The Naturopathic Model of Chronic Illness

Normal health is interfered with by a disturbing factor which the body then responds to (ex. inflammation, fever, etc.)  The disturbing factor can be emotional, physical or spiritual AND the response can also be manifested on those different planes as well.  Chronic illness arises when any or all of the following factors occur:
1. The disturbing factor persists (ex. bad lifestyle habits such as poor diet, sleep, bad relationship) which continues to burden the body cumulatively.
2.  The body’s natural reactive mechanism is blocked or suppressed, usually by drugs, which interferes with the capacity of the body to process and remove its disturbances.
3.  The vitality of the system is insufficient or has become too overwhelmed to mount a significant and sufficient healing reaction.

As these factors persist the body slides into a chronic, weakened state.  The body is ALWAYS making the wisest choice each moment given the information and resources it has.  Ultimately as this condition persists the body becomes ulcerated or scarred.  (Once again these could be emotional and spiritual scars as well).  Reversal of this situation is rarely accomplished by medicating the pathological state which often mitigates or controls the situation but does not result in true healing.  Hence the Naturopathic approach which is a philosophy of looking at this as a process and analyzing and reducing the disturbing factors, supporting the body in its healing process and rebuilding the vitality.

Rethinking Receipts

By Jessica Bernardy, ECN Intern

Receipts seem harmless enough. A little piece of paper telling you what you bought, how much you spent, etc. However, recent pilot study at Harvard showed evidence that handling receipts can increase your blood levels of harmful chemicals. Some types of receipts, thermal receipts, contain high amounts of bisphenol A (BPA). BPA is part of a class of pollutants we refer to as POP’s, or persistent organic pollutants. They are persistent in our bodies and in our environment. BPA in the body has been linked to an increased risk of diabetes, some cancers, cardiovascular disease, reproductive and brain abnormalities. In the study, while the levels did increase by 300%, the increase in BPA while handling receipts was not at dangerous levels, being 1/7th what you would get from eating soup from a can.  However, all of our exposures to POP’s are additive, in our bodies and in the environment. It makes us at ECC think how we can avoid excess BPA when possible.

How do you tell if your receipt is printed on thermal paper? It has a sheen to it and when scratched on a hard surface will leave a black mark.

Here at Emerald City Clinic we are looking into ways to get away from handling these thermal receipts. If you don’t need your receipts to balance accounts, say no when asked if you want your receipt. Thermal paper is also found in airline boarding passes, tickets for movies, sporting events, and amusement parks tickets. Many smart phones have the ability to store these tickets in digital form, allowing us to avoid touching the thermal paper copy. We recommend that if you will be handling receipts for extended amounts of time, like when balancing bank accounts or if you work as a check out clerk, that you wear nitrile gloves.

There are things that the Doctors at ECN can recommend to help your body process and excrete BPA. Make an appointment to find out more.


The Grocery Dilemma: Some tips from Dr. Erin Westaway on how to shop healthy!


  1. Shop around the perimeter of the grocery store.  This is where you’ll find whole foods that are less processed and contain fewer chemical additives.
  2. If an ingredient was never alive you might not want to eat it as it’s not actually a food.  A general rule here is that if you don’t know what it is or what living thing it came from, don’t eat it.  This includes food dyes, preservatives, artificial sweeteners, etc.
  3. If you can’t pronounce it, you might not want to eat it either (quinoa is the exception here J).
  4. If you’ve never read ingredient labels regularly, you will be shocked at how many foods have sugar added.  Assume there is added sugar unless you’ve checked.
  5. When buying animal products, buy grass fed or organic whenever possible.  This is probably generally more important than organic produce if you have to choose.
  6. When possible buy organic produce, but if you can’t, pay attention to the Dirty Dozen list to see which produce is most important to buy organic. www.ewg.org
  7. If you can, buying local seasonal food is also a really great way to increase the nutritional value of your diet, support your local economy, and decrease your negative impact on the environment.
  8. Keep in mind that your food is your first medicine and that the quality of what you put in your body will be directly reflected in the health and quality of each of your cells.

Are You Exhausting Yourself Unnecessarily?

By Dr. Erin Westaway

Try this.  Close your eyes.  Check in with your body.  Notice your back, your abdomen, your face, your neck, your knees.  Note anywhere where you are holding your muscles.  Notice where your breath feels tight or difficult.  Now think of a situation that stresses you out.  Did you tense those areas more?  Did you tense new areas?  Playing with this simple exercise is one way you can start to identify where you are losing energy through the day. 

Many of us hold muscles unnecessarily all the time.  We do it instinctively, usually when we are trying to protect ourselves from something real or imagined.  We do it even when we don’t realize we’re doing it; even when we’re not conscious of being under stress or feeling anxious.  It turns out that holding those muscles doesn’t actually tend to protect us from most of the situations we do it in.  It doesn’t even make those muscles nice and toned.  It mostly just compresses, shutting off the flow of blood, breath, and energy through our bodies and to our vital organs.  It sends more signals to our brain that we should be stressed or anxious.  It’s pretty much just a literal waste of energy.  Imagine what you could do with all the energy that goes into holding those muscles all day long!

Building awareness is part of breaking the patterns of how we lose our energy.  We can’t change the pattern if we don’t know it’s there.  You can work with simple exercises like this at home.  In person bodywork and biofeedback can also be a nice complement to help you become more aware of patterns you can’t even see yet.

Supplement Blow Out Sale!

Looking for great deals on supplements for your daily life? Need some extra immune support to keep those pesky flu bugs away? Did you know that every quarter, the Emerald City Doctors and I look through our pharmacy to find expired or expiring products that are still holding their potency to put on our sale shelf? Our sale shelf provides quality vitamins to our patients at an extremely reduced price of 50% off!

Dr. Molly and I went through our pharmacy at the beginning of this month to clean out and start fresh for the New Year. This means there are a whole bunch of supplements on our sale shelf that have been approved to still have efficacy and they are being sold at practitioner pricing. Come check out what we have to offer and stock up for the upcoming year!

Of course, if you have any questions or concerns please make your doctor aware via email or a quick note with our lovely Front Desk staff.

In health,

Chelsea Kern, Pharmacy Coordinator and Medical Administrator

Currently on Sale!

Medibulk Fiber $8.15
Priority Skin Clear Topical Acne Medication $13.65
Lumina DHA EPA $34.81
Spectrum 2C Multiple w/ iron $21.75
Cranberry concentrate For UTI $17.20
Tri-Spartate Minerals $5.35
B Complex #1 B Complex for headache prone client $7.00
Kinder Well Immune response $7.90
Diosmin-HMC Bioflavonoids (similar to quercitin) $9.10
PolyResveratrol-SR X $22.70
I Comp Eye health $12.25
Laktoferrin Immune support X $14.50
Perfusia SR Argenine/for energy $17.55
D-Hist JR Herbal antihistamine $8.55
Cardio Response Whole food hypertension medication X $28.48
Kinder Clear Immune support for children $7.50
Ligusticum porteri Antiviral/Lungs/Osha $5.30
Peppermint Gels Reflux treatment $9.50
Euphrasia Complex Conjunctivitis antiviral treatment $13.50
Boron Picolinate Osteoporosis X $4.25
Elder Eyebright Formula Anti Viral for children $5.38
Cat’s Claw STRONG anti microbial X $13.20
Bio-Multi Plus Whole food multivitamin $11.75

Healthy Breast Month: A More Positive Spin

It has been exactly a year since I returned to work and it seems appropriate that I comment on “Breast Cancer Awareness Month.”  My first line of business:  Lets rename it “Healthy Breast Month!”   The breasts are organs that really react to hormones as much as, if not more so, than the organs in our bodies. They have so many estrogen and progesterone receptors that unhealthy breasts are really the first sign of hormonal imbalance.   That being said, anything that will optimize our hormones will help our breasts.  

Secondly, because so many toxins in our world are made up of endocrine disruptors, I believe that they are a main factor in why breast cancer and  imbalanced breast health are so rampant.   There are ways we can protect ourselves! Besides Dr. Molly’s 5 Point Health Plan, which is designed to support our adrenal glands and therefore balance hormones, the most important things for good breast health are:

a.  Vitamin D blood levels in the 50-70

b.  Good balance of iodine  (eat your CLEAN seaweed)

c.  Good sleep

d.  20 minutes of exercise/day

We are offering thermographies monthly at Emerald City Clinic as one tool to help understand your breast health, along with an overall assessment of inflammation in your whole body.  If you mention you read this blog, we will offer 10% off your fee when scheduling either an appointment to discuss your results OR the thermography itself. (See more about these thermographies in my latest newsletter article: Summer Newsletter 2013.

The best screening test still remains the breast self exam.  Please KNOW your breast tissue and any changes that occur.

In celebration of “Healthy Breast Month”  submitted my Molly Niedermeyer, ND