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Kristi Corder

Kristi Corder

A Food Allergen to Add to the Top 8

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According to the FDA, millions of Americans have allergic reactions to food each year. Some of these reactions are quite mild while others can be life-threatening. Because of these health risks, the government established the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004. This requires food manufacturers to clearly label foods that contain ingredients that are in or derived from the top 8 food allergens.

I’ll go over those top 8 in just a minute, but I believe there is one HUGE food allergen that should be included in that list. Read on to learn more about food allergies, the foods that are listed in the top 8, the one I believe needs to be included, and some methods to minimize and even eliminate food allergies for good.

What are food allergies?

Food Allergies

Simply put, food allergies are allergic reactions to foods. It’s when your body identifies a food particle as harmful and your immune system sets up a protective response. The most dangerous of the allergic responses is anaphylaxis which may come in the form of hives, throat constriction, vomiting, difficulty breathing, rapid heart beating, and more. These types of reactions occur within minutes to hours of coming in contact with the food and can lead to death if not treated expediently.

Food intolerances and sensitivities are a little different. They typically activate a different component of the immune system and symptoms may not develop for days, weeks, or even months. Some symptoms that may signify you have food intolerances or sensitivities are brain fog, headaches, gas/bloating, fatigue, and more. These symptoms are not as life-threatening as the ones that occur from food allergies. However, you need to be aware that constant bombardment of the immune system in this way may have life-threatening effects down the road.

The Top 8 Food Allergens

Top 8 Food Allergens

While almost any food can cause a reaction, the law only recognizes 8 that warrant labeling.

  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Crustacean shellfish
  • Tree nuts
  • Peanuts
  • Wheat
  • Soybeans

I’m sure you have seen a label on a food package stating “this product contains milk and soy.” This labeling requirement is the result of the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act I mentioned above.

Why Corn Should be a Recognized Food Allergen

After being diagnosed with food allergies to 8 different foods, I have my reasons for suggesting that corn be added to the list to be recognized by the federal government as a food allergen. Corn is in everything; it is second only to soy as being the most genetically modified food grown; and it is sprayed heavily with the herbicide, glyphosate.

Around 85% of the corn grown in this country is genetically modified. The purpose of growing corn genetically modified is so that it can withstand being sprayed with glyphosate. The purpose of spraying crops with glyphosate is to kill the crop and accelerate it’s drying. This, in turn, speeds up harvesting.

Why do they need to speed up harvesting? To produce more corn and make more money.

Why do they need to produce more corn? It’s needed to make more products, both food and non-food. This leads to my first point where I stated corn is in everything.

It’s easy for people to say, “well, if you’re allergic to corn, just don’t eat it.” Seems obvious right? Don’t eat corn, cornstarch, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, cornmeal, corn oil, popcorn, etc. That doesn’t seem too hard.

WRONG!!

Insight into Corn Allergies

Let’s take a look at a few corn-derived products that don’t have the word corn in them. In other words, it’s hidden corn.

Despite its name, citric acid is a product that is mostly derived from corn. The same goes for distilled white vinegar. Here’s an example of a simple process that doesn’t have basic corn ingredients, but that has hidden corn in the form of citric acid and distilled white vinegar.

Animals raised for food go through a process to get them to your table. The meat may be sprayed with citric acid or distilled white vinegar before it’s hung to age. Then it may be packaged in a styrofoam container with a soaker pad under the meat. That soaker pad contains citric acid. So while it seems like everyone should be able to eat meat, the simple processing of the meat may be enough to affect someone with a corn allergy.

Here’s another example. Fruits should be safe, right? Well, fruits can be gassed, waxed, and washed in corn-derived substances. They can be sprayed with corn-derived pesticides and fertilizers. And they can be grown near corn crops which can cause enough cross-contamination to affect some people. So, no, not all fruits are safe for people with a corn allergy.

Finally, corn can be harmful even in non-food related environments. Take one of my own experiences as an example. As my own food allergies continued to worsen and I started eliminating corn and corn-derived foods from my diet, I had an experience at the dentist office that led me down a rabbit hole to find out just how many non-food products are made from or contain corn.

I went in for a routine dental cleaning. Within a few hours after my appointment, my lips started swelling and my mouth was covered in fever blisters. As I dug deeper, I found out that their gloves are powdered (usually with cornstarch), their bibs are powdered (usually with cornstarch), their floss is waxed with a corn-based wax, and their sterilizing chemicals are corn-derived.

So as you can see, it’s a little more difficult to stay away from corn than you’d think. Walls are made from corn, mattresses are made from corn, baking powder can contain cornstarch, MSG and “natural flavorings” can be corn-derived, the coloring in some cheeses can be made of cornstarch, and even tap water can contain citric acid (the kind made from corn) that is added to change the pH.

As I said, corn is in everything.

Minimizing/Eliminating Food Allergies

If you or someone in your family has food allergies, there are several ways you can minimize and even eliminate them for good. Most people are under the impression that if you have a true food allergy that there’s no way possible to get rid of that allergy, but that’s just not true. However, it is all that traditional medicine knows, so we accept it as fact.

My personal story is one such instance. My throat was swelling very frequently as a reaction to certain foods. Despite having allergy markers for other foods, we narrowed it down to corn because, as I stated above, corn is in almost everything. It was easy to remove rice, soy, peanut, coconut, sesame, and oats. But corn is in so many different forms that I couldn’t completely eliminate it from my life. But here I sit today without an epi-pen by my side and free of the anaphylaxis from this food.

So how did I go about minimizing and eliminating my food allergy?

1. Elimination diet to reduce triggers

I worked with a functional medicine doctor who ran tests, identified my food allergies, and put me on a strict elimination diet. We eliminated all processed foods as well as the gross forms of the 7 foods I was allergic to. Once we realized that I was still having reactions, we eliminated products that were derived from the foods I was allergic to.

While an elimination diet did not cure my food allergies, I believe that removing the triggers allowed for the initial step in healing. Removing foods that would constantly cause inflammation and immune responses allowed my body to slow down and move into a parasympathetic state when needed instead of constantly being in a fight-or-flight response.

This process took tons and tons of research and months of time. (If you’ve been diagnosed with a corn allergy, I highly recommend beginning your research at the Corn Allergy Girl website.)

2. Supplementation to help heal my gut

Supplements

My functional medicine doctor also put me on an aggressive nutritional supplementation protocol. Supplements included things like quercetin, L-glutamine, vitamins and minerals, heavy-duty probiotics, and more. After all, my body was being deprived of the nutrients that it so badly needed to heal.

I have to say, I feel like the L-glutamine was the supplement that actually seemed to make the most difference in my gut. I still use a jar of the powder once every 6 months or so just as a maintenance plan to keep my gut health in check.

3. Homeopathy

Homeopathy

Homeopathy was the one thing that completed my healing. Though I still had episodes where my throat would swell during the elimination diet and use of proper supplements, homeopathic medicines stopped the reaction for good.

I’ve been under the care of a homeopath for 2.5 years now (for more than just my food allergies). We’ve used all sorts of medicines, but the ones that were instrumental in the initial stages of my treatment were Bovista, Calcarea Carbonicum, Natrum Sulphuricum, and Ignatia. Please don’t think these will be the same ones that could help in your situation, but I’m just giving you information about the ones that helped in mine.

Homeopathy is a form of medicine designed to stimulate the body’s own natural healing responses. This occurs when a person with an illness or condition is given a highly diluted substance that, when given in its gross form, causes similar symptoms to the illness or condition that person has. It’s similar to the current thought process of giving babies teeny tiny amounts of peanut butter over weeks and months so that they don’t end up with a peanut allergy later. The main difference is that homeopathy is diluted so much that there are only nano-particles of the original substance remaining.

As with any natural form of medicine, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to eliminating food allergies. Both functional medicine and homeopathy will dig into your medical history, mental and emotional states, as well as your physical conditions to determine what forms of treatment would be the most beneficial in your circumstance.

Want to learn more about homeopathy? Check out my virtual study groups or click to get my 37 Must-Have Homeopathic Medicines for Families cheat sheet.


Have you been diagnosed with a food allergy? What paths have you taken to minimize or eliminate the allergy? Leave a reply in the comments at the bottom of the page. I’d love to hear from you!

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20 Ways to Stop Headaches Naturally

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The World Health Organization states that headaches are very common. They go on to say that nearly everyone has a headache occasionally and 1 in 20 will have a headache every (or nearly every) day. What you need to know is that while they are very common, they are not normal.

Headaches are your body’s way of telling you it cannot overcome the daily stressors that you place upon it. Whether a headache shows up from eyestrain, hormones, food intolerances, or anything else, you should never ignore the warning signs OR cover them up by reaching for prescription or over-the-counter medications. All medications have side effects, and you wouldn’t want to trade one condition for another.

Instead, try a few home remedies or natural approaches to reduce, or even eliminate, headaches for good. Here’s a good list of 20 ways to stop headaches naturally.

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy for more information.

1. Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic care to stop headaches naturally

Chiropractors look to the spine for the cause of disease, including “minor” aches and pains like headaches. While we do not treat the headache or pain, we do check your spine for something we call vertebral subluxations that may be hindering the body’s ability to communicate properly with the brain. With a gentle chiropractic adjustment, we can remove the interference in the communication pathways which will set the body back into motion towards health. Want to know more about chiropractic? Read my post What is Chiropractic?

2. Homeopathy

Homeopathy for headaches

Homeopathy is a system of medicine that utilizes a principle of “like cures like” to treat illness and disease. It doesn’t just treat the illness but takes into account the entire person and their overall health picture. It is safe, gentle, and very effective in not only treating headaches on an acute basis, but it can dig deep and really uproot chronic headaches for good. Here are a few homeopathic medicines that may help with headaches:

  • Sepia – useful if headaches are related to female hormones
  • Sanguinaria – a headache coming from the sinuses
  • Gelsemium – headache brought on by colds or the flu
  • Mag phos – can be employed for tension headaches
  • Nux vomica – great for headaches after overindulgence

Want to learn more about homeopathy? Check out my virtual study groups or click to get my 37 Must-Have Homeopathic Medicines for Families cheat sheet.

3. Craniosacral Therapy

Craniosacral Therapy to stop headaches naturally

Craniosacral therapy is a gentle, hands-on form of bodywork that focuses on releasing tension and dysfunction in the tissues surrounding the brain and spinal cord. Our brain and spinal cord are the most important organs in our body, and any undue stress and strain placed upon them can lead to illness and disease. This method of therapy is typically used by some chiropractors, massage therapists, osteopaths, and occupational therapists and consists of light touch to release the restrictions around the central nervous system.

4. Nutrient-dense snacks

Nutrient dense snacks can help stop headaches naturally

Nutrition is extremely important for our everyday body functions. Improper nutrition or skipping meals can cause our body to scream at us that it is lacking in vitamins and minerals. Headaches can be one of those ways our body is trying to tell us it needs to be fed. One easy way to stop headaches naturally is to grab a handful of carrots, an apple, or some trail mix to give your body a boost.

5. Hydration

Staying hydrated can stop headaches naturally

Headaches may be a sign that you are dehydrated. Our body is comprised of mostly water, and many people don’t do a good job of keeping it hydrated. And just like with foods, water provides our bodies with some basic minerals we need for our body to function normally. There’s no set amount of water that is beneficial for everyone, after all, we are all different. But if you suffer from chronic headaches, make it a point to track your water intake for a week and then increase it by an additional cup daily. You just might notice the headaches start to disappear.

6. Exercise

Stretching

Not only can exercise relieve stress, but it can calm the muscle tightness that is associated with certain types of headaches. It doesn’t have to be strenuous exercise. Gentle exercises such as walking, stretching, deep breathing, or yoga can be very beneficial. Also, exercise releases endorphins which are our “feel good” hormones. These endorphins actually block pain in our body and naturally aid in healing.

7. Massage

Massage

We are a society heavily dependent on technology. And because of daily computer and handheld device use, we are becoming a society where most people have forward head posture. What this means is that when you view someone from the side, their head is not directly lined up with their shoulders. When this happens, the muscles of the head, neck, and upper back become overstretched and overworked. The normal body response to prevent further injury to these tissues is to tighten up or spasm those muscles. With this tightening can come headaches.

Similar to craniosacral therapy, massage therapy is a hands-on form of bodywork that focuses on releasing tension from the muscles and fascia of the body. It also stimulates lymphatic flow which helps to reduce toxin build-up in our body which can be another cause of headaches. Massage therapy uses a somewhat deeper pressure to relieve tension from the areas involved than does craniosacral therapy.

8. Acupuncture/Acupressure

Acupressure can help stop headaches naturally
Disclosure: This product was provided in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Everything in our body is comprised of energy. A headache can be a sign that there is an abnormal energy pattern occurring within the body. Acupuncture uses needles placed on points along energy channels, or pathways, in the body to help restore the body to balance. Acupressure has the same premise but doesn’t involve using needles. Aculief is a wearable acupressure device that is inexpensive and easy to grab and use when a headache is imminent.

9. Herbs

Herbs drying

There are quite a few herbs that can be used to combat headaches. Both chamomile and passionflower are great for relaxing muscles and promoting sleep. Butterbur can be used to reduce inflammation in the body. And feverfew can help get rid of pain, nausea, and sensitivities that accompany headaches. Herbs can be steeped in water and consumed as a tea, or they can be taken in supplement forms like capsules or tinctures.

10. Vitamins/Supplementation

Vitamins and supplements

Vitamins and supplements are things I list here to use if you truly have a severe deficiency. Otherwise, true supplementation can be addressed by using high quality, nutrient-dense foods. B-complex vitamins and magnesium seem to be the most beneficial vitamins and supplements for combating headaches. B-complex vitamins boost the production of neurotransmitters and can be lacking in those that suffer from chronic migraines. Magnesium controls the normal function of blood pressure, muscles, nerves, and heart all of which can cause headaches in abnormal states.

11. Essential Oils

Essential oils can help stop headaches naturally

Aromatherapy has long been used to treat headaches. Only in the last few years have essential oils become more mainstream thanks to many network marketing companies and the power of word of mouth. Aromatherapy uses oils extracted from all types of medicinal plants for topical and inhalation methods of healing. Lavender essential oil helps relieve tension and stress as well as promotes relaxation. Both peppermint and spearmint essential oils decrease pain and tension and stimulate blood flow. Eucalyptus essential oil can decrease both pain and swelling associated with headaches. While some oils can cause reactions on the skin of some people, you should start with adding a few drops of the oil to coconut oil before applying topically. Use a few drops of the essential oil of your choosing in a diffuser for inhalation.

12. Ice

ice pack

Ice is anti-inflammatory and can decrease the firing of nerve signals. It can also break muscle spasms. While many people will reach for a heating pad when dealing with a headache, some find that an ice pack or cold compress has a better effect. Some headaches respond best when you alternate ice and heat.

13. Heat

heating pad

Heating pads and warm compresses can stimulate blood flow, increase oxygen, and relax muscles when someone is suffering from a headache. Place the pad or compress on the back of the neck or on the shoulders to help get relief of muscle spasms when you have a tension-type headache. Placing a warm compress over the sinuses when you are suffering from a sinus headache will help thin the mucus and relieve the pressure. For even better results, alternate with a cold compress.

14. Sleep/Rest

rest can help stop headaches naturally

Sleep is healing and restorative. To prevent headaches from becoming chronic, be sure you are getting adequate sleep without the distractions of electronics. If you suffer from a headache during the day, you might find relief by going into a dark and silent room so you can concentrate on relaxing tense muscles and decreasing stress from your body.

15. Breathing techniques

Deep breathing can stop headaches naturally

Deep breathing improves circulation, stimulates nerve function, increases oxygen flow to the brain, and causes relaxation throughout the body. To perform deep breathing, you want to see your abdomen expand, not your chest. Concentrate on the pit of your stomach and breathe in through your nose for about 5 seconds, hold for another 5 seconds, and breathe out for 5 seconds. Repeat 5 times. Just getting into this relaxed state may be enough to put a stop to an acute headache.

16. Get outdoors

get outdoors

Fresh air is sometimes all it takes to make a headache go away. Take a few minutes and go outside. Couple it with deep breathing and you’ll be feeling better in no time. If you want to learn how trees can be beneficial to your health, my friend Verla shares plenty of information over at her site Trees Mend Us.

17. Trigger elimination

Remove triggers like alcohol to stop headaches naturally

Whether your headaches are triggered by foods, alcohol, caffeine, or anything else, you have a leg up on everyone else. Many people don’t actually know why they are having headaches. They just assume that it’s stress or hormone-related without actually knowing. Remove the triggers for the time being and then consult with a health care practitioner who can help you focus on healing your body. By doing this, you’ll be less likely to experience headaches when your usual triggers are encountered or added back into your life.

18. Bath

Baths can stop headaches naturally

Baths can be a very relaxing way to stop a headache. Warm water increases blood flow and oxygen circulation throughout the body. Add in some Epsom salt to aid in detoxification or essential oils to help relieve built-up muscular tension.

19. CBD

CBD can help stop headaches naturally

While still controversial, many people have found great benefit in using CBD for headaches, especially migraines. CBD stands for cannabidiol and is a naturally occurring compound found in hemp plants. CBD from hemp plants acts just like our own natural body cannabinoids. It inhibits pain signals and decreases the inflammatory response.

20. Reduce stress

Stress relief

Stress can come in three forms: physical, chemical, or emotional. These stressors put our body into a fight-or-flight response. This response can increase blood pressure, tension, and inflammation and can decrease oxygen thus leading to headaches. Employ any of the methods mentioned in numbers 1-19 above to help reduce stress and stop headaches in their tracks.


Know that you are not alone in dealing with headaches. But also know that there are safe and side-effect free, natural remedies to stop and even eliminate headaches for good. Next time you experience a headache or migraine, opt for one of these natural methods first.

Do you have other natural methods you use to stop a headache? Leave a reply in the comments at the bottom of the page.

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Top Essentials for Every Holistic First Aid Kit

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It’s always a good idea to have a basic first aid kit in your house, in your car, at work, in your gym bag, etc. But if you’re anything like me, you don’t just want to walk into the local drug store and buy one off the shelf that includes products for which there are more natural alternatives. You want a more holistic first aid kit. And to get it, you’re going to have to build one yourself.

As a chiropractor, my first aid kit is going to look much different than most. I have basic medical equipment such as a stethoscope, otoscope, ophthalmoscope, blood pressure cuff, and more in my kit. And while those items are very useful for some emergency and first aid situations, they are not essentials that most people would need to keep in their own kits.

So besides having scissors, tweezers, safety pins, and the like on hand, what natural alternatives are essential for a holistic first aid kit?

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy for more information.

1. Bandages and Gauze

No first aid kit would be complete without bandages and gauze.
The holistic first aid kit is no different. After all, we aren’t immune to cuts and scrapes. And you never know when you’ll have a puncture wound or deeper cut that would require gauze be placed over the area.

Patch Bamboo Adhesive Bandages

Do you have a child that needs the comfort of an adhesive bandage on his/her ouchies? I do.

I recently found these natural bamboo adhesive bandages and can’t wait to give them a try. The reviews are amazing and they are certified organic, vegan-friendly, and cruelty-free.

Each bandage is made with 100% organic bamboo fibre and a mineral based Pressure Sensitive Adhesive that is hypoallergenic.

They don’t contain plastic, silicon, parabens, or latex like many adhesive bandages that are on the market.

Everything from the packaging to the bandage itself can be composted.

I’m planning to order a sample pack so I’ll come back and let you know how we like them.

Organic Cotton Gauze

For wounds that require a little more attention, you want to make sure you have gauze on hand. Gauze squares are useful when needing to compress an area that is bleeding profusely. And gauze wraps are great to wrap around any type of dressing you apply over an area.

Most gauze squares and wraps are made from cotton. In the U.S., cotton is heavily sprayed with pesticides and herbicides and it’s also typically bleached. In your kit, you want to aim to include a variety of organic cotton gauzes.

Just recently, the USDA released this article about a new cotton gauze that’s made from raw, unbleached cotton fiber. If they also use organic cotton, I’ll definitely be stocking up and you should too!

2. Distilled Water

You don’t see water included in a first aid kit you buy at the store. But every good holistic first aid kit should include distilled water.

Water can be used for a variety of different reasons. If you have a child that falls down in the dirt and scrapes their knee and it’s bleeding and dirty, you can use the water to wash it off. If something harmful gets into your eye, you can use water as an eye rinse. You can use it with bentonite clay to make a healing paste.

Be sure that the water you keep on hand is distilled and not tap water as tap water can contain pathogens that could lead to infection.

3. Homeopathic Medicines

Personally, I could just carry around my entire homeopathy kit with my chiropractic medical kit and be covered with all of the first aid items my family needs. But this just isn’t feasible for everyday life nor for every person. So these are the homeopathic medicines I’d recommend everyone include as part of their holistic first aid kit:

  • Aconite – for shock
  • Arnica – for injuries
  • Arsenicum – for poisoning
  • Apis – for allergic reactions
  • Belladonna – for pain
  • Calendula (in cream form) – for scrapes, cuts, and minor burns
  • Cantharis – for burns
  • Hypericum – for pain
  • Ledum – for puncture wounds and bug bites
  • Nux Vomica – for tummy troubles
  • Phosphorus – for bleeding

Want to learn more about homeopathy? Check out my virtual study groups or click to get my 37 Must-Have Homeopathic Medicines for Families cheat sheet.

4. Witch Hazel

Witch Hazel is an astringent made from the shrub Hamamelis virginiana. It can be used topically to aid in the healing of most any skin condition. From pain to swelling to itching, it’s a must-have for the holistic first aid kit.

Use it just as you would rubbing alcohol to disinfect cuts and scrapes.

Dab it on a sunburn to soothe the area.

Put it on insect bites to reduce swelling and prevent itching.

And if you’re up for the extra work, you can make witch hazel yourself.

5. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil deserves it’s rightful place in any holistic first aid kit. It has natural antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties that help with all types of skin conditions.

Apply it topically to wounds to speed healing and protect from infection.

Use it on sunburns or rashes to soothe and repair the skin.

6. Bentonite Clay

Bentonite clay is great for detoxing and healing and is the reason it is known as “healing clay”. It can be used for both internal and external afflictions.

Add a little clay to water to make a paste and apply it to any skin wounds. It will soothe and rid the skin of harmful bacteria and prevent infection.

It can be used on things like cuts, insect bites, burns, and more. It’s also a great treatment for things like poison ivy and other skin rashes.

For internal use, mix a small amount with water and then drink it. This is especially helpful for nausea and vomiting and can bind with toxins in the gut and remove them.

Note: I do not recommend long term internal use of this product as it could affect normal digestion processes.

7. Kaolin Clay

This clay is a soft white clay used as a hemostatic agent which induces clotting and helps stop bleeding. The U.S. Naval Medical Research Institute developed QuickClot Combat Gauze infused with kaolin which is still used today.

Mixed with water, it can be used to heal bruises and cuts, reduce muscle soreness and pain, and alleviate the maladies of insect bites.

Mix it with honey and apply to rashes to soothe the skin.

8. Activated Charcoal

Consider adding activated charcoal to your first aid kit. It’s a great natural remedy that can be used as a treatment for both internal and external conditions.

One of the most common uses of activated charcoal is for poisonings. Whether someone suffers from food poisoning, or ingestion of something such as bleach or pesticides, or they overdose on a prescription or non-prescription drug, activated charcoal can bind to the toxins, prevent absorption by the body, and remove them more quickly.

Externally activated charcoal can be used on insect bites, snake bites, and rashes from poison ivy and poison oak. Just mix the charcoal with coconut oil, apply as a paste, and cover with a bandage.

Note: I do not recommend long term internal use of this product as it could affect normal digestion processes.

9. QuickClot Cloth

My friend Kathryn at Beyond This Desert keeps a Quick Clot Cloth in her Mom-Around-Town-Kit for wounds that bleed profusely. This cloth uses infused kaolin clay to help with clotting and helps bleeding stop fast.

However, if you have the bandages and kaolin clay that I mention above, you can make your own QuickClot Cloth by putting kaolin clay directly on the area and covering with a bandage.

10. Colloidal Silver

While I prefer to have other remedies available in my holistic first aid kit, this is one that many would consider essential to have on hand. It can be used both topically and internally for many ailments.

Colloidal Silver is a biocide that is known to kill a broad range of bacteria. We have successfully used it internally for extremely painful sore throats, sinus infections, pink eye, and ear infections. It can also be applied topically on open wounds and burns to prevent infection.

So if you don’t have anything else on hand and you’re worried about infection of any kind, then colloidal silver can be an effective treatment.

Note: I do not recommend long term internal use of this product as it could affect the proper balance of bacteria in the body.

11. Raw Honey

Honey bees are amazing little creatures and their honey should be a part of everyone’s first aid kit. But don’t just go to the store and buy any honey, you need to be sure you’re grabbing raw honey.

Raw honey is antimicrobial and plays a key role in wound healing. Not only is it antibacterial, but it keeps a wound moist, provides a barrier to prevent infection, and provides enzymes that aid in the healing process. Just apply it to a wound or bite and let it get to work.

It can also be great to have on hand should your little one say, “my throat hurts.” It’s known in our household to stop a sore throat in its tracks.

If you want to take it up a notch, keep Manuka honey on hand.

12. Essential Oils

Many people love using essential oils for first aid situations, and like homeopathy, I could probably carry around a big case full of essential oils to use for all sorts of first aid situations. Here are the main ones that I like to keep on hand:

  • Clove oil – for tooth/gum ailments
  • Lavender – for cuts, scrapes, burns, and bug bites
  • Tea Tree oil – for skin afflictions like poison ivy and fever blisters
  • Peppermint – for tummy troubles and headaches

If you want a holistic first aid kit, you’re going to have to create one yourself. I hope I’ve given you some thoughts about what you could use to start your kit. If you choose to go minimal, I’d at least recommend designing a kit with the first 3 items on this list and then only items that you feel would be specific to your family dynamic.

What items are essential in your holistic first aid kit? Leave a reply in the comments at the bottom of the page.

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No Need to Count Sheep: 7 Ways to Improve Your Sleep

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With Daylight Saving Time coming up on March 10th and Sleep Awareness Week March 10th-16th, I thought I’d take some time to share a few ways you can naturally improve your sleep (without counting sheep).

Nearly 40 million American men and women suffer from some type of sleep disorder. Are you one of them? Many times this can be attributed to stress, general health maladies, or the inability to shut off the brain.

Sleep is just as important to us as eating a good diet and getting plenty of exercise. Our body uses sleep to heal, increase metabolism, improve our mood, and even stimulate immune system function. If you’re having some difficulty getting adequate sleep, you may want to choose one of the following methods to not only help improve your quality of sleep but improve your health overall.

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy for more information.

1. Chiropractic Care

chiropractic adjustment to improve sleep

I found it interesting in my research that Johns Hopkins Medicine states “a healthy amount of sleep is vital for ‘brain plasticity,’ or the brain’s ability to adapt to input.”

As a chiropractor, my main focus with patients is making sure the brain communicates with the body properly. When there is miscommunication between the brain and the body, either the brain or the body suffers.

I have had numerous patients report back to me that they (or their child) slept better the night after their adjustment than they had in a long time. It never surprises me because chiropractic is all about restoring proper communication within the nervous system. So if you’re having issues sleeping, think about seeing your family chiropractor.

2. Homeopathy

Homeopathy to improve sleep

Have you ever taken Arnica for an injury? If you’ve used the little white sugar pills from the health food store, then you know a little bit about homeopathic medicine.

The premise of homeopathy is that “like cures like.” What this means is that the effect a substance has on a person in its gross form, it can have the opposite and curative effects in its highly diluted form.

Coffea cruda is one such example of how homeopathy can help with sleep. Coffee in its gross form is a stimulant. When it is homeopathically diluted, it aids in the calming of the person. And when used for chronic sleep issues, it can help to uproot the condition for good.

We have successfully used Coffea cruda 15 minutes before bed with one of our children who has difficulty shutting off her brain at night. For the first couple of weeks we used this remedy every night but now we only use it on a rare occasion.

There are many other homeopathic remedies that may be employed to help with acute or chronic sleep issues. Choosing the correct one requires careful examination of the person as a whole.

Want to learn more about homeopathy? Check out my virtual study groups or click to get my 37 Must-Have Homeopathic Medicines for Families cheat sheet.

3. Nutrition

Nutrition to improve sleep

The health of your gut can play a huge role in how well you sleep. Have you ever heard that your gut is your “second brain”? Then it only makes sense that a healthy gut will play a role in how well (or bad) you sleep.

The sleep-wake cycle and hormones that regulate our sleep are directly affected by our gut microbiome. The more diverse the microbiome, the more balanced and healthy our gut becomes.

So how do we create a diverse microbiome?

Proper nutrition!

Increase your raw fruit and vegetable intake, drink bone broth daily, and incorporate wide varieties of fermented foods such as yogurt, sauerkraut, and kombucha. And if you need a little extra help, you can always add in a high quality probiotic.

4. Exercise

Walking to improve sleep

Everyone should be getting exercise numerous times per week to maintain a healthy body. But did you know exercise can also aid our sleep?

There are still a lot of unknowns in regards to exercise and sleep. Some researchers say that exercising increases adrenaline and can prolong getting to sleep, while others say that as long as you exercise during the daylight hours it aids in sleep. One promising study has shown that exercise can improve the quality of sleep in older adults.

So hit the gym, put on your walking shoes, or go out dancing. Regular physical activity may just be the answer you are looking for!

5. Soak in the Tub

Soak in the tub to improve sleep

Who doesn’t enjoy a nice relaxing bath?

Before bed, draw up a nice warm bath for soaking. The warm water will soothe tense muscles and increase blood circulation. Add some epsom salt to help detoxify your body, and diffuse a bit of lavender essential oil to help calm you from the stresses of the day.

6. Limit Electronics

Limit electronics to improve sleep

We live in a world with electronics. They have made some aspects of our lives easier. But sleep is not one of them.

Electronics give off blue light. Blue light has a short wavelength and thus higher energy. Harvard researchers have also found that blue light decreases melatonin secretion more than any other type of light which in turn makes it harder to fall asleep.

But electronics are also addictive. At one of my recent chiropractic seminars, Dr. Joseph Mercola stated that “cellphones are the cigarettes of the 21st century.” Check out his post with some frightening statistics regarding cell phone use.

Many people go to bed with a cellphone in their hand which causes a cycle of sleep deprivation. I mentioned in the previous paragraph that light from a cellphone decreases melatonin. This makes it harder to go to sleep. If we can’t go to sleep, then what do we do? We look at the cellphone even more. And then the cycle just gets worse over time.

So put away those screens before bed. Start gradually by limiting screen exposure 30 minutes before bed. Then after a week, limit exposure an hour before bed, and so on.

7. Pillow and Mattress

Pillow to improve sleep

A good pillow and mattress can make all the difference in your sleep.

As a chiropractor, I’m asked time and again which pillow and/or mattress is the best for the health of the spine. And time and again, I’ve had to say I don’t know. It’s been a real struggle for me personally to find the best pillow and mattress for myself. And how can I recommend something that I won’t even use?

While I loved our Sealy Posturepedic mattress for the first 5 or so years we had it, it got worn out and needed replacing just like any other mattress on the market. And as far as pillows go, I have spent my entire chiropractic career searching for a great pillow. And just recently at a chiropractic seminar, I think I found the mattress and pillow that I can honestly say are the best I’ve ever come across.

While I haven’t purchased the mattress, I have slept on the pillow for the last 2 weeks. No pillow has given me a good night’s sleep like this pillow. It’s not too fluffy, not too hard, not too thick, and not too thin. It cradles my head and curves around my shoulders which provides gentle traction for my neck at night. And bonus! It is made from REAL Talalay latex, unlikethe synthetic latex many other companies use.

If you’re in the market for a great pillow, I highly recommend the Side Sleeper Pillow from Chiro-Core. It was designed by a chiropractor, and is chiropractor approved!


If you’re like the other 40 million Americans that have difficulty sleeping, take some time to evaluate each of the methods I’ve mentioned above to see if they will help you catch some much needed zzz’s.

Do you have another method that helps you get to sleep? Leave a reply in the comments at the bottom of the page.

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Natural Remedies to Treat Fever Blisters

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Fever blisters are a pain. Literally! Caused by the herpes simplex one virus (HSV1), fever blisters (also known as cold sores) are painful from beginning to end. They start with tingly red bumps on the lip followed by days or sometimes weeks of painful blisters and end with a crust or scab that splits open every time you open your mouth. They may be small but tend to pack a mighty punch.

According to the Mayo Clinic, they’ll go away on their own within 2-3 weeks. But who wants the embarrassment for that long? If you want to know how to lessen the severity, increase healing time, and uproot the sores for good, you’ve come to the right place!

My struggle with fever blisters

I’ve had fever blisters for as long as I can remember. Getting them while I was in high school was the worst. I played French Horn in the band. If you’ve ever played a brass instrument, you can imagine the pain I experienced.

I was also a cheerleader, so I was out in front of hundreds of students, faculty, parents, and members of the community on a regular basis. I’ll never forget my friends (one of whom is now my husband) chanting along to one of our cheers yelling

GO!! BIG LIP, LET’S GO!!

Oh the embarrassment! They’ve been a constant battle my whole life.

I recently visited Disneyland with my family. We were there for 3 days straight. And wouldn’t you know it, I woke up two days after our vacation with fever blisters not only on the top of my mouth but the bottom too.

At least this episode hasn’t been as bad as my last. That time I had the flu with a fairly high fever, and the day after my illness subsided I woke up to a swollen upper lip. By the end of the day, I had fever blisters completely surrounding my mouth.

I can almost guarantee fever blisters will pop up after one of these 3 situations:

  1. too much sun exposure
  2. an illness with a fever
  3. highly stressful situations

I also tend to get them when I’ve been around or am going to be around my dad (weird…I know!). He’s also plagued with these horrible things and it’s a running joke that we’ll both end up with fever blisters just from talking on the phone with each other.

So what are the best natural remedies to treat fever blisters?

As you can see, I’ve had some serious experience in this area. And let me tell you, I’ve tried it all! Well, almost.

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy for more information.

Home remedies to treat fever blisters

1. Ice cubes

There have been many times that as soon as I feel the onset of a fever blister, I’ve reached for the ice cubes. Knowing basic first aid, ice reduces swelling and edema, so this option only makes sense. If you’ve got an area of skin that’s is bright red, swollen, and burns, you reach for something cold to soothe it and reduce the swelling. So grab a towel and a couple of ice cubes and massage your lip with the ice until it goes numb. Do this a few times the first day and you’ll see the swelling go down, the itchiness and burning subside, and the blister crust over by the second day.

2. Hydrogen peroxide

This little remedy just makes everything feel better. Hydrogen peroxide helps soothe and cool the area while also keeping it disinfected. Pour some over the blister and let it bubble and dry or dab it on with a q-tip or cotton ball a few times each day.

3. Witch hazel

Similar to hydrogen peroxide, witch hazel is very cooling and soothing to the skin. It has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties and does a great job at decreasing pain. Apply with a q-tip or cotton ball a few times per day.

4. Aloe Vera

My grandmother was full of great tips when it came to my recurring fever blisters. She grew these fabulous aloe vera plants in her sunroom at her home. Any time I showed up with a fever blister, she’d snap a leaf right off the plant, squeeze the juice out, apply it directly on my blister, and then send me home with a leaf to use later. The juice from the aloe vera plant is very soothing and contains antibacterial and antiviral properties that speed healing.

5. Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has great healing properties. It is antimicrobial and helps fight infections. You can drink it diluted in water with a splash of lemon and honey or you can apply it topically to the blisters a few times each day.

Oils and salves to treat fever blisters

1. Tea tree oil

I’m a sucker for tea tree oil. I love the smell of it. This is another remedy my grandmother would suggest for my recurrent fever blisters. It has great antiviral, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties that can help quickly heal the affected areas. Place a drop on a q-tip or cotton ball and gently dab some of the oil on the fever blister a few times the first couple of days. Be aware this method may sting if you have open sores. You could also dilute the oil in a carrier oil before applying. Should you choose to use some of the homeopathic remedies listed further down in this article, do not use tea tree oil at the same time as it can antidote the remedy.

2. Peppermint essential oil

Peppermint essential oil has been shown to have a direct virucidal effect on the HSV1 virus when used topically. Apply topically by using a q-tip or cotton ball dipped in a diluted mixture of peppermint essential oil and carrier oil. Apply the oil a few times each day. Should you choose to use some of the homeopathic remedies listed further down in this article, do not use peppermint essential oil at the same time as it can antidote the remedy.

3. Coconut oil

Coconut oil is good for so many skin issues, and it’s no different in this instance. It has antiviral and antibacterial properties to aid in healing and also keeps the area soft and pliable so that cracking and bleeding is minimized once the blister has crusted over. Put a little oil on a q-tip and gently apply it to the blister and surrounding areas frequently each day.

4. Vitamin E oil

Vitamin E oil is an anti-oxidant that can help reduce scarring, relieve pain, and keep the skin soft. Apply topically using a q-tip or cotton ball a few times per day.

5. Grass fed beef tallow

A friend of mine is into rendering her own beef tallow. I was lucky enough to be on the receiving end of a small jar of the tallow for Christmas one year. According to Mommypotamus, beef tallow contains loads of fat-soluble vitamins and has anti-inflammatory properties which can aid in the healing process. It also helps keep skin soft which is important to prevent the skin from cracking and bleeding when the blister crusts over. Apply a small pea-sized amount of the tallow directly on the blister and the surrounding areas a few times each day.

Nutritional supplements to treat fever blisters

1. Vitamin C

Load up on vitamin C as soon as you feel the first signs of a fever blister. Research has shown that vitamin C plays a key role in boosting our immune system and fighting off infections. You can do this by choosing a high-quality nutritional supplement or by eating foods high in the vitamin (leafy greens, tomatoes, berries, etc.).

2. L-lysine

Another remedy my grandmother swore by is l-lysine. It has been known to speed the healing from herpes simplex infection as well as decrease the likelihood of recurrence. Not only can you increase your intake of this supplement at the time of the outbreak, but you can also create a paste to apply topically to aid in healing.

3. Propolis

Propolis is made by honey bees. It’s the sticky substance that holds the hive together. Like honey, propolis is antimicrobial, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and boosts the immune system. You can find propolis in supplement form or you can chew on pieces of raw propolis to get the same benefits. If you have an allergy to bees, this is one remedy that you should not try.

4. Echinacea

Echinacea boosts the immune system and helps fight infection. You’ll need all the help you can get when battling this virus, so find a high quality supplement and take as directed.

Homeopathic medicines to treat fever blisters

Homeopathic medicines not only work with your body to speed up the healing process but also to uproot the condition over time. More information on how homeopathy works can be found in my interview with Joette Calabrese. If your fever blisters are a chronic occurrence, I would highly recommend you work with a homeopath who will help you to choose the correct remedy for your specific condition.

1. Antimonium crud

Of all the remedies listed in this article, Antimonium crud is absolutely my favorite. In her article Cold Sores or Cooties, this is Joette’s chosen remedy for fever blisters. When using it for my fever blisters, I have not only seen them crust over in less than 24 hours, but I’ve also seen both a decrease in outbreaks as well as a decrease in pain associated with the blisters when they form.

2. Natrum muriaticum

Referring back to Joette’s article again, you’ll see that she also recommends Natrum muriaticum if the fever blisters occur after being exposed to the sun. If you are also prone to dryness and cracking in the corners of the lips, you may also benefit from using this remedy.

3. Rhus toxicodendron

Homeopathic Rhus tox is prepared from poison ivy. If you’ve ever experienced a poison ivy rash, you’ll see it it looks just like fever blister eruptions. Since like cures like in homeopathy, it makes sense that this remedy may assist the body in healing. Rhus tox is indicated when fever blisters occur around the mouth and chin. It’s especially helpful when the eruptions are red, burning, and swollen.

4. Arsenicum album

Arsenicum album would be useful for those who experience intense itching with their eruptions. If you shutter at the thought of using ice as I suggest at the beginning of this article, Arsenicum album may be the best remedy for you.

5. Sulphur

In opposition to Arsenicum, someone who may find success using homeopathic Sulphur would have fever blisters with itching and burning that are improved with ice application. The eruptions may get worse with warmth.

6. Sepia

If you are a female, and the fever blisters tend to form around the time of menses, pregnancy, or menopause, look no further than Sepia. This is a common remedy used for any illness or condition that is associated with hormonal changes. According to homeopath Sue Meyer, Sepia should be considered when all of the other remedies seem to fail.

7. Calendula

I agree with Boericke when he says “It’s a most remarkable healing agent, applied locally.” I personally like to use Calendula in a cream form because it’s easy to apply topically to my fever blisters. Not only does it help speed the healing, but it keeps the area soft to prevent drying and cracking.

8. Combo remedies

If you have a hard time narrowing down the remedy that you feel matches your symptoms the best, a combo remedy can be a great choice. Two combo remedies that I have not personally used are Hyland’s Cold Sores & Fever Blisters and Dr. King’s Cold Sores & Herpes. Both are great companies with great products. I’ve used other combo remedies from both companies with much success and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend either of these products to my family and friends.

Want to learn more about homeopathy? Check out my virtual study groups or click to get my 37 Must-Have Homeopathic Medicines for Families cheat sheet.


Natural remedies to heal fever blisters are generally readily found and are quick and easy to use. If you suffer from fever blisters, ditch the medications and opt for one or more of these natural methods of treatment. And don’t forget to keep your immune system boosted by eating healthy foods, getting regular chiropractic care, and avoiding triggers to lessen the likelihood of recurrence.

What are your tried and true methods of treating fever blisters and cold sores? Are any of my suggestions new to you? Leave a reply in the comments at the bottom of the page.

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Chiropractic Saved My Son

1080 1080 Kristi Corder

I’ve been wanting to write this post about how chiropractic saved my son for quite some time, but I just kept putting it off and putting it off. I don’t think there are very many people in my life who know this story, and I still have some hesitation in writing it.

Why?

Because of what they’ll say.

You see, I’m a chiropractor. I’m quite knowledgeable about medical care. I’ve been trained just as well as medical doctors. But sometimes words and actions from family make me feel like I don’t know anything…or at least that they don’t trust my judgement. I still cry over the words one family member said to me over a completely different health matter than what I’m writing about today.

I’m “brainwashed.”

I “don’t know everything.”

“We need doctors.”

So even though my family may say nothing at all, my mind thinks they will…because words in the past have hurt me.

But it’s time to write it, no matter what is said. Because I’m his mother. And because it may help someone else.

Preparing for a Natural Birth

Belly picture

As a chiropractor, I try to make healthy, natural, and holistic choices in my life and instill that philosophy in my children’s lives as well. It’s no surprise that I would also choose those options for birthing.

I had a wonderful team of midwives who saw me throughout my pregnancy. One was my midwife during my first pregnancy, and the other I was transferred to due to backup doctor conflicts with the first midwife.

Every holistic method I could think of was used when dealing with constant nausea during the first 18 weeks of my pregnancy. I tried acupuncture,
motion sickness bands, eating ginger, cooking with ginger, drinking peppermint tea, diffusing peppermint essential oil, increasing Vitamin B6, avoiding offending smells, sleeping upright, eating more protein, sucking on Preggie Pops, etc.

Now that I’m a little more experienced in the holistic health care world, I know I could’ve used a variety of different homeopathic remedies to uproot the nausea completely.

I had a less than pleasant experience at the hospital during the birth of my twins, so I was committed to having a home birth with this child.

We rented a birth tub so that I could attempt a water birth, or at least be comfortable through most of the birthing process. I’m still blown away at how much this helped my comfort during labor.

I was getting adjusted frequently by MY chiropractor throughout my pregnancy to make sure my body was functioning optimally for the best baby positioning and birth outcome.

The Days Leading up to the Birth

End of pregnancy

This little boy decided he was comfortable and wanted to hang around until 41 weeks and grow to a massive 10 lbs 8 oz.

Prior to the birth, everything was going well. He liked to flip posterior every other check-up with the midwife, so we knew he had plenty of room to move around. He had a strong heartbeat. And he was growing like crazy. I even worked adjusting patients up until 39 weeks.

I was having fairly regular contractions during the last week of pregnancy. Some made riding in a car almost impossible.

Labor Time

The day I went into labor I don’t think I even really knew I was in labor. I was having a few more intense contractions, so I figured I’d try to walk around the neighborhood. After passing just 3 houses, I told Brent we needed to go back to the house. I just couldn’t do it. I was not comfortable at all.

So back home we went. I retreated to my room to lay down for the evening thinking I should get some sleep in case the baby decided to come the next day. Doing that wasn’t comfortable.

Bedroom

I sat on my exercise ball. That wasn’t comfortable.

Finally, I told Brent I wanted to get into the birth tub. I had told him in the previous weeks not to let me get into the birth tub during labor until I was at least 5 cm dilated. I wanted my contractions to get stronger, not slower. So he tried to keep me out even though we had no idea how dilated I was, but it was about midnight and I was tired. I didn’t care if they slowed down because I thought at least I could get some rest.

So into the tub I went. And little did I know, I was about to be thrown right in to active labor.

Birth Day

I was able to tolerate the birth tub and my contractions for about an hour. Then they began to get more frequent and more intense. We called the midwife who lived an hour away and let her know what was happening. She instructed us to call back when I was physically unable to talk anymore.

We hung up and within a matter of minutes, my body went from uncomfortable, to PUSH!

Brent called the midwife again, and she talked me through deep reverberating sounds to help me relax and NOT push. Then she hopped in the car and drove well over the speed limit to get to us in just under an hour.

speeding

LONGEST HOUR OF MY LIFE!!!

Do you know how hard it is NOT to push when all your body is doing is pushing?

Once she came in, she gloved up and went to check me and said:

Ok, you can push with the next contraction!

Um, are you serious?!?

He was ready. And out came his head with just a couple of pushes. No “ring of fire” or anything other than relief of the pressure. And with the next contraction, out came…

NOTHING.

And another contraction…NOTHING.

He wasn’t budging.

So what came out next? Kristi. I was pulled right up out of that birth tub and onto the floor.

Contraction after contraction…NOTHING.

Pushing on my belly, pushing on my pubic bone, pushing on my hips…NOTHING.

Hand after hand trying to get him out…NOTHING.

Baby boy was stuck. As a matter of fact, he had turned posterior again and squared up his big shoulders evenly within my pelvis. I guess he was already living up to his namesake, Peyton Manning. Doesn’t he know that’s not how it’s supposed to work?

Over 7 minutes of trying to get this boy out led to the midwife and assistant midwife’s last attempt before calling an ambulance. So in they went, with all four hands and finally…

SUCCESS!

After the Birth

He was out. Thank goodness! But he wasn’t breathing.

They laid him on my chest. They patted his back. I rubbed him from toe to head. We slapped at him. They suctioned him. They rolled him over. We yelled at him. Nothing was working.

Brent was pacing. In tears I think. Praying. And pretty sure he was asking himself what I had done. Maybe even asking himself why his wife thought she could even deliver this boy at home…with midwives. He felt helpless.

Me? I was abnormally calm during the whole situation. While seeing Peyton lying there lifeless, I wasn’t afraid. I knew he was still attached to the cord. I knew the placenta hadn’t been delivered. He was still getting oxygen and blood. I just didn’t know why he wasn’t responding.

We tried and tried and tried to get him to respond. And still nothing.

But in one little instant, this sweet voice inside of me said:

You’re a chiropractor. Adjust the boy.

It was God. There’s no denying that. I heard Him loud and clear. Never before and never again have I heard Him as well as I did that day.

There Peyton lay on my chest, face down, lifeless. I checked his atlas, adjusted him with a small little push, and within a matter of seconds he was breathing.

Life. Sweet beautiful life. I gave this boy something no one else in that room and no other doctor could have given him. Life…through the power of a specific and gentle chiropractic adjustment.

Chiropractic saved my son

And that, my friends, is my chiropractic “WHY.” It’s why I AM a doctor whether anyone else thinks I am or not.

Chiropractic saved my son!


Are you pregnant and want to find a prenatal chiropractor to be on your birth team? Please reference the International Chiropractic Pediatrics Association website to find a pregnancy trained chiropractor in your area.

Thanks for reading. I’d love to hear your thoughts and your birth stories. Leave a reply in the comments at the bottom of the page.

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What is Chiropractic?

600 500 Kristi Corder

I am a chiropractor. So today I want to tackle the question What is Chiropractic?

According to many people, chiropractic is an alternative treatment for neck pain, back pain, headaches, and sciatica. That’s a pretty common definition or response you’ll get if you ask anyone you know.

But that is not Chiropractic.

The profession

To this day I will stand behind my opinion that our profession has done an awful job at educating people about chiropractic. Why? Because many in the profession don’t really know what chiropractic is themselves.

When I go anywhere and someone asks me what I do, I’ll respond that I’m a chiropractor and I always get the same response. They’ll point to their neck and say “I have this pain right here.” They’ve obviously been to a chiropractor and he/she has focused on their ache and pain, so I can’t blame them for their response.

I blame our profession.

As a chiropractor who travels the country, I get to see many chiropractic offices and chiropractors. As a colleague, it pains me to lay down on another chiropractor’s table only to be asked, “how are you feeling?”

What is chiropractic the adjustment

If everyone walking into a chiropractic office is being asked how they’re feeling, then what more could they possibly think chiropractic is?

And do you know WHY chiropractors ask people how they feel?

Insurance.

Our profession has stepped into the medical realm to provide services so they can receive insurance reimbursement. So to appease the insurance companies, they have to practice like a medical doctor…symptom based.

So if it’s not about headaches, back pain, or how you’re feeling, then what IS it about?

What is chiropractic?

In a nutshell, chiropractic is the science, philosophy, and art of detecting and correcting vertebral subluxations to restore normal nervous system function and increase a person’s life potential. It’s an alternative health care profession that focuses on LIFE and how your brain and body connection works to express LIFE within you.

Chiropractic is LIFE

I like to use the example of the dimmer switch when I explain chiropractic to people I meet. The electric meter is the brain, the light bulb is the body, and the dimmer switch is the vertebra.

When the dimmer switch is turned up (properly positioned vertebra), the light in the room shines bright. The electricity from the meter (brain) is communicating at 100% with the bulb (body). When the dimmer switch is turned down halfway (subluxated vertebra), the light bulb (body) dims because there is interference along the pathway from the electric meter (brain) to the light bulb (body). When the switch is turned all the way down (chronically subluxated vertebra), there is darkness. The electricity from the meter (brain) is now failing to communicate with the light bulb (body) at all…0%.

What do you think would happen if the nerves that send signals from your brain to your heart were only communicating at 50%? You might have arrythmias, high blood pressure, or a whole host of other issues. You could be put on medication to band-aid those issues, but that does nothing for the root cause…the subluxation.

The science

What is chiropractic the science

The brain controls every cell, tissue, and organ in your body.  It does this by sending electrical signals from your brain to your body to regulate and coordinate all functions and aspects of your body.  These signals pass down the spinal cord and thru the nerves that pass out of your spinal column and go to every area of your body.  If one of the bones of the spinal column moves out of proper position (what chiropractors call a vertebral subluxation), it can irritate the nerve that passes thru that area and cause a breakdown in the communication pathway from the brain to the body.  This process will cause poor function, sickness, and disease.

The philosophy

God designed our body to be self-healing and self-regulating to the constant stresses and demands that we place upon it; that is, we all have an innate (or inborn) intelligence within us that allows us to heal ourselves.  If there is interference in the communication pathways, then the body cannot accomplish this itself.  If the pathways are clear, we are able to heal and function at an optimum level.

The art

Chiropractors check the vertebrae in the spine to find subluxations.  This is a hands-on sensitivity that is learned over time.  If one or more subluxations are found, the chiropractor will then use his/her hands or an instrument and apply a specific force, speed, and torque to your spine moving the vertebrae closer to their normal position (this is a chiropractic adjustment).  As your body adapts to the changes, your communication pathways will become clear and your body will function at greater potential.

What is chiropractic the art

Every chiropractor is different and uses a technique that they have perfected to their liking. Just as two painters can paint the same object on a canvas using different mediums, chiropractors use different techniques to achieve the same goal: correcting vertebral subluxation.

Who should see a chiropractor?

Anyone with a spine.

Yep, you heard me right. EVERYONE!

Do you have a dentist? You see them for regular teeth cleanings and to make sure you don’t have any issues that may indicate decay or disease, right?

Do you have an optometrist? You see them for regular eye exams and to make sure you don’t have any underlying problems that could lead to eye issues, right?

Females: do you have a midwife or gynecologist? You see them for regular checkups to make sure you don’t have any issues that may develop into problems in the future, right?

Do you see where I’m going with this? Why is it that we have doctors we see for every other aspect of our health except our spinal health?

What is chiropractic adjusting everyone

Everyone with a spine (yes, infants and children included) should have regular checkups with a trusted chiropractor. You don’t need to have anything wrong to have your spine checked for vertebral subluxations. Just get checked to be sure that your nervous system is working at 100%!

How much does it cost?

The cost of chiropractic care is very different depending upon the area you live in and what type of chiropractor you see.

Some chiropractors take insurance. Your out-of-pocket cost would be whatever your copay or co-insurance amount is based on your insurance contract. However, be aware that insurance will only cover chiropractic on the basis of a medical issue/symptom. Insurances DO NOT cover regular non-symptomatic spinal checkups or maintenance care.

Cash pay chiropractors may charge anywhere from $20 to $60 per visit with the initial visit being even higher. Places like The Joint (a chiropractic franchise) are on the lower side of this dollar amount while private chiropractic offices are on the higher end. And some of these chiropractors lay out long term care plans that can be upwards of $5000 for a year worth of care.

What is chiropractic the cost

There are also chiropractic membership offices. Membership chiropractic is just like it sounds. You pay a monthly membership fee as you would at a gym, and you get access to as many chiropractic checkups as you need/want each month. This is a great option for families, as many of these chiropractors have a family membership fee that covers everyone in the family.

My chiropractic office is still a bit different than all of these other options. I focus on family care and practice with a fee system called Box on the Wall, or Honor Fee System. It’s similar to how farmers used to set out their produce and have a box for people to put their money in when they came to the farm to get produce for their family. They paid for the produce on their honor. Families love having this option because it makes it affordable for the ENTIRE family to have regular checkups.

So you can see, there are many different options of care ranging from more expensive to extremely affordable.


In short, chiropractic is not massage, physical therapy, nutrition, or treatment for your neck or back pain. Chiropractic is a profession focused on making sure your nervous system is free from interference so that you express LIFE at your greatest potential.

Do you have a chiropractor? Do you see him/her when you’re in pain or do you get regular care so you can live your greatest LIFE? Leave a reply in the comments at the bottom of the page.

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Homeopathic Medicine: An Interview With Joette Calabrese

600 500 Kristi Corder

As a chiropractor, I seek out alternative health care for my family’s medical needs unless it is an emergency situation. Homeopathic Medicine is one such form of health care we choose to utilize that has made a huge impact on our lives. So today I am extremely excited and honored to share with you an interview with my personal homeopath and friend, Joette Calabrese.

Joette Calabrese

Kristi: Tell my readers a little bit about you.

Joette: I’m a practicing homeopath, educator, author, blogger, lecturer but most importantly, I’m a mom of now adult children. I raised them all without even one visit to a pediatrician. Why/how did I do this? I did it because I learned from my own ill health that commenced from the time I was 6 weeks old that drugs were not an answer to my allergies, food intolerances, anxiety, chronic fatigue, etc. How did I do this? I became bold. And my method to get the guts to do this was to learn what I needed to know to be able to treat my children for whatever came our way by using homeopathy. Today I teach other mothers how to grow their ability to cure their families themselves…using guts, spunk and moxie and the practical use of homeopathy. Today, I author a weekly blog and podcast to teach mothers (and anyone else interested…but to be honest, its mothers who have the internal strength to do this.) This is offered free so that anyone can learn how to take charge of their family’s health without dependency on drugs.

Kristi: What is homeopathy?

Joette: First, let me clarify what homeopathy is not. It is not herbalism. It’s not supplements. It’s not naturopathy. What homeopathy is, is a specific medical format that uses wholesome medicines to uproot illness.

Kristi: I have seen the terms “classical” and “practical” when researching homeopathy. What is the difference between the two?

Joette: Classical homeopathy is a method used by homeopaths throughout the world, including medical doctors in Europe and South America. It is based on the works of Dr. Samuel Hahnemann in the late 1700’s and is based on the idea that “like cures like”. That’s actually what the word homeopathy means. The preface “homeo” means homonym or similar, or like. And pathology means illness of medical condition. Classical homeopathy considers each person and counts on the idiosyncrasies of the individual in order to determine a remedy for a person who is suffering. Practical Homeopathy™ is based on the Banerji protocols. It uses specific medicines for specific diseases, which are diagnosed by using conventional diagnostics.

Kristi: How is homeopathy different than traditional medical treatment?

Joette: One of the most remarkable differences between the two is that homeopathy’s goal is to uproot the condition. Generally speaking, conventional medicine’s goal is to treat symptoms. Another is that homeopathic medicines carry no side effects. Must I mention the problem of side effects of modern drugs?

Kristi: Is homeopathy safe? I ask this because there have been some recent concerns over the use of homeopathic teething tablets given to babies.

Joette: Homeopathic medicines are often made from toxic substances, BUT what makes them into a homeopathic medicine is the special dilution process. The pharmacological dilution process goes so far as to render the original toxic aspect of the substance not only non-poisonous, but it also allows the curative action of the original substance to be brought to the fore. This is very different from conventional drugs, where the toxins remain in the pills, injections or liquids. These are called side effects and often render the patient worse than the state they were in before submitting to the drug. Worse yet, drug reactions can last for years after the drug has been halted. A perfect example is the ubiquitous use of antibiotics for simple ear infections in children. Long after, when the ear infection and subsequent use of antibiotics is merely a distant memory, the child may be left with gut dysbiosis, food intolerances, chronic constipation and worse. So to answer your original question regarding homeopathy’s safety record, allow me to boldly state that no homeopathic medicine has ever been pulled off the market for reasons of safety. Now, compare that to conventional medicine’s record.

Kristi: Can anyone find and use homeopathic medicines to treat themselves or their families or do they need to visit a homeopath?

Joette: I am a one woman advocacy program for teaching families how to use homeopathy themselves, even for seemingly difficult, chronic conditions.

Kristi: Who can be seen by a homeopath? And Is there anyone who should not seek the care of a homeopath?

Joette: Why, anyone who has a health condition! Homeopathy treats common childhood conditions such as respiratory diseases, ADD, behavior problems, women’s conditions such as hypothyroidism, menstrual conditions, menopause, arthritis, emotional conditions, insomnia, chemical and food sensitivities. If I continue, I’ll run out of space! I actually can’t think of a condition that wouldn’t benefit, and in some cases be eliminated, by the use of homeopathy.

Kristi: Would someone looking to consult a homeopath need a referral from their doctor?

Joette: Unless your doctor is French, German, British, Swiss, South American or Indian, it’s unlikely he knows what homeopathy is, so it won’t happen.

Kristi: How long would someone expect to use homeopathic medicines before they start to see results with their health condition?

Joette: If the condition is an acute one, such as an ear infection or a UTI, it has a reputation of acting within hours up to a day or so. When it comes to uprooting allergies or food intolerances, it will likely take months. Not a bad proposition given that modern medicine has nothing substantial to offer in terms of these conditions.

Kristi: How much do visits to a homeopath cost?

Joette: The fees that homeopaths charge vary depending on the expertise, clinical experience, and expected results.

Kristi: Will health insurance cover visits with a homeopath?

Joette: Insurance does not cover homeopathy but in my experience, most Health Savings Accounts cover fees.

Kristi: Where can someone find out more about you and your services?

Joette: Feel free to take advantage of my free blog where I give families my tips and the very methods I use in my practice and teach in my courses. My focus is to teach self-reliance.

Joette Calabrese

www.JoetteCalabrese.com


I just want to thank Joette for taking the time to answer questions about the basics of Homeopathic Medicine. One question I personally get asked quite frequently is “how do you know so much about homeopathy?” It’s all thanks to Joette’s study group curriculum, website, blog, and podcasts.

If you are not familiar with the basics of homeopathy or Practical Homeopathy™ and want to learn more, consider joining a study group that utilizes Joette’s Gateway to Homeopathy curriculum. It is an 8-week study designed for you and a group of others to gain understanding and confidence in using Homeopathic Medicine.

Do you use homeopathy in your home? What do you love about it? Leave a reply in the comments at the bottom of the page.

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