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

 

Let’s Talk About Sex

Sex drive

Dr. Mack’s Top 5 for Addressing Low Sex Drive:

By Dr. Mckenzie Mescon

#1. Sex and Hormones:

Hormones – Testosterone is the hormone in both men and women that supports sex drive, and it can definitely be low!  The best way to determine testosterone levels is with a blood test. Interestingly, testosterone is diurnal, meaning that it is higher in the morning than in the evening.  This means that patients need to have a morning blood draw to get an accurate testosterone reading. There are MANY herbs and nutrients we use to support the body’s natural testosterone production before we consider exogenous testosterone hormone therapy. 

#2. Thyroid:

Thyroid – Thyroid dysfunction can make you tired.  It you’re tired, you probably aren’t all that excited about sex.  Again, with a little herbal and nutrient support, patients can see improvements in thyroid function and an increase in their sex drive. I always test thyroid health when considering a case of low libido. 

#3. Comfort:

Comfort – One major aspect of low sex drive, especially in female patients, is pain or discomfort with intercourse (also know as dyspareunia.)  As women age, their estrogen levels decrease and estrogen-sensitive tissues become less supple. Vaginal tissues are sensitive to estrogen, and vaginal dryness on account of falling estrogen levels is very common.  This can happen after pregnancy, too (not just with age!) Vaginal suppositories or creams can be supremely useful in making sex less uncomfortable which usually makes it much more appealing! I can’t tell you how many patients I’ve treated for low libido who have adequate testosterone and thyroid function, but discomfort with intercourse.  As soon as we address the underlying cause and it doesn’t hurt anymore, their sex drive improves!  

#4. Physical Touch:

Physical Touch – Fostering connection with your partner outside of sex is so important for making sex comfortable, enjoyable, and desirable.  Holding hands, cuddling, and hugging are all lovely ways to nurture intimacy without having actual intercourse. Sometimes, we need to start with more caring touch, and build the physical connection back into a relationship before getting into to the more sexy stuff.  

#5. Sex and Herbs:

Favorite Herb – My favorite herbal medicine to support sex drive is Lepidium meyenii, also known as Maca. This herb has seen recent rise in popularity, and many of my patients report adding powdered maca to their morning smoothies.  I caution my patients that too much Maca can cause elevated blood pressure, so please always consult your physician before taking an herbal medicine. Also, herbs tend to work better, longer, when taken in combination, so I rarely use this herb alone. Studies have shown that patients on SSRI antidepressant medication (which has caused low libido), experience increased sexual desire when supplementing with Maca. In my clinical practice, I have seen an increase in serum testosterone levels in both men and women in whom I have prescribed Maca (among other things.)

 

Have questions about sex drive, libido, hormones, or other aspects of how to have a healthy, happy sex life?  Send me a message, or call Spring to schedule a consult! 406-586-2626.

Dr. Mckenzie Mescoj

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

Healing Naturally with Constitutional Hydrotherapy

By Dr. McKenzie Mescon

This time of year, around the holidays, I get a lot of questions from my patients about how they can best support their immune system.  The naturopathic toolbox for immune support is vast! However, nothing is quite so fundamentally supportive of the immune system as Constitutional Hydrotherapy.

The History of Constitutional Hydrotherapy

Healing naturally with Constitutional Hydrotherapy is a time-tested naturopathic healing therapy that involves alternating an application of hot and cold towels to the chest and back.  The inspiration for naturopathic hydrotherapy is Father Kneipp, a Bavarian herbalist and priest who lived and practiced his “water cure” in the late 1800s. The entire treatment takes about 60-75 minutes and cultivates the ultimate parasympathetic, rest-and-digest, immune-boosting relaxation.  

If I could receive this treatment once weekly, I would! But I do make a point to block out my schedule for a Constitutional Hydrotherapy treatment at least once every 2-3 months (and more often if I’m feeling unwell.)  

What Hydro Therapy Does for the Body

Constitutional Hydrotherapy is not only an opportunity for your body and mind to rest and reset, it “pumps” the blood and lymph through contraction and dilation of the blood and lymph vessels.  The contrast of hot towels and cold towels increases blood flow to the vital organs in your abdomen and chest (such as your heart, liver, lungs, and digestive tract), and stimulates movement of lymph in the body. 

Immune System and Lymphatic Tissue

Your immune system lives in your lymphatic tissue, and by promoting movement of the lymph, the immune system can, in a sense, expand its reach and recycle itself. (Other ways to move your lymph include massage, yoga and stretching, breathing exercises, walking and hot/cold plunges at a hot springs). Lymph nodes are an example of where your immune system lives. You know how your neck may get swollen with tender lymph nodes when you’re fighting a cold, sinus infection, or other illness?  Constitutional Hydrotherapy helps to move that congested lymph and reinvigorate your immune system to fight off infection. 

Treatment

In addition to hot and cold towels, we apply gentle electrical stimulation to your chest and back and low abdomen during treatment. This provides an energetic boost to the cells to encourage detoxification, elimination and movement of waste products and nutrients.  

When I feel like I’m coming down with something, or when I feel worn out from playing and working too hard, I make sure to carve out time for a Constitutional Hydrotherapy treatment. In some special circumstances, we are able to administer IV therapy at the same time as you lie swaddled in hot towels and wrapped in a warm blanket. Sounds divine, doesn’t it?  

Questions?

If you have questions regarding Constitutional Hydrotherapy please give us a call 406-586-2626 or Click Here to request a treatment online!

For more on Dr. McKenzie Mescon click the image below.

Constitutional Hydrotherapy

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

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 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!

Get Power-Hydrated with IV Therapy!

What Is IV Therapy?

IV Therapy is a short-cut to nourishing every cell in your body in a hurry!  

IV Therapy is used to deliver vitamins, minerals, fluid, and/or other substances directly into the blood stream. In IV therapy, a needle is used to puncture your vein, similar to getting your blood drawn. However, in place of taking your blood, nutrients are infused instead!

Why?

By directly infusing these substances into your blood, they are immediately available for the cells in our body to use. This increases energy, fights illness and generally makes you feel good!

When we use IVs to deliver nutrients, we skip having to absorb and metabolism these substances through the digestive tract. Delivering nutrients through IV’s allow for a higher concentration and increased utilization in the body.

What Is IV Therapy Good For?

IV therapy can be used to help you achieve higher levels of health. There are many factors that come into play in reaching optimum health and IV therapy is only one piece of that puzzle! By ensuring our body access and utilization of nutrients, we supply it with the building blocks it needs to heal and function optimally.

Delivering nutrients through IV’s can be helpful for a variety of medical concerns including:

  • Fighting Colds/flus
  • Improving Sleep
  • Increasing Energy and Reducing Fatigue
  • Curing Hangovers
  • Preventing and Stopping Migraines
  • Reducing Asthma and Allergies
  • Reducing Chronic Pain and Fibromyalgia
  • Detoxification
  • Improving Your Mood 
  • Recovery from training and injury
  • And so much more…

What Can I expect?

Treatments times can last from 15 minutes to 3 hours. Usually people feel relaxed or energized after an IV infusion.  One of the biggest benefits of IV therapy is cellular HYDRATION, it’s like a BIG drink of power-filled water to your cells! This helps mental functioning, elimination and improves mood.

Depending on your concern, single or multiple sessions may be recommended. Before starting IV therapy, a medical intake must be done so we can customize the perfect  nutrient combination for you. 

 

 

 

Getting Ahead of Your Seasonal Allergies

 

Are you tired of seasonal allergies getting the best of you and taking your summertime fun away? This is a common occurrence. People are needing to take anti-histamines or even asthma medication to just barely survive the allergy season. Wouldn’t it be nice to alleviate these symptoms for good?

There is a solution. It’s not a pill, it’s about helping your body respond to your environment rather than over react to it. At Spring Integrative Health Josh Overcash would be able to take you down the road of recovery from your seasonal allergies. By retraining your body to not go under an internal stress response, this will help your body remain calm and process the ‘allergen’ without an overreaction.

Through a series of sessions with Josh Overcash, he will work with different modalities to increase balance within your body by releasing the soft tissue tension and strengthening the communication pathways within the nervous system and the endocrines.

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

By: Lindsay Herron, Co-Founder, Buckaroo Organics

One of the best parts about The Whole Life Cleanse is getting RID of the things we don’t need.  Less is better in my opinion; less clutter, less garbage (more recycling!), less stress, AND LESS TOXIC EXPOSURES.  We all want less toxins in our household products for ourselves, our kids, and our planet. So, I recruited a home-chemical expert, the owner of Buckaroo Organics, to write this edition of The Whole Life Cleanse, and give us the down and dirty on laundry chemicals. Take a look…

 

The Dirty Truth about Poisons Potentially Hiding in Your Laundry Room

Laundry is not what I would call a glamorous chore but one done out of necessity. So whether you are folding that monstrous weekly mound of clothes or are on-top of it–folding just as the buzzer rings– you expect the clothes you’re folding to be clean, right? One look at them and we are pretty confident that the dirt is gone, but what about the things we can’t see? What about the residues left behind by synthetic chemicals and fragrances that irritate our skin and are harmful to our health? Or what about the water waste that exits our houses and pollutes ground water? As a mom, the more I learned about common products being used daily, the more I became concerned with the findings.

I feel like I’m always digging out of the never ending mound of laundry, so I wasn’t too shocked to learn that the average family washes approximately 80 pounds of laundry per week. But when I stepped back and widened my perspective, I have to say, I was a little surprised to learn that in the U.S., alone, roughly 35 billion loads of laundry are done each year. I had to stop and think about this for a minute (and break out my calculator). Wow, that is 17.5 billion cups of laundry detergent….if you’re using the recommended amount.   That is A LOT of detergent moving through OUR homes! Some is still clinging to our favorite jeans and bed sheets and the rest is being discharged into our water systems and eventually finding its way into our ecosystem. When I looked at it from this perspective I was deeply troubled. Could the detergent that I was using really be thatharmful? …well, here is a snippet of what I found. The following are the 4 worst compounds commonly found in leading brand detergents (very common, check yours).

 

Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) & sodium laureth sulfate (SLES): are both inexpensive and very effective foaming agents, which is why they are used in many leading brands. They work great as a detergents, but are both also known skin and eye irritants, especially when used for extended amounts of time (…like every week when you do your laundry). They’re present in most shampoos, cleaners, hair coloring products, liquid hand soaps and cosmetics so surely both have been thoroughly tested….and they’re safe, right? Well, not so much. SLS was proved not to be carcinogenic when tested on animals during short-term studies (1). However, a large amount of documented studies (16,000) claim it to be extremely hazardous to our health. According to the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep: Cosmetic Safety Reviews, research studies on SLS have shown links to irritation of the skin and eyes, organ toxicity, developmental/reproductive toxicity, neurotoxicity, endocrine disruption, ecotoxicology, and biochemical or cellular changes along with possible mutations and cancers.

 

SLES was tested by the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association (CTFA) and the American Cancer Society and was deemed non-carcinogenic. However, another little known and much more harmful chemical, 1, 4-diaoxan, often accompanies it, 1,4-dioxane.

 

1, 4-dioxane, is a known carcinogen(2). It’s known to cause cancer and has been found to be potentially toxic to your brain and central nervous system, kidneys, liver and respiratory system, according to the CDC.  Two-thirds of all laundry detergent contain some level of 1, 4-dioxane. The FDA encourages manufactures to remove it, but they are not required to by law. 1,4-dioxane is nasty stuff, water filters can’t remove it and it resists natural biodegradable processes. It’s harmful to people and pollutes our water supplies; very harmful to the ecosystem.

 

NPE (nonylphenol ethoxylate ) Like SLS and SLES, NPE is an inexpensive nonionic surfactant frequently used in laundry detergents. NPE is an endocrine disruptor due to its ability to mimic estrogen and disrupt the body’s natural hormonal balance. When your body absorbs NPE, it can’t tell the difference between NPE and estrogen. The body can absorb up to 60% of what is put onto the skin or what residue is left in your fabrics. Exposure to NPE has also been associated with increased levels of breast cancers(3).

 

Phosphates, these guys are everywhere! Phosphates tend to be the principle cleaning ingredient in many detergents and household cleaners. They are designed to break down dirt particles and remove stains by softening the water and allowing it to penetrate the grime and lift it away. However, they create environmental hazards when discharged in great volumes into our water supplies (remember the 17.5 billion cups of detergent being used annually in the U.S.). Phosphates are difficult to remove from wastewater and often end up in rivers and lakes, where they increase algae growth and choke off waterways. This suffocates fish and other aquatic life by literally starving them of oxygen.

 

And as if the four compounds listed above weren’t enough of a concern, there are others that add to our laundry list of harmful ingredients found in leading brand detergents:

  • Linear alkyl sodium sulfonates (LAS), a.k.a. anionic surfactants
  • Petroleum distillates (a.k.a. naphthas), which have been linked to cancer
  • Phenols, which can cause toxicity throughout the entire body
  • Optical brighteners, which cause bacterial mutations and allergic reactions, and can be toxic to fish
  • Sodium hypochlorite (bleach)
  • EDTA (ethylene-diamino-tetra-acetate), a persistent organic pollutant
  • Artificial fragrances, which have been linked to various toxic effects on fish and animals, as well as allergic reactions in humans

 

I know most of us don’t think of laundry detergent much past adding it to our shopping lists and looking for a jug that is on sale. I didn’t until recently. But for me, as a mom of three and someone who loves our planet, the more I read and learn, the more the data proves. Many of the ingredients are KNOWN irritants, highly likely carcinogens and pollute and damage our water systems.   It’s a mission for me to create a safe environment for the ones I hold dear, and is why we developed Soapberry Suds; a laundry detergent families can trust.

 

Our laundry detergent, Soapberry Suds, uses certified organic soap nuts, or soapberries as the surfactant. It truly is nature’s soap. No synthetic chemicals, not phosphates, sulfates, or dyes. It is scent free and risk free. All biodegradable, even the packaging is compostable or recyclable. Better for you and better for Mother Nature! It is hypoallergenic, meaning it won’t cause skin irritations, because we only source the best ingredients to get the job done. I invite you to learn more about Soapberry Suds at http://buckaroo-organics.com
(1) CIR publication (1983). “Final Report on the Safety Assessment of Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate”. International Journal of Toxicology 2 (7): 127–181

(2) 1,4-Dioxane (1,4-Diethyleneoxide). Hazard Summary. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Created in April 1992; Revised in January 2000

(3) Soares, A., B. Guieysse, B. Jefferson, E. Cartmell, and J.n. Lester. “Nonylphenol in the Environment: A Critical Review on Occurrence, Fate, Toxicity and Treatment in Wastewaters.” Environment International 34.7 (2008)

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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