Do You Live a "Know Now" or "Know Later" Lifestyle?

I frequently meet people through multiple email or phone conversations before it actually happens in person. Although this may not be unusual for most of you, in my case it's because they are on the fence about whether or not to come for a thermography scan.......are they truly ready to know details about their health? Do they want to know about their own health now or know when symptoms happen later?

Thermography is an objective scan reporting on all thermal findings related to abnormal physiology within the body, whether it be inflammation, dysfunction, and, with high sensitivity to pathology, neural, muscular or vascular. "What if something is wrong?" is a common question asked by many in a slightly panicked state during our conversation. This surprises me a little (and makes me chuckle at the same time)  because it comes across as if there should be something wrong. Then my mind quickly diverts to the existing healthcare system which makes me think of course people will ask this question. We have been trained to think a visit or recommendation for some form of medical screening/testing is because there is something wrong with us and (in my opinion) 99.9% of the time not for the sake of prevention. My response will vary slightly, but the answer is simple for me to say......"By calling you've made that first step in being proactive with your health and this tells me if there is something wrong, you'd like to know as early as you can so you can move forward with what needs to be done." Bottom line seems to point them in the direction they knew all along and that's to come in for a scan.  

For the few that stay on the fence I say this. The thermography scan reports will comment on all thermal findings, some worrisome and some not. At the end of the report, recommendations will be discussed and whether or not further types of clinical applications would be necessary. Also, the contents of the report can be used as valuable, adjunct information for all members of your health care team. And, the best result is it can be a wake up call or confirmation for you to keep being proactive with your own health. So come on in and know now......not later. 

 

Is Pink a Fall Colour?

For many years now October continues to be Breast Cancer Awareness month and bring the colour pink to the forefront. Football, hockey, baseball players all wearing pink accessories in support of breast cancer, a disease that will affect 1 in 9 women and to 220 men in 2015 according to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. Also, statistics show it continues to be the most common cancer in women. So what are women to do?  

In healthy individuals, routine thermography can be used to detect metabolic abnormalities (rather than mammography to see structural changes) or "clinical markers" and can provide helpful preliminary information both to support daily choices or assist that which may merit further investigation. Thermography can be offered to women of all ages, women with dense breast tissue, non-specific physical or mammographic findings or women with a previous history of breast surgery or radiation.

No single screening tool provides excellent predictability but a combination of tools that also includes thermography has been shown to boost both the sensitivity and specificity to give aid in positive outcomes. Let's let women choose to be proactive with their breast health and give them the opportunity to not be a statistic.

Fall - A time for learning

Does anyone else feel like summer was way too short? September already??!! For so many years September brought me to such a familiar routine walking through the doors of different levels of education, clothes and supply shopping, all with a feeling of stability as each day passed. Now, as the years have gone by, I'm still motivated to start something educational each September. Well, this year is no exception as I'm writing this blog from the Dulles airport after attending a weekend conference held by the American College of Clinical Thermology (ACCT).

This is my third time attending this conference (held every two years) since 2008. Attendance has almost tripled since then and speakers are now from as far away as Hungary, Australia and, China. There something about sitting in a room with like minded people, feeding off similar energy and feeling a slight sense of anticipation and excitement when a hand is raised to ask a question.

Thermography is evolving with its applications in the medical community. The presenter from Australia has taken her business to the animal world imaging not only horses but zoo animals, too! Imagine being able to call a rhino gentle and cuddly! She did say despite the communication barrier they are fairly calm and will stand relatively still to be scanned. She also told us they are imaging flamingos feet for a calcification type disease and her favorite was the time spent with giraffes.

In China they continue to use thermography to include screening for SARS, H1N1 and extensive respiratory research. Also, there was an interesting collection of slides representing pre and post acupuncture treatment indicating noticeable changes to the temperature related to the Traditional Chinese Medicine meridians.

So, as I get ready to board the plane (hopefully on time) I feel content with my "back to school" mindset and full of new information. Will I be calling the Toronto zoo when I get home.....not likely, not yet anyway. But, certainly I'll make sure I share what I have learned relative to your health when you walk into my clinic. 

Are you a Mosquito Magnet?

This article is written by naturopathic doctor, Joel Villeneuve, at Revivelife Wellness which is one the outreach clinics I work with in Ottawa. Enjoy your summer and let this information help keep the mosquitos away.

ARE YOU A MOSQUITO MAGNET?

For a Video on Natural Mosquito Bite Treatment

Buzzzz! Buzzzz! Why is it that some people can sit out doors and enjoy all the beauty that nature brings while others seem to be a mosquito magnet? Not only are mosquito bites annoying causing you to itch like crazy but they also may increase your risk of mosquito-borne illnesses such as encephalitis, yellow fever, malaria, West Nile virus, or dengue. If you are one of the one in five people that these pesky mosquitoes are really attracted changing your diet may actually be one of the best bug sprays that you can invest in!

WHY DO MOSQUITOES BITE?

Mosquitoes are not looking for dinner as many believe when they buzz around you. It is actually only female mosquitoes that will bite as they need the protein and iron in human blood to develop fertile eggs. Males do not bite people.

WHAT ARE MOSQUITOES ATTRACTED TO?

Although the exact formula of what mosquitoes consider as an ideal target to bite is still being researched, what we do know is that genetics account for 85% of your susceptibility to be a mosquito magnet. In addition scientists have also discovered certain elements of body chemistry that when present in excess on the skin’s surface that act like perfume and attract mosquitoes to swarm closer.

Mosquitoes are attracted to high levels of:

1. Bacteria:  Your microbiome which are the eco-system of bacteria that live in your body including your skin. These microbes create your body odour and certain individuals have a formula of microbes that are irresistible to mosquitoes.

2. Cholesterol on skin: People with high concentrations of steroids or cholesterol on their skin surface attracts mosquitoes. Not all people however that have high concentrations of cholesterol on their skin will have high blood cholesterol, as some individuals may be more efficient at processing cholesterol, with the by-products of which remain on the skin’s surface. Either way increasing Power Foods that are Plant Based can help keep cholesterol in its optimal zone. For more on Power Foods…

3. Uric Acid: Uric acid can increase in those who eat a high amount of animal protein and or processed foods that contain fructose. Reducing animal protein and fructose, especially high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) that can be found in many packaged foods can help reduce uric acid and thus help as a natural bug spray!

4. Carbon Dioxide: Yes the mere process of breathing out carbon dioxide attracts mosquitoes to you. The larger the person the more carbon dioxide is given off, which is why mosquitoes typically prefer munching on adults (especially pregnant women – who tend to give off more carbon dioxide) to small children. Mosquitoes can actually smell you from an impressive distance of up to 50 meters or about half the size of a football pitch! Now that’s pretty amazing!

5. Movement: Here is where it all evens out as kids generally tend to move around more than adults and thus are just as easily mosquito magnets as adults!

6. Lactic Acid from Sweat Glands: Not only does breathing harder and running around cause you to be mosquito perfume so does the lactic acid from your sweat gland! The older the sweat the better as the chemical reaction from fresh sweat is not as attractive to these little guys as old sweat (the bacteria increase changing the pH from acidic to alkaline as sweat components breakdown into ammonia).1-3 So don’t forget to throw those smelly socks in the wash if you don’t want them to attract mosquitoes near you!

So there you have it, the recipe for mosquito magnets!

HOW TO PREVENT MOSQUITO BITES NATURALLY

My philosophy has always been if you can do it naturally that’s the way to go! Although bug sprays that contain DEET (N,N-Diethyl-m-toluamide) are approved by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and are effective they also come with side effect risks that range from eye irritation and rashes to severe neurological concerns according to researchers at Duke University Medical Centre.

With over 175 known species in the U.S. these smart little buzzing insects certainly are all around you in the warmer weather. Scientists have discovered that you actually have a natural bug spray that the body releases called 1-methylpiperzine, which blocks mosquito’s sense of smell! 4 Bug sprays that contain 1-methylpiperzine are in the works but not available yet.

Can changing your diet actually be one of the most effective natural bug sprays? Yes by eating more plant based foods like garlic (a natural mosquito repellent), reducing animal products and processed foods that are rich in fructose that both can increase cholesterol and uric acid is the way to go for your overall health and to help keep those mosquitoes at bay.

Dr. Joël’s Natural Bug Spray:

  • ½ cup distilled or boiled water
  • ½ cup witch hazel
  • 10 drops of each essential oil: citronella, clove oil, cinnamon leaf oil, catnip oil & lemon eucalyptus

Mix all together in a spray bottle and apply to clothing vs direct skin and repeat every few hours as needed. You can find all of the ingredients at your local health food store.

Health Buzz:

  • Citronella: One of the most widely used natural mosquito repellents.5
  • Clove Oil: Several laboratory studies showed 100 percent protection for three hours.6
  • Cinnamon Leaf Oil: One study found cinnamon leaf to be more effective at killing mosquitoes than DEET.7
  • Catnip Oil: May be 10x more effective than DEET. 8
  • Lemon Eucalyptus: Contains PMD (para-menthane 3, 8 diol),a 32 percent mixture was found to be very effective providing more than 95 percent protection for three hours..9

 

HOW TO  NATURALLY TREAT MOSQUITO BITES

The itch that you experience from a mosquito bite comes from the saliva of mosquitoes that contains an anticoagulant which causes a histamine release and a mild allergic reaction. Mosquitoes bite to draw the blood required to fertilize their eggs while bees/wasps inject venom.

The 3 steps to easing mosquito bites are:

1. Clean: with alcohol or water

2. Neutralize The Bite: Alkaline Solution : 1 Tbsp. baking soda and warm water, leave on few minutes then rinse with water

3. Reduce Itching & Inflammation: Choose any one of the following:

  • Lavender oil: Great for all kinds of bites ie tick, fleas etc too and can help you get a good night sleep, Take a small amount and dilute it with water, then apply directly to the bite. Helps to reduce itching.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV): Apply with a cotton ball and leave on for a few minutes to reduce the inflammation
  • Aloe: Anti-inflammatory thus helps the itching, swelling and healing , draws the sting out , keep aloe in refrigerator for cold helps to reduce itchiness
  • Local Raw Honey: Anti-microbial & anti-inflammatory properties , apply after you’ve come inside because it can attract more mosquitoes!
  • Basil: Itching, crushed on site
  • Onion: Apply topically, the sap takes the sting out
  • Cold Green Tea Bag: Cold helps soothe the itch and compounds in the tea help with inflammation.

For a Video on Natural Mosquito Bite Treatments

Dr. Joël, ND, Inspiring Health Naturally

For more on Power Foods

REFERENCES & SOURCES: 

  1. Richardson, Jill, Why mosquitoes bite some people and not others – And the surprising , natural way to avoid bites, AlterNet June 25, 2014
  2. Smallegange, Renate C, Verhulst, Neils O., Takken Willem, Sweaty skin: an invitation to bite?,  Trends in Parasitology April 2011, Volume 27, Issue 4, 1p 143-148, DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pt.2010.12.009
  3. Braks, M et al. Journal of Chemical Ecology (1999) 25: 663. doi:10.1023/A:1020970307748, Journal of Chemical Ecology March 1999
  4. EurekaAlert! September 9, 2013
  5. Moore SJ, Hill N, Ruiz C, Cameron MM. Field Evaluation of Traditionally Used Plant-Based Insect Repellents and Fumigants Against the Malaria VectorAnopheles darlingi in Riberalta, Bolivian Amazon. J Med Entomol. 2007;44(4):624–630. doi: 10.1603/0022-
  6. Carroll SP, Loye J. PMD, a registered botanical mosquito repellent with deet-like efficacy.J Am Mosq Control Assoc. 2006;22:507–514. doi: 10.2987/8756-971X(2006)22[507:PARBMR]2.0.CO;2.
  7. Cheng SS1,Liu JYTsai KHChen WJChang ST., Chemical composition and mosquito larvicidal activity of essential oils from leaves of different Cinnamomum osmophloeum provenances., J Agric Food Chem. 2004 Jul 14;52(14):4395-400.
  8. American Chemical Society. “Catnip Repels Mosquitoes More Effectively Than DEET.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 August 2001.
  9. Frances SP,Rigby LMChow WK., Comparative laboratory and field evaluation of repellent formulations containing deet and lemon eucalyptus oil against mosquitoes in Queensland, Australia., J Am Mosq Control Assoc. 2014 Mar;30(1):65-7.

Did you know the history of Thermography is centuries old?

The roots of Thermography, or heat differentiation, are ancient, dating back to the time of the pyramids. A papyrus from 1700 BC documents the association of temperature with disease. By 400 BC, physicians commonly employed a primitive form of Thermography: they applied a thin coat of mud to a patient’s body, observed the patterns made by the different rates of mud drying, and attributed those patterns to hot and cold temperatures on the surface of the body. Hippocrates summed it up: “In whatever part of the body excess of heat or cold is felt, the disease is there to be discovered.”

The first attempt to measure heat came in the second century AD with the development of a bulb “thermoscope” by Hero of Alexandria. In the late 1500s, Galileo invigorated the science of measuring temperature by converting Hero’s thermoscope into a crude thermometer. Others followed over the centuries, developing more sophisticated devices and introducing improvements which have become standard today — for example, the mercury thermometer and the use of Fahrenheit and Celsius scales to measure temperature.

A breakthrough in Thermology, as it was then called, came in 1800 with a major discovery by Sir William Hershel, King George III’s Royal Astronomer. Experimenting with prisms to separate the various colors of the rainbow, Hershel discovered a new spectrum of invisible light which we now know as infrared, meaning “below the red.” As a natural effect of metabolism, humans constantly release varying levels of energy in the infrared spectrum, and this energy is expressed as heat. Hershel’s discovery made it possible for devices to focus on measuring infrared heat from the human body.

Modern thermometry began soon after, in 1835, with the invention of a thermo-electrical device which established that the temperature in inflamed regions of the body is higher than in normal areas. This device also confirmed that the normal healthy human temperature is 98.6° Fahrenheit or 37° Celsius.

By the 1920s, scientists were using photography to record the infrared spectrum, and this led to new applications in thermometry and other fields. The 30s, 40s, and 50s saw remarkable improvements in imaging with special infrared sensors, thanks in large part to World War II and the Korean conflict, which used infrared for a variety of military applications, such as troop movement detection. Once these infrared technologies were declassified post-war, scientists immediately turned to researching their application for clinical medicine.

In the 60s, large amounts of published research and the emergence of physician organizations dedicated to the use of thermal imaging, such as the American Academy of Thermology, brought about greater public and private awareness of the science.

By 1972, the Department of Health, Education and Welfare announced that Thermography, as it had become known, was “beyond experimental” in several areas, including evaluation of the female breast.

On the heels of this, efforts to standardize the field began in earnest, aided by the arrival of mini-computers in the mid-70s, which provided color displays, image analysis, and the great benefits of image and data storage — and eventually faster communication over the Internet.

By the late 70s and early 80s, detailed standards for thermography were in place, and new training centers for physicians and technicians were graduating professionals who would make medical thermography available to the general public.

In 1982, the Federal Drug Commission (FDA) approved medical thermography for use “where variations of skin temperatures might occur.” In 1988, the US Department of Labor introduced coverage for thermography in Federal Workers’ Compensation claims. These and other milestones — including a brief period when Medicare covered the use of thermography — encouraged the expansion of thermography training resources and launched a dramatic refinement of imaging devices over the next few decades.

Today, modern systems provide high speed, high resolution imaging coupled with state-of-the-art computerized digital technology. This results in clear, detailed images captured by certified technicians for qualified physicians to interpret. Thermography is now recognized and valued as a highly refined science with standardized applications in Neurology, Vascular Medicine, Sports Medicine, Breast Health, and many other specialty areas.

video Block
Double-click here to add a video by URL or embed code. Learn more.

Give the Gift of Volunteering in Your Community

This is a giving time of year......why not do something that will cost you nothing but a couple hours of your time? Here are five reasons why I like to volunteer.

1.       Help your community save money, so they can invest it in other places

There are myriads of non-profits and community organizations that completely depend on volunteers to operate.  They literally cannot do it without you.  By volunteering your time to these groups, they are able to put the money you are saving them back into your community.  You might not be directly paid, but you are paid in other ways through the programs they invest in.

2.       Meet people who live by you

Volunteering can be helpful for expanding your friend group or even for job networking.  Through volunteering in my community, I’ve met so many new people, from the people I serve meals with to the people helping at an event.  It’s easy for me to become stuck in my bubble of white, middle-class, middle age parents.  Volunteering connects you with a more diversified group of people.

3.       Learn about your community

What better way is there to learn about the place you live than to help operate your city and meet people in it?  Particularly if you live in a town bigger than 50,000 people, it can be easy to feel lost and insignificant in the place you live.  One way to overcome this is to find out about more things that are happening in your city and get involved with them.

4.       You understand your own community

You understand your community’s culture, standard of living, and way of doing things.  Volunteering overseas can take years of training to learn the culture, and sometimes even involves learning a new language.  Even then you may still be forever perceived as an outsider.  Although there are other good reasons to volunteer overseas, these reasons listed are why volunteering in your own community just makes sense. 

5.       Return the favour

You know how they say “It takes a village to raise a child?”  Your community has probably done a lot for you, especially if you’ve lived in the same place for a long period of time.  They might have schooled you, provided services for you, ran events for you, looked out for you.  Most people only have the time to volunteer in one or two places, but if everyone volunteers in one of two places, our communities will be much stronger places.  

Breast Health - There is More Than One Way to Monitor

October is Breast Cancer Action month in Canada, a time when the color pink is splashed everywhere you turn.......posters, hard goods in the grocery stores and even on the football field. With all this fundraising why are the statistics not changing?

Breast health begins with a proactive approach to healthy living and taking preventative action with your daily lifestyle. It is also very important to include regular monitoring of your breast tissue with self exams and breast screening. The method of choice in North America is the mammogram, basically an x-ray of your breast looking for an already formed mass that has the potential to be within the tissue up to 7 years before it can be detected this way. What is not often discussed or brought to the forefront are alternative methods that may be what is necessary for prevention and early detection.

I find this article very helpful and informative for taking a proactive approach.

 

http://www.totalhealthmagazine.com/Women-s-Health/Six-Breast-Cancer-Early-Detection-Tools-Your-Doctor-Isnt-Telling-You-About.html

See Yourself in a Different Light

For the past several years I've come to believe if we could understand and monitor what's happening to our bodies and health on the inside before illness or disease strikes, then we'd be so much further ahead of the game.  I'd like to call it preventative medicine.

I am lead to believe we (this generation of people) are becoming more health conscious by exercising regularly, taking time to become more knowledgeable about nutrition, and generally showing a keen interest in day to day well-being........or are we? It seems to me that's the image being portrayed by the media, commercial sales, and the fitness industry. 

Well, according to Stats Canada (2014 Canadian Community Health Survey), those aged 45 to 64 had the highest self-reported overweight or obese rate at 54% (23% children age 12-17) and face increased health risks because of the excess weight. And, more men were overweight or obese than women. Isn't this the age group of self professed "health nuts"?? The Whole Foods shopping, Underarmour wearing, and Kilimanjaro hiking bunch?? How can this be? 

I don't believe there's one single answer but I do believe if people made or started making proactive instead of reactive choices with their own health it would be a good start. Talk with your healthcare practitioner about what you can do before the signs and symptoms of illness strike. Let's use technological resources (internet, social media, on-line news and information) as a health benefit and, of course, come for a thermography scan! The full body scan will take a look at your body's physiology and identify any signs of increased temperature or inflammation or decreased temperature caused by blood flow or dysfunction to all parts of the body.  Don't YOU want to be proactive instead of reactive when it comes to your health?  

11 Surprising, delicious foods that boost brain power

You may choose certain foods to prevent bloatingavoid inflammation, and get glowing skin—but what about boosting your brain power every time you fill your plate?

The relationship between diet and brain health—from how to sharpen your mind and memory to starting Alzheimer's prevention super early—has been getting lots of attention lately, and Rebecca Katz, MS, author of the new science-based recipe book The Healthy Mind Cookbook, is at the forefront of the movement.

"It used to be that scientists thought that as you grow older your brain cells die," says Katz, who's also the executive chef at Food As Medicine and founder of Healing Kitchens Institute in Bolinas, California. "Now, we're actually seeing that our brain cells can regenerate—which is largely based on how we eat and exercise. If you're eating a whole foods diet, of course you're taking care of your body, but there are actually certain foods that are very important for the brain."

Want to know what they are? These are the 11 foods Katz says you should be eating to strengthen your mental muscles now. —Jamie McKillop

Lentils

According to Katz, lentils are full of brain-friendly B vitamin folate, which helps keep your mind sharp as you age, thiamin and vitamin B6, which give you more focus and energy, iron, which is important for cognitive functioning in women during childbearing years, and zinc, which is said to be a memory booster.


Mint

Katz loves mint because it's a good source of vitamin A, which can help boost learning skills and increase brain plasticity, vitamin C, which is said to protect against cognitive decline, and for other, unexpected reasons.

Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds, AKA pepitas, deliver generous helpings of iron in addition to a mineral trio of potassium, magnesium, and calcium, which Katz says has shown to delay cognitive decline. "For this reason, I call pumpkin seeds nature’s smallest antidepressant," she says.

Cauliflower

"Some foods just look like they should be good for the mind," Katz says. "Take cauliflower. Kind of like walnuts, it visually reminds you of the brain. And sure enough, cauliflower is a brain-boosting superstar." It's a great source of vitamin K, which is said to keep your mind sharp as you age and boost memory, as well as folate.

Sardines

Even if eating them isn't totally appealing, your brain loves these tiny fish. In fact, Katz refers to them as "Prozac in a can," since sardines are loaded with vitamin B12, which has been shown to boost memory and ward off depression. They're also a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, which help keep your brain sharp, and are high in niacin, which can boost mental energy.

Almonds

According to Katz, almonds may help your body fight inflammation in ways that can boost mood and slow the mental decline that comes with age, as well as raise levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin, which is "associated with fewer down moods and less depression," she says. Which is awesome since they're also delish.

Beets

"Beets are a brain food of the first order," Katz says. "They are high in nitrites, which have been shown to increase blood flow in parts of the brain related to executive functioning, have got lots of vitamin B9, which may aid cognitive functioning and delay a descent into dementia, and are rich in carotenoids, which may help boost brain functioning and stave off depression." Remember to order a salad the next chance you get.

Cashews

"Cashews are a great source of two brain-boosting minerals, zinc and magnesium," Katz explains. "Zinc is important because low levels of the mineral are associated with depression, and it may improve memory as well, while magnesium has been shown to help better regulate sleeping patterns and may improve learning skills."

Cinnamon

"Cinnamon delivers some anti-inflammatory benefits, which may well boost overall brain functioning," Katz explains. "It also unleashes in the brain some special proteins called neurotrophic factors, which can help the brain generate new neurons and keep old ones healthy."

Dark Chocolate

"The cocoa that gives dark chocolate its haunting, addictive flavor is loaded with the memory-boosting antioxidant power of flavonoids," Katz says. "In two recent studies, cocoa consumption has been linked to higher scores on cognitive tests. Dark chocolate is also a boon to the cardiovascular system, and a healthy heart helps keep the brain sharp."

Ginger

"Many women can experience a loss of mental sharpness as they get into middle age, but ginger has been shown to help keep that from happening," Katz says. "Another study on postmenopausal women showed ginger boosting memory skills and ability to focus." Stir-fry for dinner, it is.

 

 

Are you struggling with imbalance?

Are you struggling with imbalance? I often see what could be the result of this with many scan reports.

Are you too acidic?

How your body's PH imbalance is affecting your health.

The All-American diet. The meat and carb-heavy foods you’ve grown accustomed to may be putting you at risk for chronic disease. And the reason for that may come down to these two words: pH imbalance... Read more