TouchStone Health Photo
TouchStone Health Photo
TouchStone Health Photo

In case you forgot…

Posted on: July 31st, 2019 by TouchStone Health

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Balance

Posted on: June 12th, 2019 by TouchStone Health

We live in an interesting world where we are inundated.  Inundated with images, busyness and lots of opinions on what we should be doing, eating, looking like, feeling like and thinking like.  I don’t know about you, but I find it overwhelming at times.  I historically loved listening to podcasts and generally am inspired by entrepreneurial individuals who have worked hard to be who they are against what society has told them is possible or “normal.”  But lately these podcasts and interviews have been demotivating as there seems to be this trend of pressure.  Pressure to be exceptional, pressure to be unique, pressure to have it all together and pressure to be special.  Although I believe in many of these messages and appreciate the inspiration, I also think they are not balanced and can cause undue stress to individuals if we perceive ourselves to not be hitting the mark.

I love looking at health and life in the framework of seasons.  It seems to be a common analogy that many individuals are using these days- to honour the variety and contrasting experiences we have in life to the four seasons.  Spring season refers to the beginning of something where excitement and opportunity exist.  Summer is a flourishing time where manifestation and abundance are thriving.  Autumn is where change is approaching and what was once flourishing is now diminishing.  And Winter where there is no growth but stagnation, creating a time for reflection and renewal.

What I have learned…in a rather difficult way is that we are all in different seasons at different times.  Although this seems obvious, it’s hard when you are in a winter season of your life and someone else is in their spring.  The comparisons can be difficult and social media takes this to a whole new level where everyone appears to be in the most exciting, most abundant time of their lives…their summer season.

So many of our self help books/podcasts/blogs are about getting you and keeping you in your summer season…which is impossible, unrealistic and goes back to creating more pressure.  Pressure to be on, to be abundant and joyful at all times.  This is unbalanced and a request that isn’t made by Mother Nature but from and to ourselves.

Balance for me, is the key to health and wellness.  Whether that’s balance in your physical body, your mental mind or your emotional heart…balance keeps the whole system in check and this balance needs each season to happen for totality of health.  We’ve somehow lost that here in our culture…specifically the work culture of Kitchener Waterloo, where in many industries performance and achievement are valued over other virtues.  I see many people in their winter season –  pushing themselves beyond what is healthy to keep on top, to help stay relevant or valued.  When people feel they are in a fall or winter season, it’s often met with feelings of inferiority, that something needs fixing or changing when in actuality it may be a time for more rest, for recuperation and for reflection.  But there are times when things are off balance too…even drastically so, where support and intervention are necessary.  What’s important is that if you do find yourself in a fall/winter season of life, that you can give the time and space needed to honour that…finding your way back to balance.

For someone who has recently been in her “winter season” for awhile, due to life circumstances of grief, loss and change…it can feel like failure at times when I’m not doing as much as I historically could do but I need to stop and remind myself that this is only a season, that it will pass as all seasons do and I will come back to a spring season once again….if I take the time to reflect, to support my body and mind, to help set the stage to heal and for renewal.

Balance, I feel is becoming a lost state but one that is the foundation for wellbeing.  If the analogy of seasons is a match for you, check in to where you are presently…to where you have been and see if there are things you can do to nurture that specific season.  Through doing so, you will create the balance your being is needing to create health and wellness.  Just like with Mother Nature, you can’t be in summer season all the time, if so, things would fall apart and you’d miss out on all the pleasures that the other seasons provide.

Amanda Cressman, N.D.

Anemia During Pregnancy: How Acupuncture/Moxibustion Can Help

Posted on: May 21st, 2019 by TouchStone Health

by Anna Totzke, Registered Acupuncturist

Iron deficiency anemia is the most common type of anemia women develop during pregnancy.  The most vulnerable times for developing iron deficiency anemia is around the 20th week (the blood volume increases at this point), and the last 4-6 weeks (as the baby is developing its own iron stores).

Acupuncture and Moxibustion*:

When iron levels are low during pregnancy, women are generally advised to take an iron supplement. Studies have shown that doing a series of moxibustion and acupuncture treatments significantly helps increase the absorption rate of iron while taking an iron supplement.

*Moxibustionis a Traditional Chinese Medicine therapy which consists of burning dried mugwort (an herb) on particular points on the body

For more information about Acupuncture in Pregnancy or to ask a question, feel free to contact Anna Totzke, R.Ac. annatotzke@gmail.com

Acupuncture for Headaches

Posted on: April 25th, 2019 by TouchStone Health

by Anna Totzke, Registered Acupuncturist

Most people experience headaches at some point. They are one of the the most common physical complaints in North America! The most common type of headaches are tension-type headaches and migraines. Some headache triggers are: sinus issues, muscle tightness, stress and tension, dehydration, medication, high blood pressure, and postural issues. Most people resort to taking over-the-counter medication to help relieve the pain but unlike synthetic drugs, acupuncture has no side effects. Acupuncture is a safe and effective treatment for all headaches. Depending on the location, type, and trigger of the headache, small acupuncture needles are placed accordingly. The World Health Organization recognizes acupuncture as one of the most natural way to ease pain and relieve stress.

If you have any questions about acupuncture, feel free to contact Anna. annatotzke@gmail.com

Lessons Learned from my Fertility Journey

Posted on: February 20th, 2019 by TouchStone Health

By Melanie Reidl, Naturopathic Doctor

2018 was a difficult year for me, to say the least. One of my fears became a reality, I was struggling with trying to conceive and was experiencing significant anxiety and depression about it. I wanted to share a little about my fertility journey in this article, as I have so many patients, friends, and family members who have had their own fertility challenges and I know it can be a very isolating and distressing experience.

Going through my own fertility challenges has given me insight and compassion for others who are also going through it. The extensive testing, frequent appointments, worry, sadness, relationship stress…I’ve been there. But I do know that your experience can really depend on the approach you choose to take toward your fertility journey. When I started going to a fertility clinic this summer, I was overcome with anxiety, fear, and distrust. I didn’t trust in my body, my decisions, the doctor… and the experience became very scary for me.

Life circumstances required me to take a short break from care with the fertility clinic. During this time, I decided that I was tired of feeling like my fertility was out of my control. I took my health into my hands and I started to take better care of myself. I wanted to do what I could to improve my fertility, naturally. So, I nourished my body with whole foods. I moved my body in ways that felt good: yoga and walking. I made sleep a priority. I took high quality supplements to support my nutritional status, egg quality, and hormonal balance. I started meditating to calm my mind at night and practiced mindfulness. I used affirmations and chose to think more positive thoughts.

After a few months, I felt ready to return to the fertility clinic, but this time I decided to go in with a new outlook. I trusted my body more, felt more confident in my decisions, and trusted my great doctor. I began to feel a sense of empowerment over my health and fertility. I no longer felt anxious about the experience, I felt excited about it. After all, it was leading me to (hopefully) conceiving!

With time and patience, my body responded to all of the self-care I had been doing. I started to get regular ovulatory menstrual cycles again. My bloodwork showed that my hormones were doing exactly what they should be. My ultrasounds showed that my follicles were growing and that I was ovulating. With each piece of encouraging news, I started to trust and love my body more and more for the amazing things it was doing for me.

The biggest lesson I’ve learned from this journey is to TRUST. Trust is the opposite of anxiety. When you trust in your body, yourself, your doctors, the universe… you will feel calmer and more at peace with your journey. Feeling calmer and more at peace is also exactly the state you want to be in to allow your nervous system to relax and support healthy conception. :)

Please let Melanie know if you have any questions ( MelanieReidlND@gmail.com ).

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