Healing Pain and Inflammation Naturally!

healing pain and inflammation naturally

body massage

When you’re ready for natural pain relief

When you think about all the conditions and injuries out there, causing pain on the daily, you may wonder what your treatment options are. If you are like most adults, you probably already have a bottle of ibuprofen (Advil ®), acetaminophen (Tylenol ®), or naproxen (Aleve ®) just an arm’s reach away in your cabinet.

If you suffer from chronic pain, menstrual pain, or even the occasional “ouch”-worthy injury, you may be wondering if there are other options for pain relief beside NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), steroids, or opiates. At Balanced Care, we’re here to help. Taking steps for healing pain and inflammation naturally may be just what the holistic doctor ordered.

In this article, we’ve curated eight natural pain relief options for you to consider. If you’re curious about our services and how we can customize a treatment plan for you, be sure to schedule a consult with us, and together we can begin to help you find the relief you need.

Healing Pain and Inflammation Naturally

What is Natural Pain Relief?

A natural approach to pain relief means leveraging your body’s innate desire to be pain-free. Pain is a great teacher. Pain alerts us to injury, or that one or more of our body systems is not working optimally. Several natural pain relief modalities utilize our internal chemistry. Other methods use physical movement or other muscle manipulation to reduce inflammation and pain.

Remember, testing before treatment is best

When you notice pain in your body that is long-lasting, severe, new, or alarming in some way for you, it’s best to see your doctor first. If your pain accompanies a known or recent injury, it is essential to have proper diagnostic testing like x-rays, MRI scans, movement evaluations, blood work, or other diagnostics performed. Once you have a precise diagnosis, adequate treatment options rise for examination as well.

Prevent or reduce Inflammation

back pain

You’ve seen your doctor and got the tests to rule out severe conditions, and have acquired the recommended supports and resting protocol after injury. Now, what can you do to manage your pain and discomfort? Take steps to reduce systemic inflammation.  

Inflammation is our body’s natural response to an irritant or injury. The chemicals released by the body during an inflammatory response allows more blood to flow to the affected area, which can make the area hot, red, and swollen. Hormones released during the inflammatory response also irritate surrounding nerve tissue, which may cause pain. Taking natural measures to calm inflammation can reduce the pain you feel.

Stop Eating Inflammatory Foods

Several ubiquitous food sources can cause low-grade systemic inflammation. The biggest offenders are gluten and cow’s dairy. Watch out for these products that contain gluten:

Wheat, Barley, Spelt, and Oats, (unless the package says “gluten-free”, it may include some gluten particles).

Cow’s dairy is our most common form of dairy in the U.S. Dairy products (yogurt, cheese, or milk) are made from cow’s dairy unless the label says otherwise. Goat and sheep’s dairy are comparatively less inflammatory than cow’s dairy because they contain a different type of protein than cow’s dairy.

Choosing foods consistent with an anti-inflammatory diet may reduce the severity of your pain.

Exercise Gently

Consistently moving your body has been shown to help nearly every significant health condition. For example, in people with arthritis, a gentle and consistent movement like walking, biking, stretching, swimming, or even light dancing can help preserve or improve range of motion, reduce stiffness and swelling, and reduce pain symptoms.

People living with fibromyalgia may also relieve pain with exercise. A gentle walk or stretch can mitigate menstrual pain. Exercising (within healing protocols as suggested by your health care team) is required for re-gaining pre-injury levels of fitness and range of motion. These are just a few examples of how body movement can reduce pain.

Consider a Natural Herbal Pain Relief Supplement

Turmeric

There are a host of herbal remedies that help in healing pain and inflammation naturally. Here are a few of the most common anti-inflammatory supplements and topical products.

Capsaicin: The “spicy” compound found in peppers, capsaicin can be effective as a topical pain relief remedy.  This compound interrupts “substance P” (the neurochemical that transmits pain messages to the brain) transmission in our nervous system.

MSM: This sulfur-containing compound exists in humans, animals, and plants, and is sold extensively in pill form. The proof is in the science–taking this supplement can reduce pain and inflammation, as well as helping curb allergy symptoms and boosting immune function.

Turmeric: The curcumin in turmeric is touted as a potent anti-inflammatory. Though the science is still unclear, taking supplement-grade turmeric may improve the following conditions:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Heartburn
  • Arthritis
  • Joint pain
  • Kidney problems
  • High Cholesterol

Turmeric as a supplement is best for adults who are not pregnant or nursing. Using turmeric as a cooking spice is generally considered harmless for most people. As always, check with your primary care physician or schedule an appointment with us for proper dosing suggestions.

Make Friends with Needles

Yes, it’s a thing. Commonly called acupuncture, getting “needled” can have some tremendous pain-relieving benefits. Here’s how acupuncture can help reduce pain:

  1. A needle is inserted just below the skin, along several key “meridian”, or energy points in the body.
  2. Once the needles are inserted, they remain in the patient for 10-30 minutes, while the patient relaxes in a chair or on a massage table.
  3. The going hypothesis is that the needles stimulate the surrounding nerves to send a hormonal message to the brain.
  4. The brain releases our natural pain-relieving chemicals (like endorphins), and we feel happier, and we may feel less pain.
  5. Try several treatments for best results.

Try a Relaxing “Mass-ahhhhhh-ge.”

See what we did there?  Now that you are picturing yourself breathing profoundly and sinking blissfully into the care of a licensed massage therapist’s experienced hands, perhaps you are feeling less pain already! Massage helps to:

  • Loosen tight muscles
  • Improve range of motion
  • Free up the adhesions that can build up between muscle layers (Myofascial release)
  • Quiet muscular “trigger” points–irritated bands of muscle commonly seen in the neck, shoulders, and other places where we tend to hold stress.

Next time you find yourself reaching for a bottle of your favorite pain relief drug, remember that there are may ways of healing pain and inflammation naturally. Methods that use your body’s own intelligence to come back into pain-free balance. Pain relief is best approached as a mosaic — a combination of tools will bring the best results. Contact Balanced Care today for an appointment. Together, we will find the best pathway to your well being —naturally!

Where to Find Locally Sourced Honey

allergies

Honey for Allergies

There’s a more natural and delicious way to help your body through your seasonal allergies: Honey. Yes, honey for allergies.

allergies, natural treatment, histamine, local honey

Last week you were looking out your window at the doom and gloom of the winter. You longed for warmer weather as you added another layer just to head outside.  It has been a long, harsh, and cold winter, but there are hints of spring everywhere you look.

While you are out shopping, you notice the displays around the stores are decked out in floral patterns with clever, cheery sayings, and the end caps have fun outdoor items like herb gardens and gardening tools. You are feeling excited and refreshed with the change in season.

You continue walking along and you also notice the allergy medication has dominated one of the end caps. Then you remember: You love the idea of spring, but with all the new blooms comes all the pollen. With all the pollen comes all the sneezing. Oh, the sneezing. And that’s just the half of it.

You contemplate stocking up because you know how miserable you get. However, as you stand there with the medication in your hand you wonder: Am I going to be on allergy medication for my whole life? Is there an alternative option? Lucky for you, there is a more natural and delicious way to help your body through your seasonal allergies.

It’s honey. Honey? That’s right, honey for allergies. Perhaps this doesn’t come as much of a surprise because you might already use honey for other medicinal purposes, such as soothing your sore throat when you have a cold. Honey has a host of other benefits that help more than your cold.

Continue reading to learn about the benefits of using honey for allergies.

allergy, pollen, edina, woodbury, naturopathic doctor, natural treatment

What are Allergies and What Do They Do To Your Body?

Seasonal allergies, also called Allergic Rhinitis (nasal allergies), trigger your immune system to respond when a foreign substance like pollen is introduced to it. For some people, the response is mild, while others experience a more severe response. Allergies can affect all people from all different backgrounds, races, and genders. This can be  upwards of 50 million people each year. Just because they are common and affect so many people doesn’t mean allergies are any less annoying to combat.

The most common type of allergy is a seasonal pollen allergy. When things are in bloom, pollen is everywhere. When the wind blows, it carries the pollen from grasses, trees, and weeds long distances which will cover anything in its path. During allergy season it seems as though nothing is safe.

Your immune system must work so hard to keep your body functioning normally.

Common symptoms include

  • Itchy, watery eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Congestion
  • A sore throat

There are other symptoms, such as fatigue, that aren’t as commonly talked about but can throw your whole body through a loop. It makes sense when you think about it. Your body is working tirelessly because your immune system is on overdrive. No wonder you are feeling so exhausted.

In addition, people can experience irritability, low productivity, and memory loss when they are in the midst of allergy season.

Seasonal pollen allergies are common, but it doesn’t mean you have to live with this discomfort the rest of your life.

Continue reading to understand the benefits of raw honey, and how it can help your allergy symptoms.

Honey, local, allergy, asthma, natural medicine, botanical, naturopathic, edina, mn, woodbury

Benefits of Raw Honey

Some experts believe that pollen from bees ends up in the honey. If people consume this honey, they will slowly build up immunity to and therefore be able to tolerate the pollen. While this might help slightly, this isn’t the main reason why local honey is beneficial for allergies.

Here is the deal with raw honey: It is packed full of nutrients, enzymes, sugars, minerals, amino acids, vitamins, and let’s not leave out its antiseptic and anti-fungal properties. Best of all, it’s jam-packed with polyphenols (infection-fighting antioxidants). So what exactly does all of this mean?

It means that honey can help your immune system which, as stated above, is working extra hard and causing you to be miserable, irritable, and exhausted. If honey can help your immune system, it can also help fight your allergies.

Additionally, honey can help with hay fever symptoms which tend to go hand in hand with allergies.

Local Raw Honey vs. Processed Honey

So what exactly is the difference between local raw honey and processed honey? For one, the look of the two kinds of honey is very different. Processed honey is very clear while raw honey is cloudy. This is because raw honey has not been heated or filtered.

When you buy local honey, you know exactly where it comes from because the farmers are local, and the bees are local. In addition, the pollen that ends up in the honey is from the local area, so you could be introducing small amounts to your body. As stated previously, the local pollen in the honey isn’t necessarily what helps your body with your allergies, but it is an added benefit that processed honey doesn’t have.

You just read about all the fantastic health benefits that raw honey has. While processed honey might have some of those benefits, most of them have been destroyed during the pasteurization process.

You will be doing your body a huge favor by using local raw honey instead of processed honey. You can generally find raw honey in your local grocery stores or specialty health food stores, but you will find that using locally sourced honey will be the least processed and you will get the most significant health benefits.

How Local is Local Honey?

In general, to be considered local honey it should be from your state. Use this search to find local honey near you.

At Balanced Care, we would like to provide you with the care you deserve to manage your chronic illnesses and seasonal allergies. Please contact us to find out how we can help you start feeling better today.

We Have Some Exciting News!!

Wellness center, edina, mn, minnesota, skin care, natural treatment, wellness

We are moving to 3209 W 76th St Edina, MN May 1st!!

Building

Balanced Care will be moving on May 1st to the York Business Center in Edina. We will be conveniently located off 494 and is a quick 5 minute drive from our current location. Our patients are the number one priority and we felt this is what is best for our patients and our practice. Nothing will change for patients other than an upgraded space for patient visits. We can’t wait to share it with you and hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

Meet My New Business Partner Megan Pankratz!

MeganP-4

Megan is an Aesthetician with Aesthetic Skin Studio in Edina. We have been working together for the past year to provide  skin and health care needs for our patients. We are thrilled to offer our services in the same space! Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns. Stay tuned for more updates from Megan, Dr. Rachel and I.

8 Home Remedies For the Common Cold

home remedies for the common cold
You wash your hands, you stay away from others when they are sick, and you eat your fruits and veggies. You do all of these things, and yet those pesky viruses have still found a way into your body.

Eat Your Medicine

An unfortunately timed upper respiratory infection has attacked you like the common cold.  Did you know adults get about 2 to 4 colds each year? Children are double that, getting on average 6 to 8 colds each year. That is a lot of sick people to try to avoid. No wonder you have landed yourself with a cold.

Regardless of statistics, your nose is a faucet, your throat is sore and scratchy, and your pile of tissues on the coffee table makes you consider becoming the world’s next Jenga champion.

You know you will get better eventually, but right now you would like some relief. Life doesn’t slow down when you are sick, and you are ready to start feeling better, like yesterday. Natural home remedies for the common cold are becoming increasingly popular since people are getting more serious about their health.

So go ahead, curl up on the couch with a blanket (you deserve to because you’re sick) and continue reading below to find eight ways you can eat your medicine. That’s right, eat it. (And technically drink it for some of them.) The best part about the following list of natural home remedies is the fact that most of these ingredients are already sitting in your kitchen.

8 Home Remedies for the Common Cold

Some of these remedies are old favorites that you might already know, but some might surprise you and become your next favorite cold go-to.

1. Honey

Honey is liquid gold. It is high in nutrients and enzymes which help kill the nasty cold viruses. Honey will coat your throat and help protect it from the extra mucus which is causing your throat to be sore. Honey can also be given to adults and children with sore throats before bed to help them sleep.

Best Ways to Eat Honey

  • A spoonful of honey!
  • Add honey to your tea
  • 1 tsp lemon juice and 2 tsp honey. Take every 2 hours

Note: You should only give honey to children that are over 1 year old

2. Ginger

Ginger has a long history in medicines, so what is so unique about it? Ginger has some essential medicinal properties like antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties. It will help your body fight off the infection.

Best Ways to Eat Ginger

  • Eat raw ginger
  • Ginger Tea
  • Boil 2 cups of water
  • Add 1 tbsp chopped ginger
  • Cover and simmer for 5 minutes
  • Take off heat for another 5 minutes
  • Strain
  • Add a little lemon juice and honey, then enjoy.

Chicken Soup

3. Chicken Soup

Chicken soup and colds go hand in hand. Good thing it is delicious as well as nutritious. While you are slurping down this delightful soup, you are doing your body another favor. The soup is full of ingredients that help fight off the infection. So go ahead and have a second bowl, or third.

Best Ways to Eat Chicken Soup

  • Homemade chicken soup using organic vegetables and chicken will provide you with the best ingredients
  • Bowl and spoon

4. Red Onion

Yes, red onion. When you inhale red onion oils, relief from your cold symptoms might feel immediate. Also, since red onions are high in antioxidants, they can help your body fight off the infection.

Best Ways To Eat Red Onion

  • Red onion syrup
  • In a mason jar, alternate layers of a thinly sliced onion and raw honey. Repeat until the jar is full. Cover for 12-15 hours.
  • Drink a spoonful of syrup often during the day for relief

5. Black Pepper

Black pepper contains piperine which is known to help open up the airways. That can help with breathing and reduce coughing. Since there is probably pepper sitting on your counter next to your stove, go ahead and add some to your next meal.

Best Ways to Eat Black Pepper

  • Sprinkle on meal
  • Gargle 1 tsp with warm water
  • Smell it (just smelling pepper can help open up your airways)

6. Garlic

Garlic is known to be antibacterial and antiviral which will help give your immune system an extra boost. Like pepper, garlic can help open up airways to make breathing more comfortable, but it can also flush out toxins from your body which will help you recover faster. (More on the healing benefits of garlic.)

Best Ways to Eat Garlic

  • Munch on raw garlic cloves
  • Garlic paste
  • 1 crushed garlic clove, 2 tsp honey, 1 tsp cayenne pepper (or chili powder). Eat daily until your symptoms go away.
  • Add fresh chopped garlic to your food

Turmeric Milk

7. Turmeric Milk

Turmeric is known to have antioxidant, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory health benefits. Turmeric milk will help with not only coughing but also body aches and headaches.

Note:  I suggest using unsweetened coconut milk…

Best Way to Drink Turmeric Milk

8. Cinnamon

Cinnamon can help a scratchy and sore throat in addition to helping fight off the infection. Cinnamaldehyde is full of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Best Ways to Eat Cinnamon

  • Cinnamon Tea
  • Combine 1 tbsp powdered cinnamon, 2 cloves, and 2 cups boiling water
  • Let it simmer for 15-20 minutes
  • Strain, let it cool, and enjoy!
  • For added benefits, and best results, add honey

There you have it: 8 home remedies for the common cold and upper respiratory infections.

Upper respiratory infections of any kind are never a welcomed experience. They are annoying, untimely, and they can make you feel miserable for days. People continue their daily lives feeling miserable until the cold goes away, but remember you will recover faster if you are taking care of yourself. Not only is it imperative to take care of yourself to get better, but it’s also important to take care of yourself, so you don’t get worse. A cold can turn into other more severe upper respiratory infections if untreated.

That means that you are getting proper sleep, drinking plenty of liquids, and eating and drinking foods that are high in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Please, stay home from work you deserve to rest and get better. There are so many simple, symptom-relieving foods available that you can try above. Check your cupboards to see what you have on hand already and give one of them a shot. You might be surprised at how much better you feel.

Note:  If you haven’t recovered in about two weeks or are catching colds frequently, it is time to check in with your doctor.

6 Health Benefits Of Sesame Seed Oil and How to Use it to Improve Your Health

health benefits of sesame seed oil

Sesame seed oil has been used through the ages in many Asian cuisines. It is high in nutty flavor and brings so much joy to those who eat it. It’s no wonder it has infiltrated Western culture in more recent years. People are using this small seed oil as an alternative to vegetable oil in their cooking. Do you know the health benefits of sesame seed oil?

Benefits+of+Seasme+Seed+Oil

6 Health Benefits of Sesame Oil

1. Healthy Skin and Hair

Skin: Sesame seed oil is loaded with zinc which means it’s incredibly good for your skin. It can be used to treat a plethora of different kinds of skin ailments. Sesame seed oil is useful for treating inflamed, irritated and damaged skin because it is high in antioxidants and antibacterial properties. The oil penetrates deep into the derma, fighting bacteria and leaving your skin vibrant and detoxified.

Reasons to use sesame oil on your skin include:

  • Fights and prevents bacterial infections (including acne)
  • Repairs skin cells
  • Soothes eczema and psoriasis
  • Reduces the appearance of age spots
  • Natural moisturizer and sunscreen
  • Helps with diaper rash in babies

How to use as a moisturizer

Apply liberally to your skin after a hot shower, and leave it on your skin for 10 minutes or so. Thoroughly rub it in after the 10 minutes. Apply more as needed.

How to Use to Detoxify

Before your bath or shower, apply and let it soak into your skin. This will allow the oil to have time to penetrate your skin and target the toxins deep within your skin. Finally, wash the oil away along with the toxins.

Hair: Sesame seed oil is high in vitamins and minerals which your scalp loves. From soothing a dry, flaky scalp to getting rid of lice, there are so many different ways to use this oil on your hair.

Reasons to use sesame oil on your hair include:

  • Deep conditioning
  • Lice treatment
  • Soothes and calms a dry and flaky scalp
  • Adds shine
  • Treats dandruff
  • Treats premature graying

Human Body

2. Improves Bone Quality

Sesame oil is used to help promote active bone growth. It is high in copper, zinc, and calcium, all minerals that are necessary for bone growth. It can be used by people to mitigate the effects of osteoporosis and other bone-weakening diseases brought on by age. In addition, it can be used to speed up the regrowth and healing process of damaged bones.

3. Oral Health

Many people don’t realize that brushing and flossing can cause micro-tears in their gums, which can open a gateway into the rest of your body for infections. While brushing your teeth is an essential practice for good oral hygiene, you might also benefit by giving oil pulling a try.

Reasons to use sesame oil in your oral care:

  • Fights oral infections
  • Prevents plaque build up
  • Prevents gum/mouth diseases like gingivitis and cavities
  • Fights bad breath causing bacteria

How to Oil Pull

  • Swish oil gently for about 15-20 minutes
  • Make sure it is reaching all parts of your mouth
  • As it pulls out toxins, the consistency will change
  • Once it reaches a thick consistency that is milky white, spit out before toxins are reabsorbed
  • Rinse well with water
  • Repeat a few times a week, or daily if you prefer

Note: Spit out oil in the trash so you don’t clog your pipes

running

4. Boosts Heart Health and Improves Circulation

Sesame seed oil is high in zinc and copper, which by now you probably know has many benefits to your body, including your heart and your blood.

Your heart will benefit because sesame oil contains lignins which contain polyphenols. Polyphenols are micronutrients that can prevent diseases such as cardiovascular disease. Lignins are known to help lower cholesterol levels naturally.

Your circulation will improve after you start using sesame oil. The additional zinc and copper will enable your body to begin functioning at optimal levels for the production of new red blood cells. Healthy red blood cells in your tissues mean healthy organs, which means a healthier you. Not only that, but sesame oil is touted for its ability to lower blood pressure which will improve blood circulation.

5. Helps Manage Anxiety, Depression and Stress

Sesame seed oil contains an amino acid called tyrosine. This is great news for people who are dealing with chronic stress, depression or anxiety. Eating foods that contain the amino acid tyrosine will directly affect your serotonin levels which signal an increase in your mood.

6. Anti-Cancer Properties

Some of the chemical compounds in sesame oil, such as sesamol and sesamin, have been found to reduce certain types of cancer cells. This means that the growth of the cancer cells was slowed down or stopped altogether. Additionally, sesame seed oil stimulates antibodies which are your body’s natural way of attacking cancer cells.

There you have it: 6 key health benefits of sesame seed oil.

What Kind of Oil Works Best?

There are different kinds of sesame oil. To get the most health benefits, look for cold-pressed or organic sesame oil. These are the least processed options, and they contain the most nutrients compared to any other type of sesame oil out there. Organic and cold-pressed sesame oils can generally be found in specialty grocery stores or online.

If you are considering adding sesame seed oil to your everyday life, contact the experts at Balanced Care. We are a wealth of knowledge and would love to help you make the right decisions that fit your lifestyle. Contact us today.

Our Favorite Things!

Rhonda Allison Skin Brightening Cleanser

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 really use on a regular basis.

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

Rhonda Allison Skin Brightening Cleanser

Source: http://www.rhondaallison.com

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!

O.R.G. Mineral Enzyme Peel
Source: https://www.orgskincare.com

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

Ultra Flora
Source: https://www.metagenics.com/ultraflora-balance

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.

Vital Protein Collagen Powder
Source: https://www.vitalproteins.com/

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

Vitamix Blender
Source: https://www.vitamix.com

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!!

  Source: https://www.target.com/

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

Lush
Source: https://www.lushusa.com

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).

Deborah Lippmann Nail Polish
Source: http://www.deborahlippmann.com

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!

Organo Coffee
Source: https://www.organogold.com

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.

Electric Toothbrush

Source: https://www.usa.philips.com

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.

4 Tools For Your Adolescent Child With Anxiety

Sadness, anxiety, panic, depression, postpartum

Do you worry that your child may be silently suffering from anxiety? It’s certainly possible. One out of every eight children is affected by an anxiety disorder and of those kids, 80% are not receiving treatment.

Sadness, anxiety, panic, depression, postpartum

#1 – Take Time For Self-Care

The Anxiety & Depression Association of America ( ADAA ) recommends yoga, exercise, meditation, a healthy diet, and avoidance of drugs and alcohol to combat stress and anxiety – and they may be onto something. Researchers found that those who get regular vigorous exercise are 25 percent less likely to develop depression or an anxiety disorder within the next five years. The good news is that to relieve depression or anxiety, a ten minute walk may be just as effective as a 45 minute workout.

#2 – Make Your Fear Boring

If a thought is making you anxious, take its power by repeating it slowly and clearly over and over to yourself for at least twenty minutes. This works much in the same way as it does for those facing a physical fear. For instance, if you had a fear of elevators but rode in one a thousand times in a row, at first you would be anxious but eventually you’d become used to it and ultimately, bored of riding it altogether. You can do the same thing with anxious or fearful thoughts by riding them as well and eventually they’ll just become boring.

#3 – Recognize Anxiety Attacks As Temporary

Anxiety attacks are commonly described as a sudden and inexplicable feeling of intense panic, which can be unnerving and downright frightening to experience. But that rapid heartbeat doesn’t mean you’re having a heart attack – it’s simply your natural physical reaction to fear. Instead of focusing on this physical cue, treat it the way you would a defined thought in meditation: thank it for its message, then let it pass by.

#4 – Schedule Time To Worry

Instead of stopping to address each and every one of your worries during the day, schedule some time at the end of your day – 4:30 or so, especially if you work office hours – to dedicate to worrying about your daytime troubles. As worry pops up throughout the day, jot it down for your later appointment and move on with your current tasks. Once your dedicated worry time rolls around, you may find that the items on your list no longer have any bearing on your anxiety level and you’re able to let them go. If you find yourself creating new worries during your appointment, jot them down along with any possible solutions, and schedule them for the next day.

While trying to control your anxiety usually backfires and leaves you feeling worse, there are a number of ways for you to take its power away, which empowers you. And sharing these coping strategies with your child can help them manage their anxiety whether they’re facing a school presentation, a new extracurricular activity, or a new home and new school, which can be especially stressful for those dealing with anxiety.

Self-Care Life Hacks for Women

Family, health, anxiety, mental health, depression, natural treatment

As women, we face more stress each day than we would ever let on. Between workplace discrimination, relationship issues, raising a family, and concerns about our nutrition and overall health. No wonder women are twice as likely as men to suffer from an anxiety disorder. Read on for a few simple life hacks that will help you improve your quality of life right now.

Healing, soup, postpartum, food, medicineNutrition

Our diets are a huge contributor to our mood…and waistline. A few key modifications to your daily dinner grind can help you relax at night.

Keep it simple. Forget the fad diets that have you running all over town for the latest, greatest weight loss remedy. Chances are, it isn’t a sustainable nutrition cycle. Instead, focus on whole foods, including lean meats, colorful vegetables, in-season fruits, and complex carbohydrates.

Leave the boxes at the store. If it’s in a box, you should probably leave it on the shelf. Most chemically processed foods are full of additives, especially sugar. Excessive sugar intake can lead to weight gain, poor oral hygiene, and stress. Even more alarming, many of your favorite snacks have been chemically altered over time to trigger the reward center of your brain and can lead to a food addiction.

Reduce shopping time. Make a list the day before you go grocery shopping. This will help keep you on track and get you in and out in nearly half the time. If you live in an area with online grocery shopping, you can order ahead, pick your food up, and be on your way home without ever stepping foot in the store where temptations are at every end-cap.

Make friends with the frozen section. While canned vegetables are easy and convenient, they also contain a number of additives including sodium, sulfites, and BPA – an industrial compound suspected to cause a number of health problems. Frozen vegetables, by contrast, are not preserved chemically and often contain nutrients similar to fresh-picked produce.

Time management, planning, anxiety, depression, mental health, nutrition

Time management

Time is our most precious commodity and there never seems to be enough to go around. Save a few valuable seconds with the following tips:

Remember your time has value. Even if you’re not a CEO or mortgage banker, your time is valuable. Don’t waste it doing things that don’t matter — time wasters such as scouring social media and flipping through fluff news stories on your phone each day. Cut that in half and you’ll have more time for the things that you really want to do. If you act like your time is worth $1000 an hour, you will act accordingly.

Quit multitasking. Women often feel pressure to live up to societal expectations regarding their careers, relationships, and parenting skills. Stop trying to do it all at once. Instead, block your days off into time chunks that you can set aside to do specific tasks. You’ll not only feel more accomplished but you’ll be less distracted all day long.

Finish the easiest tasks first. Each morning, make a list of what you have to do that day. Put your least time-consuming items at the top of that list. As you mark these off, you will gain momentum and likely get everything done as opposed to getting stuck on a difficult task and never making it to the small ones.

Family, health, anxiety, mental health, depression, natural treatmentRelationships

Perhaps you’re experiencing relationship issues or simply want to set the foundation for a healthy partnership. Either way, pay attention to the little things and watch your relationship flourish in a big way.

Make time for each other. We already know that time is an asset and one that we must be willing to share with our partners in order to create a strong relationship.

Broaden your circle. While you should set aside your most intimate moments for your partner, don’t rely on one person to fill all of your social and emotional needs. Spend time with friends, especially those that share common interest where you and your partner don’t see eye to eye.

 

Author: Julia Merrill (BefriendYourDoc.org)

Risk Factors & Prevention of Metabolic Syndrome

Heart disease, stroke and diabetes are three of the leading causes of death in the U.S. When death results from these situations it often feels like the incident occurred out of nowhere, which can leave family members wondering what could have been done to save their loved ones.

Although death from heart attacks, strokes and diabetes are almost always unexpected, there are often a group of risk factors that show up as warning signs far before the sometimes fatal events occur. Some of these risk factors include high blood pressure, high blood sugar, elevated cholesterol, and excess body fat especially around the waistline. Together, these conditions are referred to as metabolic syndrome. Having a combination of these conditions increases your risk for heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

Causes of Metabolic Syndrome

Metabolic syndrome is usually the result of several causes including overweight, obesity, inactivity and a poor diet which ultimately leads to inflammation throughout the body.

If you suffer from type 2 diabetes, your body has become insulin resistant, another culprit of metabolic syndrome. When you eat carbohydrates, the body turns the carbs into sugar or glucose after the food has been digested. Insulin is a hormone that allows your body to use this glucose as energy or to store the glucose for future use. When your body becomes insulin resistant your cells cannot efficiently use blood sugar or glucose for energy. Whenever insulin is elevated it send the body into a “fat storage mode” which makes weight loss very difficult. When this happens you continuously have high blood sugar levels, which can lead to type 2 diabetes if a dietary change is not made.

Metabolic Syndrome
Source: Elite Healthcare

Symptoms of Metabolic Syndrome 

As stated earlier, metabolic syndrome is the result of a number of conditions such as high blood pressure and high blood sugar. Often these conditions have very few signs or symptoms. Some individuals with high blood pressure may face headaches and dizzy spells, while those with high blood sugar can experience increased thirst, urination and headaches. On the other hand, some individuals show no signs or symptoms at all.

A visible sign that someone may be suffering from metabolic syndrome is a large waistline. Having extra fat in the belly area, as opposed to other areas of the body, has been linked to an increase risk of metabolic syndrome. For those of us with a more visual mind, if your body shape looks more like an apple instead of a pear, this could be a visual cue that you are suffering a health condition.

Get Tested

Because of the often few and sometimes non-existent symptoms of metabolic syndrome, it can be very hard to determine whether you are suffering from the condition. The best thing you can do if you suspect that you may have metabolic syndrome is to consult a physician.

If you have been looking to find a naturopathic doctor or if you are interested in exploring naturopathic remedies for health, Balanced Care is the right place for you. At Balanced Care we can complete a physical exam and run a number of tests to confirm whether you are suffering from metabolic syndrome. These tests will measure your blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol levels, and inflammation. Genetic testing can also be used to evaluate your cardiac risk. 

Treatment for Metabolic Syndrome

If you are in fact diagnosed with metabolic syndrome, the good news is that natural treatments and lifestyle changes can reverse your condition. These natural remedies include changes in nutrition and becoming more active which leads to weight loss and decreased inflammation.

Changing your diet will do wonders for you if you suffer from metabolic syndrome. Adding more fruits and vegetables to your meals can help your metabolism operate properly. Because everyone is different, the naturopathic doctors at Balanced Care can help you create a treatment plan that is tailored specifically to you.

Exercise and being active is a great way to lower blood pressure, improve cholesterol levels and prevent insulin resistance. Everything from taking the stairs instead of the elevator to attending a yoga class will help – nothing is off limits. As long as you are consistently moving, this increased activity will help tackle your metabolic syndrome conditions.

As a result of improving your diet and becoming more active, you will see the pounds fall off. The apple shape you once had will soon turn into a pear if you keep up with your lifestyle changes.

Don’t Be a Statistic

Most of us know someone whose life was changed forever as a result of a heart attack, stroke or diabetes. Many of these lives could have been saved if the correct natural treatments for high blood sugar, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure were implemented sooner.

Metabolic syndrome is a very clear sign that you need to make some lifestyle changes. Heart attack, stroke and type 2 diabetes are preventable, especially when treated by addressing the underlying cause. Protect yourself and your loved ones by getting tested and regaining control of your health.

 

Katie Corazzo, naturopath, naturopathic doctor, holistic, homeopathDr. Katie is a registered Naturopathic Doctor in Edina and Woodbury, MN. Serving the Twin Cities, she is passionate about addressing the root cause by using natural medicines and nutrition. Holistic medical care and individualized treatment plans for each and every patient is what you can expect. Call now to schedule your complimentary 15 minute consultation at 612-564-2218. We can’t wait to meet you!

 

Treating Adult Acne Naturally

Facial

Facial

Written by: Dr. Rachel Alioto

A shocking 45% of people over the age of 21 have acne, according to the American Academy of Dermatology, most being women. There are many causes for adult acne including lifestyle, diet, stress, family history, side effects of medications and hormone imbalance, but how can you treat acne naturally?

First, lets look at a few common causes for adult acne.

Stress

We all have stress in our lives, some more than others, but how do we cope with the stress? When under chronic stress there is an increase in androgens like cortisol and testosterone. Research shows that cortisol and testosterone increases acne and breakouts. Incorporating stress-relieving strategies into our daily life can help maintain normal androgen levels which is important for sleep, skin, mood, and so much more.

Exercise

Your metabolism increases during and after a workout which helps rid the body of excess sebum production that causes acne. On the other hand, hormones can become stagnant with a lack of exercise which leads to hormonal acne. Maintaining an exercise routine at least 3 days per week can help prevent adult acne. Your pores open during a workout so be sure to rinse off as soon as possible to prevent them from filling with sweat and bacteria and causing a breakout!

Diet

Conventional chickens and beef are given hormones that large-scale companies use to increase size and output of animals. These same animals are also given antibiotics to prevent infections that spread rapidly in small living spaces. The hormones and antibiotics end up in the meat and milk we consume if we are not careful. If your acne is hormonal in nature, it may be caused by the animal products you are eating or drinking. To prevent this, purchase your meat locally from farmers who do not use hormones and let their animals graze. Look for grass-fed beef and free range chickens that are hormone and antibiotic free. As for dairy, choose organic and/or switch to a plant-based milk like almond or coconut milk.

Additionally, be wary of the types of oil you use. Peanut and vegetable oils are highly processed and could be contributing to your breakouts. Cook with olive oil or avocado oil instead, or even sauté in water or broth instead!

If meat or dairy is not be the cause of your acne, gluten, nuts or other food sensitivities may be the culprit. Whatever we put into our body will affect the outside of our body too.

Here are a few suggestions for naturally avoiding acne and breakouts:

  1. Eat a balanced diet full of fruits, veggies, fish and humanely raised lean meats. Choose organic when possible and try out plant-based milks.
  2. Exercise! Yoga, walking, swimming all help boost your metabolism while allowing you to de-stress your body and mind. Find something you enjoy and then do it at least 3 days per week.
  3. Be sure to have a good cleansing regimen both mornings and evenings. If hormones are causing your acne, balancing hormone levels naturally is crucial.
  4. If you aren’t sure what is causing your acne, book an appointment with Dr. Rachel or Dr. Katie. We can help determine what foods or hormones may be causing your acne.

 

Dr. Rachel and Dr. Katie are Naturopathic Doctors in Edina and Woodbury, MN. We offer natural treatments to your health issues. Call us today for your complimentary 15 minute consultation 612-564-2218. We hope to hear from you soon!