Why I hate Anti-Aging – and Love Increasing Vitality

Anti-aging clinics are all over the place in this town where I live, Phoenix, Arizona.  And if you drive over to Scottsdale, you will see even more.  Anti-aging is big business, meaning there are lots of products and services and businesses are happy to take your money to help you turn back (or hold off) the hands of time.

The thing is, aging is something every one of us has in
common.  We all age.  Every day, whether you like it or not, you
are one day older.  Babies age, teens
age, we all age. You really cannot stop aging, its universal.

Often, I will hear people complain about their age.  Does that mean they would rather not age? Because
to truly stop aging you have to die!!

Anti-aging implies that there is something wrong with aging
and that we have to try to stop it.

I would like to suggest that rather than thinking so
negatively about aging, we could think more in the terms of progressing through
life, and rather than complaining and focusing on the negative, lets focus on
aging with Vitality.

Vitality – What does it mean to live with vitality?  It means having energy, enough to ride the
ebbs and flows of life.  It does not mean
that you are bubbly and smiley every day, but that you have the energy, the
life force to complete all the activities you want and need to do.  It means that you continue to grow:
personally, professionally, whatever it is you need in your life.  You don’t give up, give in or stop living,
you take every day and live it to the fullest, whatever that means to you.

So, let’s not buy into the idea that you have to stop the aging process, since it can not be stopped anyway, and let’s focus instead on living each moment with Vitality.

Take care,


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Is a Detox right for me?

Detoxes and cleanses are all the buzz this time of year as
we move on from holiday celebrations.

Should you jump on the bandwagon?  Well, maybe, but let’s explore the idea of a
detox or cleanse and see if there are any benefits for you.

Let’s start with looking at the idea of a cleanse.  If you search in Google, you will find the
juice cleanse, the smoothie cleanse, the master cleanse, the lemon juice
cleanse, and there are others.  With all
of these, you are fasting, sometimes for days, and are drinking the “cleanse”
drink.  Now, I am not opposed to fasting
(if done right) but fasting and drinking the cleanse does not really clean out
the body, it only allows the body to empty the accumulated waste (aka
poop).  So, after the cleanse, you will
be “empty”, but are you any healthier? 
Perhaps not, because during the fasting time your body has not been
nourished with nutrients or calories.

I am afraid that I consider many (if not most) cleanses
rather gimmicky.

What about a detox?  A
detox can be as gimmicky as the cleanses described above, but if done right, I
think they can be very valuable.  The
ability to detox is built into our metabolic system, the primary detoxifying
organ is the liver, with support from the kidneys and the digestive system.

What we recommend is a detox that relies primarily on using whole
foods, with one nutritional supplement that includes all the ingredients (again
from food) to support the body’s natural detox process.

So are you a candidate for a detox? 

We are all exposed to toxins every single day.  They are in the air you breathe, the food you
eat, the water you drink and the products you touch.  Exposure to these toxins can overburden your
system’s natural ability to detoxify.  If
you have not done a detox in the past six months (or ever), you are a

Give us a call to find out more, you don’t need an

Take care,

Dr’s Ann and Emily Rea

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Chemicals are everywhere!!! How should we deal with them?

I write this especially for the men and women who are who are either trying to conceive a child, or those who may consider doing so sometime in their life.  I also write this for parents, because we need to protect our children.

The following is taken directly from a recent post at

“The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) requires that the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency compile and keep a current list of chemical
substances manufactured or processed in the U.S. That list
1 currently includes
about 85,000 chemicals.

Among them are 10,000 chemicals allowed to be added to food and
food-contact materials in the U.S., either directly or indirectly, yet few have
been properly tested for safety.

An evaluation of nearly 4,000 additives intentionally added to
food revealed 80 percent lacked enough information to determine how much could
be safely eaten and only 6.7 percent had reproductive toxicology data.
2 And that’s just food

In recent years, researchers and scientists have raised warnings
about mounting toxic exposures, leading to efforts to rein in the use of
chemicals known to be hazardous to human health. Unfortunately, many companies
are still failing in this regard.”

The above information focuses on the 10,000 chemicals added to
food.  Of the 75,000 chemicals left, some
are added to body care products, cleaning products, livestock, furniture,
clothing, plastics; basically, everything we touch.

Chemicals are everywhere, and even if the FDA or some other government agency has determined that a certain chemical is not harmful in certain doses, what is often overlooked is that with all of the exposure, we have no idea what dose any of us are consuming or exposed to.

So, to protect your health, and those of your born or unborn
children, here is what you need to do:

Eat a diet focused on locally grown, organic (or at least non-GMO foods).  Avoid processed and packaged foods.  Learn to look for foods that are only minimally processed with no additives.         

Include meat and dairy from grass raised,sources, wild caught or sustainably raised fish, organic-pasture raised eggs. Focus on wild, organic and/or non-GMO.

Buy products in glass bottles, store in glass,use glass baby bottles.  Avoid plastic containers and plastic wrap to avoid leaching of chemicals into your products.

Avoid non-stick pans.  Focus on using ceramic, glass or stainless steel without coating

Drink filtered water, stored in glass is the best, or stainless steel

Switch to organic toiletries such as shampoo,soap, lotions, toothpaste, deodorant, cosmetics.  Check out the following site for safe or safer products: Environmental Working Group Skin Deep

Switch to non-toxic cleaning products including laundry detergents.  There are many available, think about Branch Basics for cleaning, and Molly Suds for laundry.  You can make your own cleaning products very easily and cheaply.

Look for fragrance free products.  Scenting with 100% essential oils is OK but educate yourself.

When buying furniture, mattresses, carpeting,paint, toys, clothing, look for earth friendly, non-toxic products, preferably natural products, avoid plastic and look for naturally flame-retardant materials.

This list is not all inclusive, but if you work on these, you will
significantly limit exposure to chemicals. 
Consider this a gift to yourself and our future generations.

If you would like to read the entire article from Dr. Mercola that
I mentioned above, here is the link:

MercolaArticle on Toxic Chemicals

Take care, Ann + Emily

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How to take care of your gut when taking antibiotics and ibuprofen

I recommend avoiding all pharmaceutical medications,prescription and over the counter, but sometimes a situation arises, and you can’t avoid medications, they are just necessary. Recently I had a dental extraction and implant.  I went to an integrative dentist, Dr. Lisa Butler at Integrative Dental Associates here in Phoenix, Arizona.  After the procedure Dr. Butler offered me a prescription for pain medication and antibiotics.  I refused the pain meds, planning to rely on ibuprofen or acetaminophen if necessary. I did take the prescription for antibiotics but did not plan to fill it unless absolutely needed.

Dr. Butler did a fantastic job, and I recommend her highly,
but I did develop a slight complication, these things just happen, even under
the best of circumstances.  I developed
an infection and some significant pain. 
I ended up taking 800mg of ibuprofen, quite a few doses over several
days.  I also had to fill and complete
that antibiotic prescription.

Just a bit about side effects associated with ibuprofen.  Here is a direct quote from the FDA Blackbox
warning for ibuprofen:


  • NSAIDs may cause an
    increased risk of serious cardiovascular thrombotic events, myocardial
    infarction, and stroke, which can be fatal. This risk may increase with
    duration of use. Patients with cardiovascular disease or risk factors for
    cardiovascular disease may be at greater risk (See 
  • Ibuprofen tablets are
    contraindicated for treatment of peri-operative pain in the setting of coronary
    artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery (See 

Gastrointestinal Risk

  • NSAIDS cause an increased
    risk of serious gastrointestinal adverse events including bleeding, ulceration,
    and perforation of the stomach or intestines, which can be fatal. These events
    can occur at any time during use and without warning symptoms. Elderly patients
    are at greater risk for serious gastrointestinal events. (See 

Pretty scary.  I was
most concerned about the gastrointestinal side effects as I do not have any
cardiac risk factors.

Antibiotics are also not risk free.  By design, they kill bacteria.  This is both the good and bad news.  Though they kill the “bad” bacteria, in my
case an infection at the surgical site, they also kill “good” bacteria such as
those naturally occurring in your gut. 
These good bacteria are essential for optimal health.

So, what to do?  As
soon as I started taking these meds I also started a protocol to offset the
unwanted side effects: 

I took probiotics, 2 hours after, and no more than 2
hours before each antibiotic dose.  I
used a combination of three probiotics, one capsule each dose:

  • Complete Probiotics – Dr. Mercola
  • Complete Spore Restore – Dr. Mercola
  • Saccharomyces Bouladrii – Jarrow Formulas

I took bone broth, one cup daily.  I added some fresh spigarello, a green in the
broccoli family to the bone broth.  I
started with bison broth made by JPP Apothecary here in Phoenix.  Her bone broth is made from grass fed animals
and is available in: beef, chicken, lamb, fish, bison.  I like to alternate different animal sources.  Bone broth is rich in amino acids, minerals,
gelatin, digestive enzymes, all necessary to restore the gut lining.  

I added fermented vegetables to my daily intake to
improve my microbiome.  I always eat
fermented veggies but increased my intake to daily.  I usually make my own, but I really love the
products made by Garden Goddess Ferments here in Phoenix.  She makes excellent, tasty fermented veggies,
power kraut juice, and I especially love her Beet Kavas.

I plan to keep up this program for at least 2 weeks after I
take my last medication, maybe longer, depending on how I feel.

Many pharmaceutical drugs have saved lives and improved
suffering, but they all have side effects. 
It is important to understand the side effects and take measures to
limit them.  If you have any questions
about your particular situation, make sure to ask your Healthcare Professional.

Good sources for some of the products I mentioned above
include: your local farmers market, Healthy Habit Health Food Store (7th
St. and Bethany), Alaskan Pride Seafoods, and there are other sources, check
each of the purveyor’s web sites.

Take care, and stay healthy


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Finding Joy – in the Season and in your Life

Tis the season, right?  Joy to the World, Joy in giving or opening presents, Joy in the presence of family and friends, Joy in having favorite foods/sweets, Joy in going to parties. Joy in Winter weather, Joy in anticipating a new year.  This is all seasonal Joy, and not everyone experiences this type of Joy in December or at the New Year.

What is much more important than a Joyous December and New Year, is experiencing Joy in your everyday life, no matter the season.

It is important to recognize that life is a journey with a series of ups and downs, highs and lows.  After all, life is not like Instagram, where every post is beautiful, every puppy adorable, every product amazing, every life perfect.  The highs of life are best enjoyed surrounded by lows, that’s how you recognize they are high points.  Who doesn’t enjoy Spring after a long and dreary Winter, a new haircut after the same cut you have had for years, no traffic one day after enduring endless backups.  You see Joy is relative.  And what I want you to do is to look for Joy in your everyday life.  This process is called cultivating Joy.

Cultivating Joy will make you happier, you will focus less on the down sides of life.  Cultivating Joy is also an amazing stress reduction strategy.  You will feel less stressed when you focus on the joyful parts of life.

Of course, you will recognize the big Joy’s such as a holiday, birth, birthday, vacation etc.  It’s the little things I would like you to recognize.

Little things such as: the sound of rain on the roof (it is raining as I write this), the presence of a pet, hot water in the morning, a meal, someone letting you into traffic (or doing the same for a stranger), clean clothes, a roof over your head, health, family members (even the slightly annoying ones), friends, trees, sunrise/sunset, warmth, a blanket, coffee, a glass of wine, work, exchanging words with a stranger, music, nature, tea, sleeping children, quiet, sun, shade, electricity A/C, clean water.

You see what I mean?  Make your own list.  Joy is everywhere, sometimes you have to look for it.  I suggest you spend a few minutes every day, finding the joy in your life, whatever your situation, you will feel better for it.



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Calm – for Migraine, Headaches, Muscle Tension.


Migraines can be complex.  Often patients are trying to figure out what triggers their migraine.  This can be very confusing and frustrating process.  Let’s look at an example with chocolate as a potential trigger.  You may think chocolate is a trigger as you had chocolate just before the last two migraines.  Then, because you love chocolate, you brave it and have chocolate again, and no migraine.   So, you think you are in the clear with chocolate and have some again and – boom – a migraine.  So, is chocolate a trigger or not???

This confusing aspect of migraines was best explained to me by Dr. David Buchholz, a neurologist from The John Hopkins School of Medicine in his book “Heal Your Headache”.  He describes what he calls a threshold, under which there is no migraine, and over which there is migraine.

Each patient often has several triggers.  Examples of triggers include certain foods, barometric pressure, stress, tension, sleep status, chemicals such a fragrance, light, hormonal shifts, the list goes on.  So, when you are exposed to a trigger, you may still be under your migraine threshold, and you don’t experience any symptoms.  But say you are exposed to two or more of your triggers all at once.  For this example, let’s assume your triggers are chocolate, and sleep deprivation.  If you have both of those at the same time, you may then go over your threshold and end up with migraine.  If you only eat chocolate, you may stay under your threshold, and no migraine. I suggest reading Dr. Buchholz’s book if you want to learn more about triggers and thresholds.

What is the point of all of this?  Well, a very common migraine trigger is stress and anxiety, which results in muscle tension with subsequent migraine.  The Chinese Herbal Formula, Calm is fantastic for reducing tension, stress, anxiety and associated muscle tension.  Calm is available in capsule form, it is easy to take, and has no side effects.  Taking Calm, in conjunction with acupuncture will get you on your way to being migraine free.

Take Care,

Dr. Ann

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Calm: a Chinese Herbal Formula for Stress, Anxiety, Headache, PMS, Muscle Tension



Are you feeling:

  • Tense
  • Stressed
  • Anxious


Are you suffering from:

  • Headaches,
  • PMS,
  • Muscle aches


You need Calm!  With Calm, you don’t feel drowsy, lethargic, brain fog, or any negative side effects, you just feel more relaxed.


Over time, constantly living in a stressed state without recharging leads to serious health problems.  Acute and chronic stress can affect the brain (feelings and emotions) heart (high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, coronary artery disease), muscles (pain and stiffness), the stomach (acid reflux, IBS, ulcer), and the immune system (frequent illness).


Calm is available in easy to take capsules and you can adjust the dosage based on the level of symptoms you are feeling.


So why not feel more Calm, you will love it!!

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