Keys to Maximize Exercise Recovery

Keys to Maximize Exercise Recovery

By Dr. Michaela Falkner

Exercise in some form is always an essential part of any health regimen. But, how do you keep at it when you are sore from your last gym session? The very physiology of exercise involves inflammation, muscle breakdown, and lactic acid buildup. So, how do you get back at it sooner and safer than before?

Before starting any regimen, its best to talk with your doctor and discuss options for faster recovery and a healthier you. Here are some quick tips by alternative medicine physicians in Sonoma County help to alleviate muscle soreness, decrease inflammation, and keep you at your peak:

Magnesium Gel
  • Magnesium is great at increasing blood flow, decreasing cramps, and helping your mitochondria (powerhouses of your cells). We can only absorb so much magnesium through our gastrointestinal tract before it can cause diarrhea. A way to concentrate magnesium to a specific area is magnesium gel. This can decrease inflammation and alleviate cramps and soreness when applied topically. Magnesium can also be optimally absorbed through vitamin injections, such as our Active Body vitamin injection.
Contrast showers
  • Many athletes swear by ice baths after a tough workout. There are increasing studies showing that muscles recover faster and performance increases when contrast baths are used. Contrast showers are easy to do at home. You run a hot shower and stand in it for about 5 minutes. Turn the water to cold and stay under it for 30 seconds. Repeat this 3 times. A study of rugby players showed that athletes performed better and reported being less sore the day after contrast baths versus 5-minute ice baths.
Castor oil
  • Topical castor oil is amazingly anti-inflammatory and can be used for everything from detox, to hormone balancing, to aching joints and muscles. Just be careful, it stains!
Herbal formulations
  • There are many herbal formulations you can make yourself and find that offer great relief from muscle soreness. Some examples are passionflower, Siberian ginseng, Cramp bark, and cordyceps. Let us know if you would like us to custom formulate for you.
Proper Nutrition: Protein, Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)
  • Don’t forget to give your muscles the building blocks to repair and grow. A good protein powder and BCAAs are integral to fast recovery and muscle repair. Feeding your body is one of the most important things to do in helping to build muscle and alleviate soreness. Other amino acids that aid in increased blood flow, increased growth hormone secretion, and muscle building are: choline, glutamine, and arginine.
Mitochondrial Support
  • The mitochondria are the powerhouses of the cell. These little organelles (organs within the cell) need the proper nutrition to function properly and make the proper “juice” to make your muscles go and recover. Carnitine and acetyl L-Carnitine have been shown to decrease inflammation and carnitine is one of the key components in energy synthesis of cells, including muscle cells. B-vitamins are also imperative to make those powerhouses run. Hill Park offers a few customized nutrient injections that target mitochondrial support like Active Body or Performance Enhancer.
Hormone Optimization
  • Make sure your testosterone and DHEA levels are optimal so you can grow your muscles and recover faster. Also making sure your thyroid and adrenals are in tip top shape will also help to recover and get the most from your workout. Also, try our Hormone Balance nutrient injection to boost levels faster!
  • Sleeping at least 8 hours a night will not only help you wake rested and energetic for another gym session, but also helps to increase growth hormone. Growth hormone is secreted by your anterior pituitary gland mostly at night during deep, restful sleep and while doing strenuous exercise while fasting. Growth hormone production is interrupted by EMF (electromagnetic fields). So, make sure to keep that alarm clock and your phone, at least 6 feet away from your bed.
Massage and Homeopathy
  • All of these are great for maintaining health, balance, and alleviating soreness. See your practitioner for help with these different modalities.

All of our vitamin injections are available on a walk-in basis, no appointment is necessary.

As a doctor and a fitness enthusiast, I’d love to help you recover faster from workouts and keep your nervous and endocrine system healthy while you gain strength, endurance, and health!

I offer complimentary 15-minute introductory consults to learn who I am as a doctor, my approach, and if our Hill Park Integrative Medical Center is the right direction for you.

Call our team to schedule at 707-861-7300.

How IV Vitamin Therapy Can Help to Improve Your Health

How IV Vitamin Therapy Can Help to Improve Your Health

If you knew about a single vitamin that not only helps give you more energy, but helps you sleep more soundly; that increases cognition, but also calms your mind, would you take it? Especially knowing this vitamin is very safe and almost impossible to have too much of? This vitamin can do all of the above, along with helps heal nerves, elevates your mood, supports liver health, and more. Which vitamin is this?

Vitamin B12, or methylcobalamin, is found naturally in meat, eggs, and dairy, but also, in sea vegetables, chlorella, spirulina, and brewer’s yeast. It can only be absorbed orally if there is sufficient stomach acid, so if you are on any medications like Prilosec or Prevacid, you might not be absorbing it well. Other medications can also deplete B12 like metformin, statins, and diuretics. Even other conditions like celiac disease or GI inflammation can inhibit the absorption.

B12 can help with DNA production, red blood cell health and production, nerve pain, energy, and even herpes viruses like cold sores and shingles. It is used by almost every cell of the body and helps with energy production, pain, and healing. When people are deficient in B12, which can be a result of pernicious anemia or chronic stress, they often experience nerve and muscle pain, brain fog, difficulty sleeping, depression, immune dysfunction, and skin issues. Naturopathic doctors have been using this vitamin for a very long time to increase healing time, elevate mood, and increase energy.

Hill Park Integrative Medical Center recommends B12 in its methylcobalamin or hydroxocobalamin form and as an injection. This is to ensure the best absorption of B12, as injections allow you to absorb 100% of the dose since, it goes directly into the bloodstream.

We provide quick, painless injections on a walk-in basis. Most people come in once a week for four weeks in a row and report feeling a big difference in their energy, mental clarity, and overall well-being.

B12 is also found in many of our IV vitamin therapy offered by our Sonoma County physicians and customized nutrient formulations, so, give us a call or walk on in to give it a try!

Food is Medicine: Golden Cauliflower Soup with Seared Wild Mushrooms

The first time I made this soup I was really lucky – it came together beautifully. Perhaps because it was the end of a cozy Sunday where I could lose myself in cooking and not overthink the process much. I happened to have all of the ingredients at hand and rather thoughtlessly moved through the motions of the recipe and was delighted with the nourishing and complex flavors at the end of the process. After such fortune, I was hooked. To me, that is one of the greatest delights of cooking – allowing the art of connection with nutrient rich foods and some simple technique to combine seamlessly into a nourishing meal.

This soup is really lovely on its own, but the nutty mushroom flavor and oceanic bite to the pistachio blend really elevate it to a great experience. The mineral, antioxidant, and immune benefits are an added plus. I encourage you to play with this recipe a bit – maybe adding some additional turmeric for heightened anti-inflammatory and detox benefit, or add some dried astragalus root to the broth to get an extra immune boost from your meal. Whatever variation you may choose, I hope you enjoy this soup as much as I do and share the recipe with your family and friends.

This soup recipe is by Julie Morris, Superfoods chef and cookbook author, and sourced by “Superfood Soups” (Sterling Publishing Co. Inc, 2016)

Golden Cauliflower Soup with Seared Mushrooms

2 TBSP shelled raw pistachios
¼ tsp. wheatgrass powder (optional)
¼ tsp salt
1 TBSP coconut oil
2 leeks, white and light green parts only, sliced thin
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 ½ lbs cauliflower, cut into 1” pieces (about 4 cups)
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves, minced
½ tsp ground turmeric
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
4 cups Miso Broth (see recipe)
½ cup raw cashews
1 cup wild mushrooms (maitake, chanterelle, &/or shiitakes work well)
1 TBSP grapeseed oil
2 TBSP minced fresh parsley
¼ cup microgreens or edible flowers for garnish (optional)

Miso Broth

(amended from original recipe)
2 TBSP yellow miso paste
1 qts (4 cups) bone broth or water or equal parts of each
½ tsp kelp granules (optional)

Soup Instructions:

Chop pistachios very finely. Place in a small bowl and add wheatgrass powder and a scant ¼ teaspoon sea
salt; set aside.

Warm coconut oil in a heavy bottomed pot over medium heat. Add leeks and garlic, and cook for 2-3 minutes until leeks are softened. Stir in cauliflower and thyme, and cook for 1 minute longer. Add turmeric, cayenne,and Miso Broth, and turn heat up to high. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for 20 minutes or until cauliflower is very soft.

Remove pot from heat and add cashews. Transfer soup to a blender, working in batches as needed, and puree until completely smooth. Return soup to pot and keep warm.

Depending on the the size and variety of mushrooms you use, tear into bite sized portions or slice into ¼
inch pieces.

Warm grapeseed oil in a large skillet over high heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add the mushrooms, spreading out in an even layer as much as possible. Without stirring, cook mushrooms for 1-2 minutes to sear.

When mushroom bottoms have turned golden, flip over with a spatula and repeat on the other side for 1-2
minutes longer.

Transfer mushrooms to a bowl, add parsley, season with salt, and toss well.

Serve soup by ladling it into bowls and sprinkling with ground pistachios. Place a mound of mushrooms on
top, and garnish with greens as desired.

Miso Broth Instructions:

Blend all ingredients together in a blender until miso is fully dissolved.

Use in soups as directed, or warm over low heat to enjoy as a sipping broth. The broth may be stored in the
refrigerator up to one week or kept in freezer for several months.

Dr. Denise Version: Warm bone broth over medium heat. Once warm, scoop about a ½ cup of the broth into a small bowl and whisk with the miso until it dissolves fully and a smooth paste is formed. Pour this mixture back into the broth and then add to soup. Be careful not to overheat the miso broth – adding it to boiling water will kill the probiotics in the miso, nixing the health benefits it typically offers, like better digestive health.

* Dr. Denise Tips:

Steamed kale or collards are very nice toppings here. This soup also does well with a dollop of quinoa for additional protein. Consider using bone broth to increase mineral content and enhance the immune benefits of this meal.

Facial Rejuvenation through Acupuncture: Revive Your Beauty & Self

Facial Rejuvenation through Acupuncture: Revive Your Beauty & Self
10% off a series of 6 Facial Rejuvenation Treatments (normally $165 per treatment)

Honor your promise to focus on yourself this new year – give yourself the gift you deserve to feel and look your most beautiful. Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture applies a combination of effective, natural techniques to give you vibrant, healthy, and youthful skin in the most chemical-free and non-invasive way possible. With facial acupuncture, the collagen and elastin matrix is shallowly pierced and activated while increasing local blood and lymph circulation, also improving facial color and tone. When working with the body’s entire constitution as a springboard for facial transformation, the entire system is balanced and supported, promoting a sense of well being and joy.

Skin Benefits:
  • Diminished fine lines and wrinkles
  • Pumped up collagen production
  • Strengthened muscle tone
  • Lifted eyelids, reduction in dark circles, brightened eyes
  • Reduced appearance of scars and age spots
  • Decreased puffiness and stimulated facial blood circulation
  • Tightened pores and improved skin tone with reduced redness
  • Vibrant, softer skin tone and facial glow
Systemic Benefits:
  • Uplifted energy
  • Consolidated sense of well-being
  • Boosted metabolism
  • Improved digestion
  • Restful sleep
  • Allergy, Acne, and headache relief
  • Ease of PMS and hormone imbalance symptoms

Your appointment will last approximately 75 minutes, utilizing a blend of delicate acupuncture needles, rose cleansing and hydrating skincare products, followed by jade roller and hydrosol application. Mountain Rose Herb products (100% natural facial care using botanicals sourced from organic farms located in the great Pacific Northwest) are gently applied to your skin in this treatment. In addition to any skin issues, lifestyle and dietary recommendations will also be discussed. The number of treatments depends on the patient’s age, skin goals and desired results. While most report increased energy and vitality after the initial treatment, the skin rejuvenation improvement and results listed above tend to occur after the first 4-5 treatments.

Jennifer Monin, LAc provides facial rejuvenation treatments at our center using a combination of proven techniques, extensive training, clinical experience, and natural products that result in a dynamic facial acupuncture treatment addressing the complicated impact of stress and age on our skin. Jennifer believes that you can have youthful, healthy, and vibrant skin in the most natural and least invasive way. In addition to facial acupuncture, Jennifer also specializes in women’s health and supporting patients through life transitions. She is a deeply respected acupuncturist, teacher, and yoga instructor who we are most fortunate to have on our team at Hill Park.

Detox Discount: Peat Baths

Detox Discount: Peat Baths
15% off peat baths to enhance your health in the New Year!

Peat is said to be a living pharmacy derived from hundreds of plants accumulated over thousands of years. Peat is a substance obtained from bogs on low or highland moors and has been used extensively as a medicinal preparation in baths and as topical packs in Europe for centuries.

Medicinal peat is not quite the same as peat moss, the matter we use in gardening. It is a natural product of thousands of years of plant decay. It has an unusual concentration of bio-minerals, trace elements, vitamins, amino acids, and fatty acids in a molecular form that is easy for the skin to absorb.

A chief therapeutic property of peat is the ability to trap water and retain a higher temperature for a long duration. Not only can peat hold heat for a very long time, but the experience of the bather is that the peat is hotter than it actually is, making this a potent hyperthermia bath treatment. This hyperthermia treatment is effective for detoxification, immune stimulation, reducing inflammation, and normalizing the metabolism of our body’s tissues.

Therapeutic effects of peat baths include:
  • Immune modulation
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antiviral and anti-bacterial
  • Detoxification of heavy metals
  • Pain-relieving properties
  • Treatment of male and female infertility
  • Supports endogenous estrogen production
  • Anti-aging
  • Enhances and improves metabolism of all tissues
Peat baths and local applications are beneficial for many conditions including:
  • Skin concerns such as acne, psoriasis, and hives
  • Chronic inflammation from autoimmune, infectious, or orthopedic concerns
  • Metabolic disorders including fibromyalgia, genomic concerns, and impaired detoxification
  • Women’s health concerns such as PMS, endometriosis, fertility, and chronic vaginitis
  • Orthopedic concerns of acute or chronic back pain, muscle tension, arthritis, carpal tunnel, bursitis, sprains or strains
  • Relieves stress and aides in sleep restoration

We are excited to share this effective, time-proven medicine with our community. Our pharmacy stocks high-quality, organic, medicinal grade peat sourced from Hungary and the Czech Republic. Peat bath immersion therapy can be done in the privacy of your home – it is washable and can be easily sponged out of any tub. This is an excellent addition to your detox or regular self-care program. The best benefits result from doing 1-2 baths weekly.

Hydrotherapy is a traditional medicine of many cultures, as well as a therapy deeply rooted within Naturopathic Medicine. Dr. Denise Cooluris holds a unique passion and expertise for this medicine – please inquire with them if this treatment would be right for you.