Integrative Health Blog

How To Reduce Stress

Posted by on Tue, May 24, 2016

Stress appears to be endemic in our lives, perhaps even more so in urban areas (yes, I just attempted to ride the metro this morning, and it took three times as long as usual!)  Stress negatively impacts our health because it constantly activates the adrenal glands and their fight-flight-freeze-or fold response to external events. 

Physical Effects of Stress

Further, stress activates our sympathetic nervous system, which keeps our bodies in a chemical and nervous system state of high alert. This is fine for short sprints away from potential predators, or a climb up a steep cliff, but creates problems for our bodies when we do not allow them to calm down again and remain calm and relaxed for several hours at a time. 

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Tags: energy therapies, stress

Health Essentials Coaching: Why Is a Healthy Gut Important?

Posted by on Tue, May 17, 2016

Why is a healthy gut essential?

Gut health is crucial to optimal health but is often overlooked in health circles. Unhealthy gut can be a significant contributor to inflammatory conditions such as chronic pain and immune issues. It can slow down energy and hamper mental focus. Approximately 80% of the immune system is actually located in the gut. The gut acts as an engine to power and sustain the rest of the body. Similar to a car that needs regular oil changes to run efficiently or it will malfunction or stop running altogether, the gut needs healthy food and lots of clean water, along with regular “cleaning” in order to function optimally.

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Tags: gut, digestive health, health essentials coaching program

Enhance your Quality of Life with Essential Oils

Posted by on Wed, May 04, 2016

The official definition of aromatherapy is the inhalation or bodily application of fragrant essential oils for therapeutic purposes. In layman’s terms, aromatherapy is the study of scent.  Essential oils are volatile aromatic compounds, extracted using a specialized distillation process, from the leaves, stems, bark, flowers, roots and fruits of a particular plant.  The oils are the essence of the plant; highly concentrated and very powerful.  They provide the plant with protection, defense, healing, communication and help them attract pollinators.  A myriad of benefits is passed on to us when we utilize essential oils.  

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Tags: energy therapies, essential oils

New Hope for Dementia

Posted by on Mon, May 02, 2016

Dementia is a broad category of brain diseases associated with long term, irreversible, gradual decrease in the ability to think and remember which is great enough to affect a person's daily functioning and which is worse that would be expected with normal aging.  

For decades, scientists have studied brain tissue samples of Alzheimer’s Disease victims, the largest dementia subcategory, (>50%), and have found distinctive pathological changes in the brain such as “plaque” and “neurofibrillary tangles” that are thought to somehow be causative of the disease.  The new sciences of Omics sheds new light on Dementia and is challenging long held views about its causes and treatments.

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Tags: functional medicine, brain health, precision medicine

New 2016 Dirty Dozen/Clean Fifteen Fruit and Veg List: The #1 Dirty Fruit Has Changed

Posted by on Tue, Apr 12, 2016

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is a non-profit Washington, D.C. group whose mission is, as stated on their website: “ to use the power of public information to protect public health and the environment.” Every year they publish a list called the Dirty Dozen/Clean Fifteen list which highlights the fruits and vegetables with the highest and lowest amounts of pesticide residue.

The Dirty Dozen list alerts us to the produce that has higher concentrations of pesticides and higher numbers of pesticides than other fruits or vegetables.

The Clean Fifteen list informs us as to which vegetables and fruits can be bought conventionally grown without the worry of massive exposure to pesticides.

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The Tooth-Sinus Connection

Posted by on Mon, Mar 21, 2016

Are you aware of the critical tooth-sinus connection?

At this time of year, spring rushes into our lives and brings warmer weather and longer daylight.  

While most of us welcome the beauty of spring, for many it may be the beginning of bothersome symptoms. The explosion of pollens may result in a host of sinus problems- a runny nose, sneezing, difficulty breathing, facial congestion, headaches and “tooth pain.”

Yes, I said tooth pain.   Your upper back teeth, the maxillary molars,  actually project into your sinuses and are only separated by very thin bone and the sinus membrane.

When your sinus lining is inflamed in a sinus infection, not only are your sinuses irritated and painful but the nerves of the teeth projecting into your sinuses are irritated.

The tooth - sinus proximity is such that inflamed sinuses may result in painful teeth.  

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Tags: allergies, holistic dentistry

Colon Cancer Screening Guidelines

Posted by on Tue, Mar 15, 2016

Sadly, colorectal cancer, or cancer of the colon or rectum, is now the third most commonly diagnosed cancer. The month of March is dedicated to National Colorectal Cancer Awareness.

According to the CDC, among cancers that affect both men and women, colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. Every year, about 140,000 Americans are diagnosed with colorectal cancer, and more than 50,000 people die from it. (1) Early detection is the best means of increasing the survival rate of colorectal cancers.

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Tags: colon hydrotherapy

Problems With Dry Mouth?

Posted by on Mon, Mar 07, 2016

Dry mouth (also called xerostomia) is what happens when saliva flow is reduced or absent. It may be a symptom of your medical condition or medications. It is not a disease and is quite common.  While it may seem like a minor condition, moist saliva is critical to the health of the mouth and has protective benefits for oral tissues and to prevent tooth decay. Extreme dry mouth may contribute to permanent mouth or throat disorders.

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Tags: holistic dentistry, dry mouth

A Nation With Constipation?

Posted by on Wed, Feb 17, 2016

What does opioid-induced constipation (OIC) have to do with the Super Bowl?

Not much, I would have imagined, but thinking broadly, after the 112 million people who tuned in1 finished laughing, maybe a few hundred thousand viewers might connect the dots.

That’s because, in 2014, an estimated two million people in the United States suffered from substance use disorders related to prescription opioid pain medicines2. And nearly half of those on long-term opioids experience OIC3.

At a recent continuing medical education event, I was surprised to find an entire 90 minute session (plus a non-credit mini-session provided by a pharmaceutical company) devoted to opioid-induced constipation.

Apparently, as a nation, we are such avid users of prescription drugs like oxycodone, hydrocodone and codeine, that we must now be concerned about people blowing out their colons because of severe OIC3. This goes far beyond stool softeners and every-so-often laxative use. Bowel perforation is certainly no laughing matter.

But the topic made me think of the common complaint of garden-variety constipation, and so I polled my colleagues at NIHA for their favorite approaches to constipation. 

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Tags: holistic health, constipation

Inflammation and Cancer Prevention

Posted by on Mon, Feb 15, 2016

For disease prevention, an anti-inflammatory diet is second to none! A nourishing, anti-inflammatory diet focuses on whole foods that are colorful, rich in nutrients, and full of fiber and healthy fats.

Nature’s bounty gives us so many vegetables and fruits that are colorful - that’s our clue that a food is full of nutrients. The deeper and richer the color, the more vitamins and minerals are present. It doesn't matter which vitamins or minerals are in a particular food because they are all important for health. Whole foods are essential when creating an anti-inflammatory lifestyle.

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Tags: inflammation, cancer