How to Quit Smoking

By Life Coach, Tim Brownson

As a certified hypnotherapist people sometimes call me for help with quitting smoking. The first question I ask them is why they want to stop? That usually generates a look of horror akin to if I’d asked them if they could marry their 13-year-old daughter have a goat as the Maid of Honor and Michael Jackson as my best man.

However, there is a positive intention behind every action you commit even if sometimes it isn’t immediately apparent. That applies to smoking too.

Until you accept that there is an upside to the habit that you’d like to break then you will struggle with breaking it because you are in conflict with your unconscious mind (and your unconscious mind will always win that particular battle). After all, if there really were no upside you wouldn’t do it.

Firstly, you have to want to change. By that I mean it’s not usually enough to want to want to, you need to actually want to. Make sense? What do you mean “Not really sure?” Ok, seeing as it’s you and you’re having a tough day I’ll explain in a bit more detail.

You may well want to give up because you know it’s healthier not to smoke, it’s expensive and makes you feel like a social pariah. That is wanting to want to. A real desire to stop is a different proposition altogether and most people know it when they feel it. You don’t have to justify it to yourself with you just know you want to quit.

Most ex-smokers will tell you that they positively knew when they had made the decision to quit for good. They’ll also often tell you that it felt great and they just knew they would never smoke again,

When you know you want to definitely quit, you then need to look at the ecology of quitting. Will you have to avoid certain places for the short-term? Are there other family members or close friends that smoke that need to understand you’re quitting? If they’re not supportive and will try and tempt you to the dark side, can you actually just avoid them completely?

Don’t underestimate the importance of being aware of the ecology. This is something that people frequently fail to take into account. As a result they fail and don’t really know why.

Now look for the REAL reason you want to quit. Good health isn’t enough. Why do you want that good health? Dig deep with this one. We’re into the realms of values now and we want to get to the core of who you are as a person and what really motivates and drives you.

The greater the motivation, the better the chance of success, so really tap into what you want to achieve in your life and keep this in the forefront of your mind because it’s why you’re going through this.

Now you’re ready to set a date between 2 and 4 weeks away for your new behavior to start. Times of year that you may associate with smoking like New Years and vacations (unless you’re off on a Buddhist retreat) are usually less than ideal. Write the date down in your planner and stick to it.

Tell everybody and anybody that means anything o you what you are planning to do. If you have kids of an age that can understand, make a promise to them too. Then tell the rest of the world too. When I did something similar with all sorts of stuff from alcohol to red meat, I blogged about it.

Start using positive language. You’re not trying to quit, you have quit. Dump the word try because it implies failure.

Make a list of what you have to gain from quitting and post it where you see it everyday. Look past the obvious things like health and money. Do you want an improved sense of taste and smell and more energy? How about being able to relax after a great meal rather than huddling outside in the rain just so you can have a cigarette? What others can you think of?

Now make a list of what you have to lose if you fail. Promise that you will read it whenever you feel the urge to backslide. Again, don’t limit this to death and poverty because there’s a lot more to go at than that.

The really crucial part of all this is to move yourself to a state where you no longer see yourself as a smoker. You remove it from your identity completely.

Visualize yourself every night and first thing in the morning as the person that you want to be. Do this before you even start the change process. See what you will look like. Hear what you will sound like and feel what you will feel like. Really take time to savoir the new you! Play about with the picture and sounds in your head and make them as appealing as possible to you.

Importantly with the visualization, see yourself dealing with and overcoming temptation with ease and confidence and know that is a behavior available to you.

Optional extra. If you have the stomach for this, a really powerful thing to do is research the effects of smoking on health. With the Internet it’s not difficult to do and you can be looking at pictures of the gruesome effects smoking can have on the human body in no time at all.

If you succumb, use it as a learning experience and not an excuse to beat yourself up. Look at what caused the brief set back and start again even more determined to be the person you want to be!

The above strategy can undoubtedly help you quit smoking. However, if you can use it conjunction with hypnotherapy and you are committed to quitting, then I think the odds are stacked heavily in your favor. You may also want to check out the NLP technique developed by Richard Bandler called ‘The Swish Pattern’ which can be very powerful.

Tim Brownson is a life coach and the author of the fabulous little book of questions “Don’t ask Stupid Questions”.

Feel free to subscribe to his newsletter, grab a copy of his book, or check in for more life coaching tips at aDaringAdventure.com.

To learn more about Tim and his life coaching techniques you may also read an interview at the kitchen table “What is a Life Coach?”. If you are a health professional and would like to be interviewed at the kitchen table, simply contact us.

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 ™

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 ™

Superfoods! Superfoods? And Superfood Supplements?

By Dr. Jody Stanislaw, Naturopathic Physician

shutterstock_11241226Superfoods! I’m sure you’ve heard the buzz. But what exactly is the buzz all about anyway? What are superfoods? Do you really need to eat superfoods? What are the benefits? How do you choose which superfoods are best for you? Well, wonder no longer. Lets get right to the answers…

No surprise to anyone is the fact that humans today are busier and have more on their plate, so to speak, than ever before. We eat on the run, often literally standing up. We grab ready made meals as we rush to our next appointment. We finish meals in minutes, gulping down food that not only have we not been fully present for as we chew but have barely even chewed fully before swallowing. 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 ™

Super Foods!

By Dr. Nicole Sundene

Introducing favorite superfoods and their recipes is an occasional feature here at the Kitchen Table. By gradually “making friends” with the most healthy foods from nature and learning how to incorporate them in to your diet you should notice a remarkable improvement in your health.

Most superfoods are simply high in anti-oxidants and thus slow down the natural destructive process of the tissues in our bodies. Eating a diet rich in antioxidants will help to prevent aging as well as a myriad of other chronic complaints and inflammation.

Other superfoods are super because they are rich in certain vitamins, minerals or other nutrients that benefit the body in a significant way.

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 ™

Environmental Working Group

babyhappyNothing is more important to us than protecting our children. Which is precisely why we’re huge fans of Environmental Working Group (EWG.org).

Feeding our children should be about choosing first foods, messy bibs, and learning to use a cup – not keeping tabs on scientifc research to avoid harmful chemicals like bisphenol-A (BPA).

We want EWG at the table, advocating for our kids – and yours – so their health is no longer compromised by toxic chemicals like BPA, which is dangerous to kids’ growing bodies, implicated in diseases and problems such as diabetes, heart disease, neurological disorders, and cancer. 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 ™

Bastyr Herb Fair June 6th!

Mark your calenders! June 6th is the Bastyr Herb Fair!

Our own “Doc Martin” - Eric Martin, Acupuncturist and master herbalist, will be leading herb walks at this year’s 11th Annual Bastyr Herb Fair! I probably won’t be there because I don’t like crowds of people… and already know it all! (Just kidding). Anyway, this is a fun free time for friends and family.

Be sure to try the acupressure foot path! I plan to talk about how to make your own foot path soon. It is pretty simple - anyone who can pour a cement path can do it. You just need to stick some smooth river rocks about halfway in to properly massage the feet.

This is a great opportunity learn a bit more about herbs! 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 Beatles and Bipolarism

“I Want You So Bad” By The Beatles

“Here Comes the Sun”  By The Beatles

In order to view the above videos if viewing from my newsletter, you will have to click the title “Beatles and Bipolarism” in your newsletter to go straight to the article. (Sorry the video doesn’t show up! I’m not that smart yet with my coding skills! “Progress not perfection.”)

By Dr. Nicole Sundene

If there were ever to be a classic musical moment to portray bipolarism it would be done, of course, by none other than the Beatles on the classic “Abbey Road” album.  The sudden and rapid transition of the dark depressing instrumentals of ”I Want You So Bad (She’s So Heavy)” abruptly, and (thankfully I might add) stop and then suddenly, the twinkling of the next delightful song comes on, “Here Comes the Sun.”

Now the beauty of music is that we can cultivate that which is in our souls. We can replicate how we feel through our music, which is why I encourage every child to learn a musical instrument….especially the frustrated, complicated, constantly angry, and sensitive types.

If you have a child like this, I highly recommend you keep trying instruments on them until you find one that sticks. Don’t make it a punishment either. Don’t set a timer. God forbid, don’t buy a metronome. Just let it be the gift that it should be for them.

If you aren’t depressed or bipolar, it is tough to understand and have empathy for people afflicted by these conditions.  Depressed people don’t carry around IV poles, they don’t really look sick, they may actually appear to be some of the happiest most sunshiny and smiley people you know.  Carl Jung would call this “the mask that we wear,” and Jim Carey portrayed that fabulous ability to wear a mask in the movie, “The Mask.”

I’m sure you’ve seen a manic person or two dancing on the street corner.  But there are manic people all around us overeating, overshopping, overdrinking, overdruggging, or just “over-overing” as Mary O’malley describes it.

Depression has very few clear physical signs, but a disease just like any other disease depression is.  It is easy to get a lot of needless sympathy when you are rocking a hot pink cast, but when you have a case of “The Mean Reds” as Audrey Hepburn describes them in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” no one can really gather what is wrong.  Half the time you don’t even know what’s wrong either.

Just like the “I Want You So Bad” dark dreary instrumental on the Beatle’s Abbey Road.  I have been listening to the album a number of times when many friends will just get up and fast forward to the next song. Too bad you can’t just push a button and have “Here Comes the Sun”  instantly playing in the background of your brain to drown out the dreariness.

But that is bipolarism for you in a nutshell.  Obviously I could get out my DSM IV diagnostic manual and rattle off a myriad of signs and symptoms.  But the Abby Road transition is exactly what demonstrates it best in my mind.  Dark and dreary….then back to sunlight….then back again…and who knows when the song will change next?

The beauty of music albums created with intention, such as this great classic, is that if you listen to the whole album from start to finish you realize that there is a point to it all,  “And in the end, the love you take, is equal to the love you make.”

Abby Road is not just a random collection of music.  When I listen to this album, I am reminded that life is a masterful collection of moments in itself.  Good, bad, ugly, sad, sweet, bittersweet, regretful, shameful, painful, but hopefully sprinkled with a lot of joy and seasoned heavily with laughter. Even if we are just laughing about how hard these economic times are.

Recently, a few of my friends have been to some dark places, and having visited those places myself, I have been worried about them.  But I would just like to remind you that each mood is part of a collection.  We are not our thoughts.  We are what we are.  Are thoughts are merely clouds existing in our existence.

The clouds are part of our conditioning.  Some days they are heavier than others.  Some days it is blue skies.  According to author Mary O’Malley, 96% of our lives are experienced by the time we are six years old, because children experience time differently.  Likely, whatever is clouding your existence stems back to your childhood, and whatever is coming up right now for you is exactly what is here today to help you heal those old wounds.

The conditioning is what is in front of your face holding you back from seeing the beauty and gifts that life has to offer all around you. The conditioning is what is making you angry, the conditioning is what is making you sad.  The conditioning is what makes you live in the same drama day after day.  The conditioning results in a bipolar version of “Ground Hog Day.”

The irony of the dark dark instrumental spin off of “I Want You So Bad,” is that it sounds like the ultimate in love songs.  Doesn’t it?  Don’t we all want someone to “want us SO bad?”  Who do you “want so bad?”  Why do you want them so bad?  Why do you want to be wanted so bad?

The person you should want the ”baddest” is yourself.

We fall in that dark dark hole of depression because the person that we want so bad is truly ourselves…and only we can be there for ourselves.  Instead we spin off on a dark dreary instrumental tangent for much too long because we can’t have who we want so bad.  And all you ever really need is you.

That is why Dr. Nicole is putting the “YOU” in the, “I want you so bad.”

I like to think of that song “I want you so bad”  when I am in the dark hole.  I like to ask myself… “Nicole what is it you really need to do for yourself that you are hoping someone else will do?”

And then I do it. That is if I can.  If you are very disabled by depression you will need to ask for help. Ask me, ask your friends, family, or depression support team.  Call your doctor.

Oprah said it best on her latest series of why she “fell off the wagon” and gained the weight back,  “It’s not a weight issue, it’s a love issue.”

Likewise, with depression, it is often a self love issue too.  Once we work through that and create some self-FULL time and self-LOVE and self-GRATITUDE we can easily get to the sweet spot….that light lovely tinkering of “Little Darling, the ice is slowly melting….here comes the sun…du in du du…and it’s alright.”

There’s a video at the top of this article in case you have no idea who the Beattles are, and in that case you must watch both videos, doctor’s orders.

Don’t be stopping by my kitchen table without expecting some sort of homework assignment. *wink*

~Dr. Nicole

Related reading:

Depression Tip: Mark Your Calendar

Seasonal Affective Disorder Self-Help

The Fifteen Most Fabulous Herbal Sedatives

Can You Always Think Positive?

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 Grow Your Hair Super Fast!

By Dr. Nicole Sundene

As I promised in my article, “It’s Hair Growing Season People!” we are all growing our hair out for Wigs for Kids (they only need 8”)! So I am going to talk about the best natural medicines for growing healthy, strong, shiny hair, super fast. After all we want those wigs looking good!

Spring and Summer are the best hair growing seasons, so to optimize the hair growing season let’s talk about the things that make hair grow FAST!

First and foremost Chinese Medicine considers hair the ”glory of the kidneys,” and what that crazy talk means is that your hair is an excess of your total well-being.

“Kidney chi” is our “energetic bank” in Chinese Medicine, and if our energetic bank is all dried up, then there is not much left over for such frivolties as hair! Think about it. The healthiest people naturally look beautiful.Second and most importantly, I would like to just say FLAXSEEDS, FLAXSEEDS, FLAXSEEDS! If you get nothing from this discussion on how to grow your hair faster, then just visit my article, “How to Unleash Your Inner Fabulosity!” and follow the instructions on adding 1-3 tablespoons of freshly ground flaxseeds to your daily routine. You can do up to three tablespoons twice daily if you are a flax seed fanatic like me.

On the advice of my vet, since fish oil gives my dog the runs, I now give my Golden Retriever freshly ground flaxseeds and in just a week his coat became shiny, less itchy, and the bare patches filled in (normally this time of year he pulls his hair out like a mad man.

Thirdly we want to have PROTEIN. Flaxseeds are a great source of omega 3 oils and protein, but I would also drink a protein smoothie a day; you can add your flaxseeds to the smoothie as I recommend in my “Favorite Smoothie Recipe.”

Omega Up! If you are doing the flaxseeds hard core, you are getting enough omega 3’s to ensure shiny strong hair, if not, then try a tablespoon of fish or flax oil daily (no cod liver oil for pregnant women because the vitamin A is a teratogen.)

Multivitamin: B-vitamins are crucial to hair growth as nearly the whole B family plays a role in hair growth.

Multimineral: A mineral rich diet is important for healthy hair growth. I like the Tri-Boron Plus by Twinlab, or visit this page or your local health food store for other high quality recommendations.

Biotin: Your multivitamin may not contain that much biotin so check the label and see if you are getting the RDA.

Skip the Sodium Lauryl Sulfate! A known carcinogen and skin irritant, look for SLS free shampoo’s.

Skip the daily shampooing! You can still rinse your hair every day and condition it, but daily shampooing is stripping your scalp of essential oils. This saves not just your hair, but your water and shampoo bill. See? You can afford that more expensive SLS free shampoo after all now….No excuses, organic isn’t really that much more expensive when you look at it as a whole.

Get a trim! Don’t forget to get a bit trimmed off your hair every couple of months (another great way to save money in these tough economic times.)

Try some handstands! Even if you aren’t a gymnast, you can still hang your head off the edge of the bed to increase blood flow to the scalp periodically throughout the day, or you can do some extra downward dogs if you are a yoga fiend like me.

Rosemary and Mint! The invigorating herbs of the Laminacea family bring more circulation to your scalp as I just talked about in the above handstand blurb. Rosemary has been associated with improving hair growth for quite some time.

You can try some of the shampoos available at eVitamins or your local health food store, or buy rosemary essential oil and add a few drops to your favorite shampoo. Start with 1-2 drops and then work up to about 5-10 drops of the pure essential oil (remember never apply any essential oil straight to the skin unless it is lavender.)

Silica! Horsetails have long been touted as hair growing herbs because of their high silica content; unfortunately as our soil becomes more toxic, I don’t feel comfortable using them unless they are certified organic. The reason for this is that they suck up minerals like silica from the soil along with toxic heavy metals such as cadmium and arsenic. I would instead ensure my multi-mineral formula contains about of silica.

Don’t OD on vitamins and minerals! Remember, we can only absorb so much and selenium toxicity, for instance, is associated with hair loss when we get up to the 1000mcg range.

Have a hair growing tip? Feel free to leave it in the comments section.

Related reading:

Acupuncture, Acupuncture, Acupuncture!

Dying to Look Good

Topical Natural Treaments for Seborrheic Dermatitis, Dandruff, Cradle Cap, and Itchy Scalp

Chlorine Shower Filter

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 ™

Letting Go: Danny Gokey American Idol

Author: Dr. Nicole Sundene

Last week on American Idol, many of us assumed it would be Danny vs Adam in the final showdown, until he was eliminated in a sudden and heart wrenching moment.

Tonight on American Idol we finally determine the Idol of season eight! Will it be Adam or will it be Kris?

I had been rooting for Danny since his very first audition, there was something undeniabably special about him….but it was a tough season.

Probably the best American Idol has ever had, and the Kindergarten Teacher inside of me wants to announce everyone as a winner!

I wasn’t just voting for youth pastor Danny because of his amazing voice, but because of his perseverance. His wife had died suddenly of congestive heart failure a month before the competition started; “Tragedy turned in to Triumph,” as Danny refers to it.

A friend passed along the information for the foundation created for Danny’s wife, Sophia’sHeart.org, and thought it would make for good kitchen table talk. She recommended reading his blog post telling how he was managing to cope with the severe depression brought on by the sudden death of his wife weeks before one of America’s biggest competitions.

“I felt like I had to put on a face for everybody to cover what was really going on inside. Deep down inside, I felt there was not hope for me and I really wanted to die. If I had not dealt with this, it probably could have somehow or someway took me out. So, I began pray and cry out to God for help and I believe I found the answer.

The answer I found was exactly this; “let go” or “cause yourself to let go”. I admit that answer was not appealing to me because I found no justice in it, and most of all it didn’t instantly remove any pain. But I knew that if I continued down this road it would have a price that I could never afford to pay.

You see, the cost of hanging on to the bitterness and anger was actually much greater than the cost of simply letting go. I was very reluctant to do it. At times it was hard and I literally had to cause myself (force myself) to let go. Letting go doesn’t mean forgetting about Sophia but does mean releasing the toxic emotions tied to the situation.”

I have a lot of admiration for someone who can pick themselves up and go on, anyone going through troubled times should take a few minutes to read the insightful blog post on his battle with depression and “letting go” of his wife’s unexpected death. So many of us hold on to everything….we carry around all this baggage from our past and our childhood.

I talk to patients that have been in counseling for years and they sit down and tell me everything that is wrong with them, they bring all these “labels” with them, they blame it all on their parents, or their molester, or their rapist, or their child hood bully, or their father’s death, or that they didn’t get enough attention as a child, they say, “I’m this way because someone else did ____________ to me,” and so forth.

They refuse to let it all go, instead they cling to their core hurts and core wounds, and as a doctor who believes in the mind/body/spirit of medicine….I know they will never be better until they forgive and let go.

Sometimes we have to forgive our abuser, sometimes we have to forgive our parents…. After all they are just human beings too, not demi-Gods…. I know BREAKING NEWS!!!

Let Danny Gokey be a remarkable example of “Letting Go” and trusting Life/God, however you choose to see it.

Even after his elimination he said, “What affirms me as an artist is… [my fans] because week after week they voted…and that shows me they believe in me and that they see something inside of me,” Danny said. “I want to tell them I love them, and I think that they’re the best out there.” Danny continues, “I was a nobody, and this show turned me into a somebody, and I’ll always be thankful for the roots that I came out of because I do believe that the best is yet to come for me, that this is not the end of the road. I’m just very grateful. I’m so thankful my life has turned around, and I can’t say it enough.” (Source)

Today’s Question: What in your life do you need to let go of? Anger, hatred, bitterness, guilt, shame, depression, anxiety, sadness? Are you tired of carrying around all that baggage? May is weight loss month and it is time for us to lose some weight. Let’s start with our own baggage.

Let’s be reminded by the strength of Danny Gokey that sometimes we just have to “let go.”

For more information on how Danny intends to use his gift for future fundraising endeavors visit: SophiasHeart.org.

If you are holding on to something and need to let go….find a rock and carry it around with you for a while, let the rock become the symbol of the thing that you need to let go of.

Squeeze the heat of your anger from your hands into it, cry your tears on it, let it rest on the place in your heart that hurts for a while, keep it in your pocket everywhere you go, or at least try to.

The attempt will remind you what a burden hanging on to this baggage from the past is.

Sleep with it under your pillow….and eventually realize that this rock is weighing you down….this rock needs to be let go. Then take some time down at a special place and throw that rock far into water.

Let go of the pain, let go of the past. Live in the present, don’t live in the past.

We cannot change the past, but we can change how the past affects us today.

Just don’t throw any suitcases in the ocean, or hit any birds or ducks on your therapeutic mission.

~Dr. Nicole

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 ™

Orange Patchouli by Aura Cacia

May 11, 2009 by Dr. Nicole Sundene  
Filed under Kitchen Sink, Lifestyle Tips

Personally I’m not a fan of the patchouli smell in general, but thought I would share this reader comment, just so Patchouli has a fair shot in the herbal limelight. ~Dr. Nicole

Hi Kat:

Thanks for recommending some great affordable natural beauty products!

I especially am enjoying the Aura Cacia aromatherapy line.

I absolutely love the ‘orange patchouli’ products by Aura Cacia. Both the body wash and the massage cream. The combination of orange and patchouli is a refreshing earthy mix that wakes me up in the morning and soothes my shoulders at night.

~Stephanie W.

Related reading:

Aura Cacia Essential Oil Diffusers Voted Best!

Aura Cacia Massage Products

Aura Cacia’s Lavender Harvest, Mommy’s Secret Weapon

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 ™

Etiquette: Disease and Dating

No, no, no… this is not a nag about STD’s and dating today, people!

This is a guest post from my favorite Relationship Columnist, and dear friend, “Miss Matchmaker” herself.

She has worked as a social worker, therapist, and has been a professional Matchmaker for the largest Matchmaking company on the Gulf Coast for the past 13 years, and her advice is always spot on.

When I heard this story, I was baffled and asked her to share it at the kitchen table.

Frankly, your health condition is no one’s business but your own, and if you are privileged to be privy of someone’s health condition you should never gossip about it, nor scapegoat it.

Please respect confidentiality with the same professionalism that doctors, nurses and HCPs everywhere kindly maintain thanks to The Hippocratic Oath which I highly recommend everyone in need of a little inspiration reads. ~Dr. Nicole

“The Etiquette of Disease and Dating”


By Denise Paravate, Missmatchmaker

Disease is a very serious component in the life of anyone who must deal with it on a daily basis. We have doctors who dictate treatment and therapy, and sometimes there are people who step in to help with the emotional aspects of disease, but how often is there someone at your side explaining to you the social components of disease when it comes to dating?

Several months ago I was involved in a relationship in which I had kept my physical history private. I did so for several reasons. Number one, I don’t look sick. Number two, I didn’t want to scare him away. This being the most popular route for people in the same situation as myself, I felt it worthy of discussion.

After dating for 6 weeks and spending several nights under the same roof, the inevitable happened. We had been out with friends, and previous to our social engagement we had a bit of a tat, so to speak. After a few cocktails, he pipes up with “well at least I don’t have to drug myself down every night before bed.” In front of all of our mutual friends, I explained to him that I had been diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis as a child, Fibromyalgia in college, and Peri-Menopause at the age of 35.

I explained that my evening cocktail of medications helps me to function as a “normal” person and that I was the kid who saw Disney for the first time in a wheel chair. I then went on to explain that I may not be able to ever have another child and that without my hormone pills, I would be the psycho woman throwing chairs out windows between hot flashes as I attempt to stand up from my wheelchair (of which I would be in because I didn’t take my RA meds) and I didn’t think that was a person he would enjoy meeting.

Lesson learned, maybe I should have told him sooner. People have preconceived notions about medications and what “sick” really is. As a matchmaker, I preach to my clients to always be honest with their dates, but at what point is too much information just too much information…

When it comes to dating I believe that yes, honesty is the best way, but “TMI” (too much information) can sometimes scare the potential suitor away. So what is the best policy? From my own experiences I must say that it is probably best to keep things on a need to know basis. I don’t necessarily believe that it is something that should be shared on a first or second date. When it gets to the point where you are seeing someone on a regular basis and they are learning your daily routine, then it may be time to fill them in.

I don’t like the idea of keeping secrets and that is not what I am trying to imply. All I am saying is that if you live with chronic disease, life is hard enough and if you plan on sharing your life with someone, they have the right to know just how hard it is. I think now looking back that the best way to handle the situation would be to talk about it first and educate the other person about your particular issues.

Some people may be scared to do so because they would not want to discourage a blooming relationship, but understand that if you try to keep it a secret, chances are it will blow up in your face at some point later anyway. If that person chooses to not be with you because of the challenges you face, then that just means it was not the person for you and maybe it is best you move on.

Dating is hard enough. Disease is even harder. Combining the two can be a challenge!

~Denise Paravate

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 ™

Dr. Nicole’s Opinion on Your Kid’s Facebook Profile

By Dr. Nicole Sundene

Since I am a doctor of a younger Facebooking generation, I understand social networking like Facebook, Myspace, Friendster, Twitter and so forth, better than the average bear.

I also use a few of them myself to promote Kitchen Table Medicine.

At a recent family gathering the topic of kids on Facebook came up.

As my sister stated, “I think the age group for Facebook is about 35 and under,” and she is somewhat right.

Since I am on Facebook to promote Kitchen Table Medicine (please become a fan of my group so I can “look cool” to my sponsors…I know – shameless!) I have come across some odd characters…even for me!

For an adult, it is as simple as “X”ing them out of my world or hitting the delete button.
With 800 “friends”, I never hesitate to delete someone who is negative or has possible ill intentions; however, your child should not have these “cyberfriends” – they should only be allowed to be friends with people they know in real life (RLF if you want to sound hip!)

Facebook Do’s:

  • Do allow your fourteen year old child to have an account that you monitor until they are 18 years of age. Since “everyone else is doing it” now, being too stringent may cause consequences stemming from over-parenting; try to compromise.  Obviously the safest choice is to keep them offline completely. Make sure they understand it is a joint account that you have the right to log in to every day and check out if you wish. The more transparency that exists between you and your child, the safer your child is from internet predators.
  • Do ask a friend or family member that spends a lot of time on the site your child wants to be on to request them as a friend and check in on their page every day if it is something you don’t have time to do. For all my little cousins….Dr. Nicole is WATCHING YOU!!!
  • Do keep your computer in an open family room area, so that whatever they are doing online is seen by everyone else in the household.
  • Do have access to the log in and password to their account. Remember as I stated in “How to Keep Your Kids off Drugs” any illegal actions they commit on the internet, or otherwise, you may be held legally liable for until they are 18. Furthermore, your child may not even be aware they are committing a crime. Common sense rarely sets in before teendom!
  • Do check out all their friends and make sure they are the friends you know.
  • Do be stylish about it! Coco Chanel, the queen of simple accessories, has it right when it comes to accessorizing your child’s Facebook account. Do not allow for multiple pictures, and definitely do not allow for any personal information, such as the school they go to or the town they live in, on their profile. If they argue about this, settle for allowing their school as their only bit of “info” aside from their “about me” section.
  • Do have adequate anti-virus protection on your computer. As I discuss below, these social media sites are filled with pedophiles, internet thieves, phishers and scammers. So watch out. I would use one computer for online banking/purchasing and keep the family computer out in the family room, kitchen, or most popular area for everyone to share.  Educate your child on these phishing scams and tell them to ALWAYS check the browser to make sure they are logging in to www.facebook.com and not something that looks very similar to that.
  • Do add your own helpful Facebook tip for other parents struggling with these same issues.

Facebook Don’ts:

  • Don’t let child under the age of 14 have an account. A seven year old child does NOT need to be social networking, and anytime you post pictures of your children on the internet they are that much more susceptible to pedophiles, freaks, kidnappers, who knows?!?!?!? Call me paranoid but we have to weigh the checks and balances.
  • Don’t allow your child to be “friends” with someone they don’t know in real life. If they get such a request, it should be deleted or shown to you promptly. From just ONE message or comment exchange, an internet predator can use your IP address to locate your home and your child….isn’t that terrifying?
  • Don’t allow for profile pictures that are too cute, cutesy, seductive, fun, or otherwise. If it were my child, I would not even allow for them to use their photo as their profile photo. The name should be enough for those that actually know them. A flower, favorite food, vacation spot or pic of the family pet is your safest bet.
  • Don’t allow your child to bully you on this topic. You are the parent and having these accounts should be always viewed as a privilege. If they don’t like it read through these rules that I have composed. Let them hate me….heck I don’t care!  I am on Facebook, and I am just looking out for them. I encounter creepy people all the time because I use Facebook to promote Kitchen Table, and never hesitate to delete anyone negative, stalkerish, or someone who gives me a bad vibe. Better to be safe than sorry right?
  • Don’t ever forget that this is your house they live in, you are legally responsible for any problems they create, and worse ye,t emotionally responsible for a bad outcome with Facebook, Myspace, etc as happened with some cyberbullying on Myspace that resulted in a child committing suicide and the other child and parent were sued and held accountable.
  • Don’t use passwords used for business related matters. Never ever ever forget that these profiles are perfect ways for ID theft to occur, so tell your child not to click on anything that looks “fishy” ie “phishing scam” where internet thieves are searching for people to log in to a “fake profile page” and once the scammer has your log in password they can then use it to gain credit card, banking, and even IRS information, or just completely hack your computer altogether.

So what other do/don’ts can you recommend to help out other parents challenged by this topic?

Read more: Pediatrics

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 ™

Doctors Fighting in Washington D.C. to Support H.Con.Res.58!

By Dr. Nicole Sundene

If you want to see health care reform, and if you blog for health care reform, please re-post the following press release on your website, share with friends, family, and well…everyone that will listen!  You can even include my introductory spiel, or make your own. Please just share the word!

Doctors are fighting to reform health care in America!!!

We are doing this for YOU! For your children!  For your children’s children.  We are doing this for the well being of America…the 2nd most unhealthy country only second to Finland….while we just so happen to spend the MOST on health care….hmmmm….why is that?!?!??!

How can you help Dr. Nicole and friends fight the Kitchen Table Medicine fight?  Just pass on this info to those that are in Washington D.C.  or join them!

Write your congress and let them know that preventive medicine treatments, consultations, and education are IMPORTANT to you.  After all, the Latin root for the word “doctor” is “docere” meaning….to teach.

We want to teach you how to be healthy.  We want to teach you how to live without unnecessary medications.  We want to teach you how to be the best version of you possible.

Thanks so much for passing along the following press release, and helping us fight the fight to offer Americans the finest health care!  We want you to have every option available as we revise the current health care system.  But we need your input.  We need you to write your local congress, to congregate with those in Washington D.C. and let your government officials know that the well being of our nation is important to you and your family.

As a physician, I believe the health care crisis will never be reformed until we fix the crisis at our Kitchen Tables and we need fine doctors, and nurse educators PAID to coach you to a whole food diet and lifestyle. We need acupuncturists, chiropracters, masssage therapists, all working as a team with your MD and naturopathic physician.   Why are these “premium” modalities not part of every insurance plan?  Why don’t you have access to the information you need? Why is organic food SO expensive but refined crap is readily accessible and CHEAP.  Why is the health care crisis I read about in the newspaper at my grandmother’s obituary from 1976 (reporting her as the first female bartender in Olympia) not improved but worsened? We are not headed in the right direction people.  We are going the WRONG WAY.

Why are we worried about the Swine Flu so much when 1 in 3 adults will develop adult diabetes, and if the current trends in America continue then 1 in 2 children born TODAY will end up with diabetes.  If you have two children that means that statistically one of them could end up with diabetes, unless you model healthy whole food eating and lifestyle NOW.

For every $1 a healthy person costs our health care system a diabetic costs $13….now I am no mathematician….but how are we going to reform health care if we don’t start with a whole foods diet and lifestyle?  How are we not going to be in an economic crisis when 50% of Americans have diabetes?

Being healthy really isn’t that hard:

80% Whole Foods + 20% Who Cares = Disease Prevention

You can do it! I believe in you.  Thanks for sharing my message and helping improve preventive medicine legislation.

~Dr. Nicole

KitchenTableMedicine.com
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PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Contact: Jenna Huntsberger
(202) 237-8150 jenna.huntsberger@naturopathic.org

Naturopathic Medicine Supporters Advocate For Health Care System Based On Wellness, Disease Prevention, And Natural Medicine:

More than 100 naturopathic doctors and supporters will descend on Capitol Hill Monday, May 4, to advocate for an overhaul of the nation’s health care system. Advocates from across the country will ask their Members of Congress to support H.Con.Res.58, a resolution that would transform the health care system from one that manages disease to one rooted in prevention, health promotion, and wellness.

“The health care system must address the underlying factors that lead to chronic disease,” says Karen Howard, Executive Director of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians. “Nearly forty percent of all U.S. deaths are from heart disease, and more than two thirds of Americans are overweight. Clearly, the current system doesn’t do enough to prevent these costly health conditions. We need to move past this broken model and create a system that focuses on overall health, wellness, and enabling the body’s natural healing process.”

Naturopathic medicine is based on the belief that the human body has an innate healing ability.

Naturopathic doctors teach their patients to use lifestyle changes and cutting-edge natural therapies to enhance the body’s ability to ward off and combat disease.

Naturopathic doctors craft comprehensive treatment plans that blend the best of modern medical science and traditional natural medical approaches to not only treat disease, but also to restore health.

“Today, our definition of ‘wellness’ is limited to drug screening, vaccinations, and other preventative strategies such as drug therapy,” continues Howard. “But we drastically undervalue how changing behavior can prevent disease. If the nation is to move past the current health care crisis, we must adopt a patient-centered health care model that will restore and maintain optimal health.”

The American Association of Naturopathic Physicians is a professional association strives to make naturopathic medicine available to every American, and to increase recognition of naturopathic physicians as the identified authorities on natural medicine. Our members include accredited schools of naturopathy, students, physicians, and individual and corporate supporters, participating independently or though 40 state-level affiliate organizations. Learn more at www.naturopathic.org

Jenna Huntsberger

American Association of Naturopathic Physicians

4435 Wisconsin Ave. NW, Suite 403

Washington, D.C. 20016

Phone: (202) 237-8150;  Toll-Free: (866) 538-2267;  Fax: (202) 237-8152

Email: Jenna.huntsberger@naturopathic.org

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 ™

Is the Swine Flu Really a “Pandemic?”

By Dr. Nicole Sundene

“Tamiflu!!!! I want Tamiflu NOW NOW NOW!!!!”

~Shouted at a Telephone Triage Nurse Yesterday

For those of you that are new readers to Kitchen Table Medicine, please keep in mind that I have been described to have a “very dry” if not “seriously warped” sense of humor.

So if you want the boring ol’ facts about “The Swine Flu Pandemic” visit my fav site www.CDC.gov, as that is precisely where I ascertained the following medical opinions.

I put the preamble there because I got busted joking around on Twitter by a doctor friend for saying, “it’s just diarrhea people.” On Twitter I follow many nurses, doctors, infection control, the CDC, and so forth.

Everyone has their opinion and the general consensus is that we need to practice standard precautions to prevent this from becoming the “Pandemic” the news is purporting it to be.

I understand the deaths associated with this disease, however, I also understand the disease, and the likelihood that you will get it, and that is what I would like to discuss today– the real non-hyped facts to alleviate panic on this “pandemic.” The news needs news, but what you need are facts. So let’s talk about the facts, educate ourselves on the symptoms, and know what exactly we need to do.

First of all let’s get some perspective on this “Swine Flu National Epidemic,” as 227 people died in America from deer related car crashes in 2007. Also, 1.5 million humans experienced deer related traffic accidents causing an estimated $1.1 billion in vehicle damages. (Source)

Yet are we declaring “Deer a National Epidemic?” Are we slaughtering deer left and right? (Which they are doing with pigs in Egypt unnecessarily!)  Is the news reporting every five seconds on the latest person to die from crashing in to a deer?

No.

Because that is just not that interesting, and deer are so cute.  Pigs may be filthy, and they may be the original host of this virus, but eating their products will not make you sick according to the CDC.

The news thrives on panic, drive by shootings, celebrity tragedies and similar daunting fear factories.

So far, one child in America has died of the Swine Flu, and my heart goes out to that family.

The very old, the very young, and those that are immunocompromised (will discuss below) are at the highest risk of death from the Swine Flu. Everyone else is just likely going to get a bad stomach ache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, sweating, chills, and a cough. Spring is always diarrhea season. The Swine Flu may be a new spring antigen, but if you are a HCP that follows health trends you know what I’m talking about.

Now is NOT the perfect time to start maxing out all your credit cards, but if ever it is the perfect day to call in sick to work! If you are symptomatic you should not be in an office setting regardless of the etiology and your doctor will certainly be happy to write you a note excusing you. If your child is symptomatic keep them out of school until they are better. School after all is just formatting their brains to think like everyone else.

As my parents and I watched the initial breaking news on The Swine Flu, I said to my Dad, “Sure seems like this Swine Flu is being over-hyped by the news,” to which he laughed, “Well Nicole isn’t that the goal of the news? To over-hype everything?” Now that all news reporters hate me….

First of all let’s all not panic, second of all let’s do the most important thing and become aware of the facts about The Swine Flu. Educate yourself on the signs and symptoms so that you can obtain the necessary medical care and QUARANTINE YOUR SELF.

Something you should do anyways anytime you are sick.

OF SECOND IMPORTANCE, PLEASE CALL YOUR DOCTOR’S NURSE FIRST AND DISCUSS THE SYMPTOMS YOU ARE EXPERIENCING BEFORE ENTERING A MEDICAL FACILITY CONTAINING SICK, ELDERLY, AND PEDIATRIC PATIENTS THAT CAN POTENTIALLY DIE FROM THE SWINE FLU!!!

So let me don my old white Dansko nursing clogs and talk about the facts vs fears.  Let’s be sensible. My former hospital co-workers said they are getting really sick of answering all the frantic calls they are receiving in the nursing triage room.

One of the RN’s I used to work with said yesterday, “Honestly Nicole, I think I had a mild case of this last week. I think the news is over-hyping it and scaring our patients, everyone wants Tamiflu and they don’t even need it. We need to save the meds for the people that truly need it. Lack of meds for those that actually need them is my greatest concern at this point.” I couldn’t agree more whole heartedly with nurse Judy.

The following is the Swine Flu FAQ I told my parents at their kitchen table as we watched the news:

AM I GOING TO DIE FROM THE SWINE FLU?

From a personal standpoint as a vibrantly healthy 33 year old woman I could only be so lucky as to die from the Swine Flu, instead I will be working for another 40 years to pay off my FAFSA med student loans and making social security money for my parents and all their friends. *wink*

On a serious note, lets imagine that the Swine Flu is very similar to it’s cousin “Influenza”, 30,000 people die annually from influenza due to secondary complications such as dehydration and pneumonia. It is not really the virus that kills you; it is the development of secondary symptoms.

So, “A stitch in time saves nine,” if you think you have the symptoms of the Swine Flu.  Stay at home, rest, rehydrate, and tell people to be nice to you.  Call your nurse and review your symptoms to determine if an appointment is prudent.

Remember that anytime you have symptoms that are extreme with the flu,  if you are not improving after 24-72 hours (influenza is 7-10 days), if you have blood in your stool or vomit, you need to call your nurse.

Quick test for dehydration: pinch the back of your hand and if the skin stays pinched….you are dehydrated. If it falls back down, you likely are not dehydrated. You can do this on the back of your baby’s neck too.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF THE SWINE FLU?

Straight from the CDC: The symptoms of swine flu in people are expected to be similar to the symptoms of regular human seasonal influenza and include fever, lethargy, lack of appetite and coughing. Some people with swine flu also have reported runny nose, sore throat, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

SWINE FLU IS IT REALLY AN “EPIDEMIC?”

The first thing my family asks me the second they see something health related on the news is….is this true? Is this really an epidemic? Well actually it is a “pandemic” meaning that it is a global concern. My official answer though is that that news as usual is just hyping things up because, well that is what they do, and they need stories that will scare the heck out of people in order to keep them watching.

President Obama is not a HCP, he is simply conveying messages from the CDC or FDA and demonstrating that he is concerned by this, and that he is ultimately in charge of the welfare of all Americans. Instead of panicking let’s educate ourselves on the signs and symptoms to prevent this now pandemic. Those in third world countries are at far greater risk than those in industrialized nations.

WHAT IS THE SWINE FLU?

Straight from the CDC: “Swine Influenza (swine flu) is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A influenza virus that regularly causes outbreaks of influenza in pigs. Swine flu viruses cause high levels of illness and low death rates in pigs. Swine influenza viruses may circulate among swine throughout the year, but most outbreaks occur during the late fall and winter months similar to outbreaks in humans. The classical swine flu virus (an influenza type A H1N1 virus) was first isolated from a pig in 1930.”

Basically, the Swine flu is a mutant form of Influenza A, the virus that some of us get vaccinated from each year. The Swine Flu proves my point that viruses are constantly mutating as discussed by terms such as “antigenic drift” and “antigenic shift” this means that in order to survive and evolve the virus must continue to change it’s DNA or RNA sequence.

This is why we currently don’t have a cure for HIV, because it mutates faster than any other virus and also hides within the very immune system cells that should be killing it. This is also why the influenza vaccine each year is only an “educated guess” at best.

WHO SHOULD REALLY BE WORRIED ABOUT SWINE FLU?

Persons that are immunocompromised or live with those that are immunocompromised. Persons that have recently visited Mexico or have recently interacted with someone that has recently visited Mexico, or another area where outbreaks have been documented.

“Immunocomopromised” means that your immune system is not as healthy as the average bear and thus you are likely to die from something like the Swine Flu: Those with chronic diseases involving the heart and lungs, diabetics, organ transplant patients on immunosuppressants, the very young, the very old, and person’s that are not in exceptional health should take extra precautions as per usual.

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I THINK I HAVE THE SWINE FLU?

First call your family practice nurse to review your symptoms and determine if an appointment is prudent, before entering a hospital where immunocompromised individuals congregate.

Our typical nursing telephone triage rule with colds/flus is that we almost NEVER want to see you in the office if you have the stomach flu because #1 there is nothing we can do for you unless you need an IV, and #2 We don’t want our patients exposed to it, nor do we want to be barfed on ourselves (yes I have been barfed on many times.)  When you are not improving with self care is when you need to see your doctor. There I just saved everyone $300 dollars!

AM I PROTECTED IF I HAD A FLU SHOT THIS YEAR?

You may in fact be partially protected if you had a flu shot this year, however as I stated in my article questioning the ethics of “Employer Mandated Flu Vaccine Programs,” researchers are only making a highly  educated guess on the viral particles included in each year’s flu vaccine, because Influenza rapidly mutates, and eventually YES we will see a PANDEMIC of much greater proportions than the Swine Flu when we see a LARGE shift in viral genetic make up. And I’m not talking about viral cosmetics….but you can think about it that way if it helps you understand how viruses use tactics to “cover up” and evade the immune system.

WHAT SHOULD CLINICIANS DO IF THEY SUSPECT SWINE FLU?

A simple sample can be obtained and sent to the CDC for examination.

HOW CAN I PREVENT MYSELF FROM GETTING ILL FROM SWINE FLU?

Enhance your immune system with supplements such as vitamin A 5000 IU (not for pregnant women, and don’t dose this high without the consent from your naturopathic doctor), zinc (typical adult dose is about 15-30 mg daily), vitamin C 500 mg 3 times daily, The Immune Support Diet, and Immune Support Breakfast.

I would also go to Target and buy some natural Cleanwell antiviral handsoap and handspray for my family (made naturally from thyme and aloe vera and shown to even kill MRSA! The laminaceae family…lavender…oregeno…and so forth rock!) Do your best to avoid infected persons, and PLEASE STAY HOME if you have the aforementioned symptoms to prevent further spread in the community. I’m sure your doctor will be happy to write you a note.

WHAT IS THE TREATMENT FOR THE SWINE FLU?

Oral rehydration, oral rehydration, and oral rehydration!!! Electrolytes, electrolytes, electrolytes!!!! REST REST REST!!! Most importantly, tell people to be nice to you. The most important thing to address with this illness is that you do not get dehydrated. If you are throwing up and can’t keep anything down then you need an IV.

My vomiting protocol for oral rehydration is 1 tsp of electrolyte fluid doubled every fifteen minutes (Sports drinks, diluted juices with a pinch of organic sea salt, Recharge, E-mergenc, etc.) If the patient cannot even keep this down….they need an IV STAT. Better to be safe than sorry.

CAN I GET THE SWINE FLU FROM PIGS?

No. Personally I don’t eat pork, but if you want to sausage it up, don’t let the Swine Flu stop you.

And this slaughtering of all pigs in Egypt is simply ridiculous!

Did you know that pigs are smarter than some people? Pigs are the fourth smartest mammals: Humans, primates, whales/dolphins….PIGS!!! It is estimated that they likely have the intelligence of a three year old human being.

SHOULD I WEAR A MASK?

No. A mask likely won’t protect you as transmission is from close contact or “Oral-Fecal Transmission” similar to most causes of gastroenteritis such as adenovirus and rotavirus. We get these types of bugs because people don’t wash their hands after they go potty and then they eat, touch their face, etc.

DO I NEED ANTIVIRAL DRUGS?

PLEASE don’t belabor the point that you need these drugs if your physician does not find it necessary, although laboratory testing has found the swine influenza A (H1N1) virus susceptible to the prescription antiviral drugs oseltamivir and zanamivir.

The CDC has issued interim guidance for the use of these drugs to treat and prevent infection with swine influenza viruses; this does not necessarily mean you need these meds to treat symptoms similar to the Swine Flu such as the common cold, strep throat, allergies, food poisoning, or whatever else you might be sick with this time of year!

Health Care Provider’s are becoming increasingly concerned that we may experience a shortage of these medications if this “pandemic” were to transform in to a true state of emergency.

TAKE HOME MESSAGE ON SWINE FLU

The Swine Flu just proves my point with the “Soil and Seed” model of medicine we talked about with the latest salmonella outbreak. Keep yourself as healthy as possible. The less healthy you are the more severe your flu symptoms will likely be. Most healthy individuals I have consulted with experiencing mild symptoms may in fact have the swine flu and it is best that they quarantine. But they do say that even if the most deathly virus- Ebola became airborne that still 10% of the population would manage to survive. So let’s not panic.

Furthermore, there is nothing really wrong with being sick every now and then.

Think of diarrhea and vomiting as nature’s detox. You can do a Spring Cleaning on your own or wait for nature to give it to you in the form of spring diarrhea.

SHOULD THE SWINE FLU STOP ME FROM TRAVELING TO MEXICO RIGHT NOW?

Personally the last place I would go right now is Mexico. I am scared enough to travel in a country where I don’t speak the language, or am not close to adequate medical care. I live two miles from the hospital, so frankly Dr. Nicole is staying put.

SHOULD THE SWINE FLU STOP ME FROM TRAVELING INSIDE THE US?

Well that is a tougher question, I guess I would decide that on a case by case basis. Personally I wouldn’t go camping or backbacking out in the middle of nowhere right now. I’ve been in situations like that when someone gets extremely sick, and it ruins the trip for everyone. Ask yourself a few questions… Is it necessary for you to travel?

Because airplanes are one of the best places to get infected with the latest thing going around, I wouldn’t travel unless it was necessary (like for vacation *wink*) If I were traveling to a place in the US that is near a hospital for my vacation, I would go. If it were a business meeting type of thing, I would use it as an excuse to get out of it! If I were symptomatic with the aforementioned symptoms, I would do the right thing and quarantine myself regardless.

Here is a Google map tracking the spread of this “swine flu”. For live updates, just click the pic.

Visit the Center for Disease Control for resources sited and for more info: CDC.gov

HAVE A HEALTH TIP TO SHARE IN THE COMMENTS TO PROTECT FROM SWINE FLU?

Please also share your opinions, if you disagree with me you are more than welcome to debate your position as long as it follows standard High School debate team protocol.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen table!

~Dr. Nicole
Official Anti-News Source for The Swine Flu.

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 ™

Autism: A Case Example of Hope

Since it is “Autism Awareness Month” I have gathered together all my favorite autism experts to add their two cents to the topic.

Dr. KC Kelly is a psychotherapist who has many years of experience in helping autistic children and their families.

If you are a stressed parent of a child diagnosed on the autism spectrum, I would highly recommend writing in to Dr. KC for support, or seeking support somewhere, whether it be through a local or online support group.

Over at www.DocintheBIZ.com you can write in for professional confidential, caring support anytime. ~Dr. Nicole

“Autism: A Case Example of Hope”

by KC Kelly, Ph.D

Alex’s (name has been changed to protect anonymity) mother sat across from me and cried into her hands. “I just don’t know what to do anymore,” she began.

“From the moment he gets home from school, he races through the door and right to the couch in the living room where he throws all the pillows onto the floor and begins to run back and forth jumping all over both of the couches.

I’ve tried everything to stop him, but he doesn’t even seem to realize that I’m there. He’s in his own world. He climbs on the wall unit, breaking things and one day it almost fell over on him! He will also throw tantrums by screaming and crying at the top of his lungs for hours and I don’t know what he wants!” She stopped talking and continued to cry.

Alex has autism. He is five (5) years old and falls into the lower end of what we call the Autism Spectrum. He does not talk, does not communicate, and exhibits aggressive behaviors such as hitting, biting, pulling hair and scratching when he does not get what he wants.

What is Autism?

The experts define autism, also called autism spectrum disorders (ASD) or autism spectrum conditions (ASC), as a spectrum of psychological brain developmental disorders characterized by widespread abnormalities of social interactions and communication, and often patterns of highly repetitive behavior(s). Just like with any child, or any person with a disorder, symptoms and behaviors can vary greatly amongst those with autism.

The Bad News:
There is no known cure for autism.

The Good News:
No matter how low functioning the child, autism IS treatable and a child with autism CAN grow, learn and change.

The Scenario:
Alex goes to school in an autistic class and follows a schedule throughout his day with his peers. He works with professionals in the field of autism, so his behaviors ARE controlled to some degree. This is a definite indicator that Alex CAN learn at home.

My Challenge:
To help Mom become an expert, not necessarily on autism, but on her son.

How We Started:
Firstly, Mom and I did a home make-over into a child-proof safety zone. Next, we talked for a while about what needed to be done to help change Alex’s behaviors at home. I explained to Mom what Alex needed: Routine, Consistency, and Repetition as I witnessed a complete absence of all three of these imperative factors for change in the home. Sound simple to do? Well, the idea is simple. The execution of the idea? Not so much.

1. Routine: An autistic child needs a steady, consistent and solid daily routine. They also need to know what the routine is in a very visible, clear and easy to understand way. If an autistic child does not have a daily routine, this could be the reasoning behind exacerbated acting out behavior(s).

I made Alex a picture schedule including his entire day of activities from the moment he woke up in the morning until bedtime. Introducing the schedule to Alex was not easy, but with repetition, he stopped testing us and it became routine. Now the test would be to see if Mom could enforce this consistently everyday.

Note: Schedules can be made using either use words or pictures depending on the academic level of the child. The schedule is usually made from small laminated cut outs containing the words or pictures, and with the use of velcro, are put upon a rectangular shaped piece of colored cardboard. (This is how I do it.)

The activities of the day are all present and flipped over to show completion. A child should never start an activity without checking their schedule, and similarly, he/she should never end an activity without flipping the piece over and seeing what is next on the schedule.

2. Consistency: Never break the routine. I understand that “life happens” and we must leave room for flexibility; however, for the most part, the way a child is going to learn best is through consistency. The best way for an autistic child to learn is when they know what to expect. This also helps to reduce anxiety and increase reliability and a comfort level conducive to learning.

3. Repetition: An autistic child needs repetition. In order to learn, things must be done over and over and over again. It is important to have patience and if your child is not “getting it” right away, try not to get upset. Instead, take a deep breath and DO IT AGAIN. Repeat, repeat, repeat. And then praise.

Important: When introducing something new to an autistic child, you want to do so in a soft and gentle, yet firm manner. It may be very frustrating at times; however, use you must use repetition without losing patience. I promise you will be rewarded when manipulation ceases and learning begins. I also showed Mom how Alex learned that FIRST he will do a task and THEN he will get rewarded. I usually like rewarding with verbal praise or a small healthy snack. It all depends on to what the child responds best.

The Terrible Tantrums:

“Alex will SCREAM and cry for HOURS,” said Mom with exasperation. It was indeed a piercing scream that I witnessed myself on many occasions, and when I think of that noise today, my ears start to ring. I made pictures of basic needs, such as bathroom, hungry, thirsty, pain and demonstrated to Mom how to use these with Alex.

If none of those things were bothering Alex, we knew he was attempting to manipulate Mom for attention or because he was upset that he didn’t get something that he wanted. Mom needed to stay consistent in not giving in to Alex’s tantrums no matter how heart breaking they were to watch. She needed to allow him to “cry it out” until he was willing to either communicate with us using his pictures or give up his manipulating tactic.

Remember: We need to never get upset at a child who has difficulty communicating, but help them the best we can to let us know what they want/need.

After working for approximately 6 weeks, 2x/week with Mom and Alex, Alex changed his behavior at home dramatically. It was a long road. It was a frustrating road. But it paid off. Now that I’m not there anymore in the home to help, I can only hope that Mom (and I DO understand how difficult it is) will remain consistent with Alex’s home routine and use repetition, patience, and love when teaching him new things.

If you are looking to get some specific questions answered about autism or to help you with an autistic child, whether the child is your own or a student of yours, please feel free to write to me at: www.DOCintheBiz.com. I would love to hear from you.

All my best,
KC Kelly, Ph.D.

Related reading:

Autism Awareness Month

Autism: 10 Strategies for Implementing Diet Changes

The Autism Diet Connection

Autism: 10 Tips for Everyone

Click Here to Read More Kitchen Table Medicine 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 ™

It’s Hair Growing Season People!!! Wigs for Kids

PhotobucketBy Dr. Nicole Sundene

Spring and summer is the best time to grow hair, and the other day when I asked my normally professional looking friend what was up with his new hippie hairdo I hadn’t seen since college, he said “Wigs for Kids!”

“It’s really tough to still look professional while conducting an important business meeting….but it’s for the kids.” Matt said as we both smiled in our mutual “subvert the dominant paradigm kind of way.”

Matt was really excited about Wigs for Kids because, as we both agreed, getting wigs to kids is much more important than providing wigs for adults with cancer.

I don’t want to step on anyone’s toes….but we all know how much more cruel kids can be than adults with teasing, and having cancer or congenital alopecia is certainly a tough enough problem in itself.

I was really touched by my normally “tough guy” kind of friend growing his hair out, and then when I noticed the Operation Smile t-shirt he was wearing, I realized that we were both pretty hopeless bleeding hearts. Yup, I bought diamond grillz and braces for kids in Africa too…or something like that… *wink*

If you are a hopeless bleeding heart and want to join our hair growing team just visit….Wigs for Kids.….come on, it’s for the kids!

Wigs for Kids is easier for me because it only requires 8” which is great because most adult programs need a full 10” and that extra two inches can make a difference to some of us that refuse to let their hair be cut shorter than their collar bone.

Coming up! I will be talking about how we can grow the strongest and healthiest hair as QUICKLY as possible….

It’s hair growing season people!

Are you ready?

Don’t forget to get a little trim every now and then to prevent split ends. We want to grow pretty wigs.

Now let’s all unleash our inner hippies and grow some wigs for kids!

Drop me a comment if you plan to play along!

~Dr. Nicole

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 ™

Autism and Jenny McCarthy

April 23, 2009 by Dr. Nicole Sundene  
Filed under Autism, Kitchen Sink, Lifestyle Tips

PhotobucketBy Dr. Nicole Sundene

I was just reading this article by Jim Carey on vaccines and started thinking….

Wouldn’t you love to be a fly on the wall at Jim Carey and Jenny McCarthy’s house? I have always been a fan of both of theirs and am delighted to see that they found each other.

Nothing makes me happier than seeing a celebrity take on a cause that is personal to them. Jenny McCarthy’s son has autism and she wrote a book about it. As a physician, I appreciate celebrities personalizing these causes because I can only imagine how frustrating and alone it would feel to be a mom or dad of a child with Autism.

God bless Jenny McCarthy for writing a candid book on her personal experience. Nothing warms my heart like seeing that someone with a hilarious sense of humor also has a huge heart. On top of that, she is an educated and informed parent.

Jenny did not accept the doctor’s lack of answers for her son’s condition, or the medications that were not helping. She took responsibility for his health by spending hours on the internet researching her son’s condition. Now normally, this kind of parent or patient scares the heck out of most doctors. We don’t like you to know more than us.

After all her research, she then placed her son on a gluten free casein free diet. Is there a whole lot of research out there supporting this? Not really…a little bit. But who cares? It is wheat and dairy! It is not an anti-psychotic medicine that causes Tardive Dyskinesia as a side effect (given off label to boot! Meaning there is no FDA indication or research supporting its efficacy…)

So what is the harm in trying it? After a while, I think, in order to really problem solve conditions, you HAVE to think outside the box, outside the “standard of care” and go back to the basics…like that childhood game of “Hot and Cold”. Are we getting warmer or getting colder? Maybe there isn’t a name for what is wrong with you, so let’s instead play a game to find out what makes it better and what makes it worse.

Ok…then let’s avoid the things that make it worse and only do the things that make it better.

Sorry is that too simple?

PhotobucketSometimes I think that a preschooler would make the best doctor. We have over-complicated medicine to the point that doctors are so stressed out that half the time they cannot even think clearly or freely. We need our palm pilots and our Merck Manuals and heaven forbid that the internet is down and I can’t look stuff up on FP consult or Google it.

What!??!!??

What is that?

The internet is down today?

I have to THINK!!!

Oh the horror!!!

Trust me, I am not poking fun at any particular doctors as I am just as guilty of these mannerisms as the next doctor. I love my PDA and Google is my best friend. I will be the first person to ask you where your double blind randomized controlled trial is to support your treatment choice….

However, do we really need this kind of research for common sense?

If Jenny McCarthy comes in to my office and tells me that her son is better without gluten and casein, instead of acting in shock and disbelief shouldn’t I just rejoice with her that it was as simple as avoiding wheat and dairy? So we make sure her son gets enough fiber, zinc, b vitamins, and calcium somewhere else in their diet while we give it a whirl…why not?

Why must doctors always play the role of the authority figure in the situation? Listen I am happy to step down from my pedestal…I am scared of heights as it is. Why not let the parents play some of this “Hot and Cold?” game. Like the parent’s in the movie “Lorenzo’s Oil” that took curing their son’s rare condition in to their own hands.

If you or your child have a rare disease I highly recommend watching that movie with a BIG box of Kleenex. It may just be the inspiration you need to keep on going, and keep on doing what you are doing.

Now I am not saying that you should ever go against what your doctor says. I am simply suggesting thinking critically for yourself and your family. If something doesn’t feel right, if something doesn’t sound right, then question it.

Participate in your health care, ask questions, keep copies of your own labs, understand when your doctor says “I don’t know,” and allow for that to be an acceptable answer.

Too many doctors think they have to be the know-it-all. Let’s all keep in mind that “I don’t know” is actually a fantastic answer!

Doctors are only human beings, they are not gods (that may be new information to some of my colleagues in Orthopedics…he he.) One of the leading causes of death in America is from “Iatrogenic causes” a fancy way of saying that some medical person seriously messed up and killed you.

Whether you grab the wheel away, or just sit shot gun, whatever you do….don’t take a backseat to your health. Pay attention, take notes, let Jenny McCarthy and her son’s “recovery from autism” remind us that all hope is not lost when the current answer is “I don’t know.”

I believe that for every problem there is a solution it simply is a matter of us taking the time to look for it. Is the treatment that helped Jenny’s son, Evan, going to help your kid? I don’t know….but there is very little harm in trying it when done properly with the guidance of a nutritionist or qualified physician.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen table,

Dr. Nicole

Related reading:

Autism Awareness Month

Autism: 10 Strategies for Implementing Diet Changes

The Autism Diet Connection

Autism: 10 Tips for Everyone

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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