Trees

does summer make you SAD?

Working in the Pacific Northwest, I see a lot of patients who have issues with seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

 

 

Most people understand SAD as a depression response to the short, dark days of winter. And indeed, that is the most common form.

 

 

But summer SAD is also truly a thing: hot days, unrelenting brightness that makes you think you have to be cheery and energetic, wildfire smoke in certain parts of the country — all of these contribute to seasonal depression in the summer.

 

 

Seasonal affective disorder, whenever it hits, has some common characteristics: depression is key, but also over- or undersleeping, anxiety and others. And some of the herbal and, if necessary, pharmacological prescriptions can help both types.

 

 

One simple treatment that works well for most types of depression is especially suited to summer SAD: getting into cold water.

 

 

 

natural mental health | wild water | summer SAD | depression | Dr. Orna Izakson

Cold water helps beat depression.

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terrain

Filed under: chronic disease,healthy living,Uncategorized — Orna @ 8:50 am

Gardeners know that healthy plants have certain basic requirements: they need the right temperature, the right amount of sun, the right amount of water, and the right amount and kind of nutrients in the soil. Different plants have different needs, but one that has all these will be the most resilient, able to withstand pests, diseases and climate variations.

 

People are no different.

 

I was a gardener long before ever thinking about becoming a doctor. And I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the idea of feeding the soil is fundamental to naturopathic medical philosophy.

 

The profession even has a specific term for it: Terrain. (more…)

the sun is more than a vitamin

I talk about vitamin D a lot. It’s useful for healthy bones, healthy immunity, healthy levels of inflammation, healthy mood. In the past decade it’s gotten a lot of press.

 

But in the same way whole foods are a better source of nutrients than a multivitamin, there are things the sun can do that a supplement cannot. When it comes to health, Nature almost always does it better. And it turns out that sun is more than a vitamin.  (more…)

An easy way to eat more veggies

November 8, 2018

Wednesday is veggie box day at my house, and it’s been really helping me up my personal food game. I often recommend delivery services like this one from Full Circle to patients as a way to help keep fresh vegetables in the house — because eating veggies is a non-negotiable part of healthy living.

 

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the three keys to optimal health

At its root, health really isn’t that complicated. Getting and staying health comes down to three simple things — assimilation, elimination and managing inflammation. In this short(ish) video, Dr. Izakson breaks it down and gives you the key to the natural-health kingdom.

 

flower essence training with Dr. Izakson

It’s no secret I’m a plant lover. It’s why I went into medicine.

 

I love that plants reinforce our connection to nature, while helping us navigate the modern world. Nearly every patient I treat gets some kind of plant-based prescription, whether it’s a powdered herb, a tea or an herbal extract such as a tincture or a gemmo.

 

The plant medicines I use most in practice are flower essences. They’re safe and gentle, don’t interfere with any other prescriptions and reliably make big changes in my patients’ well being.

 

Here’s one patient’s testimonial: (more…)

come out and play!

Dr. Izakson has some speaking gigs coming up, and she’d love to meet you.

 

First up, Dr. Izakson is talking about vital living at the Inspiring Woman Leaders Fifth Annual Women’s Leadership Conference on March 5 at the McMenamin’s Kennedy School. The event is even near the office, for those of you who love the Alberta/Concordia neighborhood.

 

One week later, check out the Women in Balance Institute’s Women’s Health Day. Dr. Izakson will be talking about detoxification — with a twist.

 

Both promise to be fun events. We look forward to seeing you there!

 

Oxbow-Oregon-Lifestyle-Head-Shot-WEB-084A5559

 

 

new year’s resolutions: biotransformation in 2014

December 31, 2013

 

Wishing you joy, laughter, freedom and light in 2014.

‘Tis the season to make resolutions. A time to reevaluate our choices, to envision a hopeful future in which we move forward into more perfect lives.

 

Although it hasn’t always been this way, as the Atlantic magazine explains in a Dec. 31 article, many of us make resolutions around our health. If you follow any blogs, Facebook pages or tweets on the subject, this is the time of year when you’ll be overwhelmed with possibilities for a New Year’s cleanse or detox program. You’ll lose weight! You’ll have more energy! That brain fog? Gone!

 

My friend and colleague Dr. Mahalia Freed wrote about this phenomenon on Facebook this time last year. Paraphrased (she said it so much better than I): You are not dirty, you don’t need to cleanse.

 

To which I said — and say again — hallelujah.

 

Health is not about fitting into your high-school prom dress. It’s not about just not being sick. We all have our definitions, but mine, today, is this: Health is enjoying our minds and our bodies, connecting with individuals and community and place, and fully living a life animated with meaning and purpose. (more…)

sunshine vitamin brightens dark winter days

As some of you may know I recently got my first smart phone. and on it there’s now a fun little app called D-Minder, intended to help track your vitamin D exposure. The app looks at your skin tone, size, location, local weather and sun angle to determine how much vitamin D you can get at any given time, or when your next vitamin “D opportunity” is.

 

Today, Nov. 15, the app says “your next D opportunity is in 113 days.”

 

Sunny Arrowleaf Balsamroot (Balsamorhiza sagittata)

Sunny Arrowleaf balsamroot, to remind you of summer.

All of this is a great reminder that at northerly latitudes like Portland’s, the sun’s angle is just too low for natural Vitamin D production for a big chunk of the winter. The D-Minder folks created this video, which gives the clearest explanation I’ve seen of how this works.

 

Why do you care? Vitamin D improves immunity and healthy bone building, protects against cancer and diabetes, regulates blood pressure and balances inflammation that’s thought to be a primary underlying cause of many debilitating chronic diseases. (Oregon State University’s Linus Pauling Institute offers this monograph on Vitamin D.)

 

What to do through the winter? If you can’t get a break to the tropics or the southern hemisphere,  recommend a simple lab test to assess your individual need and then appropriate use of a high-quality Vitamin D3 supplement.

 

(How much Vitamin D is enough? My reading of the research, coupled with clinical experience of myself, my colleagues and my mentors, suggests the U.S.-recommended daily values are too low.  But seriously, testing is the best way to know what’s right for you.)

 

To find out more about Vitamin D, why you need it and whether supplementation is right for you, please call or email us to schedule a time to speak with Dr. O.

 

 

Want to read more on Vitamin D?

The Vitamin D Council website is filled with great information, including options for testing and the best ways to get the Vitamin D you need.  This site was created by one of the doctors who pioneered Vitamin D awareness wave in the U.S.

 

 

how you eat will change your life. period.

This TEDx video has been making the rounds in emails and social media. A lot of these things get tossed your way. And you may have been leery about wasting 17 minutes of your busy time on yet another random video.

 

That’s certainly how I felt. But after seeing glowing recommendations from so many medical colleagues and friends, I got curious. And now I’m recommending — in the strongest terms — that you watch it, too.

 

Real food will change your life.

Seriously.

 

The story here is of an active woman, a medical doctor, who was crippled with Multiple Sclerosis. In MS, a person’s immune system starts attacking the sheathing that protects the nerves. That sheathing (remember the word “myelin” from high school bio?) is like the plastic encasing electrical wires, and does the exact same thing: helps electricity travel through the nerves and prevents shocks in the wrong places. MS is considered an incurable, degenerative disease.

 

The speaker, Dr. Terry Wahls, wasn’t willing to accept that prognosis. Because she’s an MD, she made sure she tried all the drugs, including the experimental ones. When that didn’t work, she started doing her own research. The video outlines her findings, but my patients and followers won’t be surprised — it’s basically the same diet I recommend for nearly everyone.

 

I really want you to watch the video so I’m not going to tell you how dramatically well this worked for Dr. Wahls. But the bottom line for you is this: How you eat changes your life.

 

So watch. Learn. Apply to your own life. You can feel awesome, whether or not you have an autoimmune, degenerative, incurable disease. And if all the competing  food choices have you (justifiably!) confused, give us a call. That’s what we’re here for.

 

 

 

Like videos? We’ve started a YouTube channel of our favorites. Watch for updates!

 

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