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Happy Back to School!

Parents often ask me how they can prevent their kids from bringing home all the colds and flus that go around in school.  There are many things you can do to ensure a robust immunity for your whole family and reduce the risk of infection.  Here are a few quick tips:

Hand Washing

Hand Washing:  This is the #1 most important thing.  In the late 1840s, doctors finally discovered they needed to wash their hands to prevent the spread of infectious disease in hospitals.  Can you imagine?  Previous to that time, it wasn’t considered necessary.  But now we certainly know better.  Thank goodness!  The best hand washing method is to use warm water with soap and rub your hands together all over (front and back and in between fingers and under nails) for at least 15 seconds.

Don’t Touch Your Face

Don’t touch your face, especially with unwashed hands.  Touching your face – especially around the mouth, nose, or eyes – can allow infectious germs to be transferred, via the mucous membranes in those areas, into your body and make you sick.

Get Fresh Air

Viruses and bacteria also travel in the air.  Being in enclosed rooms with lots of people increases the risk of spreading these infectious organisms.  Make sure to open windows and air out your house, classroom, and/or workplace from time to time.

Increase Sleep

Sleep can make or break your health.  Getting enough quality sleep is a potent immune booster. Each person’s sleep needs can be variable, but the average 8 hours per night still stands as a good target.

Reduce Stress

High stress levels lower your immune function. The end of leisurely summer fun and the return to the routine and pressures of school may create stress for parents and kids alike.  If this rings true for your family, simply be aware and remember to balance things by continuing to make space for both fun activities and relaxation time.  Exercise, laughter, and connecting with family and friends are all great ways to reduce stress and boost your immune system.

Avoid the Biggest Immune-Destroying Food

It’s a well-proven fact – SUGAR lowers immune function.  Almost immediately after eating sugar, the body’s infection-fighting white blood cell numbers drop.  And this immune suppressing effect can last for many hours afterwards.  Minimizing or eliminating sugar intake altogether is a powerful technique for staying healthy and strong.

Eat Immune Boosting Foods

Food is medicine.  It is simple and true. A healthy diet is the foundation of feeling good, looking good, and not getting sick. Here are some immune-boosting foods to incorporate into your family’s daily meals…

  • Antimicrobial Herbs & Spices:

i.e. Ginger, Thyme, Oregano, Turmeric, Garlic, Onions, Astragalus

  • High Antioxidant foods:

i.e. Fruits and Vegetables, especially brightly-colored ones

  • Specific Immune Booster Nutrients: like Zinc, Vit B12, Vit C, Vit A

High Zinc foods – i.e. Oysters, Lamb, Beef, Yogurt, Garbanzo beans, Pumpkin seeds, Cashews, Chocolate, Chicken, Mushrooms, Spinach

Vitamin B12 foods – i.e. Meat, Dairy, Eggs, Nutritional yeast

High Vitamin C foods – i.e. Oranges, Guava, Red peppers, Green peppers, Kale, Broccoli, Brussel sprouts, Strawberries, Grapefruit, Kiwi

High Beta-carotene/ Vitamin A foods – i.e. Carrots, Pumpkin, Sweet potato, Winter squash, Kale, Red peppers, Spinach, Broccoli, Cantaloupe, Apricots, Liver

  • Immune Boosting Mushrooms:

i.e. Shitake mushrooms

  • Probiotic-containing, Fermented foods:

i.e. Yogurt, Kefir, Miso, Sauerkraut, Kimchi, Kombucha

  • And if you desire something a little sweet:

Manuka Honey

Wishing You Glorious Health,

Dr. Sarah Murphy

There’s More to a Cleanse than Meets the Eye

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There are many factors to a healthy cleanse – the first of which we talked about in our last blog: “The Pre-Cleanse”. You have to let your body know what’s coming and ease into it. But let’s talk about other often overlooked measures in cleansing.


The Post-cleanse

Similar to the Pre-Cleanse, a Post-Cleanse is crucial to ease out of a cleanse gently. Don’t forget to include a post-cleanse phase. I see a lot of people skip this and it can be shocking to the body, make the person ill, and un-do the benefits of the cleanse. Here is a schedule template that can be modified, shortened or extended to match the cleanse and diet you are moving back into:
Day 1: Drink juices only.
Day 2: Eat fruits and veggies only.
Day 3: Add some Grains back in if desired.
Day 4: Add meat and dairy back in if desired.
Day 5: Might not want to, but may add some alcohol, coffee, or sugar back in at the very end.


Support the Body’s Elimination Pathways

Your body’s natural “elimination pathways” will be working overtime and must be kept clear during a cleanse. The kidneys, intestines, skin, and lungs will all need attention and support. To put it bluntly, you will be peeing, pooping, sweating and breathing out toxins.
Kidneys: Pee out the toxins. Drink lots of water to support elimination through the kidneys.
Intestines: Poop out the toxins. Eat lots of fiber. Or consider enemas or colonics. Whatever you do – avoid getting constipated.
Skin: Sweat out the toxins. Exercise and do saunas to break a sweat and support elimination through the skin.
Lungs: Breath out the toxins. Focus on deep breathing exercises and getting fresh air out in nature.


Combat Detox Reactions

 If any of the body’s elimination pathways get backed up or overwhelmed, then negative symptoms may occur. Common detox reaction symptoms include fatigue, headaches, irritability, constipation, acne, and so on. If these occur, increase some of the supportive measures listed above to help eliminate the problem. And if you ever decide to end a cleanse early, then don’t stop the cleanse abruptly, follow the Post-Cleanse regimen to ease out of it.


Holistic Cleansing beyond the Body

Cleansing can also be about so much more than just your body and diet. Treat every aspect of your life with as much respect as your body. Rest! Take a break from the world. Cleanse your mind of TV, Facebook, and Social media. Heard of Spring Cleaning? Your physical environment around you can affect you in big ways, so clean it out! Also seize this opportunity to do some emotional clearing – take time to journal, reflect, forgive the past, and resolve relationship concerns. Lead a clean life in every sense of the word during this period. And notice the results! For more Health & Wellness tips and tricks, subscribe to our Newsletter!


Wishing You Glorious Health,

Dr. Sarah


P.S. I only want to send you emails you want to get. Click HERE to tell me what kinds of emails you want to get from me.

The “Pre-Cleanse”

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Spring is a great time to cleanse. Spring – you’ve probably heard of “spring cleaning” – is a time to get rid of the old and make room for the new! In Chinese medicine, it is the season associated with the liver – the major organ of detoxification. And as the weather warms up, we naturally move towards eating lighter foods and meals, which definitely supports the cleansing process.


With cleanses becoming very trendy lately, many people think they’re a quick and easy fix. But, in order to be safe and effective, we must take our time with a cleanse. In fact, I split up my cleanses into 3 parts. But for today, let’s just go over the first part: the Pre-Cleanse.



Come up with a schedule! Jumping into an extreme cleanse right away without preparation can be shocking and stressful for your body. For example, if you eat a hamburger, beer and fries the night before doing a 1 day water fast, you will probably feel ill! You would be giving your body too much to detox and too suddenly. Allowing time for your Pre-Cleanse lets your body gently start detoxing on its own, so that it’s ready for the height or climax of the cleanse. Treat yourself well and send your body ample notification that you’re going to be cleansing, by easing into the cleanse over a few days:


Day 1: Eliminate alcohol, coffee, sugar.  Eat healthy meals including meat, dairy, nuts/seeds, fruits and veggies.
Day 2: Eliminate meats, dairy, nuts/seeds.  Eat grains, fruits and veggies only.
Day 3: Eliminate grains.  Eat fruits and veggies only.

Day 4: Eliminate fruits and veggies.  Drink juices only.
Day 5 onward: Move into the actual cleanse you have chosen.


Think of this schedule as a template for you to use. Day 5 might be the start of a water fast. But if you were only planning on doing a juice cleanse, use Day 5 onward to continue the juice cleanse for however many days you had planned. Or if your cleanse includes eating a modified diet of clean foods and meals, then you may just do the first couple pre-cleanse days here and be ready for it. Use this schedule as a guide to help ease into your cleanse in a way that best suits your needs.


Stay tuned for next week’s blog that digs into the details of the cleanse itself. And for more Health & Wellness tips and tricks, subscribe to our Newsletter!


Wishing You Glorious Health,
Dr. Sarah


P.S. I only want to send you emails you want to get. Click HERE to tell me what kinds of emails you want to get from me.

10 Ways to Sleep Like a Baby Again

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Wish you could sleep like a baby again?

If you have trouble getting to sleep, you’re probably well aware of the devastating effects this can have on the rest of your life. Without sleep our bodies become worn out, inflamed, stressed, moody and more susceptible to all sorts of illnesses. Sleep is the body’s main mechanism for rejuvenation, repair and healing.

Insomnia is a symptom characterized by the inability to fall asleep and/or stay asleep. Insomnia is just a symptom, not an illness in itself. It signifies that an external or internal disturbance is happening, so it is crucial to search for and address the underlying cause. Although there are numerous possible reasons a person may have trouble sleeping.

So here are 10 Sleep Tips that you can try at home – no prescription needed! 🙂

1. Establish a Routine

The human body operates on a daily rhythm aligned with the cycle of day and night. Maintaining a consistent daily routine of eating and sleeping helps the body know what to do and when to do it. Pick the most common times you sleep and eat and stick to that pattern as much as possible. This will balance your hormone levels, helping your body’s internal clock know when it’s time to rest and go to sleep.

2. Moderate Caffeine

Caffeine produces a false high energy, stress state that messes with the body’s natural daily rhythm. Consider eliminating or at least moderating your caffeine intake. Teas are best, especially green tea. If coffee is a must, then try to limit your intake to 1 or 2 cups a day in the morning only.

3. Eat for Balanced Energy

Eating a healthy balance of protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats throughout the day is essential for steady energy. Carbohydrates, such as white breads and sugar, can cause a rapid spike in blood sugar levels, followed by a dramatic dip in energy. These erratic energy highs and lows can be avoided by adding protein and “good” fats to a meal or snack: for example, eat almond butter or a cup of yogurt with your toast, or add a handful of mixed nuts to your fruit snack.

4. Experience the Dark of the Night

Dim lights nearing bedtime and full darkness during sleep time increases the body’s production of melatonin, a hormone that promotes deep rest and sleep. This means you must throw away your nightlight ☺, turn off all computer screens, close the window curtains and even cover the alarm clock light or any other light sources in the bedroom.

5. Breathe

Deep breathing exercises before bed are very calming. To take a deep breathe let your lungs fully fill with air. Make sure your belly rises as you inhale. Focus on your exhale and let it be twice as long as the inhale. So inhale for a count of 4 and then exhale as you count to 8. Repeat this several times. Notice how you feel afterward.

6. Meditate

Check out the quick, “guided meditation” audio Podcasts offered through iTunes to find one that helps you quiet your mind for relaxation and better sleep in as little as 5 to 10 minutes.

7. End the day with Magnesium

Magnesium is a mineral found in foods such as nuts, grains, beans, dark green vegetables, fish and meat. A typical supplement dosage is 250-300mg in capsule, powder or liquid form before bed. This can be combined with calcium supplementation so as to maintain the body’s proper calcium-magnesium balance. This may be harmful if you have any sort of kidney disease so consult with your doctor first if that’s the case.

8. Take an Epsom Salt Bath

At the end of your day, a hot bath with 2 cups of Epsom salts dissolved in it can be deeply relaxing. Both the heat and the salts act as natural muscle relaxants and tension relievers. Epsom salts can be bought at most any supermarket or drugstore.

9. Try a Yoga Pose

The “forward bend” yoga poses are sedating. For example, try “Uttanasana Standing Forward Bend” before getting into bed. Be cautious with this pose if you have low back problems.

Directions: Stand with your knees slightly bent. Place your hands on the front of your hips for support. Roll your head/then upper body forward and down until you feel the stretch. Release your arms to the floor or clasp your elbows. Pause in this forward hanging position, breath and relax and let the weight of your body stretch out your back. Stay here for as long as is comfortable, perhaps a minute. To come out of the pose, put your hands on your hips and roll up.

10. Ease the Mind

Mental-emotional stresses are often major factors in insomnia. So exploring and healing any psychological stresses that you may have is highly important.

* * * *

Sleep troubles (aka insomnia) may be due to a variety of causes depending on the individual person. These are just a few of my fundamental tips for better sleep, and there are many more natural treatments available. Please don’t hesitate to seek out more personalized healthcare support if you need to further explore and heal the root causes disrupting you from getting the deep and lovely sleep that you deserve!

6 Ways to Recover from Holiday Feasting

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Ever wonder why we make resolutions in the new year? Yes… new year, new me; that too! But, the holidays are a time for feasting. Most everyone feels the holiday aftermath of ingesting salty, fatty main courses, and dangerously yummy sweets for dessert. But have no fear. We can counteract the after effects of feasting together. And guess what? You don’t need to fast, or start the new year with some extreme diet plan! Here at Zuma, we’re all about quick and easy, so here are some simple cleansing measures to support your body’s recovery from your holiday splurge:


1. Hot Lemon Water

Drink too much during the holidays? It really helps to start your day with a cup of hot lemon water every morning (I squeeze 1 full lemon in 1 cup hot water!) Believe it or not, lemon detoxes the liver. So, do yourself a favor and throw out all your empty bottles of wine and replace them with lemons! Your liver will thank you.

2. Castor Oil Packs

If your liver still needs help after the hot lemon water, apply castor oil over your lower right ribcage – the area where your liver is. This awesome oil comes from the castor seed, native to India, and is a natural anti-inflammatory for your liver… externally! But, make sure you only use it externally; ingesting this oil internally can be dangerous.

3. Green Juices

Make (or buy, if you don’t have a juicer) one cup of green juice a day. My favorite mix is Cucumber, Kale, Apple, Spinach, Mint, Dandelion Greens.

4. Herbal Detox Tea

So, you started your day with a cup of hot lemon water. Bookend your day with a cup of detox tea at night to flush out the day’s toxins. Roasted dandelion root tea is my personal favorite. Can you tell I like dandelion?

5. The 1-day Vegetable Soup Fast

If you’re aching to do a “fast,” but want to do something more nourishing, safer, and easier with less risk of side effects than no food at all, look no further than the 1-day Vegetable Soup Fast. Simply make a big pot of vegetable soup and eat just that for one day,  along with plenty of water and herbal teas. If you have any major health conditions, consult with your doctor first and pursue this or any other fasts under his/her supervision.

6. Top Supplements

The last area that really needs help after the holidays is the digestive tract. To get some major healing, pick up some supplements to help you out. Take digestive enzymes before each meal and probiotics before bed.

Now, the splurge is a thing of the past! So moving forward, be sure to to drink plenty of water, and clean up the diet to support this process. For more quick and easy tips and tricks from me and the rest of the team at Zuma Wellness, subscribe to our monthly email Newsletter! We don’t spam you, I promise.



Dr. Sarah

5 Ways To Ensure New Year’s Resolution Success

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By Dr. Sarah Murphy

With the end of the year around the corner, we look to our annual ritual of goal and intention setting for the coming year. For many of us, this means looking at new ways to live healthier, be more productive, and find balance within our busy schedules. Here are 5 ways to boost your likelihood of success no matter what your personal goals may be. When we feel great, we succeed.

1. Exercise: consistency over duration.
Many people create their own barrier to fitness by setting unrealistic expectations. The key is consistency. 15-20 minutes of higher intensity workouts will keep you in better shape than one or two hours + long sessions during the week. Identifying exercise you can work into your daily routine can help. Whether it’s doing push-ups, jumping jacks, or doing a few vinyasas, finding ways to stay consistent will keep you in better shape over the long run. Consider vitamin B12 shots to boost energy and recovery and get the most in your fitness.

2. Get Enough Sleep.
Whatever your productivity goals are for the coming year, those goals depend on having a body and mind that can deliver the focus and energy required to function. One easy way to change bad habits is to reorganize your space and eliminate stimulating devices in your sleeping area that keep you up. Avoid working in your bedroom and consider offline activities right before bed. Aromatherapy can also be a great way to wind down. We recommend lavender for sleep.

3. Have a growth mindset.
Having big goals require us to build courage and motivation in order to learn new things and overcome fears and bad habits. Stanford University has done a lot of work on the topic of having a growth mindset and has found that motivation is key. Considering that new job but don’t have the skills yet? Envision your future and make a plan to get there, starting with an audit of the skills needed and how you will acquire them. Looking to radically improve your health? Consider trying new things like vitamin B12 shots or meditation. These are just a few examples.

4. Small steps toward big goals.
One reason new year resolutions often fail is because we bite off more than we can chew at a time. Want to change careers? Try taking an online class to learn those new skills. Looking to run a marathon? Try starting with a 5 or 10k run/walk like the one our friends at Aztlan Athletics host. Breaking big goals down into smaller action steps can keep you motivated as you achieve each milestone.

5. Find a supportive network.
You don’t have to go it alone. Simply creating a network of supportive individuals around you can help you stay motivated for the long haul. Many of my regular patients come to me not only for premium vitamin B12 shots, but also to learn how natural medicine can help them achieve goals in all aspects of their life. My team and I are here to answer questions and offer support. Just drop by one of our locations and reach out. We look forward to seeing you.


Discovering the Health Benefits of B12 Vitamins

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From my experience in performing tens of thousands of custom-blended B vitamin shots for patients, I have been personally amazed at how effective these shots are at alleviating a wide variety of health problems. B vitamins play invaluable roles in many crucial body processes. The procedure is quick and easy and the beneficial results are often strong and immediate.

What are the benefits?

B vitamin injections can help with (just to name a few):

  • Stress
  • Fatigue
  • Anemia
  • Memory problems
  • Mood imbalances (i.e. depression, anxiety)
  • Immunity (i.e. colds, flus)
  • Weight gain
  • Pain & Inflammation (i.e. arthritis, headaches)
  • Nerve numbness and tingling
  • Sleep problems
  • PMS/ Menopause

What’s all the hype about Vitamin B12?

One of the most frequently deficient B vitamins is Vitamin B12. B12 deficiency is extremely common in the U.S. population (up to 40% of Americans are B12 deficient).

Certain risk factors that make a person more likely B12 deficient include:

  • Vegan or vegetarian diet
  • High stress lifestyle or lack of sleep
  • Unhealthy diet
  • Poor digestion
  • Older age
  • Certain common medications (i.e. antacids, aspirin, some antibiotics, metformin – a diabetes medication)

The best form of B12 is called methylcobalamin. It is the active-form of the vitamin so the body can use it immediately. This form of B12 is also able to cross into the brain to help with mood and memory, in addition to giving the general energy and immune boost that the more commonly available cyanocobalamin form of B12 provides.

Can’t I just take a pill?

Vitamin injections are stronger and work faster than oral vitamin supplements. Only a certain percentage of substances taken orally get absorbed into the body, depending on the quality of the substance and a person’s digestive tract health. Injections send 100% of the vitamin dosage into your bloodstream to circulate throughout the whole body.

What’s the procedure?

The B vitamin injection procedure is a quick and usually painless shot into the muscle of the arm or the buttocks. Some of the larger combinations of vitamins do sting on insertion, but are well worth the temporary sting because of the important health benefits they provide.

Don’t I need a lab test to check my B vitamin levels first?

While lab tests for B vitamin levels and anemia caused by B vitamin deficiencies are good to have done, they still only reflect more severe deficiencies. I have found that many patients benefit even when their lab results are in the “normal” range. It is safe to try an injection without lab tests and if it gets rid of your symptoms, then I’m a happy and satisfied doctor. 🙂


If your health concern is in whole or in part due to low B vitamin levels, then shots are the fastest and strongest way to fix this issue. Try it – it’s worth a shot! 😉

6 Ways to Feel Better in 10 Minutes or Less

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Everyone has days that feel like a challenge to get through. Fortunately there are a few easy things we can do to lift our spirits and feel more energized.

Rear view of young businesswoman sitting at desk stretching. Copy space


One of the easiest things to do is to be aware of your breath. Deep breathing is extremely important because it oxygenates the body, carries energy to cells, and can help ground you from the day’s stress. Try this! Put your hands on your lower belly and breathe into your hands. Feel your belly expand and back. If you are not feeling your belly expand, it means you are not breathing deeply.


Moments of exercise done more frequently

A lot people think they need to do exercise for an hour or more to gain the benefits. The reality is that any exercise is better than no exercise. If all you can do is 2-5 minutes of jumping jacks at your desk, great! The goal is to get your heart rate up and get that blood flowing. However, it’s even better if you are able to get out of the building and take in some fresh air and sunlight. Sunlight is important because it helps regulate the hormones that allow us to stay alert and have a good night’s rest.



Ending your shower in a 30 second to 1 minute cold shower can have very positive health benefits. Hot water is very relaxing but the cold water will wake you up and leave you feeling invigorated. It’s also going to stimulate the blood flow so that you have better blood circulation which in turn stimulates the immune system. It might be shocking for the first few seconds but afterwards you will feel great. Give it a try!


Eat something. Drink water.

Having a snack or eating regularly plays a major role in keeping your blood sugar balanced. Blood sugar balance is important in keeping your mood and energy up. When you skip meals, your blood sugar becomes unstable and that can lead to anxiety, fatigue, and irritability. Hydration is also extremely important. Symptoms of dehydrations can be headaches, fatigue, and slow thinking. No bueno! So drink lots of water!


B Vitamins

One of the easiest and fastest ways of taking vitamin B is to get it from a doctor. The good news is that Zuma Wellness comes to you! It takes less than 10 minutes to get a vitamin B shot and for some people with faster metabolisms, the benefits can kick in almost immediately. Benefits include increases in metabolic processes that can produce an increase in energy, improved mood, stress reduction, as well as improved nerve and brain functions. Vitamin B can also improves immune system, as well as gives increase stamina and energy. Many athletes, for instance, take a premium vitamin B shot before their workout because it helps increase their stamina and performance, as well as after a workout to help with a speedy recovery. Sleep is also an area that can improve through B vitamin therapy. B vitamin is needed in the brain to product serotonin and so this also helps reduce anxiety. Get your vitamin B shot!


Essential Oils

The power of essential oils is that they are easy and effective! Whether you are looking for an energy boost or a calming therapy, essential oils can go a long way. Try this: put a few drops of your preferred oil onto the palm of your hand, rub vigorously, and then put your hands over your face to then breathe deeply. Feel the difference! Now exhale. Here are a few of our favorite oils:

In the morning
Peppermint – Energizing

Uplifting to the Brain
Rosemary – memory

Lavender – calm

Anti-Inflammatory, Anti-depressant
Lemon / orange / citrus