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The Graduate Institute

  • How Do We Learn From Emotional Hunger?

    The holidays with their promising cornucopia of delicious food are fast approaching. Perhaps some of us might be already worrying about over-indulging. How much we eat around the holidays, however, is not the problem. Most humans overeat on occasion when dining with friends and family. Further, most of us at some point in life feel somewhat concerned about the way we eat or about changes in our weight or appearance. It is when the concern leads to eating as a strategy of avoidance or when it becomes the number-one coping mechanism that we must pause and examine if we...

  • Top Ten “Must Haves” for Fighting Colds and Flu

    “Always be prepared” is a motto that has worked for the Boy Scouts for decades. It seems like a reasonable plan given there are still a few months of cold and flu season left. Caring for your family using natural remedies can be challenging enough, let alone at 10 pm on a Sunday night when anything resembling a natural health market is closed and your only option is a walk-in clinic dispensing the dreaded antibiotics. Wouldn’t it be easier if you had a fully stocked natural toolkit to use at the very first sign of a sniffle? Here is...

  • Realize Your Dreams Through Financial Planning

    Almost a year ago an accomplished doctor and her successful businessman husband entrusted me to be their Certified Financial Planner and Private Wealth Advisor. Our first two hours working together were spent at their kitchen table talking about who they are today and who they wanted to become over time. They described the parents they wanted to be to their young children, the partner each aspired to be to one another, and the visions they had for their respective careers. They described how they felt when it came to managing their money and what kind of financial fears kept...

  • Spirituality in a Primary Care Setting

    The gift of being able to bear witness to people’s journeys, not only through health but through life, is one of the greatest that I’ve encountered. Even despite the way that health has been parsed out into body systems and parts and made into algorithms matching symptoms to diagnoses, to a medication. The human body is a majestically complex system; every system feeding the other, an imbalance in one creating compensation in another. There is a beauty in the organization, the precision, and the wisdom of the process; one that supersedes even the most advanced medical interventions and theory....

  • Natural Approaches to Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

    Few people realize that the intestinal tract has its own nervous system that communicates directly with the brain . Because of this unique nervous system, people with irritable bowel syndrome often have intensified responses to abdominal distension or movement that can result in the brain receiving distressingly strong pain signals. . . . Despite its prevalence, there is no universally accepted medical treatment that directly addresses irritable bowel syndrome symptoms in all people. ~ Life Extension Magazine, Relief From Irritable Bowel Syndrome (2015) It is estimated that at least 20% of the American population has IBS....

  • Barre at the Brewery Event in Downtown Hartford

    Barre class followed by an ice-cold beer is enough to make any weekend great, but this past weekend got even better when our Barre class was held inside the brewery. Last weekend Hartford Sweat hosted a Barre class in “Hartford’s Living Room,” aka Hog River Brewing Company. We got the chance to chat with Lauren Skau Taylor, our Barre instructor for the afternoon, to discover how this fun fitness event came into fruition. AM: Could you tell me a little bit about yourself and Hartford Sweat? LST: I have a background of 12 years of ballet and dance as...

  • Monetize Your Mission…Through Marketing Your Solutions

    Many holistic practitioners invest heavily into updating their professional credentials. While it’s important to enrich your skill set, this isn’t necessarily the magic bullet that takes your practice to the next level of financial success. My question to you is: How much certification training is enough? The answer is simple. If adding one more modality does not deliver more committed clients, then it’s time to rethink how you are spending your resources (or time and energy). Attracting more clients often boils down to developing a targeted marketing plan. You already have great credentials. It’s time to get the word...

  • Insulin Resistance as an Adaptation: Helpful or Not?

    It was commonly believed that insulin resistance, a precursor to type II diabetes, developed as an adaptation to periods of starvation in our evolutionary history. This hypothesis was based on the premise that in times of starvation the body could preserve glucose levels, important for the brain and tissue healing. In times of plenty the body could readily store fat for future energy. This was known as the “Thrifty Gene Hypothesis”. Individuals who had this gene adaptation were more likely to survive lean times and later reproduce offspring. Current research has found this hypothesis to be inadequate. In times...

  • Stop Those Attack Thoughts with Somatic Experiencing

    We think of ourselves as having one brain but functionally we have three. The front brain or frontal cortex is the brain of clear thinking, analysis, inspired thought. The mid brain or limbic brain processes emotions. The back brain, called the mammalian brain because it is the brain all mammals have, is an amazing emergency response system that releases high levels of 18 different hormones when we perceive we are in danger. It is the brain that would allow the mom to be able to pick up the Volkswagen because the baby is stuck under it. Our life and...

  • Reconnect with Nature, Reconnect with Yourself: A Whole-Health Journey in Africa

    At times in life we lose track of the expansiveness of the universe. We sit in our cubicles hard at work, and we begin to feel that this is life: these four walls, and the immediate work in front of us. But Donna Bunte of Donna Bunte Whole Health, located in Greenwich, Connecticut, wants those of us who feel this way to recognize that we are all apart of this vast universe that extends far beyond these four walls. She believes in order to feel whole again, one must reconnect with nature, and learn to be still. Having traveled...

  • 10 Step Ayurvedic Approach to Body Weight Management

    Are you ready for a holistic approach to weight management that takes into account your unique constitution, imbalances, habits, mindset, and lifestyle? Ayurvedic texts provide us with an approach that takes into account the whole person. It works on overall health and well-being; physically, mentally, and emotionally. What is more rewarding is that Ayurvedic weight management has long lasting effects on your health and well-being. Ayurveda, an ancient system of medicine developed in India, is the sister science of yoga. The primary goals of Ayurveda are to promote health and prevent and manage disease while promoting longevity. Here are...

  • Home Care Vs. Home Health Care: What’s the Difference?

    You’ve probably heard the saying: “Home is where the heart is.” Between the familiarity, the memories and the sense of independence, it’s not a surprise 9 out of 10 older adults want to live in their homes for as long as possible. However, to age in place, seniors often need assistance. Help may come in many forms from family and friends to professional services. Here are some of the types of in-home care older adults may need to remain in their homes. Home Care There are two main types of private (or non-medical) home care: companion and personal. Companion...

  • Digging Deeper into Diabetes

    Diabetes mellitus, more commonly known as simply “diabetes,” involves the dysfunction of insulin, a hormone produced by pancreatic beta cells which controls sugar levels in the body. Historically, there were two classifications of Diabetes mellitus: Type 1, an autoimmune disorder which attacks pancreatic beta cells and thereby prevents the normal production of insulin, and Type 2, a progressive disease that reduces the ability of the body to utilize insulin properly. More recently, a third type has emerged in the literature: Type 3c, insulin dysfunction resulting from pancreatic disease states. Because the therapeutic approaches for each of these distinct types...

  • Food-Confused?. . .Choose Minimally Processed for Optimal Wellness

    “…the most meaningful label on your food . . . is the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) organic seal. For a product to be certified organic, it’s required to meet specific standards: Organic crops cannot be grown with synthetic fertilizers, synthetic pesticides or sewage sludge. Organic crops cannot be genetically engineered or irradiated. Animals must eat only organically grown feed (without animal byproducts) and can’t be treated with synthetic hormones or antibiotics. Animals must have access to the outdoors, and ruminants (hoofed animals, including cows) must have access to pasture. Animals cannot be cloned.”...

  • Understanding Brain Chemistry: Natural Treatments for Anxiety & Panic

    Naturopathic medicine’s proverbial toolbox is full with herbs that can help treat anxiety and panic disorder. Plants with sedative or anxiolytic, (literally, “anxiety breaking”) properties can quickly dampen symptoms of anxiety. Some of these herbs may be familiar, frequently discussed in everyday culture; herbs like Passionflower, Oats, and Lemon Balm have wonderful calming qualities and many have used Valerian for its sedative properties in promoting sleep. I often give patients the example of Hops, which is used to make beer, and describe the use of Kava in the islands of the South Pacific to quell social anxiety. Another classic...

  • How Is Your Brain Performing?

    If you are an athlete and want to make sure that your brain is performing at its best, or you play a sport that has a possibility of concussive injuries, baseline testing at the beginning of the season is a must. At the NeuroEdge Brain Performance Center, we strive to bring athletes, students, executives, and anyone who wants to improve their overall cognitive well-being, the very latest in brain performance enhancement techniques. Triple Baseline Testing The first step in improving brain performance is to determine how the brain is currently performing with triple baseline testing. This baseline testing is...

  • How is Acupuncture Like a Snow Globe?

    Metaphors can be extremely helpful in understanding complex issues. After all, life is like a box of chocolates, right? Well, acupuncture, which has been historically understood in the West as a form of energy medicine with Qi flowing through invisible pathways on the body, is actually a very complex, highly sophisticated medical system. (The “energy” model of acupuncture is ac-tually based on a mistranslation of the Chinese character for Qi, but that’s another story for an-other day). To learn TCM, one needs to rewire one’s linear Western way of thinking, blazing new neural pathways to see the body as...

  • 8 Tips to Restoring Healthy Brain Function

    Sleep, water, stress reduction, exercise, and diet are key when it comes to brain health. Here’s my top recommendations for improving brain health: Sleep: We need at least 6 ½ hours sleep, preferably 7-8, for the body to be free of stress, and at least four hours before 3 am so we get the release of growth hormone that occurs in deep sleep, otherwise cortisol release will interfere, peaking at 4 am. Water: Adequate water intake is vital: dividing your weight in pounds by 2 gives the number of ounces of water per 24 hours. Try to sip throughout...

  • Monetize Your Mission

    Bottom line: No personal or business standards? Then NO $$$! It seems like such a simple solution. Raise your standards and voila! – more highly motivated and abundant clients. The answer may be simple, but the reality is more complicated. Let’s first look at where most of us holistic and spiritual professionals stand today in our business. Unfortunately, most do not charge enough money for services and accept any unqualified client who will pay our undervalued rate. Then WE struggle to pay our bills. However, many holistic professionals are fearful of raising rates because clients will leave. What we...

  • Rethink How You Are Taking Pictures!

    I am currently in the midst of scanning two very large photo orders for two different clients. It’s so much fun for me because I love pictures and I love seeing the memories families have captured. Sometimes the individuals I may be doing Memory Books for have Alzheimer’s or Dementia and I really can’t converse with them about the process. But give me a little time and I can still tell the family stories … just by looking at photos. I did three Albums for a woman who has Alzheimer’s (I’ll call her Joan). I’ve never met her. Her...

  • The Historically Hip Hotel Valley Ho in Scottsdale

    Just thirty minutes from downtown Phoenix, Scottsdale is a small desert city known for its spas, outdoor trails, shopping, nightlife, and more than 200 golf courses. Farther north, trails wind through McDowell Sonoran Preserve, a desertscape of hills, rock formations and cacti. Nearby is Taliesin West, architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s former home and studio. Downtown’s Old Town Scottsdale has 1920s buildings and 19th-century olive trees. Originally opened on December 20, 1956, Hotel Valley Ho has classically cool roots and stands as a modernist icon in Downtown Scottsdale. Owned by John B. Mills, along with Robert Foehl and his wife...

  • Hotel Indigo Santa Barbara Combines Historic Beauty with Contemporary Sophistication

    ‘The American Riviera’ of the west coast also known as Santa Barbara is the perfect spot for a beach and adventure filled vacation. From wineries, to botanical gardens, art museums, and outdoor sports Santa Barbara has something for everyone. Hotel Indigo Santa Barbara is conveniently located right next to the ‘Funk Zone’ neighborhood, known to locals as the urban trendy spot in town. Offbeat, vibrant and full of character, this trendy industrial district sits a block off State Street near the entrance to Santa Barbara. Artists love to fire up their blowtorches and art lovers hit the streets to...