Featured Practitioner: December, 2017

Our Featured Practitioner of the Month

Dr. Duriell Bernard started with Qi Integrated Health in January 2017. This month, our very own Bryn Hyndman sat down with Dr. Bernard to learn a little more about him.

What conditions do you love to treat?

“Acute injuries – knee, low back, shoulders, neck. Injuries from anything- MVA, activity or sport related, work related. I see a lot of individuals who sit at work and present with cervical postural syndrome – a condition I enjoy treating due to the relatively quick results. I also treat foot and hip problems, and low back and shoulder related injuries.

I’ve been applying to the biopsychosocial model of pain, whether acute or chronic. Focusing on addressing the true pain mechanisms at play while not undermining the mental/emotional and social influencers that may be operating simultaneously.

A part of enhancing patient experience and optimizing management is asking, “how can I help you” or “what are your expectations for today’s visit” foster a patient-centered approach to treatment. This also allows opportunity to hear what is important to the patient – and if necessary making the appropriate referral to..RMT…ND…osteo etc…possible.”

What was your biggest career step that led you on your current path?

Being granted an opportunity to participate in high level sport after volunteering for a year in this community.

I wanted to give back and contribute and I did not expect this to happen. During this time I was in my last year of chiropractic college and had personal life stresses and financial stress, and it was a time of turmoil. This time showed me that luck really is when preparedness and opportunity meet, and I manifested many options.

My proudest accomplishment is working at the 2016 Paralympics, 5 world championships, 1 commonwealth games, being medical lead for all of athletics during 2015 Pan American Games and when I’m engaging, motivating, inspiring and individuals to to become better versions of themselves.

I was the medical lead for Athletics Canada in their eastern high performance center in Toronto, and those I worked with were truly an integrated team of different physicians, physiotherapists, massage therapists, strength and conditioning coaches, nutritionists.

What is the most valuable thing you’ve learned in your career, and how did you learn it?

You have to love what you do, and do what you love.

If you don’t love what you do then you’ll be miserable. You can make lots of money, maybe, but you’ll be constantly drifting and unfulfilled.

Setting realistic goals and expectations. Adhering to a plan. Without a plan, you don’t know where you’re going. How are you going to get there? Establishing really good relationships with those within your industry and those around you. Good relationships are critical.

Dr. Bernard is accepting new patients at Qi Integrated Health!

Please get in touch to make a complimentary initial consultation.

Remove Heavy Metals from your Body

By Dr. Sanjay Mohan Ram, B.Sc.(Hon.), N.D.

What is Chelation? 

Chelation therapy is used in conventional and alternative medicine for the purpose of removing heavy metals and chemicals from the body.

It involves intravenous injections of a chelating agent, EDTA (ethylene diamine tetra-acetic acid), a synthetic amino acid. EDTA binds to heavy metals and minerals in the blood so that they can be excreted in the urine. Another common intravenous agent used by physicians for mercury detoxification is called DMPS (2,3-Dimercapto-1-propanesulfonic acid).

There is an oral chelating agent called DMSA (Dimercaptosuccinic acid), which is used for lead poisoning and is used by some physicians to remove mercury from the body. The drug combines with metals in the bloodstream and both the metals and the drug are removed from the body via the kidneys. There are common side effects with oral administration of DMSA, and these include diarrhea, loose stools, nausea and vomiting, poor appetite and skin rash.

So, the question now is – why would someone have heavy metals building up in their body in the first place? It might sound as if it occurs only in rare circumstances of accidental poisoning, but heavy metals are more common than you think. If you have or had mercury fillings (or amalgam fillings) in your teeth, have been vaccinated to prevent various diseases, eat farm-raised fish regularly, consume foods that are grown in foreign countries that are not certified organic, or are healing from radiation and chemotherapy treatments, you are likely to have some form of heavy metal toxicity.

EDTA is administered into the body intravenously so it can bind with the heavy metals directly. Once bound to these heavy metals or chemicals in the body, EDTA essentially helps detox the body of heavy metals by permanently removing them, thereby helping with imbalances and illnesses which have developed in the body over time due to the heavy metals.

First developed and used in the 1950s for the treatment of heavy metal poisoning, chelation therapy using EDTA is now performed to remove common heavy metals, including lead, mercury, copper, iron, arsenic, aluminum and cadmium. While still a controversial practice in mainstream medicine and one that requires more research for us to fully understand how it works, studies show that chelation therapy has potential for reducing the risk of heightened inflammation, heart disease, strokes, infections and other health problems.

EDTA can also reduce the amount of calcium in the bloodstream, as calcium is found within the plaque that can line diseased blood vessels. As such, there are medical studies which show chelation can be used to treat atherosclerosis or the hardening of the arteries, by reopening arteries clogged with plaque. Consequently, chelation can be an effective and less expensive adjunct to coronary artery bypass surgery, angioplasty, and other conventional medical treatments.

The popularity of chelation therapy has grown since and more health care professionals are being trained in this practice.

How does Chelation work? 

EDTA and DMPS are man-made synthetic amino acids. EDTA chelation therapy works by binding to heavy metals in the blood once administered intravenously. After EDTA attaches and binds irreversibly to heavy metals, the complex is excreted by the kidneys, where they are eliminated from the body through urine.

Moreover, chelating agents, like EDTA, DMSA and DMPS can help detoxify the body of toxic elements which are complexed with heavy metals, contributing to many types of chronic diseases. Chelating agents can form irreversible bonds between these toxic molecules and metals. This gives the chelating agents the ability to bind to metals that build up in the blood, solid organs and blood vessels.

There are other chelating agents, including peptides such as glutathione and metallothionein, that have been well-researched and proven to transport and excrete toxins from the body, all without the need for expensive surgeries and risky medications.

The biggest benefit of chelation therapy is regulating the levels of various environmental metals which can enter the body. Metals, including lead, mercury, aluminium and arsenic, can cause short- and long-term health consequences since they influence functions of the central nervous, cardiovascular, immune and skeletal systems. The CDC reported that the severity and health outcomes of toxic heavy metal exposure depend on several factors, including the type and form of the element, route of exposure (oral/inhalation/topical/ocular), duration of exposure (acute vs. chronic), and a person’s individual susceptibility. When the body is out of balance due to disparities in the levels of beneficial minerals, each vital organ or tissue can malfunction and be damaged.

Some of the most symptoms of heavy metal toxicity include:
• Mood imbalances, including depression and anxiety
• Autoimmune diseases
• Chronic fatigue syndrome
• Muscle and joint pain
• Neurological disorders and intellectual decline
• Trouble learning and remembering new information, which patients refer to as “Brain fog” and trouble concentrating

Where would you be exposed to heavy metals? 

There are many places or opportunities to be exposed to heavy metals – they are ubiquitous in the environment. Humans risk overexposure from environmental concentrations that occur naturally (eg, arsenic-rich mineral deposits) or human activities (eg, lead or mercury release as a result of industrial pollution).

Acute toxicities of heavy metals come from sudden exposures to substantial quantities of some metals (such as from occupational exposure to aluminum dust or breaking a mercury-containing thermometer) and typically affect multiple organ systems, commonly the gastrointestinal tract, cardiovascular system, nervous system, endocrine system, kidneys, hair, and nails. Acute exposures to some metals, e.g. mercury, gold, nickel, and others, can also cause hypersensitivity or allergic reactions.

Chronic toxicities are expressed as conditions that develop over extended periods from chronic exposure to relatively low concentrations (eg, sustained environmental exposure). Symptoms of chronic heavy metal toxicity can be similar to other health conditions and may not be immediately recognized as intoxications. Increased cancer risk is a common feature of chronic exposure to certain metals; the exact mechanism of their carcinogenicity is not completely understood, although many are heavy metals can be mutagens or cause DNA damage, can disrupt gene expression, and deregulate cell growth and development. They can also interfere with innate DNA repair systems. In addition, certain metals may affect gene expression and alter gene function.

Here is a short list of other potential sources of common heavy metals: 

  • Lead:
    • Lead-containing plumbing
    • Lead-based paints (in buildings built before 1978 and is the predominant source for children)
    • Foods grown in lead-rich soil
  • Mercury:
    • Eating fish or shellfish contaminated with methylmercury (includes shark, swordfish, king mackerel, tile fish, bass, walleye, pickerel)
    • Breathing contaminated workplace air or skin contact during use in the workplace
    • Release of mercury vapor from dental amalgam fillings
  • Cadmium
    • Tobacco smoke
    • Eating foods containing cadmium (levels are highest in grains, legumes, and leafy vegetables, fish and shellfish)
    • Contact with cadmium from household products (electric batteries and solar panels)

It is not possible to completely avoid exposure to toxic metals – they are everywhere. Even people who are not occupationally exposed retain certain metals in their body as a result of exposure from other sources, such as food, beverages, or air. Hence, it is possible to reduce metal toxicity risk through chelation therapy together with lifestyle choices that diminish the probability of harmful heavy metal uptake, such as dietary measures that may promote the safe metabolism or excretion of ingested heavy metals.

Dietary Approaches to Balancing Your Hormones

By Dr. Joanna Rosenfeld

1. Include Healthy Fats

Fat and cholesterol provide the precursors to our sex hormones. Ensuring you get enough healthy fats in your diet is critical to hormone balance. Healthy fats help to decrease inflammation in the body, help to maintain a healthy body weight and

Healthy Fats: Olive oil, coconut oil, avocados, fish, nuts and seeds

How to do it:

  • Include 2tbsp of ground flax seed in your diet each day – you can sprinkle it on top of oatmeal, or in a smoothie. Flax seeds provide a good source of anti-inflammatory fats, aid with digestion and also help to balance estrogen levels in the body.
  • Cook with coconut oil – it has a high melting point and provides a good source of medium chain triglycerides – important for brain health and development as well as weight loss.
  • Drizzle olive oil over roasted vegetables and salads.
  • Try to consume fish 2-3 times per week. Smaller fish will accumulate less mercury, for example: anchovies, butterfish, catfish, clam, crab (domestic), crawfish/crayfish, croaker (Atlantic), flounder, haddock (Atlantic), herring, mackerel, oyster, perch (ocean), salmon (fresh, canned), sardines, scallop, shrimp, sole (Pacific), squid (Calamari), tilapia, trout (freshwater), whitefish
  • Use nuts and seeds as a snack. Chia seeds can be made into a pudding and eaten as a nice breakfast, or snack. Homemade trail mix with a mixture of walnuts, almonds, brazil nuts and cashews are a good mid-day snack to be eaten in moderation.


2.  Increase your Veg!

Eat all the colours of the rainbow to ensure you are getting the phytonutrients your body needs. Aim for 1 cup of each colour every day: blue, red, green, yellow/orange and white.

The cruciferous vegetables are especially beneficial for helping with estrogen balance and detoxification. These include broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, kale, kohlrabi, mustard, rutabaga, turnips, bok choy, and chinese cabbage. Arugula, horse radish, radish, wasabi, and watercress are also cruciferous vegetables.

Eating more colourful vegetables also helps to maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight can increase estrogen dominance in the body, and disrupt hormonal balance. Veggies also pack a hefty punch of dietary fiber, which helps maintain regularity, and also ensures that excess estrogens are being excreted.

How to do it:

  • Make ½ your plate veggies – lightly steaming or cooking your vegetables makes them more digestible.
  • If you enjoy a morning smoothie, fill up your blender with a mixture of vegetables: leafy greens, avocado, celery, beets and more.
  • When you make pasta sauces or stir fries, make the bulk of the sauce from vegetables, with some additional protein and fats.

3. Pack on the Protein

Proteins form the building blocks of our cells, and are important for creating hormones, maintaining a healthy immune system, achieving an ideal body composition and much more. Proteins (especially when combined with healthy fats and fiber) help to balance our blood sugar levels, which can be extremely important for reproductive health and ovulation.

How to do it:

  • Choose organic meat when possible to decrease the amount of exogenous hormones in our food.  Ensure a palm-sized amount of protein at all your meals.
  • Choose smaller fish (listed above), which contain fewer heavy metals and toxins.
  • When selecting red meat, opt for grass fed meat. The cuts from grass fed animals are less inflammatory and contain more healthy fats than traditional grain fed meats. These animals also generally come from more humane farms.
  • Choose free-run organic eggs to ensure you are getting the highest quality eggs from chickens that are not confined to small cages.
  • Vegetarian sources of protein are also a great choice, and high in additional fiber. Lentils, beans, peas and quinoa are some great options. If you find you have difficulty digesting beans or lentils, you can try soaking them overnight before eating to break down some of the hard to digest fibers. Rinsing quinoa thoroughly just before cooking will also help make it more digestible.

Foods to Avoid/Minimize:

1. Dairy

In addition to being a common allergen, dairy foods tend to upset our hormonal balance. Dairy has been associated with increased hormonal acne, more PMS and menstrual cramps and increased inflammation in the body.

2. Added Sugar

Sugar is the most inflammatory substance we can consume. It disrupts our blood sugar balance and contributes to systemic inflammation. This can wreak havoc on your menstrual cycle, mood, energy levels and immune system. Sugars are addictive, unfortunately. The more we have, the more we want. So keep your sweets to a minimum, and enjoy fresh fruit to satisfy your sweet cravings.

3. Caffeine

Caffeine can place an extra burden on the liver’s detoxification process and interfere with Caffeine should be limited to no more than 200mg in pregnancy – this is the equivalent of a “short” drip coffee from Starbucks. Better yet, switch to decaffeinated coffee or green tea, or herbal teas to help with energy levels, mood and hormone balance.

4. Alcohol

Alcoholic drinks can pack on the pounds and disturb your sleep, contributing to hormonal imbalance. Alcohol also places additional stress on the liver, making it work harder to process and break down hormones. Keep alcoholic drinks to 1/day for women, and none during pregnancy.

5. Processed Foods

Processed foods are high in sugar and simple carbohydrates, leading to blood sugar imbalances, digestive disturbances and weight gain. Processed foods are often high in sodium, contributing to high blood pressure and water retention.

How Do You Roll?

By Jorg Patzer
These days, foam rollers are everywhere — the gym, your RMT, Physiotherapist, your living room and even your suitcase. Essentially, foam rolling is a form of self-myofascial release, or self-massage, that gets rid of adhesions in your muscles and connective tissue
Here’s a breakdown of three ways to improve the use of a foam roller:
#1: Don’t roll directly where you feel pain. 
When we feel pain, our first inclination is to massage that spot directly. However, this might be a mistake. Areas of pain could be the victim that result from tension/ imbalances in other areas of the body.
Let’s take the IT band, for example. While religiously rolling out your IT band might feel good but the idea that you are going to relax or release the IT band is a misconception. The phrase roll out your IT band itself makes it sound like you are rolling out a piece of dough, but your IT band is anything but pliable. It’s a remarkably strong piece of connective tissue and can not be “rolled out”. To have an impact on the IT band you would have to look into the muscles who attach to it.If you iron out areas of inflammation, you can increase inflammation. And if you are in pain, your body will be too stressed to repair itself, or is guarding the area which does not decrees the muscle tone.  
To improve: Go indirect before direct. If you find a spot that’s sensitive, it’s a cue to ease away from that area by a few inches or take off the pressure. Take time and work a more localized region around areas that feel sore before using larger, sweeping motions. For the IT band, work on the primary muscles that attach to the IT band first — specifically the gluteus maximus and the tensor fasciae latae (hip flexor).
#2: Don’t roll too fast. 
While it might feel great to roll back and forth on a foam roller quickly, you’re not actually eliminating any adhesions that way. “You need to give your brain enough time to tell your muscles to relax.
To improve: Go slower so that the superficial layers and muscles have time to adapt and manage the compression. Feel where the tender spots are with the roller, and use short, slow rolls or stop and let it “melt”. “There’s no reason to beat up the whole muscle if there are only a few sensitive areas. Less is more in my opinion. 
#3: Don’t spend too much time on those knots. 
We’re often told that if you feel a knot, spend time working that spot with the foam roller. However, some people will spend too much time at the same area and attempt to place their entire body weight onto the foam roller. If you place sustained pressure on one body part, your body start protecting and keeps the tension on that muscle to decrees further damage. 
To improve: Spend about 20 seconds on each tender spot then move on. You can also manage how much body weight you use. For example, when working your Quad muscle, plant the foot of your leg on the floor to take some of the weight off the roller or lean against a wall. 
Happy Foam rolling!

Healing Anxiety – An Integrative Approach

By: Dr. Joanna Rosenfeld ND


1 in 4 Canadians will suffer from some form of anxiety disorder in their lifetime. Feeling anxiety, or fear, is a normal part of our physiology but it becomes a problem when anxiety interferes with relationships, the ability to go to work or school, and other aspects of daily life.


Symptoms of Anxiety

The symptoms of anxiety are diverse, and can sometimes be difficult to recognize. Mental symptoms include excessive worry, insomnia, recurrent thoughts, nervousness and a sense of doom. There are also a myriad of physical symptoms – changes in body temperature, changes in digestion, frequent urination, muscle tension, rapid heart rate, chest pain, excessive sweating and more.


Conventional Approach

First line pharmaceutical treatment for anxiety can involve medications to increase levels of “feel-good” neurotransmitters in the body, such as serotonin, or medications that increase the inhibitory neurotransmitter, GABA, to help “chill out”. These can work for some individuals, but medications alone don’t provide a holistic treatment plan. The side effects of weight gain, insomnia or excessive sleepiness and decreased sexual function are often limiting factors in their use.

Naturopathic Approach

Naturopathic Doctors don’t look at mental health as a condition occurring solely in the brain, that doesn’t affect, or have an effect, on the rest of the body. Anyone who has had anxiety before a big test and felt butterflies in their stomach, or felt their heart race, can tell you that anxiety manifests throughout the body.  Below are just some of the ways Naturopathic Doctors can help address your anxiety.


Cause: Stress

Stress is a natural response to a perceived threat. During times of stress our body activates the “fight or flight” division of the nervous system. This increases adrenaline and cortisol in the body: creating many of the symptoms listed above – increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, increased breathing rate, muscle tension and mental worry. It’s easy to see how elevated levels of stress can cause, or contribute, to anxiety.

Solution: Increase the amount of time you spend in the “rest and digest” division of the nervous system. Deep breathing, yoga, meditation and low key exercise all help to decrease high levels of cortisol in the body.


Cause: Hypoglycemia

You haven’t eaten anything for a long time, and you have been surviving on coffee for most of the day to reach a deadline. Panic sets in, along with irritability and maybe you even start feeling lightheaded. Irregular eating habits, combined with coffee, and surviving on office baked goods can set the stage for erratic blood sugar levels and major aggravations of anxiety.

Solution: You may not have a huge appetite if you aren’t feeling great, but try to consume some nutrient dense foods throughout the day, even if it’s just a few bites every hour. Having proteins and healthy fats, and avoiding processed carbohydrates will help keep your mood and energy levels stable.  Good examples include a protein smoothie, hearty soups or stews, homemade trail mix, veggies with hummus and boiled egg with veggies.


Cause: Lack of Sleep

Not getting enough quality sleep can be a trigger for any number of mental health conditions. Feelings of anxiety can also keep you wide awake at night, creating a vicious anxiety/insomnia cycle.

Solution: Create a calming bedtime ritual – journaling, meditation, yoga poses and baths, are just a few examples of ways we can turn on our parasympathetic “rest and digest” nervous system. Dim the lights in your house around 9pm to help signal melatonin production and avoid screens for 1 hour before bed to keep melatonin levels elevated


Cause: Nutrient Deficiencies

Many vitamins and mineral are important in the formation and function of neurotransmitters and are depleted by medications, stress and poor diet. These include all of the B vitamins, magnesium, zinc, iron and probiotics. The neurotransmitters are made of amino acids, derived from proteins, so adequate protein levels in the body are important for formation of serotonin, dopamine, GABA and all of the other neurotransmitters. Up to 90% of our serotonin is made in the digestive tract, so you can see how diet is so important in mental well-being.

Solution: Testing nutrient levels is important and often times correcting nutrient deficiencies can have a huge effect on mood. Your ND will sit down with you and make sure your nutrition provides all the correct nutrients, and that your digestion is working optimally to absorb nutrients from food.


Cause: Hormonal Imbalance

Hormones are the body’s messengers and will communicate to all cells of the body. The thyroid hormone, which is responsible for our metabolism can also have a huge effect on our mood – levels that are too low can contribute to depression and lethargy, while elevated levels of thyroid hormones can increase anxiety.

For women, it is important to have a balance of estrogen to progesterone. Due to medications, environmental toxins and food choices it is common to see a relative excess of estrogen and deficiency of progesterone. Progesterone is our calming hormone, so it makes sense that low levels would lead to more anxiety and irritability.

Solution: Based on your symptoms and lab tests recommended by your ND to assess your hormone levels, you can address these imbalances to achieve optimal mental and physical wellbeing.


Cause: Cognitive Distortions

The way we view a situation can greatly increase anxiety. These mental patterns and habits are established early in life, and create ways of thinking that are not always helpful. These patterns can be a result of trauma, or conditioning early in life.

Solution: Learning to identify behavioural and thought patterns through techniques such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can be a way to help change well-established mental schemas. A counsellor or therapist can help establish more positive ways of handling situations and relationships to decrease anxiety.

Why Should I See A Naturopathic Doctor?

– by Dr Joanna Rosenfeld, ND

I get asked this question a lot, and I have rarely given the same answer twice.

This is both a benefit, and a difficulty, with Naturopathic Medicine. Naturopathic Doctors (NDs) have such a large scope of training in a variety of modalities, that it is hard to give a succinct answer to this question.

The easiest place to start is to describe what it takes to become an ND. Naturopathic Doctors have completed a Bachelor’s degree, with pre-requisites in basic science courses, and then finished 4 years of Naturopathic College, including 1 year of residency and 2 sets of board exams. Passing these board exams allows us to use our modalities in practice: nutrition, acupuncture, herbal medicine, physical medicine, hydrotherapy and homeopathy. We also learn diagnostic skills, how to interpret lab results, and when to refer out for a more emergent, or serious conditions. In British Columbia, an additional set of exams allows us to prescribe pharmaceuticals.

Naturopathic Doctors have a unique philosophy regarding healthcare. We are focused on treating the root cause of disease when possible, and not only masking the symptoms. Although sometimes it is important to treat the symptoms, such as pain, we do so while at the same time trying to understand the reason the pain exists in the first place. For example, people with painful periods often take painkillers to help manage their cramps. As NDs, we explore why the cramps are there in the first place? What are your hormone levels? How could your diet be contributing to the pain? How could stress or lifestyle be a factor in your cramps? As part of this exploration, we address the whole person – both mental and physical aspects of their health.

Whac a mole


1. You aren’t feeling your best, and nobody can tell you why.

Maybe you are feeling run down, and more tired than usual. You’ve been gaining weight and can’t seem to lose it. Or maybe you keep getting sick and it’s taking you a long time to recover. Or you get bloated seemingly randomly throughout the day or month. These are symptoms that people tend to live with and eventually start thinking that they are normal. Symptomatic treatments may have helped initially, but now you just don’t know where to go. This is where a Naturopath will work with you by taking a thorough history, performing physical exams and ordering lab tests, to help tie your symptoms together and find a root cause.

2. You have a chronic condition and have been told there is no treatment available

As NDs, we often see patients after they have been struggling with a health issue for a long time, and been told there is no treatment or cure available. Common examples include irritable bowel syndrome, allergies, eczema, psoriasis, acne, depression, anxiety, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, and autoimmune diseases. Although there may be no cure available for some of these conditions, NDs can help to manage chronic conditions by balancing the immune system, decreasing inflammation, using specific herbal treatments and prescribing therapeutic diets.

3. You are experiencing side effects from medications

Pharmaceutical medications can be very effective for managing certain conditions, but often come with side effects. Your ND can tell you which nutrients or vitamins are depleted by your medication, and give you safe options for managing side effects. In some cases, your ND can help you replace medication with effective natural alternatives, with fewer side effects.

4. You are in pain

A common reason for chronic medication use is chronic pain. However, chronic use of pain medication is associated with liver and digestive problems. Chronic pain, especially joint pain, can be associated with specific foods you are eating in your diet, being overweight, or generalized inflammation in the body. Naturopathic Doctors can help identify the cause of your pain and help to minimize it through the use of acupuncture, diet, herbs and other treatment options.

5. You would like a more integrative health care plan

Naturopathic Doctors like to work as one part of your health care team, and that is why you will often see NDs working in multi-disciplinary clinics. We aim to communicate our evidence-based approach with your other health care providers and doctors to ensure you are receiving a comprehensive and safe treatment plan. Although generally safe, supplements can still interact with medications and an ND is an expert in prescribing the right supplements in the right form and at the right dose for you.

6. You would like a “health coach” and want to learn more about preventative medicine for you and your family

Naturopathic Doctors are trained in health. Symptoms are your body’s way of communicating that certain systems within your body need some attention, and a Naturopathic Doctor can help get you back to optimal health and symptom-free living. By managing symptoms when they first occur, and optimizing your diet, body weight and lifestyle, you can prevent a variety of health conditions and your ND can show you where to start!

Questions about this article? Contact [email protected]

The Perfect Diet?

-by Dr. Joanna Rosenfeld, ND

There are so many diets out there – vegan, vegetarian, macrobiotic, paleo, primal, Mediterranean – the list goes on. But which one is the best? Your best friend swears that the paleo diet changed her life – she lost 50 pounds and her skin cleared up, but when you try it – nothing! Well that’s because diets and food choices need to be individualized! Integrated nutrition is all about learning to be more connected with what you eat, and how your body processes food.

eat right

Following a strict diet that you have read in a book may seem easy at first, but I can guarantee it’s not going to be the perfect diet for you. In order to understand how to eat, you have to first learn to listen to what your body is telling you and feed it nutritious foods. These 7 principles lay the foundation of the “perfect diet”

1. Drink More Water
Drink 2 cups of water first thing in the morning when you wake up. This will help to re-hydrate the body and set you on a good track for drinking water throughout the rest of the day. You can try adding freshly squeezed lemon juice, or sliced ginger to warm water, if you typically need some warming up in the morning.

Signs that you need more water include fatigue, sluggish digestion, headaches and frequent food cravings, or even just feeling thirsty!

2. Make your Own Meals
It is virtually impossible to eat well if you are relying on restaurants or take-out food to eat well. There is a lot of added sugar, salt and fat to make the food taste delicious, and portion sizes are often too large. Some of the most nutritious food is easiest to make, such as vegetables, fish and whole grains. You can even make your favourite “take-out” foods at home – swap the Macdonald hamburger and french fries for a homemade burger and roasted yams

3. Experiment with Whole Grains
Carbohydrates have been demonized, but there is a lot of benefit in eating healthy whole grains as part of a balanced diet. Whole grains provide energy, satiety, and a high source of fiber. This doesn’t include white bread or muffins, but start using quinoa, amaranth, and millet. If you have trouble digesting grains, try soaking them overnight in water – this makes the grains easier to digest and also neutralizes phytic acid , which is a component of grains that can block the absorption of other nutrients. How to cook different grains.

4. Include Naturally Sweet Vegetables
Craving sweets is natural, so try including healthy sweet foods instead of turning to preocessed sugar. Naturally sweet foods also contain beneficial nutrients and fiber to help balance your blood sugar. Certain foods become very sweet when cooked, and eating these foods will reduce your cravings for sweets! Carrots, onions, beets, winter squash and sweet potatoes are all great options.

5. Increase Leafy Greens!
Leafy greens are high in vitamins and minerals, fiber, and many other micronutrients and phytochemicals. They really are the super-hero food, and there are so many delicious ways to consume them. Try sauteing them, making a kale salad, or using a collard green leaf as a “bun” in your sandwich. Greens can also be easily added to your morning smoothie! Start experimenting by rotating your greens: bok choy, napa cabbage, kale, collards, watercress, mustard greens, broccoli rabe and dandelion are all great options. Here are some ideas on how to cook, and store, your leafy greens!

6. Include Protein
Protein, and it’s building blocks amino acids, are important for so many functions in the body. Protein is required for enzymes and hormone synthesis, as well as building muscle mass (thereby increasing our metabolism) and developing strong hair and nails. Protein also helps to stabilize blood sugar, reducing cravings and keeping us feel full for longer. Good sources of protein include fish, organic poultry, grass fed meats, lentils and eggs. Aim for a piece of protein the size of your hand, with the rest of your plate being colourful veggies and high quality fats.

7. Don’t Fear Fats
We are thankfully moving away from low fat diets, but people are still hesitant to include fats and oils in their diets. Fats are essential for increasing our feeling of satiety after a meal, improving our absorption of many fat-soluble nutrients and producing healthy hormones. Modern diets have an over-abundance of pro-inflammatory fats (omega 6) and low levels of anti-inflammatory fats (omega 3). Our cell membrane is composed of fat, so including anti-inflammatory fats in our diet, will help to reduce inflammation systemically. If you are cooking with oils, use ones with a high smoke point such as coconut oil, avocado oil or grapeseed oil. Olive oil and flaxseed oil should only be consumed cold, as they burn at a lower temperature. Other good sources of fat include nuts and seeds, fish (and fish oil), hemp seeds, chia seeds, flax and avocado.

Choose one of these principles to include next week. If you are able to stick with it, then try adding another. Make small, sustainable, changes and soon you will see drastic changes in your diet and your health!

Talk to your Naturopathic Doctor about your specific symptoms to individualize the best nutrition plan for you.

Questions about this article? Contact [email protected]

Private Medicine at Qi

Qi has added Dr. Bryn Hyndman of Vancouver Functional Medicine to the Qi team in order to provide our patients access to private medical services. As a patient, you choose your appointment length and follow-up schedule in concert with Dr. Hyndman’s recommendations. She is also available for phone consultations. Typically, initial appointments are a full hour to allow for sufficient consultation and examination time. Before and after your appointment you are invited to use Qi’s amenities, including the relaxation room.

Dr. Hyndman will perform a thorough personal history and physical exam along with specific laboratory-based assessments to establish your health profile. From there, treatment options are prescribed in accordance with your goals, values and preferences, and may include nutritional supplementation plans, diet and lifestyle counselling, and hormone balancing programs.

Dr Hyndman offers a variety of innovative services not currently available under the public healthcare system.

Specialized lab testing based on your DNA, to pinpoint your disease risks and which medications will work best for you

Specialised laboratory testing for hormone imbalances, gastrointestinal symptoms, food allergies, recurrent infections, mood and energy dysregulation

Dietary supplementation: vitamins, minerals, herbs, amino acids, fatty acids, and others such as glucosamine or Co Q 10

Complete health data that tells you about the state of your body and overall health

For more information contact our front desk at 604 742 8383 or [email protected]

Acupuncture and Women’s Health

– by Fatima (Shekoufeh) Hozouri DTCM, RAc

acupuncture_womanBenefits of acupuncture for women’s health problems have been recorded in ancient Chinese medicine literature for centuries. Many women have encountered some gynecological issues throughout their life, such as problems with their periods, infertility, menopause, etc.

According to principles of Chinese medicine, a person’s health is mostly determined by the quality of their Qi (life force) and blood circulation. When Qi and blood are circulating smoothly, the body is fully nourished, balanced and strong. As soon as there is an interruption to the flow of Qi and blood, symptoms start to appear and the body gets out of balance. Conditions that can be resolved by acupuncture and that we’ve seen at Qi Integrated Health include the following:

– Regulating the menstrual cycle (PMS symptoms)
– Reducing stress and anxiety associated with infertility
– Normalizing hormone and endocrine systems
– Improving blood flow in the uterus
– Decreasing the chance of miscarriage
– Increasing the chance of pregnancy for women undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF)
– Helping with symptoms associated with pregnancy (morning sickness, back pain, breech baby, etc.)
– Helping with menopausal symptoms

In addition to acupuncture, your acupuncturist may use other forms of therapy such as ear seed, e-stimulation, cupping and dietary recommendations to help bring your body to its optimum health.

Questions about this article? Contact [email protected]

What is Qi?

– by Kiem Schutter, R.Ac,
Founder at Qi Integrated Health

Qi (pronounced “chee”) is frequently translated as “natural energy,” “life force,” or “energy flow.” It is the underlying principle of Chinese medicine and martial arts. The literal translation of “qi” is “breath” or “air.”
The original character for Qi (seen on the left) features the steam coming off of rice. It was created as such to describe the transformative element of Qi. Rice cannot be eaten raw so the Qi (heat, air) changes it to something nourishing.

Qi, like wind or heat, is a powerful, invisible force. It must be seen by observing the effects on its surroundings. In the case of wind, one sees the leaves on a tree moving, rather than the wind itself.

Qi animates all living things. It is one of the two main elements that support life, the other being blood.

Concepts similar to qi can be found in many cultures, for example, prana in the Hindu religion, pneuma in ancient Greece, mana in Hawaiian culture, lüng in Tibetan Buddhism, and ruah in Hebrew culture. Elements of the Qi concept can also be found in Western popular culture. For examples, scholars have recently drawn comparison between qi and “The Force” in Star Wars.

Qi Integrated Health took its name to emphasize the fact that Qi can be externally influenced by a practitioner, food, situations, and emotions. In our facility we hold a relaxing, calm space as it the best possible way to bring Qi into balance.

Questions about Qi? Contact [email protected]