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Online Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)

MBSR is an intensive 8-week, once weekly, group program developed by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn and associates at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in 1979. It is now an internationally acclaimed program with a growing body of research supporting its psycho-physiological benefits. 

It is also used as a standard in studies researching the benefits of Mindfulness, including (but not limited to):

The curriculum is based on an emerging field of mind-body medicine and neuropsychology. Mindfulness actually rewires the brain and strengthens the neural pathways for resilience. It helps us to be less reactive to stressors, to manage and recover more quickly from stress, and to decrease the negative impacts of chronic stress on our bodies. 

Through practical training in mindfulness, cognitive behavioural and self-regulation skills, participants learn to cultivate a different relationship with stress and to develop skillful and healthy strategies in response to challenging situations. 

Program Structure

The program consists of:

  • an orientation
  • eight weekly (2½ hour) classes
  • a 4-hour Day of Mindfulness Retreat between weeks six and seven

For optimal benefit, this program requires participants to follow daily home practice assignments, designed to assist in the development of an effective, nourishing, and sustainable meditation practice.

Classes include presentations of information and experiential learning through:

  • a variety of guided meditation practices
  • mindful movement exercises (with optional modifications for safety)
  • discussion of the challenges, benefits, and strategies for developing a mindfulness practice in daily life

Who
This psycho-educational program is suitable for anyone looking for practical tools to deal with chronic stress and its negative impacts on the body as well as to improve their overall health and wellbeing.  

Please note:

  • Registration is limited to Canadian residents.
    .
  • Having a primary physician or therapist is required for registration in this program.
    .
  • If you have PTSD, suicidal ideation, untreated substance abuse or you have been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder, this may not be the program for you. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding your suitability for this program.

Next Online Course

Join us for this summer’s 8-week series with seasoned Mindfulness Instructors, Hannah Marsh and Dr. Alda Ngo, who are both MBSR Facilitators in Training with the Centre for Mindfulness Studies.

Please note this will be a highly interactive web-based program using Zoom. You will need a high-speed internet connection, a video cam (built-in or external), and an audio microphone (built-in or external).

Times
Mandatory Orientation:
Monday, June 22, 630-9PM

Weekly classes:
Mondays, 630 – 9PM
June 29 – Aug 24 (no class Aug 3rd)

Day of Mindfulness Retreat:
Sunday, Aug 16
1230-430PM

Cost
Sliding Scale* $275 – $325 – $375 + GST

*Please pay more, if you can, to help support those with financial limitations. 

Accessibility is important to us, scholarships are also available to those for whom cost is a barrier. Please contact us for more information. 

Register Here

The deadline for registration is June 22.

Cancellation Policy
Cancellations received prior to the registration deadline will be refunded minus a $100 processing fee. No refunds will be issued after that date. 

We reserve the right to cancel this program due to unforeseen circumstances; if this should occur, registrants will be granted full refunds.

In-Person Appointment: What You’ll Need To Know

Here is a summary of what you need to know for when you come to your in-person appointment:

  1. Do you have any of the following new symptoms that are not related to any pre-existing conditions: fever, cough, congestion, shortness of breath. If so, you cannot come to the clinic at this time, please notify us, self-isolate and call HealthLink 811.

  2. Have you travelled internationally within the last 14 days or have you had unprotected close contact with individuals who have a confirmed or presumptive diagnosis of COVID-19? If so, you cannot come to the clinic at this time.

  3. You will be required to complete 2 Pre-screen Surveys. The first one will be emailed to you 48 hours prior to your booked appointment, and the second one is to be completed in-person upon arrival at the clinic. 

  4. You are required to review and sign The COVID-19 Informed Consent to Treat Form before your first appointment following June 22nd. It will be automatically emailed to you.

  5. Please arrive 5 minutes before your scheduled appointment time. Please call us once you have arrived and wait in your vehicle or outside, until we phone to let you know when your treatment room is available. 

  6. We ask that you please come unaccompanied. If a companion is necessary, they will also be required to complete the Pre-screening Survey upon arrival at the clinic. We will also require your companion’s full name and phone number for our tracking registry of all people entering the clinic. (For contact tracing purposes.)

  7. Please don’t bring unnecessary belongings into the clinic. However, we encourage you to bring your own pen. If you do not have one, we will provide you with a disinfected pen.

  8. Please wear a mask to the clinic. If you do not have one, we will provide you with one for $2 + GST. 

  9. Please note that restrooms are for urgent use only.

  10. We will not be accepting cash payments at this time. We encourage you to use either contactless electronic payment through our Jane App booking system or our debit/ credit Tap POS system. If you would like to use the Jane App Payment system, it requires that we have your credit card number on file.

  11. All clients must use the provided hand sanitizer upon arrival, before payment and before exiting the clinic. 

  12. Please ensure we have your up-to-date address, email & phone number on file.

Thanks so much for your support and cooperation with helping us to keep our staff, clients and community safe! Please let us know if you have any questions.

NEW COVID-19 ENHANCED PROTOCOLS

We are very excited to reopen on Monday, June 22nd, as part of Stage 2 of Alberta’s Relaunch Strategy!

In order to optimize safety of in-person visits, we will be maintaining infection prevention and control standards with Enhanced Protocols, that meet requirements set by AHS and our Regulatory Colleges.

Click Here for a Summary of What You Need to Know for Your In-Person Appointment

OVERVIEW

  • In-person services proceed when the anticipated benefits outweigh the risks to the client and the practitioner.
  • Practitioners and clinic staff must complete the screening survey for COVID-19 symptoms prior to each work shift to ensure they are safe and fit to work.
  • Practitioners and clinic staff must follow patient screening procedures prior to in-person services.
  • Appointment times are spaced to minimize the number of people in the clinic at any given time, and to allow time for cleaning and disinfecting procedures between clients.
  • Practitioners and staff must wear a mask continuously, at all times and in all areas of the workplace to safely provide in-person services. Clients are also asked to wear a mask while at the clinic.
  • Any instruments or pieces of equipment used in client care must be cleaned and disinfected after each use.
  • Practitioners must carefully consider if they are the most appropriate health professional to address the client’s needs. In-person services are not necessary when the patient’s condition can benefit from Tele-eHealth treatments. Clients must be referred to other healthcare practitioners if it is in their best interest.
  • If the clinic becomes aware of a client who has visited the clinic within 14 days of testing positive for COVID-19, Whole Family Health will call Health Link 811 to report and receive guidance.


SCHEDULING

  • Appointments will be scheduled in a way that minimizes the number of clients in the waiting and reception areas at any given time.
  • Appointments will be scheduled with ample time to clean and disinfect treatment areas between each client.
  • Clients will be asked to wait in their vehicles until their assigned treatment room is available, clean and disinfected. Administrators will phone clients to let them know when we are ready to receive them.


CLIENT SCREENING & INFORMED CONSENT


PRE-SCREENING

  • Clients must complete 2 required Pre-screen Self-assessment Surveys and will not be permitted to attend their appointment without completion of these 2 pre-screen surveys:
  • 48-hour Pre-screen Survey
    • All clients must complete a pre-screening survey that is emailed to them 48 hours prior to their scheduled appointment.
  • In-person Pre-screen Survey
    • Upon arrival, clients are required to complete a second pre-screen survey and have their temperature recorded before proceeding with their appointment.
  • If either survey indicates potential COVID infection, the client must cancel and/or reschedule their in-person appointment and they will be advised to self-isolate and call Health Link 811.
  • People who accompany patients, such as parents, caregivers, or companions, must be screened with the same questions as the client.

INFORMED CONSENT

  • COVID-19 Informed Consent to Treat Form
    • Clients are provided with a revised COVID-19 Informed Consent to Treat Form relevant while Enhanced COVID-19 Guidelines remain in effect.
    • This COVID-19 Informed Consent to Treat Form must be signed prior to their first appointment after June 22nd, 2020.
    • Clients must allow the disclosure of contact information in the event that a client has visited the clinic within 14 days of testing positive for COVID-19.

CLIENTS & COMPANIONS ENTERING THE CLINIC

  • Clients are asked to remain outside the clinic or in their vehicle and notify us by telephone once they have arrived.
  • We will call the client when we are ready to receive them, and their treatment room is available, clean and disinfected.
  • We ask that clients and companions wear a mask when they come to the clinic. If they do not have a mask, we will have a mask available for $2 + GST.
  • Clients and companions must use the hand sanitizer provided upon entering the clinic.
  • Clients and companions must complete the pre-screening survey and have their temperatures recorded upon arrival at the clinic.
  • If the client has not yet reviewed and signed the COVID-19 Consent to Treat Form, they must do so upon arrival for their first scheduled appointment after June 22nd, 2020.
  • Clients are encouraged to bring their own pen. If they don’t have one, we will provide a disinfected pen for use.
  • Clients are advised not to bring extra people to the appointment unless absolutely necessary. For contact tracing purposes, every companion’s pre-screen survey, full name, address and phone number must be recorded in the Clinic Registry. All clinic visitors must allow the disclosure of contact information in the event that a client has visited the clinic within 14 days of testing positive for COVID-19.
  • Clients are asked not to bring any unnecessary belongings into the clinic.

DURING APPOINTMENTS

  • Practitioners must wear a surgical/procedure mask continuously, at all times and in all areas of the clinic to safely provide in-person services.
  • Practitioners will follow AHS mask donning and doffing procedure guidelines.
  • If a pre-screened client is subsequently identified by the practitioner to exhibit signs and symptoms consistent with a respiratory illness, whether COVID-19 is suspected or not:
    • The client must wear a mask and disinfect their hands immediately.
    • The client must isolate from others in the clinic.
    • The in-person treatment will be discontinued and rescheduled.
    • The client will be instructed to self-isolate and to call Health Link 811.
    • Immediately following the client’s departure, the practice area will be cleaned and disinfected.
    • A record of all close contacts of the symptomatic client and other visitors and staff in the clinic at the time of the visit will be kept. This information will be necessary if the symptomatic patient later tests positive for COVID-19.
  • If the clinic becomes aware of a client who has visited the clinic within 14 days of testing positive for COVID-19, Whole Family Health will call Health Link 811 to report and receive guidance.

AFTER APPOINTMENTS

PAYMENT

  • Clients must use the hand sanitizer provided prior to processing payments.
  • No cash payments will be accepted at this time.
  • Clients are encouraged to pay using touch-less methods:
    • Tap-function of credit or debit cards to minimize touching the merchant terminal.
    • On-line payments through Jane App. Clients would need to have a valid credit card number on file, which are securely encrypted in the Jane App.


RECEIPTS

  • Electronic receipts will be emailed to limit the exchange of papers.
  • If papers are required, clients are encouraged to bring their own pen. If they don’t have one, we will provide a disinfected pen for use.


STAFF HEALTH SCREENING

  • Practitioners and staff must stay up-to-date with current COVID-19 guidelines and policies from their respective governing bodies, CAAA, NHPC, Public Health, and the Government of Alberta.
  • Under no circumstances will a practitioner or staff attend work if any of the following applies:
    • They are feeling unwell or exhibiting any symptoms of fever, cough, runny nose, sore throat, or shortness of breath.
    • They have travelled internationally within the last 14 days.
    • They have been in close contact with confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19.
  • Practitioners and staff must follow self-isolation and quarantine requirements when the order (CMOH Order 05-2020) remains in effect.


DAILY PRE-SCREEN SELF-ASSESSMENT SURVEY

  • All Practitioners and staff are to record their temperature and complete a Pre-screen Self-assessment Survey prior to attending work.
    • If the survey indicates possibility of respiratory-related or COVID-like symptoms, the staff member does not attend work.
  • Screening questions for practitioners and staff of the clinic are:
    • Do you have any of the following symptoms: fever, cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, sore throat, and/or runny nose?
    • Have you returned to Canada from outside the country (including USA) in the past 14 days?
    • In the past 14 days, have you been at work or elsewhere, while not wearing appropriate personal protective equipment.
    • Did you have close contact with someone who has a probable or confirmed case of COVID19?
    • Did you have close contact with a person who had acute respiratory illness that started within 14 days of their close contact, to someone with a probable or confirmed case of COVID-19?
    • Did you have close contact with a person who had acute respiratory illness who returned from travel outside of Canada in the 14 days before they became sick?
    • Did you have a laboratory exposure to biological material (i.e. primary clinical specimens, virus culture isolates) known to contain COVID-19?
  • If the answer is “YES” to any of the above, staff are not permitted to attend work and must self-isolate.


FACILITY REQUIREMENTS

  • Staff will be transitioned to home offices as much as possible.
  • Access to approved hand sanitizer will be increased.
  • A physical plexi-glass barrier has been installed at the reception desk.
  • Practitioners and staff must wear a mask continuously, at all times and in all areas of the workplace to safely provide in-person services.
  • Clients are also asked to wear a mask while at the clinic. If they do not have one, we will provide one for $2 + GST.
  • Seats in waiting areas have been removed to allow for safe physical distancing.
  • Safe physically distanced spots have been clearly demarcated on the floor in the reception area.
  • All items that cannot be disposed of, will be cleaned and disinfected between clients:
    • Pens, clipboards, POS terminal, call buttons, needle trays, etc..
  • Items that cannot be effectively cleaned and disinfected between clients have been removed from the clinic environment:
    • Magazines, toys and water dispensers from waiting areas
    • Chairs and other items with porous fabric upholstery (unless donned with vinyl coverings)
    • All non-essential items must also be removed
  • Signage with the following information will be visibly posted for staff and clients:
    • Physical distancing
    • Hand hygiene (hand washing and hand sanitizer use)
    • Help limiting the spread of infection
    • Safe donning and doffing of masks
  • These clearly defined COVID-19 prevention protocols and policies will be posted on our website and/or printed upon request.


HAND HYGIENE & PPE

  • Face protection protects the eyes, nose, and mouth from exposure to contaminated droplets.


MASKS

  • Practitioners must wear a surgical/procedure mask continuously, at all times and in all areas of the workplace to safely provide in-person services.
  • Practitioners will follow procedures on Donning and Doffing of mask according to Alberta Health Service website:
    • Wash hands before donning and doffing mask
    • Ensure a snug fit over the nose and under the chin
    • Wear the mask with the moisture-absorbing side against the skin
    • Change the mask when it is moist or soiled
    • Only touch the elastic or ties when removing the mask
    • Do not wear the mask around the neck
    • Discard single-use masks in a waste container
  • Any staff that do not work in patient-care areas or have direct patient contact are required to mask at all times in the workplace (a non-medical mask is acceptable).


EYE PROTECTION

  • Eye protection may also be worn, as it provides another layer of safety. This can include safety glasses, goggles, or face shields.
  • Practitioners and staff may choose to implement these measures.
  • Services offered around clients’ mouths, nose and eyes are currently strongly discouraged. However, if treatment in these areas is necessary, practitioners must don a face shield, mask, gloves and apron.


HAND HYGIENE

  • Practitioners must practice routine hand hygiene consistent with Alberta Health Services 4 Moments of Hand Hygiene:
    • Before contact with patient’s environment and/or patient
      • Prior to entering treatment room
      • Prior to physical contact with clients ie. pulse / acupuncture/ massage
    • Before clean/aseptic procedure
      • Prior to acupuncture or massage treatment
    • After body fluid exposure risk
      • After acupuncture or massage treatment
    • After contact with patient and/or patient’s environment
      • After pulse, acupuncture or massage treatment
      • Prior to leaving treatment room
  • Practitioners must also avoid touching their face and practice respiratory etiquette by coughing or sneezing into their elbow or covering coughs and sneezes with a facial tissue and then disposing of the tissue immediately.
  • All staff must wash hands for a minimum of 20 seconds with soap and water between each client, after handling shared items or cleaning and disinfecting, before donning gloves and after doffing gloves.
  • Clients will be asked to complete hand hygiene using the provided hand sanitizer at the following times:
    • Upon arrival to the clinic
    • Prior to processing payment
    • Prior to departure from the clinic


GLOVES

  • As long as appropriate hand hygiene protocols are practised, AHS does not require the use of single-use disposable gloves during treatment (unless the client requires treatment around the eyes, nose and mouth).
  • Individual practitioners and clients may prefer that the practitioner wear gloves during the treatment session as an extra safety measure.
  • If practitioners choose to wear gloves while practising, they must continue to follow hand-washing protocols and glove-wearing protocols.
  • Gloves are part of routine precautions and can be worn as a safeguard against exposure to blood, body fluids, secretions, excretions, and mucous membranes.
  • Otherwise, gloves must be worn in the clinic when:
    • Handling clean linens
    • Handling contaminated linens
    • Performing routine environmental cleaning in the clinic
    • Handling waste
    • Required by a health alert


ENVIRONMENTAL CLEANING AND DISINFECTION

  • Effective cleaning and disinfection are essential to prevent the spread of COVID-19, which is transmitted primarily through contact with respiratory droplets, or from contact with contaminated surfaces.
  • Whole Family Health will use the “wipe-twice” method to clean and disinfect: wiping surfaces with a cleaning agent to clean soil off first and then wiping again with a disinfectant.
  • All disinfecting will be accomplished using a Health Canada approved hard-surface disinfectant for use against COVID-19 (with a DIN number).
  • Patient care/patient contact items will be cleaned and disinfected between each patient/use including (but not limited to):
    • treatment tables
    • chairs
    • all contact surfaces
    • entire headpieces
    • pillows
    • therapeutic tools and devices (e.g. cupping tools and acupressure tools)
    • call buttons
    • pin pads used to process payment
    • reception area
    • clip boards
    • pens/ pencils
  • Highly touched areas in treatment rooms will be cleaned between each client including (but not limited to):
    • doorknobs
    • countertops / desktops
  • General highly touched areas will be cleaned and disinfected every 2-3 hours or whenever visibly soiled (including but are not limited to):
    • light switches
    • doorknobs
    • toilets
    • taps
    • handrails
    • counter tops
    • touch screens/mobile devices
    • phones
    • keyboards


LINENS

  • Any cloth items, such as towels, sheets, headrest coverings, etc., that are used in the clinic will be laundered in hot water (above 60°C) with regular laundry soap before being dried and used again.
  • Gloves will be donned when handling these items for both dirty and clean laundry processing.
  • Staff must always use new gloves when handling clean laundry.


RECORD KEEPING

  • Clear documentation records are essential to ensure the successful implementation of COVID-19 prevention protocols and policies.
  • Whole Family Health will keep the following accurate and up-to-date records:
    • Pre-screening questions for symptoms of COVID-19 for all staff, clients and client accompanying companions
    • COVID-19 Consent to Treat Forms
    • Actual appointment dates and times (arrival and departure)
    • Up to date addresses and phone numbers of all patients and companions
    • Specific treatment rooms used
  • In addition, separate files must be kept for the following information:
    • Practitioners’ and staff’s daily health screening records and up-to-date contact information
    • Daily cleaning and disinfection records
  • A registry of all people entering the clinic, including the Practitioners, staff, people in the clinic aside from clients (e.g. repair people, guardians accompanying a client, etc.).
    • At a minimum, the following information should be included:
      • Name
      • Phone number
      • Date
      • Arrival time
      • Departure time

THANK YOU

We thank everybody for your support and cooperation with helping us to adhere to these Enhanced Guidelines, in order to keep our staff, clients and broader community safe and healthy.

We are happy to provide you with a printed copy of these Enhanced Guidelines upon request.

Please feel free to contact us for any additional information.

Detox Your Home and Body

We are typically exposed to many chemicals and toxins on a daily basis.  However, please don’t fret because there are simple things you can do to reduce your exposure, starting today! 

Why is it important to reduce our exposure to environmental toxin exposure? Well, because chemicals and toxins are endocrine disruptors.  

Basically, this means that they negatively impact our hormones, which are not only responsible for reproduction, but also for mood, brain function and metabolism. 

While toxins and chemicals disrupt hormones, making a mess of the menstrual cycle and impacting a woman’s ability to achieve and maintain a pregnancy, they can also reduce sperm production and quality. So this isn’t just a female reproductive hormone issue, it’s a male reproductive issue too. As we all know, it takes two to make a baby. 

So what can we do? 

We can make minor and simple changes to the water we drink, the food we eat, and the products we use regularly. 

Water consumption:

We all know that water is important to our body’s wellbeing, so it’s important to drink 1.5-2L/day to stay properly hydrated. For fertility purposes, this is especially important because proper hydration helps with liver and kidney function, which helps the body metabolize hormones and rid the body of toxins. 

Because heavy metals can be found in many water sources, I can’t stress enough how important it is to ensure yours is clean, reliable and/or filtered.

If you are unsure about your water source, please look into ways that you can have your water tested and explore different filtration systems.  

How you store your water is also important and it is best if your drinking water is stored in a glass, metal, or BPA free bottle. These bottles won’t break down and leach harmful chemicals or microplastics into your water, like commercially bought water bottles do.  

However, if you are drinking commercially produced water that is sold in plastic bottles, please please refrain from storing these in your vehicles or warm areas. As plastic heats up, it breaks down and leaches into your drinking water. 

Foods 

I recommend a well balanced diet, especially including leafy greens, vegetables and a small amount of fruit/berries. 

Certain nutrients, like B vitamins can actually bind to toxins to pull them out of our system. Foods high in B vitamins include: whole grains, fruits, legumes, seeds, nuts, and meat products.

If you are trying to conceive it is also very important to take your prenatal supplements, which also have B vitamins in them.  

Another nutrient that helps to detoxify is glutathione. The liver needs glutathione to assist in hormone metabolism and foods high in glutathione include: avocados, spinach and walnuts. 

Unfortunately, there can be a downside to eating these nutritionally dense foods. Despite containing essential nutrients, they can also be exposed to pesticides and herbicides, which are terrible for the reproductive hormones. 

Therefore I advocate eating organic foods when possible and especially those that are classified by the Environmental Working Group  as the dirty dozen. These are foods that carry a heavier toxic load from exposure to pesticides and herbicides:

  1. strawberries
  2. spinach
  3. kale   
  4. nectarines
  5. apples
  6. grapes
  7. peaches
  8. cherries
  9. pear
  10. tomatoes
  11. celery
  12. potatoes 

However, if it’s difficult for you to access organic produce from the ‘dirty dozen’ list, you can do a simple wash. Although this wash doesn’t reduce all of the chemicals, according to a 2017 study published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry (2), it does effectively remove a fair amount of the pesticides. 

Produce Detox Wash

What you need

Kitchen sink/wash basin 
3L water
1 Ounce Baking Soda

How

Fill up the sink/basin with 3 litres of water, dissolve 1 ounce of baking soda in the water and then place your produce into this bath for 12-15min. 

Time saving hack

This might seem like one extra thing that you have to do but here’s what works for me:

I make the produce bath as soon as I get home from the store and let my produce soak as I’m putting the rest of my groceries away. By the time I’m finished putting everything away, my produce is good to go!

It feels like minimal effort and making the most of multitasking!

Personal products

A lot of the products we use daily can contain high amounts of endocrine disruptors such as parabens and phthalates. Typically these are in our lotions, makeup, shampoo, and personal care products. 

I’m not expecting you to empty your cupboards and closets and throw everything out, that’s definitely not feasible or economical! However, I do encourage you to replace them with healthier versions as you run out.

I’m not here to promote one brand over another, but you can reference the environmental working group’s website.

Another handy tool is the Think Dirty App. This is an app that you can download onto your smartphone to scan products for their toxic rating.

Household Cleaners and Products 

Household cleaners carry a lot of chemicals in them. In fact, products that smell especially “good or clean” typically contain phthalates. 

One way to decrease the use of these types of products is by switching over to a vinegar and water solution.

How to make your own cleaning solution: 

  • 4 tablespoons of vinegar mixed with
  • 3 cups of water 
  • 5-6 drops of your favourite essential oil ( if you want some delicious air freshening properties )

**Please Note: Vinegar and water cleaning solution hasn’t been shown to disinfect against the COVID19 virus. Please continue to use disinfectants such as hydrogen peroxide or bleach cleaners for high traffic/ touch areas.

This vinegar and water solution is for dusting and cleaning areas that don’t get a lot of traffic or hands-on use. 

Air freshening spray

To make a clean and easy room spray, all you need is:

  • A spray bottle
  • Water 
  • 1 tablespoon of baking soda
  • 5-10 drops of your favourite essential oil 

Fill the bottle mostly with water (not fully, leave some room) add the baking soda and essential oil and you are done! 

Air freshener vacuum (canister vacuums only) 

If you want to freshen the air in your home as you vacuum, you can try putting 10 drops of your favourite essential oil onto two cotton balls each and placing them into the canister portion of your vacuum cleaner. This will then disperse the essential oil while you vacuum. 

My favourite essential oil is lavender, because it has a calming effect. 

I hope that the transition into cleaner living is a smooth and burden free process for you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us !

Prenatal YogacuPressure

When

Sundays
11:00am – 12:00pm

May 3 – June 7

Who

Instructor: Sarah Kent
BA. Psychology
Certified Yoga Teacher

Why

Studies show that yoga postures and acupuncture points help to decrease pregnancy pain and benefit pregnancy, labour and birth outcomes.

Join us for this special on-line 6 week series of Yoga and Acupressure to support mom’s changing body throughout pregnancy and to help prepare the body for labor.

This practice will focus on:

  • strengthening and energizing
  • relief of pregnancy pain
  • increasing flexibility
  • breathing & relaxation techniques
  • creating a calm environment for you & your growing baby

This class welcomes all stages of pregnancy and all levels of yogis, including beginners.

Registration

6 Classes: $120
drop-in: $25

Register on-line
A secure link will be sent to you upon registration.

Canadian Infertility Awareness Week | Free Events

April 19-25
2020 theme | We See You

We know that many of your fertility treatments have been put on hold.

We want to help you transform it into an opportunity to continue to optimize your overall health and fertility.

Throughout the week, we will offer free resources on our Social Media to support you through this uncertain time.

You can keep nourishing the soil before planting that seed.

You and your body will be ready when your treatments can resume.  

FREE Facebook Live Events Schedule


Monday, April 20th
7pm
MINDFULNESS | NOURISHING LIFE
w/ Dr. Ald
a
Registered Doctor of TCM | Acupuncturist | Mindfulness Instructor
Mindfulness decreases stress, calms the mind & helps you recover a sense of peace. All of which supports hormone balance and nourishes life.

Tuesday, April 21st
7pm

DETOX YOUR HOME & YOUR BODY 
w/ Christina

Registered Acupuncturist | FABORM | Fertility Specialist
Learn simple ways to detox your home & body from harsh chemicals and hormone disruptors.

Wednesday, April 22nd
7pm

YOGA-PRESSURE FOR HORMONE BALANCE
w/ Mykayla

Registered Acupuncturist | Yoga Teacher
Balancing postures & acupressure points to support hormone balance.

Thursday, April 23rd
7pm

ANTI-INFLAMMATORY SUPERFOODS 
w/ Alicia
Holistic Nutritional Consultant
A simple superfood approach to reducing inflammation in the body to support hormone balance. 

Friday, April 24th
7pm

LOVE IN THE TIME OF COVID: CONNECTING WITH YOUR PARTNER 
w/ Sandra MacLean
Registered Clinical Counsellor | Masters in Counselling Psychology | Emotionally Focused Couples Therapist
Join Dr. Alda & Clinical Counsellor, Sandra in their conversation about how to connect with your partner under the extra pressures of home quarantine.
 

Click the links below to watch Live Events on Facebook or the Replays:

Facebook
Instagram
YouTube

 

The Skinny on Eggs

Egg Magic

“ If an egg is broken by an outside force, life ends, if broken by an inside force, life begins. “

Did you know that an egg is considered a single cell when unfertilized? Technically, it’s the yolk that is considered the largest cell on earth. (The yolk of an ostrich egg, to be exact). Crazy pants.

An egg cell can give rise to any other type of cell, and is basically designed to support the development of an entire whole new animal. Not entirely new news, but somehow amazing to stop and think about.

Egg Benefits

All to say, for being so affordable, eggs are super nutritious- jammed full of 18 vitamins and minerals, high in protein and important lipids, namely mono and poly-unsaturated fats.

Research shows that despite their past denunciation for being high in cholesterol, their other nutrients, including zinc, selenium, retinol and tocopherols actually have antioxidant effects. They help protect us from degenerative diseases, including cardiovascular disease (what eggs have been accused of causing in the past.)

It’s true that they’re high in cholesterol, however, solid research shows that dietary cholesterol has a smaller effect on total blood cholesterol and harmful LDL cholesterol than overall mix of fats in the diet.

Although another study reports that one egg per day is safe, anything beyond could increase the risk of heart failure with age.

Egg Landscape

That said, in Chinese Medicine, it’s all about each individual’s constitutional landscape.

For example, those with diabetes or heart disease should limit their egg intake. Eggs are also a common allergen, and can cause inflammation and mucus congestion in those who are systemically prone to this.

Ultimately, the middle road and everything in moderation is optimal, and it never hurts to chat with a health professional about what your body’s specific needs are.

Contact us for a free 15 minute consult if you have any questions.

References

PMID:16340654
PMID:23676423
PMID:10217054
PMID:18195171

SuperMoon Sleep

There was a supermoon a couple of nights ago, which means that the full moon was the nearest that it comes to the Earth in its elliptical orbit. This doesn’t happen often, and results in the moon appearing bigger and brighter than usual.

What an object of intrigue the moon is, with its clear influence over our oceanic tides, we have long been mystified about its influence over our own biological tides –  particularly our sleep and mental-health patterns.

Are you as pooped as I am? Maybe from overall mental-emotional exhaustion, or the inability to be as active in quarantine? All I know is that I didn’t sleep well that supermoon night, after finding myself mysteriously crying as we read ‘Rocks and Minerals of Canada’ at bedtime.

While ER staff swear that the full moon on their nightshift will bring increased lunacy and accidents, studies have found no such correlations.

However, the full moon has been correlated to subjects requiring an extra 5 minutes to fall asleep, a 30% decrease of deep sleep and a decrease in endogenous melatonin levels. One study was conducted under strictly controlled conditions, eliminating exposure and awareness of lunar cycles.

This study points toward an endogenous circalunar rhythm, similar to the circadian (daily) and circannual (seasonal) rhythms.

We are reminded of our human connectedness more than ever right now, and the bigger picture rhythms to which we are beholden.

Supermoon or not friends, try to sleep well. Sleep and the circadian system regulate immunological processes. I know it’s tempting to stay up late these days, but something magical happens in the early hours of nocturnal sleep, when certain immune responses are initiated, playing a role in the formation of immunological memory.

Are you having trouble with sleep? What sleep hygiene routines help you?

Do you have any questions about how we can help you with sleep?

Contact us to chat about it.

References

DOI link: https://doi.org/10.1016/J.CUB.2013.06.029

PMID: 22071480

3 Helpful Supplements for Endometriosis

After hours of reading studies on endometriosis, researching supplements for the treatment of endometriosis, and reading others blogs on this subject, I came across an interesting article in Vogue.  

Did you know Lena Dunham had a hysterectomy at the age of 31 due to Endometriosis pain? I know that’s a scary thought, and obviously not an option for everyone. (Read her story here

It’s definitely a reality check when someone so young would take the option of removing an organ, giving up her potential to carry a baby to term and give birth because she never wanted to go another day feeling the pain that she did. She would say “okay” to early menopause and hormone therapy willingly, just to ease her pain. 

While I can’t completely understand the severity of the pain Lena, and some of my patients feel daily, weekly, or monthly, or the extreme cases of infertility and endometriomas that can come along with this diagnosis, I do empathize with the fact that sometimes we are dealt these crappy hands in life and we just have to do what’s best for us. 

I also can’t pretend to know how alone some of my patients feel in dealing with this diagnosis. To enjoy life is something that everyone deserves, and for some, removal of the uterus has been the eventual answer, but it doesn’t come without risk and ideally should be a last resort. So I want to share some options that can offer hope, particularly if you want to try to preserve your fertility. 

So let’s dive into three ‘easy to find at your local health food store’ supplements that research shows helps to reduce pain, ovarian endometriomas and endometrial-like tissue in the presence of Endometriosis.

Pycnogenol

Pycnogenol or Pine Bark extract has been known to have many analgesic properties. This extract taken in capsule form has been shown to reduce pain in many conditions from osteoarthritis to dysmenorrhea or painful periods, which is a common symptom of Endometriosis.

This natural supplement has been proven in studies to have lasting and compounding effects. In one study pycnogenol was found to be more effective in treating painful periods in Endometriosis than Gn-RHa or gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist, a common hormone therapy treatment for endometriosis. Not only were the effects of pycnogenol long lasting with results lasting even after discontinuing use but the longer the supplement was taken, the better results patients received. 

Another study showed that the use of pycnogenol reduced pain scores of dysmenorrhea significantly as well as the need for analgesics. Even after the women stopped using the pycnogenol, fewer analgesics were needed and the analgesic effect of pycnogenol continued.

Melatonin

This well known supplement for sleep has also been found to help reduce chronic pelvic pain in those diagnosed with Endometriosis. You may think of Melatonin as a sleep aid, but that’s not all it can do. Melatonin has been found to help reduce inflammation, reduce pain, and is also an antioxidant.

In a 2013 study of 40 women, 10mg of melatonin taken daily was found to decrease daily pain, pain during sex, pain during urination and painful periods. Daily use of melatonin was found to improve sleep quality, and reduced the risk of using pain medication by 80%.

NAC

NAC or N-Acetyl cysteine is a form of the amino acid cysteine naturally found in chicken, eggs, and garlic. NAC is responsible for the increase of natural glutathione which is a detoxifier/ antioxidant responsible for the destruction of free radicals in the body, as well as the ability to reduce and inhibit the growth of epithelial cells, or endometriosis like tissue.

One recent study of 47 women taking 600 mg of NAC three times a day for three consecutive months, found the women did not experience endometrioma (cyst) growth. They had a greater number of cysts shrink, eight women had cysts disappear completely, half of the women cancelled their laparoscopic surgery, and eight women became pregnant during the study or within 12 months. 

Please note that it’s always important to consult with a registered health practitioner before taking any supplement to make sure that it is the appropriate supplement and dose for your case. 

While there is currently no cure for Endometriosis, there are options like acupuncture and supplements that can help those suffering with this silent disease. More research needs to be done to continue to increase awareness. 

If you or someone you know suffers from Endometriosis or endometriosis-like symptoms, feel free to contact us for a free 15-minute q & a to explore the options that we offer, we are happy to help!

You don’t have to suffer alone. 

Image: Tio Cuchillos

Resources

PMID: 18567279
PMID: 28367412
PMID: 17879831
PMID: 23602498
PMID: 23737821
doi.org/10.1155/2013/240702

How Estrogen Dominance Affects PMS

How does a typical menstruating day look for you? Is it full of cramps, moodiness, cravings, and tears? Or is it introspective, relaxed, and intuitive?

Premenstrual syndrome is just as the name implies; a syndrome. It’s a disorder, meaning something is out of order – out of the ordinary. Sadly, many people face physical and emotional pain during their period and accept it as normal. But I am here to tell you that PMS is not normal!

Our bodies weren’t designed to hurt us, they are incredibly intelligent and work hard for us every single day. Every ache and pain is a signal to us that something is out of balance. It’s important to keep in mind that these signals can be suppressed when we take Advil or Midol. So if we can remember to observe and thank these symptoms, we can see that they relay a message that it is time to make a change.

UNDERSTANDING SYMPTOMS

What do we think of most when we think of ‘that time of the month’? The first thing that probably comes to mind is emotional instability, moods swinging from happiness to anger to tears.

If you’re familiar with Traditional Chinese Medicine, you know that emotions like anger and frustration are related to ‘Liver Qi stagnation’. Although the organ systems in Chinese Medicine are broader functional systems than the actual physical organs, there is some overlap. So one of the major symptoms of PMS leads us to the clue that the liver may be out of balance.

The liver is responsible for regulating and excreting hormones. If it’s congested due to dietary and environmental stress, old hormones get recycled into the body creating hormonal imbalances, like estrogen dominance.

ESTROGEN DOMINANCE

Estrogen dominance is not uncommon, and it is particularly prevalent in those who suffer from endometriosis. It presents in people with essentially too much estrogen compared to progesterone. Estrogen can over saturate the endocrine system for two possible reasons. One, you are taking in too many xenoestrogens. Or two, your body is not breaking down and excreting old estrogen properly.

Xenoestrogens are synthetic and naturally occurring compounds that have estrogenic-like effects within the body. They come from pesticides, conventional makeup, nail polishes, birth control, plastics, BPA, conventionally raised meat, and naturally occurring phytoestrogens come from foods like soy or dairy. These compounds have the ability to bind to estrogen receptors in our bodies and potentially cause hormonal imbalances.

On the other hand, if your liver is sluggish and it isn’t excreting old estrogens properly, they get recycled back into the body creating an excess. The liver is responsible for conjugating old estrogens so that they become water-soluble and leave the body via urine. Because the liver plays such an important role in excreting old hormones, any hormonal imbalance can indicate that the liver is in need of some support.

Signs of estrogen dominance are PMS, mood swings, anger, endometriosis, abnormal weight gain, hormonal acne around the jaw area, irregular periods, cramping, bloating, blood clotting, fatigue, sore breasts, breast cancer.

Estrogen dominance is incredibly common and is not something to be feared. We simply need to understand it to correct it.

HOW DID WE GET HERE?

Pesticides: Pesticides and herbicides are a huge problem if you are suffering from hormonal imbalances or liver problems. Our bodies are bombarded with chemicals on a daily basis and the liver has to deal with it, often creating stagnation. Choose organic produce instead, especially those that are typically heavily sprayed and listed on the ‘dirty dozen list’.

BPA and plastic: BPA can imitate the body’s hormones, and it can interfere with production, secretion, function, and elimination of natural hormones. Try to avoid water/drinks that are bottled in plastic.

Conventional beauty or cleaning products: Often conventional soaps, makeup, nail polish, lotions, perfumes, air fresheners have compounds that can mimic estrogen. Swap out products for organic and eco-friendly products to reduce the chemical load in your home.

Nutritional deficiencies: Zinc, Magnesium and B vitamins all play a role in regulating hormones. Studies suggest that nearly 75% of the population are deficient in magnesium, zinc and vitamin B12. Add these into your supplement regime to help regulate hormones.

Low fibre diet: Estrogen latches onto fibre and leaves the body via stool once it has completed its cycle. If you don’t have regular bowel movements (1-3 times daily), estrogen is reabsorbed into the bloodstream, creating estrogen dominance.

Lack of movement: Movement helps to increase blood flow. More exercise like hiking, yoga, dancing, lifting weights, Qi gong, or swimming helps to reduce the number of fatty deposits in the liver so it can metabolize hormones more effectively.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

Focus on supporting your liver with foods and herbs. Don’t eat any dense fat in the mornings so that your liver can continue to cleanse itself and get rid of excess estrogen. Dense fats include avocado, eggs, meat, coconut. Save these for lunch or dinner.

Eat cooked, warming, nourishing meals while menstruating to soothe the reproductive system. Try having baked yams, sweet potatoes, beets, warm soup, warm greens, and cruciferous vegetables such as Brussel sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, etc.

Cruciferous vegetables are an extremely important part of pain-free menstruation due to their ability to stimulate phase 2 of liver detoxification. It is in this phase that old estrogens leave the body. When the liver is overburdened, phase 2 is slowed down, impacting the regulation of hormones.

Drink ginger tea! Ginger relieves menstrual cramps, nausea, and upset stomachs. Try having this before and during menstruation to help avoid cramping. This warming herb helps move blood and the hormones move with it. Remember that it is important to take herbs consistently to really receive their benefits.

MOVE!!! Do some gentle yoga or go for a walk. As difficult as this may seem while experiencing cramps, it will help reduce pain by pumping out stagnant blood pooled up in the liver. By moving blood with movement, you are helping move old hormones out of the body.

Take Broccoli sprout extract. Perhaps one of the most promising supplements to take for estrogen dominance. Sulforaphane, the active compound in broccoli sprout extract, has a unique ability to stimulate the phase 2 liver detoxification system.

The phase 2 pathway is very important since it is the final stage for the removal of harmful compounds and detoxification of excess estrogens. It is so important because it’s actually quite easy to stimulate phase 1 detoxification (for example with herbs and B-vitamins) but it is more difficult to activate the very important phase 2 pathway.

This pathway is essential for the elimination of excess hormones like estrogen. Sulforaphane also has an impressive range of anti-cancer activity by preventing cancer cell replication and reducing tumour growth in women’s reproductive systems.

Drink Nettle and Raspberry leaf tea. Raspberry leaf and Nettle support the reproductive system by supporting the adrenal glands production of progesterone, the opposing hormone needed to balance estrogen. In women’s health, the ovaries get a lot of attention for producing the reproductive hormones. In truth, the adrenal glands share equal responsibility in producing estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. When hormones are thrown off balance, it’s important to look at the health of the adrenal glands as they help to regulate normal levels.

Eat fruit. A woman’s reproductive system is like a flowering tree that requires the proper nutrients to bear fruit. And those nutrients come from, well, fruit. The phytonutrients found in fruit play a critical role in avoiding disease and polycystic ovary syndrome with the help of their anti-cancer and anti-tumour properties. The abundance of antioxidants found in fruit also helps detox a stagnant liver to help remove old estrogens. The active water content in fruit hydrate a thirsty liver and soothe tight muscles that are associated with cramping. Eat an abundance of fruit; especially berries, apples, papaya, cranberries, pomegranates and melons.

Use organic tampons and pads. The chemicals found in conventional tampons and pads are endocrine disruptors meaning they mimic the action of estrogen in the body and cause imbalances. This rule also applies to household cleaning products, makeup, detergents, and food. Buy organic as much as possible.

WHAT YOU SHOULDN’T DO

Try to limit meat as much as possible while menstruating because its hormone content can mess with our own. You should definitely avoid red meat, processed meat, sandwich meat, and conventionally raised meat. Choose organic, grass-fed meat if you do choose to eat it.

Avoid heavy, creamy, cheesy sauces. These are hard on the liver and create even more stagnation.

Avoid oily or fried foods as the fat content slows down the liver.

Avoid consuming ice cream, iced drinks or chilled foods as the coldness increases stagnation and cramping.

Avoid drinking alcohol. For obvious reasons. Especially right before or during your period. We need to support our liver as much as possible during this time, not repress it.

Avoid eating too late in the evening. Nighttime is when the body regenerates all of its organs. Your liver is supposed to be repairing itself, not secreting bile to digest the food that you ate. If you eat late at night, your liver won’t fully regenerate.

Don’t repress your emotions. Repressing your emotions puts stress on your organs and slows down their function. Say how you’re feeling aloud, even if it’s just to yourself, or journal how you feel as a form of release.

CONCLUSION

It’s the liver!

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