Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine

December 31, 2010 by Dr. Nicole Sundene  
Filed under Kitchen Sink

Hi everyone, I have exciting news….I have established Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine in Fountain Hills, AZ (near Scottsdale.) The move from Seattle went great, I am all situated and will be practicing at this new clinic at 16719 e Palisades Blvd Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

I am really excited for this new opportunity, and am happy to work with you at my new clinic, just call (480) 837-0900 to set up your appointment. We also offer walk in B-12 shots from 10am-2pm Mon-Fri closed on Wed. For more information visit www.FHnaturopathic.com Read more

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

Natural Psoriasis Treatments

What natural medicines do you recommend for psoriasis?

The scaly silvery plaques of psoriasis that typically affect the elbows, knees, scalp, and other actively moving or injured regions can be unbelievably frustrating to manage and treat with natural or conventional therapies.

Conventional treatments work to reduce itching, inflammation, and inhibit skin overgrowth. Natural medicines also work to address those factors as well as identifying and treating causes of health imbalance that makes an individual more susceptible to the development of psoriasis.

In my opinion, most cases of psoriasis just need a thorough diet and lifestyle clean up. Most patients with psoriasis have terrible eating and lifestyle habits, and will easily improve with naturopathic care. Harsh medication such as corticosteroids and methotrexate should be avoided when at all possible as the side effects of these drugs are far worse than the symptoms of psoriasis that they are being used to treat.

Please check with your naturopathic physician or family doctor for drug-herb interactions or other contraindications before implementing any of these treatment ideas.

Diet for Psoriasis

  • Vegan, gluten free diet. Animal fats will increase inflammation as discussed in my “Anti-inflammatory diet”.
  • Current conventional postulations regarding the cause of psoriasis indicate a possible genetic error in mitotic control. This means that cells are dividing and replicating faster than they should. Excessive activation of lymphocytes (a form of white blood cells) are thought to be responsible for the short epidermal cell cycle that results in hyperproliferation of skin tissues. Since 70% of our immune system surrounds the gut in GALT (Gut Associated Lymphatic Tissue) food allergies or intolerances may be to blame for immune dysfunction triggering the skin overgrowth aspects commonly associated with psoriasis.
  • Dairy and wheat intolerance are common triggers for most people with skin conditions, especially psoriasis. A three week trial elimination of both with a re-introduction period individually of first wheat and then dairy is prudent. If wheat and dairy are not a problem I would continue on to a full allergy elimination diet and see if other foods may be resulting in inflammation and resultant immune dysfunction.

Kitchen Remedies for Psoriasis

  • Avoid aspartame. Aspartame is not just a “Kitchen Table Villain”, but sensitivity is common in those with itchy skin conditions.
  • Liver Support Foods: Most patients will benefit from some gentle detox.
  • Liberal use of green leafy vegetables for magnesium content to aid detoxification.
  • Anti-inflammatory Smoothie: Dr. Nicole’s Smoothie Recipe drink daily to reduce reactivity to foods you may be allergic or intolerant to, as well as reduce inflammation.
  • Cultured Foods: The friendly bacteria in yogurt and other fermented foods are valuable sources of acidophilus and other probiotics needed for healthy gut flora and proper digestion.

Lifestyle Considerations for Psoriasis

  • Eliminate stress: a common culprit known to exacerbate symptoms of psoriasis.
  • Quit smoking and drinking alcohol. Smoking and drinking alcohol were shown to increase symptoms.
  • Lose weight. Obesity is a risk factor for psoriasis.
  • Try to avoid injuring the affected area. Studies also show that skin injuries may make your psoriasis worse, which is why it typically shows up on active areas such as elbows, knees, and eyelids. Sunlight was shown to either make psoriasis better or worse. Drugs that increase psoriasis symptoms are lithium, beta blockers, and NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin and over the counter analgesics).
  • Acupuncture and hypnosis may also be beneficial.
  • Use a chlorine shower filter, especially if you have psoriasis on your scalp.

Vitamins for Psoriasis

  • Vitamin D oral and topical are effective for psoriasis. The topical drug Dovonex is a prescription preparation using vitamin D. Don’t take more than 1000 IU of oral vitamin D daily without being supervised by a physician for potential life threatening conditions such as hypercalcemia that may occur.
  • Vitamin A orally and topically is also helpful for psoriasis. Both vitamins A and D play a role with cell differentiation, the same mechanism that prescription pharmaceuticals play a role with.

Fish Oil for Psoriasis

  • Fish oil is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent. Cod liver oil also contains both vitamins A and D. I typically recommend 1 tablespoon of cod liver oil with food daily. This can be increased to twice daily.
  • Cod liver oil should not be used by pregnant women due to high vitamin A content. Fish oils are not recommended for those with bleeding disorders or using anti-coagulant medicines such as Coumadin. Check with your doctor before using fish oil therapeutically. The omega 3 fats in fish oil are very powerful natural medicine for psoriasis. I would opt for the use of fish oil over flax oil unless the patient has ethical or spiritual concerns regarding the use of animal products. Flax oil may be helpful, but it is not nearly as potent as fish oil, nor has it yet been researched for efficacy with this skin disease.

Herbs for Psoriasis

  • Capscasin cream synthesized from cayenne peppers is helpful for reducing pain and controlling itching.
  • Topically you could also try some aloe vera gel as well as calendula succus (juice) or cream; as both herbs are particularly soothing to most irritating and itchy skin conditions.
  • Detox Herbs. Rather than using herbs mechanistically to fight psoriasis, I would opt instead to use them to “Treat the Cause”. Most people with psoriasis have a large toxic burden on their body, as evidenced by the exacerbations caused by smoking and consuming alcohol. Cleaning up the diet and lifestyle is fundamental, herbs to protect the liver and aid the moving out of toxins such as milk thistle, dandelion root, burdock root, yellow dock root, and turmeric should be helpful for addressing the long term big picture of this disease which typically tends to just worsen over time. For those with digestive upset I would also do a course of gut healing herbs such as slippery elm and marshmallow root to address underlying causes such as food allergies.

Research on Psoriasis

  • PMID: 10651693; Psoriasis patients with antibodies to gliadin can be improved by a gluten-free diet. Br J Dermatol. 2000 Jan;142(1):44-51.
  • PMID: 12949434; Rapid regression of psoriasis in a celiac patient after gluten-free diet. A case report and review of the literature. Digestion. 2003;68(1):9-12. Epub 2003 Aug 29. Review.
  • PMID: 9838718; A review of the epidemiology of psoriasis vulgaris in the community.Australas J Dermatol. 1998 Nov;39(4):225-32. Review.
  • PMID: 8977698; Cigarette smoking in men may be a risk factor for increased severity of psoriasis of the extremities. Br J Dermatol. 1996 Nov;135(5):859-60. No abstract available.
  • PMID: 15346196; Association between alcohol, smoking and HLA-DQA1*0201 genotype in psoriasis.Acta Biochim Biophys Sin (Shanghai). 2004 Sep;36(9):597-602.
  • PMID: 10396014; A pilot study of hypnosis in the treatment of patients with psoriasis.Psychother Psychosom. 1999;68(4):221-5.
  • PMID: 15244317; Calcipotriol cream in the treatment of flexural psoriasis.Int J Tissue React. 2003;25(4):127-30.
  • PMID: 15018018; Calcipotriol ointment versus cream in psoriasis vulgaris.Int J Clin Pharmacol Res. 2003;23(2-3):47-51.
  • PMID: 7688774; A double-blind evaluation of topical capsaicin in pruritic psoriasis.J Am Acad Dermatol. 1993 Sep;29(3):438-42.
  • PMID: 10417520; Capsaicin treatment induces histamine release and perfusion changes in psoriatic skin.Br J Dermatol. 1999 Jul;141(1):87-93.
  • PMID: 11306830; Phototherapy of psoriasis: comparative experience of different phototherapeutic approaches.Dermatology. 2001;202(2):108-15.
  • PMID: 7921757; A double-blind placebo controlled trial of Efamol Marine on skin and joint symptoms of psoriatic arthritis.Br J Rheumatol. 1994 Oct;33(10):954-8.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen table to ask the question!

~ Dr. Nicole Sundene

Naturopathic Physician

www.KitchenTableMedicine.com

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

Smoothie Recipe

berriessmoothierecipe.jpgRecently someone told me that they “don’t have time to eat breakfast”.

I replied “you don’t have time to NOT eat breakfast. Not eating breakfast is killing you slowly. Your lifespan will be shortened by not taking care of yourself properly, therefore if you don’t eat breakfast you will REALLY be short on time.”

As much as some people don’t always enjoy my tongue in cheek responses to their bad cases of the “I cants”, not eating breakfast simply should just NOT even be viewed as an option.

From start to finish my smoothie recipe takes me all of 5 minutes and 38 seconds to make, including clean up time! This is the five minutes that will SAVE your entire day. Plus, all the cool kids are doing it (ie: my sister). Read more

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

The Fifteen Most Fabulous Herbal Sedatives

PhotobucketDo you ever just feel like you need to take a pill to take the edge off?

Well a lot of us get extra stressed around the holiday season, and if you don’t want to take something that will totally knock you out, try a gentle relaxing cup of sedative tea instead of popping a pill.

Now opinions may slightly differ amongst herbalists as to what the best herbal sedative is, but I think we can all agree that the best herb is the one that works best for the individual. Here are my top fifteen favorites for making in to herbal tea as they are widely available and not endangered species (to my current knowledge.)

I have included a brief blurb so that you can get an idea of the herbs that will work best for your constitution.Please always check with your naturopathic physician before combining herbs with prescription drugs. Do not take sedative herbs during pregnancy or breastfeeding.

#1 Passionflower- The intricate purple flower pictured above was shown to be as effective as sedatives in the benzodiazepine (valium) family, the aerial parts of this herb are great for nervous tension and anxiety. In recent research, passion flower extract at 45 drops daily (tincture) was shown to be as effective as oxazepam (similar to valium). This nervine herb is also “antispasmodic” which makes it great for people with constant nervous twitching.

#2 Ashwaganda- This is probably one of my favorite herbs, which is why it got the award for “Best Herb of 2007.” Unlike most of the herbs on this list that are designed to be taken at night or at least late afternoon, both ashwaganda and schisandra (listed below) are terrific “adaptogenic” herbs that help us tolerate our stressful days that much better. You can make some tea, or grab some capsules of the organic root and take two capsules twice a day.

This herb is specifically intended for those that are exhausted and agitated or debilitated by stress. In ayurvedic medicine ashawganda is a renowned anti-aging and rejuvenating herb.

Photobucket #3 Schisandra- Referred to as “Chinese Prozac” this herb is commonly unappreciated and underutilized in American herbal practice. Schisandra is a terrific day time adaptogen herb and should be taken as is recommended with Ashwaganda, two capsules with breakfast and lunch, or a cup of tea in the morning and afternoon. The berries can be made in to a nice aperitif for those with a low libido.

#4 California Poppy- The bright orange flowers of the California poppy, leaves and other aerial parts are sedative, anti-spasmodic, and mild pain relievers. This is also a gentle herb used for colic and agitation in children. Do not use this herb or any other sedative herbs in pregnancy.

#5 Hops- No I am not recommending that you drink more beer to calm down. However, the herb commonly used to make beer bitter also works as a sedative. It is extremely bitter though so is best given a small part in your herbal tea formula for insomnia or stress. Do not combine with prescription sleep aids due to an additive effect.

#6 Kava Kava- A well known Polynesian psychotropic sedative, this herb is sedative and “spasmolytic” and thus helpful for chronic pain conditions. Several conflicting studies debate the safety of using this herb with alcohol. Liver damage is thought to occur if used in large doses in conjunction with alcohol. This research however was used to scare many people away from using kava kava for whatever reason.

People need to simply remember that herbs are medicines and that an herb with actions similar to prescription sleep aids and analgesics will of course pack the same side effects. A strong herb demands respect. When used ceremoniously, or occasionally this herb does not run the risks it runs when it is heavily abused.

The best way to safely use kava kava is in an organic tea form. Look for a tea blend that includes kava, or make your own. This herb should not be used in large doses, and large doses should not be used over long term. Do not combine with alcohol, or use during pregnancy or nursing. Chronic abuse will result in a horrible scaly skin rash. Photobucket

#7 Lavender- Try adding lavender to your favorite baked good recipe. Purple lavender flowers will offer a sophisticated herbal makeover to your favorite shortbread cookies, or white tea cakes.

Lavender is great in your herbal medicine blend, and can also be used to stuff pillows, or as an aromatherapy stress reliever throughout the day. Lavender should not be used in pregnancy due to it’s emmenagogue effect.

#8 Lemon Balm- Also known as “Melissa officinalis” this herbal sedative should not be used by those with hypothyroidism as it inhibits the thyroid and is used to treat hyperthyroidism, however for everyone else it is a common simple herb to grow in your garden and make in to your own calming sedative tincture each summer. Do not use this herb in pregnancy.

I grow lemon balm in my garden and harvest it, rinse it, let it dry and then pack it in a jar with enough room for it to swim around in some vodka. Shake the jar once a day for two weeks. The vodka will extract the constituents and after a few weeks you can strain out the plant part leftovers and put a half a teaspoon of this liquid “anxiety medicine” in a little bit of water when you need something to calm you down. Photobucket

#9 St. John’s Wort- Although we think “depression” the second we hear about St. J’s Wort, we also need to address that depression and anxiety tend to walk hand in hand and this herb is not just an anti-depressant it is a mild sedative as well. St. John’s Wort has also been shown to have a lower risk of side effects than conventional anti-depressants and is worth trying for those that don’t quite have severe enough depression to mandate the use of a prescription pharmaceutical, but instead need something to take the edge off and boost the mood a bit.

If you are suffering from anxiety that has a form of depression associated with it, then this would be a great herb to consider in your herbal sedative blend pending that you are not on any anti-depressants or anti-psychotic medications. The condition “serotonin syndrome” may occur from combing this herb with those classes of medications or other herbs and supplements that boost neurotransmitter levels.

This herb should not be used by those on oral contraceptives, or any medications as it increases the cytochrome p450 enzyme system which results in a more rapid detoxification of drugs from the system. The drugs or birth control pills are then rendered useless. Standard dose of St. John’s Wort for those not on any other medications, is 300 mg three times daily of the 0.3% standardized extract. Photobucket

#10 Red Clover- Not traditionally recognized as a sedative, but as a mineral source and blood thinner, this “cooling” herb calms the system and has a special affinity to the lungs, throat, and salivary glands.

This is a terrific balancing herb to include in your herbal sedative blend as the dried flower blossoms make for a beautiful addition to a glass teapot. Do not use in pregnancy, or if on blood thinning medications.

#11 Catnip- Not just for cats. Catnip is actually a gentle nervine herb for humans. No it won’t make you roll around on the carpet or chase after things (at least not to my current knowledge) but it is still a great mild sedative.

This herb should absolutely NOT be used during pregnancy, as most herbs should never be used during pregnancy without checking with your naturopathic midwife, however it can safely be used in children by making a very weak tea. Be sure to only give your children organic herbs and check with their pediatrician or naturopath prior to use.

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#12 Valerian- Definitely one of the more potent herbal sedatives, valerian is also a great pain killer for those with chronic pain. Some people prefer not to use this herb because it can cause quite the herbal hangover the next morning and most complain that it makes them feel really groggy, or desire to sleep through the day.

Look for a tea formula that includes a bit of valerian to avoid the hangover, and if you have severe anxiety, chronic pain, or insomnia talk to your naturopathic doctor about using this at a more therapeutic dose. Always use organic root.

#13 Motherwort- The perfect herb for fried and frazzled mothers; it strengthens a weak heart and is great for nervous palpitations. Motherwort is best taken over a prolonged period of time, and because it is a uterine stimulant, it should not be used in pregnancy.

#14 Skullcap- A bitter, cooling sedative herb that is best used for nervous fear, restless sleep, and is also thought to lower blood pressure. This herb is great for people with the inability to pay attention—huh what was that? And has been used effectively to calm down children with ADHD. Some kids concentrate better when they are sped up, and some do better when they are calmed down.

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#15 Chamomile- One of the most common kitchen herbs, chamomile is a great mild sedative and digestive bitter.

Be careful in using chamomile tea if you experience ragweed allergies, formally known as the “asteracea family” and previously recognized as “composite family.” If you have a history of seasonal allergies you should exercise caution.

If not, make your tea up strong, use a heaping tablespoon and not a teaspoon per 8 oz cup of water, and allow to steep 15 minutes covered. If you don’t cover your chamomile tea you will lose the calming essential oils to evaporation. Only elitist herbalists know to do that. Welcome to the club!

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Traditional Herbal Sedative Use: Establishing a nighttime or daytime tea ritual is a great way to reduce stress, avoid binge eating, and help those that fight insomnia get to sleep at a decent hour.

Don’t forget to have your pot of tea with one of my favorite “Bedtime Snacks for Insomniacs.” Also if you tend to be one of those that gets troubled by having to use the restroom in the middle of the night, be sure to drink your tea at least 90 minutes prior to your expected bed time.

Directions: For most of these herbs simply make a tea with about 1 tsp (milder herbs use a tablespoon) to 8 oz cup of boiling water. Allow to steep covered 15 minutes. Or if you aren’t a tea drinker just look for a pre-made organic herbal formula to take in tincture or capsule form, and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Common Sense Cautions: Please check with your naturopathic physician before combining any herbal medicines with prescription medications or making any changes to your health care routine. Women that are pregnant or breastfeeding should never use any herbs unless prescribed by their naturopathic midwife.

You can find bulk organic herbs at Whole Foods, through your local tea shop or buy them online through Mountain Rose Herbs.

What is your favorite herbal sedative?

~Dr. Nicole

Reference: “Herbal Medicine from the Heart of the Earth” by Dr. Sharol Tilgner
©KitchenTableMedicine.com

Related Reading
Best Bedtime Snacks for Insomniacs
Sleep the Miracle Drug
A Quick Deep Breathing Exercise

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

Horse Chestnut For Hemorrhoids

horsechestnut.jpgIs this an ancient medieval torture device?

No, it is simply a horse chestnut seed.

Previously used for pelting other children on the playground, for adults the seed of Aesculus hippocastanum is a fabulous cure for hemorrhoids and varicose veins. Hemorrhoids are just varicose veins as well, so if you tend to have a weak veinous system, you might benefit from this herb.

The active constituent aescin has an astringent property that serves to tighten up loose leaky veins. It is also anti-edematous, anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic, anti-exudative, and decreases capillary permeability. Read more

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

How to Enjoy Holiday Treats without Fattening Up

PhotobucketBy Bonnie Pfiester, Fitness Trainer

Everyone knows it’s easy to gain weight over the Holidays. Christmas parties and yummy treats seem to replace exercise and healthy food. Once high calorie foods are in our view it’s hard to get them out of our head.

Although most people admit going off their diet this time of year, we still act shocked at how fat we feel by New Year’s Day. Did we really eat that much?

Over the years researchers have found we don’t gain quite as much weight during the Holidays as we once thought, but we do gain some weight. I feel like I already gained 10lbs just from Thanksgiving alone. There’s no wonder we end the season feeling like a fat Santa.

First, our bellies stay stuffed. Family and social gatherings are always centered on enormous feasts, making overeating a trend of the season. It’s as if we’ll never be able to eat again. Interestingly enough, no matter how disgusting or fat we feel after pigging out we often repeat our actions the very next day.

Another reason we gain weight is because we snack more. Between large feasts and fancy parties are delicious sweets. Chocolate covered pretzels, fudge, fruit cake, Christmas cookies – you name it, they are all floating around every office in the country. Of course we’re going to eat it! We don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings right?

The next explanation for fattening up over the Holidays is because we drink more calories like eggnog, cider and hot chocolate. Alcoholic beverages replace water. All the sudden you’ve added several hundred calories to your day in just beverages alone.

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Lastly we feel fat because we don’t workout as much. If we could just burn as many calories running errands as we do running miles we’d be set.

Unfortunately we trade workouts for shopping and our neglected muscles begin to feel mushy. In the end we feel like Santa looks – no wonder gyms are so busy each New Year!

So how can we survive the Holidays?

We have to make time to work out so we can “afford” to eat the extras if we want them. Doing more cardio makes room for more calories and lifting weights helps you to feel nice and firm instead of fat and flabby.

The Holidays are hard for all of us. As my grandmother once said, “you can’t always change your circumstances, but you can change how you respond to circumstances and that’s what counts.”

Average Calories in Popular Christmas Treats:

  • Chocolate Fudge with nuts: 472 calories (1 serving)
  • Pumpkin Pie: 340 calories (1 slice)
  • Pecan Pie: 503 calories (1 slice)
  • One Brownie: 242 calories, (2” square)
  • Chocolate Covered Pretzels: 190 (13 pretzels)
  • Chocolate Chip Cookie: 210 (1 cookie)
  • Eggnog (non-alcoholic): 343 calories (1 cup)
  • Apple Cider: 130 calorie (1 cup)
  • Nestle Hot Cocoa: 112 calories (1 packet)

Approximate Calories Burned During Activity: (calories vary per individual)

  • Walking: 135 calories per hour
  • Walking for exercise: 230 calories per hour
  • Power Walking: 400 calories per hour
  • Jogging: 600 calories per hour
  • Yoga: 240 calories per hour
  • Aerobics: 400 calories per hour
  • Spinning: 440 calories per hour

bonniefit.jpgBonnie Pfiester is a Personal Trainer, wife to the famous fitness trainer Steve Pfiester of the reality TV show “Fat March”, and owner of the women’s health club Longevity Fitness.

You can enjoy more of Bonnie’s fitness and beauty articles at www.BonniePfiester.com or here at the kitchen table by visiting the Bonnie Pfiester page.

You are invited to leave your fitness and sports nutrition questions in the comments below for Bonnie to briefly answer or write about in future articles.

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

Insomnia: The Best Bedtime Snacks for Insomniacs

insomnianuts.jpgBy Dr. Nicole Sundene

Can the kitchen table cure insomnia?

It might just be the quick fix for a certain type of insomnia.

Everyone knows that eating a big meal before bed is not healthy.

Food just “sits there” and doesn’t optimally digest when we are inactive, as the peristaltic contractions of our gut are enhanced by exercise and movement. Still some people insist they can’t sleep without a bedtime snack. I actually might argue that some people might NEED a bedtime snack. Those that struggle with low blood sugar issues or “hypoglycemia” typically wake up in the middle of the night because of it.

Once awake, they can’t get back to sleep, and can’t figure out why.

I see insomnia as three different tedious breeds. There is the insomnia typically caused by stress when you can’t get to sleep, the insomnia when you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t get back to sleep, and the insomnia that wakes you up much earlier than the actual time you care to start your day.

You can also be amongst the “lucky ones” and have a combo pack of the three. This unlucky triad is typically the result of high stress, daytime inactivity, alcohol, too bright of a bedroom, and low blood sugar.

The best bedtime snacks are high in protein, fiber, complex carbs, minerals, and the amino acid tryptophan. To ensure a good night’s sleep, be sure to eat a light snack about 90 minutes before your anticipated bedtime. Shoot for 8:30pm if you typically go to bed around ten.

In the presence of carbohydrates, the amino acid tryptophan is able to pass the blood brain barrier, where it is then made into serotonin (the neurotransmitter that makes us happy) and in a dark atmosphere serotonin then converts to melatonin (the hormone that makes us sleepy). Boosting serotonin levels is also beneficial for those with anxiety or depression.

Using these basic rules of biochemistry, I have craftily put together a list of snacks that should induce relaxation as well as ensure proper blood sugar.

The Best Bedtime Snacks for Insomnia:

  • Cottage cheese and fruit.
  • A string cheese and a few whole grain crackers.
  • A small serving of salmon and brown rice.
  • A bowl of oatmeal with almonds.
  • Yogurt, fruit, and wheat germ.
  • Granola and yogurt.
  • Peanut butter on whole grain toast.
  • One egg and a piece of whole grain toast.
  • A fruit smoothie with protein powder.
  • A small bowl of high fiber cereal and milk.
  • A handful of raw cashews, peanuts, or other nuts.
  • Half an avocado and whole grain chips.
  • Half a turkey sandwich on whole grain bread.
  • 3 tablespoons of hummus and veggies or a few whole grain chips.
  • 2 tablespoons of cashew butter and celery decorated with raisins.
  • Rice cakes and cashew or peanut butter.
  • Almonds and apple slices.
  • 3-6 tablespoons of freshly ground flax seeds mixed with applesauce or yogurt.

Additional Tips:

  1. If you have menopausal hot flashes keeping you up at night you might especially benefit from the ground flaxseeds as the lignans have a phyto-estrogenic effect, and the omega-3 oils are very important for ensuring hormonal imbalance.
  2. If you are going nuts from insomnia, nuts just might be the answer as they are high in protein, fiber, and minerals. Eat RAW nuts and raw nut butters to avoid the rancid fats that develop in the roasting process. Roasting turns nuts into “Kitchen Table Villains” that pack on pounds and clog our arteries. Raw nuts such as peanuts and cashews in moderate quantities are a great treat to keep on hand.
  3. The healthiest foods highest in tryptophan are: Cottage cheese, peanuts, salmon, cashews, halibut, shrimp, granola, oatmeal, avocado, turkey, cheese, milk, wheat germ, eggs, collard greens, raisins, chicken, yogurt, sweet potatoes, and spinach.
  4. Try giving up dessert for a week or two, and see if that helps. Most night-time waking is caused by low blood sugar, because Americans commonly eat a sugary evening dessert that jacks their sugar up super high right before bed. As we sleep the sugar then comes crashing back down. The body always wakes us up to alert us of these kinds of imbalances.
  5. Keep in mind that excess fluids before bed also wakes us up, so ultimately it is best to not have any food or drink at least 90 minutes before bed. The older you are, the more you may need to restrict your evening fluids to ensure you don’t need a night-time trip to the restroom. Just be sure you drink up upon waking and stay hydrated throughout the rest of the day.
  6. The ultimate recipe for success is pairing light proteins such as vegetable proteins, turkey, and white cheeses with a high fiber friend such as a fruit, vegetable, or a whole grain choice. These foods also are typically rich in calcium and magnesium, minerals that serve to relax the nervous system and alleviate muscle tension.
  7. Kitchen Table Cliffnote: Protein + Fiber + Minerals= Sound Sleep

What is your favorite bedtime snack?

Recommended Reading for Insomniacs: Sleep, Stress, The Low Glycemic Index Diet, Hypoglycemia, Fiber, Amino Acids and Mood Disorders, Anxiety

Reference: “Medical Nutrition from Marz” by Dr. Russell B. Marz

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen table!

~ Dr. Nicole Sundene

Naturopathic Physician
www.KitchenTableMedicine.com

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

21 Free Preventative Medicine Habits!

Doctor#1 Laugh- When we laugh we release endorphins that make us feel good. These endorphins reduce pain and stress. Stress is a common cause of chronic disease.

Maybe you just lost a ton of money in the stock market and don’t feel like laughing a whole lot about it, but can’t you just muster up a deep dark cynical laugh about it? Good. Now that is a start!

Remember, things can always be worse, and we may not have a whole lot of control over them. But, we can always control our attitudes.

Now, go find some other things that are funny. Make your self laugh each and everyday, laugh at your friend’s silly jokes and make up a few of your own. Play some harmless pranks on your coworkers. “Laughter is the best medicine” for a reason. Now is the time to turn off the news and turn on your favorite comedy show. Laughs are free! Go get ‘em.

#2 Get Sunshine-
Why buy vitamins and when you can get them for free? Twenty minutes of sunshine on our hands and face each and every day gives us the needed RDA of vitamin D. Sunshine also boosts our serotonin levels and makes us happy. In order to optimally benefit from “nature’s Prozac” you need to be under the blue sky for 15 minutes, or an hour under a cloudy sky.

#3 Drink Water- Water is free for the most part, delicious, energizing, and prevents horribly uncomfortable conditions like bladder infections, kidney infections, and kidney stones. Water also cuts our appetite and helps us feel satisfied. When most people feel hungry, they actually are feeling thirsty. Water immediately rewards you by detoxing your system, and plumping up your cells so you don’t look old and saggy. Drink plenty of water in between meals and shoot for about sixty to eighty ounces of water per day (depending on your size and activity level) to prevent disease.

#4 Sleep- Most Americans don’t get enough of it. Your system restores itself while you are sleeping. Detox and cellular repair occur at an increased rate while you are sleeping. Your immune system also works best while you are asleep, thus you are less likely to be plagued by colds and flu’s when adequately rested. Sleep is free to nearly everyone but med students and the parents of small children. Try going to bed an hour earlier each night if you can. In order to have the energy to exercise, eat right, and be your best—you need to be well rested.

#5 Give Hugs-The price of a hug is free and the benefits are countless. Hugs reduce stress, build community, and nurture both young and old alike. According to family therapist Virginia Satir, “We need 4 hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth.” Make it a habit to give out twelve hugs a day, even if they are to your self. Everybody needs a hug right now.

#6 Cut back on activities- Chances are you are doing way too much right now. Cutting back on activities and obligations may not only save you money, but save your life by reducing stress and lowering your risk of being in an accident from needless rushing around. Accidents are the leading cause of death in younger age groups. A few minutes less of rushing each day may save your life.

#7 Meditate-Taking five minutes to breathe, ground your energy to the earth, and release your mind of all thoughts is completely free and is a simple way to ensure your day gets off to a good start. Try “Five Minutes to Zen” if you are new to meditating.

#8 Eat Less-If you are overweight, you are eating too much, or too much of the wrong kinds of foods. Switch to a whole foods diet and eat slowly and until you are full. Overeating is ridiculously expensive and costs you much more than just the rising cost of food. Overeating can cost you your health!

#9 Pet your Pet- Well known for lowering both blood pressure and anxiety, interacting with animals is a great way to get you calmed down. Pets are great stress busters, and also serve as free entertainment. Take your dog to a dog park for a free fun relaxing time.

#10 Breathe- Air is still free last time I checked. You cannot be properly energized without sufficient oxygen. Sit up straight and breathe in and out deeply while watching your belly rise and fall. To further release stress try an activity called “Square Breathing”. If stress is killing you slowly, it is time to start breathing.

#11 Phone a Friend- Talking for the most part is free, and talking about our stressors has been shown to be a key feature in various longevity studies. Now is the time to reach out towards others, you are not the only one with problems. Being a friend for someone else and giving of yourself is also a great way to reduce stress. Studies show that those surrounded by a community live longer than those who don’t. Stay connected.

#12 Exercise- Consistently shown to reduce blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, improve well being, attitude and sleep, think of exercise as the hammer and nails in your preventative medicine toolbox. Exercise is the simplest inexpensive way to build your health. You don’t need a fancy gym membership to exercise. Just establish a basic routine of yoga and calisthenics and do them in the same order every day for at least twenty minutes. Then, go out and run, walk, bike, rollerblade, swim or organize a fun neighborhood game of football, basketball, soccer, or tag to burn up some calories.

#13 Play with Children-Engaging your creative mind will help you blow off stress. Most of us are stuck in our analytical left hemispheres all day. Let your creativity loose and take a visit to the right side of your brain. How about an arts and craft project? Research shows that craft products such as knitting reduce stress.

#14 Stretch-With age we lose both muscle mass and flexibility. You can easily sneak in 15 minutes of stretching at the office, in front of the television, or after your workout. At the very least: roll your neck, and stretch your pecs and quads–the muscles that get tight from sitting all day.

#15 Lift Weights-Weight bearing exercise is shown to be MORE effective in treating osteoporosis than the most popular pharmaceutical medications used to treat osteoporosis. So why is everyone on a bisphosphonate you may wonder? Because most people don’t want to take the time to do the work. You can prevent painful fractures in your spine that will occur inevitably from osteoporosis by engaging NOW in daily weight bearing exercise. Try using hand weights when doing lunges, squats, triceps and biceps curls. Push ups and pull ups are also super for driving calcium back in to the bone matrix.

#16 Quit Smoking- Let’s face it. Smoking causes death. Smoking is a leading cause of death. Quitting smoking is the best thing you can do to PREVENT not just lung cancer, but mouth cancer, lip cancer, esophageal cancer, stomach cancer, pancreatic cancer, emphysema, arthritis, heart disease, and every other form of chronic illness. Smoking causes inflammation in the body which is just like throwing gasoline on the chronic illness inflammatory fire. Quit smoking now to save money today, and save your life tomorrow.

#17 Wear your Seat Belt and Helmet-Okay you may not need to do both of these at all times, but the leading cause of death in children and young adults is accidents. It takes you only a second or two to buckle up. That second could save your life. Buckling up is free. Do it.

#18 Write it Down- Freaking out about the economy? Not sure where your next groceries are coming from? Don’t know how you will fill up your car with gas to drive the next car pool? Worried that you are going to lose your house? Just let go from your job? Stressed out of your mind? Write all your worries down in to your journal. Now close the journal, and walk away, leaving your worries in the journal.

Purging yourself of your worries is therapeutic and reduces stress. Use your journal to move through the worry, don’t dwell on it. Dwelling on your worries does not facilitate any transformation processes, it just keeps you stagnant in your stress. Some worry is good. Chronic worrying means chronic stress. Chronic stress means chronic disease.

#19 Wash your Hands- With the cold and flu season upon us, the most important thing we can do to prevent illness is wash our hands. Always wash your hands before eating, after using the restroom, before touching your face, after sneezing and coughing, and after using a coworkers office space.

#20 Pray- A strong spiritual connection is always the key to surviving hard times. Researchers have found that chronically ill patients actually benefit from the prayers of others, even when they didn’t know others were praying for them! Whether you are praying for someone else, or praying for yourself, you are trusting Life and trusting God. Regardless of your religious standpoint, it is inarguable that prayer reduces stress for those that believe.

#21 Commit Kindness- Kindness is free, and is the purported driving force that “keeps the world going ’round”. Everyone needs kindness right now. Be kind to yourself, be kind to your family, your coworkers, your colleagues, your friends. Be kind to strangers, to telemarketers, to bill collectors, be kind to the homeless, to children, to adults in need, to pets, be kind to everyone that you encounter whether they deserve it or not.

Now is the BEST time to “Commit random acts of kindles and senseless beauty”. You may have problems, but are they an emergency or an inconvenience? Chances are they are just an inconvenience. Now is the time to reach out not retract in.

Now is certainly not the time to let your health fall apart, frankly none of us can afford it. Instead, follow as many of these simple and free preventative medicine tips to insure that you don’t miss any days of work. Stay positive to prevent stress from facilitating the formation of a chronic disease in your body. During these tough times when many do not have medical insurance, we all need to stay as strong and happy and healthy as possible.

Feel free to forward on these simple tips to anyone else that may benefit.

Reference: http://KitchenTableMedicine.com

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen table! Feel free to subscribe, leave comments, or ask me any questions about preventative medicine.

~Dr. Nicole Sundene

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

How ANYONE Can be a Naturopath in 10 Simple Steps

shutterstock_10382539By Dr. Nicole Sundene

One day a student from UW Med School followed me around on my Bastyr Internship Rounds and said, “is being a Naturopathic Doctor all about fish oil and probiotics?”

To which I responded, “pretty much.”

As much as this is a little tongue in cheek humor for my colleagues, I hope you all will be reminded of the pillars of health.

Plus I don’t have all the time in the world to nag everyone on the planet so here is how you can help Dr. Nicole on her nagging mission:

#1 Tell everyone to investigate and TREAT THE ROOT CAUSE of their health problem. Remember that “Disease is Our Teacher” and symptoms are the only way the body can send messages that something has gone haywire. Read more

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

What is Acupuncture?

PhotobucketIs there anything you would like to know about acupuncture?

Well today is your lucky day, as I interviewed Eric Martin, LAC one of Bastyr Clinic’s finest acupuncturists.

On top of that, Eric is a walking Rolodex of herbal information. I first met Eric in an advanced Botany class, as he was one of the teachers at the time, and I stuck to him like glue writing down everything he said about every plant we walked by.

So, since so many friends and family ask me about acupuncture, I thought I would take you all straight to the source. The following interview questions are the ones I most commonly get:

How does the philosophy of Chinese Medicine differ from Traditional Western medicine?

There are far more differences than similarities between Chinese medicine and Western medicine. The analogy I like to use is that Western medicine tends to view the body like a machine, whereas Chinese medicine views the body like a garden. In the western “machine” paradigm, you tend to view the body as unique, individual, yet connected parts. If someone has a bad knee, you take it out a put in a new one. Are you low on a particular nutrient? Just take a supplement.

In the garden paradigm, there is a focus on the balance of the entire system. Primarily Chinese medicine is asking are things too hot or too cold? Too wet or too dry? If, for example things are too wet, we need to know why things are too wet. Again just like a garden, is there too much rain? Not enough sun? Or maybe the soil simply is not draining properly. Any of these conditions would lead to too much dampness, but each would be remedied differently.

Interestingly, I think both the machine and garden systems of thinking are useful. In many ways the human body is like a machine; but I believe the human condition is much more like a garden.

Another fundamental difference between the western and eastern view, is that while western medicine is focused largely on form, Chinese medicine is almost entirely concerned with function. This can be clearly seen when contrasting the “spleen” in western and eastern medicines.

A western medical doctor could tell you where the spleen is located, what size it is, what types of cells it is composed of, etc. Chinese medicine on the other hand, views the spleen entirely as a set of functions. The “spleen” in Chinese medicine is all about the metabolism of nutrients, from digestion, absorption, and utilization throughout the body. From a western stand point these processes take place across multiple organs, but in Chinese medicine the entire process of absorbing and utilizing the energy stored in food is attributed to the spleen.

Does acupuncture hurt?

This is a tricky question. No, acupuncture does not hurt, but neither is it without sensation. First, acupuncture needles are extremely thin, a little thicker than the width of a human hair, a bit thinner than your cat’s whiskers.

The sensation of an acupuncture needle is nothing at all like a hypodermic needle. Acupuncture needles, when correctly inserted, will often illicit a dull, or heavy sensation at the point of insertion. Most patients actually enjoy the sensation. As my patients grow more comfortable with the process they actually will let me know if they are not feeling anything, because they know that heavy “Qi” sensation means the needle is working.

Are there any side effects to acupuncture?

Serious side effects of acupuncture are very rare. The most common side effect of acupuncture is bruising at the site of needle insertion. Some patients may experience what is known as “needle sickness” which is a temporary sense of faintness or light headedness. If you have had problems with needles in the past (fainting with piercings, or injections) you should discuss this with your acupuncturist prior to treatment

What do you recommend for patients with a fear of needles?

Acupuncture is not for everyone. If you have a serious aversion to needles, you may want to consider other options. I do work with several patients who I do not needle, but instead use tuning forks held at acupuncture points and Chinese herbal medicine.

PhotobucketWhat kinds of conditions does acupuncture best help?

Almost anything. Acupuncture is a complete system of medicine developed over thousands of years, as such its application is very wide. That is not to say that every patient will benefit, but the vast majority of patients will find some level of benefit, regardless of the condition.

That being said, the most commonly used and widely accepted application of acupuncture is for pain. Both chronic and acute pain responds well to acupuncture, and there is a growing body of research that supports the use of acupuncture for pain relief.

The World Health Organization has done an extensive review of acupuncture research conducted over the past 20 years and in 2003 published the following list of conditions:

1. Diseases, symptoms or conditions for which acupuncture has been proved-through controlled trials-to be an effective treatment:

  • Adverse reactions to radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy
  • Allergic rhinitis (including hay fever)
  • Biliary colic
  • Depression (including depressive neurosis and depression following stroke)
  • Dysentery, acute bacillary
  • Dysmenorrhoea, primary
  • Epigastralgia, acute (in peptic ulcer, acute and chronic gastritis, and gastrospasm)
  • Facial pain (including craniomandibular disorders)
  • Headache
  • Hypertension, essential
  • Hypotension, primary
  • Induction of labour
  • Knee pain
  • Leukopenia
  • Low back pain
  • Malposition of fetus, correction of
  • Morning sickness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Neck pain
  • Pain in dentistry (including dental pain and temporomandibular dysfunction)
  • Periarthritis of shoulder
  • Postoperative pain
  • Renal colic
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Sciatica
  • Sprain
  • Stroke
  • Tennis elbow

2. Diseases, symptoms or conditions for which the therapeutic effect of acupuncture has been shown but for which further proof is needed:

  • Abdominal pain (in acute gastroenteritis or due to gastrointestinal spasm)
  • Acne vulgaris
  • Alcohol dependence and detoxification
  • Bell’s palsy
  • Bronchial asthma
  • Cancer pain
  • Cardiac neurosis
  • Cholecystitis, chronic, with acute exacerbation
  • Cholelithiasis
  • Competition stress syndrome
  • Craniocerebral injury, closed
  • Diabetes mellitus, non-insulin-dependent
  • Earache
  • Epidemic haemorrhagic fever
  • Epistaxis, simple (without generalized or local disease)
  • Eye pain due to subconjunctival injection
  • Female infertility
  • Facial spasm
  • Female urethral syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia and fasciitis
  • Gastrokinetic disturbance
  • Gouty arthritis
  • Hepatitis B virus carrier status
  • Herpes zoster (human (alpha) herpesvirus
  • Hyperlipaemia
  • Hypo-ovarianism
  • Insomnia
  • Labour pain
  • Lactation, deficiency
  • Male sexual dysfunction, non-organic
  • Ménière disease
  • Neuralgia, post-herpetic
  • Neurodermatitis
  • Obesity
  • Opium, cocaine and heroin dependence
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Pain due to endoscopic examination
  • Pain in thromboangiitis obliterans
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (Stein-Leventhal syndrome)
  • Postextubation in children
  • Postoperative convalescence
  • Premenstrual syndrome
  • Prostatitis, chronic
  • Pruritus…itching.
  • Radicular and pseudoradicular pain syndrome
  • Raynaud syndrome, primary
  • Recurrent lower urinary-tract infection
  • Reflex sympathetic dystrophy
  • Retention of urine, traumatic
  • Schizophrenia
  • Sialism, drug-induced
  • Sjögren syndrome
  • Sore throat (including tonsillitis)
  • Spine pain, acute
  • Stiff neck
  • Temporomandibular joint dysfunction Tietze syndrome
  • Tobacco dependence
  • Tourette syndrome
  • Ulcerative colitis, chronic
  • Urolithiasis
  • Vascular dementia
  • Whooping cough (pertussis)

The entire WHO report can be found here

Are there any research studies showing acupuncture to be efficacious?

There is a lot of research validating the effectiveness of acupuncture. The National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine says this about the current body of acupuncture research:

“There have been many studies on acupuncture’s potential health benefits for a wide range of conditions.”

Summarizing earlier research, the 1997 NIH Consensus Statement on Acupuncture found that, overall, results were hard to interpret because of problems with the size and design of the studies.

In the years since the Consensus Statement was issued, the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) has funded extensive research to advance scientific understanding of acupuncture. Some recent NCCAM-supported studies have looked at:

  • Whether acupuncture works for specific health conditions such as chronic low-back pain, headache, and osteoarthritis of the knee.
  • How acupuncture might work, such as what happens in the brain during acupuncture treatment.
  • Ways to better identify and understand the potential neurological properties of meridians and acupuncture points.
  • Methods and instruments for improving the quality of acupuncture research.

Eric Martin is a licensed acupuncturist and supervises clinical shifts at the Bastyr Center for Natural Health where he works with patients in both Team Care and Practitioner Care settings. Eric is also an adjunct faculty member at Bastyr University where he teaches classes on backpacking and the use of herbal medicine in the wilderness.

Additionally Eric is the owner of GoodMedizen Acupuncture and Herbs located in downtown Seattle. With

training and degrees in acupuncture, Chinese herbalism and western/scientific based botanical medicine, Eric is uniquely qualified in the field of natural health.

Eric Martin practices a different style of Oriental medicine from most acupuncturists in the United States. Rather than inserting needles directly into, or in close proximity to, the area of pain or discomfort; only points well away from the area of pain are used.

The acupuncture points used in this style of treatment are located from the elbows to the fingers, from the knees to the toes, on the scalp and ears. As a result, the patient never has to take off their clothes and the treatments are efficient, comfortable and effective.

More information about acupuncture and Eric Martin, LAC is available at: www.goodmedizen.com

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

Anti-aging Tip: Eat Dates!

PhotobucketBy Rod Newbound, RN

Although the exact origin of the date palm is lost in antiquity, it is known to have been used in construction of the temple of the moon god near Ur in Southern Iraq (Mesopotamia) as early a 4000 BC.

Dates were considered very important in both the Jewish and Islamic religions, and were believed to be a curative for many ailments.

Ancient Phoenicia was known as “the land of palms” and no doubt dates sustained them as they sailed around the Mediterranean and became the predominate maritime trading culture of the time.

Nutritional Powerhouse

Dates are one of the most nourishing natural foods. Containing 3,000 calories per kilogram (2.2 lbs.), just a handful taken with a glass of milk, can provide all the nutrition a person needs for the entire day. And because the natural sugars in dates are fructose and glucose, diabetics can safely consume them. Read more

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

Scientists Discover How Cranberries Prevent Bladder Infections

PhotobucketBy Rod Newbound, RN, Anti-Aging Expert

Although it’s been known for several years that cranberries can prevent urinary tract infections, up until now, the exact mechanism has remained a mystery. But in a newly published study, scientists at Worcester Polytechnic Institute say they’ve discovered the secret.

They found that virulent bacteria, like the kind that create urinary tract infections, have hair-like projections called fimbriae that attach to the wall of the bladder. Their studies showed that even low concentrations of cranberry juice created a thermodynamic energy shield that keeps these nasty creatures from getting a foothold.

No Harm To Friendly Bacteria

Because the good bacteria don’t have these fimbriae, they aren’t affected. This is important, because our bodies have billions of good bacteria that provide protection from such gut wrenching disease organisms like Clostridium difficile.
Unpublished work also shows cranberry juice has potent effects on disease-causing bacteria, but that the effect is temporary. This suggests that in order to have continuous protection; you will need to consume some form of cranberry regularly – perhaps daily.

Cranberries, a Superfood You Should Enjoy Year Round

  • Cranberries are higher in antioxidants than strawberries, spinach, broccoli, red grapes, apples, raspberries, and cherries. With 8,983 total antioxidant capacity per cup, only cultivated blueberries outrank them.
  • Besides being naturally high in Vitamin C, cranberries also contain calcium, folate, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, sulfer, vitamin A, vitamin B-1, Vitamin B-2, vitamin B-3, vitamin B-5, vitamin E, and zinc.
  • Rich in a dozen phytochemicals (phytonutrients). Phytochemicals work in a number of different ways to prevent disease, even cancer.
  • Proanthocyanidins present in cranberries are responsible for their anti-adhesion properties. In addition, these proanthocyanidins promote dental health since they inhibit the bacterial growth that causes plaque.
  • A 2001 study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry revealed this red berry (in its pure form) contained the highest quantity of disease-fighting phenols, a type of antioxidant that is thought to reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as cancer, stroke and heart disease.
  • Cranberries are also a good source of resveratrol, the component of red wine that makes it so good for you.

How to Get Your Cranberries Without Terrorizing Your Body With High Calorie Sugars

  • Sugar is not only highly addictive; it’s absorbed directly into the blood stream from your stomach, which upsets the natural chemical balance of your body. In addition, sugar has zero nutrient value.
  • Pure fresh cranberries have only 45 calories per cup, but when sugar is added, the result tips the scale…
  • 140 calories from 1/3 cup sweetened dried cranberries. Note: Craisins (by Ocean Spray) is sweetened with sugar, but Eden Foods offers dried cranberries sweetened with apple juice. Same amount of calories, but better for you.
  • 130 calories from 8 oz. of cranberry juice cocktail (sweetened with sugar)
    5 calories from 8 oz. of Ocean Spray diet cranberry juice cocktail (sweetened with fruit juice and Sucralose). Note: Since research has shown Sucralose can cause the thymus gland to shrink, I wouldn’t recommend it. The thymus is important to your immune system.
  • 258 calories from 1/3 cup of jellied cranberry sauce
  • After an exhaustive search, I finally found unsweetened dried cranberries at Purcell Mountain Farms.

Action Plan: Add the Thanksgiving fruit to your weekly diet. Try them in salads, muffins, pancakes, breads, cheese spreads, on peanut butter sandwiches, etc. You can find unsweetened cranberry juice at some health food stores.

Since it’s very sour, you can either sweeten it with honey (heat them in a sauce pan until the honey dissolves into the juice), dilute with equal parts of pure blueberry juice (blueberries prevent bladder infections likely through the same mechanism) or make cranberry vinaigrette to serve on your salads.

Rod Newbound is a 58 year old Registered Nurse who teaches his patients how to live longer and better. Stop by AntiAgingHacks.com for more great Anti-Aging Tips!

“Healthy longevity – the adventure of your life.”

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

Natural Treatment for Seborrheic Dermatitis, Cradle Cap, Dandruff, and Itchy Scalp

aloe.jpgAn itchy dry, flaky scalp is typically “seborrheic dermatitis” commonly referred to as dandruff in adults and “cradle cap” in babies. Most standard anti-fungal shampoos, topical steroids, and topical treatments such as selenium sulfide and pyrithione zinc typically only provide temporary relief because they are not addressing the root cause of the problem.

The fact that the body is out of balance must be addressed or the shampoo will simply not be enough. Although I do agree these shampoos are helpful for reducing symptoms while the actual cause is treated, they frankly are not the “be all end all”.

First of all seborrheic dermatitis is an inflammatory condition of the scalp that can manifest in the form of mild dandruff to dense, greasy scaling of the scalp. Mild cases of dandruff will typically resolve with the addition of fish oil, biotin and b-complex, zinc, and selenium, however more severe cases of seborrheic dermatitis will require further investigation. Read more

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

The 17 Grooviest Green Foods

#1 Cabbage: Of course since we are celebrating St. Patties Day we MUST celebrate cabbage! Recently I went to an Irish Pub and ordered corned beef and cabbage, and was horrified to find out that the beef is “corned” because it is brined with corn sized pieces of salt!

Hold the corned beef, but keep the cabbage because it is a powerful cancer fighter thanks to the indole-3-carbinol content. This is also a great breast cancer preventative for women as it decreases the “bad estrogen” and increases the “good estrogen.”

Meaning that the estrogen known to increase reproductive cancers is eliminated.

#2 Olive Oil: I cannot speak highly enough for the virtues of using olive oil as your primary cooking oil in your kitchen. When baking or cooking at temps greater than 340F switch to canola oil. Otherwise, olive oil is a RICH antioxidant source as I stated in my article, “Olive Oil Prevents DNA Damage.” If olive oil is NOT green….it is NOT good. Read more

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

Natural Medicines for Public Speaking, Singing & Sore Throats

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Everyone is always “Kissing the Blarney Stone” in Ireland for what is said to be “good luck,” however upon my further investigation, the luck that you are receiving is the gift of gab, eloquence, flattery, and art of persuasion.

We can all stand to communicate a bit better, and for those that are public speakers or singers one must not only take care of their voice to prevent laryngitis, but also stay focused and tuned in to their lecture topic and audience.

The following list of my “blarniest” natural medicines was designed with the intent to protect the throat as well as keep the mind engaged for optimal eloquence.

#1 Marshmallow: Now I am not recommending that you eat marshmallows unfortunately, I am recommending the herb Althea Officianalis, also known as marshmallow root. This herb falls in the “demulcent herb” category along with Slippery Elm, and Licorice Root. Demulcent herbs coat and lubricate tissues. Make a tea with marshmallow root, or look for an herbal tea formula containing the aforementioned herbs and sip as needed.

#2 Olive Oil: Known as a natural remedy for Opera singers, many gargle with olive oil before singing to lubricate their vocal chords. Adding more olive oil in to your diet should be sufficient enough, use it as your primary cooking oil when cooking below 340F, otherwise use cold pressed canola oil. Read: “Olive Oil Prevents DNA Damage”

#3 Water: In addition to proper oils, water plays an essential role in “hydrolipic hydration,” meaning that being dehydrated is NOT just about not having enough water in your system, you need 60-80 ounces of water daily depending on your size and activity level as well as good oils. Cellular membranes keep water in cells, and they are mainly comprised of the good fats.

#4 Slippery Elm: If you have tried those pink Thayer’s lozenges then you have had slippery elm. Read more

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

Aunt Sally’s $10,000 Chicken Recipe Gets a Makeover

My Aunt Sally won $10,000 for this recipe, plus it is lowfat, simple, and delicious!

This is my slightly healthier spin on it as I use olive oil instead of butter, brown rice instead of white, and lowfat sour cream rather than full fat.

Preparation:

  • Rinse and trim fat off four boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • Marinate for at least 30 minutes (recipe below)
  • Heat skillet over medium high heat, then add 1-2 tablespoons olive or canola oil.
  • Sear chicken breasts on medium high heat for a few seconds on each side, and reduce heat to medium or medium low depending on your stove. Read more
Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

Make Your Exercise Time Count in 3 Simple Steps

By Bonnie Pfiester, Fitness Trainer

Diet and exercise are not hard but take time. Unfortunately time is not something most people have a lot of.

Ironically, people end up wasting a lot of time because they don’t manage their time wisely.

They spend too much time doing one thing, not enough time doing important things or wasting time doing anything and everything but the right thing. When people feel as though their effort does not match their results, they give up.

I want to encourage you! Here are 3 simple steps to help you make the most of your time.

1. Take more time to eat less. You look like what you eat more than you look like what you do. The catch is eating right takes time. The whole process starts with grocery shopping. If you don’t shop well, you can’t expect to eat well. Then you have to prepare the food and do whatever it takes to make sure you have healthy food with you at all times. Packing lunches and snacks are a vital part of avoiding temptation.

Paying closer attention to calories and portion sizes will also require some time but the payoff is tremendous.

2. Take less time to exercise more. Many people invest a lot of time in what they would call exercise, but is often just increased activity. Although activity is good for your health, it’s not as effective for weight loss.

Many people are just going through the motions and wasting a lot of time doing minimal effort. Really burn some calories by turning a long morning stroll into a purposeful power walk. If you do weights, train at a higher intensity with less rest in between.

You don’t have to spend three hours at the gym everyday. Commit to one powerful hour three to five days a week and make every minute count! The more quality time you invest, the greater the reward.

3. Take the time to make sure you are not wasting time. This is a biggie. People spend a lot of time and energy on things that don’t work. Fad diets, weight loss gimmicks, books and fitness magazines often lead you to believe weight loss can be easy. It’s our human nature to try the easy way first. In the end, we just waste a lot of time trying to avoid the inevitable. Other people struggle because they completely go it alone with no guidance at all.

A person who is basically guessing their way through their fitness program is doomed for failure. Don’t waste your time floundering around aimlessly. Invest a little time initially to be properly guided. Hire a professional if you need to. Diet and fitness does work.

If you take time to understand why and how it works, you’ll be a lot more motivated to apply it to your own life.

~Bonnie 
www.LongevityClubs.com

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

Night Sweats

Night sweats or night time “hot flashes” can be a very frustrating problem for women in menopause or peri-menopause.

Typically a hot flash is an experience of intense heat with sweating and increased heartbeat. The hot flash can last for a few minutes or up to 30 minutes.

Usually the sensation of heat begins on the face or chest, or back of the neck and then spreads throughout the entire body. The skin will feel hot to the touch.

Recently I received this reader question:

Q: “I’m a 44 year old female, and several nights a month I get “night sweats.” About 10 years ago, my doctor suggested using Evening Primrose Oil, which helped for a while, but doesn’t any longer. Any suggestions? What else can I try for night sweats?” Read more

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

Why You Should Lighten Your Purse and Lose Your Wallet

The days of big fat leather wallets loaded with long roles of plastic sheathed photos of friends, family, and girlfriends are over, thanks to modern day technology.

Large wallets were so 1987!

The new wallet is the “money clip” one simple tip I always give men with low back pain, neck pain, hip/hamstring/knee problems, is to check their wallet for unneeded items and then shift the wallet to the front of their pants or carry it in a jacket pocket.

It’s amazing how simply sitting on a large wadded up leather wallet all day long can throw a body out of whack.

Now let’s get one thing perfectly straight….I am in no way as a doctor endorsing fanny packs *shudder* unless they are those Kevlar kind from REI that kind of look cool. ;)

Part of being healthy and feeling good is checking in on the ergonomics of our posture, and physical structure from time to time. Read more

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

My Basic Vitamin Program

“What Vitamins Should I Take?”

Is the most common question I get as a Naturopathic Physician.

I typically believe the average person that doesn’t eat “perfectly” ie:

  • Eats the “Basic American Diet” (BAD) of white refined, processed foods
  • Doesn’t consume 5-9 servings of fruits and veggies daily
  • Eats Fast Food several times a week Read more
Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

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