If you’ve ever noticed that your mood seems to dampen during the fall and winter months, you may be experiencing Seasonal Affective Disorder, otherwise known as SAD. In fact, many people live with a mild form of SAD and don’t even know it.


A form of clinical depression, SAD symptoms include:

  • fatigue
  • lack of interest in normal activities
  • social withdrawal
  • carbohydrate cravings
  • weight gain

Unlike other mood disorders, SAD symptoms are associated with seasonal changes in light, often occurring only during the autumn and winter months, with the most difficult months being January and February. Outside of the winter months, SAD can be triggered by long stretches of cloudy weather or working year-round in a dark environment without natural sunlight. Symptoms may vary in intensity. Any of these symptoms, alone or in tandem with one another, can have a serious effect on your quality of life.

Prevention & Management: With the right course of treatment, SAD can be a manageable condition. If you think you may be experiencing SAD or any other mood disorder, discuss your symptoms with Tiffany Jackson, ND.

Here are 4 ways that EcoHealth advises you to prevent and manage SAD:

1. Get as much sun as possible. Bundle up and take a walk, sit near a window at work, or participate in outdoor winter sports. However you choose to do it, exposing yourself to sunlight can help curb the symptoms of SAD.

2. Give phototherapy a try. Otherwise known as light therapy, phototherapy often uses a special fluorescent lamp to trick the brain into thinking the day is longer, and it has proven to be an effective treatment option for many. Just 30 to 90 minutes of daily exposure may have profound effects on your mood.

3. Increase your vitamin D intake. Although there is still insufficient evidence to conclude that vitamin D deficiency causes depression, cross-sectional studies have identified associations between depression and low vitamin D levels. Discuss intake of vitamin D supplements with your Naturopathic Doctor.

4. Supplement with a healthy lifestyle. Additional ways to manage SAD include herbal remedies, homeopathy and other types of supplements. However, eating right, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly are still the best ways to improve and maintain your psychological health year-round.

Resources: American Psychiatric Association. ìSeasonal Affective Disorder.î Accessed December 2014. http://www.psychiatry.org/seasonal-affective-disorder American Psychological Association. ìBright Lights, Big Relief.î June 26, 2006. http://www.apa.org/research/action/light.aspxParker, G., and H. Brotchie. ìëDí for Depression: Any Role for Vitamin D?î Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica 124 (October 2011): 243ñ249. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0447.2011.01705.x.

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Big Pharma

When it comes to “Big Pharma,” most health-conscious Americans are aware that companies such as Target, Walmart, Walgreen and GNC are no better than the pharmaceutical companies. How can a company that sells toilet paper and furniture, hoses and eyeliner consciouslymanufacture health care nutraceuticals (i.e., vitamins and minerals, etc.) and herbal supplements? It is for just this reason that doctors like myself do the research, know the manufacturers, and inquire with the health care supplement company CEOs routinely to guarantee authenticity, safety and efficacy of the over-the-counter (OTC) health supplements we recommend.

Natural medicine has effectively been under attack for years as pharmaceutical company lobbyists urge lawmakers to deprive Americans of the benefits of dietary supplements. Drug-company front groups routinely launch slanderous media campaigns to discredit the value of natural medicine. The FDA continues to interfere with those who offer natural products that compete with prescription drugs.

Knowing this information, we must take with a grain of salt what the Washington Post article highlights, when it quotes that “Contamination, substitution and falsely labeling herbal products constitute deceptive business practices and, more importantly, present considerable health risks for consumers.” The article goes on to point out that the Department of Health and Human Services is recommending that the FDA seek “explicit statutory authority to review substantiation for structure/function claims” — essentially, it should subject the health claims made by supplement manufacturers to the same kind of scrutiny that drugs must undergo.

Now how do we think this is going to work? There is a direct conflict of interest between non-pharmaceutical supplements and pharmaceuticals used in this country. They’re simply competing with each other. And natural medicine directly threatens our country’s stock market through negating the need to use pharmaceutical drugs. Not to mention, the FDA is not able to safely and effectively monitor and approve pharmaceuticals that they oversee. More on this topic shortly.


Docs and Big Pharma

In this same Washington Post article, Harvard Medical School assistant professor, Pieter Cohen, who is an “expert on supplement safety” states that “if this data is accurate” using a process called DNA barcoding, “then it is an unbelievably devastating indictment of the industry.”

I would like to see Dr. Pieter Cohen’s credentials as this is his training: Medical School: Yale University School of Medicine; Residency: The Cambridge Hospital; Special Clinical Interests: Dietary Supplements, Brazilian Health, Weight Loss.

Am I missing something? Where is the “expert on supplement safety training?”

This 2014 Harvard Public Health Review article title is more in line with Dr. Cohen’s interests: “How America’s Flawed Supplement Law Creates the Mirage of Weight Loss Cures” written byPieter Cohen, M.D., an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School and an internist at Cambridge Health Alliance. He’s an expert on the dietary supplement industry.

There it is again. He’s an expert, but now it is the dietary supplement industry. Hmmm… Expert in blackballing the herbal and nutraceutical industries maybe? I would like a peek at Dr. Cohen’s stock portfolio!

Regarding the barcoding technology that is cited in the article, Stefan Gafner, the chief science officer at the American Botanical Council, points out that the barcoding technology used to test OTC supplements is not always able to identify herbs correctly. As the technology relies on the detection of DNA, it may not be able to identify the substances being tested because it is now a concentrated chemical extract or has been altered through purification and consequently now contains altered genetic material. Also, even when it can identify the substances in a supplement, it cannot determine its potency.

The Washington Post article goes on to state, “In the past five years, tainted supplements have been associated with kidney failure, hepatitis and other problems.”

What about the adverse side effects of the pharmaceuticals?

To bring all of this into perspective, let’s look at the historical perspective on the safety of (conventionally practiced) medicine.

Dr. Lucian Leape

Dr. Lucian Leape

As a physician and professor (at the time) with Harvard School of Public Health, Dr. Leape began a study into the causes of medical errors, leading to the publication in the Journal of American Medicine (JAMA) in 1994 ofError in Medicine. In this very famous work, Dr. Leape, for the first time in medical history, presentsIatrogenic Deaths in the United States.

His original work demonstrated that in the United States, 180,000 people die each year as a result of Iatrogenic injury. Leape compared these deaths to the equivalent of three jumbo-jet crashes every two days. A later 2001 analysis supported Leape’s concerns:

Iatrogenic Deaths In the United States (deaths induced inadvertently by a physician or surgeon or by medical treatment or diagnostic procedures)

Condition Deaths Cost
Adverse Drug Reactions 106,000 $12 billion
Medical error 98,000 $2 billion
Bedsores 115,000 $55 billion
Infection 88,000 $5 billion
Malnutrition 108,800
Outpatients 199,000 $77 billion
Unnecessary Procedures 37,136 $122 billion
Surgery-Related 32,000 $9 billion
TOTAL 783,936 $282 billion

Please read this table carefully and look at each category. Realize that “Medical Error” is separated from “Adverse Drug Reactions.” Also, of the total 783,936 deaths, 199,000 deaths induced inadvertently by a physician or surgeon or by medical treatment or diagnostic procedures are “outpatient” deaths. This means NOT in the hospital and a category of its own, which would naturally include adverse drug reactions and medical error.

In that same year (2001):

  • heart disease annual death rate is 699,697
  • the annual cancer death rate is 553,251

It is evident that in 2001 that the American medical system was the leading cause of death and injury in the United States at 783,936.


Medical error never appears in those “top ten causes of death” charts that pop up periodically, such as the one published in the New England Journal of Medicine’s (NEJM) 200th anniversary issue in June 2012.


Medical error has been reliably identified as one of America’s leading causes of death.

The Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) landmark report, To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health Care System, concluded that in 1999, 44,000 to 98,000 annual deaths resulted from medical error (compared to 98,000 in Leape’s report.)

Starting in 2003, HealthGrades’ Patient Safety in American Hospitals showed that about 195,000 annual deaths result from medical error (compared to 98,000 in Leape’s report.)

In 2010, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General report,Adverse Events in Hospitals: National Incidence Among Medicare Beneficiaries, found up to 180,000 deaths annually attributable to medical error.

Why so much annual disparity in representation? Could it be that as few as 5% and only up to 20% of Iatrogenic acts are ever reported?

Guess who is now responsible for the data regarding the annual/current statistic for adverse drug effects? 

The FDA. Surprised?

The numbers of deaths attributed to adverse drug reactions is now reported by:

  • the FDA
  • Death Certificates – Death certificates are notoriously INACCURATE, and since when have you heard of a death certificate using “adverse drug reaction” as the cause of death instead of the condition the drug was supposed to be treating?

Let’s put this in perspective. Do you want the same agency that governs the safety of your pharmaceuticals, governing your supplements (the FDA)?

If this country’s political, industrial, medical machine (Department of Health and Human Services, the CDC, the FDA and many more) is so concerned about our medical welfare, than how in 1994, did so many people die in the United States due to “adverse drug effects?” The UNDERESTIMATED (by all accounts known to date that data is a vast underestimate of reality) adverse drug reactions responsible for deaths in 1994 was 106,000 at a cost of $12 billion dollars in 1994. These numbers continue to rise from 1994.

You only have to look at the number of invested people on hospital, medical, and government health advisory boards to see conflict of interest. The public is mostly unaware of these interlocking interests. For example, a 2003 study found that nearly half of medical school faculty, who serve on Institutional Review Boards (IRB) to advise on clinical trial research, also serve as consultants to the pharmaceutical industry. The authors were concerned that such representation could cause potential conflicts of interest.


Former editor of the NEJM, Dr. Marcia Angell, brought to the attention of the world, the problem of commercializing scientific research in her outgoing editorial titled “Is Academic Medicine for Sale?” Angell called for stronger restrictions on pharmaceutical stock ownership and other financial incentives for researchers. She said that growing conflicts of interest are tainting science. Angell left the NEMJ in June 2000. Two years later, in June 2002, the NEJM announced that it would now accept biased journalists (those who accept money from drug companies) because it is too difficult to find ones who have no ties! Herein, lays the problem with conflict of interest generating the medical industry. The only safeguard to reporting these studies was if the journal writers remained unbiased. That is no longer the case.

May I ask one the question, “where is medical health care in all of this big business?”

We are fully aware that what stands in the way of change in the medical paradigm of the United States are powerful pharmaceutical companies, medical technology companies, and special interest groups with enormous vested interests in the business of medicine. They fund medical research, support medical schools and hospitals, and advertise in medical journals. With deep pockets, they entice scientists and academics to support their efforts. Such funding can sway the balance of opinion from professional caution to uncritical acceptance of a new therapy or drug. THIS IS BIG PHARMA.

I try not to talk about “Big Pharma” because it has become cliché. The Big Pharma conspiracy theory states that pharmaceutical companies, regulators, politicians, and others are secretly working in consort against the public interest. “This so-called Big Pharma conspiracy theory shares a number of features with other conspiracy narratives, but some features make this particular subgenre of conspiracy theory especially intractable and dangerous.

Please be skeptical of anything you see or read regarding medicine. Remember there is NOTHING accurate to learn about medicine in the newspapers, in commercials, on the news or for the most part, even online. So, where do you turn? We need a national medical paradigm shift. Supporting your local natural medicine proponents (e.g., local naturopaths, small business supplement sale locations, and integrative medicine doctors) is a good start to THINK GLOBALLY AND ACT LOCALLY as we slowly create change in health care system in this country as well as in the world. BE patient.
Dr. Ariane Cometa, the holistic doc

article source: https://cometawellness.wordpress.com/2015/02/17/big-pharma/#more-55

Is your food loaded with toxins and chemicals? Here, simple swaps to protect yourself!

Clean eating means choosing fruits, vegetables, and meats that are raised, grown, and sold with minimal processing. Often they’re organic, and rarely (if ever) should they contain additives. But in some cases, the methods of today’s food producers are neither clean nor sustainable. The result is damage to our health, the environment, or both. So we decided to take a fresh look at food through the eyes of the people who spend their lives uncovering what’s safe — or not — to eat. We asked them a simple question: “What foods do you avoid?” Their answers don’t necessarily make up a “banned foods” list. But reaching for the suggested alternatives might bring you better health — and peace of mind.

The Best Packaged Foods to Shop For:

1. Canned Tomatoes

Fredrick Vom Saal, PhD, an endocrinologist at the University of Missouri who studies bisphenol-A, gives us the scoop:

The problem: The resin linings of tin cans contain bisphenol-A, a synthetic estrogen that has been linked to ailments ranging from reproductive problems to heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Unfortunately, acidity (a prominent characteristic of tomatoes) causes BPA to leach into your food. Studies show that the BPA in most people’s body exceeds the amount that suppresses sperm production or causes chromosomal damage to the eggs of animals. “You can get 50 mcg of BPA per liter out of a tomato can, and that’s a level that is going to impact people, particularly the young,” says vom Saal. “I won’t go near canned tomatoes.”

The solution: Choose tomatoes in glass bottles (which do not need resin linings), such as the brands Bionaturae and Coluccio. You can also get several types in Tetra Pak boxes, like Trader Joe’s and Pomi.

Budget tip: If your recipe allows, substitute bottled pasta sauce for canned tomatoes. Look for pasta sauces with low sodium and few added ingredients, or you may have to adjust the recipe.

Low-Sodium Alternative Dinner Options

Keep reading to three more foods to avoid.

2. Microwave Popcorn

Olga Naidenko, PhD, a senior scientist for the Environmental Working Group, gives us the scoop:

The problem: Chemicals, including perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), in the lining of the bag, are part of a class of compounds that may be linked to infertility in humans, according to a recent study from UCLA. In animal testing, the chemicals cause liver, testicular, and pancreatic cancer. Studies show that microwaving causes the chemicals to vaporize — and migrate into your popcorn. “They stay in your body for years and accumulate there,” says Naidenko, which is why researchers worry that levels in humans could approach the amounts causing cancers in laboratory animals. DuPont and other manufacturers have promised to phase out PFOA by 2015 under a voluntary EPA plan, but millions of bags of popcorn will be sold between now and then.

The solution: Pop natural kernels the old-fashioned way: in a skillet. For flavorings, you can add real butter or dried seasonings, such as dillweed, vegetable flakes, or soup mix.

Budget tip: Popping your own popcorn is dirt cheap.

Diet Foods That Actually Make You Fatter

3. Farmed Salmon

David Carpenter, MD, director of the Institute for Health and the Environment at the University at Albany and publisher of a major study in the journal Science on contamination in fish, gives us the scoop:

The problem: Nature didn’t intend for salmon to be crammed into pens and fed soy, poultry litter, and hydrolyzed chicken feathers. As a result, farmed salmon is lower in vitamin D and higher in contaminants, including carcinogens, PCBs, brominated flame retardants, and pesticides such as dioxin and DDT. According to Carpenter, the most contaminated fish come from Northern Europe, which can be found on American menus. “You could eat one of these salmon dinners every 5 months without increasing your risk of cancer,” says Carpenter, whose 2004 fish contamination study got broad media attention. “It’s that bad.” Preliminary science has also linked DDT to diabetes and obesity, but some nutritionists believe the benefits of omega-3s outweigh the risks. There is also concern about the high level of antibiotics and pesticides used to treat these fish. When you eat farmed salmon, you get dosed with the same drugs and chemicals.

The solution: Switch to wild-caught Alaska salmon. If the package says fresh Atlantic, it’s farmed. There are no commercial fisheries left for wild Atlantic salmon.

Budget tip: Canned salmon, almost exclusively from wild catch, can be found for as little as $3 a can.

4. Conventional Apples

Mark Kastel, former executive for agribusiness and codirector of the Cornucopia Institute, a farm-policy research group that supports organic foods, gives us the scoop:

The problem: If fall fruits held a “most doused in pesticides contest,” apples would win. Why? They are individually grafted (descended from a single tree) so that each variety maintains its distinctive flavor. As such, apples don’t develop resistance to pests and are sprayed frequently. The industry maintains that these residues are not harmful. But Kastel counters that it’s just common sense to minimize exposure by avoiding the most doused produce, like apples. “Farm workers have higher rates of many cancers,” he says. And increasing numbers of studies are starting to link a higher body burden of pesticides (from all sources) with Parkinson’s disease.

The solution: Buy organic apples.

Budget tip: If you can’t afford organic, be sure to wash and peel them. But Kastel personally refuses to compromise. “I would rather see the trade-off being that I don’t buy that expensive electronic gadget,” he says. “Just a few of these decisions will accommodate an organic diet for a family.”

resource: http://www.popsugar.com/fitness/Foods-You-Should-Never-Eat-20681066

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      Reiki Energy Healing Session

With Kathleen Hanson, CRMT

Kathleen has been a Reiki Energy Healing Practitioner since 2006. She is a certified Usui Reiki Master Teacher. 


Introductory OfferAll New Clients – Book 1 (one) Reiki Session and get the second for one half off. 

Reiki Healing Session – $55/hour and $80/90 minutes.



Benefits of a Reiki Session may include but are not limited to help with:

 ·       Stress Reduction

·        Relief of Headaches

·        Insomnia

·        Emotional Well Being

·        Sprains, aches and pains.

·        Spiritual Well Being.

 Some patients have even noted release of:

 ·       Anger

·        Fear

·        Worry

·        Sadness and other unhealthy feelings.

Reiki energy healing was developed by Mikao Usui in 1922. Energy healing has been utilized for thousands of years. Reiki simply means “life force energy”. We all have life force energy and have the ability to heal ourselves and others.

 A Reiki session is administered by a practitioner with the client lying fully clothed on a massage table. A session generally lasts for 1 – 1.5 hours. The Reiki practitioner very gently lays his/her hands at locations around the head, shoulders, abdomen, legs and feet. Reiki energy then flows from the practitioners’ hands into the clients’ body and energy field. A Reiki session feels like a wonderful glowing radiance that surrounds and fills the client. The radiance includes feelings of deep relaxation, peace and well-being which helps to promote healing.

 Kathleen was introduced to Usui Reiki Method by a friend who was studying to become a Reiki Master Teacher and needed a person to practice treatment sessions on. One Reiki session convinced Kathleen there was more to relaxation, stress reduction and promoting healing than she had been aware of. 

Being a licensed Cosmetologist, Kathleen has always known how wonderful and stress relieving a good shampoo, head massage or hair brushing is to an individual. Over the past 8 years in her “energy healing” quest, Kathleen has also become a Certified Master Chios Teacher as well as becoming a Healing Touch and Quantum Touch Practitioner. All of these energy healing modalities study the auras, chakras and the energy fields that surround each and every one of us even though these are not always visible to the human eye.

 “It is my sincere wish to assist you to relax, de-stress, get in touch and in tune with yourself which will ultimately lead to a less stressed and healthier you. Being both a Certified Reiki and Chios Master Teacher, if you find yourself with the desire to become a practitioner, l can assist you there as well.” -Kathleen.

 ***Each patient’s experience to a Reiki energy healing session will differ. Reiki or any form of energy healing session is not meant to replace your current physician, medical care or medications that you may be taking at the time of the session. Alternative healing sessions will not interfere  adversely with  any medical condition or medications that you may be taking.***



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Why You Should Wash Your Face With Apple Cider Vinegar!

The thought might put you off. Why would you want to smear such smelly stuff all over your face when there are delightfully scented face care products available? I’ll tell you why. Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is freaking awesome, that’s why!…Still not convinced? Let me elaborate…

Real ACV is made by fermenting pressed apple juice until the natural sugar turns into vinegar. The ACV you should use is the raw, organic, unfiltered, and unpasteurized kind of ACV. Not the refined kind. Only the good quality kind of ACV contains the “mother” of vinegar, which is the cloudy stuff that sinks to the bottom of the bottle. This substance contains the beneficial enzymes, bacteria, pectin and trace minerals that makes ACV so good for you. Just remember to shake the bottle each time before using ACV to distribute the elements. You can even easily make your own natural ACV. It has a lot more uses as featured in my previous articles 10 Uses for Apple Cider Vinegar for Great Health and At Home and 11 Ways Apple Cider Vinegar Can Revolutionize Your Health.


ACV for Age Spots

AVC contains powerful alpha hydroxy acids to help remove dead skin cells and reveal a fresher and healthier complexion underneath them. Many expensive commercial face washes bang on about the tiny amounts of alpha hydroxy acids they’ve added to their products, but ACV is full of far higher levels, of which are alive and ready to revive your skin. The ‘natural’ ingredients in commercial face products are actually dead and useless by the time they are processed and bottled up.

When you use ACV for age spots, apply a little undiluted ACV directly onto the age spots with a cotton wool bud and leave for about 20-30 minutes once or twice a day before rinsing of. Do it for about 6 weeks to see if you notice any improvement.

ACV for Acne and Pimples

Instead of buying a typical over-the-counter pimple cream, why not allow mother nature to work her magic on your skin? Celebrities such as Hilary Duff and Scarlett Johanson use ACV to cleanse their skin and keep pimples away. They have the choice to use super-expensive products and they choose to use good old ACV, and here’s why…

– During the creation of ACV, substances such as malic acid are formed, which give ACV antibacterial, anti-fungal and antiviral properties which help prevent acne and skin infections.

– ACV’s natural goodness also unblocks pores and allows skin to breathe properly, so it is very effective in treating acne and pimples.

– AVC doesn’t just effectively remove excess oil from your skin, it also helps to balance pH levels and can prevent your skin from becoming too oily or too dry by balancing the production of sebum.

How to use apple cider vinegar to cleanse your skin

ACV is strong stuff, so you are best to dilute it with water when you apply it all over your face. Don’t be naughty and use undiluted ACV on the skin. It is very acidic and can damage the skin. To make your own ACV toner, mix equal parts of ACV and water. You can get creative with your ACV solution. Try adding green teaaloe vera gel or witch hazel. After a while when your skin got used to it, you can gradually increase the concentration of the ACV. It depends on the tolerance of your skin. Just make sure you shake it before you use it, so that the water and ACV are thoroughly mixed up.

  • Before you use ACV all over your face, it is advisable to test it on a small area of your face. Under the chin is a good spot, just in case you do get a reaction, then it’s not too noticeable!
  • To apply ACV to your skin, simply use a cotton bud and gently glide over skin to remove make-up, oil and impurities. Be careful not to get it in your eyes!. If you are suffering from a break out, then be warned it will sting your pimples. However, this should feel like a ‘good’ hurt, and not be intolerable.
  • When you use AVC for the first time, after 5 minutes, it is a good idea to rinse it off with warm water. This is just so your skin isn’t too exposed to ACV on your first time. If you don’t get a reaction, then the next time you use it, don’t wash it off, and then you can build up your skin’s tolerance. It is best to apply the ACV toner at night as ACV can increase sensitivity to ultra-violet rays.
  • Don’t leave your body out. ACV isn’t just for your beautiful face. If you suffer from acne on your back, you are not alone. Fortunately, ACV is wonderful for treating acne on the back too. If you’re worried about how the hell you’re going to apply it, then just use a spray bottle.
  • To finish off your new fabulous ACV skin care regime, you can use a natural, chemical free moisturizer such as coconut or jojoba oil, or whatever suits your skin.

Resource:http://www.healthyandnaturalworld.com/wash-face-apple-cider-vinegar/?utm_source=getresponse&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=healthy_natural&utm_content=Why+You+Should+Wash+Your+Face+With+Apple+Cider+Vinegar+%2B+More+Health+Posts http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Apple_cider_vinegar.jpg

Categories : skin care
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EcoHealth & Wellness

250 Mathis Ferry Rd, Suite 101
Mount Pleasant, SC 29464
Phone: 843.884.4466
Fax: 843.388.1612