Individualized Nutrition, Pharmacy and Healthy Living

Health Concerns

  • Jump-Start Your Immune System for Fall

    by Heather Gunn | September 16, 2014

    cottagefallFall is the season of change. During this season it becomes obvious that change is necessary for the beauty of life to unfold. We learn to let go of old ways of being and embrace the cooler temperatures that bring us indoors and into the company of family and friends. As we let go of the high energy of summer fun, festivities and travel, we begin to settle down – we turn inward.

    With the change in weather, this too brings a transformation to the way we live. There is an inward momentum driving us into warmer dwelling spaces to seek shelter from nature's frost. Our earthly hempishere is now tipping away from the sun, thus changing the angle of sunlight and removing the abundant vitamin D we were soaking up not too long ago.

    The beauty of fall is that we learn to adapt to these changes. The cooler air forces our internal thermostats to ignite their flames and circulation to move heat through our colder extremities. With the change in sunlight and temperature comes a challenge to the adaptability of the human body, as it now needs to work harder – if we are strong enough, our bodies will respond appropriately. However, when we are living and working on fumes, not eating appropriately and barely resting, we are functioning under a health deficit.

    It is estimated that on average, children get eight to ten colds annually, and adults get at least three. How can we boost our immune system for the fall season? Here are a few natural ways to enliven your immune system and improve adaptation for fall, the season of change.  Read more

  • The Key to Optimal Health: Understanding Nutritional Deficiencies

    by Heather Gunn | September 9, 2014

    healthy-familyWhy do we get sick? Can we blame it on age? Is it because a co-worker or family member shared their germs? Maybe it’s because we are genetically at risk? Each of these factors has some influence on your wellness, but the bigger influence may be your micronutrient status. Micronutrients are the small compounds we identify as vitamins and minerals and include vitamins A, C, D and minerals such as calcium, magnesium and zinc. Everybody needs them and everybody should be getting their own required amount of them. The U.S. National Academy of Sciences has given us a system of nutritional recommendations to follow for wellness, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration now monitors these guidelines. Their purpose is to inform us on how much nutrition a normal, healthy person needs to be healthy... but these guidelines are very general. Some questions that should be asked are, “What does a normal, healthy person look like?” and “Does every normal, healthy person need the same amount of nutrients?”  Read more

  • Stress Series: How Stress Affects Memory & Taking a Natural Approach

    by Paula Gallagher | September 3, 2014

    memoryIn this installment of our series on stress, we are going to look at how stress affects memory, and a natural approach to supporting memory.

    Memory processing allows us to acquire, retain, and recall information and/or experiences. We have short-term memory and long-term memory. Information goes first into our short-term memory (also called working memory) and it then gets processed and stored in our long-term memory.

    There are three stages of memory processing:

    - Encoding – like listening to music
    - Consolidation – like recording songs (or burning a CD)
    - Retrieval – like playing back the songs

    When you are stressed by something, the stressor takes a lot of resources from your brain and interferes with your capacity to encode new information.

    What are the Effects of Stress on Memory?

    Healthy brain function requires many important nutrients as well as an active, social lifestyle. Factors such as aging, emotional stress, and exposure to free radicals affect cognitive health and memory function.

    Increase in Cortisol

    During stress, adrenal glands pump out cortisol. Although a certain amount of cortisol is normal, too much cortisol due to too much stress can prevent the formation of new memories or the retrieval of old ones. Cortisol also interferes with your brain's neurotransmitters, preventing communication between brain cells.  Read more

  • Stress Series: A Natural Approach to Dealing with Depression

    by Paula Gallagher | August 26, 2014

    depressionIn this installment of our series on stress, we are going to look at how stress affects depression, and how a natural approach to dealing with depression can be beneficial.

    Depression is very serious, and in no way is the following information meant to be diagnostic, or encourage self-medicating. If you think you are dealing with depression of any kind, please consult with a professional to discuss your options.  

    Stress is a factor in many illnesses. In fact, it is estimated that 75-90% of visits to the doctor are related to stress – either acutely or because of chronic problems associated with stress. It is also believed that nearly 75% of the diseases prevalent in Western society are related to the stress mechanisms of the body.

    Chronic exposure to stress results in chronic engagement of the fight-or-flight mechanism (increased blood pressure, heart rate, blood sugar, blood shunted away from the digestive system, increase in stress hormones such as cortisol and epinephrine). Studies show that physiological and psychological consequences of acute/chronic stress can persist well past the cessation of a stressful event.

    The body is designed to adapt to stressors to help maintain equilibrium and healthy functioning. The stress response influences many biological and biochemical processes that begin in the brain and spread through nearly all body systems including the adrenals, thyroid, neurotransmitter systems, digestive system, and cardiovascular system. But everyone has an individual "load" that they can manage, which is why stress can express itself in a variety of symptoms throughout the body.  Read more

  • Why Stress is Dangerous: Types, Causes and Risks

    by Debi Silber, The Mojo Coach | August 18, 2014

    stressThere are two types of stress and most of us have experienced one or both, at times. There are many causes and more risks involved than you may realize, but the good news is that not all stress is dangerous and there are ways to lessen your stress and enjoy better health.

    Acute Stress: Momentary help in times of danger

    Acute stress is the term for what occurs when your body senses danger and adapts to the threat by making physical changes, enabling you to avoid greater potential harm. This protective mechanism, crucial to your safety and designed to protect you, causes your body to secrete chemicals and stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol, in response to your thoughts and prepares your body for “fight or flight.”

    For example, let’s say you’re crossing a street to meet your friend at the local coffee shop and notice a car quickly approaching. You see the car and understand the risks, which causes you to feel fear and anxiety (learned behaviors that we only feel when we decide something is dangerous or anxiety provoking). Your body adapts to this stress by secreting chemicals and hormones, sending messages to your heart, lungs and organs to prepare them to handle the crisis.

    • Your heart rate increases
    • Blood flow is diverted to muscles allowing for quick movement
    • Pupils dilate and more oxygen flows through your lungs for an extra burst of energy

    These changes allow you to react quickly, enabling you to jump onto the curb to safety. Within a short period of time, your body calms down and things return to normal, allowing you to continue on to the meeting with your friend over your favorite cup of coffee.  Read more

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