Social Distancing: How to Stay Grounded While at Home

Social distancing

By Dr. Jennifer Krieger

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

Routine

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

Start the Day with Movement

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

Social Distancing and Meditation

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

Gratitude

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

Free-Write

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

Breathe

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

Connect with Nature

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

Joy

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

Pause

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

Create

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

Positivity

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

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

Click here FULL PDF Social Distancing Guide

Dr. Jennifer Krieger

 

World Naturopathic Federation: Coronavirus

coronavirus -world naturopathic federation

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

Coronavirus

 


Coronavirus
Coronavirus

 

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

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

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.

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!

Detoxification – Just What the Body Needs

By Jennifer Krieger, ND

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

 Dragging through the days? Tired after a full night sleep?

By: Dr. Alisun Bonville — Just helping you out in your everyday journey 🙂

Let’s talk about adrenal fatigue. This is a true epidemic in our society due to the pressure to succeed in all categories of life and to look great while doing so! We work hard, play hard and spend more hours in our day working than we do relaxing and enjoying each other. Between the pressures of life and the food we have come to know as “healthy” it is no surprise that most of us are walking around exhausted and dependent on stimulants like coffee, sodas and sugar.

What is Adrenal Fatigue?

This is our bodies reaction to us asking too much of it. Each time we wake up and drink our morning cup of coffee, the adrenal glands kick in and produce the hormones known as corticosteroids. Cortisol levels typically are at their peak in the morning when we wake up and then taper off at night to help us begin our sleep cycle. Caffeine and sugar increases our cortisol levels. Once we begin our work day and our stress levels rise because of deadlines, a difficult boss, co worker or customer etc and more cortisol is produced to help the body manage these stressors. Now after a hard day of work, we hit the gym or the trails and we push our bodies to the max asking more from our adrenals. Or perhaps we lead a life of low stress that includes meditation, gentle exercise and pretty good diet, however we have an unknown food intolerance that causes bloating, joint pain, fatigue, brain fog and dis-ease. Or perhaps we have an injury or a accident that called for surgery….All of these incidents and lifestyles can lead to adrenal fatigue or worse exhaustion. Sounds hopeless? Not at all!

What are the symptoms?

Chronic fatigue, menstrual abnormalities, insomnia, hypoglycemia, hypothyroidism, depression, rapid aging, obesity, stress. Waking up after a full 8 or more hours of sleep and you’re still tired or not being able to fall asleep until the wee hours of the night are both symptoms that your adrenal glands are stressed.

How do I prevent this?

The good news is there’s a lot we can do to avoid this adrenal catastrophe! We can test for adrenal fatigue, hormonal imbalances and food intolerances to get a clear picture of what’s going on. We can work with a doctor and nutrition expert to guide us through diet and supplements to support our adrenal health. A two fold approach is necessary in maintaining adrenal health.

Nutrition:

A clean diet void of food intolerances, fried and processed foods and low in sugar, caffeine, alcohol and gluten not only help your body run like a freshly lubed engine, but also gives your adrenals a break and allows them to produce enough hormones at the appropriate times, rather than all day long! If you can maintain a diet rich in plant nutrients, healthy fats & proteins and organic fruits and vegetables along with probiotic rich foods like fermented cabbage (think sauerkraut, kimchi) your gut will thank you with a balanced gut flora and strong immune system. When your gut is healthy and balanced, your adrenals don’t have to go in over drive. This diet will also reward you with a sharper, more relaxed mind and sustained energy rather than brain fog, sugar spikes and crazy energy.

Lifestyle:

Laugh more, dance more, love more, and do what you enjoy more! Managing your stress through meditation, practicing your spirituality, talk therapy, self care (massage, acupuncture, craniosacral work, yoga, time away) and moderate exercise is important not only for your sanity, heart and bones but also for your over worked adrenals. Take some time to listen to your favorite music and go for a walk or perhaps you play an instrument or used to dance and sing? Tap into the things you used to do before life got hectic! Unplug from your electronic devices and plug into your loved ones or nature.

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. 

 

 

 

Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired? Try Hydrotherapy!

By: Dr. McKenzie Mescon

Most of us have grown up putting an ice pack on a sprained ankle, or a hot pack on sore muscles.  We use heating pads to ease menstrual cramps, ice cubes to take the bite out of bee stings, clothes straight out of the dryer for comfort and coziness, and cold wet cloths on our foreheads in fever.  There are so many ways that we all use the application of either hot or cold to bring about certain feelings in our bodies.

Constitutional hydrotherapy is a naturopathic medical treatment that involves applying alternating hot and cold to the patient’s body in order to improve the flow of blood and lymph.

Naturopathic constitutional hydrotherapy is a treatment that lasts about an hour, and involves application of gentle electrostimulation, along with alternating hot and cold towels to the abdomen and back to increase blood and lymph flow in the patient’s body.

Blood is the great nourisher in our bodies; it carries nutrients, oxygen, immune cells, inflammatory molecules, and cellular waste, just to name a few things.  When we can improve blood flow, we impact its delivery of all of these beneficial things to the cells that make up our internal organs, our skin, our muscles, and the immune system.

Constitutional hydrotherapy is indicated in many different types of ailments, because so many conditions of the body can be improved when we affect blood flow.  Colds and flus resolve quickly with constitutional hydrotherapy because of the improved immune function seen when blood and lymph increase circulation.  Increased circulation means more bug and virus-fighting immune cells are distributed around the body to do their job fighting disease. The treatment is also very relaxing, and every sick body needs time to rest and rejuvenate in order to heal!

Constitutional hydrotherapy is also helpful in GI complaints because it nourishes the tissue and provides gentle stimulation to the digestive system.  Additionally, hydrotherapy is great for patients with stress and fatigue because the increase in blood flow means an increase in delivery of nutrients to all the tissues and organs of the body.  Fatigue is also helped due to the clearance of cellular wastes and toxins, which tend to accumulate and in doing so, can make us feel sluggish as our bodies work hard at cleaning up.

Constitutional hydrotherapy addresses chronic inflammation in similar ways to fatigue by increasing clearance of cellular wastes and inflammatory factors by increasing blood flow.  Also, the nourishing quality of improved blood flow can help our bodies operate better under the stress of chronic disease by providing nutrients and cofactors to support cellular processes.

Lastly, menstrual irregularities can be helped by constitutional hydrotherapy because increased blood flow means nourishment of the reproductive organs, delivering nutrients and oxygen, and clearing inflammation and cellular wastes that can contribute to painful menses or other reproductive issues.  Female patients should note that due to the increase in blood flow created by this treatment, they may not want to receive constitutional hydrotherapy on days with heavy menses.

Constitutional hydrotherapy is often applied in a series, and some patients will see results more clearly when they have more than one treatment.  For this reason, at Spring Integrative Health we offer packages for constitutional hydrotherapy sessions, and suggest scheduling one or two treatments per week.  We look forward to your visits and the opportunity to improve your health with this traditional naturopathic treatment, long loved by both doctors and patients alike!

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.

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