Living Well Blog: Saratoga's Holistic Health Forum

August 2009 Archives

It has been estimated that two-thirds of adults suffer from low back pain at some point in their life. Low back pain (LBP) has many etiologies that include spinal misalignment, osteoporosis, compression fractures, herniated discs, and other chronic diseases or dysfunctions. It is one of the most common complaints from those seeking medical attention. Even those who are not presenting to their doctor with LBP as their main concern, it is still an associated symptom of most musculoskeletal and nerve pain disorders.

I read an article by Dr. Bruce West today that stimulated my Applied Kinesiology background. He mentioned how the low back is supported by two important muscles, the Sartorius and Gracilis. This sparked my interest for two functional reasons that are easily overlooked by most practitioners:

1. Those that suffer from chronic low back pain need to make sure that their adjustments also include muscle and myofascial work. After all, it is the muscles which hold the bones in place.

2. The Sartorius and Gracilis muscle are related to the adrenal glands, the stress hormone producers. Most people suffering from chronic low back pain admit that they experience an increased amount of stress in their life, either emotionally or physically. This makes nutritional support for the adrenal glands an important component to treating low back pain that most would miss.

If the adrenal glands aren't nourished, the sartorius and gracilis muscle can't do their job of holding the spine in proper alignment. From a biochemical standpoint, stressed adrenal glands produce an excess of cortisol, epinephrine, and norephinephrine which causes an increase in inflammation resulting in many symptoms which include LBP.

If you are someone who is dependent on pain medication to get you through your day, you may want to consider a consultation with an integrative practitioner who practices nutritional and functional therapies. A licensed practitioner will be able to address your LBP by providing a comprehensive approach which includes stress management.

In my practice, I approach inflammation and pain using lifestyle approaches, nutritional support, and various herbal and nutritional products. These are formulated and recommended specifically for each individual. In this way, I am providing the building blocks to support the body's functions, and providing raw materials which the body can use to re-build and re-balance the stress response.

Even after all the scientific proof that mercury is a neurotoxin and danger to children and pregnant women, the FDA decides to water it down with their latest warning. Here's the article from Dr. Mercola:

Dealing with the information deluge:  learning when to padde out, when to ride the wave and when to relax on the beach.

Thumbnail image for Big Wave.jpg

Recently, Dr. Mercola posted an article from a journal which revealed that the human body emits visible light 1,000 times less intense than what the human eye can perceive. The light is thought to be a result of free radical reactions taking place in the body. This differs from the infrared radiation which is produced from body heat. Japanese scientists explored this phenomenon with cameras capable of detecting single photons on 5 healthy male volunteers. Their findings indicated that this body light rose and fell throughout the day and that the light seemed to be linked to the body's metabolism and melanin production. Dr. Mercola suggested that these latest research findings may be able to scientifically validate the use of energy medicine and other Eastern medical practices. Source: Could your low energy be due to a vitamin deficiency? See if you recognize the signs at my home blog:
Vitamin D- Breaking News in Cancer Highlights (Dr. Mercola): According to Dr. Garland: It is projected that raising the minimum year-around serum 25(OH)D [vitamin D] level to 40-60 ng/ml would prevent approximately 58,000 new cases of breast cancer and 49,000 new cases of colorectal cancer each year, and three quarters of deaths from these diseases, in the US and Canada." And "The first event in cancer is loss of communication among cells due to, among other things, low vitamin D and calcium levels. In this new model, we propose that this loss may play a key role in cancer by disrupting the communication between cells that is essential to healthy cell turnover, allowing more aggressive cancer cells to take over." This is different from the genetic theory... Just a naturopathic side note: Remember that your liver is responsible for conversion of vitamin D, so don't just supplement with high doses of Vitamin D without having your practitioner run some basic liver tests or check symptomology. Also request a vitamin D level, it is a fat soluble vitamin and can become toxic in high doses. This link contains additional information such as how the Canadian government is now endorsing Vitamin D as a cancer preventative therapy and how Vitamin D could help prevent 16 different kinds of Cancer.

The Lash Lowdown


Giving you the skinny on the thick!

I highly recommend liquid soap over bar form.  Bar soaps can harbor bacteria, which you then spread onto whatever part of the body it contacts.  Now, if you share the bar, the consequences worsen.  When you use liquid soap with a pump dispenser, you are not contaminating the soap within the bottle.  This adds up to a cleaner you, especially if you have breakout problems.

Contamination issues are present whenever you use a product that requires dipping (and double dipping!).  Best to wash hands before putting your fingers in that jar, cake, etc.  This applies to all things including moisturizer and makeup.  On a relative note, it's not advisable to pump the mascara wand in the mascara tube as this may also create contamination problems.

So, to summarize:  it's best to use a liquid soap at the sink or in the shower.  Your skin will thank you with its healthy glow!

Dear Dr. Sarah, Could you please explain the link between blood sugar and cholesterol? Sincerely, Denise Dear Denise, Recently, I posted a link on my website by Dr. Rick Diva entitled "The Truth About Blood Sugar" ( In this article, Dr. Diva explains the biochemistry behind high blood sugar and cholesterol. While traveling in the blood stream, glucose interacts with proteins such as the collagen in arterial walls and the lipoproteins of cholesterol. This interaction creates a cross-linkage through a process called glycation resulting in protein and lipoprotein structural changes. The results are more rigid arteries and LDL cholesterol molecules with decreased efficiency in ridding the body of excess cholesterol- (2) major hits in causing damage to arterial walls. Furthermore, this issue is compounded in that it increases the risk for developing insulin resistance, a major factor in developing type 2 diabetes. Insulin is a hormone which allows glucose into the cells. If the protein receptor molecules for insulin have been flooded with too high amounts of glucose, the glucose will not effectively enter the cells. This causes blood sugar to stay elevated and creates a viscous cycle of insulin dependency, increased inflammation, weight-loss resistance, and systemic disease processes. Therefore, high cholesterol can be a signal for a systemic imbalance, not necessarily just heart related diseases. It is a little known fact that low thyroid function is the number two cause of high cholesterol. Therefore, I will not just look at heart health when someone has high cholesterol, but also consider hormonal balance. Furthermore, cholesterol not only has a role in hormone formation, but also in brain function, cell membrane flexibility and makeup, fat soluble vitamins, and nerve health. As a Naturopathic Doctor and Integrated Medical specialist, my job is find the cause of the symptoms. By addressing the cause and using dietary and therapeutic nutritional supplementation and support, I have seen wonderful results for many clients. In health, Dr. Sarah


To Stop is To Start


In taking pause, we are able to continue better.


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Reisa Mehlman

As a New York State Licensed Aesthetician, New York State Licensed Nail Specialist, and the Director of Living Well Healing Arts Center & Spa, Reisa combines her love of spa services and healing arts to achieve optimum skin and nail health, create greater overall wellness and bring forth our optimal, individual beauty.

"I believe that the day spa should be an instant getaway; a place that is quiet without being stuffy, relaxed, elegant and yet entirely comfy. You should feel warm and welcome, surrounded by people who care about you and what they are doing. This is the environment we strive to create at Living Well Healing Arts Center & Spa. Here, you are never just the "next" number; we allow ample time for your services, offer a flexible schedule and can be reached after hours. After all, to me, spa craft is not really a business, it's a lifestyle." Read more...

About Dr. Sarah Lobisco

Dr. LoBisco has been in holistic healthcare for over 10 years. She became interested in holistic medicine when she was able to heal two herniated discs through nutrition, yoga, supplementation, and chiropractic. She has mentored with holistic practices throughout New York, Vermont, and Connecticut. In addition to her Naturopathic and Functional Medical training, Dr. LoBisco has extensive training in a variety of healing modalities, including therapeutic essential oils, nutraceuticals, herbs, whole food supplements, nutritional medicine, and mind-body therapies. She is a graduate of the accredited, four year post-graduate program in Naturopathic Medicine at the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut. This program includes clinical rotations and a demanding scientific curriculum in integrating conventional and natural medicine. Dr. LoBisco holds her license from the state of Vermont.

Dr. LoBisco has completed her postdoctoral training as a certified functional medicine practitioner. She is also certified in Applied Kinesiology and holds a BA in psychology from SUNY Geneseo. She has contributed as an item writer for the North American Board of Naturopathic Examiners (NABNE)and has several articles that have been published in the Naturopathic Doctor News and Review Digest (NDNR) and the Townsend Letter, both physician- based journals. Dr. LoBisco is also a hired speaker on integrative medical topics for medical professionals.

Dr. LoBisco currently incorporates her training in holistic medical practices and conventional medicine through writing, researching, private practice, and through her independent contracting work for companies regarding supplements, nutraceuticals, essential oils, and medical foods. She has a small, private wellness consultation practice through telephone and Skype. Dr. LoBisco also enjoys continuing to educate and empower her readers through her blogs and social media. Her new book, BreakFree Medicine, is now available on Amazon and through Barnes & Noble. Please inquire here for more specific information.

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