Articles of Interest

Homeopathy, The Path to Ultimate Healing

Homeopathy’s historical roots emerge from the discoveries, teachings and writings of Doctor Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843). He graduated from medical school in 1779 and set out to practice conventional medicine. Unlike the brutal medical practices of his day, such as forced purging, blood letting and the use of toxic chemicals, Dr. Samuel Hahnemann founded his medicine on the following principles, which constitute the backbone of the modern homeopathic practice.

First of all, Hahnemann discovered an objective system of studying medicines that allowed the practitioner to know exactly what effect each drug caused when being administered to a healthy individual. Hahnemann called this practice provings. A proving is a test whereas a given substance is administered to a healthy individual who thoroughly records various effects on the body.

Secondly, being concerned with negative or unpredictable effects of mixing different substances together, Hahnemann proposed that using one medicine at a time is the only way a physician can correctly interpret its effects on the patient.

Thirdly, Hahnemann put forth the principle of the “law of similars,” meaning that all medicines cure diseases which have symptoms similar to the drug’s effect; simply put, “like cures like.” Above all, Hahnemann’s homeopathic practice involved a profoundly compassionate form of medicine where a physician treats the individual and not the disease.

Why is the Homeopathic approach so different from conventional practices? This medical practice called Allopathic?

Conventional medicine largely depends upon the primary effect for its therapeutic drug use. We refer to this practice as the principle of treatment by contraries. For example, if one is suffering from acid indigestion, a conventional physician would recommend or prescribe an anti-acid medicine.

This type of treatment would be also followed in case of a fever. The assumption here is that the symptoms constitute the illness itself and that the body does not benefit from these symptoms. In sharp contrast, homeopathic medicine depends of the secondary effects of the medicine because it assumes that the body generally knows best how to respond to illness and that it needs help in its efforts. In other words, suppressing symptoms and exclusively relying on suppression does more harm than good. A similar remedy, called the simillimum, reinforces the body’s natural propensity towards healing. This is accomplished via the secondary effect of the medicine. The logic here is that because the primary effect is so similar to the existing disease, the secondary effect will be similar to the body’s attempt to get rid of the original illness. Therefore, the body is actually strengthened. In other words, a fever isn’t viewed as a problem, but the best way to eliminate disease. If a body is too weak to mount an aggressive defense, the simillimum will guide the body to respond fully to the illness and is more likely to result in a cure.

Why hasn’t conventional medical practices been able to rid us of acute diseases despite all of their “scientific” miracles, such as the modern anti-biotics?

Contrary to the homeopathic principles, allopathic medicine still revolves around Louis Pasteur’s rather simplistic “germ theory of disease” as its founding principle of seeking a cause outside the body in all almost all circumstances. And so, we are faced with an ever widening chemical warfare against germs that takes place in the battlefield of our bodies. In fact, on his deathbed, Pasteur recounted his own theory, proclaiming that “the microbe is nothing, the terrain is everything.” Terrain refers to the body and its susceptibility to disease, including various microbes, viruses, fungi, and other pathogens. This susceptibility purely depends of the individual. What he admitted was a simple fact that under the same conditions of exposure to disease, by the same germs, some of us get sick, while others don’t. All germs have one thing in common; they can only survive and reproduce under a very narrow range of conditions. In other words, Pasteur concluded that what we should be concerned with is internally raising the resistance to germs and not the germ “boogie man.” Germs can not breed in a hostile environment - it is as simple as that.

What happens if the remedy causes an increase in the original symptoms?

If a homeopathic remedy causes an intensification of symptoms after its administration without any improvement, this process is called noncurative aggravation. After the aggravation, usually of a physical nature, the patient returns to the prior state or even worsens. In addition, the aggravated state often lasts much longer than when the medicine is curative. In rare cases, particularly in chronic conditions, administration of a remedy is followed by a worsening that doesn’t halt. This situation can take place when a remedy is close to be correct, but isn’t exactly right. Unlike the correct remedy that would harmonize with the vital force, its energetic pattern disrupts the vital force in a most disharmonious manner. According to homeopathic doctors, a noncurative aggravation is most common in chronically ill, weak individuals.

What about chronic conditions, such as allergies?

Looking at allergies from a homeopathic perspective means understanding that allergies are an internal problem first, and not caused by the allergen. When the immune system becomes overactive, it then develops an allergy to whatever potential allergens are around. In other words, the immune system must be first be compromised by a number of stressors such as toxins, vaccines, and poor foods. Logically, however, once the allergy is present, the allergens must be avoided as much as possible, until the sensitivity can be addressed through proper treatment.

Here’s the good news: despite the often vicious attacks on homeopathic principles here in the Unites States, we are blessed with a homeopathic resurgence. Although, the conventional American medical establishment has turned against homeopathic principles, other nations including those in Europe and Asia are experiencing a steady growth of homeopathic teachings and interest.

At the present time, nearly all French pharmacies sell homeopathic remedies and medicines; and homeopathy has a particularly strong following in Russia, India, Switzerland, Mexico, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, England, and South America. The current renaissance of homeopathy in America is undeniable, not only because of increased research, but the principles of Quantum Physics and most importantly, accredited homeopathic education. Simply put, the general public demands it because it works as evidenced by the fact that sales of these remedies have been growing rapidly by 12-15 percent each year. Homeopathy is not only a safe and inexpensive alternative to costly and toxic “modern” drugs, it offers a nature-compatible path to radiance and lasting health.

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The Magnesium Solution

According to the latest medical research, including the scientific writings of Dr. Carolyn Dean, Dr. Steven Hotze, Dr. Mark Sircus D., the world’s leading experts on magnesium, magnesium deficiencies have been linked to a terrifyingly large number of health problems. The Medical establishment has known for decades about muscle spasms, leg cramps, restless legs, insomnia, anxiety, high blood pressure, angina, and heart palpitations.
Dr. Dean has been able to move even further. She writes that “even I was surprised when I easily tallied 100 factors that identify the body’s need for more magnesium. Unfortunately, since doctors don’t learn about magnesium deficiency in medical school, all 100 factors can go unrecognized and are usually treated with inappropriate medications—further compounding the problem.”

Doctor Duane Graveline, MD, former USAF Flight Surgeon and former NASA Astronaut explains the connection between magnesium deficiency and age-related degeneration. He writes: “The average American consumes only 40% of the recommended daily allowance of magnesium.  Magnesium activates 76% of the enzymes in the body, and many of these enzymes are in the mitochondrial energy equation. But the problem arises when the cell is low in magnesium, relative to calcium. Both are vital to cellular function. Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) the energy currency of the cell is magnesium dependent. Without enough biologically available magnesium, the cellular calcium pump slows down. Thus, low levels of available magnesium inhibit the generation of energy. The end result is that the mitochondrion, the powerhouse of the cell and the entire body, degenerates. “

Here are some more facts:

It is well-known that some medicines may result in magnesium deficiency, including certain diuretics, antibiotics, and anti-cancer drugs.

In diabetic patients, the condition known as polyuria, (passing large volumes of urine, may flush out excess magnesium.
Alcoholism is often accompanied by low magnesium levels. Studies have shown that some 50% of chronic alcoholics have low blood levels of magnesium, particularly if associated with poor nutrition and weight loss.

Aging itself constitutes a risk factor for a magnesium deficit. The 1999-2000 and 1988-94 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys suggest that older adults have lower dietary intakes of magnesium than younger adults. In addition, magnesium absorption decreases and renal excretion of magnesium increases in older adults. 

It is of interest that a decrease in violence of institutionalized juveniles and inmates is often linked to an increase in supplemental magnesium, an observation that corresponds closely to the findings of brain excitability in magnesium-deficient elderly people.

Magnesium is involved with over 350 metabolic enzymes in the body making it indispensable as a cofactor in the following crucial processes:

• Detoxification of heavy metals including Mercury: according to the EPA
  manual,Mercury toxicity whether from your fillings, consuming fish or simply living

Impairment of peripheral vision
Disturbances in sensations ("pins and needles" feelings, numbness) usually in the
  hands, feet and sometimes around the mouth
Lack of coordination of movements, such as writing
Impairment of speech, hearing, walking
Muscle weakness
Skin rashes
Mood swing
Memory loss
Mental disturbance

• Temperature regulation (hot flashes, hormone imbalances, premature aging)

• Producing and transporting energy ( Chronic fatigue, anemia, Fybromyalgia 
   exhaustion, chemotherapy fatigue)

• Synthesizing protein (malabsorption)

• Transmitting nerve signals in the brain and throughout the body  (stroke and
   other neurological disorders)

• Relaxing muscles—including bowel, heart, blood vessels, fallopian tube,
   skeletal muscles (pain, migraines, headaches, IBS, colitis, spastic colon,
   angina, infertility)

• Manufacturing bones and teeth (orthopedic problems)

• Neutralizing acidity in the blood from poor diet and chemical toxicity  (cancer

• Digesting lipids and balancing cholesterol levels (hypercholestoremia,
   thrombosis, coronary infraction, obesity)

• Creating neurotransmitters like serotonin (depression, anxiety, and other
   mental problems.)

Understanding the different types of magnesium is very important. Most commercial magnesium supplements are magnesium oxide: only 4 percent is absorbed and the rest moves through intestines quickly as well as having a laxative effect. 

Other common forms include magnesium citrate, magnesium glycinate, magnesium taurate, magnesium malate, or magnesium dimalate. The dosage of the elemental magnesium, as listed on the label, is about 100 mg three or four times a day. Unfortunately, a 500 mg capsule of magnesium citrate will only give you about 100 mg of magnesium.

So, what is the solution?  After much research, I highly recommend magnesium chloride administered through supervised hydrotherapy for best results and as an ultimate answer for many of your health challenges.

It takes 20-30 minutes for the magnesium to be absorbed through the skin. That is why it's important to leave it on at least that long or to stay in the bath a minimum of 20-30 minutes

***Magnesium hydrotherapy is now available in our office in Newport Beach.
The cost is $40 per session or buy 10 get 1 free.

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A life-long Optimum Nutritional Guide for Your Brain Health

The Path of the Ancestors: a historical perspective on the evolutionary brain diet

During the Paleolithic period of the Stone Age, our ancestors were hunter-gathers whose diet foods included both the animals and plants that were part of their natural environment. Fossil evidence from groups of hunter-gatherers suggests that the daily diet was derived primarily from animal based foods. Particularly, they enjoyed animal organ meats like the liver, kidneys, and brains - meat-foods that are extremely rich sources of nutrition. Stone Age humans didn't consume much dairy food. They did not eat high carbohydrate foods such as cereal grains, sweet fruit, legumes or foods containing yeast. Early humans obtained about half of their calories from carbohydrates, but these carbohydrates were rarely grains. Most carbohydrates came from wild vegetables and fruit. What can we learn form this diet which promoted the greatest growth of the human brain? How can we avoid brain “devolution” and decrease our chances of developing depression or other brain disorders? What exactly did the Stone Age human consume? One thing is certain—most experts agree that our genetic composition suggests that the diet we evolve to use—might still be the best.

uThe Miraculous Omega-3 fatty acids were essential to the evolution of the hominid brain.
uThe essential balance between Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids (apx.1 to 1) offered
   protection from modern “killer” diseases; including the number one killer—heart disease.
   (The average Omega-6/Omega-3 ratio today is at least 12:1, if not more).
uThe Stone Age diet was low in saturated fat.
uThe Stone Age diet was free from pesticides, fertilizers and genetic modification
uThe Stone Age diet was rich in fish and other aquatic foods, lean wild game and wild
   plants that contained high levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids
uGame meats and wild plant foods contain higher amounts of vitamins and minerals
   relative to their protein and carbohydrates.
uOur ancestors moved a great deal  and thus were able to burn off the calories

Nutritional experts agree, everyone, no matter what age can improve brain function by taking vitamin-mineral supplements and following a brain “power” diet. In fact, a series of notable studies show that you can influence your mood, memory, learning ability, attention span, eye and hand coordination and reaction time, possibly boost performance on IQ tests and minimize your chances of brain deterioration as you age. The brain can become subtly deficient long before any physical signs of malnutrition are noticed. These deficiencies, related to the typical Western diet high in “killer” fats, highly processed foods, toxic chemicals, nutrient-poor foods and sugar, have been linked to impaired mental function. On the other hand, vitamin, mineral, Omega-3, and antioxidant-rich diets can assist us in ensuring utmost brain functioning throughout human life span.
Furthermore, scientific evidence shows the following:

uThe general health of your brain is profoundly influenced by the vitamins and
   antioxidants your mother ingested not only during pregnancy, but even before
   conception had taken place.
uA lack of vitamins, such as B-complex, Vitamins C and E, Bioflavonoids and minerals,
   such as chromium, magnesium, iron, zinc, and choline can cause your child to
   perform below his/her intellectual capacity. In short, a poor diet can lower intellectual
uMultivitamins, including B’s, E, C, CoQ 10, lipoic acid, selenium, Omega-3 fats, and
   antioxidants can stimulate brain function even in fully mature adult brain. If you want
   to keep your brain young, take your supplements regularly.
uFolic Acid deficiency has been linked to depression, memory loss, strokes and may
   protect the brain from devastating effects of Alzheimer’s disease. A lack of Folic Acid
   can be a factor in minor mood disturbances, such as irritability and forgetfulness as
   well as severe depression and dementia. Only 400 mg of folic acid can cut toxic
   homocysteine levels, linked to strokes and other dangerous vascular events in the

Dietary and lifestyle recommendations

u       Eat your colorful fruits and vegetables—they are packed with antioxidants. The super
  players are berries, green leafy vegetables, cherries, grapes, apples, prunes, and
          raisins. Drink antioxidants-rich tea, instead of soft drinks. Tea can protect your brain
          cells. Eat dried beans and legumes of all kinds without salt.
u      "Sugar is a brain killer!” Get the necessary sugar from slow digested complex
u       Avoid animal fats high in saturated fatty acids—they can impair memory and your
          learning abilities, promote insulin resistance, and most importantly disturb the
          biochemistry of the “massager” of the brain, the neurotransmitters. Avoid trans-fatty
          acids used in processed foods, margarines and fried fast foods.
u       Minimize consumption of the polyunsaturated Omega-6 fats such as corn, safflower
           and sunflower oils that could lead to chronic brain inflammation.
uReverse brain cell damage –eat your blueberries!
uEat a diet rich in Omega-e fats, such as cold-water fish and seafood.
uEat nuts, almonds and walnuts.
u       Take an Omega-e supplements, including DHA, EPA (fish oil), Linolenic acid (green
           leafy vegetables, flaxseed, nuts), and monosaturated fat found in extra virgin olive oil.
uInvestigate taking memory enhancing supplements such as ginkgo biloba and  
  phosphatidylserine (PS). ***Consult with your health provider before taking these
           substances to avoid possible drug interactions.
uLoose excess weight to slow down the aging process
u       Minimize stress, control your blood-pressure and make sure to get your brain oxygen
           through regular physical activity. Play games, puzzles and don’t forget that learning
           brain is an ever-young brain

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High Cholesterol: Facts and Myth

This educational article is for people who are concerned with high cholesterol levels and wish to learn about the connection between high cholesterol and health. Cholesterol, biochemically called a “sterol” is made by the body. It is an essential nutrient found in every cell in the body and is necessary for many functions. Cholesterol repairs cell membranes, manufactures vitamin D on the skin’s surface, and creates hormones such as adrenal as well as the sex hormones, estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. The body acquires some cholesterol through the diet, however, and this is an important fact to understand -- about two-third is produced in the liver. The body also uses cholesterol to make bile acids, which are necessary for proper food digestion.

Types of Cholesterol

Cholesterol is transported around the body in the blood attached to a protein. This combination of fat and protein is called a lipoprotein. Lipoproteins can be high density (HDL), low density (LDL) or very low density (VLDL), depending on how much protein there is in relation to fat.

LDL (low density lipoprotein)
Most of the body's cholesterol is transported as LDL. This is made up of mostly fat and a small amount of protein. Too much LDL, called “bad” cholesterol in the blood can cause cholesterol deposits to build up in the arteries, making it harder for the blood to flow through these blood vessels. High levels of LDL in the blood are associated with an increased risk of arterial disease.
HDL (high density lipoprotein)
A small amount of cholesterol is transported as HDL, which is mostly made up of protein and a small amount of fat. HDL (high density lipoprotein) HDL helps to prevent cholesterol deposits building up in the arteries. Having low levels of HDL (compared with LDL) in the blood is associated with an increased risk of arterial disease, so HDL is called "good cholesterol". Women tend to have higher levels of HDL cholesterol than men.

Triglycerides are a different type of fat, which mostly come from fats in food. Energy that is eaten and not used immediately is converted into triglycerides and transported to fat cells for storage. This is an important source of stored energy .Although most triglycerides are stored in fat tissue, low levels are also found in the blood. They are carried in the blood as very low density lipoproteins (VLDL).A raised level of blood triglycerides together with high LDL can increase the risk of heart disease, particularly in people with diabetes.
Studies show that a lower-than-normal level of HDL (“good”) cholesterol and a higher-than-normal level of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol are associated with a greater risk of having a heart attack. A high ration between HDL/and LDL is considered protective.

What causes high cholesterol?

The factors that may contribute to high blood cholesterol include:

A diet high in saturated fat, and perhaps less so, in high cholesterol. There is no
  evidence that links the consumption of eggs (the main source of the dietary
  in the industrial West) and heart disease.
Family history, including a rare condition called a lipid disorder. About one in 500
   people have this condition
Lack of physical activity and regular exercise may increase LDL (bad) cholesterol and
  decrease HDL (good) cholesterol
       Being overweight
Age and sex-cholesterol generally rises with age, and males are more likely to be
  affected than females
Excessive alcohol drinking
Low-fiber diet and liver toxicity (Elizabeth Lipski)
Vitamin C deficiency (Patrick Holford)
Essential Fatty Acids “the right kind of fat” deficiency (Patrick Holford)
Blood Group Link: elevated cholesterol is a far more significant risk factor for blood
   groups A and AB than for groups O and B (Dr. Peter J. D’Adamo)
Stress hormones have been linked to elevated cholesterol
Other health conditions such as diabetes, kidney and liver diseases, underactive
   thyroid gland and some medications, particularly steroids

Why is high cholesterol considered to be a health problem?

It is a prevailing medical view that a high cholesterol level in the blood called hypercholesterolemia is associated with an increased risk of heart diseases and stroke, since the fatty deposits in the arteries of people with heart disease had been found to be high in cholesterol. Other health experts disagree and point out that the theory linking high cholesterol and heart disease, which is the number one killer in the industrial world, is overly simplistic.  The founder of the Institute for Optimum Nutrition, Patrick Holford, calls it “the cholesterol myth.” In fact, some research shows that while high cholesterol represents a risk factor for arterial disease, low levels of cholesterol are associated with strokes, higher rate of depression, suicide and death from violent causes. In short, we should aim for a “healthy” balanced level that is between 190 and 210 mg/dl.

Fats and their Functions

The type of fat you eat may be just as important as or even more important than the total amount of fat in your diet because it has become clear that the distinct types of fats in foods have different effects on health. Some fats may even offer benefits to your health. We should moderate, not eliminate fats from our diet.

Types of Fats

It is common practice to refer to the fat in food as a single substance. However, there is no one type of fat. All fats are composed of fatty acids-- the building blocks of fat. How the dissimilar fats function in foods and how they affect health are determined by the amounts and mixtures of fatty acids. Individual fatty acids may be saturated, monounsaturated, or polyunsaturated. They differ in the amount of hydrogen they contain. Saturated fatty acids contain the most hydrogen—that is, they are “saturated” with hydrogen. Polyunsaturated fatty acids contain the least amount of hydrogen. The relative amounts of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids determine whether fats are solid or liquid. Fats with larger amounts of saturated fatty acids are more solid, such as butter or the fat marbling on meats. Oils are a liquid form of fat and contain larger amounts of unsaturated fatty acids. Oils are liquid at room temperature.

Saturated fat: found in animal foods, including meat, poultry, butter, and whole-milk dairy products. Unlike other oils, tropical vegetable oils, including coconut, palm kernel, and palm oils, contain mostly saturated fatty acids. We need a small amount of saturated fats to make energy energy, hormone production, cellular membranes and for organ padding. However, too much saturated “killer” fat has been linked with many health problems and isn’t an essential nutrient.

Monounsaturated fat: found in plant foods such as canola, peanut, and olive oils, as well as nuts and avocados. Additionally, fat in meats, including beef, pork, and poultry, is composed of almost equal amounts of monounsaturated and saturated fatty acids. Monounsaturated fats are also not essential nutrients but can in small amounts benefit our diet. Olive oil is considered to be beneficial as shown my Mediterranean diet and should be used for cooking, as it does not readily oxidize at high temperatures.

Polyunsaturated fat:  found in plant foods, as well as fish and seafood. Plant sources include corn, safflower, sunflower, and sesame oils, as well as some nuts and seeds. These are essential fats that include the linoleic acid family (Omega-6) and the alpha-linolenic acid family, known as Omega-3  are most beneficial and offer a great deal of cardiovascular protection. EPA and DHA is found in fatty fish, while GLA is found in evening primrose, borage oil and black currant seed.Omega-3 sources include flax, hemp, pumpkin and walnut and together with EPA and DHA (found in fatty fish) are essential for proper brain function, help to control blood cholesterol and fat levels, improve our immunities and metabolism, and thus help to control weight.

Trans fats are present in variable amounts in a wide range of foods, including most foods made with partially hydrogenated oils, such as baked goods and fried foods, and some margarine products. Through hydrogenation, unsaturated fatty acids can be made more saturated. This converts a liquid fat into a more stable liquid or semisolid form, resulting in the formation of trans fatty acids. Trans fats also occur naturally in low amounts in meats and dairy products. Nutritional experts agree that Trans fats are dangerous and should be avoided because they generate harmful free radicals in the body as they oxidize in high temperature.

We need to make every effort for the majority of fat that we consume to be polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat, while reducing the amount of saturated fat and eliminating Trans fats.

Dietary Recommendations

Minimize the intake of saturated fat from meat and dairy. Avoid fried and processed
           foods. Avoid Trans fats. Try to keep your total daily fat intake below 20 percent of your
           total calories
If you are a Blood Type A or AB consider mostly vegetarian diet
Load up on fresh, organic, locally grown vegetables and fruit
Eat seed and nuts, such as flax, hemp, pumpkin, sunflower and sesame
Eat wild caught cold-water fish (herring, mackerel, salmon, sardines) at least 2-3 times
           a week to increase consumption of the Omega-3 fats
Use cold-pressed seed oils for salad dressings and other cold uses
Avoid eating organ meats, especially liver as it contains a great deal of cholesterol
Cook with coconut butter or olive oil
Increase your consumption of dietary fiber, soy protein, garlic
Drink alcoholic beverages, in extreme moderation
Practice relaxing while eating
Eat more often and smaller portions
Pay attention to your digestive health
Do not go hungry
Pay attention to weight gain and increase your activity level
Minimize stress

Suggested Nutritional supplement regime

Vitamin B3 (non-flush form)—500-1,000 mg
Omega-3 oil supplement from either fish oil or a vegetarian source combining EPA, DHA and GLA
Antioxidant formula, including beta-carotene and Vitamins A and E.
Vitamin C and amino acid lysine
CoQ 10 for statin drug users
Multivitamin containing Vitamins B6, B12, and folic acid

After over 17 years of consulting with clients, I usually start by educating my clients about the importance of combining dietary changes and supplementing with vegetarian Omega-3, anti-oxidants and Vitamin B3. Currently, a number of my clients have had significant reduction in cholesterol consuming oat grains, cinnamon and garlic.  In particular, I have had most promising results with introducing a Blood Type Dietary program and exercises proposed by Dr. Peter J. D’Adamo. Two current clients have lost total of 50 pounds. One client reduced her cholesterol from 310 to 240 without statin drugs. Although, studies show a strong link between stress and high cholesterol, I’ve found that most people aren’t willing/or able to make profound life-style changes and rather change their diet and add a few supplements.

Caution: Please consult a licensed health practitioner or a nutritionist before embarking on any cholesterol lowering program and have your blood lipids measured by your physician. Always consult your physician before beginning any new exercise regime. Certain Traditional Chinese Herbs use to lower cholesterol, such as Red Yeast may cause severe intestinal reactions. If you’re experiencing some slight side symptoms upon starting a supplementation program, stop the supplements, then take only one for a few days, add another and see which one cause symptoms. You may also take some supplements with food.

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Traditional Chinese Medicine and Diabetes: a Nutritional Approach

There is no doubt that diabetes is a modern “killer” disease with complex and often devastating consequences. And yet, much can be done to improve your chances if not for a complete cure, at least for minimizing the damage. It is very important to separate dietary recommendations for deficiency-type diabetes from excess-type diabetes. TCM experts tell us that most cases of diabetes involve one or more signs of yin deficiency.

Although, not very common in the industrialized West, deficiency-type diabetes does exist and is characterized by signs of deficiency of the spleen-pancreas. If you are suffering from fatigue, have a poor appetite, weak pulse, are frail, pale, thin, and tend to be an introverted, you are most likely are a deficient-type diabetic. Another sign of this condition is loose or watery stools and the tongue is pale and has a thin coating. Diet for this condition must involve foods that are either warming or neutral, including cooked vegetables and fruits, most complex carbohydrates and in the case of severe deficiency, small amounts of quality animal products. A note of caution: if you have excess of mucus and loose stools, you’ll have to substitute raw goat dairy products for cow dairy. Let’s be more specific—here’s the list of dietary recommendations for deficiency-type diabetes:

Well-cooked rice and other grains
Carbohydrate-rich vegetables such as winter squash, carrots, root vegetables, black
  beans, yams, pumpkins.
The pungent/warming vegetables and spices such as onions, leeks, ginger, garlic,
         fennel, nutmeg.
Small amounts of cooked fruit and sweeteners such as rice syrup, molasses, barley
Small amounts of animal/fish products prepared in a soup or congee such as organic
         beef, liver or kidney, chicken, turkey, lamb and a little bit of butter.
All food must be chewed well.
I also recommend small and frequent meals, especially in the beginning of the healing
Please avoid dandelion root and leaf
Small amounts of GLA fatty acids in moderation, particularly fresh flax seed oil, evening
         primrose, borage, black currant seed oil and spirulina.
Use omega-3 fish oil carefully to avoid healing reactions

In sharp contrast, excess-type diabetes diet is very beneficial for a strong, often overweight and constipated diabetic who also shows traditional outward signs of excess such as red complexion, strong pulse, thick/yellow tongue coating and an extroverted personality. (You may also show some signs of insufficient yin).

A cleansing diet therefore is highly beneficial for this type of diabetes. You should consume a generous variety of raw vegetables and fruit. These fruits, except for bananas, should be either acid or sub-acid, such as lemons, limes and grapefruit.  You can also benefit from eating pears, plums and blackberries. Include moderate amounts of goat dairy, and broths/congees of clams, or of pancreas from beef, chicken, pork or lamb. Be very careful with all other animal products, including cow dairy. All sweeteners must be strictly avoided, except for Stevia and licorice-root powder/tea. Most importantly avoid all rich/heavy meats, fats, and refined/processed foods products.

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Depression and Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids

At the present time there are four lines of scientific evidence supporting the role of omega-3 essential fatty acids in fighting depression.

The first line involves compelling population studies linking the eating of large amounts of fish (omega-3 fatty acids) to low rates of major depression. Studies comparing fish consumption and major depression around the world show a surprising association between the amount of fish a country consumes and that nation’s rates of major depression. Japan, where the population eats the most fish had the lowest apparent rate of depression, while New Zealand Much less fish consumption) had the world’s highest rate. Additionally, a number of studies in Australia, Belgium and U.K. have shown that (1) the severity of depressive symptoms was associated with higher blood levels of omega-6 compared to lower blood levels of omega-3 EPA; (2) some patients may reduce the severity of their depressive or suicidal symptoms by taking EPA supplements; (3) the red blood cell membranes of depressed patients are depleted of omega-3 fatty acids, especially the long-chain DHA molecule, critical to brain’s function.

The second line of evidence includes neuro-chemical studies looking at brain chemistry in animals, because analyzing brain chemistry is easier in animals and more direct than it is in humans. For example, scientists have noted that increasing the dietary intake of omega-3 fatty acids boosted levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine, associated with increased drive and motivation. These attributes are usually lacking in the depressed population.

The third line of evidence involves biochemical analysis of patients with major depression. Omega-3 fatty acids act in several concurrent ways to boost and stabilize mood, providing the benefits of anti-depressants without negative side effects.

The fourth line of evidence in the connection of depression to an omega-3 deficiency is the link between mood disorders and the brain’s immune and inflammatory pathways and demonstrates the necessity for the balance of omega-3 to omega-6 in the body.  Omega-3 fatty acids challenge the omega-6’s and promotes an anti-inflammatory state.

Although a definitive conclusion about the role of omega-3 fatty acids in fighting depression can’t be made until double-blind, placebo-controlled data is available, if we look at “open label” clinical data, compelling and independent lines of evidence do support a role for these oils in the origin, psychology, and pharmacology of major depression. In short, the early clinical data shows that depression can be lifted with omega-3 fatty acids.

Omega-6’s: The Trojan horse of the American Diet

By now, we all know about the “evils” of trans-fatty acids in our diet. We read labels that proclaim “trans-fat” free. We hear that many of the fast food companies have switched to healthier fat alternatives. We understand that these fats are dangerous chemicals and cause disease. But what do you need to know about Omega-6 fats? Udo Erasmus, the primary health authority on fats and the author of the Fats that Heal, Fats that Kill calls them “mediocre” at best.

In fact, the overabundance of Omega-6 fatty acids in the American diet affects the wellness of the population in a number of negative ways. Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are meant to be in a 1 to 1 ratio. The current ratio is as much as 10:20:1.

The consequence of excessive AA-derived eicosanoids is disproportionate inflammation and abnormally elevated cytokines (immune chemicals) specific to each organ system in the body. Therefore, what Americans call health is likely to be a state of constant inflammatory activation leading to increase incidences of often crippling, painful diseases connected to chronic inflammation as high levels of Omega-6 are almost always associated with inflammation.

Inflammation-related immune diseases include the following: rheumatoid arthritis,
  Crohn’s disease, systemic lupus, asthma, menstrual disorders, migraines,
  and gum disease.  Inflammation also plays a negative role in heart disease, the
   number 1 cause of morbidity in the U.S. In fact, the inflammatory aspects of coronary
   artery disease, driven by omega-6 fatty acids, promote atherosclerosis, heart attack,
   and fatal cardiac arrhythmias. Omega-6s increase the risk of platelet aggregation, as
   well as increased blood pressure and triglycerides levels.

The overabundance of omega-6-derived prostaglandins promotes earlier labor and
   delivery. Premature births and the risk to both mother and child, not to mention a
   huge financial medical cost are also on the rise, especially in minority populations.

In lupus, another devastating disease associated with major depression, the abnormal
   inflammation is produced, in part, by the overabundance of omega-6 arachidonic
   acid. The AA produces a mixed state of immune suppression and activation. In this
   mixed state, central nervous system functions spin out of control, affecting moods,
   cognition and behavior.

Studies have also linked an omega-6 linoleic acid with increasing cancer tumor
  growth, possibly because omega-6s accelerate cell growth.

Excess omega-6 fatty acids may contribute to irregularities in blood glucose, insulin
   resistance, and energy production, which leads to another “modern killer” disease,
   diabetes. Diabetes and its deadly complications, such as kidney failure, blindness,
   amputations and infections, is a leading cause of mortality. Diabetes rates and the
   enormous financial burden associated with it have skyrocketed in America during the
   past decade. 

Populations that consume a great deal of omega-6 also are more likely to be obese. Obesity    has clearly become an epidemic in the Unites States, including childhood obesity.

Finally, the soaring rates of major depression have also been linked to the rising rates of omega-6 fatty acids relative to omega-3 fatty acids.

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Hormone Testing: Knowing Your Options

Why do you need to test your hormone levels?

Hormone levels are the most important physiological markers of the aging process in both men and women. The reduction or imbalances of hormones are responsible in large part for infertility, decreased vitality and energy, loss of muscle strength leading to fragility, loss of libido and an increase in the symptoms of adropause (men) and menopause (women).

Hormone levels can also be related to PMS, sleep disorders, osteoporosis, sex hormone imbalance, mood and emotional problems, and heart health.  In short, it is impossible to thrive without hormones.

The three main methods of hormone testing are: blood, urine, and saliva tests.

Why is hormone testing in blood samples still the main method used to test hormones?

To-date, more tests have been performed for blood than any other method. Therefore, more is known about blood test results. The majority of conventional doctors are most familiar with this method and are better able to evaluate the status of most hormones from blood samples than from other methods. In addition to availability and convenience, not to mention the “medical insurance subject,” experts suggest that blood values are useful in monitoring peak levels of hormone absorption during hormone replacement therapies, as well as during natural cyclic hormone secretions. Although, most hormones are tested for their total circulating level, many can be tested in blood for their bioavailability or free form. Furthermore, urine and saliva tests can’t be used to measure FSH, LH, and TSH.

Which hormones specifically are best tested in blood samples to establish a base line?

These hormones include estradiol and other estrogens, free testosterone, IGF-I, DHEA-S, and thyroid hormones.

What are the disadvantages of this method?

The disadvantage of this testing method, according to some doctors, is that blood tests only provide a snapshot of the total amount of hormones circulating in the bloodstream, and this may not correlate with levels found in tissues. Most experts agree, but point out that taking samples of living tissue from the main sites of the body is not practical, as it is extremely painful, very expensive and risky. Additionally, there are 40 million uninsured individuals who can not pay for these tests as well as physicians who are reluctant to order them due to insurance scrutiny.

Why do we need a 24 Hour period to collect urine samples?

We need 24 hours to collect all of the hormones secreted by the body during this time because higher amounts of hormones are secreted at different times of the day. This is the preferred method of showing us a complete picture of the average level of hormone secretion. Although, a 24-Hour Urine Hormone Profile doesn’t replace blood testing, some doctors see it as an equally valuable diagnostic tool for a variety of reasons.  Urine tests cover a much broader range of hormones, including pro-hormones and hormone metabolites, thus providing a more comprehensive hormonal picture. This is the highly recommended method for two-age groups: 35-45 (abnormal values in the blood are rare in healthy adults under 40), and 45-55 (for fine-tuning their hormone regimen). Hormone experts propose that urinary hormone studies provide the best comprehensive picture of hormone metabolism, which is critical for evaluating age-related hormones that blood studies don’t provide.

What are the disadvantages of this method?

The disadvantages of this test are:

Urine hormone tests are not suitable for people with kidney disease as they don’t excrete urine or metabolic products normally.

Older people are often unable to manage urine collection accurately, and for them it’s simply too much work.

Furthermore, this is a very complex test and is difficult to interpret. You must consult with a physician who is an expert to explain what the numbers actually mean in real terms.

What is Salivary Hormone Testing?

Salivary Hormone Testing is painless, affordable and non-invasive, can be performed at home under the supervision of your complementary health consultant. Most hormone experts agree that it is (at least theoretically), the most ideal method for hormone evaluation. A newer, more affordable technology is more sensitive and more accurate than traditional studies. The main advantage of salivary testing is its ability to measure the free or bioavailable hormone fraction of the total amounts of hormone.

Why is Salivary Hormone testing so helpful in determining whether a glandular imbalance exists?

Saliva tests are best used as a follow up for people using topical hormone creams, because it offers a good approximation of how much hormone is available to enter the tissue.  Salivary studies are also useful for repetitive tests, such as the monthly monitoring of estrogen or testosterone replacement therapy for those people who are sensitive to excess amounts of hormones.

Saliva tests can also measure the effectiveness of phytoestrogens consumed in foods and herbs. For example, most cancer patients who suffer from hormone sensitive tumors must monitor their estrogen levels in order to avoid recurrence.

Individuals could easily use blood and urine tests in order to establish baselines and use saliva tests for a long-term follow-up.

Which hormones can be tested in your saliva?

Cortisol, DHEA’s, Progesterone, Estradiol and Testosterone.

What are some disadvantages of salivary hormone testing?

Saliva tests are not used for FSH or IGF-1.

The amounts of steroid hormones in blood are much higher then in saliva, (10-100). This fact makes the reference ranges often difficult to interpret for their clinical significance. In other words, you need to consult an expert, such as naturopathic practitioner, specifically trained in endocrinology.

Blood contamination, as from bleeding gums, even in invisible amounts is also possible, resulting in higher values of the added blood hormones introduced in saliva. That is another reason why the choice of a well-trained health consultant affiliated with the lab performing the tests is of paramount importance. In other words, it’s not a matter of just picking up a self-test at a health food store and dropping it in the mail.

What about electrolyte imbalance and neurotransmitters? Can these be tested at home under the supervision of my personal health consultant?

You can absolutely be tested for adrenal gland imbalances as well as Sodium, Potassium, Chloride, Calcium, Magnesium (see the article - The Magnesium Solution), and Phosphorus.

The neurotransmitters test include: Serotonin (depression), Dopamine (mood), Nor Epinephrine/ Epinephrine (stress/anxiety), and Histamine (allergies).

Can I test my children?

Yes, a Child Hormone Panel is also available.

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Radiation: the Ultimate Environmental Pollutant

Fact: Radioactivity is the longest lasting and most hazardous environmental pollutant on our planet.

The normal level for the radiation on the Earth’s surface varies from place to place and depends on climate, altitude and latitude. In addition to natural radiation, the environment has also been bombarded by radioactive fallout accumulated since the first atomic bomb test in the 1940’s and the radioactive debris released during nuclear power plant accidents, such as Chernobyl.

Radioactivity settles in our water, soil, and plant life - where it can be found in the flesh of birds, other wildlife, as well as domestic animals. Radioactive substances travel up the food chain through air, water, animal meat, dairy, fish, vegetables, and fruit. These highly toxic substances are carcinogenic (cancer causing), and mutagenic (causing genetic damage that results in deformities and other devastating abnormalities). I should point out that every person in the world is struck by about 15,000 of these particles of radiation every second of his or her life, and this is true for every person who has ever lived and for every person who ever will live. These particles, totaling 500 billion per year, or 40 trillion in a lifetime, are from natural sources.

In addition, our technology has introduced new sources of radiation like medical X-rays — A typical X-ray bombards us with over a trillion particles of radiation.

I strongly recommend that you become aware of your personal exposure through medical x-rays, mammograms, C-scans, PET scans, cell-phones, computers, microwaves, high-definition television, and air travel. As you can see, there is a significant risky accumulative effect.

Radioactive elements affect humans in the following ways:

Iodine-131 - Gathers in the thyroid gland where it triggers the genetic damage that causes cancer to develop decades after exposure (despite the fact that it’s mostly gone from the body in about only two months). Think Chernobyl and its devastating aftermath.

Krypton-85 - Affects the entire body and can cause cancers such as leukemia to appear in as little as two years after exposure.

Cesium-137 - Affects the whole body, but especially the liver and spleen. Its half-life is thirty years (this is how long it takes for the amount of radioactivity to drop to half its original level).

Barium-140 - Collects in the bones and can cause tumors to develop in twenty to thirty years.

The physical effects of radiation sickness include loss of appetite, nausea, and diarrhea during the first week. These symptoms may disappear the second week. Then, a person can experience high fever, weight loss, and fatigue. Damage to the radiation-sensitive cells of the small intestine block assimilation of nutrients and cause a significant drop in white blood cell counts. In the end, this causes the immune system degeneration and death.

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The Neglected Male: The Inevitable Decline or a Path to Rejuvenation

Steve W* like many of his Southern California peers was an athlete in high school, continued to be very active in college and played in a volleyball league at work. Now, at age 46 at the insistence of his girlfriend, he reluctantly agreed to consult with me. Steve seemed uncomfortable when asked about his reasons for coming to see a holistic consultant. In fact, for several minutes he either denied or minimized his daily struggles with energy levels, weight gain, insomnia, irritability, apathy, foggy thinking; and delicately put, his struggle with his  libido. He was also very embarrassed about his “gut.” He was also suffering from border line hypertension and high cholesterol. I noted Steve’s puffy eyes with deep circles and a ruddy skin tone. Steve is well-over 6 feet and weighs in at close to 250 pounds. (Interestingly, when I asked how much does he think he weighs, he answered around 220-225.)

In his own words, the worst of all was the feeling of not “being himself.” When asked what he thought about his general state of wellness, he answered very quickly: “stress, it’s my life…it’s killing me.” Finally, but still reluctantly, Steve opened up about his recent divorce, an unexpected job change and the pressure he was feeling being in a new relationship.

After initial consultation, I suggested a comprehensive saliva and urine sample analysis to check his hormone and neurotransmitter levels. I also asked Steve to read a brochure about adropause, a male version of menopause. He looked very surprised and intrigued to hear that there is such a thing. Funny, he knew all about female hormones… For the first time during a long consultation, I saw a spark of interest. He agreed to be tested and made a follow up appointment in one month time to discuss the findings.

After receiving the tests results, Steve and I discussed the findings and decided on an appropriate course of action. I suggested a custom hormone formula, 10 magnesium detoxification treatments, a number of supplements and a mild herbal liver cleanse. After 5 weeks, Steve reported subtly small, but significant changes and an unexpected “burst” of energy. By the time we met again, Steve lost some weight (he contributed the weight loss to going back to playing volleyball…) and saw a big difference in his sex drive. Currently, Steve continues to use a natural hormone crème and magnesium foot baths, but still is reluctant to change his diet. He did agree to use a digestive enzyme supplement…well, there always room for improvement!

If this clinical case rings a bell ask yourself the following questions: Am I suffering from age-related decline? Is this decline inevitable? What can I do improve my general sense of wellness? What exactly is adropause?

Just like women, when men age they experience a devastating decline of testosterone, the key male sex hormone responsible for stamina, energy and sex drive. Although at this time, the scientific community does not yet know the specific causes, we suspect hormonal imbalances are due to a poor diet, oxidative damage to the tissues responsible for producing testosterone, and declining levels of precursor hormones, such as DHEA. Studies have linked decreasing testosterone levels with increased estrogen (female hormone) levels because of the common practice of adding estrogen to our meats and dairy products.

Another culprit is the prevalence of the so-called xeno-hormones found in plastics. Unfortunately, unlike menopausal symptoms in women, the changes men experience may be very subtle, such as” I’m just a little more tired after work to exercise, so what if I’m not as motivated at work, my partner is always nagging, everyone gets a gut after 40, etc. and etc…”

Here is a short list of symptoms related to adropause: anxiety, apathy, breast enlargement, decreased urine flow, abdominal fat, headaches, thinning hair, ED, decrease in muscle mass, strength and stamina, irritability, sleep disturbances and mood swings.

If you or your loved one is experiencing some or all of these symptoms and have ruled out any other health problems, it is time for you to take charge. There is no reason to avoid or ignore these changes. But don’t just run out and start treating yourself with over-the-counter testosterone, DHEA or HGH. Only together with your health practitioner can you determine if your hormones are in a state of imbalance and if you need to do something about it.

There are two things to remember: first, accurate testing, second appropriate supplementation. In short, hormonal balances can and will change the state of your well-being.

A note of caution: Anyone using hormone replacement therapy should be monitored by a health practitioner. This therapy is contraindicated in men with carcinoma of the breast or prostate. Men with benign prostatic hypertrophy-related bladder outlet obstruction are also not candidates for this kind of replacement.

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The Risks of Suicide Posed By The SSRI Class Of Anti-depressants In Adolescents And Young Adults

By Dr. Larisa Gruer, RND, PhD

When 22- year old Sara* first came to see me; more likely, was dragged to see me, it was to help her with an eating disorder. Although, clearly intelligent, she was defensive, unresponsive and dismissive. Her very attractive face was marked by noticeable acne vulgaris, but there was nothing otherwise unusual about her physical appearance. She was a full time student at an Ivy League university and talked about her future as being extremely bright. Her mother appeared very involved. She did not present herself as neurotic or over-protective, rather sad that her oldest child was struggling with her weight. The mother shared, that she too had been dieting most of her adult life. I noted that Sara did look quite thin. When asked if she wished to be weighted, she (expectedly) refused.

After she filled an appropriate questionnaire, and because the mother volunteered that Sara had trouble swallowing, I suggested several liquid supplements to support her immune system and suggested a well-tested digestive-aid drop from Germany. I asked if Sara was ready to receive nutritional counseling and was rather surprised when she agreed.

Unfortunately, I saw Sara only one more time. I learned that several months before first seeing me, she had completed an in-house drug treatment program; that she had used heroine and prescription painkillers and was now taking anti-depressants. In fact she explained that one prescription was not enough, so her psychiatrist added another. When I asked if she felt her medication was helping, she replied yes, definitely; but that she was gaining weight and hated her body; and that’s why she stopped eating “anything that felt the pain.” She listened carefully as I explained why she needed to be very careful with her diet and allowing herself to heal and that this is not the time for any restrictive practices. She seemed intrigued and promised to think about it.

About a year or so later, another client who had originally recommended my services to Sara’s mother told me that Sara had committed suicide by taking several dozen over-the counter pills and drowning herself at her half-way house’s bathroom. She was still taking her anti-depressants faithfully. We might ask, what then went wrong?

Sara’s family could not prove that it was her use of anti-depressants that could have caused Sara’s suicide, but her mother does believe that it was a contributing factor. Does this story mean that these drugs are altogether dangerous and should be avoided?

Perhaps not, but parents and young adults themselves should be aware of the facts in order to ask their health care providers pertinent questions and choose both wisely and cautiously. Allopathic medicine considers the SSRI class of pschychotropic drugs a significant improvement over older antidepressant medications because they have fewer side effects and are less likely to be harmful if taken in an overdose, which is an issue for patients with depression already at risk for suicide. They have been shown to be safe and effective for adults; although, in fact, they only work in about 30 percent of patients and do need to be very carefully monitored when withdrawn. These “popular” drugs are not candy and should not be used lightly. In fact, in mild cases, a natural approach which includes comprehensive neurotransmitters testing, behavior therapy, nutrition, sun light, supplementation with Magnesium, foliates, EFA’s, and exercise must be the gold standard when treating youngsters. A number of very reputable studies show that holistic approaches do as much if not more in helping troubled teens and young adults to overcome devastating symptoms and consequences of depression.

Here are some facts you may not be aware of:

* Teens have a high suicide risk, with suicide the second leading cause of death among U.S. adolescents. 500,000 teens attempt suicide in the U.S. every year, and 5,000 succeed. Depression and suicide are closely linked: depression is a factor in two thirds of all suicides.

*According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a public warning in October 2004 about an increased risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior (suicidality) in children and adolescents treated with SSRI antidepressant medications. In 2006, an advisory committee to the FDA recommended that the agency extend the warning to include young adults up to age 25.

*In 2004 the British Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (the British equivalent to the FDA) reviewed data on the efficacy of other SSRI (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors--Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft and others.) They concluded that other than Prozac (fluoxetine) the data did not show proven efficacy. They also said that the data did support an increase in suicidal thinking and behavior in youth.

*Allopathic medicine considers the SSRI (serotonin) class of the pschychotropic drugs an improvement over older antidepressant medications because they have fewer side effects and are less likely to be harmful if taken in an overdose, which is an issue for patients with depression already at risk for suicide. They have been shown to be safe and effective for adults. (Although, in fact, they only work in about 30 percent of patients and need to be very carefully monitored when withdrawn.)

*The use of SSRI medications among children and adolescents ages 10 to 19 has risen dramatically in the past several years. Fluoxetine (Prozac) is the only medication approved by the FDA for use in treating depression in children ages 8 and older. The other SSRI medications and the SSRI-related antidepressant venlafaxine have not been approved for treatment of depression in children or adolescents, but doctors still sometimes prescribe them to children on an "off-label" basis. In June 2003, however, the FDA recommended that paroxetine not be used in children and adolescents for treating MDD.

* According to the Harvard Medical School Publication: patients under 18 now account for about 5% of antidepressant prescriptions; furthermore the same prestigious publication proclaims that the rule is caution in prescribing antidepressants for children. They should be neither a first choice nor a last resort. Experts recommend close monitoring during the first few weeks, when SSRIs in particular may cause akathisia, a kind of irresistible agitation that may raise the risk of violence and self-injury (see Harvard Mental Health Letter, October and November 2000).

* The black label warning clearly state that antidepressants increase the risk compared to placebo of suicidal thinking and behavior in children, adolescents, and young adults in short-term studies of MDD (major depressive disorder) and other psychiatric disorders. Anyone considering the use of the drugs must balance this risk with clinical need.

*The FDA warning is not a warning against prescribing children depression medication. Instead, the warning recommends that children and teens taking depression medication be watched for signs of suicide. Be aware that it seems that the risk of suicidal behavior in depressed children is highest in the first few weeks of treatment, or when dosage is increased. Parents should learn to recognize suicidal behavior and signs of teenage depression.

The SSRIs include: fluoxetine (Prozac), sertraline (Zoloft), paroxetine (Paxil), citalopram (Celexa), escitalopram (Lexapro), and luvoxamine (Luvox). Venlafaxine (Effexor), is not an SSRI but is closely related.

Resources: all retrieved February 27 & 28, 2010.

Disclaimer: The information contained within this article is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute in any way for care and treatment by a qualified health professional.

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What is Yoga?

By Sharon Glenn, Certfied Yoga Instructor

A Yoga practice is a Holistic approach to Wellness, integrating the mind, body, and heart connection.  With conscious awareness of each breath you take and each step you make in the Yoga posture, you begin to observe the body in a new way.  You are now living in the present moment; the mind becomes calmer, and the stresses of everyday life begin to melt away. Yoga is not just another exercise program like you see at the gym.  It is a way of Life, and I can help show you the way to create balance and harmony in your life as your Private Yoga Coach.  

With a daily practice of Yoga it becomes cumulative, and the benefits are surprising in your life.  You might notice more tone in your muscles and maybe your posture is beginning to improve.  You might have more energy and vitality.  Those aches and pains in your body might be diminishing.  You are calmer and more present in your life when life throws you challenges.  You now get to choose how you want to handle them, instead of reacting to the stress.

With the proper Yoga Coaching, emphasizing form and alignment of your body in the yoga poses, you approach your yoga with an intention of releasing the turbulence in your mind and body and becoming consciously aware of each breath you take, with a slow steady movement in the yoga posture.  The yoga postures are not calisthenics, but you certainly have an opportunity to strengthen the body and calm the mind.  This translates into your daily life as you become more centered, focused and present.

So are you ready for a Yoga journey with me?  My name is Sharon Glenn, and I am a Certified Yoga Instructor with over 20 years of Yoga practice.  I am available for a free 15-minute consultation to discuss your individual needs.  During this consultation, I will take you through a gentle yoga practice to observe how we can custom design yoga postures that you will enjoy for the rest of your life.  All you need to do is contact me at Yoga Tones at 714-724-2090 to set up a free appointment at the European Institute for Natural Health in Newport Beach.

It is never too late to start a Yoga practice no matter what shape or age group you are in.

Read below what people are saying about my Private Yoga Coaching Sessions.

Sharon is a Master of her craft.  She focused on my circumstance and responded with a targeted program.  She went above and beyond sharing her expertise and wisdom of Yoga.  My progress was obvious during week one.  I would recommend Private Yoga Coaching with Sharon to my friends. 

- Holly, Huntington Beach

Sharon, I cannot thank you enough for teaching me My Yoga!  I finally feel in control of my body and muscles because I now know how to stretch and relax the tight ones and strengthen the weak ones.  The Yoga postures and breathing techniques you taught me were so effective.  You helped me meet all the goals we discussed at the start of our Private Yoga Coaching sessions, and taught me to love Yoga.  The overall experience was fantastic.  Thank you for giving me the tools to feel good every day.  A Million Thanks!

- Sarah, Huntington Beach

I have had chronic neck problems for years, and the Private Yoga Coaching sessions by Sharon have helped me more than anything else I have done.  I feel less pain and stiffness in my body, and more mellow in my life.

- Fran, Huntington Beach

I feel good doing the yoga postures. They have really helped stretch my body.  I have actually noticed that my arms are getting stronger, and my body is becoming more flexible.  Also, I am sleeping better at night. 

- Lisa, Newport Beach


How to Prevent Injuries in Your Yoga Postures

by Sharon Glenn

Why do so many people injure themselves doing Yoga postures?  Yoga is so trendy now and everyone is trying Yoga.  But are they really understanding Yoga, and the importance of the breath with the movement of the body in the yoga posture?  This isn’t another exercise program where you push yourself beyond your comfort zone.  Yoga postures need the correct form and structural alignment and posture of the body to help prevent injuries.

When you gently move into the Yoga posture, is your mind focused and your breath engaged?  Are you in the present moment and gently moving into the posture to your point of comfort or are you competing with yourself?  Yoga is conscious awareness of where your body has tension, and learning how to let go of that tied up energy called tension or stress while working with the breath in the posture.  If you are straining in the yoga posture, then you are not doing it correctly and you could injure yourself.

Consider learning Yoga the correct way with a Private Yoga Coach.  Hi, my name is Sharon Glenn, RYT, and I have over 20 years of Yoga experience.  I am an Internationally Certified Interdisciplinary Yoga Instructor and a Registered Yoga Teacher with Yoga Alliance.  If you want to learn Yoga with a customized program, or make sure you are doing your Yoga postures correctly with the proper form and alignment of the body, call me at 714-724-2090.  I have a private yoga studio at the European Institute for Natural Health (EINH).  Working one on one with you as your Private Yoga Coach, and guiding you in your yoga postures with hands on assist, will help prevent injuries.  So are you ready to release tension in the mind and body, improve your flexibility and strength, learn to relax, and have an overall feeling of well-being?  I am offering a free 15-minute private consultation at EINH to meet you and discuss your goals for your Yoga practice.

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Menopause and Yoga: Embrace the Change

by Sharon Glenn

Menopause is a natural biological process in a woman’s life, but it can cause some uncomfortable symptoms like anxiety, hot flashes, headaches and migraines, and weak bones.  These symptoms can be addressed with a mindful yoga practice which can increase strength and flexibility as well as restore your energy.  Yoga is a gift you can give to yourself as the stress in your mind and tension in your body begin to melt away with a consistent yoga practice.  Relaxation, peace of mind, and harmony and balance are just some of the benefits this new lifestyle of Yoga can provide for you if you give it a chance.

A Yoga practice can be helpful to women who are entering into menopause or currently in menopause or beyond because their hormonal levels may be fluctuating rapidly.  This can cause them to feel out of balance, like victims of their changing bodies.  A daily practice of Yoga improves the health of the nervous system by relaxing it, and may improve the functioning of the endocrine system which helps the body to adapt to hormonal fluctuations, according to Yoga Journal.

A Therapeutic or Restorative Yoga practice helps to relieve this feeling of being out of balance and harmony.  You become more in tune with the changes in your body and you become more aware of your breath and the present moment.  The Respiratory, Digestive, and Reproductive Systems, and all the internal organs of the body receive many benefits as the toxins begin to release and energy returns to the body.  As Dr. Christiane Northrup comments in her book The Secret Pleasures of Menopause, “It’s time for you to step forward and learn to enjoy the best years of your life!”

Are you ready to Embrace the Change with Menopause and Yoga?  Private, customized, one-on-one Therapeutic or Restorative Yoga Sessions are now being scheduled by appointment only at the European Institute for Natural Health in Newport Beach.  Please call Sharon K. Glenn, RYT, Certified Yoga Instructor at 714-724-2090 to set up an appointment.  I look forward to being a part of your Yoga Journey.
European Institute For Natural Health
Dr. Larisa N. Gruer RND, PhD
Clinical Director

(949) 335-5812
1100 Quail St. Suite 207
Newport Beach, CA 92656.