Number 38, August 2012
Pacific Naturopathic Newsletter
2570 W. El Camino Real � Suite 111 � Mountain View, CA 94040 � (650) 917-1121   


Do You Have Any of These Physical Signs and Predictors of Illness?




We (Dr. Connie and Dr. Marcel) talked and shared dreams on on a roundtrip drive to Los Angeles last weekend about how we each work with patients, and the direction of service we'd like to develop more deeply.  We agreed that the office visit begins when we greet our patients in the waiting room. After all these years in practice, we almost unconsciously now do an energetic scan: Does their vital force seem strong? Do they seem like the are carrying a burden on their shoulders?  What is their mood like?  This is one of the many things we love about naturopathic medicine, we include observation of physical signs as a main part of our evaluation process. So we wanted to expand our skills in this area.


Like most doctors, we are required to attend many hours of continuing medical education to keep our licenses to practice current. That is why we happened to drive down to LA and back the weekend of August 10, 11 and 12. The seminar we attended was offered by a trail-blazing health practitioner named Dr. Chi, the formulator of an amazingly effective herbal hormone balancer and cancer preventive formula. He is also one of the first people to try to explain the ancient arts of Chinese tongue and fingernail evaluation with a western medical orientation. He offers his seminar once a year and we signed up months ago.


So in this issue you will read some stories of our remarkable experiences with Dr. Chi, which really began eight or nine years ago. We will also offer you an opportunity to have your tongue and fingernails analyzed.  Actually, we really need to build our analytical database and see as many people as we can.  So for $25 we offer a tongue and fingernail analysis, photos so you can have a baseline to chart any possible changes in the future, and recommendations for health optimization. 


Just phone our office for an appointment: 650-917-1121.


Also in this issue, Dr. Corrine eloquently expresses the sensitivity a Craniosacral Therapist has as she tunes in to her patients' energies.  As always, our resident magician, Elijah Free, offers his pain relief techniques and herbal insights to make your body smile.


To your wellness!



--Dr. Connie and Dr. Marcel


Dr. Connie Muses on Her Own Healing Story
Dr Connie on On Physical Signs of Thyroid Disease
Dr. Marcel on Tongue and Fingernail Diagnosis at Pacific Naturopathic
Dr. Corrine on the Sensitivity of a Craniosacral Therapist
Rapid Pain Relief With Elijah Free
Breast Thermography The More Information the Better
Hawaii Retreat Center: From Slouch to Smile
Pacific Naturopathic Gift Certificate
Two Types of Thermograpy Offered at Pacific Naturopathic
Transformational Stress Reduction Services Offered at Pacific Naturopathic
Quick Links
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Classes and Events


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


My Story:  How I Reversed a Potentially Serious Condition



Regardless of how much we think we know, we tend not to be our own best doctor. I was reminded of this recently as Dr. Marcel and I visited with Dr. Chi, a well known doctor of Chinese medicine practicing in southern California.


It was probably about 6 years ago that Dr. Marcel and I saw Dr. Chi at a medical convention in Los Vegas. There are numerous booths at these conventions, all vying for the attention of the participants, demonstrating diagnostic techniques and showcasing their products.  We noticed a long line of doctors patiently waiting at one of the booths to be evaluated by a Chinese doctor who was offering tongue and fingernail diagnosis. I wasn't particularly drawn to the booth as, as far as I was concerned, I was in perfect health and not all that interested in another opinion. I waited and watched as Dr. Marcel was diagnosed, then headed for the convention hall. Dr. Chi beckoned me back and asked if I didn't want to be evaluated myself. I allowed him a look at my hands. He drew his breath in and informed me that I was at very high risk for breast cancer. Having no obvious hormonal problems, and having just had a clear mammogram and ultrasound, I dismissed Dr. Chi and his diagnostics.


A few months later, as we were training in our office on our new breast thermography machine, I was stunned to see that my left breast had a very high risk rating, looking suspiciously like a developing breast cancer. That finding was enough of a coincidence to cause me to go on Dr. Chi's rather intensive protocol. Following that protocol for 3 months, I saw my risk rating diminishing. Following a revised protocol for another 3 months, I saw the risk rating reduce down to a very low risk rating. Very impressive!


Even more impressive, as I look back on that experience, is the fact that Dr. Chi also indicated to Dr. Marcel at that time that he was at a high risk for prostate cancer. As many of you know, Dr. Marcel was subsequently diagnosed with an aggressive prostate cancer, not revealed by his PSA, his symptoms, or other physical exam.


We were intrigued, and have waited patiently for the opportunity to study with Dr. Chi. We were able to do so this past weekend. As a part of his seminar, Dr. Chi offers diagnosis to each of the doctors present. This time, Dr. Chi held my hands, asked my age, and then said softly "You don't think you have anything to be concerned about, and that may be true at this moment, but I see the signs of several developing conditions." Dr. Chi saw that my blood was not properly oxygenated, causing very cold hands and feet, not mediated by thyroid function, but by poor circulation of the blood. Those of you who know me know that this is a major complaint that I have. Dr. Chi indicated that my low tissue oxygenation puts me at risk for the development of various cancers. Dr. Chi also told me that I was not assimilating nutrients as well as I might, and that this was putting me at risk for osteoporosis.


Given Dr. Chi's 100% batting average in diagnosing and treating myself and others I know, I have decided both to follow his advice, and to incorporate his diagnostics and treatment protocols into my practice. Dr. Chi estimates that I can reverse the risk factors he noted by following his protocol for up to a year. He tells me that the changes will be visible in my tongue and nails.  And I believe him!  (See Dr. Marcel's article below for a discussion of tongue and fingernail diagnostics.)




A Case of Thick and Pale Tongue


Connie Hernandez, N.D.


Shanti Rubenstone, MD


We were well schooled, in naturopathic medical school, in interpreting conventional laboratory diagnostics, physical exam findings (pulse rate, blood pressure, heart rhythm, lung sounds, dilated pupils and more), and case histories. Through our years of practice, we added complementary laboratory diagnostics and electronic evaluation of bodily energy flows.   As time has passed, we continue to explore both deceptively simple and intriguingly complex methods of diagnosis , and to hone our intuitive skills.


Diagnosis begins from the moment of meeting a new patient, and evolves from there.  Here's an example from a few weeks ago.


A friend had expressed concern to me about his wife's health, and asked me to spend a few minutes with her.  Barb had put on a little weight since I had last seen her. Her eyes were slightly puffy, and her ankles a little swollen. She held her hand out to me, and I found it to be cold and clammy. I noticed that Barb's skin was dry and cracked, and she was shedding some hair. I asked her to stick out her tongue, which I saw was pale and thick.


Barb complained of the chilliness, and told me she was just not feeling quite right. She thought she might be a little depressed, as she was not her usual enthusiastic self. She just felt a little too tired to make any effort. Barb said her troubles had started after a recent, very stressful surgery after which she had received repeated doses of antibiotics to control a post operative infection. Her digestion went off at that point, and she found that foods she had always enjoyed now bothered her.


I ordered several lab tests, including our comprehensive thyroid screen... Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH), Free T4 (thyroid hormone put out by the thyroid gland), Free T3 (active form of thyroid hormone), reverse T3 (an inactive form of thyroid hormone) and antithyroid antibodies. I was pretty sure of what I would find.


The results both confirmed my expectations and surprised me. We look for TSH to be less than 3. The higher the TSH, the more severe the low thyroid condition. Barb's TSH was 22, the second highest TSH I've seen in many years of practice. Compounding the situation, the little T4 she had was not converting to T3... typical of post surgery and of various nutrient deficiencies. Her antithyroid antibodies were positive for Hashimoto's thyroiditis.  Barb was iron deficient, and subsequent testing also revealed she had developed a sensitivity to gluten and dairy. (Sensitivities to common foods often develop after antibiotic use, and gluten sensitivity is a common problem in autoimmune thyroid.)


I asked Barb to avoid gluten and dairy, and to rotate other foods. We supported her thyroid with iron and other nutrients necessary to the conversion of T4 to T3, and with a thyroid glandular containing both T4 and T3. To support the energy center governing the thyroid gland, I asked Barb to wear a blue scarf around her neck, to practice a few simple yoga postures (the lion and the shoulder stand), and to sing along with herself as she played the piano.


Six weeks later, Barb was feeling herself again. Her joie de vivre had returned. Her skin was less dry and her body had warmth. Barb was particularly delighted by the use of color and sound in her treatment protocol. She playfully stuck her tongue out for me to see, and it was of normal size and of a healthy pink color.



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


For a Limited Time: 
Initial Visit: 


Receive a written analysis, photos and recommendations


Establish a baseline for future evaluation
(See Dr. Marcel's article, below, for more information)


Offer Expires: December 31, 2012

Fingernail and Tongue Diagnosis


An Offer to Participate in 

a Unique Project




Our patients know that as Naturopathic Doctors, we walk in the "integrated medicine" arena, an arena that combines the strengths of conventional medicine with the best of alternative and complementary medicine.  At the physician level, the field of alternative and complementary medicine is not unique to naturopathic doctors.  The field is also heavily populated with progressive, MDs, DOs, Oriental Medical Doctors and Chiropractors.


As NDs, our number one concern is to do what is best for our patients.  Our basic tenet is that we utilize analyses and recommend treatments that are the least invasive, most effective and evidence-based. From this philosophical basis, we have begun the process of adding a new set of skills to our repertoire,


For more than 2000 years, Chinese doctors have depended on externally observable markers to perform fast and accurate screens of what may be going on inside the body.  Dr. Connie recounts our dramatic experiences in this regard in her articles, above.  Folks who have visited Oriental Medical Doctors may have experienced pulse and tongue evaluation.  Fingernail diagnosis is another effective means of discovering underlying conditions, even before the conditions manifest.


To a skilled practitioner, fingernails and tongue markers correspond to organ function and bodily health in clear and measurable ways.  An adult fingernail completely regenerates very slowly, every six to eight months or so, so changes can be tracked over the long term.  The tongue, however, sheds its upper cellular layer every three days, providing immediate feedback on treatment protocols for specific conditions.


Combining tongue, fingernails, and other easily observable physical markers can yield an accurate assessment of a condition in both the present moment and over the long haul.  For example, a lack of lunula 

cherry angioma
Cherry Angiomas

(the little half moons at the base of the fingernails), branching dark veins on the underside of the tongue, earlobe creases and cherry angiomas (little bloodred spots and bumps) on the forehead may indicate a cardiovascular condition.  Hormonal imbalances may manifest as white spots on the nail bed or cherry angiomas on the abdomen and chest.


The remarkable Dr. Chi, whom we have previously mentioned in this newsletter, says that studies by doctors have shown more than an 80 percent accuracy rate in tongue and fingernail diagnosis, and the results have been verified by Western-style blood tests and imaging procedures. 

nail lunalae
Fingernail lunula


Dr. Chi is also well-known in the alternative and complementary medical field as the formulator of an herbal formula that has proven effective in preventing the conversion of testosterone to a cancer-causing form of estrogen (the action of the herbal formula is that of an "aromatase inhibitor").  Another of his products stops the vascular proliferation in breasts that often precedes breast cancer. 


Dr. Connie and Dr. Marcel have begun compiling a database of tongue, fingernail and other physical signs, as they relate to our patients' health concerns and how the signs change after appropriate therapy.  If you would like to participate in this database, the cost, until the end of the year, is only $25.  After December 31, the cost will be $75. 


The results will become a part of your chart and will be reviewed without charge, and new photos taken, in future office visits.  After joining the database and being photographed, you will receive a written initial analysis via email, photos of your tongue and fingernails, and recommendations to correct noted imbalances.  By joining the database, you will have established a baseline for future evaluation.


Please phone the office to schedule a short intake and photographic session with Dr. Marcel if you would like to participate, 650-917-1121.





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

  Sensing the Rhythms of the Body



As people come into the office for craniosacral work, a number of things can signal to me how the person may be feeling and where they are imbalanced.  Craniosacral work is all about balance - feeling where a person is out of balance and supporting them to help their body back into balance.  Sensing this can be on a physical level as well as on an emotional or energetic level.


For the physical level, I can feel the imbalance when directly working on a person and feeling the rhythms of their body with my hands.  During these moments, I may notice areas that feel more restricted than others, physically feeling asymmetry in the movement of certain bones. 


Sensing can also be on an emotional or energetic level, where a person's demeanor may give me a feeling that they are out of balance.  This can be felt sometimes right when they walk in the door, as they carry their anxiety, tension, or other burdens with them.  Other times, I can also sense it while I am working on them, or they may actually let me know how things are shifting and changing during a session. 


One of my patients who was very sensitive to visions would tell me about images, colors, and scenes that would come up for her during each session as I worked on her.  She would often go through different emotional releases as I touched various areas of her body.  Different areas would either bring up stored events that she still needed to work through, or the visions would give her insight that she was on the right path and was moving in the right direction.  As her body went through physical shifts and releases during the session, she was able to experience them visually and emotionally and feel the releases on a deeper level.  After working on this patient for a series of sessions, it was wonderful to see the changes in her during the last visit as compared to her first visit.  She was so much calmer, lighter, and seemed much more at peace with her path and the things she had to deal with in her life.  Her anxiety levels were much lower and many of her original symptoms also decreased quite a bit.


Imbalances in a person's physical or emotional bodies can often be felt from the beginning of visits, yet working through them and healing them can definitely take time.  As a practitioner, I endeavor to support each person's individual journey through healing.  In craniosacral therapy, I feel for the imbalances in the body and act as a conduit to help promote each person's natural healing abilities that will allow them to achieve that balance once again.  

cranio 2    


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: 
More Information is Always Better


Normal thermog photo
Thermography is noninvasive and offers therapeutically useful information



At Pacific Naturopathic, we frequently emphasize that more information is better than less information. This holds true for the evaluation of breast health, as it holds true for any evaluation. Self breast exam, mammograms, breast ultrasounds, and MRIs of the breast all evaluate anatomic changes in the breast. Breast thermography evaluates physiologic change... changes in temperature, and changes in vasculature.  Taken together, anatomic and physiologic information complement each other, and help us achieve greater accuracy in assessing breast cancer risk. (Remember, only breast biopsy can diagnose breast cancer.)


Another type of information, helpful in assessing breast cancer risk (and taught to us by Dr. Chi, mentioned above) has to do with bodily signs of estrogen excess. Tiny red cherry angiomas on the abdominal area, and telltale red papillae on  certain areas of the tongue indicate a condition of estrogen excess, relevant to estrogenic conditions such as breast cancer. 




The cost to you of breast thermography is $225.


Find out more about thermography at Pacific Naturopathic at:

Thermography at Pacific Naturopathic 



Pacific Naturopathic Retreat in Hawaii -- Transformation From Slouch to Smile!


Openings From September    


Click here for info on making a reservation  


shades of red
The beginning of a magical sunset at Pacific Naturopathic Hawaii



We have noticed that many guests at our Hawaii Retreat Center arrive with slouches, their mainland stresses on their shoulders weighing them down.  After just a few hours on the estate grounds, they seem to be standing taller, a smile on their faces, their energy transformed. 


We thought we would just show you the progress of a sunset one magical late afternoon at Pacific Naturopathic in Hawaii.  If someone can't relax after observing the sky for a few minutes, they also desperately need a massage!

clouds pink
True, natural colors -- transforming your experience of life!
pink sunset
A sunset rainbow!  Wow!


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