In our bustling lives, where deadlines loom and responsibilities abound, sleep often takes a backseat. However, beneath the surface of our daily routines lies a fundamental truth: sleep is not merely a luxury but a cornerstone of our well-being. Understanding its profound impact on our physical, mental, and emotional health emphasizes the need to prioritize it as an integral part of our lifestyle. Here are five compelling reasons illuminating the vital role of sleep in our overall well-being:
1. Physical Restoration:
Sleep is nature's way of allowing our bodies to heal and rejuvenate. While we slumber, intricate biological processes unfold, promoting physical restoration. Muscles grow, tissues repair, and energy levels are replenished, ensuring we wake up refreshed and ready to face the day. This restoration process is essential for our overall physical health and vitality. Regular, restful sleep provides our bodies with the necessary time and resources to repair and regenerate, contributing to our long-term well-being.
2. Mental Clarity:
A well-rested mind is a sharp mind. Quality sleep plays a pivotal role in enhancing cognitive functions. During the night, the brain consolidates memories, processes information, and strengthens neural connections. This consolidation leads to improved memory, problem-solving skills, and creativity. Additionally, adequate sleep sharpens focus and decision-making abilities, boosting productivity and overall mental clarity. It enables us to tackle challenges with a clear mind and innovative thinking, making it a valuable ally in our daily pursuits.
3. Emotional Balance:
Emotional well-being is intricately linked to the quality of our sleep. Sufficient rest fosters emotional resilience, equipping us to handle life's ups and downs with grace. When we sleep well, our minds are better equipped to regulate emotions, reducing stress, anxiety, and irritability. Adequate sleep enhances our ability to cope with challenging situations, promoting a more positive outlook on life. By prioritizing sleep, we create a foundation for emotional balance, allowing us to navigate the complexities of life with greater ease.
4. Immune Support:
Sleep is a powerful ally in our body's defense against illnesses. It plays a crucial role in strengthening the immune system, bolstering our ability to fight off infections. During sleep, the body produces immune cells and antibodies, enhancing its resilience against diseases. Quality sleep ensures that our immune system functions optimally, making us less susceptible to common illnesses and promoting overall health. By nurturing our immune system through adequate sleep, we empower our bodies to ward off potential threats, safeguarding our well-being.
5. Heart Health:
Adequate sleep is closely linked to heart health. Research has shown that those who prioritize regular, deep sleep have a lower risk of developing cardiovascular issues. Quality sleep helps maintain healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels, reducing the strain on the heart. By allowing the cardiovascular system to rest and recuperate, sleep contributes significantly to heart health. Making sleep a priority is a proactive step toward a healthier heart and a longer, more vibrant life.
Incorporating regular, restful sleep into our routine is not just a necessity but a profound act of self-care. It is an investment in our physical, mental, and emotional well-being. By recognizing the vital role of sleep and embracing it as an essential part of our daily lives, we pave the way for a healthier, happier existence. So, let us prioritize sleep, honoring its significance in nurturing our overall well-being and embracing each day with vitality and resilience.
If you find it challenging to achieve sufficient, restorative sleep, feel free to reach out to our clinic. Dr. Michael is eager to collaborate with you to enhance and restore your sleep quality. Don't hesitate to get in touch!
As the vibrant hues of summer transition into the warm, earthy tones of autumn, it's a perfect time to consider the health of our bodies. Just as the leaves shed their old selves, our bodies, too, benefit from a seasonal cleanse – a detoxification ritual that can be truly transformative.
1. Seasonal Shifts and the Body
Autumn signifies more than just a change in weather. Our bodies respond to environmental shifts, and the fall season can bring about unique challenges. With cooler temperatures and decreased daylight, we often spend more time indoors and gravitate toward comfort foods. These factors can lead to sluggishness, decreased physical activity, and poor dietary choices.
2. Detoxification as a Reset
A well-planned detox program can serve as a reset button for your body. It helps eliminate accumulated toxins, supports digestive health, and boosts the immune system. This is particularly crucial as we head into the flu season.
3. Seasonal Produce and Detox
Autumn offers a bounty of seasonal vegetables. These foods can be integrated into your detox plan to provide essential nutrients while aiding in the removal of harmful substances.
4. Mental Clarity and Emotional Balance
Detoxification is not just about the body; it also impacts the mind. Many individuals report improved mental clarity, reduced stress, and heightened emotional balance after a successful detox.
5. Finding the Right Detox Plan
As a Naturopathic Doctor practicing Functional Medicine, I understand the importance of tailoring detox plans to individual needs. Consider a personalized program that aligns with your unique health goals and preferences by calling our clinic today.
In conclusion, autumn is more than just a beautiful season – it's an opportunity to refresh and rejuvenate our bodies. A mindful detoxification process can help us navigate the seasonal changes with vitality and resilience, ensuring that we enter the colder months in the best possible shape. So, why not embrace the fall season as a chance to prioritize your health and well-being? I hope to see you soon.
A number of people have wondered why we recommend changes in diet when someone is living with cancer. Unfortunately, our Canada Food Guide (which is based off the American Food Pyramid) is extremely high in carbohydrate. This is great if one is working a very physical job where they are burning a lot of calories. However, the vast majority of us this is not the case. In North America, our high carbohydrate diet has lead to large increases in almost every chronic disease, including cancer. We are designed to burn primarily fat as an energy source and protein to help build tissues. Fat does not make us fat, sugar and carbohydrate does. Sugar has been shown to feed cancer cells and is even the basis of the utilizing PETScans for identifying cancer presence. Below is an article indicating the usefulness of the Ketogenic diet for those living with cancer. Should you wish do learn more and embrace a holistic approach to dealing with your cancer - do not hesitate to contact us.
Ketogenic Diet in Cancer
Multiple Sclerosis and Gut Health
Multiple Sclerosis is one of the family of auto-immune diseases which affect a huge number of Albertans. After all we have one of the highest rates of MS in the world. For a long time we have known that vitamin D levels play a crucial role in the development of MS. However, vitamin D is only one component in the causation of this illness. Vitamin D is important in the functioning of our immune system.
A few years ago, it was theorized at a conference in Calgary that lectins were another component. That when not properly digested, these little bits of protein were exposed to the immune system creating antibodies that cross reacted with various tissues in the body. One of these tissues is the myelin which coats the nerves and allows for proper functioning of our nervous system. This theory was proposed for not only MS, but also Lupus (SLE), ALS, Hashimoto’s and others.
New research is shedding further light on the cause of MS and it appears for a number of sufferers, gut bacteria play and important role rather than lectins from undigested food. Certain bacteria that may be present in the gut of some people allow the immune system to create an antibody to the bacterial version of the enzyme called GDP-l-fucose synthase. Again, this antibody is created in the gut and circulates throughout our body attacking tissues which contain high levels of this enzyme. And of course, our myelinated nerve cells contain high levels of this enzyme. To examine the study click here
What does this mean for the average person? It means that proper gut health and immune function are pivotal in both the prevention and management of such autoimmune illnesses as MS. Often our approach to health is like that of a person who jumps out of an airplane without a parachute: nothing to worry about because we haven’t encountered the ground yet. Our functional approach to naturopathic medicine helps one discover the need for a parachute. Proper health is not focused on starting once we have the disease. Proper health is ensuring that we never develop the disease. However, no matter where you are in your health journey, we want to provide you with the tools to improve your overall healthfulness.
The Problem With Antibiotics
We have known for a long time now, going back as far at the late 1980's that rampant antibiotic use was creating bacteria resistant to the these same antibiotics. However, both in medicine and farming, our practices have not substantially changed and we now have numerous bacteria which are resistant to a number of antibiotics. Probably the best example is methicliin resistant Staphylococus aures (MRSA) which is now resistant to numerous other antibiotics as well. The article below is interesting, as it gives us an indication of how the over use of antibiotics are changing bacteria throughout the planet. We often think that once we have finished a course of antibiotics they are gone. However, they have simply been excreted by our body and are passed from our waste water treatment plants to our lakes and streams. The article below provides an interesting read on this growing phenomenon:
Click this link: German scientists find antiobiotic-resistant germs in lakes, streams
The end of the current year is often a time for reflection on how the last twelve months have gone. Rarely, do we sit back and say: What a great year – I took time to relax, reduce stress in my life, and build healthy relationships and patterns that have served me well. While we may not have reached the level of perfection we would like there are a number of things that we can do in the upcoming year to improve our overall health and well being. Below are eight steps that will help you achieve a more balanced life, greater peace and joy.
1. Do a Proper Detoxification Program
Detoxification can help one lower overall physical stress and improve overall wellness. It improves overall functioning of the liver and metabolism. However, too many people undertake detoxification programs that they find either on the internet or recommended by friends. Often these 'detox protocols' are not researched at all and can actually cause more harm than good. I recommend only those detoxification programs which have research behind them and are supervised by your family naturopathic doctor.
2. Do Energy Intensive Activities in Moderation.
Studies have shown that endurance activities such as running, swimming and cycling are ideal for fighting stress and its negative consequences. However, these must be done in moderation – too little and there is no decrease in the stress hormones, too much and there is an increase in stress hormones. Done properly these activities help to decrease stress hormones while strengthening the heart and improving circulation. The endorphins released make you feel happier and more energetic. What about competitive sports? They are off the list as they create a new source of stress.
3. Employ Relaxation Techniques.
Relaxation therapies like Biofeedback Therapy and Progressive Muscle Relaxation have scientifically-proven benefits. Meditation and yoga have also show great benefit in reducing stress. They all reduce muscle tension and agitation, making people more resistant to stress, relaxed and happy.
4. Seek Out..
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For many years Vitamin D was the forgotten vitamin. After its addition to milk in the 1930's to aid in calcium absorption in the the small intestine and the prevention of rickets in children there was not much said about it. The belief was that it only played a role in calcium absorption and pretty much nothing else.
This began to change about 15 years ago when it was discovered that multiple sclerosis (MS) patients had quite low levels of Vitamin D. This began a number of studies to determine if the disease caused the low levels of Vitamin D or if low levels of Vitamin D caused the disease. While the overall cause of MS remains a mystery to this day, it has been found that Vitamin D supplementation can often slow and in some cases reverse the progression of MS in many sufferers.
This relationship between Vitamin D and MS lead to some other questions. With Alberta having the highest rate of MS in the world, studies were begun on the overall levels of Vitamin D in Albertans (and western Canadians in general). A number of studies have shown that at least a one point during the year, more than a third of people have low levels of Vitamin D.
How could this be? After all, Alberta is known for its large amounts of sunshine even in the winter. The reality is that while it is sunny in February, the temperature makes it unlikely that anyone is going to go out and a swimsuit and tan. Minus 20 is just a little to cold for the average
Albertan (your naturophathic physician included)! Tanning booths are a poor option due to the substantial increase risk of skin cancer. So what is one to do?
First, come see your naturopathic physician as he is best suited to discuss and evaluate your specific situation. It is unlikely that rickets is an issue for you, and unlikely you have MS. However, Vitamin D deficiency plays an important role in a number of health concerns. It is involved in preventing, osteoporosis, cancer, inflammation, fibromyalgia, type I diabetes,
upper respiratory tract infections, overall immune function, and mood to name just a few. So what is your Vitamin D status? Find out! Book your appointment today!
Earlier this year the University of Kansas published a study on the effectiveness of high dose, IV vitamin C in the treatment of ovarian cancer. It is interesting to note that the University of Kansas has been looking into high dose vitamin C (IV) for a few years now and the results are showing what naturopathic clinicians have found: that high dose vitamin C (intravenous Vitamin C) is an effective addition to chemotherapy. I, myself, have seen high doses of vitamin C give hope where the conventional treatment has left none. My preference is a complimentary approach to cancer - not one or the other but both conventional and naturopathic. The science continues to grow for alternative treatments. This helps yet further dismiss one of my pet peeves: uninformed people who say there is no science behind complementary treatment when actually there is quite a bit, but that is for another post.
I use high dose vitamin C to treat cancer patients on a regular basis and find that it is well tolerated by patients and can be quite effective. It is important to note that you cannot simply take lots of vitamin C orally and hope it will work - it won't. The maximum daily oral dose that can be absorbed into the blood stream from the gut by whatever formulations one wants to concoct is about 8 g (8000 mg). With IV, most naturopathic doctors start at 25 g directly in the blood stream and get to a value of 100 g or more over time.
The other important thing to remember is that at low doses (oral doses) vitamin C acts as an anti-oxidant and may actually help cancer cells survive (theoretically). However, at high doses (IV) vitamin C is a pro-oxidant which can aid in the killing of cancer cells.
If you or a loved one is suffering from cancer and would like to find out more about this treatment or any other complimentary (naturopathic) cancer treatments do not hesitate to get a hold of me. I would be happy to talk with you. (Contact us!)
Note: for more on the University of Kansas story: http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/592898-high-dose-vitamin-c-helps-ovarian-cancer-researchers-say
For many years mercury was our biggest concern. Through much public protest and based on the science mercury (Hg) was replaced with aluminum as the adjuvant in many vaccines. For many people this is not a concern, but for the select few (which we have no way of knowing in advance) it can be a major health concern and life changing event. Adjuvants make vaccines more effective. However, the aluminum can stick around in mast cells for years and slowly over time is transported to nervous tissue in the brain.
So why use adjuvants? The short answer is that they make vaccines more effective. This means that less vaccine needs to be given and less doses to produce immunity within the person.
Given this, there are recommendations within the European medical community (neurologists and others working with autoimmune) to produce adjuvant free vaccines. At this time the European Union is not willing to mandate this.
With the issues around vaccines, toxic metals, and yes, even acetomenophin for post vaccine fever, patients and parents need to be more informed that ever. As a naturopathic doctor, I know that vaccines do play an important role in our lives and protecting us from some very nasty diseases. However, information is key and this is where I like to help patients and parents make informed choices.
To see the issues around aluminum check out DW website at: http://dw.de/p/1CLK9 In addition, the show is being broadcast for the next few days.
For years we have been looking for the cause of autism in our children. There were vaccinations which were proposed a number of years ago. There was antibiotic use for ear infections (which more often than not were due to dairy issues), and of course there was blame placed on parents (often mothers). Now there is another proposed culprit and there is at least a good correlation. So what is this smoking gun? Acetaminophen.
That is right, there appears to be a correlation between the use of acetaminophen and the incidence of asthma, autism, and ADHD. Dr. William Shaw of Great Plains Laboratory puts together a interesting argument for acetaminophen being the culprit. If this does turn out with further study to be one of the major culprits, then the theories around vaccinations will have come so close to having found the culprit years ago.
In a society where pain is to be dealt with immediately (think teething), and fevers to be avoided, acetaminophen quietly crept into our lives. Our children's fevers went down, they slept and we slept. However, the evidence (at a minimum) suggests that this needs to be studied further. And most importantly, we need to stop medicating our children with acetaminophen.
The most shocking finding in the paper is that while Cuba has a very high vaccination rate, it has a very low autism rate. In Cuba, acetaminophen is not used to treat childhood teething issues, fevers, and post vaccination uncomfortability.
If you want to be proactive with the medical care of your children, do not hesitate to meet with us. We can help with less harmful ways to deal with fevers, teething and overall general preventative care for your child.
Read the full article here: Increased Acetaminophen use Major Cause Autism, Attention Deficit with Hyperactivity, and Asthma
Pizza is a vegetable. Yes, many of my patients have heard me say this. Why? Because the USDA declared it a vegetable after lobbying by a number of food companies. So why is it a vegetable -- because it has some tomato paste on it and may have the occasional vegetable thrown on the top of the pizza. Actually, getting it declared a vegetable allowed food companies to get it into the school lunch programs in the U.S. So thanks to the same government department that gave us the Food Pyramid, so too pizza as a vegetable.
We often like to think in Canada that things are different - but are they? I would suggest not. Most of the Government of Canada's Food Guide is almost exactly the same as the USDA Food Pyramid. Sure the graphics are different and how it is presented differs as well, but the information is almost identical.
For the last 60 years, since the introduction of a very high carbohydrate diet (pushed by grain companies who had a surplus), we have seen a steady increase in obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, etc. We have been told fat is bad and actually makes us fat. However, the research has not borne this out and it is carbohydrates which make us fat (converted in the liver).
If you are tired of being tired (pun intended) - come and learn about a new way to eat at our clinic. Many of my patients come in with digestive (and skin - they are linked) issues and find that through diet their condition resolves.
If you are fed up and want to learn more about our food. Contact our clinic - we have free movie passes to the airing of the the documentary - FED UP which looks at food in North America.
And yes, the top of the movie pass mentions that 'Congress says pizza is a vegetable.'
For your free movie pass to the May 14th screening (sponsored by the Edmonton Journal, 630 CHED and iNews 880) - call:
There has been much debate about the usefulness of fish oil over the last couple of years. Some research shows benefit and other research does not. Unfortunately, when one looks closely at the studies often the very fish oil is to blame. To often poor quality fish oil is used and in amounts that are of no real benefit. I remember discussing with a pharmacist about the fish oil they were selling. Her face dropped when I suggested that my patients would have to take 20 capsules a day to get enough DHA and EPA.
In regards to the benefit of fish oil and mental function, there is an interesting research study done by Tuft's University. In the study they found that grouping people on the basis of EPA and DHA consumption those with the lowest intake (lowest 25 % of participants) had the greatest cognitive decline over a two year period.
One of my biggest concerns is the quality of the oil as well. Almost all fish oil is tested for heavy metals, but not necessarily PCB's. Also, the cheaper the product the poorer the quality of the oil. If it is not converted back into a triglyceride when it is refined there is no real benefit in taking the product no matter what the DHA and EPA levels are.
Earlier this past week I had the pleasure of removing a deer tick from a close relative. This of course was immediately followed with treatment to prevent the development of Lyme disease. While there are not many confirmed cases of Lyme disease in Alberta or Canada for that matter, the number of cases is continuing to grow in Canada with the warmer winters.
Lyme disease is caused not by the deer tick itself, but the bacteria it carries (Borellia burgdoferi). The bacteria enter into the body when we are bitten by the tick. Often a target or bullseye rash forms with the infection. Symptoms of Lyme are similar to that of other spirochaete infections. Symptoms can include fever and general malaise, and can affect the heart, central nervous system, and joints.
Long term or chronic infections can be difficult to treat and often include chelation and antibiotics. However, with continued treatment many patients find improvement. I have treated a number of patients and it is very rewarding to see the improvements.
If you spend time out doors in the wilderness (camping, hiking, horse back riding, etc) and are suffering from an illness that no can quite explain - you may want to look into testing (and yes we do offer it in the clinic).
Interesting fact: Lyme - from Lyme Connecticut, where it was first discovered.