Why “FIT” has nothing to do with “FAT”


Fitness is a gift.

I honor strength and people who do the work to enjoy the gift that is fitness.  Regardless of age or size or how their level of adiposity (fat cells)- if they do the work to keep their bodies strong and healthy, at whatever level/size they are able to achieve, they are enjoying the gift of fitness.

I made a post on Facebook yesterday that was taken completely out of context by a good lot of people and I am feeling bad about it, because it was not my intention. Strangely, whenever I mention the word “fitness”, or lack there of, people generally automatically assume I am calling someone fat.  Words can easily be taken out of context.  Perhaps, as a skinny girl, when I talk about fitness it is assumed that I am laying blame or pointing a finger at those less thin? I am not and my intention is to state things objectively, which still offends many. I’m very straight forward, that’s part of it.  I don’t apologize for that. However, I am not implying half the things I get accused of.

My post yesterday was on the topic of how exercise videos state, “Before engaging in this program or any other, please consult your doctor for advice”.  My next impulse is usually to chuckle because, as someone who has been to many a doctor in my lifetime and gone to school with hundreds, maybe 10% of them actually had a clue about real fitness.  The rest either did nothing themselves or were cardio junkies.  As I wrote the post I was thinking about a past doctor who looked like a skinny bird and told everyone to walk more and eat less fat.  That was the vision of “unfit” that I had in my head as I wrote the post.  Unfortunately, most everyone took my post as calling doctors fat.

I am a skinny girl, I always have been. My family is not thin.  So how did I end up thin? As a Naturopathic physician I am keenly aware of gastrointestinal health and it’s impact on one’s body.  What I always had been, until more recently, was a malnourished girl who couldn’t absorb enough nutrients to put/keep weight on in a healthy way.

I’ve been sick as long as I can remember.  Until recently I was always “that girl who got sick”. Let’s just say it’s been a LONG journey to get myself to the level of health and fitness that I now enjoy. Straight uphill battle. I have spent most of my life, aside from just the last decade, either sick (I mean SICK, in an out of doctor’s offices all of the time), or eating horribly or starving myself or all of the above.  I have nearly a handful of autoimmune conditions and have seen my hormones literally bottom out more times than I’d like to count.  Sadly, I did most all of it to myself. The punch line?  You would never guess it by looking at me.

Back to my family.  

There are some good genes in there all right.  Unfortunately many of my family have not figured out the life hacks for our genetic lineage.  Fortunately for me, I’ve dialed some of it in early enough to make a difference.  Unfortunately for me, I took complete crap care of myself for so long that there is some permanent damage done.  I chain smoked for a decade, lived off of bread and cheese and sugar, didn’t exercise much for a good decade and put myself through enough stress to kill an elephant. However, I know there are good genes in there and I try to get them to express themselves as much as possible!   It all comes down to how our genes express and we can control that to some degree.  How cool is that? Our genome is not up to us, but our phenome (or how our body expresses our given genetic code) is very much under our control.

That takes me back to fitness and my background, personally and professionally. Personally, my body responds quickly to exercise, so I adapt well and build muscle nicely.  Thanks Mom and Dad!  I also pack weight around my mid-section just by looking at a starchy carb, not so much thanks Dad.  I get my autoimmune conditions from both sides of the family, and I can tell you that until I figured out what the hell was going on with my immune system, life was pretty crappy.  I recall being sick as long as I can remember being alive.  Literally.  Feeling like crap, for no known reason, itching all over with no visible rash, joints hurting with no visible swelling, brain aching for no good reason…..just feeling like crap.  Sitting in bathtubs of oatmeal and epsom salts as an elementary aged kid crying because I couldn’t make the hurt and itch stop. I remember stomach aches all of the time, my entire life.  Things really ramped up in Jr High. After the hormones kicked in I had all of that and more.

I figured if I felt like crap then I might as well take crap care of myself.  So I started smoking and living off of processed foods.

Things got really interesting in college when I was nearly disabled from some mysterious anxiety/depression combo that crippled and almost drove me mad.  Along with it came some large weight swings.  For nearly 20 years I had a closet that ranged from size 4 to size 10, and I would just swing back and forth with the seasons.  Things got really bad after having my daughter in my mid-20’s.  Holy thyroid/adrenal/autoimmune issues!  (I later figured out that the weight swings were due to an autoimmune thyroid condition. Hyperthyroid, hypothyroid, back and forth, all the time, swing swing swing).

My physician (s) at the time just kept preaching the low-fat, high grain mantra and kept filling my mouth with an arsenal of pharmaceuticals (I joke that I did well later on in Pharmacology class because I had quite literally been on most classes of drugs that we were studying at some time in my life.  I personally knew all the side effects).  As I was nearly always trying to starve myself (because I couldn’t figure out why my weight was swinging and why my stomach always hurt) I became deficient in nearly every nutrient that I can think of.  Strangely, when I did not eat, I felt MUCH better…..that’s how food intolerances often work in people. Next time you see a young girl starving herself, before assuming that she’s just being difficult, perhaps ask her how her stomach and brain feel.

I am now often told now how great I look for my age.  Boy, if they could have only seen me 10-20 years ago when I was a puffy, autoimmune mess!  I am proud to say that my immune system is now in check (for the most part, it’s a daily conscious struggle), my body composition/weight has remained fairly stable over the past 8+ years and I generally feel good.  Sometimes I still feel horrid, and it’s ironic when you are autoimmune because no one can SEE anything wrong with you.  You end up curled up on the sofa, riddled with pain and anxiety, and no one understands because you “look fine”. Those days are rare anymore, they used to be the norm however and I will never lose sight of that, because I never want to go back.

How did I get my groove back and what does this have to do with fitness?

Holy smokes, that was a long haul back to any kind of groove.  I completed my Naturopathic and Chiropractic degree at the same time which nearly killed me.  I was unfit during most of the experience (how does one find time to sleep, let alone exercise when they are enrolled in 2 medical programs concurrently?).  So you take a skinny-fat* girl whose weight is swinging all over the place, you put her under enormous stress and make her sit on her rump all day in classes for nearly 6 yrs, and you throw in some decent spinal traumas, chronic ligamentous laxity due to autoimmune disease and poor diet, throw in a lifetime of fluroquinolone antibiotic use and POW!, along comes an epic car accident. What happens to said girl you ask?  Her tissues disintegrate off of her spine and she hurts ALL OF THE TIME.

Mind you, I’m tough.  I can endure a lot of pain.  I used to pride myself in not crying or flinching over broken bones as a kid and refuse care or when I’d get tattooed for 7 hours and not blink an eye. Now suddenly I was the princess and the pea, remember that story? I could literally feel every lump in my mattress, every ball of string in my clothing, I could no longer receive bear hugs because my spine hurt so badly.  I stopped eating, I stopped sleeping and I felt like I was dying.  It was 2003.

Fortunately for me I was surrounded by some amazing docs and interns at the two schools that I was attending . A few really pulled me through that swamp of terrible pain where every moment was an 8/10 pain.  I received a lot of passive care (that’s where your doc does something to you, like adjust your spine or inject you or massage you, etc).  Just as I was starting to improve from that car accident I had another major trauma to my spine.  I was literally crippled by it.  I would sneeze and my pelvis would unlock and I would crumple to the floor.  I had to brace myself when I coughed or laughed or sneezed, both hands on a wall kind of bracing, because I felt as if my pelvis and spine would shatter.  I was in a bad place and I was pissed off about it.  I was skin and bones at this point and looked like I was dying of cancer and yet everyone kept telling me how amazing I looked. That pissed me off even more.

It was at that point that I realized something EPIC and critical.  It occurred to me, as I lay crippled in bed on day 3, that I had to fix this.  No one was going to do it for me.  No therapy, applied to me by another doctor, was going to make enough of a difference to save my spine.  (Let me remind you that w/out a strong spine, one can not be a Chiropractor themselves, because it’s a full contact sport).  With my career on the line, not even out of school yet, and a completely unstable spine, I decided to act.  I remember crawling out of bed, crawling down the hall, opening a phone book and calling the Pilates studio down the street.

That moment saved my life, I firmly believe it. I tell patients daily that Pilates saved my life. It was in that moment that I stopped making excuses, stopped believing that someone else was going to fix this for me and started listening to my mentors and intern friends who had been barking at me to get moving!  I had made a million excuses to them as to why I could not move or rehab, etc.  I suddenly realized that if I didn’t get my stuff together I was going to be toast!  Pilates gave me my center of control back, physically and mentally.

“Move Your Buns Around”- Rick Marinelli, ND, MSOM

So began my journey into real fitness.  I had been formally and extensively trained in anatomy, biomechanics and rehabilitation in Chiropractic college. I knew what I needed to do, I just did not know how to integrate it into a simple and user-friendly format.  I’ve made a lot of gains in my fitness levels since 2003, I’ve experimented with a lot of techniques, exercises and ideas, worked with some great people. Running, yoga, Pilates, strength training, HIIT, boot camps, you name it.  Some of these did not work for me and my unstable pelvis.  Beyond just doing these activities myself, I’ve studied and learned and expanded my training in biomechanics, orthopedics, rehab, functional movement, Pilates, pain, neurological basis for pain, etc. I am a total geek about this stuff and I love to read the science, take seminars and experiment.

Some things are just not for me because my pelvis remains mildly unstable and that is ok.  I can’t do a lot of weighted squats, my back does not tolerate it, so I do other things to build my glutes that don’t hurt me. I can live with short runs on occasion and will never be a long distance runner, which is fine with me.  So long as I can outrun the zombies if they come around and climb up stuff when I get tired of running, I’m good!

I’ve also had a lot of regenerative injection therapy to my spine and pelvis which has made a world of difference.  My pelvis is still chronically unstable and hurts every day, but it’s a dull roar in the background of my otherwise awesome life full of healthy movement.

“I see dead people”

Not really, but I can see them on their way to the grave.  I tell patients all of the time that I can tell how fit someone is just by looking at them.  I think that anyone who is fit can do the same, it doesn’t take specialized training.  I have specialized training to look at things like gait, movement patterns, posture, muscle firing patterns, etc.  I can tell by how someone holds their skeleton up, their head carriage, their knee angles, their posture, how they bend down to tie either shoes with ease or not, I can tell how fit someone is just by looking at them. (I can also determine, within a few points generally, exactly where someone’s lab values are going to fall just by looking at them, that’s my Naturopathic training, and I’m usually spot on).  So yes, I can see dying people.  Because if you are not building tissue, you are genetically designed for degredation.

In my practice I do mainly musculoskeletal medicine, regenerative injection therapies, orthopedics and rehab.  That’s 99% of my work.  I treat joints all day long. I live this stuff.  I am the last stop after a long journey for most people, one that generally starts with their MD who tells them to rest it, the orthopedist who images it and tells them nothing is wrong or that they are not surgical candidates, usually shoots them up with cortisone then sends them to a PT who may or may not help them (the ones who see me were not helped).  If they are lucky they will find a good Chiropractor who will get them moderately improved and ultimately sends them to me for a consult for Prolotherapy.  They are often tired, frustrated and leery that anything will help at this point.  My main job is just convincing them to MOVE again.  Most patients are terrified to move the joint due to pain or perception of pain.  Treatment consists of rehab, nutrition and often injections (of good things to make your tissues heal, not cortisone which disintegrates them further).

This is where fitness comes in.  There are four categories of patients that I see: 1) The patients who come to me following a trauma, who were somewhat fit before the trauma, generally heal up quickly and efficiently. 2) The ones who were not fit and come in following a trauma are much slower to respond (that would have been skinny-fat me in 2003!) and often go into a chronic state if we are not aggressive with treatment.  3) The ones who come in chronic, but are fit, also heal more readily.  4) The last group are the ones who were never fit and are now very chronic.  Those are the toughest patients to treat and they generally spend a lot more money to get to a place where their pain is tolerable.

What about weight loss?  I could give a rip about weight loss, it comes as a side effect of good health and fitness generally.

I apply fitness to myself and my patients with a few main goals in mind: to improve function, stability, strength, balance and to decrease pain.  That’s it.  That’s why I work out nearly daily myself and why I am always telling my patients to get moving.  I can not recall the last time I told a patient to exercise to lose weight.  We know that exercise does not actually cause weight loss very well anyway (that’s mainly diet,  and a post for another day). Exercise does help you keep weight off, but it’s not the best weight loss aide.  My concerns in nearly every patient is function, stability, strength, balance and to decrease pain.

When I say “Unfit” I do not mean “Fat”.  I mean unfit!

As I am not a very big gal myself, when I talk about fitness in general, I am often misunderstood.  People are always shocked when I can lift something heavy or they grab my arms and feel strong muscles.  I may look small but I am mighty!

So I’m not talking fat, I’m talking muscle and cartilage and fascia and neurological movement patterns, not adiposity  Why fat even comes up baffles me.  More often than not when I think of someone “unfit” I think of all the skinny little vegan hipsters I see in Portland who end up on my treatment table with their ligaments torn to oblivion from a 35 mph impact in a car accident.  They just disintegrate because they don’t have the tissue integrity, strength and fitness level to withstand the impact.  Their bodies literally do not hold together as they would if they have been in some kind of decent fitness shape.  Size has NOTHING to do with it, if your tissues do not hold you together you are toast when it comes to injury.

I honor strength and people who do the work to enjoy the gift that is fitness.  Regardless of age or size or how their level of adiposity (fat cells)- if they do the work to keep their bodies strong and healthy, at whatever level they are able to achieve, they are enjoying the gift of fitness.  I thank my lucky stars every day that I have the tool of movement in my life to decrease my chronic pain and keep my immune system in balance.  It’s a gift that I take advantage of because it’s a powerful tool in pain reduction and longevity.  The work I do is very physical and I can do it well because of fitness.  It’s that simple. That’s the gift.  It has NOTHING to do with fat.

Do you enjoy the gift of fitness in your life?  Share your comments below and Happy 2014!

(*Skinny-fat:  A slang term in the fitness world to describe a person who appears small and, because of popular believe that small is healthy, appears healthy. They are, however, just bones and adipose (fat) tissue with very little muscle mass to boot.  They often suffer from the same disease processes that obese people do, namely metabolic syndrome/diabetes. The studies are showing  being “thin” with diabetes is far more sinister in the long run on your body than being obese with diabetes.)

Health Insurance and How it’s Poisoning Health Care

Chasing the Dragon

As my friends and patients well know, I have a very strong opinion in regards to health insurance, Obama Care and third party payers.  I have such a strong opinion, in fact, that  I have chosen to not write on this subject myself because I feel very emotionally charged about it.  I truly believe that the current model is broken and it is quickly poisoning American Healthcare.

Because of this broken model, the best and brightest of America’s youth are no longer pursuing healthcare as a career.  I could spell out a laundry-list of issues- but it’s not worth it.  Heed my warning- the next 20 years are going to be a mess in medicine.  Physicians will be quitting in droves, Ellis Wyatt style.

Ask my Canadian husband about the socialized health care model in Calgary.  When a dangerous infection was very much threatening his health, he was told he should go see a specialist.  The specialists office could schedule him- in 6 months.  That was after waiting for several hours in Urgent Care because it was not an “emergency” health issue.  He was only in Urgent Care because he did not have a Primary Care Physician, this is because Primary Care Physicians are in short supply in Calgary.  In fact, they are in such short supply that the doctors are now interviewing the patients.  After some basic labs the doctor then “chooses” whether or not they’ll accept the patient into their practice.  This is what we are asking for by demanding “Universal Healthcare”.

I have read such an assortment of articles and blog posts on the subject, but none have summed it up as well as Surgeon Robert Sewell, MD has here.  This is an issue of medical ethics- please enjoy:

Where Does Medicine Go From Here?

Would You Eat Kibble for the Rest of Your Life?

Colorful Kibble

Seriously?  I’m asking you to consider a diet of kibble for the rest of your life.  No other food choices, just dry kibble-like pellets of food.

I looked at my pet dogs when I was a kid an wondered why they so thankfully gobbled down pellets, day and night, and if they possibly longed for anything else to eat.

Barkley, my old boy

Have you studied up on how dog food is made?  It will turn your stomach.  Trust me, unless you’re feeding your dogs a high quality dog food and spending the money to do so, you are feeding them rancid oils and throw-back animal parts.  Sewer sludge is probably healthier.

Then I studied my pet rats and realized their food was mostly grains with some seeds thrown in for color.  Have you ever seen a rat seek out a grain field?  They seem much happier eating table scraps and garbage of variety.

Cute Ratty

So I tried the rat food.  It was horrid.  Dry, flavorless grains.  Not to mention all of my rats kept getting bloody noses and eventually dying.  I’ve been told it is “common” for rats to get these bloody nose illnesses, however as a physician I’m going to take an educated guess and assume massive nutritional deficiencies and possibly scurvy.

Then I tried the dog food.  Boo.  Smelled of rancid oil (it was a freshly opened bag) and tasted like cardboard that had been dipped into MSG laden fake beef flavoring.

I encouraged my mother to feed them something else.  She informed me that human food would make them ill.

You’ve all heard that one before.  “Human food will make your dogs ill”.

Really?  Seems to me that real food is real food, no matter what the species.  Meat is from animals, vegetables grow out of the ground and fruits are the flowering part of a tree or bush usually.  Nuts and berries grow from plants.  Dairy is derived from animals and so on.

Mom had a point, common human foods like processed cheese food, high fructose corn syrup and enriched white bread will of course make your dogs ill.  It will also kill you slowly.

Rancid oil, animal throw-away parts and synthetic vitamins added into a sludge then cooked at high temps to “bake” it into kibble bits is not real food.  However it’s fed to dogs every day all over the world.  Poor doggies, they don’t like that.

Would seem to me that if you look at a dogs dentition that they’re carnivores for the most part.  They would prefer meat given the choice over kibble pellets.  They also go crazy for butter (any fat for that matter) and various fruits and veggies.  Dogs do well on raw meat because their digestive tract is shorter than ours and they can handle meat that may be tainted with bacteria that would otherwise make a human ill.  They pulls berries off bushes and eat nuts given the opportunity.  They love fresh grass, herbs and some flowering plants.  I know, I observe them making these choices and I’ve had dogs my entire life.

Please don’t argue evolution with me on this one, dogs prefer to eat the same way they did hundreds of years ago before kibble was ever invented.

Happy Canine

Kibble was invented for the same reasons that disposable diapers, infant formula and panty hose were- convenience to us humans.

I Googled “Optimal Diets for _______” (insert animal of choice).  Turns out that grains are NOT on the top of any list for any animal.  Not even cows- high grain diets in cows make them sess pools of very dangerous E. Coli.  Rabbits prefer fresh vegetables and leafy greens.  Rats can live off anything and I’m thinking, having had many pet rats, they would be better off living on garbage than empty grains.

Look at your teeth in the mirror.  See those “canine” teeth?  They’re designed to rip through meat.  The incisors are for a similar purpose, mostly just for cutting any kind of food.  The ones in the back, the molars, are meant for chewing/grinding.  Does kibble need to be cut, rip or grind?  Nope.  It just crunches or smooshes.

Now, sit down and think about what you put in your mouth on a daily basis.   Are you eating pellets and kibble?  Probably not literally, however I observe humans just as much as I observe dogs and I’m shocked at what people consider “food”.

Most of it looks like kibble to me:

  • Bread
  • Crackers
  • Puffy packing material with cheese flavoring on it
  • Weird things in packages that come from convenience stores full of chemicals I can’t pronounce and coloring agents that are derived in a lab.
  • Soda
  • Artificial Sweeteners
  • Artificial Coloring
  • Fake Juice Drinks
  • Fake cheese products
  • Cereal
  • Genetically modified corn products (that’s in EVERYTHING),
  • Fake meat products
  • Fruit in cans drowning in high fructose corn syrup
  • Partially hydrogenated soybean oil (instead of butter)
  • Fake Meat Products made from genetically modified soy fashioned to taste like meat (which totally confuses me)
  • More chemicals I can’t pronounce and a whole bunch more junk I would never, ever allow my dogs to eat.

We are eating kibble people.  Yes, it’s true.  The food we feed our selves and more shockingly, our children, is worse than kibble.  No sensible person would put it into their dogs mouths, but they’ll gladly devour it themselves.

I know you don’t want to hear it or believe it, but unless 98% of your daily diet consists of the following, what I claim above is true:

  • Meat
  • Vegetables
  • Fruit
  • Real butter
  • Real non-rancid oils/fats
  • Water
  • 100% Juice products
  • Coffee, Tea, etc
  • Wine, Spirits, Beer

The above list is it, that’s what you’re supposed to eat as a human.

If you are confused about a food choice ask yourself the following few questions to determine if it is FOOD or KIBBLE:

1)  Does it look like where it came from?  (ie. meat looks like a piece of chicken, not a pressed nugget shaped item)

2)  Did it grow out of the ground or off a tree/bush?

3)  Did it once have a pulse or come out of an animal that had a pulse?

4)  Are there less than 5 ingredients on the label and can you identify and pronounce each one?

5)  Did it come from any where in the grocery store besides the periphery?

If you answer NO to any of these questions, it is suspect and probably kibble.  I suggest you put it down and choose something that comes from the above list of approved food choices.

Don’t live off of kibble people. We are being devoured as a country by obesity and chronic, preventable, degenerative diseases.

I challenge you to get a hold of your emotions on this issue and begin to make CONSCIOUS FOOD CHOICES.

Every day, every meal.

There is no perfect book or magic diet, there is only REAL FOOD.  Your mouth is not a garbage can, nor is your child’s, so stop acting as if it were.

I truly believe the government would prefer us all to be fat and slow, we are easier to control that way.

I’m challenging you to make choices that turn your instincts on and keep your headlights on high.

If you need more than one pharmaceutical on a daily basis to keep you functioning, you are likely not making these proper food choices.

If you don’t know how to read a nutrition label, learn.

If you don’t know what the difference between a grain (starch), a protein, a vegetable, a fat, etc is- google it and learn about it.

Growing Old is Not for Sissies

I challenge you to educate yourself on the subject and make the changes necessary for a long life, void of preventable diseases and sub-par standard of life.  Food is medicine!  Health is earned, not given.

Spring Flu Treatment- Old School Style

by Tyna Moore, ND, DC

I am home sick today with what feels like the flu.  I have been having muscle aches for a few days (which I attributed to gluten exposure as that usually causes me a great deal of pain), and my workouts have been difficult to finish as I’ve felt weaker.  Last night was spent nursing a fever, joint pain and ear aches.

I am  just excited that I mounted a fever!  Back in the day when I was not so healthy and vital I couldn’t get a fever going if I tried.  Fevers are our friends, and so long as it doesn’t get too alarmingly high, I say burn, baby, burn!!

While in Naturopathic school we learned quite a bit about the history of our medicine and many of the traditional treatments that are still employed today.  Common sense honestly, the kind of treatments that my great grandparents (and perhaps my grandparents) would have used regularly.  Something that resonated with me while in school was that many of the old school ND’s (Naturopathic Doctors) utilized manual manipulation of the spine whenever anyone was ill.  This makes sense to me because as a Chiropractor I know the power of a good adjustment.  More on that later.

I loved learning of these old treatments because they made sense to me.  Back in the day, whenever a patient came down with the flu the local ND would utilize a few treatments, in the home setting usually, that often led to a quick resolution for the patient.  No drugs, just good old fashioned common sense.  This is still true today.  When it comes to enhancing the immune system, we’ve got it covered.

During the 1918 Spanish Flu that killed as many as 50-100 million people worldwide, Naturopaths had great treatment successes “losses were less than 1% of the cases treated.”1

Recall too that most MD’s practiced this way before there were patented drugs to use.  The tools of the day were common sense, herbs and their hands!


Old School Flu Treatment:

1) Fast the Patient– Remember “feed a cold, starve a fever”?  This stems from the idea that the GI (gastrointestinal) tract does not need the added burden of having to digest food when the body is being attacked by a virus.  Meaning, your blood has better things to do when you’re under siege from a virus.  Prominent Naturopaths of the day counseled to fast all patients, absolutely, or risk the patient’s death.  What does this mean today?  The same thing!  I allow patients a light bone broth or Greens Juice (see below for my recipe).  No refined carbohydrates or sugars, they make your white blood cells “drunk” for hours.

Bone Broth

2) Hydrotherapy– This can be done in a variety of ways, however my version is simple.  Alternating Hot/Cold to tolerance of the patient.  My favorite way to accomplish this is to go to a dry sauna at the gym.  5-10 min in the sauna (don’t overdo it if you’re ill), then a cold rinse in the adjacent shower.  You do not have to cold rinse your entire body, perhaps just arms and legs and a splash on the face. Return to the sauna.  Repeat the cold splash.  Do this 3-4 times, always ending with cold.  It will increase your vitality and get your juices flowing!  (This process can be done with a hot shower followed by a cold spritz at the end, repeated several times, ending in cold).  Then go lay down for a bit while keeping the neck and hands/feet warm.


3)  SUN! Yes, SUN! – Sun baths were the treatment of the day.  Patients were wheeled out to sun porches and tanned.  This was a common and successful treatment for tuberculosis, and it was called Heliotherapy.  The patients that tanned the best were given the best prognosis.  My version involves a 5 minute trip to the conventional tanning bed and/or high doses of Vitamin D for a short duration  (10,000 IU of Vitamin D for a few days will not cause damage, if you plan on doing this for more than 5 days, please consult your Doctor!).  I carefully monitor my patients on heliotherapy or high dose Vit D therapy.  (Disclaimer:  I DO NOT advocate fake and baking until you’re orange.  I’m talking 1-2 short trips to a tanning bed that emits UVB to enhance Vit D production while you are acutely ill.  Always follow with high doses of antioxidants and do not make a habit of tanning!  It has been linked to skin cancer afterall)


4)  Chiropractic Treatment or Spinal Manipulation– ND’s were often trained as Chiropractors as well, and/or utilized spinal manipulation regularly.  They would make home visits to adjust the ill patient nearly daily to stimulate their vitality.  When I begin to feel any kind of illness coming on the FIRST thing I do is get a full spinal adjustment.  Head to toe, stimulate the nervous system and get lymph flowing.  I treat my patients the same way.  In an ideal world I would encourage the patient to be adjusted at least ONCE DAILY for the duration of the illness.  There are many reasons why this is a beneficial treatment, however the most logical is nervous system stimulation, joint mobility and lymph flow.  I am fortunate enough to live with a Chiropractor, so lucky me:)

Chiropractics treats more than the spine!

5)  Keep the Bowels Moving – This is paramount!  Constipation is never a good thing, particularly when you are ill and your body is trying to rid itself of the byproducts of the war going on inside.  Toxins and by products are eliminated via the bowels, skin, kidneys and lungs.  The bowels must be kept moving.  A warm water enema can be utilized for this purpose, small amounts of water delivered with a bulb should do the trick.  (BTW- your large intestine is connected to your anus, and this is where water is re-absorbed in the GI tract, so squirting small amounts of warm water up there, gently, should rehydrate a patient to some degree.  It’s an old treatment I learned from an old Chiropractor when one can’t stop vomiting and can’t hold water down.)

Bowel Movement Inducing Exercises

6)  Modulate a Fever – Note that this does not say, “squelch a fever”.  Fever is critical to healing.  It is the body’s own way of burning the buggers out of the system.  Fever, when modulated, is safe, effective and critical to healing.  When a patient can’t mount a fever, that’s when I start to worry.  A sweating, feverish patient is a sign of strong vitality.  Modulating the fever is important, and we do this with cool cloths to the forehead and nape of the neck, cool water on the wrists, etc- while keeping the rest of the patient warm.  I more often have to counsel patients on how to INDUCE a fever so they can get the healing response going-  this can be done by taking a hot bath and drinking a cup of ginger tea with a pinch of cayenne.  The sauna treatment above will often do the trick as well.

There are various other treatments that were utilized back in the day, including homeopathy, herbs and other Naturopathic treatments.  The above tips are simply my favorites that I have utilized most often with my patients.


Green Juice Drink

Greens Juice Recipe:

-Bunch of Organic Greens (spinach, kale, chard, collard greens)

-Organic Antioxidant Juice of Choice (I like Pomegranate, Blueberry, Cherry)

-Organic Apple for sweetness

-Water to desired consistency

Juice with juicer or high quality blender (I have a used Vitamix I bought for a great price, you can find them on Ebay).  Store in glass jar in refrigerator and drink throughout day.  You can add 1/2-1  scoop Whey Protein Powder to keep you strength up.


This information is not to replace your own doctors treatments and is definitely not intended as a stand alone treatment. The flu can be tricky and nasty, and moves fast.  Virulent strains can lead to secondary pneumonia infections and all kinds of more severe symptoms.  The ideas listed here are powerful adjunctive therapies meant to stimulate the immune system and the patient’s vitality, not replace your medical doctors advice. If you are suffering from an illness, it is best to consult with your local health care practitioner.

1)  Lust B. The flu again, don’t be afraid. Herald of Health and Naturopath. 1919;24(11):530.

Are You A Sleep Deprived Zombie?

Ah, precious sleep. It may be my favorite thing. Unfortunately, I’ve danced with a few rounds of terrible insomnia and know all too well what it’s like to have sleep elude you. After roughly 3 days of not sleeping well I start to lose my wits. Not only do I become crabby, but my reflexes are slowed, my brain halts to a crawl and a foreboding sense of doom overcomes my entire being.

One of the main question lines I ask during a New Patient Intake is all about sleep. Do you sleep well? How many hours a night? Do you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep? Do you feel rested upon waking in the morning? Do you feel you get enough sleep?

Most of my patients say “NO” to most of these questions. It’s a National Crisis, people are no longer sleeping well! I’m not exaggerating, the majority of my patients do not sleep well. There are many reasons for this, but regardless, it needs to be dealt with.

When a patient presents with very little in the way of overall health issues, but tells me that they are not sleeping well, I know it is going to be a difficult case. When patients have a laundry list of concerns but they are sleeping like a champ, it’s usually an easy fix with the rest.

How much sleep does an adult need? 8-10 hours a night. If you are not getting that much sleep a night, read on!

Lack of sleep has shown causation in obesity, diabetes, accidents, depression, heart disease, increased injuries and even cancer! I see a ton of chronic pain issues associated with sleep problems. There is science behind all of these issues, but that is for another post.

Beyond the diseases it can potentially lead to, if you are not sleeping deeply for a good period of the night, then you’re not releasing adequate Human Growth Hormone.  If you don’t have adequate HGH you are in fast forward in the aging process.

I’d like to address what some common causes are and what you can do about it.

Cause #1: Computer and Phone Screens
Yes, we all do it. We watch movies on our computers in bed, we check our phones right up until bedtime, we might even read a book on our phones/kindle/ipad, etc. That light coming from all of these sources messes with the natural surge of melatonin that is supposed to occur in the evening and completely reeks havoc on your sleep patterns. Monitors off at 9pm, it’s a good rule.

Cause #2: Stress and Adrenal Issues
When people are stressed their cortisol and adrenalin surges that are normally supposed to occur in a circadian rhythm during the day get messed up and cortisol starts to randomly surge at night. Do you wake up consistently between 3-5AM, with a start, for no reason? Wide awake? That’s your cortisol barking. Not as easy a fix as turning off your computer, that’s sorting out adrenal function.

Cause #3: Blood Sugar Issues
Managing and controlling your blood sugar is a topic for another post, but an easy habit you can adapt for our purposes here is to eat a small bit of protein (animal protein is best) and a small amount of carbohydrate right before bed. This should help your blood sugar not drop so low and the subsequent surge of cortisone that follows (see above).

Cause #4: Bed is for Sleeping
And sex. But not fighting, movie watching, reading stressful news on your Ipad, etc. It’s a comfortable place for sleeping, and it should be reserved for just that.

Cause #5: Pets
I love my dogs as much as anyone, but they keep me up all night. Panting, licking themselves, moving around. Pets cause a LOT of sleep disruption for people. Consider kicking them out at night.

Cause #6: Lighting
This is a BIG one. For one, people leave the lights around the house cranked up until just before bed, which is not at all natural. Natural light wanes in the evening into darkness at bedtime. We too should follow this pattern. Turn the lights down, dim the bedroom lights, get your body and hormones ready for bedtime starting a few hours before bedtime by dimming the house down a bit.

Cause #7: LED Lights
Alarm clocks, smoke detectors, air purifiers, etc. All of these contraptions have LED lights that stare out at you like little beady evil eyes all night long. And as you toss and turn and wake all night your eyes are drawn right to that alarm clock to remind you how bad the situation really is. Cover the alarm clocks, put a small bit of duct tape over ALL the LED lights in the room. Dark curtains, blocking all outside light, are best. The room should be as dark as a tomb. You will sleep so much better.

Cause #8: Lack of Exercise
If you wear yourself out physically during the day, instead of just mentally, you will sleep better. I promise.

My prescription to all my patients:

1) Buy a soft, comfortable eye mask  2) Cover all windows with dark curtains  3) Buy some soft, squishy ear plugs  4) Kick the pets out  5) Warm Epsom salt bath and calming tea before bed

If precious sleep is eluding you, I can help.   It’s often a simple fix and your body, mind and family will thank you for getting it sorted out!

In Good Health,

Dr Tyna Moore, ND, DC

Cholesterol- Friend or Foe?

I remember when my mom used to cook our eggs in bacon grease. They were delish! I also remember when we ate butter, cooked with it and loved it.

Then my parents moved us to So Cal and decided to get in great shape. Soon there was margarine on the table, in a tub. It didn’t taste nearly as good and it was no good to bake with. I was so disappointed. No more butter to be found. No more bacon grease to cook the eggs, instead she’d spray the teflon pans down with Pam cooking spray. Blech!

So no more butter, instead we were using aerosol spray partially hydrogenated soybean oil and tubs of the same yuck to spread and bake with.

This was the promise of my generation fat was villainized and lowering everyone’s cholesterol was going to save us all from the scourge of heart disease! Fortunately for me I’m old enough to recall a time with fat was NOT the enemy. For many of you, it’s all you’ve ever known. That’s your paradigm, that’s where your brain is hard-wired.

Then there were the fake fat potato chips in the 90’s. Don’t even get me started on that. I just recall my friend getting terrible diarrhea from them. That was good enough for me to stay away.

Did you know that my dogs won’t eat margarine? They’ll scarf down butter like crazy, but my smartest two dogs won’t touch margarine. I suppose they don’t like the nasty filmy taste it leaves in their mouths.

Back to Heart Disease.

Well, guess what? It’s 20 years later and people are still dropping like flies from heart disease!

So you know, there was a HUGE push by a pharmaceutical giant back in the 80’s to prove that cholesterol was the enemy. How deep the deceit goes is astounding. It’s all laid out in a great book called “Prescribing by Numbers- Drugs and the Definition of Disease” by Jeremy A Greene.

Cholesterol has never been strongly proven to be the cause of heart disease and Mr Greene lays out for the reader exactly how this whole myth fell into place. It was a well executed lie. The bottom line was $$$. Go figure.

If cholesterol isn’t enough, the powers that be broke it down into “good” and “bad” cholesterol. Do you really think that there is a molecule manufactured in our bodies that is inherently bad? Just so you all know, LDL (the so-called villain) is absolutely necessary for proper function of our immune system among other critical bodily functions.

Back to Cholesterol-

All of our cellular membranes are made of FAT. That’s right, every cell in your body is made of FAT. Of this fatty phospholipid membrane, a huge part of it consists of cholesterol molecules. So, we need cholesterol to keep our cellular integrity intact.

Here is the best part….ALL HORMONES ARE MADE FROM CHOLESTEROL. That’s right, Estrogen, Progesterone, Testosterone, Cortisol, even the sweetheart “vitamin” of the day- Vitamin D (which is really more of a hormone) is made from cholesterol.  If you can’t get your Vitamin D levels up, look at your cholesterol levels.

Low cholesterol levels are associated with a significant increase in mortality (ie. DEATH). I have posted a great graph depicting this. When looking at All Causes of Mortality, it shows us that men who had cholesterol levels between 200-240 had a significantly lower death rate. The sweet spot was 200-240. Now, I’ll bet you the last time you went to the doctor with a total cholesterol reading that high he probably told you that you needed statin drugs to protect you from heart disease.  If your cholesterol was around 150 he probably high-fived you!

Sources: BHF-HEARTSTATS and WHO-MORTALITY (Adapted). Cholesterol-Mortality-Chart

Here’s the clinical application of all of this. I see lots and lots of people with “high cholesterol” every day. I run blood on everyone and I see certain trends.

High cholesterol, in my opinion, is a total cholesterol over 220-230. Below that I’m not worried.

When I see a Triglyceride level that is close to the Cholesterol level, then I worry. This tells me that either the patient is sucking down soda, too much artificial sweetener, too much alcohol or their thyroid is off. It means their liver is turning fatty. That’s not good.

I only worry about high LDL’s when I know the patient has a crappy diet. LDL’s are not the problem, it’s frothy LDL’s that are. They “froth” in the presence of oxidation, ie. crappy diets. So, if the person is eating a high antioxidant diet and not in an oxidative mess, I’m not terribly concerned.

Do you know when I usually see cholesterol go up? When a patient’s thyroid gland is not functioning optimally. I also see it in response to hormone need. That means any of the hormones I listed above and then some. My job is to find out what hormones are low or sub-par.

Once I sort out the adrenal hormone, thyroid hormone and sex hormone mystery- supplement as needed- guess what? Folk’s cholesterol levels fall right back into the lovely normal range around 180-200. How about that?

I take my patients off statins immediately in most cases. I do this because we are going to do further hormonal testing and I monitor them closely to make sure their lipids don’t rocket up. So I don’t suggest any of you stop your statins without the guidance of a good Naturopath or holistic MD or DC.

And when the cholesterol creeps back up it’s usually because of hormone need, NOT because of statin need, NOT because of dietary fat intake. Dietary fat intake has very little effect on serum cholesterol levels.

Did you catch that? Dietary fat has little effect on serum cholesterol levels.

What does have a huge impact on serum cholesterol levels is crappy diet. Bad food choices, refined grains, too much sugar and artificial sweeteners, too much alcohol. Not always directly, no, but anytime a load is put on the liver I see cholesterol levels get off base.

Low cholesterol- now that’s associated with a killer disease. No, not heart disease, try Cancer. Yep, low cholesterol levels are strongly associated with increased cancer risk. Sure there are studies that will argue this, but there are some good long term studies that prove it also.

STATINS- Crestor, Lipitor, most all of the drugs ending in “or”.

Common Side Effects of Statins include body wide muscle pain, muscle weakness, joint pain, headache, liver issues, sore throat and increased risk for something called rhabdomyolysis. Look it up: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001505

Do statins lower cholesterol? Sure. Do they prevent heart attacks? Not so much. In fact, the cover story of the January 2008 Business Week magazine looked at the hard facts.

“So to spare one person a heart attack, 100 people had to take Lipitor for more than three years. The other 99 got no measurable benefit. Or to put it in terms of a little-known but useful statistic, the number needed to treat (or NNT) for one person to benefit is 100. Compare that with, say, today’s standard antibiotic therapy to eradicate ulcer-causing H. pylori stomach bacteria. The NNT is 1.1. Give the drugs to 11 people, and 10 will be cured.” – http://www.businessweek.com, “Do Cholesterol Drugs do Any Good?”.

So, Lipitor is the number one selling drug in the country and it’s not so useful and wicked expensive!

Just last month, January 2011, the Cochrane Review reported that if you’ve not had a heart attack already, statin drug use was not cost-effective or beneficial. http://www2.cochrane.org/reviews/en/ab004816.html

The Cochrane Review is the “gold standard” of medical literature, so there it is.

Bottom line, cholesterol is not a foe. It’s our friend. We are a country of dietary fat-o-phobes and it’s wrecking our health.

Jelly beans are labeled as “fat-free” for pete’s sakes, so people are lured into thinking it’s healthy.

More on the negative impacts of low cholesterol later. For now, eat your butter & stop eating fake butter spreads. Grass fed beef has the same omega 6:3 ratio as wild salmon! Healthy red meat, healthy fats like avocados, walnuts, coconut oil, butter, etc. You’ll feel better, your mind will work better, your nervous system will calm down and I promise, you won’t balloon up! Fat burns fat, I eat tons of it and I stay at a very healthy weight.

Fat-o-phobes NO MORE!

Thanks for listening,

Dr Tyna