Naturopathic doctors are nature’s allies to healing and bringing hope to many. In this episode, Dr. Kevin Pecca interviews Dr. Jannine Krause, a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine, an acupuncturist, and the host of a podcast called The Health Fix. Dr. Krause walks us through how they care for specific patients and decide the kind of herbal remedies they need. She also talks about the different tests they run to understand a patient’s needs. Join Dr. Kevin and Dr. Krause as they take a deep dive into naturopathic medicine, acupuncture, and stress relief.
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The Health Fix With Dr. Jannine Krause
Acupuncture, Naturopathic, And Stress Relief
Dr. Jannine Krause is a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine, an acupuncturist and podcast host out of Tacoma, Washington. She is dedicated to empowering people to take charge of their own health. Her unique approach is simplifying natural medicine and healthy habit formation. She believes that health starts with what we eat, how we move and how well we manage stress. She wants to help prevent little health issues from becoming big ones down the road. She is committed to slowing down the aging process and wants to help others with this too. There’s a lot of health information available out there and she’s here to help people focus on what’s important and sustainable for them. Please welcome, Dr. Jannine Krause.
We have Dr. Jannine Krause. She is an acupuncturist, a naturopath out of Tacoma, Washington. Dr. Jannine, how are you?
I’m doing great. Thanks for having me on, Kevin.
I love having acupuncturists, naturopaths on. It looks like you are doing some great work out there so I’m excited to dive into it and learn more about you. Where are you from originally?
I’m from Winthrop Harbor, Illinois. It’s the last town on Lake Michigan before you get to Wisconsin.
How did your health journey start? How did you get into acupuncture and naturopathic medicine?
First, I started being interested in natural remedies. I was watching my mom do things. My mom was somewhat of a hippie. She was into twigs and sticks as I called it. The kids were getting Doritos. I was a kid getting the sesame sticks for my snacks. I’m not going to lie that I tried to trade them, but it’s funny now that I’m a naturopath because I lived it as a kiddo. I’ve come to find out, even though my mom was being healthy, she ended up getting breast cancer. I was about fifteen years old when she was diagnosed and pretty impressionable. She had this amazing acupuncturist. The guy hasn’t even aged since I was fifteen.
He looks like he is still in his 40s. He was kind, listened to my questions and embraced my interest in acupuncture. That took off. I saw how great my mom was doing with acupuncture. She started seeing some naturopathic doctors. I drilled them because I wasn’t liking the coldness of the traditional cancer treatments and how the whole environment went there. I loved every time she went to the naturopaths because they were like, “You can eat this and you could do this supplement and you could try this.” There were 8,000 things you could do besides drink water, go home and rest. That’s how I jumped into the whole career.
I’ve never been to a naturopathic doctor. I’ve heard phenomenal things. People come to you for many different ailments and they want to get healthy. How do you and other naturopathic doctors start with that patient and decide what herbal remedies and other things to do for that specific patient?
The difference between a naturopathic doctor and conventional is that we are trained to figure out what is the cause of that condition. A lot of people talk all over the internet about it now. It’s no secret that finding the cause is the way to go. We’ll start with that, diving into all kinds of different questions. We’re going to ask you questions that you are like, “You want to know about my boob? Do you want to know about what I eat? Do you want to know all these details?”
I’ve heard you guys ask very detailed history questions that most other doctors don’t think of?
Absolutely. Maybe we take a bad rap for it, but we test a lot. Part of it is digging in. It’d be like, “Is there a virus causing your pain or is there some type of bacteria in your gut?” There are all kinds of reasons for why we have the conditions we do. A lot of times I will go back to what’s going on with stress and mental health too. I ask a lot of questions about stress, trauma, sleep, all of those different things. We put all that together and come up with either lifestyle changes or some stress management tips. We do go towards the herbal remedies or supplements, things of that nature. I’m a little different. I don’t like giving people a whole suitcase full of supplements. I don’t think that works. I think it’s doing nothing different than a conventional doc. I definitely think that there’s a lot of things we can do that are not medicine-related and bodywork like self-body work-related that can help.
I know you are a big fan of putting the person’s health into their own hands and not relying on certain doctors to get better and that’s extremely important.
We’re not going to care about your health as much as you do. You have to take part in it. It’s a team approach. I need my patients as much as me to put the effort in. I’m sure you feel the same way.
What testing do you do? Do you do blood work, stool samples or urine testing? What are some of the tests you run?
I make the joke if it is any orifice that something comes out of, I can usually figure out a way to test it. Saliva testing for sure. I love that for hormones. I love it for finding out cortisone in particular, how stressed out is somebody. I love looking at urine for looking at metals, things of that nature. Blood testing, you can do all kinds of things from food allergies to looking at viruses and autoantibodies for that matter. Stool testing, I will look at that to see what’s going on in terms of someone’s microbiome profile like biome, those kinds of tests. I’ll do one that we can figure out how someone’s breaking down foods too, like what’s going on with the enzymes and things of that nature. There are a lot of different tests out there.
Patients have probably, like their gut biome and other things, been stuck in this pattern for a long time. How long do you tell people to give this a chance, the supplementation or other things you use? If you do it for 1 or 2 days or try for 1 or 2 times, it’s not going to make a big change in their life because they’ve been like this for so long. How do you like to tell your patients to stick with it until they notice a change?
That’s like the million-dollar question. A lot of times I’ll tell people like, “I’m not conventional medicine. I don’t have an antibiotic and your bacteria is gone.” Technically I could use antibiotics. I can prescribe them, but I’d like to go a little bit better in terms of going towards the root. On average, I’ll tell people at least give me two weeks on something. It’ll vary based on what I’m working with. Two weeks is like if something is new, give the herbs about two weeks to clear something. If something’s been around for say, five years, you probably need at least 5 to 10 months. I tell people is not the time you’ve added. You probably need to take that in months. Go with five or double it because it depends on how severe things are.
That’s pretty standard for the upper cervical work I do too. One guy has been doing it for about 34 years. He says, “For how many years you’ve had that condition. Usually, you want to give it that amount of months.” It could clear up sooner, but it’s a safe bet to a good baseline for everybody. You also do acupuncture. When do you incorporate acupuncture with naturopathic medicine?
It’s as soon as I can get them on the table. If it’s on the first visit, I will get someone on the table. I am hands-on. Much like with you in chiropractic, I want to do something so that they feel changed walking out that door that day. If I can, I’m definitely going to try acupuncture. I might do some bodywork types of techniques as well. I usually will try to incorporate it if not the first visit. If we talk a lot the first visit, great. By the second visit, you’re getting some acupuncture.
Why does acupuncture work? I know it has to do with the meridians and clearing out that. How does the healing process work with acupuncture? It’s fascinating to me because I get it done like once every month and every time it’s like a natural reset button for me.
I was talking about that with a patient. It’s like those old calculators where they would mess up and we needed to put the pen in the back. That’s how acupuncture works. It’s put the button in and goes. What’s happening? You put the needles in and you get blood flow because you’re creating a wound. It would be like if you cut yourself like a paper cut, but it does not feel like a paper cut. It’s a needle. You might feel it, you might not. Put that needle in and once that blood flow starts going, now you also have the messages from the body such as sodium and potassium. Your electrolytes start moving. You get a little bit of white blood cells moving.
You get proinflammatory and anti-inflammatory molecules working too. Ultimately by putting needles in certain areas, which would be your channels or you could put them into motor points where the muscle goes and connects with the nerves, you’re going to get flow. You’re going to get a change in the body. That’s on a basic level. The Chinese had figured out for 5,000 years what different points do what. We have that system. We also have a system related to our muscles in sinews or tenderness tissue and it’s cool. From our foot all the way up to our back of our head, as you probably know, we are connected. If you put a needle in the foot, you will have the effect of that muscle up into the tendon all the way up the base of the skull.
A lot of folks might be thinking, “This chick is crazy. There’s no way that happens.” What we’re doing is we’re stimulating that whole line of connection between the tendons and ligaments of your foot going up in your calf, going up into your butt, going back up into the base of your skull. They’re all connected. If you were to take a cadaver apart, and this might sound gross to people, but we’ve done it in some of my classes, you take that apart. You’re going to see how you could take a string of all of those tissues and pull on them and they’re all stinking connected. Acupuncture is helping you get those connections back.
It is definitely all connected. Another thing I wanted to ask you about was, what are some of the signs that stress is taking over your body? How can you adjust some of your everyday life activities because as we know stress causes a ton of inflammation in the body. If a person can manage that by themselves, they can take some of that away. How do you work with stress and people that are completely overloaded with stress in their lives?
Stress can take so many different aspects of your body and part of the thing that I like to help with patients is help them to be aware of what is happening at the moment when they become stressed and doing like a head to toe body check-in. Just going, “We have some of the obvious stuff, but what else is happening,” and journaling it. Taking notes as to what happens in the sequence because the stress for us is a reaction. It’s a reaction connected to emotional response. The idea is figuring out how can we stop this in terms of in the moment, but also how can we help reset the body. I already mentioned that. I definitely love doing acupuncture. It’s one of the best tools for stress management due to the fact that it can help with moving inflammatory proteins in the body and helping you to clear them out. It’s basically dumping them into your lymphatic system so you can detoxify yourself. That’s the best thing that acupuncture can do for stress, plus we have endorphins that kicked up. Those two things combined are going to be one of your best treatments for a stress reaction combined with herbs. There are herbs. There are supplements. There’s also blood-sugar balance which is another parameter that I like to check up on.
Do you ever have to have almost like a therapeutic session with some people? Some people have too much going on in their lives at home and at work. Sometimes the treatments they’re doing well, but they have to backtrack and fix some things in their own life before they can start to heal.
I joke that part of my job is being a counselor about 50% of the time. It’s something that as an alternative medicine practitioner is we can give a gift to our patients that help them to realize what stress has done for them. It’s also giving them the gift of freedom for however many minutes a chiropractic adjustment takes or for the whole hour that someone’s on my table. I’m giving them the freedom of all they have to do is lay there and relax. Most people out there that might be reading this going like, “When’s the last time you laid there without your kids bugging you, without anyone needing you at that moment?” That is huge for stress relief just in and of itself.
How do people take charge of their own life when life does get hard? How do people do that?
One of the first things I have people do is taking charge of symptoms. I mentioned before getting some notes down, jotting down how you feel and paying attention head to toe what’s happening in the body. A lot of times I have people looking at what they’re eating, when they’re eating and how they feel when they wake up in the morning? Are they full of energy? Are they dragging? What did they eat the night before? What they do the night before? How long did they sleep? Taking an inventory of your life, almost like as if you were going to use your MyFitnessPal and you’re going to track your food and macros and whatnot. It’s more like using an app to track your whole life and a lot of people at first balk at it. It does make a huge difference in the beginning. You don’t have to do this for life for those of you who are reading and they’re like, “I’m charting all this down. It’s too much work.”
Being aware of the symptoms is a big deal and being able to bring those to a provider or being able to bring them to your own awareness such as, “My stomach aches when I eat eggs.” Let’s go with that. “I feel sluggish. I get a headache. Everything at work seems so much more complicated.” That would be a gut thing. If we’re looking at say more of a mental thing where there’s anxiety and if someone is becoming stressed at work and all the way to work, they can feel their hands sweating. They can feel that heart palpitating, all that. Some of the tricks that I’m using with people and some of the tools I should say even more than tricks are that we’re working with breathing, the free stuff. Breathing is the easiest thing to do, but the hardest thing to get people to create a habit with. I’m sure you’ve probably found that too.
There are so many different breathing and breathwork techniques, which ones do you like to use?
The one that works. I don’t subscribe to any or whatever. I have people work on counting and oftentimes I’ll have them pick a number between 5 to 8. That’s a 5-count inhale and a 5-count exhale or a 5-count inhale and a 7-count exhale. In my podcast, I say a lot of 5-count inhales and 7-count exhales. For some reason that seems to be the magic number for a lot of people. I let people choose their number, play with it and see how it works.
You’ll go to certain yoga studios or somewhere else and they’re like, “Don’t breathe through your mouth. You have to breathe the air through your nose. It’s like it’s best to get it in. Take the best way you can inhale and exhale. Get the breath in.”
Exactly. Pursed lips versus not, the more details you put to anything in life, especially when someone’s stressed, the less it’s going to happen. Finding the easiest way of what resonates the most and finding what works.
What’s the name of your podcast and what’s that about?
My podcast is called The Health Fix. On The Health Fix, we talk about anything related to naturopathic medicine or natural medicine and simplified results. What I’m talking about here is making medicine simple but also talking about stress. I’m looking at all the different aspects of stress and how it affects your body and all of the different ways that you might be ignoring it or you might be thinking, “It’s part of aging. I’m going to shove that under the table.” It’s an awareness of a podcast to get folks to be thinking about all the different issues out there that they need to be tackling. Also, thinking about ways to have fun on top of it. As I’m saying, all of the different issues that people need to be tackling, I’m sounding like I’m making things so much more complicated for people. My podcast is about having people think about having fun, taking time to reflect on their health but having fun at the same time. I’m here to help simplify things for you because there is so much information out there that’s confusing and messy.
It seems like you treat a wide variety of illnesses, symptoms and people come to you for many things. Is there a couple of things that are your own personal favorite or you see more of in your own private clinic?
My favorite thing to treat is stress and my second favorite thing to treat is pain. I was telling you earlier before he got in the call, my third favorite is digestive issues. When I put it all together to summarize what I do, I definitely like to work on the facts of stress and how pain is caused by stress, how the gut is affected by stress. In general, how stress causes all kinds of other issues on the backend. It’s wrapping it all into the main source of our issues maybe stress.
We’re all going a million miles a minute here. I don’t care who you are and it’s causing a lot of inflammation and toxic-ness in our bodies. What are some of the things that you do? You mentioned breathing, when life gets too hectic for you, what are some of the things you do to slow everything down?
My favorite thing is breathing, but I like to get outside being out in nature. I don’t care if it’s raining. I don’t care if it’s snowing, windy or whatever. Being out in nature can be extremely therapeutic for me.
Where can people find a good naturopath near them? There are good and bad professionals all over the country. Is there a certain way you can pinpoint that someone’s doing a great job through naturopathic or acupuncture?
There are a couple of different ways to go about it. There are national websites such as Naturopathic.org. You’re going to find the list of naturopathic doctors through the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians, or if you’re looking for an acupuncturist, there is something called the NCCAOM. I don’t even remember what that all stands for. It is a group. It’s NCCAOM.org. You can find acupuncturists on these two websites who have created basically achieved certain credentials to be able to move forward in their careers and be listed on these websites. One of the things though is like you’d said, “Yes, some people are great on paper, but getting into the office, it’s a different game. If people have videos on their websites, I highly recommend checking those out. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with going to a doctor’s office for a meet and greet and say, “I want to stop by and meet you. I’ll make an appointment. We’ll chat.” I love that.
I also think that some of the things to look for with a naturopathic doctor are somebody that is committed to looking to see whatever they can do to figure out what’s going on. Someone that’s going to dive into things in terms of testing, someone that’s going to use more than one therapy. Someone who’s not going to use your service, if there’s someone who’s not going to use supplements, well-rounded. In terms of acupuncture, I would be looking at someone that has had advanced training. For me, right now, I’m finishing my certification in sports medicine acupuncture. That’s something that is a great tool. It’s looking at how much continuing education are they doing because with acupuncture things develop fast. There are lots of different tools. You want to have somebody that’s doing the homework and getting the treatment.
Another thing I’m curious about is how often for naturopathic do you like to see your patients on a regular basis? I know every case is different and some people need more attention than others. In general, how often do you like to see people that come to you strictly for naturopathic medicine?
I do once a month for about six months. I like to see people frequently because that gets better results if I’m following up on them. If I’m letting them wait three months, you’re not going to get anything. Plus, in addition to the once a month, I have a portal system and I want people updating. If they’re not feeling better, they better let me know and that way we troubleshoot. I will do pretty frequent because I feel like that’s how we get new habits. That’s how we get like massive change because if we’re not keeping up with people, it’s going to fall to the wayside. Think of yourself in terms of any protocol that you’ve tried to do. If there were questions after a month, you’re like, “Forget it. I’ll figure it out.”
Do you do Skype consultations as well or is it all in the office? How does that work? You have a great opportunity where if you can get the testing from somewhere else and it’s good, you could probably treat anybody from anywhere.
I can pretty much treat anybody from anywhere. I do Skype or Zoom visits for sure. I have different packages in terms of what they’re dealing with. I wish I could do virtual acupuncture. It’s such a bummer that I can’t figure that one out. I bet someone is going to come up with that. I have virtual visits. Because I’m in Tacoma, Washington, I also will see people here. If someone’s in the area and popping by. I also will see people in that case. If someone doesn’t have Skype and not comfortable with Zoom, I also will do an old school talk on the phone.
Where can people find you online, your website, your podcast or social media, anybody that’s trying to find more information about you?
I have TheHealthFixPodcast.com which is going to direct you to my website in general as well, which is DoctorJKrauseND.com. That’s the main spot to figure out about me in terms of what I do, what I’m interested in. If you want to see my personality, that’s my Instagram @DrJannineKrause is my handle. I also post quite a bit on Facebook in terms of my podcasts and information there too. I’m going to be honest, I suck at Twitter. I have a Twitter account. It’s called The Help Fix Podcast, but I am not great at that one, but everything else I’ve got the other ones working.
Dr. Jannine, at the end of every show, I’d like to ask all my guests, what is one piece of advice that has resonated with you over the years you would like to gift the audience? It could be absolutely anything.
I would love to gift your audience with the gift of nature. You had asked me earlier about the one thing that helps to calm my stress personally and honestly, it’s getting outside and not letting your brain tell you, “It’s crappy out. It’s windy out. It’s raining out, whatever it may be.” Even getting outside for a fresh breath of air and looking around at the environment. There’s something beautiful about that. I highly recommend everyone out there to get a little bit more in touch with nature. It will give you back a million benefits.
Do you do any grounding or anything? How do you feel about the grounding blankets, the copper wires and everything? Do you mess with that all out or strictly get outside, get on the ground, bare feet connection?
I’m all about earthing and getting my feet in the dirt and getting everyone else’s feet in the dirt. I’ve heard about all of the blankets and things and with going with the new 5G and all that. We have concerns, but I still think even though there’s all that noise as humans that we’re exposed to right now, I still think that a good touch of a leaf, a good touch of a blade of grass. If you’re allergic to that, fine, look at some flowers. It’s looking and experiencing nature. A lot of people say, “I live in the most boring place.” Look at the cracks in the sidewalk. Look at how things grow through cracks in the sidewalk. There’s beauty everywhere. It’s a matter of looking at it and finding it.
Nothing replaces the real thing so get out there and get to it. Dr. Jannine, thank you so much for coming on. I enjoyed this episode. I learned a lot about naturopathic medicine and acupuncture. I would love to have you on in the near future if you’re around.
I hope that maybe I can come to visit you over there in Montclair.
If you are in Montclair, let me know. I’m around the corner.
Thanks for having me on.
- Dr. Jannine Krause
- The Health Fix
- @DrJannineKrause – Dr. Jannine’s Instagram page
- Facebook – Dr. Jannine’s Facebook page
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