What is Epigenetics Theory?

Pohala Client Julie A. Fast answers the question: What is Epigenetics Theory? in her article for Health Central.com.

Article excerpt:

Genetics is the study of heredity and the variation of inherited characteristics. Epigenetics is the study of how the environment around us and the choices we make can change the expression of inherited genes and whether these changes in gene regulation can then passed to a child. Richard C. Francis, the author of Epigenetics: How Environment Shapes Our Genes notes, “Social interactions are a particularly important source of gene regulation.” Think of the possibilities!

An Example of Epigenetic Theory from Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar is considered a genetic illness. Two children, raised in the same environment have a grandfather with bipolar. One child has naturally expressed bipolar mania at age 17 with no substance use. The other child who lives with depression, but no mania takes an SSRI antidepressant at age 28. She has her fist mania three weeks later and now has a bipolar diagnosis. Her substance-induced mania is considered an epigenetic change causing a latent gene to switch on. Epigenetic theory asks, “Can the switched-on quality of this gene then be passed to a child?”

What is the Epigenome?

Epigenetic changes do not affect our DNA (genome), but instead influence the expression of genes through changes in the epigenome, a set of chemical compounds that tells our genes what to do including switching genes on or off and controlling the production of proteins in particular cells. R. Francis calls this epigenome the director of a play while our genes are the actors. The epigenome represents the nurture side of the nature vs. nurture debate. If we learn to control our epigenome, can we direct the expression of genes for better health?

Click here to read the rest of the What is Epigenetics Theory? article from Julie A. Fast.

 

Natural Weight Loss Tips from Pohala Clinic in Portland, Oregon

Healthy eating is a big part of any medical health plan. At Pohala Clinic, we know that weight loss is not easy, but we also know from working with thousands of clients throughout the years that certain practices do work. We asked each staff member at Pohala for a natural Weight Loss tip. We hope this helps you get started on a plan you can use for life, if weight management is a goal. The answers are as diverse as our practitioners!

 

From Julie Foster, Family Nurse Practitioner

I am not a fan of the term “Weight Loss.”  What are we losing? Where does the weight go?

I would rather ask,  ‘What can we gain by having a healthy relationship with our body, mind, and spirit?’

I encourage my patients to examine their relationship with food when exploring the idea of  a healthy body.

If we are at peace with ALL aspects of our life and we structure our days with balanced,  whole plant based foods,  we can find a natural weight that suits us.

I say this to my clients: When you crave certain foods ask yourself, ‘What am I really craving? Maybe you just need to let down, cover up, or escape something and you use food to do this. Believe me it happens for most of us.  I heard a patient tell me ‘I eat my emotions’ and another say ‘I avoid eating to control my emotions.’  We cannot use food one way or the other. Food is food. It fuels us. Period.

How can we become neutral and lighthearted about food? When I work with patients about weight loss I avoid making weight loss the goal and instead encourage patients to take a path of self discovery. Once a person can see the patterns in his or her life that are a hinderance to becoming one’s best self,  healing begins.

The rest falls into place. Then, education about nutrition can be properly applied and digested (literally).

From Malia Susee, Acupuncturist and Chinese Herbalist…

Support the Spleen and get good sleep!

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the Spleen (I’m capitalizing it to differentiate it from our biomedically-viewed organ) is responsible for the transformation food to chi, (Qi), or useable energy, and the transportation of it this useable energy to the rest of the body. Good sleep supports a healthy metabolism, whereas sleep deprivation throws off the metabolism causes us to crave sugar. Overdoing carbohydrates and sugar causes the Spleen to get bogged down and inefficient, leading to even more carb cravings and potentially less good sleep! Prioritizing healthy sleep not only helps us use the calories we have, but helps keep unhealthy cravings at bay.

 

Vera Voss

Vera Vos, Family Nurse Practitioner

When your gut is happy, you are happy! Your gut is inhabited by gazillions of microorganisms like bacteria, viruses, protozoa and others that have a huge influence on your health and, as more and more research is showing, your happiness and weight! The kind of food you eat feeds those microorganisms and the ones that like the sugar, processed foods, bad fats, etc of the Standard American Diet (SAD) cause chronic disease, mental health issues, obesity, brain fog, fatigue, etc.

The ones that make you happy, healthy and slimmer, your allies and friends have a huge preference  for high fiber stuff like vegetables (cooked and raw), fruits, legumes, nuts/seeds, healthy whole grains (quinoa, farro, bulgur, teff, etc), fermented foods (sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, kefir, tempeh, etc) and prebiotic foods like onions, garlic and jicama. Say Bon Appetit! to your microorganisms and start including each of these food categories into your diet every day to greatly increase your allies and friends which will heal your gut and body, make you happy and motivated, and support weight loss. 

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We want you to feel supported at Pohala. Our clinicians are here to listen and help. We will come up with a weight loss, healthy eating and life balanced plan that fits into your life. If eating disorder help is needed, we have specialists who can help directly and connect you with outside services.

 

Please call our clinic to work with one of our health care professionals to create a plan for a healthy body.

Talk Story and Donna London Family Nurse Practitioner in Portland, Oregon

We continue to be excited about all the providers at Pohala.

Donna London FNP shares some TalkStory with us:

From Little Girl to Family Nurse Practitioner

‘I decided I wanted to be a nurse at the age of five. I loved caring for animals when I was younger…much to my mothers dismay, but the idea that I could care for “humans” happened when I saw a nurse on television and I knew…this was my  purpose.’  Donna London see her medical practice as her calling. How many providers remember this? I think even after all the hustle and bustle every provider can tell you a similar stirring in their soul.

Donna London’s goal as a healthcare professional the first time she sees a new client? 

‘My goal is to assure patients feel heard, respected and validated by making them feel we are partners in their health and wellness care. I believe this empowers and encourages patients to become proactive participants in their health care and as a result achieve better health outcomes.’  She believes in preventive medicine. When a medical provider can really know and have a relationship with their patients so many other things about one’s health is understood and easier to face.

She has a personal Heart’s Desire to personally have a better understanding of her patients 

‘It’s my heart’s desire to truly “see” my patients, to meet them where they are in their illness or health, so together we  can make a difference in their overall wellbeing.’

Donna’s view on western medicine (allopathic)  v. eastern (naturopathic) medicine?

Western medicine alone does not mirror what patients want from the health care community. More patients, are searching for practitioners who provide both or at least one who is open to the idea.For the best health care outcomes, I believe combining traditional and naturopathic medicine plays an important role in  clinical practice.

Donna is currently accepting new patients

CALL TODAY FOR AN APPOINTMENT AT POHALA CLINIC

(503) 572-4196

 

Healthy Eating Strategies for Good Digestion from Paresh Shelat in Portland, Oregon

Healthy Eating Strategies for Good Digestion from Paresh Shelat, Pohala Clinic Naturopathic Physician and Acupuncturist. 
Food Hygiene: Have you ever wondered why the exact same meal, eaten at different periods of time, can cause a wide range of symptoms or no symptoms at all? 🤔 Unbeknownst to many, the state of our nervous system may directly impact our ability to digest and process food (ie Fight-Flight-Fright vs REST & DIGEST). One of the most important pieces of information I pass on to my patients revolves around the process of eating. This may be more important than the types of foods my patients consume at times.⁣

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Here are several lifestyle modifications to improve digestion WITHOUT medications or supplements 💊:⁣

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1.) Chew food in its entirety. (If that means chewing each bite of food 30 times until it turns to mush, DO IT! Or at least try).⁣

2.) Do not eat “on-the-go” or when you’re in a rush. (Your body will not properly digest food).🚗💨

3.) Eliminate or limit external stressors while consuming food (ie t.v, noisy environment, arguments or tense discussions etc).🗣🖥

4.) Try your best to cook your own food and add different spices that stimulate and prepare your body for digestion such as cumin, mustard seeds, and rosemary. 👨🏾‍🍳

5.) Apple cider vinegar before meals may aid in digestion.
To book an appointment with Dr. Shelat, please call the Pohala Clinic.

 

Natural Treatment for High Blood Pressure Using Nutrition, Exercise, Supplements, and Self Care

Do you have high blood pressure but don’t want to take medications with complicated side effects?

The good news is that many individuals with high blood pressure, also known as hypertension can be treated naturally. 

Dr. Paresh H. Shelat, a dual-licensed naturopathic primary care physician and licensed acupuncturist works with patients daily who want to make life style changes that lead to better heart health.

Here are three ways you can make changes today to make your heart as healthy as possible..

  1. Get help to QUIT Smoking / Vaping: Your lungs love you and you should love them in return. I am here to help with this process. 
  2. Eat a predominantly anti-inflammatory plant based diet. This includes looking at nightshades such as tomatoes, chili peppers and white potatoes.  We can discuss diet during an appointment. 
  3. Exercise!  It really is nature’s medicine. We can work together to come up with a plan that works for you. 

If you would like to learn how to reduce symptoms of cardiovascular disease and optimize healthy heart functioning,  schedule a visit at Pohala Clinic in Portland, OR

How is Your Heart Health?

A note from Pohala Naturopath Paresh H. Shelat ND, L.Ac.

I work with people of all ages to evaluate physically and through lab work the condition of a person’s heart.

This includes high blood pressure, high cholesterol, palpitations, risk of heart attack and overall heart health.

I use a combination of nutrition, herbs, exercise, supplements, acupuncture and when needed pharmaceuticals.

I also work with a person’s team including cardiologists and pulmonologists.

Call Pohala Clinic today for a healthy heart exam.

Dr. Shelat

Healthy Books for 2019 from Vera Vos, Nurse Practitioner

by Vera Vos

I love to start the New Year with a list of books I want to read. There are so many genres to choose from not to mention fiction or non-fiction. For the most part,  I’m not particular whether a book was written recently or if it’s an old classic. But, when it comes to health related topics, I like to see what’s new in non-fiction. My favorite health sub topics are those that offer insights that can change health for the better and slow aging especially using cutting edge nutrition research. I also like those that describe the latest breakthroughs for healing chronic disease like heart disease, cancer, autoimmune disorders and mental health. 

I find new books I want to read by relying on others whom I trust to make recommendations. The Food Revolution Network is one website that I keep track of. It was started by John Robbins of Baskin Robbins fame, who left the ice cream business to focus on health and sustainability for ourselves and our environment. He is the author of numerous old classics like Diet for a New America and The Food Revolution. 

Luckily,  the Food Revolution Network has a list of 8 “must read” books about health for 2019.

Check them out and see if you find one or two that sparks your interest. 

Some of the books include:

Undo It!: How Simple Lifestyle Changes Can Reverse Most Chronic Diseases by Dean Ornish, MD and Anne Ornish

The Truth About Food: Why Pandas Eat Bamboo and People Get Bamboozled by David Katz, MD

Happy reading! 

Vera

 

Donna London Family Nurse Practitioner in Portland, Oregon

 

Donna London MSN, FNP-BC is a Board-Certified Family Nurse Practitioner originally from the Midwest where she obtained her undergraduate degrees in nursing and healthcare administration (1988 and 1998 respectively).

Her desire to become an advanced practice nurse developed as a result of her growing knowledge that there were thousands of Americans who didn’t have access to basic healthcare services, due to a shortage of primary care providers. It was at that time that she felt a deep responsibility to be part of the solution to fill the gap in underserved areas and for those patients who lack access to quality health care. 

Donna later attended Oregon Health and Science University’s RN to BS nursing program where she graduated summa cum laude. She continued on to get her master’s degree in Maryville University’s Family Nurse Practitioner program. 

Donna enjoys partnering with patients to meet their wellness goals including preventive care, managing chronic diseases, women’s health, men’s health and well child checks and sports physicals.

While she enjoys working with a variety of patients and health care issues, she especially enjoys working with perimenopause and menopausal women, successfully assisting them as they begin to transition from one stage of life to another one. She believes this can be a transformative and exciting period in the lives of women…if an individualized approach to managing their physical and psychological needs are addressed.   

Donna provides an integrative approach to patient care, combining traditional/conventional and alternative/complementary as appropriate. Following a patient centered care model, she is committed to providing care that is respectful of individual patient preferences, needs and values.

She has a passion for helping her patients achieve their wellness goals and believes a life well lived involves developing and maintaining a healthy mind, body and soul…regardless of the state of health or “illness” a patient is in. 

In her spare time, Donna enjoys traveling, singing jazz, home decorating and spending time with loved ones. 

 

Please contact Pohala Clinic to visit Donna London.

How is Acupuncture Used for Health in China

We recently asked Pohala Clinic acupuncturist Malia Susee to talk about the uses of Acupuncture in China. 

In China, acupuncture’s highest purpose is to promote longevity and vitality. People use acupuncture to prevent disease and to thrive throughout their lives. That said, the acupuncture wing I interned for in Nanjing, China treated many people for respiratory infections such as cough, asthma, sinus congestion and digestive complaints including diarrhea, gas, bloating and indigestion.

I also saw acupuncture used for post-operative pain, epilepsy, Cerebral Palsy, and post-stroke symptoms including paralysis, slurred speech, motor, sensory, and cognitive difficulties.  This happened in Chinese hospitals where acupuncture was a main form of treatment.

Weight loss treatment was also up-and-coming and popular with the arrival and spread of American fast food companies in big cities!

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If you would like to work with Malia Susee, please visit our Pohala Clinic contact page to make an appointment.

 

Can Acupuncture Help with Pain? Ask the Dr. with Paresh Shelat of Pohala Clinic in Portland, Oregon

By Dr. Paresh H. Shelat, Naturopathic Physician and Licensed Acupuncturist at Pohala Clinic in Portland, OR. 

In my clinical opinion, absolutely.  Both acute and chronic pain account for a billion dollar industry. With many different therapeutic modalities and approaches to reduce pain, and subsequent disability resulting from pain, what are patients left to do? Ideally, INQUIRE and be CURIOUS. After all, it’s the job of any healthcare provider to inform patients of their treatment options and to educate them about pain and what it means to have pain so that we can come up with a healthy plan that reduces pain without adding the complications of medication side effects. In doing so, both the provider and patient can formulate a healthy plan that reduces pain without adding the potential complications of medication side effects.

The most common pain-related conditions I see in practice include:

    1. Low Back Pain: A majority of people have low back pain at some point in their life.  It’s also the most common musculoskeletal pain.
    2. Neck Pain / Mid-Back Pain.
    3. Shoulder Pain / Rotator Cuff Injuries.
    4. Knee Pain: Resulting from both acute injury or more systematic / degenerative problems such as osteoarthritis or autoimmune disease.
    5. Muscle Strains / Muscle Cramps.

What are the most common treatment options or treatment recommendations I typically see primary care providers use? Please note that there is nothing inherently wrong with the treatments in the list below. This is simply what I normally see in general health care and there is no question that they have their place in a pain management plan. My goal is to show a client all of his or her options.

    1. Pharmacologic Medications: NSAIDS, Muscle Relaxers, Opioids etc.
    2. Physical Therapy.
    3. Osteopathic / Chiropractic Care.
    4. Massage Therapy.

Why I add acupuncture to my list:

Acupuncture is the least invasive process I have found to help with acute and chronic pain.  Patients often don’t know to ask for acupuncture and are often surprised that insurance can cover the treatment depending on a person’s plan.

Acupuncture helps to reduce or minimize medications altogether as well as enhance other manual based therapeutic modalities such as physical therapy and massage. Why not try acupuncture first? It makes sense for anyone who wants a cost effective, natural treatment for pain. 

How Does Acupuncture Help Reduce Pain? 

Pain is multifactorial and spans across all aspects of healthcare: spiritual health, emotional health, mental health, physical health, and perhaps most importantly, our cognitive understanding of pain ( what it means to have pain.)  Additionally, lifestyle factors greatly impact pain and include: diet, self-care measures, cultural values, family, and external stressors of all kinds (e.g. relationships, finances, home, etc). 

Let me expand on this by briefly discussing my views on the western and eastern philosophy of acupuncture.

    • The Western Paradigm / Model: By introducing a novel stimulus (e.g. acupuncture) to the site of injury, we can impart change on the autonomic nervous system.  More precisely, we are able to provide the brain with information that is non-harmful and non-threatening. This in turn will change, and hopefully decrease, the output of pain by the brain.
    • The Eastern Paradigm / Model: Our body’s are made up of energy channels (e.g. meridians) that run up and down our body. These energy channels correspond to organs and organs systems (e.g stomach channel).  Acupuncture allows us to engage these energetic streams by needling (applying a very thin needle) specific locations to unblock and/or correct disrupted flow that may lead to pain syndromes. Furthermore, acupuncture provides us the opportunity to correct multiple imbalances at once while simultaneously supporting health on a multitude of levels as mentioned above.

Is Acupuncture Right For You?

There are times when more interventional based treatments are required (e.g. surgery) due to the extent of tissue injury.  The importance of proper evaluation (history and physical exam) cannot be over-emphasized.  By combining appropriate evaluation with physician-patient dialogue (e.g. education), often times, many patients can reduce recovery times of acute injuries, avoid unnecessary imaging, as well as reduce and significantly improve chronic pain syndromes. 

I would recommend each and every single patient to talk to a healthcare practitioner knowledgable about Chinese Medicine and how it can be integrated into your standard healthcare regimen. 

Perhaps, the most important decision you make is whether you allow yourself to be open-minded about the possibility of new ways to reduce pain and improve mobility.  I urge you to ask questions. I implore you to allow yourself the opportunity to become educated about pain. This is the first step to achieving your goals of having NO PAIN. 

In my practice at Pohala Clinic in Portland, OR, and given my background in naturopathic medicine and Chinese Medicine, I use a combination of treatment modalities to help my clients who have pain. These include but are not limited to: acupuncture, botanical medicine, homeopathy, nutraceuticals, naturopathic manipulative techniques, manual therapy, and much more! 

If you would like to learn more about ways in which you can reduce your pain, please schedule a visit at Pohala Clinic in Portland, OR. I look forward to learning more about you.