Valentine’s Special!

Valentine’s Special!

Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired?

Have you been to countless doctors who can’t quite figure out what’s going on with your body?

Are you willing to get well?

 

Because we love our community and we want to see its members happy & healthy, we are offering a Valentine’s Day Special!

 

The week of Valentine’s Day (February 11-15th), for just $29, receive a preliminary 15-minute Nutrition Response Testing scan to see if we can help you with your health concerns. This will include a free phone consultation with Dr. Lisa prior to your appointment. (Payment will be applied to your full Nutrition Response Testing consult & exam if completed by the end of February) This offer applies to both new patients and current chiropractic and allergy patients.

What is Nutrition Response Testing?

Nutrition Response Testing is a non-invasive system of analyzing the body to determine the underlying causes of ill or non-optimum health. To learn more, check out our blog post here.

 

To set up your free phone consultation and $29 health scan, give us a call at 410-717-6610 or email to gabrielle@drlisagordon.com.

Stress & Mindfulness

Stress & Mindfulness

Stress is primarily a physical response. When stressed, the body thinks it is under attack and switches to ‘fight or flight’ mode, releasing a complex mix of hormones and chemicals such as adrenaline, cortisol and norepinephrine to prepare the body for physical action. This causes a number of reactions, from blood being diverted to muscles to shutting down unnecessary bodily functions such as digestion. In the modern world, the ‘fight or flight’ mode can still help us survive dangerous situations, such as reacting swiftly to a person running in front of our car by slamming on the brakes.

The challenge is when our body goes into a state of stress in inappropriate situations. When blood flow is going only to the most important muscles needed to fight or flee, brain function is minimized. This can lead to an inability to ‘think straight’; a state that is a great hindrance in both our work and home lives. If we are kept in a state of stress for long periods, it can be detrimental to our health.  The results of having elevated cortisol levels can be an increase in sugar and blood pressure levels, and a decrease in libido and other healthy functions.

Stress targets the weakest part of our physiology or character; if you are prone to headaches or eczema, this will flare up.  If you have low levels of patience or tolerance for others, this will be the first area to present under times of stress.

Stress isn’t avoidable but it is manageable. A key action in order to minimize risk is to identify stress-related problems as early as possible, so that action can be taken before serious stress-related illness occurs. (Stress Management Society)

Natural Remedies

  • Exercise: Exercise and other physical activity produce endorphins — chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers — and also improve the ability to sleep, which in turn reduces stress. Scientists have found that regular participation in aerobic exercise has been shown to decrease overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood, improve sleep, and improve self-esteem. About five minutes of aerobic exercise can begin to stimulate anti-anxiety effects.
  • Make sure you are getting good sleep
  • Meditation: Mindfulness meditation strengthens a person’s cognitive ability to regulate emotions and thoughts. Brain imaging found that meditation-related anxiety relief was associated with activation of the areas of the brain that are involved with executive function and the control of worrying. Meditation-related activation of these areas was directly linked to anxiety relief.
    • Check out these meditation apps: Headspace, The Mindfulness App, Calm
  • Stay Hydrated
  • Relaxation Exercises: No one can avoid all stress, but you can counteract its detrimental effects by learning how to produce the relaxation response, a state of deep rest that is the polar opposite of the stress response. The relaxation response puts the brakes on stress and brings your body and mind back into a state of equilibrium.
    • Deep breathing: The key to deep breathing is to breathe deeply from the abdomen, getting as much fresh air as possible in your lungs. When you take deep breaths from the abdomen, rather than shallow breaths from your upper chest, you inhale more oxygen. The more oxygen you get, the less tense, short of breath, and anxious you feel.
      • Sit comfortably with your back straight. Put one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach.
      • Breathe in through your nose. The hand on your stomach should rise. The hand on your chest should move very little.
      • Exhale through your mouth, pushing out as much air as you can while contracting your abdominal muscles. The hand on your stomach should move in as you exhale, but your other hand should move very little.
      • Continue to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Try to inhale enough so that your lower abdomen rises and falls. Count slowly as you exhale.
    • Progressive muscle relaxation: a two-step process in which you systematically tense and relax different muscle groups in the body. With regular practice, it gives you an intimate familiarity with what tension—as well as complete relaxation—feels like in different parts of the body.
      • Loosen clothing, take off your shoes, and get comfortable.
      • Take a few minutes to breathe in and out in slow, deep breaths.
      • When you’re ready, shift your attention to your right foot. Take a moment to focus on the way it feels.
      • Slowly tense the muscles in your right foot, squeezing as tightly as you can. Hold for a count of 10.
      • Relax your foot. Focus on the tension flowing away and how your foot feels as it becomes limp and loose.
      • Stay in this relaxed state for a moment, breathing deeply and slowly.
      • Shift your attention to your left foot. Follow the same sequence of muscle tension and release.
      • Move slowly up through your body, contracting and relaxing the different muscle groups.
      • It may take some practice at first, but try not to tense muscles other than those intended.
    • Writing: journaling or other forms of writing can help people cope better with anxiety. This can be a thoughtful, in depth experience, or you can write down whatever comes to mind as quickly as you can. Your writing does not need to be legible, just as long as you are getting out all of the thoughts that come to mind.
    • Time Management: Some people feel anxious if they have too many commitments at once. Having a plan in place for the next necessary action can help to keep this anxiety at bay. Effective time management strategies can help people to focus on one task at a time. Book-based planners and online calendars can help, as can resisting the urge to multitask.
      • Learn how to say NO when necessary
    • Aromatherapy: Smelling soothing plant oils can help to ease stress and anxiety. Certain scents work better for some people than others, so consider experimenting with various options. Try lavender, chamomile, rose, orange, sandalwood, ylang-ylang.

 

Foods to Focus on

Certain foods may help lower the severity of symptoms, mostly due to their gut & brain-boosting properties.

  • Salmon: EPA and DHA may help regulate the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin, which can have calming and relaxing properties. Additionally, studies show these fatty acids can reduce inflammation and prevent brain cell dysfunction that leads to the development of difficulties like anxiety and depression.
  • Avocado: rich in stress-relieving B vitamins and heart-healthy fat that may help to lessen anxiety.
  • Chamomile: contains high amounts of antioxidants proven to reduce inflammation, which might decrease the risk of anxiety & depression.
  • Turmeric: a spice that contains curcumin, a compound studied for its role in promoting brain health and preventing anxiety disorders. Curcumin also has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that have been shown to prevent damage to brain cells.
  • Dark Chocolate: flavanols (antioxidants in dark chocolate) improve blood flow to the brain and promote its ability to adapt to stressful situations.
  • Probiotics: probiotics promote mental health and brain function by inhibiting free radicals and neurotoxins, which can damage nerve tissue in the brain which can lead to anxiety & depression. Incorporate probiotic-rich foods like full fat yogurt, miso, kimchi and kombucha into your diet.
NEW Winter Health Talks

NEW Winter Health Talks

After surveying our community, we have decided to switch our FREE Health Talks to TUESDAY nights from 6:30-7:15pm!

Friends and family are always welcomed, give us a call to reserve your spot @ 410-717-6610.

 

Check out our upcoming schedule:

December 17th: Anxiety & Depression

January 7th: Skin Health – eczema, psoriasis, acne, rashes

January 22nd: Stress Relief & Mindfulness Techniques

February 12th: Is sugar sabotaging your health?

February 26th: Spring detox

March 12th: Anti-inflammatory cooking tips

March 26th: Stretching & muscle strengthening

April 9th: Healthy household cleaning

April 23rd: Women’s health

May 14th: Digestive dysfunction

Skin Health

Skin Health

Your skin is your body’s largest and fastest-growing organ. It has many roles in the maintenance of life and health, but also has many potential problems. There are many layers which make up your skin, the epidermis being the outermost. It takes about 28 days for a layer of skin to work its way up to the outer surface.

The basic day-to-day functions of the skin include:

  • Works as a barrier, protecting against water loss as well as physical and chemical injury
  • Helps fight off bacteria, viruses, allergens, toxins and carcinogens through the parts of or immune system that exist in our skin
  • Regulates body temperature
  • Protects us from UV radiation by producing melanin
  • Gives us the sense of touch
  • Is involved with producing Vitamin D
  • Heals wounds

Like the gut, the skin is home to over a trillion organisms at any given time, including thousands of species of bacteria as well as viruses and fungi. These all serve a purpose and are important for proper balance. Like the gut, when the balance is altered, it can create problems. Generally when there is an outbreak with the skin, there is an underlying internal issue. Oftentimes the skin takes over when the liver is overloaded and cannot detoxify properly.

The skin is under constant assault from environmental agents, harsh cleansers and soaps, deodorants, and even medications and cosmetics. Our obsession with cleanliness may be doing more harm than good for microbiota balance on the skin.

A healthy skin microbiome appears to begin during and shortly after birth with a flurry of immune activity. Unfortunately, many of the modern practices surrounding birth may have a dramatic and unfortunate impact on gut bacteria. The wide use of antibiotics for mom during labor (and for mom and baby after birth) may have some big unintended consequences. This could be a part of the reason we are seeing a rise in skin related disorders.

In conclusion, gut health is extremely important when it comes to skin issues. Almost 90% of our immune system is within the gut. Focusing on healing and nurturing your gut will usually help with certain skin issues.

Eczema
There are different forms of eczema (dermatitis) a person can suffer from, and an individual’s triggers are unique to their body. Some common forms of eczema include:

  • Atopic: the most common form, usually starts in childhood. Typically is accompanied with allergies & asthma.
    • Causes: genetics, dry skin, immune issues, environmental and food triggers
  • Contact: a reaction caused by substances you touch (allergen or irritant)
    • Causes: detergents, bleach, jewelry, latex, nickel, pain, plants, skin products, soaps, perfumes, solvents, smoke
  • Dyshidrotic: small blisters that form on the hands and feet
    • Causes: allergies, damp/sweaty hands and feet, exposure to substances like nickel, cobalt or chromium salt, stress

Eczema symptoms include:

  • Dry scaly patches on skin
  • Small bumps that open and weep when scratched
  • Redness and swelling
  • Burning of skin
  • Thickening of skin
  • Oozing & weeping
  • Gets worse with scratching

The most prescribed treatment is corticosteroids which can be helpful for short term acute conditions, but doctors usually do not recommend natural remedies to try first. Doctors often do not explain how to properly use these potentially harmful medications, leading to over prescription and accidental abuse.

 

Psoriasis

A chronic autoimmune condition that is a symptom of an imbalance in the gut. It causes the rapid buildup of skin cells. This buildup of cells causes scaling on the skin’s surface. Inflammation and redness around the scales is fairly common. Typical psoriatic scales are whitish-silver and develop in thick, red patches. Sometimes, these patches will crack and bleed.

Psoriasis is the result of a sped-up skin production process. Typically, skin cells grow deep in the skin and slowly rise to the surface. Eventually, they fall off. The typical life cycle of a skin cell is one month. In people with psoriasis, this production process may occur in just a few days. Because of this, skin cells don’t have time to fall off. This rapid overproduction leads to the buildup of skin cells.

Most people with psoriasis go through “cycles” of symptoms. The condition may cause severe symptoms for a few days or weeks, and then the symptoms may clear up and be almost unnoticeable. Then, in a few weeks or if made worse by a common psoriasis trigger, the condition may flare up again. Sometimes, symptoms of psoriasis disappear completely.

 

Natural Solutions

It is important to remember that what works for one person may not work for another, and sometimes what the skin can tolerate will change. “Natural” does not always work with people who have sensitive skin. Helpful natural treatment options include:

  • Avoiding triggers like allergens, soaps, detergents, animals
  • Taking healing baths using Epsom or dead sea salts, apple cider vinegar or garlic
  • Exercising (even gently like yoga or walking) will help the lymphatic system detox
  • Sweating can make rashes worse so be sure to rinse off quickly after exercise
  • Don’t use harsh soaps or antibacterials – when showering/bathing only use soap on your armpits & groin to avoid stripping the body of its natural oils
  • Good moisturizers – coconut oil, almond oil, jojoba oil, castor oil, Eucerin, Aveeno, Avene AD line, Elaj, Waxelene, Aquaphor, BeautyCounter, Moogoo – ALWAYS PATCH TEST – Usually the fewer ingredients the better.
  • Avoid scratching and keep nails trimmed short- use ice packs when itchy
  • Minimize stress with yoga and meditation
  • Avoid fragrances and dyes in detergents, cleansers
  • Get plenty of Vitamin D; UV therapy can be beneficial
  • Stick to an anti-inflammatory diet – known skin triggers include dairy, gluten, sugar, and sometimes nightshades.
  • Sometimes essential oils can help like tea tree, lavender, calendula. Be cautious when using essential oils on the skin and be sure to dilute in a carrier oil like coconut or jojoba
  • Check out EWG.org to find out how harmful or safe your bath & body products are

 

Acne

Acne appears when a pore in the skin clogs. This clog begins with dead skin cells. Normally, dead skin cells rise to surface of the pore, and the body sheds the cells. When the body starts to make lots of sebum (see-bum), oil that keeps our skin from drying out, the dead skin cells can stick together inside the pore. Instead of rising to the surface, the cells become trapped inside the pore.

Sometimes bacteria that live on our skin, p. acnes, also get inside the clogged pore. Inside the pore, the bacteria have a perfect environment for multiplying very quickly. With loads of bacteria inside, the pore becomes inflamed (red and swollen). If the inflammation goes deep into the skin, an acne cyst or nodule appears.

Natural Solutions

  • Use a gentle cleanser but do NOT over cleanse – apple cider vinegar, honey, coconut oil
  • Use fragrance-free products that do not contain harmful chemicals
  • Use healing masks to hydrate and soothe the skin
  • Exfoliate regularly with natural items like sea salt, brown sugar and oatmeal.
  • Avoid too much sun exposure
  • Eat a healthy, anti-inflammatory diet

 

FACE MASK FUN

  • Always try to get fresh & organic ingredients when applying produce to the skin
  • Honey – always buy organic! Manuka Honey (4x more nutritious than regular honey, get UMF 10+) – helps treat acne. Eczema, MRSA, burns, heal wounds
  • Bentonite clay – helps detoxify pores, reduce acne, clear redness, heal poison ivy, eczema & heal wounds
  • Vitamin E Oil – use sparingly, good for excessive dryness, antioxidant & anti-inflammatory
  • Before applying mask, use a warm washcloth on face to open pores
  • Avoid putting mask over eyes, lips & eyebrows
  • Leave masks on for about 15-20 minutes

 

Dry Skin

Avocado Mask – Mash ½ ripe avocado with 2 tbs honey

Coconut & Honey Mask – 2 tbs virgin coconut oil & ¼ cup honey blended

 

Oily Skin

Fruit Mask – 1 ripe banana, 1 tbs honey, 1 tbs lemon juice

Aloe & Honey Mask – 2 tbs aloe vera, 1 tbs honey

 

Combination

Avocado & Coconut Oil Mask – ½ ripe avocado & 1 tbs coconut oil

Honey & Lemon Mask – 2 tbs honey, 1 tbs lemon juice

 

Acne

Cucumber Mask – Blend ½ cucumber w/ 1tbs honey (1 tsp bentonite clay optional) (sit for 20 min)

ACV, Honey & Clay Mask – 1 tsp ACV, 2 tsp honey, 1 tsp clay

 

AFTERCARE:

After using a facemask, a sea salt spray or 1tsp ACV diluted in 1 cup cool water will work as great toners to lock in effects.

 

Natural Solutions for Anxiety & Depression

Natural Solutions for Anxiety & Depression

Your brain and gut are in constant communication, connected by an information highway known as the vagus nerve. Given that your entire body relies on your brain for its basic operating instructions, you might be shocked to learn that far more communication reaches the brain from the gut than the other way around!

Often called the ‘feel good hormone,’ serotonin acts as both a hormone and a neurotransmitter in our body. Low mood, depression, anxiety and even autism are associated with altered serotonin levels. For all of its importance to mental well being, you might expect that the brain is where we find most of the body’s serotonin, but it’s not. In fact, the gut contains the vast majority of the serotonin in our body (about 95%) AND is the home of our immune system.

The health of our brain and our digestive tract are intertwined; what goes on in one greatly affects the function of the other. Our thoughts can have a significant impact on our digestive function: a case of nerves can lead to butterflies in the stomach, and significant daily stress can trigger flares of IBS, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. And yet, our mental well being is similarly dictated by our digestive well being. Those with irritable bowel syndrome tend to have far higher rates of mental illness.

Natural Remedies

  • Exercise: Exercise and other physical activity produce endorphins — chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers — and also improve the ability to sleep, which in turn reduces stress. Scientists have found that regular participation in aerobic exercise has been shown to decrease overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood, improve sleep, and improve self-esteem. About five minutes of aerobic exercise can begin to stimulate anti-anxiety effects.
  • Meditation: Mindfulness meditation strengthens a person’s cognitive ability to regulate emotions and thoughts. Brain imaging found that meditation-related anxiety relief was associated with activation of the areas of the brain that are involved with executive function and the control of worrying. Meditation-related activation of these areas was directly linked to anxiety relief.
    • Check out these meditation apps: Headspace, The Mindfulness App, Calm
  • Relaxation Exercises: No one can avoid all stress, but you can counteract its detrimental effects by learning how to produce the relaxation response, a state of deep rest that is the polar opposite of the stress response. The relaxation response puts the brakes on stress and brings your body and mind back into a state of equilibrium.
    • Deep breathing: The key to deep breathing is to breathe deeply from the abdomen, getting as much fresh air as possible in your lungs. When you take deep breaths from the abdomen, rather than shallow breaths from your upper chest, you inhale more oxygen. The more oxygen you get, the less tense, short of breath, and anxious you feel.
      • Sit comfortably with your back straight. Put one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach.
      • Breathe in through your nose. The hand on your stomach should rise. The hand on your chest should move very little.
      • Exhale through your mouth, pushing out as much air as you can while contracting your abdominal muscles. The hand on your stomach should move in as you exhale, but your other hand should move very little.
      • Continue to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Try to inhale enough so that your lower abdomen rises and falls. Count slowly as you exhale.
    • Progressive muscle relaxation: a two-step process in which you systematically tense and relax different muscle groups in the body. With regular practice, it gives you an intimate familiarity with what tension—as well as complete relaxation—feels like in different parts of the body.
      • Loosen clothing, take off your shoes, and get comfortable.
      • Take a few minutes to breathe in and out in slow, deep breaths.
      • When you’re ready, shift your attention to your right foot. Take a moment to focus on the way it feels.
      • Slowly tense the muscles in your right foot, squeezing as tightly as you can. Hold for a count of 10.
      • Relax your foot. Focus on the tension flowing away and how your foot feels as it becomes limp and loose.
      • Stay in this relaxed state for a moment, breathing deeply and slowly.
      • Shift your attention to your left foot. Follow the same sequence of muscle tension and release.
      • Move slowly up through your body, contracting and relaxing the different muscle groups.
      • It may take some practice at first, but try not to tense muscles other than those intended.
    • Writing: journaling or other forms of writing can help people cope better with anxiety. This can be a thoughtful, in depth experience, or you can write down whatever comes to mind as quickly as you can. Your writing does not need to be legible, just as long as you are getting out all of the thoughts that come to mind.
    • Time Management: Some people feel anxious if they have too many commitments at once. Having a plan in place for the next necessary action can help to keep this anxiety at bay. Effective time management strategies can help people to focus on one task at a time. Book-based planners and online calendars can help, as can resisting the urge to multitask.
    • Aromatherapy: Smelling soothing plant oils can help to ease stress and anxiety. Certain scents work better for some people than others, so consider experimenting with various options. Try lavender, chamomile, rose, orange, sandalwood, ylang-ylang.

 

Foods to Focus on

Certain foods may help lower the severity of symptoms, mostly due to their gut & brain-boosting properties.

  • Salmon: EPA and DHA may help regulate the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin, which can have calming and relaxing properties. Additionally, studies show these fatty acids can reduce inflammation and prevent brain cell dysfunction that leads to the development of difficulties like anxiety and depression.
  • Avocado: rich in stress-relieving B vitamins and heart-healthy fat that may help to lessen anxiety.
  • Chamomile: contains high amounts of antioxidants proven to reduce inflammation, which might decrease the risk of anxiety & depression.
  • Turmeric: a spice that contains curcumin, a compound studied for its role in promoting brain health and preventing anxiety disorders. Curcumin also has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that have been shown to prevent damage to brain cells.
  • Dark Chocolate: flavanols (antioxidants in dark chocolate) improve blood flow to the brain and promote its ability to adapt to stressful situations.
  • Probiotics: probiotics promote mental health and brain function by inhibiting free radicals and neurotoxins, which can damage nerve tissue in the brain which can lead to anxiety & depression. Incorporate probiotic-rich foods like full fat yogurt, miso, kimchi and kombucha into your diet.