Blue Heron Holistic Health Shaping Healthy Bodies, Minds, And Hearts Through Chinese Medicine

Tag Archives: Complementary And Alternative Health

The Cost of Health Care

“I believe that the medical system is the number 1 risk to human health today on the planet outside of war.” –Sayer Ji (author, researcher and founder of GreenMedInfo)

Most of you who have found me and work with me understand the value of holistic care and want to receive something that addresses the body, mind and spirit. My approach with Amma and Coaching is to continue to meet people’s health needs in a natural way. One reason I found Eastern medicine is because of seeing my granddad suffering for years on medications. He knew the interactions from the medications were giving him new symptoms, but he felt that he had to take the prescriptions to stay alive. You can imagine the disempowerment this brought. Prior to his retirement, he had a career that he loved, but once he was supposed to be living his golden years, he was in chronic pain. He would tell me when I visited, “I’m not worth a darn.” It hurt to know he felt hopeless, helpless and was only getting some small benefits from using Western medicine. His life was prolonged, but there was no quality. What makes me the saddest is that he wasn’t able to develop a deep relationship with me and my family because of it. Now I know that he had dreams and hopes and ideas just like you and I. And he is part of the reason I have dedicated my life to helping others be free from chronic pain.

I don’t believe that medications are needed forever, or that they should even be a first go to. Now you all know I believe in a time and place for medication, but what has hit home for me again recently are how many people are suffering on medications and the risks involved from long-term use. As I have moved into working with more chronic illness, I see the ramifications on a weekly basis of long-term medication usage, as well as surgeries that may have been unnecessary, and that have continued to do more harm than good. When faced with a choice between the cost of CAM (Complementary and Alternative Medicine) and Allopathic (Western) medicine, consider these statistics: The American Pain Foundation found that in 2006 only 23% of clients felt their treatment with the use of opioid medications was “very effective”. And according to the Journal of the American Medical Association, deaths from opioid overdose went from 4,030 in 1999 to 16,651 in 2010. In that same year, prescription painkiller overdoses killed 15,000 people. These are huge numbers that we should be scared about. Surgeries don’t get much better results. Surgeries for sciatica and low back pain cost up to $50 billion in health care costs annually. One of the studies that looked at surgeries vs. non-surgery techniques including acupuncture, physical therapy and massage showed the outcomes to be the same within two years. In a study of those with arthritis and two groups: one using standard medicine and the other using acupuncture found those who used the acupuncture or herbs got the same or better results. The Institute of Medicine put a cost for the management of chronic pain of $261 to $300 billion for medical treatment in the U.S. With all of that said, we have more reason to believe in the efficacy of alternative therapy. I continue to work with those in chronic pain, those with autoimmune diseases, adrenal fatigue, hormonal and menstrual imbalances. And I believe food is medicine. The right supplements and herbs can help carry us along until we find homeostasis. I created Blue Heron Holistic Health because I want to uplift people and get them to a place where they are healthy. When people become healthy, they have quality relationships; they serve their friends and families, their communities, and this precious planet.

Cheers to Holistic Health!

~Tanya

Body Psychology: A Holistic Approach and the Modern Day Experiment

There is so much information out there on how to be healthy and what to eat. A big focus with my clients in guiding them to health in treatment is with Holistic Nutrition. But, as I often tell clients, it’s not just what  you eat, but how  you eat that makes a difference.  We are living in a time where people are having record weight gain, including children. Many people are sending their body mixed signals with not knowing what to eat, eating when they shouldn’t and feeling bad about their choices. There are challenges for each of us in keeping up on science research and sorting it from the trends.

We humans will always be evolving in our knowledge and even our body’s nutritional needs will continue to evolve. This particular time in history is especially interesting though, because in no other time in human evolution have we been exposed to as many environmental toxins, and in no other time have we eaten “foods” that do not exist in nature. Couple that with how our lives are taken over by media and electronics and we live more sedentary lives. In addition we are increasingly spending less time out in nature than in past generations. Our lives are full of stress and as we expose ourselves to more anger and violence through the media, our bodies respond by raising our insulin and cortisol. This constant stress makes our bodies weak and we are prone to illness and autoimmune conditions.  We are the Great Experiment.

You may have heard “Food is Love” and “You are What You Eat”. Perhaps you have heard the expression there are two types of people: Those who ‘eat to live’ and those who ‘live to eat’.  If we want to find health, then it is imperative to think of health in a holistic concept of nourishing the body, mind and spirit.

My recommendations to make this happen include making a commitment to create the healthiest gut ecosystem possible. We can do this by consuming whole foods which are foods that are grown in nature in their original form, unprocessed and unrefined. Processed foods and especially sugar are what we want to limit, as these are what create inflammation and stifle healthy gut flora.

This does not mean being perfect or never eating desserts or giving up an entire food group. There are do’s and don’ts, but these are for each individual based on their metabolic and biochemical needs. What is important is that most of the time we eat foods that are full of nutrition, that we enjoy them, and eat mindfully.  We all can help this process by becoming curious about our connection to foods, to our body’s needs, and learning when we are eating out of distraction, being tired, or to cover up an emotion.

Part of this curiosity can be channeled into each of us being our own best doctor. This may sound like an oxymoron, but it takes educating ourselves with reputable research which often entails seeking out a mentor who is knowledgeable about Holistic Nutrition.  This can be in the form of reading things from sources outside of media that may have an agenda. Once we have solid information, we can make informed decisions. We can and must also listen to our bodies. You are the only authority on your body! We each get to make decisions and learn through them. We can see what our intuition says. And when the body detects something foreign such as a chemical toxin that ends up in our foods, our bodies will reject these foods through pain and discomfort. When we continue to not listen, it will ‘up the ante’ and give us issues with these foods through food sensitivities, intolerances, allergies, or illness.  As these things come up in our lives we can see what changes we need to make and seek out help when it’s appropriate.

We get to be scientists as we get curious, seeing how our bodies react each time we eat. And also it means not beating ourselves up when we make a mistake or eating something we know is “bad”. When we constantly bombard ourselves with body judgment and criticism, we are not sending our body love. Our relationship to ourselves is modeled to our children as well. If we want them to be healthy and live long lives, then we must show them how to do this. Here’s an example. Sugar isn’t bad but how we use it can be. (It is arguably a drug that we as a society deem acceptable and overuse.) So talking to the young people in our lives about their choices is imperative. Having conversations with ourselves and our loved ones such as, “How does your body feel after you eat the sugar coated cereal?” is a strategy to empower us. By listening to how our bodies interpret what we put into it, we gain control and are able to make healthy choices through knowing the consequences.

Our body sends signals to us about our health all day long. We need to listen to our bodies telling us when we aren’t getting enough down time, or when we are pushing ourselves too hard during exercise, or not moving our body when it is begging us to! Being aware of adrenaline coming up after listening to loud and chaotic music, or to the stress response in our body after watching an action movie is important if we want to calm down the nervous system. Looking at our environment and assessing how it is impacting our health is necessary too. Living in areas where there is a lot of noise, air or light pollution can be a drain on your health. Last of all we need to spend time with ourselves and figure out the input we are receiving from body signals. We may have so many bombardments with physical, spiritual, emotional and mental needs that it may take some time to sort and process it all.

While we live in a world that seems to be accepting of denying body wisdom, we each have the responsibility to choose differently. When we don’t listen to our bodies they become sick. As someone who had a chronic autoimmune condition and suffered for years, I choose to be proactive in continuing learning to take preventative care of my body. I encourage you and support you to do the same!

Wishes for Optimal Health,

Tanya