What Is Craniosacral Therapy?

craniotherapyCraniosacral therapy is a treatment modality based on the concepts of both cerebrospinal fluid flow and skull suture flexibility.  It is also called cranial balancing, cranial osteopathy, and craniopathy.  This therapy was developed in the early 1970’s by chiropractor John Upledger.

Proponents of craniosacral therapy (CST) describe it as a subtle manipulation of the cranial sutures to release deep muscle tension and improve overall health and homeostasis.  With very light manual pressure applied by a trained provider, cerebrospinal fluid that is palpated at the cranial suture lines can be redistributed to re-establish holistic balance.  The core concepts of CST are the inherent motility of the cerebrospinal fluid and the mobility of the cranial bones.

During a session, the CST provider places their fingertips along the cranial sutures and focuses on the subtle pressure variances.  Soft touch is exerted with allows the provider to balance the pulsing and shifting along these areas.  Craniosacral therapy can be utilized for such conditions as anxiety, insomnia, pain, and stress relief  It is often used as an adjunct to other treatment modalities (acupuncture, massage, medications) rather than a first-line treatment.

Hermann Wellness, a holistic internal medicine practice, maintains offices in Tampa and Saint Petersburg Beach, Florida.  Please contact the office at 813-902-9559 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Immune boosting foods

As the cold season ensues, you might find yourself wondering what foods you can consume to naturally boost the immune system. Our immune system is our first line of defense against outside invaders. We rely heavily on the integrity and function of our immune system to prevent us from getting sick with a cold that could land us in bed for several days. It is important then to consider how we can support the optimal functioning of our immune system with foods. In general avoiding unprocessed foods and sugars will help keep your immune system strong. Increasing the number of servings of fresh vegetables and fruits into your diet will increase the number of phytonutrients that are needed to support your immune system. There are however, selected foods when consumed that have been shown to strengthen the immune system.

Fermented foods, such as yogurt, kimchi, and kombucha contain live probiotics  that help keep the gut lining free from germs. In gingerparticular, the specific strain, Lactobacillus reuteri, has been found to stimulate white blood cells (infection fighting cells) in the body. There are also herbs and spices, such as garlic, ginger, and turmeric that can help ward off infection. Garlic in particular is known to have antiviral, antimicrobial and antifungal properties. For optimal benefits garlic should be consumed fresh. Ginger is well known for both its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties and has long been used in many traditions to prevent infection. Turmeric best known for its anti-inflammatory and cancer preventing properties is also a natural immune booster. Mushrooms are gaining attention for their immune boosting benefits. Studies have shown mushrooms increase both the number and activity of white blood cell thereby enhancing the immune systems.  Shiitake, maitake, and reishi appear to be the most potent of the mushrooms with the highest antiviral properties and immune boosting benefits. Certain teas are known to help fend off potential invaders, the two best types are matcha and tulsi tea. Matcha is a nutrient rich green tea from Japan that is also a potent antioxidant. Tulsi tea also known as holy basil contains significant antioxidants and is known to support the immune system. Consider incorporating these foods into your diet this winter season to give a natural boost to your immune system.

At Hermann Wellness we offer Holistic Primary care to our patients. Our offices are located in Tampa and St. Petersburg. Please call the office at 813-902-9559 for more information or to schedule an appointment.


Treatment of Menopausal Hot Flushes With Effexor

Menopause by definition is the absence of a menstrual cycle for 1 year or more. Many women will become symptomatic during this time period from the lowering doses of estrogen. Hot flushes occur in 3 out of 4 women. They will typically last a few minutes and cause flushing of the face, neck and chest. Women may also sweat (perspire) during a flush. The number of hot flushes can vary from occasional to 15 or more daily. Hot flushes tend to start occurring just prior to menopause and usually persist for 2-3 years. The exact physiological mechanism of hot flushes is not known; although it is thought to be related to either adrenergic or serotonergic neurotransmission. Effexor works on both of these neurotransmissionmenopause word in letterpress type pathways.

Effexor (Venlafaxine) is a serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI). Along with improving depressive symptoms, it has also been demonstrated to alleviate vasomotor symptoms – such as hot flushes. Effexor has been found to effectively decrease the number and frequency of hot flushes in peri-menopausal and menopausal women. It can safely be used as a non-hormonal treatment to alleviate symptoms in women with contraindications to estrogen containing preparations. This group of women includes survivors of certain types of cancers and women with a history of blood clots. Typically patients will notice symptom improvement almost immediately with Effexor use.

The providers at Hermann Wellness offer a variety of non-hormonal modalities to effectively treat menopausal symptoms. Please contact the office at 813-902-9559 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

What are Probiotics and do I need them?

This is a common question I am asked by patients. Probiotics are “good” or beneficial bacteria that typically live in our digestive tract. We have over millions of different bacteria that live in our gut. The good bacteria help aid in digestion, production of vitamins (in particular vitamin B12) and offer protection over “bad” bacteria. Stress, chronic medications, and antibiotics are among a few things that can alter the flora in our digestive tract leading to more “bad” than “good” bacteria over time. Antibiotics in particular get rid of both the good and bad bacteria without a preference of one over the other so it is important to include taking probiotics while starting any antibiotic. Healthy snack

Studies have shown that probiotics are effective in managing many conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis), diarrhea, vaginal yeast infections, and oral thrush. Higher dosing of probiotics are needed to treat these conditions, such as 100-200 billion CFU and sometimes even more. The most common good bacteria include Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, and Acidophilus thus make sure these strains are in your probiotic.

The digestive tract is the home of our immune system, comprising 70% of the immune system. Thus maintaining good gut health is essential to supporting our overall immune system. It is clear that without a balanced gut flora that our immune system cannot work optimally thus weakening our ability to overcome infections. Taking probiotics helps increase the good bacteria in your digestive tract. Some probiotic organisms can be found naturally in foods such as cultured milk products including yogurt and kefir as well as pickled vegetables (kimchi) and fermented beverages (kombucha). These foods are common in the diet of many traditional cultures.

At Hermann Wellness, we offer Holistic Primary Care to our patients. Our offices are located in Tampa and St. Petersburg. Please call the office at 813-902-9599 for more information or to schedule an appointment.