Finding Balance: The Medicine Wheel Perspective

Susan J. Wright

By Susan J. Wright

Modern life creates many challenges to the balance that most of us need to create in our lives. The ancient, indigenous, heart-centered practice of acknowledging the medicine wheel can support us in understanding what truly creates balance, while helping to maintain it. The Medicine Wheel is round like Mother Earth, reminding us that true balance starts by living in harmony with the planet. Through a healthy practice of giving and receiving, we are living and walking in balance and beauty.

The Medicine Wheel embraces all aspects of our selves, helping us hold our own aliveness and that of all beings in all our collective complexity with compassion. The multifaceted wholeness of our being encompasses our various layers, ego states, archetypes, and other aspects of the self. If you can imagine a circle, like a compass marked with the four directions, you can follow me on this journey of healing.

Standing in the east of the wheel, have your inner Wise-one sense the child that you were from birth to age ten, feeling your body. Ask yourself if there is anything your inner child or your body needs right now. Give this to yourself or receive it from Mother Earth or your spirit guides with gratitude and feel a sense of belonging.

Moving to the south of the wheel, attune to your teenage/young adult self. Is there anything you need for this part of you, or for your emotional life? Receive it with gratitude, feeling a sense of mastery.

Standing in the west of the wheel, focus on your older adult self twenty-five to fifty. Is there any support needed here? Receive acknowledgement for your independence, integrity and capacity to be introspective.

Landing in the north of the wheel, feel your inner elder. Breathe, receive, feel your generosity and act with healthy reciprocity. Give thanks.

Susan J. Wright, LMT, LCSW-R, facilitates a women’s Medicine Wheel ceremony each Monday night at 7:30 p.m.  She is the author of the book, The Chakras in Shamanic Practice: Eight Stages of Healing and Transformation. For more information, visit

Take Your Soul on a Great Night Out: Kirtans in Westchester & Putnam County NY

Sacred Chanting is Right in Your Neighborhood

Cat Guthrie on guitar and Eileen O’Hare on harmonium; together they are BlisSing

By Jay Hanuman

You may know about big events like the Ecstatic Chant weekends at the Omega Institute, or you may have attended a sold-out Krishna Das concert, but did you know that there is probably a sacred chanting session happening in your area this very week?  Kirtan is a form of “bhakti” (devotional) yoga that involves the singing of the Divine Names and mantras, usually in Sanskrit. It’s a wonderful and enjoyable way to worship that’s been steadily growing in popularity—both internationally and right here in Westchester and Putnam Counties.

The word kirtan comes from the Sanskrit language, in which “kirt” which means “to name, to communicate, to celebrate, to praise, to glorify.” The word Sanskrit itself means “language brought to formal perfection.” Over the millennia, Sanskrit sages who understood the power of words continued to develop and refine this language in the hope of discovering their own divine nature. “They selected only those sounds which had the greatest clarity, purity, and power of resonance,” says Vyaas Houston from the American Sanskrit Institute. “The vibrational purity and resonating power of Sanskrit is above all an opera on a grand cosmic scale that you can sing with your whole heart and being.”

During the 1980’s, kirtan became a regular practice in many yoga ashram communities throughout the West. By the end of the 20th century, the experience of kirtan had expanded beyond these traditional ashram communities and into the larger public sphere. Today, kirtan continues to grow rapidly along with increasing interest in the world’s sacred traditions and the vibrant yoga movement in the West. It extends across cultures, races and religions and offers a profound experience of an ancient sacred tradition to the greater human community. Kirtan is a means to connect to the heart and divinity that lies within, as expressed by some of the tens of thousands of people who participate in these sacred chanting events around the world.

Dennis Winge and Tara Porter at Kripalu

“The first time I went to a kirtan, I felt good that night,” says Dennis Winge, a full-time musician who fell in love with this form of spiritual practice a year ago. “The next time, I felt good the whole next day. The third time, I felt good for two whole days and I thought ‘Wait, there’s something going on here!’”

Believing that there should be a kirtan, “on every block in every town every night of the week,” Winge took it upon himself to learn the art of leading kirtan at a week-long Omega course last spring. Since then he has played with many great kirtan artists throughout the Northeast at yoga studios and well-known spiritual centers like Omega, Kripalu, and Ananda Ashram. Winge currently leads kirtan on the third Thursday of each month at 7:30 p.m. at the parish hall of St. Paul’s on the Hill in Ossining.

Satya Franche CarlsonIn addition to the monthly Ossining Kirtan, other opportunities for kirtan in Westchester and Putnam counties abound. Perhaps the most ubiquitous kirtan “wallah” or leader in Westchester is Satya Franche Carlson, who’s been leading her ensemble Ma Kirtan since 2006. She currently holds regular kirtans at Wainright House in Rye and numerous yoga studios in Westchester, Connecticut, and other parts of the Northeast. Satya, whose name means truth in Sanskrit, says she is very grateful to have assumed a leading role in the rising popularity of kirtan throughout Westchester. “It has become so popular in the last few years,” says Satya. “People are really starting to feel the benefits of this heart opening meditation.”

In Putnam, a unique opportunity for sacred chanting called “BlisSing” is hosted by Eileen O’Hare and Cat Guthrie at a private residence in Garrison. This event is open to the public, and usually takes place two Tuesdays per month. O’Hare, a legacy carrier in the Andean Shamanic tradition, uses both English and Sanskrit in her chants and draws upon various traditions from around the world. “I am so grateful that the Garrison kirtan has been steadily growing,” she says. “It is my favorite form of communal spiritual celebration.”

Kirtan chants are most often sung in call and response fashion, and chant sheets that list the mantras are provided at most sessions. The Sanskrit word “mantra” can be broken etymologically into the root words “mana” (mind) and “tra” (deliver). Mantras thus have the power to deliver the mind from material consciousness or perception to spiritual consciousness or enlightenment. The mantras are generally short and easy to learn, and they may be recited a few times for practice before each chant begins. Traditionally, instruments such as a harmonium, tabla, gorong and other percussion instruments are used, although kirtan can be easily adapted to many Western instruments such as violin, guitar, bass, and keyboard.

“The Divine Names we sing come from a place that’s deeper than our thoughts or our minds,” says Winge, “In fact, at our deepest level, they are us.” The spiritual practice of kirtan, although largely taken from the Hindu tradition, is not about belonging to a religion or having any particular set of belief systems. Winge says that’s one of the reasons he loves it so much. “There’s nothing to debate or discuss,” he says. “You just sit down and sing!”

For more info, visit and click on “kirtan,” or type the words “Ossining kirtan” in Facebook. Join the Satya Franche and Ma Kirtan mailing list by writing to or typing “Satya Franche” in Facebook. To join the Garrison kirtan mailing list, email

Tomorrow’s Farmers: Hilltop Hanover Farm’s Most valuable Crop by Far is the Next Generation of Farmers

By Tracy Basile

U-pick organic veggies at Hilltop Hanover Farm and Environmental Center

The average age of the American farmer is 57 years old, raising the important questions: Who will grow our children’s food when these producers no longer can? And who will be the next generation of farmers?

Most of us never stop to think about where our food comes from and who grows it. In the industrial model of agriculture that is so pervasive today, farmers and consumers rarely meet, and apples sold in New York can come from as far away as New Zealand. But finding the shortest route from farm to table is the key to finding solutions to many of the problems we face today, including health and environmental issues, energy and water dilemmas, and the need for more green jobs.

Perhaps there is no greener job than being a farmer, and no better way of learning to love the land than by nourishing and nurturing it. But as older farmers retire, their ranks are not being filled. Recognizing this potential shortage, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said in a recent NPR interview that, “…we have to begin to discuss ways in which we can encourage younger people, the next generation, to be interested in and create the opportunity for them to be farmers. And that’s farmers of commercial size, but also the small and medium sized operations.”

Organically-grown seedlings at Hilltop Hanover Farm

This presents a very real dilemma because, in the areas where most people live—urban and suburban regions—farming is typically viewed with nostalgia as a thing of the past. If we have fewer and fewer farmers, we’ll have fewer and fewer farms. We must therefore ask ourselves if this is the kind of world we want to leave for our children. And, if not, what are we going to do about it?

For starters, we can bring the farm to the people. Imagine if everyone could have access to a working farm where they can easily and affordably learn how to plant a backyard garden, build a green roof, harvest rainwater, conserve energy, keep bees, or compost household scraps. Hilltop Hanover Farm and Environmental Center in Yorktown Heights provides all these services and more to residents of Westchester County, opening doors in ways that spark lifelong vocations and avocations.

Best of all, Hilltop Hanover Farm belongs to each of us since it was purchased by the county in 2003. It’s also the only U-pick organic farm in the region. U-pick is a great way to build community by exchanging recipes with new acquaintances while harvesting beets, kale and tomatoes. The staff and farm interns ensure that everyone who comes to the farm has an enjoyable experience and leaves with valuable new knowledge about growing healthy food.

Unfortunately, in a wave of budget cuts that swept across the county last fall, Hilltop Hanover Farm lost 25% of its already lean budget. This has spurred the farm to initiate a bolder strategy for a greener tomorrow. The newly formed nonprofit, Friends of Hilltop Hanover Farm, is working hard to fill a $100,000 budget shortfall and make the farm self-sufficient in five years. According to Friends of Hilltop Hanover Farm President Helen Brady, much of this funding will come from new income-generating projects, such as Community Supported Agriculture and expanded programming in money-making areas like composting.

Fortunately for New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo understands that agriculture is a critical sector of our economy. Many of his new initiatives regarding energy and agriculture have much in common with Hilltop Hanover’s mission, especially the “NY Cleaner, Greener Communities Program,” the “Share NY Food” Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, and a new $3.2 million grant program to help farmers reduce energy usage.

Our future depends upon farming and the future of farming depends upon the vision of places like Hilltop Hanover. That’s where we’ll find tomorrow’s farmers, learning from the ground up.

For more information about Hilltop Hanover Farm and Environmental Center, visit, email, call 914.962.2368 or search for Hilltop Hanover Farm on Facebook. The farm is located at 1271 Hanover Street, Yorktown Heights, NY.

Tracy Basile teaches English and Environmental Studies at Pace University in Pleasantville, N.Y and serves on the board of Hilltop Hanover Farm and Environmental Center. She and her students have enjoyed volunteering at the farm.

February 2011 Calendar Events in Westchester & Putnam NY from Natural Awakenings Magazine


Tai Chi Class – 7-8:30pm (2/1, 2/8, 2/15, 2/22). The Sanctuary, 97 Old Rt. 6, Carmel. $110/8 class block. 824.225.3777;


Healing Circle of Light – 12-1pm. Spiritinside Healing Center, 344 Main St., Ste.205, Mt. Kisco.  All welcome. Free. 914.730.0155 or  914.400.7056;

Meditation Series – 7-8pm (2/2, 2/9, 2/16, 2/23). Be guided through breathing, letting go, and connecting with the deeper self; an excellent program for beginners. Divine Compassion Spirituality Center at Good Counsel Campus, 52 No.Broadway, 2nd floor, White Plains. $15. 914.798.1202.


“Deeksha” – 7-8pm (2/3 & 2/17). Deeksha is also known as The Oneness Blessing. The Sanctuary, 97 Old Rte. 6, Carmel. $10/donation. 845.225.3777;

Prenatal Discussion Group – 7-8:30pm (2/3, 2/10, 2/17, 2/24). Pregnant women and new mothers gather to connect, share, and receive answers about pregnancy, labor and newborn care. Stern Chiropractic & Integrative Wellness, 27 Radio Circle Dr., Ste. 104, Mount Kisco. 914.299.0544;

Pendulum Workshop – 7-9pm w/Bente Hansen. Learn the basics of clearing past life energy blockages, interferences and programs. Bring a pendulum, or many are for sale at Awakenings, 215 Katonah Ave., Katonah. $25/reserved. 914.232.0382;


The Yin of Yoga – 6-9pm w/Amy Pearce-Hayden. Practice looks at the emotional body through the lens of the physical body. Experience a passive yet deeply physical yoga practice. $40. The YogaScape and Spa, 1100 Rte. 52, 2nd floor, Carmel. 845.225.9642.

Practitioner Back Care & Yoga – 7-8:45pm w/Michael Kennis & Athina Pride. This workshop is for the dedicated yoga practitioner. Infinite Yoga Center, 2 East Ave., Ste. 205, Larchmont. $25/advance; $30/same day. 914.833.1210;

Gallery Event – 7-9pm w/Medium Phil Quinn. The Sanctuary, 97 Old Rte. 6, Carmel. $125. 845.225.3777;

Intro to Life Coaching – 7-9pm w/Lisa St. John. Learn how to move beyond wounds and to live the heart’s desire. Awakenings, 215 Katonah Ave., Katonah. Free. 914.232.0382;


Somers Energy Expo – 9am-4pm.  Day of speakers and vendors, motivating residents and businesses to get involved in the national effort to mitigate the effects of Climate Change. Family $20/Adult $15/Student $5. Admission includes lunch. Somers High School, Route 139 Somers. Info:

Eaglefest – 9-4pm. Eagle viewing sites along the Hudson River. Educational displays, collaborators’ exhibits, children’s activities, and music. Teatown Lake Reservation, 1600 Spring Valley Rd., Ossining. 914.762.2912 x110;

Foot Reflexology Certification Course – 9am-5pm (2/5-6; 2/19-20; 3/5-6; 3/19-20; 4/9-10; 5/14-15). This is the first of six weekend sessions of a 200-hour certification program. For more info or to register: 914.649.5262;

Briarcliff Indoor Farmers Market – 10am-12noon. Musician Matt Turk entertains for shoppers of fresh food from local farmers and food artisans. Market is open weekly 9am-1pm.  Briarcliff Congregational Church, 30 S. State Rd. Free. 914.923.4837;

Footfalls a Quiet Journey – 10am-1pm w/Bern Richards. Take a journey with drums and rattles sharing vision quest experiences along with a white feather, whale/dolphin meditation. Spiritinside Healing Center, 344 Main St., Mt. Kisco. $125. Registration required: 914.730.0155;

Kirtan – 7pm. Golden Temple, 223 Katonah Ave., Katonah. $10/suggested donation; kids free. Directions:


Mastermind Groups Forming – Time TBA. Lifestreams Healing invites Westchester and Putnam residents to join a collective of like-minded people seeking self-mastery through the power of a mastermind group. Program begins March 6; individuals must reserve by February 24. Visit:

Reiki I Certification – 10am-4pm w/AnneBentzen, Usui/Karuna Master. Learn Reiki history, and practices for self-care. Stern Chiropractic & Integrative Wellness, 27 Radio Circle Dr, Ste. 104, Mt. Kisco. $150/includes manual & certificate. Pre-pay by Feb.1. 914.588.4079.

My Own Psychic/My Own Medium – 1-5pm (2/6, 2/19, 3/6) w/Carol Hutner. Wainwright House, 260 Stuyvesant Ave., Rye. 914.967.6080;

Community Yoga Class – 1:30-2:30pm.Visit the YogaScape and Spa for a free community class held the first Sunday of each month. 1100 Rte. 52, 2nd floor (at Farmers Mills Rd.), Carmel. 845.225.9642;

Natural Awakenings Event – 3pm. A community gathering and showing of the film 2012: Time for Change; offering an optimistic alternative to apocalyptic doom and gloom. Q&A with expert panel and exhibitors follows. The Wainwright House, 260 Stuyvesant Ave., Rye. $10/free after 5pm. Advanced RSVP required: 914.617.8750;

Candlelit Kundalini & Meditation – 5:30-7pm. Strengthen the nervous system, enhance creative potential, and find deep inner calm. Quest Yoga Arts, 11-13 Main St., Mt. Kisco. $20 paid registration by 2/4. 914.241.9642;


Adult Meditation Group – 7:15-8:15pm. Bi-monthly thematic guided meditation and group discussion. Scarsdale Wellness Center, 531 Central Park Ave., Ste. 304, Scarsdale. $15.  914.722.1989.


Westchester Holistic Breakfast – 8-10am. Dr. Debra Weiss presents “Eat Smart, Get Fit in 2011.”  Gather together and enjoy an organic breakfast in a beautiful setting. Spirituality Center at Good Counsel Campus, 52 No. Broadway, White Plains. $18/non-members, $15/members. 914.422.1784;

Cleansing & Detoxification Demo – 10am-12noon. Discover how to find the true source of health. Receive a free five minute chair massage and sample the benefits of therapeutic juices. WellSpring Holistic Health Center, 1415 Boston Post Rd., Larchmont. 914.341.1246.

Holistic Moms Network –6:30-8:30pm. Join a panel of local birth professionals and parents to explore options and opportunities for empowered birth. Desmond-Fish Library Program Room, Rt. 9D and 403, Garrison. 845.809.5242;

Angelic Guided Meditation – 7-9pm w/Francine Vale. Bring the Self into alignment with the Higher Self. Learn greater self-empowerment, and life becomes more peaceful and harmonious. Human Bodyworks Massage Therapy & Healing Arts Center, 32 Main St., Hastings on Hudson. 917.445.1767;


Key Topics in Experiential Health/Healing – 5pm w/Dr. Steven Horowitz. Stamford Hospital’s Tully Health Center, Conference room C, 32 Strawberry Hill Ct., Stamford, CT. 203. 874.4252;


Wholistic Physical Therapy – 6:30-7:30pm w/Peter Dorsa, PT.  Goal setting and self-treatment exercises to do at home. Win a free MFR treatment. Make 2011 the best year of health and wellness. Info: 845.940.1050.

Master of Arts in Experiential Health/Healing – 7pm. Presented by The Graduate Institute at   Total Life Care Center, 152 East Ave., Norwalk, CT.  Free. 203. 874.4252;

Mediumship Circle – 7-9pm. Suzanne Dye leads a team that will pass on messages received from the other side of the veil. Awakenings, 215 Katonah Ave., Katonah. $20/suggested donation.  914.232.0382;


Meditation – 7:30-9pm w/Tom Cummings. Infinite Yoga Center, 2 East Ave., Ste. 205, Larchmont.  $15; $12/seniors & students.  914.833.1210;


Art Project/Mamaroneck Indoor Farmers Market – 10am-12noon. Join the Pelham Art Center for a free crafts project. Market is open weekly 9am-1pm. St Thomas Episcopal Church, 168 W. Boston Post Rd. Free. 914.923.4837;

Yorktown Reiki Class – 10am-4pm (2/12, 2/13). Learn Reiki I and II from a long time health professional. $275/includes materials. Call Reiki Master Roberta Rosenberg at 914.720.1108.

Psychic Saturday – 11am-4pm. Empower the self with good decisions for all life’s issues by finding the path to higher understanding. Spiritinside Healing Center, 344 Main St., Ste. 205, Mt. Kisco. $30/15mins; $60/30mins; $100/45mins. 914.730.0155;

Partner Yoga Workshop – 2-4pm. Work with a partner and learn to assist each other in moving further into poses, challenging existing edges and exploring new ones. $35/each. Quest Yoga Arts, 11-13 Main St., Mt. Kisco. 914.241.9642;

Loving Hands/Techniques for Home Massage – 2-4:30pm w/Adrea Robles, LMT. Learn simple massage techniques with a partner that can be preformed at home. Release stress and melt into relaxation. Liberation Yoga, 900 S. Lake Blvd. $35/per person; $60/couple. 845.803.8389.


Adept Class – 10am-5pm. Take the next step on the spiritual path. The Sanctuary, 97 Old Rte. 6, Carmel. More info: 845.225.3777;

Prenatal Yoga – 10:30am-11:45am 2/13-4/3 (skips 2/20, 2/27). This class incorporates yoga poses modified for the unique requirements of the pregnant body. 6wks/$150 . Quest Yoga Arts, 11-13 Main St. Mt. Kisco, 914.241.9642;

Meditation/Satsang – 1:30-2:30pm w/Amy Pearce-Hayden, ERTY. Join like-minded in a thought provoking look into yogic philosophy, followed by guided meditation. Yogascape and Spa, 1100 Rte. 52, 2nd floor, Carmel. Free. 845.225.9642.

Restorative Yoga – 5-7pm. This is a powerful practice incorporating gentle postures and breath that everyone can benefit from, regardless of age or fitness level. Quest Yoga Arts, 11-13 Main St. Mt. Kisco. $25 paid registration by 2/11. 914.241.9642;


Restoring Balance in a Chronic Culture – 7-8:30 pm. w/Dr. Michael Finkelstein of Sunraven. Discover physical, emotional and spiritual tools for dealing with a chronic condition in oneself or a loved one. The Yoga Loft at The Bedford Post Inn. Info/ Register: 914.234.6646;

The Three Solutions to Health Problems – 7-8:30pm w/Dr. Lawrence G. Stern. Discover how using natural healthcare, cleansing and nutrition can prevent and eliminate the cause of disease.

Stern Chiropractic and Integrative Wellness, 27 Radio Circle Dr., Ste. 104, Mount Kisco. Free. 914.864.222;


Celebrate The Heart Event – 6-9pm. Heart Disease is the #1 killer of women. This event will be an evening of networking, education and hands on demonstrations. A portion of the evening’s proceeds donated to the American Heart Association. $35/includes dinner and dessert.

Sugar Blues Lecture – 6:30pm. Holistic Nutrition Coach, Yolanda Faustini Stone teaches attendees how to overcome sugar cravings without willpower or deprivation. 1 Scarsdale Rd., Tuckahoe. Free. Register/info: 917.843.9055;


Whole Foods Market White Plains: Mommy & Me – 9-11am. 3rd Thursdays. Meet other new moms at Mommy & Me in the Whole Foods Market cafe. Complimentary breakfast for Mom and baby; samples, raffles and fun with experts. 110 Bloomingdale Rd. White Plains. RSVP at customer service: 914.288.1300.

Love, Medicine & Miracles – 7pm w/Bernie Siegel. The Graduate Institute, 171 Amity Rd., Bethany, CT. $20. Reserve seat at

Group Past Life Regression Workshop – 7-9pm. Certified hypnotherapist Saundra (Cindy) Blum, leads the group gently down the path to examine how past experiences influence life today. Awakenings, 215 Katonah Ave. Katonah. $35. 914.232.0382;


Reiki I Workshop – 9:30am-4pm (3/19, 3/20) w/Ginny Mackles, Reiki Master. Be attuned and certified to the first level of Reiki. Millwood. 914.762.7761;

Harbingers of Spring – 10-11:30am.Hike to look for those very first signs that spring is just around the corner. Teatown Lake Reservation, 1600 Spring Valley Rd., Ossining. 914.762.2912;

Canning Demonstration/Mt. Kisco Indoor Farmers Market – 10am-12noon. Learn to “put by” market favorites. Market is open weekly 9am-1pm. Boys and Girls Club of Northern Westchester, 351 E. Main St. Free. 914.923.4837;

Kirtan – 7pm. Come to the new location for the monthly “home” kirtan and drumming circle. Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Northern Westchester, 236 South Bedford Rd. (Rt.172), Mt Kisco. 914.241.1360.


Annual Food Drive Round Robin – 10am-12noon. An all-level class with live music held to benefit a local food bank. Bring fresh/non-perishable food items as admission. The YogaScape and Spa, 1100 Rte. 52, 2nd floor, Carmel. 845.225.9642.

More Truth Will Set You Free Workshop – 2-4:30pm w/Elka Boren, Shaman & Clairvoyant. Also private session’s w/Elka available 2/17-2/22. Human Bodyworks Massage Therapy & Healing Arts Center, 32 Main St., Hastings on Hudson. $45/workshop. 917.445.1767;

Kirtan – 3pm. Monthly kirtan at Wainwright House with Satya Franche & Ma Kirtan. 260 Stuyvesant Ave., Rye. $10/advance or $15 at the door. Info: 914.967.6080;

Prema Birthing Certification Class – 5:30-8:30pm w/ Elka Boren, Shaman & Clairvoyant.   Private sessions with Elka are available 2/17-2/22. Human Bodyworks Massage Therapy & Healing Arts Center. 32 Main St., Hastings on Hudson. Register/info: 917.445.1767;


Adult Meditation Group – 7:15-8:15pm. Bi-monthly thematic guided meditation and group discussion. Scarsdale Wellness Center, 531 Central Park Ave., Ste. 304, Scarsdale. $15.  914.722.1989.


K-5 Winter Adventures – 9am-3pm (2/22-2/24). Great opportunity for young children to visit Hilltop Hanover Farm during February break. Children explore the farm and trails, learn about the greenhouses, and cook healthy food. Register:

Rising Star Healing System Initiation – 5-9pm w/Elka Boren, Shaman & Clairvoyant. Also private sessions available with Elka 2/17-2/22. Human Bodyworks Massage Therapy & Healing Arts Center, 32 Main St. Hastings on Hudson. Register/info: 917.445.1767;

Green Drinks Westchester – 6-8pm. Informal, social networking group built around a common interest in the natural environment. Crown Plaza, 66 Hale Ave. White Plains. Info: Call Dani 914.403.5149.


Open House – 5pm. Discover graduate programs that enrich the spirit and inspire life-long transformation. The Graduate Institute, 171 Amity Rd., Bethany, CT. 203.874.4252;

“Munay-Ki Circle” – 7-9pm. The Sanctuary, 97 Old Rte. 6, Carmel. $22. 845.225.3777;


If You Could Not Fail – Time TBA (2/25-2/27) w/Jean Houston. Frst in a series of weekends where the rich soil of the mind, heart and soul is opened for exploration, healing and transformation. Garrison Institute. Info & register: 845.424.4800;

Writers Retreat: A Gift of Time – 5:30pm (2/25) through 8pm (2/26). Retreat offers some reflections on the spiritual sources of writing, time to write, and opportunity to share one’s work. Facilitator, M. Doretta Cornell, RDC PhD. Good Counsel Campus, White Plains. Info: 914.798.1244.

Yoga Nidra – 7-9pm w/Athina Pride. This is a guided relaxation practice that includes warm-ups, breathing and affirmations. Infinite Yoga Center, 2 East Ave., Ste. 205, Larchmont. $15; $12/seniors & students. 914.833.1210;


Reiki I – 9:30am-5pm w/Eileen Savage. Wainwright House, 260 Stuyvesant Ave., Rye. 914.967.6080;

Reiki II Workshop – 9:30am-4pm (2/26, 2/27) w/Ginny Mackles, Reiki Master. Be attuned and certified to the second level of Reiki. Millwood. 914.762.7761;

Cooking Demo/Mt. Kisco Indoor Farmers Market –10am-12noon. Join Fork & Glass Catering for tips, tastes and recipes. Market is open weekly 9am-1pm. Boys and Girls Club of Northern Westchester, 351 E. Main St. Free. 914.923.4837;

Archetypal Cosmology – 12noon. Dr. Glenn Perry Presents a free online information session on this emerging field. To register or more info:

Angelic Connection – 2-4pm w/Robin C. Mueller. Students receive an Angelic attunement, the name of their Angel and an Angelic blessing. Spiritinside Healing Center 344 Main St., Ste.205, Mt. Kisco; $125. Registration required: 914.730.0155.


Snowshoe Hike – 10-11:30am. Strap on a pair of Teatown’s snowshoes and experience a winter’s day in the woods. If no snow, it’s a hike instead. Adults only. Teatown Lake Reservation, 1600 Spring Valley Rd., Ossining;


SunRaven Book Club – 7pm. Discussion of Women Food and God by Geneen Roth. For book club information or to receive Finkelstein’s Skillful Living Newsletter, visit or call 914.234.6646


Natural Awakenings Sponsors 2012: Time for Change, Movie Screening February 6

The next Natural Awakenings event is a joint partnership between the  Westchester/Putnam and Fairfield County editions of Natural Awakenings. Join us for an exclusive movie screening of 2012: Time for Change, held on Sunday February 6 from 3-6:30 p.m. at Wainwright House in Rye, NY.

Director Joao Amorim explains, “2012: Time for Change” presents an optimistic alternative to apocalyptic doom and gloom. As conscious agents of evolution, we can redesign post-industrial society on ecological principles to make a world that works for all. Rather than breakdown and barbarism, 2012 heralds the birth of a regenerative planetary culture where collaboration replaces competition, where exploration of psyche and spirit becomes the new cutting edge, replacing the sterile materialism that has pushed our world to the brink”.

The movie will be followed by a guest panel for Q&A, community conversation and networking with local non-profit exhibitors, to exchange ideas about how to be the change we seek in our own community.

Doors open at 3pm and the movie will be viewed from 3:30-5:0 p.m. Tickets are $10. The guest panel Q&A and networking, from 5:00-6:30 p.m., are free and open to the public. Visit to learn more about the movie. To buy tickets or for more information about the event call Dana at 914.617.8750.

Wild Dolphin Encounter Adventure Sweepstakes

Win a Free Caribbean Adventure

As part of the promotional activities around the launch of Natural Awakenings new national website, they have teamed up with WildQuest ( to offer all Natural Awakenings readers a chance to win a Wild Dolphin Encounter Caribbean Adventure.  It’s free to enter!

You can find out more at

Westchester’s Leading Wellness Care Professionals: Natural Awakenings Practitioner Profiles for 2011

A good doctor can help you when you’re sick. Great wellness practitioners and holistic health care providers help you to stay well, by guiding you through the practices that keep you healthy in body, mind and spirit. Here in Westchester, we’re fortunate to have a wealth of such professionals. To help you choose the modalities and practices best suited to you, we present the people behind the practices, and reveal their philosophies on healing.

Dr. George Gertner, DC, President of Upper Cervical Chiropractic of New York

Dr. George Gertner, DC

“At UCC-NY, we perform a highly specialized chiropractic procedure which gently—without any popping, twisting or cracking—restores the entire spine back to its proper, stable and upright position,” says Dr. George Gertner, DC. Developed by The National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association (NUCCA), this procedure takes pressure off the nervous system and allows the body to return to its natural and healthy state, Gertner says. “We see more than 90 percent success rate with some of even the most severe and chronic neurological conditions,” he notes.

Healing Philosophy: By removing interference from the nervous system, Gertner says, his chiropractic procedures help the body heal naturally. “The power that made the body heals the body,” he says.

Passion: Gertner says his passion for healing stems from his own experience with chronic pain. “I once suffered with severe, debilitating lower back pain and sciatica, and I exhausted all traditional therapies without any results,” he recalls. “After I met a NUCCA specialist in Atlanta, I immediately began seeing amazing results. In less than a week, the pain I had suffered with was gone. At that time I realized my purpose in life.”

Dr. George Gertner, DC, Upper Cervical Chiropractic of New York, 20 Old Mamaroneck Rd. Ste. 1C, White Plains, NY. To make an appointment, call 914.686.6200. For more information, visit

Dr. Fred Lisanti, ND, Attending Doctor at Integrative Med Solutions

Dr. Fred Lisanti, ND

Integrative Med Solutions (IMS) is an advanced holistic medicine clinic featuring customized healthcare for acute and chronic conditions. “IMS is Westchester’s premier center for holistic medicine and acupuncture,” says Dr. Fred Lisanti, ND. “Our healthcare philosophy is based on the synthesis of ancient healing arts, acupuncture and cutting-edge natural medicine.”

Healing Philosophy: “I start with the premise that your body already knows what it needs,” Lisanti explains. “My job is to facilitate that information rising to the surface of your consciousness and to encourage the body’s natural instinct to heal itself. Underneath it all, our work stems from a philosophy that heart-centered compassion is the source of all forms of healing. We ensure that all our clients feel this gentle, nonjudgmental acceptance as soon as they enter our sacred space.”

Passion: One of the principles of naturopathic medicine is docere, which means “doctor as teacher,” Lisanti says. “It is such an honor to educate my patients with the philosophies of naturopathic and Eastern medicine, which encompass prevention and respect for the healing power of nature,” he says.

Dr. Fred Lisanti, ND, Integrative Med Solutions, 281 White Plains Rd., Eastchester, NY. For an appointment, call 914.337.2980. For more information, visit

Dr. David L. Lerner, DDS of The Center for Holistic Dentistry

Dr. David L. Lerner, DDS

“We offer an innovative approach to the healthcare of the mouth, integrating the knowledge of natural healing with that of contemporary dental science and technology,” says Dr. David Lerner, DDS. Among the services provided at The Center for Holistic Dentistry are all forms of general dentistry, such as the safe removal of silver/mercury fillings and the treatment of periodontal problems (gum disease); cosmetic dentistry (crowns, veneers, implants, bridges); treatment of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, snoring and sleep apnea; dentures and orthodontics (braces); and acupuncture.

Healing Philosophy: “Our philosophy is based on the natural laws that govern health and healing,” Lerner says. “When disease is present, it may be viewed as evidence of a disruption in our life force.” The Center for Holistic Dentistry seeks to bridge the gap between modern dental technology and the ageless traditions of natural healing. “This innovative approach to holistic dental care tends to the health of the mouth in relation to the whole person,” he says.

Passion: “I love facilitating people in their process of becoming whole,” Lerner says. “I do this through my practice of integrative dental medicine.”

Dr. David L. Lerner, DDS, The Center for Holistic Dentistry, 2649 Strang Blvd. Ste. 201, Yorktown Heights, NY. To make an appointment, call 914.245.4041. For more information, visit

Dr. Michael E. Doyle, MD

Dr. Michael E. Doyle, MD

Dr. Michael Doyle’s medical practice is devoted to improving and restoring the health of each individual patient. “I go far beyond simply treating symptoms,” he says. “My aim is to identify and treat the root causes of illness. In this effort, I focus primarily on nutritional, hormonal and lifestyle issues.” Undetected nutritional and hormonal disturbances, in particular, are at the root of many common illnesses, both mild and severe, Doyle says; by focusing on these core issues, he has helped many patients dramatically improve their health and quality of life.

Healing Philosophy: Doctors shouldn’t just treat symptoms—they should focus on the underlying causes of illness, Doyle says. “In most cases, the best way to restore health is by restoring a healthy balance in lifestyle, nutrition and hormones,” he explains. “In general, natural substances such as nutrients and bio-identical hormones are the safest and most effective treatments for such problems.”

Passion: Doyle has a special interest in thyroid and adrenal hormones, which form the foundation of all metabolism, he says. “In many cases, addressing underlying thyroid and adrenal problems is the first step in restoring health,” he notes. “When these problems are ignored, excellent health is rarely achieved.”

Dr. Michael E. Doyle, MD, 22 Fifth St. #201, Stamford, CT. For an appointment, call 203.324.4747. For more information, visit

O2 Living Wellness Center with Rosemary Devlin, Founder

Rosemary Devlin of O2 Living

The landscape around O2 Living is itself inspirational, making it perfect for personal retreats, special occasions or business gatherings, says Rosemary Devlin, founder of the holistic wellness community. “It’s a beautiful setting that exudes the sophistication of the Westchester County countryside,” she says. Situated in Yellow Monkey Village in Cross River, New York, O2 Living comprises a Live Food Café, juice cleansing, a therapeutic day spa, a boutique and yoga studios.

Healing Philosophy: “The state of wellness has always been a matter of importance if one wants to enjoy the human experience with passion and desire,” Devlin says.

Mission/Passion: Devlin founded O2 Living with the intention of building a community for healthy living. “My mission is to help you attain a lifestyle that is healthy, enriched and vibrant,” she says. “Our O2 Living community—both on-site and via our website—is dedicated to inspiring you on this journey of self-discovery.”

Rosemary Devlin, O2 Living, Yellow Monkey Village, 792 Rte. 35, Cross River, NY. For more information, call 914.763.6320 or visit

BodyCures (formerly Nutritional Healing Center) with Dr. John Foley, DC and Dan Court, Clinical Nutritionist

Dr. John Foley, DC and Dan Court

“We developed advanced bio-energetic testing, a very precise, compre­hensive and cutting-edge computerized and biofeedback system that targets the exact root cause of today’s health concerns,” says Dr. John Foley, DC of BodyCures™. “By incorporating advanced clinical nutrition, naturopathy, and environmental toxicity and electromagnetic field (EMF) testing for women and children, we have a 98 percent success rate with even the most difficult cases.” BodyCures specializes in reversing autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), allergies, asthma, fatigue, thyroid problems, hormonal imbalances, headaches, chronic pain, digestive disorders, infertility and other chronic health issues.

Healing Philosophy: When the body is in a state of chronic illness and not healing, there is always a logical reason and underlying cause, Foley says. “Most illness and disease in the 21st century have an environmental component,” he says. “Toxic buildup accumulates in our organs and usually goes undetected. If you don’t eliminate toxic stress on the body, people simply can’t recover or achieve optimal health.” The bottom line? “Always address the root cause rather than treating symptoms.”

Mission/Passion: Inspired by the transformation of their own health, Foley and clinical nutritionist Dan Court are passionate about empowering people to reclaim their health and feel well again. “We are excited to offer hope and real solutions to our clients,” Foley says.

BodyCures, 2013 Crompond Rd., Yorktown Heights, NY. For an appointment, call 914.962.0101. For more information, visit

Dr. Minerva Santos, MD of Premier Health Choice Medical

Dr. Minerva Santos, MD

Board-certified in internal medicine, Dr. Minerva Santos, MD, specializes in integrative medicine, having trained in Dr. Andrew Weil’s program at the University of Arizona. She now is medical director of the Health & Wellness program at Northern Westchester Hospital and hosts the television show Your Health Today. “I believe in the mind-body-spirit connection and that the body has an innate ability to heal itself,” Santos says. “I blend traditional, preventative and integrative medicine to help patients achieve and maintain a healthy quality of life. I work with patients who want to be heard—from those with simple illness to the very complex.” Premier Health Choice Medical also offers laser therapies and weight-loss programs. “We’ve lost over 1,000 pounds this year,” Santos says.

Healing Philosophy: “I believe prevention is the best thing a person can do to stay healthy,” Santos says.

Passion: Santos’ list of passions is long, and her passions in life and work intermingle. “I try to make this world a better place, a safe place for us and for wildlife,” she says. “Balance is important. I spend time in nature. I’m a beekeeper, and I also design jewelry, just for fun.”

Dr. Minerva Santos, MD, Premier Health Choice Medical, PC, 691 East Main St., Shrub Oak, NY. To make an appointment, call 914.245.6800. For more information, visit

Dr. Michael Gelb, DDS, of The Gelb Center

Dr. Michael Gelb, DDS

With offices in New York City and White Plains, NY, The Gelb Center is known for its pioneering, integrative approach to treating headaches, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder and sleep problems. “Our philosophy is that the head and neck, all the way down to the feet, are connected,” says Dr. Michael Gelb, DDS. “We therefore work best in a team approach with oral orthopedists, physical therapy, applied kinesiology, atlas orthodontists, craniosacral therapists, orthodontists and prosthodontists.”

Healing Philosophy: “Healing starts with breathing and an open airway,” Gelb says.

Passion: Gelb says he’s inspired by the dramatic, positive change he has seen treatment bring. “I am passionate about transforming my patient’s lives,” he says.

Dr. Michael Gelb, DDS, The Gelb Center, 635 Madison Ave., New York City, and 12 Old Mamaroneck Rd., White Plains, NY. For an appointment, call 212.752.1662 (NYC) or 914.686.4528 (White Plains). For more information, visit

Dr. Christine Vlacho, DC of New World Chiropractic

Dr. Christine Vlacho, DC

“We use a marriage of chiropractic, natural nutritional supplements and modern-day science to create individualized, personal programs for healing,” explains Dr. Christine Vlacho, DC. The practice’s many light-touch chiropractic techniques are “gentle but powerful,” helping reduce and prevent pain and improve nervous system function. “We use sophisticated lab tests to assess many areas of body function, like energy production, detoxification, hormonal balance, and neural function,” Vlacho says. “When underlying body systems are not working properly, we recommend natural remedies to restore normal body function.” In the process, symptoms are alleviated, physical performance improves, and many conditions such as hormone imbalances, fatigue, weight gain, digestive problems, and autoimmune conditions can improve and resolve themselves, she says. “The process of restoring normal body function can take time as the body heals,” she adds, “but the rewards can be life-altering.”

Healing Philosophy: “True healing comes from within and encompasses every part of our being—body, mind and soul,” Vlacho says.

Passion: “My desire is to spend each and every moment of every day loving, giving, growing and serving from the heart,” she says.

Dr. Christine Vlacho, DC, New World Chiropractic, 41 Katonah Ave. Ste. 201, Katonah, NY. For an appointment, call 914.471.8339. For more information, visit

Dr. Neil C. Raff, MD of Advanced Medicine of Mount Kisco

Dr. Neil C. Raff, MD

With 40 years of traditional medical healing and nutritional expertise, Dr. Neil C. Raff, MD, of Advanced Medicine of Mount Kisco, treats all forms of autoimmune, inflammatory, cardiac and hormonal conditions. Raff specializes in alternative cancer treatments, removal of toxic heavy metals and hard-to-treat gastrointestinal problems like irritable bowel and inflammatory bowel disease. His office conducts a variety of tests including gastric acid analysis, autonomic nerve testing, and arterial stiffness index, and treatments including IV nutrition, ozone/peroxide, high-dose vitamin C, and Iscador anticancer treatments.

Healing Philosophy: Symptoms and disease come from an accumulation of unhealthy factors—plastics, altered foods, preservatives, heavy metals, etc.—which overwhelm and block the body’s natural regeneration, Raff says. “By removing these toxic substances and emphasizing healing nutrition, I can restore healthy repair and regulation,” he says. “This is the basis for sustained natural good health.”

Passion: For Raff, life and health are both physical (gardening, exercise) and spiritual (family, religion). “Sound mind, sound body—it’s all in the balance, and not in the pills,” he says. “That’s the goal I set for myself and for my patients.”

Dr. Neil C. Raff, MD, Advanced Medicine of Mount Kisco, 37 Moore Ave., Mount Kisco, NY. For an appointment, call 914.241.7030. For more information, visit

Dr. Bruce Sirlin, DC of Integral Health

Dr. Bruce Sirlin, DC

Integral Health promotes optimal health and well-being with the use of diverse holistic modalities, says Dr. Bruce Sirlin, DC. “Our services include traditional chiropractic treatment, auricular therapy for smoking cessation and weight loss, and the bioveda system, which offers a holistic approach to relieve symptoms caused by allergies and sensitivities,” Sirlin says. “This system is based on the ancient wisdom of acupuncture and homeopathy, combined with high technology that utilizes computerized screenings and laser treatment.”

Healing Philosophy: Healing comes from the body’s inner wisdom, Sirlin says. “My job as a practitioner is to help remove stressors, open communication channels, and help reduce abnormal reactions to non-harmful stimuli found in our environment,” he says.

Passion: Sirlin’s passion for health “comes from the knowledge that our body holds the greatest untapped force known to man for healing, and that by supporting the body, we can better utilize this power.”

Dr. Bruce Sirlin, DC, Integral Health, 471 Bedford Rd., Pleasantville, NY. For an appointment, call 914.769.4647. For more information, visit

Dr. Susanne Saltzman, MD of Homeopathic and Nutritional Medicine

Dr. Susanne Saltzman, MD

Dr. Susanne Saltzman, MD, has 20 years of clinical family practice treating acute and chronic illness in children and adults. “My emphasis is on homeopathic and nutritional medicine to decrease dependency on pharmaceutical drugs,” she says. Saltzman has successfully treated thousands of patients for a wide variety of diseases and conditions, including attention deficit disorder (ADD), allergies, anxiety disorders, asthma, depression, migraines, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, Crohn’s Disease, ulcerative colitis, interstitial cystitis, Lyme disease, menopause, multiple sclerosis, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), thyroid disorders, and autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.

Healing Philosophy: “The human body is innately brilliant,” Saltzman says. “We all have the capacity to heal ourselves; sometimes we need a little help from nature. Homeopathic medicine provides that catalyst. It recognizes that every person is unique in the way they express illness. Therefore, two people with the same ‘disease’ may need two completely different homeopathic remedies.” Homeopathy is designed to treat the whole person, she notes. “This means that someone’s mental/emotional state is just as important as his or her physical symptoms in the selection of the correct homeopathic remedy.”

Passion: Saltzman says she’s passionate about people and their potential for greatness. “There is no limit to what we can achieve if we simply put our minds to it,” she says. “If someone truly wants greater health, I can offer them my experience, knowledge, intuition, enthusiasm, compassion and exceptional care.”

Dr. Susanne Saltzman, MD, Homeopathic and Nutritional Medicine, 250 E. Hartsdale Ave. St. 22, Hartsdale, NY. To make an appointment, call 914.472.0666. For more information, visit

Dr. Lawrence G. Stern, DC of Stern Chiropractic & Integrative Wellness, PC

Dr. Lawrence G. Stern, DC

Stern Chiropractic & Integrative Wellness is centered around transformative healing, says Dr. Lawrence Stern, DC. “All the healing modalities we offer, such as Network Spinal Analysis, Neurologic Relief Centers Technique, Reiki, massage, Quantum Touch and childbirth education, are meant to cause a permanent shift in oneself and one’s quality of life,” he says. “Our practitioners are highly skilled and educated and very intuitive in their approach to deliver a service that is meant to exceed all expectations.”

Healing Philosophy: “Transformative healing causes a dynamic shift and reorganization of the nervous system that provides an enhanced quality of life and a future of well-being that previously wasn’t possible,” Stern says.

Passion:  Stern is passionate about providing transformative healing that makes a profound difference in people’s lives—and that passion has been contagious, he says. “There is such a dynamic shift as a result of our advanced healing work that our practice members often discover their true purpose and passion in life. As a result, they go out and make a lasting impression upon the world,” he says.

Dr. Lawrence G. Stern, DC, Stern Chiropractic & Integrative Wellness, 27 Radio Circle Dr. Ste. 104, Mount Kisco, NY. For an appointment, call 914.864.2222. For more information, visit

Spiritinside Healing Center with Robin C. Mueller, Founder

Robin C. Mueller

Since 2001, Robin C. Mueller has been sole proprietor of Spiritinside Healing Center, where she is a certified Reiki master practitioner and energy healer. “I use my gifts of clairvoyance, clairaudience and clairsentience to assist my clients to find higher and higher levels of healing within their body, mind and spirit,” she says. With years of study in various healing modalities, Mueller says she’s dedicated to the deep understanding of healing and its application to benefit her clients. The exponential growth of her practice over the past 15 years led her to build Spiritinside, which offers sessions in Reiki healing, feather healing, and “Empowering Higher Guidance;” intuitive and medium services for individual and groups; meditation workshops; Reiki training; nature card readings; and astrological readings and charts.

Healing Philosophy: “Spiritinside Healing Center focuses on giving people a safe place to find spiritual answers and healing, as well as an understanding of the deeper connections that they have with universal healing energy,” Mueller says.

Mission/Passion: “My goal is to offer some of the finest and best-trained intuitives, mediums and energy body workers to help people find a path to joy and happiness,” Mueller says. “I want to give them a greater understanding of universal healing energy and how to bring healing into their everyday lives.”

Spiritinside Healing Center, 344 Main St. Ste. 205, Mt. Kisco, NY. For more information, call 914.730.0155 or visit

Dr. James S. Striano, DC of Hudson Valley Chiropractic & Nutrition and New You Naturally

Dr. James S. Striano, DC

Dr. James S. Striano specializes in the physical and chemical aspects of health. His chiropractic practice, Hudson Valley Chiropractic & Nutrition, uses both forceful and gentle adjustment techniques to restore vertebral alignment and proper nerve function. It also offers nutritional counseling, with testing based on the American-patented procedure developed by Dr. Yoshiaki Omura, MD. “This special, direct nervous-system testing determines what your problem is, what the cause is, and what it will take to handle the problem,” Striano explains. New You Naturally, Striano’s anti-aging/body-sculpting practice, offers non-invasive skin firming, slimming (size reduction), and cellulite reduction using Smart Sculpt (a state-of-the-art, FDA-approved machine) along with diet, exercise, detoxification and “positive self-talk.”

Healing Philosophy: Striano considers the human body a synthesis of the physical, mental and spiritual, requiring a comprehensive program in all three areas to be healthy. “Loss of health is due to one of three stresses,” he notes. “There is the physical—that is, trauma—which we address through chiropractic; the chemical—toxic buildup, pathogens, poor foods—which we address through nutrition; and the mental—emotional or biochemical imbalances—which we address through nutrition or bio-energetic harmonizing. Our job is to find the primary stress and support the body in that area, allowing healing to occur.”

Passion: “I am humbled by the knowledge of the spirit compared to the limited, ‘educated’ knowledge of man,” Striano says. “And I am amazed every day by the body’s ability to heal.”

Dr. James S. Striano, DC, Hudson Valley Chiropractic & Nutrition, 475 Tuckahoe Rd. Ste. 201, Yonkers, NY. For an appointment, call 914.793.1824. For more information, visit or

Dr. Michael Wald, MD*, Dr. Nilay Shah, MD, & Sunny Seward, MS (Nutrition), of Integrated Medicine & Nutrition of Mount Kisco

Dr. Michael Wald, MD, Dr. Nilay Shah, MD

Individualized treatment is key at Integrated Medicine & Nutrition, says Dr. Michael Wald, MD. “We are a metabolically based practice,” he explains. “We center all our therapies upon the actual needs of our patients. What others promote as ‘the best treatments, the best foods, the best nutritional supplements, the best therapies’ may be useful, but they are rarely curative and never individualized. The potential for improvement in health is far greater when one’s treatments are naturally matched against actual needs.” Techniques include a patent-pending assessment of blood, urine and other tissues for determining food, nutritional supplement and lifestyle needs; a typical workup might involve 150 aspects of a patient’s biochemistry. “With this metabolic map of each patient,” Wald says, “we often see improved health, reduced disease risk, symptom alleviation and cure where others have failed.” Biological age assessments track how each patient is healing and growing biologically (as opposed to chronologically) younger. Integrated Medicine & Nutrition offers comprehensive testing to help prevent and treat difficult issues including cancer, immune dysfunction, and cardiovascular, gastrointestinal and neurological problems.

Healing Philosophy: Integrated Medicine & Nutrition’s holistic method of healing uses both Eastern and Western medical approaches to all manner of healthcare problems. “This allows us to simply do more,” Wald says. “Sometimes medical problems are missed by practitioners who focus only within the natural health arena; other times, problems are missed by those practicing standard medicine. Not only do we have knowledge in both areas, but we know how to integrate them.” The term “integrated” does not mean “combined,” he notes. “Instead, we synthesize, inventing new and individualized solutions for our patients. This is a creative process that has proven successful even with those patients who say, ‘I’ve been everywhere else, and they did every conceivable test.’ We believe it isn’t what is done, but how this information is viewed and put to work that makes a difference.”

Passion: The staff of Integrated Medicine & Nutrition is passionate about restoring lost quality of life, “allowing the individual to walk, run and play, to engage in life as fully as possible, and to be happy,” Wald says. “Our goal is to change the lives of a million people using natural approaches. That would be extraordinary!”

Dr. Michael Wald, MD, Dr. Nilay Shah, MD, and Sunny Seward, MS, Integrated Medicine of Mount Kisco, 495 Main St., Mount Kisco, NY. For an appointment, call 914.242.8844. For more information, visit *Dr. Wald is not licensed to practice medicine; all prescriptions are written by Dr. Nilay Shah.

Peggy Emro, Owner of Healing Source Physical Therapy

Peggy Emro

Healing Source Physical Therapy (HSPT) specializes in Integrative Manual Therapy (IMT), “a total-body, hands-on process that listens to the wisdom of the body and then applies that wisdom to help the body heal itself,” says HSPT owner Peggy Emro. “It addresses the complex interrelationships of the multiple systems of the body, using a variety of techniques to elicit a healing response.” Because IMT is effective but noninvasive, anyone can benefit from it, she adds. “We see dramatic changes in people with chronic pain or illness, who have unsuccessfully tried other approaches. Similarly, children with autism, ADHD, learning disabilities, or developmental disorders achieve exceptional outcomes. Many conditions that people have been told are ‘normal’ are the result of pathology that is simply unrecognized and correctable with treatment.”

Healing Philosophy: Emro sums up the philosophy of HSPT in its motto, Ad Fontem Medicus. “That means ‘to the source to heal,’” she explains. “It is at the source of the problem that we can facilitate the body’s natural ability to heal itself in a truly integrated way.”

Passion: As an advocate for “the evolution of human consciousness,” Emro believes that the work of evolving begins with healing one being at a time.

Peggy Emro, Healing Source Physical Therapy, 20 Milltown Rd. Ste. 104A, Brewster, NY. For an appointment, call 845.363.1035. For more information, visit

Carl Carvalho, Licensed Massage and Craniosacral Therapist, of Human Bodyworks Massage Therapy

Carl Carvalho, LMT, LCST

Carl Carvalho works with newborns to adults, helping them heal, balance and overcome their health challenges. A highly trained practitioner of deep-tissue, Swedish, sports and medical massage, craniosacral therapy, shiatsu and energy work, Carvalho likens his role to that of a sculptor: “I often feel like I’m working with living clay, reshaping and remolding the tissue, releasing blockages and toxins so the body can relax and heal.” As a client recently commented, “Carl’s subtlety of touch can really fine-tune a muscle…and he found the problem areas without me even telling him where they were.” Carvalho draws from his experience and diverse training to design individualized sessions that achieve fast results, helping clients overcome pain and chronic symptoms and lead healthier, less stressful lives.

Healing Philosophy: Working as a healer means helping nature do what it does best, Carvalho says. “The human body has an amazing ability to heal itself,” he explains. “It does work, but it often needs help overcoming obstacles that block its way. I’m a facilitator, assisting the body to work through these challenges to heal, recover and regain balance. And I have a lot of technique to rely upon; my work is medically grounded and fine-tuned with an energetic touch.”

Passion: “What I really love is seeing people get better,” he says. “I love how even after one session, physical, energetic, tangible results can be felt.”

Carl Carvalho, Human Bodyworks Massage Therapy, PC, 32 Main St., Hastings on Hudson, NY. For an appointment, call 917.445.1767. For more information, visit

Peter Tricarico, Licensed Acupuncturist, of Sleepy Hollow Acupuncture

Peter Tricarico

Peter Tricarico knows and practices many styles of acupuncture, including a style based on his own understanding of this ancient form of medicine. “While I use many traditional acupuncture points, I also focus on nerve pathways known in modern biomedicine that are related to the patient’s condition,” he says. Tricarico also treats with Chinese herbal potions, Chinese fire cups, and tui na (Chinese massage).

Healing Philosophy: “Educating the patient is paramount,” Tricarico says. “The second step is to remove the obstacles that prevent the body from healing itself, and the third is to encourage the habits that are known to perpetuate health.”

Passion: Tricarico is a student of and believer in the progression of Chinese medicine. “Most people think that acupuncture theory and practice has gone unchanged over the past 2,000 years,” he notes. “That’s just not true, and I have a lot of ideas and opinions on the direction this form of healing should be moving in.”

Peter Tricarico, Sleepy Hollow Acupuncture, 239 North Broadway, Sleepy Hollow, NY. To make an appointment, call 914.819.0970. For more information, visit

Well On The Way, with Elizabeth Pasquale, Certified Healthy for Life Coach, and Ruth Kohake, Certified Health/Weight Management Coach

Ruth Kohake

Comprehensive treatment center Well On The Way® offers many approaches to creating dynamic health, including craniosacral therapy, lymph drainage, diet and nutrition. “Whether you want to lose weight, relieve pain or just move through life with more vitality, come in for a free health consultation,” says Ruth Kohake. Potential clients will learn how they can enrich their lives through renewed energy, pain relief, a more youthful appearance, and permanent weight loss. “All these elements support long-lasting health so you can enjoy your life and your family,” Kohake says. With both individual and group sessions available, she adds, “you can have great health without spending a lot. Join our group ‘Healthy for Life Program,’ beginning in January, and you’ll feel like a new person by the end of 12 weeks.”

Healing Philosophy: “We feel that healing is an inside job,” Kohake says. “Accepting that, how do you know where to begin, especially when so many things we’ve been told are healthy turn out to be making us sick?” Well On The Way helps clients learn the facts about whatever is holding them a prisoner of disease or discomfort, she says. “These facts have actually been hidden from you up until now. Your health will respond to this new information, and you’ll say, ‘Eureka!’”

Elizabeth Pasquale

Mission/Passion: Pasquale and Ruth Kohake admit they are passionate about health. For Pasquale, that includes exercise; each year she sets for herself a new physical challenge. She has been New York State’s champion racewalker and an Olympic qualifier, she swam three miles across the Hudson River, and last May she and some colleagues trekked to Mt. Everest Base Camp, climbing to almost 18,000 feet in the Himalayas. For Kohake, a registered nurse, a love of music, particularly singing, feeds a caring spirit. “I’m a member of the Threshold Choir,” she says. “I sing at the bedside of people at the time of their passing over.”

Well On The Way, 191 Main St., Ossining, NY, and 62 Waller, White Plains, NY. For more information, call Elizabeth Pasquale at 914.762.4693 or Ruth Kohake at 914.525.3562, or visit

Yoga Boot Camp starts at Sacred Space Yoga in Somers, NY

Yoga class at Sacred Space Yoga

Sacred Space Yoga is kicking off the New Year with a Mind, Body and Soul Boot Camp series. Laura Jean Polisky, owner and instructor at Sacred Space, says that many students come to yoga because they want better bodies, but they’re often frustrated that they don’t see results quickly enough. The key to creating a “yoga body,” she says, lies in addressing the nutritional, mental and emotional health of a person in addition to teaching the poses.

“So much of our physical appearance and health mirrors what is really happening in our lives,” Politsky says. “Sugar addictions, poor relationships, financial struggles and other stressors can lead us to binge eat and snack obsessively on the wrong foods throughout the day. Eating this way will affect your mental and emotional wellbeing.”

In order to help her students move toward the bodies and lives they deserve, Politsky wants to help them take charge of how they are feeding and treating themselves. She’s offering the Yoga Boot Camp as a four or six week package with the hope that students will continue healthier practices long after the boot camp ends.

For more information, contact Laura at Sacred Space Yoga by calling 914.401.9140, emailing or visiting

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