August 2012 Newsletter


In this Edition: Fall Cleanse, Meet Dr Grace, Aromalymphatic Massage, Type II Diabetes Prevention

Time for a Quick Fall Cleanse

Fall is a great time for a quick cleanse after a busy summer and before we enter the holiday season. Finding the right cleanse for your body and lifestyle can make all the difference in feeling rejuvenated. Cleanses give your body a break from the normal patterns of life and allow the release toxins that are stored in the liver, lungs, kidneys and the lymphatic systems. Built up toxins can suppress your immune system, prevent weight loss and leave you feeling fatigued and foggy headed. Cleanses can vary from a quick weekend reboot to a two week overhaul. Call to schedule a 30 minutes visit to outline the perfect fall cleanse for you and your schedule.

Sincerely, Dr. Faith Christensen, Dr Allison Nabours, and Dr Grace Calihan

Meet Dr Grace Calihan ND, LAc

I am a naturopathic doctor and licensed acupuncturist now practicing at Springs Natural Medicine, and I am so looking forward to helping you on your journey to optimal health! An interest in nutrition and gardening planted the seeds of my future in healthcare, but I fell in love with naturopathic medicine becauseit integrates so many aspects of a patient’s life. So much of our health is within our control and it is my passion and calling to help uncover various roadblocks to optimal health. Additionally, I love to teach, and working with patients to make small and large changes in their lives begins with a strong understanding of the medicine.
I am trained as a general practice physician and I enjoy working with all patients with an interest in improving their health. I also have a special interest in preventative cardiology, natural fertility, and anti-aging medicine. I am very interested to be a member of your health care team. I have experience coordinating care with other doctors and have the utmost respect for conventionally trained medical doctors. I strongly believe in the combined importance of conventional care and natural medicine, and patients benefit the most from great relationships among their health care providers.

As a licensed acupuncturist I am also able to diagnose and treat patients from traditional Chinese perspective.Integrating this skill set with Western medicine helps to expose the underlying cause of the disease, and using acupuncture techniques, where needed, can have truly transformative results.
I received my Doctorate in naturopathic medicine and Masters of Science in acupuncture at Bastyr Universityin Seattle, WA. This combined training included over 7,000 clinical and classroom hours. My clinical rotations included specialty shifts in family medicine, men’s health, gynecology, oncology and pain management.I studied pre-med at Hampshire College in Amherst, MA where I earned my Bachelor of Science degree, receiving Special Recognition for Outstanding Thesis on the topic of the effects of coconut oil on cholesterol.
I am looking forward to meeting you soon! Contact us today at 719-685-2500 for a free initial meet and greet!

Aromalymphatic Massage: Immune Boosting Spa Therapy by Faith Christensen, N

Aroma lymphatic massage combines traditional lymphatic massage and essential oil therapy with craniosacral bodywork and hydrotherapy.  Lymphatic massage involves light two fingered strokes brushing toward the heart along the surface of the body. Essential oil therapy is selected for individual lymphatic areas. Applications of hot and cold towels end this deeply relaxing lymphatic stimulating massage.

Developed by Ola Christensen, LMT, Dr Faith’s mother, this unique combination targets stuck or stagnant lymphatic areas while the light strokes sweep away stress. Hydrotherapy stimulates optimal digestionand elimination of the digestive tract and stimulates circulation and balancing of immune activity

Functions of the Lymphatic System

1.  Fluid and Protein Balance:  Filters and returns 1-2 liters of fluid a day from the body into the circulatory system. If the lymphatic system isnt working optimally one can experience bloating in the digestive tract, swelling of the ankles and hands, restless legs and muscle cramps.

2.  Immunity and Spread of Infection:  The lymphatic system is the first line of defense when invasion is signaled. This network of vessels and nodes transports and filters lymph fluid containing antibodies,lymphocytes, and bacteria. The lymphatic system orchestrates the way the body prevent illness and diseases from invading pathogens.

3.  Cancer and the Lymphatic System:  The lymphatic system is critical to the body’s surveillance against cancer and provides the most common avenuesfor the spread of cancer cells throughout the body. Cancer cells secrete substances that cause new lymphaticchannels to grow helping to spread the cancer cells. More research into the underlying issues for cancer prevention is needed.

4.  Inflammation, Auto-immunity and the Lymphatic System:  Inflammatory and auto-immune diseases( RA, SLE, Autoimmune Thyroid Disease, Scleroderma, Wegener’s granulomatosis, etc) are impacted by the lymphatic system. The immune system has malfunctioned and createsantibodies to itself. These antibodies, called “auto-antibodies”, react with the “self” antigens to form immune complexes. The immune complexes build up in the tissues and can cause inflammation, injury to tissues, and pain. Balancing the lymphatic system helps the immune system become more balanced in its responses.

Anatomy of the Lymphatic System

The lymphatic system is comprised of lymphatic capillaries, lymph nodes and lymphatic ducts that follow the circulatory system of the body. Lymph carried through the lymph vessels is filtered through lymph nodes. There are approximately 600 lymph nodes in the body. The lymph nodes remove damaged cells, unwanted protein and bacteria. Lymphocytes then destroy other substances by immune response through the production of antibodies.
Aromalymphatic Massage is a great way to optimize your lymphatic system, support detoxification during a cleanse or to boost the immune system before winter arrives. Ask Dr Allison, Dr Faith or Dr Grace at your next visit to see if your lymphatic system needs some support. Lori DiPasquale, CMT provides traditional massage, hot stone, sports massage, deep tissue and aromalymphatic massage at Springs Natural Medicine.


Type II Diabetes – Prevention through Healthy Living by Allison Nabours, ND

Diabetes affects 8.3% of Americans of all ages, 11.3% of adults aged 20 years and older, and 25% of persons age 65 and older, according to the National Diabetes Fact Sheet for 2011. Many of us with a strong family history of diabetes worry that it will affect us as we age and are starting to look for ways to prevent blood sugar dysregulation. I am a strong proponent that knowledge is power and want to share ways in which diet and lifestyle can aide in the prevention of Type II Diabetes.

Many adults of all ages start feeling the effects of hypoglycemia, low blood sugar, as the first sign their body is having difficulty regulating levels of glucose. Blood glucose is tightly regulated within our system by many hormonal signals with the most well-known being insulin. Insulin is a signal for cells of our body including organs and muscles to allow glucose in for energy. At the onset, receptors that are responsible for opening gates to allow glucose in start to be less responsive to insulin. Over time, higher and higher levels of insulin are required to open gates for glucose to enter the cell. This is what is referred to as insulin resistance. In an effort to lower blood levels of glucose, the pancreas, the organ responsible for insulin production, overshoots the level of insulin required due to increasing insulin resistance and the effect is a roller coaster ride in which blood sugar levels swing from high to low. Individualsdealing with hypoglycemia will feel this swing in blood sugar most after meals high in carbohydrates.

Many will report that 2 hours after a meal they will start to feel shaky, sweaty, and their heart will feel like it is racing. During this time, the most commonly used laboratory test to detect diabetes, fasting glucose, will not show any signs of concern. The reason for this is that the pancreas is still able to produceadequate levels of insulin, but the problem is that changes on the cellular level are still occurring and the progression towards diabetes is continuing.

When I have patients that are having difficulties with blood sugar regulation the test that I encourage most is what is called Hemoglobin A1C. It is a measure of the level of glycosylation of red blood cells. This occurs when blood sugar levels are on average higher throughout the day than they should. I have found that this picks up blood sugar dysregulation much earlier than fasting glucose and helps patients understand the early changes of Type II diabetes. The early stages of blood sugar instability put a lot of stress and over work on the pancreas as the pancreas works overtime to produce adequate levels of insulin. As diabetes progresses, if diet and lifestyle changes aren’t made, this burden on the pancreas results in the ability of the pancreas to produce insulin to decline and blood sugar levels will slowly begin to creep up and changes in fasting glucose can be seen. Throughout this process, however, it is important to understand that these changes can be reversed and that is what I would like to focus on next.

A family history of diabetes doesn’t mean an individual is predestined to a diagnosis of diabetes. I consider it an opportunity to make healthy lifestyle choices that will optimize your health and vitality into the future. When I work with patients with blood sugar issues the first two changes I encourage are increasing exercise and focusing their diet on quality protein sources and vegetables. By far, exercise is the driving force in reducing insulin resistance on the cellular level and reversing the changes that lead to diabetes. For patients, I encourage at least 30-45 minutes of aerobic exercise 5 days a week. With patients that are just beginning on their journey with exercise I often start with 15 minutes a day and have them work their way up. With diet, I am encouraging patients to really limit carbohydrate intake and with they do indulge in carbohydrates to make it whole grain sources that are high in fiber.

In addition, when eating fruits I encourage patients to choose low glycemic fruits such as berries, apples, and citrus instead of tropical fruits that are higher on the glycemic index. With patients that need additional blood sugar support, I will also utilize herbs and nutrients to further support their body. Herbs that are particularly indicated include Devil’s Club, Gymnema, and Bitter Melon to name a few. It is quite rewarding to see patients take charge of their health and reverse and avoid changes of diabetesand feel empowered with their health. All it takes is the knowledge and desire to make the needed changes.

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