Live Blood Cell Microscopy

Live blood analysis is the use of high-resolution dark field microscope to observe live blood cells. Live blood analysis allows a practitioner to assess various indicators of current health status.

Live blood analysis is performed by placing a drop of blood under a dark field microscope and viewing these cells through a camera on a computer screen.  Certain factors can be assessed through microscopy, including nutrient status (Vitamin B12, iron, calcium), relative pH status, and white blood cell activity.  Many other parameters can also be assessed through microscopy.

Live Blood Microscopy is not intended as a diagnostic procedure, and your practitioner will not provide any kind of medical diagnosis.  Live Blood Microscopy is used as an educational tool to help supplement and monitor any treatments provided by other licensed practitioners.

During your session, you will be provided with a detailed explanation of any finding, and you will be provided with a  report and pictures of your analysis at the end of your session.

Live Blood Microscopy uses only a drop of blood, and is safe and suitable for all ages, including babies, children and pregnant women.

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Anemia

Anemia is a common condition where the body does not have adequate Red Blood Cells (RBC).   Anemia can be a result of blood loss, poor RBC production or rapid destruction of RBCs. Some of the most common symptoms of anemia include:

  • Constant fatigue and sluggishness
  • Poor focus/concentration
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Frequent headaches

While these symptoms may be attributed to other conditions, if you experience one of more of these, it is important to have your blood assessed.

Anemia is typically a mild and short-lasting condition, which is easily treatable or avoided.  When left untreated, it can create more serious complication in the body.

Poor blood cell production can arise due to several factors.  The most common causes are a deficiency of iron, or a deficiency of vitamin B12.

A Naturopathic approach to resolving anemia always looks at the cause and tries to modify it, in order to prevent future episodes of low blood cell count.  If insufficient intake is the cause, dietary modifications can often go a long way in improving iron and/or B12 status, resulting in improved blood cell production.  If high RBC destruction is the cause, modification of exercise regimes can be helpful.  Distance running, for example, can lead to high RBC destruction with cells being crushed each time a foot makes contact with the hard ground.  Decreasing distance, or modifying running surface can sometimes help.  If chronic blood loss is the issue, uncovering the source is critical.   Certain pharmaceutical drugs, ulcers, inflammatory bowel disease and hormonal imbalances leading to heavy menstruation are all very common causes of excess blood loss.

Occasionally, food sensitivities can irritate the GUT lining and interfere with proper vitamin and mineral absorption.  Removing an offending food for a period of weeks to months can be helpful.

For those who are consuming inadequate amounts of blood-building nutrients, consuming high-iron or high-B12 foods at least 3 times per week is important.

The following lists the highest food sources of Vitamin B12:

  • Organ meats (when a pure source is available) provide the highest levels of Vitamin B12
  • Shellfish (oyster, clam, mussels)
  • Fish (Salmon, trout, herring, mackerel)
  • Beef

*Fruit, vegetables and non-fortified grains do not provide vitamin B12.

The following lists the highest food sources of iron.

Note that animal-sourced iron is naturally in a more bioavailable form than vegetable-based iron.

  • Organ meats (when a pure source is available)
  • Shellfish
  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Fish
  • Whole Grains
  • Soy beans
  • Lentils
  • Black strap molasses
  • Sesame paste

When dietary measures are not sufficient, brief periods of supplementation can be helpful.

 

 

 

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Squash Ginger Soup

 
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cups sliced carrots,
3 cups cooked and mashed acorn or butternut squash
2-3 chicken or vegetable  stock
1/2 tsp. each dried nutmeg, cinnamon
1-2 tsp. fresh ground ginger
 
Saute onions in oil until tender.  Add carrots and squash and soup stock.  Bring to a simmer and heat through for 10 minutes.  Transfer to blender and puree until smooth.  Transfer back to pot and thin with stock or water until desired consistency is reached.
 
Adjust seasonings to taste.
 
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Carrot Parsnip Soup

2 tablespoons butter, ghee or coconut oil
3 large carrots, chopped 
2 parsnips, chopped
1 onion large, peeled and chopped
1 potato, peeled and chopped
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
¼ cup 10%  cream  or soy milk
salt and pepper to taste
 
Melt butter/oil in a saucepan; add carrots, parsnips, onion and potatoes.  Cover and cook over low heat for 15 minutes.  Stir in chicken/vegetable stock and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.  In blender, blend mixture in small batches until smooth.  Return to saucepan and stir in cream.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Reheat without boiling.  Garnish with green onion or parsley.
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Congee

Congee is a rice porridge traditionally used as a soothing and palliative food in Asian traditions.  Congee can be eaten as a stand-alone meal, or used as a base for other foods.

Preparation:  In a large pot, add 1 cup rice to 6 cups boiled water.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally.  The finished product should look like thick, smooth porridge.

 

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Holiday SOS

The holiday season is a busy time for many of us.  While enjoying all the social events, the traditional treats and the late nights, don’t forget to pamper your body and provide it with the nourishment it needs to stay healthy and energized.

First and foremost, be sure to find time to rest. Many of us have hectic work/family schedules as it is. Adding even a few extra social events can quickly lead to burnount. Don’t over-schedule yourself! If you have a busy week ahead of you, be sure to take advantage of any opportunity to go to bed early.

Hydrate! Water is wonderful for flushing out toxins and unwanted waste from our bodies. In addition, it helps to ensure that metabolic and energy-producing processes are running efficiently.  Set a goal of consuming the majority of your water early in the day and reserve juices and other non-essential fluids as occasional treats.

Consider adding a Green Smoothie to your daily regime.  Either a store-bought product or a home-made green smoothie can help you pack in high amounts of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.  These smoothies are also high in natural enzymes which help to optimize many functions within our bodies.

Include herbals teas which support stamina and vitality.  Licorice, Astragalus, Ginseng, Ginger, Cinnamon and Citrus Peel teas are all readily available and help to support and vitalize the body during the winter season.  Remember to steep these teas covered for at least 5 minutes.

 

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Basic Treatment Guidelines

  • Deep Breathing
    • At least 100 breaths per day
  • Water
    • Half your body’s weight in ounces (eg 100lb=50 oz water)*
  • Movement
    • Minimum 30 minutes/day (what number is ideal for you; 15? 30? 45? 60?)
  • Hydrotherapy
    • Dry Skin Brushing;
    • Castor Oil Packs; apply a flannel sheet soaked in castor oil over the liver for 20-30 minutes daily to help support liver function
    • Hot Socks
    • Alternate showers; alternate temperature during a shower aiming for 30 seconds of cold and 60-90 minutes of hot, repeated 3-4 times.  Always end on cold.

     

    • Sleep Hygiene
      • Establish a regular bedtime
      • 8 Hours of rest
      • Sleep environment–dark, quiet, cool, relaxing, tidy, etc.
    • Be outside for a minimum of 30mins per day
    • Apple Cider Vinegar; 5-30mls before each meal
    • Diet; clean, whole-foods diet
    • Essential Fatty Acids; high quality fish oil or vegan EPA/DHA
    • Probiotics; high quality healthy bacteria to support gut health
    • Play, have fun daily (Self Care!)
    • Basic Multi Vitamin/Mineral
  • *1 ounce = 30mL
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Dry Skin Brushing

Skin is our largest organ; it is an active organ and so important to many functions in the body including absorption, elimination and detoxification.   Dry skin brushing can improve circulation, activate lymphatic draining, support hormone health and improve skin radiance.

Here’s how it’s done: First of all, you’ll need a brush with soft, natural bristles, or a loofah.  These are available at most natural health stores.

Dry skin brushing should be done before a shower, on dry, healthy, intact skin.  Beginning on areas furthest from your torso, apply light-to-moderate pressure in a swift, sweeping motion, moving towards the heart.

Dry skin brushing is a quick and easy technique to improve circulation and lymphatic draining.  In total, it should take no longer than 2 minutes and can be done as frequently as everyday.

 

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Cilantro Spread

Cilantro Spread

2 cups cooked beans (navy, pinto, black beans, aduki)
3 carrots
4-7 sticks celery
1 large bunch cilantro
1/2 inch of ginger
1-6 cloves garlic
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tbspn  apple cider vinegar
sea salt to taste

Put salt, vinegar, oil, garlic and ginger and veggies in blender or food
processor and blend.  Add beans and continue to blend until smooth.

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Cilantro Pesto

Cilantro Pesto:

4 cloves garlic
1/3 cup Brazil nuts
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
2 cups packed fresh coriander (cilantro)
2/3 cup flaxseed oil
4 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tsp dulse powder
Bragg's liquid [or Miso]

Process the coriander and flaxseed oil in a blender until the coriander is chopped. Add the garlic, nuts and seeds, dulse and lemon juice and mix until the mixture is finely blended into a paste. Add a squirt of Bragg's to taste and blend again. Store in dark glass jars if possible. It freezes well, so purchase coriander in season and fill enough jars to last throughout the year.

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