Yoga Classes for Teachers, Drumming, Quakers, Women’s Retreat and more, March 2013 in Westchester and Putnam NY

Event Briefs from Natural Awakenings Magazine – Westchester/ Putnam NY Edition.

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Continuing Education Programs for Westchester Yoga Teachers

Living-YogaLiving Yoga, a vinyasa studio in Cold Spring, is launching a Teacher’s Advancement Program. The continuing education program is designed to provide an inspiring environment in which yoga teachers can further their training, ask questions and brainstorm with other teachers.

The first offering of the series is an Assisting Workshop for Yoga Teachers, providing guidance and refinement of hands-on assisting. It takes place on March 2 from 1 to 4 p.m. and the cost is $50. In April, program directors Richard Villella and Liz Schulman will offer a vinyasa intensive for yoga teachers from April 19 to 21 and April 27 and 28. “This two-weekend certification will teach current yoga teachers the skills of leading and sequencing a vinyasa class,” says Schulman. “They’ll also explore ways in which to incorporate vinyasa into their current style of teaching.”

In addition to these workshops, Living Yoga offers four Level 3 classes per week and a monthly level 3-plus class for area yoga teachers. Future workshops will feature guest teachers and asana clinics.

Living Yoga is located at 3182 Rt.9, just south of I-84, in Cold Spring, NY. For more information, email, call 845.809.5900 or visit Find them on Facebook at LivingYogaStudios.

Quaker Quest Sessions to Inform at Scarsdale Friends Meeting

The Scarsdale Friends Meeting presents Quaker Quest Programs that invite the public to learn more about this spiritual community. The get-acquainted sessions take place on Sunday afternoons, March 3, 10, and 17, from 2 to 4 p.m., and childcare and light refreshments will be available.

Quaker Quest sessions will center on sharing personal journeys and contemporary Quaker beliefs with the community at large. Each program will feature presentations by Scarsdale Friends Meeting members on a set topic, followed by small group discussions and question-and-answer opportunities. Topics include Quakers and the Spiritual Quest (March 3), Quakers and Environmental and Social Activism (March 10) and Quakers and Parenting (March 17).  At the end of each session, guests will be invited to participate in a Quaker worship meeting.

“Quaker core values include simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality, and silence,” says member Ginny Blanford. “They lead both to a spiritual path for our time that is simple, radical, and contemporary, and to the daily challenge of seeking ways in which to live by these values.” Scarsdale Friends Meeting, which was founded in the early 1940s, sponsors a nursery school, outreach programs in local shelters, and a prison ministry. The Quaker Quest program will be repeated in April.

The Scarsdale Friends Meeting is located at 133 Popham Rd., just off the White Plains Post Road, in Scarsdale, NY. For more information, call 914.946.8722 or visit Also find them at

Admissions Introductory Session and Camp Open House at Blue Rock School

Blue-Rock-School-News-Brief-Image-Mar-13Families interested in enrollment in grades K-8 are invited to visit Blue Rock School during the school’s Introductory Session at 10 a.m., March 9. Parents can tour the wooded four-acre campus, meet Blue Rock faculty and hear how the school’s vibrant, creative environment nurtures children’s natural curiosity and fosters a lifelong love of learning.

At 2 p.m. the same day, parents and their children ages 3½ to 12 will have an opportunity to learn about the school’s adventure-filled, five-week Summer Play Camp. Campus tours will be given including the new Arts & Nature Studies Annex and pool, and adults can meet camp personnel, while their children enjoy staff-led games and activities. Summer Play is open to the community. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Blue Rock is a progressive, independent day school, founded in 1987 with a mission to offer an experiential approach to education that enables children to follow their natural curiosity, develop as independent thinkers and grow in a dynamic learning community. Students engage in a challenging academic curriculum that fully integrates the arts and nurtures their innate desire to learn.

Location: 110 Demarest Mill Rd. (off Germonds Rd.), West Nyack, NY. Morning attendees: RSVP to Admissions Director Beverly Stycos, at or 845.535.3353. Afternoon attendees: RSVP to or 845.627.0234. For more information, visit

A Nurturing Retreat for Women to Enhance Possibilities and Support

Precious Sellars-Mulhern & Melinda Martin

Precious Sellars-Mulhern & Melinda Martin

Psychologist and coach Precious Sellars-Mulhern, PhD, presents Precious Possibilities For Women, an annual retreat designed to bring women together to nurture and support one another. The next retreat takes place on Sunday, March 24, at Wainwright House in Rye.

“Each year the retreat deals with different issues that are important to women,” says Mulhern. “What is unique about this retreat is that women walk away with tools that enable them to address those issues. The underlying premise is that women who are empowered and enjoying life have more to offer their families, friends and colleagues.”

An associate professor in the Counseling Center at Borough of Manhattan Community College, Mulhern has entitled this year’s retreat, “Re-Scripting Your Life: Tapping Yourself To Joy.”  It features, Melinda Martin, LCSW, an expert in Energy Psychology and Emotional Freedom Technique, a method of meridian tapping that helps people to free themselves from traumas, pain and limiting beliefs.

“Women will learn techniques that are accessible to them at all times,” says Mulhern. “They’ll also engage in activities with other women in an elegant environment overlooking Milton Harbor, and they’ll leave feeling energized with support, tools and friendships to lift their spirits and spring them into action.”

Wainwright House is located at 260 Stuyvesant Ave. in Rye, NY. For more information and to register for the retreat, visit or call 914.522.5276.

Eileen Fisher Leadership Institute Accepting Applications for Summer Program

Eileen Fisher Leadership Institute graduates

Eileen Fisher Leadership Institute graduates

The Eileen Fisher Leadership Institute (EFLI) has opened the application process for the 2013 summer session. Now in its fourth year, EFLI promotes leadership in young women through self-empowerment, connection with others and activism in Westchester County.

This summer, EFLI will offer two sessions of the twelve-day Activating Leadership program for first year participants. The sessions begin on July 15 and August 5. “Last year, thirty-nine talented and courageous young women participated in the Activating Leadership program,” says Program Coordinator Aimee Aubin. “This year EFLI plans to reach an even larger population, and to continue our Leading for Impact sessions for returning participants.”

Aubin says that EFLI will also carry on the LIFE Fellowship, a summer internship program for a select group of recent high school graduates. ELFI began in 2010 with a dozen girls and has now reached more than 150 young women with the three programs. “We anticipate that 2013 will be our best year yet,” says Aubin. “We have an incredible lineup of facilitators, both old and new, and we’re really looking forward to building a team of diverse and powerful young women to join the team.”

Applications may be submitted online at and are due by any of the following deadlines: March 1, April 5 or May 3.

For more information, call 914.487.3354 or email


Fishkill Cares for Cats Event Benefits Animals in Need

FCCSpring13Sound Earth, New York’s only manufacturer of natural, pet-safe cleaning products, presents their annual Fishkill Cares for Cats benefit on Saturday, March 30. The family-oriented event takes place from noon to 4:30 p.m. at the Dutchess Plaza Shopping Center in Fishkill and features food, music, face painting, raffles and humane education and demonstrations. Proceeds go to Furry Friends Pet Rescue, Inc. of Hopewell Junction, Katmarroon, Inc. of Newburgh and the humane efforts of Sound Earth.

In addition to the festivities, The Animal Rights Alliance, Inc., a mobile spay and neuter clinic for cats, will provide low cost health services to cats on site. The service benefits animal rescue organizations, individuals and families who have not, for financial reasons, been able to spay or neuter their pets. Feline drop-off services are by appointment only and take place from 7:30 to 8:15 a.m., with pick-up times from 4 to 4:30 p.m. For complete details, to sponsor a cat or set up an appointment, visit or call Ann at 845.489.2378. The first 50 cats to be dropped off will receive a goodie bag.

Fishkill Cares for Cats attendees will receive a free raffle ticket when they donate an item from any rescue center wish list, and adoption applications will be accepted. Sound Earth, which is recognized as a cruelty-free company, offers customizable, scented products that are safe for people, pets and the planet.

The Dutchess Plaza Shopping Center is located at 1545 Rte. 52 in Fishkill, NY. For more information about Sound Earth and Fishkill Cares for Cats visit

Yoga Meets Spinning for Fitness and Fun

Gersh Rosen

Gersh Rosen

YogaSpin, a new hybrid of yoga and spinning, is now offered at Apogee Fitness and Wellness in White Plains. YogaSpin was created by Gersh Rosen, an experienced yogi and cyclist who teaches the class.

“Experienced spinners will be challenged by Alpine climbs, rolling hills and soaring sprints simulated with my vivid and inspiring visualization techniques,” says Rosen. “Yogis and yoginis will recognize the integrated yoga elements of the class, including pranayama, vinyasa and savanasa.”

Rosen says that pranayama, or yogic breathing, synchronizes the heart, lungs and body in movement, resulting in sustained energy and power and extended aerobic thresholds during the YogaSpin workout. “There’s also an optional, exciting sing-along during a simulated climb that demonstrates the effectiveness of this breathing, and the vinyasa flow strengthens muscles and hastens recovery in stretch periods,” Gersh adds, noting that the cool-down period includes a guided meditation for integration and relaxation.

“This mind-body class achieves the best of both yoga and cycling,” says Rosen. “There’s serious core and muscle strengthening, heart-healthy breathing, major calorie burns, and an endorphin high. It ends with a real sense of calm and purpose.” YogaSpin is offered Mondays at 8 a.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7 p.m. and Friday and Sunday at 10 a.m.

Apogee Fitness and Wellness is located at 140 Mamaroneck Ave. in White Plains, NY.


Shop, Wear and Walk to Support Parkinson’s Research

Unity-Walk--High-ResNatural Awakenings is an enthusiastic sponsor of the One T @ a Time fundraising campaign for the Parkinson’s Unity Walk on April 27.  The campaign raises money for Parkinson’s research through sales of 100% organic cotton t-shirts with the message, “As One, We Heal.”

“The design on this T-shirt was created by me and Mary Keunecke, as we are both intimately affected by Parkinson’s disease in our families and we share a passion for health and wellness,” says Justine Kawas, founder of the One T @ a Time campaign. “Each shirt sold eliminates waste, maintains a low carbon footprint and benefits Parkinson’s research.”

Kawas is also leading the One T @ a Time Team at the Parkinson’s Unity Walk in New York City’s Central Park. “We want to support organic healing and uniting in the world,” she says. “People can participate by buying a fundraising t-shirt at, wearing the shirt and sharing pictures on social media via #AsOneWeHeal, #NaturalAwakenings or #Unitywalk.”

Those wishing to support the cause can also walk with the One T @ a Time Team by registering at, entering the team name in the search bar and joining the team.

For more information regarding the One T @ a Time campaign or Team, contact and visit


A Starry Nights Café to Brighten a Winter Evening

Starvisions-logo-2StarVisions, Inc. presents an evening of spiritual comedy and musical entertainment on Saturday, March 2, at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Mt. Kisco. Starry Nights Café begins at 7:30 p.m. and the cost is $20.

The evening features a unique spiritual improvisation routine by writer, poet, past-life regressionist and medium Jessica Lawrence, who brings in personalities “from the other side of the veil” with her Brooklyn accent. Audience participation will be encouraged for her tag team improvisation skits. The event will be topped off by the adult contemporary music of Westchester’s own Porter Smith, accompanied by singers Megan Longwell and Meirav Eytan.

“StarVisions is all about community,” says president Peter Ferrio. “We provide spiritual seekers with opportunities to connect with like minded individuals, not only during the programs that we offer throughout the year, but at social events like this one.” Doors open at 7:15 p.m. for the Starry Nights Café, and healthy snacks and non-alcoholic beverages will be available.

The Unitarian Universalist Church is located at 236 South Bedford Rd., Mt. Kisco, NY. For more information, visit or call 914.236.4503.

Massage, Full Moon Drumming and Visualization Circles in Yonkers

Donna-CostaAfter taking nearly a year off to heal a broken leg, Donna Costa is practicing massage therapy again. Costa returns with a remodeled therapy room, several new programs and package deals for bringing the relaxation of massage to clients’ homes.

Costa has also studied Native American spirituality and healing methods for more than two decades with such indigenous elders as Wallace Black Elk, Sun Bear, Bear Heart, Beautiful Painted Arrow and Nicki Scully. “I incorporate these healing modalities into my massage therapy and in ceremonies to help those dealing with addictions and with healing the child within,” she says.

As of this month, Costa is also offering Full Moon Drumming Circles and facilitating a monthly sharing group. “This group is for conjuring our hopes, dreams and goals,” she says. “It’s a safe place to share, support, and fine-tune ideas and dreams to create the future that participants envision. I’ll call on everyone to pool our energies and share visualizations to achieve common and personal goals.” Costa says that her monthly groups will start with a heart circle, followed by a meditation focused on sending ideas and dreams “out into the universe” to assist participants in achieving their highest and deepest hopes.

Donna Costa Massage Therapy is located at 58 Wickes Ave. in Yonkers, NY. For more information, call 914.907.4485, email or visit



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

Mind/Body Work for Digestive Disorders, Joints, Nerves and More, at the Kailo Center in Somers, NY

Dr. Mitchell Schulman

At the Kailo Center for the Healing Arts in Somers, NY, mind and body are treated equally by Dr. Mitchell Schulman, a NY Licensed Psychologist and Licensed Massage Therapist.
“Psychological distress almost always has a physical component,” says Mitchell, “and the opposite can be true, as well. Just think how pain or physical discomfort can affect our mood and our quality of life.”  Mitchell says that adding Clinical Massage Therapy to his professional services has enabled him to expand his scope of practice and work with clients in a far more integrated and holistic manner.

“I promote the concept of mind/body balance to those I work with,” Mitchell notes, adding that most of his clients initially seek massage services. Mitchell has become certified in Advanced Myofascial Techniques, offering people a methodology which helps the body re-align and reduces tension on muscles, joints, and nerves. He’s also trained in scar tissue release, and is completing certification in Visceral Massage Therapy, which focuses on easing digestive disorders and enhancing post-surgical abdominal healing.

More information about Kailo Center services can be found at, or by calling 914.669.5811.

Infinite Yoga Center in Larchmont, NY, New Name

The studio at Infinite Yoga Center

Athina Pride has changed the name of her wellness business to Infinite Yoga Center. A long-time resident of Westchester, Athina was born and raised in Alexandria, Egypt to a Greek family. She has been teaching Kripalu yoga in the U.S. for 12 years, and says her mission is to offer the community a set of tools that aid in the exploration of the body, mind and spirit for a more joyful and conscious life.

Infinite Yoga Center features 29 classes a week, seven days a week, with certified and insured teachers who meet the credentials of the Yoga Alliance, a national registry of teachers. Class cards allow students flexibility and the chance to share cards with family. Seniors and students receive a 10% discount on all cards.

The center offers morning meditation, Yoga Nidra (yogic sleep) and Integrative Yoga, which includes centering, breathing, strength-building, flexibility, restoration and relaxation. Other services at Infinite Yoga include massage, workshops, classes for kids and teens, yoga for flexibility, gentle yoga, yoga for core strength, and more.

Infinite Yoga Center is located at 2 East Avenue (Suite 205) in Larchmont, NY. For more information call 914.833.1210, email or visit

The Evolution of Massage: Hands-On Healing Power Gains Momentum

by Lee Walker

The ancient healing practice of massage therapy is playing an important role today in the emerging golden age of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). Surprisingly, it remains comparatively underrepresented in U.S. medical school curricula, while Massage Today reports that “Insurance reimbursement for massage therapy is at an all-time high.”

From the time that Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, introduced the idea that a physician should be experienced in rubbing, massage therapy has moved in and out of the traditional medical models of various cultures. Current practitioners attribute its staying power to continued awareness of the inherent healing and therapeutic value of massage, now the leading form of bodywork in the United States, according to the American Massage Association.

Kneading, tapping and stroking, the common ancestors of the 100-plus techniques used by today’s massage therapists, have survived two evolutionary spirals, but acceptance of massage as a prominent healing tool has not followed an uninterrupted ascent.

Starting in 1800 B.C., when East Indian ayurvedic massage techniques were used to maintain mental health and prevent disease, the development of related healing modalities, such as Reiki, acupressure, Shiatsu, Canadian deep muscle massage, lomilomi and Swedish massage, generally gained in acceptance. When, in 1884, skeptical British physicians alleged that its practitioners were stealing patients, the Incorporated Society of Trained Masseuses formed to legitimize their approach. They set about creating regulations and establishing a clear practice model for physical rehabilitation; today the organization exists as the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy. Many of the techniques used by its members still reflect treatment practices invented prior to the society’s inception.

Since the 1970s, renewed interest in hands-on methods of manipulating muscles and other soft tissues has propelled the therapeutic use of touch into its latest upward growth spiral, freeing it from the gravitational pull of another bout of opposition from mainstream medicine in the early 1930s. Now on an accelerated course, massage again has the opportunity to assume a celebrated place in the annals of medicine, just as it did in 1936, when Dr. Thomas Lathrop Stedman included it as a “scientific method” among therapeutics in his Practical Medical Dictionary.

In Westchester, NY, massage therapist Meredith Gilbert has seen an increase in the number of new moms signing up for her infant massage classes. “Moms are seeking out more holistic and natural approaches to enhance their baby’s well being,” says Gilbert, creator of the mobile spa company Tranquility Has No Boundaries, “and massage is one of them.” Gilbert has also seen a new type of repetitive stress injury on the rise. “I’ve treated injuries and tendonitis due to playing the Nintendo Wii gaming system,” she says, “and I’ve treated symptoms associated with ‘Blackberry Thumb’—an overuse condition associated with many of today’s handheld devices.”

Marcus Feighery, a co-owner at Synchronicity Healing Center in Pawling, NY, says people now realize that massage is no longer a luxury, but a necessity to maintain good health, especially in difficult and stressful economic times. “Stress can cause strokes, cancer, heart disease and all manor of illness relating to the immune system,” says Feighery. He reports that many of his clients have experienced improved joint range of motion and flexibility, relief from depression (due to the release of endorphins) and a significant increase in circulation after massage therapy. Like many of the estimated 265,000 to 300,000 licensed massage therapists in the United States,Feighery’s repertoire includes Swedish, Deep Tissue, Hot Stone, Pre-natal and Sports massage, with Deep Tissue being the most requested technique for stress relief.

For those considering a career in massage therapy, Westchester has its very own fully accredited training institution, the Finger Lakes School of Massage in Mount Kisco, NY. Campus Director Amy Vona says students hone their craft in the school’s large massage clinic classroom. “The primary goal of the school is to promote personal awareness through touch, inviting students to learn massage in a context of inquiry and empowerment,” says Vona. “Students [here] learn a wide variety of techniques as they progress through our certification program, including Swedish Massage, Reflexology, Energy Work, Connective Tissue Therapy, Neuro-Muscular Therapy, Shiatsu, Aromatherapy, and Sports Massage.” And for those seeking massage at a great price, the Finger Lakes School offers professional sixty to seventy-five minute student massages for just $35.

While more research is needed to support specific health benefits of massage, the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) continues to sponsor studies. The effort is to determine if and how the changes that occur in the body during massage influence health, and to identify the conditions for which massage may be most helpful.

Unwilling to wait for such statistical evidence, ever-growing numbers of American adults—18 million per a 2007 NCCAM study—have chosen to make use of massage. Their testimonials regularly attest to its therapeutic benefits and recognize its worth as an aid to general wellness—a positive sign that the current positive trend will continue.

Contact Meredith Gilbert of Tranquility Has No Boundaries, 434 White Plains Road in Eastchester, NY, at 914.497.9917 or visit

Contact Marcus Feighery of Synchronicity Healing Center in Pawling at 845.855.1172 or 347.728.2100 or visit

Contact Finger Lakes School of Massage in Mount Kisco at 914.241.7363 or visit To book a student massage, call 914.241.7363 ext. 18.

Derma Glow of New York, a Spa, Opens in North Salem

Derma Glow

Derma Glow of New York has opened its doors in North Salem, NY. Owners Jennifer and JoAnna Sciarrino are identical twin sisters who say theirs is not a traditional day spa. The sisters give personalized attention to each client in a cozy “Country Chic” atmosphere.

Jennifer and JoAnna are New York State Licensed Aestheticians and Nail Technicians. They specialize in facials, body treatments, manicures, pedicures, and traditional and airbrush make-up applications for weddings and other special occasions. Joining their team is Susan Bahr, a New York State and Connecticut Licensed Massage Therapist who offers a wide variety of treatments for teens and adults.

Derma Glow of New York features a small boutique area with great gift ideas, including natural skin care, bath and body products, organic baby items, Jane Iredale Mineral Cosmetics, Derma Glow’s exclusive cosmetic line and more.

Visit Derma Glow of New York at 1 Dingle Ridge Road in North Salem, NY or call 914.338.7822.

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