Constitutional Hydrotherapy

The restorative powers of hydrotherapy may not be well known outside the spa environment in our time, but the use of hydrotherapy is well documented throughout history in Egyptian, Roman, Chinese, Japanese, and many other cultures. Hippocrates, an ancient Greek physician, prescribed bathing in spring water as a medical treatment. These traditions have continued and can be found in the practice of bathing in hot springs and cold water baths around the world today. Constitutional hydrotherapy, a technique developed by Dr. O.G. Carroll, is particularly effective at stimulating the immune system, achieving total body detoxification, and stimulating the body’s own innate capacity to heal itself. The word “constitutional” refers to the whole-body effects of this treatment. Although useful in almost any condition, it has been found specifically well suited for the treatment of digestive concerns, respiratory diseases, female reproductive problems, immune system balancing, circulatory conditions, neurological conditions, and environmental toxicity. […]

By | February 1st, 2012|Hydrotherapy|0 Comments

Warming Socks

Runny nose? Sore throat? Chills? Fever? Sneezing? Congestion? Headache? Any or all of the above? Use the warming socks treatment. Warming socks works by stimulating the body’s natural healing responses during acute infections. In hydrotherapy terms, the technique is a kind of “warming compress”, which encourages the body to increase overall blood circulation in order to warm up the cold socks. In doing so, it draws preferentially from areas of congestion in the upper respiratory passages, head, and throat. It is also effective for pain relief. A safe treatment for the whole family, including the youngest of kids, warming socks is perfect at bedtime, or nap time, as it has a soothing and sedating effect, helping you to sleep through the night even when you’re feeling less than par. […]

By | December 13th, 2011|Home Treatments, Hydrotherapy, Kids|0 Comments

A Holistic Approach to the Holidays

Although this time of year is about gift-giving and receiving for many people, we don’t always think about those who are very much in need all year round. As my kids are thinking about what they want for Chanukah, I’m thinking about ways to mitigate the rampant consumerism so obvious in December with a greater sense of generosity, charity, and a respect for people and our planet that is balanced all year round. […]

By | December 13th, 2011|Nature & Culture, Philosophy|0 Comments

Gluten-free Chocolate Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Icing

Four years old is a big milestone. First it was finding out from his friends that Halloween actually involved candy, and not just parading through the neighbourhood in costume. The following week, K declared that a birthday party was all about friends bringing you presents (It’s ok, kids are supposed to be this narcissistic.) and cupcakes. His specific request was chocolate cupcakes with vanilla icing and sprinkles. You can’t blame a kid for having a vision. Being both a naturopath and a mother, I revised some recipes to create a (relatively) whole food and gluten-free version of what he wanted. Two weeks later, K’s birthday has come and gone, and he’s still talking about when I’m going to make them again. I can safely say that my gluten-free chocolate cupcakes were a huge success. Here’s the recipe so you can make them too. […]

By | November 17th, 2011|Recipes|0 Comments

It’s Cold Out There. Cover your Windgate

On my way to drop off the kids this morning, I noticed frost on the ground for the first time this season, a signal to finally put away our fall rain coats and make sure that all our winter gear is front and center in the hall. It’s also a good reminder to make sure that everyone has got their wind gate covered when they’re going outside. Although the name “wind gate” is the literal translation of a specific point on the bladder channel (UB 12, Feng Men, or 風門 to be exact) in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), it is often used to talk about the entire back of the neck and upper back. According to TCM, external pathogens enter the body through the wind gate. In other words, we are most susceptible to environmental forces such as wind when our necks are exposed to the elements. […]

You Say Naturopathic, I Say Naturopathic

I’d been involved in naturopathic medicine, as a student, a clinician, a professor, and a conference attendee for almost a decade before I noticed it. I was listening to a talk by Joseph Pizzorno at CCNM about gastrointestinal health and detoxification, and one of the things I found most striking wasn’t the content of his presentation (as great as it was) but his pronunciation of the word “naturopathy.” At first I assumed it was pronounced differently in the US – this hypothesis seemed plausible enough. But it dawned on me that I had heard this pronunciation before by Canadians too, but only by a handful of NDs who graduated in the 80s. And then I considered the semiotic implications. […]

By | September 25th, 2011|Philosophy|2 Comments

Changing Seasons

According to traditional Chinese medicine, fall marks the shift into the yin time of year, a time thought to be ideal for recharging and nurturing yourself and retreating to quieter, internal pursuits. For many people, fall is a time for new beginnings and new endeavors. In nature, leaves and flowers are dying and energy sinks, becoming concentrated in the seeds and roots of plants. During this time, we are particularly vulnerable to colds and flu. On request, here is my recipe for Change of Season Soup. This delicious herbal chicken soup is a great tonifier, gently supporting the immune system during times of stress, and especially during the change of seasons. It enhances the body’s ability to remain balanced during times of transition by increasing our innate ability to adapt to change. As an immune system tonic, change of season soup is an ideal way to mark the autumnal equinox (this Friday Sept 23), improve your resistance to colds and flus, and prepare yourself for the colder seasons to come. […]

By | September 21st, 2011|Nature & Culture, Recipes|3 Comments

Nature in the City

Last Sunday, K's agenda for the day was to move Ducky from the bathtub to a pond. Despite Ducky's existence as a phthalate-free bath toy, I couldn't disagree with K when he stated that ducks actually live in ponds not in bathtubs, so we trucked out to the Evergreen Brick Works to bring Ducky to [...]

By | August 19th, 2011|Nature & Culture, Philosophy|2 Comments

Why Dose Matters

Last week, media outlets were quick to pick up the story of a research study[1] that showed cranberry extract isn’t as effective as antibiotics for the prevention of recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs). The headlines were consistent: “Antibiotics beat cranberries,”[2] “Don’t bet on cranberry,”[3] and “Cranberries little help”[4].  Unfortunately, what is lacking from many of the medical news reports is a critical review of the study’s methodology and thus the validity and applicability of its results. […]

By | July 30th, 2011|Health Research|2 Comments

In my garden: Blue Vervain

Aside from the aesthetics of having beautiful plants growing in my front yard, one of the main reasons I chose to grow specific plants was to learn more about their therapeutic uses by getting to know them.  Verbena hastata, or Blue Vervain, has been capturing my attention lately, its blue flowering spikes extending higher and higher, continuing to bloom for what seems like an eternity for a perennial plant.  Having rarely used it in my clinical practice, I know Vervain primarily as a Bach Flower remedy. One of the twelve original remedies used by Dr. Bach, it is helpful in mental/emotional states where there is an anxious tension and physical exhaustion related to straining oneself in support of a good cause.  It is for people with fixed principles and ideas, over-achievers who put everything into their undertakings, pushing themselves to take on too much, their minds consistently running, unable to slow down or stop.  […]

By | July 27th, 2011|Herbal Medicine, In My Garden|0 Comments