Summer 2013 Newsletter
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Welcome to ECN's new newsletter format! We hope that you'll find this newsletter easy to navigate, and full of fabulous information. Please feel free to email with any feedback that you might have! By the way, have you seen our new website? There is a bright new design, you can pay your bill online, and you can have access to all of the latest information from our physicians on our blog!

Grinberg Method Lecture:
Mon, July 29th, 6pm at the clinic

Wed, Aug 21st

Grinberg Method Sessions:
Aug 23rd-25th

Labor Day Closure:
Mon, Sept 2nd

Next IMT:
Wed, Oct 16th

ECN's Green Corner

Bottle Cap and Styrofoam Recycling at Whole Foods! Drop your caps and foam pellets off with us, and we'll deliver them to the store for you!

Remember we'll also take your old tincture bottles and old eye glasses for recycling as well!

Did you know that IKEA recycles old light bulbs? They sure do!
As seen in our recent blog, which you can find here:

Omega 3 Myths: Are you increasing your prostate cancer risk?

Many of you may have read about the new research associating high omega three blood levels with an increase in prostate cancer. Let me tell you there is by no means a direct link to an increased risk of prostatic cancer if you take fish oil supplements.  The most plausible explanation is that many of the individuals tested do not properly digest, use, or metabolize their omega 3 oils. OR it could be that the quality of fish or oils they are consuming have high mercury or heavy metal contents– a clean product is essential. Also, without proper whole nutrition and a good balance of anti oxidants and minerals to properly utilize the fish oils consumed, further damage can occur if there are heavy metals present in the oils– we all need balance to digest properly. This study does make me pause as a physician to make sure that we maintain BEST practices as Naturopaths; always looking at the whole picture and not individual components. If you have any concerns please bring it up with your Emerald City Clinic physician as we encourage each of you to be stewards of your own health.  Respectfully submitted, Dr.  Molly Niedermeyer
Pharmacy Corner
There are a few exciting new products here at Emerald City Clinic. Ask your doctor about trying them soon!

Himalayan Salt Stones: A quick and cost effective way to keep your hydration up, providing electrolytes and minerals in a natural way. Place the stones in water, let them dissolve, and add 1 tsp to your water. Affordably priced at $3.00 per 5oz bag.

Capsaicin Arnica Acute Cream: Suffer from achy joints and muscles? This product is a great solution! A topical cream with capsicum (the active ingredient in Cayenne peppers!) and homeopathic arnica, this product helps promote muscle healing as well as improving blood flow to joints and sore muscles. This is a very effective product to keep around the house at an affordable $17.00.

Imu-Max: Time to start thinking about school days! Here’s a new herbal immune boosting syrup for kids. This product has Echinacea and Bee Propolis, as well as a low dose of Vitamin C, for enhanced immune support in a great tasting alcohol-free berry flavored formula. This product is priced at $25.50 for an 8oz bottle, a great price!

Also, be sure to check out Dr. Molly's article about our new insurance-covered pharmacy items coming soon!
Should MY Daughter Have the Gardasil Vaccine?

by Dr. Kelley Barnes-Valdes

Physicians at Emerald City Clinic have recommended against receiving the Gardasil vaccine since it came on the market due to unsafe side effects and lack of necessity.  Recently there was an article published in the Journal of Law, Medicine, and Ethics called “Too Fast or Not Too Fast: The FDA’s Approval of Merck’s HPV Vaccine Gardasil”.  This article laid out the pros and cons of this vaccine.  Gardasil is marketed as preventing cervical cancer by preventing cervical infection with HPV.  The first problem with this vaccine is that it has only been studied for 6 years and it takes 20-40 years for an HPV infection to turn into cervical cancer.  Therefore, we don’t have any data to support its effectiveness in preventing cervical cancer.

Another issue called to question is the number of strains of HPV it actually affects.  Gardasil was only shown to effectively prevent 2 out of 15 high risk strains, or strains likely to cause cervical cancer.  Furthermore, upon testing women 5 years after receiving the vaccine,  the immunity to one of these strains had dissipated in 35% of them, therefore leaving them unprotected from 14 out of the 15 strains after assuming the risk of having the vaccine.

When we first received the vaccine here at the clinic, the insert said that we had to keep people in office under observation for seizures and other neurological side effects for 20 minutes after administration of the vaccine.  This was enough for us to know that it was not a safe vaccine.  The statistics reported in the article are as follows:

In the 6 years that it has been in use there have been 78 deaths, 363 life threatening side effects, 609 women permanently disabled, 1669 women seriously disabled, 212 prolonged hospitalizations and 9565 Emergency room visits resulting from the vaccine.  This accounts for over 60% of all adverse reactions caused by all vaccines combined.

So when deciding whether to be vaccinated, or whether to have your adolescent child vaccinated, please take into consideration that the effectiveness of PAP screening in preventing cervical cancer is 70% without side effects and the effectiveness of the vaccine is between 16.9 – 70% with a high rate of dangerous side effects.  It should also be noted that if a woman is already infected with HPV, receiving the vaccine will exacerbate the disease.   We feel that the combination of doing regular PAP screening, safe sex practices, and treating HPV or cervical changes with naturopathic therapies when appropriate is the best option for preventing cervical cancer. 

New Pharmacy Options

There are finally some in-roads being made for using your insurance for some nutritional prescriptions!  There is a company called Physician Therapeutics which produces quality nutritional supplements that can be billed to most insurances if you have prescription coverage.  There are a limited amount of products but you would only be responsible for your prescription co-pay and the supplement company would bill your insurance for the rest, much like your pharmacy.  Most of these products are amino acid blends that encourage the appropriate endocrine pathway to target its outcome.  What is available are:

Theramine:  chronic pain supplement that contains mostly GABA.  This is similar to GABApentin that is a prescription pain reliever.  It works by nourishing the pain pathways to stop inflammation.   This is indicated in neuropathic pain, fibromyalgia, inflammatory pain.

Sentra PM:  This supplement is designed for sleep disturbances and works on stabilizing sugar levels, increasing serotonin, and increasing brain circulation.

Sentra AM:  This is this company’s version of an adrenal support for the person who is mentally fatigued and fatigued from chronic pain/fibromyalgia.

GABAdone:  Another sleep approach when the sleep disturbance has anxiety components such as trouble going to sleep, awaking tired, and/or snoring.  It also may be helpful in Sleep apnea.

Trepadone:    This product is their anti-inflammatory and is the signature product for tendonitis, osteoarthritis, joint pain.  It is this product and Percura, the next product, that brought this company to our attention because of its effectiveness.  This product interferes with the transmission of pain to the central nervous system.

Percura:  A slightly different formulation for inflammation then Trepadone.  It actually works at the cellular level to stop inflammation before it gets transmitted to the central nervous system.

AppTrim:   The purpose of this product is to address metabolic syndrome and to curb appetite, increase sense of satiety and to stop food cravings.

Hypertensa:  As the name implies, this is to bring down blood pressure.

ListerV:  This is another product that seems to be really affective for viral infections and immune malfunction.

This is all that is available from this company and you would need to discuss the appropriateness for you as an individual to use these products with your Emerald City Clinic physician. If they are effective for you, it could save you a lot of money in your supplement purchases, and give you the ability to use your prescription benefit for things that are at least non harmful and might even replace expensive supplementation.  I am excited as Chief Medical Officer to give this a try.  I want you to know that it passed the stringent requirements of Bastyr Natural Health clinic and many of my colleagues have recommended these products. 

Dr. Molly's Corner

Payment Options

I have been actively reviewing and updating files so all of our clients are current.  Many people have left Emerald City Clinic in the past couple of years due to financial constraints.  I am trying to make this a non- issue so that everyone can receive competent healthcare at Emerald City Clinic.  We have three types of financial arrangements: 
  • Cash paying clients:  This is for clients choosing to see myself and my residents.
  • Full Circle Clinic:  Many people still don’t know that we have a low income clinic that offers reduced fees, free/reduced labs and free/reduced pharmacy.  Please call our office for eligibility requirements.
  • Insurance Credentialed physicians:  We now have physicians that are contracted with many insurance companies.  Please contact the office for further information.
Dr. Molly Niedermeyer and all the physicians at Emerald City Clinic have regular chart review and collaborative discussions to provide for our clients the myriad of experience we all bring to the clinic.

New and Revisited Lab Services

Thermography:   see lead article

Atherotech:  we now have a lab that charges $39 PAY ASSURED (that is ALL you pay) if you have insurance for comprehensive blood work   This is $1200 worth of blood work for $39 if you have insurance, even if it is $5000 deductible.  You can NOT beat this. 

Folic acid mutation:  The test to check for a genetic alteration in your folic acid metabolization is called a MTHFR  (methytetrahydrofolate reductase). We have found that most people (95%) have a mutation and therefore it interferes with optimal cardiovascular health and/or neurological functioning.  We really recommend everyone get tested.  Yet do NOT do it through Lab Corp. All insurances are finding it to be an experimental test and refusing to pay for this approximately $350 test.  We have arranged for Spectracell Labs to run this test for $35.  Please ask your Emerald City Clinic physician about this testing that we HIGHLY recommend as folic acid mutation is easy to treat. 

Neural therapy:  Recently I have been getting neural therapy  (localized injections of arnica) for my tendinitis and it works great.  Emerald City Clinic does this therapy and I just wanted to remind you if you have nagging pains (eg plantar fasciaitis, tendinitis, shoulder pain, etc)  this is a very effective treatment and should be considered.

Thermography: Another Diagnositc Tool

By Dr. Molly Niedermeyer

If you have heard about thermography, you have probably heard it in relationship to breast imaging.   I wanted to address thermography in a broader sense as another “tool” for clients and practitioners alike.   Thermography gained its limited popularity because of its NO risk imaging and the need to detect breast cancers as early as possible.  The statistics out there for breast cancer are daunting; the risk is likely to rise to 1 out of 3 women by 2020.   This is an epidemic of toxicity in my opinion and prevention needs to be addressed NOT just detection and treatment.

There are a few different types of thermography but the basic principle is that most tumors generate heat and inflammation.   The body’s infrared emissions can be accurately measured to tiny fractions of a degree.  The older infrared camera thermography could accurately detect breast cancer in 60% of cases.  There is a newer technology that uses Dynamic Regulation Thermography that combines multiple readings from many areas of the body to give us a “Signature Recognition” that is reportedly up to 93% accurate.  Although the jury is still out on whether these numbers are accurate in regard to breast cancer detection, they are still very useful in measuring inflammation. Inflammation of any kind is a “message” that the body is trying to tell us to pay attention.  This is where I love thermography as a tool.   It will detect “thermal changes” years before the physiology becomes “cancerous” and/or other degenerative damage occurs that is caused by inflammation. Research shows inflammation can be found 5-8 years prior to disease-- and since it takes up to 7 years to develop definitive cancer pathology this is a great tool. It is this lead time that raises eyebrows about its efficacy because often these “inflammatory markers” do not develop into cancers, especially if we treat the cause of the inflammation.  We also need to be aware that some cancers become “cold,” but that often is detected after we compare results before and after evoking a physiological response by cooling the women (or men) down, and then doing the testing protocol again. 

Regulation Thermography uses whole body thermography with multiple temperature points.  After the initial temperature reading, the body is cooled down (physiologically stressed) and a second reading is taken.   This dynamic reading is then put into a formula to obtain a digital read out called a Thermogram.  This Thermogram will then prioritize health issues and risks based on this formula.  It then makes a digital readout and detailed report.

Uses for Regulation Thermography:   Obviously we are using this for breast cancer prevention and detection. “Several studies have shown that infrared imaging is a good and perhaps the best method for risk assessment in breast cancer: the presence of an abnormal asymmetric infrared heat pattern of the breasts probably increases a woman’s risk of getting breast cancer at least 10 fold”.  IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology 2002.   Epidemiologic research has found that thermography alone had an average sensitivity of 83% in detecting breast cancer versus 66 % sensitivity for mammography; however a combination of imaging strategies is really necessary.  Once again, women’s knowledge of their own breast tissues is imperative.  We have made a handout for comparison of breast cancer imaging options which this tool should be definitely included. You can find the hand out here:

Another use of regulation thermography is its ability to prioritize the physiology of the body since it looks at the entire body’s behavior around inflammation and toxicity.  Therefore I find this tool to be useful for both men and women.  I have been thoroughly impressed with this tool; so impressed that I have arranged for regulation thermography to be available once/month at Emerald City Clinic. 

Who should get it?
1.        Everyone should get have this imaging at least once to get an overall read on inflammation and toxicity.
2.        Breast health:  Baseline Regulation Thermography as early as age 25. Based on the results there should be suggestion of a schedule for repeat thermography on an annual or every other year basis depending on the health and outcome of the baseline.  Mammograms should be added once women have reached menopause, which then thins their tissue making mammograms more accurate.

When:  The test takes ½ hour to 45 minutes and needs to be done in the morning.  This is because of the physiology of our hormones.  Therefore we can only do 5-6 on the mornings that we do them.  We will be offering them once a month starting Wednesday, August 21st. Please call today to schedule, as we can only take the first five clients for this date.

Cost:  it costs $250 and a superbill will be supplied to you to attempt reimbursement from your insurance companies.  Unfortunately, reimbursement is unlikely, but if we keep pressuring these third party insurance companies we might be able to shift the paradigm. The amount of information is well worth the cost of the test.

Process:  Once you have scheduled with us, the office will send you instructions and an information packet about how to prepare for the test.  Preparation is minimal and addresses things that would change your temperature or hormones.  This is why the test is not accurate in the afternoon because of temperature regulation.   This information packet is also available on our web site:

The Grinberg Method

Emerald City Clinic is excited to announce that we will have two practitioners, Barbara Droubay, and Silja Viermann, visiting from Berlin to introduce the Grinberg Method to our clients! They will be here TODAY, Monday the 29th at 6pm at our clinic to provide an introduction lecture on the process of the Grinberg Method, and how it can help you obtain optimal health. They will then be offering Grinberg Method one-on-one sessions August 23rd-25th. Please call the office and let us know if you're interested in parcitipating in this lecture and the sessions in August!

What is the Grinberg Method?

The Grinberg Method teaches people to learn to be well. It offers a stuctured way of learning through the body to facilitate wanted changes in life. Practitioners teach thier clients to claim back the powers and resources that their own body has in order to be will and live a healthier and fulfilled life.

Is this for you?

The reasons and aims to start a Grinberg Method process are varied:
  • dealing with a chronic pain
  • reducing the sufferng from phycial symptoms
  • realizng an aim, a project or a wish
  • reducing work related stress
  • dealing with a loss or separation
  • gaining more confidence
  • recovering from a trauma
Feel free to read and research more about this technique:

We look forward to seeing you at the lecture and in August!

Staying Healthy During the Summer: A Chinese Medicine Perspective

By Dr. Vanda Huang

Chinese medicine places great emphasis on how a person’s lifestyle should follow the cycle of the seasons. Here is some background and tips on how to stay healthy through the summer.
Summer is the season associated with warmth, light and the heart. The energy of summer is outward, the way heat radiates from the sun or sound emanates from a drum. Summer naturally inspires bursts of playful social activity. For many, this is the most effortless time of year to enjoy life.
When the heat of the summer months reaches its peak, your stomach becomes more vulnerable to foods that are cold in nature. Have you ever wondered why people in the hot sweltering climates of India or Mexico eat such incredibly spicy food? During cold weather, your body drives heat into your core whereas during hot weather your body keeps your interior cool. Although tempting, during the summer it can be extra hard on your digestion to fill your stomach with sweetened cold drinks/snacks such as “slushies” and ice cream or foods cold in nature such as summer squash, eggplant and excessive amounts of uncooked vegetables. This can lead to diarrhea or other digestive complaints. Although it may seem counterintuitive, warm drinks such as cinnamon tea are quite supportive for the body during the summer.
Summer can be a frenzy of activity. Without proper rest, our energy can become easily imbalanced and contribute to symptoms of insomnia, anxiety or high blood pressure. Make sure to include enough moments of downtime where you can replenish yourself. On the other hand, this is not the season to be excessively introspective, dwelling on the past, surfing the internet all day. Summer is the season of fire which represents joy, relationships and connection. It is the time for gathering with friends and finding genuine connection with others.
Making small adjustments to your lifestyle to align yourself with nature can improve your quality of life and prevent future health problems as well. Let Chinese medicine guide you through a happy healthy summer!

Sun and Your Skin

By Dr. Kelley Barnes-Valdes

Most of us are aware of the dangers of skin cancer resulting from sun exposure.   However, if you have read the labels of most sun screens, the amount of chemicals used to create sun protection will make your head spin.  Living in Seattle, this is not a huge issue most of the year, but now that the 4th of July is behind us, we can expect more outdoor activities on sunny days and we want to make sure you and your family are adequately protected without  having to detox from all the chemical exposure.  Here are some basic tips:

1.       The best sun protection is having your skin covered.  Wear hats, long sleeves, and long pants when possible.   This is especially important in the mid afternoon when the sun’s rays are the strongest.  Using an umbrella when you are going to be stationary in the sun is a great idea as well.
2.       Sunburns are more associated with skin cancer risk – if you are protecting yourself from sunburn, then you are protecting yourself from skin cancer.
3.       Zinc oxide (yes, the white filmy stuff) is a more natural way to protect yourself.  The Zinc is nourishing to your skin and will protect you from the sun’s harmful rays.
4.       If you need guidance in choosing a less damaging sunblock, the Environmental Working Group’s website will guide you on what the safest sunblocks on the market are and inform you on the risks related to the different ingredients.  Their website is

Also, keep in mind that reducing your risk of skin cancer is not just about keeping covered up.  Other things that will decrease your risk for skin cancer are regular exercise, a diet high in vegetables, and getting adequate sleep.  Early detection of skin changes makes a huge difference in the course of the disease and the recovery from it. If you are somebody who has a lot of moles and birthmarks, it is important to have these checked by a dermatologist on a regular basis. Also, if you notice that one of your moles is changing in size, shape, or color, then you should notify your doctor immediately.  Hopefully these tips will allow you to have worry-free fun in the sun!

Preparing for the School Year

By Dr. Erin Westaway

As we think about preparing for the school year to come, we have some tips we’d like to let you know about to keep your family healthy and help your kids transition well into a new school year.  The two biggest issues we hear about during back to school time are concerns about kids getting sick easily and issues with attention.  While these are both large topics of their own, I’ll give a few brief tips below to get you started.
Supporting the Immune System:

·         Keep sugar and refined carbohydrates to a minimum.  Sugar suppresses the immune system.
·         Sleep!  Kids need 8-9 hours of sleep/night to keep their immune system functioning well.  This will also have a major impact on improving attention.  If kids have been staying up later during summer vacation, begin to move them back toward a school sleep schedule 2 weeks before the start of classes.
·         Multi colored foods.  The more color, the better for the immune system and overall health.  Challenge your kids to eat at least 5 different colors in a day (and no, artificial coloring doesn’t count).
·         Exercise: more blood flow means immune cells can get where they need to go more easily.  Kids should be getting a minimum of 60 minutes of movement/day that gets the heart rate up.  Plan ahead for activities that will help them do this if your child doesn’t naturally tend toward being physically active.
Supporting Attention:
·         Sleep is also very important here.  If your child has a phone or other electronic device, they should be docked in a central location in the house (like the kitchen) at the same time each night (ideally 1-2 hours before bedtime).  Kids are often up later than parents realize playing games or texting.
·         Diet:

  • Protein and vegetables, protein and vegetables.  Protein snacks help to keep blood sugar even throughout the day, which plays a major role in regulating neurotransmitters and attention.  Good snacks include nuts, veggies and hummus, cheese, hard boiled eggs, bean dip.
  • Avoid foods with artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.  Reactions to these and other foods can often lead to attention difficulty.  
  • Often kids skip lunch at school due to choices they don’t like or short lunch periods.  Make sure your child knows the importance of eating regularly throughout the day.  Ask your child if they are eating all of their lunch.

·         The Great Outdoors: More and more research is showing that children (and adults) have better attention, mood, and mental stamina after spending time in natural settings like the woods.  On the flip side, the more screen time, the more susceptible we are to attention and mood difficulties.  Limiting screen time and emphasizing time outdoors (even if it’s just the park) is really important.  It’s also a great opportunity to fit in some movement, which is also important in managing attention.

·         Supplements: Omega-3 oils higher in DHA, Vitamin D, B Vitamins, minerals, and some other supplements can often be very helpful.  Your doctor can help you choose the right supplements in the right dosage for your child if they are needed.

If your child is struggling in school, consider physical, mental, and emotional things that might contribute.  A child who becomes especially nervous at the beginning of the school year may be struggling with learning style more than you realize or might be the victim of bullying.  Open conversations with your child about these issues are an important part of a healthy transition back to school.  We’re here to help you have those conversations and to support your family in figuring out how to make healthy choices work in your life.

Have you and your family and friends discussed what to do upon your death? Check out Death Wise at for some great tips on how to start.
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