Prevention

Coconut Oil for Beauty and Health

 

You might call coconut oil the best beauty oil for inside or outside the body. As a skin oil, coconut oil can be used at any age. Coconut oil is an excellent moisturizer for moisturizing dry skin, or removing make-up and cleansing the face. For infants, coconut oil can be used for moisturizing or diaper rash.

Mix coconut oil with Epsom salts and use as an exfoliating treatment that won’t dry out the skin and may even be beneficial for acne, without drying out blemish-prone skin like harsher acne cleansers.

Added to shakes and smoothies, coconut oil may contribute to weight loss and has even been shown to decrease belly fat and improved blood cholesterol levels, as reported in The Journal of Clinical Nutrition.  Despite the increase in calories participants in the study lowered their body mass and increased metabolism. That means that the rate of calorie usage by the body was improved, making weight loss easier, and increasing energy.

Subject to flus, viral infections or cold sores? Coconut oil is 50% Lauric acid, which converts to Monolaurin in the body, which has powerful anti-viral effects. These days our immune systems need all the help they can get, so coconut oil could be part of your defense system. Children could benefit both from the immune enhancement and from the brain/nervous system support. Ulcers caused by H-pylori bacteria and candida infections have also been helped by the properties of coconut oil. http://www.livestrong.com/article/476661-coconut-oil-the-immune-system/

If you are concerned about Candida over-growth or have gut/intestinal issues, coconut oil contains caprylic acid, which is anti-inflammatory, discourages unhealthy bacteria and fosters the growth of healthy gut flora. We can’t live without the good bugs that line our intestines, so keeping them happy and strong is the best kind of prevention.  http://www.thealternativedaily.com/alerts/coconutoilsecret/click-thyroidspecial.php

You can check your own candida levels by spitting in a tall glass of water first thing in the morning, before brushing your teeth. Allow a few hours and see if the glass begins to look like a science experiment, with long strings and odd lumps forming. That means you need digestive help to restore normal gut function. If the water remains clear, that is a good sign of gut health.

Healthy fats like coconut oil are also vital for helping vitamins and minerals get absorbed. Some vitamins are fat loving, and they need fat to help them pass through the intestinal walls into the blood to be carried to the cells. Fats are a component of cell membranes and form a lipid layer that protects the cells. Fats may protect against neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Natural, unaltered, fats allow the transmission of nerve impulses. Processed fats like corn, canola, soybean oil, and margarine can interfere with nerve transmission. http://www.thenaturalvet.net/Fats-and-Their-Relationship-to-Cell-Membrane-Function_ep_61.html

Adding a good fat like coconut oil to your diet can make you feel more satisfied, so may actually help with appetite and over-eating.

What makes coconut oil so unique? Fats are arranged in chains of fatty acids. Coconut oil is composed of medium-chain fatty-acids (MCFA’s). In the 90’s it was discovered that medium-chain fatty acids helped control seizures in children and now elite athletes have discovered their benefits for endurance.

The beauty of MCFA’s is that they are burned easily for energy and cannot be converted into fat cells in the body. MCFA’s appear to improve mental clarity and provide energy for the heart muscle, so may be protective.

So, if coconut oil sounds like a good thing to you, try incorporating it into your diet for a month and see if you notice a difference.  All you have to lose is belly fat, excess appetite and dry skin or acne.  

One of the best ways to include coconut oil is to add it to a morning protein shake. If you would like a sample of the Standard Process Nutritional Shake, ask us and we will include healthy recipes. Ask us about our flavored Stevia that can turn your shake into a yummy snack or dessert as part of a detox, weight loss, or blood sugar balancing program.

 

 

Matters of the Heart

 

The human heart is magnificent in many ways. It is no wonder that the heart has always been associated with human emotion.

Panic and fear often manifests as a wildly beating heart. Grief and sadness feels like a burden on the chest. Joy feels like the heart is soaring. Excitement causes the heart to beat faster. Seeing a loved one can feel like the heart is fluttering or experiencing a leap. We sometimes feel that we store special knowledge in our hearts.

Physically, your heart works very hard. It pumps approximately 2000 gallons (7571 liters) of blood every day.  That’s about 1 Million barrels of blood during the average lifetime. To achieve this, the heart beats more than 100,000 times a day.

The heart is really an electrical pump and can continue to beat when separated from the body, if there is a supply of oxygen. The thump-thump sound of the heartbeat is caused by the four valves of the four chambers closing.

The heart has the job of pumping blood to all 75 trillion cells of the body. Only the corneas of the eyes do not receive blood. A woman’s heart beats faster than a man’s, typically. (Is that any surprise?)

Blood travels in a matter of seconds; six seconds to the lungs and back, eight seconds to the brain and back, and sixteen seconds to the toes and back. http://www.mercola.com/infographics/human-heart-facts.htm

Studies show there is a correlation between education and lowered risk of heart disease. Happiness and emotional vitality also correlate to lowered risk.

The Blue Whale has the largest heart, weighing in at 1,500 pounds. The invention of the stethoscope was invented in 1816 by Rene Laennec, a young French doctor who was embarrassed to put his ear to the chest of a female patient to listen to her heart.  http://health.clevelandclinic.org/2015/07/21-amazing-facts-about-your-heart-infographic/

Because the heart is a muscle, as well as an electrical instrument, it needs to be nurtured with certain nutrients. There are specific B vitamins that are not commonly available in standard B complex that nourish the muscle of the heart. The electrical conductivity is also supported by whole food B vitamins, as well as nerve- supporting nutrients.

So, when I treat heart issues, I look for very different things than your cardiologist, because I am looking for healthy function, rather than disease. Hearts respond beautifully to the correct nutrients, even after the heart has been damaged or functions poorly.

Sometimes sleep difficulties are a sign that the heart needs nutrition, particularly if you feel your heart beating when you lie down at night.

Of course, you should seek immediate medical attention if you suspect a heart attack, because quick intervention saves lives. What it does mean is that you can have the health of your heart evaluated early to prevent heart disease from developing. The heart function is also dependent on the strength of the adrenals, so healthy adrenals are vital. This explains why stress is a risk factor for heart disease.

In addition to wholefood B vitamins, the heart loves magnesium and the herb Hawthorn. Important factors also include balanced blood sugar and normal weight, with waist smaller than hips, to keep the heart strong and healthy.

My heart leaps for joy when I can help someone have a healthy heart. You probably know in your heart if your lifestyle is the best for the health of your heart. Yes, broken-down hearts can be mended, but why let it get to that point? If you have any symptoms that concern you, or hinder your life, come in for a heart check and let natural medicine help your heart last a lifetime. Cross my heart.

 

 

Can Overwork Ruin Your Health?

 

There is no question that Americans work longer hours, and have less vacation time, than their European counterparts. This makes us industrious and ambitious, right?

Maybe, but there is a downside, also. Just as with athletic and sports performance, the body needs to be able to recover from anything it does. If working long hours means getting too little sleep, and the stress becomes chronic, overwork may contribute to long-term health problems.

These days you can take work with you everywhere you go, and it takes some discipline to shut down. The blue lights from our electronic devices can interrupt sleep patterns, even when we shut them off for the night. The electro-magnetic influences created by all our electronics may be more taxing than we realize. Some studies indicate that the cell phones and computers are having a disturbing effect on cellular function. The electromagnetic field they emit passes through almost anything, including walls, and interferes with the normal waveform patterns of the body. We don’t know all the effects of this, and may not for many years. No one is regulating these energy fields. The best thing you can do is protect yourself, or balance any damage. Interference at a cellular level has serious potential. http://www.consumerhealth.org/articles/display.cfm?ID=19990303201129

If work is keeping you up at night, due to stress or putting in long hours, your health is at risk. No matter what many people claim, only a very small percentage can sustain themselves on less than seven hours of sleep. Studies show that sleep deprivation shows up in poor performance on tasks, and slower reaction time when driving. 

Long working hours, with insufficient recovery time may increase your risk of heart disease and Type II Diabetes. According to a Finnish study of people from 14 countries, people who worked longer than a 48-hour week were more likely to abuse alcohol.

People also tend to over-eat, particularly high calorie carbs, when tired and stressed. The body is asking for some relief, and the fastest and handiest is the junk food so readily available.

When both parents are in stressful jobs, family life may suffer, as may the quality of life for our children. Families must use daycare, there is no one preparing nutritious meals, and less time is spent together, possibly disrupting the moral and character development of our children, putting  more stress on families.

It has been said that 80% of the U.S. population has stressed adrenals, and the other 20% are in denial. One of the most important things you can do to help your body weather stress is to support your adrenal glands. They have everything to do with immune health, heart health, sleep, blood sugar balance, weight, muscle strength, and libido.

We now have an adrenal scorecard available. Call or email and we will send it to you and you can evaluate your own adrenal health, or that of a loved one. Then we can help you find the adrenal support that will safeguard your health. Ask for the Stress Assessment when you call. This is a good way to help someone you care about to see how stress may be negatively affecting their life.

Keep track of how you spend your time. Carve out more for walks, family, massages and funny movies. Don’t watch the nightly news, and cut back on caffeine. There are a dozen small things you can do to help your body recover from the demands you place on it. And we are here to help.

 

What is Your Quality of Life?

Martin Luther King, Jr. said, "The quality, not the longevity, of one’s life is what is important."

Quality of Life. Noun: the general well-being of a person or society, defined in terms of health and happiness, rather than wealth. 

You may agree that the state of health can determine happiness. If you feel unwell or have pain, it is hard to feel happy. You may feel grateful for loved ones and circumstances in life, but being ill, or having uncomfortable or unwanted symptoms, can severely curtail the very activities that bring happiness.

Our current medical system is not geared towards health or happiness. When drugs alone are used to manage symptoms, there may be some temporary relief. But the side-effects alone can wear down the body and produce weakness in the organs and immune system that lead to further distress or foster disease. 

As a Naturopath my job (and my great passion) is to help determine which factors are the barriers to the body's innate ability to heal. And it is such a joy to witness those healing powers on a daily basis. 

Recently one of my long-term patients experienced a true medical miracle. Diagnosed with a blood/lymph cancer a couple of years ago, this brave lady set out on a journey to heal. She changed her diet, studies alternative treatments, and traveled to Europe twice to seek knowledgeable health professionals. All the while she also came to me for supplements and natural medicine to boost her immune response and supply the building blocks for healthy cells.

Many of you watched the "The Truth About Cancer", the series of videos that presented alternative treatments and survivors' stories from around the world. Based on what I learned from that program, I suggested adding Frankincense Essential Oil to my patient's regimen. She put it on her tongue and massaged it into the tumor, which was visible as a large lump on one side of her throat. Two weeks later, on her next visit, I asked how she was doing and she requested that I look at her throat, as I had done twice monthly for the past couple of years.

This time, there was nothing to see. The tumor had completely disappeared. Instead, I saw pink, healthy, and normal-looking tissue in the place of the tumor. I might not have believed that something could change so rapidly if I had not seen it with my own eyes.

Would the Frankincense Essential Oil have triggered the miracle on its own? We will never know. Perhaps it was just the final burst of support that the body needed for the immune system to slay the dragon. Certainly the patient needed to make the dietary changes she made, and she used many other intelligent and researched treatments-all of them alternative and all designed to support correct cell formation and restore the balance of health. 

And now that her health is restored, she is happier and busier than she has been in a long time. Her quality of life is greatly enhanced.

This is the power of natural medicine. We have been led to believe that natural medicine is not enough, that we need the chemicals and invasive treatments provided by Big Business Medicine. And sometimes we do and I am grateful for those treatments when they are correctly provided.

But there is a great deal of power in plant medicine, in nutrition, and in the loving support of our family, friends and dedicated practitioners. My first professor in Holistic Nutrition told us that our job was to help people find their own medical miracles. What I really prefer is helping you ensure that you never need one. 

Like Martin Luther King, Jr., I have a dream. I dream of a day when holistic medicine and conventional medicine are prescribed according to the needs of the person, without regard to bottom line of corporations. I dream of a day when yearly check-ups involve testing to see what is needed for prevention of disease and improvement in quality of life, and not to test whether you have a disease and are ready to take your turn on the medical Merry-go-round. I dream of a day when all kids have access to fresh, healthy, organic, non-GMO foods every day, at a price that is affordable for families. 

I hope you share my dream because we can make this happen. Meanwhile, let us know how we can help improve the quality of your life, as well the lives of your family and friends. What part of your health is preventing you from pursuing your own path to happiness?

 

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