Feeds:
Posts

Posts Tagged ‘Health’

The Toxicity of our Health & Beauty industry

In 2017 there were over 1.5 million people diagnosed with cancer in the United States. When you’ve been through the experience of a family member or loved one enduring cancer diagnosis or treatment or if you know the experience yourself it is clearly one to be prevented at all cost. We put so much effort and money into finding a cure for cancer. However the phrase, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” never rung more true.

beautiful-beauty-bloom-271876.jpg

It is such an awful conundrum that an American industry has created a mis-conception that women are less-than and that a product can bring them to a state of worthiness. Make-up and the majority of our health and beauty industry is based upon a false truth that there is a necessity for artificially created products that are necessitated by the inherent faults of women.

Foundation, blush, eye-shadow, mascara, lipstick, nail polish and more might be fine if they are a one-time special occasion use for a theatrical production of dramatic expression. However, the unfortunate experience is that many women feel they cannot leave the house without “putting their face on” for the world to accept them as they artificially are with layers of chemical products overlying their authentic self.

How have we come to this place where billions of women feel more empowered to “conceal” their blemishes and alter their natural coloring with toxic substances that can cost them their lives through the carcinogenic substances they spend their hard earned dollars on? Media and advertising infiltrates even the most mindful of us all. And those who allow advertising to seep into their consciousness on a regular basis have no hope but to follow the masses and purchase the Maybeline, Cover Girl and even Burt’s Bee’s products that proclaim beauty, acceptance and maybe some version of happiness.

Unfortunate for women bought into this modified version of self is the reality that the majority of the chemicals used in our health and beauty industry come with an enormous cost to one’s health. Carcinogenic compounds (those that are known to cause cancer) permeate the industry. Hydroquinone, parabens, phenylenediamine, coal tar, diethanolamine, dioxane; nanoparticles, formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate, toluene and petroleum distillates are all known to cause cancer and are common ingredients in make-up, lotions, nail polish and other products in the “beauty industry”.

What is beautiful about cancer? Nothing at all. So what is a girl to do? Here are a few suggestions to help girls of all ages move through life with health and beauty together at their side:

  • Learn to appreciate the natural you! Identify people and places that accept the natural you and work to enhance those relationships.
  • Read labels carefully! If there is an ingredient name you do not recognize and know to be safe, check it out at ewg.org/skin-deep, the most comprehensive database for chemical safety online and completely free!
  • Avoid nail polish! The microcirculation of the nailbed provides ready access of chemicals in nail polish into the bloodstream.
  • Change the trend! Avoid teaching children that it’s a positive thing to paint their faces, fingernails or toenails with any regularity at all.
  • Encourage companies to make better products, although even the most “natural” nail polish on the market today contain significant toxins.
  • If you wouldn’t eat it, don’t put it on your body! Your skin absorbs everything it encounters, some substances far more readily than others. Make sure your putting on your body things you feel great about consuming.
  • Opt for all natural products:
    • shea butter, bees wax and organic herbal extracts in organic oils for moisturizing
    • Baking soda and essential oils for deodorants
    • Apple cider vinegar and baking soda mix for hair products along with natural oils for conditioners and detanglers

In the last 100 years our chemical industry has exploded to infiltrate nearly every household in America. Along with that come the unwelcome impacts of carcinogens, endocrine disruptors, bio-accumulative toxins, neurological irritants and more. It’s well past time to make a change for our personal health, and for the health of all beings downstream whether that might be children, grand-children or the fish and wildlife that share our waterways who are subject to whatever we are washing down the drain.

For more resources for tools for daily life wellness or for individualized care managing cancer, cancer prevention or other health concerns please visit Stillwater Clinic & Apothecary at 418 High Street in Lyons, Colorado.

 

References:

EWG.org DIRTY DOZEN ENDOCRINE DISRUPTORS; 12 Hormone-Altering Chemicals and How to Avoid Them.

Preetha AnandAjaikumar B. KunnumakaraChitra SundaramKuzhuvelil B. HarikumarSheeja T. TharakanOiki S. LaiBokyung Sung, and Bharat B. AggarwalUCancer is a Preventable Disease that Requires Major Lifestyle Changes” Pharm Res. 2008 Sep; 25(9): 2097–2116.

SciammaccoDuke-EWG Study Finds Toxic Nail Polish Chemical In Women’s Bodies, Sara. Sally Hansen, OPI, Wet N Wild Among Brands Selling Nail Polishes With Endocrine Disruptors. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: MONDAY, OCTOBER 19, 2015. EWG.org

Read Full Post »

As awful and mysterious as a cancer diagnosis is, cancer prevention can be at your fingertips! Everyday products we use that contain carcinogens are as simple to avoid as knowing what’s in your shopping cart. Empower yourself by choosing what you truly want for your future with the day to day shopping trips you make. While some substances can be tricky to avoid, explore your options and get creative to help create a cancer-free world.

Things to know:

  • Fire Retardants – these compounds are commonly used in our clothing and household products. Fire retardants are incorporated into synthetic materials to prevent their melting point in cases of fire. These have been known to be toxic to humans for a long time, however they are considered a necessity for synthetic materials due to their flammability risk. There has been an effort to move toward “Green Chemistry” and reduce the toxicity of fire retardants, but many of the worst offenders are still in most households.
    • Avoid furniture, drapes and especially infant clothing labeled as “fire retardant”
    • Look for furniture labeled with “natural oils” as the flame retardant.
    • Natural fiber infant clothing, drapes and furnishings emit far fewer off-gassing chemicals or none at all.
    • Seek out and support companies that avoid flame retardant chemicals. To name a few: Urban Natural, Room and Board, IKEA, Crate and Barrel, West Elm and Pottery Barn
    • Use an indoor air filter in your main living spaces, especially the bedroom to reduce circulating chemicals.
    • Often, vintage products have the benefit of already having off gassed much of their toxic chemicals, but this is not the case with flame retardants. As foam materials break down their dust particles become more mobile which is where the chemicals reside. This is especially important for beds & mattresses made of foam and other synthetic fibers.
  • Perflourinated chemicals (PFC’s): These compounds are used both in cookware (non-stick coating) and to water-proof jackets and other synthetic materials. Found commonly in our outdoor gear products. They are known to bio-accumulate and cause long-term damage to all biological beings.
    • Cook with stainless steel and ceramic dishes
    • Cooking with cast iron is a great option for people who have healthy or low iron levels. Check routinely as iron in the body can easily get too high!
    • Choose natural fiber clothing sources. Natural materials share a common thread; less harmful in their production and in their use.
    • Wool is wonderful! Naturally water resistant, warm and cozy just like it’s producers.
  • Phthalates and similar products used to create plastic; their production produces a wide array of toxic chemicals that cause harm both to individuals and the environment. Reducing plastic use is a necessary change for the health or ourselves and our planet.
    • Select products packed in recyclable materials
    • Re-use existing plastic as much as possible to avoid supporting the production of new plastic
    • Remove plastic wrapping from food as soon as possible and store in glass, metal or wax coated wraps
    • Do not heat food wrapped in plastic ever
    • Avoid disposable drinking cups, especially with hot liquids
    • Take your own re-usable dishes to restaurants for left-overs & take-out
    • Buy in bulk to reduce packaging

There is so much of our personal and collective health that lies in our hands. The disposable, toxin filled lifestyle that pervades America and other parts of the world is beyond crazy and the repercussions are being seen in our planet as well as in the health of individuals. Make changes for sustainability in your shopping cart and you will be making a change for the better for all beings.

For individual guidance on healthy living, nutritional choices and evaluating health concerns, visit Stillwater Clinic & Apothecary today!

References:

PFC Info: http://www.ncceh.ca/sites/default/files/Health_effects_PFCs_Oct_2010.pdf

Read Full Post »

The old phrase, “you’ve got to nip it in the bud,” is so true when it comes to addressing acute cold and flu symptoms. In exploring what works when it comes to immune stimulation and fighting seasonal illness, I look to traditions around the world that have been keeping people healthy for generations.

 

Contrast hydrotherapy – common to Finnish culture, Japanese and native American tradition, the alternating hot and cold water stimulation to the body does wonders to boost the system.  This can vary from enjoying a regular warm shower and briefly alternating the temperature to as cool as can be comfortably tolerated, then back to heat as warm as is comfortable and back to cool again. A typical duration is 1 minute hot, 5-10 seconds cold repeated 3 times.

Intensifying the experience with hot tubs or sauna use alternating with intermittent cool/cold temperature is common as well and has profound measurable effects. In a Finnish study of contracting hydrotherapy from a sauna to a shower the white blood cell activity after use was especially enhanced.   Athletes making use of the sauna with contrasting cold shower had a more dramatic result, although it is effective in non-athletes as well. (1)

SW Sauna

Medicinal mushrooms – As researcher and mycology expert Paul Stamets describes, mushrooms can save the world. The complexity of the mycelium web has numerous interactions with our own immune system when we consume the wide varieties that nature provides. Modern research mimicks what Chinese Medicine has known for years. Various mushroom strains are well known to boost the protective energy of the body,

“We share in common the same types of pathogens, humans and mushrooms…We speak the same biological language… Agaricus mushrooms are my favorite. They are very active immune stimulators. They are known to destroy the pox virus, flu virus and our common cold rhinovirus,” Stamets shares. (2)

 

Many Americans suffering from cold and flu symptoms will be prescribed antibiotics drugs this year. These are important, life saving drugs that have gone through many incarnations as time and the marketplace has changed. While every prescribing practitioner knows the danger of over-prescribing, many feel they have to give something to a patient in distress. Even if it’s a viral infection, an antibiotic can still provide some symptomatic and placebo relief. However, when it’s not truly an out of control bacterial infection the cost of using antibiotics may be greater than the benefit for long term health.

There is a concerning association between the number of antibiotic prescriptions used in one’s lifetime and developing cancer. People who have used 10 or more courses of antibiotics in their lifetime have a significant increase in rates of cancer. This does not mean that antibiotics cause cancer, but that we are identifying a correlated trend. (3)

 

Berberine containing herbs – this chemical compound found in nature exists in a wide variety of plants that have been traditionally used to defeat illnesses. Goldenseal, oregon grape root, turmeric, chinese skullcap and more all contain this powerful compound. It is known to kill bacteria, yeast, parasites and more. In doing so, it also enhances intestinal elimination and provides rich nutrients to the body.

From a traditional medicine perspective, enhancing the body’s natural defense mechanisms by stimulating the immune system provides not only a relief from aggravating symptoms but more importantly supports improvements in long term health.

Stillwater Clinic & Apothecaryprovides acute care services to Lyons and the surrounding communities! I practiced in Oregon as a primary care doctor for 5 years and now diagnose and treat patients in my office here in Lyons as a Registered Naturopathic Doctor. I offer natural medicine alternatives to pharmaceutical treatment as well as collaborate with area physicians to meet the full healthcare needs of individuals.

References:

  1. Wanda Pilch,1,4Ilona Pokora,2Zbigniew Szyguła,1,4 Tomasz Pałka,1,4 Paweł Pilch,3 Tomasz Cisoń,1,4 Lesław Malik,3and Szczepan Wiecha J Hum Kinet. Effect of a Single Finnish Sauna Session on White Blood Cell Profile and Cortisol Levels in Athletes and Non-Athletes. 2013 Dec 18; 39: 127–135. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3916915/
  2. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Paul_Stamets

3.Dobson, Roger. The risk of developing prostate, breast, lung, and colon cancer rises with use of antibiotics, a large observational study has found (International Journal of Cancer 2008 Aug 14, doi: 10.1002/ijc.23622) http://www.bmj.com/content/337/bmj.a1381.

Read Full Post »

With the circulating virus’ this time of year the snot, sniffles, fever and chills are everywhere! The physical stress of the temperature changes, time indoors, more sugars and less exercise all contribute to the increasing colds and flus this time of year.

While it is incredibly annoying to have a cold, for many people it provides an opportunity for the body to restore. Extra sleep, days off, increased elimination can all provide the body a net benefit when it’s all said and done. Getting a low to moderate fever benefits the body greatly. Despite feeling crummy, the fever is the body’s best defense against not only organisms we don’t want but also genetic errors and toxins that all contribute to the “normal symptoms of aging” and chronic diseases.

The most common treatments that American’s utilize for colds and flus may be short-changing the body’s experience and leaving us worse off than before. Most of our over the counter cold and flu remedies contain variations of the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for pain relief and fever reduction. Brand names Tylenol, Advil and more contain acetaminophen, ibuprofen, aspirin and naproxen all work via similar mechanisms in the body. While they often provide much desired pain relief, an undesireable effect that this class of drugs has on the body is diminishing the immune systems response.

Using NSAIDs during the course of a cold or flu is more likely to cause a longer duration of illness, worsening symptoms over time and the necessity for stronger medications to get through the illness. What’s worse yet, the inhibition of the immune system with these drugs prevents the immune systems most important feature from happening; memory. When the body goes through an illness, the immune system captures the experience in it’s long-term memory so that the next time we see that organism, or one similar to it we are ready to go and can address it immediately. Ideally, we experience enough illnesses in our younger years that when we reach our senior years and have lessened capacity to fight infection, our memory is so vast that we’re naturally prepared for any infection that comes our way (1).

Fortunately, natural medicine provides an incredibly diverse spectrum of healing tools that not only help relieve pain and discomfort but also strengthen the immune system along the way.

At the first sign of illness:

  • Support the immune system with a visit to the sauna. Before an illness has a chance to get settled in, boost your immunity with the fever-simulation of the sauna. Contrasting hot and cold temperature provokes lymphatic circulation and should feel great!
  • Oscillococcinum- homeopathic flu remedy that helps address the symptoms of flu regardless of which organism provokes it. (2)
  • Echinacea, Elderberry, Propolis Throat Spray – these anti-viral and immune stimulating herbs are ideal to use directly into the throat where most viral exposures get started. All 3 of these herbs function via different mechanisms to stop virus’s adhering to the tissues, interrupt virus replication and more.
  • Osha Root – chew on pieces of this powerful high mountain herb to kill virus in the upper respiratory tract. (3)
  • Rest – the worst thing we can do for ourselves at the onset of a cold or flu is to push ourselves to keep going. Stress hormones inhibit the immune systems functioning and allow infections to get a head start.
  • Avoid sugar, dairy, gluten and individual food allergies. Any food that provokes an inflammatory or mucous stimulating response will interfere in the ability of the body to fight an illness naturally and increase the pain response.Free stock photo of person, love, woman, relaxation

Relying on natural medicine for health provides countless options in healthcare. Together in conjunction with appropriate use of pharmaceutical therapies we can make the best of both modern medicine and ancient traditions. For individualized support with NSAID alternatives to pain whether for acute or chronic disease schedule an appointment today.

  1. Simona Bancos,1Matthew P. Bernard,1David J. Topham,2 and Richard P. Phipps1,* “Ibuprofen and other widely used non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs inhibit antibody production in human cells,” Cell Immunol. 2009; 258(1): 18–28. Published online 2009 Apr 5. doi:  10.1016/j.cellimm.2009.03.007
2.RosemariePappaGertSchubackbElmarBeckbGeorgBurkardcJürgenBengeldSiergfriedLehrla “OscillococcinumR in patients with influenza-like syndromes: A placebo-controlled double-blind evaluation,” British Homoeopathic journal Volume 87, Issue 2, April 1998, Pages 69-76.
3. Glenn D.Appelt “Pharmacological aspects of selected herbs employed in Hispanic folk medicine in the San Luis Valley of Colorado, USA: I. Ligusticum porteri (osha) and Matricaria chamomilla (manzanilla),” Journal of Ethnopharmacology Volume 13, Issue 1, March 1985, Pages 51-55.

Read Full Post »

Part 1: Finding the Balance

pexels-photo-322070

With daily topics like global warming, political strife and natural disasters it takes a serious effort for anyone to find peace and inner quiet today. For young people who have grown up in the era of media and technology infiltrating many aspects of their lives, anxiety is commonly an everyday feeling.

Historically, I worked with teens and young adults for issues like acne, headaches, growing pains, hormone balance and eating disorders. Today, every single teen and young adult I know complains of anxiety as a primary challenge. Often with this comes the classic swing of the pendulum of struggling with depression as well.   According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 25% of teens have diagnosable anxiety disorders. This is a significant increase from previous generations and does not include low grade anxiety or social anxiety, which are even more common.

What ever happened to carefree childhoods and wanting to stay forever young? Nowadays it seems the urgency to grow up to better cope with the apocalyptic dilemma’s that circulate everyday life robs our youth of the freedom to explore their hearts desire and contributes to an all too common emotional instability.

It is not all external factors either. The more we learn about brain development and neurological balance, the more we recognize increasing challenges with the pathways in our brain that reduce neurological stimulation. There are numerous substances we consume or are exposed to that provoke brain excitability that can cause an anxious feeling to linger a lot longer than it should. Some people being far more vulnerable to these than others.

Now more than ever, we all need help finding ways to access our peaceful, joyous selves. We need something that will bring us out of the flurry of worries, fears and anticipations and into a calm present moment. Tools we can use for momentary stressful events that provoke anxiety as well as routines we can establish in our lives to cultivate our happiness.

Integrative medicine provides a unique lens to address mental health concerns. Utilizing tools from standard, allopathic healthcare in addition to traditional systems from around the world offering a diverse approach to balance health. The first goal of understanding the symptom is to identify the cause. This is the key to providing immediate relief and long term changes. Both physical exam diagnostic tools and lab testing can help reveal which organs of the body may be experiencing distress to contribute to feelings of uneasiness. For young people this is especially important so that interventions are supporting the long term health as the body grows.

Stay tuned as this 4 part series addresses youth anxiety and is intended to provide a resource for the community to discover new ways to find a peaceful center while moving through the chaos of the modern world.

If you or someone you love are struggling with anxiety and/or depression, get help today with integrative medicine. At Stillwater, we encourage the combination of psychotherapy and natural medicine tools as well as collaboration with western medical providers for pharmaceutical support as needed. Our goal is to make use of the best of all systems of healing to get patients the balanced care they need for today, as well as for a healthier future.

 

Read Full Post »

Detoxification is commonly thought of as a tool for drug addicts and alcoholics.  The nausea, pain and discomfort of acute detox is incredibly intense and can be a medical emergency, yet the essence of detoxifying reaches far beyond this picture.  In fact, it’s happening in your belly right now.  You’re detoxifying substances from everything you have eaten, drank, absorbed and inhaled from the recent past.

To detoxify is simply the process that occurs in the liver constantly, when substances are broken down and built-up in order to be eliminated from the body.  It is an essential part of our health in every moment.

Toxins in Our World

Bis-phenol A, heroine, phthalates, sodium laurel sulfate, alcohol, benzene, high fructose corn syrup and more are all routinely consumed toxins in any random American’s experience.  Recently, in Mayflower, Arkansas a pipeline carrying tar sands oil ruptured and spilled into the waterways.  This unintentionally exposed the town’s population of 2,000 people to at least 7 known toxins.

Meanwhile, many people are consciously ingesting illegal substances into their bodies routinely.  Plus those ingesting legal intoxicants, smoke-breaks, happy hours, drive-thru’s and much more.  Toxic exposure is happening to all of us, everyday whether consciously, or unconsciously.  This can create problems for the body on every level.

A toxin may be a normal product of cellular metabolism, a intermediary step in a pathway of something non-toxic being processed in the body, or something overtly damaging to the body from start to finish.  Whatever the method of origin, a toxin in the body disrupts normal organ function and causes cellular damage.  Fortunately, our bodies are well equipped for this process, when we are in an optimal state of health and when our exposure is reasonable.

However, our modern world is filled with substances that require nearly constant work to address.  Many are difficult for the body to process and are known as bio-accumulative, staying with us our entire lives.  Driving down the road, drinking tap water, cleaning house, cooking a meal: all of these simple daily activities can overwhelm our system with toxic substances over time, depending on our choices.

Toxicity and Our Health

The outcome of toxic exposures in the body are many.  Cellular damage leads to poor organ function which can lead to poor metabolism, fatigue, body aches, mind-fog, obesity, hormonal disturbances, auto-immunity, cancer, and the myriad of unexplained symptomatic patterns.  Toxic accumulation can play a role in every type of disease.  Generally, the symptoms develop slowly, over time and may be considered normal aging at first.

Enhancing normal detoxification in the body is something that can be achieved through numerous simple, daily life activities.  Based on the personal experience and individual imbalance, a formulation of specific tools can make a world of difference.  In general, detoxification practices should involve taking fewer substances into the body and encouraging normal elimination through the bowels, breath, skin and urine.

Adapting a toxin free lifestyle is an important step.  This may be unreasonable for some, especially when addiction stands in the way.  In today’s world with our current stress-level, global challenges and chemical exposures, it is important to fit tools into your daily routine that support detoxification.

Traditional Detox Tools Include:

–       Dry Skin Brushing: from Ayurvedic medicine,  brushing the skin with a course bristle brush from the tips of the extremities toward the heart daily supports longevity.  Aiding lymphatic circulation, toxins are circulated in order to be better eliminated.

–       Castor Oil Packs: popularized by Edgar Cayce, this routine abdominal self-massage is a fantastic way to aid digestion and liver health.

–       Contrast Hydrotherapy: many of the early European Eclectic Physicians devoted their careers to exploring the benefits of hot & cold therapies on the skin surface.  As an everyday tonic, alternating the heat of the shower with a brief burst of cold invirgorates vitality.

–       Sauna Therapy: inducing a high-temperature fever like state in the body through sauna’s is a tradition from cultures around the globe.  Ideal use includes the contrasting cold of a shower, cold-plunge or roll in the snow to draw the vital heat back into the body.

–       Fasting: reducing and altering dietary intake is a common thread through many traditions of medicine.  In addition to the rest it allows the body for spiritual pursuit, it also gives the body a great opportunity to detoxify.

At Stillwater, we offer tools for supporting longevity through detoxification.  Whether you’re facing addiction or illness we are here for you.  Our infrared sauna is the most efficient and most gentle tool for aiding the bodies release.  Addiction expert and therapist James Hart counsels people on making change.  Our Natural Living Store carries all the tools you need and as a Naturopathic Doctor, I have worked in both in-patient and out-patient detox programs and supported people on the journey to optimal health for over 10 years.

For optimal health, join us seasonally for a thorough approach to dietary cleansing and detoxification with professional support.  3-day, 7-day or 3-week options available!  For more information visit www. http://stillwaterhealingarts.com/seasonal-cleanse/.  Programs are based upon your unique needs, body-burdens, vitality and schedule.  Schedule your pre-cleanse consult today!

Read Full Post »

Keeping our bodies strong and able to adapt to the changing tides of viral mutation is ultimately the best we can do to prevent colds and flus in the winter.  Additionally, restoring oneself in the cold, dark season will prepare us for a healthier spring and summer to come.

Simple steps include:
-Maintaining optimal nutrition with a whole foods diet and vitamin supplementation.  Avoid cold and raw foods in the wintertime to maintain the body’s internal warmth.  Ginger tea can be especially helpful to keep digestion strong.
-Get regular exercise.  The best detoxification is warming the body through exercise.
-Rest whenever your body requires it.  Sleep extra hours whenever you’re starting to feel run down.  Indulge in napping to aid restoration.
-Explore home remedies for immune support.  Citrus fruits are high in vitamin C.  Lemon water daily can aid detoxification.  Ending showers with cold water helps preserve and restore energy, etc…
-Work with a Naturopath and/or Chinese Medicine practitioner to support your organ systems to ensure optimal function.

Winter Immune Boost  Stew

Support yourself this winter with warm soups filled with immune boosting herbs and spices.

1 lb. cubed lamb meat
2 cups shitake mushrooms
2 cups barley or quinoa
1 cup chopped scallions
3 cloves chopped garlic
1-2 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger
6 cups filtered water
Salt and pepper to taste.

Brown meat on a skillet.  Saute scallions and garlic.  Add all ingredients
together, boil, then simmer for 90 min.
Enjoy often!

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »