Stress Got You Down? Adaptogens 101

It’s no lie that stress affects everybody and can be quite exhausting to the body and mind. We’re always dealing with everyday stresses from work, personal lives, social matters, and things we have to get done. Sometimes, it gets overwhelming and creates a series of events in the body that can cause us to feel unwell. These effects could manifest through low energy, insomnia, feeling anxious, low mood or mood imbalances, depressed immunity, hormone imbalances, and digestive imbalances. Do any of these symptoms sound like you? It can be defeating when you experience any of those symptoms, and we’re here to help.

Though many approaches can be taken, adaptogens can be a great way to help balance the body internally. If you want to dive deeper to get the best multi-faceted approach to feeling your best, Papillon Medical ​offers an exceptional Functional Medicine program​. Two things we like to introduce our patients to are some great supplements that can help support their health through their journey and a great nutrition plan.

Supplements can be a beneficial addition to a healthy diet and can help fill any gaps that are missed through nutrition. They’re also a way to add specific ingredients and nutrients that you may not get through food; however, it is crucial to have a healthy diet because supplements won’t work their best if you are counteracting them by eating unhealthy foods. Balance is key, and we would love to help you navigate a healthy diet if you’re not sure where to start.

What are adaptogens, and how do I introduce them into my routine?

Many adaptogens are found in supplemental form, though you can get some through diet. ​Adaptogens are amazing little helpers that help to restore body imbalances. They can help boost immunity, help us resist stress, help tired adrenal glands, tweak hormone imbalances, and lift energy levels. Some adaptogens are anti-inflammatory and effective antioxidants, some are relaxing, and some are more stimulating — there is one out there for everyone.

Though there are many adaptogens to choose from, some great ones for energy and stress are Rhodiola, Ashwagandha, and Reishi mushroom. ​Rhodiola​ is excellent for helping increase energy levels, balance mood, and can even help with stamina for exercising. ​Ashwagandha​ is an awesome herb that has been used for over 3000 years for helping relieve stress, increase energy, and can help with balancing blood sugar levels. Ashwagandha is also great for people dealing with hypothyroidism.

The Reishi mushroom is fantastic for stress and building better immunity. It can even help you sleep better and relax. Since it comes from the mushroom family, it is very supportive of the brain and its functions.

If you’re not sure which adaptogen to add to your routine, we would love to help you. We offer a great product at our clinic called ​Adrenevivem, which is an effective supplement for the adrenal glands that helps with energy, stress, and low mood. Adrenevivem also supports healthy cortisol levels and improves mental and physical performance. It contains Rhodiola, Ashwagandha as well as some other supporting herbs and nutrients. If you would like to try Adrenevive or hear more about other adaptogens, give us a call, and Natalie, our Holistic Nutritional Consultant, will be happy to help you out.

We look forward to hearing from you and helping you on your journey to optimal health. If you are interested in adding adaptogens into your routine, make sure to check in with your doctor first, as you should with trying any new supplement. As recommended for any supplement, for it to work the best, you need to take them consistently. It takes time for the body’s cells to turnover, which in turn takes time for the supplements to work their magic in the body over time.

By Natalie Ovics, CHN

Papillon Medical & Dermatology

Five Questions with Family Physician Dr. Novida Pather

We’re thrilled to introduce family physician Dr. Novida Pather to the Okotoks Papillon team. She joined our Family Medicine clinic in the new year from Barrhead, AB. Dr. Pather’s practice is devoted to Women and Children’s Health with an added focal-point of Low-Risk Prenatal Care, Geriatric Care, Preventative Medicine, and Chronic Disease. Dr. Pather brings years of exemplary practice with her and, with a shortage of women physicians taking new patients, Okotoks is delighted to have Dr. Pather join Papillon Medical.

Dr. Pather is currently accepting new patients and meet-and-greet appointments are available. Here are Five Questions with Dr. Pather so you can get to know her before coming in.

Why did you decide to move to Calgary/Okotoks?

Having seen east to west coast, Tofino to the Bay of Fundy; we have been to a few cities and towns in this vast and beautiful country. As a city that’s transformative, modern, forward thinking, diverse and in tune with its citizens, Calgary checks off all the boxes . It has vibe, atmosphere, and is bubbling with an energy.

Okotoks being in close proximity to the city is appealing as a young town with young families that would furthermore be suitable for my family I believe, for years to come. I looked for that “forever feeling” and Okotoks has that for us as a family. (Many Okotoks folks would agree too.)

Why did you choose to join the Papillon Medical Okotoks team?

Papillon Medical was attractive as a clinic because of its owner, Dr. Stella Jansen Van Rensburg, a pioneer and strong female role model who came highly recommended.

In researching Papillon I found that it had elements of care that were in line with my own vision for health; complete with complementary functional medicine.

Why did you choose Family Medicine?

Family medicine was a natural fit for me as a doctor as it has a broad range of medicine to tap into. One never knows what is beyond the examining room door. It’s unknown and unpredictable side is challenging at times, however satisfying, as I do go to lengths to find and search for solutions and answers together with my patients. Other disciplines of medicine are quite focused and many specialists already know a disease process as they have been referred a patient with a probable diagnosis having been made.

What is your favourite thing about Family Medicine?

My favourite thing about Family Medicine is the uniqueness of each situation and the discovery of health for my patients. In keeping with Family Medicine principles, I strive to fully appreciate the patient before me. We work together with their personal and social characteristics. Each patient is unique and will not fit into diagnoses. I seek to find the individual’s best ability to weather a diagnosis and I arm them with the tools to best do so. 

What do you like to do when you’re not at Papillon?

I enjoy reading, fitness, love nature and animals, somewhat a health nut, travelling. Something most people don’t know about me is that I love kid’s movies!

Ready to book your meet-and-greet with Dr. Pather? Give our Okotoks clinic a call at 403-982-7771 today.

The NEW Acne Clinic at Papillon

We want you to love your skin in 2020. To help you do this, we are thrilled to announce the launch of the Acne Clinic at Papillon Medical.  This referral-free clinic takes a multifaceted approach to understanding the cause of your acne and uses multiple tools to get your skin looking its best again.

This is a comprehensive acne assessment and treatment clinic run by qualified physicians and medical aestheticians.  At the start of the consultation, we spend time discussing your acne journey and  your goals with Dr. Thomson or Dr. Leigh-Ann Smith.  Together, we will review your medical, social, and dietary history to identify  potential acne triggers.  We will discuss the pathophysiology of acne and come up with a  daily skin care regime and treatment plan.  

We strive to use a step wise approach, but the severity of acne sometimes warrants prescription medications like doxycycline and Accutane.  To achieve the best results, we offer state of the art treatments for acne that include HydraFacials and laser treatments performed by our talented laser and medical aestheticians.  If your acne has cleared but you are suffering from acne scars or hyperpigmentation we can help with that to that too.

This full-service clinic does not require any referrals. To begin your journey skin that you love, call 403-263-0661 to book an appointment today.

Summer Skin Check-in

Is it just us, or do you have that inescapable feeling that summer seems shorter with each passing year? Perhaps that fleeting feeling is why we become unabashed sun-seekers taking every opportunity to bask in its warm rays. We doze off on the beach, always opt for the table on the patio, and pop open the sunroof at every chance.

While we fully endorse taking full advantage of the inherent pleasure summer brings, we also know that’s it’s easy to overdo it. It’s probably time for a mid-summer check-in to make sure you’re treating your skin well.

1. Use sunscreen every day. We know you know that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure — and that is especially true when it comes to preventing sun damage. To fully protect yourself against harmful UVA and UVB rays, it’s essential to use a high-quality product with an SPF of at least 30.

Daily sunscreen application has come a long way from the smelly, goopy formulas that make you look like a ghost. We carry a wide range of luxury sunscreen products that can help you achieve your specific skin-care goals, including products from ZO Skin Health. Our go-to for summer is the ZO Skin Health Daily Sheer SPF 50 Sunscreen. It goes on nice and smooth and doesn’t leave you oily throughout the day. 

2. Apply sunscreen throughout the day for maximum sun protection. We are in love with any beauty product that serves more than one purpose, that’s why we love the Sunforgettable Total Protection Brush-On Shield SPF 50 by Colorescience. This handy mineral powder sunscreen has a hint of colour and a bit of shimmer to help your skin look its best. Keep one in your car, one in your purse, one at your desk, and one at home to make sure protection is never very far away. 

3. Give your skin some extra TLC with the Teoysal Redensity 1 Beauty Booster — it’s like an Instagram filter for your skin. You might have seen this treatment and its amazing results all over social media and YouTube. Let us assure you, it really is a game-changer!

We use a V2 injector to deliver Teoysal Redensity 1 directly to the face, lower eyelid, forehead, neck, décolleté or hands. This unique product stimulates growth factors while producing hydration and nourishment to the upper layer of the skin. V2 technology also triggers fibroblasts, which encourages the production of collagen and elastin in the skin. In other words, tighter, firmer, glowing skin!

4. Go for a deep clean. Your skin has gone through a lot this summer and, if you’ve experienced a sunburn, dead skin left behind might be giving you a dull appearance. This is when our HydraFacial comes in. Say hello to your skin’s new best friend.

This invigorating treatment deeply yet gently cleanses and exfoliates your skin with a technique similar to microdermabrasion and resurfaces with a mild chemical peel solution. Impurities are then extracted with a gentle suction while the freshly exposed skin is moisturized and then drenched with peptides and antioxidants.

There is no downtime for this treatment, so you can show off your soft, smooth, glowing skin immediately!

5. Nourish your body from within with an IV Nutrition Treatment. No, you don’t have to be Hollywood royalty to take advantage of this truly incredible experience that delivers vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and amino acids via an intravenous drip.

Appointments are quick and comfortable, so it’s the perfect lunchtime treatment when you’re feeling rundown or if summer indulgences are making you feel a bit sluggish. Each IV therapy has its own unique formula that is targeted to what you need the most, whether it’s fatigue, dehydration, anxiety, illness, headaches, poor sleep, and more. Contact us to chat about what IV therapy might be right for you.

Show your skin some summer lovin’ and save!

Until September 30, 2019, save 20% on Summer Safe treatments including Beauty Booster and HydraFacial. Call now to schedule in or book a complimentary consultation.  

Calgary: (403) 263-0661
Okotoks: (403) 982-7771

Offer valid on one treatment, per person.

New Year Success

It’s a new year and a chance to make a fresh start. January is a time when many of us wipe the slate clean and make the decision to change the way we take care of ourselves. As a doctor, I have seen patients make sweeping changes all at once and have also seen many patients commit to minor changes. No matter your approach, there are a few key steps that could make all the difference.

  • See a Doctor.I can’t stress the importance of this simple step. If you want to feel better and get healthier, you need to first make sure nothing is standing in your way from a medical perspective. There is nothing more frustrating than making a change and not seeing results. Often times there can be health issues at play that need to be looked after in order for you to move forward with your goals. Routine blood work, checking your heart rate and blood pressure and providing a urine sample are key steps in first assessing your health.
  • Set Realistic Goals.Once you have assessed your health, set your goals based on those results. It’s easier to make changes when you have a solid reason to back up your actions. I have seen many people come into my office who want to lose weight but when test results show a hormone imbalance, their goal need to be adjusted.
  • Take Your Vitamins.When you’re on a new path to wellness, making sure you’re getting the appropriate nutrients is key. If you’re deficient in iron, no amount of healthy eating and exercise will give you more energy. You may need an iron supplement or other vitamins in order to actually start feeling better.
  • Commit to the Cause. Many people who decide to make a health changes do so because of a newfound belief system. Maybe you want to focus on eating only grass-fed meats because of how the animals are raised. Perhaps dairy is something you want to avoid because of its effect on inflammation. Whatever the reason, immerse yourself in the cause. Watch Netflix documentaries, read blogs or join a discussion group to keep the evidence coming. This will help you stay focused on your new goals.
  • Measure the Results. Nothing is more motivating than feeling better! Take note of the milestones that you accomplish and acknowledge your hard work in what it took to get there. Maybe you can climb stairs faster, you’re sleeping better, you have more energy, or maybe your clothes fit differently. Take careful note of these successes and be proud of what you’ve accomplished.

2019 will be a year of accomplishments and a year of change. I have always believed there is so much good we as individuals can control when it comes to our own health. I applaud you for making the decision to get healthy and look forward to seeing your success firsthand in the coming months! Happy New Year.

Dr. Stella Jansen van Rensburg

Choose How You Age

As 2018 ends, we have thought a lot about the statement, Choose How You Age. Dr. Stella came up with this motto after one of our staff training sessions. We all agree, there really isn’t a better way to describe what we do here at Papillon Medical!

Helping our patients take as much control over their own health as possible is our goal and our drive. This statement has many levels of meaning. We want to get to the root cause of your health issues and help you feel your very best. It’s also important for us to help our patients look as good as they feel, and our complete aesthetics packages and services do just that. This combination of inner health and outward beauty is absolutely empowering.

Better health is always at the top of the list when it comes to New Year’s resolutions. Often times what keeps people from reaching their health goals is an underlying issue beyond their immediate control. Having a medical check-up before you begin any health or lifestyle change can make all the difference. Do you know your vitamin levels? Are you deficient in iron? Do you have a hormone imbalance? These are all questions we tackle that will put you on the way to feeling your very best.

If your outward appearance doesn’t reflect your inner self, Dr. Stella’s techniques with fillers and Dysport have helped thousands of women. She is skilled at injections and knows how to give you a natural look that you will love.

Focusing on inner health and outward beauty has made 2018 an eventful year for all of us at Papillon. As we begin a new chapter, we are very much looking forward to all the excitement that lies ahead. Our New Year’s resolution is simple; we want to help you Choose How You Age.

A Papillon Christmas

It’s December! As the holiday season is upon us and the 2018 ends, we are truly touched by all the many milestones we have reached together this year. Many of you had made some very brave lifestyle changes, you have decided to control how you age, and you have taken that important step and decided to ask one of our doctors about a health concern you’ve been avoiding. It has been a privilege to have been a part of your journey to better health. It’s amazing how all these little steps can add up to big changes.

One thing that is still the same at Papillon, is Dr. Stella’s commitment to our local community.

Once again, she has partnered with “The Magic of Christmas,” a local charity who has been spreading holiday cheer for over thirty years! Our offices have been filling up with your toy and clothing donations and it has really put us all in the Christmas spirit!

Every Christmas season transit buses are filled with donations of toys and clothing, like those received at Papillon. With a full sleigh, Santa and his elves do the rest! Deserving families in Okotoks, Black Diamond, Turner Valley and High River receive donations of clothing, toys and gift cards just in time for Christmas. Santa and his helpers also make a special stop at many senior’s homes and hospitals in the area. Hundreds of families in the Foothills will now have a much brighter Christmas thanks to the many generous donations we have received.

To say thank you, Dr. Stella is also giving everyone who donated a chance to win over $1,000 in treatments or products. We will be drawing three winners before December 20th and we can’t wait to surprise our three lucky winners with an early Christmas present!

Having our Papillon clinics in such strong communities like Calgary and Okotoks has given us all so many amazing opportunities to really be a part of something bigger than ourselves.

Getting to know so many of you and the true feeling of friendship and family in this area is especially evident this time of year.

We could not have tackled this important task without you! Thanks so much for being a part of our family and for remembering what this season truly means. We have loved being a part of “The Magic of Christmas.” We couldn’t think of a better way to show this amazing community just how much we all care.

How to Keep Your Skin Moisturized in the Fall

Cool crisp air is one of the signs that fall has arrived, and it doesn’t take very long for the changing season to take a toll on your skin. Seasonal dryness is one of the most common skin irritations andDr. Stella Jansen van Rensburg says keeping your skin healthy during fall and winter will help prevent permanent damage.

“One of the best ways to achieve healthy skin is to make sure it gets the moisture it needs,” Dr. Jansen van Rensburg says. “The skin is the bodies largest organ and taking care of it will help your overall health.”

Dr. Jansen van Rensburg says these few key steps will help the skin stay hydrated during the colder months.

  • Exfoliate with a soft brush or gentle scrub to get rid of dry patches. Once dead skin cells are removed, a moisturizer will more fully hydrate the skin. Exfoliation also increases blood circulation which enhances the skins ability to recover from dryness. It also helps unclog pores where oil and dirt are trapped under the surface of the skin. Open pores will absorb moisturizer better than closed ones.
  • Use warm water to wash your face. Hot water makes the outer layers of the skin swell and make it more resistant to moisturizer. On the other side, cold water can help temporarily reduce swelling, but it is not the best choice for daily use. Contrary to popular belief, water temperature does not open and close pores. Overall, warm water is the best temperature because it is the least reactive.
  • Moisturize from the inside out with a diet rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. These healthy oils are proven to significantly reduce acne and ward off wrinkles. These acids regulate oil production inside the body and help boost hydration.
  • Sleep with a humidifier Moisture evaporates from the air more easily in the fall and the drier air in turn dries out the skin. Because you can’t walk around with a humidifier on your face all day, it’s more practical to use one at night. Sleeping with a humidifier will restore moisture back in the air and help your skin soak in your moisturizer more effectively.
  • Moisturize day and night but with different products. Your daytime moisturizer should help protect and hydrate your skin. Even though the UV exposure is less in the fall and winter, it’s still important to use a lotion with sunscreen in it. Nighttime is when the corrective work should happen. While you sleep, your moisturizer should help to hydrate and heal your skin. Creams that enhance your skins recovery process and soothe irritated spots are best.

Healthy skin is a reflection of overall wellness. Many skin irritations and rashes can be easily remedied with proper attention and care. If dry patches become infected or spread despite being treated, visit a doctor so the root cause of the issue can be further examined. For Dr. Jansen van Rensburg’s recommended skin care system, click here.

IV Nutrition Therapy

IV Nutrition Therapy is quickly becoming a much talked about treatment in the medical and health communities. This treatment is the fastest and most efficient way to give your body a powerful nutrition boost and the results are immediate. Hospitals have used IV therapies for decades and now, new advances are making it possible to quickly improve overall health and change how people feel.  

“I studied the effectiveness of IV Nutrition Therapy and knew many of my patients would benefit from this treatment,” says Dr. Stella Jansen van Rensburg. “The results have been overwhelmingly positive, and patients are now incorporating it into their health routines.” 

Getting this powerful vitamin cocktail is very straightforward and simple. An IV is inserted into a vein in the arm or hand and a drip of amino acids, minerals, vitamins and antioxidants is directly released into the bloodstream and provides many benefits. 

  • Guaranteed Vitamin Absorption

Certain medications or health issues can affect your body’s ability to absorb the nutrients it needs. By bypassing the digestive system, these vitamins are directly absorbed into the body and the results are immediate. 

  • Energy Boost

People who suffer from depression, anxiety or even those getting over the common cold can use this treatment to restore general health and well-being.

  • Instant Rehydration

The body is 80 percent water and that is because hydration supports all vital organ functions. IV therapy is the most efficient way to rehydrate the body. Preventing kidney stones and constipation are also some of the benefits of staying hydrated.  

  • Preventative Health 

Heading into cold and flu season, IV therapy can be a great way to keep seasonal bugs at bay. Therapeutic doses of many vitamins show great effectiveness in building up immunity and Vitamin C has even been shown to kill cancer cells in high doses. 

  • Fights Effects of Environmental Toxins

Antioxidants in IV Nutrition Therapy help your body fight off early signs of aging by flushing out harmful toxins. Overtime, exposure to everyday environmental chemicals can be harmful and IV Nutrition Therapy can rid the body of many of these damaging chemicals. 

Wart Removal

Warts – and how to treat them often falls into the category of things we secretly google because we are too embarrassed to ask. This unwelcome, yet incredibly common skin condition is something we treat all the time at Papillon Medical. Thankfully, Dr. Reed Hogben operates his Wart Treatment Clinic at our downtown Calgary location, 4 days a week.

Warts are benign (aka not cancerous) growths that take root on the surface of your skin and can be very difficult to remove. It can even be considered a war of wills because of how stubborn they are and that they are caused by a virus that the body must fight off. At Papillon Medical Dermatology Laser Centre, we offer a variety of wart treatments that can safely and effectively remove warts. There is no referral necessary for our specialty wart clinic and an initial assessment can be done in a matter of days.

Now here are some common beliefs about warts and you decide if they are Fact or Fiction?
* * This info applies primarily to warts of the feet and hands.

  1. Warts are a virus
    Fact. A wart is a benign growth of the skin, due to infection with a virus.
  2. Warts are contagious
    Fact. The virus can enter through breaks in the skin’s surface after direct contact with a wart or with recently shed viruses still alive in a warm, moist environment, such as a shower or beside a pool. The time between infection and wart development may be many months. You can reduce your chances of infection by wearing sandals and not biting your nails.
  3. It’s a “Planter’s Wart”
    Fiction. There is no such thing as a planter’s wart, although it could be a plantar wart – the Latin term designating the sole of the foot. A wart on the bottom of the foot is a … plantar wart. Because of the constant pressure of walking, plantar warts are often hard and thick and push against the underlying skin.
  4. Warts have “roots”
    Fiction. HPV has only been found in the two outermost layers of the skin, those that would comprise the “roof” of a typical friction blister. One result of the infection is the widening of the small blood vessels within the wart making them prone to leaking with subsequent clotting. The dark red to black coloured clots are sometimes called roots or “seeds”.
  5. Warts go away on their own
    Partly Fact. Without treatment warts will resolve in about 50% of cases within a year – two-thirds after two years. However, warts that do not resolve frequently enlarge and spread becoming more difficult to treat. New warts are three times more common in those patients with existing warts. Don’t hesitate to call and book at the first onset of the wart.
  6. Warts come from playing with frogs
    Fiction. The virus is named HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) and only infects us. There are over 100 strains, many of which cause warts in different areas of the body. About 7- 10% of our population has warts at any given time. Children and young adults are most susceptible and warts are a little more common in women than men.

Ultimately, it is a patient’s immune system, which will cure their warts, by killing the virus. The wart is like a nest for the virus and the goal of available treatments is to destroy the nest or help your immune system kill the virus or both. Destructive treatments remove part of the “home” of the virus while simultaneously causing an irritation, hoping to stimulate an immune system response. Immunologic treatments help the immune system in some way.

Don’t let your new summer pool souvenir get in the way of your self confidence. Book in for a wart removal assessment with Dr. Hogben to find out your many treatment options.