Posts Tagged ‘Holistic health’

It’s 2016, and unless you live in Oregon, Washington or Vermont, your insurance based healthcare is NOT going to keep you well.

As much as I cringe at the analogy of our bodies being like cars, people inevitably think of themselves that way all the time.  The squeeky wheel gets ignored until it’s a screaming or debilitating pain.

We pay for car insurance and know it’s going to be there when we crash (after paying our deductible).  But, we don’t expect car insurance to wash our windows, vacuum the interior, change the tires, the oil, the belts or even cover our annual tune-ups to see how things might be deteriorating within.

Health insurance is not much different in most states.  It will help out with emergency room visits, and sometimes cover basic screenings for life-threatening illnesses (PAPs, prostate exams and mammograms for cancer, bone density screenings for osteoporosis, etc…)  And it usually covers an annual exam to check for hypertension, monitor growth and BMI and provide medications that treat the symptoms.

Unfortunately, our current medical model misses out on how to keep people healthy.  While pharmaceutical medications are necessary in many circumstances, supporting health naturally so we don’t need them or improving health while we’re on them so we only need them short-term is ideal.  It’s no fault of modern Doctors, its the larger systems emphasis on drugs and surgery as the only medicinal tools.

Most of the current drug safety information is based on short-term controlled trials and the harm of utilizing medications is always acknowledged in their litany of side effects.  As research continues, we learn of previously unknown harmful effects from long-term or combined medication use. 

Fortunately, humans have been living a very long time and we have an immense history of health and vitality to learn from traditions around the world.  Chinese medicine, Ayurveda, Native American medicine, Rudolf Steiner and Anthroposophical medicine, Western herbalism and the European Eclectic physicians are among my favorites.

With Naturopathic medicine, we are able to address the foundation of imbalances and improve our health over time from a truly integrated perspective.   It’s the journey of a lifetime, not a one stop shop!  With ancient systems, we learn what our bodies need, where are weaknesses are and how to improve ourselves day by day.  With modern science we get detailed information on changes and stats of organ function.  Naturopathic medicine is the most comprehensive medical training in holistic medical assessment from both perspectives.  For details on educational curriculum, check this comparison out:  Nat-Med-Ed-Comp-Curricula

At Stillwater, we want to support the community in their long-term health.  Trained as holistic primary care provider, naturopathic doctors work to not only address the current symptoms and diagnosis (working in conjunction with your other physicians, medications and insurance system) but to be your guide and ally in your health journey toward optimal vitality. We believe in making the best use of tools from all systems of healthcare and healing.  It’s 2016, shouldn’t we have it all?

At Stillwater Clinic, we have created a Membership program to provide people with an affordable addition to their routine healthcare costs.  Plans range from $35. per month to $300. depending upon the intensity of need for change.  These rates are significantly reduced from the fee’s of other medical specialists in our effort to make healthcare affordable and accessible to all.

Whether you’re passionate about maintaining the health you’ve got, you recognize your health is lacking by a sense of something’s not right or you have a serious diagnosis contact us to find out which package is right for you.


Stillwater Healing Arts 2016 membership plans include:

BASIC CARE – $35./month or $420./year ($580. value)

  • Annual integrative medicine health evaluation & treatment plan
  • 3 acute care appointments 
  • 6 spa visits (foot spa & sauna)

This package is intended for individuals who have good health, who wish to keep it that way with annual evaluations of what’s going on under the surface and some tune-ups along the way. For pediatric patients, spa visits can be utilized by parents!

INTERMEDIATE CARE – $65./month or $780./year ($1060. value)

  • Seasonal integrative medicine health evaluation & treatment plan
  • 3 acute care appointments
  • 6 spa visits (foot spa & sauna)

This package is intended for individuals who have mild symptoms and want to support the annual rhythm of their health with 4 quarterly Naturopathic and Chinese medicine evaluations and treatment plans. Ideal for individuals with low-grade or controlled health issues such as; allergies, headaches, intermittent digestive challenges, PMS, controlled autoimmune disease, cancer relapse prevention, and others.

TREATMENT FOCUSED PLAN – $140./month or $1680./year ($2360. value)

  • Annual integrative medicine health evaluation & treatment plan
  • Twice monthly treatment sessions (Acupuncture, Bodywork or Hydrotherapy)
  • Monthly spa visits with the foot spa and private sauna use.

This package is suited for individuals who may be in optimal health but utilize their bodies intensively and want to keep things tip-top, such as; athletes, performers, dancers, yoga instructors, builders, farmers and those who know the personal value of routine care. It also serves patients who have chronic health challenges that know what they need. For example, ADD/ADHD treatment, emotional health with 5-element acupuncture or chronic pain. This is also the package recommended for macular degeneration treatment.

COMPREHENSIVE HEALTHCARE PLAN – $175./month = $2100./year ($3060. value)

  • Monthly comprehensive integrative medicine appointments
  • Monthly spa visits – foot spa and private sauna use
  • 6 Additional acute illness or injury appointments

This package is suited towards individuals with uncontrolled health challenges who are in need of comprehensive evaluation and treatment. This commitment will be necessary for successful treatment of conditions such as; menopausal transition, adrenal fatigue, infertility, digestive disorders, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, obesity, heart disease, diabetes. This package serves as the foundation for natural cancer treatment support, chronic infectious disease treatment and chronic degenerative conditions such as Parkinsons, MS, auto-immune disease and dementia. However, more support may be necessary depending upon diagnosis and evaluation.

INTENSIVE TRANSFORMATION – $300./month = $3600./year ($5520. value)

  • Monthly comprehensive integrative medicine visit
  • Weekly treatment sessions (Acupuncture, Bodywork or Hydrotherapy)
  • Twice monthly spa visits – foot spa and private sauna use

This package is designed to help individuals who are ready to make dramatic changes to their health. Ideal for those with undiagnosed medical conditions, at a place of significant life change, extreme symptomology, chronic pain or addiction. This program serves as the foundation of our holistic mental health & addiction program as well as our weight loss program.

All Programs Include:

  • 20% discount on additional appointments.
  • Email and phone support with our holistic Doctor.
  • Annual Membership – automatic payment required with 12 month contract.
  • We can customize any plan to meet your needs, budget, family and employee packages.
  • Member discounts for special events, classes and other programs as well.

Schedule today and we’ll get the right package created for you!

Questions?  Feedback?  Curiosity?  I’d love to hear from you!

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  1. Our Inner Ecosystem – IBS, SIBO, Parasites & Allies
  2. Feeding Ourselves Right
  3. Absorption – Getting the Most of Our Nourishment
  4. Core Strength In & Out

Gnawing, aching, distended, pleasantly full or completely quiet, our digestive system is always working on something and can provide us with constant feedback on the state of our foundation of health.  Increasing awareness of our core health will assist our connection to knowing what makes us challenged and what makes us thrive!

Our inner world is as complex and diverse as our outer world.  When it comes to our microbial world, we have more micro-organisms in our bodies than our own human cells!  For anyone who has examined micro-biology or the world even smaller still of nanobiology, we can see that there are countless organisms that facilitate nearly every aspect of our biological activity.  We have lots of critters to thank for our ability to exist at all.

While microflora cover every surface of the body, there are high numbers of them in the digestive system and this is where they assist or harm our health the most.  Bacteria in the mouth starts the journey into the body.  Imbalances here are known to relate to cardiovascular disease.  The esophagus has bacteria and yeast all throughout the mucosa and assists or impairs the transit down into the stomach.  In the stomach, high levels of hydrochloric acid make this an inhospitable environment for critters.  Yet, many people suffer from H. pylori infection and other stomach imbalances that result from inadequate acid in the body.

The small intestine should have very small populations of bacteria as it normally “cleans” itself out every day with dramatic peristaltic movements.  Problems here are often due to small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), which impairs our nutrient absorption.  The large intestine is the domain where organisms of all shapes and sizes thrive.  They assist the final breakdown of our foods, manufacture our vitamins and when living in a symbiotic balance will protect us from disease.  Imbalances here result in gas and bloating as well as the condition known as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) that can severely impair a person’s health.

Although not directly connected, the uterus and bladder are subject to the same microflora of the digestive tract.  Overgrowth in these departments can result in infection, pain, discharge and frequent urination.  When treating disorders in the urinary tract and reproductive organs, we must also look to the flora of the intestines to assure we’ve addressed the root of the issue.

The balance of the microbial world is a key to optimal health.  Classical Chinese medicine utilizes the dynamics of the natural world to help understand the relationships within our bodies.  For example, an area of the forest that has accumulated excess moisture without consistent circulation or movement will rapidly become a swamp.  This climate is an ideal area for billions of microbes and other organisms to flourish.  The increase in organisms can be considered nature’s way of bringing in movement as the organisms can make use of the moisture for their growth, continuing to transform the environment and maintain life.  And in opposition, a region that is sun-baked, with minimal plant life or moisture will be a place that is not conducive to a broad array of beings and will only support few, well adapted creatures.

Many traditional systems of medicine consider the same micro-climates existing in the human body.  Chinese medicine, ayurvedic medicine, biological medicine, the old European eclectic physicians and the system of homeopathy all take into consideration what the internal “terrain” or ecosystem of the body looks like to understand how to help shift a person’s state of health.

While many organisms can exist with humans and serve us well, there are certainly others that only do us harm.  So why is it that some individuals are susceptible to disease from organisms and others are not?  The key here resides in the very notion of the internal ecosystem.   We have 12 dominant organs in our bodies that each play their role in maintaining our health and each of these must be operating up to par in order for the balance to exist.

A thorough analysis of our inner environment is an important part of understanding the core of any digestive imbalances.  When we exist in a state of balance with our inner flora, the outer world feels better too.  Nourish your body with proper nutrition, get the most from your food by supporting optimal absorption and keep the core strong to support your optimal health.

Stay tuned for more information on digestive health with my articles every other week!  For personal support through your health challenges whether acute or long-term, please contact me at Stillwater Healing Arts Clinic.

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You are not your diagnosis, you are an individual with unique needs and interests. While a disease may categorize a process happening within the body, there are many other processes to consider that may not fit into the typical disease pattern at all.

When an individual receives a cancer diagnosis, in most cases the process has been many years in the making. Cancer’s rarely form overnight unlike diseases resulting from trauma. The process of developing cancer may be different for everyone. For some the genetic factors have determined its existence. Others have had exposures to a variety of carcinogens that cause it to form. For other’s still lifestyle choices have everything to do with it. While it is shocking to the consciousness of the individual, the physiology within the body has been adapting to this for a very long time.

Curing cancer is more than tumor removal. Eliminating the mass from the body through the variety of cancer fighting treatments available prolongs and saves lives. However, the underlying factors that developed the cancer to begin with are not going to be addressed or changed by surgery, chemotherapy or radiation. These are more subtle factors of physiology that require a personal and holistic approach to understand.

Treatment for cancer has taken on a very different look from systems around the world. New technology aimed at supporting the immune system to recognize the cancer is popular in clinics in Germany. In a Switzerland hospital the recognition of the microbial aspect of cancer care is addressed. In Mexico, warming the body through a variety of means is utilized to simulate a fever and encourage immune correction of the cancers environment. Supporting the immune system, mircroflora and endocrine system has the potential to transform physiology permanently.

Just as with the immediate treatment, long-term treatment variation is also great. Examining what people take in on a daily basis is crucial. We all have foods that our mouths may love but our body’s despise. Chemicals in processed foods, cleaning products, furnishings and automobiles can all affect us differently. Recognizing authentically what our bodies thrive with and what impedes it can be a challenge to get beyond our mental associations to what should be good for us. Then making the lifestyle changes to a healthier routine brings us to confront the internal obstacles of our psyche.

In every case of cancer treatment, the Chinese Medicine foundation is to support the spleen. The spleen is an organ given little importance in western medicine and can be removed with minimal impact. From a Chinese Medicine perspective, the spleen is responsible for the assimilation of what we take into our bodies to form our selves. It relates to the mind-body dynamic as the self-care routine and ability to nurture one self as well as others. The spleen is easily harmed by over-thinking and daily life stress accounting for what we know in western medicine as the dynamic of stress on cancer formation.

Enhancing the importance of self-care is often the jewel that cancer patients express discovering from the journey. It is all too easy to neglect one’s needs with all the other tasks on the to-do list. The ability to prioritize oneself can be a revelation that has taken a crisis to learn. Creating a daily life routine that supports the balance of personal needs and everything else is an important aspect to truly thriving.

Whether you have experienced cancer treatment yourself or have a strong family history of cancer formation, examining the unique causative factors for cancer development is an important part of prevention. Careful examination of cancer patients may result in a different explanation for every cancer patient’s needs and ultimately the cause of the disease.

For more information on holistic cancer care, contact Dr. Sara Hart, ND, MSOM, LAc at Stillwater Clinic in Lyons. We offer a Cancer Treatment Support Retreat to offer holistic healthcare tools to individuals on the journey of cancer care. The upcoming retreat weekend is June 30th through July 1st. Visit http://www.stillwaterhealingarts.com or call 303-823-WELL (9355) for details and registration.

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Becoming Our Best:

Do you ever feel like that ideal sense of self got lost somewhere in the flurry of life?  After investing our time and energy in creating the life we thought we wanted, there is the all too common realization that we feel more out of balance than ever.  Often it is illness that reminds us we’re off track.  A diagnosis of chronic disease comes like a fire alarm, illuminating the needs we’ve neglected or didn’t notice at all.  Otherwise, it is that subtle notion that things could be better somehow.

Regardless of how we’ve arrived, there is a way to reconnect to the best in ourselves.  While it may not be accomplished in a weekend or our set vacation time, re-arranging our lives to support a greater sense of self is worth whatever exchange it may require.

Step #1. Prioritize

Life is filled with challenges and there is always something that could seem more important to do than taking care of our selves.  Not prioritizing self-care is the first way we sabotage ourselves.  This may be because of low self-worth, poor modeling as well as our cultural emphasis on productivity.  Pushing beyond this to make our needs the highest priority is the first and most important step.  Set aside time on the schedule every day, multiple times each day.  A moment here, 10 minutes there, 60 minutes two days per week, all adds up to a tremendous amount of energy to create a new way of being.  Spend six weeks with a new habit and you’ve established a new “normal” to your routine.

Step #2. Discover Your Needs

This may be the most difficult task.  Identifying our authentic emotional and physical needs can be very confusing because we adapt to fit into the world around us.  Emotional needs can be examined through a process of self-inquiry, meditation, prayer and counseling work.  Journaling is a fantastic process to begin with asking ourselves the questions of what we truly need to thrive, as well as to reflect back on what strategies we might have tried in the past.  Growth rarely happens along a straight line so as we learn and re-learn, keeping our own notes about the journey can help us identify when we’re slipping into patterns of self-sabotage.

Physical needs can be equally confusing.  For example, we crave certain foods but that doesn’t mean they are necessarily beneficial for us.  Generally, the foods we desire the most are the one’s that are least beneficial.  When we examine what foods we feel strongly about, they are very likely the foods that are triggering our immune system, resulting in an inflammatory response that causes the brain to experience a mild sense of euphoria.  Removing these foods from the diet is a good start to listening to the quieter voice of what our bodies truly require to feel vital.

Every body has basic needs; Proper nourishment in a calm environment, at least half our body weight in fluid ounces of clean water each day, adequate sleep starting before 10pm, daily exercise equal to the calories we take in.  In addition, some bodies need amino acid isolates for genetic weaknesses to be improved.  Others need neurotransmitter support to function normally.  These details can greatly support our experience of fulfillment in life.

Why we don’t allow ourselves these necessities is the interface for where our emotional needs and physical needs meet.  Why do we deprive ourselves?  Why do we get in our own way?  The first excuse is usually that we don’t have enough time.  Supporting health does not have to be complicated.  In fact, it can be far more simple than the life we currently know.  Identifying and getting our needs met is the most basic and imperative aspect to feeling whole.

Step #3.  Invest in the Journey

The more energy and attention we commit toward the pursuit of anything, the more it shows up in our lives.  A recent parent notices everywhere they look there are people around town with their infants, strollers, car seats, etc…  Not that people weren’t having babies before, it just wasn’t the focus until the energy and attention was put in that direction.  Taking on a new dietary focus and suddenly every headline or book cover that catches the eye supports that philosophy.  We are a trendy culture, but this goes beyond that.  We truly see what we want to see as well as what we expect.

Likewise, the more we invest in the fear of human imperfection, aggression, violence and failure the more we see that wherever we look.  While there is benefit in awareness, investing ourselves in the direction of growth we desire requires considering this on all levels.  It may require educating ourselves in a new paradigm, going to retreats or opening ourselves up to a whole new approach on living.

Step #4.  Go Gently in the Direction of Your Dreams

Establishing a goal allows us the possibility of imagining ourselves in a new circumstance.  This in and of itself can be a powerful gesture of change.  Our cells are continuously reproducing.  Our entire liver has died and recreated itself every 24 hours.  Our taste buds are a whole new set every 7 days.  Yet we don’t experience every flavor as if for the first time each week.  Our memory and self-image keeps the sameness in our lives.  Utilizing a conscious practice of shifting our self-image toward a more satisfied, whole and vital sense of self may allow for greater ease in our lives.

However, if we hold too high a standard for our own compliance, we are likely to fail and fall into another trap of self-sabotage.  Guilt and shame are powerful forces that affect our motivation and destroy our self-esteem.  Set a realistic expectation and allow for spontaneity in life as you find it fulfilling.

Step #5.  Recruit Supporters

Banish the nay-sayers and surround yourself with those who support your pursuit.  This may include establishing new social circles, setting new boundaries with family members and friends.  We have an amazing resource available to us today with the internet connecting us to others in a way never before possible.  Working together as a group enhances our own biochemistry, elevating serotonin creating a sense of well being and increased motivation.  Not only is group involvement inspiring, it also provides a sense of accountability to a process that otherwise is easy to slip out of.


Pursuing a life of fulfillment and our best selves is what we all want and is something that may be much harder than we’d expect.  With this framework we can begin and support the continuous pursuit of wholeness.  At Stillwater Healing Arts clinic, we offer a wide array of resources to support the whole being.  Visit us online at www.stillwaterhealingarts.com to add to your holistic healthcare team.  Join us in May for a free 6 week Creative Writing group to explore the inner dialogue and work towards our best selves.

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You wake up, feel the initial surge of energy through your body only to soon realize that you’ve still got all the obstacles to face in your day today as you had yesterday.  Feeling stuck, trapped, daunted and depressed you’d rather just pull the covers back up over your head.

However, life needs us to show up, 100% and take care of whatever tasks are at hand.  Not to mention the responsibilities of careers, household needs, family obligations and hopefully leaving some space for fun and adventuring.  But when we’re stuck in a pattern, whether it be emotional or physical and usually both, everything feels impossible.

5-element acupuncture has an amazing ability to help unclog our drains, unravel our patterns and offer insight to propel our personal growth.  Whether we’re in the midst of a major life transition and can’t clearly see where we’re going, or struggling with chronic disease, the 5-element system gives us the nudges we need to keep moving forward.

This system follows the natural cycle of how energies support one another in nature and in human beings.  When our energy is stuck/blocked or we are otherwised traumatized either by routine stress or a momentary experience, we may no longer be functioning along the course that generates more energy.  How this feels internally is complex picture of fatigue, frustration, confusion, depression, anxiety or many other combinations of feelings.  In any case, we are not able to move forward and are limited to continuing to repeat our struggles.

As a physician, I have witnessed more miracles with 5-element acupuncture than with any other form of medicinal system that I know of including pharmaceuticals, nutrition, supplements, homeopathy, bodywork or chiropractic work.  All of which are also amazing in their own ways.  For more information on the 5-element system, visit http://www.wildernessacupuncture.com/5-elements, the site of my mentor and friend, David Ford, LAc.

Allow me to support your growth with 5-element acupuncture.  Now in northern Colorado in Boulder, and soon in Lyons, Colorado!

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