Sunday, October 30, 2011

Being Smart about the Natural Approach

Many people are skeptical when it comes to treating things naturally, although it seems that may be starting to slowly change.  More and more people are reporting more failures with conventional treatments and are left to look to alternative approaches to address their needs.  Since the internet is often filled with conflicting information, here are some reliable resources to set you on the right track when treating things more naturally.

Some resources worth checking out if you're interested in a more natural or comprehensive approach:

Learn about natural medicine:
  • Medline Plus - search specific herbs & supplements to find out about potential risks, drug interactions, and proven effectiveness
Find a Naturopath:
Find a doctor who practices integrative medicine:
Find alternative healthcare providers:
  • Medfinds - Enter your search criteria and find a local practitioner or therapist
Find a massage therapist:
  • Upledger Institute - click on massage specialties (ex. craniosacral, etc.) to find a practitioner

Friday, October 14, 2011

What is EFT?

EFT stands for "Emotional Freedom Technique".  It is an alternative therapy to deal with stress, PTSD, anxiety, panic attacks, and more.  It is said to be helpful for many with chronic illness.

My naturopath recently recommended EFT to help with PTSD associated with my Lyme disease.  Unfortunately, when you have multiple scary episodes (physically and/or emotionally) that do not respond to conventional treatments, you can be very traumatized by these events.  That trauma sets off a cycle of fearing the recurrence of the events.  Believe me- being in excruciating and crippling pain for prolonged periods of time (without relief by medication) can really mess with your head!  Even though I thought EFT looked a little crazy when I watched some YouTube videos about it, I still decided to give it a try.  I'll try anything at least once!

EFT is also commonly referred to as the "tapping technique".  Like in acupuncture, it taps into certain meridians, and it was actually referred as "acupuncture for the emotions" by my practitioner.  So basically, there are these points that you tap while reliving a trauma or saying a predetermined thought or phrase.  If you are working on overcoming a trauma, you start of by picturing that event before you begin tapping and you rate your emotions surrounding that event on a scale of 1-10.  Your practitioner will then guide you through the trauma going through a series of thoughts and emotions that you had during your experience.  After several rounds of tapping, you will then check back in with yourself and see if your original number has changed.  You continue this process until you have "cleared" this trauma or emotion.  Below is a diagram showing the tapping points:

Here is a site that features the above diagram and provides the various steps to completing EFT.  Below is a video that shows an example of tapping:

And here is my practitioner speaking about EFT:

Friday, October 7, 2011

Recipe of the Month - Immune Boosting Raw Smoothie

I might be a little overly ambitious for starting a recipe of the week post (and it may change to recipe of the month if I can't keep up), but I'm going to give it a try.  Mainly because I'm really trying to incorporate more vegetables into my diet and we frequently get items from our CSA share that we don't know what to do with.  This recipe serves 2-4, so I highly recommend reducing the amount of ingredients if you're only making one for yourself.

-2 apples, cored (I peel them, not sure if that is necessary though)
-2 ripe pears, cored (again, I peel them too)
-1-2 cups of water (preferably filtered)
-2 lemons, juiced
-1-2 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled & sliced
-5 kale leaves, rinsed & torn
-1/2 - 1 cup of baby spinach
-chopped or shredded cabbage

  1. Blend apple, pear, water, and lemon until smooth and creamy.
  2. Add ginger, kale, baby spinach, and cabbage and blend until smooth.
  3. Add water for a thinner consistency.  Add an extra pear or apple if it isn't sweet enough for you.
Tips & Modifications: 
*I've never used kale for this recipe because I've yet to find organic kale at a local grocery store.  
*Since the smoothie is room temperature, you might want to add some ice cubes or a few frozen berries to make it cool like a smoothie should be!  
*Don't skip the ginger- it aids your body in easily digesting this raw smoothie.

I know this might not sound like the most delicious smoothie, but I assure you it is quite tasty.  A necessity for the cold & flu season or for an every day energy boost.  The greens offer powerful phytochemicals, the cabbage is a potent food that affects many pathways in the body, ginger is a powerful anti-inflammatory, and the lemon is rich in vitamin C and bioflavonoids.