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Archive for the ‘Natural Health’ Category

I thought I’d share my own introduction to the benefits of a simple, food based detox diet. Growing up, my mother was always very health conscious. I was raised vegetarian and we ate organic, farm raised food before it was the thing to do. I remember driving back from the dairy farm down the road very slowly to keep from disturbing the milk. It was unpasteurized with a thick, fatty top.

First experience: Fasting I did my first broth and juice fast in high school. I wanted to go a week but I stopped after 5 days. I was amazed at how good I felt but thought but was ready to eat again. The most miraculous thing that happened involved a small cyst in my arm pit (gross right?) I had had it as long as I could remember. Not a pimple just a small lump that didn’t hurt. During my fast it turned into a pimple and then went away, forever. I asked my doctor about it later that year and he thought it might have been an encased lymph node. Basically, my body thought that this area would never heal and just shut it off. Clearly the diet did something.

Enter food based cleansing I was introduced to the kind of cleansing I do now when I was 19. It took me awhile to be brave enough to do a 3 week cleanse. I followed it with another month of adding in foods I suspected I was sensitive to. This is called “challenging.” First eat the food several times in 1 day and then go back to the anti-inflammatory diet. If you have any reactions like gas, bloating, skin, irritation, headache etc. this food is red flagged as one you are sensitive to.

This cleanse was different than the fast. Number one it was food based (!). I added supplements to increase liver function, sooth irritation in the intestines and promote elimination. Similar to the effects of my earlier fast, I felt great but I had even more energy. My digestion was regulated. I wasn’t bloated and I felt clear headed.  My skin glowed.

Change your habits and change health. I learned so much about my body starting with that experience.  Now in addition to my regular healthy diet I cleanse at least once a year. It’s easy to let a few treats become regular habits. Too much dark chocolate, too much caffeine, a good IPA, and eating out are my usual vices. I’ll never forget being up until 3 AM wired on the caffeine in a chunk of dark chocolate I ate at 3 PM just a day after I stopped cleansing! Beyond that I also use it as a time to detox from other things like TV, phones or the addiction of rushing.  If that isn’t possible, then I add in more of the things that feed my soul like exercise, nature, mediation, and reading.

Make your plan and follow it  So now you’ve heard my story but don’t take my word for it. Try it yourself. All you need it three weeks and a plan. If you have a plan for what you CAN eat you won’t notice the things you’ll be avoiding.

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

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By Lindsey Lawson MS EAMP, Acupuncturist, Clinic Director

An estimated 3 million American adults receive acupuncture treatment each year, 1 and chronic pain is the most common presentation.2 I’m an acupuncturist and clinic director at Glow Natural Health Center and I treat pain every day. So it was no surprise to me when research revealed acupuncture’s effectiveness in treating pain in 2012. The great thing about this study is that it looks at 29 randomized, controlled trial studies and analyzed the outcomes. In all, there were nearly 18,000 people who participated, suffering with chronic pain from headaches, osteoarthritis, back and shoulder pain.

There are lots of ways that research can be done to test acupuncture’s effectiveness. These studies looked at “true” acupuncture vs. either “sham” acupuncture or “treatment as usual.” The conclusion was that true acupuncture was statistically better than sham needling and usual care. The authors concluded that acupuncture was an effective and reasonable treatment for the conditions studied. The large sample size and the rigorous nature of the studies make this the best evidence to date of acupuncture’s effectiveness for pain.

1 Barnes PM, Bloom B, Nahin RL. Complementary and alternative medicine use among adults and children: United States, 2007.  Natl Health Stat Report. 2008;(12):1-23
PubMed

2 Sherman KJ, Cherkin DC, Eisenberg DM, Erro J, Hrbek A, Deyo RA. The practice of acupuncture: who are the providers and what do they do?  Ann Fam Med. 2005;3(2):151-158
PubMed   |  Link to Article

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Why is it that so many of us are so stressed?  It is the minority of patients who come to me and say, “My stress level is very low.”  Most feel overwhelmed juggling the responsibilities of work, family, finances, relationships and home.  Especially the most caring and giving folks tend to overextend themselves and put themselves last.

Our adrenal glands do lots of things, and one is to react to stress.  Our bodies are supposed to react to stress- that’s a good thing.  But when it is daily or almost daily for years, we just wear out.  This process, termed the General Adaptation Syndrome, happens in three phases over time.

  • In the first, we are “wired” or “high-strung”.  We have adrenaline (you know- fight or flight) pumping into our blood stream, which leaves less stored up.   During this phase, you might be underweight/undernourished, develop ulcers, experience insomnia, anxiety, or have frequent colds due to decreased immune function.  You might start to see problems with female hormones, thyroid and blood sugar because stress hormones directly interfere with these.
  • In the second, you seem to adapt to the stress.  You make more reserves of adrenaline and the other adrenal hormones and seem to coast through.  You may gain weight during this time.
  • In the third, you become exhausted.  Your adrenal glands don’t react like they used to, and fatigue is extreme.  You may find yourself to be more irritable and jumpy, depressed, anxious, less able to handle conflict, unpredictable things, or even daily responsibilities.  You may have insomnia even though you are exhausted.  You may find that you have gained weight over the years that the body was in survival mode.  “This is an emergency.  Better store all the fat possible,” says the lizard brain.

What do I do? (more…)

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Did you know that you can get your annual exam right here at Glow?
Primary care services include annual gynecological exams, STD and other lab testing, cholesterol and blood pressure management, smoking cessation, stress management, referral for preventative screening such as mammograms and bone scans and referral to other providers as appropriate.

I practice family medicine with a focus on autoimmune disease, allergies, and digestive issues.   Therapeutics are natural medicine and some prescriptions as necessary.

Schedule your appointment with me today.

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East Asian Medicine is a system of medicine that treats the whole body  and offers a unique perspective on healthy skin. Here’s few basic tips to improve your skin health.

Strengthen your immune system

The skin is ruled by the lung in East Asian medicine. Adding in qi tonics such as huang qi or astragalus and  Vitamins A, D, E will give you glowing skin and help you avoid the office cold.

Eat a healthy diet

An excess of dairy, meats, fried foods, sugar and spicy can impair your digestive function. Imbalances in the good and bad bacteria of your gut can also cause skin issues. Adding probotics to your diet in the form of fermented foods can remedy this. Kimchi, yogurt (if you don’t have a dairy sensitivity), kombucha, kefir and sauerkraut are all good sources of natural probiotics. Also focus on fresh, organic fruits and veggies, whole grains, vegetable proteins and lean meats.

Increase your exercise

It’s great for stress relief which will improve your skin. Exercise moves the qi and blood which in turn reduces stress and promotes circulation and detoxification

Drink more water

You’ve heard it before but it bears repeating. Well hydrated skin is less acne prone and looks fuller and younger. (more…)

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Ideally a woman begins working on her reproductive health with East Asian Medicine 3 months prior to the time she wants to conceive. This gives time to normalize the cycle and increases the chances of a healthy pregnancy and baby. In Chinese medical terms, it’s a time to balance yin, yang, qi and blood. It’s a perfect time to move qi and blood to improve blood flow to the uterus and ovaries as well as reduce stress.

Women who feel more comfortable with a less invasive treatment and who are young, with good ovarian reserve and without known correctable causes of infertility, could try acupuncture before attempting hormone therapies or in-vitro fertilization (IVF). Acupuncture can be used in conjunction with treatments done by your doctor or fertility specialist.

Treatments are typically given 1 time per week. Factors such as the complexity of the complaint, toxins from medications, hereditary influences, recurrent low level infections, lifestyle habits, and other illnesses can influence the length of treatment. Certain conditions like the following are more difficult to treat and may require a longer treatment protocol:

  • Cysts, fibroids, PCOS, PMS, anovulation, endometriosis, luteal phase defect
  • Chinese herbs and dietary changes are often part of the treatment.

Preconception In the first phase of treatment will regulate the menstrual cycle by increasing circulation to the pelvic cavity and nourishing energy and vitality. During this phase periods should become more regular, the flow should be bright red and without clots, minimal or cramping and less breast tenderness. Other benefits include decreased stress, better sleep, improved energy and warmer hands and feet. Most women become open and fertile for conception.

Factors such as the complexity of the complaint, toxins from medications, hereditary influences, lifestyle habits, and other illnesses can influence the length of treatment. (more…)

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By Candace McNaughton, ND

Sometimes when research is summarized to one sentence, the message is skewed.  The US Preventative Services Task Force has issued a draft statement saying that vitamin D and calcium should not be taken by healthy men or post-menopausal women to reduce fractures and that it may not prevent cancer.[1]  The evidence is mixed and many-layered, but because we are trained for take-home messages and sound bites, many will simply conclude “Don’t take vitamin D or calcium.”

Actually, they say that they can’t recommend for or against it.  More specifically, they say that 400 IU of vitamin D3 and 1000 mg of calcium carbonate don’t reduce osteoporotic fractures in men or postmenopausal women living at home as much as those living in facilities.  However, the risk is reduced in those living at home.  I think the difference could be because of missed doses. Although D3 is considered to be the active form, some studies use D2. Also, 400 IU of D3 is not a very high dose.  Calcium carbonate is the poorest absorbed form of calcium.  Bone density is best supported with a combination of well-absorbed calcium, vitamin D3, vitamin K, other minerals such as strontium and boron, and weight-bearing exercise. The task force reviewed 19 randomized trials and 28 observational studies (for cancer outcomes).  There are close to 18,000 studies that focus on vitamin D.

The task force reports that there is evidence of decreased risk of cancer, but found some evidence that high blood levels may be associated with an increased risk of cancer. A simple, inexpensive blood test that we commonly run here at Glow can make sure your blood levels don’t get too high. However, there is some evidence that higher blood levels may reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.

There is clear evidence that people with low blood levels of vitamin D have increased risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and diabetes.  Further, some studies show that supplementing with vitamin D reduces risk for heart disease and diabetes, while some don’t.  The blanket conclusion from that research is “vitamin D does not prevent heart disease or diabetes”. I am not sure the answer is that simple.

Auto-immune disorders such as hypothyroidism or multiple sclerosis are skyrocketing in this country. Auto-immune disease-related deaths come only third to heart disease and cancer.[2]  Many diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes, are mediated by inflammation.  Vitamin D reduces auto-immunity and inflammation.[3]  A deficiency turns up auto-immunity and inflammation. (more…)

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