Whether you have just started to plan for a family, or have been trying to conceive for some time, naturopathic medicine can help you optimize your health, and by doing do improve fertility and pregnancy outcomes! Naturopathic fertility care involves natural non-invasive treatment strategies that target the underlying cause of your fertility struggles. Treatment plans are individualized and include the use of vitamins and minerals, herbs, acupuncture, and diet and lifestyle counselling.
Preparing for optimal fertility and a healthy pregnancy starts in the preconception period, ie. 3-6 months prior to conception. Dr. Meghan van Drimmelen’s fertility program will help you start out on a healthy path by incorporating some basic lifestyle changes and natural health solutions to get your mind and body ready for the exciting new stage ahead!
Preconception Planning Includes:
• Optimizing nutrition • Decreasing toxin load • Discontinuing hormonal birth control or IUD • Stress management • Optimizing BMI • Basal body temperature charting • Preconception laboratory tests • Regulating menstrual cycles • Addressing and treating any underlying health concerns
During this stage the goal is to help you feel as vibrant and healthy as possible before moving into the exciting new stage of pregnancy. If the mind and body are in balance it is easier to conceive, and maintain a healthy pregnancy to term. It is important to recognize that it takes two to get pregnant, so a healthy lifestyle program should be incorporated for both partners!
Naturopathic Fertility Treatment
If you are having problems achieving or maintaining a pregnancy, Dr. Meghan van Drimmlen’s natural fertility program can help restore balance to your reproductive system, and naturally treat the underlying factors that may be impeding positive fertility outcomes. A comprehensive health intake, assessment, and laboratory work will help to uncover the root cause of your fertility struggles.
Common fertility concerns that can be addressed through naturopathic treatments include:
• PCOS and anovulatory cycles • Endometriosis • Poor Ovarian Reserve • Thyroid disorders • Luteal phase defect • Male factor infertility (low sperm count, motility or morphology) • Recurrent pregnancy loss • Unexplained infertility
‘Unexplained Infertility’ is a term used when conventional diagnostic procedures cannot determine the underlying cause of fertility concerns. Naturopathic medicine can diagnose and treat some of these factors that impede a couple’s fertility including:
• Stress hormone imbalance • Food intolerance or sensitivity • Heavy metal toxicity • Nutritional deficiencies • Immunological factors • Sex hormone imbalance • Infection
Assisted Reproductive Technologies
If you are seeking IVF or IUI, an integrative approach that uses a combination of conventional medicine, and evidence based natural medicine will help to improve your success rates. The use of natural medicine during ART helps to reduce stress, improve blood flow to the uterus to optimize implantation, reduces side effects of medications, and enhances egg and sperm quality. Acupuncture in particular has been shown to significantly increase IVF success rates when performed regularly leading up to IVF treatment, as well as immediately pre and post embryo transfer. For optimal outcomes, treatment should start 8-12 weeks leading up to IVF treatment to best prepare the body.
Fertility and healthy pregnancy can be both exhilarating and emotionally taxing. My goal is to make your fertility journey as easy as possible for you. I will take the time to listen to your concerns, provide thorough assessments, laboratory testing and education, and will create an individualized holistic program to optimize your fertility and pregnancy outcomes. I encourage couples to come to visits together so there is a thorough understanding of each partner’s health status and concerns.
I look forward to meeting with you and supporting you throughout your fertility journey.
This is an easy to make salad, perfect for summer. It is full of nutrient dense vegetables, and can be enjoyed by meat or fish eaters, vegetarians and vegans alike. It is gluten free and dairy free. I always make a big batch as it keeps for a week in the fridge. Your family will love it!
Makes 5 servings as a complete meal
Ingredients: - 1 1/2 cup of cooked and drained chickpeas - 1 bunch of asparagus - 1 red pepper cubed - 1 orange pepper cubed - 2 cup of white mushrooms sliced - 1 bunch of cilantro chopped - Olive oil - Fig Balsamic vinegar (or regular balsamic vinegar) - Sea salt - Choice of the following depending on your preferences: 2 chicken breast, or 6 oz of salmon, or 8 oz of tempeh, cut to bite size.
Directions: Steam the asparagus until tender, then cut into bite size. Sauté the mushrooms, asparagus, and the meat, fish or tempeh, until tender with 2 tbsp of olive oil and 2 tbsp of fig balsamic vinegar. In a salad bowl, toss the red & orange pepper, the chickpeas, the cilantro, a dash of sea salt, and 1 tbsp each of olive oil & fig balsamic vinegar. Add the sautéed mixture and toss again. Voila!
Thank you everyone who came together to help raise funds for the Crossroads Hospice Society, which provides great care to those with terminal illness. The Port Moody community came together for the event and contributed to an amazing fundraiser: you raised over $600!
Tanya Bayley would be proud of this amazing community who came together and raised money for the Crossroads Hospice Society, where she was cared for towards the end of her life. "Arts For Healing" was a fun & successful event. We know Tanya would be so proud of all the people who came to show their support in her honour.
Soko Tea House
Chomp Vegan Eatery
What a night! Over 120 people came through the doors at Healing Cedar Wellness, from 5 pm to 8:30 pm. After paying $5 and entering the draw for the many donated prizes, visitors were served delicious tea by Julie & Ron, from Soko Tea House. Some of them chose to have a glass of wine instead, and picked up a vegan wrap from Chomp Vegan Eatery, as they started their way down the hall. In the first room, Jenna Knight offered to take pictures in her photo booth, and displayed her photography art work.
Photo by Jenna Knight. Nicole Horn, Healing Cedar Wellness Customer Service
Photo by Jenna Knight. Clara & Shannon, Healing Cedar Wellness Owners.
Then some visitors bought scarves weaved by Beryl Hickinbottom, and drawings by Sarah Ronald. Moving along, others bought paintings from Paula Ledenko, hand made jewelry from Michelle Sigismund, and a dragon fly from Joy Kirkwood. These diverse local artists were amazing and contributed to a fun night. Thank you all for participating, we hope to have you come in again!
Beryl Hickinbottom & Sarah Ronald
Joy A. Kirkwood
After all this hard work, guests needed more food, so they walked in to where Patrick & Noel, from Tri-Cities Tasters, offered a taste of their olive oils & balsamic vinegars. Finally, visitors talked to Alfred from Vigourabout detoxifying their bodies.
Patrick from Tri-Cities Tasters
Alfred from Vigour Health & Beauty
The most surprising part of the night was the constant line up outside Lisa Van Reeuwyk's door for Tarot Card Reading. Lisa worked tirelessly all night by donation, and gave 100% of her proceeds to the Crossroads Hospice Society. Thank you so much Lisa! Here's her blog post recounting the evening: BloomLisa
Thank you to all who participated in this event. You gave your time and showed great community spirit. Thank you all so much! Snap Coquitlam came around and took lots of pictures for their April edition! Be on the look out!
Many women consider the symptoms of menopause to be an unavoidable reality of life. The discomforts associated with menopause are in no way obligatory women’s burdens, they are important signs of imbalances in the body that can be addressed and treated. Traditional Chinese Medicine has been successfully treating the symptoms of menopause, both in management and prevention, for thousands of years. As with any medicine in modern times, it is a constantly growing and evolving therapy; but its roots remain firm in time-tested philosophies, and provide the strong foundation for its basic healing principles.
How Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Views Menopause. When working at its best, the body is a delicate balance of many working systems that all flow and interact in harmony. The most basic categorical distinction between the forces at work in the body, according to TCM principles, is Yin and Yang. Yin represents the cooling, nourishing, and fluid substances of the body, and Yang is the warming energy that drives movement and function.
The traditional thoughts of menopause were that, upon entering this period of life, the yin elements of a woman’s body became deficient, and unable to hold control of the yang elements. This disruption of the balance showed itself by producing the common symptoms of menopause. Feelings like heat and agitation were results of overacting yang, and feelings like dryness and fatigue were signs of the underling deficiency and lack of yin. Treatment focus was centred on nourishing the heart, calming the mind, clearing the heat, and nourishing yin (Your cooling system) to provide comfort in coolness and moisture.
Of course, with modern laboratory abilities, we can now attribute the symptoms of menopause to measurable changes in hormone sensitivity and production. Regardless, syndrome treatment based on the ancient theories and philosophies of TCM, with its individual-based approach to therapy, have been proven for millennia to work.
TCM Treatment of Menopause with Acupuncture and Herbal Therapy
The two main tools of TCM in the treatment of Menopausal symptoms are acupuncture and herbal therapy.Acupuncture has been proven in countless studies to offer side-effect free relief in a large variety of symptoms, and is often covered by extended health insurance plans. Regular acupuncture can normalize the ups-and-downs of your cycle, and effectively smooth the uncomfortable effects associated with the hormonal shift. Patients leave the treatment room feeling relaxed, and this calm state can provide for more restful sleeps, and take the edge off the ordeals of the day.
Herbal Therapy works on a deeper level, being individually formulated to address the “root imbalances” as well as provide symptom relief. The herbal formulas used in TCM for menopause have been used effectively for at least 2000 years- there are not too many other pharmaceuticals in history who can boast as much human testing. The herbs used have a high degree of acceptance by the body, are government-regulated for safety and purity, and can effectively relieve such symptoms as hot flashes, night sweats, anxiety, mental fogginess, fatigue, etc. Thanks again to modern laboratory facilities, recent studies have proven and are continuing to prove these herbs have significant effect on balancing hormones, protecting the heart and liver, and increasing and preserving bone mass.
Achieving balance in life is not always easy but it should be what we all thrive for. We all know what can impact our health, and what to avoid (i.e.: drugs, smoking, stress...), in order to stay grounded. Let's focus on what we can DO to prevent chronic illnesses and live a long happy life. Defining health: - Eating a wholesome non processed diet that suits you need. - Go play outside, get some fresh air daily no matter what the weather is like. - Exercise: whatever you enjoy, hiking, swimming, playing sports, yoga, tai chi. - Get some sleep, go to bed every night at the same time, practice deep breathing and let your body relax. - Having family and/or friends support is crucial to your wellbeing. - Do you have a purpose, a goal, a vision? Work on it daily. - Listen to your favorite music, dance, sing and fill your soul with harmony. - What are you passionate about? what makes you happy? what makes feel alive? - Use natural therapies for preventive measures: get massages, acupuncture, chiropractic adjustments regularly, talk to a Naturopathic doctor, use infrared saunas, talk to a counsellor...
Many people when drinking turn into someone else. Some become more flirty, others laugh a lot, or fall asleep (That would be me), but quite a few become angry. Growing up in France, wine was the drink of choice. My next door neighbour was an angry drunk. He used to come home from the bar, and trash furniture while shouting obscenities. He did hit his wife as well, unfortunately. His daughter was terrified of him and until she was 12, was loosing bladder control at night. She was a bed wetter.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) sees emotions as a major cause of illness and each emotion relates and affects an organ within the body. Also, if an organ is not functioning at its best, it may cause emotional behavior changes. It works either way, it's the chicken and the egg or in TCM, the Yin-Yang theory (all things are connected and related).
- According to TCM,the Liver system connects with the following: anger, irritability, rage, frustration, and impatience. The liver also corresponds to type A personality, the planner, the visionary, the goal setter, the one in control. All the emotions and personality traits above are not bad for your liver as long as they're not ruling your life. If you're a planner, it means you will be well prepared. But do you get upset (angry, irritable or frustrated) when things don't go according to plan? When you're not in control? Then it becomes an issue, and the body will be affected by physical symptoms. If you get irritable once in a while because someone cuts you off on the road (I hate that), that's alright. But if you're constantly wanting to bite people's head off: Houston we have a problem!
- The symptoms showing an imbalance of the liver are: High Blood pressure, temporal headaches worse on stress, shoulder tension, insomnia (especially waking up between 1 and 3 am), red eyes, dizziness, blurred vision, weak joints, tremors, twitches & tics, spasms, ear ringing that comes and goes (high pitch), and for women at PMS time: tender breasts, bloating, and mood swings. - If you're finding yourself constantly short fused or frustrated, and have a few of the above symptoms, then it's time to talk to your acupuncturist and get your liver back in balance. Don't go jumping both feet first into a liver cleanse. Talk to a qualified professional first, as each individual is unique and needs specific attention to reach optimum health. Your liver may not necessary need to be cleared up, but strengthened instead.
- Liver Friends: Acupuncture, herbal medicine, and ways to relax (like reading, getting a massage, dancing, meditation...).
- Liver Foes: Alcohol, over consumption of spicy foods, greasy processed foods, stress, repetitive work such as those leading to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, and perfectionism.
Don't get angry, get help!
- According to TCM, the Kidneys system connect with the following: Fear (Irrational or not), phobias, anxiety, and a feeling of insecurity. A strong kidney system shows great motivation, will power and courage and trust. If you lack motivation or will power and have low self-esteem, or feel insecure, then according to TCM, your Kidneys are not totally balanced. Also the Kidneys system relates to the aging process and our constitution (Think DNA: somethings you cannot change and we cannot stop the aging process, we can only slow it down)
- The symptoms showing an imbalance of the Kidneys are: bed wetting in children, incontinence in older adults, fertility issues (for men or women), fatigue, insomnia, sweating when nervous or at night, low bone density, loose teeth, lack of focus, poor memory, constant ear ringing (Low pitch), and grey hair or balding at an early age. - If you child is wetting her bed, look for a fear base cause (maybe bullying at school). If you are constantly fearful, dreading events, lack motivation, talk to your acupuncturist or other qualified professional, and get help. Psychological help maybe necessary as well. Some past events maybe difficult to deal with on your own.
- Kidneys Friends:Acupuncture, herbal medicine, mineral supplements, Yoga, laughter, healthy wholesome diet, and anything that may slow down the aging process.
- Kidneys Foods: black sesame seeds, almonds, walnuts, wild salmon, sardines, bone marrow, quinoa, kidney beans, royal jelly.
- Kidneys Foes: Emotional shock (Bad news can turn someone's hair grey overnight), Physical shock (i.e.: car accident), people that lower your self-esteem, standing for hours every day (i.e: Security guard), Osteo-arthritis, lack of minerals (Calcium, magnesium), drugs (legal or illegal), anything that contributes to fast aging (anything in excess, stress...).
In the west, we frequently view our food and our medicine as two separate entities. Often we eat simply to fill a hunger void or particular craving, and do not view our food as having possible therapeutic benefit to our bodies. In contrast, many other cultures see their food and their medicine as one in the same. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), congee is a versatile dish to which ingredients can be added for general health, or to address specific nutritional/medicinal needs.
Congee is a simple fare, usually based on rice (though other grains can be used), cooked to the consistency of soup or porridge. Historically it was used as both a popular nutritious meal, as well as a vessel for delivering easy-to-digest medicines to the sick or weakened. Such use was first found in medical volumes discovered in tombs dating to the Han Dynasty (206 BCE-220 CE). Later texts from the Tang (618-907 CE) and Song (960-1279 CE) Dynasties also described their extensive use by medical practitioners.
According to TCM, rice has a sweet flavour and neutral property. It is easily accepted by the digestive system, and provides the body with a stable form of nutrient qi (vital energy), while activating and promoting the digestive process. It is interesting that the Chinese symbol for qi (shown above), contains the symbol for rice, and depicts “having rice inside”.
Rice is turned into congee by cooking it with large amounts of water, about 5 to 7 times the amount you would normally use, until it has a thick and even consistency. Consuming it warm makes it immediately available for digestion and absorption, without relatively much work by the digestive system. In addition, because it is cooked with so much water, it provides gentle hydration. TCM considers that the less work the body needs to do to process a food, the more benefit one may gain from it.
The versatility of congee makes culinary possibilities quite numerous and open to the imagination. It is important to note that congees with highly specific medicinal purposes are best left discussed with your healthcare practitioner, before being implemented into your diet.
The following recipe is a simple SEAFOOD CONGEE that can be enjoyed by anyone, at any time of year, as a nutritious and energizing meal. It contains such mild food therapy ingredients as garlic, shallot, and ginger (which may help expel a cold or flu, as well as clear phlegm), shiitakemushrooms (which benefit the immune system), and seaweed (which also helps to clear phlegm). As such, it can be especially great in the cold and flu season!
It can be made vegetarian by omitting the seafood ingredients; or converted to a chicken or pork congee by substituting for the seafood, optionally omitting the seaweed, and using chicken stock instead.
2 cups cooked jasmine rice 6 cups low-sodium vegetable stock 1 tbsp crushed garlic 1 shallot or green onion, sliced small ½” to 1” section of ginger (depending on taste), cut lengthwise into very thin sticks 1 cup sliced shiitake mushrooms 1/2 sheet or less of reconstituted culinary seaweed (such as kombu), cut into very thin 1” strips 1 8oz can of either sliced bamboo shoots or sliced water chestnuts (your preference) 1 small head chopped broccoli 10 pcs baby bok choi, sliced in half lengthwise 1 tbsp light soy sauce 2 tbsp vegetable oil 1 handful chopped fresh cilantro Fresh lime wedges Ground white pepper, sea salt, cayenne pepper, and/or other spices to taste
Seafood – use 1-3 choices (adjust amounts accordingly) from options of: a filet of any whitefish or salmon, cubed approx 1/2lb or so of shrimp/prawns 1 or 2 small tubes of squid, sliced into thin rings Other shellfish (e.g. ½ can clams)
PREPARATION In a soup stock pot, add the pre-cooked rice and stock together with the soy sauce and seaweed, bring to a boil and cook at medium heat for 40 minutes to an hour until the rice has the desired porridge-like consistency. This procedure can vary quite a bit in time depending on the nature of the rice.
After the rice and stock have cooked for at least 20 minutes, in a separate wok or large frying pan, add the garlic, shallots, ginger, shiitake mushrooms, vegetables, and bamboo shoots or waterchestnuts. Stir-fry this mixture for a few minutes until ingredients soften, then add to the cooking rice and stock.
In the same wok, add a bit more oil and stir-fry the seafood ingredients lightly, being careful not to over-cook them. Add this to the cooking congee within the last 5-10 minutes of cooking (helps prevent excessively over-cooking the more delicate seafood ingredients).
Note - if using chicken or pork instead, stir-fry until well done and add to congee earlier.
Serve in bowls garnished with fresh cilantro and green onion. Some also enjoy squeezing a fresh lime wedge over the finished product. Enjoy!
We all want to be happy. When you think about it, most of the things we strive for in life are really just things we hope are going to make us happier people. We believe that success will make us happy, or a good relationship, or a really awesome car. All of these goals are just a means to an end; the ultimate goal is happiness. But how many of us can say that we are really happy in life? We may look at what we have and think… I SHOULD be happy. Or on the flip side, we look at what we don’t have and think… I COULD be happy. But how many of us can say we really ARE happy.
Most of us aren’t as happy as we want to be, instead we suffer. And the reason we suffer is because we are focusing on negative thoughts about our past or our future. We create stories about the negative sensations we experience or fear we might experience, and these stories linger far longer than the pain or discomfort of the initial encounter. We all do it. We dwell on a bad conversation we had at work, or we stay awake at night worrying about a presentation we have the next morning. This is suffering; it’s about living in the past or future instead of the present moment.
New research suggests that people who focus on the present are happier. This present moment, the one you are in right now. But how do we achieve this? Our minds wander; it’s what our minds are designed to do. In fact, it’s what makes us human, and it’s the root of creativity, innovation and change. If our minds didn’t wander into the past, or imagine the future, we wouldn’t have life saving technologies, beautiful art, or soul food. We need to let our minds wander sometimes, but we also need to learn how to let all other things melt away and come back to the present moment. This is a skill that needs to be honed and practiced, and according to research it will make us happier.
So here is an exercise I challenge you to try. Go outside and walk for 20 minutes. Leave your cell phone at home and just go for a walk. As you’re walking take note of 5 things you see (it’s easy this time of year with all the rich beautiful fall colours). Take note of 4 things you hear, 3 things you feel (maybe it’s the cool air on your skin, or how your breath fills your lungs), 2 things you smell and 1 thing you taste (If it’s a salted caramel mocha, don’t worry, I won’t judge!). As you are taking note of these things, give them time to sink into your skin, take a moment to savor them. Try not to think too much about it, just experience it. Check in with yourself after the twenty minutes and see if you feel any different. You might just be a little bit happier!
Kristen Johnston, M.A., RCC
Healing Cedar Wellness
What a night it was! It was our first time attending the Port Moody Spike Business Awards and we had a blast! We were so happy to have been invited and nominated. We all dressed up for the event. At 7 pm we enjoyed a glass of wine and some appetizers, while mingling and meeting other Port Moody business owners. Edina took this opportunity to hand out a free Infrared Sauna coupon to every single person attending: way to warm up the city for the upcoming winter.
Healing Cedar Team: Rebecca, Jenna, Edina, Clara, Shannon and Meghan
At 8 pm, we all gathered at the Inlet Theater and filled up the seats: the excitement was palpable in the room. City council, Diana Dilworth did a great job hosting the event. We saw a 15 minute power point presentation by Dave on the huge business benefits of Facebook. Duly noted Dave: we're promoting our blog through Facebook right now :)
Clara needled Shannon on stage, to calm her down before her speech. Apparently it worked, she did a great job and the crowd loved it. Desirée Dupuis from Three Sixty Financial group, made us laugh out loud and won the "speech award": well deserved!
We were humbled and very pleased: Healing Cedar Wellness won the 2012 Spike Award for "Best Customer Service". Thank you everyone who voted for us, we are thrilled you thought of us. Having been recognized by our Port Moody community was the best gift we could have received in our first year in business.
The Winners of the 2012 Spike Business Awards Gallaghers Coffee Bar, Caffé Divano, Chomp Vegan Eatery, Councillor Diana Dilworth, Mayor Mike Clay, Healing Cedar Wellness and Newport Dental Clinic. Not pictured: Rehanah's Roti Trinidadian Food.
Our fantastic team of practitioners contribute to our blog articles. Together we aim to restore balance within the body, educate each patient and guide them on their journey to optimum health. Our clinic offers natural health for the entire family, from babies to older adults and everyone in between.
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