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...
Join Naturopathic doctor Louise Rose and learn why we get allergies, and what we can do to bring our bodies back into balance. Learn some simple tips for managing symptoms while you do the deeper work of getting to the root cause. Naturopathic Physician and owner of Rose Cabinet Medicine in Portland Oregon. Dr. Rose grew up in a family who valued food as medicine. Cooking and eating together was integral to family life. During her years as a chef she learned to cook with the seasons, and more importantly how to provide deep nourishment on many levels. Out of her lifelong interest in nutrition and nurturing folks developed an abiding passion for natural medicine. Central to Rose Cabinet Medicine Hydrotherapy and the sauna, cold plunge, and tepidarium where patients come for renewal and to rediscover what wellness feels like. Additional treatment modalities include LENS neurofeedback, Shiatsu Massage, Cranial Sacral Therapy, TRE®, Botanical medicine, and Essential Oils.
This class is open to all! This event will be ASL interpreted.
Using Essential Oils for Moving and Harmonizing Qi for Vibrant Health Join Louise Rose, ND in a fun and experiential workshop. We will match essential oils with acu-points. Learn about the fragrance energetics of her most commonly used oils, and how to apply them on acu-points to circulate and harmonize the energy of the body, mind, and Shen. You will go home with protocols you can start to use right away-on yourself or with your patients.
They are stuck in an endless loop of hating themselves. They feel at war with their body; wishing they felt smaller, thinner, bigger, a different shape, stronger, less pain, more sexy.
They tell me they are tired of putting their needs last; after the husband, the kids, the boss, the inner critic. "When will it be time for me?"
I hear, "I am craving more. I just wish I knew what."
If you can relate to any of this, check out our program: Yes, THIS! 4 Weeks to Ultimate Wellness
In four weeks you will make peace with your food, learning what to add in, what to leave out, and how to stop relying on willpower and learn to listen to what your body needs.
We hope you will join us for Yes, This! 4 Weeks to Ultimate Wellness.
Say Yes,THIS! to yourself today.
My husband is a teacher, and I spent so many years in school, and with kids going back to school, that late August will always feel like "back to school" time. We also have a lot of late August birthdays in our family. Right about now I start longing for more structure, fewer parties, more vegetables, fewer cocktails, more yoga, fewer late nights. Don't get me wrong: I love our summers of fun! It's just time for a correction. I know I am not alone in this shift! I am a big fan of self-care routines- which I didn't realize were a "thing" these days. There are so many different ways we can "add health" to our daily routines it can easily become overwhelming. One way I manage the overwhelm is to make short term commitments to a routine- 30-40 days- and then re-evaluate. Do I love it? How do I feel? Did I notice a difference? Is it sustainable? Do I want to keep going or start a new routine? My plan: 40 days of the same Kundalini kriya
New supplement routine focusing on immune support: Daily Nutrient Pack, extra Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Olive Leaf, Reishi mushroom
In bed by 10 pm (or earlier)
Did you notice... one of my philosophies of health is that it is easier/better/more effective to ADD health to the system rather than take things AWAY. Notice I did NOT say, I'm going to cut out all sweets, alcohol etc. Or do an elimination diet. Or say NO to all social invitations. But the focus of my routine will help me find my way back to feeling centered, good in my body, rested, energized, all those things that naturally lead to making better decisions about when and how much to indulge.
I got the idea of a 30 day new "routine" from my niece Amelia when she was living in Portland, and also from Gretchen Rubin's book The Happiness Project, which is also a great read and wonderful resource for embracing new healthier habits.
I'd love to hear about any "back to school" changes in routine that are working for you!
Kristy combines nutritional therapies, lifestyle education and counseling to assist her clients in achieving optimal health and wellbeing. Having personal experience with a debilitating illness she appreciates how nutrition and wellness therapies support us in healing. She is passionate about sharing her insights and expertise in cooking, nutrition, health, and mind-body therapies.
Kristy holds a Master’s of Science degree in Holistic Nutrition. She strongly believes in using food as medicine and that therapeutic diets should be satisfying and delicious. She understands food is most therapeutic when it is organic, local, whole and enjoyed in community. Kristy customizes therapeutic diets to each individual, depending on their specific tastes, belief systems and health needs.
She is certified as an Embodied Life Teacher and believes that being present and feeling whole leads to healing. Kristy earned her certification as a Feldenkrais Practitioner in 2007. Kristy honed her skills in the kitchen at the upscale Berkeley restaurant Lalimes. She now utilizes her cooking experience as a Therapeutic Chef for clients who are making dietary changes.
Kristy’s focus is on supporting gastrointestinal health through nutrition and other therapies. Healthy gut bacteria leads to vitality and wellness but an unhealthy gut can contribute to a variety of conditions such as SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth), obesity, diabetes and autoimmune conditions.
Kristy offers a variety of specialized holistic wellness services and if you are interested, you can SCHEDULE HERE.
Join me and Naturopathic doctor Josie Schmidt to learn about using essential oils to support your body's detoxification pathways! We will cover who should cleanse, how, and why. We will discuss the difference between a "cleanse" and a "detox." Go home feeling inspired and informed!
126 NE Alberta St
Portland OR 97211
7-9 PM April 13th 2015
If you cannot make the live event look here for the recorded webinar
a week or two after the live event.
With spring equinox right around the corner, and the early sunny weather that we have been having in Portland, daffodils are out, magnolias are blooming early, my vitamin D levels are rising, and my thoughts are turning to new beginnings. While I didn’t study acupuncture in school, I did study shiatsu, auricular therapy, and now am learning Aroma Acupoint Therapy which is a beautiful marriage of my love of essential oil therapeutics with the theory and energetics of Chinese Medicine. I am grateful to my teachers Diane Del Reyes, Peter Holmes, and Tiffany Pollard for this beautiful and effective therapy. Using Aroma Acupoint Therapy in my practice is teaching me more about the energetics of the seasons.In Chinese Five Element Theory, Spring brings rising Yang Wood energy. After the dark, yin winter when plants have been preserving their energies, spring is a time of new growth, buds, shoots, upward motion. The wood element is associated with liver and gallbladder organs which are in charge of strategic planning, and judicious decision making energies respectively. So spring is a time of new energies bursting forth, ideally with some vision and planning to guide the energy. What happens if there is the upward surging momentum and nowhere to channel that energy? In this case someone might feel agitation or irritability; anger is the emotion associated with a liver out of balance. What can we do to support this transition from winter to spring, to align ourselves with the natural up and out energy of nature, and to use this momentum for planting seeds for our envisioned future with the confidence to push forth? Can we allow ourselves to engage in a surge of newness and hope?
Living in harmony with Spring/Wood
- Take walks outdoors. Feel the sunshine, notice the new leaves, shoots, and blooms.
- Spring Clean your house! Make room for fresh air and energy to circulate, clearing out stagnation and allowing space for new ideas, people and things to come into your life.
- Spring Clean your body! Focus on foods that support the liver: Green leafies, especially bitter ones (endive, romaine, dandelion greens). Citrus fruits. Diakon Radish. Artichoke.
- Fragrance energetics: White Fir (to center and stabilize qi), Bergamot oil on ear shen men point (provides balance, and perspective), Blue Tansy (in Balance blend), Clary Sage (also found in Clary Calm blend, Lavender, or Marjoram (to circulate and smooth qi that may be bound up). Click Here to Buy Essential Oils from me. Diffuse in your house, use on your body or in your bath.
- Passion Planner This is what I've been using for goal setting and long term vision work, and to track my progress.
- 5 minute journal Another great tool to help create the life you want
- Come in for a treatment Experience and Aroma Acupoint treatment, Shiatsu Massage or Nature Cure Spa treatment to keep that qi flowing!
I know that I can feel movement stirring me to strive forward with my vision. I love witnessing my patients reach toward their passions. It's an exciting and challenging time of transition!
There is a lot of news these days about the dread flu going around. I’m not here to parse myth from fact, but I do have a delicious soup recipe for you! There are many immune stimulating reasons to eat this soup and I hope you find it as calming to your fears as it is nourishing to your body!
It is not necessary to make your own soup stock, but I did, and I threw some things in there that are good for the immune system, so I will share them with you.
- Onion cut into quarters (I don’t peel it because the peel is rich in a flavonoid called quercitin)
- Garlic: a handful (garlic and onions both enhance the activities of our white blood cells which fight viruses)
- celery: 4-8 stalks
- carrots: 3-6
- tomatoes: 4-5 (I used Romas)
- zucchini: one cut into chunks
- Mushrooms: Dried Shitake, Miatake, Reishi
- 2 bay leaves, small handful of peppercorns, fennel seed
- 6 slices of dried astragalus (an antiviral herb)
- 6 slices of dried burdock root ( a tonic)
- 6 slices of dried licorice root (an antiviral herb)
- small handful of kelp
- Bones from an animal that had a happy life (chicken, beef, pork)
- Splash of organic apple cider vinegar (helps pull the minerals from the bones into the broth)
Put all the vegetables, bones and herbs in a large stainless steel pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer for 12-48 hours. Strain solids out and discard. Pour broth into jars for storage. Freezes well.
Now that you have your stock ready, or if you are using prepared stock, it just takes a few minutes to prepare the soup.
Greens, Garlic, Ginger Soup/ Flu Vaccine Soup
- 3 cups stock (veggie or chicken)
- 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
- 6 cloves fresh garlic (I have a stone that fits nicely into my hand that I use to smash garlic. Once smashed, the skin comes off easily.)
Bring to a boil and let the ginger and garlic simmer for 5-10 minutes in the broth.
- add 6-8 cups of chopped greens: kale, spinach, escarole, bok choy
Let the greens cook for 5 minutes or so.
- add salt and pepper to taste
Blend in blender, food processor, or vita mix, until pureed.
Remember there are a few other simple things you can do to keep your immune system strong:
- Get adequate sleep
- Stay away from sugar and simple carbohydrates
- Get enough vitamin D
- Reduce your stress levels
- Laugh, love, and feel grateful everyday
- Wash your hands!
I ordered my dried herbs fromMountain Rose Herbs
Astragalus- immune stimulating (increases macrophages and natural killer cells) and adrenal tonic. great for anyone with spleen qi deficiency, supports good digestion. Very safe, mildly sweet flavor, overall tonifying.
Burdock root- Liver tonic, blood cleanser, alterative. Mildly bitter and therefore stimulating to the digestive system. Historically used for hormone balancing and skin conditions.
Dandelion Root- Alterative, liver tonic, nutritive. Wonderful for detoxification and elimination processes.
Licorice Root-Anti viral, immune modulating, adrenal tonic. Sweet flavor. Used to treat colds, coughs, stomach upset, chronic fatigue. (caution in high doses if you have high blood pressure)
Codonopsis – Also known as Dangshen, or poor man’s ginseng. Used to increase resistance to stress, increase energy, modulate immune response (increase response in cancer, decrease in autoimmune conditions).
Ginger- potent anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anticancer, carminative (good for nausea, gas, dyspepsia). Warming.
Cinnamon-wow, a powerhouse of health benefits! Anti-inflammatory (great for arthritis pain and menstrual cramps), antimicrobial, promotes healthy blood sugar and insulin sensitivity, can promote healthy cholesterol levels. Warming and delicious!
Black Peppercorns- Helps with digestion, is antioxidant and antimicrobial.
Cloves-Pain relief, high in antioxidants, antibacterial, digestive stimulant.
The amount of herbs pictured (I’m bad about measuring things, but you can see it’s a tablespoon or two of each herb) made one gallon of chai. Simmer the herbs for 45 minutes to an hour, add black tea and steep for 4 minutes. Strain. You can keep this mixture in the fridge for a week, heating up one cup at a time. Add cream and honey to taste. You might not need to add any honey as some of the herbs are quite sweet.
I recommend drinking super tonic chai daily to build strong adrenals, and keep your immune system healthy!
Join Veronica Brown and Louise Rose, ND, for a unique one day mini retreat combining Naturopathic medicine and Kundalini yoga as a catalyst for healing. Come to enhance your clarity, purpose, and vitality; bring more resilience to daily stress, doubts and fears. Restore the harmony of body, mind, and spirit by removing obstacles that block one's path to serenity.
Celebrate the healing power we ALL possess in a fun and relaxed atmosphere! All fitness levels welcome!
Our day includes:
- Kundalini Yoga (Yoga of Awareness) activates a healthy body and balanced mind, while increasing your energy and radiance. Through postures, mantras, and meditation Kundalini Yoga strengthens the immune system and the ability to recognize the causes of negative emotions.
- Experience inspired bodywork, essential oils, and supercharged nutrition to help soothe frayed nerves, release blocks, and restore balance.
- Learn from a Naturopathic Doctor how to harness the power of your body to work for you. Blossom into your potential.
- Tools to create lasting change. Many retreats offer a heavenly experience and then it's "back to the grind." We provide you a heavenly experience AND tangible self-care techniques to take with you.
- Veronica BrownYoga Instructor and Healing Bodywork. Internationally renowned in the healing arts, Veronica Brown has been a certified yoga instructor for over 20 years. A Reiki Master and Harmonium Healer (energy work), her practice also includes Sports Massage, Thai Yogassage, reflexology and remote healing. Using her intuitive healing gifts, Veronica locates and dissolves stress, thereby activating the natural healing process. Veronica has taught Kundalini yoga over 15 years, for private clients, workshops and at Angel City Yoga in L.A. Many of her students are now successful teachers. Clients that have experienced Veronica’s healing magic include: Demi Moore and family, Christina Aguilera, Annie Lennox, Dave Stewart (Eurythmics), Ariana Huffington, Mick Jagger, Kanye West, Rivers Cuomo (Weezer) and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, with whom she tours regularly. A native Montanan, Veronica divides her time between her practice in Venice Beach,CA, Montana, traveling for clients and conducting yoga retreats.
What Veronica's clients are saying:
- • “The best cure for what ails you is Veronica Brown!“ Dave Stewart (Rolling Stone Magazine)
- • “I went through a traumatic experience and with Veronica’s healing I had a successful recovery for which I am grateful. VB is no ordinary therapist. She doesn’t look at the body/mind/soul as separate pieces. Instinctively she sees everything as a whole. Therefore after a session with her, you feel healed- not only physically but also spiritually rejuvenated.” Dave Stewart, (Eurythmics)
- • “Veronica Brown is a conductor of rejuvenation for the human experience. She helped me reach my potential while on tour in ways that were not possible without her. I will always be grateful for time spent working with her. Because of Veronica we’re ending healthier than we started. Veronica truly exorcised my demons!” Anthony Kiedis, Red Hot Chili Peppers
- • “Everybody has different things that keep them together… we have Veronica!” Flea, Red Hot Chili Peppers
- Dr. Louise RoseNaturopathic medicine is the past and the future of health care. The current model of medicine focuses on disease, pathology and symptom management. Dr. Rose’s patients learn to become stewards of their own health, restore life’s natural rhythms, practice self care, and reconnect with their birthright of vitality and aliveness.
25 years of experience as a whole foods chef informs Dr. Rose’s nutritional philosophy that food is our first medicine for building a foundation of health.
One of Dr. Rose’s passions is her love for the therapeutic power of water. The roots of Naturopathic medicine emerge from the European water cure traditions. Central to Rose Cabinet Medicine are the sauna, cold plunge, and tepidarium where patients come for renewal and to rediscover what wellness feels like. Dr. Rose is a graduate of the National College of Natural Medicine in Portland Oregon. Other therapies that she is trained in include; Botanical Medicine including extensive training with essential oil therapies, Homeopathy, Shiatsu Massage, Cranial Sacral Therapy, Biotherapeutic Drainage, Gemmotherapy, and LENS (Low Energy Neurofeedback System).
- (after working with Dr. Rose) I arrived at a new sense of peace and well-being. My mind had space for quiet and stillness; my body more easily settled into a place of peace and comfort; my spirit lit up the from inside out. While life still happened, I found a greater capacity to cope with the challenges; the lessons learned and the renewal experienced have lasted me through a season. Thank you Dr. Rose! Sharon Chinn
- I simply can't remember the last time I felt so cared for. Brought tears to my eyes. Sandy Keiter
Are there ID requirements or an age limit to enter the event?
Not appropriate for young children, but mature teens and adults are welcome!
What can/can't I bring to the event?
Bring a yoga mat, water bottle, pen and paper. Bring a pillow or bolster for comfortable sitting during lecture times. Wear comfortable clothing appropriate for yoga practice.
Will there be food provided?
We will have supercharged nutritious snacks.
Where can I contact the organizer with any questions?
Contact Dr. Rose at firstname.lastname@example.org or 503-308-8608
Who took that amazing photo of the light splitting the trees?
Thank you to Corky Miller for the photograph. To see more of his work go to his blog
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!
The Specific Carbohydrate Diet & a Major Lifestyle Change
More by Guest Blogger Kristy Regan, candidate for Masters of Science in Nutrition.
I was highly motivated to begin the new diet (SCD) immediately as I hated being sick. My friends were surprised that I would so easily give up the foods I loved. I can’t tell you how many times people have said to me, “Oh, I would just die if I couldn’t eat croissants/ice cream/insert favorite food here.” But for me, it was part of choosing health and wanting to feel whole again. And even though I found SCD very challenging it taught me immense amounts about food related symptoms and how I process specific foods. Over time, I learned that I can still prepare beautiful meals for family and friends that are also healthy and extremely enjoyable for me.
Here’s my list of SCD Frequently Asked Questions:
I’ve never been good at diets. How do I know this will work for me?
For most people, SCD becomes less of a short-term diet and more of a life style change. It can be an integral part of the healing process, easing IBS and inflammatory symptoms. Many people who have been on SCD long term say they feel much better and have more energy.
Which individual foods can I eat on the SCD Intro diet?
Homemade chicken broth, beef broth, carrots, roasted chicken, roasted turkey (no additives/no lunch meat), roasted lean pork (such as tenderloin), broiled fish,
beef broth, broiled hamburger, eggs, dry curd cottage cheese, 24 hour homemade yogurt, honey (small amounts), gelatin/homemade jello made with Welch's grape juice
(100% grape in a jar, any color, not frozen, not with calcium) or apple cider (cider only; commercial apple juice is not legal).
My symptoms aren’t out of control - can I skip the intro diet and just go to the regular diet?
No, for the diet to work, the introduction diet must be followed for two days minimum and five days maximum.
How do I know when I can add new foods and at what intervals?
After the introduction diet, and when cramping or diarrhea aren’t present, peeled and cooked fruit, ripe spotted bananas and peeled and cooked vegetables can be added to the diet.
Foods should be introduced one at a time, with a two to four day interval between new foods.
An entire list of legal/illegal founds can be found here
I don’t have time to make coconut milk, yogurt, etc. – why can’t I just buy them at the grocery store?
You must make or buy food where ALL ingredients are listed. Labeling in the US dictates that if less than 2% of an ingredient is included, it doesn’t need to be listed. Often unlisted ingredients include sugar or starch that isn’t allowed on SCD. Most commercial brands of coconut or almond milk contain starches and sugars. Label reading is particularly important because products may include sugar or starch products that you’re unfamiliar with. Refer to the legal/illegal list
Cooking becomes easier once you get used to making specific items. If you don’t have time to cook, it’s possible to buy some SCD legal foods.
Is it ok if I cheat once a week or with just one food?
No, SCD isn’t like other diets where a little cheating is ok. Since bacteria are so small, a little bit of the wrong food will allow them to thrive and multiply.
That said it’s important to talk to your doctor about the diet in conjunction with antibiotics or other methods of healing. Most doctors believe the diet is meant to control the symptoms of SIBO but that it won’t necessarily “starve” the bacteria.
After two years of following the SCD fanatically, one of my doctors recommended I try following a “loose” SCD, so it really depends on your specific situation.
My family is worried about me because I’m rapidly losing weight and they think the diet is crazy.
Some people will lose weight because they have malabsorption or other issues. Some may initially lose weight because SCD entails a way of eating is very different than their previous lifestyle. SCD should be undertaken under the guidance of a doctor and/or a nutritionist. A medical professional will be able to recommend high calorie and/or high fat items that can be added to the diet to maintain weight.
I’m on the diet but I’m still having IBS symptoms. Should I give up?
No! It’s very helpful to keep a food and symptoms diary while you’re on the diet. There may be foods that were introduced too quickly or that are not tolerable. Keeping a food and symptom diary can help you and your doctor see trends in what you’re eating and your symptoms. If food isn’t tolerated, it can be removed and reintroduced after a month.
High FODMAPs foods are sometimes an issue for people. FODMAPs information can be found here:
I’m so frustrated about not going out with my friends/family to restaurants and parties.
Parties: If you know the host/hostess, it can be helpful to bring some of your own food and put it on a plate or out to share so you don’t have to feel like you’re not eating at all. It’s ok to drink small amounts of dry wine (no dessert wines). It’s good to eat before going to a party so you don’t feel deprived once you’re there. If you can afford the time and money, it’s often the most fun to have a party at your house. That way you can control the menu and serve only SCD friendly food. You can give friends SCD recipes to prepare or hire a caterer if possible so you don’t have to make everything by yourself.
Restaurants: It’s helpful to have a couple restaurants where you can develop relationships with the Chef and wait staff and feel respected and safe. Most chefs are used to dealing with special diets and would much rather get a phone call before a meal than to receive many special requests when they are in the middle of a busy service. If it’s a new restaurant, you can bring your own salad dressing or request lemon and olive oil. At most restaurants you will be able to order a basic protein and cooked vegetable side but be clear about no seasoning other than salt and pepper, no marinades, etc. Some people print out a laminated card that they can carry to restaurants that says what they can/can’t eat.
I’m torn between making traditional food for my family and staying on the diet for myself.
It’s challenging to be eating a different diet than the rest of your family. As you become more familiar with SCD recipes and your food variety increases, it becomes easier to make SCD legal food that everyone likes. Your health practitioner should be able to help you give family favorite recipes a “makeover” or introduce new recipes that can become traditional favorites.
It’s also important for your entire family to understand how very crucial it is for you to stay on the SCD diet. If you’re not well, you won’t be able to support your family and your current medical issues may become much more serious.
Stay tuned to hear more from Kristy about how she is doing!
Hi, I’m Kristy, a 45-year-old back-to-school student, earning my Master’s of Science in Nutrition. Dr. Rose has been kind enough to invite me to write a series of guest blog posts, talking about SIBO from a patient perspective. Dr. Rose will chime in with more information and her thoughts.
What is SIBO?
SIBO stands for small intestine bacterial overgrowth. Bacteria from the large intestine can migrate to the small intestine where it wreaks havoc on the overall system. Some signs of SIBO can include bloating, gassiness, constipation, diarrhea, fat malabsorption, abdominal cramping, fatigue, anxiety, leaky gut/food intolerances and acid reflux. My symptoms of gas, constipation, and eventually diarrhea started out as minor inconveniences and worsened over a couple of years before I understood I needed to see a doctor. I was covered by Kaiser but was worried that a MD would only prescribe medication to cover up my symptoms, or give me a diagnosis of IBS with no real solution. I decided to see a Naturopathic Doctor (ND) as NDs are trained to treat the whole person and to ascertain the root cause of symptoms. The ND I initially saw in Northern California first advised me to remove gluten and dairy from my diet as these are common food allergens which can cause IBS symptoms. When my symptoms continued to get worse, she tested me for SIBO. The SIBO test checks for hydrogen and methane gas that are specifically produced by an overgrowth of bacteria. I tested positive for SIBO. Upon hearing my diagnosis and the prescribed diet, I was angry, frustrated and sad. I considered myself a gourmand, the person who loves beautiful food, adores cooking with and for other people and cherishes communities who come together to share food around a table. The trial of giving up dairy and gluten had been very challenging for me but it was only a taste of was yet to come.
My ND recommended that I immediately start the introduction portion of the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD). As a student on a very limited budget, I kept in contact with my doctor via email but didn’t have regular appointments until I moved to Portland for graduate school and found Dr. Rose and my GI doctor. Looking back, I wish I had done more research on SIBO treatments and also seen a ND or nutrition counselor regularly in the beginning as having SIBO had many physical, social and mental implications for me. (Click HERE to learn more about associated symptoms) I got frustrated navigating my symptoms, cried at more than one restaurant when I couldn’t find anything to eat or was served something other than what I had specifically asked for, worried about malabsorption, had issues concentrating and experienced anxiety and isolation. I now understand these are all SIBO related but I wish I had found Dr. Rose sooner as she’s played an integral role in educating and supporting me on the road to healing.
Stay tuned for another blog post by Kristy Regan about her path to wellness!
Celebrate 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.
Why Neurofeedback? By guest blogger Austin Rose
Do you ever feel like who you are limits who you could be? Have you ever felt negative thinking influences how you live your life? Political theorist William Connelly describes the activity in our brains when he says, “to think is to move something. And to modify a set of brain/body connections helps to draw a habit, a disposition to judgement, or a capacity of action into being.” In other words, thinking creates patterns of thought which become actions and ultimately form habits. These patterns create a framework, or reference, for the things we can think and do. As we think, we can modify or strengthen these patterns, in turn making our thought processes more flexible or rigid. These patterns of thought are deeply rooted in ourselves and the multitude of experiences we encounter throughout our lives. They can be very difficult to change. We do not have much control over how these patterns are created as we live our lives. Our brains are organs of survival. Bombarded with so much stimulation day in and day out we can often feel lost and powerless to change our thoughts, reactions and habits. However, contrary to what scientists previously believed, new research in neuroscience is finding that the brain is malleable. This is referred to as “neural plasticity.” It turns out that we have the capacities to establish new patterns of thought, rework old manners of thinking and unleash previously hidden potential.
Neurofeedback (brainwave biofeedback) is a therapy which capitalizes on this plasticity of the brain. Neurofeedback as a therapy has been shown to be useful in treating ADD, ADHD, anxiety, insomnia, depression, anger, traumatic brain injuries, and chronic migraines. It has also been shown to increase performance in athletes, and can enhance energy and brain functioning in healthy individuals.
Neurofeedback is a treatment to aid our brain in deciding which pathways it should strengthen and which to modify. A metaphor I return to frequently when thinking about neurofeedback comes from Grant Rudolph, who describes it as, “a rainstorm blowing dead leaves and branches out of a tree – the living branches stay connected and new growth accelerates.” By sending weak electrical signals to our brain (feedback), signals which are weaker than those emitted by a watch battery and are akin to micro-voltage in the brain itself, neurofeedback stimulates increased neural flexibility. The brain decides which pathways are useful (healthy branches) and which pathways are limiting us in our current experience (dead leaves). With increasing neural flexibility, we experience more space, or thinking power, to develop new habits and growth in our brains.
My Experience with Neurofeedback
A little over a year ago I stumbled across LENS (stands for Low Energy Neurofeedback System) neurofeedback thanks to Dr. Louise Rose who suggested I might find similarities between it and the political theory that I was immersed in at Marlboro College. I also have a history of head injuries. As an active young man I throw my head around a lot and sometimes it hits things.
My first neurofeedback treatments found me with considerably more energy and creativity. I was able to utilize this new energy for my thesis work at school and my procrastination dissolved. I also experienced my hand-eye coordination increase dramatically, becoming three to four times what it used to be. After several treatments my senses were working at a much higher level than before. It was as if a dial had been turned up heightening my perception. Not only was I perceiving more, I felt the need to share these perceptions with the world. I began to make music, write poetry, have long engaging conversations, and I even began to start on my school work…before school even started. I felt great and wanted to share it with others.
Back in Vermont during the fall term I felt these effects begin to wear off. My motivation declined as school picked up momentum and creating began to feel like a chore. I found things I enjoyed writing about but felt like what I wanted to say was no longer important to me or had already been said. Where was the heightened energy and creativity that I had felt in August? I was still feeling heightened awareness of my surroundings but found myself falling back into old patterns of thought.
When I returned to Portland for winter vacation I jumped at the opportunity for more neurofeedback. However after the treatments I felt little to no change in my body or mind, although my brain map did look considerably different from the previous one. I didn’t really think too much about it as there were many other things on my plate. I was distracted and wasn’t surprised when I didn’t feel anything new.
When I settled back in at school, I began to think about why neurofeedback had worked so well for me in the summer yet not after my winter treatments. Also, why did other members of my family not see the same results I had? Soon I realized the major difference lay in my meditation practice.
When I first started neurofeedback I concurrently began to meditate using Dr. Les Fehmi’s Open Focus meditations. Open Focus works to increase ones awareness of the body and it’s surroundings. Open Focus meditation is a practice designed by Dr. Fehmi a pioneer of neurofeedback technology, and is similar to some eastern meditation practices. As I returned to regular Open Focus practice, I found many of the effects I felt from neurofeedback begin to return. At first I wondered if what I had felt originally were only the effects of Open Focus. However as my practice matured, I began to see parallels between the two and how one strengthened the other.
If neurofeedback works by “blowing dead leaves and branches out of a tree (the mind), leaving the living ones and encouraging new growth,” then the question becomes, what can I do to stimulate this new growth alongside my neurofeedback treatment. By merely continuing through my daily routines after neurofeedback, I was not moving my brain to think in new ways. Though I may have begun to see some changes in my habitual thought patterns, without the support of the active retraining of meditation, these thoughts seemed not to have long lasting effects. Caught in my routines, I was still thinking in habitual patterns that were consequently reinforced. My hypothesis is that If we push our minds to experience new things, we will create new frameworks of thought and capitalize on the neural plasticity provided by neurofeedback. Since we do not know the myriad of ways wecould feel, being open to new experiences gives us the opportunity to develop these new frameworks. This is how I see the flexibility resulting from neurofeedback combined with Open Focus practice; an increased ability to immerse myself in my own body and it’s surroundings, while distancing myself from unhealthy deep neural patterns that my emotional baggage has created. Since I began to practice meditation concurrent with my neurofeedback treatments, I have seen incredible leaps forward in my thinking, and productive changes in my brain maps produced by the LENS Neurofeedback software. While in my experience, meditating dramatically increased the effects of neurofeedback treatment, Dr. Rose has many patients who have benefited by neurofeedback alone. In my experience, when attempting to move my brain in new ways, the catalyst to long lasting effects of neurofeedback lies in an openness to new experiences. If, after a treatment you feel inclined to clean out a closet, or begin your memoirs, don’t hesitate, act on it. If you do not feel many changes after a couple appointments, think about how you can stimulate changes in your routine. This could be as simple as brushing your teeth with your non-dominant hand, shaving in a new pattern than before, or taking up a meditation practice. Also, if changes are not immediate after treatment, do not be dissuaded. Sometimes the brain is stuck in very rigid habits requiring time for neurofeedback treatment to gently rock it out of these patterns. By being open to new experience, we stimulate the growth of living, strong and flexible branches in our minds and bring a new capacity of action into being. -By Austin Rose
Reporting here from Los Gatos, California where I am soaking in the latest research and developments in the field of LENS- Low Energy Neurofeedback. So far we have learned about a fantastic program in Colorado that is using LENS with their in and outpatient addiction treatment. The success rate has jumped exponentially after adding neurofeedback. Healing the brain is at the root of addiction recovery. I have also talked with folks who are using Low Energy Light Therapy to treat brain injuries and other mitochondrial dysfunction. Exciting information on how to work with our most sensitive patients gave me lots of ideas. We learned about the new data tracking component of the new Lensware 3 system which will support much needed research in the field. Looking forward to two more days of learning- the gut/brain connection, treating multiple sclerosis, meditation, and ADD.