Restore Digestive Health Without Proton Pump Inhibitors

April 3, 2020 |

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), also known as acid reflux or heartburn, is a painful condition where stomach acid is backed up into the esophagus.  If you experience symptoms of acid reflux, you may experience a burning in the upper part of your chest.  Other symptoms may include gas, bloating, or bad breath.  Since the 1980s, medications known as Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) have been recommended by doctors for symptoms of GERD.  While PPIs are good at blocking excessive stomach acid and relieving discomfort, the medical community is beginning to pay more attention to the long term effects of PPIs.As a naturopathic doctor, a majority of patients I see are on PPIs.  Some of them have developed issues from long term PPI use.  I look for the underlying cause of chronic symptoms and address the cause with natural remedies and diet changes.  Treating the whole person, and not just the heartburn symptom, … Continued

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The (Happier) Side Effects of Yoga

February 17, 2020 | Yoga

My yoga journey began several years ago when classes on VCR tapes and DVD’s were popular for exercise. That’s how I looked at yoga, as a workout, just physical movement and a way to stay in shape. I’ve always had a certain flexibility and strength, and yoga seemed the perfect form of exercise to use this. As time went on, I started attending gym classes instead of exercising exclusively at home. Mostly these were at the YMCA because of our family membership. I started taking more and more classes, and yoga class was always my favorite.  It became a place to fit my needs, without being the only person who felt the need to be bendy and to move slowly, intentionally.Time moved on, and I settled into an office job – two actually! Sitting at a desk for most of the day, with not much movement, my body began to … Continued

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Five Element Acupuncture

November 15, 2019 | Acupuncture

Acupuncture is the practice of inserting needles into the body to activate a change in its state of functioning. You may not know this but there are many styles of acupuncture. These multiple styles were developed over the years as offshoots of Chinese acupuncture.The acupuncture points are the same points used for centuries by the Chinese but the way in which they are combined and used together to treat may be different. As acupuncture spread to other parts of Asia over thousands of years, each area “fashioned” their use of the points. Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese and other Asian countries practice unique styles of acupuncture. The Five Element style of acupuncture that I practice was taught by J.R. Worsley of Leamington Spa England. Our approach aims specifically at touching the more intimate levels of human experience, especially the Life of the Spirit, which was one of the original foundations of traditional oriental … Continued

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Making Space for Emotion

November 8, 2019 | Yoga

Ever feel like you’re moving at high speed through life, running to keep up with the endless demand of information, social commitments, family, work, text messages, emails (like this one – ha)? Everything we look at seems to have an extra ad, a personalized distraction to pull our focus in a different direction. Some stress is useful, helps us get out of bed or achieve personal goals. Daily levels of negative stress creates a constant state of movement. There is no time to be still, to let what we are feeling or thinking come into focus. Yoga has teachings about how to use movement, breath, and mental focus to make space for what is happening within our minds and emotions. The simple practice of slowing the momentum, taking an hour to pay attention to the body and the breath can help us shift gears to get out of the stress loop. But … Continued

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5 Ways to Stop the Sugar Roller Coaster

October 21, 2019 | Nutritional Counseling

I grew up near an amusement park and the roller coasters fascinated me.  I loved to ride them over and over from when I was very young.  And this park kept building ones that were higher and higher (and plunged lower and lower) each year.  I always think of that amusement park each holiday season as my blood sugar reacts to holiday treats.  I’m a grazer and snacker and like many of you, love a good glass (or two) of wine when the season is in full swing.  Why not celebrate the holidays with lots of crackers, cookies and decadent desserts?  The sugar roller coaster, that’s why.  I tend to enter the New Year on a low note—energy depleted and a bit blue.  I’ve come to realize that celebratory sugar has a lot to do with my overall feelings and mood.  Here are five things I plan to do this … Continued

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Micronutrient Testing: It’s Not Just About the Values

September 19, 2019 | Naturopathic Medicine

I get comments frequently that switching from an engineering career to naturopathic medicine had to be a big change. While this may be true, the problem-solving aspect of my engineering degree i use everyday in my practice. The body is very complex and when dealing with chronic health issues it’s not always easy to find the underlying cause. Solving these complexities is one of my favorite parts in helping others. The Micronutrient TestOne of the tools I use to help me is the Micronutrient Test. This test looks at both serum values and cellular values for 48 vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fats. The serum values depict what is available for the body to use and the cellular values depict what the body is actually using. This helps me differentiate between a true deficiency or malabsorption issues which may be due to intestinal malabsorption, genetic variations, or oxidative stress.  Here is what the patterns … Continued

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Natural Treatment for Endometriosis: Dr. Melanie’s Story

August 21, 2019 | Naturopathic Medicine

Endometriosis is a painful condition that effects 1 in 10 women.  Natural treatments for endometriosis aim to treat the underlying cause.  Many women suffer from endometriosis on a physical and emotional level, and may feel that long-term relief is hopeless.  Natural treatments for endometriosis, including diet and supplementation, have worked for many women, including Dr. Melanie who suffered with endometriosis and other medical issues until she found a naturopathic doctor to give her a new life without chronic pain.Dr. Melanie’s StoryI had always dealt with painful periods.  I thought this was the norm. In my late 20’s the pelvic pain increased and became constant. At first, I was diagnosed with yeast infections even though cultures came back negative. Then I was told I had fibromyalgia and I was told it was “all in my head”. The numerous pelvic exams and pelvic ultrasounds left me on the couch in pain for days.  I then … Continued

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More Self-Compassion, Less Stress

August 3, 2019 | Yoga

I was a corporate burnout. I was working long hours, chained to my desk, fueled by caffeine, fear, and anxiety. For almost fifteen years, I soldiered on until I was on the verge of a mental breakdown. I catastrophized at 2 a.m. every morning, certain I would fail. I binged on sweets. Then I finally took a step to save myself. I went to my first yoga class. I knew I’d found something special. I began to find peace in the combination of movement and breath with yoga. I focused on being mindful, paying attention to my breath and body, on purpose, without judgment. This mindfulness brought focus, calm, and clarity in the moment. Yoga was slowly quieting my “fight or flight” nervous system and boosting my “rest and digest” nervous system.Yoga and Stress ReliefI studied the yoga philosophy of self-compassion. The word for this idea in Sanskrit is ahimsa, or … Continued

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Benefits & Uses of Reiki

July 19, 2019 | Reiki

Reiki Energy Healing sessions are going Mainstream; it’s visibly reaching our lives through our workplaces. Salesforce.com, which employs 35,000 people worldwide, now reimburses their employees and spouses $100 each per month for Reiki services. It’s spreading because Reiki works.ReikiReiki (ray-key) is a technique that helps the body in releasing stress and tension by creating deep relaxation. The word Reiki comes from two Japanese words – Rei which means “the Wisdom of God or the Higher Power” and Ki which means “life force energy.” Put together, Reiki is “spiritually guided life force energy.”The History of ReikiUsui Shiki Ryoho is a Japanese Healing Art. This form was founded in Japan and the basis of the practice is referred to as self healing/self treatment. A little over 100 years ago a Japanese man, Mikao Usui, began a personal search that ended with his having contact with the energy Reiki. His practice grew and eventually … Continued

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How to Notice | Sensory Meditation Exercise

July 8, 2019 | Meditation

During the first Introduction to Meditation class in May, a participant asked the questions: “What is mindfulness?  What is meditation?  Are they the same?  What’s the difference?”  Legit!  Mindfulness is the way we hope to walk around in the world.  Meditation is a tool to help get us there.  Since that day, I’ve been thinking a lot about that.  How can we walk around more mindfully?  How can we begin to notice?  There is a sensory meditation exercise that can serve as a gateway to this:  Find a comfortable seat in a quiet place where you won’t be distracted.  Take a few breaths to settle.  Use all the time you need to settle in.  No need to rush this. Close your eyes.  Now, think of your favorite fruit or vegetable.  What does it look like?  What color is it?  Is it round, oblong, small, large, skinny, fat?  Does it have … Continued

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