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Dr. Shawn Morris, ND

Estrogen & Progesterone

During and after menopause, many women experience symptoms related to progesterone and estrogen decline. This is a timeherbs for menopause Seattle WA where there are also changes in types of estrogen, which may cause inflammation. Many women experience migraines, hot flashes, brain fog, and irritability during this period. In the short term, balancing hormones with supplements, herbs and minerals supports healthy transition into menopause. Long term, it is possible for most women to balance hormone levels through diet and lifestyle alone.

Hormone balance through diet, lifestyle, & herbs

Although progesterone is not found in foods, there are many ways to balance progesterone with nutrition. Primarily, if the body is in an estrogen dominant state, balancing excess estrogen metabolites is the first step. Post-menopause, too much of 4 and 6 hydroxy-estrogen is inflammatory, and also antagonizes remaining progesterone. To reverse estrogen metabolite dominance, weaving in nuts and seeds can support healthy estrogen and progesterone levels. If you are approaching menopause and still have an active cycle, then adding flaxseeds and pumpkin seeds days 1-13 will boost healthy estrogens, then shifting to sesame and sunflower days 14-28 will boost progesterone. After menopause, including all seed types in the diet is beneficial.

Foods high in selenium support the corpus luteum, which is the region of the ovaries where progesterone is formed. Adding four Brazil nuts to the diet will provide enough selenium, or supplementing with 200 mcg per day.

Vitamin B6 also supports the corpus luteum in the ovaries. To build levels, supplement with B6 in the short-term. Then, add in foods rich in vitamin B6, which include turkey, wild-caught tuna and salmon, beef, chicken, pistachios, chickpeas, potatoes, eggs, and dark leafy greens. Adding in 3-4 servings per day of high B6 foods will help sustain healthy levels. Beyond progesterone, B6 also supports serotonin balance and melatonin conversion, promoting sound sleep and balanced mood. Speaking of sleep, getting enough sleep supports neurotransmitter and hormone balance, along with healthy weight. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night.

Herbal medicines can help with menopausal transition and treating symptoms as well. In particular Vitex, or chasteberry, supports progesterone production and decreases symptoms of menopause in clinical trials. Black cohosh and blue cohosh balance estrogen dominance and decrease hot flashes. Raspberry leaf is a gentle tonic that supports the female the reproductive system. Talk with your doctor about an individualized herbal and nutritional approach that works for you.

Focus on healing the GI. If you have a history of GI symptoms and inflammation, soothing the digestive system is a key step in hormone support. Healing the GI is vital to allow for nutrient absorption. Food provides the building blocks for our hormones, neurotransmitters, and tissue health, laying the foundation for overall wellbeing. To heal the GI, avoid fried foods, refined ingredients, excess acidity, and heavily processed foods. Focus on fresh fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, complex grains, and adequate protein (around 60 grams per day). Specific foods that heal digestive function include aloe juice, coconut, cinnamon, turmeric, peppermint and chamomile tea, and probiotic foods like yogurt & kefir.

Get regular exercise. Gentle exercise supports immune system health, metabolism, and healthy weight, which helps balance estrogen and progesterone. Try hiking, light jogging, eliptical machines, swimming, and resistance exercises. For simple home resistance exercises, pick up a theraband for upper and lower body workouts. However, avoid overexercise, as this places stress on the body that decreases pregnenolone and hormone synthesis. Long distance running, Cross-Fit, and intense cycling classes may cause more harm than benefit when dealing with low hormone function.

Natural progesterone cream. While implementing these lifestyle steps, adding in extra hormonal support may be necessary for a short period. Natural progesterone creams containing bio-identical progestins help replenish levels. Monitoring progesterone levels is important once per month to keep progesterone in a healthy level. Long-term, use of progesterone cream is tapered down. Yam and soy based creams are not effective. Taking pregnenolone and DHEA also supports progesterone by providing the building blocks for production.

Xenoestrogens and phytoestrogens

Along with managing hormones in the body, monitoring input of hormones from the environment is also key. Xenoestrogens are synthetic estrogen-like compounds produced in manufacturing. They are commonly found in makeup, packaging, pesticide residue, and plastic products. Certain xenoestrogens act as estrogen-disruptors by blocking or binding estrogen receptors. They have detrimental effects on the immune system, bone health, and the female reproductive system. To avoid xenoestrogens, choose additive-free makeup and bath/body products, organic produce, and glass bottles versus plastic.

Also, taking phytoestrogens has a protective effect. Phytoestrogens are plant-based estrogen-like compounds that occupy receptors and prevent xenoestrogens from binding. Moderate amounts of soy, alfalfa, brassicas, and clover taken in the diet as sprouts, food, and supplements protects the endocrine system.

By working with nutrition, herbal medicine, and lifestyle, it is possible to support the body while transitioning into menopause. This is a natural part of the lifecycle, and in most cases the body’s intelligence knows what to do. When extra support is needed, there are safe and effective treatments available.

Dr. Shawn Morris is a native of Whidbey island where he lives with his wife and son.

Shawn Morris Naturopath Seattle WA

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According to renowned pediatrician Dr. William Sears, more changes occur in the first month after birth than at any other time Counseling for postpartum depression Seattle WAin a woman’s life. Giving birth and caring for your baby are energy-draining events; physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausting. Hormonal swings are contributing factors, too. While I, too experienced some “baby blues” after the birth of my daughter, it wasn’t until I began working with an organization in New York that served expectant and new mothers, that I learned how debilitating postpartum depression can be.
I co-facilitated a postpartum support group and heard the testimonies of women describing their darkest days.
With postpartum depression, those baby blues-feelings of sadness and anxiety-become extreme, and may interfere with your ability to care for yourself or even your baby. Please read the link provided here that talks about the effectiveness of cognitive-behavioral therapy in preventing postpartum depression.
I am available for a free 30-minute consult, should you find yourself wondering if you could benefit from counseling.

Tina Michalski Psychotherapy Seattle

Tina is a psychotherapist in living in Seattle WA. A transplant for Western NY she enjoys spending time with her husband, daughter and son in law, and grandson. She loves to cook, has a lifelong interest in health, and volunteers in the vibrant Seattle theater scene.

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We created a fragrance that encapsulates the wellbeing we hope our patients can cultivate in their everyday lives. It evokes Essential Oils Seattlegrounding and connection. A touchstone to return you to your best self. At the same time, we wanted something that might ease your relationships and calm the stressors of daily living. A ritual.

 

We chose Frankincense first. Long revered for its physical, spiritual and cosmetic benefits it is sometimes called the King of essential oils. We love the earthy, grounded, feeling this resin creates. It invokes a feeling of reverence. It is powerfully anti inflammatory and can aid in relieving depression.

Next we used Rose for its heart opening properties.  It can be easy to cut ourselves off from connection when we are sick or stressed. This gentle but powerful essence can ease depression and is a tonic for blood. It benefits many women’s’ health issues. It is also a  powerful anti-inflammatory with libido boosting effects.

 

Jasmine is another powerful antidepressant and hormones balancer. It is antispasmodic and a mild sedative to promote relaxation and aid in sleep. Rose and Jasmine are both powerful heart openers that work synergistically together.

 

With the blend infused with scents of deep relaxation we thought we would add another mood and energy booster to balance it out. Bergamot adds a citrusy note that enlivens the blend.

 

As you can see, all the essences chosen have profound health benefits. In addition to those listed above this blend is antiviral and disinfectant. It boosts immune function and soothes skin irritations.

Pick some up today as a Solstice treat for yourself or as a stocking stuffer! Glow Blend Essential OIl Bath Salts RITUALLindsey Lawson SeattleLindsey Lawson MS EAMP is an Acupuncturist, Chinese Herbalist and Clinic Director at Glow Natural Health in Madison Valley and West Seattle and Seattle Fertility Acupuncture. She is passionate about healthy, happy living and a regular blogger. For an appointment call Glow at 206 568 7545.

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Today I got two beautiful winter squash in my CSA box. I had other veggies that needed to be eaten but I could not resist Butternut squash seattleroasting them up for dinner tonight. I love the comforting, warming smell of baking squash!

The importance of eating seasonally cannot be over stated in harmonizing our health with the seasons. Squash is packed with vital nutrients including vitamin A , C, and B. It is also a great source of dietary fiber making it a wonderful in promoting good digestion.

 

Cooling in nature according to Chinese medicine it is used for detoxification. It quenches thirst and is used to relieve urinary difficulty and treat edema. It relieves irritability and benefits the skin.

 

Squash supports the Earth Element and the organs of Spleen and Stomach.  A healthy earth element leads to good digestion and is the basis for proper immune function. It also is the foundation for the production of Blood. Eating squash drains dampness and warms and supports the core.

 

Cooking squash could not be simpler. Today I choose to just split and seed my butternut squash and place each of the halves cut side down on a lightly greased cookie sheet with a small amount of water. I preheated the oven to 450 degrees and baked for 45 min adding water as needed so the squash did not stick to the pan.Bakes squash seattle

 

For the Delicata, I split it, took out the seeds and cut into ½ slices. These I laid on a lightly greased cookie sheet and roasted, flipping once for 30 min. With both pans I used coconut oil which can withstand high temperature cooking. I’ll be eating these tonight with salt, pepper and a little olive oil. Yummy and healthy.BAsked and likes delicatata squash

Try these serving options:

Goat cheese and honey

Crispy sage leaves and chopped bacon

Toasted walnuts and sauted mushrooms

 

Lindsey Lawson SeattleLindsey Lawson MS EAMP is an Acupuncturist, Chinese Herbalist and Clinic Director at Glow Natural Health in Madison Valley and West Seattle and Seattle Fertility Acupuncture. She is passionate about healthy, happy living and a regular blogger. For an appointment call Glow at 206 568 7545.

 

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Still have some stubborn pounds you’d like to lose for pool season? Want more energy to Infrared sauna Seattlesee friends and take day trips? Are you troubled by acne or wishing those deep lines would lessen? Do you like a good deal?

It’s your lucky day. Buy 3 infra red sauna sessions for just $36 dollars! Each private session is 30 min. Must be used by 8.31.18 May be redeemed at either our West Seattle or Madison Valley location.  Read more about our infrared sauna here. Coupon Code: HOTDEAL

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Spring is in full swing but you can still find fresh, tender nettles for harvest. Nutrient dense and delicious these local “weeds” are a culinary delight. Touted as a tonic herb, nettles are rich in minerals and cleanse the kidneys. They are astringent and provide relief from water retention, promote lactation, treat diarrhea and help control blood sugar.

The best leaves are the tender new growth of the top 3-4 leaves. Makes sure your wear gloves as the sting of nettles is no joke! The best plants are 1-2 feet high.

Two of my favorite ways to use fresh nettles are in tea and in pesto. Enjoy these seasonal delights!

Fresh Nettles Tea

  • 4 cups nettle leaves
  • 4 cups water

Boil water and then add leaves. Simmer for 5 min. Strain. Tea may be sweetened with honey if desired. It will have a grassy, green taste.

Makes 4 cups, enjoy 1-2 cups daily

 

Nettle Pesto or Pesto D’Urtica

 I love making pesto. It’s fun to make it with greens other than basil too! Right now in my garden I have some Italian parsley that has over wintered. It makes delicious alternative or addition to a traditional pesto.  It could easily be added to this recipe in place of some of the nettles for a fresh, healthy taste.  I also use walnuts instead of pine nuts but feel free to substitute pine nuts if you wish or even pecans for a sweeter flavor.

  •  3 cups nettle leaves (You can use the same ones that you reserved from the nettle tea otherwise simmer for only 1 minute and place in an ice water bath. Squeeze out all the water)
  • 1 cup basil ( Optional: this will impart some of the traditional pesto flavor)
  • 1 cup walnuts, pan toasted
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese (optional)
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 T lemon juice

Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until creamy.

Serve over polenta, pasta, or on grilled veggies

Serves 4

Lindsey Lawson SeattleLindsey Lawson MS EAMP is an Acupuncturist, Chinese Herbalist and Clinic Director at Glow Natural Health in Madison Valley and West Seattle and Seattle Fertility Acupuncture. She is passionate about healthy, happy living and a regular blogger. For an appointment call Glow at 206 568 7545.

 

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It’s that time of year again when our thoughts turn to with new resolve towards our IMG_7315health. Many will opt for diet and lifestyle changes, some of which are too harsh for this time of the year. Juice cleanses, smoothies, and fasting can injury the digestive functions if done incorrectly. We solve this problem with the following 10 steps.

 

1.) Work to consciously warm your body by taking warm baths, or try our infrared sauna to ramp up your detox game.

2.) Bundle up! Wear warm clothes that cover your neck both inside and out. East Asian tradition holds that colds and flu are more likely is the back of the neck is vulnerable to wind and cold. -Make sure to keep your feet warm as well.

3.) Cook with warming spices like ginger, turmeric, and cinnamon. Great for circulation and to revitalize the body they are also antiviral.

4.) Try our Elemental Detox! Recipes, daily mantras, and more. 3 weeks of yummy food and transformative supplements

5.) Revive your body with tea. There are a myriad of teas that support cleansing. Experiment with trying a new blend. Nettles, dandelion, and cinnamon are great choices.

6.) Book yourself a Manual Lymphatic Drainage Massage. Gently moves toxins out and benefits the immune system. It’s also so relaxing and gentle.

7.) Calm your mind with mediation. Just 10 min a day can detox all the media and screen time in our lives. Add incense to your practice with one of our mediation blends. Choose from Awareness, Power, Balance,

8.) Spend time outside. When it’s cold out it can be easy to stay inside but the benefits of fresh air and light exercise cannot be overemphasized for a fresh perspective.

9.) Set an intention. Remember your thoughts shape your life. The winter is a great time to go deep, find what really nourishes you and set your mind on it.

10.) Focus on hearty and nourishing soups. Great for improving digestion, soups are a mainstay of winter cleanses. Try our Replenishing Soup Herbs for a potent and warming tonic.

Lindsey Lawson MS EAMP is an Acupuncturist, Chinese Herbalist and Clinic Director at Glow Natural Health and Seattle Fertility Acupuncture. She is passionate about healthy, happy living. For an appointment call Glow at 206 568 7545

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