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Liver Detox-It's Time!

In the spring more energy flows through the liver system according to Chinese Medicine. That means this is a great time to refocus on supporting and strengthening this vital detox system.

 

The liver is responsible for processing hormones, alcohol, certain chemicals and medications, caffeine, fructose and more. In the process, it uses specific vitamins and minerals to convert harmful substances into (water soluble) forms that can be more easily cleared from the body.

High cholesterol, skin conditions, constipation, premenstrual/menstrual symptoms, chemical sensitivity, fatigue and many other health concerns are associated with suboptimal liver health.

 

Fortunately, the liver has a HUGE capacity to heal. Avoiding excess alcohol, caffeine, hormones, chemicals, fructose etc. is essential to lessening the burden on your liver. Adding foods such as burdock (gobo), beets, carrots, artichoke, lemon/lime juice, milk thistle seeds, dandelion root and fresh rosemary help to heal damaged liver cells and stimulate bile flow. Antioxidant vitamins such as vitamin C and the minerals in green vegetables are also required for the liver to detoxify foods safely and effectively. Additionally, adequate hydration is essential to ensure the processed substances are flushed from the body.

 

A nice adjunct to any detoxification program, castor oil packs over the abdomen help to soothe an inflamed digestive system. For those with liver conditions, additional herbs or nutrients may be necessary.

The liver is only one of the major detox organs in the body. To learn about all the detox organs and about detox-promoting foods and tips, join us at Steveston Community Centre for the Healthy Detox-Food Based workshop on Saturday, April 12th

 

Program #507658 

Register in person at Steveston Community Centre, online at www.richmond.ca (Program Registration) or by calling the Registration Call Centre at 604-276-4300, M-F, 8:30am-5:30pm.

 

Dr. Carin Matsushita, ND, RAc

Naturopathic Physician & Registered Acupuncturist

 

Liver Detox-It's Time!

In the spring more energy flows through the liver system according to Chinese Medicine. That means this is a great time to refocus on supporting and strengthening this vital detox system.

 

The liver is responsible for processing hormones, alcohol, certain chemicals and medications, caffeine, fructose and more. In the process, it uses specific vitamins and minerals to convert harmful substances into (water soluble) forms that can be more easily cleared from the body.

High cholesterol, skin conditions, constipation, premenstrual/menstrual symptoms, chemical sensitivity, fatigue and many other health concerns are associated with suboptimal liver health.

 

Fortunately, the liver has a HUGE capacity to heal. Avoiding excess alcohol, caffeine, hormones, chemicals, fructose etc. is essential to lessening the burden on your liver. Adding foods such as burdock (gobo), beets, carrots, artichoke, lemon/lime juice, milk thistle seeds, dandelion root and fresh rosemary help to heal damaged liver cells and stimulate bile flow. Antioxidant vitamins such as vitamin C and the minerals in green vegetables are also required for the liver to detoxify foods safely and effectively. Additionally, adequate hydration is essential to ensure the processed substances are flushed from the body.

 

A nice adjunct to any detoxification program, castor oil packs over the abdomen help to soothe an inflamed digestive system. For those with liver conditions, additional herbs or nutrients may be necessary.

The liver is only one of the major detox organs in the body. To learn about all the detox organs and about detox-promoting foods and tips, join us at Steveston Community Centre for the Healthy Detox-Food Based workshop on Saturday, April 12th

 

Program #507658 

Register in person at Steveston Community Centre, online at www.richmond.ca (Program Registration) or by calling the Registration Call Centre at 604-276-4300, M-F, 8:30am-5:30pm.

 

Dr. Carin Matsushita, ND, RAc

Naturopathic Physician & Registered Acupuncturist

 

What is Fascia? Written by Linda McLaren, RMT

    

 

 

 

 

Hey everyone, 

I thought it would be a good idea to take some time to write about another type of treatment that I offer. Apart from practicing what I learned at the West Coast College of Massage Therapy and by taking courses in various other methods of treatment, I have taken an interest lately in the Fascial Manipulation' ' method.
 
 
 "Just what exactly is fascia?" you may ask. Well, fascia is the framework of our bodies; the 3D support structure that helps all our physiological tissues keep their shape. Even if all the bones, muscle tissue and organs were removed-the body would still retain its shape.The fascial tissues support and maintain the shape of our vital organs and helps provide a safe passage for all our delicate nerve, lymph, and blood vessels.
 
 
 
Fascia aids in the transmission of force that our muscles generate when they contract while also allowing them to slide past one another.  Approximately 30% of our muscles attach into fascia as well as bone.  Imbedded within the fascia are receptors for pain and proprioception. This intimate working relationship of nerve, muscle, fascia, and the joint they are moving becomes what's termed a myofascial unit,  a basic component of the myokinetic chain of our bodies.
 
 
                                                                                              
                                                                                        
When we get injured, maintain poor postures, or move repetitively past fatigue, the tissue responds in such a way that it loses the graceful slide/ glide motion along the muscles due to tissue thickening and adherence. This disrupts the tensional forces of normal biomechanical movement, eventually leading to pain and weakness anywhere along the myokinetic chain.
 
 
 
With the Fascial Manipulation' ' method, a thorough assessment with the understanding of a patient's history is needed to try and pinpoint the true origin of the pain and dysfunction. Like a snag in a sweater or run in a pair of nylons, the current troubles can be but a ripple effect of the original injury, even though suffered long ago.
 
 
 
 
Sincerely, 
Linda McLaren
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                                                            Image taken from "Strolling Under  The Skin" DVD by Dr.Jean Claude Guimberteau                

Seasonal Allergies: Allergies and Ears

Dr. Lee has some tips and tricks to help out with seasonal allergies
 
Allergies & Ears

It’s allergy season in Richmond and the Greater Vancouver area!  I woke up last week with a scratchy throat, itchy eyes and haven’t stopped sneezing since!  

At Brio, we treat allergies with nutrition, supplements, herbs and acupuncture.  Today, I am going to highlight a very powerful way of treating allergies with auricular (ear) acupuncture.  Auricular acupuncture is a great choice for treating allergies for a number of reasons:

- It is easy to apply

- Effective, often with immediate results

- No worrisome side effects

- It can be safely used in conjunction with other treatments

How does it work?  

During allergy season, the body is susceptible to the pollen and other allergens floating in the air.  When we breathe in these allergens, it interacts with our immune cells and causes a release of histamines.  This release of histamines leads to itchy eyes, runny nose and sneezing.

During an allergic attack, different parts of the body become very reactive (lungs, nasal cavity, eyes, etc.) and this reactivity shows up on acupuncture points on the ear.  We place needles in these “reactive acupuncture points” to reduce this response.  Most patients often feel relief after just 2 treatments.  

What else do you recommend for the allergy season?  

If you are a long-term patient with us, you understand our philosophy of prevention.  I often start treatment with my patients in February to help prepare their immune systems for the allergy season.

Our top 5 recommendations to help manage your symptoms:

1) Auricular acupuncture

2) “Aller-ease” herbal formula

3) Vitamin C with flavonoids (to help stabilize the release of histamines)

4) “Luffeel” homeopathic

5) Nebulizer treatment

Call us today to help with your seasonal allergies!

 

 

Healing Spring Allergies

As excited as we all are to finish the winter season and celebrate sunshine and spring.  This can be a troublesome season for some allergy sufferers.  There are a growing number of seasonal hayfever sufferers who are affected by the flower pollens, trees, grass, mold and other airborne particles.  The allergy season can be isolated to the Spring season for some, and others it could be all year round.

Symptoms of allergic rhinitis, or hayfever as it is commonly known, can range from mild, to quite severe, affecting ability to drive, energy levels, and work productivity.  Symptoms of seasonal allergies include:  itchy/watery eyes, itchy throat, sneezing, cough, headaches, foggy thinking, fatigue, post nasal drip, and sinus congestion.

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It is generally an impaired immune system that is at the root cause of these symptoms.  The role of our immune system is to protect us from foreign invaders, it is always prepared to attack and protect the body, for example a fever is an appropriate immune response to a foreign invader.  However, a person suffering from hayfever, will have an inappropriate immune response where the immune system has become over-reactive to pollens, grasses, trees etc.

The immune response in hayfever is to release a host of inflammatory chemicals, such as histamine, which will bring on the common symptoms of sneezing, itchy eyes etc.  In the early stages of my practice, I thought that hayfever was quite simple to treat.  However, as the years went by, I realized this can be simple and straight forward to treat in some cases, however, in others it can be a complicated issue.  The patient is essentially allergic to the earth!   

Antihistamines are the medications used block histamine receptors in the cell in order to dampen symptoms of hayfever.  They can provide temporary relief and are quite effective in some cases; however they are usually covering up the symptoms felt on the outside, while the reaction on the inside is still occurring.  Antihistamines can be necessary as we correct what is actually going on in the body. 

Decongest the Liver:  The liver is the power house of the body, it sorts and processes all the chemicals, and toxins that enter the body.  If hayfever is a new symptom that has gradually gotten worse over the past several years, where there was no issue before.  It could be as simple as treating the liver.  The juice of half of a fresh lemon and one tsp of unpasturized honey in hot water, first thing in the morning is a great way to jump start the liver, 10 minutes prior to breakfast.  Especially if this routine is strictly enforced a month prior to hayfever season.  Herbal tinctures including:  Milk Thistle and Dandelion are also excellent to stimulate the liver.

Strengthen The Immune System:  There could be underlying food sensitivities to gluten containing grains.  During the allergy season a gluten-free or wheat free diet could be extremely beneficial.  Eliminating cereals, bagels, bread, and pasta’s will dampen the inflammatory reaction.  An excess consumption of refined white sugar can also weaken the immune system.  White sugar can be found in candy, pastries, cookies, cakes, caffeineated beverages, to name a few.  Eliminate or reduce these trigger foods and replace with natural sweeteners such as honey and maple syrup.

Adrenal gland dysfunction is commonly associated with seasonal allergies.  This is a deeper issue to address under the care of your health care provider.

A history of repeated antibiotic use can contribute to a weak immune system.  One side effect of antibiotics can result in chronic candida.  Candida albicans in the digestive tract can contribute inflammation resulting in hayfever.  Healing the digestive system and probiotics may be essential to healing eliminating the occurrence of hayfever.

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Temporomandibular Joint:  This is the joint of the Jaw and is commonly referred to as TMJ.  Strangely enough, an imbalance in the TMJ can contribute to hayfever.  A history of repeated dental work, grinding teeth, an accident, a click in the jaw, can all contribute to TJM imbalance.  However it occurs, an imbalance can result in seasonal allergies.  I often treat TMJ imbalance with the bodywork to correct the jaw and prevent allergy symptoms.

Seasonal allergies can take work to correct, however, once corrected spring, summer and fall seasons can be spent outdoors with family, outdoor gardening can be performed symptom free, sick days from work are reduced, alertness and mental acuity can also be restored.  It is not something you have to live with; all allergy symptoms can disappear with changes to lifestyle and mental state. Call in and book an appointment with your Brio health care team practicioner. 

 

In health,

 

Dr. Neetu Dhiman

Roses, Romance, and Health

Hey Everyone, 

Since its February and Valentine's Day is just around the corner Dr.Carin wanted to write a fun article about the use of roses for health and romance.

Roses for Romance… and Health

The rose has been a symbol of passion and romance for centuries. 

It’s no surprise. Its deep red hue, velvety petals and divine fragrance have inspired 

Shakespeare, Cleopatra and the many romantic-at-heart. 

But there’s more. Roses are good for your health.

When you smell roses, you know that ‘aaaahh’ response? The fragrance of rose 

circulates energy throughout the whole body reducing muscle, digestive and emotional 

tension. In Chinese medicine rose buds/petals are used to reduce headaches, insomnia, 

anxiety, depression, stress-associated digestive upset and more.

 

Tea

A few dried rose buds (found at Chinese herb stores) can be added to your favourite 

tea particularly when feeling extra qi energy in the chest or upper abdomen. (I like 

adding rose buds to mild flavoured teas like chrysanthemum flower, green rooibos or 

jasmine tea.) 

Remember rose buds (and petals) are distinct from rose hips. Rose hips are formed 

after the flower is finished blossoming and has other distinct therapeutic effects. 

 

Fragrance

Essential oil of rose (often sold combined with other oils) may be used in a diffuser, bath 

or homemade spritzer (just add a few drops of essential oil to plain filtered water in a 

small spray bottle). 

 

Note: Synthetic fragrances can add to chemical load in the body and cause sensitivity 

reactions so the essential oil is recommended.

In a season when it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by roses, remember a rose isn’t just a 

symbol of romance but also good health!

 

Dr. Carin Matsushita

Slowing down in Hawaii

One of my favourite places to visit is Hawaii.  I love the balmy weather, the beautiful scenery and the casual pace of life.  We try to visit Hawaii every chance we get, not only to get away, but also to visit my wife’s family in Honolulu.  

Her 90 year-old grandmother wakes up every morning to ride the North Shore waves on her vintage surfboard--just kidding!  Actually, her grandma spends every morning tending to her organic garden--and we got to sample some of her prized harvest during the many family gatherings.

Our most recent trip to Hawaii in January 2014 was a memorable family vacation.  We spent many days with grandma enjoying local Chinese cuisine and did two things we had never done before.  The first was swimming with the dolphins at Sea Life Park.  We learned all about dolphin anatomy and behaviour and we even had the opportunity to kiss and “dance with” the dolphins!  It was an amazing experience and it was so gratifying to see the awe and sheer delight in my kids’ faces!

The second thing that we had never done before was spend two full days just hanging out on the beach.  I sensed that my soul was craving some down time, a chance to relax.  So we rented a big beach umbrella and set up a couple of chairs and planned to spend the whole day without any activities or schedules.  Now, to be honest, the first several hours of our beach days weren’t very reenergizing for me.  I still felt the need to be “doing something,” so I built sand castles with the kids, did some fishing, swam in the ocean, went for a long walk and explored a nearby resort.  I found myself feeling “busy” and literally had to force myself to sit still.  Once I was able to do so, I had the chance to read and to reflect on 2013. 

As I thought about how busy 2013 was, from dealing with health issues in the family, to the expansion of our clinic, I remembered how anxious I was and how it seemed like I was always running around to get something started or finished.  One book that I read on this vacation really connected with me. The author was describing the behaviour of people who have “hurry sickness.”  He notes that this condition is when:

- you find yourself rushing even when there’s no reason to

- you find yourself constantly multi-tasking

- at the grocery store, if you had a choice between two check-out lines, you find yourselves counting how many people are in each line, multiplying this number by the number of items per cart

- you set up mock races (“Ok, kids, let’s see who can take a bath fastest.”) that are really about your own need to get through it

- you sense a loss of gratitude and wonder

- you indulge in self-destructive escapes from fatigue: abusing alcohol, watching too much TV, online shopping or over indulging in junk food

 

One of my goals for 2014 is to practice slowing things down and to not succumb to hurry sickness.  What this means for me is to be better organized, so that I don’t need to rush to meet my deadlines.  It also means that I will be intentionally setting aside time to read, reflect and to learn how to relax.  I am looking forward to seeing how 2014 will unfold as I put into practice here, at home, what I started in Hawaii.​

Happy Near Year!

Dr.Jeff

"A Resolution To Have No Resolutions!

From all of us here at Brio, we wanted to wish you a Very Happy New Year, and hopefully you had some time off of work/school/daily routine, during the holiday's to spend with family, friends, children, pets or even just a good book!  Point being, we hope you had a bit of time to unhook from daily life for a few days and recharge and enjoy.

 

Start of the New Year is always synonymous with "new year resolutions".  We have all made them, we have all attempted them, and at one point or another, we have all likely failed at our resolution.

 

This year we have a suggestion.  A bit of homework to start the year on a different foot…a resolution to have no resolutions!

 

What is a resolution?  The word alone has many associations.  Below I’ve listed three words that come to my mind when I think of a resolution.  And below it, is an alternative to try.  Read the resolution, and then read the alternative and see how each one feels in your body as you read it.  What is your reaction? 

 

  • Lack – removing or depriving from daily routine or diet.  What a way to start off the new year!  Judging ourselves for something we do, and forcing ourselves to take it out of our routine as it is deemed a bad “habit” or “trait”.  Pretty harsh! 
  • Control – we assume we are always in the driver’s seat and with more mind energy we can make our lives better and healthier and happier.  Typing it out makes it seem even harsher than in our head.  Control my way to health and happiness…eek..I don’t think it works like that!!
  • Timelines – a resolution insinuates that there is a start and stop point.  That this is just a finite change that needs to occur.  It also places a lot of pressure on our all ready packed lives.  Do we want to meet a timeline for the sake of meeting the timeline, or do we want to enhance the quality of our lives? 

·        Alternative:

  • This year as an alternative, instead of taking OUT, how about putting IN things you love.  If you love to read and have no time, try setting aside half an hour a day to read; if you have always wanted to learn how to ski, how about setting an intention to go up to the mountain, and just allow it to happen.  It may even be next year that the plan is put into action.
  • Over time you will find that with the more things you put INTO your life that you WANT to do, it edges out those things we are forcefully trying to stop.  For example, if we are busy doing things we love, it will eventually and naturally take the place of eating a bag of chips.  Cutting out chips as a resolution, is not a great resolution.  Think of something you have always wanted to try, and while you are doing that, you will not have time to eat chips.
  • List any thing that you have wanted to do, but have not…make it realistic.  But try and brainstorm a list.  This is the fun part!
  • Any thing that you have a deep desire to try…write it down on a piece of 8x11 paper and make a list.  The list could have 3 points or it could have 12 points…and more if need be!  After the list is written, fold it up and put it in an envelope and seal it.  Put it in a place where you won’t check for the next year.
  • We encourage you to try this exercise and bring your sealed envelope to Brio, we will put it into your file for you and keep it there until Dec 2014.  At the end of December, you can pick it up and open it and see how much you have accomplished on that list, just by writing it down, and letting it go.  There is something magical about writing, forgetting about it, and letting it go.  It is similar to planting little seeds in your subconscious mind and you will find yourself in situations to make the list come true.  Such as randomly signing up for a class to learn how to make Kim Chi!  Come Dec 2014, you had forgotten it was on your list, yet you did it!!  This is a fulfilling, gentle way to start a year.  Natural, living from, “what makes me happy”.  And letting it go, letting go of timelines and control.
  • Change does happen, but often the beauty in the change occurs when it is within the flow of life, and it may be a bit slower, but it feels more natural, and inevitably it will be a long lasting, fulfilling transition.
  • Who is up for writing some letters!  Let us know your thoughts!

 

Cheers!

Dr.Neetu Dhiman, ND 

Learn more about Linda!

Hi Everyone!
 
I thought the New Year would be a great time to further introduce myself and share some of my passions and hobbies.
 
I love to travel and I love to learn new things, so when I can take health related courses to
enhance my skills as an RMT while enjoying the thrill of new surroundings, I'm motivated to
pack my bags and my books!
 
linda.jpg 
I've travelled from the sprawling city of Toronto to the lush green and blue of Hawaii to take
Craniosacral therapy courses.  Then to Albuquerque, Seattle and San Francisco to study the
Barral method of Visceral Manipulation.  And my interest in the  Fascial Manipulation method
may very well one day take me to the land of its founder, Luigi Stecco, -Italy!
 
  Of course, its not always feasible to skip town to further my education, and most of my
'upgrades' have been in this fair city (no complaints here!) Still, there's nothing like having your brain digesting new knowledge while watching the silhouettes of surfers at dusk on Waikiki Beach.  Its a nice balance.
 
  I like getting to know colleagues from other places and making new
connections within my profession.
 
  I hope to introduce you to some of the techniques I've learned on my travels and share with you all the interesting highlights of the seminars and courses I'll be taking throughout the year.
 
Yours truely, 
Linda McLaren RMT

Brio Team's Favourite Christmas Movies!!

The holidays are a time to relax, spend time with friends and family, and create new memories. As we create new memories we also like to looks back and enjoy the past ones.The Brio team likes enjoy the holidays by watching some classic Christmas movies and here are some of our favourites!!

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Dr. Neetu Dhiman: National Lampoons Christmas Vacation

Dr. Jeffery Lee: Home Alone 2 Lost in New York

Dr. Carin Matsushita: Elf

Linda McLaren: Love Actually

Kyra Sturrock: National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation  + The Santa Clause

Danica Hoff: A Christmas Story

 

We hope that everyone will watch their favourite holiday movies and enjoy spending time with friends and family. 

Happy Holidays Everyone!

The Brio Team

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