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All posts by All Paths Naturopathy & Midwifery

Air pollution, it is not just hard on the lungs

Air pollution smoke rising from plant tower

For families who have suffered from pregnancy related conditions such as pre-eclampsia, preterm delivery and small for gestational age babies, there may never be a good reason for why these conditions happen.  This is often in part because many factors can contribute either singly or in tandem towards the development of conditions such as pre-eclampsia, preterm delivery and babies who are small for gestational age.  This week the list of risk factors was increased to include both particulate and molecular atmospheric pollutants.  For many years, scientists and environmentalists have been concerned with the effects of increased air pollution.  Research results from the ESCALA project have observed an increased risk of death resulting from increased exposure to particulate air pollutants less than or equal to 10 micrometers and ozone.

 David Olsson and colleagues published findings this past week in the British Medical Journal Open suggesting an association between exposure to ozone during the first trimester of pregnancy and an increased risk for preterm delivery and the development of pre-eclampsia.  This comes on the heels of a second study, published bTracey J. Woodruff, PhD, MPH  in collaboration with the International Collaboration on Air Pollution and Pregnancy Outcomes (ICAPPO) in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.  The ICAPPO researchers  saw an association between particulate air pollution and delivering babies who were born small for gestational age.  With this new research, it offers another reason to care for the environment in such a way that promotes health and well being for all. 

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New rhythm, new possibilities

Sorry for the delay in posting, readers.

Between being without internet while traveling and adjusting to having a new housemate, I am now finding the new rhythm for 2013. Habits for the home and family which had begun with my husband and I have grown to include a dear friend whom we have both known for many years. 
There were a few moments before I left, I worried briefly how this change would feel and impact our lives. It embodies a number of changes and new potentials in variety of areas.  All in all, I was excited for the new possibilities that having 3 adults in the house could provide.  If the beginning has been any indicator of what is to come, I am very excited. Have a great week and I will not make you all wait so long in between posts.

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Did I hear chocolate cake?

Let them eat cake

So I got it into my head to bake a cake, chocolate none the less.  So after reading through a few recipes I decided to try the gluten free chocolate cake recipe from radiomd.  After reading through the instructions, I almost passed it by with ambiguous ingredients such as 3 cups gluten free flour and the remnants of flour blends from sugar cookies and perogies I decided to just go for it.  The leftover blend from the sugar cookies contained xantham gum, the perogies however did not.  With the recipe not containing any xantham gum  I added 2 teaspoons.
1 cup of flour blend left over from the Land o Lakes sugar cookies
2 cups of the basic blend blend from Beth Hillson’s perogies recipe as found on Glutino 
2 tsp xantham gum
1 cup dark cocoa powder
3/4 cup carob powder
3/4 cup coconut sugar

The frosting
I will likely never know how the original recipe was conceived by my grandmother, yet it saved me yet again.  

Nestle quick powder

Whisk until smooth.

Tonight I decided to try a variation on a theme
Grandma’s updated frosting

1/2 cup of your favorite butter or non dairy margarine substitute,  I would avoid coconut oil here.
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 c coconut sugar.

 Combine together and whisk together until well combined

After the cake has cooled schmear on the frosting.  A thin veneer was used tonight, but more could easily be added.

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New year, new beginnings

The new year crept quietly into our house so I took some time to craft and create.  Taking time to be with art.  Little beads strung onto wire and stretch elastic.  Bringing together so many little individual components into the formation of a cohesive, unified object.  I thought about making a resolution, about what a resolution is and who I wanted to be in the next year.  In part, one of the things I realized is that I feel as though I am always thinking about the notions mentioned earlier.  I have decided that the time for thinking has drawn to a close.  The time for doing is at hand, the time for creation and living the life that is in line with my families ideals and values.  A number of smaller goals and personal experiences I desired for the next year can be summed up into the broad goals below.

To reinvigorate my spiritual practice.

Live up to my potential as a healer for the betterment of myself and others.

To help in your journey towards wellness I would like to offer you a free 30 minute consultation to learn how I can assist you in becoming pregnant, our maternity services and beyond.

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A late holiday gift

A gift for those who  were not able to receive the gift their hearts longed most for most this holiday season.  I know it is not a replacement for a pregnancy or bring back a child.   I hope only to bring a bit of light to those dark places that the pain may be slightly more manageable.
Be Filled with the Light
For the hearts filled with sadness,
Be filled with the light.
For the heavy hearts,
Be filled with the light.
For the weeping hearts,
Be filled with the light.
For the broken hearts,
Be filled with the light.
For the hearts that are crushed,
Be filled with the light.
May the light of  love fill the cracks and holes.
May the light of passion and joy fill the shadows and ease the pain.
May the light of potential ease the sorrow and longing.
May the light of empathy lift the heavy heart.
May the light of love of the universe sustain and fill you in the darkest hours of despair.
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The Heartache that is Hard to Share: 5 ways to help cope with unexpected pregnancy loss

     This week has been one of pain, and sorrow for many.  With the news of last weeks tragedy in Connecticut, the loss of my aunt’s dear sweet AndyCat, and the reminder of too much senseless gun violence in the Presidents press briefing on December 19, 2012, it may be hard to feel cheery right before the holidays.  One of the worst experiences for a parent is to no longer be able to hold and kiss their babies goodnight.   It is easy to share sympathy for those whose personal tragedies are well publicized.  There are however untold numbers of families whose sorrow is kept closer to the heart.  For some, the joy of achieving a pregnancy is weighted with the heartache at the realization that they are in the middle of having an miscarriage. In other cases, parents have already been designing the nursery, receiving gifts from friends and families only to experience a loss later in the pregnancy.  The pain of having to share with friends and family that the baby bundle of joy they had been expecting had unexpectedly died.  This black hole left in a family can take months or years to process, with family members expressing their pain and sorrow in different ways and often needing different types of support.  Some women may experience their pain as physical aches as their uterus contracts in the impending delivery of a child so loved and hoped for, who would not have a first birthday cake, prom, graduation and other monumental life events parents see for their children.  After the delivery there may be breast pain as the mammary glands which had been preparing to nourish the new baby begin to regress and milk dries up.  Partners have their own emotions to process, the feelings of loss, sadness as well as seeing their partner suffer and not necessarily knowing how to provide comfort when they are also in need.

1. Give yourself and your family time to mourn the death.  Each family member will need time to pass through the stages of grief at their own pace.  It is often not necessary or recommended to jump immediately back on the trying to conceive band wagon.  The spirit, and body need at least 4 weeks to recover if not longer.

2.  Honor the loss.  Depending upon your spiritual tradition and community, clergy, rabbi, priestess or imam can help facilitate a memorial service to remember and honor the death in your family.  If you are not a part of a religious community it may still feel right to mark the passing.  Options include planting a special tree or other living plant to remember that though their body is not here with us, the spirit still lives.  In Japan, families create Jizo dolls to honor those who died as a result of miscarriage, still birth or a termination of pregnancy.  Touching images of Jizo can be found at Sushibird.

3.  Set aside time to be with your partner.  This is time when both partners have emotions they need to share with each other.  Go to a special place where you can be alone together undisturbed to cry, laugh, yell, be quiet and just be with each other processing and sharing.  During this time try not to feel anger towards each other or self, no one did anything wrong and no one is to blame.

4. Connect with others who have gone through similar experiences. Here in the Rogue Valley, grief  support services for adults, teens and children can be found at WinterSpring.  Online resources include Share , Grieving Dads Project, Bereaved Parents of the USA.  Asante Medical Center in Medoford also hosts a monthly support group specifically for families who have suffered from a miscarriage or still birth.  This group
Steps To Healing  meets on the first Thursday of every month at 7:30 pm in the Smullin Center on the campus of Rogue Valley Medical Center.  For more information about this group please contact Cheryl Lewis at (541) 789-4218

5.  Recognize the growth and deepening connection with self and your family that has arisen as a result of your experiences.  It is during these times of great challenge that we learn the extent of our strength and potential.

May the light shine brightly even on the darkest night.

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Updates from the Oregon Health Policy Board Public Forum on Health System Transformation

It is with great anticipation that I awaited the beginning of the Oregon Health Policy Board meeting.  This follows on the heels of great news from Dr Bill Walters ND on The Integrator Blog that a naturopathic midwife was recently credentialed with a Coordinated Care Organization (CCO) with more to be added in the new year.

As would be expected when attempting to coordinate wide accessibility for the meeting, it took a few minutes to be successfully up and running.  Fortunately, the experiment of offering both live streaming and satellite locations allowed for over 200 web participants, 5 satellite locations throughout the state.  Being a participant at this meeting, it was very encouraging to hear that there was a desire to include practitioners such as naturopathic physicians, licensed midwives, and other professions from Community Advisory Council’s to the Coordinated Care Organizations, members of the Oregon Health Policy Board, community members and representatives from professional organizations.

The Oregon Health Policy Board is still taking public comments at with the subject: Health System Transformation Feedback. You can also send written testimony to the Oregon Health Policy Board at 500 Summer St. NE. Salem, OR 97301.

Here in Southern Oregon, individuals on the Oregon Health Plan’s Open Card can be seen at All Paths Naturopathy & Midwifery while we continue to work towards credentialing with one of the local Coordinated Care Organizations in the next year.

Stay Tuned!

Keep sharing your support for Oregon’s Medicaid patients to have the right to choose naturopathic doctors as their primary care physicians.

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Infertility and the Holidays

The holidays are a time of joy, but for those struggling with being nearly pregnant, there can also be sorrow, longing, anger, frustration. The time can made even more painful by all of the advertisements for family photos, or receiving cards, emails and photos via social media of our friends and relatives progeny.  Yet, you are left feeling empty and pining for presents under a tree for that little person who has not yet taken up residency in your womb and home.  Months of  practicing, working and waiting for creation in its purest form can feel like a very long and lonely journey.  Delve into your feelings, try the Emotional Freedom Technique as Sarah Holland has demonstrated on her YouTube channel.  This is just one method  to try as a way to cope with some of those emotions which can be experienced on the journey towards pregnancy and parenthood.  Feel creation in our environment, feel the fullness of earth as she prepares to birth the summer god, welcome the Christ child, or revel in bringing light to the dark time of the year. 
Maybe it is time to change your approach to the struggle.  Instead of wanting to slug the next person who says ” Just relax, the time just has not been right.” It may be very difficult, but thank them for there thoughtfulness.  For many, it is not easy to find an eloquent way to show empathy for families suffering from infertility.  This is in part because families suffer differently and individuals process the same experience through different lenses of life experience.  Taking this knowledge into account, when working with families, there is no one size approach to testing and treatment.  However, by combining advances in medical technology with plant medicine, tailored nutritional supplementation and other treatments available at All Paths Naturopathy & Midwifery, individualized care can assist in creating and caring for your growing family.  
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Preserving patients right to choose licensed practitioners with the new changes to the Oregon Health Plan

As many may or may not have heard, Oregon has already begun to change the way it manages state medicaid patients.  There are a number of modifications that are being implemented at different points in time and to attempt to explain everything here is not feasible at this point in time.  What I can provide is a brief summary with what has already happened and some of the soon coming changes.

Why change:

In order to help manage increasing health care costs and streamline care provided by a number of professional types. The hope and plan is that individuals requiring care for physical, mental and dental health and wellness can receive the care they need in an efficient and cost effective manner.

What is changing:

As of November 1st, 2012 many individuals on the Oregon Health Plan Open Card were transitioned to a regionally managed Coordinated Care Organization.  Fortunately as a result of much hard by the Oregon Association of Naturopathic Physicians work Governor’s office and the Oregon Health Authority are allowing current open card members to continue care with their naturopathic physicians

What will be changing:

January 1st, 2013 new open cards will not be issued expect for special populations including First People’s and some individuals receiving both medicaid and medicare.

What this means:

Licensed providers who were seeing patients under the open card or were fee for service providers will not be able to continue the therapeutic relationships already established.

Who is affected:

Naturopathic Physicians, Licensed Direct Entry Midwives, possibly others.

What can be done:

The next meeting of the Oregon Health Policy Board will be December 11th, 2012, there is a public comment period which ends December 5, 2012.  They are asking comments to be sent to by Dec. 7 with the subject: Health System Transformation Feedback. You can also send written testimony to the Oregon Health Policy Board at 500 Summer St. NE. Salem, OR 97301.

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