Menopause & Massage?!

Are you suffering from the symptoms of menopause?

If so, you are not alone!  In fact, 80% of perimenopausal and menopausal women experience at least one clinical symptom and 40% seek medical advice.

Did you know that massage therapy has been found to be very effective in treating many of the most common complaints?  Some of these include insomnia, hot flashes, night sweats, nervousness, anxiety, irritability, and depression. 

A recent study showed that massage therapy has a positive influence on sleep for menopausal women.  Participants fell asleep more quickly, showed improvement in their quality of sleep, and awoke feeling better with regular massage treatments.  Similarly, many studies have shown that massage therapy leads to more time spent in deep sleep.

Psychology Today reported that sleeplessness and menopausal symptoms are closely connected, and that decreased sleep makes a person more sensitive to pain, increased stress and mood swings. Thankfully, massage therapy calms the nervous system, helping with stress and anxiety, as well as better sleep.

According to the Institute for Integrated Healthcare, regular massage therapy treatments have also been found to help with menopausal symptoms by balancing hormones, decreasing headaches, helping to regulate fluid balance, and increasing endorphins.  In fact, another study has shown that regular massage therapy leads to a significant improvement in hot flashes and night sweats.

The research is clear:

  1. Increased stress causes menopausal symptoms to be more severe.
  2. Regular massage therapy can significantly decrease menopausal symptoms.
  3. Relaxation is an important aspect of maintaining one’s health.
  4. Proper breathing techniques can also have a positive effect on menopausal symptoms.

Regardless of your stage of life, taking steps to decrease stress will help you to live a happier, more well balanced, and healthier life. Choose to live better, choose Better Health!

About the author ...

Collagen: What the Science Says

What is Collagen?

The word “collagen” is derived from Greek words meaning “gum producing”. Collagen is essentially the “glue” that holds our bodies together. Making up 25-30% of all protein content in the body, it is our primary structural protein and can be found in the extracellular matrix (ECM) and connective tissues, including bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, skin, the intestinal lining, blood vessels, dentin of teeth, and corneas.  In addition to providing structural integrity to the body, collagen provides strength and elasticity to the skin and supports biological cell functions, tissues and organ development, healing of bones and blood vessels, and formation of the extracellular matrix.

Collagen is made up of three polypeptide chains, each composed of 1050 amino acids, primarily glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline. Currently, 28 different types of collagen exist. The five most common types include:

Type I collagen:found in skin, bones, tendons, ligaments, teeth, and vascular ligature

Type II collagen: found in cartilage, eyes (vitreous body), and vertebral discs (nucleus pulposus)

Type III collagen: found in skin, muscles, blood vessels, and reticular fibres

Type IV collagen: found in the basal lamina and the basement membrane (epithelium-secreted layer)

Type V collagen: found in hair, placenta, corneas, bones, placenta, and cell surfaces

The main component of human skin and prevalent in most connective tissues, type I collagen makes up 90% of collagen in the body, followed by type II and type III.

What factors affect collagen levels in the body?

Several factors impacting collagen levels in the body have been identified. The following factors have been shown to impair collagen synthesis and/or accelerate its degradation. 

  • Age
  • Excess stress
  • Autoimmune conditions
  • Smoking
  • Excess sun exposure
  • High sugar intake
  • Nutrient deficiencies (i.e., Vitamin C)

What are the benefits of collagen?

Collagen has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. In addition to its’ own antioxidant activities, collagen hydrolysates may support the activities of other antioxidant enzymes, such as superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px), and chloramphenicol acetyltransferase (CAT). There is also a significant body of research supporting the use of collagen in a number of different conditions. Collagen helps to support skin, nail, bone, joint, and cardiometabolic health. Collagen peptides may also support weight loss and maintenance of a healthy weight.

Skin & Nail Health

Skin aging

Skin, the largest organ in the body, is primarily composed of collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid. These components help to maintain skin structure and hydration. Studies have shown that collagen peptides, which can be absorbed into the dermis of the skin, can improve skin health and aging by increasing the number and diameter of collagen and elastin fibers, stimulating fibroblast proliferation and motility, and increasing the production of hyaluronic acid. Several studies have noted improvements in the signs and symptoms of skin aging following collagen supplementation, including improvements in skin hydration, elasticity, wrinkling, and dermal collagen density. A double-blind, placebo-controlled study found that administration of 2.5 g daily of bioactive collagen peptides (BCP) reduced eye wrinkle volume. BCP also increased procollagen type I by 65% and elastin by 18% after eight weeks. Another study found that 1000 mg of low-molecular-weight collagen peptide composed of 3% Gly-Pro-Hyp administered daily over 12 weeks improved skin hydration, elasticity, and wrinkling. Furthermore, it appears that the composition of peptides may impact the beneficial effects of collagen supplementation. A randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled study compared the effects of two forms of collagen hydrolysates with different compositions of bioactive dipeptides Pro-Hyp and Hyp-Gly. While results were significant in both treatment groups, greater improvements in skin wrinkles, hydration, and elasticity were seen with the higher content of Pro-Hyp and Hyp-Gly.

Pressure ulcers 

Collagen supplementation has been shown to be an effective treatment for pressure ulcers, also known as bedsores, which generally occur over bony prominences as a result of long periods of pressure. An eight-week randomized, prospective, controlled, multicenter trial found that long-term care residents receiving collagen protein hydrolysate demonstrated better Pressure Ulcer Scale for Healing (PUSH) scores compared to residents receiving standard care. Another study noted that healing of ulcers treated with topical collagen over eight weeks was comparable to topical hydrocolloid treatment.


Collagen may also be effective in improving cellulite. A placebo-controlled study examined the effects of specific bioactive collagen peptides (BCP) on cellulite in 105 women aged 24 to 50 years. Over the course of six months, subjects received 2.5 g of BCP daily or a placebo. BCP treatment resulted in significant improvements in cellulite, skin waviness on thighs, dermal density, and length of subcutaneous borderline in both normal and overweight women, however, the results were more pronounced in normal weight women.

Brittle nail syndrome

Commonly occurring in women, brittle nail syndrome is characterized by rough, ragged, and peeling nails. Collagen may improve these symptoms and accelerate the growth of nails. One study examined the effects of 2.5 g daily of specific bioactive collagen peptides (BCP) for 24 weeks. Treatment with BCP decreased the frequency of broken nails by 42% and accelerated growth rate by 12%, indicating that collagen peptide supplementation may be an effective treatment for brittle nail syndrome. 

Bone & Joint Health

Bone density and osteoporosis

A systematic review on the therapeutic effects of collagen hydrolysate noted positive effects on both osteoporosis and osteoarthritis. Collagen hydrolysate was found to offer protective effects on articular cartilage, improve bone mineral density, and relieve pain. A placebo-controlled study examined the effects of collagen supplementation in postmenopausal women with primary, age-related bone mineral density reductions. A 5 g dosage of specific collagen peptides administered daily over 12 months improved bone mineral density as a result of increased formation and reduced degradation of bones.

Osteoarthritis (OA)

Several other studies have shown that collagen supplementation is effective in improving symptoms of osteoarthritis. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of 250 subjects with primary knee osteoarthritis examined the effects of 10 g of collagen hydrolysates per day over six months. Improvements in joint comfort were noted. The most significant results were noted in individuals with the greatest joint deterioration and those with lower intakes of meat. Another study compared the use of undenatured type II collagen (UC-II) with glucosamine and chondroitin in knee osteoarthritis treatment. After 90 days, UC-II has determined a more effective treatment demonstrated by significantly greater improvements in a number of osteoarthritic measures, including WOMAC, VAS, and Lequesne’s functional index scores.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)

Collagen has also been found to improve rheumatoid arthritis-related joint pain. A study compared the effects and safety of chicken-derived type II collagen with methotrexate, an immunosuppressant drug often used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Results demonstrated that both collagen and methotrexate treatment groups showed statistically significant improvements in pain, stiffness, and swelling. The research also notes the added benefit of collagen treatment due to the lower incidence of adverse events compared to methotrexate. Furthermore, studies also suggest that the therapeutic effect of collagen supplementation involves immune system regulation in individuals with RA. Clinical trials have demonstrated reductions in anti-collagen antibody titers, rheumatoid factor, and TNF-alpha following administration of bovine type II collagen. 

Joint pain & exercise 

Various forms of collagen supplementation have been found not only to improve joint pain in individuals with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis but also in healthy individuals without history of arthritis or joint pain. In one study, 60 healthy, postmenopausal women were given 500 mg of natural eggshell membrane (NEM) daily or a placebo to determine the effects on exercise-induced joint pain or stiffness and cartilage turnover. The study found that NEM improved joint pain and stiffness following exercise. Decreases in cartilage degradation was also noted, indicating a chondroprotective effect. Similarly, another randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study found that 40 mg of UC-II administered daily improved knee extension and joint discomfort during exercise in healthy individuals. Collagen supplementation may also improve collagen synthesis, contributing to tissue repair and injury prevention. In a randomized, double-blind trial, vitamin C–enriched gelatin taken before exercise increased synthesis of collagen demonstrated by higher circulating levels the amino acids glycine, proline, hydroxyproline, and hydroxylysine.

How can we increase collagen levels in the body?

Bone broth

Rich in collagen and many other beneficial nutrients, bone broth may be one of the best ways to get more collagen through the diet. It can be made at home from bones of your choice, such as beef, chicken, turkey, and fish. Simmering bones over a long period of time the collagen in the form of gelatin. If you’ve ever made homemade bone broth, you may have noticed that, as the occurring cools, a layer of gelatin forms at the top.

Supplementation of Collagen

Taking a high-quality grass-fed collagen powder on a daily basis has been shown to greatly improve all the ailments listed above.

For more information if Collagen is right for you visit Better Health Clinic.

How Can Seeing A Nutritionist Help You??

We all get stressed from time to time and life can be very busy, but your health does not have to suffer as a result. As a Certified Holistic Nutritionist, I help you bring YOU back into focus, not by using a magic wand (I wish!) but by guiding you through positive nutritional and lifestyle changes. That result in you being at your very best self. 

Nutrition and lifestyle changes have an incredible impact on your overall health and wellbeing, when you make small modification over time, not all at once. I have seen so many positive results from choosing holistic nutrition. I’ve guided clients to heal from digestive problems, woman be free of menstrual pains, men stop having to take over the counter medications for heartburn, anxiety and depression both helped without the need for medications. I’ve seen clients become energized and vibrant just by changing their diet to improve their sleep habits and the list goes on.

So, how can I help you?

1.Individualized weekly food and supplement plans based on YOU and your needs, lifestyle, and desires.  

2.Stuck in a life slump? Inspiration, motivation, guidance needed? It’s like having a food trainer instead of a personal trainer. A personal food coach to give you a gentle life changing butt kicking.

3.Get to the root cause of your main concerns such as, sleep problems, low energy, skin issues, hormonal problems, cognitive function, and proper digestion. All without resorting to meds – food is your best medicine for many health concerns.

4.Get Happy! One of the benefits of getting healthy is your mood improves! Learn how nutrition can greatly help with symptoms of depression and anxiety.

5.Learn how to eat to get rid of body imbalances, rather than learn to just manage the unbalanced symptoms.

6.Digestion, digestion, digestion! Get your gut on track! Learn that bloating, indigestion, gas, constipation, are not meant to be a common symptom of eating. 

7.Fertility and growing a baby – learn what nutrients are beneficial for getting pregnant, growing a baby and what nutrients they need when they pop out!

8.A holistic nutritionist makes it simple and teaches you a holistic model of health by providing not only dietary guidance, but lifestyle suggestions as well. 

9.No nonsense, get healthy over time, weight loss will be a side effect, as well as glowing skin, higher sex drive, better sleep, healthy bowel movements – yes! Who doesn’t love a healthy bowel movement? 

10.Feel at ease about supplements, learn how we cannot get everything our body needs through food alone, and when it is a good idea to supplement your diet with supplements. 

11. Learn new awesome recipes how you can cook healthy food that’s as high on taste as it is in nutrients and not spend all day in the kitchen! Also learn how to fill that kitchen with all the necessities you need to be a healthy happy you! 

12.Learn what nutrients you may be deficient in due to medications you are taking. Use food and supplements to replace what’s lost. For example, one of the most common depleted nutrients is CoQ10 from statin drugs. The very nutrient needed for heart health is being depleted by a “heart healthy” drug.

13.Do you know how to shop smart?  A Holistic nutritionist will not only talk to you about what is healthy food for you but, take you to the store and show you how to efficiently shop for them. 

These things are just some of the top things seeing a holistic nutritionist will help you with, set up a free 30 min session with me and we can discuss if I can help with anything else you may need.

About the author ...

Hannah discovered her love of food and nutrition working in the restaurant industry. Over the past 15 years, she has worked with all aspects of food, from creating meal plans, presenting it, purchasing it, knowing what it does to our bodies, understanding the environmental aspect of it, understanding what our bodies require, and cooking it. In these roles accompanied with her diploma in Holistic Nutrition she is ready to help all ages achieve their health goals and teach simple understanding of holistic nutrition.

“Wholistic” Medicine with Dr. Jayne

Dr. Jayne explains Naturopathic and Homeopathic medicine and why it is such an amazing “wholistic” approach to treating the whole body. Then the body can become healthy on all levels, physical, mental and emotional.

I am a Naturopathic Doctor who also has a degree in Homeopathy. I became a Naturopathic Doctor first, but went on to specialize in homeopathy because I realized that homeopathy was the most effective medicine there was when it came to eliminating what I recognized to be the underlying cause of why often people get sick. I believe that is the subconscious programs or fears that cause anxiety, and distorted energy patterns. They lie in the subconscious, and we recognize them when we get triggered, on a mental emotional level. Homeopathy goes in and erases the pattern, allowing the individual to become healthy on all levels, physical, mental and emotional. 

Many people ask me what the difference is between Naturopathic Medicine and Homeopathy. Many mix the two up or use the terms interchangeable. Even after explaining I find many still call a Naturopath a Homeopath and visa versa. And understandable, I mean they are both treating illness naturally, right?? Well yes, this is true, however …..they ARE very different.

A Naturopathic Doctor or Naturopath is one of the few degrees in the entire world that is recognized and accredited. Meaning the education itself is carefully considered, and controlled by a board, providing the graduate a background in a similar education to that of a medical Doctor (anatomy, physiology, pathology, etc.) but then after the second year in a four year degree the student learns how to treat physical ailments with natural treatments. We learn to treat with Botanical Medicine, Nutritional supplements, counseling, Hydrotherapy, Acupuncture, Chinese Medicine, AND Homeopathy. Homeopathy is one of the modalities a Naturopathic Doctor uses to treat!

A Naturopathic Doctor learns how the human body works, the science in health, illness and treatment, but then learns the art of treating the whole human being, the physical, the mental and the emotional aspects. Most importantly, finding the cause and then treating through these different modalities.

I decided to specialize in homeopathy, because I found it to be the most effective in treating the cause. 

Homeopathy is a scientific and effective system of medicine that has been in use for over 200 years. Homeopathic medicine works by stimulating the body’s own natural tendency to heal itself, with a push from a well matched homeopathic remedy. It recognizes that all symptoms of ill health are expressions of disharmony within the whole person and that it is the patient, and the internal pattern that needs treatment, not the disease. Homeopathic treatment is based on the philosophy that the body, mind and emotions are not separate parts of a person, but are all affected by each other; therefore the homeopath seeks to observe a pattern in the disharmony which is affecting the complete individual resulting in disharmony and disease.  As such, it is a truly holistic medicine that treats the individual on all levels – mind, body and emotions.

Homeopathy is most curative when a constitutional Homeopathic intake is done. Approximately one and a half hours are needed, looking at the whole person taking into consideration all symptoms and characteristics on the physical, emotional and mental planes. When well prescribed, a homeopathic medicine or remedy can allow for a profound healing response and be very effective in treating all types of disease. Anxiety, ADHA, Eczema, Psoriasis, Digestive issues, Migraines, Hypertension, Menstrual problems, just to name a few. The true beauty of it is, once a remedy has been found (the cost of the remedy is 5.00!) only short follow ups are needed, (30min) and how the  physical has responded will  lead the way, redosing accordingly, and as needed. 

From there I use Naturopathic Medicine to support the physical and enhance health, vitality and longevity. But once true healing has happened at a deep level through homeopathy the vital force is strengthened, and this becomes easy and supportive. 

About the author ...

Jayne Marquis is a Naturopathic Doctor and a Homeopath living in Caledon Ontario just outside of Orangeville. Jayne believes Homeopathy to be a profound form of medicine and is constantly excited by the beautiful healing she has experienced when treating with a classical approach (meaning one remedy treats the whole person) and gets to the original cause of disease in a direct, effective and simple way. Homeopathy is based on the principle of like cures like and treats at the deepest level (energetic, mental, emotional) where much disease begins.She then uses her Naturopathic skills to cleanse, detox and structurally make the human body as healthy and whole as it can be. Jayne Currently works at Better Health Clinic in Orangeville Ontario, and The Clinton Chiropractic and Wellness Centre in Clinton.

Jayne's articles are featured in these blogs:
   Windwood Clinic,
   Better Health Clinic,
   Journey of Imagination, and
   New Earth Nation,

Have pain? Try Abdominal Acupuncture with Heechan (Hee-Chan), Registered Acupuncturist!

Often enough I get patients who are very nervous about the needles. Hence, they don’t even give acupuncture a try. I have met with many patients who are nervous about needles and after the first one goes in, they ask me, “That’s it?” Pain medications are good temporarily but they do not focus on the root cause hence the pain is felt again until another dose of painkillers is taken or your body heal itself of the pain. Acupuncture needles that I will use has a thickness of 0.22mm, so they are very thin. Abdominal Acupuncture is really powerful and effective but very gentle! And it can treat pain of all kinds and pain that is anywhere on the body!

The Abdominal acupuncture is so powerful it can treat pain that are years old. The earlier you seek an abdominal acupuncture treatment for pain the less treatments it takes! Abdominal acupuncture is still being used mainstream in parts of China and has been used for many decades. The abdomen is considered the 2nd brain in the body because it has the highest number of neurons outside of the brain and spinal cord, it regulates numerous homeostatic systems through its actions on the nervous and endocrine systems. It also contains approximately 95% of Serotonin which is the happy hormone. This happy hormone plays an important role in many emotional, digestive and immune functions.

In the treatment, the most you would feel during treatment is a prick or you might not feel anything at all. There are different sensations that can be felt after needling and these are normal sensations. Sometimes burning is felt due to remnants of alcohol left on the skin after wiping. Sometimes dull, sore, ache or heavy, sharp, pressure is felt. All of these sensations go away within a matter of seconds. And on rare occasions when the pain intensity is high the needle is adjusted so that rest of your treatment will be relaxing and calming.

My goal is for you to have a comfortable, relaxing, and calming treatment all the while addressing your chief complaint.

Did you know there is a BIG difference between Registered Acupuncturist (R.Ac) vs. other ‘practitioners’ without the title R.Ac providing acupuncture service? R.Ac has a minimal of 2 years of studies of acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine theories that explains diseases with relation to the organs, emotions, diet, pulse, tongue and much more. Hence Registered Acupuncturist are able to treat more than just pain! Not to mention, more than 1200 hours of clinical experience. Other ‘practitioners’ without Registered Acupuncture (R.Ac) title who is providing acupuncture service has more likely have taken a weekend course to get the certification to provide acupuncture service. They have clinical experiences ranging from 20 hours to 500 hours of clinical experience. This does not mean it’s not effective at all but the approach of treatment is limited.

Explore and discover what Abdominal Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine can do for you! Book an appointment with Heechan Lee, Registered Acupuncturist in Better Health Clinic today!

About the author ...

Heechan Lee graduated with honours from SSC Acupuncture Institute in the Acupuncture program and Traditional Chinese Medicine Program. He is currently a registered Acupuncturist and an active member of CTCMPAO and working towards in becoming a registered Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner.