Friday, September 9, 2011

Ouch! My feet are hurting me!

Did you know that poor fitting shoes can cause more than just foot pain?

Back, knee and ankle pain can result from improper support under your feet. 

About 70% of the population have something called pronation syndrome. Pronation is the result of collapsed arches causing excessive twisting in the foot. This twisting results in overstretched connective tissue (fascia) under the foot and leads to structural imbalance in the ankle, knees and low back. The excessive stretching can also cause micro tears in the bottom of the foot leading to heel spurs and plantar fasciitis. 

At Brio Integrative Health Centre, we offer customized orthotics to help correct a variety of foot, knee and back pain. 
Customized orthotics are specifically designed to fit your unique foot shape and for a specific activity (golf, walking, badminton, or skating for example). Come in to speak with Dr. Lee to learn how we can help ease your pain.

September is the best time to purchase new shoes because of the "back to school" sales. If you have new footwear or If you have any foot, knee or back pain, please be sure to come in to the clinic and speak with us to ensure you have the correct fit and support.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Food Allergy & Children

According to a recent study, Food allergies may affect nearly 6 million children in the U.S.

I heard about this study from US biotek.  US biotek is the company that supplies the food allergy kits I use on kids and adults to identify food allergies.  This is a fantastic test that has helped many patients with eczema, psoriasis and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)  find relief.

To learn more about the food allergy test, check out the clinic's website.

US BioTek Laboratories News

Food allergies may affect nearly 6 million children in U.S., study estimates

Los Angeles Times - June 20, 2011
A recent study published in Pediatrics, 2011 suggests that food allergies affect a significant number of children in the US. This study, the largest of its kind, surveyed nearly 40,000 US households with one or more children less than 18 years of age. Based on the data collected, the researchers found that food allergies affect 8.0% of US children or about 6 million. Of those children, 30.4% had multiple food allergies and 38.7% had a history of severe reactions. The most common allergies reported in the survey were peanut (25.2%), milk (21.1%) and shellfish (17.2%).

A well-known hallmark of food allergy is the production of IgE antibodies to a protein or epitope of the problem food. An allergy of this type develops when food-specific IgE antibodies, bound to tissue mast cells and basophils, present in the skin, gut and respiratory tract, come into contact with, and bind the circulating allergen. This binding activates these cells to release inflammatory mediators including histamine, prostaglandins, leukotrienes and cytokines. These compounds cause much of the discomfort associated with allergy including stomach cramping, diarrhea, vomiting, hives, itching and swelling. Exposure to a minute amount of the allergenic food can provoke a reaction.

Food allergies may involve more than one immune mechanism. The classic Type I, acute onset IgE-mediated reaction has been the most thoroughly studied for its close association in asthma, hay fever, atopic dermatitis and food allergies. Elevated serum IgE against several allergens has been demonstrated in many of these instances. Further, IgE-mediated allergies hold special importance as the induced anaphylactic reaction is potentially life-threatening in some people.

The prevalence of food allergies has shown a remarkable upswing over the past 10 to 20 years across all ages and it is a biological mystery as to why we see this trend. There can be a genetic influence to developing allergies. Allergic parents are more likely to have allergic children. But certainly this cannot account wholly for the epidemic rise that we have seen over the decades. The manifestations of allergy are the result of the complex interaction between genetics, nutrition, immunity and environmental exposures such as tobacco smoke and pollutants that can increase the antigenic response.

Sound laboratory testing remains an essential clinical tool of the practitioner for proper patient screening and care.

US BioTek Laboratories offers testing from serum for IgE antibodies specific to common food and inhalant allergens through semi-quantitative ELISA. Our ELISA utilizes validation protocols traceable to World Health Organization (WHO) IgE guidelines for enhanced immunoassay performance. For full test panel information on our allergen-specific IgE, please click here.
Gupta, R. S., Springston, E. E., Warrier, M. R., et al. (2011). The prevalence, severity, and distribution of childhood food allergy in the United States. Pediatrics. DOI:

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Frequently Asked Questions about Acupuncture with Dr. Jeffrey Lee, Richmond BC

Many people are discovering the benefits of acupuncture.  New patients call in to my clinic in Richmond, asking many great questions.  The post below will answer some frequently asked questions about acupuncture.

Question 1:  Can acupuncture help my condition?
Acupuncture is beneficial for relieving pain, managing stress, and treating a variety of conditions.  During the spring allergy season, I help many patients relieve their itchy eyes, sneezing and congestion symptoms naturally using acupuncture.
The spring time is also a time when people become more physically active. I use acupuncture to help people heal from injuries and prevent injuries by helping the body loosen up and improve circulation.
1) Musculoskeletal: Back Pain, Carpal Tunnel, Neck pain, Arthritis, sciatica
2) Digestive Conditions: Constipation, Diarrhea, IBS, Colitis
3) Addictions: alcohol, drugs, smoking
4) Mental emotional:  Anxiety, Depression,
5) Fatigue: low energy, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia
6) Headaches, Migraines , cluster headaches
7) Pregnancy symptoms:  morning sickness, back pain,
8) Menstrual irregularities & infertility
9) Sleep problems

Question 2: Does acupuncture hurt?
No. Most people enjoy treatment and find it very comfortable, restful, and relaxing.  Sometimes the needle insertion feels like a quick pinch that rapidly goes away.   After an acupuncture treatment, you can expect to feel less pain, more energy, and a  heightened sense of well-being.

Question 3: How many visits will I need?
The number of treatments required depends on the severity and duration of the symptoms to be addressed. Within the first 4-6 sessions, the effectiveness of the treatment is often evident and clear treatment goals should be established.

Question 4: My friend told me about this unique tool that measures my acupuncture points, what is it?
An acugraph is a specialized scan of your acupuncture meridian system.  This cutting edge technology provides us with a more in depth analysis of your health.  Based on your results, we customize treatment plans for each individual.  

Dr. Jeffrey Lee, is a naturopathic doctor and registered acupuncturist. His practice is located in Richmond, BC. 

If you have further questions about acupuncture, please visit our clinic's website or give us a call @ 604-271-9355

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Quit Smoking naturally! Ask Dr. Lee about using acupuncture and low level laser therapy

Our Quit Smoking Program breaks the nicotine addiction by tackling it from 3 angles.

1) Ear Acupuncture using laser therapy can break the addiction cycle

2) Herbs & supplements to block nicotine receptors, reduce cravings and    detoxify the body

3) Support and Education.

Our program is designed for 3 weeks of treatment.  A minimum of 6 treatments is recommended.

This is NOT a "reduce smoking" program, it's a "quit smoking program".  This means NO MORE CIGARETTES EVER.  This program is only effective if you are ready.

In the first visit, we address the following:

a) Establish why you want to quit and if this is the right time to do so.

b) Establish a quit date:________________

c) For best results do the following:
o   Public Commitment.  Tell Friends and Family.  Share it online. 
o   Choose a quit date that is early in the week.  Chances of relapse are higher over the weekend.  Remember, the first 3-4 days are the most critical.
o   On quitting day, dispose of ALL cigarettes, ashtrays, lighters at home, work and vehicle. 
o   Find 5 healthy habits you can do to replace your smoking routine ( ex. Short walk, glass of water, eat a carrot/celery stick,  chew gum, bike ride, call a friend etc).

What kind of treatments are done?

Ear Acupuncture is consistently very effective for addictions, with reported success rates of 75 to 90%.  The treatments will affect dopamine pathways in the brain, reducing cravings and helping the brain re-establish normal dopamine levels

o   It is best to begin treatment the day of or the day after you quit.   
o   Each treatment will last approximately 15 minutes. 
o   Acupuncture points on your ear and body will be stimulated with a laser or with needles.  

Call 604-271-9355 to book your appointment or speak with Dr. Lee.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Natural Relief for Seasonal Allergies - Dr. Lee's Top 5 solutions.

Do you have watery, itchy eyes?  A congested nose?  Are you coughing and sneezing? Or your nose is dripping like crazy?  Well, it sounds like you have something I struggle with, as well as many patients - Seasonal Allergies!

I was a long time sufferer of seasonal allergies, and being a Naturopathic doctor, I have always searched for natural relief for seasonal allergies.  Some of the suggestions below are available at a local health food store, while others require more specialized treatments from an acupuncturist or naturopathic doctor.

Top 5 Natural Relief for Seasonal Allergies

5. Support the body's anti-allergy mechanisms with vitamin C & high quality fish oils. 
Vitamin C prevents the release of "histamines" from white blood cells.  Between 2 to 4 grams is what I take per day for my seasonal allergies.  Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids (Fish Oils) is effective at reducing the inflammation causes by seasonal allergies.  I typically take 1 teaspoon twice a day. 

4. Luffeel nasal spray or tablets. 
Luffeel is a homeopathic product that works very well for seasonal allergies.  For my patients that get severe seasonal allergies, I recommend they start using the tablets 1 month before the allergy season tends to start.  To learn more about Luffeel for natural seasonal allergy relief, please read this article on my clinic's website.

3. Acupuncture Treatments
Acupuncture is effective for both treatment and prevention of seasonal allergies.  Thin needles are placed into specific acupuncture points throughout the body to help strengthen and stabilize the immune system.  The treatments are relaxing and patients find that they sleep better the days after acupuncture.

2. Customized Chinese Herbs
I find Chinese Herbs much more effective than over the counter anti-histamines.  Chinese Herbs are custom tailored to the specific individual's seasonal allergy symptoms.  Much like acupuncture, Herbs help stabilize and strengthen the immune system, not just simply covering the seasonal allergy symptoms.

1. Nebulizer Treatments
A nebulizer is a machine that turns liquids into a vapor or mist.  The mist is then inhaled by mouth and absorbed through the lungs.  A variety of natural medicines can be nebulized and delivered into the body this way. This is the most effective natural treatment to manage and treat seasonal allergies in my practice.

Dr. Jeffrey Lee is a naturopathic physician and registered acupuncturist in Richmond, BC.
Call today to get rid of your seasonal allergies!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Licensed Naturopathic Physicians obtain prescribing authority

In the Spring 2011 issue of Integrated Healthcare Practitioners, Dr. Christoph Kind, ND wrote an article on the landmark Advancements in British Columbia Healthcare.

To see the full article, click here.

A summary of the article:

- In the fall of 2010, licensed naturopathic physicians, who chose to obtain prescribing authority, were granted access to a wide range of therapeutics previously limited by prescription.

- ND's have been licensed as physicians since 1923 in BC

- A major stumbling block in 1990 occurred to the naturopathic profession when the NDP government initiated a practice review process of all health professions. This stalled all scope issues for a number of years and in the end almost derailed the profession

- Recently, the government began holding its "Conversation on Health Care" meetings across BC, and found that an overwhelming number of British Columbians wanted more access to complementary and preventative health care. 

- An appropriately certified naturopathic physician may now have full access to the natural medicines previously help behind locked doors, but used so safely and effectively in the past. 

" It reduces the existing burden on MD's while ensuring the provision of safe and effective primary healthcare in a measured fashion"

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Low Level Laser Therapy & Lymphedema

I have treated a variety of Lymphedema cases in my practice using acupuncture and naturopathic medicine.  However, recently, I have found that low level laser therapy is far superior to previous methods at reducing swelling around the ankles and legs.

Lymphedema occurs when the lympathic channels are blocked, causing fluids and proteins to leak out and remain trapped between cells.  Chronic lymphedema can occur after surgical procedures, inflammation in the region, congestive heart failure or kidney issues. 

Most conventional treatments include:
1) Elevation of extremity above the heart
2) Compression techniques (bandages, fitted garments)
3) Manual techniques (massage, compression)

Advantages of Low Level Laser Therapy for Lymphedema
- circulation is enhanced
- reduces fluid retention
- painless treatment that reduces discoloration
- heals skin infections

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Happy Chinese New Year

It was a pleasant surprise this afternoon when I picked up the local Richmond Newspaper.  I read the article   "Feasting for the year of the Rabbit" by Arlene Kroeker, the local food critic.

It turns out she interviewed my mom for this story.  To read her article, click here.

Wishing you all a healthy and prosperous new year!


Dr.Jeffrey Lee
Naturopathic Doctor and Registered Acupuncturist

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Using Acupuncture and naturopathic medicine to bring relief.

In 2010, I saw many  patients with digestive complaints.  One of the most common digestive conditions I treated last year was irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).   For those unfamiliar with IBS, the common complaints include: abdominal bloating, cramping, constipation, diarrhea (or combination of both) and excessive gas.

Naturopathic medicine and acupuncture can be very effective in treating IBS.  The goal is to reduce the symptoms, but more importantly, to find the root cause of the condition.

In the case studies below, I'll share with you how I helped these patients recover fully from their IBS.  They both came in with the same diagnosis of IBS, but as you can see, the treatment plan was unique to them.  I carefully listen to each patient's story and customize a treatment plan specifically for them.

Patient 1 was  a 77 year old female.  She had been suffering with IBS for the past 10 years.  She had uncontrollable diarrhea that alternated with constipation.  She began wearing adult diapers a few months before her initial naturopathic visit.   She was too scared to leave her apartment due to the uncontrollable diarrhea and was loosing her social life.   She also reported recent weight loss. 

Treatment Plan:
- Food Allergy Test (We discovered she was very allergic to eggs, dairy and bananas)
- Custom Diet plan (To help her gain weight and nourish her body)
- High-quality probiotics
- Series of 10 acupuncture treatments (to help re-balance her digestive system)

She experienced significant relief after beginning the acupuncture treatments.  Her bowel movements became more regular and her cramping was reduced.  After 6 months of following the diet, all her symptoms of IBS were gone and she felt stronger and more energetic than ever. 

Patient 2 was a 30 year old male. He developed IBS after taking strong medication for a viral infection.  For two years he had sharp pains in his abdomen (which he had an ultrasound to rule out any serious conditions), alternating diarrhea and constipation, and excessive flatulence.  He was taking a variety of medication for IBS with no relief.  His major concern was the urgency of his bowel movements.  He had less than 5 minutes to find a bathroom, once he had the urge to go.  He also had anxiety. 

Treatment Plan:
- Re-established a healthy routine for his body. (sleep routine, no skipping breakfast, regular exercise)
- Custom Diet plan (increased fiber in his diet, added more whole foods and green vegetables)
- Chinese Herbal formula (to heal the digestive system from the damage of anti-virals)
- Acupuncture Treatments ( for the anxiety and digestive system)

He responded in a matter of weeks to the treatment plan.  The urgency and sharp pain almost disappeared after starting the Chinese Herbs.  Although he was free of symptoms, I encouraged him to maintain a healthy routine so he can rebuild his digestive and immune system.  He was also amazed at how calming and relaxing acupuncture was, and has continued with regular acupuncture to help with his anxiety during stressful times.

The above cases are very typical IBS stories.  The naturopathic and traditional Chinese medicine approach is very gentle, yet very effective at correcting and balancing the digestive system. If you would like help with your IBS, please call our clinic in Richmond. 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Low Level Laser Therapy in Richmond Vancouver BC

Over the next few months, I will be diving into a lot of research of low level laser therapy.  I'll share some of the research and my clinical experience on this blog.  To start, I would like to re-post an article I wrote a few months ago about the history of laser therapy at my clinic's website.

History of Low-level Laser Therapy

An important question I’m often asked by patients is whether laser therapy can burn or harm the skin. The laser therapy I offer is called low-level or low-intensity laser therapy, and will not harm the skin. In fact it does the opposite, it heals skin cells and soft tissue in the body.

To better understand laser therapy, it is important to understand light. Life on earth has depended on “light energy” since time began. Plants grow and flourish with sunlight. Human bodies need sunlight or we see health problems such as rickets, vitamin D deficiency and seasonal affective disorder in the absence of sunlight. The method in which laser therapy heals the body is through the photon energy found in light.

In 1917, Albert Einstein, in his paper “On the Quantum Theory of Radiation” laid the foundation for the invention of the laser. In the early 1950’s, the “MASER”, a precursor to the LASER was invented, which used microwave radiation instead of light. The first working laser was made in 1960. Following that, medical researchers focused on using high powered lasers for surgery.

In 1966, Endre Mester from Budapest, Hungary was the first to publish a paper on the healing properties of low-level laser. He then wrote several more studies on the wound healing capabilities of laser light. By the1970’s, more countries began investigating the healing effects of laser, including Italy, Japan, UK and China. Finally in the 1990’s laser therapy enters North America.
Currently, there are over 3000 publications on the positive effects of low-level laser therapy. Various organizations around the world are funding laser research including, NASA, U.S armed forces, Heart & Stroke Foundation, Diabetes Association and Arthritis Society, to name a few.

At Brio Integrative Health Centre, we are proud to provide you with this truly effective therapy to compliment our naturopathic medicine and acupuncture services.