Tag Archives: Jessica Nagelkirk

Cold & Flu Prevention Tips & Tricks

By Dr. Jessica Nagelkirk

Bieler Broth

This nutritious broth is helpful during acute illness or as part of a detoxification program.

Vegetables Needed:

2 medium zucchinis

2 stalks celery

clove of garlic

1 cup green beans

chopped parsley

Chop 2 medium zucchinis, 1 cup of green beans, and 2 stalks of celery and steam until soft (about 10 minutes).  Place steamed vegetables, 3 cups of water, and a handful of chopped parsley in a blender and blend until smooth (about 1 minute).  If you like garlic, a clove or two can be added as you blend to help stimulate the immune system.

Warming Sock Treatment

This treatment acts to reflexively increase circulation and decrease congestion in the upper respiratory passages, head, and throat.  It has a sedating action and many patients report that they sleep much better during the treatment.  This treatment is also effective for pain relief and increases the healing response during acute infections. The wet sock treatment is best if repeated for three nights in a row, or as instructed by your physician.

Indications:

Sore throat or any inflammation or infection of the throat, neck pain, ear infections, headaches, migraines, nasal congestion, upper respiratory infections, coughs bronchitis, and sinus infections.

Supplies:

1 pair white cotton socks

1 pair thick wool socks

Towel

Warm bath or warm foot bath

Directions:

  1. Take a pair of cotton socks and soak them completely with cold water.  Be sure to wring the socks out thoroughly so they do not drip.
  2. Warm your feet first.  This is very important as the treatment will not be as effective and could be harmful if your feet are not warmed first.  Warming can be accomplished by soaking your feet in warm water for at least 5-10 minutes or taking a warm bath.
  3. Dry off feet and body with a dry towel.
  4. Place cold wet socks on feet.  Cover with thick wool socks.  Go directly to bed.  Avoid getting chilled.
  5. Keep the socks on overnight.  You will find that the wet cotton socks will be dry in the morning.

Check out the next post for more information from Dr. Nagelkirk on this topic!

Dr. Jessica Nagelkirk graduated this past spring from the National College of Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon as a Naturopathic Physician (ND) and is part of its 2012 – 2013 faculty.

*Learn more about Dr. Jessica Nagelkirk on our Writers page.

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How Can You Prevents Colds and Flus?

by Dr. Jessica Nagelkirk

Each winter, the influenza virus wreaks havoc on our ability to work, learn, and play.  Common symptoms of flu include fever, sore throat, fatigue, muscle aches, headache, runny nose, and cough.  The conventional approach to flu prevention includes vaccination, but there are many natural ways to boost your immune system this flu season that can be done in addition to, or instead of the flu vaccination.

Vaccination

The influenza virus is remarkable for its high rate of mutation, so your body never really gets a chance to build immunity to the virus.  Scientists use their best guess as to which new variants will appear and include them in the vaccine each flu season. The effectiveness of the vaccine therefore depends on the scientists’ ability to match the virus.  Some years it’s very effective, and some years less so.

More than ninety percent of influenza-related deaths occur among people over sixty years of age.   A new study shows that influenza vaccination in older patients is associated with a reduced risk for hospitalization and almost fifty percent reduction in fatality.  Flu vaccination is recommended in adults over age 65, persons with chronic pulmonary, cardiovascular, kidney, or liver disease, diabetes, intellectual disability, neurologic disorders, immunosuppression, women who are pregnant or up to two weeks post-partum, and residents of nursing homes.   Both healthy individuals who opt out of a flu vaccine and those at risk who do receive a vaccine can increase their chances of making it through the flu season unscathed using some natural therapies to enhance the immune system.

Nutritional Supplements

Vitamin C has been shown to inactivate the influenza virus and can aid in the prevention of influenza as well as shorten the duration and severity of infections already contracted.  Vitamin C can cause diarrhea and is usually dosed in acute situations “to bowel tolerance.”  Dosage can be repeated every few hours. You might test out 500 mg. at a time to start.

Zinc plays an important role in maintaining healthy blood cell function.  Taken at 30 mg doses for short periods may help white blood cells fight infections.  Taking zinc for longer periods, such as more than one month, leads to depletion of other important minerals so please see your physician if you need to take zinc long-term.

Vitamin A is associated with white blood cell function and maintains the integrity of mucus membranes – the front line of our defense against microscopic invaders.  Do not take vitamin A supplements if you are pregnant as high doses can cause birth defects.

Botanical
Sambucol is a proprietary preparation of black elderberries and raspberries that has been shown to inhibit replication of influenza virus.  These berries contain vitamin A, vitamin C, and many flavonoids, all of which boost immune function.

Eupatorium perfoliatum, commonly called Boneset, contains immune polysaccharides that show significant immune-stimulating effects on white blood cells.  The homeopathic preparation is the recommended form unless given by a physician.

Steam inhalations with essential oils can also be helpful, especially when the upper respiratory system or sinuses are affected.  Oregano and thyme top the list for anti-viral, anti-microbial, and anti-fungal steam inhalations.  Use 2-3 drops only, a little goes a long way in this case.

Lifestyle

Sleep is essential for keeping the immune system functioning optimally.  Adults need seven to nine hours of sleep per night to rejuvenate for the next day.  Interestingly, the timing of going to sleep is just as important as the duration.  Aim for going to bed between 9pm and 11pm for the best sleep.

Diets rich in fruits, vegetables, and quality protein are the foundation for healthy immune systems.  Avoidance of sugary or processed foods is also important for avoiding the flu and other infections.  During times of acute infections, eating simple is best.  Try the recipe for Bieler broth in the previous post.

Stress is a part of everyday life, but excessive stress can decrease our immune system’s function.  Make a point to incorporate stress management techniques into daily life, especially during flu season.  Try meditation, yoga, or deep breathing.  There are plenty of local or free online resources out there, use them!

Most over-the-counter (OTC) flu medications only treat the symptoms of the virus and don’t strengthen your immune system.  If you do take OTC medications, make sure you are also supporting your body’s natural defenses.  Talk to your doctor about the best choices for you this flu season.

*For additional tips and tricks such as the warming socks treatment and homeopathic options, check out the Health & Happiness U.P Magazine website, healthandhappinessupmag.com or Dr. Jessica’s blog, Modern Naturopath.

Dr. Jessica Nagelkirk graduated this past spring from the National College of Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon as a Naturopathic Physician (ND) and is part of its 2012 – 2013 faculty.

*Learn more about Dr. Jessica Nagelkirk on our Writers page.

This article was reprinted with permission from the Winter 2012 – 2013 issue of Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine, copyright 2012. All rights reserved.

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Celebrating Our Fifth Anniversary!

by Roslyn McGrath

Anniversaries can be a great opportunity to reflect upon and celebrate what got you there, as well as what is and what can be, and refine and recommit to your vision of what you’re celebrating as you move forward.

Five years ago, I recognized the need for a truly local wellness publication, one where community members share their expertise and insight with us, increasing our understanding of the many ways we can increase our health and happiness and the many wellness resources available locally to support us in this

A big thank you to each of our writers –regular column writers Barb Dupras, Victoria Jungwirth, Jenny Magli, Miriam Moeller, Jessica Nagelkirk, Heidi Stevenson, Steve Waller and Val Wilson, as well as all those who’ve contributed articles and photographs along the way, (see full list on p.3), who so impress me with the quality and care they bring to each article. I and our many readers get to learn so much every time!

A big thank you to all our advertisers, whose passion and purpose are a big part of what makes our community tick, and who help make presenting this wealth of wellness information possible. I think you’ll enjoy discovering more about what their big hearts and expertise gift our community on pages 10 and 11 of this issue! And please consider letting them know how much you appreciate all they do.

A big thank you to proofreader Tyler Tichelaaar for his expert eyes and mind, kind heart and helpfulness, Curtis Kyllonen for his years of cheerfully and faithfully getting over a quarter of our many copies to where they need to go, to Tom O’Connell for making our early covers beautiful, to the various photographers whose eyes for local scenes have also helped create beautiful covers, to all our print shop helpers who’ve assisted me in getting the job done right, the many businesses and organizations who’ve made a place for Health & Happiness to be easily picked up, and to my husband, Kevin McGrath, for always pitching in with whatever’s needed, whether it’s a warm hug and smile, sound advice, listening ears, great ideas, timely deliveries, inspiring, light-hearted articles or encouraging words.

And a big thank you to YOU, our readers, for all your support and appreciation. You make it all worthwhile!

It’s the support of all of you that has made it possible to cover topics ranging from cooking with rutabaga to traditional Chinese medicine, child rearing tips to overcoming writer’s block, mortgage and energy-saving advice to mindfulness practices, pet treat recipes to U.P. kayaking, long distance elder care to wild crafting and so much more; increase our distribution to 7,500 copies at over 250 locations, five times where we started five years ago, (and there are still places where we run out of copies!); and further invest in our community with donations to the Beaumier Upper Peninsula Heritage Center, Devos Art Museum, Great Lakes Recovery Centers, Hiawatha Music Festival, Huron Mountain Club Gallery, Lake Superior Hospice, Marquette Arts & Culture Center, Marquette County Health Department, Marquette Maritime Museum, Marquette Regional History Center, Medical Care Access Coalition, Northern Initiatives, Oasis Gallery, UPAWS, Upper Peninsula Children’s Museum, and Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition’s Celebrate the U.P.

Below are a few excerpts of the congratulations I’ve received on our fifth anniversary. Thank you so much to all those who’ve made a point of expressing their appreciation, whether in person or in writing!

I look forward to continuing to serve our community’s wellness information needs with high quality and creativity, as well as launching our five year commitment to supporting a different area of community life each year through increased coverage and donations, starting this year with the increasingly important issue of elder care.

So fittingly, this issue of Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine is dedicated to the topics of celebration, age and “fives” – enjoy!

Roslyn Elena McGrath, Publisher, Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine

 I want to congratulate you on your fifth anniversary of Health & Happiness. Every cover has been beautiful and the wide array of articles has provided a wealth of information and insight to readers. Your vision of a need and your willingness and excitement to fill that need has been remarkable. Here’s to many more issues! – Gareth Zellmer 

Congratulations on the 5th anniversary of Health and Happiness!  It’s some of the best reading to come out of our “far northern outpost” community.  May the coming year be the best yet; here’s to five more! – Sue Schenk Drobny 

Congratulations from Natural Connections!  We celebrate you for your commitment and passion in providing a wonderfully effective information connection between our holistic community and U.P. residents through your beautiful magazine, Health & Happiness!

Happy 5th Anniversary from Lake Superior Holistic Connection!   Your magazine is a bright light in our community!  It’s a beacon illuminating paths of possibility to those seeking natural ways to align their body, mind, spirit!  Congrats! – Diana Oman

It’s a joy, truly an inspiration to witness this evolution of Health & Happiness, how you have brought this brilliant idea, an idea that lit you up and lit us up as well, into manifestation.  I look forward to receiving this uplifting publication with its focus on our possibilities and potential, and the labor of love that you as creator, as bridge-maker, as editor, as publisher, as marketer have put into each and every issue.  It is a template for all of us, the way that you have taken a dream and made it reality, learning the next step and the next step as you’ve walked this creative path.  And look how we all benefit, what you have brought to all of us!  – Helen Haskell Remien

Health & Happiness’s Contributing Writers & Photographers, 2007 – 2012:

Leslie Allen, Linda Andriacchi, Stuart Baker, Leslie Bek, Gina Brown, Audra Campbell, Lisa Cerasoli, Joan Chadde, Pam Christenson, Amy Clickner, Stuart Cooper, Patty Cornish, Martha Crenshaw, Kim Danielson, Sarah Dean, Chuck Delpier, Sara DeFrancesco, Melinda Dollhopf, Barb Dupras, Cindy Engle, Sydney Giovenco, Lee Goodwin, Genean Granger, Kathy Harsch, Victoria Jungwirth, Kristen Karls, Kim Kee, Mick Kiaros, Virginia Kleaver, Amanda Klein, Tammy Krassick, Lucy LaFaive, Jamie LaFreniere, Betsy Little, Jeaneen Luokkala, Alanna Luttenton, Dawn Lundin, Jenny Magli, Karen Mallinger, Amy Mattson, Kevin McGrath, Roslyn McGrath, Lisa McKenzie, Brian McMillan, Kristine McPeak, Miriam Moeller, Neil Moran, Mohey Mowafy, Jessica Nagelkirk, Kim Nixon, Colleen O’Hara, Valerie Olson, Diana Oman, Marissa Palomaki, Kris Harris Pfaffle, Phil Poutinen, Gretchen Preston, Diane Raven, Robert Regis, Helen Haskell Remien, Carol Rose, Sherri Rule, Christine Saari, Jon Saari, Diane Sautter, Deb Sergey, Dar Shepherd, Mary Soper, Jennifer Stelly, Heidi Stevenson, Tyler Tichelaar, Lynn Vanwelsenaers, Cassandra Vore, Steve Waller, Nicole Walton, Fran Walters, Cynthia Whitehouse, Val Wilson, Gareth Zellmer, & Joseph Zyble.

Reprinted with permission from the Fall 2012 issue of Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine, copyright 2012.

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What Is A Healthy Way To Lose Weight?

by Jessica Nagelkirk

The multi-billion dollar weight loss industry has a dirty little secret: Dieting doesn’t work. You name the diet, there’s a book selling it and people buying it. The problem is, most diets have it all wrong. Dieting typically focuses on food deprivation, which actually drops your metabolism and makes your body want to store fat. Here we’ll explore the physiology of metabolism and some simple steps you can take to change your life for good.

The Anatomy of Digestion

In the center of the brain, you’ll find the hypothalamus, an important regulation control center for your body. Appetite for food and thirst, as well as metabolism, are all controlled by this little almond-size structure. Here, two important hormone regulators, CART and NYP, are released to control the brain’s biochemistry of hunger. These hormones have opposing effects (CART increases metabolism and reduces appetite, while NYP makes you hungry) and are in a constant battle for control of your appetite. The release of CART and NYP are controlled by events that occur in the gut.

In the gut, when you eat healthy fat or protein, your intestines release a messenger called CCK that turns on the “rest and digest” parasympathetic nervous system, allowing your body to focus all its energy on breaking down that meal you just ate. This messenger also causes the release of another messenger hormone, leptin, stored in fat cells. Leptin activates CART, telling you to stop eating.

NYP, on the other hand, is stimulated every 30 minutes by the stomach’s release of a substance called ghrelin. So why don’t we get hungry every half hour? It turns out the leptin pathway is able to override NYP’s response to ghrelin and keep you feeling satisfied. This is why including healthy fats and protein in your diet is so important for achieving and maintaining a healthy weight.

The Role of Food

A healthy diet is all about including healthy fat, fiber and protein. By eating the right kinds of foods, you can trick your brain into believing that you’re full. Eating a little bit of good fats, like a handful of walnuts, approximately 25 minutes before a meal, stimulates the production of CCK, activates CART, and helps you eat less at mealtime because you don’t feel ravenous. If you do this, you’ll be able to eat for pleasure rather than hunger.

An adequate intake of healthy fat, (around 25% of your daily calories), includes a healthy balance of omega-3, 6, and 9 essential fatty acids. Some good sources of fat include avocado, coconut, nuts and nut butters, seeds and seed butters, fish and fish oils from deep-water fish, and organic eggs.

Eating a diet high in fiber slows the time it takes food to move from your small intestines to your large intestines, resulting in increased appetite-suppressing signals. Studies show that bulking up on fiber in the mornings makes you less hungry in the afternoons. Vegetables and fruits, (especially leafy greens and apples), are an excellent source of fiber. The revised USDA food guidelines suggest each plate at mealtime to be 50% vegetables. It is recommended to eat size to nine servings of fruit and vegetables each day.

Protein gives you energy, helps burn off extra calories, and satisfies hunger. Studies indicate that a high protein diet does a better job of reducing hunger between meals than high-carbohydrate vegetarian meals. According to the Mayo Clinic, a good, lean source of protein should make up 25% of your diet. Try free-range beef, eggs, dairy, deep-sea cold water fish, legumes, nuts, wild game, and poultry.

Bust a Move

After you eat, your body has glucose available for energy. Normally, the pancreas secretes just the right amount of insulin to move the glucose into muscle cells for energy, keeping the blood sugar stable. Many overweight people are insensitive to insulin so the pancreas secretes more and more insulin in an attempt to get a response from the body. An elevated level of insulin in the blood stream encourages fat deposition and the development of obesity. Clinical studies have shown that regular exercise improves the muscles’ sensitivity to insulin and lowers blood insulin levels. When you improve insulin sensitivity, you also reduce your appetite by preventing large swings in blood sugar levels. Excess circulating insulin in an insulin-insensitive person can cause blood sugar to drop too low, causing hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia makes you hungry, even if you have just eaten a large meal. Exercise sets the metabolic stage for weight loss to occur by controlling your blood sugar.

In addition to its effects on insulin, regular exercise can increase good cholesterol, reduce triglycerides, lower blood pressure, and have a positive impact on bone density.

Get Started

Here are some tips for applying the knowledge you now have about the physiology of metabolism.

Know where you’re starting. Get off the scale and pull out a tape measure. Studies show that waist circumference, not overall weight, is the most important indicator of mortality to being overweight. Measure at the point of your belly button. Measurements over 37 inches for females and over 40 inches for males indicate an increased risk to your health.

Eat before you’re famished. Eat a healthy balance of fat, fiber, and protein at each meal. Try using a nine inch plate if portion control is difficult for you.

Identify food sensitivities. Although the relationship between food sensitivities and body weight remains uncertain, according to research, chronic food allergies may lead to overeating, resulting in obesity. If you believe food sensitivities may be playing a role in your weight gain, contact your physician to talk about food allergy testing or an elimination diet.

Learn stress management techniques that work for you. NYP, the chemical in the hypothalamus that decreases metabolism and increases appetite, is a stress hormone. This may explain why some people in chronically stressful situations tend to gain weight.

Eliminate high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Your brain doesn’t recognize HFCS as excess calories or as a NYP suppressant. It may contribute to weight gain by both making you hungry as well as unable to shut off your appetite.

Exercise. In order to gain minimal health effects of exercise, you will need at least thirty minutes of aerobic activity at moderate intensity on most days, preferably all days, of the week. It’s important always to listen to your body and increase or decrease your exercise accordingly. Strength training is an extremely important aspect of exercise and should not be neglected. Work with a personal trainer, physical therapist, chiropractor, or your physician to come up with an exercise regimen right for you.

Every person is unique, Naturopathic physicians expect the reason for weight gain to be equally individual. Before starting any weight loss plan, consult your doctor to make sure your weight gain isn’t from a medical condition that requires treatment other than lifestyle changes. Implementing healthy lifestyle habits will not only help you shed those unwanted pounds, but also help you have more energy and less risk for serious medical conditions.

For more information on dieting, including low carb diets, the danger of yo-yo dieting, and more, visit my blog at http://modernnaturopath.blogspot.com/ and click on “weight loss”.

Jessica Nagelkirk, medical student at National College of Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon will graduate in the spring of 2012 as a Naturopathic Physician (ND).

Reprinted with permission from Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine, Spring 2012.

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Why. . . Aesthetic Medicine?

by Jessica Nagelkirk

While they might have only been for movie stars in the past, today cosmetic surgery and anti-aging medicine are booming.  The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery reports almost 9.5 million cosmetic procedures were done in 2010, costing consumers $10.7 billion. That’s not including the countless anti-aging products on the market, often referred to as “cosmeceuticals,” promoted as being more powerful than regular cosmetics.  We’re going to look at the motivation behind all of this spending, the physiology of aging, and some of the unexpected health benefits of aesthetic medicine.

Fine Lines & Wrinkles
Collagen is the main structural component of skin, acting as its glue and structural support. UV light is known to damage collagen, reducing the amount and causing the formation of microscopic contractions that appear as wrinkles. Oral and topical use of antioxidants can provide a good supply of nutrients to the skin that help protect collagen from damage.  Supplements that increase collagen production and reduce damage include:

– Vitamin C Orally:  1,000- 3,000 mg daily
– Vitamin C Topically:  Preliminary evidence shows that the product Cellex-C High Potency Serum reduces fine lines, wrinkles, and roughness, and improves tone.
– Exfoliation using sugar or salt scrubs that contain alpha-hydroxy acids
– Green Tea
– Glucosamine: Popular for arthritis due to its ability to help regenerate connective tissue.  In   skin, it re-generates collagen.
– Vitamin A Topically:  May cause irritation, so use with caution

It is commonly known that increasing intake of antioxidants has widespread benefit throughout many systems of the body and is much more than skin deep, reducing damage to tissue ranging from arteries to brain tissue.

Estrogens are noted to increase the thickness of the skin and promote hydration, creating supple, smooth skin.  A decline in estrogen during menopause is associated with the thinning of the skin, loss of moisture retention, and accelerated aging.  A side effect of hormone replacement therapy is often skin benefits, but there are many negative side effects to this therapy so it is seldom used for its skin benefits alone.  Topical estrogens and phytoestrogens (from plants), however, may have a role in cosmetic applications.  Rodiola, Panax, and Cimicifuga are the best herbs to consider for providing phytoestrogen support to the skin and entire endocrine system without the negative effects associated with estrogen therapy.

Laser therapy may be used to resurface the facial skin.  However, it can be used to kill only the most superficial living skin, which will then flake and shed like a sunburn, revealing younger, temporarily less wrinkled skin.  The results are not dramatic but are pleasing enough to a large number of people that the practice and specialty is growing.

Soft tissue fillers and injections are another cosmetic option.  The difficulty is that the skin does not usually leave such injected materials alone, and they are slowly broken down, so repeated injections are needed.  These treatments also come with some risks, like infection and tissue death.

Light & Heat Energy, (LHE), is a device that delivers gentle pulses of light and heat energy to activate the body’s natural healing ability.  For its wrinkle reduction benefits, it creates mild thermal damage to skin cells that triggers a wound-heal response and new collagen is produced.  This action occurs over a period of a few weeks to a few months, leading to improvement in skin texture and smoothing of fine lines.

The above therapies can be extremely expensive, usually costing well over $1,000 for a series of treatments, so maximizing the skin’s ability to maintain its new, younger appearance is a great motivator for a more healthy lifestyle, and it’s a great way to protect that investment!

Sun Spots
Sun spots have been shown to respond well to laser and light therapies like LHE.  These therapies use light and heat to damage the darker pigmented cells, causing them to die and be brought to the surface of the skin where they are sloughed off.

Topicallly, axelaic acid is noted to inhibit the synthesis of melanin and can be useful for hyperpigmentation disorders.

Spider Veins
Veins contain one-way valves that help encourage blood to flow back to your heart, against gravity.  Spider veins form when these valves stop working properly, allowing blood to pool and dilate the veins.  Spider veins, also known as varicose veins, are the most common vascular disease in the U.S., affecting up to 60% of adults.

One often successful treatment for small spider veins, sclerotherapy, involves injecting an agent into the vein that damages the lining enough to shut the vein down, directing blood to a deeper vein on its path back to the heart.  No anesthesia is required and it has been reported to achieve improvement in 80-90% of cases.  Deeper spider veins may require the use of lasers or surgery to remove the dilated vein.

Some natural therapies that can improve vascular stability include compression stockings, ranging from 18 mmHg to 50 mmHg;  horse chestnut tincture, applied externally;  1/2 tsp. daily of hawthorne solid extract; and regular intake of Vitamin C, flavonoids and antioxidants.  (Are you seeing a pattern here?)

General Skin Care
The basic anti-aging protocol is to cleanse, protect, and nourish your skin daily.  Wash your face with a natural, gentle cleanser twice daily.  You can mist your face with an herbal or green tea toner for topical antioxidants.  Apply almond, coconut, or jojoba (pronounced “ho-ho-ba”) oil topically in the morning.  Of these, jojoba is the most similar to natural facial oils.  Also apply a good sunscreen every day and use a makeup that contains sunscreen.  (See What is the Best Sun Protection for You in the Summer 2011 issue of Health & Happiness for ingredients to avoid, or go to http://www.skindeep.org.)  Before bed, wash your face and apply toner. Moisturizer is not recommended, as it decreases your body’s natural production of oil, which is important for protecting against wrinkles.

Consider following an anti-inflammatory diet, For more information see Dean Ornish’s book  The Spectrum, or Dr. Jessica Black, ND’s The Anti-Inflammation Diet and Recipe Book.  Eat five to seven servings of vegetables and fruit daily, focusing on brightly pigmented foods that provide antioxidants and flavonoids.  Sleep at least eight hours per night in a dark, cool room to maximize tissue repair, which happens during deep sleep.  Exercise regularly to improve blood flow and the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to your tissues both inside and out.  Drink at least 64 ounces of water daily to support and improve your body’s ability to remove toxins.  Start each day with a full glass of water before breakfast and drink water throughout the day.  Cod liver oil provides omega 3 fatty acids to reduce inflammation and support healthy cell membranes.  Proper nutrition and self-care are critical adjuncts to aesthetic medicine.  Consult with your physician to formulate a plan that suits your individual needs.

When people feel good about how they look on the outside, they are often more motivated to take care of their bodies on the inside.  This is the reason that I, as a naturopathic student, have become an advocate for aesthetic medicine.  By taking care of the body on the inside, patients can make the expense and effort involved in these cosmetic procedures worthwhile.  That motivation for improved self-care through better nutrition, more exercise and adopting many other healthy activities, in addition to supporting a person aesthetically, decreases her chances of suffering debilitating medical conditions as she ages.  The connection between looking good and feeling good cannot be separated, and perhaps all the money spent on aesthetic products may not be as frivolous as some may think, due to the improved wellness associated with the healthier lifestyle it encourages.

 Jessica Nagelkirk, medical student at National College of Natural  Medicine in Portland, Oregon will graduate in the spring of 2012  as a Naturopathic Physician (ND).  View her blog at http://modernnaturopath.blogspot.com/p/medicine.html for more articles and resources about natural medicine.

Reprinted with permission from the Fall 2011 issue of Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine.

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