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.
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
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.
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
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!
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?
- 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!
Dr.Neetu Dhiman, ND
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!!
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
"Brio Gives Back"
- -1 cup quinoa
- -3 large chicken breasts, thawed
- -7 cups chicken stock (low sodium, organic)
- -5 large carrots, sliced
- -5 celery sticks, sliced
- -1 cup frozen peas/or corn
- -1 teaspoon parsley
- -2 teaspoons minced garlic
- -1 teaspoon salt
- -1 teaspoon pepper
- -2 teaspoons seasoning salt
- -sliced green onion or garnish
- 1. Place all ingredients in a large crock pot. Cook on high for about 3 hours.
- 2. Then, remove chicken breast and shred using a fork. Place shredded chicken breasts back in pot and let cook for another 30 minutes.
It’s that time of year again! We are excited to launch our yearly "Brio Gives Back" event at Brio. The holidays are a time to reconnect with family, family, and loved ones. The Brio team is excited to give back to the community by hosting our annual food drive. We love having our old and new patients pop by with donations to the Richmond Food Bank. To thank everyone who participates in "Brio Gives Back" we will be raffling off a prize for those who contribute donations. In past years we have raffled off an iPod, kindle, camera, and a Santevia water filtration system. Stay tuned to find out what will be raffled off this year!
Reaching for coffee, chocolate or that favourite comfort food?
As the weather gets darker and days are shorter, we see many patients struggling with low mood, fatigue and difficulty with sleep. After the momentary relief, stimulants and sugar worsen mood and fatigue and trap us in a cycle of dependency. Ready for real solutions? Ones that address the underlying issues?
Here are my top gloomy weather go-to’s:
Acupuncture stimulates release of endorphins boosting mood and improving tolerance to stress. Many patients also experience improved sleep quality and increased energy.
Protein/Carbohydrate Balance: Large fluctuations of blood sugar leads to moodiness and fatigue. To prevent this and boost levels of feel-good serotonin, incorporate protein (such as poultry, fish, egg) with each meal/snack AND include some nutritious carbohydrates such as nuts, whole grains and root vegetables.
Enjoy the outdoors on those rare sunny days! For all other days use bright light therapy to emulate sunlight. Bright light increases serotonin levels enhancing mood. It also improves natural melatonin production particularly beneficial for shift workers and others with sleep difficulty. We like the Litebook Elite as it’s portable and economical, so we’ve arranged for Brio patients to get a discount!
Lastly, you’ve guessed it, Vitamin D. Sunlight exposure on skin naturally activates Vitamin D having numerous health benefits from boosting energy, lifting mood to heart health and cancer prevention. Vitamin D3 is a convenient option and is well absorbed by the body.
If you are experiencing low mood, low energy and sleep difficulty this fall, you’re not alone. Our body evolved to and depends on sunlight and the outdoors. However, our modern indoor life limits exposure to sunlight and this is further limited during the cooler and darker days of fall and winter leading to changes including depressed mood. Seasonal Affective Disorder is a severe form of these winter blues. Research has shown that eyes and skin exposure to sunlight triggers numerous reactions in the body essential for regulating the sleep cycle, maintaining energy, boosting mood, promoting tissue healing and more.
This year, experience a brighter season! Let’s improve productivity and be fully present to enjoy the cozy season!
Dr.Carin Matsushita, ND, RAc.
Join us on Nov 27th at 6:30pm for a sixty minute info session and Q+A period about our amazing workshop titled "Weight Loss Rehab."
Weight Loss Rehab is a 12 week Naturopathic Doctor designed program to help you understand how to unlock your personal-unique metabolic code, and shed unwanted weight like never before. The workshop is designed to re-teach you how your body wants to eat. The program teaches you about the food industry and the secrets they do not want you to know, which are destroying your metabolism. These secret ingredients and additivves result in weight gain, or lack of weight loss and results in a frustrating never ending battle with yourself and your weight. Until you are taught what to look for, it is impossible to avoid, but it is not your fault. The food industry spends quite a bit of money and time to ensure you do not find out these secrets!
We have designed an easy to follow program that leaves you feeling empowered. Making yourself healthier, your family and those around you...and while you are busy learning and applying our techniques, the weight is effortlessly falling off!
The 12 week workshop is designed as a group session. Maximum of 10 people per session and are held weekly at the clinic. The next 12 week session begins Jan 8th, 2014!
Join us at Brio Integrative Health Centre on Nov 27th at 6:30 to find out more details about the workshop and allow us to answer any questions you may have.
We have seen amazing before and after results and past attendee's have even asked us if they can take the 12 week workshop for a second time, all because they loved the information so much!
Start the wheels in motion by attending our free info night. The key to life is having a plan. Without a plan, you plan to fail. Signing up for our 12 week workshop would mean that you can sit tight and enjoy your Christmas Holiday season knowing that come the New Year, January 8th, all your weight loss frustrations will come to an end.
Click HERE to sign up for this free info session to learn more!
We look forward to sharing this amazing opportunity with you!
In health, Brio Integrative Health Center
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