News & Articles

Spring is here and with it comes spring training. If the season change has put a spring in your step and a bounce in your gait, you’d better take some precautions so your spring forward doesn't become a major fitness setback.

Stretching is a good way to limber up


Limbering Up

Any time you start a new fitness regimen, you’re bound to feel a bit stiff and achy. What you don’t want to feel is pain – especially in the soft tissue that supports your joints. All too often, a new exercise routine will cause inflammation in the joints and, if the athlete presses on, can in turn cause muscle strain or joint problems. One of the most effective ways to keep those joints limber is with Maori Miracle. This natural supplement taps into the healing power of green-lipped mussels found in New Zealand.  The aboriginal people of New Zealand ate these shellfish and had very few problems with joint inflammation. So, scientists decided test the properties out and discovered the healing power could be translated in a supplement. They added white willow bark for further inflammation support and Maori Miracle was born. Maori Miracle is often used by patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis, but is equally effective for people who will be making new demands on their joints during their spring (or any season) training.


Recovery is the key to getting fitIt’s all about the Recovery

It might seem strange to talk about the recovery before talking about performance, but how your body repairs itself will be the true test in whether you'll be successful in your training. Muscle stiffness and some swelling should be expected when you start working out harder.  To relieve those muscle aches, stay natural with Traumeel creams and gels.  This natural product not only helps with aches and pains post workout, it also improves blood circulation to the area to ensure that inflammation is minimal in both muscles and soft tissue. Spread Traumeel over the area that you've worked on that day before it has a chance to become inflamed.


Thermoflow knee band can keep injuries at bayPrecaution and Performance

Another great way to avoid the pain of training is to ensure that the muscles and soft tissue are being supported throughout the workout. Thermoflow bands (like the elbow band, knee band, wrist band, and ankle band) not only provide minor compression support, they are also embedded with microscopic ceramic particles that reflect the body’s far infra-red rays back into the system.  Far infra-red assists circulation – making sure that the blood is flowing to areas that may become swollen or strained. The same far infra-red technology can be found in Thermoflow garments for a more general circulation assistance. To really pinpoint the treatment, the Nanopatch can be applied to the specific area where stiffness or pain develops after the workout.


Getting to the finish line requires energySticking with It

The optimism of spring often puts ambitious fitness goals in our heads which can easily be dashed when life gets in the way.  Find the energy you need to keep going with Perfect Energy. This whole-food, herbal multi-vitamin supports your nutritional needs and enhances energy. It includes powerful vitality herbs like organic maca, ginseng and rhodiola – stimulants procured from cultures around the world – to work on a cellular level to boost energy and keep you feeling positive about the workout ahead.


D-Ribose is another fantastic supplement for ramping up the creation of energy molecules in the body.  How this supplement helps training is by enhancing the metabolic system (which faces strain when exercise is increased), improving the body’s ability to recover by fuelling muscles tissue and supporting heart tissue and function which is dealing with new demands.


Spring sun can be strong and cause burns and dehydration - take precautionsDon’t Underestimate the Sun

The return of the sun is what got you out there, so don’t ignore it. As the days get warmer, there is an increased risk of dehydration.  Make sure you drink plenty of water during and after your workout. If you have exerted yourself a lot, you may have sweat out your electrolytes which will leave you feeling drained and may make you nauseas. Refuel with Hydralyte. Dissolve a packet into water for a top up of glucose and electrolytes.


It’s also important to prepare yourself for sun exposure. Don’t be fooled into thinking that the spring sun isn't strong enough to do damage. Apply sunscreen before you head out the door (don’t forget those areas that may be exposed if you remove a layer after warming up).  Be sure to select a sunscreen that isn't loaded with chemicals and toxins – you might be doing more harm than good. Think Baby Sunscreen may have been formulated for kids but its lack of parabens and other hormone disrupting chemicals makes it a good choice for adult skin too.


Congratulations on making the commitment to tackling a fitness goal this spring. Use these natural solutions and you'll be welcoming summer fit and trim.



Photo Credits via Flickr: Stretching - Elvert Barnes, Bike Race -  derekskey, Finish Line - Philo Nordlund, Spring Sunshine -  Edward Langley


Few medical exams illicit as much dread as the colonoscopy. And yet, a recent study published in JAMA Internal Medicine suggest that depending on the age group, between 23 – 39% of colonoscopies are unnecessary. Avoid falling into these statistics by achieving optimal colon health.

the danger of colonoscopy includes anasthaesia

The Danger of Colonoscopies

Many people disregard the dangers of a colonoscopy because the procedure is so common. The reality is that damage to the wall of the colon such as perforations or tears are a concern during the procedure, as are the risks of being under a general anaesthesia.  However, American research by the National Cancer Institute says approximately 143,000 of colo-rectal cancer are diagnosed every year with an estimated one third of those cases being fatal. So, it’s important to weigh the risks with your doctor and family.  Or, better yet, keep your colon healthy and avoid having to make the decision.


Chia Powder is full of fibre and good for colon healthReduce the Risk with Roughage

Good old roughage. Most of us know that a diet rich in fiber is a great way to ensure a healthy colon. This includes eating lots of legumes, cooked green veggies, whole grains and dried fruit. To increase the roughage, try topping up morning cereal or thickening soups with Chia Powder. Chia is a super food that’s full of fibre and a great way to improve your digestive health (and even lower cholesterol). But let’s be honest – if you aren’t the type to blend up a fibre-rich smoothie or sit down to a plate of steamed kale and lentils – you need to supplement your fibre intake to ensure optimal colon health. FIBER-rific is just as the name suggests – a terrific way to get the fiber you need (without having to hold your nose at the dinner table).


good digestion is part of colon healthGut Reaction

Good digestion is the first step in having optimal colon health. What you eat and when you eat all play a role in how well your digestive system can function.  But there are also a couple of natural

ways to help the stomach do its job.  The stomach needs a perfect balance of digestive enzymes and healthy bacteria to keep things moving.  If you are prone to feeling bloated, gassy or experience indigestion or if you have a diet that is mostly cooked or full of processed foods, you’ll likely find that supplementing your diet with a supplement like Digest Gold will help to break down your food better and faster.  This is one of the most powerful enzyme supplements on the market that not only helps digestion but will increase the amount of nutrients you absorb from the food you eat.


Another great way to improve digestion is with active probiotic cells – the more live cells the better!  Udo’s Super Adult Probiotics has 12 billion active cells all going to work on your stomach’s microflora.  That may not sound like something you want going on in your gut, but with a healthy microflora, you’ll digest carbohydrates, fat and proteins quickly while fighting off unwanted, disease causing microbes and pathogens.


flax seed oilClear the Path

There are a lot of reasons that moving your bowels may be difficult.  We’ve addressed several ways to avoid constipation and keep the digestive system working but you want to also focus on the colon too. One thing to think about is reducing inflammation.  Flax seeds are a great way to increase your fibre intake but one of the side benefits is that flax seed oil is an excellent way to reduce inflammation.  CLA is another natural option many people don’t think about for colon health. Not only does it aid in digestion and reduce inflammation, studies also suggest it might be effective in reducing colon cancer cells.


If things are feeling chronically plugged up, it might be time for a system flush. A colon cleanse is not for everyone but for many it is kind of like rebooting your computer. Bioxy Cleanse is a colon detoxifying and cleansing formula that clears out the gastrointestinal tract, colon and arteries.  It uses the power of oxygen to clear out the system. Many people find that a colon cleanse like this one eases bloating, nausea and general digestive discomfort. It can also relieve constipation, aid in weight loss and revitalize energy levels.


Talking about your colon health can be uncomfortable

Due Respect

It’s easy to ignore the colon – most of us don’t want to think about it or are too polite to talk about it. However, the colon is a big part of our overall health and it’s something that we don’t want to take for granted.  If you are experiencing issues around digestion, constipation or are seeing blood in your stools, don’t delay in seeing your doctor.  Otherwise, show your colon some respect by taking advantage of these natural solutions for optimal colon health.



Photo Credits: Anaesthesia -  Critical Moss, Digesting -  soundfromwayout, Jeans -  movethelife


You may have noticed a lot of articles mentioning sleep studies this week – that’s because it’s Sleep Awareness Week. And with daylight savings time robbing an hour of it from us this weekend, it seems like a good time to review some tips on how to get a good sleep, naturally.

I hate waking up


A lot of people take sleep for granted and if they don’t get enough sleep they just put up with being tired. Wake up! A lack of sleep does more than hamper your mood. Studies show that sleep plays a key role in your overall wellbeing. To start with, poor sleep habits have been linked with weight gain which can, in turn, lead to obesity, diabetes and other health issues. A Norwegian study released earlier this week shows that people with bad sleep habits are more likely to suffer heart failure.  And if that’s not enough, another study found that sleep issues can actually alter your genes and leave you susceptible to auto-immune disease, stress and metabolic disorders.  Sleep is serious stuff!


hit the gym to sleep betterHit the Gym then Hit the Sheets

The National Sleep Foundation (of American) reports that exercise is the key to a better night’s sleep. In its survey they found that about ¾ of respondents who exercise regularly report good or very good sleep patterns. Even as much as 10 minutes of walking seems to do the trick in terms of getting a good night’s rest. But starting out with a new exercise regime can be a challenge to your muscles. To decrease the chance of sore muscles, use the power of far infrared energy. Thermoflow garments can be worn during exercise to increase blood flow and decrease feelings of cramping, inflammation and fatigue.  In addition, treating stiff muscles right after exercise with self-massage using the Marathon Stick will also increase circulation and decrease the muscle recovery time.  And, as a bonus, the increased blood flow from both will help relax the body to make falling asleep easier.


herbal homeopathic solutions for sleep problems

Herbal Help

There are many herbal options for those who struggle with being able to drift off to dreamland. Nite Eze is an all natural supplement that helps to reset your sleep-wake cycle which can be especially helpful if your schedule has been altered (like during daylight savings time).  It also promotes general relaxation and even calms restless legs.  For a homeopathic option look to Neurexan. This preparation calms nerves, eases stress and helps you fall asleep. It also helps to reduce daytime fatigue – so you have the energy to get to the gym.  Another herbal option is Avena Force which uses the mellow-inducing power of flowering oats.  This herb supports the nervous system and reduces feelings of exhaustion.  Sip this before bed and punch your passport to dreamland.


acupressure solution for snoringPeace and Quiet

If snoring is at the heart of your sleep problems, there are natural solutions. A snoring partner can wake you throughout the night but being the snorer can mean a fitful, restless night too. Either way, put an end to snoring without a prescription or giant, cumbersome contraptions.  The Antisnor Acupressure Ring sits on your pinky finger and puts mild pressure on the exact spot that will stimulate an area of the brain to stop snoring from happening. This non-invasive option is adjustable to any finger size for total comfort.  Another natural solution for those who snore is the TSD.  TSD stands for ‘tongue stabilizing device’ and what it does is simply sit on the tip of the tongue to make snoring impossible.  It has been clinically proven to be effective in treating sleep disordered breathing like snoring and to reduce sleep apnea too.

Natural Solutions for better sleepGet Happy, Sleep Better

Many people who suffer from anxiety and stress don’t notice it until they are lying in bed at night with a million thoughts keeping them awake.  If stress, anxiety, depression or mood disorders keep you awake, getting to sleep is critical because being tired will only exacerbate the problem. 5-HTP naturally occurs in the body but for some, additional supplementation is required. This amino acid triggers chemicals needed for happiness and sleep including serotonin and melatonin.  Used often to treat mild depression, this natural product can also help to ease a troubled mind and support good sleep habits.  Tryfonia Max contains 5-HTP derived from the Griffonia seed and also helps to improve mood, alleviate anxiety and insomnia.

We all may be losing an hour of sleep this weekend but if you’ve been losing several hours on a regular basis, don’t wait to deal with your sleep problem. A lack of sleep can be the base problem for a lot of health concerns so catch those zzz's now and you’ll stay vital longer.


Photos Credits via Flickr: Waking Up -  bark, Workout - Hotel Der Oeschberghof - Golf - Spa - TagungSleeping - tanjila


According to a 2011 study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, almost 1 in 5 Canadians suffer from Metabolic Syndrome. And, women have a higher risk than men. Are you part of the 20% of Canadians with this life threatening condition?

Obesity is one of the signs of Metabolic SyndromeMetabolic Syndrome

There are several risk factors that add up to a condition known as Metabolic Syndrome. These include high blood pressure, high blood sugar, unhealthy cholesterol levels and an excessive waist size. You may recognize these conditions as precursors to two serious health risks – cardiovascular disease (specifically arteriosclerosis a.k.a hardening of the arteries) and diabetes.

A healthy diet can help reverse metabolic syndromeReversible Condition

Metabolic Syndrome need not be a chronic condition. Lifestyle changes including regular exercise and a healthy diet can lower cholesterol, improve blood pressure and support weight loss and weight management. However, sometimes these lifestyle changes need a jump start. Metagenics is a product line of targeted nutritional supplements and medical food programs that are specifically designed to counter the symptoms of Metabolic Syndrome. In addition, Metagenics has created a lifestyle coaching program called FirstLine Therapy (FLT) to provide individual support through these changes. Marks Pharmacy not only offers the full line of Metagenics products but they have a Certified FLT Coach on staff.

The BPro is more accurate than a crystal ball in detecting hardening of the arteriesDetecting Metabolic Syndrome Before it’s Too Late

While any doctor can help you monitor your blood pressure and a scale or measuring tape will tell the truth about your weight, gauging your heart’s health can be trickier. Ask any survivor of a heart attack and they will tell you they wish they could have seen it coming. There is a way to look into your heart’s health future and it doesn’t require a crystal ball. Scientists have developed a medical assessment tool that uses the arterial pulse to determine the health of the arteries. It’s called the BPro system and it reads the arterial pulse wave to detect any early signs of hardening of the arteries. The procedure is non-invasive and available mostly through health centres.

The BPro measures arterial heart pulse with a wrist deviceDon’t Wait(list)

Luckily, people in Vancouver don’t have to deal with a doctor or get on a waitlist to gain access to the potentially lifesaving BPro analysis. The BPro is available at Marks Pharmacy (3750 Oak St. @ W. 22nd Ave.). The process is simple. A monitor is attached to your wrist and the device reads your arterial pulse wave. The results from this reading are sent to a Canadian Cardiologist for review. If there is any reason for concern, the Cardiologist will alert your doctor and you’ll be scheduled to see a Cardiologist in person, as soon as possible. Talk about being proactive about your health! This ability to judge the health of your heart before you’re in danger of a heart attack could be lifesaving. Why wait until your heart is in distress to do something about your cardiovascular health?

To find out more about supporting your cardiometabolic health or to book an appointment for the BPro analysis, call 604.731.8535 or stop by Marks Pharmacy on Oak Street at W. 22nd Ave in Vancouver.


Photo Credits: Excess Belly Fat - FBellon, Healthy Diet - koadmunkee, Crystal Ball - Anomalous Productions


Remedies for dry Winter Skin



Not only are the days shorter and the temperatures lower but by now winter is probably wreaking havoc on your skin. Send that dry, flaking skin packing with these all-natural answers to a dewy complexion.

Drink lots of water for good skinBeauty from the Inside Out

We’ve all heard that beauty comes from the inside. When it comes to having great skin, you really do have to reset your insides to get your outside looking young and healthy. The first thing you need to do is drink plenty of water. Skin needs hydration and it’s easy to forget to drink water when the hot weather isn’t making you thirsty.  Make sure to drink the purist, most nourishing water possible by using the Santevia system. It filters out the bad stuff while adding minerals and ensuring a perfect alkaline level in your H2O.


Bamboo is full of silicon and good for skinThe next step to working from the inside out is to make sure that you’re supporting your aging body. As we age, our tissue begins to die. To keep it healthy and young, a supplement of silicon is idea. Sili-Mer is an organic source of silicon with super high bioavailability – meaning your body will use it, not lose it. Another option is to tap into one of the world’s most silicon-rich plants – bamboo with Bamboo Sil.  Both of these natural products are anti-degenerative and promote not only good skin but great hair and nails too!


coconut oil is great for dry skinCoocoo for Coconuts

Coconut oil is making the rounds on popular cooking blogs as a nouveau way to fry up food. What a waste! One of the best uses of organic coconut oil is to put it on your skin. This amazing natural moisturizer will rehydrate winter skin fast. For an extra-hydrating treatment, slather it on your hands and feet before bed and cover with cotton gloves and socks. This is a must have item for both your pantry and your beauty routine.


Psoriasis Relief

Psoriasis skin

Psoriasis is a very common skin condition that is different for each sufferer. It might appear as a permanent red patch or it could be an extremely itchy, uncomfortable area where the skin is thick, flaky with whitish scales. If winter brings out your Psoriasis, don’t turn to the medicated creams without first trying the all-natural Cosmaderm by AOR. This topical treatment takes advantage of many of nature’s anti-inflammatory and pain relieving plants. Specifically, it includes ‘neem’ a plant used in Ayurvedic and Unani medicine for millennia in treating skin conditions and diseases. It softens the skin, is antibacterial and encourages healthy new cell production to speed up healing. The second key ingredient is curcumin (also known as turmeric) which reduces pain and also repairs the skin. Additional herbs work together in creating a natural remedy that soothes existing psoriasis sores and reduces the chances of further outbreaks.


A Four Season Plan

LaVigne all natural skin cream Once you get your winter skin under control - keep it looking fresh and young year round with all natural and organic LaVigne skin care products. One of the most important things to say about LaVigne is that they don’t contain any parabens, sodium lauryl sulfates or any harsh chemicals. Since your skin is your largest organ (and everything you put on your skin eventually makes it into your internal system), it is important to be aware of what chemicals are going on your skin (and what they can mean for your long-term health).  The other great thing about LaVigne is that the product line works to keep your skin looking young and supple. And, your beauty is guilt-free because this manufacturer makes every effort to be environmentally friendly.


Don’t let the winter months rob you of your good looks. Fight that dry, flaky skin with these natural products then set yourself up to never be a victim of winter’s harsh effects again.



Photo Credits via Flickr: Winter Skin -  martinak15, Glass of Water -  Greg Riegler PhotographyBamboo - rcbodden, Psoriasis - Mysi(new stream: