This July I was fortunate enough to attend the virtual naturopathic doctors’ gathering of the year. The American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP) convention was held in the comfort of the attendees’ homes, but it still provided some of the best education and networking opportunities for health and wellness practitioners across the United States, Canada, and beyond.

The agenda was packed with a variety of diverse topics aimed to satisfy the many subspecialties of naturopathic doctors. I call these “subspecialties,” because naturopathic physicians are all already “specialists” in safely integrating natural healing modalities and lifestyle medicine into conventional healthcare and/or alternative wellness models. For instance, essential oils partner perfectly with my integrative medicine training and the five naturopathic principles. They are one modality I use that I find very effective across my subspecialties of mental health, mind-body medicine, women’s health, and digestive health.

Gathering together during this very trying and hectic time in medicine and society was just what the “doctor ordered.” I am currently writing a review of the event for a naturopathic journal on the workshops I attended. The article is scheduled to be released in September.

Here’s a list of the educational events I was fortunate enough to attend:

  • Keynote: Inspiration and Unlocking Human Potential by Colin O’Brady
  • The Microbiome in Women’s Health & Fertility, Jaclyn Chase, ND *
  • Cannabis and Botanical Formulations by Glen Nagel
  • The Benzo Trap: Helping Patients Get Off Benzodiazepines for Good by Amy Rothenburg, ND
  • Keynote: How You are Essential to Collaborative Integrative Practice & How Collaboration is Essential to You by Lise Alschuler, ND, FABNO
  • The Dangers of Not Knowing: Interactions Between Nutrient Depleting Pharmaceuticals and Nutritional SNPs by Joel Evans, MD
  • Childhood Stress Can Influence Adult Disease by Lylen Ferris, ND
  • The Iodine Window – Reversing Thyroid Disease Through Diet by Guillermo Ruiz, NMD
  • Nutrient Imbalances Versus Mental Health: An All-Natural Treatment Paradigm by Albert Mensah, MD
  • Adolescent Suicide Prevention by Amanda Watters, ND
  • Keynote: The Radical Redesign of Healthcare: What Now? by Tracy Gaudet, MD
  • Mental Health Update: Drugs, Supplements, Psychedelics, Devices … Oh My by Peter Bongiorno, ND
  • Getting It On. It’s Not All Hormonal! Lessons Learned as an Ob/Gyn by Sangetta Patti, MD
  • Phytonutrients and the Management of Thyroid Health; Understanding the Oxidative Concern by Cheryl Burdette, ND
  • Ending Pain: Leveraging Neurology in a Naturopathic Practice by Mark Hesig, ND
  • Doctors in a Digital World

Stay tuned for the release!

A Naturopathic Doctor’s Weekly “Ah-Ha’s”:  Must Knows for Overcoming Symptom Woes

I’m starting a new series where I highlight some of my “ah-ha’s” of the previous week. These can include:

  • A podcast with “must-know info” that could fundamentally change clinical or wellness practice
  • An essential oil win from clinical practice that is easy to apply
  • Instagram attention grabbers
  • Cool research with an essential oils’ association

This post happens to preview them all!

Let me know what you think!

Podcast Must Know Info This Week:

Hold the Calcium! It’s Not for Bones and Could Harm the Heart! … But, Can You Pass the D, K, and Mag Please?

I’m a podcast junkie. I listen to over thirty a week. It’s a little excessive, I know, but I learn a lot from listening to my colleagues’ discussions on research and their experience in clinical practice.

This week, there was one podcast that made my eyes widen. It reminded me of the dangers that can occur when people take supplements haphazardly. It happened to be on high doses of calcium for bone health.

In the past, I wrote a blog on why supplement studies can be so confusing and produce negative results.

Key aspects include:

1. Many nutrients in studies are administered in isolation, yet there are mineral-nutrient interactions to be aware of. For example:

  • calcium competes with manganese
  • high levels of calcium can decrease iron
  • calcium can reduce zinc levels
  • Vitamin D, A, and K2 are important to prevent calcifications in soft tissues

2. Trials often do not account for nutrient-drug interactions which impacts availability of both the medication and these nutrients.

3. Bad study designs and biases can lead to misrepresentation of harm. These factors include trial limitations, incorrect dosages for the condition given, not accounting for quality of the supplements, and more.

4. Testing a nutrient that has no established connection to the symptom or disease.

Even with all the above considerations, overall, there have been very few harms associated with supplements. Most issues are related to certain populations with specific, high dose, isolated nutrient and/or poorly thought out and implemented studies.

This week’s highlighted podcast pointed out the damage that could be done with taking high doses of calcium for bone health. In the podcast, Chris Kresser was interviewed by Dr. Ruscio and he provided research from observational and clinical trials that rather than reaching the bones, high doses of calcium can deposit in tissues and vessels.

The discussion also included the importance of co-factors for calcium metabolism, how dietary calcium is different than supplementation, diary and bone health, and more.

Needless to say, if you are taking a high dose calcium supplement in the hopes of building bone strength, it may be wise to run this by your doctor.

This link provides a summary and whole episode and includes the research studies discussed.

Essential Oil Win for the Week- Dr. Sarah’s Highlight in Clinical Practice

Problems with chronic upper gut discomfort can have many triggers and it can be tricky to treat. Below are some things to consider that contribute to functional dyspepsia:

Socio-psychological factors such as stress, anxiety, depression, and tense interpersonal relationships.

Biological mechanisms such as gastroduodenal dysfunction and inflammation, impaired duodenal mucosal integrity, and visceral hypersensitivity.

Lifestyle factors

This week I had two “wins” in a row using essential oils for functional dyspepsia as reported by two awesome clients!

Along with supporting their digestive health by calming inflammation, providing digestive enzymes, and individualized protocols for hormonal and mind-body balance, I advised these two women to  inhale the courage and grounding blend prior to meals. This was because eating for them had become a stressor associated with potentially more discomfort and pain. I am happy to report both said their bellies were calmed by the practice and post dining was not uncomfortable!

Rock on mind-body connection and the biological and physiological magic combo of essential oils!

Instagram Attention Grabber of the Week- Breast Implant Illness is Real, Know the Signs.

I’m new to Instagram.

I don’t think I have the “attention” and “reach power” yet, or ever, but this one post seemed to grab some additional likes.

Here it is…

Something docs and patients should be aware of…

Breast implant illness is real and often not considered as an environmental trigger and potential toxin.

Below are some symptoms associated with it.

These can be linked to a lot of different causes, so be sure to check with your doctor and surgeon:

  • Memory loss/cognitive problems
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Numbness/tingling in the extremities
  • Joint and/or muscle pain
  • Breast pain
  • Hair loss
  • Dry eyes and/or blurred vision
  • Rashes and/or hives
  • Food sensitivity/intolerance
  • Flu-like symptoms and/or low-grade fever
  • Difficulty breathing

This post has more information and links to other studies that show these connections.

I have had some women in my practice react and many not.

Other resources:

This Week’s Cool Essential Oils Link in Research

This is something I shared on Facebook. It was a paper on how the brain of someone with PTSD has a different “set-point” of attention. I’ve previously discussed how the brains of those with mental health diagnoses differ from the “normal” brains.

“In the paper proposing the reciprocal inhibition model of PTSD, the researchers provide experimental evidence that supports the idea that attention alternates, even within the same individual patient, so that it is sometimes biased toward and sometimes biased away from threat.”

Guess what calms the amygdala? Essential oils, tapping, mind-body approaches, yoga, etc.



Would love to hear your “Ah-ha’s” this week. Post below or on my social media!

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Disclaimer: This material is for information purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, or prescribe for any illness. You should check with your doctor regarding implementing any new strategies into your wellness regime. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. (Affiliation link.)

According to experts and the World Health Organization (WHO), there is no approved standard of care treatment, cure, or preventative for COVID-19. Supportive measures and containment are in full force as a result. Please see the CDC website and your state’s website for more information and updates. They also state when to contact your physician related to symptoms and travel history, exposures. Please read my more detailed article on this subject here.

This information is applicable ONLY for therapeutic quality essential oils. This information DOES NOT apply to essential oils that have not been tested for purity and standardized constituents. There is no quality control in the United States, and oils labeled as “100% pure” need only to contain 5% of the actual oil. The rest of the bottle can be filled with fillers and sometimes toxic ingredients that can irritate the skin. The studies are not based solely on a specific brand of an essential oil, unless stated. Please read the full study for more information.

Thanks Pixabay.

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