Allergies? Here are natural ways to cope.

pollen nose

It is spring time here in Missouri, sap is flowing, flowers are blooming, and pollen is being released.  We’ve been hibernating and now is a good time to get things moving, as stagnation can lead to dis-ease.  If we support our channels of elimination via bowel, kidneys/bladder, liver, lungs, and skin we are less likely to have immune system reactions that take away from vitality.

pollen covered bee

First, lets make sure we are taking care of the basics.

Are you pooping at least one time a day?

 

bristol stool scale

Hopefully you are around type 4.  If not, lets talk. DrTiffanieJones@gmail.com

Are you flushing toxins by drinking 1/3 to 1/2 your weight in water?

water and lake

Are you supporting liver and getting Vitamin C, Magnesium, and folate rich foliage?

Lemon-Lime-Slices-iStock.jpgMixed-Greens-2-1080x675

 

Supporting lungs by moving the body and breath?

walking in woods

Good, if we have that covered and find ourselves still suffering from those pesky allergies.  Lets stabilize those mast cells that release histamine and cause allergy, inflammation, and autoimmune conditions.

 

mast cell and histamine

For one, friendly bacteria’s/probiotics line our mucous membranes and help to prevent histamine release. Some supplement them in capsule form and otherwise via fermented foods.

It’s all a system, right? Probiotics make a great difference on our immune system, gut, and mind.

gut and whole body system

And otherwise we can stabilize those mast cells using other natural approaches.

Bioflavanoids (Quercitin)–  a potent anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory compound found in berries, citrus, onions, apples, etc.

Nettles- Urtica diocia

Helps to inhibit inflammatory pathways.

stinging-nettle-hairs-894x1024

Maybe you have had the pleasure of brushing into these, or have harvested bare handed 🙂

Or encourage breakdown of the irritants that enter our bodies.

Bromelain: Pineapple stem, taken on an empty stomach, helps to break up proteins in the blood.

Baby_Pineapple_on_Stem.JPG

And here are other cool studies on how it effects blood clotting, cancer cells, etc….

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3529416/

Here is a nice compilation of other botanical approaches to reducing inflammatory condition’s:  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3845706/

In the meantime, I will enjoy today’s rain, knocking the pollen out of the sky.

Wishing you the best of health.

Tiffanie A Jones ND

http://www.DrTiffanieJones.com

 

Elimination Diet Food Reintroductions

 

Commonly, a naturopathic doctor will recommend an elimination and rechallenge diet to those with digestive complaints or to people who are unsure why they do not feel well. Eliminating common culprits for 3 weeks maybe challenging, but it is a good place to start.  Here is a list of the common foods that cause issues for people and guidelines on reintroduction. 

  1. Decide which food group to reintroduce first.  Generally, the order does not matter.
    1. Dairy foods
    2. Wheat/gluten
    3. Citrus
    4. Corn
    5. Eggs
    6. Soy
    7. Peanuts
    8. Nightshades (peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant) if eliminated
    9. Other eliminated foods (seafood, fish, beef, chocolate, sugar, caffeine, food additives that you think you might react to…)
  2. Eat an average size portion of a pure form of foods from that food group. A pure form would mean that the food does not have additives or other ingredients that you have been omitting from your diet (e.g. sugar). Following are examples of pure foods from some of the groups:

Challenge    Food    Serving Size

Milk    Skim, 1%, 2% or whole milk    1 cup

Cheese    Any whole milk cheese without additives    1 ounce

Wheat    100% whole-wheat cereal (Cream of wheat)    1 cup

OR 100% whole-wheat noodles    1 cup

Rye, Barley    Rye crackers    3 ounces

Cooked barley or rye cereal    1 cup

 Oats    Certified gluten free oatmeal     1 cup

Citrus        Orange or orange juice (no additives)    1 medium orange or

1 cup juice

Corn    Fresh or Frozen corn     ¾ to 1 cup;    1 cob

Egg Yolk    Yolk-scrambled egg    1 egg yolk

Egg White    Egg Whites scrambled    1 egg white

Soy    Edamame    ½ cup

Soy milk (plain)    1 cup

 Peanuts              Raw or dry roasted peanuts               ¼ cup peanuts or                                    or peanut butter                        1 Tbs peanut butter

3. If you want to test nuances of sensitivity within a food group, it is recommended to expand testing to include a variety of sources.  An example would be to test cow milk cheese, sheep cheese, goat cheese.  In the wheat category, some people might also test spelt, emmer, other more ancient forms of wheat or sprouted or sourdough wheat.

4. After one day of eating from that food group, take the food back out of your diet. You will keep this food out of your diet through the end of the reintroduction phase regardless of your reaction. Observe your reactions for three days. This gives you time to notice both immediate and delayed reactions.  Write down anything that feels different from when you were in the full elimination phase of the diet.

Symptoms Table

 

Take a piece of paper and note how you feel after the first hour and any other mental or physical changes over the next 3 days.

 

5. If you do not have any symptoms after three days, reintroduce the next food group. Remember that you are challenging each group individually, so be sure to keep each food group out of the diet after challenging it even if you have no reaction until you’ve completed all food reintroductions.

If you DO have symptoms after challenging a food, stop eating that food and allow the symptoms to completely clear before starting your next challenge.   You will need to remove the food from your diet for 3 – 6 months before re-challenging to test for a long term reaction.  During this time, your health care provider may recommend dietary supplements to help promote intestinal health such as probiotics or mucilaginous herbs.

Repeat steps 2-4 for each food group.

Make sure to track your food intake and symptoms and contact your healthcare provider if you have any questions while reintroducing foods.

Best of health to you and yours,

Tiffanie A Jones ND

Dr Jones is a Naturopathic Doctor in St Louis, MO.  She is a 2014 graduate of Bastyr University in Seattle, Washington.  She returned to her home state of Missouri to provide preventative care and natural approaches to health.

You can find out more by visiting:  www.DrTiffanieJones.com

 

Scenar helps pain?

What is Scenar?

Scenar is a neuromodulation device developed by two Russian scientist (A. Revenko and A. Karasjev) for a Soviet space program in the 1980’s to prevent astronauts from relying heavily on medications in space.  It was released to the Russian market in the late 80s and to other countries in 1997. It is an electrotherapy influenced by acupuncture and massage.

How does it work?

Scenar is an electrostimulation and biofeedback device meaning that it detects signals from the body then releases variable electrical impulses based on the information it receives.  The electrical signal delivered is similar to the physiological currents in the body and creates a tingling sensation that elicits action and change.  These electrical impulses cause a release of neuropeptides.  Neuropeptides are protein-like molecules that communicate with other nerves and influence the brain. The neuropeptides reduce inflammation and therefor pain.  Readings taken by the device can help to find impeded and dysfunctional nerve impulses that result in chronic pain patterns.

Here is a video about athletes and others who have benefited from Scenar:

Here is a great summary of the numerous research studies that have been done using Scenar for many different types of diseases effecting the lungs, muscles, cardiovascular, gastroinstestinal, and urogenital systems.

http://www.scenar-revenko.ru/en/scenar/summary.htm

My experience

This modality was not apart of my Bastyr University medical training but by the time I left, clinical supervisors were intrigued by this remote control looking device.  My Senior Center shift supervisor was particularly grateful that I had this modality to help relieve people of pain as evidenced by patient follow up appointments and continued improvement. The physical medicine training provided at Bastyr University involved the use of electrical stimulation (E-stim), ultrasound, cold laser, myofascial release, massage, and craniosacral therapy.  But I found out about Scenar while at a Naturopathic gathering of elders and students.  I witnessed Dr Brandy Rose Lipscomb using it on my Pharmacology teachers shoulder.  I saw my teachers shoulder all of a sudden pop back into place as she stated with wide eyes “I didn’t do that, it was the device that made that happen” and proceeded to talk about a motorcycle injury that she experienced many years prior.  Both my pharmacology teacher and I were sold and started taking classes with Dr Brandy Rose, a country doc who was pulled from her studies at Bastyr to be a combat medic during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003-2005.  With her, I completed Level I, Women’s Health, and Sports Injury Scenar training.   Since then I have helped to relieve peripheral neuropathy, sciatica, chronic back pain, and knee injuries.  If you have pain.  I would love to help.

To make an appointment call: 314-852-9803

What to expect when visiting this Naturopathic physician.

I am a St Louis girl with a passion for plants, and after 14 years of helping people with nutritional remedies in stores around the city, I saw a great desire for a doctor who knows something about prevention and natural approaches to health.  So I faced fears and took the leap to move to Seattle Washington for 5 years of Naturopathic medical training at Bastyr University.  I have returned to my home state of Missouri which does not recognize or license Naturopathic doctors (ND). This prevents me from being able to work to the full extent of my training, such as taking blood for lab work, providing injections/IVs, diagnosing/prescribing medications if indicated, and gynecological exams, etc. Being in an unlicensed state also prevents me from being able to contract with insurance companies or Medicaid, unlike the state of Washington where I was trained.  (Medicaid also covers NDs in Oregon and Vermont.)  With that being said, it makes it hard for people to differentiate whether one has received an online degree and are calling themselves a “doctor” or have gone through rigorous clinical training which involves dissecting a cadaver to learn anatomy, physical medicine training (spinal/joint adjustments, massage, myofascial release, etc), along with many hours of classwork devoted to studying pharmaceutical drugs, botanical medicine, nutrition, even counseling, and interpretation of radiographic images.

Here is an image of the states that license medically trained NDs (in blue), pending (in brown), and unlicensed (in white).

LicensureMapBig

Even though I am unable to diagnose and treat, I can be of service by gaining an impression from what is presented along with reviewing lab work and give guidance on research based and time tested natural approaches.

Prior to the visit I ask that a thorough confidential questionnaire be filled out and returned 48 hours prior to the visit.  My hope is that a thorough diet recall is provided along with what has been helpful and aggravating in relation to a persons complaint so that I can provide fresh ideas that may not have been tried yet.  This allows for the best care and value. Unlike a 10-15 minute visit, that many are used to, with a drug prescription given in the end, I take into account diet, lifestyle, mental/emotional, spiritual, physical, and genetic components involved in health. I review the questionnaire, which is like putting together a puzzle, and then create a thorough list of recommendations.   I start with low force, inexpensive interventions, on up to referrals if necessary.   During the first 1 hour visit, I will ask clarifying questions pertaining to health goals. And during follow up half hour visits we can reassess or address anything new that comes up.

I enjoy listening to peoples life stories and it is an honor for me to bear witness while fulfilling my life goal of helping others naturally.

For further questions or to make an appointment, please contact me by writing DrTiffanieJones@gmail.com.  In the message, please provide your address, birth date, and phone number.

I am also happy to provide online consultation if you live long distance or wish to discuss from the comfort of your own home. You can click on the following link and follow the directions for online consultation via the website: www.DrTiffanieJones.com

For in office consultation you can also call 314-647-8080.  A $50 deposit will be taken prior to hold the appointment time and will be applied to the office fee or returned if changes need to be made 24 hours prior to the appointment.

Thank you for your interest in natural approaches to health and I hope to visit with you soon.

Tiffanie Jones ND

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Anxiety. Simple solutions for when the sensation arises.

Working with people in the clinical setting has shown me that anxiety, fear, and worry is a common problem.

The healing power of breath and grounding

When you feel that energy rise up from the belly to the chest and thoughts start whirling in the head……..

Stop that energy rising by feeling your feet on the ground.  Feeling the feet planted on the ground and exhaling will help to bring that energy down. Continue to take calm and clearing breathes.

This can be helpful when other peoples anxious energy permeates a room.

Visualization

I like to imagine that excess energy leaving my body through the feet, allowing it to go back into the earth to be transformed into something positive. Such as fuel for plants to grow.  I then like to imagine light coming in from my head to feet.  We all have wonderful imaginations and there are many things that we can think of to get our self back into a more tranquil state.  For instance, in the retreats that I attended to learn more about the value of ceremony, we did different journeys in our mind.  One that I find helpful to return to is sitting or laying down and visualizing myself in a safe tranquil space.

Spider Meadow

Spider Meadow, Washington

My mind takes me to the first meadow that I hiked to in Washington with a path and stream running through it.  It can be nice to return to these places in our mind to calm in times of stress.  For you it may be a beautiful beach/ocean or river that you have experienced.  The other thing that can be helpful is starting the day visualizing what needs to get done, and seeing it go well, while trying to stay flexible if things don’t go as planned.

Power stance

Another way to let that excess energy drop is by raising your arms into the air.  Take clearing breathes, letting tension dissipate, and vitality enter.  This is a good one to do in a public restroom or on a beautiful day in front of the sun 😉

Here is a great 20 minute talk about the power of the way we position our bodies.

Walking

I learned the power of this one when I would wake in the middle of the night filled with anxiety about having to perform all of the different components of physical exams.  I got myself out of bed and burned that energy off by going for a walk.  Exhaling tension and visualizing the routine needed to be perform helped me to feel more at ease by the end of the walk.

Blood sugar balance

We can’t forget that blood sugar rules if we feel well or not.  If allowed to drop, adrenaline kicks in.  The hormone adrenaline releases more sugar in the system to fight or fly.  Curb those anxiety promoting spikes by have small amounts of protein throughout the day.  Keeping raw nuts handy proves to be an anxiety buster. Start the day with a little protein, and every few hours have a small handful of nuts or meat.  Cheese is ok but not to be used for every snack.  And of course berries or apples are a great way to keep that blood sugar balanced, even though they are not a significant source of protein.  Rather than reach for drugs or alcohol, go for a little protein to provide the amino acids/building blocks for neurotransmitters to keep the brain calm and happy instead of perpetuating this uncomfortable feeling.

Rituals

Gratitude- Each day reminding one self of what we are grateful for helps to keep our thoughts positive.

Silence- Whether it has to be on the toilet or while sitting in the car, allowing oneself to let thoughts flow from one ear out the other and appreciating simple things can help relieve nervousness.

Water- Washing our hands after a stressful situation can be a way to let our concerns be carried away.

Fire- Lighting a candle in the evening can be a symbolic for burning the days troubles away.

Emotional Freedom Technique- Some use this tapping method to help ease the mind.

Here is a link if you are interested: http://www.wikihow.com/Use-the-Emotional-Freedom-Technique-%28EFT%29

Fear- Identifying it and the rational, feeling it, accepting, and allowing it to transmute.  Some may symbolically let go of the fear by blowing it onto a shell or stone and throwing it into the water.  Other ways can be writing it down, lighting it on fire, or burying it. This is a large topic maybe for a later blog.

Our mind is powerful and there are many ways to get back to a calm state.  I hope these recommendations are helpful and that we all practice those techniques before reaching for botanical nervines, pharmaceutical sedatives, or excessive consumption of food/alcohol.

May peace be with you,

Dr Jones

The Amazing Heart. How can we help it naturally?

When I dissected a human body in medical school, I was amazed to find that there actually ARE heart strings.  Seeing that reminded me of the feeling sensed during a first kiss or times of grief due to loss of a loved one.  Those strings, called chordae tendineae, are pulled by little muscles to open the valves allowing blood to be received and distributed.  The heart is made up of 4 chambers.  Two on top “the atrium” receive blood from the body emptying into the 2 lower ventricles.  The right ventricle receives deoxygenated blood and sends it to the lungs to pick up more oxygen while the left ventricle pushes that oxygen rich blood back to the body.

thermal heart image

Video on how the heart works:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHMmtqKgs50

Blood pressure, what does the numbers mean?

Normal blood pressure is said to be ~ 120/80.

Systolic (top number) is the pressure in the arteries when the heart contracts.

Diastolic (bottom number) is the pressure within the arteries when the heart is relaxed.

Here is a chart to put things into perspective:

bp chart

High blood pressure

If left untreated, small capillaries can be damaged in the eyes and kidneys.

What to do:

  • Walk at least 30 minutes per day.
  • Moderate alcohol consumption, as this can cause drops in blood sugar that result in the body releasing adrenaline to increase sugar levels.  Adrenaline causes the heart to race and makes us feel anxious.
  • Be mindful of breathing.  Many people are shallow breathers.  Training ourselves to do belly breathing helps to dilate the vascular system allowing for a drop in blood pressure.
  • Avoid processed foods that are high in sodium.  Consider the well researched dash diet that involves reducing sodium consumption to 1,500-2,300 mg/day and focusing on eating plenty of calcium, potassium, and magnesium rich foods such as fruits and vegetables. The following chart gives an idea of what to achieve each day.

dash-diet

Here is a good link for recipe ideas: http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/recipes/dash-diet-recipes/rcs-20077146

Low blood pressure:

One may feel dizzy, fatigued, depressed, and nauseous.  They can also have difficulty concentrating, blurred vision, and shallow breath.  Some causes are: dehydration, prolonged bed rest, blood loss, infection, allergic reactions, pregnancy, heart or thyroid disorders, even B-12/folate deficiency.

What to do:

-Drink plenty of water. 1/3-1/2 the body weight in ounces.

(ex 100lb person, drinks 50 oz water or about 8 cups/day)

-Limit alcohol, as this depletes folate and B-12 which results in not enough blood cells being formed.  Eat foliage/dark leafy greens everyday for the B-vitamin, folate.  Along with plenty of B-12 found in animal foods, such as meat, fish/seafood, eggs, and cheese.  It is especially important for vegetarians and vegans to get enough from food sources such as seaweed, fermented soy, spirulina (blue-green algae), brewers or nutritional yeast, and mushrooms.  There is also evidence that some friendly bacteria species produce vitamin B12 in the gut.

-Stay active, by walking at least 30 minutes per day.

-If you are experiencing irregular heart beat, excessive menstrual bleeding, blood in stool or have black tarry bowels movements, see a health care provider as soon as possible.

 

What natural things can improve heart health?

Food:

Dark berries provide antioxidants that reduce oxidative stress, this helps to keep the structure of our vessels healthy.

Garlic has cholesterol lowering properties which prevent clogging of arteries.

Nutrients:

CoQ10 is an antioxidant which helps to oxygenate tissues and diminish damage to vessels.

Omega 3 fatty acids found in fish oil, flax seed, chia seed, walnuts, and avocados helps to reduce inflammation in the body and normalize cholesterol.

Magnesium relaxes muscles.  Arteries are thicker than veins due to the muscle tissue which lines it to keep blood moving.  Magnesium promotes relaxation of those muscles, decreasing tension and thus pressure within the arteries.  Again, eat your greens! 🙂

Herbs:

Hawthorne flowers, leaves, and berries are used to increase contractile force of the heart, thus toning it.  This plant has been found safe in research studies when co-administered with other heart medication.

Motherswort is a mild sedative and antispasmodic which helps one to relax.

There are many other botanical’s that have been proven helpful for heart conditions.  See medically trained Naturopathic doctor for more information about dosing.

And finally the emotional/spiritual aspect of the heart…..

Chakras

The Heart Chakra–  In Sanskrit, “Anahata” is the fourth energy point in the body, located in the central spine between the breasts.  It is associated with love and compassion for self and others, along with charity to others.  When we meditate from this place, “follow our heart”, it helps us to makes decisions based on our higher self rather than unfulfilled emotions or desires.

theheartchakraquote

Namaste (I bow to the light within you),

Dr Jones

Eat a rainbow, you say?

Edible Rainbow

My last blog was about the important value of eating greens to help detox pathways in the body and provide nutrients to keep us happy and relaxed.  But we cannot leave out all of the other fun colors that provide other nutrients to keep us vital.  Not only do they keep life interesting but the combination of some of these colors provide us with vibrant health.  For instance, the vitamin C of citrus helps the iron found in greens to be better absorbed, improving oxygenation of the body and preventing fatigue associated with anemia.  Or the fat soluble pigment carotenoid called Lycopene found in tomatoes is better absorbed when combined with healthy Omega 3 fat of avocados.

Lets look at the valuable nutrients provided by different plant pigments:

Red, Blue, Purple

Quercetin, the bioflavanoid that stabilizes “mast cells” in our body from releasing histamine.  Find this natural antihistamine in onions, cranberries, and apples just to name a few.  The following image shows when mast cells open histamine released irritates nerves to cause itching, redness, and swelling.

mast cell

Rutin, another bioflavanoid that is found in buckwheat, fruits and rinds of citrus, as well as peaches, and mulberries. This nutrient inhibits platelet aggregation and clot formation preventing stroke and heart attacks.

Orange

Carotene’s are found in carrots, winter squash such as pumpkins, apricots, tangerines, oranges, melons, star fruit, sweet potatoes, chanterelle mushrooms, and yes again… greens.  This component makes vitamin A in our bodies, an antioxidant which reduces free radicals in the body along with cancer risk, cognitive decline, and eye diseases.

Yellow

Lutien, another carotenoid that is concentrated in the retina of the eye and processes signals to the cones/rods allowing us to see color and light.  This antioxidant prevents stress in the eye and therefor eye diseases such as macular degeneration and blindness. When warmer temperatures return, eat those lovely nasturtiums, marigolds, calendula, and pansies to ensure being able to continue seeing them in the future.

edible flowers

“Let food by thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” -Hippocrates

Happy weekend all and bon appetit!

Dr Jones