Detoxification vs Detox

We often think about detoxification after a period of overconsumption (think too much sugar, alcohol, or junk food) or when experiencing a new health related complaint (skin issues, headaches, anxiety, fatigue, etc.). Many of us only think of detoxification during certain times of the year (like “Spring Cleaning”).

But did you know detoxification is happening in your body ALL the time? That’s right, every minute of every day your body is working hard to eliminate potentially harmful toxins from your body.

Detoxification differs from the more popular term “detox”. A “detox” is a program typically followed for 7 or 10 day periods. They can be a great way to start fresh or get back on track but doing a detox is never a long-term solution. Many program promise quick fixes for a slew of complaints but the real solution comes from supporting our detoxification processes on a daily basis.

Luckily there are many things we can do on a regular basis to help support our natural ability to detoxify. We cover those tips over several articles called Daily Detox Tips.

When it comes to detoxification, there are a few important organ systems doing most of the work. Everyday we are exposed to a variety of toxins and chemicals that need to be broken down and filtered out of our bodies. When these systems become overwhelmed (either too many toxins or not enough support to help the systems work) our health suffers.

Liver

The liver is an amazing organ and is the main detoxifier of the body. It also has MANY other functions. The liver is necessary for bile production, vitamin and mineral storage, metabolism control, and immunity.

When it comes to detoxification, the liver is not only responsible for breakdown environmental toxins such as pesticides, alcohol, and medications, but also our own hormones and breakdown products.

When overwhelmed by toxins, it cannot function optimally. Because the liver has a significant role in so many different functions, the result of an overwhelmed liver can affect pretty much every aspect of health and contribute to hormonal complaints, skin concerns, immune conditions, sleep disturbances, cholesterol issues and digestive complaints.

(I could go on… but I bet you get the point…the liver does a lot!)

Kidneys

The kidneys are small but mighty and perform such important processes that most of us have two! Kidneys play an important role in regulating blood pressure, pH levels, and electrolyte balance in the body.

The kidneys main role, however, is to filter blood. In fact, about 1/4 of our total blood volume is filtered thru the kidneys every minute!! What?! Here’s another one for you: that works out to our entire blood volume being filtered 60 times every day!!

The process of detoxification involves making toxins water soluble. As this crazy amount of blood is moving thru the kidneys, these toxins can be filtered out and eliminated in the urine.

(Thank you, kidneys!)

 

Supportive Organs of Detoxification:

Intestines 

The intestines do not play a direct role in detoxification processes but are an important organ for getting rid of those toxins.

The main role of the intestines is absorption. When is comes to toxin exposure, it’s the liver that takes the brunt of it. For example, when someone overdoses on Tylenol, it’s not the stomach or intestines that are damaged, but the liver. Or with long-term alcohol abuse, it’s the liver that will fail.

The intestines do play a very supportive role and can help the liver out. When moving properly, fat soluble toxins and other unwanted material get eliminated thru the stool efficiently and effectively. Constipation on the other hand can lead to absorption and recirculation of these toxins, putting additional burden on our detoxification pathways.

(Key point: keep it moving!)

Skin

The skin can be considered as another supportive organ in detoxification. By promoting healthy skin and reducing the amount of chemicals we absorb thru our skin, we can reduce the burden on our liver and kidneys.

The skin can be one of the first places symptoms of an overwhelmed detoxification system will show up. Many people experience rashes, acne, and itching when the liver becomes overwhelmed.

(Main takeaway: take skin symptoms seriously!)

Lungs

We need oxygen for healthy cellular function (including detoxification processes), hence the importance of lung health and proper breathing techniques.

Lungs are also responsible for eliminating toxins in the form of gas.

(Tip: breath deeply!)

Lymphatic System

You gotta love the lymphatic system, it really does so much for us!

I often refer to the network of lymphathic vessels as the body’s sewer system. It basically picks up fluid that leaks out during oxygen exchange and filters it thru channels of tissue known as lymph nodes. These nodes are concentrated areas of immune cells. If the system detects a toxin or bacteria, the immune cells can target it and ideally eliminate the threat before an infection occurs.

The lymph system does not have a pump (unlike the circulatory system which relies on pressure generated by the heart) so it needs muscles to contract to move it. People often experience swelling, skin irritation, and fatigue when the lymph system is under-functioning.

(Seriously, love your lymph!)

 

It is obvious our detoxification systems work hard, every day. That’s a good thing because we are exposed to more toxins and harmful chemicals than ever before.

 

Check out the next several posts, Daily Detox Tips, for information on how to support these precious detoxification organs!

 

 

 

Winter Wellness Package

It can be easy to make big promises to ourselves but those promises often become hard to keep. It’s difficult to maintain the New Years’ momentum, particularly during the winter months.

With that in mind, we’ve put together a Winter Wellness Package to help hold you accountable and get the results you are looking for. Continuously I notice that commitment and consistency is necessary for results. We’ve spread out the package over a 6 week period to help encourage the kind of commitment and consistency that will lead to big changes.

This package includes:

– Two 45 minute consultations with our health coach, Michael Johnson

– weekly infrared sauna sessions for 4 weeks (1 hour each)

– weekly acupuncture sessions for 4 weeks (30 mins each)

Whether you’ve set an intention to reduce your stress level, drop a few pounds, have more energy, improve your sleep patterns, reduce pain, or simply take more time for self-care, and you know WHY you want to achieve these goals – this package is for you. Call or email to start your Winter Wellness journey.

Ozone Therapy – Moncton & Dieppe

Dr. Melissa Blake is certified in ozone therapy. She received her advanced training at the certification course offered by world leader in the field, Dr. Frank Shallenberger, MD.

The following is an excerpt from Dr. Shallenberger’s website:

Ozone therapy is a unique form of therapy that both heals and detoxifies at the same time. It is used to treat a variety of chronic diseases, including:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Cancer (as part of an integrative plan, ozone has been shown to improve response to conventional treatments, reduce side effects, and improve outcomes)
  • Diabetes
  • Lyme disease
  • Chronic hepatitis
  • Herpes and other stubborn viral infections
  • Chronic fatigue states
  • Chemical sensitivity
  • Macular degeneration
  • Chronic bladder conditions
  • Inflammatory bowel diseases
  • Auto-immune diseases

What is Ozone?

The oxygen you breathe is present in the air as a pair of oxygen atoms. This is the most stable form of oxygen, and it’s colorless. Ozone is a blue colored form of oxygen (it’s what makes the sky blue), and unlike regular oxygen, it is composed of three oxygen atoms instead of two.It is the addition of the third oxygen atom that makes ozone “supercharged” oxygen, and gives it all of its remarkable medical properties.

The use of ozone to treat various medical conditions was first developed in Germany in the early 1950’s. Today, medical ozone therapy is common throughout Europe, and its use has gradually been spreading in America over the last 25 years.

Ozone is toxic, isn’t it?

Anything, including water and oxygen, is toxic if given in amounts that exceed the body’s capacity to utilize it. Ozone is found naturally in the body. The white cells make it as part of the immune response.Pure medical grade ozone, when it is used according to the established medical guidelines, has a safety record that is unparalleled.

Medical properties of ozone:

Ozone has five properties that account for why it works so well not only for macular degeneration, but also for most other chronic age related conditions as well:

  1. Ozone is a potent regulator of the immune system. This means that when the immune system is overactive (as in auto-immune disease), ozone will calm it down. Conversely, when the immune system is under active as in cancer, AIDS, and chronic infections, ozone will stimulate it. This unique ability of ozone stems from its action on the membranes of white cells that causes them to produce immune related messenger molecules called cytokines. Examples of cytokines are gamma interferon, interleukin-2, colony stimulating factor, and TNF-alpha just to name a few.
  2. Ozone stimulates increased uptake of oxygen by stimulating the enzyme diphosphoglycerate (DPG). DPG enables the release of oxygen from the hemoglobin molecule so that it can be taken up into the cell.In the absence of an adequate amount of DPG, our cells become starved for oxygen.This is a common problem in diabetics.
  3. Ozone improves circulation. It does this by enhancing the flow characteristics of blood as a liquid. This effect enables more of the oxygen carrying hemoglobin to reach the capillaries where ultimately the cells will receive more of the oxygen they require. Many patients with chronic inflammatory conditions have impaired circulation.
  4. Ozone increases antioxidant protection more than any other therapy including vitamin C. Most people with chronic disease have deficient antioxidant defenses.
  5. Ozone is a powerful mitochondrial stimulant. The fundamental underlying cause behind all degenerative disease from diabetes to heart disease to cancer is decreased mitochondrial energy production. Ozone can often correct this problem.

How is ozone used medically?

Ozone therapy should only be used by professionals who have been fully trained in its use. Doctors who want such training can receive it from Dr. Shallenberger, who offers training sessions twice a year in the United States and internationally.

Autotherapy is the most common, and in most cases the most effective way ozone is administered. The patient sits in a chair and has from 6-12 ounces of blood removed into a sterilized bottle.Then ozone is injected into the bottle, and the bottle is gently shaken, allowing the red and white blood cells to take up the ozone. The ozonated blood is then returned to the body. The entire procedure takes about 30-40 minutes.

Is ozone for me?

This is a decision for a doctor who is trained and experienced in the medical use of ozone. Some conditions simply will not clear up unless ozone is used, and of course many conditions will clear up without ozone. Because of its many therapeutic properties, ozone can be used as part of a therapeutic plan for almost every disease.

It is invaluable in the treatment of heart disease and circulatory disorders.Chronic infections such as hepatitis-C, herpes, Lyme, and AIDS respond very favorably to ozone.It is also very helpful in chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, and autoimmune diseases.

It is important to realize that ozone therapy is not a panacea or some kind of magic bullet. Although it is often an indispensable modality, it is only rarely effective by itself. In the great majority of cases it must be combined with an individualized program of other alternative and natural therapies, such as nutrition and detoxification.

 

For more information or to book a consultation to discuss your medical options, please call 506-857-1300.

Intimacy is a Gateway to Your Health & Happiness By Dr. Gayle Friend

A healthy relationship is a beautiful balance of love, intimacy & sex, and it plays a key role in your overall health and happiness. Think of it like a 3-legged table – if one or more of the legs is broken or shorter than the others the table is unstable. The same goes with relationships.

An extended period of instability in your relationship (with yourself or your partner) causes stress and that stress can manifest in many unpleasant ways in the body. You thrive with a solid balance of love, intimacy & sex. But if you aren’t thriving, what’s going on?

Love is a pure emotion. Sex is perfectly natural. Intimacy is knowing yourself and reciprocally sharing with your partner – body, mind, heart and spirit.

So if love is pure and sex is natural, what causes unhappiness in relationships?

The answer lies in intimacy.

Intimacy is where all the baggage is, and our baggage is all the past hurts we bring forward into a relationship. And if you’re human, you have baggage – no one is immune. Every single person has experienced hurt, pain and maybe even trauma to a certain degree. It’s the unresolved, unprocessed and unidentified hurts that compromise the intimacy required for a happy, healthy relationship.

But where and how do you even start to establish or re-establish intimacy if there’s even a small amount of trouble in paradise?

First it’s important to know that intimacy is so much more than just emotions or sex. There are actually 5 main points of intimacy: Body, Mind, Heart, Spirit and Connection. When you see your patterns in each of these you can then start the process of creating new patterns that will heal hurts and draw you and your lover closer together.

Body – Physical Intimacy: This is the sexual and non-sexual pleasure you enjoy with all 5 senses: touch, taste, smell, sight and sound. It’s tuning into your own relationship with your body. The more non-sexual pleasure you experience – you’ll be happier, have a healthier body and enjoy better sex.

Mind – Thought Intimacy: These are your sexual and non-sexual ideas, memories, experiences, fantasies and beliefs. It’s being aware of your positive thoughts vs. your negative thoughts. It’s limiting beliefs that keep you stuck – doubt, fear, guilt, shame, judgments, blame etc. The more positive your thoughts – you’ll be happier, have a healthier mind and enjoy better sex.

Heart – Emotional Intimacy: This is the way you tune into your emotions and openly share them in a positive way with another. It’s your fears hurts pain but also your loving feelings of openness, caring, compassion, affection etc. The more often you experience positive emotions – you’ll be happier, have a healthier nervous system and enjoy better sex.

Spirit – Spiritual Intimacy: This is knowing your true authentic self and expressing yourself fully – both sexually and non-sexually. It’s your energetic presence and essence. Your inner light and radiance. The more alive and free you feel in your authenticity – you’ll be happier, have healthier sexuality and enjoy better sex.

Connection – Relationship Patterns: This is how you relate to yourself and your partner in each of the point of intimacy – body, mind, heart and spirit. It’s your verbal and non-verbal patterns of connecting and communicating. The more positive and open your connection – you’ll be happier, have a healthier relationship and enjoy better sex.

Intimately connecting with another begins by intimately connecting with yourself. It starts by taking an honest look at yourself – body, mind, heart and spirit and what your relationship patterns are. These patterns aren’t part of your personality – they’re rooted in habits you developed to protect yourself – your baggage.

The good news is that anyone at any age can learn how to let go of their baggage. Intimacy is the gateway to happier, healthier relationships that lead to a happier, healthier life.

Love is a Verb

This month’s theme is everything related to love and intimacy.

While thinking about the topic, I came across this statement in a book I was reading:

Love is a Verb.

It struck a cord.

Often we think about love in a very passive way. You feel it or you don’t; as if it’s an emotion that exists without any real action.

But love (in friendships, intimate relationships, with family, and with self) takes work. Love requires action. It is a verb. To love means to make sacrifices. It’s a commitment. It means doing things, not necessarily because it’s what you want, but because someone you care about does. It means acting with kindness even when times are tough.

Love is something you participate in and something you can generate more of by engaging in it.

To help us further our understanding and put into practice “Love is a Verb”, we’ve asked intimacy expert, Dr. Gayle Friend, to share her knowledge as a guest contributor. For more information about Dr. Gayle, you can check out her website: http://www.drgaylefriend.com/about/

Our hope is the posts this month will help generate a deeper sense of intimacy and love in your life.

I am honoured to be on this journey with you!

Dr. Melissa Blake

 

 

 

The Importance of Breast Exams

Breast self-exam (BSE), or regularly examining your breasts on your own, can be an important way to find a breast cancer early. Early detection improves treatment options and outcomes.

Not every cancer can be found this way, but knowing your breasts thru regular BSE will increase the likelihood that you will notice a change and will be able to bring this up with your medical professional for further evaluation.

Over the years, there has been some debate over just how valuable BSE and there is some evidence that they may even cause harm by prompting unnecessary biopsies. Because of the ongoing uncertainty raised by this and other studies, the American Cancer Society has chosen to advise women that BSE is an “optional” screening tool.

It is my opinion that knowing your body well is an invaluable wellness tool and that BSE is a useful and essential screening strategy, especially when used in combination with regular physical exams. I recommend that all women routinely perform breast self-exams as part of their overall breast cancer screening strategy.

Tips for performing BSE

The consistent feedback I receive when discussing breast exams with women is that they are not sure what to look for. The more you examine your breasts, the more you will learn about them and the easier it will be for you to detect a CHANGE. Any change, especially one that lasts beyond a full cycle (for menstruating women) or if symptoms worsen, deserves further discussion with your doctor.

Some tips for BSE:

  • Try to get in the habit of doing a breast self-examination once a month to familiarize yourself with how your breasts normally look and feel. Examine yourself several days after your period ends, when your breasts are least likely to be swollen and tender. If you are no longer having periods, choose a day that’s easy to remember, such as the first or last day of the month.

 

  • Don’t panic if you think you feel a lump. Most women have some lumps or lumpy areas in their breasts all the time. Benign lumps and bumps are MUCH more common than cancerous ones.

 

  • What’s important is that you get to know the look and feel of YOUR breasts’. Ask yourself: Does something stand out as different from the rest? Has anything changed? Bring to the attention of your doctor any changes in your breasts.

 

  • Remember that breast tissue extends into the armpit and all the way to the side body, so use one of the techniques depicted in the image below to cover as much surface area as possible.

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  • Start a breast map journal to track the results. This can be a small picture with notes about where you feel lumps or irregularities. Especially in the beginning, this may help you remember, from month to month, what is “normal” for your breasts. It is not unusual for lumps to appear at certain times of the month, but then disappear, as your body changes with the menstrual cycle (if you are still menstruating). Only changes that last beyond one full cycle, or seem to get bigger or more prominent in some way, need your doctor’s attention.

 

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The most important part of a BSE is to KNOW WHAT IS NORMAL FOR YOU and to note CHANGES. Keep in mind that regular BSE are not a replacement for physical exams by your medical professional. They are a tool to get to know your body and a way to be proactive about your health and wellness.

Know What Is Normal For You

I also promote thermography as part of a screening and prevention plan. For more information, visit my friends at Hindsight Thermography.

Neural Therapy

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Neural Therapy involves the injection of Procaine (also known as Novocaine), a common local anesthetic, into various but very specific areas. Procaine can safely be injected into the nerves of the autonomic nervous system, peripheral nerves, scars, glands, acupuncture points, trigger points, and other tissues.

Neural Therapy is based on the theory that trauma can produce long-standing disturbances in the electrochemical function of tissues. Sources of these disturbances can include surgery, infections, injuries, accidents, emotional traumas, etc.

How does Neural Therapy work?

Locally, procaine causes an increase in blood flow,  is anti-inflammatory, and has analgesic effects.

Procaine also has systemic effects through its ability to reset the membrane potential of cells and restore normal function. Whenever a cell has lost its normal membrane potential, ion pumps in the cell wall stop working. This means that abnormal minerals and toxic substances accumulate inside the cell. As a result, the cell loses the ability to heal itself. Procaine acts on the cell wall to allow the ion pumps to resume normal action and restore the membrane potential. By reestablishing the normal electrical condition of cells and nerves, the disturbed functions are also restored to normality, and the patient returns to health.

Will Neural Therapy replace all other therapies?

Neural Therapy is just another modality available to you.  Combining it with a personalized naturopathic program will provide the best results.

How many Neural Therapy treatments are typically necessary?

Sometimes one treatment will resolve the problem. More often, patients experience a partial improvement after each treatment. Three to six treatments are the average number to achieve lasting resolution of a chronic condition.

What will I experience?

Patients usually report minimal discomfort and often there is immediate relief. After a treatment (which may include several injections), patients can experience emotional release, numbness around the injection sites, and lightheadedness. All of these responses are important in the healing process.

What is Neural Therapy good for?

  • pain
  • clearing scars
  • sinus issues and asthma
  • headaches
  • digestive concerns
  • anxiety
  • sleep disturbances
  • whiplash
  • post-traumatic conditions
  • chronic disease

For more information on this amazing therapy, please call or email to book your consultation with Dr. Blake.

It’s all about the TERRAIN

Any gardener knows that simply cutting the top off a weed won’t stop it from growing back. It actually creates a vicious cycle that lead to very resistant weeds.

The same is true in the human body.

Most of us have been taught that germs cause disease. But another theory, known at the terrain theory, suggests that it’s not the germ but the state of our “internal environment” that determines health.

This is why when you’re well rested, eating well, and energized you tend to get sick less often or at least get over an infection quickly. If you’ve had a stressful week, didn’t get much sleep, and have been snacking on refined foods – the likelihood of becoming sick is much higher. Yes, germs are part of the disease process, but we are more or less susceptible to illness depending on the state of our terrain.

At the end of his life, Louis Pasteur, the scientist who developed the germ theory, is quoted to have said: “the microbe is nothing; the milieu is everything.”

To be healthy, we need to tend to our soil.

5 essential ways to support a healthy (and disease resistant) terrain:

#1. Sleep

An absolutely underrated aspect of a healthy lifestyle is adequate, good quality sleep.

Tips for healthy sleep:

  • sleep in the dark
  • set consistent bed and wake times (ideally between 10pm-11am to bed and rise with the sun)
  • avoid stimulation 1-2 hours before bedtime, especially from electronics

#2. Nutrition

YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT. Nutrient depleted, refined, processed foods are healthy terrain enemies. Focus on lots of low-glycemic fruits and vegetables, good quality protein, and healthy fats.

#3. Support balanced gut flora

Many infection are related to “opportunistic organisms” – they are always around but don’t flourish until there is opportunity to do so. Supporting a good balance of healthy gut flora will keep these unwanted bugs in check and also support optimal digestion.

  • consume fermented foods such as kimchi, kombucha, kefir, and sauerkraut
  • eat a diet high in fibre to fuel and support good bacteria
  • speak with a naturopathic doctor about a probiotic supplement

#4. Reduce toxins

Toxins create inflammation and oxidative damage. Try to avoid what you can as well as support your detox pathways to ensure you optimize the health of your terrain.

  • sweat it out! use infrared saunas and exercise to mobilize and eliminate toxins thru your sweat
  • reduce pesticides by using the ewg.org list of least and most contaminated crops
  • stop putting toxins on your body and opt for safe, natural body care products (drop in and check out the options)
  • speak to a naturopathic doctor about detox support

#5. Manage stress

I cannot “stress” this enough! Do what you can to eliminate unnecessary stress and then work to change your point of view about the rest of it. Herbs, meditation, exercise, acupuncture, counselling, prayer, yoga therapy, laughter, and breathing techniques are all effective stress management options.

 

 

The World of Bacteria – Harmful and Helpful

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Did you know there are more bacteria on earth than there are stars in the universe?

Scientists from the University of Georgia estimate the number of bacteria on our planet to be five million trillion trillion – that’s a five with 30 zeroes after it.

That makes them something to talk about.

We typically think of bacteria in a negative light – they cause infections such as strep throat, food poisoning, and Lyme.

But thankfully not all bugs (not even most) are bad.

In fact, many are essential to keeping us, and the planet we live on, alive. We have many species of helpful bacteria living in our digestive tracts and on our skin that help support digestion and are an essential part of our immune system.

This month we are exploring all things bacterial, including what we can do to support a healthy relationship with the bugs we like and resist the ones we don’t.

 

 

 

 

A Month Of Connection

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The Importance of Connection

This month we are exploring the benefits of connection; connection with others, food, nature, and of course with self!

I recently attended my uncle’s 60th birthday party. We have always been a tight family, especially the cousins, but with aging parents I couldn’t avoid asking the question of whether or not we would still be spending time together when we are celebrating our own 60th’s.

My younger (and seemingly wiser) cousins were quick to remind me that all relationships take effort and if we want to still have connection in 20, 30, or 40 years from now we “have to try!”

This is the message I want to convey this month – connection takes effort. It’s a choice. We need to be mindful of taking time out of our busy schedules to feel connected. The research suggests that by doing so, we can all lead healthier, happier, and longer lives!

This month I hope you slow down and taste your food; I hope you get on the floor and play with your children and grandchildren; I hope you spend a few moments here and there tuning in to what’s happening in your body below the shoulders; I hope you hug a tree. (Yep! I said it. I’m into hugging trees. It’s probably about time I fully adopt the naturopathic, crunchy-granola identity!)

So please come along with us on this journey of connection. Follow our Facebook page for empowering tips and tools to help deepen the many areas of your life that will benefit from connecting.

Cheers to a month of mindful connection!

Happy healing,

Dr. Melissa Blake

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