Healthy Concepts

At Holistic Dentistry of Port Washington, we recently celebrated a landmark: our one-year anniversary. Even before we opened our doors last September, Dr. Laura Railand was at work building the new practice from the ground up, giving a complete face-lift to the former site of Dr. Steve Carini’s practice in a beautiful storefront in downtown Port Washington.

We take a unique whole-body approach to oral health care, combining sound dental science, modern technology and years of experience with a deep concern for our patients’ physical and emotional well-being and comfort. Our goal is to bring your mouth, teeth and related structures back into harmony with the rest of your body. We look at underlying causes in order to end progressive destructive processes and bring your health back into balance. This does not always mean an easy fix, but we are committed to working with you through all stages of treatment until you reach your goal.

For us, the goal is a healthy body exemplified by healthy gums and soft tissues of the mouth, and the elimination of bad bacteria that can destroy teeth and bone. We know that when chronic infection is removed, the body is relieved of a burden that impacts overall health. We also understand that not all dental materials are created alike, and that you deserve to have high-quality restorations that will improve your health rather than harm it. Dr. Railand follows the International Academy of Oral Medical Toxicology protocol when removing amalgam fillings, and our office strives to be BPA-, fluoride-, and mercury-free (amalgam/silver filling-free). We practice healthy dentistry with an emphasis on total health, using the best in state-of-the-art and traditional dentistry in conjunction with highly effective, less invasive treatment options.

Our team recognizes the importance of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of health. We believe that we are not merely treating a body; we are treating a person. We have made it our mission to share information about all aspects of dental wellness with our patients so they can be active, educated participants in the decision-making process. Dentistry can bring up negative emotions and stress for people, so we work to maintain a comfortable, safe, nurturing environment and to provide all patients with positive experiences. We strive to make dental appointments something you’ll actually look forward to.

Dr. Railand is committed to offering minimally invasive, health-centered dentistry, and she has dedicated thousands of hours to her dental education to better serve you. Her unending enthusiasm for the well-being of her patients sets her apart from the rest. At Holistic Dentistry of Port Washington, we are always looking for patients who share our goal of achieving total health. 

Holistic Dentistry of Port Washington

222 N Franklin St, Port Washington



One of the most fun aspects of traveling for me — whether near or far — is undoubtedly finding and researching restaurants. About 2.5 hours north of Green Bay, Eagle River is a great getaway spot during every season. During our recent visit, my friend and I couldn’t help but exclaim how serene and picturesque the changing autumn leaves were at every turn, and pointed out the cross-country skiing areas and beautiful wildlife that surrounded us on our drive.

We stopped for a late lunch at Bortolotti’s Cin Cin, a new wine bar and bistro. We knew it was an Italian restaurant but didn’t know exactly what to expect. Walking into the establishment, we wouldn’t have guessed that it had just opened in June. It was beautifully and elegantly decorated with a quaint lounge area to the right and comfortably laid out tables to the left. Our server, Keith, was friendly and attentive, and knowledgeable about both the food and extensive wine selections. (His favorite dish is the Jambalaya!)

My guest and I were fortunate to speak extensively with the owner, Jessica, who after having much success with her growing catering company, Jessica’s Cucina, opened the kitchen area for a more spacious work area. Bortolotti’s Cin Cin naturally followed, and we’re so glad it did! While there, we discovered “Cin Cin” means “A toast to life” in Italian, and now having spoken with Jessica, heard her philosophy and tasted her food, can’t imagine a more fitting name.

When you spend time at Bortolotti’s Cin Cin, you know it’s different — in the best sense of the word. Jessica believes in using organic produce from local farms as much as possible, and has banned two things from her kitchen: a deep fryer and a microwave. Instead, there’s a focus on fresh ingredients and partnering with other area businesses to create a truly unique and authentic menu that’s far from the typical Italian American eatery. She also encourages guests to savor their time eating in her dining room, spending hours laughing and connecting over food and wine just as is customary in Italy.

We began our meal with Patatine Avocado (Avocado Crisps), fresh cut avocado sautéed in coconut oil and dipped in garlic bread crumbs. As avocado enthusiasts, my guest and I were curious about how this technique would affect the taste of one of our favorite foods. It was delicious! The dish was very light and crispy, and the familiar smooth texture of the avocado was perfectly intact.

Our second appetizer, the Bistecca Crostini (Steak Crostini), was crostini topped with cherry tomatoes, Italian parsley, cream cheese and chive spread, and marinated steak. The steak was incredibly tender and was complemented perfectly by the smooth and slightly sweet spread. The tomatoes were fresh, and the components together created a very satisfying dish. The Insalate Di Giardino (Garden Salad with shrimp) was colorful, fresh and delicious! Jessica chose their homemade Honey Balsamic dressing to accompany it, which brought the ideal amount of sweet to pair with vegetables like cucumber, bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower and more.

We then enjoyed the Coure Interrottore (Heart Breaker), which Jessica let us know won the 2017 People’s Choice award in the “Taste of the North” café/grill category. We can see why! This vegetarian dish combines artichokes, hearts of palm, roasted chickpeas, cilantro and onion in a creamy house dressing stuffed in pita bread. Flavorful but not overwhelming, the mixture in the toasted pita bread was just the right texture and lunch choice. Kettle chips were on the side and added great crunch and a salt component.

When the Panino Uovo (Egg Sandwich) — two farm fresh eggs, sautéed peppers, onions, tomatoes, arugula and cheddar — came out we were beginning to get full, but we stopped to ooh and ahh over how attractive it was (the presentation of all of the dishes was impeccable!). The sandwich was simple but done so well that we felt like we were eating something made exclusively for us.

I’m still thinking about our last entrée, the Basil and Sundried Tomato Chicken Breast, marinated in balsamic vinegar and olive oil, baked with a basil and sundried tomato rub. I’ve never had a more tender or melt-in-your-mouth chicken, and the flavor of the sundried tomato elevated it to a level that I can only describe as delectable. It came with roasted cauliflower, one of my favorite side dishes done just right.

My guest and I tried a lot of different items on the Bortolotti’s Cin Cin menu, but at the end, we realized we weren’t overly full, but delightfully so in a way that made us feel satisfied because we had eaten quality, thoughtful food. We were struck by the amount of vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free items on the menu. In fact, four of the six dishes we enjoyed fit into those categories, and we both remarked about how special it was to find such a restaurant in the area. We can’t wait to go back! 

While fall for many means football, sweaters and pumpkin spiced everything, it is also a time for you to re-evaluate how you are handling your skin care routine. You may have started to notice that your skin is becoming dry and you don’t understand why.

Dry air everywhere

The main reason fall is so harsh on your skin is because of the drop in humidity. In summer, the air is warm and moist keeping your skin moisturized without you even realizing it. Once the cooler air arrives, the humidity levels drop and you lose that natural moisturizer. On top of the dry air are the strong, cold winds. These winds can strip your skin of its natural barrier that keeps it from drying out. The dry air doesn’t stop the minute you walk into your home, though. Forced air coming from a furnace or fireplace also dries out the air in your home. Everywhere you go the air around you is causing your skin to dry out quickly.

Preventative measures can help

To protect your skin against the effects of dry air and harsh winds there are five preventative measures you can start doing today that will benefit your skin as the weather transitions into winter:

1. Break out the humidifier

Create your own humidity by using a humidifier. Humidifiers add more moisture into our homes, giving skin relief from the dry climate and increasing its hydration.

2. Wear proper clothing

It is best to cover up your skin during a cold, windy day with long sleeves, a hat and a scarf. Avoid fabrics like wool that can cause irritation.

3. Avoid hot showers

A hot shower always feels great after coming in from a cold day, but hot showers are very harsh on your skin. Hot water removes many of your skin’s natural oils promoting dry, itchy skin, and causing it to redden and become irritated.

4. Exfoliate less

Exfoliating the face and body is a must during fall as it removes dead skin cells and revitalizes our pores, but it is important to avoid over-exfoliating. Over-exfoliation can irritate and overstimulate the skin causing it to become dry and irritated.

5. Incorporate a heavy moisturizer and lip balm

In summer, the humidity in the air naturally keeps your skin and lips moist. While we experience moisture loss in fall, it is important to provide extra moisture by using a heavier moisturizer. Apply the moisturizer generously both morning and night, especially after a shower. Keep a small container with you to reapply throughout the day as needed. The cold air and harsh winds can also dry out your lips, causing them to crack. Regularly apply a sun protection factor (SPF) lip balm every morning and keep it handy to reapply throughout the day.

Allow your best skin to show during this upcoming holiday season. Follow these five preventative measures and you are on a great track for having healthy, glowing skin while the weather is at its coldest. 


If you are in your 20s, 30s or 40s, you might think your hormones won’t begin to change until you get close to age 50 or menopause. The average American woman reaches menopause (classically defined as a year without a period) around 51.2 years of age. You may not realize how well you feel today is strongly correlated to your hormone balance.

If you are experiencing fatigue, irritability, anxiety and insomnia, your provider may have told you these symptoms are not related to hormone imbalances because you are too young. You may also have asked your provider to check your thyroid levels or your blood count to make sure you are not anemic. If these tests came back normal, you may assume there is nothing else to be done to help you feel better. This is generally not the case, ladies! Please note! Hormone imbalances can affect you as significantly now as when you are your mother or grandmother’s age.

Unfortunately, younger and younger women are experiencing more symptoms of hormone imbalance today due to hectic lifestyles, high stress, and unhealthy diets and lifestyle choices.

Your hormone balance plays an important role in how you feel every day, in your overall health and in preventing premature disease. If your progesterone, estrogen and testosterone aren’t in balance you may experience many common symptoms: premenstrual syndrome (PMS), premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), polycystic ovarian syndrome, uterine fibroids, fibrocystic breasts or breast tenderness, belly fat, abdominal bloating, heavy bleeding, migraines, mood swings, irregular periods, fatigue, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, a decreasing sex drive and food cravings. If you feel like you are out of balance, eating a healthy diet and making simple lifestyle changes such as exercising regularly will definitely help. PMS symptoms can be managed with eating smaller, more wholesome meals (3 meals plus 3 snacks daily). Include in your diet lean sources of protein, legumes, foods with soy protein (unless you have a thyroid disorder), raw and leafy vegetables and fresh fruit, low fat milk, cheese and yogurt, whole grain breads, cereals, and pasta. Avoid food stressors such as refined sugars and fats, salty lunch meat, sausage, bacon, high fat cheeses such as brie, white bread, cake, cookies, jam, honey, molasses, high-salt snacks such as potato ships, caffeinated drinks, and alcohol.

You may also wish to consider having your hormone levels tested and the use of bioidentical hormones to alleviate symptoms. Using individualized dosing, bioidentical progesterone often helps women in their 20s, 30s and 40s feel better. Progesterone plays a vital role in helping many women feel calmer, less irritable and sleep more restfully.

What is progesterone?

Progesterone is one of three main female sex hormones in our bodies. It travels via the blood stream to trigger certain activities or changes in the body. Hormones work by binding to specialized areas of cells called receptor sites. There they start a chain of events in target cells or organs. For example, progesterone has been known to exert a calming effect in the brain, reducing anxiety. Each month progesterone prepares the uterine lining for pregnancy and progesterone levels rise after ovulation. Unless you become pregnant your progesterone levels then drop and this triggers menstruation. Progesterone also balances out the effects of other hormones in the body such as estrogen. When you have too much estrogen and not enough progesterone then you may experience many uncomfortable symptoms. This is often referred to as being “estrogen dominant,” a popular condition referenced in many books written about menopause but not an official medical diagnosis used in conventional medicine.

Is there a difference between “natural” or “bioidentical” progesterone and synthetic progesterone?

Progesterone is a hormone produced in your body. The term “natural” or “bioidentical” refers to progesterone that is chemically identical to the progesterone produced in a woman’s ovaries. Natural or bioidentical progesterone is produced from a plant source (Mexican wild yams or other plants) and is modified in a laboratory to become identical in chemical structure to human progesterone. Synthetic progesterone is called a progestin and does not have the same effects on various body receptors outside of the uterus. Many women today are choosing to take bioidentical hormones instead of synthetic hormones.

If you are not feeling your best, please seek appropriate answers and proper guidance for management of your hormone related symptoms and individual needs. Choose a knowledgeable provider who specializes in hormone care for women and is certified through the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) if possible. You may find a provider in your area listed online at or by contacting NAMS at 440-442-7550. 

The following is a question-and answer section with Russ, a male aerial arts student.

Tell us a little about yourself, Russ. What do you typically do for physical activity/strength training?

In the past I’ve done MMA, but more recently my primary activities were weight training, running, scenario paintball and jet skiing.

How were you introduced to the Co-ed Pole Strength and Hammock Fit classes?

My girlfriend is a longtime member of Aerial Dance, and Co-Ed Hammock classes started around the time we started dating. She knew that I enjoyed working out and staying in shape, so she suggested I go to class with her. Since I’m willing to try anything twice and I liked spending time with her, I agreed.

Before you tried these strength and conditioning classes, what were you anticipating?

I expected to get a good workout. Not necessarily a workout that keeps my heart rate up the whole time, but more tricks. I anticipated that it would be difficult to pull the moves off using my own bodyweight, but I wasn’t expecting the heavy focus on conditioning.

What was the most surprising aspect of the pole strength class you tried?

I was surprised to find that it was even more painful than I thought it would be on my skin. I was not desensitized to that type of activity at all. I naturally used my upper body a lot more than I should have due to not being prepared for the discomfort. For example, when we would do pole pumps, I would use only my upper body because it hurt to brace my leg on the pole, so I wasn’t able to work my legs in addition to my arms and shoulders. That’s getting better the more I do it and desensitize.

How about the hammock fit class?

I didn’t have a lot of surprises with hammock. Diane gave me a good idea of what to expect. I knew I’d be utilizing muscle groups that I hadn’t before, or at least for a very long time. I expected there to be some challenges with teaching me the moves and also the physical differences of teaching a man as opposed to a woman. I was not expecting the upside down and spinning portions to be as hard on my equilibrium as they were.

You and Diane are now going beyond the strength training classes and working on a doubles pole routine for the Christmas Show on Dec. 9. How is that going?

Couples lessons are going well! When we first started, we focused more on getting me up to speed on the pole basics, and now we’re moving into tricks, which is pretty exciting. Instructor Kelly is very enthusiastic about working with us, which makes it more fun, and is adapting moves to capitalize on my existing strength.

How does it compare to the pole strength class?

The lessons are a lot more fun and challenging. This is definitely what I was looking for from the beginning. Because of the way I’m used to exercising, it can be difficult taking what the instructor says and applying it to the pole. Watching a demonstration and hearing instructions is a very different thing when you’re upside down and spinning and trying to figure out where you’re supposed to put your hand. Not being able to do it repetitively is a challenge. You get more repetition of conditioning moves during a class and they are more familiar, where learning tricks takes more work to get into and I can’t do as many “reps.”

Other than getting to bond with your girlfriend, what is the coolest part of working on a doubles pole routine/aerial training?

The coolest part of working on a routine is getting to see what I’m actually capable of. I would see people do these cool tricks and moves and wonder if I was able to pull it off. Guess what? I am! I also like that when other instructors and students are in the room while we’re training, they get just as excited as we do and are always willing to lend a hand or suggest new things for us to try.

Some people might think, “Why are you not doing a ‘manly’ sport?” What would you say to that?

I don’t think that it’s not a manly sport. Pole definitely has a stigma attached to it, but when you show people or tell them about the moves that you’re pulling off, they understand the strength and skill required, and that you’re not trying out for Magic Mike 3. It’s just as empowering for men as it is for women.

What would you say to other men who are considering trying an apparatus in the aerial arts to work on strength, endurance or flexibility?

I would tell other men interested in aerial that they should definitely give it a try! It will challenge your body in ways that it hasn’t been challenged before. Aerial helps with body awareness and it will help you become more flexible. My best advice is that if you’re going to try pole, for God’s sake, shave your legs because sweaty hair does not stick. Do your homework. Look at what other pole athletes wear and recommend and draw from any experiences they’ve had that might help you. 

Susan’s* thoughts of ever living a normal life again were all but gone. Six weeks of physical therapy following a bad fall did not seem to provide the relief from pain that she was hoping for. Susan searched the internet for other alternatives where she first heard of the terms “Rolfer” and “Rolfing Structural Integration” (or Rolfing SI). In her research, she learned that Rolfing SI was a unique system of bodywork and movement education that, at times, could feel like deep tissue massage. But what was separating Rolfing SI from massage was the focus of manipulating fascia — the body-wide web of connective tissue that surrounds, supports and protects muscles, tendons, nerves, bones, and organs — to restore balance, alignment and optimum functioning to the body.

Due to the trauma of the fall, Susan experienced intense pain flares and had little pain tolerance. She felt that she was running out of options and so she decided to contact her area Rolfer to try a session. Susan had to admit that her first experience with Rolfing SI was overwhelming and left her wondering if this treatment method was a good fit. Nonetheless, she kept experiencing little victories. By her third Rolfing SI appointment, she was firmly convinced that the process was helping. Just weeks after her first session, Susan’s pain was greatly reduced. She had more stamina, resilience and was sleeping better. She made a commitment to complete the ten-session series.

The “Ten Series” of sessions is done through hands-on manual therapy and through perceptual exercises that serve to “rewire” movement patterns and reeducate muscles within the fascial web. The cumulative goal is to balance the back side of the body with the front side, left side of the body with the right side, top to bottom, and inside of the body with the outside. When shortened areas are lengthened and restrictions are worked out of the tissue, proper joint tension is restored and nerves are freed to move through the tissues of the body in a more fluid manner. Sitting, standing and moving about one’s world becomes easier.

By the time Susan went for what she thought would be her final appointment, she felt that she was functioning as though she never experienced the injury in the first place. It was then that she also realized she was getting benefits far beyond pain relief. Her years-long struggle with seasonal asthma also appeared to be responding positively to the bodywork as it relieved the straitjacket constrictioning around her ribs and freed up her breathing muscles. She wanted to test her theory and continue with monthly Rolfing SI “tune-up” sessions into autumn, which was her worst allergy season and usually ended up with a trip to the emergency room for rescue medications.

With the continued tune-ups, Susan was impressed that she could breathe much easier and deeper throughout her most sensitive time of the year. Her dependence on medications was also greatly reduced, and there was no need for ER visits. These improvements in Susan’s health opened up a different set of new possibilities and opportunities. Susan continues Rolfing SI maintenance on a regular tune-up schedule and continues to gain benefits from this unique bodywork process. 

*Name changed.

“What does it take to be healthy?” is the question I have been trying to answer for you in my articles over the last two years. I know that you may not always pick up Nature’s Pathways every month. That means that some of the articles I have written for you, you haven’t seen. Getting a subscription would be one way to make sure you get this excellent magazine every month.

Becoming and staying healthy has three basic components:

  1. What you eat
  2. How much you move
  3. How you think

These are all big subjects. I have been writing about what you should eat. Since I have been a diabetic for about 25 years, I have written about the proper diabetic diet. I have also written about weight loss as I had to lose 55 pounds and have kept it off. I know these have been helpful to you, but you can eat all the right foods and still not be as healthy as you can be.

The other two items on the list are equally as important to good health as a proper diet. If you do not move enough, the muscles and bones get weak as you age. How you think is important as well. If your thoughts are mostly negative and/or anxious, this has an impact on your well-being and health. People who have stomach issues often can overcome them by changing how they think. Your brain and stomach are connected and one affects the other.

I am very passionate about helping people get as healthy as they can be. I’ve asked myself: how I can address the articles you may have missed on the how you move and think part of the health and wellness equation? How can I answer any questions a reader has? Then it came to me. I can invite Nature’s Pathways readers of my articles to a monthly meeting. I will call it “Natural Expressions Health and Wellness Monthly Meeting” to be held on the third Sunday of the month at 1 p.m. Please email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you would like to attend. See the address in my bio. 

Your children are not your children

They are the sons and daughters of life’s longing for itself

They come through you but not from you

And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

—Kahlil Gibran, “On Children,” The Prophet

As a mother of two young boys, I try to remind myself of the above words daily. My youngest son was born with a chromosomal anomaly and his life has been filled with specialists, teachers, therapists and doctors of all kinds. Since his third birthday, he has been in a special education classroom with children whose needs are similar to his own. However, in the last six months, he has progressed so much developmentally that it was recommended he start kindergarten this fall in a regular education classroom. At first I resisted this. I felt he wasn’t socially ready for a less-insulated environment. Then over the summer, as I sat nervously watching as he introduced himself to child after child on the playground without a trace of fear or apprehension, I saw it was not him who wasn’t ready. It was me.

Through my spiritual practice, it has become second nature for me to honor the individual paths of those around me, understanding I have no way of knowing what is best for someone else. I love the freedom I feel by allowing others to be whom and what they are. Being the open space while listening to another talk through their circumstances and choices is a gift to both the listener and the speaker. It feels like love to be unattached to a particular outcome for someone.

Yet, this way of being can often elude me when it comes to the lives, choices and paths of my children. The world seems to tell us that “mother (or father) knows best” and while this can be true in many instances, it’s easy to forget that I do not always know what is best for my boys, even as young as they are. It would be nice to have a clear picture of the choices in a given day that should be mine versus theirs to make. Some are easy to discern and others, not so much.

The best way I find to navigate this is through the silent recognition of each of them as a brother of my soul. I try to find moments to look in their eyes and silently acknowledge the eternalness of their beings and their unbreakable connection to God. Similar to the way in the Yogic tradition one bows and says, “Namaste” — the Divine in me recognizes and greets the Divine in you — to another. When I do this, a space opens in me. I remember that just as I have been sent with a purpose and a plan to fulfill that purpose, so, too, have my boys.

I am thankful to have been the vessel through which they have come into being and so very glad to help guide them through the way of love, but I trust that it is not my job to decide everything for them. They are unique people and have come equipped from within with Spirit’s guidance. It’s my job to love and support them in learning to listen to that guidance toward independence. One way to do this is by finding a spiritual community in which they can learn and grow.

My family has found Unity of Appleton, where each Sunday we all say this beautiful affirmation together: “Unity of Appleton sees the divinity in all children and nurtures their unfolding spirituality.” The saying goes, “it takes a village” to raise a child. I would add it takes one to raise the child within too. I am nurtured through a spiritual community just as they are. In this loving, supportive environment we are encouraged to listen to the voice of the Spirit within and to walk with courage in the world. On Sept. 5, that’s what my son did as he stepped into his kindergarten classroom and what I did as I let him go. 

Many people begin holiday shopping before Thanksgiving, go all out on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, then continue shopping at a slightly less feverish pace for several more weeks. Searching for the perfect gift and great deals can be fun or stressful depending on how you approach it.

To make holiday shopping more satisfying, plan to give gifts that delight the receiver without breaking your budget. Here are some holiday shopping tips, plus a few suggestions on ways to enjoy the holidays.

To avoid post-holiday blues from ugly credit card bills and depleted bank accounts, set a limit on the total amount of money you want to spend on everything for the holidays. Then, determine how much you will spend in each of these categories:

  • Gifts, cash gifts and gift cards
  • Donations
  • Special meals, food and beverages
  • Decorations, cards, wrapping paper and postage/shipping

List all gifts and the spending limit on each person or gift. If you are buying clothes, write down the sizes so you minimize post-holiday gift returns.

Shop smart

If you don’t like fighting massive crowds, avoid in-person shopping during peak shopping hours. Mix in some online shopping. Comparison shop before you buy. Keep your shopping list with you. Check off gifts or names as you work through your list. If you find something wonderful that’s better than your original gift idea, go ahead and buy that instead. Be flexible on gifts, but stick to your target spending amount for each person.

Many people make better shopping choices, and stick to a spending limit more effectively, when they carry and use cash. So, try using cash or debit for all your bricks and mortar shopping, saving your credit cards for online shopping.

Set firm limits for your credit card spending and stick to them. Write down every credit card purchase, so you know how much you are spending.

Declare victory when you’re done

When you have bought something for everyone on your list, stop shopping. Congratulate yourself because you found some great deals! Declare this shopping season a success and move on to planning meals and activities with family or friends.

To make it easier to stop shopping, talk with your friends and family before the holidays. Set comfortable spending limits on gifts for each other, so that gift giving is not a burden for anyone.

While it’s fun to give and receive gifts, there are other rewarding ways to celebrate the holidays

  • Invite people to join you for a holiday meal
  • Ring a bell for the Salvation Army
  • Donate to St. Joe’s Food Pantry, Goodwill or another local charity
  • Help someone with holiday decorations or baking
  • Share a favorite play or performance
  • Surprise a friend with an encouraging gift

What do you enjoy most about the holidays? What are some of your fondest memories? Don’t feel that you must spend a gazillion dollars to show you care. Spend your time, money and energy doing what matters most to you. 


In my practice I have both chiropractic patients as well as nutrition/functional medicine patients. Often times with my nutritional/functional medicine patients we do specific lab testing to determine levels of certain vitamins, minerals and nutrients. If patients are not interested in getting a full nutritional work-up we often recommend the following nutrients to help provide a better picture of their overall health.

1. Vitamin D. As we live in a northern climate where the sun doesn’t shine consistently, adequate levels of vitamin D are important. We get vitamin D from the sun, which is absorbed through our skin. Vitamin D is helpful in reducing our aches and pains and helps boost our immune system. It also helps reduce anxiety and depression. One local lab uses the range of 30-100 to measure this important vitamin with the sweet spot being 60-80 in nutrition circles. We can get 15 to 20,000 IU in 20 minutes of sunshine without sunscreen. Populations north of Atlanta, Georgia frequently suffer from vitamin D deficiency. With the increased use of sunscreen, we block this important vitamin and therefore supplementation can be quite important. Nursing mothers are also encouraged to supplement with vitamin D for their infant.

2. Magnesium. Magnesium is an important mineral and is involved in over 300 biochemical processes in the body. It can be effective as an anti-inflammatory, muscle relaxer and can promote better sleep. It is found in green leafy vegetables, but unfortunately most Americans do not consume enough leafy greens. There are different forms of magnesium to consider. If one suffers from constipation, magnesium citrate can be of benefit. Otherwise magnesium glycinate or magnesium lactate is a good form if constipation is not an issue. Traditionally 200 - 400 mg in divided doses can be effective. Magnesium can also aid in the reduction of migraine headaches but the dose is typically higher. There are several forms, including a liquid form for patients who do not like to swallow tablets. Coffee drinkers are often deficient in this mineral as it can be depleted with increased consumption. The best test to evaluate adequate levels of magnesium is a red blood cell magnesium blood test. I also like this mineral for my athlete patients. People who experience muscle cramps might also notice some relief with this wonderful mineral. Epsom salts also contain magnesium. One to two cups per bath with a drop or two of an essential oil like lavendar can make for a better night’s sleep.

3. Probiotics. There has been increasing interest in probiotics for improved gut health. There are over 100 trillion bacteria in the gut — some good and some bad. There are many brands on the market. I prefer the refrigerated probiotics and suggest products in the billions. I will often rotate various types with my patients. If a patient doesn’t do well on a probiotic they may suffer from small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), which I discussed in a previous article. A stool analysis can also give a snapshot of the microbiome to evaluate both diversity and abundance of bacteria.

4. Fish oil. Fish oil has many benefits and has an anti-inflammatory effect. It is important to get good fats in the diet and supplementation with various fish oils can be of benefit. A recommended dose is 1-3 grams a day. I also like to rotate fish oils every couple months. Fish oil is important for brain health and is also an anti-inflammatory for joint health.

If you are not feeling as good as you would like, you may be inflamed or have certain vitamin or nutritional deficiencies. We are happy to help you evaluate your nutritional needs. 

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