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Spring Cleaning with Acupuncture

Dr.Cheryl LycetteSpring is the perfect time of year to cleanse your body from your winter hibernation and get everything working efficiently so that you can fully enjoy the warmer weather.

I’m now offering Acupuncture for Detoxification & Organ Balancing.

In this 40 minute session, I will use various Acupuncture points to balance all your organs.  As well, I use “cupping” on your back and shoulders to stimulate circulation and detoxification that has the added bonus of decreasing muscular tension.

Although one session can make a great difference, for maximum effect I recommend three sessions in a row, with one week between each session.  Each session costs $90 and I provide a receipt for health insurance re-imbursement.

If you are having seasonal allergies please make sure to let me know as there are a few points that I can add to help.

be well,

Dr. Cheryl

Boost Brain Health with M.I.N.D Diet

The MIND diet (Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay) is a hybrid of the heavily studied heart- healthy Mediterranean and DASH diets, with modifications based on scientific literature and data specifically relevant to nutrition that benefits the brain. The MIND diet has been associated with improved cognitive thinking and has shown to both lower the risk and slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease
– the leading cause of dementia.

Through cognitive assessments such as episodic memory, working memory, semantic memory, visuospatial ability and perceptual speed, researchers found that those following the MIND diet significantly lowered their risk of Alzheimer’s dementia (AD). Those who strictly followed the diet cut their risk by 53%, while even those who stuck to the diet moderately well still reduced their risk by 35%.

The MIND diet is centred around natural, plant-based foods, with a focus on brain- healthy whole foods, such as berries and green leafy vegetables, and a limited intake of animal-based and saturated fats.

Limit “unfriendly” brain foods – the less the better

• Butter/margarine – less than 1 tablespoon butter/day, avoid margarine
• Fast or fried food – less than once/week
• Red meat – less than 4 times/week
• Cheese – less than once/week
• Pastries and sweets – less than 5 times/week

Is fruit considered brain-healthy?

Fruits, a common recommendation in heart-healthy diets, haven’t been shown to slow cognitive decline or prevent dementia, with the exception of strawberries, and especially, blueberries. Other than eating berries at least twice a week, the MIND diet does not include recommendations for other types of fruit.

Components of the M.I.N.D Diet

Green Leafy vegetables – at least 6 servings/week (1 serving = 1/2 cup cooked or 1 cup raw)
Other colourful vegetables – at least 1 serving/day (1 serving = 1/2 cup cooked or 1 cup raw)
Berries – at least 2 servings/week (1 serving = 1 ounce, about 1/4 cup)
Nuts – at least 5 servings/week (1 serving = 1 ounce, about 1/4 cup)
Legumes –  at least 4 servings/week (1 serving = 1/2 cup cooked)
Whole grains – at least 3 servings/day (1 serving = 1 slice 100% whole-grain bread; 1/2 cup cooked brown rice, quinoa, whole grain pasta or oatmeal; 1 cup 100% whole grain ready to eat breakfast cereal)
Fish – at least 1 serving/week (1 serving = 3 ounces cooked)
Poultry – at least 2 servings/week (1 serving = 3 ounces cooked)
Olive oil – use as your primary cooking oil
Wine – 1 serving/day (1 serving = 5 ounces)

Custom Blended Remedies for Everyone

In the 23 years that I have been seeing patients, I have gathered a wide range of remedies that I trust and recommended wholeheartedly to patients.  Starting now, I will be making many of these remedies available to everyone, not just patients. Dr.Cheryl LycetteOver the next few weeks, I will be adding new information on my website and sending out newsletters so you will know exactly what is available.  My many custom capsule formulas will be available for you, your friends and your family; as well, you can have custom combined herbal tinctures and Bach Flower remedies.  This allows you and the people dear to you to have a remedy made for your exact needs and you can have confidence in the quality of what you are buying.

be well

Dr. Cheryl

Battle the Flu

In the last few weeks, there have been a lot of patients suffering with the flu; I have some advise and remedies.

Influenzinum, a homeopathic remedy, can be used to prevent the flu. Take two pills dissolved under the tongue once monthly, from September to May. Up to two more doses may be used, at any one time, if exposed to the flu. Many people find this to be equivalent to the flu shot in effectiveness. (90 pills / $12)

Echinacea, if it contains both the Angustifolia and Purpurea forms, is strongly antiviral. The preferred form is tincture and for an adult, 20 drops is the typical dose. ($20 / 50ml.)

There are three main ways to use echinacea.

To prevent – if you are surrounded by sick people and waiting for your turn, take Echinacea twice daily.

If fighting – on the first sign that you are fighting something take it every one to two hours.

If sick – If you are feeling off for a day, assume that you have the virus and use the Echinacea four times daily.

Using Echinacea while sick will shorten your illness and make sure that you do not acquire a secondary bacterial infection.

Keep your dairy and sugar consumption low, if sick or trying to prevent getting sick. They both lead to extra mucus, which is a great breeding ground for viruses and bacteria, and sugar suppresses immune function. Many people increase intake of fruit juice for the vitamin C, but the amount of natural sugar in this can also decrease immune function. Stick to eating the actual fruit.

The Chinese remedy Yin Chiao is excellent for the early stages of a viral infection. It is specifically helpful when chills and nausea, are present. Take four pills three to four times a day. (120 pills / $7)

be well,
Dr. Cheryl

Spring Clean Your Body

The idea of cleansing or detoxifying the body has been around a very long time and is a big part of where the foundations of Naturopathic medicine come from.

Fasting is very old school and basically where people do not eat at all and only drink water .  At this point this is far too dangerous as we are all too toxic,  except for the rare instances where someone is in medical care and monitored.

What you can reasonably look at is a cleanse, which is also a type of detoxification.  Where you are changing some of your intake to make it cleaner and easier for your body to use.

In my practice once someone is well I  suggest doing a cleanse,  once to twice yearly,  typically at the change of season to keep themselves healthy. This is based on the idea that one of the main reasons that the body becomes unwell is that it becomes overwhelmed with the toxins that we come into contact everyday in our food, water, air and on our skin and can then not perform it’s normal functioning.

The most common times to do a cleanse are during the fall and spring.  In Chinese medicine the fall is when the lungs or immune system are at their weakest and the spring is when the digestion and liver function are weaker.  By doing a cleanse during these times you can strengthen these parts of the body.

The spring in Chinese Medicine is ruled by the liver and gallbladder. The health of the liver shows itself through the health of the eyes and vision and also through the bowel movements.  When the liver is overwhelmed and under functioning, symptoms that can show themselves include;  seasonal allergies, constipation or diarrhea, bloating, red or tired eyes,  worsening vision, skin outbreaks of rashes or acne and overall sluggishness.

Foods and spices that I would suggest increasing for a Spring cleanse include; curry, cayenne pepper, ginger, black pepper, dark greens (cooked or raw),  the stinky vegetables like; broccoli,  cauliflower, brussel sprouts, cabbage, asparagus and  also  beets, garlic and onions.

A really great mild way to strengthen digestion and also the efficiency of the liver is to have the juice of 1/2 a lemon unsweetened with water in the morning, 15- 20 minutes before breakfast.

The following are a few more things that you can do during this cleanse and in general as daily practices to encourage different parts of your body to function more efficiently.

Something that can be helpful for your lymphatic system is dry skin brushing.  Using a dry facecloth or something more abrasive like a loofah sponge,  use light brisk strokes always heading toward your heart.  Your skin will feel warm or look pink as a sign to let you know that you have done enough.

Epsom salt baths are fantastic at not only helping with achy muscles but also encouraging toxins to be eliminated through the skin and therefore giving the liver and kidneys less work to do.

As long as sugar is not in the first 3 ingredients of a food do not be concerned.  It is best to avoid artificial sweeteners like Aspartame as they make the liver work harder which in part is what we are trying to avoid with a cleanse. Stevia or agave syrup are great substitutes for sugar and have a balancing effect on the glycemic index.

Like when I mentioned that one of the main reasons it is believed that we get sick is being full of toxins, another is that our body has chronic inflammation (unlike acute) which causes irritation to our tissues and has the ability to turn genes on that we inherited from our kin, then expressing illnesses that our family is prone to.  By keeping blood sugar stable, we avoid chronic inflammation of the tissue. Besides keeping sugar and most other sweeteners low in our diet the other two main ways to keep blood sugar stable is by having close to 30g daily of fiber and having protein almost every time we eat (12- 15g for a snack and 25- 30g for a meal).

Our liver is our main organ of elimination.  Alcohol, along with caffeine and aspirin are the only substances that we ingest that do not need to be digested before they are used.  They are actually able to be absorbed directly into the stomach lining and then go  straight to the liver.  Ever notice how quickly you feel alcohol if you have some on an empty stomach?  Anything that get’s absorbed into the body that quickly makes it work harder.

When I talk about avoiding caffeine, this includes the obvious coffee and black tea but also,  green tea, white tea and chocolate.  To help you avoid caffeine withdrawal the tea yerbe mate is great and contains a chemical called mateine which binds with our caffeine receptors so that our body thinks it is getting caffeine. It provides a bit of a lift but is easier to process and non-habit forming.

Something to keep in mind if you are feeling run down now or in the future when you are considering a cleanse,  is that there are times when it is not suitable to cleanse.  The body either wants to be strengthened or cleaned.  And strengthening is always done first. If you are considering doing a stronger cleanse than mentioned above you might want to consider coming in to see me so that I can not only make sure your body is ready but also give you advice regarding the best one to choose.

be well,

Dr. Cheryl

Let Me Help

I have been a Naturopathic Doctor for over 20 years and had the honour of being the  Valedictorian for my graduating class and received the Most Compassionate Care Giver Award.

I am founding member of the Nova Scotia Naturopathic Association and served as vice -president.   In 2009, I was presented by the Canadian Progress Clubs with the Woman of Excellence Award for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

Frankly, Naturopathic Medicine works or I wouldn’t be doing it.  It greatly addresses disease, however, it really shines in the grey areas where thankfully you are not diagnosed with a disease and all tests are normal, however, you just don’t feel well.  Medical Doctors are trained to manage the disease process, however, when their tests show all clear they typically have nothing to offer you for help.

The human body is beautifully adaptive which is a mixed blessing.  In my 20+years in practice, I have seen people be able to come back and heal from very serious situations.  The problems arise when there is an imbalance happening for an extended time.  After a few weeks of a body system having problems with its functioning, other systems in the body will start to over-function in an attempt to compensate.  This makes the imbalance worse and tends to create a major challenge for the body to attempt to heal itself without assistance.

The symptoms that the body gives are its’ language to let you know that something is wrong.  Are you always listening to what your body is saying?  If you are like most people the answer is likely “No”.  You likely aren’t listening to your body due to busy full days and generally being accustomed to feeling sub-par and may have forgotten what “good” feels like.

Here are some BODY CHECK questions: YES or NO

Feel rested after a night’s sleep?
Take longer to heal than you think you should?
Have energy to do everything that you have to and want to do?
Symptoms with your menstrual cycle?
Have a sex drive?
Have anxiety?
Get every cold and flu going around?
Skip days with bowel movements or have constant loose stool?
Bloat? or have an excess of flatulence or burping?
Feel like your food does not agree with you?
Have trouble losing weight?
Think your body is aging faster than you would expect it should?
Miss many work days due to illness?
Your health is getting in the way of you living the life that you want?

How did you do?  Is your body trying to tell you something?  Ideally your body should just be the quiet vehicle for your mind and spirit.  Any less than this and things are not as good as they can be.

Let me help.  I am a very good listener and skilled at discovering the intricacies of why you feel the way that you do.  I will not just cover up your symptoms; I will get to the core of what your body needs.  I will do my best, quickly and without side effects, to have you feeling vital and energetic.

be well,
Dr. Cheryl

To make an appointment, please call 422-2767