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 UCC-NY.com.

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 IntMedSolutions.com.

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 HolisticDentist.com.

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 GoToDrDoyle.com.

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 O2Living.com.

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 BodyCures.com.

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 MinervaSantosMD.com.

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 GelbCenter.com.

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 NewWorldChiropractic.com.

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 NeilRaffMD.com.

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 BiovedaOfPleasantville.com.

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 HartsdaleHomeopathy.com.

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 SternWellnessCenter.com.

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 SpiritInside.net.

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 HVCAndN.com or NewYouNaturally.com.

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 IntMedNY.com. *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 HealingSourcePT.com.

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 HumanBodyworks.com.

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 SHAcu.com.

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 WellOnTheWay.com.

Estrogen & Progesterone: Prevailing Wisdom on Hormone Replacement Therapy

by Michael Doyle, MD

Dr. Michael Doyle

More than 20 years ago, Belgian physician Jacques Hertoghe lectured to American doctors about the benefits of estrogen and progesterone supplementation for menopausal women. At the time, millions of American women were already being treated with these hormones in order to reduce hot flashes and prevent a variety of illnesses. But a large- scale study in 2002 called the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) said that doctors had it wrong. The WHI reported that female hormone treatment actually appeared to cause a variety of illnesses, including cancer and heart disease.

How did Hertoghe and thousands of American doctors get it so wrong? Actually, Hertoghe had it right because he recommended that only human hormones be given, at the right dose and in the right form. Two decades ago, most American doctors were prescribing a combination of synthetic progesterone and horse estrogen (literally, estrogen derived from horse urine), and they were giving it out in pill form. In fact, Hertoghe had specifically cautioned against using female hormones that were not “bio-identical” (natural to the human body). He also pointed out that estrogen should be given only through the skin, not as a pill.

Subsequent studies have supported Dr. Hertoghe, repeatedly showing that real human hormones are much safer than their synthetic counterparts. For example, a 2005 study of 54,000 women in Europe (E3N-EPIC) showed that bio-identical estrogen applied to the skin, combined with bio-identical progesterone, actually reduced the rate of breast cancer. Women taking this combination of human hormones were actually 10% less likely to get breast cancer than women who took no hormones at all. But when the natural progesterone was replaced with synthetic progesterone, the rate of breast cancer went up by 50%. In 2008, another review in the British Medical Journal noted that estrogen given through the skin was much less likely to cause blood clots than supplements given in pill form. Following many similar studies, researchers recently stated that, “bioidentical hormones are associated with lower risks, including the risk of breast cancer and cardiovascular disease, and are more efficacious than their synthetic and animal-derived counterparts” (Postgraduate Medicine 2009).

While no medical treatment is 100% safe, real female hormones have been shown to improve health and restore quality of life. They can help control menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, bone thinning, sexual dysfunction and poor sleep and may actually be good for the heart. On the other hand, synthetic hormones appear to pose unnecessary risk and should generally be avoided.

Dr. Michael Doyle has a private practice in Stamford, CT. To contact Dr. Doyle, call 203.324.4747 or visit gotodrdoyle.com.

Breast Health, Toxicity and Early Detection

Dr. Michael Wald and Nilay Shah, MD

Dr. Michael Wald and Nilay Shah, MD of Integrative Medicine & Nutrition

A conversation with Dr. Michael Wald of Integrative Medicine and Nutrition in Mount Kisco, NY, a practice he shares with Nilay Shah, MD

What options do women have for breast screening and an early breast cancer diagnosis?

Medically speaking, methods of early detection for breast cancer involve mammography, sonography, sometimes MRI and occasionally thermography. Based on the age of the woman, her family health history and hormonal, nutritional and toxicity testing, her prevention potential is improved significantly. Unfortunately, self-breast examinations have been disproven for early breast cancer detection.

What is the relationship between toxicity and breast cancer?

Because the fatty tissue in breasts can store toxins, women should avoid wearing tight fitting bras that compress the lymphatic vessels. These vessels are designed to carry toxins away from the breast tissues. When that function is impaired, those toxins can damage the genetic material in breasts, resulting in genetic “breaks” (DNA breaks); by definition, this is cancer formation. If the body’s immune system fails to recognize these abnormal cells, they grow out of control and tumors form.
It is important to know that tumors grow for an average of five years before they are large enough to be detected with mammography or sonography. Thermography, on the other hand, can detect increases in body temperature that may result from new blood vessel growth in the breasts. And the best part is that thermography does not involve the use of radiation.

Recent guidelines for breast cancer screening using Mammograms have been confusing. Can you explain them?

According to the recent Federally appointed task force, current guidelines for women ages 50 to 74 with no personal or family history of breast cancer are to receive a mammography every two years. Regular self-breast examinations are not discouraged in these guidelines.
The American Cancer Society, however, is sticking with the longstanding recommendation of annual breast mammography for women, starting at age 40. These two groups examined the same scientific criteria and came up with very different guidelines. Some say that the guidelines were reduced to cut down on expenditures and save money in the medical establishment, while others say they were reduced because the older recommendations were dangerous.
My experience is that women have always been suspicious of the too frequent recommendation of radiation and crushing mammography. My personal opinion is that breast cancer treatments overall are a medical failure and, scientifically speaking, should be seriously reevaluated or at the very least be combined with natural therapies.

Do you recommend Thermography for Breast Cancer screening?

Thermographic technology has been researched for more than 30 years and has recently been gaining national prominence and more widespread use. It should not, however, be considered an alternative to mammography. As an adjunct screening method, thermography should be included in every woman’s regular breast health regimen. We believe that women of all ages should employ a combination of techniques, including thermography, possibly mammography, and sometimes ultrasound or MRI examinations. Studies have shown that the earliest detection generally occurs when several techniques are used in combination.
Early detection is the best defense against breast cancer. When treated in the earliest stages, a 95% cure rate can be expected. Studies have shown that when thermography was added to a woman’s regular breast health checkups, a 61% increased survival rate was realized. When it is used as part of a multi-modal approach (clinical examination, mammography and thermography) 95% of early stage cancers will be detected. Since 23% of all breast cancers occur in women under the age of 49, we recommend mammography and sonography if indicated, and thermography with nutritional, hormonal and toxicity testing.

What about ultrasound and other tests for breast cancer screening?

Ultrasound is a non-irradiating screening tool for women who are at high risk for breast cancer and unable to tolerate the confinement of MRI. It’s also an alternative for those who do not want to expose themselves to the radiation of mammography, those who have dense breasts or breast implants, women who are pregnant, and those whose biopsy shows an abnormal result.
During my 18 years of practice, I have put together a list of recommended evaluations to prevent, monitor and help treat breast cancers and other abnormalities. They include saliva testing, blood tests, urine nutrition testing, mammography, sonogram, thermography, and metals and toxin testing, depending upon the unique needs of each woman.

You’ve written a book on cancer and nutrition. What are your nutritional recommendations for breast health and cancer treatment?

Many nutritional supplements are extremely helpful in the prevention and treatment of breast cancer and other problems like fibrocystic breast disease. For instance, studies show that intravenous vitamin C causes the death of abnormal cells, including cancer cells. Vitamin C by mouth does not have this effect. We have compiled an extensive list of cancer fighting nutrients and presented these findings at the International & American Associations of Clinical Nutrition’s Symposium on Cancer. When it comes to breast cancer treatment and prevention, or the management of other health issues, it is important to first identify what each person’s needs are. This is essential for maximizing their health potential. Only with individualized consultation, testing and clinical knowledge can we determine the ideal nutritional recommendations for each person.

How can our readers learn more?

Go to our website http://www.intmed.com, and download PDFs and audio files. Look for dozens of free health videos coming soon to our website. To schedule an appointment, call our office at 914.242.8844.

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