Number 34, April 2012
Pacific Naturopathic Newsletter
2570 W. El Camino Real � Suite 111 � Mountain View, CA 94040 � (650) 917-1121   
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Hormonal Balance for Men and Women:  Major Benefits for Your Quality of Life




Women come to see us complaining of hot flashes, night sweats, depression, anxiety irritability, sleep disturbances, mood swings, headaches, memory problems, decreased libido, vaginal dryness, loss of bladder control and other issues.  


Men come to see us complaining of loss of enthusiasm for life, decreased energy, slower mental functioning, low libido, mild to severe erectile dysfunction, muscle mass loss, increase in mid-section body fat, night sweats and trouble sleeping, irritability, bone loss, prostate problems and other issues.


Simply put: these are all often symptoms of the significant changes in hormonal balance which accompany biological aging.  Volumes of data clearly illustrate that many of these symptoms can be effectively managed by developing strategies to re-calibrate your body chemistry in response to objective laboratory evaluation of your current hormonal state. 


In this issue of the newsletter, Dr. Connie writes of how hormone balance impacts all levels of our lives, and clarifies the difference between "bio-identical hormones" and "natural hormones."  Dr. Marcel writes about how testosterone deficiency affects men's experience of life. Dr. Corrine talks about the interconnection of hormones and the role of stress relieving measures in bringing the system back into balance. 


A reminder that at Pacific Naturopathic we offer a number of excellent stress relief therapies, including the pain management magic of Elijah Free, the transformative La Stone therapy work of Ardell Hill, and the life-changing craniosacral balancing work of Dr. Corrine. 


--Dr. Connie and Dr. Marcel


Dr. Connie Muses on the Roles of Hormones
Dr Connie Defines Bio-Identical Hormones as Opposed to "Natural" Hormones
Dr. Marcel on How Testosterone Can Help Men Address Aging
Dr. Corrine on Hormone Balance and Stress
Rapid Pain Relief With Elijah Free
Hawaii Retreat Center: Revitalize and Energize in Paradise
Pacific Naturopathic Gift Certificate
Nutrition Counseling With Sarah Rose
Two Types of Thermograpy Offered at Pacific Naturopathic
Transformational Stress Reduction Services Offered at Pacific Naturopathic
Quick Links
Join Our Mailing List
Classes and Events

journey flyer 


 Journey to Wellness




 Connie Hernandez, ND


Shanti Rubenstone, MD


Nine-class series, Wednesdays, April 11 to May 30 

6-9 pm $120 ($20/class; drop-ins welcome) 








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

Dr. Connie's Musings...
Connie Hammock
One of Dr. Connie's Favorite Places to Muse is at the
Pacific Naturopathic Retreat Center in Hawaii




In the medical specialty of endocrinology, specialists diagnose and treat diseases of the endocrine glands and of the hormones. Patients often seek help from these specialists, but leave without diagnoses and thus without treatment. Unfortunately, you can feel quite unwell without having a diagnosable condition.


As the unwell person knows, it's not good enough to decide, simply because your numbers fall into conventional ranges on a lab test, that you're fine and that nothing can be done. Where is a person to turn in such a situation? Naturopathy and "functional endocrinology" address this type of situation by offering a wider perspective, by interpreting conventional tests in non conventional ways, by utilizing testing methods not yet in the mainstream of American medicine, and by providing integrative therapies.


fire of life orchid
Fire of Life

Functional endocrinology addresses glandular interrelationships, imbalances in hormones and hormonal metabolites, hormonal rhythms, developing conditions, bodily response or resistance to hormones, and optimal functioning. We consider, for example, that the thyroid, the adrenals, and the ovaries or testes are interconnected. The thyroid may have trouble converting thyroid hormone to its potent form when the adrenals are stressed. Stressed adrenals may put out inadequate amounts of the adrenal hormone DHEA, a precursor to estrogen and testosterone. And so on.


While we can sometimes solve a problem by replacing what is missing (see the discussion of bio-identical hormones in this issue), we often prefer to begin by nourishing a gland and encouraging the gland to do what it is that it is supposed to do. 


We also provide nutrients needed for favorable hormonal metabolism and for optimal conversion from one form of a hormone to another. That may mean a nutritional, botanical, glandular, or energetic (color, sound, gem or flower essence, homeopathy) nutrient. It may mean craniosacral, spinal manipulation, or other body work to free the energy flow through the gland; or yoga or energization exercises or another breath/movement practice.


It makes sense that a variety of support might contribute to your well being when hormones are involved. Glands and nerve centers are the interface between our energy bodies and our physical bodies. The hormones the glands secrete set in motion changes which impact us on all levels. It is no wonder that imbalance anywhere in such a far reaching system could cause us to feel less than well, and that an intervention on whatever level might offer dramatic benefit. A shift anywhere in the system causes a shift everywhere in the system. Functional endocrinology helps set healing in motion.



What Are 

Bio-Identical Hormones?


Connie Hernandez, N.D.


Shanti Rubenstone, MD 

Both men and women often come to me asking for natural, as opposed to synthetic hormones. As a practitioner of natural medicine, this is not a distinction I generally make. All of the hormones we use (with the exception of hormones present in glandular products such as Armour Thyroid) are synthesized. They may be synthesized from something that exists in nature, such as a soy bean or a wild yam. But the telling question is whether they are synthesized to be identical to those which are in the human body, or whether they are synthesized to be different, so that they can be patent protected. Substances identical to those in the human body cannot be patented. We call this type of synthesized substance bio-identical.


A further clarification is that, though a hormone may be natural, i.e. may exist in nature, it may not be natural to human beings. Hormones found in Premarin are found in nature. They happen to be found in pregnant mare's urine. So they are natural, but they are not natural to human beings.


furnace of life orchid
Furnace of Life

In prescribing bio-identical hormones, there is another issue, for whichthe hormone estrogen is a good illustration. Estrogen exists in many forms (metabolites) in the human body. The metabolites have different functions and certain ratios of metabolites are favorable in protecting men and women from disease conditions related to estrogen. While it may be true that an estradiol medication, for example, is bio-identical, prescribing that estrogen metabolite alone may not be a wise, natural or healthy choice. In bio-identical hormone prescriptions, metabolites and ratios of hormonal metabolites are chosen based on an individual's unique medical needs and history, as are modes of administration... whether oral, sublingual, transdermal or transmucosal.


Further, hormones within the body are produced in predictable rhythms and cycles. In bio-identical hormone prescriptions, an effort is often made to mimic those rhythms and cycles. As Dr. Jonathan Wright, pioneer in bio-identical hormone synthesis and prescription, often advises "Copy nature, copy nature, copy nature!" As a naturopath, I find that the wisest and safest course of action.



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


For Aging Men:  

Read This for More Energy, Vitality and Joie de Vivre!





In 1900, the life expectancy for men was 46.3 years. By 2010, it had risen to 75.7 years. There are a myriad of physiological and biochemical changes that occur between 46 and 75 years of age. These changes characterize andropause, the male equivalent of menopause. The symptoms of andropause include waning libido, declining sexual performance, decreased sperm quantity and quality, erectile dysfunction, frailty, loss of muscle and bone mass, lower energy levels, and increased abdominal body fat.


Over millennia, the human body has adapted to change. Feet, which were once able to grasp with dexterity, have slowly adapted to walking upright. Researchers tell us that toes are getting shorter and eventually may even disappear, in favor of a more rounded, pod-like form. But the110 years mentioned above is too short a time period for the male organism to adapt to the 29-year increase in life span. As a result, most men age very quickly once they hit 60 or so.


low testosterone
Testosterone in men
Andropause occurs primarily because male hormones, especially testosterone, decline dramatically as men age.
Unlike menopause, which may occur rapidly and obviously in women, hormonal changes in men take place more subtly over many years. The changes occur so slowly that most men learn to adjust, accepting the gradual decline stoically. The truth is that andropause is a debilitating deficiency disease that can be effectively addressed.


A 10-year study involving more than 11,000 men aged between 40 and 79 clearly pointed out that men with normal levels of testosterone had a 41 percent lower chance of dying from cardiovascular disease and cancer than men with low testosterone. This data was gathered even before testosterone supplementation.


Other recent studies indicate that supplementing with testosterone provides a wide range of benefits, including improved mood and cognitive function, Alzheimer's prevention, healthier body composition, more muscle, less fat, reversal of osteoporosis, and heightened libido and better erectile function. The studies also indicate that testosterone supplementation protects against insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. There was less inflammation, pain, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, and fewer cases of heart disease in study participants.


Why isn't testosterone replacement therapy addressed more often by doctors? The answer is twofold: fear of change and misinformation.


It takes many years for new therapies to make it into the mainstream in the conventional medical model dominant in the United States. Most medical schools do not offer comprehensive courses in hormone replacement therapy, nutrition or alternative therapies. If a doctor doesn't know or is unsure of his/her facts, fear of litigation and high malpractice costs drive decisions towards the conservative side.


Also, many doctors mistakenly fear that testosterone will increase a man's chances of prostate cancer, even though study after study, performed with huge numbers of male participants, have proven that this is not true.


It is important to know that you cannot arbitrarily replace testosterone merely because a man is aging. Simple saliva and blood tests provide free and total testosterone levels and indicate where to intervene in the male hormone cascade to optimize testosterone production. Experience dictates how and what to supplement. If your health care practitioner is unsure of what action to take, look for a practitioner of functional endocrinology. Although more and more Mds are venturing into this area, your best choice might most likely be a naturopathic doctor.


The bottom line is that men do not have to accept vastly decreased function as we age. We can prevent or decrease the severity of age-related illnesses. We can't return to our 25 year-old selves, but we can optimize the quality of our experience and expression of life.


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

  The Balance of Hormones and Health



There are many systems in the body that need to be regulated and balanced. Hormones are the messengers between systems that orchestrate the processes that occur in our cells and tissues. 


If a person is healthy, hormones are able to maintain a homeostasis (biological balance) when produced in response to different signals or stressors. The body has its own intelligence in this way to heal or rebalance itself when exposed to different stressors. A health problem can occur when the stressors become prolonged or extreme and the body can no longer maintain the delicate balance between systems. 


An example of this balance can be seen between the adrenals, thyroid gland, and sex glands. If we experience high amounts of stress over an extended period of time, our stress hormones stay elevated, which eventually affect the output of thyroid and sex hormones. As thyroid and sex hormones decrease, we may start to experience fatigue, problems concentrating, difficulty staying warm, dryness or hair falling out, or a decrease in fertility. The longer the duration of stress and exposure to stress hormones, the more different systems become impacted and imbalanced.


endocrine glandLife and health are about balance. We need to expend energy to produce and create, but we must also remember that we need to recharge to be able to continue that process. The optimal healing state is where the body goes into parasympathetic mode, the state where we can rest, relax, digest, and reproduce. Too often are we stuck in overdrive mode, the sympathetic mode, which is driven by increased stress levels and stress hormones. This state causes us to become anxious, irritable, have difficulty with relaxing or sleeping, and leads to fatigue and burnout as the body does not have ample space or time to heal. Multiple systems become involved over time as shown in the example above as the body can no longer maintain homeostasis and begins to break down.


One way of bringing balance back and helping to adjust the body back towards the parasympathetic state of restoration and healing is through craniosacral therapy. In helping people relax and find a sense of calm and stillness, craniosacral therapy stimulates the body's own self-healing and self-regulating capabilities.  Allowing for more space and time in the parasympathetic state gives your body and mind the capacity to heal and rejuvenate. 


Even through the daily challenges we face our busy lives, we need to remember to give ourselves time to regenerate. Only then can we have the energy and strength to continue on our path and move forward while maintaining our health.



Please call to schedule an appointment with Dr. Corrine or if you would like more information or have any questions: (650) 917-1121.


Find out more about Dr. Corrine's work 


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:


Breast Thermography 

at Pacific Naturopathic: 

Answering Estrogen Questions

Normal thermog photo
Normal Thermographic Pattern




One of the less known benefits of breast thermography is that, by observing certain patterns in breast vasculature, we are able to determine the degree to which the breast tissue is under the influence of estrogen. This assessment is particularly important both for women who now have or have had estrogen receptor positive breast cancers or other estrogen sensitive conditions, and for women who are being treated for these conditions and want objective evidence of the efficacy of their treatments in reducing estrogen exposure to target tissues (in this case, the breasts).


Women who are simply wanting to assess hormonal balance also benefit, as the breast thermogram can reveal both deficient and excessive estrogen influence. In women taking hormone replacement therapy, we see the effect of the hormones on the breast tissue. The appearance of the breast tissue of a woman taking oral estrogens is quite different than that of the same woman on an equivalent transdermal dosage. For this reason, breast thermography is a valuable tool in monitoring hormonal influence in the body.   




The cost to you of breast thermography is $225.




Find out more about thermography at Pacific Naturopathic at:


Thermography at Pacific Naturopathic


Revitalize and Energize

at Pacific Naturopathic

Retreat Center 


Openings From May     


With its undulations, softness and curves, the Big Island has always been thought of as feminine, almost motherly with its soothing energy.


Our Big Island retreat center/vacation rental mirrors the energy of the Island with its soft colors and the way in which the elements come together.



The view from the retreat guest house 

If you have ever thought of staying with us, now is the time to reserve. Guests are already booking into the summer months.

There are still many choice openings available for the coming months.  Please phone us at 808-775-1505, or email us 

Hawaii Retreat



Pacific Naturopathic's Hawaii Vacation Rental 




Searching for a Meaningful Gift For a Friend or Loved One?  
Give the Gift of Health! 

Gift Certificates For All Practitioners and Services Available at Pacific Naturopathic

passion flower

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.


Eat Well to Live Well

Nutrition Education and Health Counseling With Sarah Rose



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.



Two Types of Thermography Offered at Pacific Naturopathic 



At Pacific Naturopathic, we offer two types of thermography, both of which address physiologic change in the body. Readers may be more familiar with Breast Thermography (see below), which helps us determine differences in vasculature and temperature between the breasts.


The other type of thermography offered at Pacific Naturopathic is called Contact Regulation Thermography (CRT). 


CRT: Safe and highly informative

Contact Regulation Thermography screens the body from head to pelvic floor, measuring the temperature at 119 points. The first measurements are taken with the body at rest. After a 10 minute cold challenge, temperatures are taken again to assess the body's response to stress.


Evaluation of temperatures can help determine points of inflammation in the meridian and musculoskeletal system, can pinpoint areas of lymphatic congestion, can detect hidden imbalance, and can track referred pain.


Your temperature measurements are evaluated in the context of a data bank of thousands of scans. You are provided with a comprehensive written report of findings, and given the opportunity to discuss the implication of those findings with Ardell, who has extensive training in CRT. Should the scan indicate a need to address an underlying imbalance, Ardell will recommend that you see your health care practitioner, or make an appointment with one of the doctors at Pacific Naturopathic.




The cost of a CRT is $275.  To schedule an appointment, please phone 650-917-1121.


Transformational, Stress Reducing, Feel Good Services Offered at
Pacific Naturopathic   

Reduce Inflammation and Stress:

La Stone Body Therapy with Ardell Hill


      la stone 

Reducing inflammation is a key to treating almost every condition, from Alzheimers to arthritis to cancer to cardiovascular disease. LaStone Therapy reduces inflammation through therapeutic placement of cool stones over areas of the body that are inflamed. The entire body is supported as the temperature differential enhances the flow of blood and lymph.


A LaStone therapy session begins with warming the entire body to soften chronically tight muscles.  Warming the muscle relaxes both the muscle and adjoining tissues and calms the nervous system.  Using the cool stones, where needed, stops the pain-spasm-pain cycle and brings in fresh oxygenated blood.


The use of warm and cool stones together helps the body remember how to regulate itself and stop patterns of inflammation.


LaStone therapist Ardell Hill approaches  LaStone Therapy sessions with a wide range of experience which she tailors to meet your individual needs. She draws from modalities including Swedish massage, Cranio-Sacral, Deep Tissue, Reflexology, Jin Shin Jyutsu and Reiki, all of which are enhanced with the use of warm and cool stones. 


To book a LaStone session with Ardell, please phone Pacific Naturopathic at 650-917-1121. 

Find out more about Ardell Hill 

Let Me Introduce Myself...                   Nancy Schuet, Certified
Neuro-Reflex Therapist

nancy schuet

Let me introduce myself.  I am Nancy Schuet, Certified Neuro-Reflex-Therapist. As a CNRT, I trained intensively in foot reflexology and advanced massage techniques relating to feet.  I apprenticed at the Neuro-Reflex Therapy Institute in Modesto, Ca., and have upgraded my skills through an ongoing relationship with the Universal College of Reflexology.  


Neuro-Reflex therapy was developed by a Registered Nurse and a reflexologist especially for those with diabetic peripheral neuropathy.  Neuropathy clients derive relief from the numbness, burning and tingling so often a problem for them, enabling them to sleep better and get on with daily activities with less pain.


I have also found that adaptations of CNRT techniques relieve pain on the soles of the feet, such as that of plantar fasciitis. Massage and reflexology techniques isolate and work out tightness in the musclesreflexology and tissues of the feet. If you have any pain on the bottom of the feet, I find that CNRT can lessen it. I often treat people who have been somewhat helped, but not cured, by physical therapy or by inserts received from podiatrists. My take home techniques further promote pain relief.


The European Reflexology I've learned through the Universal College of Reflexology emphasizes the detoxification, allergy relief, and digestive betterment that can be obtained through foot reflexology. I am always learning new techniques. Very soon, I'll be adding relaxing facial reflexology to my offerings at Pacific Naturopathic.


foot floppingI have been in practice in Mountain View in a chiropractic office for the past 8 years and I have been rewarded by helping many people feel better. As you might imagine, I have accumulated quite a bit of word-of-mouth knowledge and practical information from my clients.  I've learned, for example, what to do if your second toe is longer than your big toe.   Give me a call and I can help you with it.  


I am so excited to be joining the Pacific Naturopathic healing team. I hope to meet you soon.


To schedule an appointment with Nancy please contact her at 408-891-4759 or email her


 Click here for more information about Nancy's work




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