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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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Optimal Sleep Positions and Solutions During Pregnancy

The best sleep position during pregnancy is on your left side with your knees bent and a pillow between your legs. Sleeping on your left side prevents the liver from applying pressure on the uterus and improves blood circulation to the uterus and the fetus. Increased blood circulation can help alleviate low back pain. Sleeping on the left side can improve the body's lymphatic system (located predominantly on the left side of the body) which carries infection fighting white blood cells throughout your body and helps with detoxification.1 Some common sleep problems that occur during pregnancy include the following: Insomnia Physical discomfort and stress are common causes of insomnia during pregnancy. Avoid drug therapy as this can harm a developing fetus. Meditation and herbal tea can...

A Few Tips for Making New Year’s Goals Stick, Kirsten Jordan

A Few Tips for Making New Year’s Goals Stick

Conflicted about setting New Year’s Resolutions this year? Wondering if it’s worth it? How many times have you set a New Year’s resolution or intention, then by the end of January it has fallen by the wayside? According to an article in Forbes, only  8% of people keep their New Year’s Resolutions. What is the best way to pick a New Year’s Resolution, and make sure you are part of the 8% enjoying your new habits in 2017? Here are some tips: Pick an outcome to strive for that you really care about accomplishing. Something with a concrete end goal that you feel inspired to do. Avoid resolutions that include “should” or “have to.” To execute lasting change, it must come from the heart. During one...

Holiday and Seasonal Recipes Blog, Naturna Institute, December 2016

Holiday and Seasonal Recipes

In celebration of the holidays, the Naturna team shares favorite dishes and sides. Enjoy a mix of healthy and delicious recipes with some healthy tips. Recipe from Christina Burns, Founder and Doctor of Chinese Medicine A Christina original! Chocolate Avocado Mousse Serves 2 (double recipe as desired) Ingredients 1 medium avocado 2 dates 1/2 cup almond, cashew, coconut or hemp milk (depending on desired creaminess) 1-1/2 tbsp pure organic cocoa powder 1 tbsp (sweeten to taste) pure Maple syrup — No "Aunt Jemina" corn-syrup variety. Yuck! Optional: 1 tbsp chia seeds for omegas, well-blended to create a smooth consistency Directions 1. Toss everything in a blender and blend until smooth. Voila! 2. Serve immediately or let cool and set in the fridge 1-2 hours Avoid eating too much at night as the chocolate packs a caffeine kick. HEALTHY TIP: Avocados are rich in nutrients,...

Breaking Out of a Rut, Kirsten Jordan, Naturna Institute, Blog, December 2016

Breaking Out of an Unhealthy Rut

Late fall rolls into the holiday season which is prime time for getting into a “rut.” By a rut I mean getting stuck. The actual definition of a rut is “a habit or pattern of behavior that has become dull and unproductive but is hard to change.” I hear this theme a lot everywhere I go: “I know I shouldn’t be doing this, but I can’t stop” or “being healthy starts Monday.” There is no worse feeling than the inertia of bad habits rolling into an overall poor lifestyle with no end in sight.   Well into fall, we have already accumulated habits of going out too much, staying up too late, and just generally burning the candle at both ends. While this may not ring...

Natural Treatment for Menopause

Traditional Chinese Medicine does not recognize menopause as a disease. Rather, it considers the symptoms of menopause to be imbalances within the body. Ideally, it is best to consider treatment prior to entering this phase of life so the transition can be smooth and without ill effects, but it is never too late to partner with your acupuncturist to plan a strategy. The combined modalities of Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can balance the body’s energetics and expediently give relief to menopausal symptoms without the side effects of pharmaceuticals....

How Your Diet May be Sabotaging Your Skin

Diet, herbs, and acupuncture are phenomenal in addressing skin issues. For many people, skin conditions are sourced in immune and gut health. Foods such as sugar, chocolate, dairy, and refined carbohydrates will more than likely cause issues. For others, it’s hormonal. But guess what? Hormones are also heavily affected by what we eat. ...

Not All Gluten Free Foods Are Healthy

How many people do you know who are “gluten free”? Some people follow gluten free diets for health reasons – either because they have a sensitive digestive system or because they have a diagnosed Celiac disease. (For more on this topic, read our blog “What’s the Deal with Gluten Free?”) However, gluten free has also become a fad. One example is Miley Cyrus who lost a ton of weight in 2012 claiming a new gluten and dairy free diet. Not surprisingly, more and more foods are being packaged and advertised with the label “gluten free” – some of which are healthier options than others. Gluten free is defined as avoiding foods that contain the substance “gluten.” Gluten is a general name for the proteins...

How to Strengthen Immunity Naturally to Prevent Cold, Flu, and Allergies

The fall season is a popular time to focus on strengthening the immune system to prevent cold and flu, and treat allergies. You may have seen signs at the pharmacy for the flu shot or advertisements of various antihistamines. However, by following simple health guidelines culled from Eastern medical wisdom, you can learn how to naturally transition through every season with better immunity. From an Eastern medicine perspective, each season concentrates on an organ system or pair of organs. Fall being the season of the lungs and colon, it makes sense that we see a myriad of respiratory and immune issues pop up. Another aspect of autumn is dryness. Perhaps you may notice a dry cough, dry lips, or dry sinuses? In some cases dry stool or...

Nutrition and Cancer: Can you “starve” cancer?

Dominant cancer theory is based on genetics: that is why Angelina Jolie had a double mastectomy – she showed positive for a genetic mutation deemed the breast cancer “gene.”  There are also other theories (and case histories of miraculous remission) that beg to differ with cancer as a fatalistic “you were born with it” idea. Different theories (with a base in discoveries as early as the 1930s) are popping up more and more in articles about how we live and what we can do to REVERSE our risk for cancer. The concept that we can turn cancer causing genes on or off and prevent cancer with lifestyle changes continues to pop up in the health media.  

One school of thought gaining steam is that of Dr. Otto Heinrich Warburg. Warburg won the Nobel Prize in 1933 and 1941 for his research on cancer. His theory was that cancer happens because the cells are fermenting sugar as a fuel source instead of using oxygen (the preferred option). Specifically, he found that sugar feeds tumors and he hypothesized that to shrink a tumor you should starve it of this very substance. While this fell out of favor and dominant theory continues to point towards genetic mutation, the new research based on this old idea is promising. “Warburg revival has allowed researchers to develop a hypothesis for how the diets that are linked to our obesity and diabetes epidemics — specifically, sugar-heavy diets — may also be driving cells to the Warburg effect and cancer.” It is likely that sugar and cancer may be prevalent theory five to ten years from now.

It is important to remember that most types of cancer develop slowly over the years. More and more research is pointing to the fact that cancer happens because people have been eating poorly and living an unhealthy lifestyle for years and THEN they get cancer. Overall lifestyle (even from a young age) is the most important factor to minimizing cancer risk.  

Some nutrition and lifestyle mantras to REVERSE cancer risk:

  • Avoid sugar as much as possible
    • Sweetened beverages
    • Soda (even artificially sweetened)
  • Don’t smoke
  • Avoid anything with corn syrup
  • Stay a healthy weight “BMI
  • Avoid processed foods
    • Processed meats
    • Processed oils, trans fats, canola oil, and vegetable oils
    • Refined “white” carbohydrates
  • Find an activity you enjoy and get some movement every day
  • Eat a variety of veggies (non starchy as much as you can) and antioxidant rich foods
  • Eat smart fats (please see the end for further reading about fats)
    • Olives and olive oil
    • Coconuts and coconut oil
    • Butter made from grass fed organic milk
    • Cacao butter
    • Raw nuts like macadamia, and pecans
    • Seeds like black sesame, cumin, pumpkin, and hemp
    • Organic pastured egg yolks
    • Avocados
    • Grass fed meats
    • Wild caught fish like salmon
    • Lard, tallow, and ghee (try and see if these agree with your system)
    • Animal based omega 3 fat like krill oil
    • Purslane
  • Watch alcohol consumption (be as moderate as you can)
  • Watch out for hormone therapy
  • Find ways to manage stress  
  • Get outside every day and expose yourself to sunlight and fresh air
  • Protect your skin from sun overexposure