The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped endocrine gland that sits just below your Adam’s apple. It is a master gland that secretes hormones and is responsible for regulation of metabolism, growth and development, and influences nearly every physiologic process in the human body. When thyroid levels are out of balance, so is our health and well-being.
How Does the Thyroid Gland Work?
In order to create balance, the thyroid communicates with two other glands in the brain, the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland. The hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis (HPT axis for short) aka thyroid homeostasis, is an entire neuroendocrine system responsible for the regulation of metabolism. One might imagine the hypothalamus as the person who regulates the thermostat. It releases Thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) and tells the pituitary gland where the thyroid should be set. The pituitary gland (the thermostat), then releases Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) to the thyroid gland, which acts as the furnace, producing thyroid hormones, Triiodothyronine (T3) and Thyroxine (T4). Thyroid hormones are like heat. When there is enough heat, the thermostat turns off, the room cools (thyroid hormone levels drop) and the process starts again as a negative feedback loop.
The thyroid gland itself uses iodine to produce the two main hormones, T4 and T3. The thyroid produces 80% T4 (inactive) and 20% T3(active). The body must convert the inactive hormones into an active, unbound, usable form. Certain conditions, factors, and nutrients must be present, not only for the thyroid to produce these hormones but for this conversion to take place.
What Are Symptoms of a Malfunctioning Thyroid?
A wide array of symptoms can stem from either an under or over-functioning thyroid gland. Nearly every system in the body can be impacted so symptoms should not be ignored.
How to Treat a Thyroid Disorder
Often times when a thyroid condition is diagnosed, little is done to determine the underlying insult to this essential “master gland” of our body. Rather, treatment often stops at replacement hormones without determining where the imbalance has occurred. Simply replacing hormones, does not address the immune system dysregulation, which is often the root cause. Some considerations in a thorough work-up include;
A FULL thyroid panel. Many times, only TSH, T3, and T4 are tested. A full panel would include the following markers: Free T3, Free T4, Total T4, TSH, Anti-thyroglobulin Ab, Anti-TPO Ab, Thyroglobulin, Thyroxine-Binding Globulin (TBG) and Reverse T3
Thyroid lab ranges vary. “Normal” can be a wide range with optimal functioning in a narrower window.
Assess for specific nutrients that facilitate thyroid health
Assess for potential factors (lifestyle, toxins, medications, etc.) that inhibit thyroid
Heal the gut! Over 70% of the immune system originates in the gut. Gut bacteria also assist in hormone conversion
Determine the most appropriate replacement hormone based on the patient’s specific needs
Want to optimize your thyroid and overall health? Kelli is currently accepting new patients. Call us to schedule! (614) 888-HERB (4372).
Hi, I’m Kelli, a Family Nurse Practitioner that is beyond thrilled to begin my work at Leaves of Life, one of the most well-established healing clinics in the Columbus area.
My journey all started as a student nurse at The Ohio State University Medical Center. I quickly realized that I was on the right path when I looked forward to sitting at my patient’s bedside learning more about their story. I received my BSN at OSU and worked ten years in critical care. Ten years and two kids later, I returned to graduate school to fulfill my longtime goal of becoming a nurse practitioner. In 2014, I had the pleasure of working with an amazing medical team at a large family practice. During this time, I cared for patients of all ages and ailments. I was pleased to have the opportunity to initiate real change using an integrative, patient-centered approach.
Today I hold close not only the valuable professional and life experiences I have gained overtime, but my internal desire to become part of the exciting and evolutionary change in healthcare. I am currently completing a post-maters certificate in Functional Medicine and it is my desire to sculpt the paradigm of healthcare through education, prevention, and wellness.
I have a husband and three beautiful kiddos, 2, 8, and 10. My side job is their personal uber driver and lover of all their sports and recreation. Our community is everything. I find peace in my faith, my village, and always…on the lake. I still love to choregraph a good dance routine, sleep in whenever I can (usually once a year), and belt a tune like I am Beyoncé. (I’m terrible…but my kids think it’s hysterical). I believe balance is key. That…and tickle time.
How Can I Help You?
At Leaves of Life, I’ll help you better understand your health and how to move it in the right direction. I strive to improve whole body wellness by identifying the root cause of inflammation or imbalance. Every patient is unique and biochemically diverse and therefore a comprehensive history is essential. We review symptoms, conduct a thorough medical/surgical/family history, review lab work and other diagnostics, discuss lifestyle (including nutrition, stress, sleep hygiene, toxic burden, etc.), and physical exam. I will work alongside your primary care physician and communicate identified imbalances based on my extensive work-up and make suggestions accordingly. I believe in collaboration and value the importance of integrating traditional medicine with functional medicine. It is an extension of evidenced-based practice that allows us to treat more than just the symptoms by treating our patients just as uniquely as they were created.
If you’d like to take charge and work toward your best health yet, I’d love to partner with you and your primary care physician on your journey!
“My husband received laser allergy treatments at Leaves of Life. At the start of treatment, he was lactose intolerant, and had multiple environmental allergies that required him to take Claritin daily. After treatment, he’s no longer lactose intolerant, and his environmental allergies, while not completely gone, are much improved. He no longer has to take allergy medicine. We highly recommend laser allergy treatments. The technician, Amy Timmerman, at Leaves of Life is a registered nurse, and very knowledgeable about natural health as well as conventional health treatments.”–C.R.
“I no longer have eczema on my legs and arms”
“I can eat corn without getting stomach pain”
“My morning nausea is gone”
“I don’t sneeze and have itchy eyes when I’m on the golf course”
“I feel so calm and relaxed after a treatment”
“I can go to my friend’s house and her cat no longer makes me sneeze”
“I’m finally able to gain weight. I feel so much better now that I can tolerate a wide variety of foods”
“My child’s eczema cleared up completely in just 4 sessions and we have tried everything!”
These are just a few of the success stories from patients who have received Laser Allergy Treatments at LOL.
Do a GI Map stool test. This test looks at overall gut health, including the presence of viruses, parasites, fungi and bacteria, immune response, inflammation, levels of normal flora and digestive efficiency. An imbalanced gut can be the root cause of allergies. Knowing where your gut is out of balance takes the guesswork out of treatment.
Get rid of inflammatory foods (dairy, gluten, soy, sugar, etc). Increased inflammation can dysregulate the body’s immune response.
Rotate the foods you’re able to eat. The more you overeat the same foods, the more likely the body will develop an allergy to that food. Rotation also allows for more nutrient and gut bacteria diversity.
Add digestive enzymes. These help to break down fats and proteins in your food. Poorly digested food is more likely to cause an immune reaction.
Boost low stomach acid. Stomach acid is critical for digestive enzyme production.
Traditional Hot Stone Massage provides several benefits, including relief of muscle tension and pain, stress and anxiety reduction, increased circulation, and better sleep. The average skin temperature is 92 degrees. Stones are usually warmed to 105-110 degrees.
In general, Himalayan Salt has several benefits: air purification, reduction of electromagnetic radiation, reduction of unhealthy positive ions, easing of allergies and asthma and improvement in mood and sleep.
The combination of a hot stone massage with Himalayan salt stones adds even more benefit. You can see the effects of the salt after one session. Your skin, body and mind will thank you!
The benefits of a Himalayan Salt Stone Massage:
Negative ions are produced when heated, creating a sense of peace and deeper sense of relaxation.
The heat of the salt melts restrictive fascia to go deeper into the muscles and loosens the joints.
The moist heat of the stones assist with soothing inflamed muscles and joints.
Leaves the skin feeling refreshed and glowing.
The salt stones moisturize and plump up the superficial layers of the skin.
May detoxify and alkalize the body.
May aid in reduction of insomnia, blood pressure and stress.
On a spiritual level:
Can ground and balance meridian levels, chakras and electromagnetic field.
Clear your Qi and energy.
The stones provide 84 essential mineral and trace compounds. Stones may be used hot or cold. Unlike river stones, Himalayan stones are antibacterial.
Give yourself a wonderful treatment by scheduling a Himalayan salt stone massage session today!
Joanne Corroto RN, BSN, LMT uses the BioScan (Meridian Stress Assessment), a class 2 FDA-approved medical device, to detect imbalances in the body. The BioScan provides an extraordinary perspective on the state of your body’s energetic health and balance by measuring electrical conductivity at response points (acupuncture/meridian points) on the hands and feet. A total of 58 points are used for testing and are recorded to provide a profile of the client’s present condition. According to research, acupuncture points are related to the body’s organs and systems.
As the client moves away from health, imbalances can be sensed along the meridians at representative points. As a result, stress associated with the corresponding organs can be surveyed using the indicated organ points.
The BioScan can provide information on how organs, glands, and body systems are performing and how they’re reacting to environmental toxins, stress, emotions and more. It is a comprehensive, non-invasive and pain free test. It creates a complete circuit (like an EKG) using a highly sensitive Ohm meter that measures the flow of energy between each meridian point and organ. After the initial assessment or measurements have been taken and recorded, the results can be viewed. If stress values are above or below the balance point, the systems’s extensive computer database will allow consideration of a wide range of possibilities that can help the client regain a healthy balance. The BioMeridian allows consideration of thousands of homeopathic, herbal and nutritional products.
Here’s what testing looks like:
At a typical appointment, the client sits in a chair and holds the moistened brass hand mass in one hand, while the other hand is tested using a stylus to touch the various acupuncture meridian points on the fingers. The information is visibly plotted on the computer, displaying the energy that point is exhibiting: stressed, weak or balanced.
Testing the small bowel point might indicate a possible imbalance with digestion/absorption, indicating to the technician that there is a need to look at other items that impact digestion and absorption. Low stomach acid, sluggish bile flow, flora imbalance are some of the possible underlying causes. Once the underlying cause is determined, the BioScan helps to determine from thousands of treatment options, what will work best with the client.
Overall, the BioScan unit is an information gathering device to disclose patterns of stress and provide feedback to help restore each system and meridian to an appropriate balance.
Iridology is the art and science of analyzing the markings, structure, and pigmentation in the iris (colored portion of the eye). Bernard Jensen, DC popularized iridology in the US and taught that the iris revealed present tissue conditions as well as changes in the iris from healing interventions. However, several studies have refuted this and there has been no photographic proof of the “healing lines” he wrote about. His work was based on early research in Germany that was developed by medical doctors. Modern research from Germany is based on autopsies and other scientific analysis, and points toward iris patterns as constitutional (inherited tendencies) rather than diagnostic of present tissue conditions.
Unfortunately, there are those who use iridology as a diagnostic tool, which detracts from its credibility. Personally, I studied under Steven Horne, author of numerous books and courses in natural healing, a professional member and past president of the American Herbalists Guild and professional member of the International Iridology Practitioner’s Association (IIPA). His Iridology courses can be accessed here.
Steven Horne’s courses are taught from a constitutional perspective, meaning that the iris will tell us where a person tends to be weakest. I think of it like looking at a board and seeing the knothole/s in the board. Put pressure on the board, and it will most likely break at the knothole, since it’s the weakest point. Similarly, when looking at a person’s iris, if they’re taking good care of themselves, none of their tendencies/weaknesses may be manifesting. Alternatively, when someone has taken poor care of themselves, their genetic weaknesses are more likely to be expressing. In general, as a person ages, more of what we see in the iris will point to present tissue conditions. Iris assessment is a great way to find out how to prevent future problems or give us a place to start with what’s presently going on.
More than 20 years ago, I saw an herbalist and had an iris assessment done, and it was so accurate (I was quite ill), I knew I had to learn to do it myself. For many years, it was part of all my new patient appointments. Nowadays, I informally include it as part of a visual assessment, without most patients even being aware.
One of the most common questions I’m asked is whether the iris will change as people improve their health. Though iris signs are mostly constitutional, I have observed some pigment changes in my years of practice.
When I first started practicing, much of my focus was on regaining my own health, and I noticed that each time I did a focused, deep detox, my eyes were noticeably bluer (as opposed to their usual grey-blue). Every time I detoxed, several people would ask if I’d gotten blue contacts.
Approximately 18 ago, a married couple came in for a dual new patient appointment. The wife was concerned because her liver enzymes had been chronically elevated over the last several blood draws with her doctor, and she was interested in doing a detox. I did an iris assessment with each of them, gave them a paper outlining each of their iris signs that included the organ map (shown above), we outlined a plan for both of them and they went on their way. Six months later, they returned to my office, concerned about a dark brown pigment that had appeared in the wife’s right eye over the liver area on the iris map. In talking with them, it became apparent they hadn’t followed any of the recommendations I’d outlined in our previous session, so we talked about the barriers to making changes, came up with some solutions, and they got started. Within 3 months, the brown pigment had completely disappeared! (And of course, she felt much better.) This was fascinating to me, but what I’ve seen over years of reading irises is that in general, if pigments have been present in the iris for a prolonged period of time, even if the original imbalance that triggered these pigments to appear is resolved, they seem to have gelled and become a permanent part of the iris. This may be one reason why photographic proof is so difficult to come by with iris assessment.
In general with iridology, there are three basic eye colors: brown, genetically mixed (AKA biliary) and blue. Any other variation from these colors is due to pigmentation that comes in over top the fibers, which can give the appearance of hazel, green or grey eyes. Note the photos below. A list of some of the different signs depicted in each is listed below each picture.
It’s beyond the scope of this article to do any type of in-depth explanation of iris assessment, but below the iris pictures you’ll find a few of the common signs that are seen in iris assessments and their meaning.
Looks like a string of white or yellow/white pearls in the outermost portion of the iris and indicates a tendency toward lymphatic congestion that can result in chronic sinus/respiratory or allergy symptoms, and can also involve joint and kidney problems. The lymph system is the garbage-removal system in the body, and doesn’t have a pump. It moves when we move, so exercise is beneficial to increasing lymph flow. Bouncing on a mini-trampoline or skin-brushing can also stimulate lymph flow.
Tight Autonomic Nerve Wreath
(Visualized most easily in the 3rd picture above) There is a tendency for tense, tight or spastic bowels with an ANW that is closer than 1/3 the distance between the outer edge of the iris and the pupil. Often I find these people crave chocolate, notice a worsening in constipation with travel or have menstrual cramps that respond to heat. Often there is an increased need for magnesium.
Seen most easily in the brown eye above, they are the concentric circles around the outer edge of the iris that resemble ripples in water. These are indicators of a tendency toward tension or stress or a type A personality.
Seen in the 1st and 3rd eyes as the dark circle at the edge of the iris, which is in the skin zone. This indicates a tendency toward slowly eliminating or toxic skin.
Appear as “spokes” that radiate out from the center of the iris and are easily pictured in the brown eye above. RS are a tendency for a toxic bowel that is allowing for toxins to be absorbed across the lining into the body tissues.
Not technically part of the iris, enlarged pupils can indicate current issues with adrenal burnout, difficulty sleeping and fatigue.
As I said, this article doesn’t list all of the common iris signs and markings, but is just a smattering to give you a little taste. If you’d like to schedule for an iris assessment with me, you can contact the office. Assessments take approximately 15 minutes and are $50. Simply want to do a little more reading and learning? Check out these links:
Zinc Taste Testing is a quick and inexpensive way to determine your zinc status.
How to do the Zinc Taste Test
A small amount of zinc sulfate solution is taken and swirled around the mouth for ten seconds, then swallowed or spit out. Compare your results to the table below:
Optimal- An immediate, unpleasant, obviously adverse taste, at which the patient usually grimaces.
Adequate- A definite but not strongly unpleasant taste noted immediately and tends to intensify with time.
Quite Deficient- No taste noticed initially, but noticed in 10-15 seconds.
Very Deficient- Tasteless or “tastes like water”.
Dozens of zinc dependent enzymes participate in a myriad of crucial metabolic functions.
Zinc is necessary for healthy mental function and mood, protein synthesis, nucleic acid and DNA metabolism, hormone production, prostate function, energy, response to stress, and taste acuity.
Studies show even a mild deficiency affects clinical, biochemical and immunological functions.
Reports indicate that in the United States, marginal zinc deficiency is widespread.
A study of over 15,000 people revealed almost 70% were not consuming even RDA levels of zinc.
How do you know if you’re zinc-deficient?
The initial symptoms of marginal deficiency are dysfunctions of taste and smell. Studies found taste sensitivity to be a good indicator of zinc status, leading to the development of the Zinc Taste Test.
Mild to marginal deficiency includes: decreased muscle mass, neurosensory changes, inability to react, sluggishness, decreased immune system functions, decreased sperm count and decreased testosterone in males.
Moderate deficiency includes: growth retardation, delayed wound healing, neurosensory changes, immune dysfunction, rough skin, poor appetite, mental lethargy and sexual under-development in males. Severe deficiency: delayed healing of ulcers, neurosensory disorders, infections due to immune dysfunction, weight loss, skin inflammation, baldness, diarrhea, sexual under-development in males and emotional disorders.
What to consider if you’re zinc deficient:
Sufficient hydrochloric acid is necessary for absorption from diet. Taking acid blockers regularly can cause deficiencies in all your minerals as well as fat-soluble vitamins.
Chronic copper exposure from cookware, plumbing, supplements or certain medications can create a deficiency. For this reason, we don’t advise supplementing copper without first testing your copper status.
Estrogen dominance can lead to copper excess, which lowers zinc.
Food sources of zinc:
Want to know about your status of zinc, copper and other critical nutrients?
Consider MicroNutrient testing through SpectraCell Labs. This test utilizes white blood cells that live for approximately 6 months and determines intracellular nutrient status of Vit B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12, folate, choline, biotin, inositol, vitamin A, C, D, E, K, calcium, magnesium, zinc, copper, selenium, manganese, COQ10, Alpha lipoic acid, glutathione, cysteine, glutamine, carnitine, asparagine, serine, chromium, fructose sensitivity, insulin sensitivity, oxidative resistance and immune strength.
Thai Massage is an ancient form of massage that dates back 2,500 years ago by Buddhist Monks in Thailand. Also known as “Thai Yoga Massage”. Passive stretching and gentle pressure is used along the body’s energy lines to increase flexibility, relieve muscle and joint tension, and balance the body’s energy systems. Thai massage typically works with compression/rhythmic pressing movements directed into muscle tissues by either the hand, feet, forearm, or fingers. There are movements/stretches where the Massage Therapist will be on the massage table with you.
What Should I Wear?
Thai Massage is done fully clothed. It is recommended that you wear comfortable, loose fitting clothing that can stretch and breathe. Some examples are yoga pants, sweat pants, t-shirt, tank top, and sports bra.
What results should I expect?
Thai Massage uses movements similar to yoga. Sometimes it has been referred to as “The Lazy Man’s Yoga”. Tension and stress will be released during your session. You should feel more mobility, less pain, and a feeling of well being. Some people even use Thai Massage as a stretch Pre Workout!
If you have questions, or would like to make an appointment call us.
Abdominal massage can help pain relief, stress relief, and overall improvement of the digestive tract. It promotes metabolic and digestive functions. By increasing stimulation to blood flow to your abdominal region and intestines, you can keep your digestive system efficient.
Aligning the Uterus
Anxiety and Stress Relief “Knot in your gut”
Stimulation and Waste Removal of Internal Organs (Gall bladder and Liver)
Who should avoid abdominal massage:
People with gallstones
People with kidney stones
People with calcium deposits in the bladder
Women with inflammation of any sort in the reproductive organs
People with hernias of any types
People with stomach or duodenal ulcers
People with any type of internal bleeding
How is Abdominal Massage Performed?
There are different techniques used in Abdominal Massage which include, holds, releases, circular techniques, breathing techniques, kneading, vibration, and light massage. Generally there is no pain associated, though you may have slight discomfort.
There are also self massaging techniques you can do at home, that can be recommended by your massage therapist.