Of all the paediatric chiropractic visits, almost two thirds of those are for infants and babies! Chiropractic care for babies is safe, effective and gentle, using about as much pressure as you would to check the ripeness of a tomato. Our sense of touch is one of our first senses to develop, meaning even babies may benefit from manual therapy and therapeutic touch.
Why would my baby need to see a chiropractor?
Your chiropractor is trained to asses for imbalances, dysfunctions and injuries which may affect your baby’s quality of life. Chiropractors use their skills of palpation to identify areas of injury and restore normal movement patterns. Musculoskeletal irritation or injuries sustained during or before birth are termed “physiologic birth injuries”. Birth is an event full of compression and traction which may contribute to these very common, mild to moderate injuries. Serious injuries are, thankfully, very rare.
Some of the most common symptoms parents report: excessive crying/fussiness, ineffective feeding, refusal of tummy time, irritability with certain positions, only feeding on one side, refusal to turn head and excessive gas or changes in bowel habits.
Births which are at highest risk for injury include: inductions, fast births due to intense contractions, medically assisted (use of forceps or vacuum), breech births, and deflected presentations.
How do chiropractic treatments for babies work?
Research is still fuzzy on the hows of chiropractic treatment and infants. This is due to the fact that it is difficult to conduct ethical research with babies. Hypotheses suggest that, just as in adults, improving the mobility of a restricted joint or releasing a tight muscle promotes physical and emotional comfort while calming the autonomic nervous system.
What are the most common side effects?
Safety is always the number one concern with all our patients- but that goes double for babies and infants! The most commonly reported side effect of treatment is a temporary increase in irritability/crying during or in the time following treatment. This is usually brief and parents typically report a more content and sleepy baby when the irritability diminishes. Most of the babies I treat actually fall asleep during or shortly after treatment.
We also encourage parents to have these symptoms co-managed by their family doctor, nurse practitioner, paediatrician or midwife and to attend their regular check-ups. Working together, your chiropractor can be a valuable part of your baby’s health care team.
What is Cupping Therapy?
Cupping is a type of alternative therapy that has been around for thousands of years in cultures like China, Iran, Egypt, and Greece. Traditional Chinese Medicine believes that cups can facilitate the flow of “QI” in the body or your life force. It involves the placing of cups on the skin to create suction. This allows stagnant blood and lymph to flow freely, and once those circulation pathways are opened it also allows oxygen and nutrients to reach those tight muscles.
What are the Benefits of Cupping?
The suction and negative pressure provided by cupping can:
✔️Encourage blood flow
✔️Relieve back and neck pain
✔️Alleviate anxiety, fatigue, and migraines
✔️Help release toxins
Possible side effects include dizziness, and/or nausea, and thirst. It can also leave round purple/pink marks, or circular “bruises” on the skin. These spots do not actually hurt as they are not real bruises, they are just stagnant blood being pulled to the surface of your skin. Most spots will disappear within minutes, but some spots can last for several days, or even 2-3 weeks depending on the area of the body, and it’s blood flow.
So if you have an event to go to, make sure to tell your therapist and they can avoid areas of the skin that would be exposed.
Including cupping in your massage therapy treatment can be a great tool in helping to increase movement of tissue and fluid. Cups can be used in a few different ways, stationary on a focused area or in motion (stroking sweeps, or gliding). And the intensity level of the suction can be controlled, so if you are someone who prefers a lighter pressure massage, you can still benefit from cupping as well!
Now that you have all this new information about cupping therapy, why not give it a try?!
Call Dalhousie Health & Wellness to book your cupping treatment!
The staff at Dalhousie Health & Wellness know first hand how stressful the effects of COVID-19 have been on our community. We have taken an abundance of precaution to make sure everyone feels safe when we re-open. We have been following the situation closely in order to stay up-to-date on the requirements of our regulating body’s and Ontario Public Health. Our main goal is to keep everyone healthy and safe, but also create an environment where people are comfortable. Our patient care is, and always will be our number one priority. See you in the office on June 16th when the doors to Dalhousie Health & Wellness officially re-open! Until then...
New office polices and changes for patients
• All patients must register with our new software (called Jane) prior to their visit
o A Jane profile must be created
o Your credit card information is required for booking
o Online intake forms and consent must be filled out
o All patients will receive a COVID screening questionnaire 48hrs prior to visit
• Patients must answer NO to all questions on the COVID screening questionnaire in order to enter the office
• Patients will wait in their car until called or waived to enter the office
• Patients must wear a mask in order to enter the office
o If a patient does not bring a mask, one can be purchased for $5.00
o It is encouraged that patients bring their own mask
• Patients must use hand sanitizer upon entry
• Patients must remove their shoes/footwear in front entrance
• Patients must leave their personal belongings in their cars
• Only the patient being treated is permitted to enter the office (children under 16 are permitted to have an adult accompany them)
• We only accept tap payments or credit cards stored securely on file
o No cash or cheque
• No patients may wait in the waiting room
• Patients may be asked to reschedule their next appointment by phone in order to free up the reception area
• NO patients in upstairs bathroom
• Patients will be asked to leave if they are not willing to comply with office policies
• No walk-in appointments will be permitted at this time
• All remedy pick-ups must be called in advance and a pick up time arranged
o Upon arrival the patient must call the office or wait to be waived in
• Please note that our 24 hour cancellation policyapplies, even when sick
Clean & wash hands, and repeat!
• All cleaning will be done with medical grade cleaner or bleach and water (at a 1:9 ratio)
• All surfaces, doorknobs and treatment tools, treatment tables and any areas touched by practitioners and clients/patients are to be are to be sanitized after each patient visit by each individual practitioner
• All staff are required to have a pair of indoor shoes worn only in office, OR required to wipe the solestheir shoes with medical grade cleaner upon entry
o It is strongly suggested that you leave a pair of indoor shoes at the office
• Practitioners must wash their hands…
o As soon as they enter the office
o Before and after a patient leaves
o Before and after putting a mask on
o Before and after eating
o Before and after going to the bathroom
o Before and after checking a patient out (if reception is not available)
• All practitioners are required to wear a medical grade mask in office at all times
o New masks are required when removed
o Please refer to your regulating body standards of care for how to apply a mask properly
• All practitioners are required to clean ALL surfaces in their room at day end
• All furniture must be off the ground at day end and ready for a morning deep clean by front end staff
• Kitchenette is to be wiped with each use
• We are leaving 10 min between each patient for cleaning
• Patients must wait in treatment rooms until reception is clear (only one person in reception at a time)
• We are now paperless, all practitioners, Doctors and staff will keep notes in our new Jane software
• Front end staff will wipe all surfaces touched by clients after every person leaves the office(Front door handle inside and outside, Reception counter top, POS machine, Bathroom surfaces if used by patients)
A deep clean will be preformed at the beginning of each day
• Vacuum and mop (use 9:1 solution water: bleach)entire office, upstairs and main floor
• Deep clean bathrooms and kitchenette
o Water and bleach solution on all surfaces, toilets and Windex mirrors
What happens if someone in the office feels under the weather?
• Staff members who have a cough, fever, shortness of breath, runny nose or sore throat (that is not related to a pre-existing illness or health condition) should visit public health and get tested for COVID-19
o The staff member may not return to work until they receive negative COVID test result
• These requirements should be followed until tests results are known and if the staff member(s) tests positive with COVID-19. Negative test results allow the staff member(s) to return to work.
• If a staff member does come to work sick, the following guidance applies:
• Staff who appear to have acute respiratory illness symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath) on arrival to the workplace, or who become sick while at the workplace, should be sent home immediately and asked to maintain at least two meters of distance from other staff and patients while exiting the workplace.
• Sick individuals must follow hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette, as necessary, as they are exiting the workplace.
• Once a sick individual has left the workplace, clean and disinfect all surfaces and areas that they may have come into contact with.
Every week I hear the same question, “What is reiki?”
It doesn’t surprise me in the least. Reiki is not as common as its sister therapy, acupuncture. It is a bit more ‘mysterious’ and unknown. But don’t let that fool you. In essence, reiki is an effective and gentle way to increase the body’s ability to heal more efficiently while decreasing the physiological and emotional effects of stress. Not bad right?
Reiki is performed while the client rests laying down. The practitioner manipulates the body’s energy field by gently laying hands on and above areas of the body. This positively affects energetic flow and vibration of the main energy centers, allowing for more balance and relaxation. Just as acupuncture helps clear the many lines of energy through the body (known as meridians), reiki helps clear the 7 major energy centers (known as chakras).
Why do I need energy cleared and balanced?
Einstein himself has said, “Everything in life is vibration”. At the deepest level of our being, we are energetic. Each atom, the building blocks of our body, breaks down to vibrational energy. When we treat the body at this foundational level, every aspect of health is influenced.
If I were a piece of music, what would I sound like?
This is one of my favourite questions. Once we understand that we are vibration and frequency, we can think in terms of music. We are so much more than we ever believed ourselves to be! At any moment we are sending out a signal, an energetic signature. Have you ever been around someone who makes you feel lighter and happier just by being in their presence? And we all know those people who make us feel heavier and more negative. This is the work of energy. Our music resonates with some and not others. We can be a beautiful symphony or fall into disharmony and imbalance, living slightly off key so to speak. By the end of a reiki treatment, the goal is to have the ‘instruments’, or energy centers, playing in tune with each other.
So how is this a secret weapon for optimal health?
Science based research has shown that reiki activates the parasympathetic nervous system which increases the body’s ability to rest and heal while reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety. Because of this, reiki is an excellent complement to ongoing treatments of chronic illness and pain such as chemotherapy, chiropractic and naturopathic care.
I like to think of reiki as one of the best defenses against stress. When receiving regular treatment, the physical and emotional body becomes resilient. Decreased inflammation and decreased blood pressure are only the beginning. Reiki increases immunity and increases feelings of self-worth and compassion as well. Once the body enters deep relaxation, the body naturally frees up energy for healing. Because of this, reiki is a wonderful preventative treatment as well.
So whether presently suffering from chronic issues or just looking to stay healthy and balanced, reiki is an excellent choice for self-care and is now available at Dalhousie Health & Wellness. Reiki truly is you secret weapon to optimal health!
Shoulder Pain at Night
Night pain is a commonly encountered symptom for patients with shoulder injuries. Night pain is of great importance as it disturbs sleep and diminishes quality of life. Good quality sleep is of utmost importance to all of us! Without proper sleep we may be less active during the day, have a lower threshold for dealing with stress and injury, mental exhaustion and even delayed healing.
There are many conditions associated with night pain in your shoulder such as: bursitis, rotator cuff injuries, adhesive capsulitis [frozen shoulder], osteoarthritis and tendinosis to name a few. The cause of pain in these conditions can be divided into three major subtypes: movement related, compression and inflammatory
Movement Related Shoulder Pain
When we injure the muscles, ligaments or tendons in the shoulder it may cause a decreased range of motion, which means that certain movements become difficult and painful. Our unconscious bodies may toss and turn at night causing us to move our shoulder in a painful direction, waking us up and disturbing our sleep.
Compression and Shoulder Pain
Did you know that most of us are side sleepers? Often patients tell me that they usually sleep on the side of their injured shoulder. Changing our sleeping position can be very challenging, however laying on the same side as the injury can further aggravate your pain and discomfort. Making efforts to avoid compressing the injured tissues is also recommended as a way to speed up healing times.
Inflammation and Shoulder Pain
Some of my patients report that no matter how little or how much they move around, whether they sleep on their backs or sides, they just cannot relieve their shoulder pain at night! This night time aching that does not seem to be positionally related is the most perplexing and frustrating for patients. Researchers have found that this type of night pain is related to increased blood flow through the arteries of the shoulder suggesting an increase in inflammation.
So, What is the Best Way to Sleep When my Shoulder Hurts at Night?
The best option is always to consult a health care professional for a proper assessment, diagnosis and individualized treatment. Your health care provider may suggest some of the following depending on your specific type of shoulder injury and cause of the night pain:
1. Use a pillow to restrict your movement: If you are concerned about moving in a painful direction or rolling onto your shoulder, placing a pillow behind you may help prevent you from turning over.
2. Avoid sleeping on the side of the injury: Sleeping on your back, opposite side or even using a wedge pillow to elevate your shoulders may relieve some of your discomfort.
3. Perform your prescribed stretches and rehabilitation exercises. A health care professional can prescribe therapeutic exercise to relieve pain, stiffness and improve your range of motion.
4. Icing. Using ice or other anti-inflammatory measures before bed as prescribed can help delay the onset of pain and allow you to fall asleep faster.
5. Avoid any activities which are likely to worsen your pain. Knowing your limits and decreasing overall irritation will also aid in a faster recovery.
6. Practice good sleep hygiene. Try to go to bed at the same time every night. Reduce fluid intake and avoid caffeine, nicotine and alcohol before bed. Turn off electronics at least 30 minutes prior to bed.
If you’re experiencing persistent pain, restricted or painful motion, night pain or shoulder issues which are affecting your quality of life, please make sure to consult your chiropractor, doctor, massage therapist, physiotherapist or other trusted health care professional
Dr. Pepper has a special interest in the treatment of children, adolescents and adults with concussion. Much of my time treating concussions is spent answering questions and providing education. Despite the surge in interest, many questions and misconceptions linger around the topic of concussion. The following are some of the most common myths I hear about concussion in my office.
You have to hit your head to have a concussion
People commonly believe that you need to hit your head to have a concussion and that the harder the hit the worse the concussion. Neither of these statements are true. A concussion can be sustained by hitting your head, but also by a rapid acceleration-deceleration or your head or a coup-countercoup motion. This kind of injury can be produced in a car accident, a fall or even a hit to the body. We also see in practice that the degree of the injury does not correlate well to the number or intensity of symptoms.
You need to lose consciousness to have a concussion
Loss of consciousness is not a diagnostic criteria for concussion, in fact it occurs in less than 10% of concussion cases. Although it seems logical that a loss consciousness would indicate a more severe concussion this is also not the case. It is always important to report loss of consciousness to your health care provider but it may not be a reliable indicator in determining if you have a concussion or how severe the symptoms may be.
You have to keep someone with a concussion awake
Sleep is actually vitally important in concussion recovery. This misconception is likely a result of advice that is intended for those with bleeding in their brains. Brain bleeds are very rarely associated with concussion. If the patient has been assessed by a health care professional and a bleed has been ruled out, it is safe for them to sleep. When you sustain a concussion your brain is suffering from an energy crisis and adequate sleep can help restore your brain’s energy. However, daytime sleeping and excessive napping is discouraged, try to get your restorative sleep at night.
You will have symptoms from your concussion right away
Although concussion symptoms may come on right away, they are often delayed. Some symptoms may take hours or even days to appear after the initial injury. In the time following a concussion the brain is more susceptible to injury, this is why we say “when in doubt, sit them out”. Returning to play before a concussion is healed and sustaining a second injury may lead to Second Impact Syndrome which is a very serious complication that causes neurological impairment, brain swelling, coma and possibly death. For more information on this please read up on Rowan’s Law which is legislation designed to protect those with head injuries.
All physical activity should be avoided, you need complete rest
An initial period of complete rest may be recommended for 0-48 hours post injury. Following this, light aerobic activity is highly recommended. Research demonstrates that light activity is
associated with faster recovery than complete rest. Your health care provider will assess your individual case and make recommendations based on your symptoms. Usually a short walk or stationary biking are preferred. As your symptoms improve your health care provider will include rehabilitation exercises and slowly re-introduce you to your previous activities. Incremental exposure to your normal demands will be a critical part of your return to work/play or school plan.
Did you know that having a weak immune system is what brought me to Naturopathic medicine?
I used to get yearly throat infections, which meant yearly antibiotics. This lead to other problems! Now helping people have a strong immune system is one of my passions.
This article will discuss what to avoid, what to increase, and how to restore the immune system leading to lowered antibiotic use and better overall health.
Naturopathic doctors strive to support weakened systems in the body. When the immune system has become weak, we can start by removing obstacles to overall health and immune function. Some obstacles may include:
• Sugar in the diet – each time we eat sugar our white blood cell count decreases.
• Stress – stress is known to have a detrimental effect on the immune system, including reduced antibody production and natural killer cells. The mind-body connection is powerful!
• Too much caffeine – this acts as a stressor to an already depleted immune system. It also depletes the body of nutrients that the immune system needs
• Food sensitivities and Leaky gut (Intestinal Permeability) – causing the immune system to become over active and weakened
• Nutrient deficiencies – such as zinc, vitamin D, and selenium
• Toxic load – heavy metals bind to minerals like selenium, leaving your immune system depleted. Heavy metals are found in amalgams, tap water, and in the pesticides on our food.
Next is to start a more healthful regime.
• Avoid your food intolerances, sugar, caffeine, and fake food such as preservatives, colourings, and additives. The body understands these things as foreign and should be avoided.
o antioxidant rich food – dark coloured fruits and veggies like berries, kale, broccoli, onion, garlic, carrots, spinach etc.
o protein – grass fed, organic meat, beans, nuts, seeds, tofu, poultry.
o whole foods diet – foods as close to their natural state as possible. This ensures a synergistic mix of essential vitamins and minerals in their natural most absorbable state.
o 2-3 ltrs of clean water
Stimulate your natural healing mechanism
One way to do this at home is through home hydrotherapy. Take a hot bath or shower for 5-10 minutes. Get out and dry off. Take a large towel wrung out in cold water and wrap it around the torso, from the armpits to the groin. Cover up with a robe or blanket to avoid a chill. Leave in place 20-30 minutes. Do not remove the towel until it becomes warmed. At the end of this treatment you should feel better and not chilled. Discontinue if feel chilled after.
Another way is through acupuncture and homeopathy. This is prescribed in office from your naturopathic doctor.
Support and Regenerate the Immune System Itself
This may be achieved by taking:
• probiotics – modulate immune function
• vitamin C – is rapidly used by the body during infection or high stress. It is also has a broad range of immunological effects, like stimulating interferon, white blood cell proliferation, and regenerates vitamin e.
• vitamin D – now known as imperative to proper immune function. Pro tip – cod liver oil has absorbable vitamin D in it, along with essential fatty acids which are the gatekeepers of immune regulation. 2 for 1! Not for the pregnant population thought!
• Selenium – 200 mcg/d. has a profound effect on healing the immune system.
• Deep Immune by St. Francis – acts as an immune tonic which improves the vitality of the immune system, and modulator.
Thomas was a young boy with chronic repeated ear infections. We started by removing his food intolerances – in his case dairy. We stimulated his natural healing capacity by using homeopathy – Silica, used for chronic ear infections and lowered immunity. We added the basics – probiotic and cod liver oil. Mom was armed with what to do in case of another infection, like the warming sock treatment and to call the office at first signs of infection, but he did not have another ear infection.
Mrs. H used to get sick every year with the flu. We balanced her immune system with monthly acupuncture sessions supporting her “wei qi”. We used homeopathics that tonify and keep the immune system on guard ready to fight the flu. She stuck to the basics: nutritious diet, exercise, vitamin D, probiotics and fish oil. While others around her got sick, she remained healthy all winter.
I love helping people treat and prevent infections in the urinary tract, lungs, sinuses, ears, throat, and skin. Along with an in office oxidative stress test, a chakra check can help us discern which chakras need strengthening, and what the repeated infections may be trying to tell you about your emotional health.
Call us at 289 668 5433 to start your immune strengthening program.
By Dr. Donata Girolamo, Naturopathic Doctor
Energy Medicine, Reiki, EFT and Mindfulness Coach
Stephanie Chorozy is a passionate practitioner of energy medicine as well as a dedicated mindfulness coach. She is a certified mindfulness instructor with the Mindful Schools Institute and has maintained her own personal meditation practice for over 20 years. She was introduced to the power of meditation while completing her degree in Philosophy at the University of Western Ontario. The study of Epistemology and Eastern Philosophy led to a life-long fascination with the mind and a desire to tap into the life force energy of the body. The mind-body connection became crystal clear.
Stephanie is a certified Reiki Master and EFT therapist, offering over 10 years of experience in the field of energy medicine. Helping clients find balance in the body and the mind is her priority. Learning how to handle stress at the mental, emotional, and physical level is the goal. Stephanie believes that each client has their own unique path back to health. Energy work, in combination with mindfulness techniques, is often the missing link to health and wellness.
Reiki is a therapeutic and relaxing form of energy healing. It brings the body's energy centers into alignment and balance. This balance in the body brings balance to the mind and spirit as well, resulting in a holistic tune-up! Clients often feel lighter, more relaxed and experience intuitive clarity after a reiki treatment.
Reconnect with your life while learning mindful practices which will help you manage stress more effectively. You will learn how to stay in the driver's seat of your life...moment by moment. The goal here is to see yourself as less restricted by circumstances while becoming more powerful in designing the experiences you would like to have. We work on heightening awareness so you can feel more in control of your thoughts and emotions. We explore mindfulness as a lifestyle and shed some light on negative thought and behavior patterns that might be blocking you. Meditation is introduced.
Emotional Freedom Technique
EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) is most commonly known as tapping. It is a form of energy healing that works with the meridians, or energy channels, in the body. It helps rewire one's emotional response to a thought from the past, present or future. In essence, it energetically helps you loosen your grip on negative thought patterns. Tapping on specific points helps balance the body and calm the mind.
Learn how to develop your own personal meditation practice with private one on one instruction. Learning how to focus the mind and stay in a state of presence is the goal. Meditation is a game changer, a skill that will bring clarity and increased health to the practitioner. Want an edge in this life? You will find it in stillness and awareness..
The Energy Shift is a deep dive into wellness, creating a lasting shift in emotional and energetic health. Customize your experience by choosing two services and experiencing them back to back. Most often, an energy healing session is followed by a mindfulness session but you are the architect here! All of the services offered by Stephanie complement each other and when experienced together, offer a much needed shift in both energy and the mind
Our hormones can be a beautiful symphony, or they can be like a bull in a china shop.
When our hormones are in balance, we feel comfortable in our bodies, centered, intuitive, and can express our true natures.
However many women describe that for most of the month, they have hormone related symptoms, making each week a different an uncomfortable experience.
How did this happen? And how do we fix this?
Our hormones are made and respond to various processes in the body. Stress, sleep, nutrition, and environmental toxins all play a role in their function and genetic expression. The organs affected and involved in their balance are the digestive and endocrine systems. Your body can restore hormone function without the use of external hormones. Even if you do take hormone replacement, for optimal wellness you may consider healing the underlying imbalances.
Signs and Symptoms of a Hormone Imbalance
• Mood swings like anger, depression,isolation
• Weight gain
• Food cravings
• No sex drive
• Mid-cycle spotting or bleeding
• heavy periods
• Anxiety and paranoia
Causes of Hormone Imbalances
The most common factor that I see in a woman’s health history that causes a hormonal imbalance is long-term stress. This creates a problem with cortisol, the stress hormone, and taxes the adrenal, hypothalamus, and thyroid glands. High or low cortisol can have devastating affects on our hormones, skin, mood, sleep, weight, and libido.
We are not all created with exactly the same Qi, Constitutions and Temperaments. Trying to accomplish, be, and do all the things everyone else is doing can lead to a burn out – of body and mind. Currently, self-care is in fashion and rightfully so! Respecting your boundaries is a way to renew depleted resources.
Other stressors are not making enough time for rest and play, improper breathing, wrong diet, obesity, negative thinking, allergies and sensitivities, low grade infections, candida, toxins, and elevated blood sugar all act as stressors to the physical body.
Chronic sleep deprivation
Melatonin, the hormone released during sleep, modulates women’s menstrual cycles. This affects shift workers, those with insomnia, those who are exposed to strong electromagnetic fields, alcohol and caffeine consumption, stress, and just not getting enough sleep.
Eating foods that constantly trigger insulin, will affect the rest our hormones, and cause acne, pms, weight gain, and mood changes. These foods are sugar, soft drinks, alcohol, excess carbohydrates and animal fats, along with lack of exercise and chronic stress.
A standard diet filled with processed foods, excess saturated and hydrogenated fats, dairy, and not enough veggies, fiber, quality protein, and essential fatty acids contributes to inflammation, poor digestion, and faulty liver detoxification pathways.
These are pervasive, and disruptive to our hormones and physiology in general. Many toxins like mercury bind to our minerals, and stop us from absorbing these minerals from our food. Currently there are more than 80,000 (closer to 250,000) chemicals in use today, many of which are unregulated, and are associated with long-term problems on our health and the environment.
Three key strategies to fix hormone imbalances
These are usually the steps I take my patients through to soothe and nourish hormone imbalances like low progesterone, high estrogen, high and low cortisol, and high insulin.
1. Reduce Inflammation to Balance your Hormones
Inflammatory compounds are associated with insulin resistance, tissue damage, chronic inflammation and other metabolic deficiencies. Once you start to reduce inflammation, the body in its’ wisdom will start healing your hormones for you! Some diet recommendations are:
• follow the anti-inflammatory diet, with lots of herbs like turmeric and ginger, fish and flax oils, and flax seeds
• keep gluten-free whole grains like quinoa, millet, and oats to a minimum
• balance your pH with chlorella, spirulina, or fresh veggie drinks
2. Target the Gastro-intestinal tract to Balance your Hormones
Secondly, targeting your digestive health is a good next step. This could involve regulating stomach acid, healing fatty liver (often undiagnosed until you go looking for it), helping the gallbladder not be so sludgy, restoring the flora and lining of your digestive tract. These organs help to process hormones, balance blood sugar, regulate mood, weight, and detoxification. In-office, we check all these things through urine or bioenergetic tests, questionnaires, and your health history. Hormone balancing programs should include the following to balance digestive organs:
• a probiotic and fermented foods like kim chi and sauerkraut, fibrous foods like garlic, onions, leeks, asparagus, oats, flax, seaweeds
• brassica family foods – cabbage, broccoli, kale, brussels sprouts, cauliflower
• a liver supporting formula including Milk Thistle, Dandelion, and Artichoke or nutrients such as NAC or glutathione
• B vitamins
• If fungus or other pathogens are suspected, some deeper digestive work should be done.
3. Replenish Deficient Nutrients to Balance your Hormones
Finally, it is time to replenish deficiencies like magnesium, vitamin D, anti-oxidants, and chromium. Now that inflammation has diminished and digestion has improved, you will be absorbing the nutrients from your food better, plus any other supplements. Herbs are another good option, as they have an affinity for the endocrine system along with containing minerals within them. They are plants after all! Some options include:
• Magnesium, zinc, selenium, tyrosine, and anti-oxidants to promote progesterone and thyroid function
• B complex including higher amounts of B5 and B6
• Herbs like Vitex, Ashwaghanda, and Guggul are nourishing and balancing.
• other minerals and essential fatty acids
Along with these strategies, a stress management program throughout is essential. If there is a stressor in your life that needs reframing or a new perspective, then counselling is a good option. We can support the adrenal gland, but if the perception of the stress remains, then results may not be as effective. Acupuncture is an excellent therapy to support the stress response, increase and decrease hormones, support digestion, sleep, and mood. Homeopathy is another good modality to help change the stress response. These strategies are a foundation to start rebalancing your hormones.
Depending on your health history, signs and symptoms, and corresponding lab tests, other options may be helpful too.
Written by Dr. Donata Girolamo, ND
Fatigue is such a common concern for the women I see in my Naturopathic practice. It is also a marker of health that Naturopathic doctors use as part of a health intake.
Being tired is often a catch 22; you know that eating better and exercising would make you feel better, but… you’re too tired to do them! With some targeted individualized solutions, it doesn’t have to be overwhelming.
Here are the most common reasons I find women suffer from low energy and fatigue.
If our bodies become too acidic, this paves the way for malabsorption of nutrients, inflammation, allergies, and a build up of acidic waste in our connective tissue. Acids also cause hormones like estrogen to increase, as more is required to do its’ job.
Our digestive enzymes and other energy hormones like thyroid hormone don’t work as well in an acidic environment. All these issues can leave us feeling tired, depleted, and bogged down.
We need right amounts of carbon dioxide in the blood to have enough oxygen to nourish our cells. Many people breathe too much – chronic hyperventilation – leading to low levels of CO2 in the blood. When CO2 levels are low, haemoglobin molecules are less able to release oxygen from the blood. When there is enough pressure of CO2 in the blood and lungs, oxygen is released more readily.
The way we breathe determines the amount of carbon dioxide present in our blood, and therefore how well our bodies are oxygenated, and energized.
Build up of Toxic waste
Everyone feels better after a detox. This is because our liver and kidneys do hundreds of functions per second. When they become sluggish from an acidic body or other toxins like environmental, water and food, from lack of sleep, nutrient deficiencies, prescriptions, and stress, then we can feel it in our sense of well-being or energy levels.
Toxins can interfere with the energy production centers of the cell, causing fatigue but also a lowered metabolism, and other symptoms of disease.
Blood Sugar Imbalances
Chronic dips of blood sugar and surges of insulin can cause people to be on a roller-coaster of highs and lows of energy. This is true even if your blood work says your blood sugar is normal.
Many women suffer with hypoglycemia without being diagnosed with diabetes. Acidic waste blocks glucose from getting into the cell and may lead to insulin resistance, along with nutrient deficiencies like chromium, calcium, magnesium, and others.
Long periods of stress are commonly combined with nutrient deficiencies, which then lead to hormone imbalances and fatigue. The hormones are often linked – too much stress hormone, lowered thyroid hormones, along with blood sugar balancing hormones are all closely related to each other, and fall under the umbrella of adrenal fatigue. If one system goes, the others often follow.
If you feel like you don’t have enough energy to do the things you love, to achieve the goals you have set for yourself, or to be there for the people who need you, time to get things sorted! We also don’t want feelings of low energy to lead to worse symptoms or other conditions down the line.
By Dr. Donata Girolamo, ND