therapeutic order

The Therapeutic Order: The Hierarchy of Health in Naturopathic Medicine

The Therapeutic Order: The Hierarchy of Health in Naturopathic Medicine

Despite common belief, naturopathic doctors do not merely just prescribe supplements using a one-size-fits-all approach. Instead, naturopathic medicine has a rich history and philosophy that has been curated, cultivated and passed down through our elders. Components of our history include our naturopathic principles, our oath, and the therapeutic order. The therapeutic order is a unique hierarchy of tenets that is meant to govern the naturopathic doctor’s clinical approach to patient care. The therapeutic order ultimately ensures a gentle approach that stimulates the innate healing ability of the body.

Remove Obstacles to Health
Bodies can affected by both internal and external obstacles and when this occurs for a prolonged period of time, the body will begin to express symptoms. Thus, we approach symptoms with curiosity and acknowledge that they are the body’s way to communicate its needs. Obstacles to health can be stressors, ineffective breathing techniques, dehydration, poor nutrition and/or lack of exercise to name a few.

Stimulate the vis
In naturopathic medicine, your vis is considered your life force and it harbours the body’s innate self-healing ability. As naturopathic doctors we truly believe that the body is capable of self-healing and we hope to inspire our patients to think the same. Traditionally, we use energetic approaches to stimulate vis including acupuncture, hydrotherapy and homeopathy and/or drop-dosing botanical herbs.

Correct structural integrity
Since we consider the whole person, we observe the physical body and determine if it is possible to increase circulation and vitality through spinal mobilizations or manipulations. A common example would be the posture we often see today from people on their cellphones or computers; shoulders rounded in, head drooping slightly forward and the chin tilting up. Although it may seem like this type of posture would only affect the musculoskeletal system, it also makes it more difficult for people to fill their lungs completely as they breathe or to digest properly if they are rounded over applying unnecessary pressure on their gastrointestinal system.therapeutic order

Support and restore weakened body systems
Sometimes there are body systems that need to be restored and cannot simply be stimulated. The particular system and the approach will differ drastically patient to patient but this is often where we will call upon botanical medicine, acupuncture and/or nutraceuticals to tonify weakened systems.

Use of natural substances
Our primary goal is to restore health and not to treat pathology. However, there are instances where this approach becomes a priority such as an acute infection or to ease a troubling symptom while we continue to address the root cause.

Note that use of supplementation is further along the hierarchy than establishing the necessities for a healthy life. It is becoming common for practitioners to bypass all the previous steps as supplementation can be easier and more convenient than lifestyle changes. This approach is known as green allopathy, whereby a healthcare practitioner prescribes a supplement to treat a symptom without questioning why the symptom has arisen in the first place.

Despite its growing popularity, green allopathy is ultimately unsatisfying to both patient and naturopath as it evades the roots of our medicine. A patient can only proceed so far along their health journey if the foundations for health have not been met through the previous tenets and the cause remains unknown.

Use of pharmacological substances
In instances where the naturopathic doctor has prescribing rights and in provinces where they are able to, naturopaths may prescribe pharmaceutical drugs to suppress symptoms. Again, the goal is always to restore health so pharmacy is not seen as a solution but rather a tool to abide symptoms while we work towards treating the root cause.

Surgery
When surgery is required, the patient will be under the care of medical doctors who are trained in this arena. However, a naturopath may be of use in easing side effects of surgery.

Given all of the above, when you visit a naturopathic doctor, you can expect that there will be lifestyle changes, dietary changes and perhaps a prescription for contrast showers. You can also expect that we will do the diagnostic work required to find the root cause of your dis-ease and, in the mean time, we may employ any of our tools to abide troubling symptoms.

If you have been prescribed supplements for the purpose of suppressing symptoms but the root cause remains unclear, do speak with your naturopathic doctor. The well-trained naturopathic doctor will always prioritize patient safety while being aware of patterns, weaknesses, obstacles specific to that patient and, of course, will strive to prevent further dis-ease through employing the therapeutic order along with the principles of our medicine.

The Sunshine Vitamin- a drug we may be missing

The Sunshine Vitamin: a drug we may be missing

Recently, there has been a lot of buzz about Vitamin D. Low levels of vitamin D have been associated with worsening autoimmune diseases, increasing the risk of frequent infections, heart disease, and mental health conditions.

It is unique as it is the only vitamin that is produced in your skin in response to sunlight. It is both a hormone and a fat soluble vitamin.

Recently, I watched Dr. Rhonda Patrick discuss the new research regarding the links to adequate Vitamin D levels and our immune health.

Here is a quick video outlining some of the important roles vitamin D has in our body.

Remember that regular exposure to moderate levels of sunshine, and proper supplementation may be your best bet to strengthen your immune system. Blood tests are available to assess your vitamin D status and determine what supplementation is best for you.

the sunshine vitamin

The Next Right Thing

The next right thing by Julie Zepp Rutledge

Last night I watched the movie Brittany Runs a Marathon.  Here is the trailer: 

It’s well worth the watch, predictable as it is, it both hits home and inspires.  And it is actually inspired by a real life woman, a friend of the writer and director’s.  I feel it’s three big take-away messages are:

1.  In this movie the main character is confronted by the reality that her physical, mental and emotional health are all being challenged and she is given a wake-up call from a doctor who asks her to make difficult lifestyle changes in lieu of giving her medication.  Initially she has trouble wrapping her head around the cause and effect, that her nights of drinking, her poor lifestyle habits, food choices, toxic relationships and lack of exercise could have anything to do with her difficulties with focus and concentration and energy and on making something of her life.  It is a testament to how poor we can be at listening to our bodies!  Our bodies are always speaking to us and as I am frequently known to say: “when we listen to our bodies when they whisper, we don’t have to hear them scream.”  The first step starts with stepping out of denial and towards awareness and accepting responsibility for our choices.

We see this a lot, as Naturopathic Doctors, patients that come to us with ailments for which they want remedies, however the ailments themselves are but leaves on a diseased tree.  What we need to do is to treat the soil, the roots and the trunk of the tree through emphasis on the fundamentals of health: water, physical activity, fresh air, sunshine, healthy nutrition, proper rest and sleep and nurturing relationships, first and foremost the relationship we have with ourselves.

2.  Sometimes health can feel overwhelming and we don’t know where to start.  When confronted with the knowledge of her very real health issues, Brittany embarks on a program to start running.  She is motivated by a kind neighbour who reminds her to start with just one small thing.  A Lao Tzu quote that I love and refer to time and time again when I feel overwhelmed: “A journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step.”  She starts with a block.  One single block.  And eventually works herself up to the New York City marathon.

3.  A classic “avoidant”, used to toxic relationships, Brittany tries to push her new well-meaning running friends away, not used to experiencing true support.  It is a great example that while we are the only ones that can do our work, truly, no one can make changes for us: not our friends, doctors, healers, counselors, spouses, parents, etc.  Truly the onus is on us.  We pick up the fork, we put one foot in front of the other, we say “yes” or “no”.  HOWEVER, if we were meant to do it alone, we would have been given our own planets!  Instead we are all here together and one of the most important things we can do for ourselves is learn to ask for help, receive help and lean on others.  Community is key to healing.

The bottom line is, no matter what your health goals might be, chunk it down!  First, get honest with yourself.  Without any judgment on yourself, but rather a neutral inventory: what is working for you and what isn’t?  Figure out where you need to make changes and set about getting the support you need to help you out.  While goals are important, take it one step at a time.  I like to remind myself, and others, that I only have control over the moment right in front of me.  Which means that when I can be a mindful steward of the present moment and make the best choice for myself at that moment, these moments lead the way to a life filled with healthy habits.

So next time you are feeling overwhelmed, ask yourself: “what is the next right thing I can do for myself?” and do just that one thing.  Maybe it is having a glass of water, taking a walk, having a nap, making a smoothie*, having a good cry.  Commit to learn to listen to, honour and follow your body’s whispers and you can create a healthy and joyful life.

Need help?  Reach out!  We are happy to act as your guides and coaches on your personal journeys!

*because I love a good recipe, and your ‘next right thing’ might be making yourself a healthy smoothie, here are a few options for healthy next-right breakfast ideas!

beet smoothie Avocado power smoothie

the great outdoors

The Great Outdoors

The Great Outdoors by Dr. Julie Zepp Rutledge ND

With each phase of Re-Open Saskatchewan, we are offered the opportunity to slowly re-integrate ourselves back into the world outside of our homes and computer screens, a welcome relief for the majority of us.  Yesterday morning my eight-year old son woke up, exclaiming “yay! It’s Friday! I’ve been waiting for this day.  The playgrounds open today!!”

We have absolutely been cooped up for long enough, kids and adults alike.  I know for myself my own mental health has been affected by these pandemic times: like a leaf blowing in the wind sometimes up, sometimes down and often spinning somewhere in between.  For me getting outside and into nature has been a tremendously medicinal part of my last several months and I believe it is what has kept me resilient enough to weather the inner and outer turmoil that have been very much real in my life since mid-March.

If any of you are feeling any trepidation about what this means to be accessing playgrounds, beaches, golf courses, tennis clubs or any other outdoor venue that may be open to us at this time, rest assured of the safety of these environments.  Even if there are up to 30 people gathered!  A researcher recently put together this fantastic article about the transmission of COVID-19.  

It outlines those places where one is more likely to acquire the virus, and those that are safest.  As you will read being outdoors in the sun and wind there is next to zero transmission.  Perhaps this will bring you comfort as you venture out again, and perhaps it will even bring with you a new appreciation for these very windy days here in Saskatchewan of late!  Maybe Mother Earth is just trying to help us out and encourage us out!

Speaking of Mother Earth’s assistance, there is a documentary that I watched several years ago that has been brought back to my attention of late.  It is called The Earthing Movie and it is amazing.  It is an award-winning film that communicates the scientific validity in the power that literal “grounding” has on our bodies.  I highly recommend you take the time to watch it.  And then take off your shoes and go spend some time walking on the earth.  That wisdom you had as a child, the reason you feel so good when you have spent time with your hands in the soil, walking in nature, letting the sun kiss your skin?  All of the healing benefits are documented in this movie for you to enjoy and be inspired by.

So get outside, enjoy yourself and revel in the healing power of nature!

all vibes welcome

Not Just Positive Vibes: All Vibes Welcome

I recently listened to an inspiring TED Talk by a colleague of mine, Dr. Yashar Khosroshahi ND titled, “All Vibes Welcome”: How Glorifying Positive Vibes is Hurting Us. In his talk, Dr. Khosroshahi ND offers a new perspective on the ever so popular “positive vibes only” mantra. I invite you to have a listen!

Can you welcome all vibes into your life? What would it look like if you could practice self-compassion in times of “perceived inadequacy, failure, or suffering”? Perhaps you would notice the ability to embrace pain with a little more ease, a deeper sense of wellbeing, and the ability to grow as a person in a way that enriches your life.

all vibes welcome

Covid's got nothing on the iceman

COVID’s got Nothing on the ‘IceMan’

By. Dr. Marika Geis, ND

As an enthusiast of the ‘ancestral health’ model, I’m always looking for cool ways to incorporate elements of our prehistoric life into this modern one. Things like avoiding grains and legumes (especially if you have IBS/IBD or SIBO), waking up with the sun and going to bed with the sun (season permitting), higher fat diets and fasting multiple times weekly (provided we have stable blood sugar). So, when I came across ‘IceMan’, Wim Hof, I discovered yet another way that we can engage our biological programming, born of millennia evolution, to create the conditions for health and healing. Our harried modern life taxes us in unnatural and inappropriate ways; we are wired for physical stresses, not chronic psychological ones.

Covid's got nothing on the iceman - wim hof

So, what’s the deal with the IceMan you ask? In short, he is able to accomplish what should otherwise be impossible. In the year 2000, Hof set the Guinness World Record for farthest swim under ice, a distance of 188.6 ft. In January of 2007, Hof set a world record for fastest half marathon barefoot on ice and snow, with a time of 2 hours, 16 minutes, and 34 seconds. He has set 16 world records for direct body contact with ice the longest of which was 1 hour 53 minutes and 2 seconds. Naturally, scientists were curious. Conventional medical wisdom would have us believe that once a body’s temperature falls below 90°F, it is unable to warm itself back up. You can imagine their confusion when, trying to set yet another world record for full body ice immersion (wearing only shorts), his core temperature having started at 98.6°F, dropped to 88°F after 75 minutes of cold immersion then rose during the next 20 minutes to 94°F. Say what?! That’s not supposed to happen!!

Clearly, Hof is unique, both in his motivation and determination, yet he is still a human? Using breathing techniques similar to ‘pranayama’ and the Tibetan ‘Tummo meditation’, the ‘Wim Hof Method’ (WHM) is able to coach a body, any body, into tolerating longer and more intense periods of cold exposure. There are many variations of the breathing method. The basic version consists of three phases as follows (each stage with specific instructions):

  • Controlled hyperventilation
  • Exhalation retention
  • Breath retention

These three phases may be repeated for three consecutive rounds.

The effect?

COLD BREATHING
The buildup of brown fat and therefore increased basal metabolic rate Increased energy
Appropriate immune activity (think: autoimmune conditions) Mental clarity
Decreased inflammation  Boosted immunity
Balanced hormones Improved sleep 
Increased endorphins thus improved mood

Since research began into how Hof was able to accomplish these seemingly superhuman feats, scientists have been able to explore how this method: helps humans acclimate faster to higher altitudes, how we can voluntarily activate our autonomic nervous systems (supposedly beyond our control) and attenuate our innate immunity, how the combination of concentration, cold exposure and meditation can influence inflammation and how it can lead to shifts in metabolic activity, stress resilience and brain activity. Collectively, the effects of the WHM benefit respiratory conditions such as COPD and Asthma, Autoimmune conditions, Fibromyalgia, Arthritis, Migraines, recovering from Lyme disease, and high blood pressure. As of 2019, universities in Germany, Netherlands and the United States all have multiple studies exploring inflammation, mental health and metabolic issues thus expanding the body of evidence attempting to explain how and why this is even possible.

I’m not sure about you, but when I first came across the WHM, I thought “Cool, but do I really have to get into an ice bath for 95 minutes to get the benefits of cold exposure, ‘cuz it just ain’t gonna happen?”. The short answer? No, although it’s certainly something to aspire to. With the understanding that the human body was designed to handle environmental stresses, as this was the hostile and uncertain environment we, as animals, are born into, we can start off with gradual exposure to cold and, using the method outlined by Hof and his son, Enahm, slowly learn how to gain mastery over our environment and the stresses that go along with it. Since I’m the biggest chicken, I’m starting with a minute of cold after every shower…..but….at least I’m starting? (face palm).

covids got nothing on the iceman

To Screen or Not to Screen

To Screen or Not to Screen: The Facts About Sunscreen

To Screen or Not to Screen: The Facts About SunscreenTo Screen or Not to Screen- The Facts About Sunscreen
by Dr. Allison Ziegler, ND

It’s a hot summer day – not a cloud in the sky or a breeze in the air. You decide to take a trip to the beach to bask in the sun and enjoy the warm day. In preparation, you grab your beach bag and fill it with all the beach necessities – towel and bathing suit, a water bottle, some snacks, sunglasses and hat. Before you leave you decide to lather on the sunscreen as the morning news indicated a high UV index. All prepared for the day, you make your journey to the beach unaware that the “safety” benefits listed on your sunscreen and what it contains may be causing more harm than good.

Being that May is skin cancer awareness month, a review on the importance of skin protection is timely. Sunscreen has long been known as the protective mechanism against sunburns, skin cancer and declining skin health. More recently we know that beyond preventing sunburns, there is little known about the safety and efficacy of sunscreen. In 2011, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which is responsible for regulation of products, released sunscreen regulations; however, they still allow the products to contain potentially hazardous ingredients and make exaggerated claims. As a result, it is important to understand what to look for when selecting sunscreen products.

Getting the Facts:

Vitamin A
The common form of vitamin A added to sunscreens is retinyl palmitate. Vitamin A is a popular anti-oxidant used in skin products in order to prevent or slow skin damage and aging. The FDA has recently conducted a study that showed in the presence of sunlight, topical application of retinyl palmitate increases the development of cancerous skin lesions. It is thought that when vitamin A is exposed to sunlight, free radicals are formed, which damage skin cells and predispose them to cancer development. This becomes an issue with the vitamin A content in sunscreens as opposed to other skin care products because of the vast sunlight exposure endured while wearing sunscreen. Furthermore, claims made by sunscreen products that they protect against skin cancer become a concern; as such, products may in fact increase risk of skin cancer development.

Oxybenzone
Oxybenzone is added to sunscreen to absorb UV-B and UV-A rays; however, it is known to penetrate the skin and can lead to development of allergies and disrupt hormone balance. It is strongly urged to avoid use of oxybenzone containing products especially in children because of the hormone disrupter properties.

SPF
SPF, or Sun Protection Factor, of sunscreen is a measure of effectiveness of the sunscreen, meaning that the higher the SPF, the more protection against UV-B radiation. The FDA has prohibited companies from indicating SPF 50+ because there is lack of evidence that 50+ exhibits any additional protection and in fact may promote people to stay in the sun longer, thus increasing radiation exposure and damage. Despite the FDA’s efforts, companies continue to advertise SPF50+.

UV-A & UV-B Protection
UV-A and UV-B radiation are both responsible for skin damage; however, many conventional sunscreens do not protect against UV-A rays. UV-B rays only penetrate the outer skin layer and are primarily responsible for causing sunburns and non-melanoma skin cancer. UV-A rays penetrate deep into the skin to cause DNA damage increasing the risk of malignant melanoma. The sunscreens labeled as “broad-spectrum” are designed to block both UV-A and UV-B; however, many do not contain the ingredients to actually protect against the UV-A rays.

Form
Sunscreens in the form of liquid or powder should be avoided because the health effects due to inhalation have not been investigated.

What to Choose
Mineral sunscreens tend to be the safest and effective choice. Mineral sunscreens (zinc and titanium) are stable in sunlight, do not penetrate the skin and tend to be the most effective at blocking UV-A radiation. Those who do not like mineral sunscreens are encouraged to try sunscreens with 3% avobenzone and products without oxybenzone (for reasons listed above).

Sun protection is important; however, sunscreen should not be the first-line protection mechanism. Use of protective clothing, hats, sunglasses and monitoring time of direct sun exposure are primary in reducing the risk of skin damage and skin cancer. Selecting a sunscreen more carefully can aid in the protection but should not be the sole action to do so.

General Silliness

A New Kind of Contagion: An Invitation to Mirth, Surrender and General Silliness

If there was ever a time to find levity in our circumstances, it’s now. It is no secret that laughter is good medicine, but beyond improving mood and alleviating stress, it also happens to be good for our immune systems? Let’s unpack this ….

In 1964, a political journalist named Norman Cousins, managed and eventually cured (according to his own perception) his Ankylosing Spondylitis (an autoimmune condition affecting the spine). He did this though good nutrition, massive doses of Vitamin C and scheduled boughts of hysterical belly laughter courtesy of “The Three Stooges”. He reports: “I made the joyous discovery that ten minutes of genuine belly laughter had an anesthetic effect and would give me at least two hours of pain-free sleep”. Further, “When the pain-killing effect of the laughter wore off, we would switch on the motion picture projector again and not infrequently, it would lead to another pain-free interval”.

Really? Laughter? In the words of Bernie Siegel, an internationally recognized expert in the field of cancer treatment and complementary holistic medicine: “The simple truth is that happy people generally don’t get sick.

Bernie Siegel quote

Taking a dive into the medical literature we find that laughter exerts it effects primarily by engaging the diaphragm (you know, that massive muscle that allows you to breathe?). It just so happens that when the diaphragm is working, the rate of lymphatic circulation increases about 10-15x it’s normal rate.

“What’s lymph?”, you ask. Our lymphatic system is a series of vessels and nodes located throughout the entirety of your body. These are the guys that get swollen and tender under your jaw when you have a sore throat. They clear away metabolic waste, excess fluids, dead cells and even a few microorganisms. More crucially, they make the cells that protect your body from future infection: your ANTIBODIES.

Our blood circulates through a network of vessels with the heart as a pump. The lymphatic system, also a network of vessels, does not have a pump. Instead, lymph gets moved by physical manipulation (a little dry skin brushing anyone?), muscular contraction and…. wait for it: BREATHING!! The deeper we breathe, the more lymph we move and thus production of those precious antibodies is increased.

Turns out that laughing heartily is correlated with (among other things) the following:

  • Increases baseline sIgA levels; this is the MOST ABUNDANT ANTIBODY in your immune system.
  • Increases Natural Killer cell ‘cytotoxicity’; particularly helpful in fighting viruses.
  • Increases the number and activation of ‘T-cells’ destroying cells that are infected by a virus/bacteria
  • Increased levels of B cells – the cells that make antibodies (they require activation by T-cells)

And lastly, anything that engages the diaphragm also engages the parasympathetic response. This is the “rest and digest” portion of the autonomic nervous system. That makes it a great stress reliever. I’m not sure about you, but I could use a little more stress relief in my life!!

The takeaway message is NOT that a good hearty chuckle is all that’s required to help bolster our body’s immune system. Instead, the point is that laughter is a critical tool by which our body’s defenses are enhanced making it harder for infection to take up residence. So your Covid-19 tool bag might include: painstaking handwashing, using oil of oregano, Vitamin C, wearing a protective mask, physically distancing, zinc, echinacea and…..some time with Napoleon Dynamite (OMGoodness – can I just tell you how much that movie makes me laugh??).

Adrenal Fatigue-prairie sky health

Adrenal Fatigue: Is your tired more than just “tired”?

Adrenal Fatigue: Is your tired more than just “tired”?

By:  Dr. Allison Ziegler, ND

Recent times have brought about disrupted schedules and times of uncertainty.  You may find yourself trying to juggle the responsibility of home schooling your children while still trying to be productive in your job as you work from home, long parenting hours, and managing the emotions that come along with a world on lockdown and social distancing from family and friends.  This recipe for stress leads to feelings of overwhelm and exhaustion.  So, how does an increased amount of stress affect the body and what can we do to feel better?

The two stress glands, which are located above each kidney, are called the adrenal glands.  They are powerful endocrine glands that help your body respond and adapt to stress by influencing the function of all tissues, organs and glands in the body to maintain balance during stressful periods.  Cortisol is produced by the adrenal glands in response to stressors, which initiates the fight or flight response in attempt to protect the body from danger.  Typically, this stress response would be a short burst in cortisol, allowing us to respond to the danger appropriately and it would then return to normal.  In primitive times that would mean being able to run away from a Saber-toothed tiger or endure periods of physical challenge and deprivation.  Unfortunately, our modern world is met with near constant levels of stress, leaving our cortisol levels constantly elevated and perhaps eventually bottoming out, leading to burnout and adrenal fatigue.

Adrenal Fatigue- Is your tired more than just tired

Signs that indicate stress may be impacting adrenal function:

  • Fatigue
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Anxiety, irritability, or low mood
  • Brain fog
  • Weight gain, especially around abdomen
  • Hormonal imbalances such as menstrual cycle changes and low libido
  • Sugar, carbohydrate and salt cravings
  • Hot flashes
  • Decreased immune function

If this sounds like you, the following are changes you can incorporate to begin feeling better.

Nutrition

During the stress response, the adrenal glands metabolizes nutrients at a higher rate.  During adrenal fatigue, much of the body’s stored nutrients is used up and nutrient deficiencies can result.  The goal of eating for your adrenal glands is to eat good quality, nutrient dense and whole foods.  Avoiding all processed foods is essential as the body will use up additional nutrients in attempt to digest the processed foods.
Nutrition Rules for Adrenal Function: [1]

  1. Eat a wide variety of whole, natural foods.
  2. Combine a healthy fat, protein and carbohydrate source with every meal.
  3. Eat lots of vegetables, especially the brightly colored ones.
  4. Salt your food to a pleasant taste using sea or Celtic salt.
  5. Eat mainly whole grains as your source of carbohydrates.
  6. Combine grains with legumes or legumes with seeds or nuts to form a complete protein.
  7. Avoid fruit in the morning.
  8. Mix 1-2 tablespoons of fresh essential oils (cold pressed olive, grape seed, safflower, flax etc.) into grains, vegetables and meats daily.
  9. Eat high quality food; it becomes you.

Sleep

Good quality sleep is important for adrenal function.  Sleep is the only time the body has to repair itself; therefore, following some sleep hygiene tips can help to restore sleep and ensure a healthy stress response.

Sleep Hygiene Tips for Adrenal Function: [2]

  1. Keep a consistent sleep schedule.  Ideal bedtime is between 10-10:30 pm.
  2. Establish a relaxing bedtime routine.
  3. Make your bedroom quiet and relaxing.  Keep the room at a comfortable, cool temperature.
  4. Limit exposure to bright light in the evenings.
  5. Turn off all electronic devices at least 30 minutes before bedtime.

Self-Care

Taking time to feel rejuvenated and renewed is critical for adrenal repair. With busy schedules and long to-do-lists it is easy to neglect yourself.  Finding time to do what inspires you is key to recharging and feeling better.  Although this seems like a simple task, it can be hard to find time.  You can start by allowing yourself just 10 minutes of ‘you-time’ a day.

Supplementation

Certain minerals and vitamins such as vitamin B’s, vitamin C, zinc, selenium and magnesium are important for adrenal function.  Adaptogens are a class of herbs that are wonderful at supporting adrenal function.  Some of these herbs include ashwagandha, Schisandra, holy basil, Rhodiola and Licorice root.

It is important to work with a naturopath when determining which supplements are best for you.

Although it is easy to see this time of social isolation as a negative experience, it can be one that achieves a positive and lifechanging outcome.  Focus on renewing and recharging yourself.  “One day this will all be over, and you will have a choice to live as before or to live your life anew.” Kenton De Jong

Resources

[1] https://adrenalfatigue.org/

[2] http://sleepeducation.org/

The Right Question in the Darkest Hour

Like most people coping with this new reality, my family and I have settled into a new routine that includes strings of pajama days, eating and sleeping at odd hours, and rationing out chores lest I run out of things to do (did I mention that my house is REALLY clean? LOL). I’ll even admit to a little Netflix coma now and then when things get desperate. During one such moment, a movie I was watching was able to rouse me out of my stupor and inspire this blog post.the darkest hour

You may have noticed that our clinic has grown up in recent months. New décor, new website and now a concerted content strategy to educate and stay connected to our community. But what to write?

In the film “The Darkest Hour”, from the king down to his closest advisors under treat of resignation, Winston Churchill faced ENORMOUS pressure during the War Cabinet Crisis of May 1940 to sign an armistice with Hitler. After the Nazi advance over much of Europe, England’s defeat seemed all but certain. Churchill had one choice: sign the treaty and hand over the country to a madman, or fight to the end. After suggesting he was open to a peace agreement, he still could not bring himself to draft the letter knowing that by doing so he would be surrendering the soul of England. One night, still unsure of how to proceed, he decided to evade his chaperones and steal away to London’s ‘Underground’ (the subway) for the first time in his life and put the dilemma to its passengers. What to do? Not surprisingly, they responded with a resounding “H**L NO! Fight!!” and that was that. The exchange birthed “We shall fight on the beaches”, the second of his most memorable speeches effectively uniting a fractured British Parliament in the fight against Hitler and characterized England’s stubborn resistance to the Nazi advance.

Okay – so we’re not in an armed conflict, but we’re certainly in a version of one. I was struck by the humility of acknowledging that just because you’re in a position to lead doesn’t mean you have all the answers and sometimes the simplest thing to do when you don’t know is, well… ask.

COVID-19 has certainly done an effective job at sucking all the oxygen out of the room, but here’s the thing, there’s life and love beyond a pandemic and what we want to know is: What’s important to you these days? What kind of information are you hungry for in the crazy human time that we’re all living through? Let us know and we will diligently try and find the best possible answers for you!