Natural Nutmeg January 2022

Page 1

January/February 2022









Improving Conception Is a Team Effort Nicole Kerr, ND, LAc

The Many Amazing Benefits of Intermittent Fasting Erika Dworkin, BCHN®

Transitioning to Menopause with Ease Donna Bunte, MSOM, LAc

Your Dentist Can Help You Breathe Easier and Sleep Better Krithika Jayaprakash, DDS, FAGD, IBDM

Finally Keep Those New Year’s Resolutions with a Health Coach Kimberly Lawrence

Can You Take a “Shortcut” to a Better Self-Image? Sculpted Wellness

Health + Massage Your Way to Reduced Stress > 16

+ Celebrate the Little Things > 30

Finance + Push Through

Your Financial Health Plateau > 28

Relationships + Trauma: A Spiritual Awakening > 18

+ Mindful Practices for

the Winter Months > 35

Purpose + Is Your Spirit in Need of a

Tune-Up? > 32 + A Promise of Spring > 42


Jan/Feb 2022


4 6

LETTER BUZZ Celebrating Volunteering at Hartford Hospital

By Erika Dworkin, BCHN®


28 Push Through Your Financial Health Plateau

10 Cryo Body-Sculpting: You Are the Clay, We Are the Sculptors

By Caroline Wetzel, CFP®, CDFA®, AWMA®


Your Soul Journey of Life

18 Trauma: A Spiritual Awakening

Enhanced Year of Healing 2022/2023 Improve Your Life with Abundant Health 7






By Nicole Kerr, ND, LAc


Improve Your Health with Stretch Therapy Healthy Smile, Healthier Life

24 Improving Conception Is a Team Effort

By Michele Rabinowitz

35 Mindful Practices for the Winter Months By Lauri Ingram

By Michele Beaule

12 Transitioning to Menopause with Ease By Donna Bunte, MSOM, LAc

14 Are the Comforts of Winter Damaging Your Skin? By Elisabeth Johnson

16 Massage Your Way to Reduced Stress By Kristina Mozzicato, LMT, BCTMB

30 Celebrate the Little Things By Sharon Sklar

Purpose 32 Is Your Spirit in Need of a Tune-Up? By Stuart Alpert and Naomi Lubin-Alpert

42 A Promise of Spring By James Osborne, MS, LPC

36 Your Dentist Can Help You Breathe Easier and Sleep Better By Krithika Jayaprakash, DDS, FAGD, IBDM

38 Can You Take a “Shortcut” to a Better Self-Image? By Sculpted Wellness

39 Finally Keep Those New Year’s Resolutions with a Health Coach By Kimberly Lawrence



20 The Many Amazing Benefits of Intermittent Fasting




Hey, I’m Dr. Diane!





“Our mission and intent is to support each reader’s wish to make a difference in their lives. Together, we can make a difference in the local community.” —Dr. Diane Hayden, PhD

ou are holding in your hands the first issue of our stunning new redesign for Natural Nutmeg! As many of you may know, we launched a sister publication in Southwest Florida in 2020, and the feedback we received on the design was overwhelming. After 15 years of producing our original layout for Natural Nutmeg, I decided 2022 was time for a change. You’ll notice a sleeker layout, changes to the cover and table of contents, lifestyle pillars, and references to articles at the bottom of our ads. Since the beginning of Natural Nutmeg, I’ve focused our content on four essential lifestyle pillars: Health, Relationships, Finance, and Purpose. Now you’ll be able to find these articles easily by seeing them on the cover and categorized in the table of contents. In each issue, you’ll find articles on wide-ranging topics from local experts in each of these areas who have dug up infinite nuggets of wisdom to share with all of us. Please connect with them as they make this complimentary magazine possible. I truly believe that if you have a dream, visualize it, and put your mind and all your energy toward it, it will happen. I have seen this happen time and again in my life, but creating this transformation in a matter of a few weeks (we literally decided to implement the redesign just two months ago) has to be the best example of manifestation I’ve ever created. Of course, I did have a whole team behind me—so a huge thank you to Ashley Frament and Jim Nissen for layout and design, Lori Emelander for editing and proofing, Sonia Manganello for sales, and Chris Urso for ad design. They all worked tirelessly to create this AMAZING issue! I hope this issue inspires you to chase your dream. After the last two years, I’ve realized—or I should say, I’ve been reminded—that life is short. Don’t let fear stop you. Was I afraid to make these changes? Heck yeah! But I stopped listening to those voices and focused on one thing: the end result, the dream of what Natural Nutmeg could look like. You’ll be afraid—do it anyway. You’ll say you don’t have time—stop watching TV or scrolling social media. You’ll worry about the money—you’d spend it on something else, trust me. The years will go by whether you chase your dream or not. And at the end, do you really want to be asking yourself, “What if?” Wishing you health and happiness,

Dr. Diane Hayden, PhD Publisher & Owner, ELM Publishing

Our mission is to provide valuable insight, information, and resources that will allow our readers to maintain a healthy, active, sustainable lifestyle. Natural Nutmeg contains timely information on natural health, complementary and alternative medicine, nutrition, fitness, personal growth, green living, and the products and services that support a healthy lifestyle. PUBLISHER/OWNER


Christopher Urso


Dr. Sonia Manganello CREATIVE DIRECTOR

Jim Nissen

March/April • Nutrition for Chronic Conditions • CBD Therapy

May/June • Remedies for Prevention of Lyme Disease • Hormone and Fertility Health for Men/Women

July/August • Natural Remedies to Improve Sleep • Reducing Anxiety in Children

September/October • Healthy Aging Guide • The New Anti-Cancer Treatments

November/December • Natural Treatment for Diabetes • Remedies for Boosting Immunity

2023 10BEST/ Essential Living Guide • Alternative Treatments for Stress • Healthy Brain Function

Contact to feature your business in Natural Nutmeg!



H e r e ’s W h a t Natural Nutmeg Has in Store for 2022!


Frank Aieta, ND Adam Breiner, ND Mark Breiner, DDS Deanna M. Cherrone, MD Erika Dworkin, Dip. C.N. Steven R. Frank DISTRIBUTION

Greater Hartford and surrounding counties, please contact Natural Nutmeg. FFC—Tom Cossuto, Man In Motion, LLC In keeping with our concern for the environment, Essential Naples is proudly printed on recycled paper with soy-based inks. Natural Nutmeg is a free publication supported solely by our advertisers and distributed throughout Connecticut. Please call for a location near you. (860) 508-0894 or email to © 2007—22 by Natural Nutmeg, LLC. All rights reserved. Parts of this publication may be reproduced and reprinted, with permission. 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 feedback.



Ashley Frament



Celebrating Volunteering at Hartford Hospital

Improve Your Health with Stretch Therapy


and movement re-education over a ten-session series to help her clients feel freer,

ver the last several years, there has been a steadily growing buzz in Connecticut about stretch therapy. You may have heard someone say they are “going to go get stretched” and wondered what that meant. In assisted stretching, a therapist helps their client work with range of motion and flexibility through stretch techniques. This can help prevent injuries by increasing stability and lengthening soft tissue. Stretching increases blood flow to the tissue, which in turn increases oxygen and nutrients. That extra flow will help decrease muscle soreness as well, making it ideal post-workout! It also can improve posture, and the long-term benefits of the increased range of motion and flexibility can’t be understated. When you couple massage techniques with assisted stretching, the benefits are significant. It helps the therapist work more effectively by warming up the muscles, allowing them to do deeper work faster while also preserving their bodies, as it is less taxing on them. Personally, I carry a lot of stress and tension in my neck and shoulders. When my therapist stretches my upper body, it helps release so much of that tension. Add to that a great massage and wow, is it impactful! Best of all, this is not just for athletes—it is for everyone!

get more balanced and reduce chronic pain. Great for athletes, children and adults

Cortiva Institute in Cromwell, CT. Cortiva offers a

recovering from injuries, stress or the traumas of life. Inquiries are encouraged!

robust Massage Therapy and Esthetics program

Call 860.561.4337 for more information.

as well as CEU courses for advanced training.

See ad on page 17 >

She can be reached at 860.667.1886 or at


iving back to the community is something Sharon Sklar, Certified Advanced Rolfer, loves to do. In January, she celebrates 10 years of providing pet therapy with her dogs at Hartford Hospital’s Gray Cancer Center. Being a cancer survivor herself, Sharon chose to give back with her dog, Boscoboy. They underwent training with Pet Partners and were accepted to volunteer once a month. However, Sharon felt that was too little so for the last ten years, she also goes every other Wednesday with Bosco and her second dog, Spanky, until Bosco’s sudden passing in May. Spanky loves his “work” at the hospital and is happy to be coaching his new puppy brother, Sunny Boy. When he is old enough and passes therapy training, Sunny Boy will become a pet therapy team member as well. Besides her Hartford Hospital volunteering, Sharon is also a mentor in the West Hartford Public Schools and bakes and delivers lasagna for The Lasagna Love Project, and she is on the Development Committee at The Connecticut Humane Society as well. Combined with her passion for her work as a Rolfer in her 41st year of practice Sharon sleeps well, knowing she cares for others and gives back. In this new year, you are urged to give of yourself. If you have a dog, there is a huge need for pet therapy teams all over—schools, convalescent homes, hospitals, airports, and trauma teams—who show up when needed. If you don’t have a dog or if you think your dog can’t be trained, try helping refugee resettlement, mentoring kids in schools, or helping to feed the hungry—it’s all about reaching out with love and compassion. Be the action, take a stand, give of yourself! Start the New Year off with a bang—there is a never-ending need. You’ll be the prize! Sharon Sklar is a Certified Advanced Rolfer®. State licensed and the only Rolfer in Central CT, Sharon works with direct manipulation of the soft tissue of the body

Elisabeth Johnson is the Campus Director of See ad on page 17 >

HAPPENINGS JANUARY & FEBRUARY 2022 Wednesday, January 12

Wednesday, January 19

Breast Thermography with April Beaman, RDH, CTT, 7 pm FREE Zoom webinar. How do you know if your breasts are healthy? Are you looking for a radiationfree breast screening? Have you considered thermography to assess your breast health? Join us to learn about the benefits of breast thermography, the difference between thermography and mammography, and how this screening tool has helped thousands of women assess and monitor their breast health safely and effectively. To register, please visit or

The Shamanism Monthly Study Group with Joyce St. Germaine, M. Ed., CHt., RYT-200. 6:30–8:30 pm Meeting in person again! (as well as Zoom). Also 2/16. In this group, you will develop an understanding of cross-cultural shamanism, the importance of ceremony, become adept at journeying into non-ordinary reality and work with animal allies and spirit helpers, ancestors, and elemental energies. All dedicated and compassionate people who wish to initiate positive change in the world are invited. $25 ($20 for elders over 65 and veterans) Join our email list and find detailed descriptions at www. The Sacred Journey, 29 Davis Road, Burlington, CT. Pre-registration required. 860.675.9706

Sunday, January 16

Monday, January 17 Self Hypnosis for Self Empowerment with Joyce St. Germaine, M.S. Ed., CHt., RYT-200. 6:30–8:30 pm (In person or Zoom). Learn how to write your personal selfhypnosis script. Then under group hypnosis, these empowering suggestions will be deeply implanted into your subconscious mind. Learn a simple post-hypnotic suggestion technique to reinforce these positive changes any time, anywhere. In-person class size is limited. $30 ($25 for elders over 65 and veterans). Preregistration required 860.675.9706. The Sacred Journey 29 Davis Road, Burlington, CT. (Driveway is on Duane Lane).

Breast Thermography with April Beaman, RDH, CTT, 7 pm FREE Zoom webinar. How do you know if your breasts are healthy? Are you looking for a radiationfree breast screening? Have you considered thermography to assess your breast health? Join us to learn about the benefits of breast thermography, the difference between thermography and mammography, and how this screening tool has helped thousands of women assess and monitor their breast health safely and effectively. To register, please visit or Soulmate Relationships: How to Attract, Recognize, and Nurture Yours with Joyce St. Germaine, M. Ed., CHt., RYT-200. 6:30–8:30 pm (In person or Zoom.) Explore the intriguing concept of soulmate, how to attract them, how to recognize them when they appear, and how to nurture them. During a guided meditation, you will be invited to examine your readiness and desire to meet your beloved. Learn how every failed relationship or broken-hearted experience has brought you closer to your beloved. Discover what has been blocking you and release it with love and gratitude, creating space for him or her to appear. In-person class size is limited. $30 ($25 for elders over 65 and veterans). Preregistration required 860.675.9706. The Sacred Journey 29 Davis Road, Burlington, CT. (Driveway is on Duane Lane).

Tuesday, March 1 Breast Thermography with April Beaman, RDH, CTT, 7 pm FREE Zoom webinar. How do you know if your breasts are healthy? Are you looking for a radiationfree breast screening? Have you considered thermography to assess your breast health? Join us to learn about the benefits of breast thermography, the difference between thermography and mammography, and how this screening tool has helped thousands of women assess and monitor their breast health safely and effectively. To register, please visit or

Why Dr Steven Hinchey? Both he and his staff

Listen to YOU - Non judgmental assessments - Respect for you and your time Are concerned about YOU - Mercury free dental treatment - Mercury safe dental conditions - Mercury removal and detoxification - Biocompatible dental materials - Minimally invasive procedures - Implant tooth replacement - Same day non-metal crowns We want to help YOU get healthy - Financial Flexibility Steven F Hinchey, DMD





SWEET ESCAPE Runaway to the spa with your sweetheart! This spa packa ge includes a 50-minute Swedish Massage for Two and side-byside Spa Pedicures

SALON | SPA | SKINCAR E • 860-567-8 5 7 5 407A Bantam Road


Sacred Women’s Gathering with Michele Hamida Rabinowitz 3–4:30 pm EST, second Sunday of every month. $25. Please join us as we come together in sisterhood as one heart to move, create, connect, and support one another. We begin with breath and silence, creating a safe container to open our hearts, our longing to be known, to be heard and to be loved. As our hearts open, our bodies follow and we dance. As we step into our own rhythm, we begin to come home to our true nature. We wait and listen as we are led into our expressive creativity returning us to those places long since forgotten. Preregistration is required. For more information please contact Michele 954.654.8881 or

Monday, February 7

Saving Lives One Smile at a Time :


The Psychic/Spiritual Development Monthly Study Group with Joyce St. Germaine, M. Ed., CHt., RYT-200. 6:30–8:30 pm Meeting in person again! (as well as Zoom). Also 2/9. Every session starts with a positive, light-filling exercise and includes topics such as palmistry, oracle cards, pendulums, remote viewing, and spirit guides. $25 ($20 for elders over 65 and veterans) Join our email list and find detailed descriptions at www. The Sacred Journey, 29 Davis Road, Burlington, CT. Pre-registration required. 860.675.9706

Centers For Dental Medicine



Your Soul Journey of Life



e have all had moments in our lives in which we have wondered why we are here. How do we find meaning in the everyday? Meaning in our jobs? What is our true essence? With many years of deep, spiritual searching, Lauri Ingram guides clients through the most difficult of life’s questions with compassion and ease. Always confident that there is a greater power speaking and guiding us in every moment, that we are all on a journey that takes a lifetime. Offering services in spiritual direction, sacred creativity, and energy balancing, Lauri’s offerings are a unique combination of services to companion your soul on your journey of life. Ordained as an interfaith/Interspiritual minister and Interspiritual counselor at One Spirit Seminary, Lauri’s clients are most often those who identify as spiritual, but not religious. Offering various services and workshops, Lauri provides opportunities for spacious reflection, spiritual exploration, and energy balancing. Services include: • Spiritual Direction: Explore your relationship with the divine and deepen your connection to your inner spirit through spiritual direction. Available by phone, in person, or via Zoom. • Life Ceremonies: Designed just for you, Rev. Lauri offers wedding officiant services, as well as memorial services, baby naming ceremonies and blessings, and can custom create a ceremony for various life events and milestones. • Crystal Dreaming and Etheric Crystal, Light and Color Energy Balancing: Using the energetic power of crystals, these therapies balance your energy centers and bring you on a journey connecting you with your higher self and often receiving answers to the questions important to you right now.


Lauri is expanding her offerings in 2022 to include small ground exploration and creativity. You can find out more about her services at Her office is located at 696 Amity Road in Bethany, and she can be reached at 203.435.5650. See ad on page 29 >

Healthy Smile, Healthier Life


here are many links between our oral health and our overall health. For example, periodontal disease (or gum disease) can increase the risk for heart attack, stroke, diabetes, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, and even the common cold and flu. The condition of our gums, our jaw mobility, and our overall mouth health can be indicators for other health issues. Dentistry should take a holistic approach to healing, because after all, it is all connected. The new book, Healthy Smile, Healthier Life, by Kevin H. Norige, DMD, gives an in-depth look into holistic dentistry and the vital role it plays in our overall health and well-being. By examining our mouth health, dentists are able to discover potentially serious health issues our doctors might miss. For the sake of our overall health, it is important to understand the connection between our mouth health and our whole selves—caring for the part helps us care for the whole. To learn more about this connection and how your dentist can help you be your healthiest self, order your copy of Healthy Smile, Healthier Life at today.

Kevin H. Norige, DMD, is the founder and chief dentist at South Windsor Smiles, a private dental practice that focuses on oral health as part of the whole-body

system. For 35 years he has worked with patients to achieve a healthy mouth and live a healthier life. Call 860.787.7212 and visit See ad on back cover >

Enhanced Year of Healing 2022/2023


tep into your true calling and align with the Divinity of You! Enroll in the Enhanced Year of Healing 2022/2023 and be prepared for one of the most profound years of your life. This 18-month program is part self-healing, part certification training, and a transformational adventure into the power of you. The course will be administered one weekend every month. Hybrid model of in person and online, depending on which option works for you. Dates are Saturday and Sunday: 2022 August 13 & 14 September 10 & 11 October 1 & 2 November 12 & 13 December 10 & 11 2024 January 13 & 14

2023 January 14 & 15 February 11 & 12 March 11 & 12 April 1 & 2 May 6 & 7 June 10 & 11 July 8 & 9 August 12 & 13 September 9 & 10 October 14 & 15 November 4 & 5 December 2 & 3

The journey will encompass a focus on St. Germaine’s Healing School, 13th Octave, 13th Octave LaHoChi, multidimensional healing, energetic protection, abundance/ manifestation, DNA activation, angel light healing, and more. Studies will expand into rebirthing breathwork, birth scripts, energy anatomy, and a myriad of healing techniques. The program will also delve into Akashic Field Healing, quantum theory, and more. The exploration of each modality will include a practicum for healing self and others. Students of all experience levels are encouraged to participate. Each student will receive a Divine toolbox filled with Divine gifts and healing modalities, guided practice to harness consciousness shifts, certification and an opportunity to join the Teacher Development Program. This Enhanced Year of Healing will be guided and supported by Eilis Philpott, owner of Soul Healing Journey, LLC, and founder of the Academy for Soul Healing. She has been a healing practitioner for more than 20 years and is highly gifted in guiding people toward understanding who they are at a soul level. See ad on page 25 >

Improve Your Life with Abundant Health


Discover the procedure that Targets Fat Loss and Increases Muscle Mass with EMSCULPT NEO


Get the million dollar body you have always wanted with EMSCULPT NEO

Abundant Health Massage Therapy & Wellness offers packages to encourage regular self-care. Make your health a priority and book your massage session today at Online gift certificates are also available. Abundant Health Massage Therapy & Wellness is a Natural Nutmeg 10Best Winner for 2020 and 2021. See ad on page 23 >


bundant Health Massage Therapy & Wellness has moved! Their new address is 3 Forest Park Drive in Farmington—a short distance from their previous location. The owner, Kristina Mozzicato, LMT, BCTMB, is Board Certified in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork and has been practicing massage therapy since 2009. She is a graduate of the Connecticut Center for Massage Therapy in Newington. Abundant Health Massage Therapy & Wellness specializes in pain relief—specifically, back and shoulder pain. Whether you sit at a computer all day or do a lot of heavy lifting or bending, massage therapy will help you feel better. If you are stressed (and really, who isn’t these days?), take advantage of a relaxation massage and let all your stress and tension melt away. The Signature Massage is a customized massage session for pain relief, muscle tension and knots, and/or relaxation. Techniques may include Swedish, deep tissue, and cupping/Medicupping™. Cupping and aromatherapy (by request) are included in the session price. Looking to improve the firmness of your skin? Facial Cupping Massage increases collagen production, resulting in firmer skin with decreased fine lines and wrinkles. The Aromatherapy Body Contouring Cocoon Treatment helps to decongest the lymphatic system and move toxins out of the body, resulting in decreased solid bloat, while the massage cups stimulate collagen production. The combined result is firmer skin and a reduction in cellulite. And while there are major benefits with each individual session, it is important to remember that for all of these services, consistency is the key to optimal results.

Call for Special Winter Promo 475-221-1000 < PAGE 38 “Can You Take a ‘Shortcut’ to a Better Self-Image?” BY SCULPTED WELLNESS


Cryo BodySculpting:

You Are the Clay, We Are the Sculptors


By Michele Beaule


10 “Clients often experience instant, visible results, and for days, weeks, and months post-treatment, these fat cells will continue to break down and die off.” —Michele Beaule


o you have stubborn pockets of fat that are immune to diet and exercise? Despite doing all the “right” things, our body contour can have a mind of its own. At Imagine Float, we recognize how these stubborn pockets of subcutaneous fat can weigh heavy on your mental and emotional state. After a tremendous amount of research and training, Imagine Float is thrilled to now offer Cryo Body-Sculpting. Our goals are your sculpting goals. Benefits can include: • Cellulite smoothing/reduction • Glute lift • Love handle reduction • Abdominal sculpting • “Belly pooch” tightening • Arm sculpting • Neck sculpting • Leg sculpting • Breast lift/reduction • Slimming/toning And our sculpting is: • Safe • Effective • Affordable • Permanent • Noninvasive • No downtime • Fast results

What Is Cryo Body-Sculpting?

Cryo Body-Sculpting utilizes the cryo-lipolysis process, which at Imagine Float is achieved using what is currently the world’s most versatile cryo-stimulation device on the market, the Kaasen Pro. For a short period of time, stubborn pockets of subcutaneous fat are hyper-cooled using a high velocity “spray” application triggering the process of destroying underlying fat cells (apoptosis) without damaging nerves or other body tissues. Clients often experience instant, visible results, and for days, weeks, and months post-treatment, these fat cells will continue to break down and die off. As this happens, they are flushed out of your body as waste or processed through your lymphatic system. Single areas can be treated as often as once a week, thereby delivering a comfortable, efficient, and affordable alternative to other, similar procedures. During treatment, you may experience feeling cold but should not experience any discomfort. In fact, after the treatment, most of our clients feel more energetic and enthusiastic! On average, a single session will be 20–25 minutes start to finish, which includes a 10-minute session on our vibration plate to stimulate your lymphatic system. Our device was designed and manufactured in the UK, with input from experts in physiotherapy and pathophysiology, to deliver the quickest application with the most effective benefits. This allows us to achieve deeper penetration and faster cooling, overcoming the resistance of hardened fat cells. Additionally, because our device uses a “spray” application, we can target even the smallest of areas. It is important to note that while the results are permanent as the fat cells die off, new fat cells can appear without a healthy diet, exercise, and maintenance. •


Call today for a complimentary consultation to see if Cryo Body-Sculpting is right for you. 860.255.7771 or visit for more information. Imagine Float is a locally owned, award-winning, woman-owned wellness center in Avon, CT. We offer numerous touchless and innovative healing therapies that when used in synergy have endless benefits for your physical and mental well-being.


See ad on page 37 >

Get Peace of Mind with your finances.

Clarity. Comfort. Confidence. Call me for more information (475) 232 – 2713 Advisory Services are offered through Procyon Private Wealth Partners, LLC., a registered investment advisor with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”).

Caroline Wetzel, CFP®, CDFA®, AWMA® Procyon Partners Vice President | Private Wealth Advisor

< PAGE 28 “Push Through Your Financial Health Plateau” BY CAROLINE WETZEL, CFP®, CDFA®, AWMA®



Transitioning to Menopause with Ease By Donna Bunte, MSOM, LAc


12 “Menopause is a natural phase of life—it is going to happen, so instead of fearing it, we need to embrace it.” —Donna Bunte, MSOM, LAc


enopause is a natural phase of life—it is going to happen, so instead of fearing it, we need to embrace it. We can start by following these tips to help ease the transition: 1. Drink more water. Hot flashes are caused by loss of fluids—in Chinese medicine, this is called “false heat.” 2. Eat juicy fruits and vegetables. Steam or sauté vegetables to retain moisture. 3. Increase foods rich in calcium and vitamin D. Leafy greens like kale, swiss chard, spinach, and collard greens; tofu; sardines; and dairy (but watch out for fat and calories). 4. Exercise regularly. Walking counts! Moving our bodies keeps our metabolism up, helping maintain a healthy weight. Keeping fat off—especially around the abdomen—is vital, since excess weight can increase the risk of heart disease. 5. Eat foods high in phytoestrogens. Organic soy products (tofu, tempeh, edamame), flax seeds, dried fruits, garlic, peaches, berries, and cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts). 6. Avoid coffee, alcohol, sugar, and spicy foods—all triggers for hot flashes. 7. Avoid re�ined carbohydrates. They can increase cholesterol (and thus heart disease), weight gain, mood swings, and inflammation. A diet of whole grains helps reduce risk of heart disease, cancer, and premature death.


Increase omega-3 intake. Omega-3 is found naturally in salmon, anchovy, mackerel, and avocados, and in supplement form as well.

Herbs Can Help

Anxiety, irritability, and insomnia can increase from the perimenopausal stage through menopause and beyond, depending on what is happening in your life that is causing you stress. There are herbs know as adaptogens that are excellent for calming stress and anxiety and are often used by women experiencing perimenopausal through postmenopausal symptoms. However, these powerful herbs should not be taken without the advice of an herbalist or doctor who is well versed in herbal medicine. 1. Ashwaganda is a calming herb used for stress, anxiety, and insomnia. 2. Black cohosh is prescribed for hot flashes but may have side effects like headaches. 3. St. John’s wort is known for helping anxiety and depression but can interact with drugs, so consult with your practitioner first. 4. Dong quai is a Chinese herb known for helping hot flashes and increasing energy. 5. Korean ginseng helps with stress and low energy. It does have some contraindications, so do not take without a practitioner’s advice. 6. Hops have been shown to help with anxiety, stress, and insomnia.


Epimedium, a Chinese herb used in combination with other herbs, has been used for menopausal symptoms for thousands of years. 8. Red clover has been shown to help with hot flashes, safest taken in tea form. Women with breast or endometrial cancer should avoid this. There are many Chinese herbal formulas that can help balance women’s hormones, lessen irritability, and reduce heat by nourishing and promoting fluid production. These complex herbal formulas should only be prescribed by a qualified Chinese medical practitioner knowledgeable in Chinese herbal medicine. They can be taken as capsules, tinctures, powders, or raw herbs and may be customized or prescribed in standard formulas made for specific conditions.

The Journey from Presence to Essence

Release subconscious patterns of trauma to realize your true essential nature

Michele can guide you to: • Re-ignite your creative expression • Explore your innate wisdom centers • Transform your life with embodied practices

Schedule your connection call today at 954.654.8881


< PAGE 18 “Trauma: A Spiritual Awakening” BY MICHELE RABINOWITZ

Body–Mind Connection

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Phone or video appts. available and your first consultation is complimentary!


Nutmeg 10BESTof Magazine

Dana Mascalo CFP®, RLP®, AAMS®, C(k)P® Managing Partner, Senior Wealth Advisor 612 Wheelers Farms Road Milford, CT 06461 203.693.8521 •

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Donna Bunte of Donna Bunte Whole Health is an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and Chinese medical practitioner in Stamford, CT. Since 1995, Donna has been helping busy people manage their stress, diet, and health concerns using coaching, nutrition, herbal medicine, and mind–body techniques to reach their health goals. She can be reached at her office at 203.698.0793, cell at 203.253.9885, or email health@ Visit and find her on Facebook at donnabuntewholehealth and Instagram at

Considering retirement? Ask Dana and the team at TrinityPoint how to make it happen.


An important step in managing menopausal symptoms is taking the time to slow down. When we are too busy we rush from one thing to the next, constantly keeping our stress hormones elevated. Excess cortisol can stimulate hot flashes, anxiety, and insomnia; it may also increase cholesterol and inflammation, leading to heart disease and adrenal burn-out. Slow down. Take a break a few times a day to focus on breathing, drink more water, and lighten your schedule. Meditate. Practice the time-honored Chinese traditions of qigong and tai chi, which have helped manage stress and menopausal symptoms for thousands of years. •


Are the Comforts of Winter


Damaging Your Skin?



By Elisabeth Johnson

“It’s funny how it works—the things we do for comfort in the cold weather can sometimes be the worst things for our skin.” —Elisabeth Johnson


ll my life I have battled rosacea—a skin condition that in the winter gets aggravated with the harsh cold wind outside and the dry heat inside. I earned the nickname “Rudolph” growing up from this condition, because my nose was always bright red in the winter. The teasing over my red nose and cheeks made a serious impact growing up, knocking my self-confidence down for years. I was always cautious of the obvious known triggers like the cold, heat, caffeine, and spicy foods, and avoided them where I was able. My key to managing my skin condition has been to find some of the lesser-known triggers—things we don’t realize will have an adverse effect on it—and managing those. It has become a passion of mine to try and help others who have suffered from the same issues find better ways to help their skin.

What’s Causing That Dry Winter Skin?

During the winter months, most people experience some sort of frustration with their skin—it is not limited to those with rosacea. It’s funny how it works—the things we do for comfort in the cold weather can sometimes be the worst things for our skin. When we come in from shoveling or being out in the cold, all we want is to get warm

and dry. There is nothing that feels better than sitting in front of a fire and getting that instant warmth…but sadly, that dries out your skin. Taking a hot shower can also feel incredible, but that, too, dries out your skin and can even strip it of the natural oils—oils that help provide a barrier to keep in the moisture we need to keep our skin at its best health. Cranking up the heat when we get up in the morning or when we get home from work can also be detrimental to our skin. Our home heating systems tend to produce a very dry heat, which can further dehydrate our skin. The liquids we consume can even have a significant impact. We tend to drink more hot liquids in the winter and less of the necessary cool, hydrating water, and alcohol in excess effects your skin as well—the facial blood vessels become restricted, which can stop the oxygenated blood from getting where it’s needed, creating that reddened, puffy face we all know and hate. And although it’s easy to do in low winter temps, we often harm our skin by forgetting to wear sunscreen. Snow and ice can reflect the sun right back onto our skin, so even though it may not feel possible in the cold winter air, there is still a big risk of getting a sunburn and doing further damage.

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Thankfully, there are some ways we can better balance that comfort we crave in the wintertime with how to best keep our skin healthy and hydrated. Drinking plenty of water is top of the list—keep the hot drinks to a minimum and keep drinking cool water. Consuming alcohol this time of year as we celebrate is OK, but don’t overdo it. One in celebration is fine, anything more can really start to impact your skin. Get a humidifier and keep it on a cooler setting—it is unpleasant, to say the least, to wake up with a bloody nose because our nasal passages are so dry from the overnight heat. Take a warm—not hot—shower and limit it to ten minutes. If you are red when you exit the shower, the water is too hot! Pay attention to the type of soap you are using—look for gentle moisturizing options such as Dove or Cetaphil. Using a good moisturizer when you get out of your shower is also crucial, and I highly recommend one with sunscreen. Check your toners, too—many of them contain alcohol, which can enlarge your pores over time and be very drying. Try something like Dermalogica’s Multi-Active Toner, which does not contain that evil drying ingredient, SD alcohol. Using a good toner with quality ingredients can help your skin retain moisture. Use it after you cleanse but before you moisturize, and it will help prep your skin with the right combination of ingredients to even out porosity and retain moisture. If you are a skincare geek like me, it can be fascinating to learn about the different products that are available. I love that we use Dermalogica at Cortiva Institute in our Esthetics program. We have been using them since we opened our program a year ago, and they have rapidly become one of my favorites. Dermalogica strongly supports our school and has a solid product line backed by a great education. But no matter what brand you use, make sure you know what is in it! Creating a good, solid regimen for your skin is crucial year-round. Cheers to having a winter season with all the comforts we want, in a way that helps our skin! •


Massage Your Way to

Reduced Stress

By Kristina Mozzicato, LMT, BCTMB



tress is perhaps more prevalent than ever in today’s fast-paced world—many of us experience some form of stress in our busy everyday lives. Emotional stress often results in physical stress, which can result in serious health conditions. Fortunately, there are a variety of resources available—including diet and massage therapy— that can help us to effectively manage stress.

Our Physical Responses to Stress


16 “Laughter has been scientifically proven to relieve stress—besides providing physical benefits…laughter supplies mental health benefits as well.” —Kristina Mozzicato, LMT, BCTMB

Cortisol (the “stress hormone”) plays an important role in our body, including managing the use of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins in the body; regulating blood pressure; increasing blood sugar; and regulating sleep cycles. As our bodies perceive a stress or threat, our adrenal glands produce and release cortisol into the bloodstream, providing a boost in energy that temporary increases heart rate, blood pressure, and tense muscles so we can handle the stressor. This is our natural “fight or flight” response, which is necessary to our survival. When the threat or danger has passed, cortisol levels typically decrease, causing heart rate and blood pressure levels to normalize. However, experiencing stress on a regular basis can be detrimental. Chronically high cortisol levels can potentially result in a host of health concerns, including anxiety and depression, headaches, high blood pressure, heart disease, memory and concentration problems, digestion issues, difficulty sleeping, weight gain, muscle weakness, type 2 diabetes, increased inflammation, and osteoporosis. Other symptoms may include headaches, difficulty concentrating, and lowered immune function.

Choose the Right Foods

Fortunately, there are ways to help manage our cortisol levels and stress. According to dietician Courtney Barth, it is important to eat an

anti-inflammatory diet, such as the Mediterranean diet. Incorporate lots of whole foods while avoiding processed foods. Stress-relieving foods include those which are high in Vitamin B (such as beef, chicken, eggs, organ meats, nutritional yeast), omega-3 fatty acids (such as avocados, chia seeds, olive oil, salmon, sardines, walnuts), magnesium (bananas, broccoli, dark chocolate, pumpkin seeds, spinach), and protein (almonds, beef, lentils, quinoa, salmon, shrimp, yogurt, kefir, pumpkin seeds). Magnesium aids in relaxation; there are also high-quality magnesium supplements that are effective for calming. Complex carbohydrates are rich in fiber, which helps to control blood sugar and therefore help balance cortisol levels. Fruits, starchy vegetables, whole and ancient grains, and legumes are good carbohydrate choices. It is also important to avoid or limit consumption of cortisol-increasing foods such as alcohol, caffeine, sugar, simple carbs (cakes, pastries, baked goods), and soda.

How Massage Therapy Helps

Regularly getting adequate sleep is vital to controlling stress, and engaging in relaxation activities such as meditation and yoga is beneficial as well. Interestingly, laughter has been scientifically proven to relieve stress—besides providing physical benefits (relaxing your muscles, improving cardiac health, boosting the immune system, lowering blood pressure, aiding in weight loss), laughter supplies mental health benefits as well (improving your mood, reducing cortisol in your body, increasing endorphins). And of course, getting regular exercise also helps to manage stress. Research has shown that stress can be significantly reduced on both physical and psychological levels through receiving massage therapy. The American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) website references various studies conducted between 1996 and

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2004 in which all test subjects in the massage group showed significant changes in their emotional states and stress levels, indicated by a significant decrease in heart rate and blood pressure. As noted in Psychology Today, the anxiety-reducing and mood-enhancing benefits of massage therapy are most likely related to decreased levels of cortisol and increased activity of the parasympathetic nervous system, which works to automatically calm the body and brain during times of stress. According to 2014 research by Tiffany Field, PhD, and published on the National Institutes of Health website, “When moderate and light pressure massage have been compared in laboratory studies, moderate pressure massage reduced depression, anxiety and heart rate, and it altered EEG patterns, as in a relaxation response. Moderate pressure massage has also led to increased vagal activity and decreased cortisol levels. Functional magnetic resonance imaging data have suggested that moderate pressure massage was represented in several brain regions including the amygdala, the hypothalamus and the anterior cingulate cortex, all areas involved in stress and emotional regulation.” In other words, the pressure from massage therapy directly benefits brain activity, heart rate, and cortisol levels. The pace of the massage strokes applied is equally as important as the pressure. In addition to the application of moderate pressure, a slower-paced massage, low lighting, soft music, and aromatherapy can also provide a relaxing environment. Massage therapy has also been shown to improve sleep quality, which can then decrease cortisol levels. We have several resources at our disposal to help manage stress in today’s world. Food alone may help reduce cortisol levels but will not have a significant impact long-term, unless it is combined with a whole-body approach, which includes exercise, adequate sleep, weight management, and massage therapy. In each of these areas, consistency is integral. •



A Spiritual Awakening NATURAL Nutmeg

By Michele Rabinowitz


18 “The heart sleeps until it is awakened to life by a blow. It is as a rock, and the hidden fire flashes out when struck by another rock.” —Hazrat Inayat Khan, Sufi master


pure heart, open to the Light, will be filled with the Elixir of Truth. —Rumi

As I hold her heart, I whisper in her ear: “Don’t hold back the tears, let them wash the deep wound of your heart.” In a moment the flood gates open and the emotions of deep pain, shame, despair, and anger come rushing in. We take a long deep breath and pause. Within the pause is a sigh of relief, a calmness and a doorway that reflects a hint of light. As she lets out another long breath, I encourage her to feel all of it. “Don’t hold back. Allow yourself to feel so you can let go of the deep wound you have been carrying all your life. This wound has held you back from living a life of love, intimacy, and purpose.” She opens and receives the gifts of breath, life, and love. Where does trauma live in our bodies? Why are we being shown the importance of healing this wound that weaves through all our lives? Most of us are living in a chronic state of freeze—trauma gets held in the subconscious state, so we are not always aware it is there. It affects every part of our biology down to the cellular level, creating blockages in the energetic field and in the subtle heart where we connect to the Divine.

Growing through Trauma

As I reflect on my own trauma with which I came into this world, I can say from the depth of my soul that the journey I took to get to this place of deep healing and connection has been the biggest gift of my life. My deep desire to know myself and my purpose is what kept me seeking and searching for answers, for a deeper understanding of life, death, and the Divine. We all have had trauma in our lives, and most of us are not even aware how it still affects us on

a day-to-day basis. Eventually, it begins to affect our health, our relationships, and our work in the world. As a bodyworker and a spiritual healer for 28 years, I have learned from my own wounding and the wounds of my clients how trauma is held within the many layers of a person’s body, heart, and spirit. Each layer we purify brings us closer to the core of our truth and purpose in life. All prophets, messengers, and realized beings, such as Buddhist monks and Zen masters, have had many challenges that molded them into who they became. They would not have had the capacity to achieve their status without the many difficult trials they had to face in their lives. We can all learn from the resilience, strength, and fortitude that come from the trials of life that we all must endure. By changing our beliefs—by facing our shadow side as a gift instead of something to avoid or feel shame about—we can evolve into who we were created to be, and we can begin to heal the patterns of trauma that are so prevalent in our time. Trauma is not an invitation to become a victim, but an opportunity for spiritual awakening.

For the Greater Good

Through clinical studies, research in the field of psychology, and somatic work, we are now beginning to understand how trauma gets passed down through the generations and the collective consciousness. This knowledge is the doorway that can begin to heal the pain and suffering that has plagued our lives and our society for thousands of years. This paradigm shift is what will heal past generations, future generations, and our present lives. As a mother and grandmother, I can only pray that we understand the responsibility that each one of us has and will therefore contribute to not just ourselves, but to the good of the whole.

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When we look at the whole of humanity and the state of consciousness, we see people suffering with addiction and dis-ease; living in darkness and despair; feeling isolated, cut off, and disassociated. Trauma blocks our light, shuts us down, and creates dis-ease in the body, mind, and spirit. Working through the blockages of trauma helps us live a life full of potential, creativity, and connection. This journey takes courage and a deep desire to know ourselves, a place of deep yearning to know our truth and purpose. As women, we know innately what is needed to heal the wounds of the many, our children, and the Earth. This work is meant to be done together as one heart, one community, and one sisterhood. This work is for the future generations, our children, and all of creation. It’s time we come together, mend our broken hearts, and bring our gift of divine feminine wisdom that is innate in each of us. As the beautiful African proverb says, “It takes a village.” •

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The Many Amazing Benefits of

Intermittent Fasting By Erika Dworkin, BCHN®


20 “Preclinical studies consistently show the robust diseasemodifying efficacy of intermittent fasting in animal models on a wide range of chronic disorders, including obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancers, and neurodegenerative brain diseases.” —The New England Journal of Medicine


ave you heard about the benefits of extended traditional fasting but have been afraid to try it? Are you open to a less challenging way to fast, as long as you do not feel you are starving from severe calorie restriction or are otherwise harming your body? If so, the great news is that intermittent fasting (IF), also known as timerestricted eating, is an easier approach to obtaining similar advantages.

What Is Intermittent Fasting?

Your body essentially exists in fed and fasted states. In the fed state, it releases fat-storing insulin from the pancreas so your cells can open and take in your consumed calories for energy. During this state, your body stops burning fat and uses glucose from your last meal for fuel. After 12 hours, your body enters the fasted state, when it runs out of glucose from your meal and your insulin falls precipitously, allowing your fat cells to unlock and start fueling your body until you eat again (called ketosis). More simply put, you burn stored fat only in the fasted state and add to your body fat stores only in the fed state. When your body is more accustomed to being in the fed state, your cellular energy producers (mitochondria) develop a preference for the easier-accessed glucose, thus causing hunger when your body’s energy stores are depleted. Staying in

the fed state causes your insulin to stay high, which can ultimately lead to insulin resistance (the failure of cells to respond well to insulin, which causes the pancreas to create more insulin to support the glucose metabolism process) and pre-diabetes/ type 2 diabetes. Intermittent fasting, viewed as a viable alternative approach to calorie restriction for weight loss, involves suspending eating for a planned period of time. It can be a means of restricting calories, but it also allows your body to focus on maintenance and recovery rather than devoting resources to digestion. A 2019 review published in the New England Journal of Medicine discussed three types of widely studied IF from both preclinical animal studies and those of patients with various diseases: 1. Alternate-day fasting: You fast or severely restrict calories (500–600/day) every other day. 2. Time-restricted feeding: You intake all of your daily calories within a particular window of time and fast the rest of the day. One small study of prediabetic men established that early-time-restricted feeding, between 7 am–3 pm—known as circadian rhythm fasting—is most effective for promoting multiple aspects of health, including increased metabolism and reduced appetite, insulin resistance,

blood pressure, and oxidative stress; other research and clinical experience, however, has shown that prolonging overnight IF by skipping breakfast improves insulin sensitivity and can reduce hunger and overall daily calorie intake. 3. 5:2 IF: One of the most popular and widely studied IF patterns, in which normal food intake occurs for five days of each week, and only 500–700 calories are consumed during the remaining two days of each week. Other patterns include OMAD (one meal a day) and combining IF with the ketogenic diet. Extremely low in carbohydrates, moderate in protein, and high in fat, the IF/keto combo diet can make fasting easier by training your body to look for fat stores for fuel rather than crave food for energy.

Safety and Benefits of IF

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While every diet should be personalized and take into account an individual’s medical condition and history (absent medical supervision, IF is not recommended for advanced diabetics or those taking diabetic medications, pregnant/breast feeding women, or those with eating disorders), IF is not only generally safe, but actually offers a wide range of health benefits. By altering your body’s use of insulin and stabilizing your blood sugar, animal and human studies have shown that intermittent fasting: 1. Reduces inflammation. 2. Supports weight loss when combined with other lifestyle modifications—one 2014 review found 3–8% body weight reduction over 3–24 weeks and weight loss impact equal to calorie restriction. 3. Strengthens the cardiovascular system by supporting the heart’s mitochondria and reducing oxidative stress, which results in lowered blood pressure, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides. 4. Increases energy and metabolism (according to studies, energy expenditure can increase by up to 12%). 5. Enhances brain function (motor coordination, cognition, learning, and memory) through enhanced autophagy, a cell-cleaning process that removes damaged molecules and proteins. 6. Improves longevity by increasing AMPK (an enzyme that regulates metabolism and energy use), sirtuins (proteins that protect against age-related decline), and FOXOs (help regulate the expression of genes involved in cell growth, insulin regulation, and longevity, and evidence suggests that they function as tumor

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“Periodic flipping of the metabolic switch not only provides the ketones that are necessary to fuel cells during the fasting period, but also elicits highly orchestrated systemic and cellular responses that carry over into the fed state to bolster mental and physical performance, as well as disease resistance.” —The New England Journal of Medicine

suppressors in various cancers). This increase protects cells by repairing DNA, replacing damaged cell parts, producing more cell mitochondria, and reducing inflammation. Researchers have recently focused on the power of IF to enhance immunity. It is well known that severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the emerging virus that has caused the recent worldwide pandemic, officially named COVID-19. It is also widely accepted that individuals with compromised immune systems and pre-existing conditions are particularly vulnerable to this disease. In a 2020 review published in Immunology Letters, researchers proffered IF as a possible preventive strategy against COVID-19. Recognizing that no experimental evidence details the impact of IF on SARS-CoV-2 infection yet, they proposed a detailed investigation of IF’s health-promoting potential given its ability to prime the immune response through increased autophagy, which helps ensure that cells function optimally. The researchers caution, however, that COVID-19 patients should not fast while infected, as doing so may put them at risk for deficiencies of nutrients essential for their immune systems.

How to Maintain and Break Your Fast

If you find the idea of full-blown intermittent fasting to be daunting, take heart. You can maintain ketosis during your fast even when you consume water, coffee, tea, bone broth, apple cider vinegar, or healthy fats (ghee or coconut/MCT oil). Indulging in these beverages can stave off hunger and/or replenish energizing electrolytes. When easing out of your fast with healthy, readily digested foods, follow these guidelines: 1. Eat small portions and chew your food thoroughly (this will help you to not be tempted to overeat). 2. Avoid dairy, gluten, corn, and lectins, which commonly cause inflammation, and junk food (high in bad fats and sugar). 3. Consume more protein and healthy fats than carbohydrates and limit fiber, which can be difficult to digest. 4. Drink plenty of high alkaline water. 5. Eat fish, chicken, turkey, and eggs, and limit/avoid beef, pork, lamb, and duck (all full of saturated fat and antibiotics). Smoothies, soups, fermented foods, dried fruits, and healthy fats are gentle options.

Vitamin Supplements That Support IF

Julian Whitaker, MD, founder of the Whitaker Wellness Institute, recommends exploring these optional dietary supplements during IF:


Garcinia cambogia (HCA): Boosts ketone production to fuel the brain and reduce cravings. 2. Chromium: Especially in the well-absorbed polynicotinate form, this trace mineral can stabilize blood sugar and reduce cravings. 3. 5-HTP: As a precursor to serotonin, the “happy hormone,” this amino acid may help curb appetite and reduce carb cravings. 4. Saffron: Increases serotonin and reduces stress eating (Relora®, a combination of magnolia and phellodendron, can have this same effect). Other supportive supplements to consider, ideally taken with food, include a high-quality multivitamin, fish/algae oil, probiotic + prebiotic, immune enhancers, and collagen.

Supportive Lifestyle Changes

While IF and dietary supplements can be instrumental in promoting weight loss and overall good health, other healthy lifestyle choices are equally important. For example, managing your stress with essential oils, exercise, meditation, yoga, or tai chi can go a long way to reducing your cortisol levels, balancing other hormones, and reducing harmful belly fat. Ideally, try experimenting with different approaches to intermittent fasting to find the right one for you. If you have a chronic health condition, seek guidance from a holistic practitioner before embarking on any IF program. When you do, don’t be surprised if you start thinking more clearly, have more energy, and have a smaller appetite! • See this full article online at www.naturalnutmeg. com. The statements in this article have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, are for educational purposes only, and are not intended to take the place of a physician’s advice.

Erika Dworkin, Board Certified in holistic nutrition, is the former owner of the Manchester Parkade Health Shoppe in Manchester, CT (, which operated for 65 years. Erika is available for nutrition consultations and to speak to groups, in person or on Zoom. She can be contacted by phone at 860.646.8178, or by email at Ask her about her FREE 20-Minute Wellness Assessments and FREE Essential Oil Chats! All statements in this article are practice- or scientific-evidence-based and references are available upon request. See ad on page 29 >



• • • Published for accuracy • Related, Mold, IBS, Neurological Health, Tickborne

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hether you realize it or not, your current reality is determined by how well your subconscious and conscious mind operate together. If you are not where you want to be in life it is because unconscious thought patterns have brought you here. If you continue to expect that you won’t ever get what you want and you expect to fail, then more often than not, you will get what you believe to be true. How do we break the pattern and change our thinking? First, identify your limiting beliefs—that voice in your head that tells you you’re not good enough, or you can’t do something, or it will never work. Once you are tapped into recognizing when you have these thoughts, interrupt the cycle and replace the negative thought with a positive one. Second, allow yourself time to hear what your subconscious mind is trying to tell you. This can come in the form of meditation, spending silent time in nature, or participating in an expressive activity such as yoga or dance. We live in a society that is constantly on the go, pushing us to move and think faster and faster. This is not conducive to hearing the messages that our soul has for us to follow our true destiny. Lastly, surround yourself with people who have established optimistic and affirmative belief systems. Allow this group of fellow travelers to help you. As you spend more time with positive, upbeat people, you will begin to notice subtle changes in your own belief system as the collective subconscious mind works as one to uplift the entire group.


Improving Conception


Is a Team Effort


By Dr. Nicole Kerr, ND, LAc

H 1.

“The male factor is just as important for conception and maintaining early pregnancy as the female factor.” —Dr. Nicole Kerr, ND, LAc

ow does the team in a team sport succeed if: Only one player has all the assessments, all the one-on-one coaching, all the skills improvement training, and shoulders the burden for all the losses?

and 2. The other player is minimally assessed, only has to come to the first and last games, never has to learn details about the game, and gets all the credit for the winning game? It doesn’t—at least not easily. You can imagine the struggles this team will have to accomplish a win. Sadly, this is what it looks like with many couples struggling with infertility. Almost as soon as a couple starts having trouble conceiving, they are guided through the process with one active player (female) and one benched player (male). For centuries, we have been taught that evaluating the female is all that needs to be done for a successful win of conception. Research is proving this wrong: the male factor is just as important for conception and maintaining early pregnancy as the female factor. Conception success starts by getting both “players” fully involved in the assessment and treatment of their fertility health.

The Male Factor

Male factor infertility accounts for 35% of all infertility cases—this is equal to the female factor—with an additional 20% having both female and male factor involvement. Therefore, if you are struggling to conceive, having both factors investigated will reduce your time to conception and increase your live birth rate. Additionally, when couples go through Advanced Reproductive Technologies (ART), 80% of male factor investigation involves a sperm count only; a medical history isn’t performed in order to uncover any underlying contributing health concerns. This is simply poor medicine. Wasting valuable time and money with repeat procedures concerning the female factor, an average of six in vitro fertilization (IVF cycles needed to take home a baby, and never investigating a justas-likely cause for infertility, the male factor, is poor medicine. Let us improve the outcome of taking home a baby through involving the male factor on this journey to parenthood. There are two main areas he can work on to help improve the chances of conception.


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Know his numbers: Semen analyses can tell a lot about the overall health of the male factor. One study found men with a low sperm count were more likely to have a higher percentage of body fat (bigger waistline and higher BMI) and higher blood pressure than men with higher sperm counts. They also experienced a higher frequency of metabolic syndrome, or higher chance of developing diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Male patients are often told their semen analysis is “fine” when the couple is shuffled through intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). ICSI is a more advanced IVF procedure in which a single sperm is injected directly into the egg. If ICSI is suggested, it is most likely that the semen analysis isn’t really “fine” at all—it is only fine enough for the most extreme manipulation to conception. It is important to understand the numbers to know if your semen analysis may result in natural conception. Following are the World Health Organization (WHO) reference ranges, Functional Medicine reference ranges, causes of abnormal readings, and general treatment. Due to the drastic decrease in WHO parameters over the past 80 years, both WHO and Functional Medicine reference ranges are listed here; research showing higher success of IVF when male factor numbers are nearer functional medicine reference ranges/values. a. Semen volume: WHO: > 1.5 mL Functional: > 3 mL Low causes: Dehydration, spillage of sample, not abstaining long enough, congenital health issues, low testosterone, alcohol use Treatment: Hydration, correcting low testosterone, abstain 3–5 days for testing b. Sperm concentration: In 1940, the average sperm concentration was 113 million/mL; here are today’s numbers: WHO: > 15 million/mL (most men today would have been considered infertile in 1940) Functional: > 48 million/mL Low causes: Low testosterone, testicular failure, ductal obstructions, genetic factor, varicocele, retrograde ejaculation






26 “Almost as soon as a couple starts having trouble conceiving, they are guided through the process with one active player (female) and one benched player (male)…. Conception success starts by getting both “players” fully involved in the assessment and treatment of their fertility health.” —Dr. Nicole Kerr, ND, LAc

Treatment: Eating organic, maca, multivitamin, glutathione, fish oil, CoQ10, inositol, L-arginine + pycnogenol A study published in the scientific journal Lancet showed 43% more sperm with organic eating. Sperm motility: Ability to move toward the egg. WHO: Progressive > 32%; nonprogressive + progressive > 40% Functional: Nonprogressive + progressive > 50% Abnormal causes: Infection, Inflammation (prostatitis), sperm antibodies, stress, toxin exposure, poor diet Treatment: Carnitine + L-acetyl-carnitine, CoQ10, arginine, reduced glutathione, zinc A recent study showed a 491% increase in motility when male did not use hot tubs and saunas; get out of wet heat if you have motility issues. Motility issues are seen in 25% of semen analyses. Sperm morphology: Size and shape WHO: >/= 4–10% are considered to be shaped normally Functional: > 15% (shown to have much higher positive results for IVF) Causes: Inflammation, stress, toxins, poor diet, daily alcohol use Treatment: Vitamin C, antioxidants, decrease toxin exposure (especially alcohol), curcumin, EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), glutathione, CoQ10 White blood cells: A sign of infection or inflammation WHO: < 1 million leukocytes/mL ejaculate Functional: Negative Causes: Infection, inflammation like prostatitis Treatment: EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), vitamin C, astragalus, dong quai, beta-glucan, vitamin E DNA fragmentation: Damage to sperm DNA and epigenetic changes made to sperm DNA during assembly and development, simply put-environmental influences that turn DNA on or off in the sperm itself. Functional: <20%, subfertility seen at fragmentation rates > 25% Risk factors: Infection, high fever, advanced age, disrupted sleep, poor diet, toxin exposure, and stress

Treatment: Remove negative environmental influences, DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), omega-3s, resveratrol, quercetin, hyperbaric oxygen Embryos from sperm with DNA fragmentation have a poor prognosis and higher miscarriage rates. According to Dr. Pojer, an Austrian reproductive endocrinologist specializing in male fertility, DNA fragmentation investigation and correction is first-line therapy in Europe, before IVF/ICSI. An abnormal semen analysis should merit evaluating testosterone (T), sex hormone binding globulin, luteinizing hormone (LH), and follicular stimulating hormone (FSH), minimally. • All low: Stress is major driving factor • High LH, and FSH; low testosterone: need to evaluate testicular function, toxin exposure • Normal testosterone with high or normal LH and FSH: Y chromosome deletion, varicocele, and autoimmunity are potential causes. Testosterone is normal between 300–800 ng/ dL; measure fasting between 8–10 am. Testosterone readings < 250 ng/ dL merit an MRI of the brain. 2. Being the best dad you can be starts NOW, during preconception time. Mayo Clinic emphasizes that male infertility isn’t always preventable; however, you can try avoiding the following known causes of male infertility to improve conception outcomes. • Smoking: Nicotine affects fertilization • Alcohol and/or drug use: Alcohol is toxic to testosterone-making cells in the testicles, marijuana inhibits pituitary function, and certain prescription medications decrease fertility • Being an unhealthy weight: Overweight men are 20% less fertile, obese men are 30–40% less fertile, and 15.6% of men with a BMI > 30 had oligospermia (low sperm count) • Having a vasectomy • Prolonged heat on the testicles: Decrease sperms’ ability to move, increase in DNA damage • Stress: Negative impact on sperm quality and motility • Exposure to pesticides, heavy metals, and other toxins like degreasers, paints, solvents:


A Case Study

Dr. Nicole Kerr, ND, LAc, operates an all-natural fertility clinic in Wallingford CT, Fertility Oasis. At Fertility Oasis, Dr. Kerr teaches her patients the importance of preconception care and about all treatment options available to couples struggling to conceive. Male and female infertility factors are addressed by Dr. Kerr to offer comprehensive fertility care for her patients. Fertility Oasis, 857 N Main St., Ext Suite 1, Wallingford, CT, 203.265.0459. See ad on page 23 >

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A 34-year-old male with a congenital abnormality had a sperm count of just five total sperm, all of which were nonmotile. After three months out of the hot tub, losing 20 pounds of extra weight, taking Coq10, vitamin B complex, and carnitine, the sperm count improved to 50,000 with progressively moving sperm: a 10,000% improvement in count after three months. When hope for this couple had been shaken by mainstream medicine suggesting that donor sperm would be needed, taking these simple steps allowed the couple to instead pursue IVF with ICSI. After one round of IVF, they gave birth to a baby girl. Remember, conception is a team sport—not a solitary game. Getting in the game is the best way to win. Supporting each other is vital when struggles start to occur surrounding fertility. Knowing your numbers is half the battle; the other half is living a healthy, wholesome, and clean lifestyle. •

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Bisphenol A (BPA) in plastics: Lower quality sperm o Phthalates in personal care products, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastics: Decrease sperm concentration, motility, FSH and LH in men o Parabens in personal care products, preservative in foods: Failed implantation Additional support for male factor fertility include: • Multivitamins, which can make up for nutrient deficiencies, help correct underlying sperm assembly issues, and overall improve the health of the male factor. • Moderate exercise, which has been shown to boost sperm count. • Quality sleep, which is necessary for proper testosterone production. • Removing cell phones from pants pockets; avoid working with computers on laps.


Push Through Your Financial Health Plateau By Caroline Wetzel, CFP®, CDFA®, AWMA®


as someone ever inspired you to do something different? Recently an Integrative Medicine physician told me, “I give you permission to throw out that stuff in your kitchen that doesn’t nourish your body,” and advised me on nutrient-dense foods and seasonings to restock my pantry. Her words moved me to action. I cleaned out my cupboards, dug out the highly processed snacks wedged in the back corners, and tossed them into the garbage along with leftover holiday sweets. And as I did it, I felt great. I was getting rid of my toxic eating habits and replacing them with healthy behaviors that would sustain my body, mind, and spirit.

The Three Cs


28 “Push through whatever plateau might be inhibiting your momentum to optimize your financial health.” —Caroline Wetzel, CFP ®, CDFA ®, AWMA ®

You can feel free and fabulous, too, when it comes to your personal finances. Experience personal financial health when you maintain three Cs: • Clarity in what you are doing with your finances. • Comfort in why you are doing it. • Confidence that you are doing what you can to set yourself up for financial success. And you experience these 3Cs when you: • Accept the things that you cannot change—such as macroeconomic policies and market returns. • Have the courage to change the things that you can—including savings, investments, insurance decisions, asset allocations, debt payment strategies, and estate plans. • Make informed financial decisions that set you up to achieve your goals. Just as the Integrative Medicine doctor gave me permission to get out of my eating rut and guidance to chart a new way forward, I give you permission to push through whatever plateau might be inhibiting your momentum to optimize your financial health.

Change Your Narrative

Following are some toxic financial narratives that prevent some people from achieving greater levels of financial self-care, as well as examples of healthier mindsets and activities to ease financial pain points.

Toxic Financial Narrative: My partner manages our finances. Financially Healthy Mindset: My partner and I share financial responsibilities; we split up the details and both understand the big picture. 2022 Activities for Relief Clarify the six pieces of your financial picture with your partner: • Income • Expenses • Insurance • Investments • Debt • Financial obligations to other people Confirm contact information for any professionals that issued policies (e.g., insurance), created plans (e.g., a will), and manage your accounts on an ongoing basis (e.g., fiduciary financial advisor). Toxic Financial Narrative: It is overwhelming to think about my finances. I’m too busy to think about them. Financially Healthy Mindset: My wealth is like my health—both have the capacity to positively influence my quality of life. Time that I spend understanding my financial choices and making informed decisions may increase my likelihood of living the life I desire. 2022 Activities for Relief Reserve 15 minutes in the next month for a “financial checkpoint” and consider: • What do I like about my finances? • What do I not like about my finances? • How would I like my finances to be different? Act on your answers and revisit the questions on a regular basis (e.g., monthly, then quarterly) so that a healthy money mindset supported by constructive action becomes routine. Toxic Financial Narrative: I’m all set with my finances. What I’ve been doing for years is working out just fine. Financially Healthy Mindset: My wealth and health are dynamic and fluid, influenced by variables both within and outside of my control. What worked in the past may not work in the future.

2022 Activities for Relief Review your financial vitals and monitor them as part of your financial checkpoints: • How much do I have in emergency savings? • What % of my gross income am I investing? • What is my target asset allocation given my financial plan, and how do my current holdings compare to this allocation? • What kinds of insurance do I own, and do the policies continue to make sense for my needs? • What debt do I carry, and what is the payoff plan I am following? • When did I last review beneficiaries on my accounts and my estate plans?

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Caroline Wetzel is a Certified Financial Planner TM (CFP®) and Vice President, Private Wealth Advisor with Procyon Advisors LLC. Procyon Private Wealth Partners, LLC and Procyon Institutional Partners, LLC (collectively “Procyon Partners”) are registered investment advisors with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). This article is provided for informational purposes only and for the intended recipient[s] only. This article may also include opinions and forward-looking statements which may not come to pass. Information is at a point in time and subject to change. Procyon Partners does not provide tax or legal advice. https://www.



Toxic Financial Narrative: I have been working with the same people for years on my finances. While there are things I don’t like and I want something better, it’s easier to stick with who I know. Financially Healthy Mindset: People I have worked on my finances with in the past have served an important role. As I look forward, I deserve to surround myself with fiduciary professionals I trust to understand what is important to me and support me in realizing my goals. 2022 Activities for Relief • Check whether the financial professionals you work with are fiduciaries. • Seek a second opinion on your existing financial plan and investment strategy from an independent fiduciary, such as a Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®). If you want more clarity, comfort, and confidence in your financial life, push through your financial health plateau and resolve to make financial self-care your goal for 2022. Allow me the privilege of a complimentary consultation; my competent, experienced, and passionate fiduciary team is right here. •



Celebrate the

Little Things NATURAL Nutmeg

By Sharon Sklar


30 “In our world that is filled with a constant barrage of not-so-good news, isolation, and supply chain challenges, celebrate the little things.” —Sharon Sklar


have always loved birthdays—my birthday, my friends’ birthdays, my family’s birthdays. It’s a day to commemorate all that is good about being brought into the world, though not everyone feels this way. As I’ve gotten older, I meet people for whom a birthday is no biggie, just another day. This year I worked on my birthday, a day I usually take off. It was still my special day and I knew that whether or not I shared it with loved ones, I was special to those who know me. They would think of me—perhaps shoot me an email, a text, a phone call, or even take the time to send me a card. I had two lovely meals with good friends—a true celebration! At the end of November, I celebrated ten years since I was stricken with what the neurologist said was “the worst case of Bells’ palsy I’ve ever seen!” After being fully paralyzed on the left side of my face for almost a year and a half, enduring lower eyelid surgery to save my eyesight, another five facial surgeries, and seven years of special PT, I celebrated again. This time it was a self-reflective party. I thought about what I have gone through— the inability to smile for several years, the selfdoubt and self-loathing, and a full decade of baby steps toward being myself again, or becoming the new version of myself. This January 28, I will celebrate being fifteen years cancer-free. A small tumor in my right breast led to four breast surgeries, radiation, chemo, hair loss, associated other surgeries, and an infection around my heart that almost killed me. Fully recovered, I celebrate life every day. I am thankful for blessings of my excellent health, personal freedom, and a fulfilling life.

Living and Loving Life

I see the celebrations my Rolfing ® clients acknowledge as their bodies morph into healthier, stronger, and more aware vehicles. This fall, a client in her early sixties told me she had played in a yearly three-day golf tournament and did not experience the pain she typically had after that kind of intense activity. The celebratory smile on her face as she told me about the surprise ending to that event was priceless. In previous years she had been able to play for a day or two, then end up in bed with ice and painkillers, not able to complete the tournament. This story is just one of many. I have another client who, thirty-five years ago, suffered from nagging knee pain from a bad fall at work. She had immediate surgery to fix her knee, which, according to the doctor, was successful. Everything was repaired, but for all those years, she was plagued with pain and swelling in her knee if she did so much as shop at a mall or take a leisurely walk. She had to rule out doing many forms of exercise and being physical in most circumstances. Forget gardening, planting, or raking—all things she had loved to do. After getting Rolfed a few years ago, she became able to walk a few times a week with a friend, attend regular exercise classes, and enjoy her retirement in physical ways she hadn’t known for years. Of course, now she is one very happy woman!

Rolf for Your Health

Both of these clients had permanent, progressive results from their Rolfing ® series. We worked toward undoing the injury, creating structural ease, and establishing connective tissue balance through the direct manipulation of the soft tissue of the whole body. As time goes by, injuries eventually create stress and strain patterns

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Sharon Sklar is in her 41st year of private practice as a Certified Advanced Rolfer® . State licensed and the only Rolfer in central Connecticut, Sharon works with direct manipulation of the soft tissue of the body and movement re-education over a ten-session series to help her clients feel freer, get more balanced, and reduce chronic pain. Great for athletes, children, and adults recovering from injuries, stress, or the traumas of life. Inquiries are encouraged! Call 860.561.4337 for more information.

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throughout the entire body as the fascial gluing inhibits the way the muscles move. The Rolfing ® process of ten specific sessions undoes the years of stuck, thickened tissue that pull unevenly throughout the entire structure of the body. Life is too short to put up with the aches and pains that we call normal aging. Those issues are actually due to a lifetime of small injuries, traumas, and/or stress, all of which create imbalance. The cumulative effect of this strain leaves us with chronic pain, tight muscles, and the inability to be comfortable in our own skin. Sitting, walking, and even sleeping can be uncomfortable. Rolfing® can be the antidote. In our world that is filled with a constant barrage of not-so-good news, isolation, and supply chain challenges, celebrate the little things. It’s so uplifting to acknowledge the small ways we triumph over the dark holes found in life. I celebrated my triumph over finishing my yard work before the first snow. I celebrate a good “no accident” day with my new puppy. Look around and see what you can find joy in today. What do you want to acknowledge? Your milestones can be large or small. I invite you to celebrate the little things. Enjoy! •

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Is Your Spirit in Need of a

Tune-Up? by Stuart Alpert and Naomi Lubin-Alpert




32 “Much as the pit crew has the knowledge of what needs to take place for the driver to continue, we have a roadmap that helps us understand how transformation occurs…. In real time, the pit crew can’t do its work by reading a book. They need to be willing to get their hands dirty.” —Stuart Alpert and Naomi Lubin-Alpert

s humans, we have feelings of discomfort and dis-ease in us. These feelings include depression, anxiety, fear, agitation, meaninglessness, loneliness, longing, alienation, isolation, shame, ambivalence, tension, pain, and feeling overwhelmed or dissociated. This list is not exhaustive; there may be other feelings that cause you discomfort and dis-ease. These feelings are indications of our being out of balance and disconnected from our heart, our spirit, and our life force. It’s possible to be understanding and compassionate toward these feelings so that we develop a more intimate connection with ourselves. This intimate, supportive relationship helps us feel more balanced, whole, vibrant, and alive. Developing understanding and compassion also becomes the path to expanded consciousness. We begin the journey to expanded consciousness by accepting that there is work to be done in the depths of our emotional life. This work has to do with clearing out the negative, harmful energies from our childhood. The energies we absorbed from any abuse and neglect of our childhood are still in our bodies and in the neural wirings of our brain. The abuse is also in the beliefs we have about how to live with our emotions and body experiences. How we have become organized in relation to the abuse determines how we feel about ourselves, how we comfort ourselves, and the quality of safety and protection we embody

The Pit Crew

Entering the depths of our feelings can be compared to being members of a racecar support team in the pit of a racetrack. The pit crew changes the car’s tires and oil and tends to engine problems so the driver can continue the race. The pit is where the hard, messy work takes place.

The work in the pit of our emotional and physical life can also feel messy and hard. It requires a dedication fueled by our Spirit’s natural drive for greater aliveness and a deeper connection to our heart. The pit work is well worth the results. It is vitally important, however, to know that we don’t have to enter the pit blindly or alone. Much as the pit crew has the knowledge of what needs to take place for the driver to continue, we have a roadmap that helps us understand how transformation occurs. The roadmap lets us know where we are in the process of transformation and what needs to occur to remain on track; it does not, however, save us from needing to live each experience that opens in our process. In real time, the pit crew can’t do its work by reading a book. They need to be willing to get their hands dirty.

Where Do We Begin?

We begin by exploring the nature of how we keep ourselves safe. We often have old, outdated beliefs about safety and protection that limit our consciousness, our aliveness, and our feeling of wholeness. As an old TV commercial pronounced, “Without regularly changing the oil in our car, we may need a major engine job down the road.” The same concept applies as we examine our old belief systems—if we ignore the signs that indicate that we are out of balance, these symptoms will intensify until we finally get the message. When we organize ourselves around old beliefs of safety and protection that originated from past abuse and neglect, we are ignoring what we now need so that the “engine” of our life to be in good running order. It is as though we are not changing the oil that lubricates elements of ourselves; we remain stuck or resist tending to the meaning of our breakdowns. Without being able to read our

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It is worth restating that the journey can have difficult and painful twists and turns that require dedication in its pursuit. This is also worth the effort. The journey needs the guidance of an experienced hand; a therapist who is unafraid of deep emotion and who knows how to be with their client’s distress. As clients, we are supported in our distress and accompanied on our journey. This is the essence of good bonding. Therapy allows us to update our old beliefs formed from exposure to childhood abuse and neglect. This process is rewiring the embodied messages that tell us when our internal engine needs tending. As we alter the software of our beliefs, we begin to transform the hardware of our body

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distress signals, our emotional, physical, and mental engine begins to rattle and run rough. We often believe we don’t have support to accept and support our feelings, reinforcing a feeling that is akin to driving with a set of worn-out shock absorbers—we have a sensation of bouncing around inside of ourselves. There may simply not be the correct amount of gas and oxygen flowing through our internal carburetor that allows us to feel alive and energetic. With these difficulties, the engine of our life won’t run smoothly and efficiently. We can learn to decode our emotional and physical symptoms as messages from the deep place of wisdom that is in all of us. With this connection, we can allow our symptoms to inform us about the next piece of old abuse or neglect calling for our attention. When symptoms surface, they are calling to us to meet them with the understanding, caring, and compassion that they have always needed. Once we acknowledge our trauma and its resultant pain, we are on the path to greater consciousness.


organization. Updating our software so that transformation can occur is a simple concept—but simple doesn’t mean easy! Knowing this concept is only the first step. The real work is to continue to clear out the old abusive energies that have determined how we deal with our emotions and how we feel about ourselves.

ask ourselves whether we need to hold onto old beliefs that may perpetuate a way of living that diminishes breathing, motility, and mobility. Do we want to move beyond preconceived notions and the limits we impose on ourselves about the degree of aliveness that is possible, or do we want to explore the world of endless possibilities?

It is essential to note that healing is not about right and wrong, good and bad. There are no “right” or “good” emotions, senses, and thoughts. Being judgmental about what we feel, sense, and think only creates more problems for us. The very nature of being judgmental is to be at war with ourselves. Judgment of self (or others) keeps us away from living more grounded and coming home to our bodies—bringing consciousness and acceptance to our emotions. When we judge ourselves, we are living in our minds and looking down at our experience. Experiences are pleasurable or unpleasurable, supported or unsupported, grounded or ungrounded. They are all simply experiences that we either accept or reject. The consequence of rejecting parts of ourselves is that we perpetuate less clarity, aliveness, and intimacy. Rejecting or judging our inner experiences, moreover, creates tension and stress. Conversely, accepting our inner experiences means we don’t have to attempt to rid ourselves of anything we feel or think; we can simply focus and allow each experience to be a wave we learn to ride. As we bring consciousness to each moment, we don’t compartmentalize ourselves into acceptable and unacceptable, into “I’ll allow myself to feel this, but not that.” All of what we feel becomes acceptable (although not necessarily comfortable) and is part of being human. We can then be supportive and kind to ourselves no matter what we feel, think, or sense. We are now living inside of ourselves, rather than judging our feelings from on high. How deeply we open to ourselves has to do with the depth of our self-acceptance. Conversely, the intensity of our resistance to what we feel creates the intensity of our self-rejection. Acceptance and compassion allow for a relaxed body; rejection causes stiffness, collapse, or degrees of formlessness. It is our mind that rejects what we feel. The question that we need to ask ourselves is whether we want to live in a way that produces openness, insight, honesty, consciousness, and harmony. Do we want to live in a way that supports living in our center and in relation to the ground? Or do we want to live in a way that supports tension or formlessness, resistance, disharmony, pain, and dissatisfaction? We can also

Implicit in these questions are further questions. What is the feeling of integration, wholeness, and personal power? Do you believe that personal power—when all parts of who we are operate together due to the alignment of our energy and emotions in our body—is the ability to control ourselves and others so that we don’t have to feel what is real and alive in us? That is, is personal power the ability to organize ourselves against whatever we feel or is the ability to make room for whatever it is that opens in us? Our answer to these questions requires a paradigm shift wherein personal power is about building self-acceptance for all our experiences. Within this paradigm, personal power is the accumulation of energy so we can hold our focus on all of our experiences and not have to deny or obsess about them. In this paradigm, we are in a continual process of increasingly collecting power that supports consciousness so we can live our lives in a way that is congruent with our biology and our spirit. Living in this way, we don’t have to organize our body in resistance to ourselves. As we increasingly accept our inner experience, we create an energy of congruence, love, respect, and aliveness. Impermanence is all we are assured of. Change is always occurring in the universe. The only real question that remains for us is whether we will make room for transformation to occur in our internal universe. Again, change is inevitable. It is important to note that we are always living in relation to others and the entire universe. In this way, we interact with those around us and with our environment. When we support this awareness and support ourselves, we have already won our race. •


Living Our Experiences



Embrace Your Personal Power

This article was edited and is from the Hartford Family Institute Training Manual for our Professional Training Program in HFI Body-Centered Psychotherapy. The manual can be purchased by going to See ad on page 37 >


Mindful Practices

for the Winter Months


Maintaining Mindfulness Through the Seasons

In these situations, I call to mind some of my basic mindfulness practices that help when I will be socializing with people I have not seen in a long time or when I’m trying something new. I invite myself to enter the situation with openness and curiosity. Perhaps seeing family members that I have not seen in a long time, perhaps greeting people that I may not always agree with—I approach them as if it is the first time I am meeting them. With a beginner’s mind, I seek to put aside any pre-conceived opinions or judgments and invite in an opening to see the good in every person, in every situation. Getting caught up in the trap of perfection can also influence our enjoyment of life. My mindful practices, including conscious use of social media, has helped me maintain a healthy

perspective. Reflecting through a gratitude journal has helped me connect with what really matters to me, where meaning really lies. Showing up authentically and living a life of integrity and balance may be how this looks for you, in your journey of living with meaning. These months when we may not be outside as much, preferring to stay indoors for longer periods of time, we can also find ourselves lonely and missing the company of others. Accept that these are natural and normal feelings! When I feel these emotions rising, I pause and explore how I am feeling with self-compassion and grace. Whether with the mail carrier or UPS driver, or a family member, or a co-worker, I seek to connect in meaningful ways from a place of compassion and generosity of spirit. Lastly, I approach these months with curiosity! My daily journaling and art practice explore what the darker, colder months can teach me about myself. And as the daylight hours extend, I look forward to nature awakening. Mindfully, I notice the changes outside my window and am in awe of how nature survives and thrives as it regenerates during the winter. What can each of us learn from this? •

Ordained by One Spirit Interfaith Seminary and as a certified interspiritual counselor, I currently offer spiritual coaching and creativity sessions in person in my North Haven office, as well as by phone and Zoom. You can learn more about me at or contact me at or 203.435.5650. See ad on page 29 >

“Mindfully, I notice the changes outside my window and am in awe of how nature survives and thrives as it regenerates during the winter.” —Lauri Ingram


s I sit and write this, the hours of daylight are getting shorter and for some of us, entering and enduring the winter months can be difficult in many ways. Especially this year, as we emerge from the cocoon of the pandemic, many of us are re-entering the world and socializing more than we have in the past two years. And let’s be honest: Re-entering can elicit anxious thoughts and feelings. We may not know why—whether it’s simply being out of practice with “people-ing” or if we have truly changed where and how we wish to extend our energy. Regardless of the reason, entering a new season, or even resuming activities that we have set aside for a while, we can feel the weight of added stress.


By Lauri Ingram


Your Dentist Can Help You


Breathe Easier and Sleep Better Dr. Krithika Jayaprakash, DDS, FAGD, IBDM


36 “Millions of Americans suffer from undiagnosed sleep breathing conditions—a patient can be suffering from sleep apnea (the complete cessation of breathing) or sleep hypopnea (slow or shallow breathing).” —Krithika Jayaprakash, DDS, FAGD, IBDM


s we all know, the most important involuntary act we perform every second is to breathe— after all, we need to breathe to live. But how many of us are really breathing every second? We concern ourselves with nutrition, exercise, happiness, balanced work life, family life, and so on. But do we ever really consider the importance of breathing? Millions of Americans suffer from undiagnosed sleep breathing conditions—a patient can be suffering from sleep apnea (the complete cessation of breathing) or sleep hypopnea (slow or shallow breathing). We all are aware of breathing during our waking hours. But what about while we sleep?

Symptoms of sleep apnea are • snoring • brain fog • anxiety, depression • stroke, high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, arrhythmia • diabetes, obesity • impotence, nocturia • acid reflux When all these symptoms are present, patients need to be tested for sleep apnea instead of just treating the symptoms. After all, the root cause should be treated in order to achieve the cure.

Let me give you a real-life example. During his home sleep study test (HST), one of my patients had an AHI (apnea and hypopnea) score of 15. This means he had literally stopped breathing 15 times every hour. The duration of his sleep is seven hours and during this time, he had stopped breathing a total of 105 times and his oxygen level dropped to 74%. This is considered an emergency in hospitals and other healthcare facilities. His pulse was an astonishing 140; during sleep, our resting pulse should be right around 60. In this patient’s situation, his heart was being overworked due to the consistent cessation of breathing. Now imagine this happening every single day of his life. Sleep is the time our bodies need to relax, rest, recover, and be in the parasympathetic mode. When the body is overworking during sleep, it results in many larger problems in the long run.

You may now be wondering, “How is this connected to dentistry?” During a full mouth evaluation, dentists will note classic signs that a patient may have sleep disordered breathing, the most telling sign being teeth grinding. When the body is deprived of oxygen during sleep we grind our teeth, causing us to wake up or change positions. Some patients repeatedly break dental crowns or bridges due to continuous grinding. Oral signs of sleep apnea are: • narrow jaws and crowding of teeth • tori or exostoses (extra bone on the jaw) • erosion of teeth from acid reflux • abfractions or chipping of enamel near the gum line • extreme sensitivity of teeth • forward head posture • dry mouth • morning fatigue and daytime tiredness

A Case Study in Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea and Oral Appliances

• bags under eyes • tongue tied, tongue too large for the mouth, resting on teeth such that the back of the throat can’t be seen, scalloping of tongue on the sides • lips apart at rest (mouth breathing without realizing it) When I started noticing these signs, I realized that I wanted to offer oral health services as a gateway to whole body health. I do not want to be just a tooth mechanic; I want to create awareness and educate patients so they can be the advocate for their overall health.

Proven solutions using acupuncture, herbal medicine, and nutrition to heal the whole person. Specializing in Women’s Health & Nutrition 203/698-0793 < PAGE 12 “Transitioning to Menopause with Ease” BY DONNA BUNTE, MSOM, LAc

How Your Dentist Can Help You Get a Better Night’s Sleep



Many patients dislike using CPAP machines or having to leave their homes for a sleep study. At Dr. Jay Dental we have HST, where patient can take the equipment to their home for the night and return to us the next day, so we can then send the raw data to a board-certified sleep physician. If patients have sleep apnea, we have different treatment options like oral appliances and laser therapy, which opens the airway and helps the patient breathe better. Our noninvasive laser therapy (also known as Nightlase) is done with our Fotona laser, stimulating collagen production in the soft palate and oral tissues that in turn opens the airway. We also offer laser tongue-tie revisions and myofunctional therapy, which helps the tongue to be in a better position for proper airway opening. Sleep apnea is a progressive disease for which excessive snoring is a key sign, a loud message to check for a clogged airway. Habitual excessive snoring leads to stroke, Alzheimer’s, and cardiovascular diseases. Simply recommending a night guard does not stop teeth grinding in patients— the airway needs to be opened for the patient to breath better and stop grinding. As always, the root cause needs to be treated in order to achieve the proper cure. •

< PAGE 32 “Is Your Spirit in Need of a Tune-Up?” BY STUART ALPERT AND NAOMI LUBIN-ALPERT

Dr. Krithika Jayaprakash, DDS, FAGD, IBDM. Naturopathic dentist specializing in ceramic implants and all your dental needs. Dr. Jay Dental, 170 Union St., Vernon, CT, 06066. 860.875.3349.

See ad on page 19 >

290 WEST MAIN STREET, RT 44, AVON, CT • 860.255.7771


IMAGINE FLOAT is Greater Hartford's only boutique float and wellness center offering floatation therapy, cryotherapy, infrared sauna and compression therapy. All services provide non-invasive therapies to heal your body, mind and soul. Relax, refresh and renew at IMAGINE FLOAT.

< PAGE 10 “Cryo Body-Sculpting: You Are the Clay, We Are the Sculptors” BY MICHELE BEAULE


Can You Take a “Shortcut” to a

Better Self-Image?


By Sculpted Wellness


38 “If what you see in the mirror puts you in a positive frame of mind, your motivation to maintain healthy habits—physical, emotional, and spiritual—will receive a powerful, sustained boost.” —Sculpted Wellness


our self-image shapes the trajectory of your life. If you see yourself as attractive, fit, likeable, capable, and adventurous, then you behave as if these things were true. You look after your physical health. You confidently enter social situations. You initiate sex. You take on personal and professional challenges. What’s fascinating is that you do almost all these things without conscious thought; rather, they flow naturally from the mental image you have of yourself. Your self-image becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. When that self-image is positive you end up with better relationships, a more fulfilling career, and, yes, better health. On the other hand, if you have a poor self-image, you may project negative energy that closes you off from fulfillment and opportunity. Your relationships suffer. You lack the confidence to take positive risks. And poor self-image impacts your health as well. You may feel stressed or anxious, which will interfere with sleep quality and makes it harder to lose weight. Over time you can become depressed and lose the motivation to exercise. It’s a self-perpetuating cycle that continuously lowers your self-image.

Improve Your Self-Image

You know that—theoretically—there are many ways to boost your attitude, confidence, and mental health: practicing positive affirmations, meditation, worship, reading motivational materials, gratitude journaling, and so on. These are excellent tools for improving the way you see yourself over time; unfortunately, when you’re in a bad place mentally, it can be as tough to find the willpower to form these habits as it is to start a daily workout regimen.

But what if you could take a “shortcut” to a better self-image? This is not only possible, but also wise from a psychological standpoint. After all, we tend to become what we visualize. If what you see in the mirror puts you in a positive frame of mind, your motivation to maintain healthy habits—physical, emotional, and spiritual—will receive a powerful, sustained boost.

Visualize Success with EMSUITE

Visualizing success is the thinking behind Sculpted Wellness. Whether you’d like to tone your arms, strengthen your core, get rid of love handles, smooth out cellulite, or de-puff the bags under your eyes, EMSUITE treatments will jump start the physical improvements you’d like to make using a non-invasive, targeted approach. The popular EMSCULPT NEO is an FDA-cleared device that’s proven after four treatments to build muscle while reducing fat in the targeted treatment areas. Clients simply lie down while a topical applicator uses electromagnetic technology and radiofrequency energy to permanently destroy fat cells and contract muscle fibers (no worries— treatments are pain-free). Changes in your body continue over the following three months, at which point you see the optimal results in the targeted areas—an average of 25% fat reduction and a 30% increase in muscle mass. Clients say that after an EMSUITE treatment, they soon notice a difference in how they look and feel. They are stronger and more confident. They feel more attractive. Best of all, they want to maintain their new image and are far more motivated to exercise, eat right, get more sleep, and do all the other things that add up to wellness. The shift in self-image changes everything. It can kick-start a whole new lifestyle. •

Trained in naturopathic medicine, Sculpted Wellness medical director Dr. Adam Breiner has long been a student of energy medicine and frequencies to help heal the body. Now, frequency-based science offers revolutionary non-surgical technology to sculpt your body to wellness. Our EMSUITE Center features EMSCULPT NEO® to build and strengthen muscles while simultaneously burning fat; EMTONE® for cellulite reduction, smooth skin appearance; EXILIS ULTRA® to build collagen, reduce wrinkles, skin laxity, and cellulite; and the ground-breaking EMSELLA® to treat incontinence and improve sexual function. Learn more at Contact us at 475.221.1000 or See ad on page 9 >


Finally Keep Those New Year’s Resolutions with a Health Coach By Kimberly Lawrence

he new year and new year’s resolutions are right around the corner. Every year with excitement and a fresh perspective, many people vow to commit themselves to new habits that will change their lives for the better. A desire to quit smoking, lose weight, stop drinking, eat more whole foods, take more time for self-care, change careers, and many other ambitious goals are spoken, and intentions are good. However, few people follow through to achieve those goals, and the masses are left feeling defeated and discouraged that they don’t have the willpower to stay on track. Another year passes and nothing changes except self-esteem—for the worse.

First, Change Your Mind

One of the best solutions for getting to the root causes of not being able to commit to change and modifying them to have success once and for all is to work with a health or life coach. Most of us have already heard of a health or life coach, but many are still in the dark as to what one does. As a health and life coach myself, I’m frequently asked, “How can you help me?” The concise answer is, a trained coach will effectively guide you while using the right tools to change patterns and help you through blocks you have not previously been able to navigate successfully on your own. Your coach will ask you questions and use active listening skills during your consultations to detect what is holding you back from taking the necessary steps. She will then create a program, designed specifically for you, to help you work toward your goals. Your coach will act as your cheerleader, empowering you every step of the way and keeping you on track. The tools that each coach uses are specific to their experiences and education. Oftentimes, affirmations, meditation, visualization, journaling, and conversations during which you disclose experiences will help to discover and subsequently change negative patterns like self-sabotage. As you continue your program, you will experience shifts in consciousness that will lead to effortless change in behavior, helping to give you the permanent success you have always desired. Wishing you a year filled with accomplished goals and fulfilled resolutions! • Kimberly Lawrence was tired of going from doctor to doctor, seeking resolution of chronic pain, illness, and allergies, when she decided to be trained at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in 2005. Having healed herself naturally, she now helps clients transform their lives. Call 860.951.1533 for a complimentary consultation and visit See ad on page 33 >

“The thoughts and patterns surrounding the behaviors that got you where you are today are embedded in your subconscious mind and need to be unearthed and modified.” —Kimberly Lawrence


The question every single year is the same: Why bother with resolutions when the rate of failure is so high? Let’s put this into perspective using the goal of weight loss as an example. The beginning of the year is the highest enrollment at gyms as well as with other programs that promise weight loss if you eat their foods, drink their shakes, and take their supplements. Failure is certainly not from a lack of resources, then, right? Truth is, if you don’t participate, you are not going to get results of any kind. Hence, the question really should be: What is holding us back from going to the gym or using the programs that are going to help us get the results we desire? There are underlying causes for not doing things for ourselves that we innately know would help us achieve our goals. The thoughts and patterns surrounding the behaviors that got you where you are today are embedded in your subconscious mind and need to be unearthed and modified. The chances of successfully changing your outcome permanently diminishes quickly if you do not modify the connection to those root causes. Those who rely solely on willpower tend to struggle, feel frustrated, and typically go back to the behaviors that seem familiar. That is human nature. We are creatures of habit, even when we know the habits no longer serve us.

Then, Change Your Patterns




Acupuncture of Greater Hartford Stan Baker, LAC 91 South Main St., West Hartford, CT 06107 860.836.1068

CBD STORE Nature’s Gifts


304 W Main St., Avon • 860.995.4444 Nature’s Gifts is an independently owned family run CBD Store in Avon, CT. Stress, sleep, and pain solutions available. Our knowledgeable staff will happily guide you through our gummies, tinctures, capsules, topicals, and raw flower offerings to find the perfect CBD product for your needs. Don’t pay too much for your CBD—stop in, say hello, and let us help you feel like you again.


Vitalized Performance Group



Glastonbury, CT • 860.800.6775

Local Experts In and Around Connecticut



ProNatural Physicians Group, LLC Berlin, CT • 860.829.0707

Homeopathy Healings • 413.426.1024

James Osborne is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Board Certified Professional Counselor, Board Certified PTSD Clinician, and a Fellow in the American Psychotherapy Association with over 40 years of clinical experience. See ad on page 29 >

Want to get to the root cause of your chronic symptoms? Homeopathy can relieve the symptoms of depression, anxiety, women’s issues, headaches, digestive troubles, child behavior problems, and so much more. Contact Abby to see if homeopathic care is appropriate for you. Appts over Zoom and Skype possible.

James Osborne, MS, LPC, BCPC


Dr. Mark A. Breiner, DDS, FAGD, FIAOMT Fairfield, CT • 203.371.0300 A recognized authority in the field of holistic dentistry, Dr. Breiner treats patients for a myriad of dental concerns including sleep breathing disorders, TMD, mercury toxicity, and hidden infections from cavitations and root canals. “If you have unexplained symptoms that won’t go away, the answer could be in your mouth.” See ad on page 11 >

Dr. Steven F Hinchey, DMD South Glastonbury • 860.633.6518 •

VPG Waves is a holistic practice that offers acupuncture, colon hydrotherapy, naturopathic medicine, and GAINSWave therapy (shockwave treatment for erectile dysfunction, Peyronies’ disease, scar tissue, and pain management). We offer affordable programs that integrate holistic modalities to treat, prevent, and heal the root cause of our patients’/clients’ ailments. Handicap accessible.

Thank you to our wonderful patients who trust our team to care for their improved oral health. Please let your family and friends know that a healthy, disease-free mouth will help your overall health. It is all connected—the mouth and the body. And we can help you get there. See ad on page 7 >

Dana Mascalo CFP®, RLP®, AAMS®, C(k)P®

Dr. Krithika Jayaprakash, DDS, FAGD, IBDM

FINANCIAL PLANNING Managing Partner, TrinityPoint Wealth 612 Wheelers Farms Rd. Milford, CT Office: 203.693.8521 Fax: 203.693.8524 See ad on page 13 >

Caroline Wetzel, CFP®, AWMA® Procyon Private Wealth Partners, LLC 1 Corporate Dr., Suite 225 Shelton,CT • 475.232.2713 See ad on page 11 >

Dr. Jay Dental, 170 Union St. Vernon, CT 06066 860.875.3349 • Dr. Jay is a naturopathic dentist specializing in all your dental needs, including ceramic implants, same-day ceramic crowns, laser dentistry, ALF orthodontics, Myobrace, ozone therapy, and non-surgical gum treatment. Dr. Jay has the latest in dental technology at her office. See ad on page 19 >


567 Vauxhall St. Ext, #218, Waterford, CT 06385 Ph: 860.443.5822 Fax: 860.444.0581

Abby Beale, CCH RSHom(NA)


Joann Dunsing Hypnosis 204 Cherry St., Milford CT 06460 203.907.7710 • I am passionate about enabling you to get the changes you want! This is accomplished by empowering you through the skillful use of NLP (neuro-linguistic programming), EFT (emotional freedom techniques, also known as meridian tapping), and the relaxed focused state of hypnosis.

Michele P. Rousseau, MA, CH

267 William St., Middletown, CT 06457 860.704.9054 •


Functional Medicine & Integrative Care LLC 15 Bennitt St., New Milford CT 860.354.3304 • Dr. Sachs prevents and treats chronic illness by uncovering and correcting the underlying root causes of your health concerns while remaining respectful of the uniqueness and complexity that make us human. She comprehensively and thoughtfully creates personalized plans explaining why and how each area of your healing will be addressed.


Abundant Health Massage Therapy & Wellness Farmington, CT • 860.778.0315 Kristina Mozzicato is Board Certified in Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork by the NCBTMB and has been practicing massage for the past 12 years. She provides professional, therapeutic, customized sessions. In addition to massage, she offers cupping, medicupping, body contouring, Himalayan salt stone massage, and Reiki sessions. Convenient online booking. See ad on page 23 >


Grant’s Nutrition & Wellness

Dr. Adam Breiner, ND

Fairfield, CT • 203.371.8258 Focusing on brain health and Lyme disease, Dr. Adam Breiner offers cutting-edge therapies that include hyperbaric oxygen, neurocognitive therapies, including sophisticated brain-imaging equipment to evaluate brain injuries and brainwave patterns associated with metabolic imbalances, infections, and allergies. Conditions treated include concussions, TBI, stroke, PTSD, ADD/ADHD, anxiety, depression, and more. See ad on this page >

Naturopathic & Acupuncture Health Center Dr. Marie Mammone, Dr. Renee Mammone, NDs, John Mammone, Licensed Acupuncturist 274 Silas Deane Hwy., Wethersfield, CT 06109 860.529.1200 •

Frank Aieta, ND 301 N. Main St., West Hartford, CT 860.232.9662 • See ad on page 33 >


Erika Dworkin, BCHN® Certified in Holistic Nutrition Vitathena Wellness South Glastonbury, CT • 860.646.8178 •

Imagine Float

290 West Main St., Avon 860.255.7771 • See ad on page 37.


Hamden, CT • 203.435.5650 Services available in person, and via Zoom/Skype. Lauri Ingram is an ordained interfaith/ interspritual minister, offering spiritual counseling, crystal dreaming, crystal light, and color therapy, along with workshops and ministerial officiant services. See ad on page 29 >


Natural Health & Healing, LLC Deanna M. Cherrone, MD 41 N. Main St., Ste 207, West Hartford, CT 860.677.4600 •

Optimal Health Medical, LLC Henry C. Sobo, M.D. 111 High Ridge Rd., Stamford, CT 06905 203.348.8805 • Member, American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine. Board Certified in obesity medicine, Dr. Sobo believes that the best of both medical and nutritional approaches to medical care is more effective than either approach alone. Dr. Sobo offers eight loss programs, IV vitamins, allergy evaluation and desensitization, stem cell treatments, bioidentical hormone replacement, PRP, and more. See ad on page 19 >



April Beaman, RDH, CTT CT Thermography Farmington and Glastonbury, CT 860.415.1150 • CT thermography specializes in medical thermal imaging. Breast thermography is a compression and radiation-free screening tool that’s used to monitor breast health to detect physiological changes that may be early warning signs of a disease process. As a Certified Thermographic Technician, I help empower women to take a proactive approach following their thermography screening for optimal breast health. See ad on page 15 >

Rolfing®—The Art and Science of Body Change


Sharon Sklar, BFA, MsT, Cert. Adv. Rolfer West Hartford • 860.561.4337

Sacred Rivers Yoga East Hartford, CT • 860.657.9545

Rolfing®—The Art and Science of Body Change. A dynamic 10-session bodywork series that eases pain, improves movement, and restructures your body when you feel “out of whack.” A hands-on and educational approach that establishes order and balance after life’s injuries, stresses, and accidents. Since 1981. See ad on page 17 >

Paula Scopino, E-RYT 500-Hour, C-IAYT, CT Licensed LMT, YACEP, is the owner/director of Sacred Rivers Yoga and Allied Health Therapies and “Sacred Rivers Yoga for Every Body,” a Yoga Alliance 200- and 500-hour registered school, as well as a member of IAYT (International Association of Yoga herapy.) See ad on page 27 >.

The Natural Choice - The Breiner Whole-Body Health Center Caring Integrative Physicians Offering the Best in Holistic Healing

Thank You for Making Us a 10BEST Winner! We can help you get your health back in balance naturally with proven treatments, therapies and cutting-edge diagnostics. Adam Breiner, ND Brain Health Lyme Disease

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Naturopathic Medicine Hyperbaric Oxygen Neurofeedback Neurotherapies PRP & Stem Cells Altitude Contrast O2 Pulsed Magnetic Field Therapy Phototherapy

Whole-Body Medicine, LLC

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The Natural Approach for Optimal Health

Energy Medicine Electrodermal Screening Homeopathy Allergy Desensitization Detoxification PEMF & BEMER Ionic Foot Baths Colon Hydrotherapy

501 Kings Highway E., Ste 108 | Fairfield, CT | 203-371-8258 |

41 FALL 2021

Through education, Erika empowers her customers to make the decisions that best enable them to maximize their well-being and longevity. She offers private nutrition consultations and speaks regularly about various health topics. See ad on page 29 >

Jane is trained in integrative and functional nutrition utilizing a personalized, holistic approach to chronic disease and weight management. Integrative and functional nutrition combines the very best of modern science, clinical wisdom, and integrative therapies to address the root cause of disease and promote abundant health. See ad on page 21 >



West Hartford Naturopathic Medicine

Jane Grant, RD CD-N Berlin, CT • 860.357.2282



A Promise of Spring



“The process of self-reflection is to begin to understand our self-awareness. It is the ability to observe and evaluate our emotions, thoughts, behaviors, beliefs, and the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves and others.” —James Osborne, MS, LPC

By James Osborne, MS, LPC


inter is a time of rest, moving inward, hunkering down into a place of warmth, solitude, and reflection. It is a time to dream of peace, the return of the light and the promise of spring— new life, new growth. It is reminiscent of the therapeutic process—a way of seeking a new lens to view, discover and rediscover our lives, stories, and myths and move toward growth, health, and well-being. It calls to mind what T. S. Eliot wrote in his poem “Little Gidding”: “We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”

Practice Your Self-Reflection

The process of self-reflection is to begin to understand our self-awareness. It is the ability to observe and evaluate our emotions, thoughts, behaviors, beliefs, and the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves and others. Self-reflection and self-awareness have long been part of both Eastern and Western spiritual practices, philosophies, and psychologies. All have the goal of being clear on what is being observed (what is “the thing in itself”) and evaluating how it fits into our world view and behavior. So how do we go about building self-reflective skills? The process begins with awareness, focus, and intention. We can practice meditation, yoga, chi kung (qigong), tai chi, communing with nature,

drawing, or writing. These practices provide us with the basic skills of focusing and repeated practice. Next we must reflect on and employing consciousness to our awareness. We examine what we have observed as a belief, emotion, thought, or bodily sensation and attempt to make sense of it contextually. For example, I trip and knock a coffee cup off a table. I become aware of feeling embarrassed, my hand hurting. I may get angry, shout, throw the cup. This is when I begin self-reflection—am I angry, or am I actually embarrassed/hurt? Where did this reaction come from? Who does it remind me of? What story am I telling myself? These types of questions are the way we begin to unravel the unconscious connections that keep our self-awareness from us. Once we can correctly identify the situation we can put it into perspective. Are these the behaviors or values I want to represent? If not, what changes must I make? We do not have to wait for a negative incident to occur to spark our search for awareness. We can journal or do free writing—the practice of simply putting pen to paper and letting words flow. We then look over what we have written to explore what the unconscious has presented. We can simply dialogue with our dreams or with ourselves and make the unconscious conscious. Regardless of which practice you choose to use, the journey toward self-reflection is like the promise of spring— and the fresh new start you’ve been searching for. •

James W. Osborne, MS, LPC, has been one of Natural Nutmeg’s 10Best Winners for Holistic Psychotherapy/LCSW/ Counseling every year since 2018. He is a Licensed Professional Counselor with over 40 years of clinical experience. He employs mindfulness, Jungian psychology, gestalt psychology, ACT, EMDR, and value-based techniques unique to the individual to support positive health changes. His undergraduate degree is in philosophy, and he views psychotherapy as philosophy in action. You can contact James at ProNatural Wellness Group in Berlin, CT, at 860.829.0707. See ad on page 29 >

More Than Just A Mouth Wash

Good health begins in the mouth. Bleeding Gums? Painful Teeth? Sore Throat? When your mouth needs help, get Oral & Dental Therapy. With prolonged swishing, it penetrates oral biofilms to kill difficult bacteria. Stop gingivitis, bad breath, and sore throat caused by strep.


SIBO? Leaky Gut? IBS?

To begin a healthy transformation, you must first fix the gut. You eat well, but can you absorb the nutrition? Probiotics are only a part of the solution to a damaged or imbalanced gut.

With the Digestive Rehabilitation Kit: • Kill bad bacteria and fungus • Re-seed with beneficial bacteria • Restore a healthy intestinal lining



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Healthy Smile… Healthier Life Understand the health signs your dentist can see that your doctor didn’t tell you about.

Discover why South Windsor Smiles is a 2021 10BEST Winner for Best Holistic Dentist in CT. • Dental experts

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