Oct 20

How Can a Naturopathic Doctor Help with Infertility?

Integrative-083By Dr Jen Newell, ND

There are a number of ways in which a Naturopathic Doctor can support fertility and increase chances of natural conception and success with assisted reproductive technologies. Below are ways in which a Naturopath can help:

  1. Time

Naturopathic Doctors have the privilege of having time to get to know their patients’ and their unique needs. With an initial visit of an hour and half, a Naturopath has the opportunity to understand the patient’s individual concerns and with appropriate follow-ups can devise a personalized treatment plan. Patient’s report feeling supported, understood and listened to, which can help to alleviate the stress often associated with trying to conceive.

  1. Counseling

With the time given to understanding patients unique needs, Naturopathic Doctors are able to learn more about the emotional impact of trying to conceive and can address both physical and emotional concerns.

  1. Holistic Practices

Naturopathic Doctors consider the whole body and lifestyle of a patient when creating an integrative treatment plan. Not only is fertility improved, but overall health is supported so often patients report more restorative sleep, improved digestive function and increased energy as a result of treatment.

  1. Stress and Anxiety Management

Research into Naturopathic Medicine has found that seeing a Naturopath reduces stress for patients by 15-20%. Patients feel listened to and are able to discuss aspects of their care and lives to reduce perceived stress. Managing stress increases chances of successful conception. Naturopathic care is also helpful at reducing anxiety associated with fertility treatments.

  1. Diet Counseling

Counseling patients to adopt a healthier diet improves overall health and supports fertility. Naturopathic Doctors are able to support patients in this transition and provide support for eliminating dependency on certain foods such as coffee and sugar. They are also able to identify and address nutrient deficiencies through diet and appropriate supplements.

Dr. Jen Newell is passionate about helping people embrace health, feel amazing and easily incorporate “real” food into their busy lives. Her mission is to make health accessible and achievable, and to inspire patients to live an active, vibrant and healthy life.

Jen has a clinical focus on digestive health, food sensitivities and healthy nutrition; mental health and stress-related illness; women’s health, hormone balance and fertility; optimal aging; and dermatology. She focuses on integrating healthy foods into one’s diet in a medicinal and therapeutic capacity and providing individuals with nutritional support that is easy to incorporate into a busy day. Dr. Newell practices at the Integrative Health Institute in Downtown Toronto.

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Oct 17

Thyroid Health and Body Temperature

takingtemperature Wilson’s Temperature Syndrome

One complaint I see a lot in practice is that despite having normal blood work, my patients still don’t feel well. They struggle to lose weight and have noticed that their hair is thinning or shedding; they are exhausted, have anxiety and depression. Often these concerns began after a significant stressor or chronic stress and even after that stress has passed they still feel awful. They are convinced that their thyroid isn’t working properly and despite what the blood work says, they are often right. What they are experiencing is known as Wilson’s Temperature Syndrome and is the suboptimal functioning of the thyroid gland. I recently attended a conference about this concern and am excited to help these patients really achieve their health goals.

Wilson’s Temperature Syndrome is a diagnosis of exclusion; and the best method to identify it is through a therapeutic trial. In a therapeutic trial, we begin treatment on a patient and monitor their response. To assess for Wilson’s Temperature Syndrome you can also assess the average body temperature of the patient. Wilson’s Temperature Syndrome is characterized by oral body temperatures averaging below 98.6°F or 37°C.

Since most patients complain of symptoms that they experience during the day, it is recommended that temperatures be measured throughout the day.

Recommendations for monitoring temperature:

  • By mouth with a thermometer
  • Every 3 hours
  • 3 times a day, starting 3 hours after waking
  • For several days (not the 3 days prior to the period in women since its higher then) for diagnosis.
  • Every day during treatment.

Patient Resources:

Temperature Log

Dr. Jen Newell is passionate about helping people embrace health, feel amazing and easily incorporate “real” food into their busy lives. Her mission is to make health accessible and achievable, and to inspire patients to live an active, vibrant and healthy life.

Jen has a clinical focus on digestive health, food sensitivities and healthy nutrition; mental health and stress-related illness; women’s health, hormone balance and fertility; optimal aging; and dermatology. She focuses on integrating healthy foods into one’s diet in a medicinal and therapeutic capacity and providing individuals with nutritional support that is easy to incorporate into a busy day. Dr. Newell practices at the Integrative Health Institute in Downtown Toronto.
Photo Credit: JD Hancock via Compfight cc

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Oct 14

Immuni-Tea: Strengthen your Immune System

Black_teaBy Dr. Lisa Watson, ND

The evolution of the immune boosting Immuni-Tea started when my eldest son (now seven!) began daycare at just over a year old. All moms know that once your child starts daycare they are bound to bring home all kinds of illnesses! I wanted to do everything I could to prevent this from happening for my son. I was already a fan of using teas with children – both as medicines and for pleasure – and I knew I could make a tea to boost his immune system (and mine!) Thus the Immuni-Tea was born.

The Immuni-Tea Boost

Immuni-Tea is a combination of several different botanicals – each selected to optimize immune function and speed recovery from coughs, colds and flus. For children I use fewer ingredients, and for adults a few more.

Powerful Antivirals

Elderberry

Elderberry berries are a powerful antiviral and help prevent viral infections from taking hold in the respiratory tract. Studies have shown that elderberry is effective against multiple strains of influenza virus and can decrease flu symptoms by several days. Elderberry flowers are also used to calm inflammation in the throat.

Optimal Immune Function

Echinacea

No single botanical has more research on it’s ability to enhance immune function than Echinacea! Echinacea is a broad-spectrum antimicrobial – it can help the body fight off both viral and bacterial infections. It is especially useful for coughs, colds, and infections of the throat, nose and sinuses.

Echinacea is more than just an antimicrobial – it also helps to repair inflamed or damaged tissues, preventing infection from taking hold. It also activates the body’s macrophage defense system – the immune cells that initiate destruction of viruses, bacteria and cancer cells. Echinacea is the ultimate preventative medicine during cold and flu season.

Astragalus

I don’t like to play favourites, but astragalus is my hands-down favourite immune boosting botanical. When your immune system is depleted, astragalus can strengthen it. It boosts both nonspecific and specific immunity, and restores depleted red blood cell formation in the bone marrow.

Perhaps most importantly, astragalus can stimulate the body’s natural production of interferon. Interferon is a protein released by virus- or bacteria-infected cells that cause neighbouring cells to increase their defenses. Interferon protects our cells by letting them know to prepare for a possible viral/bacterial invasion – like an immune alarm system!

Warm a Cold

Peppermint and Ginger

Peppermint and ginger are both warming herbs – they help maintain an optimal yin-yang balance (cold-hot) and can keep the body temperature at the appropriate temperature to prevent viral replication. They are both known “diaphoretics” – they can help to optimize a fever so that the immune system can work properly. Consult with your Naturopathic Doctor before giving these botanicals to children.

Calm a Cough

Wild Cherry

If you’re unlucky enough to already have a cough or cold, your Immuni-Tea can help!

Wild cherry calms the cough reflex, minimizing the symptoms of harsh, irritating coughs. Best used for dry, non-productive or persistent coughs – those coughs that just never seem to go away! It also has a great taste.

Soothe a Sore Throat

Slippery Elm

Slippery elm is a smooth, soothing botanical that can coat your sore throat and decrease swelling, allowing the body to reduce and repair inflammation. It is slightly viscous and adds a distinct thickness to the Immuni-Tea that makes it feel great when you drink it.

Tea Time!

The Immuni-Tea is meant to be taken both preventatively and during active colds and flus. For prevention one to two cups per day is adequate. During a cold or flu increase to three or four cups daily. Steep a tablespoon of tea in hot water for five minutes with the lid covered for optimal potency.

Immuni-Tea is available at the Integrative Health Institute – 46 Sherbourne Street at King Street in Toronto. www.integrativehealthinstitute.ca

 

LwatsonDr. Lisa Watson delivers health care that supports balanced and attainable health at all ages and stages of life. Of primary importance is health care that nurtures the body, mind, spirit, family and community.  As a Naturopathic Doctor and mother, Lisa believes that health care and a healthy lifestyle are intrinsically linked and that each serves to support the other. Dr. Watson practices at the Integrative Health Institute in Downtown Toronto.
Follow Dr. Watson on Twitter
Check out Dr Watson’s blog: www.drlisawatson.com

 

image via Creative Commons available here

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Oct 9

Pumpkin Pancakes

pumpkinpancakesBy Dr Erin Wiley, ND

Fall is the perfect time of year to make these pancakes for a fun family breakfast. While I am normally a fan of the low-carb breakfast, everyone needs to have some variety once in a while. Thanks to the ground flax seed, cinnamon and pumpkin puree, these pancakes are better on your blood sugar balance than most and exceptionally nutrient dense.

Ingredients

1 and ½ cups of Gluten Free Pancake mix (We recommend Bob’s Red Mill)

1 tbsp of ground flax seed

1 tsp of cinnamon

1 egg

1 cup of almond milk (or milk of your choice)

2 tbsp of melted coconut oil

1 cup of pumpkin puree

Directions

Combine the gluten free pancake mix, ground flax and cinnamon in a large bowl and whisk together. Add the egg, almond milk, melted coconut oil and pumpkin puree to the dry mixture and stir well. The soluble fiber in the ground flax seeds can make the mixture thick, which is great for blood sugar regulation and bowel health. Please feel free to add more almond milk until the mixture reaches your desired consistency. The thicker the mix, the thicker the pancakes.

Preheat your griddle to medium high. Add a little coconut oil to the pan and pour pancakes using a ¼ cup of batter each. Heat until golden on both sides and serve hot.

Top with maple syrup or apple and almond butter for a lower glycemic spin!

Nourish you body, mind and spirit!

Dr. Erin Wiley is a naturopathic doctor with a strong focus on preventative and integrative medicine. She is the Co-founder and Clinic Director of the Integrative Health Institute, an integrative medical clinic located in downtown Toronto. Erin has a strong clinical emphasis on stress related illness, anxiety, depression and hormone balance. As a naturopathic doctor, Erin is passionate about working with people to help them better understand their health and achieve their health goals.

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Oct 6

Fall Forward Recipe: Pear Apple Pie

Humble Apple Pie Crumble by @JesseLWellness #pieBy Jesse Lane Schelew, BSc, CNP

Pear Apple Pie is perfect for the fall season and makes a sweet ending to your Thanksgiving feast. It contains seasonal apples and pears nestled in a flaky spelt crust topped with a sweet crumble. I like to use spelt flour in this recipe because it adds a delicious nutty flavor to the crust and it is a great source of manganese, which is important for healthy joints.

Prep time: 30 minutes | Inactive prep time: 1 hour | Cook time: 50 minutes

Serving size: One 9 inch diameter pie

Crust:

1 ¼ cups spelt flour

¼ tsp salt

¼ tsp cinnamon

¼ cup + 2 Tbsp organic butter, chilled cut into cubes

3 to 4 Tbsp cold water

Filling:

1/3 cup coconut sugar

¼ cup spelt flour

½ tsp cinnamon

½ tsp ground nutmeg

2 large apples, peeled and sliced

1 large pear, peeled and sliced

Crumble Topping:

½ cup coconut oil, softened

½ cup coconut sugar

½ tsp vanilla

1/3 cup spelt flour

1 tsp cinnamon

1 cup oats

Directions:

  1. Mix 2 ½ cups flour, ½ tsp salt and ½ tsp cinnamon in a food processor fitted with the metal blade or by hand. Cut ¾ cup of chilled butter into chunks and add it to the food processor and process until the butter is the size of peas.  If you are mixing by hand, use a pastry blender or two knives to cut the butter into the flour, do not stir.
  2. Slowly add 6 to 8 Tbsp of cold water until the mixture holds together.
  3. Form the pastry into a disks and place in the refrigerator to chill for an hour.
  4. While the crust is chilling mix the sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a bowl. Add the apples and pear; toss to coat.
  5. Mix all the topping ingredients together a separate bowl and set aside.
  6. Preheat oven to 350F.
  7. Remove the chilled dough from the fridge and place on a large sheet of parchment paper. Roll out the dough with a floured rolling pin until it is 1/8 inch thick and roughly 12-inches in diameter (for a 9 inch pie plate). While you are rolling out the dough, the parchment paper may slide around; however, the parchment paper makes for a very easy transfer into the pie plate. If you do not wish to roll out the dough on parchment paper, use a floured surface.
  8. Place the rolled out dough on the pie plate and trim the edges leaving an extra half inch. Tuck the extra dough underneath itself to form a thick edge and flute with your first two fingers and thumb.
  9. Add the pear and apple mixture, top with the crumble topping and bake at 350F for 50 minutes. Check the pie after 20 minutes and if the crust edges are getting dark cover them with foil.  Cover the rest of the pie for the last 10 minutes of cooking if the topping is golden brown.

 

Jesse Lane Schelew 550xJesse Lane Schelew, BSc, CNP is a cheerful Holistic Nutritionist, motivating speaker, cookbook author and wellness writer. She is the founder of JesseLaneWellness.com, a web based holistic nutrition practice and holistic recipe resource. Jesse Lane is also the resident Holistic Nutritionist at Yellow Gazebo Clinic in Toronto, Ontario. Jesse Lane is passionate about nutrition helps positive and vibrant individuals unlock the incredible healing power of food and reclaim their health.  She is a co-author of The Holistic In the City 21 Day Smoothie Guide and has contributed to recipes to KrisCarr.com, MindBodyGreen.com and Get Naked in the Kitchen: Healthy Recipes That Are Proud To Bare It All.

You can connect with Jesse Lane on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram @jesselwellness. Whenever you make one of her recipes, take a picture, tag @jesselwellness and use #JesseLaneWellness!

Website: http://www.jesselanewellness.com/
eBook: http://www.jesselanewellness.com/product/21-day-smoothie-guide/

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Sep 29

Food Sensitivities – A Burden on Your Body and Fuel for Inflammation

Fredmeyer_edit_1By Dr Erin Wiley, ND

Questions about sensitivities arise almost daily in my practice. What are they, do I have them, and are they a cause for concern? Food sensitivities have been known to contribute to a variety of health concerns from migraine headaches, acid reflux, nausea, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, diarrhea, gas and bloating, eczema, joint pain, malnutrition, irritability and fatigue. The connection between the symptoms you experience and the food you eat is directly related to the health of your digestive system and its dynamic relationship with your immune system. Food sensitivities cause inflammation in the body, and inflammation over time wears down your vitality and puts you at risk for the development of chronic disease. Here are some answers to the most common questions from clients at the clinic.

What are food sensitivities? Are they “sensitivities”, “intolerances” or “allergies”?

Does this sound familiar: “My medical doctors says I don’t have food allergies, my Naturopathic doctor says I have food sensitivities? What should I do?” Food sensitivities do not meet the medical definition of allergy. This definition is very specific. Food allergies are triggered by a specific type of antibody know as IgE antibodies. These antibodies cause reactions that happen very quickly. They cause redness and swelling and, in some cases, it can lead to anaphylaxis which could be life threatening. Peanut and shellfish allergies are good examples of “food allergy”. This is not the type of reaction we are talking about when we are discussing contributing factors to joint pain, gas and bloating.

Food sensitivities are caused by a different type of antibody called the IgG mediated immune response. This class of antibody causes a delayed inflammatory response to particular food triggers. IgG antibodies attach themselves to particles of food and create inflammatory immune complexes. Normally your immune system tries to remove these complexes, but when the system cannot keep up, they deposit in your tissues and create inflammation. It is this inflammatory cycle that causes the damage to your body’s tissues like your joints, your brain, or the cells lining your digestive tract. It is the inflammation of these tissues that causes the symptoms listed above. If we can dial down the inflammation we can stop the tissue damage, which leads us to the next step of restoring your digestive health.

Food intolerances simply mean that the body cannot tolerate a specific type of food. This can be for a number of reasons. Lactose intolerance is a good example. When the body does not make enough of the enzyme lactase to break down the sugar in milk. This causes a great deal of gas, bloating and digestive discomfort but does not trigger the immune system to produce an inflammatory response.

Remove the food sensitivities, remove the inflammation, stop the tissue damage!

Our digestive health is extremely important to our over all wellbeing. Every cell in our body is made up of nutrients that are absorbed into our body through the lining of our digestive tract. Damage to our digestive tissue poses a significant risk to the health of every system in the body. If the digestive tract is inflamed we cannot absorb nutrients properly. This means we can suffer from malnutrition even when our diet is healthy, which is why some individuals might experience an iron or B12 deficiency despite an adequate dietary intake of these nutrients. Sometimes the tissue damage in the digestive tract can be significant and cause intestinal permeability or “leaky gut”. This means that particles of food do not get properly transported into the body. Instead they make their way into other tissues and the blood stream and start aggravating our immune system. Since these food particles have not been properly introduced to the immune system, the immune system starts to treat them like a foreign invader and mounts an inflammatory attack.

Removing foods sensitivities from the diet allows the digestive tract time to heal. This will improve absorption giving the body the proper building blocks for optimal cellular health, improved energy focus and concentration. This will also calm inflammation, which will allow the body to repair the tissue damage to the brain and joints leading to decreased pain and improve mood.

Dr. Wiley’s best advice: don’t over-think it, just decide for yourself

I constantly meet with clients who are struggling with inflammation and digestive complaints. They are confused and striving to find a solution. If you think you might have food sensitivities or just want to improve your digestive health you need a systematic plan for evaluating your digestive function. Identifying your food sensitivities is the first step. The plan is simple, you need to remove your offending foods (100% elimination) for 2 weeks, this is enough time to calm your immune system, and then you can decide the impact on your health for yourself. Then you can decide what you want to do about it. Most people fear food sensitivity elimination but it is often much easier to do than live with pain, suffering and dysfunction.

Your Naturopathic doctor understands food sensitivities and other contributors to digestive health and whole body wellness. We also have the tools, resources and clinical experience to help you navigate your health promotion plan. You do not have to go through this alone, our team has the knowledge and experience to help you make a difference in your health!

Dr. Erin Wiley is a naturopathic doctor with a strong focus on preventative and integrative medicine. She is the Co-founder and Clinic Director of the Integrative Health Institute, an integrative medical clinic located in downtown Toronto. Erin has a strong clinical emphasis on stress related illness, anxiety, depression and hormone balance. As a naturopathic doctor, Erin is passionate about working with people to help them better understand their health and achieve their health goals.

image via Creative Commons original here

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Sep 22

Fall Forward Recipe: Carrot Orange Soup

Sunshine Carrot Soup by JesseLWellness #veganBy Jesse Lane Schelew, BSc, CNP

Carrot Orange Soup is a fresh and creamy soup that will warm you up on a chilly day. This soup is made with coconut milk which gives it a silky texture without any dairy. It also contains tangy orange juice and warming ginger. It makes a perfect pack and go lunch that is delicious cold or at room temperature.

Carrots are a great ingredient to add to any meal because they are one of the riches sources of pro-vitamin A carotenoids (alpha- and beta-carotene which convert into vitamin A). As you probably already know, vitamin A is great for your vision and helps boots your immune system. It is also an antioxidant which can help protect you against cardiovascular disease. Carrots are rich in fiber and low in calories, so you can munch away on them guilt free.

Prep time: 20 min | Cook time: 40-55 min | Serving size: 4

Ingredients

-        2 Tablespoon coconut oil

-        1 large onion, chopped

-        3 cloves garlic, minced

-        2 lbs carrots, peeled and chopped

-        1.5 cups orange juice (roughly 3 oranges)

-        1.5 cups coconut milk (1 can)

-        3 cups vegetable stock

-        2 teaspoons finely minced ginger

-        Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. In a large pot, heat oil over medium-low heat. Add onions and cook stirring occasionally for 5 min. Add the garlic and continue cooking for 5 min or until onions are soft and brown.
  2. Add carrots, coconut milk, orange juice and vegetable stock.
  3. Bring to boil over high heat. Reduce to low, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until carrots are very soft, roughly 30 to 45 min.
  4. Add the ginger and puree with an immersion blender or transfer in to a food processor and puree until smooth in batches.
  5. Return the puree to the pot, season with salt and pepper and heat until hot. If the soup is too thick, add additional stock.

 

Jesse Lane Schelew 550xJesse Lane Schelew, BSc, CNP is a cheerful Holistic Nutritionist, motivating speaker, cookbook author and wellness writer. She is the founder of JesseLaneWellness.com, a web based holistic nutrition practice and holistic recipe resource. Jesse Lane is also the resident Holistic Nutritionist at Yellow Gazebo Clinic in Toronto, Ontario. Jesse Lane is passionate about nutrition helps positive and vibrant individuals unlock the incredible healing power of food and reclaim their health.  She is a co-author of The Holistic In the City 21 Day Smoothie Guide and has contributed to recipes to KrisCarr.com, MindBodyGreen.com and Get Naked in the Kitchen: Healthy Recipes That Are Proud To Bare It All.

You can connect with Jesse Lane on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram @jesselwellness. Whenever you make one of her recipes, take a picture, tag @jesselwellness and use #JesseLaneWellness!

Website: http://www.jesselanewellness.com/
eBook: http://www.jesselanewellness.com/product/21-day-smoothie-guide/

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Sep 15

Pain and Your Relationship to It

Integrative-009The practice of Integrative Medicine requires an open mind, receptivity and the confidence to share knowledge and experience. At our monthly team meetings our practitioners come together to learn from each other and expand the opportunities for healing for our clients. This blog is a great example of what was born from our last team discussion on pain. Tell us what you think, we would love to share your feed back. – Dr. Erin Wiley Clinic Director

By Crescence Krueger, BA

When the clinical team at the Integrative Health Institute got together for a meeting last week, our topic was pain. It’s what often brings people to the clinic and having a clear relationship to it is vital to healing. In a time when our social attitude towards pain is generally avoidance, becoming truly intimate with what you feel can be difficult to do. But it is essential. Like any other relationship, the one you have with your body flourishes when you come to it with utter receptivity. To receive another is to love them; when that “other” is your own sensations, feelings and thoughts, you love yourself, and in that, healing becomes possible.

Pain is the terrain of my work as a doula, helping women through the process of giving birth, and it is also the focus of my work in passing on a real understanding of yoga. In fact, both birth and yoga bring one into an unmediated experience of life’s power to regenerate and sustain itself, and pain is integral to the process. Being able to feel is vital to a woman’s ability to give birth, so vital that while pain receptors in the body of the uterus disappear in the nine months of pregnancy, they remain in the cervix, the outlet. Why? A woman needs to feel the dramatic transformation her cervix undergoes because it is this feeling that specifically triggers the release of the hormones that contract her uterus, alter her brain state and make it possible for her to give birth. Without feeling, the process stops, which is why women who get epidural anesthesia in the first part of labour usually need to receive a drug version of oxytocin, the hormone that contracts the uterus. Without it, they would never give birth. Of course, sometimes an epidural is the compassionate response to what a woman is feeling. Intelligent use of technology is a gift in giving birth, just as it is in all other realms of life. But an epidural rate in downtown Toronto hospitals of around 90% is reflected in a society whose first instinct on feeling any discomfort, from a headache to sore muscles, is to obliterate the feeling with drugs rather than listen to it. This speaks not of intelligence, but of a deep reactivity and fear of pain, which only causes more suffering as one separates from one’s experience, and with it, from what is real.

The thousands of years old technology of Yoga understands that it is your strength to receive your experience that leads to physical health, peace of mind and an abiding sanity. Feeling everything, including pain, allows the nurturing force of life to freely move through you. Pain is a sign that your body is responding well to your given circumstances. Pain is not the enemy; its presence tells you that change is necessary and, in fact, is already happening. Without pain, we would die. We wouldn’t know what our bodies needed. From hunger pains to the pain of sudden or chronic injury and illness, pain is our guide.

However, a numb or disassociated system needs extreme sensation just to feel “something”, and the idea of “no pain, no gain” can lead to using pain as one’s only reference, when much subtler sensations would be the appropriate touchstone, the result being continuous injury. A joint needs 60% damage before an MRI will show any damage. Additionally, addiction to the endorphin high that comes with pain can happen. Runners, or anyone doing an extreme sport, often get addicted to the high they get in pushing their bodies to their limit. While feeling great, people are actually hurting themselves. The opposite also happens. One can get a feeling of pleasure in being a victim of pain because there can be a kind of power in it, a feeling of virtuousness, or an opportunity to gain another’s kindness, or simple attention that feels otherwise impossible. We have a tendency to weave meaning into our pain, relating present pain to our past experiences of it. In giving birth, past trauma can be reawakened in the present, so having a means to integrate it, rather than react to it, is one of the things I give the women I work with. It can mean the difference between feeling whole and strong after giving birth or feeling overwhelmed and fragile. So a distinction needs to be made between the pain we are feeling and the suffering we may experience in association with it. Even when pain is persistent, much can be done to reduce suffering. To be with another in their pain and fully receive them is the heart of compassion and the essence of healing. We need to be received first before any pain can be “fixed”. Sometimes this is all that is needed for life to restore us.

The great American modern dancer Martha Graham said, “The body never lies.” Our bodies speak what we may not be able to put into words. In opening to pain, you open to every aspect of your experience; the integration that results is the definition of healing and also of spiritual “enlightenment”. To heal doesn’t mean you need to solve an issue but simply be able to live fully with it. In love.

 

CrescenceCrescence Krueger has a deep understanding of what women need in order to give birth. Over the last twenty-one years, her work as a doula has brought her again and again into the heart of women’s authentic power, as they give birth not only to their babies, but also to themselves as mothers. Crescence practices at the Integrative Health Institute in Downtown Toronto.

To learn more about Crescence and her services as a doula, take a look at her website, follow her on twitter, or email her at ckrueger@integrativehealthinstitute.ca

main image via Jack Fussell via Compfight

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Sep 8

Recipes for a Summer of Health: Strawberry Basil Sorbet

9b3dc9e7825700debdf64544a51970c6We have asked our foodie and nutrition friends to share their recipes to keep your health and wellness goals on track all summer long! This wonderful Strawberry Basil Sorbet recipe comes courtesy of the Hacienda del Sol.

Strawberry Basil Sorbet

1 cup fresh coconut meat
1 cup strawberries
1 cup fresh basil
1 lemon juiced
1 tsp honey
pinch sea salt

Process all in food processor.  Divide into ice cubes trays.  Freeze.  When ready to serve, re-process cubes to break down into a smooth gelato like consistency.

Hacienda del SolHacienda Del Sol is an Eco Wellness Retreat and Spa oasis, which focuses on detoxification and rejuvenation. Our ongoing 7 to 21 Day juice cleanses, detox, fitness, yoga and spa retreats aim to renew you from the inside out. Visit them on facebook or twitter for more info!

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Sep 2

After-Hours Emails Ruining Your Sleep?

emailBy  Dr. Marc Bubbs ND, CSCS

Almost every person that walks into  our clinic has some sort of sleep  concern; inability to effectively fall asleep, stay asleep, or achieve deep restful sleep. The topic of sleep and recovery is a very rapidly growing area of research at the moment.  A growing epidemic of sleep disorders seems to be happening in conjunction with the rise in prevalence of mobile devices and connectivity. Do these devices really impact your sleep and ability to recover? Let’s see what the latest science is saying.

In a recent article, professor of sociology Dr. Scott Schieman at the University of Toronto discusses the findings of his research on the causes and health consequences of social stress. He starts out by listing  the following statistics;

  • Canadians average less than 7 hours of sleep per night (6.8 hours)
  • Over 20% say they have trouble falling asleep
  • Almost 30% wake up during the night
  • Over one-third report waking up “feeling tired”

Compared to previous generations, sleep quantity and sleep quality are on the decline. What is happening here? A new study in the journal Sleep tells us that cognitive intrusion is to blame. Cognitive intrusions are all the small tasks that require a state of ‘wakefulness’ to accomplish, stimulating your nervous system and inhibiting you from unwinding and sleeping deeply. It seems the #1 culprit is by far “after hours” e-mails. It only takes one email from your boss or unhappy client to trigger stress hormones and negatively impact sleep.

The bottom line is if you sleep poorly, you’ll have poor cognitive function and productivity. If you can’t realistically solve your unhappy client’s or boss’ problems at 11:00pm, be sure to shut off your phone 2-3 hours before bedtime to ensure restful sleep and recovery.

I always instruct my clients to set the stage for deep, restorative sleep by ensuring the bedroom is completely dark, and there is no ambient noise. Black out blinds and ear plugs (I prefer the ‘jelly’ type to the foam ear plugs) are often necessary if you live in the city. Finally, make sure your mobile device is NOT on your nightstand, leave across the room so the WIFI connectivity does not interfere with deep sleep.

Sleep is crucial for recovery and optimal productivity. Try these tips and start sleeping better today!

Dr. Marc Bubbs N.D. has been working with athletes and active people for almost a decade. As a Naturopathic Doctor and Strength and Conditioning Coach, Marc focuses on the integration of health and exercise, believing that movement is the best medicine. He focuses on a holistic approach, using a combination of traditional Eastern and cutting-edge Western medicine to meet his client’s health and performance goals. Marc spent several years working in London, England as a personal trainer and strength coach for business executives and competitive athletes. He currently works as a sports medical consultant at Laylor Performance Systems and Canada Basketball. Dr. Bubbs practices at the Integrative Health Institute in Downtown Toronto.

main image via flickr creative commons. Original available here

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