Southbay HEALTH I 2023

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Chong Kim MD - Double Board Certified Because sometimes, traditional medicine isn’t enough 23560 Madison St., Suite 204 | Torrance, CA 90505 | 310-438-6185 Start the summer off looking and feeling your best! Personalized solutions that promote longevity and a healthier you Visit us to learn about our anti-aging treatments and customized concierge services

Keeping Pace

Iwalk about 2 miles around my neighborhood most days of the week. Especially now that the weather has taken a turn for the better, I look forward to the fresh air, sunshine, and gardens that have exploded in color and fragrance from the winter rains. Yes, I sometimes check my health app to count my steps, but these walks are much more than physical fitness for me. They play a huge role in my mental health. If I wake up anxious in the morning, I walk. If the middle of the day comes along and I haven’t left my laptop, I walk. If a friend wants to swing by after work and catch up, we walk. These outings have become essential to my well-being. A routine that started during the pandemic now beautifully breaks up my day. I pause. I breathe. I connect. And I get those steps in. How lucky are we to live in a place that nourishes both the body and the soul? Whatever path you take, we wish you all a happy and healthy summer ahead.


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inside 8 MAKING WAVES Gio Horta 18 THE BEST MEDICINE Emily Luxford 26 MEDIA Home, Health & Heart 28 YOU ARE ENOUGH A movement for good 30 SHE SOARS Peggy Sullivan 40 WHEN YOUR GIRL ISN’T ALL RIGHT Teen depression and anxiety 44 GAME ON Scott Crandall 48 FAMILY STYLE Mexico’s Mayakoba 52 SHIFTING FOCUS Siane Studart ALSO IN GOOD HEALTH 14 Kristin Egan, MD, FACS 36 David Wallace, MD Beach Cities Medicine WELLNESS + BEAUTY DIRECTORY 23 South Bay providers HEALTH CARE RESOURCE GUIDE 56 The South Bay’s top health care professionals & wellness leaders 30 8 52 COVER OF EMILY LUXFORD PHOTOGRAPHED BY SHANE O’DONNELL
Primary care that’s personal Convenient locations across the South Bay region Redondo Beach | Manhattan Beach | Palos Verdes | Torrance More than 260 locations | Immediate care | World-class expertise Scan, call 323-374-3065 or visit to learn more

Making waves


While the sun barely ascends the horizon, Giovanni Fontana Horta is retrieving his longboard from his mom’s car in an alleyway near Bruce’s Beach for surf team practice. Barely awake and just out of bed, Barbra Fontana—Gio’s mom and former beach volleyball Olympian—wonders if Gio should dunk his head in the water prior to taking photos so he will look more awake. Surf team students start their school day on the beach at 6:30 a.m. Then they have first period to go home and shower before starting classes on campus by 9 a.m.

The team traveled south to Cardiff-bythe-Sea in 2022 for the state championships of the National Scholastic Surfing Association (NSSA)—a nonprofit competitive youth sports organization. Gio individually won third place in the longboard division.

Gio and his brother, Lucas, learned how to surf from their parents during regular vacations to San Onofre. “Gio brings a positive energy to our San Onofre trips, which is so wonderful,” says Barbra. But the Horta family can be found almost every weekend surfing here in the South Bay. “It is an activity that brings us together and a point of connection for our family,” adds Gio.

Surfing since he was 8 years old, Gio both shortboards and longboards but doesn’t necessarily have a favorite. “Some days I grab my shortboard, as I have a heat in the morning and want to perform at the highest level. Other days I grab my longboard and want to focus on being graceful and stylish in the water.”

Longboards are built for cruising and stability, whereas shortboards are built for speed and maneuverability. Not your typical


sun-bleached California surfer, Gio’s confidence speaks volumes. He is not caught up in the “too cool for school” attitude of choosing to only shortboard.

His childhood included AYSO soccer, Little League baseball, Manhattan Beach Youth Basketball, Junior Lifeguards and indoor volleyball. Barbra wanted him to follow his passion and pursue a sport of his choice. Once he started Surf PE at Manhattan Beach Middle School, his passion was ignited. A natural waterman, Gio signed up for the Los Angeles County Junior Lifeguard program for the full nine years, including two years as a Junior Lifeguard cadet.

Gio is the vice president and founding member of SoLa Surf Club and works with SoLa I CAN Foundation, a nonprofit affiliate of SoLa Impact. The foundation works to improve the lives of South Los Angeles residents and break the cycle of intergenerational poverty by providing opportunities for education, economic mobility and community development. Gio’s SoLa Surf Club raises over $5,000 annually while hosting three beach days each year for underprivileged kids who have no access to the water. During COVID-19, the club was unable to host a couple events, so they used the money to purchase laptop computers for disadvantaged students.

As a paying job, Gio offers private surf lessons and enjoys a consistent clientele. He is ready and willing to provide lessons to any student who is water-safe. Barbra coaches girls of all ages on how to play or improve their beach volleyball game. Ecoconscious Gio also spent four years working with YEW!, a surf and hockey beeswax that is environmentally friendly and has no toxins or petrochemicals.

Gio will attend the University of California, Berkeley in the fall and try out for the surf team. Coincidentally, former Mira Costa High School valedictorian Sara Kohrogi, class of 2015, introduced the first surf team at UC Berkeley. She also won the NSSA state championship during her days at Mira Costa.

“What I love about surfing is that it is an art done differently by everyone,” Gio shares. “Everybody has their own style that is unique to them and chooses different maneuvers to do on the waves. You can never find two people who surf in the same way, which is something I think is beautiful.” ■

“Some days I grab my shortboard, as I have a heat in the morning and want to perform at the highest level. Other days I grab my longboard and want to focus on being graceful and stylish in the water.”


Summertime … and we’re feeling the urge to move our activities outdoors and have fun in the sun. While a healthy, active lifestyle predominates in the South Bay, spending time outside can also lead to premature aging that overshadows how young we feel on the inside. Kristin Egan, MD, understands the desire for a youthful and natural appearance. As a dual board-certified plastic surgeon, she provides subtle changes so a patient’s appearance matches how they feel.

Specializing in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery and otolaryngology head and neck surgery, Dr. Egan opened her Manhattan Beach practice 12 years ago and her Torrance location four years ago. We asked for her recommendations for maintaining a youthful image with or without surgery.

What is a face-lift?

A face-lift is a surgery designed to address skin laxity in the jowls, neck and jawline. It involves deep permanent sutures to hold the muscle and tissue underneath the skin in a more aesthetic, youthful direction. Stitches and scars are hidden around the ears and by the hair. Results typically last 10 to 15 years.

How do I know if I need a face-lift?

If you find yourself daily in front of your mirror, pulling your skin back along your ears and liking how that looks, you would probably be very happy with a face-lift. It should not change how you look but should tighten up the skin of the neck and lower face along the jawline.

Is the face-lift procedure the same for men and women?

In general, the direction of the pull is the same for both men and women. For men, the incisions are hidden very well because of the hair along the face.

What is a mini face-lift, and how is it different from a regular face-lift?

The mini face-lift does not involve elevating the skin as far out, which can sometimes mean that you can’t tighten sufficiently to achieve a sharp jawline. In most cases, it’s advised to invest in a face-lift, which will be longer-lasting and only involve one recovery period, versus doing a mini face-lift and having another surgery/recovery period five years later.

What if I just do a neck-lift?

A neck-lift is actually a face-lift or a face-andneck-lift that addresses the upper neck and the lower face to sharpen the jawline. There are many different names associated with the same surgical procedure.

How long does a face-lift take?

The typical face-lift surgery is about two hours. However, if you want to address other issues at

the same time, such as eyelid skin trimming, it can add another hour.

What is the recovery process?

One to two weeks. By two weeks, when the stitches and staples come out, most of the swelling has gone down. The incisions are still pink but can easily be covered with makeup. Patients should be up and walking one day after surgery but avoid heavy lifting for two weeks.

in good health
“I recommend applying sunscreen and wearing a hat and sunglasses On a daily basis, and using retinol at night.”

Will a face-lift remove acne scars?

A face-lift trims and removes excess skin, but it does not address acne scars, which can cover large areas of skin. These are better dealt with using a CO2 resurfacing laser.

Is it painful?

Patients are given pain medicine, and most only need it for the first day or two, after which they can manage with Tylenol. Compared to most other surgeries, the recovery is not very painful.

How much does it cost?

Prices are usually around $10,000 for a facelift, including facility and anesthesia fees, with no hidden costs for visits before or after surgery. Sometimes we offer coupon specials and discounts for combined procedures. Unfortunately, insurance considers this type of surgery to be cosmetic and does not cover it.

Is a mini face-lift cheaper?

Due to the costs for anesthesia and facility remaining the same per hour, a mini face-lift is not considerably cheaper. However, an office

laser face-lift is offered at a lower price with a shorter recovery period for those not yet ready for a surgical face-lift.

Can I get the same results with fillers and Botox?

While great for the mid-face, forehead and around the eyes, fillers and Botox will not tighten the skin of the neck and jawline comparably to a surgical face-lift.

What are the risks of a face-lift?

The risks are the same as any other surgery, including bleeding and infection. Long-term issues can be the widening of the scar or scar hypertrophy, both of which can be dealt with in the office with injections or a small touchup procedure under local anesthetic.

What can one do to maintain a good appearance?

I recommend applying sunscreen and wearing a hat and sunglasses on a daily basis, and using retinol at night. Consider using neurotoxins like Botox or Jeuveau every four to six months. Fillers for the mid-face can also be

helpful, as they can last up to five years and help rejuvenate the cheeks. I do all of these things myself, and I also undergo fractionated CO2 laser treatments on my face and neck every two to three years to reverse sun damage from not wearing sunscreen as a child. The CO2 laser also helps tighten the skin and smooth out fine lines and wrinkles.

What recent developments are you excited about?

I am excited about the results we have achieved with our LaserLift for middle-aged patients who are not yet ready for a face-lift but are bothered by loose skin in the neck area and the development of jowls. LaserLift enables skin tightening without incisions or scars. Final results occur around the six-month mark.


The best Medicine


Emily Luxford remembers being 5 years old and staring at a burger and fries that she couldn’t eat because she was so sick. That moment was the beginning of a decadeplus journey to uncover the cause of her myriad of symptoms that progressed from stomach pain to fatigue and headaches. It wasn’t until age 17, after losing 20 pounds and developing memory issues, that she was diagnosed with celiac disease.

Most of us don’t know much about celiac disease but are familiar with the gluten-free craze that has exploded in recent years. While there is debate over whether or not gluten impacts weight loss or health for the general population, one thing is certain: For people with celiac disease, it can contribute to intestinal pain, migraines, brain fog, rashes and even infertility.

Emily shares that once she finally got her diagnosis and stopped eating gluten, it was like the clouds had parted. “For the first time in my whole life, I felt I could think clearly,” she says.

A native California girl, Emily grew up in Pasadena and enrolled at Loyola Marymount University to get her degree in education. She taught elementary school for five years in Los Angeles. The desire to help others on their health journey took her back to school at California State University Long Beach to get her second degree—in nutritional science—followed by a master’s in dietetics.

After living in the South Bay on and off from 2006 to 2018, she reconnected with her high school prom date at a party in Redondo Beach. She fell in love—both with him and the city—and they married. She and husband Jeffrey are currently building a new home for their family, which includes son Nolan and daughter Camille (Millie). They are proud to have planted roots in Redondo Beach and love being able to smell the ocean every day and take date-night walks on the sand.

Struggling to find out what was wrong with her and learning how to manage the condition greatly influenced who Emily is today: a healthy, thriving woman with a happy family and a successful medical nutrition therapy practice. She is both a


If you don’t know what something is, ask yourself, “Does my body need this?” She says our bodies need oxygen, hydration, movement and nourishment and encourages eating a wide variety of foods— especially fruits and vegetables in jewel-tone colors.

nutritionist and a registered dietitian, which requires much more expertise. Unlike a nutritionist, a registered dietitian must earn a four-year degree, participate in a yearlong internship and pass board exams.

At Luxford Nutrition, with a focus on gut health and autoimmune diseases, Emily helps others find optimum wellness through dietary awareness. As May is Celiac Disease Awareness Month, she hopes to promote awareness around her condition.

“Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that can occur in genetically predisposed people where gluten ingestion leads to damage in the small intestine,” she explains. “It’s more common than multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis combined. It affects 1 in 133 of the U.S. popula-

tion. Of that group, 83% are misdiagnosed or undiagnosed. In fact, the average person with celiac disease waits six to 10 years for an accurate diagnosis.”

There is no cure for celiac disease; the main treatment is to avoid gluten, commonly found in wheat, barley and rye products as well as beer. Gluten is not required to be listed on food labels, so it is often found in foods you wouldn’t suspect.

Some salad dressings and sauces, candy and even processed lunch meat may have gluten. Even soy sauce, made with wheat, can be a trigger.

Emily notes it’s best to stick with whole foods and shop the perimeter of the grocery store, where less processed foods are found. She believes that food, as it relates to our

health, should be the first line of defense and suggests we all pay attention to the labels. If you don’t know what something is, ask yourself, “Does my body need this?” She says our bodies need oxygen, hydration, movement and nourishment and encourages eating a wide variety of foods—especially fruits and vegetables in jewel-tone colors.

That advice applies to everyone, not just those who are gluten-free. Emily recommends patronizing your local farmers market. Living in the South Bay, we are fortunate to have access to one nearly every day of the week, and many even come with live music and an ocean view. Strolling a local market offers fresh air and sunshine, a bit of exercise and access to lots of delicious, fresh, healthy foods. ■


Wellness +Beauty DIRECTORY

The South Bay's commitment to wellness and beauty is unrivaled. On the following pages, our new Wellness + Beauty Directory features a list of

Rypen Performance Lab

Rypen Performance Lab is a premier training facility that offers personalized and small group programming, expert coaching, and state-of-the-art equipment to help athletes and fitness enthusiasts improve performance and achieve their goals.


IG: @rypenperformancelab

The NOW Massage

Escape the daily pressures of life and recharge your energy and spirit through the healing benefits of massage therapy. Self-care is a necessity, not a luxury.


IG: @thenowmassage

AKM Studio

Exclusive salon suite featuring curated color collections and bespoke cutting and styling. Angela has the expertise and vision to define your signature look.




Haute LA Organic Aveda Salon & Blow Dry Bar

Celebrating 10 years as a top organic salon and blow-dry bar offering Aveda. Specialties include blondes, hair extensions, nontoxic smoothing treatments, cuts, organic color services, organic spray tans.


IG: @hautelasalon


Bardot Salon

Sitting on the shady corner of 12th Street and Manhattan Avenue, this small boutique salon—opened in 2010—offers cuts, color, blowouts and extensions.


IG: @bardotsalonmb

The Studio (MDR)

A boutique fitness studio offering athletic, class-oriented, Pilates-based Megaformer workouts that enhance your physical and mental well-being.


IG: @thestudiomdr




We provide individualized pelvic health therapy with a focus on pre- and postpartum women. Offering pelvic therapy, labor and birth preparation, workshops and in-home care.


IG: @beachmama_wellness

Hey Babe Wellness

Highly personalized physical therapy to help you overcome pain and dysfunction to live life fully. Treating sports, orthopedics and pelvic floor dysfunction.


IG: @heybabewellness

N2 Aesthetics

Aesthetics are about renewing your sense of self. Welcome to a deeper connection to beauty, where science, anatomy and technical expertise create natural results.


IG: @n2aesthetics | @pa_nicola

Vibrancy Wellness

Dr. Lissa Solis integrates Eastern and Western medicine to address root causes of illness and prevent disease through functional medicine, acupuncture, herbs, cupping, and red light therapy.


IG: @vibrancylivewell

Palmer Chiropractic

We provide specific spinal adjustments and stretching to relieve your neck and back problems so you can get back to living the way you were meant to live: normal.


IG: @mb_chiro

Aspyn Method

Aspyn Method is a boutique fitness studio offering various classes including but not limited to Pilates, barre and cardio sculpt. A Teacher Training program is also offered.


IG: @aspyn.method

Frank E. Kaden, DC

Dr. Kaden is Mastermindcertified in The Zone Technique, which aligns the spine for proper nerve flow and stimulates the spinal cord to balance the brain centers.


FB: @RedondoBeachChiropractor

Beach Life Fitness Boutique

A fun and inviting boutique studio offering all levels of Pilates reformer classes and privates plus prenatal/postpartum fitness, mini trampoline, barre, HIIT and more!


IG: @beachlifefitnessboutique

Julie E Health

Shop organic supplements & superfoods, receive custom health plans or biohacking sessions from a natural health expert in nutrition, energy & functional medicine since 1999.


IG: @JulieEHealth

Wellness + Beauty DIRECTORY

Luxford Nutrition

A healthy life is within your reach. Integrative and functional nutrition for women and children struggling to manage their autoimmune diseases, hormones and digestive disorders.


IG: @autoimmune.gut.nutritionist

Pure Sound Bath

A boutique sound healing meditation studio in Riveria Village. We offer group and private sound baths for adults and children. Come feel the power of sound!


IG: @puresoundbath

Training Mate

Founded on the idea that fitness doesn’t have to be intimidating; it can actually be enjoyable! Unique 45-minute HIIT classes combine cardio and resistance exercises to get you in the best shape of your life.


IG: @trainingmate



Tango classes custom-tailored to individuals, couples and groups. All sessions are designed to educate, move, connect and inspire through the art of partner dance, mindfulness and life coaching.

310-621-0622 |

IG: @ilonalivingtango


Strength & Grace

Tired of the diet/exercise roller coaster, brain fog, weight gain and irritability? Hormone balance could be the missing element you need to lose weight and keep it off.


IG: @corrymatthews

Felix Design Studio

Voted Best Hair Salon in South Bay, where you can escape the everyday demands of life, with the very best professional stylists you can entrust with the care and beauty of your hair.

310-265-9343 (studio number)

IG: @felixdesignofficial


Bassi Psychological Services

Bassi Psychological Services is dedicated to providing affordable mental health services in the South Bay. Our licensed clinicians treat all ages and most disorders


Root&Branch Wellness

Healing through acupuncture and functional medicine. Lab tests find comprehensive results and consider factors like micronutrients, genetics, and hormonal changes to design treatments to restore optimal health.


IG: @rootbranchwellness


A leader in cosmetic dermatology since 2004, we offer a comprehensive suite of laser and injection services chosen to ensure that you receive a safe, long-lasting and aesthetically pleasing result.


IG: @celibre

Hutchins Home Therapy

Proudly serving South Bay families with neurodiversityaffirming, child-led, strengthsbased speech therapy in their homes or in the community.


IG: @hutchinshometherapy

The Daily with Lindsay

Life is too short to feel less than amazing. Build a lifestyle where movement, nutrition and accountability combine to unlock the happiest and healthiest version of YOU.


IG: @thedailywithlindsay

H U T C HINS H O M E TH E R A P Y S P E E C H T H E R A P Y Want to be included in the next Wellness + Beauty Directory? Email Jen Turquand at jen.turquand@ Wellness + Beauty DIRECTORY

Home, Health & Heart


A Healthier Home: The Room-by-Room Guide to Make Any Space a Little Less Toxic

When the pharmaceuticals used to treat her chronic sinus infections and migraines nearly killed her, Shawna Holman realized it was time to take agency over her own health. She looked carefully at what she was putting on and into her body and bringing into her home. She began implementing small, simple lifestyle changes that she calls swaps. Within days she began feeling significantly better and soon was completely pain-free. In A Healthier Home, Shawna shares her approach to make life “ALLT” (a little less toxic)—a practice she’s honed since making her first swap in 2013. A Healthier Home is a comprehensive reference guide to eliminate the common yet toxic things in our daily lives while holistically improving our overall well-being.

The Glucose Goddess Method: The 4-Week Guide to Cutting Cravings, Getting Your Energy Back, and Feeling Amazing

In the follow-up to her international bestseller Glucose Revolution, biochemist and author Jessie Inchauspé gives her readers and her 1.9 million Instagram followers an eagerly awaited, actionable companion to her first book. The Glucose Goddess Method takes the essential information for balancing blood sugar that was laid out in Glucose Revolution and offers a practical, four-week plan to implement the hacks that flatten glucose spikes. Rather than implementing all the hacks at one time, each week a new hack is introduced— allowing readers to more effortlessly integrate the changes into their daily routine. The book also has 100 super-easy recipes, a workbook to track individual progress, and useful tidbits and answers to questions on the method. It also shares dozens of testimonials of people experiencing positive results with the method including increased energy, improved sleep, reversing PCOS, better skin and, in many cases, weight loss without dieting.

The Book of Charlie: Wisdom from the Remarkable American Life of a 109-Year-Old Man

When veteran Washington Post journalist David Von Drehle and his family moved to Kansas, he met his centenarian neighbor, Charlie White, forming an unexpected and life-shaping friendship. Charlie had a fascinating personal story of courage, perseverance and adventure that embodied the true meaning of life. His longevity allowed him to witness the most tumultuous, transformative century in human history. David describes Charlie as “a true surfer on a sea of change.” David, who always wanted to write a book to inspire his four children, wrote The Book of Charlie as a gift to them and to share with the world Charlie’s remarkable story and his secret to a life well lived.


Discover a world of opportunity through El Camino College’s health care programs.

Learn from qualified professionals, gain hands-on experience, and make a positive impact. Take the fi rst step towards a meaningful and rewarding career today!

Learn more at

Start Here. Make a Difference.

You Are Enough


Back in April 2020, when as a community we were all struggling with a new world order called COVID-19, I met Cathy Caplener—a petite soul who carried with her a sense of sadness and angst. She explained to me how she, like so many others, was yearning for connection as she faced isolation and uncertainty.

As we sat on my front lawn, Cathy said how grateful she was to be able to share and talk about her dreams and aspirations. She no doubt needed to talk and missed seeing her therapist, and I was glad that I could be there for her to provide that connection.

Cathy has been touched by mental illness throughout her life, as has her twin brother, who was recently diagnosed as having bipolar disorder. She saw her father deal with depression all of his life; he would turn to alcohol to chase the sadness and shadows away.

But Cathy knew she could not hide from her sadness. To start her healing process, she decided to find a way to help others facing mental wellness challenges know they are not alone and that they are seen and heard.

In July 2020, Cathy launched a billboard in the South Bay on Avenue C on the Pacific Coast Highway that read: “YOU ARE ENOUGH.” No advertising, no website or phone number. Just three words in a bold white font held by a dark cobalt blue background.

The vague nature of the statement created curiosity and a desire to know more. Cathy wanted people to lean in to the words as though the words were their own. She wanted passersby to just feel the words instead of thinking that to be ENOUGH, we have to be more, do more and have more—a gentle yet maybe not-so-gentle reminder that millions will see and hopefully embrace.

Some people did not understand the phrase, and perhaps this is part of the intense magnitude of the campaign’s rapid spread. The three simple, powerful and supportive words are meant to be taken by everyone in their own way. This is the beauty and the power of the campaign.

Sensing the community’s response to the first billboard, Cathy worked diligently and raised funds for more billboards via a GoFundMe campaign. Daily she heard from folks how the first billboard helped them, their friends and family. One woman sat by the billboard every morning drinking coffee while praying for her daughter who had just

taken her own life. This billboard was the mother's shrine and a way to heal.

To increase the scope of the campaign beyond billboards, Cathy started a mental health and societal healing nonprofit called Giving Purpose. As a public relations entrepreneur, Cathy knew that she had to start an organic, “purpose relations” campaign and work within her community to get these words out to the masses.

so many of us, and Cathy knew it was time to do more than just get funds for billboards.

She started looking for corporate sponsors to help get boards up and also create employee engagement and community relations campaigns around the words. Kinecta was her first, and to this day it is her biggest corporate supporter—paying for six billboards in the South Bay. When Cathy asked Kinecta if they wanted to be featured on the billboards, they said no and explained that the campaign is not about advertising. It is all about giving back.

This campaign showed all of us how we can be positive mirrors for one another and “share it forward,” whether the words were on billboards or a yard sign. People were coming together to get the boards up and wanted to buy the merchandise to let others know they were seen and heard.

Cathy’s movement and following grew. Wristbands appeared and continue to appear all over the globe. Yard signs popped up in yards, apartment windows and business establishments. The movement led to 550 billboards, newspaper write-ups, blog features and Cathy’s recent appearance on KTLA.

She started by designing cobalt blue wristbands with the words YOU ARE ENOUGH and passed them out to locals and strangers. She interviewed people about what the words meant to them and decided to create a documentary featuring the interviews. One friend suggested she consider merchandising the words on yard signs, hoodies and T-shirts. Sure enough, people ordered the merchandise like there was no tomorrow.

Facebook became the hub for the campaign, where people could share their ENOUGH stories and how they were coping with their mental health. The movement had begun in the South Bay, and Cathy saw people coming together and helping one another believe they were ENOUGH.

Perhaps coming out of the dark isolation many felt during the pandemic catapulted her message. But Cathy also knew that when dealing with mental health challenges, one needs to learn to sit with “self” and embrace our beauty and faith—something that is so hard to do when we feel sad and alone.

COVID-19 woke up the depression monster in

She organized a pier-to-pier 5K run/ walk from Hermosa Beach to Manhattan Beach and back. Cathy had only three weeks to plan and promote the event and was stressed about getting enough people to cover the costs. Yet she knew that no matter how many people participated, she was starting an event that would naturally grow over the years because it had a purpose everyone could relate to and feel a part of. Most importantly, people would be seen and supported.

On the day of the event, I had the privilege to be the emcee—sharing the stage with DJ Lavae McClinnahan and 10-year-old singer Nicolas Gonzalez, who brought so many of us to tears while he sang the national anthem. More than 300 people showed up and were ready to come together for fun and smiles.

After growing the movement for three years, Cathy has plans to take it across the country. To learn more or get involved, check out It takes funds to grow a movement, so please visit the site to learn how to become a part of this incredible avalanche of love.

As my voice rang out over the sand and across the plaza encouraging the 5K participants, I too was reminded that I AM ENOUGH … and for that I am eternally grateful. ■

The three simple, powerful and supportive words are meant to be taken by everyone in their own way.

She Soars



Watching football on television is a New Year’s Day tradition—especially the Rose Bowl Game in Pasadena, where the Pac-12 and Big Ten square off. In the last five years, Penn State has represented the Big Ten twice, and Margaret “Peggy” Sullivan of Manhattan Beach never misses an opportunity to support her Nittany Lions up close and in person.

“After the last touchdown was scored, I was lucky enough to capture a video of Peggy being tossed 35 times in the air,” shares friend Jill Costley. “Peggy’s smile lit up the stadium, and her picture made the jumbotron! I’ll never forget it. She is Penn State’s #1 fan.”

Peggy grew up dreaming of the day she would move away from Ardmore, Pennsylvania, a small suburb of Philadelphia. While at a fraternity party, someone recommended she become a flight attendant. The suggestion became a reality, and Peggy has been flying the friendly skies for the last 42 years with American Airlines.

“Now instead of dreaming of leaving the town I grew up in, I love going back to see family and go on bike rides along the New Jersey shore with my high school friends,” she says.

Flying with a commercial airline for more than four decades has afforded Peggy a range of experiences including flying Michael Jackson’s family and entourage across the country, meeting the pope in Vatican City, flying soldiers to Kuwait, and traveling to American Air Force bases in Italy to pick up refugees and take them back to the United States.

She has been a flight attendant for the Los Angeles Rams and the Dallas Cowboys. “It was a special thrill to take the Rams to their ‘destiny’ when they won the Super Bowl in 2022,” she shares. “They are all complete gentlemen who love what they do!”

Traveling is not just a career; it is a way of life for Peggy. She flies somewhere typically one-third of every month—often shaking off jet lag to enjoy new cultures or experiences. From the cherry blossoms in Tokyo to the Great Wall of China to the charm of Charleston, South Carolina, she soaks it all in with a smile on her face. Layovers have served as opportunities to run a marathon or compete in a triathlon.

Even though she didn’t grow up near an

ocean, Peggy has now competed in the Dwight Crum Pier-to-Pier Swim 34 times. This annual event starts at Hermosa Beach Pier and ends at the Manhattan Beach Pier. She now also competes in the International Surf Festival paddleboard race an hour before the event. “I needed a ride to the start line,” she explains.

For training, Peggy swims with a group of friends three times a week. If she’s not in the ocean, she can be found at either of the two local Bay Clubs. “One of my favorite people to swim with is Bill Singley, who is 84 with no signs of slowing down,” she says. On cold mornings, it is the anticipation of the post-swim coffee and debriefing with friends that gives her the extra motivation to get in the water.

Ocean swimming started for Peggy in her 30s when a small group of friends thought it would be fun to compete in a triathlon starting at the Manhattan Beach Pier. “We decided if we could just swim around the pier, anything would be possible,” says Peggy. “We all made it, and we were so excited, you would have thought we had just swum the Catalina Channel!”

The challenge of swimming the entire distance—combined with adapting to the changing conditions and elements—boosts Peggy’s adrenaline. Plus, she loves to swim near dolphins. “Manhattan Beach seems to have become cleaner with more visibility over the years,” she adds. “We often call ourselves mermaids and dive for sand dollars, which is a mermaid’s currency.”

One of her favorite swimming locations is

“We decided if we could just swim around the pier, anything would be possible.”

across Honolulu’s Waikiki. She says it is like traversing an aquarium.

With a trial-and-error approach to life, Peggy wears many hats, including licensed real estate agent, property manager, substitute teacher, and marriage and family therapist. None of these other careers hold a candle to the flexibility she has as a flight attendant. In that role, she has utilized her skills as a therapist—not taking passengers’ negative comments to heart and using de-escalation techniques to help passengers decompress.

“You never know if a passenger is thinking about the stressful security line or almost missing their flight,” she says. “They might just need someone to listen, or maybe they just need a Coca-Cola.”

“We fly so you can soar” is an American Airlines slogan about being of service to passengers. Peggy is a prime example of this type of empowerment because she doesn't let life or its circumstances hold her back. She too is soaring. ■

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Divided loyalties. It’s a health care issue that commonly impacts doctors, who find themselves torn between the requirements of the volume-based health care system and the needs of their patients. After David Wallis, MD, practiced for more than two decades as a South Bay family and sports medicine physician, the solution for him was clear. In 2022 he opened his dream practice, Beach Cities Medicine.

“I find that patients want the same things I do,” he says. “In addition to clinical judgment and expertise, patients want more of my time, and I want to spend more time and be more thorough with them every visit. It just takes a different economic model to have the time and staff to do a great job.”

Dr. Wallis and his staff consider their patients like family. They recently installed a new in-house X-ray to up their level of service. They consistently go the extra mile to coordinate care and ensure that patients do not slip through the cracks in the fragmented health care system.

“Patients want better access when they are

sick—and I want to be there for them,” Dr. Wallis shares. “It’s why we dedicate so many years and hours to our training and staying on top of the science. It’s crazy how we spend the rest of our professional lives in a frenzy.”

As a completely independent physician, Dr. Wallis enjoys practicing in a manner where his professional loyalties are undivided. “I get to go to work every day and take the best care of longtime friends. And I get to do it in a beautiful place with a great staff that’s stuck with me for years. It’s amazing.”


For years Dr. Wallis nurtured his goal of working as a solo practitioner. After his training at UCLA and UC San Diego, he bought the domain in 2002 with the intention of opening his own private practice. Over the next 20 years Dr. Wallis worked with premiere primary care groups in the South Bay, developing long-standing relationships with specialists and honing his clinical experience.

in good health
PHOTOGRAPHED BY JEFFREY FITERMAN L to R: Vivian Romero, Gaby Mejia, Candice de la Cerda, Dave Wallis, MD

Board-certified and fellowship-trained, Dr. Wallis is highly regarded by patients and colleagues. He works with athletes—from recreational to professional—and has served as a team physician for the Los Angeles Dodgers, the LA Galaxy, Chivas USA, the U.S. National Soccer Team and others. He is an expert reviewer for the Medical Board of California and has published more than a dozen academic journal articles and book chapters on a variety of topics.


Dr. Wallis practices what he preaches—staying active, enjoying adventures and spending time outdoors. He has completed several marathons including Boston, several triathlons including five Ironman races, and other endurance adventures such as Paris-Brest-Paris—a 1,200 km race dating back to 1891.

He strives to help patients focus on a more holistic definition of health. “I’m a big numbers and data guy, but health is so much more than that,” he points out. “Body, mind, and soul— they all need our attention. It’s way too easy in our fast-paced and distracted society to neglect any one of these. I may not have a pill to fix everything, but I encourage my patients just as I would any other friend and help them achieve their goals in each of these arenas.”


“We love the South Bay,” Dr. Wallis says of his family, which includes his wife of more than 25 years and their four teenage children. “However, as great as our bubble is, our world is so much bigger. We want to help others wherever they are.”

Dr. Wallis first went into medicine after spending a summer working at a hospital in Nigeria. He continues to use his time, talent and treasure to help others. Recently he completed a two-week medical mission trip to Nepal, where he served in remote villages in the Himalayas and assisted a caste described as “untouchable” outside Kathmandu.

“It’s invigorating and challenging at the same time,” he says. “We’ve been blessed with so much. I believe we were blessed to be a blessing—not just because we’re somehow more deserving. It’s so easy to lose that perspective.”

A DREAM REALIZED Personalization, communication, dedication and integration. These, Dr. Wallis believes, are the four pillars of a great personalized-medicine practice.

“I was hesitant to go into concierge medicine because the name just sounds too bougie—and I’m not a bougie kind of guy,” he laughs. “I can’t even get myself to wear a white coat or get a haircut! But I love the entrepreneurial spirit. How lucky am I to have the setting, incentive and freedom to constantly work to build the best practice around?!””




REDONDO BEACH 424-437-4700


“Patients want more of my time, and I want to spend more time and be more thorough with them every visit.”

When Your Girl Isn’t All Right

Today one out of four adolescent girls reports suffering from symptoms of major depression. And for parents of a girl who is struggling, nothing is more painful. Donna Jackson Nakazawa aims to help those parents and their kids with her new book, Girls on the Brink. Her mission is the book’s subtitle: “Helping Our Daughters Thrive in an Era of Increased Anxiety, Depression, and Social Media.” After two years of exhaustive research with scientists, medical practitioners and mental health experts—and, of course, girls—she offers insight into why this is happening and what parents can do about it.

You blame the increase in anxiety and depression among girls on a toxic combination: the earlier onset of puberty, the hideous effect of social media on selfesteem and the misogyny in our culture. Yes, and I would add that this world is extremely stressful for kids across the board. The world has heated up socially, politically, environmentally—wildfires, floods, school shootings, political insanity, pandemic. Social media amplifies that and begins to literally change the brain. Kids are growing up in an environment where we really can’t understand the effects on the young brain, which asks itself: “Am I safe in this world or not?” The answer is increasingly no.

And it’s all happening during the critical window of adolescence when the brain is still forming.

I talked to leading neurobiologists, girls, school nurses, pediatricians and public health researchers over two years. Two things became clear. Puberty is happening earlier and earlier. In the 1800s it was age 16; in 1900, age 15. Today it is age 11. That has shaved off a lot of girlhood. Puberty is happening before adolescence. That’s a problem. It used to be that you went through a period in the tweens and early adolescence to develop and figure out who you were in the world. For example: How should you respond to that mean girl who left you out in the classroom? The brain needs that time to figure out how to handle small stressors and large stressors before puberty sets in. “Is this a big deal or not? Is this life or death? How do I ask for help?”

In the book you indicate that this situation can actually impact adulthood. More than 2,000 studies over the past 20 years look at how adversity affects mental health. Studies show that significant stress over time begins to create changes in the immune system and architecture of the brain. It is a state of fight-or-flight over a period of time. One doesn’t know if they’re safe or not or when the next bad thing is going to happen. That sets the brain on high alert


and over time sends the immune system into high alert, which causes complicated inflammatory factors to course through the body and brain. It is a big deal when it happens during puberty when hormones are coming in, which amplifies this remodel of the brain.

Why are we seeing girls more impacted than boys?

Boys are definitely struggling too. There are some differences in the brain. In boys we see more attention and behavioral issues, but girls tend to take stressors more internally, especially social pressures. Boys tend to take their pressures more externally.

On social media, you see girls—from the moment they start getting curves and sometimes even before—posing in bikinis and skimpy clothing, trying to be sexy. You can see that their posts are eliciting responses, and that is where and how they are trying to build their self-confidence and esteem.

Yes, and the girls I’ve followed for two years told me stories about how if you wanted to be popular in high school, you needed to be really active on social media. The earlier you sexualized yourself, the more popular you were. Popularity is based on how willing one is to be sexualized—way before the brain is ready for it.

I talked to girls who said the more clothes they took off on TikTok, the more followers they got. If a girl looks like an adult and is sexualized, she will become more popular. This really messes with the brain.

We have really good research that shows two things. One, the more time kids spend on social media and the more they see different behaviors getting liked, the more the brain reacts the same way that you or I might if we really loved chocolate. It activates the reward center of the brain in ways that become addictive.

Two, in an internal survey run by Meta (parent company of Facebook and Instagram), kids who spent a lot of time on Instagram said they wanted to spend less time—but they just didn’t know how.

You have words of caution even for parents of a well-loved popular girl. Yes, even for that girl, her sense of herself and her possibilities in this world will be diminished over time in the face of this continual misogynistic, sexist and gender messaging. I learned this from girls I talked to.

Even when girls grew up in loving families, their sense of possibilities, mattering and being valued began to diminish over time in this avalanche of negative messaging.

Another one of your building blocks, and one I find tremendously challenging as a parent: When hard things happen, be prepared to respond in healthy, supportive ways, even when your child shares difficult-to-hear information.

When a child is upset, showing signs of depression ... when the conversation begins to happen, it is so important that it is a good experience. Our child will remember what came out of our mouth and the way it made them feel. We want to do that by stepping back—being not just a good listener but somebody who knows when to jump in and when not to.

Sometimes we can rewire our own brain by having a few scripts. I’ve had parents tell me that they’ve taken sections of my book and made crib cards or sheets. When your child comes to you and is really struggling, don’t jump in as the fixer, the detective, the judge. [You want to say,] “Who did it? Where were you? What happened? Show me!” But if you can come in with a script, it can be helpful. You can say to your child, “Look, I’m going to tell you what I think, but right now it is more important that you share with me, and I listen.” This allows our child to walk away thinking: I am loved, seen, and I matter. This is a place I can return to for help.

In the book, you offer what you call the building blocks of good parent-child connection and the importance of family resilience. One is to get in sync—to understand the connections between your own stress and trauma and what you are communicating to your child. We know when a kid grows up with a lot of stress and adversity, that begins to affect the way the brain and immune system fire up. If you were one of those kids yourself, later in life, when as parents we are in highstress moments, our brain is more likely to kind of go offline. We become so caught up in managing our own feelings that we are not present to help the child in front of us.

It’s OK when that happens. What isn’t OK is to not do anything about it. There are ways we can reground ourselves. We can offer what we call parent attunement. Rather than having to fix your own state of being off-kilter, you’re tuning in to your child’s emotional state.

It is challenging not to be reactive when a child tells you something disturbing. It is a tall order. The idea is to create a different level of connection. We don’t have to do this alone. We can take some of the pressure off by getting professional help. We can bring in the help of the school and engage the power of mentors and benefactors.

What about parents getting therapy to help them cope?

Yes, 100%. In the book I talk about normalizing therapy for the whole family from a young age. We are better parents when we have someone to talk to about our stress and anxiety. I advise families to start the search for the right therapist early if you have any inkling that your child is struggling. The earlier we intervene with therapy, the better results we see. ■

For more of Linda’s conversation with Donna, listen to SheSez with Linda Grasso, available across all podcast platforms. Or access the SheSez podcast episode here:

Kids are growing up in an environment wheRE we really can’t understand the effects on the young brain, which asks itself: “Am I safe in this world or not?”
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Game On


With pickleball mania surging in the South Bay, one man suddenly finds himself in huge demand. Scott Crandall, nicknamed SoCal Lefty, is a professional player and El Segundo Pickleball’s pro instructor. Despite a busy schedule helping other “picklers” improve their game, he also makes time to compete in the pro tours of the Professional Pickleball Association (PPA) and the Association of Pickleball Professionals.

Scott is a 50-time professional medalist, recently winning his third consecutive bronze medal at the US Open Pickleball Championships in Florida. Currently World Pickleball has ranked him as third in the men’s senior pro doubles and fifth in mixed senior pro doubles. Certified as an instructor by the Professional Pickleball Registry, he is also the coach of the Bay Area Breakers, ranked #1 in Major League Pickleball.

Pickleball is a fast-paced, competitive game that combines elements of tennis, ping-pong and badminton. For a sport not well known before the pandemic, pickleball courts have since popped up at schools, parks and courtyards—from The Strand to neighborhood cul-de-sacs.

“Pickleball is life! It’s what I do for fun. It’s what I do to earn money. It teaches me about myself as a player, as a competitor and as a coach. immersing myself into pickleball has been a blessing in ways I never could have imagined.”

With almost 9 million players, pickleball is America’s fastest-growing sport for the third year in a row, according to the Sports & Fitness Industry Association’s 2023 State of the Industry Report.

“Pickleball is life! It’s what I do for fun. It’s what I do to earn money. It teaches me about myself as a player, as a competitor and as a coach,” says Scott. “Immersing myself into pickleball has been a blessing in ways I never could have imagined.”

Scott explains that the difference between pickleball and tennis, which he grew up playing, is that the best player does not always win. In fact, the “kitchen”—the front area of the court—neutralizes more athletic players, and the game becomes more about strategy.

“Scott is one of the best minds in pickleball to date,” explains Julio Rivera, head pro at the Santa Monica Pickleball Center and head coach of the Orlando Squeeze. “He is a real student of the game and has projected himself as one of the top senior pros.”

The game presents a myriad of challenges both internally and externally for players, and there are a wide variety of strategies and tactics to choose from. Each

game presents different conditions. “Every opponent has a unique set of skills to deal with, and it’s constantly a big puzzle to solve—including all the changing emotions going on within myself and my partner,” shares Scott.

He admits that he does not like to lose, and for a period he experienced defeat playing mixed doubles. “The very best women have the most success, and if you don’t have one of those women, it can be challenging,” he explains. “I spent a lot of time losing mixed double games, and for some players they might be able to handle that along the way. But I’m not one of those people.”

Feedback led to Scott’s name being put on a “list” of partners you might not want to play with in mixed doubles. This didn’t seem to bother him, because he likes to win and it was just part of the process of getting to where he wanted to be in that category.

Scott got to coach with former tennis player Jessie Irvine, an incredibly talented pickleball player who is currently ranked in the top five of all three women’s divisions, according to the PPA Tour.

“Scott is not only a fierce competitor who gives 100% every time he steps on the

court whenever he competes, but he is also a great coach,” says Jessie. “He’s very good at being able to see what a player needs to play well. He is also good at picking up on strategical tendencies and patterns, which is extremely important in pickleball.”

As a highly sought-after pickleball coach, he is known for being frank with a dry sense of humor. “Scott has been invaluable in making my game better. Understanding strategy and shot selection has been a game changer,” says Beth Drayer, one of his students. “His style of coaching allows us to play and break down points in real time. It’s immediate feedback, which is super helpful for me.”

Lee Zellweger, president of InPickleball Media, believes the popularity of the game has been driven by its community, which is inclusive, supportive and social. “Pickleball is a way to meet new people and make new friends. It’s keeping all of us entertained, in shape, engaged and connected.”

Adds Scott, “When I see a new pickleball addict, I just smile and nod in understanding because I know the joyful path they are about to embark upon.” ■


Family Style

There’s a difference between a vacation and a trip, my mom always says. A vacation is when you go somewhere with adults. A trip is when you travel somewhere with your kids. As a parent, you still have to do all the work you’d do at home—just at a different place.

The key, I’ve learned as a mom, is to stay at resorts where kids and parents can spend quality time together—with a myriad of mutually entertaining activities but also enjoy time apart. (Mommy likes to read her book on the beach.) Rosewood Mayakoba, a 45-minute drive from Cancún International Airport, fits that bill.

Situated along Mexico’s Riviera Maya between Playa del Carmen and Tulum, the Rosewood resort is part of the 620-acre Mayakoba gated community. Mayakoba is also home to three other luxury resorts, all of which share an electric golf cart transportation system and a Greg Normandesigned golf course. The course, which is irrigated by recycled water, hosted Mexico’s first-ever PGA Tour event last November.

The 70-acre Rosewood Mayakoba lives up to its reputation as a subtropical garden of Eden. It is surrounded by natural mangroves and is home to hundreds of indigenous flora and fauna species. The lagoon may be manmade, but with careful attention to detail and integration of fish and wildlife, it looks organic. The icing on the cake: a powdery, pristine white-sand beach with stunning views of the aquamarine Caribbean Sea.

It’s that setting, plus all the activities available, that makes it an ideal place to bring kids. We loved the complimentary eco boat tour, where we were accompanied by a biologist and heard about the flora and fauna. We also enjoyed renting paddle bikes for a tour of the lagoon (also guided), seeing spider monkeys, long-tailed lemurs, gray herons, iguanas and more. The lagoon would seem ideal for a dip or a swim, but the presence of crocodiles means it’s off-limits to humans.

Another cool activity: a guided tour of the bat-filled cenote on Mayakoba. Cenotes are

caves with crystal-clear pools of water at the bottom. We were spellbound watching the nocturnal bats hanging like sculptures from the top of the cave. Visitors can also check out Kantun Chi, an eco park where you can swim in the cenotes.

Rosewood Mayakoba’s complimentary bikes are another kid-pleasing element. Because the community is gated, you can give teenagers a bike and let them loose. For younger children, an on-site kids club has a daylong roster of activities ranging from yoga to Mayan storytelling.

As for accommodations, each villa comes with a butler, available 24/7 to tend to your every need. You can stay beside the lagoon with a patio and pier, or by the sea. We opted for a deluxe lagoon villa. In addition to having an indoor shower with floor-to-ceiling crystal walls, the bathroom opened to a small private garden with an outdoor shower.

The staff and service at Rosewood make you feel like nothing is out of the question. Oh gee, we loved those spicy


margaritas you served when we arrived. Could we get the ingredients sent to our suite so we can make them ourselves?

Sure. Even when my husband asked if we could find the not exactly high-rated Washington Commanders vs. Atlanta Falcons football game (we are both are from D.C.), our butler made it happen.

Of all the Mayakoba resorts, Rosewood offers the best beach experience. My three beach pet peeves are when lounge chairs are spaced too tight, when you are forced to listen to bad music and when the server simply won’t leave you alone. The servers at Rosewood seemed to know instinctively when I needed something; the rest of the time they left me alone to relax.

The resort’s expansive, serene Sense Spa is situated on a small island surrounded by lush vegetation. It offers a wide array of therapeutic treatments that incorporate Mayan culture. As an avid gardener, I chose the Kuxtal Sensory Garden experience to learn about indigenous plants and their healing properties. A tour of the spa garden with a medicinal plant expert followed by a massage was a heavenly way to spend an afternoon.

The resort has four distinct pool areas and numerous dining options on-site, plus a food truck that serves top-notch tacos. They also regularly host festive themed evenings with food and drink stations and a live band. These events are casual and family-friendly; we saw kids dancing as well as parents.

As for off-campus excursions, the touristy town of Playa del Carmen, which has a number of good restaurants, is about a 10-minute drive away. A more interesting option is a day trip to see Mayan ruins. Playa Del Carmen lies between the great Mayan sites of Chichén Itzá, Tulum, Cobá and Ek' Balam. Chichen Itza, a 2 1/2-hour drive, is the most famous and the most crowded of the sites. Tulum and Cobá are great options for those who would rather not spend a whole day driving. At Ek' Balam you can climb to the top of the highest ruins; the other sites don’t allow climbing.

Together time soaking up Mayan culture with the kids, then returning back to the resort for alone time so Mommy can continue reading her book—it’s about as close to a vacation that a parent can get. ■

The Rosewood Mayakoba's open-air lobby is dramatically situated on a lagoon that snakes around the entire resort. Below, L to R: The writer marvels at the beauty of a lantern-lit tree; Mexican eggs Benedict with chipotle hollandaise sauce; the medicinal garden at the resort’s Sense Spa.

Shifting Focus



Siane Studart grew up in the small Brazilian town of São Lourenço, home to around 45,000 people. While most of Siane’s friends got married young and settled there, her mother encouraged her to venture to America to study English. At age 20, Siane packed her bags and moved to California, where she had some family connections. Shortly after, she met and fell in love with Mathias, also Brazilian, and settled in the South Bay.

The young couple found the philosophies of their new beach community like those of their native Brazil, where a focus on health and wellness was embedded at a young age. After Mathias and Siane got married some years later, they welcomed son Noah and daughter Nina. They pass along this shared appreciation for an active lifestyle to their children.

Siane says that in Brazil, women get lymphatic massages as frequently as American women get manicures—sometimes weekly. She was surprised the practice was not more widespread in the United States.

When her husband lost his business during COVID-19, Siane took on a full-time nanny

job during the day to help.

At the same time, she sensed an opportunity to offer this treatment. She took lymphatic massage courses at night, investing in training to get certified by the highly renowned Renata França. The Renata França method is a manual massage technique that uses firm pressure on the whole body with precise, fast movements on the circulatory path of the lymphatic system to produce immediate results.

Since 2020, Siane has achieved more than 10 certifications in different specializations, including treatments for post-op/ post-plastic surgery, pregnancy, postpartum, autoimmune illness symptom relief and managing pain for cancer patients. The field is constantly evolving, and Siane loves learning—taking more classes to enhance the services she offers her clients.

Lymphatic drainage massage was originally developed in Brazil by Danish massage practitioner and doctor of philosophy Emil Vodder. He created the therapeutic technique to stimulate the lymphatic system, responsible for removing waste and toxins from the body. This type of massage can

have many health benefits, including reducing swelling and inflammation, boosting the immune system and improving the body’s circulation.

The results of the practice have been rewarding for both Siane and her clients. A 13-year-old girl consulted Siane to help treat her chronic fatigue syndrome symptoms, including swelling and watering eyes. As Siane remembers, “I was doing lymphatic on her face. Afterward she opened her eyes and was so excited. She said, ‘My eyes aren’t watering anymore!’’’

For Siane, lymphatic massage doesn’t feel like work. It’s a part of her culture and something she loves sharing with others. She is expanding to a second location in Huntington Beach, building on the success of her Hermosa Beach studio. She hired and trained two of her Brazilian friends to help meet the demand here in the South Bay.

“I love when people see the before and after,” Siane says. “They get so many health benefits. It’s more than looking great; they actually feel great too.” ■

“I love when people see the before and after. They get so many health benefits. It’s more than looking great; they actually feel great too.”
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• Sports & orthopedic rehabilitation

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• Injury prevention

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• Concussion management

• Return to sport programming


We don’t shy away from personal topics. We want our patients to live their lives as fully as possible, and to support them in doing so, we provide a space where TMI doesn’t exist. We understand that many topics related to pelvic floor function may not be comfortable to talk about, but we are here to have those conversations and provide you with information and solutions that are effective and that optimize your health for many years to come.


Our pelvic floor is a group of muscles responsible for bladder and bowel control. Those muscles can become weaker with age, reducing our ability to maintain continence. Other changes that can affect our pelvic floor function include prostate hypertrophy in men (when the prostate grows in size), changes in blood flow, and menopausal changes like loss of estrogen in women. These changes can lead to urinary or fecal incontinence, incomplete or slow bladder emptying, decreased libido, difficulty with arousal or orgasm and pain with sex.


As a physical therapy clinic, we serve many older adults to help them age with more strength, better posture and better balance so they can maintain their independence and prevent falls, injury and pain. We often treat our aging population for incontinence, a common cause of UTIs. Did you know that UTIs are the leading cause of nursing home admissions? This is because they can cause dementia-like symptoms in older adults. These symptoms go away once the UTI is addressed but are dangerous for older adults because they can lead to falls or unsafe actions.

While there are many ways to address incontinence, we recommend starting with increasing your water intake. The bladder is a muscle and has to be worked like any other. The more you drink, the more conditioned your bladder will be. The recommended amount of water intake is half your body weight in ounces.


Women should use lubrication with sex to protect tissue and improve the experience! There are all different kinds of lubricants. We like Slippery Stuff, Uberlube and Good Clean Love. Women need at least 13 minutes of foreplay for their vaginal canal to expand for comfortable penetration. If you don’t enjoy foreplay, find something new and fun to try, like a vibrator! We see atrophy of the vulva and clitoris starting in perimenopause, and vibrators are an effective and fun way to maintain healthy tissue and increase blood flow and arousal.

“We want our patients to live their lives as fully as possible.”
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The field of facial plastic surgery appeals to me because of its combination of artistry and science. I enjoy the delicate and detail-oriented nature of the surgical services we offer. I value the personal relationships I develop with my patients in the unrushed setting of my private practice. I also appreciate the elective nature of my specialty. People seek our services because it enhances the quality of their lives.


This beautiful woman sought my advice and services for facial rejuvenation. Her after photo demonstrates a refreshed and more youthful look while remaining age-appropriate, without any tell-tale signs of cosmetic surgery. Check out our online gallery with thousands of photos depicting our patients’ results.

ing results. The safety and satisfaction of my patients are my ultimate indicators of success.


Philanthropy and humanitarian work are cornerstones of my practice. I have been involved in international surgical mission work for over 15 years. Each year, I travel on surgical missions to Guatemala and Vietnam where our team provides pro bono reconstructive surgery to children born with facial deformities.


Trust has to be earned. It helps to start with a board-certified specialist with experience and a record of success. I am a board-certified facial plastic surgeon, and I’ve been practicing and performing surgery for over 15 years. My surgical practice focuses exclusively on the face.


The most important traits to succeed in medicine are honesty, clear and open communication, and a commitment to excellence. With the right advice and guidance, people are able to discern which services are most suited to their goals and most likely to yield satisfy-


A common misconception about facial rejuvenation is that results are unnatural and conspicuous. In reality, when performed well, surgical facial rejuvenation results can be undetectable and entirely natural. People who seek our facial rejuvenation services want their facial appearance to match their personality and internal feelings of vitality and vigor. People do not want to look different—they want to look like the best version of themselves. In the right hands, that goal is entirely achievable.

“The safety and satisfaction of my patients are my ultimate indicators of success.”



514 N. Prospect Ave., Suite 103, Redondo Beach | 310-937-8555 |


• Newborn care and well care for children

• Well adult and well women care

• On-site radiology

• Sports medicine

• Routine vaccinations and lab services

• Same-day sick appointments

• Walk-in immediate care


Dan Schmitz, MD: The UCLA Health – Redondo Beach team is a friendly, experienced group that works seamlessly together. Our physicians are trained in family medicine, internal medicine and pediatrics; we’re experts in the care of patients of all ages. We’re easily accessible to the community, both in our location and in our offering of regularly scheduled visits as well as urgent care walk-ins.


Juline Asamoah, MD: I specialize in internal medicine and pediatrics. I chose this specialty due to the training that allowed me to pursue my passions. My clinical focus is in the areas of adolescent medicine, LGBTQ+/gender health and providing care for patients with chronic childhood diseases as they become adults. Chronic childhood diseases include sickle cell disease, congenital heart disease, cerebral palsy, etc. Currently I am part of a group of primary care physicians at UCLA Health who provide care for patients with sickle cell disease, and I am excited to see the program grow.

Dr. Schmitz: I am board-certified in both internal medicine (general adult medicine) and pediatrics, which means I take care of patients of all ages. I enjoy preventive medicine—helping keep people healthy in the first place—as well as empowering patients with the knowledge and tools they need to manage chronic conditions throughout their lives.


Dr. Schmitz: The most powerful steps to improving our overall health often lie in the foundational principles of a healthy diet, regular exercise, connectedness to others, and staying up to date in preventive care. The challenge lies in translating these ideas into everyday practice and staying consistent. I enjoy helping patients implement these steps in a way that works for their lives.


Dr. Asamoah: Technology makes providing access easier. One of the biggest barriers to health care is just having access to physicians. Telehealth is a convenient option for many patients with non-complex medical conditions, but it also provides patients who have difficulty with transportation or ambulation or a medical condition that prevents them from leaving their homes with an easier way to schedule an appointment with their physicians. While telehealth isn’t right for every visit, it is a great use of technology to provide increased access for patients.


Dr. Asamoah: Mental health is so important! Make time for self-care. Each person is different in how they like to pursue their mental health self-care—whether it’s playing a sport, reading, going on vacation, taking walks, etc. Whatever works for you, it is important to give yourself the time. If you or someone around you notices that you are down and unable to get out of a funk, or anxious or depressed to the point that it’s preventing you from doing normal tasks, seek help! That’s what we are here for.


Dr. Schmitz: I enjoy getting outside as much as I can: running, hiking or heading to the beach with my wife and our energetic, 15-month-old Shepherd mix in tow. As relatively new South Bay residents, we are enjoying spending weekends exploring all of our local restaurants and community offerings.

Dr. Asamoah: I love food; I’m a huge foodie. That was one of the biggest bonuses in moving to Los Angeles: having accessibility to all types of different foods. There are so many amazing options!

“We’re experts in the care of patients of all ages.”



• Botox

• Fillers

• Collagen stimulators

• Microneedling


• Sofwave

• Acorn stem cell cryopreservation

• Nutrition/supplement counseling

• Medical-grade skin care


N2 Aesthetics is all about natural beauty from within. We want to help our patients look good on the outside, which can be an incredible boost for their confidence and how they present themselves to the world. But we also want our patients to feel their best on the inside, so we recently launched N2 Nutrition. Our inhouse nutrition expert, Natasha Dutko, guides patients on a 21-day purification program for weight loss. She creates bespoke supplement recommendations to help with perimenopause/hormonal imbalances, gut issues, inflammation, sleep issues and stress management. Her programming is life-changing.


In the world of medical aesthetics, we almost exclusively treat healthy adults who are making an investment in their appearance. But there was a very special case last year where I had the honor of helping a woman who had been affected for more than 10 years by a severe case of Bell’s Palsy. I provided her with a strategic treatment plan using both Botox and hyaluronic acid fillers. This made a positive impact on her appearance, and her gratitude moved me to tears.

We currently have three medical providers: Cambria Hunter, RN, who has over nine years of clinical experience including six years specializing in medical aesthetics. She is talented, an absolute doll, and her fun and vibrant energy is infectious. Diana Rand, a certified nurse practitioner, has specialized in aesthetic medicine for 11 years. She is a big fan of regenerative medicine and treating the patient as a whole. This approach always lands her patients with the most natural and beautiful outcomes. Everyone falls in love with Diana when they meet her.

And then myself, Nicola Lowrey, MPAP, PA-C. I have been a certified physician associate for 20 years. I have practiced aesthetic medicine for 19 of those 20 years. I am a big educator in our specialty, training thousands of injectors annually across the U.S. and abroad. I am a contributing author on multiple evidence-based publications and am currently collecting data for a study being conducted by Erasmus University to help advance our understanding of facial anatomy with the use of ultrasound. My focus for my patients is on full-face rejuvenation, where the results are impactful yet also undetectable.


We have the most dynamic, impressive team of health care providers and staff. I am so blessed to work with this special group of people. Our mission for N2 Aesthetics is to provide an exceptional patient experience and absolutely stellar outcomes. From the moment you enter our space, you immediately feel transported. It is a break from the hustle of your day, and you know you will be well taken care of.


The next best thing in alternative health care is cell-based regenerative medicine. Unlike traditional medicine, we’re going to start healing our bodies by using the power of our own cells. I believe so strongly that this is the future of medicine that N2 Aesthetics has partnered with Acorn Biolabs. With technologies like acorn cell preservation, we’ll have access to our own younger cells to get the most out of these regenerative treatments.

“N2 Aesthetics is all about natural beauty from within.”
3500 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Suite 220, Manhattan Beach | 310-510-6262 | | IG: @n2aesthetics | @pa_nicola
L to R: Nicola Lowrey, MPAP, PA-C, Cambria Hunter, RN, Diana Rand, NP-C, Natasha Dutko



• Orthopedic physical therapy

• Presurgical & postsurgical care

• Sports performance

• Injury care & prevention

• Biomechanical assessment

• Manual therapy

• Soft tissue mobilization

• Joint mobilization & manipulation

• Personalized exercises

• Blood flow restriction therapy


Our work is all about making our patients’ lives easier and more fulfilling! That is at the core of what we do: optimize function and get people back to moving their best in order to ultimately get back to doing what they love. We truly believe movement is medicine, and we want our patients to believe that too.

like-minded individuals who take pride in what they do to make sure our patients succeed day in and day out.


We maintain our energy by acknowledging that what we do creates everlasting change in people’s lives. If we are not passionate about getting patients better, how are patients expected to feel motivated to get better? We need to bring that energy, because that may be the little push a patient needs to want that change for themselves.


As the general population gets older, it becomes more imperative to maintain our daily function. Oftentimes we take our health for granted and think we will simply maintain our health—until one day we realize we can no longer do the things we used to do. That’s where SPARC Physical Therapy comes in. We help patients gain back the strength and ability to perform those tasks they have gradually lost over time.


SPARC PT was started in 2019 just before the height of COVID-19. I would be lying if I said it wasn’t a challenging time, but we believed in bringing a different kind of physical therapy to the community. We wanted to provide individualized care and not be some cookie-cutter mill. We wanted to show patients that physical therapy can be fun, motivating and enlightening. Our goal at SPARC is to spark patients’ journey to rehab.


The wellness industry in general is full of advice from both professionals and nonprofessionals. When heeding health advice, see if the statements are evidence-based and have strong support behind them. It would also be beneficial if further logical explanation can be given with the advice.


You can either decide to put in the effort now to live a healthier lifestyle, or you can put in the effort later when you don’t have a choice. Prevent the number of days you may spend in the hospital or the need for surgery in the future by living a healthier lifestyle now.


We have an amazing team consisting of members who are truly passionate about getting patients back to doing what they love. Our team dynamic makes SPARC stand out, with

“We truly believe movement is medicine, and we want our patients to believe that too.”
3878 Carson St., Suite 101, Torrance | 310-316-8878 | | @sparcpt
Back, L to R: Zionne Kowlessar, Robert Chuman, Lindsey Rubinsky, Chris Kwon, Chris Bostwick, Sabrina Gamboa, Stephany Maravilla Front: Brittany Cheek, Jennisse Vann, Johmar Galapon, Jessica Avila, Arden Sanford


3500 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Suite 130, Manhattan Beach | 310-648-BABY (2229) |


• Fertility evaluations—male & female

• Infertility treatments: IUI/IVF/ICSI

• Egg & embryo freezing

• Genetic testing: PGT, preconception

• Family balancing/gender selection

• LGBTQ+ fertility services

• Donor services/surrogacy

• Reproductive surgery center

• Embryology lab on-site

• Ovarian rejuvenation with PRP


We are a boutique clinic built around patientcentered care. This is such a personal journey, and our staff takes the time to provide compassionate care to everyone who enters our doors. We make everyone feel welcome and provide the best possible care to our patients without prejudice.


Doctor, heal thyself! I exercise daily and maintain healthy lifestyle choices to keep me going. I truly believe that life is to be enjoyed, and doing things in moderation helps with that. Balance in all aspects, although difficult to achieve, is a goal everyone should strive for.


It is important to set realistic health goals for oneself. Don’t make things an all-or-none situation, because a little bit goes a long way toward improving your life. Start small and work your way up to achieve those goals. It all starts with one step! In terms of health, knowledge is power. Come see us for a consultation and find out where you stand. Then you can make decisions that could affect the rest of your life.


This year I am expanding the practice to include more novel approaches that my patients can benefit from. I have started building treatment regimens aimed at ovarian rejuvenation using platelet-rich plasma. This is exciting technology that has been proven in other areas, but it is still considered experimental in my field.


Success is measured in the number of people I have helped realize their reproductive goals— whether that means saving their future fertility potential or helping them achieve their goal of starting a family now.


My wife and I are the proud parents of four children, ages 7 through 13! They keep us busy—from Junior Guards to lacrosse games. Our weeknights and weekends are filled with activities. We also have three dogs, which helps with the madness!

“My practice is best known for the personalized care we provide for each patient.”
Image of an embryo



4640 Del Amo Blvd., Torrance | 310-800-1418 | | @drernestkim | @backonpointwellness


• Chiropractic

• Acupuncture

• Active Release Techniques®

• Transformational coaching

• Massage therapy

• Cupping therapy

• Stretch therapy

• Rehab exercise

• Sports physicals

• Herbal consultation


In this information age, traditional ways of thinking are becoming outdated. It is no surprise how rapidly the fitness and organic foods industries have grown recently. Most illnesses and dis-eases are due to stress and lifestyle factors. Alternative health care is the only medical profession that encourages patients to make lifestyle changes to overcome illness and disease naturally. This is why it’s so popular.


Making lifestyle changes and improving habits doesn’t have to be difficult. We share these three keys with patients: Keep it simple. Make it enjoyable. Stay inspired. We all have what it takes to make these changes in our lives; we just have to make the choice to start.


At the top of our list is the creation of an online platform where patients can focus on their maintenance care, in addition to the in-person care they receive at our office. This would include stretching, lifestyle habits, meditation, ergonomics for remote workers and various home exercises.


Many of our patients are seniors; they come in for maintenance and preventive care so they can continue to enjoy their active lifestyle. With the advancement of sports science, we are seeing more senior adults able to maintain their physical well-being through alternative health care.


Everyone on our team shares the same genuine desire to help improve the lives of our patients. From the moment patients walk through the doors, they can feel how much we care. Best of all, we’re able to have fun outside work—our team outings are a blast!


My work can be quite physically demanding. To maintain my energy, I adhere to a very strict lifestyle—hitting the gym three or four times a week, eating nutritious foods throughout the day along with proper supplementation, and getting enough rest each night so I can wake up refreshed and stay energized.


Although I am a health care professional, I think of myself as an artist. Before I begin each treatment, I deeply listen, intuit and sense what this person needs—similar to an artist receiving inspiration before they begin their craft. I then set my intention, and the treatment begins. Different techniques and tools may be needed depending on what comes up physically or emotionally for the person. No two sessions are alike—even for the same person. Because of this, I am deeply fulfilled by my work and it never gets old!

“Keep it simple. Make it enjoyable. Stay inspired.”
L to R: Caitlin Jennings, DC, Abby Cooper, LAc, Ernest Kim, DC, LAc, Hayley Thomas, DC, Jake Belabin, DC



• Boutique fitness

• Lagree method

• Pilates-based workouts

• Group & private classes

• Instructor-led workouts

• Personalized training

• Strength & conditioning

• Cardio workouts

• Muscle toning


Fourteen years ago, I was working in the entertainment industry but feeling restless and looking for a new direction in my life. Everything changed when I began working out at a local Lagree Fitness studio. This inspired me to blend my skills in branding, talent relations and music with my love for fitness. I opened my first studio in Marina Del Rey to mostly soldout classes, and there was no looking back!


What truly sets The Studio (MDR) apart is the emphasis we place on community and client satisfaction. We strive to make every client feel special and valued, creating a welcoming environment that encourages repeat visits. We’re incredibly proud of the diverse range of people who have found success and joy through our workout. Our amazing instructors play a crucial role in this, and we take great pride in the passion and skill they bring to every class.


I’m excited to continue growing The Studio (MDR) and helping even more people on their fitness journey. With the support of our amazing community, we hope to find new locations that align with our mission and bring our unique fitness experience to more people.

“We strive to make every client feel special and valued.”
| | @thestudiomdr
1590 Rosecrans Ave., Suite J | Manhattan Beach | 424-675-4382

For healthy births, Providence delivers.

Providence Little Company of Mary offers personalized support, including doulas, for expecting and new parents.

At Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center Torrance, our patients receive family-centered care in a peaceful, healing environment. As part of our commitment to providing parents compassionate and individualized care, we have launched a new doula program to provide mothers-to-be physical, emotional and informational support throughout the birthing process. In addition, you and your family will receive personalized care from our maternity program’s comprehensive team of experts. We offer:

• Board-certified team of OB/GYNs

• Doula program

• 24/7 on site Neonatology physician support

• 24/7 on-site OB physician support

• Pediatricians

• Midwifery program

• OB navigator providing guidance and support throughout your pregnancy journey

Whether your delivery is natural or high-risk, our support team is well-trained to provide expert clinical and compassionate care. When it comes to such a sacred moment in life, Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center Torrance is here for you and your family. TorranceMaternity
“Your present circumstances don’t determine where you go; they merely determine where you start.”
— Dr. Lauren Fogel MersY

THE HUNT CANCER INSTITUTE AT TORRANCE MEMORIAL OFFERS MORE EXPERT CARE WITH INNOVATIVE CLINICAL TRIALS AND RESEARCH. Our patients have access to a range of new treatments with clinical trials for both common and rare cancers. Our investment in research, technology and the expansion of our affiliation with Cedars-Sinai Cancer ensures our patients have access to more expert cancer care in the South Bay. Learn more at

We Fight Cancer by Researching New Ways to Beat It.


Swati Sikaria, MD, Hematology/Oncology

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