Saturday, October 22, 2011

Why Holistic Health Care is the Only Health Care Worth Investing In

There is a health care crisis in this country, that is not news to anyone. Rising costs, lessening care plus skyrocketing disease and chronic degeneration rates equals a recipe for absolute disaster. The US life expectancy is 42nd in the world among developed countries. The World Health Organization, in 2000, ranked the U.S. health care system as the highest in cost, 37th in overall performance and 72nd by overall level of health. 72nd in overall level of health! That should stop any one of us dead in our tracks. 62.1% of all filers for bankruptcies were due to high medical expenses. The system is broken that is obvious and cannot be denied. In no other sector of business would consumers continue to flock and spend their money, massive amounts of money none the less, on a product that was rated a dismal 72nd in overall production. In addition, it is estimated that doctors are now spending less then 10 minutes per patient per visit. How much information can a doctor gather about the total picture of what is happening within your body in less than 10 mintues? Yet with every sneeze, cough and fever we run like drones to our local medical office spending thousands of dollars, filling our bodies with overpriced toxic drugs and continuing to stay blind to the fact that although we are one of the most developed and wealthiest nations in the world we are the sickest. It may actually be because of this low level of health we each experience that we are not able to clearly see the reality of our situation or maybe it is simply we do not want to see the dismal state of our current situation.

We have become mindless in the face of medical doctors, their word is gold, they not only are god's they are in a position to not be questioned. We no longer use our own intellect, reasoning or judgement nor do we listen to our own body's wisdom. Western doctors are trained in two main areas of treatment, drugs and surgery. The pharmaceutical companies are big and they are powerful. Americans now spend a staggering $200 billion a year on prescription drugs, and that figure is growing at a rate of about 12 percent a year (down from a high of 18 percent in 1999). Drugs are the fastest-growing part of the health care bill—which itself is rising at an alarming rate. The increase in drug spending reflects, in almost equal parts, the facts that people are taking a lot more drugs than they used to, that those drugs are more likely to be expensive new ones instead of older, cheaper ones, and that the prices of the most heavily prescribed drugs are routinely jacked up, sometimes several times a year. Before its patent ran out, for example, the price of Schering-Plough’s top-selling allergy pill, Claritin, was raised thirteen times over five years, for a cumulative increase of more than 50 percent—over four times the rate of general inflation. (1) 
Yet prescrption drugs do nothing to heal a condition. In fact over time they usually make the condition worse. Symptoms are none other than a built in alarm system genuisly engineered by the body. When something is wrong the alarm is sounded. This is an alarm meant to get out attention in order to correct a problem. Prescrption drugs are not made to solve the problem causing the alarm to sound, rather they are made to silnce the alarm. What would hapen if instead of reacting and solving a fire alarm we only turned off the alarm? Would the fire be put out? Would the damage being done cease? Or would the damage escalate while the alarm was silenced? The same analogy can be used within the human body. 

The answer to our health care problem is simple yet overlooked. The answer lies in the ability to prevent disease before it occurs and heal and reverse symptoms that are present before they become worse and pervasive, extending throughout one's life. To do this you do not need a pill or a knife rather you need a mechanism that pinpoints the cause of the symptom and an approach that then removes the cause. That mechanism and approach is one and the same, holistic health care.

A holistic approach takes the broadest possible view of illness, disease and symptoms, identifying multiple root causes (both internal and external), and then offering multi-dimensional healing approaches. A holistic approach is as concerned with one's propensity towards disease as it is with its transmission. Why does one person get colds or infections more easily than another, or at different times? Can we render ourselves stronger and more disease-resistant before medical intervention is necessary, and more resilient when illness does occur? Are we able to identify the cause and then able to uproot and remove that cause rather then just removing the symptoms? The fundamental premise in holistic health care is that your body knows how to be well and will naturally align with perfect health and balance when given the proper support and when the causes of such imbalances are removed. The body was created in a state of perfect health and that is where it is most comfortable which is why the body will do everything in its power to return to a state of health when imbalance begins to occur. We can see the body's own intelligence and power when we get a simple cut. Without any instuction or outisde intervention the body will automatically begin healing and knitting together the cut and within a few days the body is restored to its original state, whole. This is the body's natural process whether it is a cut or a rouge cancerous cell. 

Holistic health takes into account the entire person, one's body, mind, emotions, and spiritual life and sees all parts as important to the process of health and sickness, rather then just looking at symptoms. Holistic health combines the best of modern scientific diagnosis and monitoring techniques with both ancient and innovative health promotion methods. These include natural diet and herbal remedies, spinal adjustment and alignment, energy work including acupuncture and reiki, nutritional supplements, exercise, relaxation, psycho-spiritual counseling, meditation, exercise, breathing exercises, and other self-balancing and healing practices. Holistic health does not only look to remove symptoms, but rather looks to bring into balance one's entire being, body, mind and spirit, and knows that when all three of these are in balance disease cannot begin or flourish. The emphasizes is on prevention, balance, and achieving the highest levels of health and well being through bringing one's life into balance and harmony. Symptoms are also not viewed independently but rather completely. Each symptoms is part of a bigger picture of imbalance and once that imbalance is corrected all symptoms begin to clear up. The responsibility is also shifted in holistic health from the practitioner or drug to the individual themselves. It views the individual as an active participant in the healing process, rather than simply a passive recipient of care. The power lies within the individual and the holistic health practitioner, in whatever form they may take, is a guide and coach that helps to activate and awaken the individual's own power and natural healing responses.

Holistic health care is also natural health care. Approaches chosen in the healing process are those that are the least invasive and the most natural. The purpose in holistic health is to facilitate the body's own natural healing process not to override that process. Foods, herbs or exercises are chosen specifically to help remove the blocks that are preventing the body from self healing and then strengthen and support the body's natural processes. Because holistic health care is based on natural sources, their cost is very low. The Earth has provided to us everything we need in order to be healthy and whole and those are all of relatively low cost.

The two systems of medicine, allopathic vs. holistic are compared in the below chart.

Two Systems of Medicine (2)
Focuses on MeasurementsSYMPTOMS
Focuses on ExperienceCAUSES & PATTERNS
Disease as EntityPAIN AVOIDING
Disease as ProcessPAIN READING
General Classified Diagnosis
Specific Individual Needs
Technical Tools
Integrated Therapies
Remedial / Combative/ Reactive
Preventive / Corrective/ Pro-Active
Crisis Oriented: Occasional Intervention
Lifestyle Oriented: Sustained Maintenance
Radical. Defensive.
Natural. Ecological.
Medicine As Counter-Agent
Medicine As Co-Agent
Side Effects. Chemicals, Surgery, Radiation, Replacement
Low-Risk. Conservative. Organic.Purification, Manipulation, Correction,
Emphasis: "CURE"
Emphasis: "HEALING"
Speed, Comfort, Convenience
Restoration. Regeneration. Transformation
Practitioner as Authority PACIFYING
Practitioner as Educator ACTIVATING
Patient as Passive Recipient
Patient as Source of Healing
Mechanical / Analytical/ Bio-Physical
Systemic / Multi-Dimensional/ Body-Mind-Spirit
Best For: Infectious Diseases, Trauma, Structural Damage, Organ Failure, Acute Conditions.
Best For: Degenerative, Chronic Stress & Lifestyle Disorders, Toxemia, Glandular Weakness, Systemic Imbalances, Immunity.

When we value and respect our being we understand the great power it holds for complete health and healing. Understanding that the body has its own innate self healing process we see that drugs and surgery (unless in life threatening or trauma type situations) only circumvent and override the body's own self healing process, are costly and counter productive to the body's innate and natural processes. Balance and harmony within can never be achieved by a drug or surgery no matter how much money we throw at it. The only way to truly heal our bodies and bring them back into a state of wholeness is to find the causes of imbalance and then restore balance, naturally and holistically. Holistic health care is not only less expensive it is the only form of health care that can ever support us in living at our highest levels of health, vitality and wellness. It is time we each wake up, stop being drones, take our power back and begin respecting our body's. Until we achieve our own highest levels of health and well being the ability to achieve the purpose we were sent into this life to achieve will go unfulfilled. You are important and being at your healthiest and completely whole is the only way to be truly successful!

At Align Holistic Health & Well Being our mission is to provide you with natural holistic health care. We specialize in helping you attain complete balance and wholeness through nutrition, herbs, Ayurveda and other natural healing modalities. Our vision is to help individuals prevent and heal from disease, sickness, symptoms and chronic issues through natural holistic means.

Contact us today for a complimentary 60 minute consultation to lean how holistic health care can assist you in meeting your health care needs for you and your entire family!

Much love and health!


Monday, October 17, 2011

A Nutritionist ~ Your Biggest Health Ally

A nutritionist is your biggest ally in reaching your health goals, helping to heal your body of chronic disease or symptoms and helping you to attain the highest levels of health and vitality. Your diet is the absolutely basic foundation of your health, whether that be good or poor health. The reason for this is simple, you are what you eat. What you eat dictates who you are, from the physical level, the shape and structure of your body, to the way it operates, how much energy you have, how well and clear your mental processes work, how good or poor your organs and systems function, how balanced your weight stays and how strong or weak you become. Your body is dependant upon what you bring into it for repairing, day to day functioning, healing and building. Without needed nutrients your body slowly begins to perish. In recent years as we have begun to learn about the importance and wide variety of functions pytochemicals perform, the active chemicals within plants, we have begun to see why it was said “Let thy food be thy medicine.” Take for instance an apple. There are literally thousands of photochemicals that have been identified within 1 apple. Each chemical having possibly hundreds of functions from regulating hormones to preventing tumor growth. Many of the functions of phytochemicals are still a mystery but as we begin to learn about these various functions we really begin to see how and why food is so important. Not only does it give us the building blocks we need for basic life and functioning, it gives our body the things it needs to heal and remain balanced and healthy. There is no pill or Earth that could ever provide the variety and diversity of even a single phytochemical and that is just one component of our food! Each of us is highly unique and individualized. What works for one person may fail miserably for another. Each of us also needs a specific combination of vitamins, minerals and nutrients to operate at our best. This is where a nutritionist can help!

Here we explore the top reasons why a Nutritionist is your biggest ally for long lasting health and vitality.

1. Nutrition is the Best Preventative Medicine - While heredity loads the proverbial gun of giving you a propensity toward cancer, high blood pressure, heart disease or obesity it is your lifestyle that pulls the trigger. It is estimated that up to 90% of all cancers are caused by nutritional factors and 75% of all causes of death are related to nutrition related factors. Putting your focus and attention on your diet, what and how you eat, is the number one way to prevent disease and pain in later life, and for some not so later. Our diet is the most important factor to preventing disease but the one most of us most often overlook. A nutritionist can help create a nutrition plan for you that is easily integrated into your life and works to prevent disease and pain.

2. Nutrition is the Key to the Highest Levels of Health & Vitality - Feeling sluggish and run down? Need more energy? Feel depressed, anxious, irritable or angry? Feel ok but not fabulous? Look to your diet. Your diet is the key to experiencing the highest levels of vitality and health. When your diet is properly structured you should have abundant levels of energy and clarity. You should feel clean and clear and well balanced. Each of us is highly unique and individualized as should be our diets. Each of us require different levels of nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Our diet is dependant on who we are, our lifestyle and our unique biochemistry. Diets and certain ways of eating may work for some but usually fail for others. The reason for this lies in our individual biochemistry. A nutritionist is the one person who is trained in knowing how to determine your exact unique biochemical make up and what your specific needs are, which results in you attaining the highest levels of vitality. A nutritionist also helps you to understand the way food interacts within your individual body and how to live the best life you can through the foods you eat.

3. Nutrition Heals Chronic Pain, Symptoms & Disease - When sickness arrives and stays within the body is not because of bad luck, a germ, bad genes, heredity or an unknown cause. The body is designed to remain in a homeostatic state, perfectly balanced. We also know that heredity may give someone the propensity toward a certain type of deterioration but it is not the reason why the deterioration occurs. The body becomes sick, pained and diseased for 2 reasons - over toxicity and deficiency. When the body is properly detoxified and receives all the nutrients it needs even if a potent germs comes along or heredity has given us weaknesses, the body is able to stay strong, heal itself and return to homeostasis, that is it very nature. Both toxicity and deficiency come through the foods we eat or do not eat. Eating a healthful healing diet reduces and eliminates toxicity in the body and restores deficiencies allowing the body to operate at its most healthful state and heal areas in need. Diet is the number one way to heal and reverse chronic degenerative disease, pain and chronic symptoms. Nutrition based approaches to healing and reversing disease are far more effective at healing and are the only way to truly restore the body to complete health. Other approaches work to reduce symptoms, which are merely our body’s way of telling us something is wrong. Eliminating symptoms does not heal the body. Healing comes through reducing toxicity and restoring deficiencies which can only be achieved through nutrition.

4. Nutrition is the Key to Reaching Your Health Goals - Whether your goal is to return to your balanced weight, gain more energy, build muscle or stay healthy long term nutrition is your answer. It is what you eat that gives your body what it needs to maintain health. When your body isn’t getting what it needs energy levels plummet and sickness and pain begin to form. When your body is getting too much in certain areas and not enough in other weight becomes imbalanced. Once your body begins getting exactly what it needs, in the right amounts and at the right times every area of health begins to balance. What your body needs is highly individualized. Only though testing and the expertise of a trained nutritionist can you structure your diet in a way that will give you exactly what you need resulting in meeting your goals. A nutritionist acts as your guide and coach helping to align your diet with your specific wants and needs which results in you attaining your health goals. A nutritionist also acts as your educator giving you the knowledge you need and shows you details you may have overlooked .

Why should YOU visit with a nutritionist? Here are just some of the benefits:

Lower total cholesterol •Higher HDL cholesterol •Lower LDL cholesterol •Higher energy levels •Improved sleep •Better concentration •More stamina •Of course, loss of body fat (if needed) •Improved appearance •Longer lifespan •Decreased occurrence of illness •Shorter duration of illness when it does take place •Softer skin •Better hair •Stronger heart •Improved digestion •No lethargy after meals •Delayed menopause •Less acne •Regular bowel movements •Decreased risk of heart disease •Decreased risk of cancer •Fewer visits to doctors •Better self image •Improved attitude towards others •Less severe PMS •Increased ability to fight infections •Decreased risk and occurrence of prostate trouble •Enhanced athletic performance •Better performance in the workplace •Improved memory

Certainly, this is not the entire list, but you are beginning to see the light.

Call or email us today to see how a nutritionist can help to meet your needs and attain your health goals and intentions.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Balanced, Healthy Youthful Skin Natually

Balanced radiant skin  is not achieved by lathering on creams or stocking up on expensive products. The key to balancing your skin is found in balancing the internal environment and caring for your skin in a natural way. Our skin is one of the main organs of detoxification. The condition of the skin is a good indicator of what is going on within the body. As the body becomes overwhelmed with toxins it pushes them out through the skin. Chronic skin problems are indicative of internal over toxification, imbalances and a sign the body is not thoroughly cleansed and detoxified. The first step in remedying any skin problem is to cleanse and detoxify the internal environment. Cleansing helps to remove accumulated toxins and to re-balance the internal environment. No cream, serum, cleanser or other skin care product can treat the root of a skin health. Once the internal environment is cleansed and purified naturally and holistically caring for your skin will keep in youthful, radiant, soft and glowing.

Here are some natural ways to care for your skin. From foods that support skin health, to herbs that cleanse the skin to natural cleansing and hydrating recipes for keeping your skin looking as amazing as you are.

Foods for Healthy Skin
Although the cosmetic industry would have us believe otherwise, beautiful skin doesn't come from a jar full of perfumed chemicals. Beyond being born with great genes, the best thing you can do for your skin is to eat a healthy diet. Learn how to enhance your skin from the inside out by eating foods that will make your epidermis glow with health. Try adding these foods to your diet to both feel and look better.

Chia Seeds: Chia offers a multitude of health benefits. The word chia derives from the Aztec word for oily. Chia seeds offer high levels of omega-3 acids which the human body needs but cannot produce and which only come from a few dietary sources.

Without omega-3's, people can suffer from poor circulation and dry skin, as well as heart problems, fatigue, depression and a feeling of mental fogginess. Chia seeds help keep skin (and the rest of the body) hydrated because they are hydrophilic, absorbing more than 10 times their weight in water. You can sprinkle chia seeds in your hot cereal, add a teaspoon of the tiny seeds to a glass of juice, or add a few to add extra texture to a salad or vegetable hot dish.

Almonds: These nuts are an excellent source of vitamin E which helps minimize the negative effects of sun exposure on the skin, as well as aiding against certain types of skin cancer. They also provide a quick source of strength and energy, providing fuel for exercise which also benefits the skin. Additionally, almond skins benefit human skin through their high levels of antioxidants.

Dandelions: If you look at dandelions as annoying weeds, you are missing out on a tremendous healthy food. Dandelions cleanse the liver of toxins. If you have a congested liver which cannot effectively cleanse the bloodstream, your skin is more likely to show wear and tear whether through breakouts or the effects of aging and pollution. Dandelion greens contain high levels of several of the vitamins and minerals known to contribute to healthy skin including Vitamin A, B, and C as well as copper and zinc.

Think of dandelions as the dietary equivalent of a refreshing face mask. Dandelions can easily be grown or foraged, so you can add them to your diet without adding to your grocery budget. Spring and early summer are the best times to harvest the greens. You can use them in salads or juice them. In early fall, gather dandelion roots which you can chop and dry-roast in the oven, then use to make a rich, chicory-like beverage. You can add honey plus coconut or rice milk for a dandelion latte. Just be sure not to use dandelions which have been sprayed with chemicals.

Cucumbers: These vegetables provide abundant vitamin C and silica. The trace mineral silica is essential for strong connective tissue and supports the ability of skin to heal. Without silica, skin loses its elasticity and becomes more prone to wrinkles and age spots.

Turmeric: The spice which gives curries an orangey hue derives much of its nutritional value from polyphenol anti-oxidant phytochemicals called curcuminoids. Curcuminoids provide as much as 8 times the antioxidant power as that found in most other antioxidant foods. Turmeric aids in the treatment of psoarisis, rosacea, acne and other inflammatory skin conditions. Plus, turmeric contributes to skin elasticity. It also helps to support the natural flora which can provide form a barrier on the skin protecting it from dangerous microbes. To use: Mix turmeric with coconut or other edible oil. Apply to the skin and let  sit for 15-20 minutes then rinse with warm water. This type of preparation and use will help reduce acne scaring and leave your skin glowing and radiant.

Silica: Silica is a trace mineral that strengthens the body's connective tissues - muscles, tendons, hair, ligaments, nails, cartilage, and bone - and is vital for healthy skin. Silica deficiency can result in reduced skin elasticity and can hamper the body's ability to heal wounds. Food sources of silicia include leeks, green beans, garbanzo beans, strawberries, cucumber, mango, celery, asparagus and rhubarb. In its natural form, silica is found in the horsetail herb.

Zinc: The mineral zinc is an important component of healthy skin, especially for acne sufferers. In fact, acne itself may be a symptom of zinc deficiency. Zinc acts by controlling the production of oil in the skin, and may also help control some of the hormones that create acne. Zinc is also required for proper immune system function, as well as for the maintenance of vision, taste, and smell. Zinc consumption is also strongly linked to a reduction of prostate cancer.

Foods rich in zinc include fresh oysters, pumpkin seeds, ginger, pecans ,Brazil nuts, oats, and eggs. Zinc can be purchased in supplement form, in both liquid concentrates and tablets.

Tips For Keeping the Skin Healthy Naturally

  • As a natural alternative to topical application of benzoyl peroxide, use calendula, commonly known as pot marigold. Calendula is a popular ornamental plant that you can buy for your garden at most nurseries in the spring. Its bright orange flowers can be made into tinctures, lotions and creams. Try washing your skin with tea made from the flowers, or buy ready-to-use calendula skin products at health-food stores.
  • Tea Tree Oil has antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties and stimulates the immune system and is an effective remdy for healing and keeping the skin free of harmful bacteria. California aesthetician Brenda Harper says she believes that tea tree oil should be in every medicine cabinet. She uses it regularly with clients who suffer from acne, with "wonderful results," she says. "Used in conjunction with glycolic acid, which is an exfoliant, tea tree oil helps destroy the bacteria that can cause acne flare-ups," she explains.Harper says that a severe case of acne will respond to daily treatments within 6 months. She recommends dabbing tea tree oil on the affected areas, waiting 15 minutes, and then applying glycolic acid. Make sure the skin is perfectly clean before beginning, she adds. Tea tree oil can also be used preventively, Harper says. "If you're acne-prone, apply it regularly to keep breakouts from occurring." For occasional flare-ups, an application of tea tree oil should show results within a day. "Just make sure that you don't pick at your skin," Harper warns. "Too often, people can't keep their hands off their face and they wind up making the situation worse, or causing scarring or hyperpigmentation, which will then call for peels to even out the skin tone."
  • Try astragalus (Astragalus membranaceous) from the root of a Chinese plant that can help fight chronic infections. The dose is two capsules or tablets twice a day unless the product label directs otherwise.
  • Increase your consumption of antioxidant-rich foods, including fruits and vegetables.
  • Include omega-3 fatty acids such as wild Alaskan salmon or freshly ground flaxseeds to help reduce and prevent inflammation.
  • Drink lots of water to keep the skin hydrated and healthy.
  • Limit processed and refined foods, and opt for whole, healthful foods instead.
  • Don't be afraid to eat a piece of dark chocolate now and then - there is no link between chocolate and acne, and dark chocolate actually has antioxidant benefits!
  • Healthy oils such as Vitamin E, Grapeseed, safflower, sunflower and Apricot Oil all are high in antioxidant that work to repair and heal the skin. People tend to shy away from putting oils on the skin but natural oils do not clog the pores and bind to natural oils on the skin to wash them away without over drying or causing imbalance.

Oil ~ The Missing Link to Healthy Balanced Skin
Many believe and see oil as the culprit in skin problems and outbreaks but in reality oil may be the missing link in balancing the skin. The fear of oil has led to skin products that are detergent based and absent of oil. But when you put oil and oil together they bind to each other. Oil in cleansers attach to oil in and on the skin and rinse both off effectively leading to deep-pore cleansing without leaving the skin parched and overly dried. Oil gently yet effectively removes make-up, dirt, sweat and excess natural skin oils without irritating sensitive skin and maintains the skins natural level of moisture. Cleansing the skin with an oil based cleanser results in visibly better hydration, quicker healing of acne and plumper skin with fewer lines.

Cleansers that are detergent based, non-oil based, have a tendency to over dry the skin which leads to irritation, redness, acne and flare ups of eczema and psoriasis. These types of cleansers also leave the skin depleted. When the skin is depleted it produces more oil to compensate contributing to an unhealthy skin cycle. Oil based cleansers work effectively for all skin types because they work the balance the skin and leave it supple and pliable, not taut and stripped of moisture. Keeping the skin soft and supple keeps the skin youthful and helps prevent fine lines and wrinkles from developing over time.

Natural Cleansing Oil
Use fresh pure cold pressed oils not oils that have been sitting around or exposed to heat or the sun. Blend antioxidant rich olive and castor oil which effectively draws out dirt and bacteria.
Oily or acne prone skin:
75% castor oil
25% olive oil

Dry Skin
25% castor oil
75% olive oil

For a lighter blend use grapeseed or jojoba oil in place of olive oil.

Natural Green Tea Toner
To balance pH of skin and heal the skin.

1 cup green tea in distilled water
5 drops of lavender oil
5 drops of geranium oil