5 things you can do to reduce pain now!

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For the past 3 years, I have been providing a pain management treatment called myofascial trigger point injections (also known as biopuncture) and getting excellent results. I have been amazed at how effective natural injections can be!

In one case I had a client ask for the injections around the muscles of the knee joint. She had previously twisted her keg while moving boxes up a set of stairs. She was in extreme pain decided to come in for some injections after going to a walk in clinic. I immediately could tell that the pain was coming from the muscles because there were regions in her calf and thigh that were hard as a rock and painful to touch. After a single session of injections the muscles relaxed and she stood up, completely free of pain and no longer needed the crutches!

Chronic pain is becoming a big issue. Many people become dependent on drugs and natural alternatives are rarely utilized first. Many people have no idea that there are natural options for pain that should be used as a first-line therapy. One of my goals is to provide new and more natural pain management applications for Campbell River and the surrounding communities.

So what you can do to reduce pain now?

  1. Hydrate! If you have osteoarthritis in your joints you need all the cushion can get from proper hydration.

  2. Take magnesium for a few reasons: It will help relax your muscles and improve sleep! This brings be to my next tip.

  3. Get a good night's sleep. This is the most potent anti inflammatory and its free!

  4. Use a tennis ball to work out the tight muscles. You can also use self massage.

  5. Try a natural anti-inflammatory like turmeric, boswellia, quercetin and bromelain in place of NSAIDs. These do not damage the gut like NSAIDs and for many people I have found them to be very effective. A damaged gut will lead to more inflammation and pain.

  6. Book in with a naturopathic doctor! Most have many tools for natural pain managment such as trigger point injections or non-invasive treatment devices.

Brown Algae and Fucoidin

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Laminaria or brown algae is another seaweed that is distinct from the more commonly talked about kelp. Both are nutritional sources of iodine but their medicinal properties are different. What makes the brown algae different is substance called fucoidin.

Iodine occurs naturally in sea vegetables which is extremely important for thyroid health. Iodine deficiency is very common since our diets are often very low in sea vegetables. The most common dietary source is salt but the refining process often removes other trace minerals. Other body systems that rely on iodine are the immune system and breast tissue. Because it may enhance thyroid function lab tests should be used to monitor thyroid activity initially.

Fucoidin has been shown to have many medicinal properties. Its anticancer properties are currently being investigated. It also seems to have immune modulating effects and may be helpful to during the cold and flu season. In the gut it may help prevent the growth of a H pylori. It also seems to show anti inflammatory properties and may be a supportive nutritional agent for kidney and liver disease in diabetics.

The brown algae also have soothing properties on the digestive system. Coating the stomach it may help reduce heart burn.

Reference: Therapies from Fucoidan: An Update

Anxiety and Thyroid Health

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So what is anxiety? It's actually a protective mechanism. Like pain, it keeps you safe when danger is near. Anxiety motivates you to accomplish goals. Some people have a hard time turning off the feeling of anxiety. Others the severity shoots up so high and fast that they experience panic attacks.

So what can you do? Well, I wish I could tell you that there was a single pill that could solve all your troubles. Anxiety is a complicated, chronic problem. This means it ultimately has many causes both involving the mind and body.

At my last community talk, I reviewed the anxiety - hormone connection. 

The thyroid hormones are where I like to look first. If your thyroid is out of balance, you could experience a range of symptoms like anxiety, heart palpitations, foggy memory, low mood, sensitivities to temperature changes, and even constipation.

Blood tests are routinely run to evaluate your thyroid health. So often many people are told their thyroid function is fine, even though they are experiencing symptoms of low thyroid. This is because TSH is most often the only marker of thyroid health run. This is actually not your active thyroid hormone! I commonly see this marker normal with other markers out of balance. I prefer to get the whole picture so at a minimum I always run at least 2 markers to assess thyroid health. A complete thyroid panel runs at least 6 + markers. 


Comprehensive Thyroid Panel
Thyroid stimulating hormone - TSH
Storage thyroid hormone - free T4
Active thyroid hormone - free T3
Thyroid peroxidase antibody
Thyroglobulin antibody
Reverse T3

At the very least, the active thyroid markers should be checked. 

Another thing I want you to know is that "normal" is not "optimal". So many people with thyroid symptoms have blood markers that are "normal". We call this a functional thyroid problem and we have many tools to "optimize" the thyroid.

I like to always use food first.  Brazil nuts is one functional food packed with selenium. This nutrient is important for thyroid hormone production.

It can be overwhelming thinking of all the steps needed for recovery. This often prevents us from taking the first step.

If you are feeling trapped from anxiety, I want you to know recovering from anxiety naturally is possible!

Dr. Nathan Jeffery, ND, BSc.

Reducing stress before burnout

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Are you just getting back into your work or school routine and feeling like the stresses are already adding up? You may want to be proactive and stop stress now.

When we experience stress, our bodies secrete hormones such as adrenalin and cortisol. These are very important and help us adapt to life's stresses. The problem is that we often remain in a state of high stress for weeks to months which can interfere with many of the bodies natural processes.

Stress can result in or contribute to:

  1. Fatigue

  2. Anxiety

  3. Depression

  4. Increased susceptibility to colds and infections

  5. Memory and concentration problems

  6. Blood sugar regulation problems

  7. Sleep problems

  8. Weight gain

  9. At its extreme -Burnout

What people also don't think to much about is that stress can result from mental and physical sources. Stress is also cumulative and the body can not define good vs. bad stress. Therefore a positive event like wedding or a job promotion will also add to your overall stress load. 

Here is the good news. Stress is highly treatable if addressed early. Depending on one's specific situation, I use combination of high quality herbs, nutrient support, hydrotherapy and mental coping strategies to help support your physiology during demanding periods.

Of course there are many things you can do now to reduce stress such as regular exercise, getting outdoors, laughing and mindfulness meditation.

We are all susceptible to stress and burnout, but being proactive will help keep you vital and strong through life's ups and downs.

Dr. Nathan Jeffery ND, BSc.

Hidden Food Sensitivities

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You may also be wondering what is a food sensitivity or intolerance? This is a term used to group any abnormal reaction to foods. This may include:

  • IgG sensitivities: Slow acting immune reactions leading to gut problems, mental fog and much more. This is in contrast to the true allergy which can be an emergency situation.

  • Lack of enzymes to break down a food as seen in a lactose intolerance. This can be due to genetics or problems with the liver, gallbladder or pancreas.

  • Histamine Intolerance: Build up of histamine or other byproduct found in food. This can produce skin rashes, flushing anxiety, and vertigo symptoms.

  • Abnormal reactions to food additives like pesticides, sulfites, amines and nitrates.

  • Abnormal reactions due to underlying Candida or bacterial overgrowth. Some bacteria will feed off food producing gas or acid reflux.

The above are called hidden food sensitivities because they are often hard to uncover. They can also be a complicating factor in many chronic health conditions.

In adults I often see these contributing to leaky gut and inflammation. In kids, I often see skin rashes like eczema and behavior/mood improvements. I have also seen weight loss and even improvement in blood sugar control. 

Certain dietary practices can lead to food sensitivities as well.  You may have heard me talk about the ketogenic diet. It can be a fantastic diet when planned well. After a few months, however, we find that many develop a food sensitivity to coconut oil or other popular foods on the ketogenic diet. This can lead to a feeling a little laggy after a few months on the diet. So if you plateau on keto this is an avenue to look further into!

As you can see food sensitivities include a vast collection of challenges. Addressing your food sensitivities can have far-reaching benefits to both our gut and overall wellness.

New blood test could help prevent heart attacks | Fox Business Video

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Heart disease is a silent illness and often the first symptom is a heart attack. You can use lifestyle and family history as a predictor of a future cardiac event. To make this even more confusing half of those that experience a heart attack will have normal cholesterol. We need better ways to evaluate for heart disease and future risk. The PULS cardiac test looks at biomarkers in your blood at are present early in the development of heart disease. When elevated you can determine the degree of risk and establish a nutritionally based program to reduce the numbers. Over time you can monitor these markers giving you unbiased feedback on your treatment. Follow the link to a fox news video that explains the PLUS cardiac test that we use at our clinic.