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.
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?
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.
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
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!
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!
by Doctor Holly Thompson
Along with all the wonderful things about this time of year, lots of activities, playing in the snow, and visitors dropping in to ski for the weekend, we can also experience stress, overwhelm, colds and flu. It often seems like these intruders sneak up and attack and there’s nothing we can really do about it.
Not true. Taking excellent care of yourself, scheduling down time, getting enough sleep, and staying hydrated can all go along way in keeping you feeling your best. Today we’re going to focus on colds and flu.
Even with the best self-care, a particularly virulent cold virus can still make it through your body’s defenses.
Are you doomed to a week or ten days of misery?
First of all, pay attention to the signals your body is sending. Is there a slight scratchiness in your throat? Or do you typically get a headache, fatigue, and general achiness?
You can give your immune system a quick boost with fresh ginger tea. Take a few slices of fresh ginger root (I use a couple of ¼-1/2 “ slices and smash them with the side of a knife-you could also grate it), a squeeze of lemon, and a teaspoon of honey and place them in a mug. Pour in very hot water and steep for about five minutes. Breathe in the steam, relax, and sip slowly. Fresh ginger tea is both soothing and amazingly effective at boosting the immune system.
In Chinese medicine, we recognize several types of colds, and have several well-developed and time-tested herbal formulas used to fight them. Taking a few loading doses of the correct formula (I really like Cold Quell) at the very first whisper of symptoms will often avert the illness. If the cold does take hold, it should be shorter and less severe than it would have been.
Acupuncture can also be amazingly effective in warding off a cold or help you feel better if you’re already sick. Don’t cancel an appointment if you’re not feeling well! A treatment will help you feel better and get better faster.
My hope is that you will have a happy and healthy winter season, but if a cold or flu threatens, please give me a call for some help here at Spring.
It is cold season in the Rockies!
What can you do for a quick immune boost to get tell that cold goodbye?
You can get a Myers’ Push….
A Myers’ Push is a form of IV therapy that combines a cocktail of vitamins and minerals to support many aspects of health including the immune system. The treatment takes about 15-20 minutes and involves the doctor “pushing” the content of a syringe into your vein (hence the term intravenous or IV).
Sound gruesome? Keep listening…
Administering vitamins and minerals by IV rather than orally allows you to assimilate them faster and better. We bypass the digestive tract (which includes the liver), and send nutrients directly into your blood, reaching organs and immune cells more readily. For this reason, IV therapy can be particularly useful if you don’t have a perfect diet or great digestion.
The ingredients of a Myers’ cocktail include magnesium, calcium, B vitamins, and vitamin C. Myer’s Pushes are ideal for fighting chronic sinus infections, allergies, asthma, fatigue and upper respiratory tract infections; and supporting conditions including colds and flus.
The vitamins and minerals in a Myers’ Push act to boost the body’s immune function, thus improving the patient’s ability to fight infection. After all, the signs and symptoms of illness are an indication that there is a disturbance in the determinants of health, or the things that keep us feeling well. If you have nasal congestion, a cough, and body aches, your body is making mucus to drown infection, making you cough to get that infection out of your lungs, and your immune system is revving up to fight off the infection. By receiving a Myer’s Push, a patient gets the extra boost of vitamins and minerals that can optimize immune function.
A Myers’ Push can also be a great measure to give the immune system a boost going into cold and flu season, while traveling, or if family members are sick. Our ideal goal is to prevent dis-ease and a Myers’ Push is a useful tool for immune support.
What is a B-shot, you ask?
It is a quick way to increase your energy and resilience! We all have busy lives and a boat-load of to-do’s that can wear us down. A B-shot is a vitamin packed injection that increases important nutrients in the body very quickly and is a good way to bounce back from stress.
In fact, we go through the water soluble B-vitamins during stressful times quicker than many other nutrients.
A typical B-shot includes the following nutrients that are available for immediate cellular usage:
- B12: fuels brain, glandular, and nervous systems
- B3-Niacinamide: essential for skin health and has anti-inflammatory properties
- B1-Thiamine: important for nervous system and muscle functioning
- B2-Riboflavin: helps convert food into energy
- B5-Dexpanthenol: helps adrenal functioning and stress management
- B6-Pyridoxine: good for liver functioning
These nutrients are delivered by an intramuscular injection bypassing the digestive system for instantaneous use by the body.
What can you expect from B-shot is increased energy, focus, and immune strengthening so you can keep doing what you do best!
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.
Here are a couple of our favorite home hydrotherapy techniques! As always, please contact your doctor before doing any home therapies.
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.