Optimal Living YYJ

Do You Need Fertility Support?

Author: Dr. Angeli Chitale, BSc ND

The Fertility Diet

The Fertility Diet is based on solid scientific data from an eight-year study of more than 18,000 women – part of the landmark Nurses’ Health Study.  These guidelines are not only for couples seeking to improve IVF, GIFT, ICSI outcomes. It can be used by anyone who is trying to get pregnant now or in the future (such as with egg or embryo freezing). The Fertility Diet can work on its own or help augment assisted reproduction technologies.

Why Improve Pre-Conception Health?

  • Improves chances of a successful IVF, IUI, Embryo transfer or any reproductive technology.
  • Benefits the heart, bones, and rest of the body throughout pregnancy and after.
  • Offers a healthy start to a pregnancy for mother and child – which means less complications for child birth and delivery later.

To Improve Your Pre-Conception Health:

1: Avoid inflammation promoting trans-fats, the artery-clogging fats found in many commercial products (cookies, crackers, cereals) and fast foods (deep fried) because they impact hormone regulation in a negative way.

TIP: Use omega – 3 oils found in fish, flax, nuts and seeds instead to support hormone production.

2: Eat more vegetable protein to support the good bacteria which improve nutrient absorption, immune and reproductive health.  

TIP: Eat beans, nuts, legumes (50 % of protein). If they give you gas, consult a healthcare provider to have your bowel function improved.

3: Eat less animal protein which has pro-inflammatory arachidonic acid and saturated fat.

TIP: reduce 50% or less of your protein intake from animal sources.

4: Eat full fat dairy for the beneficial bacteria, calcium, magnesium and other minerals which feed the nervous system – and support reproductive system.

TIP: Have ½ cup of full-fat yogurt every day (with no sugar, no fruit)

5: Avoid “low fat dairy” this has a negative effect on insulin regulation – which interferes with ovarian hormone production in women seen in conditions such as PCOS.

TIP: trade in skim milk and low or no-fat dairy products for their full-fat versions by keeping a food intake log or diet diary

6: Get your body into the “fertility zone” for weight and  physical activity. Think of time in 3 month chunks and not month to month especially for those doing cycle monitoring and working with a fertility clinic.

TIP: Keep a physical activity log and monitor your interest in sex. For women, sexual interest heightens close to their ovulation time. Subtle cues such as buying new clothes, wearing more makeup, going to the spa, having your hair done, flirting, dressing more sexy are often related to ovulation hormonal fluctuations we are not conscious of.  

7: Express gratitude and uphold a positive mental attitude. Learn to manage stress levels in a healthy way through exercise, mindfulness, walking, socializing, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy is well studied for addressing and removing mental blocks between thinking, action and desired outcome.

TIP: Keep a thought record or diary reflect how much of your thoughts are rooted in real experiences vs. habitual reactions to situations

8: Get adequate rest – rather than limiting yourself to a number, ex. 7 or 8 hours, do what feels right for your body. Where there is no rest, there is no healing.

TIP: Relax and allow your nervous system recovery time rather than being “on” all the time. Practice sleep hygiene (low lights, quiet time, silent prayer, no media zone, use bedroom for rest and sex only)

9: Hydration: Are you someone who pees a lot when you drink more water? If so, you are not absorbing water. It is just going through you. Hydration is not drinking more water,  but making sure electrolytes get into cells. This depends on caffeine consumption, activity level, how much you sweat and your bowel health.

TIP: Add ½ tsp of himalayan salt to 1 L of water. Reduce caffeine to 200 mg per day or less (1 cup max) Avoid hard liquor (beer and wine is fine) max 1 per week.

10. Supportive Therapies: Consider massage for stress reduction and improved circulation throughout the body and in the reproductive organs.  Acupuncture can help with removing blockages to chi and balancing yin and yang energies in the body.

Reference: Jorge E. Chavarro, M.D., Walter Willett, M.D., and Patrick J. Skerrett

Do You Need Fertility Support?

There are many nutritional and lifestyle changes you can do on your own. Sometimes it can get too overwhelming and you may need the support of a trained and experienced Naturopathic Doctor to:

  1. Receive treatment for grief and the apparent emotional set-back of an unexpected loss.
  2. Identify food sensitivities and receive a framework and support for eliminating offending foods. Chronic inflammation interferes with hormone regulation. Many have had success simply by eliminating offending foods. Inflammation down = better hormone regulation.
  3. Have you been exposed to heavy metals? Heavy metals tend to be stored in the body fat after exposure. Heavy metal toxicity (lead, aluminum, arsenic, mercury, uranium etc) interferes with cell communication. It can also cause mineral deficiencies of essential minerals such as calcium, magnesium, zinc which are important for metabolic function and hormone regulation. Hair mineral analysis is the most effective way to find out.
  4. Have your adrenals, thyroid, estrogen, progesterone and testosterone levels and their metabolites checked. The best method is DUTCH hormone testing, which provides useful information on which pathways are blocked and not functioning optimally, leading to symptoms. DUTCH hormone testing pinpoints exactly which hormone supportive therapies will benefit you the most, taking the guesswork out of nutritional and herbal supplementation.

What about Men’s Health?

Lastly, New research shows us that men’s health (stress, diet, nutrition, hormone levels) are as important in conception as female health. A bird needs two wings to fly so to speak. Two of you are in this together, so optimizing your partners health gets you in 100%.  By working together, you can support healthy changes for each other.  

Dr Angeli Chitale is a Naturopath with additional training in hormone health with extensive experience with pre-conception treatments. Dr Chitale is now certified in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy or CBT. CBT is a psychological tool used to help people work through and change their hard-wired pattern of thinking, feeling, and action so it is aligned with what they want in life (their goals).

Want to find out more? Ask the expert on us! Book your FREE 15-min meet and greet appointment. Contact Pure Body Health: (778) 265-0043.

Dr Angeli Chitale BSc ND


Attune to Spring with Traditional Chinese Medicine

Melissa Hawboldt, Dr. TCM

Have you noticed any changes in your health and energy in the last month or so? Spring is in full bloom here in Victoria, BC. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) theory, each season has it’s own unique connection with all aspects of our wellbeing – mental, emotional and physical. Spring is associated with the Wood element, the East, wind, the colour green, and the Liver-Gallbladder system. The Earth’s, and our energy is moving up and out – bringing all sorts of things to the surface, from flower buds to skin rashes and old emotions. 

Emotional & Physical Balance 

Spring is associated with the emotion of anger. When the Qi (pronounced “chee”) or vital energy in our bodies is not moving smoothly, it can stagnate. This leads to feelings of frustration, irritability, and anger. When the Liver -Gallbladder system is out of balance you may also experience vivid dreams, depression, indigestion, sciatica, discomfort and tension around the ribcage and neck and shoulder area. 

To keep the Qi moving in your body, try brisk walks, shaking your arms and legs wildly for a minute or dancing to your favourite song. Acupuncture and cupping are also wonderful ways to get the Qi circulating, calm the mind, and relax body tension. 

The Liver-Gallbladder system is also connected to the eyes, and in turn, our vision for the future and our ability to gain a fresh perspective or outlook. Spring is an opportune time for journaling, goal setting, and creative pursuits. Spring is the season of movement, change, transformation, new beginnings and new ways of looking at the world. 

Eating for the Season 

Do you change your eating habits from season to season? According to TCM food therapy, for optimal health and wellness it is best align your food choices to your individual constitution and pattern first (you can talk to a TCM practitioner about this) and to the season second. 

The season of spring is traditionally a time to cleanse from a heavier winter diet. However, be cautious if you tend to have digestive problems. Raw, frozen, cold temperature and cold natured foods (such as fruit juices, cucumber, avocado and tomato) can weaken ‘digestive fire’ resulting in bloating, abdominal pain and loose stool. Ease into seasonal salads and smoothies if you tend to these symptoms. 

Time to transition from the slow and low cooking methods of winter and begin to use shorter cooking times and higher heat; poaching, blanching, steaming, sautéing and stir-frying are ideal. 

To give your Liver-Gallbladder system some love, avoid greasy, deep-fried foods, alcohol, peanuts, processed foods and limit your intake of dairy and spicy foods.

Foods that support and cleanse the Liver-Gallbladder system include: greens, sprouts, fennel, beets, carrots, onion, garlic, mushrooms, radishes, beans, quinoa, seaweed, blackstrap molasses, lemon, lime, plums, blackberries, raspberries, basil, sage, anise, nettles, turmeric, chamomile, and chrysanthemum herbal teas. 

Seasonal Allergies 

This is the time of year where I start to get my seasonal allergy patients back in clinic. Acupuncture, cupping and food therapy are used to reduce the frequency and severity of allergy symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, itchy and watery eyes, headaches, and a foggy head. 

Do you have allergies or are you prone to catching colds in the fall? This is an opportune time to get preventative treatment, as in TCM theory, it is best to treat seasonal issues two seasons before. 

Acupuncture, cupping and food therapy can be extremely helpful during seasonal and life transitions. If you have any questions please connect with the wonderful team of acupuncturists at Pure Body Health. 

In health and happiness, 

Melissa Hawboldt, Dr. TCM 

Correlations Between Stress and Physical Pain

Author: Sydney Crawford, RMT

Stress and Physical Pain 

Stress can manifest in many forms: such as hair loss, anxiety disorders, digestive issues, and muscular pain, something we’re all familiar with. In my clinical practice I’ve often seen patterns between emotional stress and physical pain.

When experiencing stress, our body’s nervous system fires up causing a cascade of internal events. A common example of this is clenching our jaw muscles, which can lead to headaches and stiff neck muscles. This is something most of us do without even noticing! Although we may not “feel” stressed, our nervous system can take longer to process emotions which can lead to undiagnosed pain that won’t go away.

This can be confusing for both the client and therapist as there isn’t an obvious physical impairment. As an RMT it’s our duty to provide care and find the best course of action for our client’s health. However, there are limitations to providing emotional support due to the nature of the therapeutic relationship, and this can sometimes be a barrier to helping our clients.  If you feel you are suffering from unremitting pain it may be worth trying the counselling route, or managing your pain through indirect therapies such as meditation and mindfulness.

 At Pure Body Health, we offer many services that indirectly manage stress both efficiently and effectively. One of which is a unique form of therapy that you may have never heard of before called Access Consciousness BARS®. The BARS® is described as, “gently touching points to release the electromagnetic charge of all thoughts, ideas, attitudes, decisions, and beliefs that may have limited you in the concerned life areas.” 

If you would like to learn more about Access Consciousness BARS®, please contact our Registered Acupuncturist, Diana Alvarez, who will be happy to share her experience and insights.

Adrenal Stress and Insomnia

Author: Dr. Angeli Chitale, ND

Adrenal Stress and Insomnia

If you frequently find yourself up waking up at 3-4 am, there may be a simple answer…you are stressed. Fortunately for most – there is a solution, but first we need to understand why you wake up.

Why Stress Causes You to Wake Up at 3-4 am

Stress causes the adrenal glands to fire off adrenaline and cortisol. Adrenaline gives you a burst of energy to deal with stressful situations (the well known “fight or flight” response. Adrenaline also raises the heart rate, increases respiration, dilates the pupils, slows down digestion and causes muscles to contract. It’s like caffeine on steroids!

A Common Concern for Many

Understandably, if you are stressed or upset it can be impossible to fall asleep, but why does it always wake you up at 3-4 am?  We are all goverend by the circadian rhythm (the day / night cycle set by the movement of the earth around the sun). According to Chinese Medicine 1- 3 am is when your liver regenerates. To do so, it needs glycogen (storage form of glucose). The problem is that adrenaline surges day and night cause your cells to use up glycogen. So if you are often stressed, your body may not have enough glycogen for the liver to regenerate at 3am. If your liver cannot get the glycogen it needs, your adrenal glands will compensate by releasing adrenalin, which is why you are wide awake and ready for action, not exactly a state you want to be in at 3am.

Chinese Medicine 24-Hour Organ Clock

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, our internal organs work to a 24 hour ‘clock’, with certain times of day being peak times for that organ. This is the time that the organ will carry out its most essential functions.

  • Large intestine: 5am-7am
  • Stomach: 7am-9am
  • Spleen: 9am-11am
  • Heart: 11am-1pm
  • Small Intestines: 1pm-3pm
  • Bladder: 3pm-5pm
  • Kidneys: 5pm-7pm
  • Circulation: 7pm-9pm
  • Endocrine system/pancreas: 9pm-11pm
  • Gallbladder: 11pm -1am
  • Liver: 1am-3am
  • Lungs: 3am-5am

I Don’t Want to Wake Up at 3am – An Easy, “Do It Yourself” Remedy

If you always wake up at 3am or have trouble sleeping, this simple home remedy  has changed peoples’ lives so why don’t you give it a try?

Adrenal Cocktail Recipe

  • ½ cup orange juice (freshly squeezed from ½ an orange)
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tarter (available at any grocery store)
  • ½ teaspoon Himalayan or Celtic salt (available at any grocery store)


Just mix all the ingredients and drink before bed or make a double batch and keep by your bedside.

*You may also do this in the morning to deal with stress throughout the day, but always be sure to drink it before bed as well.

The Science Behind it: Why The Adrenal Cocktail Stops You From Waking Up at 3am-4am

The Adrenal Cocktail is made up of ingredients that replenish vital organs (liver, pancreas, cell electrolyte balance) and stabilize glucose levels to keep you from waking up at 3am.

  • Freshly squeezed orange juice:  gives the liver glucose it needs to regenerate.
  • Cream of tartar:  High source of potassium, an essental element for maintaining the sodium/potassium balance in cells, vital organs (liver), muscles, nerves, and the digestive system.
  • Himalayan salt delivers 84 essential minerals and elements found in the human body, nourishing the adrenals and maintain the body’s sodium/potassium pump (inside each cell).

To get a better idea of whether or not you may have adrenal fatigue, take your FREE, mini Adrenal Fatigue Quiz HERE!


Ask the Expert on us! Book a FREE 15-min Meet & Greet Consultation with Dr. Angeli Chitale, ND, to find out how Naturopathic Medicine can Restore your Adrenal Function.

Call us at 778-265-0043 or email purebodyhealthvictoria@gmail.com

Essential Oils 101

Author: Sally McIntyre, Guest Blogger

When you first heard of the words essential oils, you might have thought of these products as either woo-woo or too intimidating to learn about. Whichever the case, essential oils are a form of alternative medicine that is backed by clinical and experimental scientific research.

What Are Essential Oils?

To put it in simple terms, essential oils are oils that have been extracted from plants via mechanical pressing (ex. cold-pressing) or steam/water distillation. What makes them “essential” is that they contain the “essence” of plant fragrances. Synthetic essential oils, on the other hand, are not considered true essential oils.

Why Use Essential Oils?

Essential oils are used to improve and maintain our physical, mental, and/or emotional wellness. They can aid in immune system and function support, respiratory system support, digestive health, free radical damage protection, cardiovascular system support, body detoxification, and nervous system support to name a few health benefits.

Recent research by doTERRA scientific experts have provided insight on the ability of essential oils to promote protective cellular responses, induce healthy structural remodelling, influence gene expression, and even the biological activity of essential oils in a human skin model.

How Are Essential Oils Used?

Essential oils can be used in three application methods: aromatically, topically, or internally.

AROMATIC— Diffusing essential oils is one of the most traditional and favoured ways to enjoy their aromatic benefits. A few drops of essential oils can either be diluted in water in a diffuser and, when diffused, a fine mist is dispersed, or put into your palms and then inhaled from cupped hands. This method of application has the power to purify the air around you and/or influence your mental, emotional, and physical body.

TOPICAL— The topical application of essential oils involves applying them directly onto your skin, or mixing them with carrier oils or other personal care products in order to safely penetrate your skin. Applying essential oils to the bottoms of your feet is a great way to get the oil into your body since the largest pores on your body reside there! This method of application is beneficial for soothing your mind and body.

INTERNAL— Ingesting essential oils may be involve adding them to a drink, cooking with them, placing a drop of essential oil under your tongue or on the roof of your mouth, or taking them in capsule form. This method of application can have a positive impact on the digestive, respiratory, and immune systems.

It is important to note that some essential oils cannot be applied in all three ways – some oils are only for topical use, while others are not digestible. So, when shopping for essential oils, take the time to learn whether the oil(s) in question support which method(s) of application.

Choosing the Right Essential Oils

While essential oils are widely known for their healing properties, it is important to emphasize their purity, quality and reputation.

Many essential oil producers claim that their oils are “pure”. However, terms like this, are not universally established due to the quality and composition of each brand of essential oils varying greatly. As a result, they hold very little weight.

One credible essential oil producer that we support is doTERRA. Without an accepted standard for essential oil quality, doTERRA created its own Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade (CPTG) testing process. The CPTG process certifies that there are no added fillers, synthetic ingredients, or harmful contaminants in their essential oils that would reduce their effectiveness. doTERRA also uses innovative research methods and cutting-edge simulation technology never previously used to investigate essential oils and their biological pathway.

At Pure Body Health, we carry doTERRA essential oils as well as our own homemade essential oil blends using doTERRA essential oils. When you’re in our wellness clinic next, don’t hesitate to ask our staff for information and advice on our essential oil products!

Ear Acupuncture – What?

Author: Diana Alvarez, R.Ac.

There are many ways to understand the body and your health, one of which is by using a microsystem. You might have heard of such approaches as foot or hand reflexology. Well, in Chinese Medicine, we use the microsystem of the ear as a representation of the whole body. The use of a microsystem allows each part of the body to be accessed with a corresponding point or area on an external part of the body – in this case, the ear.

Source: acu-clinic.com

Why the Ear?

The ear is directly connected to some of the 12 cranial nerves stemming from the brain, so it is quick to relay a message back to the brain and create a change. The ear also has a unique capacity (because it is such a thin membrane of tissue) to access and stimulate the nervous system. Specifically, the sympathetic nervous system, related to our “fight or flight” response, and the parasympathetic nervous system, related to calming responses. Yes, this is an intelligent sense organ!

How Is Ear Acupuncture Done?

To stimulate the ear point, an ear seed, magnet, or very thin acupuncture needle is placed in a specific spot which relates to the area of the body or internal organ function that needs to be addressed. There are 90 ear points listed that relate to limbs, head, bodily function and senses to treat conditions internally and externally. 

Source: gpcacupuncture.com

However, ear acupuncture is not just for physical pain. It also stimulates emotional and mental wellness, as one of the most common points used is to calm the mind and reduce anxiety and stress.

What Does It Help Treat?

Ear acupuncture is commonly used to treat sciatica, low back pain, OCD, smoking and other addictions, digestive disorders, brain trauma, chronic pain, hormonal conditions, migraines, insomnia, and depression. All of these conditions and more can be effectively assessed and treated when using the ear.

Modern Day Use of Ear Acupuncture

The United States is known for an approach called the NADA protocol. It is an ear acupuncture approach used for trauma, addiction and stress. The five points used in the ear immediately stimulate the body to shift from being on high alert to a less agitated state. It is widely put into practice in high stress aid relief situations. For example, after people have witnessed something traumatic such as an earthquake, where a whole community may be affected. Ear acupuncture is being used as a first aid response, and is a helpful way for those affected to find their way back to balance.

In Europe, Germany is especially well known for it’s research and use of Auricular Acupuncture (ear) to treat pain and break the pain feedback loop. Used by over 14,000 German physicians, it has been shown to work so well that body acupuncture is actually the less common approach used in Europe!

My Own Experiences With Ear Acupuncture

As an acupuncturist, I have seen ear acupuncture work well for anxiety, obsessive thinking, insomnia and depression. One of my clients who suffers from panic and racing thoughts was transformed in just one visit. His mind calmed down, his physical fidgets reduced and facial skin tone shifted. Seeing him for consecutive sessions really helped get him back to a more peaceful place.

Another client came to see me due to her stressful job and a lifetime of living with both depression and anxiety. After the session she looked rejuvenated, a quiet overcame her mind and her body, and she was no longer holding the tension she came in with. Ear acupuncture is a safe, effective and accessible approach and is being used all over the world with good results.

Come into Pure Body Health and book in with myself, Melissa or Brook and see what ear acupuncture can do for you! Hear hear to good health!

Your First RMT Visit, Demystified

Author: Barbara Wilkinson, RMT

As a registered massage therapist, my friends are often curious about what it’s like to come in for a treatment and what exactly to expect, so I’ve written up a guide that takes you through an initial visit with an RMT and how to get the most out of your visit.

  1. Fill out our required intake forms, including health history forms that allow your massage therapist to create a treatment plan specifically designed for you, as well as direct billing consent forms if you have coverage and want the wellness center to direct bill on your behalf.
  2. If your schedule allows it, take a shower or bath before your massage appointment (or call to book a sauna session) to relax your muscles a bit before coming in.
  3. Eat a light meal up to one hour before your massage. It can be difficult to lay face down if you’ve just had a large meal but have something in your system so you don’t feel light-headed after getting off the massage table.
  4. Show up a few minutes early to your appointment so you can drink some water, use our washroom facilities and make sure we have all of the information we need from you.
  5. Your RMT will greet you in the waiting room, introduce themselves and take you to their treatment room.
  6. Your RMT will review your health history form with you and ask questions to get a good idea of what you’re coming in for and how you can achieve your health goals together. This is a good time for you to ask questions too. If you are unsure of anything, from the necessary level of undress needed that day to how you’re to lay on the massage table, do not be afraid to ask for clarification!
  7. To begin your treatment, your therapist will undrape the area that they are to work on, one body part at a time to keep you warm and comfortable. Most often, your RMT will start the massage using light pressure and build up to a therapeutically comfortable depth at your discretion, checking in with you along the way in case some areas are more tender than others. You are in control of your session – you have the right to speak up if you want the depth, area treated or any aspect of the massage to change.
  8. When your appointment is nearing its end, your RMT will often ask if you want to learn any home-care techniques. These are specific stretches, exercises, or hydrotherapy techniques that are specifically chosen and adapted for your comfort and ability level to help you achieve a greater range of motion, decrease pain, or strengthen muscles in relation to our clinical findings that help you improve between treatments. Your therapist will ask you to get dressed so we can go over them together, leave the room and ask that you open the door when you’re ready to go over your home-care together. This is important so we can make sure you’re doing the prescribed activities properly, assess your ability and make amendments to ensure the best modifications for you, and go over your goals and treatment plan for future visits if necessary.
  9. Take it easy for a while after your massage. Take a few minutes at least to get yourself grounded, most folks feel a little sleepy or get an endorphin rush and feel woozy so feel free to have a glass of water and relax in the waiting room until you feel safe to drive or walk back home, or off to your next activity.
  10. One of our friendly receptionists will go through billing if you haven’t already and ask if you want to book another appointment. If your RMT suggested another modality such as acupuncture, the receptionist will be able to answer any questions you may have regarding those kinds of treatments and book your appointments at that time, or if you prefer, you can use our online booking system found on our website!

I hope this guide has been helpful!
If you have any questions or would like to book an RMT treatment, email us at purebodyhealthvictoria@gmail.com or call us at 778-265-0043!

What Brings You Back to Balance?

Author: Dr. Angeli Chitale, BSc ND 

When you are feeling good, in control of your life and the world is smiling back at you – you are in your happy zone. POP! Suddenly you realize you have missed an important meeting or deadline and the mountain overwhelm begins as your mind starts racing to lists, deadlines, meetings, and appointments looming for what seems like miles ahead. Time feels like it is shrinking and pausing is long forgotten.

How do you get back to balance?   

We all feel this way from time to time. It is important to recognize that most of our daily stress is mental – and for the most part, there is no immediate threat to our life. How we perceive what is going on and respond to it is what makes an event, person, or thing stressful or not stressful. Easier said than done, I know…but consider this:

We have the ability to create AND control our inner reality:

When we look within, and aknowledge our needs, we may find signposts on a roadmap to create a more balanced approach and perspective. We may notice we spend too much time in one zone (mental) and not enough in another (emotional or physical). By refocusing and prioritizing we can bring ourselves back to balance by reclaiming and nourishing neglected parts of our lives.

How important is it?

Simply put, stress is when the body and mind are not in balance with what is actually happening in the outer world. The impact of stress on health is well studied and documented. Research studies point to 4 areas where stress can contribute to illness:


The gut-brain connection is well recognized in medicine and research is pointing to the many ways stress interferes with digestive function. Bloating, gas, IBS, constipation, diarrhea, pancreatic insufficiency, nutritional deficiencies, blood sugar imbalances and chronic GI inflammation can all be symptoms of stress.

ND TIP:  Avoid eating too fast (chew each bite 30 times) and avoid foods which deliver a quick fix (sugar rush) and lead to an energy crash later (focus on good fats, proteins and fiber for lasting energy).  

Immune Health

Feeling run down or like you catch every bug that is going around?

Immune function can become depressed under stress. Stress decreases levels of the body’s natural antibody defense such as secretory IgA. Secretory IgA is produced by mucous membranes lining all the body’s openings to the outside world: our eyes, nasal passages, throat, lungs, skin, digestive and reproductive tracts all produce secretory IgA to protect these vulnerable areas from infection from the outside.

ND TIP: Many published studies have demonstrate taking vitamin A can boost secretory IgA levels

Pain and Inflammation: The root cause of the disease process…  

Stress and inflammation go hand in hand. Inflammation is the beginning of every disease process. Glucocorticoids are steroid hormones made by your adrenals.  Glucocorticoids are important because they work as natural anti-inflammatories. Studies have shown glucocorticoids are reduced in states of chronic stress experienced by caregivers. This reduction of glucocorticoids causes inflammation to go up in the body. And where there is inflammation, there is pain.  Pain from chronic injuries, myopathies and neuropathic pain, can all be addressed by treating inflammation and supporting adrenal gland recovery.

ND TIP: Support adrenal function during times of high stress and activity by taking extra Vitamin C and B-complex.  For Chronic Adrenal Stress: Many adaptogenic herbs help the body adapt to long term stress. Ashwaghandha (indian ginseng), Rhodiola, Eleutherococcus (siberian ginseng) are wonderful tonics to restore function of the adrenals.  

Depression and Anxiety

Serotonin the “feel good” neurotransmitter (brain chemical) has been widely researched. Did you know it is made in the digestive tract and then travels to the brain?  

Serotonin makes us feel content. Stress decreases blood flow to the digestive organs, slowing down digestion and serotonin production. Serotonin is not the only neurotransmitter affecting mood, but is the focus of many conventional medical treatments for both anxiety and depression through the prescription of anti-depressant and anti-anxiety medications such as SSRI’s and SNRI’s.

ND TIP: Restoring digestive health may help reduce anxiety and depression in succeptable individuals (Seasonal Affective Disorder, Depression, Anxiety, Insomnia) . The gut-brain connection and gut flora (good bacteria) is cited as a key factor in treating mood disorders in several studies. In other words, a good probiotic may improve your gut health as much as your mood!


We asked some team members at PBH what brings them back and here is what they had to say:


  1. Spending time outdoors in nature
  2. Music
  3. Connecting with people


  1. Working out
  2. Riding my motorbike for hours down a long road
  3. Sitting and relaxing with good food and good wine


  1. Hot Yoga
  2. Gardening
  3. Meditation and quiet time to reflect

So we want to hear from you – What brings you back to balance?

Here is a hint: it is likely something you really enjoy doing and feel good after doing it.

What You Can Do (Right Now) to reduce your stress and get back to balance:  

  • Meditate for 5 minutes (breath in for count of 7 sec count, hold for 4sec count, release for 8 sec count).
  • Take a 10 – 30 minute fast or slow walk.
  • Have a mini dance party to your favourite song.
  • Have a cup of nerve tonic herbal teas (lavender, peppermint, oatstraw, hops).
  • Eat a nourishing treat (ex dark chocolate, almonds, smoothie, bone broth immune tonic).
  • Make a list of all your accomplishments so far (today, or this week).
  • Take a nap!

How to Restore Your Health – Naturally:

Restoring balance is the key to preventing the downstream effects of illness. Illness can be triggered by stress, infection,  inherited tendancy / genetics, medications, wear and tear, accidents and surgeries.

Naturopathic Medicine focuses on health recovery, wellness and prevention. The naturopathic approach shares diagnostic tools with conventional medicine such as routine check ups, physical assessments and lab tests. Naturopathic treatments focus on a proactive approach to create a health management plan. Think of it as your roadmap to recovery! Natural and non-invasive methods are used to restore health such as diet, nutrition, homeopathy, herbal medicine, physical therapy, counselling and acupuncture.

Dr. Angeli Chitale is a Naturopathic Doctor and has been granted prescribing authority in BC for the prescription of medications. Dr Chitale takes a balanced approach to patient care using both conventional and naturopathic medicine with the understanding that the art of practice is getting the patient the right medicine at the right dose at the right time.

Questions? Ask the expert on us!  Book a FREE 15 min Meet and Greet consultation with Dr. Chitale.

The Inside Scoop on Our Infrared Sauna

Author: Abbie Hentges, Clinic Manager

I think the question I get asked most by people who are curious about using our sauna is: How is an infrared sauna different from a conventional sauna? That’s a good question!

The main difference is the way the heat is produced. In a conventional sauna, heat is created indirectly through convection (air currents) and conduction (direct contact of hot air with the skin) This is why some people (myself included) find it difficult to stay in a conventional sauna for long because breathing warm air can feel quite uncomfortable.

In infrared saunas less than 20% of the infrared energy heats the air leaving over 80% to be directly converted to heat within our bodies. As the body’s core temperature slowly rises, blood vessels dilate increasing blood flow. As heat from the blood moves toward the skin’s surface, the body’s nervous system sends signals to the sweat glands stimulating perspiration. This allows for a greater depth of heat penetration while the surrounding air remains at a relatively low temperature.

This difference explains the unprecedented health benefits of far infrared saunas not attainable with conventional saunas.

I am fortunate enough to have regular access to our sauna. I go on average 3 nights a week after work and it’s the perfect way to end my day. It’s just a quiet warm place for me to go where I can process my day, relax and unwind. I have found a 30 minute session to be my sweet spot, enough time to get a good sweat on but not so long that I feel restless or bored.

I had never used an infrared sauna before I started working at Pure Body Health but I had heard good things about them from friends. I definitely notice a difference in how I feel after using the sauna. I think the word serene most accurately describes my experience. I feel calm and clear and a tangible increase in well being.

Here’s what some of our regulars have to say:

I wanted to try it out because I had read it would be good for my health. I have tried regular saunas before but found the hot dry air hard to breathe. I like the  infrared sauna because it gives a good heat and I sweat a lot. I also enjoy the sauna because it gives me a quiet moment in my day.” – Robert

I am a major infrared sauna fan, I come at least 4 times a week. I definitely notice if I don’t come for a while. The sauna is my hot box, I actually work in there! It’s a space of hyper focus for me, a clarity spot for my day. It’s great for my skin and I feel revitalized afterwards. Regular sauna use allows me to stay focused and on top of my game. I have found the sauna to be one of my keys to wellness and managing stress. I love the lights and find them very therapeutic.” – Sasha

Intrigued? Book your first infrared sauna session with us today!

Facial Acupuncture: The Answer to Healthy, Glowing Skin

Author: Brook Paulin, R.TCM.P

Are you looking for support in maintaining or reclaiming a vital and radiant appearance? Perhaps you’re already taking steps to live a healthy life and are seeking some assistance in making those efforts manifest outwardly in your physical appearance, to glow from the inside out? You may have heard that acupuncture can be applied as a cosmetic procedure without the risk of toxic chemicals or having to go under the knife, but you might also be wondering how it works, or if it will be effective for you?

It’s no secret that a healthy mind and body is a beautiful thing. Your natural beauty is something that you can harness when you take care of your body and allow your inner radiance to shine through. So, how can facial rejuvenation acupuncture help?

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the state of the physical health, emotions, and spirit is reflected on the skin of the face. You look your best because your internal health is reflected on your face. Cosmetic Acupuncture is an exciting alternative to plastic surgery and potentially unhealthy ‘non-invasive’ techniques, because it not only focuses on the face but on the whole body as well.

What cosmetic results might people expect from Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture?

  • Improvement in the fine lines and tone of the face.
  • Diminishing effect on deeper wrinkles by relaxing facial muscle tension.
  • Moisturized, radiant, and softer skin.
  • Improved muscle tone and firmer jaw line, as well as reduction in the beginning of jowls.
  • Reduction or elimination of rosacea and acne and scar tissue.
  • Brighter and clearer eyes.
  • Diminishes and improves the presence of deep winkles and puffiness.

General Health Benefits include:

  • Relaxation and Overall Well-being.
  • Improved Sleep and increased energy.
  • Reduction of Hot flashes and Night sweats
  • Reduced Depression and Mild Anxiety.
  • Benefit to Digestive Symptoms.
  • Pain relief.

How Does it Work?

Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture utilizes a needling technique that is very superficial. The needling brings increased Qi and blood to the face and can improve or increase the production of collagen and elastin. Since this system is based in Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupuncture points on the body are also selected based on your unique presentation to address underlying imbalances and complete the balancing of energy. This results in an overall rejuvenating effect of body, mind, and spirit.

There are two beneficial aspects to this treatment. One is a “root” treatment, which regulates the flow of energy (qi) and removes blockages in the meridians (channels of qi and blood) to improve overall health and restore balance to the body. This constitutional treatment addresses underlying causes, like digestive problems, hormonal imbalance and emotional stress, which become reflected in the face. The other is a local treatment, which directly affects facial appearance. Since many of the meridians begin or end on the face, there is an increase in circulation of blood, lymph and qi to the face that aids in moistening and creating a radiant colour and glow to the skin.

What is the recommended treatment frequency?

Recommended treatment frequency involves 2 treatments per week spaced 2 days apart for a series of 10 cumulative treatments, followed by maintenance appointments that are scheduled every 2 – 4 weeks to optimize results. Commitment to adequate and regular treatments is very important as the matrix of collagen and elastin takes 4 weeks to become fixed.

Since each individual is unique, the response to treatment will vary depending on your age and lifestyle. Generally, results are noticeable after 6-7 sessions, although a radiant complexion and brightness in the eyes may be seen after the first treatment. The recommended course of treatment is 10 sessions, and should be done 2 times a week. A treatment lasts about 90 minutes.

Book a free consultation to find out if Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture is right for you!