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the lifestyle clinic, charlotte nc, holistic health

Holistic Healthcare

Holistic Healthcare. We’ve all heard it, but do you really know what it means? Holistic healthcare is actually more of an approach to life than it is a system of healthcare. In contrast to conventional western medicine, it does not end when your symptoms are alleviated; it is an ongoing process to make healthy choices everyday. Holistic means considering the whole person in the prevention of disease; physically, psychologically, socially, and spiritually. Instead of focusing on a specific illness or part of your health, it emphasizes the connection of mind, body and spirit. It is based on the belief that these three parts are inseparable and when one is not working at its best, it impacts the entire person. When all the parts are balanced, the result will be optimal health and well-being.

Ancient healing traditions, as far back as 5,000 years ago, stressed healthy living in harmony with nature. These holistic concepts declined during the 20th century when germs were identified as outside sources causing illness and sickness. Western medicine became a process of killing outside invaders using pharmaceutical drugs, thus leading to the belief that people could get away with unhealthy lifestyle choices, and modern medicine would “fix” them as problems developed. Many people are turning back to the holistic approach to health and healing because they are realizing that modern medicine and pharmaceuticals are merely masking symptoms, and not treating the true concern.

In addition to a holistic approach to your health, a team approach is also extremely important. Building your healthcare team is an important step in the process of achieving a whole body balance. It is also very important to ensure that your healthcare team works together and have open communication with one another to work on one common goal: to empower you to become the healthiest you; mind, body and spirit. Each member of the team should know his or her own abilities and limitations and make referrals to another holistic practitioner when needed. A holistic approach means that the doctor is informed about a patient’s whole life situation, not just the small pieces that are relevant to their treatment.

A holistic practitioner is one who may use different forms of treatment, ranging from lifestyle modifications to alternative therapies. When a person is suffering from severe migraines, generally the holistic practitioner will take a look at all of the potential factors that may be causing the symptom, such as diet, hormonal imbalances, a stressful job, marital issues, etc. The treatment plan will usually include lifestyle modifications to help prevent the symptom from recurring instead of simply masking or numbing the symptom through the use of medication.

In holistic healthcare, a symptom is considered an alert that something needs attention. Thus, the symptom is used as a guide to look for the root cause so that the real problem can be addressed. Holistic practitioners recommend treatments that support the body’s natural healing system and are gentle on the body. There are many different types of holistic practitioners but they are generally someone who believes in the following principles:

All people have inherent healing powers that you are born with;
The patient is a person, not just a disease, illness or symptom;
Appropriate healing treatment needs a team approach addressing all aspects of a person’s life using a variety of health care practices;
Patient and physician are partners in the healing process;
Treatment involves fixing the cause of the condition, not just relieving the symptoms.

Holistic practitioners emphasize patient education on lifestyle changes and self-care to promote wellness. Many times this includes diet, exercise, psychotherapy, relationship and spiritual counseling, and more. Complementary therapies such as acupuncture, chiropractic care, homeopathy, and massage therapy also fit into the scope of holistic healthcare. Your team should include a variety of practitioners to help balance the different aspects of your life. For example, you may see a naturopathic doctor for your hormone imbalance and nutritional counseling, a massage therapist for your tight shoulders and stress relief, and a mental health therapist to discuss your marital and career concerns. Together, with the help of multiple holistic practitioners, you will soon be on your way to the happiest, healthiest version of you. When you first begin, your protocols and appointments may be intense and frequent, but with the help of your holistic practitioners, you will soon be equipped with the necessary tools and knowledge to reach your optimal health. Then, you will enter a maintenance phase where you possess the resources to lead a healthy life, all while having a team of holistic providers who will be available should anything arise in the future.

In order to understand you as a whole person and not just a symptom or illness, be prepared to answer lots of questions you may not have been asked before. These could range from questions about your diet, exercise, and sleep habits to your frequency and consistency of bowel movements, how you feel emotionally, your religious beliefs and practices, close relationships, and more. Sometimes you may hear a holistic practitioner being called an “alternative practitioner”. This simply means any form of medicine outside the mainstream of western or conventional medicine.

If you are interested in seeing a holistic or alternative practitioner, below is a list of well-known therapies you may have heard of:

Acupuncture
Fine needles are inserted at specific points to stimulate the flow of Qi (vital energy), and restore a healthy energy balance.

Aromatherapy
Using “essential oils” distilled from plants, treating a wide range of concerns. Oils can be massaged into the skin, inhaled, diffused, digested or placed in baths. It is often used complementary with massage therapy, acupuncture, reflexology, herbology, chiropractic, and other holistic treatments.

Chinese Medicine
Chinese medical practitioners are trained to use a variety of ancient and modern therapeutic methods – including acupuncture, herbal medicine, massage, heat therapy, and nutritional and lifestyle counseling – to treat both chronic and acute illnesses.

Chiropractic
Chiropractic medicine views the spine as the backbone of human health: misalignments of the vertebrae caused by poor posture or trauma cause pressure on the nerves of the spine, leading to illness. Through manipulation of the spine, optimal health can be realized.

Counseling/Psychotherapy
This broad category covers a range of practitioners, from career counselors to psychotherapists who treat depression, stress, addiction, and emotional issues. Sessions can vary from individual counseling to group therapy.

Herbalism
An ancient form of healing still widely used, herbalism uses natural plants or plant-based substances to treat a range of illnesses and to enhance the functioning of the body’s systems.

Homeopathy
A medical system that uses extremely small doses of natural substances to stimulate a person’s immune and defense system. A remedy is individually chosen based on its capacity to cause, if given in overdose, physical and psychological symptoms similar to those a patient is currently experiencing.

Massage Therapy
Massage therapy involves the practice of manipulating a person’s muscles and other soft tissue with the intent of improving a person’s well-being or health.

Midwifery/Childbirth Support
Midwives provide education and support during pregnancy, assist the mother during labor and delivery, and provide follow-up care. Practitioners of childbirth support include childbirth educators, assistants, and doulas.

Naturopathic Medicine
Naturopathic physicians work to restore and support the body’s own healing abilities using a variety of modalities including nutrition, herbal medicine, and homeopathic medicine. It is a primary health-care system that emphasizes the healing power of nature.

Osteopathic Medicine
Osteopathic physicians provide comprehensive medical care. In diagnosis and treatment, they pay particular attention to the joints, bones, muscles, and nerves and are specially trained in using their hands to diagnose, treat, and prevent illness.

Reflexology
This modality is based on the idea that specific points on the feet and hands correspond with organs and tissues throughout the body. The practitioner applies pressure to these points to treat a wide range of illnesses.

Reiki
Reiki practitioners use light hand placements to channel healing energies to the recipient. Reiki is commonly used to assist the recipient in achieving spiritual focus and clarity.

At The Lifestyle Clinic, we have a variety of holistic practitioners. Check out our website and call the office today at (704) 334-3761 to learn more about how we can help you or someone you know becoming the happiest, healthiest version of you!

 

References:

https ://ahha.org/selfhelp-articles/holistic-health/

http ://altmedworld.net/alternative.htm

http ://www.signavitae.com/2016/06/holistic-and-team-approach-in-health-care/

http ://www.webmd.com/balance/guide/what-is-holistic-medicine

probiotics, cold and flu, immunity, charlotte naturopathic doctor

Probiotics can help keep you healthy this cold and flu season

What are Probiotics?

Probiotics are good bacteria that line your gut and are responsible for nutrient absorption and supporting your immune system. If you can increase the amount of good bacteria and balance microorganisms in your body, it can have tremendous health benefits, including boosting your immunity, balancing hormones, detoxifying your liver, helping clear up your skin, and decreasing inflammation, to name a few. This “friendly” bacteria makes up 70-85% of our immune systems.

Probiotics are beneficial microorganisms that are responsible for a number of things in the body. Probiotics help break down food as well as extract minerals from those foods. Probiotics assist our bodies in producing essential fatty acids and vitamins. These helpful bacteria are also known to eat excess sugar in the body, reducing health risks associated with sugar intake such as inflammation.

If you don’t have enough good bacteria in your gut, the side effects can include: digestive disorders, skin issues, candida, autoimmune disease, and frequent colds and flus.

Every time you take a round of antibiotics, it throws off your gut flora and can affect digestion and many aspects of your health for many months. This is why it is important to limit the number of antibiotics you take to only when completely necessary. You should instead try to boost your immune system to fight off illnesses. Many people go to their doctor every time they are sick and receive antibiotics for viral infections or minor illnesses, when in fact, antibiotics do not help rid viruses.

In addition to excessive antibiotic use, other reasons that the microflora in our systems become unbalanced are eating foods with added hormones and preservatives, exposure to fertilizers and pesticides, carbonated beverages, steroids and even stress. For this reason, it is very important to sustain a healthy amount of good bacteria in your system by eating a healthy diet and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

How to incorporate probiotics

The best way to ensure you are getting a healthy amount of probiotics in your system is to incorporate probiotic-rich foods into your daily diet as well as taking a daily probiotic supplement. The following foods are high in probiotics; sauerkraut, pickles, kimchi, kombucha, and apple cider vinegar (as salad dressing). Getting good, high-quality fiber in your diet can also enhance the development of good bacteria in your body.

When choosing a daily probiotic supplement, you should purchase a high quality, reputable brand that has at least 15 billion CFU (colony forming units) per serving. It should have multiple strains and some high quality brands require refrigeration (once the probiotics touch the air or are heated, they lose their potency). It is however, important to choose a probiotic that is shelf stable as refrigeration may be compromised during transport. The Not Just Weight by Dr. Parkes brand offers a superior probiotic product that is individually packaged to encourage freshness and preserve quality.

Tip: Probiotic-rich food recipes

Simple sauerkraut

Ingredients
1 medium head of cabbage (about 3 pounds)
1.5 tablespoons of kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Clean everything: When fermenting anything, it’s best to give the good, beneficial bacteria every chance of succeeding by starting off with as clean an environment as possible. Make sure your mason jar (2 qt wide mouth) and jelly jar (smaller jar that fits inside of the 2 qt jar) are washed and rinsed of all soap residue. Make sure to wash your hands, too.
  2. Thinly slice and chop cabbage.
  3. Combine the cabbage and salt: Transfer the cabbage to a big mixing bowl and sprinkle the salt over top. Begin working the salt into the cabbage by massaging and squeezing the cabbage with your hands. Do this for 5 to 10 minutes (there should be a significant amount of liquid formed).
  4. Pack the cabbage into the large mason jar. Every so often, push down the cabbage in the jar with your fist. Pour any liquid released by the cabbage into the jar.
  5. Once all the cabbage is packed into the mason jar, slip the smaller jelly jar into the mouth of the jar and weigh it down with clean stones or marbles. This will help keep the cabbage weighed down (the cabbage needs to be fully submerged in the liquid).
  6. Cover the mouth of the mason jar with a cloth and secure it with a rubber band. This allows air to flow in and out of the jar, but prevents anything from getting into the jar.
  7. Over the next 24 hours, press down on the cabbage every so often with the jelly jar. As the cabbage releases its liquid, it will become more limp and compact and the liquid will rise over the top of the cabbage.
  8. If after 24 hours, the liquid has not risen above the cabbage, dissolve 1 teaspoon of salt in 1 cup of water and add enough to submerge the cabbage.
  9. Ferment the cabbage for 3 to 10 days: As it’s fermenting, keep the sauerkraut away from direct sunlight and at a cool room temperature. Check it daily and press it down if the cabbage is not fully submerged by liquid.
  10. Start tasting your sauerkraut after 3 days, when the sauerkraut tastes good to you, remove the weight, screw on the cap, and refrigerate.
  11. While it’s fermenting, you may see bubbles coming through the cabbage, foam on the top, or white scum. These are all signs of a healthy, happy fermentation process. The scum can be skimmed off the top either during fermentation or before refrigerating. If you see any mold, skim it off immediately and make sure your cabbage is fully submerged; don’t eat moldy parts close to the surface, but the rest of the sauerkraut is fine.
  12. This sauerkraut will keep for at least two months and often longer if kept refrigerated.

Reference:
https:// draxe.com/boost-immunity-with-probiotics/
https:// draxe.com/probiotics-a-pro-or-con-for-your-health/
https:// draxe.com/what-are-probiotics/
http:// www.everydayhealth.com/cold-and-flu/probiotics-for-flu-prevention.aspx
http:// www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/do-probiotics-reduce-cold-and-flu-risk/
http:// www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/research-confirms-probiotics-support-immune-system/
http:// www.prescript-assist.com/intestinal-health/immune-system-probiotics/

Recipe Reference:
http:// www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-homemade-sauerkraut-in-a-mason-jar-193124

natural health charlotte, charlotte naturopath, healthy eating, charlotte, the lifestyle clinic

Get Back on Track 7 Day Express Plan

Have you fallen off the wagon?
Do the summer festivities have you feeling off balance?

Give yourself a quick mid summer boost:

Increase Energy
Improve Digestion
Lose Weight
Feel Better

This Express Program includes all your supplements and a special meal plan designed to get you back on track fast!

Cost $158 (+Shipping if applicable)

Hurry! Don’t miss out!
There are a limited number of programs available.

Purchase a program for a friend/family member and do it together
Pick your own start date
Recipes for main dishes, side dishes and dessert included
Mix and match meals to create your own food plan

Order now by calling the office or logging into our online store at lifestyle-clinic.com. (Select Shop on our Top Menu)

 

bugs, summer, charlotte naturopath, doctor, healthy, bug bites, healthy remedy

Naturally Protect Yourself From Bugs This Summer

This week brings the official first day of summer which means longer days, rising temperatures, blooming flowers and a surge of insects.

Summertime usually leads to spending more time outdoors enjoying beaches, lakes and other sceneries of nature.  Summer is an important time to know how to protect yourself from insects, as rates of insect-borne illnesses are on the rise.

At The Lifestyle Clinic we focus on disease prevention, not only in terms of nutrition and exercise, but also by minimizing exposure to toxins unique to this time of year. Most commercial insect repellents contain a chemical called DEET which is a pesticide and should be used with extreme caution.  Before reaching for a harsh bug spray, why not try some safer preventative measures?

Try these 10 easy tips to stay safe from insect-borne illnesses this summer.

  1. Protect your skin by wearing long sleeves and long pants when possible.  Choose light-colored solid prints so that insects are more easily detectable.
  1. To stop ticks, tuck long pants into your socks and avoid tall grass and underbrush.  Keep up with the growth of your lawn.  Always do a full body check once coming from outdoors.
  1. Try to stay indoors during dusk and dawn which are peak times for mosquito activity.
  1. Keep window screens in good repair.
  1. Keep outdoor meals protected by using a fan to deter mosquitoes.
  1. Plant mosquito-repelling plants such as scented geraniums, lemon thyme, marigold, citrosa plants, sweet basil or sassafras.
  1. Eliminate any standing water near your home where mosquitoes could be reproducing.
  1. Encourage natural insect predators such as ladybugs, bats, dragonflies, praying mantis, spiders, and birds.
  1. Use yellow light bulbs in outdoor fixtures.  Bugs are not as attracted to yellow lights.
  1. Use unscented skin products and choose non toxic repellents.

If you do encounter a sting or bite from an insect then try one of these natural home remedies to relieve your symptoms:

  • Apply tea tree oil to the affected area.  Remove the stinger and gently apply around the entry point.
  • Mix baking soda with water to form a paste.  Remove the stinger and apply the paste to the area until the pain is gone.
  • Slice a yellow onion  in half and rub the cut side onto the bite, the onion’s sulfur compounds will react with the area of the bite.
  • Tape a cotton ball soaked in white vinegar over the bite and leave overnight.

Written by: Dr. Kivette Parkes, Naturopathic Doctor

References:

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-13582/11-tips-to-naturally-protect-yourself-from-bug-bites.htmlhttp://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/08/23/mosquito-repellent.aspx

Health and Freedom - Discover the Path to You

Spring Cleaning, Inside and Out

During spring, nature goes through the process of renewal. Cleansing and detoxification is a gentle and effective way to bring the energy of renewal into our own lives. Spring cleaning is more than just detoxifying the body, it can also mean avoiding toxins in our thoughts, emotions, and environment. Below are some gentle and safe ways to bring the energy of spring cleaning into your life, from the inside out.

Cleansing the Body

Our bodies are exposed to toxins daily from the air we breathe to the products we use. There are several body systems that help us eliminate these toxins such as our liver, kidneys, and even our sweat. These systems can get overwhelmed and often need a little help and support. This is often referred to as doing a “detoxification”.

Modern living can bring us into contact with so many toxins that everyone could use a good detox, especially in the spring! Detox is the process of reducing the amount of toxins that we are exposed to in order to release toxins that are already stored in the body. There are a variety of methods for detoxing the body. Most consist of resting the body by eliminating solid foods for a short time and instead consuming cleansing foods such as special broths, juices, teas, herbs or supplements. After the cleansing period is over, a very clean diet is slowly reintroduced. It is important to speak to a Naturopathic Doctor for any detox. Several hidden factors can complicate a detox if done without professional help such as blood sugar issues, or if a person has been exposed to heavy metals or other dangerous toxins.

Cleansing the Environment

A clean body will only benefit us so long without the support of a clean environment. There are several sources of toxins in our environment that need to be addressed. The most important is toxins in our food. It is important to be eating organic fruits and vegetables, organic meats, non-GMO whole grains, and limit processed foods as these contain dyes, flavor enhancers, preservatives, and other industrial chemicals. Clean water is also a must, including filtered water in non-toxic containers. Glass is the best storage container for water, followed by stainless steel, and BPA-free plastic.

Another area of toxic exposure is in our homes. Household cleaners, laundry products, lawn care chemicals, and bug sprays expose us to numerous chemicals and petroleum based toxins. Even cosmetics, perfumes, shampoos, face washes, deodorants, and toothpastes have chemicals that can disrupt our health. Health food stores offer environmentally-friendly, all- natural products.

Cleansing the Spirit

One overlooked area of detox is our thoughts and emotions. To truly embrace the benefits of a spring clean, we must also look at the mental and emotional environment we live in daily. Chronic stress is one of the most toxic emotions to live with on a daily basis. Not only can it tax the body by stimulating stress hormones, it harms the spirit and positive mental outlook. Other toxic emotions such as anger, resentment, jealousy, anxiety, and depression need to be dealt with. Naturopathic Medicine helps support more than just your body, it helps support the whole person including one’s emotional state.

By working with a Naturopathic Doctor, you can gently release negative emotions and embrace your own health and vitality. Some strategies everyone can use to help support their spring cleaning are deep cleansing breaths, meditation, staying hydrated with clean water, and exercising.

Resources:

Lindlahr, Henry, and Jocelyn C. P. Proby. 1975. Philosophy of natural therapeutics. Saffron Walden: C.W. Daniel Co.

Pizzorno, Joseph E., and Michael T. Murray. 1999. Textbook of natural medicine. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone.

Vasey, Christopher. 2009. The naturopathic way: how to detox, find quality nutrition, and restore your acid-alkaline balance. Rochester, Vt: Healing Arts Press.

Natural Health Charlotte, Naturopathic Doctor, Natural Health Charlotte

What is a Naturopathic Doctor?

Have your friends and colleagues seen a naturopathic doctor with great results but you are still unsure of what we actually do? Read on to learn more about how we can help you.

A naturopathic doctor is trained as a primary care physician in states where licensure is available. Naturopathic Doctors are currently licensed to practice medicine in 17 states, 5 Canadian provinces, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.

Naturopathic doctors undergo similar medical training to conventional Medical Doctors. Admission to an accredited Naturopathic medical school requires a bachelor’s degree as well as a competitive GPA in scientific pre-requisites. Coursework includes medical sciences such as anatomy, pathology, biochemistry and diagnostic sciences. Naturopathic Doctors learn to use labs, physical exams, and medical imaging, much like conventional Medical Doctors, to diagnose disease and monitor health.

Naturopathic Medicine is based on 6 principles:

  1. The Healing Power of Nature
    Naturopathic medicine recognizes the body’s ability to heal itself.
  2. Identify and Treat the Causes
    The naturopathic doctor looks beyond the symptoms to find the underlying cause.
  3. First Do No Harm
    Naturopathic medicine uses the most natural and least invasive therapies.
  4. Doctor as Teacher
    Naturopathic doctors educate the patient and encourage self-responsibility for health.
  5. Treat the Whole Person
    Naturopathic doctors treat each person individually by taking into account physical, mental, emotional, genetic, spiritual, environmental and social factors.
  6. Prevention
    Naturopathic doctors make recommendations by focusing on health, wellness and disease prevention.

How will my visit with my Naturopathic Doctor be different?

Naturopathic medicine is committed to treating the whole person, including mind, body and spirit. Your initial office visit will take between 60 and 90 minutes and your Naturopathic Doctor will go into great detail based on your health and family history, lab results and your personal goals. Often, patients say that the biggest difference between a visit with a naturopathic doctor and medical doctor is the amount of time spent with a naturopathic doctor. Your Naturopathic Doctor may ask questions you’ve never been asked before such as;

How is your sleep?

What do you eat on a daily basis?

How often do you have bowel movements?

How would you explain your spirituality?

How are the relationships in your life?

Do you feel supported in your life?

How do you handle stress?

Do your energy levels dip in the afternoon?

Your Naturopathic Doctor will also ask you to keep a detailed food intake log. On this log you will keep track of what you are eating and drinking, as well as all bowel movements and any symptoms you may have. This will help them to associate reactions and symptoms with food or beverages you may have sensitivities to.

What will my treatment plan look like?

Your Naturopathic Doctor will form your treatment plan based on your initial consultation. This will be based on your family history, personal history, goals and especially your lab work. Your plan may include nutrition recommendations, dietary changes, exercise, stress reducing techniques as well as herbal medicines and nutritional supplements. Your naturopathic doctor will most likely want to follow up with you bi-weekly for the first few months, depending on your situation, until you are able to “graduate” to a maintenance phase. Your treatment plan will likely change slightly because as your body changes and you make improvement, your body will need different things. This is why it is extremely important to follow up with your naturopathic doctor regularly.

Naturopath or Naturopathic Doctor?

As explained above, Naturopathic Doctors go through an extensive medical training and are trained as primary care physicians in states where licensure is available. Naturopath’s typically undergo a shorter non-medical school training or certificate to receive a title such as “Holistic Health Coach” or “Naturopath”. When searching for a naturopathic doctor, even in a state where licensure is not available, it is important to ensure that they attended an accredited naturopathic doctor medical program and has passed their Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Exam (NPLEX).

If you or someone you know would like to see how a Naturopathic Doctor can help you, please call the office at (704) 334-3761 to schedule a free phone consult today!

By: Dr. Kivette Parkes, Naturopathic Doctor

 

Resources:

aanmc.org/naturopathic

Bastyr.edu/academics

huffingtonpost.com/michael-stanclift-nd/naturopathic-doctors

allergies, natural health, detox

Dealing with Pesky Allergies

Allergies? Itchy eyes, runny nose, hives, sneezing, headaches… these are all symptoms that you have allergies. An allergic response is the reaction of the body’s immune system to a substance that is normally harmless to the body. The offending substance causing allergies is called an allergen. These can include; dust, grass pollens, certain foods, food additives, chemicals, metals, and animal hair to name a few.

Many people believe that allergies are caused by the substance themselves. In reality it is a reaction from your immune system trying to keep you healthy.

What are Allergies?

It begins with exposure. Even if you’ve inhaled an allergen many times before with no trouble, at some point, the body flags it as an invader. The immune system makes antibodies which are special cells designed to detect the invading allergen if it enters your body again.

Then, the next time you’re exposed to the allergen, your immune system kicks into action. The antibodies recognize the allergens, which then flood the body with chemicals such as histamine. Histamine serves as a red flag to your immune system by notifying the body of potential harm. When these chemicals are released into the body, they are responsible for symptoms such as inflammation, swelling, hives, redness, itching, constriction of the airways, and increased mucus secretion.  Typical reactions associated with allergies include; asthma, hayfever, sinusitis, swelling of the throat, hives, eczema, migraine headaches, abdominal bloating, and cramping.

The Liver’s Role in Allergies

The best way to avoid allergies is to make sure that your liver and immune system are in peak condition. When your liver is functioning poorly, it cannot properly cleanse the blood of toxins (such as antibodies and chemicals).

These toxins over stimulate the immune system causing it to pour out histamine causing these allergic reactions.

A great way to optimize your liver and immune system function is to detoxify your body. By clearing the body of toxins, it will allow the detox processes in the body to better filter and deal with allergens in the future.

If you are experiencing allergic reactions, this is a clear sign that your body may have a build-up of toxins. These over-burden your liver which means that your liver is also burning fat less efficiently causing it to be difficult for weight loss. Gentle and regular detoxification is very helpful when trying to balance the immune system. Doing a seasonal detox will help to boost your liver to its full potential as well as re-set your immune system.

Ask your Naturopathic Doctor how it can benefit you!  

Talk to our Naturopathic Doctor about starting your detoxification program to help ease symptoms associated with allergies. If you or someone you know could benefit, please have them call us to set up a Free Phone Consultation to discuss individual needs.

We also offer group detox programs! We can come to your church, job or even if your family or friends want to participate together. Contact us today to find out more information!

By: Dr. Kivette Parkes, Naturopathic Doctor

 

http://www.webmd.com/allergies/guide/chronic-allergies-causes

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-11175/everything-you-need-to-know-about-histamine-intolerance.html

https://www.liverdoctor.com

Naturopathic Medicine Charlotte NC Health and Wellness

Probiotics and Gut Health

There are over 400 species and thousands of strains of bacteria that are supposed to inhabit the lower intestines and colon. These are called probiotics, which means “for life”, and were initially discovered in the early 1900’s.

These bacteria have many roles in good health. An important function is to prevent food from decay, preserve antioxidants and vitamins, remove toxins and keep pathogenic organisms away. Another major role of probiotics is to maintain proper immune function. Among the various effects on the immune system, a specific action is to stimulate the action of white blood cells, which kill bacteria.

When buying a probiotic, you want a multi-strain product called “broad spectrum”. It should have at least 8-15 different types of probiotic bacteria. Avoid supplements with fillers or preservatives. Make sure it is a product that has been kept cold in the store and then keep it in your fridge when you get it home, unless it is a high-quality vacuum sealed product (these types you can get from a healthcare professional).

Look for supplements that contain prebiotics as well like: inulin and FOS. Talk to your Naturopathic Doctor about the right product and dosing for your health.

Lifestyle Clinic in Charlotte NC

Food is the Basis of Health

Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”. This famous quote by Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, rings even more true today than when he said it did back in 400 B.C.

Hippocrates was a physician who made a living by going door to door to see bed-ridden patients in their homes. His first hand observations of the effects of diet and lifestyle on overall health led him to create the philosophical foundation upon which modern medicine was founded. In fact, physicians since those times have taken the Hippocratic Oath through which they promise to uphold these basic principles of preserving health without causing any harm to the patient.

Lifestyles and medicine have changed a lot since the time of Hippocrates. In fact, modern medicine has never been further away from nature. In order for a medication to be patented and prescribed for the treatment of disease it legally cannot be natural because there cannot be a patent on a naturally occurring thing. So now as a result, we are far removed from the very foundation on which modern medicine was built. Drugs are commonly prescribed over food and lifestyle modifications. In fact, for many physicians and medical researchers, food has no therapeutic value beyond providing calories for energy. The blatant disconnect between nutrition and health is so severe in medicine nowadays, that many physicians don’t even ask their patients about their daily food intake before treating them.

What hasn’t changed, over the past 2500 years is our basic anatomy and physiology. Our bodies are still made of the same organs and systems and cells. Each cell still has the same nutritional needs today as it did in the days of Hippocrates. The cell is the most basic level of life and our bodies are made of millions of them. Each cell is like a tiny biochemical machine that performs different jobs depending on where it is located in the body. It takes raw materials from the food we eat and uses them to may hormones, brain chemicals, enzymes, new cells as well as a host of other essential substances. In fact, most cells in our bodies are replaced by newer cells at least every few years.

If the quality of the raw materials used to make these new cell is poor, as time goes on the overall health of these new cells decreases and the aging process is accelerated. Imagine a body made from candy bars, French fries, and diet sodas. Now compare that to a body made from fresh fruit, organic kale and spinach and lots of pure water. Do you think there would be a distinct difference in the quality and health of the cells and organs between the two bodies? There would absolutely be a difference. Therefore, if the health of the cells and organs in our bodies are affected by the type and quality of food we eat, it stands to reason that the food we eat has a direct impact on how we feel, both physically and emotionally. It will determine if our bodies work properly or if we will be susceptible to diseases such as heart disease, cancer, hormone imbalances, diabetes, thyroid diseases, depression, digestive disorders and other issues not ordinarily associated with diet.

As evident in our society, food can cause as much harm as good. According to the Centers for Disease Control, close to 70% of all US deaths are related to diet and lifestyle. As a Naturopathic Physician, at The Lifestyle Clinic, my main goal is to make sure that the basic nutritional requirements for each patient is being met. At our office, we don’t just look at symptoms. Instead when do a comprehensive evaluation of each patient’s medical history, family/genetic history, exercise routine, stress levels and all the major body systems. This ensures that we provide the best holistic individual food plan for each patient.

The type and quality of food we eat is extremely important. I place a direct focus on whole food nutrition. My patients are always encouraged to eat foods that occur naturally in nature as close to their natural state as possible and avoid processed and synthetic food. In fact, my philosophy is that there are only two basic food groups. The first is real, natural whole foods that you can recognize just by looking at them. The second is synthetic food products that do not occur in nature and you will need to read a list of ingredients to figure out exactly what you are eating. Needless to say, eating from the first group is always preferred. It is a simple philosophy that makes sense of nutrition in this very technical and complicated world. It eliminates the need for counting calories, grams of sodium, grams of fat and all the other unhealthy additives found in processed or synthetic food.

Natural food comes perfectly packaged and balanced by nature. If we eat a good colorful variety of organic fruits, vegetables and some lean animal protein, we provide our bodies with what they need to maintain, improve and preserve our health.

Written by Dr. Kivette Parkes, ND

Lifestyle Clinic in Charlotte NC

15 Reasons You Should be Drinking Green Tea

People all over the world have enjoyed this wonderful beverage for years.

This delicious beverage pack a potent punch, here’s why:

  1. Lowers cholesterol and the risk of heart disease
  2. Helps protect against bacterial infections
  3. Reduces inflammation
  4. Proven and effective method of reducing high blood pressure
  5. Helps fight cancer
  6. Detoxifies the intestines
  7. Helps digestion
  8. Promotes weight loss
  9. Boosts energy
  10. Reduces blood sugar
  11. Protects cells from free radicals
  12. Improves immune system
  13. Helps prevent tooth decay
  14. Protects the liver
  15. Protects against the negative effects of smoking