From the Doctor's Desk
Natural Medicine for our Honored Veterans
Veterans Day may have come and gone, but veterans and their care have been a major focus for me. I served in the U.S. Army from 1966 through 1969. I was drafted, volunteered for O.C.S. (officer candidate school), graduated from Artillery OCS, went to Pershing missile school and was stationed in Germany from 1967-69.
I was honored to speak at NUNM’s Veterans Day luncheon this past November. NUNM’s President, David Schleich, also gave a presentation regarding how NUNM is actively involved in helping establish the Veterans Restorative Center at Hot Lake Springs near La Grande, Oregon.
This is a collaborative effort with the Warrior Bonfire Project, Hot Lake Springs Spa, Dyne Aquaculture and NUNM. The potential for helping veterans in their recovery from PTSD and other related injuries through naturopathic medicine has been widely studied and there has been a legislative effort to allow naturopathic doctors to be primary care physicians in the treatment of our veterans. Having the opportunity to treat these veterans here in Oregon, where ND’s have primary care physician status, will provide a credible stage at Hot Lake Springs to show the clinical effectiveness of naturopathic medicine.
More money needs to be raised by the Warrior Bonfire Project and Dyne Aquaculture to allow this project to really take root and grow. NUNM has developed their proposal for staffing doctors and students to provide ongoing care and treatment programs for the veterans seeking therapy at Hot Lake Springs. We’re excited to see, and share with you, how this incredible opportunity unfolds!
Distribution Decisions, Revisited: A Word to our Professionals
In our last newsletter, I discussed a few of the reasons why Mountain Peak Nutritionals has chosen not to go through distributors. The article was well received and stimulated questions and responses from our readers. One of the most significant responses we received made me realize that many folks do not realize that distributors require a 25-30% discount from the professional wholesale price. In order for distributors to sell supplements lines at the wholesale prices, they have to receive a major discount for providing their service. Any company using a distributor must ultimately raise their prices to help cover the discounts given to distributors.
We understand that practitioners want to have the ability to purchase across brands in a single purchase order and minimize shipping expense. However, any shipping costs saved this way are quickly negated by higher overall prices. My belief is that if we offer an array of condition specific formulas that create better patient outcomes, then most practitioners can and will easily put together an order that qualifies for free shipping while also benefitting from overall lower wholesale prices.
Also, our products can’t be found discounted by online retailers undercutting MSRP. This is primarily due to the fact that Mountain Peak Nutritionals does not go through distributors. Our policy is to keep prices as reasonable as possible to you and we can better achieve this goal by paying closer attention to where and how we make our business priorities.
We are delighted to share that a bill has just been signed into law that offers licensure to naturopathic doctors in Massachusetts! We are thrilled that natural and integrative medicine continues to move forward as part of the current paradigm shift in attitudes and acceptance. A major grassroots effort on the part of many dedicated individuals, including grateful patients, was key to the effort’s success. We always look forward to working with new NDs throughout the country and now, in the very near future, also ones practicing in Massachusetts!
What We’re Up To…Karen’s Report
2017 has arrived! A time for reflection, wonderings, and new goals. Yet it is truly always a time for GRATITUDE, even when times might be tough. Jim and I are so fortunate to have a staff that is hard working, pleasant, creative, problem solvers, and just the most wonderful people on the planet – and we get to work with them! We recently had our one year anniversary in our new office space in Beaverton and we just love being in this large, bright space. We even have some great walking trails for our office mascot, Issy. We are truly blessed!
As the year was coming to an end Jim attended the AzNMA conference in Phoenix, AZ. He had a great time seeing old friends and spending some time with Dr. Tom Kruzel. Jim and his son, Dax, also spent some significant time with Lisa Duba, our southwest region Sales Rep, so that Dax could benefit from Lisa’s expertise in working with our valued customers as he comes on board.
The OANP’s 21st Annual Pharmacy conference was held in Portland on Dec 3-4th. This is always a great gathering of the northwest region doctors. We were all thrilled when Dr. Tori Hudson was chosen for the 2016 Living Legends award! Tori has admirably been a spokesperson and champion for the Naturopathic Profession for the past 32 years.
This summer brings new opportunities to meet with NDs again in sunny AZ. We always look forward to our stay at the Arizona Biltmore Hotel when the AANP conference is there, which will be happening July 12-15th. See you there!!!!!
Soon we’ll be off to Sayulita, Mexico for our annual vacation. We always enjoy the tropical breeze, great food, beach time, and good books!!!
We wish you the very best in 2017 and thank you for supporting Mountain Peak!!!!
The Yoga of Breathing
Yoga is a many faceted discipline that can benefit people regardless of lifestyle or background. Most Westerners are already familiar with the variety of body shapes, or postures, one makes as part of an asana practice. The Sanskrit word asana, in its simplest translation, means seat. A yoga practice comprised only of moving through postures can be rewarding in its own right, but a truly developed yoga practice has so much more to offer.
In addition to asana are the benefits of meditation, or dhyana in Sanskrit. Meditation is known to have many positive effects when practiced regularly, including increased awareness, clarity, emotional stability, and general feelings of equanimity and calmness.
Incorporating a regular meditation practice can seem daunting for some, which is where breathwork can come into the picture. Known in Sanskrit as pranayama, manipulating the breath can also have emotional and psychological benefits, prepare one for meditation, and/or be used to enhance one’s asana practice.
Sama Vritti, or equal breathing, is a simple breathwork exercise that can have a calming effect that is excellent for stress relief. It can more comfortably lead one into a meditation practice or be implemented at the end of an asana session prior to savasana (corpse pose).
Begin by sitting in a comfortable position. Usually this means cross-legged on a mat or cushion, but could also mean sitting in a chair with both feet flat on the floor. Close your eyes, bring your awareness to your breath and breathe normally for 3-5 cycles as you observe each inhale and exhale.
Next, begin counting your inhale to the count of four. Pause at the top of the breath and then exhale to the count of four. Pause again at the bottom of the exhale. Repeat for 3-5 cycles or for as long as it’s comfortable. To deepen your pranayama practice, you can extend the pause at top for the count of four while retaining the breath and also holding out the breath for a count of four at the bottom of the exhale, which is called square breathing.
You can extend the count as you advance your breathwork, but for this pranayama exercise the primary objective is to fully inhale and fully exhale to the same count. If you have difficulties, just return to breathing to the count of four for each inhale and each exhale and only pause momentarily in between each; you will still receive a benefit from the practice.
Isabella’s good friend, Mr. Findus, occasionally suffers from gastrointestinal distress. Like many aging cats, sometimes his bowels are sensitive. He’d be embarrassed if he knew that we were sharing this information, but from time to time loose stool or constipation makes him feel less like his normal self. When he’s down in the dumps because things aren’t moving quite right, there are a couple of easy home remedies that often do the trick to get him back to feeling right again.
Feeding cats and dogs a bit of pureed pumpkin on occasion can provide just the right amount of fiber and water to help renormalize the gut. When feeding pumpkin to a pet, there are a few things to remember. Either feed them canned, cooked, or reconstituted pumpkin – never feed your pet raw pumpkin. There are brands of both canned and dehydrated pumpkin available at most natural pet supply stores. However, regular canned pumpkin from the grocery store can also work as long as it does not contain any spices, additives, or sugar. Also, keep portions small. A couple tablespoons of canned pumpkin, once a day for a few days in a row is usually sufficient for an average cat suffering from soft stools.
When it comes to mild constipation in cats, dietary supplementation isn’t the only remedy. Sometimes, cats need to exercise in the form of a vigorous play session to get things moving again. So find some good toys and be ready to give your kitty something fun to chase! Integrating a regular playtime into your pet’s daily routine is always a great idea.
Most importantly, please always consult your vet if you have any concerns about treating and determining any underlying causes of diarrhea or constipation. Both can be signs of serious illness and constipation can signal intestinal obstruction, in which case home remedies are not appropriate and immediate veterinary attention is crucial. Lastly, please always make sure your pet has access to fresh, clean water.