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Sometimes life unravels itself and everything you once knew to be true, changes. Your daily routine, the place you call home or the people you spend time with. Loss takes many forms and when we lose someone or something we love, we have to find a new way of life.

Adapting to Colorado’s flood last year has been a major life transition for so many along the front range. For some it is the biggest trauma of their lives. A sudden traumatic change often requires everything to change. The way we plan out our day, or do things automatically all of a sudden doesn’t work anymore.

Losing a child, partner, friend or parent changes us in our core. Our reflexive nature to tend to a loved one or reach out is altered. The daily routine has a major missing piece, without which we often don’t know what to do. As the needs of life continue to go on, we begin to plug away at the tasks at hand and feel an unsettled-ness continue. The process of grieving takes time, attention and then more time. As we resume life after a major event, there’s no wrong way to feel.

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Anytime you are going through a loss or life transition, support is necessary. Having someone to share the process with or just reflect. As well as supporting ones-self with a positive routine, using tools to help the journey continue to move along. Health is defined as being able to move freely through the entirety of the emotional spectrum, and then return to the peaceful center. There are a million ways to help do that.

Coming soon in your local area, Finding Home, a women’s self-care retreat is being offered to support those in need. Founded by Boulder practitioner Carolyn Flyer to give women the tools they need to more authentically move through grief and loss. And restoring women’s internal voice that supports their ability to nourish and say yes to themselves.

Beyond the acute care of grief, this program is designed to support the long-term assimilation of life’s changes. With the combination of Naturopathic care, emotional healing techniques and wisdom from Chinese medicine, Carolyn and I are working together to create a wonderful healing retreat.

This retreat will offer tools to restore the inner voice that guides us toward meeting our own needs. We will explore the emotions that accompany loss, not the story that keeps us from feeling it authentically. The program incorporates acupuncture, herbal medicine, nutrition, qigong, meditation & intuitive readings. All of this and more will make up your weekend with myself and my co-facilitator, Carolyn.

In 2001 Carolyn began working with ‘There With Care,’ a Boulder based support program for children and families facing critical illnesses. She continued to expand her work in grief support and is now a facilitator for the “Grief Support Network” in Boulder. The group allows people to bring their grief to a supportive environment in Boulder. They also bring phenomenal speakers to the Adi Shakti Kundalini Yoga Center on Sundays from 3-5pm.

Our upcoming retreat is August 22-24 in beautiful Fraser, Colorado. For information on registration, please call 303-928-9134 or email CarolynFlyer@hotmail.com. Financial support packages available to support any woman who feels in need of this program.

Dr. Sara Hart is the owner of Stillwater Healing Arts in Lyons, Colorado next door to the Dentist and Lyons Fitness. At Stillwater, we offer holistic family healthcare for all ages and stages of health. We incorporate tools from many traditions to find the best balance to support people in their optimal health as well as for treating disease. Visit us online at www.stillwaterhealingarts.com, call us at 303-823-9355 or email stillwaterclinic@gmail.com.

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This article was published in the Lyons Recorder newspaper in response to the massive floods that destroyed the town in the fall of 2013…

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First there was the flood, then there were the decisions every person made to survive.  For most people, these were very different decisions than those made weeks and even days prior.  Instead of, “What should we have for dinner tonight,” it became “What is going to go bad the quickest that we need to eat first,” or “Where will I get my next meal?”

With the community bonding together, spirits were high, perhaps even manic.  The initial trauma of a natural disaster or other tragedy sends neurotransmitters and stress hormones sky-rocketing.  The experience becomes almost euphoric and provides the much needed additional resources (mentally, emotionally and physically) to sustain.

One by one the utilities went out, everyone was asked to leave.  Everyone experienced hardship of one kind or another; abruptly relocating to new homes, learning a new way to live and creating new routines.  The crisis continued to require everyone to rise to an unanticipated challenge and endure.

Then, the holidays came.  The season of joy, full of traditions deeply engrained and expectations to fulfill.  While some residents had returned to their homes, others were far from it and the switch to now celebrating holidays required a whole new energy burst to come through.  For some this was a relief, reconnecting with loved one’s and returning to faith.  However, the inevitable indulgences built into the holiday traditions flood the body with stimulating substances more likely to cause irritation than restoration.

For many residents of Lyons and the surrounding community, life has now settled into a new normal.  The stress is still elevated but it’s become routine and the expectation to tend to it all continues.  Despite the river’s worth of work to be done to restore this community, there is only so much anyone can do and eventually, something’s got to give.

Routine self-care is essential to maintaining health and longevity.  During times of life’s ease, simply sleeping 7-8 hours each night and maintaining a healthy diet and exercise routine can be adequat.  However, when faced with 5 months or more of unfathomable challenges, the body, mind and spirit are going to need a lot more care in order to maintain.

The normal, healthy balance of life is integrally related to the cortisol or circadian rhythm of the body.  In the morning, cortisol levels peak as we rise naturally to meet our day’s activity.  This cortisol peak works intimately with all the other neurotransmitters of the brain supporting the ability to think, learn, remember and feel good!  The normal cortisol rhythm naturally drops through the day, elevates slightly after our midday meal and descends gently into the evening.

Cortisol also shares a very close relationship with our reproductive hormones and thyroid gland influencing all aspects of metabolism.  When we experience stress, the body adjusts by elevating cortisol in order to respond.  However, this is meant to be a brief change, not something that continues long term.  With stress, eventually cortisol levels drop, unable to rise to meet the challenge of the day and overall metabolism begins to fail.

Symptoms of chronic stress include:

  • Weight Gain
  • Insomnia (difficulty falling asleep or maintaining sleep)
  • Poor digestion & nutrient assimilation
  • Memory loss
  • Decreased immune function – more frequent colds or increasing allergies
  • Fatigue
  • Increased inflammation
  • Anxiety & Depression
  • Slower reflex time, poor balance and clumsiness
  • Irrational behavior
  • Progression of chronic disease

Managing stress is one of the biggest challenges to health in our modern lives.  As a very intellectually oriented society, the needs of the body are easy to overlook.  We compensate with any of the readily available stimulants and press on through our days.  Eventually this inevitably catches up with us.

We’re not going to be able to avoid the stress in our lives, especially in Lyons.  But, we can counteract the challenges with stress-relieving tools.  Learning to care for our energy resevoir through lifestyle changes when we are under stress is key.  Using direct acting nervous system support is invaluable.

At Stillwater Healing Arts Clinic we have a wide array of tools both to assess and care for long lasting health.  Taking from traditions around the world, we utilize the best that medicine has to offer in conjunction with standard medical care.  We are now offering a unique opportunity for routine, affordable healthcare with our greatly reduced rates bundled in our Membership Program.  Please visit www.stillwaterhealingarts.com to learn more today!

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The tides are changing, and so can your healthcare coverage!  The new legislation is creating ripples of changes across the country.  Some of these are improvements and others not so much.  However, the system is in flux and you as the consumer now have more of a voice than ever in asking for what you want from your insurance provider.

Listen to this interview on how you can have Naturopathic Doctors provide you with the most comprehensive, first line care for your health.  Before health issues become a crisis they can effectively be managed with natural medicine.  This elevates your baseline state of health and steers you away from chronic disease.  When health is in crisis, using tools from all systems of medicine can provide a gentler road to recovery.

https://soundcloud.com/pagatim/health-currents-radio-will

Naturopathic Doctors are the most thoroughly trained professionals in integrative medicine.  At the foundation of our education, we emphasize the individual’s need for life’s balance.  Considering the patients unique blend of genetics, dietary needs, life stressors and desires to create treatment programs to support the whole person.

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For more information, visit the following links:

American Association of Naturopathic Physicians:  http://www.naturopathic.org/

American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine:  http://www.aaaomonline.org/

Find local help with the new insurance changes:  https://localhelp.healthcare.gov/

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This season, the transition for kids returning to school after a playful and sometimes exhausting summer begins.  To spare yourself and your little ones the stress and upheaval of a new routine, prepare their bodies for the transition.

Early Mornings

The transition to living a life on schedule is a dramatic shift in some households where kids have been able to sleep in to their hearts content.  Sleep deprivation can cause significant challenges in mood and behavior.  Even missing 30 minutes of sleep per night can cause a young student to operate at a whole grade level below what they’re authentically capable of!

Crank back the clock gradually by re-setting the bedtime routine.  Setting the bedtime back 15 minutes each night is enough to shift the system without causing the confusion and insomnia of trying to get to bed too early.

Sleep support for the routine’s transition:

–       Chamomile tea is a safe and yummy sleep aid for all ages.

–       Passionflower solid extract is useful to help calm hyperactivity.

–       Valerian tincture is useful for adults to get to sleep earlier, but is not recommended for children due to its affect on neurotransmitters.

–       Warm baths with Epsom salts and lavender flowers is a luxurious way for anyone to relax, ideal for the whole family!

High-Paced Activity

Keeping up with the intellectual demands of the school year can be an abrupt transition from summer’s freedom.  Mental overload is a true obstacle that can be very intense for some kids.

Nutritional support to help the brain thrive:

–       Blood sugar balance – breakfast feasts are an important way to give your kids the tools their brains and bodies will need to perform their best.  Approximately 30% protein, 30% vegetables and 30% complex carbohydrates (whole grains) is the formula for optimal blood sugar.  This is especially important during phases of significant growth.

–       Omega 3 fatty acids – supplementing the brain with omega 3’s in the form of liquid or chewable fish oils gives kids a neurological boost for extra synaptic activity.

–       Fresh fruit or protein snacks are key to keeping the energy going.  Crackers, sweets, breads, cookies, pretzels and other carbohydrate full packaged foods will encourage a blood sugar rush and predictable crash that won’t be appreciated by the teachers.

Afternoon Ease

Just when they’re completely wired or totally zapped, kids return home from their active day at school to deal with all the aspects of family life.  Chores, homework, connecting with family and the myriad of activities they’re involved with can push stress over the top.  Assist the afternoon ease by facilitating a stress free after-school time and help their bodies learn stress management early.

Tools for after-school ease :

–       Afternoon napping – Surveys of individuals who routinely nap in the afternoons demonstrate greater productivity and brain function.  30 minutes of quiet reading or just lying still sharing stories of the day’s activity can help make this down time appreciated.

–       Attention – while focus is a challenge for many kids at school, attention it is something everyone benefits from when received from others.  Make the transition out of school activity a special time for parent-child connection.

–       Tea time – the tradition of afternoon tea is especially helpful for the transition from one hectic thing to the next.  Licorice root is a very sweet, delicious herb that helps balance stress.  Combined with lemonbalm or another nervine herb greatly balances the mood.

–       Nature – spending time in nature greatly reduces stress hormones in the body.  Plan some after-school nature exploration, hikes or just a picnic out back.

Immune Assault

Back to school means back to the plethora of immune exposures that for some can be year-long sniffles and sneezes.  While it is beneficial for the immune system to be challenged, the way we deal with it makes the difference between a beneficial experience for the body or a harmful one.

Boost the immune system naturally-

–       Herbal allies – boost immune activity with elderberries and astragalus while feeling well and Echinacea when an illness tries to creep in.

–       Hydrotherapy – supporting fevers naturally is the best way for the body to improve overall health.  The fever process encourages dramatic detoxification, improves gene transcription and eliminates an illness.  Stopping a low-grade fever can create confusion in the body and leave a pathogen to settle into the body. 

–       Homeopathy – safe and effective, homeopathic medicines allow for quick symptomatic support to the challenges of colds and flus. 

For more information on tools for natural medicine and optimizing your child and family’s health, visit us at Stillwater Healing Arts in Lyons today!  Now registering for our upcoming season’s classes on tools for everyday wellness.  Our 6 week THRIVE! series teaches individuals how to use herbs, homeopathy, hydrotherapy, nutrition, mindfulness and more for everyday ailments and health.  Visit us online at http://www.stillwaterhealingarts.com.

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Preventative medicine is the key to affordable healthcare.  The more we can work to keep ourselves well, the greater contributors we our to our community.  Many states in the US have taken the steps to license Naturopathic Doctors in order to establish their place in the medical world.  Most primary care Doctors are licensed as an MD which means they have completed medical education within the conventional medical, or allopathic approach to health.  This system is ideal for handling emergencies and extreme health imbalances, yet it often has little to offer in keeping people well.  A common recommendation to “watch and wait” with a sub-clinical disease process leaves little hope for improvement.

Naturopathic Doctors are trained in the western medical system equivalent to the MD education.  However, the emphasis shifts in the 3rd and 4th years of training to incorporate herbal medicine, nutrition, homeopathy, spinal manipulation, physiotherapy and more.  The ideal healthcare system incorporates all systems of healthcare to take the best of each and apply them in an effective manner.  For a comparative review of the education of leading Naturopathic and Conventional medical schools in the US, see the attached document here:  Nat-Med-Ed-Comp-Curricula.

Licensing Naturopathic doctors benefits communities in a variety of ways.  It makes more physicians available in an era where there is a nationwide shortage of primary care doctors.  It allows the option for the first point of contact for patients to be with Doctors who emphasize what people can do for themselves to improve their health.  Naturopathic Doctors spend more time with patients traditionally, allowing for more personal attention and an opportunity to explore the mind-body relationship.  Naturopathic Doctors are experts in herb-drug and food-drug interactions providing a close watch to notice when dosages may need to be altered to support the changes in the individuals body.  This expertise is critical in a time where patients glean a great deal of their health information from online sources and natural food store clerks.  People often end up taking a wide variety of substances without any oversight of how things may be working together in their body.

As a healthcare practitioner, my experience spans over 20 years in a variety of roles.  Initially working in home health and institutional care as a Nurse Aid, I observed the end stage of care for a wide variety of chronic health conditions treated exclusively with allopathic therapies.  From there, I witnessed thousands of patients diagnosed with chronic diseases improve as a medical student intern in Integrative Medicine clinics.  As a medical researcher with the Helfgott Research Institute in Portland, I got to know the process of determining what works in healthcare from the evidenced based model.  While the research in natural therapies is generally smaller studies due to financial constraint, there is plenty of data to support its use, once as we begin to look.

Licensed as a Naturopathic primary care Physician in Portland, Oregon I was able to provide both natural and pharmaceutical tools for illness, covered by health insurance.  Some patients prefer to avoid pharmaceuticals altogether or have responded negatively in the past to drug therapies.  Still, there are a wide variety of options to choose from when treating illness with natural medicine.  Other patients present with a health condition that will improve more quickly with pharmaceuticals but whose underlying health can be supported with natural medicine to prevent long term damage.  Many individuals experience a state of health that is not clinically ill, but not 100% well either.  This is where natural medicine can make dramatic change in a person’s life.  Using tools from all systems together gives us the greatest potential to improve health and have lasting change.

Please support the effort to license Naturopathic Doctors in Colorado, and throughout the US in order to provide options for people in their healthcare services.  For specific details please follow the instructions below.

Thank you for your time in supporting natural medicine and working toward affordable options in healthcare.

Sincerely,

Dr. Hart

Colorado Association of Naturopathic Doctors
It’s time to write again!

ACT TODAY – – – IT MAY BE TOO LATE TOMORROW!
HB 1111 will be heard in the Senate Judiciary committee sometime this next week. If we are successful, we “may” be assigned to the Finance committee, but will for sure go before the Appropriations committee… then on to the Senate floor and passage by May 8th, the last day of the 2013 legislative session.
Opponents of this bill have been vocal and unrestrained in spreading false claims about what this bill does.  The legislators want to hear from you… again!  Please take a moment to write the committee members.PLEASE SEND YOUR E-MAIL TODAY TO ALL OF THE COLORADO SENATORS LISTED BELOW.  WE ENCOURAGE YOU TO CUSTOMIZE YOUR MESSAGE.   THANK YOU!

1. SUGGESTED TALKING POINTS:

Please support Colorado House Bill 13-1111 concerning “Regulation of Naturopathic Doctors.”

False and misleading claims are being circulated from those fraudulently using the title, Naturopathic Doctor, in order to practice medicine in Colorado.  HB 1111 will protect the consumer by allowing them to check credentials and file complaints against anyone using the title, Naturopathic Doctor or ND.This legislation will protect the health and well being of Coloradans to conveniently and easily:

Determine who is qualified to be called a Naturopathic Doctor and who has completed a four-year graduate level clinical doctorate degree from an accredited naturopathic medical program, has passed a national exam, and has met other qualifications for regulation;

Check credentials and backgrounds of those who are Registered as Naturopathic Doctors;

Lodge complaints against a Naturopathic Doctor should harm or wrongdoing be suspected;

Be confident that when someone is called a “doctor,” that he or she has the training to provide the safe and effective care inherent in the title;

Be assured that their Naturopathic Doctor will communicate and collaborate fully with other health care providers as a member of the health care continuum; and

Be assured that the Naturopathic Doctor they choose has completed annual mandatory continued competency and carries adequate malpractice insurance.

DORA has reviewed this profession numerous times since 1993 and has recommended that Naturopathic Doctors be regulated in 1998, 2005,and in 2008 which is the last time that Colorado law allowed Naturopathic Doctors to undergo the Sunrise process.

The time is now to pass this bill.  Please vote YES on HB 1111!

2. SIGN YOUR NAME AND ADDRESS

# # #

3. Copy and paste into Bcc field:

lucia.guzman.senate@state.co.us; jessie.ulibarri.senate@state.co.us; steve.king.senate@state.co.us; kevin@kevinlundberg.com; irene.aguilar.senate@state.co.us

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Follow Your Heart

In celebration of the lovely month of February, we not only have the opportunity to express our love to those in our lives, view the beautiful creations depicting love in coffee shops, galleries and living rooms all around, but also emphasize the evaluation and support of heart health in the healthcare world.hearthands

More than just a pump, the heart is the electromagnetic center of the body, existing with the rhythm that drives our every moment and interaction.  Stop for a moment, feel alongside the neck below the jaw line or feel the thumb side of the wrist for the familiar beat of your pulse.  Take a minute to feel the rhythm within you and appreciate the good fortune that one beat continues to follow the next.

Influenced greatly by feelings, the heart acts as a regulator of the emotions and physical body.  Step into the room where you’re long lost ____ (insert here: lover, best-friend, sibling, pet, etc…) just happens to be sitting and you’re sure everyone is going to stare at you with astonishment of the loud bursting in your chest.  Participate in a deeply calming and relaxing experience and the rhythm becomes almost imperceptible.  Check out the latest horror flick in the theaters or just on the evening news and you may miss a phrase or two as the pounding in ears drowns out the details.

The heart is one of our most metabolically dense tissues of the body.  It requires constant energy production in order to perform its daily task of contracting and relaxing more than 100,000 times per day without stopping or tiring!  The heart must constantly adjust its force and pace in order to meet the ever-changing needs of the body in its environment.

Keys to heart health:

Live your passion – keep dreaming and pursuing the desires that speak to you as vital, worthwhile ventures in your life.  Connecting your daily life purpose with your passion is an important part of optimal health.

Express your emotions – explore the spectrum of emotion, to not be stuck in any one pattern but instead to freely move through all the various feelings life offers.  Learning to appropriately express anger, sadness, worry, fear and hatred allows us the opportunity to better know growth, inspiration, contentment, hope and joy.

Get what you need – learning to recognize what you truly need can be a lifelong process.  Finding the courage to ask for it is the next challenge!

Make your peace – set aside regular time in your life for any variety of practices that cultivate peace in your heart.  Find teachers to inspire you and help guide you through the onion-like layers of life’s challenges.

Magnesium – fuel your daily rhythm with adequate nutrients but especially magnesium.  This nutrient assists the proper muscle function of the heart and blood vessels.  Playing a crucial role in muscle relaxation, it is essential for the whole body.

Coenzyme Q10 – this nutrient is helpful for preventing the progression of heart disease by providing adequate energy to the cells of the heart.  Many pharmaceuticals create a deficiency in this nutrient.

Hawthorne berry – antioxidant rich, this herb can be used as a tea, tincture, capsule or a solid extract.  This herb has countless studies recognizing its benefit for cardiovascular health.  Safe for long-term use and delicious too.

Eat healthy fats – the health of the blood and blood vessels is influenced by the quality of fats that we ingest.  Most Americans can benefit from increasing the levels of Omega 3 fatty acids in their diets by eating more wild fish and less red meat, especially those animals raised on feed lots.  Some seeds are very high in omega 3 such as flax but others are extremely low like sunflower seeds.  Get familiar with your balance of healthy oils in your diet.

Live a non-toxic life – anything absorbed through the skin, lungs or digestive system can have a negative effect on heart health.  Choose non-toxic products for your food, cosmetics and environment.

According to Chinese medicine, the heart acts as the emperor of the kingdom of our bodies.  It does it’s best when every chore and task is tended to by the other components (organs) of the kingdom.  Then, the emperor is allowed to sit peacefully in its throne receiving the adoration of a proud and vital kingdom with no worries in the world.  The more peaceful we are within, the greater our outlook, happiness and contagious bliss that we share with our world.

Enjoy, live the life of your dreams and let nothing stop you from pursuing your joy!  ~ Dr. Hart

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As I began my exploration in healthy eating, it seemed as if the list of foods I shouldn’t eat grew longer and longer…  Nobody likes deprivation, especially in this era where we have access to so much deliciousness.  The sense that we shouldn’t have something or that our bodies can’t handle certain foods does nothing but deteriorate our vitality.

Shifting this perspective is crucial to healthy eating and developing a true sense of nourishment.  Everyone has foods they don’t like, that are truly disgusting for one reason or another.  Instead of thinking that we can’t have something because it’s bad for us, train your brain to recognize how disgusting that food really is.  For example:

Wheaty, gluten rich dough = paper mache!  YUK!

Melty stringy cheese = excretion from a cow’s sweat gland.  NASTY!

Try it, you might like it.  And meanwhile, please join us for upcoming events for us to PROVE IT TO YOU that healthy eating can be delicious!

June 24th 11am-4pm :  Open House (a free event)

  • Tasty RAW food, Vegan snacks and Superfoods
  • Foot spa use (cool for a hot day!)
  • Information on all our upcoming programs.

July 1st 2pm-11pm :  Food Is Medicine Supper Club

  • 2-5pm Movement to activate vitality
  • 6:30pm Raw food Farm-to Table feast
  • 8pm Music to inspire the soul
  • Sliding scale $10-30. per person
  • All ages welcome

Be well ~ Dr. Hart

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