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

NEW UltraMeal Weight Loss Program

Easier + Cheaper

weight loss program at the Be Well Spa in Halifax After much research, I have decided to use a product called Ultrameal by the supplement company Metagenics. I love this product line. I used it years ago and it is even better than it was then. These shakes and bars are meant to be low calorie meal replacements. The shakes come in chocolate, vanilla and strawberry and the bars are in chocolate and vanilla almond. They do not use any artificial ingredients, are cheaper than Ideal Protein foods and when used as a meal replacement do not require any additional vitamins as they are contained in the food themselves.

be well,
Dr. Cheryl

read more about Ultrameal / read more about Ultrameal Bars / read more about Ultrameal Rice Bars

Battle the Flu

Wondering what to do about the flu? I have the following advise and remedies

Influenzinum 200 ch (homeopathic) 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.

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.

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.

ALSO … 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.

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

Is Everyone B12 Deficient?

Dr. Cheryl Lycette is now doing B12 injections at the Be Well Spa in HalifaxI like to keep learning; my latest study is Vitamin B12.  A great deal of research has gathered since I last read about this nutrient.

What I found has prompted me to add B12 injections to my Naturopathic practice. The injections cost $20 (taxes included) are are available by appointment.  Please call my office at 902/ 422-2767 to schedule your time.

Here is what can interfere with you absorbing B12;

History of candida, parasites or issues with digestion like Crohn’s or Colitis
Decreased stomach acid (a common issue with aging)
Birth control pill or hormonal replacement therapy
Daily or excessive occasional use of alcohol
Cholesterol lowering medications
Heartburn or reflux medications
Vegan or vegetarian diet
Gastric bypass surgery
HIV medications
Nitrous oxide
Nicotine use

Quite the list. That’s why I’m now left wondering, “Is everyone B12 deficient?”

Here are the health issues Vitamin B12 is known to help;

Alzheimer’s treatment and prevention
Numbness and tingling
Restless leg syndrome
Rigid or stiff muscles
Weight management
MS-like symptoms
Blocked arteries
High cholesterol
Sleep disorders
Nerve damage
Heart disease
Canker sores
Vision issues

Here’s more of what I learned about B12;

Vitamin B12 is unusual in that it is both water soluble (we pee out what we don’t need) and it can partially be stored by the liver.

B12 is only available by eating animal based foods i.e. eggs, dairy and meat, although small amounts are present in fermented foods due to the bacteria.

Vitamin B12 is in charge of the proper running of a lot of systems in the body including;  cell reproduction, blood formation,  healthy nervous system, growth of the body, carbohydrate, protein and fat metabolism.

Vitamin B12 deficiency is common due to its unique requirement for absorption. This vitamin can only be absorbed when ingested if it is able to bind onto Intrinsic Factor, which is produced by the same cell in the stomach that produces Hydrochloric Acid. Hydrochloric or stomach acid production decreases with age and often goes undiagnosed, leading to a deficiency of B12. The most profound deficiency of Vitamin B12  is Pernicious Anemia where a person is lacking Intrinsic Factor.

In Canada, Medical Doctors can test your B12 levels by a blood test and the average accepted range of normal for this test is 110 – 1100 pg/ml. This range is enormous.  To add to the inaccuracy of this test it only measures how much B12 is floating around in the blood and does not accurately reflect intracellular concentration (what is actually being used).  Years ago, in the United States, it was acknowledged that this range of normal was far too large and that many people who tested “normal’  were having very obvious symptoms of a B12 deficiency, therefore the accepted range for this test was made much smaller.  After all of my reading, I have decided to pay minimal attention to the range of normal as I want to help people achieve optimal health not just avoid a B12 deficiency.

When a person is found to be B12 deficient by the blood test, their MD will usually give them injections to bring their result back into the range of normal.  Cyano-co-balamin is the synthetic form of B12 that your MD will use for this purpose.  As the name “Cyano-”  eludes to,  this form of B12 has cyanide in it, which once injected is separated from the B12 and left for the body to remove. I am choosing to not use this form as it has preservatives that might cause a reaction and I am not comfortable with the cyanide component. Also, this form of B12 is not active and must be converted to another form of B12 to be useful (which some people in the population are incapable of doing).

I have decided to go with methyl-co-balamin which is the form we naturally make when we are able to convert it from our food. This is the most effective form of B12 and is the active form that the body uses in hundreds of metabolic pathways.  It is the fastest and longest acting form of B12 and is especially beneficial for the nervous system.  The company that I have been able to source this B12 from makes it preservative-free and it is very concentrated.

So are we all B12 deficient?  The above lists sure cover a lot of people.  If you see yourself in any of these categories, consider the following.  B12 is water soluble.  If you do not need it,  you will urinate it out in the next few days and no harm will done. Within a few hours to a few days after a B12 injection if this is what your body has been looking for,  you will have improvement.

As to how often you may need a B12 injection;  methyl-co-balamin can stay in the body for a week to a few months. It entirely depends on how deficient you are when you begin using it and how quickly you use it up.  Your body will let you know and I am happy to discuss your treatment options with you.

See you soon,

Dr. Cheryl

Pesticide traces in some tea exceed allowable limits

CBC testing raises questions about enforcement of standards

Eight of the 10 brands CBC tested contained multiple chemicals, with one brand containing residues of 22 different pesticides. Some of the pesticides found are in the process of being banned. (CBC)  … read more


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


Most Common Issues for People

Dr.Cheryl LycetteI have now been a Naturopathic Doctor for almost two decades.   These are the common issues that challenge my patients.

People do not drink enough water.  I read once that by the time  a person feels thirsty they are actually down a liter in body stores.  So waiting to feel thirsty is not optimal.   Chugging a large glass of water will just make you have to run to bathroom within a 1/2 hour.  The ideal is to sip four to six 8 ounce glasses a day, between meals.  I have seen chronic coughs, sinus issues and headaches stop when water intake has been increased.

People do not get adequate sleep.  By adequate, I mean a good amount and a good quality.  The average adult needs 7- 8 hours nightly.  The quality of the sleep is effected by when the sleep takes place.  The body naturally starts to make melatonin  at 9 p.m.  It stops most of this production by midnight.  Growth hormone, which has  a huge hand in the body’s ability to heal,  is made during moderate exercise and when a person sleeps deeply between the hours of 1 and 3 am. If you are not managing to be in a deep sleep during this time,  you have missed out on a good part of your body’s healing time.  Yes, that does mean that overnight shift work is not a healthy choice.  I have seen people get away with it for years at a time,  but no one get away with it as their main career choice as an adult, without health repercussions.

People do not eat enough vegetables.  When I sit with new patients almost everyone knows this is a problem,  however this does not seem to be a motivator.  Many of the adults guilty of this have children.  These parents are very careful to make sure that their children eat their veggies,  but they are not so careful to get their own.  Eating more vegetables gives you more energy,  better skin,  better stool and will help you maintain a healthy weight.  If you have young children you might be able to get away with avoiding your vegetables while they get theirs,  but they won’t have to get very old before they pay more attention to what you do rather than what you say and then they will be adopting your bad habit.

People don’t play enough.  Parents are so busy getting their kids off to their classes and sports events,  but make no time for their own fun.  Why do so many of us accept that when you reach a certain age, have obligations and a mortgage,  that the fun is over?  For optimal health I think it is essential for people to strive for a balance of work and play.  Go for walks,  watch a movie,  read  a magazine, catch up with friends, learn to play an instrument, dance ……

be well,

Dr. Cheryl