Circle of Health Clinic An Inside Out Approach to Health and Wellness Wed, 06 Apr 2016 18:49:18 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Heartburn / Reflux disease Sat, 26 Mar 2016 19:03:56 +0000 While conventional treatments focus on reducing or eliminating stomach acid by drug therapy, the real problem typically lies in an irritation to the lower esophageal sphincter (at the top of the stomach, causing it to not close fully) which allows stomach acid to creep up into the esophagus – that’s the burning!  This can cause damage to the tissues in the esophagus and over many months or years, and will increase the chance of esophageal cancer – bummer right?

Acid blockers do a great job at eliminating the pain of heartburn (better living through chemistry right?) but they are hugely problematic down the road.  The downsides of long-standing acid blocker use are rarely discussed in the typical consult with your MD.  These include bone density issues, failure to assimilate many minerals (contributing to many chronic health conditions), and digestive disturbances further down the gut, to name just a few. 

Most people are actually dealing with a lack of stomach acid when then are suffering with heartburn.  Maintaining acidity in the stomach is essential to maintain the health of this organ and a critical part of digestion and nutrient assimilation!

So…………….back to the lower esophageal sphincter…………why is that thing allowing the stomach acid to leak past it?

We need to look at: identifying irritating foods, stress patterns, liver and gallbladder function, and nutrient status – all in the spirit of restoring healthy digestion – without interfering with the essential aspect of maintaining a healthy, acidic environment in the stomach. 

If you or someone you know is dealing with this issue, I encourage you to consider a more enlightened approach to getting your digestive health back on track!





Back to the Basics – Gut Health Wed, 10 Feb 2016 20:40:01 +0000 Did you know that the environment in your gut can make you feel:

  • Spacey, distracted and difficult to think effectively and clearly?
  • Irritable, impatient, angry or apathetic?
  • Inflamed and sore in your joints and muscles?

Therapeutic diets have shown tremendous effects on people w/ severe neurological disorders and chronic pain (and a host of other chronic disorders) as well as people w/ less challenging issues (but nonetheless problematic). Most of us are affected by this to some extent.

There are so many assaults to our guts take over the course of a life growing up in our culture; from overextended and compressed lifestyles, to nutritionally corrupt foods, and unnecessary courses of antibiotics.

The gut “biome” (ecology of the gut) represents the foundational environment for the maturation and continued “instructional and supportive signaling” to our immune system throughout our lives. It dictates to a huge extent the integrity of our blood and the load that is placed on the liver.

It is well known that there are 10 times the amount of bacteria in the gut in comparison to cells in the body! The mix or proportion of these “microbial constituents” has a huge influence on physiological function and events in the body as a whole. These “unique microbial blends” are passed from generation to generation. So it’s not just the genes that we inherit from our parents but these microbes and their unique influence to physiology as well.

Does your challenged gut have you functioning at a lower level of functioning? Consider the multitude of ways this might be affecting your life.

There have been a number of new and effective means of improving the health and resiliency (yes, so you can cheat once in a while without consequences) of the gut (optimizing the gut biome) we are using with remarkable results.

Here are some simple beginning tips to get you moving in the right direction:

  1. When you are eating,
    1. Approach your meal w/ gratitude and appreciation
    2. Pay attention to the different flavors, taking plenty of time to enjoy each bite, chewing thoroughly. This will help establish a better connection to eating what you intuitively know to b most supportive to the health of your body.
    3. Stop eating before you are completely full
Kaizen Steps for Moving Forward in Your Life Sat, 22 Jun 2013 20:14:41 +0000 Springtime-maple.jpgIf you are struggling to make meaningful progress in your desire to experience a greater sense of well-being, I would like to share some simple ideas about reorienting yourself in this direction.

These inspirations are based in part from the concepts of Kaizen (a more individualized version), that is, taking small steps toward realizing those things in your life that are truly important to you.  They are also rooted in the simple philosophical statement from Lao Tzu we’re all familiar with “the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. “

In considering this, a first step that is very helpful is to “drill down” to the essential elements of your true desires, that is, what you really want (not what you don’t want – which you may have to discharge a bit first) in your life.   It is easy to prematurely jump to action steps, that when examined closely, don’t necessarily bring you closer to a greater sense of fulfillment.

This preliminary step is essential in order to take the most effective actions that will fulfill our needs for a truly rich and delicious (a favorite term from one of my teachers) life.  It helps to align what we truly desire for ourselves with our actions.   It sounds simple, but as you know, we all get caught up in the drama of life and it can be difficult to settle down and make this connection. The remarkable clarity and focus that a simple step like this provides can make a profound effect on your ability to achieve the things you truly desire.

The process is quite simple.  Use a notebook or journal and find a quiet space.  Breathe deeply into your body.  We need the wisdom from the deepest resources of the body to assist us.  Jot down things that resonate as true desires or things you want to bring into your life.  If you need to list some things first that are causing you stress and, that you don’t want, put those down – just as a means of discharging so we can get to the good stuff.

Remember you don’t have to do this perfectly here and nothing is final.  You can always edit and modify with your evolving awareness of what you are wanting in your life.

As you breathe see if any ideas percolate up that might bring you a bit closer to realizing those things you have stated as your true desires.  Jot down 1-3 simple action steps that feel very doable and a specific commitment of when and how long you might do that action step.  Here is an example:

  • Instead of saying something like “I want to exercise more.”  Make it specific.  If you enjoy walking, you might create an action step of “I want to walk 10 minutes 3 days of the week.”  Then create reminders for yourself in a calendar (cell phone, outlook etc., or maybe even a paper calendar that hangs on the wall!) so that you can maintain awareness of your action steps.

Continue to clarify your desires and your action steps accordingly.  This is great practice for self-care.   It connects your true intentions with your actions.  The key is, when you create your action steps make sure they fall easily within your capacity to do them.   The most substantial changes overall will come about in a series of small steps, and small improvements.  You are likely to experience some big leaps in your progress but these tend to less frequent.

Sometimes it is helpful to have some support in this process in order maintain consistency and “drilling down” to the true desires.  We are here to help you with that if need that.  Often, recruiting the support you need is essential in order to make fundamental changes in our lives.

Bringing this kind of self-care practice into your life can really bring more focus, meaning and a sense of fulfillment  to one experience.  It is a noble and worthy effort.