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

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

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!

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

 

 

Feeling the Shift after a Session with Josh Overcash

By: Josh Overcash

Before we examine what happens after a session, let’s look briefly at what happens during a healing session with Josh.  Modalities like Accunect, BodyTalk, and Craniosacral Fascia Therapy are used to achieve optimal balancing of the whole body/mind complex.  Most clients experience deep and profound rest and relaxation.  The whole body calms down and goes into healing mode. The nervous system begins to operate at a wavelength similar to sleep. This is how everyone’s body heals naturally, it must first slow down and relax.  While the body is deeply relaxed, Josh is utilizing techniques that promote wellbeing and strengthen communication pathways in the body. This process is tailored to the client’s specific needs at the time.

Clients leave Josh’s office feeling refreshed right down to the cellular level and ready to take on life in a more efficient and healthy way.  It then becomes easier for clients to take responsibility for changing any lifestyle patterns that may be hindering their continued growth and healing.  For the rest of the day, or the next few days, or even over the course of a couple of weeks, the impacts of the session may continue to be felt.  Clients report a range of experiences- from the continued overall relaxation to profound “aha” moments of recognition that life is improving on all levels (physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually). The experience someone has can be subtle or completely obvious. Sometimes life just feels like it has an easier flow to it and sometimes the client feels a huge transformation.  While often times pain relief and other shifts are immediate, sometimes it takes a few hours or even days for the body to fully process the session and symptoms may intensify before resolving.  For example, a fever may spike and then break, inflammation swells and then goes down, or fascia continues to unwind and release tension when the client goes to bed.  How can a client better understand this phenomenon?  Some of the factors in the body processing after a session include how deeply seated the imbalances are, what is ready to shift, sensitivity of the client, and environmental factors in the client’s home and personal life.

Clients enjoy working with Josh at Spring Integrative Health for both acute and chronic issues as well as enhancing overall health and wellbeing.  Following are some brief testimonials from some of his clients.

 

  • “Feeling more balanced, more calm and more present.” M.R.
  • “Feel centered, hopeful and supported” G.F.
  • “I feel like my health is being taken care of. Dramatic shifts and releases from sessions” J.D.

Tune in and let go. This is the support that happens on all levels for the whole body.

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. 

 

 

 

Gaining Your Health Back

By: Josh Overcash

We all experience a different reality based on our past experiences, our beliefs, and filters of how we see the world.  This reality is actually a perceived reality, and no two people experience it the same.  Our beliefs about the world affect our physiology and by changing our perceptions and beliefs, we can profoundly shift our health and well-being.  Misperception of reality can create stress in the body.  Dysfunctional thought patterns and belief systems contribute to acute and chronic disease as well as decreased life satisfaction and mental health.  Current research shows how thoughts affect cell structure.  How then, do we go about shifting our deeply held understanding of life, our health, the world we live in, and our relationships with others (and ourselves)?  It can take a lifetime of focusing on personal growth and development for a person to achieve a truly balanced state of being.  To shift things faster, you may want to enlist the help of a trained professional in energy medicine balancing techniques, like Spring Integrative Health’s Josh Overcash.  Josh is trained in Accunect, BodyTalk, and Craniosacral Fascial Therapy.  

How can energy medicine can help shift thought patterns and in turn, improve health and well-being?  Quantum physics and consciousness inform the modalities that Josh works with.  Using a special form of biofeedback, he is able to identify where his clients are ready to move forward. Then, by balancing the brain and the nervous system while holding space for deep relaxation, transformation can occur. 

How does this actually work?  Gentle tapping stimulates the nervous system and the heart meridian system and creates a ripple effect throughout the body to update awareness and bring the body into more balanced state.  Each session is specific to the person on the table.  Using a sophisticated protocol system, Josh is able to pinpoint and focus the session where the client needs it most- physically, mentally, and/or emotionally.  Sometimes there is crossover between the modalities themselves and levels of the body/mind complex involved in a specific concern- for example shoulder pain may be addressed by releasing soft tissue with craniosacral fascial therapy, then helping a client release a deep-seated belief about not feeling safe that creates “guarding” in the shoulders and chest, and finally balancing the organs that are related to meridians that run through the shoulder.  

Josh’s heart-centered approach and calm demeanor make him an effective witness to the change his clients experience during their sessions.  Always inspiring his clients to live better and become witness to their own life situations, Josh helps people move forward with confidence and without judgement.  

Clients leave Josh’s office feeling centered, aware, and at a higher level of consciousness.  This balanced and relaxed state of being encourages further healing even after the client has left the office!  After all, it is when the body is relaxed and the brain is in balance that truly spontaneous healing occurs.

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