Friday, February 7, 2014

Feeling Stressed? Reach for the Flowers.... The Amazing Healing Power of Flower Remedies to Energize

If you are feeling at all emotionally or physically drained or a bit off balance there is hope and it lies just outside your doors.. or something like that.  Beyond drugs, herbs and even traditional homeopathy is something quite amazing and very natural.  The essence of flowers.

As the ancient civilizations brewed up various elements of flowers, plants and trees for healing, medicinal purposes the continuation of that has morphed into the modern day by collecting dew from certain plants to capture their healing energies.  Sounds a little far fetched, but I have been using these as a therapist for over 10 years and personally for over 15 and have seen tremendous results.

Flower remedy therapy is another modality or element that I professionally use to help balance my clients.  Particularly, flower remedies focus on mental and emotional balance.  To ignore the mind and mental/emotional aspect of healing is to disregard our most powerful and abundant source of healing.

There is much research and recent clinical data supporting the fact that what we think, focus on, worry about, obsess and fantasize about can manifest in various health ailments and concerns.  When focusing on creating mind, body, emotional healing - flower remedies are great!

There are so many to discuss but I want to share two that are my favorites.  Nearly even client I encounter is stressed.  Who isn't stressed?  Mental and emotional can be exhausting and even worse the source of serious illness and dis-ease.  As such Olive and Hornbeam are great flower remedies to implement daily to help manage stress from an internal perspective.

 Lack of adequate energy and exhaustion plague many people. Exhaustion may manifest as weariness, lack of interest in the world and/or events, inertia and a general fatigue.

Hornbeam Flower Essence

In today’s fast paced world mental exhaustion precedes physical exhaustion. Because most of us work at jobs that require mental level focus and concentration. And there is often not much physical activity. For this use a steady dose of Hornbeam flower essence. 

This amazing flower remedy will help you to shake off the patterns you feel trapped by. Hornbeam flower essence is for mental exhaustion we all know the feeling, which comes as dread in the face of our daily routine. The mental fatigue this essence works addresses is around the dreariness of routine, the doldrums and lack of fulfillment. Here are the characteristics indicative of those needing Hornbeam Flower Essence:

  • You feel you don’t have the energy to face your day
  • You wake feeling more tired than when you went to bed
  • Expect work to be tiring, you lack enthusiasm
  • You feel heavy and tired all the time
  • You miss your vitality
  • You have that “Monday Morning” feeling often

Olive flower essence
Where as Hornbeam is related to exhaustion at the mental level Olive flower essence works with physical exhaustion. This remedy is strongly indicated for those who take their physical bodies to the limit and end up suffering from it. It is indicated for those who are exhausted from:

  • not enough sleep
  • overwork
  • debilitating illness
  • poor diet
  • great productivity

Olive flower essence is for those who ignore the warning systems of the body. The body is keen to inform us when we have gone too far and are at the brink of exhaustion. To expend yourself improperly leads to energy depletion and exhaustion. Olive flower essence helps you transition to healthier patterns and more vitality. When using Olive flower essence be sure to get enough rest, a physical check up and eat well.

How to  Use

I like to see clients take fowers 2-3x a day. Especially before their more stressful events/activities.  Work - relationships- family etc.  

In addition to using these essences internally I also suggest adding Hornbeam to a spray bottle and misting your space. This will keep the energy around you fresh. 

Also keep a bottle by your computer to keep yourself fresh and lively while you work. Hornbeam is great for tired eyes, to enliven the eyes add a few drops to a warm moist towel and put over the eyes.

If stress is plaguing you and you want to look at using flower remedies, please feel free to contact me.  I provide clients consultation in person and on the phone and have a very extensive intake from from training in flower therapy.  Call the office:  727-502-3464 to schedule your individualized session.
Melissa Gallagher, ND

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Thursday, February 6, 2014

A Natural Guide to Improving Energy: Managing Adrenal Fatigue, Chronic Fatigue, Adrenal insufficiency, Extreme Fatigue and Adrenal Burn Out Naturally

Getting Re-Energized: A Guide to
Supporting Your Adrenals

To understand the importance of the adrenals in your body’s response to stress, let’s start by looking at what your adrenals glands do. Your adrenal glands are essential to life as they help you cope with all types of stress. As part of the endocrine system, their role is to govern the fight or flight response (alarm reaction) and get you ready for action. The adrenal glands sit over the kidneys, where they play a significant role in the body, secreting more than 50 hormones necessary for life, including epinephrine (adrenaline), cortisol, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), progesterone and testosterone. Making sure that your adrenals produce the right amount of hormones is crucial – too much or too little of any particular hormone can cause havoc in your body and affect your ability to deal with the demands of living.

What is Adrenal Fatigue or Insufficiency?

Adrenal Fatigue is a medical condition where the adrenal glands are unable to produce adequate amounts of the hormones necessary for proper body function. This lack of hormones results in changes in the body’s carbohydrate, protein and fat metabolism, fluid and electrolyte balance, heart and cardiovascular system and even sex drive. The result of this imbalance means that the individual experiences normal everyday stresses as overwhelming, resulting in complete and utter exhaustion that never seems to be relieved no matter how much sleep or rest they get. Although you can’t see adrenal fatigue, as there are no visible symptoms, it is a crippling and devastating condition for its sufferers. The fact that it is invisible makes it even harder for sufferers as others may question the individual’s symptoms and the validity of the condition itself. Individuals suffering from adrenal fatigue may look and seem healthy but they are feeling like their energy and life is slipping away.

Causes of Adrenal Fatigue

The underlying cause of adrenal fatigue is ongoing, continuous unresolved stress. The stress can be
emotional, mental, physical or external such as; poor diet, heavy metal toxicity, extreme shock and emotional trauma, excessive exercise, physical trauma, working too hard without enough rest, over-indulgence in stimulants like coffee, tea, tobacco, and narcotics, excessive use of cortisone therapy, lack of sleep or infections. Unfortunately, the body reacts the same way to both real and imagined threats. For instance, constant worrying about a relationship ending can cause the same over-taxing of the adrenals and suppression of the immune system as actually having the relationship end. So your thinking has a major impact on your adrenal health and therefore your overall well-being. When the brain interprets an event as threatening (stressful) the adrenals begin to work. They signal the nervous system to prepare to fight or flee. Even though the stressful event may be over, the body continues to fight. When this state of emergency is maintained for long periods of time, the body’s reserves become depleted and the immune system and adrenals are weakened.

During the early stages of adrenal fatigue your body produces an excess amount of cortisol to deal with the constant fight or flight response initiated by the stress. High cortisol levels can result in obesity, increased cholesterol and blood pressure,altered brain chemistry causing depression and anxiety, insulin resistance and osteoporosis. If you fail to address the stress, eventually your adrenals become so exhausted that they are no longer able to produce an adequate amount of cortisol or other necessary hormones to maintain normal physiological function. Adrenal Fatigue can become a chronic ongoing condition, so to avoid it in the first place it’s so important to listen to your body. If you are tired it is pointless trying to rebel against what you body is telling you. You may be able to convince yourself that nothing is wrong and that’s its just mind over matter or that all you need is some more caffeine or sugar, but in the end your body will be heard even if it has to fall apart and shut down for you to hear what it is saying to you – and that is that you need to stop and rest.

Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue

  • Always feeling cold
  • Anxiety
  • Chronic low-grade infections
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Night sweats
  • Needing to go to the bathroom at night
  • Depression
  • Environmental sensitivities
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Headaches
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Inability to focus or concentrate
  • Increased allergies
  • Insomnia
  • Light-headedness
  • Lower back pain in kidney area and sacrum
  • Low blood pressure
  • Muscular weakness
  • Poor memory
  • Scanty perspiration
  • Sensitivity to light, noise, touch, movement
  • Total feeling of exhaustion
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Feeling overwhelmed by little things
  • Nausea

Adrenal fatigue is a type of syndrome caused by the decreased function of the adrenal glands. This syndrome is caused by prolonged periods of overwork, nervousness, stress, and pressure from daily life. It may also be triggered by acute or chronic infections, including respiratory disorders, such as the common cold, bronchitis, or pneumonia. This type of fatigue persists even with rest or sleep. Adrenal fatigue patients will feel like they are in a constant state of illness, lethargic or “feeling gray”. Suffering this type of listlessness, they become dependent on coffee, caffeine or other stimulants to get through the day. Adrenal fatigue syndrome is also referred to as non-Addison hypadrenia, sub-clinical neurasthenia, and adrenal apathy. Millions of people in the United States and throughout the world suffer adrenal fatigue.

Cortisol & Adrenals
Cortisol, is extremely important for keeping our body systems in balance, as well as protecting our cells.

For example:

  • It controls the strength of the immune system: Too much cortisol weakens the immune system, setting the motions for increased susceptibility to infections and cancer, while too little leads to an overactive immune system and autoimmune disease.
  • It normalizes blood sugar.
  • It regulates blood pressure.

Chinese Medicine & Adrenal Support
Your body contains both Yin and Yang Chi and in health, the relaxed Yin state balances the adrenal Yang state. The problem arises when you have an excess of either Yin or Yang influences in your life. In Chinese Medicine the adrenal glands are part of the water element and relate to kidney energy. The kidneys are seen as the single most important organ affecting the length and quality of your life. They control your internal Chi, your Yin/Yang balance and house your Jing which is your life force, your aliveness, your creative power and your essence. Abundant kidney Chi correlates to a strong physical constitution as well as a strong innate sense of purpose and will. Since the adrenals relate to kidney Chi, Adrenal Fatigue is considered to be a Kidney Yang Deficiency. However, if the condition continues without treatment, it can also result in a Kidney Yin Deficiency. Kidney Yang relates to the reactive, sympathetic nervous system and the secretion of epinephrine and norepinephrine.

In contrast, Kidney Yin is the parasympathetic nervous system relating to the secretion of cortisol. Just as the body requires some degree of Yang adrenaline hormone to create motivation to react both to normal as well as life threatening stimulus, it also has a continual need for the Yin hormone, cortisol to buffer the effects of stress. In the early stages of stress, the body increases its production of cortisol, while in the later stages its secretion of cortisol is severely diminished. This lack of cortisol is diagnosed as “Kidney Yin Deficiency.”

The clinical manifestations of Kidney Yang Deficiency are: soreness of the back, cold knees, sensation of cold in the back, aversion to cold, weak legs, bright-white complexion, weak knees, impotence,premature ejaculation, lassitude, abundant-clear urination, scanty-clear urination, apathy, oedema of the legs, infertility in women, poor appetite and loose stools.  The tongue is pale, swollen and wet and the pulse is deep and weak.

In Chinese Medicine theory, when there is kidney Yang deficiency, the body fails to transform the essence leading to a decline in endocrine and physiological functions.
The way to treat Kidney Yang deficiency is to warm the kidney. This means reducing your intake of cold (eg ice cream and other frozen foods, iced drinks), raw foods and antibiotics, as these foods inhibit your body’s warming function, eventually depleting Yang. In addition, the use of sugar can overstimulate the sympathetic reflex and deplete kidney Yang. Deficient kidney Yin is manifested with symptoms of aching, soreness of the lumbar region of the back, weakness of the legs and knees, tinnitus, dizziness, vertigo, constipation, night sweats,insomnia, dry throat, feverish sensation in the soles and palms, nocturnal emission, and in women, scanty menstrual flow and amenorrhoea, flushed complexion, heat, nervousness, anxiety, insomnia, dryness and chronic signs of inflammation and wasting. A deficiency of Yin suggests that the maintaining and repairing function of the body is depleted or lacking.

Supporting Kidney Qi (energy)

Re-energizing the kidneys takes dedication.  A combination approach is the best and most balanced way to bring life back into the kidneys. I like to recommend the following program for my clients to capture energy to restore their body.
  • Have fun – watch comedy show
  • Tap into creative side
  • Color with coloring book & crayons
  • Play with paint
  • Detox negativity & negative people & situations from your life
  • Walk outside
  • Read a favorite childhood book
  • Watch a cartoon
  • Detox in an infrared sauna
  • Replace toxic chemical products used around house

Healing the Adrenals

If you take your treatment plan seriously, you can expect your adrenal fatigue to heal in:

6 to 9 months for minor adrenal fatigue
12 to 18 months for moderate fatigue
Up to 24 months for severe adrenal fatigue

**If you suffer from symptoms described in this article, please contact us.  Melissa can work with you to test your adrenals via saliva test and can help create a customized plan to get you feeling better.  

Melissa Gallagher, ND

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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Ebook: Lymphedema Management - How To Manage Lymphedema, Leg Swelling and Edema from Cancer, Vascular Insufficiency, Bug Bites, Obesity and Liposuction

In thinking about how I can further help my community and reach out to more individuals who are managing Lymphedema across the US and in other countries it became clear that I needed to educate the masses.  I call it my "One to Many" approach and this year I have set forth in taking steps to educate and reach more people facing Lymphedema diagnosis and who are successfully or unsucessfully managing Lymphedema in their daily lives.  I will be conducting webinars, am writing booklets and ebooks and a website dedicated to Lymphedema education. 

  • If you have battled and beat cancer and have Lymphedema - I want to help you.
  • If you are dealing with vascular insufficiencies and have severe swelling and Lymphedema - I want to help you.
  • If you are bed bound by extreme obesity and are carrying a lot of excess fluid - I want to help you.
  • If you had a bug bite or spider bite that resulted in a swollen limb- I want to help you.
  • If you were born with an improper functioning lymphatic system - I want to help you.
 You are the audience I want to educate and hear from!  I work daily with individuals who bemoan the process and the medical world that ignores their symptoms, mistreats and misdiagnoses their conditions until the advance to a degree where there is no reversal possible or worse yet, see therapist who are ill trained or not credentialed who do further damage.  Education is key and this is at the heart of my mission this year.

I'd like to share with you the beginning of my EBOOK Forward:

My intention in writing this book is to share information with you, my reader, in an attempt to shed light on the lymphatic system and the disease we call Lymphedema.  I am a Naturopath and a Certified Lymphatic Drainage Therapist who specializes in working with all types of cases of lymphatic disorders.  One of those disorders that I more commonly misdiagnosed, mistreated or even neglected by the medical profession is Lymphedema. 

It has been my mission in my wellness practice to convey as much information to my client and patient base as is humanly possible about their lymphatic system and how it functions and works for them and in the worse case scenarios, against them.  The lymphatic system is the least discussed, addressed and educated system in out entire body.  While we know more about it than the function of the brain, there is minimal literature, clinical research and documented information about the role and function of our lymphatic system in key diseases and disorders that helps educate both our medical community and our community as a whole. 

Over the years I have worked with cancer patients, bariatric patients, morbidly obese patients and patients who suffer from blood clots and chronic venous insufficiency.  Part of my care plan with these individuals involves lymphatic drainage therapy, wound care, compression therapy and education.  The education with each individual and sometimes their family members, begins with showing them the diagram of the lymphatic system and then a simple yet thorough explanation about the lymphatic system, how it works, why it isn’t working for my them and where the malfunction or disorder has originated based on their diagnosis and then set for the steps and plan to create and begin their healing process.  The education pulls together secondary or tertiary symptoms that are all inner related and explains why they feel how they feel and serves to further explain the interconnected and symbiotic relationship of our body.

It is the education that I have found most valuable long term and most lacking for these individuals.  Routinely I hear my clients say:

  • “Why didn’t the doctor explain to me the risk factor of a masectomy?”
  • “I wish someone would have explained that removing several lymph nodes would increase my likelihood of developing lymphedema in the future”
  • “I know caner is bad and doctors want to get you on their protocol as quickly as possible with surgery then chemo and then radiation, but why don’t they sit down and tell you about the role of the lymphatic system and how to support this system so that healing can be maximized”
  • “I thought you only have 20 lymph nodes or so in the body…. You really have 800-1200??”
  • “The plastic surgeon didn’t tell me my lymphatic system would be damaged by liposuction”  
  •  "No one told me a blood clot in your leg may indicate a situation where blood flow and lymph flow is greatly reduced causing a pooling of excess blood that is a visible rusty color on the skin and that is an indicator of early stages of Lymphedema,”
  • “Why don’t the doctors tell you anything about the lymphatic system?  Do they even know anything about it?”

If you are like them, I know you will find within this book and the glossary in the back, an invaluable resource of information and reference guide that you can refer to along your healing journey.

I have witnessed some amazing changes in my clients lives through education and some lifestyle changes that address appropriate lymphedema therapies, exercises and nutrition and have been pleasantly surprised by cases that have reversed in ways the clinicians said would never be possible.  Your body is an amazing healing entity that is seeking balance.  By understanding your body, how it works and how you can help it become more balanced, you no longer are controlled by your diagnosis.  It is my hope to empower you to be more in control of you situation and not feel like you body is spiraling out of your control.  If you follow along with the recommendations, the diet and exercises in this book, I know you will feel so much better and will achieve some life changing results.


If you are suffering from Lymphedema or believe you may be- please I welcome you to call or email me.  Please connect with me on social media as well - I try to provide a lot of great education resources and info on these forums as well:

Twitter: HealthbyMelissa

St Petersburg Therapist offers Lymphatic Drainage Therapy, Ear Candling, Laser Cellulite Reduction Therapy and Customized Nutrition Programs to meet New Years Health Resolutions in 2014

Happy New Year!
The new year is here and it is quickly progressing.  Are you staying on track with your new years resolutions? Many of Melissa's clients resolutions are filled with healthy intents and new wellness oriented programs. Contact Melissa and she will get you started on a plan that will enhance your energy, happiness and get you feeling great overall!

Here are a few ways Melissa can help you look and feel your best:
  • Detox and jump start weight loss with a powerful combo: lymphatic drainage therapy followed by an ionized detox foot bath
  • Get a Laser Skin Tightening treatment for your face, neck and hands
  • Consider a Cellulite Laser Reduction treatment to rock out your fabulous legs with any holiday dress
  • Try a Lymphatic Therapy Session to reduce any swelling in your feet, ankles, hands and face as you may be consuming more salt than normal
  • Get a customized Nutrition Program so you can minimize the 10-15lb holiday weight gain
  • Rejuvenate Your Hormones naturally, so you can feel energized and ready to tackle the holiday shopping, parties and festivities with your family and friends
  • Create your Healthy New Years resolution with an individualized health plan by Melissa
  • Cleanse your ears with a peaceful Ear Candling Session
If you seeking to start a healthy program or enhance your existing program in a healthy way, please consider Healthy Being by Melissa a resource for you. Contact us directly at 727-502-346. Melissa is available in person or for a phone consult.  

Wishing you a healthy, happy year!
:) Melissa