Natural Women's Healthcare: Interview with Dr. Jennifer Dillon
After suffering from debilitating headaches several years ago, Jennifer Dillon found relief through chiropractic care. This inspired her to help others with health issues and she decided to become a chiropractor. She began eight years of study in biology and biochemistry which provided her with the structural and chemical base necessary for proper and comprehensive diagnoses. Dillon has since completed extensive studies in clinical nutrition, applied kinesiology and acupuncture and owns Dillon Natural Health. One of her areas of focus is women’s health. Natural Awakenings spoke with her about the services she offers.
What are some signs that a woman’s hormones may be out of balance and what procedures do you use to regain balance?
There are many symptoms such as acne, loss of scalp hair, night sweats, sleep issues, depression, tender breasts, decreased fertility, weight gain, low libido and menstrual problems. Most women know when they are having hormone issues, we all have them. However, they are not normal in a functioning system. These are signs that the body is struggling. Generally, dietary changes, whole food endocrine supplementation and getting endocrine disruptors out of your daily life will regain balance and allow the body to protect itself. This can take up to twelve months so it not always be a fast process that people are used to with medications. However, the end result is a balanced, protected system.
In terms of breast health, how does thermography work and how does it differ from a mammogram?
Mammograms are the “gold standard” in the medical community. There is no replacing mammograms. Your doctor will, and has to, recommend mammograms. However, mammograms let you know if you have a “mass” or not, but they lack the ability to tell us the health of the overall tissue.
Thermography can be a good indicator, or predictor, of future potential breast disease, a mammogram can not. Thermography shows the health of the tissue over time. It shows inflammation and physiological changes in the tissues, like fibrocystic issues which are due to estrogen dominance and also lymphatic congestion where the tissue is not able to clean itself properly.
Thermography tells me when someone is not healthy, and can predict and tell me of potential future disease. I can then provide suggestions in the diet, lifestyle and whole food supplementation to regain balance and health of the tissue. It does require a baseline scan and a three month follow up to establish a “normal” for that individual. This is best done when the tissue is healthy or before someones finds a lump. In my mind, I believe to do the least harmful testing first. If there is negative results then, continue with further, more invasive testing.
I find that when women know they are coming in to find the health of their breast tissue instead of looking for a tumor, the process is enjoyable. It’s a lot more powerful to the mind.
How is breast tissue specifically affected by lifestyle?
The breast tissue will light up when the body is inflamed. It can also be a “storage” center for estrogen and congestion. I see this when someone eats a lot of sugar or refined carbohydrates. It is remarkable to see the changes in the tissue once someone has simply removed sugar and processed foods for three months. It makes the individual responsible for their own health and in full control of it.
Is it possible to reset female hormones naturally without approaches like bioidentical hormone treatments? I find that with most women I can reset or balance female hormones with supplementation of the endocrine system and dietary changes like adding spring water, incorporating 50% of your food intake to be vegetables, especially cruciferous vegetables, as well as removing refined or genetically modified carbohydrates and sugar. In some cases, for instance, a surgically induced menopause usually requires more intervention.
How do women become estrogen dominant and what effect does that have on their health?
We are swimming in a sea of xeno-estrogen! It is everywhere and in everything. It is the base of all plastics, herbicides, pesticides, cosmetics. It is in our water supply from all the birth control pills. Our estrogen receptors soak these up and it is hard for our body to break these bonds. The liver breaks down estrogen and most people have congested livers. Cruciferous vegetables, especially fermented, help cleanse the liver but also assist the liver in breaking these xeno-estrogen bonds so that our bodies can use the estrogen it produces.
We take in toxins each day in our food, drink and environment. How can periodic purification or detox practices benefit a woman’s health?
I always recommend for people to do a purification at least once a year. It not only feeds and nourishes our cells and organs, it helps to keep our weight in check, our cravings at bay and most importantly - healthy emotions. Just about every person that does a cleanse will say, “I never knew how bad I felt until I felt really good” and then they are able to strive to maintain that feeling in their daily lives. We cannot expect our bodies to perform for us when we do not nourish them with real food, spring water, give them sunlight or if we just neglect our bodies by not providing enough oxygen by not breathing properly, deeply, consciously.
Many women sit over a desk all day, spend time in the car commuting or have poor postural habits, what are some ways that women can keep their spines healthy?
Sit on the edge of your chair. Squeeze your glutes and lift your torso up. You should grow about two inches. Feel like you are separating every vertebra in your spine all the way to the top of the head. Most importantly, raise your computer screen up about twelve inches up off the desk. You want head to be held high and supported by your shoulders, not drooped in front of your shoulders. This allows for the weight of the head to be evenly distributed through each vertebra. The muscles that separate the spine are Type C muscle fibers that are meant to fire all day long. Start with 30 minutes each day and build on that. It will not take long for those muscles to hold for 12 hours each day. Its the best work out you can do!
What do you feel are the biggest factors for a woman to maintain vibrant health?
I believe vibrant health is achieved when all structural, chemical and emotional aspects of our being is balanced. From my experience, the endocrine system is the “fire” of the woman’s body. When it is struggling I have a hard time balancing some digestive issues, sugar handling issues or a compromised immune system. Therefore, sometimes the starting point of vibrant health is the endocrine system.
For more information, visit DillonNaturalHealth.com