MoveMend is excited to announce the addition of Dr. Ryan Simmons, physical therapist, to our team. Ryan earned her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from #1 ranked University of Southern California Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy in 2010, after 4 years of successful independent Massage Therapy practice in Chicago.
With over a decade of health care experience in a wide range of settings, she is uniquely positioned as a true integrative clinician. Although her bread and butter therapy is based heavily on manual orthopedics, body mechanics, and gait analysis, she also has experience and clinical interest in woman’s health, yoga modification, neurologic disorders, and vestibular rehabilitation for vertigo and dizziness. Her patient care philosophy is rooted in the belief that keen observation, active listening, and hands-on discovery are the keys to successful intervention and the return of a patient to their highest level of function.
You can make an appointment with Ryan directly from our website www.MoveMend.info.
Feel free to stop in and say hello!
I'd like to share some helpful information presented at MoveMend a few weeks ago regarding nutrition to speed recovery from injury. Hopefully you or someone you know will find it helpful.
Step #1: Eat more anti-inflammatory foods
-Olive oil, fish oil, flax oil
-Avocados, nuts and seeds
-Cold water fish (salmon, herring, sardines)
Step #2: Avoid inflammatory foods
-Vegetable oils like canola
-Trans and hydrogenated fats
Step #3: "Repair and Remodel" phase
-Eat high quality protein: meats, legumes, eggs, single ingredient protein powders
-Good fats, bone broth, oysters
-Fruits and veggies!
-Hydration and rest
To your health,
Aaron Shaw is a fitness therapist and proprietor of the MoveMend clinic.
2818 E. Madison St., Seattle (Next to FastFrame)
MyTown Pictures has produced a touching film on the subject of early-onset Alzheimer’s Disease. The film shares one family’s challenges and triumphs and the power of music to enrich and engage the lives of those touched by dementia.
Come join the community in this free screening of His Neighbor Phil, which is followed by a community discussion.
Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Parkshore Retirement Community
1630 43rd Avenue East
Seattle, WA 98112
More than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s. Locally, the Art of Alzheimer’s works to “open hearts and minds to a different way of thinking about Alzheimer’s” by bringing attention to those affected by dementia.This free screening of the “His Neighbor Phil” (filmed in the small town of Zumbrota, Minnesota) is about the intersection of family, community, and the struggle with dementia.Proceeds from this event support The Artist Within, a free exhibition and event series at City Hall Lobby Gallery and Anne Focke Gallery, January 7 – February 26, 2016 – 7am – 6pm, Monday – Friday.
Are you the type of person that seems to get ill just thinking about cold and flu season? Do you get frequent infections throughout the fall and winter? Once you’re sick, do you have trouble regaining health? Here are some ideas to keep those seasonal illnesses at bay.
First off, not all illness is “bad.” I tend to look at it as exercise for our immune systems—if we’re never challenged, our immune cells don’t have the opportunity to build up and create memory immune cells for quicker response against future illness of the same kind.
Here are a few things to consider when trying to stay healthy this season.
High levels of cortisol (a stress hormone) tend to suppress or lower our immune response to invading pathogens. So make time to decompress and reduce your stress level. If you find you’re responding to stressors in a less than positive way, work on mentally reframing the experiences—it’s not about the stressors, it’s about how we react to them. Whether you do yoga, cook, dance, listen to music (or make your own), take bubble baths, or embrace your inner child and color in coloring books, do it and do it often!
For additional support, drink some stress relief tea throughout the day and/or take adrenal support supplements. Also be sure to get adequate sleep, since increased stress and lowered immunity are among the many effects of sleep deprivation!
Exercise helps with lymph flow and the circulation of white blood cells, thereby increasing the detection of illness and helping to combat the illness more quickly. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate activity, 5 days per week, to get a decent fitness dose. Of course, check with your medical provider before beginning a new exercise regimen.
Eat with intention
Eating for immunity ideally includes a lot of anti-microbial herbs such as garlic, ginger, and parsley. You should also include immune-modulating mushrooms, particularly shiitake. Combining these mushrooms and herbs in a mineral-rich broth is one of my favorite seasonal meals.
Tried and true immune support products
This is by no means an exhaustive list. As always, consult a supplement-literate physician before adding them to your regimen, in order to avoid any potential medicine interactions and to make sure they’re right for you.
Regular use of a neti pot/saline rinse can decrease adherence of pathogens to our nasal passages, which is a common entry point of microbes. Although it can take some getting used to (and the willpower to do it), it is well worth the benefits!
Elderberry syrup or extract is one of my favorite, tasty ways to help prevent and shorten the duration of cold and flu viruses. Not only is it antiviral, but the proanthocyanidins in the elderberries make it a potent antioxidant. Children love it too! (Check out Gaia Herbs’ recipe for Black Elderberry Punch at the end of this article for an easy way to use it.)
Astragalus is an adaptogenic herb that helps keep you protected by enhancing immune function, and helps you deal with stress. That makes it a great preventive herb to take on a daily basis to build up your immune system and help you cope through the holiday season.
In the first 48 hours of feeling ill, consider frequent dosing with echinacea root. Beyond the initial phase of illness, the root may have little or likely no impact, but when used correctly can be quite helpful. The aerial parts of echinacea however, can be taken throughout the season to strengthen the immune system.
Andrographis is an excellent immune-stimulating herb to take in the beginning stages of illness. It works to decrease the symptoms of the acute cold or flu quickly, particularly helping to provide relief from sore throat or fever.
There is an undeniable connection between the gut and the immune system. An incredible 80 percent of our immune system is located in our digestive systems. Probiotics should be taken daily throughout the year to support beneficial flora in the GI tract.
Vitamin C is a classic immune-boosting standby, and can be dosed in high amounts, up to bowel tolerance, as more is required during acute infections. Lower amounts can be used daily to ward off illness.
Zinc lozenges, when used within the first 24 hours of illness, can help to shorten the duration and decrease the symptoms of the common cold. Zinc given at appropriate dosages over time can help prevent infections.
Medicinal mushrooms contain polysaccharides and beneficial compounds that work to modulate or enhance immune function. Taking a mushroom extract or capsule supplement on a daily basis can be very beneficial in helping the immune system to function properly.
Black Elderberry Punch
48 oz Lemon-Ginger-Echinacea Juice
20 oz Berry or Lime Flavor Natural Sparkling Water
3 tablespoons Gaia Herbs Black Elderberry Syrup*
4 cups ice cubes
1. Add ice cubes to large pitcher (about 1/3 full)
2. Add Juice
3. Add Elderberry Syrup
4. Add Sparkling Water at the end
5. Mix lightly with wooden spoon
Stay healthy this season and don’t forget to frequently wash your hands! Visit Pharmaca in Madison Park or online at pharmaca.com for more information and product suggestions.
Summer in Seattle is approaching, and outdoor activities are even more abundant. Renew your commitment to being fit, happy and healthy! Here are some ideas to help you with exercise recovery and environmental exposures.
Be prepared to stay hydrated. Dehydration can cause headaches, muscle pain, dizziness and nausea. Have on hand water and electrolytes, such as Vega Hydrator powder or Nuun tablets. Add in Trace Mineral ConcenTrace drops to improve hydration even further.
If you’re outdoors, wear your mineral sport sunscreen. I recommend Juice Beauty Sport Moisturizer or Thinksport sunscreen, which are both chemical-free, sweat- and water-resistant sunscreens. Devita Solar Body and Solar Moisturizer for the face are also great choices for a sheer, mineral-based sunscreen.
During the days when insects are rampant, avoid mosquito bites by making sure to spritz on some Quantun Health Buzz Away insect repellant. This product is essential oil-based, DEET-free and quite effective at keeping the bugs away!
Any time you provide stress on your muscles, you want to make sure to build the muscle up by consuming protein post-workout; protein shakes are a simple, fast way to achieve this. Leucine is an amino acid that is especially important at contributing to skeletal muscle mass. L-glutamine amino acid helps to prevent muscle breakdown, and the powder can be added to protein shakes. Although whey protein is often considered as having an “ideal” amino acid profile, certain plant protein powders are adequate for those avoiding dairy. My favorites are Plant Fusion Phood and Sun Warrior, Warrior Blend plant-based powders. Mix these with your favorite dairy-free milk in a blender bottle for a quick, on-the-go recovery drink.
Less Inflammation, Less Pain
To help with post-workout recovery, I recommend New Chapter’s Zyflamend capsules as an effective herbal anti-inflammatory combination product, alongside a magnesium product. Zyflamend is a nice alternative to taking NSAIDs, and magnesium helps with muscle pain. Eating anti-inflammatory foods and avoiding inflammation-promoting foods is important. Herbs and spices, such as ginger, turmeric, cinnamon and garlic, especially when combined with lots of vegetables, are all good choices. Drizzle this “Sunshine Dressing” on your veggie-loaded salad, for a delicious recovery meal.
In a blender, combine all ingredients and blend until smooth.
Add some radiance
Did outdoor activities, such as swimming in a chlorinated pool, leave your hair dry, dull and lifeless? If so, revitalize it with an apple cider vinegar hair rinse: mix ½ cup of apple cider vinegar with 1 cup of water, and add in 10 drops of essential oils of your choice; lemon, rose and/or lavender essential oils work well for this.
Instead of chemical-laden self-tanners, consider going the less toxic route by choosing jane iredale’s Tantasia self-tanner. The natural color will develop with daily use from a sun-kissed glow to a healthy tan.
Join us at the Madison Park Pharmaca on Saturday, June 6th from 11am–3pm for our Sports Nutrition & Fitness event. Enter to win a Fitbit Flex wristband (a $99 value), enjoy chair massages, try free samples and take advantage of special savings!
The prime retail location of the old Harbour Pointe Coffeehouse wasn’t idle long after HPC’s mysterious demise. Let’s welcome MoveMend to the neighborhood. MoveMend is a new clinic specializing in shoulder, arm, and hand therapy as well as medical fitness training. Aaron Shaw, a Madison Valley resident and highly experienced therapist, along with his associate, physiologist Sahba Seifi, provide expertise in hand and upper extremity rehabilitation and individualized personal training services.
Fitness training assessments are performed as a team, meeting with their clients to develop a custom science-based training program that’s safe and fun. One-on-one and pair training sessions are available, and MoveMend will be offering small-group “boot camp” sessions in the summer.
MoveMend is currently offering a:
10-pack of training sessions: $1219.
Includes 90-minute assessment with Aaron and Sahba and a welcome gift package valued at $50.
You can sign up for their newsletter at MoveMend.info to hear about special offers and their free seminar series on health and fitness-related topics.
Therapy services start April 28th and personal training services start May 11.
Holidays are a time for spending time with family and friends, spreading joy and giving back to the community. But sometimes the season can also bring tension, worry or anxiety about holiday expectations and obligations. Start practicing these healthy habits that can help minimize holiday stress–and keep them up throughout the year!
The Basics: Sleep, eat, exercise, repeat
Reserve enough time for sleeping. Without adequate sleep, our perception of stress is blown out of proportion. Keep lavender spray by your bed to promote a relaxing environment, or even add a couple drops of lavender essential oil under your pillow at night.
Try to fuel yourself with healthful foods, rather than grabbing the carb-heavy, sugar-filled foods that we often gravitate towards in times of stress. Nutritious foods like fruits and vegetables provide the building blocks for the important neurotransmitters and hormones we need to deal with stress.
Don’t forget to continue your regular exercise routine. Exercise produces endorphins that ward off negative feelings while keeping us mentally centered and grounded.
Breathe in, breathe out
When you find yourself getting worked up, try to focus on your breathing. Inhale for 5 seconds, followed by a 5-second exhale, and repeat. The goal is not to bring more oxygen in, but to slow your breathing.
For added benefit, consider using an essential oil diffuser filled with lavender, rose or clary sage. These are especially helpful while practicing breathing exercises or meditation at home.
Take your vitamins
If you’re not already taking a B-complex, consider starting one. In times of stress, B vitamins are often depleted, so replenishing your body’s resources is important. There are even B-complex formulas specifically designed to help you deal with stress.
Another supplement to try: magnesium. Whether consumed in a powder or capsule form, magnesium helps us to calm down and release the tension stored in our muscles. Drink a warm cup of magnesium “tea” at night for the added benefit of a good night’s sleep!
Lastly, vitamin D is a great way to support energy production, immune and bone health, and help prevent seasonal-related mood issues.
Utilize support herbs
Adaptogenic herbs can help your body adapt to stress, and support positive responses to stressors. Some adaptogens include ashwaghandha, rhodiola, holy basil and maca. Purchase these herbs in capsule, tincture or tea forms, as a single herb or a combination product.
If stress has you feeling excessively worried and anxious, reach for nervine herbs. These work with your central nervous system to calm you down and restore emotional balance. Look for nervines such as lemon balm, passionflower, skullcap and chamomile.
As always, certain medications may interact with some herbs. Make sure to check with a health care professional before beginning a new product with potential interactions.
Stop in to the Madison Park Pharmaca and check out products that can help you deal with the stress of the holiday season and throughout the year. Our helpful staff can direct you to the items that work best for your individual needs. Happy holidays!
Like the jello salad at Thanksgiving dinner, our health tends to get pushed aside during the holidays. This year, take a few extra steps to ensure proper digestion and reduce the risk of post-holiday sluggishness.
Eat Your Vegetables
While indulging in delicious holiday foods, remember to eat your vegetables! The fiber can help curb blood sugar spikes and improve GI motility. A nice rule of thumb is to make sure at least half of your plate is full of vegetables, especially dark leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables (think cabbage, kale, brussels sprouts, broccoli, bok choy and cauliflower).
Keep Calm & Eat On
Although emotions can be rocky around the holidays, it’s best to sit down to a meal when you are calm and not feeling upset or stressed. Ensuring our bodies are in a predominantly parasympathetic mode (“rest and digest”) rather than a sympathetic mode (“fight or flight”) when we eat provides more digestive strength and less risk of indigestion.
Another idea: Try to chew your food 100 times per mouthful. Even if you can only get to around 50, the process allows for more mindfulness when eating and decreases the chance of overeating. And because the process of breaking down food starts as soon as the food hits your mouth, chewing slower and longer leads to better uptake of nutrients and a happier digestive system.
While it is very important to stay hydrated, avoiding liquids during a meal enhances digestion. If we ingest copious amounts of fluids with food, it dilutes our stomach acid and decreases the release of digestive enzymes, therefore weakening digestion. If you must drink during a meal, drink only small sips of tepid or warm liquid.
Prep the Stomach
Before meals (approximately 15-20 minutes), consider taking bitters or drinking one tablespoon of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar in a small amount of water. This kick-starts the digestive juices, has an alkalizing effect on the body and protects against indigestion after the meal. Digestive enzymes may also be taken to help break down food. Try to include digestion-promoting herbs in meals, such as turmeric, cumin, coriander, ginger and cayenne.
If you experience reflux or indigestion symptoms after meals, reach for DGL (deglycyrrhizinated licorice) tablets—rather than calcium carbonate products—to quickly ease the symptoms. Specifically for gas and bloating, consider carminative herbs such as fennel, ginger, peppermint and cinnamon (Gaia Herbs’ Gas & Bloating tea or capsules are typically very effective). Demulcent herbs, such as slippery elm, marshmallow root and aloe vera gel, can help coat and soothe the digestive tract (find them in Thorne’s GI-Encaps). In addition, taking a brisk, 15-minute walk after meals can help to keep our blood sugar balanced and stimulate the digestive tract.
For long-term poor digestion or leaky gut issues, L-Glutamine powder can help to repair gut mucosa. Triphala products can strengthen the digestive system, and work as a mild laxative. And Probiotics and fermented foods help the gastrointestinal terrain stay healthy, since good flora is essential to digestive health.
For occasional relief, try abdominal castor oil packs, which have anti-inflammatory action and may help with digestive pain. Materials for the castor oil pack include castor oil, an old t-shirt or cloth, wool or flannel fabric, and an external heat source such as a heating pad or hot water bottle. First, apply a thin layer of castor oil to the abdomen (roll-on castor oil can be a less messy option). Put on the old t-shirt, and then cover with the heavier wool or flannel fabric. Apply the heating pad on top of the layers, lie down and allow the relief to seep in over the next 30 minutes—or hopefully much longer!
Feel free to visit Pharmaca in Madison Park to talk with one of our licensed health care professionals and check out the digestive supplements section to learn more about natural solutions to digestion problems.
Multiple times each day I find myself wandering back to the Sleep Aids aisle with Pharmaca customers who are having a difficult time finding rest. Do you have problems falling asleep? Staying asleep? Are you a night owl who needs a siesta each day? There are many reasons why people experience sleeplessness—and pinpointing the true problem can help to find the best solution.
If you find your best work is done at night but you're sleepy in the morning and throughout the day, you might have what’s called a reverse cortisol curve. Cortisol, the stress hormone produced by the adrenal glands, typically spikes around normal waking times (e.g. 6 or 7 a.m.), and again at around noon. This allows a healthy human to get the day started, with an extra boost at lunchtime. But the stresses of everyday life and the standard American diet can result in a flatline of cortisol during the day and a spike at night—which manifests in evening energy surges and complete fatigue in the morning. To correct this, you can consider using natural supplements like rhodiola in the morning to mimic the normal cortisol patterns, and magnolia bark at night to rapidly decrease cortisol. You can also begin to address blood sugar issues, as these two concerns seem to be closely linked.
For those who can fall asleep but wake frequently during the night, magnolia bark may also be helpful. This can prevent cortisol spikes from happening at night. Sometimes, eating a high-protein snack before bedtime can also help to regulate blood sugar while you sleep.
The most common solution for trouble falling asleep is melatonin. This is a natural hormone that our bodies produce when we should be sleeping, and it’s a potent antioxidant in high amounts. Because of this, melatonin loses its sedative qualities with doses higher than 5 mg. When first trying melatonin, the key to success is going “low and slow,” as some side effects can include vivid dreams or nightmares, or a groggy feeling in the morning. Start with the lowest dose possible, typically 1 mg, and work your way up to find the perfect dose for you.
There are a myriad of ways to address sleeplessness, and a qualified natural health practitioner can help you find solutions tailored to you. Stop in and chat with one of the licensed health experts at the Madison Pharmaca to help you rest easy tonight!
Stop in at the Queen Bee Cafe opposite Safeway and have a coffee and delectable snack, then head next door and check out The Mercantile, a gift shop out of the ordinary in its décor. Both opened in recent months, and both are part of Aegis on Madison, the new assisted living community that opened its doors Valentine’s Day and gained its first resident four days later. There are now 60 people living there, about 40% of them men, a higher ratio than in most such places, and they range in age from 61 to 101.
The Queen Bee Cafe Pastry Case.
“We have room for 104,” says general manager Rob Liebreich, who clearly loves his job and talks about the facility with pride and pleasure. As he takes me around, he greets every resident we meet by name, wishing one a happy birthday, and also all the staff, from housekeepers to therapist. We are greeted back with smiles.
Aegis is working itself quickly into our Madison Valley community. Neighborhood groups from the YMCA to Planned Parenthood hold meetings here in the private dining room that looks like a very posh restaurant and has a wine cave with lockers for the residents. Seattle University students have come by to conduct oral histories, and Holy Names students volunteer here.
Aegis' private dining room.
“Aegis is a for-profit company, but with a philanthropic side,” explains Liebreich. “All the profits from the Queen Bee and The Mercantile go to nonprofits. For our first quarter, we gave $500 to the YMCA, for the second they’ll go to the Hearing and Speech Center up the road. Childhaven brings their kids and we welcome them and make things for them. Just now we have a quilting club. We make things to give back to the world.”
Every Saturday morning, the marquee over the little theater announces a matinee movie for neighborhood kids. “Frozen” was a recent showing.
Aegis’ parent company was started in Redmond 17 years ago by Dwayne Clark, after seeing his grandmother in a facility he felt he could improve on. There are now 30 Aegis facilities with the majority—14—in the greater Seattle area and five more planned. One, to be located in Newcastle, is intended to serve the Asian community.
“When Dwayne Clark’s mother needed Alzheimer’s care, she lived for ten years in an Aegis in Kirkland,” says Liebreich. “It’s one thing to work for an owner who understands from a business level, and quite another to work for someone who understands from the inside, on an intimate level. It’s a really innovative company. They don’t follow the rules, they want to go well beyond them.”
He points out that the comfortable chairs in the spacious lobby are specifically designed with arm rests and cushion depth and resilience for maximum ease for the residents, and the enclosed garden on the dementia floor with its 1956 Thunderbird and old gas station in the corner. All Aegis dementia floors have a garden, but this one was designed with input from Disney to make people feel comfortable in an era they remember. One resident having lunch proudly told us she had been washing the car that morning, while others had picked the blueberries they were growing and then made muffins.
The Life Neighborbood Patio, with 1956 Thunderbird and blueberry bushes.
The residents’ rooms or suites on all five floors are lit by large windows for maximum natural light, while those on the dementia floor also have motion sensors so staff can quickly tell if someone is restless or needs help, and a second sensor that turns on a bathroom light when it senses someone moving in that direction at night.
“People’s dignity is the overriding element in what we do, then safety, then enrichment,” says Liebreich. Quality shows in the attention to myriad details, such as the restaurant with a four-star ambience, always serving freshly prepared food. Another is the beautiful little quiet room, the Conservatory, on the dementia floor. Quietly lit, no windows, the walls painted pale blue with vines and birds on them, a faint lavender scent and gentle bird song, it’s designed to help someone feel less agitated.
As of now there are 64 staff working in shifts, many local and about 50% of them care staff, including three full-time RNs. Liebreich is currently recruiting a fourth. “We’re affiliated with the University of Washington Medical Center,” he says, “and our medical director comes in every couple of weeks regularly and more if necessary, visiting residents in their rooms. He’s just added a nurse practitioner so his office can be more responsive.” He goes on, “We don’t structure staff numbers on ratio but on needs. We have a number who need two-person support. As of now we are trying to make sure we have 16 hours of nursing supervision daily, eventually it will be 24 hours. We’ll need that if we have a lot of diabetic management.”
Not everyone at Aegis needs that kind of care. Many just need a bit of help, others are high need, but people can stay at Aegis until they die, and it has hospice care.
“Regarding medications,” says Liebreich, “we are working with Bastyr to find non-pharmacological solutions, like chamomile tea to soothe at night, or ginger tea for stomach upsets. We want to come off over-medicating, and this year we will have our own Bastyr clinic.”
Quite a few people have pets and there are even pet walkers to give residents a hand walking their animals as needed. There are five full-time enrichment staff for the dozens of indoor and out-and-about activities, including a horticultural therapist and a master gardener, and are about to be joined by another with a music therapy background.
The Sports Den in the basement is where everyone congregates to watch TV. Originally called the Man Cave, “we discovered that the women are more sports fanatics than the men so we changed it,” says Liebreich. Also he points out that it’s a draw for families. “It gives families reason to come back. A big challenge in the industry is creating reasons for families to return and not just drop off grandma. Grandkids enjoy this.”
The Sports Den
There are often parties in the Sky Lounge up on the top floor, a room with a gorgeous view and an outside deck looking over to Mt. Rainier and the Cascades. There are parties not only for residents and their families, but for employees, as well.
Thanks to owner Clark’s experiences, the parent company of Aegis also runs the Potato Soup Foundation. At one time his single mom was so short of funds she asked her boss for help, and he gave her a sack of potatoes which made soup for a week. Now, maybe 20 or 30 employees a year who need help can get it, including most recently a housekeeper who lost everything in a fire. Liebreich is proud that last year, as announced by KING-5, Aegis was voted by the employees as the best employer in the Seattle metropolitan area.
This facility is likely the only Aegis one built from scratch with respect for the residents’ needs and dignity paramount in every detail. As such, people in the field are flying in from all over the country. “People who’ve seen a thousand of these,” says Liebreich, “are coming to look at this one and see what’s been done. It makes me want to do more. This residence should be seen as a beacon to the community.”
It’s not cheap to live at Aegis on Madison. The base cost is $131 per day which includes all meals, but Liebreich considers that anyone owning a house in this area could live comfortably at Aegis for 15-20 years.
Go see it! I wouldn’t mind living there myself, down the road.
While exploring your local hiking trails and lake shores this summer, consider these natural products to keep handy.
Arnica is a homeopathic remedy that uses an ultra-dilute preparation of Arnica Montana, a flower known for speeding up healing time and decreasing pain post-trauma. This remedy is helpful for bruises, concussions and pains associated with sprains/strains from physical activity.
Like arnica, apis is another helpful homeopathic. Made from bee venom, it’s useful as an antidote for bites and stings from bees and other insects, as well as any trauma that results in swelling and throbbing pain.
In general, sunscreens fall into one of two categories—mineral or chemical. Mineral sunscreens typically utilize zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to reflect UV rays. These are not absorbed into the skin, and are stable in the presence of UV radiation.
Chemical sunscreens use oxybenzone or avobenzone to absorb UV rays, which penetrate the skin and can cause allergic reactions and endocrine disruption. Because of this, a mineral sunscreen is appropriate for most people, but if you’ll be in the water or sweating heavily, a chemical sunscreen may provide longer and more reliable protection.
Many companies are manufacturing organic and all-natural bug sprays, rich in essential oils that repel bugs. In addition, making your own bug spray at home is quite simple: just combine 10 drops of strong essential oils like rosemary, citronella, lemongrass or eucalyptus with a natural astringent like witch hazel, in a spray bottle. This concoction is safe for adults and children alike, and you can even use it as a gentle mist on dogs! Avoid use on cats, however, as some essential oils can be toxic to them.
Lastly, if you're out and about, be sure to bring some powdered electrolytes to add to your water, as sweating greatly reduces the electrolyte concentration in your blood, which can cause headache and nausea.
The expert wellness team at Pharmaca Madison Park is always available to discuss natural products that might be right for you. I hope these simple and inexpensive remedies will help to make your summer happy and healthy!
This month we begin a new series on natural health from Dr. Sarah Ouano, ND, Lead Practitioner at Pharmaca Madison Park
With spring in full swing, Madison Park residents are enjoying gorgeous blooms and warmer weather. Unfortunately many of us have fallen victim to our allergies, too! For some, this means a constant runny or stuffy nose, sneezing fits, facial headaches, fullness in the ears or deep fatigue. Before buying a never-ending supply of over-the-counter antihistamines, you might consider a more natural approach.
A Bit of Physiology: Why a Natural Antihistamine is Important
“Allergies” is a collective term for a natural reaction that happens when a foreign substance, or “allergen,” causes the release of inflammatory molecules, including histamine. Over-the-counter antihistamines only address histamine, and the other inflammatory complexes remain unchecked. With long-term use, these can contribute to the development of allergic asthma and other allergy-related illnesses.
Quercetin: An Effective Alternative
Natural anti-inflammatory products that are plant- and vitamin-based stabilize all of the receptor sites, which prevents the release of not only histamine, but the whole scope of other inflammatory molecules. The most commonly used natural antihistamine is quercetin, which is often sourced from yellow onions. Quercetin’s absorption into the body is increased when taken with bromelain, an enzyme from pineapples, which breaks up the mucous that has already formed and prevents any further mucous development. As natural compounds originally found in foods, none of these natural substances are able to cross the blood-brain barrier, and therefore do not cause drowsiness, as many over-the-counter options do.
Avoiding Excess Allergic Triggers
A large part of successfully navigating allergy season is decreasing your exposure to allergens in the first place, and it always starts at home. Cleaning bedding at least once a week, airing out the house to prevent mold, using a high-quality air filter or purifier, and effectively dusting each week can be a huge help.
A Few More Ideas
Some of my favorite allergy treatments are simple and inexpensive. First, I recommend using a neti pot every night to gently clean your sinuses (we brush our teeth every night, why not our noses?). Second, consuming local organic honey or homeopathic preparations of common allergens on a regular basis can help the body desensitize itself to the local array of allergens. Drinking nettles tea can also systemically decrease inflammation, so a cup a day can do wonders to keep allergies at bay.
As you can see, there are many options available when it comes to tackling your family’s allergies! Ultimately, and as with any changes to your supplement and medication routine, consult with your primary care doctor to ensure there are no interactions to adding these natural substances. The expert wellness team at Pharmaca Madison Park is always available to discuss which products might be right for you. Have a happy, healthy spring!
Puget Sound Blood Center is experiencing an unprecedented shortage of blood donations. Usually October is one of their strongest months, but many donors were hit by early flu outbreaks, and a number of blood drives had to cancel at government agency locations in Seattle during the Federal Shutdown. The inventory chart below shows the supply levels for each blood type.
WHEN: Friday, October 25th, 8:30am to 2:30pm
WHERE: The Bush School, Community Room (entrance on E. Harrison St)