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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.

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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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Manifesting life’s desires often requires a gigantic amount of desire, a near foolishness of courage as well as the attunement to an inner compass that allows one to trust that they are on the right path.

As this year cycles into autumn, I have followed my heart east to return to living in Colorado after more than a decade of living in Portland, Oregon.  While my life has been vibrantly filled with opportunity in Portland, creative inspiration on every block and an amazing community I have greatly missed the rocky mountains and don’t feel at home without them!  With gratitude to my husband and daughters for the willingness to change, I am now planting the seeds for a fantastic new life.

It is with great excitement that I bring to Northern Colorado the skills and expertise that I have developed over the years.  Functional medicine analysis for your routine bloodwork can help identify imbalances before becoming overt disease.  Dietary and supplemental support can dramatically change the course of events resolving symptoms and improving overall health.  I also offer bodywork as a combination of many different traditions of massage to resolve pain and structural issues.  Homeopathy and herbal medicine are both indispensable tools for simple first aid as well as chronic health issues that work to improve health rather than mask symptoms.  I look forward to aiding your journey in health and working towards the transformation that can make your world a much better place.

For all your healthcare needs, please come to see me at the Mandala Integrative Medicine Clinic in Boulder, Colorado or contact me directly for home visits.  Call (303) 351-1152 to schedule or for any questions!

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Start your year off creating a personalized path to Optimal Living!

This class will include:

  • Movement inspired from yoga, qigong and dance
  • Information and plans for healthy nutrition
  • Simple home remedies for wellness throughout the year
  • Intention setting, creating daily self-care routines

January 1st and 2nd, 2011
Class time is 1-4 pm
Cost:  $30 per day or $50 for the weekend.
Kaleidescope Spa ~ 233 East Park Street Mancos, CO 81328  (click here for map)

For Q’s and registration, please email sararynhart@yahoo.com or call 503-422-3032.

25% discount if you register before 12/1 and for members of Kaleidoscope Wellness.  Also available as a holiday gift certificate for someone you love!

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Integrative treatment models in health care offer a great deal of synergy by treating the whole person, both in the immediate and long term.  Regarding cancer treatment, there are many tools that can come together in countless ways to help the journey to healing.

Modern cancer treatment includes a wide array of drug therapies that work toward destruction of the cancer cells.  Despite relative success, this treatment strategy offers nothing in support of the patients organ systems that allowed for a cancer to grow in the first place.  Incorporating hydrotherapy into cancer treatment may well provide the much needed support for a multitude of reasons.

Hydrotherapy is a treatment modality used around the world to varying degrees.  From the morning shower, to a steam room followed by a roll in the snow, it is something we are all familiar with.  The therapeutic application is something far greater than most consider.  Using water with varying temperatures causes effects throughout the body.  Targeting specific organs of the body and shifting the temperature creates a cascade of effects that can improve health overall by supporting circulation and detoxification.

Hyperthermia is a modality that is gaining popularity in the treatment of cancer patients for its ability to aid in tumor reduction and increase patient tolerance to chemotherapy and radiation.  Some physicians are finding that they are able to use much lower doses of drug therapies when used in combination with hyperthermia.  Hyperthermia works through heating the body in a variety of ways for a set period of time, stimulating a fever response.  The understanding for its effectiveness is through the simple physiology of increasing circulation and oxygenation of the tissues.  As with any fever the immune system is activated, particularly the heat shock proteins, which help facilitate cellular function and destruction.  The effect on cancer cells is the stimulation of their elimination.

Research in immunology has identified multiple triggers for increasing heat shock protein transcription and activation.  These compounds are found throughout the plant and animal kingdoms and have been studied extensively in agriculture.  In addition to heat; cold, light and other stressors also activate HSPs.  It has been suggested that the traditional hydrotherapy technique of alternating hot and cold applications to the body may activate HSPs better than heat alone.

The initial theory behind hydrotherapy relates to the traditional understanding that stagnation encourages disease processes.  Like a stagnant pond will support vastly different life than a flowing stream, stasis in the body changes the environment as well.  Cellular activities all require adequate oxygenation to maintain their healthy balance.  Areas of poor circulation are more likely to store metabolic wastes and environmental toxins that the body encounters constantly in the modern world.

Hydrotherapy treatments have known effects of increasing circulation to stagnant tissues.  This in itself may be curative to many disease processes.  Laboratory analysis of sessions contrasting hot and cold to the skin surface has shown increased production of white blood cells’s and reduced cortisol after a treatment.  Suspected benefits include activation of heat shock proteins.  Together, the effects have great potential in supporting health.

For in-home use of hydrotherapy for all ages and stages of health, enhance your daily shower by ending with cold.  After you have finished bathing, gradually turn the heat down until you can feel the invigoration of the cool water without being uncomfortable.  From your toes to your heart, the circulation will shift from the body surface to the core.  If you’re dealing with complex health issues, hydrotherapy treatments offer a non-invasive therapeutic tool to incorporate safely and simply into your life.

If you’re interested in more information, research articles or scheduling an appointment, please contact Dr. Hart at dr.sarahart@gmail.com.

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