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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Staying Healthy with Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine in Winter, Naturna Institute, February 16, 2017

Staying Healthy with Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine in Winter

The winter season in New York has arrived, demonstrated by weeks of snow, rain, wind, and colder temperatures. Staying indoors and sleeping are more appealing as our bodies try to keep warm and conserve. Cravings for certain foods may also be at the forefront of our minds and bodies. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), an organ and an element belongs to each season. Winter is the season of the kidneys, which holds the essence of our being and the root of our energy. To harmonize with winter, one must align with the "Yin" aspect of Chinese Medicine. Yin is dark, its movement is slow, and it represents cooler temperatures. In contrast, the Yang of the summer season, which is light, is more active and warm. Yin...

Chinese Medicine and Sex — How much is too much?

Culturally, I would say that we are kinda messed up about sex. Talking about it openly seems to make people withdraw in discomfort, even when it relates to reproduction. I specialize in treating reproductive health and fertility and still many of my patients apologize when asking my opinion on suggested timing and frequency of intercourse. While getting into a sociological study about sex is beyond the scope of this post, we can touch on a few interesting tidbits.  Chinese Medicine gives an interesting perspective on male vs. female sexual practices. For example, for women sex is thought to diffuse negative and potentially toxic pent up energy. Without sufficient sex, we may end up in a disease state. Imagine that? Does anyone have that girlfriend that is...

Milk Alternatives: Which One's Right for You? Naturna Institute blog

Milk Alternatives: Which One’s Right for You?

Oh, the world of alternatives to cow’s milk! Alternative milk products take up almost an entire aisle of larger supermarkets these days and are covered with all kinds of confusing labels: "dairy free," "carrageenan free," "lactose free," "soy free," "organic," etc. What are these milks really made out of and which is the healthiest? Below is a review of the most common “milks” and what you need to know when selecting which is best for you. Soy Milk Arguably, the first dairy milk (from cows or goats) alternative introduced in the USA in 1979 by a company called Vitasoy.   Soy milk is made by soaking whole soybeans for a number of hours and then they are ground. The mixture is then boiled and strained. Preservatives are then added and...

Preparing for a Beautiful Birth: Empowerment and Education

The birth of your child will be one of the most important and memorable experiences of your lifetime! It can be an empowering and amazing experience that sets the tone for your earliest days with your new baby so it is worth the time and effort to learn about all of your childbirth options. Education Is Key What kind of birth do you envision for yourself? What is most important to you? How will you feel best supported to move through this amazing and challenging journey? Learning the details about your choices and options is the best way to start this journey into parenthood. So, start reading! Take a childbirth education course, enjoy prenatal yoga classes where you can connect with other new moms, take a breastfeeding course,...

Treatment of the Cancer Patient, Naturna Institute, Blog, Kelley Mondesiré

Treatment of the Cancer Patient Using Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

Chinese medicine addresses all aspects of the human being: physical, emotional and spiritual, which are all considered to be affected by the disease process and thus are included in the treatment. This all-inclusive approach leads to more comprehensive healing and a sense of well-being. It also encourages you, the patient, to be active in the healing process. From a western, biomedical point of view, acupuncture influences a number of physiological functions such as the release of endorphins. Endorphins are the body’s natural pain-killing chemicals. Acupuncture can also help with the restoration of proper circulation in diseased areas, stimulate hormonal glands and improve immune system function. During an acupuncture session, some patients feel a slight Qi1 sensation when the needle is inserted: most feel nothing at all. These...

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 Alcohol Consumption: Tips & Recipes, Naturna Life, Blog

Holiday Alcohol Consumption: Tips & Recipes

Part of unwinding and celebrating the holidays for many is to enjoy a glass of wine, beer or a holiday cocktail. Many people ask us: What is the healthiest way to consume alcohol? Here are some recommendations: 1. It is best to consume alcohol with food (not on an empty stomach). Food helps to absorb the alcohol and avoid feeling sick or nauseous. 2. Staying hydrated is key. If you plan to drink alcohol, make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day and between drinks. 3. Sugar from sweet mixers or liquors is the most harmful part of many cocktails. Often the simpler and more bitter the drink the healthier it is for you and the better you will feel tomorrow. Which beverages are healthiest? The alcoholic...

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...