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September/October 2021

Natural Nutme Nutmegg Connecticut's Resource For Essential Living

Breast Cancer Screening Under 40: Bridging the Gap April Beaman, RDH, CTT

How to Be Fabulous Over 50

Sharon Sklar, BFA, LMT, CAR

Chronic Pain: Treating the Invisible Disorder

Adam Breiner, ND and Mark A. Breiner, DDS

What Does Your Tongue Say about You? Nicole Kerr, ND, LAc

Treat Symptoms Before They Arise with Anti-Aging Medicine Henry Sobo, MD

Softer Skin Than You’ve Had in Years Diane Hayden, PhD

Celebrating 15 Years of Publishing


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ur mission is to provide valuable insight, information, and resources that will allow our readers to maintain a healthy, active, sustainable lifestyle. Natural Nutmeg contains timely information on natural health, complementary and alternative medicine, nutrition, fitness, personal growth, green living, and the products and services that support a healthy lifestyle. PUBLISHER Dr. Diane Hayden ADVERTISING DIR. INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY Christopher Urso MARKETING DIRECTOR Dr. Sonia Manganello DESIGN DIRECTOR Ashley Frament EDITOR Lori Emelander ADVISORY BOARD Frank Aieta, ND Adam Breiner, ND Mark Breiner, DDS Deanna M. Cherrone, MD Erika Dworkin, Dip. C.N. Steven R. Frank Kenneth Hoffman, LAc, CCH

DISTRIBUTION Greater Hartford and surrounding counties, please contact Natural Nutmeg. FFC—Tom Cossuto, Man In Motion, LLC

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In keeping with our concern for the environment, Natural Nutmeg is proudly printed on recycled paper with soy-based inks. Natural Nutmeg is a free publication supported solely by our advertisers and distributed throughout Connecticut. Please call for a location near you. (860) 508-0894 or email to © 2007–21 by Natural Nutmeg, LLC. All rights reserved. Parts of this publication may be reproduced and reprinted, we require that permission be obtained in writing. We do not necessarily endorse the views expressed in the ar ticles and adver tisements, nor are we responsible for the products and ser vices adver tised. We welcome your feedback.


Natural Nutmeg September/October 2021


all is here and our annual reader-nominated 10Best Awards are back! I love these awards because they bring massive awareness throughout Connecticut for holistic businesses and practitioners and we receive amazing feedback from the winners and readers. Our 5th annual 10BEST awards are happening through September 15. As a Natural Nutmeg reader, you have the opportunity to nominate your favorite holistic practitioner or business in 20 categories listed on the inside back cover. Go to to place your nominations by midnight September 15!

Please take the time to make these nominations! These awards are a fantastic way for business owners to increase their market share and expand their business. Most businesses experience 37% more growth after winning a local award. Our Connecticut holistic practitioners are extremely passionate about helping their local communities and they need you to help them bring more awareness to all of the amazing natural and ecofriendly choices we have in this great state. We are proud to be the first and only reader-nominated awards exclusively for the holistic business community in Connecticut. Winners will be announced in late September via eblasts and social media—if you want to be the first to hear, please go to and sign up for our monthly eblasts and Like us on FB and Instagram. We will be showcasing the 10BEST in each category in a special additional issue released in December 2021. This issue will also include articles, ads, business profiles, and a holistic practitioner directory that you can keep and use for all of 2022. Don’t miss our second annual Healthy Aging Guide! This will be an amazing resource for readers 50+ who truly want to redefine what it means to age and also find resources to help elderly parents. Our Healthy Aging Guide contains Connecticut’s vetted resources of practitioners and businesses that provide services to people 50+ and their caregivers. Our mission is always to help people navigate these important choices so they can age gracefully and positively, which is now more important than ever. And speaking of healthy aging…I had the wonderful opportunity to present at FreedomFest 2021 in Rapid City, SD, in July. It was an amazing event focusing on health freedom, financial freedom, political freedom, and the ability to express free thought and opinions on so many levels. I got to meet many thought leaders in longevity medicine and preserving freedoms! I presented on "The New Psychology of Aging: Living Younger," and it was standing room only in my conference room. If you want to catch my presentation, it’s up on You’ll learn about my three Living Younger pillars and discover that aging is not inevitable and can actually be reversed! Wishing you health and happiness,

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

In This Issue

Healthy Aging Guide



Wisdom of the Inner Child Lauri Ingram


Softer Skin Than You’ve Had in Years

Neil Anand, Owner, ComForCare Home Care


Diane Hayden, PhD


Breast Cancer Screening Under 40: Bridging the Gap What Does Your Tongue Say about You? Nicole Kerr, ND, LAc


Rethink Your Oral Health Krithika Jayaprakash DDS, FAGD, NMD, IBDM


The Placebo Effect— It’s All about Belief Shaun Martin, MA


How to Be Fabulous Over 50


Facial Cupping Is the Hottest Anti-Aging Trend Kristina Mozzicato, LMT, BCTMB


Treat Symptoms Before They Arise with Anti-Aging Medicine

Sharon Sklar, BFA, LMT, CAR


April Beaman, RDH, CTT


How Music Helps You Heal

Erectile Dysfunction (ED): Natural Ways to Address Its Complexities Erika Dworkin, BCHN®


The Importance of Massage as We Age

Henry Sobo, MD


The Pathway to Self-Care


Help Your Grandchildren Prepare for a Successful Future

Beverley Blass, Healthy Living Coach

Elisabeth Johnson


Nine Tips for Healthy Aging

Caroline Wetzel, CFP®, CDFA®, AWMA®


The Power of CoQ10 Katy Firisin, ND, MSPT

Donna Bunte, MSOM, LAc


Aging Gracefully Sculpted Wellness

Chronic Pain: Treating the Invisible Disorder Adam Breiner, ND and Mark A. Breiner, DDS

In Every Issue 6 40 42



Find more articles and search our web archive at



Kelman Landscaping Designs Memories




Edge of the Woods—Your FamilyOwned Vegetarian Marketplace

dge of the Woods is a family-owned vegetarian marketplace of more than 40 years, featuring hand-chosen produce from local markets that share the common goal of providing people with the healthiest food possible. Along with fully stocked shelves of your favorites from all departments, there is also an impressive Vitamin Shop on their second floor. The deli/kitchen area features a juice bar; hot and cold sandwiches and wraps, including the sought-after “Edge Burger” that is grilled in front of you. A large menu board is filled with many other vegetarian choices, including a vegan Rueben sandwich! There’s also a hot bar featuring eggplant parmesan, rice dishes, roasted vegetables, and prepared foods to take home with you, such as eggless egg salad, kitchenmade soups, salads, and so much more. And in the bakery, people line up for what customers call “the best carrot cake ever,” as well as the freshly made breads, scones, cakes, pies, and pastries that can go toe-to-toe with any high-end bakery! Whether you're looking for gluten free, dairy free, vegan, Kosher, or none of the above, they have all your food choices covered!; 379 Whalley Avenue, New Haven, CT. See ad on page 2.


ocally owned and operated for over 31 years, you can trust our experienced and high-quality work. Your premier landscape company, Kelman Landscape, LLC, will give you the look and feel you want for your home. Your residential landscape is a reflection of yourself, and our professional crews will help convey that for you. Did you know that an ornately decorated home garden or lawn increases the aesthetic value of your home? There are three other important ways for a good residential landscape design to benefit your property: • They increase resale value: A home with a residential poolscape or similar types of landscape design element makes for a memorable sight. Those gorgeous landscape scenes will greatly increase your chances of selling your home for a higher price than you paid for it. • They offer financial incentives: Strategically planted shrubs and trees provide plenty of shade for outdoor air conditioning units and windows, thereby decreasing the amount of energy needed for them to keep your home cool. • They provide your home with a little more privacy: Not only do large landscape plants keep your home partly secluded under the protection of trees, they also act as natural sound barriers that filter out unpleasant neighborhood sounds, such as pets, traffic, lawnmowers, and so on. We have the expertise necessary to create the customized landscape of your dreams. If you are interested in making your property the envy of your neighbors, call us today at 860.646.5617 for a FREE consultation. See ad on page 15.

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Natural Nutmeg September/October 2021



Step Up September

haron Sklar continues to celebrate her 40th year as a Certified Rolfer, putting something forward each month to challenge herself and inspire others. “Step Up September” is about committing to something and making it happen. With summer past, it’s time to focus on what comes next. For Sharon, the sudden loss of her wonderful dog, Bosco Boy, early this summer lit the way to welcoming a new puppy in September. Almost ten years ago, upon a Rolfing client’s suggestion, Sharon and Bosco Boy—due to his calm, healing demeanor and successful training—became a Pet Therapy Team at Hartford Hospital’s Gray Cancer Center. Together, Bosco and Sharon brought cheer to patients twice a month and Spanky, Bosco’s “little brother,” joined them four years ago. A new puppy will give Spanky a friend, a “little brother” to teach, and hopefully, in a couple of years, will join their Pet Therapy Team and continue the legacy. Another “Step Up” is Sharon’s commitment to learn to play pickleball this September. The sport has gained much popularity over the last years and now it is time for Sharon to “Step Up” and learn! As Sharon puts away her sea kayak in mid-October, it is perfect timing. What will “Step Up September” be for you? Learn a new skill or sport? Volunteer at a soup kitchen? Look in on and help a neighbor in need? Dig deep and look at what you want to be committed to accomplishing. To find out more about Rolfing,, see ad on page 28.


By Lauri Ingram

Wisdom of the Inner Child


e all carry with us the wounds and the joys of childhood. Often the voice of our inner child may speak to us, perhaps recollecting wounds from our early years and bringing with it the connection to a time with fewer responsibilities, when playing and being carefree were all we faced each day. Recently I spent time going through old photographs of myself and my family. As I sat and looked at the photos and read some poems I had written, I was struck by the realization that I could still connect with that very young child, being held by her parents in front of her childhood home. Memories flooded back of playing in the yard as well of memories of less happy times. How quickly I was transported back, and the memories all felt so real. Through the poems, I had deep insight into how my inner child speaks to me on occasion even now, in my early 60s—sadness at moving homes and leaving friends, insecurity about who I was, and a longing to be creative and live an authentic life. For many of us, revisiting our childhood can bring wonderful memories, but it can also remind us of times when we were challenged, perhaps bullied or even traumatized. Connecting with Your Inner Child During my healing journey I have done much work on my own inner child, reconnecting and reparenting the parts of her that seek approval, that long to be seen and valued as a unique individual. I believe we all are doing the best we can from wherever we are in this moment. The opportunity to create a safe space, to give my younger self what she needs with compassion and love, is a gift we can each give to ourselves. A recent client who has completed previous crystal dreaming sessions experienced a rather poignant opportunity to see herself as both an adult and a child at the same time. The crystal dreaming process is one of moving to a state of expanded consciousness, allowing my client’s spirit to explore and reveal what was most healing to her in that particular session. What appeared to her was two worlds—one full of lush, green scenery with bright colors and a glowing rainbow, and the other 8

Natural Nutmeg September/October 2021

the expansiveness and infinite nature of the divine. What she experienced was seeking her spirit as both a young child and an adult, clearly receiving guidance from her higher self that her inner child was in need of compassion, of a hug, of being told she was perfect just as she is. I gently guided her through an experience of giving her inner child a hug, holding her hand and speaking the words of love and compassion she so wanted to hear. Weeks after spending time integrating the experience and journaling on the guidance she received, my client felt that this was just the step that was needed on that step of her healing journey. Your Personal Healing Journey There are many paths to healing and many ways we can return to the wholeness that already exists within. Whether through meditation, working with one’s personal energy practices, devotion through spiritual practice, art, or movement, we can find our way to healing one step at a time. Often these are practices we may have been drawn to as children. I was always drawn to coloring and creating and find myself continually drawn to those practices as opportunities for healing. I truly believe everything is perfect in each moment. Opening ourselves to hear the wisdom and guidance within ourselves is a journey of many steps, each step bringing us closer to our true nature—that of an infinite, divine soul. Maintaining client confidentiality, I have changed some details of my client’s journey. But her experience is not unusual; those who seek out spiritual counseling and modalities such as crystal dreaming are often looking for something deeper, something beneath the surface that is seeking healing. Ordained by One Spirit Interfaith Seminary and as a certified Interspiritual Counselor, I currently offer in-person sessions in my North Haven office, as well as phone and Zoom sessions. You can learn more about me at, and contact me at or 203.435.5650.

Softer Skin Than You’ve Had in Years

By Diane Hayden, PhD


had the pleasure of sitting down with Spa Director—Clinical Aesthetician Laura Duffany—atThe Spa at Litchfield Hills to talk about the hottest new trends in skincare! Laura has worked with plastic surgeons and medical doctors and has cultivated a strong and knowledgeable skincare team at the spa. Her favorite lines are OSEA and Skinceuticals for spa facials and daily skincare regime. The spa offers dermaplaning, medical grade peels, and microdermabrasion, among other skincare services.

• It is a great option for clients with sensitive skin, rosacea, and pregnant women who are looking for a deep exfoliation.


• It can help significantly lighten postinflammatory scars from past acne.

One of the trendiest exfoliation options today is dermaplaning, which is performed using a sterile surgical scalpel (not as scary as it sounds!) to manually exfoliate dead skin cells from the top layer of the skin, the stratum corneum, dead skin layer, and vellus hair, aka peach fuzz. This treatment results in ultra-smooth, fresh, and brighter skin. By removing that dead layer and hair from the face, the skin is evened out, and it helps with cell metabolism, which helps new skin come to the surface. Dermaplaning cleverly triggers the cell regeneration process and improves the appearance of acne scarring, fine lines and wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation. The effects of the procedure are instant, leaving your skin with a smooth appearance and a radiant glow. Along with the removal of fine hairs, it results in healthier skin that feels silkier. Why would you choose to have a dermaplaning treatment? Here are just a few of the benefits: • It painlessly exfoliates the stratum corneum to stimulate cellular turnover with no downtime.

• It can be performed prior to treatments like facials, laser, and chemical peels for better product penetration. • It can be performed frequently—every four weeks. • It helps makeup go on smoother and more evenly.

• It does not make the hair grow back thicker and darker. What is a treatment like? After one, I was hooked. It was so relaxing I might have fallen asleep had I not been asking Laura a million questions for this article. She started with a citrus cleanse to remove oils from my face and followed that with a toner. This is used to increase the effectiveness of the dermaplaning. Then the procedure started with a tool that looked just like a tiny butter blade. After she ran the tool across my skin a few times I wasn’t concerned at all, as it felt just like lightly running your fingernail across your skin. Following the treatment, Laura applied a Phyto Corrective mask with steam, B5 gel, an anti-aging eye cream and epidermal repair. The best part, however, was her signature face massage. WOW—I could have totally fallen asleep on the table. Lastly, Laura used the coolest device called a Jade Gua sha stone, which is a natural facial lifting tool. These stones come in different shapes and helps with fine lines, circulation, puffiness, and dark circles.

I was shocked to notice that my skin felt softer than it had in years—like many years! My skin tone was drastically improved and evened out. I immediately noticed a softening of fine lines around my eyes, forehead, and frown lines. That day I left feeling amazing, but the next day when I went to apply my normal makeup, I can’t tell you the difference I noticed. My makeup went on like butter and I literally felt airbrushed! After treatment, you do need to refrain from being in direct sunlight for a minimum of 48 hours, and continual wearing of sunscreen is strongly advised. In addition, it is recommended to not use any products with glycolic acid, alpha hydroxy acid, Retin A or Rentinol for at least 5 days, and no exfoliating for 3 days following the treatment (but why would you need to?). You can return to your regular skincare routine thereafter and make sure to stay hydrated. One of the reasons skin can look dull and have buildup is from ongoing dehydration. Ocean, Sun, Earth, and Atmosphere One of the exciting new lines that The Spa is offering is OSEA. OSEA is a beautiful choice. Their products are certified organic, they’re vegan, gluten-free and cruelty-free, the containers are biodegradable, the daily skincare system is simple, the results are immediate, and all products are fully guaranteed by the company. OSEA’s effects are immediate; within minutes, the skin softens and tones, and luster is restored. Daily use refreshes, restores and revives skin. And it’s a simple system. Regardless of skin type, gender, race, and age, mixing and matching a few products is all you need to see results.


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OSEA’s philosophy is built into their name: OSEA stands for Ocean, Sun, Earth, and Atmosphere. And some of the most important components of their products are seaweeds, which are eco-responsibly hand-harvested from some of the most pristine waters in the world, off the coast of Patagonia. OSEA uses specific kinds of seaweed, which slow the aging process and protect skin from harsh environmental factors. Seaweed is one of the richest sources of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes, trace elements, calcium, magnesium, iron, manganese, and zinc. Seaweed also is rich in fatty acids that strengthen and maintain the quality of healthy cell membranes. All the seaweed OSEA uses is USDA-certified organic, and it’s kosher as well. OSEA never uses synthetic fragrances, GMOs, petrochemicals, parabens, sulfates, animal by-products, phthalates, synthetic color, petroleum, nanomaterials, or PEG compounds. The website states; “…we have formulated each and every one of our products without these harmful and all too common skincare ingredients. We believe that safe cosmetics are your right and our earth’s rightful due. We don’t do anything that pollutes or harms our planet because that is where we find our most effective ingredients. We are committed to providing customers with extensively researched products designed for their purity, quality, and effectiveness. We develop our products with only the purest ingredients, proven and technically advanced formulations to restore skin to its highest level of health and appearance.” In 2002, OSEA was the first company to sign The Compact for Global Production of Safe Health and Beauty Products which launched the Skin Deep Report. Since then, more than 1,100 companies have joined OSEA in pledging to phase out the use of toxic chemicals in all beauty products. The Spa at Litchfield Hills truly has something for every guest, whether it be relaxation, results, or both. They strive to offer organic product lines that are impactful and results oriented. By Dr. Diane Hayden. Online bookings available at:, 860.567.8575, The Spa at Litchfield Hills, 407A Bantam Road, Litchfield, CT 06759 P 860.567.8575 See ad on page 24.


Natural Nutmeg September/October 2021

Breast Cancer Screening Under 40: Bridging the Gap By April Beaman, RDH, CTT


ou probably know women who have been diagnosed with a life-changing, life-threatening disease at a young age, but you never think it can happen to you. If you’re age 40 or younger you may think you’re too young to develop breast cancer, but that’s far from the truth. While breast cancer is most typically diagnosed in post-menopausal women (50 or older), it’s a disease that can and does affect young women as well. Other than a physical exam of the breasts during a GYN visit, there are no routine breast cancer screenings advised for young women. In fact, physicians do not recommend a mammography screening for women under 40; some even suggest starting those screenings at age 45. In addition, the U.S. Preventative Screening Task Force recommends biennial (every two years) mammography screenings for women aged 50 to 74 years and suggests the decision to start mammography screening prior to age 50 should be an individual one. This is partly because mammography is known to be less effective for younger women due to denser breast tissue. Dense breasts are a common finding, affecting at least 50% of women regardless of age; however, dense tissue is almost always a typical finding in younger women. Having dense breasts simply means there is more fibro-glandular tissue vs. fatty tissue within the breast, which appears white on a mammogram and can therefore camouflage the physician’s ability to detect a cancerous tumor, which also appears white. Breast Cancer in Women under 40 While breast cancer is not common in younger women, it is nonetheless the most common cancer among women ages 15 to 40. Today in the U.S., 11% of new breast cancer cases are diagnosed annually in women age 45 or younger, and it’s estimated that just under 27,000 women in this age group will be diagnosed this year

alone. Although a breast cancer diagnosis is difficult for a woman at any age, the disease tends to be more aggressive, invasive, and advanced in younger vs. older women. Breast thermography is a non-invasive and painless way to screen for breast cancer without radiation or compression of the breasts. Breast cancer is not immediate; it doesn’t just suddenly appear overnight. The process of a tumor that’s grown large enough to be felt by physical exam or visible on a mammogram takes several years. Cancerous cells generate heat and inflammation from their increased metabolism and the stimulation of new blood vessels to nurture their growth. Furthermore, a cancerous tumor also needs nutrients and additional blood flow to grow. This is all achieved by a process known as neoangiogenesis, the physiological process that produces an abnormal surface temperature difference (inflammation/heat) of the breast. Therefore, inflammation and irregular heat patterns in the breasts can be an early a warning sign that a potential problem exists. Detecting Inflammation Is Key The addition of breast thermography is a valuable screening option for young women and can bridge the gap until other screenings are offered and advised. Breast thermography is a non-invasive and painless way to screen for breast cancer without radiation or compression of the breasts. It uses state-of-the-art medical infrared technology to capture and assess irregular heat patterns and inflammation of the breasts. Comparative exams create a baseline for monitoring breast health based on individual thermal patterns and changes that may occur over time. When breast thermography is utilized regularly and from an early age, it can help

identify a potential health risk years before it presents as a physical abnormality such as a thickening or breast lump. Is It Ever Too Early to Assess Breast Health? Women of any age should think about the health of their breasts and consider utilizing thermography to assess and monitor them. Although the exact cause of breast cancer is still unknown, research has shown environmental factors, diet, and lifestyle choices all play a role. In my thermography center I have seen several cases of breast cancer in younger women, and my fear is that the current 11% statistic is going to continue to increase year after year. The addition of thermography to the front line of breast cancer detection brings a great deal of good news for all women, but particularly for younger women for whom there currently is no breast screening methods advised. Having two friends diagnosed with breast cancer at a young age is the reason I became a Certified Thermographic Technician. I believe that, had they been aware of breast thermography, their cancer diagnosis would have been different and may have been avoided altogether. Because of this, I have made it my mission to share this valuable screening tool with as many women as possible. April Beaman, RDH, CTT, is a Medical Thermographer, certified by the Professional Academy of Clinical Thermology, and a professional member of Breast Thermography International. Beaman has worked in the wellness industry for over 15 years and provides thermography screenings and wellness support for both men and women. She is the owner of CT Thermography located in Farmington. Connect at 860.415.1150 or See ad on page 6.


What Does Your Tongue Say about You? By Nicole Kerr, ND, LAc


ver look at your tongue and think: “That isn’t NORMAL?!” “What in the world does that mean?”

“I haven’t seen that before!” If you have never looked at your tongue with intrigue and curiosity, start! Check out your tongue before reading further. Is it red, cracked, and thin with little to no coat? If so, you may be experiencing hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, and irritability. Or if are you experiencing fatigue, loose stools, spontaneous sweating, and worry, your tongue likely has teeth marks and is pale with a thin white coat. The Tongue as a Diagnostic Tool Your tongue’s muscle body shape and color, as well as the coat quality and color, can tell you a lot about your current health condition. Since changes to its appearance are easily visible, the tongue is a simple way to help monitor health improvements or decline over the course of treatment. The tongue body is most useful in tracking chronic conditions, while the coat tracks acute condition states. Before measurable blood markers, specific organ diagnostic tests and advanced imaging existed, health professionals relied on the five senses to identify, treat, and cure disease. Imagine having only sight, 12

Natural Nutmeg September/October 2021

sound, smell, taste, and touch available to identify, diagnosis, and treat disease with great accuracy. Listening to the tone, quality, and language of the voice; looking at the overall essence and appearance of the patient; smelling and often tasting bodily excretions; and palpating the pulse, muscles, and abdomen were a few of the limited diagnostic tools needed to accurately identify and treat ailments prior to the invention of modern technologies. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is one of the health practices that used the five senses to diagnosis and treat disease in patients. Today, TCM practitioners continue to use tongue and pulse diagnoses, along with ten specific diagnostic questions, to identify and treat unwelcome symptoms in the body—the same as was done 3,000 years ago. For TCM practitioners, examination of the tongue can instantly clarify a main cause in a complex disorder that are often full of contradictions. In TCM, there are few but complex causes for disease states, and identifying the root cause is extremely important to avoid adverse side effects from treatments. Tongue diagnosis is often the one identifiable marker that can indicate a favorable treatment from a less beneficial protocol, as it is used to select appropriate acupuncture points, herbal formula combinations, and help determine treatment duration/frequency.

The Tongue Body The tongue body is the muscle under the coating on top. Unlike the pulse, it is relatively unaffected by short-term events. For example, a stressful drive to an appointment can change the pulse quality and affect blood pressure and heart rate readings, but the tongue will remain true to the patient’s health condition. Tongue color almost always reflects the true health of the patient and is the definitive indicator when contradictions are seen between symptoms and tongue appearance. Body color: • Pale: Cold, and qi, yang or blood deficiency • Red: Heat, excess (coat), deficient (no coat) • Dark red: Extreme heat • Purple: Blood stasis • Blue: Blood stasis due to internal cold Shape reflects the state of the organs, energy (qi) and blood, as well as differentiating a deficient or excess disease state in the body.

Body shape—deficient conditions: • Thin: Lack of fluids in the body • Cracked: Dryness from exhaustion of body fluids or yin deficiency • Toothmarks: Qi deficiency Body shape—excess conditions: • Swollen: Dampness or phlegm • Stiff: Heat or wind

TCM Diagnosis

Organ systems are represented on specific areas of the tongue body. This allows TCM practitioners to identify the organ systems to treat in relation to where changes to the tongue are occurring. Starting at the very tip of the tongue is the heart, followed by the lungs. The spleen and stomach are the center of the tongue with the kidneys, bladder and intestines at the back of the tongue. The sides represent the liver and gallbladder.

Coat color: • White: Cold, exterior, LU/LI disease • Yellow: Heat, interior, St-Sp disease • Gray: Long duration state of heat or cold • Black: Long duration state of heat or cold



Qi Deficient

Fatigue, loose stool, poor appetite, spontaneous sweating, shortness of breath, over-thinking and worrying

Pale, red spots

Thin white

Teeth marks

Yang Deficient

Feel cold easily, pale complexion, back pain, panic tendencies, inability to get warm, low emotionally, impotence, infertility


Thick white


Blood Deficient

Dizziness, fatigue, palpitations, poor concentration and memory, pale complexion, insomnia, gynecological complaints


Little/no coat


Cold— Excess Yin

Chills with or without sweating, lack of thirst, clear urine, loose stool, aversion to cold, fatigue




Tongue Color: Red Heat— Excess Yang

Feeling hot, sweat easily, thirsty for cold, constipated, agitation, anger, insomnia with nightmares, fever


Thin yellow


Damp Heat

Skin problems, urinary infection, clammy skin, angry and uncomfortable


Yellow, greasy


Yin Deficient

Hot flashes, sweats at night, insomnia, irritable, ringing in the ears, menopause


Little/no coat


The Tongue Coat The tongue coat’s color and thickness are examined during tongue diagnosis to help differentiate between hot or cold states and deficient or excess disease states. Coat/fur is reflective of yang organs and can change more quickly than the tongue body. Color indicates if a condition is hot or cold:

Body Color

Tongue Color: Pale

• Long: Heat • Moving: Internal wind


Tongue Color: Miscellaneous Qi Stagnation

Stressed, pains that move, tendency to depression, unstable emotional state, PMS

Red tip, purple

Thin white


Damp Retention

Bloated, fullness in chest and abdomen, feeling heavy and lethargic, poor appetite, excessive mucus


White, greasy


Blood Stasis

Cold limbs, varicose veins, fixed masses, pain that is fixed and severe/stabbing, headaches, chest pain, dark complexion


Some black spots

Enlarged veins on bottom of tongue body


Thickness of the coat indicates how strong the pathogenic factor present in the patient is or how weak the body’s qi is, as well as if a deficient or excess condition. The distribution/location of the coat shows the progression of external factors or location of interior conditions. It is important to identify whether the tongue coat is with or without root, meaning whether the coat is coming out of tongue or if it look stuck on, as though it could be scraped off. The “root” of the coating directly reflects the patient’s energy (qi).

Differential Diagnosis of Symptoms in Relation to TCM Tongue Diagnosis

• Greasy: Thicker on central surface, can’t be scraped off, rougher and more sticky than oily (phlegm, yang deficient)

The data in this table are the basic tongue diagnosis criteria in TCM, which can be more complex and mixed in nature.

• Short: Internal cold stiffens or excess heat exhausts fluids • Deviated: Presence of wind, internal or external

• Thin: Pathogenic weak; initial stage of disease

• Quivering: Qi or blood deficient, extreme heat

• Externally contracted: Changes on front and sides of tongue coat

• Ulcerated: Heat from yin deficiency or “Heart fire blazing upwards”

• Internally generated: Distribution reflects location of problem

• Wet: Excess fluids, stagnation of fluids from external cold, or internal cold from yang deficiency

• Slippery: Shiny/oily appearance (damp)

Other differentiations:

• Thick: Pathogenic/excess

Coat moisture:

presentation when uncovering the Traditional Chinese Medicine diagnosis.

• Moldy: Thick, patchy, crumbly, can be scraped off (excess heat)

Coat thickness/distribution:

The moisture of the tongue coating provides information about fluid status in the body and reflects if a disease state is relatively yin/yang and hot/cold.

• Dry: Insufficient fluids from excess heat or yin deficiency

• Prickles: Heat The Tongue A “normal” tongue is pink, vibrant, and “fresh-looking”; supple, no cracks or ulcers, no movement, with a thin, whiterooted coat. There are numerous variations to the tongue’s appearance, and the tongue presentation must be considered in relation to the pulse diagnosis and symptom

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So next time you brush your teeth, check out your tongue and see if it correlates to your symptoms. Keep an eye on how it looks when you are sick to see how it changes, and consider visiting a TCM practitioner to learn how you can improve your health holistically and naturally. Dr. Nicole Kerr, ND, LAc operates an all-natural fertility clinic in Wallingford CT, Fertility Oasis. At Fertility Oasis, Dr. Kerr teaches her patients the importance of preconception care and about all treatment options available to couples struggling to conceive. Male and female infertility factors are addressed by Dr. Kerr to offer comprehensive fertility care for her patients. Fertility Oasis is located at 857 N Main St Ext Suite 1, Wallingford CT. Visit or call 203.265.0459. See ad on page 24.

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Natural Nutmeg September/October 2021

Rethink Your Oral Health By Krithika Jayaprakash DDS, FAGD, NMD, IBDM


ost of us know that oral health is very important. We take measures to maintain good oral hygiene, going for regular dental visits and having two cleanings per year. But is that all that needs to be done to maintain good oral health? What about replacing the teeth we lose? Many of us may be under the misapprehension that because we have 32 teeth, losing a couple of them is not a big deal. However, there are issues we face when we lose teeth. Each tooth has a different function, and it is important for missing teeth to be restored. If they are not, adjacent teeth can move into that space and cause bite and TMJ (jaw joint) issues. Overall Health Affects Oral Health Long ago, our ancestors had wide jaws and good airways. These days, however, we often see people that have severe tooth crowding, narrow jaws, narrow airways, and even children with teeth missing. This could be due to epigenetics (how behavior and environment can cause changes that affect how our genes function), nutrition, gut issues, and poor oral hygiene. Each tooth is connected via meridian pathways (energy pathways that span across interrelated body parts) to different organs, glands, vertebrae, spinal cord segments, joints, and muscles in different parts of the body. Dentists who are familiar with different meridians can assess the patient’s general wellness by assessing their oral health. If there is weakness in a particular organ or system, the health of the tooth associated with it plays a significant role and could exacerbate the condition. For example, if a patient has an infection in tooth #3 (the upper right molar) and there is also a thyroid issue with that patient, such as hypothyroidism or cancer in the thyroid, that #3 infection can exacerbate the thyroid condition, as that tooth lies in the meridian pathway. In such cases, if it is not possible to restore the tooth, it is best that the tooth be replaced. There are three options in replacing a tooth: an implant, a bridge, or a partial

denture. Of these, implants are generally favored, as they most closely resemble and mimic our natural teeth. Dental Implants to Protect Your Health? Like our teeth, implants help maintain the alignment of the jawbone. If we do not replace a missing tooth with an implant, we end up losing bone over time until the ridge becomes very small and thin. At this point, what could have been a relatively simple and affordable implant placement has become an expensive and time-consuming procedure to replace the bone. Furthermore, implants can be placed during the same procedure in which the tooth is extracted, preserving bone and avoiding an additional implant surgery later. It is important to note that such a procedure requires the dentist to have a great deal of skill and training. Implants can be made from either titanium alloy or ceramic. Thinking organically, we know that metals can cause problems in our body, whereas ceramic implants are biocompatible and are therefore a healthier option. Bridges and Partial Dentures Prepping and trimming the adjacent teeth is required for a bridge (similar to three crowns attached to each other), a significant drawback of which is trimming two

healthy teeth to replace one missing tooth. A partial denture is a much more conservative approach, in which a mold is taken of the patient’s affected area and a replacement appliance is created. Drawbacks of a partial denture are that it is a removable appliance that needs to be taken out at night, there will be bone loss over time, and they may need to be remade or realigned when the patient loses bone and the appliance no longer fits correctly. Whatever option you select, missing teeth need to be replaced to keep the mouth—and the rest of the body—healthy. Our teeth should be valued as much as other things we miss in life when we lose them. Let’s keep in mind that every tooth is important to our overall health, and they should not be taken for granted. There is a meridian app on our website— —by clicking on each tooth you can see which organs and systems are connected to that particular tooth. Dr. Krithika Jayaprakash DDS, FAGD, NMD, IBDM. Naturopathic dentist specializing in ceramic crowns and all your dental needs. Dr. Jay Dental, 170 Union St., Vernon, CT 06066. 860.875.3349. See ad on page 10.

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The Placebo Effect— It’s All about Belief By Shaun Martin, MA


he placebo effect has gained significant exposure and acceptance over the past 10–20 years for two reasons:

1. In the world of clinical research, literally thousands of studies have now demonstrated beyond any trace of doubt that the placebo effect is real and measurable. 2. The public is now hearing about the placebo effect credibly through wellresearched books such as You Are the Placebo, by Dr. Joe Dispenza, and Mind Over Medicine, by Dr. Lissa Rankin.

The placebo effect is a biopsychological phenomenon commonly involving patients who unknowingly receive inert treatments, yet the patient can be cured by the power of their belief that they received real treatment. The implications of the placebo effect are extraordinary. Not Just a Sugar Pill Research perfromed by Gabriel S. Crane finds that the placebo effect suggests that human beings have far more subjective influence over their biology than previously thought. He looks at the placebo effect from a psychosomatic standpoint and suggests that every medical remedy involves some level of a placebo effect—meaning that the patient’s attitude, belief, and expectancy can produce or subdue bodily conditions that are conducive for healing. The placebo effect is biopsychological because it concerns the ways in which the mind and emotions (psychology) interact with and potentially heal or harm the body (biology). According to information gathered by researchers Colloca, Bendetti, and Crane, the majority of healing modalities used in medicine may actually be placebos used to prime patients psychologically, physiologically, and emotionally to allow the human body’s natural healing mechanisms to increase their efficiency. In the book You Are the Placebo, Dr. Joe Dispenza gives an in-depth look at how expectancy, attitude, 16

Natural Nutmeg September/October 2021

belief, and understanding can promote physiological reconfigurations that lead to miraculous healing and transformation. On the other hand, he also describes how many people unconsciously create their own “nocebos”—sometimes due to discouraging comments from health professionals—by consistently triggering and remaining in the stress response state, which restricts the body’s innate capacity to heal. The research suggests that the human body cannot simultaneously produce the biochemistry necessary for healing and for fight-or-flight response.

and was told by several prestigious doctors that he would never walk again. However, he had already learned enough about the placebo effect that he confidently chose to implement the understanding himself, thus rebuking every doctor’s claim. Dispenza believes that “the power that made the body heals the body,” and he insists on having given his body’s intrinsic intelligence a “blueprint” for how to heal his back. Within a few months of his accident, he was back on his feet, to the absolute disbelief of his doctors.

Self Healing

Dispenza delves even deeper into the power of the placebo in terms of creating better lives for ourselves. He claims that with a certain degree of perceptual training, people can learn to become their own placebos through inducing and maintaining the emotional and biochemical state they associate with their “dream life.” Dispenza explains that quantum physics shows that if we are able to regulate certain harmonious biochemical states and learn to maintain them independent of external stimuli, eventually our external reality will catch up to this new state of being. Over time, the body begins functioning in absolute accordance with this understanding.

Historians, philosophers, and many in the medical field believe that human beings are the only creatures on the planet that have the capacity to make the thoughts in their mind more real than their surrounding reality. This, Dispenza says, is the power of the placebo effect. Most humans remain in an almost unending state of stress because they recycle past events or potentially dreadful future scenarios in their minds, re-living some of their most traumatic life experiences or mentally rehearsing potential traumatic experiences in the future and thereby keeping their bodies trapped in a sea of harmful biochemistry. The human body works continuously to fend off bacteria, infection, and pollution while attempting to maintain homeostasis. When any aspect of the human organism is harmed, there are mechanisms in place to remedy that harm. When something as simple as a paper cut occurs, the body’s primordial intelligence immediately begins the healing process—a process that, according to researchers Blease and Kirsch, is entirely independent of the person’s conscious will. Dispenza tells us that the intrinsic intelligence of the human body, when consciously perceived, that regulates these superconscious functions throughout the system is the fundamental placebo. Having been a victim of a tragic car accident during his early 20s, Dispenza shattered numerous vertebrae in his back

Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

The increasing research being done on the placebo effect is beginning to show that humans are actually capable of regulating their biochemical states solely through the quality of their emotions, their consciousness, and the clarity of their perception, which has unprecedented implications, according to researchers Plassmann and Weber. What a world it could be when we learn to harness this innate human power. Shaun Martin is a musician and holds an MA in Consciousness and Transpersonal Psychology from The Graduate Institute in CT. We invite you to explore The Graduate Institute where programs are created for a culture of conscious, collaborative learning experiences: “Classrooms” become mindscapes for exploring your innate creative genius. Enrolling now for fall: See ad on page 2.

Chronic Pain: Treating the Invisible Disorder By Adam Breiner, ND and Mark A. Breiner, DDS


lmost all of us have encountered pain at some point, usually in its acute form. However, chronic pain is different and can frequently lead to restricted mobility, problems concentrating, sleep troubles, and depression. Chronic pain is an invisible illness that impacts millions in the U.S. Science has achieved significant advancements to help those affected by this sometimesdebilitating problem. At the Breiner Whole-Body Health Center, we are focused on technological advances in the industry and remain hopeful about the future; we continue to offer superior treatments for chronic conditions that provide real, lasting results. What Is Chronic Pain?  Chronic pain is an issue whose source may or may not be obvious but may become a persistent condition over time. Describing pain is difficult as everyone experiences it differently; however, it is always an unpleasant and disruptive experience. “Chronic” refers to something persistent that may have lasted for three months or more (even years). Chronic pain is a physical burden that can remain invisible to the naked eye. When you injure a body part, pain signals are triggered to make you aware of the situation. Acute pains commonly result from abrasions, burns, cuts, fractures, and surgical or dental procedures. When the injury heals, the pain signal stabilizes. With chronic pains, the signal does not switch off but rather worsens as time passes and can interfere with your daily life.  Chronic pain is widespread in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 50 million Americans, or just over 20 percent, have some form of chronic pain. The constant pain leaves you troubled both physically and emotionally. For this reason, experienced healthcare professionals apply a multi-tiered approach for managing chronic pain in individuals of all ages and pains of all levels.  Common Conditions Associated with Chronic Pain  Four common conditions associated with chronic pain and are very different from acute pain:  • Back Pain: Chronic back pain is widespread and a critical public health problem in the country. It can result from soft

tissue degeneration, compression or spinal wounds, and twisting or lifting injuries. Weak abdominal muscles can also result in chronic low back pain. Back pain is one of the preeminent causes of lost productivity and absenteeism in the United States. The statistics are alarming: Approximately 20% of people in the United States experience acute lower back pain that becomes chronic over time, and more than 80% of people suffer from back issues at some point in their lives. A sedentary lifestyle accounts for nearly 54% of the cases, with approximately 5% requiring surgery. Moreover, back pain accounts for the third most common reason people repeatedly visit a doctor after skin disorders and joint problems, and treatment costs incur more than a hundred billion dollars annually. • Headaches: You can experience different types of headaches, all with varying intensity, symptoms, and treatment options. A common headache may last for a few minutes or several hours and occur occasionally. However, chronic headaches are throbbing, persistent, and one of the most disabling conditions. Common chronic headaches include migraines, cluster headaches, eye strain, and those due to muscular tension. In the United States alone, nearly 40 million people are affected by chronic headaches, while the prevalence rate remains more among women than men. • Joint Pain: Joint pain frequently arises due to physical injuries, overuse, infections, loss of cartilage, and aging. The symptoms may present themselves through persistent pain, stiffness, and swelling around the affected joint. The most common chronic joint pains American adults experience include arthritis, bursitis, and repetitive motion injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis or golfer’s elbow, runner’s knee, and shoulder impingement. Arthritis affects more than 54 million American adults, limiting nearly 24 million people from performing their daily activities to the fullest. Those who have arthritis can experience terrible, tearing pain that never ends, particularly when left neglected or treated ineffectively. The elderly, overweight people, and those leading a sedentary lifestyle may be more at risk.


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• Nerve Pain: Patients with nerve issues experience varying symptoms and describe their pains differently. For example, some describe it as a stabbing feeling, while others feel a prickling or burning sensation. Sciatica, carpal tunnel syndrome, diabetic neuropathy, and trigeminal neuralgia are common neuropathic problems affecting individuals. The pain arises when the nerves become damaged due to trauma, compression, viral infections, alcoholism, surgery, metabolic health conditions, and medication side effects. Discovering Treatments for Chronic Pain Chronic pain can be disheartening and difficult to manage without professional assistance. It can have a significant impact on your personal life and your professional performance, affecting not only your physical well-being but your mental health as well. You do not have to live in chronic pain. Seek help. Pain relief medications can be helpful for chronic pain; however, it is not in your best interest to mask the symptoms. Instead, it is best to address the underlying cause(s). State-of-the-Art Therapies At the Breiner Center for Whole-Body Health, we offer individualized treatments to relieve chronic pain, such as: • Shock Wave Therapy: Extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) leverages the power of a multifaceted device helpful in getting the body to heal itself, thereby providing faster pain relief and a long-term solution. It is an FDA-cleared, noninvasive procedure producing high-energy acoustic waves applied directly to the targeted site via a gel to help facilitate energy flow. It has been in use for over 30 years and very often provides almost immediate results. ESWT increases blood circulation, physiological response, and metabolic activity, thus creating an actual healing environment in which your body heals the damaged area, making way for healthy cellular rejuvenation almost immediately. ESWT enhances one’s ability to move, helps reduce inflammation, aids in maintaining a higher quality of life, and helps mitigate pain-related emotional problems. Sports medicine practitioners swear by its benefits to treat even the most demanding conditions such as tennis and golf elbow and shoulder pain. People often see long-lasting results in just a few sessions. Extracorporeal shockwave therapy might be the solution if you experience chronic pain and other treatments haven’t solved your problem. 


Natural Nutmeg September/October 2021

• Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP): This autologous (meaning it comes from the patient’s own body) treatment for chronic pain relief has shown significant results over the years. More and more people today are finding comfort through this all-natural technique. What makes it so beneficial? Human blood contains vital growth factors, and PRP therapy employs those to boost one’s well-being. PRP utilizes injections of the patient’s platelet concentration directly into the impacted site. Platelets are extracted from your blood, concentrated in an FDA-cleared device, and then injected to accelerate your body’s healing cascade, addressing joint, muscle, tendon, and ligament problems. The results are quicker and safer than regular surgical procedures since PRP is noninvasive and uses your blood. PRP is also favorable over injectable steroids and can be re-administered multiple times for better efficacy. PRP therapy is the future of chronic pain management, and experts suggest combining Platelet Rich Plasma therapy with other approaches to address each patient’s unique symptoms and conditions. The synergetic effect of combining PRP and ESWT can provide outstanding results.

• Biomagnetic Pair Therapy (BPT): Ideally, our bodies should be slightly alkaline. Less than optimal pH leads to cellular aging, pain, inability to heal correctly, infections, and general ill-health. Biomagnetism is a unique and highly effective therapy offered in our center. We use BPT to identify organs or tissues that are out of normal polarity. Placement of magnets, 1,000 to 4,000 gauss, on biomagnetic pairs at select points on the body allows restoration of proper pH. The magnetic field of the applied magnets affects hydrogen ions and thus the pH in the cells and structures. Restoring the correct pH creates an inhospitable environment for pathogens, improving immune function, reducing inflammation, and creating homeostasis. We have seen remarkable results using BPT to treat acute and chronic pain and numerous other maladies. • BEMER (Pulsed Electromagnetic Energy Regulation): BEMER is a precise and highly effective modulation of amplitude and frequency. The BEMER device is designed to improve circulation, thus allowing our bodies to function correctly. Approximately three-quarters of our blood vessels are microvessels, and optimal blood flow through these microvessels is necessary for our well-being. BEMER applications boost blood flow, thus benefiting the body’s nutrient and oxygen delivery, stress reduction, relaxation, and even sleep management. Without the proper performance of the microvessel circulation, most of our cells are denied the nutrients required to function optimally. Our office has used the BEMER to enhance overall health and wellness, and we find the BEMER a great complement to our other healing therapies for patients experiencing chronic pain. • Neurotherapies and Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy: Your brain tells you that you are experiencing pain. Neurotherapies, including EEG neurofeedback, transcranial magnetic electrical stimulation, and brain rejuvenation protocols, heal the injured brain. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a medical treatment that utilizes oxygen to enhance healing. Patients breathe concentrated oxygen inside a pressurized chamber, allowing more oxygen to enter the bloodstream and cerebral spinal fluid. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy improves blood flow dramatically, allowing for improved function in the brain and increased stem cell production and circulation. The rise in oxygen concentration facilitates a reduction of inflammation and promotes healing. HBOT and neurotherapy can offer recovery from the pain associated with reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD), chronic regional pain syndrome (CRPS), fibromyalgia, peripheral neuropathy, and Lyme disease and its co-infections (which can cause lingering chronic pain in various muscles and joints and other health problems). Combined with neurotherapies and other modalities, hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a powerful tool to help calm areas of the brain dealing with chronic pain. • EMSCULPT NEO: This new technology combines high intensity focused electromagnetic energy (HIFEM) with Radio Frequency (RF). This combination of HIFEM and RF has increased muscle mass by 25% and decreased fat by 30% in targeted areas. People experiencing pain due to lower back problems may not have the ability to perform exercises necessary to strengthen the abdominal muscles. However, now you can exercise while lying on a treatment table—each thirty-minute noninvasive EMSCULPT NEO session applied to your abdomen is equivalent to 20,000 crunches! Increasing your core strength may play an essential role in reducing or eliminating lower back pain.

• Dental Treatment: Many dental conditions can result in chronic pain. Temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ) (often referred to as TMD) is usually due to malocclusion or disharmonious relationship between the upper jaw and the lower jaw and is often the cause of headaches, neckaches, shoulder aches, and backaches. TMJ can throw off the whole spinal alignment and even cause knee pain, leg pain, and hip pain, which can be alleviated by bite adjustment or repositioning of jaws to put them in alignment through orthodontics, appliances, and sometimes with surgery. Root canals and jaw cavitations (holes in the bone that harbor toxins) can cause chronic sinus problems, facial or head pain, trigeminal neuralgia, and more. They can be a source of bacteria and their toxic by-products, and can interfere with energy meridians, causing pain in far distant sites from the actual root canal or jaw cavitations. Dental extraction of the root-canaled tooth may be necessary to alleviate pain caused by the tooth. Treating the whole person with various modalities that may include homeopathy, ozone, and biomagnetic pair therapy often resolves the pain without surgical intervention. • Other Therapies: Many of the modalities we offer also encompass treatments for pain. These include homeopathy, acupuncture, traditional Japanese reiki, photobiomodulation, pulsed electromagnetic field therapy (PEMF), and microcurrent therapy. It takes time to assess your body and create an effective treatment plan. Please remember, everyone is unique and there are many natural approaches to treating pain. Pain is often multifaceted, and therefore the resolution of the problem may require a multifaceted approach. Dr. Adam Breiner practices naturopathic medicine at Whole-Body Medicine at Breiner Whole-Body Health Center in Fairfield, CT. Patients from Connecticut and surrounding states seek his care for Lyme disease; brain injuries such as stroke, concussions, and TBI; and enhanced brain performance.. Visit www.wholebodymed. com or to schedule an appointment, call 203-371-8258 ext. 2. EMSCULPT NEO and other body contouring devices are available at Sculpted Wellness, located in our office suite. To learn more, visit See ads on page 28 and 42. Mark A. Breiner, DDS, is a pioneer and recognized authority in biological and holistic dentistry. Dr. Breiner is a health visionary with over 30 years of experience helping patients find solutions to baffling, unresolved health problems—even those seemingly unrelated to dentistry. Dr. Breiner practices dentistry in Fairfield, Connecticut., or to schedule an appointment, call 202.371.0300 ext. 1. See ad on page 28.


Welcome to Natural Nutmeg’s Second Annual

Healthy Aging Guide! A

ging is not the end of the world and actually comes with benefits. The sad part is too many people wait until they are told they have a limited amount of time left to live before they really start living.

Our hope is this Healthy Aging Guide will be an amazing resource for readers 50+ who truly want to redefine what it means to age, as well as a resource for how to help elderly parents.

The following section contains Connecticut’s vetted resources of practitioners and businesses that provide services to people 50+ and their caregivers. Our mission is always to help people navigate these important choices so they can age gracefully and positively, which is now more important than ever.

How Music Helps You Heal By Neil Anand, Owner, ComForCare Home Care


usic is primal to life and expressed by each of us every day, whether through dancing to a favorite tune, keeping rhythm with a pencil, or remembering a special time when hearing a forgotten melody. It is central to our lives and is embedded in our culture, defining how we acknowledge milestones, rites of passage, and celebrations, as well as providing comfort, transformation, and inspiration. Music links us to our world and provides a pathway back to our past. A number of research studies have looked at the therapeutic use of music as an important adjunct to medical treatment and have found that music: • Promotes trust and safety • Promotes healing • Alleviates pain • Helps manage stress and anxiety • Helps with neurological impairments • Promotes socialization • Helps us communicate Regarding music and dementia, according to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, music has power—especially 20

Natural Nutmeg September/October 2021

for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. And it can spark compelling outcomes even in the very late stages of the disease. When used appropriately, music can shift mood, manage stress-induced agitation, stimulate positive interactions, facilitate cognitive function, and coordinate motor movements. This happens because rhythmic and other wellrehearsed responses require little to no cognitive or mental processing. They are influenced by the motor center of the brain that responds directly to auditory rhythmic cues. A person’s ability to engage in music, particularly rhythm playing and singing, remains intact late into the disease process because, again, these activities do not mandate cognitive functioning for success. Other resources: • Tune in at 1 pm every weekday for live music (hits from the 30s to 60s) on our Facebook page, • Access Joyful Memories playlists on SoundCloud (search for Steve Toll Joyful Memories), https://soundcloud. com/steve-toll-183664833/sets/ inspirational-songs.

• If you are a rehabilitation center, assisted living facility, adult day center, or senior center, contact the ComForCare office at 203.612.8966 to request a FREE live music program that your residents can enjoy. Portions of this article were originally featured on The views expressed in this post are the author’s own. To learn more about home care, visit or call 203.612.8966 for a no-obligation consultation. ComForCare Home Care is a premier provider of in-home care, helping older adults live independently in their own homes and continue to do all the things they love. The home care company is committed to helping people live their best life possible and offers special programs for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. ComForCare Home Care, serving Fairfield and New Haven Counties. 1700 Post Road, Suite E5, Fairfield, CT 06824.; See ad on page 32.

How to Be Fabulous Over 50

By Sharon Sklar, BFA, LMT, CAR


ging is a natural part of life. Physiologically, during a process called sarcopenia, our bodies lose 3–5% of our muscle mass after age 30. Our fascia, the connective tissue that webs our bodies together, also begins to dry out and become tougher, creating more stiffness and further inhibiting the way our muscles move. Exercise alone is not the answer; there are many factors involved in supporting healthy aging: eating well, sleeping well, exercising well, reducing levels of inflammation, and most importantly—getting Rolfed! It’s time to look seriously at what you can do to help yourself. Better sooner than later, better something than nothing. As a part of the normal aging process and especially during and after menopause, collagen weakens the tissues of the body—muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia, veins, and arteries. This creates instability, which precipitates falls, creates more muscle strains and sprains, and puts joints in unstable positions. Many older people complain of problems with balance, which is largely due to this body-wide instability. Benefits of Rolfing Rolfing, over the ten-session series, is all about creating stability and balance throughout the entire body. This process works directly on soft tissue injuries, which create scar tissue that block normal muscular movement, repatterning the way we function and move. The deep manipulation of the fascial network that Rolfing provides brings the body back to its more normal fluid state. In general, Rolfing helps with stiffness that develops at this time of our lives, helps to increase range of motion, and increases energy levels. People who have been Rolfed say they experience being more grounded, feeling more present, and have a

In general, Rolfing helps with stiffness that develops at this time of our lives, helps to increase range of motion, and increases energy levels.

more positive attitude toward aging because they simply feel more fluid and free. Breaking a sweat a few times a week can help keep muscles strong, help prevent cognitive decline, boost metabolism, keep blood sugar levels stable, and reduce risk of death. But healthy aging also involves creating certain lifestyle changes that prevent or decrease chronic inflammation. The Importance of Reducing Inflammation The process of inflammation is a natural result of some acute threat to the body. Swelling is part of a healthy immune reaction to an injury, such as with a sprained ankle. White blood cells increase and swarm the area. Ice and elevation do help; the body heals. The bigger problem lies with prolonged or chronic inflammation, which releases cortisol. The flooding of cortisol creates a fight-or-fight response, increases the amount of belly fat and fluid, and increases chronic stress, which can then attack internal organs. Chronic inflammation can also cause joint pain, memory loss, and affects the nervous, endocrine, and reproductive systems, opening us to the disease process that could be the beginning of the downfall of our health as we age. Our typical American diet includes advanced glycation end products (AGEs), which are present in most animal products. They are tied to development of chronic inflammation and certain metabolic and degenerative diseases and are linked to blood sugar-related disorders like diabetes. AGEs can be stored in the blood stream for up to

72 hours; smoking cigarettes will increase the amount of AGEs and are linked to the inflammatory process. Grilling, frying, and barbecuing increase AGEs in food due to the high temperatures of those cooking methods. It is best to reduce your consumption of red meat and decrease those high temperatures by poaching, stewing, and braising— all methods of slow cooking on low heat. Increasing anti-inflammatory foods such as blueberries, blackberries, kale, dark red grapes, spinach, cauliflower, mustard greens and other dark leafy greens, avocado, coconut, walnuts, almonds, onions, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, turmeric, red wine in moderation, and fish can have a significant impact on your overall health. More healthy lifestyle changes include: • avoid refined and processed foods and simple starches such as sugar and white flour • avoid a high-fat diet and unhealthy fat (saturated and trans fats), and reduce salt intake • stop smoking and avoid secondhand smoke • limit or avoid alcohol consumption • get more sleep and exercise Exercises for Improved Health Our bodies require more care to handle some of the issues we face as we age. The focus of exercise should be on building core strength so that we can lift groceries or grandkids; on building leg strength so we can climb stairs and walk with ease; and on increasing balance so we can navigate the world. Weight-bearing exercises help build bone as well. Here are eight of the best exercises to do after 50 that help build muscle, get your heart pumping, and help lose weight:


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Natural Nutmeg September/October 2021

1. Planks: Develop core strength that stabilizes your hips and back. Place forearms on the floor with shoulders directly over elbows, hands flat on floor or making a fist. Extend your legs into a plank; do not raise your butt or lower your stomach. Hold for 30 seconds, working up to 60 seconds and/or work up to straight arm planks. 2. Bird dog: Improves core strength and challenges balance. Start in the tabletop position with knees bent, hip width apart, and shoulders directly over wrists. Keeping square, raise right arm in front of you and extend left leg behind, keeping weight centered. Arm and leg should be in a straight line. Hold a few seconds, change to other side. Perform 3 sets of 10 reps. 3. Single-leg toe touches: Improves stability and balance. Stand with weight on right foot, left foot slightly raised off ground, arms by your side or straight out to shoulder height. Stabilize core and keep your spine long, bend your right knee and touch right toes with left hand, at the same time extend your left leg behind you to help you balance. Press right foot firmly into ground to stand back up, bringing your left foot next to right foot. Repeat 8–12 reps per leg. 4. Box squats: Enforces functional movement of sitting down and getting up. Place a box or chair behind you, stand with feet slightly wider than hip width apart. Engaging your glutes and core, slowly lower your butt back and down, keeping weight into your heels. When butt touches the box or chair, push weight into your heels to come back up. Repeat three sets of 8–12 reps (you can use weights, resting one end of dumbbell lightly on shoulder with elbows straight); change tempo to vary workout. 5. Deadlifts: Improves posture and ability to lift things off the ground. Stand with feet hip distance apart. Place a kettle ball between arches of your feet and grip it with both hands, being sure your shoulders are above your hips and hips are above your knees. Engage core and keep your back flat. Push your shoulders back and down to activate your lats, press feet into ground, then lift kettle ball up to stand. Return kettle ball to ground with a straight back, do not allow chest to fall past hips. Perform three sets of 12 reps. 6. Standing shoulder presses: Aids in lifting heavy boxes, carrying big bags, and lifting overhead. Stand with feet shoulder width apart with a dumbbell in each hand. Raise to shoulder height with arms at 90-degree angle, engage core, press upward with biceps by your ears. Avoid arching your back or using legs. Return weights to your shoulders. Perform three sets of 8–12 reps.

7. Glute bridges: Strengthens pelvic floor and glutes, reduces incontinence. Lie on your back with feet flat on the floor and hands at your sides, tighten glutes, press hips up toward ceiling, lifting your butt off the floor and keeping torso in a straight line. Hold a few seconds, lower hips, repeat several times (to increase difficulty, bring your feet closer to your hips and add a resistance band above knees). Repeat three sets of 12 reps. 8. Resistance band arm rotations: Helps with upper body mobility. Stand with feet shoulder width apart, each foot on a resistance band and each hand holding an end of a band. Pull bands apart toward your sides and rotate your arms forward and back, keeping shoulders back and down as you move. Perform three sets of 12 reps. 9. Try these exercises, stay active, keep moving, and shift to eating more consciously with a largely plant-based diet. As a Rolfer, I have coached my clients over the 40 years of my practice with healthy tips such as staying hydrated, eating a good amount of protein, and showing them ways to move, sit, and sleep that will keep their bodies in balance. That is what we all want—a body that is adaptable, strong, and ages easily and gracefully. Your health and well-being depend on your participation in your own life and your commitment to yourself. Enjoy! "I am not a gym person. I seek the outdoors and have some favorite things I do regularly. As my job is very physical, applying pressure to bodies to find release patterns all day, I forego many of the typical traditional exercises. Dr. Ida Rolf, the founder of The Rolfing® Method of Structural Integration that I have practiced for forty years, did not believe in standard exercise, so I think I was influenced at a young age. She believed in activity—hoist that hay bale, rake that yard, carry those bags of weeds, sweep those floors, lift those groceries. I have the belief that our bodies support us well when we use them well." Sharon Sklar is in her 40th year of private practice as a Certified Advanced Rolfer®. State licensed and the only Rolfer in Central CT, Sharon works with direct manipulation of the soft tissue of the body 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, and the traumas of life. Call 860.561.4337 for more information or to schedule a consultation. See ad on page 28.

Erectile Dysfunction (ED): Natural Ways to Address Its Complexities By Erika Dworkin, BCHN®


id you know that erectile dysfunction (ED) is very common among American men of all ages and that the risk of its development increases with age? Understanding its causes and adopting natural ways to address its complexities can help tackle its power to undermine self-confidence, quality of life, and intimate relationships. Erection Physiology A penile erection is essentially a spinal reflex that is generated through the complex interplay of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems (reflex aspect), combined with local genital stimulation and/or stimulation from erotic or emotional stimuli that involves the limbic system of the brain (psychological aspect). Various neurotransmitters released from the endothelial cells and excitatory nerves in the penis: • facilitate erectile function, including nitric oxide (NO), dopamine, glutamate, ATP, acetylcholine, oxytocin, ACTH (stimulates cortisol production), and MSH; • inhibit erectile function (noradrenaline, enkephalins, GABA, and endocannabinoids); or • both facilitate and inhibit erectile function (serotonin). The balance among these molecules controls the degree of contraction of the smooth muscle of the corpora cavernosa (CC)—the two columns of spongy tissue that run through the penile shaft—and in turn controls overall penis function.

Erectile dysfunction is a multidimensional but common male sexual dysfunction that involves an alteration in any of the components of the erectile response, including organic, relational and psychological…. [It] can have deleterious effects on a man’s quality of life; most patients have symptoms of depression and anxiety related to sexual performance. These symptoms, in turn, affect his partner’s sexual experience and the couple’s quality of life. —Erectile Dysfunction, Nature Reviews Disease Primers

By initiating production of another chemical messenger called cGMP (cyclic guanosine monophosphate), NO triggers a biochemical cascade leading to vasodilatation (relaxation and expansion) of penile blood vessels, This allows for increased blood flow into the CC, which then stretches, compressing the primary site where blood exits the penis (the subtunical venules) and causing the resistance to blood flow out of the penis, thereby producing and maintaining an erection. What Is ED? ED is the inability to achieve or sustain a penile erection for satisfactory sexual performance. According to the Cleveland Clinic, the failure to get an erection less than 20% of the time is not abnormal and generally does not require treatment. However, such failure more than 50% of the time is generally diagnosed as ED and can be a symptom of a more serious underlying problem, including: 1. vascular disease, including cardiovascular disease (CVD) and blocked blood flow from various factors such as atherosclerosis (note also that hypertension, a risk factor for CVD, may damage blood vessels and disrupt blood flow to the penis);

2. neurological disorders resulting from multiple chronic conditions, including diabetes, MS, lupus, Parkinson’s disease, and the aftermath of stroke; 3. psychological problems such as severe stress/PTSD, depression, low libido, relationship problems, and performance anxiety; 4. male hormone deficiencies (testosterone, DHEA); 5. physical injury to the penis, including that causing Peyronie’s disease, or prostate, bladder, or colon conditions and surgeries; and 6. obesity and metabolic syndrome. Many common medications can also cause ED, including those prescribed for cholesterol (statins); pain/inflammation (NSAIDs); blood pressure (including diuretics); acidrelated conditions (Zantac, Tagamet, Pepcid); allergies; depression; irregular heart function (antiarrhythmics); anxiety (tranquilizers, opiates); muscle tension (muscle relaxants); hormonal imbalance; cancer (chemotherapy prescriptions); seizures; and recreational drugs (alcohol, nicotine, illicit drugs such as marijuana and cocaine).


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PDE5 inhibitors (PDE5Is—Viagra, Levitra, Cialis) are the primary allopathic treatment for ED. These medications inhibit the phosphodiesterase-5 enzyme, which otherwise naturally destroys cGMP, the above-mentioned critical mediator of vasodilatation, penile blood flow, and resulting erection. Like all prescriptions, PDE5Is have potential side effects, including headache, indigestion, priapism (painful, prolonged erection lasting more than six hours), and vision problems, including blindness. While they are appropriate for men with vascular ED, they do not work for 30–40% of men suffering from ED who also have neurological disorders or low testosterone. PDE5Is are also inappropriate for men with CVD and can interact with other medications, including nitrates (nitroglycerin), alpha blockers (Flomax), and drugs that inhibit the detoxifying cytochrome CYP3A4 pathway [certain antibiotics, antifungals (Ketoconazole), Cimetidine, Ritonavir)], which consequently decrease the metabolism, increase the plasma concentrations of PDE5Is, and can thus exacerbate the severity of ED drug side effects. Beneficial Lifestyle Changes As with every health condition, the first and foremost line of defense against ED is making improved lifestyle changes. Research

has shown that the most valuable modifications include exercising on a regular basis; following a healthy diet, especially to manage cardiovascular conditions and weight (obesity nearly doubles the risk of ED); eliminating smoking and recreational drug use; minimizing alcohol intake; reducing prescription medications when possible and advised by a physician; psychological therapy/consciousness management; and increasing open communication and emotional connection with one’s sexual partner. Evidence-Based Nutritional Therapies Both the reflex and psychological aspects of ED can be addressed with natural therapies, as can its underlying health issues. Space limitation allows only brief discussion here of some remedies that can address the physical elements of ED. • Natural Vasodilators: The conditionally essential amino acid L-arginine is a highly effective nitric oxide (NO) precursor. L-citrulline, a nonessential amino acid that the kidneys convert to L-arginine, can also enhance vasodilation. Prelox, a combination of L-arginine and Pycnogenol, from French maritime pine bark, has been proven in five independent clinical studies to combat ED. In this writer’s clinical practice, L-arginine combined with beet root, another NO precursor,

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has proven highly effective against ED in several men. In one 1998 study, 120–240 mg of Ginkgo biloba extract was associated with a 76% improvement in antidepressant-induced ED. According to the researchers, ginkgo enhanced all four phases of the sexual response cycle: desire, excitement (erection and lubrication), orgasm, and resolution (afterglow). • Natural PDE5 Inhibitors: One natural alternative to prescription PDE5 inhibitors is epimedium (horny goat weed), used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine as an aphrodisiac and for ED treatment. Icariin, one of its key bioactive components, not only inhibits PDE5 but also has testosterone-like properties and is associated with increased NO. Other PDE5Is include pomegranate (supported by limited research) and Thai ginseng (kaempferia parviflora root/black ginger), shown to enhance erectile function and response time, penile size, intercourse satisfaction, and sexual desire. • Natural Testosterone Boosters: Ample research has shown tongkat ali (longjack), a centuries-old remedy used in traditional Southeast Asian medicine, to be an effective testosterone booster.

In a 2012 one-month study of 76 men, researchers found that 200 mg of this herb significantly improved serum testosterone in most of the subjects. While there is some evidence that panax ginseng may increase testosterone, it has principally proven otherwise able to improve penile rigidity, libido, and satisfaction in men with ED. The nonessential amino acid L-carnitine may have testosteronelike effects and has been associated with enhanced erection quality and function, orgasm, and overall sexual well-being. • Other Natural Remedies: Additional evidence-based remedies that can improve ED and related health issues include: • Maca (preliminary research indicates it increases libido). • Yohimbe/yohimbine (alone or with L-arginine). • Vitamin D (deficiency can be a risk factor as it contributes to vascular dysfunction/arterial stiffness). • Vitamin E (increases CC pressure, improves NO-mediated relaxation, enhances endothelial cell function, scavenges free radicals, improves NO-mediated relaxation, preserves nerve function).

• B vitamins including folate, B6, B12 (may reduce ED by keeping homocysteine levels in a healthy range). All of the remedies discussed here should be used with caution and, ideally, with the guidance and approval of a healthcare practitioner, especially in the presence of various chronic health conditions, including neurological, cardiovascular, and psychological disorders. See this full article online at The statements in this article have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, are for educational purposes only, and are not intended to take the place of a physician’s advice. Submitted by Erika Dworkin, Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition®, former owner of the Manchester Parkade Health Shoppe in Manchester, CT (www.cthealthshop. com), which operated for 65 years. Erika is available for nutrition consultations and to speak to groups, including on Zoom. She can be contacted by phone at 860.646.8178, or by email at edworkin@ All statements in this article are practice- or scientific evidencebased and references are available upon request. See ad on page 3.

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The Importance of Massage as We Age

By Elisabeth Johnson


or most of us, aging is not something we look forward to; the impact it has on our physical (and mental) health is dramatic. As kids, all we want to do is grow up. Our bodies rebound quickly when injured. Our skin is fresh and new. Then, during our magical 30s and 40s, wrinkles start to pop up and we begin to see our first white hairs. Some of the more dreaded aspects of aging come when our 50s and 60s hit and we start losing muscle tone, our skin becomes thinner, and the list of medications to deal with our ailments rises. Even our sleep is affected—we have neither the same quality nor quantity of sleep as we did when we were younger. And over the next few years many of us become less mobile—we are often alone and sometimes need a caregiver to help with our daily activities. During this time, we start to lose one of the most crucial and therapeutic ways of dealing with aging: the power of touch. The Need for Human Contact Years ago, I worked briefly in a facility helping people who were interested in making the transition to assisted living. It was shocking to see so many people navigating this transition on their own and just how lonely many of them were. Many residents had very few—if any—visitors. It was heartbreaking to see how many of these wonderful people did not have any positive touch outside of someone helping them to get dressed or brush their hair. One of the often-unspoken aspects of aging is loneliness and depression. As kids, when we were hurt, we would run to our parents for a hug and felt safest there. As aging adults, however, we don’t always have a safe place to go for that comforting touch. Many older adults lose their life partner; they are suddenly sleeping alone and no longer have that constant hand to hold. As we become isolated due to age, it heightens that sense of loneliness—loss of that physical touch has a tremendous impact. The Power of Massage Massage is one of the most powerful tools we have at our disposal to help us navigate the impacts of aging. Massage with the elderly is a different style of massage—it tends to be much lighter and gentler and increases blood flow, which helps with circulation. When we start to lose circulation and our muscles are tight, we tend to fall more often and get more injuries. Massage not only helps increase circulation but helps loosen tight muscles and create more stability and balance as well. Massage can significantly aid in preventing falls just by helping us take care of our bodies


Natural Nutmeg September/October 2021

and move better. The onset of arthritis may be another difficult aspect of aging, and massage has benefits there as well—through gentle manipulation and stretching of our muscles, joints, and soft tissue, massage can help reduce inflammation and even help provide greater range of motion. Massage sessions with the elderly are typically shorter sessions, generally lasting thirty minutes and often performed while the client is in a wheelchair, chair, or bed. Sessions are a safe place where there is no judgment and a licensed massage therapist can spend time working on relaxation, range of motion, and pain management and help circulation, stimulate the lymphatic system, and even help the client to sleep better. While those are all wonderful effects, for me nothing is better than the smile we see at the end of a session knowing that for a moment, you made someone’s life better and offered some relief. They felt cared for as a person and had their needs attended to. Let Us Help You At Cortiva Institute, we have a group of very loyal clients come in for massages with our students, a good portion of whom are seniors who come every week. They tell us that coming to the institute is the best part of their week, when they can just relax and come out feeling better than when they came in. It is not uncommon to hear that our clients consider us family because of the care we offer. Our students take a special group of classes called Special Populations in which they are trained how to properly massage someone who is elderly, as there are precautions that need to be taken and contraindications that need to be considered to keep their client safe. All our clients are special to us, but those who have lived full lives and need some extra TLC can be some of our favorites. It is a privilege to be able to help and give back. During the days of COVID, as we are told not to touch and to stay away, to be able to provide some relief and touch therapy in a safe and caring manner is one of our greatest joys. Elisabeth Johnson is the Campus Director of Cortiva Institute in Cromwell, CT. Cortiva offers a robust Massage Therapy and Esthetics program as well as CEU courses for advanced training. She can be reached at 860.667.1886 or at Elisabeth resides in the Stony Creek section of Branford with her boyfriend Chris and his three kids—Chloe, Katie, and Max, and their dog, Juniper. See ad on page 38.

Nine Tips for Healthy Aging By Donna Bunte, MSOM, LAc


e are all aging—but we are also living longer lives, so it is important to keep our bodies and minds as healthy as possible. Here are a few tips to help us get the most out of those years. 1. Be Active It doesn’t need to be a marathon. Even walking is a great for physical and mental health. Keeping active helps keep us fit and allows us to be independent in continuing to do the activities enjoy as we grow older. 2. Get Enough Sleep According to Chinese medicine, it is important to go to sleep before 11 pm. Since the liver and gallbladder do their work from 11 pm–3 am, it’s best to be asleep during those hours. It has also been proven that we experience the deepest part of our sleep in the beginning of our sleep cycle; this is called the slow wave sleep (SWS) and during this time less cortisol is produced, allowing us to fully rest and recover. 3. Eat Whole Foods It is best to have a diet of fresh vegetables, fruits, and whole grains along with protein such as fish. These foods create an alkaline state in the body that we need to stay healthy and fight disease. Foods such as red meat, sugar, processed foods, and refined carbohydrates create an acidic environment that can cause inflammation, disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and cancer. 4. Stimulate Your Brain Alzheimer’s disease is on the rise in the U.S. Using your brain to learn new things has been shown to slow cognitive decline. Start a hobby, learn a new language, play bridge, or do crossword puzzles—anything that interests you and keeps your mind active.

5. Get Involved in the Community Whether it is volunteering or becoming part of club or a committee, being a part of a group can create positive feelings and prevent depression and loneliness. Make friends, make an impact, and help improve your community and your relationships. 6. Manage Stress Find tools to remove or relieve stress from your everyday life. Meditation is a very effective way to calm the mind, and tai chi and qigong are ancient techniques using slow-moving exercises and breath work to slow the heart rate, become mindful of the body, and get out of our head. 7 . Herbal Medicine • Ashwaganda: An adaptogen that helps manage stress, boosts brain function, and lowers blood sugar and cortisol levels. • ECGC found in green tea: A compound that fights inflammation, boosts memory, lowers cholesterol and risk of stroke, helps type 2 diabetes, and helps weight loss. • Curcumin found in turmeric: An anti-inflammatory herb that helps with arthritis, IBS, and autoimmune responses. • Ginkgo: Known as the brain and memory herb, ginkgo can help prevent Alzheimer’s disease. 8. Vitamins Here are a few important vitamins to keep us young and healthy: • Calcium: In an absorbable form such as calcium lactate or calcium citrate are the most absorbable. Calcium

carbonate, like that found in antacids, is less absorbable and therefore not ideal. Foods with calcium include hard cheese; unsweetened low-fat yogurt; leafy greens such as collard greens, spinach, and kale; seeds such as chia, sesame, poppy, and celery; beans, especially wing and white beans; lentils; sardines and canned salmon; almonds, tofu, and edamame; amaranth grain. • Vitamin B12: This vitamin helps make blood and nerve cells and can be found in foods such as meat, fish, eggs, and dairy. • Vitamin D: We need vitamin D to absorb calcium. The sun is our best source of vitamin D we absorb less as we age, so a supplement is a good idea. We can get additional vitamin D from salmon, sardines, and mackerel. • Vitamin B6: Vitamin B6 is required to make energy and fight germs, but we make less as we age. Chickpeas, fatty fish, and liver are great sources of B6. • Magnesium: This mineral helps us to stay calm, helps prevent muscle cramps and constipation, and aids in building protein and bone. • Probiotics: Since most of our immune system is in our gut, we need to keep our gut flora at optimal levels to fight infection and keep our digestive system functioning properly. Fermented foods like sauerkraut, kombucha, and some yogurt or kefir have various levels of probiotics. Supplements are a good choice as well.


It is best to have a diet of fresh vegetables, fruits, and whole grains along with protein such as fish; these foods create an alkaline state in the body that we need to stay healthy and fight disease.

• Omega 3s: These essential fatty acids are important for the brain and eyes and can help protect against Alzheimer’s. An important benefit from omega 3 is inhibiting or reversing inflammation such as arthritis, IBS, and other autoimmune disease. We can find omega 3s in fatty fish, walnuts, canola oil, and flaxseed.

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• CoQ10: CoQ10 is an antioxidant important for energy production and protection from cellular damage. • Zinc: Used to fight infection and inflammation and for eye health, zinc can be found in a variety of sources, including shellfish—particularly in oysters—as well as in legumes (chickpeas, lentils, beans), seeds (pumpkin, sesame), and nuts (pine nuts, cashews, peanuts, and almonds). 9. Stay Positive A positive attitude changes the way we perceive the world around us. It changes our cells and our chemistry. Be grateful and write your positive feelings down in a journal. Sometimes we just need to be reminded that the glass is half full. My favorite, simple way to promote happiness is remembering to smile because it actually creates positive hormones in your brain. Smile to others but most importantly, smile to yourself every day. Donna Bunte of Donna Bunte Whole Health is an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and Chinese medical practitioner in Stamford, CT. Since 1995, Donna has been helping busy people manage their stress, diet, and health concerns using coaching, nutrition, herbal medicine, and mind–body techniques in order to reach their health goals. She can be reached at 203.253.9885 or health@ Visit www.donnabunte. com and find her on Facebook at and Instagram at See ad on page 34.


Natural Nutmeg September/October 2021

Aging Gracefully By Sculpted Wellness


ne of the plagues of aging is falling—even perfectly healthy seniors with no pre-existing medical problems have a greater chance of taking a tumble than someone younger. Nationwide, an older (over 65) person is in the ER every eleven seconds due to a fall. By age 85, two-thirds of all injuryrelated deaths are due to a fall. In 2013, approximately 50% of traumatic brain injury cases were due to elderly. Since 2014, twenty-nine million elderly Americans sustained injuries resulting from a fall, amounting to health costs of $31 billion! Furthermore, 95% of hip fractures happen in our older population, with the risk growing and increasing as you age—and the fastest-growing age group in the United States are those over 85. Protect Yourself from Taking a Fall Many seniors are on medications that may sedate them, impairing awareness of their surroundings and their reaction times to imminent danger. For example, an unnoticed cord or pet may be in their path and when encountering these obstacles, they cannot react fast enough to keep themselves from tripping. Two-thirds of falls don’t happen from a height; rather, they occur on level ground when the person slips or trips over something. Movement disorders such as MS or Parkinson’s disease can add to the risk of falling and factors such as exhaustion due to suffering from insomnia or nocturia can slow reaction times. Obesity can also be a factor in falling, since those with abdominal fat are more likely to have this problem. Another problem is lower body weakness due to a lack of physical activity. In one sense, this weakness leads to fear of falling, which increases the odds of having an accident.  Decrease the Odds of Falling as You Age  Naturally, treatment of insomnia and nocturia, maintaining proper weight, and, if possible, being off prescription drugs that impair mental acuity are all helpful in decreasing the odds of a fall. Of course, addressing these issues when younger would be most beneficial, but it is never too late to improve your health. The issue of exercise and strength is of course also in play. Maybe you can’t get to the gym regularly, or ailments such as arthritis or back problems prevent you from doing as much as necessary for good abdominal and leg strength.

At Sculpted Wellness, we offer EMSCULPT NEO, a breakthrough, non-invasive technology that simultaneously delivers heat and magnetic energy for targeted fat reduction and muscle growth. On average, there is a 30% fat loss and 25% increase in muscle mass after only four treatments. Results are maintained for a year unless, of course, you increase the amount you eat. By targeting the abdomen and the thighs, you can build core strength, thus decreasing your chances of falling.   One senior client who, due to her instability while walking, previously required the aid of a grocery cart when shopping, even if only shopping for one or two items, reports she can now walk through Stop and Shop without a cart. She says, “You may not think this is a big deal, but it is!” Another older client said that he wanted the strength to bend down and pick up his grandchild, which he can now do. These results were easily accomplished by lying passively on a table with specialized HIFEM+RF (High-Frequency Electromagnetic and Radio Frequency) treatment paddles applied to specific areas. EMSCULPT NEO treatments are painless and non-invasive. With just four 30-minute sessions, these sessions are equivalent to approximately three months of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts in the gym.  Urinary Incontinence (UI) and Aging Urinary incontinence studies show that about half of older women and approximately 25% of older men suffer from UI. Common causes and contributing factors to UI for both men and women are obesity, alcohol, smoking, citrus fruits, caffeine, constipation, neurological conditions like MS and Alzheimer’s, tumors, and aging. For women, childbirth and menopause are significant factors; for men, an enlarged prostate can contribute to UI. There are different types of UI, with stress incontinence and urge incontinence being the main types. Stress incontinence refers to urinary leaks from the stress of laughing, sneezing, coughing, or lifting something heavy. Urge incontinence is when you have a sudden intense urge to urinate and may not be able to make it to the toilet. Frequent urination may have you always looking for a bathroom and is a problem that can interfere with sleep.



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UI is a growing problem as our population increases in age; it may be embarrassing, can lower self-esteem, and interfere with one’s sex life. There are various treatments to help urinary incontinence, including limiting fluid intake; avoiding alcohol, caffeine, chocolate, citrus fruits; and losing weight may all be helpful. Training to hold your urine for increasingly longer intervals and scheduling toilet times may be beneficial. For men, shrinking the prostate may be helpful. UI Due to Weak Pelvic Muscles Common recommendations may be strengthening Kegel exercises, drugs to calm or empty the bladder, surgery for women to create a sling from their tissue, or a synthetic mesh to support the pelvic floor. Now, there is a “magic” chair offered by Sculpted Wellness for men and women called the EMSELLA, a completely unique system to treat the entire pelvic floor and delivers thousands of contractions per session. Patients remain fully clothed while sitting on the EMSELLA chair; electromagnetic waves at various frequencies cause all the pelvic floor muscles to contract, resulting in the strengthening of all the pelvic floor muscles.

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Natural Nutmeg September/October 2021

EMSELLA is FDA-approved to treat incontinence. There is no pain; sessions are non-invasive with no downtime after treatment—just sit and relax. After six sessions over three weeks, 95% of treated patients reported significant improvement in their quality of life. Men find they don’t have to stand at the urinal for as long or urinate as frequently, and two-thirds of women reported significant reduction or complete cessation of hygienic pads. One patient found that after only two treatments, she could be on her rebounder without any leakage! Another beneficial side effect that many males and females report is enhanced sexual function. Women report reduced pain during intercourse, increased lubrication and arousal, and more satisfaction with orgasm intensity. As one client stated, “water your plants, not your pants.” Consider sitting on the magic chair! Aging is often accompanied by incontinence and limits your freedom. Start now so that your older self will thank you for taking the steps to age gracefully. Consider strengthening your muscles, especially your abdominals, buttocks, and thighs, as well as reducing fat. Always aim for health, no matter your age. If you are troubled by these problems (no matter your age), visit to learn more, or call 475.221.1000 to schedule a consultation. Sculpted Wellness offers innovative treatments that enhance physical, aesthetic, and health needs. You are never too old to become younger! See ad on page 28.

Facial Cupping Is the Hottest Anti-Aging Trend By Kristina Mozzicato, LMT, BCTMB


efore the 2016 Summer Olympics, many of us in the U.S. had never heard of cupping. We learned that swimming champion Michael Phelps received regular cupping sessions as part of his performance and recovery regimen. Some benefits of cupping include a decrease in muscular tension and inflammation and promotion of cellular repair after working out, which decreases recovery time after undergoing strenuous training. In addition, cupping improves lymph flow, decreases pain and restriction of movement, releases and softens scar tissue and adhesions, and sedates the nervous system.

• reduction/elimination of sinus headaches • minimized appearance of scars • enhanced absorption of facial products The Process of Facial Cupping

What happens during a facial cupping session? First, the face, neck, and décolletage are cleansed and oil is then applied. I prefer to use the Medicupping vacuum therapy machine since it provides a more consistent amount of suction and is therefore much easier to control than using the manual facial cups. Tiny glass But cupping isn’t just for athletes and is not cups specifically designed for treatment of the face limited to the body. Facial cupping has become the Facial cupping is are used to gently lift the delicate tissue. The suchottest new trend in anti-aging. Jennifer Aniston, essentially a natural tion is very light and relaxing and since the cups are Natalie Portman, Uma Thurman, Eva Mendes, and face-lift that constantly moving, red or purple cupping marks will Kim Kardashian are just a few Hollywood celebrities rejuvenates the skin. not appear. It is important to find a massage therapist who have embraced regular facial cupping sessions who has been trained in proper cupping usage, safety, as an important part of their anti-aging routines. and techniques through an in-person/hands-on course and who is certified in facial cupping. Additionally, Benefits of Facial Cupping facial cupping should not be performed on sunburned skin and is Cupping (and facial cupping) has been in use since 3000 BC in not recommended for pregnant women. If you have received Botox Egypt. Since then, women in Europe and Asia have been using cupCosmetic or a dermal filler, it is recommended to wait a few months ping to improve the health and appearance of their skin—and for before receiving facial cupping since it is possible for the product to good reason. There are a myriad of benefits to taking advantage of migrate to other areas of the face. this all-natural treatment. Facial cupping is essentially a natural faceYou will notice a difference in your skin after the very first seslift that rejuvenates the skin. The gentle suction of the cups saturates sion; however, regular sessions will produce a cumulative result— the tissue with fresh, oxygenated, nutrient-dense blood, draining with every session, you will notice an improvement in skin texture lymph fluid from the face and neck and thereby reducing local inand diminished lines and wrinkles. The recommended protocol is flammation and congestion. The constant movement of the cups on a series of facial cupping treatments twice a week for four to six the skin stimulates cells responsible for producing collagen, which weeks. Afterward, maintenance sessions are recommended either is a vital skin protein that decreases with age. Results include: once or twice per month, depending on the individual’s skin. • tighter, firmer skin Cupping as a Safer Alternative • reduced puffiness and swelling Today, some popular choices for improving the appearance of skin • brighter, glowing complexion come with their own side effects and risks. There are always risks • toned chin, jawline, neck, and décolletage involved with any surgery, and surgical face lifts can produce a drastic and unrealistic result. Although Botox Cosmetic injections • diminished fine lines and wrinkles are considered to be relatively safe, minor short-term side effects • decreased muscle tension are possible. These may include pain, swelling, or bruising at the


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injection site, headache, fever, and chills. Injections in the eye area may cause dry eyes and excessive tearing. According to the FDA, “BOTOX Cosmetic may cause serious side effects that can be life threatening, including: problems breathing or swallowing. In some cases, the effect of botulinum toxin may affect areas of the body away from the injection site and cause symptoms of a serious condition called botulism, including loss of strength and muscle weakness all over the body, double vision, blurred vision, and droopy eyelids.” Injections of dermal fillers also pose some risks. The most common side effects include bruising, redness, swelling, pain, and itching. Chemical peels usually result in redness of the treated skin, which can potentially last for a few weeks. Swelling after a laser skin resurfacing treatment is normal, and sometimes steroids are prescribed. Itching, stinging, skin dryness and peeling are typical. Skin redness usually fades within a few weeks. In contrast, facial cupping is clearly the safe, healthy, natural alternative. There is no bruising, redness, pain, downtime, or other side effects or risks, and it does not involve knives or injections of synthetic materials. Not only does facial cupping reduce the signs of aging—it is actually healthy for you and is very relaxing.

Kristina Mozzicato is a Licensed Massage Therapist and Board Certified in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork by the NCBTMB. A 2009 graduate of the Connecticut Center for Massage Therapy, she is also certified in Cupping, Facial Cupping, and ACE MediCupping™. Kristina is the owner of Abundant Health Massage Therapy & Wellness in Farmington, CT and was named a Natural Nutmeg Magazine 10Best Award recipient in the category of Massage and Bodywork. For more information and convenient online booking, please visit: See ad on page 30.

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Treat Symptoms Before They Arise with Anti-Aging Medicine

By Henry Sobo, MD


octors are trained to diagnose medical conditions and apply the correct treatment for those diagnoses. In anti-aging medicine, doctors attempt to do more than treat disease after it has arisen; they also apply methods that may slow or prevent the development of disease. There are symptoms of aging that may not be diagnosed as a medical condition, and anti-aging medicine focuses on improving those symptoms. Anti-aging medicine aims to enhance a person’s health and reduce the symptoms of aging, not simply treat disease as it arises. Three key aspects of anti-aging medicine discussed here are: 1. Optimal health practices for disease prevention and management. 2. Hormone evaluations and the associated anti-aging treatments. 3. Supplements and peptides. Disease Prevention and Management with Optimal Health Practices Prescription medicines alone can’t manage and reduce the incidence of major diseases. Diet, exercise, and other lifestyle factors have been extensively researched and shown to work effectively against those diseases. One published research study from the Journal of the American College of Cardiology showed that greater than 80% of heart attacks occurring in men may be preventable simply by leading a healthier lifestyle. As defined in the study, a healthy lifestyle includes maintaining healthy weight and diet, exercising, not smoking,

The benefits of hormone therapy include a better general sense of well-being, more quality sleep, and improved skin tone.

and consuming only modest amounts of alcohol. The lead author of the study, professor Agneta Akesson, PhD, states, “It is not surprising that healthy lifestyle choices would lead to a reduction in heart attacks. What is surprising is how drastically the risk dropped due to these factors.” A review of multiple research studies on senior athletes (ages 65 and up) entitled The Effects of Fitness on the Aging Process showed the anti-aging effects of exercise. Researcher B. Vopat, MD, says, “A lot of the deterioration we see with aging can be attributed to a more sedentary lifestyle instead of aging itself.” Getting enough quality sleep is vital to maintaining a healthy lifestyle as well. Poor sleep has been associated with an increase in the development of cardiovascular disease, dementia, and a host of other conditions. Sleep can be improved by some of the anti-aging treatment factors discussed here: hormones, peptides, and exercise. Is Hormone Therapy Right for You? The use of supplemental hormones helps maintain more youthful hormone levels. The sex hormones estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone all decline over time, which can be accepted as a normal part of aging. However, low hormone levels

can lead to symptoms of unwellness that can have a significant impact on people’s lives. There is a choice between accepting this unwellness as a part of aging or doing something about it by evaluating hormones and using them for their benefits. Many symptoms attributable to aging can be directly related to diminishing hormonal levels, including fatigue, loss of strength and muscle tone, musculoskeletal aches and pains, and decreased libido and sexual enjoyment. The benefits of hormone therapy include a better general sense of well-being, more quality sleep, and improved skin tone. Hormones can also help achieve weight loss, and we can therefore enjoy the many benefits of staying slimmer rather than gaining weight as we age. The use of thyroid therapy is limited in most medical practices to those patients shown by blood tests to have a severe thyroid hormone deficiency. Many people with borderline-low results are not treated even though they suffer from symptoms of an underactive thyroid: weight gain, fatigue, constipation, and more. This is another example in which an anti-aging doctor’s approach is helping someone with their overall wellness and not waiting for the condition to worsen severely before treating it. Smart Supplemental Nutrients and Peptides The possible list of supplements that could be considered anti-aging is extensive. Among the nutrients and herbs whose antiaging benefits are supported by research are


curcumin, resveratrol, acetyl-L carnitine, bacopa, vitamin B12, vitamin D, folate and the other B complex vitamins, vitamin C, phosphatidyl serine, and essential fatty acids. Individualization with a healthcare provider offers your best chance to receive a regimen tailored especially for you. Additionally, levels of nutrients can be obtained through lab testing so that your supplementation is more scientifically based.

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Peptide treatments are available for: • Skin care. Peptide-containing creams can reduce wrinkles and maintain healthy skin, making the skin more resistant to sun damage.


• Thinning hair. Peptides can be applied locally to the scalp or added to a hair restoration procedure such as PRP (Platelet-Rich Plasma) to promote hair restoration. • Weight loss. Peptides are utilized to burn fat and enhance muscle, making a healthy diet and exercise regimen more successful, especially for those who have found it difficult to lose weight due to their metabolism. Why wait until you’re so sick you have no choice but to be treated with multiple medications? Employ anti-aging medicine to stay healthier longer. Henry C. Sobo, MD, is a member of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine. More information can be obtained at and Dr. Sobo can be reached at his office in Stamford, CT, at 203.348.8805. See ad on page 36.




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The Pathway to Self-Care By Beverley Blass, Healthy Living Coach


ealthy aging is our birthright and yes, it can be yours at any age! We have been conditioned to believe that aches, pains, body issues, brain fog, emotional issues, incontinence, decreased libido, and so on, automatically come with aging. This is an old paradigm and an unrealistic way of thinking. For more than a century, our belief systems have been connected to a society that has focused on disease rather than health; on treating illness rather than preventative healthcare. The messages we are being sent have not been supportive of healthy living, nor do they invite and empower you to take good care of yourself. But you do have a choice in how you care for yourself. Choosing Self-Care In the 1980s when I was in my 20s, I was diagnosed with an incurable autoimmune disease. My whole life changed when I met and made the choice to be under the care of Dr. Baum, a vibrant 92-year-old naturopathic physician working in New York City. He taught me the importance, value, and benefits of self-care and through his teachings and listening to my own inner voice, I became healthy and strong. To this day, I remain healthy and follow his guidance, sharing all I have learned with family, friends, and clients around the world. I have stayed committed to self-care and the world of holistic health ever since.

Self-care equals healthier aging, requiring a commitment to your life that can feel scary and overwhelming. The first steps, no matter how small, can make a big difference. When we take care of what’s inside, the outside changes, too. There is never a more important time than now to make those desperately needed changes in our life. There are steps you can take at any age to give yourself the gift of better health. It has been documented that if you commit to thirty days of a new activity, it will become a part of you. The resulting changes in your body, mind, and/or spirit can be amazing! Science has proven that the gut–brain connection is real. If you clear your mind and body of old hurts, resentments, obsessions, blocks, depression, anxiety, and hopelessness, you have much more ability to stand your ground, feel your center, and have an open heart for yourself. You are able to communicate clearly and express your needs and aspirations. This helps with the connection to the Invisible that creates our world and all the different dimensions here and beyond. The first step toward self-case is mindfulness—noticing everything in and around you. It may not feel easy, but it will lead you in the direction of wholeness. It is an embodied approach, inclusive of every part of you without judgment—body, mind, heart, and soul. In this way, you can

begin to see you have many parts, feelings, thoughts. Become aware by slowly listening to how you talk to yourself. How mindful are you as you eat or go through your day-to-day life? What are you doing to nourish your gut? What are you doing to nourish your soul? Steps Toward Self-Care 1. Take a moment to just breathe. Be still and sit quietly. Can you feel your center? Close your eyes and breathe down into your belly. Imagine stepping out of yourself through your belly. Turn around and look at yourself. With a loving heart, tell yourself sitting there, “I am right here with you. We can do the steps together.” You can support, encourage, and inspire yourself and be your own best friend— make a commitment to yourself right now. Then slowly step back into your belly and just breathe. In the stillness, feel your connection to your own heart and spirit. You are choosing health. 2. Challenge yourself to eat a plant-based diet for thirty days. Your gut will love you. You will be shocked to see discomfort, bloating, and gas start to dissipate. 3. Stock your refrigerator with organic fruits and vegetables, salad ingredients, whole grains, nuts, seeds, Impossible or Beyond plant-based meat, tofu, beans, lentils.


4. Water. Living water—structured water— is the key to health. After thirty days, you are able to take the next steps because you feel so good you don’t want to stop. 5. Grow your own! Start small with lettuce and kale, even a tomato plant, in the garden or in your apartment in containers. Yes, it can be done! 6. Walk 20 minutes every day. No, don’t run. Be gentle through this. 7. Cleanse and detox the body. Empty the “garbage.” Renew and rejuvenate with simple filtered water. It’s called colon hydrotherapy. (This was—and still is—an important key in my rejuvenation.) 8. Drink green shakes every day! Kale, spinach, or any leafy greens mixed with fruits such as berries, banana, apple.

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9. Connect and communicate all those feelings, emotions that are sitting in your gut. Reach out to a person you feel safe with to do this. Buddy up with them. See a therapist or a living-healthy coach who is trained in body–mind therapy. Find a living-healthy support group. We need community focused on healing and healthy aging to create our dreams of a better world.

Dr. Henry Sobo

Choose one and begin. When done together, you have the potential to live fully in good health until you are very, very well-aged! Aging is inevitable. Healthy aging is a choice you can make at any age. Heal your gut. Heal your mind. Heal your heart. It’s a process. Changing you changes the world.

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

Beverley Blass is a Healthy Living Coach, Detox Specialist, and Professional Colon Hydrotherapist who helps you identify and manage the challenges of living a healthy life. She helps you integrate the mind body–spirit connections leading toward wholeness as a human being. A graduate of Hartford Family Institute’s extensive psychotherapy training program, Beverley works as a guide and facilitator to help you heal, transform, and grow as you learn to approach life with compassion and awareness. Beverley offers in-office and teletherapy sessions. For more information, please contact Beverley at 860.206.1129 or through her website, Beverley Blass Integrative Health is located at Hartford Family Institute, 17 S. Highland St., West Hartford, CT 06119. See ad on page 32.

Help Your Grandchildren Prepare for a Successful Future By Caroline Wetzel, CFP®, CDFA®, AWMA®


eptember is a big month for many families: Students are back in school and Grandparents’ Day takes place on September 12th. In honor of these annual traditions, the following is an anecdote about how I recommended that loving grandparents use 529 college savings plans to meet both their estate planning needs and help their grandchildren prepare for a successful future, academically and financially. Joan* and Peter* are proud parents and grandparents. While Joan and Peter do not have the luxury of living close to their families, they have the benefit of substantial assets that enable them to afford a comfortable lifestyle. They retired in their 50s from their respective careers and enjoy tremendous flexibility around how they spent their time and enjoyed their wealth. When we first started working together, I asked Joan and Peter what brought them happiness. Peter immediately responded, “Our family. Our family is very important to us.” As we developed Joan and Peter’s financial plan, I encouraged them to consider financial goals that they needed to address, such as daily expenses as well as financial goals they wished to experience over time, like sharing their wealth with others. Joan confided in me, “I’d like to give money to the family while I’m alive so that I can see them enjoy it, rather than wait until I’m dead and miss out on the fun.” Peter quickly chimed in, saying that he agreed— but he wanted to be smart about how they did it. With that vision, I proposed that they open and super fund a 529 college savings plan for each of their grandchildren.

How Much Can You Contribute to a 529 Plan Each Year? 529 college savings plans are tax-advantaged ways to save for education expenses.

What Are 529 College Savings Plans? 529 college savings plans are tax-advantaged ways to save for education expenses. For those familiar with retirement savings plans, 529 plans are like ROTH IRAs in that you benefit from favorable tax treatment if you follow certain rules. 529 plans are operated by states and institutions, and money in the accounts can be invested in a variety of ways. Contributions to the plans may be tax deductible to the owner of the plan on the state level. Earnings and withdrawals from the 529 plans are federal income tax-free if they are used on qualified education expenses. Qualified education expenses have expanded over time to include: • tuition, books, fees, and other supplies at the college and graduate levels • up to $10,000 annually in K–12 tuition expenses • $10,000 annually to repay qualified student loans Owners of 529 plans designate a beneficiary for the plan. If the beneficiary does not end up using the funds, the owner can change the beneficiary to another family member.

Since contributions to 529 plans are considered “gifts” to the beneficiary of the account, an individual can contribute up to the annual gift-tax exclusion—or $15,000 in 2021—to a beneficiary’s 529 plan before additional tax considerations. A couple that files their taxes as “Married Filing Jointly” can contribute $30,000. What Does It Mean to “Superfund” a 529 College Savings Plan? There is a special 529 plan funding strategy available called “five-year gift tax averaging” or “super funding.” It enables a donor to contribute five years’ worth of annual gifts all at once. This means that an individual taxpayer can contribute up to $75,000 to a beneficiary’s 529 plan in a particular year; a married couple filing a joint tax return can contribute $150,000. In exchange for making this gift, the donor cannot make any more gifts to the beneficiary for the next five years. And for the contribution to not be counted in the estate of the donor, the donor needs to live for five full years after making the gift. Do Grandparent-Owned 529 Plans Affect Financial Aid (FAFSA)? Grandparent-owned 529 plans are not reported on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). However, historically, cash distributions from grandparent-owned 529 accounts needed to be reported on the next year’s FAFSA. To avoid this, some grandparents were careful around when they made 529 plan distributions. It is


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important to note that FAFSA is changing and, once effective, cash support including distributions from grandparents’ 529 plans will no longer have to be disclosed. Why Are 529 Plans Attractive to Grandparents? Contributions to 529 plans: • Reduce grandparents’ estate tax exposure • Enable grandparents to retain control over the account, including: • How to invest the funds • What to use the funds for • When to disburse the funds • Whether to change the beneficiary

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* Joan and Peter are pseudonyms. The clients’ names have been changed and some details generalized for this article. Caroline Wetzel is one of Natural Nutmeg’s 10Best Winners for Business/Life Coach. Caroline is a Certified Financial PlannerTM (CFP®) and Vice President, Private Wealth Advisor with Procyon Private Wealth Partners, LLC. Procyon Private Wealth Partners, LLC and Procyon Institutional Partners, LLC (collectively “Procyon Partners”) are registered investment advisors with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). This article is provided for informational purposes only and for the intended recipient[s] only. This article may also include opinions and forwardlooking statements which may not come to pass. Information is at a point in time and subject to change. Procyon Partners does not provide tax or legal advice. See ad on page 36.

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Circling back to Joan and Peter, when I advised them that they could simultaneously do good for their children, grandchildren, and themselves, they were ecstatic. Joan and Peter could not wait to open the accounts, share the exciting news with their family, and witness their loved ones enjoy their wealth and set themselves up for academic and financial success, too. If you crave strategic, tax-aware advice on your financial choices like Joan and Peter, I am right here.


The Power of CoQ10 By Katy Firisin, ND, MSPT


oenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is an organic compound that is fast becoming my favorite supplement. Among its many functions is its critical role in ATP, or energy production of every cell in the body. In the body, CoQ10 is converted from ubiquinone to its active form ubiquinol and occurs in higher concentrations in our most vital organs, including the liver, kidneys, and heart. What Does CoQ10 Do for Us? Because of the role CoQ10 has in energy production and cellular metabolism, the areas of the body that it impacts could be innumerable. Found in the part of our cells called the mitochondria—known as the powerhouse of the cell and key to our energy production—CoQ10 is responsible for the conversion of nutrients to energy and helps us to absorb certain nutrients and essential vitamins. Current research supports anti-aging and other health benefits such as decreasing muscle wasting, maintaining skin health and protecting against the oxidative effects that cause skin damage, improving fertility, protecting brain health, and protecting DNA. Additionally, it has been shown to improve symptoms of fibromyalgia and may lower blood pressure and help ease migraines. Because many chronic and agerelated diseases are a result of the process of oxidation in the body, one of the most powerful properties of CoQ10 is its function as an antioxidant. We are more familiar with the concept of oxidation outside the body—when metal oxidizes, it rusts. When an apple oxidizes, it rots and goes bad. While oxidative stress is a normal process that occurs in the body, when unchecked it is the root cause of many adverse health problems. Oxidative stress has been associated with aging,

heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and some neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease. This is where CoQ10 comes to the rescue—it can reverse or slow this oxidative process, and may help mitigate side effects of chemotherapy and help our bodies to fight certain infections as well. CoQ10 and Aging With so much potential to have positive effects in our body, it is unfortunate that our CoQ10 levels begin to decline with age, typically after the age of 40. Additionally, CoQ10 is depleted by cholesterol lowering statin drugs, and the drop in CoQ10 may be attributed to the side effects we see with the use of statin medications. Despite the positive association with CoQ10 and heart health and that millions of Americans are taking these cholesterol-lowering medications that are, by conventional wisdom, supposed to “prevent” heart disease, it is curious that heart disease is still the number-one killer in the U.S. Therefore, most adults taking statin medications should be supplementing with CoQ10. Could the depletion of CoQ10 have more influence over our heart health than the statin drug itself? Some food for thought and an interesting point for further study may be whether the drop in cholesterol is more beneficial than the potential side effect of lowering this life-giving coenzyme. Heart Health, Decreased Cancer Risk, and Anti-Aging? Where Do I Sign Up? While the body can make some of its own CoQ10, what we are able to produce decreases as we age. We can augment our supply with a healthy diet that includes grass-fed and organic meats like beef, chicken, and liver; wild caught fish like herring and sardines; cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower and broccoli; organic eggs; and some fruit like oranges

and strawberries. However, diet alone is not likely to supply us with enough of this powerful compound or make up for the depletion as we age. Taking CoQ10 supplements is the best way to increase the amount of CoQ10 in our cells. While CoQ10 can be a pricier supplement than some, the quality of the product is critical to your ability to absorb and utilize this powerful element. Reading labels is key. You may see supplements that have the word “ubiquinone” on the packaging; however, the body will still have to convert this to the bioavailable form of ubiquinol and it is not able to do this as efficiently as we would like. A quality CoQ10 product will already be in the form of ubiquinol and therefore more bioavailable to our cells. Inevitably, the ubiquinol is therefore more expensive. While saving money is important, though, this is a place where investing in the right form of CoQ10 will make a significant difference. Though dosing will vary based on particular conditions, a typical dose for CoQ10 is 100–200 mg. It is imperative that you speak to a naturopathic doctor about proper dosing. Side effects are minimal and are not life threatening, but may include gastrointestinal upset, dizziness, and headaches. Furthermore, CoQ10 may interact with some medications, so it is recommended to follow up with your prescribing physician. Dr. Katy Firisin is an expert in gut health and healing as it relates to all disease. She is a naturopathic doctor and medical director at Coastal Natural Medicine in Southport. Call 475.999.2032 to set up a complementary 15 minute consult or book your appointment today. Some insurances accepted. See ad on page 30.


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Dr. Mark A. Breiner, DDS, FAGD, FIAOMT Fairfield, CT • 203.371.0300 A recognized authority in the field of holistic dentistry, Dr. Breiner treats patients for a myriad of dental concerns including Sleep Breathing Disorders, TMD, Mercury Toxicity, hidden Infections from Cavitations and Root Canals. “If you have unexplained symptoms that won’t go away, the answer could be in your mouth.” See ad on page 28. Dr. Steven F Hinchey, DMD South Glastonbury 860.633.6518 • Thank you to our wonderful patients who trusted our team to care for their improved oral health. Please let your family and friends know that a healthy disease-free mouth will help your overall health—it is all connected—the mouth and the body. And we can help you get there. See ad on page 24.

Collaborative Natural Health Partners Kate Zachau, DO, Julia Vitali, DO, Brad Brooks, DO, Amy Smith-Bassett, nurse practioner 315 E. Center St., Manchester, CT 06040 860.533.0179 • ProNatural Physicians Group 120 Webster Sqr Rd. Berlin, CT 06037 860.829.0707 • Sophia Natural Health Center 31 Old Route 7, Brookfield, CT 06804. 203.740.9300 • Tamara Sachs, MD Functional Medicine & Integrative Care LLC 15 Bennitt St., New Milford CT 860.354.3304 • Dr. Sachs prevents and treats chronic illness by uncovering and correcting the underlying root causes of your health concerns, while remaining respectful of the uniqueness and complexity that make us human. She comprehensively and thoughtfully creates personalized plans explaining why and how each area of your healing will be addressed.

HOLISTIC PSYCHIATRY David London, MD 567 Vauxhall St. Ext, #218, Waterford, CT 06385 Ph: 860.443.5822 Fax: 860.444.0581

HOMEOPATHY Abby Beale, CCH RSHom(NA) Homeopathy Healings • 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. Contact Abby to see if homeopathic care is appropriate for you. Appts over Zoom and Skype possible.

HYPNOSIS Diane Bahr-Groth, C. Hy., TFT, Dir. 1177 High Ridge Rd., Stamford, CT. 203.595.0110 • Joann Dunsing Hypnosis 204 Cherry St., Milford CT 06460 203.907.7710 • I am passionate about enabling you to get the changes you want! This is accomplished by empowering you through the skillful use of NLP Neuro-linguistic programming, EFT Emotional Freedom Techniques also known as Meridian Tapping and the relaxed focused state of Hypnosis. Michele P. Rousseau, MA, CH 267 William St., Middletown, CT 06457 860.704.9054 •

MASSAGE THERAPY Abundant Health Massage Therapy & Wellness Farmington, CT • 860.778.0315 Kristina Mozzicato is Board Certified in Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork by the NCBTMB and has been practicing massage for the past 12 years. She provides professional, therapeutic, customized sessions. In addition to massage, she offers cupping, medicupping, body contouring, Himalayan salt stone massage, and Reiki sessions. Convenient Online Booking. See ad on page 30.

NATUROPATHIC MEDICINE Dr. Adam Breiner, ND Fairfield, CT • 203.371.8258 Focusing on brain health and Lyme Disease, Dr. Adam Breiner offers cutting-edge therapies that include Hyperbaric Oxygen, Neurocognitive Therapies including sophisticated brain-imaging equipment to evaluate brain injuries and brainwave patterns associated with Metabolic Imbalances, Infections, and Allergies. Conditions treated include Concussions, TBI’s, Stroke, PTSD, ADD/ADHD, Anxiety, Depression and more. See ad on page 42. Collaborative Natural Health Partners Dr. Lauren Young, Dr. Ashley Burkman, Dr. Tonya Pasternak, Dr. Craig Fasullo, Dr. Carolina Padilla, ND, Dr. Carissa Fioritto, ND 315 E. Center St., Manchester, CT 06040 860.533.0179 • Other locations: 107 Wilcox Rd., Ste 103, Stonington, CT 06378 74 Park Road, West Hartford, CT 06119

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 • The Wellness Institute Marvin Schweitzer, ND 1 Westport Ave., Norwalk, CT • 203.847.2788 See ad on page 34. West Hartford Naturopathic Medicine Frank Aieta, ND 301 N. Main St., West Hartford, CT 860.232.9662 • See ad on page 36. Tara Tranguch, ND 16 Sherman Hill Rd., Woodbury, CT 203.707.1163 • Personalized health care for men, women and children that is effective and transformative. Dr. Tranguch is a licensed naturopathic physician focused on preventive care, digestion and environmental medicine. Specialized treatments include nutrigenomics, homeopathy and hydrotherapy. Experience health care that offers vitalism and joy. In-person and telehealth appointments available.  See ad on page 7.

NUTRITION Erika Dworkin, BCHN 860.646.8178 See ad on page 3. ®

Holcare Nutrition Vicki Kobliner MS RD 3 Hollyhock Lane, Suite 2A, Wilton, CT 06897 203.834.9949 •

PHYSICIANS, M.D. Natural Health & Healing, LLC Deanna M. Cherrone, MD 41 N. Main St., Ste 207, West Hartford, CT 860.677.4600 • Optimal Health Medical, LLC Henry C. Sobo, M.D. 111 High Ridge Rd., Stamford, CT 06905 203.348.8805 • See ad on page 34.

ROLFING® Rolfing®- The Art and Science of Body Change Sharon Sklar, BFA, MsT, Cert. Adv. Rolfer West Hartford • 860.561.4337 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 handson and educational approach which establishes order and balance after life's injuries, stress and accidents. Since 1981. See ad on page 28.

SCHOOLS The Graduate Institute 171 Amity Rd., Bethany, CT 06524 203.874.4252 • See ad on page 2.

SPAS/WELLNESS CENTERS Imagine Float 290 West Main St., Avon 860.255.7771 • See ad on page 22.

SPIRITUAL COMPANIONSHIP Lauri Ingram Hamden, CT • 203.435.5650 Services available in person, and via Zoom/Skype. Lauri Ingram is an ordained interfaith/interspritual minister, offering spiritual counseling, Crystal Dreaming, Crystal Light and Color Therapy along with workshops and ministerial officiant services.

THERMOGRAPHY April Beaman, RDH, CTT CT Thermography Farmington & Glastonbury, CT 860.415.1150 • CT Thermography specializes in Medical Thermal Imaging. Breast Thermography is a compression and radiation-free screening tool that’s used to monitor breast health to detect physiological changes that may be early warning signs of a disease process. As a Certified Thermographic technician, I help empower women to take a proactive approach following their thermography screening for optimal breast health. See ad on page 6.

YOGA STUDIO Sacred Rivers Yoga East Hartford, CT • 860.657.9545 Paula Scopino, E-RYT 500 hour, CIAYT, 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 Therapy.) See ad on page 18. 41 41

September/October 2021

HAPPENINGS Wednesday, September 8

Tuesday, October 5

Wednesday, October 20

Psychic/Spiritual Development with Joyce St. Germaine, M. Ed., CHt., RYT-200. 6:30–8pm. Meeting in-person again! (as well as Zoom). 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! $25 ($20 for elders over 65 and veterans) The Sacred Journey, 29 Davis Road, Burlington. Pre-registration required. 860.675.9706.

Boosting Breast Health Naturally with April Beaman, RDH, CTT. 7–8pm FREE Zoom webinar With 1 in 8 women being diagnosed with breast cancer, we need to do all we can to prevent this disease in the first place. Health, including breast health is about being proactive and taking the steps NOW to ensure optimal health and longevity. Join this webinar to learn self-care techniques and detox practices for improved, overall breast health. To register, please visit ctthermography. com/events or

Essential Oils for Breast Health with April Beaman, RDH, CTT. 7–8pm FREE Zoom webinar Looking after the health of our breasts is crucial, and there is much a woman can do to keep her breasts healthy for a lifetime. For this, essential oils are a must! When it comes to the use of essential oils there are several that are beneficial, the question is, “which ones?” This question, and so much more will be answered during this webinar! To register, please visit https://ctthermography. com/events or

Wednesday, October 13


Sunday, September 12 Reiki Master/Teacher with Christine Cartwright. 9am–5pm. $400. Receive the Master Symbol attunement and learn to teach and attune others to all levels of Reiki. This is a one-day class with a required internship assisting in Reiki I and II classes. Participants receive a manual and certificate. Pre-requisite Reiki Level II. Held at Blue Heron Healing Massage, 80 Eastern Blvd, Glastonbury. To register, please call 860.716.2248 or visit

Tuesday, September 14

Psychic/Spiritual Development with Joyce St. Germaine, M. Ed., CHt., RYT-200. 6:30–8pm. Meeting in-person again! (as well as Zoom). 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! $25 ($20 for elders over 65 and veterans) The Sacred Journey, 29 Davis Road, Burlington. Preregistration required. 860.675.9706.

Saturday, October 16

Honoring Fall with Dan Lupacchino. Also Sept 28, Oct 5, and Oct 12. 7pm–8:30pm. $150. A 4-week online essential oil course celebrating the mystery and magic of the fall season. Connect with the powers of this liminal time of year to honor the ancestors, heal and prepare for the dark half of the year. Each participant will receive four (4) sample-sized bottles of essential oils via mail and downloadable digital workbooks. To register, please call 860.716.2740 or visit

Breast Thermography with April Beaman, RDH, CTT. 9:30–10am. Also Oct 28. FREE Zoom webinar How do you know if your breasts are healthy? Are you looking for a radiation-free breast screening? Have you considered Thermography to assess your breast health? Join us to learn about the benefits of Breast Thermography, the difference between Thermography & Mammography, and how this screening tool has helped thousands of women assess & monitor their breast health safely and effectively. To register, please visit ctthermography. com/events or

Wednesday, September 15 Shamanism with Joyce St. Germaine, M. Ed., CHt., RYT-200. 6:30–8pm. Also Oct 20. Meeting in-person again! (as well as Zoom). 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 and work with animal allies and spirit helpers, ancestors, and elemental energies. All dedicated and compassionate people who wish to initiate positive change in the world are invited. $25 ($20 for elders over 65 and veterans). The Sacred Journey, 29 Davis Road, Burlington. Pre-registration required. 860.675.9706.

IET Master Instructor Training with Dan Lupacchino & Christine Cartwright. Also Oct 17. 9:30am–6pm both days. Early Bird by September 17th $695, $755 after. $100 non-refundable deposit required upon registration. The Master-Instructor Level attunement expands, realigns, and restructures) your 12-strand spiritual DNA. The activation of the 6th pair turns on your ability to activate the DNA of others and attune them to the Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced Levels. In addition, learn Master-Instructor Level only healing techniques. Held at 80 Eastern Blvd, Glastonbury. To register, please call 860.716.2740 or visit ®


Akashic Field Healing from the 13th Octave. 7–9:30pm weekly. 20 consecutive weeks. All weeks required. $1600 or $400 monthly. Payment plans available. Akashic Field Healing is a profound modality where we access the quantum field or Akashic Records of each individual. These records are a collection of all information, individually and collectively, including past, present and all future potential. Through Akashic Field Healing, we have the ability to access any trauma that is stored there and that is directly impacting your life and limiting your access to your future potential. Spend 20 weeks with Eilis Philpott, Advanced AFT Practitioner and East Coast AFT Director, and learn a powerful and integral method of trans-personal psychology with quantum healing processes. Anyone can learn to use AFH as a personal and spiritual tool! Location—via Zoom. Contact info—, 203.767.5954 or

Thursdays Community Acupuncture. First and third Thursdays at 6:30–8:30pm. $30. Socially distanced and Covid safe! Performed by a board certified licensed acupuncturist specializing in chronic pain, anxiety and more. Please call to schedule at 860.430.5300 or visit ctrforholistichealthcare. com/for more information. Center for Holistic Healthcare, 1420 Main Street, Glastonbury.

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

We can help you get your health back in balance naturally with proven treatments, therapies and cutting-edge diagnostics. Adam Breiner, ND Brain Health Lyme Disease

David Johnston, DO Osteopathic Medicine Cranial Osteopathy

David Brady, ND, CCN Fibromyalgia Thyroid Conditions

Elena Sokolova, ND Oriental Medicine Female Health

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

Osteopathic Medicine Cranial Osteopathy Nutritional Assessment Zyto OligoScan (Micronutrient/Heavy Metal) IV Therapy Natural Hormone Therapy Thermography

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

Whole-Body Medicine, LLC

The Natural Approach for Optimal Health

501 Kings Highway E., Ste 108 | Fairfield, CT | 203-371-8258 | 42

Natural Nutmeg September/October 2021

Profile for Natural Nutmeg Magazine/Essential Naples Magazine

Natural Nutmeg September 2021  


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