• Food tests

    Well Food Sensitivity tests (IgG) hit the news recently. May have been a slow news day, may have been someone trying to stop thousands of people from loosing their minds over what they can or can not eat.

    note * I am not a fan of IgG tests. That is just my opinion. Restricting certain foods when you are in digestive crisis can help a lot. When a person is in a health crisis there is a lot of conflicting information, Dr Google is not always your friend, neither are blogs that are not specifically talking about your case. For medical advice see your Family Doctor, for Oriental Medical Advice come see me, for other Allopathic advice you can see a Registered Nutritionist, Dietitian, Naturopathic Doctor, Chiropractor and other registered Medical professionals. Do not change what you are doing because of a blog post. *

    The article you can see here, makes it sound like the tests are a complete sham and Naturopaths and a few MD’s sell them for the easy money and an easy treatment plan. In USA and Canada their is $20 BILLION dollars of private money spent in getting this test done.

    Your tummy hurts, you have tried this and that and you are upset and tired of it. The ND says you may have some food sensitivity’s or worse intolerance’s and this test will tell us. A normal person would say, lets do it!

    A short to very long list comes back of foods YOU CAN NOT EAT or YOU WILL GET SICK!

    I have seen a few hundred of these lists and wow does it freak a person out, not me, the one that got the list.

    I have tried to explain it a few hundred times to people why the test is not a great idea, I have tried to explain how they can eat most of the foods on the list, I have tried. But, I get told how I do not understand, this list came from a lab! For sure many of the foods on the list are not worth eating, it’s just the foods are not really the problem.

    Read more

  • The power of slowing down

    I occasionally get to treat someone from a far off place. Sometimes I have even been there. We will start talking about how life is in their country.

    Then I will start to remember how I was there compared to here.

    We really go with our hair straight back in this country, well I normally do and most of the people I see in clinic also do that.

    I think they should turn the power off for 10 hours in this country that would solve everything. I imagine that is how the first generator was built.

    For most of written history, people got more down time. Especially for the eyes. With screens, internet, tv… our poor eyes get used a lot.Read more

  • Season changes and a tune up

    Well, a season change is upon us. There is some color in the leaves and the cool mornings signal that fall is approaching. This season change, more than the others, I get people who are not well.

    People just feel off, their get up and go, went.

    What is going on? Well it is traditionally the time we slow down a bit. Harvest is just finishing, there are lots of party’s to celebrate getting the crops in. For much of recent history, we would take a couple of weeks easy, until we prepared for the winter.

    Now-a-days there are no “seasons”. My dad is out farming and getting the crops in, but it’s on a massive tractor. Not a machine pulled by horses, like when he was a child.

    Studying Traditional Chinese Medicine in school, I would read about the importance of getting treatments at season changes and thought they where kidding. Now after 20+ years I know they are serious about it.Read more

  • Synvisc related to natural therapies

    A person has no cartilage left in their knee and it hurts. The doctor says you need $400 injections of Synvisc it’s magic.

    You may ask “hey Doc any other more natural approaches?” 

    Well there is the combs of roosters. You say “WHAT!!!”

    Yeah you know the red funny looking thing on the top of a rooster. Lets grind that up and you take some. Would you?

    Well that of course is what Synvisc is made of.(1) You likely thought is was some high tech drug. There are several high tech drug injections, but if you ask around you will find out stuff made from chicken combs works the best, but why does it cost $400 a shot? (that’s another story)

    Being in “natural” therapies I mostly hear from Doctors that foods, herbs, supplements are a waste of time and seldom work. Then they inject a crazy expensive form of hyaluronic acid from the combs of chicken.
    Read more

  • Long term medication

    Recently I have been working with some older people who have very strange problems.

    I had the opportunity to speak with one’s GP, which I thought was very progressive for the GP. I mentioned the person was on blood pressure medication for 40 years and could that affect this situation. He thought it could.

    Now would the person be alive if they had not taken the medication in the first place all those years. That’s tough to say.

    Could they have done other things in those years to get their blood pressure in check? Again tough to say. However in 40 years you think something could be done.

    I have another client I get to speak to their GP about. I don’t know if it’s a trend but in 20 years these are the first times a GP has asked what I think. It’s a bit of a shock really, but I am happy to put in my opinion.

    Again my first question is on the persons long term medications. Don’t misunderstand me, I am all for properly prescribed, necessary medications. In the past I have taken my share and I would take them again if I needed them. I have no problem with the miracles of modern medicine.

    But, everything has a cost. Long term those costs will come to collect. I think there are ways that people can lessen and sometimes eliminate medications and for that matter “health supplements”

    An example of that is digestive enzymes, they are okay to take for a few months but not a few years. If you find you still need them after 6 months, further investigation should happen.

    All I am saying is, if you are on long term prescription medications, or supplements have a look at what they do for you and see if there are some ways to do the same without them. Let’s take sleeping pills, their use is on the rise massively.  Google how to get to sleep. Do some of what it says for a week and see what happens, or call me and I’ll tell you.

    Think about it and talk to your health team and start working on lowering your med/supplement load. I recently finished a case where the person was on 12 meds and 2 years later they are on none. It was a long road, with full involvement of their Doctor and family. But the results where worth it.

    Be Well,
    Ward Willison
    Acupuncture & Other Natural Therapies

  • Making the medicine go down

    Ever tried to get a little person to swallow medicine? It can be impossible. Here is a solution developed by a pediatric psychologist, I just heard on the radio. It’s brilliant!

    Three parts and a few ‘advanced’ ideas at the end.

    1. Have them suck on a ice cube, frozen fruit or a popsicle. It turns down their taste buds.

    2. Get three portions of something they like to drink. Smoothie, thicker juice etc. If liquid pour, if pill crush the medicine and mix it in middle glass of liquid.

    3. Plug their nose! It also turns down the taste buds. Do this FIRST. then swallow glass with no medicine, glass with medicine, and finish with glass with no medicine.

    Voila! medicine inside body.

    Why do kids refuse to take medications that can actually save their life or at least get them better quicker? I see it more with kids that have been sick. They get so much stuff done to them for their “own good”. But often it hurts, is uncomfortable and separates them from their peer group.

    When they get a chance to control something they do it. Like what goes into their mouths. If you have had a sick young person you know the stress it brings on everyone. But most of the people involved are “mature”. Imagine how the little person feels. They have a big lack of control.

    What can we do about that. Let them control what the drink is (no whiskey), how it’s made, how the pill is opened, crushed. Type of glass, how the nose is plugged. The countdown to drinking, what the celebration is afterwards. Things like that.

    I have spent years working to get kids to take, often terrible tasting herbs. I wish I had heard this speaker before. It still might be tough with some kids but the ice and holding the nose are really good ideas.

    And like the song says, “A spoon full of sugar makes the medicine go down”

    Be Well,
    Ward Willison
    Acupuncture & Other Natural Therapies


  • Spring to it

    Ah early spring, really early spring it seems. We have little flowers in the yard, well until the deer ate them last night.

    The golf courses are going, runners abound, it’s the magical time when we ski in the morning and rush down for a quick round of golf.

    But wait what happens the next morning, you hurt all over? How could that be? Ah it’s the waking from hibernation time.

    This is my favorite time of year in the clinic, not only is there some sun shinning in the windows but there is the most diversity in people coming into the clinic. It’s a big variety of injuries, tears, sprains and pulls.

    The longer I practice the more I follow the old texts on health in Chinese Medicine. They warn of approaching Spring with respect, slowly opening the body to the new season and DON’T GO CRAZY with exercise. Rushing out to dig the garden, plant the flowers, go for a run.

    Winter is still the most ‘hibernating’ time for us. Our body’s get a bit out of shape. We get a bit more rest than other seasons and that is a good thing. Our minds they seem to skip that and think we can just go back to exactly what we where doing in the fall.

    Do yourself a favor and take it easy for the first couple of weeks. Rake the lawn over the weekend not the next 4 hours. You will be glad you did.

    But for the other 98% of us, I will be standing by in the clinic.

    Be Well,
    Ward Willison
    Acupuncture & Other Natural Therapies

  • Yuma AZ and snowbirds

    Did a winter vacation to see my dad, he snowbirds down in Yuma Az. it’s on the boarder of Arizona, California and Mexico. There is about 100,000 snowbirds that go there for the winter/spring. Let’s just say the average age is north or 75.

    It is flat, dry and is the sunniest town in the world! There are miles of RV’s of every type in all directions and all sorts of different types of houses. Some people take their RV and just park out in the desert and hang out, they call it ‘boon-docking’.

    I am stunned how busy my dad is. When I first showed up to Dad’s Casita/5th wheel lot, I asked why he had 10 couches, 50 chairs, enough cutlery etc for an army. Then the cars started showing up. We set up a BBQ in the lot and had a huge hot-dog party.

    Often there is a ‘bloody marry’ party. Where at 9am, 30-40 people will show up at someones house/RV/trailer and drink bloody marry’s till 10am, then 30 of us went for breakfast. Often at 4pm is happy hour where again 40 people show up and all are gone by 4:59. It’s like magic. One night we went to a fabulous house for supper with 15-20 people.

    On Thursdays they meet to go out to the desert and drive around to some old mine site, or look out or oasis. There is movie night’s, they go into the big city to see hockey or baseball games. It never ends.

    We went to Algodones Mexico and that is where things got interesting for me in the health business. The town of 5500 is about 1/4 pharmacy’s, 1/4 dentist, 1/4 eye glass shops and 1/4 everything else you’d think Mexico should have.

    The line up getting back into the USA was long and very social, everyone was visiting and most where carrying BIG BAGS OF DRUGS. Just not the kind 20 year olds think of. My dad’s been going down there for 10 years and after a couple of years I asked him what was surprising to him. His answer was how restricted some of the group was due to their medications and how many med they where on.

    I asked my dad what he thought his reason was for better health and he said the farm life. My dad farms about 4 moths a year. It’s not as hard a job as it once was but he’ll start at 6 am and normally turn into bed around 11-12 pm. He’ll do that in the spring for 6-8 weeks and in the fall harvest for 3 months.  He’s pretty tough for a 72 year old.

    When the group realized what I did for work the health questions started. I think I could be busy down there. To age well I encourage all of us to do the following:

    Eat well, learn what eating well for you means. It can take 10-15 years of casual study to get a food plan that works for you so start right away. Start small and just pick an area of study each year to get better at it. My first year was how to eat more vegetables, then we worked on finding better sources of meat. Last year was finding ways for me to eat more fruit. This year I am studying the microbiome (the bugs in us).

    Get active. Find things you like to do that work your muscles in a balanced way. I talked to a retired PE teacher in Yuma. He’s messed up. How we trained and stretched 40+ years ago was mostly a bad idea. There are a lot of 70 year olds that have terrible body structures. If it hurts regularly then maybe it’s not for you. I of course love Tai Chi but there are thousands of activities you can do to keep fit.

    Find hobbies that activate your mind. If they can involve other people that’s a bonus. You want to keep your mind nimble and quick. A good way to do that is to use it. Find things that challenge you. I pick up a new hobby every 5 years. It reminds me how crappy it is to be brand new at things, it gives me the chance to improve at it and notice I can get better at things and it stretches my mind/body in new directions.

    Heal your injuries, whether they are physical, mental, spiritual, emotional or nutritional. As you age they can come and ruin your life. Many of us are trying to do just that, well continue then. It can take years to fix some things. I am reading a book on healing the gut for ADHD, they talk in years not months in this book.

    Get better social skills because if your going to Yuma your going to need them and enough stuff to sit 40 people for supper.

    Be Well,
    Ward Willison
    Acupuncture & Other Natural Therapies


  • Sparkilng good time

    I just got back from a weekend at Sparkling Hills Health Resort, it was nice. It is a “European Spa experience”. Basically 8-9 different steam rooms, some really nice pools, hot tub, gym, tea room, library room and a silent room, with a beautiful hotel built around it.

    We arrived at night and did not realize the thing is basically on a mountain top. We got to the spa and went to the outdoor pool, it was nicely warm and then the snow storm hit. That was fun, swimming around in an outdoor warm pool in a snow storm.

    The place was built in partnership with the Swarovski company so everywhere you look there are crystals. It is all very beautiful.

    It was my first time at a health retreat as a customer, normally I am working at my teacher retreat. I must say I enjoyed being on the receiving end.

    I encourage all of us to take a weekend now and then to totally unplug and notice just how fast the wheels of life have gotten. It was a nice time to re-connect with my wife and look at our lives and see where they are going and if we are happy with that. It seems we are.

    I met a few clients up there, one did a 7 day program up there and was very excited to tell us how it has revitalized her and recharged her life. It was interesting to hear about all her treatments and the fun she was having.

    Heather did the cryogenic chamber a -110c room (yep that’s SUPER cold). You are in there for 3 minutes for only $55 (yep that’s SUPER expensive) but there is positive reviews about the machine.

    Life is short, you only get one body take care of it. Going on a retreat is one way of doing that.

    Be Well,
    Ward Willison
    Acupuncture & Other Natural Therapies

  • Tai Chi for health

    I have been doing Tai Chi, which is basically a line dance from China, since 1999. I started because I have heard  it is good for you. About a month ago I started to understand it in a whole new way.

    My original teacher, James, started teaching again and I started going to regular classes again. He started expanding what I was doing and then one day about a month ago I had a strange experience.

    I was doing a move that pulled my arm across my abdomen. With his coaching and lots of repeats of the move eventually when I pulled my hand across my abdomen it would gurgle where ever my hand went!

    I must say it was a very strange thing. I would pull my hand from left to right and then back and it would just bubble inside back and forth with my hand,

    This last weekend I was lucky to attend a workshop with Mr. Boon Loh. Likely the most experienced practitioner in the society. He took me aside for a couple of times and put me threw the paces. He had my body doing things that where just incredible. For a guy who’s not supposed to be able to walk, I would like to have had those doctors there to see what I was doing.

    I have pushed hundreds of people to do Tai Chi and some still do. Most quit because it is boring and until a couple of months ago I agreed with them. Now I am excited to practice every day. Talking with Mr. Loh he says I have the whole mountain yet to see, I have only found a path. I will let you know what I see. Or better yet come with me.

    In my 30+ years of being in fitness I still maintain Tai Chi is the best overall exercise a person can do. The big reason is it is adjustable to how you are feeling. If you are having a good day you can make it very hard. If you are tired you can make it easier but still get the benefits of it. Old and young people can do it together equally, no one is slowing the other down or getting in their way. Some Tai Chi’s are built for injured people, some even do it in chairs.

    I have lots of great Tai Chi stories, next time you are in the clinic ask about the 75 year old lady in the wheelchair and at 80 doing 108 Don-yu’s.

    Kelowna contacts:

    Welcome to Wine Country Tai Chi Society


    Be Well,
    Ward Willison
    Acupuncture & Other Natural Therapies