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Integrative Family Health Clinic in Bolton and the Greater Caledon Area
4-22 Simona Drive
Bolton, ON

Understanding Reiki: A Holistic Healing Practice

Author Jayshree Asnani

In recent years, there has been an increased interest in alternative healing practices that focus on the holistic well-being of individuals. Among these, Reiki has gained significant attention for its unique approach to promoting physical, emotional, and spiritual balance. Rooted in Japanese tradition, Reiki is a gentle yet powerful technique that aims to channel energy to promote healing and relaxation.

Reiki revolves around the concept of an unseen life force energy that flows through us. When this energy is low, we are more likely to feel stressed or become ill, whereas when it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy. 

Reiki is not limited to physical healing; it also aims to promote emotional and mental balance. Many clients report feeling a sense of emotional release, clarity, and a reduction in stress and anxiety after a Reiki session. It is believed that Reiki can help remove energy blockages, thus allowing the recipient’s energy to flow more freely.

Overall, Reiki serves as a gentle yet effective tool for promoting balance and harmony within the body, mind, and spirit. 

The secret ingredients for better immunity

What can you use now to benefit your immunity?

And the secret ingredient is…..

Raw honey

Disclaimer: do not consume raw honey if you are pregnant 

Raw honey includes bee pollen and propolis which contains antioxidants as well as antibacterial and antifungal properties to help build your immune system, heal wounds and fight infections.

The best is local honey usually found at health food stores. Raw honey is not heavily processed and all the nutrients are still available. Another tip is to ensure that you do not heat honey over 95 degrees Fahrenheit as this can also destroy the amazing immune properties of raw honey.

Daily amount: 1-2 tbsp per day.

You can put honey in your herbal teas, drizzle over oatmeal, spread on toast or mix in yogurt.

Herbal teas

Another gentle approach to help support your immune system are herbal teas!

Consider:

  • Echinacea tea
  • Ginger lemon tea
  • Green tea
  • Elderberry tea

All of these can be found at your local grocery store or health food store. Add in your raw honey once the tea has cooled down after steeping in boiled water for 3-5 minutes.

This fall and winter season let’s stay healthy!

How We Can Help

Wildflower Health and Wellness has a Natural Dispensary. We offer high quality medicinal dried herbs, herbal tinctures, and professional line supplements all of which are high quality. Contact us today to refill your supplements for immunity, including: Vitamin D3, Vitamin C, Zinc gluconate, Astragalus herb and Reishi mushroom.

5 easy tips for better digestion

Digestion can be over complicated or very simple to deconstruct. Before you diagnose yourself with some rare digestive disease by Dr. Google give these easy tips a try!

Chew your food

Digestion starts in the mouth! Even as you’re reading this and thinking of cookies your mouth is salivating. Saliva is a combination of enzymes, electrolytes and proteins that start the process of digestion before food even gets into the stomach. Chewing physically makes your food into smaller pieces and also allows for saliva to be mixed into the food.

[bt_highlight]Solution: [/bt_highlight] You don’t need to count the amount of chewing per bite but the food should be mush before you swallow.

 

Relaxed eating

The process of digestion is most effective when you are in a relaxed mood. Relaxed eating engages the rest-and-digest nervous system (aka parasympathetic nervous system) which allows your stomach to release digestive enzymes.

[bt_highlight]Solution: [/bt_highlight] Limit eating on the go, take a seat, look at your food and chew slowly!

 

Thirst – hunger signals

It’s a well known phenomenon that hunger and thirst signals can get crossed in your brain. Your hypothalamus, the portion of your brain responsible for controlling feelings of hunger and thirst, responds similarly whether you’re thirsty or if you haven’t had enough to eat. Meaning that you may feel hungry when you’re actually thirsty. Many of us are over eating and under hydrating as a result.

[bt_highlight]Solution:[/bt_highlight] When you feel hungry drink 1/2-1 glass of water. If after 20 minutes you’re still hungry then grab a bite to eat! If the hunger dissipated it means that you were actually thirsty/dehydrated and you should up your daily water intake.

 

Meal timing

Body hack: your digestion works best when it runs on a schedule. Your brain and digestive organs are connected enough to figure out when to expect meals and therefore when to send out the digestive juices. This is why many people report that they get acid reflux when they eat late at night or that they have bloating after meals.

[bt_highlight]Solution: [/bt_highlight] Try your best to eat your meals at the same time everyday!

 

Understand your GI transit time

The time it takes food to go from into your mouth and out the other end is called the GI transit time. Optimal digestion takes between 12-24 hours. Anything more or less can tell us whether you are absorbing nutrient and if toxins are properly eliminated.

[bt_highlight]Solution: [/bt_highlight] Here’s how to test your bowel transit time.

Eat a large serving of beets (at least 1 cup of cooked beets)
Record when you ate the beets
Over the next hours check your stool! When you notice your stool is the colour of the red beets, you’ve figured out your transit time.

More than 24 hours: A transit time that exceeds 24 hours may mean your bowels are not eliminating and stool is sitting in your colon for too long. This can lead to a toxic bowel, which can eventually lead to colon disease and a body that is overloaded with toxins. You may need more fibre (from sources like fruits, vegetables, chia and ground flaxseeds), water, relaxation techniques, and daily movement to get your bowels moving regularly. Additionally , your nutritionist or naturopathic doctor can recommend specific dosages of key digestive supplements where necessary.

Less than 12 hours: This is less common but can mean that you’re not really absorbing all the nutrients from your food or you could have too many stimulants in your daily life, like coffee.

 

Bottom line

You need to do the basics before your health practitioner considers any other functional disease. If you’re already doing these simple tips and still experiencing digestive issues then you may need further testing. Food sensitivity or GIMAP tests are a functional medicine approach to treat many digestive concerns. Speak to your naturopathic doctor for more options.

Prevent cardiovascular disease

Heart Health 101: How to Prevent Cardiovascular Disease

In Canada, the second leading cause of death is cardiovascular disease. The prevalence of heart disease is high, and Canadians need to be aware of the causes as well as prevention methods. Keep reading for everything you need to know about how to prevent cardiovascular disease.

What is Heart Disease?

A heart disease is a condition that affects the heart’s ability to function. Specifically, one of the most common heart diseases is cardiovascular disease in which the arteries or blood vessels stiffen or become blocked by plaque. As a result, the narrowing of the arteries and blood vessels can lead to stroke, angina, heart attack, and death. 

What Causes Cardiovascular Disease?

There are numerous risk factors that can cause someone to develop cardiovascular disease. They fall into three categories: lifestyle, genetic, and medical conditions. 

  • Risk factors associated with your lifestyle include smoking tobacco, drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, unhealthy weight, and stress. 
  • Some genetic risk factors include being male (men are twice as likely as women to suffer a heart attack), being an older age, and having a family history of heart disease.
  • Medical conditions that put you at risk for heart disease include having high blood pressure, diabetes, and pre-eclampsia. 

To see how serious your risk for developing heart disease is, take this test on the Cardiac Health Foundation of Canada’s website. 

What Are the Symptoms of Cardiovascular Disease?

Since there are multiple types of heart disease, there specific sets of symptoms for each condition. Some of the most common symptoms across the board include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest discomfort, tightness, and/or pain
  • Increased or decreased heart beat

According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, women commonly experience heart attacks and heart disease without any pain or discomfort in the chest. It’s important for women to be aware of other symptoms, such as extreme fatigue, lightheadedness, and upper back pressure. 

How to Prevent Cardiovascular Disease

There are several ways you can reduce your lifestyle risk factors for developing cardiovascular disease. In fact, if more Canadians reduced their lifestyle risk factors, we could prevent over 80 per cent of premature heart disease cases.

So, here are some of the ways you can prevent heart disease:

1. Eat a Nutritious Diet

Your heart’s health depends on your diet being full of nutrients and minerals. Focus on lowering your cholesterol levels, controlling your triglycerides, and maintaining a healthy weight. For instance, the Heart and Stroke Foundation recommends eating 7-10 servings of vegetables per day.

2. Engage in Regular Physical Activity

You don’t have to spend hours at the gym each day to prevent heart disease. However, getting 30 minutes of physical activity each day is key. That could mean going for walks, runs, bike rides, dancing, doing yoga, stretching, or any other physical activity you enjoy. 

3. Reduce Your Vices

Not all vices, just smoking tobacco, drinking alcohol, and living in an overly stressed state. In addition to quitting smoking and limiting your alcohol consumption, be mindful of your stress levels. Consider learning mindfulness techniques to help you cope with stress. 

Take Care of Your Heart

Wildflower Health and Wellness cares about your heart’s health. Some of the ways we can help you prevent heart disease are with our naturopathic services. Managing stress, hormones, and eating a balanced, nutritious diet benefit all your organs, not in the least your heart. 

Get in touch with us today to learn more. 

Wildflower Health and Wellness When Being Fine Isn't Enough

When Being “Fine” Isn’t Good Enough 

Meet patient T, who recently shared this with me:

“I know my doctor, friends, family all tell me I look fine, but I don’t feel fine on the inside. Something feels off and my GP doesn’t seem to have answers for me anymore.”

Patient T is your parent, your sibling, your friend, you, me. Patient T is all of us.

Imagine a doctor’s visit where your appointment time is respected and while you wait you enjoy something to drink in a comfortable space. Your appointment is long enough to discuss your health concerns and you aren’t rushed out of the room before you have finished speaking.  Your treatment plan is explained to you in a way that allows you to understand your body. 

[bt_highlight]This approach to health is exactly what naturopathic medicine takes.[/bt_highlight]

 


 

At Wildflower Health & Wellness, there are a few guiding principles that allow us to make the best decisions possible for your health goals. 

Finding the best version of you

No two bodies are the same and therefore, no two people are treated the same. While certain conditions will have typical recommendations based on science and traditional knowledge, the combination of those medicines will be unique to your needs and preferences. Your one-of-a-kind body will respond differently based on your genetics, physiology, emotional health and lifestyle factors. Trust that we will ask the right questions when it comes to helping you discover your best health. 

 

 

 

A ‘less is more’ approach

We believe that health doesn’t come from the quantity of pills you take, but rather the small, simple, sustainable life habits that keep your body/mind well. Health works best when it’s simple for you to commit to – day in and day out. You will not find us selling unnecessary supplements or services because we believe in the tools we use to work on the people we recommend them for. 

 

We know seeing a new doctor can be exciting and a little scary; we closely work with you during the crucial first steps in your journey so that you never leave our office overwhelmed. As your health continues to improve, our check-ins will become less frequent. Don’t forget to come by and say hello while you’re out there living your absolutely best life! Once we’ve hit your goal, trust that you will be maintaining those results for the years to come.

 

Making the time for you

Your health is important to us and we take the time to deep dive into your current health concerns, your past medical history and what your best health would look/feel like. Your appointment time reflects the efforts we take in exploring your symptom presentation, assessments, laying out the course of treatment and an explanation of what’s working and what isn’t. You will soon find that your burning questions are answered and you are equipped with the tools in developing your best health. 

 

Looking long term

You might find us asking questions that don’t quite make sense to you, however, our approach to health is comprehensive. Even though you may be in the office for a particular concern, we feel that it is our job to ensure that we check in on all aspects of health, not just one body system. Naturally, we want to help you with your pressing health concerns but also your long term health. Why wait until you have a disease if we can see the early signs and symptoms either on your blood work or through physical exams. Your current health goals will be taken care of, as well as, your future health.

 

The best of both worlds

You don’t have to choose between seeing a naturopath and your family doctor. We believe in a collaborative approach to health. Oftentimes the best clinical outcomes occur when you have multiple eyes on your case where each practitioner views your health from a different perspective. Your family doctor ensures that your health is up to par, while your naturopath will ensure that your future health is being protected and provides you with the most effective natural solutions. We work easily with family doctors and specialists for the benefit of your health and peace of mind.

 

You have a seat at the table

While we are the experts of health, you are the expert of your body. Everyone has different levels of commitment to their health and we recognize the importance of acknowledging that. During your time with us we will give you our best professional advice based on current evidence and your past experiences. Our treatment plans are flexible to suit your needs and preferences. You may like working more with a diet & lifestyle approach or you may prefer a supplemental approach or maybe even a combination. The bottom line is that you get to make an informed decision on the options that best fit your lifestyle. Our job is to give you professional advice and you do the heavy lifting when it comes to follow through, as such, you deserve an opinion in your treatment plan. 

[bt_highlight]Have a seat at our table, and let’s talk about how we can create a plan for your life-long wellness.[/bt_highlight]

If accepting the phrase “you’re fine” isn’t good enough then you should consider the naturopathic approach to health. If our values on health resonates with you, then we’d be honoured to help you with your health concerns.

Call us at your convenience at (905) 951 7134. We’ll be glad to hear from you! 

You can book a complimentary “discovery consult” visit by calling the clinic or booking online. You’ll be able to ask questions, find out how we can help, and see if there’s a comfortable fit with your naturopath.

 

Wildflower Health and Wellness Clinic nutrition holistic naturopathic diet mentalhealth mindbody anxiety

You Think What You Eat

How sharp is your mind, how balanced is your mood, how consistent is your energy, how happy are you – and what, if anything, do these qualities have to do with what you eat?

There are some sobering stats which involved 37,000 people. Here are the proportion of people that reported suffering ‘frequently’ or ‘always’ from certain conditions:

    • Become impatient quickly 82%
    • Have low energy level 80%
    • Energy is less than it used to be 76%
    • Feel have too much to do 67%
    • Become anxious or tense easily 64%
    • Have PMS/PMT (women only) 63%
    • Easily become angry 53%
    • Suffer from depression 44%
    • Have difficulty concentrating 43%
    • Become nervous/hyperactive 38%
    • Have poor memory/difficulty learning 32%

Does this sound like anyone you know? Does this sound like you?  Welcome to the 21st century.  Despite improvements in diet and better standards of living, the average person is exhausted, among other things.  So, what’s going wrong?

Our minds and bodies have been shaped over millions of years of evolution. Diets have changed radically in the last 100 years, along with our environment.  When you consider that the body and brain are made entirely from molecules derived from food, air, and water, and that simple molecules like alcohol can fundamentally affect the brain, isn’t it unlikely that changes in the diet and the environment have had no effect on our mental health?

I believe that most of us are not achieving our full potential for mental health, happiness, alertness and clarity because we are not achieving optimum nutrition for the mind.  I also believe that significant proportion of mentally unwell people are suffering from a chemical imbalance brought on by years of poor nutrition and exposure to environmental pollutants.

As Einstein said, ‘[bt_highlight]the problems we have created cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them[/bt_highlight].’  We need a new way of thinking about mental health that includes the role of nutrition and the chemical environment and how these affect the way we think and feel.

Mind and body are not separate

One of the most limiting concepts in the human sciences is the idea that the mind and the body are separate.  Try asking an anatomist, a psychologist and a biochemist where the mind begins and the body ends.  It is a stupid question, and yet that is exactly what modern science has done by separating psychology from anatomy and physiology.

But it’s not just the scientists who live by this false distinction.  It’s us.  When you’re having difficulty concentrating, when your mood is low, when you struggle to find a memory, do you consider that you may be poorly nourished? Why not?  Every one of these states – your thinking, feeling, mental energy and focus – happens across a network of interconnecting brain cells, each one of which depends on an optimal supply of nutrients to work efficiently.

Optimum Nutrition and psychotherapy work wonders

Of course, as I’ve mentioned, improving our mental health isn’t only about nutrition.  While some therapists may ignore the role of nutrition and the brain’s chemistry in how we think and feel, let’s not make the same mistake. I believe the solution to the mental health problems that plague our society lies in a combination of optimum nutrition and good psychological support, which includes having a place you can call home, being treated with respect and dignity, and counselling.  

Certain kinds of counselling are highly effective for depression, for example, but far too infrequently prescribed or available.  The combination of optimum nutrition and psychotherapy works wonders for a wide variety of mental health problems, from depression to schizophrenia – and may work better than drugs.  Most of the psychiatrists that I have spoken to find that while drugs can be life-saving in the short term, they become unnecessary when people are receiving the right combination of nutrients and psychological support.

We need a radical new approach based on science

With mental health problems rising at such a pace, we need a new way of thinking about the state of our minds.  As Marcel Proust said, ‘the real act of discovery consists, not finding new lands, but in seeing with new eyes.’  [bt_highlight]We need to wake up to the realisation that poor nutrition and chemical imbalances probably underlie the majority of mental health problems.  [/bt_highlight]  While psychotherapy can make a positive change, you must also address deficiencies in essential fats, vitamins, minerals, and other key brain nutrients.  We must think our way out of the box and get to grips with the fact that chemistry directly affects how we think and feel.

This means a new basis for both diagnosing and treating problems, and a new way of living and eating that supports our mental health, rather than eroding it.  I believe we already have solutions to most forms of mental illness.  We just have to look with new eyes.  

Summary:

We can now say with confidence that:

  • Most people are achieving well below their full potential for intelligence, memory, concentration, emotional balance and happiness.
  • The right combination of nutrients may work better than drugs, and without the side-effects.
  • Psychotherapy (and other forms of therapy) works best if you’re optimally nourished.
  • Most mental health problems can be relieved with the right nutrition together with the right psychological support and guidance.

Niki Vlachou-Puzzo is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist at Wildflower Health and Wellness – Learn more about her on her website and follow Niki on Instagram

Finding Calm in the Chaos

What your naturopath is doing right now.

 

I’m not sure about you, but for me the days blend together and it all actually feels like 1 long day. The world feels dangerous and the threat is invisible. 

We’ve all had our lives affected by COVID-19 and the fallout is going to continue for some time. Uncertain times, such as now, can always trigger the difficult feelings of worry, nervousness and panic. It can feel as if you are spiraling out and the result is feeling a lack of control; that in turn, sets off the emotional and mental alarm bells causing what we call anxiety.

Read More

Wildflower Health and Wellness Simple Ways to Plan and Prepare Meals Even When You’re Busy

Simple Ways to Plan and Prepare Meals Even When You’re Busy 

You want to eat healthier, but you’re super-busy. 

You eat out several times a week because that’s what you have to do. That’s what works for you and your family (when it comes to time and convenience). But you probably realize it’s not working great when it comes to your health and fitness goals.

[bt_highlight]You want better health. You want to eat better. You don’t want the extra calories, fast food and junk food as much anymore. And you DO want to save time and money.[/bt_highlight]

 

I get it!

So, as a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, I am here to help you. I have a simple strategy that I’m more than happy to share with you. It will help you to plan and prepare healthy meals for the week.

Now, you don’t need to completely abandon your regular meals out. You can use my strategy to help you eat out just one or two fewer times per week. It’s up to you.As with any lifestyle change, start gradually so you can build consistency. The key here is to make it easy, doable and rewarding enough to do again and again.

Let me walk you through my simple meal prep system, and how this can work for you.

 

PLAN MEALS FOR THE WEEK

I prefer to do this on the weekend. I’ll flip through my recipes and choose a bunch to make that week. I’ll even pick which days to have which meals if I’m feeling overly ambitious, but that’s not necessary if you’re new to this. I’ll bookmark the pages and write my chosen recipes down in a notebook or even a sheet of paper to put on my fridge. I like to have at least one crock pot meal each week because they’re so easy, and dinner is ready and waiting when you get home. 

Then I create my grocery list. I take a quick look in my fridge, freezer and pantry, and list the recipe ingredients that I need to buy.

[bt_highlight]Pro Tip[/bt_highlight]: If you’re not sure you have enough of an ingredient already, consider buying a “backup” one just in case. I’ve had times where the tomato sauce I planned to use was a bit short of what I actually needed. Having to run out in the middle of meal prep can be very frustrating.

Another thing to consider is doubling the recipe(s), so you can prep and cook once, but have twice the meal at the end. The extras can be taken for lunch, or frozen to pull out the night before a busy day, so you just need to heat it up when you’re ready. 

[bt_highlight]Pro Tip[/bt_highlight]: If you’re doubling a recipe, don’t forget to double the amount you buy from the grocery store.

Once you have your handy-dandy grocery list ready, hop on over to the store and pick up your essentials. If you don’t have enough food storage containers for your meals, now’s the time to pick up some of those too.

[bt_highlight]Pro Tip[/bt_highlight]: If you’re not a fan of washing and chopping produce, then consider buying them already pre-washed and pre-chopped, or even frozen. You can make your meal prep even easier if you don’t mind spending a couple of extra dollars.

 

PREPARE MEALS FOR THE WEEK

Since you’ve already chosen your recipes and have your groceries, let’s get started on prepping some of the ingredients.

I like to book off 2-3 hours one afternoon for this. Get your recipes ready, clear off your counter, and play some music (if you’re so inclined). This is a great way to get your water intake in, have a glass of water, perhaps in a “fancy” glass and sip away (or your beverage of choice).

At this point, depending on time, I’ll either prep the ingredients, or pre-cook the entire recipe. Sometimes just washing and chopping produce and putting it in containers is a huge time-saver for weeknights. Or, you can go through and make a whole meal, and divide it up into portions and refrigerate or freeze. It’s really up to you, because the more you do now, the less you’ll have to do when you’re hungry.

 

AWESOME MEAL PREP TIP

There is one meal that is easiest to plan and prepare in advance. It’s one that’s also often the most difficult to eat at home if you’re busy. 

That’s breakfast. 

Planning some overnight oatmeal is a great start to any day. Simply place ½ cup rolled gluten free oats, ½ cup your choice of nut milk, 1 tbsp chia or flax seeds into a container (or make 5 for the whole week). Then place the lid on, shake them up and put them in your fridge. In the morning you can quickly heat them up or even eat them cold (the oats will have absorbed the nut milk). Top with berries, chopped fruit, cinnamon, nuts or seeds and enjoy.

With a little planning, you’ll be able to eat healthier while you save money and calories. 

This may take some getting used to, so if I can be of help, please reach out and let me know!