Federal Way NaturopathyFederal Way Naturopathy

Fax: (253) 237-0606
900 S. 336 St.
Federal Way, WA 98003

Our hours are:
Monday-Friday 8am - 5pm
Saturday and Sunday closed

Craniosacral Therapy for Newborns

Unwinding the babies

The birthing process is an epic event in the life of each person. For all babies, whether born vaginally or via c-section, there is a small space for them to push through or to be pulled out of. For some, this is a relatively uneventful experience. For others, there can be force or trauma involved in the delivery process—especially when vacuum extraction or forceps are used—that can result in a variety of concerns.

In any of these situations, vaginal birth or c-section, normal or difficult delivery, the connective tissues (fascia) that surround the muscles, bones, and organs, as well as the brain, can be compromised. If the fascia is not able to go back to a normal position, it can become stuck in a “restriction” which gets in the way of normal functioning by impeding nutritional circulation into the area. The practice of craniosacral therapy can find and release fascial restrictions with the goal of restoring normal function when post-birth problems become evident. This is a subtle and profound therapy that offers potential for subtle and profound results.

History and Application of Craniosacral Therapy

Historically, the craniosacral technique was developed by osteopathic doctors (DOs). In the 1930s, William Sutherland, DO, first wrote about the therapy and it was later made more popular by John Upledger, DO, around 1973. It is now also practiced by naturopathic doctors, physical and occupational therapists, registered nurses, acupuncturists, dentists, licensed massage practitioners, and occasionally MDs. As with all such techniques, it is important for the practitioner you choose to have specialized training, experience, and good references from other parents.

There is a wide range of conditions that craniosacral therapy might be appropriate for in your newborn or infant, including but not limited to: torticollis (tilted head from a one-sided neck spasm), misshapen head, colic, constipation, tongue-tie, lip tie, or hip dysplasia. While some issues such as hip dysplasia and tongue-tie may require surgery, this therapy can, in many cases, often complement it.

How Craniosacral Therapy is Performed

When working with newborns and infants, the baby is physically held for evaluation of the very subtle fascial movement which is created by the production and circulation of cerebral/spinal fluids. The practitioner must develop their techniques through much qualified study and practice as it is a very subtle pulsation that can be observed and worked with. The subtle movement felt in a healthy system should be symmetrical and vibrant. If there is restriction or abnormality in this fascia, movement is brought into a “stillpoint”, and requires release for relief. A typical treatment would start with holding the fully clothed baby very gently. While holding the head, I let them suck on my finger and evaluate the movement of the head. Holding the whole body, I assess the movement of the spine. I then feel the belly to evaluate the movement of the internal organs. Finally, I gauge the movement of the arms and legs. All touch is very gentle, the evaluation requires very sensitive expertise, and treatment is happening at the same time if called-for. This very subtle interfacing with the fascia leads to an unwinding of restriction patterns, a sort of liberation for stuck connective tissue.

In my experience, most babies are very receptive to the gentle touch of the craniosacral therapist. However, it is also not uncommon to find resistance on the part of the baby, especially if there are major restriction patterns or pain. Even though the treatment is subtle, it can sometimes be uncomfortable. In those instances, the mother can breast or bottle feed the infant during the treatment session to diminish the discomfort.

You may have seen versions of craniosacral therapy where an infant’s cranial bones are realigned with a more forceful pressure. Though this can be an effective technique for cranial overlap after birth, it is not the typical application of craniosacral therapy.

What to expect in a session

A craniosacral treatment session would typically be scheduled for 30-60 minutes. You can ask for and expect an explanation of what your baby will be experiencing during the treatment and a quiet environment is preferred so the provider can tune into the subtlety of the tissue movement. I encourage parents to establish trust and confidence with the practitioner and address all concerns before the treatment begins.

For some babies only one craniosacral evaluation and treatment is required. For more complicated or resistant conditions, a series of treatments may be useful to better facilitate the changes needed to effect good health. Occasionally, craniosacral treatments will be an ongoing remedy for good developmental support.

I have been a naturopathic doctor in family practice for 26 years and see people of all ages for all kinds of health problems. One of my greatest joys is to see a newborn child get started in life with the advantage of holistic care and a gentle, non-invasive treatment like craniosacral therapy. Though often very subtle in appearance, in some cases it is can dramatically improve the health of the tiniest patients.

Don't Waste Time, Lose the Waist with HCG

By Karen Rasmussen, ND

Federal Way Naturopathy is promoting the HCG (human chorionic gonadotrophin) diet weight loss program based on European physician Dr. Simeons' manuscript "Pounds and Inches: A New Approach to Obesity." Since the introduction of HCG to the clinic in 2008, over 200 men and women have successfully completed the program. The theory behind the mechanism of HCG is that it stimulates the hypothalamus in the brain to release abnormal fat stores in problem areas at an accelerated rate by resetting the individual's metabolism. By affecting the rate of metabolism, the individual can maintain the weight loss and continue to lose weight post HCG without concern for hunger or abnormal fat deposition. The majority of patients, who go through the program feel great, sleep great, have a decrease in appetite, and no hunger or cravings.

The program is medically supervised and individualized based on the patient's own unique health and weight loss goals. The weight loss phase requires a minimum of 23 days up to 45 days depending on how much weight needs to be lost. The diet is 500-600 calories of fresh fruits, vegetables, and protein. The HCG is delivered into the body either through daily intra-muscular injections, or oral sublingual drops/pellets. The expected weight loss is 10-15lbs in three weeks or 20-30lbs in a six-week period. For patients who have more weight to lose the HCG phase can be repeated after a six-week break. Once the weight loss phase has been completed support and resources are provided for the patient to ensure continued success. Oftentimes the patient will be put through a detoxification diet program prior to starting the HCG to prepare the body and mind for the very structured and low calorie HCG program.

Since this is a medically supervised program, once you are established on the program your doctor will follow you on a weekly basis to ensure success and help maximize weight loss.

The weight loss program is not covered by insurance but can be reimbursed through flex spending plans. Please contact our office at 253-942-3301 to get information about expenses. To learn more about HCG it is highly recommended that you read Dr. Simeons' manuscript online. The website is: http://www.hcgdietinfo.com/Dr-ATW-Simeons-Pounds-and-Inches.htm.

The True Cost of Pretty Nails

Ever read the tiny print on a bottle of nail polish? Most contain more than 50% of toluene (suspected cancer causing agent), pthalates (increase incidence of birth defects and a hormone disruptor), and formaldehyde (suspected cancer causer and known liver toxin). Allergic reactions are common as well as fungal infections - especially with cuticle removal and the use of acrylic nails. Workers in nail salons are at increased risk for brain damage and blood cell-related cancers. Pregnant women are best off to avoid the nail salon. The good news for those that can't break the habit, is that many brands are changing to less toxic ingredients including: OPI's 2008 line and No Miss Nail Care and Sante. The latter 2 can be found at many health stores. Or in- quire at your favorite salon and get them using safer products for everyone.

FYI-Caution with products from The Vitamin Shoppe

The now infamous equity firm of Bear Stearns purchased the Vitamin Shoppe mail order supplement company in 2002. A recent report from Consumerlab.com shows that the women's multivitamin contained 15.3 micrograms of lead per serving. This amount is more than 10 times the amount that can be permitted without labeled warning in California (the only state to have passed the safe label act). Two things come to mind here, first, be careful with the brands of products you choose, they are not created equal. The companies we have chosen for our dispensary have been chosen for their superior quality. They are companies we trust regardless of where you purchase them. If you are unsure about product quality, bring it with you on your next appointment for our review. And second, if a product is bottled or produced in California it has to pass more stringent standards or be labeled with its risks. Taking advantage of that information may allow you to bring safer products into your home.

Craniosacral Therapy as Holistic Healing

By Dr. Colleen Hart, N.D.

Do you wonder what the missing piece is in your health puzzle? We often know what our health issues are, yet sometimes cannot solve the mystery of the solution or the cure. We often have had experiences and events throughout our lives that have had an invisible impact and thereby become the hidden mystery'.

Craniosacral therapy is a hands-on modality of healing touch. It is rooted in Osteopathic Tradition applied in the field of holistic medicine and physical medicine. It is comprehensive in its' ability to detect restricitions' throughout the entire connective tissue system. That includes muscle, tendon, ligament, meninges, and mesenteric tissues (which cover the organs). With this comprehensive information on ease in motion, thereby function, and lack of motion or restriction, much can be understood. Also, much can be improved.

The work is subtle in that a very light touch is all that is used. It is comprehensive in that all tissues in the body are involved. It is a profound therapy in that anything and everything can be influenced with release of holding patterns in the connective tissue. Lastly, it is deeply relaxing and thereby deeply enjoyable as a treatment modality. So many problems are improved with the release of tissue holding patterns. So many problems are improved by deep relaxation and stimulation of the parasympathetic nervous system. The body/mind/spirit can be retrained on how to relax and function properly as we were designed. Stress is momentarily eradicated. This body education and experience is reinforced with each treatment at the same time that the tissue is being released.

"The leg bone's connected to the thigh bone. The thigh bone's connected to the hip bone" In this connection, everything effects everything else in the system. Chronic headaches, migraine headaches, TMJ, back or neck pain, sciatica, menstrual cramps, dizziness, depression, insomnia, constipation, restless legs, etc. can all be improved with craniosacral therapy. Injuries and surgeries can be healed more quickly. Distress in newborns and colic and inability to suck or failure to thrive can often be linked to cranial or fascial restrictions developed in the birthing process. Distress in quickly growing children and dental braces can be mitigated by the treatments. Resolution of head injuries, foggy thinking, and concussions can be expedited.

Usually a series of treatments is required, especially if the problem has been around for a long time. Often times other healing modalities are required as well. But, undoubtedly, for those health dilemas that are ongoing, or seemingly unresolvable, craniosacral therapy is a requisite treatment to incorporate into the healing process. Craniosacral Therapy is truly a holistic healing tool. And if, by chance, the solution is not attained, this non-invasive treatment is truly relaxing and restoring so there is nothing to lose in the process.

Wiley Hormone Replacement Therapy Available at FWN

By Karen Rasmussen, ND

We are excited to offer the Wiley protocol created by T.S. Wiley as an option for hormone replacement therapy in women and men. The Wiley protocol is a standardized bio-identical hormone replacement therapy delivery system based on the belief that women must continue to cycle their hormones and have a monthly menstrual bleed as their own body's ability to produce hormones gradually declines.

FDA approved topical estradiol, progesterone, and testosterone are dosed in a rhythmic manner to mimic a normal healthy cycle of a 20 year old, just as hormones naturally fluctuate throughout a 28-day cycle. There are key differences between Wiley and static dosing of bio-identical hormones. Static dosing is typically low dose hormones delivered at the same dose on a daily basis for symptom relief. On Wiley, hormone dosages increase and drop according to the rhythm of the cycle. Therefore, at certain days of the cycle much higher levels of hormones are applied to mimic ovulation and preparation for menses. Women who don't have a uterus or ovaries are also candidates for the regimen. Wiley is also available for men as testosterone therapy. The benefits of this type of dosing are alleviation of menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats, vaginal dryness, low libido, fatigue, hair thinning/loss, incontinence, headaches, brain fog, joint and muscle pain, insomnia, anxiety, depression, and weight gain. Promising research is showing that the Wiley method may be protective against Alzheimer's, Cardiovascular disease, Osteoporosis, and Cancer.

To learn more about the Wiley protocol it is recommended that you read Sex, Lies & Menopause by T.S. Wiley and visit the website www.wileyprotocol.com

Dr. Karen Rasmussen is a Wiley certified Naturopathic Physician and works with a Wiley registered pharmacy in Washington State.

Food Allergy Testing in the Pediatric Population

By Karen P. Rasmussen, ND

Within the last decade we have seen an increase in the incidence of food and environmental allergies. Lifestyle choices and dietary habits may lead to the development of food allergies. Symptoms in any part of the body can be triggered by a food. There is evidence that supports a genetic predisposition to development of certain food allergies based on occurrence of allergic reactions in other family members. Studies show that 69 percent of children presenting with allergy symptoms have a significant family history of food allergies. Another study showed that 67 percent of children with parents who both have allergies and 33 percent of those with one allergic parent are likely to develop food allergies. Research shows that food allergies can pass from a mother's breast milk to her infant and can be expressed as early as two weeks in the newborn as acid reflux. In a recent study it was demonstrated that obese children had higher levels of IgG antibodies then normal weight children. The antibodies are associated with systemic inflammation and have been linked to type 2 diabetes and atherosclerosis.

Food reactions can be non-immune or immune mediated. Non-immune allergy-like reactions are called "sensitivities" and we are still unsure about the mechanism behind the response. In an immune-mediated allergic reaction there is an exaggerated immune inflammatory response. The two most common antibodies associated with food allergies are called IgE and IgG. IgE responses are immediate and normally present with symptoms such as difficulty breathing or hives. IgG are delayed reaction responses that can take hours to days to present. The IgG antibody binds to certain proteins from food and can cause a multitude of diverse reactions. Food reactions can vary from minor irritation to severe behavioral disturbances.

Common IgG allergic symptoms in the pediatric population include: nasal and sinus congestion, constipation or diarrhea, acid reflux, hyperactivity, inattention, and rashes. Diseases commonly associated with food allergies are chronic sinusitis and rhinitis, asthma, ADHD, irritable bowel, and atopic dermatitis. Foods that are eaten frequently can trigger an immune inflammatory response over time. In many cases particular foods are hidden in the ingredient list of processed packaged foods unbeknownst to the patient/family.

The most common allergens in the pediatric population are: dairy, gluten (wheat, spelt, rye, barley, kamut), chicken eggs, citrus, and peanuts.

The most reliable way to identify food allergies is to eliminate all potential food allergens from the child's diet for a minimum of two weeks. In many cases a longer period of elimination might be needed if symptoms have not resolved. After symptoms have cleared then foods are challenged one by one back into the diet every two to three days. The child is observed for any allergic reaction. The drawback with this method is the difficulty to consistently remove the foods from the diet in the home, with other caregivers, and in school. Furthermore, delayed food reactions can take a few days before they present which can extend the reintroduction phase for weeks.

The traditional method of skin testing is more reliable for immediate anaphylactic IgE reactions to foods. The alternative to determine delayed IgG food reactions is blood testing. A test is now available for the pediatric population that just involves a needle prick for a small sample of blood. Results are received and interpreted by the physician within two weeks of sampling. Based on the level of the reaction, the child will need to at minimum rotate certain foods in the diet up to complete avoidance of the problematic foods for six months to a year. Once the allergies are eliminated, good gut health can be restored and future reintroduction can occur. Food allergy testing is available at Federal Way Naturopathy.


By Colleen Hart, N.D.

The word grief has an impact on the deepest parts of our being. Yet grief is an emotion that, for many, is glossed over in exchange for "moving on" in life. In the past few years I have experienced major grief. Amidst the intensity of coping with grief and keeping up with day-to-day living, I find myself pondering: "How are all these people walking around with a mass of grief inside and looking so normal?"

In my practice as a wholistic doctor, I often see where a person's grief is residing in their body. Untended or unexpressed, grief can accumulate into a manifestation of illness. Virtually any illness can have a root in grief just as readily as having a root in a microbe or a gene or a physical trauma. Often grief can be the underlying cause of a pain that has no other explanation or known cause. It can be a well disguised creator of dis-ease.

Grief has a life of its own and a timing to be honored. In my professional opinion grief must be felt in order to be integrated into the new structure of one's life. When the grief is worked through and experienced, something new will take its place. There must be room for that "something new". And I believe it is the process of grieving that makes space for the new.

People experience their grief in many different ways and there is no "right" way to do it.

Consider making time to be with yourself with the love and tenderness you would want to provide for someone dear to you. Let that dear one be you. Give yourself a warm candlelit bath, a walk in nature, time at the beach, a cup of tea or a glass of wine by the fireside, lingering with a sunset that calls your attention. How many ways might allow you to just "be" and "feel", if you leave an opening for them? How much freedom can be attained from a good cry or writing a poem or painting a picture, expressing your feelings? How much comfort can come from talking with a true friend? How much relief can be born from appreciating the things that no one can take from you, your very dear heart and soul?

A writing exercise to help you get in touch with your grief (or any emotion):

Dedicate 10 minutes to exploring your own current issues with grief (or fill in the blank for any emotion you want to visit). Sit down without distraction and with a timer, paper and pen. Sit back and close your eyes. Take a few long, deep breaths. When you've breathed long enough to feel relaxed, allow the word "grief" to appear in your minds' eye. Open your eyes and set the timer for 3 minutes. Without censoring yourself, write all the words that come to mind when you begin with the word "grief". After 3 minutes is up, go back and mark the ten words that seem most potent. Then time yourself for another three minutes to write a story using your words in the sequence in which they appear in your list. You see, from the short periods of time suggested, that you are not "thinking" about what you are writing. You are simply allowing the words to come on to the paper with no censoring whatsoever. You can then use what you've produced for reflection and insight or throw it away with only ten minutes "lost" to your day. This little writing project can be helpful for revealing hidden feelings' you might have in any aspect of your life. I hope you try it again and again.


By Dr. Colleen Hart, N.D.

It may save your life.

If you are one of most people now suffering with more stress than your body knows how to accommodate, you need to have some tools for coping. You name it, maybe holiday stress, maybe financial stress, maybe the health and welfare of yourself or someone close to you, etc.


Many of you followed up my yoga article by signing up for some classes or going back to a long lost yoga practice. Yeah!!!! Those of you who do yoga or Tai Chi know that breathing properly is the integration of body and mind for bringing your being into deep relaxation, restoration, and a sense of peacefulness inside. The asanas, or postures, will encourage the deeper breathe. But, nonetheless, you are the one who must be willing to let go of the stress in your muscles to achieve a more open breathe. If you practice yoga or Tai Chi or Feldenkreis, you know what I'm talking about. If you don't, again I will encourage you to try it.

You can practice deep breathing by itself as well. Here it is:

Sit or lay in a comfortable position with a straight spine and all muscles well supported.
Close your eyes.
Focus your attention on the inhalation of your breath. Allow it to be long and unobstructed.
Slowly exhale. Allow the exhalation to be long and complete.
When you are comfortable with that, allow the length of inhalation and exhalation to elongate. Be patient. Let your mind relax and stay with the moment.
Repeat for 1min, then 2, etc. You will find that a very short investment of time can make a big difference in your stress levels.
Remember to practice every day so it will become easier to call upon when you need it most.

As simple as this sounds, it can give you relief from the knots that we all tie ourselves in with worry and stress. Deep breathing can help you get free of your mind for a moment. Over time the moments can extend and you practice deep breathing more naturally in the course of your day.

I hope you will try some deep breathing and find a little more joy amidst the stress of our times. Let's all take a deep breath together. Breathe.

Dr. Hart teaches a beginning and continuing Tai Chi Ch'uan Class in Burien, Thurs. evenings at 7. For more information, contact Dr. Hart.

Relax Restore Renew

By Dr .Colleen Hart, N.D.

Wipe the slate clean each day. Like a white board. Too much stress adds up and overflows our limits, resulting in pain and misery and ill health. What to do? How to relax, restore, and renew?

I often recommend Yoga, Tai Chi and Feldenkreis classes for my patients. Breathing, meditation, and time with one's spiritual practices can be very helpful to our quality of life. I always recommend good eating, exercise, and self care. Additional considerations during the dark time of year are full spectrum lighting and extra Vitamin D.

Often times the "things to do" list for self care is too much, either because you are too tired, too stretched, or too depleted. I have included a few very simple and very practical poses that can achieve amazing results in as little as 5 to 15 minutes.

1) Lay on your back. Support the knees with a pillow or rolled blanket. Support the neck comfortably with a rolled towel or pillow. Cover up for warmth. Turn off the phone, turn on some quiet music or just quiet, put the animals out of the room. (a do-not-disturb sign may be necessary in some households) Close your eyes. Now breathe deeply into your belly. Simply follow your breath in and out, allowing yourself to relax on the exhalation. We take breathing for granted. I guarantee if you are able to do 10 minutes of a well supported deep breathing you will feel some restoration.

1A) for a little more intense experience, lay on the floor with your legs up a wall so that your legs are bent at a 90 degree angle from the floor. Same as above for warm and quiet. Again, focus on your breathing and allow your busy mind to take a break.

2) Stand in a quiet and warm environment. Place your feet shoulder width and parallel. Bend your knees slightly, keeping them as wide as your feet. (there should not be pain in the knees) Relax your tailbone, straighten your spine, and allow your head to sit comfortably directly over the spine. Let your shoulders be relaxed, arms quiet by your sides. Focus on your breath, each inhalation long and full, and each exhalation long and complete. If your mind wanders, come back to your breathing. If your legs get tired, bend them less and follow your breath.

2A) For a more intense challenge, allow your arms to raise up in front of your chest as if you are holding a big beach ball between your arms and your body. Keep the shoulders relaxed and follow your breath, just like the other exercises. Over time, work up to 5 minutes of holding this posture.

Yoga, T'ai Chi, Chi Gong, and Feldenkreis are all body-mind-spirit exercises that promote relaxation, restoration, and daily renewal. In our world of stress, busy..ness, and multitasking, 5 minutes a day to stop, breathe, and wipe the slate clean' can enhance your well being. I hope you will try these exercises and find peace and joy this holiday season.