Thanks to the natural health experts at Bastyr University, who have generously sponsored this series, the sixth challenge of our Working on Wellness Series had us finding ways to practice self care after our initial naturopathic exam.

If you’ve been keeping up with us this summer, we each had our first naturopathic intake appointment at the Bastyr University Clinic in June, and the challenge in July was to follow up on the outcomes and recommendations from that visit.

Here’s how that went.

Olivia: My initial visit in June came at the perfect time in my wellness journey. While I generally feel healthy I was interested in digging a bit deeper to find ways to support my body. Since my first appointment at the Bastyr University Clinic I’ve been back for two follow-ups, went to LabCorp three times for blood work, and had three adjustments made to my supplement protocol.

My follow-up appointments were similar to my initial intake exam. They each started with taking my vitals, followed by a review of my health observations since the previous appointment, and abdominal palpations. I found that these appointments were a great way to take stock of my health and assess my progress during treatment. Dr. Harding and the students at the clinic assigned to my case have been extremely attentive and responsive. Each visit they adjust my supplement protocol and send me home with "homework" that I really see as self care. One of those tasks was keeping a food diary which has been very helpful in identifying food sensitivities and becoming more aware of my eating habits.

One of the most successful things I did for myself this month was purchasing a pill organizer with the first round of supplements I ordered. There are many pill organizer options out there with varying features. The one I ordered has compartments for morning, noon, evening, and bedtime across seven days of the week. Each column is detachable from the full box which makes it great for traveling or taking a day’s does with you on your daily routine. This ended up having too many compartments for my needs so I ended up buying a different one that only had two compartments. It’s really been the key to staying on top of my nine recommended supplements.

Since I’m on a very robust supplement protocol I opted not to get a vitamin infusion this time around. Maria, how did you find this month's challenge and what can I expect from my future infusion appointment?

Maria: I faltered on many occasions with this challenge, but it came during a season that has been a challenge in itself. The last seven weeks have been packed with work, travel, moving, work, travel, and more work. I’m not the best at taking vitamins and sticking to self care routines as it is, let alone when there are interruptions to the normal schedule. But that’s what this wellness series is about—trying to be real with our experiences.

To briefly recap, it was recommended that I follow a Mediterranean diet, take nutritional supplements, and a bunch of other stuff that I could only manage to be aware of in the midst of my life blowing up as it did. Truth be told I haven’t even managed to order the new recommended supplements.

However, I appreciate all the small attempts I could make to take better care of myself during this busy time and made it a priority to get back to Bastyr for a vitamin infusion with Dr. Timothy Schwaiger ND. The experience was pleasant enough for a hour-long treatment that involves an IV needle but here’s what to expect.

Infusions are only available on specific days and recent blood work is needed in order to get them. Upon check-in, you’ll be escorted to the infusion room with four comfortable chairs for infusion treatments, followed by a standard vitals check on pulse rate, blood pressure, and body temperature. The student clinicians and Dr Schwaiger made every effort to make sure I was comfortable while complimenting my veins and assessing the best place to stick the IV needle.

The infusion was a new and improved blend of what Dr. Schwaiger calls his Bastyr cocktail, prepared with some enhancements to address my concerns. We all oohed and awed at how pink it was when it came in the room. (Is it wrong that I immediately thought it was a Rosé wine?) The pink from the Bastyr Cocktail is because it’s loaded with B12 vitamins. They also added in extras like taurine to help boost energy and mood.

I closed my eyes while the needle was gently administered. The infusion procedure itself took a little over an hour and was mostly painless. Another quick check of the pulse, blood pressure, and body temp, and I was on my way. There wasn’t a big surge of positive or negative feelings  as some might expect, but I was far less anxious leaving the building than I was upon arrival.

Most significantly, it felt like the infusion was a great boost in the days that immediately followed, getting me through a four day business trip to Slow Food Nations in Denver as an independent brand ambassador for ReVessel. It was there that I got to show off my Mediterranean diet savviness with plant forward presentations that beautifully showcased the purpose and practicality of this locally owned food storage company (if I do say so myself).

About Our Sponsor

The nutrition faculty at Bastyr University is on a mission to support the local community through health and nutrition education. Bastyr University opened its campus in San Diego in 2012, while the main campus in Washington State recently celebrated its 40th anniversary. Bastyr is a global leader in evidenced-based natural health education, and the local campus located in Sorrento Valley offers two nutrition degrees: Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Culinary Arts (BSNCA) and Master of Science in Nutrition for Wellness (MSNW).

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About the Contributor
Maria Hesse
Maria Hesse is the executive editor and designer of Edible San Diego. Her interest in functional arts led to a degree in interior design, which inspires her passion to be an advocate for sustainable living through food. She enjoys balcony gardening and designing crochet patterns in her downtime. Find her @mariafromediblesd and @waysidestudiowest on Instagram.