Laughter Really Is The Best Medicine

We already know that laughter makes us feel good. New findings suggest it might also make us feel well. Promising tidbits of research show that laughter stimulates a multitude of systems in the body, with both immediate and lasting effects. “The use of laughter is really helping to re-optimize and retune mechanisms in the body,” according to Lee S. Berk, DrPH, a professor and associate dean of research affairs in the School of Allied Health Professions at Loma Linda University. Laughter, he says, is a positive stress event for the body, similar to exercise or listening to music. And the benefits kick in regardless of the way you laugh, whether it’s a stifled giggle or cackle. Here’s what else you need to know about it:

1. It improves memory

Laughter’s effects start with the brain, where it does nothing short of altering your brain waves. Research shows that having a good laugh enhances an even higher frequency, gamma, which is associated with the highest levels of cognitive processing, including memory and recall.

2. It strengthens the immune system

Laughter undoes some of the damage wrought by a stressful lifestyle. During a negative stress event, the adrenal glands secrete cortisol, a hormone that helps put sugar in the muscles (so you can run faster). However, cortisol also suppresses the immune system. A person experiencing chronic stress is continually releasing cortisol and epinephrine, so the individual’s immune system fights all diseases, from colds to cancer, less effectively. Laughter may help bring the cortisol level back in line so the immune system can function well again.

3. It relieves pain
At the same time, it changes the cortisol levels, laughter stimulates the release of endorphins in the brain. You have probably heard of endorphins in the context of exercise, but laughter creates them, too. They are the body’s own morphine. Indeed, we have our own apothecary within us!

4. It makes us happy
You need only look to your personal observations to confirm laughter’s power here. Do you ever have a good laugh and say, “Wow I feel more stressed”? Happiness is a variable as important to your health as any other measured variable. Many diseases are caused or made worse by stress and depression; laughter may be the antidote.

5. It mimics light exercise (even though it doesn’t replace it).

While laughter utilizes some of the same mechanisms as light exercise, it’s no substitute for a workout. There is some caloric loss on laughter, but don’t base your weight-loss program around it.

The bottom line:
Laugh more until we have a good reason not to. Vibrant Health of Colorado prides itself in promoting a happy, vibrant life to our patients. We offer 15-minute complimentary consultations to new patients. Schedule with us today by calling 303-730-2229 or online here.

What Type of Holistic Medicine is Right for YOU?

In the past few years, several different methods of practicing medicine have appeared on the horizon. You may have heard of them, and you’re interested in a more comprehensive approach to your healthcare, but maybe you don’t know where to begin or what type of practitioner to see. Functional medicine, integrative medicine, holistic care, naturopathy, homeopathy…are they all the same? If they are different, how do they differ? If you’re confused, you’re definitely NOT alone. Let’s break it down!

Functional medicine is using a biology-based (i.e. rooted in science) approach to look for root causes of illness. In this field, providers search, system by system, for potential triggers of a symptom. For example, if a patient comes in feeling depressed, instead of automatically prescribing an antidepressant, the provider will offer a deeper workup looking for drivers of inflammation that can CAUSE one to feel depressed (like poor diet, food sensitivities, an imbalanced gut, or chronic stress). The goal is to restore balance and functionality to the body as opposed to the band-aid approach of covering symptoms.

Integrative medicine essentially means combining different treatment modalities to support the whole health of the person. Often, this will require multiple practitioners. For example, someone with fibromyalgia would benefit from a functional medicine practitioner to search for a root cause of symptoms, a massage therapist to soothe muscle pain, a physical therapist to learn appropriate exercise for the condition, and a therapist to work through past trauma and cope with having a chronic disease. “Holistic medicine” is essentially the same as integrative medicine and is exactly as it sounds- taking a whole view of a patient to offer the most appropriate treatment.

Naturopathic medicine is a specific type of training that requires a doctoral degree in naturopathy. These practitioners are taught to use natural treatments, like dietary changes, herbal remedies, fasting, saunas, and many more. Some are able to prescribe medications, but most choose not to as the first line of treatment, again opting for more natural solutions.

Finally, homeopathy is a type of natural medicine that uses specific remedies targeted for specific symptoms, using the “like treats like” approach to bring balance to the body with the smallest effective dose possible. For example, the remedy Coffea cruda is used to help with insomnia, which seems counterintuitive- something that sounds like coffee helps with sleep? This is where the “like treats like” principle comes in- very small doses of the poison actually train the body to heal itself.

There is of course quite a bit of overlap in all of these treatment modalities, and there’s no wrong answer when choosing a direction to improve your health because all treatments discussed here will help you on your path to wellness. We at Vibrant Health of Colorado have extensive experience and training in functional medicine specifically and have developed a community of providers that we refer to when further treatments, like acupuncture, are necessary to be able to provide a holistic health plan for our patients. All of our providers here truly enjoy digging for root causes of illness- poor nutrition, food sensitivity, hormone imbalance, gut disruption, adrenal imbalance/chronic fatigue, chronic infections, and more. Though this is what we are passionate about, conventional medicine and pharmaceuticals have their place. We prescribe pharmaceuticals when they make sense and when they would improve quality of life, because the ultimate goal for YOU is to be able to live the most vibrant life possible, and for US to help you achieve it. For example, that patient with depression from earlier may need medication as part of their treatment plan, either temporarily or long term to achieve their best health, and that’s okay!

The bottom line is that personalized medicine is the way of the future, and there are multiple modalities to help you dig deeper to determine why you’re not feeling the way you’d like to feel. We would love to help!

Vibrant Health of Colorado is now offering Primary Care services. Primary care includes all of the following:
-Routine physicals
-Acute illnesses, like upper respiratory infections or urinary tract infections
-Injuries, like a back spasm or knee/ankle twist
-Management of chronic conditions, like hypertension, diabetes, or depression
-Medication management/adjustments/refills

Call us at 303-730-2229 or book your complimentary consultation online today. We look forward to helping you live a more Vibrant Life!

Spread Knowledge, Not Germs: The War Against Coronavirus

We are in uncharted territory. COVID-19 has disrupted the entire world, and it is affecting all of us, in every aspect of our lives. This virus has declared war on us, and we seem to be frozen in our tracks. It’s time to turn the tide. It’s time for us to attack this virus. Unlike us, this virus possesses no brain, no heart, nor common sense. Let’s use our brain, heart and common sense and beat this virus quickly.

We need to fight this virus everywhere we can and all together – both inside and outside of our bodies. We must slow its spread to better protect ourselves, our communities, our healthcare systems and, last but not least, our economy. We must be strong. And, we need to try everything we can – NOW.

We need to attack this virus in three ways:

1. Fight the Virus Outside of a Host
The virus may be living on surfaces around you, including your home or office. Now is the time for every one of us to unite as sanitizing soldiers, laser-focused on reducing or eliminating this virus on everything around us.

• Be a sanitizing soldier
Take precautions with everything you do and everywhere you go to kill the virus on surface areas. Carry disinfectant wipes or wash rags with you, and adopt the mindset to wipe down everything before and after you touch it. This also helps protect those who might encounter a space after you. A washcloth with soap and water, alcohol, Clorox, or any combination of these has been suggested to be effective.

• Wash your hands, often and even obsessively, with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
If 100 million of us do these things, it’s possible that we could eliminate a large number of these viruses that still may be alive outside of a host. These solutions are not absolute or perfect, but they can reduce the number of cases. All of us are responsible for flattening the curve of the spread of this virus by these measures or any additional measures suggested by world health organizations.

2. Fight the Virus from the Inside Out
Once the virus enters the body, it will first hide and replicate. This can take days and it is likely that we are very contagious before we are even aware of any symptoms. An EARLY, AGGRESSIVE FIGHT against this virus or any other cold or flu virus is CRITICAL. We must throw everything and the kitchen sink at this immediately. The moment you have any symptoms associated with any cold, flu or COVID-19 (it really doesn’t matter), you need to act.

◦ Hydrate. Once again, drink plenty of fluids:
◦ Warm water
◦ Hot ginger tea with honey
◦ Warm broth soups with healthy ingredients
◦ Other warm liquids you prefer

This will help replenish nutrients and flush impurities from the body.

• Rest. Your body is stronger when it’s rested. It needs plenty of sleep so its systems can fight illness.
• Stay Active and move. Ensure you are remaining physically active to help boost your immune function.
• Don’t Panic. Panic will cause stress, which can break down your immune system.
• Stay home. If you’re ill, isolate yourself, schedule a virtual consult with us.
• Practice good nutrition habits: eat mostly whole, fresh foods, high in protein and micronutrients.
• Continue taking additional vitamins, micronutrients, and supplements to support immunity.

3. Precautions
From what we know thus far, we can have this virus for several days with no symptoms – and this is when you are highly contagious. Therefore, assume you have the virus and take all the actions mentioned above. Do it as a precautionary approach on a daily basis. Following the remedies above is healthy, may make you feel good and just might eliminate the virus before you would ever even know you had it. You just may have stopped it in its tracks.

Don’t be overwhelmed. Be aggressive. Be vigilant. Be committed. We will win the war against this virus. We have common sense. We have wisdom. We have heart, and we are resilient. Worldwide, we have amazing scientists. They will very soon map out exactly how we can better protect ourselves against this virus even before drugs or a vaccine are available. Until then, we have to try what we can, learn and share. Each person’s ability to have an impact on this is powerful. It’s not just what others do. Each of us has an important role to play.

Vibrant Health of Colorado is committed to doing all we can to provide the best care and information possible. if you have any questions, feel free to call the office at 303-730-2229. We also offer virtual consultations, call our office to schedule yours today.

The Truth Behind Undiagnosed Hypothyroidism

Research shows that hypothyroidism affects one in five woman and one in ten men. Unfortunately, in over half of these cases it goes undiagnosed.

Hypothroidism means that the thyroid gland can’t make enough thyroid hormone to keep the body running normally. People are hypothyroid if they have too little thyroid hormone in the blood.

Hypothyroidism may not cause noticeable symptoms in the early stages. Over time, untreated hypothyroidism can cause a number of health problems, such as obesity, joint pain, infertility and heart disease.

Many things contribute to these imbalances. For example, a common cause of hypothyroidism is gluten intolerance. Other major contributors that interfere with thyroid function include pesticides and heavy metals. Nutrient deficiencies can also slow things down. Your thyroid needs specific nutrients to run optimally including selenium, zinc, iodine and omega 3 fats. Understanding nutrients alone can make you feel like you need a chemistry degree! On top of that, most doctors don’t test for thyroid function correctly. Even when they do diagnose it, they don’t treat it effectively by optimizing thyroid function through diet, supplements and the right thyroid hormone replacement therapy.

That’s unfortunate, since thyroid function plays a vital role in maintaining a healthy weight, and hypothyroid is a major player in weight-loss resistance.

If you think you may be suffering from hypothyroidism come see us! At Vibrant Health of Colorado we can help you understand supplements, proper diet and make sure get the right tests.

If you want to learn more about how functional medicine is the best way to improve your health, call today 303-730-229 and schedule your appointment with one of our providers at Vibrant Health Colorado.

What is Functional Medicine Anyway?

What is Functional Medicine Anyway?

There’s a growing trend in society to learn more about substances like gluten. Behind this growing popularity is a group of doctors who believe food is the root cause of many of the world’s health problems. They believe drugs are not the answer to good health and that food in fact, is medicine. Here at Vibrant Health of Colorado, we feel the same way.

Vibrant Health believes in functional medicine. What is functional medicine? It is medicine that looks beyond treating symptoms and is less concerned with making a diagnosis. It addresses the underlying imbalances of the person as a whole and deals with the root causes.

Functional medicine is generally unknown to the public but is becoming more mainstream thanks to TV personalities like Dr. Oz and New York Times best-selling authors, Dr. Hyman and Dr. Perlmutter.
To contrast functional medicine with traditional medicine, traditional medicine seeks to diagnose a disease and treat the symptoms. In functional medicine, the purpose is to seek to understand why there’s a problem in the first place, why function’s been lost, and what can be done to restore those functions. Food is an underlying theme, holding true to the old phrase…You are what you eat.

We will be blogging more on the topic of food as medicine in the near future. For now, if you’d like more information on functional medicine, schedule a consult with Deanna Woodroffe, WHNP, a board-certified Women’s Health Nurse practitioner and the owner of Vibrant Health of Colorado or Erynn Kay, Nurse Practioner and Certified SHAPE REclaimed Practioner. You can reach us at 303-730-2229.

Here are some additional resources:
http://drhyman.com
http://www.drperlmutter.com
https://shapereclaimed.com