Don’t Panic, Eat (Mostly) Organic

One of Dr. Allie Mendelson’s favorite things to do is to present informative workshops to improve our health and wellbeing. On Monday, January 11, 2021 she had the chance to talk to the town of West Hartford about a subject important to her and her patients: Organic eating.

We had an engaged and eager group of 30 people ready to learn some new, healthy tips from Dr. Allie, and thanks to the wider audience provided by Zoom, this online class drew attendees from Texas and Florida!

The setting provided attendees with an “Ask Dr. Allie” format and once we got rolling, the hour flew by.

The “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean Fifteen” were a great place to start when it comes to produce shopping. Dr. Allie explained that this report is actually updated every year by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) and includes the two main categories. You can find it online or you can even download an app to keep track of the trends.

As a basic rule, it’s always best to buy organic when you are produce shopping, but the Dirty Dozen list includes produce that, when grown conventionally, is heavily sprayed with dangerous pesticides, so buying organic is much safer and healthier.

The Clean Fifteen list includes items that are not heavily sprayed, as a rule, and are safe to buy as conventional. The example Dr. Allie gave was avocados, which are a staple in many ketogenic lifestyles, and they are grown with little or no spraying needed, so shoppers don’t need to spend the money on organic.

Topics ranged from organic and GMO foods, to grass-fed beef, water, cooking oils/fats, grass-fed butter, nuts, and raw milk.

Dr. Allie talked about taking supplements if you are deficient in certain minerals. Most people need a little extra calcium, Vitamin D and Vitamin C. Also magnesium is important. But it’s advisable to get tested by a naturopath to see what your body needs.

Dr. Allie shocked participants with the point she made about eating pink Himalayan salt to help your body, she said “A great way to get minerals is to buy pink Himalayan salt because it has eighty-four minerals in it. Regular salt is very acidic and has only three minerals.” Himalayan salt has iodine in it.

She went on to say, “most people are deficient in salt.” If you don’t have enough sodium, you can’t absorb the minerals your body needs.

When thinking about organic products, it’s important to keep that in mind for what you put in your body, and on your body. When you eat, your liver will help filter the bad ingredients. Of course you’ll tax your liver if you over do the synthetic ingredients. When you use lotions and beauty products on your skin any it’s extremely important for what you put on your skin to be natural because it goes right through your skin and into your bloodstream without the benefit of your liver/filter. Anything you put on your body you should be able to eat.

“What you put on your skin should be organic and clean… that’s why we like essential oils for things like cleaning and more,” said Dr. Allie.

Special thanks to Robin Collins, Gina Marino and Deborah Kennedy with the town of West Hartford Senior Center. Thanks also to Essential Health’s Marketing Manager Joy Taylor for moderating the discussion.

The Q&A style session ended with a quiz on the healthiest countries. Wondering what they are? Watch the video!

Keto Lifestyle May Be For You, If you Like to Eat!

Dr. Allie walked us through the ketogenic lifestyle, “It’s not a diet, it’s a way of life,” she explained at a recent workshop.

Some of the very basic lifestyle tips came to the forefront in the keto talk (see complete class video below), and attendees walked away with some awesome tips.

The ketogenic lifestyle includes the following for a healthy mind, body and spirit:

  • High fat, moderate protein, very low carb, right nutrients, fatty acids
  • Intermittent fasting
  • Hydration
  • Electrolytes and salt
  • Food has dopamine effect, thirst and hunger center right next to each other in Hypothalamus… eating increases dopamine a lot, drinking stimulates much less (which may explain why many of us will turn to food for comfort)
  • Gratitude. Be grateful for our lives, show forgiveness, and express love.
  • Stress stimulates fight/flight. Find ways to cope with — or better yet — release and eliminate stress

Eat, Drink, and Be Merry During The Holidays

Did you know that the average American consumes between 3,500 and 4,500 calories during a big holiday meal and during the course of all the feasting between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve, the average person gains about eight pounds.

I’m not going to preach to you about not eating the once-a-year treats, although I can show you plenty of substitutes to avoid the up-and-down energy levels, and potential fat gain. (Refer to my Sugar Is Bad blog and Sugar Crash video).

Here are my top 3 tips to allow you to eat, drink, be merry and stay lean during the holiday season.

1. Fast First

The easiest way to balance the oops-I-did-it-again holiday overeating is with some fasting. (If you watch my “Longevity” workshop, you’ll know that fasting is an important part of giving our bodies a break and preparing for digestion.)

Fasting anywhere from 14 to 24 hours leading up to the big meal can help you burn some fat, reset your palate so you enjoy your favorite foods even more, and create some caloric wiggle room so you can say “yes” to slice of pie. All you have to do is eat an early dinner the night before, skip breakfast, maybe say no to lunch, and THIS IS IMPORTANT, stay hydrated.

To make it easier, you can drink some black coffee or hot tea during your fast. I suggest decaffeinated organic coffee or tea. This will help you metabolize a little more fat, keep your energy levels up, and keep your appetite down.

2. Exercise Pre-Meal

Squeeze in a workout at the gym, a vigorous walk, or yoga class prior to your feast to prime your body. This will help turn any excess calories into muscle-building rather than fat gain, not to mention giving you more energy. A 20-60 minute workout that combines some reasonably heavy strength training and medium to high-intensity cardio will prime your body for eating.

To make it easier, fuel your workout with a high-quality essential amino acid supplement, which will help you stay focused, energized, and help you maintain muscle while working out in a fasted state.

3. Manage Your Blood Sugar

Most fan-favorite holiday foods are loaded with sugar and likely to spike—and subsequently crash—your blood glucose. Luckily, to stay off the energy roller coaster all you have to do is get in some light physical activity right after the meal. My good friend always takes a 30-minute walk with her family after the holiday meal, before dessert, and it’s a great way to re-energize and help the body with the work of digestion.

There are so many safe and natural sugar substitutes for cooking and baking. Plus you can enjoy chocolate and ice cream without sugar. Some of my patients will serve the gluten free/grain-free/sugar-free treats without announcing it to the family. I’m not encouraging lying to the family, LOL. But if you alter grandma’s recipe a bit, no one really needs to know you used monk fruit sweetener instead of sugar but you!

I also suggest a digestive enzyme before every meal to aid the process since we tend to eat a little more and a few things we may not eat during the rest of the year.

Enjoy your holidays and many will find it is easy to enjoy without sugar! (originally published 12/14/19)

How to Use a Far Infrared Sauna

Using an infrared sauna can reap an incredible amount of rewards. But before you hop in, it’s important to know infrared sauna time limits, usage guidelines, and other tips for your sauna session.

 Infrared Sauna Usage Guidelines

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to use your infrared sauna safely:

  1. Warm up the sauna to the temperature of your choice (when you book your appointment to use our sauna, we make sure it is pre-heated for 20-30 minutes before your scheduled appointment.)

For a far infrared sauna, most people set the temperature for anywhere between 100-140 degrees. If you are a beginner, and particularly if you are not in great health, you’ll want to start at 100 degrees or less. This way you’ll give yourself a chance to get used to the heat.

It’s okay to get in after 10-15 minutes after you’ve turned it on, even if the temperature is not up to your target temperature yet (infrared sauna time limits can vary, but typically that is more than enough time to wait before you hop in). It doesn’t take longer than that for infrared sauna heaters to warm up, and once they do, you’ll be getting the infrared heat effect. The infrared-emitting heaters will be on continuously until the heat gets up to the temperature you set.

(Please note: For a traditional saunas, most people set the temperature for anywhere between 160-200 degrees. Be mindful as this is not a traditional sauna).


  1. Drink Water

Have a glass of water before you enter the sauna. Take some water with you into the sauna as well. This is the most important “how to take a sauna” step! Other good drinks to take into the sauna with you would be a sports electrolyte replacement drink (or coconut water, which is nature’s electrolyte replacement drink!). It’s important to stay hydrated, as your body will sweat.


  1. Bring a Towel With You Into The Sauna

You’ll need a towel to sit on and a smaller towel to wipe down with once you start sweating. Remember, your body will be sending out toxins, including heavy metals, with your sweat, and you won’t want your sauna bench or floor to absorb these. (If you forget yours, towels are available to rent for $2 each.)


  1. If possible, don’t wear clothing into the sauna

If not wearing clothing isn’t an option, then wear the absolute minimum of clothes that you can—not more than a bathing suit, for example.

Why, you ask? Well, some people think they’ll sweat more if they enter a sauna with clothes on. This is dangerous and a mistake! When you cover your skin with clothes, your sweat can’t help cool you down by evaporating on your skin. You will quickly overheat and also lose the benefits of wiping away your toxin-loaded sweat. When you wipe away the toxin-filled sweat, the toxins don’t sit in contact with your skin and possibly be reabsorbed. Remember this, as it is one of the most important infrared sauna usage guidelines.

You will also want to remove jewlery that dangles (some necklaces get hot!)


  1. And finally, relax, reflect, listen to music, read a book, or socialize

This is your time and it’s a time to relax, reflect on your day. Try resting your eyes and mind or meditate for a while. The sauna at Essential Health is made for up to three people, so consider inviting a buddy along. (Add a friend for 50% off).

Standing Desk

Sitting is the New “Smoking”

It took over 40 years for people to realize cigarette smoking causes lung cancer, heart disease, and other serious illnesses.[1]  This lack of understanding destroyed the health of millions of people. In this article we provide a simple plan to overcome what experts believe is another emerging health risk; sitting too much.

What are the risks of sitting too much?

The problem with sitting too much is simply that it’s the opposite of standing, moving or doing exercise, meaning you use less energy than being active. When you stop and think about it, sitting accounts for a lot of time in most all our lives. This inactivity is part of many things we do every day like, surfing social media, watching TV, Netflix, playing video games, etc. Not to mention driving your car or sitting at your desk at work.

Regular Exercise Isn’t the Cure

If you’re thinking “I work out regularly each week” research shows, exercise does not offset extended periods of sitting.[2] This can be deceiving, but if your workouts take up 3 hours per week the reality is, that same week you’ll spend half your waking time – or 56 hours sitting down doing the things listed above. So, while we may get regular exercise, the lack of movement between workouts or activity make it an independent risk factor for heart disease, obesity, blood sugar regulation, certain cancers and genes that regulate chronic disease.[3],[4]

The MaxLife Perpetual Motion Plan

In her breakthrough book “Sitting Kills, Moving Heals” Dr. Joan Vernikos states the human body was not designed to sit. This inspired us to create the MaxLife Perpetual Motion Plan. Here’s how it works.

Take Active Breaks

The plan calls for taking active breaks of 1-2 minutes after 30 minutes of sitting. This is consistent with research maintaining that people who regularly use this method have lower health risks. For best results, we suggest using a timer to remind you to get up and move every 30 minutes. You can do this on your phone, fitness tracker or any basic timer.

Simple ideas to get you moving on your active breaks

  • Stand up and walk around
  • Do some standing like bodyweight squats
  • Try standing up to touch your toes or any stretching that involves the hips and lower body
  • Get up to use the bathroom or get some water
  • Use a desk that can be adjusted to various levels so you can work standing up
  • Switch from sitting to standing at your desk every 30 minutes to break up your workday

Get Active While Sitting

Now, if you must sit, you can place the MaxLiving Inflatable Wobble Cushion on your chair.  This product is an effective yet simple to use, round inflatable device designed to strengthen your core and improve balance. A wobble cushion is strong enough to sit and/or stand on with the benefits of an unstable surface. It’s a fun and easy way to warm up and stretch your spine throughout the day.

Health Benefits of Inflatable Wobble Cushion

maxliving inflatable wobble cushion

Sitting on a wobble cushion makes the simple act of sitting an active experience that targets and strengthens your core muscles, decreases back pain, and improves your posture.

  • Encourages and develops core strength and stability
  • Increases energy levels
  • Reduces back instability, fatigue, and pain
  • Improves balance

We hope this article opened your eyes to the power of movement and with just a few simple steps can bring remarkable benefits. By following our MaxLife Perpetual Motion Plan, you’ll burn more calories which may help maintain a healthy body weight and improve energy levels. At a minimum, committing to moving more will help sustain muscle tone, flexibility and your mental well-being, at any age.

[1] Cummings, K. M., & Proctor, R. N. (2014). The changing public image of smoking in the United States: 1964-2014. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention : A Publication of the American Association for Cancer Research, Cosponsored by the American Society of Preventive Oncology, 23(1), 32–36.
[2][3] Grace, M. S., Formosa, M. F., Bozaoglu, K., Bergouignan, A., Brozynska, M., Carey, A. L., … Kingwell, B. A. (2019). Acute effects of active breaks during prolonged sitting on subcutaneous adipose tissue gene expression: an ancillary analysis of a randomised controlled trial. Scientific Reports, 9(1).
[4] Patel, A. V., & Rees-Punia, E. (2018). Causes of Cancer: Physical Inactivity. In Reference Module in Biomedical Sciences. Elsevier.
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Insurance and Chiropractic Care – In Network with Cigna!

Insurance coverage for chiropractic care can depend on a variety of factors. Most plans cover the cost of chiropractic care for acute (short-term) conditions. Furthermore, most will cover initial and some rehabilitative care for acute conditions.

Co-pays are typically from $30 to $55 per treatment, but individual plans will vary.

Regarding maintenance or wellness treatments, our patient care manager will check on your particular plan and coverage when you come to Essential Health. Please be sure to bring your insurance card to your first visit.

We are now in-network with Cigna, as well as:

  • Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • Connecticare
  • United Healthcare
  • Oxford Health Plans
  • Medicare

Call 860-269-3228 x1 to learn more.

Please note, if your plan doesn’t cover our services, know that our cash plans typically are about the same cost as many plans’ co-payments.

Rich Reggero will Lead Yoga Classes at Essential Health

Starting August 3, 2020, Richard Reggero (Rich) will lead an “All Levels Vinyasa” class twice a week. Classes will be held Mondays and Thursdays from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

Rich has been a competitive athlete most of his life, and before finding yoga, his list of sports spanning the past 30 years include baseball, golf, swimming, football, hockey, running, triathlons, and basketball.

Rich turned to yoga in 2010 after suffering a series of knee injuries (due to the multiple sports he participated in.) Yoga gave him a perfect way to help his injuries. Rich initially used yoga to help rehabilitate his knee. He found that Baptiste-inspired yoga could be an athletic practice while being soothing at the same time. Over eight years of practice, he strengthened his body, mind, and spirit and wants to help others do the same.

Vinyasa Yoga is said to work at the physical, mental, and emotional levels, and helps to connect the mind to the body. Yoga movements are great exercise and helps to relieve anxiety and stress.

Rich completed his 200hr YTT training in December 2017 and attended an additional 35 hours of training in 2018 and 2019 specializing in the art of assisting and in bringing yoga to veterans and first responders. He is thrilled to be joining the Essential Health team!

Rich has been an Army officer, a schoolteacher, tutor, and a youth sports coach. He considers it his calling to lead and inspire others.






How Chiropractic Care Works

Chiropractic is the most amazing thing for your health and your immune system!

Dr. Allie has been in practice for 28 years and loves to share her knowledge of how the body works, and why chiropractic care, along with healthy habits, will enable the body do what it is made to do: stay healthy.

Most people will see a dentist for oral health care as early as 3 years old (or even younger), and learn the good practices to keep a healthy mouth. On the other hand, most of us ignore our spinal health until around at 47!

Dr. Allie treats children, teens and adults, and in the video below,  Dr. Allie explains the different techniques used for kids verses adults.

Dr. Allie leads a class for new patients called “Doctor’s Report” and it takes place on Monday evenings. She gives an overview of x-rays, utilizing some samples from past patients (with permission), and will review patient x-rays in privacy. She recently recorded the presentation, via Facebook Live, and we are providing it here . (This is an edited version, with bigger Xrays, of what originally aired on Facebook, 5/26/20)

The video includes some fascinating “before and after” examples of x-rays of the spinal cord.

Dr. Allie explains that the “brain sends signals to your body, through your spinal cord, out to the nerves, to help your body help itself.”

For a wellness consultation, and more information about care by Dr. Allie Mendelson call 860-269-3228 today!

Introducing a Saturday Yoga “Movement Class”

Starting Saturday, January 11, 2020 we will offer a morning, all-levels “Movement Class” with Lisa Lazarus, Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT). The class will consist mostly of static and dynamic stretching and some restorative yoga poses that can be performed in a chair or on the floor. The focus of the class is to encourage movement and provide exercises and mobility drills that can be performed at home.

No previous yoga experience necessary and the poses can be modified to fit your needs and body type.

Please wear comfortable yoga clothes, bring your mat, and join us for a FREE introductory class on Saturday, January 11, 2020 from 7:45 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. Free on-street parking, and/or Dunkin Donuts parking lot.

Sign up to come again at our usual yoga rates: $15 walk-in rate, or buy 10 classes for $120, 30 classes for $300.

Other yoga classes at Essential Health include an all levels class on Tuesday and Thursdays at 9:30 a.m.

Sugar is Bad…

If you’ve met Dr. Allie Mendelson, or listened to her radio show, you know she is not a fan of cane sugar.

“Sugar is more addicting than cocaine and causes weight gain and several other health issues and chemical stress in your body,” says Dr. Allie.

Health issues related to blood sugar imbalances are on a sharp rise. The CDC estimates over 100 million people in North America have health issues related to blood sugar imbalances and over 80% of them don’t even know it. Dr. Allie shares easy lifestyle strategies for enjoying social events while reducing your sugar intake at a recent workshop. Click here to listen.

If you are confused by the sugar substitutes and options, you can refer to this handy chart.

What exactly is Chiropractic? How can it Help Me or a Loved One?

What exactly is Chiropractic? How can it Help Me or a Loved One?
Chiropractic is not about treating conditions and illnesses. Instead, Chiropractic takes the stress off the body through adjustments and in doing so, the symptoms of those conditions subside and in some cases disappear.
Parents bring their kids in for colic, acid reflux, torticollis, flat spots on their heads, sports injuries, sensory processing disorder, ear infections, sleep problems, headaches, constipation, immune system function and overall well-being.
Adult patients come in for some of the same as well as many different reasons: neck and back pain, headaches, sinus problems, digestive issues, sports injuries and preventative / wellness care.
Let us help you heal from the inside out!

Essential Health Events Not to Miss!

Stay up to date on all the happenings at Essential Health offered to support your natural approach to health and healing

Please click here to see all of our upcoming events and RSVP information!

Client Appreciation Day Saturday 1/19 !

Save the Date for Celebrating you!


We love our patients!

Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to help you achieve your best state of health and wellness!

Come in for a morning of pampering!

Free chair massages between 930-1130am

Free Aroma Touch Hand Massage between 900-12oopm

Buy one Get one free Sauna Sessions

Rebel Ice Cream Raffle

Coupon for free initial consult with Dr Allie for friend or family member!


Sports Sprain, Tear, Strain? Chiropractic care can help!

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Can a Chiropractor Help After Sports Injury

If you’re an elite or recreational athlete, numerous demands of participating in a sport such as running, jumping and tackling puts your body at risk for painful tears, sprains, and strains.

Seeing a chiropractor can help you when you’ve suffered sports injuries and also help to prevent them.

Chiropractors treat and can help prevent injuries of the neck, back, shoulder, knee, and ankle. Manual adjustment of the spine, ensures that bones are lined up and balanced, which helps relieve tension in the body. This allows the body to function better and become less susceptible to injury. The goal is to restore or enhance joint function while resolving joint inflammation and reducing pain. This hands-on therapy is often used to treat neck or back injuries but also relieves pain throughout the joints and muscles in the body.

The main reasons athletes suffer sports injuries include forceful impacts, repetitive motions, over-training and failure to warm up properly. Adjustments can help athletes by relieving their pain and helping them heal faster after an injury. Regular visits will promote quicker recovery after games and training as well as better balance and overall performance.

During spinal manipulation, a manual impulse in applied to an affected joint. This releases pressure in the joint and aligns muscles and joints so they work the way they’re supposed to.  In some cases, the impulse causes an audible cracking sounds, called cavitation, due to the release of gas that happens when the joint opens up and motion is restored.

Chiropractic care can also help you prevent injuries from occurring. Before beginning an exercise regimen or a sport, it’s recommended that athletes get evaluated by a chiropractor. We can check your muscles and spine to detect imbalance and alleviate tension so that the body can work naturally rather than be prone to injury.


Pain in the Foot! (Peripheral Neuropathy)? Adjustments Can be of Tremendous Help!


While about 60% of patients who suffer from diabetes also develop peripheral neuropathy, a nerve condition that causes tingling, numbing and tickling in the extremities In addition to pain and numbness, the condition can include a variety of other symptoms such as prickling and throbbing or a freezing sensation. In addition, it can also damage the brain’s capacity to communicate properly with regions of the body.

While chiropractic care is not a ‘cure’ for peripheral neuropathy, it is an important part of an effective treatment program

Treatment programs that cover up the symptoms are ignoring the bigger problem. Dr Allie follows a ‘whole body’ approach to treatment, which means we start by addressing the underlying trigger for a patient’s pain; a diagnostic exam is conducted in order to identify the cause of the pain and understand which specialty of care is needed in addition to chiropractic care.

Early diagnosis and treatment may reduce the severity of the motor nerve and sensory nerve damage, as well as help patients with the management of the disease. The pain symptoms associated with peripheral neuropathy indicate poor health conditions and need to be evaluated carefully.

Peripheral neuropathy is a condition often associated with diabetes, despite the fact it can also be caused by autoimmune disorders, tumors, nutritional imbalances or infections, and it can even be hereditary. The nerve disorder currently affects about 20 million people in the United States, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, and while the symptoms may seem unimportant, early diagnosis may prevent further complications.

Everyone experiences peripheral neuropathy a little differently. For some individuals, the pain may come and go, while for others, the pain may be constant. As the condition worsens, individuals may experience coordination and balance loss, along with a freezing pain, muscle weakness or extreme sensitivity to touch. We urge anyone who may be experiencing these symptoms to seek treatment.