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  Contact : Lenexa, Kansas 913-888-0331
Hiawatha, Kansas 785-742-7606

All Posts in Category: Blog

Price Change

Many of you have already asked about our new doctor and services.  We appreciate your interest in our growth!  I was in Banff last week working on an intensive program teaching business owners how to take care of themselves so they can perform better.  I will be back this week, then I will be in Santa Fe leading a women’s retreat with Tina Sprinkle.  Having time for complete health immersion is a passion of mine, and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to do it.  While I’m gone, Dr. Little will be carefully making sure your needs are met.  She will be in contact with me daily.  If you need a consult while I’m out, she will relay all the details to me.  Our goal is to make sure your needs are met faster and addressed by a licensed doctor under my supervision.  She also takes her own patients.  In addition to her thorough training, she spends time daily learning specifically about the methods and treatments I have developed.  So far, having an extra doctor in the office has been so helpful that we hope to make this “teaching position” permanent.   Our goal is to make those visits more affordable for everyone.  Starting in August, my rates will increase.  This was a difficult decision, as some of my most treasured patient relationships include bus drivers, school teachers, and phone operators.  However, it will allow us to provide the staff that can care for you the way I want you to be treated.  We have an acupuncturist with 35 years of experience for second opinions and complex neurological problems.  We recently added an engineer / data analyst for office management, technology, accuracy, and process improvement.  Jay is excited to combine is passion for health with his analytical skills.  We are increasing hours with Sam, our admin with a heart of gold, who has over 10 years of experience in holistic health.  Sam cares deeply about every detail with every person she helps.  We are able to staff our lab with an on call mobile phlebotomy expert for your appointments.  LaVita runs Caresticks and manages nearly all the mobile phlebotomy in Kansas City for nursing homes and medical facilities.  We are fortunate to have her personal service from our office and sent to your home.  Dr. Little is helping with all the details on the back end, which means you have a fully trained doctor helping with things that are typically assigned to a medical assistant or nurse.  Adding experience to the staff is an exciting time for me.  As some of you know, my first and hardest experiences in medicine started as a patient.  My biggest dream when I began school was to provide a space with compassionate care where the complicated people don’t slip through the cracks.  We have had a bumpy road, but we work every day to try to shift a broken system to achieve that dream.  Every policy and change that we make is ultimately an effort to work toward that goal.

Since I’ve been asked, I want to reiterate to everyone that I am not discontinuing care with anyone.  My schedule has been tight and I want you to have someone you can call if needed.  I also want to offer a more affordable option for those who need it.

Rates will increase in August.  ANYTHING booked before then for ANY time in the future will be honored at the previous rate.  There is no limit to the number of visits or type of visit you can book at the previous rate.  It applies to appointments booked over the phone or online.  I hope that makes up for anyone who is overwhelmed by this change.  My new follow-up rate will be $250.  Dr. Little will be available for follow-ups at $135 and new patient consults at $275.

Some of you have been with me for many years and have my personal contact info.  I LOVE being able to help when you need something.  My hope is that I can do that more as we grow.  For now, please use the patient portal for anything that is not urgent.  This allows us to utilize Dr. Little when I am traveling internationally so you don’t have to wait.  It also cuts down on my inbox so I don’t miss urgent messages.

If you’ve stuck with me this far, thank you!  It’s truly a pleasure to watch your journey of personal growth, improved health, and to see you be able to feel better and do the things that matter most to you.  Your soul / spirit only has one vehicle for this life, and you will have this body for the remainder of the ride.  Learn to drive what you have, appreciate the parts that work, and take care of it because you won’t get another one.  You need your body to carry you to do the things that mean the most to you.   Keep up the good work with your self care.  Thanks for supporting our continued effort to improve!

Dr. Alicia Johnson, ND

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woman-getting-acupunctured

What is Acupuncture?

My favorite thing about using traditional Chinese medicine is being able to individualize treatment. There are acupuncture points for dry mouth, dry eyes, TMJ, numbness, and other things that are quite difficult to address
with conventional medicine. There are diagnoses that simply don’t exist in Western medicine, so we can address and explain things that have been missed by other providers. There are countless ways to treat problems with stress, head pain, sleep, or hormones.

This video can help explain acupuncture for people who are curious. In my office, most of the acupuncture I do is for sleep, mood, stress, hormone balance, and fertility. Of course, acupuncture is great for pain and I try my best to fit you into my schedule if you have back pain or neck pain that can’t wait.

If you have other questions or comments, please feel free to share!

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friends-who-comfort-a-friend-with-infertility-problem

If You Have A Friend With Infertility, You Have To Read This

Do you have a friend who is trying to conceive?  Take a minute to read some stats and remind yourself that she is probably struggling way more than you think.  Give her a hug before that next baby shower.  Call her and ask her how she is doing when her sister gets pregnant.  Offer an ear, a hug, and talk to her about getting help when she needs it.  Don’t judge when she is angry with other moms or feels resentment.  Give her a safe space to express it.  Chances are (85% of the time) her husband is not agonizing like she is, so he may not be giving her the support she wants.

  • 48% of women report that infertility is the most upsetting experience in their lives. (take a minute to consider how many upsetting experiences women have)
  • 11% of infertile women meet the criteria for having a major depressive episode (this is debilitating)
  • 1/3 of all infertile women are clinically depressed
  • 80% of all chronic health problems are exacerbated by stress, so they may be experiencing other health problems from the stress.
  • Women with a history of depressive episodes are twice as likely to report subsequent infertility than women who are not depressed. This stat probably has to do with the fact that women with hormone problems are often depressed.  The take away is this:  chances are good that the depression and fertility are intimately woven together and she needs a friend.
  • Women who have a depressive episode before IVF have a 13% pregnancy rate, compared to those who do not have a depressive episode who have pregnancy rate of 29%. If she won’t get help for herself, maybe she will do it for the pregnancy.

female-friends-comforting-each-otherDepression associated with infertility is comparable to depression associated with terminal illness.  You may not be able to understand, but you can be there.  Many women with illness or grief report their friends and family not being there simply because they don’t know what to say or do.  Say something.  Do something.   Your friend / sister / co-worker needs you to be the one to offer some support.

Interested in receiving my information on fertility in a series of emails?  It’s free, and organized for your convenience.  Contact my assistant at DrJohson@aspirehealthkc.com and ask to receive the optimizing fertility series.  This includes the blogs on the website and a few extra tips.

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Kid-checking-his-teddy-bear-as-patient

Lifesaver for Little Childhood Illnesses

It’s that time of year! If you are worried about your kiddo getting sick, remember that there are tons of safe natural therapies that many people have not ever heard of. I created a short email series to help parents learn about home remedies to use. I learned these things from my 9 years of being a mommy and a provider. I did the best research I could on what doesn’t cost a lot but works really well. If you want to learn a little more,you can just email my office and ask receive the email about acute illnesses.It’s more than I can fit into one post. The one that I am MOST excited about this year was a really good find. Many of you know that I have recommended NAC for your kids to drain little ears, to thin mucus, and help with colds or coughs. The problem is that it tastes TERRIBLE and if they can’t take a pill, they couldn’t do it.

NAC is the component of breast milk that helps thin the mucus and keep little noses and ears unclogged. It is such a safe natural way to help thin theirmucus.

Finally, after literally years of looking, I found a company in Canada that makes a kid friendly version! It is called Pharma NAC. I am really happy to have some on the shelf and to be able to tell you about it!

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photo-of-a-pregnant-woman-doing-her-exercise

2 Things You Have to Know About Exercise and Fertility

If you are trying to have the best hormone levels possible, pay attention to 2 things.

First, don’t over exercise! Calorie restriction combined with heavy exercise causes huge drops in hormone levels.  The right balance of hormones is critical for normal cycle, normal fertile ground for the baby, and normal egg release.  If you think you might be exercising too much but you are not sure, consider a blood test to evaluate your levels.  You must be absolutely certain that the person reading the results knows HOW to interpret hormone levels with respect to optimal health.  If the doctor can’t tell you what a good estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, FSH, and LH level is, find someone who can.

photo-of-pregnant-woman-doing-her-exerciseSecond, don’t overdo the abdominal!  We want really good blood flow to the pelvic organs.  Studies show that overdoing the abdominal workouts actually restrict blood flow to the pelvic organs.  When you are trying to get pregnant, focus on whole body activity.

When your hormone levels are important to you, avoid the very trendy extreme exercise routines.  They will make it much harder to have a baby.  The CDC recommends a minimum of 30 minutes of ‘moderate intensity’ activity per day at least 5 days per week.  Strength training should also be included two days per week.  These are reasonable recommendations that should give you an idea of whether you are doing too much or not enough.

Interested in receiving my information on fertility in a series of emails?  It’s free, and organized for your convenience.  Contact my assistant at DrJohson@aspirehealthkc.com and ask to receive the optimizing fertility series.  This includes the blogs on the website and a few extra tips.

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happy-thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Day

I am so grateful for so many things.  I have the wonderful experience of watching interesting, funny, intelligent, motivated people heal their lives from the inside out.  My patients enrich my life every day.  Each night I go home to a loving family, my cute bunny “cupcake”, and sweet little dog “sprinkles”.  I feel so incredibly fortunate that this year, I don’t have to look very far for things to appreciate.  Sometimes life brings you circumstances that make you try a little harder to look for the good.  Remember to take time to be mindful and notice what you are grateful for this year!

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image-for-chemical-exposure-and-fertlity

Chemical Exposure and Fertility

If you unexplained fertility problems or your partner has problems with low count / poor morphology, this one is for you.  It is important to note that toxicity impacts men even more than women when it comes to fertility.  That said, women must pay attention to how many things in our environment disrupt our hormone systems.  Want to be horrified?  Read this wiki entry on the topic:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endocrine_disruptor

If not, read on…

Research shows that exposure to certain solvents, chemicals, and metals can destroy your fertility.  Some women are exposed to estrogenic chemicals like inks, plastics, and fragrances at work.  The EPA indicates that indoor air quality is the most consistent threat to your health, so control what you can at home.  Pollution from carpeting, paneling, cabinets, flame retardants, etc.  releases endocrine disruptors into the air.  That means stuff that will change your hormone system.  Be aware of what you bring into your home.

Reduce exposure to cleaning products when you can.  There are cheap easy alternatives.  While some people can break chemicals down and excrete them effectively, others are less genetically able to do so.  Regardless, it is a good idea to minimize exposure to chemicals.  Clean with vinegar and water whenever possible.  I also like to clean with Castile Soap.  It’s great for scrubbing bathrooms.  Trader Joe’s sells a cheaper version, and my bottle will usually last a whole year.  If you need to paint, spend a little more on the non-VOC paint.  Do not spray for bugs and weeds around your house., or find green alternatives.  Find alternatives to pest control.  Avoid purchasing new carpet or particle-board material and build with natural materials.  Synthetic materials contain flame retardants that release into the air for years after being installed.

Concerned about pollutants in fish?  Check out this site to see up to date info on safety.  www.edf.org.  You need to be aware of how often it is safe to eat your favorite fish.  When in doubt, eat wild caught only.

Surprisingly, the easiest thing you can do at home is take off your shoes.  That is free, and think about all the pesticides, weed killers, and other sprays you leave at the door.  It is a very simple way to keep outdoor chemicals out.

Another simple trick at home:  Incorporate plants that promote clean air:

Indoor-plants-that-promotes-clean-air

Mass Cane                               Pot Mum                            Gerbera Daisy                     Heart leaf Philodendron

Ficus                                        English Ivy                          Marginata                            Chinese Evergreen

Peace Lily                               Bamboo Palm                     Warnecki

Green Spider Plant               Janet Craig

Book suggestions:

            The Nontoxic Home & Office by Debra Lynn Dadd

            The Chemical-Free Lawn by Warren Schultz

Of course, there is a lot of information about chemical exposure and fertility.  This blog grazes the topic for awareness.  If you think this is a problem for you, you should speak with someone more on the topic.

Interested in receiving my information on fertility in a series of emails?  It’s free, and organized for your convenience.  Contact my assistant at DrJohson@aspirehealthkc.com and ask to receive the optimizing fertility series.  This includes the blogs on the website and a few extra tips.

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bowl-of-broccoli

Broccoli Without Bloating?

I made a discovery recently that I am very excited about. Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and cabbage are my favorite veggies. But alas, if I eat the smallest amount, I get a substantial amount of abdominal pain and I look like I am 6 months pregnant. Recently at a nutrition seminar, I was learning about people that have abnormal sulfur metabolism and molybdenum deficiency. My wheels started turning. Molybdenum helps your body process sulfur / sulfites, so would it help people who can’t digest broccoli without discomfort? Well, last week, I cautiously decided to eat cauliflower and took molybdenum. About a half hour later, I hear “did you eat a WHOLE cauliflower?”. I began to think maybe I made the wrong decision. But I survived. The next day, a whole head of broccoli. The next day, a bag of Brussels sprouts. Next on my list: too much cabbage. I am so excited I want to share it with the world! Not everyone would be this excited about being able to eat broccoli, I know,  but I hated having to avoid it. I hope at least one poor soul out there who can’t eat broccoli is happy to read this!

Interested in receiving my information on fertility in a series of emails?  It’s free, and organized for your convenience.  Contact my assistant at DrJohson@aspirehealthkc.com and ask to receive the optimizing fertility series.  This includes the blogs on the website and a few extra tips.

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photo-of-article-infertility-from-gluten-and-dairy-products

Infertility From Dairy or Gluten?

I have seen patient for fertility who have gotten pregnant very quickly by making simple dietary changes. Two surprisingly easy adjustments would include cutting out dairy and gluten IF you have digestive problems.

Gas and bloating are signs that your food may not be digesting well.  This may be due to food intolerances, stress, or an imbalance in your intestinal flora.  It could also be a sign of a problem with dairy or gluten.

photo-of-foods-with-glutenGluten is found in most baked goods and all products that contain wheat flour.  A significant problem with gluten will manifest as gas or diarrhea following wheat products.  If you are bloated constantly, this may be a concern for you.  Problems with gluten can interfere with nutrient absorption.  It is believed that the nutrient deficiency is the cause of the resulting decreased fertility.  If you have problems with bloating and are trying to conceive, take gluten out for 3 weeks and see if your digestion changes.  If it does, leave it out.  You may also notice changes in joint pain, skin problems, fatigue, sleep problems, and metabolism.

photo-of-dairy-foodsDairy can also interfere with fertility if you have trouble digesting it.  The sugar found in milk and dairy products is called galactose.  Many women are unable to turn galactose into usable energy. When galactose is not broken down, it circulates in the blood. The galactose is harmful to the ovaries and the unfertilized eggs.  Development of unfertilized eggs may be impaired by the sugar from milk.  In general, studies show that one serving of dairy FAT (no more, no less) may be beneficial for fertility; the lactose can actually be harmful.  Many people find that a wide range of health conditions are improved from removing dairy from the diet.  The most common problems that benefit from removing dairy include ear infections, sinus infections, IBD, asthma, and allergies.  Many people who suffer from those conditions don’t realize that the dairy may also be interfering with fertility!

Interested in receiving my information on fertility in a series of emails?  It’s free, and organized for your convenience.  Contact my assistant at DrJohson@aspirehealthkc.com and ask to receive the optimizing fertility series.  This includes the blogs on the website and a few extra tips.

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a-small-bowl-of-slow-carb-food

Carbs that Prevent Morning Sickness

During pregnancy, you need to make sure you are getting “slow” carbs, not “low” carbs. That means the carbs that are slower and more difficult to digest will give you more sustained energy. If you don’t get the right balance of calories, you are likely to experience more nausea, fatigue, headaches, weight gain, and swelling. Focus first on breakfast. Adding a small amount of beans will do the trick for some. What about those on a paleo diet? Skip the beans and grains, and go straight to root veggies and winter squashes. Incorporate those foods into breakfast first. A portion size is between 30 and 40 carbs at a time. Fruit, processed flour, sugar, and cereals are not slow burning carbs. While you don’t need to cut them out completely, they are not doing you any favors with your energy. If you are constantly craving carbohydrates, make sure you are getting 70 grams of protein in a day and plenty of whole food fat. If the carb balance isn’t enough, make sure you are hydrated. For some pregnant women, that takes up to a gallon of water per day. As always, a good probiotic during pregnancy is worth its weight in gold. Consider adding other fermented foods to add to the digestive health. Treat constipation. If all of that still isn’t helping, you may need to look into food sensitivities. Some patients even report that having H. Pylori (a stomach infection) made their morning sickness worse.

Interested in receiving my information on fertility in a series of emails? It’s free, and organized for your convenience. Contact my assistant at DrJohson@aspirehealthkc.com and ask to receive the optimizing fertility series. This includes the blogs on the website and a few extra tips.

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