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What is Estrogen Dominance?

Most have heard of the predominately female hormone Estrogen. Most haven’t heard of the term Estrogen Dominance. This term refers to an imbalance of the hormonal profile of an individual. Typically when we speak of estrogen dominance we’re referring to women. What is not well known is that most women are in fact Estrogen dominant. Men for instance, can also present with inappropriate ratios between Estrogen and Testosterone which can cause a host of problems and unfavourable side effects including prostate cancer. Estrogen in excess for men is like kryptonite for testosterone (for all of you Superman fans). For women, we usually describe Estrogen dominance in its relation to Progesterone.

 

Bringing these hormones into balance can decrease the risk for Breast Cancer as well as to reduce the symptoms of PMS, perimenopause and menopause.

Estrogen-Dominance

As you can see from the graph, there is always more estrogen than progesterone but the degree of the difference will determine the extent of symptoms.

What are the signs of Estrogen Dominance in women?

When the estrogen to progesterone imbalance shows up in women there can be very difficult regulation of the menstrual cycle. Sometimes it will look like heavy PMS symptoms like cramping, bloating, mood changes, cravings, digestive problems, back pain, headaches etc. Once menses starts for the month it can create an increased number of days of flow, heavy clotting, extreme pain, spotting through the month, heavy flow, bloating and fatigue. What we’ve just described are tell tale signs of estrogen dominance in a menstruating woman. As this perpetuates over a number of years from menarche until the peri-menopause phase of a woman’s life this can set up a more exaggerated set of chronic symptoms as shown below and can also include Breast and Uterine cancer. What you will also see is that Estrogen Dominance and Progesterone Deficiency look very similar.

Estrogen-Progesterone

 

 

 

 

 

What causes Estrogen Dominance?

One of the main sources is through our food. Many foods contain pesticides and other unnatural chemicals. These chemicals have similar structure to estrogen and are called “xenoestrogens” which will also stimulate estrogen receptors and mimic its effects.

 

Supplementation of Estrogen through the birth control pill (BCP) or other sources. Many women are using the BCP to regulate their menstrual cycle, for skin problems (acne) or for birth control. We see many women on these for 15 years or longer. This is a significant accumulation of estrogen in the body further disrupting the balance between estrogen and progesterone. The reason so many women are using BCP’s for imbalances other than just for prevention of pregnancy is because they don’t know there are other options for them (and because sometimes it works really well). Some forms of BCP’s are the progesterone only pill which are non human identical and are in the form of progestin (medroxyprogesterone). Progestins are not structurally the same as progesterone and accumulating these progestins in the body will continue to disrupts the natural estrogen to progesterone ratio. This can potentially create problems in ovulation and make it more difficult to get pregnant. In addition to this, low progesterone is one of the most common reason for recurring miscarriages and therefore establishing a balance is critical.

 

The Overproduction of Estrogen

This can be due to ovarian cysts or tumors. Chronic stress also increases the production of estrogen by blocking healthy testosterone and increasing its conversion from DHEA (adrenal hormone-another hormone important for longevity). High fat storage as in obesity is a regular contributor to the estrogen excess. Adipocytes (fat tissue) release enzymes converting Testosterone and DHEA into estrogen. Therefore the more fat you have present, the more estrogen that will be manufactured.

 

Because estrogen is removed by the liver, a healthy functioning detoxification system needs to be maintained in order to keep things in balance. Nutrients such as B6, Magnesium, Protein, Essential Fatty acids, antioxidants, Indole 3 carbinol (found in flax), Diindole methane (found in broccoli), glutathione among others are responsible for regular elimination of these hormones and xenoestrogens. A healthy functioning digestive tract with good levels of the essential commensal bacteria in the gut also serve to eliminate an estrogen excess. Diseases such as liver cirrhosis and hepatitis already have compromised function. When we have too much daily alcohol and caffeine we further nutrient deplete our bodies to the point of impaired detoxification mechanisms. Increased sugar intake and low vegetable intake also decrease the livers ability to breakdown estrogen.

 

What is Progesterone’s role?

Progesterone is necessary for proper ovulation, it helps prepare the endometrium for implantation of an embryo and its level falls off quickly as soon as the body realizes its not pregnant. This sudden drop in progesterone is what causes a shedding of the lining and subsequent menstruation.

 

Progesterone effects:

  • Protects against breast cysts
  • Helps use fat for energy and keep it off hips
  • Natural diuretic (water pill)
  • Natural anti-depressant
  • Facilitates thyroid hormone action
  • Normalizes blood clotting
  • Increases libido
  • Normalizes blood sugar levels
  • Normalizes zinc and copper levels
  • Restores proper cell oxygen levels
  • Helps prevent endometrial cancer
  • Helps prevent breast cancer
  • Increases bone building
  • Progesterone also affects brain function and produces a sense of calmness
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    Progesterone is a precursor to many hormones and one of the main Adrenal hormones is cortisol, our stress hormone. As cortisol becomes triggered chronically because of lifestyle factors, high sugar and processed food intake, stress at work, finances, kids etc it can have a very depleting effect on Progesterone. The more cortisol that gets triggered the less progesterone that’s available in the body.

     

    We see many women through our Truebalance Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy Program and time and time again the biggest shift that progesterone creates for these women is a significant improvement in sleep, improved mood and sense of wellbeing, more energy and a reduction in hot flashes (if present). Bioidentical Progesterone works wonders on women and because of its effect on the breast tissue and antagonizing estrogen it has become a helpful tool for preventing breast cancer. As with all treatments hormone balancing or otherwise; working with lifestyle medicine, nutrition and stress reduction should all be part of the program.

    5 Steps to Alleviate Hot Flashes & Night Sweats

    We see many peri menopausal women and menopausal women in our practice. One of the the most common complaints during this time is hot flashes. This is an extremely uncomfortable and annoying experience for some and less so for others. What we see consistently in our practice is that lifestyle factors such as: history of medication (Birth Control Pills, acid blockers, SSRI’s etc), diet (high red meat, sugar and dairy), frequency of exercise, alcohol and stimulant use among others can contribute to the severity of these symptoms.

     

    What is a hot flash? A hot flash is a sudden rise in temperature due to an activation of norepinephrine to dilate blood vessels causing flushing and sweating. This is in part caused by the drop in Estrogen at Menopause. Estrogen levels fluctuate considerably during the peri-menopausal period and then eventually bottoms out at menopause. Progesterone has been on a slow and steady decline and drops by 50% from the age of 25-40. These two hormones are constantly being monitored by the hypothalamus which regulates temperature and the subsequent release of norepinephrine.

     

    Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) and Leutinizing Hormone (LH) are responsive to these levels as well and are stimulated for release when these levels drop. FSH remains high during the later stages of Peri-menopause and is looked at in relation to LH as a blood marker to determine this transition period for women. High FSH attempts to stimulate the follicle to release more estrogen during this time but does so unsuccessfully. This incomplete maturation of the follicles is also why there are more abnormal cycles around perimenopause.

     

    LH surges, which in a normal menstrual cycle trigger the release of the follicle from the ovary and subsequent ovulation also coincide with hot flashes. Because ovarian function has declining receptivity and action during this time there can be multiple surges of LH through a single day. It becomes most uncomfortable when this is happening at night as it can prevent a restful deep sleep.

     

    Why do some women get hot flashes and others don’t? There is something called a thermoneutral zone which refers to a narrow range of temperatures that when one fluctuates beyond their neutral zone a hot flash or shivering can be triggered. In women with frequent hot flashes, they tend to have a very small zone, so even 1/10 of a degree change can actually trigger a hot flash. Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) in the form of Biest (Estradiol and Estriol) and progesterone is one of the main tools used in this clinic to create a larger thermoneutral zone therefore decreasing the frequency and elimination of these occurrences.

     

    Steps to eliminate Hot Flashes:

     

    1) Follow an anti-inflammatory nutrition plan. High red meat, dairy, peanuts, sugar, trans fats, processed foods stimulate prostaglandin’s to up-regulate arachadonic acid production. Arachadonic acid is part of an inflammatory cascade in the body which is highly reactive to free radical damage, oxidation and inflammation. This increased presence of Prostaglandins in the blood also stimulate the hypothalamus and subsequently affects temperature regulation. - Supplementation: Omega 3 oils, Curcumin, Boswelia, Bromelain, antioxidants.

     

    2) Rest and Relaxation. Long, deep breathing and meditation down regulates the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight system) and subsequent release of norepinephrine. Supporting a healthy parasympathetic nervous system (rest, digest and heal system) is critical for optimal neurotransmitter balance such as endorphins, serotonin and GABA. Getting to bed earlier (9-10pm) to work with the body’s natural hormonal rhythm can also be a significant help. – Heart Rate Variability is a very helpful tool to discover this imbalance and to reestablish an appropriate expression.

     

    3) Exercise. Regular exercise not only helps to detoxify the body through the sweat, enhance the immune system by moving the lymphatics, and strengthen the cardiovascular system, it also helps to enhance the feel good endorphins which also support the parasympathetic nervous system. – Yoga works both as a form of exercise and a way to regulate the nervous system.

     

    4) Balance Blood Sugar. Start the day with 30g of protein, have regular fibre (ground flax), 4-6 servings of above ground vegetables, limit your grain intake, and eat regular small meals every 3 hours. Oh, and avoid sugar! – First Line Therapy is a tool we implement for patients to structure individualized meal plans.

     

    5) Check your hormones. Get some testing done to look and see what’s going on in the hormonal department. Estrogen, Progesterone, DHEA, Cortisol, Testosterone and Thyroid hormone all play a role in helping to restore balance. Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy is a very useful tool for bringing these organ systems into balance. There are also herbs, supplements, vitamins and minerals that can help to regulate the function of these systems as well which contribute to hormone balancing. They can be used together for an optimal wellness plan. – Our Truebalance BHRT Program is geared towards getting you back to being you through hormonal balance.

     

    Check out our Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) page for more information. Click here

    Diet Change in Six Steps

    Six steps for the diet change paradigm

     

    Many patients who come into our clinic decide they want help with their diet, regardless of what you come in for no one leaves without us addressing this very important point. Take a look at the word “Die”t…., no wonder it’s so hard for people to stick to one, it’s a bit threatening. Diets will trigger a small death inside someone because of the pain caused by taking out what tastes so good! There’s a real need for healthy food relationships and our goal is to shift and transform that relationship to one that serves you and your health. Our quick fix culture of 3-5 day cleanses and binge dieting is all people feel they have time for. Whether it’s a short attention span, not having time to connect with the food preparation process, or lacking the knowledge and will power to create habits. We are sold the plan with the quickest reporting results only to end up back where we started. We are a culture of convenience and we have everything we could ever want to know about at our fingertips, from the internet for information, to resources that allow us to connect with people from all over the world, and of course fast food, with our busy schedules who has the time to cook!

     

    Most people who come in say “I’ve tried everything the Zone diet, the Atkins diet, the no carb diet, the gluten free diet and nothing has worked”. Anything worth doing is worth doing right as Hunter S Thompson put it. First we have to discover that if what we’re doing is actually right for us. So one of the biggest contributing factors to a diet change is looking at whether you are doing it in alignment with what your body needs, and secondly are you being consistent.

     

    Ultimately diets don’t fail, we do (I’m not saying all diets work we don’t agree with some because the science isn’t there to support it). What I’m suggesting is that why we fail is more important to discover. There can be many reasons for this such as: we don’t have the right information, we don’t have the willpower, we don’t have the time, we don’t have the support. In fact we’re usually good at finding what’s wrong and are good at pointing fingers. Those that succeed are ones who let the internal environment constantly condition and realign the goals and give less weight to what’s happening outside of us. This means to create a mindset/paradigm of health consciousness. Our thoughts and actions are in alignment. We are not in alignment if we’re thinking “why aren’t I losing weight while eating a bag of “vegan/gluten free” potato chips or a bowl of dairy free low fat ice cream?”

     

    The conversation needs to change from diet change to lifestyle modification, behaviour modification, habit modification and getting in tune with that innate intelligence within-we need to create a paradigm shift. We want to help people make the necessary changes that support an ideal nutritional plan, while working on the programming that actually support the process. What we’re eating is a part of our problem but even more important than what we’re eating is why we’re eating the way we are. With the increased pace of life we live in we’re wanting our body to deal with it by giving it the food it wants as quickly as possible. This is usually high calorie and low nutritional content food which perpetuates the cycle of craving and binge eating. This works for a time and then eventually our body gets overloaded with toxicity, adiposity (fat tissue) and adrenal fatigue that we can no longer sustain things.

     

    Your goals and needs are going to be different than someone else’s, therefore the plan needs to be individualized to your specific health goals, your constitution and basal metabolic rate, while addressing any outstanding health concerns. Most people want to have more energy, better sleep, improved digestive function, clearer skin, remove the need for medication or a diagnosis (diabetes, hypertension, outstanding lab markers etc). More often than not a diet is a plan to lose weight. Well I don’t know about you but when I lose something I typically want to find it again. The paradigm that we are stuck in is one that markets a world of possibility and doesn’t tell you the work involved. Take a moment to consider how many times in the last year you decided on making a diet change. For most people it’s every Monday after a weekend of too many drinks, too much bread, too many desserts etc.

     

    Our 6 steps to an individualized nutrition/lifestyle program

     

    1) Discovery: Determine your goals for wanting to diet: lose weight, have more energy, clearer skin etc

     

    2) Educate: Reframe the diet paradigm to lifestyle modification so that the diet isn’t what you’re working on but a change in nutritional habits unfolds from wanting to be healthier. Instead of focusing on what you can’t have, focus and educate yourself on what you can. Seek your Naturopathic Doctors guidance so that something can be prepared for you. First Line Therapy is the most comprehensive, individualized, patient friendly, scientifically validated program we’ve seen available.

     

    3) Commit: Write down your goals and make sure you put them somewhere you can see them daily. Reading them aloud morning and night can help keep you on track. Keeping a little note in your pocket to review before you pull out your wallet to pay for a high calorie and low nutrient snack.

     

    4) Consistency: Eat small frequent meals through the day (every 3 hours). Eat a good protein source like incorporating a high protein medical food/nutritional shake within 1 hour of waking to prepare your blood sugar for the day. Hydrate: 1/2 body weight in kg in ounces of water. Eat as many above ground vegetables as you like through the day (aim for 5 servings/day). Limit grain intake to your bodies metabolic needs.

     

    5) Integrate: Rewiring your subconscious programs for success by turning your lifestyle/nutrition changes into a habit. This requires sticking to a plan for a minimum of 40 days.

     

    6) Transform: Your goals and actions are in alignment and you’re operating with a new level of wisdom through the experience you had. Time to learn and discover some more!

     

    5 Naturopathic tools for enhancing nutrition

     

    1) First Line Therapy: Lifestyle medicine using medical foods for your body type, your basal metabolic rate which determines your caloric intake and your specific health goals. Ask your Naturopathic doctor about the program.

     

    2) Intravenous Vitamin Therapy: quick delivery for high dose nutritional repletion.

     

    3) Discover Food Sensitivities and lab testing for nutrient deficiencies and disease processes: These could be contributing to toxicity and chronic health concerns.

     

    4) Healing the digestive system through supplementation: Probiotics, Essential Fatty Acids, Fiber, Protein, Antioxidants, mucilagenous herbs.

     

    5) Seasonal Cleansing: maintaining the bodies elimination systems. This enhances absorption through the digestive tract and keeps the body’s immune system strong.

    Your Detoxification Challenge!

    Imagine for a moment the analogy of your body as a bucket. With chronic exposure to the different forms of toxins your bucket would get so full that it would spill over the rim. The overflowing bucket is your body not being able to handle that toxic load. This would then show up as symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, constipation and diarrhea, bloating and gas, eczema, autoimmune conditions etc. Therefore, the body just like the bucket would need pathways for elimination to decrease the toxic load. These pathways are represented in the body as emunctories. The primary emunctories include the liver, kidneys, Intestines, stomach, pancreas, lymph and Lungs, and the secondary emunctories are the skin and mucous membranes. These pathways of elimination work together to create a nontoxic environment in the body. If any of these are not functioning optimally the body creates symptoms because the bucket is just too full.

     

    Click here to read the full article

    Vaccines – Vaccination

    To vaccinate or not to vaccinate, that is not the question. So let’s start asking the right one…

     

    We’ve shared a link to a very thorough and well written article which covers all commonly argued points on vaccines. Before getting to the science behind it in the article we wanted to discuss our philosophy on the subject in the hopes of diffusing some of the difficulties this brings up. I want to make a strong point at the beginning here; informed consent is everyone’s right, we have to be willing to exercise this right, to listen and decide for ourselves. Choosing a belief system is not informed consent. Self educating, gathering information, learning from the experts, then examining the due diligence of the research involved, and finally reflecting on what that means to us as individuals is informed consent. I consent to the information that is presented and then make a decision.

     

    What an argument on this subject assumes is that vaccination is the gold standard. It is the “right” and most effective way to strengthen your resilience against infection/disease of many different types. What that statement is saying is that for maybe the first time in the history of our known world we’ve outsmarted nature. Have we actually created something more effective than our innate immune system? What if we haven’t actually done the near impossible and the gold standard is and will always be supporting and strengthening a healthy innate immune system? Our innate immune system is first on the scene to any infiltration of microbes, virus, fungus etc. It has an incredible memory for which it creates memory T cells and informs the acquired immune system. These cells are stored in the lymphatic system for future pathogen exposure and when triggered they signal your immune system to deal with it (immunity). Vaccination bypasses this process and goes right to the acquired immune system. This part of the immune system purely stores and doesn’t get reprogrammed. it gets signalled and then reacts. The innate immune system is constantly learning, observing the environment and adapting thus bolstering our immune systems ability to deal with a very wide variety of pathogens. The more we take away the role of the innate system the less responsive it can be.

     

    These processes are happening all the time anyway, why not help the body do what it’s already doing? What if the conversation changed from “what kind of vaccine do we need for this bug” to “what are the best tools to use to be proactive with my health and to strengthen my immune system?” What would the world look like if there was a mass education on how to be healthier, more prosperous, stress free individuals? Could you imagine commercials on tv taking us through meditation exercises, and informing us about our health instead of telling us what drugs to take for a particular diagnosis and then take the second half of the commercial to list its side effects? What if there were info sessions between tv programs that told us how to manage our finances, to help our neighbours, to build our own gardens, to be more considerate to those we love? What if we didn’t look at health care from a disease management model but from an optimal wellness approach? What if we weren’t sold/marketed to with a world of “bandaids” for illnesses that have been “eradicated” that sure enough show up again a few years later and then blame the “untouchables” (the non vaccinated caste system we’ve created) for the outbreak when both individuals-vaccinated and not are acquiring an infection. What if we spent more time, energy, money towards maintaining health and actually decreasing the incredibly vast numbers of people dying from preventable illnesses like Cancer, Diabetes, Obesity, Cardiovascular disease, and Starvation instead of arguing over the extremely minuscule amount of people (in comparison) contracting the latest strain of measles and then recovering from it. What if we were encouraged and taught to be as healthy as possible and were educated on how to best work with nature and the innate immune system? We already have the right machinery for the job, we just need to know how to best support it.

     

    Naturopathic medicine looks at the health potential of the individual by looking at the terrain of the person. Someone who has a healthy terrain: eats a whole food/anti-inflammatory/low glycemic load diet, avoids food sensitivities, knows how to down regulate the stress response, hydrates well, exercises and keeps meaningful supportive relationships will likely have a stronger immune system. Someone who does not follow these practices will be more likely immune compromised. If your immune system is always being triggered because of unhealthy lifestyle choices you are more likely to develop illnesses. It’s not a guarantee that the healthy individual won’t get sick but it will suggest they will be better prepared when illness does show up. Not everyone who is exposed to a pathogen develops the illness, when looking at the model of a healthy terrain we can see why that could be the case. In saying this, it gives less weight to the newest “outbreak” and puts more control in our own hands for protection through the healthy choices we make.

     

    Paradigms can and do change, the earth was flat until it was proved otherwise. Men/Women were and still are persecuted for thinking outside the box. It takes a significant amount of time for ideas to become proven scientifically/philosophically/experimentally/experientially etc and then filter their way down to the general population as common knowledge. We could bolster that effect by choosing to have an open mind and to be proactive with our health. Belief systems tend to spread like wild fire. One of the first signs of change in any belief system is emotional upheaval and resistance as old paradigms fall away. It is very clear when someone is struggling with one when this anger/tension/stress arises as their identity (which is formed by the belief system) is being challenged. I don’t like getting upset or making someone else angry more than the next person so why go down that road? This is why we need a change in the question. Let’s find how we can work together instead of argue a point that is taking too long to solve. How can I be as healthy as possible and strengthen my immune system naturally? What we can all agree on is that if we change the conversation we will be able to agree on some important points regarding our health.

     

    We can collectively wait for the final verdict to come out and say “Breaking news: Vaccines are good and we need them” or “Breaking news: Vaccines are bad and we don’t need them”. Or in the meantime, lets collectively educate ourselves and strengthen our immune system with regular healthy lifestyle practices. While the earth was still flat, life had to go on. While vaccines are in constant controversy lets pick up a stalk of broccoli and some Astragalus (a great immune boosting herb) and put down the hamburger and insulin needle (except if you need it at the time). And when you do get sick, stay home from work and rest your achy body, work on your terrain so as not to spread the flu to your neighbour (I’m guilty of this as well). It starts with the self. Until there is a complete paradigm shift in the way we as individuals look at vaccines why not start with the things we have control over like choosing to be healthy. I choose to support my immune system, I choose to eat healthy (whatever that means to you), I choose to get more sleep, I choose to have better relationships, I choose to listen twice as much as I speak etc.

     

    We all want guarantees, we all want security. I can guarantee that if you consume a lot of sugar, trans fats, processed foods, dairy, red meat, soda, alcohol, nicotine and caffeine that your immune system will be compromised. There is no guarantee that you will be safe once vaccinated there is a guarantee that your immune system will be strengthened by implementing a healthy lifestyle. I believe our greatest resource is to become self aware. As we do, we begin to cultivate the willingness to grow and then become a true asset to others. We no longer need to say what we do but we speak through how we choose to live our lives.

     

    The medical system that we have all formed an opinion on; whether the opinion of it is good or bad, is not our saviour but is in service to us. It may or may not have the answers you need. It definitely does not have magic bullets for curing illness and neither does any other field of medicine including Naturopathic Medicine. I suggest you as an individual choose the paradigm you want to work with. Do you want to have a “fix” for your illness or do you want to “fix” your lifestyle and be proactive with your immune system.

     

    Whatever you choose for yourself or family regarding vaccines does not require any defending or justification. A choice in the end is just that and before we try and save and protect the world from the “vaccinated” or the “untouchables” we have to take responsibility for us first. Sometimes we make good decisions and other times we make the wrong ones. Our resilience and and willingness to be wrong and to exercise humility when right shows our strength and the work we’ve done to take responsibility for ourselves.

     

    When we start to ask the questions above it’s pretty clear that we’ve been programmed to not think for ourselves and to rely on something outside of us to “keep us safe”. In this age of technology that we find ourselves in we have an opportunity to evolve our thinking. Instead of using it to argue and sustain old points of view; why not begin to create new ones while being respectful of those that do not want to or are not ready to change. We have something inside each and every one of us called an innate immune system that knows what to do. Instead of fighting nature, lets work with her and understand how to amplify her effectiveness instead of bypassing what she does best. If you choose to bypass her we will support you in your decision and strengthen your immune system anyway.

     

    With love, Dr Nicholas Jensen ND

    Enjoy the article:
    http://drsuzanne.net/dr-suzanne-humphries-vaccines-vaccination/

    Sleep Support

    Are you getting your Zzz’s?

     

    It is common knowledge now that in order for the body to balance, rejuvenate and coax out it’s natural healing ability, we need to have at least 6 hours of good quality sleep each night. So it’s no surprise that sleep- how much you are getting and the quality of it- is something that comes up in virtually every discussion about health. The truth is that many people continue to struggle with this most basic need. The reasons for having poor sleep are varied, (new parents anyone!) but we’d like to discuss one component in particular today- your Pineal Gland.

     

    What is my Pineal Gland?

    The Pineal gland is a small pine cone shaped gland located in the mid brain. It is responsible for producing or signalling the production of hormones that affect virtually every organ system in the body. It is connected via nerves to both the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight system) and the parasympathetic system (rest and digest system). One of the pineal gland’s claims to fame is that it secrets Melatonin. Melatonin as you may know plays a big role in helping you feel sleepy and ready for bed.

     The other important thing to know about the pineal gland is that it responds to light and dark cycles. Recent studies have shown that exposure to artificial light regularly before going to bed (watching TV in bed, being on the computer, iPad etc. late into the night) dramatically affect the secretion of melatonin which then affects the quality of your sleep.

     

    When the quality of your sleep is poor, there are obvious effects – A grumpy, groggy day at work – but other more problematic issues that can arise from lack of sleep, which if they continue over time can result in chronic problems. During deep sleep is when the body detoxes, and rejuvenates itself, if you miss that essential time of deep sleep you can experience diminished immune system function, your digestion can suffer and you will get older quicker :) (Actually, there have been studies that show that melatonin can play a role in longevity) 

    Divine Elements Tips for a better night’s sleep.

    Decrease exposure to light in the evening:

    Keep lights low in the evening especially florescent lights, try and turn off computers and TV’s earlier before bed. Don’t watch TV or be on your computer in bed!! This also goes for reading on tablets- unless they are dim screened. Better to read the old fashioned way! Try and keep your room dark to sleep, if you do have a clock, try to not have it right by your bed.

     

    Decrease electromagnetic energy exposure:

    Wifi, cell phones, radio, microwave etc. can all disrupt pineal function. Unplug the household wifi at night, don’t sleep with your phone in your room- or turn it to airplane mode. Do things to strengthen your body’s shield- its own electromagnetic field - 
    Practice Earthing: (www.earthingcanada.ca
    Do Kundalini Yoga: (www.yogawest.ca) 

    Look at alternatives to pharmaceutical drugs:

    Antidepressants and other psychotropic drugs affect the synthesis and release of melatonin. Research shows that NSAIDS (aspirin, ibuprofen and acetaminophen) suppress melatonin thereby causing sleep problems. Beta blockers also show diminished melatonin secretion. Talk to your Naturopath about alternatives.

     

    Go to bed earlier:

    There are basic rhythms which the body follows which are disrupted when we push bed time late. Ideally you want to be in bed before your “second wind” hits which is usually around 10-11pm. The Energy of the second wind is meant to be used by your sleeping body to detox and heal not to watch late night TV. If you miss getting to bed before the second wind hits you will likely be awake until 1 or 2 in the morning- and then you’ve missed the healing detox of that time. The same is goes for eating late; if you eat too close to bed time, the body is using up its healing and detoxing time trying to digest the meal which leads to a light or disrupted sleep.

     

    Progesterone levels:  

    Sometimes, especially in the later years, sleep can be dramatically affected by hormone levels; particularly progesterone has a huge impact on sleep. Bio identical Hormone Replacement Therapy is an extremely effective tool for correcting sleep problems and any hormone imbalance.

     Golden Milk with Cinnamon 

    A twist on “Warm milk” before bed

    2 Tablespoons of ground turmeric

    1/4C water

    In a saucepan mix water and turmeric together and heat over medium heat. This will form a paste which you want to heat while continuing to stir for a few minutes until the water boils away. You are left with a thick paste. You can store this in the fridge for up to a month.

    To make Golden Milk, heat to almost boiling, 1 cup of almond/oat/rice milk with ¼ teaspoon of the turmeric paste. Remove from heat and add 1 teaspoon of almond oil and a dash of cinnamon. Yum!

     

    Shabd Kriya to promote deep restful sleep
     

    The best time to practice this meditation is every night before bed, but it can be practiced anytime during the day. It is said that if practiced regularly, sleep will become deep and relaxed and the nerves will regenerate. The key to this meditation is in the rhythm of the breath which very quickly brings about a state of calm. 

    How to do it:
    Posture: 
    Sit in a comfortable position- ideally cross legged on the floor with your back as straight as possible. Place your hands in your lap with the right hand resting in the palm of the left. The thumb tips are touching.  
     
    Eye focus: 9/10 closed and rolled down to focus at the tip of the nose.
     
    Breath and mantra focus: inhale in 4 equal parts “sniffing” the air in; after the first inhale you are a quarter full in your breath, after the second you are half etc. As you inhale mentally chant Sa – Ta – Na- Mato count the breath in. Then suspend the breath, and mentally chant the mantra 4 times, for a total of 16 beats. Exhale in 2 equal strokes mentally chantingWahe – Guru. Continue for 5- 31 minutes.

    Vancouver Health Show

    We’re going to the Health Show… 
    …you should come too! 
     
    Divine Elements and Wild Sage Wellness will have a combined booth at this year’s Vancouver Health show. Dr.’s Nick and Sonya will be there to discuss the clinic’s True Balance program and offer mini-consultations for people who are interested in learning more about Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy. 
     
    Lisa Willow, from Wild Sage Wellness, who has just joined the clinic will also be there offering mini live blood cell analysis consultations and answering questions about this great service that she offers.
     
    There are also over a hundred other exhibitors as well as great seminars by world renowned speakers on topics including chronic pain relief,  nutrition, fitness and women’s Health.    

    Click here to learn more.
     
    Saturday November 9th, 10am-6pm
    Sunday November 10th, 11am-5pm

    Vancouver Convention Centre

    East Exhibit Hall B

    FREE ADMISSION!! 

    Admission Rates are $12 for the day or $18 for a weekend pass- but as valued patients at Divine Elements, we are happy to offer you a 2 for 1 voucher to be used for either the day or the weekend! Print off the voucher below to take advantage of this deal. As a bonus offer, we have a free day pass for the first 10 people to contact us either through phone or email!

    We look forward to seeing you there!

    Immune Boosting Tips

    Lets Beat those Bugs!

     

    As kids get settled into the school year and parents into the new routine of their household, the immune system can sometimes take a back seat. Just when you need to be on your toes the cold or flu hits you to remind you to slow down! It may have come from the school or from the office, but however Grouchy the Germ has made its way into your space the best thing you can do is to fight back with a strong immune system.

     

    Tips to Increase your family’s immunity …

     

    1)   The ABC’s Of Nutrition for Children

    A: always eat breakfast. This keeps their blood sugar stable and keeps them focused.
    B: bacteria….the good stuff!

    Daily dose of probiotics help increase immunity and build up the good soldiers in our gut.
    C: Color!

    Variety of colors for food, orange, green, red, and purple etc. This provides the body with antioxidants to fight free radicals and external pathogens
    D: Drop that donut!!

    Sugar filled snacks create an ideal environment for all kinds of bacteria and viruses. Instead reach for energy boosting snacks like veggies and hummus, avacados, greens drinks, and fruits to help children stay alert and healthy

     

    2) Immune Boosting Herbs

    Herbs such as Astragalus and Echinacea act as Defenders of the Immune System. In this time of transition in Seasons taking these herbs can help increase the immune systems ability to shield and guard.

     

    3) Homeopathic Immune Boosting Shots

    Homeopathics Engystol and Gripp have the ability to increase Interferon in the body, a component of the immune system that helps fight any bacteria or virus that may enter the body.

     

    4) Getting enough Sleep!

    Lack of sleep decreases Tcells needed for immunity and increases Inflammatory Cytokines which causes  a suppression in the immune system.

     

    5) Yoga and Meditation

    Stress plays a major role in immune suppression. When we are in a stressed state we release Cortisol which directly decreases the body’s ability to fight disease. With the use of yoga and meditation or other tools that relax your nervous system your stress response is altered to deal with the stress that is present without affecting your immune system. Yoga is a great way to teach your children how to respond and not react to stress that may show up for them. This will keep them healthy and happy!

     

      

     

     

    Immune-Boosting Soup

     From DrOZ.com

     
     
     
     
    Your immune system needs a lot of minerals to function properly and the typical Western diet does not always hit the mark. Keep in mind that boiling can destroy half of the vitamins found in vegetables, so cook soup over a low heat.

     

    Simmer these ingredients for 30 minutes to 1 hour: 

     

    cabbage, carrots, fresh ginger, onion, oregano, shiitake mushrooms (if dried, they must be soaked first), the seaweed of your choice, and any type of squash in chicken or vegetable stock. 

     

    Cabbage can increase your body’s ability to fight infection, ginger supports healthy digestion, and seaweed cleanses the body. Shiitake mushrooms contain coumarin, polysaccharides and sterols, as well as vitamins and minerals that increase your immune function; the remaining ingredients promote general health and wellbeing. 

     

    Eat this soup every other day to build a strong and healthy immune system!

     

    Pranayam to Boost Your Immune System

      

    Sit in Easy Pose with your chin in and your chest out. Stick your tongue all the way out and keep it out as you rapidly breathe in and out through your mouth. This is called Dog Breath. Continue this panting diaphragmatic breath for 3-5 minutes.

     

    To finish, inhale, and hold your breath for 15 seconds and press the tongue against the upper palate. Exhale. Repeat this sequence two more times.

     

    This exercise brings energy to your immune system to fight infection. It is a very healing exercise. When you feel a tingling in your toes, thighs, and lower back it is an indication that you are doing this exercise correctly.

     

    © The Teachings of Yogi Bhajan, January 31, 1996

    Live Blood Analysis

     

    Introducing Live Blood Cell Analysis @ Divine Elements!

     

    We are very excited to welcome Lisa Willow to Divine Elements. Lisa is currently working on her RHN ( Registered Holistic Nutritionist) License and her masters in living foods nutrition with Dr. Gabriel Cousins. She is certified in Dark Field Microscopy and is also studying Herbal Medicine. 

     So What is Live Blood Analysis?

     Live blood cell analysis examines indications of degenerative disease that appear in the blood, which are caused by dietary, environmental, and lifestyle factors. By looking at the blood, we can see imbalances, conditions, and issues before they become major problems. Through diet, herbs, lifestyle, and supplemental supports, many conditions can be addressed to support the body/mind in coming back into balance.

     microscope

     

     

     

     

     

    By viewing your blood under a microscope, we can see:

    *Digestive problems             

    *Liver Stress*Low iron levels              

    *Colon toxicity

    *Hormonal imbalances

    *Blood sugar imbalances 

    *Cholesterol and plaque formation

    *Free radical damage

    *Poor absorption of nutrients 

    *Leaky gut

    *Bacterial load

    *Immune system weakness 

    *Congestion of circulatory system 

    *pH deregulation

    *Gall bladder health

    *Lymphatic congestion

    *Heavy metal toxicity

    *Parasites, yeast, Candida 

    *Health of red blood cells 

    *Vitamin and mineral deficiency

     

     

     

     

    What is the process like?

     

     

    With a simple “prick” on the finger, we take a small sample and put it under the microscope to view your inner terrain. Subtle signs of imbalance can be seen, along with chronic and acute conditions. From there, dietary and lifestyle recommendations are made to support you in coming back into homeostasis.You will be given a 5-page report on the analysis of your blood and you will see your living blood on the monitor and be given explanations as to what is being displayed.  It is recommended to schedule follow up appointments in 3 -month intervals to monitor the state of your health.  

     Live Blood Analysis is a very helpful adjunct to Naturopathic Therapies. With this additional tool we feel we can better serve you by getting to the root of your health!

    As a Special Promotion we would like to include 

    Live Blood Analysis 
    in your Fall Detox!

    Sign up before September 17th and join our team in our Fall Detox

     

     Why detox?

    Digestion is the seed of our health. How we digest food is how we digest life. As Naturopathic Doctors we talk to each and every patient about the importance of their digestion and how this one system can affect the well being of the whole. If we are not absorbing our nutrients, the body isn’t receiving the nourishment it needs to not only heal but to live optimally. One of the ways you can assure your digestive system is working for you and not against you is through a detox program specific to your needs. 

    Detoxification is defined as the process of removing toxic substances and qualities.  Throughout the day we care exposed to all sorts of toxins, physical, mental, and emotional. Ranging from the preservatives and pesticides from foods, environmental pollution, to a reactive and heated conversation with a partner. So how does the body deal with this toxic load? If we imagine our body to be a bucket, after chronic exposure to these toxic exposures it would be so full that it would spill over creating symptoms and discomfort, however, if the bucket had exiting pathways, that would allow the bucket to empty itself as the toxins came in. These pathways are represented in the body as emunctories. The primary emunctories include the liver, kidneys, Intestines, stomach, pancreas, lymph and Lungs, and the secondary emunctories are the skin and mucous membranes.  These pathways of elimination work together to create a nontoxic environment in the body. If any of these are not functioning optimally the body creates symptoms because the bucket is just too full.

    When is the best time to detox and Why 40 days?

    “Maintain a positive attitude with promoting Habits for 40 days and you can change your Destiny.” -  Yogi Bhajan

    Both Spring and Fall are optimal times to detoxify the body.  Spring is a time of rejuvenation and Fall a time of preparation for the winter months.  By committing to 40 days we are making a decision to empower ourselves physically, mentally, and emotionally. We are making a decision to take charge of our health and become an active part of our healing journey.

    How Do I know what the best Detox is for my body?

    Each of us is unique in how we live, eat, digest, and respond to life. We all may have the same systems with in the physical body, but our mental and emotional body is very unique and specific to us. When detoxifying we are working at the physical level, however, the other parts of us are involved as much if not more in this process of healing. We have all had different experiences in life that have shaped who we are today so to try and heal everyone the same wouldn’t be right or make sense. We thrive to see you for what you need to support you in your journey of detoxification. 

    Divine Elements is offering a special deal to our patients this Fall to do just that! There is limited space so sign up soon!

    Regularly priced at $750, this individualized detox plan is now being offered to you at $495!! 

    The plan includes:

      • Live Blood Analysis with Lisa Willow and a Naturopathic Consult: 90 Minutes 
      • A specific meal plan according to your Ayurvedic Constitution
      • All supplements needed for 40 days of Detoxification
      • Follow up Live Blood Analysis with Lisa Willow and a Naturopathic Consult at the end of the detox
      • Support through our Divine Elements Facebook page throughout the entire cleanse where you can share your stories and your thoughts!!

    Special Offer for Live Blood Analysis
     
    Book in for September or October and receive a discounted price of 85$instead of 120$ for a one hour session 
     
    Call 604-568-3735 
    to book

    Transitioning to Motherhood

     

     The Delicate Balance of your Sanity!

     

    Bringing a new life into the world can be very exciting, scary, amazing, and life changing all at once. 

    Pregnancy not only changes a woman physically, but also mentally and emotionally. Your awareness now includes this growing baby inside of you and all you can think about is nesting and creating space in your family for the arrival of this new little person.

    As these changes occur internally, the focus becomes so much about the birthing process that not a lot of attention is paid to the changes that are to come after the birth- a new baby! In many traditions for the first 40 days post birth, Mother and Child are taken care of with massage, cooked meals, a clean house, and Mom surrounded by and supported by other women that have been through the same experiences, sharing their stories about the transition into motherhood. In the western culture, many parents have the experience of bringing baby home and are essentially left to fend for themselves.

    After birth a woman needs time to recover physically and emotionally; her hormones are shifting, sleeping is intermittent and most of the nutrition that she brings in is being used by her body to produce milk which can leave her feeling depleted. Her relationship with herself, her partner, and the outside world is dramatically shifted. As a community and as physicians lets help her make the transition into Motherhood gracefully and with ease.

        

     

     

    DIVINE ELEMENTS TIPS FOR NEW MOMS!

     

    Nutritional Support

    When producing milk your body needs a minimum of 300 cal a day more than your usual intake. It’s tempting to fill these with “cheap calories” – sweets and carbs, but as much as possible it’s best to eat foods that will feed all your cells with nourishment and energy. (For a health sweet fix, see the bliss ball recipe at the bottom!)

     

    • Increase Greens:  (powdered greens like GreensFirst are a great), greens contain B vitamins which are needed to produce Serotonin, our feel good hormone
    • Increase Good Fats: Avocado and Nut butters are great
    • Increase Protein: this creates stability in blood sugar. Having 30 grams of protein first thing in the morning sets your metabolism for the next 24 hours. Stable blood sugar equals stable mood!!
    • Fish Oil: DHA a component of fish oil is important for supporting neurotransmitters in the brain to feel good and full of energy
    • Selenium: Eat your Brazil Nuts! Brazil nuts contain Selenium, an essential nutrient in postnatal health. Studies have shown a deficiency of Selenium in patients dealing with Postpartum Depression

    Hormone Support

    • Serotonin: This neurotransmitter allows us to feel fantastic and ready to cope with the world. Things like Selenium, Magnesium, B Vitamins and Probiotics all help increase Serotonin levels.
    • Rhodiola/Ginseng: Cortisol, our stress hormone increases to help us adapt to stress, it also plays a role in our circadian rhythm, which for new moms sometimes doesn’t exist! Taking herbs to support the adrenals can help the body better cope with the changes it is facing.

     

    Take Time for YOURSELF and ASK for HELP!

    • Happy Mother’s have happy children. Take time out to feel like you again. Whether it’s a walk on the beach or in the woods or a yoga class, take time to reconnect with yourself. This will allow you to be more present when you are with your baby.
    • Call someone when you need help. There is nothing wrong with asking for help, you are doing the best you can. You know your baby best and you know when it is time for you to reach out, you will be surprised to find out that most other Mothers are having the same thoughts, feelings, and challenges as you.

     

    At Divine Elements we see the Importance for caring for our new Moms -they are the ones who shape the coming generation’s health and happiness! 

    If someone you know would benefit from this newsletter please share it! Lets support the Mommas of this world, without them we wouldn’t be here!

     

     

    VEGAN BLISS BALLS

     

     

      

     

    1 1/2 cups Organic Almond Butter

    1/4 C Carob Powder or Cocoa Powder

    3/4 C Black Mission Figs

    1/2 C Flax Meal or Nutracleanse

    1/2 C Honey or Maple syrup

    1 1/2 Cups Whole unblanched Almonds or Cashews

    3/4 C California Dates

    1/2 C Rice Bran or Oat Bran

    1 Cup Sesame Seeds, toasted or Shredded Coconut

     

    Mix together almond butter, honey, and carob powder. In a food processor, chop almonds. Add dried fruit and process until crumb like. Combine almonds and dried fruit with the almond butter and flax meal and oat bran. Batter will be stiff. Hand roll into 1 inch balls and roll into toasted sesame seeds.

    Refrigerate until firm. Makes about 50 portions.

    May also be kept in the freezer until desired

     

     MEDITATION: KIRTAN KRIYA

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    By practicing Kirtan Kriya, we begin to understand the cycle of creation. From the Infinite comes life, from life comes death or change. From death or change comes the re-birth of consciousness to the joy of the Infinite through which compassion leads back to life. This is a great meditation to rebalance the hormonal system by directly affecting the pituitary gland. 
     
    1. Inhale deeply and begin to chant aloud the mantra: Sa ta na ma. Sa = infinity, Ta = Life, Na = death, Ma = Rebirth. The cycle of creation.
    2. On the syllable sa, touch the index finger of each hand to the thumb; on ta, touch the middle finger to the thumb; on na, touch the ring finger to the thumb; on ma, touch the pinkie to the thumb. Continue these finger movements throughout the exercise (use enough pressure so that the fingers blanch slightly).
    3. Chant the mantra aloud for 2 minutes, imagining that the sounds come in through the crown and exit through the third eye in an L shape. Continue the chant in a loud whisper for another 2 minutes. Next, say the chant silently and internally for 4 minutes. Then say it in a whisper for 2 more minutes. Finish by chanting aloud for 2 minutes. The entire meditation takes 12 minutes.
    4. To finish, take a deep breath and reach your arms overhead and shake. Exhale, and draw your hands to your chest in prayer position. *Affirm: Sat Nam. Sa Ta Na Ma is the root sounds of Sat Nam. Sat Nam means ‘Truth is my identity’ When you meditate on it in the form of Sa ta na ma you are meditating on your own highest Self. Your brain can’t help but be improved.

     

    10% off New Mom and Baby Visits!!

    We are offering 10% off initial appointments for both New Moms and Babies who book in the month of August. You can call now and book for the future! We know how busy you are so we want to make this as easy as possibly for you!

     

    Call 604-568-3735 
    to book