Spotlight on the Warming Socks Treatment

A handy immune-supportive tip to have at the ready!

As rates of infection are on the rise, it feels like an appropriate time to continue sharing immune-supportive tips for you to have at the ready.  This week I’m highlighting the ‘Warming Socks Treatment’ – be forewarned – when you read the instructions, you may think this is the last thing you want to do on a cold winter night! However, I swear, this is a safe, simple, inexpensive, AND highly effective hydrotherapy technique  – it’s a staple in naturopathic practice

This therapy is often recommended at the first sign of any congestion in the ears, eyes, sinuses, throat, and/or lungs. Those who try it quickly learn how effective it can be in helping relieve nasal or chest congestion, earaches, sinusitis, and colds or upper respiratory infections. It’s even helpful to mitigate the brain fog that can result from a night of over-indulgence!

The beauty of this therapy is that it is a nice complement to botanical medicine, homeopathic remedies or other medicines, both natural and conventional.

Note: this treatment should NOT be used by those who are very weak, tend to run cold, or who have a fungal infection on the skin of their feet.  For small children or people of weaker vitality, wet only the toes of the cotton socks. If you don’t have heavy winter socks sized for kids, use larger ones folded down.

Supplies:

  • 1 pair cotton socks
  • thick winter weight or wool socks
  • Warm bath or warm foot bath

Directions:

  • Warm feet first.  Warming can be accomplished by soaking in warm water for 5-10 minutes or by taking a warm bath or shower.
  • Take the pair of cotton socks and get them wet with cold water only up to the ankle of the sock.  Be sure to wring the socks out thoroughly so that they do not drip.  Place in the freezer for a couple of minutes.
  • Place cold wet socks on feet.  Cover with thick dry heavy-weight or wool socks.  Go to bed and cover with blanket.  Avoid getting chilled.
  • Keep the socks on overnight.  The wet cotton socks will be dry in the morning.

Effects of the Warming Socks Treatment:

This treatment works to reflexively increase the circulation and decrease congestion in the upper respiratory passages, head, and throat.  It has a sedating and grounding action – many patients report a deeper, more restorative sleep during the treatment.  This treatment is also effective for pain relief and increases the healing response during acute infection.

The person’s body will dry the wet socks by pulling the circulation toward the feet and past all the organs of elimination. The immune system will be stimulated, and the person will sleep well. Throbbing may be felt in the feet. For optimum benefit, leave both sets of socks on throughout the night, even after the cotton socks have become dry.

Winter Wellness Tips & Small Business Saturday 2020

One of the most important aspects of staying well in the winter is being in tune with your body enough to know when you’re feeling run down and on the verge of catching a cold/flu … because how you care for yourself in the first 24-72 hours determines how you will fare during the course of your illness. If you do the right things, you can often swiftly turn around a viral upper respiratory tract infection. While you may not be able to entirely stave off a flu, you can certainly reduce the severity and duration of it.
We can support our powerful and robust innate immune response in the early stages of any illness to minimize symptoms. Check out these comprehensive *Cold and Flu Prevention and Treatment Tips*that I frequently share with my private clients- these are way more empowering than the flu shot because they work *with* your body.
 These tips are also why I’m not afraid to catch an illness – colds and flus exercise your immune muscle, after all! (When you order productsfrom me, I am happy to support you over email as you get started.)
Check out this recipe for an immune supportive broth you can sip on during the winter months.  Medicinal mushrooms pack a powerful immune punch -their cell walls are rich in ergosterol (an important vitamin D precursor), and beta-glucans (polysaccharides that activate the complement system, and enhance neutrophil and macrophage activity).  Please note, that when you make a reishi mushroom broth, it should be dark and taste bitter due to it’s active terpene constituents.  This recipe recommends simmering on low for 2-3 hours, but if you were to make a broth solely of mushrooms, you could simmer it for 8-10 hours.  

IMMUNE SUPPORTIVE BROTH
Ingredients:
Medicinal mushrooms: 5-6 slices of reishi, 7-10 shitake, 1 large maitake (could also add in turkey tail)
½ bunch of celery, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 red or yellow onion, chopped
5-6 garlic cloves, minced
3 quarts of water – adding a little more as needed while it simmers
7-10 sprigs parsley
1 TBSP turmeric powder
1 inch fresh ginger, minced
3-5 sprigs of sage
Salt and black pepper to taste

Method:Combine everything in a large pot and bring to a boil. Cover, and let simmer on low heat for 2-3 hours. Keep an eye on the water levels; you may want to add a bit more. Once the time is up, remove from heat and strain through a strainer or cheesecloth. Use as a base for other soups or sip a cup daily as an immune tonic.
SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY SPECIALS
We all could use some added self-care right about now – I’m excited to offer you two opportunities to work with me at a special rate. Please note: This rate is good for Small Biz Saturday only and will end at 12:59pm EST on November 28th. 

10% off Distance Energy Healing Sessions

Visits are 90-minutes. (Regularly $295 // Sale: $236)Virtual Energy Healing Sessions are great for dissolving and letting go of heavy stuck patterns that you have long outgrown. I use all my skills in a distance energy healing session: shamanic energy healing, family constellation work, chakra repair, and hypnosis.

We set a powerful intention together to guide our work, I spend time deeply anchoring and resourcing you so that you feel safe, connected, and empowered. At the end of our sessions, clients report feeling deeply rested, restored, and able to re-engage in their life from a place of balance and flow. 
Click here to learn more.

If you know you’d like more than one session, I’m offering a bundle of three 60-minute sessions for 20% off. (Regularly $588 // Sale: $470) To redeem, please reply to this email.

 $300 off Yoga & Energy Healing Retreat | April 3-10, 2021 in Haramara, MexicoItching to GET AWAY and be in the warm sun? UNPLUG, TUNE INTO NATURE, and RECEIVE SUPPORT on your journey in beautiful Haramara, Mexico. You will be guided through yoga and energy healing sessions designed to clear past energies and support optimal alignment with your present so that you may flow into your future goals with greater ease and awareness. Click here to learn more. If this is a full body YES! and you have questions, book a free Retreat Call with me.
“It is health that is the real wealth, and not pieces of gold and silver.” – Mahatma Gandhi

The Warming Socks Treatment

The warming socks treatment is my favorite old-school hydrotherapy treatment. I recommend it at the first sign of any congestion in the ears, eyes, sinuses, throat, and/or lungs.  This treatment is helpful for speeding up the recovery from sore throats, ear infections, headaches, migraines, upper respiratory infections, coughs, bronchitis, and sinus infections. It’s even helpful to mitigate the brain fog that results from a night of over-indulgence!

The warming socks also have a grounding effect by helping to draw the body’s energy down, this ensures a deeper, more restorative sleep.

The warming socks treatment works best if it repeated for 3 nights in a row.

Supplies:

  • 1 pair white cotton socks
  • 1 pair thick wool or heavy weight winter/hiking socks
  • Towel
  • Warm bath or warm foot bath

Directions:

  • Warm feet first.  Warming can be accomplished by soaking in warm water for 5-10 minutes or by taking a warm bath or shower.
  • Take the pair of cotton socks and get them wet with cold water only up to the ankle of the sock.  Be sure to wring the socks out thoroughly so that they do not drip.  Place in the freezer for 3-5 minutes.
  • Place cold wet socks on feet.  Cover with thick dry wool socks.  Go to bed.  Avoid getting chilled.
  • Keep the socks on overnight.  The wet cotton socks will be dry in the morning.

Effects of the Warming Socks Treatment:

This treatment works to reflexively increase the circulation and decrease congestion in the upper respiratory passages, head, and throat.  It has a sedating action and many patients report that they sleep much better during the treatment.  This treatment is also effective for pain relief and increases the healing response during acute infections. I usually recommend taking a night off after performing the warming socks 3 nights in a row.

Cultivating Superior Sleep – Part 6 – What Does Energy Clearing Have To Do With It?

I imagine your sleep may be impacted by all the stressful events of 2020 and the suspenseful weeks surrounding the election. I am hearing more people suffering from middle of the night wakings and a general sense of unrest. As a former insomniac myself, these symptoms are not unfamiliar for me.
I worked with a variety of practitioners for years to overcome my sleep difficulties, yet I only experienced minimal improvement. I would unwind from acupuncture or bodywork only to sleep for a short period and then be wide awake for hours. Herbs and supplements would support me in relaxing, but were never enough to help me fall into a deep and lasting restful sleep. 

The one thing that continues to help me sleep well was something that I discovered on accident. I noticed one day I had slept unexpectedly well the night before, and I tried to recall what was different – I had showered with a salt scrub before going to bed. I realized that I had essentially ‘washed off the day’ and in doing so, I had cleared my energy – which allowed me to rest more safely and spaciously into sleep.  Then the remedies I was using were able to work the way they were supposed to.

I then made this clearing ritual a part of my routine – every. single. night. I visualize the salt scrub becoming filled with healing light as I rub it between my hands and when I use it over my skin, I intend that the water from the shower is washing everything that’s not helpful down the drain.
I make a special energy clearing salt scrub that I use in my showers most nights, and definitely nights that I have a busy day with clients. (I will be making this available soon!) I am guaranteed to fall asleep when I make a practice of clearing my own energy.
I now think of this practice as essential as flossing my teeth. Living in the DC metro area, the energy here, well – is DENSE – and if you are an empath, like me, you may tend to absorb it. We empaths can be like air purifiers. Know how you have to change the filter on your HVAC? It’s the same thing with our energy.

If clearing your energy isn’t something you are doing, you may consider a new practice. There is one key ingredient that makes it most effective: INTENTION. The other is REPETITION. When you do this regularly, the intention builds, and it will begin to work more and more effectively for you. It’s like building a new pathway – we tend to think of our bodies as mainly physical, but that’s extremely limited. When we expand our viewpoint of the human system, we open ourselves to a wider potential for healing.

I make a special energy clearing salt scrub that I use in my showers most nights, and definitely nights that I have a busy day with clients. (I will be making this available soon!) I am guaranteed to fall asleep when I make a practice of clearing my own energy. 

I now think of this practice as essential as flossing my teeth. Living in the DC metro area, the energy here, well – is DENSE – and if you are an empath, like me, you may tend to absorb it. We empaths can be like air purifiers. Know how you have to change the filter on your HVAC? It’s the same thing with our energy.  The days I wasn’t sleeping, I also had black gunk manifesting under my fingernails – I couldn’t understand where it was coming from – I wasn’t gardening in the middle of the day in downtown DC, and I know this sounds crazy –  but this was another manifestation of picking up heavy energy. When I started to regularly clear my energy, this also went away.

If clearing your energy isn’t something you are doing, you may consider a new practice. There is one key ingredient that makes it most effective: INTENTION. The other is REPETITION. When you do this regularly, the intention builds, and it will begin to work more and more effectively for you. It’s like building a new pathway – we tend to think of our bodies as mainly physical, but that’s extremely limited. When we expand our viewpoint of the human system, we open ourselves to a wider potential for healing.

Here is my favorite home clearing spray – it cleans surfaces and clears energy simultaneously.
Ingredients:Small, 10 oz mason jar Peel 5 lemonsInstructions:Put lemons in jar.Fill with white vinegar.Store with lid on for at least 2 days.Pour lemon infused vinegar into a spray bottle. The lemon scented surface cleanser breaks up heavy energy and also repels – it’s great to use when your space needs a boost!
DO YOU SUPPORT HEALTHCARE REFORM?

Are you aware of the role medically-trained naturopathic doctors currently play in the healthcare system?
•   ND’s are licensed in 22 states and 3 jurisdictions, and with licensure, we can order diagnostic labs.
•   ND’s can prescribe necessary medications in 13 states.
•   ND’s are recognized as primary care providers in 12 states, and are even credentialed by health insurance companies in 7 states.

Did you know that we are currently unable to offer any of these health care services in Virginia?
I’m currently serving as the Vice President of the VAANP (VA Assoc. of Naturopathic Physicians) and currently working with our bill patrons and legislative consultant to introduce another bill for licensure in the 2020-21 legislative session. Now, more than ever, patients need access to naturopathic medicine. The global coronavirus pandemic has further highlighted this need in Virginia. Medically-trained ND’s are experts in prevention, and we are well poised to fill the current gap in provider shortages and to assist with the chronic disease crisis.

Do you believe the preventative services a naturopathic doctor provides is a critical part of health care? 
Do you support reform in healthcare and increased access to naturopathic medicine?Would you like to help ensure patient choice when it comes to health care?
Want to protect public safety and promote transparency?

Support increased access to naturopathic medicine in Virginia! Donate now to this very worthy cause
 (and receive *free* immune supportive gifts with your contribution) and sign-up for our action alerts.

Cultivating Superior Sleep – Part 4: Sleep Impacts Mental Health

Did you know that we evolved from ancestors who slept in shifts? 

Our ancestors retired at sunset and slept for a few hours, only to wake up again for a couple of hours to stoke the fire, feed the livestock, or do other caretaking. They then ultimately retired for another 4 hours or so of sleep before waking again at dawn. Our 8 hour night of solid sleep is a newer pattern that is a byproduct of industrialization.
 
Humans have always had a range of sleep clocks, and this has been an important benefit for the perpetuation of the species – we needed someone to be awake to defend and alert if there was a threat. Today the average midpoint of sleep is 4 am, indicating we are a society made of more night owls than morning larks.
 
Here are some other interesting facts around sleep  – in true/false format – see how many get right, we’ll explore more next time as well 🙂

Sleep and mental health are inextricably linked.
TRUE!
The correlation between poor quality sleep and mental health is staggering:
People are 10x more likely to suffer from depression and 17x more likely to suffer from anxiety with poor quality sleep.
 
SSRIs (antidepressants) are approved for insomnia.
FALSE
While widely used to assist sleep, not only are SSRIs not licensed for this use, SSRIs also inhibit REM sleep by 84%. (!!!)
 
Daylight Savings time is a really bad idea.
TRUE!
Daylight savings is a bad idea with poor health consequences. There is an increased association with depression when we ‘fall back,’ and an increased association with heart attacks when we ‘spring forward.’
 
It’s beneficial to catch up on sleep on the weekends.
FALSE 
The discrepancy in sleep patterns between the weekday and the weekend can have a similar effect to switching time zones. It’s been called ‘social jet lag’ for this reason. Getting into the pattern of going to bed later and getting up later on the weekends can cause us to feel tired and fatigued when we return to working hours, and it can take 3 weekdays to get back on track.
 
The more you filter blue light on your screens, the better!
FALSE
You only want to filter about 30% of blue light during the day, after sunset, it’s safe to filter 100% of blue light. Blue light as a part of the UV spectrum is very important for signaling the suprachiasmatic nucleus of the hypothalamus – our circadian rhythm regulator. So too much filtering could negatively impact sleep.
 
Poorer sleep is connected to climate change.
TRUE!
A 2002-2011 survey done on 765,000 individuals (who simultaneously tracked night time temperature) linked poor sleep with climate change. Quality sleep is connected with a lowering of body temperature, and nighttime temperatures are hotter now. Global temperature elevation has the most negative impact on sleep in the summer
 
Does all this make you want to optimize your sleep? Check out my first post for sleep suggestions and consider the following if you aren’t doing this already:Connect with the natural world regularly, regular and frequent exposure to natural light is the most powerful support of our circadian rhythm.Dim your lights to mimic the light outside.Take technology breaks on the weekends.Consider a 20-minute mindfulness meditation practice to unwind from the day.Make a list for tomorrow so you leave your worries on the shelf for the night.Sleep in a cool, dark room.Consider ambient, white noise.Source: Dr. Krista Anderson-Ross’ lecture on sleep @Mid Atlantic Regional Conference 9.2020
This Saturday is Halloween and I’m leading one of my last 3 Full Moon Healing Meditations of 2020, and it will be an hour of energy clearing. In these truly unprecedented times, regular energy clearing has become as essential to me as brushing my teeth. I’m calling it energy hygiene for this reason. You’d be surprised
by how much better you feel with free and clear energy.
We are 90% energy, and when it flows properly – it’s a huge support to our physical and emotional health.

I offer a guided full moon healing journey each month to help you clear negative energy, transform your belief in what’s possible, reclaim lost energy. I often incorporate the sound of a rattle, so we can enter a meditative alpha brain wave state. We set our intentions as a group and I guide us into sacred space. Some people go into deep rest and others receive guidance through images or experience physical sensations associated with healing. All are welcome. Zoom link below, and here is a link for donations.

Join Zoom Meeting: https://zoom.us/j/94113946951?pwd=T3AyN285aHpISFRxY21IbmJMN2VrZz09
Meeting ID: 941 1394 6951
Passcode: peacecalm
A TRUE AND COMPASSIONATE HEALER
Dr. Rodriguez allies naturopathy and energy medicine rooted in ancestral tradition to understand medical and psychological problems at the deepest. I’ve seen improvement immediately after the second session. Each time I see her, something new opens in my life and I regain hope and faith. I strongly recommend her. The only thing is that she is so good that it is very hard to get an appointment, and this is the downside. – A.G.

Yoga & Energy Healing Retreat
April 3-10, 2021 at Haramara, Mexico 

It has been a dream of mine to create a yoga and energy healing retreat for quite some time now. I found the perfect spot over a year ago when I did a personal retreat at Haramara, and I reserved this beautiful spot April 3-10, 2021.  I’m very excited to be offering my first Yoga & Energy Healing Retreat in collaboration with a local yoga instructor –  we that hope some of you will be able to join us! The retreat center is set in a spacious open-air setting overlooking the ocean. To learn more, click here.


To your health~
Marie

Naturopathic Doctor
Energy Healer
Artist
Future Herbalist

Cultivating Superior Sleep – Part 3: The Mystery Of Dreamtime

Dreaming is one of my favorite aspects of life as a human being on planet earth, so I felt like exploring this while we’re on the topic of sleep.

So what are dreams, anyway? I used to think dreams were merely a reflection of what I’d experienced in my waking reality, and while partially true—this is such a limited point of view. 

We have a tendency to focus on the content of our dreams. There are numerous dream interpretation books out there, yet the very nature of dreaming still remains a mystery.
In Jungian ideology, dreams are stories that emanate from our subconscious mind and clue us into personal themes of which we are unaware of in our waking reality. Dreams may also subtly point to ways in which we can heal or solve problems. When we dream, the thick veil over our subconscious mind (that exists in our waking reality) gets temporarily lifted – giving us access to hidden insights and information.

There are disciplined Buddhist practices that help to cultivate awareness during sleep. In these practices, dreams are a means of purifying accumulated karma, and lucid dreaming is an enlightenment practice. When we become lucid in a dream, we are aware that we are dreaming, and when we become advanced dreamers, we may be able to choose how we engage in the plot — which has the potential to make lasting changes in our everyday life.

It was such a mind-bender when I first learned the concept that our dreams are as real as our waking reality. While this is not a widely accepted belief today, ancient spiritual traditions knew otherwise – they greatly valued information gleaned in dreams, and even used dreams to make important decisions that affected the collective.

The Toltecs knew that for something to exist in the material world, we first have to dream it into being. We live in a world where the prevailing view of consensus reality is ‘agreed upon,’ and I believe this is in part what keeps us repeating destructive cycles.

In the dreamtime, there is an opportunity for us to be liberated from the confines of ordinary reality. When we sleep, we are detached from the matrix of the material world and our consciousness is able to access higher dimensions of awareness. We are no longer trapped by limiting concepts or societal programs, if you will.

We frequently use dream language to refer to the person, career, vacation, or even the home of our dreams. We also talk about dreaming and visioning something to make it a reality. What if we were to explore the art of dreaming as a means of supporting human growth and advancement? After all, we do spend 1/3 of our lives sleeping, so it might be wise to make good use of this time. 🙂 

Imagine if many of us became adept dreamers, we could co-create a very different existence. After all, the world reflects our beliefs to us (matter follows energy), it does not create them. The collective change will happen when we change ourselves – following the guidance of our dreams.

Cultivating Superior Sleep – Part 2 – Light Cycles and Brain Waves

For those of you residing in and around the DC metro area, it’s been feeling like a pressure cooker the past few weeks! We’ve been hanging in waiting for more space and ease. There is no time like the present to recommit to a health strategy for resilience; getting quality restorative sleep is so important for improving resilience and longevity. In working with new clients, I always begin by creating a good foundation for health, highlighting that healthy sleep is just as important as a healthy gut (there’s a great immune support recipe below that supports this!)

There is no shortcut or replacement for sleep – after all, we are mammals subject to a circadian rhythm.  We need sleep to repair the daily wear and tear in our cellular machinery, to replenish energy supplies, and to remove wastes effectively. We also require it for a process called ‘synaptic pruning’ – whereby we let go of accumulated information stored up during the day.  It’s a cleaning house of sorts.

Our sleep mechanism – directly dependent upon natural light – demonstrates just how intimately we are connected to the rhythms of nature.  Sleep results from an interplay of a couple of processes:  sleep homeostasis or sleep pressure – which increases with the length that one is awake (and as light diminishes during the day) – until a threshold is reached. The second is the circadian alerting signal which is a daily rhythm under the influence of the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) within the hypothalamus.  
The SCN is sensitive to light and dark cycles.  It rhythmically signals organs and glands of the peripheral nervous system, each of which have their own slightly different clock.  Many of them produce their own chemicals: hormones, metabolites, and immune molecules on a 24-hour rhythm. 

As you can imagine, this is a very intricate balance. Remember how last week we discussed how missing out on sleep impacts so many vital systems in our bodies?  It happens as a result of these chemicals and markers getting out of balance. You may have heard how sleep occurs in cycles during the night.  Each sleep cycle is marked by 4 stages – each with its own brain wave activity** (see below).  A cycle lasts on average 90-minutes and we need 4-5 cycles per night for quality sleep.
_________________________________________________________________________________________

STAGE 1 is an introduction to sleep and it involves a slowing down of muscle activity and brain waves transition from beta and gamma to alpha and theta, it’s very easy to be awakened in the stage.

STAGE 2 also lasts about 15-minutes and it is a light and dreamless state represented by theta waves – it is the beginning of true sleep.

STAGE 3 is a deep non-REM sleep comes45-minutes after onset, brain and muscle activity is limited, and it is in the stage that the brain is cleaning house (also where sleepwalking, night terrors, sleep talking and bedwetting occurs during the transition from deep sleep to REM).

STAGE 4 is a deep sleep to slow wave sleep where brain and muscle activity is limited, also known as parasomnia.
_________________________________________________________________________________________

Deep sleep is the phase that is compromised in Alzheimer’s and is most compromised by alcohol.

REM sleep occurs between stage 4 and a new cycle. It’s where dreaming occurs, the brain, heart, and lungs are active but muscles become paralyzed.  At the end of REM there may be a slight waking before a new sleep cycle begins. The very end of the night we experience our longest REM right before we wake up.

**Brain waves are measured by frequency (cycles per second), or hertz (Hz), and they range from very slow to very fast: 
Delta– deepest state of dreamless sleep (the slowest brain wave).
Theta – When you’re sleeping more lightly or when you’re extremely relaxed, your brain may produce more theta waves.
Alpha – The brain wave most active in a meditative state, it is associated with calm and relaxation and it is smack dab in the middle of the brain wave spectrum. 
Beta – With these kinds of brain waves, you’re wide awake, alert, and focused. You’re going about your activities of daily living and making decisions. This is when your brain produces higher-speed beta waves.
Gamma – The speediest of brain waves, the gamma waves, when you’re actively involved in processing information and learning.

Lastly, I think it’s important to touch on melatonin – as it is the master of regulating the circadian rhythm.  It gets secreted in the largest quantities in the middle of the night and completely shuts down the wakefulness response associated with light.In practice, I find melatonin works best for those who are actually deficient in it, and for those who aren’t deficient, it can leave them feeling hungover in the morning. 

So, it’s not typically my go to for improving sleep quality, I prefer to begin with a gentler approach.  In addition to last week’s suggestions, I love cortisol manager (which promotes relaxation by supporting healthy cortisol levels). This product was critical for me when I was dealing with my own sleep issues, and I take it periodically, and it’s also part of my travel kit (whenever we start traveling again!)  

Lately I’ve become obsessed with skullcap, a trophorestorative to the nervous system – meaning it restores nutrition uptake to the nerves. 2 squirts of a glycerite tincture soothes my mind and eases tension almost instantly.If you find you aren’t where you want to be with your sleep quality, please don’t give up! There are so many options out there to help restore this process.

I want to close with a go-to fall breakfast.  I find that starting the day properly by supporting balanced blood sugar sets the tone for a better nervous system and adrenal balance throughout the day, which in turn assists in proper sleep quality.  
IMMUNE SUPPORT BREAKFASTThis healthy breakfast supports the health of the body’s digestive system and enhances optimal elimination.  Over 80% of our body’s immune molecules originate in the gut, so healthy gut function supports optimal immunity.Suggestion: Use this recipe for 2-4x/week over the course of 2 months to notice a change in gut and immune health.
INGREDIENTS– 2 cups rolled oats (gluten-free)
– 1 cup fruit (I like frozen berry blend)
– 1/2 cup ground flaxseed
– 1/2 cup chia seeds
– 1 cup ground sunflower seeds
– 1 cup nuts (walnuts, cashews, almonds, etc. – no peanuts)

INSTRUCTIONS1) Place in a bowl & cover with 4-5 cups of almond, rice, hazelnut, or hemp milk. 
2) Sprinkle with spices like cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, & add 3-4 Tbsp of Dr. Marie’s Elderberry Syrup
3) Mix & refrigerate overnight.
I still have homemade Elderberry Syrup for sale – it is infused with an immune blend of: astragalus, licorice, ginger, cinnamon and orange peel. It works great as a syrup,
a warm tea or even in a soda water spritzer! 
Buy Now
Quick Update on ND Licensure in VirginiaWe’re setting the groundwork for a virtual legislative session December 2020 – March 2021.  We find ourselves striking a balance between educating, mobilizing our grassroots network, and fundraising while at the same time countering lies and a disinformation campaigns against us. While I never in a hundred years thought I would find myself involved in the political realm, this cause is obviously near and dear to my heart, and there’s a force motivating me to step up. 

My mantra is ‘natural medicine is from the earth and for the people.’It can be heavy and exhausting work as we’re actively dissolving an out of date structure in Virginia, and let’s face it – not only is our health care model flat out broken, it’s a corrupt and profit driven system.  The current crisis has certainly highlighted this, natural medicine is actively being suppressed on ALL channels while selective biased reporting and fear mongering abounds. We won’t give up!

Getting naturopathic doctors licensed in every state in the country is an answer to balancing our system. ND’s are experts in prevention, our medicine has the potential to save millions on the sale of prescriptions.  This is why they’re trying to keep us quiet.

Do you support health care reform with wider access to naturopathic medicine? Do you you want to ensure patient choice when it comes to health care? Want to protect public safety and promote transparency?

Please consider supporting our movement and sharing with others!

To your health~
Marie

Naturopathic Doctor
Energy Healer
Artist
Future Herbalist

Cultivating Superior Sleep – Part 1

This weekend was the first Mid Atlantic Naturopathic CE conference, and I had the pleasure of both attending and curating the event. It was a success with funds raised to support ND associations in four states (VA, MD, DC, and PA). Both Virginia and Pennsylvania have currently active ND legislative efforts for ND licensure. 

This weekend we were flooded with a plethora of information on a wide variety of topics under the title ‘Clinical Pearls in Endocrinology, Immunology and Neurology’. I found myself reflecting on how much the field of natural medicine has grown and changed since I completed my studies back in 2002! 

NDs have access to highly sophisticated laboratory tests, revolutionary technology to track various biomarkers, and not to mention a plethora of advanced nutritional supplements. I watched the conference with a friend and fellow colleague Dr. Daemon Jones, and commented, Jeez, everything is going so high-tech nowadays, that I don’t feel like I’m really an ND anymore.” She said, ‘Marie, you ARE indeed an ND. You’re an old-school ND – closer to our roots.”   It was a great re-frame because it reflected my belief that simplifying and getting reconnected to nature is the solution to so many of our problems on a small or large scale.

One of my favorite lectures was on the importance of quality sleep by  Dr. Anderson Ross. Sleep is foundational, and when it’s off, even the most elegant therapies and advanced natural interventions will fall short.Sleep is also a topic that is near and dear to my heart. I dealt with chronic insomnia for many years (more on that to come), so I know firsthand how chronic sleep deprivation can wreak havoc on one’s quality of life. I’m now grateful to be sleeping well; however sleep has become my barometer, and when it’s off, it’s the first sign that my body gives me when I’m starting to get
out of balance.

Let’s Shift into Some Sleep Statistics:    
•  33% of the US population suffers from chronic insomnia
    •    28-44% sleep less than 7 hours per night
    •    48% report snoring
    •    38% unintentionally nod off during the day

Sleep has become such a problem, that the CDC recognizes insufficient sleep as a public health epidemic. We need good quality sleep for: immune resilience, optimal blood sugar regulation, hormonal balance, mood, and energy.

So, why has something so basic as sleep become so elusive? It has to do with our busy lives and being a little ‘too plugged in.” So why has something so basic as sleep become so elusive? 

Industrialization and the creation of the light bulb (which created a 24/7 workforce) began a shift towards the patterns we’re seeing today. In 1949, people slept an average of 7.9 hours, and today that average is 6.5. As a society, we are more plugged in than ever which challenges our human design to flow with a circadian rhythm like all mammals.  There is also a stigma that needs for sleep is a sign of weakness or laziness. I think we need to get over that one real fast!

I’ll dive more into this fascinating and extremely important topic further, but wanted to close with some suggestions to help you make your sleep more restful.

Set a routine sleep and wake time, and stick to it. Did you know that we make twice as much melatonin before midnight, so every hour of sleep before midnight is worth twice as much?!

Dim the lights at home to better mimic the light outside. Avoid overly stimulating activities – exercise, getting into heated political discussions (avoid watching the debates if you can manage!), and tackling new projects – anything that may wind you up.

Install a blue light filter on your computer. F.lux has an app that you can schedule to come on as the sun sets.

Unplug and unwind for an hour before bed. Watching TV doesn’t count! Consider lower body stretches, Epsom salt baths (neutral temp – too hot of a bath can be stimulating before bed). Enjoy chamomile or passionflower tea.

For those who wake after sleeping for 30-60 min, it could be a sign of adrenal weakness, so consider a small portion of food complex carbs with protein before bed to keep blood sugar stable. A few slices of apple with almond butter would be a good example.
 Full Moon Healing Journey
Thurs, Oct 1st @ 7:30pm EST
Tonight I’m leading one of my last three Full Moon Healing Meditations of the year, and it’s a full hour of pure relaxation. Some of the best healings I’ve ever had came from one thing and one thing only: energy work. Not green juice or fasting (though very nice compliments!) We are 90% energy, and when it flows properly – it’s a huge support to our physical and emotional health.I offer a guided full moon healing journey each month to help you clear negative energy, transform your belief in what’s possible, reclaim lost energy. I often incorporate the sound of a rattle, so we can enter a meditative alpha brain wave state. We set our intentions as a group and I guide us into sacred space. Some people go into a deep rest and others receive guidance through images or experience physical sensations associated with healing. 

All are welcome.
Zoom link below, and here is a link for donations.
Zoom Link: http://bit.ly/FullMoonOct2020Meeting ID: 437 353 1342Password: peacecalm
Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/3OsMSngb
To your health~
Marie

Naturopathic Doctor
Energy Healer
Artist
Future Herbalist

The Best Healer

Where do you go when all the world is awry and there’s very little room for clarity? I turn to nature. She’s the best healer. Humans, by design, are meant to shift and flow with the cycles of the Earth. When we reconnect with intention, it can have a powerful healing effect by aligning us with what is real. 

We all descend from ancestors who lived without material needs, for they were deeply resourced by nature. We too, have this capacity. I believe that we can come into better balance and harmony by remembering and rebuilding this connection.

Tuesday marked the equinox and a shift into the season of Autumn. It is a good time to pause and take a few moments to shift into the season by connecting to nature with intention. One of my favorite self-healing rituals is a simple and powerful reset – check it out below:
Equinox Ritual Reset 
Lie on your belly (preferably on the Earth) and imagine you’re a sponge
that can soak up nourishing energy. Breathe and feel grateful. Lie there for 3-5 minutes. Flip onto your back and inhale the sunlight in deeply – warming your skin all the way to your core. As you exhale, imagine any heaviness or unease being released out of the pores of your back body and into the earth. Lie there
for 3-5 minutes or more. Repeat as many times as you wish.

Full Moon Healing Journey
Thurs, Oct 1st @ 7:30pm EST

Next Thursday, I’m leading one of my last three Full Moon Healing Meditations of the year, and it’s a full hour of pure relaxation. Some of the best healings I’ve ever had came from one thing and one thing only: energy work. Not green juice or fasting (though very nice complements!) 
We are 90% energy, and when it flows properly – it’s a huge support to our physical and emotional health.I offer a guided full moon healing journey each month to help you clear negative energy, transform your belief in what’s possible, reclaim lost energy. I often incorporate the sound of a rattle, so we can enter a meditative alpha brain wave state. We set our intentions as a group and I guide us into sacred space. Some people go into a deep rest and others receive guidance through images or experience physical sensations associated with healing. All are welcome.Zoom link below, and here is a link for donations.Zoom Link: http://bit.ly/FullMoonOct2020Meeting ID: 437 353 1342Password: peacecalmFind your local number: https://zoom.us/u/3OsMSngb

Shining The Light On Our Immune System: Part 6 – Immune Memory And Self-Care For The Seasonal Shift!

We’re heading into my favorite season. The crisp mornings, the colors of the leaves changing, and all the pumpkin-flavored offerings are just some of what I love about Autumn.  Fall is more tolerable temperature-wise and it invites us to prepare for the colder shorter days of the introverted season of winter. 

If we were to take our cues from nature, we may slow down naturally as she does. 

After all, it’s quite the change for trees to drop their energy from their leaves into their roots, so why wouldn’t this also have a huge impact on us? We can’t underestimate how our bodies are designed to be in tune with the seasonal shifts. Ancient traditional practices are designed around this tenet. 

As much as I love Autumn, it is a transition that can challenge my body. I start to notice some lack of grounding, fogginess (some of which can be Fall allergies), and a need to eat less and more simply. I notice that I’m more sensitive and need to slow down a bit, adding in self-care – more yoga, plus a seasonal transition treatment with acupuncture or craniosacral therapy. 

Take some time to tune into how your body feels during this transition:
Honor your craving for some extra rest (Yes, it’s totally OK to declutter that closet next week or even the week after!), 
Enjoy some warm tea (I’ve formulated a delicious chai tasting immune formula below), and make time for that Epsom salt bath. 

These are all also great supports for optimal immune health 🙂  

Now shifting back to our immune system overview. Last time, we learned about the B and T lymphocytes – the primary cells that control the adaptive immune response. This response is extremely complex and it goes on and on and on. It keeps us from getting infections! 

B-cells are responsible for antibody driven immunity while the T cells are involved with cell mediated immunity. T cells are experts at recognizing antigens (carbohydrate or protein residues on bacteria, viruses, and worm surfaces) and then expressing them by a very complex process called antigen presentation. This allows the appropriate immune cells to provide the type of defense that’s needed:

Cytotoxic T cells – directly kill the virus with cytotoxic proteins
Macrophages – engulf and destroy damaged infected cells
Dendritic cells – send cells to the lymphatic system
B cells – make antibodies against the microbes

The B cells and T Cells are like 2 branches of the immune response, and both have a part in long term immunity. We typically think of being immune to a type of illness when we have the ‘antibodies’ for it. This is true, but it’s only part of the story. We also have T memory cells that carry an imprint of a pathogen. They recognize specific antigens on invaders and mount a faster and stronger immune response after encountering that same antigen again. This is how vaccines work to protect us against infection.

The T memory cell, primed for a repeat appearance, not only tells the B cells to make the necessary antibodies, it also unleashes a cascade of players, including cytotoxic or killer T cells, which are capable of directly destroying viruses with cytotoxic proteins.

The reason why I bring this up is that there is a widespread idea that if you don’t have the antibodies to COVID19, then you aren’t immune to it. I have a problem with this because this does not take into consideration the T cell side of the immune response which we just mentioned above. The podcast goes into this nicely.

We’re learning as we go with the pandemic, and it’s important to look at the whole picture.  The fact that there is no blood test for the  T memory cell makes things tricky. But that doesn’t mean we should ignore an established part of immune function, and jump to the belief that no antibodies means no lifelong immunity.

Since we will be in this for a long haul, I think it’s important to not let this limited thought get rooted in our minds. After all, our bodies follow what our minds believe. 

Immune-I-Tea I’ve been brewing up my Immune-I-Tea which turns out to have a delicious spicy chai flavor when you boil the herbs vs steeping. Add almond milk and a bit of honey and you have a delicious chai tea.

Immune-I-Tea Recipe 
I came up with this formula as a gift for our Immune Resilience workshop
last Sunday. It’s a balanced blend that tastes like a delicious spicy chai
without caffeine!


Ingredients: (I measure intuitively)Astragalus – a significant longevity herb in Chinese medicine that acts as an immune ‘shield’Cinnamon – extremely rich in antioxidants, reduces blood sugarGinger – anti-inflammatory/antioxidant (among other vast benefits!)Licorice – supports respiratory IgA (neutralizing antibodies)Orange Peel – rich in vitamin C, strengthens the immune systemMethod:Boil 2 TBSP of tea in 4 cups of water with the lid on.Then once at a rolling boil, turn to simmer for 45-60 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool with the lid on for 10 mins. Add your favorite non-dairy milk: almond/oat/cashew, etc and some raw honey and enjoy.
I still have some bags of Chai Immune-I-Tea left if you’re interested, message me!I also have 8 oz bottles of Elderberry Syrup that I’ve handcrafted if you’d like. This tea will support your grounding through the seasonal transition 🙂
Order Here