About Me

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I have actively practiced as a Holistic Health Practitioner (HHP) and massage therapist since 1993 with special interest and training in the Vodder method of Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) technique. My experience is with lymphedema disease, edema in general, pre- and post-surgery massage, cosmetic surgery edema  and more.   My search for a low or non impact movement modality led me to become a certified trainer in the GYROTONIC EXPANSION SYSTEM® I have found it to be a helpful movement modality to stimulate the Lymphatic system and other stagnation out of the body. The Gyrotonic method is the base for movement sessions used at the office. Palliative care is another direction of great interest, as many of my clients are in disease states.  My mission is to provide compassionate care and resources for my clients.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Fresh Fruit Desserts

Take advantage of the wonderful fresh fruit available all summer long to make sweet delicious and entirely healthy desserts.


I had many Korean friends in San Diego. They routinely finished their meals with a slice of sweet watermelon. It's so light, sweet and refreshing, it satisfies your sweet tooth without any damage to your health.


Ambrosia is an old-fashioned dessert made with fresh oranges. Peel several oranges, removing all the pith, and then cut out each section of the oranges into a bowl. Add just one tablespoon of sugar to the orange segments and juice, and mix gently. Divide the orange segments and juice between four pretty bowls. Sprinkle grated coconut over the orange segments and let the dishes sit for a while to combine the flavors. You can use unsweetened or sweetened dried coconut, or grate fresh coconut over the orange slices.


A similar dessert is made with grapefruit, peeled and sectioned just as the oranges are in ambrosia. Combine the fresh grapefruit sections and juice with about 1/4 cup of chopped candied ginger. Cover the mixture and store it overnight in the refrigerator to blend the flavors. Serve in beautiful wine glasses as an elegant dessert.

Apricot Souffle

Cover 1 to 1 1/2 cups of dried apricots with water in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer gently for five minutes. Let the apricots cool overnight in the refrigerator.

The next day, combine the drained apricots with 1/2 cup orange juice in a food processor. Process while adding as much of the cooking liquid as needed to make a smooth puree.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter a 1 quart souffle dish.

In a mixer, beat 5 room-temperature egg whites with a pinch of cream of tartar or 1/4 teaspoon of lemon juice until frothy. Gradually add 1/3 to 1/2 cup of sugar and keep beating the egg whites until they are stiff and glossy. Stir 1/3 of the egg whites into the apricot puree to lighten it. Gently fold in the remaining egg whites until well combined.

Pour the apricot mixture into the souffle dish. Set it into a larger baking dish and pour 1 inch of boiling water around the souffle dish. Bake the souffle in the oven until it is puffed and lightly browned, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve immediately with a little unsweetened fresh cream. You can also cover the souffle with plastic wrap and chill it in the refrigerator to serve cold the next day. It will deflate slightly but will still have a light texture and tangy taste.

Poached Fruit

Combine  a bottle of white wine with an equal amount of water in a large saucepan. Peel the zest from two lemons in long thin strips and add them to the wine and water. Peel two inches of fresh ginger root and cut it into matchstick pieces. Put those in with the wine, water and lemon zest. Add 2 cups of sugar and bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring until the sugar is dissolved.

Peel your favorite fruits -- pears, apples, peaches, apricots, nectarines, plums or whatever you find in the market -- and cut them into large pieces. Keep adding the fruit to the wine mixture while it simmers, until you can't get any more fruit into the liquid. Simmer for up to 20 minutes until the fruit is tender. Cool the mixture and store it in the refrigerator in closed containers. Serve the poached fruit on its own in pretty wine glasses, or serve it with yogurt, maxcarpone, whipped cream or ice cream, sponge cake or crisp cookies. Be sure each serving gets a little of the lemon peel and the ginger as well as fruit. Makes about two quarts of poached fruit and you haven't tasted anything until you taste this!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Is Cervical Manipulation Dangerous?

Cervical manipulation is a technique used by chiropractors, osteopaths, physical therapists and others to treat neck pain and headaches. There is an ongoing debate about whether neck manipulation is better than other forms of treatment for neck pain or headache, and about whether neck manipulation is in fact dangerous. The most recent “British Medical Journal” – BMJ – has fanned the flame by debating whether cervical neck manipulation should be completely abandoned.

This is an important discussion because there is a risk of stroke associated with cervical manipulation, specifically the rapid thrust used to rotate the cervical spine in order to realign cervical vertebrae. Your vertebral arteries are vulnerable to tearing during this kind of manipulation because of their location, around the top cervical vertebra – the atlas. Any abrupt rotation, such as that in a chiropractic or osteopathic neck manipulation, can stretch and tear the artery. The torn artery can become blocked depriving the brain of oxygen, or form a clot which can break loose and enter the brain. Either way, it can cause a stroke.

The incidence of stroke due to injuries suffered during cervical manipulation is low: the medical journal “Neurologist” reports that the best estimate is that about 1.3 persons out of every 100,000 chiropractic patients who receive a neck adjustment suffer a stroke following the treatment.

While this number is not high, there is still a risk, and the consequences of stroke are heartbreaking and devastating. Since there are other treatments that are more conservative and yet still effective – such as the use of heat, ice, gentle stretching and over-the-counter pain medicine – you might decide that forceful cervical manipulation isn't worth the risk.

Although many chiropractors use screening tests to rule out patients who may be susceptible to arterial damage, the medical journal “Spine” says that stroke after cervical manipulation is so unpredictable that screening tests are unreliable. Researchers who authored this article in “Spine” studied as many known cases as possible to try to identify any pattern that could predict who is most at risk for stroke from a neck manipulation, but were unable to do so.

If you do have a cervical manipulation and feel faint, dizzy or nauseated afterward, report it to your chiropractor right away. If there is a possibility of damage to an artery, immediate treatment is necessary.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Aromatherapy Massage Relieves Symptoms of Menopause

An article published April 30, 2012 in the journal "Menopause," the journal of the North American Menopause Society, reports that aromatherapy massage can help relieve the symptoms of menopause.

The abstract says: "A randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial was conducted at a menopausal clinic at a gynecology hospital in Tehran. The study population comprised 90 women who were assigned to an aromatherapy massage group, a placebo massage group, or a control group. Each participant in the aromatherapy massage group received 30-minute aromatherapy treatment sessions twice a week for 4 weeks with aroma oil, whereas participants in the placebo massage group received the same treatment with plain oil. No treatment was provided to participants in the control group." The results showed that both regular massage and massage with aromatherapy helped better than no treatment at all. However, aromatherapy massage was more effective than massage without essential oils.

Menopause: Effect of aromatherapy massage on menopausal symptoms: a randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial