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Using Acupuncture To Strengthen Your Immune System | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

Using Acupuncture To Strengthen Your Immune System

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Using Acupuncture To Strengthen Your Immune System | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

There has been a lot of talk about the immune system over the last couple of years.

Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, there are a lot of people and businesses coming out with claims of various foods, supplements, and procedures which are supposed to boost your immune system and help guard against the virus.

As a Mississauga naturopath I want to stress that although there are no naturopathic remedies for COVID-19, the best defence against specific viruses is to get vaccinated.

There are, however, things you can do to strengthen your immune system as a whole.

We’ve talked about vitamins for a stronger immune system in the past, but seeing a Mississauga acupuncturist can help too.

Today we’re going to look at acupuncture, and the benefits it can have on your immune system.

Keep reading to learn more.

What Is Your Immune System?

The immune system is your body’s defense against microbes (parasites, virus, fungi, and bacteria) which can result in infection.

It also protects against toxins and cells that can potentially become cancerous.

It consists of cells, tissues, and organs including:

  • White blood cells, which travel through the blood and attack foreign cells
  • Antibodies that are proteins produced by a specific type of white blood cells, which recognize foreign substances
  • The complement system, made up of proteins which work alongside antibodies
  • Bone marrow which produces blood cells
  • The spleen, an organ which creates antibodies
  • The lymphatic system which moves fluid throughout the body and helps protect against infection
  • The thymus which produces T-lymphocyte cells

The skin, lungs, and digestive tract can also help defend the body from microbes.

Your skin acts as a barrier to keep them out, mucus in the lungs helps traps foreign particles, and stomach acid in the digestive tract helps kill microbes.

That’s why naturopathic medicine for digestive health is so significant – your digestive tract contributes to so many different elements of health, including your immune system.

Causes Of Weak Immune System

Have you ever known someone to be constantly ill, or who experiences frequent infections?

This may be the result of a weakened immune system.

Some causes of a weak immune system can be controlled, such as:

Autoimmune disorders can also lead to a weakened immune system.

Naturopathic medicine can offer treatment for such conditions, including:

HIV and AIDS are two particularly strong autoimmune disorders that significantly weaken the body’s immune system, leaving you susceptible to other diseases.

What Is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a form of traditional Chinese medicine which involves placing thin needles at specific, strategic points on the body.

These are called acupuncture points.

The theory behind acupuncture is that when a needle is inserted into the skin, it signals the body to respond by releasing endorphins, increasing circulation, and stimulating brain activity.

From a traditional perspective, acupuncture needles are placed along meridian lines in your body where energy flows.

The needles stimulate that energy flow, which can help promote your body’s ability to heal itself.

Acupuncture has been scientifically proven to aid in a number of different health related situations, including:

How Can Acupuncture Help Strengthen Your Immune System | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

How Can Acupuncture Help Strengthen Your Immune System?

Acupuncture can be used to help regulate immune system function and provide treatment for underlying causes of disease.

By stimulating the autonomic nervous system, acupuncture helps to lessen symptoms, stimulate the body’s immune response, and accelerate healing.

Although some are quick to dismiss acupuncture, there are a number of peer reviewed scientific studies which back it up as an effective way to help with a growing number of conditions.

Today we’re going to look at some of these studies.

A 2007 study in the American journal of Chinese Medicine looked at the effects of acupuncture treatment on anxious women.

It’s a commonly accepted idea that chronic anxiety can have a negative effect on the immune system, and experiencing constant stress can lead to increased vulnerability to infections.

The 2007 study looked at blood samples of anxious women, compared to a control group of women who don’t experience anxiety, before and after acupuncture treatments, and found favourable effects on immune function in the group receiving acupuncture.

Another article, in the Journal of Experimental and Clinical Medicine looked at the effect of acupuncture on immune system cells.

Using acupuncture can help increase the number of immune cells in the body, including T-cells, white blood cells, and red blood cells.

The final study we will look at today examined the effects of acupuncture in rats.

To do this they compared three groups of rats

1) A control group (which did not receive any treatment)
2) A group which received acupuncture stimulation to the abdominal muscle
3) A group which received acupuncture stimulation to a specific acupoint

The group which received acupuncture at a specific acupoint saw notable increases in interferon gamma (IFN-γ), a protein in the blood which is critical to the growth of immune cells.

As you can see from these three studies, the outlook for acupuncture as a means to strengthen the immune system is positive.

Book An Appointment With The Mindful Healing Clinic Today

Are you curious about acupuncture?

Aside from strengthening the immune system, it has a wide array of other uses, including as a way of providing treatment for headaches, fibromyalgia, arthritis, sleep issues, knee pain and many more conditions.

I’m Dr. Maria Cavallazzi, a naturopathic doctor at the Mindful Healing Clinic and I have been trained in the use of acupuncture as a therapy for a variety of health issues.

Book a consultation with me today, to find out
if acupuncture treatment is right for you.

Mineral Profile: Potassium | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

Mineral Profile: Potassium

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Mineral Profile: Potassium | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

As the third most abundant mineral in the human body, potassium plays a vital role in the maintenance of good overall health.

That’s why it’s so important to make sure that your diet includes plenty of potassium rich foods, such as nuts and fruits.

If you’re struggling to maintain healthy potassium levels, I can help.

My name is Dr. Maria Cavallazzi, a naturopathic doctor in Mississauga with a passion for helping you heal and thrive through the use of natural remedies.

Want to learn more about potassium and its many benefits for your health?

Keep reading to learn more.

What Is Potassium?

Potassium is a mineral that is not naturally produced by your body.

Instead, most people get the bulk of their daily potassium intake from the foods that they eat.

Despite not being naturally produced by your body, potassium is essential to your overall health.

Potassium acts as an electrolyte, meaning it helps conduct electrical charges throughout your body and subsequently helps with body functions, such as:

  • Blood pressure
  • Water balance
  • Muscle contractions
  • Nerve impulses
  • Digestion
  • Heart rhythm
  • pH balance

RELATED: naturopath for digestive health problems

Health Benefits of Potassium

As you can see, potassium is beneficial for a variety of biological processes.

Let’s look at some of the benefits of potassium in more detail.

1. It Regulates The Fluid In Your Body

Approximately 60% of your body is water.

40% of that water is located inside your cells within a substance called intracellular fluid (ICF).

As the main electrolyte in the ICF, potassium helps regulate the amount of water that goes in and out of your cells.

Without the aid of potassium, your cells wouldn’t be able to properly regulate the water and subsequently would either shrink or swell and burst.

Additionally, poor fluid balance in your cells can also lead to dehydration, which can be deadly if left untreated.

2. It Regulates Your Muscles (Including Your Heart)

Blood potassium levels play a role in your muscle contractions.

If your blood potassium levels are too low or high, your muscle contractions can weaken.

Since the heart is a muscle, your heartbeat may also be affected.

Imbalanced blood potassium levels may cause your heartbeat to weaken and become incapable of pumping blood into your vital organs.

RELATED: Naturopathic Solutions For Heart Disease

3. It Supports Your Nervous System

Your nervous system is responsible for transferring information between your brain and body.

This information is transferred through nerve impulses, which are caused by sodium and potassium ions moving in and out of your cells.

This process is important for several of your body’s functions, such as the regulation of muscle contractions, heartbeat, and reflexes.

A potassium imbalance can disrupt this process and subsequently impact your nervous system.

4. It May Help Prevent Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a condition where bones become hallow and porous, often due to low levels of calcium.

Research suggests that a potassium rich diet plays a role in the prevention of osteoporosis through the reduction of calcium loss through urine.

Other nutrients that can help prevent osteoporosis include:

5. It May Help Reduce High Blood Pressure

Potassium may also help prevent high blood pressure and related heart disease.

Research suggests that eating a diet that is rich in potassium may help your body remove excess sodium, which is associated with high blood pressure.

Dietary Sources Of Potassium

Now that you know about the various health benefits of potassium, you might be wondering how to go about adding more potassium rich foods to your diet.

Some examples of potassium-rich foods include:

  • Fruits, such as apples, apricots, avocados bananas, and kiwis
  • Vegetables, such as leafy greens, carrots, beets, and potatoes
  • Lean meats, such as chicken, salmon, or clams
  • Whole grains
  • Beans and nuts

Should You Take Potassium Supplements | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

Symptoms Of Potassium Deficiency

Symptoms of potassium deficiency can vary depending on the severity of the deficiency.

A slight, temporary decrease in potassium may not cause any noticeable symptoms.

On the other hand, a severe deficiency can become life threatening.

Symptoms of potassium deficiency include:

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Muscle spasms, weakness, or cramping
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Constipation, nausea, or vomiting

Certain conditions may raise your risk of experiencing potassium deficiency, including:

Symptoms Of Potassium Toxicity

The presence of too much potassium in your body may also lead to temporary or long term health problems.

The primary symptom of potassium toxicity is irregular heartbeat.

Left untreated, potassium toxicity can lead to death.

Although generally rare in individuals with a balanced diet, potassium toxicity has several risk factors, including:

Should You Take Potassium Supplements?

If you keep a balanced diet, you likely don’t need to take potassium supplements.

However, if you have a potassium deficiency, your naturopathic doctor can prescribe potassium supplements.

These supplements are most effective if your kidneys are healthy and functioning normally.

If you are experiencing a severe case of potassium deficiency, you may need IV treatment.

Book Your Appointment With The Mindful Healing Clinic Today

As you can see, potassium is an important factor for many aspects of your health.

As a naturopathic doctor, I am committed to helping my patients choose the best options for their health.

Don’t hesitate to reach out if you want to learn more about how a naturopathic doctor can help you.

Book an appointment with The Mindful Healing Clinic today to get started on a healthier tomorrow.

Health Benefits Of Fermented Foods | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

Health Benefits Of Fermented Foods

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Health Benefits Of Fermented Foods | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

Due to their numerous health benefits, fermented foods have seen a significant rise in popularity in recent years.

If you have ever seen a naturopath for digestive problems, you may already be eating fermented foods as part of your treatment plan.

But did you know that the health benefits of fermented foods go far beyond digestive health?

For this reason, naturopathic doctors frequently recommend fermented foods to their patients as part of their naturopathic diet plans and nutritional counseling.

I’m Dr. Maria Cavallazzi, a naturopathic doctor in Mississauga, and today I’m here to talk about fermented foods.

In this article, we’ll take a look at what fermented foods are, their various health benefits, and how you can add more to your diet.

Let’s dive in.

What Is Fermentation?

Fermentation is a chemical process where microbial growth, such as bacteria or yeast, work to break down food molecules, such as sugar.

As a result, the sugar molecules morph into other products, such as organic acids, gases, or alcohol.

What Are Fermented Foods?

Fermented foods are food or beverages that have undergone this process.

There are many different types of fermented foods, but the more popular ones include:

  • Kefir
  • Tempeh
  • Natto
  • Kombucha
  • Miso
  • Kimchi
  • Sauerkraut
  • Probiotic yogurt

Due to the fermentation process, fermented foods typically have unique taste, smell, texture, and appearance.

How Can Fermented Foods Improve Your Health?

While the types of foods that are commonly fermented are typically already healthy in their original form, they have the potential to carry additional health benefits after fermentation.

Let’s take a closer look at some of those benefits.

1. They Help Good Bacteria Grow (And Fight Bad Bacteria)

Not all bacteria are bad for you.

In fact, your body needs a certain number of good bacteria to help maintain a healthy immune system.

Adding fermented foods to your diet can help support the population of good bacteria in your body.

For example, the good bacteria found in fermented foods may help lower your intestinal pH levels, which subsequently decreases the survival rate of bacteria that cause diseases.

2. They Help You Digest Food

Your body also needs good bacteria to help break down and digest complex carbohydrates.

Without a diverse population of good bacteria in your digestive tract, you may be more likely to develop certain chronic diseases, such as inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.

Also, eating foods that contain plenty of soluble fiber, such as beans and oats, can contribute to better digestive health.

If you’re dealing with digestive issues, don’t be surprised if a naturopath for digestive problems recommends including more fermented foods in your diet.

3. They Help You Recover From Antibiotics

Antibiotics are designed to kill bacteria in your body; however, they aren’t so good at differentiating the bad bacteria from the good.

Subsequently, taking a round of antibiotics often comes with digestive side effectives, such as diarrhea.

Adding fermented foods to your diet is a great way to recover after a round of antibiotics, since they can help raise your body’s good bacteria levels back to normal.

4. They Can Improve Mental Health

In addition to physical health, the good bacteria found in fermented foods may help to improve your mental health as well.

A 2020 research paper published in Nutritional Neuroscience suggests a potential connection between fermented foods and the improvement of mental disorders.

While more research is needed before this connection can be confirmed, the research is certainly promising.

As both an anxiety naturopath and a depression relief naturopath, I often recommend fermented foods to help with these two concerns.

How Can Fermented Foods Improve Your Health | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

5. They Can Help Your Body Produce Vitamins

If you weren’t already amazed by their diverse health benefits, you may be impressed to learn that fermented foods can also help your body produce essential vitamins, particularly B complex vitamins.

Vitamins that fermented food can help to produce include:

Top Fermented Food

Now that you have learned all about the diverse health benefits of fermented food, you may be wondering how to go about adding more to your diet.

Let’s take a look at some of the most popular types of fermented foods.

1. Kimchi

Kimchi is a Korean side dish traditionally made from fermented cabbage or other vegetables.

Research points to a link between eating kimchi and decreased insulin resistance, a precursor condition to type 2 diabetes

Therefore, people diagnosed with prediabetes may especially benefit from adding kimchi to their diets.

Other health benefits of kimchi include:

2. Kombucha

Kombucha is a type of fermented drink traditionally made from green tea or black tea.

Kombucha is particularly helpful in preventing liver toxicity and damage due to harmful chemical exposure.

Other health benefits of kombucha include:

  • Reduced blood sugar levels
  • Reduced triglycerides levels
  • Reduced cholesterol levels

3. Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut is a common condiment made of fermented shredded cabbage.

Sauerkraut is low in calories and contains large amounts of fibre, vitamin C, and vitamin K.

Due to its high levels of antioxidants, sauerkraut can also help to promote good eye health and evenhelp prevent cancer.

4. Other Fermented Foods

Other types of fermented foods that provide health benefits include:

  • Kefir, a cultured dairy produce made by adding kefir grains to milk
  • Tempeh, a high protein meat substitute made from pressed fermented soybeans
  • Natto, a traditional Japanese dish made from fermented soybeans
  • Miso, a Japanese seasoning made by mixing fermented soybeans with salt and koji, a type of fungus

Book Your Appointment With The Mindful Healing Clinic Today

If you want to learn more about naturopathic diet plans and fermented foods, we can help.

At The Mindful Healing Clinic, we can develop a nutrition and lifestyle plan that fits your needs.

Book an appointment with The Mindful Healing Clinic today to get started.

Naturopathic Solutions For Crohn's Disease | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

Naturopathic Solutions For Crohn’s Disease

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Naturopathic Solutions For Crohn's Disease | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

Do you often suffer from abdominal pain?

How about an urgent need to use the bathroom followed by diarrhea?

If so, you may suffer from a gastrointestinal illness called Crohn’s disease.

Gastrointestinal issues can be uncomfortable and inconvenient at best.

Depending on their timing and severity, they can also be embarrassing and painful.

Left untreated, serious cases can even lead to life threatening flare ups and complications.

For those with Crohn’s disease, gastrointestinal symptoms can vary in frequency and severity day to day, and can be extremely disruptive to daily life.

Many people suffering from Crohn’s disease find the assistance of a naturopath for digestive health problems to be helpful in managing their illnesses as an alternative to, or in conjunction with, conventional medical intervention.

Let’s take a closer look at Crohn’s disease – what it is, how it works, and how a Mississauga naturopathic doctor can help.

What Is Crohn’s Disease?

Crohn’s disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease that most commonly occurs in your small intestine and colon, though it can affect any part of your gastrointestinal (GI) tract.

It’s a chronic inflammatory illness that can last a lifetime.

There is currently no known cure for Crohn’s disease, nor have researchers been able to pinpoint its exact cause.

And unfortunately, Crohn’s disease can get worse as your illness progresses, especially if it’s left untreated.

Symptoms Of Crohn’s Disease

Common symptoms of Crohn’s Disease can range from mild to debilitating and can be disruptive to day to day life.

In severe cases, the illness can even lead to life threatening flares and complications.

The symptoms of Crohn’s Disease can vary and change over time, but they often develop gradually.

Early symptoms of Crohn’s Disease often include:

As the disease progresses, however, more severe symptoms may develop, such as:

  • Ulcers, which may occur anywhere along your digestive tract
  • A perianal fistula, which causes pain and drainage near your anus
  • A type of arthritis known as peripheral arthritis, which causes joint inflammation and skin issues
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nutrient deficiencies, particularly anemia

What Causes Crohn’s Disease?

Though Crohn’s disease is a relatively common disease, affecting as many as 780,000 Americans, not much is known about its exact cause despite decades of research.

It seems likely that various hereditary factors play a role in the development of Crohn’s disease.

20% of those suffering from Crohn’s disease also have a parent, child, or sibling who suffer from it.

Crohn’s disease is classified as an autoimmune disease, and the immune system is a contributor to inflammation in this illness.

Researchers aren’t exactly sure, however, about how or why Crohn’s disease begins, who is most likely to develop it, or at what point in life it’s most likely to develop.

Left untreated, however, Crohn’s disease can become extremely disruptive to day to day life.

In severe cases, it can become debilitating or even life threatening.

For this reason, it’s extremely important not to leave this illness untreated.

Naturopathic Treatments For Crohn’s Disease

Despite many decades of research, Crohn’s disease, like many other chronic illnesses, has no currently known cure.

However, there are a number of effective treatments that can help reduce and manage symptoms that can otherwise be disruptive or even debilitating to everyday life.

1. Start With An Elimination Diet

While researchers haven’t been able to pinpoint the cause of Crohn’s disease, we do know that sensitivity to certain foods can result in flare ups.

An elimination diet is when you systematically eliminate certain types or categories of foods that are known to be reactive (such as dairy, gluten, garlic, onions, etc.) from your diet for a certain amount of time to see if it affects your Crohn’s symptoms.

It is best to do it with the help of a naturopathic doctor.

From there, you can gradually add the foods you remove back into your diet one at a time to see if there are any flare ups.

This doesn’t eliminate your Crohn’s disease, of course, but by recognizing your triggers, you can help manage your condition.

Naturopathic Diet For Crohn's Disease | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

2. Eat An Anti Inflammatory Diet

Discomfort and pain from Crohn’s disease is often a direct result from inflammation.

Naturopathic doctors will often recommend a diet high in anti-inflammatory foods in order to reduce or mitigate inflammation related pain.

Integrating more anti inflammatory foods in the regular diets of those suffering from Crohn’s disease has been very helpful in managing their symptoms in this way.

Anti inflammatory foods include:

  • Berries
  • Fatty fish (high in omega 3 fatty acids)
  • Broccoli
  • Avocados
  • Green tea
  • Bell peppers
  • Mushrooms
  • Tomatoes
  • Dark chocolate
  • Grapes
  • Olive oil
  • Turmeric (more on that later)

3. Watch Your Fibre Intake

Some people who suffer from Crohn’s disease benefit from less or more manageable Crohn’s symptoms while following a high fibre diet.

For others, however, a diet high in fibre may have the opposite effect as the extra food residue from high fibre foods such as fruits and vegetables may aggravate the GI tract.

This is why it’s helpful to work with a naturopathic doctor – they can help find out whether fibre will be beneficial for you or not.

4. Supplement With Curcumin

Curcumin is a type of curcuminoid compound, which are compounds that have been proven to have various medicinal properties with beneficial effects on your body.

Specifically, curcumin is a strong antioxidant found in turmeric.

Among the many health benefits of turmeric is its powerful anti inflammatory effects.

As discomfort and pain from Crohn’s disease is often a direct result from inflammation, a diet high in anti-inflammatory foods such as curcumin can help in reducing inflammation related pain.

5. Eat Prebiotic And Probiotic Foods

Probiotics are live bacteria that can help to replace and rebuild the good bacteria in your GI tract.

Prebiotics are potentially beneficial plant materials that help to feed the good bacteria in your digestive system and increase their numbers.

Eating foods rich in probiotics and prebiotics help to improve your gut health and maintain your digestive system’s natural balance, which can prevent flare ups of Crohn’s symptoms.

Book Your Appointment With The Mindful Healing Clinic Today

If you find yourself suffering from the physical and mental stress associated with Crohn’s disease and its associated gastrointestinal symptoms, there’s no need to continue suffering alone.

Book your appointment with The Mindful Healing clinic today and take the first step towards a healthier life.

How To Recover From A Round Of Antibiotics | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

How To Recover From A Round Of Antibiotics

By Blog

How To Recover From A Round Of Antibiotics | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

No one likes getting sick, but life can get a bit more difficult when you get a bacterial infection that requires antibiotics.

We have all been there since getting a bacterial infection is quite common; but thankfully, we live in a time when antibiotics are widely available, so it’s very likely that you will recover quite easily.

However, taking antibiotics can be both a blessing and a curse.

While they kill the bacteria that are making you sick, they also kill the good bacteria in your gut.

This may result in an upset stomach, diarrhea and more serious issues that no one wants to deal with after having an infection.

If all this is starting to sound familiar, you might be interested in seeing a naturopath for digestive problems and gut health, so you can get the best advice and treatment plan for your specific situation.

For now, let’s find out more about what you can do to successfully recover after taking antibiotics.

What Is Your Gut Microbiome?

Your gut microbiome is the collection of microorganisms living in your large intestine.

They influence things like digestion of food, mental health, your immune system, and more.

Everybody has a different gut microbiome, since the amount and type of bacteria present can be influenced by a number of factors.

These factors include:

What Are Antibiotics?

Most people here in Canada have been prescribed antibiotics at some point.

But what are they?

This kind of medication is used to treat bacterial infections.

It works by either stopping an infection or keeping it from spreading.

However, there are many kinds of antibiotics and the most commonly used ones are broad spectrum, which means that they work on a wide range of diseasecausing bacteria, while some other kinds are made to kill certain species of bacteria.

Antibiotics are very important and quite effective to treat infections, which has saved many lives.

However, like most medications, antibiotics come with some side effects that can be harmful.

Antibiotics Side Effects

A very common problem these days is the excessive use of antibiotics, which can cause health issuesfrom a simple episode of diarrhea to more serious conditions such as liver damage.

However, the most common side effects from antibiotics are:

  • Diarrhea
  • Yeast infections
  • Gas
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Constipation

There are also some studies showing that antibiotics can:

  • Dramatically change the kinds of bacteria within the gut, especially at an early age.
  • Increase the risk of obesity when overused at an early age.
  • Lead to antibiotic resistance when used excessively, decreasing effectiveness

Let’s take a closer look at how this works.

1. Gut Microbiome Issues

Let’s talk a bit more about your gut microbiome.

The most common issue when taking antibiotics is the disturbance of your gut microbiome.

As mentioned above, antibiotics end up killing the good bacteria living in your gut along with the bad bacteria making you sick.

In fact, one study shows that just a week of antibiotics can change your gut microbiome for up to a year.

Unfortunately, this can’t really be avoided when taking antibiotics.

When there’s an imbalance of good and bad bacteria in your gut caused by the use of antibiotics, you can expect issues with digestion, inflammation of the gut lining, and even mood changes.

This is concerning because if left unattended it can lead to more serious problems and health conditions.

2. Immune System Issues

The sad irony of antibiotics is that while it can help kill a bacterial infection, it can also weaken your immune system, making you more vulnerable to future infections.

The gut and the immune system work together to keep your body healthy.

So, when your gut microbiome is not well balanced it can weaken your immune system.

3. Other Side Effects

There are a number of other side effects associated with antibiotics as well.

A 2017 study showed that antibiotic use is the most common cause of liver injury.

As well, because antibiotic use can cause a temporarily weakened immune system, it can put you at greater risk of bacterial infections, including:

  • E.coli infection
  • C.diff infection
  • Salmonella infection

However, this can also happen to people with healthy immune systems, so it’s important to take care of your body right after taking a round of antibiotics.

An Important Caveat

Before we continue, it’s important to note that I am not suggesting that you not take antibiotics.

In spite of the side effects, antibiotic use is one of the strongest weapons we have in the fight against potentially deadly infections.

If your doctor recommends you take antibiotics, listen to them.

Don‘t go to your doctor and tell them “well my favourite naturopathic doctor near me said I didn’t have to” – I am absolutely not saying that.

Instead, this article is about how to mitigate the side effects from taking antibiotics.

And with that in mind…

How To Recover From Antibiotics

Antibiotics are still important to get rid of the bacteria making you ill, so taking your medication as directed is a must.

However, doing everything you can to prevent and treat the side effects from it, is also a good idea.

In order to recover from taking antibiotics, it’s important to improve your gut health by supporting your gut microbiome, and this will depend on some dietary changes.

Below, you will find a list and guide that can help you make the changes you need.

1. Take Probiotics

Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for your digestive system. They can usually be found in many fermented foods.

However, you can also buy probiotic supplements but make sure to choose the right kind of good bacteria, since these supplements can contain many different kinds.

There are some studies showing that lactobacilli and saccharomyces probiotics are particularly effective to recover after antibiotic use, but these other bacteria are also very helpful:

  • L. casei
  • L. Rhamnosus GG
  • L. Plantarum 299v
  • B. subtilis
  • B. coagulanslactospore
  • B. clausii

It’s recommended to take probiotics after a round of antibiotics in order to restore the healthy bacteria in your gut that might have been killed.

Also, according to some studies it might be better to take a probiotic supplement containing a mixture of different species of probiotics, instead of just one.

The one thing to always remember is that probiotics are usually bacteria themselves, so if you decided to take them at the same time you are taking antibiotics, you’ll likely end up killing them.

Therefore, it’s very important to remember to take probiotics and antibiotics a few hours apart.

Taking probiotics to recover from antibiotics is definitely the first line of action, especially since they can reduce the risk of getting diarrhea when taken during antibiotic treatment and help restore the gut bacteria when taken after antibiotics.

2. Take Prebiotics

Now that we know that probiotics are usually live bacteria that can help restore the balance of your gut microbiome, let’s talk about prebiotics which are basically foods that feed the good bacteria in your gut.

There are many high fibre foods that are prebiotic. When the fiber from food gets digested and fermented by gut bacteria, the good bacteriagrow.

There are also some other foods that work like prebiotics, even though the fiber content is not high, but they still help the growth of good bacteria like bifidobacteria.

A good example of this is red wine and cocoa, which contains antioxidants that are digested by gut bacteria.

However, keep in mind that you can also buy prebiotics supplements at the store.

When you feed the good bacteria by taking prebiotics after a round of antibiotics, you help reduce the unhealthy bacteria in your gut and promote the growth of healthy bacteria.

This is a very helpful step in your journey to recover from antibiotics.

Prebiotic foods include:

  • Apples
  • Oats
  • Carrots
  • Asparagus
  • Bananas
  • Flax seeds
  • Burdock root
  • Dandelion greens
  • Garlic
  • Onions

Foods to help you recover from antibiotics | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

3. Eat Foods High In Fibre

Many foods high in fibre are prebiotic and even though your body can’t digest fibre, your gut bacteria can and this help them to grow.

Here are some examples of foods which are high in fibre:

  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Lentils
  • Berries
  • Peas
  • Broccoli
  • Bananas
  • Artichokes
  • Beans
  • Whole grains, fruits, and vegetables in general

While eating fibre is a good thing for your body, it can also slow down the rate at which the stomach empties and therefore slow down the rate at which medicines are absorbed.

This is why using fibre to help your gut bacteria should be done after taking antibiotics, that way you don’t interfere with your medical treatment.

4. Eat Fermented Foods

Some fermented foods contain probiotics and as mentioned before, probiotics are the first line of action to help your gut microbiome after or while taking antibiotics.

Here are some examples of fermented foods:

  • Yogurt
  • Cheese
  • Sauerkraut
  • Kombucha
  • Kimchi

These foods contain many healthy bacterial species such as lactobacilli and bifidobacteria which lowers the number of disease-causing bacteria in your gut, such as enterobacteria and bilophilawadsworthia

In fact, studies have shown that people who eat yogurt regularly have higher amounts of lactobacilli in their intestines and therefore less chances of getting sick from harmful bacteria.

Keep in mind that you should eat unsweetened yogurt, best if it is high in protein and percentage of fat.

In summary, something as simple as eating yogurt can reduce the risk of antibiotic associated diarrhea, but if you can consume more of the other fermented foods as well, you would definitely develop a very strong gut microbiome and obtain good overall health.

Eating one of the fermented foods listed above per day is equivalent to taking a probiotic supplement.

Book Your Appointment With The Mindful Healing Clinic Today

Everyone’s gut microbiome is different based on several factors including gender, diet, health conditions, etc.

So, while these may be good general suggestions, it doesn’t account for your unique health needs.

The best way to figure out what works best for your own body is to visit a naturopathic doctor.

A naturopathic doctor can listen to your specific needs and make a dietary plan, to help you overcome any side effects and health conditions you might have developed from taking antibiotics.

Book an appointment today with the Mindful Healing Clinic and ask our team how we can help.

How To Create A Nutritious Environmentally Friendly Diet | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

How To Create A Nutritious Environmentally Friendly Diet

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How To Create A Nutritious Environmentally Friendly Diet | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

There are a lot of ways you can easily adjust your diet to be more environmentally friendly.

A change as small as consuming more plant based products and lowering your consumption of animal based products will lower your environmental impact significantly.

Plus, it can also keep you healthy and balanced.

But, as always when changing your diet, it’s important to ensure that you’re still getting the nutrients your body needs to be healthy.

Now, if you’re looking for naturopathic diet and nutrition counseling, there are a lot of great options to consider that can tailor their approach to your personal health goals.

Especially if your goal is to eat a nutritious, environmentally friendly diet.

Let’s find out more.

What Is An Environmentally Friendly Diet?

An environmentally friendly diet is a diet with eating habits that aim to consciously reduce your impact on the environment and in your community.

There are a number of different aspects to this.

It’s important to consider what foods you’re eating, when, and even why you’re eating those foods.

The goal is to build a picture of the systems that surround the foods you eat.

This will make it easier to pick choices that minimize your contribution to the environmental harm that system creates.

It may be overwhelming to think about, but every choice you make in the supermarket has an impact on the environment.

How To Create An Environmentally Friendly Diet

There are a number of ways to create an environmentally friendly diet.

You have to consider your entire food habits.

Everything from the types of food you eat, to how you cook and store that food, has an impact.

Keep reading for further tips on ways to immediately adopt an environmentally friendly diet.

1. Eat Local

Eating local is a great way to make your diet more environmentally friendly.

The environmental impact of buying food flown in from a far off country is much higher than buying from local producers.

You can explore seasonal farmers markets to find local produce, which minimizes the environmental impact because of the shorter distance it had to travel to get to your house.

This shorter distance means less fuel was burned and less carbon was created.

2. Focus On Plant Based Foods

Adding plant based foods is a great tip to both reduce your environmental impact and improve your general nutrition.

This is because fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and whole grains require significantly less water during production than animalbased foods.

Plus, they are sustainable sources of the essential vitamins, nutrients, and proteins needed for a healthy diet.

Some of the foods commonly grown here in Ontario include:

For a full list, take a look at the Ontario Fruit & Vegetable Growers’ Association website.

Sometimes, focusing on eating more local produce can encourage you to begin experimenting with different diet options, including a raw food diet.

3. Eat Less Meat

Eating less meat is a really important way you can eat an environmentally friendly diet.

Meat production is a substantial contributor to greenhouse gas emissions.

Not to mention the environmental impact of raising and transporting livestock.

It requires more food, water, land, and energy than plant based foods.

Plus, eating too much meat is not the best and can lead to other health problems, especially when you’re eating processed meats.

4. Practice Mindful Eating

Mindful eating is the practice of being fully aware of your eating habits.

This includes making the time to eat healthy foods, really being present while you eat, and understanding the difference between hunger and appetite.

You might wonder how these will help you to make thoughtful, environmentally friendly eating choices.

So, let’s go through some of them.

Being fully present while you eat allows you to keep track of how much you’re eating.

This way, you can see if you’re overeating or under eating.

You’re more inclined to overeat, especially if you’re binging on junk food that’s high fat and low nutrition like potato chips, if you’re not paying attention while you eat.

Another thing to keep in mind is the difference between hunger and appetite.

Hunger is the body signals your body sends when it requires you to eat food.

Appetite is the desire for food that is triggered by our senses, our surroundings, or our emotions.

This difference is key because one is your body’s needs vs. something you may not need at that time.

Being aware of the state your body is in can help you to make better decisions about what and when you eat.

What Is An Environmentally Friendly Diet | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

5. Learn How To Store Your Food

Finally, food storage can be a game changer.

This is because every time you cook, you use energy and resources which adds to your environmental impact.

Instead, making extra food or bigger portions when you cook to store and eat as another meal can be a great tip for making your diet more environmentally friendly.

Plus, it’ll save you time so that you’ll have quick meals ready to go.

One thing to remember if you’re interested in trying this is to keep your fridge and freezer organized.

Labels are a great resource to use in order to know what to eat by what date.

The other aspect of this is to make sure you use proper food storage in order to extend the life of your items.

Some examples of food storage strategies include:

  • Store greens and fresh herbs in a sealed bag to reduce oxygen flow and maintain nutritional value
  • Store citrus fruits in a mesh bag to improve oxygen circulation, which helps them last longer
  • Store mushrooms in a paper bag which will absorb the extra moisture and allow them to breath
  • Remove the green stalks of carrots to preserve their nutrients
  • Keep your fresh berries dry and don’t wash them until you’re ready to eat them
  • Wrap your celery in tin foil so their natural ripening agents are released and keep them fresh longer

Both of these strategies will help you to eliminate food waste.

Book Your Appointment With The Mindful Healing Clinic Today

You can see there are many easy ways you can adjust your diet in order to make it more environmentally friendly.

The important thing to remember is to make sure you’re getting all the right nutrients your body needs.

This is especially true if you are reducing your meat and animal product consumption to a more plant based diet.

A naturopathic doctor is a great resource to look into so that they can help you stay on track with your diet to achieve your health goals.

Book an appointment today with the Mindful Healing Clinic today to get started and speak to one of our experienced naturopathic doctors.

Health Benefits Of Running | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

Health Benefits Of Running

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Health Benefits Of Running | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

When it comes to running, there tend to be two extreme stereotypes:

Those who never miss their run, no matter the weather, and those who say “if I’m running, you should probably run too because it means I’m being chased by something”.

Maybe, however, there is a middle ground.

Running has a host of health benefits associated with it, and you don’t have to be a marathon runner to reap those rewards.

Additionally, as a naturopath for anxiety I’ve seen many clients who use exercise to help manage their stress levels turn to running while gyms were shut down during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Today we’ll have a look at some of the reasons you might want to consider adding running to your routine.

Keep reading to learn more.

What Are The Benefits Of Running?

There are a lot of reasons to take up running.

It’s a relatively inexpensive form of exercise – all you really need are some comfortable clothes and a pair of running shoes.

Perhaps some treads for those shoes and thermal gear if you plan to do it in colder weather.

Although social media may have you believe you need to invest in a fancy fitness tracker and other specialized gear, these are optional and not really necessary for someone just starting out.

This makes it accessible to those who may not want to pay for a gym membership and people who aren’t quite ready to return to the gym amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Keep reading to see some more of the benefits of this great form of exercise.

1. It Can Help You Maintain A Healthy Weight

Running is an exercise which engages your whole body.

Yes, it is a way to work lower body muscles such as the quads, hamstrings, and glutes primarily.

However, running also requires the core muscles such as obliques and abdominals to maintain balance.

Because it involves so many different muscle groups, running tends to burn more calories than other types of exercise.

This means while you are initially losing weight running can be an excellent supplement to a healthy eating program, and then once you have achieved your desired weight it can help to maintain it.

This makes running a great part of a naturopathic weight loss program.

2. It’s Good For Your Immune System

One issue which is on the minds of many people these days is immune health.

What factors affect how well your immune system fights disease, and what are the things you can do to help it along?

In the past, we’ve talked about vitamins to strengthen your immune system, as well as autoimmune disorders and a naturopathic approach to them.

However, running can help too.

Moderate exercise has been found to be beneficial to the immune system, and running is a great way to achieve this.

Running can also help to reduce the risk of respiratory infections, improve antibody response and lower inflammation.

Running Can Help You Maintain A Healthy Weight | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

3. It Can Help Improve Your Sleep

Why do we need sleep, anyway?

Sleep helps you rejuvenate and grow muscle, restore and repair tissues, address hormonal imbalances, repair neural pathways, and much more.

Good sleep is incredibly important for health.

But what does “good” sleep mean?

Generally, this refers to not only the amount of sleep you’re getting, but the quality – so it’s not just getting your eight hours, it’s a matter of those eight hours being restful and restorative.

Exercise in general, and specifically running can help you fall asleep faster and improves the quality of sleep.

Additionally, it doesn’t matter what time of day you do it.

It was once thought exercising too close to bedtime could disrupt sleep, but this has largely been found to be false – so don’t worry if you prefer to get your run in after work instead of first thing in the morning.

However, it’s not a bad idea to have a little bedtime yoga ritual as well to wind down.

4. It’s Good For Your Mental Health

Many people start running for the benefits to their physical health, and then they keep running for the mental health benefits.

When surveyed on the reasons they run, answers commonly point to increased mental clarity, better mood, and a more positive effect on emotions.

Runners have compared it to being an effective alternative to prescription medications for depression and said it to be as effective as psychotherapy.

It’s important to note that results will vary, and while there is nothing wrong with needing therapy or medication for mental health concerns, this could be a way for individuals to help manage depression and anxiety as a way to supplement professional help.

Please do not stop taking medication or seeking therapy based on what you read in this article.

5. It Reduces Risk Of Osteoarthritis

Arthritis actually refers to a large number of different disorders, but the most common ones are rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease which occurs when the cartilage in a joint wears down, resulting in stiffness, pain, and swelling.

It commonly affects the hips and knees.

A 2018 study in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery surveyed marathon runners regarding their hip and knee health.

Prevalence of arthritis in this group of marathon runners was found to be significantly lower than in the general population.

Other natural solutions for osteoarthritis include vitamin B5 and Mississauga naturopathic acupuncture.

Are There Risks In Running?

Like any exercise, there can be some risks involved with running, the most common being the potential for overuse injury.

Going from being a complete couch potato, to running too much, too far, or too fast can lead to injuries.

Additionally, poor form or inappropriate shoes can be a cause for concern.

Some ways to avoid this include:

  • Learning proper form
  • Ensuring your have appropriate shoes and replacing them when they wear out
  • Warming up properly before a run, and stretching afterwards
  • Including other forms of exercise in your routine, such as swimming, cycling, and body weight exercises

Don’t try to run a marathon right away – work up to longer distances gradually

Should You Start Running?

You just read a lot of great reasons to take up running.

The physical and mental health benefits sound great, and you’re ready to invest in a great new pair of shoes.

But maybe there’s something holding you back.

Maybe you’re nervous about getting started due to past injuries, or want to make sure it’s not going to affect some other factor we haven’t considered here today.

In that case, it’s time to…

Book Your Appointment With The Mindful Healing Clinic Today

I’m Dr Maria Cavallazzi, ND, and if there is something holding you back from living a full and healthy life, I’m here to help.

The paradox of anxiety is it’s often the thing which holds us back from starting a new habit – like running – which can help alleviate said anxiety.

If this sounds familiar, I want to help you determine what is holding you back, so you can make the best decisions for your health.

Contact my office today to set up an appointment.

Getting To Know Your Body: Your Liver | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

Getting To Know Your Body: Your Liver

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Getting To Know Your Body: Your Liver | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

Let’s talk about your liver.

Football-shaped, it is the largest internal organ we have, weighing on average three pounds; it occupies a central location in our abdomens.

It plays a role in a number of different metabolic processes, including detoxifying your bloodstream.

As a result, a naturopathic detoxification approach always includes liver support.

Let’s take a closer look at this wonderful organ and what it does.

What Does Your Liver Do?

Not to play favourites, but the liver is truly one of the most incredible, hard-working organs in the human body.

It is composed of two parts, called lobes, and each of those is sectioned into eight different segments.

The liver protects your gallbladder, spleen, and pancreas by being positioned between them and the ribcage.

It is responsible for many of our metabolic processes, including the breaking down of food into different nutrients, converting glucose to glycogen (which is absorbed into the cells for later release) and detoxifying the bloodstream.

Interestingly, it’s considered a part of your body’s endocrine system – along with your thyroid, kidneys, pituitary gland, hypothalamus, pineal gland, sex organs, adrenal glands, pancreas, and others.

But it also has exocrine functions as well – that is, functions outside of the secretion of hormones.

The liver can hold up to 13% of the body’s blood supply at any given time, so its importance can’t be overstated.

Your blood is delivered to your liver by a vein, and once there, the liver cells, (called hepatocytes), sort,and filter it.

During that process, they determine what should be eliminated, what should be stored for future use, which nutrients should be used right away, and which should go back into the blood.

Like many superheroes, livers also can regenerate themselves.

After an injury or a surgery, it can often grow back to its original size.

The leftover cells in the liver enlarge themselves until they can multiply on their own.

Livers have been observed doing this after repeated injury.

Common Liver Diseases

Like any organ, your liver can be subject to disease.

Here are some of the more common ones.

1. Hepatitis A

There are several types of hepatitis, which is a viral infection that enlarges the liver.

An enlarged liver can cause jaundice, digestive disorders, pain after eating, and more.

Hepatitis A is prevalent in countries with unstable access to clean drinking water and with poor sanitation.

Most often, people can recover from hepatitis A without any lasting complications or liver failure.

2. Hepatitis B

This type of hepatitis, while mostly contracted through sexual contact, can also be passed along through sharing, or getting stuck by, an infected needle.

The younger a person is when they get infected, the higher the chance of long-term, chronic symptoms.

Some of the complications of hepatitis B can be cancer, or liver failure.

It can be considered the most severe of the hepatitis strains, but there is a preventative vaccine.

3. Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C is blood-borne (transmitted through the blood), and mostly contracted via needle or blood transfusion, though it can also be sexually transmitted.

This viral strain can cause your liver to become inflamed, which is serious, because inflammation can obstruct the passage of bile.

Bile is the substance that breaks down the food we eat and is a key part of our regulatory systems.

If bile becomes clogged, we cannot digest properly, which will result in a loss of appetite, and pain when we try and eat.

Hepatitis C can also cause generalized liver damage, and failure, should it be left untreated.

4. Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, or NASH, is characterized by scarring (fibrosis) on the liver tissue.

The fibrosis builds up in the liver and eventually causes the organ to “suffocate”.

It is differentiated from cirrhosis because it is not related to alcohol consumption.

It is often diagnosed in people who have type 2 diabetes and is more often related to poor nutrition, obesity, and other lifestyle factors.

5. Cirrhosis

Cirrhosis is often caused by the chronic, excessive consumption of alcohol.

However, it can also be caused by untreated viral infections, or genetic conditions such as Wilson’s disease.

Cirrhosis is characterized by the build-up of scar tissue and fibrosis in the liver.

It can be extremely painful and has visible symptoms: including jaundice, fluid build-up in the arms and legs, nausea, itchy skin, and skin that bruises or bleeds easily.

6. Autoimmune Hepatitis

Autoimmune disorders happen when the body begins to attack itself, destroying healthy tissue, and cells can’t regenerate fast enough.

If left untreated, autoimmune hepatitis can lead to cirrhosis, and other irreparable damage.

Naturopathic Solutions for Liver Health

There are so many things that each of us can do daily to help keep our livers healthy and unstressed.

Making sure certain foods are a regular part of our diets, keeping hydrated, regular visits to your naturopathic doctor for checkups: these are important things to regularly do to maintain our general health.

Let’s talk about some of the things we can do to support liver function.

1. Drink Coffee. (No, Really)

The caffeine aficionados among us will appreciate this.

Up to three cups of coffee a day has been shown to lower the rate of deaths among patients with chronic liver disease.

It can also reduce the risk of cirrhosis, liver damage, and certain types of liver cancer.

Coffee reduces inflammation and increases levels of antioxidants.

What are antioxidants?

Antioxidants protect your cells from damage by free radicals by eliminating them.

If you prefer tea over coffee, green tea has a similar level of antioxidants as well.

We could be reaping these benefits because coffee lowers the levels of fat and collagen in our body, or because it has blood-thinning properties and can therefore help with circulation.

2. Drink Alcohol Responsibly

Alcohol can be particularly damaging to our livers because, as we’ve discussed, the liver is where our body breaks down and redistributes what we have ingested.

As our livers break down the alcohol we’ve consumed, it can release the chemicals that were used to brew the alcohol.

These chemicals can cause significant damage, but because our livers are so good at healing, the damage is often found in its late stages when it cannot be reversed.

Alcohol recommendations can vary depending on age, gender, and other factors, so consult your Mississauga naturopathic doctorto get an idea of your recommended daily intake.

3. Go Easy on the Medication

Everything that goes into the body eventually gets processed by the liver, and that includes the medication we take.

Acetaminophen is a major cause of liver damage, probably because it is in so many of the medications we take.

We can get into trouble if we combine taking, say, a dose of Tylenol along with an over the counter cough medicine, which also contains acetaminophen.

Therefore, it is recommended to read labels and keep our acetaminophen intake at around or under two grams a day.

Beyond acetaminophen, many NSAIDs (non steroidal anti inflammatory drug), such as ibuprofen or naproxen, can also cause significant harm if taken above recommended dosages, or for extended periods of time.

All this to say, please DO NOT stop taking your prescription medications based on what you read in this article.

If you have concerns about your liver and the medication you’re taking, book an appointment at the Mindful Healing Clinic and let’s chat.

4. Supplement with B Vitamins

B vitamins are important for optimal liver function.

They are cofactors, which means they help release the enzymes needed for digestion.

In particular, vitamin B12 is the only B complex vitamin that can be stored in your liver.

B vitamins can be found in a variety of food: dark, leafy green vegetables like kale, whole grains, and legumes like chickpeas or lentils.

how lemon water is good for liver cleansing | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

5. Drink Lemon Water

Water keeps you hydrated, and lemon is a fundamental source of vitamin C.

Vitamin C is an antioxidant and helps protect your liver against the very toxins it processes.

Lemon also encourages the production of bile and helps with the liver’s enzyme function.

Book Your Appointment With The Mindful Healing Clinic Today

As humans, we cannot be healthy without the help of our liver.

While it is true that due to the nature of its work, it is more susceptible to infection and inflammation, it also usually responds quickly to diet or lifestyle changes.

Are you interested in learning more about how to support your liver?

If so, I’m Dr. Maria Cavallazzi, ND, and I can help.

Book your appointment with the Mindful Healing Clinictoday.

Does Reiki Really Work? | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

Does Reiki Really Work?

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Does Reiki Really Work? | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

You probably associate the term “Reiki” with natural health clinics, but perhaps you have never tried it.

You may have had someone recommend it to you after they have had a good experience.

But when it comes down to it, what exactly is Reiki?

It may seem to you like a mysterious or even made up practice.

But Reiki is growing in popularity throughout North America, and despite the skeptics, many people have benefitted from the deep state of relaxation that it provides.

We offer Reiki healing in Mississauga at the Mindful Healing Clinic, and our clients have reported excellent results.

If you are curious about Reiki, read on.

What Is Reiki?

Reiki is a healing tradition that originated in Japan.

The word “Reiki” literally translates to “universal energy”.

The tradition uses the principle that a universal energy flows throughout everything and around our bodies, giving us life.

When we are injured, either physically or emotionally, this flow can be interrupted.

A Reiki practitioner works with you to improve the flow of energy around your body.

The outcome is similar to that of Mississauga acupuncture treatment, in which the body experiences a release of pressure or tension, encouraging healing.

Improving energy flow can help with common issues, and can serve as a:

But there are greater benefits for those with more serious health conditions, too.

What Is A Reiki Session Like?

Reiki sessions usually last for 45 to 60 minutes.

Much like a massage, when you arrive for your Reiki session you enter a quiet, private room and sit or lie on a massage table, fully clothed.

After an initial consultation to assess your needs, a customized session will begin.

The practitioner focuses their hands on specific areas of your head, neck, and torso, pausing on each area for two to five minutes.

You experience deep relaxation and occasionally some light headedness.

The practitioner works on the energy flow, often experiencing tingling in their hands, until it moves.

Your practitioner can work with the energy flow around your body without touching you, if that’s what you prefer.

What Are The Benefits Of Reiki?

The “ki” in Reiki comes from the Japanese word for energy, the same word (“chi”) that is in tai chi.

Reiki aids in relaxation and can be used to assist the body in its healing process, whether the issue is physical or emotional.

While Reiki should never be used as a replacement for medical treatment, clients undergoing chemotherapy, chronic fatigue, and depression have experienced Reiki’s healing benefits.

Let’s have a look at some of the conditions for which Reiki has shown success.

1. Reiki For Crohn’s Disease

Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease that can affect any portion of your gastrointestinal tract.

The condition is chronic and can be debilitating or even life threatening, but Reiki can serve as a complementary natural solution for Crohn’s disease.

Reiki focuses on the energy blockage in the bowel to get it moving again, and those with Crohn’s disease often find relief from their symptoms after each session.

Participants in this study, who were suffering from Crohn’s disease, experienced positive changes after receiving healing therapy.

Clients also described feeling relaxed and calm following each session.

2. Reiki For Anxiety

Reiki is particularly useful as a natural anxiety treatment, since it’s calming for those experiencing issues with anxiety.

As the session begins, you enter an active meditative state, which can shift the anxious energy that has been surrounding you.

The result after a session can be a sense of calm, clarity, and even happiness as you emerge feeling energized and relaxed.

This study found Reiki to be effective in providing relief to cancer patients of their chronic anxiety, reporting a lowered rate of anxiety following Reiki sessions.

3. Reiki For Chronic Pain

There are many conditions that can result in chronic pain and affect your quality of life.

As many as one in five people will live with chronic pain in their lifetime.

As a result, many seek out solutions for how to deal with chronic pain naturally

Complementary therapy, including massage, Reiki, and acupuncture, is often used alongside medical treatment to help ease the sufferer’s pain.

Reiki is considered a safe and effective complementary therapy to ease symptoms associated with chronic pain conditions.

As well as addressing the physical pain by working with energy flow, Reiki targets the limbic system – the area of the brain in which you process emotions.

Reiki works on both a physical and an emotional level to calm and soothe your symptoms.

Studies comparing the outcome of Reiki sessions with a practitioner versus those done with an actor, or “sham Reiki”, found evidence to suggest that Reiki is effective to relieve chronic pain symptoms.

The study mentioned above in the section about anxiety relief also found that Reiki provided similar results with relieving chronic pain.

how reiki can help with fertility and pregnancy | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

4. Reiki For Infertility

Throughout history and across cultures, rituals have been used to help people to conceive.

This is because there are so many reasons that infertility can occur, regardless of gender.

Infertility is defined as an inability to conceive after one year of trying.

Difficulty can be attributed to genetics, hormonal imbalance, or disease, and there are many treatment options.

Success in conceiving after using healing touch Reiki sessions are documented in this case study.

The sessions included stimulation of reflexology points on the ankle to affect the uterus and ovaries.

The client was also able to use Reiki treatments as an alternative to medical pain relievers when giving birth.

5. Other Possible Uses Of Reiki

Reiki can help to ease symptoms for many other conditions, including:

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Autism
  • Neurodegenerative disorders
  • Heart disease

This is because patients suffering from these disorders can feel stressed, fearful, or their bodies are overwhelmed by the often invasive treatments they have to undergo.

Reiki should never be used to replace medical treatment for any of these conditions, rather, it can be very beneficial as a complementary therapy.

Can Reiki Harm You?

Reiki is a no contact practice, and therefore cannot harm you.

However, if a client decides to use Reiki in place of the recommended treatment for their condition, then this can become a serious health issue.

If you decide to try Reiki alongside your current treatment plan, then you could experience for yourself the wonderful benefits of this healing touch practice.

Book Your Appointment With The Mindful Healing Clinic Today

If you are suffering from the painful side effects of an illness, stressed, tired, or anxious, then Reiki may be for you.

Book your appointment with the Mindful Healing Clinic today to find out more.

Vitamin Profile: Vitamin K | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

Vitamin Profile: Vitamin K

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Vitamin Profile: Vitamin K | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

As a naturopath for cancer patients I want to help bring more attention to vitamin K.

Because when you think of vitamins which are important and essential to health, what comes to mind?

Vitamin A?

Vitamin C?

Vitamin D?

Vitamin E?

Maybe the B complex vitamins?

You likely know vitamin C is good for helping strengthen your immune system and vitamin D is important for bone health.

However, if someone asked you to tell them about vitamin K, you might not have much to say.

Vitamin K hasn’t had as much attention as some of its more well known counterparts, and we’re here to fix that.

Keep reading to learn more.

What Is Vitamin K?

Although many people don’t know much about vitamin K, it is an important nutrient which plays a vital role in your health.

It was first discovered due to the role it plays in helping blood to clot, as well as its role in protecting against tooth decay.

There are two forms of vitamin K: K1 and K2.

The first is generally found in plant based foods, and the second in animal based foods, as well as fermented foods.

In addition to this, the body can create K2 on its own.

Benefits Of Vitamin K

This little known vitamin has a variety of health benefits which come with it.

Let’s take a look at why you should be mindful of getting enough in your diet.

1. It May Be Good For Your Teeth

Some researchers have suggested vitamin K may play a role in dental health.

Osteocalcin is a protein which is important in regulating proteins which are linked to dental health, and it is activated by vitamin K2.

It is believed vitamins A, D and K2 work together to help keep your mouth and teeth healthy.

2. May Reduce Risk Of Cancer

Studies have been done to look at the link between vitamin K2 and cancer.

Studies in the journal Cancer, and also Anticancer Research suggest it may play a role in reducing recurrence of liver cancer, as well as increasing survival times.

Vitamin K2 has also been found to lower the risk of prostate cancer.

3. May Reduce Risk Of Heart Disease

There is evidence vitamin K can help prevent calcium build up in your arteries.

Given that the accumulation of calcium in the arteries is a major risk factor in developing heart disease, prevention of this could go a long way to helping reduce the risk of heart disease.

It’s important to note that to date, all of the studies done on this are observational, and more are needed to solidify this link.

4. May Reduce Risk Of Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is an issue which is common in western countries.

It leads to the weakening of bones and increases the risk of broken bones.

Vitamin K2 has an important role in metabolizing calcium and may help prevent the development of osteoporosis.

Other ways to reduce your risk of osteoporosis include magnesium and balancing your hormones, particularly your estrogen.

types of food that are rich in Vitamin A | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

Dietary Sources Of Vitamin K

If you’re worried you aren’t getting enough vitamin K, here are some ways to add more into your diet:

Sources of vitamin K1:

  • Mustard greens
  • Kale
  • Collard greens
  • Swiss chard
  • Broccoli
  • Spinach
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Kiwi
  • Avocado
  • Blackberries
  • Pomegranate

Sources of vitamin K2:

  • Fermented foods, like sauerkraut
  • Egg yolks
  • Ground beer
  • Liver, kidneys, and other organ meats
  • High fat dairy products
  • Pork chops
  • Chicken
  • Hard cheeses
  • Bacon

Causes And Symptoms Of Vitamin K Deficiency

Most adults who eat a varied diet don’t need to worry too much about vitamin K deficiency, however, there are some factors which can affect the body’s ability to create and absorb it.

Some of the symptoms of vitamin K deficiency include:

  • Black, tar like stool, which contains blood
  • Easily bruised
  • Blood clots under the nails
  • Bleeding in mucous membranes

In infants, some signs of deficiency include:

  • Sudden brain bleed
  • Bleeding of the penis, in circumcised children
  • Bleeding of the skin, gastrointestinal tract, and nose
  • Bleeding when the umbilical cord is cut

Some factors which can affect vitamin K levels include taking certain medications, such antibiotics or blood thinning medications, a diet low in vitamin K, or certain medical conditions which affect the body’s ability to absorb vitamin K.

Some medical conditions which may affect vitamin K levels include:

  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Disorders of the intestines, liver, bile ducts, or gallbladder
  • Having part of the intestines removed
  • Celiac disease

Book Your Appointment With The Mindful Healing Clinic Today

Do you have a condition which could impact your body’s ability to make or absorb vitamin K?

Are you worried about a deficiency of this, or any other important vitamins or nutrients?

I’m Dr. Maria Cavallazzi, a naturopathic doctor in Mississauga, and I can help.

Contact me today to learn more about how naturopathic medicine can be used to help keep you healthy and thriving.