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Posts tagged ‘christine davis’

Cosmetic Acupuncture now being offered at the Magna Health Centre!

Cosmetic acupuncture helps to eliminate fine lines and makes deeper lines appear softer.  It can also help to minimize dark circles, puffy eyes, double chin, sagging skin, and drooping eyelids.

Other benefits include:

  • Increases circulation and therefore oxygenation of the skin
  • Increases collagen production
  • Tightens the pores, and brightens the eyes
  • Keeps acne skin under control
  • Nourishes the skin, giving you a healthy complexion with a natural glow
  • Moisturizes the skin from the inside, and gives rosy cheeks to people with dull, tired looking skin

The course of the treatment is between 10-12 sessions.  This will be done 1-3 times a week for best results.  Each individual will respond differently to the treatment depending on their age and lifestyle.  Visible results will be noticeable after 6 -7 sessions.  Maintenance maybe needed once every month.  In addition, Cosmetic Acupuncture will maintain the effectiveness of Botox, so it will save you a couple injections per year.

For more information, call the Magna Health Centre at (905) 726-7470.  Or come in for a free 15 minute consult to learn more!

Keep Cortisol at Bay for Better Health

Christine Davis, Naturopathic Doctor

We all know that stress isn’t good for our bodies… so what can we do about it? Stress can come in many forms. Many of us think only of the psychological stress, caused by family, work, life events or persistent worrying. However, physical stress is just as real and just as dangerous for our bodies. Lack of exercise, poor diet, food allergies or even weather changes can be a physiological stressor for our bodies. In contrast, excessive exercise can also be a major stressor for our bodies.

So why is stress bad for us? Stress can impact a multitude of physiological reactions in our bodies. Symptoms of excessive stress can be; insomnia, fatigue, weight changes (especially an accumulation of fat around the abdomen), headache, respiration problems, heart irregularities, digestive disturbances (e.g., bloating, gas, diarrhea, constipation), and psychological upsets (e.g. anger, irritability, rage, depression, anxiety). These stress responses can result in further complications. For example, stress can disrupt sleep, which can result in hormonal imbalances and will also trigger more stress. Many hormones are up-regulated during sleep, including growth hormone and melatonin. Growth hormone is an anabolic hormone that helps to build muscle and decrease fat mass.

Acute stress produces the hormone cortisol in the adrenal glands. Cortisol serves the body in non-stressful times and when called to respond to an acute crisis, however, it can cause damage when levels are high during chronic stress. Cortisol suppresses the immune system, in particular white blood cells, which is why it is used as an anti-inflammatory medication. Cortisol is also a catabolic steroid hormone, meaning it breaks things down (versus anabolic hormones, which are building hormones). It is known to break down collagen, bone and muscle. This can result in osteoporosis, joint pain and in severe cases, abdominal obesity and loss of muscle mass in the extremities.

How do we combat stress? There are many strategies to help cope with stress. Firstly, it is important to recognize what causes you stress and try to reduce or manage this stressor. If the stress is modifiable (e.g. time management), then take steps to manage this. For example, if your stress is caused by a busy lifestyle, make sure to create lists, assume tasks to reasonable expectation and to delegate whenever possible. Participating in relaxing activities, such as yoga, pilates, baths, singing, baking, laughing, and journaling can also help. Seek out care when necessary including massage, acupuncture or body-work. Take regular vacations, even media vacations from blackberries and e-mail can be helpful.

Another useful relaxation practice is deep breathing. Breathe in for a count of 7, and out for a count of 11. Breathe into your belly and expand you diaphragm, rather than your chest and shoulders. Repeat as often as needed- ideally 10-15 min 3 times per day.

There are also nutrients and supplements that can help. Magnesium supplementation can help to reduce cortisol after aerobic exercise. Omega-3 Fatty acids can help manage psychological stress. Vitamin C and B-vitamins dampen cortisol release in response to mental and physical stressors. Licorice (glycyrriza glabra) can help to build up the adrenals after chronic stress (don’t take this if you have high blood pressure). Herbs such as Ashwaganda and Rhodiola are known as adaptogens, meaning they can help you adapt to stress. L-Theanine supports normal brain alpha-wave activity, resulting in a calming effect to the sympathetic nervous system. It is always best to consult a medical professional when beginning a new supplement regime.

Water, Your First Step Towards Optimal Health

Proper hydration is imperative for optimal health. Without proper hydration, your body will become dehydrated, which means your body does not have enough water to function at peak capacity. You lose water every day when you breathe, sweat and go to the bathroom. The water content in the foods you eat and the beverages you drink combine to hydrate your body. Drinking 8 cups of water each day is usually sufficient, but more may be needed if you are participating in vigorous activities.

Drinking water keeps your body tissues moist, flushes out harmful toxins and makes nutrients more readily available. It is also involved in getting oxygen to cells throughout the body and regulating temperature. This is why staying hydrated is so vital when playing sports or exercising. Your body’s demand for oxygen increases during physical activity and your internal temperature rises. In fact, even a minimal fluid loss can affect aerobic performance and reduce your level of physical endurance. Inadequate hydration can fatigue your muscles, reduce your coordination, make you dizzy and cause muscle cramps. The goal during exercise is to drink before signs of dehydration occur. Ideally, try to drink 2 cups of water two hours before exercising and continue to drink 1 cup of water every 20 minutes while you’re exercising.

Fatigue is the most common symptom of dehydration. Other common dehydration symptoms include; muscle cramps, fogginess, dizziness, light-headedness, headache, thirst and dry mouth/skin/lips. If you are unsure about whether you are currently drinking enough fluids each day, the color of your urine can be a good guideline. If you’re well-hydrated, it should be light yellow in color. The darker in color it gets, the more dehydrated you may be. Keep in mind, other medical conditions can alter this (such as kidney disease). Another test is to pinch the skin on the outer part of your hand or forearm. If the skin tents, meaning it stays in place and doesn’t quickly bounce back then this is a warning sign that you are dehydrated.

When choosing fluids to help you meet your daily hydration requirements, water is the ideal choice. Water will help keep you properly hydrated without the empty calories found in sports drinks, sodas or juices. However, very vigorous activities can warrant the use of carbohydrates and electrolyte replacements. To keep it interesting and add some zest, use slices of lemon or lime. Herbal teas, such as peppermint, berry or chamomile can “count” towards your daily fluid intake. Sipping water throughout the day is the best strategy. Drinking too quickly will reduce absorbability. As well, drinking water at meals might not be ideal. It can be beneficial for weight loss as it can make you fuller, however, it will also dilute your digestive juices. Drinking in-between meals is a better strategy.

Use strategies to help increase your fluid intake. Carry a stainless steel water bottle with you wherever you go and make sure you finish it by the end of the day. Set reminders on your phone to drink water, or use post-it-note reminders. If you’re feeling groggy during the day, try drinking a glass of water instead of reaching for coffee or tea. Coffee and tea are diuretics, meaning they increase water loss from the body, and can actually be more dehydrating. For every caffeinated cup of tea or coffee, make sure you add an extra cup of water. Try drinking at least 2 cups of water first thing when you wake up.

Cheers to better health!

Dr. Steve Rallis’ Chocolate Banana Protein Smoothie

Written by: Dr. Christine Davis, Naturopathic Doctor

Great source of Magnesium and Antioxidants!

1 Cup Almond Milk
10 Almonds/ 1 Tablespoon Almond Butter
1 Tablespoon Ground Flax Seeds
1 Tablespoon Raw Cacoa
1 Frozen Banana
15-20 g Protein Powder

Blend until Smooth!

Dr. Steve Rallis- Chocolate Banana Smoothie

How to get a Good Night’s Sleep!

Written by: Dr. Christine Davis, Naturopathic Doctor

Establishing a great sleep routine:

Develop a calming bedtime routine– try reading or meditation. Don’t read stressful or emotionally charged material as this can be more stimulating. Try a hot bath, shower or sauna about 2 hours before bedtime, keeping the water hot for at least 25 minutes to stimulate the drop in body temperature before bed. Keep household lighting dim from dinnertime until you go to sleep to prepare your body and hormones for sleep.
Establish regular sleeping hours– keeping a routine will help you maintain a regular circadian rhythm. Try to get in bed before 11 pm. The adrenals (your stress glands) renew themselves from 11pm-1am. Try slowly moving back your bedtime by 15-30 minutes until you reach this goal.
Sleep 7-9 hours a night– if you still feel tired after 9 hours, it’s time to visit your doctor to look into other sources of your fatigue.
If you can’t sleep, get up and do something else. Sometimes making a “to do list” or writing in a journal can be helpful to get things off your mind.
Create bedroom “Zen”- remove clutter, homework, calendars and anything else that could cause you stress. Use calming essential oils like lavender. Choose comfortable bedding that isn’t too warm or itchy. Remember, the bed should be used for sleeping and sex only.
Sleep nude– wearing tight clothing will increase your body temperature and interfere with melatonin release while you sleep.
See the light first thing in the morning– daylight and morning sounds are key signals that help waken your brain. Turning on lights or opening the blinds will reset your body clock and ensure that your melatonin levels drop back down, ensuring better energy throughout the day.

Things to Watch/Avoid:
Alcohol– Alcohol can impact brain chemicals as you sleep. An ounce or more two hours before bedtime can be disruptive as your body will metabolize the alcohol while you sleep. It shortens total sleep time and prevents you from falling into the deeper stages of sleep (where most healing and renewal takes place).
Fluid intake– Try to avoid fluid intake 2 hours prior to sleep to decrease those mid-sleep washroom visits.
Caffeine– Caffeine is metabolized at different rates in different people. Most people will metabolize caffeine in 4-5 hours, however some people will take much longer. If necessary try to only have caffeine in the morning. Caffeine impacts cortisol which can result in mid-sleep waking around 2-4 am.
Bedtime snacks– Try to avoid snacking 2 hours before bed. Watch out for bedtime snacks that are high in sugar or simple carbohydrates. (for example breads, cereals, muffins, cookies, or other baked goods) These foods will create a quick spike in your blood sugar levels, and a resultant drop in blood sugar. This drop in blood sugar stimulates adrenalin, glucagons, cortisol and growth hormone, all of which will stimulate the brain and keep you more awake. If you do need to eat, go for protein-rich, high-fiber snacks like a few almonds and half an apple. The protein will contain tryptophan which will be converted to serotonin and melatonin and the sugar from the apple may help the tryptophan reach your brain.
Napping- If you’re getting a good sleep at night you shouldn’t need to sleep during the day. If you must, limit nap time to 30 min.
Exercise timing– exercising fewer than 3 hours before bedtime may be too stimulating and can impede your ability to fall asleep. Yoga and strength training may not be as stimulating, but pay attention to your body on this one. Exercising 3-6 hours before sleep may actually enhance your deep sleep as your body will attempt to repair itself after the physical stress. Exercise will increase your body temperature (not good for sleep) and then slowly decrease it (good for sleep).
Alarm Clocks- waking up suddenly to the blaring wail of an alarm clock can shock your body and interrupt you in the middle of a sleep cycle. Look for a sunrise alarm clock with natural light built in that simulates a sunrise, OR an alarm that gradually gets louder, or plays soothing classical music.
Light at Night– Make your room as dark as possible. Light disrupts the circadian rhythm of the pineal gland and as a result, hinders the production of melatonin. If you go to the bathroom at night, try to keep the lights off.
Electromagnetic fields– also disrupt the pineal gland and production of melatonin and serotonin. EMFs are emitted through digital alarm clocks and other electrical devices, if you use them, leave them three feet away. Turn off the TV.
Activities– avoid stimulating activities such as watching TV, using the computer and doing work-related activities. Computers raise dopamine and noradrenalin keeping you more awake.

Sleep tight!

Understanding Heartburn

Written by: Dr. Christine Davis, Naturopathic Doctor

Did you know that heartburn affects 25-35% of the US population? Heartburn (or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease) is not only painful, but it can also lead to other complications including: asthma, chronic cough, dental problems, Barrett’s esophagus (a change in the lining of the esophagus that can increase the risk of cancer), esophageal ulcers and narrowing and scarring of the esophagus.  It is a result of stomach acid spilling into the esophagus from the relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter (the valve that separates your esophagus from your stomach).

The traditional medical solution has been to block the acid production, which will alleviate the pain and also the damage from occurring.   However, in blocking the acid production, you block a key step in the digestion process. Stomach acid is necessary to digest food, especially protein and micronutrients such as calcium, magnesium, and vitamin B12. Stomach acid activates digestive enzymes in your small intestine, the molecules that break down the food into smaller parts for absorption.  As well, it acts as a barrier from harmful bacteria.  Therefore, blocking acid production from occurring can result in more serious complications such as irritable bowel syndrome, depression, fatigue, dementia, hip fractures and osteoporosis.

So, what can be done?

Firstly, get tested at your doctor for H. Pylori, hiatal hernia and ulcers.  H. Pylori is a bacteria that can exist in the stomach and is a major contributor to ulcers and gastritis (inflammation of the stomach lining). Hiatal hernias and ulcers can sometimes mimic the pain of GERD.  It may be necessary to have an endoscopy to assess for the presence of stomach ulcers before initiating treatment.

Secondly, identify food triggers and sensitivities.  There are several basic food triggers including: fried foods, alcohol, caffeine, soda, spicy food, tomato and citrus.  It is important to be mindful of these common triggers when eating.  In more recent years, it has been found that food sensitivities including dairy and gluten have a strong link to heartburn.  An IgG Food Panel can tell you what foods you are most sensitive to.  Junk food, processed foods and overeating can all contribute to GERD.

Thirdly, talk to your naturopathic doctor about natural remedies to soothe and heal the gut including DGL, glutamine, marshmallow, slippery elm, zinc and magnesium.

The Benefits of Dry Skin Brushing

Written by: Dr. Christine Davis, Naturopathic Doctor

The skin is the largest organ for elimination of the toxins within the body. Brushing the skin can stimulate the body’s natural cleansing and healing systems to help detoxify the body and strengthen the immune system. Dry skin brushing exfoliates and stimulates new skin growth. It cleanses the lymphatic system, removes dead skin and cellulite, tightens skin, tones muscles and stimulates circulation. The process also stimulates more activity in your sebaceous, or oil, glands, which helps the body create its own natural moisturizer and lessens the appearance of dimpled skin. Dry skin brushing has been practiced for thousands of years by the Japanese, the Ancient Greeks, and the Cherokee Indians. It’s easy once you get the hang of it, and it only takes 15 minutes to your entire body.

Procedure:

You can utilize the dry-brushing technique by a number of methods, including a rough loofah sponge, washcloth, soft pumice stone, gloves or a natural fiber brush. I recommend the natural fiber brush to reach tough areas. Dry brush your skin first in the morning, before you shower. Your skin should be completely dry. Start at your feet and move upwards along your legs. Always brush in the direction of your heart to facilitate circulation. Repeat using upward strokes from your hands along your arms. Brush your torso in an upward motion and your stomach in a circular motion. Brush your tailbone to the base of your neck as you can reach. Use more vigorous strokes on areas where your skin is thick–like your soles, and light strokes on areas where your skin is thin. Don’t brush irritated or broken skin. Dry brush once a day, first thing in the morning. You can brush areas with cellulite twice a day for about five to ten minutes to minimize the appearance of cellulite. Do this consistently for five months for best results.

Precautions

Avoid brushing your skin too vigorously. Excessive or abrasive brushing can cause irritation and scrapes to the skin. Increase pressure gradually over a period of time. During the first few weeks, your skin will often be red after your bath or shower; if skin remains red for more than 5 to 10 minutes, the brushing was too vigorous and should be scaled back.

The Power of Lemons

Written by: Dr. Christine Davis, Naturopathic Doctor

Lemons are remarkable fruits that can have a dramatic effect on your overall health and well-being.  Lemons boost the immune system, purify the blood and help the body rid itself of toxins.   Lemons and lemon juice are alkalizing, cleansing, antibacterial, antiviral and antioxidant and may successfully treat a variety of health problems.  As well, lemons are high in vitamin C, potassium and other minerals.

For best results, add the juice of half a freshly picked lemon to cool or warm water.  Water that is too hot will destroy vital enzymes in the lemons.  It should be noted that pre-packaged and pasteurized lemon juice will not have the same health benefits.  Organic lemons are preferred over to avoid any pesticide or chemical residue that might remain on the skin and in the pulp.

Lemons and pH Balance

Ripe lemons have an alkalizing effect on the blood and urine despite being an acidic fruit.  Acidic diets lower the pH in the body resulting in alkaline minerals being drawn from bone, muscle and tissue to rebalance the pH. The depletion of calcium, magnesium and potassium over time can lead to
weakened bones and muscle wastage.

Digestion and Cleansing

Lemons can also relieve symptoms of indigestion, such as heartburn, bloating, gas and cramping. Drinking lemon water regularly will aid in the cleansing of the bowels, which helps eliminate constipation and diarrhea.  Bitter foods such as lemons are known to stimulate the liver, which can aid in detoxification and weight loss.

Immune Boosting

Lemons are high in vitamin C, a well-known cold and flu-fighter.  Lemon and honey can ease the pain of a sore throat or soothe the tickling and itching of a cough.  Squeezing the juice of 1 lemon in 1 cup of warm water with 1 tbsp. honey makes a base for a soothing cough or sore throat remedy.  Alternatively, mix lemon juice and honey in a small bowl and drink to soothe a sore throat.

Considerations

Although alkalinizing to the body, lemons can be acidic to the tooth enamel. It is best to drink lemon water first thing in the am (which is also the best time for liver detoxification) and rinse your mouth afterward, than to sip throughout the day.  Always consult your healthcare practitioner to understand what is best for your individual health needs.

Auroran article- Magna opens new health centre here

Provided by: Dr. Christine Davis, Naturopathic Doctor

Magna opens new health centre here

Magna Health Centre, a new medical clinic established by Magna International Inc., officially opened its doors in Aurora last week.  The Centre will serve residents in Aurora and surrounding communities as well as Magna employees who work in the area.  The Centre is a multidisciplinary clinic and its healthcare team includes practitioners in family medicine, chiropractic, acupuncture, Chinese medicine and naturopathic medicine. In addition, Magna Health Centre has partnered with Meditech, a global leader in the field of advanced laser medicine, and recently installed Meditech’s low intensity laser equipment at the Aurora clinic. Low-intensity laser therapy is used to treat strains, sprains, chronic back pain, osteoarthritis and tendinitis conditions. Laser therapy is also used for diabetic and venous ulcer wound healing. “We’re excited to be able to offer our services to the community,” said Dr. Arif Bhimji, Medical Director of Magna Health Centre. “Magna Health Centre is a unique medical clinic with a broad range of medical expertise under one roof and a personalized, multi-disciplinary approach to health care.” Magna Health Centre is located at 375 Magna Drive, next to the Magna head office just off Wellington Street in Aurora. The clinic is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Residents can call 905-726-7470 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

http://magnahealth.ca/inTheNews/Auroran20110125.pdf

SNAP Aurora- Magna Health Centre Opens to Public

Magna Health Centre Opens to Public

Magna Health Centre, a new medical clinic established by Magna International Inc., is now officially open! SNAP was invited out last month to meet their fantastic team of doctors and to tour this amazing clinic. It will serve residents in Aurora and surrounding communities as well as Magna employees who work in the area. The Centre is a multi-disciplinary clinic and its healthcare team includes practitioners in family medicine, chiropractic, acupuncture, Chinese medicine and naturopathic medicine. Magna Health Centre is located next to the Magna head office in Aurora. Residents can call 905-726-7470 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

http://www.snapaurora.com/index.php?option=com_sngevents&id%5B%5D=245177

Provided by: Dr. Christine Davis, Naturopathic Doctor