Social Distancing: How to Stay Grounded While at Home

Social distancing

By Dr. Jennifer Krieger

Hey Spring Family, Dr. Krieger here!  I wanted to check-in with everyone during this hectic time.  I thought it would be helpful for everyone to think about ways to stay centered and grounded during the COVID-19 pandemic while we are all practicing social distancing.

Routine

Social distancing means working and schooling from home. This can really mess with our day-to-day schedules. First things first, stick to a routine, stay on schedule and have a plan for the day.  Go to bed and rise when you normally would and get plenty of sleep. Eat healthy and nutritious meals as you normally would.  Stay hydrated – are you getting in your minimum of 8 cups of water per day?

Start the Day with Movement

Consider starting your day off with a brief yoga flow to energize your mornings.  A patient of mine shared this one with me and I LOVE it. It helps to get your body stretched, centered and ready for the day.  Check it out – https://vimeo.com/147923992

Social Distancing and Meditation

Now is a great time to start a meditative practice.  Aim for 5-10 minutes per day to start, longer if you want.  I have a horribly, terrible time shutting off my brain so guided meditations are totally my jam.  I use the free app called Insight Timer – I encourage you to check it out too! You can easily search for topics that are meaningful for you and listen in to the thousands of guided meditations they have listed.  They even have ones that are not guided too, if that is more your speed.

Gratitude

Practice gratitude.  Writing down three new things that you are thankful for each day for 30 days has been shown to rewire the framework of negative thought processes into positive.  They can be simple, such as: I am thankful for my health. I am thankful for my family. I am thankful for my friends.

Free-Write

You can also practice free-write journaling.  Write down whatever comes to your mind for 10 minutes per day.  This helps to get ideas out of your head and onto paper. If you want, you can burn what you write in a ceremony of letting go or rip up the paper and then recycle it.

Breathe

Deep breathing exercises – I really enjoy the “4×4 Square Breathing” technique.  I talk about it a lot with my patients who are particularly anxious as this specific breathing method can take you out of “flight v. fight mode.”  The method: Use your core/belly muscles to breathe. Breathe in for 4 seconds through your nose. HOLD your breath/inhale for 4 seconds. Breathe out for 4 seconds through your mouth.  HOLD your exhale for seconds. Repeat as often as possible until you feel calm. I often recommend doing this for at least 4 minutes 4 times per day to stick with the theme of 4’s.

Connect with Nature

Earthing!  Let’s not forget about our connection to Mother Earth.  I will often prescribe time outdoors to reset – 15 minutes walking around, sitting on the porch, or even laying in the grass (if it’s not too damp).  You can even get these nifty earthing mats to use indoors – https://www.earthing.com/collections/all-1/products/universal-mat-kit

Joy

Do what brings you joy!  Read a book. Listen to a Podcast.  Watch a movie. Have a dance party. Play music.  Try out a new recipe. Make art. Laugh lots.

Pause

Take breaks.  Rest. Relax. Take naps.   If you’re home with your kiddos, find a time for everyone to have some alone time for a few minutes per day to reset and recharge.  It’s also OK to turn off the news for a while, unplug and distract yourself with something that you enjoy.

Create

Make a vision board.  What future dreams and goals do you have or want for yourself?  How do you see your next year going? What is in your future regarding: health, finances, love, career?  Vision boards are also a great craft project to do with the kids and the perfect way to upcycle all of those old magazines you have laying around.  I also really enjoy the various programs through The Universe Talks as a guided way to set self-intentions – https://www.tut.com/ Remember: thoughts become things!

Positivity

Stay positive!  My favorite mantra during this time: Peace instead of Panic.  Faith instead of Fear – feel free to recite it often, or write it down and place it somewhere where you will see it daily.

We are here for you so please reach out if you are in need! 406-586-2626 or click here to send us a message!

Click here FULL PDF Social Distancing Guide

Dr. Jennifer Krieger

 

World Naturopathic Federation: Coronavirus

coronavirus -world naturopathic federation

Click here for the PDF version of this information on the Coronavirus from the World Naturopathic Federation
COVID-19

Coronavirus

 


Coronavirus
Coronavirus

 

To view more articles and information on COVID-19/Coronavirus click here

Healing the Heart: Physical and Emotional Healing

Healing the Heart Spring Integrative Health Dr. Krieger

By Dr. Jennifer Krieger

Healing the Physical Heart

Healing the Heart Hibiscus Tea

Hibiscus Tea for Healing the Heart

Hibiscus tea is my favorite tea to drink.  It tastes tart and zippy and is such a beautiful magenta color, which makes me feel super hip none-the-less while I’m sipping on it.  It steeps superbly well in both hot and cold water, which in turn, makes it lovely to enjoy all year round. BUT did you know that this flavorful, antioxidant packed, herbal tea actually supports a healthy cardiovascular system?  It’s true! By drinking 1-2 cups daily you may lower your blood pressure and support healthy cholesterol levels. If those aren’t enough reasons to make hibiscus tea part of your daily tea routine, I don’t know what is!

Healing the Emotional Heart

Healing the Heart Homeopathics

Homeopathics for Healing the Heart

Homeopathy is one of my most treasured modalities to practice as a naturopathic physician. What I love most about homeopathy is its ability to heal the emotional imbalances commonly seen in my patients, which in turn allows me to focus on treating the whole person.

With Valentine’s Day in February we often focus on the ones starstruck with love.  But let’s not forget about the broken-hearted. Whether dealing with loss, tragic news, carrying the stress of caregiving for a loved one or ailing from disappointed love or a failed relationship – the correctly chosen homeopathic remedy will often take the edge off and help facilitate emotional healing. Homeopathics shine at treating the energy of the heart or shen energy. If you or someone you know is struggling with emotional stress and discontent, consider scheduling a visit with any of the naturopathic doctors at Spring to discuss if homeopathy is right for you.

To contact us through our website please click here!

Or Call 406-586-2626

How to Keep Your Baby Happy and Healthy in the New Year

Keep your baby happy and healthy

Josh’s Top 3 Ways to Keep Your Baby Happy and Healthy in the New Year

Happy New Year folks! With this time of year comes the battle of the various colds, flus, and other viruses for adults and kiddos alike. The following are 3 tips to help keep your baby happy and healthy.

*Note: If your baby is too little to do these tips then that means mom is doing all of these things. It’s these basics that keep us healthy in so many ways.

Josh Tip #1:

Keep your baby’s rhythm consistent with lots of sleep. Slow down and do less .

Josh Tip #2:

Feed your baby good, healthy food and no sugar. Sugar weakens their immune system tremendously.

Josh Tip #3:

Lots of exercise. Outside time while bundled up is the best to help them thrive in many ways

Keep Baby Happy and Healthy

If this doesn’t work please remember babies are built to get sick. Becoming sick can help their immune system get stronger to fight off all of these powerful illnesses. Getting sick gives their body this information it needs to clean out their house and purge out toxins. Sickness also helps their body create more embryonic stem cells that their body will then differentiate into what they really needs to continue to grow and heal. So this is why after being sick your babies and kids will go through a growth spurt. As adults we have our own personal growth spurts. All of this is why I find it so great to work with babies, kids and all people when they are sick. Their body is trying to do the work and I help them heal and regain balance at fuller level. I highly recommend a session during sickness for everyone, especially babies who are just learning how to use their immune system.

 

If you would like to speak with me for a FREE consult please click here, or call our office at 406-586-2626. I would be happy to answer your questions or fill you in on what I do here at Spring Integrative Health.

Josh Overcash

New Year New You

New Year New You detox Spring Integrative Health

By Emily Potter

5 Nutrition tips for kicking off the new year right!

The number one question I get asked by my clients is “what is the BEST thing I can do to detox my body and start fresh for the new year?” After practicing nutrition and dietary counseling with hundreds of clients over the years, I always answer this the same way. Daily gentle detoxification is the best way to go. I’m all about gently upgrading your lifestyle to make these changes and dietary modifications a habit and part of your everyday.

As a holistic practitioner, I love tying in all things mind/body when it comes to detoxification. I have put together a list of my top 5 go-to lifestyle AND dietary upgrades that are simple to implement into your daily life, and are amazing for the body, for increasing energy and yes, for detox.

#1. CCF tea

If you are a client of mine, you have already heard me talk about this! Cumin, Coriander and Fennel tea is an ancient Ayurvedic recipe (over 3000 years old) and is a gentle and amazing liver detoxifier. This recipe tastes and smells a little bit like a ‘taco tea’ but I promise you will like it, and better yet, your body will crave it. This tea is known for igniting your digestive fires, supports a gentle yet effective flushing of toxins and can greatly reduce any digestive discomfort. This is a go-to for me every single morning.

Make it a part of your daily life: My best hack for making this a part of your daily life is to make this tea in your coffee cup, and make yourself DRINK this tea first, and reward yourself with a cup of coffee. I also love making this in a french press and keeping it near me though out the day so I see it and drink it all day!

#2. Oil Pulling

Oil pulling is an age old Ayurveda process, it works on the detoxifying the body and promoting its natural healing process. It is also amazing for cleaning and detoxify teeth and gums. Even better- it can actually whiten teeth naturally and freshen your breath.

Make it a part of your daily life: Upon waking (or stepping into the shower), take 1 Tablespoon of coconut oil (organic and unrefined is best) or organic sesame oil. For 5-20 minutes, swish through your teeth, as if it was mouthwash. Spit (in the garbage) and rinse mouth out with warm water. You can do this daily, or try adding this into your regular weekly morning routine.

#3. Declutter

You know that amazing feeling you get when you go through your closet drawers and pull out all of the old stuff creating space and better energy in your closet! The new year is a perfect time to do this. We of course LOVE all things Marie Kondo and her book ‘The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up,’ but if you haven’t read it, challenge yourself to go int your closet TODAY and pull out 10 things. You will be surprised how good it feels and how it creates space for new! And, you will be surprised how you just ‘feel better’ body/mind when you do something like this on a regular basis.

Make it a part of your daily life: My rule of thumb is if I buy a new article of clothing, I ditch something I currently have. So if I get a new sweater, I donate a sweater. Simple!

#4. Get Green

Greens have a magic way of supporting the body in a safe and effective detoxification process. The darker the greens, the more detoxifying to the liver and kidneys. But sometimes salads don’t sound all that good in the winter. That is why I love suggesting to make a morning Gregg juice. If you have a juicer, that is just fine (but takes a lot longer.) Try this blended green juice recipe. Unlike juicing, blending is much more filling because of the fiber content. I love fiber as it aids in digestion and supports elimination. Fiber also helps to fill you up! Don’t be afraid to mix up your ingredients to this recipe. You can try adding a scoop of protein powder, ground flaxseeds, chia seeds, and more to make them even more nutritious and more like a meal.

NourishMint’s Green Machine Juice Recipe (blended)

1 large green apple
1 cup kale or spinach
1/2 English cucumber
Juice of one lemon or lime, or 1-2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1” piece of ginger
1-2 stocks of celery

Water (cover all ingredients with filtered water)

2-3 Ice cubes

Make it a part of your daily life: Making a green juice every day doesn’t have to be a 30 minute endeavor. If you have your system in place it can be simple! Simple chop all ingredients and place in a bag or Tupperware the night before. In the morning pop into the blender, cover with water and enjoy!

#5. Tongue Scraping

This is a ritual that once you do it, you won’t want to stop! It clears toxins and bacteria from the tongue, eliminates bad breath, promotes oral and digestive health.

Make it a part of your daily life: Purchase a stainless steel tongue scraper. After brushing your teeth, gently scrape tongue 6-7 times until any plaque is removed. Rinse mouth with water or hydrogen peroxide.

If you are craving a total reset, then I suggest my 7 day ‘DIYcleanse.‘ You can read more about that here! Be sure to use the code ‘springfamily’ to save 50 % for the month of January.

Healthy During the Holidays

Healthy during the holidays

By Dr. Jennifer Krieger

HEALTHY DURING THE HOLIDAYS

Hi folks, it’s Dr. Krieger here!  I wanted to give you a few of my personal favorite tips and tricks to help you stay healthy during the holidays.

GET OUTSIDE

Don’t let the crisp, winter weather keep you inside.  As Montanans, we have an appreciation of the great outdoors and the Big Sky.  We all know the benefits of exercise – weight management, elevated mood and cardiovascular health – to name just a few.  Stay active by participating in winter sports such as: cross country skiing, ice skating, hockey, downhill skiing, snowboarding, broomball, snowshoeing and winter hikes and exploring.

Take Quick Trip Somewhere Local

You can also take a day trip to the Lewis and Clark Caverns, a short ride west of Bozeman to Whitehall, and try your hand at spelunking and exploring these natural and awesome limestone caverns.  These family friendly caves are open seasonally, but offer special candlelight tours during the holidays. Call 406.287.3541 for more information and to reserve tickets. I did the candlelight cave tour a few years back and it was so magical – they have the caverns especially decorated for the holiday season!

KEEP YOUR HANDS CLEAN

Hand washing is probably the most simple thing a person can do during the winter months to stay healthy and to protect yourself from catching colds and flus.  Using soap and water is still the best practice, but alcohol-based hand sanitizers can also be used. However, you should avoid hand sanitizers that contain Triclosan. Triclosan is a common added antimicrobial agent in many hand sanitizers. This chemical has been shown in studies to lead to antibiotic resistance as well as to interfere with hormone metabolism and cause harm to the immune system.

Make sure that you properly wash your entire hands – palms, back of hands, nail beds and between and around all fingers for at least 30 seconds. Do this before preparing food and eating and after coughing, sneezing and blowing your nose. Another easy idea to help keep your hands clean is to sneeze into the crook of your elbow and avoid the use of your hands altogether.

MAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF

During the holidays, we are reminded to offer charity to those in need.  It is also equally important to make time for yourself in order to help with stress management during these busy times.  Do something for yourself that makes you happy. Such as getting a massage or a pedicure, enjoying a long bath with bath salts and candles, watching your favorite movie, a weekend getaway to the local hot springs, reading a new book or cooking a special meal for yourself.  You can also take a few moments each morning to remind yourself what you are grateful for in your life. Studies have shown that this promotes overall happiness and wellbeing.

SAUNA/COLD PLUNGE

Another way to stay healthy during the holidays is to alternate between warm and cool temperatures. Indicated for colds, flus, muscle and joint pain, sleep disturbances and weight loss. This technique assists in detoxification and supports overall wellness and immune function.  This service can be compared to a “whole body” contrast hydrotherapy treatment.  It is one of my personal favorites and I feel AMAZING afterwards.

  • Alternate time in a sauna (15 minutes) with taking a dip into a cold plunge pool (about 60℉) for 2-3 minutes as tolerated.

  • Repeat the sauna/cold plunge at least 3 times.

  • Remember to end on cold for best health benefits.

  • You won’t regret taking the time out of your schedule for this. People often report instant improvement in overall health after a single treatment!

Holiday Health Dr. Jennifer Krieger Spring Integrative Health

Why Consider Chinese Herbal Medicine?

Chinese herbal medicine

By Dr. Holly Thompson

Chinese Herbal Medicine might be able to help you if you have multiple symptoms or symptoms that are vague or hard to pinpoint. It may be able to help you if you have exhausted conventional medicine options or need to counteract side effects of medications. It can also be used a preventative medicine or for conditions that defy a Western medical diagnosis because it uses a different way at looking at health and disease. 

Here are some conditions that are commonly well treated with Chinese Herbal Medicine: 

  • Decrease cold/flu symptoms 
  • Increase your energy 
  • Improve your breathing 
  • Improve digestion
  • Improve your sleep
  • Decrease pain
  • Improve menopausal symptoms
  • Help regulate menstrual cycles (if infertility is an issue)
  • Clear up stubborn dermatological problems

Chinese herbal medicine is an important part of traditional Chinese medicine. It has been used for centuries in China, where herbal medicine is considered a primary therapy for many health issues. Like acupuncture, Chinese herbs can address unhealthy body patterns that are the root cause of a variety of symptoms and complaints. The goal is to help you regain balance in your body and to strengthen your body’s resistance to disease. Doing this will help resolve your symptoms.

How is Chinese Herbal Medicine Different?

Most forms of Western herbology and conventional medicine work in a this for that manner. If you have x condition (say a headache for example), take this medicine (aspirin, ibuprofen, or some other pain medication). While this approach can work well to get rid of the headache in the moment, it has not done anything to correct the imbalances in the body that have caused the headache.

This is the main difference between Chinese herbal and conventional medicine. It is rare that a person presents with just one symptom or complaint. More common is a variety of symptoms. If we continue with the headache example, a headache might happen along with digestive upsets, or neck pain, or around the menstrual cycle, or after an accident where the person hit their head. It might happen at a certain time of day, season, or day of the week. It likely happens on the same area of the head every time. (One of my favorite answers to where is your headache? On my head.) 

There is a reason for all of these questions when using Chinese herbal medicine. The constellation of symptoms, history, and other diagnostic tools we use (like feeling the pulse and looking at the tongue), allow us to determine the underlying pattern of disharmony in the way your body is functioning. 

This is a major difference from conventional diagnosis. Instead of honing in on one particular symptom as a standalone problem, we are looking at the body, mind, and spirit as a whole functional person where the various systems must interact and communicate properly for good health. If there is a breakdown in the interaction, symptoms or disease results.

And this is the beauty of Chinese herbal medicine. The nuanced diagnosis allows us to prescribe an herbal formula that has been researched, used, and modified for thousands of years. The formula can be modified as needed to address your individual condition.

What is a Formula is and how it can help you?

Because most of the time patients have several symptoms with their pattern of disharmony, one single herb or ingredient simply cannot do the job. 

To continue with the example of a headache sufferer, this person might be a woman who suffers from PMS symptoms, constipation around her period, neck pain, and a lot of stress. Her symptoms point to a specific pattern and the Chinese herbalist will need to use a combination of herbs to address it. Combining herbs in time tested combinations and formulas enhances their therapeutic effects and also increases the safety of use.

Thousands of years of trial and error, careful observation, and more recently pharmacological research have resulted in a reliable system of combining herbs and confirmed the efficacy and safety of using Chinese herbal formulas.

There are several ways to take Chinese herbs:

The traditional and most potent way to take Chinese herbal formulas is in a decoction, or tea. A decoction is made by cooking the raw herbs in water to pull out the active ingredients, then straining out the herbs and drinking the remaining liquid. This method is the fastest acting. It is also more expensive and some formulas don’t taste great. 

Chinese herbs can also be taken as granules or granules in capsules. These are made by concentrating and freeze drying the decoctions. They are easier and more convenient to take and are less expensive. I tend to prefer using these if possible.

These herbs can also be found in tablet form or as “teapills” (which look a little bit like pellets or BB’s). I do not prefer these forms of herbs because they are not as potent and there can be quality control issues with teapills.

Where can I get Chinese herbs?

While there are a few well known formulas that can be purchased over the counter (mostly cold formulas), the only way to experience the true benefits of Chinese herbal therapy is to consult with a skilled, licensed practitioner.  

If you are suffering from a health issue and wonder if Chinese herbal medicine can help you, please contact me at Spring Integrative Health for a free 15 minute consult. 

 

Modern-Day Mental Health

Mental Health Spring Integrative Health

By Dr. Alisun Bonville

Anxiety, depression, and anger. These mental health “symptoms” run rampant in our modern-day culture. Antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications are some of the most prescribed medications in our country. An article published by the American Association of Naturopathic Medicine reports that “20.9 million American adults suffer from a mood disorder, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.” While many of these medications are life-saving and life-improving, many people are looking for alternatives to medications or ways to make their medications work better.

At Spring Integrative Health we find that combining all of the tools (conventional medicine, pharmaceuticals, natural and holistic interventions) get the BIGGEST results. Here are our top interventions for vibrant mental health:

1. Manage Stress

Stress is the NUMBER ONE contributing factor to anxiety, depression, frustration and anger. Our lives in the United States are full of family, society, and personal pressure to perform at our peak levels at all times. Also, many of us have a history of trauma or dysfunction in our lives. These are huge contributing factors to our total stress levels. Talk to your mental health provider and/or doctor on ways to manage your stress from a physical and emotional level. (We are huge fans of Meditation and Mindfullness here at Spring).

2. Treat the Whole Body

To us that means adding in soothing body therapies like acupuncture, massage, or craniosacral therapies.

3. Reach Out

Isolating when you are feeling blue or anxious can often make the symptoms worse. Having a good team of counselors, doctors, friends and family has been shown to have a positive effect on depression.

4. Check Your Vitamin Status

Often nutrient deficiencies will increase your risk for developing depression and anxiety. Being deficient can also make these feelings worse if you are already experiencing them. A doctor can check for levels of vital nutrients in your body such as folate, B12 or vitamin D.

At Spring Integrative Health we take a multidisciplinary approach to your mental health. We believe health encompasses good physical, mental and emotional health!

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health issues please reach out! 406-586-2626 or Contact us here on our website!

Dr. Alisun Bonville Naturopathic Doctor Bozeman

Top Three Tips to Maintain Healthy Breast Tissue

By Dr. Jennifer Krieger

Hey there, it’s Dr. Krieger here!  I am the integrative cancer provider at Spring. Did you know that October is Breast Cancer Awareness month?  I thought it would be appropriate to discuss a few quick tips to help keep your breast tissue in tip-top shape. Here are my Top Three Tips to Maintain Healthy Breast Tissue:

Healthy Breast Tissue Tip #1: Get regular exercise

Click Image for more on Cancer and Exercise info!
Exercise to prevent cancer

Healthy Breast Tissue Tip #2: Eat cruciferous vegetables

    • Cruciferous vegetables are part of the Brassica plant family.  They include the following vegetables, to name a few: broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, radishes, turnips, watercress, Brussel sprouts, bok choy, arugula, collard greens and rutabaga.
    • Cruciferous vegetables contain phytochemicals (Indole-3-Carbinol, glucosinolates, sulforaphanes) that have been shown in research studies to slow cancer growth and development.  These foods may lower your risk of breast cancer by 40 percent.  So eat up, folks!
    • https://www.aicr.org/foods-that-fight-cancer/broccoli-cruciferous.html

Top Three Tips for Healthy Breast Tissue

Healthy Breast Tissue Tip #3: Stop using antiperspirant deodorant

    • I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you’re supposed to sweat.  Especially underneath our arms. Sweating through the axillary region (armpits) is a great way to help detox the breast tissue as well as keep us cool and regulate our body temperature.  Antiperspirant deodorant contains aluminum and stops and suppresses this action. Therefore when this happens we can’t move toxins out through our skin. If you’re using an antiperspirant deodorant, try only to use this with intense exercise (if needed). Or switch to a completely natural deodorant instead.  We have a couple of great options at the clinic if you’re interested, just ask!
    • If you want to take it a step further, check out this armpit detox protocol: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319624.php

Click the image below for information on Natural Deodorants!
Healthy Breast Tissue

Change of Seasons

Change of Seasons Dr. Mescon

By Dr. McKenzie Mescon

The change of seasons is an opportunity to step back and pay attention to our bodies and our minds.  As the weather fades from warm to cool to cold and the daylight shortens, our daily patterns and habits often adjust.  When the weather changes I try to be mindful of the transitions I make in my day to day life to accommodate the change.

Slowing down

Our summers here in Bozeman are so frantically busy (especially at the end as we try to pack it all in before the snow flies!), and the shift to cooler weather often makes me realize how quickly I’ve been moving through life, and how good it feels to slow down.  I try to go to a yoga class, or sit in the sauna at the gym, or pick up a book after work, rather than hit the trails running. This is a time to rest and calm before the energy of winter hits. 

Change in Appetite

I pay attention to my appetite, and I often crave warm, comfort foods and have to be mindful of incorporating enough veggies into my daily diet.  I try to listen to my body and get into bed earlier, since the sun is setting earlier anyways, and I know I need the recuperative rest after a busy end to summer.  This year, the snow came extra early it seems, and this shocked me into recognizing the transition even more than I normally do. 

Change in Mood

With this change of seasons, many of my patients come in fatigued and over-worked after powering through the end of summer, and we get to work rebuilding their energy stores and mood.  Clinically, I find it especially important to check on Vitamin D levels at this time of year, as so many of us here in Montana are low in this vital nutrient. Our bodies make vitamin D from sun exposure, and it helps to keep our energy up, our immune system at the ready, our mood balanced, and our hormones level.  With the sun now rising later and setting sooner, I like to get ahead of supplementing so we don’t let our levels get too low after a summer spent outside soaking in our mountain sunshine. 

Pause and Check In

When fall hits, the temperatures drop, and my husband heads out hunting every free moment, I know it’s time to pause and check in.  I hope my personal notes on recognizing how the change of seasons affects my body and health habits can help you to identify where and when your body needs attention with this change of seasons.  And I hope you, too, get out to enjoy the changing foliage, cooler temps, and gah, even the snow! 

Click Image to learn more about Dr. Mescon!

Change of seasons Spring

The Beauty of a Supported Birth

Beauty of a Supported Birth Josh Overcash Craniosacral Fascial Therapy

by Josh Overcash

I think we can all agree that one of the most powerful things the female body can do is give birth. A trauma-free birth can be the result and beauty of a supported birth. However, what happens when there are complications during birth or pregnancy? Our medical system is wonderful in emergency C-sections and keeping mother and baby safe, healthy and alive. What do we do after that situation or trauma happens? Birth trauma is happening every day. This is where the beauty of a supported birth comes in. For years I’ve been helping mothers and babies with birth support before, during and after. Over those years, I have realized that being proactive with prenatal care and postnatal care is crucial. Here are a few amazing stories that highlight how important it is to support the mother and child during this time period.

Supporting Mom During Pregnancy with Craniosacral Fascial Therapy

Birth support is amazing during pregnancy. Working with craniosacral fascial therapy the mother is able to prepare the body for birth releasing tension in the pelvis to be able to birth comfortably. This work also helps support baby in the womb.

First-hand experience: One experience of this was working with a mother where the baby only stayed on one side and the uterus. Not only was this creating pelvic/lumbar pain and sciatica, it was also affecting the baby from being able to move around. As I worked with unwinding the fascia tension in the uterus, the baby automatically dropped and started to move around in the area where it hadn’t been before because it was too tight. Which also alleviated the pelvic pain and sciatica! Fascia is what holds everything into place, if it’s tight, the tension can affect other areas. Makes sense to release the tension and let everything be loose to support having a great birth. 

Supported Birth

There have been times during the actual birth process that I have been present to help both mom and baby. Whether it’s at the hospital, home or a birthing place the staff I have worked with have been really open to the support I can provide for the families. I have visited births when the laboring has slowed down mainly from discomfort and pain. I would do the releases that need to happen and before you know it the baby is born!

First-hand experience: One family I came to visit when the birth slowed down because of low back pain. After the lumbar spine and SIJ’s released, the pain was gone and the mama had her baby within a half hour. Once the baby was born, the baby was experiencing some significant stridor (disrupted airflow from an obstruction). The nurse looked to me for help. After unwinding the tension pattern in the baby for just a couple minutes the baby coughed up and was able to dislodge the mucus that was restricting the breathing pattern that everyone was really concerned about. 

Thrive

So the work that I do is to help everyone thrive. Happy baby means happy mom. This means to help them through the challenges after birth. There has been countless babies that I have helped with colic, reflux, favoring sides of head, limb or even eye movement. Helping with nursing complications and so much more. By releasing all of the tension it helps the cerebrospinal fluid to pump further into the brain. Which helps them neurologically. This is huge. This release also helps prevents a ton of ‘common childhood conditions’ such as digestive issues, sleep disorders, speech development, just to name a few. The healing or prevention of some of these issues are just another benefit and beauty of a supported birth.

Traumatic Birth

What should be done if there is a Traumatic Birth? Here are three components I have found for healing and recovery from such an experience:

Key Components for After Birth Trauma

  1. Get the nervous system out of shock and back online into rest and healing mode. That helps the brain focus on the areas that need to be addressed.
  2. Get the physical trauma strain patterns released. Huge!! Releasing the strain pattern of the trauma is the only way the body can then heal the area that needs it. Whether it’s cord wrapped, baby stuck, affected head shape, emergency C-section, fluids in the lungs, emergency surgeries after birth, other physical strain pattern and anything else. I have worked with all of them with great success.
  3. Release the traumatic experience from a cellular level. The neuropeptides are brain matter throughout the body. This regulates function that is influenced by all experiences. The sooner the trauma gets release at this level, the sooner the whole body can heal. This helps basic functioning to return which can happen more optimally and minimizes the adaptation around the trauma. This gets the body fully into its’ natural healing state again.

Treating the Whole You

First-hand Experience: One mother came in to see me after her son was born two years ago. It was apparent the mom was still involved in the trauma of the birth. She was sharing with me how she was always in high alert mode for anything that would happen to her son. It was hard for her to sleep, even if he was sleeping. Any little situation seemed like an emergency for her. When I asked her how the birth was, she fell into tears with how hard the birth had been and she did everything she could and still needed an emergency C-section. Then the separation from her and her baby boy just put her over the top. So as I worked with her we changed the relationship of how she viewed the birth and she became empowered by all that she did in the birth, rather than upset by all that went wrong. This increased the natural bond between she and her son. They both were able to move on with their life with more ease. Sharing this story highlights how important this support and care can be.

Support

Please take a moment and share this with anyone that wants to have a baby, is pregnant, or had a baby and has some ‘common baby/childhood conditions’ and especially with anyone that has had any complications. It’s never too late to start healing and I would love to be a part of your journey so you can truly see the beauty of a supported birth.

Click the Image to learn more about me-Josh Overcash.

Helping Your Child Heal

Click Here to request an appointment-I look forward to helping you in any way I can.

Making ‘back to school’ a Simple Transition

back to school Spring Integrative Health Emily Potter

3 Tips to make ‘back to school’ a Simple Transition

By Emily Potter

It’s that time of year again! The sound of zipping backpacks, a sack lunch thrown together at the last minute and a kiss out the door while scrambling to the bus. Sound familiar to anyone else? Here are my favorite go-to ideas and tips when it comes to creating a calm and enjoyable transition for yourself and the kiddos as they head back to school!

1) Create a fun and relaxing Breakfast Experience

This means waking up a few extra minutes earlier to be prepared for when your kids roll into the kitchen. I love the tradition of lighting a candle for breakfast just as a gentle reminder to sit down (even it its for 3 minutes) and enjoy some family time together.

Be sure your kiddos prioritize eating a healthy breakfast (which means you are modeling the same thing.) My favorite non-cereal quick and easy breakfast ideas are:

  1. Avocado toast. We use ‘On the Rise‘ sourdough bread, or you can use any bread of your choice. We top with hemp seeds or let the kids choose a fun and different topping.
  2. Smoothie. Quick and easy. Click here for lots of smoothie ideas
  3. Oats. Overnight oats are popular as you can make them the night before and it makes for a very easy morning. However, you can also thrown some oats on the stove top for 5 minutes and have a delicious meal. I create a topping bar including collagen, coconut flakes, hemp seeds, nuts, raisins etc so they can decorate their bowls and make them delicious!

2) Lunch Time

Pack the lunch the night before. This takes discipline to get into the habit of doing, however I strongly doing this right along side dinner clean up. The kitchen is already a mess with lots of food out on the counters so it’s simple to add in this step. I find it much easier before bed than trying to scramble something along side my morning cup of coffee.

When it comes to lunches made at home here is my formula for a gluten-free/dairy free lunch. (While my kids aren’t sensitive to these foods, I try to limit them in our home because they tend to get more of these foods out of the home.)

A) Protein. My go-to favorites include roasted chicken, deli turkey, salami, a grass fed hamburger patty.

B) Veggies. Kids love crunchy anything so I usually will add in some carrots, broccoli, celery, cucumber or bell peppers. By adding in a fun dip like hummus or ranch it will make those veggies much more enticing.

C) Chips. There are so many healthy chip options so get creative! Our current favorites are cassava chips, simple mills crackers, rice crackers, apple chips or organic corn tortilla chips.

D) Sweet. My kids love apples so that tends to be a staple (sometimes with peanut butter) but other good sweet options are a fruit leather, ½ of a healthy protein bar ( I like Perfects Foods Bars or G2G bars.) Once a week they can choose a special treat like Annie’s bunnies or gummies so they feel like they are eating like the other kiddos.

E) Drink. WATER is a great option always. Kids don’t need any more sugar in their diets, especially when it comes to drinks. So skip the fancy Gatorade or sports drinks and stick to water. If you child is feeling left out you can make an electrolyte drink at home that tastes amazing with a noon tablet, or I will offer my kiddos homemade kombucha a few days each week to spice things up.

*If your kids are requesting hot lunch or in high school and wanting to eat out, try encouraging them to make their own lunch at least once a week. This gets them into the habit of making food for themselves which is an ESSENTIAL part of growing up. These skills are just as important to math and science for their life past high school!

3) After school snacks

This is one of my favorite childhood memories! Although usually an after school snack meant a microwaved s’more or cookies. I try to keep the fun but also keep the snacks healthy. My go-to is a huge plate of chopped veggies with a few different dip options. Ranch, hummus or my homemade almond hummus are fan favorites. You can also chop of some fruits to add to the veggie plate. When in doubt thing REAL WHOLE foods. Less packages, and more of the real stuff. And don’t be afraid to ask your kids to help you chop and make the snack.

Reducing School Stress: Staying Peaceful and Steady with Back-to-School

back-to-school Adrenal Fatigue health

By Dr. Alisun Bonville

School Stress

Hey, busy moms and dads out there! I’m here to help you deal with the school stress that often comes along with this time of year. It is back-to-school time (already)! Summer was too short, but hopefully, you got some adventures and some time to relax before the school stress kicked in! September marks a time to get organized and establish routines, not only for the kids but for the whole family. Transitioning from summer-fun to autumn schedules can be stressful!  Often we are busy setting new routines, buying school supplies and fall clothing, and trying to get back-on-track with health. I’m here to help you deal with the school stress that often comes along with this time of year!

Keeping the Peace

Many people can feel stressed, fatigued, and anxious about starting new schedules and commitments. Here are some ways to keep the peace during this transition time and make sure your fall goals do not lead to winter burn-out!

  • Set realistic schedules and expectations. YOU ARE NOT A SUPERHERO (well at least most of us aren’t). You do not have to say ‘yes’ to everything and everyone. Set boundaries and limits with the kids. Realize that everyone, including kids, needs at least 20% of their day (that is 2.4 hours) of downtime.  This means quiet reflection, resting, reading, quite family or community time. This does not include video games or action-packed screen time!
  • Breathing! It sounds simple but most of us are panting (shallow breathing) throughout our days. Remember to do BIG belly breaths when stressed. A great adrenal fatigue and stress support breath you can do when feeling stretched mentally or emotionally is the four-cornered-breath (see below)
  • Drink water. Seriously people! Again it sounds easy but I dare you to drink 90 oz per day and see how this makes you feel better!
  • Try some adrenal support: ask your favorite Naturopathic doc about herbs that can really help prevent adrenal fatigue and stress-related burnout.

Good luck with the fall-transition.

Four-corner breathing

  1. Find an object nearby that has four corners – a window, hanging art, etc.
  2. Focus your gaze on the upper right-hand corner of the object and inhale a deep belly breath for a count of four. Fill your lungs!
  3. Move your attention to the lower right-hand corner and hold your breath for a count of four.
  4. Move your focus to the lower left-hand corner and exhale for a count of four.
  5. Lastly, shift your gaze to the upper left-hand corner, hold the exhale for a count of four.
  6.   I​n​hale count of four, hold count of four, exhale count of four, hold exhale for a count of four. Repeat at least three times!
  7. Thank yourself for taking a moment to relax!

Helping Your Child Heal

Helping Your Child Heal

By Josh Overcash

All children deserve to thrive. When it comes to our young children we will do anything for them when they need it. There are many options out there for treating pediatric health conditions. One route to take in helping your child heal is working through Accunect and Craniosacral Fascial therapy. These treatments have been profound in helping children get through some really hard childhood conditions. Conditions such as: major sleep issues, complex viruses & bacterias (RSV, pertussis, croup, chronic ear infections, etc…) lots of child digestion issues or baby reflux/colic, torticollis, nursing issues, mental/physical delays and so much more. 

Accunect

Accunect supports a balanced state of being on all levels (physically, mentally, and emotionally) increasing the functional intelligence at a cellular level. While the cranial work frees up any restriction that keeps the body stuck, to support increasing the function within the nervous system, organs and endocrine system. Which supports movement at a cellular level and helps the brain breathe again. Through these therapies every cell of the body is in the highest state of healing mode, the body gets over the condition and stays in the high healing place. That is where the growth really happens. From a deep place of optimal health. Kids just bounce out of the state of imbalance easily. They are then able to thrive and grow up from a balanced state of being!

Starting Healing Early

Imagine a 9 month old baby that isn’t sleeping deep/long that also gets scared easily around people and sensitive digestion. All of this often gets sorted out in a handful of sessions. With a little creativity you can visualize what that might be like for that person if those common childhood conditions continues as they grow into adulthood. Allergies, IBS, anxiety, migraines, chronic fatigue, possibly autoimmune, who knows? That is hypothetical because we don’t usually track children that way. So let’s just support them the best way possible and as quickly as possible.

Supporting Primary Caregiver

Another common aspect that is necessary to support is the primary caregiver (usually the parents). In a household everyone feeds off of everyone els’s energy. Therefore a parent that is stressed out will stress out a child. The ancient Chinese saying, “If the baby is hungry, feed the mother” has many aspects of truth. When a parent radiates out, ‘I’ve got you, I am here for you and I still love you’ that one of the most important factors. Brene Brown says it best, “Children are not perfect, they are wired to struggle. It is our job to show that they are still worth it and loved.” No one can do that all the time if they are depleted and stressed out. To recognize that children are supposed to struggle in order to grow is a big eye opener for many people and supports a positive shift in their perspective.

Helping Your Child Heal

Helping Your Child Heal

All in all assess where life is for you and your family and what the stressors are in your world. Work on overcoming those stress factors and if they are stuck, that’s where the work of Accunect and Craniosacral Fascial Therapy can help out tremendously. If there are specific conditions your baby is dealing with such as: sleep issues, digestive problems, IBS, or any of the issues mentioned above please give me a call I would be happy to help your baby heal. The sooner it gets resolved, the easier it is to resolve and the least amount of stress for everyone.

If you would like to speak with Josh Overcash please call 406-586-2626 for a Free Phone Consult or Click Here to visit his provider profile.

Helping Your Child Heal

Avoid Summer Burnout

Summer Stress Summer Burnout Healthy Summer

 

By Emily Potter FDNP

It’s that time of year… mid-July when we have the brief window of long summer days and shorts and T-shirt weather! If you anything like me, then you try to PACK in the fun while the weather is so beautiful. With this, comes the possibility of ‘summer burnout.’ Think back to back camp trips, finishing those hikes or races you have wanted to do for six months, long days on the river, family reunions, travel and the list goes on! How can we avoid summer burnout?

Balance is key and this is something I teach my clients about on a daily basis. I call it the 80/20 balance. 80 percent of the time do the best you can when it comes to your diet and lifestyle. Eat foods you know will nourish your body and the other 20 percent of the time give yourself the grace to enjoy life! Have the glass of wine, the dark chocolate, the BBQ foods your neighbor cooked up for you etc.

Keep reading to learn my top 5 tips to avoid summer burnout!

1) Plan your week.
Look ahead in your calendar and see what you have coming up. If your social calendar is full be sure to build in space for some downtime. If your calendar includes a lot of dining out, ask to pick the restaurant so you can enjoy your social time out but are still nourishing your body for your 80% balance. And, if you are a Bozeman local, here are four amazing restaurants for healthy, real food in Bozeman.

Little Star Diner
Saffron Table
Blackbird Kitchen
Farmers Daughter Cafe

2) Prioritize hydration.
It’s so easy to start the day with coffee, but I challenge you to drink a 16 oz glass of lemon water upon waking FIRST. And for extra credit, you can follow that with an ancient Ayurvedic recipe that will support the body’s natural detoxification process. This tea is made from cumin, coriander and fennel seeds. Simply take ½ tsp of each spice and steep in hot water to make a tea. 20 oz daily.

3) Make a to-don’t list.
This might sound strange but it’s a really effective strategy to help you keep a balance throughout the summer. You don’t have to say yes to every social engagement, to every family member, to every farmer’s market, live music or festive event. Giving yourself permission to say no can be profoundly helpful!

4) Don’t derail yourself when out of your normal routine. Traveling, playing or camping can be harder to balance since you are out of your normal routine. We have all been there… sitting by the campfire and indulging in a few s’mores when that isn’t something you would ever typically eat. And of course, by eating a little sugar it starts the intense cravings for more more more. Eating healthy while camping can be easier than you think! I suggest always prioritizing veggies while camping. This can mean raw chopped veggies with some fun dips like hummus or my ultimate favorite cilantro almond hummus dip. I also love making ‘veggie packs’ in tin foil to throw on the campfire. Simply chop up your favorite veggies and drizzle with avocado oil, salt, and pepper. Wrap in two layers of foil and you have a delicious and nutritious side to go with your camp meal.

5) Try this delicious ‘Summer Dreaming’ Recipe. This can easily be made in a high powered blender. Click here for Recipe!

Antioxidant Smoothie Healthy Foods Diet and Nutrition

If you have more questions about Emily Potter FDNP please click here to learn more!

Nutrition Consultant Emily Potter FDNP Diet

Treating Headaches with Acupuncture

headaches and the brain treating migraines with acupuncture

By Dr. Holly Thompson

Headaches are common. Most people experience some kind of headache from time to time. Tension, dehydration, fatigue, or the onset of an illness can trigger a headache. 

For some people, headaches are a frequent and unwelcome visitor. These headaches can be excruciating and seriously interfere with quality of life. 

Headaches in Western Medicine:

Western medicine recognizes five types of headache: tension, cluster, rebound, sinus, and migraine. Over the past twenty years or so, newer and better pharmaceuticals have been made available to lessen the impact of severe, chronic, and recurring headache. 

Unfortunately, most of these drugs have moderate to severe side effects.

Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Approach

Chinese medicine is concerned more about where on the head the pain is and what other symptoms are occurring. This indicates to the practitioner what meridians or channels are involved and what pattern might be the underlying (root) cause. Based on that information, he/she will prescribe either acupuncture or an herbal formula, or both.

A newer area of medicine that I am particularly drawn to and have some training in, is functional medicine. Like Chinese medicine, functional medicine takes a whole person approach and looks for patterns to figure out how to help a person. Like Chinese medicine, the majority of treatment involves nutrition, herbs and acupuncture,  lifestyle, and supplements rather than pharmaceutical drugs.

Integrative Approaches Often Work Best

Many times for extremely stubborn or severe chronic headache, an integrated approach works the best. Here at Spring Integrative Health we offer acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine, nutritional consulting, naturopathic medicine, therapeutic massage, and Accunect bodywork to address almost all aspects and causes of headaches.

Types of Headaches:

Tension

Tension headaches are usually felt in the forehead, at the temples , or back of the head, and will usually go away with over the counter aspirin or ibuprofen. However, If you want to try a more natural approach, try putting steady pressure in the webbing between your first and second finger. Or, you could try rubbing a little ginger or peppermint oil into the area of the head that aches. Life style changes such as stress reduction, yoga, exercise, and meditation should also help.

Cluster

Cluster headaches tend to come on suddenly and cause severe pain on one side of the head. The eye and nose may water on that side as well. Looking for a Chinese pattern would inform the acupuncture and herbal treatment. I would look for patterns in onset, diet, location,  and co-occurring events. Lab tests might identify markers that would help determine if a nutritional deficit or other imbalance was involved.

Sinus

Sinus headaches often accompany sinus infections and other conditions that feature blocked sinuses. These headaches usually occur in the forehead area, but the pain and pressure can radiate outward from there. Sometimes a change in weather will trigger them. One of the key features of this type of headache is the pressure that goes with the pain. 

Integrated Approach to healing a Sinus Headache:

Acupuncture is very useful in relieving the pressure in the sinuses, while an antibiotic or possibly a naturopathic remedy might be used to treat the actual bacterial infection. In addition a Chinese herbal formula could be used to strengthen the immune system and clear any lingering pathogens, as well as address the underlying disharmony that is weakening the immune system.

Rebound

A rebound headache is caused by medication. Or overuse/dependence on certain kinds of medication. Ibuprofen, aspirin, acetaminophen, and prescription headache drugs can all cause a rebound headache. If you notice that your headaches are increasing even on the medication, chances are you are getting rebound headaches. The fix for this is using none or less of the offending drug. Acupuncture can be used to manage the headaches while the body readjusts itself.

Migraines

Migraines are often the most debilitating of headache types. Severe pain lasting 4-72 hours, throbbing, nausea and/or vomiting, and sound or light sensitivity are all part of the migraine experience. Sometimes there is a clear trigger for migraine such as wine, or chocolate (sorry to say), certain types of cheese. Avoiding these substances can really help. 

Some women suffer from menstrual migraines caused by hormonal imbalance and the hormonal swings that take place just prior to the onset of their cycle.

Migraine Triggers

Often a trigger is difficult to identify. Because Chinese medicine looks at patterns of disharmony, we examine such factors as: the location of the headache on the head, known triggers, sleep patterns, hormone balance, gut health, food sensitivities, and nutritional status. By looking at these factors I can search for clues to why the headaches are occurring. 

Treatment often involves both an herbal formula and acupuncture as well as some lifestyle and dietary modifications with prescription pharmaceuticals waiting in the wings if needed. Most of the time this approach to treatment results in fewer and milder headaches that continue to diminish in both frequency and severity with treatment.

Never Experienced Headaches Before?

It is a good idea to see your doctor to rule out more serious medical conditions before starting treatment for headaches. If you are experiencing “the worst headache of my life,” particularly if you don’t typically get severe headaches, head to the emergency room to rule out life threatening conditions.

Let’s get Healing!

Headaches are a problem that are near and dear to my heart. After all, if I hadn’t suffered debilitating headaches all those years ago, would I have ever tried and used acupuncture? So, those awful headaches turned out to be a good thing!

Please contact me if you have more questions about headaches or are interested in discussing your individual condition-406-586-2626 or contact me here on Spring’s website through the Contact tab!

Click photo to learn more about Holly!

headaches and the brain treating migraines with acupuncture

Detoxification – Just What the Body Needs

By Jennifer Krieger, ND

Detoxification is a complex biochemical process that is designed to remove wastes and toxins and cleanse the body’s cells.  People often ask: Can you actually detox your body? The main ways our bodies detox is through the liver and gastrointestinal tract. Everything that is put into our mouths (medications, food, drink, supplements, alcohol, junk food) will pass through the liver for elimination before being dispersed throughout the rest of the body.  We are also exposed to environmental toxins on a daily basis – pesticides, herbicides, solvents, heavy metals, plastics, chemicals – through our water, air, soil and food supplies. In addition to these external environmental factors, our bodies will create free radicals through the internal metabolism of breakdown of hormones and various biochemical reactions as a means of life.

Wouldn’t you want to help out your body and give your liver a little extra love if you could?  Did you know that you can? You can support your body’s natural detoxification process through various supplements that are aimed at liver support and gastrointestinal elimination, and give these processes an extra boost by also eating an anti-inflammatory and organic diet.  I recommend patients perform a detoxification cleanse twice yearly to give their bodies the best outcome at overall health. Detoxification is also something I discuss with my patients who have gone through conventional cancer treatments as well.

A detox might be indicated for you if you suffer from any of these symptoms:

  • Early aging
  • Headaches
  • Multiple chemical sensitivity
  • Allergies
  • Fatigue
  • Acne
  • Brain fog, difficulty concentrating
  • Foul smelling breath or stools
  • Pain – joint & muscle
  • Nasal congestion, chronic sinusitis
  • Rashes
  • Mood swings
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Hormone issues, imbalances

 

If you are interested in a medically guided detoxification program, please contact the clinic by Clicking here for a complimentary fifteen minute visit to learn more and to see if detoxification is appropriate for you! or Call Us at 406-586-2626!

 

OMG it’s Allergy Season Again!

By Josh Overcash

Here we go again, it’s allergy season. You love the nicer weather, but you can’t even enjoy it. It’s a love and hate relationship that many people have. What are you going to do about it this year? What have you tried already? Some things work and some things don’t. Does anything that you have tried stopped your allergies all together?

That is the support that we are offering at Spring Integrative Health. The work that Josh Overcash does with allergies has had an amazing success rate with stopping allergies all together. That’s right, not just managing the symptoms but eliminating allergies for good.

How you wonder? For years Josh has helped people eliminate allergies by helping their system calm down so the immune system can respond and not overreact to the allergen. We can go on and on about the theory and details of how this works. The easiest way to explain it is Josh finds the over-reactive pattern in your body and works with finding a more useful way for your body to support you. Letting go of the old pattern and helping your body to respond rather than overreact. It’s like letting your body know it’s just a pollen. You are not getting chased by a grizzly bear right now. If you are getting chased by a bear, you are in survival mode.  Not in rest and healing mode, your body is not taking care of you in a balanced way.

Whether it is yourself, your child or someone else in your life dealing with allergies Josh wants to make summer activities enjoyable and free from allergy suffering. Josh will work with you to help your system respond during this season without the overreaction. There will be a little homework you do on a daily basis for a few weeks. Josh teaches you how to keep your immune system on track and become desensitized to the allergen. There are other forms of therapies out there that do this. Some would take 20 sessions or even more. Josh has been able to address allergies and resolve them in often 6 sessions. For the month of June Josh is offering a six pack to specifically address allergies and get rid of them for good. Call Spring to get scheduled 406-586-2626 or click here to contact Spring through our website!

Click image below to learn more about Josh!

What’s the Deal with Sleep?

By Dr. Holly Thompson

Sleep is vital to radiant health and well-being. Even though we don’t yet understand everything that sleep does for us, we know it plays a major role in maintaining our, mental, emotional, and physical health.

Memory and Brain Health

  • While you sleep, your brain is busy. The glymphatic system is a newly discovered waste clearance system in our brain and central nervous system. It is similar to the lymphatic that does the same thing in the rest of our bodies.
  • The glymphatic system works mainly while we sleep to remove toxic substances and waste products as well as deliver nutrients to our brains.
  • This may be why sleep plays such an important role in memory. Researchers at Harvard Medical School have found that adequate sleep dramatically improves the ability to learn a new task and consolidate memories. It spurs creativity.
  • It also contributes to emotional stability and good decision making skills.
  • Lack of sleep negatively affects mood, motivation and judgment and is implicated in depression, anxiety, irritability, and other mood disorders.

Physical Health

There are so many physical benefits to sleep (see the following):

  • Your immune system depends on enough sleep to function at it’s best.
  • Sleep is when your body heals and repairs itself, helping to curb inflammation.
  • Long-term sleep deprivation is associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, strokes, high blood pressure, and kidney disease.
  • Because sleep is important for regulation proper blood sugar, chronic sleep deprivation is implicated in diabetes.
  • Sleep is needed for proper hormone balance.
  • Sleep is also a major factor in weight gain. When the body is not getting adequate sleep, the hunger and satiety hormones get out of kilter. You guessed it: the hunger hormone, ghrelin, levels go up while the satiety (signaling you are full) hormone, leptin, goes down. The result: your appetite signals are skewed and you are more hungry and probably are going to eat more than you need to.

Quality of Life

Everyone knows that you just plain feel and look better when you are sleeping well. Turns out, you are more productive, less accident prone, and live longer as well. It can be hard to get enough sleep!

Sleep deprivation is a major problem in our country. But before you go reaching for a sleep aid (some of which are suspected of interfering with the glymphatic system along with a host of other side effects), please give some serious effort to proven lifestyle changes that aid the sleep process.

First of all, you need to make time for sleep. That means 7-9 hours every night. It works best if you can go to bed and get up roughly the same time every day. Our bodies like their sleep, like their meals, on a regular schedule. A lot of health gurus recommend a 10pm bedtime and a 6 am wakeup, but this is a guideline and you may need to adjust it by an hour or two for your lifestyle.

Insomnia

Many people get into bed but can’t get to sleep. Others may fall asleep right away, but then wake up and then can’t get back to sleep. And the worst part of this is that it tends to be the same night after night. The sleep pattern is off.

You have probably heard most of the usual recommendations about eating earlier, avoiding upsetting topics at night, making time to wind down, making sure your bedroom is completely dark and not too hot. These are all great.

Stress reduction techniques such as meditation, time in nature, warm baths can also make a big difference.

Some recent research has shown that light plays a major role in how our brains and sleep hormones function.

One of the best ways to help reset the pattern is to get outside, morning light as soon as possible after you wake up. Stay outside as long as you can, but at least for a few minutes. This begins to shift the sleep/wake hormones into a more normal pattern.

The blue light that is emitted from electronic devices (phones, computers, televisions) can also disrupt our sleep/wake cycles and cause insomnia. The current recommendation is to avoid all screen time for two hours before bed. If this is not doable for you, be sure to put your phone on the “night shift” setting and download software that greatly diminishes the blue light coming from your computer. Flux https://justgetflux.com/is the one I use on my Mac or you can get SunSet Screen http://www.skytopia.com/software/sunsetscreen/) for your PC. Both of these apps are free and easy to install.

If these measures don’t help or help only a little, acupuncture and Chinese medicine can help, and without weird side effects. As always in Chinese medicine, one size does NOT fit all. There are many time test3ed formulas that really help sleep, but they must be fitted to the pattern of disharmony. There are formulas for difficulty getting to sleep, difficulty staying asleep, difficulty getting back to sleep, nightmares, disturbing the sleep, hot flashes and night sweats waking you, etc.

Re-establishing a healthy and restorative sleep pattern is one of the best things you can do for your health. Click here to see how I can help!

 

If you would like to request an appointment with Dr. Holly Thompson please click on the Contact Tab on our home page or click here to be taken there directly.

 

What is Cupping? And why is it good for you?

By Dr. Holly Thompson

Those bubbly things are cups and I admit they do look a little weird. These days you’re likely to see the tell tale, but temporary, large rounds marks made by cups on celebrities like Jennifer Anniston, Gwyneth Paltrow, or David Arquette, but the reality is that it is one of the oldest methods of medical treatment known in the world.

Cupping was practiced by the Chinese, as well as ancient Egyptian and Middle Eastern cultures.  

I was surprised to see a set of bamboo cups on display in the doctor’s office at the Old Salem Living History Museum in Winston Salem, NC. Apparently the pre-Revolutionary Moravian doctors knew a thing or two about this interesting and effective treatment modality.

Why would anyone want to do that?

Good question. For one, it’s relaxing. Sort of like a deep tissue massage without the pressure. A flame or a pump is used to create a vacuum that suctions the cups onto the skin. Depending on the condition being treated, the cups are either stationary or slid on the skin to massage a larger area. The suction mobilizes the flow of blood, lymph, and that elusive thing known as qi to promote the healing of a wide range of problems: Tight shoulders and neck, low back pain, headaches, some types of tendonitis, gastro-intestinal, and respiratory problems.

A Case Study:

One of the most effective uses for cupping is respiratory conditions. Lingering cough, asthma, bronchitis, even the common cold respond well to cupping therapy. When my daughter was in college, she came down with a bad case of the respiratory bug that was running rampant through the dorms before finals. Not wanting to bring needles and a Sharps box into the dorm, I arrived with my set of cups.

A pale and sweaty face greeted me as she opened the door and a deep cough racked her body.  She didn’t need to say “I feel awful,” but she did anyway. After a review of her symptoms to rule out a more serious bacterial infection, she laid face down on her bed. I affixed the cups to her upper back amidst questions like will this leave a mark? (Yes, but it won’t hurt and will only last a few days), will this work? (Probably will help, won’t hurt).

The cups drew so much heat out of her body, they fogged up. My daughter fell in to a deep sleep for the first time in days. Twenty minutes later, when she awoke and I removed the cups from her back, she took a deep breath without coughing. After a brief look of surprise, she smiled. “Huh.”

“Feel a little better?”

“Yeah. That was weird, but I do feel better.”

She made a rapid recovery after that and had no problem showing up for her final exams.

Obviously, not all cupping sessions produce such dramatic results, but time and again, it has proved to be an effective therapy for both acute and long-time problems.

Please contact me if you have more questions about cupping or are interested in discussing your individual condition-406-586-2626 or contact me here on Spring’s website through the Contact tab!

 

Dr. Holly Thompson

 

Skin-Brain Connection?

By Doctor Holly Thompson

Eastern medicine has always considered skin conditions to be external indicators of internal conditions, and recognized the importance of the gut in all aspects of health. All Chinese herbal formulas for skin problems are based on resolving the internal disharmony that is behind the outbreak.

The long and very successful history of Chinese herbal medicine for dermatological issues speaks to the efficacy of this approach. Like all problems in Chinese medicine, the signs and symptoms and details of the whole person are taken into account to determine a particular pattern that is at the root of the problem. Treatment is designed to address the problem at both the level of the root and the symptom. Typically, this is done with both internal (herbal formula) and external (topical medicine and/or acupuncture) treatment.

Western medicine has traditionally looked to resolve skin issues with topical medications or steroids, and not looked for internal reasons for conditions such as acne.

But, it wasn’t always this way.

Seventy years ago, two dermatologists, John Stokes and Donald Pillsbury, proposed a gastro-intestinal mechanism for overlapping anxiety, depression, and skin conditions such as acne. Stokes and Pillsbury hypothesized that emotional states might alter the normal intestinal microflora, increase intestinal permeability and contribute to systemic inflammation. They experimented with probiotics to correct the microbiome.

For whatever reasons, Stokes and Pillsbury’s work fell by the wayside.

Until recently.

The microbiome (mostly gut flora-the good and not-so-good bugs that live in our intestines) and all its possible influences are currently amongst the most researched areas in medicine. As part of  that research, the gut-brain-skin connection is again being studied. There have been a number of studies in Europe that indicate probiotics can be effective in the treatment of acne. Studies done in Russia and Italy found that giving the probiotic bacteria L. acidophilus and B. bifidum to acne sufferers improved outcomes and accelerated the time needed for standard therapies to work.

Another study found that giving a lactobacillus-fermented dairy drink improved acne over the course of 12 weeks. While all this research is wonderful and confirms what we have known in both Chinese medicine for some time, the problem is that it will be years until this knowledge will be put into use in standard conventional medicine. We have the ability, today, to use  time-tested Chinse Medicine Dermatolgy to treat skin problems at the root for lasting results.

If you are suffering from acne, or other skin conditions such as rosacea, eczema, or unexplained rashes and want to deal with it at the root cause level, give the office a call or send me a message today!

Dr. Holly Thompson

 

 

The Master Detoxifier: Glutathione

By Dr. McKenzie Mescon

Glutathione is available at Spring as an intramuscular injection, and is one of the body’s main antioxidants.  An antioxidant is a cell protectant, which donates an electron to help regenerate healthy cells in a variety of ways.  Glutathione is necessary in all cells and its depletion eventually results in cell death. Most glutathione is found in the liver and helps us to detoxify by assisting our enzyme function.  It is also found in our eyes and helps counteract damage from UV and other radiation. Glutathione can be depleted in the body in cases of viral infection, environmental toxicity or exposure to household chemicals, in surgery, with generalized inflammation, or if someone is deficient in the dietary precursors that allow the body to make glutathione.  Our bodies deplete glutathione with age, and thus supplementing with it is a prime anti-aging strategy. Each “Anti-oxidant Aid” injection at Spring contains 200mg of glutathione. We can also add glutathione as a push at the end of a Myers’ IV. This is a useful therapy when you are fighting infection, are cleansing/detoxing, or want to give your cells a little extra boost of protection.

If your are interested in our Shot Bar or IV Therapy click here for more information or to schedule online click here to be taken to our Contact form!

The Whole Life Cleanse: A Family Approach to Balance and Detox

By Dr. Alisun Bonville

The Whole Life Cleanse: A Family Approach to Detoxification and Balance

Creating balance in your life may seem impossible at times. We are all busy with a multitude of tasks such as walking the dog, making lunches, grocery shopping, laundry, work projects, dishes….the list goes on!  Balance is about increasing the “good stuff” in life and managing the things that cause physical or mental stress.    But who has time for cultivating serenity, clean living, and balance?

In my experience, balance is something that has to be woven into the fabric of daily living or it will simply not happen.

This blog series is about the approach my husband, my kiddos, and I have taken to create balance in our lives and to create a healthy home. Life is happening to all of us…illness, work, school, stress. The Whole Life Cleanse is about changing our perspective and increasing our resources so that when times get tough we have enough stamina, reserve, and balance to weather the journey.

The Whole Life Cleanse is also about keeping our day-to-day activities fulfilling and non-toxic. This is not always easy and I admit we are not always perfect at my house. We have days we eat donuts, the kids watch too much TV or I skip my work-outs.   Being perfect is something I try NOT to do–It stresses me out. So, I live by the 80-20 rule…if I can take a healthy approach to life 80% of the time, then the 20% of donut-eating days are okay. I always tell my patients, “you have to live in this world,” and for our family that means eating a donut or two.

But for the other 80% of the time, I will outline strategies we use for balance. Tips on how to reduce home chemical exposure and healthy dietary suggestions that the whole family will like.  I will also give you tips for reducing toxic relationships, cutting back on the technology “drain” and some key tips for stress management.   So stay tuned…

~Dr. B

 

Read more from this series:

The Whole Life Cleanse: Family Approach to Detox

The Whole Life Cleanse: The Dirty Truth about Poisons Hiding in Your Laundry Room

The Whole Life Cleanse: What is Up with Plastics?

A Glowing Testimonial from a Spring Integrative Health Patient

We had a patient write us a letter that was so good, we had to share it!

I can’t give enough praise to the team at Spring Integrative Health. I was lucky enough to be introduced to Dr. Bonville through another staff member. I had a prior unpleasant experience with a naturopathic physician and I was hesitant to encounter another. I had run out of options with every doctor pointing at the other when I thought I’d try again because I had nothing to lose.

During my first appointment Dr. Bonville listened to my health history and ordered a set of tests. My results were the intolerance of several types of food. She instructed me that my body would be going through a “detox” upon omitting these foods from my diet and if I had any questions she would be readily available to assist me. I took her up on that and emailed her several times a day with questions regarding what I was experiencing or if certain foods were ok. Not ONCE did I feel like a burden. Not ONCE was I made to feel like my questions were silly even though I had already asked. And not ONCE was I ignored. My body through scary and alarming processes for a few weeks. Dr. Bonville was able to help guide me through with support and information, and still continues to guide me as I progress forward in health.

Dr. Bonville changed my life in one office visit where countless other physicians failed over the span of 18 years. I am finally able to pursue a life of health instead of the continual struggle of roadblocks I had been running into.

I can only tell you the staff here are committed to their patients. Besides the resources they have on hand, and the resources they will guide you to, they are starting up a support group for those of us who have food intolerances. I do not know of any other practitioners that would go to these lengths to see that we are being taken care of. If you’re tired of not having answers or a lack of direction, Spring Integrative Health may be your answer.

We feel very lucky that we were able to make such a significant difference in this patient’s life.

Can we help you?

Home Hydrotherapy Techniques and Benefits

Here are a couple of our favorite home hydrotherapy techniques! As always, please contact your doctor before doing any home therapies.

WARMING SOCKS:

Warming socks are a form of hydrotherapy.  Using this treatment will help stimulate the immune system and relieve congestions from the head.  As such, warming socks are often recommended for use during colds, flus, sore throats, ear infections, headaches, nasal congestion, coughs, bronchitis, and sinus infections.  The warming socks treatment is best if repeated for at least three nights in a row–unless otherwise instructed.

Please do NOT do warming socks if you have fever-induced seizures or open wounds on your feet.

Home Hydrotherapy Procedure

1. It is imperative before you begin this treatment that you warm your feet first.  This is very important as the treatment will not be as effective and could be harmful.  Soaking the feet in warm water for 5-10 minutes or taking a warm bath or shower should be sufficient.

2. Next, take a pair of cotton socks and wet with cold water from the tap.  Be sure to wring the socks out thoroughly.

3. Place the cold wet socks on your feet. Cover with thick wool socks.  Go to bed.  Avoid getting chilled.

You will find that the wet cotton socks will be dry in the morning.  Many patients report that they sleep much better during the treatment.

 

WARMING THROAT COMPRESS

Much like the warming socks, the warming throat compress helps relieve pain and congestion, specifically in the throat and neck lymph nodes.  This treatment increases circulation and increases white blood cell activity to help sore throats and chest colds.

1. Warm the throat with a warm washcloth or hot shower.

2. Dry the skin thoroughly and apply a wash cloth that has been soaked in cold water and wrung out so that it is not dripping wet.

3. Wrap a wool scarf over the washcloth.

4. Go to bed this way.  By morning the washcloth will be dry.

 

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