Newsbriefs - Local Articles

Articles from: May 2015

Exercise for Breast Health by Julie Goodale

If you care about your breasts, get some exercise. Why? Because there is a strong link between regular, moderate exercise and breast health.

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Acupuncture and Herbs Can Relieve Spring Allergies by Dr. Naomi Pelzig, M.D.

As we head into spring, many of us find ourselves needing to manage our allergic reactions to all of the trees, grass and flowers that we adore. While allergy pills alone may help, there are other approaches that can help manage the itchy eyes, nasal congestion, sneezing and discomfort so we can breathe easily and comfortably.


In a two-month study featured in the 2013 Annals of Internal Medicine researchers in Germany showed that the group who combined acupuncture with allergy pills used less medication and were more comfortable than the group who received sham, or “fake point” acupuncture, or the group that used only allergy pills. For best results, acupuncture typically needs to be done in a series of treatments at the beginning of allergy season with occasional “booster” treatments again when needed.


Herbs also can be beneficial for seasonal allergies. Dr. David Rakel, M.D., director of the University of Wisconsin Integrative Medicine Program, suggests butterbur as an alternative to allergy medications because it blocks some of the chemicals that cause swelling in the nasal passage. It also has the benefit of not causing drowsiness. It has been shown to be as effective as a similar pharmaceutical.

Chinese Herbs

Chinese herbs can be used to address very specific symptoms such as alleviating red, itchy eyes of relieving coughing. Some of those include Japanese Catnip to inhibit allergic reactions and magnolia flower buds and Xanthium to alleviate dry phlegm and mucus. Quercetin, as well as the catechins in green tea, seem to act as natural antihistamines. Because of the catechin antioxidant, drinking either hot or iced green tea may help alleviate those springtime allergy symptoms.

Soothe the Gut

Dr. Subhuti Dharmananda, Ph.D. of The Institute for Traditional Medicine in Portland, Oregon believes that when there is a weakness in the ability to break down food that this can have an adverse effect on the sinuses. Licorice root and turmeric can be used to strengthen the stomach and heated towels and face massage can be used to help soothe the sinuses. Placing ginger extract in sesame oil near the nose also is often recommended.

Dr. Naomi Pelzig, M.D., has been in practice in Nyack for almost 25 years combining what she feels are the most helpful aspects of western and traditional medicines. She began studying acupuncture in the 1980s and also has studied Chinese and western herbal medicine, meditation as well as osteopathic manipulation. She practices with her colleagues at Hudson Valley Integrated Medicine, located at 42 Main St. in Nyack, where they do holistic primary care, acupuncture, herbal medicine, osteopathic manipulative medicine, physical medicine and rehabilitation and physical therapy. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 353-3267 or visit

Growing Herbs and Native Plants to Attract Pollinators by Alicia Frosini

Pollinators, including the Monarch Butterfly, are responsible for much of the food that we eat. Unfortunately, the populations of many of these pollinators, including bees, butterflies, bats and beneficial insects, are on the decline worldwide. Loss of habitat, climate change and the use of systemic insecticides are a few of the causes for decreased population. The good news is that we can all help—even if it is just by creating a small backyard garden.

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Celebrate Rockland County Pride

On Sunday May 31, VCS will be hosting its annual Juried Art Exhibit & Sale to benefit Rockland County Pride with a wine and cheese reception at RoCA in West Nyack. The event is free and open to all. This will be followed by a concert for Rockland County Pride on Friday, June 12 and an LGBT Dance on Saturday, June 13. Tickets for both events are $25 in advance or $30 at the door. The events will culminate with Pride Sunday on Sunday, June 14 in the Main Street Parking Lot in Nyack from noon to 5 p.m. featuring entertainment, vendors and children’s activities.

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GARNER Arts Festival Celebrates Art and Textiles in May

The lower Hudson Valley’s premier arts festival will be Saturday, May 30 and Sunday, May 31. This year, GARNER Arts Center will celebrate the textile history of the National Historic Register complex it calls home.

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Re-Balancing the Feminine by Maryann McQuillan, L.Ac.

Going through your “changes” is a process – to say the least! It reminds me of all the “stuff” we were confused by in high school and engages that piece of us that still needs healing. After all, it is the time of woman’s empowerment right? Or perhaps there is more to the hot flashes, mood swings, short-term memory loss, zero sex drive etc…?

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Scoliosis and Leg Length Inequality by Dr. Calvin Hargis

The traditional treatment of scoliosis has been based on the misconception that most cases of scoliosis are mysterious and arise from idiopathic or undetermined causes. This concept has evolved for two reasons. One is that many x-ray studies performed to measure scoliosis are limited to the spine only without visualizing the upper legs. This can be problematic because if the hips are not visualized on the x-rays no information on leg length or leg length difference can be gained. The second is that pediatricians seldom look at x-rays themselves but depend on reports from radiologists who seldom comment on leg length inequality.

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Stay Focused and Motivated with Five Star Program©

Mariola Strahlberg, MS, LAc, has been helping people, young and old with their learning, behavioral and emotional challenges for the past 15 years.

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Healing for Painful Breasts and Fibrocystic Breast Disease by Barbara Gordon-Cohen, D.O.

Fibrocystic breasts, or cyclical breast lumpiness and tenderness, is a common reason women consult their physicians. Many women notice signs of painful and tender breasts one week prior to their menses. This is attributed to excessive estrogen in breast tissue. Women who take birth control pills or estrogen during menopause maybe similarly affected. Thankfully, fibrocystic breasts can be treated and eliminated very effectively and naturally.

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Yoga with a Kabbalistic Twist

“When people think about yoga they often think about wonderful body strengthening poses, an opportunity to unwind and a spiritual tradition that involves chanting in Sanskrit and perhaps practicing in a studio with icons and smells of incense,” says Bracha Meshchaninov, a religiously observant Orthodox Jewish yogini. “I want to change that.”

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