Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Yoga as Alternative Health Therapy for ADHD

 There are many school aged children in the United States that are currently diagnosed with Attention Deficit/Hyper-Activity Disorder with governmental and educational reports stating that “5 out of 100 children” in the classroom exhibit various signs including “excessive” movement ((NIHCHY), 2004)(p. 1). We are sharing this information so that the public will have the opportunity to research martial arts, yoga, and other forms of disciplined exercise programs. We have researched the following studies and have included the reference information as a basis of further understanding the alternatives to Ritalin and other amphetamine type drugs.  It was interesting to learn from Chris Streeter M.D.’s scientific findings that yoga practitioners will increase the natural and internal GABA production in the body by 27% naturally by training the body for one hour of yoga practice using asana (held poses) and pranayama (practiced rhythmic breathing) (Streeter, 2010) (p.1145). This is a demonstration that the body on its own through routine practice of breathing and focused concentration is able to produce the necessary hormones to assist the ADHD patient. The effects of Yoga are a longer lasting and less intrusive treatment to the child.  The patient with ADHD is then able to help themselves during times where they begin to experience the symptomology of hyperactivity or attention deficit.  Parents will be assured with our confident recommendation to provide their children the opportunity to learn the practice of yoga, martial arts, and cycling exercises on a weekly basis with a recommendation that yoga is a practice completed daily.  The studies listed below document how the internal chemistry within the body will begin to function with stability as a result of yoga practice. We have also included studies that further document that pharmaceutical amphetamines are not a guarantee of behavior modification (Jensen, 2004)(p. 205) and (Maddigan, 2003) (p. 40). Yoga practice as a recommended CAM intervention will benefit the child as a treatment plan that is effective and long lasting that truly assists them in a healthy and balanced wellness plan.

                We also recommend the practice of yoga for anxiety and stress relief. The body internally builds core strength through the daily routine of asanas and pranayama in addition to the ability to produce an increase of GABA.  Please contact us for further information regarding this article.

Disclosure:  Integrative Therapeutic Medicine is a recommended practice in addition to the advice given to you by your traditional western medical physician. We encourage our clients to research their prescribed medications and require that you speak with your individual western trained health practitioner about any complementary and alternative medical practice.  We encourage you to practice your own research and independent thinking as we believe that our clients know their health needs and are their own best advocate.

Colorado Certified Holistic Health Practitioner
References and Suggested Reading:
(NIHCHY), N. D. (2004). Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder fact sheet. [On-line]. Retrieved from NIHCHY: National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities (NIHCHY), (2004). Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder fact sheet. Retrieved from ID Online:
Bluebelly. (2013). Amphetamines. Retrieved from Bluebelly :
Colorado University at Denver, Regents of the School of Medicine (2013, April 23). School of Medicine MD Degree curriculum overview. Retrieved from CU School of Medicine:
Jensen, P. K. (2004). The effects of yoga on the attention and behavior of boys with Attention-Deficit/hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Journal of Attention Disorders, 7, 205-216.
Kirk, M. B. (2006). Hatha Yoga, Illustrated. Champaign: Human Kinetics.
Maddigan, B. H.-B. (2003). The effects of massage therapy & exercise therapy on children/adolescents with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The Canadian Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Review, 40-43.
Roach, M. (2004). The Tibetan Book of Yoga. United States, United States: Doubleday.
Silver, L. M. (2010). Why are there so many different medications to treat ADHD? Retrieved from LD Online:
Streeter, C. M. (2010). Effects of yoga versus walking on mood, anxiety, and brain GABA levels; A randomized controlled MRS study. The journal of alternative and complementary medicine, 1145-1152.
U.S. Department of Human Services, N. I. (2011, July). CAM Basics. USA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.


Saturday, May 18, 2013

Doula Wisdom : Pregnancy and Medications

Pregnancy and Medications  

When you’re pregnant, you have to be aware of everything you eat or drink, including medications and herbal supplements, both prescription and over-the-counter. There are very few things that won’t cross across the placenta and affect your baby, so it’s important to understand what you’re taking.

It’s especially important that you avoid any medications that aren’t absolutely essentially during the first 8 to 10 weeks of your pregnancy. This is the time when your baby's brain, heart, and lungs are developing – medication interactions could lead to defects in these areas.

Before prescribing any medicine, your doctor or nurse-midwife will look at whether the risk of taking medicine is higher than the risk of not treating your illness. If you or your baby would face worse problems without treatment, then your doctor or nurse-midwife will prescribe medicine or recommend an over-the-counter one. He or she will also look at which medicine to give you. For example, some antibiotics are safe for pregnant women, and some are not.

And while there are no medications which are 100 percent safe for every person, there are certain people for whom the benefits of a particular medication outweigh any possible side effects. For example, a type I diabetic needs to take synthetic insulin during pregnancy, regardless of what interactions you do need medication while pregnant, you want to take the smallest dose for the least possible time to still be effective. Follow all dosing directions provided by your doctor – for example, some medications should be taken with food, others on an empty stomach. Take each medication with a full glass of water – if you take a sip of water before taking your medication, it may be easier to swallow. Make sure your doctor knows you’re pregnant, and if you have any questions about a medication's safety, talk with your obstetrician or pharmacist.

Among the medicines that increase the chances of birth defects are:

The acne medicine isotretinoin (such as Amnesteem and Claravis). This medicine is very likely to cause birth defects. It should not be taken by women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant.

ACE inhibitors, such as benazepril and lisinopril, which lower blood pressure.

Medicines to control seizures, such as valproic acid.

Some antibiotics, such as tetracycline and doxycycline.

Warfarin (such as Coumadin), which helps prevent blood clots.

Lithium, which is used to treat bipolar depression.

Alprazolam (such as Xanax), diazepam (such as Valium), and some other medicines used to treat anxiety.

 Paroxetine (such as Paxil), which is used to treat depression and other conditions.

Natural Ways to Help With Pregnancy Discomforts

Prevent Backaches

While most women will get a backache during pregnancy there some things you can do to prevent one from even starting.

 •Gain the proper amount of weight to keep pressure off the ligaments and joints in your back. Speak to your care provider about proper weight gain during pregnancy.

 •Avoid high heels after your first trimester. High heels cause the back arch which can cause backaches.

•Bend at the knees to lift objects.

•Avoid standing for long periods.  If you have no choice about how much you stand, try standing with one foot on a low stool. Switch feet every so often.

 •Alleviate stress. Stress is a huge culprit of backaches, with or without pregnancy. Talk to your partner or care provider about stress release options.

Try Heat

Heat is probably one of the best ways to relieve backache during pregnancy. A warm bath or a warm shower can ease tense muscles. If possible, take a chair (sit backwards in it) or a birthing ball into the shower with you so you can aim the water at the exact spot that hurts and sit down at the same time. However, you should make sure you take warm, not hot showers. Raising the body temperature too high can harm the baby.  Heating pads set on a low setting are usually safe as well, with the approval of your care provider.

Take a Pregnancy Yoga Class

Pregnancy yoga stretches and strengthens muscles, which for many women alleviates backaches. It also may help prevent backaches from even starting. In addition, pregnancy or prenatal yoga prepares your body for labor and birth. Speak to your gym or your care provider for a recommendation to a pregnancy yoga class.

Sit on a Ball

Sitting on a birthing or exercise ball during pregnancy can help with backaches too. Sitting on a birthing ball takes pressure off the lower back muscles. It also aligns the torso forcing users to sit up straighter. If you're having back problems during your pregnancy, consider making the birthing ball your primary chair both at work and at home.

Get a Pregnancy Massage

A simple massage every two weeks may help to prevent or alleviate backaches during pregnancy. Most massage therapists are trained to give massages to pregnant women and many have special tables built for a pregnant woman's belly.

 Always let your masseuse know you're pregnant before you beginning a pregnancy massage as some massage/essential oils should not be used on pregnant women and some massage techniques can actually trigger labor.

Do a Pelvic Tilt

A pelvic tilt helps with spine alignment. It also helps to strengthen abdominal muscles and is very helpful if you have back labor during birth. To do a pelvic tilt, get into a hands and knees position. Keep your back straight and don't let it sag or arch. Take a deep breath, tuck your head under and tighten your abdominal muscles. If you've lost your abdominal muscles, try tucking your buttocks inward while tightening your stomach muscles. If you do this exercise correctly, your upper back should round.

Use a Full-Body Pillow

A full body pillow is a super long pillow that pregnant women can use to support their back, place between their legs to keep their hips in alignment and even support their belly, all at the same time. This support can help prevent backaches from starting when you're asleep.

Wear a Maternity Support Belt

A maternity support belt goes around the middle to support a pregnant belly. With proper use, many women find the support belt takes away all backache. Talk to your care provider about which brand they recommend you use.


The information in this article should not be considered medical advice. The information in this article is not meant to treat, diagnose, prescribe or cure any ailment. Always check with your physician before taking any products or following any advice you have read on the internet.  Always consult your doctor before you start, stop or change anything that has been previously prescribed. Certain herbs and holistic remedies are unsuitable to take if you are pregnant or nursing.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Concerns with Infertility.

Wellness Checkups

It’s important to maintain a good relationship with your body.  Make sure that you are getting routine physicals, pap smears, dental and eye exams.  Remember that other problems in the body can correlate with issues somewhere else in the body.   Correlation is not always causation though.



BMI (Body Mass Index) measures body fat based on height and weight that applies to both men and women between the ages of 18 and 65 years.
BMI can be used to indicate if you are overweight, obese, underweight or normal. A healthy BMI score is between 20 and 25. A score below 20 indicates that you may be underweight; a value above 25 indicates that you may be overweight.  The best BMI for maintaining gestation is 18.5-25. 
BMI Calculator» BMI Chart


What are your habits?  Look closely at your daily routine. 

Make sure that you eliminate things from your life that are stressful.  Try and get enough sleep, 8 hours a night.  Eliminate things from your environment that are harmful, start with chemicals in your cleaning products, and personal care products.  Start an exercise regimen if you do not have one.

Drink plenty of water.  You should drink half your weight in ounces a day.  If you are 140 lbs., you should consume 70 oz. of water daily.  You can also try adding or infusing some fresh lemon, lime or other fruit with the water.

Also, increasing the consumption of green tea (decaffeinated) has been shown to increase overall health. Body health is essentially the aim of increasing fertility. The healthier the female body, the better the chances of conceiving.


The quality of carbohydrates directly correlates with dietary glycemic load, ovulation and fertility.  If you consume grains, eat whole grains. 

Make sure that you are getting fruits and vegetables from every color of the rainbow.  Each color has a specific health benefit that can help improve your health and thereby your fertility.  You should try to eat at least two cups of fruit and three cups of vegetables in a variety of colors every day.  In the green category try kale, spinach, cucumbers, kiwi, and green peppers.  To get your daily dose of red try strawberries, apples, and red peppers.  For the blue and purple hues eat blueberries, plums, black berries, and eggplant.  For your dose of yellow and orange eat squash, bananas, oranges, nectarines, and lemons.

Iron is necessary to improve fertility as well.  Some good sources of iron are grass fed (pastured) meats, beans, and asparagus.  Adequate amounts of iron will also be important once you are pregnant because of the increased volume of blood.

It is important to have adequate amounts of Omega 3 in your diet if you want to improve fertility and the best source for this is found in fish.  To limit your exposure to the mercury eat only fish that have little or no mercury present such as catfish, salmon, and shrimp.

Omega 3 fatty acids can be found naturally in walnuts, flax seed, flax seed oil and whole grains. Increasing omega 3 fatty acids can also be achieved by taking an over the counter omega 3 supplement. Fish oil supplements will often contain a blend of Omega 3, Omega 6 and Omega 9 fatty acids.  Any good fat will help your body absorb these, such as grass fed butter, cheese and (pastured) eggs.

Try not to add stress to the situation.  Find a support group of other women and couples who are experiencing the same thing you are (  You need people who will understand your point of view and have “been there”.  You are not alone, it’s important to remember that. 

Author-Ashley Morrow, Doula Wisdom



The Landmark Nurses’ Health Study



Monday, April 1, 2013

Who's Who in Delivery?

A very important aspect of the birth of your little one is choosing a competent care provider.  Today we are going to go over the difference in care providers to help you in your decision making process.  (Arranged in alphabetical order – of no significance of importance)
Certified Midwife (CM)
A Certified Midwife (CM) is an individual educated in the discipline of midwifery, who possesses evidence of certification according to the requirements of the American College of Nurse-Midwives.
Certified Midwife (CM) is also used in certain states as a designation of certification by the state or midwifery organization.  
International Definition of a Midwife
Adopted by the International Confederation of Midwives 19 July 2005
A midwife is a person who, having been regularly admitted to a midwifery educational program, duly recognized in the country in which it is located, has successfully completed the prescribed course of studies in midwifery and has acquired the requisite qualifications to be registered and/or legally licensed to practice midwifery.
The midwife is recognized as a responsible and accountable professional who works in partnership with women to give the necessary support, care and advice during pregnancy, labor and the postpartum period, to conduct births on the midwife’s own responsibility and to provide care for the newborn and the infant. This care includes preventive measures, the promotion of normal birth, the detection of complications in mother and child, the accessing of medical or other appropriate assistance and the carrying out of emergency measures.
The midwife has an important task in health counseling and education, not only for the woman, but also within the family and community. This work should involve antenatal education and preparation for parenthood and may extend to women’s health, sexual or reproductive health and childcare.
A midwife may practice in any setting including in the home, the community, hospitals, clinics or health units.
What is the Midwives Model of Care?
The Midwives Model of Care is based on the fact that pregnancy and birth are normal life processes.
The Midwives Model of Care includes:
•Monitoring the physical, psychological, and social well-being of the mother throughout the childbearing cycle
•Providing the mother with individualized education, counseling, and prenatal care, continuous hands-on assistance during labor and delivery, and postpartum support
•Minimizing technological interventions
•Identifying and referring women who require obstetrical attention
The application of this woman-centered model of care has been proven to reduce the incidence of birth injury, trauma, and cesarean section.
Copyright (c) 1996-2008, Midwifery Task Force, Inc., All Rights Reserved. 
Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM)
A Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM) is an individual educated in the two disciplines of nursing and midwifery, who possesses evidence of certification according to the requirements of the American College of Nurse-Midwives.  CNMs generally deliver within hospitals, birth centers and homebirths.
Look here to find a CNM near you
American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM)
The mission of the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) is to promote the health and well-being of women and infants within their families and communities through the development and support of the profession of midwifery as practiced by certified nurse-midwives and certified midwives. The philosophy inherent in the profession states that nurse-midwives believe every individual has the right to safe, satisfying health care with respect for human dignity and cultural variations.
American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB)
The American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB), formerly ACC is the national certifying body for Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNMs) and Certified Midwives (CMs).
Certified Professional Midwife (CPM)
A Certified Professional Midwife is a knowledgeable, skilled and professional independent midwifery practitioner who has met the standards for certification set by the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM) and is qualified to provide the midwifery model of care. The CPM is the only international credential that requires knowledge about and experience in out-of-hospital settings.  CPMs generally deliver in homes of their clients or free standing birth centers.
Look here to find CPM State-by-State Legal Status
North American Registry of Midwives (NARM)
The North American Registry of Midwives (NARM) is an international certification agency whose mission is to establish and administer certification for the credential "Certified Professional Midwife" (CPM). CPM certification validates entry-level knowledge, skills, and experience vital to responsible midwifery practice. This international certification process encompasses multiple educational routes of entry including apprenticeship, self-study, private midwifery schools, college- and university-based midwifery programs and nurse-midwifery. Created in 1987 by the Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA), NARM is committed to identifying standards and practices that reflect the excellence and diversity of the independent midwifery community in order to set the standard for North American midwifery.

Direct Entry Midwife (DEM)
A direct-entry midwife is an independent practitioner educated in the discipline of midwifery through self-study, a midwifery school, or a college- or university-based program distinct from the discipline of nursing. Most often they learn in an apprentice/preceptor relationship spanning several years.  A direct-entry midwife is trained to provide the Midwives Model of Care to healthy women and newborns throughout the childbearing cycle primarily in out-of-hospital settings.  DEMs deliver in a homebirth setting.
Family Practitioner (FP)
FPs graduate from medical school, but are not specialized inbirth.  Some FPs do 50-100 births a year, some do much less.  They refer to OB/GYNs and residents at the hospital where they have privileges.  They generally take a more natural outlook on the birth process than OB/GYNs.   Their philosophies often straddle the line between OB and Midwife.  However, that is a generalization and you need to take it upon yourself to inquire about their perspectives and routine procedural care as well as hospital protocol.  FPs only deliver in the hospital (in the US, in other parts of the world they often do homebirths).
Lay Midwife (LM)
The term "Lay Midwife" has been used to designate an uncertified or unlicensed midwife who was educated through informal routes such as self-study or apprenticeship with a preceptor, rather than through a formal program. This term does not necessarily mean a low level of education, just that the midwife either chose not to become certified or licensed, or there was no certification available for her type of education (as was the fact before the Certified Professional Midwife credential was available). Other similar terms to describe uncertified or unlicensed midwives are traditional midwife, traditional birth attendant, granny midwife and independent midwife.  LMs deliver in a homebirth setting.
A person, who instructs, supervises and/or assesses the clinical skills and knowledge of a student throughout the process of meeting the specific knowledge, skills and experience goals required to fulfill professional standards. Preceptor-based education offers the student one-on-one instruction, close supervision of clinical experience and on-the-spot evaluation.States, Provinces or organizations may have specific requirements to qualify as a preceptor.
Obstetrics and gynecology (OB/GYN)
Two surgical–medical specialties dealing with the female reproductive organs in their pregnant and non-pregnant state, respectively, and as such are often combined to form a single medical specialty and postgraduate training program. This combined training prepares the practicing OB/GYN to be adept at the surgical management of the entire scope of clinical pathology involving female reproductive organs, and to provide care for both pregnant and non-pregnant patients. They are intended to manage high risk pregnancies and surgery on the fetus, referred to as perinatology.  In the US, four years in residency are required.  A bachelors degree is the minimum formal education required.  They are accredited by the Accredited Council of Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) and the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ABOG). To be recognized as a board-certified subspecialist by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology or the American Osteopathic Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, a practitioner must have completed an ACGME or AOA-accredited residency and obtained a Certificate of Added Qualifications (CAQ) which requires an additional standardized examination.  OB/GYN only delivers in a hospital setting.

   Ashley Turner


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Research and Reading, Motherhood's First Steps

So you’re having a baby! .....What’s next?  Between creating gift registries, attending baby showers, readying a nursery, exercising, maintaining relationships with our partner, baby moons, doctor appointments, dealing with our blossoming bodies and midnight cravings, COULD YOU SQUEEZE MORE INTO NINE MONTHS?  I say yes!

What could you be missing, RESEARCH! 

When women find out they are pregnant, one of the first steps they take is to make an appointment with an OBGYN (obstetrician/ gynecologist) generally recommended via word of mouth by a friend or family member.  But why do ‘we’ do this?  Did you know there are other options besides this one?  This article isn’t about hospital vs. homebirth or epidural vs. natural, it’s about stressing the importance of taking a proactive role in your own care.  This doesn’t mean that you know better than a care provider who has gone through medical school/training, BUT that you know you can ask questions, can make INFORMED decisions, and can participate in conversations about your OPTIONS. 

After all we are consumers.  We are choosing a provider albeit a hospital/birth center/midwife and they are performing a service for us.   Hospitals give tours and OBs and Midwives do free of charge interviews for first time clients.  They want our business.  And we want the best!

Ask yourself this, how long did you research the phone you bought?  How about your house?  How many houses did your realtor show you before you decided on one?  How many cars did you test drive?  How many different tiles did you look at for your bathroom?  The point is, we spend a lot of time researching THINGS but do not necessarily put as much effort into researching health choices.  The obvious reason for this is, we trust.  We trust that the doctor knows best.

With any profession there are less and more experienced.  There are people who are called to a profession that have a talent for it, and those that do a job.  The great thing about being a consumer is that YOU GET TO CHOOSE.  Take advantage of that! 

Childbirth is one aspect of a woman’s life that she will remember forever.  There have been several studies done where women are assessed immediately after birth, and many years later, recalling her experiences exactly; down to the smell and temperature of her room.   I inspire you to make the time to learn about your options.   You want to have a fantastic memory if it’s going to be with you forever!

Here is a list I have compiled for suggested reading.  They are purposely chosen to show a variety of options and information.    The great thing about books is that there is not only one author.  For every one subject there are a dozen points of views, opinions and “experts”.   Our job is to read through it all and discern what is important to us.   Take the time, you deserve it!

Congratulations on the impending birth of your new little one! 
 Ashley Morrow