As Regulated Healthcare Providers under the current provincial guidelines set out by the Minister of Health, all of our practitioners are allowed to remain open as an essential service during the province-wide Lockdown. We will continue to prescreen all patients and practitioners and practice safe protocols at TouchStone Health – frequent hand washing, cleaning and sanitization, proper PPE, contactless payments and social distancing inside the clinic.All of our protocols are in place to prevent and control the potential spread of COVID-19. The Naturopathic Doctors will also continue to have virtual appointments available.
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TouchStone Health is expanding!
We are Looking for Practitioners to Join our Clinic!
TouchStone Health is looking for Practitioners to join our amazing team at our clinic in Waterloo.
We are looking for a:
-Registered Massage Therapist
-Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist
-Social Worker / Counsellor / Psychologist
We are a busy, established clinic with:
-online booking and virtual appointment options
-lots of parking
-highway / LRT access
-a passionate team of health professionals
-a newly renovated clinic space (Jan. 1, 2021)
Options for percentage split or flat rent.
Full-time / Part-time options.
Please contact: email@example.com for more information
Have you been trying to get pregnant but only getting negative pregnancy tests? OR Are you thinking about growing your family?
Have you been trying to get pregnant but only getting negative pregnancy tests?
Are you thinking about growing your family?
Written by: Alexandria Muirhead, R.H.N.
Preparing for Pregnancy e-Program is a self-paced, online program that helps you optimize your health and boost your fertility to help you get pregnant! This e-program also reduces your risk of miscarriages, corrects any nutritional deficiencies to ensure your baby has all the nutrients required to grow and helps you have a healthy pregnancy!
Alex Muirhead has created this online program to address all areas of your life that impact your fertility such as your cycle, sleep, movement, mindset, nutrition and more. It’s based on scientific research and her experience in practice.
Who is this e-Program for?
- Thinking about getting pregnant in the next 12 months
- Have been trying but haven’t been able to get pregnant yet
- Worried about whether or not they can get pregnant
- Worried about miscarriages
- Have a pre-existing health condition/illness (IBS, autoimmune disease, diabetes, PCOS, endometriosis, etc)
- Have irregular, short or long cycles
- Have painful periods
- Experience PMS
- Have digestive issues (heartburn, gas, bloating, constipation or diarrhea)
This e-Program helps address any underlying health issue that interferes with your fertility. A body system that is out of balance and not functioning properly can have a really big impact on your ability to get pregnant. This e-program identifies if you have any imbalances and provides you with the proper tools to rebalance that system.
What does the e-Program Include?
- 8 modules, each covering an important area for fertility
- 3 bonus modules
- Easy to understand information
- Step-by-step guides
- Personalized supplements
- & more!
Each module contains a video of Alex Muirhead educating you on that particular topic and a step-by-step guide to help you implement everything you learnt in that video! In addition, she has created specialized worksheets and compiled resources pertaining to that module!
Are you Interested in Learning More About the e-Program?
- Discount for Launch Week!!
The e-program is 25% off during launch week!
When is launch week?? September 8th to 14th!
Use the promo code LAUNCH at check out for 25% off!
Many say that the kitchen is the heart of the home. It’s where people gather to laugh and show love for others. It is one of the most important rooms in the house where we create meals to nourish ourselves, family and friends. There are many items that we use in our kitchen that we believe are safe but in reality they can have a negative impact on our health. These impacts can happen right away or happen over years. This phenomenon is called bioaccumulation and it can contribute to a whole host of health issues including autoimmune diseases and infertility. This is caused by chemicals and toxins that disrupt our normal body systems such as our immune system, hormonal (endocrine) system, circulatory system, nervous system and more. It affects all of our body systems and leads to symptoms such as fatigue, mood swings, irritability, digestive issues, gas, bloating, allergies, asthma, PMS, brittle nails, hair loss, and sleep troubles.
Please don’t panic or worry! Keep reading!
Just as your body accumulates these toxins and chemicals, your body can eliminate them once you have stopped exposing yourself to them! Our bodies are so amazing and fascinating. They want to be in homeostasis and have all of our systems working together flawlessly. In Holistic Nutrition, we know that once you remove what is causing you to feel unwell, support your body and give it time to rebalance, that your health will be restored! I believe this and know this to be true because I have personally experienced it. You can not heal in the same environment that you became sick in.
The top 3 kitchen item swaps that you can do to reduce your exposure to harmful toxins and chemicals!
- Ditch the Non-Stick!
Yes, I know. This one was hard for me to do as well. Isn’t non-stick so convent and easy? Nothing sticks to it and it’s a breeze to clean. These are amazing qualities but they come with a price. Teflon coated cookware contain chemicals that over time leach out into your food and you consume it. PFC, PFOS and PFOA are three chemicals that bioaccumulate and disrupt your body systems. 1.They have banned PFOA from being used in teflon products since it has been shown to be carcinogenic to the thyroid, kidneys, testicles, ovarian and bladder. 2. There is growing evidence that states that PFOA are not the only chemical to have negative effects on our health.
Teflon manufacturers say that it can be safe, if used properly. We don use it the way the manufacturer recommended which exposes us to these chemicals. Proper use of non-stick pans including not heating it higher than 260oC (500oF), do use if coating is chipped or scratched and use for a maximum of 6 months. It has been shown that an empty pan or a pan with oil can heat to 500oF within 2 minutes. We have all done these things and I am included in this! I had the same non-stick pan for years with scratches and would place some oil in the pan to heat up and I am sure it got to above 500oF. Those chemicals are released once these things happen and get into our bodies.
What to use instead!
Once I learned about the chemicals in non-stick pans I began to look into alternatives! It took me a while to come around since non-stick is so convenient but the health benefits are worth it! Instead you can use cast iron pans or stainless steel pans. Cast iron can take a little bit of maintenance but is an excellent option once you’ve gotten the hang of it. There are lots of resources online on how to use and care for cast iron! Stainless steel is another opinion! Food tends to stick which is why oil, broth or water should be used. You can find lots of resources on how to use and care for stainless steel pans with a quick google search!
- Ditch the Plastic!
This is a big one since plastic has taken over the modern kitchen. There are plastic utensils (spatula, stirring spoon, slotted spoon, tongs, masher, whisks), plastic cutting boards, plastic measure cups/spoons, plastic mixing bowls, plastic strainer, plastic wrap, plastic food storage containers, plastic water bottles and the list goes on and on!
This is a really important one since all of these plastics contain chemicals called endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDC’s) and exposes us to xenoestrogens. Xenoestrogens are synthetic chemicals that have the same chemical structure as estrogen and therefore binds to the estrogen receptors in our bodies. They have a very strong effect and contribute to hormonal imbalances, estrogen dominance, low progesterone, endometriosis, PCOS, and estrogen driven cancers.
How and what to use instead?!
I always recommend switching things slowly and doing this process gradually. First become aware of all the plastic you are using in your kitchen. Once something gets worn out and is in need of being replaced, buy the non-plastic option! This makes it much easier to do and does not create a large financial burden of having to buy everything at once.
|Instead of…||Happy Hormone Swap|
|Plastic Utensils (spatula, stirring spoon, slotted spoon, tongs, masher, whisks, etc)||Wooden or Stainless Steel Utensils|
|Plastic Cutting Board||Wooden Cutting Board (plastic cutting boards also harbor and allow bacteria to grow, wood is always best!)|
|Plastic Measuring Cups/Spoons||Stainless Steel or Glass Measuring Cups or Spoons|
|Plastic Mixing Bowls||Stainless Steel, Ceramic, or Glass Mixing Bowls|
|Plastic Strainer||Stainless Steel Strainer|
|Plastic Food Wrap||Beeswax Wraps|
|Plastic Food Storage Containers||Glass or Stainless Steel Containers|
|Plastic Water Bottles||Glass or Stainless Steel Water Bottles|
Don’t feel overwhelmed by this change. It’s best to take it slow and do things one at a time. Use this knowledge as power and begin to switch over these items to reduce you and your families exposure to xenoestrogens. Stores like Winners and Homesense are great place’s to get some of these items at a lower cost.
- Ditch the Toxic Cleaners & Soaps!
There seems to be a cleaner for everything these days, am I right? Every surface and area of the home seems to have a specific cleaner to clean it. Conventional household and kitchen cleaners are a major source of toxic exposure in the home. You can use The Environmental Working Group to see where you cleaners rank. They have a system that they use to tell you if your cleaners are toxic or not. I also believe that household cleaners are a big waste of money! You really don’t need a different cleaner for every surface and room. Homemade cleaners are the best and safest option and save you lots of money! Having one all purpose, natural cleaner will reduce the toxins in your home, save you money and reduce the clutter in your laundry room where you store your cleaners.
Your hand soap, dish soap and dishwasher detergent also contain chemicals that we want to avoid!
What to use instead?
Make your own! Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water. You can add essential oils to give it a natural smell if you wish! Vinegar is a very potent disinfectant and kills bacteria. That is why it is used in preserving, so bacteria and mold does not grow.
Natural Cleaners! You can use castile soap and dilute it to use all over your home. You can also visit your local Health Food Store and ask them about safe and non=toxic cleaning products they carry. Two of my favorite brands are:
Branch Basics and Seventh Generation. Branch Basics is a really great company that creates safe and effective cleaning products. Their products are safe for humans and for the environment and are not tested on animals. Seventh Generation is a wonderful company that has cleaners, baby items, soaps, and dishwashing detergent/pucks.
Small actions everyday that are in alignment with your wellness goals is what creates sustainable change and allows you to achieve those goals!
Written by: Dr. Amanda Cressman, N.D.
That’s a powerful phrase and it’s something I hear often in dialog with those that I work with. I don’t want to be that person. There is a lot of weight that comes with those words.
I think what is so interesting about that phrase is the inherent judgement of it. Judgement of ourselves, the judgement we fear from others and the judgement we place on the thing we desperately don’t want to be.
Here are some examples of what I have commonly heard and still hear in my practice.
“I don’t want to be that person who eats differently from others, who has to ask, ‘What’s in that…is there gluten or dairy in that dish?’” Insert eye roll here.
“I don’t want to be that person who can’t relax and not worry about what is going on…I’m on edge all the time and I hate it.”
“I don’t want to be that person who has health issues.”
“I don’t want to be that person who has given up on themselves and has stopped caring about their body.”
It can mean a lot of different things. But the commonality of all those phrases is a struggle with where we are actually at and where we want to go.
Since COVID came and ripped up so much of what I knew myself to be, of what I thought I could count on to be stable and steady, I have thought a lot of this phrase. I have thought a lot about asking myself the opposite, of finally asking the question, who do I want to be? What does that new me look like? If I can figure that out, is it even possible?
When your world has been changed so dramatically as all of ours has, there exists an opportunity for reflection…to see more clearly and to gain clarity from the contrast.
For me, it’s created much needed time to realize a lot of the life I was living was something I hadn’t consciously chosen….or perhaps I did, in a way but it was no longer working for me. I am many things but amongst them, I am driven and filled with a sense of duty which created a Wired but Tired version of myself that was productive and successful but was also exhausted and burnt out. COVID threw me and my nervous system around and I fought hard to keep the old me present but the last 5 months won and what has emerged is surprising. I have learned that who I want to be and what I want to do is different from what has been.
This is hard and takes courage to really see it.
For so many of the people that I work with, this has been a common experience that has been accentuated in the past 5 months where our modus operandi has been tweaked, challenged and altered.
Who do you want to be? Who is the person that is most aligned to what you want and where you want to go? What does it look like? For me, it’s no longer being a Wired but Tired, go-getting, on the go, showing the world I can do it all type-of-person. It’s someone who checks in first with herself instead of checking in with others to see if what she’s doing is ok. It’s taking time to rest even when the floor needs some serious vacuuming because really, no one else cares or if they do…can I really be bothered to worry about their opinion?
So many of the people I work with are Wired but Tired…a tricky combination that is a by-product of high levels of stress that have been prolonged and accentuated by a desire to keep producing amongst having minimal, to nothing left in their tank. It’s a tricky combination of exhaustion yet difficulty with getting or staying asleep, lack of motivation yet anxiousness and brain fog, cravings yet lack of appetite and weight gain. It’s burnout that comes in a different package where many would never know what’s really going on because the individual is looking successful in the world yet not feeling that. So many people have been taxed with all that COVID has brought. And it’s been different for us all. It has brought with it clarity, in learning our values, our fears, our priorities. It’s stripped so many of us down and people are struggling with the aftermath of 5 months of this change and of the unknown of what September and the coming winter season will bring.
So, who do you want to be in these unprecedented times? Or who don’t you want to be? What do you need to get there? How do you fill your tank to build back resiliency that has been lost? Building back physical and mental resilience is possible but takes time and isn’t something that happens overnight. It can come in many different ways and my hope is, that you are being supported in your journey, filling yourself up with the pieces that build you back.
Do you experience painful periods and awful PMS symptoms such as diarrhea, mood swings, food cravings, headaches, fatigue, swelling, bloating, ance, constipation?
Do you have PCOS, estrogen dominance, fibroids, endometriosis, infertility?
Or do you experience symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, fatigue?
Seed cycling is a natural method to help balance hormones and help alleviate these awful symptoms!
What is Seed Cycling?
Seed cycling is a natural way to balance your hormones, boost fertility and help alleviate uncomfortable and painful symptoms associated with women’s menstrual cycles. This method has been around for a very long time and used by alternative health practitioners to ease these symptoms. It consists of supplementing your diet with pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, sunflower seeds and sesame seeds at specific times of your cycle. The seeds are raw, ground and stored in the fridge to preserve freshness and stop them from going rancid. Some of the seeds need to be ground because our bodies have a difficult time breaking down seeds. By grinding them, we liberate the beneficial phytochemicals necessary to promote hormonal balance. Each seed has a specific role it plays in that part of your cycle.
The Basics of your Menstrual Cycle
Your cycle consists of two main phases; the follicular phase and the luteal phase. The follicular phase is the first phase of your cycle from days 1 – 14 (approximately). This phase begins the first day of your bleed and lasts until you ovulate. During the first week of your follicular phase (your bleed week) estrogen and progesterone are very low which causes the shedding of the uterine lining. The second week of your follicular phase is when your hormones begin to rise. Ovulation is said to occur on day 14. This is not always the case. This is based on a 28 day cycle and every woman’s body is unique and different. The best three ways to know when you ovulate is to track your cycles, assess your cervical mucus and to test your basal body temperature. The combination of these three methods will give you the most accurate timing of your ovulation. Ovulation is when estrogen peaks and you are feeling sexy and confident! Testosterone and progesterone are also on the rise! After ovulation you enter the luteal phase. Entering this phase, estrogen and progesterone are high. If an egg isn’t fertilized then your hormones decrease and you continue to cycle.
How to Seed Cycle
Days 1-14 : Follicular Phase
Eat one tablespoon of raw, ground flax seeds and one tablespoon of raw pumpkin seeds. The phytochemicals, fiber, fatty acids, and nutrients (zinc, selenium) in these seeds promote estrogen production while also aiding in removal of excess estrogens and xenoestrogens. This promotes a healthy balance of estrogen during the phase when it is the main hormone.
Days 15-28: Luteal Phase
Eat one tablespoon of raw, ground sunflower seeds and one tablespoon of raw, ground sesame seeds. This phase of your cycle is when progesterone is the star and when unbalanced, is associated with nasty PMS symptoms. The nutrients in these two seeds, especially zinc and vitamin E, assist with progesterone production to help you feed your best!
Note: If possible, it is best to choose organic seeds as this reduces your exposure to herbicides and pesticides. If you are unable to purchase organic, just purchase the conventional seeds! You will still see the wonderful benefits from Seed Cycling!
Ways to Incorporate Your Seeds?
You can incorporate these seeds into your diet in many different ways and in many different dishes from breakfast, dinner, dessert and even snacks!
- Add them in your smoothie
- Sprinkle on your yogurt
- Add some into your oatmeal
- Sprinkle on your salad
- Mix into dips such as hummus
- Eat them as a seed butter and dip your apples in them or spread on toast
- Sprinkle on top of your chia seed pudding
- Add to your baked goods and desserts
- Mix in with your nut butter
- Add then into your granola
There are many different ways to incorporate these seeds into your diet during the different phases of your cycle!
My Personal Experience
I was skeptical at first of seed cycling for hormonal balance but decided to try it since I had nothing to lose and was suffering with awful symptoms from hormonal imbalance. That was over a year ago now and I am such a huge supporter and fan of seed cycling. It is an easy and effective way to help balance your hormones and minimize those awful symptoms. I love to add the seeds to my smoothie in the morning! It ensures I always get my daily dose of seeds and it tastes delicious!
We trust this email finds you well and safe. It has been an interesting time in the world and hoping amongst all the changes that have occurred that you have been ok, you have been supported and are keeping well.
We also wanted to take this opportunity to update you on the clinic reopening.
Dr. Jocelyn Hayes, Chiropractic Physician and Anna Totzke, Registered Acupuncturist are both back in office at this time, while Dr. Melanie Reidl, N.D. is still practicing via telemedicine and phone and Dr. Amanda Cressman, N.D. is back in office June 25th but also practicing via telemedicine and phone.
The clinic operations have changed and below is an update as to how we are keeping in alignment with the Ministry of Health Standards to keep you safe.
If you are interested in booking in, please do so here and we look forward to seeing you again to help support you in your health journey in any way we can.
Written by: Amanda Cressman, N.D.
If you are like most people I have spoken with in the last few weeks, eating balanced meals that are healthy has been tricky. There are so many reasons for this – less access to grocery stores and fresh foods, the sheer stress of shopping and the emotional eating that can occur from the stress and sadness of all the changes to our lifestyle. Even just being home all day, everyday, where the kitchen is central to the home, it’s easy and understandable as to why many are eating more frequently than we need to.
When stress levels are high, blood sugar changes occur, whereas the body is needing to provide glucose to support the stress response. Sugar cravings can increase and with chronic stress, weight changes then happen, specifically around the midsection.
For many, the past few weeks have been one of the most stressful experiences that they have gone through. Supporting your stress response is of vital importance, not only for mental health but also for maintaining the daily habits that keep us grounded and supported in ourselves.
Even though it may not seem to be connected, eating balanced meals and choosing healthy food options supports our stress response. Avoiding known food sensitivities is also helpful to ensure the body has no additional stress responses occurring.
So, I wanted to share some recipes/resources to hopefully inspire and surprise you with how easy and tasty they are. They are all Gluten-free and some are also Grain-Free , supporting a variety of dietary plans in this time. I have no affiliation with any of these sites, just happy to have found recipes that are easy to make and that support gluten-free and grain-free eating.
See what you think and I hope these recipe ideas taste great for you and support all the changes going on in your world.
Homemade Gummy Candies – Healthful Pursuit – Use a juice of your choice
Loving Kindness Meditation is one of the of the more popular meditations that has been studied to understand its role on creating calm and well being for the individual practicing it as well as promoting compassion and kindness for others. In this time of uncertainty where stress is high within ourselves but also in relation to others, these are things we could use more of.
This meditation can be incredibly helpful and one that is worth a consideration.
Here are some articles explaining it. See what you think.
A breathing exercise for stress reduction
- Find a position that is comfortable to you (sitting, lying, etc) in a space that is quiet and free of distractions (for a few minutes at least).
- Start to let your body settle into that position and become heavy on the chair you sit in, or bed you lay in, or wherever you find yourself at the moment.
- Let go of any tension you’re holding in your body or face. Without changing your breath just start to pay attention to it.
- After a few breaths, start to let your breath get deeper into your chest and belly.
- You may want to put a hand on your chest and one on your belly so you can feel where your breath is going.
- If your hand on your belly is not feeling any movement, deepen your breath into the belly until you feel some movement there.
- For the next few breaths, start to lengthen each inhale and exhale slightly to slow the breath down.
- Now we start a 5-10 breath, meaning you inhale for a count of 5 and exhale for a count of 10. If this feels like too much then try a 4 count inhale and 8 count exhale – the key is that the exhale is twice as long as the inhale. This switches our brain and body out of a stress state and into a relaxed state.
- Keep doing your 5-10 or 4-8 breath for several minutes. I recommend at least 5 to 10 min, but you can do this for shorter lengths during the day to reduce stress when you notice it rising. You can also do it for much longer if you would like an even more peaceful and relaxing result.
The benefits of a 5-10 breathing exercise are many. As I mentioned, it moves your nervous system out of the stress cycle and into a more restful and calm state. This has the effect of reducing mental stress, anxiety, physical pain and muscle tension – things many of us are experiencing a lot of recently. Breath work also increases your oxygen levels, improves posture, massages your internal organs and can even help to improve circulation and digestion.
Stress management is essential to our overall health and wellbeing. Breath work is an excellent tool that can have incredible benefits on your mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing. I encourage you to carve out time in your schedule to take a few deep breaths, and hope it brings you a few moments of calm.
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