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Archive for the ‘Natural Medicine’ Category

Recently, attention has been drawn to some studies questioning the value of vitamins and minerals.  This comes mostly from a few recent studies: one showing modest prevention of future heart events after someone has had a heart attack, one showing no improvement in brain function in elderly men after taking Centrum, and a third looking at prevention of cancer and heart disease showing mixed results.  One problem is that there are recent studies showing a protective effect that were not included in these reviews.

Multivatamins at Glow Natural Health Seattle

The vast majority of studies on multivitamins use Centrum which is low dose, has poorly-used forms of the nutrients, contains chemical binders, and whose ability to dissolve has been questioned (though improvements have been made).  I have been shocked at the poor design (form, dose used, not distinguishing between food and supp sources) of some supplement trials.  This poor design would never be tolerated in a trial of a pharmaceutical.  Also, no one is saying, “Here, take this multi to prevent your heart attack!”  I would be a terrible doctor if that was all that I discussed with a patient after heart attack.

While the studies on Centrum have shown little to mixed benefit, solid scientific research on nutrients *abounds*, so statements that supplement use is not scientifically based are unfounded.  Further, when used in conjunction with someone trained and who understands the science, therapy beyond correction of deficiency comes into the process.  For example, B12 is used for energy production, vitamin C stabilizes cells to minimize releasing histamine (involved in allergic response), magnesium is a muscle relaxant, etc. The nutrients are cofactors for every reaction in the body.   So, keep researching, tell it like it is, and be careful about blanket statements.

McNaughton color small  Trained as a family practitioner to address acute and chronic conditions, Dr. McNaughton focuses on  autoimmune disease, allergies, and digestive issues.  She facilitates healing as a knowledgeable guide and partner,  helping her patients make lasting changes and achieve health goals.  She graduated from Bastyr University in  2003.

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Eat your greensGlow Newyears Seattle

When in doubt eat a plateful of lightly cooked greens. This is of my basic tenants in life. It really fixes everything. Packed with vitamins and fiber they nourish your body and aid in liver detoxification. Try to make this a daily goal. I like to see half my dinner plate covered in cooked greens. I eat them first to make sure I get them all in. Use a salad plate and pile it high so it looks abundant. On a smaller plate portion size is much easier to control without leaving you feeling deprived.

Drink your water and herbal tea

Drinking plenty of water is especially important while cleansing. Once you mobilize all the crud that’s built up, it needs to be flushed out. Make sure you are drinking your water is filtered and take it without ice. In Chinese medicine cold water is thought to be damaging to the Spleen and Stomach, the main digestive organs. This time of year your food should also be lightly cooked to make it easier to digest. Adding in a detox tea will really ramp up your cleansing. I like dandelion leaf, nettles and mint in equal parts of a delicious and detoxifying drink. Remember most herbs have diuretic properties and you will need to drink a cup of plain water for every cup of tea.New years cleanse seattle

Don’t push yourself

If at all possible take this time to get plenty of rest. This isn’t the time to burn the midnight oil because you are asking your body to do extra work eliminating toxins. This is a great time to become more introspective and tune in to what is nourishing you in life, what is stuck and what needs to be let go.

Move your body

Aim for some light to moderate exercise every day. This is not the time to train for a marathon. Some cardio is fine but if you start to feel depleted back it off. Yoga, Pilates, Bar method and swimming are all great choices. Aim to sweat but not go anaerobic, or breathless for too long.

Plan Ahead

There’s nothing worse than coming home from work while cleaning to realize you’re starving and there’s nothing to eat. Plan your menu and make sure you have plenty of healthy snacks around for emergencies. I love cooked beets lightly pickled in ( unseasoned) rice vinegar and olive oil. Easy, filling and detoxifying for your liver. I keep a protein supplement on hand for high protein breakfasts and snacks. This will keep you blood sugar even through the day and your energy high.

Want more information on how to do a food and supplement based cleanse? Try our Elemental Detox.

Lindsey Lawson MS L.Ac Seattle ChristmasLindsey 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, food and is a regular blogger.  For an appointment call Glow at 206 568 7545.

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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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