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feel good • live simply • laugh more




GREEN Eco Holiday Décor

December 2016 |


Adrenal Fatigue


NY Capital District Edition


natural awakenings

December 2016


~If you are reading this, so are your potential customers.~

Health & Wellness Issue plus: Affordable Complementary Care Deadline: December 5th Readers Are Seeking These Providers & Services: Acupuncture • Alternative Healing • Chiropractic Energy Healing • Fitness Centers/Gyms • Herbalists Holistic Dermatology • Integrative & Natural Healthcare Providers • Massage Natural/Organic Foods • Physical Therapy Weight Loss • Wellness Trainers • Yoga ... and this is just a partial list!


Conscious Dying


plus: Children’s Dental Health Deadline: January 5th

Readers Are Seeking These Providers & Services: Alternative Pediatric Physicians Earth-Friendly Burial Services • Estate Attorneys Estate Auction Houses • Faith & Charitable Ministries Family Counselors • Financial Planners • Florists Holistic Dental Care • Hospice & Care Facilities Orthodontists • Periodontists • Sacred Dying Doulas ... and this is just a partial list!

Food Sensitivities plus: Holistic Eye Care Deadline: February 5th

Readers Are Seeking These Providers & Services: Allergists • Cooking Classes Co-op Marketers • Dietitians & Nutritionists Garden Supplies • Health Food Stores Healthy Restaurants • Herbalists • Homeopathy Natural Eye Care • Natural Health/Vision Supplements Senior/Sports Eye Care Specialists ... and this is just a partial list!


Contact us today to learn about our marketing plans: 518-729-0102

Reach our healthy readership in the NY Capital District. 2

NY Capital District

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Special December guests! Jessica Roemischer

Inspiring pianist & award-winning author! ening day ev

Sun Unity’s


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filled h , j oy- n t i a f i t ditatio t h mu l eek wi , guided me w h c a ues e hants co n t i n n d s a c r e d c a mu s i c l e c t i o n . . f t 6pm faiths. a n d re ings a n e le of all v p e o y e a p d o t Sun ! Open Join us ission m d a FREE

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ce l ser vi

Uniquely combining piano music and story-telling, Jessica touches the hearts of all who experience her unforgettable events.

PLUS: Musical Guest at 9 & 11 AM Services, Sun., Dec. 4 And...

Afternoon Workshop, Sunday Dec. 4, 1PM: “New Beginnings - An Experience of Memory & Music” Memory is associated with the past, with times gone by. What if our memories can free us, opening the way to the future? In this afternoon workshop we’ll explore the power of memory and music to awaken our true selves and create new beginnings. $20 in adv.ance/ $25 at door

Joy Adler

& the Souls of Evolution

Winter Solstice Event Sunday, December 18, 6PM Global Community Heartshare Music & Meditation for the Healing of the Earth Golden-voiced Joy Adler sings from the depths of her heart. Music for healing - of ourselves and of our beloved planet. Join us for a celebration of our Earth Mother at this magical and sacred time of the Winter Solstice and the turning of the year. With Elizabeth Woodbury Kasius, Brian Melick, Mick Murdick and special guests.

Unity Church in Albany Albany, 21 King Avenue • (1 block off Central Ave., just east of Everett Rd.) • (518) 453-3603

natural awakenings

December 2016




contact us Publisher Carolyn Coogan National Editor S. Alison Chabonais Editor Martin Miron Calendar Editor Loreanna Thomas Design & Production Courtney Ayers Stephen Blancett Local Ad Sales Liz Gemlick: 518-729-0102 Webmaster Lipera Web Design, Guilderland Assistant Office Cat Lily Multi-Market Advertising 561-208-1037 Franchise Sales 239-530-1377 Natural Awakenings of the NY Capital District P.O. Box 38118, Albany, NY 12203 PH: 518-729-0099 • FX: 877-741-4462

ive years ago, I suffered through a sixmonth debilitating illness which baffled both me and my doctor at the time. I went for countless tests, but it wasn’t until I switched over to an integrative doctor with a new perspective that my symptoms were taken more seriously and I was offered real solutions that did work in the end. How I wish I could have had this month’s magazine to save the day back then! At the time, I hadn’t been aware of the many healing resources in our community, and I hadn’t understood the difference between the various fields of medicine, either. I would actually cite this illness and my frustrating experience with an allopathic approach as something that played into the compelling desire to bring Natural Awakenings and the natural health and healing information and resources it promotes to the Capital Region. I have learned so much since, and my hope is that this magazine is a needed gift to many. This month, we discuss the rise of functional medicine and also shine a light on local integrative practitioners working together to get to the root cause of disease and pain. As someone who has suffered in the past, I feel it is fortunate for all of us that functional and integrative doctors and practitioners are making the news. Personally, when I go to the doctor, I hope to be listened to, understood, educated and seen as more than just a one-dimensional being. These practitioners do just that. I don’t want the latest drugs pushed on me or to feel that I have to fit under a specific healthcare “code” to get help, either. In our January edition, we will take the topic of healthcare a step further as we discuss affordable complementary care. It is the season of giving, and we’ve sprinkled in some fun and inspiring holiday notions for you in this issue. You’ll even find a few sweet and delicious recipes to try your hand at. Looking at the calendar, it hardly seems possible that another year is almost behind us. Whatever your festive plans are this year, we hope it will be a healthy and happy close to 2016. Happy Holidays,

©2016 by Natural Awakenings. All rights reserved. Although some parts of this publication may be reproduced and reprinted, we require that prior permission be obtained in writing. Natural Awakenings is a free publication distributed locally and is supported by our advertisers. It is available in selected stores, health and education centers, healing centers, public libraries and wherever free publications are generally seen. Please call to find a location near you or if you would like copies placed at your business.

Carolyn Coogan, Publisher

We do not necessarily endorse the views expressed in the articles and advertisements, nor are we responsible for the products and services advertised. We welcome your ideas, articles and feedback.

SUBSCRIPTIONS Subscribe online to receive FREE monthly digital magazine at or for home delivery ($28 for 12 issues) email Natural Awakenings is printed on recycled newsprint with soybased ink.


NY Capital District

With the new day comes

new strength and new thoughts. ~Eleanor Roosevelt

contents 12

11 15


6 12 15 17 19 27 29 30


32 34 37 41 42


healthbriefs globalbriefs ecotip

Natural Awakenings is your guide to a healthier, more balanced life. In each issue readers find cutting-edge information on natural health, nutrition, fitness, personal growth, green living, creative expression and the products and services that support a healthy lifestyle.



Practical Ways to Regain Vitality

wisewords inspiration community spotlight consciouseating calendar

by Linda Sechrist



by Avery Mack



New Paradigm Gets to the Root Cause of Disease

REGIONAL MARKETS Advertise your products or services in multiple markets! Natural Awakenings Publishing Corp. is a growing franchised family of locally owned magazines serving communities since 1994. To place your ad in other markets call 561-208-1037. For franchising opportunities call 239-530-1377 or visit


by Lisa Marshall


EDITORIAL SUBMISSIONS Submit articles and news or health briefs online at: Deadline for editorial: the 5th of the month. CALENDAR SUBMISSIONS Submit calendar events online at within the calendar submittal section. Deadline for calendar: the 5th of the month.


Salt Rooms Soothe Allergies and Skin Conditions


HOW TO ADVERTISE Please visit our comprehensive website and view our Media Kit at Contact our Advertising Sales Associate at 518-729-0102 with questions. Deadline for ads: the 5th of the month.



advertising & submissions



Tips to Simplify the Season by Beth Davis



Fresh Thinking About Décor by Avery Mack


Tasty Rituals that Deepen the Holiday Spirit by Lane Vail

34 natural awakenings

December 2016



newsbriefs Holiday Discount at The Yoga Lily


In the Spirit of the Season – May We Walk as One Jody Bergsma Jody Bergsma began creating art at age 3, when her mother suggested that she draw her nightmares to vanquish her fears. Monsters illustrated with pink and green crayons were not so scary, and the budding young artist became hooked. By her mid-teens, Bergsma was selling her fanciful works and went on to become an award-winning illustrator. In her whimsical, elfin watercolors and detailed, dramatic images of wildlife, the artist often uses aboriginal, native and geometric designs and symbols derived from the beautiful patterns of ancient cultures. By respectfully working with these images, she reintegrates them into our modern ethos. “I propose that all humankind shares a common reality just beyond the range of normal sight,” remarks Bergsma, whose watercolor technique is self-taught. “Each person’s physical adventure is unique, but the abstract language of feelings and realization of existence is our shared experience. “Art is a tradition that helps define who we are and brings us a vision of who we can become,” Bergsma continues. “My painting is my expression and request for a more beautiful, peaceful and harmonious world.” View the artist’s portfolio at 6

NY Capital District

he Yoga Lily, in Clifton Park, is offering a special 10 percent holiday discount for online gift cards through New Year’s Day. Owner Pam Medina says, “The Yoga Lily studio offers yoga classes for many body types, beginners, intermediate and students that may need small adaptations. We also offer workshops on restorative yoga, sound healing, ayurveda, meditation, women’s circles and teacher training. “When we give the gift of yoga, we are gifting someone with life skill they will use throughout their lifetime. The gift is telling how much we really love them on a soul level and want happiness, peace and radiant health for them. Buy one for yourself and come with them!” Offer is available for online gift cards only at using code HOLIDAY10. The Yoga Lily is located at 1 Barney Rd., Ste. 222, in Clifton Park.

Hay For Horses


inter is just around the corner, and that means the pastures will be closing and the rescues at Peaceful Acres Horses (PAH) will be exclusively fed hay and grain to sustain them daily for the long season ahead. The nonprofit is looking for one-time contributions to the Feed Fund and Feed Partner subscribers. Each contribution will help PAH to pay local hay farmers and grain suppliers over the next cold stretch. “Grain costs approximately $1,700 per week in the winter months, and there are many senior equines and those with specific non-hay diets,” says founder and Executive Director Nanci Beyerl. Winter is a difficult time for rescue sanctuaries because the workload for staff and volunteer CareGivers increases and so do the costs to the organization. Corporate sponsors are also welcome, or an office can have fun by pooling their donations. Location: 3740 Rynex Corners Rd., Pattersonville, NY. For more information, visit

Are You Ready To Take Control Of Your Health? Focus areas include:

• Naturopathic Medicine • Management of Chronic Disease • Family Health

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Healing Fibromyalgia From Within


haron Randall, a healing mentor for women with fibromyalgia, has started a Facebook group, Fibromyalgia: Healing From Within Sharon Randall ( groups/1660186440972901). “I offer healing mentoring with reiki sessions built in. The first session is about one hour and 30 minutes, and then one-hour sessions after that,” shares Randall, who has been managing fibromyalgia for 30 years with both traditional and non-traditional medicine. “Fibromyalgia has taught me what it means to have a chronic illness and how to take care of myself. It’s also made me more compassionate toward myself and others.” In July, Randall became an Usui holy fire reiki practitioner and says, “It’s amazing how much my physical body has healed with being more mindful of connecting my mind and body with understanding how much my body wants to heal.” “Over the years, I have discovered how the power of my faith, sense of humor, staying positive, finding my authentic self, meditation, releasing stuffed emotions, healing energy and conscious language have helped me heal from within mind, body and soul,” adds Randall. I am excited and honored to share my healing experience with hope others will heal, too.” For more information and appointments, call 518-334-9292. See ad, page 29.

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What is Balayage?


am sure you have heard the word all over lately.. in beauty magazines, television and the internet. Balayage is a french word that means “to sweep”. Balayge is actually a highlighting technique used to create graduated, natural looking highlights. The technique is achieved by painting actual pieces of your hair through individual sections. Balayage allows you to create movement in the hair with the right placement of the highlights. At bloom. Salon we pride ourselves in continuing education and the ability we have to create a look as unique as the guest in our chair. Balayage is a perfect if you

are looking for low maintenance, natural hair color. It can also be used to achieve a bolder look, if that is what you are looking for. It is such a universal technique and we can see it being around in the hair industry for a very long time. The true beauty in this technique is that the possibilities are absolutely endless. Call bloom. Salon to reserve your appointment today! Location: 5 Maple Rd., Voorheesville. For more information, call 518-655-0043 or visit See ad, page 33.

natural awakenings

December 2016


newsbriefs Healthy Holiday Gift Party


athleen Vroman, LMT, owner of Community Massage and a consultant for Beautycounter, is hosting a Have a Healthy Holiday Gift Party from 6 to 8:30 p.m., December 1. She says, “Give healthy and healing gifts to loved ones this year. Massage is the perfect gift that is always appreciated, along with comforting wellness products that help relieve aches and pains. Beautycounter products are safe and effective, made with quality ingredients that nourish and protect your skin naturally. Give everyone the gifts of feeling great and looking great, too!” Light snacks and refreshments will be served. Healthy products from Beautycounter, an all-natural non-toxic skin care and cosmetic line, wellness items, massage gift certificates, herbal neck wraps, aroma sprays and bath salts, are available. Choose from gift sets or create unique gift bags for family and friends. Event location: 33 Second St., Troy (first floor). Preview holiday items at For more information, call 272-1400 or visit Vroman’s practice, Community Massage, is located at 270 River St., Ste. 201, Troy, in The River Triangle Building. See ad, page 10.

Mental Healthy Self-Help Training Service


ason Paden, a board member of the National Alliance on Mental Illness for three years, struggled most of his life with major mental illness until he successfully achieved full recovery years ago. He learned that by actively adapting to a mental healthy mind/body/heart/soul lifestyle, his mental illness symptoms diminished. Paden, now a motivational speaker at colleges, schools and agencies, tells his intriguing story about how he overcame his condition through both traditional medical and holistic means. His newest venture, Mental Healthy Self-Help Trainings, a individual mentorship service, assists people using custom-designed videos to explore selfhelp wellness options and guide them through the process of discovering their own unique answers that may lead them to a mental healthy state of being from the comfort and privacy of their phone and computer. According to the World Heath Organization, one in four people will deal with a mental health condition at some point in their lives. He feels that by incorporating a whole person approach, he can complement a person’s current treatments and they will begin feeling better and better and become mental healthy, just as he did. For a free 15-minute phone consultation, call 518-414-4163. For more information, visit See ad, page 28. 8

NY Capital District

Singing Bowls, Native American Flute and Pyramids


ll Energy, Yoga, Healing and Sound Therapy offers unique yoga classes, meditations, workshops and healing events that incorporate crystal singing bowls, pyramids and the Native American flute. This month, there are several opportunities to experience this work given by owners Cheryl Beckman and Daniel Roy. On Saturdays at the Women’s Club of Albany, Yoga/Crystal Singing Bowls & Pyramids is held at 9:15 a.m. ($15). Men are welcome, too. The Woman’s Club is a nonprofit organization, and part of the class fee goes to the club. A special Crystalline Sound Therapy Guided Meditation will be offered from 7:30 to 9 p.m. ($25) at Jai Yoga Studio, in Albany, on December 2. This experience includes a guided meditation, energy alignment, kambaba jasper and snack social. “The sounds of crystal singing bowls stimulate deep into the body tissues promoting healing from within,” shares Beckman. “The combination of yoga, meditation and sound therapy helps to distress and release energetic blocks, reinstating the natural sense of balance and harmony to the body.” Locations: Women’s Club, 725 Madison Ave, Albany; Jai Yoga, 1092 Madison Ave, Albany. Register for Dec. 2 event at For more information about events at Good Karma Studio, call 518-810-7646 or visit AllEnergyHealing. com/events.

The Art of Conscious Living Island Retreat for Renewal and Discovery March 11-18, 2017 Led by Louise M. Finlayson, Ph.D. Harvard Medical School trained Clinical Psychologist and Transformational Coach

Experience the natural beauty of Roatán Island (Honduras) while learning to: ~Move beyond your fears ~Experience deeper and more effective relationships ~Overcome the beliefs and behaviors that are holding you back ~Master practical tools to initiate healing and well-being


ouise M. Finlayson, Ph.D. is pleased to announce she will again lead a 7-day transformational experience of guided visualization, meditation, heart-centered sharing, and interactive exercises to explore the art of conscious living in 2017. This retreat for renewal and discovery will again be offered in the spectacular natural beauty of Roatan Island, Honduras. It will focus on the transformational knowledge and skills we need to change our thought patterns, expand our self-awareness, and identify the mental habits that interfere with our sense of happiness and balance.

The all-inclusive retreat will be held at the locally owned Upachaya Eco-Lodge and Wellness Resort (www.upachaya. com). Nestled in the lush jungle on the island of Roatan, Honduras, it is the perfect getaway resort, offering waterfront access for snorkeling and kayaking as well as natural wildlife watching in a spectacular setting. Workshop activities will be held daily, with breaks for recreation and reflection. The program also includes yoga lessons, a guided snorkel tour, and a sunset cruise as well as a special celebration on the last evening. Participants will have time to experience the natural beauty of Roatan

Single occupancy: Early bird rate until January 15, 2017: $2,875/pp Regular rate after January 15, 2017: $3,200/pp Double occupancy: Early bird rate until January 15, 2017: $2,150/pp Regular rate after January 15, 2017: $2,475/pp Quad occupancy: Early bird rate until January 15, 2017: $2,000/pp Regular rate after January 15, 2017: $2,325/pp

Island for optional activities such as paddle boarding, kayaking, or spa services, or a plant medicine bush tour for a separate fee. This retreat is open to men and women with a desire to engage in a profound exploration of conscious living. For more information on this unique experience, visit http:// Louise M. Finlayson, Ph.D., clinical psychologist and transformational coach has been helping people for over 25 years. In addition to her busy psychotherapy and coaching practice, she offers workshops, retreats, and motivational speaking. Dr. Finlayson’s mission is to teach and inspire lasting transformation for individuals and organizations Past participants have called this trip “a wonderful experience” in a “warm and open group.” “This workshop has given me more than I ever expected to receive from it.” (C.G., participant in 2016) “The workshop has given me the skills and insight to change the experience I have in my relationship with others, myself, and especially my children,” (C.G., participant in 2016) Dr. Finlayson’s mission is to teach and inspire lasting transformation for individuals and organizations in order to help awaken consciousness on the planet. For more information on Dr. Finlayson, visit her website at See ad, back cover.

Reserve your space before January 15 and receive a $325 early-bird discount!

natural awakenings


December 2016


newsbriefs CranioSacral Therapy Can Help Relieve Headaches


lena Ajdelsztajn, a New York State licensed massage therapist and owner of Welcome Home Integrative Bodywork, in Albany, is providing Elena Ajdelsztajn relief from headaches and migraines with CranioSacral Therapy. “Headaches can happen when the meningeal membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord are in a contracted state, possibly due to surgery or trauma to the head.” says Ajdelsztajn. “These membrane restrictions can put pressure around nerves and blood vessels, causing pain and also making it more difficult for fluids to drain out of the head.” CranioSacral Therapy uses gentle light-touch techniques applied to the skull bones in order to reach and release the deeper meningeal membranes that are attached to these bones. She explains, “It can help relieve pressure, pain and improve fluid circulation in the head, helping provide tremendous relief for headaches and migraines.” New customers receive 20 percent off their first visit. New location: 17 Computer Dr. E., Albany. For appointments or more information call 518-783-6091 or visit See ad, page 28.


YOUR Body... I Can Help You Feel GOOD Again!

Looking for... • Pain relief? • Stress relief? • Quiet relaxation?


Massage & Holistic Therapies

Welcome to your Urban Oasis! A Doctor Who Takes TIME For YOU! Offering TRADITIONAL Along With ALTERNATIVE Medicine

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Practicing integrative medicine since 2001

Call Today! 518-452-4910

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NY Capital District

• Therapeutic Massage • Pre-Natal & Hot Stones • Reflexology & Reiki • Online Scheduling • Gift Certificates

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Kathleen Vroman LMT - Owner

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Gather in Saratoga for Green Drinks

Drinks! A green gathering for Green those that work, volunteer or have a passion for promoting the environment, conservation and sustainability, meets from 5 to 7 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month at Harvey’s Restaurant and Bar library room. Location: 14 Phila St., Saratoga Springs. For more information, email Ric Rosenfield Info@


Balance Massage Studio, Inc. is celebrating 16 years of business in Delmar, offering a variety of massage and energy healing services in a peaceful and relaxing environment. The professional staff New York state licensed massage therapists are available to customize sessions. Location: 316 Delaware Ave. Ste. 25, Main Square Shops, Delmar. For more information, call 518-475-9999 or visit See ad, page 36.

natural awakenings

December 2016


A Cup of Peppermint Tea Boosts Alertness


esearchers from Northumbria University, in England, have discovered that drinking peppermint tea can improve working and longterm memory. After 180 healthy adults filled out questionnaires about their mood, they were selected at random to consume one of three drinks—peppermint tea, chamomile tea or water—and then rested for 20 minutes. The subjects were then tested for memory and other cognitive factors and given a second mood questionnaire. Those that drank peppermint tea exhibited improvements in both types of memory and were more alert than the other two groups. The participants that drank chamomile tea displayed reductions in both memory and attention functions compared to the others. Researcher Mark Moss, Ph.D., notes, “The enhancing and arousing effects of peppermint and the calming, sedative effects of chamomile observed in this study are in keeping with the claimed properties of these herbs and suggest beneficial effects can be drawn from their use.”



Fracking Linked to Asthma Attacks

esearchers from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health have found that individuals living close to a natural gas hydraulic fracking site have a significantly higher occurrence of asthma attacks. The study examined health records from the Geisinger Health System, a healthcare provider in Pennsylvania, where the fracking industry has experienced incredible growth of more than 9.000 natural gas wells in the past decade. The records of more than 35,000 Geisinger asthma patients between the ages of 5 and 90 were studied between 2005 and 2012. Patients that reported attacks were mapped and studied in relation to the fracking well locations, and the results compared with other patients not reporting attacks in the same year. The researchers discovered that those that lived in close proximity to multiple or larger active natural gas wells were 1.5 to four times more likely to experience asthma attacks. Brian S. Schwartz, a medical doctor and a professor in the Department of Environmental Health Services at the Bloomberg School, in Baltimore, Maryland, was the senior author of the study. He states, “We are concerned with the growing number of studies that have observed health effects associated with this industry. We believe it’s time to take a more cautious approach to [fracking] well development with an eye on environmental and public health impacts.”

You don't need to change the world; you need to change yourself. ~ Miguel Ruiz 12

NY Capital District




esearchers from the University of São Paulo Medical School, in Brazil, have found high levels of tinnitus, a ringing or buzzing in the ear, and hearing loss in adolescents that use ear bud speakers. They examined the hearing of 170 students between the ages of 11 and 17 and asked them about their experiences with tinnitus in the previous year. More than half of the respondents had experienced the condition. The principal investigator for the study, Tanit Ganz Sanchez, an associate professor of otolaryngology at the medical school, notes that the prevalence of tinnitus among adolescents should be viewed as an early warning of a serious hearing loss risk. She says, “If this teenage generation continues to expose themselves to very high noise levels, they’ll probably suffer from hearing loss by the time they’re 30 or 40.”

Sunlight Reduces the Risk of Pancreatic Cancer


Claudia Paulussen/

Teens Hooked on Ear Buds Prone to Tinnitus

esearchers from the University of California (UC) School of Medicine at San Diego have determined that regions with greater exposure to ultraviolet (UV)-B radiation from the sun and reduced cloud cover have significantly lower incidence of pancreatic cancer. In an analysis of global rates of the disease, the research, published in the Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, demonstrated that areas with more sunshine had only one-sixth of the pancreatic cancer rates of areas with less sunshine. The farther from the equator, the less is the exposure to UV-B radiation, leading to less body production of vitamin D. Study author Cedric F. Garland, doctor of public health, a UC professor and member of the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center, says, “If you’re living at a high latitude or in a place with a lot of heavy cloud cover, you can’t make vitamin D most of the year, which results in a higher-than-normal risk of getting pancreatic cancer.” According to World Cancer Research Fund International, 338,000 new cases of pancreatic cancer are diagnosed annually, and it is the seventh most lethal form of cancer.

Potatoes Don’t Pack on Pounds


esearch from scientists at the University of California, Davis has mashed the notion that potatoes cause weight gain. The researchers tested 90 overweight people divided into three groups, with all of them eating five to seven servings of potatoes each week over a three-month period. Two groups reduced their calorie intake by 500 calories per day, with one group eating low-glycemic index (GI) foods and the other group eating high-GI foods. The third group had no calorie restrictions. Despite the increased potato consumption during the study period, all three groups showed slight weight loss and reduced body mass index. The researchers concluded, “Potato intake did not cause weight gain.”

Did you know that we are all constantly exposed to

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They are everywhere – in our air, our water, and the food we eat. Removal of these metals is important to optimizing good health.

Save $50 on metal testing with the mention of this ad

Andrew Garner, MD

Board Certified in Chelation Therapy since 2001

Call 518.798.9401 for a consultation to learn if chelation therapy might be right for you! learn more on our website These sTaTemenTs have noT been approved by The Fda.

natural awakenings

December 2016



Reducing Food Waste The Arts Relieve Holiday I Stress

t’s time to step up to the plate—but not waste what’s on it. The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) reports that about 40 percent of all food in the United States goes uneaten. Each year, we are throwing away the equivalent of $165 billion in discarded food, making it the single largest component of solid waste in America’s landfills and costing the average family of four between $1,350 and $2,275 annually. About two-thirds of household waste consists of spoiled food that’s not used in time; the rest is caused by people cooking or serving too much food. Learn easy steps to reduce food waste via the NRDC free online fact sheet at StopFoodWaste. ~ADVERTORIAL~


he hustle and bustle of the holiday season can leave us stressed, fatigued and even anxious or depressed. But according to studies sponsored by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology’s Nord-Trøndelag Health Study, there are many artful ways to relieve these conditions: Painting, dancing, playing a musical instrument or even attending a theater performance or concert may help us feel better, healthier and more upbeat. The researchers worked with more than 50,000 participants, using questionnaires, interviews, clinical examinations, and blood and urine samples to assemble detailed health profiles. The data was controlled for chronic illness, social relations, smoking and alcohol. What most surprised the researchers was that the study findings held true regardless of socioeconomic status; whether a truck driver or bank president, participating in the arts had a positive effect on the individual’s sense of health and well-being.

Today you are you. That is truer than true. There is no one alive who is you-er than you! ~Dr. Seuss 14

NY Capital District


Ionic Foot Bath for Environmental Toxins

etoxifying our body can result in restored vitality, increased mental clarity, clear skin, a stronger immune system, and looking and feeling healthier. Mounting evidence indicates that pollution or the air, water and land with toxins is slowly Before ion cleanse (left) destroying our bodies. Pollution also and after a 30-minute treatment (right) includes noise, light and even the electromagnetic spectrum. Ionic therapy for detoxification is safe, effective treatment that allows the body to heal the natural way. The adverse effects of ozone pollution alone include respiratory disease, cardiovascular disease, throat inflammation, chest pain and congestion. Chemicals are an ever-present part of our lives; we treat illnesses, paint our houses and even clothe ourselves with products that have been developed through chemical research and may contain toxins that are not regulated for safety. A toxin is simply a poison that can affect the body by internal or external means. It can be a chemical which occurs naturally or in synthetic form. More than 120,000 manmade chemicals have been introduced into the environment in one form or another, and this number continues to grow each year at a phenomenal rate. At the same time, microbial toxins influenced by the vast number of chemicals are mutating faster that we keep up. Each category of microbes produces species that generate toxins in host cells in the body, and studies are establishing links between the accumulation of toxins in our tissues and the development of chronic disease. Dr. Terry Dhanjal-Garcha, located at 56 Clifton Country Rd. Ste. 104, in Clifton Park, is a board-certified chiropractor with more than 20 years of medical experience. She is offering an extra treatment with the purchase of five for Natural Awakenings readers for a limited time. For appointments, call 518357-3262. See ad, page 39.


Detox Package $49 EXPIRATION: 12/31/16

News and resources to inspire concerned citizens to work together in building a healthier, stronger society that benefits all.

Ocean Watch

Sea Mammals Update alekss-sp/

2016 was a mixed year for whales and dolphins and by extension, humans. Marine Biologist Sylvia Earle states the importance of ocean health this way: “With every drop of water you drink, every breath you take, you’re connected to the sea. The ocean is the blue heart of the planet. There’s still time, but not a lot, to turn things around.” Scientists have discovered a new, black-colored species of whale that’s onethird the size of a Baird’s beaked whale. Yet to be named, it’s rarely seen, feeding in deep canyons in the Bering Sea. The oldest-known orca whale, Granny, at 105, swims Washington’s coastline. Wild orcas usually live 60 to 80 years; captives, 40 years at most. Iceberg, the only known adult white orca, age 22, was spotted in Russian coastal waters earlier this year. In 2013, a Korean marine park retrained five dolphins to feed naturally and released them into the sea, where they rejoined their original pod. Recent sightings found them thriving, affording hope for the 2,900 dolphins in marine parks, aquariums and zoos worldwide. Pink dolphins in Hong Kong’s bustling harbor remain endangered. In 2003, there were 158; by 2014, only 61. The Baiji River dolphin, only found in China, has been declared extinct. Vaquitas, small porpoises in the Gulf of California, declined from 97 in 2014 to 60 this year, most drowned in commercial fishing nets; it may be extinct by 2018.

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The 2016 annual Audubon Great Backyard Bird Count in February (Audubon. org/content/2014-great-backyard-birdcount-summary) and a report compiled by the North American Bird Conservation Initiative ( show that more than a third of all North American bird species are at risk of becoming extinct unless significant action is taken, especially ocean and tropical birds. The governments of Canada, the United States and Mexico created the North American Bird Conservation Initiative in 1999. More than half the species that rely on oceans and tropical forests are on a special watch list because of small and declining populations, limited ranges and severe threats to their habitats. The report pinpoints invasive predators such as rats and cats on nesting islands, as well as overfishing, pollution and climate change. Ways to address the problem include removing predators, expanding protected marine areas and reducing the amount of plastic products that end up in the ocean and can trap or choke birds. Many species such as long-distance migratory shore birds in coastal, grassland and arid habitats are declining steeply. The main causes are rising sea levels, coastal development, encroaching human activity and oil spills. natural awakenings

December 2016


globalbriefs Good Move

Chinese officials have announced dietary guidelines designed to reduce the country’s meat consumption by 50 percent. The campaign includes a series of billboards and advertisements featuring American celebrities Arnold Schwarzenegger and James Cameron. “China’s move to cut meat consumption in half would not only have a huge impact on public health, it is also a massive leadership step towards drastically reducing carbon emissions and reaching the goals set out in the Paris agreement,” says Cameron.

Somchai Som/


Greening Planet

Satellites Reveal Unexpected Plant Growth

The study Greening of the Earth and its Drivers, published by an international team in the journal Nature Climate Change, shows significant greening of a quarter to one-half of the Earth’s vegetated lands based on satellite data from the past 33 years. This represents an increase in leaves on plants and trees that produce sugars using sunlight energy to mix atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) with water and nutrients from the soil. These sugars are the source of food, fiber and fuel for life on Earth. More sugars are produced when there is more of this greenhouse gas in the air in a process called CO2 fertilization. About 85 percent of the Earth’s land is free of ice and covered by vegetation, currently encompassing 32 percent of the planet’s total surface area. Lead author Dr. Zaichun Zhu, a researcher from Peking University, in China, states, “The greening over the past 33 years reported in this study is equivalent to adding a green continent about two times the size of mainland USA, and has the ability to fundamentally change the cycling of water and carbon in the climate system.” The effect may serve as a carbon sink to help counter climate change.

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Source: Boston University


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Officials Urge Chinese to Cut Meat Consumption

Extinction Scenario

Humans an Endangered Species The UK-based nonprofit Global Challenges Foundation’s annual report on global catastrophic risk ( GlobalExtinctionReport) has found that the risk of human extinction is higher than we might expect. The Stern Review (, the British premier government report on the economics of climate change, estimates a 0.1 percent risk of human extinction every year. “We don’t expect any of the events that we describe to happen in any specific 10-year period. They might—but on balance, they probably won’t,” says Sebastian Farquhar, director of the Global Priorities Project. United Nations-approved climate models estimate that temperatures might rise six to 10 degrees Celsius, which pushes the probability of extinction beyond 3 percent, even with a considerable decrease in carbon emissions. Nuclear war, natural disasters such as volcanic eruptions, genetic engineering gone awry and pandemic plagues figure in too, but the biggest threat might be the ever-increasing human population. According to a paper published in the journal Nature by Elizabeth Hadly, a professor of environmental biology at Stanford University, such growth has followed the trajectory of a typical invasive species and suggests there may be a looming global population downturn. Still, humans are capable of exponentially growing their population several times over through the invention of new technologies and cultural shifts, regardless of Earth’s natural carrying capacity.



Eco-Toy Story

Safe, Fun Gifts for Kids During the holiday gift buying season, it’s good to recall the days of old-fashioned toys. Simple, wooden toys made with non-toxic paints are far safer than those sprayed with varnishes and paints containing lead and volatile organic compounds. Plastics can emit unhealthy chemicals used during manufacturing, which also produces environmental pollution. Pieces can break off, possibly injuring soft skin, or be consumed by toddlers with dangerous results. A recent report by Environment California, a research and policy center, found that products designed for babies and young children, such as soft plastic teethers, bath accessories and others, contain phthalates. Many toys require batteries containing heavy metals like mercury and cadmium. recommends eco-conscious makers of toys available at, including organic cotton stuffed animals; BabyBunz. com, featuring sustainably harvested cherry wood rattles and organic Egyptian cotton animals; and, with play meal cookware and serving pieces made from bioplastic, consisting of a corn and starch resin. Here are other factors to consider. Educational toys can “enhance language, conceptual understanding

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ian toys available at Barnes & Noble and BarnesAndNoble. com. sells wood puzzles, solar-powered robots and board games from the Golden Gate National Park Conservancy. The Discovery Channel Store has safe toys and books for kids. Follow age guidelines in choosing gifts, advises Steve Pasierb, president and CEO of the Toy Industry Association. “Age-grading has nothing to do with how smart a child is—it’s based on the developmental skills and abilities at a given age and the specific features of a toy.” Practice conservation while saving money by canvassing thrift and consignment shops for classic card and board games.

and numerical and spatial cognition,” according to a study in the journal Mind, Brain and Education. Six-to-8year-olds can gain an appreciation for archaeology playing with Smithson-

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Heal Adrenal Fatigue

NATURALLY Practical Ways to Regain Vitality


by Linda Sechrist

atigue due to physical or mental exertion is common in those beleaguered by stress, poor eating habits and insomnia, struggling to balance the needs of family and career and too often using caffeine and other stimulants to artificially rebound energy. James L. Wilson, Ph.D., a doctor of chiropractic and naturopathy, educates medical professionals about an even more serious health issue he identifies as “adrenal fatigue”; it’s characterized by below-optimal adrenal function induced by an overload of such stressors. Our two walnut-sized adrenal glands, one atop each kidney, produce vital hormones that help control heart rate, blood pressure, digestion and many other functions, including how the body deals with stress.

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Identifying the Core Issue

In his book, Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome, Wilson sheds light on the scope of the problem. “The fact that adrenal fatigue is unrecognized by conventional medicine has left millions of people suffering from an untreated problem that interferes with their ability to function normally and capacity to enjoy life. For those whose adrenal glands are ‘running on empty’, even something as basic as happiness seems almost out of reach,” comments Wilson, who resides in Tucson, Arizona. Individuals suffering from adrenal fatigue are most concerned about their low moods, energy, mental acuity and libido, for which conventional medicine typically prescribes antidepressant and anti-anxiety drugs. These medications do nothing to revive adrenal functioning. This faulty condition also affects weight gain and a propensity toward the development of some diseases, including fibromyalgia. “Your resiliency, energy, endurance and very life depend on the proper functioning of the adrenals,” Wilson says. We’ve inherited our sympathetic nervous system and its natural awakenings

December 2016


stress response of fight-or-flight from our prehistoric ancestors. It hasn’t evolved to differentiate between an acute threat to survival and the chronic threats from looming deadlines, financial pressures and other modern-day worries. “The adrenal stress response to physical danger or any perceived psychological threat is identical—the release of norepinephrine and epinephrine responsible for cascading physiological reactions,” explains Dr. Vijay Jain, who treats fatigue from an integrative perspective at his Mind Body Wellness Center, in Palm Coast, Florida.

Suggested Treatments

Adrenal fatigue is mainly a self-induced health problem that doesn’t just appear. It results from an accumulation of ongoing choices that we can change. Jain applies ayurvedic principles to reestablish balance in the body’s three prominent mind-body types that influence personal well-being. These are known as vata, pitta and kapha. For people primarily characterized by vata and pitta typology, fatigue is the result of being overactive and burning the candle at both ends. For those with kapha constitutions, fatigue is the outcome of a sedentary lifestyle with insufficient movement and eating the wrong foods for them. He further recommends getting more sleep with regular bedtimes, practices such as yoga nidra meditation, pranayama (yogic breathing) and a slower-paced yoga practice with longerheld meditative poses, as well as massage and a diet designed to restore our biological energies, or doshas, to a balanced state. “Depending on a patient’s constitution I advise some to slow

down and burn 50 percent less of their candle, while I tell others to increase their physical activity and improve their diet.” Jain also recommends a type of ayurvedic purification and detoxification treatment that involves a series of five therapies including massage and herbal treatments. Performed in sequence, these allow the body and mind to drop into a state of peacefulness. Acupuncture treatments are also helpful, along with a regimen of adaptogenic herbs such as ginseng, schisandra and ashwagandha, according to Jain. In Happy Healthy Thyroid: The Essential Steps to Healing Naturally, author Andrea Beaman writes about how she recovered naturally from adrenal fatigue. To restore energy and vitality to the body, she further recommends the healing practices of hatha yoga, qigong and tai chi. “These modalities build energy, whereas power yoga, and cardiovascular exercises drain energy in fatigued individuals,” advises Beaman. She notes that it can take six months to two years to restore desired energy levels. Beaman counsels individuals with behavioral characteristics that make it more challenging to burn less of their candle. She grabs their attention with the critical nature of their situation. “‘You are in and out of life in a blink. If you’re exhausted at age 48, how are you going to live a vibrant, happy and exuberant life right up to the finish line?’ That generally works,” she says. Linda Sechrist is a senior staff writer for Natural Awakenings. Connect at

More Tips to Beat Fatigue by Linda Sechrist


he earliest signs of adrenal fatigue are low energy and the need for several strong shots of caffeine to kick-start the morning or get through an afternoon slump. If these symptoms arise, take steps to begin nourishing, restoring and de-stressing the adrenal glands. Eliminate stressors. Reevaluate daily schedules to make room for a regular session of yoga, meditation, tai chi or qigong. Establish a regular sleeping schedule aligned with the body’s natural cycle. Slipping between the sheets no later than 10 p.m. can mean better and deeper rest. Make dietary changes, starting with 40 grams of protein each morning. Limit the intake of stimulants, including caffeine. Eliminate sugar and processed grains. Add adaptogenic herbs and organic coconut and olive oils to dishes and food preparation. Eat nutritious foods such as greens and brightly colored vegetables. As a result, blood sugar and insulin levels will take fewer rollercoaster rides, easing the work of the adrenals. Refrain from over-exercising. Excessive cardio or endurance training is hard on the adrenals, so substitute more relaxing forms of exercise. Practice calming mindfulness and deep, controlled, diaphragmatic breathing.


NY Capital District

Collaborative Cutting-Edge Medicine by Linda Sechrist


ocating the proverbial needle in a haystack today might just be easier than finding a medical doctor, doctor of chiropractic medicine and a thermographic specialist that collaborate for the overall good of the patient. Fortunately, individuals in the Albany area don’t have to waste time or energy looking for this unique and collaborative effort that is destined to become the future of integrative functional medicine, because it already exists. Pioneers of a path to restoring health, as well as a plan for weighing and measuring the progress of prevention and wellness to maintain it, Stuart Erner, M.D., founder of Capital Region Progressive Medicine and Longevity Practice, Dr. Joseph S. Gulyas, DC, founder of Northeast Spine and Wellness, and Dr. Muhammad Jamil, founder of Thermal Eyez offer medical practices and protocols that complement each other. As “brothers in medicine”, as they call it, the three men prefer their similar perspective on an optimal wellness model of integrative and functional medicine over the conventional medicine model, which is focused on sickness and disease. Using complementary medical protocols, good nutrition and supplementation as the basis of health care, Erner and Gulyas offer patients opportunities to polish their priceless pearl of good health on a regular basis. Erner, who has been in practice for 37 years, doesn’t write many prescriptions. “I prescribe medications only when necessary,” says Erner, whose practice has been growing consistently since 2000 when he began focusing on lifestyle medicine that begins with in-depth, 90-minute to two-hour-long initial consultation. “Since I’ve been applying what I learned from studying integrative and functional medicine, as well as anti-aging medicine and environmental medicine, my practice has become patient-focused, which is why I talk with the patient about their entire medical and personal history. This in-depth conversation reveals the clues and insights I

(L to R) Stuart Erner, Joseph S. Gulyas and Muhammad Jamil need to begin resolving their health challenges,” he advises. A mutual patient introduced Erner and Gulyas. “One of my longtime patients was seeing Dr. Gulyas for a back problem. He thought that Joe and I would hit it off since we had similar holistic ideas about healthcare. He was right. When we met, I discovered that Joe was looking to rent secondary office space closer to Albany. I had space available to sublease. As we came to know each other better, we began referring patients and working together as a team. We now share a number of patients,” explains Erner. “When I’m performing a spinal alignment in my Clifton Park office and I know that my patient can benefit from Dr. Erner’s medical expertise, I refer them to him. The two or three days a week when I’m in my Albany office, I can simply walk my patients over to him so that we can get his opinion on their particular health challenges. Subleasing office space in Dr. Erner’s location has proved beneficial to all the patients that we share,” advises Gulyas. Throughout his 29 years of

experience in practicing chiropractic and holistic healthcare, Gulyas has found that the biggest challenge for individuals that want to use lifestyle medicine is their lack of knowledge about the right complementary methodologies, supplementation, diet and body cleansing to apply for their specific need. “The other problem they encounter is looking for a knowledgeable medical professional who knows about integrative medicine and what supplements or herbs can be taken with their prescriptions. Regarding trauma and emergency care, no one has any questions, because in this area we have medical centers and hospitals. Our conventional medical system really needs to do better for individuals with chronic health problems, as well as those who want to achieve optimal health,” explains Gulyas, who feels a great sense of personal reward in spending quality time with patients. Erner and Gulyas agree that a nutritional supplement used in appropriate dosages and time intervals may act similarly to pharmaceutical agents, and that any physiological changes can take a period of weeks or months. “On follow-up visits, patients often bring me a bag of 20 to 40 different supplements and herbs that they are taking. In the majority of cases, I reduce 50 to 80 percent of their supplements because they don’t need them. Also, a lot of ingredients are replicated in the variety they are consuming. I always smile when patients tell me, ‘Hey doc, you’re saving me money,’” notes Erner. Keeping track of inflammation, the root cause of all illness in the body, is essential to keeping a patient healthy, as well as tracking their healing process. Erner and Gulyas rely on Jamil’s thermal imaging, which shows areas of blood flow, heat emission and circulatory quality on both sides of the body. By utilizing thermal imaging, more information becomes available to assist physicians, chiropractors and therapists in the treatment of chronic pain-related problems and heart disease. Also, early detection of

natural awakenings

December 2016


arthritis can allow doctors to address and prevent the root cause of joint damage, deformity and disability that often arise as a result of the condition. In short, thermal imaging is a great tool to help improve health and wellness. Erner and Gulyas are passionate about the example they are setting. Pioneers who are creating a healthy legacy for their communities, they emphasize that integrative and functional medicine doesn’t mean individuals have to live a pure lifestyle. Both agree that they need to eat a little cleaner, which translates into eating more organic and whole foods rather than processed and sugary foods and drinks. They also advise that the body needs exercise to keep joints lubricated and to improve the cardiovascular system. More sleep and less stress also make a measurable difference. “The problems in health care are going faster than individuals are learning about the alternatives to conventional medical care. While there are doctors such as Dr. Mark Hyman and Dr. Andrew Weil, who are nationally known for the type of medicine that we are practicing, what they are doing hasn’t trickled down fast enough to the local level, so we are taking the lead for the benefit of our patients metabolic health,” concur Erner and Gulyas. Capital Region Progressive Medicine and Longevity Practice, PLLC, 1873 Western Ave, Ste. 101, Albany. For more information call 518-452-4910 or visit See ad, page 10. Northeast Spine and Wellness, 1873 Western Ave., Ste. 101, Albany; 1741 U.S. 9, Clifton Park. For more information call 518-371-4800 or visit See ad, page 26. Linda Sechrist is the senior staff writer for Natural Awakenings. Connect with her at

A flower cannot blossom without sunshine, and man cannot live without love. ~Max Müller


NY Capital District

Salt Air in the City Salt Rooms Soothe Allergies and Skin Conditions


by Avery Mack

ccording to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, as many as 50 million Americans are affected by seasonal or year-round nasal allergies. Additionally, 56 million suffer from eczema, psoriasis or rosacea. Prescriptions and over-the-counter drugs may help, but aren’t a cure. Salt therapy can be a gentler, all-natural solution for easing associated symptoms. While eating too much salt is bad for the body, breathing it is a healthy activity. The Greek word for salt is halos, and halotherapy provides a welcome alternative to conventional pills, sprays and injections. In the mid-1800s, after salt mine workers in Poland were found to have a low rate of respiratory illness, the Wieliczka Salt Mine Health Spa was established on the site of a mine to treat clinic patients for asthma and allergies. That pioneering facility is still in operation. “In the beginning, I think salt therapy was seen as a time-consuming novelty. Now, holistically minded people are more supportive,” says Clay Juracsik, owner of the St. Louis Salt Room, in Maplewood, Missouri. The room’s walls are covered in salt, with blocks of backlit Himalayan pink salt at floor level. Clients wear disposable booties to walk through

inches-deep, loose, mineral-rich Dead Sea salt to reclining chairs. The lights dim, soft music plays and salt, rich in negative ions, infuses the air for a 45-minute session. “We have a second, smaller room where the walls and floor are not salted, so a child and parent can move around or play without disturbing others. Our youngest client was 2 weeks old,” says Juracsik. With the help of specially designed machines and software, microscopic salt particles one to five microns in size are circulated through the air to be deeply inhaled. As a natural anti-inflammatory agent, salt helps reduce swelling of throat tissues and nasal passages, making breathing easier for individuals suffering from such respiratory ailments as allergies, asthma, bronchitis and sinusitis. “True halotherapy is based on using 99 percent pure sodium chloride in the halogenerator,” says Leo Tonkin, co-founder of the Salt Therapy Association, in Boca Raton, Florida. “Dead Sea, Himalayan or other salts can be used as décor.” “My husband, Gary, had three sinus surgeries before he discovered a salt room during a trip to London and had a eureka moment,” relates Ellen

Patrick, owner of four Breathe Easy salt rooms in New York City and nearby Westchester County. “A client’s 4-year-old son tells Mom when he needs a treatment to ‘make his nose work better,’” reports Lisa Cobb, owner of Luxury on Lovers, in Dallas, Texas. “He uses a salt bed similar in style to a tanning bed and large enough for his mother to be with him for a 20-minute treatment. Pilots and flight attendants like salt rooms to counteract the recirculated air on planes. Athletes use them to increase lung capacity. A treatment works like a visit to the ocean.” A recent pilot study conducted at The Salt Room, in Orlando, Florida, and published in the International Journal of Respiratory and Pulmonary Medicine, concluded, “Halotherpy is associated with improvement in symptoms of sinus disease in cystic fibrosis and should be explored as an adjunct treatment.” Salt’s anti-inflammatory, antifungal and antibacterial properties may also reduce skin swelling and itchiness, and even acne, without drying the skin. Increased lung capacity aids blood circulation, which also helps improve skin health. Salt room operators note that frequent treatments are needed during early stages of therapy or during acute outbreaks of conditions, but can be reduced to a maintenance level over time. Juracsik remarks, “The best success I’ve seen is with respiratory ailments like bronchitis and pneumonia. We don’t need a new, fancy pill for every illness. Salt is historically proven to be a natural and effective way to improve respiratory health.” Options go beyond basic treatments. “Meditating in the salt room allows double relaxation,” comments Patrick. “Salty yoga is one of my favorite therapies because clients can exercise and breathe easier at the same time. Another option comprises a sound bath, during which crystal bowl music creates a vibration similar to piano notes to quiet and focus the mind during a salt session.” Salt treatments can be experienced regularly, seasonally or as needed. For those free of respiratory issues, a salt room visit provides a refreshing way to relax, sit, chill and breathe. Patrick views it as a form of stress management to increase well-being.

New Capital Region Salt Den


he Salt Den is opening this month at 654 Watervliet Shaker Road., in Latham, as Albany’s premiere salt cave helping infants to senior citizens to relax and breathe easier through halotherapy (salt therapy). “The business will offer clients a holistic alternative to complement current medical treatments to increase total well-being,” says owner Robert Duff, who is a U.S. veteran. Additional services to assist clients with pain management and detoxification will be completed through infrared sauna, red light therapy and massage therapies. The Salt Den has won the Veterans in Economic Transition Robert Duff Conference (VETCON) business plan competition, judged by a panel of local veteran-owned businesses. Networking with several state agencies and fellow veterans, Duff says, “It was a very rewarding experience.” Natural Awakenings readers receive $5 off any first-time service using code NA-Salt. For more information, visit Tinyurl. com/TheSaltDenLatham.

Connect with the freelance writer via AveryMack@

natural awakenings

December 2016


medical system and got nothing,” says Mills. With functional medicine, “In a very short time, they had me feeling nearly 100 percent.”

Distinctive Characteristics

The Rise of Functional Medicine New Paradigm Gets to the Root Cause of Disease by Lisa Marshall


y the end of 2014, Trina Mills, of Parker, Arizona, had given up on conventional medicine. She’d been diagnosed with a thyroid disorder 17 years earlier and taken medication ever since without feeling her symptoms of fatigue, muscle aches and stomach problems ever fully subside. She’d visited endocrinologists, gastroenterologists and a half-dozen other specialists, each of which offered a different diagnosis and prescribed a different drug. At one point, she had her gallbladder removed. At another, her doctor suspected she had bleeding in her brain and sent her for a computerized axial tomography (CAT) scan. Some thought she was a hypochondriac; others said she was depressed. “I would tell them, ‘I’m just depressed that you can’t figure out why I’m so sick,’” she says.


NY Capital District

Weighing a skeletal 82 pounds, the 54-year-old mother of three finally wrote out a living will and braced for the inevitable. Then she heard of a new Center for Functional Medicine opening at the prestigious, century-old Cleveland Clinic. As the first clinic of its kind to open at an academic medical center, it promised to look at the underlying causes of disease, while focusing on the whole person, rather than isolated symptoms. Intrigued, Mills caught a flight to Ohio and soon was offering up 30 tubes of blood, stool and saliva samples, as well as an exhaustive life history. One year later, thanks to a series of personalized diet and lifestyle changes, she’s 10 pounds heavier and feels better than she has in decades. “I spent a lot of years and money in the traditional

In the 25 years since nutritional biochemist Jeffrey Bland, Ph.D., of Gig Harbor, Washington, coined the term, this science-based, whole-body approach to addressing chronic disease has gained widespread traction. More than 100,000 physicians—60 percent of them medical doctors—have trained with the Institute for Functional Medicine he founded in Washington and New Mexico, and numerous medical schools have added its tenets to their curricula. More naturopaths and chiropractors are also distinguishing themselves with a functional medicine emphasis. “It is not alternative medicine at all,” stresses Bland, whose latest book, The Disease Delusion, details how functional medicine can curb chronic diseases like arthritis, diabetes, dementia, and heart disease, which constitute 78 percent of U.S. health care costs. “It’s the basis of 21st-century health care,” he says. For most of the 20th century, conventional medicine centered on a singular objective: Arrive at a diagnosis and treat it with drugs or surgery. Then, the alternative medicine movement proffered a toolbox of more natural therapies, including acupuncture, herbs and massage to address these same diagnoses. The 1990s brought integrative medicine, a best-of-both-worlds approach. “While all of the above have merit, they lack the necessary guidance to help practitioners determine which tools work best for which patient,” says Dr. Mark Hyman, director of the Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Functional Medicine. “Alternative therapies and conventional treatments are tools. We need a new map that can teach us how to skillfully use those tools,” maintains Hyman. “That map is functional medicine.” Because one chronic disease such as diabetes can have dozens of underlying causes, or one culprit such as a genetic predisposition or exposure to toxins can lead to multiple chronic conditions, functional medicine focuses on systems, rather than organs, and origins, rather than diseases. “It’s about listening

to the patient’s story in a different way, where the objective is not simply about arriving at a diagnosis,” explains Bland.

Ferreting Out Key Clues

Key to discovering the underlying origins of a health issue are a host of new gene, blood and gut health tests. “They allow us to look under the patient’s ‘metabolic hood’ at the genetic and biochemical factors influencing health,” says Naturopathic Doctor Kara Fitzgerald, who heads up a functional medicine clinic in Newtown, Connecticut. For instance, certain genes influence how a person burns and stores fat. Depending on which variant a patient has, based on a genetic test, they might be guided toward a higheror lower-fat diet. Those genetically prone to difficulty in metabolizing the amino acid homocysteine (an excess of which can raise the risk of heart disease) might be advised to take folic acid supplements. If a patient displays intractable gut problems, rather than simply look for blood or pathogens in the stool, Fitzgerald also looks at the DNA of their gut microbiome, mapping out which strains of good bacteria are present or absent and prescribing prebiotics, probiotics or whole foods to promote a healthful balance. For another patient with thinning hair and aching joints, she might use specialized blood tests to look for micronutrient deficiencies, signs of allergies or certain autoantibodies—proteins produced by the immune system that mistakenly attack one’s own tissues—

that might herald a brewing autoimmune disorder. “Research shows that predictive autoantibodies can show up in the blood 10 or even 20 years before an autoimmune disease such as Type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis or rheumatoid arthritis makes itself known,” says Fitzgerald, pointing to a seminal review published in 2007 in Scientific American: “If a patient with mild, early-stage symptoms is proactive with diet and lifestyle changes, they may be able to fend it off.” High-tech tests aside, Bland stresses that what’s most important is “a tool that has been largely lost in medicine today: Knowing how to listen to the patient.” In a typical exam, Fitzgerald thoroughly inspects often neglected body parts, including the tongue and fingernails, which can hold important clues to underlying health. She asks about past emotional trauma which might trigger chronic disease, and inquires about what environmental toxins and harmful chemicals both the patient and their birth parents may have been exposed to. One example might be a patient exposed to cigarette smoking in utero having a bias toward an allergic disease. If their parents grew up in a period of famine, they might have inherited a genetic disposition for rapid weight gain. “She spent two-and-a-half hours with me,” in her initial consultation, recalls 52-year-old Lauren Zambrelli, of Long Island, New York, who credits Fitzgerald for helping her tame her multiple sclerosis into remission. “It was like having a sister for a doctor.”

Lobby for Change To lobby for consistent insurance coverage of more complementary therapies, check out these resources. CoverMyCare ( This national grassroots advocacy campaign, a project of the Integrative Healthcare Policy Consortium, aims to support the proper full implementation of Section 2706 of the Affordable Care Act, which states that insurers cannot leave licensed practitioners like naturopaths, chiropractors, massage therapists or Oriental medicine practitioners out of their provider networks. It still lacks enforcement at the state level, although Oregon and Rhode Island recently passed legislation to fix the existing loophole; California, Hawaii, Minnesota and New Mexico are working to do the same. American Sustainable Business Council ( Reimbursement). The organization recently launched a campaign to urge insurers to cover integrative practices.

DIY Testing W

hile most practitioners recommend that patients consult with a physician to interpret their test results, several companies offer gene, blood and microbiome lab testing directly to consumers. Here are a few options to consider. uBiome, Inc. ( Send in swab samples from gut, mouth, nose, genitals and/or skin and the company will genetically sequence the DNA of resident bacteria and send findings back within six weeks, identifying good and bad varieties present, deficiencies, and how that personal microbiome compares to others with similar lifestyles, such as smokers, vegans, meat-eaters, etc. It’s also possible to test a client’s microbiome over time to see if dietary changes implemented to change gut health are working. WellnessFX ( Visit an affiliated diagnostic lab to submit blood samples with results posted within a week on a secure website. Different packages targeting weight loss, sports performance, heart health or women’s health issues look at different biomarkers in the blood, such as levels of certain micronutrients, hormones or signs of inflammation. Clients can request an online consultation with a doctor or dietitian to interpret the results. Pathway Genomics (Pathway. com): The company’s DNA Insight Genetic Health and Wellness Tests use genetic material taken from saliva to analyze genetic markers. Ordered via a licensed practitioner, online or through a smartphone app, clients receive a kit, send in a sample and get results within three weeks. The Pathway Fit tests snapshot 75 genetic markers related to metabolism and sports performance. Others look for genes that influence nutrient absorption, heart health or hormonal function.

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December 2016


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Functional medicine doctors don’t shy away from prescription drugs when necessary, but they do lean decidedly toward the lower-tech modalities, using dietary supplements, allergen-free diets, exercise, mind-body practices and toxin avoidance as their primary tools. “We basically take out the bad stuff from the body and put in the good stuff,” says Hyman. Maintaining good health is priceless, but without conventional insurance coverage, it can be expensive. While Mills’ doctor visits were covered by insurance (which is rare), she spends roughly $1,000 a month on supplements to address her diagnosed leaky gut syndrome, nutrient deficiencies and mercury poisoning. Zambrelli has paid thousands out of her own pocket, too. Some people worry that, like most conventional physicians, some functional medicine practitioners place too much emphasis on expensive tests and too little on the most crucial and affordable remedy—self-care. “Functional medicine as a concept is an important step forward,” says integrative medicine pioneer Dr. James Gordon, founder of

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the Center for Mind-Body Medicine, in Washington, D.C., and San Francisco. “However, some practitioners do a lot of tests and prescribe a lot of supplements and work on cleaning out the gut, but neglect the psychological, spiritual and social issues. That concerns me.” Bland and Hyman concede that some practitioners over-test, but say that will fade over time as they learn to better discriminate which ones are useful for specific patients. Several efforts also are underway to get more functional medicine providers and the acupuncturists, massage therapists and nutritionists they work with covered under the Affordable Care Act, which expressly emphasizes a need for more preventive medicine. Viewing the big picture, Bland believes that functional medicine is just what the country needs to save on exploding healthcare costs. Rather than spending dollars on extraordinary measures to save heart attack victims or diabetics in emergencies, we can prevent such dire situations by identifying underlying problems sooner and halting their progression. In the meantime, some patients are finding priceless relief. “Am I poorer right now? Yes,” says Mills. “Am I healthier? Way. It’s been so worth it.” Lisa Marshall is a freelance health writer in Boulder, CO, who specializes in health care. Connect at LisaAnn

Learn More Online Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine FunctionalMedicine Dr. Kara Fitzgerald’s blog Functional Forum Dr. Mark Hyman’s blog Institute for Functional Medicine


Dr. Anita Burock Stotts On the Future of Functional Medicine by Martin Miron


also emphasizes octors that prevention in a are both modern, practical science-based way. Functional and patient-centered medicine practitioners are the hallmark spend more time of functional with their patients medicine. Dr. Anita and develop truly Burock Stotts, the individualized owner of Healthy treatment plans. Endeavors Medicine, in Altamont, is one Why is it of few certified getting so functional medicine practitioners in the much attention Capital Region who recently? is also an allopathic Because our (traditional) medical conventional health doctor. She started care system is geared out practicing Anita Burock Stotts towards treating acute both primary injuries and illnesses. Chronic illness care and hospitalist medicine is becoming much more of a factor in prior to turning her attention to the health of patients in industrialized functional medicine. She received countries, and we desperately need a a medical degree from Medical paradigm that will effectively address College of Pennsylvania 1980 and these complex situations. Functional was certified by the Institute for medicine practitioners look closely Functional Medicine in 2014. at the interactions among genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors. The How do you define functional current epidemic of complex chronic medicine? illness will not be effectively addressed by the old system of making a diagnosis Functional medicine is a personalized, and prescribing pharmaceutical agents systems-oriented model that empowers or procedures. patients and practitioners to achieve the highest expression of health by What are some specific working in collaboration to address treatments that are unique to the underlying causes of disease. Functional medicine recognizes functional medicine? biochemical individuality and honors For irritable bowel syndrome or other the entire person: mind, body and spirit. digestive woes not well addressed by conventional medicine, a functional What role do you see medicine practitioner would use an functional medicine playing approach known as the “4R� program: in our current healthcare remove, replace, re-inoculate and options? repair. Importantly, the plan would be individualized to fit the needs of each Functional medicine expands the patient and would be flexible, so that toolbox available to help people if circumstances change, so does the achieve good health and to avoid treatment plan. disease. It is especially helpful in cases Patients with indications that of chronic illness not well served by they are at risk to develop full-blown conventional medicine alone, and diabetes would be advised of the natural awakenings

December 2016


importance of initiating treatment, including lifestyle, proper nutrition, exercise and possibly supplements in order to prevent or delay the onset of diabetes, recognizing that harm is already being done to the body, and also that the condition usually can be ameliorated or reversed.

Does it cost less for the consumer? Difficult to say; most functional medicine practitioners do not participate with health insurance, but on the other hand, how can we put a price on good health?

What is different about the care than traditional allopathic approaches? Essentially, the care is individualized; science-based, yet patient-centered. In functional medicine, we are not as concerned about naming the disease as in identifying and correcting imbalances, recognizing that the body-mind-spirit has the innate capacity to heal many health problems if we can remove or reduce the forces producing disease and support the processes promoting healing. We recognize the continuum between health and disease and the ability to move back toward health. We are willing to listen carefully and at length to patients and to collaborate with our patients.

Have you seen dramatic cures you did not expect? Yes, sometimes dramatic improvement, but more often a growing understanding and improvement in health over time. A functional medicine treatment plan can be demanding; much more than simply taking a pill.

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What are the specific limitations of functional medicine? Each practitioner of functional medicine should know her or his limits and should develop a network of other practitioners, conventional and integrative, to best serve patients. I don’t think there is a set of specific limitations.

What do see as the future of this discipline? There is a lot of work going on right now to help functional medicine practitioners develop financially viable businesses. This is important for several reasons: so that professionals already practicing functional medicine will continue to do so; so that conventional practitioners will consider adding functional medicine to their current practices; and so that practitioners in training will consider functional medicine as a career. I believe we sorely need this approach. I hope that we will see functional medicine in more academic centers, both as an offering to patients and as part of the curriculum for students. The collaboration between the Institute for Functional Medicine and the Cleveland Clinic is an important trial of just such a collaboration. Healthy Endeavors Medicine is located at 2592 Western Ave., Ste. 102, in Altamont. For more information, call 518-355-2060 or visit See ad, page 19.


artwork and decorated picture frames can engage kids in anticipating fun holidays with friends and family.


Non-Material Gifts


The Center for a New American Dream, a national nonprofit organization that challenges a “more is better” definition of the good life, suggests giving of oneself—providing gifts of time or experiences that will be long remembered.

Tips to Simplify the Season by Beth Davis

n Invite loved ones to an outing to the zoo, a sporting event or an indoor/outdoor picnic.


n Give a friend her dream, based on an expressed interest and careful research. Sign her up for a class in cooking, sewing, photography or dancing—classes abound in most cities.

is the season, and a U.S. poll by Harris Interactive revealed that a majority of the stress 90 percent of us feel about the holidays is related to gift-giving. So, solving this problem will set us well on our way to a joyeux noël. The same study found that given a choice, most of us prefer investing in good family relationships instead of more material things, anyway. Natural Awakenings has uncovered four ways that we can make the holidays less hectic and more relaxing and meaningful. First, says Barbara Kilikevich, author of A Mindful Christmas–How to Create a Meaningful, Peaceful Holiday, we have to stop buying into the notion that more is better and that extravagant, expensive gifts are equal to how much we care for one another. “We need to stop believing that doing it all is productive and having it all is meaningful.”

Get Crafty Homemade gifts are always special. They carry a message of thoughtfulness and love, which is the heart of gift-giving. Making a memorable gift can take

less time than we’d spend earning the money for a manufactured gift, driving to the store and back and coping with checkout lines. Ideas are endless; these may stimulate your creative juices. n Gather favorite family recipes and copy them into a personalized binder. n Mix jars of tasty combinations of loose teas and/or bulk herbs that might include lavender, chamomile or mint. Add a mesh tea strainer to complete the package.

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n Support the local art scene by giving tickets to a community theater or a museum membership.

Previously Enjoyed Gifts

n Attractive, reusable shopping bags, made from repurposed or recycled fabric, make practical gifts that can be used again and again. Sew on monograms or paint on designs to personalize them.

Not every gift needs to be brand-new. Browse vintage and antique shops, estate sales, auctions and consignment stores for amazing treasures. Keep an open mind or go hunting for that certain something for that special someone. Online sources such as, and can help locate garage, yard and estate sales in communities across the country. Look for items that are unusual or hold special significance.

n Fashioning painted pottery, custom

n A childhood reminder—perhaps a

n Edible items are always a hit. Consider making something yummy that can be given to everyone on the list. Herbed olive oil, spiced nuts and homemade jams are favorites.

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n Purchase a gift certificate for a local massage, acupuncture session or other soothing therapy as a way to unwind during or after the holiday season.

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favorite toy or comic book n Vintage jewelry n A silk scarf, unusual hat or fun bag

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n Classic books, movies and music n Unique housewares, from vases and candleholders to platters and teacups ( can help find missing pieces for sets)

For the Family For large families or families with grown children, it can be expensive and time-consuming shopping for a gift for every relative. Try one of these ideas to take the pressure off. n Instead of giving gifts to each member of a family or a couple, think in terms of a single gift for the household. n Draw names. Have everyone in the family put his or her name into a hat and ask each family member to draw one name, so that each person needs to buy only one or two gifts. n Set a limit. In his book, Hundred Dollar Holiday: The Case for a More Joyful Christmas, author Bill McKibben suggests that families limit the amount they spend and instead, make the holidays as much fun as possible, filled with song and food, creativity and connection. With a little planning and a lot of love and care, we can fill the whole holiday season with less stuff and more satisfying joy. Beth Davis is a contributing writer to Natural Awakenings magazines.

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randon Russ, perspective. “My favorite founder of Spirit part about running Spirit Tree Connections, Tree is when people find in Latham, shares that what they are looking for.” his creative healing He is also energy center is the enthusiastic about the Spirit culmination of his Tree team of practitioners own journey. “It’s and coaches. “We have comprised of so many so many wonderful different aspects of my people here, ranging own awakening,” he from an integrative says. “Spirit Tree is the medicine pediatrician to part of my path for my bereavement counselors,” own understanding says Russ, who is especially of the world around excited about the youth Brandon Russ me and development meditation group offered and use of my own gifts. We’re not at Spirit Tree. “This amazing group a wellness center, per se, we’re helps inspire these children’s own more of an ‘empowerment for the understanding of who they are. They journey’ center. One of our aims at get to reflect on all kinds of questions, Spirit Tree is to augment a concert including the all-important, ‘Why am I of care with integrated, creative and here?’” In addition to center meditation practical application. Here, we have offerings, Spirit Tree team members are created a space where people are working with several school districts encouraged to open their minds and to bring mindfulness classes and find their childlike joy in life again. workshops into the schools to teach We connect people with their passion both students and teachers the benefits to promote deeper roots and higher of meditation. consciousness.” Russ spent 15 years in corporate The center offers a wide recruiting and added skills such as variety of services, including intuitive intuitive counseling and recovery counseling, energy healing, reiki coaching. In his career worlds, he’s healing and training, medium readings, relied heavily on his intuition, and social media classes, mindful parenting was fascinated that his instinct was counseling and workshops, intuitive so reliable when it came to helping living classes, creativity workshops, others make important life choices. meditation and yoga, business He continues to utilize this naturalconsulting, wellness retreats and born talent in his business consulting creative life coaching, services, where he in addition to a fully focuses on a return on stocked crystal shop. energy versus return on “Most of all, we offer investment practices, an opportunity for you in addition to hosting to be the best version workshops on intuitive of yourself and find development and living. the passion in your His forthcoming book life,” says Russ, who Return on Energy, which adds that he loves that will be released in spring Spirit Tree is a place 2017, will focus on one where people feel safe of his biggest passions— to open up and view energy—and how to their lives from a fresh effectively manage the

energetic aspects of our personal and professional life. At least once a month at Spirit Tree, in addition to special events around the Capital District, Russ also offers Funny You Should Say That, a lighthearted message circle filled with stories that happen to him as a medium. “Of course, there are lots of messages for participants. This circle focuses on the energy of laughter and how it creates such a positive vibe, especially when dealing with the emotional baggage of those that have passed,” he says. “A lot of healing can happen when we’re able to reframe a situation and look at it from a more positive perspective.” Spirit Tree Connections is located at 987 Loudon Rd., in Latham. For more information, call 518-810-2427 or visit See ad, page 39. Erin Lehn Floresca is a frequent contributor to Natural Awakenings magazine.


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December 2016


A Gorgeously Greener Holiday Fresh Thinking About Décor by Avery Mack


ature’s holiday decorations can transcend cliché pine wreaths or farmed trees to make highly personalized indoor décor that supersedes traditional greenery. Yet mistletoe, holly leaves and berries, eucalyptus, poinsettias, tree needles, acorns and a cut tree’s water reservoir can be harmful to both pets and children. Here are some better choices.

The Tree

For smaller spaces or to make a statement, try grouping topiary trees of varying heights draped with solar

twinkle lights and small ornaments or fresh flowers to create a focal point in a bay window. “A lemon-lime cypress lends another burst of unexpected color on an entry hall table,” says freelance floral designer Janet Corrao, in Nutley, New Jersey. “It smells good, too.” Plants six inches tall work well. Corrao suggests setting the pots in colorful, inexpensive metal buckets from craft stores for added glamour. Unless deemed a hazard to active kids or pets, set up a mid-sized stepstool on a table or open a six-foot

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ladder in a corner and hang ornaments down the center space; add garlands and lights and set potted flowers and small gift boxes on the steps. Search “alternative Christmas trees” at Pinterest. com for more ideas. Another option uses hedge-like plants in lieu of a tree. Consider an English or Japanese boxwood plant or evergreen lilly pilly, and then trim to the desired size and shape. Plant it outdoors as weather and climate permit.

The Table

“While we were working on a photo shoot, the photographer decided to include a Christmas scene. I was able to add fresh greenery from the property to the red ornaments and white orchids that I’d brought along. It made a striking centerpiece running the entire length of the table,” says florist Angie Zimmerman, of Angie Zimmerman Designs, in El Dorado Hills, California. “For the fireplace mantel I used branches with red berries to add height on either side of the central mirror and then duplicated the centerpiece design between them.” A festive table can be dressed with appealing edibles. Use a bread wreath as a base and stud it with skewered basil leaves, cherry tomatoes and small balls of fresh mozzarella cheese for an easy, self-serve, Caprese appetizer. A colorful dish of balsamic dressing or another dip in the center, along with small plates and holiday napkins, completes the offering. For a sit-down dinner variant, place a few Caprese skewers in small, clear, glass vases along the table with individual finger bowls of dip. Flatleafed green parsley sprigs add another special touch. Zimmerman further suggests using deep-red Roma apples, cored, as candle holders. Make living place cards with small pots of herbs. Chalkboard paint identifies the plant and guest seating. Also consider colorful painted pots sporting a small cactus. Transform oranges into aromatic pomanders by scoring the rinds with a citrus stripper in a spiral, circle or other pattern. Use a small nail to make holes and stud the fruits with whole cloves. Adding seasonal greenery and sterilized pine cones makes a beautiful and

photo courtesy of Angie Zimmerman Designs

fragrant centerpiece.

The Front Door

“I love to use pine cones for centerpieces,” Corrao says. “Our weather is cold enough that I don’t have to worry about bugs when collecting cones in the neighborhood.” For warmer climates, bake the pine cones for 30 minutes in a 200-degree oven to melt excess sap, kill insects and fully open them. Sold online or in kitchenware stores, a bay leaf wreath offers cheer at the door. After the holidays, hang it in the kitchen for easy access. “Kumquats, lemons, tangerines, small oranges and crabapples add color to green wreaths,” notes Corrao.



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For many, Christmas demands the smell of fresh pine boughs. Spice up the traditional greenery with carnations or other light-hued flowers colored with the juices of fresh, canned or frozen fruits and veggies—red from cranberries, beets and cherries; yellow and orange from yellow onions and carrots; purple from blackberries; green from spinach; pink from strawberries; and blue from red cabbage or blueberries. Freshly cut the flower stems and put them in the liquid from crushed produce or the can to absorb color. Hang garlands out of reach of young children and pets. Navjot Kaur, of Navjot Designs, in Chicago, says, “We all have greenery in our yard or patio gardens that can be used for the holidays. It’s fun to alter the design based upon what is available.” Imagination and inspiration can spark new, greener traditions. Connect with the freelance writer via natural awakenings

December 2016





Tasty Rituals that Deepen the Holiday Spirit by Lane Vail


he holiday season is ripe with an array of spiritual, cultural and family rituals. We celebrate, reflect, give gifts and, of course, feast. Fortunately, the media also teems with tips on how to avoid high-calorie holiday goodies, says Dr. Michelle May, author of Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat. For our diet-driven culture to resolve its struggle with food, she says we must learn to honor its intrinsic value. Ritualized eating can help; a recent study published in the journal Psychological Science found that engaging in food rituals evokes mindfulness that enhances the enjoyment of eating.


Hunger, the body’s fuel gauge, manifests in physical symptoms like a

thirsty, rather than hungry, rationalizing that holiday foods are special, or feeling stressed or lonely. Next, explore why the feelings or thoughts are present, and then accept them without judgment. Strategize ways of satisfying the need and take a small step toward change. Complex preparations for a major holiday can provoke anxiety and impatience, and likewise, feelings of longing or disappointment when it’s over. Sarah Ban Breathnach, bestselling author of Simple Abundance and Peace and Plenty, recommends allowing Christmastide to unfold at its own pace and celebrating all of December with a homemade Advent calendar. Craft a tree-shaped tower of tiny boxes or a garland of burlap mini-bags clipped with clothespins. Place an almond covered in organic dark chocolate in each container and use the treat as a daily mini-meditation. “Drop into the present moment, fully savor the luxurious, small bite and experience the pleasure of eating,” suggests May. Consider it symbolic of the season’s sweetness.

Connect growling stomach or low blood sugar, says May, citing a useful analogy. “You wouldn’t drive around and pull into every gas station you see; you’d check your fuel gauge first. Before filling up with food, pause and check your fuel gauge. Am I actually hungry, or is this desire coming from something else?” May suggests practicing FEASTing: First, focus on physical sensations, thoughts and emotions; perhaps we’re

“Food connects us with one another, our heritage and our culture,” says May. Heather Evans, Ph.D., a Queen’s University professor and a holiday culinary history expert in Ontario, Canada, suggests creating a food diary of traditions to reinforce a connection with the past and support a holiday food legacy for the future. Ask grandparents about their childhood culinary memories, peruse family recipe books or discover new dishes that honor everyone’s ethnic heritage. Then create an heirloom holiday cookbook with handwritten recipes arranged alongside favorite photos and stories.


According to the ancient way, sharing seasonal food with loved ones during the winter solstice on December 21 symbolizes the shared trust that warmth and sunlight will return. Eating warm foods provides physical comfort and eating seasonally and locally connects us to the Earth, observes May. Sync body and spirit with the 34

NY Capital District

season by stewing root vegetables, baking breads, sipping hot cider and tea, and nibbling on nuts and dried fruits. “The repetition of predictable foods is reassuring,” remarks Evans, and it celebrates nature’s transitions.


Stir-Up Sunday is a Victorian amusement filled with fun, mystery and mindfulness, says Ban Breathnach. Some December Sunday, have each family member help stir the batter of a special Christmas cake while stating a personal new year’s intention. Drop a clean coin, bean or trinket into the mix and bake. Serve it with a sprig of holly on Christmas Day, and the person with the piece containing the lucky charm will be rewarded with a prosperous, wholesome and positive new year, according to tradition. Evans remarks, “This is a wonderful ritual for nurturing the health and spirit of the family.”

Healthy Holiday Desserts Sweet and Satisfying


ave a sweet tooth, but feel guilty when eating sweet treats? Try these healthier, holiday alternatives. They are sweet enough to satisfy that sweet tooth, but healthy enough to quiet a guilty conscience.

Holiday Hazlenut Cookies


Boxing Day offers something far more meaningful to celebrate than postholiday sales. Originating as a tradition that thrived during the 19th century, “December 26 was a chance for landowners and homeowners to give back to household staff and local tradespeople,” says Evans. “It’s a tradition worth reviving to pause, reflect on our own good fortune and contribute to others’ comfort.” Consider serving a meal at a local soup kitchen, collecting items for a food drive or offering a box of healthy culinary treats to community stewards at a fire station, post office or library. On Christmas Day, says Ban Breathnach, “Our kids have the world lying at their feet.” Boxing Day, she says, provides a natural transition to reach out in charity. Lane Vail is a freelance writer and blogger at

Carrot Cake Muffins 2 cups almond flour ½ teaspoon baking powder ½ teaspoon aluminum free baking powder Pinch of salt 2 teaspoons cinnamon Pinch of nutmeg ¼ teaspoon allspice ½ teaspoon vanilla 3 eggs, slightly beaten ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup or honey 1/8 cup grapeseed oil ¼ cup chopped walnuts or pecans 1 heaping cup of shredded carrots

2 cups hazelnuts ¾ cup sugar 4 large egg whites ½ teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 teaspoon cinnamon Dark chocolate shavings Sprinkles

Combine the wet ingredients and beat slightly. Stir in the dry ingredients and mix well. Fold in carrots and nuts. Pour into paper lined muffin tins. Bake 350° for approximately 30 minutes. Test with a toothpick for doneness. Allow to cool before eating. Try topping them off with some cashew cream and fresh berries (see recipe, page 36).

Put the nuts and sugar in the food processor until finely ground. Separate the eggs, putting the whites in a large mixing bowl. Beat the egg whites and salt until they form stiff peaks. Gently fold in nuts, sugar, chocolate shavings and cinnamon. Be careful not to over stir. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Spoon dough onto cookie sheet and top with colorful sprinkles made from natural plant dyes. You can find them at a health food store or in the “natural” section of the grocery store. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes. Make sure oven rack is in the middle of the oven. The cookies burn easily when the rack is too low. You may need to adjust the cooking time based on your oven, so watch the first batch carefully. Let cool before removing from pan. This recipe uses about half the sugar of traditional cookie recipes and is packed with protein.

Allergy information: Gluten and dairy free. Contains nuts and eggs.

Allergy information: Gluten free. Contains nuts and eggs.

natural awakenings

December 2016


Coconut Snow Balls There are many similar recipes to this one floating around the Internet. They are often referred to as “energy treats.” During the winter holidays, roll them in coconut and call them “snowballs.”

Cashew Cream with Fresh Berries

1 ½ cups gluten free dry quick oats 1 cup almond butter ½ cup ground flax seeds or flax meal ¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut (plus 1 cup for rolling) ¼ cup raw honey or pure maple syrup 3-4 tablespoons almond milk Sprinkle of cinnamon 2 handfuls of mini chocolate chips


Combine the ingredients until well incorporated. Form into balls and roll balls in remaining coconut. Chill for a couple hours. It makes about 20 snowballs. Allergy information: Gluten free. Contains nuts and coconut.

1 cup raw, unsalted cashews (soaked in water over night) 1 1/2 tablespoons pure organic maple syrup or coconut nectar 1 1/2 tablespoons almond or coconut milk 1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla 1-2 cloves Dash of cinnamon Dash of cardamom Soak a cup of raw, unsalted cashews overnight in a bowl of water. Drain off the water before preparing the cashew cream. Put all of the ingredients in a food processor or vitamix and blend until it becomes a creamy consistency. The consistency will be similar to almond butter but a little looser. Add more or less cinnamon and cardamom to taste. Allergy information: Gluten and dairy free. Contains nuts. Recipes Courtesy of Joan Bender, an integrative health coach, gluten-free foodie and owner of Food and Mood Coaching, LLC, in Delmar. For more information and additional recipes, visit See ad, page 15.

Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all. ~Harriet Van Horne


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NOTE: All calendar events must be received by the 5th of the month and adhere to our guidelines. Review guidelines and submit entries online at (within calendar section).

Essential Oils 101: The Basics – 2 & 6pm. Dec 6, 13 & 20. Yes, there is an oil for that! Held at Medical Thermography Associates, 2 Chelsea Pl, Clifton Park. Free. Preregistration: 518-983-6564 or search Facebook events. Free Introductory Yoga Class – 4:30-5:30pm. Attendees may also register for a drawing for a free 8-week session beginning Jan 9. AAC Family Wellness Center, 402 Rowland Street, Ballston Spa. Questions-call/text: 518-935-5488. Get a Good Night’s Sleep – 6:30-7:30pm. Learn how to promote restful sleep through a healthy, balanced lifestyle and using essential oils. Come experience essential oils for a night of fun and relaxation. Free. Held in Clifton Park office. Registration required: Lynn, 518-727-2054.


Have a Healthy Holiday – 6-8:30pm. “Gift Party” featuring Beautycounter skin care and cosmetics; massage gift certificates; and wellness products, including neck wraps and aroma sprays. Choose from gift sets or create a personal gift bag. Serving light snacks and refreshments. Enjoy shopping in a relaxing atmosphere. 33 Second Street, Troy (above Bacchus Pizza). RSVP: 518272-1400. 30th Annual Saratoga Springs Victorian Streetwalk – 6-9pm. Holiday event that can’t be missed. Walk sidewalks of downtown Saratoga enjoying carolers and entertainers in period costumes. Kids visit Santa and adults enjoy the decorations at The Festival of Trees. Details: Southern County Chamber website or 518-584-3255. Annual Open House – 4-8pm. Join the Balance Massage Studio staff in celebrating their 16th year at Main Square. Start holiday shopping with 2001 pricing on all gift certificates. Bring a non-perishable food item for Bethlehem food Pantry and receive a mini massage. Refreshments served. 316 Delaware Ave, Ste 25, Delmar. 518-475-9999.


markyourcalendar FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2 Crystalline Sound Therapy Guided Meditation – 7:30-9pm. With All Energy. This experience includes a guided meditation, energy alignment, kambaba jasper and snack social. All welcome. $25. Jai Yoga Studio, 1092 Madison Ave, 2nd fl, Albany. Register at


Holiday Open House – 10am-3pm. Sample teas, enjoy refreshment and a holiday atmosphere while shopping the many unique gifts available. Come see the new Troy storefront! Jean’s Greens Herbal Tea Works and Essential Herbs, 225 River St, Troy. Info: 518-479-0471. Holiday Home & Gift Giving DIY: Make & Take Fun with Essential Oils. 10am. Dec 3, 10 & 17. Customize simple holiday gifts and healthy solutions. Held at Medical Thermography Associates, 2 Chelsea Pl, Clifton Park. Free. Preregistration: 518-983-6564 or search Facebook events. Five Rivers Guided Walk: Winter Wildlife – 2pm. Bring binoculars on this winter stroll to look for birds and other wildlife. Fight those winter blues by getting outdoors in the brief daylight and enjoying the view. There is wildlife to see in New York throughout all the seasons. Five Rivers Environmental Education Center, 56 Game Farm Rd, Delmar. More info: 518-475-0291. ACRO Yoga – 1-3pm. In this workshop participants will be introduced to the 5 principles of acroyoga. These principles provide a starting point for the practice or some insight into refining a yoga practice. $20 early registration. $30 standard/late registration. Lilananda Yoga, 585 Saratoga Rd. (Rt. 50), Glenville. Register online. Questions: 518-470-5240.



Holiday Cooking, Stress Reduction & Staying Healthy: with Essential Oils – 10am & 6pm. Dec 7, 14 & 21. Held at Medical Thermography Associates, 2 Chelsea Pl, Clifton Park. Free. Preregistration: 518-983-6564 or search Facebook events.


Ayurveda and Yoga, the Sister Sciences – 8-9:30am. Dec. 4 & 11. Explore the relationship with these ancient, complimentary practices that aim to inform the particular needs of individuals seeking purity, vitality and spiritual growth. $15/class.The Yoga Nook, 21 Thomson Ave, Glens Falls Register: 518-744-5565. Troy Victorian Stroll – 11am-5pm. Streets of historic downtown Troy come alive with holiday splendor for this annual festival. Enjoy a day of shopping, dining, family activities, music and more. Details online or call 518-274-7020.

markyourcalendar SUNDAY, DECEMBER 4 Mini Shakti Sisterhood Women’s Circle Experience – 2-4pm. Find out what Pam Medina’s new women’s circle is about with a sampling of Shakti Sisterhood. Dress comfortably enough for yoga but beautifully enough for a goddess ceremony. Refreshments to follow. Free introductory experience. The Yoga Lily, 1 Barney Road, Ste 222, Clifton Park. Info: 518-744-5565. Pianist Jessica Roemischer in Concert – 6pm. Uniquely combining piano music and storytelling, Jessica inspires and touches hearts. Free. Unity Church, 21 King Ave, Albany. Contact: 518-453-3603.


markyourcalendar THURSDAY, DECEMBER 8 Coping with the Holidays – 6:30pm. With Dave Roberts, LCSW. Presenting different techniques and understanding stress management around the holidays. This is great for those bereaved and stressed this time of the year. $20. Spirit Tree Connections, 987 New Loudon Rd, Latham. Register:


Yoga/Crystal Singing Bowls & Pyramids by All Energy – 9-10:15am. Unique Hatha Yoga class infused with Native American flute and crystal singing bowls. Leave feeling rejuvenated and at peace. $15 walk-in, $10 students. The Woman’s Club of Albany, men welcome too, 725 Madison Ave, Albany. Info: 518-810-7646.

Webmaster for Natural Awakenings of the NY Capital District


Free Introductory Yoga Class – 6-7pm. Attendees may also register for a drawing for a free 8-week session beginning Jan 9. AAC Family Wellness Center, 402 Rowland Street, Ballston Spa. Questions-call/text: 518-935-5488. Handling Holiday Stress – 6-7:30pm. Take a time out to discuss holiday stress and what can be done to ensure sanity is kept this season. Facilitated by Life Coach Kim Perone. $10. Space is limited. Inspired Life Coaching, 801 Route 50, Burnt Hills. Register: Kim, 518-301-3593. Contemplating Divorce? – 7-8:30pm. “Should I or shouldn’t I?” Learn to better navigate this time and decision, explore what is involved and what to do first. Time for questions and answers. Led by 518 248-4175

natural awakenings

December 2016


Xero Partner & Certified Advisor, Megan Gardner. See software, ask questions. RSVP required: 518-788-9151.


Yoga/Crystal Singing Bowls & Pyramids by All Energy – 9-10:15am. Unique Hatha Yoga class infused with Native American flute and crystal singing bowls. Leave feeling rejuvenated and at peace. $15 walk-in, $10 students. The Woman’s Club of Albany, men welcome too, 725 Madison Ave, Albany. Info: 518-810-7646.


Relax Into Bliss – 1:30-3:30pm. A combination of restorative yoga & sound healing. Relax as the magical healing vibrations surround. Resting angelically on comfortable props. Bathe in the sounds of singing bowls, flutes, didgeridoo and gong while being guided into deep peace. Facilitated by Pam & Reinaldo Medina. $35-$40The Yoga Lily, 1 Barney Road, Ste 222, Clifton Park. Info/register: 518-744-5565. Holiday Crystal Show – 11am-3pm. Dec 10 & 11. Find the perfect gift to give or to keep. As always, Rocko he brings with him the best selection of crystals and minerals in the area. Something for everyone in all price ranges. Crossroads Gifts & Wellness. 131 & 133 Jay St, Schenectady. Questions/location specifics: 518-357-8366. Capital District Fibromyalgia Optimists Group – 11:30am-1pm. This month’s meeting will focus on “Energy Medicine for Healing and Pain Relief.” Discover local and national resources, and gain strategies that provide hope. $10 requested donation. Berkshire Bank Community Room, 151 Vly Rd, Colonie. RSVP through Meetup. Info: Jennifer Burke 518-461-7840.


Ayurveda and Yoga, the Sister Sciences – 8-9:30am. See Dec 4 for details. $15/class. The Yoga Nook, 21 Thomson Ave, Glens Falls Register: 518-744-5565.

markyourcalendar SUNDAY, DECEMBER 11 Advanced Physiology of Pain for Herbalists, Massage Therapists and Others – 10:30am1:30pm. Taught by Tammi Sweet, MS, LMT, Co-Director of Heartsone Center for Earth Essentials. 3 LMT CEU's. Museum of the Earth, Ithaca, NY. Register: 603-589-4619, Living Yoga Movie: The Life & Teachings of Swami Satchidananda – 4-5:15pm. Join Pam Medina and friends to share a viewing of the first movie that explores the beginning of yoga teachings in America. By donation. The Yoga Lily, 1 Barney Road, Ste 222, Clifton Park.


We recommend that you inquire prior to and preregister for events that appear in the calendar. 38

NY Capital District

Info: 518-744-5565. Earthly Remedies’ 1st Annual Sale and Open House – 11am-4pm. There will be clearance items, seconds, and sales on all regular products. There will be products to try, test, and sample, including hot herbal tea. There will be free herbal literature available. All while supplies last! Enter into two raffles. Free. Earthly Remedies, 264 Main St, Richmondville. Questions/direction: 518-534-3003.


Informational Session on Dreams – 6-7:30pm. Wanting to make sense of dreams? Dreams contain important messages and learning their language can unlock clues to a healthier, happier life. $10. Held in Delmar. Details/register: Joan Bender, Food & Mood Coaching, 518-461-9507.


Adult Cooking Class: Lunch Break Chef– 121pm. With Chef Shannon Beckwith. Featuring a culinary demonstration followed by a freshly cooked meal. Adults only. Registration required. $30. Serendipity Arts Studio, LLC, 26 Congress St. Congress Plaza, Behind CVS, Saratoga Spgs, Registration required: 518-886-9553. Essential Oils 101: The Basics – 2 & 6pm. See Dec 6 for details. Preregistration: 518-983-6564 or search Facebook events. Holiday Reception & Photography Show – 6-8:30pm. Annual meeting followed by a holiday reception with homemade refreshments to enjoy. Its also opening night of the fifth annual photography show. Free. Wilton Wildlife Preserve & Park Office, 80 Scout Road, Gansevoort. Info: 518-450-0321. Manage Emotions Naturally – 6:30-7:30pm. Emotions have an impact on our physical health and wellbeing. Come learn how to feel happier, more connected and empowered by following a healthy, balanced lifestyle and using essential oils. Free. Held in Clifton Park office. Registration required: Lynn, 518-727-2054.


Holiday Cooking, Stress Reduction & Staying Healthy: with Essential Oils – 10am & 6pm. See December 7 for details. Free. Preregistration: 518983-6564 or search Facebook events.


Bookkeeping Basics – 7pm. A free introductory bookkeeping experience and consultation with

markyourcalendar SUNDAY, DECEMBER 18 Winter Solstice Soiree – 4-6pm. Since ancient times people have come together to celebrate the return of the light. Come join in the celebration. Release the old and welcome in the new! Create a Vision Board for 2017. Facilitated by Evelyn Neale at The Center for Clarity, Compassion & Contentment. $20. Space is limited. 801 Route 50, Burnt Hills. Preregistration required: Evelyn, 518-331-8527. Joy Adler & the Souls of Evolution Perform – 6pm. A Winter Solstice event for the healing of the earth. Music and meditation. Free. Unity Church, 21 King Ave, Albany. Contact: 518453-3603.


Energize Your Solstice Intentions – 6:30-8pm. Use Eden Energy Medicine to align personal energies with goals for the next annual cycle. Celebrate the season and learn empowering energy exercises with Certified Practitioner, Ruth Ann Smalley. All levels. $15. Space is limited. 323 Delaware Ave, Delmar. Register: 518­506­2914.


Essential Oils 101: The Basics – 2 & 6pm. See Dec 6 for details. Preregistration: 518-983-6564 or search Facebook events. Night Sky Adventure – 7-8:30pm. Educators from the Dudley Observatory, in conjunction with volunteers from the Albany Area Amateur Astronomers group, present astronomy lessons, activities, planetarium shows and night sky viewing (weather depending). $10.50 adult. $7.50 ages 3-12. $9 senior (65+). Museum of Innovation and Science, Schenectady. Questions: 518-382-7890.


Holiday Cooking, Stress Reduction & Staying Healthy: with Essential Oils – 10am & 6pm. See December 7 for details. Free. Preregistration: 518983-6564 or search Facebook events. Navigating Divorce – 12:30-2pm. Learn how to avoid the most common mistakes of divorce. Time for questions and answers. Led by Certified Divorce Coach, Marie Marhan Dropkin from Support in a Storm. Register: 518-423-2525. Solstice Celebration – 6pm-8pm. Ceremony of

drumming and reflection with Zelda Hotaling. Take some time out from the busy holiday season for this special event. It’s a chance to renew the spirit and set an intention for the coming year. Free, but reservation required. Jean’s Greens Herbal Tea Works and Essential Herbs, 225 River St, Troy. Info: 518-479-0471. Winter Sound Solstice – 7pm. Sound healing on the highest level: crystal bowls, drumming and voice come together to connect. Come meditate and enjoy the sound healing vibration. $25. Spirit Tree Connections, 987 Loudon Road, Latham. Register online. Info: 518-810-2427.

the events of 2016 and welcome 2017 in a supportive small-group setting. Lunch included. $80 early bird registration: Beltrone Living Center, 6 Winners Circle, Colonie. Preregister: Louise, 518-218-0707.


markyourcalendar SATURDAY, JANUARY 21 SUNDAY, JANUARY 22


It’s a Wonderful Life – 7pm. An annual holiday tradition at the Palace Theatre. View Frank Capra’s sentimental film on the big screen. $5. The Palace Theatre, 19 Clinton Ave, Albany. Tickets: 518-465-3334.


3rd Annual World of Nativities Exhibit – 1-4pm. A project of the Historical Society of Moreau and South Glens Falls. Several of the rooms on the first floor of the house are filled with the nativities and are arranged to challenge visitors to discover the theme of each grouping. $5 adults. $3 children under 12. Tours must be arranged in advance. Parks-Bentley Place, 53 Ferry St., South Glens Falls. Info: Nancy, 518-636-3856.


“Funny You Should Say That!” – 7pm. With Brandon Russ. Start the New Year out right with the comedic delivery of the funniest medium in the area. Receive messages and capture the humor of loved ones as they connect with you. $25. Spirit Tree Connections, 987 Loudon Road, Latham. Register online. Info: 518-810-2427.


Vision Board: Casting Your Relationship Spell – 11am-3pm. With Joelle Lydon, MA, CPC. Be guided in a visioning process using the tools of desire mapping to get clarity on relationships and true life path. Manifest the life and love wanted for the New Year. $45. Spirit Tree Connections, 987 Loudon Road, Latham. Register online. Info: 518-810-2427.

session beginning Jan 9. AAC Family Wellness Center, 402 Rowland Street, Ballston Spa. Questions-call/text: 518-935-5488.


Reiki Level III Advanced Workshop – 9am4:30pm. This workshop is for those reiki level II practitioners who want to take the next step toward the master training. Includes, materials, attunement, hands on practice, meditation and advanced certificate. $200. Space is limited. 229 Washington St, Saratoga Spgs. Info/ register: Gina Clemente,518-791-6565.


New Year Inspiration and Renewal – 12-5pm. Held for the fourth time in 2017! Say “good-bye” to

plan ahead TUESDAY, JANUARY 3 Free Introductory Yoga Class – 7-8pm. Attendees may also register for a drawing for a free 8-week

markyourcalendar SUNDAY, JANUARY 22 Living with Passion and Purpose – 10am2pm. Interactive workshop to help participants become clear about their passions and life purpose. Ideal for those experiencing a life transition. $80 early bird registration. Includes lunch. Beltrone Living Center, 6 Winners Circle, Colonie. Preregister: 518-218-0707.

Creative Healing Energy Center Visit Our Website for a Complete Class and Event Schedule!


First Night Saratoga – 6pm-12am.. Fun for the whole family. Details/schedule:



markyourcalendar New Year’s Eve Candlelight Yoga – 4:306pm. With Laurel Tormey Cole. Celebrate the completion of 2016 and invite in 2017 with friends and yoga. Blending asana, meditation, and reflection, enter 2017 with renewed energy in body, mind and spirit. All levels welcome. Playful vinyasa flow coupled with restorative sequence and extended savasana. Let this be the beginning of positive change! Light refreshments will be served at the conclusion of class. $20. Orchid Tree Yoga, Park Guilderland Plaza 457 Route 146, Guilderland Center. Register: 518-729-6308.

Weekend Intensive Reiki I & II – 9am4:30pm. Jan 21 & 22. With Gina Clemente, Reiki Master. Learn hands-on and distance Reiki healing to work on oneself and share with others. Class includes: Reiki manual, attunements, hands on practice, Reiki II certificate. No experience necessary. $475 with $125 deposit required. Space is limited. 229 Washington St, Saratoga Spgs. Info/register: 518-791-6565.

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natural awakenings

December 2016


ongoingcalendar NOTE: All calendar events must be received by the 5th of the month and adhere to our guidelines. Review guidelines and submit entries online at (within calendar section).

sunday Dharma Meditation – 9-10:15am. With Pierre Zimmerman. Weekly meditation followed up by short discussion. All contemplative traditions honored. $10 donation. One Big Roof, Center for Mindful Practices, 538 Maple Ave, Saratoga Health & Wellness Bldg, Saratoga Spgs. Info: 413-992-7012. Restorative Yoga – 10:30-11:30am. With Sharon Zewert. Take time out to relax and renew, in a peaceful, supported environment. Balance energy and quiet the mind while resting deeply and completely. Studio is fully equipped with blankets/ bolsters/eye pillows for a comforting, healing experience. All levels. 3 classes/$39 or $15 drop in. Orchid Tree Yoga, Park Guilderland Plaza 457 Route 146, Guilderland Center. Register: 518-729-6308. HOPE Pet Adoption Clinic – 1-4pm. 2nd & 4th Sun. Homes for Orphaned Pets Exist will be holding an adoption clinic. Wilton Mall, 3065 New York 50, Saratoga Spgs. Info: 518-428-2994. “OneSong” Music & Meditation – 6pm. An inspiring hour of kirtan chants and sacred song from various faith traditions, including a guided meditation and reflection. Unity Church, 21 King Ave, Albany. Info: 518-453-3603.

monday Yoga Lily Level 1 – 10-11:15am. With Reinaldo Medina. The perfect class for beginners. Learn the basic in a non-judgmental atmosphere. Stretch, build strength and confidence. Leave feeling relaxed and easeful. $11-$17. The Yoga Lily, 1 Barney Road, Ste 222, Clifton Park. 518-744-5565. Jivamukti Yoga – 5:50pm. A vigorously physical and intellectually stimulating practice leading to spiritual awareness. Some yoga experience recommended. Heartspace Yoga and Healing Arts, 747 Madison Ave, Albany. Info: 518-512-3390. AAC Weekly Doctor’s Consultation – 6:15pm. Learn how chiropractic care can help the body function to its full potential. Free. AAC Family Wellness Centers, 21 Broad St, Schuylerville. Register: 518-695-2044 AAC Weekly Doctor’s Consultation – 6:15pm. Learn how chiropractic care can help the body function to its full potential. Free. AAC Family Wellness Centers, 834 Duanesburg Rd, Schenectady. Register: 518-982-1492. 24 Form Tai Chi – 6:30pm. Focus on the fundamental principles and how they apply to the 24 Forms routine. Provides students opportunity to develop the connection between physical structure and movement of qi and to learn how each supports the other. Asian Arts Group, 28 Essex St, 518-489-1458. Monday’s Meal – 6:30-7:30pm. “What are we eating?” Weekly discussion of the benefits of a ketogenic diet and how to eat better. Free. Northeast Spine & Wellness, 1741 Rte 9, across from Residence Inn, Clifton Park. RSVP: 518-371-4800. Overeaters Anonymous Support Group – 7:30pm. No meetings on holidays. St. George Episcopal Church, 1912 Rte 146, Clifton Park. Info: 518384-1619.

tuesday Saratoga Stress Reduction Program – 5:156:45pm. 8-wk course in mindfulness meditation methods offering students a means of self-regulation. Encourages the cultivation of greater awareness to


NY Capital District

reduce symptoms of psychological and somatic distress. One Big Roof, Center for Mindful Practices, 538 Maple Ave, in Saratoga Health & Wellness Bldg, Saratoga Spgs. Preregister/cost inquiries: 518-581-3180 ext 307. Lyme Support Group – 6pm. 2nd Tues. Share stories, frustrations and achievements. Find support and guidance. All welcome. Free. The Stram Center for Integrative Medicine, 90 Adams Pl, Delmar. Register: 518 689-2244. Classical Hatha Yoga – 6:30-7:30pm. With Antoinette Di Mascio, RYT 200. For all levels and ages. Practice yoga in its purest state. Learn proper asana postures, meditation, breathing exercises, and gain tone and flexibility. BYO yoga mat, 2 blocks, 1 strap and 1 blanket. $70/6 classes or $15 drop-in. Vitality Health Center, 3441 Amsterdam Rd (Rte 5), Scotia-Glenville. Register: 518-372-4706. TAXES: Understanding Your Personal Taxes – 7pm. 2nd Tues. Xero Partner & Certified Advisor, Megan Gardner walks participants through the ins and outs of a tax return and offers a personal analysis upon request. Free. RSVP required: 518-788-9151. Tai Chi with Renjie – 7-8pm. Learn the basic Yang Style Taiji postures, movements and internal energy development. Beginner-intermediate level. $15/ class. Drop-ins welcome. One Big Roof, Center for Mindful Practices, 538 Maple Ave, Saratoga Health & Wellness Bldg, Saratoga Spgs. Info: 518581-3180 ext 300.

wednesday Co-Op Family Group – 11am-1pm. Different topic discussed each week. Newcomers and children are welcome. Honest Weight Food Co-Op, Community Room, 100 Watervliet Ave, Albany. Info: 518-482-2667. AAC Weekly Doctor’s Consultation – 6:15pm. Learn how chiropractic care can help the body function to its full potential. Free. AAC Family Wellness Centers, 402 Rowland Street, Ballston Spa Register: 518-363-0202. Family Support Group: for Caregivers of Loved Ones with Mental Illness – 6:30-8pm. 1st and 3rd Wed. SUNYA School of Public Health, 1 University Pl, Rensselaer. Info: 518-588-6949. Movie Night at Vitality – 6:30-8pm. $10. Vitality Health Center, 3441 Amsterdam Rd, Rte 5, Glenville. Register: 518-372-4706. Qigong with Dr. Wang – 7-8pm. Qigong combines relaxation and strength, dynamics and inertia. It cultivates vital and lasting inner energy for better health and fitness. $15/class. Drop-ins welcome. One Big Roof, Center for Mindful Practices, 538 Maple Ave, Saratoga Health & Wellness Bldg, Saratoga Spgs. Info & register: 518-681-1327.

thursday Fearless! – 5-6pm. 6-week program starting Dec 8th. Facilitated by Life Coach, Helene Verdile. Develop an understanding of anxiety and fear, take a fear inventory, exercises to process and release fear, mantras and meditations to support progress, rewiring old patterns and more $10/week. The Center for Clarity, Compassion & Contentment, 801 Rte 50, behind Edward Jones, Burnt Hills. Space is limited. To Register: Helene, 518-470-0048. Dining for Women – 6:30pm. 2nd Thurs. Halfhour of socializing, followed by potluck dinner and monthly discussion at 7:30pm. The Women’s

stress. Class concludes with a restful restorative pose and a ten minute meditation. Heartspace Yoga and Healing Arts, 10 2nd St, Troy. 518-512-3390. Reiki – 6-6:45pm. 1st Fri. Ancient relaxation technique, reduces stress and promotes healing. Free. Walk-ins welcome. Venture Inward, 568 Columbia Tpke, rear entrance, E Greenbush. Registration required: 518-477-6566. Gentle/Restorative Yoga – 6:30-7:45pm. A great way to end the work week and let the stress and tension melt away. Gentle stretching poses, long held restorative postures, breathing and short/ simple meditation are what you can expect in this class. Standard class rates apply. Register online. Lilananda Yoga, 585 Saratoga Rd. (Rt. 50), Glenville. Questions: 518-470-5240. Club of Albany, 725 Madison Ave. Details: 518465-3626. Holistic Moms Network – 6:30-8:30pm. 2nd Thurs. Troy Chapter monthly meeting. A nonprofit group connecting parents who are interested in holistic health and green living. Monthly topics posted online. Yacon Village, 2nd Flr, 24 Aviation Dr, Colonie. Info, Chapter Leader Erica Svatek: 518-225-7243. Joy Starts Here! – 6:30-8pm. 6-week program starting Dec 8th. Facilitated by Life Coach, Helene Verdile. Find the joy in every day. $10/week. The Center for Clarity, Compassion & Contentment, 801 Rte 50, behind Edward Jones, Burnt Hills. Space is limited. To Register: Helene, 518-470-0048. Mom’s Night Out/Breastfeeding Support – 6:308:30pm. 3rd Thurs. Join Dr. Jess and Lori Kohler, RN, CLC for a relaxing evening of conversation around breastfeeding and other holistic health topics. Bring baby and questions needing answers. Tea and gluten/dairy free snacks provided. Office of Jessica Davis MD, 781 Hudson Ave, Stillwater. Info: 877-664-6116. Open Mic Night – 7pm/performers register; 7:30pm. $3. Caffé Lena, 47 Phila St, Saratoga Spgs. Info: 518-583-0022. Poetry Night – 7:30pm. 3rd Thurs. Open mic for community poets. $3 suggested donation. Social Justice Center, 33 Central Ave, Albany. Info: 518-482-0262.

friday Yoga Asana and Meditation – 12pm. This all-levels class offers a warming and soothing flow to engage and ease the physical body, smooth and expand the breath, settle and focus the mind, and help release

saturday Early Risers: Your Best Yoga – 7:30-8:30am. With Erika Pelletier. Awaken and invigorate the body, mind and spirit with an early yoga class. Discover flexibility, improve balance, grow stronger and feel relaxed with restorative postures and then get on with the day. 3 classes/$39 or $15 drop in. Orchid Tree Yoga, Park Guilderland Plaza 457 Route 146, Guilderland Center. Register: 518-729-6308. Super Saturday Sampling – 8am-8pm. 3rd Sat. Try select foods and products from the vendors, deli and bakery. Niskayuna Co-Op, 2227 Nott St, at Balltown Rd. Info: 518-374-1362. Saratoga Stress Reduction Program – 8:30-10am. See Tuesday for details. One Big Roof, Center for Mindful Practices, 538 Maple Ave, in Saratoga Health & Wellness Bldg, Saratoga Spgs. Preregister/ cost inquiries: 518-581-3180 ext 307. Family Yoga Jam – 11am-12pm. 3rd Sat through Dec 17. With Christine Carpenter. This fun-filled class offers a wonderful opportunity for families to bond as a team while gaining a stronger foundation for a lifetime of health and wellness. Playful yoga, partner poses, games; breath work and relaxation. $15 Adult/child pair. $20 Family. Orchid Tree Yoga, Park Guilderland Plaza, 457 Rte 146, Guilderland Center. 518-729-6308. Capital District Fibromyalgia Optimists Group (FOG) – 11:30am-1:00pm. Select Saturdays once per month. Meetings are designed to provide educational sessions, discover local and national resources and gain strategies that provide hope. $10 requested donation. Search on for the group which has details and a calendar. Sign up to receive email reminders and RSVP. More info/ personal consult: Jennifer Burke, OT, 518-461-7840.

classifieds For fees and info on placing classifieds, email Deadline is the 5th of the month.

BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY BECOME A PUBLISHER – This edition of Natural Awakenings Magazine is for sale! Interested in this turnkey, successful, proven business model? The current publisher is purchasing a new territory and seeks a buyer for the NY Capital District for an early 2017 closing. Serious inquiries: Franchise@ See ad, page 26.

HELP WANTED HEALTHY LIVING MARKET – Many open positions at the Wilton store. Apply online: RESIDENTIAL GREEN CLEANING PROFESSIONAL – 20-25 hrs per week, M-F 8:30am-2:30/4pm.Email questions, resumes and letters of interest, including why green living is important to you:

MAIL ORDER AZUREGREEN.NET – Herbs, books, mortars and pestles, bumper stickers, jewelry, incense, gift items, gemstones, amulets, statuary. 8,000 items. Wholesale and retail.

PRACTITIONERS WANTED JOIN OUR FAMILY OF PRACTITIONERS – Bodywork Professionals (Latham/Saratoga) seeks talented, career massage therapist to join its family of practitioners. Must have passion for the work, special modality and two+ years’ experience. Nick: 518-557-5514. See ad, page 33.

SPACE AVAILABLE ATTENTION PRACTITIONERS – We have a home for you! Space available: workshop leaders, healing and support practitioners and artist/craft vendors. Conveniently located in Latham within a beautiful wellness collaborative. Contact: Events@ See ad. page 29. ROOM RENTAL – Part-time rental for evenings, weekends. Perfect space for bodywork, physical therapy, etc. Located within an established massage practice in downtown Troy. Inquiries: Kathleen, 518272-1400 or Kathleen@TroyCommunityMassage. com. See ad, page 10.

TRANSFORMATIONAL RETREAT MARCH 11-18, 2017 – The Art of Conscious Living: An island retreat for renewal and discovery. Learn to overcome limiting beliefs, become more satisfied and effective in relationships, activate healing and well-being in a supportive small-group setting. Early-bird rate for all-inclusive package valid until January 15; starting at $2000. For more information call 518-218-0707. See ad, back cover.

WEB DESIGN ROGER LIPERA WEB DESIGN & CONSULTING – Guilderland. 518-248-4175. See ad, page 37.

natural awakenings

December 2016




Connecting you with local businesses and experts in our community. To find out how you can be included in the Natural Directory, email ACUPUNCTURE




Michele Dolan LAc, Acupuncturist At Albany Total Wellness 130 Everett Rd, Albany 518-435-1280 • Acupuncture and herbal therapy are an all-natural alternative to improving well-being, preventing illness and resolving some of the most common health issues. See ad, page 27.

Nick Pavoldi Structural Integration Practitioner, Proprietor 578 New Loudon Rd, Latham • 518-389-2200 11 Spring St, Saratoga Springs • 518-389-2083 Bodywork Professionals are skilled, dedicated, career therapists who specialize in the art and science of effective soft tissue massage therapy and a variety of bodywork modalities. See ad, page 33.




410 Rowland St, Ballston Spa 518-885-6185 •

Adirondack Ayurveda • Queensbury 203-561-6343 • Explore Ayurvedic principles and begin a journey leading to a healthy mind, body and spirit. Ayurvedic consultations and workshops, Yoga for the Special Child, Divine Sleep Yoga Nidra, elementary and special education services are offered. See ad, page 17.



651 Delaware Ave, Albany 518-427-2447 • Believing dentistry is not independent to systemic h e a l t h , D r. H e r z o g ' s understanding has earned him certification as a "SMART" (Safe Mercury Amalgam Removal Technique) dentist and is an accredited member of the IAOMT. See ad, page 7.

ACUPUNCTURE Y ACUPUNCTURE/PSYCHOTHERAP John Smith, Board Certified Acupuncture Physician Licensed Mental Health Counselor 1234 Main Ave., Naples 34103 555-123-45678



ANDREW GARNER, MD 8 Harrison Ave, Glens Falls 518-798-9401

Board Certified Chelation Physician since 2001 providing Chelation Therapy. Mention Natural Awakenings for a free consultation. Heavy metals testing available for $170. See ad, page 13.

Experts in family and pediatric chiropractic care with over 23 years of wellness chiropractic experience. Committed to providing the highest quality care using the most advanced technology available. Follow on Facebook and Twitter at aacwellness. See advertorial, page 17.


Family Chiropractic & Wellness 56 Clifton Country Rd, #104, Clifton Park 518-357-3262 Over 20 years of experience in medical/ alternative health care. Holistic approach to wellness. Specializing in instrumental spinal adjustment, rehabilitation, ZYTO body scan, cold laser, color glass therapy, supplements and detoxification. See ad, page 39.


Northeast Spine and Wellness Offices in Albany & Clifton Park 518-371-4800 • A 25-year veteran of holistic health. Graduate of Skidmore C o l l e g e a n d N e w Yo r k Chiropractic College. Received Clinician of the Year during internship at Greenvale Outpatient Facility. See ad, page 26.

DR. KERSTIN MEDWIN, DC At Albany Total Wellness 130 Everett Rd, Albany 518-435-1280

Over 12 years’ experience w o r k i n g a s a c h ir o p r a c to r. Establishes caring and compassionate relationships with each and every patient. See ad, page 27.

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NY Capital District

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1525 Western Ave, Ste 1, Albany 518-218-0707 • Live with passion, purpose and meaning. Focus on what matters most, let go of limiting beliefs and step into effective action. Dr. Finlayson is an expert at helping clients live their boldest dreams. See ad, back cover.


Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach 518-817-3486 Mature health coach supporting client goals. Find healthy foods that work, enjoyable exercise, friends, community and much more. Transform health (despite diabetes, food intolerances, autoimmune issues). Free initial consultation.


Inspired Life Coaching 801 Rte 50, Burnt Hills 518-301-3593 • Kim works with clients to uncover their inspired lives. Chaos, worry and doubt fade in the background when clarity, compassion and contentment are present. Meet life's challenges with compassionate coaching and appreciate the journey.


Inspired Life Coaching 801 Rte 50, Burnt Hills 518-470-0048 • With a focus on hope, resilience, joy, spirituality, perspective and positive psychology, Helene works with clients to move toward the life they most want—one filled with vibrancy, emotional wellness and purpose. Free consultation.


Welcome Home Integrative Bodywork, LLC 17 Computer Drive East, Albany 518-783-6091 • NYS licensed massage therapist offering craniosacral therapy, a gentle modality that can help relieve pain and increase feelings of wellbeing. Great for chronic neck and back pain. See ad, page 28.



Angela Anderson, IET Practitioner/Teacher/Master-Instructor 518-505-9078


At Vitality Health Center 3441 Amsterdam Rd (Rte 5), Scotia 518-372-4706 • Combining traditional remedies using whole foods, herbals and Reiki with modern detoxification therapies such as detoxifying foot baths, Rife machine and Live Cell microscopy to support our innate healing abilities.


Raya Ioffe, BA, HHC, LMT, RYT-200+ 518-229-3033 • Digestive problems? Reflux? IBS? Crohn's? Chronic illness or autoimmune disease? Need support sifting through conflicting information? Raya offers practical guidance using real food nutrition and holistic modalities. Homemade cultured veggies, bone broth and kombucha available.

What is IET? (Integrated Energy Therapy) Healing with the energy of angels. To understand more please go to


1023 Rte 146, Clifton Park 518-727-2054 • Reduce stress and create inner peace with advanced energy healing. Discover how to transform health and wellbeing, relieve physical pain, clear emotional blocks, reduce stress, experience deep relaxation and connect with life’s purpose. Distance sessions available. See ad, page 32.

MARY KAY MCGRAW, MA, LMT, BCTMB 987 New Loudon Road, Latham 518-248-6229

Feeling stuck? Desire a dynamic life? Receive restorative, healing grace to promote vibrant health and sense of well-being. 20+ years specializing in spiritual/energy healing sessions to facilitate the release of energy blocks and limiting beliefs.


Marie Marhan Dropkin 518-423-2525 • Life coaching through divorce: before, during and after. Providing support and helping clients get organized, think through decisions and keep focused. Guidance in considering options and assembling a team of divorce professionals. Complimentary, confidential consultation.


Bob Weissberg, Usui Reiki Master 270 River St, Troy • 518-390-0299 Reiki gently promotes relaxation, pain relief, healing, wellness and deep spiritual connection. Offering traditional Usui Reiki treatment since 1999, teaching since 2004. See ad, page 23.


229 Washington St, Saratoga Springs 518-791-6565 • Experience professional quality Reiki energy sessions, workshops and classes. Reiki promotes healing that is safe, effective and compliments traditional medicine. Reduce stress and anxiety, pre or post-surgery, during transitions, cancer treatment. Peaceful office and easy parking. Established in 2003.


513-622-9178 • Providing transformative intuitive relationship and empowerment coaching for single women or women facing life transitions. Learn to trust again, increase confidence, heal past heartbreak, attract new love. Private coaching and workshops available.

ENERGY FOR HEALTH & HEALING, LLC Jack Treiber, BS 518-225-4692

Over 20 years of energy healing experience. Using advanced, deep and powerful techniques to help clients feel better and achieve balance. Practicing in Clifton Park and Saratoga.

Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success. ~Henry Ford

natural awakenings

December 2016



2 Chelsea Place, Clifton Park 518-983-6564 “We have an oil for that!” Make doTerra certified pure, therapeutic grade essential oils a natural part o f t h e f a m i l y ’s w e l l n e s s . AromaTouch is a divine healing application of oils that gives an unparalleled grounding experience.


Locally owned and operated business, serving the cleaning needs of Capital Region families and individuals for over 15 years. Passionate team of green cleaning professionals, setting new standards for quality, professionalism, and healthy indoor environments. .




518-321-5940 • Assesses physical and nonphysical influences in a home or business and suggests appropriate adjustments to ensure environment supports one physically, emotionally and financially. 18+ years’ experience serving the Capital District and beyond.


518-620-6280 • Looking for an alternative to IVF? Looking for an alternative to hormonal birth control? Achieve or avoid pregnancy naturally. Monitor personal fertility and get treatment for the root causes of many women's health issues.


Karen Totino 33 Church St, Saratoga Springs 518-306-5196 • Specializing in green home renovation for families and businesses. Supplier of non-toxic interior finishes for walls, floors, counter tops. Showroom features natural and organic mattresses, and bedding. See ad, page 10.


Herbal Tea Works & Herbal Essentials 225 River Street, Troy 518-479-0471 • Gifts from the Earth for you and yours. Offering quality organic and wild-crafted herbs, teas, tinctures, essential oils, books, gifts, and bath and beauty products, as well as a variety of supplies for making your own products. Free catalog available.


Spirit Tree Connections is a creative healing energy center where practitioners find a home and clients find their path. Offering workshops, classes and individual deliveries in a great energetic space. Spirit Tree's team is passionate about helping people become the best version of themselves. Crystal shoppe onsite. See ad, page 39.

HOLISTIC MENTORING RUTH ANN SMALLEY, PHD, CEEMP 518-506-2914 Learn Eden Energy Medicine at

Seeking a more joyful, centered, resilient life? Create a personalized program for energetic empowerment. Gain tools from Donna Eden, Biofield Tuning, EFT, and more to balance emotions, release blocks, reduce stress and reach goals.


410 Rowland St, Ballston Spa 518-885-6185 • "The mouth is a portal to the rest of the body." Dr. Dreher is a reliable health care professional trained in services such as ozone, safe mercury removal protocol, sedation dentistry, and detox-ification. See ad, page 3.


NY Capital District

HOMEOPATHIC MEDICINE GUILDERLAND HOMEOPATHIC CLINIC Larry Malerba, DO • Mary Malerba, RN 2592 Western Ave, Guilderland 518-357-4210 •

Safe, FDA-approved, holistic medical care for body, heart, mind & soul. 25 years’ experience treating all types of medical conditions in children and adults.


Board-certified internist treating patients with a holistic, integrative approach to preventive health and wellness. Specialties: weight loss, age management, menopause, low testosterone, thyroid and adrenal disorders, fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue, irritable bowel. See ad, page 10.


781 Hudson Ave, Stillwater 518-664-6116 • "The New Mom's Family Doctor." Holistic primary care focusing on women's and children's health, especially newborns and new moms. Integrative, holistic and functional medicine approach.


At Healing Path Massage 670 Franklin St, Schenectady 518-374-8654 • Using the exciting new advances in Light Energy technology to increase circulation and decrease pain and inflammation. Red, blue and infrared lights enhance healing on many levels.


At Albany Total Wellness 632 Western Ave, Albany 518-915-1788 • The Capital District’s standard in therapeutic massage. Providing the latest in clinically proven therapies and delivering the highest level of quality service to our clients. See ad, page 27.


Established in 2001 316 Delaware Ave, Ste 25, Delmar 518-475-9999 • Offering a variety of massage and energy healing modalities in a peaceful and safe environment. Wellness packages, Young Living Oils, aromatherapy products. $49 introductory special for new clients. Call for details. See ad, page 36.


Kathleen Vroman, NYS LMT 270 River St, Ste 201, Troy 518-272-1400 • Offering therapeutic massage, pre-natal and hot stone massage, reflexology and Reiki. Enjoy effective treatments in a professional, tranquil space. Discover Troy's new "Urban Oasis!" See ad, page 10.

MANTRA WELLNESS THERAPEUTIC MASSAGE, LLC 9 Corporate Dr, Ste 3, Clifton Park 518-663-6000

Providing a healthy, relaxing environment with NYS licensed massage therapists dedicated to promoting selfhealing and balance to clients. Sessions by appointment only and tailored to each individual. See ad, page 12.


Erin Sikopoulos, LMT 648 Maple Ave, Saratoga Springs 518-636-9588 • Offering restorative therapeutic massage and unique energy work known as Gemstone Therapy. Every client's session is tailored to support his/her goals in relieving pain, easing symptoms of chronic conditions and helping reduce stress. See ad, page 19.




1731 Washington Ave Ext, Rensselaer 518-339-9655 •


A unique online/phone mentoring service that specializes in assisting individuals in finding holistic (Mind/Body/ Heart/Soul) solutions. Custom training sessions are designed with the aim of helping to improve overall mental health at a deep and integrative level. See ad, page 28.


Laura Graham, Independent Consultant 518-441-7992 Beautycounter is working to get safe products into the hands of everyone, offering beautiful skincare and cosmetic products. Shop one on one or host a social for great rewards. Learn to make safer choices for personal and whole family health. Option to try before purchase!

BLOOM. SALON AND MAKEUP BAR 5 Maple Rd, Voorheesville 518-655-0043

Offering eco-friendly hair care and makeup products. bloom prides itself in being able to provide updated hair styles, balayage and makeup through continued education, without compromising quality of ingredients in products. See ad, page 33.

Specializing in therapeutic massage focusing on injury prevention and recovery along with pain manage-ment. Only Young Living Essential Oils are used in the office. Simple on-line booking for client convenience.

NATUROPATH BACK TO NATURE FAMILY WELLNESS Dr. Amy Cole, ND At Albany Total Wellness 130 Everett Rd, Albany 518-621-5110 •

Providing naturopathic consultation integrating science and nature. Plans include nutrition, herbs, homeopathy and hydrotherapy. Exploring all aspects of a person including mind, body and spirit. Additional office in Bennington, VT. See ad, page 27.

NORTHEAST INTEGRATIVE HEALTH Kyle Sampson, ND 518-290-7599 •

Everything we do is about empowering the individual to bring them to a place of complete health and emotional freedom. Our focus is on neurological conditions, gastrointestinal problems, autoimmune disease, endocrine disorders and mental/emotional problems. See ad, page 6.



Lisa Small, Independent Consultant/Leader 518-755-2170 •

At Vitality Health Center 3441 Amsterdam Rd (Rte 5), Scotia 518-372-4706 • Certified nutritionist and medical intuitive for 20+ years, using whole foods and herbs to reprogram and empower our innate wisdom to unravel toxicities to attain vital health.

Certified organic, non-GMO Project Verified, Fair Trade skin and body care, cosmetics, essential oils, massage, aromatherapy, home fragrance, unique gifts and more. Products for the entire family. Discover organic.



5 Hemphill Place, Malta 518-899-5550

Sara Beach Aesthetics specializes in organic skincare and holistic wellness, incorporating noninvasive skin treatments with the most natural, toxic-free and environmentally friendly products available.

“Mental Healthy” Self-Help Training 518-414-4163•

At Avanti Hair Studio 518-869-6721 • 518-361-5629

Dr. Sarah Stout, ND Clifton Park/Ballston Lake 518-410-9401 •

Licensed esthetician and cosmetologist focused on organic skin and hair products, carefully chosen, based on each individual's needs. Skincare specialization for cancer patients. With Paula, skincare and hair are in the hands of someone who cares.

Naturopath and nutritionist with a unique passion for health and wellness. The Reinventing Wellness team is committed to assisting individuals in restoring their wellbeing and health with individualized approaches to nutrition and wellness. See ad, page 34.

A smile is the beginning of peace. ~ Mother Teresa natural awakenings

December 2016




Cheryl Beckmann, E-RYT, Daniel Roy 518-810-7646 • Experience emotional, physical and spiritual healing with the beautiful vibrations of crystal singing bowls and Native American flute. Group and private sessions available in studios, wellness centers or in-home throughout the Capital Region. View schedule online.

The McKenzie Method is an active patient involvement and education system for back, neck and extremity pain. Its methodology is backed by therapists/doctors worldwide. See ad, page 9.




Diana Wells RN, Qigong Teacher & Healer 518-225-8256

Qigong is an ancient, powerful healing practice. Discover how to master stress, decrease chronic pain, boost energy and maximize the quality of life at any age. Weekly classes. Private sessions include hands-on techniques to open meridians and facilitate energy flow.


Center for Mindful Practices Saratoga Health & Wellness Building 538 Maple Ave, Saratoga Springs 413-992-7012 • A spacious retreat and workshop center in the heart of Saratoga Springs offering mindful practices for body, mind and spiritual wellbeing. See complete schedule online.


54 O’Hara Rd (at Rte 23A), Haines Falls, NY 518-589-5000 Experience the tranquility of weekend retreats, vegetarian food and special day events for the Capital District. Learn to meditate, be open to life-changing experiences and find inner peace and power. Relax, refresh and renew.

5 Pine West Plaza, Ste 508, Albany 518-764-2815

Traditional individual, family and group psychotherapy, spiritual counseling, classes about self-healing, using voice to heal, creating and moving energy for self-healing, and meditation practices. Seminars on personal growth. .

SPIRITUAL CENTERS UNITY CHURCH OF ALBANY Rev. Crystal Muldrow, Pastor 518-453-3603 •

Offering practical and positive spiritual principles and teachings, honoring each person and the spiritual path which they follow. Sunday services at 9 & 11am plus Multi-Faith Music and Meditation Sundays at 6pm. See ad, page 3.


518-755-5053 • Learning simple techniques to manage stress has been shown to reduce insomnia, stimulate weight loss, improve relationships and confidence, and promote healing. Barbara has been working with individuals, and corporations since 1994. 10% discount on first session.

TAI CHI ASIAN ARTS GROUP TAI CHI CENTER 28 Essex St, Albany • 518-489-1458 •



Tai Chi, a martial and meditative exercise, brings together body, mind and spirit. Tai Chi fosters balance, good posture, energy, mental focus and relaxation. Each instructor has over 20 years’ experience. Start a new passion!



NY Capital District


2 Chelsea Place, Clifton Park 518-983-6564 • Setting the standard. Medical thermography reveals physiological function and changes. Detects cardiovascular problems, hormonal im-balance, lymphatic congestion, and more. Used for early detection/pre-vention and breast cancer screening.

YOGA HEARTSPACE YOGA & HEALING ARTS 747 Madison Ave, Albany 10 2nd St, Troy 518-512-3390 •

With locations in Troy and A l b a n y, H e a r t s p a c e i s a community-oriented yoga studio offering daily drop-in classes for all levels, workshops and special events.


585 Saratoga Rd (Route 50), Glenville 518-470-5240 • Yoga and Pilates studio serving Glenville, Burnt Hills and the surrounding areas. An inviting space to come learn, expand and explore with yoga.


Park Guilderland Plaza, 457 Route 146 Guilderland Center 518-729-6308 • A safe, supportive community where students grow beyond their perceived boundaries into a deeper connection with themselves and others. Specialize: yoga for underserved populations. Chair yoga, Fit Over 50, Beginner. Prenatal, Mommy & Me; Family Yoga, BarreFlow.


Pam Medina, Founder, E-RYT 1 Barney Rd, Ste 222, Clifton Park 518-744-5565 • A welcoming, safe, healing space to nourish well-being. Gentle to challenging classes, as well as chair and restorative yoga, Thai yoga bodywork, goddess events, meditation, workshops/ retreats and yoga teacher training programs.

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December 2016


Presented by

Louise M. Finlayson, Ph.D.

Harvard Medical School trained Clinical Psychologist and Transformational Coach

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NY Capital District

Natural Awakenings of the NY Capital District - December 2016  

December 2016 issue of Natural Awakenings Magazine (NY Capital District Edition).

Natural Awakenings of the NY Capital District - December 2016  

December 2016 issue of Natural Awakenings Magazine (NY Capital District Edition).