Saturday, November 13, 2010

Zen Shiatsu Therapy

My birthday just recently passed and it got me to thinking... I need to take better care of myself! I care for others and I suggest they care for themselves. I suggest that they go for massages, take vacations and take care of their health: body, mind and spirit.
The truth of the matter is however, that I've been so busy with work and life that I've been neglecting myself. I needed to re-connect with my own needs and tune into that quiet voice inside. I needed to listen to my own body and its needs - and my body said 'Shiatsu'!

I've never had a Shiatsu treatment but have always been curious. My good friend Mai Cao is a Shiatsu therapist so I booked in to see her.
She works in this beautiful Dojo, Kokoro Dojo in Toronto. It is a hidden gem tucked away down an alley just off Dupont St. Her space was warm and inviting and I was treated to a little tea before my treatment. Shiatsu therapy is the stimulation of acupuressure points on the body through light and deep touch to help the flow of qi or life energy. It also is a form of massage therapy, and although it isn't a traditional massage per se, it is fabulous.

My treatment lasted a blissful hour and I went home feeling light and fuzzy. I slept better than I have in weeks.

Huge thumbs up to my talented friend Mai! Book in to see her, you won't regret it.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Feeling the effects of Fall? Try Vitamin B12

Feeling lethargic, tired, depressed? Maybe you're also experiencing episodes of dizziness or even slight memory loss.

Well there may be a solution to your woes. You may be B12 deficient!

If you're a non-meat eater, you're at an even greater risk of developing a Vitamin B12 Deficiency as high sources of B12 are mostly found in meat.
It should be noted that there are non-animal sources of B12 such as: tempeh and miso, algaes and sea vegetables, however these forms of B12 have been found not to have the same activity as the real meaty B12.

The B12 content in fermented foods may be different - but the key difference depends on how that food is produced.

Traditionally produced tempeh is loaded with B12 because it contains healthy bacteria which produce it. In North America, however, large scale production and improved sanitation has decreased these bacteria, and therefore the amount of B12.

Your B12 status can be easily measured with a blood test, but since it is a water-soluble vitamin, supplementation within a healthy range can't hurt.

Your ND can give you a quick Vitamin B12 injection next time you're in the office; a great way to boost your energy!

In good health,

Dr. Stacey Welton, ND

Friday, September 24, 2010


I was reading an article in the New York Times yesterday and I stumbled onto Kickstarter.

Kickstarter is this amazing website focused on supporting creative ideas by giving them an accessible platform. Artists, filmmakers, musicians, designers, writers, illustrators, explorers, curators, performers....anyone with an idea can apply.

Here's the lowdown:
Every project has a funding goal (any dollar amount) and a time limit (from 1 - 90 days) set by the project creator. When the deadline is reached, there are either of two results:

1. Funding Successful: If a project has met or surpassed its funding goal, all backers' credit cards are instantly charged and funds go directly to the project creator. Project creators are then responsible for completing the project and delivering rewards as promised.

2. Funding Unsuccessful: If a project has not met its funding goal, all pledges are canceled. That's it.

The best part is all the money raised for a particular project goes directly to the project creator. Kickstart doesn't take a single penny!

What an amazing, creative positive thing to put out into the world.

In good health,

Dr. Stacey Welton, ND

Thursday, September 23, 2010

If you don't know, now you know...

Body Blitz!

If you haven't been yet and live anywhere CLOSE to the Toronto area I highly suggest a trip.

A hydrotherapy spa for women right in the heart of downtown Toronto, body blitz is situated in an 11,000 sq. ft. warehouse space. With a dead sea salt pool, hot green tea pool, cold plunging pool, aromatherapy steam room and infrared sauna it is one of the most relaxing days I have spent in a long time!

Try the ' hydrotherapy circuit'; in addition to a tailored detoxification protocol of supplements and herbs prescribed by your ND, it is an amazing additional way to detoxify the body at a cellular level.

With a $38 all day deal on Tuesdays, you have no reason not to give it a try!

In good health,

Dr. Stacey Welton, ND


I recently discovered a great new supplement called EBOOST.
Packed with Vitamin C, B6, B12, Zinc, and more... this orange flavoured effervescent tablet is a great afternoon pick-me-up!

So, okay, it has a bit of caffeine in it...but skip that afternoon espresso and get the same boost with the added bonus of helpful vitamins and minerals.

Here's what you call a 'happy medium'. I like it!

Please use caution if pregnant or breastfeeding (as with most supplements!)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Skin Deep: Are your cosmetics toxic?

I recently stumbled across a GREAT resource - and oddly enough Global Television was airing a segment on them the very next night!

"Skin Deep" is part of the Environmental Working Group's Cosmetic Safety Database. The short of it? - You can take a look at the toxic content of the skin cream you apply, the toothpaste you brush with, or *gasp* the hairdye you use.

If you can't find the product you're looking for in their extensive list of cosmetics, you can enter it in yourself and the website immediately generates you a report - - which you can save by creating a free profile!

For Example: Did you know that 'Colgate Flouride Toothpaste Regular' is rated as less toxic than its popular counterpart 'Colgate Total Toothpaste'??

Visit: Skin Deep and give it a try!

In good health,

Dr. Stacey Welton, ND

Thursday, September 9, 2010

New Practice Location!

Hello All,

I hope this Summer has been an enjoyable and relaxing one and that each of you have found the time to get outside in the fresh air and sunshine.

I wanted to let everyone know that effective September 1st 2010, I will be moving my Medical practice to The Health Loft; a beautiful multidisciplinary clinic located in the Thompson Hotel at King and Portland in Toronto, ON.

I am thrilled to be joining such a vibrant clinic and to be practicing in the downtown core once again!

I will be available for appointments on the following days:

Mondays: 2pm - 8pm
Tuesdays: 2pm - 8pm
Wednesdays: 8am - 2pm
Thursdays: 8am – 2pm

Please visit for more information - while on our website follow the links to book an appolntment in 'real time'!

Best of health to all in this transition season,

Dr. Stacey Welton, ND

What should you look for in a sports beverage?

There are an enormous number of sports drinks on the market and it is so difficult to tell which are the best ones. As a general rule, those drinks are high in sugar, without an especially high mineral content.

A good goal is to look for 6-10% carbohydrates as a percentage of the total drink. The preferred carb form for easiest absorption is in the form of glucose, maltodextrin or sucrose. Look for those on the label. As well, you are looking for about 100mg of sodium (salt) to about 50 mg of Potassium.
AVOID high fructose corn syrup and glycerol.

Hey - why not consider making your own!
4 1/2 cups of H2O – 5 tbsp of honey - 1/4 tsp of sea salt will do the trick!

In good health,

Dr. Stacey Welton, ND

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Fish Oils: One size does NOT fit all

Essential Fatty Acids are something that I prescribe regularly in my practice - and I know I am not alone. The benefits of fish oils are undeniable! I would even venture to say that they could very well be one of the most prescribed supplements by Naturopathic Doctors.

I recently signed up for a 'webinar' to brush up on my knowledge and see if there was anything I was missing - maybe I was wasn't prescribing them at the optimal dose - I was giving most everyone the same amount! This didn't sit right with me, as it is something that I never do! As ND's, we aim to treat the root cause of illness. I have many examples of patients who come to see me with the same 'illness', but are prescribed completely different protocols. Why would fish oils be any different?

Well, it's true. They aren't.
Fish oils can be used for a variety of conditions, from Cardiovascular Disease to Depression. It is also very helpful for general inflammation and is great in pregnancy for the developing fetus.
They are not a one-size-fits-all supplement. They are indeed to be prescribed at different doses.
For example, it is important to get a DHA heavy supplement in pregnancy, an EPA heavy one in Cardiovascular disease.

Here's something else I learned: liquid fish oils are generally to be avoided as they oxidize too quickly. Stick with the gelatin capsules. But be careful - don't refrigerate them as gelatin doesn't do well in the cold! They are best stored at room temperature in a cool dark place.

Well consider me schooled.

In good health,

Dr. Stacey Welton, ND

Friday, August 20, 2010

Memories of Things Past: PART 7 of 7

The Seventh, and final, Emotional Centre is related to that fundamental question: "What is our purpose for being?" We want to know not only the collective purpose of the human race on earth, but also the meaning and reason for each individual life, the purpose for which you and I and everyone exists. Everyone needs a sense of their own life's purpose. Living without purpose affects us profoundly in the Seventh Emotional Centre; it is where we express our oneness with the divine. Not only do you have to have a sense of purpose in life, but you have to feel as if you can control your life and that it is in your hands. This centre also deals with attachment and detachment, and with the question of our facades, the outer skin that separates us from the world and sometimes protects us from exposure to the blasts of life.
This centre is also concerned with locus of control and creation. This has to do with who you think creates and controls you life. The vulnerability is the sense that there's an external locus of control that directs your life and that you yourself have little or no influence over events in it.
The illnesses affecting this emotional centre are multisystem disorders and disorders of the muscles, connective tissues, and genes. Any life-threatening illness and the end stage of any terminal illness can get you in touch very quickly with this centre and the need to connect with a sense of purpose and reason for having lived.

Our emotional centres contain contrasting sets of emotions, the powers and vulnerabilities which we must balance for best health. When an imbalance occurs, our intuition knows it and it speaks to us through our bodies in illness.

Seventh Emotional Centre - Power: A clear sense of purpose in life, a conviction that I create my life, a belief that I can influence events in my life, the capacity for attachment in my life

Seventh Emotional Centre - Vulnerability; An undefined purpose in life, a conviction that the heavens direct my life, a belief that things happen the way they should, the capacity for detachment in my life

Ask yourself if any of these statements ring true and see what side you tend to fall on - again, remember one isn't better than the other, but rather that we are seeking balance.

1) "I feel in touch with my purpose in life" (Power)
2) "The only purpose I can think of for my life is to exist through my significant other(s)" (Vulnerability)

In good health,

Dr. Stacey Welton, ND

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Memories of Things Past: PART 6 of 7

The Sixth Emotional Centre is responsible for perception and thought. It is located mostly in the brain. Through the sensory organs of the eyes, ears, and nose, the brain first perceives the outer world and then attaches thought to these perceptions. We then take our thoughts and compare them to our experience in order to form patterns of thinking and behaviour that constitute our ethics or morality, which is also seated in this centre. It is how we see the world, interpret, and finally judge and act upon it that helps determine the degree of health or disease we experience in the organs of this emotional centre.

Our emotional centres contain contrasting sets of emotions, the powers and vulnerabilities which we must balance for best health. When an imbalance occurs, our intuition knows it and it speaks to us through our bodies in illness.

Sixth Emotional Centre: Power - Perception: Clarity, focus, acuity, lack of receptivity
Sixth Emotional Centre: Power - Thought: Wisdom, knowledge, rationality, linearity, rigidity and obsessiveness
Sixth Emotional Centre: Power - Morality: Conservative, law-abiding, judgmental, critical, conscientious, repressive

Sixth Emotional Centre: Vulnerability - Perception: Ambiguity, lack of focus, blindness, receptivity
Sixth Emotional Centre: Vulnerability - Thought: Ignorance, irrationality, nonlinearity, flexibility
Sixth Emotional Centre: Vulnerability - Morality: Liberal, risk-taking, guilty, available for feedback, uninhibited

Ask yourself if any of these statements ring true and see what side you tend to fall on - again, remember one isn't better than the other, but rather that we are seeking balance.

1) "I see the world as it is and tolerate a world full of ambiguity" (Perception)
2) "I have very strict rules that I live my life by" (Morality)
3) "I try to think of others points of view when confronting a situation" (Thought)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Memories of Things Past: PART 5 of 7

The Fifth Emotional Centre is associated with issues in our lives having to do with communication, expressing who we are, timing, knowing when and how to go after our heart's desire, and will - the way we assert our own will or bend to that of others. This centre calls for balance between expressing ourselves and listening to others; between pushing ourselves forward to fulfill our needs or waiting for things to come to us; and between imposing our will on others or allowing others to impose their will upon us. The organs affected by our ability or inability to do so are the throat, the mouth, the thyroid and the neck.

Our emotional centres contain contrasting sets of emotions, the powers and vulnerabilities which we must balance for best health. When an imbalance occurs, our intuition knows it and it speaks to us through our bodies in illness.

Fifth Emotional Centre: Power - Communication: Expression, speaking
Fifth Emotional Centre: Power - Timing: Pushing forward
Fifth Emotional Centre: Power - Will: Willful

Fifth Emotional Centre: Vulnerability - Communication: Comprehension, listening
Fifth Emotional Centre: Vulnerability - Timing: Waiting
Fifth Emotional Centre: Vulnerability - Will: Compliant

Ask yourself if any of these statements ring true and see what side you tend to fall on - again, remember one isn't better than the other, but rather that we are seeking balance.

1) "I have difficulty asserting myself at work and in relationships" (Will)
2) "I am comfortable expressing my point of view and feel heard" (Communication)
3) "I don't know when to wait and when to push forward when expressing myself" (Timing)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Memories of Things Past: PART 4 of 7

The Fourth Emotional Centre deals with emotional expression, intimacy and nurturance. How we deal with and communicate what we feel. Linked with it is the emotional life of our partnerships, the intimate relationships we form with other individuals. If we are unable to do this, we set the stage for illness in the organs of the fourth emotional centre - the heart, the lungs, breasts and esophagus. They will recognize, respond to, and express our emotions for us in the form of physical symptoms when we fail to recognize and express them ourselves.

Our emotional centres contain contrasting sets of emotions, the powers and vulnerabilities which we must balance for best health. When an imbalance occurs, our intuition knows it and it speaks to us through our bodies in illness.

Fourth Emotional Centre: Power - Emotional Expression: Passion, anger and rage, hate and hostility, joy and exuberance, stoicism, courage, bereavement, loss
Fourth Emotional Centre: Power - Partnership: Isolation, giving help, giving, fathering, martyrdom

Fourth Emotional Centre: Vulnerability - Emotional Expression: Love, resentment and bitterness, serenity and peace, emotional effusiveness, anxiety, depression, abandonment
Fourth Emotional Centre: Vulnerability - Partnership: Intimacy, accepting help, accepting, mothering, nurturance, forgiveness

Ask yourself if any of these statements ring true and see what side you tend to fall on - again, remember one isn't better than the other, but rather that we are seeking balance. If you have been following along this series - isn't it interesting how we assume that one side is 'better' than the other. Have you noticed which side you give more personal 'power' to?

1) "I am able to cycle freely in and out of love and anger, grief and abandonment" (Emotional Expression)
2) "I nuture others more than I nurture myself" (Partnership)
3) "I am in a relationship where one person is always the giver, the other always the taker" (Partnership)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Memories of Things Past: PART 3 of 7

The Third Emotional Centre relates to the desire to make our mark on the world, with our sense of identity and self-esteem, with how well we do our job, and how others perceive, assess and acknowledge our performance. This is at the heart of the third emotional centre. It has to do with the "me against the world" element of our lives. Memories related to these emotions are stored in the organs of the gastrointestinal tract, including the mouth, the esophagus, the stomach, the small intestines and upper colon, the liver and the gall-bladder.

The organs of the third emotional centre are more closely aligned with our emotions than the organs of almost any other area of the body. Perhaps due to the fact that the first way we interact with the world is through our digestion. It makes sense to feel things at 'a gut level'. One of the largest issues associated with ulcers and other ailments of this emotional centre is the issue of responsibility and commitment. How well we fulfill these responsibilities can set the stage of illness or health in this area.

Our emotional centres contain contrasting sets of emotions, the powers and vulnerabilities which we must balance for best health. When an imbalance occurs, our intuition knows it and it speaks to us through our bodies in illness.

Third Emotional Centre - Power: Adequacy - Skills, competence, making it work
Third Emotional Centre - Power: Responsibility - Being caught in the middle
Third Emotional Centre - Power: Aggessiveness - Threat, intimidating, territoriality
Third Emotional Centre - Power: Boundaries
Third Emotional Centre - Power: Competitiveness - Winning, gain

Third Emotional Centre - Vulnerability: Inadequacy - Inferiority, incompetence, giving up
Third Emotional Centre - Vulnerability: Irresponsibility - Addiction
Third Emotional Centre - Vulnerability: Defensiveness - Restraint, entrapment, avoidance and escape
Third Emotional Centre - Vulnerability: Limitations
Thrid Emotional Centre - Vulnerability: Noncompetitiveness - Losing and conceding, loss

Ask yourself if any of these statements ring true and see what side you tend to fall on - again, remember one isn't better than the other, but rather that we are seeking balance.

1) "I am the best at my job. No one is better than me." (Adequacy)
2) "I'll just do it tomorrow, who cares?" (Irresponsibility)
3) "I often feel intimidated by people" (Defensiveness)
4) "I always have to win" (Competitiveness)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Memories of Things Past: PART 2 of 7

The second emotional centre contains emotions relating to our purpose. To pursue and acquire whatever we believe will bring us happiness - a career, money, position, sex, partnership and children. At the same time, we worry about individuating from family - about holding on and letting go. About gaining control of the outer world.
Located in the pelvis and lower back, the second emotional centre encompasses the male and female reproductive organs; the kidneys, bladder and urinary tract; the lower gastrointestinal tract; and the muscles of the lower back.
Memories and emotions stored in these organs have a dual aspect; they deal with our drives and how we go after what we want in the world and with the relationships we form as we leave the family and establish ourselves as autonomous individuals.

Our emotional centres contain contrasting sets of emotions, the powers and vulnerabilities which we must balance for best health. When an imbalance occurs, our intuition knows it and it speaks to us through our bodies in illness.

Second Emotional Centre - Power: Drives - Active, uninhibited, direct, go-getter, shameless
Second Emotional Centre - Power: Relationships - Independent, needed by others, takes more, has well-defined boundaries, assertive, protects, opposes

Second Emotional Centre - Vulnerability: Drives - Passive, Inhibited/phobic, indirect, waits for things to come, shameful
Second Emotional Centre - Vulnerability: Relationships - Dependent, needs others, gives more, has poor boundaries, submissive, needs protection, cooperates

Ask yourself if any of these cliches ring true and see what side you tend to fall on - again, remember one isn't better than the other, but rather that we are seeking balance.

1) "I'll do anything for you" (Excessive giving)
2) "I can have it all" (Excessive independence)
3) "No one will ever love me. Everyone always leaves me" (Excessive dependence)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Memories of Things Past: PART 1 of 7

Our bodies have physical memories, systematically organized in our tissues and our organs; a record of something that has happened and affected us in ways we may never have completely grasped or grappled with. They linger in the deep recesses of our brain but are also sequestered in our bodies.

How do we know that memories exist in the body? We might have a hard time believing that every part of the body is associated with its own specific emotions. But there is support to demonstrate that the body is the repository of actual physicalized memories of events and emotions that have happened to us and continue to affect us in the present.

Do you get a headache whenever a certain person approaches you? A stomach-ache when you have to visit your family? Anxious at the thought of having to go to the dentist?
There is no doubt that emotions have physical manifestations. You FEEL fear, anxiety, pain, joy...

Let's say one day you go for a lovely walk down a country road. Your feet crunching on the gravel. The smell of lilacs in the air and the breeze against your arms and face. You're feeling strong, carefree, when suddenly a dog rushes out of the bushes snarling and baring his fangs. You panic and run. That evening when asked how your day was you don't mention the incident. In a sense, you've already begun to forget it because it was unpleasant and frightening and something you don't want to confront again - so it is not laid down in your verbal memory but rather it stays in your body memory. What you have done is to dissociate it from your consciousness and isolate it as painful and unacceptable. This is what we do with trauma.
By doing this we will experience consequences in our emotional state, our physical state or the state of our organs and tissues.

The body is divided into 7 emotional centres and each of these encompasses a particular group of organs and is associated with a given set of emotions.

The first emotional centre contains memories that are located in the blood and bones, the immune system, the spine and the hips. Emotions stored in this centre have to do with issues related to your family; your physical safety, security and support in the world; and to helplessness and hopelessness.
Have you experienced any physical issues in this area?

Our emotional centres contain contrasting sets of emotions, the powers and vulnerabilities which we must balance for best health. When an imbalance occurs, our intuition knows it and it speaks to us through our bodies in illness.

Which side do you fall on? Balance between both is key.

First Emotional Centre - Power: Sense of self, independence, self-sufficiency, fearlessness, trust

First Emotional Centre - Vulnerability: Sense of belonging, dependence, helplessness, fearfulness, mistrust

Ask yourself if any of these cliches ring true and see what side you tend to fall on - again, remember one isn't better than the other, but rather that we are seeking balance.

1) "That's okay, I'll do it myself" (independence)
2) "No one's ever there for me" (poor sense of belonging)
3) "If you want something done right, do it yourself" (self-sufficiency)
4) "The world is a dangerous place" (fearfulness)
5) "You can't trust anyone but yourself" (mistrust)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Estrogen and Progesterone: The good the bad and the ugly

There's been so much talk over the last few years about "bad" estrogen and "good" estrogen and everything in between!
What's the difference between estrogen and progesterone? Why do they say that estrogen can cause breast cancer? How do I know if I have too much estrogen in my body?
Here's a quick run down for those of us who don't know, and for those of us who need a bit of a reminder!

Estrogen is produced in the body for the most part by the ovaries and has 3 forms. It is paramount in a woman's fertility and sharply decreases at menopause. Excess estrogen is broken down by the Liver which coverts it into one of two forms: one of these forms is protective against cancer, the other cancer causing.
Many foods and substances can affect the metabolic pathways of this breakdown, but a well functioning liver is important in optimizing its clearance!

First let's look at the differences between the two hormones and go from there....

A proper amount of estrogen affects:

1) Reproductive Organs: changes of puberty

2) Skeleton: by increasing bone formation (which is why osteoporosis is common in post-menopausal women when estrogen levels are so low)

3) Urinary Calcium and Phosphate retention: increasing bone density

4) Protein: increasing overall protein

5) Metabolism and Fat: increasing BMI and fat distribution

6) Electrolytes: causing salt and water retention

7) Cardiovascular System: increasing good cholesterol and lowering bad, increasing blood clots

A proper amount of progesterone affects:

1) Uterus: promoting changes in the lining of the uterus and decreasing cramps

2) Fallopian Tubes: nourishing the fertilized egg as it travels towards the uterus

3) Breasts: increasing swelling

4) Electrolytes: excreting salt and water

5) Protein: mobilizing protein to the fetus during pregnancy

Metabolism of Estrogen and Progesterone:

1) Synthesis: progesterone and testosterone are made first, then converted into estrogen

2) Breakdown of Estrogen: by the liver

3) Detoxification pathways: the liver needs - Copper, Magnesium, Zinc, Vitamin C, NAC, Methionine and B vitamins to detoxify

4) Ratio of Estrogen Metabolites: predicting breast cancer risk

How can body get rid of excess Estrogen?

1) Liver detoxifcation pathways – there are 2 pathways, one which leads to the healthy metabolite, and the other which leads to the unhealthy cancer causing metabolite.

2) Increase consumption of plant foods and vegetarian protein - enhancing Liver clearance and promote the healthy Estrogen metabolite

3) Decrease consumption of meat and dairy – especially those containing antibiotics and hormones

4) Increase fiber intake - it can bind excess Estrogen in the bowel and increase its excretion. It also helps nourish friendly bacteria - try ground flax seeds and legumes.

Compounds affecting Estrogen Metabolism:

Indole-3-carbinol (I-3-C) shunts the detoxification of estrogen to the non-cancer causing form.

It is found in cruciferous veggies such as:

Bok Choy
Brussel sprouts
Mustard Greens
Savoy Cabage

You must get a minimum of 300mg daily to achieve a beneficial effect.
But be careful, I-3-C is inactivated by heat, so lightly steaming or quick stir frying is recommended to help preserve the compound!

In good health,

Dr. Stacey Welton, ND

Monday, July 26, 2010

Beat the heat with a cooling "mocktail"

It's a scortcher in Toronto this Summer! For those of us without AC, this past week seemed downright oppressive. Reaching for a frosty cold beer or cool tequila cocktail might have seemed like just the right thing - but be forewarned - alcohol will actually just make your body feel warmer.
Instead, why not try this?

Cardamom Rose "Mocktail":

1.5 oz of cucumber infused water (just slice up about a half a cucumber and put in a 1L jug of water for about 30 minutes before you want to make this cocktail - you can drink the rest on its own or make multiple mocktails with the leftovers)
.75 oz of Rose syrup (make at home with rose water and simple syrup)
.25 oz of Fresh lemon juice
.75 oz of Fresh grapefruit juice
2 dashes of bitters
1 Cardamom Pod

Lightly muddle the cardamom pod at the bottom of a shaker, then add the remaining ingredients, then ice.
Shake for about 20 seconds.
Strain over fresh ice and add a splash of tonic water.

Cardamom is a great carminative (helps with digestion and flatulance) has antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory effects and cucumber has a very cooling effect on the body.

Happy Summer!

In good health,

Dr. Stacey Welton, ND

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

In-Patient Naturopathic Care

Carp Ridge Ecowellness Centre (CREWC) is located on 90 acres of Canadian shield wilderness and overlooks Ottawa Valley famland. It was established in 1997 and since November of 2008, it includes the Carp Ridge Healing House.
Here people can undertake in-depth rejuvenation detoxification programs, treatments for illness including cancer, come for natural childbirth or palliative care. Healing, living, birthing, dying...

They can be referred to the Healing House (HH) by their ND or decide to come on their own. They are screened for suitability and then an individualized program including diet, relaxation/meditation, gentle movement and creative activities is suggested. Services from the clinic, only a few minutes walk away, can be added if desired and appropriate, either as primary or complimentary care.

Their plan is to apply to the Ministry of Health for eventual inclusion under OHIP as a holistic, community based alternative to hospitals as well as to insurance companies for coverage.


For further information on staying at the Carp Ridge Healing House visit their website: or email them at

In good health,

Dr. Stacey Welton, ND

Friday, July 16, 2010

Hair Element Analysis

Have you been eating a lot of sushi lately? Been using anti-perspirants forever? Have old mercury fillings? Work in an environment where you are exposed to chemicals?...

Hair element analysis may be just up your alley!

Measuring elements in blood, urine and saliva have been used clinically for decades.
Doctors use these tests as diagnostic tools - to check your thyroid or to make sure your immune system looks healthy. Hair element analysis, however, is the most effective tool to look for exposure to toxic elements and on the other hand, it is also useful in determining the levels of elements essential to the proper functioning of the body.

These 'toxic elements' or 'heavy metals' are things such as: mercury, lead, and aluminum, and are well known to cause health problems.
They concentrate in soft tissue rather than in blood and urine which is why those substances aren't the best methods of assessing their levels; hair is uniquely suited for this! Just think - your hair grows over a period of time during which heavy metals are deposited in the hair shaft in varying degrees depending on your exposure to them.

If you know you have been exposed to significant levels of toxins - in fish, in beauty products, in the environment, on the job - then this is the test for you!

The procedure is easy and painless - just think of it as a haircut! A small discrete section of the hair is sampled from the back of the neck and sent off to the lab for testing.
Not only does the test assess toxic elements, but it also assesses essential element distribution. For example the ratios between some of the body's essential elements can point to specific disease processes or tendencies.

The best news about all this is that there are many Naturopathic interventions to help rid the body of toxic elements, or support the lack of essential ones.

So go ahead, ask your ND about it!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Amazing Plantain - and I'm not talking bananas!

Those pesky backyard weeds ruining an otherwise perfect lawn!

Common plantain, or Plantago Major grows close to the ground and is so common in grassy areas that it is easily overlooked. It is found in lawns, pastures, meadows, even cracks in sidewalks.

Interestingly enough, Plantain's common name comes from the Latin word planta, which means sole (as in sole of a shoe). Native peoples associated the plant with the Europeans who seemed to leave a trail of the alien weed wherever they went.
Plantain, like dandelion, is a ubiquitous weed that left to its own device, can quickly overtake an area.

But here's the good part: Plantain has some extremely practical uses, especially in the summer. Its juice, when rubbed on an insect bite or bee sting, immediately sooths the area and begins the healing process. Plantain may also stop poison ivy from blistering and itching if applied to the skin immediately after contact.

Here's how:
Pick a leaf or two of plantain and put it in your mouth. Chew it until it is slightly pulpy and then apply this paste to the affected area.
Pick one more leaf and place that overtop of the paste you created to 'seal' it on the skin.

Leave it on for about 15-20 minutes (depending on the size of the bite!) and voila - itch gone - bite healed!

Plantain - here's to you!

In good health,

Dr. Stacey Welton, ND

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

DIY Yoga Mat Cleaner

As you may have already noticed, I'm a fan of a good DIY project. With Summer upon us those hot sweaty yoga classes and make your mat start to smell - well - a little less than fresh!
There are different kinds of mat cleaners that you can invest in, or you can just DIY in 5 minutes or less. Honestly!

Here's what you'll need:

1 spray bottle - about 1 L in size
Lavender Essential Oil
Eucalyptus Essential Oil

Fill the spray bottle 2/3 full with filtered water
Add 15 drops of Lavender essential Oil
Add 15 drops of Eucalyptus essential Oil
Give it a shake

That's all there is to it folks!

Lavender has calming properties as well as antiseptic and antifungal properties - and it also smells fabulous!
Eucalyptus is anti-bacterial and is a great decongestant.

Spray liberally on your mat after your hot yoga class and then give it a wipe down with a towel.

An eco-friendly nice smelling cleaning product!

In good health,

Dr. Stacey Welton, ND

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


While at work today I came across a book called 'The Miracle of Mindfulness' by Thich Nhat Hanh. It seemed kind of apropos for me today. Lately I've been feeling run ragged, sun scorched with commitments that seem to take me across town and back, never really being in one place.
I find myself rushing from place to place from person to person, so much so that even time spent with loved ones sometimes feels like hours blocked off in my schedule rather than time spent really enjoying and listening and being.
Mindfulness: to be present; to be awake and aware.

If you've done any reading on meditation or mindfulness or read any of the Shambhala books, perhaps you are aware of this practice. The teachings involve the practice of being mindful while doing ordinary tasks. Mindful while you do the dishes, mindful when you are folding laundry, mindful when you are walking down the street.

The premise is that this mindfulness, this calm, extends through the entire life and permeates all tasks.

In this particular book, there are some practical exercises and approaches to mindfulness and meditation. He describes them as the foundations on which everything else is built.

Here are a few that made me smile:
Half-smile when you first wake up
Half-smile during your free moments
Half-smile while listening to music
Half-smile when irritated (use caution with this technique, especially if the other is also irritated!) ; )
Follow the breath
Let go

Everyone needs a gentle reminder now and then.

In good health,

Dr. Stacey Welton, ND

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Brown Rice - Delicious and Nutritious!

After wheat, rice is definitely one of the most eaten grains.
Rice contains tons of nutrients - but they are all lost during milling it into white rice.

The refining of grains, and the eating of them, is a well known contributor to blood sugar imbalances. These foods are 'empty' and lack the minerals and other nutrients necessary to regulate your blood sugar.

Brown rice, due to its coating and unrefined nature, in addition to being able to reduce blood sugar, is extremely nutrient dense. It has tons of antioxidants that protect against free radical damage and actually has a unique form of Vitamin E. This form of Vitamin E actually lowers excess fat and cholesterol in the body and provides better anti-tumor protection than any previously known form of Vitamin E!

The complex carbohydrate nature of brown rice is the perfect type for stimulating the immune system and controlling high blood sugar.
Another great aspect of brown rice is its calming effect.
It is also high in B vitamins and trace minerals.

Eat up!

In good health,

Dr. Stacey Welton, ND

Sunday, May 23, 2010

TCM - the quick and dirty

Chinese Medicine is a holistic system of medicine that has been around for over 5000 years.
It is an energetic form of Medicine that recognizes that health is based on the the balance of specific organs within a person and specific substances throughout the body; such as: Chi and Blood, Hot and Cold, Yin and Yang.

Acupuncture is a part of Chinese Medicine, and is specifically used for the treatment of disease. It is where fine needles are inserted into points along energetic channels that run through the body called meridians. It was hypothesized that energy circulated through these meridians, and if that energy wasn't able to circulate properly, disease would result.

Naturopathic Doctors are trained in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Acupuncture and will look at your tongue and take your pulses to determine what Chinese Medical diagnosis you may have.
For example - perhaps you have Liver Fire, or Kidney Yin Deficiency.
This is assessed via your presenting symptoms, and the above mentioned diagnostic tools.

The tongue diagnosis, is based on the premise that the tongue is mapped out where particular areas on the tongue correspond to specific organs in the body.
For example: the back of the tongue corresponds to the Urinary Bladder and Kidneys, the tip of the tongue represents the Heart, etc.
It is then that those areas are looked at with respect to: colour, tongue coat or the absence of coat, the colour or texture of the coat, and whether the tongue is cracked or smooth. All of these aspects point to a particular TCM Diagnosis.
There are 6 pulses, 3 on each wrist and each have 3 different levels: superficial, middle and deep. Each pulse also corresponds to a particular organ in the body and thus this is used as a diagnostic tool as well.

Here's a great article I came across about the use of TCM and the ear.
Check out:

In good health,

Dr. Stacey Welton, ND

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Stress and the Mind-Body Connection

"The only difference between a diamond and a lump of coal is that the diamond had a little more pressure put on it." anonymous

Stress is defined as a nonspecific response of the body to any demand. This can be positive (like the birth of a baby) or negative (like the death of a loved one).
Stress isn't limited to what goes on externally, but what occurs internally in our bodies as well. Stress is an actual biological process that begins in the brain and that spreads through the nervous system causing hormone release and eventually exerting an effect on the immune system.
Stress can actually make us sick!

Researchers have found that, just as various factors lead to stress, various factors enable people to cope better with it. Basic factors that reduce the ability to cope include: genetic susceptibility to depression, insomnia, poor diet, obesity, unrealistic goal setting, smoking, finances....
So how can we protect our bodies from the negative impacts of stress? We certainly can't change our genes!
The first thing we can do is to face the stress head-on. Recognize it, and get ready to deal with it.
Here are a few other ideas from cardiologist Robert S. Eliot and others on how you can protect yourself from stress:
1) Be kind to yourself. Do something nice for yourself everyday. Take the time to soak in a warm bath, take a walk, call an old friend.
2) Learn to laugh at yourself, humour is medicine!
3) Once at work try the following strategies: pair up with people you like. Instead of having the phone control you, control it. Block out times during the day to return calls. Delegate as much work as you can. Do what you can to reduce environmental stress at work (temperature, noise, etc.) And, at least once a day, concentrate on doing at least one task - no matter how small - that brings you satisfaction.
Lastly, take time to treat yourself kindly. See your ND, Osteopath, RMT, DC for regular treatments. Treat your body well and it will be more adaptable to stress when you encounter it.

In good health,

Dr. Stacey Welton, ND

The not so sexy truth about "The Pill"

Stress, depression, sleep disturbances, skin problems, drop in sex drive, hormone imbalances, spotting or changes in periods...
That doesn't sound very sexy!
"The Pill", albeit convenient, can have a host of negative impacts on the body. It can lower blood levels of B vitamins and can cause other metabolic changes - for example: it interferes with carbohydrate metabolism which can increase the risk for type 2 diabetes.
It blocks the natural hormone/fertility cycle, may increase the risk of some cancers (granted, it decreases the risk of others) and increases the risk of heart disease. It also increases the risk of pulmonary embolism in smokers.

Jeez! How's a girl supposed to be safe??
In general, the pill's benefits outweigh its risks for a lot of women as it is an effective birth control method. It is only years down the line when deciding they are ready to become pregnant that its past use can pose problems. I have seen countless women in practice in this very situation. Physically there is no reason they shouldn't be able to conceive. Some of these women have never even had an irregular PAP! And from what they tell me, no one every told them that this may happen.

I agree that the birth control pill can be an effective and convenient tool, but I highly recommended it be used only on a short-term basis, if at all.
Many women have been on the BCP for at least a decade. Perhaps it was prescribed to them for their 'bad skin' or 'PMS'. But when they discontinue its use, these symptoms return. The key is in finding the root cause of those problems and treating from there.
Good news! Naturopathic Doctors have many tools that can help.

As for its use in contraception - that certainly can't be denied - or taken lightly. There are ways to educate yourself your own natural cycles and thus take control of your fertility. Women have been doing it for thousands of years!

Either way, know that you have a choice - and to make an informed choice - you need to know all of the risks, and benefits!

In good health,

Dr. Stacey Welton, ND


Silybum Marianum (Milk Thistle)

Milk Thistle is having quite its day lately, and rightfully so!
Current scientific research supports its use, showing that its constituents protect liver cells from chemical damage. The liver plays such a vital role in the body as a cleanser and detoxifier of all things... well... toxic!
The herb is indicated for a whole range of liver and gallbladder conditions, including hepatitis and cirrhosis. It helps increase the flow of bile from the liver and gallbladder.
As well, as the name implies, milk thistle promotes milk secretion and is safe for use during breast-feeding to help promote milk secretion. (*be sure to check with your ND, however, as exceptions always apply!)

The research shows that it is the property of Milk Thistle called 'silymarin' that has this protective effect on liver cells.

It is the seeds of the plant that are used therapeutically and it is generally taken either in tincture or capsule format.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Spring Changes!

I am excited to announce that I have joined Cantadora Naturopathic Healthcare Centre in Toronto, Ontario.
Cantadora is a beautiful wellness facility on Ossington Ave in Toronto (at Dundas)

Stop by for a visit!

We are what we digest

Nutrition is the study of how we ingest, digest, absorb, transport, utilize and excrete our food - and is necessary for our survival.

Unfortunately, it tends to be an after thought rather than at the root of health and wellness.

In order for food to be used by the body it must be broken down. The intestines do this job - they break the food down into small particles so that they can be absorbed. Normally, about 90% of the standard North American diet is digested and absorbed - however, stress, inflammation, allergies, parasites and some pharmaceutical medications such as aspirin and cortisone can all lead to increased permeability of the gut leading to something call 'leaky gut syndrome'.
What happens here is malabsorption. You are making a concerted effort to eat healthy and still not getting enough nutrients.

The key to resolving this, is figuring out what is causing the malabsorption and healing from that place.
You are only as healthy as what you can absorb!

In good health,
Dr. Stacey Welton, ND