Number 36, June 2012
Pacific Naturopathic Newsletter
2570 W. El Camino Real � Suite 111 � Mountain View, CA 94040 � (650) 917-1121   


Unmanaged Stress:  Undermining Your Experience of Life



Who doesn't have to deal with stress?  We've known really mellow people, but when confronted with one of the big three life events (change in relationship, either by death or break-up, change of residence and change of job or income source) they are challenged much as everyone else.  


In this edition of the Pacific Naturopathic newsletter, Dr. Connie speaks of profound, long-lasting ways of handling stress and discusses the part our adrenal glands play in stress management.  Dr. Marcel presents a "humorous" therapeutic approach and Dr. Corrine offers relief for wound-up stressed-out folks. Elijah Free, our long-time resident shaman and herbalist is also always available to assist you with his extensive skills. Ask him about his new adrenal formulas.


We are extremely proud and honored to welcome multi-talented Daya Fisch as a therapist, healer and great soul to our group at Pacific Naturopathic.  We have wanted Daya to be a part of the team for a very long time, and she finally agreed.  An article about her appears below, along with contact information.


Breathe deeply and be well.  


--Dr. Connie and Dr. Marcel


Dr. Connie Muses on the Most Effective Tool for Stress Management
Dr Connie on Stress and Adrenal Fatgue
Dr. Marcel on a Humorous Therapy For the Number One Illness
Dr. Corrine on a Magical Approach to Deep Relaxation
Meet Daya Fisch: Our Resident Wonder Woman
Rapid Pain Relief With Elijah Free
How Breast Thermography Reduces Stress
Hawaii Retreat Center: Absolutely Stress-Free
Pacific Naturopathic Gift Certificate
Two Types of Thermograpy Offered at Pacific Naturopathic
Transformational Stress Reduction Services Offered at Pacific Naturopathic
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Shanti Rubenstone, MD




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2570 W. El Camino Real
Suite 111
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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


Revealed: The Most Effective Stress Management Tool



In our clinic dispensary, we have a remedy called DeStress. DeStress is 

sleeping baby
No Stress Here!
made from a hydrosylate of milk protein, which is the substance that lulls infants into la la land when they nurse. Nursing infants, napping toddlers and lazy cats provide prototypical images of carefree and stressless relaxation. As adults, most of us are all too infrequently in that blissful and calm state.


By definition, stress is the body's physical, mental, or emotional adjustment or response to a stimulus, whether positive or negative. Stimuli are in fact neutral, but become positive or negative through our interpretation of them. When we say we have too much stress in our lives, we are generally saying that there are too many stimuli out there that feel negative or agitating to us. What are the options available to us?


We can either change our environment, we can change our response to our environment, or we can change ourselves in fundamental ways.



Changing our environment on a long term basis may or may not be possible. Short term, there are many options. Contact with the elements of nature (earth, air, water, fire, ether) changes both our environment and ourselves. Savoring a healing massage, a dinner with loved ones, or a perfect warm and windless day at the beach under a brilliant blue sky may be deeply calming. These experiences help and heal us until the moment of return to the "real" world.


Changing our response to our environment involves the willingness to take another point of view. When an unknown driver cuts you off while driving, the response is often anger. When we realize, a moment later, that that driver was actually a friend in an unfamiliar driving situation, the stress brought by anger dissipates and becomes something else.


Changing ourselves is a long lasting solution. When we meditate,

meditation sunset
Meditation: It Changes Lives

focusing inward and upward, we change ourselves by identifying with a self that is less personalized than our everyday self, and less impacted by our everyday drama. Breathing in and breathing out, we move into an experience of the present moment. We find freedom in the spaces between the inhalation and the exhalation. In the same way, in the Energization Exercises, we experience deep calm in the space between the contraction and relaxation of the muscles. Many breath movement meditation practices bring us to this space, and the more we visit this space, the more we approach the world from a higher perspective.


These practices actually change us in fundamental physiologic ways as well. The serotonin levels rise in people in an entire block surrounding meditating meditators. Think about that! The world has become increasingly stressful, what with the politics and economics of the time, the ongoing wars and natural disasters. How will you handle your stress? Where will you turn?



Adrenal Fatigue: The Body's Response to Prolonged Stress


Connie Hernandez, N.D.


Shanti Rubenstone, MD


Tumultuous change, high hopes and also hopelessness are recurrent themes in the stories I hear in my office these days. Stress seems to be the signature of the times on planet earth, 2012. Whether the stress factor is environmental, physiologic, or emotional, bodily response depends on the adrenal glands. Adrenals are so much in the popular medical news that patients frequently come to my office self diagnosed as suffering from adrenal fatigue.


The adrenal glands have many functions and produce a number of hormones. At issue in the body's stress response is cortisol, the stress hormone. Natural levels of cortisol follow a diurnal rhythm, high in the morning and low at midnight. Levels peak in times of stress, and the body is affected in many ways. Stressed adrenals prevent the thyroid from converting the thyroid hormone produced by the thyroid gland to the active form of thyroid hormone, making it difficult to lose weight and contributing to depression. Cortisol increases appetite. At the same time, cortisol antagonizes insulin, and moves fat from the liver to the deep abdominal muscles, resulting in those bulging bellies we so detest.


In periods of protracted stress, the adrenals become fatigued. They

Adrenal glands encased in fat sit atop the kidneys
may no longer be able to produce cortisol, or the cortisol cycle may become disrupted. Low levels in the morning cause us to wake with fatigue. High levels at night disrupt our sleep. Peaks and valleys of cortisol production decrease secretory IgA, the first line of defense of every mucus membrane in the body. Decreased secretory IgA makes us vulnerable to assault by bacteria, viruses, and other micro- organisms. This is one of the mechanisms by which we are more vulnerable to illness when under stress.


Cortisol circadian rhythm
In order to assess just where an individual is in terms of adrenal function, we use a saliva test called the Adrenal Stress Index. By taking four saliva samples over the course of a day, we can determine whether the cortisol secretion is in or out of rhythm, elevated or depressed. The saliva test evaluates DHEA, another adrenal hormone . the precursor hormone to estrogen and testosterone. After cortisol levels fall, DHEA levels fall. These simultaneously low levels are characteristic of a truly fatigued adrenal gland.


We can derive yet more information from the Adrenal Stress Index, as we can see levels of secretory IgA, fasting insulin levels, and indices of reactivity to gluten. A fascinating chart on the Adrenal Stress Index shows us how our emotions interact with adrenal function. Five minutes of anger will depress secretory IgA levels, and they will remain depressed for up to 8 hours after the insult. On the other hand, 5 minutes of true nurturing will elevate levels, and they will remain elevated for up to 8 hours past the care.


Nurturing therapies are always indicated for stressed adrenal glands. Massage, cranio-sacral, hot stone work and guided relaxation are some examples. By testing levels of adrenal hormones we can determine what other therapies might be the most appropriate. We may use phosphatidyl serine to attenuate high levels of cortisol; or nurturing nutritional, botanical, and/or glandular formulas to restore adrenal gland function; homeopathic drainage remedies to increase the body's receptivity to the cortisol that is being produced; flower essences to ease mental and emotional concerns that impact adrenal gland function.


If you're interested in discovering how your adrenal glands are faring, and would like to soothe your stressed adrenals or nourish weakened adrenals, come on in for an office visit, and we'll tailor a program for you. For folks who want something simple, immediate, and available, treat yourself with lavender flowers.  Research confirms the calming and anti anxiety effects of lavender. Surround yourself with lavender, practice aromatherapy with the essential oil, or try making yourself a cup of lavender tea. 



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


The Number One Illness -- Laugh Your Way Through It




As a family medicine practitioner, my patients span all ages and present with a vast array of medical conditions. Speaking at a conference a few years ago, I was asked to name the number one condition I see in my office. I thought for a moment, then answered, "unmanaged stress."


Stress in and of itself is not the villain it is portrayed to be. Stress gives us a creative edge and motivates us. What we don't need is for the stress to exceed our ability to respond in a constructive, creative manner. Many of my patients have not fully developed an adaptive mechanism for themselves - an ability to channel the stress away from body systems. Unmanaged stress wrecks havoc with all body systems -central nervous system (the brain!), digestive, respiratory, immune, cardiovascular - you name it. Knowing this, I always address stress management options during patient visits.


Stress was not widely recognized as a predisposition to illness until Hans Selye, a Hungarian endocrinologist, published the results of his research in the 1950's. He noted that the body responds to stress in two ways. In the "general adaptation syndrome," the body adjusts biochemically to stressors. The other response is the pathological breakdown of body systems due to inability to adapt to the level of stress. Imagine stress levels to be like a full quart of milk. Imagine, then, the body's stress coping systems as a narrow-necked funnel. If the milk is poured slowly into the funnel, all may be well. If the milk is poured quickly, it will overflow the funnel and make a mess.


Stress management techniques are highly individual. Massage, cranio-sacral work, travel, exercise, yoga, meditation, biofeedback, hiking, reading, art, music - there are numerous ways to defuse stress. Finding what works for you is simply a matter of exploration, experimentation and having fun.  


There is one approach to stress reduction that is discussed all too infrequently, yet has much research to support its effectiveness. That approach is through laughter. Laughter is a powerful antidote to stress and quickly brings your mind and body into a relaxed state. A series of good belly laughs clears the mind of clutter so solutions to challenges can emerge into consciousness.


Cardiovascular effects: Researchers at the University of Maryland studied the effects on blood vessels when people were shown either comedies or dramas. The blood vessels of the group who watched the comedy behaved normally -- expanding and contracting easily. But the blood vessels in people who watched the drama tended to tense, restricting blood flow. Improved blood flow means better oxygenation of tissues.

Immune system: Hans Selye noted that stress decreases the immune response and leaves the body open to opportunistic infections. Laughter elevates the level of infection-fighting antibodies in the body and boosts the numbers of immune cells, as well. Laughter also reduces the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline, keeping you calmer and more balanced.


Muscles: Laughing relaxes the muscles for as long as 45 minutes afterwards. It especially gives a workout to the diaphragm and abdominal, respiratory, facial, leg, and back muscles.


Blood sugar: One study of diabetics noted that blood sugar levels after watching a comedy were lower than those found after attending a boring lecture.


Pain Relief: Norman Cousins, in his book, Anatomy of an Illness, noted that watching a comedy decreased the pain of his chronic illness and helped him sleep.


Happiness and Well-Being: Laughter has also been shown to increase memory, alertness, creativity and ability to learn. It triggers the release of endorphins, the body's natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being


laughterIf you are practicing stress management techniques and still are feeling the effects of unmanaged stress, schedule a chat with us at Pacific Naturopathic. We can assist you in evaluating your present situation in terms of stress management techniques and determine the extent of your biochemical adaptations to stress.  


Audrey Hepburn had it right: "I love people who make me laugh. I honestly think it's the thing I like most, to laugh. It cures a multitude of ills. It's probably the most important thing in a person."



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

  Profound, Restorative Relaxation Through
Craniosacral Therapy




The number of stressors pervading our lives today is wrecking havoc in our minds as well as in our physical bodies. We are constantly pushed to the edge to do more, to be more, and to keep moving forward at all costs. 


Both externally and internally derived stressors induce a constant state of alarm in our bodies. Our bodies become stuck in the fight-or-flight mode of the sympathetic system, the system that helps us stay alert, amped up, and ready to fight or run away from a given situation. For a period of time in this state, we may feel alright, energized even, but eventually without rest, our bodies begin to tire out and break down. 


Stress is the cause of many diseases, as it affects almost all systems in our body. It disrupts sleep, weakens our immune system, disrupts our digestive system, causes ulcers, affects our blood sugar and metabolism, decreases our reproductive capacity, and even impairs our memory and moods. 


Because stress can cause many problems in the long-term, it is important to be able to rest, relax, and relieve stress regularly. This allows our parasympathetic system, the system opposite to the sympathetic system, to move into gear. This is the restorative system that calms and relaxes us, allows us to digest, and helps our bodies heal. Many things can help us tap into this system, bringing our bodies into the restorative state. Craniosacral therapy is one type of bodywork that can do this. 


As a practitioner of craniosacral therapy, I listen to each person's body with my hands, gently assisting in bringing out their own self-healing mechanisms. Craniosacral can put people in a restful state as well as helping to ground them by allowing them to shift their focus from their minds to their physical bodies. 


Craniosacral therapy helps people unwind and relax, restoring the balance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems. I work with each individual to release their tensions and find the healing space they need. Healing processes occur much more quickly when an individual is in the relaxed state. Craniosacral therapy is a gentle form of bodywork that directly alleviates stress and also improves a number of conditions related to stress, including anxiety, depression, and insomnia. 


So if you're feeling wound up or burned out, why not try a craniosacral treatment to help relieve some pressure and start the healing process? Specially-priced packages are available for multiple sessions. 

Click here for information on specially-priced craniosacral therapy packages. 



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 


Introducing Daya Fisch, M.S. 
A True Healer in Our Midst

Daya Fisch
Daya (with sun visor) De-stresses With a Friend 

Daya Fisch is passionate about health and empowering people to heal their own bodies to live vibrant, awake lives. She is known in the greater Bay Area as a "lymph expert." Fascinated by how she could enhance the body's healing abilities, Daya has trained in many therapeutic modalities and has become a specialist in Lymphatic Massage. Popular throughout Europe since the 1920's, European studies show that lymphatic massage has a remarkable ability to enhance health and promote beauty. In her practice, Daya uses this unique style of massage with women pre and post surgery to help assure rapid healing and recovery. Her clients report benefits including faster healing time, a decrease in scar tissue, reduced soreness, and less swelling.


Teaching lymphatic massage and using it therapeutically has become Daya's passion as she has found success using it with her clients on issues ranging from cancer to weight loss. She currently travels around the U.S. teaching lymphatic massage classes to nurses, cancer survivors, complementary practitioners, and others who are interested in optimizing their health. Teaching since 1992, Daya is approved by NCTMB as a continuing education approved provider. She has worked at Stanford Hospital's Center for Integrative Medicine and is currently pursuing options to research lymphatic massage and breast health.


Daya Fisch, M.S.

In 2004 Daya founded the Breast Health Project (click here for info) which specializes in health education and preventative measures. It sponsors breast health classes across the country and has a website sharing information about lymphatic massage and its potential in preventative health care. One of its aims is to document through research the positive effects of using lymphatic massage with breast cancer patients.


Daya has also studied traditional Ayurvedic healing, yoga and numerous other massage techniques. She is a life learner and is in constant pursuit of alternative pathways to bring more health, light and love to the planet. She has a Masters Degree in Nutrition and has developed cleansing programs to enhance body functions. This combination of interests gives Daya a holistic perspective that allows her to work with body, mind and spirit. 


breast health

Click Here For More Information About Daya Fisch 

and the Breast Health Project



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:

Stress Reduction Through 
Breast Thermography at 
Pacific Naturopathic 

Mammography, unlike thermography, is invasive 
and uncomfortable

Fearing the pain associated with the squeezing and flattening of breasts in the mammography procedure, and believing that squeezing and radiating their breasts couldn't possibly promote breast wellness and could actually be detrimental, many women opt out of conventional breast cancer screening. While self breast exam doesn't carry the negative potential that mammography carries, it is quite subjective.


Breast thermography, on the other hand, is a non-invasive and specific screening method. The exam is akin to a photography session. The person being screened is asked to disrobe down to the waist, and then to acclimate to a rather chilly room. Photographs are taken of both breasts with heat sensitive camera equipment. With the help of a sophisticated computer progam, the clinician can visualize vascular structures and compare temperature and vasculature on specific areas of the breasts.


According to the patterns, a risk rating is assigned to each breast. Sequential

Normal thermog photo
Thermography is noninvasive and offers useful information

thermography is used to evaluate changes over time.


While breast thermography does not replace mammography, and while mammography is recommended when we see certain patterns on breast thermography, many women enjoy the stress reduction of being able to monitor breast health without hurting themselves at the same time.




The cost to you of breast thermography is $225.


Find out more about thermography at Pacific Naturopathic at:

Thermography at Pacific Naturopathic 


No Stress Here!

Pacific Naturopathic Retreat Center in Hawaii


Openings From July    


Beyond Words:

The Photos Tell The Story

You Could Be Here Soon!


Click here for info on making a reservation  

VH View
From View House Deck
twin palms clouds
From View House Deck, Early in the Sunset


ginger meditating
Our Meditating Dog, Ginger, Knows How To Kick Back


Waipio Valley, A Playground Just Four Miles Away
The Coconut Palm Orchard


hot tub
A Hot Tub on Your Private Deck


view house
The View House:  Your Private Home in Paradise!


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.


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 

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