Wednesday, December 25, 2013

2013 Year in Review

Well, today is Christmas, and I realize that I haven't blogged for many months.

It has been a very busy year for me. I moved to another country, assisted many births as a doula, finished my homeopathy program, renovated space in my home, made a few great friends, and traveled a lot. I also have to admit - I had a bit of writer's block for many months (I'm finally feeling myself come out of that...whew!). I went through a lot of self-transformation as I worked my way through the things that were blocking my self expression. Although it was painful at times, I have felt a lot of healing and I encourage all of you to work through your fears and let go of those things that are no longer serving you (maybe a New Year's resolution?).

I have also been deep in thought about our birth system, since that is what the majority of my work focused on this year. Sometimes it seems so flawed and I feel so helpless. I have a deep faith in a woman's ability to give birth without assistance. It sometimes feels frustrating to work in a place where childbirth is so managed and health professionals are constantly poking and prodding. I have seen women laboring beautifully at home, where they feel comfortable, and then go to the hospital where all contractions stop. Many nurses and doctors believe the woman needs assistance with medications to speed up labor, when in fact, the only thing the woman needs is to feel safe and comfortable. How many unnecessary interventions are used because a woman doesn't feel safe, comfortable and supported? Interestingly, in 2010, the U.S. ranked 50 in maternal mortality. That means that 49 countries had less maternal deaths in childbirth than the United States. Additionally, the U.S. spends more than any other country on healthcare related to pregnancy and childbirth! Doesn't that seem strange to you? We tend to think that the medical system is the best in the world, when, in fact, 49 countries out rank us!

I hope that 2014 is a great year of change.

I will be away on a 3 month backpacking journey, and I hope to post some exotic blogs from India.

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays to you, dear friend.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Montreal Doula

I am so pleased to be offering doula services in Montreal, Canada. I feel blessed to have found this path of helping women to achieve the birth they want. I am also very happy to be able to combine it with naturopathic and homeopathic care as well - they go hand and hand with childbirth.

Find my website here:

And my Montreal Doula blog:

Want to know more about doulas? Read more:
Doulas are jack-of-all-trades when it comes to the birthing room. They not only provide support for the laboring woman, but they also provide support and reassurance for the father/partner and any family members present. Many people report a feeling of calm reassurance when the doula is around. Below is a handful of techniques that doulas use in the birth room:
  • *Doulas suggest labor and birthing positions for comfort and pain relief.
  • *Doulas help mom get into her birthing rhythm. 
  • *Doulas utilize the power of touch for pain and provides massage therapy as well as other comfort measures as needed.
  • *If an intervention is being proposed to you by hospital staff, your doula will be able to explain what it's for, the side effects and will help you make a good decision based on your wishes and desires. 
  • *Provide reassurance for the mom as well as any partner or family member present.

Your doula is your spokesperson, your advocate, and your birth coach. If you are birthing in the hospital, chances are you are going to see many nurses, doctors, and residents as they change shifts. This can be difficult for a woman who is trying to maintain her birthing rhythm. A doula builds a bubble around the birthing woman - so she feels safe, protected and able to birth in the way she needs to. 
There are several studies out there that encourage the use of a doula. Research shows that having a doula as a member of the birth team decreases the overall cesarean rate by 50%, the length of the labor by 25%, the use of oxytocin by 40% and requests for an epidural by 60%.*
*Klaus, M., Kennell, J., Klaus, P. Motheringthe Mother.: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, 1993.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

First-Aid Remedies for Children

As a parent, it's impossible to protect your child from everything. Illnesses come and go, bumps and bruises appear in random places, and accidents are a common occurrence. But, one thing you can do as a parent is to be prepared for most situations.

One way of doing that is stocking your medicine cabinet with natural remedies that will not only aid in healing, but will also help to strengthen your child's immune system. Some of these remedies are homeopathic remedies which are completely non-toxic and gentle enough for newborn babies and children that are sensitive. If you don't know the difference between homeopathic remedies and other natural remedies, read this article.

Chamomilla (homeopathic): This is the #1 remedy to have as a parent. It will console an inconsolable child (I have seen its magic before - It's quite amazing), as long as it is well indicated for your babies symptoms. The homeopathic indications are for pain, including teething and colic in babies. The child will appear to be obviously unhappy and uncomfortable. They are angry, irritable, impatient and inconsolable. They are crying, screaming, and arching their back. They ask for something and then refuse it (by throwing it down, pushing it away with their hands, etc). A keynote in this remedy is one red cheek the other pale (we see this so often in babies!). This is also a very good remedy for earaches when the child is in the "chamomilla state" shown above.

Arnica (homeopathic): This is the #1 remedy for any accident (and is actually the #1 remedy for any first-aid kit). These accidents include falls, breaking of bones, and any other situation where a child is hurt/wounded. Arnica helps with pain relief and also stimulates the body to heal quickly. Parents - carry this remedy in your purse and/or car. Once you have experienced the magic of Arnica, you'll never want to be without it.

Belladonna (homeopathic): Great to have for high fevers where the face is red, hot skin to touch, and glistening eyes. Indicated in complaints that come on suddenly and forcefully. The child could be restless, jumping all around, and aggressive - striking those around him. During fever, children who need this remedy can fly into a temper on being given advise and complain that everything tastes bitter to them. They also ask for things but then refuse it when you give it to them (like Chamomilla). They also cannot stand to be talked to in a nice pacifying voice.

These remedies, of course, are indicated for first-aid situations only. If you child is exhibiting other  more chronic symptoms then you should seek to find a practitioner that can find their constitutional remedy. Constitutional homeopathy not only strengthens the immune system, but it works with the totality of the symptoms. It is a true holistic medicine. Dr. Oz is even a proponent for homeopathy. It is gentle enough to give to babies (with no side-effects) and will give them a solid foundation for lifelong health. Also keep in mind that these are only a couple of the thousands of remedies out there. More to come in the future, but for now this is a great start to a first-aid kit.

Other Remedies:

Probiotics: Probiotics for babies are so important. In this day and age, many babies are exposed to antibiotics right at birth. Their healthy gut flora doesn't have time to develop. Babies then get sick and are prescribed more antibiotics. Any gut flora they had is now gone. Probiotics for babies can be rubbed on mommy's nipple or put in their bottle (if fed from a bottle). Probiotics are great for babies who have colic and other digestive complaints. There are many companies that make probiotics specifically for babies.

Lavender Essential Oil: This oil is considered as the "universal oil". It is great for burns, stings, bites, restless/sleepless children and mommies and daddies who need to calm their nerves. This can be mixed into a carrier oil (coconut oil, olive oil, almond oil, etc) and then put directly on the skin (diluted for sensitive skin - doesn't need to be diluted for non-sensitive skin). You should always test a small section of skin first to make sure there are no sensitivities. Lavender essential oil is a gentle anti-bacterial and anti-viral so is great for common cold and flu symptoms too.

Enema Bag: Enemas are a great way to break a fever for a baby or a child. This is a technique our grandparents and great grandparents used. It's a "folk" medicine that has been traded with children's tylenol and motrin (both of which are considered toxic to the liver). Another thing to keep in mind is that fever is actually good (as long as it is under 100.4 for newborns-3 months, 102.2 from 3 months to 3 years old and under 104.5 for everyone else). Fever helps the body to kill any invading bacteria or virus, and you certainly don't want to interrupt this beautiful process. In addition, fever helps to build the immune system. But, if fever goes above the numbers shown above, an enema is a great way to reduce it.

Colloidal Silver: This is a great alternative to antibiotics and is safe and gentle to use for children (a smaller dose is warranted for children vs. adults).

This is a great start to a natural medicine cabinet. You will be surprised at how often you use these remedies for your children (and even yourself too!)

Disclaimer: The above remedies are for acute complaints - not chronic, and certainly not for emergency situations which require medical care. Contact your physician if necessary. 

Svea Lynn is a traditional Naturopath, classical homeopath and holistic doula. Her private doula practice can be found here. Her Montreal Natural Fertility site can be found here

Monday, February 18, 2013

The Difference Between Homeopathic Remedies and other Natural Remedies

Many people ask if there is a difference between homeopathic remedies and other natural remedies (herbs, vitamins, etc). And although they are all in the realm of alternative medicine, homeopathy is very different from other natural remedies.

Homeopathy is its own system of medicine, there are many homeopaths in the world who only prescribe homeopathic remedies, while other practitioners prescribe any combination of natural therapies and/or remedies.

Classical homeopathy is based on the law of similars. This law shows that disease is cured by a medicine that creates symptoms similar to those the patient is experiencing in a healthy person. Every homeopathic medicine is proven - meaning a healthy person takes the medicine and writes down all of the symptoms they experience from that medicine. That remedy will then cure those same symptoms in someone who is ill (like cures like).

An example of this: a person comes into the office and feels restless, nervous, anxious. They can't sleep at night. They experience heart palpitations. Does this state sound familiar? What do you think creates this state in a healthy individual? It's a beverage many know and love so well.


The homeopathic remedy Coffee will help a person that experiences the above symptoms (the same symptoms that coffee causes).

Homeopathy is also based on the principle of a single medicine. A classical homeopath only gives one remedy at a time - a remedy that matches the totality of the patient. A patient doesn't leave the office with a bag full of supplements. The one remedy is considered the person's constitutional remedy. It covers the mental, emotional, and physical state of the patient. A good homeopath won't prescribe one remedy for a headache, another for constipation, but instead, the one remedy covers both of these things.

Minimum dose is another principle of homeopathy. Homeopathic remedies come from the plant, mineral and animal kingdom and very rarely contain the crude substance. Instead, a mother tincture is made from the substance. The remedy is then taken and diluted and succussed (shaken) until there is little to no substance left. This principle is confusing for many people since they can't believe that homeopathic remedies would do anything if they don't contain any crude substance. But, homeopaths have discovered that the effects of homeopathic remedies are strengthened upon dilution and as long as the medicines have been shaken between each dilution. They become very deep acting and powerful medicines (although very safe and non-toxic). This is why they are safe for babies - and everyone for that matter.

Herbal remedies contain the crude substance with active molecules. Many remedies cannot be given to pregnant women, nursing women, or babies because they contain elements that many be harmful.  You have to be very careful in what you give your baby in the herbal realm. This, again, is why we prefer the use of homeopathy for babies.

Vitamins also fall in the realm of natural remedies. Vitamins can be given through breast milk - so they are something that mommy can take. But, if you aren't breastfeeding it's difficult to give a vitamin supplement directly to baby. It's better to give this kind of nourishment through food and diet. Children can eat smoothies that are loaded with nutrients as well as fruits and veggies. Babies, on the other hand, are more difficult to get good nourishment to if they aren't breastfeeding.  This is a topic for another time, but I just wanted to show that homeopathy is also different from vitamin supplementation. Vitamins are given to support the body, but not necessarily to cure chronic ailments.

You can find homeopathic remedies from online pharmacies and local homeopathic pharmacies. Many Whole Food stores carry homeopathic remedies as well as health food stores. This is what a homeopathic remedy may look like:

There are also different potencies for homeopathic remedies. What you take yourself or give to your child depends on how sensitive they are. If you have a question, then consult a homeopath. A good potency to start with is 30C. As you can see in the picture, it says 6C. This is the potency. This is a very low potency.

A couple interesting facts about homeopathy:

  • Samuel Hahnemann is the founder of homeopathy. In Washington D.C. there is a  memorial of Samuel Hahnemann. It is the only non-war statue in Washington D.C. I think that's pretty amazing! Someone was impressed with homeopathy. 

  •  The British Royal Family has publicly used homeopathy for many years. Today, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has her own personal homeopath - Dr. Peter Fisher who is both a medical doctor and homeopath. 
Obviously, I am a strong advocate of homeopathy. To me it has been the most effective medicine - treating many complaints I had with much success.

Svea Lynn is a traditional Naturopath, classical homeopath and holistic doula. Her private doula practice can be found here. Her Montreal Natural Fertility site can be found here

Paleo Diet Challenge: Day 3, 4, 5, 6- Not so successful

Day 3:

Omelet with spinach and tomatoes
Salad with olive oil & vinegar

Salad with almonds, carrots, cucumbers, tahini

Salad (whoa I'm eating a lot of salad - but it's good) with chicken
Tahini dressing


Day 3 Cravings: None
Day 3 Report: I ate more often today. I didn't feel any blood sugar dip. I need more of a variety in my diet. I'm eating a lot of salad with the same veggies, but not much variety throughout the day.

Day 4:

Roasted almonds and apple slices

Sunflower patties with salad
veggie soup

Pizza... (cheat meal.... )
Chicken soup

Beverages: Green smoothie, water

Day 4 Cravings: After dinner I was craving...... SUGAR! The pizza (carbs) made me crave sugar around an hour after eating. No surprise there. I also have some womanly monthly cravings at the moment... CHOCOLATE, please?!

Day 4 Report: It's really hard to "diet" when having stressful moments. It's also really hard to eat totally healthy when you don't feel well.  And, I can see how easy it is to 'fall of the bandwagon' for some people. Honestly, dieting is tough business. And that's why lifestyle change is more effective.

Day 5:

Pizza (OOH I'M A BAD GIRL!!!!)
Kale, swiss chard, broccoli soup (does that make up for the pizza? lol)

Salad with meat sauce (tomatoes, organic grass-fed beef) and tahini

Salad with meat sauce
Chicken soup


Day 5 Cravings: Still craving chocolate.... :)

Day 5 Reports: I got a horrible headache after breakfast. Again,  not surprised. The headache subsided after I had lunch and stabilized my blood sugar with protein and veggies. No more pizza for me...

Day 6:

Boiled egg

Lunch: Skipped

Salad with almonds


Day 6 Cravings: None, really (see note below).

Day 6 Report: I spent the night in the emergency room last night helping a loved one. I was awake all night and was exhausted. I slept for most of the day (skipped lunch). I think I was too tired to have any cravings.


Svea Lynn is a traditional Naturopath, classical homeopath and holistic doula. Her private doula practice can be found here. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Day 1 & 2 of Paleo Diet Challenge

Day 1 was an epic fail on the paleo diet. It was an emotionally stressful day at home and I have to admit - I ate almost an entire box of gluten-free "love" cookies. I was craving carbs and ate grains with every meal. Yup, I failed day one.

So, I'm calling the original day one 1a. The next day was 1b - which I am going to consider the first day of the diet challenge.

Day 1b on the Paleo Diet Challenge:

Spinach/tomato omelet
Garden Salad
Broccoli Soup

Salad with sliced chicken
Dressing: Tahini

Sweet potato (apparently you can eat sweet potatoes but not regular potatoes so I took advantage)
Salad with sliced chicken (leftovers from lunch)
Dressing: Tahini

Snacks throughout the day: apple
Beverages throughout the day: Water

Day 1 Cravings: Not many until nighttime. I started craving sugary snacks - probably from my cookie binge the day before (I often notice if I eat sugar that I crave sugar for 1-2 days after). I was disciplined and didn't indulge though.

Reports from Day 1: I felt good today. No complaints. I realized today that I need to eat more often. When I'm busy I let myself get really hungry before eating. This is not a good habit to get into.

Day 2 of Paleo Diet Challenge

Breakfast: Millet cereal, rice milk and banana. (NOT PALEO! Did I mention that you get 3 cheat meals per week? I already banked on one of mine... not because I love cereal but only because I was staying at someone else's house and it's all they had for breakfast food!)

Lunch: Salad with cucumbers, tomatoes, roasted almonds, tahini, olive oil and lemon juice

Dinner: Pea soup with tomatoes.

Snacks: Green smoothie (made with a handful of organic lettuce, 1/2 banana, blueberries and a bit or orange juice), roasted almonds, a banana

Beverages: Water, dandy blend (yummy!)

Day 2 Cravings: none

Reports from Day 2: Same thing as day 1. I felt good today. I didn't eat often enough again. Dieting is difficult when on the road! But, I still feel good. :-)


Svea Lynn is a traditional Naturopath, classical homeopath and holistic doula. Her private doula practice can be found here. 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Diet Challenge - Paleo Diet Trial

I am not a big fan of popular diet fads. It seems like they come and they go. A lot of people try them - some with great success and some with little success. I have always been a proponent of eating healthy - having enough protein, plenty of fruits and veggies and limited grains. I always feel good when I eat this way.

But, lately life has been busy and I have found myself eating a lot more grains than usual. I haven't eaten enough protein and I have been able to feel my blood sugar dipping throughout the day. Some of the symptoms of hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar) are: headaches, fatigue, dizziness, shakiness, weakness, hunger, nausea, inability to focus or concentrate. So, when I began experiencing some of these symptoms, I decided to try a popular diet fad... the Paleo diet.

Yup, I said it - I'm trying a diet fad. Not to lose weight, but to feel better in my body. Over the next two weeks I am going to do the Paleo Diet Challenge here on my blog. I'll report what I'm eating and how I'm feeling.

A little more about the Paleo diet (taken from

The Paleo Dietis based upon eating wholesome, contemporary foods from the food groups our hunter-gatherer ancestors would have thrived on during the Paleolithic era, the time period from about 2.6 million years ago to the beginning of the agricultural revolution, about 10,000 years ago. These foods include fresh meats (preferably grass-produced or free-ranging beef, pork, lamb, poultry, and game meat, if you can get it), fish, seafood, fresh fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, and healthful oils (olive, coconut, avocado, macadamia, walnut and flaxseed). Dairy products, cereal grains, legumes, refined sugars and processed foods were not part of our ancestral menu.

  • What to eat:
  • Grass-produced meats
  • Fish/seafood
  • Fresh fruits and veggies
  • Eggs
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Healthful oils (Olive, walnut, flaxseed, macadamia, avocado, coconut)

  • What to avoid:
  • Cereal grains
  • Legumes (including peanuts)
  • Dairy
  • Refined sugar
  • Potatoes
  • Processed foods
  • Salt
  • Refined vegetable oils 

I don't think this diet will be so difficult for me. I usually eat MOSTLY this way ... until lately, anyway. The only thing that will be different from what we eat at home is cutting out grains entirely. I still love spelt bread. And potatoes too.

Over the next two weeks check out my diet diaries and updates on the Paleo diet.

Until next time. :-)

Svea Lynn is a traditional Naturopath, classical homeopath and holistic doula. Her private doula practice can be found here. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Beautiful Belize

Winters in Quebec are REALLY, REALLY rough. Temperatures fall to -20 to -30 degrees Celsius (and even colder sometimes!!). Don't get me wrong, I love the beauty and serenity of winter and the many outdoor sports it has to offer, but this year we decided to chase the sun.

We hopped on a plane and took off to Belize - "Mother Nature's Best Kept Secret." The description says it all - it hasn't fully become a tourist location where an island is an island is an island. Belize is full of untouched beauty. The jungle is amazing - another blessing of God's creation. After we booked our trip we realized we would be there for the much anticipated December 21st, 2012. Intimidating? A little. An adventure? FOR SURE! Belize is full of Mayan ruins as well as many Mayan descendants. As I'm sure you know, the media portrayed December 21st to be the end of the world. There were tons of documentaries and articles that included "evidence" of why the world was going to end.

But, what did the Mayan people say about this date?

Well, to our surprise, nothing really. Apparently all along, the Mayan people knew that it wasn't the end of the calendar (as in the end of the world), but instead it was the beginning of another. We went to an incredible Mayan ruin on December 21st (apropos). We enjoyed the powerful energy there (although while I was at the top I thought - "This temple could sink into the ground at any moment if the prediction is correct" - a little scary, but so very cool at the same time).

Cahal Pech, Mayan Ruin December 20,2012
Needless to say, we survived and are now back in our very snowy home. So you ask, why am I writing this article on my health blog? A good question indeed.

While we were in Belize I had some very interesting awarenesses.

  • I love the sun ... oh wait ... I already knew that. 
  • The diets of Belizeans aren't so great. We saw young children walking around drinking Coca-Cola and other sugary drinks. This isn't much different from the United States, but I was shocked at how young the children were. 
  • Most of the bottled water in Belize is filled with Fluoride. Although they say fluoride is good for dental decay - it's also responsible for crippling bone diseases (1), lowered IQ (2), bone cancer (3) and many more symptoms (4). It was really difficult to find water that wasn't fluoridated.
  • Many Belizeans also have a marking in their eye that is a gel-like substance in the white part. Young Belizeans and old Belizeans have this marking. I remembered coming across this marking while reading a sclerology book once. *Sclerology is the study of the white part of the eye showing tissue weakness, etc.* When we got home I found the book (Sclerology: A New View of an Ancient Art). The marking is called a Pinguicula and, according to Leonard Mehlmauer, " refers to liver/gall bladder problems in dealing with saturated fats, especially superheated fats and oils, and usually of animal origin." This makes a lot of sense because the Belizean diet is mostly animal products (high in fat) and rice. It's rare to see someone eating a salad (or any vegetable for that matter).
  • We heard a lot of stories about young people suffering from diabetes and not having proper access to medical care. We met a beautiful wood carver who lost his toes from diabetes. He spent a lot of time in the states receiving medical treatment and therefore had a lot of debt to pay off.
I wish I could open a Homeopathic Clinic in Belize. It would really benefit the beautiful Belizean people that have such a special place in my heart.


Svea Lynn is a traditional Naturopath, classical homeopath and holistic doula. Her private doula practice can be found here.