Blog Archives

July Newsletter

This month’s theme: Cancer Prevention and Management
Video: Chiropractic for Cancer Patients

Thanks to chiropractic care’s ability to calm the nervous system, patients suffering from the side effects of cancer treatment can find relief. Watch this video with Dr. Jordanna Clarfield-Henry and learn more.Check it out.

We Won!
YG is proud to announce that we have been selected as the York Guardian Reader’s Choice Awards, Best Acupuncture for 2016! Of course, we could not have won the award without the unending support of our community, and so we at YG thank you for being a part of the effort we make everyday to bring natural healthcare to the St. Clair West neighbourhood.
You May Also Be Interested In…
…and see the YG Articles Pagefor more!
Video: Acupuncture for Cancer Prevention and Management

Acupuncture (and Traditional Chinese Medicine) is excellent for the treatment of imbalances in the body and the prevention of disease. Watch this informative video with acupuncturist Richard Lobbenberg to learn how this ancient medicine can help with cancer prevention as well as cancer management.

Watch here.

Video: Introducing Doctor
Belinda Chan, Chiropractor

Our newest addition to the YG team, Dr. Belinda Chan joins us to provide chiropractic alongside our already well-loved team of therapists. Watch this video to learn more about Belinda and the way she practices chiropractic care!

Learn more.

The YG Cancer Recovery Program

Your recovery from cancer will not necessarily be like another’s due to the wide range of cancers, treatment plans, and symptoms.  Our cancer recovery program is designed to start you back on the path to good health and well-being so that you can regain your energy and vitality, and prevent any recurrence.

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April Natural Health News

This month’s theme: Stress!
Video: Psychotherapy and Stress
Yellow Gazebo’sMargotte Kaczanowskais not just knowledgeable when it comes to stress, she’s also a personable, easy-to-talk-to professional who has a great approach to therapy. Watch this video to get to know herpsychotherapy methods (and her approach to stress) a little better.
Video: Massage Therapy FAQ

RMT Brian Murraytakes on some common and potentially personal questions in this interview that’s intended to educate as well as entertain. Ever feel like farting in themassage therapyroom? Let’s ask Brian!

Get your FAQ.

Wake Up Wednesdays! 
Physiotherapist Amy Gildner wants to see you bright and earlyWednesday mornings– 7am if you can swing it, or earlier if you want to challenge her! So set that alarm for sunrise and come get some good ol’ hands-on physiotherapy to start off your day.

Meet Amy.

Podcast: Acupuncture for Anxiety 
Acupuncturist Richard Lobbenberg uses this podcast to explain howacupuncture can help feelings of stress and anxiety taking a natural, holistic approach. When the mind can’t be calmed, sometimes the body needs to get things started.
Vote For Us
We’ve been nominated!Yellow Gazebo has recently been nominated by the York Guardian’s 2016 Reader’s Choice Awards for Acupuncture, under the category of Best Business and Service. So if you’d like to participate in voting for us, just make sure you get your click/vote in by Sunday, April 24th at 11:59pm. And thanks!

Click here.

Video: Naturopathy for Stress
Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine Olja Keserovicoffers some great insight into how naturopathycan help you to reduce your stress levels and feel better. Her intelligent answers may just open up a few ideas for you.
Until May 31st, 2016, enjoy a Shiatsu sessionwith Andrea Gerhardt for 30% off!
YG Stress Management Program

Give yourself the gift of letting us guide you. Our Stress Management Program is designed to free you from having to decide what therapy you need the most. In the program, we choose the right therapies for you to help you get started on a transformative journey to reduced stress.

You May Also Be Interested In…
…and see the YG Articles Page for more!
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January Natural Health News


This month’s theme: Fitness!

Podcast: Acupuncture and Weight Loss

Fitness and weight loss often go hand-in-hand with reducing pain in joints and muscles. This great podcast by Richard explains how acupuncture approaches weight loss, and how it’s natural approach might be right for you.

Listen up.

3 Easy Exercises for Knee Pain 

Despite the amazing results we see treating knee pain with natural therapies such as acupuncture, chiropractic, massage therapy, osteopathy and physiotherapy, sometimes the best medicine involves doing the right (often therapist-prescribed) exercise. Check out this great article on a few key exercises that your therapist might recommend to you.

You May Also Be Interested In…

Vega One Nutritional Shakes


We Have a Winner!

The results are in…

Thank you to everyone for your participation and interest in our 2015 Holiday Raffle. Because of your support, we helped raise hundreds of dollars for Out of the Cold, a local community organization that helps the homeless stay fed, warm and clothed during these cold winter months. Runner-up prize winners include Diane and Mala, who each won $400 worth of free treatments at the clinic, while Ruth won the grand prize valued at over $900 – a gift basket overflowing with prizes donated from businesses in the area. Thanks again, and stay tuned for the next great fundraising event at YG!

Learn more about the prizes.

Video: How to Help Your Elbows With Exercise
Elbow pain can be stubborn because you need to use this joint with almost every arm movement, and you use your arm almost constantly throughout the day. If you’re suffering from this type of pain, watch this video and learn how the right therapy, with the right exercise, can relieve your elbow issues.

The YG Weight Loss Program

Now only $799!

6 sessions of assessment over a 6 week period that includes professional recommendations, advice and support along with a homeopathic dietary supplement called “Chirothin.” This nutritional support formula is made of natural, homeopathic ingredients that:

  • aid in fatty acid transport and metabolism
  • help with blood sugar stabilization
  • assist in increasing metabolism and detoxification

This weight loss program helps make your body more efficient, allowing you to eat a low calorie diet that enables you to lose weight quickly, effectively, and safely.

Copyright © 2015 Yellow Gazebo Natural Health Care, All rights reserved.Our mailing address is:

804 St. Clair Ave. West, Toronto, ON  M6C 1B6

Our phone number is:



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October Natural Health Newsletter



This month’s theme: Sleep                                 


Introducing Margotte Kaczanowski, MSW RSW

Yellow Gazebo is proud to announce its newest team member, Margotte Kaczanowski. A registered social worker, Margotte is now practising psychotherapy with YG, and will be available Thursday evenings and Sunday mornings. Margotte brings with her over thirty years of experience, and will be available to see individuals, couples, or families.

Meet Margotte here.


Podcast: Acupuncture and Sleep

This ancient medicine has been helping people sleep for literally thousands of years. Listen to this short podcast by registered acupuncturist and TCM practitioner Richard Lobbenberg on how acupuncture works, and what it can do to improve your quality of sleep.


Have You Used Your Massage Benefits This Year?

It’s that time of year when many of us realize we still have a lot of unused health benefits (most health plans expire on December 31st). Luckily, Yellow Gazebo offers registered massage 7 days a week, and we even offer direct billing so that you don’t have to worry about taking the extra step yourself to get your money back. Not sure how much you have left, or think you might have untapped benefits for other therapies? Stop by and spend ten minutes with one of our admin staff, and we’ll give your insurance company a call for you!

Contact us.


Yes, We’re 3 Years Old!

Let’s celebrate the great community that we’re building.

In only three years we’ve seen a tremendous outpouring of support from the St. Clair West community, and we just want to say thanks! Check out our Community Support page to find out what exciting project we’re working on right now, and check out our new Objectives video to see how we define our past, our present, and (with great anticipation) our future.


Video Interview: Occupational Therapy CBT for Insomnia

Nearly one third of Canadian adults will experience insomnia in any given year, which left unresolved can become a worrisome condition. Treating insomnia with medication is fine for the short term, but a true cure is often best left to natural health care methods. Watch this great video interview with occupational therapist Judith Mendoza about how Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) just might be the drug-free approach that you need.

Watch and learn more.


Video Tutorial: 8 Tips on Waking Up Without Caffeine

If you’re not a morning person, you probably have some sure-fire ways to get you going each day. And if your routine involves caffeine, you may be interested in learning some ways to avoid that crutch. This video tutorial gives some easy tips on dodging that caffeine need and embracing the day more naturally.

Relax and enjoy.


NEW! Naturopathic Doula Services

Yellow Gazebo is happy to announce the addition of doula services to our roster of care, and what makes this new service so special is that our clinic doula is also a naturopathic doctor! This means not only that your insurance will pay for her care (providing you already have coverage for naturopathic medicine), but that your doula care will be top notch. Check out:




Google Plus
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Copyright 2015 Yellow Gazebo Natural Health Care, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:

804 St. Clair Ave. West, Toronto, ON  M6C 1B6

Our phone number is:



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Stress Management Tips for Teens

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Stress is defined as the state by which we cannot shut down the ‘fight or flight’ mechanism that has been built into us over thousands of years of evolution. This mechanism ramps up our symapthetic nervous system, enabling us in short intervals to escape from predators and attackers. In the short-term this mechanism can save our lives, but is not intended for long-term stimulation. In our daily lives, the mechanism intended to help us ends up hurting us, because stresses like traffic, relationship issues, or work pressure don’t go away easily, and we’re not evolved enough to physically handle the levels of stress hormones being produced.

Teens can experience daily stress just like adults can, and oftentimes don’t have the coping mechanisms that we have had the extra years to learn. Most teenagers will experience stress when they view a situation as potentially harmful, over-whelming, or painful, and they are unsure of how to handle it. Some sources of stress for teenagers include:

  • schoolwork
  • social pressures
  • physical changes
  • parental divorce
  • illness or death in the family
  • changing schools
  • financial issues
  • exceedingly high expectations from parents

While a teen has much more energy than the average adult, and can likely recover more easily from stress physically, the long-term effects are still not pretty. At the very least, ignoring your teen’s stress can lead to behaviour patterns that, when copied as an adult later on, could lead to heart disease and high blood pressure, or worse. Although these issues are rare in teens, they become serious as adults and breaking patterns early on can do wonders for your teen’s life.

How can you help? First of all, remember that your teenager is still your son/daughter, and though not yet an adult, can learn how to cope with stress given the right support and encouragement. Try to foster communication without judging them, and listen to them for signs that stress is affecting their health, behaviour, thoughts or feelings. Some ideas you can offer them to decrease their stress include:

  1. Exercise.
  2. Eating something healthy.
  3. Getting some sleep.
  4. Drinking some water.
  5. Listening to music.
  6. Watchng a comedy.
  7. Playing outside.
  8. Being a kid for an hour.
  9. Getting a massage or some acupuncture.

The essential points to drive home here are that a. they can still act like kids when they want to unwind, and b. they can do some of the things adults do to relax as well. Perhaps the hardest thing for teens is being caught in the middle of ‘you’re not old enough’, and ‘grow up already’. That’s enough to cause anyone some stress!

By Richard Lobbenberg, Acupuncturist and TCM Practitioner

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10 Common Symptoms of Stress

massage therapy toronto

Many illnesses such as heart disease and high blood pressure can be brought on or exacerbated by stress.  If you’d like to manage your stress levels, get to know some of the symptoms associated with this incredibly unhealthy state.

1.  Frequent headaches.  If you get a headache once or twice a week, and they’re not increasing in severity or coming on suddenly, there’s a good chance they could be stress (aka ‘tension’) headaches.  Consult your doctor to be sure, and be aware that they could be relieved with acupuncture or massage therapy.

2.  Jaw pain or teeth grinding.  We often hold stress in our jaws, so be aware of this as frequent grinding of your teeth can lead to dental issues.

3.  Neck and/or back pain.  Poor posture certainly makes this type of pain worse, and relieving stress can make a major difference in your neck and your back as well.

4.  Dizziness and/or fainting.  Sometimes the only way our bodies can tell us to ‘slow down’ is for stress levels to get so high that we feel like we’re going to pass out!  This symptom often gets confused with poor diet choices, which can certainly contribute to, but may not be the source of the problem.

5.  Frequent colds.  Stress can lower your immune system, making you more susceptible to picking up cold viruses and other nasty bugs.  Sometimes this can even look like it’s allergies, when stress is the real culprit.  In addition to lowering stress in your life, make sure that you wash your hands frequently.

6.  Abdominal pain and/or discomfort.  It’s normal to keep your thoughts and feelings to yourself when under stress.  Unfortunately, it might be your digestive system that takes it in, leaving you feeling uncomfortable and sometimes worse – constipation, diarrhea and ulcers are just the start.

7.  Frequent urination.  Abdominal constriction can also lead to pressure on your bladder, which can promote more frequent urination.  Holding it in and not going when you need to can lead to urinary tract infection, so be wary.

8.  Altered sexual desire or performance.  Stress can adversely affect your libido, as your mind usually needs to be relaxed to be aroused.  If your sex life is on the back burner, you might be suffering from too much stress in your life.

9.  Insomnia or waking without feeling rested.  If you have a million things on your plate, your sleep can be affected quite easily.  You might not be able to erase those things, but seeking natural medicine can help you cope better.

10.  Weight gain or loss without diet changes.  When under stress, it’s easy to eat more or less without thinking about it.  This can have adverse effects on your health, of course, since not eating enough can rob your organs of important nutrients, and eating too much can cause fat buildup that puts a different kind of unhealthy strain on your body.

Note: while this is not an exhaustive list, these are some easy ones to spot.  For more information on how stress might be affecting your health, contact us for a free consultation.

By Richard Lobbenberg, Acupuncturist and TCM Practitioner

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3 Great Ways to Relieve Stress Quickly and Naturally


Life’s busy enough – who has time to add stress-relieving exercises?!  Even when we know that they’d probably be good for us, we often tell ourselves to put off those time-consuming techniques like meditation.  We say “oh, I’ll get to it once I’m done this work.”  But the work would go so much easier if we weren’t so stressed….  So here are a few key tricks that only take a second.  So… quickly… look these over… and then try them out.  They might help!

1.  Look at a photo of a loved one.  Many of us have photos of our loved ones around – on our desks, as the wallpaper on our phones or computers – but we rarely take the time to actually look at them, and engage how we feel about those people.  That glimpse of love can go a long way!

2.  Touch something soft.  Those stress balls that you can squeeze have something going for them other than the obvious aggression-relieving properties: they’re soft.  Touching something delicate can engage you in a way that will lower your stress levels immediately, akin to petting a puppy or settling into clean linen sheets.  Let your senses drift away to something soft… even for just a second.

3.  Go to your happy place.  If you don’t have one already, pick a place in your mind that you envision as the most relaxing place… ever.  This is likely a place that you remember from childhood, or a vacation you took once.  And if you’re able to, engage the memory while touching something soft, and picturing your loved ones with you.  The three tricks together can work wonders!

Most of all, make sure that you eat a healthy diet and get plenty of rest.  If stress is too much for you too often, try adding some natural medicine like acupuncture or massage therapy to help ease your life.

By Richard Lobbenberg, Acupuncturist and TCM Practitioner

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Are We in a Crisis Over Fertility?

acupuncture st clair west toronto

Many women today are having great success with IVF and other fantastic methods of conception that our medical system has come up with.  And others still are using acupuncture and other natural therapies to either complement the conventional therapies they’re using, or as their first effort, hoping to forego the drugs and test tubes.  But there are still women having trouble getting pregnant.  Why?

It’s certainly not fair that one woman who tries the same methods as the next can get pregnant while the second woman cannot.  And it would be great if we could say why, after repeated attempts with IVF, and after tens of thousands of dollars spent, some women still can’t get pregnant.  It would be great if we had answers for them, because then maybe they wouldn’t feel so awful, blaming themselves, their partners, or whoever they can think of.  Sometimes, there’s just no one to blame, and that can hurt just as badly, or worse.

We certainly live in a great time: there are seemingly endless options available for couples trying to get pregnant.  The flip-side, of course, is that one has trouble choosing which therapy should work for them.  IVF seems to be a popular choice, but it is very expensive.  I have been practicing acupuncture and Chinese Medicine for several years, and have had the opportunity to treat some women who were looking to conceive.  Their results with me were mostly very positive, especially for those who were able to come for the recommended amount of treatments and follow my advice regarding lifestyle changes.  But for those without insurance, who are forced to pay out-of-pocket, even a few acupuncture sessions at a reduced rate can seem financially daunting, especially when results cannot be guaranteed.  So what can you do?

Until the Ontario government covers IVF and acupuncture for fertility under OHIP, we’re left in a bit of a void concerning the ‘right’ choices one can make with regards to becoming more fertile.  And many women need help at a point when they’re of a certain age, thus a very real time limit is set.  In the end, like so many things in life, what to do about fertility treatment is a personal choice.  I advocate acupuncture (of course), and also recommend trying certain changes in your diet.  You can even try yoga, which has been used for centuries to make women more fertile.  And most importantly, make the choice to be happy.  Whether you end up conceiving or not.

By Richard Lobbenberg, Acupuncturist and TCM Practitioner

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5 Ways Your Spleen is Different in Chinese Medicine

acupuncture st clair west toronto

If you know much about Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), you probably know that acupuncture and TCM practitioners view your internal organs in a much different way than your science-based conventional medicine does.  While both frameworks of medicine are important to our health care, TCM is unique in that it views your body as a direct reflection of the world and the universe around it, and vice versa.  That is to say that everything that exists within the world and the universe (energy, wind, fire, and so on) also exists inside each of us.  With this is mind, each of our major and minor organs play a vital role in connecting us not only to ourselves, but also to each other via nature.  But how are these organs viewed in terms of function and, to help illuminate our understanding, how do they differ from what we know about their science-based counterparts?  Let’s look at the Spleen (capitalized to differentiate from the scientific definition).

1.  Anatomically, your spleen is a part of your body’s lymphatic drainage system, essentially helping to clean your blood.  In TCM, your Spleen is responsible for your digestion, i.e. taking nutrients that you derive from the air and your food, and transforming and then distributing the nutrients (such as energy, aka ‘Qi’) throughout your body.  This is why fatigue and anemia are often linked to a breakdown in your Spleen’s functionality.

2.  The spleen by scientific standards is a non-vital organ, not affecting your life without much consequence if you have it removed.  In TCM, on the other hand, your Spleen is a major organ, with a meridian (a pathway in your body that acts as a channel for Qi, Blood, and other nutrients) that runs from your feet to your chest.  In addition to nutrient production, your Spleen is responsible for water metabolism, helping your body rid itself of excess fluids and also nourishing your body where needed.  This is how Spleen imbalance explains issues such as edema or weight gain.

3.  Scientifically your spleen’s functions help your immune system by synthesizing white blood cells.  In TCM, your Spleen is responsible for controlling your Blood and ensuring that it flows within the proper meridians and not outside of them.  Thus Spleen imbalances can be seen in conditions such as blood in your urine or metrorrhagia (menstrual bleeding that occurs outside of your normal cycle).

4.  Filtering your blood while also assisting your immune system fairly sums up your spleen anatomically-speaking, but the Spleen has yet another important function in TCM.  By dominating your muscles and limbs, your Spleen is essential to maintaining muscle mass and healthy limbs.  Spleen imbalance, therefore, can lead to muscle and limb weakness, and in severe cases even atrophy.

To keep your Spleen healthy, eat a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables, and exercise regularly.  Nourish your Spleen with foods that are somewhat warm in nature, like ginger.

By Richard Lobbenberg, Acupuncturist and TCM Practitioner

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Detox – Does it Work?

Detoxification (aka ‘dethttp://yellowgazeboclinic.com/services/acupuncture-and-tcm/oxing’) is a popular activity in our culture, and it’s not surprising that we think of ridding ourselves of so-called ‘toxins’, what with the knowledge that industry has polluted and continues to pollute our environment so.  But are these different detox diets really necessary?  Do we need to starve ourselves with chicken broth-only diets or drink apple cider vinegar and lemon juice until we’re nauseous? Certainly to an extent these ideas have some merit, but I’m not so sure they’re really all that healthy.

A detox diet tends to be geared towards weight loss as much as it is meant to rid you of chemicals and pollutants in your body.  The premise is essentially that your body is incapable of processing these toxins on its own, and that once you are free of them you will have more energy, feel better, and shed unwanted pounds.  Most detox diets are very low in calories, and sometimes require taking herbs and/or supplements.

But do the diets work?  Sort of – if you limit your caloric intake for a long enough period of time, you will surely lose some weight and feel better.  But they are not long-term solutions for better health, because you can’t sustain such an extreme way of eating.  Once you go back to eating the foods you eat on a normal basis, you regain the weight and end up back where you started, or in a worse place from where you began.

Unfortunately, there are dangers associated with a detox diet, including dizziness from low blood sugar, and much more serious issues caused by fasting, such as problems with pregnancy and your ability to get pregnant, as well as your brain and heart processes, muscles, joints, bones, kidneys, intestines, and even your skin and hair.  In addition, colon cleanses can rid your body of important electrolyte and fluid balances, leading to even more issues.

What should you do?  Well, there are much healthier ways to lose weight, if that’s your concern.  Speaking with a nutritional counsellor can help a great deal, and getting on a regular exercise plan is extremely helpful as well.  The key is to look at improving your health in a long-term scenario, and not with a ‘quick fix’ mentality.  In terms of simply ridding your body of toxins, exercise can help tremendously, as can a natural medicine like acupuncture, which works on your body by unblocking energy pathways.  This blocked energy can make contribute greatly to feeling poorly, so consider this great therapy as a good start for bettering your health.

Finally, since your body naturally detoxifies you via your liver, lungs, colon and kidneys, look at ways you can improve the health of these organs, e.g. by quitting smoking and drinking alcohol, eating more fiber (especially from whole grains), drinking more water, and getting better sleep.  The detox diets are pointed in the right direction: be simple.  Just be smart about it as well!

By Richard Lobbenberg, Acupuncturist and TCM Practitioner

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