Hydrotherapy

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Beets

Beets

Transitioning into the Autumn season can be hard for all of us, and especially those of us living in the Pacific Northwest. The rain falls harder, the days get dramatically darker and colder, and the balmy evenings of seductive summer seem like a lifetime away. In many ways, our culture has drifted away from the knowledge that every seasonal change affects the body, mind, and spirit in dramatic ways – and if we don’t respond to these changes by altering our rhythm and lifestyle, we will feel off-kilter. It is not unusual during the transition into Autumn and then Winter for people to experience depression, low energy, and sickness. I see a lot of individuals in my practice who do not know to integrate seasonal changes, and that’s exactly what this post is for! When we listen to the wisdom of our bodies, we struggle less with ill health-mental, emotional or physical.  In Five Element Theory, Autumn is associated with the element of Metal. Metal contracts in from all angles, gathering in. It is associated with the Lung and Large Intestine meridians. When we have balanced and strong Metal Qi we feel organized, courageous, dignified, with inner strength and discernment of what serves our best and highest selves. Out of balance we might feel despondent, sad, overly critical or judgemental of ourselves or others. We might have trouble letting go of old grudges, or literally letting go of bodily waste (ie constipation).

 

Embracing seasonal changes is part of staying healthy and balanced. But what does that really mean?

 

First of all, it means changing your energetic patterns. While summer is all about expansive, assertive energy (think going out, being active every day, waking up early and going to sleep late, maybe partying a bit too much!), Autumn is all about taking that energy, and harvesting it for storage during the coming Winter months. We move into a natural contractive, quiet energy – the opposite of our summer lifestyle. If summer is about being extroverted, winter is all about being introverted. In Traditional Chinese medicine, summer is ruled by Yang (male) energy which represents outward action, and winter is ruled by Yin, (female) energy, representing receiving, contemplation, and calm. Autumn is the transition. Summer harvest is over, and we are making sure we have reserves to get through the dark, cold winter months ahead.

Below you will find a few tips for moving through seasonal transitions gracefully and with vibrant health: food, hydrotherapy, and essential oils.

Tonic Herbs Immune

Tonic Herbs for Bone Broth

Bone Broth with Tonic Herbs

Bone Broth- Elixir of Health

Food

It may seem obvious that your diet should shift seasonally, but for many people this change is not intuitive. The body needs to stay warm (right around 98.6 degrees) in order to function optimally, and when the temperatures outside drop, we need to make sure we are giving the body enough warmth to stay well. Regarding food, this means avoiding cold food and drinks as much as possible. Raw green juice may be perfect for Summer, but think steamed greens in broth with ginger and garlic now (Recipe HERE). Even the water you drink in winter (which should be plenty, as always!) is best warm or room-temperature, not iced. Or consider getting most of your fluids from broths or herbal teas. My Super Tonic Chia tea has warming spices and immune supporting herbs. Check out my favorite tea drinking vessels HERE and HERE. Eating seasonally is not just about using the plants and animals that naturally are around us in winter, but supporting your immune system. Here are my favorite ideas for warming foods throughout the day:

 

Breakfast: eggs and veggies scrambled, warm oatmeal or porridge, and congee (Chinese chicken and rice porridge)

Lunch: Butternut squash and elk stew, warm quinoa with herbs and mushrooms, hot soups. Slow cooked meats, braised with broth or water. Sweet potato cashew dip with ginger, garlic and turmeric for veggies 

Purple Okinawan Sweet Potato Dip

Purple Okinawan Sweet Potato Dip

Dinner: baked sweet potatoes and grass-fed beef steak, oven-roasted root vegetables with ghee. Plenty of steamed or braised hearty greens such as kale, collards, beet greens.

 

Here are three foundational guidelines for eating in the fall and winter months:

  1. Avoid cold foods.
  2. Incorporate warming (and immune-boosting) herbs: ginger, turmeric, curry, chilies, garlic, mushrooms of all kinds
  3. Broth! Bone broth is ideal for the extra nutrients it provides (collagen, gelatin, calcium, vitamins K, D, and A), but if you are vegan or vegetarian, a veggie broth is fine. Be sure to add extra minerals in the form of seaweed/kelp or mineral salt.(sign up for my newsletter and) Get my SuperCharged Bone Broth Recipe HERE.

 

Hydrotherapy for Autumn

While self-care is vital in every season to keep ourselves healthy, fall and winter are perhaps the most important seasons, during which self-care should be an absolute priority. For most of us this means keeping up immune health and warding off colds and flu. For many individuals as well, the winter months can exacerbate joint pain. We are designed biologically to go to bed when it gets dark! while that may not be realistic in some time zones, aim for early bedtimes and allow your body to sleep a full 8 or 9 hours if you can. Even those patients of mine who are active outdoors all summer we find are often deficient in Vitamin D (which we get from the sun). You might consider supplementing with vitamin D, or Cod Liver Oil (which has a good balance of vitamin D and A) during the darker months of the year.  Colder temperatures mean that our body is working harder to stay warm and to function at full capacity, so it can be easier to become ill since energy in the body is being spent warming rather than fighting infections. Hydrotherapy is one of my favorite forms of self-care year round, in the Autumn season I recommend a routine of alternating hot and cold in the shower!

Outdoor Shower at Rose Cabinet Medicine

Outdoor Shower at Rose Cabinet Medicine

If you have ever visited my clinic, or been on my website, you probably know that hydrotherapy is a foundation of my practice and philosophy. Essentially, hydrotherapy just means therapeutic applications of hot and/or cold water on your body – this can be in a shower, in the office (Constitutional Hydrotherapy Treatment) or using a sauna and cold plunge (my favorite). Alternating hot and cold water on the surface of the body boosts circulation (both blood and lymph) dramatically, which is essential for good health. It infuses your skin (the largest organ in your body!) and organs with fresh blood- increasing your white blood cell (your immune defense)  count and circulation!

 

One of the things I love most about hydrotherapy is that it is always available, and so easy to do.

How-to: One easy way to incorporated hydrotherapy into your daily life is in the shower. I recommend ending your shower by increasing the water temperature to a comfortable hot (without burning yourself, of course) and making sure to get your arms, legs, core, back, and head under the water for about 1 minute. Then, step out of the hot water and turn the temperature as far down as you can (it’s ok to start with a mild contrast- it’s still therapeutic, and you can gradually over time get used to colder and colder), waiting for it to get icy cold. Start by passing your hands, arms, feet, and legs through the cold water, and then jump in! Again, ensure that your core, back, and head all get covered. Stay in the cold for 1 minute, and take deep breaths while you do so. If one minute is too much for you, start with 25-30 seconds and build up to 1 minute. The full minute is ideal for maximum circulation boost. After 1 minute of cold, go back to hot water for 1 minute. Repeat this cycle 3 times, always ending on cold. If you don’t have time to go back and forth a few times, just end your hot shower with 1 minute of icy cold water.

It may seem counterintuitive to end on cold, since staying warm in winter is so important, but you will notice that when you get out of your shower and towel off that you are warmer, due to the increased blood circulation throughout your body. Your body will respond to the brief cold water application by INCREASING circulation to your periphery- believe me you will feel WARMER and MORE ALIVE! Also this has been studied and proven to reduce the number of colds by 50%, and reduce the duration of a cold if you do get sick.

Or come in to Rose Cabinet Medicine for a Sauna and Cold Plunge or the full Nature Cure Spa treatment!

Support Immune Health with Sauna Sweating

Sauna, Sweat, Hydrotherapy, Immune Support, Soak, Soothe

Oils

Essential Oil Diffuser

Photography by Sash Photography http://sashphotography.com

I love using essential oils on a daily basis to prevent sickness, and to bring emotional balance to the day. A great oil that supports Autumn, the Lungs, and Metal Element is Siberian Fir. Siberian Fir comes from the twig and needles of the tree Abies Siberica of the pine family. It is non-sensitizing to the skin, fabulous smelling (great in the diffuser) and also can be taken internally 2-4 drops/day (only recommended with doTERRA CPTG grade oils). Siberian Fir can be useful for someone with low self confidence, mental or emotional fatigue or burn-out. It can be helpful as a muscle relaxant/analgesic for aches and pains and stiffness which might be getting worse as the cold damp sets in. It supports the Metal Element and can ease our transition into Fall. It warms, dries, and dispels damp from the lungs and from rheumatic/arthritic joints. 

Siberian Fir doterra essential oil

 

Use Siberian Fir in combination with

Lavender for a nervous system restorative and relaxant. Restore good sleep, reduce anxiety.

Roman Chamomile for intestinal spasms, IBS, colic.

Roman Chamomile and Marjoram for muscle pain, cramping, aches.

Cypress for cough, wheezing, sleep apnea, asthma

Ways to use these oils:

In a diffuser 3-6 drops of Siberian Fir or combination

Topically in a carrier oil for ease of application over aching joints

Footbath-4 -6 drops with epsom salt

Gel Cap-2-4 drops daily (great in combination with 2 drops each Frankincense and Copaiba)

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When it comes to aging and living a happy and healthy life there’s an overload of health & wellness information out there. Wherever we turn there’s someone telling us how we should eat, feel, think, move and show up in the world.

It’s easy to get paralyzed into overwhelm when there are too many choices and too many voices.

That’s why we’ve put together a magical and transformative weekend to help you get out of stuck-ness and back intoACTION.

  • Would you like to feel more alive in your body?
  • Are you sick and tired of feeling sick and tired?
  • Are you ready to reclaim your healthy and happy mojo?

If this is you, then it’s time to find some ‘A-ha!” lightbulb moments that have you saying “Yes, this is for me!” on your path back to yourself.

JOIN US FOR A FUN AND EMPOWERING WOMEN’S RETREAT,OCTOBER 13-15 ON THE BEAUTIFUL OREGON COAST.

We’ve planned a magical weekend at the Beehive in Nehalem, OR, an adorable little retreat space complete with saunas, foot jacuzzis, rooftop deck and a warm, inviting inside space for group work.

This retreat is not simply about teaching you more self-care techniques that you can later feel guilty about not doing. It’s about getting unstuck with grace and ease. It’s about getting to actually experience what wellness feels like for you, and then helping you create a customized roadmap so you can get there whenever you choose.

It’s about learning to pay closer attention to those “Yes, THIS!” moments as you move through life.

You’ll leave feeling inspired, renewed, recharged, transformed and EMPOWERED in Body, Mind & Spirit.

Over the weekend we will:

– Help you navigate the overwhelm with ease and teach you some awesome tools to tune in to your body and your soul.

– Tell you the #1 thing you can do to start feeling better and lighter in your body and your mind – and show you some ways to actually do it.

– Connect with like-minded women, clear out some mind-clutter, create a vision for the future, plan some next steps, eat good food, drink good tea, laugh (and maybe even cry) and lots more.

– Have a sh*tload of fun in the process.

Things happen on retreat that don’t happen in 1:1 sessions or on the phone. Humans are ultimately a tribal bunch and there is real power in community and a nod of “me, too.”

HERE’S A SNAPSHOT OF THE WEEKEND:

Friday 5:30-9PM: Declare your intentions. We’ll get to know each other with some exercises that will be opening, fun and relaxing, setting the stage for more transformational work the following day. There will be room for group work and 1:1. We will do some writing, some yoga (Restorative poses that require no previous yoga experience), and a few surprises. Heavy appetizers and snacks will be provided.

Saturday 9:30 AM-5:30 PM: Get down to the nitty-gritty. How can you Pay Attention to what your body (and the Universe!) is trying to tell you as you move through your life and towards ultimate wellness? We will talk about what’s been holding you back and share several different things you can to about it. We have lots of fun exercises and experiences lined up, culminating in some visioning to help you move forward with clarity, focus and confidence. Louise will teach TRE (Trauma/Tension Release Exercises that are the bomb!) and there will be optional sauna time in the Beehive’s lovely sauna as well as reflexology and foot soaks with essential oils. You’ll be free to reflect on the day during dinner on your own or with new friends, and we will provide you with some local options.

Sunday 9:30-4:00 Moving forward. We wind up our time together with some reflection, some group visioning and sharing next steps. You’ll leave empowered with a plan and a new community to support you as you move forward on your path of wellness.

Lodging not included but there are lots of options on Airbnb and VRBO, including places in nearby beautiful Manzanita beach. We will provide heavy snacks and appetizers on Friday, a delicious family-style lunch on Saturday and our fabulous version of a continental breakfast on Saturday and Sunday.

Interested in learning more? Signing up? Click HERE!Lisa and Louise-7

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Do you remember starting back to school each fall and writing the first essay about “What I did on Summer Vacation”?

Here’s what I did/am doing/want to keep doing more and more forever and ever:

Read books- So far I have read The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead,  When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi, Nature Doctors: Pioneers in Naturopathic Medicine, by Friedhelm Kirchfeld, and Wade Boyle,  Wash and Be Healed: The Water-Cure Movement and Women’s Health, by Susan E. Cayleff, and Sherman Alexie’s You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me. I am very excited to start my friend Andrew Sean Greer’s new book Less which was just released yesterday!

Restorative Self Care Practices– For me just being in Montana is so wonderful. Have you ever seen the structure of the inside of your bones? They are very porous like a sponge. When I’m in Montana I feel that the very landscape is slowly filling up the spongy part of my bones. It is part of who I am. My very structure that keeps me upright.

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Other practices I have been engaging with: yoga, blogilates, (thanks for that one Halley Lopez!), hiking. I think the most restorative thing I have done is to sit and stare into the woods/grass/water/sky and empty my mind. That is nature cure.

Water cure- I LOVE water. In almost any form.  Well maybe not a flood. And it would be great if the garbage disposal on the sink would work so that the gross water goes DOWN the drain. But generally if I can be near/in water I am a happy person. So far I have been in the Clark Fork and Blackfoot rivers, Rattlesnake and Kootenai creeks, Lac Facile (at our rental house-after getting out of the Far Infra Red sauna that Yes, indeed I did bring with me on vacation! I mean, it’s portable!). Check out this video of me in my happy place.

Deliciousness-You might be wondering what I’ve been eating this summer? Well just before vacation I bought a new cookbook. I rarely buy cookbooks anymore, but this one has been blowing me away. It’s called Six Seasons; A New Way With Vegetables, by Joshua McFadden. Every single thing I have made so far has been stunningly delicious and healthy! Organized by what vegetables are in season it is a perfect companion to farmer’s market cooking!

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In July it’s pretty easy to eat what is seasonal, delicious, and feels good in my body! And here’s the bounty that the earth offered up the other day!

dining outside

eating the rainbow

Let’s also not underestimate the joy of eating with good friends- new and old!

Atmospheric Therapy- in the Nature Doctors book I learned about Arnold Rikli who wrote, Basic Doctrines of Nature Cure including The Atmospheric Cure where he advocates the air bath, the light bath, and the sun bath (also known as heliotherapy). He writes, ” Man (sic) is not born in clothes but is destined to live like a walking plant in light and air. Indeed, he is the noblest light-air creature on earth… Light and air, the finer fluids of life, will tremendously enhance the development of body and mind (Rikli 1896-p 62)”.  Adolph Just says, “Going naked temporarily… in the open air, in the woods, proves of wonderful benefit and efficacy and is more strengthening than any other means(Just 1903).

Watching- most of the time you will find me watching the woodpecker, the chipmunks, the hummingbirds, the butterflies, bunnies, deer. The occasional fox will trot by, or a family of wild turkeys. My friend saw a mountain lion! But because of all the outside dining with the ever growing table of guests, I was reminded of an old favorite movie- Antonia’s Line. And every now and again I will watch Lin Manuel Miranda’s video (Hamilton Mixtape)  Immigrants. Every time I hear/watch it I catch something new.

Drinking- I am loving hanging out at Lake Missoula Tea House, for their wide selection of delicious teas, and also have been brewing up batches at home. My latest delight was a white tea chai that I made really strong, then added ice and sparkling water. Amazing!

white tea chai spritzer

Another favorite beverage for these hot summer days is thanks to my friend Lisa Levine at Audacious Health and Wellness– in your quart mason jar, add a generous splash of apple cider vinegar, a couple drops of your favorite (safe for internal use) essential oil, a few drops of liquid stevia, and fill the rest of the jar with your favorite sparkling water. Tangy and sweet at the same time! It feels super hydrating and very refreshing!

Essential Oils-What oils do I find myself turning to these days? Lots of lime oil- in sparkling drinks, in ceviche, in guacamole, even in iced coffee sodas (yum!), Terra-shield both at night and during the day to keep the flies and other bugs at bay. Often I will add Cedarwood and Lemongrass to make the anti-bug effect even stronger! After a day of heliotherapy (sun) I will add a few drops of Lavender, Frankincense, and Peppermint to my unscented lotion and it soothes and heals the effects of the sun. And of course I use Past Tense, Peppermint, Deep Blue for any aches and pains after a long hike or yoga practice! If you would like to learn more about what essential oils I use, and how I incorporate them into my daily routine, shoot me an inquiry at dr.rose@rosecabinetmedicine.com and we can set up a time to talk!

Retreat/Restore/Release- Practicing and teaching TRE while I’m here has been delightful. I truly believe that if we pay attention to the basics: Eat close to nature, release stress, rest and restore, surround yourself with nature and loved ones… wellness and health are the natural state! One of the primary foundations of Naturopathic Medicine is Vis Medicatrix Naturae or “the healing power of nature.” Our job as doctors is to stimulate and awaken the Vis in each patient, so the healing can occur.

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Dr. Rose’s Perspective

The idea behind the SCD is that we want to eliminate the foods that the bacteria thrive on which consist of carbohydrates including starch (grains, beans, starchy vegetables), soluble fiber (grains, beans, vegetables, fruit), prebiotics (often added to your probiotic supplements as “food for the bacteria”, look for inulin, FOS), sugars (fruit, all added sweeteners).  While this list may seem prohibitively restrictive, as Kristy has shared it IS possible to eat beautiful, delicious, fulfilling meals with COMPANY!  Possibly 80% of IBS sufferers really have SIBO. Read more research HERE. Wouldn’t you rather know what you can do about it?  In my experience if you have SIBO you will need antibiotics or herbs to eradicate the problem bacteria along with modifying your diet.  Also important is looking to find the cause of the imbalance to begin with:  motility problems related to nerve damage or medications, gastroenteritis, diabetes.  We are learning more every day about the connection between our micro-biome and our health:  immune health, mental health, digestive health.  Using food to influence the balance of bacteria in our system is one way that we can influence every cell in our body!

Where I am Now (Kristy’s update)

I am now SIBO free!  While I’m extremely grateful and excited about this, I also realize there’s continual work and maintenance to be done.  I receive weekly hydrotherapy sessions from Dr. Rose that will have a positive effect on my general gut motility and the vagus nerve specifically (instrumental in gut health).  I’m follow a loose SCD, which means I generally avoid grains, heavy starches, lactose and sugar but can still go to a restaurant and not ask a waiter a million questions – fantastic!   I’ve begun to add a bigger repetoire of fruits and vegetables back into my diet.  Some of this is trial and error and I’m trying to balance my new found freedom with the knowledge that I am still healing and may always have a somewhat sensitive system.  My journey has been a mixture of learning, healing, and becoming a key advocate of my health.  I am grateful to be on this journey with several brilliant and caring doctors, Louise Rose being one of the most instrumental.  Her natural curiosity and scientific knowledge mixed with empathy and compassion have supported me in both my physical and emotional well being.  And lucky for me, she isn’t just a SIBO specialist but she also focuses on general health so we’ll be able to continue to work on my wellness together.  

Thank you Kristy, for introducing my patients to this area of new research and sharing your personal story.  I’m sure so many people can relate to your experiences!

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DSCN2535Celebrate the abundance of Summer!

Come join the community that has become Rose Cabinet Medicine!  Saturday June 21st 2014 from 11-5 drop in to visit, eat delicious food, relax with a foot bath, mix your own custom flower essence, and receive a shiatsu massage!  Learn about my passions: Nutrition, Brain Health, and Stress Management!  Visit, relax, and enjoy the company of others who share your interest in health and wellness.

 

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