Monthly Archives: January 2010

EFT for Weight loss “Learn how to Tap away food Cravings” with Julia McKinley, EFT Practitioner

Taught by Julia McKinley, EFT- Adv

Time: 6:00-7:30, Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

DETAILS: Tap away food cravings with Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), an energy based therapy that uses simple tapping on acupressure points along with focused thought and visualization. Learn how cravings and negative emotions are linked to energy blockages within our energy meridian system. Bring your favourite “problem food” that you would like to eliminate cravings for. You will learn how to use EFT and gain an understanding of how our mind and body’s connect to create cravings and overeating. We will address underlying emotional connections to food and working in a supportive, relaxed and fun group environment we will learn and practice using EFT for our food cravings and related Weight loss issues.

Julia McKinley is a certified EFT practitioner practising from Alchemy & Elixir Health Group in the West End of Vancouver. Julia assists clients in working with their energy and emotions to eliminate pain, problems and negative emotions from their lives. With EFT, the focus is on whole person and on reducing, stress, anxiety, limiting beliefs and painful memories that may be underlying the client’s problems and holding them back from fully realizing their potential for health, happiness and success in life.

LOCATION: Alchemy & Elixir Health Group, 320-1026 Davie Street, Vancouver

TIME:6:00-7:30 pm on Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

PRE-REGISTRATION REQUIRED as space is limited. Please call (778)-846-2176 and speak to Julia at Healing Flower Therapy or call (604)-683-2298 for Alchemy & Elixir Health Group, please leave a message if you reach our voice mail.

PRICE: 10$ will be collected at the door, cash or cheque only. Julia can be contacted either through the website or e-mail

Optimal Thyroid Function – Supporting an Underactive Thyroid

~ written by Katolen Yardley, MNIMH, Medical Herbalist at Alchemy & Elixir Health Group

An under active thyroid (or Hypothyroid) refers to an impairment in the conversion of T4 (the inactive thyroid hormone) into the active T3 hormone. The thyroid responds to a feedback mechanism that keeps the thyroid levels within a certain range and is dependent upon the pituitary gland secretion of TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) to regulate the amount of thyroid hormones (T4 and T3) produced by the thyroid. When circulating levels of thyroid hormones (T4 and T3) are low, the pituitary secretes TSH triggering the release of more thyroid hormones.

The majority of thyroid conditions are due to Primary Hypothyroidism, occurring when the thyroid hormones are low and TSH is elevated, indicating a local problem of thyroid hormone synthesis due to the thyroid gland itself. Secondary hypothyroid occurs when TSH is low and the thyroid hormone levels are also low.

The thyroid gland concentrates iodine and uses it to produce the thyroid hormones thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). Through a process known as deiodination, T4 is converted to T3. These hormones are of similar importance to the body as the engine is to a car, both hormones are involved in the breakdown of protein, fat, and carbohydrates, thereby regulating metabolism and moderating bodies internal thermostat. They are involved in nervous system and digestive function, respiratory and cardiovascular function, calcium mobilization, muscle tone and the production of red blood cells. In short, the thyroid hormones are essential for life.

Systemic Effects of an Underactive Thyroid Include:

  • Morning fatigue Headaches and migraines
  • Fibrocystic breast disease
  • PMS, mood swings
  • Brittle thin nails
  • Anemia
  • Slurred speech
  • Increased appetite
  • Heavy or irregular menstruation
  • Nerve problems
  • Constipation
  • Recurrent infections
  • Weight gain
  • Hypertension
  • Loss of libido
  • Hoarseness
  • Impaired concentration, memory loss and impaired problem solving abilities
  • Elevated cholesterol and triglyceride levels, increased risk of heart disease, hardening of the arteries
  • Dry puffy skin, eczema, hives, orange discoloration of the skin, swollen eyes Increased need for sleep Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Yeast infections
  • Brittle dry hair and hair loss (including hair loss on the eyebrows)

Nutritional Supplements to Support Healthy Thyroid Function:

  • Thyro 100: Contains botanical medicine, trace minerals and key essential nutrients for optimal thyroid function.
  • Tyrosine: both iodine and tyrosine are required for the production of thyroid hormones.
  • Zinc: Is involved in the synthesis of the hypothalamic thyrotropin releasing hormone (TRH), a zinc deficiency may slow down the conversion of T4 to T3.
  • Vitamin E: supports the conversion of T4 to T3 by influencing the hepatic 5-deiodinase activity.
  • Selenium: essential for thyroid synthesis, hormone production and the conversion of T4 to T3.
  • For additional holistic supplementation for thyroid health

Some Nutritional and Lifestyle Recommendations:

  • Avoid fluoridated and chlorinated water; instead switch to reverse osmosis water for cooking and drinking. Both fluoride and chlorine are structurally similar to iodine and block the iodine receptors in the thyroid gland, resulting in a lowered iodine containing hormone production, leading to hypothyroidism.
  • Avoid toothpaste and mouthwash containing fluoride.
  • Avoid unrefined table salt (sodium chloride).
  • Avoid eating RAW curciferous vegetables, (also known as RAW goitregens). These foods consist of cabbage, broccoli, kale, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, kohlrabi, mustard greens, radishes.
  • Avoid Soy products
  • Hydrotherapy (water therapy) can be used daily in the shower by letting cold water fall onto the throat and neck area where the thyroid gland is situated or apply a cold compress to the throat.
  • Frequent infrared saunas, steaming and dry skin brushing are useful to support thyroid activity

For additional guidance on a holistic treatment protocol for an Underactive Thyroid and for custom blended herbal medicine to address symptoms and assist optimal function of the whole body,consider booking a consultation in our clinic with Katolen Yardley, MNIMH. for more information.

Qi Kung ~Monday Morning Classes

Qi Kung means “working with energy” or life-force. Qi Kung is a meditative practice, closely associated with the theory and practice of traditional Chinese medicine, which uses slow graceful movements and controlled breathing techniques to promote the circulation of subtle energy [“Qi” or “prana”] within the nervous system. This enhances the overall physical, emotional and spiritual strength of the practitioner. It is both healing and creates a felt, wholesome and meaningful connection with the universe.

In this class we will be doing Qi Kung “Resource Building”, which is about cultivating and expressing energy within your body and the foundational exercises for “Buddha Palm”, which is a powerful form Qi Kung for self-healing.

1 hour Qi Kung practice every Monday morning from 10am (sharp) -11 am.

Open to all – by suggested donation $10. Space is limited – preregistration required!

Location: Alchemy & Elixir Health Group, 320 1026 Davie St. Vancouver

To register email Matthew at:

About the instructor, Matthew Richards

Matthew has been interested in healing and counseling techniques for many years. This interest led him to complete a Masters in Philosophy from University of Ottawa [1997] with a particular thematic emphasis on communication, expression, ethics and issues around human embodiment. What resonated with him then, as now, were philosophies or “world-views” that stressed Affirmation and that had pragmatic and therapeutic applications. A spiritual awakening led him to begin formal studies and practice in the tradition of Tibetan Buddhism in 1995. In this religion Matthew finally found the system of healing and efficacious care for others he had been seeking my entire life. Since 1999, he has been formally teaching Buddhist meditation, thought and practice at temples in Canada and in the U.S.

“Quin-what?” De-mystifying Ancient Grains with Sharon Green, RHN

Taught by Sharon Green, Registered Holistic Nutritionist (RHN)

Time: 6:00-7:30, Wednesday, January 20, 2010

DETAILS: Quinoa, Kamut, Buckwheat, Millet, Barley, Wheat Berries, Kasha…. we have all heard these names before, however what are they and what do I do with them?

Learn what these ancient grains are, instructions on how to cook them and how to use them.

One of the integral ingredients to a wholesome diet is including complex carbohydrates into our dietary practices. Whole grains possess a significant nutritional impact and are a considerable source of insoluble fibre, which balances blood sugar levels and aid in digestion.

Sharon Green is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist (RHN) practicing from Alchemy & Elixir Health Group in the West End of Vancouver. As a RHN, She assists clients in determining, altering and executing healthful choices in their lives. The focus is on whole foods, their importance for optimum health cannot be understated and with a consorted effort to ultimately eliminate refined, processed foods.Mindful, well managed food practices may also aid in the prevention of diseases.

LOCATION: Alchemy & Elixir Health Group, 320-1026 Davie Street, Vancouver

PRE-REGISTERATION REQUIRED as space is limited. Please call (604)-729-3844 ~ Being Well Nutritional Consulting or (604)-683-2298 for Alchemy & Elixir Health Group, please leave message if reach voice mail.

PRICE: 10$ will be collected at the door, cash or cheque only.

Sharon can be contacted either through the website or e-mail

What is Traditional Chinese Medicine?

~ written by Romina Taheri, Registered Acupuncturist in private practice at Alchemy & Elixit Health Group, Vancouver

TCM is the oldest continually practiced and professionally administered health care system in the world. It is a documented medical system spanning over 2500 years based on comprehensive philosophies, rational theories, clinically tested and empirically verified by over 100 generations of highly educated practitioners. Chinese medicine is a total system of internal medicine which is comprised of a diagnostic procedure based on signs, symptoms and treatment styles including acupuncture, herbal medicine, exercise, diet and meditation. Through this balance health is achieved and maintained.

The relationship between emotional stress and illness

According to TCM , an imbalance of energy (Qi) in a particular channel of energy or organ system can cause physical, mental and emotional symptoms. Emotions are mental stimuli that influence our body. Under normal situations they do not cause a disease. However, when they become excessive or when they are held on to over long period of time, they can become causes of illness. A very interesting feature of TCM is that the state of the internal organs affect our emotions. In other words, emotions can also result from an imbalance of the flow of energy and blood of the internal organs. It is therefore believed that each internal organ has a positive mental energy with certain characteristic and when they are affected by external stimuli, their normal flow disturbs and turns to an abnormal flow. In this view, emotions can be the cause or the symptom of a disorder.

  • Anger affects the liver
  • Joy affects the heart
  • Anxiety affects the spleen
  • Sadness affects the lung
  • Fear affects the kidneys

What is acupuncture?

The technique of acupuncture involves placing hair-thin needles in various pressure points (called acupoints) throughout the body. Stimulating these points is believed to promote the body’s natural healing capabilities and enhance its function.

Why acupuncture works?

According to TCM the body can become healthy by balancing its flow of energy (Qi). This vital energy flows like river along pathways, or meridians, throughout the body. However, this flow can sometimes be blocked, like water getting stuck behind a dam. A disruption in the flow of energy can lead to illness. Approximately 2,000 different acupuncture points lie along the body’s channels of energy. The idea behind acupuncture is that stimulating these points with acupuncture needles or pressure relieves obstructions in the flow of energy, enabling the body to heal.

What is Ear Acupuncture?

Auricular acupuncture, or ear acupuncture is similar to body acupuncture but with an stimulation only to the external ear. It is a method of treating a variety of physiological and psychological health problems by the stimulation of certain acupuncture points on the external ear.

Today many practitioners use ear acupuncture based on the integration of 2 different models. Classical ear acupuncture that is based on the theories of traditional Chinese medicine and another model based on the research of the French physician Dr. Nogier in 1950.

Join us for your Group Auricular Acupuncture treatments on Saturdays (pre-booked by appointment )from 10-11 am. To book your appointment please email us at

Acupuncture for stress management from the Western medicine point of view

Research has indicated that acupuncture can be of therapeutic value in the management of stress, anxiety, depression and associated health problems. Psycholoical health problems like anxiety and depression are thought to be due to low levels of mood enhancing brain chemicals called dopamine, noradrenaline, serotonin and GABA. Research has indicated that acupuncture can help to boost these mood lifting chemicals. Research has also indicated that acupuncture can influence the sympathetic nerve activity and lower stress. Excess stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system by chronic stress is known to cause the chronic excess release of stress hormones like cortisol which can interfere with brain chemicals like serotonin and other mood enhancing chemicals and makes us more vulnerable to stress, anxiety, depression, insomnia, anger, etc.


Giovanni Maciocia, 2005. The Foundations of Chinese Medicine. and Oleson, 1998. Auricular Therapy Manual: Chinese and Western system of ear acupuncture.

To book a clinic appointment with Romina Taheri, R. Ac.or for more information on Auricular Acupuncture and Acupuncture, visit our website at