1. Staggered appointments: We will be staggering appointment times to limit the number of people in the clinic at the same time. We will leave ample time between patients to ensure each room is thoroughly cleaned in-between visits.
2. All patients will be thoroughly screened before their appointment. You will be required to fill out an online screening questionnaire for COVID-19 related symptoms. The questionnaire will be emailed to you 2 hours before your appointment. Please note that this form must be completed before each appointment. If you have symptoms that raise concern upon your arrival to Northstar Clinic, your appointment will be cancelled on-site.
3. Your temperature will be taken from a contactless thermometer upon arrival to check for fever.
4. You are required to wear a mask upon arrival to the clinic and are encouraged to wear your own mask from home. Masks can be provided by Northstar Clinic for a fee of $1.
5. We will provide you with bins in which you can place your personal belongings. These bins will be sanitized between each visit.
6. All health care practitioners at Northstar are required to wear personal protective equipment including masks and gloves.
7. We will increase our high level of cleanliness and sanitation of the clinic to ensure the safety of our patients and practitioners.
8. Linens used during treatments are of individual use and will be laundered diligently.
9. We ask that all patients arrive on time for their appointment. We will be keeping the front door locked to reduce crossover between appointments. We ask that you patiently wait outside and your practitioner will escort you in the clinic at your allotted time.
10. We ask that you do not bring any additional guests to your appointment unless you require an assistant or are accompanying a minor. Visitors may be asked to wait outside the clinic as needed to avoid crowding.
by: Dr. Caroline Meyer, ND
At this point, most of you have been inundated with news of the coronavirus making its way to many countries, including Canada. I do not want to create more noise around this virus, but do want to provide you with a few tips on how to deal with COVID-19 from a natural perspective, The following are answers to common questions I have been receiving.
1) How dangerous is this coronavirus?
Compared to the seasonal flu, to which many people are vaccinated, it seems to be slightly more deadly in terms of percentages. It seems to be especially problematic for people older than 70. COVID-19 also seems to be more contagious than the usual seasonal flu.
2) What is Social Distancing and why am I doing it?
Like getting childhood infections, social distancing is a public health measure to limit the spread of infections, especially to those who are more vulnerable. Social distancing ‘flattens the curve’ so that the health care system doesn’t get overwhelmed and can properly treat everyone who gets really sick with this virus, It also ensures that there are doctors and nurses to treat other urgent health needs, including chemotherapy for people with cancer and even delivering babies in hospital.
Social distancing involves staying primarily at home and limiting other contacts. You can certainly go outside, but try to keep a distance of 1-2 metres between you and others.
3) How can I avoid getting infected?
Yes, simple measures like proper hand washing and avoiding touching your face are immensely important. Since hand sanitizers contain ingredients that disrupt our gut microflora and hormones, I advise less use of them than plain ol' hand washing!
As many of you know, I am not prone to be an alarmist, but the COVID-19 virus, as with all acute respiratory infections, demands respect. Since social isolation has been shown to be an effective action to slow the expansion of virus infections, the city, the province, Canada and the world have enforced this measure.
Of course, from a natural perspective, I advise sticking with a whole foods diet full of colourful veggies and fruits. They provide many antioxidants for the body. As well, moving your body on a daily basis, if possible, improves the activity of your immune cells as well as reduce stress (which stresses your immune system!). Walking and yoga ( think gentle exercises) seem to improve immune function better than intense activity. Sleep is also crucial for keeping your immune system resilient. I know, I know, I always talk about sleep... but, really, getting your zzzz's has innumerable health benefits.
Vitamins and herbal supplements can boost your immune system. It is better to get an individualized plan, though, that fits your state of health and current medications.
That being said, personally I am making elderberry syrup on the regular. You can buy elderberry syrup in the health food store; I often recommend the Suro or Flora brands.
Homemade Elderberry Syrup
Here is a simple recipe to make your own syrup:
4:1 ratio of water to dried elderberries (buy at health food store for a few dollars; do not buy elderflowers as they have healing powers other than boosting immunity). You can add 1-3 teaspoons grated fresh ginger for a bit more zest. Place everything in a pot, bring to a boil and then turn down to simmer for 30 min, or until the water has reduce by half. Add 1-2 tsp of raw honey, or more to taste. Cool. Take 1-3 teaspoons per day. Everyone from toddlers to elders can take this syrup. It is not advisable to give raw honey to anyone under the age of 1.
Elderberry may prevent you from getting sick from a flu (no guarantees) and may also shorten the duration of a cold or flu.
4) What do I do if I get sick?
Full disclosure here, despite my daily habits of health and rather aggressive immune boosting, I got sick recently. Not with COVID-19 virus, but an average head cold. Wow, did I ever feel self-conscious while I briefly went out in the world! Now, I feel a lot more compassion for people who have the flu.
So, what did I do to recover? I slept longer, stayed at home as much as possible, sneezed into my elbow while outside, drank a lot of lemon-ginger tea with turmeric and raw honey, ate very little except bone broth, avoided mucus-forming foods like dairy, did steam inhalations, and continued taking my elderberry syrup, zinc and andrographis herb. And I took time off work to fully recover. I did not buy a truckful of hand sanitizer or toilet paper. I did ensure that I had enough tea and food to last about a week or so. I would advise the same approach if you get a cold or flu.
5) How is Northstar Naturopathic clinic responding to the viral outbreak?
At Northstar, we are taking this outbreak seriously. We have increased the frequency of the office cleaning, we are using stronger sanitizers for our tables and equipment. We are moving into an online delivery of visits, both new visits and follow-up visits. We may see patients in-office when appropriate and safe to do so.
We advise anyone who suspects that they may have symptoms of COVID-19, to call Telelhealth Ontario at 1-866-797-000, as naturopaths do not have the means to test you for this virus and are not authorized to treat the virus.
Of course, please book a session or visit for all of your other health needs. You can book virtual visits through: www.northstarclinic.ca
Hopefully, you feel more informed and empowered to keep you and your family healthy in this late cold/flu season!
In recent years, the popularity of cosmetic acupuncture has increased significantly. It is a modality that can not only enhance your physical appearance, but also your overall health. Cosmetic Acupuncture has the ability to improve a variety of skin conditions that are well documented in clinical studies.
Facial acupuncture is based on principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Cosmetic acupuncture, unlike traditional facelifts, is a whole-body treatment, therefore a person’s overall health may also benefit. In the Traditional Chinese Medicine view, a person’s face is affected selectively by his or her internal organs.
Facial features reflect the vitality of certain organs, and as internal organs are fortified, one’s face reflects the improvement. Besides addressing a patient’s condition holistically, the practitioner will work locally, inserting painless, ultra-fine needles into and around specific wrinkles, acu-points or muscle points, depending on the technique employed.
Our skin has endured much stress, sun damage and exposure to environmental toxins for many years and the damage cannot be undone that quickly. The gradual remedy of cosmetic acupuncture may offer a reduction of fine lines and the softening of others after only a few treatments. Patients may also experience the firming of cheeks and reduction of under-eye swelling.
The benefits of facial rejuvenation acupuncture include softer, smoother skin, reduction in wrinkles and a complete body health and relaxation treatment. Each patient will respond differently according to their existing lifestyle and skin care regimes, and any potential scars.
This treatment takes time, has lasting effects, encourages the natural production of collagen, enhances a glowing complexion, and is chemical and surgical free.
Generally speaking, the recommendation for cosmetic acupuncture to have amazing results is a series of 10 treatments within a 5 week time period.
Cosmetic Acupuncture is likely a great option for anyone who wants to see improved skin tone, smoother looking skin + a bright and glowing complexion! After a series of sessions, you will also see a reduction of fine lines and wrinkles, double chin, sagging jowls, puffiness, and drooping lids. This modality is also a fantastic for slowing down aging of the skin.
The best candidates for facial rejuvenation are people in their 20s through to their 60s who want to reduce the signs of aging and improve their vitality for a more relaxed, healthy appearance to their face.
Pelvic floor dysfunction affects many women, men, and children and can have a seriously detrimental effect on quality of life. Pelvic pain, prolapse, and urinary & bowel urgency/incontinence can result from too tight or too weak pelvic floor muscles, or some combination of the two.
Most of us have heard of Kegels: a muscle training technique that involves contracting the pelvic floor muscles. Many people will start doing Kegels when they are experiencing bladder or bowel incontinence. However, Kegels are only appropriate if the incontinence is caused by weak pelvic floor muscles.
But, what if your incontinence is the result of an overactive pelvic floor? Kegels would be exactly the opposite exercise you’d need. Imagine that you have a very tight biceps muscle and this tightness is causing some pain or discomfort. Doing repeated sets of biceps curls would only add to your discomfort. What you’d need is a stretching and lengthening of that muscle. Just like that biceps muscle, there are pelvic floor muscles that need lengthening if your incontinence is caused by an overly tight pelvic floor.
How can you tell if your symptoms are caused by weak or tight pelvic floor muscles? A proper assessment with someone trained in pelvic floor therapy is vital. Then an appropriate, comprehensive treatment plan can be put together to help improve your symptoms of incontinence.
Pelvic floor rehabilitation can help to decrease pain, relieve symptoms, and improve function and quality of life. Don’t delay. Reach out for help today. Better health may be just around the corner.
Dr Nicki Marksteiner is a Naturopathic Doctor in Toronto, ON who focuses on all things pelvic in her practice, from pelvic floor rehabilitation to digestive health to women’s & men’s wellness. She currently works at Northstar Naturopathic Clinic at 804 Bloor St W. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Besides being the month in which Valentine's Day occurs, February is officially Heart Health month. Heart disease remains one of the leading causes of deaths in adults in Canada despite all the knowledge we have about its prevention. Indeed, there is good evidence that eating a Mediterranean diet helps to reduce the risk of heart disease. So eating mostly plant-based foods, healthy fats (think olives, seeds, nuts, avocado), along with lean protein and small amounts of whole grains is a wise choice for your heart. Being physically active every day, sitting less and quitting smoking are all powerful changes to improve heart health too. Working with your naturopath, along with getting acupuncture and massage treatments, all provide effective support for making these changes in your lifestyle.
In recent years, research has confirmed that people with strong social connections are physically healthier, live longer and less likely to develop complications from heart disease. So keeping your emotional heart open and actively involved with others helps to ensure that your physical heart remains healthy. In traditional Chinese medicine, too, the Heart is associated with the emotions of joy as well as anxiety. Regularly engaging in activities that bring you joy can actually improve your heart, in addition to reducing anxiety. As well, even though Winter can be a time to nest indoors, consider reaching out to friends and family as a proven way to keep your heart healthy.
The Northstar team is always eager to help you achieve your health goals. Feel free to book an appointment with any one (or all) of our practitioners (Naturopaths, Massage therapist, Shiatsu therapist, and Acupuncturist) to explore your treatment options. As well, we always appreciate your referrals of friends and family!
Be Well & Happy February!