Natural Nutmeg May 2023

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Health + Could Fat Become Your Friend? > 18 + My Mother Was Right… Until She Wasn’t > 22 Purpose + Channeling Your Wisdom with IFS > 35 + Conscious Ceremonies > 46 Relationships + Challenging the Status Quo > 26 + The Big Mistake Every Autism Parent Makes > 28 Finance + Feel Good About Your Finances > 11 + 7 Steps to Spring Cleaning Your Finances > 27 May/June 2023 CELEBRATING OFPUBLISHING 17 YEARS CT’s Top Holistic Estheticians The Sudden Rise of Tick-Borne Diseases and Natural Treatments in Combating This Epidemic Dr. Myriah Hinchey, ND The Real Impact of Menopause on Women’s Brains Charleen K. Miele, LPC 5 Tips for Hormone Balance Dr. Nicole Aviles, ND Traditional Chinese Medicine Perspective on Male Fertility
Nicole Kerr, ND, LAc The Miracle of Soul Healing
Daddona
Dr.
Agnes
< PAGE XX “Article Name” BY DR

Health

36 The Sudden Rise of Tick-Borne Diseases and Natural Treatments By

Purpose

20

35

46

Relationships

26

28 The Big Mistake Every Autism

Finance

27 Ask Dana! A Column Where Personal Finance and Life Intersect

3 NATURAL Nutmeg 2023 MAY / JUNE Departments 4 LETTER 6 BUZZ Natural Harmony—CBD and Essential Balance in the Body Everything Is Energy— Tap Into the Light Reclaim Your Health Rev. Lauri Ingram—Named Top Wedding O ciant, Bethany, Connecticut Free Coaching Sessions to Help Ease Life Transitions BioStress Relief in Central CT Improve Your Health and Sex Drive with FemiWave! Craniosacral Therapy and Sun Do Practice: Paths to Sustainable Health The ABCs of Surviving Survival Mode Roots Natural Medical Center Gets at the Root Cause of Health Issues Understanding the Body’s Response to Stress 12 SPOTLIGHT 48 COMMUNITY RESOURCES 51 HAPPENINGS
14 Creating a Healthy Haven in Your Bedroom By Carolyn
CSBA 16 4 Tips for Dinner Planning Without Restriction By Jennifer Braun, RD 18 Could Fat Become Your Friend? This MD Says It Should By Lois Grasso-Barrett 19 A Healthy Immune System Is the Best Lyme Disease Prevention By Dr. Zach Moran, ND 22 My Mother Was Right… Until She Wasn’t By Sharon Sklar, BFA, LMT, CAR 24 Traditional Chinese Medicine Perspective on Male Fertility By Dr. Nicole Kerr, ND, LAc 32 Happy, Healthy, Hormones—And Women! By Dr. Cora Stover, ND 34 Breathing Through Your Mouth Is Hazardous to Your Health! By Dr. Kevin Norige, DMD 41 It’s Time to Reclaim Your Health By Kristen Yousef 42 5 Tips for Hormone Balance By Dr. Nicole Aviles, ND 44 Why You Should Try Bioidentical Hormones By Dr. Henry C. Sobo, MD
Tierney,
The Miracle of Soul Healing By
Channeling Your Wisdom with IFS By Lynda
ACC
Conscious Ceremonies By
Challenging the Status Quo—A Call to Question and Forge Our Own Paths By Ray Beyor
Parent
Makes—And How to Stop It By Lisa
CONTENTS 36 May/June 2023
The
Impact of Menopause on Women’s Brains
Feature 30
Real
By

Hey, I’m Dr. Diane!

According to many energy healers and spiritual teachers, we are in a time of great transition. It may appear as though there is total chaos on the planet; however, these teachers say this is a good and necessary thing for us all to evolve to a higher level of consciousness. This year has been predicted to be a momentous time for great change, in which many of us will reach a decisive turning point in our careers and personal life. We are being told that our circumstances may change dramatically and to prepare for life to take a quantum leap forward.

For many, change brings elements of fear. Sometimes it may feel as if things are being ripped away from us, even if it’s something we’ve asked for or have outgrown. As creatures of habit, we feel more comfortable when things stay the same and when we know what to expect—but that doesn’t allow for growth. To evolve, we must accept that change is necessary and look at this as beneficial to our lives. We must learn to allow people and things to flow in and out of our lives without trying to hold on too tight. It’s holding on and resisting change that creates drama and causes us turmoil and pain. But the letting go part…that’s easier said than done, right?

I’ve certainly had my world turned upside down in the last three weeks. My mom fell and broke her hip on March 22…while shopping for bras (gotta love that she’s 89 years old and cares about having new bras—one can only hope to have that attitude at her age)! The good news is that she’s recovering well and doing great in rehab. As her only child, I had to immediately jump on a plane and come back to CT. The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of organizing her rehab experience and supporting her through this difficult time. I quickly learned that the many things you have to do as a caregiver can be completely overwhelming—and I might write a book about this to help others.

whelming—and I might write a book about this to help others.

While there have been days I’ve cried and thought I couldn’t handle one more thing, I have chosen to look at this experience as a gift. Two days before she fell, I heard the song “Five More Minutes” by Scotty McCreery. I texted my mom to ask if she knew the song—she loves country music—and told her I wanted five more minutes (you’ll have to listen to the song to understand). Well, I didn’t expect to manifest additional time with her this way, but it’s been a gift to be able to help her through this difficult and scary time. I’ve spent countless hours watching her in physical therapy, helping her walk, bringing her homemade meals, and just sitting and talking about the future. These are hours I will cherish forever.

experience as a gift. Two days before she fell, I heard the song to

I know change is frightening, but if you can sit with it, lean into it, and let the feelings flow through you, you begin to accept change and, in time, will see the amazing opportunities it brings.

Wishing you health and happiness,

4 NATURAL Nutmeg MAY / JUNE 2023
few rehab
“To evolve, we must accept that change is necessary and look at this as beneficial to our lives. We must learn to allow people and things to flow in and out of our lives without trying to hold on too tight.”
LETTER
—Dr. Diane Hayden, PhD

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.

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Greater Hartford and surrounding counties, please contact Natural Nutmeg.

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July/August/September

•Taking

5 NATURAL Nutmeg 2023 MAY / JUNE
Natural Remedies to Improve Sleep
Care of Your Mental Health
Healthy Aging Guide
October/November
Natural Treatment for Cancer
Remedies for Boosting Immunity 2024 10BEST/ Essential Living Guide
Alternative Treatments for Stress Management
10Best Winners—10 Tips for Healthy Lifestyles Here’s What’s Coming Up in Natural Nutmeg! Contact diane@naturalnutmeg.com to feature your business in Natural Nutmeg!

Natural Harmony—CBD and Essential Balance in the Body

Endocannabinoid System (ECS) within our body has a critical role in helping to maintain circadian rhythms—essentially, balance in the body. Like other vital systems in our body, the ECS can become deficient due to stress, toxins, and trauma, which can cause various chronic conditions such as mood instability, loss of sleep, and pain (joint inflammation, migraine headaches, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, and other inflammatory and neurologic conditions).

Within the ECS is a network of cannabinoid receptors in the brain and central nervous system. While our bodies naturally produce cannabinoids to feed these receptors, if the levels are insufficient, CBD supplementation is necessary to restore balance. Supplementation with CBD worksby interacting with a vast collection of cells and receptors throughout ourbodiesthat make up the ECS.

Many Natural Harmony clients have reported significant improvement in sleep, anxiety, and pain using our CBD products. Our client base has grown exponentially just based on word of mouth! We have a number of 100% organic CBD products to choose from based on your needs.

• Sleep Formula: Natural Harmony Sleep Formula ($48) is a unique 3:1 blend of CBD and CBN (CBN is known as a specific component of the hemp plant that targets sleep). This formula is THC-free.

• Full Spectrum Oils: Natural Harmony 1200mg Full Spectrum ($48) and 3000mg Full Spectrum ($60). These products contain THC.

•Gummies: Natural Harmony Orange CBD Gummies ($30) are a great way to take your CBD on the go! Each juicy orange gummy contains 25mg of CBD and is THC-free.

• Topical: Natural Harmony Cooling Gel ($35) contains menthol and camphor bark oil combined with CBD to provide that cool sensation on painful joints and muscles. Contact us with any questions about products or general CBD questions. We look forward to talking with you to find the right solution!

Jennifer Beach is the owner of Natural Harmony, a 100% organic, vegan, non-GMO CBD company based in Connecticut. Visit us every Saturday from 10–4 at Velvet Mill, 22 Bayview Ave, Stonington, CT, or shop online. Experience the purity and quality of our Natural Harmony Sleep Formula by visiting our online store at www.naturalharmony.life. See ad on page 31 >

Everything Is Energy—Tap Into the Light

TheUnbalanced energetic patterns manifest internal and external challenges by attracting like-to-like. Some of these challenges include:

• Physical injuries

• Emotional issues

• Chronic pain

• Self-sabotage

• Relationship difficulties

I would like to say that my life has been easy, but let’s be real—I’m a human being. We all have our challenges to face and obstacles to overcome. I wish I could say I’ve always accepted my humanness. But that’s not the truth. For a very long time, I wouldn’t allow myself to be human. It wasn’t OK, in my mind, to be human, make mistakes, or screw up on occasion. It’s ironic that my profession involves holding space and compassion for others to let go of their mistakes or missteps, yet I found it difficult to do it for myself. It’s that balance, that middle ground, where we can find both peace and success. That state of mind where we are committed to trying and simultaneously OK with failing. It’s a strange place to be, isn’t it? I used to think, “Either you care, or you don’t care—and if you care, how could you be OK with failing?”

I was not OK with failing. Not for a minute. The pressure I put on myself was immense. Although I still can’t say I have fully accepted my humanity, I do allow myself to fail now, sometimes, without massive judgment. But not always. And that “not always-ness” is my humanness. That’s the perfect imperfection. And I am OK with that. And energy work has helped me get here.

Feeling better now is possible for everyone—that’s the incredible power of energy work.Are you ready to unleash your best self?

Justin Speller, founder of Tap Into the Light, is a certified practitioner of the Emotional Freedom Technique, or tapping. Justin uses many di erent techniques in his work and has seen amazing results working with clients with all di erent types of emotional and physical issues, and he’s excited to continue helping others in their journey toward health and wellness. See ad on page 9 >

6 NATURAL Nutmeg MAY / JUNE 2023 BUZZ

Reclaim Your Health

Join hundreds of natural healers from around the globe on June 3 at Casa Mia in Berlin!

Reclaim your health through the natural power of plants. By purging your home, self, and circle of toxins, you can reclaim your health naturally, the way it was intended. Join us on June 3 as hundreds of like-minded people get together to share stories and learn more about the purity, potency, and effectiveness of doTERRA. With leads and interested customers coming to me daily, I am beyond excited to host this event to share knowledge and find future business leaders who will help me spread knowledge in natural healthcare.

You will hear from customers whose lives have been changed through taking control of their health, you will learn ways to purge toxins from your home and how a few simple changes can be life altering, and you will meet like-minded individuals with the same goal of healing their homes. This event, usually held at headquarters in Utah, is being brought to CT for the first time due to the vast interest in the area. Hundreds of homes are learning about the power of essential oils and there has never been a better time to take control of your health.

This event will sell out. To grab tickets, scan below or go to eventbrite.com and search “doTERRA” in Berlin, CT, before it’s too late!

Kristen Yousef has been coaching women to obtain financial independence through her experience as an oil distributor and has helped hundreds of business owners gain confidence by helping to guide them to success. Contact Kristen at 203.623.6833, masterkristenyousef@gmail.com, or visit kristenyousef.com to learn more!

See ad on page 13 >

7 NATURAL Nutmeg 2023 MAY / JUNE < PAGE 35 “Channeling Your Wisdom with IFS” BY LYNDA METTLER, ACC < PAGE 12 “Spotlight: CT’s
and Massage” An Ancient Practice for Modern Times 45 S. Main St. Suite 090, West Hartford, CT • 860-306-2158 Sun Do Wellness sundowellness@gmail.com sundowellness.com Sun Do Wellness Take our Intro Class, 8 weeks for $100! Visit sundowellness.com for more info Do you need a change? Time for a reset? Sun Do provides the key to break the habitual, unconscious way we live; to connect to self, others and live more consciously; to create rather than react. Join us and take ownership of your health & way of life! <
Top Holistic Spa
PAGE 10 “Paths to Sustainable Health” BY DJ HORN, LPC, PT, CST

Rev. Lauri Ingram—Named Top Wedding Officiant, Bethany, Connecticut

Lauri Ingram has been selected as a 2023 winner of The Knot Best of Weddings and Wedding Wire Couples Choice, representing the highest- and most-rated wedding professionals as reviewed by real couples on The Knot and Wedding Wire. To determine the winners, The Knot and Wedding Wire analyzed millions of its user reviews across various vendor categories—including Wedding Officiants—to find the highestrated vendors of the year. These winners represent the best of the best wedding professionals that couples should consider for their own unique weddings.

As a contemporary interfaith, non-denominational minister and civil wedding officiant, Rev. Lauri believes there is an essential and common spirituality underlying all the world’s faith and traditions. It is a spirituality that speaks to the universal truths that resonate within us—love, the truth that connects us all on an intuitive level. Lauri works with people of all faiths, preferences, and spiritual paths, especially those who consider themselves spiritual but not necessarily religious. Lauri believes that our hearts choose our partners, and she celebrates marriage quality for all, cherishing the joining of individuals, not genders.

Offering additional services in creating ceremonies for milestones of life as well as spiritual mentoring and coaching, Rev. Lauri’s offerings are a unique combination of modalities to companion you on your journey of life. Ordained at One Spirit Interfaith Seminary in New York City (2019) and certified in their Interspiritual Counseling program (2021), Lauri brings the perspective of someone who balances a lengthy corporate business career with many years of deep, spiritual searching. Lauri guides her clients through the most difficult of life’s questions with love, compassion, and ease, always confident that the divine is speaking to each of us in every moment and that we are all on a journey of a lifetime. Through personal services and workshops, Lauri offers opportunities for spacious reflection, spiritual exploration, and energy balancing. Her services include:

• Life Ceremonies: Designed just for you, Rev. Lauri offers wedding officiant services, memorial services, baby naming, and blessings, and can custom create a ceremony for various life events and milestones.

• Spiritual Mentoring and Coaching: Explore your relationship with the divine and deepen your connection to your inner spirit and your authentic nature.

• 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.

You can find out more about Lauri’s services at www.lauriingram.com. Her o ce is located at 696 Amity Road, Unit B-1, in Bethany, CT, and she can be reached at 203.435.5650 or lauri@lauriingram.com. See ad on page 25 >

Free Coaching Sessions to Help Ease Life Transitions—

International Coaching Week, May 8–14, 2023

Is your life in transition? Are you starting a business, changing careers, becoming an empty nester, re-entering the dating world, or trying to create healthy habits? The right coach can help you work through these changes in a positive, adventurous way.

The Connecticut Chapter of the International Coaching Federation invites you to explore the value of coaching during life’s transitions with a free coaching session.During International Coaching Week—May 8 through May 14—our members are offering complimentary coaching sessions, with no obligation.

Experience for yourself how a coach can help you explore life’s transitions. VisitICF-CT. org for more information and to register for a free coaching session. Choose a coach who fits your needs and a time that works for you.

• About Coaching and International Coaching Week: International Coaching Week (ICW) is an annual, week-long global celebration that educates the public about the value of working with a professional coach and acknowledges the results and progress made through the coaching process. The global event is coordinated by the International Coaching Federation (ICF). Professional coaching is now the second-fastest growing industry in the U.S., and demand across virtually all coaching specialties is growing in all 50 states.

• The International Coaching Federation – Connecticut Chapter includes nearly 300 coaches throughout the state across numerous coaching specialties, including career, life, relationship, leadership, business, executive, and more. TheICF-CT.orgwebsite includes a directory of its member coaches with their specialties and contact information.

Lynda Mettler, ACC, owner of Channeling Your Wisdom Coaching, is a life coach, reiki master, and IFS practitioner. While based in CT, Lynda o ers virtual sessions to make her coaching available to all. Learn more at YourWisdomCoaching.com or email her at Lynda@YourWisdomCoaching.com to schedule a free consultation session. See ad on page 7 >

8 NATURAL Nutmeg MAY / JUNE 2023 BUZZ

BioStress Relief in Central CT

What do caretakers, educators, and healthcare providers have in common?

I’ve noticed they tend to be overextended, continuously fatigued, and emotionally burnt out. The “overachiever” personality I often work with generally puts everyone’s needs before their own. Their cup is often empty even as they continue to perpetually pour into others. Sound familiar?

I work with a unique combination of three therapies highly effective for pain and stress relief: Sound Healing, Reiki, and Mindfulness. When used together, Mindfulness opens the mind wide enough to experience deep relaxation during Sound Healing. Once in this state of deep relaxation, the healing benefits of Reiki can be experienced to their fullest capacity. I truly believe combining these three modalities is one of the most effective ways to experience pain and stress relief and healing on a very deep level.

My clients have been delighted by the results they’ve experienced with BioStress Relief sessions. I will leave you here with some thoughts from a recent client:

“I saw a post on Facebook and with two 5-yearold boys, I thought I would try just about anything to reduce my stress. I can’t really explain it, but not only did Kristina feel like an old friend I was immediately comfortable with, but I also left my session feeling lighter. All day today, the tension that is usually present in my neck and shoulders is visibly less. I highly recommend trying this with an open mind. The results are fantastic.”

Kristina Arlene is a Sound Healing facilitator, Reiki practitioner, and Mindfulness specialist from Central Connecticut. She has been studying metaphysical healing modalities since 2006 and has a strong understanding of the Chakra system and Astrology, which serve as complements to her practice and healing principles. Contact Kristina for a free phone consultation to learn more about BioStress Relief services. Call 860.593.8224, email biostressinfo@gmail.com, and visit biostressrelief.com.

"Justin transformed my life. I had a year of no energy and unexplained tingling in my arms and legs. I went from doctor to doctor with no solution until I found Justin. Justin is a very gi�ted healer who made me feel better at the first visit... I highly recommend him."

9 NATURAL Nutmeg 2023 MAY / JUNE
-
Start Resolving Stuck Patterns Now Book an individual session with Justin TODAY Justin Speller, Energy Healer tapintothelight@gmail.com • www.tapintothelight.com Blocked energy patterns can result in: · Physical Injuries · Emotional Issues · Chronic Pain · Self-Sabotage · Relationship Di�ficulties < PAGE 6 “Everything Is Energy—Tap Into the Light” BY JUSTIN SPELLER HolisticMedicineIndividualCare RootsNatural MedicalCenter Dr.KoreneVarano NaturopathicDoctor, RegisteredNurse Dr.ZacharyMoran NaturopathicDoctor 106Route66East,Columbia,CT (860)471-1434 www.rootsmedicalcenter.com WeareNaturopathicdoctors whospecializein: Oncology/CancerTherapy LymeDisease&ChronicInfectiousDisease EnvironmentalToxicity(mold,heavymetals,etc.) AutoimmuneDisease IrritableBowelSyndrome/Digestion Andmore < PAGE 19 “A Healthy Immune System Is the Best Lyme Disease Prevention” BY DR
MORAN, ND
JK
ZACH

Improve Your Health and Sex Drive with FemiWave!

Women, this is a must-read! You do not want to miss this article!

Menopause: The natural stage when a woman has not had her menstrual period for 12 consecutive months. With menopause, the body stops releasing eggs and reduces estrogen production. Low levels can have a significant impact on your sex drive. The significant body transformation is often forgotten among all the joys of motherhood. During post-partum, it’s common for your estrogen levels to dip, stretch marks to appear, and belly fat to increase.

There are now options for new mothers. Imagine experiencing the joys of motherhood while restoring your intimate health. With FemiWave, you can reduce the lasting effects on your sexual health post-childbirth.

The good news, there is now a clinically proven and non-invasive procedure, ESWT (usually used for pain and scar tissue, ONLY $100). The device can be used to increase blood flow to the vagina, resulting in increased sensitivity, helps with urinary incontinence, and heightens sex drive by increasing natural lubrication.

The in-office procedure takes about 15 minutes. Within 24 hours, you can experience the benefits of the process!

We know your best health is achieved when combining modalities and addressing the root cause—no “Band-Aid” solutions at VPGWaves. Learn more at femiwave.com and vpgwaves.com. Free consultations are always available! Call us now to schedule your appt at 860.800.6775. See ad on page 50 >

Craniosacral Therapy and Sun Do Practice: Paths to Sustainable Health

There are countless ways in which our bodies get out of physical, emotional, or mental alignment. From the stress and striving of one’s life, to unresolved strain patterns of old injuries, our bodies are interfering with fluid living. Craniosacral Therapy (CST) and Sun Do are both subtle, powerful ways to reorganize the body toward health and ease.

Using a very light touch, CST facilitates the release and unwinding of strain patterns layer by layer in the whole body. Both old and acute restrictions are addressed in the order an individual’s body needs to heal. For more information, visit integratedlifetherapy.com.

Sun Do activates, intensifies, and circulates energy flow in the body. Through breath, meditation, and postures, flow and fluidity of energy are realized. With breath and long-held postures, strain patterns are slowly and gradually released, allowing for a greater flow of energy along the meridians. For more information, visit sundowellness.com.

Without conscious intervention, we move further into dis-ease and dysfunction. Both CST and Sun Do can break down this hard-wired pattern, facilitate the unwinding of the strain patterns, and begin to reorganize the body toward wellness. Regular practice of Sun Do and a commitment to CST can be integral in the path to the ease, symmetry, flow, and fluidity of sustainable health.

The ABCs of Surviving Survival Mode

As special needs parents, sometimes our days and weeks are all about survival. We are just trying to get through the sleepless nights, the meltdowns, the medication changes, the transitions, the Tuesdays. For those times when the days feel long and the night feel even longer, here are the ABCs of surviving survival mode.

• Allow it to be messy. The kitchen, the bathroom, the laundry. By allowing, I mean the conscious choice to let it be messy AND not judge yourself for it. The dishes are stacked up to the ceiling, the laundry is a series of piles throughout the house, and the cats have taken to feeding themselves—AND it is OK. Drop the expectations about the judgment and how it should be. It is not helping you.

• Basics only. With the exception of medically necessary tasks, if it can wait—let it. For example, if you are working on two hours of sleep and you can choose between sleeping and anything that can be canceled, rescheduled, or delegated, SLEEP.

• Commit to your essentials. Pick three things you will make time for every day, no matter what’s happening. These are your essentials. For me, this is a hot shower, water, and food—because no one is surviving if I am unshowered, dehydrated, and hangry.

• Finally, and as always, commit to having your own back. You are in survival mode, and you are likely juggling the work of a team of people. Give yourself grace and commit to not second-guessing or judging yourself for your decisions when you’re just trying to make it through another day.

Lisa is currently accepting applications for 1:1 clients. You can schedule a free consultation on her website. Visit https:// theautismmomcoach.com/ to learn more or schedule a consultation. See ad on page 25 >

10 NATURAL Nutmeg MAY / JUNE 2023 BUZZ
DJ Horn, LPC, PT, CST, is owner and therapist at Integrated Physical Therapy and Counseling. She is also part owner of Sun Do Wellness in West Hartford, CT. See ad on page 7 >

Roots Natural Medical Center Gets at the Root Cause of Health Issues

Looking for answers and a proper diagnosis? Trying to determine the root cause of your symptoms? These are the questions that Roots Natural Medical Center focuses on answering. We are a unique healthcare facility that offers comprehensive testing and integrative treatments to address the root cause of illness and disease. Dr. Zach Moran and Dr. Korene Varano are both board-certified and licensed naturopathic physicians, and each has completed a medical residency program. They have extensive research backgrounds and have both been nationally competitive athletes.

Dr. Zach specializes in chronic infectious disease and environmental toxicity, which he believes to be at the core of most chronic diseases. He provides a broad investigative approach to discovering the causes of his patient’s symptoms.

Dr. Varano specializes in oncology and alternative cancer therapeutics and also provides naturopathic care to all those seeking to optimize their health using nutrition, supplements, and therapies to treat the whole person. She offers education and research information to help guide each individual in their healthcare decisions to reach an optimal level of health and healing.

The medical center provides services including lab draws, specialty testing and diagnostics, botanical medicine, nutraceutical and bioceutical supplementation, intravenous (IV) infusion therapy, colonic hydrotherapy, inhalation treatments, Fango therapy, BioCharger sessions, acupuncture and cupping, chelation therapy, and nutritional counseling, all of which are individualized for each patient. Roots Natural Medical Center works synergistically with physical therapy, massage therapy, café, and personal training all under one roof. This is your one-stop shop for healing!

Roots is a Naturopathic Medicinal Center that focuses on addressing foundational root causes of complex chronic diseases. The clinic aims to properly identify, diagnose, and treat patients with unexplained chronic illnesses. Our services are individualized and patient-focused, as medicine should be. Visit rootsmedicalcenter.com, email info@rootsmedicalcenter.com, or call 860.471.1434 to learn more. See ad on page 9 >

Understanding the Body’s Response to Stress

Have you ever been stuck in traffic when running late? You feel your breath become shallow and your heart rate rise. This is known as the fight-or-flight response.

When we experience stress, our body’s natural response is to produce hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline to handle the stress. Our bodies are designed to shift into this survival mode temporarily, and these hormones cause an increase in heart rate, blood pressure, and respiration rate. Once the stress has passed, we are meant to settle back into rest-and-digest, or homeostasis. Our heart rate should slow, blood pressure normalizes, and we’re able to take deeper breaths. Unfortunately, many of us function from the fight-or-flight state in our daily lives. Over time, this can result in health issues.

Long-term stress on the body can cause inflammation, anxiety, depression, cardiovascular problems, sleep issues, muscle tension and pain, gastrointestinal issues, and weight gain. However, our bodies are resilient. There are things we can do to bring our cortisol levels back to baseline and our bodies into homeostasis.

Acupuncture and Chinese herbs have been used for thousands of years in East Asian medicine to restore balance in the body. Chinese medicine can treat symptoms, such as pain or anxiety, and address the root cause of the issue. Acupuncture brings us back to a calm state and stimulates the release of endorphins—the hormones produced by the body that relieve pain, reduce stress, and bring a feeling of well-being.

Jacqueline Fusari is a licensed acupuncturist and practitioner of East Asian medicine at Wholeness Acupuncture Center in Farmington, CT. She graduated from the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine with a Master’s in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine while also attending Moving Mountain Institute, where she studied cranial-sacral therapy and Integrated visceral techniques. Jacqueline graduated from Flagler College with a degree in Deaf Education in 2009 while working at the Florida School of the Deaf and the Blind in St. Augustine, FL. Formerly, Jacqueline was a sign language interpreter and has worked with the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community in various capacities. For more information call 860.404.2197 visit wholenessacupuncturecenter.com;

11 NATURAL Nutmeg 2023 MAY / JUNE FOOD The Anatomy of a Healthy Diet Dr. Frank Aieta, ND FINANCE Feel Good About Your Finances Caroline Wetzel HEALTH Herbs for Health Brenda Sullivan Want more BUZZ ? Checkout www.naturalnutmeg.com www

CT’s Top Holistic Spa and Massage Holistic

estheticians areguided by a therapeutic model of prevention. They maintain a practice and philosophy to provide services that never alter the biological integrity of the skin. Holistic skincare is mindful to the functionality of the skin and what may stress the health of the skin. Stress and anxiety significantly impact the skin, worsening problems like rosacea and eczema and even triggering acne. Holistic estheticians believe in a non-invasive approach to skincare and treat the client’s whole health, advising them on their nutritional and emotional needs.

Brie Grosse, Licensed Esthetician

Revive Skincare and Spa

I’m Brie Grosse, an ethical, results-driven Connecticut-based Licensed Esthetician working out of Revive Skincare and Spa located in the heart of Unionville. My mission is to help each one of you look and feel your best by embodying a holistic lifestyle approach for healthy skin, mind, and body. My strong passion for health and beauty drives me to share my extensive knowledge of the skincare industry.

My personal struggles with my own skin growing up took a devastating toll on my self-confidence. I was determined to find a natural way to get myself off the countless prescriptions, many ineffective. I came to realize I had an underlying, undiagnosed genetic allergy that was causing my skin to flare up. My issues were far more than skin deep—they were stemming from my stomach. To alleviate these issues, I eliminated a major food group from my diet ten years ago.

Today, my body and skin are balanced and healthier than ever. As the largest organ in the body, your skin is a big deal—give it the respect it deserves. Good skin starts from within! Practicing good skincare habits is important for not only the present, it can also soften the effects of aging in the future. It’s time to feel confident in the skin you’re in. Let’s work together to develop a highly customized skincare routine for you to see and feel amazing results! To connect with me, visit @skinby.brie. I’m available six days a week to accommodate flexible scheduling.

Brie Grosse, Licensed Esthetician • Unionville, CT Revive Skincare and Spa

860.717.0537 • briegrosse@gmail.com

Emily Selden, Licensed Esthetician

CT Center for Natural Health

Your skin is your body’s largest organ. Unlike some animals, humans don’t shed our skin to reveal new and better skin. Because of this, we must take care of what we have. I believe good skincare products and skin care treatments are an investment and should be treated as such. By using a clean, natural, results-driven product line and getting regular in-office skin treatments, you can slow down the aging process, address any concerns you have, and help your skin to be the best it can be.”

Emily has been a licensed esthetician since 2009. She had worked in the allopathic dermatology field doing administration for many years, during which time she learned much about skin health and what we can do to keep it healthy. She started working with the Rhonda Allison Skincare line in 2020 and never looked back.

This line has transformed not only her own skin but is constantly making positive changes in the patients she treats—anything from acne or rosacea to pro-youth, anti-aging concerns, and the results have been fantastic! Emily recommends monthly in-office treatments coupled with a customized at-home regimen tailored specifically to your skin care needs.

To schedule an appointment with Emily, you can simply email her at Emily@yournaturalhealth.com or call the office at 860.347.8600, option 5. Glowing skin is just a click or call away!

The Connecticut Center for Natural Health

860.347.8600, option 5 emily@yournaturalhealth.com

12 NATURAL Nutmeg MAY / JUNE 2023 SPOTLIGHT

Self-confidence is SEXY!

Too many people think that being self-confident means you are cocky and disrespectful. There are people like that—but I wouldn’t call those people self-confident. Self-confidence is a feeling of trust in one’s abilities, qualities, and judgment. To me, that means continually striving to make yourself a better person and enjoying the journey.

You need self-confidence to follow your dreams and start a business or climb the career ladder. You need self-confidence to maintain a healthy lifestyle: eating right, exercising, practicing mindfulness, and reducing stress. You need self-confidence to train your mind to think positively, to be resilient, and to be your best friend and cheerleader.

How do you become self-confident if you naturally aren’t? Well, there was a time when I was not very confident in myself at all. How did I change this? I started reading as many personal development books as I could get my hands on. I continued to push myself to do things that were out of my comfort zone, both physically and mentally, like traveling alone, rock climbing, and silent retreats. If I was afraid of something, I leaned into the fear instead of running from it.

Eventually, I believed that I could accomplish anything if I put my mind to it, and I had real-world scenarios to prove it. I trusted myself. And each time I had a positive outcome, I gained more self-confidence. What will set you apart is your mindset and drive. That is how self-confidence is built.

Dr. Diane Hayden, PhD, is an entrepreneur, mindset warrior, perspective shifter, and unshakable optimist. She holds a PhD in Exercise Physiology from the University of Maryland. She is a professional speaker and travels nationally to present spiritual and personal development workshops.

13 NATURAL Nutmeg 2023 MAY / JUNE
Next Group Begins in May Please visit gentlemamacounseling.com for more information gentlemamacounseling  gentlemamacounseling.com 16 Brace Rd. West Hartford, CT 06117 860-215-4710 In Person and Virtual Mom Groups for pregnant and postpartum moms < PAGE 41 “It’s Time to Reclaim Your Health”
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BY KRISTEN YOUSEF

Creating a Healthy Haven in Your Bedroom

Wespend a lot of time in our bedrooms—almost one-third of our lives, in fact—so it’s important to make sure our bedrooms are conducive to a good night’s sleep. Why, you ask?

“Sleep affects almost every tissue in our bodies,” says Dr. Michael Twery, a sleep expert at NIH. “It affects growth and stress hormones, our immune system, appetite, breathing, blood pressure, and cardiovascular health.”

Our bedrooms often contain harmful toxins that can disrupt sleep and negatively impact our health. It has become increasingly recognized that the quality of our sleep is linked to our health. The good news is that we can take these simple steps to create a sleep sanctuary—a non-toxic, healthy bedroom optimal for sleep and relaxation. By making simple changes to our bedrooms, we can enjoy deeper, healthier sleep and improve our overall health and well-being.

Here are some easy ways to create a sleep sanctuary in your bedroom right now:

• Control the temperature. Keep your bedroom cool (60–67° Fahrenheit) to promote a comfortable sleep environment.

• Reduce electronic devices. Remove any electronics from your bedroom, including televisions, laptops, and smartphones. Not only can they emit harmful EMFs (electromagnetic fields), but they can also disrupt your sleep by emitting blue light. If you must have electronics in your bedroom, turn them off at least an hour before bedtime.

• Manage the light in the bedroom during sleeping hours. Our natural circadian rhythm, our internal 24-hour clock, regulates our alertness and sleepiness by responding to light changes. You need darkness to turn on that sleepiness and get a good night’s sleep— and a whole night’s sleep!

• Declutter your space. Keeping your bedroom free of clutter can promote relaxation and reduce anxiety levels.

• Vacuum and damp mop and dust regularly This will reduce the toxins caught in the space that you’ll breathe in when sleeping.

• Use organic, non-toxic, clean solutions when washing your sheets, and take all synthetic air fresheners out of the space Fragrance ingredients can aggravate sinus conditions, trigger asthma attacks, and cause headaches and eye, nose, and throat irritation, which do not help create a calm sleeping environment.

• Open your windows to bring fresh air in, and run an air �ilter to clean the air when your windows are closed

Thinking about Renovating or Redecorating Your Bedroom?

Here are some things to keep in mind:

• Use a no-VOC primer and paint. Primer is essential, as it will create a base to encapsulate any off-gassing from previous wall paint or treatments, followed by no VOC paint. The walls and ceiling are the most significant surface of your room, and if not treated properly, it will greatly impact the air quality.

14 NATURAL Nutmeg MAY / JUNE 2023 Health
“Sleep affects almost every tissue in our bodies. It affects growth and stress hormones, our immune system, appetite, breathing, blood pressure, and cardiovascular health.”
—Dr. Michael Twery, “The Benefits of Slumber,” newsinhealth.nih.gov

• Consider getting a non-toxic mattress

There are many options on the market at many price points. I counsel my clients to pick the most non-toxic they can afford. You want to check that no chemicals, such as petroleum-based foams and chemical flame retardants, are used in construction. These are common irritants in people with chemical sensitivity and compromised respiratory systems and can also build up in our systems and be endocrine disruptors which can negatively affect our health. This applies to pillows, too— look for those made from natural materials such as buckwheat or wool or a certified nontoxic fill.

• Choose non-toxic bedding and pillows. Invest in organic cotton or bamboo sheets. Synthetic bedding can emit harmful chemicals that can negatively impact your health and disrupt your sleep. It’s also essential to ensure that your bedding is appropriate for the season—lightweight fabrics in summer and heavier blankets in the winter.

• Invest in blackout curtains or blinds. Light pollution from streetlamps, car headlights, and even moonlight can disrupt your natural circadian rhythm and impact your ability to fall asleep. Blackout curtains or blinds can also help reduce noise pollution. I stick to natural materials for window covering; if I use fabric, I look for organic or certified materials. If you use a wood blind or similar, they should have a non-toxic finish or paint. This eliminates the off-gassing of these materials.

• Consider incorporating calming decor, such as soft lighting, essential oil diffusers, or a Himalayan salt lamp.

• Add live plants for a connection to the outdoors, and these plants can clean our air naturally.

By making these simple changes, you can transform your bedroom into a sleep sanctuary— a healthy, non-toxic environment that promotes restful, rejuvenating sleep. Self-care starts where we sleep.

Carolyn Tierney, CSBA, GREENleader

AP, is a Holistic Interior Designer and Wellness Specialist. Ms. Tierney guides families seamlessly through the design experience, from construction to decoration, creating a non-toxic and stylish home. She leads studios in Simsbury, CT, and New York City. Contact at 929.390.1742, info@carolyntierney. com, www.CarolynTierney.com. See ad on page 45 >

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4 Tips for Dinner Planning Without Restriction

Meal planning weekly can be a major frustration for many families. There are many variables to planning meals—what to make, the ingredients needed, the cooking tools necessary, cooking time, the weekly schedule, and more.

Then…the food rules come in. We think about no carbs, low-fat, clean/healthy eating, and low-calorie meals. These added complications can make you dread the simple question, “What’s for dinner?”

To make meal planning realistic, we need to simplify meals. There are two main issues with having a meal plan with diet restrictions.

1. It can lead to insufficient nutrient intake (e.g., protein, carbs, fat), which creates more hunger later because the body becomes deprived of those nutrients.

2. Having to make multiple meals. Planning one meal per mealtime is tough enough. When you add restrictions, you may need to make multiple meals to accommodate yourself, kids, and/or significant others. At this rate, you’ll be exhausted by Tuesday, spend the rest of the week ordering out, and be frustrated that you couldn’t stay on track.

Here are four tips for meal planning without restriction to make it an easier, enjoyable, and more realistic process.

1. Ditch the Restriction

We know restriction doesn’t work, and you’ll actually be more satisfied when you incorporate your favorite foods. It’s better to understand what satisfies you rather than restricting yourself at dinner and never feeling full.

Try to incorporate proteins, carbohydrates, fats, and veggies into meals. If a recipe doesn’t have one of those, that’s okay—ENJOY it! When looking for satiety, notice how you feel when all these components are part of your meal instead of always cutting one out and how you feel when you don’t have one of these components.

Examples include:

• Protein: Chicken Breast, Ground Turkey/ Chicken/Beef, Fish, Tofu, Greek Yogurt

• Carbohydrates: Rice, Bread, Pasta, Quinoa, Potatoes, Beans, Lentils, Fruit, Oats

• Fat: Oils, Avocado, Nuts, Seeds, Dressing, Mayo, Nut Butters

• Veggies: Broccoli, Peppers, Onion, Cauliflower, Cucumber, Carrots

“Getting the family involved in meal planning can take away a lot of headaches come mealtime. Making and enjoying meals can feel empowering when everyone feels part of the choices.”
—Jennifer Braun, RD
16
MAY / JUNE 2023 Health
NATURAL Nutmeg

2. Make a Library of Meals

Having a meal library can make it so you don’t have to scramble every week to come up with ideas. You can try using Pinterest and creating a board of “Dinner Ideas.” Spend time adding to it and develop a library of ideas to choose from for weekly planning. Try searching words like “30-minute meals,” “5-ingredient meals,” “Slow cooker/InstaPot meals,” or meals with your favorite food items. This makes it more customized to meals you would actually make and realistic for your busy schedule.

3. Keep a Running List of Meals

Keep a list of meals—specifically ones you and the family enjoy—to use for weekly meal planning. Once you have tried the recipes you found, keep a running list on the fridge of the meals you all like. Over time, you will have options you enjoy, know how to cook, and don’t take too much time, making weekly planning a breeze. It’s a WIN-WIN-WIN!

4. Involve the Family in the Meal-Planning Process

Getting the family involved in meal planning can take away a lot of headaches come mealtime. Making and enjoying meals can feel empowering when everyone feels part of the choices.

Sit down together on a designated night and schedule when you’re going to cook based on what meals you all want to have, the needed cooking time, and your daily schedules. Taking this time to plan with everyone included is a game-changer and can make that 5 pm question, “what’s for dinner?” no longer feel dreaded.

Once you get in the groove of the meal-planning process, it can make your week less stressful, giving you more time and energy. And even more important, you will be eating meals that feel satisfying and enjoyable—without restriction!

Jennifer Braun, Registered Dietitian and Personal Trainer, opened The Nourished Life to support clients in healing their relationships with food and their body and understanding their needs and desires. Her approach is to meet you where you are and support you in living life with purpose, energy, and happiness. Call 860.506.6212, email jennifer@nourishedlifect.com, and visit www. nourishedlifect.com.

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17 NATURAL Nutmeg 2023 MAY / JUNE
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Could Fat Become Your Friend? This MD Says It Should

Meet Dr. Christine Najjar, a medical doctor in Connecticut whose approach is deliciously refreshing. She specializes in Metabolic Medicine—the science of making it easy for your body to create and use energy in a healthy way.

Rather than suppressing chronic symptoms with medications, which seldom address underlying causes, this unique doctor educates and coaches her patients to embrace Hippocrates’ good advice, “let food be thy medicine,”—especially fats.

One of Dr. Christine’s key messages, especially for patients who want to lose weight -– as well as many other physical and mental/emotional symptoms—is that fat is not your enemy. In fact, contrary to popular belief, she says it can and should become your friend if you truly want to create good health. She’s referring to fats in food as well as those on your body.

According to Dr. Christine, “Body fat is an organ that’s just as important as your brain, heart, and lungs. It has a very important purpose. You are not ‘fat’—you have fat on your body, and some of it is supposed to be there!” She also helps people lose excess fat while eating more healthy fats.

Her motivation for thinking outside the box? That proverbial yo-yo of body fat had plagued her since childhood. The Mediterranean diet she enjoyed during summer vacations in Lebanon always left her feeling lean and happy, whereas her school years in the Hudson Valley, NY—and eating the Standard American Diet—always left her feeling anxious, ashamed, and self-conscious about the weight she’d gained.

This passionate doctor was not at all satisfied with the minimal exposure to nutrition science provided in medical school. “If I couldn’t heal

myself, how could I help others to heal?” She supplemented med school with a master’s program in nutrition on weekends. She recalls, “it didn’t take long to realize that the ‘low-fat food revolution’ was based on flawed studies, cherry-picked and promoted by the processed food industry.”

Food First MD

Now Dr. Christine, the founder of Food First MD, taps into years of personal and professional experience and training—as well as her passion for food—to help patients gain control over their own bodies and minds. This helps them heal all kinds of maladies, many considered “incurable” by most doctors.

Many patients who are not concerned with their weight but suffer chronic symptoms also respond to this delicious approach to vibrant health. Dr. Christine says, “The body can quickly heal itself when given what it needs…an abundance of nutritious, satisfying food.”

Is it covered by insurance? Yes and no. To provide the time-intensive, confidential care required, Dr. Christine cannot accept insurance, per se. However, many insurance plans will reimburse a good portion. Patients are informed of how much they will be reimbursed for their visits, and office staff will submit the bill on their behalf.

“I love to give patients the benefit of my education, customized to their needs, as well as my caring, coaching, and cooking skills. We begin with testing, followed by therapeutic foods to balance hormones and other biochemical factors,” she says. “Then we develop a palate of yummy foods that support your unique body type, needs, and lifestyle…long-term.”

To connect with Dr. Christine, visit her medical practice @foodfirst.MD or foodfirstMD.com. To see what food the doctor is dishing up, head to @doctorsdish. Accepting new patients in Windsor or TeleHealth. Email info@FoodFirstMD.com or call 203.441.1075.

18 NATURAL Nutmeg MAY / JUNE 2023 Health
“Body fat is an organ that’s just as important as your brain, heart, and lungs. It has a very important purpose. You are not ‘fat’—you have fat on your body, and some of it is supposed to be there!”
—Dr. Christine Najjar, MD

A Healthy Immune System Is the Best Lyme Disease Prevention

Preventing

Lyme disease starts with preventing tick bites!... Well, not really. Preventing tick bites in New England is nearly impossible unless you avoid the outdoors altogether, which is not realistic nor recommended. With the prevalence of ticks at its peak and the rates of infected ticks increasing yearly, exposure to Lyme is very likely if you are a New England resident. While it is important to prevent tick bites, the reality of living in New England is that you will encounter a few ticks every year.

The more important questions are how to prevent a Lyme infection and reactivation of a past infection. Lyme is an opportunistic pathogen with the ability to live in protective encasements called biofilms for years and can reactivate when the environment is hospitable, like a weakened immune system. Therefore, we must focus on immune function as our best prevention, not a chemical or physical barrier.

Prevent Lyme Infections

How do you prevent a Lyme infection after a tick bite and avoid reactivation of a previous Lyme infection? With a properly functioning Immune system. Statistically, most ticks are infected with Lyme, yet thousands of people are bitten by ticks every year, and there are no traces of infections or symptoms, even without treatment. The only plausible reason for this is an immune system that can tolerate Lyme exposure.

To be clear, I recommend seeing a Lyme literature provider if you are bitten by a tick to ensure proper prevention and treatment of infection. However, if the immune system is able to do its job, no other treatment should be needed.

What are the next steps to ensure an optimal immune system? Get enough quality sleep. Eat a diet with plenty of antioxidants, protein, and essential nutrients to support a proper immune response. Stay hydrated and stay active. In addition, consider basic immune support, which can consist of herbals like astragalus and mushroom extracts as well as sufficient vitamin D and vitamin A. Consulting a naturopathic

doctor or functional provider can help you with this. Here is the critical part: Avoid immune disruptors! This is a generic term for chemical toxins that reduce immune function, and they are found everywhere. They are not specific to Lyme or even infection but can trigger other serious conditions such as an autoimmune disease. Avoid processed foods and household toxins like synthetic cleaning products, cosmetics, and aerosols, which can be major immune disruptors. However, the most potent immune disruptor I have uncovered is environmental mold toxicity. It is strongly correlated with the reactivation of Lyme infections and is more common than you might think: The EPA estimates that 50–70% of buildings have significant mold growth.

Clinical Example

From January 2021–2022, a dozen patients walked into my clinic with a new onset of Lyme symptoms, and all tested positive for Lyme. None presented with rashes or known tick bites. They had limited outdoor activity due to the freezing temperatures and no pets that could carry the ticks into the house, making a tick bite and new Lyme infection unlikely. So, I decided to investigate other potential causes for their symptoms and positive test results. To me, understanding why the problem started is just as important as diagnosing and treating the problem.

As it turned out, eleven of the twelve Lyme cases were reactivated infections due to ongoing mold toxicity in the patient’s homes that had become more significant when the houses were sealed, air was recirculated, and the patients were spending more hours indoors than usual.

With proper remediation of the mold and treatment to detox the mold, the immune function in all 11 patients fully recovered, resulting in a relatively simple and short treatment of Lyme infections. It turns out that the prevention of the germ (Lyme) is not as important or plausible as our ensuring a resilient terrain—the immune system.

“Statistically, most ticks are infected with Lyme, yet thousands of people are bitten by ticks every year, and there are no traces of infections or symptoms, even without treatment. The only plausible reason for this is an immune system that can tolerate Lyme exposure.”

Zach Moran, ND

Dr. Zach Moran of Roots Natural Medical Center is a board-certified and licensed naturopathic physician and has completed a medical residency program. He has an extensive research background and specializes in chronic infectious disease and environmental toxicity, which he believes to be at the core of most chronic diseases. Roots is a Naturopathic Medicinal Center that focuses on addressing foundational root causes of complex chronic diseases. The clinic aims to properly identify, diagnose, and treat patients with unexplained chronic illnesses. Our services areindividualized and patient-focused, as medicine should be. Visit rootsmedicalcenter.com, email info@rootsmedicalcenter.com, or call 860.471.1434 to learn more. See ad on page 9 >

19 NATURAL Nutmeg 2023 MAY / JUNE Health
—Dr.

It’s pretty common and quite easy to begin to feel disconnected from ourselves and the world around us in the fast-paced and often stressful environment we live in today. We may feel overwhelmed and anxious, and we often detach more and more from our souls. We start losing our life’s true purpose and meaning or even get unwell.

For centuries, cultures and religions around the world have emphasized the importance of integrating the three aspects of our being—our mind, body, and soul—to promote healing. At the core of this approach to healing is the understanding that our mind, body, and soul are all interconnected. And the most critical component in healing, which is often overlooked, is healing on the soul level, a crucial part of the spiritual awakening we are all experiencing.

What Is Soul Healing?

Soul healing is a holistic approach to your health. It addresses the being as a whole, healing it on all levels—physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. Soul healing addresses the root cause of the problem and allows us to heal the fastest way possible. We often get the opportunity to heal the wounds that other mainstream therapies fail to heal.

During soul healing, we cleanse illness, pain, suffering, and trauma and begin to embody our soul consciously. The soul is the Divine Essence in all of us—it is truly a frequency of Love and Light, holding all our gifts and power. Soul healing can give us access to a powerful source of energy and wisdom

The Miracle of Soul Healing

to create a greater sense of harmony and well-being and help us navigate life’s challenges more easily. Suddenly, we start remembering who we genuinely are and our purpose in life. We become conscious creators, and our life improves when we enhance all aspects of our well-being, including our relationships, finances, career, and health.

Soul Healing is something I’ve been doing for more than 20 years. My approach is unique because it’s the right mix of ancient and traditional teachings plus a personal touch of what I’ve developed and experienced through my gift as a psychic medium and healer. The most important thing in soul healing is a correct assessment. I tap into my client’s past traumas, soul lessons, karmic lessons, and soul agreement to begin the healing.

We are beautiful souls here to learn and grow. This process of learning and growth can, at times, feel quite painful, but the beauty of the big picture that emerges with higher levels of learning and wisdom inevitably brings a greater understanding of the reasons for the current circumstances of the person’s life, and in turn, begins a more profound process of healing.

What Does the Soul Healing Therapy Session Look Like?

During the session, I connect to my client’s angels and spirit guides. Other guides I work with are Archangels, master teachers, and master healers that carry a very high vibration of Light. During

20 NATURAL Nutmeg MAY / JUNE 2023 Purpose
“Soul healing can give us access to a powerful source of energy and wisdom to create a greater sense of harmony and well-being and help us navigate life’s challenges more easily.”
—Agnes Daddona

the healing, I am always channeling angels and spirit guides, and the information they contribute is of the highest value. It is an honor to witness the healing journey when my clients release blocks, fears, and traumas and see improvements in a variety of their ailments. I am always incredibly moved by the beauty of these healing experiences and the awakening process that accompanies them.

I always recommend that my clients start with the things hurting them most. It can be emotional trauma, a difficult relationship, or a physical ailment. During the session, they discover exactly how they created their reality and how to shift things that are not for their highest good. My clients become conscious of their manifestation and learn to manifest the outcomes of their desire by being in harmony with everyone and the world around them.

Through Soul Healing, they connect with their soul and their divine team. Our soul always has the power to heal us, and by connecting to it, we can even have instantaneous transformations.

Benefits of Soul Healing Therapy

Dealing with problem areas using soul healing has a tremendous effect on the overall quality of life. Soul healing strengthens and enhances your relationship with the Divine, releases old mental, emotional, energetic, and physical traumas, allows for more self-love and self-esteem, improves personal and professional life, and gives wisdom and strength to lead an authentic and fulfilled life.

Over all these years as a psychic medium and healer, I have seen many miracles where my clients healed once we identified the true cause of their problems and did healing on the soul level. I have good results in even the most difficult situations— this is why I can help you!

Soul healing allows you to heal on the deepest level and gain the strength and knowledge to create an abundant, joyful life. I welcome the opportunity to help you. Book your Soul Healing today.

Agnes Daddona is one of the best Psychic/Mediums in New England. The gift of intuition runs in her family for generations. For more than 20 years, Agnes has worked with thousands of people worldwide through Psychic Readings, Mediumship, Channeling Angels, Counseling, Healing, and Teaching in English and Polish. Agnes has transformed many people’s lives to meet their dreams. She continues to solve the most difficult issues when it seems no one else can help. To book your Intuitive Reading, contact Agnes at www.AgnesDaddona.com, email at agnes@IntuitiveCounselingllc.com, or call 860.941.2667. See ad on page 39 >

21 NATURAL Nutmeg 2023 MAY / JUNE
171 Market Square, Suite 102 Newington, CT 06111 thesacredselfllc@gmail.com 860-614-8382 • thesacredselfllc.com Charleen K. Miele, LPC Licensed Professional Counselor (IFS level 2 trained) Trauma Informed Breathwork Facilitator Life, Spiritual Life, and Wellness Coach Now Offering Somatic Healing Through Transformational Breathwork  < PAGE 30 “The Real Impact of Menopause on Women’s Brains” BY CHARLEEN K. MIELE, LPC < PAGE 26 “A Call to Question and Forge Our Own Paths” BY RAY BEYOR Do You Need In-Depth Nutrition Guidance? Contact me for compassionate help with a wide range of health issues. edworkin@vitathena.com | 860.646.8178 | vitathenawellness.com Erika Dworkin, BCHN ®  Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition® Wellness Guide Voted NaturalNutmeg 10Best 2019–2022 Former Owner Manchester Parkade Health Shoppe Take Charge Of Your Health With A Therapeutic Lifestyle Change Program • Nutrition Consultations • Online Store Supplements & More • Beyond Organic Essential Oils • FREE 20-Minute Wellness Assessments
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My Mother Was Right… Until She Wasn’t

My mom is an amazing person. She is highly educated, taught school for 38 years, and has given me sage advice that I rejected when I was young but embrace now that I’m older.

Mom is 94 years old, lives in Florida by herself, drives, stopped playing tennis until just after she turned 90, plays bridge five days a week, and leads a book review group that has people talking about her in-depth presentation for a month. She is a playwright, authored two books, and is well-liked and respected in her community.

She Was Right About Everything

I remember coming home from high school after a full day of school and sports afterward and hearing my mother, from my parents’ bedroom upstairs, shout, “Sharon, get out of the kitchen!” She was lying down after a long day in her classroom with young kids, having already fixed dinner, but she could hear me rummaging around for food. I would shout back, “But I’m hungry!” She would then tell me that dinner would be ready in an hour and that I should eat an apple. Of course, my brain wanted ice cream with Cool Whip or a sandwich as I was convinced I was starving to death, and an hour seemed like an eternity.

She was right. I couldn’t see it back then, but now, if I eat an apple, I am not hungry for hours afterward! Many dinners have been saved for another night as the result of an apple in mid-afternoon consumed as a snack.

…Until She Was Wrong

Always trim, athletic, and savvy, my mom would bug me to stand up straight, pull my shoulders

back, and raise my chest so my breasts would have the right lift. And that’s where my dear mother was wrong.

When I went off for training in Rolfing® Movement a few years after I was certified as a Rolfer, I was quickly reprimanded by my teachers. They saw that my posture was all wrong. Bodies should be easy and free. My way of posturing was opposed to my natural structure. It took hours of personal attention from these devoted teachers to have me see, experience, and address this forced way of standing that presented a way of being that was not representative of me.

Imagine holding up your sternum, which then pulls your shoulder blades back and holds tension in your upper to middle back. As you do this, feel your head pull forward and off your spine. This is how some people approach “standing up straight,” which is largely an extreme overcompensation for slumping. It creates its own system of problems, including upper back pain, headaches, arms that flail instead of feeling attached to the rest of the body, and general discomfort—if not outright pain.

Now, I see it in many clients when I greet them at our initial meeting. I can fully identify with the chronic holding and stress created by this forced posturing. Holding ourselves up and maintaining that pattern is fatiguing, somewhat painful, and looks awkward. But we think we’re doing the right thing!

Wrong Again!

My mom and I have always liked to cook together. We would be shoulder to shoulder, creating great food. Many times, dear mom would step on one of my feet as we cooked. She always told me not

22 NATURAL Nutmeg MAY / JUNE 2023 Health
“Bodies should be easy and free. My way of posturing was opposed to my natural structure. It took hours of personal attention from these devoted teachers to have me see, experience, and address this forced way of standing that presented a way of being that was not representative of me.”
—Sharon Sklar, BFA, LMT, CAR

to take up so much space and put my feet closer together. Oh, gosh—she was wrong again!

When new clients come in for their initial Rolfing® consultation, we take photos with an instant camera after getting their full medical history. Since the ten sessions of Rolfing® are all about developing structural balance, I have the would-be client get down to their underwear and take the front, back, and two side views of the body, and get dressed again. I say nothing—just take the photos with their “natural” stance so we can look at the photos a bit later after I’ve educated them about balance, structure, and alignment.

Some people stand with their feet and knees touching, and some have a super-wide stance. A balanced body has legs that drop straight out of the pelvis so the feet are hip-width apart. Feet too close together causes a pattern of walking and standing that tightens the hips, causing instability and a feeling of being off balance. Too broad a stance causes the body weight to fall down through the legs, giving no support and again tightening the hips.

So, my dear mom knows what she knows, and so do I! I will continue to stand with my feet hanging down straight from my pelvis, giving me a solid base of support. I will continue to choose ease over posture and feel comfortable and pain-free.

My mom taught me to think for myself and be independent. Much to her chagrin, I took off to Europe a year after college, by myself, with a suitcase, a backpack, and a Eurail Pass good for three months. With no cell phones back then, so no easy way to call home, she and my dad had to endure stream-of-consciousness postcards written in such small print as to jam as much on as I could about my solitude and finding the meaning of life.

To all the moms out there: Continue to guide your children and be the best influence you can be. It’s up to each of us to find our way and create a life and understanding of ourselves that lead us to joyful lives influenced by a mother’s love. Happy Mother’s Day to all—especially to you, dear Dodie.

Sharon Sklar is in her 42nd year of private practice as a Certified Advanced Rolfer and has been voted one of Natural Nutmeg’s 10Best Bodyworkers for the last four years.

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 traumas of life. State licensed. Call 860.561.4337 for more info or to schedule a consultation. Inquiries are encouraged! www. SharonSklarRolfing.com. See ad on page 39 >

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Traditional Chinese Medicine Perspective on Male Fertility

Over time, many sayings have been made about men’s resistance or failure to go to the doctor. Phrases such as “if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it” and “behind every man in a doctor’s office is a woman pushing him through the door” demonstrate the lack of self-care many men have about their well-being. All joking aside, though, how can you know something needs fixing if you don’t take time to look at how it’s actually supposed to function? How can men start more self-care practices when society has positioned them as the “tough, unbreakable” type?

Traditional Chinese Medicine

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) can be a way to help men feel less stigma about a health concern and be more willing to perform self-care acts. Traditional Chinese Medicine doesn’t diagnose/ label conditions the same way as Western medicine, and that alone can remove some of the negative feelings about a health visit.

As small as this sounds, labels are a huge hangup for many men. Instead of going to a doctor in Western medicine and being labeled with infertility, erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, varicocele, and so on, TCM may provide a diagnosis of Kidney Yin or Yang Deficiency, Stagnant Qi (energy), decline of Mingmen Fire, blood stasis, or downward flowing of damp heat.

TCM is a whole-body medicine that identifies patterns of symptom states and collectively addresses all symptoms in a treatment. Most men’s health problems are identified as an imbalance in or low energy of the kidney system, especially if they exhibit symptoms such as impotence, low libido, prostatitis, and lower back and knee pain. The kidneys are considered the root of life and

represent the most profound aspects of a person in TCM. They store what’s known as Essence, which can be thought of as vitality, or that which gives us life and makes us our unique selves. As the holder of Essence, the kidney system is responsible for birth, reproduction, and sexuality.

One of the most common patterns in men with infertility is Kidney Yang Deficiency. In addition to lack of conception, other signs of Kidney Yang Deficiency include dizziness, blurred vision, fatigue, sore back and knees, cold limbs, and frequent urination. Another name for this pattern is declining or deficient Mingmen or Life Gate Fire. Clearly, ignoring these bothersome symptoms will not only impact your quality of life but may eventually affect your overall health.

Since kidney health is passed from parents to child, the need for adequate and proper flow of kidney energy is essential for reproduction and can influence the baby’s overall health. The stronger this energy is in both parents, the better chance of conception, implantation, and carrying a baby to full term.

Let’s look at how poor or improperly flowing kidney energy in a father may impact fertility outcomes. In vitro fertilization (IVF) is now a huge aspect of fertility in America. According to the Centers for Disease Control, about 4 million births per year in the U.S. are through IVF, 1–2% of all births. The average chance of taking home a baby with each IVF cycle is 40%. Sadly, this means that 60% of IVF rounds fail—a large number considering the financial and emotional investment of IVF. It can also be noted that 20% of IVF patients will not conceive after three IVF attempts.

Male factors that may lead to IVF embryo failure are due to the quality of sperm itself or the quality of the DNA within the sperm.

24 NATURAL Nutmeg MAY / JUNE 2023 Health
“Since kidney health is passed from parents to child, the need for adequate and proper flow of kidney energy is essential for reproduction and can influence the overall health of the baby.”
—Dr. Nicole Kerr, ND, LAc

Poor Sperm Quality

According to research, around 50% of failed IVF cycles (and general fertility problems) are due to the significant issues caused by sperm problems. Sperm is known to become damaged by certain lifestyle and diet choices, and repair is very difficult when consuming nutritionally deficient foods.

Because of the stigma associated with questioning the quality of sperm, raising questions about it may create many problems for a relationship as it can affect a man’s ego—though this should not excuse the importance of discussing sperm health! For some women to go through three rounds of IVF without conceiving and never discussing the quality of the sperm made by the partner is nonsensical, and possibly even barbaric.

Sperm DNA Fragmentation

Sperm DNA is 50% of the genetic material that will become your baby. If the genetic material isn’t as good as it could be, it’s simply not going to make a blastocyst (developing embryo)—it’s not going to make a baby. Sperm DNA becomes active on day 2 of development in the blastocyst stage; therefore, fertilization can occur with poor-quality sperm, only to result in embryo arrest later. Lifestyle and diet are known to impact sperm DNA as the DNA is vulnerable to oxidative stress and damage for about three months when the sperm are being developed.

DNA fragmentation testing is considered firstline therapy in European countries to help identify if there is a male factor of infertility before moving to expensive and potentially ineffective IVF. More advanced selection methods of choosing the right sperm can be employed when DNA fragmentation is identified to be above 20%. Lifestyle, diet, nutritional, and stress-reducing treatments can also be discussed when DNA damage is found with the sperm.

Though many people struggling with fertility are lucky to live in an age when advanced treatments for fertility struggles exist, this should not excuse a good lifestyle, healthy eating habits, appropriate sleep, and stress management. Don’t lose sight that if the foundation of reproduction is deficient or lacking (Kidney Yang or Yin energies, according to TCM), the outcome to conception will take longer and can absolutely impact your baby’s overall health.

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. Dr. Kerr addresses male and female infertility factors to offer comprehensive fertility care to her patients. Fertility Oasis, 857 N Main St Ext Suite 1, Wallingford CT, 203.265.0459. www.fertilityoasis.com. See ad on page 39 >

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Challenging the Status Quo— A Call to Question and Forge Our Own Paths

Startinga virtual bookkeeping business in 2013 freed me up to be more social and experience real fun in my life. In 2016, after two years of swing dancing, I began to explore my newfound freedom and energy. I noticed that leading in swing dancing allowed me to tap into my true core beliefs, which had been dormant after age 27. Unfortunately, I had shut down for many years and only rediscovered my passions at age 39.

As a female in Connecticut, it was uncommon to demand the lead position as a swing dancer. However, I stood firm in my decision, even if others saw me as selfish for not following the status quo. I was determined to stand in my truth and be brave—leading made me feel sexy, powerful, and outright brazen!

One evening, after a swing dance social, where I felt the buzz and high from being my newfound self, a friend shared their dating story with me. They had started dating another dance friend of mine, but before that, they had been dating a polyamorous person. I had no idea what that meant, but as they described it, my body responded with a resounding “YES, THAT IS ME.” Walking to my car in a daze, I realized I had been closeted all this time.

Despite priding myself on being out as a bisexual woman, I began to question if I truly was out. Did anyone other than my husband or immediate family know about my sexuality? I doubted it, since not only did I not tell anyone unless they asked, but especially because many people believe bisexuality is fake.

As I discovered my polyamorous identity over that next year, I realized it was one of the many reasons I had shut down for twelve years. I knew deep down that the world around me didn’t align with my values. To conform to its rules, I played small and avoided attention. Expressing my true beliefs would have been risky.

However, at 39, I felt safe, secure, and free enough to embrace my identity. Thereafter, it took me three years of trial and error to find people who shared my journey.

My coming out was more than just about being polyamorous. It taught me to question the things I had previously accepted without challenging them. Our feelings are mysteries that should arouse curiosity and inspire us to ask, “Am I agreeing to something that doesn’t align with me just because it’s expected of me?”

I’m speaking out for those who can’t speak for themselves because I realized that if my new friend hadn’t opened up to me that night, I might still be confused about my situation. I wouldn’t have felt seen, and I wouldn’t have known that there are others out there who express love differently and feel more aligned with their way of life.

But let me be clear: This story isn’t just about being polyamorous. It’s about questioning the things we agree to. It’s about being brave enough to say, “No, that’s not how I do things,” and forging our own paths. We need more people to be curious about the systems and structures that shape our lives rather than simply accepting black-and-white decisions. For me, polyamory wasn’t just about being monogamous—it was about whether I believe love is infinite and what I want to stand for.

I challenge you to listen to your emotional body and recognize when the system you’re in isn’t meeting your needs. Look for your gray zone— the place that’s natural and nuanced rather than artificial and comfortable.

If you need help or support in finding your authentic self, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I offer workshops and one-on-one coaching to help seekers on their journey. For free resources to help you tap into your authentic voice, sign up by visiting reneebeyor.com/free-resources.

Ray Beyor, owner of RAY Life Coaching, provides her clients with resources and practices that clarify their values, set steps toward their purpose, and master confidence while facing fears with patience, compassion, and accountability. Ray’s training in attachment theory, codependency, yoga, meditation, polyamory, consent work, dance, and astrology is used to guide her clients into their authentic and abundant selves. To schedule a free call or learn more, please visit www.reneebeyor.com.

See ad on page 21 >

26 NATURAL Nutmeg MAY / JUNE 2023 Relationships
“This story isn’t just about being polyamorous. It’s about questioning the things we agree to. It’s about being brave enough to say, ‘No, that’s not how I do things,’ and forging our own paths. We need more people to be curious about the systems and structures that shape our lives rather than simply accepting black-and-white decisions.”
—Ray Beyor

Spring is a great time to do some deep cleaning— not just in your house but also in your finances. Here are seven steps you can take to spring clean your finances:

1. Review your budget: Look at your spending over the last few months and see where your money is going. Are you spending too much on non-essentials? Can you cut back on some of your expenses? Most online credit card statements will break out purchase categories, so you can use this to track your spending. Then, adjust your budget as needed.

2. Set �inancial goals: Use the spring season as an opportunity to set new financial goals. Whether saving for a vacation or paying off a credit card, having a goal in mind can help you stay motivated and on track. Focus on funding more to your retirement account or HSA.

3. Check your credit report: You’re entitled to a free credit report from each of the three credit bureaus annually. Take advantage of this and check your credit report for errors or fraudulent activity.

4. Pay off debts: If you have outstanding debts, consider using your tax refund or bonus to pay them off. With interest rates rising, you’re probably paying more interest than ever

Ask Dana! A Column Where Personal Finance and Life Intersect: 7 Steps to Spring Cleaning Your Finances

before. Not only will you be reducing your debt load, but you’ll also be saving money on interest charges.

5. Organize your paperwork: Gather all your financial paperwork, including bank statements, tax documents, and investment statements, and organize them in a file or folder. This will make it easier to find what you need when you need it.

6. Consolidate accounts: If you have multiple accounts with different banks or credit card companies, consider consolidating them. This can make it easier to manage your finances and could also save you money on fees.

7. Automate your �inances: Set up automatic payments for bills and savings so you don’t have to worry about forgetting to pay them on time. This can also help you avoid late fees and may eliminate processing fees. By taking these steps, you can spring clean your finances and get on track for a successful financial future. And please remember, seeking outside advice from professionals when you need it for tax, legal, or financial advice can make the overall process more manageable and less stressful for you. If you don’t know where to turn, don’t hesitate to contact us!

“Use the spring season as an opportunity to set new financial goals. Whether saving for a vacation or paying off a credit card, having a goal in mind can help you stay motivated and on track.”

Dana R. Mascalo CFP®, RLP®, AAMS®, C(k)P® is a Managing Partner with TrinityPoint Wealth, an independent SEC Registered Investment Advisory firm in Milford, CT, and Charlotte, NC. Dana advises high net-worth clients with complex needs and is sought after by individuals, families, business owners, and executives all over Connecticut and the United States. Acting as their personal CFO, Dana looks at a client’s entire financial life with a visionary lens, advising on investment portfolios, retirement planning, stock options, life transitions, exit planning for business owners, customized advanced cash-flow planning, and multi-generational wealth transfer strategies.

This material presented is for informational purposes only and is not intended to serve as a substitute for personalized investment advice or as a recommendation or solicitation of any particular security, strategy, or investment product. TrinityPoint Wealth, nor its investment advisory representatives are permitted to provide legal or tax advice, and nothing contained in these materials should be taken as legal or tax advice. See ad on page 31 >

27 NATURAL Nutmeg 2023 MAY / JUNE

The Big Mistake Every Autism Parent Makes— And How to Stop It

“You are your child’s greatest resource. No doctor, therapist, medication, or program is more important to your child’s long-term prognosis than you are. As a result, taking care of yourself is not something you do in spite of your child; it is something you do for them.”

For over ten years following my son’s diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder, my mantra was, “I’ll be OK once he is OK.”

And the fact was: I was not OK.

While I was highly functioning on the outside, working full-time as an attorney while singleparenting my son, I was crumbling on the inside. My emotions were dependent on how my son was doing on any given day.

This went on for years until it was no longer sustainable. As my son entered his teenage years, I wanted to change how I was showing up for my parenting experience, but I did not know how.

The solution, which I discovered through coaching, was the one thing I had not considered, much less tried, in all my efforts to help my son:

Turn my focus inward and take care of myself.

While it felt counterintuitive, it made sense. I could no longer advocate for my son at the highest levels while completely disregarding my own well-being.

So, I gave it a try. I stopped telling myself, “I’ll be OK once he is OK,” and started taking small daily steps to replenish myself.

And now, I do this with other Autism moms in my 1:1 coaching program, where I teach them:

You are your child’s greatest resource. No doctor, therapist, medication, or program is more important to your child’s long-term prognosis than you are. As a result, taking care of yourself is not something you do in spite of your child; it is something you do for them. If this is you, please know that you are not alone. There are simple steps you can take every day, whether you have 20 seconds or 20 minutes. Here are some suggestions, along with a few of my favorite things to do in the Farmington Valley.

• Breathe. Deep breathing (in through the nose and slowly out through your mouth) is the fastest way to signal safety to your nervous system. Two techniques that I recommend are box breathing (four counts of breathing in, four counts of holding your breath, four counts of exhaling, and four counts of holding your breath again after your exhale) and the 4–7–8 method (inhale through the nose for four counts, hold your breath for seven counts, and exhale through your mouth for eight counts).

28 NATURAL Nutmeg MAY / JUNE 2023 Relationships

• Sip water. Stress and dehydration are a vicious cycle: Stress can cause dehydration, and dehydration can cause stress. The key to interrupting this vicious cycle is hydration.

• Stay in the NOW. One of the skills of being a special needs parent is the ability to think ten steps ahead. While this can serve us in many ways, it is also a skill we use against ourselves in the form of catastrophic thinking. The antidote to this is staying in the present moment with statements like, “Right now, it is like this.”

• Move your body. This is an excellent way of releasing stress from your body, whether walking around the block, jumping jacks, or literally shaking your arms and hands.

• Get outside. Being outside in nature is another way of regulating ourselves and releasing stress from our bodies. Here are my three favorite places for replenishing myself in the Farmington Valley:

• Rails to Trails: A walk along the trail combines the benefits of movement and being in nature.

• Chi Healing Center – Canton: Whether you’re looking for a nervous system reset like me, or you have a specific ailment, individual or group acupuncture sessions with the skilled practitioners at Chi are life-changing.

• Bikram Yoga – Simsbury: I have been to Bikram studios in several states, and this is by far my favorite. When you walk in the door, you are always greeted by owners Richard and Laurie and the little sign that says, “If you do not make time for your wellness, you will be forced to make time for your illness.”

The Autism Mom Coach is a 1:1 coaching program founded by Lisa Candera, a certified life coach, podcaster, lawyer, and full-time single mother to a teenager with autism. Lisa also hosts a podcast, The Autism Mom Coach, where she shares practical, actionable tips to support parents raising a child with autism. Lisa is currently accepting applications for 1:1 clients. To learn more about my 1:1 coaching program, visit my website and schedule a free consultation: theautismmomcoach.com

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The Real Impact of Menopause on Women’s Brains

Menopause makes women’s brains different from men’s brains. Notice that I did not say that a female brain is different from a male brain— there is no gender difference in the brain structure. The difference comes from the hormones, as they affect the brain.

Women have more estrogen than men, and men have more testosterone than women. During menopause (and even in perimenopause), women quickly begin to lose their estrogen. Men do begin to lose their testosterone, but at a much slower rate and at a lesser amount.

Welcome to Menopause

is often quick to offer medication or even dismiss a woman’s symptoms, perhaps only prescribing hormone replacement medication or sometimes an antidepressant once the symptoms have presented. Not much is being done to educate women about the many things they can do to prevent these symptoms from happening in the first place.

Don’t Take Menopause Lying Down

In her TED Talk and her book The XX Brain, Dr. Lisa Mosconi discusses the effect hormones have on our brains and, specifically, how that shift in hormones affects a woman’s brain. She notes that a woman’s brain and ovaries are part of the neuroendocrine system. The brain talks to the ovaries, and the ovaries talk to the brain, and the health of one affects the health of the other. So it’s important to keep in mind that estrogen is not only pertinent to reproduction, but also to brain function. When a woman’s estrogen level is high, her brain energy is high. When the estrogen levels drop, the brain energy drops as well.

The result: Hot flashes, mood swings, forgetfulness, inability to sleep, and weight gain. Welcome to menopause! In addition to these symptoms, as a woman transitions into menopause, there is often an increased accumulation of amyloid plaques, a major hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease. In studies, women have also shown a metabolic decline as well as shrinkage in the memory centers of the brain. Dr. Masconi notes that these symptoms of menopause correlate to early signs of Alzheimer’s disease. Thankfully, more research is being dedicated to this due to doctors like Dr. Masconi.

I’m writing about this topic not to be an alarmist but to empower women to do all they can to prevent this situation. Our system of Western medicine

Thankfully, there are steps women can take to empower ourselves and hopefully prevent—or at least reduce—the effects of this shift in our hormones. Some areas women need to pay attention to are food, environment, and lifestyle. A healthy diet and movement/exercise at all stages of life are essential—the key is finding what works best for you! Reducing or eliminating alcohol, sugar, and processed food consumption is key. It’s also important to pay attention to our environment, which includes the household cleaners we use; products like candles, air fresheners, and perfumes, which carry toxins; our skin care products, such as soaps, lotions, and oral hygiene products; and our supplements. Some supplements are recommended for women during and approaching menopause, noting that we should first try to get as many nutrients and minerals as we can from our food, and second, we should speak with our healthcare provider to help us determine which supplements we need and the appropriate dosages for each.

Stop All That Stress

Another critical area—and this is where I help my female clients—is stress reduction. It’s common in our society for middle-aged women to be caretakers of their children, grandchildren, and aging parents. All these responsibilities, in addition to their careers, cause women to put themselves last and disregard how they are feeling as they focus on others. This has been called the “tend and befriend” response to stress rather than the “fight or flight” we may often see men resort to.

30 NATURAL Nutmeg MAY / JUNE 2023 Feature
“Therapy, breathing exercises, meditation, yoga, music, dancing, drumming, and just gathering with friends or support groups can be life-changing for women facing the stress of life and the hormonal shifts in their bodies.”
K. Miele, LPC

Therapy, breathing exercises, meditation, yoga, music, dancing, drumming, and simply gathering with friends or support groups can be life-changing for women facing the stress of life and the hormonal shifts in their bodies. Spending time in nature (see my article from last month about sun gazing and forest bathing) and unplugging from technology are other ways women can care for themselves during this stressful transition.

For me, sleep has been the biggest challenge during menopause. To help, I have started using blue-light-blocking glasses if I watch television or have screen time in the evening. I stop all caffeine by noon, supplement with magnesium, and often use a mushroom drink (certain mushrooms are shown to help with sleep) or chamomile tea, soft music, guided meditation, and certain breathing patterns to help me fall asleep.

Not surprisingly, studies have shown that women most often push themselves and rise to the expectations they or others have for them. We tend to do it all even if our tank is running low. That’s a badge we need to stop wearing. It’s hurting us, and, in many cases, it’s shortening our lives.

The healthier we are throughout our lives leading up to this transition, the easier this transition can be. Remember that even the airlines remind us that we have to put the oxygen mask on ourselves first—in other words, we need to help ourselves before we can be helpful to others—and I’m stressing that here because we matter. Put the mask on because you matter. Take care of your body now, so you can make this transition as smooth as possible. You matter enough to make that a priority.

Charleen K. Miele, LPC , is a Licensed Professional Counselor who started her journey as a teacher, church music director, and fitness instructor.

Charleen works with clients both in person and via telehealth and has recently added Trauma Informed Breathwork to her work. She offers her clients the opportunity to experience IFS and/or breathwork through in-person and online sessions and is currently offering group breathwork sessions online and will be hosting workshops and group sessions in person in the new year. Life coaching and spiritual life coaching, including breathwork and IFS work, are also available both as individual sessions and as packages of two, four, or six sessions. Charleen will soon be offering self-paced online courses as well as interactive groups that will meet for a series of weeks and will include lectures, discussions, journaling, and experiential somatic work through breathing and movement. Visit https://www.thesacredselfllc.com/. Contact Charleen at thesacredselfllc@gmail.com or call 860.614.8382. Located at 171 Market Square #102, Newington, CT. See ad on page 21 >

Women Be Heard!

com /i n /d anamclaughlin1 / NATURALNUTMEGMAGAZINE’SSELECTIONMETHODOLOGYWASCONDUCTEDTHROUGHPUBLICSOURCES,INCLUDINGSUBSCRIBERSWHONOMINATEDCANDIDATESTOVARIOUSCATEGORIESBASEDONNOOTHER SPECIFIC CRITERIA OTHERTHAN PERSONAL EXPERIENCE. FULL LISTS OF NOMINEESWERETHENVOTED ON BY SUBSCRIBERS,AGAIN BASED ON NO OTHER SPECIFIC CRITERIA. RANKINGSARE SOLELY BASED ONTHE NUMBEROFVOTESRECEIVED.THENATURALNUTMEGMAGAZINE’S10BESTAWARDRECOGNITIONSHOULDNOTBECONSTRUEDBYACLIENTORAPROSPECTIVECLIENTASAGUARANTEETHATHE/SHEWILL EXPERIENCEACERTAINLEVELOFRESULTSIFTRINITYPOINTWEALTHORANYOFITSINVESTMENTADVISORREPRESENTATIVESAREENGAGED;NORSHOULDITBECONSTRUEDASACURRENTORPASTENDORSEMENT OFTRINITYPOINTWEALTHBYANYOFITSCLIENTS.INVESTMENTPERFORMANCEISNOTACRITERIONFORTHERECOGNITIONANDTHERECOGNITIONISNOTINDICATIVEOFTRINITYPOINTWEALTH’SFUTURE PERFORMANCE.TRINITYPOINTWEALTHDIDNOTPAYAFEEFORTHISRECOGNITION.THEINCLUSIONOFA10BESTAWARDONTHENATURALNUTMEGMAGAZINE’SLISTSHOULDNOTBECONSTRUEDASAN ENDORSEMENTOFTHEINVESTMENTADVISORYREPRESENTATIVEBYNATURALNUTMEGMAGAZINE.THEAWARDDOESNOTEVALUATETHEQUALITYOFSERVICEPROVIDEDANDTHEINVESTMENTADVISOR REPRESENTATIVEMAYHAVEHADUNFAVORABLERATINGS.WORKINGWITHA10BESTAWARDWINNERORANYINVESTMENTADVISORREPRESENTATIVEISNOGUARANTEEASTOFUTUREINVESTMENTSUCCESS.

31 NATURAL Nutmeg 2023 MAY / JUNE
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VIRTUAL APPOINTMENTS ONLY < PAGE 32 “Happy, Healthy Hormones—And Women!” BY DR CORA STOVER, ND
61

Happy, Healthy, Hormones— And Women!

Have you heard the phrase, “Happy wife, happy life”? This often refers to those who walk on eggshells to appease the woman in their lives. There is no doubt that women have many roles today—we work extremely hard to tend to the needs of our families often while putting our own needs on the back burner.

Today, I ask that you put yourself first. Take care of your needs so your cup overflows, so that when you give of yourself, you give from your excess and not from your own cup, which is likely running low.

In life, women go through many hormonal changes. These changes include:

• Puberty

• Every menstrual cycle (first day of bleeding in one month to the first day of bleeding in the next)

• Pregnancy/post-partum

• Transition to menopause

This constant shifting can be a beautiful process, but many women dread their cycles, including the mess, the mood, the physical changes, and sometimes what it all signifies.

Exploring Our Happy, Healthy Hormones

Let’s explore the eight hormones that help us to feel safe, happy, and healthy. These hormones are dopamine, serotonin, estrogen, progesterone, epinephrine, oxytocin, cortisol, and thyroid.

• Dopamine is a happy hormone involved with instant gratification (reward). Dopamine is released when we receive praise or eat our favorite food. It requires the amino acid tyrosine. It is associated with learning, motivation, heart rate, blood vessel function, kidney function, lactation, sleep, mood, attention, pain processing, movement, and control over nausea/vomiting. When it is

too much, we might have symptoms like those associated with schizophrenia. When there is a lack, we might be diagnosed with ADHD, obesity, or Parkinson’s.

• Serotonin is a happy hormone that is part of our platelets (stops bleeding). The gut contains 90% of our serotonin. It is associated with mood (happiness and calm), learning, memory, body temperature regulation, sleep (melatonin), sexual behavior, wound healing, bone health, and hunger. This hormone requires the essential amino acid tryptophan. We may experience depression, anxiety, sleep disturbance, increased aggression, suicidal behavior, obsessive-compulsive behavior, PTSD, panic disorder, schizophrenia, and phobias when serotonin is low.

• Estrogens are sex hormones. They come from ovaries, fat cells, and a small amount from our adrenals. Estrogens regulate the menstrual cycle and affect the heart, blood vessels, bones, breasts, skin, hair, mucous membranes, pelvic muscles, and brain. They’re responsible for the physical characteristics or look of women (breasts, hair pattern, and hips). Too much or too little may cause a change in the menstrual cycle, weight gain, fatigue, fibroids (PCOS), aggression, PMS symptoms, mood swings, depression, anxiety, dry skin, and others.

• Progesterone is a sex hormone that supports menstruation and the early stages of pregnancy. Imbalances of progesterone show symptoms of irregular periods, headaches, difficulty conceiving, mood changes, anxiety, depression, trouble sleeping, hot flashes, weight gain, PMS, changes in libido (sex drive), water retention, discomfort in legs, bloating, and breast changes.

32 NATURAL Nutmeg MAY / JUNE 2023 Health
“This constant shifting [due to hormonal changes] can be a beautiful process, but many women dread their cycles, including the mess, the mood, the physical changes, and sometimes what it all signifies.”
—Dr. Cora Stover, ND

• Epinephrine (adrenaline) is a stress hormone (safety) and part of the fight-flight-orfreeze response. Symptoms associated with high amounts of epinephrine include anger/ agitation, anxiety, shakiness, headaches, shortness of breath, high blood pressure, palpitations, and sweating.

• Oxytocin is a happy and safe hormone—it is the love hormone. When there’s enough, it tells us we are safe and loved. It helps promote labor until the birth of a child, helps with lactation or “let-down,” and affects human behavior from sexual arousal, recognition, trust, romantic attachment, and parent-infant bonding. When imbalanced, conditions of insufficient lactation, problems within the parent-child bond, addiction, anorexia, anxiety, autism spectrum disorder, PTSD, and depression may arise.

• Cortisol is a primary stress hormone (safety) that helps regulate the fight-flight-or-freeze response. Imbalances may have symptoms of weight gain, headaches, irritability, blood sugar dysregulation, inflammation, memory issues, metabolism issues, acne, thinning hair, easy bruising, slowed healing, weakness/fatigue, and high blood pressure.

• The thyroid produces hormones and receives hormones that help maintain our health healthy. It helps regulate mood, weight, hair growth (cell turnover), digestion/metabolism, energy levels, body temperature, and skin health.

An imbalance in one hormone has a cascade effect on all these hormones. For instance, estrogen and progesterone have a close relationship. If one of these hormones is too low or high, you will likely experience some menstrual cycle irregularities or shifts in mood. We must learn to listen and hear our bodies.

We must pay attention to how we interact with the world and what others tell us based on our actions. Sometimes our (poor) actions are our best attempt to indicate that we need help. Lab testing can be a great predictor of our current health, and getting the proper assistance and guidance leads to a life of transformation. I am excited to help you heal on your health journey.

Dr. Cora Stover, ND, operates Emerald City Health Associates, LLC, as an all-natural telehealth clinic and is a professor at Sacred Heart University. At ECHA, Dr. Stover assists her patients through challenging health conditions while sifting through the symptoms to find the common factor. Dr. Stover works with complicated issues such as hormones and autoimmunity, addressing core issues for her patients. Call 203.693.1932 or email echa_llc@ protonmail.com to book your appointment with Dr. Cora Stover. See ad on page 31 >

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33 NATURAL Nutmeg 2023 MAY / JUNE
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Breathing Through Your Mouth Is Hazardous to Your Health!

Even though most of us breathe through our mouths on occasion, the mouth was not designed to continually serve as the primary pathway for respiration. The specialized anatomy and physiology of the lips-to-lungs pathway compared to that of the nose-to-lungs pathway belies their very different primary functions for optimal health.

The oral cavity system, including the lips, serves two primary functions: 1) acquiring and processing foods and beverages for digestion, and 2) speaking and non-verbal communicating. The complex and mostly habit-trained interactions of the structures of the mouth allow us as humans to safely survive and thrive on a wide variety of foods and beverages in a multitude of environments. The oral secretion, known as saliva, lubricates tissues and consumables alike and provides digestive enzymes and immune proteins to provide some protection from certain ingested pathogens.

The Oral Cavity System

Who hasn’t been warmed by the upturned lips of a pleasant smile or warned by the pursed lips of an angry scowl? Not only do the individual parts of the oral cavity system have specific functions, but those parts must work together seamlessly to support optimal health at every age. When the structures or the use of those structures is negatively impacted by abnormal development, inappropriate usage and habits, pathogens, or toxins, the whole human organism is detrimentally affected. For example, breathing through the mouth induces transient gum inflammation (gingivitis) of the exposed gum surfaces.

Another example concerning breathing through the mouth is that the volume of air taken in exceeds the demand for air, which causes hyper-oxygenation (excess oxygen) and hypocapnia (reduced carbon dioxide) to occur, with many adverse side effects. Additionally, the size and position of the oral cavity system components can adversely affect the airflow through the nasal airway system, especially the size and position of the tongue, bony projections called tori, teeth mal-positions, the shape and relationships of the dental arches, and the extent and depth of the palate toward the nasal airway pathway.

Anatomy of the Nasal Airway

The anatomy of the nasal airway pathway is uniquely designed to facilitate air passage from the exterior to the lungs, expel waste products, and neutralize toxins and pathogens from the body. The nasal airway pathway includes the soft tissues of the nose, through the highly bloodvessel-and-nerve-tissue-invested convoluted bony tissues of the nasal cavity (the turbinates), crossing across the sensory receptors for the sense of smell, emptying into the retropharnyx (throat), passing the immune system structures known as the tonsils and the adenoids, and communicating directly with the mucus-producing sinuses.

All these structures have specialized and coordinated functions for proper respiration and optimal health. The external right and left nasal passages (nostrils) function to stimulate either the right or left brain during nasal cycling. The nasal airway system serves to warm and moisten inspired air for greater oxygen exchange in the lungs, to detect molecular concentrations of noxious airborne substances, to filter particulates from inspired air, to capture pathogens in mucus and track them to the stomach where stomach acid neutralizes them, and to produce nitric oxide, the body’s natural blood pressure regulator.

When we breathe consistently through the mouth, we are bypassing this vitally important protective system to the detriment of optimal health. So, eat and speak via your mouth, but leave the heavy breathing to the nasal airway system.

Kevin 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 over 35 years he has worked with patients to achieve a healthy mouth and live a healthier life. Call 860.288.2111 or www.SouthWindsorSmiles.com.

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34 NATURAL Nutmeg MAY / JUNE 2023 Health
“Not only do the individual parts of the oral cavity system have specific functions, but those parts must work together seamlessly to support optimal health at every age. When the structures or the use of those structures is negatively impacted by abnormal development, inappropriate usage and habits, pathogens, or toxins, the whole human organism is detrimentally affected.”
—Dr. Kevin Norige, DMD

Channeling Your Wisdom with IFS

Internal Family Systems (IFS), an evidence-based healing model that serves as a powerful tool for wellness and growth, starts with the view of every human as whole and undamaged at the core but of having “protector parts” that can drive how we think, feel, and act—and sometimes makes us unable to control our own minds.

Channeling Your Wisdom Coaching delivers a holistic approach to healing and wellness. Combining four proven techniques— “parts work,” life coaching, meditation, and reiki energy—clients connect with their inner wisdom to cultivate self-compassion, heal old wounds, and create meaningful change. The transformational dimension of this work is IFS, introduced over 30 years ago by Richard Schwartz, PhD, LMFT, and has recently been adapted to coaching.

Through the IFS Lens

IFS views the inner world as a system comprised of a “Self”—the core of our being, and “parts”— tendencies, behaviors, and personality traits.

• Self is the source of intuition and inner wisdom. It is as intact today as the day we are born, regardless of any trauma or other hardships we have endured. It is distinguished by characteristics such as calmness, con�idence, courage, compassion, clarity, creativity, curiosity, and connectedness

• Parts are “subpersonalities” that drive thoughts and actions. Some are wise and helpful, some are defensive or controlling (“protectors”), and some are vulnerable (“exiles”).

• Exiled Parts are stuck in the past, burdened by memories that caused pain, shame, grief, fear, or guilt. While most develop in childhood and adolescence, exiles can appear in adulthood as a result of trauma.

• Protector Parts guard the system and the exiles. Some may be vigilant: worrier, helper, �ixer, pleaser, analyzer; some controlling: taskmaster, perfectionist, inner critic; and some avoidant: distractor and indulger, to name a few. If one or more

protectors take on extreme behaviors, it can become difficult to access the Self and its characteristics. This can lead to self-doubt, guardedness, overwork, confusion, and feeling stuck and stagnant.

• Parts Work guides clients to interact with their parts in a constructive, compassionate way to relieve it from its extreme role and put Self back in control, creating a calmer, more harmonious system.

Client Case: “Laura”

Laura (not her real name) came to coaching feeling overworked and beaten down. She was a divorced mother of teenage girls and manager at a busy medical practice that required she be on call evenings and weekends. She felt weighed down by a long list of unfinished home projects and daughters who resented her work schedule. Since her divorce, she had gained significant weight yet had no time or energy to devote to self-care.

When she was with her daughters, she felt guilty for not working; when she worked, she felt pulled in the opposite direction. She felt like she was failing everyone, herself above all.

Through this work in IFS, Laura was able to identify the parts that were putting demands on her and the exile they were protecting. Once discovered, we healed the exile through a process called “unburdening” and then brought it back into Laura’s system. This allowed the Self to regain control and the protectors to shift to more productive roles.

Laura has since created boundaries at work and realigned her priorities to put her daughters and her self-care first. When we last checked in, she was eating better, meditating regularly, and had begun dating.

Channeling Your Wisdom Coaching provides a transformational experience of self-discovery that brings healing and restores balance. It engages parts for healing, meditation and reiki for support, and life coaching techniques to move you toward a life of your choosing.

Lynda Mettler, ACC, owner of Channeling Your Wisdom Coaching, is a life coach, reiki master, and IFS practitioner. While based in CT, Lynda offers virtual sessions to make her coaching available to all. Learn more at YourWisdomCoaching.com or email her at Lynda@YourWisdomCoaching.com to schedule a free consultation session.

See ad on page 7 >

35 NATURAL Nutmeg 2023 MAY / JUNE
“Parts Work guides clients to interact with their parts in a constructive, compassionate way to relieve it from its extreme role and put Self back in control, creating a calmer, more harmonious system.”
— Lynda Mettler, ACC
Purpose

The Sudden Rise of Tick-Borne Diseases and Natural Treatments in Combating This Epidemic

In recent years, tick-borne diseases (TBD) have become an increasingly significant public health concern. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Lyme disease is one of the most rapidly emerging infectious diseases in North America and Europe. The CDC recently released an estimate based on insurance records suggesting that approximately 476,000 Americans are diagnosed and treated for Lyme disease each year. This number is greater than the annual rates of breast cancer (266,400) and colon cancer (150,000) combined.

A Brief Introduction to Lyme, Babesia, and Other Tick-Borne Diseases

Most people are not thinking of ticks or tick-borne disease this early in the spring, but due to milder winters and the life cycle of ticks, the transmission of Lyme disease occurs throughout the entire year, and in New England, the highest rates of transmission are during the months of April and October. In April, transmission occurs by the tiny and sometimes translucent nymph form of the black-legged tick. Nymphs are much harder to see than adults and are reported to be about the size of the period at the end of this sentence. In addition to Lyme disease, there are many co-infections that can be transmitted by ticks, including Mycoplasma, Bartonella, Babesia, Ehrlichia, Anaplasma, RMSF, and the Powassan virus, to name a few.

Lyme Disease and Babesiosis: A Brief Overview and Differences

Lyme disease and babesiosis are two of the most prevalent illnesses associated with ticks, and they pose a significant threat to those living in tick-infested areas. With the recent steady rise in Babesia cases, it’s crucial to understand these diseases and explore the benefits of natural treatments for individuals diagnosed with Lyme and other tick-borne illnesses.

Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, transmitted to humans through the bite of infected black-legged ticks. There are several other species of Borrelia that cause Lyme disease and tick-borne relapsing fever (TBRF). On the East Coast, 50–60% of western black-legged ticks are infected with species of Borrelia that cause Lyme disease. Typical signs and symptoms when first infected are similar to that of the flu and are often dismissed as such, leading to an undetected infection. These symptoms include fever, body aches, fatigue, headaches, nausea, and sometimes Erythema migrans (EM—the classic “bullseye rash”).

If left untreated or not properly treated, Lyme disease will spread to the heart, joints, and nervous system, causing symptoms ranging from stiff neck, swollen joints, and muscle pain to heart palpitations, dizziness, headaches, psychiatric symptoms (anxiety, depression, and aggression), irritable bladder, cognitive decline, insomnia, and night sweats. These symptoms are often intermittent, migratory, and come and go in a cyclical pattern.

How Babesiosis Is Different

Babesiosis is caused by microscopic parasites of the genus Babesia (B. duncani, B. microti, B. odocolei ), which infect the liver, spleen, blood vessels, and red blood cells. Babesia is transmitted to humans by the same ] ticks that carry Lyme disease. Symptoms of babesiosis are like those of Lyme disease and can range from mild to severe, depending on the person’s immune status. In most people, babesiosis has a wide range of symptoms, including fever, night sweats/excessive sweating, chills, headache, body aches, anxiety, dizziness, chest pain, air hunger, jaundice, and fatigue.

In some cases (especially the elderly, immunocompromised, or splenectomized), it can cause hemolytic anemia, low platelet counts, respiratory failure, congestive heart failure, renal failure, and death.

36 NATURAL Nutmeg MAY / JUNE 2023 Feature
“When left untreated for just a few months, the corkscrew-shaped spirochete can enter the cerebral spinal fluid, penetrate nerve cells and organ cells, and begin to destroy the nervous system. In an attempt to eliminate the infection, the body mounts a massive inflammatory response that can lead to a host of other symptoms, including autoimmunity.”
— Dr. Myriah Hinchey, ND

The Rise of Babesiosis

According to the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report , TBDs have increased by a substantial 25% from 2011 to 2019. Over the past year or two, there has been a notable increase in reported cases of babesiosis. Previously, babesiosis was considered endemic to Connecticut, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin. Recently, Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont have been added to the list of endemic states. This surge can be attributed to various factors, including climate change, increased deer populations, and urbanization, which have created favorable environments for ticks to thrive.

Proper Diagnosis of Lyme and TickBorne Diseases and Co-Infections

The diagnosis of TBDs, especially Lyme disease, is controversial. Diagnosis should be primarily based on the patient’s clinical presentation and history. Tests that evaluate immune system status and levels of inflammation can be helpful in diagnosis, as well as direct and indirect testing for TBDs. Unfortunately, this is not how most cases are handled. Even if the practitioner strongly suspects TBDs, they often rely solely on the test result for diagnosis.

According to the CDC, Lyme disease should be diagnosed based on symptoms, physical findings, and the possibility of exposure to infected ticks… and that laboratory testing is helpful if used correctly and performed with validated methods. This does not mean that Lyme disease should be diagnosed by laboratory tests alone. Additionally, the EM rash occurs in less than 40% of patients infected with Lyme disease. However, the presence of an EM rash confirms a diagnosis of Lyme disease even if the laboratory test comes back negative.

Accurate Testing for Tick-Borne Diseases

Testing for Lyme and co-infections is complex and can lead to false negatives that cause misdiagnosis and allow the disease to become chronic. Standard testing most often involves a two-tiered test: first, an ELISA is used to detect antibodies (IgM/IgG), and if found positive, a western blot or immunoblot is performed to confirm the initial diagnosis. The problem with this technique is that the ELISA is not a sensitive test, especially during the first few months of infection. It’s positive in less than 30–60% of patients infected with Lyme disease.

The MarDX Western Blot (which tests for Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto species only, used by most standard laboratories) is much more sensitive than the ELISA and detects Borrelia burgdorferi more often but can still give a false negative more than 30% of the time. These tests pose further problems since they are not evaluating the 18 other species of Lyme disease-causing Borrelia, collectively known as Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato

37 NATURAL Nutmeg 2023 MAY / JUNE
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“On the East Coast, 50–60% of western blacklegged ticks are infected with species of Borrelia that cause Lyme disease. Typical signs and symptoms when first infected are very similar to that of the flu and can often be dismissed as such, leading to an undetected infection. These symptoms include fever, body aches, fatigue, headaches, nausea, and sometimes Erythema migrans (the classic ‘bullseye rash’).”

In addition to issues with test sensitivity, there is the matter of timing. It can take weeks for IgM to become positive and well over a month for IgG to show a Lyme infection, so testing too soon after a tick bite may not be accurate. If a patient is not mounting a strong immunological response to Lyme, it’s difficult to detect antibodies in the patient’s blood, which is what ELISA, western blot, and immunoblot testing investigate.

Additionally, it’s important to be tested for all the common co-infections of Lyme disease, including Babesia, Mycoplasma, Bartonella, Anaplasma, and Ehrlichia, RMSF, and viruses that are not detected by any Lyme test. Specialized laboratories like Igenex or Vibrant Wellness can be used to properly test all tick-borne diseases. Again, being proactive and treating comprehensively is the best approach.

Early Treatment of TBDs

If Lyme disease is caught in its very early stage (within four days of attachment of the tick), 3–4 weeks of doxycycline can eliminate the infection. It is important to note that all TBDs are not treated with doxycycline alone, so it’s important to know what infections are present.

However, when left untreated for just a few months, the spirochete can enter the cerebral spinal fluid, penetrate nerve cells and organ cells and begin to destroy the nervous system. In an attempt to eliminate the infection, the body mounts a massive inflammatory response that can lead to a host of other symptoms, including autoimmunity. At this stage, months or even years of antibiotics are needed to control the disease. Lyme disease that has been unsuccessfully treated can manifest into chronic Lyme or late Lyme.

Lyme-causing Borrelia is known as the “great imitator” because it mimics many other neurological diseases and autoimmune conditions such as MS, ankylosing spondylitis, ALS, lupus, Parkinson’s, fibromyalgia, and rheumatoid arthritis. Because of its ability to eventually cross the blood-brain barrier, it’s thought to possibly cause some psychiatric symptoms, including bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, dementia, ADHD, and psychosis. Over the past several years, there has been growing evidence of the role Lyme disease and Bartonella play in autism spectrum disorder (ADS) as well as pediatric acute-onset neuropsychiatric syndrome (PANS).

Natural Herbal Treatments for Lyme, Babesia, and Other Co-Infections

While conventional medical treatments, such as antibiotics and antiparasitic medications, are often prescribed for Lyme disease and babesiosis, there has been growing interest in the use of natural remedies to complement or even replace these traditional approaches. Natural treatments can provide several benefits for patients diagnosed with tick-borne diseases:

• Reduced side effects: Natural treatments may cause fewer side effects than conventional medications. For example, antibiotics can disrupt the balance of gut flora, leading to immune and digestive issues, whereas natural treatments tend to be gentler on the microbiome.

•Improved immune function: Some herbal medicines support the immune system, helping the body to fight off infections more effectively. Herbs such as Echinacea, Astragalus, and cat’s claw have been shown to possess immune-balancing properties, which can be beneficial in combating tick-borne diseases.

• Holistic approach: Natural treatments often address the root cause of illness and improving overall health, not merely treating symptoms. This approach can lead to a more comprehensive recovery and long-term wellness.

My 5 Natural Treatment Goals for Lyme, Babesia, and Other Tick-Borne Diseases

Because of the complexity of TBD, prescription antibiotics may not be a cure-all. When we focus simply on killing a pathogen, we miss the opportunity to harness the body’s defense mechanisms. As a licensed naturopathic physician, I believe in a comprehensive approach to treating Lyme and TBDs, attacking the pathogen at every step while supporting the body’s innate healing wisdom with whole plant medicines. My focus is making the body inhospitable to infection and healing the body. This is predominantly done by following these five steps:

1. Decrease inflammation: TBDs are all inflammatory infections. They initiate an inflammatory cascade that causes all the associated symptoms and, in turn, feed the bacteria/parasites of the by-products of this inflammation. Herbal medicines that decrease the inflammatory cytokines—Chinese skullcap, Japanese knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum), cordyceps, kudzu—will help to control the inflammation. It’s important to identify and address all sources of inflammation in the person’s diet and lifestyle. There are often several micronutrient deficiencies, increased intestinal permeability, and food sensitivities that must be dealt with to get the inflammation under control.

2. Balance the immune system: Often, these infections will cause an imbalance in the immune system and create a Th2 dominance, which in turn suppresses the production of immune cells crucial in eradicating the infection. Adaptogenic herbs like Ashwagandha that balance Th1 and Th2 are crucial to recovering the immune system. Cat’s claw helps increase NK cells and is directly anti-spirochetal. A healthy microbiome is key for optimal immune function—80% of our immune system is in the gut!

38 NATURAL Nutmeg MAY / JUNE 2023 Feature

3. Inhibit the destruction of ECM and collagen: Various enzymes are stimulated by the organisms that cause TBD, breaking down collagen and various proteins from the extracellular matrix that aid the organisms’ ability to spread and evade the immune system. Using herbs that inhibit this process, such as Japanese knotweed, Echinacea, Ashwagandha, and Chinese skullcap, can stop the migration of the infection and the breakdown of connective tissue.

4. Kill the infectious organisms, including opportunistic infections: It’s important to use proven killers like sweet Annie, Japanese knotweed, Cryptolepis, and Chinese skullcap. Cryptolepis was studied and shown to kill persister forms of Borrelia that commonly used antibiotics could not eliminate.

5. Ensure the body can properly detoxify and eliminate: This is important not only on a cellular level but also to organs (kidneys, liver, lungs, colon, skin) and routes of elimination (bowel movements, urination, breathing, sweating). It’s also important to have healthy, tight junctions in the gut to keep permeability issues in check to stop the reabsorption of toxins into systemic circulation. Binders like Chlorella and G3M are often helpful.

One of the immune molecules that Borrelia alters in the body is NF-kB (nuclear factor kappa beta). Borrelia stimulates NF-kB to drive inflammation, breaking down tissues from which they feed.

Inhibiting NF-kB to prevent excessive inflammation is a fundamental goal in pharmaceutical drug development, as this pathway affects many other inflammatory diseases, including various cancers, COVID-19, and Alzheimer’s disease. A 2020 study showed that Astragalus alleviates inflammation specifically through the NF-kB pathway. Additionally, Astragalus is an adrenal adaptogen, balancing the body’s stress response and fighting fatigue.

Cordyceps militaris is a type of fungus used in folk medicine to improve immune function. Its ability to modulate NF-kB was identified in the 2000s, and a recent study from China showed that different preparations of the fungus (water, 50% ethanol, or 70% ethanol extract preparations) could encourage the immune system to operate in different ways. In addition to its anti-inflammatory actions, this botanical reduces fatigue and is a potent antioxidant.

Herbal medicine is a tremendous development in the individualized approach to healing Lyme disease, as different people will need different aspects of their immunity adjusted to effectively eradicate the infection.

There are many herbs I use to treat tick-borne disease, and when choosing herbs for a patient, I try to select those with many overlapping benefits.

By far, one of my favorites is Japanese knotweed. It’s packed full of resveratrol and is known for relieving Lyme-associated inflammation. Not only

39 NATURAL Nutmeg 2023 MAY / JUNE
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does this herb stop the inflammatory cascade initiated by NF-kB, it also inhibits the growth of spirochetes at several developmental stages. Resveratrol is highly neuroprotective, which can be very helpful for the brain fog associated with Lyme infection.

Moving Forward

The biggest challenge for those battling tick-borne infections, whether a new diagnosis or recurring chronic case, is moving forward with new information. Patients are bombarded with either apathy or unsolicited advice on how to deal with their situation. Family, friends, teachers, and even doctors seldom understand the multi-system dysfunction and the serious emotional toll Lyme disease takes on the patient. Often, patients are told it’s all in their heads and offered antidepressants.

I completely understand! As a fellow Lyme warrior, I have made it my mission to ensure my patients (and their families, teachers, and doctors) understand how Lyme and other TBDs develop and become a chronic infection, how to make their bodies inhospitable to the infection, how to bolster the body’s innate ability to heal itself, and ways to weave conventional and natural medical interventions together to fully recover from this destructive infection. Here’s a summary of my advice:

Once you have sent the tick off for testing (www. tickreport.com), begin prophylactic herbal immune boosters, herbal anti-inflammatories, and herbal antimicrobials to prevent the migration of the microbes that cause Lyme disease and co-infections.

When you receive the testing results, consult your health practitioner to add any necessary prescriptions while remaining on the herbals. Continue this for at least 4–8 weeks or as prescribed by your physician, and seek the care of a qualified Lyme-literate provider (ILADS.org) for further guidance along your Lyme journey. It can make all the difference.

In addition to naturally treating patients with complex medical conditions at TAO in Connecticut, Dr. Myriah Hinchey created LymeCore Botanicals™ to provide quality, clean, and effective herbal formulas for Lyme disease and other tick-borne infections and is highly active in sourcing, testing, and making the herbal formulas she uses to treat her patients. Dr. Hinchey also founded LymeBytes™, a multimedia company dedicated to educating patients and other practitioners on the truth about Lyme disease and tick-borne disease and focuses on bringing patients, practitioners, and resources together for healing Lyme disease.

LymeBytes™ is hosting its 2nd Annual Symposium November 10–11, 2023, at Mystic Hilton in Connecticut (virtual attendance available). For more information, visit www.lymediseaseconference.com. See ads on page 15 >

40 NATURAL Nutmeg MAY / JUNE 2023
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Ihopethe most important lesson we’ve learned from the past few years of uncertainty is the ageold saying, “health is wealth”—a lesson I’ve been hearing since I was too young to understand its importance. There are so many ways we normalize unhealthy living; it’s constantly advertised to us how it’s okay to not be okay. Yet, while things like obesity, high blood pressure, severe anxiety, gut imbalance, and sleep issues may be common, they are anything but normal.

Over the past decade, I have dedicated my life to healing from the inside out. At a young age, I realized no one was coming to save me. Most people’s biggest fears were my reality, and I certainly didn’t have a safety net to fall back on. The lessons that brought me to my knees also taught me to stand tall and made me brave enough to scream this from the rooftops—we are in control of our health, our bodies were made to heal, and we were made to thrive.

We can’t put a Band-Aid on a river and expect the water to stop flowing, just as we can’t hide an ache in our bodies and expect our bodies to heal. There’s a reason the river flows and there’s a reason our bodies ache, both are doing what they were designed to do. Just as the earth heals itself after a storm, flood, or fire, our bodies are designed to heal from toxins, pressure, or pain. The ache is a warning, a sign of healing, a sign to slow down, something society looks down upon these days.

Essential Oils for Healing

In my own personal healing journey, I boldly stepped into Eastern medicine, away from the norms of modern society. While sometimes Western medicine is necessary, it is often designed to keep you in the hamster wheel of coming back for more. The system I was used to, the one most of us are used to, was failing me. I needed a new solution

It’s Time to Reclaim Your Health

in healing, and essential oils became my lifeline. I dove deep into reading everything I could, meeting people around the world who found solace in plant medicine. From skin issues to ailments and discomfort, from cleaning our homes to gut health, the benefits of the chemical properties of plants through essential oils are never-ending. There isn’t a day that goes by that I’m not grateful for the consistent effect of the power of oils—it is through nature itself that we can reclaim our minds, bodies, and souls. I have helped thousands of men, women, and children guide their way to healthier living. I have made it—and will continue to make it—my life’s purpose to help women find their inner strength to heal themselves and their families through hard work, discipline, and faith: faith in humanity, and faith in ourselves. It was my grandmother, born to immigrants in the great depression, who taught me what may be the most important lesson I’ll ever learn, a woman who lived with so much at times and at times with so little: Health is wealth.

The Science Behind the Oils

Do you want to learn more about the science behind essential oils and how they can be used to support your health and well-being? If so, I want to invite you to join me on June 3 for a special event in Berlin, CT.

This event will feature expert speakers and practitioners who will share their knowledge and expertise on natural health and wellness, including the science behind essential oils. You will learn how essential oils can be used to support your health, reduce stress, and promote relaxation.

If your goal is to become the healer in your home, we’d love to have you join us. There is no better time than now to reclaim your health. Let’s get back to our roots.

Kristen Yousef is a black belt Master in Taekwondo, an entrepreneur, a wife, and a mother. She has been coaching women to obtain financial independence through her experience as an oil distributor; has helped women, men, and children find their strength through self-defense and taekwondo; and has worked with hundreds of business owners to gain confidence by helping guide them to success. Contact Kristen at 203.623.6833, masterkristenyousef@gmail.com, or visit kristenyousef.com to learn more! See ad on page 13 >

41 NATURAL Nutmeg 2023 MAY / JUNE
“There isn’t a day that goes by that I’m not grateful for the consistent effect of the power of oils—it is through nature itself that we can reclaim our minds, bodies, and souls.”
—Kristen Yousef
Health

5 Tips for Hormone Balance

“Opting for glass and avoiding consuming foods/beverages contained in plastic packaging, replacing your skin and hair care products with those labeled ‘paraben-free,’ and choosing organic when possible are some ways to reduce your exposure to

Cyclical fluctuations in the levels of the ovarian hormones estrogen and progesterone are necessary for producing a regular menstrual cycle. Mild symptoms like cyclic breast tenderness, mood changes, and fatigue are commonly associated with normal hormonal fluctuations. However, more bothersome symptoms such as heavy periods, fibrocystic breast changes, and cyclic depression and anxiety may indicate a condition termed “estrogen dominance.”

Estrogen dominance arises when the body synthesizes excess estrogen relative to its counteracting hormone, progesterone. The role of estrogen is not only to regulate the menstrual cycle but also to influence the development of secondary sex characteristics (breasts, hips, etc.), control cholesterol levels, maintain bone health, and support cognition.

When unbalanced, estrogen has been linked to bothersome premenstrual and menopausal symptoms, uterine fibroids, endometriosis, and reproductive cancers.

Here are five tips to use for hormone balance.

1. Maintain a Healthy Diet

Eating a diet rich in diverse organic fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and raw nuts and seeds can give your body the building blocks needed to create healthy hormones and the nutrients needed to support detoxification and elimination of their metabolites. For example, vegetables of

the Brassicaceae family (broccoli, cabbage, kale, Brussels sprouts, etc.) are a dietary source of indole-3-carbinol (I3C). When exposed to stomach acid, I3C can be converted to DIM (diindolylmethane), a powerful phytonutrient that balances estrogen metabolism. Flax meal is an excellent source of both dietary fiber and lignans. Lignans help reduce the availability of active estrogens, and adequate dietary fiber encourages regular and healthy bowel movements, a primary method of eliminating excess estrogens.

2. Limit Exposure to EndocrineDisrupting Chemicals

The endocrine system is the system of various glands within the body that produce hormones, the chemical messengers that send information and instructions between organs to regulate vital bodily functions like reproduction and metabolism. Plastics, parabens, and pesticides in our food and/or our environment can be a source of endocrine-disrupting chemicals, chemicals that mimic the activities of our natural hormones and disrupt their balance. Opting for glass and avoiding consuming foods/beverages contained in plastic packaging, replacing your skin and hair care products with those labeled “paraben-free,” and choosing organic when possible are some ways to reduce your exposure to endocrinedisrupting chemicals.

42 NATURAL Nutmeg MAY / JUNE 2023 Health
endocrinedisrupting chemicals.”
—Dr. Nicole Aviles, ND

3. Maintain a Healthy Relationship with Your Body

Adipose/fat tissue is a key site for the production and metabolism of estrogen. If severely overweight or obese, reducing the amount of adipose/ fat tissue in the body with daily movement and a minimally processed whole foods diet can promote healthier estrogen levels.

4. Manage Stress

Active stress avoidance and stress management techniques like yoga, meditation, and deep breathing are essential to maintaining hormone balance. Practicing the 4-square breath is a free and easy way to regulate cortisol, the stress hormone that can have a negative impact on the production of other hormones when imbalanced.

•4-Square Breath: In a quiet space with your feet planted on the ground, scan your body from head to toe for any areas you may be storing tension, and release.

•Inhale for 4 seconds

•Hold for 4 seconds

•Exhale for 4 seconds

•Hold for 4 seconds

•Repeat as needed

5. Consult with an Experienced Healthcare Professional

Naturopathic doctors, for example, can help you pinpoint which hormones may be imbalanced and are trained in the safe and effective use of the many nutrients and botanical medicines that can nourish the endocrine system and rebalance hormones. Common treatments like birth control and other medications may provide some temporary relief but are most likely not addressing the root cause of your symptoms. On the other hand, a naturopathic approach combines taking a detailed history of your symptoms, performing an in-depth assessment of the hormone levels, and treating the root cause of any imbalances with safe, effective, natural solutions.

Dr. Aviles is a naturopathic doctor at Whole Health Natural Family Medicine in Hamden, CT, where she specializes in women’s health and pediatrics. She has a special interest in the management of gynecologic, hormonal/endocrine, and mental health conditions, acute and chronic pediatric care, as well as chronic diseases, such as diabetes and high cholesterol.

Whole Health Natural Family Medicine, 203.288.8283, admin@wholehealthct.com

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43 NATURAL Nutmeg 2023 MAY / JUNE
JOYCE ST. GERMAINE, M.ED, C.HT, RYT-200 The Sacred Journey Center for Spiritual Studies www.TheSacredJourney.biz jsgermaine@aol.com (860) 675-9706 29 Davis Road, Burlington, CT 06013 • Sessions/Workshops for Adults & Children, Study Groups • Registered Yoga Teacher, Spiritual Counselor, Mentor • Certified Shamanic & Shapeshifting Practitioner • Energy Healing for People or Animals, Clearings • Certified Hypnotherapist & Regressionist • Readings, Spirit Detachment, Soul Retrieval • International Retreats & Cruises: Shamanic, Yoga, Psychic & Custom • CT Justice of the Peace, Host/Producer "The Sacred Journey" TV Show In-Person, Phone, Zoom, Skype 3 Forest Park Drive, Farmington, CT • 860.778.0315 abundanthealthct abundanthealthmassagect CT LICENSE #5956 Book Your Appointment Online Kristina E. Mozzicato, LMT, BCTMB Board Certified, Cupping & MedicuppingTM Therapist Certified Consulting Hypnotist VOTED A 2020, 2021, & 2022 10BEST MASSAGE THERAPY PRACTITIONER abundanthealthct.com
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Why You Should Try Bioidentical Hormones

Fordecades, synthetic pharmaceuticals prescribed as “hormone replacement” have been among the most widely recommended medications in the United States. These synthetic hormones have commonly been ordered for menopausal symptoms, including hot flashes and night sweats, and have also been endorsed as a preventative measure for osteoporosis and other conditions.

There are numerous side effects and concerns regarding the long-term safety of these pharmaceutical hormone replacements. The possibility of breast cancer has caused many doctors to shy away from prescribing these treatments to their patients. Countless women fear the consequences of being treated with hormones and refuse treatment that might otherwise be beneficial. Along with the move away from these synthetic hormone treatments, the field of bioidentical hormone replacement has emerged.

Why Bioidentical Hormones?

The driving force behind the immense interest in bioidentical hormones is that people may receive the benefits of hormone replacement while mitigating the negative side effects. Hormone therapy is helpful for more than just menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes. When hormonal imbalances occur, a multitude of symptoms may be experienced. These are important not only to women but also to men.

Consider the many symptoms that overlap for both sexes: low libido, depression, forgetfulness, sleep disturbances, aches and pains, weakness, fatigue, headaches, bone loss, heart palpitations, thyroid issues—the list goes on and on. Both women and men are affected by their hormones becoming imbalanced and/or deficient and both can be helped.

While almost everyone has heard of menopause, the term that refers to the male equivalent of menopause, andropause, is less widely known. Men’s hormones decline during their forties and fifties, affecting them negatively in a slower and more subtle way than how women are impacted. Women often experience the urgent and disturbing problems of hot flashes and night sweats and rush to their doctor’s

offices for a solution. On the other hand, men’s symptoms commonly include a decreased libido and weakened sexual performance as well as general aches and pains. As these issues tend to be attributed to general aging, they have often been overlooked as an actual medical issue.

It is noteworthy that many frequently used medications for cholesterol or blood pressure may lead some to endure side effects that mimic and may worsen the same symptoms of hormone deficiencies. It is only recently that men have been acknowledged as benefitting from and needing hormonal therapy. Advertisements for “Low-T” (low testosterone syndrome) are now commonplace.

So What Are Bioidentical Hormones, Exactly?

Bioidentical hormones are custom-compounded hormones made by a compounding pharmacy. It is the same hormonal substance that the body naturally produces; therefore, when a woman or man is prescribed this treatment, they are receiving a replacement of something that is naturally made in the body, which has become deficient, thus causing a variety of symptoms. Studies have found that there are numerous possible risks for those prescribed synthetic pharmaceuticals.

Synthetic hormones do not mimic the body’s natural hormones. They mainly turn off the symptoms of menopause rather than rebalancing hormone levels. Conversely, bioidentical hormones possess a chemical structure identical to the hormone in the human body. This means they incorporate into the body in a gentler and safer way than synthetic hormones. Areas in the body’s cells called receptors are the site where the bioidentical hormones attach to be introduced into the cell. These receptors do not allow synthetic pharmaceuticals such as Prempro or Provera to attach and enter the cell in the way nature intended.

A physician can tailor a prescription with the exact dose for the individual patient to a compounding pharmacy. This is in contrast to a pharmaceutical drug produced and shipped to all pharmacies with an average dose for everyone. Not only are bioidentical

44 NATURAL Nutmeg MAY / JUNE 2023 Health
“Bioidentical hormones possess a chemical structure identical to the hormone in the human body. This means they incorporate into the body in a gentler and safer way than synthetic hormones.”
—Dr. Henry C. Sobo, MD

hormones prescribed individually, but it is the practice of these prescribing doctors to monitor the patient’s hormone levels and, when needed, adjust doses for maximum benefits.

Testing for and Treating Hormonal Imbalance

Saliva testing is used to check the bioactive levels of estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, DHEA, and cortisol. This method is preferred over blood tests for a more accurate assessment, as the hormones detected via saliva are not bound by proteins. The balance between the different hormone levels is another important factor to be considered and addressed by the physician, especially that between estrogen and progesterone, so that one’s optimal well-being may be achieved.

When estrogen levels become relatively too high compared to progesterone levels, estrogen dominance can occur and may cause water retention, breast swelling, weight gain, fibrocystic breasts, uterine fibroids, and other harmful effects.

Testosterone for Men and Women

Many people identify testosterone as “the male hormone.” While men normally have higher testosterone levels than women, both sexes require testing, as relative deficiencies may occur for men and women.

Testosterone therapy improves symptoms such as weakness and fatigue and is thought to be protective against heart disease. Testosterone also plays a fundamental role in reverse cholesterol transport (RCT), key in removing excess cholesterol from the arterial wall and maintaining a healthier HDL, the good cholesterol.

The benefits of bioidentical hormones are well documented. Within days, women who suffer from hot flashes and night sweats will sleep better as their hormone levels are replenished and their symptoms lessen. Libido will begin to return and weight control will be noticeably affected over time. Follow-up by the physician can optimize and enhance the patient’s results.

It is crucial to recognize the importance of nutrition, fitness, and lifestyle changes in conjunction with making the decision to use bioidentical hormones. The utilization of natural supplements may also be advisable in the journey to improved health and the prevention of illness as one’s hormones return to more youthful levels. The best results for overall optimum health may then be achieved and can additionally provide the possibility for greater longevity.

Dr. Henry C. Sobo, MD, has a practice in Stamford, CT. He can be reached at 203.348.8805. More information is available at www.drsobo.com.

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Conscious Ceremonies

Tobe conscious is to be aware. To not merely be surviving or existing but to be deeply aware of what is around us, to perhaps feel that larger forces are at play, whatever that may mean to us.

To be conscious is to be authentic and live a life full of meaning—at times, transcending words—to be conscious of all the emotions and complexity of these times in life and to process these times of passage completely.

Our lives are a series of transitions. We go to school and graduate, many of us enter into committed relationships and perhaps marry. We may have children of our own, adopt, or create a blended family. We create homes, build businesses. Sometimes, we leave relationships and create separate lives. We leave careers, perhaps retiring or reinventing ourselves. Eventually, for all of us, we leave the physical form and move on to whatever is next.

Take a moment and consider all the transitions you have gone through in your time on earth. Do they feel complete to you? How often do you revisit a period in your life for closure, or for deeper

meaning or understanding? It is never too late to complete a transition, but during the transition, we also have an opportunity to acknowledge, honor, and contemplate all the complexity of the moment.

For many of us, rituals are an important part of lives—they are a way to celebrate events that have deep, personal meaning to us, that help define who we are physically, mentally, and spiritually. They allow us to embrace and take ownership of the path we’re current on, the path we’ve moved on from, or the path we’ve moved on to, in a conscious, joyful, purposeful way. Rituals of celebration move us from the usual minutiae of our everyday lives and allow us to enter a sacred space through the magical and mystical symbolism of these spiritual events.

These events can merely be blips on our life path. But they are also opportunities for deep awareness, for conscious reflection in sacred energy. We can bring deeper meaning to these times by marking them in special ways, in large groups and families, or in more intimate settings. These are opportunities to honor, to integrate new, and to release old, marking special events in the ceremony of life.

46 NATURAL Nutmeg MAY / JUNE 2023 Purpose
“It is never too late to complete a transition, but during the transition, we also have an opportunity to acknowledge, honor, and contemplate all the complexity of the moment.”
—Lauri Ingram

• Conscious Weddings and Commitments: Weddings are a joyous occasion, yes! But they also change the identity of the people entering the marriage. Each now takes on an identity as the partner of another, their parents’ identity changes, and the wedding ceremony marks the creation of a new couple, with a new way of being in the world. To honor the joy of a wedding is easy, but to also honor and be present for the myriad of emotions that can be part of these changes is to honor being human.

• Family Changes: Adding family members, moving homes, uncoupling, and co-parenting are times of great stress, sadness, joy, love, and excitement, sometimes all at the same time. Awareness and honoring of all these emotions in ways that allow us to consciously complete and move on to what is next.

• Personal Growth: Birthdays, job and career changes, retirement or reinvention, relocation, and times of uncertainty when we are on the edge of the unknown are all opportunities to honor with grace and compassion.

• Loss and Life Celebration: The one event we all experience is loss. Whether honoring the loss of a loved one or preparing for our own transition from this life, doing so consciously, with deep awareness, affords the opportunity to process the complexity of emotions and feelings that accompany this time. Ultimately, can we show up to everyday life with the same intention, reverence, and presence as we do special events in our lives? To do so, we open opportunities to deepen our consciousness, to see the miracles and gifts in the everyday moment. Imagine bringing the sacred—in whatever way that means to you—into each moment, each milestone, honoring this journey that is life and all it offers us.

Ordained by One Spirit Interfaith Seminary and certified as an Interspiritual Counselor, Lauri offers spiritual counseling in person in her Bethany location, The Liminal Studio, as well as by phone and Zoom. Grounded in mindful practices and with a lengthy corporate career, Lauri is uniquely qualified to companion others as they navigate careers while searching to live authentically. She creates and officiates life event ceremonies, including weddings, partnership commitments, and celebrations of life. You can learn more about her at www.lauriingram.com, email her at lauri@lauriingram.com, or call 203.435.5650. See ad on page 25 >

47 NATURAL Nutmeg 2023 MAY / JUNE
www.wholebodymed.com Call Now for YOUR appointment at Whole Body Medicine  203-371-8258 The Team You can TRUST!
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Doctors

COMMUNITY RESOURCES Local Experts In and Around Connecticut

ACUPUNCTURE

Acupuncture of Greater Hartford Stan Baker, LAC West Hartford, CT 860.836.1068

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AUTISM COACH

Lisa Candera, CLC lisa@theautismmomcoach.com theautismmomcoach.com

The Autism Mom Coach is a 1:1 coaching program founded by Lisa Candera, a full-time single mother to a teenager with autism. Lisa also hosts a podcast, The Autism Mom Coach, where she shares practical, actionable tips to support parents raising a child with autism. Lisa is currently accepting applications for 1:1 clients and offers a free consultation.

BREATHWORK

The Sacred Self, LLC

Charleen K. Miele, LPC Newington, CT • 860.614.8382 thesacredselfllc@gmail.com thesacredselfllc.com

Licensed Professional Counselor (IFS level 2 trained); Trauma Informed Breathwork Facilitator; Life, Spiritual Life, and Wellness Coach. Somatically release stored trauma and foster healing as you discover your sacred self within.

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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 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.

COLON HYDROTHERAPY

Vitalized Performance Group

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VPG Waves is a holistic practice that offers acupuncture, colon hydrotherapy, naturopathic medicine, and GAINSWave therapy. We offer affordable programs that integrate holistic modalities to treat, prevent, and heal the root cause of our patients’/clients’ ailments. Handicap accessible.

ESSENTIAL OILS

Kristen Yousef

1201 Farmington Ave. Berlin, CT • 203.623.6833

kristenyousef.com

masterkristenyousef.@gmailcom

Kristen Yousef is a black belt Master in taekwondo, an entrepreneur, a wife, and a mother. She has been coaching women to obtain financial independence through her experience as an oil distributor; has helped women, men, and children find their strength through self defense and taekwondo; and has helped hundreds of business owners gain confidence by helping to guide them to success.

FINANCIAL PLANNING

Dana Mascalo CFP®, RLP®, AAMS®, C(k)P® Managing Partner, TrinityPoint Wealth Milford, CT • 203.693.8521 Fax: 203.693.8524 dana@trinitypointwealth.com

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Divine Treasures, LLC

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Since 2007, Divine Treasures has been handcrafting chocolates with artisan tradition and unique flair in a vegan and gluten-free facility, all made with organic European dark chocolate. Visit not only for gourmet chocolate, but artisan non-dairy soft-serve sundaes and cheese alternatives, as well as a growing selection of signature desserts and savory frozen meals.

HOLISTIC COUNSELING

James Osborne, MS, LPC, BCPC ProNatural Physicians Group, LLC Berlin, CT • 860.829.0707 pronaturalphysicians.com

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.

HOLISTIC DENTISTRY

Dr. Mark A. Breiner, DDS, FAGD, FIAOMT Fairfield, CT • 203.371.0300

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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.”

Dr. Steven F Hinchey, DMD South Glastonbury • 860.633.6518 drhinch@agd.org • dochincheydmd.com

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.

HOMEOPATHY

Abby Beale, CCH RSHom(NA) Homeopathy Healings HomeopathyHealings@gmail.com HomeopathyHealings.com • 413.426.1024

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. Appointments possible over Zoom and Skype.

HYPNOSIS

Michele P. Rousseau, MA, CH Middletown, CT • 860.704.9054 mprousseau@sbcglobal.net micheleprousseau.com

48 NATURAL Nutmeg MAY / JUNE 2023

HEALTH AND WELLNESS

Emerald City Health Associates, LLC

Telehealth • 203.693.1932

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Serving people with autoimmunity, digestive, and mind-body concerns. Be heard! Start your journey to health and well-being with natural changes.

INTEGRATED MEDICINE

Tamara Sachs, MD

Functional Medicine & Integrative Care LLC

15 Bennitt St., New Milford CT 860.354.3304 • tsachsmd.com

Dr. Sachs prevents and treats chronic illness by uncovering and correcting the underlying root causes of your health concerns while respecting 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.

LIFE COACHING

Channeling Your Wisdom Coaching

Lynda Mettler, ACC • 203.623.6066 lynda@yourwisdomcoaching.com yourwisdomcoaching.com

Is self-criticism holding you back?

Embark on a soulful journey to discover your strengths and hidden talents. We combine the powers of IFS Parts Work, Reiki energy, meditation, and life coaching to shift you from stress and confusion to calm and clearheadedness, with a deep sense of self-compassion. This isn’t a new perspective—it’s lasting change.

MASSAGE THERAPY

Abundant Health Massage Therapy & Wellness

Farmington, CT • 860.778.0315 abundanthealthct.com

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.

NATUROPATHIC MEDICINE

Dr. Adam Breiner, ND Fairfield, CT • 203.371.8258 WholeBodyMed.com

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.

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 • www.NAHcenter.com

Roots Natural Medical Center

106 Route 66 • East Columbia, CT 06237 860.471.1434 • info@rootsmedicalcenter.com rootsmedicalcenter.com

Roots is a Naturopathic Medicinal Center that focuses on addressing foundational root causes to complex chronic disease. The goal of the clinic is to properly identify, diagnose and treat patients with unexplained chronic illnesses. Our services are individualized, and patient focused, as medicine should be.

Vis Wellness Center, LLC

Dr. Nicole Klughers, ND, PharmD, MSAc Rocky Hill, CT & Virtual Visits (234) 2-ACU-DOC hello@drnicoleklughers.com DrNicoleKlughers.com

West Hartford

Naturopathic Medicine

Frank Aieta, ND 301 N. Main St., West Hartford, CT 860.232.9662 • www.DRAIETA.com

NEUROFEEDBACK

Jake Williams, MA, LPC

Rocky Hill, CT • 860.208.6964 CT Neurohealth.com

Jake is an experienced therapist, neurofeedback provider, and cat lover. He has dedicated his life to helping people resolve traumatic experiences and overcome challenges created by focus or anxiety.

NUTRITION

Erika Dworkin, BCHN®

Certified in Holistic Nutrition

Vitathena Wellness

South Glastonbury, CT • 860.646.8178 edworkin@vitathena.com • vitathena.com

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.

Grant’s Nutrition & Wellness

Jane Grant, RD CD-N Berlin, CT • 860.357.2282 grantj@grantsnutrition.com grantsnutrition.com

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.

ORGANIC PRODUCT CO.

Farm to Bath

South Glastonbury, CT, and Virtual 860.266.5682 • info@farmtobath.com farmtobath.com

Brenda Sullivan, herbalist and maker of herbal products, uses lavender, one of her primary crops, to make natural soaps, soothing salves, aromatic oils and more. She loves knowing the medicinal benefits of herbs, because it ensures her recipes are made with only the best ingredients.

PAIN/STRESS RELIEF

Kristina Arlene Oxford, CT • 860.593.8224 biostressinfo@gmail.com •  biostressrelief.com

Sound Healing, Reiki and Mindfulness together in one sixty-minute deep relaxation experience! BioStress Relief offers energy work sessions designed to reduce anxiety, stress, pain and tension. Private sessions take place in your home or office or in our studio space. Group Sound Healing, Mindfulness and Stress Relief Workshops available!

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PHYSICIANS, M.D. Optimal Health Medical, LLC

Henry C. Sobo, M.D. 111 High Ridge Rd., Stamford, CT 06905 203.348.8805 • www.drsobo.com

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.

REFLEXOLOGY

Holistic Hands

Tara Cornish, Specializing in Reflexology, Reiki, Aromatouch & Human Energy Scans Torrington, Bantam, & Farmington, CT 860.921.8307 • HolisticHandsCT.com

Tara Cornish is an IIR Certified Reflexologist and Usui Reiki Master/ Teacher since 2005. She also offers reflexology lymph drainage and energyfield measurement. These therapies are non-invasive and safe. Tara has seen amazing benefits using holistic approaches to help heal, relax, renew, and rejuvenate the body, mind, and spirit.

PSYCHIC/MEDIUM

Intuitive Counseling Holistic Spa

Agnes Daddona • 860.941.2667

Avon, CT • AgnesDaddona.com Agnes@intuitivecounselingllc.com

Agnes Daddona is one of the best Psychic/Mediums in New England. She is also a Counselor, Healer, and Spiritual Teacher. For more than 20 years, Agnes has worked with thousands of people across the world in both English and Polish. Her Holistic Spa in Avon, CT, is a one-stop shop and offers high vibrational healing for the mind, body, and soul.

ROLFING®

Rolfing®—The Art and Science of Body Change

Sharon Sklar, BFA, LMT, Cert. Adv. Rolfer West Hartford • 860.561.4337 sharonsklarrolfing.com

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.

50 NATURAL Nutmeg MAY / JUNE 2023
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SPAS/WELLNESS CENTERS

Imagine Float

290 West Main St., Avon 860.255.7771 • imaginefloat.com

SPIRITUAL COMPANIONSHIP

Lauri Ingram

Hamden, CT • 203.435.5650 www.lauriingram.com

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.

THERMOGRAPHY

April Beaman, RDH, CTT

CT Thermography

Farmington and Glastonbury, CT 860.415.1150 • ctthermography.com

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.

YOGA STUDIO

Sacred Rivers Yoga

East Hartford, CT • 860.657.9545 sacredriversyoga.com

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.)

WOMEN’S HEALTH

The Nourished Life

Jennifer Braun, RD • 860.506.6212 nourishedlifect.com jennifer@ nourishedlifect.com

Jennifer Braun, Registered Dietitian and Personal Trainer, opened The Nourished Life to support clients in healing their relationship with food, their body, and understanding their needs and desires. Her approach is meeting you where you are and supporting you in living life with purpose, energy and happiness.

HAPPENINGS MAY & JUNE 2023

Mondays, May 8 and June 12

Breathwork Session, 7:00pm, $20

This online breathwork session is offered on the second Monday of each month. These sessions are led by Charleen Miele, owner of The Sacred Self, LLC. Register and make payment via her website: thesacredselfllc.com/breathwork.

Wednesdays, May 10 and June 14

Psychic/Spiritual Development , 6:30–8:30pm, $25 ($20 for elders over 65 and veterans) The Psychic/Spiritual Development Monthly Study Group Is meeting in-person again! (as well as Zoom). New members welcome! There is a strong connection between spiritual growth and psychic development. Every session starts with a positive, light-filling exercise and includes topics such as palmistry, oracle cards, pendulums, remote viewing, and spirit guides. Reclaim your natural gifts, assist others, and live your life more joyfully! We will meet on the second Wednesday of every month, unless otherwise noted.

Joyce St. Germaine, M. Ed., CHt., RYT-200. Join our email list and find detailed descriptions at thesacredjourney.biz

The Sacred Journey, 29 Davis Road, Burlington, CT 06013. Preregistration required to save your in-person spot: 860.675.9706

Wednesdays, May 17 and June 21

Shamanism, 6:30–8:30pm, $25 ($20 for elders over 65 and veterans)

The Shamanism Monthly Study Group is meeting in-person again (as well as via Zoom)! New members are welcome; no experience needed! In this group, you will develop an understanding of cross-cultural shamanism, the importance of ceremony, and become adept at journeying into non-ordinary reality. You will 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. We will meet on the third Wednesday of every month, unless otherwise noted.

Joyce St. Germaine, M. Ed., CHt., RYT-200. Join our email list and find detailed descriptions at thesacredjourney.biz

The Sacred Journey, 29 Davis Road, Burlington, CT 06013. Preregistration required to save your in-person spot: 860.675.9706

Wednesdays, May 17 and June 21

Advanced Breather Class, 7:00pm, $20

This online class is for people who have done breathwork with Charleen before and are ready for a new type of challenge. This class will consist primarily of active breathing and top and bottom holds. These sessions are led by Charleen Miele, owner of The Sacred Self, LLC.

Register and make payment via her website: thesacredselfllc.com/breathwork.

Saturday, June 3

Reclaim Your Health

10:00am–1:00pm, $10

When lifestyle is the focus, health can be naturally achieved and maintained. Get the education and support you need to do just that—reclaim your health from the foundation up.

What to Expect at Reclaim Your Health:

• Exceptional Essential Oil Education

• Discounts and Exclusive benefits

• Practitioner Training

Location: Casa Mia at the Hawthorne 2421 Berlin Turnpike, Berlin, CT 06037

Contact: Kristen Yousef, 203.623.6833

Monday, June 5

Colonics and Colonic Hydrotherapy, 7:00–8:00pm, FREE

Join Dr. Varano as she presents a virtual webinar on the benefits of colonics and colon hydrotherapy. Dr. Varano is an oncology trained naturopathic doctor and nurse. She will be discussing the advantages of using colonic hydrotherapy for chronic disease and cancer treatment protocols.

Contact: 860.741.1434 info@rootsmedicalcenter.com

Fridays

“Walk and Talk” Therapy Sessions, 10:00am, 11:00am, 12:00pm

New at The Sacred Self, LLC, “Walk and Talk” therapy sessions each Friday. These sessions start and end at her office in Newington. Contact Charleen for additional information.

171 Market Square, Suite 102 Newington, CT 06111

Contact: 860.614.8382 thesacredselfllc@gmail.com

Have a Happening?

www.naturalnutmeg.com

Do you have an event (virtual or live) that you want Natural Nutmeg readers to know about? Reach out to us at calendar@naturalnutmeg.com for information on listing your event and sponsorships. Event listings are in print and online. We also accept classified listings.

51 NATURAL Nutmeg 2023 MAY / JUNE
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