Carolyn Dew, Registered Acupuncturist
Tis the season of dark days, less sunlight, being forced indoors, and being alone with your thoughts. Winter is peak yin time – a time of reflection, of slowing down, a time to recharge. It is the opposite energy to summer. It is a time of contemplation and renewal however if you find yourself sitting with negative thoughts for too long or too often, or if you are feeling really stuck and not able to go with the flow of winter mentally or physically, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) can help.
Doctors in China has been using the TCM herbal formula Xiao Yao San for centuries. “Free and Easy Wanderer” contains eight commonly used herbs: bupleurum root, chinese angelica root, white peony root, poria, bighead atractylodes rhizome, roasted ginger, prepared licorice root, and peppermint. In Chinese Medicine theory terms, Xiao Yao San soothes the liver, invigorates the spleen, nourishes the blood and clears heat away from the liver due to blood deficiency.
Western medical research has found similar results. Researchers set out to evaluate the beneficial and harmful effects of Xiao Yao San in a research article : A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials (Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Volume 2012, Article ID 931636).
What they found was that using the prescription of Xiao Yao San in all of its forms (pills, powder and tea) can be beneficial to patients with depression.
In comparing Xiao Yao San prescriptions alone, antidepressants alone, and the combination of Xiao Yao San prescriptions and antidepressants, the researchers found that Xiao Yao San prescriptions may have the same effectiveness as antidepressants, and with fewer side effects. Combining Xiao Yao San with antidepressants showed significant beneficial effects—shorter onset time, symptom improvement with less adverse events—as compared to the results of those taking just antidepressants or just Xiao Yao San prescriptions.
So if you are struggling with depressive thoughts and low mood consider accessing TCM therapy. Besides Chinese herbal medicine, Acupuncture is also a super effective tool at stabilizing and treating the mood disorders. These can be used on their own or as an adjunct to your current medical therapy.
For more info, please check out carolyndew.ca
Cynthia Simmons, Certified Thermography Technician
One of the best tools for spotting inflammation is thermography (infra-red imaging). It is well documented that inflammation is a precursor to many diseases. As well as detecting inflammation, thermography is extremely useful for pinpointing neurological, vascular and circulatory dysfunction, and revealing injury to muscles and bones. Breast Thermography can also give a better view of anatomical changes within dense breast tissue – changes nearly impossible to view on a mammogram.
Normal thermographic images show symmetry: the same temperature on both sides of the body (or breasts). Differences in temperatures can indicate something is wrong. That ability to compare in such detail is key to (breast) cancer prevention.
Thermography is non-invasive, no pain (no squeezing) and because it has no radiation it can be safely used at any age. And is safe to use with eg.breast implants.
Breast thermography has been researched for over 30 years, and over 800 peer-reviewed breast thermography studies exist in the index-medicus. In this data base well over 250,000 women have been included as study participants. Breast thermography has an average sensitivity and specificity of 90%. Breast thermography is not a stand-alone tool in the screening and diagnosis of breast cancer. It is adjunctive. When used as part of a multimodal approach (clinical examination + mammography + thermography), 95% of early-stage cancers can be detected.
A thermal scan of other parts of the body can indicate other health problems in their very early stages – before many conventional approaches can. Thermal imaging of the joints for example, may demonstrate early signs of arthritis that can be addressed sooner rather than later, preventing further degeneration. The Cranial scan can indicate dental inflammation and hyper or hypo thyroid.
Do you have pains and your doctors can’t see it? Thermography will give you pictures of your pain / inflammation. A thermographic picture is truly worth a 1000 words. (cost of a breast scan is $265, Cranial $225, Upper or Lower $265)
Cindy Simmons is a Certified Thermography Technician, Breast Health Educator and Author of “A Guide to Healthy Hormones, SECRETS to Breast Health” (available on Amazon). Cindy can be reached at 905.873.5773 for information or to book an appointment in Georgetown or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Julia Fountain ND
Carbonated water is made by bubbling carbon dioxide through water. The resulting chemical reaction creates carbonic acid which activates nerve receptors on the tongue and gives that refreshing mouth-feel.
Sparkling mineral water comes from natural springs which contain trace minerals. Examples: Perrier (the carbonation is natural) and San Pellegrino (which has carbonation added).
Seltzer water is plain water that has been carbonated by bubbling CO2 through it. Examples: Soda Stream. Flavoured seltzer water may have natural flavours (lime, grapefruit) and citric acid added
Club soda is carbonated water, with additional minerals added including potassium and sodium, to mimic a natural spring flavor.
Tonic water has quinine added (which gives it the bitter flavor), sugar, citric acid other flavouring ingredients. It has 130 calories per can.
So, are they healthy?
Tonic water is more pop than water, and with added sugars, flavourings and 130 calories per can, it doesn’t have a lot of nutritional ‘upside’.
Club soda, seltzer water and sparkling mineral water have no calories unless they are flavoured with syrups. Carbonated water is less acidic than orange juice and pop but more acidic than plain water, averaging 5.5 on the pH scale. Fizzy waters become more acidic when citric acid is added. Does this acidity have a damaging effect? Perhaps. In a Jan 2018 study in the Korean Orthodontic Journal, teeth were submerged in carbonated water for 15 minutes 3x/day for 7 days. Carbonated water was found to decrease the hardness of tooth enamel.
However on the upside, a 2017 study showed carbonated water was shown to increase satiety and curbed appetite in young women. A study. in the Journal of European Gastroenterology claimed carbonated water improved constipation, indigestion, and gallbladder emptying. However this study was sponsored by a European bottled water company so take this one with a grain of salt.
Other than that, there’s not a lot of data out there on the health benefits or effects of carbonated water. Until more information comes to light…my bottom line recommendations for carbonated water are these:
1) Most people will be able to enjoy fizzy water as a healthy way to hydrate, but not to the exclusion of plain, flat water. Consider your teeth.
2) If you have IBS, reflux/acid stomach or bloating, tread lightly with carbonated water. I find clinically it aggravates these conditions for some.
3) When possible, choose glass bottles, or a Soda Stream system. I’m curious about what leaches out of plastic bottles and aluminum cans when they contain slightly acidic water. I haven’t found data to justify this concern, it’s just my humble opinion.
4) Avoid sparkling water with artificial flavours, colours, citric acid, sweeteners. Choose plain or natural flavours, or add a splash of fresh lemon or lime.
5) Continue to eat an alkaline diet comprised of generous portions of leafy greens and plant-based foods, to balance any acidity your sparkling water provides.