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Welcome to Naturna Institute

Where the best of Eastern medicine and Western science converge to form a comprehensive, cross-discipline approach. Listening, instead of dictating, allowing a deeper dialogue to manifest a more complete diagnosis. Revealing the true root causes behind symptoms and conditions and crafting unique health plans that empower you through education and inspiration to conquer bad habits and create better ones.

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Sore throat? Try these remedies!

As we move into the fall, I see more complaints of sore throat in my clinical practice as an acupuncturist. There’s a perfect explanation for this in Eastern medicine. Eastern medical philosophy is rooted in a deep study of nature, and applies the concepts yin and yang as well as the five elements to everything -- including the outer environment and the inner body. According to five phase theory, autumn is associated with the lung organ and with dryness. That’s why sore throat, dry throat, and even dry skin are common occurrences during the transition from late summer to winter. Before we dive into some home remedies for sore throat, let’s quickly examine some of the theory behind this. According to Bob Flaws, author and...

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What is ear acupuncture and how does it work?

In the 1950s, Dr. Paul Nogier, coined as the “father of Auriculotherapy,” discovered that certain points in the ears correspond directly with specific parts of the body. The process of inserting hair thin needles into these specific points within the ear is called Auricular, or “ear,” acupuncture. Auricular is different from "regular," or body, acupuncture because it does not utilize the meridian system. Auricular utilizes points or areas within the ear to stimulate specific organs or to obtain certain results. It is similar to reflexology in that certain groups of cells gather in certain areas, like these specific points, and represent or dedicate themselves to specific parts, functions, and/or organs of the body. Therefore, “stimulation of a reflex point in the ear can relieve symptoms...

All About Breech Presentation and How Acupuncture Can Help

Having a baby can be one of the most joyous experiences for any mother. While many women hope for a vaginal delivery, pregnancies can sometimes come with complications that may require other forms of delivery. One of these complications, breech presentation, occurs in almost 4% of full-term pregnancies (Cruikshank, 1986). A breech pregnancy can occur for a number of reasons, some of which we will discuss below.What is Breech Presentation?Breech presentation is when the baby’s buttocks and/or feet, instead of its head, are closest to the mother’s cervix. The baby can be in either of the following three breech positions:Complete: The baby is in a fetal position with the knees bent Frank: The baby has both legs extended Incomplete: The baby has one knee...

Top 10 Sleep Hygiene Tips

We spend over 30% of our lives sleeping. Sleep is when our mind and body repairs itself. We understand the importance of sleep for babies and kids, yet as adults we often neglect to value our own sleep. If you’ve ever pulled an all-nighter or suffered from any degree of insomnia or sleep disturbance, you know first hand that poor sleep has a detrimental impact on mood, performance, and general wellbeing. On the flip side, getting a good night’s rest can be rejuvenating for soul. There is a Chinese adage that says replenishing health with medicine is not as good as replenishing health with diet, but that replenishing health with sleep is the best treatment of all. So how can you judge if you have healthy sleep?...

Get the Skinny on Fats

The Skinny on Fats Many believe they need to avoid dietary fats in order to maintain a healthy diet. Nutritional guideline plans have even been created to accommodate this trend by recommending higher amounts of carbohydrates and very low fats. Now, low-fat and nonfat foods have been normalized to become part of the common diet. However, in order to enhance the flavor of these products, companies replace the fat with high amounts of sugar. Many healthcare communities and social media make claims about dietary fat that are often misleading and false. The idea that high fat diets with saturated fat and cholesterol would lead to heart disease has been has been exposed to be false by studies such as in Siri-Tarino, Sun, Hu, & Krauss’s (2010)...

Acupuncture and Sperm Quality

If you and your partner are having difficulty getting pregnant, you’re not alone! Many couples and individuals that seek help at Naturna often come in with fertility issues. Infertility is clinically defined as not being able to conceive after having unprotected sex for six months to one year. Since fertility in women declines steadily with age, some healthcare providers use six months as a benchmark to evaluate women of 35 years and older.However, infertility is not only a woman's problem. Both men and women can contribute to infertility. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 35% of infertility cases involve both male and female factors. Of these cases, 8% involve the male factor only (Infertility FAQs, 2017).Since there are plenty...

A Lactation Counselor’s Tips for Breastfeeding

As a Nutritionist and Certified Lactation Counselor, most mothers I work with have many questions when it comes to breast milk and breastfeeding, so here are some helpful tips.How long should one breastfeed?It is recommended that the infant be exclusively breastfed for first 6 months of life, unless otherwise advised by your physician. To benefit the baby, breastfeeding should be continued for one to two years or longer with the addition of human food after 6 months.Foods to boost the nutritional content of breast milkThe composition of breast milk is pretty consistent, except for fats. Studies have found that the fatty acid profiles in breast milk varies in relation to the mother's diet, particularly when mothers eat too many omega-6 fats, which are inflammatory, and...

A Safe Solution for Treating PCOS

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder that affects between 8%-20% of reproductive-age women worldwide. It has numerous symptoms, many of which can seem unrelated, but health care providers will typically look for these common characteristics in a potential PCOS patient:Absence of ovulation Cysts on the ovaries Excess androgensHealth care providers look for several PCOS related symptoms in order to establish the diagnosis. Additional symptoms can include: irregular menstruation, infertility, excess hair growth, persistent acne, and/or stubborn weight gain, particularly around the stomach area. Unfortunately, while researchers understand there are genetic and environmental factors that contribute to the development of PCOS, they do not know the exact cause of PCOS. This makes it difficult to have a definitive diagnosis, as the diagnosis...

Best Tea for Fertility, Pregnancy, and Birth

Raspberry leaf tea is one of the best herbal teas for women’s health. Whether you are trying to get pregnant, already pregnant, or preparing for your baby’s birth, you’ll benefit from this! Raspberry leaf is traditionally used as a reproductive tonic. It contains vitamins and minerals (like calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, niacin, selenium, and vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, C, and E). When made into a tea or infusion, these nutrients are made easily available to our bodies. Raspberry leaf is a pleasant tasting herbal remedy with a mildly sweet flavor. Some people liken its taste to that of black tea, without the caffeine. Additionally, it is gentle on the stomach. You can find this tea at your local health food store or online at mountainroseherbs.com....

Heavy Periods? This Post is for You

Today, I’d like to open up a conversation about a female affliction that can drain the life out of you - literally. For all those women suffering silently from menorrhagia, abnormal bleeding - we at Naturna, feel your pain and have solutions.What is Menorrhagia?It is defined as bleeding heavily - soaking through a tampon or pad in less than 2 hours - and/or bleeding for abnormally long periods, such as more than 7 days per menstrual cycle. Clinically, I have seen a lot of women with various manifestations of this issue. For some, it’s related to their hormones; they may have hypothyroidism, PCOS, or menopause, which sometimes prematurely onsets. For others, they may have abnormal growths such as fibroids, polyps, or complex immune...

Rebalancing Your Gut

Health issues, such as thyroid imbalances, chronic fatigue syndrome, joint pain, psoriasis, autism and many other illnesses originate in the gut. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, upward of 60 million Americans are affected by digestive diseases. The secret to restoring your digestive health is balancing the good and bad bacteria in your gut. Research shows that probiotics can help you attain optimal health. What Are Probiotics? Probiotics are bacteria that line the digestive tract and support the body’s ability to absorb nutrients and fight infection. There are 10 times the amount of probiotics in your body than there are cells! How Do Probiotics Work Your gut, or intestines, contains both beneficial and harmful bacteria. Digestive experts agree that the balance of...

Acupuncture During Pregnancy? Absolutely!

Many women find their way to acupuncture through a desire to get pregnant. As we all likely know, acupuncture is extremely beneficial for promoting fertility by regulating hormones, increasing blood flow to the uterus, and overall stress reduction. However, women aren’t always aware of the benefits of continuing acupuncture treatments throughout the pregnancy and even afterwards into their postpartum period.Since a large part of being an acupuncturist is education, it’s important to ensure our patients have the information they need to make informed decisions about their health care. There are a lot of questions and myths about acupuncture during pregnancy, which we will endevour to answer here.The foremost question asking if acupuncture is safe during pregnancy can be answered with a resounding: yes!...

The Science of Aromatherapy: How to Use Essential Oils for Emotional Wellbeing

Have you ever smelled something while walking down the street, and then be instantly taken back to a memory, a place, or a situation? That response comes from each of our olfactory nervous systems. Of all the five human senses, smell is the most direct way to access our mood, memory, emotions, and even physiology. That is why aromatherapy is so powerful. While it may seem like you are just simply smelling something, it’s actually a direct way to impact your mood and, therefore, your health at any given moment. Deliberate use of essential oils can radically transform your perspective and interrupt negative emotions or stress, which we know is the leading cause of illness. Aromatherapy isn’t just a fad or trend. Scientific research into...

The Connection Between your Gut and Brain

Chinese Medicine has long held that there is a connection between what you feel and how you feel. Western medicine research is beginning to understand the relationship between our guts and our minds called the “Gut-Brain Axis.” Our gut and brain have a steady ability to communicate via the nervous system, hormones, and the immune system.  Such communication greatly affects how we feel physically as well as emotionally.The gastrointestinal (GI) tract, has it’s very own nervous system called the enteric nervous system (ENS) which governs the movement and regulation of the digestive system. “Scientists call the enteric nervous system the “little brain”. But it’s not so little. The ENS is two thin layers of more than 100 million nerve cells lining your gastrointestinal tract from...

How to Have a Healthy Sweet Tooth

Sugar consumption is on the rise, and is a contributing factor for many health issues. The average American consumes 19.5 teaspoons of added sugar, including natural sweeteners, which is roughly 400 calories of added sugar per day! The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends no more than 6 teaspoons of added sugar per day for women and 9 teaspoons for men. The AHA limits children’s sugar consumption to 3-6 teaspoons per day.Artificial SweetenersWhile the consumption of refined sugar is on the rise, so are artificial sweeteners. These sweeteners such as Aspartame, Sucralose (Splenda), Ace K, and Saccharin have been debated for years in regards to their damaging side effects. While the FDA considers all of these sweeteners technically “safe,” they are undergoing increased scrutiny...