Tag - health

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Living without dairy, but not without ice cream!
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How to celebrate a safe 4th of July
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Grow Your Health festival to screen GMO OMG
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Clean air advocates take their message to Richmond, U.S. asthma capital
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Winter into Spring: gardening, health and wellness events at a glance
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Freedom for Family Wellness Summit returns to Reston this weekend
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Take Back Your Health Conference returns to Arlington in November
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Healing emotions with Accunect
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Love Your Body, especially during Virginia Yoga Week!
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Lyme Disease: An Epidemic

Living without dairy, but not without ice cream!

Jennifer Robins of the popular Predominantly Paleo blog is an Arlington mom of three who has been pursuing a grain-free path to healing since she was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis after the birth of her second child in 2008. Then, she began following a “primal” diet that included dairy. But after continued symptoms, she got clear in 2011 that she needed to ditch the dairy.

Jennifer generously offered to share her story from her blog with Mindful Healthy Life readers below. For anyone who thinks a dairy-free summer means an ice cream-free summer, be sure to check out her beautiful non-dairy ice cream e-book on sale for just $6.99 through Monday, July 6.

We All Scream for Ice CreamIceCream_iPad2_flat400px, co-authored by nutritionist Vivien Cheng, is gorgeous and includes recipes that not only omit dairy but also are free of egg and nut for those following the autoimmune paleo protocol (AIP). So the book is well suited for vegans and anyone who can tolerate coconut milk and maple syrup, the key ingredients in most of the recipes.

Let’s hear how Jennifer made the transition to dairy-free and why she will never go back! Read More

How to celebrate a safe 4th of July

Independence Day brings lots of great activities but also lots of opportunities to come into contact with toxins. Pregnant women and parents with young children might want to pay some extra attention to the additional toxins their little ones are exposed to at this time of year. While no one likes a Debbie Downer, being mindful of our health is not the same as denying yourself and your family a fun time. Getting sick is certainly no fun!

Most kids and adults can handle occasional treats, but toxins do accumulate in all of us. We know from the Environmental Working Group that babies are born now with over 200 chemicals in their umbilical cord blood, including BPA. Adults and children who are already compromised in some way or who have poor detoxification for genetic reasons, liver issues, or unhealthy diet would be served well by paying attention to their choices this holiday.

Although most things in moderation can be tolerated by most people, here are some of the issues those with young children and compromised systems might want to consider to stay safe and healthy.

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Grow Your Health festival to screen GMO OMG

The Grow Your Health gardening, food & wellness festival seemed so important when it first launched in 2013, I left a yoga retreat early to make it back in time! I learned a ton that year and the following and am excited to return for next Saturday, March 28, for a third year. The featured film this year is GMO OMG.

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In addition to all the great hour-long classes that parents might enjoy at 11:00 and 1:30, families can enjoy a “Gardening with Kids” class given by national volunteer organization FoodCorps during both sessions.

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Clean air advocates take their message to Richmond, U.S. asthma capital

At the Virginia Mama Summit, the first of the 2015 clean air advocacy Mama Summits organized by Moms Clean Air Force around the U.S., red-shirted moms and green-shirted grannies took to the halls of the Virginia General Assembly to tell state legislators why clean air mattered to them.

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Winter into Spring: gardening, health and wellness events at a glance

During this season of hibernation, bulbs are awaiting warm weather to shoot up through the earth and expose their colorful glory. So am I. I’m working on gathering some great material to push out come springtime while I spend these cold months conserving my energy.*

While the air is cold and the predominant colors brown and grey, there is a lot going on under the ground and under protective cover!

winter kale and greens

We’ve got a lot of great upcoming events listed in the calendar but wanted to compile them into this quick list so you’re sure not to miss them!

Thursday, February 19: Moms Clean Air Force Virginia Mama Summit, Virginia General Assembly, Richmond, VA, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Note: Mindful Healthy Life is a partner in this event

Thursday, February 19: “Raising Non-Toxic Kids in a Toxic World” presentation at Holistic Moms Arlington/Alexandria chapter, UUCA, 7-9 p.m.

Saturday, February 21: Traditional Foods daylong seminar with Sally Fallon Morell – just a few spots left!

Saturday, February 28: Rooting DC gardening conference, Wilson High School, Washington, DC, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

March 4-7: Green Schools National Conference, Virginia Beach, VA

March 17-29: Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital

Thursday, March 19: “Family Biking 101” panel, Holistic Moms Arlington/Alexandria chapter, UUCA, 7-9 p.m.

Saturday, March 28: Grow Your Health gardening, health and wellness festival including screening of GMO OMG, Woodson H.S., Fairfax, VA, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Monday, April 6: Growing Green SchoolsFairlington Community Center, Arlington, VA, 2:30-4:00 p.m.

Thursday, April 9: School Environmental Action Showcase, George Mason University Center for the Arts, Fairfax, VA, 9:00 a.m. -2:30 p.m.

Thursday, April 16: “Screen Time” presentation with Lisa Guernsey, sponsored by Holistic Moms Network Arlington/Alexandria Chapter and Arlington Unitarian Cooperative Preschool, UUCA, Arlington, VA, 7-9 p.m.

April 17-19: Mind-Body Week, The Mindfulness Center, Silver Spring, MD

Sunday, April 26: DC Birth and Babies Fair, The Hill Center, Washington, DC, 12:00-5:00 p.m.

Monday, May 11: NoVA Outside Networking meeting, Hidden Oaks Nature Center, Annandale, VA, 6:00-8:00 p.m.

Saturday, May 16: Peace Love and Yoga Fest, Washington, DC, 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.

Thursday, May 21: “Real Food with Nina Planck,” Holistic Moms Network Arlington/Alexandria Chapter, UUCA, Arlington, VA, 7-9 p.m.

 

*I am working on my health and looking for support in this website venture! Click here to learn how to join the Mindful Healthy Life team!

Freedom for Family Wellness Summit returns to Reston this weekend

When the Freedom for Family Wellness Summit came to town in 2010, it was an impressive gathering, to say the least! For anyone interested in health and wellness, and especially the connection between healthy birth and future health or between a sound physical structure and optimal energetic wellness, this conference is not to be missed. The event is the third of its kind organized by the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA), which runs 150 seminars a year for 4000 members and publishes the Pathways to Family Wellness magazine, reaching an audience of some 35,000.

I attended the 2010 summit with my two-month-old daughter, who had been born at home (a home VBAC, or HBAC) four years after her brother had been born via c-section. I had my mind blown by the summit speakers, and while I was staffing the Holistic Moms Network table, I got to talk with midwife extraordinaire Ina May Gaskin, who was at the table next to us with Safe Motherhood Quilt project and who also got her first chiropractic adjustment at the event!

gaskin adjusted

The HMN table was also right behind the table of Dr. Jennifer Mercier whose knowledge about women’s pelvic pain helped me to understand that it was my c-section scar that was causing me discomfort since my daughter’s vaginal birth.

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I’m excited to go back this year to the large gathering for lots of reasons (including to watch Dr. Jennifer’s new movie about fertility, which I hear she will be screening at her exhibit hall booth), and I hope to to cover at least a slice of what I learn this weekend to share here.

But with more than 30 speakers and 50 exhibitors, the possibilities are endless. If you’re into family wellness, this is a stellar conference to attend! There’s no telling when or if an event of this magnitude will return. Ina May is coming back this year and is joined by numerous other speakers including Business of Baby author Jennifer Margulis, Karen Brody, author of Birth the play and founder of the BOLD method, and Jeffrey Smith of the Institute for Responsible Technology and Genetic Roulette.

I had a chance to speak with ICPA Executive Director Dr. Jeanne Ohm who referenced the event’s subtitle: “Celebrating the Shift to Conscious Choice.” She said she senses a powerful shift of people wanting to reclaim their right to informed choice, and she hopes the event will empower parents and practitioners to believe that we have the right to make informed choices for our children.

Jeanne Cal Jam 2012

A chiropractor, Dr. Ohm says the event promotes respect: “Whatever you want is what’s best for you and your family,” she says. When parents approach her unsure what to do about a medical decision, she tells them that a state of fear is not the place from which a parent should make any choice. She recommends you ask yourself what resonates with your highest core value.”IMG_0058

And she also recommends having a respect and trust for the intelligence of life. She’s written about the paradigm called “vitalism,” which she wants to describe now simply as “life is intelligent.” She referenced a saying of Einstein’s that the most important decision we’re going to make is whether we live in a hostile universe or a friendly one. “It’s a friendly universe when you trust that the universe knows what it’s doing,” Dr. Ohm says. “If you think your body doesn’t know what it’s doing, you live in fear. When you believe it’s friendly, you can let go and enjoy life a little more.”

The purpose of the event is to bring together groups of people who are all saying the same thing but from different perspectives, that of holistic practitioners, psychologists, parents, educators, and more. “In chiropractic,” Dr. Ohm says, “we call it the above down inside out lifestyle. There is intelligence inherent in all of us. So respect the child and let her educate herself, respect the body in birth instead of trying to regulate and control it, respect the body that it will do the right thing rather than subject it to unnecessary intervention.”

What this weekend is about, she says, is that there is a sense of order and intelligence in life, and how can we respond accordingly in our personal choices. See registration information here.

See this full roster of speakers and the complete schedule of the event that opens Thursday, November 13 and runs through Sunday, November 16 at the Hyatt Regency Reston. In addition to these presentations will be a packed exhibit hall with practitioners, businesses, organizations and authors. See this list of sponsors and exhibitors.

Exhibitors include the following:

Also exhibiting are One More Page Books and authors: Maria Gavriel, Tara Gesling, Kathleen DiChiara and Nydia Kastra.

Photo credits (except Dr. Mercier demonstrating pelvic self-assessment): Christine Zichittella-Heeren. 

Disclosure: I’ve been offered a complimentary press pass to attend this event.

Take Back Your Health Conference returns to Arlington in November

The local conference phenomenon known as Take Back Your Health is coming back to Arlington on November 1 and 2 before it makes its Los Angeles debut next April. Conference founder and NoVA native Robin Shirley has followed her dream of moving out to Santa Monica but is keeping a foot firmly in the DC health & wellness community.

When I first interviewed Robin back in 2011, I was pretty amazed at how much she’d accomplished at such a young age, just 23 at the time. Creating a widely successful conference just a few years after leaving college to reclaim her own health from Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis and chronic Lyme disease — and way younger than I did anything noteworthy — seemed pretty impressive.

And all the conferences have been great. I’ve attended each of the TBYH events and have learned, roughly, a ton. Most I’ve attended on my own, but in April 2012, the hotel was a weekend escape for me and my kids from home renovations. My son got his Ayurvedic pulses read (and my kids got their photo taken – scroll down here for the blue eyes and redheaded mullet of my youngest). My whole family then somehow managed to spend three hours at the TBYH holiday market last December (thank you, iSchool for the Future and Kreative Kids for the crafts!)

The speakers Robin has brought through over the years have been pretty amazing, including Dr. John Douillard of LifeSpa on Ayurveda, Sally Fallon Morrell of the Weston A. Price Foundation on traditional diets, Lisa Wilson from the Raw Food Institute on juicing and Ann Marie Michaels from Village Green Network (and formerly of Cheeseslave blog) on healing from food allergies.

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This November, the tradition continues. For parents in particular, the talks may be life-changing. Dr. Teresa Fuller, a pediatrician who joined the staff of National Integrated Health Associates earlier this year, will be speaking on the topic of “Raising a Brain-Healthy Child” on Saturday morning at 10:00.

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Then, on Sunday morning, two huge names in family-friendly Paleo eating take the stage. Fairfax-based food star Stacy Toth of PaleoParents.com and the Northern Virginia Paleo Parents & Friends Meetup group will talk about “Paleo for Real Life: an Easy 3 Phased Approach for a Lifetime of Health” at 11:00 a.m.  (based on The Paleo Parents’ new book Real Life Paleo) and her podcast partner Dr. Sarah Ballantyne of PaleoMom.com and author of The Paleo Approach will address “The Paleo Approach: Using Diet to Manage Immune & Autoimmune Diseases.”

 

TBYH-ads-series-1-Sarah-Ballantyne (1) TBYH-ads-series-1-Stacy-Toth (1)

Click here for the full schedule and topic titles. Children 17 and under may attend for free with a parent, but there is no special space or childcare, so parents are asked to keep them seated and quiet. If they need to move, the exhibit hall should provide a welcome distraction. Tickets are available for the weekend and for each day individually.

I’m running a giveaway for one free conference registration, closing at 12 noon on Wednesday, October 29. To get more entries, sign up for the Mindful Healthy Life email list (for blog posts delivered to your in box and a quarterly seasonal newsletter), like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. You can also gain entries by following TBYH on social media and commenting below.

And for anyone who doesn’t win the giveaway, Mindful Healthy Life readers can use the discount code “mindfulhealthy” for 20% off the conference registration through October 31.

Edited to add our referral code for those who want to attend future editions of Take Back Your Health. Please use http://www.profcs.com/app/?af=1636700 to register, and a portion of your ticket sale will come back to Mindful Healthy Life. Thank you for your support!
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Healing emotions with Accunect

The first time I learned about Accunect, one of the healing modalities that Centreville mother of four Laura Freix uses in her practice, was at the Everyday Health & Wellness Conference this past February. Laura made what seemed like some funny motions around my head, and I tell you, I felt calmer right away and tremendous through the day and beyond!

Accunect Self Care (072614) 040 (1)

Just last week, my children’s doctor told me Accunect would be helpful for me to learn for my children to help them ground and calm.

Two great opportunities are coming up to learn about Accunect. On Thursday, August 21, Laura will be part of a panel at the August evening meeting of the Arlington/Alexandria chapter of Holistic Moms Network on the topic of “Supporting Children’s Emotional Health.”

The following Sunday, August 24, Laura will be teaching a self-care workshop in Centreville, Virginia, 11:30-3:30 p.m.

I asked Laura to explain a little bit more about her work, and here’s what she had to share:

“Accunect is a wonderful healing modality that is based on ancient Chinese medicine and modern neuroscience.  The beauty lies in its simplicity.  In essence, the Accunect system leverages the body’s ability to heal itself by restoring balance.  Unlike most energy healing modalities, which are purely intuitive, the Accunect practitioner uses muscle-checking and a Health Map to guide their intuition, which is a more powerful way to refine intuition.  By looking for areas in the body/mind that are ready to shift for better balance, the balances are generally powerful and long lasting.  Simple tapping is then used to create the shift.  Accunect is great for individuals, families and even pets!

Imagine the following real-life scenarios.  What would you do…

  • if your child was in a state of overwhelm?
  • if you sliced your finger almost to the bone?
  • if something popped in your shoulder as you grabbed your suitcase on your way to the airport and you can’t move your arm more than about five degrees before a knife-like pain radiates down your tendon?
  • if your child came home from practice with a goose egg the size of a tennis ball on her forehead and is leaving for camp the next morning?
  • if you have your first-ever colonoscopy scheduled and don’t want to use anesthesia?
  • if you are out running and your knee locks up, nearly sending you to the ground?
  • if your father had a minor car accident and went into a state of shock?

In all of the above scenarios above, the tools taught in the Accunect SelfCare workshop were used to address the situation without any additional medical intervention. Although that is not always the case, I hope that you now understand why I believe that Accunect® SelfCare is a tool every family should have in their toolbox.

After taking the SelfCare workshop, one mother reported that she has successfully taught her four young children Accunect® SelfCare, empowering the next generation in their own healthcare.

If you want to take it to the next level and learn the system, Accunect Connect is the foundational course.  In Connect, you will build on the principles taught in the SelfCare workshop and be able to do full Accunect healing sessions.  For me, the gift of Connect is learning to tap into your inner guidance system.  As a math major and former senior math analyst with GE Aerospace, I was definitely not in touch with my intuitive brain. Although you are taught to use this in the context of a session, I have found it to be useful in everyday life.  Listening to your body and trusting your internal guidance system are wonderful skills to model for your children.

The other gift of this work is empowerment.  Everyone leaves the workshop with the ability to do the work immediately; it is that simple.  I was able to teach my 10-year old nephew who began doing sessions on his cat (who had recently had a stroke.)  The founder’s son is now six, and he receives some of his best balances from his son.  Kids are great because they don’t have to “un-learn” anything; it simply becomes part of their world.  One girl of nine reported “I don’t know what you do here, but it is like a massage for the mind.”

I originally wanted to learn this work to support my family, but eventually I decided that this work was just too good not to share. I now have my own home business, and a vision for my life after kids, as all but one have left for college and beyond.

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My son will call from the university and ask for distance sessions when he feels the need.  My daughter has a lot of anxiety and did not like talk-therapy; the psychotherapist recommended medication. With Accunect we are able to address underlying belief systems without her having to verbalize or even consciously know what is bothering her.  Another mom did a session on her teenaged daughter, where the belief “People will like me if I am nice,” came up.  A great heart-to-heart talk ensued about “who was she if she wasn’t ‘nice’?” and the difference between being nice so people like you versus being authentic.  Truly a wonderful tool.

I share in the vision of Future Medicine Today to make Accunect a household name.  I hope you will consider attending one of my upcoming SelfCare workshops.  You will find the current workshop schedule under the SelfCare tab of my website www.iEmbraceWellness.com

For more information you can refer to the following links:

www.FutureMedicineToday.com

www.Accunect.com (relatively new; still under development)

Empower yourself; empower your children.  Learn Accunect!”

 

And whenever you do check out a practitioner or a workshop you heard about here, be sure tell them Mindful Healthy Life sent you!

 

Love Your Body, especially during Virginia Yoga Week!

Beloved Yoga’s sixth Love Your Body Day on Sunday, June 8, was truly full of love. The outdoor yoga festival kicked off Virginia Yoga Week with several different classes of yoga outside in the main plaza of Reston Town Center complemented by vendor tents from businesses devoted to health and well-being.

The festival makes yoga accessible through its free classes and brings in dozens of vendors to support people in their healing and wellness journeys. Donations made at the free event go to Cornerstones, formerly Reston Interfaith, a nonprofit organization that promotes self-sufficiency by providing support and advocacy for those in need of food, shelter, affordable housing, quality childcare, and other human services.

When I asked Beloved Yoga owner Maryam Ovissi last year about her reasons for organizing the event, she said: “All Yoga festivals and events usually have one object to bring the commUNITY together to celebrate. However my underlying motivation for creating this event is to allow us (yoga studios/wellness studios) a way to release competition among ourselves. There is enough for everyone in this world and those of us who are committed to bring wellness, healing to the community need to see how we are serving together for the Highest Good. There is not just one way and therefore we have many different lineages and practices in the yoga and wellness community! We celebrate them ALL!”

Last year, I took my then two-year-old daughter to Love Your Body Day where we enjoyed participating in the children’s yoga tent, which offers a full day of classes and activities.

Love Your Body Day 2014 Children's Yoga Tent

This year, I left both kids at home so I could enjoy a solo yoga practice, but I picked up several brochures about children’s yoga, including the upcoming National Kids Yoga Conference in September co-organized by YoKid and lil omm.

Doing yoga in the open air with more than a hundred other people was a beautiful way to start a Sunday morning. Maryam began a great opening practice accompanied by David Newman’s live music, including the song “Thinking of You” to which we all joined our voices in singing “Be bold, be free, be beautiful, believe, be love, be true to you.” I felt the hum of everyone’s energy when there are literal live vibrations coming from the stage, especially with the song’s message that we are all connected and thinking of one another.

Love Your Body Day 2014 David Newman singing

I hope we can go as a family next year so that my children and husband can be part of this group connection. Chanting with live music – in this opening class and also with the kirtan in the bhaki tent — changed my inner vibration and my outlook. I want my kids to see people this blissed out more often. I want to be this blissed out more often! Love Your Body Day reminded me that I have the power to get to a peaceful and connected place whenever I want.

Love Your Body Day 2014 Bhakti tent

Want a piece of the bliss? There are $5 classes at studios around Northern Virginia through Sunday, June 15 and other related Virginia Yoga Week events. On Saturday, June 14 (rain date June 28) from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. will be the free Yoga in the Fresh Air event in Old Town Alexandria’s Montgomery Park, 2 Montgomery Street. Organized by River’s Edge Yoga and presented in part by Yogis for Positive Change, the event will include outdoor yoga and a wine tasting and will kick off Be Well Virginia June 20-September 20. That solstice-to-equinox program will feature several free events, food drives (for people and for pets), and $5 classes to raise money for four charities: Carpenter’s Shelter, Cornerstones, Smashing Walnuts and Yoga Gives Back.

Note: Due to soggy conditions this week, Yoga In the Fresh Air may be postponed to June 28. Check the Virginia Yoga Week Facebook page or call 571-218-2161 after 12 noon on June 14th for a recorded message about the status of the event.

Also on Saturday the 14th, at Sterling Library from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. will be a free session of yoga, music and meditation as an introduction to the Happiness Program of The Art of Living Foundation. Space is limited for that one, so RSVP here or email kumblepradeep (at) gmail (d0t) com or call 480-332-2297. See the Virginia Yoga Week Facebook page for updates.

Looking ahead to 2015, expect another Love Your Baby Day around Mother’s Day next year at Beloved Yoga. This year’s inaugural event helped connect new and expectant parents with their inner wisdom and to groups and businesses that can support them in their parenting and holistic health journey.

Love Your Baby Day 2014 Beloved Yoga 2

Love Your Baby Day 2014 Beloved Yoga

And in the more recent future, if you know of a yoga camp that still has space available this summer, please share it in the comments, email jessica (at) mindfulhealthylife (dot) com, or post it on our Facebook page and I’ll include in a compilation posting next week.

Lyme Disease: An Epidemic

Lyme disease is on the rise in our area, and it’s something to think seriously about as you head outdoors this season. Untreated Lyme can turn into chronic illness that can take a long time and significant effort to reverse.

May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month, and today’s guest post on Lyme disease is from Shep Saltzman, R.N., L.Ac., of Vienna Complementary Medicine.

What is Lyme disease?  Lyme disease is a bacterial infection transmitted by ticks. The disease is named after Lyme Conn., where a large breakout of Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis occurred. The Rheumatoid Arthritis was caused by a bacterial infection identified as “Borellia Burgdorfi.” Borellia Burgdorfi is carried by tiny deer ticks that feed on the blood of a deer. When a deer tick bites you, it transmits Borellia to you as it feeds on your blood. Once the Borellia gets into our body, it causes Lyme disease.

Lyme disease is reaching epidemic proportions. It is very easy to get Lyme and it takes energy, time money and planning to avoid it.

What is the peak time for Lyme disease? April through October is the peak time for Lyme disease. Cold weather kills many of the ticks that spread the disease. Now is the beginning of the peak Lyme disease season.

Why is Lyme disease occurring more often now? We come in contact with deer more often. The forests and wooded areas that deer live in are being developed. It is common for people to have deer eating their plants, even in suburban subdivisions. One deer can host hundreds of ticks, and as the deer graze and feed near our homes, they spread ticks. The ticks often jump off the deer, and attach to small rodents like squirrels, mice, chipmunks, and our pets.

Small rodents run all over our property, and ticks jump off them, and wait in the grass, bushes and gardens, for us or our pets to happen by, and attach themselves. We can easily be exposed to ticks from our dogs, cats and horses, all of whom can get Lyme disease.

Do all tick bites cause Lyme? No, only ticks that are infected with Borellia. The problem is knowing if a tick is infected. There is a red erythema (bull’s eye) with tick bites that indicates possible Lyme. However, only 50% of the tick bites have a bull’s eye, so the bull’s eye is not reliable.

The tick bites do not hurt, or itch, and most of the time you have no idea you have a tick bite unless it is in a place you can see or someone else can see.

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What are Lyme disease symptoms? The symptoms are vague and like so many other conditions that Lyme disease is called the Great Imitator. Common signs are: migrating joint pain, bulls eye erythema, fever and flu like symptoms, brain fog, headaches, attention disorders, anxiety. See the CDC for signs and symptoms.  Severe Lyme can cause paralysis, loss of voice, debilitating fatigue, and even death.

How is Lyme disease diagnosed? There are several blood tests that identify Lyme disease; the most common is a Western Blot, and another is the Elisa. Both are often inaccurate. They often indicate that you do not have Lyme disease, and you do (known as a false negative). Some tests won’t show Lyme if not enough time has passed. If the test shows positive, it is usually correct.

There are also PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction), LDA (Lyme Dot Blot Assay) and 31 KDA Epitope tests.

There are specialty labs like IGeneX that do Borellia cultures. These tests are much more expensive, but they are the most accurate.

Indirect blood tests like CD4/CD8 and CD57 are good indicators of Lyme. They indicate significant pathogenesis, but they do not specifically identify the pathogen.

It is best to work with a doctor that has extensive experience with Lyme to know what the best tests are for you, if you suspect Lyme or co-infections (described below).

Muscle testing, also known as Applied Kinesiology, is an energy test that can also detect Lyme disease. I always test my patients for Lyme and co-infections, with muscle testing.  I find Lyme often precedes auto-immune conditions like: Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. Psoriasis, Rosacea, and IBS.

Diagnosis is somewhat difficult, and there is often disagreement amongst doctors and other health care professionals whether someone has Lyme or other  tickborne co-infections.

Do ticks carry other diseases? Yes, Bartonellosis, Babesiosis,  Erlichiosis, Ricketsiosis are all possible co-infections that can occur from the same tick. If a tick has these other infections, they can spread it to you, if you get bit.

How is Lyme disease treated? Initially, in the early stages, antibiotics are effective and are usually prescribed. Unfortunately, the antibiotics are often prescribed for only 2 weeks, and a patient may need 6-8 weeks for the most effective results.

Chronic Lyme, which occurs if Lyme is not treated or diagnosed in a timely manner, is much harder to treat. Antibiotics are prescribed, but additional use of herbs and homeopathic remedies can beused in lieu of antibiotics or in addition to antibiotics. Often herbs and homeopathic remedies are more effective, and sometimes antibiotics are more effective. Sometimes an integrative approach is best.

It does matter which antibiotics are used. There are different types of antibiotics, and many factors affect the correct choice of drug.

Babesia, Bartonella, Rickettsia  and Erlichiosis co-infections require different treatment from Lyme. All these conditions need to be diagnosed and treated. A separate lab test is available for each co-infection.

How can you prevent Lyme Disease? In order to prevent Lyme disease, you must realize that it is spread by contact with ticks. So take prevention seriously.

Lyme - deer tick on q-tip

Deer ticks are very small, so be vigilant about checking all over your body and your children’s bodies after spending time outdoors. The sooner you remove a tick, the better, but it must be done carefully. Tick removal kits and specialized tweezers like Pro-Tick can be purchased online and sometimes at nature centers.

How to remove a tick: Go to http://www.igenex.com/files/should_know.pdf for detailed instructions. Remove it carefully according to these instructions and keep it for possible testing.

And consider the following means for prevention.

1) Pets commonly spread Lyme. Do not allow your pets to sleep in your bed, on even go on your bed. Your pets will have ticks if they go outside, especially if they run free. Examine your pets for ticks, and remove them, whenever you find one. There are vaccinations for pets for Lyme. There are tick collars, and tick sprays.

2) Lawns and gardens can be treated with Permethrine, a chemical that will kill ticks but may be a carcinogen and/or endocrine disruptor, according to Healthy Child Healthy World but that may be less easily absorbed into skin than DEET. Ask an exterminating company about what is available. Lawn maintenance is a very effective way to cut down on the tick population. Keep the grass cut low; ticks do not like sun and get dehydrated by it. Ticks prefer shaded areas like bushes and shrubs. Wear gloves when you garden, and wear shoes and socks as well. Bare skin is what ticks are looking for.

3) Camping and hiking: Many tick prevention sprays that you might spray on clothes contain the poison DEET and may cause eye or skin irritation or more general harm. There are a variety of more natural products you can use on your hands, ankles, neck and behind your ears to avoid tick bites. WebMD has an overview of several products reviewed by Consumer Reports  and has a discussion of more natural products. The Environmental Working Group has a Guide to Bug Repellents that recommends not using a combination repellent and sunscreen.  See also the EWG guide to bug repellents for kids.  Finally, there are also many recipes for DIY bug sprays using essential oils like geranium oil and others , including this tick oil recipe from Primally Inspired

4) Do not attract deer to your property with deer salt-licks and other plants they love. Deer are fun to look at, but they do carry ticks, and those ticks do cause Lyme and other tickborne infections.

5) Do not keep wood piles and leaves on your property anywhere near where you, your children or pets spend time. These are breeding grounds for small rodents and ticks. If you stack firewood for fires, get a metal rack, and stack them carefully and off the ground to minimize breeding of mice, rats and other rodents.

Lyme cannot be spread by saliva but is a bloodborne disease that can be spread through sexual contact.

For information, see:

The information in this article is presented for educational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for medical diagnosis. If you have any concerns about a tick bite, symptoms of Lyme disease or any other health issue, contact your healthcare provider.

shep1About the author:

Shep Saltzman, RN, Licensed Acupuncturist, owns Vienna Complementary Medicine (www.vcmedicine.com) and also sees patients at Vital Mind/Body Therapies in Del Ray, Alexandria.

 

Copyright © 2015 Mindful Healthy Life. Created by MtoM Consulting.

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