Chronic Pain Series: Part 3 - Nutritional Therapies

Chronic Pain Series: Part 3 - Nutritional Therapies

Read on below on to see how your daily cup of java and love for dark chocolate could be helping your chronic pain. Of course, turmeric and ginger - the king of anti-inflammatory spices, will be mentioned here! Also, we can't forget about fish oil. Continue reading to see what the research says for these pain-busting powerhouses. 

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Chronic Pain Series: Part 2 - Mind Body

Chronic Pain Series: Part 2 - Mind Body

There is a strong connection between mental and physical states of being. Doing activities that one enjoys, spending time in nature, using art/music for healing, yoga and other types of movement, along with cognitive behavioural therapies are some of the many mind-body therapies that have been shown to reduce and help manage chronic pain. Read on below for Part 2 of the Chronic Pain Series focusing on Mind Body techniques/therapies. 

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Chronic Pain Series: Part 1 - Herbal Medicine

Chronic Pain Series: Part 1 - Herbal Medicine

There are so many health conditions that cause chronic pain - not just  arthritis. Auto-immune conditions, traumatic injuries, migraine/headaches, fibromyalgia, and even anxiety and depression have been linked to increased daily pain. Over time, this not only causes physical distress but also mental distress - it is no surprise that mental health disorders are commonly linked to chronic pain. Fortunately, there are many tools available for chronic pain sufferers - one of them being herbal/botanical medicine. 

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A New Year: Giving Yourself Time in a Fast Paced World

A New Year: Giving Yourself Time in a Fast Paced World

Hi everyone and happy new year! I hope that the holidays granted all of you much needed quality time with your families and friends. I have been pondering a topic to write about for this new year that is now upon is. One thing thing that I don't like about many new years resolutions is that they may be "productivity-driven" ex. get more work done, do more etc. I have struggled with this concept recently and found that I have been drawn to doing less, simplifying, and becoming more mindful with my actions and goals - instead of trying to do more. 

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Holiday Wellness Series Part 1: Mental Health

Holiday Wellness Series Part 1: Mental Health

Stress Management - The holiday stress may always be there but you have the power to manage the stressful feelings that it may cause. Great stress management techniques may be doing some deep breathing exercises, meditation, yoga, and spending quality time with friends, family, and even pets! 

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Immunity Series Part 3: An Herbal Medicine Approach

Immunity Series Part 3: An Herbal Medicine Approach

We are now at the end of the 3 Part Immunity Series and are on our last topic, which is Herbal Medicine. As a naturopath, there are many herbs that can be used to boost immunity, prevent colds and flus as well as be used for actual treatments. Read on below to see some of the many herbs for immune health. 

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Immunity Series Part 2: A Supplement Approach

Immunity Series Part 2: A Supplement Approach

As a Naturopathic doctor, I am commonly using many supplements and nutritional interventions for immune health. It is now common knowledge that Vitamin C can help with colds, and that we need more Vitamin D in the winter for mood, immune health and general disease prevention. What is less known are the effects of other supplements such as probiotics regarding immune health, and are these supplements better for cold and flu prevention (maintenance of a good immune system) or treatment? Read on below for what I have found in the research regarding these topics.

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Immunity Series Part 1: A Chinese Medicine Approach

Immunity Series Part 1: A Chinese Medicine Approach

The change from warmer temperatures to colder ones causes many shifts in the body that we must adjust to. From a traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) perspective, the summer months are the time of the Fire element, where it is promoted to eat more “cooling” foods like cucumbers, lemons and raw salads. At this time we are more energetic and our schedules will adapt to this.

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Are you Feeling The Effects of Chronic Stress?

Are you Feeling The Effects of Chronic Stress?

As September comes along, so can feelings of stress, anxiety, and fatigue. When treating stress in practice, I hear from many patients that they feel “tired” but also “wired” or that they feel “burnt out”. This can also be seen as as concerns of low energy, poor sleep but also feeling like running on empty in an anxious state. When this goes on long term, depression and intense fatigue can occur. A lot of times, this is indicative of the adrenal glands and different organ systems involved in the stress response (cortisol release) being out of balance.

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August Healing for September Wellness

August Healing for September Wellness

We all know the feeling after labour day weekend when our routines change from the hazy days of summer to full-fledged work hours, back-to-school and all the other busyness that is part of the fall months. The summer nostalgia sets in and we might already feel exhausted and need another holiday. This is why I wanted to write this post about taking the time for yourself for the rest of August so that you can feel well this September. 

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How The Foods You Eat Can Beat Stress & Anxiety

How The Foods You Eat Can Beat Stress & Anxiety

A lot of us think of "stress-eating" when we talk about foods in relation to stress and anxiety. Ever bought a treat to cheer you up? Well the reason why we go towards certain foods when we are stressed or anxious is to boost our "feel-good" brain neurotransmitters, mainly serotonin. Did you know that you can use a healthy diet to create neurotransmitters like serotonin? Or use ingredients that create a calming effect in the brain? Here are certain vitamin-rich foods to look for:

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Social Media Vacation: Unplugging to Reconnect

Social Media Vacation: Unplugging to Reconnect

Does this ever sound like you? After looking at one person’s social media post, its already half an hour later and you have looked at 10 other people’s profiles that you don’t even know. You question yourself: “Am I doing enough?” “Is this person having more fun than me?” “Is this person more successful than me?”. After going camping for a week before Canada Day I realized that I didn’t really miss not going on social media. Because of this, I decided not to go on Facebook or Instagram over the past week.

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Summer Wellness Part 4: Sun safety vs. Fun in the Sun

Summer Wellness Part 4: Sun safety vs. Fun in the Sun

If you're anything like me, the start of summer also brings on the enjoyment of sunshine both for my wellbeing and for health reasons. Like some of you, my family has a history of skin and other cancers - meaning that too much fun in the sun could increase my chances of developing skin cancers, or could it actually reduce my risk? Sun exposure appears to be a double-edged sword - with a positive correlation of increased sunburns and risk of skin cancer development, while lack of sun exposure has shown to lead to an increased risk of other diseases.

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Summer Wellness Part 3: Nature's Healing Effects

Summer Wellness Part 3: Nature's Healing Effects

Being in nature is one of my favorite outdoor activities to do year-round, but especially in the summer. If you also equally enjoy spending time in nature – either at a cottage, camping or simply by going for a walk in the park or a trail – then this article is for you! It turns out that there are scientifically proven reasons as to why so many of us enjoy nature, and feel revitalized and recharged after.

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Summer Wellness Part 1: Banish Bites with Natural Bug Repellent

Summer Wellness Part 1: Banish Bites with Natural Bug Repellent

This past weekend, my partner and I went for a camping trip at Arrowhead Provincial Park. It was a nice 2-day getaway into nature, however was also prime blackfly (and mosquito) season! We did not use DEET bug spray the whole camping trip, and instead used a bug screen shelter and my “Natural Bug Spray” for the times that we were not under the bug shelter. When we were first setting up our tent, without spray, the bugs were relentless. After a full body spray of the natural bug elixir that I concocted, the bugs were hovering over us but definitely not landing and biting as much.

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Foraging for Food Part 3: Lovely Lemon Balm and Lavender

Foraging for Food Part 3: Lovely Lemon Balm and Lavender

Lavender is a well-known botanical that is helpful for a variety of neurological concerns, especially generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).  A recent study found that 160 or 80 mg of Silexan daily (a lavender oil preparation) caused both a 60% and 33% reduction in anxiety on the Hamilton Anxiety Scale (HAMA) score after 10 weeks (3).  Incorporate the mind-body healing effects of both Lemon balm and Lavender in this iced tea recipe!

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Foraging for Food Part 2: From Wild Pest to Perfect Pesto

Foraging for Food Part 2: From Wild Pest to Perfect Pesto

This week, I was inspired to use another wild plant growing in large amounts around where I live. Across from my street is a forest, and I noticed that the pathways were covered in a plant that was a few feet tall, with triangular leaves and small white flowers (1). After going on the foraging course with my mother for Mother’s Day, I was enticed to identify the plant and see if it was indeed edible. The plant turned out to be Garlic Mustard or Alliaria petiolata, which is from the Mustard family (Brassicaceae) (2).

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