New to The Center for Integrative Wellness
The Center for Integrative Wellness now offers Cannabidiol (CBD) oil. CBD oil reduces chronic pain, relieves anxiety, suppresses muscle spasms, inhibits cancer cell growth, reduces inflammation, and much more. It's 100% legal, safe, and non-addictive. If you are interested in setting up an account you can email me at DrNicholasMorgan@gmail.com.
We now offer a Wellness Recovery Membership. This program has several benefits including:
To sign up go to Wellness Recovery Membership
- Flat rate of $70 a month (plus $100 registration for new patients)
- $60 for each additional member in your household
- Savings of over $1200 a year
- Up to two 30 minute visits a month
- 25% off all supplements you purchase
- It is tax deductible
- You can cancel at any time
April 2017 Edition
It takes 17 muscles in the face for us to smile and 43 muscles to frown.
Prevent & Reduce Back Pain Naturally
Oh my aching back! Most of us will say this several times over the course of our lifetime. Sometimes it's a chronic issue, a deep nagging ache that impacts daily activities. Other times, it's sudden and acute and amazingly painful, the result of a "wrong move" from lifting a small child, unloading groceries, or working around the yard. Back pain affects up to 80% of Americans annually and is the leading cause of disability worldwide.
Back muscles attach to the spine, neck, shoulders, ribs and hips, which means that nearly every movement requires use of the very muscles designed to support and protect the spine. When we experience pain, it's typically from a combination of factors: structural, lifestyle, work, stress, and previous or repetitive injuries. Behaviors that contribute to back pain include:
- Sitting for too long
- Improper form while lifting objects or reaching overhead
- Failure to stretch and strengthen back muscles through exercise
- Poor eating habits resulting in a lack of nutrients that nourish muscles and bones
A holistic approach to back care addresses nutrition, exercise, supporting the body's ability to minimize inflammation, and habits that reduce stress and tension. It's important to find the cause of the pain. A physician may refer you for muscle testing, imaging of muscles and bones, as well as for physical therapy.
Get the Exercise High. Keep fit and trim with consistent aerobic exercise and strength training. Exercise releases endorphins, brain hormones that reduce pain (as long as you don't over exert). It also helps maintain healthy body weight, reducing stress on joints and muscles, particularly the back and hips. Warm up at the start, and cool down at the end of your workout to prevent injury.
Reduce Inflammation. A diet of whole foods, preferably organic, gives your body most of what it needs to fend off inflammation. Be sure to reduce exposure to environmental toxins, manage stress, and supplement with essential minerals. A turmeric supplement helps quell disease-causing inflammation; ask your doctor if it's right for you.
Consider Trace Minerals. Several minerals are key for healthy bones and muscles; these can be deficient in the soil where food is grown, leading to deficiencies in your diet. Magnesium, potassium and zinc are trace minerals that work in concert with one another. Ask your doctor about them.
Stretch out Tension. Yoga has mind-body benefits for everyone. It's a great way to keep the back strong and limber. It can help reduce pain, minimize stress, and improve functional movement of the whole body.
Quit Smoking. Research shows a significant correlation between smoking and back pain. Holistic physicians can utilize acupuncture to help with smoking cessation, which can reduce back pain.
There are many other natural remedies for preventing and treating back pain, such as water therapy, massage, guided imagery, social support, and of course, a diet rich with leafy greens and assorted fruits. Don't wait for back pain to happen to you. Make an appointment today for a back care lifestyle check-up.
Food for Thought. . .
"Neurotic behavior is quite predictable. Healthy behavior is unpredictable." - Carl Ransom Rogers
Improve Your Health With Collard Greens
A traditional Southern embellishment to soups, stews, and entrées, collard greens provide an impressive array of key vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, K, C, the B-vitamin folate, iron, calcium, and manganese. These nutrients play an important role in protecting our cells from damage and supporting the body's natural processes for controlling inflammation. Collard greens tend to be less expensive than other cruciferous vegetables so you can really get a nutritious bang for your buck. It's best to buy organic greens to avoid contamination from insecticides, an issue with conventionally grown produce.
To receive the terrific benefits of this vegetable, include it in your diet several times a week-an optimal amount would be about 6-10 cups a week. Be careful not to overcook these greens or you'll wind-up with a rotten egg odor, not to mention pungent-tasting collard greens. For cooking, slice thin strips of the greens, rinse and drain; then proceed to steam or sauté. When adding chopped collard greens to a favorite vegetable or meat-based soup/stew, stir the steamed greens in during the final minutes of cooking. You can also add collard greens to spaghetti sauce or to a vegetable lasagna recipe, in place of spinach. For a flavorful side dish, sauté collard greens with yellow onions and fresh garlic (or shallots). For a zesty salsa, combine cooked collard greens with fresh tomatoes, onions, green peppers, and jalapenos.
Sauteed Collards and Spinach
Shake up your usual selection of healthy green veggies by sauteeing collards and spinach. The robust "bite" of sauteed collards is complemented by milder spinach. Sunflower oil adds a delicate nutty flavor that pairs nicely with the garlic and lemon in this recipe.
- 4 cups fresh washed collard greens (trim off the thick stems)
- 4 cups fresh washed spinach
- 1 tsp sunflower oil
- 6-8 cloves slices garlic
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/2 fresh lemon or lime
- 1/4 cup olive or flax oil
- In a large pot or pan, heat the sunflower oil over medium heat for about 7 min.
- Add sliced garlic and saute for 5 min stirring frequently.
- Add the fresh collard greens, spinach and water; saute, stirring frequently, until wilted - about 10-15 min depending on desired tenderness.
- Remove from heat and add salt, pepper, and olive (or flax) oil.
- Squeeze the lemon/lime over the top of the greens and mix well.
Magnesium: A Multi-faceted Nutrient
For centuries, traditional healers have used Royal Jelly to address a wide range of concerns - from muscle aches to infections - longevity to virility. Today, it's marketed as a nutritional supplement, health food, and a topical ingredient in cosmetics. The theory behind this widespread use stems from the purpose Royal Jelly (RJ) serves in nature. RJ is the exclusive sustenance of the queen honeybee. In fact, worker bees produce RJ solely to feed the queen and support her larger size, fertility, and longer lifespan (five to eight years, or 40 times longer than other bees). RJ is stored in reserve cells, with as much as a five to six month surplus - one queen alone could never eat all that 'royal milk!'
Royal Jelly has many nutritive and biologically active properties that account for its use in modern botanical medicine, as well as growing interest from the scientific community. Not only is it a rich source of B vitamins, it contains amino acids, sugars, fats, and flavonoids. Of all the compounds in RJ, flavonoids are the most biologically important. They work in the human body to reduce inflammation, fight bacteria, and prevent cell damage that can lead to disease. Flavonoids also contribute to cardiovascular and immune system health. Holistic doctors understand the range of clinical uses of RJ, some of which require more in-depth scientific investigation.
There are some precautions to heed with Royal Jelly: Children, pregnant or nursing women, and anyone who is allergic to bees should consult a physician before using RJ products.
Fight Cough and Cold With Osha Root Extract
Few herbs go by as many names as Osha Root (Ligusticum porteri). This traditional Native American medicinal plant is also known as Bear Root, Chuchupate, Indian Parsley, Wild Celery Root, and Colorado Cough Root. A member of the parsley family, it has been used to treat respiratory and digestive conditions for centuries.
Osha contains antiviral and antibacterial compounds that can relieve inflammation in the bronchial tubes. It helps alleviate symptoms such as sore throat, sinus congestion, and cough, and has been used to treat bronchitis, flu, and pneumonia. Take it as soon as your symptoms appear and when you are coughing and sneezing the most. That's when it seems to be the most effective. Prepare a tea from crushed and dried Osha Root or mix root extract with honey to make a cough syrup.
Osha grows in a limited region in the U.S. so it can be hard to find in typical grocery stores. Ask for it in specialty or natural foods grocers or look for it online from a source that specializes in the herb. If you're unsure about the source, don't buy it (or pick it in the wild), as Osha leaves resemble Hemlock, a poisonous plant.
Many factors determine the appropriate amount of Osha to take, including a person's age, weight, and symptoms. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not take Osha root. Talk with your holistic healthcare professional before taking Osha Root.
Eustachian Tube Massage
It can hit anyone at any age - children and adults alike - and result in anything from mild discomfort to severe pain. We're talking about congestion, that miserable clogged headachy feeling due to upper respiratory illness, ear infection, or allergies. It's often due to inflammation and fluid in the Eustachian tube, a canal that connects the middle ear to the upper throat and the back of the nasal cavity. The Eustachian tube's job is to:
- balance pressure in the middle ear, keeping it equal with air pressure outside the body;
- protect the inner ear from nasal secretions;
- drain middle ear secretions into the area between the nasal cavity and upper throat.
When you experience congestion, a typical medical approach is to treat symptoms (e.g., with antibiotics, decongestants). A holistic approach includes natural medicines and Eustachian Tube Massage (ETM), which can alleviate congestion and the discomfort it causes by stretching the soft tissue that lines the tube. This helps reduce pressure and promotes release of fluid from the tube. You can perform ETM on yourself, or for a child.
- After washing your hands, use your index or middle finger to feel behind the ear lobe for a bony bump. With firm, steady pressure slide your finger down until it slips into a groove between the ear lobe and the jaw.
- Follow that groove down the neck with your finger, sliding down (with same steady pressure) until you reach the collar bone.
- For a child or small adult, it may help to tilt your head to the shoulder opposite the ear that you are massaging. (Ex: If massaging right side, tilt head to left shoulder)
- Repeat three to four times per side, about three times a day.
If symptoms are severe, ask your physician about the Modified Muncie Technique. This method involves massaging from inside the back of the mouth, and should be performed by a healthcare practitioner.
The information offered by this newsletter is presented for educational purposes. Nothing contained within should be construed as nor is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. This information should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider. Always consult with your physician or other qualified health care provider before embarking on a new treatment, diet or fitness program. You should never disregard medical advice or delay in seeking it because of any information contained within this newsletter.
Dr. Nicholas Morgan became a naturopathic physician to help individuals seeking safe, effective, affordable, and quality integrative medicine. Using a comprehensive approach, he reviews patient's medical history to gain insight into the underlying issues affecting their health and makes lifestyle, botanical, and nutritional recommendations to correct their imbalances. He has special interests in metabolic medicine (mitochondrial health), functional medicine, nutrigenomics, and rheumatology.