Archive for the ‘Children’ Category

The Dangers of Mercury

 

I can’t tell you how upset I was to find out my dentist had been putting a known toxin in to my mouth. What?!?! Since I was 4 years old, my poor little body had been intentionally exposed to neuro-toxin. How could he? And all those vaccines I got. How could my pediatrician have done such a thing? What happened to the Hippocratic oath of “Do no harm?”

 

 

I first learned about the dangers of mercury and how we can be exposed to it my first year of college. I was grateful that I had already given up eating seafood, so that wasn’t a concern.

 

Finding all of this out, I got to thinking, “How much mercury HAVE I been exposed to?” I thought I was living a pretty healthy life- organic vegetarian, using green beauty products. (And cheap beer can be vegetarian. Right?) But maybe I was wrong.

 

I didn’t have any symptoms of mercury poisoning, but I still had my blood tested in grad school for mercury. The levels were high. I immediately had all my silver fillings taken out and still refuse any vaccines. I did a series of liver cleanses to flush out the mercury and any other heavy metals in my system. I now have a clean bill of health. I do a liver cleanse at least once a year to keep healthy.

 

Luckily, our bodies have the ability to remove this heavy metal through nutritional and herbal support. I already had a diet high in antioxidants, which improves the liver’s function to rid the body of all toxins, including heavy metals. I added a few more healing modalities that support the detoxification process: acupuncture, massage, saunas, a juice fast, and fiber supplements.

 

Side Effects Of Mercury Poisoning


The presence of mercury is considered toxic at any level, but children are most vulnerable due to their fast growth rates and low body mass.

 

High concentrations of mercury can result in:

*Depression, fatigue, headaches, dizziness, irritability, lack of concentration, memory lapses, and nervousness
*Mental retardation, Cerebral palsy, autism, deafness, & blindness
*Trembling hands, numbness in the hands and feet, & loss of muscle coordination

 

Sources

 

Unfortunately, there are very high rates of mercury poisoning in several industries, especially among munitions workers, laboratory technicians, farm workers, and coal burning plant workers.
Apart from exposure to industrial waste and pollution, you might be at risk for mercury poisoning through your amalgam (silver) fillings, eating seafood, and getting vaccines.

 

Silver Fillings
Dentists all over the world now refuse to use amalgam fillings, because of the direct link to their use and mercury poisoning. Sweden, Denmark, Austria, Norway have all banned mercury fillings. The World Health Organization has found that the average individual could absorb as much as 120 micrograms of mercury per day from their amalgam fillings, which is considered a toxic dose. Mother’s pass on the mercury in their fillings to the children through their breast milk.

 

Fish
Almost all fish are contaminated as the result of our oceans and streams being polluted by industrial waste. Fish with the highest levels of contamination include: tuna, swordfish, sea bass, oysters, marlin, halibut, pike, walleye, white croaker, largemouth bass, and shark. Pregnant women have been advised for years to avoid canned tuna due to the mercury content and the potential effects on the fetus. Now it’s best to avoid all seafood.

 

Vaccines
Mercury is also found in any vaccines containing thimerosal, which is a preservative found in many vaccines. It is possible to request vaccines that don’t contain this extremely toxic preservative.

 

What Next?

 

Hopefully, this has you thinking about changing some of your habits. Get your blood tested. Take out those silver fillings. Don’t eat fish. Do a liver cleanse or two.

 

Once you’ve done a cleanse and flushed out mercury and other heavy metals from your system, it is important to limit exposure from your diet and environment. Try to avoid the following items that can contain mercury: pesticides and fungicides, certain cosmetics, medications, and hair dyes, fluorescent lights, and some solvents.

 

Live Natural. Live Well.

 

Heather

Radiation- What to Do?!?!?

I’ve had so many patients ask about the potential side effects of radiation hitting the West Coast. This gives me a chance to talk about my favorite subject- FOOD.

Whole Grains & Legumes

Brown rice should be lightly roasted to increase your protection against radiation.

Adzuki beans- little red beans used in soups and stews- are great for improving kidney function, which is necessary for removing toxins.

Other delicious grains to help protect you include: buckwheat, millet, and quinoa.

Sea Vegetables

Most sea vegetables contain a polysaccharide that binds to radioactive strontium and other pollutants. This helps to eliminate them from the body.

Kombu, a common kelp, can be used when cooking beans or vegetables. Add to your soup or salad a few tablespoons of sea vegetables, such as nori (used in sushi rolls), hiziki, alaria, arame, or wakame.

Miso Soup

1 or 2 bowls of unpasteurized miso soup every day, preferably prepared with kombu seaweed and root vegetables.

Miso broth with root vegetables (like carrots, beets, yams, onions, turnips and radishes) stimulates digestive enzymes and supports the elimination of pollutants and toxins from the blood.

Eat Your Veggies

Any dark, leafy greens will promote detoxification, including: dandelion, kale, cilantro, and chard. Other veggies to alkaline the body and reduce inflammation are: pumpkin, squash, garlic, avocado, and broccoli.

Root vegetables are a great source of antioxidants and support your kidneys.

Add tumeric- the spice that makes curry yellow- to your veggies to reduce inflammation and support your immune system.

Adding lemon to your filtered water supports the liver’s function to eliminate toxins. It also stimulates your metabolism. Who wouldn’t want that? I recommend drinking lemon water all the time, but especially first thing in the morning to jumpstart your day. No matter what the circumstances.

Supplements

The Iodide Question

There are many conflicting studies about the benefits and efficacy of taking iodine to protect your thyroid from radiation. So I’m hesitant to say anything about it. I personally think taking a low dose potassium iodide pill is usually safe as long as you don’t have a thyroid condition already. Short-term use should be fine, but please consult your physician first. According to the CDC, a single dose is all you need. Should radioactive iodine remain in the environment for more than 24 hours, another dose might be required. You shouldn’t take any at all unless you know that there is an immediate radiation hazard.

Other Steps to Take

Reishi and Cordyceps mushrooms protects your bone marrow from radiation and other toxins.

Spirulina and chlorella help the liver to flush on toxins, including radiation.

If you don’t like to or don’t know how to cook with tumeric, as suggested above, you can take it as supplement. 2-4 grams per day is should be enough.

Some homeopathic remedies to treat radiation: radium bromatum, uranium nitricum, plutonium nitricum, x-ray and plumbum. Please consult a qualified physician or homeopath before taking.

Taking a bath in Epsom salts, sea salt, bentonite clay, and/or baking soda to support your body’s ability to release toxins.

Acupuncture has long been established as great for detoxification and supporting the thyroid & immune system.

Foods To Avoid

You want to make sure your body can easily eliminate toxins, especially radiation. The healthier you are, the better your organs can do their job. So you want to avoid acidic foods and foods that slow down your body’s ability to detoxify. It is important to avoid coffee, sodas, refined sugars, dairy, and ‘white’ (bread, rice, etc…) and processed foods

All of these tips should be incorporated in to your daily lives, whether or not you’re directly affected by nuclear fall out in Japan. Eating a plant based, alkalizing diet will help protect you from almost any disease or pollution.

Live natural. Live well.

Heather

Boosting Your Immunity

How many days have you called in sick this year? How many special occasions have you missed, because you or a family member is sick? Again? The stress of our every day lives taxes the body. Bad food, late nights, little to no sleep, caffeine and sugar addiction, and high stress levels every day would wear out anyone. Chinese medicine and proper nutrition can help you stay healthy & recover quickly from colds and the flu.

A lot of people have weakened immune systems due to the fast paced lifestyle most of us lead. This makes them prone to colds and the flu. Having a lower immunity can also make you prone to being really sick for longer periods, especially when compared to someone who is relatively healthy. It’s rare to just get a case of the sniffles.

Improving one’s immune system, so you don’t get sick is ideal. This process can start immediately and have a long-term impact on one’s health. These modalities are also highly effective for those with HIV/AIDS.

Once a person is sick, the sooner treatment is administered, the quicker the recovery. Similar treatment protocols are administered with someone who is sick or just starting to come down with something. The types of herbs and points used do change, but daily acupuncture treatments and herbs are essential. The use of Chinese medicine gets rid of an infection without the side effects of antibiotics. Naturally treating an infection doesn’t suppress the contagion, but helps the body heal itself. So the bug doesn’t come right back.

A few, easy preventative measures: Eat lots of garlic, take vitamin C daily, and avoid dairy and sugar (sorry!). These simple steps may help you:

* avoid feeling miserable

* have more energy

* save money

*no more calling in sick (unless you want to)

* avoid side effects of antibiotics

* thoroughly enjoy your holidays

Live natural. Live well.

Heather

Popeye was almost right

But he should have eaten fresh spinach instead of canned. It’s a great source of iron, which increases the health of your blood, especially red blood cells. Red blood cells in turn feed your muscles, among many other things, and in turn, gives you energy and strength.

The absorbed iron is transported as plasma ferritin and stored in liver, spleen, bone marrow and kidney. When red cells are broken down, the liberated iron is reutilized in the formation of new red cells. Iron is necessary for oxygen transport and cell growth by helping the blood transport oxygen from the lungs to the tissue cells where it is needed.

Are you getting enough iron?

Iron deficiency symptoms include: Pale skin & nail beds, fatigue, irritability, dizziness, weakness, shortness of breath, sore tongue and mouth, light headed, brittle nails, decreased appetite (especially in children), headache, weakness. Other symptoms include heartburn, gas, vague abdominal pains, numbness and tingling in the extremities, heart palpitation, and sores at the corners of the mouth.

What causes the malabsorption of iron?

Deficiency Vitamin C, because Vitamin C aides in iron absorption. In men and postmenopausal women, anemia is usually due to blood loss associated with ulcers, the use of aspirin or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDS), or colon cancer.

Iron is mostly absorbed from duodenum (part of the intestines) and upper small intestine. So if you have any digestive issues or food sensitivities, you could be at risk for anemia.

Phytate, which is found in some whole grains and legumes, can limit iron absorption. Soy, which is a good vegetarian source of iron, contains phytate and certain proteins that interfere with iron absorption. Other foods that obstruct iron absorption include coffee, tea (including some herbal), cocoa, calcium, fiber and some spices.

Some iron loss occurs naturally. The total daily iron loss of an adult is about 1 mg and about 2 mg in menstruating women.

 

Daily Requirements of Iron

Children, men and women according to age have different nutritional needs. Please see chart below for guidelines.

Children
7 mos – 1 yr 11 mg         1 yr – 4 yrs 7 mg

4 yrs – 8 yrs 10 mg          9 yrs – 13 yrs 8 mg

Men
14 yrs – 18 yrs 11 mg        19 yrs + 8 mg

Women

14 yrs – 18 yrs 15 mg

19 yrs – 50 yrs 18 mg
51 + yrs 8 mg

Pregnant 27 mg

Lactating 14 yrs – 18 yrs 10 mg
19 + yrs     9 mg

 

Sources of Iron

Food                         Iron in mg             Food                       Iron in mg

Black beans              7.9                               Tofu                         4.6
Garbanzos                6.9                               Lima beans             4.5
Pintos                       6.1                              Lentils                     6.6
Navy                         5.1                                Split peas               3.4
Soybeans                 8.8                           Kidney Beans         5.2

Fresh Peas              2.9                            Tempeh                    2.2

 

Vegetables (1 cup cooked)

Spinach                   6.4                             Kale                       1.8
Beet greens            2.8                             Acorn squash         1.7
Swiss chard            4.0                             Brussels sprouts   1.7
Tomato juice           2.2                             Potato w/skin         1.4
Butternut squash    2.1                              Beets                      1.0

Fruit

Prune juice (1 cup)  10.5                            Dates (10)              2.4
Dried peach             5 3.9                            Prunes                   1.8
Raisins, ½ cup        2.6                          Strawberries, 1 cup   1.5

Grains (¼ cup dry)
Rice bran                     10.8                    Wheat bran/germ      1.9
Quinoa                         4.6                     Cream of wheat           8.1
Millet                            3.9                      Oat or cornmeal         0.7

Seeds (approximately ¼ cup)

Pumpkin seeds           4.0                    Sunflower seeds          2.4

Hemp Seeds              13.6

Miscellaneous

Blackstrap molasses  3.2                  Brewer’s yeast, 1 tbs        1.4
Tahini 2 tbsp               2.7                   Cashews ¼ cup               2.0

 

So next time your at the farmers market, pick up some some kale and spinach and add them to your black bean chili or next soup. Or top your green salad with pumpkin seeds.  Not only will it taste great, but you’ll feel more energized.

Live natural. Live well.

Heather

Boosting the Immune System

A weakened immune system not only makes the body prone to colds and flues, but also extends the amount of time symptoms remain, especially when compared to someone who is relatively healthy. That’s why some people tend to get really sick when they do get sick. It’s rare that they just get a case of the sniffles.

Life’s stresses tax the body. Combine that with bad food, late nights, lack of sleep, and overexertion and even the strongest would be worn out. Traditional Chinese medicine helps to keep you healthy or recover quickly if illness hits.

Improving someone’s immune system so they don’t get sick is ideal. Daily acupuncture, taking Chinese herbs, massage, Reiki, supplements, and aromatherapy, along with dietary changes, have a great impact on one’s health. This practice is also used for those with HIV/AIDS.

Once a person is sick, the sooner treatment is administered, the quicker the recovery. Similar treatment protocols are administered with someone who is sick or just starting to come down with something. The types of herbs and points used do change, but daily acupuncture treatments and herbs are essential. Unlike antibiotics, Chinese medicine doesn’t just suppress the contagion, it actually expels it so that the illness doesn’t come right back. In addition, there are no side effects with Chinese medicine like there are with the use of antibiotics.

In the long run, my therapeutic approach will improve your immune system and in turn, prevent you from getting sick. But if you, I’ll have you feeling well in short order!

Patient testimonial:

I can’t remember the last time I got sick, maybe 5 years ago. I used to be bedridden with the flu up to four times a year. I know it’s from the combination of treatments from Dr. Lounsbury. She does acupuncture, herbs, massage and Reiki to help me stay on top. I can now consider myself totally healthy.
- Joan M., Dancer

Chinese Medicine and Treating Autism

Acupressure/acupuncture, herbs, and comprehensive nutrition are a safe, comfortable, and effective way to treat problems associated with autism. It is especially helpful in conjunction with Western therapies. Each person responds differently to treatment, but there is a decrease in symptoms and more fulfilling way of life as a result.

What Chinese medicine treats:

  • Hyperactivity Increasing attention span
  • Increasing immunity
  • Improving verbal and non verbal communication
  • Reducing temper & aggression
  • Improving motor skills
  • Regulating sensitivity to pain
  • Detoxification Insomnia
  • Decreasing side effects of medication

Hope for Autism

AutismIs your child autistic?

The number of children with autism has gone from 1 in 10,00 in 1980 to 1 in 88 girls and 1 in 54 boys today. Autism is the fastest-growing developmental disability with a growth rate of 1,148%.  The numbers are staggering. Some of this because of diagnosing has gotten better.  But most of the increase is due to the toxins to which we and our children are exposed.

Many parents come to me after their child has already been diagnosed. Most autistic  children develops at a healthy rate, and then ‘suddenly’, their behavior changes drastically.

Some of the symptoms include:

  • Anxiety
  • Digestive issues
  • Increased pain threshold
  • Withdrawal
  • Aggression
  • Impulsiveness
  • Lack of attention and difficulty making eye contact
  • Issues with non-verbal communication
  • Lacking in verbal communication skills
  • Poor immune responses
  • Problems with social relationships
  • Obsessive attachments to certain objects
  • Sensory integration problems
  • Poor behavior, whining, or tantrums
  • Insomnia

Common causes:

  • Poor Detoxification
  • Heavy Metal Toxicity
  • Inflamed Gut and Microbial Imbalance
  • Food Allergies
  • Nutritional Deficiencies

What you can do

  • Have your child tested for heavy metal poisoning, food allergies, and gut health.
  • Put your child on an allergy elimination diet.
  • Avoid vaccines, especially those containing mercury.
  • Avoid amalgam/silver fillings, as these contain mercury.
  • Avoid all toxic cleaning and beauty products.
  • Feed your family organic, non-genetically modified foods.
  • Receive acupuncture/acupressure treatments along with herbal medicine.
  • Research what supplements will help your child.

I can help your autistic child with any of the above steps to have a healthier, more fulfilling life. There is hope.

Live natural. Live well.

Heather

ADD and your child

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 8 percent of children aged    4 to 17 are diagnosed with ADHD.  Many of these cases are prescribed Ritalin.  For those  of you without kids, Ritalin is a drug made up of methylphenidate which is a stimulant affecting the central nervous system.

As more and more kids are being prescribed Ritalin, more and more parents wonder:  What am I giving my child?  Most can agree that the number of children under 17 that     are taking drugs to treat ADHD in this country is surprising.  However, Attention Deficit Disorder and hyperactivity is a real problem and parents feel a burning need to ensure the wellbeing of their children. I fervently believe that these mental health issues in children are real, and must be treated, but I would like to recommend acupuncture, herbs, and proper nutrition are safer, long lasting approaches.

While doctors will often refer to the drug as a “mild” stimulant, the fact is, Ritalin is a stimulant.  While some stimulants can indeed yield positive results in adults and children, it is important to understand what’s going on physiologically, and to be aware of potentially harmful side effects.  Here are some of the basics:
- Stimulants can raise heart rate, temperature, and blood pressure.
- Stimulants are often addictive.
- Stimulants can lower appetite thus compromising a child’s sense of proper nutrition.
- Prolonged use or abuse of stimulants can have mental side effects as well,
including anxiety, paranoia, and may cause aggression.

If your child is currently using Ritalin and experiencing unpleasant side effects, ask your physician about alternative treatments.  As a healthcare professional, I know that first and foremost is your child’s wellbeing.  Whenever using acupuncture for kids, I like to show them that it is safe by placing the needles on their parents.  This eases some of the worry that children may have when it comes to needles.  Any licensed acupuncturist will make sure to move slowly and adjust for a child’s comfort level.  Most kids feel triumphant after undergoing the treatments and their parents proudly report a new sense of calm that has swept over their household.

Acupuncture for kids (or acupressure as an equally effective no-needle alternative), has been growing and the results are incredible.  Over 150,000 kids received acupuncture treatments last year alone, and recent studies are showing that these treatments have been effective for almost two thirds of patients, according to the 2008 report published by the National Center for Health and Alternative Medicine at the National Institutes of Health.

I have seen these results firsthand.  For the past decade of my practice I have been so inspired by the children who have come through my doors.  Children who could not sit still, had no interest in studying, and who’s mood swings were off the charts.  These are special, sometimes brilliant children whose hyperactivity has crippled their performance in school and put strain on their social development.  Chinese medicine has provided kids and parents with a working solution that is painless, and side effect free.

Please, if you have more questions about Attention Deficit Disorder or anxiety, do ask.  Because when it comes to the health of you and your children, communication is key.

Live natural.  Live well,

Heather

Kids Inspire to Go Green

I decided on this week’s blog topic after going to an art show put on by my 3-year-old neighbor’s pre-school.  Her school created a show with artwork, photography, and poetry (yes poetry!) about saving our planet.  It was so special to see what these kids had created, and how inspired they were to save the environment. This cause is also near and dear to my heart.

All the parents and guests seemed very moved by the messages like, “Please stop hurting and polluting Earth.”  By the end of the day I had a sinking suspicion that not many of the adults there were actually going to take the action necessary to fulfill the wishes of their children.  Here were these wonderful kids creating meaningful statements, and no one was even recycling their water bottles!  Many parents had throw-away coffee cups from the nearby coffee shop, and the parking lot was filled with gas guzzlers.

My frustration by this lack of true environmental action has inspired me to do more.  I’m not writing this to say I’m any better than those at the exhibit.  What if we all had the same courage that these young artists showed in sharing their messages with the world?  There are some moments in our lives when we must speak up, and this is one of those moments.  Why am I writing about protecting this precious planet on a health care site?

For two reasons:

1. We’re running out of time.  If you don’t know what’s happening to our planet in regards to global warming, air and water pollution, and running out of natural resources, please investigate.  I recommend a few of many sites out there: www.nrdc.org, Global Green USA.

2.  It seems obvious, but how many of us really understand that the state of our environment directly affects our health?  The fact is, cancer rates and autoimmune diseases are increasing yearly because the planet is so toxic.  This is real.  In just ten years of practice, I can see a drastic difference in my patients’ toxicity.   And as we get sicker and sicker, what we put in our bodies and homes is hurting the environment more and more.

It’s still important to take some simple steps.  See some easy, money saving tips on my “Going Green” page- http://getnaturalgetwell.com/going-green.  But it’s not just about reusing a bag or changing a light bulb anymore.  Take action.  I am dedicated to finding and supporting new solutions to save our planet, but awareness is key.  Contact your local representatives to do more.  Encourage your neighbors and friends to join you in this effort.  Eat organic, local foods.  And please, do consider getting rid of your SUV.
As always,

Live natural.  Live well,
Heather

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