Number 24, June 2011
Pacific Naturopathic Newsletter
2570 W. El Camino Real � Suite 111 � Mountain View, CA 94040 � (650) 917-1121   
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Answering Your Questions; New  Healing Services 


As a number of subscribers to this newsletter have noticed, we solicit questions from readers and try to answer them in good time. Many thanks to all of you, particularly our Hawaii readers,  who have submitted questions.  In this issue, Dr. Connie answers your questions about bio-identical hormones and flower essences, and introduces her new therapeutic passion, orchid essences, while Dr. Marcel addresses questions covering a wide range of topics.   


We are delighted to announce the expansion of our offerings at Pacific Naturopathic.  If walking into Whole Foods raises any question marks at all in your mind, or if you have been considering changing your approach to your nutritional regimen, think about spending some time with Sarah Rose.  Read about Sarah's nutritional counseling work, below.


We're also very excited to again promote the healing work that our colleague, Tushti Conti, brings into expression for her clients at Pacific Naturopathic.  Yes, our business is recommending our services, but Tusti's affordable, profound offerings are something else.  Read more about her below as well.  


And as always, Elijah Free shares his remarkable healing gifts at Pacific Naturopathic.  visit his website (below) to find out more..  


Finally, this time of year, with warm weather and a plethora of  fresh, local produce is also the perfect time to cleanse, rejuvenate, and just feel more vital and energetic.  Dr. Connie or Dr. Marcel can help you design a personalized cleansing program that works for you and enhances your experience of life.  Simply phone our office for an appointment.   


In This Issue
Dr. Connie on Bioidentical Hormones and Flower Essences
Dr. Connie's Musings on Living Tree Orchid Esences
Dr. Marcel Answers Questions From Readers
NEW!!! NEW!!! Sarah Rose Offers Nutrition Education and Health Counseling
Rapid Pain Relief With Elijah Free
Transformational Stress Reduction Services Offered at Pacific Naturopathic
Q&A For Men About Their Prostate Health
Hawaii Retreat Center One-Time Offer
Raw, Organic Macadamia Nuts: Yum Yum
Pacific Naturopathic Gift Certificate
An Invitation
Quick Links
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Drop in $10.00 per class
5 class card: $45.00
10 class card: $85.00
1st class free for first-time visitors  


Click Here For Details About Ananda Yoga 

Schedule an Appointment:
Pacific Naturopathic
2570 W. El Camino Real
Suite 111
Mountain View, CA 94040

The clinic is open M-F 9am-5pm.  The clinic is closed for lunch daily from 12:00 to 1:30 PM

 From BioIdentical Hormones to Orchid Essences


Connie Hernandez, N.D.


Shanti Rubenstone, MD


At Pacific Naturopathic, we receive many questions about and calls for bio identical hormones. These calls range from women wanting testosterone to increase their sex drive to men wanting testosterone to fix everything that ails them, to patients of both sexes requesting "natural hormones" rather than whatever prescription they've been given, to patients just wanting us to sign off on hormones recommended years before for reasons they can not now remember.


We're committed to accurate and appropriate use of bio-identical hormones, so we do like to be clear about what we're talking about and we do have a philosophy of prescribing. Bio-identical hormones are synthesized, just as are those patent prescriptive hormones. But bio-identicals are synthesized to be the same as that which is in your body (and are thus not patentable), whereas the "non-natural" hormones are synthesized to be different so that they can be patented and sold for profit.  In addition, the bio-identicals are provided in ratios of hormonal metabolites (as found in your body), and differ from conventional hormone replacement therapies in schedules and modes of administration. It's not just about translating one prescription over to another.


When considering bio-identical hormone replacement therapies, we take into account the balance of ovarian or testicular hormones with adrenal and thyroid hormones; issues of hormonal metabolism; and other influences on the patient's symptoms or the imbalance the patient hopes to correct. Very often, for example, testosterone levels in men are low due to over conversion to estrogen, rather than lack of testosterone. Low sex drive in women rarely responds to testosterone supplementation, while sex drive may improve with iron supplementation in anemic women or adrenal work in stressed out women or relationship counseling in unhappily mated women.  


Beyond diagnostic concerns, we have safety concerns with hormones, bio-identical or not, as we do with all supplements and pharmaceuticals. We monitor the effect of estrogens, for example, on cardiovascular markers, and on breast and endometrial tissue. To the extent that it is possible we follow Dr. Jonathan Wright's dictum of "copy nature, copy nature, copy nature."  We prefer the minimal effective dose of whatever it is that we prescribe. Minimal effective dosing in hormonal balancing could be anything from herbs or nutrients or energy medicines to less active metabolites of hormones to potent hormones, depending on the cause of the hormonal imbalance and the severity of the resultant symptoms.


Of late, we have discovered a new energy medicine which is particularly useful as an energy medicine enhancement to hormonal balancing. (See article below on Living Tree Orchid Essences.) Our hormonal prescriptions therefore might very well include a nutrient to address thyroid or adrenal function, progesterone capsules for anxiety and sleep concerns, and the Base Regulator orchid essence to enhance transformational energy work surrounding root chakra issues. Or just an orchid essence enhancement. Or just a botanical such as maca root for overall hormonal balancing. Or just estrogen in the form of estriol suppositories.  Or many other combination remedies. We are definitely not fans of formulaic one size fits all hormone replacement therapy!


Find out more about Dr. Connie's consulting services at:  


Dr. Connie's Musings...

Carnival-1200 orchid
Carnival Orchid 

Living Tree Orchid Essences

Many of our patients are familiar with the Bach Flower Remedies, the most well known of which is Rescue Remedy. These remedies were developed by Dr Bach, an English physician in the early 20th century, who started his career as a conventional physician, then moved on to homeopathy. At the end of his life, Dr. Bach ventured yet further into the realm of energy medicine, and developed and used flower essences alone to address all conditions of imbalance, whether physical, mental, or emotional. (The flower essences are not aromas or essential oils. They are energy medicines, containing the bio-electrical healing energies of flowers, suspended in water and preserved with alcohol, and taken as sublingual drops.)


clear mind orchid
Clear Mind Orchid 

As we have moved in consciousness and culture into an understanding of energy medicine, various lines of flower essences have flourished. An international conference was held at Findhorn (Scotland) in 1997, and essence lines from all over the world were presented, along with scientific research and clinical information. I was fortunate to be there, and to choose the essences we would carry at Pacific Naturopathic. Over time, we've added essence lines and found different lines to be of use for specific circumstances.


In general, I find the Bach essences to be most helpful in dealing with basic archetypical conditions such as depression, overwhelm, and jealousy. The California essences address the specifics of mental and emotional issues. There are numerous remedies, for example, to work with eating disorders... eating out of boredom, over eating as an old habit, eating as an addiction, and so on.  Australian Bush Essences are particularly useful for child behavior problems. Alaskan gem essences (made in the same way as the flower essences) stabilize the flower essence formulas, and help balance the major energy centers in the body. And so on


I am thrilled to have just added to our collection the Living Tree Orchid Essences, made on the Isle of Gigha in the Inner Hebrides. These essences are qualitatively different than our other essences, both because of the nature of the orchid flowers from which they are made and because of the technique by which they are made. Rather than using them as remedies to address a problem, these remedies work at the level of the energy body and energy centers (the chakras, which control the functioning of the  endocrine glands)  to enhance fundamental soul qualities, such as peace, calmness, wisdom, and joy. The essence names reflect the qualities they enhance (as the scientific names of the orchids are intense) I use "Secret Wisdom"  (Phragmipedium caudatum var. wallisii)  to facilitate deep inner stillness before meditating or after a busy day at the office and "Clear Mind" (Aeranthes grandiflora) for focusing mental work. Essences can be chosen through knowledge of the essences and desire to work with a quality or situation, through attraction to the flower (I have flower cards with beautiful photos of each orchid) or through vibrational means. When I choose through vibrational means, my essence of the moment is Carnival (Laeliocattleya hybrid), an essence which harmonizes spirit with body and senses. 


You might like to address an issue with a flower remedy, or choose your own orchid essence on your next visit!

secret wisdom orchid
Secret Wisdom Orchid



 Questions We Get Asked

Marcel Hernandez, N.D.

We like receiving health-related questions.  Here are a few of the questions that readers have asked over the past few months that might be of general interest.   


Are aluminum pots and pans safe to use?


Controversial research published years ago found that the brains of Alzheimer's patients had a higher tissue concentration of aluminum than the brains of non-Alzheimer's patients.  The unproven inference made was that aluminum and Alzheimer's are related.  According to the FDA, aluminum cookware is safe, as long as you don't cook high acid foods, like tomatoes, in it.


Aluminum occurs naturally in air, water, soil, plants, animals, foods and household products. More than half of all cookware sold today is made of aluminum, usually coated with nonstick finishes like Teflon or treated in some way to harden the surface and make it more scratch-resistant.  There is a plethora of information on-line about the health hazards of Teflon and other non-stick coatings.


In our home, we mostly use stainless steel, cast iron or ceramic cookware.  It just feels better to us to not use aluminum.


Is drinking red wine really a health benefit?


Recent studies say that drinking 6-10 ounces of red wine every day helps people live an average 3.8 years longer than those who do not indulge.  In fact, Researchers at Northwestern University Medical School have found that a chemical in red wine named resveratrol helps the reduce risk for heart disease. Resveratrol protects grapes and some other plants against fungal infections. It has been shown previously to have a number of potentially beneficial properties, including antioxidant, anticoagulant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer actions.  Cheers!


Are there negative health effects with diet sodas?


The full answer to this question could fill a small book. 


There is not one positive thing to be said about diet soft drinks.  A recent study showed that people who drank more than one diet soda a day had the same risks for developing heart disease as those who drank the sugar-laced kind.  Another study done in 2005 showed that people who drink diet soft drinks gain weight, even though they started diet drinks to lose weight.


By far, the worst constituent of diet sodas are the artificial sweeteners, which have been associated with birth defects, cancer, severe neurological disorders (MS, epilepsy, seizures) and a host of other conditions.


Why don't we hear about this?  Two reasons: BIG MONEY (billions annually in artificial sweeteners).  I know that future generations will look back on the artificial sweetener issue and judge it to be in the same category as giving oral doses of mercury for infections.


Should I get expensive reading glasses from an eye doctor or a cheap pair at Wal-Mart or Long's?


If you need the same level of correction in both eyes and don't have astigmatism or other vision ailments, there is no reason to pay big bucks for the same thing you can get off the rack anywhere.  Lens grinding technology is automated and cheap eyeglasses are the way to go.


Am I hurting myself by using sandals as my main pair of shoes?


Probably.  Around the house, at the beach or for short jaunts, they are OK.  But to wear them for a day of errands and running around is not a good idea. 


Many sandals do not have arches, offer no other support whatsoever, and often cause foot soreness and knee, ankle, hip, lower back and neck pain.  From the toes up, joint health is predicated on good support and foundational stability.  You'll save on doctor bills and physical therapy expenses by investing in and wearing good shoes.


Why does eating asparagus make my urine have strong odor?


Asparagus contains a harmless sulfur compound that breaks down into the stinky multi-syllabic substance in pee; that's the gist of it.  The plus side is that asparagus in chock full of folic acid, fiber and Vitamins A and C.  Lightly steamed and dipped in olive oil, lime juice and grated parmesan - yum yum.


 Have a question you would like us to address? Click here.

Find out more about Dr. Marcel's work with men at:

Eat Well to Live Well

Nutrition Education and Health Counseling


Sarah Rose

Sarah Flanagan


Do you feel like you have run out of healthy meal ideas?


Would you like to have more energy and vitality in your life?


Have you ever wanted something in your life, but felt like you couldn't achieve it on your own?


As a Nutrition Educator and Health Counselor, I can help you with all this and more!


Health Counselors are trained, knowledgeable advisors who provide ongoing support and guidance as you set goals and make sustainable changes that improve your health and happiness. As your Health Counselor, I will listen carefully and help you to navigate the world of contradictory nutrition advice to determine what changes are necessary for you.


Your personalized program will radically improve your health and happiness. Together, we will explore concerns specific to you and your body and discover the tools you need for a lifetime of balance.


As a client of my health coaching program, you will...

* set and accomplish goals in a way that is empowering and exciting

* work to achieve and maintain your ideal weight

* understand and reduce your cravings

* increase your energy levels

* feel great in your body

* learn about new foods and how you can easily incorporate them

* improve your personal relationships

* discover the confidence to create the life you want


To decide if health coaching is right for you, I invite you to schedule a free initial consultation with me. During this session, we will discuss your health and lifestyle to determine how I can best support you in achieving your goals.


To schedule an appointment with Sarah contact Pacific Naturopathic at 650-917-1121.


Rapid Pain Relief  

With Elijah Free

Elijah Free, MH, CMI, CMT  

Elijah Free

Elijah Free's approach to helping his patients deal with physical pain has been described as bordering on miraculous.  Elijah is also a Master Herbalist who designs and produces all of his own herbal products for his healing practice. He is an herbal product designer for Ridgecrest Herb Co. Elijah also holds a patent for his herbal fibromyalgia formula.   



To contact Elijah, please either call the clinic at 650-917-1121 or e-mail at [email protected].


To learn more about the healing work of Elijah Free, please go to his web sites:

Rapid Pain Elimination
Apprentice to Angels
Transformational, Stress Reducing, Feel Good Services Offered at
Pacific Naturopathic   

         La Stone Body Therapy with Ardell Hill

      la stone
You owe it to yourself to experience this, especially if you are at a time in your life when you really need to let go and de-stress so you can look at everything with a clear mind.  Ardell's work with stones is profoundly relaxing and transformational.  Ardell brings lovely, positive healing energy and a wealth of experience to her work.  To book a LaStone session with Ardell, please phone Pacific Naturopathic at 650-917-1121.  Sessions are $145 for an hour and fifteen minutes.  Gift Certificates are available.

Find out more about Ardell Hill 



The Bio Mat  


Individual Yoga Instruction

With Tushti Conti


biomat 2 stones 
Years of focused meditation and yoga practice allow Tushti to bring an inner calmness and spiritual loveliness to her work with people. With her BioMat work, she creates a soft, muted environment to float away in.  The Bio Mat is an affordable $45 per session.

ananda yoga
As a yoga instructor, Tushti has a reputation for being gentle and precise, and working at the level of her students.  One-on-one yoga sessions with Tushti are a very affordable $70/hour.  Tushti also teaches group classes at the Ananda Yoga Center.  Please see sidebar for class details.

To schedule an individual yoga session or a profoundly relaxing 30-minute BioMat session with Tushti please phone Pacific Naturopathic at 650-917-1121.  BioMat sessions are available on Wednesdays for a very affordable $45.  Personalized yoga sessions are 55 minutes long and cost $70.


 Thermography and the FDA

Normal thermog photo
Normal Thermographic Pattern

Recent posts from the FDA emphasize that they consider mammography to be the most effective and scientifically based screening method for detecting breast cancer early, and warn that they find insufficient evidence to approve breast thermography for primary cancer screening. Our opinion is and has always been that more information is better than less information. The anatomic information provided by screening methods such as mammography, ultrasound and MRI is complementary to the physiologic information provided by thermography. None of these screening methods are effective as stand alone screening for breast cancer. When there are palpable lumps or when breast thermography indicates a potential problem, we advise anatomic testing. When mammograms are equivocal, as in younger women or women with dense or fibrocystic breasts, breast thermography can provide both further information and a baseline from which deviation can be tracked. As we've noted many times, neither breast thermography nor mammograms can diagnose breast cancer... only breast biopsy can do that.

Find out more about thermography at Pacific Naturopathic at:


Thermography at Pacific Naturopathic

To Men Over Fifty:  

Your Answers to These Questions Can Save Your Life

Do you have:


1) need to urinate often at night

2) frequent or urgent need to urinate

3) difficulty in starting or stopping the urine flow

4) inability to urinate

5) weak, decreased or interrupted urine stream

6) dribbling at the end of urination

7) straining while urinating

8) a sense of incompletely emptying the bladder

9) burning or pain during urination

10) blood in the urine or semen

11) painful ejaculation

12) bone pain (especially in the back, hips, thighs or neck)

13) weight loss

14) fatigue

15) low red blood cell count (anemia)


If you answered "yes" to more than two of these questions, you need to be further evaluated by a doctor.  Questions 1 through 11 may fit a variety of conditions, mostly involving the prostate.  If you answered yes to any question between 12 and 15 as well, it is even more imperative that you find out as soon as you can what is going on. Dr. Marcel is available for consultation either by telephone or in the Pacific Naturopathic offices.  Please dial 650-917-1121 for an appointment. 

About Dr. Marcel's work:

Although Dr. Marcel addresses a wide variety of health issues in his practice, he specializes in digestive issues, holistic pediatrics and in men's health, especially as concerns hormonal changes (andropause) and prostate health.  For more information on Dr. Marcel's work with men, please see: Dr. Marcel's Work With Men.  Please phone the office at 650-917-1121 for an appointment.

The Window is Closing -- Limited Time Special Rate at Pacific Naturopathic  

Hawaii Retreat


Take advantage of this offer-- reserve now! 

Waipio Valley, with its Black Sand Beach, is just 4 miles from Pacific Naturopathic Retreat in Hawaii



When we were first thinking about having children, we though that we would wait until the timing was right.  Then a nun who was a close friend told us that if we did so, the right time would never come.  So throwing all caution to the winds, we began the process of conscious conception.  As it was, it took us ten years before we conceived, and only then to the magic of naturopathic medicine.


For the past year, many readers of this column have mentioned to us that they were going to come and stay at our retreat center on the Big Island.  Indeed, a few have come.  If you were ever at all considering coming, now is the time.  Changes are afoot (more on this in our next newsletter) and when you add the 25 percent discount (see coupon offer below), our rates have never been  lower.  


The coupon offer expires on June 30th for any reservation made for 2011.  We are already booked through the end of September! Phone or email now!   


See our websites for more details. Phone 808-775-1505 for reservations, or email    


[email protected]

Click HERE to Visit Our Hawaii Retreat on yelp 


Save 25%
at Our




Book before June 30 for reservations any time during 2011 and receive a 25% discount off our nightly rate. 

Hawaii Peace Garden Vacation Houses
Pacific Naturopathic Retreat Center
Offer Expires: June 30, 2011

  Raw, Organic Macadamia Nuts
Now Available at Our Office
Surprisingly Different and Utterly Delicious!
Quite simply, these are the best mac nuts you will probably ever taste. Regular visitors to our office who have discovered them put their names on our waiting list when we run out.

Why are they so good?  First of all, they are from special old-growth trees which produce nuts rich in heart-healthy mono-saturated oil, like that of olive oil.  Next, they are entirely harvested and processed by hand and slowly dehydrated at 115 degrees, preserving the integrity of the oil and maintaining the viability of the enzymes.  Most mac nuts are roasted, but not these.  They even look different, having a much darker color than conventionally grown nuts.

Macadamia nuts provide a wide range of beneficial compounds. They are a high energy food, full of protein and fiber and loaded with other important nutrients that, in concert, impact favorably on human health.

The nuts are vacuum-sealed for freshness.  You may either stop by our new office or have the nuts shipped to you.  Once you try them, you will be hooked. 

Once You Try Them, There is no Going Back to Commercially Produced Mac Nuts!

For Birthdays and Special Occasions, Give the Gift of Health
Gift Certificates For All Practitioners Available at Pacific Naturopathic

red ginger
Looking for a conscious, meaningful, caring gift for a birthday or special occasion? A gift certificate to a Pacific Naturopathic practitioner lets a special person know you really care about their well-being. 

Gift certificates for all practitioners and modalities offered at Pacific Naturopathic are available by phoning our front desk at 650-917-1121, or just stopping by.
An Invitation....


Because we would like to make this newsletter responsive to you and your needs, you are invited to send health questions you would like to see addressed to us at

[email protected]     


We would also like to invite you to share with other readers your experiences of health remedies that have worked surprisingly well for you.

A Little About us...

 At Pacific Naturopathic, we offer evidence-based, integrated approaches to most acute and chronic health concerns. Bone health, breast health, men's health and prostate care, hormonal balance for both women and men, elimination of all types of bodily pain -- both mechanical and metabolic -- acute and chronic, autoimmunity, cancer, cardiovascular health, inflammation, digestion, pediatrics, and metabolic cleansing are particular areas of interest to our practitioners. To encourage patient participation, we offer both guided self-help protocols and comprehensive doctor assisted protocols.  Our patients tell us they particularly appreciate our doctors, practitioners, and staff for our caring attitudes and commitment to service. Please phone 650-917-1121 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Shanti Rubenstone, MD