic Profession. I worry about how his “expert” personal opinion will effect future generations of physicians who have not considered their professional opinions of Naturopathic Medicine due to lack of exposure.

Big media like Forbes has jumped on the “tin foil hat” bandwagon by supporting her claims that botanical medicine, nutrition, physical medicine, homeopathy, mind/body practices and stress management are invalid sciences without evidence. The American and Canadian federal Naturopathic associations have both started a counter-petition against these muckracking efforts.

All of this is personally upsetting for me. It stirs a complicated turmoil of emotions, injustice, pride, and frustration that mixes my own choices with a very clear working knowledge of the weight that “the big lie” technique can carry in the world of propaganda. All of this comes at a time when “Functional Medicine” and “Integrative Medicine” are the new darlings of allopathic medicine alongside epigenetics and the microbiome.

Newsflash: Functional Medicine and Integrative Medicine ARE evidence based Naturopathic Medicines, researched by and for NDs originally.

Naturopathic Doctors are systematically being defamed and slandered while our actual practice techniques are being picked up and renamed and celebrated for their effectiveness.

I feel helpless in the face of this complicated adversity. I made my personal choice to add an Osteopathic Degree to my knowledge base because there was more to medicine I wanted to know – pharmacology, emergency medicine, psychiatry, and other facets of transgender medicine I need additional training on. I know the great value of Naturopathic Medicine and so do a great number of North American consumers. I suppose I need to trust that the greater good will prevail in the end…. but that may not help me or my career path when I am placed in a hospital as an MSIII or resident with an attending like the Internist above who hates everything alternative and Naturopathic medicine stands for.

Share

The Lost Art

I am sick in an invisible way that people cant really see, and I don’t really feel – much. I can take a pill and make it mostly unnoticeable. Except for the fact that my hair falls out in handfuls with a certain kind of stress…

I consider myself an expert in self-care. And yet, I can hardly find the time to do the “little” things that I know could help. Like, nettle hair rinses, getting at least 8 hours of sleep every night, taking my fish oil, and eating more protein. Instead, I keep myself too busy and dull myself with things that make me feel better for a few hours, but never in the long run. I have fallen into the mindlessness of  modern health care where I want a pill to do the work of healing for me. Dammit!

We all have levels of health maintenance we are willing to do on a regular basis. Vitamins, exercise, water, organics, therapy, whatever. We each have a certain degree of self care required to maintain the status quo of daily function. But, what happens when that balance is tipped and we need to actually recover from an illness, injury, or accident?

I offer you an invitation to step off the rat wheel of everyday living, and create a luminal space for healing. A luminal space is an anthropology term that refers to a period of time “outside of time” – a step out of everyday living. Some health crisis force this through body fluid effluvia that ties one to the bathroom, or physical disability that prevents mobility. Too often we are able to power through a cold, or anxiety attack or injury and do not engage in the art of self care to allow actual healing. This is what snowballs into chronic illness / disease or chronic pain.

I have been “sick” for at least 9 months, but I haven’t made more than a few half-hearted efforts to engage in deep self care. I have taken lots of prescriptions and had lots of blood tests, but is that truly healing medicine? I finally broke my baby toe last week, and have been suddenly forced to slow down by immobility. I am doing hydrotherapy, making castor oil packs, cooking and eating good food, meditating, saying no to social engagements I don’t deeply want to do, and getting sleep. These are some of the cornerstones of deep self care.

It is very difficult to give ones self approval to close the door on society and expectations and family, and friends, and chores, and domestic duties, and distractions, and choose to do something solely for the self instead. We are culturally programmed to take care of business, pleasure, family, kids, dogs, and our homes before we take care of the inner self. If you are sick, at any level, you will heal faster, and better if you take the time to practice deep medicine by taking the time to take care of your self.

I am here to help you do that. And, I give myself permission to offer that same wisdom and practice for my self. The pills and the maintenance are not enough. We must engage the luminal, lost art of deep self care for complete health and healing.

 

Share

Ideal Weight Program

photo 3Welcome to a new way of working with body image, metabolism, eating patterns and ultimately, weight management. This is not a diet. Let me repeat. This is not a diet.

Study after study have shown that only 2% of people who lose weight by dieting are able to keep it off for life; 98%  of dieters gain back the weight they have lost plus more. This endless cycle slowly but surely adds pounds while eroding your sense of self worth. It also creates chaos within the blood sugar, hormone and neurotransmitter system that leads to further metabolic disruption.

Now is the time to change the old patterns. With awareness and a commitment to change, you can rewrite the story of your body. Your cells are constantly regenerating themselves; with direction from your mind and an individualized, functional medicine approach to improving structure and function you can reach your ideal metabolism, energy, and physique.

This program is divided into four phases. Each phase is at least 90 days long. Some people will need more time in an individual section, and can stay in each section as long as needed. The four sections are like a wheel, and where you start depends on your health, area of interest, and life circumstances. Some people will move in a linear direction through each step, and others will hopscotch from one area to the other. The secret to success is that we follow your body, your life, and your needs to unlock your ideal.

The four treatment sections are: FOOD, DIGESTION, STRESS, HORMONES

FOOD:  It only makes sense to work with food when addressing weight. Food is actually a very complicated topic, and one that most people have layers and layers of  complex conditioning around. We will start with a comprehensive 200 food ALCAT sensitivity test that will empower and educate you to make food choices based on YOUR immune system reactions to food (food sensitivities.) There are so many diets, so much information, so many food gurus and opinions out there! This test allows you to claim your own power around food choices based on your body’s unique message. In this section we will also teach you how to identify when you are hungry, and when you are full. These simple intuitive eating approaches build awareness and compassion, connecting you to your own primitive need for food as fuel.

DIGESTION: Effective food breakdown and waste elimination is crucial to a healthy body. Nausea, bad breath, appetite fluctuations, heartburn, indigestion, gas, cramping, bloating, constipation, hard stools, soft stools and diarrhea are all signs that your body is not digesting effectively. We will use a CDSA (Comprehensive Digestive Stool Analysis) to investigate all parameters of digestion including beneficial and pathogenic flora levels to truly repair and restore your digestive tract. This will have multiple health benefits including a more balanced immune response, increased energy,  regular bowel movements, potential pain relief and much more. As your digestive system is renewed you will be able to maintain your ideal weight more effectively as the body processes the food you eat with ease.

STRESS: Our brain decides when we are hungry, and when we are full. It also decides when we will eat. These two actions are not neccessarily in harmony. By looking at neurotransmitter levels that are intricately linked to food and well-being, we can understand some of the complexity of the mind-body-food relationship. During this time we will assess the stress in your life, and build stress management skills. Using botanical medicine we will tonify your endocrine system, enhancing your capacity to experience stress with ease and resiliency. At the same time, awareness exercises continue the weight-related exploration of finding and maintaining your ideal physical body with a healthy, relaxed mind.

HORMONES: Most people gain weight when their hormones begin to decline. This usually refers to reproductive hormones like estrogen, progesterone and testosterone, but  thyroid and adrenal hormones are also crucial to a vibrant and efficient metabolism. Finally, Human Growth Hormone levels dictate the speed at which we age.  This section utilizes the Age Management comprehensive hormone blood work panel to thoroughly investigate the state of your hormones. Using cutting edge anti-aging therapies and Bioidentical hormone treatments we will optimize your hormones, rejeuvenating your sex life, cognitive function, energy levels and more.  Some participants may also choose to do a 26 day HCG diet as part of this personally tailored hormonal wellness program for more radical weight loss.

Each of these components make up the whole that is your living body and each have a profound effect on weight. Whether you want to lose 10 lbs or 100lbs, or even want to learn how to maintain your current weight in a more relaxed fashion, our Ideal Weight Management program will bring you closer to that which we all seek – your ideal Self. As your awareness of the triggers behind your disordered eating patterns come clear, your need to medicate with food will shift. Functional issues like constipation, heartburn, and nausea will transform into easy, successful elimination of your body’s waste, allowing a more effective fuel-burning metabolism to emerge. And, you will feel more energized and better able to handle the stresses of everyday living without food as a crutch.

This program is not for the faint of heart. It is for people who have dieted all their life. It is for all genders and all ages. There is no standardized program that you must sacrifice and change to be accepted into – this is a truly individualized series of sessions that unearths the inner you …that you will adore.

Share

The Longest Night of the Year

December is not always mistletoe and gingerbread. It can be one of the hardest times of the year for many people. People aren’t supposed to die on Christmas and relationships aren’t supposed to end around the holidays…. but they do. The myth of the happy family is only a reality for a portion of the population; and even those who do celebrate Christmas with family can have significant stress and sorrow around money, relationships, and more.

So, for those who are alone this month, or in the midst of tragedy or change or trauma, I wanted to offer some self-care advice. From a metaphysical perspective, no matter what your religion is, this time of year IS about the miracle of returning light. The first few weeks of the month bring ever increasing darkness. Light some lights in your own home, whether they are candles or Christmas lights, reflecting your own inner flame. No matter how dark the world appears, each of us has the light of our soul to guide us. Connect with yours.

broken_heart_remedy_compoundFor those with heartache, there are many botanicals that offer gentle physical and emotional support. Avena botanicals makes a Broken Heart herbal tincture and a lovely sweet Rose Petal Elixir. The elixir is in a glycerin base and is used to gently lift the spirits and open the heart. It tastes like a rose smells on a hot summer day! Many herbalists make their own rose petal elixirs at the summer solstice, in preparation for this dark time of year. Herbal medicines like these affect our body, mind and spirit. By using self-care medicines we are making a commitment to our Self to move through this time of change with as much gentle strength and internal fortitude as possible. http://www.avenabotanicals.com/rose-petal-elixir.html 

Many people have seasonal affective disorder (SAD) or just simply hate the cold. We have had a particularly cold pre-winter here in Maine, which makes getting out to enjoy our gorgeous local landscape more difficult. Prevention is key for SAD – once it takes hold it is harder to manage. Adequate levels of Vitamin D3 are especially important. I generally recommend 2,000-5,000 IU daily depending on your body weight and Vitamin D reserves. Have you had your blood levels of Vitamin D checked yet this fall? High quality fish oil is a good adjunct to Vitamin D, enhances its absorption and can help with mental health. Fish oil contains two chemical constituents – EPA and DHA. The EPA is the part that helps with depression. Aim for a minimum of 650 mg of EPA daily, taken with your D3.

Saint Johnswort is another classic treatment for SAD. This herb affects the metabolism of many medications. Therefore, I only suggest using St Johnswort if you are not on any other meds. Dosage must be 900 mg per day, taken *every day.* This herb acts like SSRI antidepressants in that it takes about 4 weeks to get the full effect, and it needs to be taken daily for best results. This herb has evidence of use back to 400AD by Hippocrates. It is an ancient and magical herb with an association to light. It is no mistake that it is useful for SAD! If you do take medications like birth control, daily pain medication or blood pressure medication but would like some mood support you can consider 5-HTP. This is a serotonin precursor that is naturally produced in the body, and is available in supplement form. It can be helpful for anxiety, depression, insomnia and “the blues.” It is quite safe in general, although it should not be taken along with antidepressant medications unless specifically advised by an Integrative Medicine Dr. Typical dosage for 5-HTP is to start with 50 mg twice a day, and increase to up 150 mg twice a day as needed.

Exercise and meditation are two other valuable tools for getting through hard times. Exercise releases endorphins which simply make us feel good! It can be a walk around the block or a cross-fit class or hot yoga. The type of exercise does not matter as much as the act of getting into your body and out of your head. Meditation offers ways to step outside the constant chatter of our ego. I recommend a guided meditation for beginners. I use this Buddhist body-focused beginner set by Reginald Ray, but there are many more available! http://www.soundstrue.com/shop/promotion/1047.pd

At the end of the day, we each need to get through our darkest times in the ways we know how. Alcohol, television and drugs are all effective in their own way, but they also exacerbate the feelings of isolation and despair. Connecting to your inner light source and fanning your fires of spirit and confidence and strength will help grant you the courage to move through these difficult times. Some of us need more help than others to connect to our strengths, and supplements like herbal remedies, vitamin D, fish oil, St Johnswort and 5HTp can be great support systems. I love the rose petal elixir for its sweet uplifting taste of summer in these harsh cold days of winter.

For personal support on transforming your own journey or connecting to your inner strengths, book an appointment with Dr. Wright. She is available for consults during the month of December including December 27, 2013.

Call 207-774-1356 now.

References:

The ABC Clinical Guide to Herbs. American Botanical Council, Thieme Publishing 2003. Currently out of print.

Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine. Michael Murray ND and Joseph Pizzorno ND. Prima Publishing, Rocklin, CA 1998

www.avenabotanicals.com

Share

#TTC – Safe Treatments for Fertility & First Trimester Anxiety

The work of becoming/being pregnant marks a time in a woman’s life when the game changes. Alcohol is no longer an option for stress management. Most herbs and even common teas are viewed with suspicion, and many medications are frowned on. Many of our crutches for managing the stresses of daily life are taken away, and the stress of in/fertility is added. However, there are natural treatments available for this time period to reduce stress, ease anxiety, and support a healthy first trimester.

Flower Essences are very safe for all expecting and #TTC moms, and are especially useful for women using multiple fertility and metabolic medications as they have no interactions or side effects! Flower remedies are literally essences of the particular flower in a brandy solution. Bach flower essences are the most commercially available. FES (Flower Essence Society,) Alaskan Essences, Perelandra and more are other well respected flower essence brands. Bach has 38 different flower remedies available; however the following are especially pertinent for fertility and first trimester. Dosage is 3-5 drops in water 2-4 times daily or as needed. The very small amount of alcohol in these medications will not cause any fetal problems as it is so minute a dose.

Aspen: For apprehension and vague fears

Gorse: Brightens perspective and increases optimism.

Holly: For envy or jealousy of others

Larch: Gets one out of the success/failure paradigm and increases self-confidence

Wild Rose: Restores interest and joy when feeling apathetic or resigned.

White Chestnut: Restores a peaceful mind when caught in repetitive thoughts

Botanical Medicine: Some herbs are appropriate for this time period, however most herbs are best set aside until the pregnancy is well established or beyond breastfeeding. One herb that is a #TTC and first trimester best friend is viburnum prunifolium otherwise known as black haw. This is different from viburnum opulus aka cramp bark – do not mix the two! Black haw quiets an “irritable” uterus, and prevents miscarriage. It is very safe and quite effective. I recommend 1/4 to 1/2 tsp daily for the first trimester as needed. For questions and concerns, refer to your local Naturopathic Doctor who can take your full history and prescribe according to your individual health care needs. Oatstraw or avena sativa is also a wonderful tonic that is nourishing to the body and calming to the mind. This herb is best taken as a tea. It is gluten free, hydrating with rich minerals (therefore great for morning sickness) and soothing to frazzled nerves. Valerian is perfect for nighttime anxiety. It is safe in pregnancy, breastfeeding, and for pediatrics. This is Mother Nature’s truly sedative herb. Used in doses of 5-30 drops before bed, this can help quiet the mind and improve the duration and quality of sleep. I like it as an alcohol free (glycerite) tincture as the taste is slightly sweeter than the alcohol based formula. Capsules are also an option although I prefer the smaller dosing options of the liquid form. (Valerian is very well researched, please contact me for a formal monograph if desired.)

imagesFinally, lavender essential oil has a time honored place in the treatment of anxiety.  For those whom lavender has a calming effect you can use lavender products liberally that have the real essential oil in them – avoid synthetic fragrance analogues. There are now lavender essential oil capsules that are quite effective for treating occasional or situational anxiety. These act quickly and safely to diminish feelings of panic, irritability and stress. Typically essential oils should not be used internally during pregnancy, so these lavender caps are best used only until the day of ovulation. There is a lavender glycerite tincture also available which can be used sparingly while pregnant in doses of 1-2 drops for anxiety and panic as needed. There is some (internet) controversy surrounding the use of lavender in pregnancy; however, it is not listed in any of the classic literature as a herb to avoid in first trimester.  My opinion is that if this botanical medicine is the one thing that works to soothe your fears, use it in moderation. If it increases your anxiety due to the multitudes of internet opinions, avoid it! Here is a link to a well researched blog post on the safety of lavender essential oil in pregnancy: http://roberttisserand.com/2011/07/lavender-oil-and-pregnancy/

Acupuncture and Registered Massage Therapy are also fabulous safe care therapies for anxiety and stress while #TTC. Acupuncture has a proven track record of efficacy when it comes to enhancing not only assisted reproduction but also all conception. Studies have shown that weekly acupuncture greatly reduces the rate of miscarriage during first trimester, especially for women with a previous miscarriage. This is in part due to its ability to support the expectant mom through the first 12 weeks. The therapeutic touch offered by massage therapy also has the ability to soothe anxiety, ease depression, and support the physical changes of pregnancy. The resulting relaxation offers an anxious expecting mom a few moments to quiet the mind, which can have great positive effects overall. It is important to see an acupuncturist or massage therapist trained in pregnancy massage as there are specific techniques and positions used for this treatment.

All in all, this is such a time of mystery, of waiting, and of trust that it can be overwhelming to have to “go with the flow.” Every couple experiences some level of anxiety, and some have a very hard time as #BFN’s happen again and again.  Flower essences, black haw, oatstraw and lavender glycerite are natural remedies that any couple can use to support their own mental and emotional wellness on the road to becoming a family. There are many more herbs, vitamins, and therapies available for #TTC and expectant moms that are based on the individualized medicine offered by a licensed Naturopathic Doctor.

Links and Resources:

http://www.gowonderworks.com/flower_essences

http://www.bachflower.com

http://www.fesflowers.com

http://www.biomedcentral.com/1472-6882/12/20

http://www.fertilityfactor.com/infertility_acupuncture.html

http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancyhealth/prenatalmassage.html

 

 

Share

Improving Libido with Naturopathic Medicine

Sex, sex drive and inherent libido are all very complex subjects in modern culture, affected by our extremely long TO DO lists tagged onto the ends of busy days. Here is an article I wrote for QueeriesMag.com February 2013 on Naturopathic Medicine to increase sex drive.Let me know what you think!

http://queeriesmag.com/index.php/2013/02/14/on-the-kitchen-table/

Share

A Note from Behind the Curtain

So many patients are looking for answers. As a doctor I know that the best answers are in each individual. Usually, we do not want to know the real answer. We want a pill, or a cream, or a smoothie containing the essential nutrients that will add up to the ultimate results. Dont get me wrong – products will help. Testing can uncover imbalances and deficiencies to be corrected and appropriate formulations to improve symptomology. However… until you are actually ready to change something – that thing- – which needs changing in your personal landscape, it is unlikely that you will find your own true answer to health. I will use myself as an example.

After I graduated from Naturopathic Medical School in 2000, I opened a clinic in downtown Toronto with some of my classmates. Over the next 12 years I developed my professional identity, grew my patient base, and pursued my personal passion of fertility medicine. I had a wonderful partner, a beautiful home and fantastic friends. I was never fully content, despite my abundance. I doubted my career and profession, and was constantly seeking something outside of myself to fill the inherent void. No amount of adrenal supplements, detox regimes or magnesium quieted the inner voice. This was not an organic condition, it was a calling that took me many years to acknowledge.

Eventually, I moved to Portland Maine in March 2011. I sold my clinic, left my clinic faculty position, and my sweetheart and I parted ways. Here, life is different. I smell the ocean every day. I do yoga (occasionally.) I walk the dog. I drink green tea. I am redefining myself as a Naturopathic Doctor and am inspired by the new turns my professional identity is taking. I am becoming a better doctor – the best version of myself. It has been a massively stressful process to redefine my life in my late 30’s. However – the gray hairs are worth the evolution. I am happy in a way I have never been. And it is not because my physical, emotional, or mental health has changed drastically. It is because I have found my own answer.

Not everyone’s answer will involve so many miles and such upheaval. The answer to your own health and wellness questions may simple or complex. Part of my job as a Naturopathic Doctor is to look beyond pills and dietary restrictions to see your truth behind your curtain, and support you in finding your own evolutions. If I can do it, I am sure to believe in you.

Share

Naturopathic Botox Support

Botox is a drug preparation of the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. The order of bacteria Clostridium all has a physical similarity that they cause “profound paralysis or profound contractive spasmodic conditions…” (Klein, Miasms and Nosodes Book 2009 p. 90) This is true from a homeopathic, bacterial, and drug perspective.

Getting Botox injections are part of many peoples reality. It smoothes the effects of stress and tension on the facial muscles, imparting a more youthful, relaxed visage. Botox is not for everyone, and for some, it can be a one or two time treatment for specific events – weddings, career moves, mid life crisis! After many years of considering it, I had a first (and follow up) Botox treatment this year for my 38th Birthday from Kathy Molloy RN – a well-established and experienced Botox expert at Akari who loves to see facial transformations. It was a positive experience for 3 reasons:

1. I did pre and post care using teas and homeopathic remedies to ensure the best treatment success for the therapy. Botulism is a serious condition, which can be fatal. Very few people have statistically negative results from cosmetic dermal procedures, but side effects are possible.  To counteract possible side effects of the Botox Injection, I took Homeopathic Arnica and Ledum before the injection, and a single remedy from the Clostridium group of remedies after the injection that best fit my symptom picture. When I went in for a secondary set of injections and follow up, I was lazy and did not do my prophylactic treatment, as my initial treatment had been such a success!  I had a headache for 4-5 days afterwards, and some very tender spots where the injections had gone in. I may have also had a slight transient droop in my right eyelid. This proved to me that prevention is the best medicine! Taking homeopathic remedies to counteract the possible side effects proved more effective than not taking the safe, and inexpensive remedies.

2. The best Botox effects result in youthful transformation.  Transforming the face to erase lines may sound like a simple paralytic procedure, but you are actually asking your body to release muscle memories. My experience of this was that I needed to consciously release some old anger and frustrations in the first few days after the treatment, to help my body align with the new muscle structure.  Think about it  – all those years of frowning were for reasons; addressing the emotional context on a physical AND emotional level allowed for more profound transformation.

3. Headaches are a very common side effect – as the biochemical systems of the body are literally metabolizing the toxic Botox substance.  Improving your lymphatic circulation through local massage and gentle detoxification support allows your body to more easily transform the chemical. Too much detoxification, and the Botox drug may actually not work as well as you hope! Not enough detoxification, and flu like symptoms, headache, facial pain, nausea and prolonged redness will result.

I also saw Hadley Clark L. AC from Zenkai Acupuncture for a post-Botox acupuncture treatment to eliminate my headaches. She was wonderful!  Traditional Chinese Medicine has an entire system of care devoted to Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture -designed to reduce fine lines, improve skin tone and texture, and eliminate redness. Following a Botox treatment with a facial acupuncture series, or having a series done when a new Botox injection would be indicated is one way to make the effects of Botox last longer, to decrease the amount of injections, and to address facial aging from a more holistic perspective.

Many people were surprised that as a ND, I would even consider Botox.  Naturopathic Medicine is not against the science of (anti-aging) pharmaceuticals, nor is it only “natural” products. It is a system of medicine that offers individualized care, grounded in the understanding that given the correct support, the body has the wisdom to heal itself.  Naturopathic Medicine uses the most natural, least invasive and least toxic therapies needed for each case – in this case to support the toxic therapy at hand!

Why use homeopathy? Because it is the safest, and most effective way to counteract the side effects of invasive medical treatments. Homeopathy believes that many substances, but especially bacterial, viral and fungal infections, can create a genetic taint or footprint that continues to affect cellular expression beyond the primary infection. These “taints” or “miasms” can affect the genetic memory enough to cause intergenerational health problems.  If you are willingly introducing very toxic bacteria into your system, for beauty (or pain relief) isn’t it worth also addressing the potential long-term negative ramifications from the start?

To Book a Facial Rejuvenation Support Treatment, please call 207-233-3944. The initial consultation is 45 minutes, with a post-injection follow up phone or Skype consult

BOTOX SIDE EFFECTS – FYI

“The most common side effects of injections around the eyes and in the face include temporary bruising, eyelid drooping (ptosis), dry eyes, and double vision (diplopia) (Hsiung 2002; Tan 2002), and facial droop can occur with injections into the cheek. “http://www.botoxfacts.ca/sideEffects.html

“Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome when using Botox: Anxiety; arm pain; back pain; dizziness; drowsiness; dry mouth; dry or irritated eyes; facial pain; flu-like symptoms; headache; inability to focus the eyes; increased cough; indigestion; nausea; neck pain; pain, redness, swelling, or tenderness at the injection site; runny nose; sensitivity to light; stiff or weak muscles at or near the injection site; tiredness; sweating.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur when using Botox: Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue; unusual hoarseness); bleeding at the injection site; chest pain; difficulty swallowing or breathing; double or blurred vision, or other vision changes; drooping of the upper eyelid; eyelid swelling; fainting; fever, chills, or persistent sore throat; irregular heartbeat; loss of bladder control; loss of strength; paralysis; seizures; severe or persistent muscle weakness or dizziness; shortness of breath; speech changes or problems; worsening migraine.” http://www.drugs.com/sfx/botox-side-effects.html

Share

Optimizing Nutrition for Beautiful Skin

The skin is the largest organ of the human body – and the only one that the world can see. Keeping skin luminous requires not only topical maintenance, but also premium nutritional support and hydration. The skin is a secondary organ of elimination. This means that when the primary organs of elimination  -the liver, kidneys and bowels – become overworked, the skin takes on the additional job of detoxifying for the body. This results in acne, redness, discoloration, eczema, rosacea, spider veins and other cosmetic maladies. Fortunately, by providing skin with optimal essential fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, and by improving detoxification at the primary sites of elimination, you can maintain the glowing, clear complexion and collagen levels you have always wanted.

NUTRITIONAL SUPPORT FOR HEALTHY SKIN

¨     Eat more liver-loving foods on a daily basis. Start your day with the juice of 1/4 a lemon in a pint glass hot or cold water on waking to get your digestion started. Eat at least 2 of the following foods daily to improve detoxification: beets, carrots, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, bok choy, arugula or broccoli.

¨     Increase your vegetarian daily essential fat intake. Nuts, seeds, avocado, and ground flax seeds are all sources of essential fatty acids. Use olive oil and/or organic coconut oil for cooking. Nuts and seeds are best raw, unsalted and unroasted. (You can dry-toast them yourself in a cast iron pan to improve taste without losing all of the nutritional benefits.)

¨     Choose local cold water fish, such as cod, sardines, sole, haddock, or herring  2-3 times per week. Avoid swordfish, shark, king mackerel, halibut, sea bass or tuna steak, which contain high levels of mercury. Remove skin from all fish to reduce PCB contamination. Tuna, sea bass and Atlantic cod are overfished. Tuna can only be eaten once every 2 weeks to avoid mercury contamination. Only eat wild caught salmon, avoid farmed if possible.

¨     Ensure adequate fibre intake daily from whole grains, lentils, beans, vegetables, and fruits. Be adventurous with your grains – try millet, quinoa, brown rice, wild rice, and buckwheat kasha as part of your meal plans. Include a minimum of two raw vegetables daily and one piece of organic fruit.

BASIC SUPPLEMENT SUPPORT FOR BEAUTIFUL SKIN

Omega 3 Fish oil – 2 caps twice / day or 1 tsp – Omega 3 oils reduce inflammation decreasing redness and dryness. They also keep hair, skin, and nails rich and lustrous with essential fatty acids to nourish from the inside out.

Jarrow CoQ10 – 1 capsule daily – CoQ10 is a potent fat antioxidant and works microscopically to maintain your cellular health. Healthy cells = healthy skin

Vitamin C -2000mg daily. C is an integral component of the collagen matrix. It is also a potent water soluble antioxidant, which works to detoxify the fluids surrounding cells. Adequate levels of vitamin C can be absorbed from a diet high in organic fruits and vegetables, otherwise supplementation is advised. Research has also proven that topical Vitamin C products improve skin quality.

Zinc/Copper by AOR. Copper pairs with Vitamin C to form collagen, and Zinc is an essential mineral for many enzymatic processes. If you are having problem skin, supplement with a Zinc / Copper mineral at least 6 months of each year.

ADVANCED SKIN CARE

With more invasive procedures such as aggressive peels and some laser treatments, more personalized treatments may be needed to optimize healing and provide long term maintenance. Its best to create a plan for before, during and after your facial rejuvenation.

Homeopathy is an integral part of advanced skin care. Several studies have been done using Arnica Montana in homeopathic preparation for post surgical care. http://www.med.nyu.edu/content?ChunkIID=38342 These have all illustrated that this remedy decreases post-operative edema, and can reduce pain and bruising as well. Homeopathy is extremely safe, and can be used to treat bruising, pain, burns, and other side effects of advanced facial care.

Complicated or chronic dermatological conditions such as vitiligo, acne, rosacea, eczema and other pathological skin conditions generally require personalized treatment plans as these all involve internal organ dysfunctions that are manifesting as skin conditions. Nutrition, Botanical Remedies, Stress Management and Lifestyle Counseling will likely be employed to restore your skin to its natural beauty.

Share

Weight Loss and Other Mysteries

Weight loss is and will always be immensely complicated, full of chutes and ladders of self esteem, deprival mentality binging, and whirlpools of addiction. Still, there is a forest beyond the trees. Or, a Candyland amidst the candy as the case may be.

Successful weight loss has 4 steps: detoxification, cortisol balancing, optimizing diet and exercise. Detoxification is the new key step to integrate – at the beginning of the weight loss process. Evidence is mounting that our body uses our fat cells and between-cell fluids to store toxins that it is not able to metabolize effectively. Some Persistent Organic Pollutants (environmental toxins) have even been suggested to be “obesogens” contributing to further weight gain. 1 . When we exercise or reduce caloric intake to facilitate fat burning, the matrix between our fat cells can be so thick with unprocessed environmental and metabolic toxins that the body preferentially burns muscle to get the fuel it needs! Therefore, Step 1 must be to detoxify. Our body has 3 primary routes of detoxification: bowels, kidney and liver. All three will eventually need some fine tuning, and the order of tonification depends on your signs and symptoms, as well as your medications and general vitality.

Step 2: Optimizing Diet. Its so hard to eat well consistently. It is even harder if food is one of your chosen drugs, and you are addicted. Weight loss would be so easy if everyone was willing to go gluten and dairy free! In my experience if you have a 65%  whole foods diet, then the remaining 35% can be whatever you want.  To figure out how to shift your eating with an approach that will work for you in the long term there are many resources – The Glycemic Diet and Eating Right for Your Blood Type both explain more about the underlying principals of nutrition. Weight Watchers also works for a reason – being accountable for what you are eating and restricting some foods to moderate amounts *will* help you lose weight. What does “whole food” mean to me? 65% of your diet will be cooked grains, steamed or sauteed vegetables, organic fruits and juices, tofu, beans, eggs, wild fish, coconut milk, olive oil, butter, nuts and seeds. The remaining 35% can then be everything else – beef, bread, cheese, bacon, alcohol, etc. What does 35% mean for real? 2.45 days a week you can eat whatever you want, the remaining days are pretty basic, healthy, and “granola” food choices IF you actually want to lose weight.

Stress Management aka Cortisol Regulation is the golden child of any weight loss program. Several books have been written in the past 10 years outlining the connections between stress, hormones and weight gain. I like cracking The Metabolic Code by James LaValle R.Ph, C.C.N., ND. The bottom line is this – when you are stressed out, your blood cortisol levels increase. Just in case you are running from a rabid dog and need to climb a tree your body makes sure (via increased cortisol) you have lots of sugar available in your blood for extra energy. However, if you aren’t in fact running, and don’t need to extra sugar, your body turns that blood sugar into belly fat. Therefore, its important with all weight loss programs to address stress at some point to treat the biochemical imbalances leading to increased weight. There are a few herbs and vitamins that specifically rebalance cortisol levels, and reteach the body how to respond appropriately to the every days stress of life.

Finally, exercise and an active lifestyle. Getting the blood pumping and muscles moving mobilizes fat toxins into the bloodstream, and serves as an excellent antidote to daily stress. Check! I also find that getting ones body moving in whatever form works for you is invaluable to setting the positive cycle of weight loss in motion. The positive cycle is this: eat a good meal –> feel good about yourself –> go for a walk/to the gym/to yoga –> feel sexier–> feel motivated and excited about life –> make a good food choice. The cycle keeps going so that sooner than you expect it, you start to feel the benefits in the way your clothes fit which makes the supplements and brown rice and kale suddenly get much more appealing!

There is no one quick fix, no one diet or pill or product or form of exercise that will resonate for everyone. The structure is fluid and fundamental – the individual components are designed to be strategically tailored to fit your life and style. I also think  its worth asking yourself – do you Really want to lose weight for You? Or, are you holding your Self up against an ideal that you actually don’t want to attain? Personal honesty will take you further than anything else. Allow yourself the option of total success if you truly want to revolutionize your self image. And, weight loss takes time. It is only reasonable to lose 10% of your total weight in any given period of weight loss. So, if you are 160lbs, losing more than 16 pounds is more than your psyche will be able to maintain. Therefore, when you reach your new goal weight (144) you will need to start over and reassess where you are, and where you want to be before another 14 pounds is sustainably lost.

Every Body is Beautiful.

1. Lim, JS, et al. Inverse association between long term weight change and serum concentrations of persistent organic pollutants. Int J Obes (Lond) 2010 Sept 7 [EPub head of print.]

Share