Open Paths Integrative Medicine

Ronald Rosen MD PC


view:  full / summary

Anti-Inflammatory Diet

Posted by Robyn Harmon on May 18, 2017 at 5:15 PM Comments comments (0)

With all the diets out there it's hard to know which one is right for you. For certain conditions, Dr. Rosen recommends an anti-inflammatory diet as part of the treatment. This can be difficult, but helpful in managing chronic inflammation. Serious illness, like heart disease, cancers, Alzheimer's, arthritis and more, can be triggered or exacerbated by inflammation. While stress, lack of exercise, smoking and exposure to toxins can contribute, an unhealthy diet is the biggest source of prolonged inflammation.

Here's what to eat, and what to avoid, to help fight inflammation in the body.

Foods to  Eat

  • Fresh and frozen fruit (not citrus)
  • Fruit juices with no added sugar
  • Non-gluten grains: quinoa, millet, rice, amaranth, tapioca, wheat berries, buckwheat and oats
  • All legumes: beans, lentils and organic soy
  • All fresh fish
  • Chicken and turkey
  • Wild game
  • Health oils: olive, flaxseed, coconut, almond and grapeseed
  • All spices and herbs
  • All vegetables, fresh or frozen (except nightshades)
  • Brown rice syrup, maple syrup and stevia for sweeteners
  • Herbal tea and water
Foods to Avoid
  • All citrus fruits
  • Dried fruits
  • Beef, pork, sausage and cold cuts
  • Eggs
  • Gluten grains: wheat, barley, rye, spelt and kamut
  • Peanuts and pistachios
  • All dairy: milk, cheese, butter and yogurt
  • Nightshade vegetables: potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant and peppers
  • Margarine, shortening and canola oil
  • Alcohol, soda, sweetend fruit juices and coffee
  • Sugar and corn syrups
  • Processed foods with additives, colorings, MSG, and nitrates

Food can be the best medicine for treating illness. Call Dr. Rosen with any questions or to schedule and appointment at (541) 388-3804.

Oregon Hot Springs

Posted by Robyn Harmon on May 18, 2017 at 4:35 PM Comments comments (0)

In central Oregon, we are lucky to have a number of natural hot springs, all within a day's drive of Bend. Hot springs form when water is geothermally heated from within the earth's crust. Ranging from temperatures of 70-100 degrees, soaking has many health benefits. The mineral content varies with each tub, but all contain healing properties. For example, soaking may boost blood circulation, relieve pain or treat skin conditions. While I haven't yet visited all of Oregon's hot springs, listed below are some of my favorites.

Breitenbush Hot Springs

A popular hot spring located on OR-22 between Bend and Salem in Detroit, OR, make reservations early to soak here. Offering a cafe, yoga classes, retreats and massage, Breitenbush has day use availability, as well as cabins and camping spots for longer stays. Soaking areas are clothing optional and all ages are welcome.

Belknap Hot Springs, Lodge and Gardens

Located on the McKenzie River, Belknap has two pools of the hot springs water. This one is kid friendly, so be prepared for crowds of little ones. Offering cabins, lodge rooms, rv and tent sites, this resort makes for a fun mini-vacation. It does not have a year round restaurant, but a food truck opens in the summer. Bonus- the secret garden is awesome. My family stops here often on the way home from the coast, to warm up after a chilly beach weekend. 

Umpqua Hot Springs

More rustic than the previous hot springs, these teeter high over the North Umpqua River. Comprised of about 6 small tubs, each is hotter than the last. The walk to the unmanaged site is uphill and might be too uneven for small children. Expect nudity at this site, as well as some partying. Still fun, but my husband and I leave the children at home when we soak here. 

There are many more to explore, including hot springs at East Lake, Paulina Lake and Summer Lake. All offer unique experiences and are a must see for all Oregonians. 

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Rosen call (541) 388-3804.

4 Recipes for Personal Care Products

Posted by Robyn Harmon on May 5, 2017 at 2:10 PM Comments comments (0)

How safe are your personal care products? While the European Union has banned over 1,000 ingredients for use in beauty goods, the FDA has only banned 9. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is a non-profit organization that monitors the chemicals that may be in your goods. While there are too many to list, here are two categories to avoid.

Endocrine disrupters, like BPA and dioxin, affect our hormones, causing health issues like weight gain, reproductive challenges and even tumors.

Cancer causing carcinogens, such as quaternium-15 and imidazolidinyl urea, are used as preservatives in many products. Derived from formaldehyde, their safety is questionable.

To avoid harmful toxins, a clever option is to make your own personal care products. Simple and affordable, DIY creations work just as well as those sold in the drug store. Actually, without fillers and preservatives your own concoctions will be even more effective and much safer.

Here are 4 easy recipes to get started.



  • ⅜ cup coconut oil
  • ¼ cup baking soda
  • ½ t salt
  • 1 t bentonite clay
  • ½ t liquid stevia (optional)
  • 5-7 drops peppermint essential oil

In a medium bowl combine coconut oil and baking soda.

Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well with a wooden or plastic spoon.

Store in a jar and use a small spoon to avoid bacteria.



  • 2 T coconut oil
  • 1 T shea butter
  • 1 T beeswax
  • 1 T baking soda
  • 2 T arrowroot powder
  • 1 ½ T bentonite clay
  • 6 drops essential oil- lemongrass and orange are good options

In a double boiler combine coconut oil, shea butter and beeswax. Heat on medium until liquid.

Remove from heat and add baking soda, arrowroot powder, bentonite clay and essential oils. Mix well.

Pour liquid mix into silicone muffin molds or into 5 oz containers.

Cool until solid (about 2-3 hours).

Lip Balm


  • 2 T almond oil
  • 1 T coconut oil
  • 1 ½ T beeswax
  • 15 drops orange essential oil

In a double boiler melt the beeswax and coconut oil.

Remove from heat, add almond oil and stir with a wooden or plastic spoon.

Stir in essential oil.

Store in lip balm tubes or small jars.



  • ½ oz. beeswax
  • ¼ cup shea butter
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • 2 T zinc oxide powder

In a double boiler melt the 2 oils and beeswax.

Remove from heat and add zinc oxide.

Mix with a hand mixer until there are no clumps.

Store in mason jars.

While some of these ingredients may seem hard to find, they are all easily available on Amazon. I have also found them at New Seasons, Whole Foods and Natural Grocers. Beeswax comes in pellets or you can shred a beeswax candle for the same results.

Too busy to make your own? Remember that the EWG maintains a database of safe products, so look there for safe options.

 As always, to schedule an appointment with Dr. Rosen call (541) 388-3804.

How Sugar Affects Your Health

Posted by Robyn Harmon on May 2, 2017 at 2:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Sugar is a delicious and inexpensive ingredient that makes food taste even better, so it's no surprise that Americans eat far too much of it. In fact, the Public Health Journal reported that worldwide use of sugar has tripled in the past 50 years. Unfortunately, rates of obesity and its related diseases have increased as well. While most people understand that too much sugar can cause weight gain, few realize the full effects it can have on your health.

Candida Overgrowth

Candida is a yeast found in the gut, but when it becomes imbalanced it can cause complications like digestive problems, brain fog, rashes, fatigue, joint pain, sinus infections, headaches and mood changes. There are many reasons for overgrowth, but eating too much sugar is a well known culprit. Yeast thrives on sugar and needs a healthy amount to survive. Eating too much of the sweet stuff causes candida to grow. In addition, a healthy immune system is needed to keep the yeast levels in check, but too much sugar affects immunity. That combination of lowered resistence and overfed candida has caused overgrowth to become a significant problem. Treatment can be complicated and often includes diet modifications and supplements.

Type 2 Diabetes

The American Diabetes Association notes that 1.4 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes each year. Unhealthy diet, including excessive sugar consumption, is a major contributer to this epidemic. The empty calories in sugar provide energy without nutrition, which causes the body to fail to recognize over eating. In other words, calories without nutrients won't cause eaters to feel full. This flood of simple carbohydrates can raise blood sugar levels, which causes food to be digested too rapidly by the body. When levels return to normal, eaters become even hungrier than before the binge. Constant, fluctuating blood sugar levels can cause the pancreas to be unable to regulate insultin production, resulting in type 2 diabetes. 

Heart Disease

The link between diet and diabetes is well documented, but now researchers have determined that there is a strong correlation between sugar and coronary heart disease (CHD). The American Heart Association (AHA) determined that excessive sugar consumption can cause CHD, which is a leading cause of death for both men and women in the U.S. In fact, it is the most common type of heart disease, with an unhealthy diet and lifestyle noted as the top risk factor. The AHA is most concerned with sweetened beverages, which are the main source of added sugar in American diets. Added sugars are so overused that the AHA advocated for better nutritional labels and public awareness.

Liver Disease

While alcohol is well known for damaging the liver, studies have shown that sugar might be just as harmful. Both alcohol and sugar can cause the liver to store too much fat, leading to a condition called fatty liver disease, or non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in non-drinkers. The American Liver Association (ALA) explained that too much stored fat can cause the liver to swell, which ultimately may cause cirrhosis. Symptoms include fatigue, weakness, nausea, abdominal pain, jaundice, fluid retention and mental confusion. Left untreated, this condition can lead to liver cancer or liver failure. Fortunately, NAFLD can be reversed with diet and lifestyle modifications, including the avoidance of sugar.

Addressing diet and lifestyle concerns is often the first step in treating disease. For more information or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Rosen, please call (541) 388-3804

Tips for Healthy Skin

Posted by Robyn Harmon on April 28, 2017 at 8:25 PM Comments comments (0)

Before I got involved in front office work, I went to school to become a licensed esthetician. The program I attended had a holistic approach to skincare, and it was there I first learned about a lot of alternative therapies. While my spa career never took off, I still learned a ton of valuable tips to keep my skin healthy. Keep reading to learn how your skin can look its best!

  • Drink water. The skin is our largest organ, and its main purpose is to act as a barrier. Considering this, any skincare product can only penetrate the surface layers of our skin, which is really just dead cells anyway. While you can plump these layers up temporarily with products, to achieve truly hydrated skin you must treat it internally by drinking a ton of water. The daily recommended amount is half of your body weight in ounces. For example, a 130 pound woman should drink about 65 ounces of water each day.
  • Wash your face. But only once a day, preferably in the evening. Use a cream based cleanser before bed to wash away any make-up, free radicals or dirt from your pores. Foaming cleansers are too harsh for most skin types, as they strip away necessary oils.
  • Exfoliate. Remember those layers of skin that are mostly dead cells waiting to be sloughed? Help them with regular exfoliation. Getting rid of these layers will allow new, fresh cells to surface.
  • Buy quality products. I would love to be able to tell you that price doesn’t matter when it comes to skincare. But it does. While all products may contain similar basics, cheaper versions will contain less of the active ingredients you need. Instead, the products are bulked up with fillers. Better products will last longer though, as you will need less to get benefits.
  • Buy safe products. Know what harmful chemicals may be in your personal care products. While the European Union has banned over 1,000 ingredients for use in beauty goods, the FDA has only banned 9. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is a great resource, as they are a non-profit that maintains a database of personal care products and their ingredients. Their annual sunscreen guide is invaluable.
  • Stay out of the sun??? Personally, I believe that the benefits of vitamin D outweigh the risks of sun exposure. This may not be a popular opinion, but I feel it’s beneficial to feel sun on your skin daily if possible. Unfortunately, the effects of sun damage to the skin are well documented. So, I wear a hat to protect my face and am careful not to burn. Do your own research and discuss this with your doctor.
  • Eat right and take your vitamins. Fruit and vegetables provide antioxidants and vitamins that make your skin glow. Essential fatty acids are crucial for healthy skin. Flax seed oil, borage oil and fish oil are good sources. Vitamins A and C protect the skin from the effects of environmental pollutants and aging.
  • Schedule acupuncture. Since acupuncture helps to balance the body by unblocking and stimulating the flow of qi, a variety of skin care complaints can be treated. Acne, wrinkles and dullness can be addressed. When I was in school, we viewed a demonstration of an acupuncture facelift. Said to be just as effective as surgery, true results require multiple visits.

Of course, everyone has different skin that requires unique care. But these easy suggestions can help everyone, regardless of skin type. Remember that the skin is our largest organ and proper care allows it to function at its best.

Any favorite skin care tips? Leave a comment with any suggestions.

Call (541) 388-3804 with any questions or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Rosen. 

Food Intolerance Part 2

Posted by Robyn Harmon on April 26, 2017 at 2:30 PM Comments comments (0)

In part 1, I explained what a food intolerance is and all about the foods most likely to cause one. click here if you missed it.

Often, new patients seek Dr. Rosen's help because of ailments caused by undiagnosed food intolerances. When they realize their treatment plan includes a trial of food elimination, some have a lot of questions and don't know how to begin. Lynne and I are always happy to answer any questions. Having food intolerances myself, I can easily empathize with the frustrations involved in such a big change. Keep reading to learn how you can successfully avoid the foods you need to for better health. And don't worry, your meals can still be simple to prepare, enjoyable and delicious. Here are some tips to get you started.

  • Go online. There are tons of blogs devoted to healthy eating and many are focused on GF/DF living. You can find supportive message boards, free recipes and helpful advice. Pinterest is my favorite source for inspiration.
  • Make substitutions. Try some non-gluten grains in your next meal, such as rice, quinoa, millet or teff. Coconut milk ice cream is just as delicious. Corn and soy are often used in unhealthy vegetable oils, so use olive, flax, coconut or avocado instead.
  • Limit processed foods. Since most grocery stores now have a gluten free section, crackers, breads, pancakes mixes and cookies are easily found. Be aware that GF does not mean low calorie or low carb, so don't exchange one unhealthy habit for another. Often, GF snacks contain even more calories and sugar. Instead, see this as an opportunity to experiment with new healthier options.
  • Find friends. Chances are you know someone else who is food intolerant, and I bet they would love to share their expertise. Enlist their help by asking about favorite cookbooks, restaurants and baking tips. Test some new recipes for them, or take them out to lunch to observe how they order. Or call me!
  • Be prepared. Plan a complete week of meals and snacks. Having healthy, easy to grab food in the house might stop you from eating those stale crackers from the back of the cabinet. Carb and sugar cravings are real, and it takes time for your body to adjust to a diet naturally lower in sugar. Preparation will make this transition easier.
  • Get cooking. Make as many of your own meals as possible, since this is the only way to know what's really in your food. For best results, strict avoidance of a food is recommended, so try to eat at home so you won't be tempted by menu items. For me, this is how I learned to really cook, and I grew to love the creativity involved.
  • Ask questions. Seriously, servers today are used to this. As long as you're polite and patient, most wait staff won't mind taking extra time to help you. Remember to make sure that there are no hidden ingredients in sauces, dressings or seasonings. If options are limited, most restaurants have a salad that can be customized.

The fact is that certain foods can cause health issues, which is why many new patients are advised to start a trial of elimination. While some are eager to proceed, others are reluctant to change their typical diet. It may be difficult at first, but soon eating will become routine. Best of all, you will have made a positive change to the benefit of your health.

I often hear the phrase, "Life is short. Eat the cake." To this I say, "Life is short. Don't eat the cake."

Why spend your days tired, bloated and constipated? For those of use with food intolerance, not eating the cake is the true reward.

For questions or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Rosen, call (541) 388-3804.

Symptoms of Food Intolerance- Part 1

Posted by Robyn Harmon on April 24, 2017 at 10:30 AM Comments comments (0)

Many new patients seek Dr. Rosen’s help because of ailments caused by an undiagnosed food intolerance. In part 1 of a 2 part series, I will explain what a food intolerance is and what foods are most likely to cause one. Part 2 will explain how to read food labels and include tips for successful diet changes.

For me, gluten, dairy and corn were the ingredients making me sick. I used a daily asthma medication and often needed steroid treatments for constant, painful rashes. I napped every afternoon and rarely had the energy I needed to care for two small children. After giving up those three foods, my health improved significantly. I was able to ditch the medications and had more energy than ever before. Once I realized how much better I felt, sticking with this new lifestyle was easy.

What is Food Intolerance?

While a food allergy reaction is immediate and obvious, food intolerance can be harder to identify. This is because reactions are slower to occur and are usually triggered by foods that are eaten routinely. An intolerance may persist for years before a patient seeks treatment.

Common symptoms include:

  • Bloating
  • Diarrhea/Constipation
  • Stomach Cramps
  • Nausea
  • Muscle Pains
  • Depression or Anxiety
  • Fatigue/Brain Fog
  • Headaches
  • Rashes
  • Asthma

Considering that on average, most adults eat the same ten foods every day, an undiagnosed food intolerance can slowly cause, and build upon, an inflammatory reaction in the body. Dr. Rosen can help you determine if your favorite foods are causing you harm.

What Foods Cause Intolerance?

By now, most people know someone who has sworn off gluten. But do you know the other ingredients most likely to cause intolerance? Remember that food allergies are more serious, and the foods that cause those reactions are different than those listed below. While you can develop a sensitivity to any ingredient, typically, there are four foods that are responsible for the majority of food intolerances. 

Gluten- As I mentioned before, most likely you know someone who avoids this ingredient. Both a common allergen and intolerance, gluten is a group of proteins found in wheat, rye, barley and spelt. Used in crackers, bread, baked goods and pasta, gluten can be hard to avoid. In addition to obvious sources, it may also be found in salad dressing, seasoning mixes, sauces, processed meats and candy.

Dairy- Considered any product made from the milk of an animal, this common ingredient causes trouble for many. Cheese, butter, yogurt, ice cream and milk are all dairy products. It may also be an ingredient in chocolate, broths, artificial sweeteners, processed meats and sauces. And no, eggs are not considered dairy.

Corn- While not a common trigger for food allergies, corn is a big source of food intolerance. Obviously, tortilla chips and popcorn contain corn, but with corn syrup and corn starch being so inexpensive, this ingredient is often added to bulk up processed foods. In addition, corn starch is used as a thickener in sauces, gravies, dressings and soup mixes.

Soy- Another ingredient used in many processed foods, soy is harder to avoid than you may think. Tofu, miso and soy sauce are straightforward sources, but be aware of vegetable oil, nut butters, canned tuna, energy bars and vegetarian meat substitutes. Other names for soy include glycine max, hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP), mono-diglyceride and monosodium glutamate (MSG).

What now?

Once you become aware of a food intolerance, the next challenge is to learn how to avoid it. Changing the way you eat can be overwhelming. I get it- food is an important part of our culture, traditions and social lives. But the only cure for a food intolerance is to completely avoid any ingredients that negatively affect you. The good news is that feeling better is great motivation for success!

Check back for part 2, where I will explain the importance of reading food labels and share my tips on how to be successful with your plan.

Call with any questions or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Rosen at (541) 388-3804.

Seasonal Allergy Relief

Posted by Robyn Harmon on April 21, 2017 at 1:40 PM Comments comments (0)

For seasonal allergy sufferers, springtime in Central Oregon can be miserable. Juniper, in particular, can cause multiple problems for those affected. My first few springs in the high desert were miserable, and I was debilitated by the severity of the allergic reaction. Fortunately, my juniper allergy has been resolved. Keep reading to find out how.

A member of the cedar family, juniper plants release pollen during the spring months, with March and April seeing the most activity. Often, individuals who experience no other environmental allergies will be affected by juniper, as the structure of the pollen itself allows for easier transport to nasal membranes.

Symptoms include

  • Sneezing
  • Congestion
  • Itchy, watery eyes
  • Coughing
  • Shiners (dark circles under the eye)
  • Sore throat
  • Fatigue

While OTC medications are available to treat allergy symptoms, many users report adverse side effects, such as fatigue, dry mouth and constipation. Fortunately, there are safe home remedies that can be done to relieve ailments, as well as effective, non-invasive treatments offered by Dr. Rosen.

Home Remedies

  • Neti Pots- These small, ceramic pots are filled with sterile warm water and salt and used to flush the nasal membranes. Inhaled pollen lives in the nose until it is broken down by the body, when it is then recognized as an intruder. Flushing the pollen before the body releases histamine as a defense will substantially reduce allergic reactions. Use the neti pot three times a day and be sure to clean between uses.
  • Local Honey- Eating local honey consistently throughout the year may reduce allergy symptoms in the same way allergy shots from an allopathic doctor would- by exposing the user to small amounts of local pollens to build up less sensitivity. Bee pollen is thought to be even more effective and may be found at local farmer’s markets. Remember to buy local honey, and use daily for the most benefit.
  • Stinging Nettle- This safe plant is used to make a tea that may relieve allergy symptoms. The leaves contain compounds known as anti-oxidants, which help the body heal from damage caused by oxidation. Drink stinging nettle tea daily during allergy season, as it helps reduce inflammation caused by pollen. The nettle leaves can be found in any health food store, and it is prepared by adding 1-2 teaspoons of dried leaf to hot water, steeped for 5-10 minutes.

Treatment Options

  • Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Techniques- Commonly known as NAET, this treatment was developed by Dr. Devi Nambudripad in 1983 to alleviate allergies from a holistic approach. In this method, contact with an allergen causes a block in the body’s energy pathways. NAET attends to that blockage, which allows for restored energy flow. The treatment itself is gentle and only takes about twenty minutes per session. One allergen is addressed each visit, and relief may be felt immediately. In addition to seasonal allergies, NAET treatments may help with reactions to animal dander, food and chemicals.
  • Chinese Medicine- This ancient science examines the root cause of seasonal allergies. In Chinese medicine, deficiencies of the body are thought to be responsible for an overactive immune system response to pollen. Caused by genetic factors, dietary habits and lifestyle, imbalances may be treated with acupuncture and Chinese herbs in the form of tinctures, capsules and powders for symptom relief.


In my experience, one NAET session with Dr. Rosen eradicated my juniper allergy. Now two years later, I've had one additional treatment to address the allergy. When rare allergic symptoms develop, nettle tea calms the reaction. 

Does juniper trigger symptoms for you? I’d love to hear how others handle this bothersome condition, so please leave a comment about your experience.

Call (541) 388-3804 for more information or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Rosen. He has trained with Dr. Nambudripad and is board certified in Medical Acupuncture.

Health and Wellness News is Here!

Posted by Robyn Harmon on April 21, 2017 at 1:30 PM Comments comments (0)

Greetings! Welcome to the improved News section for Open Paths Integrative Medicine. On behalf of Dr. Ron Rosen and his staff, I am pleased to announce that I will be posting original articles about topics related to your health needs.

Working the past few years in the front office has allowed me to get to know many of you. I have helped get the answers you need and learned about what concerns you the most.

Because of my experience, I will write articles that explain the unique insights I’ve gained from working with an MD who practices medicine with integrity and compassion. This job has taught me so much about wellness and care that I intend to share this knowledge with you.

Let me know what you think…

My first post is about seasonal allergies caused by juniper, a plant common to central Oregon. Juniper pollen creates misery for sufferers, which many of you know. Be sure to read the article for more information about treatments.

Upcoming topics include tips for stress reduction, the effects of sugar on the body and advice about becoming gluten free.

Just for fun, expect some absurd news too. For example, a future post will describe the strangest treatments practiced in healthcare today. I look forward to your comments about that topic!

If you have questions about the topics described in the articles, please don’t hesitate to call the office for more information. We can be reached at (541) 388-3804.

Feel free to post in the comments section if you have a request for a blog topic. I would love to hear your ideas!

In Health & Happiness!


Integrting Cranial Osteopathy with acupuncture

Posted by Ron Rosen MD PC on January 17, 2014 at 5:35 AM Comments comments (1)

I am integrating Cranial Oasteopathic treaments with acupuncture in the same session to enhance both treatments.

Ask about this.