Alana Nicholson; Registered Massage Therapy – Compliment

One of the best parts about being a massage therapist is knowing that you have had a positive impact on someone’s health and wellbeing.

Thank-you to Jason P for our latest published compliment for Alana’s services on July 14, 2014.

What a fantastic RMT! I haven’t had this great of a massage in a long while. Knowledgeable, strong, and great control with her technique. Before I left, she made sure I learned a few stretches for my areas of concern. How thoughtful :) thanks! Will definitely book an appointment with her again.

For more patient reviews on CareMed’s therapists, please visit

Registered massage therapy

Posted in Massage Therapy, Patient Compliments, Registered Massage Therapy North Vancouver | Leave a comment

Food Sensitivities~Secrets to Testing & Healing Revealed


by Jen Cherewaty RAc, RTCMP (Acupuncturist, Herbal Alchemist and Food Lover)

My Son Finn
Several months ago my 5 year old son Finn was getting extensive yellow flakes on his scalp and behind his ears. Additionally, his stools were weird (more loose than normal) and he had dark circles under his eyes. I had a feeling that all his symptoms were related to food allergies, so I finally did a Food Safe (blood spot) Allergy Test and sure enough high sensitivity to eggs and all grains except oats, corn and buckwheat.

I eliminated all the foods that scored in the high sensitivity area and started him on a “gut healing protocol” and within 1 week the yellow flakes were gone, he stools went back to normal and his dark circles under his eyes disappeared. I was convinced.

Immunology 101~Food Allergy or Sensitivity?
The results from the Food Safe test provide information about your immune system and whether it is in conflict with various components of your diet. In any food reaction, the immune system reacts by releasing cells called antibodies. Two types of antibodies are produced in response to foods;
1. IgE (immunoglobulin E)
Food allergy is an immediate reaction within minutes of eating a reactive food (many peanut and shellfish allergies are common IgE reactions. See an specialist if you have serious food reactions.

2. IgG (Immunoglobulin G)
Food sensitivity reactions take hours or days to develop. In these reactions, the IgG antibodies attach themselves to the food particles. These complexes are normally removed by macrophages. If there are a many of these complexes and you are still eating the food, the macrophages just can’t remove all the complexes. They accumulate and are deposited in body tissues creating inflammation and many symptoms or diseases.

Got Any of the Following?….Common Symptoms of Food Sensitivity

  • joint pain
  • muscle pain, stiffness or swelling
  • chronic low back pain
  • bed-wetting
  • recurrent bladder infections
  • frequent cold or flus (URI~upper respiratory tract infections)
  • chronic headaches
  • fatigue, fever, feeling weak, chills, sweating
  • skin issues (itching, redness, swelling, rashes, eczema, hives, psoriasis, canker sores)
  • digestive (heartburn, indigestion, bloating, diarrhea, ulcerative collitus, irritable bowels)

Easy Peasy…A Little Squeezy
Testing is done with a blood  sample to determine food sensitivities  by the ELISA method.
1. Food Safe Bloodspot Test is a finger prick we can do at the clinic or send you in the mail and you can do it yourself. It tests 95 of the most common food that folks are sensitive too.
2. Blood Draw is a more comprehensive test that your Naturopath can do in clinic. It tests more foods and several spices.

Recovery 101
1. Eliminate Foods
that Are in the High Category (3-9 months)
2. Eat Foods
in the Moderate Category only 1X Every 4 days
3. Nutritional supplements
like fish oils reduce inflammation. L-Glutamine, Slippery Elm, Licorice and Chinese Herb combinations like Golden Flower Pulsatilla Intestinal Formula assist macrophages in breakdown and heal the lining of the intestinal tract.
4. Acupuncture can boost digestion, reduce inflammation and address specific symptoms you may be having in relation to your food sensitivities.

Do you have any food sensitivities and if so what helped you eliminate those foods from your diet.? Did you find it improved your health?

Share & Share
Did you like this article if so, leave a comment below and share, share, share with those who you think could benefit. Thanks so much!


Posted in Acupuncture North Vancouver, Nutrition | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Orthotics: An income or a solution

Custom made orthotics can be a really good source of income for your doctor. But does it really help? The answer to this question is dependent on your diagnosis and the doctor prescribing it. Even though many practitioners can make orthotics, they don’t really fully understand how to make them.
The biggest misconception about orthotics is its effect on relieving foot pain only. As humans, we spend the majority of our times on our feet; therefore any excessive movement in our feet will affect our knees, hips and lower back (called the Kinetic Chain). The majority of people getting orthotics are diagnosed by over-pronation, which simply means rolling your foot in. Here is a picture of normal vs. severe over-pronated foot.
About 90% of people are over-pronators, but that doesnt mean they all need orthtoics! A custom made orthotic should be prescribed after a complete history, biomechanical exam, gait analysis (gait analysis is analysing the way you walk most often using a scanner), and casting techniques.
An orthotic is a device desinged to align the foot and ankle into the most anatomically efficient position. they look like insoles, but are biomechanical medical appliances that are custom made to correct your specific foot imbalance. You are not required to get bigger shoes and they usually feel really comfortable the first time you use them.
Orthotics can be a good compliment in the resolution of your pain and discomfort, but having proper shoes along with proper exercises and lifestyle changes can be of a bigger importance.
So, is orthotics a good source of income for your doctor or a solution to your problem? The answer is dependent on you diagnosis, your doctor’s ethics and knowledge of prescribing the right pair of orthotics for your condition.
Dr.  Ali Masoumi
Posted in Chiropractor North Vancouver | Leave a comment

Nebulized Glutathione and Lung Health

Glutathione (GSH) is our body’s most important antioxidant and has a role in various metabolic functions.  Sufficient levels of glutathione in the body provide our DNA with protection against oxidative damage, or free radicals which are implicated in the aging process, inflammation and various health conditions.

Glutathione has been studied for its effectiveness in treatment of several conditions which include: various lung disorders, upper respiratory tract infections, chronic sinusitis, viral infections, liver disease, treatment of chemical exposures, Parkinson’s disease, renal dysfunction and myocardial schema.

Role of glutathione in lungs:

  • mucolytic and antioxidant
  • decreases mucous burden
  • protects tissues from oxygen radicals

Glutathione also has very important functions in the brain as well as liver.

CareMed Naturopathic Doctors use glutathione as part treatment plans for various health conditions.  One of the ways we use glutathione is to nebulize it, this provides direct access of glutathione to sinus and lung tissue.  The treatment involves sitting for about 20 min with a nebulizer mask on while glutahione is inhaled into lungs.  The treatment is comfortable, but there may be a slight cough during treatment.  Nebulized glutathione is used for chronic cough, COPD, lung fibrosis, bronchiectasis and other lung conditions.  Talk to your Naturopathic Doctor to see if this treatment would be of benefit to you.


Dr. Matusik, ND

Posted in Glutathione, Immune System, Naturopath North Vancouver | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

What Happens At the First Naturopathic Doctor Visit?

Some people who are considering seeing one of our North Vancouver Naturopathic Doctors may have never seen an ND before, and may be confused about what Naturopathic Medicine is and what it can do for their health.  Others have friends, co-workers or family members who may have given them a run down of what happens in the first visit with a Naturopathic Physician.   Here I describe what happens in that initial intake, as well as some questions that patients often have when considering booking an appointment.

The first visit can be booked online through our website, or by calling our office and speaking to the lovely Stephanie.  She does a great job of  answering any questions one may have during booking, such as costs, parking information etc.  There are forms that need to be filled out ahead of your appointment and brought in for the visit.  These can be found on our website.   The purpose of these forms is so that the ND can quickly determine which questions to ask during the intake.  They are a glimpse into your current health status, habits, diet info, family health history as well as your present health goals you have for yourself.

Once we have you in the room, we ask if you know about Naturopathic medicine.  Some people say yes, especially if they have seen another practitioner before.  Some say no, and we quickly explain our philosophy of practice.  We also answer any questions about the intake form.  Then we move onto into the details of your current health complains, what you have tried for the condition, if anything has worked, if there has been any investigations or testing done for current symptoms.  Some people come in with multiple health concerns.  Often we try to understand these on a deeper level, how does one symptom actually tie into the next.  Our body is the sum of its parts, and all within is connected.  Most of our patients are able to understand this concept by the time the visit is finished.

To gain a greater understanding of health concers we may recommend lab testing or imaging, depending on what investigations have been done already.  This can be often done through our office, or we send you back to your MD with a polite note.  In the initial visit we also may perform a symptom oriented physical examination.  For example, if high blood pressure is an issue, you bet we are going to take it and monitor at every visit. Next we move onto the “treatment plan”.  This plan is often multi-faceted and includes dietary recommendations, healthy habit support (sleep, food, exercise, stress management) and often taking some nutraceuticals to correct imbalances that may have been there for a while.  Once in a while we consider prescription medication, but not before we discuss the need as well as alternative treatments.  Our doctors regularly attend continuing education conferences and seminars to learn good medicine and bring the information back to patients.

Typically we would see again between 1-4 weeks for a return visit.  This depends on whether testing has been completed or we need to check in on symptom change.  In the short term we try to address acute complains – things that you are most concerned about that are bothering you currently.  In the long term we are considering your overall health plan, keeping you healthy and preventing disease.  How many visits will you need?  This depends on several factors.  Some of our patients we see 3-4 times before they feel their issues have been addressed, others we see more frequently and regularly.   The plan of “how long” is also discussed during the initial visit.

So there you go.  A quick glimpse into the process of our initial visit.  Plan to be in our office for about 70 minutes, this includes checkout and re-booking of your next appointment.  Hope to see you soon!

Dr. Agnieszka Matusik

Posted in Naturopath North Vancouver | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Anniversary Party and Open House

Join us for our Anniversary Party and Open House on July 26th from 5-8pm.  Meet our team, enjoy refreshments and bid on silent auction items such as services from CareMed as well as other Lower Lonsdale area businesses.  All proceeds from the auction will go towards supporting services for children at North Shore Neighbourhood House.

Dr. Kennett and Dr. Matusik will be doing B12 demonstrations to those wishing for a little energy boost.  Our RMTs will be providing complementary 5 min massages.  You can inquire about any of our services or products as well.  We will be providing light refreshments.

After you visit us you can also stop by the Lower Lonsdale Night Market which is happening that evening.  Hope to see you there!  Visit our Facebook page for more info and updates.

Posted in Acupuncture North Vancouver, Chiropractor North Vancouver, Naturopath North Vancouver, Registered Massage Therapy North Vancouver | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Boosting Your Energy Naturally

Do you have a hard time rising in the morning?

Feel low energy throughout the day or in mid afternoon?

Are you ready for bed at 8pm at night?

Fatigue and/or exhaustion are common symptoms of many patients coming into CareMed Integrative Health Centre. Fortunately, modern testing combined with ancient therapies such can help boost your energy naturally.


In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) fatigue or tiredness is called Xu Lao (pronounced shoe lao) which literally translates as a tiredness (Lao) from deficiency (Xu). A TCM Classic, the Simple Questions (Su Wen) says, “excessive use of the eyes injures the blood & Heart, excessive lying down injures the Qi & the Lungs, excessive sitting injures the muscles & the Spleen, excessive standing injures the bones & the Kidneys, excessive exercise injures the tendons & the Liver.” Common causes of fatigue, tiredness or exhaustion include having a weak constitution, overwork, excessive physical exertion, poor diet for your constitution, excess sexual activity, childbirth and recreational drug use.

Energy Production

The human body releases hormones in a cycle-the circadian rhythm and abnormal production can alter the ability of cells to produce energy for the activities of daily life. Difficulty rising in the morning or low energy during the day is often due to an abnormal adrenal rhythm and poor blood sugar regulation. Abnormal adrenal function can alter the ability of cells to produce energy for the activities of daily life.  This is equivalent to the Traditional Chinese Medicine diagnosis of Kidney yin, yang qi and/or essence deficiency.

Evaluation & Testing

In addition to taking a verbal survey of your symptoms, we can also offer you modern testing to identify imbalances in daily energy rhythms. The Adrenal Stress Index test can evaluate your energy production, measure stress hormones and insulin levels to help find the cause of fatigue. Additionally, abnormal adrenal health can also affect and be affected by muscle & joint function, bone health, immune health, sleep quality, fertility, memory, skin regeneration. Another great aspect of the ASI test is that it is a non-invasive saliva test that you can do over one day at home or office.


We use a comprehensive approach to addressing fatigue by identifying the likely cause of your fatigue based on your symptoms. Combining this info with test results creates a definitive plan for restoration.  Ancient TCM Doctor Zhu Qi Shi, author of Discussion on Exhaustion, says “to treat exhaustion, treat the Lungs, Spleen and Kideneys. Lungs are the heaven of the internal organs, Spleen is the mother of the body and Kidneys are the root of life”. Treatment plans combine acupuncture, herbal medicine, nutritional supplements, lifestyle & diet recommendations to create a plan to boost your energy.

Self Care:


Eating Habits~Eat meals at regular times during the day to support your natural circadian rhythm. Irregular eating directly weakens the Stomach & Spleen and leads to tiredness. Food is what gets transformed into qi & blood, which equals energy.  Choose moderate portions as eating too much can also strain the Stomach & Spleen. The digestive organs like it best when you are sitting to eat and focusing on relaxation while eating so let go of eating in a hurry, discussing business, reading, standing, watching TV while eating, eating fast or when you are emotional. Once a day, clear the table, set it with some candles, nice napkins and even flowers and sit and deeply enjoy your meal.

Food Choice~Reduce or eliminate your intake of dairy, refined sugars and flour products. Dairy, wheat and processed foods like breads and muffins have a heavy quality which taxes the Spleen-the digestive organ in Chinese Medicine. Refined sugars & carbs skyrocket your blood sugars and lead to rebound fatigue. Focus your diet on whole grains, organic meats or legumes, fruits and vegetables, nuts & seeds for optimum energy.


Getting 7-9 hours of sleep is essential. Shut off electronic devices, TV etc. 1 hour before bed and boost your energy nourishing time during sleep.


If you are experiencing extreme fatigue and/or difficulty waking in the am, your thyroid may not be producing hormones at an optimal level. You can have your MD or ND take a blood sample for lab testing to test important markers for thyroid function. From this information, we can develop an appropriate treatment plan.

We look forward to assisting you with improving your energy.

Jen Cherewaty, BSc., RTCMP, RAc.


Posted in Acupuncture North Vancouver, Fatigue, Nutrition | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Wind and the Common Cold

Chinese Medicine describes wind as rapidly changing symptoms that arise suddenly and are close to the top of the body. For example, feeling fine when you go to bed and waking up with a sore throat, chills and body aches. While most colds come from bacteria or viruses, what protects us from infections is keeping our surface qi strong, keeping our immune system strong. When we are trying to adjust to changes in climate our immune system is weakened and we are more vulnerable to catching infections.

Protect Your Immune System
1. Wear a scarf and/or hat to protect your head in the wind.
2. Avoid over-exercising in the wind: exercise to the point of sweating and then go home have a warm shower and put on warm clothes. When the pores open during sweating, it is easier for wind to invade.
3. If you are susceptible to joint pain, make sure your joints are covered. Wear a wrist warmer for carpal tunnel, a scarf wrapped around your low back for low back & hip pain.
4. See your CareMed acupuncturist for treatments and herbs as soon as any common cold signs appear; sneezing, sore throat, headache in back of neck, fever, chills, cough, sinus congestion, body aches, fatigue. This may curb, shorten or prevent the onset of common cold symptoms.

Jen Cherewaty, RTCMP, RAc

Posted in Acupuncture North Vancouver | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Top 10 Healthy Foods

Patients love these types of lists.  I am often asked, which foods should I eat?  Which foods pack the most nutrients?  I usually say there are many.  Then if I say “kale” – they make a face…”how do I cook that?”  or if  I say “chia” some will ask – what is that?  In the era of information and greater awareness of healthy choices, most people may know about these foods, but may not know how to incorporate them into their daily diet (refer to my “Why I love Pinterest” article if this is you).

After posing this question to a couple of my colleagues, I have narrowed the list of healthy foods down to 10.  There are countless lists out there, I am just saying these are the foods I think are important to incorporate into most people’s diets on a semi-regular basis.  It is by no means an exclusive list, and there are many other foods that I think are healthy.  It is also not in the order of importance.  All of these foods are equally great.

  • pomegranate
  • kale
  • ginger
  • tumeric
  • wild salmon
  • chia
  • freshly ground flax
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • kefir (can be made from dairy, almond, coconut milk)
  • VERY dark chocolate

Dr. Agnieszka Matusik, ND

Posted in Naturopath North Vancouver, Nutrition | Leave a comment

Why I love Pinterest

These days I am spending a lot of time on Pinterest.  No, I do not have an account.  I never signed up to yet another new social media forum. (You don’t need one to browse!).  But I am using it, almost daily, for myself as well as for my patients.  In case you don’t know, Pinterest allows people to “pin” their images and videos to a virtual pinboard for everyone to see.  I like using it for the sole purpose of finding new ingredients, recipes and ideas for healthy cooking.   Meal planning is an art, especially when you are making all or most of your food from scratch.  My patients always want new healthy meal and snack ideas.  I have found that using Pinterest is a helpful and quick way to organize and find new delicious ways of cooking/preparing nutritious food.  This is how you do it:  go to the google homepage, in the search bar type in ” ______ (your healthy ingredient or meal idea here) pinterest” and click search.  You will be taken to a google results page and the first few hits will contain the pages of pinterest that will contain your healthy recipes.  Click on the first result and marvel your eyes on the pictures that people with interest accounts have posted.  Click on which ever picture appeals to you, then click on it again to take you to the recipe.  Try it out a few times, like I said you don’t need to sign up for an account to be able to do this.  The search terms are endless, you can try “kale pinterest”, “coconut kefir pinterest”, “vitamix recipes pinterest”, “healthy snacks pinterest”, “dairy free pinterest” etc.    You will be amazed at what will inspire you!  Here is a picture of a side dish I made the other day from looking at “brussel sprouts pinterest” (my son loves brussel sprouts I was looking for new ways to make them tasty).

The original credit goes to: which was where I linked to for the recipe once I found it in pinterest.

Dr. Agnieszka Matusik, ND


Posted in Naturopath North Vancouver, Nutrition | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment