Archive for the 'Natural Remedies' Category

Healing Thyroid Imbalance Presentation with Dr. Shiroko Sokitch

What is thyroid disfunction? What are the symptoms? How is it tested? How can it be treated on an individual basis?

Dr. Shiroko Sokitch of Santa Rosa, CA addressed these questions, and shared her unique approach to healing using both Western and Eastern medicine, in a presentation at Koshland Pharm last fall. We are pleased to share that presentation here in its recorded form.

For more about Dr. Shiroko Sokitch, see her website at

We welcome your comments, questions and feedback. All our best,

Krista Shaffer, Outreach Director at Koshland Pharm, and Peter Koshland, PharmD


Tips on maintaining health through perimenopause and beyond

If you’d like an overview of hormonal changes that happen for women at mid-life, check out this presentation by Lisa Brent, ND. Dr. Brent is a naturopathic physician who is a specialist in women’s health. We were delighted to host Dr. Brent this summer at Koshland Pharm and to hear her presentation, “Mind Over Menopause: Maintaining Health Through Perimenopause and Beyond,” and to share it here in its recorded version.

-Krista Shaffer, Outreach Director at Koshland Pharm and Peter Koshland, PharmD



Map of the Spirit: Assessing and Addressing Spiritual Stress As a Component of Healing

Map-of-the-Spirit-Cover-smallDo you experience spiritual stress? Could this be a contributing factor to a health condition you are facing, and therefore an important area to address as a part of your healing process?

Dr. Michael Cantwell, an integrative physician who practices in San Francisco, sets out to answer these questions in his recently published book, Map of the Spirit. Dr. Cantwell gave a presentation this January at the Commonwealth Club, explaining this unique approach of looking at spirituality as one aspect of health and healing. He realized that the paradigm he had learned in his own medical training of looking at the role the mind and body can play in illness was  missing a crucial piece for some of his patients: taking into account one’s experiences with spirituality.

Dr. Cantwell defines spirituality very broadly – as a way people find meaning in their lives, or what they believe exists or doesn’t exist beyond human experience. This looks different for each individual – dualist theology (a belief in God such as in Christianity, Judaism, or Islam) might speak to some; non-dualism (a belief in the oneness of all, such as in Taoism or Buddhism) might speak to others; atheism (the belief that God does not exist) also represents an important belief system in this definition of a person’s spirituality.

What everyone has in common, Dr. Cantwell argues, no matter what form their spirituality takes, is that their health can potentially benefit from 1) determining their beliefs and 2) living out of those beliefs in their day-to-day lives. Dr. Cantwell proposes that people can experience spiritual stress, just as they can experience physical and mental stress. Because stress has a known negative impact on our health, and, it can even be argued, leads to the majority of diseases from which Americans actually die, it is important to take into account and attempt to remedy one’s level of spiritual stress if it proves to be high.

How does one assess spiritual stress? Dr. Cantwell provides a simple formula in his book: rank on a scale from one to ten how important spirituality is to you in your life. Next, measure on a scale of one to 10 how satisfied you feel spiritually. Then, subtract your satisfaction from your interest. If the resulting number is low, you are experiencing a low level of spiritual stress; if it is high, you might want to consider taking spirituality into account when making a plan for your path to wellness.

This is only the beginning of Dr. Cantwell’s theory he presents with both practical tools (such as a the measurement of spiritual stress) as well as real patient examples (patients form diverse spiritual backgrounds). For those interested to learn more, you will find in his book four different stages of spiritual development; examples of resistance that a person may experience moving from one stage to another; strategies for removing those blockages and increasing attention to spiritual development – all within the framework of thought that one stage is not inherently better than another. Rather, he suggests that the most important time for intervention in spiritual health is when, or if, spiritual stress is high.

What if, Dr. Cantwell asks, we put spirituality onto the map of what we look at when assessing overall health? Map of the Spirit provides a practical and thought-provoking approach for patients and doctors to consider when addressing health challenges.

For more information about Map of the Spirit, see Dr. Cantwell’s website

~Krista Shaffer, Outreach Director at Koshland Pharm

Upcoming Conference in San Francisco about Environmental Risk Factors for Our Health

MM14-flyer-500-pixels-AThe California Naturopathic Doctor’s Association will be hosting a conference March 23-24, 2013 in San Francisco called “Environmental Medicine and Oncology in Primary Practice.”  Its target audience is naturopathic physicians and integrative medical practitioners.  Participants will learn about ways to limit exposure to environmental toxins and factors to consider when integrating natural therapies with conventional treatments for cancer. The staff of Koshland Pharm is looking forward to attending this conference as an exhibitor.  More information about the conference can be found on CNDA’s website at    Wondering what a naturopathic doctor is?  See this great article in the Huffington Post (10-9-12) for more about naturopathic medicine:  “You’re What Kind of Doctor?”

~Krista (Outreach Director at Koshland Pharm)

The Role of Our Thoughts in Healing

Check out this great article by naturopathic doctor Connie Hernandez, who writes about the importance of our thoughts as part of the healing process:

Of Words and Woes

 Connie HernandezI’ve often told the story of my perimenopausal struggles with insomnia. At a certain point in the menopausal transition, I became unable to sleep. Remedy after remedy proved successful with my patients, but failed to transform my own sleepless situation. Any one of you who has suffered prolonged periods of sleeplessness knows the length to which a person might go to find a remedy….

My story was that I never slept and that I felt horrible all of the time because of it.

One day, a certain wise shaman asked me to explain my problem. My response was that I was not able to sleep. The shaman responded by asking why that was a problem, and by suggesting that night would be a wonderful time to meditate. I explained that when I didn’t sleep, I felt terrible. The shaman agreed that that was indeed a problem, if it was true, and asked me to explore whether or not it really was true that I was feeling badly all the time because of it.

I started looking into every moment, and I discovered that my story was not only not true, but was creating an unfavorable reality. When I moved into the present moments of my experience, I found that there were many moments in which I was just fine. There were some moments in which my eyes were tired, or I felt nauseous, or my head hurt. But those moments were definitely in the minority.

Little by little, and with a supreme act of will, I was able to refute the definition of myself as an insomniac, the false story that I consequently always felt terrible, and the sister thought that I would never sleep again. I stopped speaking of myself as an insomniac. I stopped obsessing about my “condition,” and I started affirming the sleep and well being that I did enjoy. “I slept 3 hours last night!”, rather than “I hardly slept at all last night.” Little by little, I slept normally once again, and I almost always feel well even when I don’t.

We can choose to emphasize the moments, experiences and conditions of being that are as we would like them to be or we can choose to emphasize those that are not. Sri Yogananda explains that when we concentrate on the gripping power of disease rather than the possibility of a cure, we permit the illness to be a mental as well as a physical habit. These “idea habits” create vibrational grooves in the brain and strengthen our tendencies towards sickness or well being.

One way to transform idea habits is through effective affirmation, affirmation that permeates the subconscious mind. As Yogananda says, if you affirm “I am well”, but think in the background of your mind that it is not true, the effect is the same as if you took a helpful medicine and at the same time swallowed a drug that counteracted the effects of the medicine. Wrong thoughts neutralize right thoughts, and you don’t get the desired effect. (If you’re doing affirmations, and not getting the desired effect, chances are you are doing the affirmations incorrectly. There IS a science to it. See the booklet Scientific Healing Affirmations.)

Thoughts are remarkable in their power. In fact, mental reality creates physical reality. Mind governs all physiologic processes and all living cells. Mind has the power to effect healing. And mind has the power to effect dis-ease or imbalance.

This certainly does not mean that we should feel guilty when we are ill. We are subjected not only to our individual consciousness, but also to the collective consciousness, as well as to that myriad of factors mentioned above in the musings.

Nor does it mean that we can ignore physical reality. Until we transcend it, we live our lives bound by the laws of physical reality. That physical reality is impacted by and reflects all energy input, whether from internal or external sources. Where there is dis-ease, we seek and utilize synergistic healing modalities, whether they be based on thought, light, sound, physical, biochemical, or energy medicines. What an array of ways we have to heal ourselves and transform our realities!

Good health is more than the state of not being ill! It is a radiant state of inner well-being. Physical illnesses may be cured by medicines. No medicine, however, can induce that boundless energy which comes when every cell in the body cooperates with the mind willingly, joyfully, in all that it seeks to do.Such radiant well being comes after the mind has been cleared of every shadow of unwillingness, of fear, and of doubt; when one has learned to say yes to life; and when one has learned to love. ” — Affirmations for Self Healing by Swami Kriyananda

Dr. Hernandez is one of the naturopathic doctors we’ve been fortunate to meet through our work at Koshland Pharm.  To find out about Dr. Hernandez’s consulting services, see her webpage at, or to learn about the work of more California naturopathic physicians, see Koshland Pharm’s referral page.  Be well!


Cold or flu? Helpful health resources

As the fall approaches, do you find yourself with symptoms that you can’t recognize as signs of a cold or the flu?   Check out Dr. John Selle’s “Patient Education” page on his website, which includes helpful links such as:  “Cold or Flu? Symptom Self-Assessment” and a reference page for understanding lab test results.

Dr. Selle’s website is listed on Koshland Pharm’s practitioner referral page.  This referral list includes the names and contact information for California practitioners in the fields of general medicine, gynecology, integrative medicine, lyme disease treatment, naturopathic medicine, oncology, urology, and veterinary medicine.  These practitioners are ones that we have worked closely with at the pharmacy over the last several years and that we have found to be committed to excellent patient care.  If you are looking for websites with helpful health and wellness information, or if you are looking for a health practitioner in California, you can check out Koshland Pharm’s referral page here.  We welcome feedback about the links you find the most helpful.


Online Women’s Health Support Group, September 10-October 20

One of our favorite practitioners, Naturopathic Doctor Amy Day, is about to start a 6 week online wellness support group for busy moms.  This is a great resource for any mom out there who wants or needs to reduce stress, increase energy, or lose weight naturally.

In her introduction, Dr. Day addresses prospective group members:

“Dear Fellow Mom,

I know how stress and fatigue can get in the way of being the healthy mom that you want to be.

You feel so exhausted that it’s hard to even do the basics, let alone take care of your own health! You get behind at work because it’s so hard to focus. You are frustrated about the belly fat that just won’t go away. It seems like you spend half of your time with your kids yelling at them because you are so impatient and irritable. Your relationships suffer from lack of attention, and your friends wonder if you’ve fallen off the face of the earth.

If you want to restore your balance and rejuvenate your body, then keep reading…”

I highly recommend taking time to take care of yourself by using resources such as Dr. Day’s online wellness support group.  Be well!


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