Why Can’t I Feel Better?

Do you ever wonder why you work so hard at being healthy but you still fall short of your goals? Do you ever wonder why you gain fat when you exercise? Do you ever wonder why you get anxious or can’t sleep? Or why you are tired or depressed?  At Auburn Naturopathic Medicine these are very important questions and we are looking deeper into your biochemistry than ever before! We are looking simply at how your genetic variations, your nutritional status, and  your lifestyle impact your biochemistry. We can’t change your genetics, but we can change up to 90% of how they manifest!
We know that every person has the same biochemical pathways and these pathways have the same enzymes that need the same nutrient cofactors. What is different is our genetics that impact the speed of those enzymes, amounts of nutrient cofactors due to diet and lifestyle, and environment stress load like bacteria, viruses, heavy metals, herbicides, pesticides, and other toxins. All of these effect the biochemical pathways. Why is this important? Because this shows us WHY.  We test your genetics to determine how well your body makes important enzymes. We test to see your nutritional cofactors at a cellular level so we can accurately diagnose if a symptom is coming from a nutritional deficiency or not. We can test heavy metals to determine your toxic load. If you are ready to get to the deeper why that is specific to you then join us on the cutting edge of medicine.


What Is an Arthrostim Chiropractic Adjustment?

Some patients prefer the use of instruments for their adjustment, because it is more gentle than the traditional Chiropractor manual adjustment (snap crackle pop style).
Some patients also do not like to be twisted or turned during normal adjusting protocols. The ArthroStim and Vibrocussor work well for patients that are extremely acute and can barely move, such as post injury.  This is a lower impact therapy that the patient can respond to better. These tools are also great and safe for child and seniors, as the lower force reduces the chance of post-adjustment soreness.
The cause of neck and back pain vary from patient to patient, but it usually comes down to three different types of tissues;  bone, nerve, and muscles. The ArthroStim is a unique instrument that delivers multiple, low amplitude thrusts the ArthroStim produces 12-14 thrusts per second which matches the same frequency in the sensory motor cortex.  Matching the same frequency causes muscle relaxation. This matching frequency causes decreased muscle spasms, facilitates healing, and bombards and confuses the central nervous system, thus reducing the overall pain level. The impulse on the bone increases the joints range of motion, reduces joint adhesions and reduces inflammation. The frequency of treatment also helps align the bony structures to increase optimal biomechanics.
For some patients, this type therapy is a complement to manual hands on chiropractic adjustments. For other patients, they will not need additional chiropractic care in order to experience relief. Every patient is different, which is why all of Dr. Al’s treatment programs are completely customized to each patient’s specific wellness needs. For some adjustments Dr. Al may have a patient laying down, sitting or even when you are moving such as (moving yor arm when he is working on shoulder, or rotating left or right while he is using the Arthostim).  His goal is to manage your pain and help your body heal as quickly and safely as possible.  Dr. Al recognizes that different bodies respond better to some therapies than others. Overall, however, chiropractic is an incredibly successful and effective treatment.

What Events Are At Auburn Naturopathic Medicine?

We have so many new and exciting events taking place at our office! Below is just a few of those events that we would love for you to join in on!


August 8th 5:30pm –“Journaling To Inspire Your Soul”!

Using the tools of journal writing with “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron, mind-body techniques, sharing and listening, Dr. Kemby DeLellis, ND and Judith Waidtlow – Reiki Master will help guide you on a journey to help you explore ways to break free of the blockages or patterns keeping us from expressing from the deeper, quieter parts of ourselves. This is a 6 week course and the first class is FREE! Call us to sign up or just show up on the 8th! Cost is $145 for all 6 classes!


August 17th 5:30pm – “Art Show and Auburn Downtown Co-op street fair”
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We have an amazing and talented young artist blessing our walls with her beautiful art work and we want to share it with you. We will have food and drinks and the artist herself, Charlee Luster, to share her inspiration for her work! August 17th also happens to be the downtown Auburn Co-op street fair so planning on staying after the art show and enjoying farmers market, live music and local food, beer and wine! Make a night of it!


September 14th, 7pm – “Healthy, Thriving Relationships”

Join relationship experts, Sonika Tinker, MSW and Christian Pedersen, CLC for an evening that will transform your relationships. Whether it is couples, parents and kids, you and your boss or friends, this evening will offer uplifting insight and effective solutions! This is a donation based event and will be from 7-9:30pm. Don’t miss this!

What Is The Best Diet For Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is chronic autoimmune disease that primarily affects the joints. RA affects about 1% of the adult population and is 2 to 3 times more common in women than in men. It is characterized by symmetrical joint pain, swelling, morning stiffness, and progressive joint destruction leading to deformities, usually of the fingers, wrists, and feet. The exact cause of RA is unknown, but genetics, changes in the gut bacteria, increased permeability of the gut (leaky gut), and food sensitivities are factors that may cause or aggravate the disease.

Conventional medical treatment of RA usually involves a combination of drugs that modify disease progression, anti-inflammatory medications, and lifestyle factors, such as smoking cessation, rest, weight loss and prescribed exercise. If you have RA it is probably a good idea to start conventional medications to prevent deformity and loss of function of the joints, at least initially.

One area that conventional doctors often fail to neglect in the treatment of RA is: Diet. Diet is probably the most important aspect of treatment because RA can oftentimes be ameliorated with proper diet. If one is eating food that causes persistent inflammation, joint pain, and destruction of their joints, the most commonsensical option is to remove those foods completely from the diet and replace them with foods that do the opposite, right?

So, what exactly is the best diet for RA? First, we need to figure out the offending foods and remove them. We do this by placing patients on an elimination/rechallenge diet, excluding foods that are common triggers, including dairy, soy, wheat, corn, meats, oats, rye, eggs, citrus fruits, potatoes, tomatoes, nuts, and coffee. After 2-4 weeks on this diet, if symptoms have improved or disappeared, patients start introducing eliminated foods one at a time, every other day. If any foods are associated with joint pain or other symptoms, they are eliminated and rechallenged 2 weeks later. If no symptoms are noticed that food can be kept in the diet.

In addition to eliminating offending foods, we want to add in foods and supplements that are dense with fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which are protective against RA1. We also want to minimize vegetable oils that are high in inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids while increasing less inflammatory GLA and omega-3 fatty acids, that have been found to be effective for reducing the symptoms of RA2.

Certain probiotics that have been shown to reduce inflammation in RA, should be added to the treatment regimen to modify the microbiota of the GI tract3. While repopulating the gut with probiotics it is essential that the patient eat lots of fruits and vegetables for fiber, which feeds the probiotic bacteria, that in turn feeds and heals a leaky gut.

As the ancient physician Maimonides said about 1000 years ago, “any illness that can be treated by diet alone should be treated by no other means.” With that being said, diet should always be considered as first-line therapy or a first-line co-treament for rheumatoid arthritis.

If you are experiencing symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, please, come and speak with us so we can guide you in the right direction. Our practitioners are passionate about health and have a great combined knowledge and experience in helping those with this sort of chronic illness.

~Dr. Barry Burris


  1. Heliövaara M, Knekt P, Aho K, Aaran RK, Alfthan G, Aromaa A. Serum antioxidants and risk of rheumatoid arthritis. Ann Rheum Dis. 1994;53(1):51-3.
  2. Cameron M, Gagnier JJ, Chrubasik S. Herbal therapy for treating rheumatoid arthritis. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2011;(2):CD002948.
  3. Vaghef-mehrabany E, Alipour B, Homayouni-rad A, Sharif SK, Asghari-jafarabadi M, Zavvari S. Probiotic supplementation improves inflammatory status in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Nutrition. 2014;30(4):430-5.

What Can I Do For Poison Oak?

“Leaves of three, let them be”:

What to do if you’ve come into contact with Poison Oak

Poison Oak Leaves

If you live in Northern California and enjoy spending time outside, you’re bound to come into contact with poison oak. Poison oak is often found on the sides of trails, near chaparral, manzanita, and sage – so just about everywhere in our region. Typically, poison oak  looks like oak leaves, usually with three leaflets but can have up to seven leaflets per group.

Many people get an itchy, red rash when their skin comes into contact with any part of Poison Oak Rashthe poison oak plant. This rash is caused by an oil found in the plant, called urushiol. The rash usually appears 24-48 hours after contact, but can appear within hours or even a week later.

Our best defense against poison oak is being able to recognize the plant, so we know what to avoid. Wearing clothes that cover the skin is the next best defense.

What should you do if you come into contact with poison oak?

  1. Do not touch or rub your skin, as this can spread the urushiol oil to other parts of the body.
  2. Immediately wash skin with soap and lukewarm water to rid the oil. You can use dish soap or even better, use Technu if you have any on hand. If you’re out in the woods, hand sanitizer can be used. Just be sure to wipe off area with a tissue.
  3. Remove and wash clothes in soap and water.

What should you do if a poison oak rash develops?

  1. If you have many rashes or blisters, have a rash on your face or genitals, have difficulty breathing, or rash that covers most of the body, go to the emergency room right away.
  2. If the rash is minor, meaning only on one or a few parts of the body, then go to the local drug store and pick up a tube of Zanfel. Follow the instructions on the box and repeat as needed. In my opinion, Zanfel is the best product on the market when it comes to relieving an itchy rash caused by poison oak.
  3. Try not to the scratch rash, as scratching can lead to an infection.

Be prepared for coming into contact with poison oak, as it’s inevitable in our neck of the woods. Before I became a naturopathic doctor, I spent many shifts knee deep in poison oak country while battling wildfires as a smokejumper. These tips above are what I’ve learned that works best to prevent and treat itchy rashes caused by poison oak. I hope they help.

~ Dr. Barry Burris

Saturated Fat: Friend or Foe?

There’s lots of conflicting information circulating the internet about saturated fats. Some “experts” say they’re harmful, while others say they’re necessary for good health. In this article I’ll briefly discuss this issue with the hope that you’ll be a little more food for thought on the subject.

Saturated fats are typically solid at room temperature and are found naturally in animal products, like meat, dairy, and eggs, which are also high in cholesterol. Some plant-based oils, such as coconut and palm oil also contain high amounts of saturated fats, but do not contain cholesterol. Eating foods that contain saturated fats are known to raise cholesterol levels in your blood, which in turn increase your risk of cardiovascular disease.3,4

In 2015, TIME magazine’s eye-catching, click bait “Eat Butter” issue, proclaimed that “the case for butter just got stronger” saying “butter may, in fact, be back.”  It still remains unclear if this was a desperate attempt to rekindle declining magazine sales or a breakthrough story aimed to dismantle the inconvenient truth that saturated fat was the villain that years of nutritional science had made it out to be. To TIME magazine’s credit, their article was based on a recent meta-analysis published in a credible journal, which concluded that the “current evidence does not clearly support cardiovascular guidelines that encourage high consumption of polyunsaturated fatty acids and low consumption of total saturated fats.” This was huge news because current worldwide dietary recommendations focus on reducing saturated fat intake, to prevent chronic diseases, including heart disease. Did the scientists of the past have it wrong? Are saturated fats actually healthy for us? Have we vilified saturated fats unjustly, when really there were other culprits to blame, namely processed carbohydrates and sugar? Unfortunately, this meta-analysis does not answer those questions. It only shows that when it comes to heart disease there is little evidence from their chosen data of either harm or benefit with consumption of different types of fats. There were no specific comparisons, such as butter vs. olive oil, so from this meta-analysis we can’t conclude that one is worse than the other, even though many other studies have shown that certain unsaturated plant-based fats and oils, such as olive oil are indeed healthier or less detrimental to our health when compared with saturated fat.

The questions that everyone wants to know are: “Do saturated fats contribute to heart disease?” and “ Can I eat my bacon, cheese, and ribeyes without having to worry about clogging my arteries?”  Many of the high-profile proponents of high-fat diets would tell you to go ahead and eat your meat, eggs, and dairy, but just be sure to limit your intake of carbohydrates, especially simple carbohydrates to a minimum. Some high fat proponents even go as far as saying that a ketogenic diet, which limits carbohydrate intake to less than 50g/day is an optimal diet to prevent and halt cardiovascular disease. While high-fat, low-carbohydrate diets (e.g. Atkins, ketogenic, paleo, etc.) have been used to treat conditions like obesity, diabetes, and even neurological disorders with good results, there is no real evidence to show that these types of diets are safe for longterm or overall health. In fact, the evidence shows that high fat, low carb diets can be detrimental to our health, especially cardiovascular health.2,5 For example, an Atkin’s-style diet may initially help you to lose weight and stabilize elevated blood sugar, it may still lead to stiffened arteries.2,5  It is also well known that foods high in saturated fats increase total and LDL (bad) cholesterol, which is a well-established risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

So for now, I recommend that the majority of my patients follow the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association’s recommendations to aim for no more than 5%-6% of calories from saturated fat3, which were devised from a collaboration of hundreds of studies showing the strong association between saturated fat and cholesterol.4 Do I think this is the healthiest way to prevent cardiovascular disease? Not, necessarily – stay tuned for future posts for further explanation. Do I think people can be healthy eating diets high in saturated fat? Yes, some people are healthy following a diet high in saturated fat. However, in these cases I believe it is important to schedule regular check-ups with your doctor to monitor cardiovascular and overall health, especially if there is a family history of cardiovascular disease, cancer, or diabetes.

Cardiovascular disease is complex and every patient’s story is unique. When it comes to dietary saturated fat and other fats, people tend to respond differently from one another. A diet high in fat may be safe for one person while a similar diet may be deadly for another. Because of this, medical evaluation and proper monitoring are recommended so you can avoid being a victim of a preventable disease.

Dietary information is often conflicting, usually with good arguments on both sides. It goes to show that there is still much to be learned. When it comes to dietary information I urge you to: never believe anything you hear for the first time, always ask questions, and strive for a deeper understanding.

Barry Burris, ND 


  1. Chowdhury R, Warnakula S, Kunutsor S, et al. Association of dietary, circulating, and supplement fatty acids with coronary risk: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Ann Intern Med. 2014;160(6):398-406.
  2. Schwingshackl L, Hoffmann G. Low-carbohydrate diets and cardiovascular risk factors. Obes Rev. 2013;14(2):183-4.
  3. Eckel RH, Jakicic JM, Ard JD, et al. 2013 AHA/ACC guideline on lifestyle management to reduce cardiovascular risk: a report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines. Circulation. 2014;129(25 Suppl 2):S76-99.
  4. Clarke R, Frost C, Collins R, Appleby P, Peto R. Dietary lipids and blood cholesterol: quantitative meta-analysis of metabolic ward studies. BMJ. 1997;314(7074):112-7.
  5. Merino J, Kones R, Ferré R, et al. Negative effect of a low-carbohydrate, high-protein, high-fat diet on small peripheral artery reactivity in patients with increased cardiovascular risk. Br J Nutr. 2013;109(7):1241-7.
  6. Estruch R, Ros E, Salas-salvadó J, et al. Primary prevention of cardiovascular disease with a Mediterranean diet. N Engl J Med. 2013;368(14):1279-90.

What Is The Big Deal About Gluten?

I am finally writing this in an effort to help patients and friends who are working toward gluten-free diets.

Why gluten-free?

Well, for some people it is a lifestyle choice and healthy choice to support their health – if they have condition that may be related to gluten intolerance, such as celiac disease, hypothyroidism, irritable bowel, psoriasis, eczema, headaches, etc. Others just want to experiment to see if they may be sensitive, and in this case, after over a month of strict avoidance, many experience improved moods, energy, mental focus, digestion, weight loss, improved skin, and less body pain.

What is gluten-free?

Gluten free means avoiding foods that contain gluten. Gluten is a part of the grains: wheat, kamut (ancient wheat), spelt, rye, oats and barley.

This includes all breads/flour, pretzels, crackers, cookies, cakes, muffins/pancakes, pasta that is made from regular wheat or white flour. Of course, now we are lucky enough to have gluten free and even grain-free alternatives to all of these items.  It is simple to replace all your favorite foods with gluten-free versions once you spend some time trying them and getting used to them.

Here are some of my personal favorite gluten-free products


Canyon bakehouse multigrain

Food for life rice bread

Udi’s gluten-free burger or hot dog buns


Tinkyada rice pasta, Barilla gluten-free pasta

Udi’s GF pizza, Bold Pizza, Against the grain pizza


Flax muffins

Udi’s GF muffins


Mary’s gone crackers, Flackers, Rice crackers


Pamela’s gluten free baking mix, almond flour, or coconut flour

Other pre-packaged products:

Amy’s gluten-free burritos and meals, Dr Praeger’s veggie burgers and potato cakes, Applegate gluten-free chicken nuggets, Pacific brand breaded Cod

**check all sauces for wheat flour or check that they say ‘gluten-free’. Soy sauce contains wheat – so ask for TAMARI, which is gluten-free soy sauce (available at stores or most asian/sushi restaurants) Be cautious with soups, especially cream soups and chili as many contain flour to thicken – but making them at home with corn starch or arrowroot or gluten-free flour tastes the same!  Also check many salad dressings and sauces as soy based dressings such as goddess dressing contain wheat, as do some barbecue sauces and teriyaki sauces. (again, there are delicious gluten-free alternatives to all of these, but when you eat at a restaurant, you need to know to ask for no sauce or gluten-free menu options).

Most restaurants now are aware of gluten and offer gluten free options or menus.  For instance, PF Chang has a gluten free menu, as does BJs restaurant.  Most local restaurants have gluten free bread or pasta (beach hut, belgian deli, true pazzi, round table pizza, mountain mikes, blast 825…) and most mexican food is gluten free with substitution of corn tortillas/tacos instead of flour.

I hope this is a helpful blog guide – anyone with other selections of tasty gluten-free products, please respond below. Also any questions on how to go gluten free or what substitutions to make for favorite recipes, please comment! thank you!

Dr Kemby DeLellis ND