Living Well Blog: Saratoga's Holistic Health Forum

January 2012 Archives

Be sure to check out my informational blog on breast cancer:

One of the scariest diagnoses for a woman to receive is breast cancer. As an integrative practitioner, the labels that are placed on people serve as a guidepost which explains how their body has been led off the track of optimal health. With the emergence of nutrigenomics, the healing power of food, functional diagnosis, and the Naturopathic philosophy of the body's own innate wisdom, there exists powerful, holistic tools that can provide the body with support when pathology seems to be winning. This is even true with cancer.

Dr. Mercola recently interviewed Dr. Horner, a board certified plastic surgeon regarding the topic of breast cancer. Dr. Horner discussed how her journey of treating breast cancer shifted from conventional surgery to a more integrative focus. As Dr. Horner found herself operating on younger and younger women, she made the realization that environmental risk factors had to be at play. Below I highlight some key points she discussed in this 90 minute interview:

Read more.

1.       Naturopathic Philosophy Highlight... Fun Facts:

a.       The most important determination of health and Longevity Revealed!

b.      Healthy Aging Foods

c.       The Good and Bad of Wine and Breast Cancer

d.      Your Diet woos....Gluten Free, Dairy Free, & Sugar Free. Yet, you still have symptoms!!?? Watch this Video.

2.       Happenings:

Upcoming Essential Oils Workshops with Terry Quigley at the Healing Garden. Learn tidbits such as what is mentioned below:

The Miracle of Onycha
by David Stewart, PhD, DNM

Onycha is an oil mentioned in the Bible, Exodus 30:34, as an ingredient in the Holy Incense to be diffused in temples of worship. Onycha oil (Styrax benzoin) is also a powerful antiseptic and facilitator of rapid healing. It goes by several common names including Friar's Balm and Javanese Frankincense. It is extracted from the resin of a tree that grows in the Far East, specifically in Indonesia.

For more than 200 years, hospitals have used an alcohol solution of this oil as their primary antiseptic. Dissolved in ethyl alcohol, it is called Benzoin or Tincture of Benzoin. It is the smell of this tincture that used to give hospitals their peculiar "hospital smell."

Following World War II, hospitals started to employ other antiseptics derived from petroleum that were less expensive. They are now discovering that bacteria can become resistant to these synthetic antiseptics, but do not become resistant to Tincture of Benzoin. Hence, many of today's hospitals are returning to the natural antiseptic of Benzoin realizing it is more effective and does not contribute toward the creation of resistant strains of virulent pathogens.

Resistant strains of bacteria are a major and growing problem in hospitals today resulting in thousands of deaths every year. Even visitors to hospitals can pick up these pathogens, which can be fatal. Even the most powerful antibiotics, such as vancomycin and methycillin, do not kill these germs. The answer is to be found in natural products such as essential oils.

Contact Terry at 518-831-9469 for more information.

Next Health Forum is February 9th at 6:15pm. Learn more.

PATIENTS: Please review follow ups and cancellation policy on my website

Time for a symptom re-evaluation?

All patients can now download the symptom survey done at the original visit online. If you haven't re-evaluated your symptoms in a year or more, it may be a good time to fill out the form again and bring it in to your next visit. (Please add the numbers in every section when you return it)

3.       Radio For Your Body-Mind-Soul: Resonance with Joyce Whiteley Hawkes, Ph.D.

Joyce Hawkes, Ph.D., joins Diane Ray to discuss her new book Resonance: Nine Practices for Harmonious Health and Vitality. Dr. Hawkes explores the uncharted interfaces between science and spirit in relation to health and well-being. Discover how to enhance your health at the cell level, your spirit at the soul level, and your consciousness at the mystery level.

4.       Book of the week:

Waking the Warrior Goddess: Dr. Christine Horner's Program to Protect Against and Fight Breast Cancer

"[W]e have the answers to the breast cancer epidemic," she says. "We truly do- and it's very simple. If you have a terrible diet and lifestyle and you do just one thing, you cut your risk in half. You do more than one thing and they will multiply up together. They don't add up together. They multiply up together, so it becomes extremely easy to dramatically lower your risk of breast cancer."

5.       Don't miss out:

The Rest of Fun Facts on my blog.

Listen to my colleagues and other experts as they discuss solutions to menopausal issues on a show dedicated just for women in mid-life! Here is a link from my interview on 360menopause Radio Show on Panic Attacks and Menopause and a list of archived shows.

Check out my latest answer on Dr. Oz's Sharecare: Learn more about holistic treatments for Alzheimer's, HPV vaccine side effects, and more.

View the Updated Link Resources on my homepage

Naturopathic Fun Facts

The Community Cure: Your Relationships, Your Health

In a previous blog, I presented some studies that demonstrated the important link between the quality of relationships and health. Specifically, even when controlling for all other physical contributors such as cholesterol levels, inflammatory markers, diet, and exercise, social connections were the biggest predictor of overall mortality and cancer risks:

According to Dr. Dean Ornish's book, Love and Survival: The Scientific Basis for the Healing Power of Intimacy:

·         In 1985, Dr. Berkman at California Department of Health Services studied 7,000 men and women living in Almedia County.

·         Those who lacked social and community ties were 1.9 to 3.1 times more likely to die during nine year follow-up period independent of age, gender, race, SES, smoking, alcoholic beverage consumption, overeating, physical activity and utilization of preventative health services.

·         Those who lived longest had close social ties and healthful behaviors

·         In additional 8 year follow-up: those who were socially isolated or who just felt isolated had higher risk of dying of cancer


Dr. Hyman recently revisited the importance of assessing the whole person amongst society, vs. just looking at an organ system or only physical factors:

Who you spend time with and the quality of your relationships not only says a lot about who you are as a person, but it has a tremendous impact on your health. A now classic study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that--even after controlling for risk factors like smoking, poverty low socio-economic status, alcohol consumption, lack of exercise and obesity--lack of social relationships, personality dispositions, and acute stress, including the stress of racism were better predictors for increased risk of death and disease. [i]

Other studies have shown that you are more likely to be overweight (and suffer from all of the resulting health consequences) if your friends are overweight than if your parents are overweight. And we are now learning that when you join together in community to lose weight and heal you are far more likely to succeed. The Look Ahead Study, a 13-year study of 5,000 people funded by the National Institutes of Health, compared an intensive group lifestyle change program for diabetes prevention to regular medical care with individual visits to the diabetic educator, nutritionist, and doctor. To date, the group lifestyle program has proven remarkably more effective in lowering weight, cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure than conventional medical care.[ii] Once this study is completed, it will completely change our way of thinking about how to treat disease.

We get better together. The community is the cure.

Source: Dr. Hyman.  Relationships, Menopause, & Health. January 14, 2012.


What to Eat for Longevity?

I've discussed ad nauseam how food is medicine, but as mentioned above, so are relationships. Why not combine both!

One way our culture forms bonds is through meals. Meeting for a business dinner is not just about food, but about the conversation and experience of slowing down to something that has intrinsic value of comfort and pleasure. On one level, a partner may hope sharing in such an intimate event will form loyal partnerships that lead to more connections. On another level, the food itself can provide an enjoyable distraction for the bored dinner. 

Food also brings people together for emotional bonding, togetherness, and tradition. Family gatherings are sprinkled with memories of what was served for generations on special days.

Therefore, why not add in some favorable foods to enhance the healing, health, and longevity of your relationships. Click here to view a slide show that reviews the power of food. Here are some highlights that go with the theme of cancer prevention from this week's blog:

People living near the Mediterranean regularly incorporate olive oil, fish, vegetables, whole grains, and an occasional glass of red wine into their meals. Instead of salt, they rely on spices and herbs to flavor their foods. This "Mediterranean diet" can be beneficial to heart health, can reduce the risks of mild memory impairment, and may ward off certain cancers.

Veggies contain fiber, phytonutrients, and loads of vitamins and minerals that may protect you from chronic diseases. Dark, leafy greens contain vitamin K for strong bones. Sweet potatoes and carrots contain vitamin A, which helps keep eyes and skin healthy and protects against infection. In one study, men eating 10 or more servings of tomato products per week saw a 35% decrease in their risk of prostate cancer.

Source: WebMD. Slideshow: Eating for a Long Life. Reviewed by Kathleen M. Zelman, MPH, RD, LD on October 13, 2011.


Wine & Breast Cancer

What goes better with a little laughter and food, than a good glass of wine? How many times have we touted the excuse of drinking wine for our heart? Who doesn't love scientific studies that prove our discretions could be our saving grace?

1 in 2.6 deaths in women are lost to heart disease vs. breast cancer which is 1 in 30.  I've discussed above how relationships can mitigate these effects. I've also spoken on foods in the past that support the heart.  My blog this week discussed what to eat for breast health, but what about what to drink?

There are mixed reviews in if alcohol modulates the risks of breast cancer. Craig Wetherby reports the conflicting evidence. I believe the difference is related to SNPs and biotransformation and antioxidant absorption.

Certain grape polyphenols found in red wine - isoflavone phytoestrogens, flavones, and procyanidins - are known to act as "aromatase inhibitors" which means that they prevent the conversion of androgens ("male" hormones) to estrogen. In fact, aromatase-inhibiting agents are used to treat breast cancer, because they raise testosterone levels and lower levels of various forms of estrogen: estradiol, estrone, and sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG).

The Cedars-Sinai study affirms the idea that red wine exerts aromatase-inhibiting effects ... at least in premenopausal women. As the authors wrote, "These data suggest that red wine is a nutritional AI [aromatase inhibitor] and may explain the observation that red wine does not appear to increase breast cancer risk." (Shufelt C et al. 2012)

 The researchers called their findings encouraging, saying women who occasionally drink alcohol might want to reassess their choices. "If you were to have a glass of wine with dinner, you may want to consider a glass of red," said study co-author Chrisandra Shufelt, M.D. "Switching [from white wine or other alcoholic drinks] may shift your risk." (CSMC 2012) Importantly, the investigators said the change in hormone patterns suggested that red wine may stem the growth of cancer cells, as has been shown in test tube studies. As co-author Glenn D. Braunstein, M.D., said, "There are chemicals in red grape skin and red grape seeds that are not found in white grapes that may decrease breast cancer risk." (CSMC 2012)

Source: Wetherby, C. Red Wine May Reduce a Key Breast Risk. VitalChoice Newsletter. January 16, 2011.,b1h0JlRD


The Lectin-Health Connection

Gluten, dairy, sugar free....still symptoms? Watch this video to find out why you may be reacting to foods you don't normally view as a problem.  What I find in clinical practice is that every diet is an individual endeavor and my clients appreciate the fact that no foods are off limits, but knowing what may produce symptoms and what can heal is empowering! We discover what a perfect diet  for them through their health history, blood work, current diet, digestive health, ethnicity,  cravings, traditions, and more.

Source: Lectin Lock - A Natural Defense Against the Hidden Cause of Food Sensitivity - Chris Meletis ND.

A Perfect Diet??

My latest Blog is posted. Does a Perfect Diet really exist. Find out here.

This Newsletter includes:

1. Naturopathic Philosophy Highlight... Fun Facts:

How One Doctor Reversed Her MS with her Diet
A tax on Soda Helps Health
A New Approach to Heart Disease Treatment-Chelation?
2. Happenings:

Upcoming Essential Oils Workshops with Terry Quigley at the Healing Garden. Contact Terry at 518-831-9469 to get more information on attending workshops or to learn more about how to use this powerful therapeutic ancient modality to create a non-toxic, safe medicine cabinet for you and your family.
Trader Joe's is Coming-It's True. Thanks Bruce Roter and the Crew.
Next Health Forum is February 9th at 6:15pm. Join me a lovely group of like-minded individuals at the Healing Garden in Rexford, NY in an open forum discussion on the latest in health and wellness. Learn more about this and the upcoming events in 2012.
PATIENTS: Please review follow ups and cancellation policy on my website
Time for a symptom re-evaluation?
All patients can now download the symptom survey done at the original visit online. If you haven't re-evaluated your symptoms in a year or more, it may be a good time to fill out the form again and bring it in to your next visit. (Please add the numbers in every section when you return it)
3. Radio For Your Body-Mind-Soul:

January 18, 2012 Weighing It Out
Join Marcelle to learn the myths, facts, and fiction about maintaining a healthy weight. Today Marcelle talks about the plethora of information which we all see about losing weight and keeping it off! You've heard them, too! Call in today with your questions about the latest fad you've seen.

4. Book of the week: Perfect Health Diet: Four Steps to Renewed Health, Youthful Vitality, and Long Life by Paul Jaminet (Author), Shou-Ching Jaminet

See this weeks blog that highlights 10 key points to Dr. Jaminet's philosophy on human nutrition.

5. Don't miss out:

The Rest of Fun Facts on my blog.
Listen to my colleagues and other experts as they discuss solutions to menopausal issues on a show dedicated just for women in mid-life! Here is a link from my interview on 360menopause Radio Show on Panic Attacks and Menopause and a list of archived shows.
Check out my latest answer on Dr. Oz's Sharecare:
View the Updated Link Resources on my homepage
Naturopathic Fun Facts

How One Doctor Reversed MS with Her Diet

Dr. Wahls, being diagnosed with MS herself, was driven to find a solution to regain her health. Therefore, she sought for a common mechanism and solution for a number of diseases that cause brain shrinkage, including not only MS but also Huntington's, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease. She found that one common denominator in all of these conditions was a poorly functioning mitochondria. What Dr. Wahls discovered was that three nutrients were essential for proper mitochondrial function:

Animal-based omega-3 fat
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), or better yet, the reduced version known as Ubiquinol
Just by adding those three to her diet, her decline began to slow. But it wasn't until she adjusted her diet for optimal mitochondrial-, myelin-, and neurotransmitter function that she began to improve. She also eliminated processed foods, grains, and starches (which includes potatoes and corn), and within a matter of months experienced astounding improvements.

In short, she altered her diet to reflect the Paleo-style diet of the hunter-gatherers of old as follows:

3 cups daily (equal to one dinner plate, piled high) of green leaves, such as kale, which are high in vitamins in the B group, A, C, K, and minerals
3 cups daily of sulfur-rich vegetables from the cabbage- and onion- families, mushrooms and asparagus
3 cups daily of brightly colored vegetables, fruits and/or berries, which are a good source of antioxidants
Wild fish for animal-based omega-3's
Grass-fed meat
Organ meats for vitamins, minerals and CoQ10
Seaweed for iodine and selenium
Some other Hints:

· Eliminate pasteurized milk and dairy--This is another critical element. Studies have shown that cow's milk consumption is correlated with MS prevalence (Neuroepidemiology 1992;11:304-12 and Neuroepidemiology 1993;12:15-27). In fact, a specific antibody cross-reactivity between myelin oligodendrocyte (a component of neurological tissue) and the cow's milk protein butyrophillin was identified in 2004, likely contributing to the immune system of MS patients losing self-tolerance and attacking their own nervous system.

· Avoid aspartame and commercial fruit juices. Aspartame rapidly metabolizes to methanol, a potent neurotoxin. Additionally fruits and vegetables are also loaded with methanol but when they are consumed fresh it is bound to pectin and your body does not have the enzymes to break it down. However when fruits and vegetables are processed and put into glass jars or cans the methanol dissociates and can be liberated in high quantities.

Dr. Mercola. Eat Like a Caveman and Protect Your Brain. January 7, 2011/

Tax on Soda: A Good Thing for Health?
We've taxed cigarettes to deter health consequences, now soda? What are your thoughts? Craig Wetherby explains the viewpoint in a recent blog:

That study on sugar-sweetened beverages - which scientists call SSBs for short - was preceded and followed by several analyses that came to similar conclusions.

Currently, some 33 states have sales taxes on SSBs (average of 5.2%), but the Harvard-led team found that those taxes have been too small to affect consumption.

Columbia study supports tax on soda
A new study from Columbia University adds yet more evidence that a penny-per-ounce tax on "liquid candy" would improve public health, and reduce rates of diabetes, heart disease and obesity substantially.

As the authors wrote, "Sugar-sweetened beverages are cheap to buy, but they cost the U.S. plenty: about $174 billion per year on diabetes treatment costs and $147 billion on other obesity-related health problems."

Columbia epidemiologist Y. Claire Wang, M.D., and her colleagues calculated that a penny-per-ounce tax on SSBs could bring the U.S. these benefits over a 10-year period:
· Prevent 26,000 premature deaths.

· Cut sugar consumption by 15 percent.

· Reduce cases of diabetes by 2.6 percent.

· Prevent 95,000 adverse heart events and 8,000 strokes.

· Save $17 billion in medical costs for adults aged 25-plus.

· Generate approximately $13 billion in annual tax revenues.

Americans consumed up to 13 billion gallons of SSBs over the last 10 years, the authors wrote, making such drinks the largest source of added sugar and excess calories in the U.S. diet.

Source: Wetherby, C. Tax on Sweet Drinks Would Help US Health. January 12, 2012.,b1h0JlRD

A Controversial Approach to Blocked Arteries-Chelation?
Since the detox module in Arizona, many of you are becoming more and more familiar of the importance of protecting and supporting our body from all that it is up against in the world. I have been offering some simple suggestions on how to do this. A more intense form of removing toxic burden is chelation. Chelation is a form of detoxification that uses agents which bind heavy metals (chelating agents) to assist their removal from the body. This is complex process that must be monitored and prescribed by a trained physician; furthermore, we learned in training that this should only be performed when the body is strong enough to handle this intense process, as side effects can occur various interventions must be administered to manage them.

Recently, I read a blog from Metametrix explaining another use of chelation therapy, specifically with its affect on clearing calcium deposits from clogged arteries. Dr. Marynowski offered an interesting insight on how medicine's most common use of angioplasty (percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI)) as a treatment is often overprescribed and unnecessary, according to an article from Consumer's Report. Dr. Marynowski offers her viewpoint on the use of preventative medicine and safe chelation:

With heart disease remaining at the top of our country's killer list, it absolutely deserves the best and brightest minds working towards a resolution...minds from the worlds of both conventional and integrative medicine. And don't get me wrong, PCI proves to be a remarkable intervention in many emergency situations but prior to reaching the ER, shouldn't we start with the basics, such as:

1. Preventing heart disease before it starts and focusing our efforts on healthier diets, nutrient repletion, exercise, smoking cessation, and stress management.

2. Utilizing therapies, including chelation, that often prove to be less expensive and potentially more effective when implemented at the appropriate time.

There is a difference between chelation for cardiac patients and chelation for toxic burden. Heavy metal chelation is obviously a little easier to measure from start to finish, and to determine success. Depending on the toxin(s) at hand, a chelator is selected and a protocol is implemented (daily oral supplementation or periodic IV chelation therapy). In addition, replacement vitamins and minerals, glutathione, and amino acids help support the liver and other organs during the detox period. From my experience, I've found this to be the safest and most optimal way to chelate. With accepted protocols in place, it can be a pretty remarkable therapy.

This year, as we strive to become more medically open-minded...whether using therapies to protect the brain, the heart, or any organ vulnerable to damage from toxins, it's always good to weigh opinions on both sides of the argument.

References: Too Much Angioplasty. August 2011.

Rachel Marynowski, ND. Chelation therapy - in the hot seat once again­! January 2012. Metametrix Institute Blogs.

Bock, K. Recognizing Neurotoxicity and Immunotoxicity within the Functional Medicine Model. IFM. Detox Advanced Practice Module. Phoenix, AZ. December 9, 2011.

Drisko, J. Review of Underlying Processes in Elimination and Biotransformation. IFM Detox Advanced Practice Module. Phoenix, AZ. December 9, 2011.

Mayfield, R. Key Nutrientional Modulators in Detoxification. IFM Detox Advanced Practice Module. Phoenix, AZ. December 9, 2011.

Drisko, J. Laboratory Assessment in the Patient with an Elevated Toxic Load. Detox Advanced Module. IFM. December 10, 2011. Phoenix, AZ

images.jpgYes, that innocuous and popular crimping tool, the eyelash curler, can be dangerous to your lashes.


As a New York State Licensed Aesthetician, I have been applying lash extensions for women in Saratoga Springs, Ballston Spa and the surrounding towns for about five years.  As such, I have seen many sets of eyelashes.  One thing has become quite apparent -  women who have used traditional eyelash curlers are unknowingly harming their own, natural lashes.


What I see are lashes that have been broken and no longer have their tips.  The natural shape of an eyelash tapers to a point, whereas these lashes are blunt.  I liken it to folding paper over and over again, which results in a weakened fold in the paper where it will eventually tear.  I believe this is the same with lash curlers and eyelashes, where the user inadvertently folds the natural lash in approximately the same place over and over again on a daily basis.


Fortunately, there are other options.  There is a new type of eyelash curler on the market; one that has coils, which are gently heated by a battery.  You press the curler against the lashes, lifting and warming them upwards.  It may not be as dramatic a curl as that which is produced by the traditional eyelash curler, but it is much gentler and does not promote lash breakage.


Eyelash extensions are another way to enhance your own lashes with curl, thickness and length and can be applied in a way that is natural or dramatic, depending upon your personal likes.  With extensions, you do not need to wear mascara at all.


I ask clients to be gentle when removing eye liner, shadow and mascara as rough handling of our lashes can cause breakage too.  It is also important to remove eye makeup thoroughly as bacteria can proliferate and cause infections between lashes where makeup is lodged.


Lashes frame the eyes and make a tremendous difference in our appearance.  Women are consistently amazed at the effect that having thick, lovely eyelashes creates. 


Please feel free to contact me with questions about lashes, eyelash curlers or eyelash extensions!

My Latest Blog on Igniting THE Change in Medicine is here!

Here's an excerpt

Psychotic, Depressed, Dyspeptic (Excerpt of Holistic Primary Care-Winter ed)

The IMS data indicate that Americans spent $308 billion on pharmaceuticals last year; collectively, we consume 47% of all pharmaceuticals by the drug categories with the biggest total expenditures, one can conclude that, "the US is psychotic, depressed, has hyperlipidemia and heartburn!" Dr. Guarneri joked. But it's really not a joke. It's a frightening reality, one that's economically unsustainable.

Like many clinicians involved with Bravewell, Dr. Guarneri believes that a fundamental shift from disease-based interventions to wellness focused care has tremendous potential to save lives and save money.

"We have the tools. We know that for every dollar we spend on, say, the Ornish lifestyle based programs for CVD, we save $6. We have the research. We need to apply it." Last year, Dr. Guarneri co-authored a review paper entitled The Efficacy and Cost- Effectiveness of Integrative Medicine, documenting the actual real-world outcomes and savings from application of integrative principles and practices in treatment of heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes and depression.

It is not my intention to suggest that our current model is not needed, rather that I've found it to be lacking and not in resonance to this idealized prevention and wellness model in my mind. To me, health is more than the absence of symptoms; it is about thriving and the ability to participate in life with full vitality and joy! This is why I continue to study Naturopathic and Functional medicine. This is also why most of my blogs continue to stress the importance of a holistic and systems biology approach to medicine.

Environmental medicine is one example that highlights how preventing and maintaining health is not just about looking at the individualized pathology of one system, but in evaluating the interaction between the patient and his or her surroundings. This approach exhibits that factors such as the quality of food and environmental toxicity can no longer be ignored and must become an integral part to the solution. (Be sure to see a great example of this in my Naturopathic Fun Facts this week!)

Last week, I gave you two baby steps to take to move forward in creating a strong foundation for a holistic and integrated approach to health. This week, I'll continue with two more infant footies by encouraging you to:

1. Plan on food and you first, especially when stress rears its ugly head

2. Make your way safely through the grocery store aisles--with a very famous doctor!


1.      Naturopathic Philosophy Highlight... Fun Facts:

a.       Is Your Birth Control Hurting your Partner? 

b.       Saw Palmetto & Prostate Cancer

c.       Nature's Antifungal as Good as Rx Drug?

d.       Genetic Differences in Detox highlight Negative Drug Reactions- Functional Medicine to the Rescue!

2.      Happenings:

Upcoming Essential Oils Workshops with Terry Quigley at the Healing Garden. Contact Terry at 518-831-9469

Trader Joe's is Coming! It's True. Thanks Bruce Roter and the Crew.

PATIENTS: Please review follow ups and cancellation policy on my website

Time for a symptom re-evaluation?

All patients can now download the symptom survey done at the original visit online. If you haven't re-evaluated your symptoms in a year or more, it may be a good time to fill out the form again and bring it in to your next visit. (Please add the numbers in every section when you return it)

3.      Radio For Your Body-Mind-SoulM: arcelle Pick

January 11, 2012 Are You Fizzling Instead of Sizzling in the New Year?
Has the hustle and bustle of year end activities taken its toll on you? Are you finding getting out of bed in the morning to be harder than usual? Is your energy dipping earlier in the day? Listen in today as Marcelle talks about getting your energy back!

4.      Book of the week:  Manifesto for Medicine: Your Guide to Healing Partnerships & the Wise Use of Alternative Therapies. By James Gordon

Learn the importance of self-care and true holistic medicine.

5.      Don't miss out:

The Rest of Fun Facts on my blog.

Listen to my colleagues and other experts as they discuss solutions to menopausal issues on a show dedicated just for women in mid-life! Here is a link from my interview on 360menopause Radio Show on Panic Attacks and Menopause and a list of archived shows.

Check out my latest answer on Dr. Oz's Sharecare: Side effects of Birth Control Pills

View the Updated Link Resources on my homepage

Naturopathic Fun Facts:

Your Birth Control May be Hurting His MoJo!

Uh-oh. For years, women have been putting synthetic hormones in their body in order to suppress ovulation and prevent pregnancy.  In relation to biotransformation, synthetic hormones can create nutrient deficiencies and create extra burden on the woman's liver. Poor women, victims again, right? Nope, guys don't escape that easy,  it's now an equal opportunity issue.

In a recent blog, Dr. Mercola discusses how the toxicity of our world and how a women's synthetic hormones can affect a man's prostate health and some solutions to correct this affect. He also gives some safer alternatives for contraception for a women's body.

(Note: If you are currently on any form of hormones, it is wise to consider being assessed by a competent practitioner for the nutrient and phytochemicals deficiencies that if restored, can protect your body and prevent side effects).

Using data from the International Agency for Research on Cancer and the United Nations World Contraceptive Use report, which spanned 100 countries, researchers analyzed rates of prostate cancer and prostate cancer deaths, as well as oral contraceptive use among women.

The report concluded that the areas with a high rate of oral contraceptive use also had a high rate of prostate cancer. In addition, the researchers speculated that higher environmental levels of estrogen -- and by implication, higher cumulative estrogen exposures in men -- may be to blame.

In the United States alone, over 82 percent of women aged 15-44 have used oral contraceptives, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Typically, hormonal birth control methods like The Pill work by releasing estrogen and progestin into a woman's body, preventing her ovaries from releasing eggs.

While it's argued that only a small amount of additional estrogen is excreted by a woman using this form of contraception, this "small amount" is compounded by millions of women, many of whom use the pill for long periods of time. Also, synthetic estrogen and progesterone (progestin) - being unnatural - does not biodegrade as rapidly and is far harder to remove through conventional water purification systems - resulting in greater accumulation in the environment.

It's also important to consider that you are exposed to a large number of estrogen-like compounds daily, called xenoestrogens. Estrogen pollution is increasingly present all around you, from plastics to canned food and drinks, food additives, household cleaning products, and pesticides. And estrogen levels are rising in our waterways, not only as pollution from birth control use but as a result of the runoff from confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs).

So whether it's a promoter or a causative factor (likely it's both), there's a wealth of evidence supporting excess estrogen exposure as a risk factor for cancer.

What's All the Buzz About Saw Palmetto and Prostate Cancer?

As we age, testosterone levels decline. One reason why this occurs is because of the overexpression and/or overactivity of an enzyme known as 5-alpha reductase. This enzyme converts testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a process which simultaneously lowers the amount of testosterone in the body and contributes to both the benign (BPH) and malignant (cancer) growth of the prostate gland.  

While the pharmaceutical companies have already capitalized on this biological fact by producing a class of drugs which inhibit 5-alpha reductase activity, thereby blocking the conversion of testosterone to DHT, these drugs come with a significant set of risks, including --  no joke! -- increasing your risk of developing prostate cancer.

Unlike the laughably inept pharmaceutical approach, which typically creates greater malignancy than improvement in the organ it is "treating," i.e. suppressing symptoms in, natural substances like saw palmetto provide a viable alternative. It is, in fact, through this same mechanism of DHT inhibition that saw palmetto works and can make a big difference in your cancer risk.

Source: Dr. Mercola. How Women May Be Contributing to Men's Rising Cancer Rates. January 2, 2011.

Garlic vs. Fluconazle

A recent trial reported in Phytomedicine compared the efficacy of Garlic as an antifungal with the medication Fluconazole. The result, both of these treatments are very potent anti-fungals! Here's the abstract:

Candida albicans is an opportunistic human pathogen with the ability to differentiate and grow in filamentous forms and exist as biofilms. The biofilms are a barrier to treatment as they are often resistant to the antifungal drugs. In this study, we investigated the antifungal activity of allicin, an active compound of garlic on various isolates of C. albicans. The effect of allicin on biofilm production in C. albicans as compared to fluconazole, an antifungal drug, was investigated using the tetrazolium (XTT) reduction-dependent growth and crystal violet assays as well as scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Allicin-treated cells exhibited significant reduction in biofilm growth (p < 0.05) compared to fluconazole-treated and also growth control cells. Moreover, observation by SEM of allicin and fluconazole-treated cells confirmed a dose-dependent membrane disruption and decreased production of organisms. Finally, their expression of selected genes involved in biofilm formation such as HWP1 was evaluated by semi-quantitative RT-PCR and relative real time RT-PCR. Allicin was shown to down-regulate the expression of HWP1..

Source: Alireza Khodavandi, et al.  Comparison between allicin and fluconazole in Candida albicans biofilm inhibition and in suppression of HWP1 gene expression (abstract). Phytomedicine

Volume 19, Issue 1, 15 December 2011, Pages 56-63.

Genetic Differences in Detox highlight Negative Drug Reactions

Here it is! In one of the biggest health newsletter around! Whoo-hoo. Modern medicine is beginning to see the importance of a systems biology approach! Genetic differences in detox abilities affect not just health, but drug metabolism and behavior.

Dr. Mercola explains how slow detoxifiers, related to genetic difference in one liver enzyme pathway, creates more side effects for this unfortunate genetic lot:

  • Since the late 1980s, there have been frequent reports of increased violent behavior, including homicides and suicides, among individuals taking antidepressant drugs
  • A newly published study provides a plausible theory about how a genetic mutation in the CYP450 gene family can cause a metabolic disturbance resulting in uncontrollable violent impulses and behaviors in some individuals taking these drugs, which establishes the link between the drugs and the violent impulses
  • "Homicidal akathisia" is an extreme motor restlessness sometimes caused by antidepressant and antipsychotic drugs that is thought to underlie these violent outbursts
  • Depression and other emotional disturbances can be safely and effectively treated by an energy psychology technique called EFT, which a growing number of scientific studies are showing to be incredibly effective; EFT is even more effective when combined with healthy diet and lifestyle choices.

Source: Mercola, J. If You Have These Genes, This Popular Drug Can Trigger Impulsive Violence. January 07 2012.|

My latest blog on Building the Foundation for Health in 2012 is posted!
Here's an excerpt:

Can you believe it!??? It's time to make our way forward into a new year. Wouldn't it be great if 2012 became the year that society united in setting positive intentions and moved into their goals of healthier life decisions? New Year cycles are humanities ways of refocusing our goals on the positive and releasing what no longer serves us. Although we'd all like to change to a diet of Brussels sprouts and broccoli over milkshakes and lollipops, the caveat is that change is hard. We're up against a lot of momentum of habitual programming in our brain. This is why most New Year's resolutions fall short of long term commitments.

I explained this phenomenon in the blog I wrote at the beginning of 2011. It's called cybernetics (brain set points) and trying to make huge lifestyle shifts all at once, rather than changing a little bit at the time leads to literal brain overload. A broad resolution will most likely fail in the long term; because the brain goes into overwhelm by too many changes way too quickly. Our pre-frontal cortex loses its safety reference point amongst all the new life style shifts implemented and the result is that our brain reverts back to our diet of ho-hos, dingle dos, and too many "adult beverages". Therefore, the solution is to stop the overload and calm the brain and stress response, hence my belief in the power of Baby Steps!

Therefore, for 2012, I want us to look at the first important foundation of health, food, and I want to give you some gentle tips to start your growth from a little junkie foodie into a full out nutritional expert. Why? Well beyond nutrition and weight, food is medicine. It is not just calories; it's information for our genes.

This is called the science of NUTRIGENOMICS- the study of how a specific food modulates how our genes express themselves. Literally, certain foods can turn off and on cancer promoting signals. This means, no more excuses for a bad gene pool and no more pointing fingers at your mom for your health woos. Although it is true that some may have to be more careful with their food choices depending on the cards their parents dealt, especially relating to their own detoxification power. (This relates to finding out which single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are present, and modulating this with foods and supplements, but I'll stop on this point here.)

Read more here.

In this Newsletter:

1. Naturopathic Philosophy Highlight Fun Facts:

Yoga and Low Back Pain
Exercise Boosts Brain Power
Mindfulness Decreases Fatigue in RA
2. Happenings:

Upcoming Essential Oils Workshops with Terry Quigley at the Healing Garden. Contact Terry at 518-831-9469
Integrative Forum to begin again on February 9th! Look for more information in my newsletters and on my website.
PATIENTS: Please review follow ups and cancellation policy on my website.
Note: Appointments open as people reschedule. In order to avoid being charged the full consultation, we need notice 24 hours (counted as business days) prior to the appointment. My office is keeping tight with our cancellation policy and rescheduling because of our commitment to continued progress and monitoring therapeutic supplements responsibly. As a Naturopathic and Functional Medicine doctor, I feel it's essential that my patients have a mutual commitment to wellness by making their health a priority every 3-8 weeks.
Time for a symptom re-evaluation?
All patients can now download the symptom survey online. If you haven't re-evaluated your symptoms in a year or more, it may be a good time to fill out the form again and bring it in to your next visit. (Please add the numbers in every section for comparison when you return it to our office.)
NEWSFLASH: My book manuscript is almost on the lookout within the next months for per-ordering availability!
3. Radio For Your Body-Mind-Soul:

Flourish! with Dr. Christiane Northrup:

The New Wisdom of Menopause
Midlife is a time of rebirth and renewal. The midlife transition is replete with weight gain, mood swings, and hot flashes. Tune in and learn how to negotiate this transition comfortably and joyfully.

4. Book of the week:

It's so packed full of what all women need to know, I'm making this week's book a repeat from last week-- celebrating its release today:

The Wisdom of Menopause by Dr. Christian Northrup

Now completely revised, this groundbreaking classic draws on the current research and medical advances in women's health, and includes:

All you need to know about perimenopause, and why it is critical to your well-being
Updated mammogram guidelines
Nurturing your brain: sleep, mood, memory
Hormone therapy and the options available
Midlife weight control
Sex and menopause: myths and reality
5. Don't miss out:

The Rest of Fun Facts on my blog.
Listen to my colleagues and other experts as they discuss solutions to menopausal issues on a show dedicated just for women in mid-life! Here is a link from my interview on 360menopause Radio Show on Panic Attacks and Menopause and a list of archived shows.
Check out my latest answer on Dr. Oz's Sharecare: Avoiding Emotional Binges.

Here's an excerpt: If you are addicted to certain foods, abstaining is the only true way to avoid a binge. That being said, with any slippage, it's best to be gentle with yourself and plan so that you have safer alternatives for the future. Planning your meals and initiating a social support system around triggering emotional events, gatherings, and a crazy work schedule can prevent grabbing an unhealthy sugar/caffeine binge. This kind of planning allows your prefrontal cortex to respond verses react to situations. Whereas, social support aids in dopamine release, a feel good chemical that can be obtained without through friendship verses cookies. You also want to make sure the following biological factors are in order to support your biochemistry and keep your mood in check... Read more at the link above....
View the Updated Link Resources on my homepage

Naturopathic Fun Facts:

Chiropractic: Yoga & Low Back Pain.
Does Yoga make a difference in back pain? In a recent study, 313 participants matched for chronic or recurrent low back pain were all given back pain education booklets while some were also assigned to a treatment group with a 12 week yoga instruction. The two groups were compared and the results were reported:

Conclusion: Offering a 12-week yoga program to adults with chronic or recurrent low back pain led to greater improvements in back function than did usual care.

Tillbrook, H. et al. Yoga for Chronic Back Pain: A Randomized Trial (abstract). Annals Of Internal Medicine, November 1, 2011 vol. 155 no. 9 569-578.

Exercise Boosts Memory

Exercise is not just for weight loss. It boosts brain power. Here's an excerpt from Neuroscience that explains how:

Exercise has been shown to impact brain plasticity and function by involving the action of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF); however, mechanisms involved are poorly understood. Two types of BDNF coexist in the brain, the precursor (proBDNF) and its mature product (mBDNF), which preferentially bind specific receptors and exert distinct functions. It is crucial to understand how exercise affects crucial steps in the BDNF processing and signaling to evaluate therapeutic applications. We found that 7 days of voluntary exercise increased both pro and mature BDNF in the rat hippocampus. Exercise also increased the activity of tissue-type plasminogen activator (tPA), a serine proteinase shown to facilitate proBDNF cleavage into mBDNF. The blockade of tPA activity reduced the exercise effects on proBDNF and mBDNF. The tPA blocking also inhibited the activation of TrkB receptor, and the TrkB signaling downstream effectors phospho-ERK, phospho-Akt, and phospho-CaMKII. The blocking of tPA also counteracted the effects of exercise on the plasticity markers phospho-synapsin I and growth-associated protein 43 (GAP-43). These results indicate that the effects of exercise on hippocampal plasticity are dependent on BDNF processing and subsequent TrkB signaling, with important implications for neuronal function.

Source: Ding Q, Ying Z, Gómez-Pinilla F. Exercise influences hippocampal plasticity by modulating brain-derived neurotrophic factor processing (abstract). Neuroscience. 2011 Sep 29;192:773-80. Epub 2011 Jun 29.

Amen, D. Exercise to a Better Brain. Dr. Amen Blog. December 13, 2011.

Mindfulness Decreases Fatigue in RA

A recent study reported less fatigue in those that suffer from rheumatoid arthritis when mindfulness was enacted in a treatment plan. Here's the abstract for those interested in learning more:

Objective To evaluate the effects of a mindfulness-based group intervention, the Vitality Training Programme (VTP), in adults with inflammatory rheumatic joint diseases.

Methods In a randomised controlled trial, the VTP--a 10-session mindfulness-based group intervention including a booster session after 6 months--was compared with a control group that received routine care plus a CD for voluntary use with mindfulness-based home exercises. The primary outcome was psychological distress measured by the General Health Questionnaire-20. Self-efficacy (pain and symptoms) and emotion-focused coping (emotional processing and expression) were used as co-primary outcomes. Secondary outcomes included pain, fatigue, patient global disease activity, self-care ability and well-being. Effects were estimated by mixed models repeated measures post-intervention and at 12-month follow-up.

Results Of 73 participants randomized, 68 completed assessments post-intervention and 67 at 12 months. Significant treatment effects in favour of the VTP group were found post-treatment and maintained at 12 months in psychological distress (adjusted mean between-group difference −3.7, 95% CI −6.3 to −1.1), self-efficacy pain (9.1, 95% CI 3.4 to 14.8) and symptoms (13.1, 95% CI 6.7 to 19.3), emotional processing (0.3, 95% CI 0.02 to 0.5), fatigue (−1.1, 95% CI −1.8 to −0.4), self-care ability (1.0, 95% CI 0.5 to 1.6) and overall well-being (0.6, 95% CI 0.1 to 1.2). No significant group differences were found in emotional expression, pain or disease activity.

Conclusion The VTP improved most primary and secondary outcomes compared with individual use of CD exercises. Improvements were maintained at 12 months, suggesting that the VTP is a beneficial complement to existing treatments for patients with inflammatory rheumatic joint diseases.

Source: Zangi, et al. A mindfulness-based group intervention to reduce psychological distress and fatigue in patients with inflammatory rheumatic joint diseases: a randomised controlled trial. Ann Rheum Dis doi:10.1136/annrheumdis-2011-200351

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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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