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What To Do About the Flu

flu, natural, remediesWell, the flu season is upon us. And this year, it appears, there will not be enough flu vaccine to go around. What can you do so that you do to ensure that you do not become a flu statistic?

I have not taken the flu shot for a number of years, and this is what has worked for me. First, keep a good, strong immune system. Ensuring that I take a good, balanced vitamin and mineral supplement is a start. Then around the first of November each year I start taking something to enhance my immune system. There are a variety of natural products that do this.

~ Echinacea
~ Elderberry Combination
~ Noni juice
~ Thai-Go (mangosteen fruit juice drink)
~ Defense Maintenance
~ Immune Stimulator
~ THIM-J – activates the thymus gland to produce more T-cells
~ Plenty of Vitamin C

These will usually keep me from having any flu symptoms. But in the event that I forget to take my supplements, or we get a particularly virulent flu strain, and I do start to feel any symptoms, there is another set of products, any of which can ensure that I don’t get “down with the flu”.

~ VS-C – Personal favorite, a blend of Chinese herbs that kill virus
~ Colloidal Silver – a liquid that kills virus on contact
~ Influenza Remedy – a homeopathic flu remedy
~ Tea Tree Oil – An anti-viral essential oil; mist it in the house
~ High Potency Garlic – a known anti-viral and antiseptic
~ Zinc Lozenges with Echinacea and Vitamin C

If you fail to keep ahead of it, and the flu actually gets to you, here are some products to help with the discomfort while the list above kills the virus.

~ ALJ – will help alleviate the congestion
~ FV – will help when there is fever and vomiting
~ Boneset – will help with the achiness
~ Echinacea & Golden Seal – strong immune help for a few days only
~ Peppermint Oil or Tei-Fu Oil – rub them on to help with the aches
~ Drink plenty of warm lemon water to prevent dehydration

Stay ahead of the flu and stay healthy this winter!

– Randy Lee, ND, Owner, The Health Patch – Alternative Health Clinic and Market, 1024 S. Douglas Blvd, MWC, 736-1030, e-mail: pawpaw@thehealthpatch.com or visit thehealthpatch.com.

Lest We Forget

Memory is one of those things we don’t think much about unless we start to lose ours. It is as natural as breathing and done almost as unconsciously. Lapses in memory are common for all of us and are an annoyance, but the anxiety that accompanies these feelings of possible loss is even more of a concern to us. We fear it may be only a symptom of some larger problem: depression, arteriosclerosis, or a progressive Alzheimer’s disease. And while these may be real problems for many people, it is important to note that these temporary memory losses are common and may have little to do with permanent, degenerative conditions.

The idea that all people will suffer memory loss as they age is not necessarily true. We all know of people well past eighty years of age that are still “as sharp as a tack.” One of the primary causes of memory loss is an insufficient supply of necessary nutrients to the brain. Let me quote from the book Prescription for Nutritional Healing. “The life of the body is in the blood. It literally feeds and nourishes every cell within our bodies. The brain is surrounded by a protective envelope known as the blood-brain barrier, which allows only certain substances to pass from the bloodstream into the brain. [Certain conditions can], over time, result in the brain becoming malnourished.” Add to this problems such as poor neurotransmitters, exposure to free radicals from our environment, wide swings in blood sugar levels, and the use of toxins such as alcohol and drugs, and it is easy to see that encroaching memory loss can be a result.

What can you do to ensure that you keep your brain fed? Certain vitamins and minerals are certainly needed, such as a good B-complex, the antioxidants C and E, and zinc, manganese and choline. Lecithin helps “lubricate” the neural synapses. The amino acids l-glutamine and l-aspartic acid serve as fuel for the brain and prevent excess ammonia from damaging it. And l-tyrosine helps sharpen awareness. Some research shows that Coenzyme Q10 improves brain oxygenation, and the hormone melatonin is a powerful antioxidant that may prevent memory loss.

Then there are the herbs. Much attention has been given by the news media to ginkgo biloba. This herb decreases capillary permeability and, in the brain, improves neural activity, increases cerebrovascular circulation, protects membranes and restores serotonin receptors. Much of the recent research has concentrated on its ability to increase blood flow to the brain specifically. Another herb that acts similarly is gotu kola. It has long been used in Ayurvedic (East Indian) medicine as a tonic for memory loss. Other herbs that are helpful for memory are anise, blue cohosh, ginseng, Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids and rosemary.

Foods that are helpful in maintaining memory functions include brown rice, farm eggs, fish, beans, nuts, tofu, whole grains, and most raw foods. Be sure to combine your carbohydrates with proteins and essential fats. Purely carbohydrate meals inhibit memory functions. Foods to avoid include dairy and refined sugars. They tend to “shut the brain down.”

Like the rest of the body, the brain responds well to exercise. Use it! Focus on things you need to remember. Practice word puzzles, adding columns of numbers, or memorizing Bible verses, poetry, or phone numbers. Keep learning; gain a new hobby; go back to school. Anything that “exercises” the mind will help to keep it young. Activities that don’t require us to think help rob us of our ability to think.

As with all our body systems, the brain needs water, nutrition, exercise and rest – all in good balance. May you enjoy good memory and good memories throughout your life. Enjoy good health and God’s richest blessings. Gen.1:29.

– Randy Lee, ND, Owner, The Health Patch – Cultivating Naturopathic Care for Total Health, 1024 S. Douglas Blvd, Midwest City, OK 73130, phone/fax: 736-1030, e-mail: pawpaw@thehealthpatch.com.

Detox Options

Many of the things we eat routinely can not only be “not good for us,” they can often be toxic. Add these effects on our bodies to the others we encounter every day (smog, air pollution, industrial pollutants, household cleansers, food preservatives and dyes, chemical fumes, car exhaust, normal metabolism, poor elimination of food, waste products in the blood from illness or disease…), and we can see that we can really have our bodies bombarded with toxins. The inevitable consequences are further disease or debility. Cleansing (detoxification) should be a recurring part of our normal routine. I personally follow a routine that includes a monthly detoxification – perhaps an organ or a body system or a whole-body cleanse.

Periodic cleansing has been included in recorded history for millennia. Traditional health practices of many nations – Chinese, Europeans, Ayurveda, Native American, and Asiatic Indians – practiced and still continue some form of detoxification. In early American history, the Pennsylvania Dutch ate wild greens like lettuce and dandelions and other herbs in the spring to cleanse their bodies after a long winter of heavy foods. Native Americans used black teas made from yaupon hollies to produce sweating and bowel evacuation. One writer even suggests “nature herself seems to suggest the importance of detoxification … many of the plants that burst forth in early spring are cleansing in nature.”

There are many ways to cleanse. The program you choose may last only a day or two or a week or two. It may even take the form of a recurring dietary change. Most of us know of foods that seem to “go right through us … a hint that they may be added to our personal cleansing program. And some foods seem to work for most everyone – e.g., fresh cherries, available in early spring, have a definite cleansing effect on the bowels and help eliminate the uric acid buildup linked to heavy meat consumption and diseases like joint problems or gout. Fasting often accompanies detoxification regimens as well, but we’ll make that the subject of a future article.

I personally enjoy using herbs and herbal combinations to cleanse. The phytonutrients in many of the herbs encourage the body to detoxify naturally. And as a rule, we should be sure to cleanse the eliminative organs (kidneys and liver) and the blood and lymphatic systems, as well as the intestinal system.

Combinations for the organs should include herbs such as milk thistle, burdock root, barberry root bark, and dandelion root. Adding lecithin and amino acids to your diet are also helpful especially for the liver. The blood and lymph glands also benefit from the dandelion and burdock, and combinations for them should include red clover, Oregon grape root, butcher’s broom, garlic, pau d’arco bark, and yellow dock. Cleansers for the intestine include natural laxatives like cascara sagrada and senna leaves, high-fiber “scrubbers” like psyllium hulls, and parasite killers like artemisia, black walnut hulls, and elecampane.

Regular cleansing and detoxifying (at least two to four times per year) along with good nutrition, exercise, and proper supplements will add quality to your life and ward off many of the diseases that rob us of real joy. Our improved distribution systems make most foods available to us year-round, so we tend to forget the cycles of nature. Start your own cleaning program and see how much better you feel.

– For more information, contact Naturopathic Doctor Randy Lee, owner of The Health Patch at 1024 S. Douglas Blvd, Midwest City, at 405-736-1030 or e-mail pawpaw@TheHealthPatch.com or visit TheHeathPatch.com.

The Need for Vitamins and Minerals

This is a little illustration I use every day at the store.  You see, every day, without exception, I have two or three customers who come in with the same question -–”What have you got for energy?”  It seems that in our hectic-paced lives, we find less and less energy to keep us going.  But I find that about four out of every five of my customers report a marked increase in their energy levels after only one week by taking a good, balanced multiple vitamin and mineral supplement.

And, yes, I do have a special one that I like to recommend.  It’s a “Super Supplemental” containing a good blend of all your common (and necessary) vitamins and minerals plus a few of the more important phytonutrients like choline, lycopene, lutein, inositol, and para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA).  Unlike most other products on the market, these ingredients are mainly derived from herbs and other natural sources.  This base of herb and vegetable powders increases absorption and assimilation of the necessary nutrients and provides additional antioxidant and nutritional benefits.

Here’s the illustration.  Consider that every cell in your body is an island (actually, it is).  The “river” in which those islands sit is called interstitial fluid.  From the river, the islands draw nutrients, water, and oxygen.  Then what they do is use these as building materials to produce a substance abbreviated to ATP.  ATP is the form of energy that the body needs to carry out most of its actions and reactions.  This ATP is then placed back into the “river” along with waste byproducts and carbon dioxide.  So, here’s the key: IF THE BODY DOES NOT HAVE SUFFICIENT NUTRIENTS, IT CAN’T PRODUCE ENERGY!

Of course, there are other factors to consider.  Are you getting enough deep, uninterrupted sleep?  Do you set aside times for rest and relaxation away from work and the daily grind?  Are you drinking enough water (take your body weight, divide it by two – that’s how many ounces of water you need to consume in a day)?  Are you overweight?  How much do you exercise (this affects your body’s ability to get enough oxygen to the cells)?

And what happens if the “river” (the interstitial fluid) gets too congested?  Not only is energy flow impeded, but also communication between the cells is inhibited.  With this breakdown of intercellular communication, our tissues begin to break down.  Tissues make up our organs, and our organs constitute body systems.  With these breakdowns come diseases.

Another problem with our hectic lifestyles is the way we eat.  How often do you sit down with your family for a relaxed, unhurried, home-cooked (from nutritional foods), nutritionally well-balanced meal?  Actually, do ANY of those characteristics describe your meals?  Stress affects digestion! So what are the chances that you’re able to get even minimal nutrients from your meals?

Yes, you need to schedule more rest and relaxation.  Yes, you need to reduce stress and get better sleep.  Yes, you need to exercise more, lose some weight, and drink more water.  But doesn’t it just make sense to add the vital nutrition of a well-balanced vitamin and mineral supplement to your daily intake?  It’s the best supplement money you can spend.

Enjoy good health and God’s richest blessings.  Gen.1:29.

–  Randy Lee, ND, Owner, The Health Patch, 1024 S. Douglas Blvd, MWC 73130, phone/fax: 736-1030, e-mail: pawpaw@thehealthpatch.com. Our full staff are now offering affordable private consultations – call to schedule yours!

Supplements to Aid an Anti-Inflammatory Diet

inflammationIt’s a crude analogy, but I liken inflammation in the body to friction in your car engine. Like using the wrong oil in your car, you could be using the wrong oil (like saturated fats or polyunsaturated fats containing too much omega-6 essential fatty acids) in the body (e.g., cottonseed or sunflower) or not enough of the good oils – omega-3s like those found in chia, flax, or cold-water fish like salmon, cod, herring, and sardines.

Like adding sand to your carburetor, some “foods” naturally produce inflammation – e.g., salt and sugar. And, of course, many factors encountered in ordinary use produce inflammation. Potholes, construction, mechanical failure, and inattentive drivers in the car can be compared with damage caused to your body by injury, infection, environmental toxins, viral and bacterial pathogens, and simple inattentiveness to your health.

You can help by just paying attention to your diet. What can you do? Add more raw foods, replace red meat with fish and lean poultry, get rid of “white” foods – white potatoes, white flour, white rice – and reduce the amount of processed foods you consume (they add unwanted preservatives and extract numerous vital nutrients just to enhance shelf life). Replace sugar with natural alternative sweeteners, yellow or blue for white potatoes, yellow, brown or wild rice for white, and flours like spelt for wheat (or at least use whole, unprocessed wheat). And use oils like olive or coconut instead of more fatty ones.

If you have an inflammatory response to any of the mentioned “road hazards” try any of the natural herbal anti-inflammatories – such as cat’s claw, garlic, curcumin (from turmeric), ginger, Boswellia (frankincense), white willow bark, stinging nettle, cayenne, and yucca.

Along with diet changes, supplements assist, as well. More Omega-3 essential fatty acids “add oil to YOUR engine.” Vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin C and zinc reduce inflammation and aid in the healing process, vitamin B helps with tissue repair, and Grape Seed extract is a powerful antioxidant.

Finally, your car needs gas (or electricity) for energy. Just so, it is essential to use a good, complete, and balanced multiple vitamin and mineral complex for all your health issues…including inflammation!

– Randy Lee, ND, Owner, The Health Patch, 1024 S. Douglas Blvd, MWC 73130, phone/fax: 736-1030, e-mail: pawpaw@thehealthpatch.com.

ND Care – Game Changer

naturopathic doctorsWith rising health care costs many of us have turned to self-care as our primary health initiative. We ask family and friends for advice and spend time reading labels in the over-the-counter meds section of the grocery store looking for our symptoms.

Wouldn’t you like to have another alternative that gave you access to a professional to help track your wellness journey but cost less than traditional medicine? How does a full hour with a Doctor of Natural Health for only $35* sound? Would that be a “game changer” for you?

Naturopathic Doctors (NDs) advocate the use of Vitamins, Minerals, Whole Foods and Herbal Supplements (Alternative Medicine) to help you attain and maintain wellness.  They don’t diagnose, treat, or cure named diseases, but they analyze body systems and listen to you as you describe your ailments.  They pay attention to your family health history. And they keep records of your progress from visit to visit.

No one knows your body like you do. Taking charge of your own health and having a personal ND to train and guide you could be the Game Changer you’ve been missing.

*A common average; initial intakes may be more.

–  Randy Lee, ND, Owner, The Health Patch – Cultivating Naturopathic Care for Total Health, 1024 S. Douglas Blvd, Midwest City, OK 73130, phone/fax: 736-1030, e-mail: pawpaw@thehealthpatch.com.

Joint Health

joint_health, Painful joints affect millions of Americans. Basically, they are inflammation issues, but the inflammation may have a variety of roots. Recent research says delayed food allergies may cause joint diseases. And there are other diet and weight issues to consider, too.

Pain is generally the primary concern for sufferers.  And besides common prescription painkillers, there are many natural pain relievers, such as turmeric, curcumin, white willow bark, una de gato, yucca, colostrum and others.

Gout is one prevalent joint issue that occurs when there is too much uric acid in the body.  It was once called the ailment of the rich due to the fact that many foods in their diets (now common in most of our diets) such as red meats, mushrooms, alcohol, flour and sugar leave a uric acid residue.  Reducing these in your diet and adding black cherries and celery seed can reduce these symptoms. You might also consider supplements containing safflowers and juniper berries.

Uric acid often collects in the joints forming small crystals that grind into the tissues as the joints move.  A great tonic to help dissolve these crystals in made by mixing an ounce of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar with a teaspoon of raw honey, two ounces of warm water and two ounces of apple juice and drinking this one to three times per day.

The breakdown and loss of the tissue pads between the bones of your joints due to wear also causes bone-to-bone inflammation. While much research says that these tissues cannot be rebuilt, we have found that long-term use of glucosamine with chondroitin is helpful. Here, MSM also helps to alleviate much of the pain in the tissues around the joints.

Several years ago I had a customer come in early while I was cleaning the floors and wanted to talk about joint pain in her knees. I noted her weight without mentioning it to her and asked if she would walk with me while we chatted.  A moment later I asked her to hold a 25-pound wooden display barrel so I could clean under it and then walked a few steps further. She followed. Then I picked up a second barrel and asked her to hold it. Still talking, she followed me and began to breathe a bit harder. I chuckled and took the barrels from her and asked her what she felt as we walked only those few steps. She mentioned the hard breathing but also commented on the added discomfort in her knees. She admitted that the two barrels weighed about the same as the amount of weight she needed to lose. Being overweight definitely contributes to the wear and inflammation in our joints. Try to get to and maintain the optimal weight for your age and physical structure and you may have less joint issues as well.

Our body systems all work together. Proper anti-inflammatory diets, appropriate exercise, sufficient hydration, and recommended supplementation may all help you enjoy health joints and painless movement throughout your life.

–  Randy Lee, ND, Owner, The Health Patch, 1024 S. Douglas Blvd, MWC 73130, phone/fax: 736-1030, e-mail: pawpaw@thehealthpatch.com. See our blog at www.TheHealthPatch.com. Our full staff is now offering affordable private consultations – call to schedule yours!

Cleansing

I’ve always made it a practice to really enjoy the holiday season.  So from Thanksgiving until the New Year, I eat pretty much whatever I want.  I enjoy all the festive foods, and I always know that many of them really aren’t that good for me and that I’ll probably pick up a few extra pounds.  So after the new year begins, I make cleansing a top priority.

Many of the things we eat routinely can not only be “not good for us,” they can often be toxic.  Add these effects on our bodies to the others we encounter every day (smog, air pollution, industrial pollutants, household cleansers, food preservatives and dyes, chemical fumes, car exhaust, normal metabolism, poor elimination of food, waste products in the blood from illness or disease, …) and we can see that our bodies are bombarded with toxins.  The consequences are inevitably further disease or debility.  Cleansing (detoxification) should be a recurring part of our normal routine.

Periodic cleansing has been included in recorded history for millennia.  Traditional health practices of many nations – Chinese, Europeans, Ayurveda, Native American, Asiatic Indians – still continue some form of detoxification.  In early American history the Pennsylvania Dutch ate wild greens like lettuce and dandelions and other herbs in the spring to cleanse their bodies after a long winter of heavy foods.  Native Americans used black teas made from yaupon hollies to produce sweating and bowel evacuation.  One writer even suggests “nature herself seems to suggest the importance of detoxification … many of the plants that burst forth in early spring are cleansing in nature.”

There are many ways to cleanse.  The program you choose may last only a day or two or a week or two.  It may even take the form of a recurring dietary change.  Most of us know of foods that seem to “go right through us … a hint that they may be added to our personal cleansing program.  And some foods seem to work for most everyone – e.g., fresh cherries, available in early spring, have a definite cleansing effect on the bowels and help eliminate the uric acid buildup linked to heavy meat consumption and diseases like joint problems or gout.  Fasting often accompanies detoxification regimens as well, but we’ll make that the subject of a future article.

I personally enjoy using herbs and herbal combination to cleanse.  The phytonutrients in many of the herbs encourage the body to detoxify naturally.  And as a rule, we should be sure to cleanse the eliminative organs (kidneys and liver) and the blood and lymphatic systems, as well as the intestinal system.

The combination for cleansing the organs should include herbs such as milk thistle, burdock root, barberry root bark, and dandelion root.  Adding lecithin and amino acids to your diet is  also helpful especially for the liver.  The blood and lymph glands benefit from dandelion and burdock, and combinations for them should include red clover, oregon grape root, butcher’s broom, garlic, pau d’arco bark and yellow dock.  Cleansers for the intestine include natural laxatives like cascara sagrada and senna leaves,  high-fiber “scrubbers” like psyllium hulls, and parasite killers like artemisia, black walnut hulls, and elecampane.

Regular cleansing and detoxifying (at least two to four times per year) along with good nutrition, exercise and proper supplements will add quality to your life and ward off many of the diseases that rob us of real joy.  Our improved distribution systems make most foods available to us year-round, so we tend to forget the cycles of nature.  But this year, start your “spring cleaning” early and start with your body.  Good health and God’s blessings!

– Randy Lee, ND, Owner, The Health Patch, 1024 S. Douglas Blvd, MWC 73130, phone/fax: 736-1030, e-mail: pawpaw@thehealthpatch.com. See our blog at www.TheHealthPatch.com.

Our staff are now offering affordable private consultations – call to schedule yours!

Herbal Help for Chronic Pain

We have many friends and customers who suffer constantly from chronic pain and yet question the side effects of many over-the-counter and other common medications. To address these concerns and recent news stories, we recommend a variety of alternative herbal supplements.  Many are for general pain and some focus on specific body systems.

A few of the general pain relieving herbs are turmeric, boswellia, devil’s claw and white willow bark – a natural alternative to aspirin.  Curcumin is one component of turmeric and we have one company who has processed a curcumin extract that is 500 times as strong as basic turmeric and that they guarantee will “stop pain now!”

Feverfew is an herb that works on the neural transmitters of the brain to help alleviate migraine headaches. Herbs like red raspberry leaf, cramp bark, black cohosh and blessed thistle help alleviate menstrual cramping. And other herbs like mangosteen, andrographis, oregano, wild rosemary, and even simple ginger help to alleviate the pain associated with inflammation.

Additionally, many dietary enzymes, including bromelain, pancreatin and papain, have been shown to relieve many pain symptoms, and numerous essential oils have pain relieving qualities. Notable among them are peppermint for headaches, tea tree for burns, and blends you can make for yourself containing black pepper, rosemary, lavender, and ginger for back pain.

These are only samples of the diversity of herbal aids for helping you cope with chronic pain. Take your questions to any of our local herbal supplement stores for further, focused counsel!  Enjoy good health and God’s richest blessings.  Gen.1:29.

–  For more information, contact Naturopathic Doctor Randy Lee, owner of The Health Patch at 1024 S. Douglas Blvd, Midwest City, at 405-736-1030 or e-mail pawpaw@TheHealthPatch.com or visit TheHeathPatch.com.

Multi-Level Healing

healing, multi-level healing, naturopathic doctorUsually, when we get sick our aim is to alleviate the symptoms.  We simply want to quit hurting and suffering and feel better. So, we look to those who can offer us relief and not really healing. Relief may lessen the symptoms that cause us discomfort and stress, but may not do anything to actually alleviate the root causes of that discomfort, causing us to feel better temporarily, but the symptoms return as soon as the medication (whatever it is) wears off.

We need healing on multiple levels – alleviate the symptomatic discomfort, find the root cause of the discomfort, and then promote true health in the affected area of the body.

Causes of stress may include any or all of the following: simple fatigue, known or unknown tissue wear or injury, nutrient deficiency, or our response to external pathogens.

Tissue Wear

Tissue wear is a part of the aging process, and while regular exercise is an essential pillar of good health, it should be commensurate with our age and our normal activity levels. Even the staunchest of athletes get occasional tissue damage, so it is important to start slow when starting to exercise. It’s easy to injure tissues that are not regularly manipulated if we jump into something new. If an injury does occur, look for creams and lotions containing arnica, camphor, menthol, capsicum, boswellia, and turmeric for short-term healing and don’t forget to seek medical care for more serious injuries.

Nutrition

As for nutrition, Dr. Joel Wallach (1991 Nobel Prize nominee for his work in nutritional supplements) states that we need 60 minerals, 16 vitamins, 12 essential amino acids, and three essential fatty acids in our diet every day to really stay healthy for life.  And that doesn’t count the addition of other herbal supplements that may be needed to help combat “family histories” of disease.  For example, you may need additional supplements if your family has a genetic history of cancer, heart disease, arthritis, etc.  And there’s a real sense of truth in the old adage “you are what you eat”.  Your body isn’t going to function well on a daily diet of junk foods, fats, and sugars.

Immune System

Our immune system should be kept at optimum to address the bombardment of a host of environmental pathogens – viruses, bacteria, yeasts, fungi, etc. These may reoccur and many have a variety of symptoms. Most people have a susceptibility to common pathogens that they have come to know and have treatments for. But finding the right match of a supplement for a specific pathogen may require the help of a health care professional.  If you’re continually fighting the same symptoms of recurring varieties of symptoms, get help!

stress free, low stressStress and Fatigue

Stress and fatigue are known contributors to all kinds of ailments.  If your life is in chaos or you’re going through a particularly stressful time, try to set aside time to just rest or find pleasant things to occupy your time – take even a mini vacation or “stay-cation.” You’ll reap super rewarding health from it. Enjoy a full life and always seek out healing on multiple-levels.

– Randy Lee, ND, Owner, The Health Patch, 1024 S. Douglas Blvd, MWC 73130, phone/fax: 736-1030, e-mail: pawpaw@thehealthpatch.com. See our blog at www.TheHealthPatch.com. Our full staff is now offering affordable private consultations – call to schedule yours!