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Strategies for Optimizing Mental Health during Isolation


We have now had the SIP (shelter-in-place) order in effect for over 6 weeks.  What has been glossed over in the media, is that there are other more insidious health dangers that exist at this time besides striving to prevent the spread of this novel virus.  As our time in isolation increases, this can be a particularly difficult time for those individuals prone to anxiety and depression.  This article is not only for those who are sheltering by themselves, but also for families who are just trying to keep some semblance of sanity, while homeschooling their kids and trying to stay on top of their job requirements from home.  In my experience, it is far easier to provide support for anxiety and depression when the onset was relatively recent versus waiting until symptoms have been more entrenched. 

Please note that these recommendations are educational and not considered a replacement for consulting with your doctor.  In a majority of cases, it is suggested that you work with your doctor in order to create a personalized plan based on your specific needs.  It is also important to know that some of these suggestions may be contraindicated if you are currently on prescription psychiatric medications. 

At Home Strategies:

1. rRest®️ (Rapid Reprogramming of Emotional Stress Technique):  This powerful technique performed between you and your practitioner can be used in order to effectively resolve and change the way that you normally react under acute and chronic stress.  This technique works just as effectively over video conferencing as it does in-person. Consider rRest®️ if you are experiencing any of the following:

  • You are easily triggered into reactions that are not serving you, or your family
  • You have a general sense of agitation and your buttons are easily pushed by others
  • You frequently find yourself focused on scarcity, fear, and helplessness, which may even wake you at night

What is rREST®️?

rREST®️ is an innovative, mind-body technology that is easily accessible through an online process from the comfort of your home. 

rREST®️ is a fast and effective tool helping you break through emotional obstacles currently holding you back. This process can quickly and permanently eliminate subclinical stress response patterns that were generated early in your life and were reinforced by adversity throughout your lifetime. 

2. Meditation:  30 minutes once to twice per day.  There are many resources available that you can find online and there are also a number of free meditation apps that you can download to your device.  No matter what meditation you choose, all of them will heavily rely on breath work.  It is important to take deep, diaphragmatic breaths in order to promote the parasympathetic nervous system (responsible for relaxation and a sense of increased well-being).

Here are some great meditation apps:

Another under appreciated technique is that of gratitude.  It is incongruent for your mind to feel fear, anxiety, anger, or sadness when you truly feel grateful for something or somebody.  This can be something small, like the spring flowers blooming or watching a hummingbird in flight, or a strongly positive memory where you felt unconditional love for someone.  The trick is that you have to feel it in your body.  This is not a mental exercise, it is an emotional exercise.  You need to find the grateful thought with your mind, but then pull it down into a heart-centered feeling.  Think about times like when you saw your child take his or her first steps and how you felt.  Or, think about how you feel when you see a young puppy exploring the world.  

There are also some good apps that can help you below:

3. Exercise:  Even with the SIP order in effect, in most counties it is allowable to travel up to 5 miles for exercise.  I feel that it is very important to get outdoors, especially since the air quality has been better than I have ever seen it.  Hiking and mountain biking are my favorite outdoor activities and really work as a reset from the monotony of sheltering in place. 

There are also many different Tabata type workouts that can be found for free online. These exercises typically include using only your bodyweight for short, intense workouts that can definitely change your mental and emotional state in a hurry.  Below is an excellent resource for efficient and effective workouts that can be done at home.

4. News:  If you absolutely have to stay informed, I would suggest only looking at the news once per day, preferably in the morning to prevent sleep issues.  It would also be a good idea to set a timer for 15 – 30 minutes so you don’t get sucked down the media rabbit hole.  

5. Light Therapy:  Full spectrum light boxes have become very affordable since they first were shown to be an effective therapy for SAD (seasonal affective disorder). Light Therapy has been shown to be 50-80% effective for those diagnosed with SAD.  In order to support SAD, the light box needs to have a power rating of at least 10,000 lux.  The therapy includes exposure to the light box for 30 minutes once per day, preferably in the morning in order to help burn off melatonin levels.  You do not look directly at the light box, but instead have it off to the side of what you are doing, whether that is working on your computer, reading, or having a cup of tea.  You can find light boxes with 10,000 lux by Verilux for under $100. 

Even though we are in the beginning of Spring, do not underestimate what light therapy can do for depression.  Since the SIP order went effective, I have found that many people are outside of their house far less than they ordinarily would be.  On top of that, I have also found that people are spending more time on their phones, televisions, and/or computers.  If you have an iPhone, check your daily average under settings if you do not believe me.  This constant onslaught of blue light can cause problems with your circadian rhythm leading to excessive melatonin levels and persistent sleepiness, not to mention the adrenal issues it can cause. 

Here are some links to some good choices:

Verilux HappyLight VT22 Lucent 10,000 Lux LED Therapy Light

Miroco LED Bright White Therapy Light 10,000 Lux

6. Drugs:  Every person copes with stress in an entirely different way, but alcohol, caffeine, and marijuana seem to be the most common.  It is especially important now to evaluate whether your use of these substances has increased since the SIP order.  Abuse of any of these substances can create anxiety and depression.  Even during the SIP, please note that most therapists and psychiatrists are still working and offering telehealth visits in order to support their clients from home. 

7. Create Routine / Create Purpose:  It is interesting, before now I would only have to discuss this strategy with patients who were retired.  Now, I see it as an important strategy for everyone.  If the SIP has made anything blatantly obvious, it is that most people had very clear routines before this began.  Setting a routine creates a sense of duty and accountability and with that duty comes purpose.  Do you ever notice that the most effective people that you know are the ones with the most on their plate?

8. Eat for blood sugar balance.  Did you know that low blood sugar can look like anxiety? Yes it can.  This is one factor we do have control over. We recommend small frequent meals and not going long periods of time in between meals to help maintain a balanced blood sugar.  

Nutritional Supplementation:

1. L-Tryptophan and/or 5-HTP:  Both of these substances support an increase in serotonin and melatonin synthesis, leading to decreased feelings of sadness, easier sleep initiation, and an increased sense of wellbeing.  Both of these substances need to be used with extreme caution, and oversight by your doctor is strongly suggested to prevent serotonin syndrome if being used in conjunction with SSRI’s or SNRI’s. 

When an individual is under higher stress levels (whether emotional, mental, or physical) there will be a rise in stress hormones such as cortisol and epinephrine.  These substances are basically fire alarms telling your body to jump into action to address an imminent danger.  This is what is called the sympathetic nervous system response.  When your body is in this mode, it is incongruent for you to feel relaxed with a general feeling of wellbeing.  Your body will then prevent the formation of serotonin and actually speed up the breakdown to ensure that your nervous system will be hypervigilant, on edge, and ready to act on any perceived danger.  If the real or perceived stressor continues over time, you can become serotonin deficiency leading to depression and anxiety.

Typical dosage for L-Tryptophan ranges from 500mg – 3000mg at bedtime, while the typical dosage for 5-HTP is from 50mg – 300mg at bedtime.  Please note that both of these compounds work on the same pathway, so it is unnecessary to use both of them in your plan at the same time.  It is always suggested that an individual start at the lowest dosage for both of these supplements. 

2. L-Theanine:  This compound is derived from the tea plant (Camellia sinensis) and is one of the safest remedies for anxiety and anxiety-related depression.  This is one of my favorite supplements to prescribe because of its overall effectiveness and because it is one of the few therapies for anxiety that will not cause drowsiness.  I have found that this stand-alone supplement works particularly well for kids to promote calmness. Typical dosage ranges from 100mg – 600mg twice to three times per day. 

3. Magnesium Threonate:  This compound is the only oral magnesium that can cross the blood brain barrier.  By doing so, it creates a relaxation response on the central nervous system.  This supplement works well for insomnia, nervous exhaustion, anxiety, or depression caused by prolonged anxiety.  It will also aid in restoring stress-induced memory loss and increase general energy levels.  The typical dosage is 1000mg – 2000mg two to three times per day. 

4. Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera):  This medicinal herb has been used by humans for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine.  It works extraordinarily well for individuals who suffer from prolonged anxiety or neurasthenia (fatigue and other physical complaints caused by a prolonged emotional disturbance) and is extremely safe.  One of my favorite aspects of this supplement is that it has been shown to bind to GABA receptors, which reduce anxiety and promote relaxation.  This herb will also work as an adaptogen, aiding in moderating adrenal function for those under pronounced stress for long periods of time.  Typical dosage is 500mg – 1000mg once to twice per day. 

5. Valerian Root (Valeriana officinalis):  This root is one the strongest anti-anxiety medicines in natural medicine.  This supplement is particularly suited for individuals with very high anxiety that also causes insomnia.  Dosage is typically 300-600mg at once per day at bedtime, but for severe anxiety it can be given two to three times per day. Drowsiness and sleepiness are common side effects of this supplement, so use caution if you are going to use it during the daytime.  Also, due to the action of this supplement, it could be contraindicated if the individual is currently taking prescription medications for anxiety, such as benzodiazepines. 

Pandemic Update 3/22/20

World Love

We apologize in advance for the length of this post - it's around 3000 words, which will take about 15 minutes for most people to digest.  There is a lot to review and it is changing every day. As time goes by, more light is shed on the science of this novel coronavirus, and more complexity is required to explain the actions.  The more we understand how the virus works, the more effective we can be from both the treatment and prevention perspective. There is a lot of information out there regarding this novel virus, much of which is confusing and contradictory.  We see it as our responsibility to sort through as much of the incoming data as possible in order to provide our community with as clear and unbiased understanding as possible.

While taking the “Shelter in Place” directive and world pandemic seriously, our team is committed and dedicated to the health of our patients and community.  Researching data from other countries that are ahead of the U.S. in this crisis allows us to gain perspective on the path of progression of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus responsible for COVID-19).  In a recent chart by Johns Hopkins, it shows that the U.S. is following a very similar path as Italy. In fact, the U.S. has more confirmed cases on day 18 of the virus than Italy did after the same number of days (18 days after each country reported at least 100 confirmed cases).  

We cannot overstate how important the next 3-4 weeks are in regards to the containing and slowing the spread of this virus.  Stay home! What we have seen in countries who had the ability to offer early and widespread testing, is that those countries were able to significantly reduce the spread of the virus, thereby minimizing the time required under quarantine or a “shelter in place” order.  Please remember that during this time, the priority is slowing the spread as much as possible, as upwards of 70% of individuals will experience this viral infection in the coming months. The slower the progression, the more treatment options will come to light. As of now, prevention is paramount in this process, which means that our communities have to work together in a cooperative fashion to abide by the social distancing rules.  At our clinic, we felt the need to move to Telehealth for a majority of our visits in order to ensure that we are not promoting the spread of this very virulent virus. 

Since this is a novel virus, no person has immunity to it, and nothing has yet been proven to treat or prevent this specific virus in either the pharmaceutical or natural medicine arenas. SARS-CoV-2 has never been seen before in humans.  That leaves us doing our very best to extrapolate from prior research on similar viruses, such as other coronaviruses, since very little is known about this specific strain of virus.  

Why is SARS-CoV-2 so much more virulent than other viruses?  

We do have patients who do want to know more detailed information on how this virus actually works, so we will explain and try to keep it as simple as possible based on the current understanding.  If you do not want this level of information, please scroll down to SARS-CoV-2 Basics.  

SARS-CoV-2 is different from other coronaviruses, and other viruses in general, for 2 specific reasons.  To understand this more completely, you need to know that viruses are dependent on the machinery within human cells in order to replicate and become more virulent, which is different from bacteria, parasites, and fungi that live outside of cells.  Basically, viruses need to take over your cells in order to make copies of themselves to be able to take over more of your cells. Viruses have a specific spike protein (s protein) that determines which human cell receptors it will target and bind, thereby determining which organ systems will be affected.  The spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 has a specific affinity for a receptor on our cells known as ACE2. ACE2 receptors are located primarily on cells within your arteries, kidneys, lungs, gastrointestinal tract, testes, and the brain. These receptors play a significant role in the management of blood pressure among other processes.  

Previous coronaviruses had a more difficult time entering human cells because our cells have other specific mechanisms that are used to deter the entrance of a virus, which in turn makes them less virulent.  In the case of SARS-CoV-2, the viral spike protein has a site that is recognized and activated by furin, which is an enzyme produced by our own cells. Furin causes SARS-CoV-2 to bind 10x more strongly to our ACE2 receptors than previous coronaviruses.  Basically, when SARS-CoV-2 comes close to its binding site (ACE2) on human cells, it is activated by our own enzymes, which makes it bind more tightly to our own cells causing the virus to then more easily enter into our cells. Once the virus is inside of our cells it stimulates chemicals known as inflammasomes, which causes uncontrolled inflammation through interleukin-1beta and interleukin-18.  As the inflammatory process goes out of control, fibrosis (scarring) occurs, leading to higher mortality rates related to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). 

In 2017, there were a total of 105 million prescriptions for the medication Lisinopril, making it the third most prescribed medication in the United States.  Lisinopril, and other ACE inhibitors, are used to treat high blood pressure. Patients who are currently taking these medications have been shown to have a higher viral load of SARS-CoV-2 in their system and it is speculated that it is easier for these patients to become infected.  The drug class of ACE inhibitors work by blocking the receptor site on the cell. The body, in turn, increases the number of ACE2 receptors on the outside of each cell as to compensate. If you are currently taking medication within this class, it might be a good idea to consult with your doctor to see if a change is required.

In a recent scientific journal, it was shown that Ibuprofen (Advil, etc) could be associated with higher rates of COVID-19 because the medication increases ACE2 receptors on the cell surface.  There is not a clear understanding of this relationship, but it might be worth considering avoiding its use until more information is known.

We are open and here to support you with Telehealth and very limited in-office visits.  Dr. Destia, Dr. Bryan, and Dr. Mimosa are available Monday through Thursday for Telehealth visits from the comfort of your home, whether that be through videoconferencing or telephone.  Our front office staff is still working to ensure that you get the care and support you need to be as healthy as possible through this pandemic. Please call the office to schedule your visit at 650-323-7345 or email our staff at If you are also utilizing our computerized scanning technology, we only have a limited number of devices at the clinic to loan out to patients for use during virtual visits from the comfort of your own home. Due to the low supply of these devices and because many of our patients do not have a Windows-based PC,  we will be creating a room at the clinic for patients to have a Telehealth visit with your doctor. Please call the clinic for details. All Osteopathic and Craniosacral visits have been cancelled until further notice due to the “Shelter in Place” directive. We will reassess the pandemic regulations weekly and notify you when we will again be offering these services.

There are 3 important exceptions that would prevent individuals from being able to come to the clinic over the next few weeks. 

  1. If you have shortness of breath, a high fever, cough, severe respiratory symptoms.  Our clinic is not equipped to treat patients diagnosed with COVID-19.  
  2. Have been in contact with someone with a confirmed infection in the past 14 days
  3. Have travelled to China, Japan, Korea, Iran, or Italy within the previous 14 days 

What do we know about this Pandemic?

The Cycle in the U.S. is projected to peak in about 3 weeks. This means that the next two weeks are critical to lower the spread in our community.  Physical distancing is a key component to this spread because of the fact that this virus is so virulent. If the directives set by the CDC are followed consistently over the next 3-4 weeks, it is highly likely we can have better control of this epidemic.   

Novel VIrus Basics:

  1. Spreads more easily than most other viruses seen in our history.  This means it can easily infect a larger part of the population, faster. 
  2. It has a tactic to get more easily into our cells by cleaving feron receptors and using ACE receptors.  Other coronaviruses along with other viruses have not shown this ability. This means we need to use other novel herbal remedies that can have an impact on these functions.
  3. The infection has a virulent protein that stimulates an overproduction of cytokines leading to a massive inflammatory reaction (Cytokine Storm). This most likely is leading to the intense respiratory distress seen in infected individuals. Tylenol may be a better choice over Ibuprofen to manage fevers associated with this novel virus due to the potential interaction with ACE-2 receptors.  Remember a fever is an important part of your immune system fighting the virus.  

What are key life lifestyle components?

  1. Sleep: Good sleep hygiene is essential.  Sleep supports your immune function.   Quality sleep has also been shown to support healthy immune response, which could provide you with more resistance to microbes.  
  2. Healthy Diet:  Reduce sugar, alcohol, gluten and dairy. This helps to balance your immune system and support a healthy response to inflammation.  
  3. Lower Stress: Stress is shown to increase Interleukin-6.  How do we lower stress?  Set your timer to take deep abdominal breaths 3 x day for 5 min. Get outside. Watch something funny - Dr. Bryan loves animal meme videos for this purpose. We will be writing a follow up post on reducing stress during this time. 

Promising Supportive Measures:

1.  Herbal Medicine:  Due to the fact that this is a novel virus (it has never been encountered before) there is little to no evidence showing an effective treatment, whether natural or pharmaceutical.  The history of herbal medicine dates back at least 5,000 years, when the Sumerians compiled the first known list including hundreds of medicinal plants.  Since then, there have been thousands of published research papers studying the efficacy of specific herbs or herbal formulas on disease process.  

2.  Vitamin D3:  People with low vitamin D3 levels were shown to be 40% more likely to get a respiratory infection than those with normal levels.  Levels can be easily tested with a simple blood test and should be in the range 60-80 ng/ml. Based on research out of Finland, infants less than 1 should have 1000 IU daily, toddlers and children 2000-3000 IU daily, and teenagers and adults more than 5000-8000 IU daily.

3. Oral Vitamin C: Vitamin C reduces NLRP3, an important mediator found in the inflammatory cascade.  Liposomal vitamin C may allow higher doses to be used without the gastrointestinal side effects found associated with ascorbic acid.

4. Vitamin A (NOT beta-carotene):  Vitamin A is very important for normal immune function of the lining of the respiratory system. Please work with your doctor to find the specific dose for you. If you are trying to get pregnant or are currently pregnant do not take over 5,000 IU daily. 

5. Whole Food Concentrates:  We double the daily dose during cold and flu season as our first line of defense.  Even when we are eating like champs, the variety of different plants in these whole foods concentrates cannot be replicated with eating. 

Be Safe, Be Well,

Drs. Bryan & Destia


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Brain Res Bull. 1980 Jan-Feb;5(1):69-73..Vaughn LK, Veale WL, Cooper KE.

Pandemic Update 3/6/20


This is an update to our previous pandemic article.  Let’s first address the unfounded insanity that is currently being spread throughout the media.  Please remember that fear sells and it inspires people to return to the original source of the information in order to stay updated.  This is another rendition of the old news saying, “If it bleeds, it reads!” It is a better option to fight fear with knowledge. 

The current is a novel virus, meaning this is the first time we have seen this particular strain in the human population.  We have encountered other novel viral infections in the past, but there is a lack of direct knowledge of this specific virus.  We are able to somewhat extrapolate information from these past outbreaks to aid in the support of your body during this pandemic. 

World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus recently said:

… We’re not just fighting an epidemic; we’re fighting an infodemic …

This is a time for facts, not fear.

This is a time for rationality, not rumours.

 Please remember that google is not your doctor and that the news and other media sources do not necessarily have your best interest in mind.  The best way to protect yourself and your family is being aware of how this infection spreads and by taking steps to minimize exposure.  

Viruses spread within large respiratory droplets via coughing and/or sneezing. This means all surfaces where these droplets have landed can be potentially infectious for about 1 week on average.  They also spread with direct contact to your mucosal surfaces.  

One of the most important preventative steps you can take is to avoid touching your mouth, nose and/or eyes while you are out in public places or wear a mask.  Second, be sure to vigorously wash your hands several times a day for at least 30 seconds per time in order to promote removal of any viruses. The length of hand washing combined with scrubbing have been shown to be the two most significant factors involved. To reduce your risk of acquiring the virus, avoid such “high-touch surfaces” as doorknobs, handles, stair rails, pens, keypads, touch screens, point of sale terminals, etc. Use your knuckle to push bush buttons and antimicrobial wipes to hold handles and clean your phone, and/or use gloves. 

As this viral pandemic is changing quickly, check the CDC for current up to date information on the current incubation periods and symptoms. 

Is there a vaccine for this novel virus? 

To date, there is no vaccine and no specific antiviral medicine to prevent or treat this current virus. However, those affected should receive care to relieve symptoms. People with serious illnesses should be hospitalized. Most patients recover thanks to supportive care. 

Your best support is a balanced immune system. Supportive immune formulas can encourage good innate immune function. 

While information so far suggests that most illness is mild out of China suggests serious illness occurs in 16% of cases. Older people and people with certain underlying health conditions like heart disease, lung disease and diabetes, for example, seem to be at greater risk of serious illness.

"Globally, about 3.4 percent of reported COVID-19 cases have died," WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said. This number includes cases in China, which seem to have a higher death rate than other countries.

Interestingly, South Korea has been very proactive with testing its population, which has been extremely effective.  Journalist Kim Kyung-Hoon reported in Reuters on 3/5/20 that: 

  • South Korea has tested more than 140,000 people for the new coronavirus and confirmed more than 6,000 cases. Its fatality rate is around 0.6%. This is lower than the yearly flu fatality rate at .78%
  • This suggests that, as many health experts have predicted, the virus' fatality rate seems to decrease as more cases are reported.
  • That's because more widespread testing leads more mild cases to be included in the count.
  • The US, by contrast, has tested around 1,500 people. The country has 221 confirmed cases and 12 deaths, suggesting a death rate of 5%.
  • The US' testing capacity has been limited.
Plan to Support  your Innate Immunity 
  1. Get adequate sleep
  2. 30 minutes of outside movement each day.  This will activate lymphatic flow in the body, which will support your immune function.
  3. Wash your hands multiple times a day.  Use vigorous scrubbing and make sure that you wash your hands for at least 30 seconds.  
  4. Avoid sugar as much as possible.  Sugar has been shown to lower your immune function for 7 hours after ingestion of even a small amount.  
  5. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables in the rainbow of variety.  The colors and flavors help protect different organs. We take a wide variety plant concentrates every day and in this season we are taking a double dose to support our immune system
  6. Check to make sure that your vitamin D3 level is optimal.  A simple blood test can be ordered to ensure that your levels are between 60-80 for optimal protection of your immune system.
  7. Licorice and elderberry are two good herbs for immune support.  
  8. If you are over 65, and are immunocompromised, you may want to consider adding S-Acetyl Glutathione or Liposomal Glutathione to your support plan.  Glutathione is a strong antioxidant and can support lung and mucosal membranes. 
News Sources:

Santa Clara County public health officials are now recommending employers: suspend nonessential travel; minimize or cancel large in-person meetings/conferences; urge sick employees to stay home and not require a doctor’s note; and consider telecommuting options for appropriate employees.

“It’s good to remember that when H1N1 influenza came out in 2009, estimates of case fatality were 10 percent,” David Fisman, an epidemiologist at the University of Toronto, told Reuters last month. The actual mortality rate turned out to be well under 1 percent when all the data was in.

Pandemic Update


What do you need to know?  What can you do?

This is a virus that has never been previously seen in humans.  It is suspected to have been transmitted from animals to humans. The virus was first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan. Chinese authorities have since confirmed that healthcare workers have been infected with the virus, suggesting human-to-human transmission is now occurring. Infections have now been seen in the United States, Australia, France, South Korea, Japan, Nepal, Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam and Taiwan.  As of Saturday, January 25, the virus had claimed more than 56 lives and 1,400 were infected with a pneumonia-like viral illness. The Chinese government is taking this very seriously.  As of two days ago 35 million people were quarantined in China. They are stopping travel and festivals where the virus can easily spread.  

We deal with the flu on a yearly basis.  Supporting a good functioning immune system is the key to keeping healthy during winter virus season.

This current type of virus is an enveloped, hardy virus that has specific mode of action that allows it to pass through the lipid membrane surrounding the virus. Enveloped viruses are surrounded by an outer lipid membrane which helps mediate binding to host cells and protects the virus. 

What are the symptoms? 

The CDC has an updated web page that lists all of the possible symptoms related to this particular virus.  You can visit the site here.  Keep up to date with this information as the virus can have many diverse symptoms.

What can you do to protect yourself and your family? Here are some simple tips to keep from being infected by viruses in general:

  1. Wash your hands often and thoroughly for at least 20 seconds.  This is one of the most important strategies you can incorporate into your virus prevention plan.  Despite popular belief, the temperature of the water used for washing is unimportant. The important action includes vigorously rubbing with soap and water for 20 seconds before rinsing your hands completely.  Regular hand washing has been shown to reduce your risk of contracting a cold or flu by up to 21%.
  1. Don’t touch your face. Many infections are introduced by touching infected areas, like handrails, and then touching your mouth or nose.  These are the areas where a virus is likely to infect your body. So always wash your hands before touching your face. Researchers have found that the average person in a public place touches their face 3.6 times per hour.  That is a staggering 60 times per day for most individuals, which greatly increases self-inoculation with viruses.  
  1. Eat the rainbow of fruit, vegetables and berries.  These foods provide a wide pharmacy of phytonutrients, which are natural plant chemicals that work directly to support your immune system to more effectively fight off viruses. They also provide fiber, which is the most important factor in maintaining a healthy microbiome in our gut.  Our gut is our most important immune organ as adults, containing 70-80% of your body’s immune tissue. 
  1. Get moderate exercise, but don’t overdo it.  Moderate exercise is shown to improve immunity.  Intense workouts or working out too frequently can decrease your immunity for up to 72 hours. According to a study in the British Journal of Sport Medicine, adults who got at least some aerobic activity five or more days per week experienced 43% fewer sick days during cold and flu season. 
  1. Drink water!  Your mucous is the protective lining on the surface of your respiratory tract.  Your body needs water to make mucous. This mucus lining performs the important duty of being the first line of defense against infections.
  1. Lower sugar intake.  Sugar is shown to lower your immune function for up to 7 hours after ingestion.  Sugar also can disrupt your microbiome, making it easier for you to contract infections.  
  1. Sleep is way more important than Facebook or Netflix!  Most individuals are sleep deprived and engage in media far after their body has given them the signal to go to sleep. This can cause a significant reduction in your immune system’s ability to fight off infections. Lack of sleep can also affect how fast you recover from illness.  
  1. Make sure that your vitamin D3 levels are optimal.  Vitamin D3, because of its fatty acid complex, has been shown to aid in cellular immune support.  We recommend starting Vitamin D3 immediately for the cold and flu season at 1,000 to 5,000 IU per day depending on your blood test findings.  Many individuals need a much higher dose due to genetic mutations and poor absorption, but these factors would need to be evaluated before using higher dosages.  
  1. Consider having blood work done to evaluate your current level of immunity.  A basic blood panel can help you determine if your immune system is running optimally.  This typically includes a Complete Blood Count with Differential and Platelets, 25-OH Vitamin D3, Immunoglobulins Panel, and other markers that can aid in the ability for your body to make immune cells.  Consult your doctor about ordering lab work.  

When it comes to infections, we are often quick to call bacteria the bad guys.  Of course everyone by now has heard of the body’s microbiome. These are the bugs we need to colonize our bodies in order to help us perform vital processes in the digestive and immune system.  Now, researchers at University of Michigan have discovered a new symbiotic relationship between our nasal bacteria and the lessening of infection by the flu virus. Creating a healthy gut microbiome helps to balance your general microbiome. Remember, Your body consists of 10x more bacteria than human cells - they are an important part of your innate immunity and defense system.  


Happy Holidays To You And Yours!

Cnmhealth 2019 Holiday

Happy Holidays & Happy New Year!

We each wanted to share one of our tips for staying calm and happy this Holiday Season:

Andrea: Make time for things YOU love to do!

Maria: Take time for self care! Her favorite is running off to the spa for a soak or body treatment.

Dr. Mimosa: Take magnesium for relaxation and make time for deep abdominal breaths in the morning on waking and at night before bed. Set your phone alarm to remind you. Deep abdominal breathing can trick your body into being relaxed even when you are not. 

Dr. Destia: Asking this question - Am I listening to understand or listening to respond? A little slow down and understanding can go a long way with family dynamics which normally can be triggering. 

Dr. Logan: Remember to breathe and spend the time with people who matter the most to you.  

Dr. Bryan: The end of the year for me is a time to relax, rejuvenate, and reflect in order to reset myself for the goals I have planned for the New Year. 

Our Gift To You!

Use this code for $15 off your next office visit from January 2nd through January 30th.  Start off the New Year with your health goals in mind.  Just call the clinic at 650-323-7345 or email them at and mention the code CNMNewYear when you schedule your appointment for January 2020.

Optimizing Digestion During the Holidays

The holidays are approaching which usually means many dinners full of rich and delicious food. 

In addition, many people feel an increase in stress during the holidays, which can also increase digestive concerns. 

Digestive concerns include bloating, gas, acid reflux, indigestion, and other gastrointestinal concerns during this time. Luckily there are many things that can be done to prevent digestive distress while you are busy celebrating the holidays. 

  1. If you are at home, take 1-2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar by itself or mixed in with a small amount of water before each meal. The apple cider vinegar can help digestion by stimulating the body’s own digestive juices to be released. 
  2. If you are going to a party or a restaurant, it might be easier to bring digestive enzyme capsules. Take 1-2 capsules before meals to help the body break down the food. 
  3. During the meal, take small bites and chew the food thoroughly. Practice mindful eating, which means focusing on your food and your experience eating the food. This will help with overall digestion, help with enjoying your food, and prevent overeating.
  4. After the meal, consider drinking some tea that can help with digestion. Teas that are excellent for digestion include peppermint, fennel, dandelion, ginger, licorice, and lemon balm.
  5. No matter how much food coma you suffer from after a big meal, try not to lay down since this can lead to reflux and indigestion. 
  6. Make sure to drink a lot of water (at least half your body weight in ounces of water a day) to prevent constipation and to keep yourself hydrated since the weather tends to be drier during the wintertime. 
  7. If you do suffer from constipation, take 1 tablespoon of fiber (chia seeds, flax seeds, or psyllium husk) 2 times a day in water. This will help move the bowels along. 

These are only a few simple suggestions on how to prevent and support your body if you experience any digestive concerns. Please speak with your naturopathic doctor to create a more indepth and individualized treatment plan.

Rest and Reset: A Special Energy Healing Offering


I am really excited to be visiting the Bay Area and working at Cypress Natural Medicine mid-October. I have a few openings left for energetic bodywork on Thursday, October 17th and Monday, October 21st. I combine a variety of powerful modalities to support physical, emotional and energetic healing.

This is a great time of year to give yourself the gift of some self care - energetic bodywork can help your body settle into the seasonal shift. This is a time of year when we ideally can benefit from going inward and resting, yet we rarely get the opportunity during the holidays.

Whether you are looking for pain relief or stress release, receiving healing can deeply ground and reset the nervous system to support your inner resilience and that you feel more ease as everyone gears up for all the holiday 'rush'.

Please contact us below and we will contact you to schedule your appointment.

I look forward to connecting with you soon~

Dr. Marie

What supplements does a Naturopathic Doctor take?

One of the most common questions I get asked by my patients is “what do you take on a daily basis?” As a naturopathic doctor, I am always trying new protocols to support my health in different ways. I believe that if I wouldn’t or couldn’t do a therapy or take a supplement, then I shouldn’t expect my patients to either. Plus, being someone who is very sensitive and reactive to most things, whether it be pharmaceutical or natural, I want to know what kinds of reactions I could possibly get so that I may counsel my patients better.

I try my best to maintain a healthy diet by drinking at least 70 ounces of water a day, have at least 5 servings of organic vegetables, 1 serving of organic fruit, 3 servings of protein, 2 servings of healthy fats, and 1 serving of grains a day. However, I do feel as if my body needs extra support from supplements. Here are the supplements that I take daily to maintain wellness:

  1. Spore based probiotic – The gastrointestinal system has many roles other than digesting and absorbing nutrients. Approximately 70-80% of the body’s immune cells are made in the gut. There are also hundreds of millions of neurons in the gut which are in charge of creating neurotransmitters. I believe that the gut is the most important system in the body and it is connected to all other organ systems, so without proper gut health, the body wouldn’t be able to function at its optimal level. The reason why I prefer a spore based probiotic is because it reconditions the gut rather than reseeds the gut. They are very durable and can withstand the acidity of the stomach and antibiotics that the person might be taking.
  2. Vitamin D – I always try to maintain my vitamin D levels at 60-80ng/ml. Vitamin D has many roles in the body, including immune regulation, bone formation and mineralization, hormone regulation, skin health, and health of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems. It is important to take vitamin D in conjunction with vitamin A and K, since these vitamins help with the absorption and utilization of vitamin D.
  3. Concentrated fruit and vegetable extracts – Although I try my best to eat a very healthy diet with tons of organic fruits and vegetables, it is not always possible. Rather than take a multivitamin where the nutrients are made in a lab, I prefer to take concentrated fruit and vegetable extracts so that I know my body will be able to absorb them. One of the main reasons why I started taking them is because there are multiple studies on the benefits of this whole food concentrates. With all the environmental toxins in the air, it is important to have adequate levels of antioxidants to protect our bodies.
  4. Plant-based omega fatty acids – It is extremely important to incorporate omega fatty acids in the body. Plant-based omegas are sustainably sourced from fruits, algae, and seeds and contain omega 3, 5, 6, 7, and 9 fatty acids. These fatty acids support all the organs in the body, especially the brain, heart, skin, lungs, and eyes. Fatty acids are also excellent at decreasing inflammation, bad cholesterol, and triglycerides.

Although maintaining a healthy diet, drinking adequate amounts of water, exercising often, and getting at least 8 hours of sleep is the best way to maintain health and wellness, our bodies often need extra support. The above supplements are excellent nutrients to create a healthy foundation, but I find that oftentimes, even healthy individuals who don’t seem to have any health issues can use extra-adrenal, gut, or immune support to enhance their quality of life. Please see your naturopathic doctor to create an individualized plan that fits your medical concerns and lifestyle.

* Each individual’s treatment and/or results may vary based upon the circumstances, the patients’ specific situation, as well as the health care provider’s medical judgment and only after further discussion of the patient’s specific situation, goals, risks and benefits and other relevant medical discussion. Testimonials or statements made by any person(s) within this site are not intended to substitute for this discussion or evaluation or as a guarantee as to outcomes. Examples of treatment outcomes in this websites are not intended to convey and warranty, either express or implied, as to outcomes, promises, or benefits from treatment. Whether to accept any treatment by a patient should be assessed by the patient as to the risks and benefits of such procedures and only after consultation with a health care professional.