I see great value in both West Medical Practices and Traditional Naturopathy. There are benefits and negative aspects to each. My area of expertise is Naturopathy so I will speak to that first. Naturopathy has the advantage of seeking to strengthen one’s health naturally through food, nutrients, herbs, homeopathy, and mind/body practices. This can have a lasting impact upon one’s overall vitality, not just benefit a particular health challenge. Thus if you are seeking my services to balance hormones and decrease stress, it may have an additive effect towards digestion and immunity. The downside I see with Naturopathic practices is that often it takes time. While gentle it does not always work in a health crises. For example you have a sinus infection and you want to utilize Naturopathy. You may perhaps be able to turn the infection around but sometimes antibiotics will work quicker, though this is not a guarantee either! A Naturopathic plan may be able to help you prevent other infections and understand the cause, and even strengthen your immune system. Additionally your Naturopathic Practitioner often will spend an hour with you.
Western medicine on the other hand has made incredible strides over the years. There is no replacement for a skilled surgeon as well as a seasoned internist. I always say I will outrun the bus however if I get run over I must have a doctor put me back together again. And I can use homeopathy to facilitate the healing process, I see the value of a seasoned internist in diagnostic abilities. One must fully understand their health issue in order to assess what would be the best treatment. Unfortunately, I think we much too heavily rely on medication to fix everything, and perhaps we do not take enough responsibility for traveling a preventive path. Ultimately it is key to find a doctor who will support you seeking a more natural approach, and one that supports prevention of disease. Unfortunately not all doctors understand what Naturopathy is, or have even taken a nutrition class, so they have little idea how these approaches might improve our health. But sometimes they do have knowledge regarding contra-indications. And I do believe doctors are becoming more and more knowledgeable about these complementary approaches. It is essential to seek a physician who respects your desire to improve your health. And has the time available to engage in a discussion regarding a variety of approaches to support your health.
Naturopathy specifically, the focus of my practice, is based on living in accordance with the laws of nature. The most important principles include the healing power of nature, identifying and treating the cause, first do no harm, the physician is teacher, and prevention. Early naturopaths utilized cleansing and alkalizing diets and natural elements to support the organs and systems of the body. The more modern naturopath has access to many more prepared nutrients, herbs, and homeopathic products. One of the nature laws that the early naturopaths utilized included something known as the “rest cure”. Often, when a person was challenged by a health issue or a period of stress the cure was to rest until the illness passed. Today, given as more than 70 million people have sleep disorders, this cure is not easily employable.
Many of my clients experience sleep issues related to stress, hormonal imbalance, chronic fatigue, toxic overload, compromised immunity, or even digestive issues. In this blog, I will include a natural tool kit for sleep support. While all of my suggestions below employ the naturopathic model, most important is to remove the issue which causes you to have sleep issues. This is different for everyone. Here is my naturopathic tool-kit.
- Engage in healthy sleep hygiene; exercise regularly, avoid caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, green tea/green tea supplements. Studies show that 7- 8 hours ideal, others range from 6-9 hours. The key is getting to bed without sleep aides and waking without an alarm, dream recall and feeling restored when you awake. Understanding your own circadian rhythm or biological clock is important, so you know ideal times for your body to sleep and awake. (Light therapy such as full spectrum lighting can help regulate the circadian rhythm) As can melatonin(see below)
- Understand causes of sleep disturbance; hormonal imbalances, anxiety, traveling, partner snoring, lack of sleep, etc. This is essential.
- Understand Sleep Cycles; There are 3-6 sleep cycles, each lasting 1-2 hours, the first few are light , the next few deeper, and the last is the stage we dream and R.E.M (rapid eye movements), the brain picks up energy and dreams, and restores the mind and body. This deepest phase of sleep is essential for health and healing. R.E.M sleep is most important for preventive health. Sleep medications can prevent achieving deep restorative cycles.
- Minerals such as calcium, magnesium and vitamin C can have a relaxing and calming effect on the body. Generally these supplements are taken throughout the day. Each person’s requirements can be different depending upon age, medical conditions, and health issues.
- Melatonin naturally occurs in the body, produced by pineal gland and can be referred to as a ”hormone of darkness”, more occurs during darkness. Melatonin helps induce and regulate sleep, numerous studies suggest its benefits and safety, even for children, and lack of side effects. Melatonin helps re-set biological clock, and helpful for irregular sleep-wake patterns.
7. B vitamins- can be used, especially B3, B6, B12 to help improve dream recall and wake rhythm cycle. Especially useful with depression anxiety.
d. herbs-chamomile, passion flower, valerian, milky oat seed, and skullcap-very tolerable nice combination for nourishing the nervous system-or passion valerian and skullcap You can buy herbal tinctures or homeopathic products with these ingredients. These herbs can also be found in tea form and are considered nervines. And can gently nourish the body back to balance. (Nervous system support).
8. Mind-Body Practices- Invoking the relaxation response
- Breathing techniques-specially the complete yogic breath, and alternate nostril breathing.
- Guided and Progressive Relaxation- practicing sleep and rests poses, napping is good!
- Sleep Positions and Practicing restful poses (shavasana)
- Yin/Restorative Yoga-especially the kidney meridian poses
- Lavender essential oil can be calming and relaxing. Oil can be out on pillow or in a bath
Join me for a personal naturopathic plan to restore sleep!
As a society we have not overcome the the challenge of maintaining a healthy weight. In fact, this issue is getting worse. Obesity is as high as 35% in some areas of the country, with mid-life obesity rates being as high as 46%. In all, more than 20% of people are overweight. Clearly obesity is a factor that contributes to disease, and as a society, we continue to battle this bulge. 45 million people diet every year, and we spend 33 million dollars on weight loss products. Many of us are repeating this unsuccessful process of losing weight year in and year out.
I believe, as I do with any other health challenge, that the only way to beat this challenge is traveling a path of prevention. This means finding a program and way of living that we can sustain, and that can also sustain our health and well-being. This can happen beginning with some type of nutritional cleanse, eating real foods grown from the earth (especially plant foods), not trying to trick our metabolism with foolish fads, and offering our body extra nutrients. But most importantly, NOT being on some type of diet or deprivation program. Being on a program that is based on nourishment and healthy plant foods is what is going to help solve our issues with weight. In addition to things that we must change and add into our diets, there must also be things that are removed or minimized, such as alcohol, sugar, sugar substitutes, and grains. Stress is also a factor in maintaining a healthy weight. Stress contributes to our sleeping habits, and if we are not sleeping, our metabolism won’t be able to be regulated normally. A healthy mind plays a huge role in a healthy body.
A great way to reset your metabolism and get to your own healthy weight is my Nutritional Cleanse Program. Hundreds have successfully completed this program and reset the tone for healthy, sustainable living. My cleanse program comes with a nutritional cleanse guide and healthy living cookbook. Contact me today to hit the reset button and focus on health and healing.
MY TOP 10 WEIGHT LOSS TIPS
1. Eat mindfully. Eat when your hungry, stop when your full.
2. Know the right balance to eat of fats, protein, carbohydrates (it’s in the my cookbook).
3. Eat mostly plant foods.
4. Eat super foods (nuts, seeds, ginger, garlic, herbs, spices, super greens, fiber).
5. Include some vitamins based on your current needs
6. Optimize digestion and metabolism (part of my nutritional cleanse, remove allergic inflammatory foods).
7. Offer your body days to rest digestion, fast or cleanse
8. Stay optimistic, take 1 day at a time. Know some days will be better than others.
9. Make sure you are sleeping well.
10. Exercise as much as possible. Engage is some form of mind body practices to keep the stress response at a minimum.
The fundamental belief is in the healing power of nature – (Vis Medicatrix Naturae).The body has the inherent ability to establish, maintain, and restore health. The healing process is ordered and intelligent; nature heals through the response of the life force. The physician’s role is to facilitate and augment this process, to identify and remove obstacles to health and recovery, and to support the creation of a healthy internal and external environment.
THE HEALING CYCLE (also known as healing crisis, curative crisis or Nature Cure house cleaning.)
Under normal conditions, minor repair is done without any special effort. A healing cycle is a special effort of the body to repair and excrete toxic waste material to restore normality. This may happen after injury or poisoning but can also be produced due to relaxation, an improved lifestyle or living conditions that enables the body to increase elimination. During a healing cycle old health problems may reoccur. Common symptoms are headache, fatigue, irritability, diarrhea, skin eruptions etc. If the conditions are good the result of the healing cycle may be improved health. During a healing cycle it is important to support and restore nerve energy. This is equal to rest. Already Hippocrates had a good idea about what happens during a healing cycle. He stated: ”Diseases are crises of purification of toxic elimination. Symptoms are the natural defenses of the body”. When acute conditions are suppressed they become chronic.
- First do no harm – (Princum Non Nocere))The process of healing includes the generation of symptoms, which are, in fact, expressions of the life force attempting to heal itself. Therapeutic actions should be complementary to and synergistic with this healing process. The physician’s actions can support or antagonize the actions of vis medicatrix naturae; therefore, methods designed to suppress symptoms without removing underlying causes are considered harmful and are avoided or minimized.!
- The healing power of nature – (Vis Medicatrix Naturae).The body has the inherent ability to establish, maintain, and restore health. The healing process is ordered and intelligent; nature heals through the response of the life force. The physician’s role is to facilitate and augment this process, to identify and remove obstacles to health and recovery, and to support the creation of a healthy internal and external environment.
- Identify and treat the cause – (Tolle Causam)Illness does not occur without cause. Underlying causes of disease must be discovered and removed or treated before a person can recover completely from illness. Symptoms are expressions of the body’s attempt to heal, but are not the cause of disease; therefore, naturopathic medicine addresses itself primarily to the underlying causes of disease, rather than to the symptoms. Causes may occur on many levels, including physical, mental-emotional, and spiritual. The physician must evaluate fundamental underlying causes on all levels, directing treatment at root causes as well as seeking relief of symptoms
4. Treat the whole person – (Tolle Totum)Health and disease are conditions of the whole organism, involving a complex interaction of physical, spiritual, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, and social factors. The physician must treat the whole person by taking all of these factors into account. The harmonious functioning of all aspects of the individual is essential to recovery from and prevention of disease, and requires a personalized and comprehensive approach to diagnosis and treatment.
- The physician as teacher –(Docere) Beyond an accurate diagnosis and appropriate prescription, the physician must work to create a healthy, sensitive interpersonal relationship with the patient. A cooperative doctor–patient relationship has inherent therapeutic value. The physician’s major role is to educate and encourage the patient to take responsibility for his or her own health. The physician is a catalyst for healthful change, empowering and motivating the patient to assume responsibility. It is the patient, not the doctor, who ultimately creates or accomplishes healing. The physician must strive to inspire hope as well as understanding. The physician must also make a commitment to her/his personal and spiritual development.
- Prevent disease- (Praevenire)
The ultimate goal of naturopathic medicine is prevention. This is accomplished through education and promotion of lifestyle habits that foster good health. The physician assesses risk factors and hereditary susceptibility to disease and makes appropriate interventions to avoid further harm and risk to the patient. The emphasis is on building health rather than on fighting disease. Because it is difficult to be healthy in an unhealthy world, it is the responsibility of both physician and patient to create a healthier environment in which to live.
Digestive Health Plan
Digestion is the key to Optimal Health
For Naturopaths, health begins with proper digestion. If you suffer from Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Irritable Bowel Disease, Crohn’s, GERD(reflux), SIBO, or other digestive issues you might already be compromising your health. Digestive issues are also now linked to memory, anxiety and depression.
My Digestive Repair program involves removing food sensitivities, eating a plant based diet low in specific carbohydrates, replacing missing nutrients, repairing damage and removing pathogens. Some of my favorite digestive support nutrients include digestive enzymes, herbal bitters, probiotics, slippery elm, licorice root, and glutamine. Additionally often we are on a toxic overload, and a nutritional cleanse can help restore balance to our digestive system, blood and organs. Additionally the brain gut connection must be nourished. I feel strongly that a mind/body practice can facilitate a “happier” gut. Sign up for my introductory naturopathic program to restore your digestion today. Nutritional Testing is available for food sensitivities, nutrient deficiencies, as well as amino acids and gut microbes.
Naturopaths have a core belief that toxins are the basis of all disease. Early naturopaths recognized the importance of healing diets, and special nutrients and herbs to aid the body in cleansing and healing. Additionally we now know the importance of digestive health or digestive ecology, more commonly now referred to as the microbiome.
More common benefits might include: decreased inflammation, weight loss, improved metabolism, reduced allergies, clearer skin, less bloating, constipation, fewer headaches, clearer breathing, improved memory and mood, improvement in immunity, menopausal symptoms, and more.
Many of my clients choose the Nutritional Cleanse program to detox from sugar, alcohol, processed foods, balance hormones, identify food sensitivities as it is similar to an elimination diet. Over the past 8 years I have had hundreds of clients succeed in achieving their personal goals.
Do I eat during a cleanse? Yes you eat nutritionally dense food, reviewed in my 2017 Nutritional Cleanse Guide. However if your goal is weight loss 1 meal can be substituted with a meal replacement smoothie.
How long is the program? My foundational program is 30 days. Follow up programs can begin at 7 days and continue up to 30 days depending on your personal health challenges.
What if I have work or social commitments during that time?
I suggest modifications which can work during these times, as we all have these types of previous commitments. This program is adaptable once you learn the basic cleanse principles.
What about my regular vitamins?
Programs are tailored to meet your goals some supplements are included in the program, and you can certainly choose a food based cleanse. There are specific nutrients needed to aid your body in turning toxins from fat soluble to water soluble before they can be eliminated. All this will be discussed at the initial consultation.