The end of the year is approaching. If you have a flexible spending account or FSA, you will lose any money that you have left in your FSA account at the end of the year. Don’t let that money go to waste. With the New Year just weeks away, now is the perfect time to focus on your health and wellness.

You may have already seen your doctor and dentist. Now you’re wondering where else you can use your FSA dollars. The following are some creative ways to make the most of that flexible spending account. Although most FSAs are similar in what they cover, check with your health insurance company if you’re unsure as to whether any of the below services are eligible under your FSA.

Natural treatment, remedy, botanical, herbal medicine, natural doctor, Eden Prairie, Shakopee, Stillwater, Inver Grove Heights, Eagan

  1. Naturopathic Doctors

Most FSA plans view naturopathic health and medicine as eligible expenses. Our goal as naturopathic doctors at Balanced Care is to help individuals in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area and beyond address health concerns and treat illnesses. We do this by using natural remedies and natural medicine. An appointment at Balanced Care may consist of running lab tests and prescribing supplements. Both of these services can usually be paid for with FSA money.

If you are looking for natural ways to help solve chronic health problems we can help you. Whether you have digestion issues, high blood pressure and high blood sugar, or infertility natural treatments are available. On the other hand, if you simply want to lose some weight, decrease the amount of sugar you consume, or find ways to positively increase your health and wellness, naturopathic doctors can also help with those issues.

 

  1. Eye Exams, Glasses and Contacts

If your annual eye exam isn’t until next year, you can still visit your eye doctor. You might not need an exam, but you can get additional glasses, prescription sunglasses or contact lenses. Getting prescription sunglasses in the winter may seem odd, but we’ve had many sunny winter days here in the Twin Cities in the last few weeks. Sunglasses make perfect sense on these days. Even when the sun isn’t shining brightly, some eye doctors still recommend wearing sunglasses to protect eyes and skin from the sun’s UV rays.

If you’ve had enough of your glasses and contacts you may be considering LASIK. FSA funds can help pay for LASIK surgery. Most health insurance plans don’t cover LASIK. Utilizing your FSA for this costly procedure is a great way to get the permanent results you desire without having to foot the entire bill yourself. Dr. Katie had LASIK done this year with Dr. Chu and had an amazing experience and perfect results – she highly recommends their clinic.

 

  1. Chiropractors

 Even if you don’t have any back or joint pain seeing a chiropractor is still a good idea. You don’t have to wait until after an accident or until you’ve started experiencing pain to see a chiropractor. A chiropractic checkup is beneficial for everyone. Pain and injury often aren’t apparent until after a problem has gone on too long. During a checkup a chiropractic doctor might be able to uncover areas that could lead to more serious health issues in the future. When health problems are caught early, and treated correctly, your chances of being completely healed are much higher.

We highly recommend Bloomington Wellness and Chiro Center Bloomington for our Edina patients and Woodbury Family Chiropractic for Woodbury patients.

 

  1. Acupuncture

Acupuncturists help with chronic pain and stress-related symptoms like frequent headaches and migraines. Acupuncture services are FSA eligible. Acupuncture promotes natural healing and restores balance in the body. This in turn helps to relieve pain and discomfort.

 

Homeopathic treatment, homeopathy, natural remedy, Edina, Woodbury, Minneapolis, Bloomington, St. Paul

  1. Supplements

Supplements are a great way to spend your FSA dollars. Vitamin supplements are probably what first come to mind. Not all vitamins are covered under FSA plans, however. Make sure to check with your health insurance company before making a purchase. Note, however that supplements go far beyond vitamins. Probiotics that support the regulation of your intestinal system are almost always FSA eligible. Dr. Katie and Dr. Rachel use an online dispensary for patients that is set up to accept FSA payments.

Fertility, holistic, naturopathic, herbs, ovulation

  1. Contraception and Fertility

Condoms are covered under flexible spending accounts. Female contraception is also usually covered under FSA with a prescription. If you are looking to get pregnant, pregnancy tests, fertility monitors and testing systems can also be purchased with FSA money.

 

  1. Kick Your Smoking Habit

If you’re a smoker with the goal of quitting in the New Year smoking cessation programs are FSA eligible. Whether you plan to use an in-person program, smoking cessation patches or gum, these can all be purchased with your flexible spending account. Even if you don’t plan to start until the New Year, purchasing these items before the year is up will leave you well prepared and ensure that you won’t lose your FSA money.

 

  1. Make Sure Your First Aid Kits are Stocked

Bandages, hot and cold compress packs, gauze, medical tape and alcohol wipes are all essential to any well-prepared first aid kit. They can all also be purchased using your FSA. Whether you are restocking or creating your own kit, or looking to buy a kit that has already been put together, utilize your FSA for all of these items.

 

Dr. Katie and Dr. Rachel have appointments available still in 2017 and around the holidays if needed. You can schedule online or by calling 612-564-2218.

 

Are you looking for a holiday gift for your health conscious sister, wife, friend, or co-worker? Well, we have you covered! We are sharing a few of our favorite things that we actually use on a regular basis. We are not being paid to talk about these, but just feel like these are so great that we have to share with you guys! Let us know if you have tried these products and what you think! Happy shopping!!

Facial Products

Dr. Rachel: Rhonda Allison Skin Brightening Cleanser

  • I have acne-prone skin and this is the first face wash that I have used that has cleared up my skin and made it glow. I love Rhonda Allison products because they use pure, clean ingredients. I also have a travel sized face cleanser so I can be sure that I am maintaining clear and soft skin anywhere I go.
  • Dr. Katie uses this product as well and loves it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr. Katie: O.R.G. Mineral Enzyme Peel

  • Does your skin ever feel rough or flaky? This product will be your new bestie if so! Some peels can be harsh and irritating to the skin, but this one is very gentle and will leave your skin feeling so soft. If my skin gets too dry I will use it to slough off the dry skin and then hydrate well afterwards. Never drying and always soothing, this is a winner! Oh, and it is paraben and alcohol free! ** Check Amazon for better pricing ;).


Supplements

Dr. Rachel: Metagenics Ultra Flora 

I can’t live without my probiotics. I have quite a sensitive intestinal system so I often have episodes of bloating, gas or irregular bowel movements. My probiotic keeps me regular and supports my immune system. 

 

 

 

Dr. Katie: Vital Protein Collagen Powder 

  • Concerned about gut health? Skin? Joints? We have you covered here! I love this because it has so many benefits and is incredibly easy to take. Simply add a scoop to your coffee and/or soup and you won’t even know it is there. Support your local business and pick this up at Tailor Made Nutrition in Woodbury.


In the Kitchen

Dr. Rachel: Vitamix Blender

  • This one is a bit of a splurge, but is so worth it! You can use it to make so many different types of things from protein shakes to soups to riced cauliflower to making your own almond flour and almond butter! If a blender and food processor had a baby, this is what you would get! It is easy to use and to clean and it keeps my food choices healthy and affordable. And that copper blender – so pretty!!

 

Dr. Katie: Food Processor

  • Ok, so I have to admit I don’t have a Vitamix, but if I did, I may not use the food processor as much as I do. This was a birthday gift from my besties a few years ago and it has come in handy in the kitchen. I use it most often for making dressings and sauces, but have also used it for crushing cashews for dairy free recipes, and it quickly chops veggies and garlic. Lastly, these peanut butter date balls were made in the food processor too – a great healthy holiday treat! There are many options for food processors – mine is no longer available but the link is close to it.

 


Beauty Essentials

Dr. Rachel: Lush Shampoo Bar, or really anything from Lush

  • This is my most favorite thing as of late. First of all it is completely natural, so no toxins or exogenous estrogens absorbed into my body. Second, it makes my hair so soft, shiny, voluminous and tames and accentuates my curls. Third, it is easily portable so I can bring it to shower at the gym, on vacations or to my friend’s house! Be sure you look for one that’s best for your hair (ie. I have drier hair so I use one with oils in it).

 

Dr. Katie: Deborah Lippmann Nail Polish

  • I don’t know about you, but I am not one to splurge on nail polish which is why this is such a great gift. I love the gifts that I use, but wouldn’t splurge on myself. Now these are only $18-$20 per bottle, but I tend to stick to the $10 range typically. Why spend the extra $10? This nail polish will dry faster (less chance for smudges am I right?!) and lasts longer. The colors are great too! My favorite is ‘Shape of My Heart’


Good-Morning!

Dr. Rachel: Organo Coffee

  • My new favorite part of the morning is drinking my Organo Black coffee. It’s super easy to make and it makes me feel energized and gives me mental clarity to get through the entire day with just one cup. With other coffees I often get headaches, stomachaches and the jitters, but I don’t with this coffee. Plus it’s affordable and I know it’s healthy because it has a superfood antioxidant in it.

Dr. Katie: Electric Toothbrush

  • This is a game changer! I have no idea what I was doing before this. Seriously. My teeth feel so much better. These last forever and just require changing the head of the brush. I like the Philips Sonicare brush and recommend purchasing it through your dentist for the best quality. Hurry up and grab one of these for yourself and a gift for that special someone.

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

As Naturopathic Doctors, our goal is to address the underlying issues and treat using natural therapies and nutrition as much as possible. We practice in Edina and Woodbury specializing in digestion, women’s health, nutrition, anxiety/depression, and sports medicine. Schedule your complimentary 15 minute consultations to learn more. 612-564-2218.

The holiday season is upon us. In theory this is the most wonderful and joyous time of the year. For many of us, however, this season can be extremely stressful and physically draining. From the slew of holiday parties and gatherings we feel the need to attend, to the thought of spending time with family we may have tension with, the holidays can have negative effects on our overall well-being.

If you are prone to holiday anxiety and depression, don’t brush it off. There are many ways to handle the holiday blues. Staying healthy during this time of the year is very important. Try not to resort to drugs and other medicinal solutions with possible long-term effects. Instead, consider the following natural treatments to help you beat holiday depression.

Naturopathic doctor, natural medicine, holistic medicine, natural treatments

  1. Understand Adrenal Health

The first step on the road to recovery, from the stress and anxiety of the holidays, is to understand the possible root cause. A possible cause is adrenal fatigue. Adrenal fatigue is a state where your body feels tired and worn out all of the time. Adrenal fatigue is also a condition that is correlated to stress. If you are constantly lacking energy or feeling overwhelmed, especially during the holidays, it is a good idea to get your adrenal health checked.

Adrenal fatigue occurs when your adrenal glands are performing below their optimal levels. The main function of your adrenal glands is to produce and regulate the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol balance is vital to overall health. Too much cortisol in the body can cause weight gain, mood swings, anxiety and depression. Too little cortisol can result in dizziness, fatigue and weight loss.

  1. Rest and Watch What You Eat

If you believe that you might be suffering from adrenal fatigue, or simply can’t handle the stress of the holidays, make sure that you are getting plenty of sleep. Additionally, stick to eating healthy by consuming plenty of whole foods and decreasing or eliminating your sugar intake. It’s also a good idea to abstain from coffee until you feel better.

If you’re unsure whether your adrenal health may be causing your holiday depression, or if you still don’t feel better after plenty of rest and eating healthy, there are tests that can be performed to check your adrenal health. Our offices in Edina, Minnesota can provide these tests.

Adrenals, fatigue, Edina, doctor of naturopathy, holistic healing, stress, cortisol

  1. Get Plenty of Vitamin C

While watching what you eat, make sure that you are getting plenty of vitamin C from citrus fruits and brightly colored veggies. Vitamin C is important for helping return cortisol to normal levels. The late fall, winter and early spring months are prime time for fresh in-season citrus. Therefore, you should have no problem getting your hands on oranges, mandarins, grapefruits and more during the holiday season. Perhaps Mother Nature set it up this way to help us manage our stress and cortisol levels during the holidays?

In addition to consuming citrus, a study[i] found that simply inhaling citrus scents for 10 to 30 minutes could alleviate negative emotional stress. If you aren’t a fan of eating citrus fruits, or simply want to incorporate more citrus into your life, add citrus scented candles, essential oils or body wash to your daily routine.

Yoga, health, naturopathic medicine, naturopathy, exercise, natural remedies, holistic

  1. Practice Stress Relieving Activities

The holidays are a time of giving and a time to be considerate of others. With that said, it can be very easy to forget about taking care of yourself this season. Make sure that you have plenty of “me time”. Use this time to practice stress relieving activities like working out, yoga, meditation, breathing exercises or getting a massage.

Holiday anxiety and depression is often heightened when we’re constantly jumping from one thing to another without any time to step back and unwind. Make sure you are taking time out to relax and reconnect with yourself.

  1. You Don’t Have to do it All

Holiday parties, group potlucks, secret Santa’s, white elephants and more show up in abundance during the holiday season. Although you may feel obligated to get into the holiday spirit by attending and participating in every event that you receive an invitation to, remember that you don’t have to do them all.

If by taking part in these activities you feel stressed or anxious, which affects your overall health, by all means, be okay with politely declining. You may also consider limiting yourself to only those events that you would regret not attending.

Herbal medicine

  1. Seek Professional Help

Letting stress, anxiety, and adrenal fatigue linger, without doing anything to help alleviate them, can have long-term effects. These effects include a weakened immune system, chronic exhaustion, dark circles around the eyes and short-term memory loss.

If you have tried the above tips, but your holiday stress, anxiety and depression continues to be more than you can handle, it is time to see a professional. The naturopathic doctors at Balanced Care are conveniently located in the Twin Cities metropolitan area in Edina and Woodbury. We can assist with everything from running tests to find the root cause of your ailment, to prescribing natural treatments. Call to schedule your appointment at 612-564-2218.

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4048973/

Dr. Katie and Dr. Rachel are Naturopathic Doctors serving the Minneapolis and St. Paul areas. Their goal is to address the underlying cause by using natural remedies. We love what we do and would love to help you too! Call 612-564-2218 to schedule your appointment today!