Acupuncture for Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue

By Evelyn Cho, RMT, R.Ac

What is it?

Fibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by widespread body pain, accompanied with other symptoms like fatigue, insomnia, inability to concentrate and emotional distress.  In addition, there is often a co-existing disorder such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus. Women are far more likely to be affected than men, and symptoms usually onset between ages 20-50.

From a medical perspective…

Current research isn’t clear about the cause of fibromyalgia. There have been noted correlations of its onset after infections, physical trauma and psychological stress or abuse. Genetics also seem to play a role. There is currently no cure. Treatments include medications and lifestyle recommendations to minimize discomfort and improve general health. The most common drugs prescribed are pain relievers, anti-depressants, and anti-seizure medication.

From a Chinese medicine perspective…

Chinese medicine identifies 8 distinct types of fibromyalgia. A complicated case can involve more than 1 type simultaneously, or have different symptoms come and go.  Once the type is determined through diagnosis, a specific strategy is employed to combat the symptoms and root cause. With proper maintenance and lifestyle changes, health is within reach.

[…]

Eating for a Healthy Brain

By Dr. Angelina Riopel

North Americans are living longer than previous generations, but as lifespan increases, the risk of chronic disease does as well.

Chronic inflammation is known to have a negative impact on ourhealth by accelerating the aging process and degeneration of various organs including the brain.  Healthy food choices, following an anti-inflammatory diet, like The Mediterranean Diet and maintaining balanced blood sugar levels, can help reduce inflammation, improve brain function and slowcognitive decline.  Research presented at the Alzheimer’s International conference in 2017 found that healthy older adults that followed Mediterranean Diet or a modified version, called the MIND diet reduced their risk of dementia by a third.

“Foods that keep blood pressure normal, provide us with antioxidants, and maintain healthy bacteria in our gut, or microbiome, will serve to help keep chronic inflammation in check in the brain and entire body,” ~ Rudolph Tanzi.

There are number of important difference between the Standard American Diet (aka. SAD diet) and The Mediterranean Diet.  Below is a brief comparison of the two diets:

[…]

Chocolatey Chia Immune Smoothie

By Dr. Kathleen Regan, ND

Looking for a change from your fruity, summer smoothie? This chocolatey, chia blend can be eaten warm or cold and combines the perfect winter ingredients. The combined antioxidants, protein, vitamin A, vitamin D & probiotic will help to boost your immune system this winter. It also contains a balance of carbohydrates, fat, protein and fiber that make for a balanced meal replacement.

Ingredients: Makes 1 Serving

1 1/2 Cup Vanilla Cashew Milk
½ Banana
1 Tbsp Cashew Butter or Almond Butter
½ Cup Plain Greek Yogurt
1 Tbsp Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 Tbsp Chia Seeds
1 Dropper DMulsion Vitamin D by Seroyal (1000IU)
1 Tsp Astragalus Powder by Harmonic Arts
¼ Tsp HMF Probiotic Powder by Seroyal

[…]

How to Get Enough Calcium

By: Andy De Santis, RD and Dr. Kathleen Regan, ND

Andy De Santis is a Registered Dietician practicing at Innate Wellness High Park. He focuses on creating diet plans for patients of Innate Wellness. If you are interested in having a customized nutrition program created for you, please call the High Park Clinic. 

Calcium is one of the most abundant minerals found in the human body. Most calcium is stored either in our bones or our teeth, leaving a small amount found in other tissues or circulating through our blood. The way our bodies use and absorb calcium depends on the presence of specific nutrients, such as Vitamin D, and specific hormones, such as parathyroid hormone and calcitonin. Calcium levels are also influenced by specific female hormones such as estrogen (which increases calcium absorption).

Declining levels of estrogen as women age, through menopause, after hysterectomy, or via estrogen reducing drugs such as Tamoxifen (post-breast cancer treatment) can dramatically affect calcium levels. Individuals who don’t consume dairy can also be at risk for calcium deficiency but they can obtain more than enough calcium from their diet if they know other calcium rich foods! What is most important to know is that supplementing with high levels of calcium can be unhealthy and even dangerous for the body. So if you are low in calcium or suffer from low bone density – you need a balance of diet and supplementation to achieve your daily intake.

[…]

Bach Flower Essences for Children

By Dr. Angelina Riopel, ND

Bach Flower Essences are gentle yet very effective remedies to help support the stages of development and emotional difficulties with children. Flower Essences are prescribed based on the child’s state of mind, which may include their worries, fears and mood. They work on an emotional level, helping to balance these emotional states, which can help support their mood, behavior as well as physical symptoms.

“…the mood of the little one is the most sensitive guide to show what that particular patient needs” – Dr. Edward Bach

Children do not conceal their emotions and their behavior typically reflects their feelings, so determining which Flower Essence is needed can be quite simple. Physical symptoms such as illness or an injury can bring about a change in mood or disposition, and this mood is how we would determine which remedy is right for them at that time.

Flower Essences can be given as individually or in combination.   I love them and use them often in my practice. I make remedies in specific combinations based on the current emotional state, situation and constitution of the individual.

Flower Essences can be used in many different circumstances and are very helpful as support for new events like starting school, difficulties with others or fears. Here is a simple guide for using Flower Essences that is specific to Children.

[…]

Innate Wellness Favourite Summer Skin Picks

We are now full swing into summer! With hotter summer days comes the need for summer-focused skin protection. To keep your skin fresh and glowing try these Innate Wellness Favourite Summer Skin Picks!

Honey Marshmallow Lip Masque by Artifact Skin Co. – This delicious, and incredibly effective, sugar scrub will leave your lips feeling baby soft!

Eucalyptus Mint […]

Should I take a calcium supplement for my bones?

Dr. Angelina Riopel, ND

“Should I take a calcium supplement for my bones?” 

This is a very common question asked. It has long been believed that a calcium supplementation is necessary to keep bones strong and prevent degenerative bone diseases such as osteoporosis.

Truth: Studies have found that calcium supplementation has NOT been found to prevent nor correct bone loss or reduce bone fracture rates. Not only has calcium supplementation not been found helpful to bone health, it has been found harmful and related to an increase in coronary artery disease. A study published in the British Medical Journal in 2012 found a 139% percent greater risk of heart attack in those who took calcium supplements over the 11 year period in which the study was conducted, while calcium intake through food did not increase the risk.

The problem being that supplemental calcium, taken as a tablet or in a multivitamin or in calcium enriched packaged foods, is often a large dose but the body is only able to absorb a small amount of the calcium blast and the rest must be eliminated through the kidneys. Often the body isn’t able to fully eliminate it and over time calcium builds up and gets stored, not in the bones, but in the tissues and arteries or can lead to calcium stones in the kidneys.

Solution: Calcium is best absorbed in whole food form, not supplementation. […]

Naturopathic Travel Essentials

By Dr. Angelina Riopel, ND

When travelling, the last thing you want to do is spend your vacation recovering from sleep deprivation, an injury or illness. With foreign destinations where first aid, herbs and drug accessibility may be limited, it’s wise to take along some first-aid basics, including band-aids, tweezers, Polysporin, hydrogen peroxide, anti-histamines, etc. Beyond the basics there are a number of naturopathic remedies I find indispensable when travelling.

The following are three common health concerns that many people will encounter while travelling and naturopathic remedies that are helpful in both prevention and treatment. […]

Achieve Your New Years Resolutions with Acupuncture

By Laura Shin, Registered Acupuncturist

It’s a long-standing tradition to make resolutions at the dawn of the new year. For many, the urge for change comes with the desire to see a better version of themselves, and that means a focus on healthier living. Year after year, the top resolutions are lose weight, exercise, and eat better. But those goals are easily derailed by cravings and a lack of willpower or energy. One or two cheats have people saying, “next year” before falling back into old habits.

[…]

Interview: Meal Planning & Weight Loss with Liane Wansbrough, CNP

Making lifestyle changes doesn’t happen over night. It takes thought and planning. When it comes to making dietary changes, having a nutritionist by your side can make a big difference! So you are cutting out gluten? What will you eat instead? How will you overcome food cravings? We sat down with Innate Food Expert & […]