Pacific Wellness Toronto News


Here are some tips that will help you reduce treatment cost and save money.

Claim with your tax return: Treatment fees can be deductible from income tax returns.*  You can request a receipt detailing all of your treatments that occurred in the year.


Enroll in our Special Care Programs: These programs are designed to decrease the treatment cost for clients who need several treatments.**


Update Your Profile: Be sure to be on our e-mail list to receive promotional offers. The link for updating your profile can be found at the bottom of the Wellness Quarterly email You can also sign up or update your profile here.


Participate in Our Client Satisfaction Surveys: If you accept an invitation to participate in our survey you will be rewarded with a discount coupon for your time spent providing feedback.***


Refer Your Friends and Families: Every time you recommend your friends, family, and co-workers to us, we will e-mail you a $10 gift certificate for each referral to express our appreciation.  We also provide a special discount (or credit) for your friends to acknowledge your referral. ***

* Each tax situation may vary. Check with your accountant.

** Inquire at the front desk for details

*** Offers may change without notice.


Glow from the Inside, Out

Healthy Skin - Glow from the Inside, Out

Bianca Drennan ND

Everyone wants to have good skin. Whether it is at the top of your list of health goals or not, it is something we all think about. It is a consensus – we want healthy, glowing skin.

You might ask yourself, how do some people have such great skin while others struggle? Why do some get acne while others don’t? Why do some people have drier skin or more wrinkles than others? A lot of people will say genetics is a huge factor, which is not completely wrong. Genetics certainly do play a role in skin health, but that does not mean you are guaranteed to have good skin if your parents do – or vice versa, that you will have poor skin if that is in your genetics. That means you do not need to throw in the towel and give up. Achieving and maintaining healthy looking skin that ages well IS possible.
Most people, including many of my patients, believe that healthy looking skin is found in a tube, bottle, or spray. There are thousands of products on the market, both synthetic and natural, that are targeted at improving skin health. It is true that many of these products can help protect and hydrate skin, but all the creams and potions in the world will not provide long-term results. They should be used in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle.
Skin is the largest organ in the body, which I am sure is surprising to many of you. Just like you would eat well, exercise, and take any necessary supplements for your other organs, the same goes for skin. Often people do not think of skin in the same way they would their heart, liver, intestines, kidneys, and on and on. We need to change that way of thinking, because what you put into your body will be far more effective and sustainable long-term to improve the health and look of your skin.

There are several common conditions and habits that can cause poor skin health. Some examples include:

  • High intake of refined (white) carbohydrates – pasta, bread, pastries, grains, sugar, desserts
  • High intake of fried foods
  • Smoking
  • Antibiotic use
  • Excessive alcohol use
  • Hormonal imbalances – PMS, fibroids, endometriosis, irregular periods, PCOS
  • Digestive dysfunction – IBS, constipation, gas/bloating
  • Stress
  • Allergies and/or Food Intolerances


The good news is that there is a lot that can be done to improve your skin’s natural glow.  Common recommendations to improve skin health include:

  • Enhance the body’s detoxification systems – diet, hygiene, lifestyle
  • Improve overall diet
  • Balance hormones
  • Optimize digestion
  • Avoiding allergenic and inflammatory foods
  • Omega-3 fats
  • Sweat regularly
  • Manage stress
  • Vitamin D


Seeing a Naturopathic Doctor to target your specific needs and why your skin is out of balance is your best bet. A Naturopathic Doctor can individualize your treatment plan and provide specific recommendations so that you can achieve long-term, healthy looking skin.

Dr. Bianca Drennan ND, provides nutritional consulting and naturopathic medicine services at Pacific Wellness and is available for appointments 4 days a week. If you would like to detoxify and trim your body, improve your lifestyle or address certain health concerns please call us at 416-929-6958 or submit your online appointment request to arrange your initial appointment. The naturopathic appointments are covered by most employee benefits.

Beer, Barbeque and Balance – from the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) nutrition viewpoint

Warmer temperatures combined with long weekends inspire Canadians to joyfully fire up their barbeques to grill food for family and friends.  Typically they will pair their barbequed feast with cold beer. 

by Barbara Adach, R.Ac

chicken baked with mushrooms,potatoes and vegetables in glass form

Let’s take a look at a typical long weekend supper menu – grilled chicken, potato salad, beer – from the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) nutrition viewpoint.


Grilled Chicken

Chicken, classified as warm and sweet, has the ability to nourish our bodies, giving us strength and increasing vitality.  It is said to support healthy digestion and ‘warm the middle’.

Cooking methods impart various energies to food.  Grilling over coals or an open flame adds significant energetic heat to food.  Since chicken is already warm by nature, grilling makes it even more so.  The various spices, rubs or sauces that we add in cooking also contribute to the overall energetic mix.  A typical barbeque sauce has noticeably sweet, salty and spicy flavours that temper the final product.  Most chicken is grilled with the skin on, so there is an additional digestive burden of processing the attendant fat.  TCM nutrition discourages the regular consumption of grilled meats because of the fat content and heating thermal nature.

Potato Salad

Potatoes are said to have a neutral ‘thermal nature’ (we feel neither warmer nor cooler after eating them) and a sweet flavour.  The sweet flavour is clearly not like that of candy or even fruit but again implies the food’s ability to provide solid nourishment to the body.  The potato has a strong influence on the digestive system and has anti-inflammatory effects.

Green onions add a bit of colour and flavour to potato salad.  They are warming and pungent (spicy), and even a small amount can lighten the effects of other heavier foods (meat, potatoes).

A dressing like mayonnaise is cooling and sweet.  It has a moistening effect on the body.  For a thin person who tends to dryness, small amounts are fine.  For a heavier person who tends to have mucus or phlegm, it is considered too dampening and consumption should be limited.

Typically potato salad is served chilled.  As pleasant as this may feel on a warm day, it burdens our digestive system.  The Spleen and Stomach (TCM organs of digestion) have to expend extra energy bringing the food to body temperature before it can start the process of digestion.


Beer has a cool thermal nature and a bitter and sweet taste.   In North America, beer is served as cold as possible, thereby enhancing its cooling property.

In TCM nutrition, balancing Yin and Yang is important.  Cool and cold foods are Yin while warm and hot foods are Yang. It would appear that barbequed chicken served with potato salad and beer are the ideal combination!  However, there are some other factors to consider.  How much food and drink is being consumed in one sitting?  How well is the food being chewed before swallowing?  Will there be at least three hours between supper and bedtime?

We know that overeating is harmful.  This is especially true if it happens on a regular basis. 

In TCM nutrition, overeating makes the digestive system work harder and may overwhelm it.  This can lead to incomplete digestion and ‘food stagnation’, insomnia and irregularity (diarrhea and/or constipation).  Chronic overeating can lead to signs of ‘dampness’ in the body:  nausea, a feeling of heaviness in the head or limbs, mucus and phlegm, weight gain or edema.

Chewing food well has a positive influence on digestion.  Food becomes well mixed with saliva and is broken into smaller, easier to digest particles.  Our digestive organs have enough work to do without having to contend with large pieces of barely chewed food.  Also, eating mindfully lets us enjoy our food and the company of those we share meals with.   TCM nutrition advises a pleasant eating atmosphere to enhance digestion.

The process of digestion takes several hours.  It is best to eat heavier foods earlier in the day when possible.  Giving the body enough time to digest before turning in at night is important.  It is very difficult for the body to digest and sleep at the same time – both processes suffer.

Having strong, effective digestion is considered a prerequisite to good health in TCM.  TCM has been helping people with digestive issues for millennia.  There is a wonderful flexibility to this medicine that makes it applicable to all people, no matter what their constitution or eating habits.  TCM nutrition shows us not only which foods are most suitable for each season of the year but also which are most appropriate for each individual person.  In addition, there are specific herbal formulae that address problematic digestion.  Acupuncture can also help optimize digestion.  There are many acupuncture points on the trunk and also on the limbs that influence digestive function.  Two famous points that promote digestion are Zusanli (Leg Three Miles, ST36), located below the kneecap, and Sanyinjiao (Three Yin Crossing), located above the ankle.

Is this long weekend menu suitable for everyone?  While regular consumption of grilled meats, heavy starchy vegetables and beer is obviously not healthy, it is a fine way to celebrate and enjoy our all too short Canadian spring and summer.


Please request your acupuncture and nutrition consultation appointment with our registered acupuncturist Barbara Adach, R.Ac. by contacting The Pacific Wellness Institute at 416-929-6958 or submit your online appointment request.