Integrative Health Blog

A Child's First Dental Visit to Holistic Family Dentistry

Posted by on Mon, Feb 03, 2020

February is Children's Dental Health Month!

Starting your child out with good habits and dental care will help to ensure that they have the best chance for a healthy mouth that will last a lifetime. 

When Should My Child First See the Dentist?

Baby teeth have an important role and beginning to care for your child’s teeth before they erupt should not be overlooked.  The first tooth may appear at around 6 months and as soon as it starts to erupt it is at risk for decay.  This is why the American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that your child have their first visit to the dentist within 6 months of the first tooth coming in (erupting), or by about 12 months of age. By the time your child reaches his third birthday they will have all 20 of their primary teeth.

The First Dental Happy Visit

At Holistic Family Dentistry we recommend you schedule a pediatric dentistry  “Happy Visit” to acquaint your child with our staff.  They will meet our dentist,  take a ride in the chair, meet "Mr. Thirsty,"  get their teeth checked and begin to establish a level of comfort with the dentist's office. 

The first dental visit  is for young children and is a brief visit. Some children may be anxious, and it may take more than one “Happy Visit” before they are comfortable. In order to prepare for this visit there are a few things to consider:

 

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Tags: holistic dentistry, children's health, pediatrics

Rachel Cohen, D.O., Holistic Pediatrician, Joins National Integrated Health Associates

Posted by on Wed, Jan 08, 2020

National Integrated Health Associates, NIHA, is pleased to announce that Rachel Cohen, D.O., holistic pediatrician, has joined the integrative medical team.

Dr. Rachel Cohen is Board Certified in Pediatrics and a Doctor of Osteopathy, dedicated to helping children reach their fullest potential by focusing on holistic care and disease prevention.  

Her journey to becoming a medical doctor started with a desire to be a healer- focusing on the interconnectedness of body and mind.  Dr. Cohen places particular importance on understanding a child’s medical history, development, emotional wellbeing, environment, stressors and nutrition.  She takes great pride in being an advocate for all families that come to her for medical care. 

Background

Dr. Rachel Cohen completed her undergraduate and graduate work at Tulane University in New Orleans, obtaining a Master’s Degree in Neuroscience.  From there, she moved to New York City to attend medical school at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine.  As a fully licensed physician, her additional training in osteopathy emphasizes a whole-person approach to treatment and care. Dr. Cohen completed 3 years of pediatric residency training at Harlem Hospital Center in New York City, an affiliate of Columbia University Medical Center.   Her time there was focused on delivering medical care to underserved populations.  Upon completion of residency, her family moved to the local area, where she has spent the last 2 years as a general pediatrician in Washington, D.C. 

Caring for the Whole Child

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Tags: children's health, pediatrics, holistic pediatrician

Holistic Pediatrics: Take Home Points from the Vaccine Event

Posted by on Wed, Aug 31, 2016

The Let’s Talk About Vaccines event held at National Integrated Health Associates was educational, engaging and enlightening.  I had the privilege of sharing my experience at this event with students, trainees and colleagues in the Department of Pediatrics and Child Health at Howard University’s College of Medicine.  My focus for that talk was the Holistic Pediatrician’s Management of Vaccine Refusal.  Your stories, the information shared and the discussed research by Dr. Suzanne Humphries, Barbara Loe Fisher and the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) served as an incredible background for teaching empathy to current and future providers and promoted the perspective and need for more personalized and precision medical approaches to keeping our children healthy and protected.

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Tags: vaccinations, children's health, holistic pediatrician

Let's Talk About Vaccines: An Evening of Discussion on August 25, 2016

Posted by on Sat, Aug 13, 2016

Special Event


Let's Talk About Vaccines 

When: Aug. 25, 2016
Time: 5:00 - 8:00 pm
Where: NIHA
5225 Wisconsin Ave. NW #402
Washington, D.C. 20015

 

Please join us on Thursday evening, Aug. 25, 2016,  for lectures,  information and education about vaccine safety.

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Tags: vaccinations, children's health, pediatrics

3 Ways to Improve Your Child's Gut Health and Immune System

Posted by on Mon, May 04, 2015

Gastrointestinal symptoms occur frequently in children.

Unexplained abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea and gassiness all commonly prompt a visit to the doctor’s office. More and more research is showing the importance of gut health for a child's healthy immune system, healthy brain and overall wellness. Therefore, here are some ideas for optimizing your child’s gut health:

A healthy gut starts with a healthy diet

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Tags: immune system, children's health

A Holistic Approach to Autism

Posted by on Mon, Apr 27, 2015

April is Autism Awareness Month. It is estimated that 1 in 68 children in the United States has autism, a complex disorder which impairs social and communication skills. Often times, the symptoms of autism are thought to be irreversible, but continuing research is showing that a variety of interventions may improve, and sometimes reverse autism. While there is a wide spectrum of approaches to autism treatment, the following three form the basis of biomedical interventions for children with autism:

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Tags: autism, holistic nutrition, detoxification, children's health

What is Your Baby Sleeping On?

Posted by on Mon, Mar 23, 2015

A question about baby mattresses was submitted recently to our  Wholesome Mama's Facebook group, and the answer is important to share with new and expectant parents. Babies spend a lot of time sleeping, an estimated 16 to 18 hours per day.  For decades, the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) has promoted the “Back to Sleep” campaign, encouraging babies to sleep on their backs, which has been successful in reducing the incidence of SIDS. However, there is evidence that the mattress that your baby sleeps on may also increase a baby’s risk of SIDS. 

Studies show infants exposed to chemical emissions from mattresses

In 2014, a study by the University of Texas was released which found that “infants are exposed to high levels of chemical emissions from crib mattresses.” The researchers examined 20 new mattresses and found that they contained over 30 volatile organic compounds (VOCs).  Moreover, new crib mattresses release about 4 times the amount of VOCs as old mattresses. And even more alarming is that the VOC level is significantly higher in the infant’s breathing space than in the general air.  The researchers estimated that the infant laying in the crib is exposed to twice the VOC levels as someone standing in the room. Therefore, the researchers concluded that a good strategy to reduce this VOC exposure would be to let a new mattress air out for an extended period of time, perhaps in a garage or outdoors.

This research seems to suggest that an old mattress would be protective; however, a used mattress comes with risks as well. Dr. Jim Sprott, a New Zealand scientist, is convinced that a number of chemicals, which includes phosphorous, arsenic and antimony used in fire retardants, are directly responsible for SIDS. His theory is that these chemicals combine with fungi in the mattress and create a toxic gas. He further proposes that used mattresses are more likely to have the fungus in it to mix with these chemicals than new mattresses. His theory is based upon a research study in published in 1994 by Dr. B. Richardson which brought this information to light.  Dr. Sprott strongly recommends that these chemicals be removed from crib mattresses, but industry standards continue to mandate the inclusion of fire retardants.

Protection from chemicals and gases in crib mattresses

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Tags: sleep, children's health, pediatrics

25% of Teenagers are Doing What?!

Posted by on Mon, Mar 09, 2015

It’s common knowledge that adolescence is characterized by risk-taking behaviors and experimentation. 

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Tags: children's health, pediatrics, prescription drugs

Are You D-ficient?

Posted by on Mon, Feb 02, 2015

Vitamin D is critical to health

Winter season is an important time to think about your (and your child's) vitamin D levels because vitamin D deficiency is especially prevalent during this time of the year. 

Vitamin D is a crucial nutrient for your health at every age.  In fact, the illnesses associated with vitamin D deficiency are numerous.  Consider the following recent studies:

  • Vitamin D deficiency is associated with greater cancer risk.
  • Vitamin D has been shown to be an effective treatment for psoriasis.
  • Vitamin D supplementation reduces incidence of autoimmune diseases, specifically multiple sclerosis and type 1 diabetes (when taken during infancy).
  • Vitamin D deficiency  is associated with increased incidence and severity of asthma and wheezing disorders.
  • Vitamin D enhances the immune response and provides protection against upper respiratory infections, influenza, and middle ear infections.
  • Vitamin D deficiency affects the cardiovascular system. Deficiency of vitamin D increases the risk for heart attack, hypertension, peripheral vascular disease, metabolic syndrome, coronary artery disease, and heart failure.

Vitamin D deficiency is very common 

Given the importance of Vitamin D to the function of so many different bodily systems, we need to ensure that our levels are within a healthy range.  The recommended blood level for vitamin D is 30 to 80, but rarely do we find a patient in the healthy range. 

Here are 3 ways to optimize your vitamin D level:

Outdoor Time: First of all, vitamin D is a misnomer.  It’s not a vitamin, but actually a hormone that is produced in your own body.  Vitamin D production requires sunlight.  So inadequate exposure to the sun, which occurs frequently in our indoor-prone, sedentary society, is a big factor in vitamin D deficiency.  The best way to improve your vitamin D level is to make it yourself. 

Just ten to fifteen minutes of sunlight exposure can generate 10,000 to 20,000 international units (IU) of vitamin D. (People with darker skin may require five to ten times that length of time for the same resulting levels.) Make sure that you avoid excessive sun intensity resulting in sunburn.

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Tags: cancer, vitamins and minerals, integrative health, children's health

Can Half of Breast Cancers Be Prevented?

Posted by on Thu, Jan 01, 2015

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.”

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Tags: cancer, children's health, pediatrics