TouchStone Health Photo
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Archive for the ‘colds’ Category

Change of Season

Posted on: November 2nd, 2013 by Dr. Amanda Sue Cressman

The change of seasons can often bring unwelcome colds, coughs and sore throats.  There is so much that can be done to prevent bugs from making your life difficult.  We often forgot those age-old supports that really do make a difference.  But the reality is, sometimes these lifestyle supports are not enough to fight off a bug.  We can’t always eat cleanly, sleep well/long enough or stay away from others who are sick.  Naturopathic medicine has a great deal of support to offer, whether with botanicals to boost immunity or fight off infection the moment you feel something coming on, homeopathics to help treat coughs or sore throats, natural cough syrups that are safe for children and adults or acupuncture to relieve sinus congestion.  You need to have your options available for ensuring you avoid feeling the nasty effects of a bacteria/virus.

So try your best this season to take good care of yourself with these tips and if you need extra support, Naturopathic Medicine can do wonders to get you feeling better quickly.

Age old tips to help you avoid getting sick:

Sleep – more than usual.  Even though it’s unrealistic to wakeup with sunrise and sleep with sunset, the fall/winter season ask us to spend longer time sleeping with the long nights.  Try to get to bed sooner, especially when you are feeling the onset of a cold.

Fluids – keep drinking as much as possible and opt for water.  Try to decrease caffeine, which dehydrates your body and if you’re wanting flavor, drink herbal teas or diluted juices.  Alcohol depresses our ability to fight infection as well…so water and herbal teas really are best.

Eating Clean – fall/winter season is the time of year we want to eat more calorically dense foods and unfortunately what we usually turn to is desserts and sugar.  Do your best to avoid sweets, especially when you are feeling under the weather, as sugar depresses our ability to fight infection.  Try to eat as clean as possible, especially in the winter months.

Hand washing – kill the bacteria/viruses that we may have been in contact with and literally wash them off of you.  Some hand products kill them but you want them off your body to avoid ingestion or inhalation.

Protect your neck – this is one we often to forget about, but if you leave the house with wet hair (especially if it’s long) or go for a run without wearing a scarf or jacket with a high collar, you are exposing your neck, which can send a chill throughout the body and set the stage for infection.  In Chinese Medicine the back of the neck is considered important to protect because if it becomes cold, it can influence if a bug you were exposed to will manifest into infection or not.

Move your body – whether if exercising, dancing, rebounding – move that body to sweat out toxins, mobilize mucus and increase circulation.  Everything will feel better if this is a part of your daily routine.

5 Tips to Make your transition into Autumn Healthy

Posted on: September 24th, 2012 by Dr. Amanda Sue Cressman

Autumn is here and with it colder weather, windy days and less sunshine.  Here are 5 tips to make your transition into this beautiful season a healthy one.

5. Wash your hands…one of the easiest ways of stopping the spread of germs and preventing infection before it can begin.  Use warm water if possible and vigorously wash hands in water with soap, especially before touching your face or eating anything.

4. Sleep.  Follow the rhythms of nature, going to bed sooner with the sun setting earlier.  That means turning off the tv, shutting down your computer for the night and unplugging your phone.  An extra hour of sleep can be the difference of a cold taking over and preventing you from doing all you wish to.

3. Move your body…try 30 minutes a day to either walk, run, sprint or sweat from whatever activity you choose.  This helps move your lymphatic system and improve circulation, both which aid in the immune system circulating throughout your body and preventing infection.

2. Eat clean!  For me this means, no dairy, wheat or sugar…sugar being the most important as it drastically decreases the immune system.  Stocking up on phytonutrients from veggies and fruits will not only help your waist line this fall/winter with our increased desire to bake, but ensure you are doing your best to increase the strength of your immunity.

1. Support your body with immune boosters.  These can come in a variety of forms – vitamins and botanicals are the usual supplement that does a fantastic job of building you up.  Take action before an infection takes over to either avoid illness completely or decrease the duration.  Many options are available, but ensure you are taking something specific to your body as there can be many contraindications, depending on your health status.

If you are interested in ways to build up your immunity this season, please contact Dr. Amanda Cressman, N.D. at TouchStone Health.

Life Lessons from a Cold Sore

Posted on: May 19th, 2012 by Dr. Amanda Sue Cressman

Life lessons can come in a variety of forms.  Sometimes it’s presented by way of a difficult relationship, a tedious task or surprise situations.  This past week I had a life lesson presented to me in the form of a cold sore.

As a Naturopathic Doctor, there is an assumption that I eat perfectly, carry no stress and meditate emphatically.  Although these are all aspects of my life, I cannot embody them fully nor would my expectation be that anyone else can.

A week ago, I developed a little cold sore that I treated with tea tree oil topically and an anti-viral immune support internally.  Everything was going beautifully and the cold sore was diminishing.  But one sunny day later with 11 hours of being in my garden, the little cold sore that could…did.  It was triple the size and in its glory for everyone to see.

Whether it’s having a cold sore on your lip, acne on your face, eczema on your skin or loss of hair on your head, it can be a humbling experience to show the world that something is going on internally with your health. Comments are generally given to people about what they should do about such conditions.  The reasons for these concerns are multi-factoral and often of a personal nature.

My cold sore this week reminded me that is ok to show vulnerability and once again enhanced my appreciation for those with conditions that are literally shown to the world.  It also reminded me that more rest time is needed amongst the busyness that my life holds at present.

Even a cold sore can a teacher to promote compassion to others and a reminder to relax.  I think I’ll do so today, but this time with a hat.

Photo from:


Cold and Flu Season Approaches…What YOU Can do to Help

Posted on: September 30th, 2011 by Dr. Amanda Sue Cressman

The Autumn Season has begun and so with it, sneezes, tickles in the throat and the need to begin to bundle up.  Prevention is key for those who want to ward off illness, so I will share some simple ways to support your immunity with the changing of the seasons.

Hygiene: This goes without saying, but can easily be forgotten.  Wash hands frequently and wash them well with hot water and soap, especially before touching your face or eating food.   And if you sneeze, use your elbow, stopping the spread of germs in the air.

Eating with the Season: salads, raw veggies and cold drinks are no longer as beneficial for the body with the colder weather.  Increase warm foods and drinks, such as soups, broths, stir-frys, teas, etc.  The warm food will be easier to break down and keep necessary energy available for the immune system to fight off colds/infections.

Hydrotherapy: Warming Socks are a fantastic way to help decrease head congestion before it becomes a cold and Contrast Showers help to increase circulation and lymphatic clearing. Simple and easy, these therapies can be done at home when needed.

Vitamins: Vitamins C and D are most popular for their immune support.  Increase levels as the seasons change, but remember about the other minerals and vitamins found in your vegetables and fruits.

Herbal Medicine: Herbs are an effective and efficient way of preventing and treating infection.  They are specific to the symptoms you are having, so talk to a Naturopath to help find the right treatment for you.

If you would like more information on how to prevent infection this season or if you’d like to schedule an appointment, please contact Dr. Amanda Cressman at 1-888-454-4667 or


Ear Infections…when should antibiotics be used?

Posted on: January 25th, 2011 by Dr. Amanda Sue Cressman

Ear infections can often be a scary time for parents, watching a child hurt and cry out in pain. We often want to fix that pain quickly and easily, resorting to antibiotics to kill off the infection.

A study published in November by the Journal of the American Medical Association determined that giving your child antibiotics does little to speed their recovery and 80 out of 100 children will recover within days with no treatment given.

The American Academy of Pediatrics is in the process of revising its guidelines for treating uncomplicated ear infections and advising parents to speak with their Health Care Practitioner to look into other options for treating this condition.
To read more: Study: Antibiotics have little impact on child ear infections

Building Up Immunity

Posted on: October 28th, 2010 by Dr. Amanda Sue Cressman

Immunity is a huge area of discussion these days as we transfer from warm temperatures to cooler ones. Sniffles start, colds happen and we all fear the thought of someone sneezing or coughing near us.Health is not determined by your exposure to viruses or bacteria, but your ability to handle that exposure.Having a strong and effective immune system is your best defense this time of year to ensure you can fight off infection and stay strong and full of vitality.

Here are some tips to help strengthen your immune system.


·Eat LOTS of vegetables and fruits…ramping up your plate to have at least half full during flu season to keep that immune system strengthened

·WATER is needed for a strong healthy body…aim for 8 glasses

·Drink and eat warm foods that easy to digest to help preserve energy for keeping your immune system strong

·Avoid fatty foods and anything with high sugar that lowers your ability to fight off infection


·Learn to breathe slowly and deeply, ensuring you exhale for prolonged periods to help the body remove toxins.

·Air your house and work space out by opening windows or doors once a day to circulate fresh air

Decrease Acidity

·Avoid foods and drinks that increase acid levels because an acid environment is more favorable for fungi, bacteria and viruses.These foods include: caffeine, nicotine, sugar, alcohol and drugs.


·Long term stress decreases your immune system

·Practice activities that promote relaxation and good energy


·Move your body, increasing circulation and relieving stress.

General Precautions

·Wash hands often and keep away from your face

·Avoid close contact with those who have symptoms

·Give your body the chance to fight off infections, strengthening it for future exposures to infections

·Don’t allow infections to persist.If you aren’t better within a couple of days visit your Naturopathic Doctor to address any underlying health conditions and support the natural healing process of the body.

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