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5 Reasons to Choose an Integrative Doctor for Primary Care

  
  
  
  
  
  
green medicine

Tracy Freeman MD

A primary care provider is an family physician, internist, pediatrician, or nurse practitioner who coordinates all of the health care a patient receives. The holistic primary care model offers not only traditional primary care but also incorporates the best of complementary and alternative therapies from around the world to help you achieve optimum wellness, not just freedom from disease. Our holistic primary care providers will be your partner and guide in helping you achieve your health goals.

Top 5 Reasons for Integrative Medicine

1. We treat the whole person

The mind, body and spirit all contribute to your health status and wellness. An integrative MD or Nurse Practitioner will develop a treatment plan that addresses your medical needs as well as your emotional and nutritional well-being. Stress management, diet, and lifestyle factors all play a role in your overall health.

2. Integrative medicine treats the cause of imbalance, not just the symptoms

You are not just a collection of your symptoms.  We look for the root cause of your imbalance or illness and develop a plan, with you, to remedy the cause. We can test for factors which may be contributing to illness or imbalance, and work with you to correct the underlying cause.

3. We partner with you to develop a plan for optimal health

Integrative medicine is patient-centered. You are your own best advocate, but it is nice to have a partner with the same goal of getting you to a better state of wellness. Since integrative medicine works to address the cause of illness, it may take longer than a "quick fix" often expected with prescription medication. This is to be expected, but with a longer appointment the practitioner is able to listen and work with you to keep you moving in the right direction.

4. On-site specialty lab testing

3 Ways to Cut Your Cancer Risk

  
  
  
  
  
  
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Teresa Fuller MD, PhD

Do you think the genes you’re born with determine what happens to you? 

Whether you’ll be overweight because it runs in your family or whether you’ll get diabetes since your Dad had it?

Whether you’ll develop breast cancer because your Mom died from it?

You might be surprised to know that your genes don’t have as much control as was previously thought. 

Scientific American just published an article reviewing the latest information in the field of epigenetics.  Here’s a quote: “Many of the contingencies of life – what we eat, what pollutants are in or environment, how often we are stressed – affect how our genes operate.”  This is great news, because we have a lot of control over what we eat and how we deal with stress, and even some control over the pollutants in our environment (like our homes and cars).

Have you heard of epigenetics? 

Epigenetics is the phenomenon of how our environment, which includes the foods that we eat, the toxins we're exposed to, and even our stress levels, can turn genes on and off.  A new article published in Scientific American states "epigenetic effects play a crucial role in development, aging and even cancer1."  Even cancer?!  This is great news, that we can make choices that influence whether those cancer genes get turned on or off! We should be aware of the fact that we have significant power over our health destiny.   

So, here are 3 things that you can do to drastically reduce your risk of cancer:

1. Eat cancer-fighting foods.  One of the most exciting things I've learned is that foods can fight cancer.  For example, cruciferous vegetables which include cabbage, broccoli, kale and cauliflower, contain powerful cancer fighting nutrients.  So do mushrooms, onions, beans and green tea.  Some of these foods in combination can reduce your breast cancer risk by as much as 90%!  These are the foods that should dominate our daily diet.

Detoxification and Spa Therapy Week at NIHA Jan.19-24, 2015

  
  
  
  
  
  
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Spa Therapy Week at NIHA! One Week Only

Introductory Prices  Jan. 19-24, 2015  

Would you like to unwind and get back on track with your health?

Now is your chance to try some therapies that you may have wondered about... but never took the time to schedule.

For one week only, National Integrated Health Associates will offer special introductory pricing on detoxification and spa therapies and free lectures to learn more about these therapies. Join us!

Book an appointment now for Spa Week at National Integrated Health Associates and receive a 20 minute therapy session for only $15.00!  

CALL 202-237-7000 to schedule 

Here is a list of the services offered for a special "try me" price:

Massage Therapy     Massage is known to relieve stress and tension in the body while promoting relaxation, and you can experience physical, mental and emotional benefits from massage. One client said,"I experience chronic muscle soreness in my lower back and hip areas. Robert not only worked the soreness away on the first visit: he also performed a postural analysis that illustrated where the possible source of soreness was originating. Robert  advised me on proper footwear and a streching regiment. I now feel more agile and flexible without soreness or pain. I highly recommend Robert White for orthopedic massage. He provides exceptional and professional service."

20 Minutes of Massage of your choice $15 

schedule with  Yemi Tigabe LMT or Robert White LMT

 

Aqua Chi Footbath   The aqua chi footbath uses a current to concentrate energy in the water for an invigororating, detoxifying effect. The ionization of the water pulls toxins from the body via the pores of the feet and may help restore energy and increase detoxification.

Magnesium, The Miracle Mineral

  
  
  
  
  
  
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Michelle Janbakhsh DDS

Every Cell in Our Body Needs Magnesium

In the human body,  magnesium is the eleventh element by mass and about 60-65% of the magnesium is found in the skeleton and teeth.

The remaining magnesium can be found in muscle tissue and cells and only 1% is contained in our blood. The body has high needs for magnesium. Magnesium is required for metabolic functions involving creation of energy ATP and it's transport creation of proteins, nucleic acid RNA and DNA in all known living organisms.

Why We Need Magnesium

  • Every single cell in the human body demands enough magnesium to function.
  • Strong bones and teeth, balanced hormones, and healthy nervous and cardiovascular system as well as functional detoxification pathways depend on cellular magnesium.
  • Magnesium works in concert with calcium to regulate electrical impulses in the cell. Magnesium concentration inside a healthy cell is 10 times higher than calcium.
  • Magnesium is responsible for relaxation and is crucial to the healthy functioning of our parasympathetic nervous system.
  • Magnesium deficiency is involved in many diseases from ADD, Alzheimer's, autism, autoimmune disorders, dental decay, and depression to osteoporosis, stroke, obesity and the list keeps growing.

The Problem with Magnesium

Unfortunately it is difficult to reliably supply our bodies with sufficient magnesium even from a good balanced whole food diet. In modern agriculture the presence of widely used NPK fertilizer has an antagonist affect with magnesium in the soil. Magnesium and other nutrients are diminished or lost in produce after harvest, refrigeration, transport and storage, even if all steps were done properly. Food processing can cause excessive  loss of magnesium in foods. Examples of such processing are milling the whole grains, roasting the nuts and seeds, and cooking the leafy greens. Fluoride in drinking water binds to the magnesium and creates an insoluble mineral compound that will be deposited in the bones.

How Holistic Dentistry Supports Your Immune System

  
  
  
  
  
  
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Mark McClure DDS

Have you ever wondered what will determine whether you remain healthy or get sick with cancer, heart disease, dementia, neuro-degenerative disease, chronic fatigue, the flu, a cold or Ebola?

It’s the immune system, stupid!

While I don’t usually use the word “stupid” - in this case it helps to illustrate the obvious fact of what really keeps us healthy, what prevents us from getting sick, what helps us recover quickly when we do get sick…is our amazing immune system!

In other words, it’s your immune system that keeps you healthy, strong and aging gracefully. Likewise, it is your grandchild’s immune system that will determine whether they will develop autism, ADHD, allergies, asthma, mental health issue,  diabetes, breast cancer (see Dr. Fuller's article Can Half of Breast Cancers Be Prevented?) or any other or the modern "epidemic" childhood diseases that are ravishing our youth’s health.

Of course genes play a role, but for purposes of this article I want to talk about the role of the immune system and how your dentist can support a healthier system. Dental treatment should be safe and effective and impact the rest of the body as little as possible.

A Healthy Mouth Affects Your Overall Health

Can Half of Breast Cancers Be Prevented?

  
  
  
  
  
  
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Teresa Fuller, M.D., Ph.D

Breast Cancer Prevention Starts in Childhood

According to a recent interview with Dr. Graham Colditz published by Medscape in December 2014, at least 1/2 of breast cancer cases can be prevented, largely by promoting a healthy lifestyle in girls at a young age.  In fact, Dr. Colditz has challenged us to start prevention by age 2 years old!  I recently wrote about this topic in an October 2014 article,  Breast Cancer Prevention Begins in Childhood?, but it’s worth revisiting based on the sheer magnitude of impact that a few simple preventive strategies can yield.

“Cancer risk is accumulating from before the time a girl hits menarche,” says Dr. Colditz.  Menarche is the onset of menstrual periods, which occurs at an average age of 12 years old in the US.  Therefore, clearly the emphasis on early detection and screening for breast cancer is incomplete.  Instead, our focus should be on educating parents and young women about the steps that they can take to eliminate their controllable risk factors. 

Lifestyle Factors Play a Role in Cancer

In the article highlighting this interview, Dr. Colditz demonstrates that 68% of breast cancer cases are attributable to controllable lifestyle factors which are weight (32%), breastfeeding (15%), physical activity (11%), alcohol consumption (5%), diet (3%) and tamoxifen (2%).  I suspect that diet plays a larger role than is suggested in this article, especially since the diet strongly correlates with weight.

So, given that 1 in 3 American children are overweight, and that few children are exercising for the recommended sixty minutes per day, we have a lot of room for improving our children’s risk factors.  Dr. Colditz is not the only one who is making these recommendations.  The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) has been long promoting the adoption of a healthy diet in childhood for cancer prevention.  In their booklet Nutrition for Kids, they state: “Cancers of the colon, breast, and prostate are influenced by diet, exercise, and healthy weight control.  Lifelong eating habits are established in childhood, and the longer the exposure to cancer-fighting foods and the avoidance of cancer-promoting foods, the greater the likelihood that cancer won’t strike during adulthood.”

Cut the Carbs and Lose the Weight

  
  
  
  
  
  
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Anita Capizzi RN, CHC

Have you been enjoying the hustle and bustle, the parties and leisure time spent eating and drinking with family and friends this holiday season?

Are you ready to start the new year with healthy habits as your main focus?

Many people tell me that the extra weight they carry around is their main concern - they want to look better and feel better.

As a nurse and a health coach I understand that what’s at stake isn’t just how our reflection looks in the mirror, it’s how our future health will be 5 or 10 years down the line. The connection between the foods we eat and the health we get to enjoy is very real.

Every time that we eat or drink something it affects our internal biology for better or for worse. During the holidays we get our fill of sweets, Xmas cookies, cakes, breads, chocolates, alcohol, cheese, crackers, candies, you name it!

We can all guess that none of the above named foods is affecting our internal biology for the better!

The quicker we can refocus our attention towards healthy habits, the faster the pounds will melt away!

Good health always starts with good nutrition.

A low carbohydrate, moderate protein, high healthy fat lifestyle is my approach. Carbohydrates come in many forms from processed foods like chips and cookies to real foods like salads, fruits and vegetables. Understanding the effect that carbs have in the body is crucial to navigating the way towards better health. In a nutshell, excess carbs create inflammation in the body and that paves the way for chronic diseases to develop, like Type II diabetes, heart disease and arthritis.

I’ve written in previous blogs about the effects of excess carbohydrates and insulin response in the body - http://info.nihadc.com/integrative-health-blog/bid/73043/Diabetes-Awareness-The-Truth-About-Carbohydrates

What is Reiki?

  
  
  
  
  
  
reiki_DC

Carol Richardson MPH, M.Div.

Reiki is an ancient healing tradition brought to light in the early 1900s by Mikao Usui of Japan.  The word “Reiki” has deep meanings, which can be summed up most simply by the concept “universal life force.”  Everyone benefits from being alive with energy – that is what Reiki is about.

In Asia, for thousands of years, people have understood that these subtle energies of life exist within us and around us.  As a result, spiritual practices were developed long ago to cultivate these life energies within the human body.  Such practices include Tai Chi, Qi Gong, and in yoga, pranayama breathing.  The words “chi,” “qi,” and “prana” all refer to this same life force energy with which all living things are filled and which permeates all levels of being. 

As a practice, Reiki involves the practitioner placing her or his hands on or near the body, and allowing the flow of Reiki energy to come through to fill the person’s body and energy field (aura) with fresh, relaxing, restorative energy.  Reiki usually includes aura clearing and chakra balancing as part of the process. 

A person receiving Reiki usually gets to relax, lying comfortably on a massage table.

Holiday Mindfulness and Centering...Don't Forget to Breathe

  
  
  
  
  
  
mindfulness_DC

Carol Richardson M.Div., M.P.H.

During the holidays, we often feel pulled between our desire to be there for and with others, and our desire to rest and renew ourselves. 

Here are some practices which can help you do both:

1.  Gratitude. 
Practicing gratitude during the holidays is more important than ever, because of the stress of trying to get everything done for everybody.  If we stop and think about it, though, what we are actually trying to express through our actions is love and appreciation for the people in our lives.  

So, why not take time before we begin our day to think of all the people who will be part of our day and our holidays, by spending a moment feeling grateful for them, even if what they bring us are challenges that help us to grow.  By taking a few moments to acknowledge several things for which we are grateful, and for why we appreciate the people in our lives, we can shift our own energy to a positive state of being, and we can take that positivity into our day and share it.

2.  Breathing. 
Before we get ourselves busy in the morning, it is good to breathe deeply, allowing ourselves fully to oxygenate ourselves, clear our sinuses, and feel energized for our day.  Throughout the day, when we feel tense or tired, deep breathing, especially coupled with gratitude, can release tension, increase our positive energy, and relax us.

3.  Mindfulness. 
While deep breathing, it helps if we notice where the tension may be found in our bodies, and allow it to release.  We may take time to notice what our bodies need, and honor our bodies.  We may notice our own attitudes, and realize that we can choose a new, more positive attitude if we need to.  We may notice our feelings, and what we would like to receive for ourselves.  We may notice what others actually need from us, and realize that our highest consciousness truly does seek to be there for others, even if we don't feel like it in this moment.

Three Reasons to Avoid Excessive Media Exposure for Children

  
  
  
  
  
  
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Teresa Fuller M.D., Ph.D

“Literally, the average child now spends more time watching TV than attending school.  This kind of electronic engagement has had a profound effect on kids’ behavior and the development of their brains.” Dr. Scott Shannon

The above quote by Dr. Shannon highlights the growing problem of children spending too much time with media.  On average, children and teens are spending 7 hours per day with media.  With Christmas just around the corner, people are lining up to purchase the latest media devices.  Popular gift ideas include tablets, smart phones, video game consoles and laptops.  But I’d like to recommend caution regarding the trend to make these the top gifted items for children. 

Here are 3 reasons to reign in the media exposure for our children:

  • Media contributes to overweight children. Media consumption is mostly a sedentary activity, and therefore a strong contributor to weight gain.  In a recent study, it was found that children who consume media for more than 2 hours daily and who have less daily physical activity than recommended were 3 to 4 times more likely to be overweight. Media has another powerful way of helping put on the pounds, and that’s through advertising.  Several very intriguing studies have looked at the food advertising during prime time, and during Saturday morning kids’ programming.  The vast majority of food promoted on television contains low quality grains (i.e. mostly refined, low-fiber grains), a deficiency of many important minerals and vitamins such as calcium, magnesium and vitamin E, and high amounts of sugar and fat, promoting weight gain.
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This is for information purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure disease.