Does your Christmas Tree make you sick?

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Reading the headline, you may think that I am referring to the ornaments or the decorations on the tree. After all, over the years I have seen some really well decorated and beautiful Christmas trees that make my Christmas tree look similar to Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree. However, I am not referring to the look and design of your tree. I am writing about Christmas tree syndrome. Yes, Christmas tree syndrome. What is Christmas tree syndrome you ask? Well…

According to researchers and other health bloggers, Christmas trees can be a ready source of mold and other allergens that effect the respiratory tract of numerous Americans who suffer from mold allergens and other allergens. In fact, it is well understood in the functional medicine world that mold exposure can be responsible for numerous health complaints from headaches and fatigue to poor memory, joint pain, shortness of breath, chronic cough, numbness, vertigo and abdominal pain just to name a few.

Way back in 1989, researchers in Europe discovered that 73% of patients with suspected mold allergens tested positive for IgE antibodies to at least one of 16 molds. So how do you know if you have been exposed to mold? One frequent sign that I have noticed is with patients who suffer from some sort of chronic illness, who have been to numerous health specialists and have not received any benefit from the various remedies. These patients, when questioned or tested for mold toxicity, usually come back positive to some level of exposure. Once treated with proper antifungals and toxic binders, many of these patients find relief for the first time in decades.

Other ways to determine if mold exposure may be responsible for your symptoms is to answer some specific questions like: Have you ever lived in a water damaged home? Do musty odors bother you? Have you lived or worked in a building with discolored ceiling tiles or air vents? Do you experience recurring sinus infections? Do your symptoms worsen on rainy days? Do you suffer from fatigue or skin rashes? Do you suffer with symptoms more so at one place than you do another (ex. You feel worse at home than you do at the office)?

If you believe that mold may be responsible for your health complaints, there are numerous blood and urine lab tests that you can get to see if you suffer from mold toxicity. At Stanly Wellness Center, in addition to referring for lab workups, we perform a specific Visual Contrast Sensitivity Aptitude test (VCS test) to determine if mold may be a top priority for your health complaints. Developed by Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker M.D. this test can reliably screen patients for mold toxicity. Go to for more information.

In summary, if you have been feeling worse recently since putting a live Christmas tree in your home, I recommend having someone remove the live tree, go outside and burn it, then replace it with a fake tree (unless you also suffer from plastic allergies). Remember what the Bible concerning mold and mildew in the book of Leviticus says, if it can’t be treated, burn it to the ground.

At Stanly Wellness Center, we are eager and ready to help you and your families achieve the best health possible. If you are looking for help with your health or you know of someone who is suffering with poor health, call the office of Stanly Wellness Center at 980-355-7600 and schedule a FREE 15-minute consultation with Dr. Patrick Ess to see how he can help. We specialize in nutrition, detoxification and neurological correction. You can also refer to our website at for more information. We accept most major health insurances including BCBS, Aetna, Humana, and Medicare.

Stanly Wellness Center is located right on Main St (24/27) in Locust and is situated next door to the Locust Post Office and the Dollar General across the street from the Wells Fargo Bank.

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Patrick Ess
Dr. Patrick R. Ess grew up in Buffalo, NY. There, he attended Daemen College for his undergraduate studies in Natural Medicine. After which, he graduated in 2002 from New York Chiropractic College in Seneca Falls, NY, with a Doctor of Chiropractic Degree. Dr. Ess has treated thousands of patients and changed their lives with care. He believes in educating the patient so that they are better able to make informed decisions regarding their health.

Dr. Ess donates his time to the community by educating people of all ages on a variety of health, wellness, and safety issues. He teaches people how to avoid work injuries, stress maintenance, weight loss and promote healthy lifestyles.

Along with his 2 wonderful children - Tristen (16) and Sara (14), Dr. Ess enjoys cycling, hiking, swimming, drive-in movies, and other outdoor activities. Together they promote a healthy lifestyle with regular chiropractic care.