Health Articles

New Year, New You. Are you ready for a change?

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Are you ready for a change?  As we move towards a fresh start in the new year, here are some tips to building the foundations of health, and restoring balance & vitality to your life.

Good Health Begins in the gut

Our gastrointestinal track is a complex orchestra of cells, nerves, and hormones that interact with every other system. What we put in our bodies directly impacts our overall health. For optimal health, we need to digest our food properly.

What you can do:
Practice mindful eating. Eating while relaxed (i.e. no TV, no distractions) induces your parasympathetic nervous system, automatically increasing digestive enzymes, increasing the absorption of nutrients and reducing the occurrence indigestion.

Try a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in 1/3 cup of water, 5 minutes before meals, to stimulate your digestive enzymes.

How I can help:

  • Optimizing your nutritional status by correcting deficiencies & improving digestion.
  • Indentifying your food intolerances through food sensitivity testing.
  • Teaching you the right foods to eat.

Manage your stress

Stress can wreak havoc on your body by stimulating a hormone called cortisol. While cortisol is beneficial in short term doses, it can become quite destructive when our bodies are chronically exposed to it. Over-exposure to cortisol can lead to fatigue, burnout, weight gain, poor immune function, impaired memory & inability to concentrate, infertility, mood changes, sleep disturbances, increased risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and much more.
What you can do:  Breathe. Deep diaphragmatic breathing, for even 2-5 minutes each day, can instantly reduce circulating levels of cortisol, and impart an immediate sense of calmness.
How I can help: 

  • The combined use of herbs, acupuncture and nutritional supplements can help to re-balance cortisol levels, improve your body’s resistance to stress, improve energy levels and overall mental wellbeing.

Get your hormones in balance

Hormones play a critical role in our energy, mood, weight management and vitality. We are seeing more and more symptoms and conditions that are related hormone imbalance: infertility, PMS, hypothyroidism, chronic fatigue, low libido, depression and anxiety, memory problems, weight gain, hair loss, to name a few.  Blood tests don’t always detect mild imbalances of hormones. You may have symptoms while still being within the “normal” range on a lab test. Naturopathic doctors aim to correct these imbalances before they become full-blown diseases.

What you can do:
Become aware of your symptoms. Pay attention. Do they follow a pattern? Keeping a symptom diary can help to identify what is out of balance.
Eliminate environmental toxins that can interfere with hormone balance: start switching your cleaning and personal care products to non-toxic alternatives.

How I can help:

  • Indentifying the specific hormones that are out of balance.
  • Using targeted herbs, supplements and nutritional medicine to stimulate balanced hormone production.
  • A detoxification program can optimize your hormones by eliminating stored toxins.

This year, be proactive about your health. 

Our bodies function as a whole.  An imbalance in one system leads to an imbalance in all the others. It takes a multi-faceted approach to bring our bodies back into balance.

Our health is one of the most precious things we have, and we often take it for granted. Good health is not complicated – it’s meant to be simple. Sometimes we just need a little help to get back to the basics.

Make the first step. It starts with your willingness to embrace change. Healthy habits develop over time, but it takes some awareness and motivation to kick-start these changes. Are you ready?

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About the Author:

Dr. Priya Prakash, MSc, ND, is a Naturopathic Doctor based in Ottawa, Canada. She blends her passion for healthy living and her skilled scientific background with effective natural healing methods. Her unique approach to primary health care involves addressing the body, mind and spirit, while incorporating current scientific research to guide her treatments.