CranioSacral Therapy

“The Healing Power of Gentle Touch”

What is CranioSacral Therapy (CST)?

CST is a gentle hands-on manual therapy, safe for all ages, that releases tensions deep in the body to relieve pain and dysfunction. This improves whole body health and performance and is accomplished by working with the CranioSacral System - the soft tissues and fluid that protect your brain and spinal cord, as well as the attached bones. Few body systems have more impact on your central nervous system and by releasing these tensions it allows the nervous system to perform at its best, enabling the entire body to relax and self-correct. This naturally relieves pain, stress and strengthens resistance to disease.

What conditions are helped with CranioSacral Therapy?

CST complements the body’s natural healing processes and is therefore effective in helping relieve symptoms of a multitude of conditions. A few examples are:

  • Migraines

  • Dementia

  • Post-concussion

  • Dental Procedures (pre/post)

  • TMJ Syndrome

  • Chronic Fatigue

  • Fibromyalgia

  • Autism

  • Scoliosis

  • Neck & Back Pain

What can I expect from a session?

A typical Craniosacral Therapy session takes place in a quiet, private setting. You remain fully clothed as you relax on a comfortable, padded table. The therapist begins by gently touching various points of your body to assess the rhythm of the fluid that is flowing around your central nervous system. This allows identification of those areas of weakness, restriction and dysfunction. Delicate manual techniques are then used to release those problem areas and improve the form and function of your central nervous system. A session can lasts up to an hour or more. Results are typically seen anywhere from 1-4 sessions and can be used alone or integrated with other therapies to create powerful effects. What you experience from your own session is highly individual. The sessions are generally deeply relaxing, creating feelings of warmth or gentle pulsing in the areas worked on.

Treat the Root Cause of Acne

Acne is something very few of us avoid, although it is not dangerous, we do go to great lengths to avoid it. Instead of spending money on every new product that claims to cure acne, think about what could be causing the acne in the first place and treat the root cause. There are several causes of acne. You could have a hormone imbalance especially if you are a female and you notice your break outs happen before your cycle or if you are a male and suspect that you may have too much testosterone.  Another common cause of acne is a diet full of greasy foods, processed foods, and foods that have high amounts of sugar or turn into sugar in the body. Your skin is your largest organ in the body, if you are putting toxins in the easiest way for the body to get rid of toxins is through the skin. Think about this too with drugs, smoking, and too much alcohol.  One that is hard to control is too much stress and not enough rest which throws a wrench in several systems in the body.  Over washing the skin can also cause acne since the natural oils are stripped your body will produce more oil to try and compensate, causing more breakouts. Also be aware of cosmetic products and lotions that may clog your pores. Additionally, take care of your digestive system. If you find yourself having rabbit stools or skipping days between bowel movements you are considered constipated and the food rotting in your digestive track will release toxins no matter how clean the food was to begin with.  

Thus, your first step to clear skin is to use a gentle cleanser that doesn’t strip oils, use masks to absorb toxins, and exfoliate your skin to clear dead skin cells. Your second step is to decrease processed foods, sugar, refined carbohydrates, greasy/fried foods, and dairy. By doing this you will decrease the amount of toxins that you are consuming, even more if you consume an organic diet. Increase water intake to also help flush toxins from the body. Take a vitamin and probiotic supplement to decrease nutrient deficiencies and to support good gut bacteria. Third step is to find time to take care of yourself to decrease stress. Exercise, meditation, playing with a pet, and laughing have all shown to reduce stress in your life. Creating a gratitude journal can also help you to create a positive outlook. Make sure you are getting enough sleep and allow yourself to nap if you are feeling tired. It is also recommended to change pillowcases often to prevent oil and dirt from seeping into the pores. ƒIf you are still having trouble with your acne, the next step is to get your hormone levels checked and an allergy test since allergies can lead to inflammation in your gut.  

While you are doing all of this acupuncture and herbs can help reduce acne by regulating the digestive system, promoting detoxification, regulating hormones, reducing stress, decreasing allergy symptoms, and helping the body to rest. Thus, acupuncture is considered a great adjunct therapy on your journey to clear skin.

How does acupuncture help increase fertility in women and men?

Did you know that most babies are conceived around Christmas?  If you are planning on getting pregnant this winter season acupuncture can help increase fertility for both men and women. Modern living causes most people to feel overworked and over stressed which may result in a decreased chance of pregnancy.  Living in a modern society has a negative impact on a couple’s fertility. Because we are exposed to hundreds of chemicals, our foods lack nutrition, toxins in water, polluted air, non-restorative sleep, and stress, we are at risk of unhealthy family planning.

Being stressed is one of the most common reasons for infertility. Research tells us that stress creates spasms in the Fallopian tubes and the uterus which can prevent the egg from being fertilized. Stress can also impact a man’s fertility by altering sperm counts, lowering mobility, and/or causing impotence. It has been well documented that acupuncture can reduce stress for couples. Just by inserting needles into the body, serotonin and other feel-good hormones are released causing a calming effect.  Acupuncture can also help increase fertility by increasing blood flow to the reproductive organs and balancing a woman’s hormones.

Once pregnancy occurs, it is advised that a woman receive weekly acupuncture treatments to maintain a healthy pregnancy. Acupuncture can help to maintain healthy uterine lining and reduce miscarriage-inducing bleeding. Additionally, acupuncture can reduce morning sickness, decrease lower back and hip flexor pain, help turn a breech baby, and promote an easier labor.

Although acupuncture has helped millions of women to become pregnant, becoming pregnant can be a challenge. To increase fertility, one must come in on a weekly basis for four to six months. That may sound like an extreme commitment, but when it comes to increasing fertility, acupuncture is one of the most affordable treatments.  By treating the whole person acupuncture can naturally help men and women conceive.

OZONE TREATMENT FOR HAIR AND SCALP

Ozone can be beneficial for hair and scalp problems. Ozone treatment is a scalp and

hair procedure which converts oxygen (O2) into ozone (O3) and diffuses into the hair

shaft and strengthens hair follicles. This treatment process addresses common hair

problems including hair loss, hair breakage, dandruff, premature graying. Ozone

therapy also enhances the volume of hair. To learn more about the amazing benefits of

ozone for hair and scalp, read on.

HERE ARE 6 BENEFITS OF OZONE TREATMENT FOR HAIR AND SCALP:

1. REDUCES HAIR LOSS

Hair loss or fall can be the results of numerous factors including natural aging

process, hormonal changes, dietary deficiencies, and or underlying medical and

psychological factors. Ozone treatment reduces hair loss by infusing the hair with

water soluble O3 molecules which stimulate production of hair cells. Ozone

invigorates the tiny blood vessels which surround the hair follicle: rejuvenating

and fortifying the hair follicles, improving blood circulation which nourishes the

nutrient supply to hair and scalp. All these factors can arrest uncontrolled hair

loss.

2. FIGHTS DANDRUFF

Dandruff, non-contagious scalp condition, is characterized by severe itching and flaking

on the scalp. Often an embarrassing problem, Ozone can stabilize the scalp by its potent

germicidal properties. The unique hair treatment kills bacteria and fungus without

causing any damage to the scalp skin and hair.

3. INCREASES VOLUME AND DENSITY OF HAIR

Ozone adds volume and density to the hair. Ozone can repair and reconstruct the

strands; treating and eliminating the problem of split ends, controls frizz and beneficial

for thin and wispy hair. Many people who have undergone this treatment also witness a

marked improvement in hair growth. By invigorating hair follicles, hair becomes stronger

and more voluminous.

4. MOISTURE AND HAIR COLORING

Coloring the hair repeatedly can cause the hair shaft to become dry and brittle. Dry,

frizzy hair is prone to breakage and thinning of hair strands. Ozone hair treatment comes

to the rescue of dry, damaged hair by locking moisture into the hair shaft. This unique

treatment nourishes the hair shaft, giving the hair a soft and lustrous appearance. It is

good for color treated hair as the peptones strengthen the bonds between hair strands

and color dye to protect the hair color.

5. MAXIMIZES BLOOD FLOW TO SCALP

An interesting aspect of ozone therapy is that ozone increases or boosts blood supply to

the scalp. Improving blood flow to the scalp, promotes rejuvenating hair follicles and

enhancing hair growth. An enhanced blood supply to the scalp can also help fight

microbial skin infections as well.

6. PREVENTS PREMATURE GRAYING

One of the primary causes for premature graying of hair is poor nutrient supply to the

hair follicles. Ozone therapy can enhance the rate at which the hair follicle absorbs vital

nutrients. In turn, ozone therapy helps to retain natural color of hair and prevents

untimely graying of hair.

Monarch Integrative Health Center (Littleton, CO) is one of few clinics in Colorado

offering hair and scalp Ozone therapy. This form of therapy is widely used, especially in

countries such as Germany, Canada, Italy, Switzerland, Russia, Cuba and Eastern

Europe. Hair and scalp ozone is a 20-30-minute pain free non-surgical treatment which

requires no anesthesia. Not all treatments will lead to desired outcomes, but at Monarch

Integrative Health, our team provides the skill set to determine possible root causes

which are hindering positive treatment outcomes. To learn more or schedule your

treatment please visit our website at www.monarchintegrativehealth.com

Is Acupuncture an Effective Treatment for Anxiety?

Recently I have noticed more of my patients are experiencing anxiety like they have never had before. They may have had great results with acupuncture for reducing pain, hot flashes,  and acid reflux, but they do not know if it will work for anxiety. I understand, it feels like you will never recover from the self perpetuating cycle. Good news though, recent studies have shown that acupuncture can reduce symptoms of anxiety twice as much as conventional drug therapy. This is because acupuncture has been shown to have an effect on the sympathetic nervous system and parasympathetic nervous system by allowing the body to improve its ability in coping with stress. Acupuncture does this by lessening the stress neurochemicals released in the brain, increasing the release of endorphins, and improving the heart rate variability. I highly recommend doing acupuncture with Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) which is intended to help patients change their thinking patterns to reduce anxiety. If one can calm their nervous system and then change their thinking pattern, I believe patients can overcome their anxiety naturally without taking pharmaceuticals.

How to Stay Healthy this Fall 2018, By Breana Harrison

Fall is coming as the days become cooler and daylight grows shorter. With this transition our immune systems are taxed, and we are more likely to catch colds. Regular monthly acupuncture sessions support and strengthen immunity.  Scientific research shows that acupuncture increases the white blood cells in the body and moderates the immune system allowing it to react swiftly and strongly to threats.  This summer we have had really poor air quality leading me to the assumption that our immune systems have been taxed, and I am predicting that we will need to work extra hard to keep ourselves healthy this fall.   To do this we need to take a look at all areas of our life, and especially what we are eating. We should be eating foods that are in season like apples, pears, and pomegranates as well as root vegetables. I also advise when sweater weather kicks in to ditch your salads and smoothies in favor of soups and bone broths. The warmer foods will taste better in the cooler weather, and your digestion will also not have to work as hard to break down your food. Ginger is a great spice to start adding in the fall as it will help warm your digestion and is beneficial in fighting against colds and flues. Cinnamon is the second super spice of the fall as it speeds up metabolism, increases circulation, reduces allergies, anti-microbial, anti-fungal, fights colds and flus, balances blood sugar and reduces sugar cravings, clears acne, kills candida, and it benefits your oral health.  It is really important to take care of our digestive system because it plays a vital role in keeping our immune system strong.   Although we try to do everything we can to stay healthy if you get a cold and have a cough, ginger is beneficial to reduce your cough and recover from the cold. Ginger tea can be made from fresh ginger root. You slice about an inch of it thinly and simmer it in warm water for 20 minutes, discard the root and drink the water. If the cough is dry raw pears and pear juice are beneficial. Additionally, you can make tea with honey, lemon, and cinnamon to moisten the lungs.  You can further help your lungs to stay moist by using humidifiers at home. Some people like using essential oil blends like Thieves or On Guard blends for health in diffusers to maintain health in the winter.   If you find that you have a lot of phlegm with your cold, spicy food is great at helping to clear the phlegm and help you sweat out the virus. If you have access to a sauna and can sweat out the toxins that is even better. Make sure you are not going from the hot to the cold, it is a shock to your system. Always wrap up from head to toe after a sauna or an intense gym session. Bananas, almonds, dairy, refined sugars and grains will produce more phlegm in the body, so if you are experiencing a lot of phlegm or constant sinus infections, try cutting out these foods.  An occasional sinus rinse is also great to help keep the sinuses clear of phlegm. Be careful not to do it every day, Colorado is really dry and rinsing too often can cause the sinuses to become dry and irritated.    Lastly, I recommend that you come in for acupuncture at the first sign of a cold. Acupuncture can help boost the immune system to shorten the severity and length the cold. I can use cupping or gua sha which further raises your white blood cell count to fight colds, flus, fevers, and inflammation. Prescribing herbs to purge the virus or boost the immune system is another option if they do not conflict with other herbs and medications. Following this advice should help you to stay healthy this fall.  

Homeopathy and Boosting your Immune System, By Franca Gardner

Autumn is the around the corner and eating healthy food and getting enough rest and exercise may not be enough to boost your immune system especially with recent exposure to a polluted environment (fires, construction, bacteria and viruses). Your Immune system needs a lift and Homeopathy can offer a boost without the normal side effects of medications. Proper immune function requires our own body to discriminate between foreign invaders and our own tissues. This includes optimal digestive capabilities, ability to digest, absorb nutrients and assimilate them. Homeopathy has much to offer a healthy gut brain connection. These include bowel nosodes (homeopathic probiotics) which include taking doses of bacteria from the large intestine to help re-establish good bacteria in the gut. Boosting the Immune system in Homeopathy is a simple principle: ‘Like cures Like”, the symptoms of the illness must be matched with the remedy causing the illness. The homeopathic practitioner chooses a remedy to treat symptoms that normally be caused by that remedy at full strength.  These immunotherapy remedies have been used for over 200 years. It is vital we all have a strong immune system and providing the body with modalities to fight back when it is under attack.  
 
The Top 3 remedies for boosting the immune system are as follows: 
 
Allium cepa- This medicine contains a low amount of red onion. It is used for relieving nasal congestion and treats teary eyes. It is ideal for improving immunity against cold and influenza. 
 
Gelsemium- This remedy is derived from the vine called Gelsemium sempervirens. It treats cold and flu symptoms. Your immunity against body aches and fever get reduced. 
 
Oscillococcinuim- This homeopathic medicine is also known as Oscillo. This remedy contains a small amount of duck liver and duck heart. It should be taken on the first day when you experience flu symptoms. It strengthens your immune system against germs, which cause cold and related conditions. 
 
There is no specific homeopathic medicine, which is only meant for boosting your immunity. The medicines are actually used for treating some specific conditions and symptoms, and they also improve your immunity against the conditions it fights. It is always recommended to consult a specialized homeopath before you undergo any medication.

Staying Healthy in Early Summer  

Summer Solstice is coming up on June 21st. I am always excited about the longer days and the warmer weather. We are moving into the most yang time of year. Nature is calling to us to go outside and to be active with the extended daylight.  

In the Chinese Five Element system, early summer is correlated to the fire element, the color red, the emotion of joy, bitter flavors, and the heart and small intestine organs. Use the long days to go out and do what you love to nourish and re-balance your heart energy.  When the fire element is out of balance we will notice a lack of joy, our minds will be anxious and we may have trouble sleeping.

You can also balance the heart by eating some bitter foods. When I say bitter foods, these are usually your green foods like kale and arugula, but dark chocolate, green tea, and coffee are all considered bitter as well. Do not go overboard on these foods because too much will also cause your heart to go out of balance. Additionally, place cooling foods like watermelon, cucumber, and hibiscus tea into your diet to balance the summer heat. Eat mostly raw fruits and vegetables in the summer if you are healthy and have a strong digestion. If you find that eating a lot of raw foods even with warming spices like turmeric, ginger, and black pepper causes you to have indigestion, bloating, and loose stools then make sure you cook all of your food as this indicates a weak digestive fire.

Lastly, to combat the summer heat, hydration is a must. Slicing fruit and herbs into water is a great way to make water more appealing.  You can flavor water with mint or cucumber and lemon slices or make it crazier with strawberries and basil or blackberries and dill. Have fun with it and stay hydrated.

My Story, and why I love acupuncture! 

Nowadays I love acupuncture, but that wasn't always the case. I grew up in a military family overseas in England. I had a horrible diet of Burger King, Anthony's Pizza, beer, and hot pockets. I was vaccinated for everything, birth control to control acne, Accutane, and regular doses of antibiotics because I was often sick (no surprise there). During my first year of teaching elementary school I got sick with what felt like a bladder infection causing me to use the restroom every 15 minutes, but no infection was present. So, doctors put me on daily antibiotics, an anti-fungal, vaginal valium, an anti-depressant, and Tylenol with codeine. I was so loopy that I was falling asleep while teaching. My pharmacist actually asked me who was prescribing all of this together? My step mother finally stepped in and bought a package of 5 treatments at my local acupuncturist. I really didn't want to go because I thought acupuncture was voodoo, and I must admit I hated my first treatment. The needles were really painful (I was obviously super inflamed), it felt lazy to sit there for what seemed like forever, and if I didn't have remaining treatments in the package I wouldn't have gone back. After about 3 or 4 treatments the needles became less painful, I learned to enjoy relaxing, and the frequency of urination got less and less with each treatment even after stopping all of my medications. 

I love acupuncture because this style of medicine looks at people as a whole. While reducing my bladder symptoms the acupuncturist was also helping to relax my whole nervous system and reduce chronic all over inflammation. This was so amazing that I immediately switched career fields to try and understand this medicine. What I learned is that people are a complex puzzle, and most pathologies and pain are more than just the one thing that is presenting. This is one of the oldest medicines, and it is still around because it actually works. Diagnosis really doesn't mean anything. Where is the energetic imbalance? What do you need to do to be back in balance? We are energetic beings having a human experience as the saying goes, and we have to balance our energy or illness will occur. If that is too wu wu for you, realize that most acupuncture points are placed over nerve bundles, this helps to redirect nerve signals in the brain. Being stuck with a needle anywhere also releases serotonin in the brain, which in turn reduces pain and makes you feel good. Acupuncture is also more than just needles we use cupping to move old blood and circulate new blood into the tissue. I'm sure you have seen many athletes with the cupping marks. We also use gua sha to help promote circulation into the tissue, and we can use it to boost the immune system. Some practitioners refer to this as the Graston Technique. Lastly, we also use herbal remedies to boost a patient if no other medications are being used. Over the years I have seen many wonderful outcomes from acupuncture alone, and I am so excited to share this medicine with others. 

 

Colds/Flus & Acupuncture

Flu season is already shaping up to be one of the worst seasons in over a decade, claiming the lives of nearly 20 children across the U.S. and 7% of senior deaths over the last month, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention...even in a very good year the influenza vaccine is only about 60% effective. And, the projection of how effective it is going to be against the H3N2 this year is about 30%" as reported by www.foxbusiness.com

What can you do to protect you and your family? Your best option is to prevent getting the flu. Your immune health starts in your gut, and thus you should be eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables, with minimum processed sugars or processed foods. A good daily probiotic will also help your gut to build good bacteria. You may also want to take immune boosting herbs. My favorite formula is Yu Ping Feng San, as well as taking camu camu berry powder which is full of vitamin C. Dry brushing can help to move the lymph system and boost the immune system. Wearing scarves and wrapping up when you go outside is also advised. Then lastly you can make sure that you are receiving regular acupuncture to boost the immune system. Acupuncture can help raise your immune enhancing hormones and white blood cell count for three days following an acupuncture treatment. Thus, acupuncture has been proven to help raise the immune system or cut the duration of a cold/flu. If you do get sick, make sure to flush out your system with plenty of water, wrap up, and eat spicy food to help drain the mucus from your sinuses.