Archive for ‘alternative healthcare’

April 23, 2014

Adrenal health video

Hello all!

Well, I am venturing in to a whole new level of media …and vulnerability!  Let me know what you think of my new short videos — this one is about adrenal stress index testing and is one of the most important tests available to my patients – I think we all should test our adrenal function to see how we are handling our stress!!

Here is the link to my YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MRnEys8up-k&feature=youtu.be

In health,

Rachelle

Advertisements
January 19, 2012

WSJ article on Brain-Gut connection

Here is a great article a friend shared with me from the Wall Street Journal: A Gut Check for Many Ailments… I hope you read it!

This article is a succinct and well-written summary of a branch of scientific research some call “psychoneuroimmunology.”  A study of the connection between the brain, the mind and the immune system.  In this article, the author presents a few important research studies that have helped us understand the role of another key palyer: our gut!  When addressing any disease, one system your naturopath may always ask about is the gastro-intestinal system.  Why? Because, often the GI ‘runs the show’ in the body more than any other system — some scientists even refer to gut as having its own ‘brain.’

The author discusses research revealing the importance of maintaining healthy gut flora in order to maintain proper neurotransmitter balance – which affects things like anxiety and depression; and, in this study, autism.  Just another good reason to eat lacto-fermented foods on a regular basis or include a high-quality probiotic in your diet.

The author also mentions research showing that stimulation of the vagus nerve – the largest nerve connecting the brain and the GI system – could significantly alter someone’s experiences of depression.  We often talk about food as medicine, but I love this article because it brings together a nice sampling of mainstream research to illuminate how we can see gut health as playing a central role in achieving balanced health in the mind and body.

November 9, 2011

Welcome fall!

As the leaves are turning such brilliant golden shades, and the air is getting crisp, I am enjoying more time cozied-up inside with a blanket and warm cup of tea reading in my favorite comfy chair.

In Chinese medicine, fall is a season of beginning to rebuild, to store-up and to prepare for the winter season. Fall is a good season for you to examine new ways to be caring for yourself. Eating hearty soups with lots of root vegetables, lentils and grains will nourish your body. Taking the time to get plenty of rest and not engaging in overly stressful activities is also important in this season.

In my times of restoration I have been doing a lot of reading and have found a number of interesting articles online and I thought I would share a small sampling with you all… let me know what you think!

Be Well,
Dr. Rachelle

Natural news updates….

Naturopath and family run cross-country to promote health awareness

Vitamin D deficiency a bigger concern in obese teens

Joint pain from rheumatoid arthritis may be linked to exposure to air pollution

Dr. Mercola’s “cancer in a can” warning

October 5, 2011

Update on Classes…

Monday we held the Natural Healthcare for Families class at Northgate library where we discussed how parents and kids can get involved in promoting their health in practical ways… both grown-ups and little ones were in attendance and it was a lot of fun!  We even learned how to make a tasty snack with kale (I will share the recipe here sometime soon…)!!

Just a reminder, our series on the FIVE pillars of health is in full swing at the Meadowbrook Community Center, Saturdays 10-11am.  If you would like to attend just one class that is fine… or attend the final THREE!

Saturday, 10/8 – Nutrition

Saturday, 10/15 – Exercise

Saturday, 10/22 – Natural Supplements

Every week students go home with fun new facts and a healthy treat, so don’t miss out!!!

Questions? – post them, and I will reply!

 

Be well,

Dr. Rachelle

September 27, 2011

more classes!! a free class on natural healthcare for families…

Next Monday – October 3rd – I will be offering an exciting, interactive class for parents and kids to learn more about natural healthcare basics.  This class is the first in a series and will be an overview of all that’s to come.   If you know any homeschooling families, this could also be a great supplement to Health Classes!

Check it out, I hope to see you there!

Dr. Rachelle

 

Natural Healthcare Basics for Families

A FREE educational class for Parents and Kids!!!

At the Northgate Public Library

10548 Fifth Ave. NE
Seattle, WA 98125

Monday, October 3rd 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm

Call 425-213-0003 or email dr.r.forsberg@gmail.com to reserve a spot!

Interested in caring for your family’s health from a natural perspective?  Come to this interactive class taught by Dr. Rachelle Forsberg, a local naturopath dedicated to helping families prevent and treat illness naturally!

In this class Dr. Forsberg will discuss the essentials of natural healthcare for parents and kids:

  • Sleep
  • Nutrition
  • Hydration
  • Exercise
  • Natural Supplements

Come get your “check-up” with Dr. Forsberg on the fundamentals of health, gaining new insights for healthier & happier living for you and your family.

Children of all ages welcome when accompanied by a parent!

September 23, 2011

Community classes – natural healthcare basics!

If you are in the Seattle area and are interested in learning more about how you can realistically implement healthier habits into your life… might I recommend:

Natural healthcare basics – the five pillars of health!

“This class will provide an easy and accessible overview of how to employ natural options in one’s healthcare from a naturopathic physician’s perspective.  Dr. Rachelle Forsberg, a board-certified Naturopathic Physician, will be facilitating a series of five classes each dedicated to one of the naturopathic pillars of health: Sleep, Hydration, Nutrition, Exercise and Natural Supplements.  These five simple areas of your life can have profound effects on your health – did you know that getting sleep from 10pm-12am can result in the production of nearly half of all the regenerative compounds your body needs for the day?!

Come discuss these ideas with Dr. Forsberg and get your “check-up” on the fundamentals of health and gain new insights for healthier and happier living.

Sleep: Saturday, 9/24, 10:00am – 11:30am
Hydration: Saturday, 10/1, 10:00am – 11:30am
Nutrition: Saturday, 10/8, 10:00am – 11:30am
Exercise: Saturday, 10/15, 10:00am – 11:30am
Natural Supplements: Saturday, 10/22, 10:00am – 11:30am

At Meadowbrook Community Center in Wedgwood

10517 35th Ave. NE ~ Seattle, WA 98125

You can attend all five and receive a certificate of completion or just attend the one’s you find most interesting… I look forward to seeing you there!!

Be Well,

Dr. Rachelle

September 21, 2011

Tasty remedies — chocolate as preventative medicine!

Mmmm, chocolate…

You may have heard people beginning to buzz about the health benefits of chocolate.  But what is it good for, what kind and how much?  Well, researchers are making a concerted effort to further our understanding of why chocolate is so good for us.  A recent meta-analysis was just published in the British Medical Journal by Dr. Adriana Buitrago-Lopez (University of Cambridge, UK) – which you can check out here – revealing compelling evidence that chocolate of any kind (the studies did not differentiate between dark, milk or white) have profoundly positive effects on one’s cardiovascular health, and in men can be preventative for diabetes!

Here are the stats: (pooled meta-analysis results) high levels of chocolate consumption compared with the lowest levels of chocolate consumption reduced the risk of any cardiovascular disease by 37% (RR 0.63; 0.44–0.90) and stroke 29% (RR 0.71; 0.52–0.98). There was no association between chocolate consumption and the risk of heart failure, and no association on the incidence of diabetes in women, but a positive reduction in the risk of incident diabetes in men.

My recommendations would be a regular consumption of organic dark chocolate sweetened with real sugar and absolutely no high-fructose corn syrup or trans-fats. Dark chocolate contains the greatest amount of bioflavonoids (the compounds important for reducing free-radical damage in the body and consequent atherosclerosis) and organic sourcing ensures you will not be exposed to environmental toxins that often reside in foods treated with pesticides.

In Dr. Buitrago-Lopez’s conclusion, she states:

“These favorable effects seem mainly mediated by the high content of polyphenols present in cocoa products and are probably accrued through the increasing bioavailability of nitric oxide, which subsequently might lead to improvements in endothelial function, reductions in platelet function, and additional beneficial effects on blood pressure, insulin resistance, and blood lipids,” conclude Buitrago-Lopez and colleagues.

This evidence is exciting and hopeful for individuals with a family history of stroke and cardiovascular disease.  Not only is it tasty medicine, it may be preventing very serious health complications in one’s future.  Dr. Buitrago-Lopez’s conclusion indicates that chocolate is helping prevent atherosclerosis and keeps blood healthy by reducing its likelihood of forming clots and it may additionally prevent the body’s inclination to develop insulin resistance which causes diabetes.

So next time you’re in the sweets aisle at the grocery store, think about investing in your health by choosing a good quality chocolate!

Happy healthy eating!

Dr. Rachelle

September 16, 2011

Our gut bacteria make us unique!

Earlier this year research from Germany, published by Dr. Peer Bork, was released revealing evidence that there are three specific gut bacteria associated with the human gastrointestinal system.  It appears that each individual’s gut is hospitable to only one of three bacterial enterospecies and this could make it easier for us to understand how different individuals respond to certain diets, prescribe probiotics specifically fashioned for the individual and may even help us understand why certain people manifest particular gastrointestinal complaints while others do not.

This is an exciting discovery because just as we can categorize individuals by blood type, in the future we may do so also by gut bacteria type!

Regarding this research, a a New York Times article states:

“Instead of trying to wipe out disease-causing bacteria that have disrupted the ecological balance of the gut, they could try to provide reinforcements for the good bacteria. “You’d try to restore the type you had before,” [Dr. Bork] said. ”

In other words, instead of utilizing anti-biotics to fight disease, why not take a proactive stance and build up our body’s natural defenses?  Well, Naturopaths have been doing this for centuries!  Too bad we had to wait for modern science to catch-up with our treatment philosophies, but better late than never… and next time someone shrugs their shoulders and asks why your Naturopath prescribes probiotics you can direct them to this research!

I hope you find this information useful and applicable – let me know your thoughts and questions…

Be Well,

Dr. Rachelle

May 31, 2011

A Naturopathic Perspective on Sleep

Whenever I see a patient for the first time, one of the biggest questions I have for them is “How’s your sleep?”  – the answer to this question can tell me so much about what is going on with them and where we need to direct our treatment.  Often times patients ask me why sleep is so vital for maintaining overall health.  Although entire books have been written and dedicated to the topic of sleep, this is just a brief overview on the subject with a few of my favorite clinical pearls. I hope these few thoughts might help you begin to get the most out of your sleep, and I’d love to hear your questions on the topic so we can chat about more specific in this HUGE subject!

One of the major reasons we know sleep is vital to our health is because much of the cellular repair and growth that occurs in your body happens while you sleep. Between 10pm and 12am your body is at its peak production for growth hormone and white blood cells — these are the building blocks for your ability to grow, heal and maintain vibrance and vitality! In addition, achieving deep sleep sufficiently helps to decreases mental and emotional stress by allowing the mind to utilize dreaming to process emotions felt during the day. Before the 1950’s American’s got an average of 11 hours of sleep per night — now that number is down to 6 or 7 hours a night! One of the biggest factors in this significant reduction in average sleep time is our access to television and internet 24 hours a day. Not only does this create an easy distraction keeping us awake far longer than our bodies prefer, but the blue light emitted from these devices interferes with the body’s secretion of sleep-inducing hormones (such as melatonin). Therefore, the number one thing you can do to improve your sleep is turn off all electronic devices – computers, smart phones, televisions… etc. at least 30 minutes before heading to bed so your body can begin preparing for sleep.

Other tips for getting great sleep:

– Plan your bed-time and wake -time in order to get 8-9 hours of sleep per night – for most individuals this will allow three REM cycles to take place.

– Stick to the same bed-time and wake-time every day.

– Avoid using the bedroom for work, TV…etc. this is your sleep sanctuary!

– Engage in a consistent “going to bed” routine (e.g. face wash, meditate, read…)

– Exercise at least 3-5 times per week.

– Avoid consuming caffeine after noon.

– Avoid naps during the day.

– Don’t use alcohol as a sleep aid.

– Take time to create a comfortable and soothing sleep environment for yourself.

– Address sources of mental and emotional stress during the day through journaling, counseling or talking with a trusted friend.

– Breathe – deep breathing in bed and throughout the day helps induce a state of relaxation throughout your entire body.

– Can’t stay asleep or fall asleep?  Try taking your focus to a new place – I like to tell patients to “put their brain in their lats” – I know it sounds odd, but next time you sense the clock ticking and can’t get to sleep, why not give it a try? (Your lats are the large muscles extending along the lateral mid to lower aspect of your back.)

I hope these tips help you find deeper, more rejuvenating sleep so you have all the energy and stamina during the day to do the things you love!

Sweet dreams,

Dr. R

May 6, 2011

tinea pedis… natural ways to beat foot fungus!

With summer fast approaching and the dreamy thought of walking barefoot in the grass on all our minds (well, at least, I know I’m dreaming of it!), perhaps its a good time to take a closer look at your faithful feet and see how they are faring! Whether its from the locker-room at the gym or the foot baths at your favorite pedicure-spa, toenail and foot fungus (often referred to as athlete’s foot) is quite an unpleasant problem that is extremely common and can be fairly challenging to treat. Over 70% of the world’s population will suffer from tinea pedis at some point in their lives and, unfortunately, the current medical treatment for this disorder can be highly toxic to the body. For stubborn tinea pedis the most common treatment regimen includes a round of oral anti-fungals; such as Terbinafine (Lamisil), which can be extremely harmful to the liver causing long-term damage. In fact, individuals with a history of liver disease cannot even take this medication.

So what alternatives are out there for such a stubborn problem? Well, it might sound odd, but the following protocol for the anti-fungal beer foot soak has been used by naturopathic doctors for decades with great success!

Here I will provide one of my colleagues’ favorite anti-fungal foot soaks that has been just as effective as pharmaceutical oral and topical anti-fungals. It is very, very important that management of any medical problem is closely monitored by your doctor. If you notice any change in sensation or an increase in your symptoms, stop treatment immediately and see your local naturopath for a further work-up. Also, fungal infections can sometimes point to other underlying health disorders so if you are treating your tinea pedis at home, be sure to mention it to your doctor so she know this is a part of your health picture.

The Beer Soak

Essential Ingredients:
Acidophilus Sachets containing a specific strain of 125 billion organisms.
Guiness Stout beer or any other dark beer (Guiness is the one proven to work).
White Vinegar
Basin big enough for your feet or hands
Time
Persistence and Consistency

Treatment Procedure:
In tub, pour 1 liter of room temperature beer into a basin
Add 1/2 a sachet which is 60 billion acidophilus and other probiotics.
Add 1 liter of White Vingear
Soak clean feet in the solution for 30 minutes before bed or when best for you.
On removing your feet or fingernails from the basin, file the nails down with a pumice stone or file
After each 3rd day, toss out the entire solution mixture and remake using the formula: 1 liter of white vinegar, 1 liter of dark beer and the remaining half of one sachet. This keeps the solution’s ingredients in active live form. If too old, it will not work.
Repeat for 30 days every day. Do not skip a day for best results.
Do twice a day for faster results

What to look for:
As fungus gets killed by this natural toenail fungus treatment, you will notice new nail growth from the nail base coming in clear. This is a good sign. Some people see clearing at the base within one week and some people see clearing at the base in one month. It all depends on how fast your nails grow and how often you soak them.

It will take about 3 to 6 months for infected nails to completely grow out. As long as you keep seeing the nail base come in clean and grow out cleanly, you are on the right track. If it is not growing in cleanly, keep soaking the nails.

Make sure you do this toenail fungus treatment daily. Make it a routine. Do not skip a day. If you do, it may take a bit longer than a month but keep at it.

If you know your nails grow slowly, then consider MSM or Silicea 6x cell salts as they have shown to increase nail growth.

—-
Variations:
For a simpler soak consider these variations, following the same procedural directions as the beer soak:

1) 50/50 soak of water and white vinegar
2) 50/50 soak of white vinegar and Listerine (preferably not the green or blue as it will stain!)

—-

I look forward to hearing about your results!

Be well!
Dr. R