Living Well Blog: Saratoga's Holistic Health Forum

April 2011 Archives

Do you ever feel like you're in a medical salad spinner? Being tossed around from doctor to doctor, spinning in circles, cycling to the next specialist, practitioner, or alternative treatment provider in order to find a diagnosis to why you feel so lousy? You may be one of the unfortunate "middle roaders", who feels sick enough to feel bad yet not have a diagnostic label as to why. Or, you may be someone just sick and tired of being sick and tired, yet haven't found lasting relief.

I see these scenarios every day in my practice. Some clients will come into my office expressing that they feel like going to various health care professionals is a part time job! As if the tasks at home, work, school, and "fun time" aren't enough, now there's the endless errands and doctor visits filling up our much needed down time. We divide not only our time into nicely allotted slots, but also our bodies. "Well, Joey, I got the liver doc on Tuesday, and the male doc on Wednesday, then I gotta squeeze in my heart on Friday." That's all and well, we need specialists, for follow up and occasional necessity. But what about when visits to physicians are an everyday event related to being squished and whished about?

Read more here.

Learn about my upcoming series on Integrative medicine, how to build a healthy medicine cabinet, and breathe tests for assessing digestive issues on my May Announcements Page.

Olive Leaf for High Blood Pressure

We may have found a cool new reason why so many Europeans have healthier hearts than us Americans. Besides there less hectic pace and anti-inflammatory Mediterranean cuisine, they use a lot of olive oil. In a recent study published in Phytomedicine, olive leaf extract was found to be comparable to Captopril at lowering high blood pressure.

There are so many factors to take into consideration when one is detoxifying. In my latest blog on my website, I discuss these individual variations. Here's an excerpt:

The health status and dietary intake of individuals affect the ability of the liver to clear out damaging environmental poisons. Specifically, deficiencies in certain nutrients can create a sluggish clearance or create excess free radical damage, harming various tissue structures. If the body is deprived of key amino acids and nutrients, toxins will not be able to be bound for removal through the digestive tract. Fasting can cause issues for this reason because amino acids are needed in the second phase of detoxification of the liver. Without adequate protein, the body experiences "detox symptoms" as toxins float happily through your bloodstream.

Other factors which influence detoxification include digestive health, medications, health history, immune status, and stress. This is why it's important to get individualized attention when one is considering a detoxification protocol. Consulting with someone who is knowledgeable about detoxification, chelation, and pathology is important in determining which detoxification or cleansing support to use and when.

The best idea would be to find a health care practitioner who can implement all the above detoxification factors with a supportive post detoxification program, in order to sustain the lifestyle modifications needed to keep one healthy. I have also found that neurotransmitter support or mind-body techniques are very helpful in implementing change and dealing with cravings.

The concern I have over most detoxification protocols is that they typically don't take into account one's own unique biochemistry, health status, detoxification power, and environmental exposure. I have been offering this individualized technique to detoxification in my practice with great success. In fact, most of the time, mild cleansing and liver support are implemented to support most chronic or current conditions.

Here's what my clients are reporting:

1. More Energy

2. Better Health

3. A feeling of being supported in their health in this toxic world, by supporting their body from the inside

4. Weight loss

5. More emotional balance, freedom, and joy (when your body is healthy, so is your life!)

To read more about detoxification and my individualized program, click here.

Sometimes what looks like a curse, is actually a blessing.

divine fem.jpg


There's love and power in all the little things.

Hi everyone!!

I just posted a new blog on my new, re-vamped website. This blog highlights the power of nature and the body's innate ability to heal. (You can read the blog in it's entirety here! )

It's a story straight from my heart about how supplements and naturopathic medicine help to restore the body to wellness! Can you tell I'm pumped?

Regardless of what we are lead to believe on health care reform, I believe we are in an exciting time for changing it for the better.....

Here's a little preview to get you to click away!

Although the health care reform fiasco may not be optimal, I feel that we are at such a beautiful turning point in our health system. Finally, people are now paying attention to what works and what needs to go!! I love that health and how to honor the body's needs is becoming more common in the everyday household and how organic food isn't a dirty word anymore!

It's great to see how conventional and alternative medicine is blending into a more integrated, holistic model. True, there are lots of problems innate in the growing pains of transformation, but I'm willing to ride it out. Are you willing to be a pioneer with me?

This week, there were some great articles in my newsletters and journals that focus on the positive impact of supplements. I'd like to share them with you, if you so oblige. I've written before on how it's hard to gauge the efficacy of natural health because it's so different in its properties and principles of synergism and hormesis than the pharmaceutical drugs which force biochemical manipulation. Please don't get me wrong, in bridging the gap with integrative medicine, sometimes we need a big bulldozer to plot a new path verses a little nudge out of a ditch. It is in the science and art of the medical practitioner that can differentiate when and how to determine which mode of action is best and at what time. For me, this decision is the most fun and the most challenging part of being a doctor!

When one realizes that a deficiency can and does create a disease; doesn't it make more sense to study the impact of an intervention when the deficiency is restored? This is not necessarily with a placebo controlled trial, but with real people who really need the vitamin! The neat thing about synergism in natural substances is that we are usually helping more than the just the system tested. Here's a case to the point, rock star Vitamin D. Cool.

So, go ahead, click and find out more about how supplements save you money in the end and how natural remedies help with breast cancer!

My Newsletter and Top Reads for April are posted on website.

Here's a preview:

In the Newsletter, you'll find:

1. Announcements: I'm on the Radio, check out the link!

2. An Overview: Stress & Brain Balance

3. April Top Read's Highlight on Gluten


April Top Reads: Highlights

As April approaches, signifying spring, rebirth, and renewal, the question on everyone's mind is, "how many inches predicted this month?" Sigh. Really??!! April snow showers bring May flowers?

How much more snow shoveling shocks can our poor circulatory and sympathetic nervous system handle? Thankfully, Upstate New Yorkers are hardy, and compared to other nature games, we may be considered lucky by many of other environmental terrains. Still, I have faith; the sun will eventually grace the grounds of NYS.

Now, although some may argue this, we can't do much to change the weather. In fact, worrying about it or trying to change things we don't have control over, only creates more strain and stress on our biochemistry. It all begins with the thought, that triggers the pituitary, to signal the adrenals, to release the catecholamines and cortisol, to trigger a flight and fight survival response. For a detailed rundown on this stress effect, read my previous blog.

One reason why some people worry more than others or have a harder time adapting to change may be related to the balance of their 5 brain systems. These systems modulate our behavior and how we interpret our environment. It may be that those with a healthy cingulate gyrus have the ability to shift attention, adapt, cooperate, and be more cognitively flexible than their friends with a more unbalanced brain. There are nutrients which can assist someone to be more cognitively loose and flexible and it's all about assessing which portion of the brain needs attention and what to give. This is the work of Dr. Amen, MD, and it's produced exceptional responses by many of my patients.

Speaking of circulatory and sympathetic nervous system stressors, what better way to calm our cortisol and catecholamine stress response by nestling up with our cozy chamomile and hawthorn tea while reading about this month's highlighted health topics? If you're saying, "well, Ti-vo", then, you can always come back later when you're refreshed.

If you can remember to the dreary days of February of 2010, I did a summary of the immune reactivity of gluten. Recently, the Institute of Functional Medicine (IFM) released two webinars with this common theme of a healthy gastrointestinal tract in overall systemic wellness. Due to the fact that over 70% of your immune system and neurotransmitters (via the enteric nervous system) is located in your gut, it's understandable why a bad diet and nutritional deficiencies can create such havoc to one's both mental and physical health. Furthermore, complicating the picture is that everyone has different capacities for absorption and digestion related to their genetics, environment, toxic load, stress response, emotional, physical, and spiritual health. However, it is true for all, that eating foods that your body is sensitive or allergic to is not good.

When the body can't affectively break down a substance, due to a compromise in the digestive or immune process, the gut releases incompletely digested proteins systemically. This is due to a compromise in the gut's barrier from chronic attack via inflammation. (Remember in February's Top Reads that these proteins can create an addictive response on the brain, making it hard to quite!? This creates a hurtful habit hard to break. ) The body responds to these "foreign materials" with either an acute, immediate reaction or a low-grade, chronic response creating long-term energy and nutrient drains, potentially leading to chronic illness. When the body's immune cells respond by trying to attack these "invaders", which are really complexes of undigested peptides, it can become confused and attack your tissues instead! This is one way to create immune complexes in your body that can lead to autoimmunity.

...Continue reading at www.dr-lobisco.com

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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...


Dr. Sarah Lobisco

Whether the goal is to lessen pain, find an alternative to pharmaceuticals, or improve your quality of life, Dr. LoBisco's Naturopathic Medicine lets you get the best of both worlds conventional medicine, combined with safe and proven complementary therapies.

Dr. Sarah LoBisco has been involved in wellness for over 8 years. Her experience includes mentoring with holistic practices throughout New York, Vermont, and Connecticut. Read more...