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Published by Halston Media, 2018-12-13 12:54:28

Westchester Wellness December 2018/January 2019

VOL. 1 NO.7 DECEMBER 2018 / JANUARY 2019
Embrace winter’s
during the
How to
Hudson Valley
Gift Guide
Last minute nds for
your whole list
• Tranquility Spa treatments to feel your best
• The secret to holiday happiness starts with good gut health • From au pair to marathoner
And much more

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You will not be disappointed.”
Dr. Bert Torres, MD, Internal Medicine, White Plains, NY

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Table of Contents
Health and Wellness
What it is and how it could work for you
Tips on dealing with the common cold
9 DETOXING AYURVEDIC STYLE Benefits of Ozone Therapy
Tips for enjoying a happy and healthy holiday season
12 SIP AWAY THE WINTER BLUES A hot cup of tea for a cold winter night
14 FALL PREVENTION AND INTERVENTION Risk reduction starts at the doctor
15 THE BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO CRYSTALS A gift guide for your spiritual side
16 SUN-POWERED HORSE FARM Riding high on solar energy
17 HIT THE BOOKS Curl up with a good read
18 COPING WITH HOLIDAY CHAOS Foolproof tips for enjoying the season
19 APPRECIATION ALPHABET A practice in gratitude
20 THE SEASON OF STILLNESS A yoga sequence you can do at home
22 LAST MINUTE GIFT GUIDE Local finds you can get in a pinch
24 REVITALIZE, REFRESH, REJUVENATE The benefits of a spa day
26 FROM AU PAIR TO MARATHONER How one woman ran her first big race
27 WISE UP TO SAGE One plant, many uses
28 GET BUSY LIVING OR GET BUSY DYING The quest to conquer Kilimanjaro
Live Well
30 WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE GOING PAPERLESS Should you shred important documents?
32 ‘TIS THE SEASON FOR GIVING Priceless gifts are possible
33 THE KIDS ARE NOT ALRIGHT The dangers of vaping
34 SPECIAL NEEDS TRUSTS Why you might need one
36 WAKE UP! Don’t be a drowsy driver
Dana Hanrahan, owner of Jar Worthy in Carmel PHOTO BY TABITHA PEARSON MARSHALL.

A s k
A n
E x p e r t
Life Settlement – Is it Right for You or Your Parents...?
By Andrew J. Cavaliere, CLTC
Life insurance provides solutions to meet various nancial needs. Over time, however, circumstances can change and with them the need for insurance. In fact, nearly 98% of all term life insurance policies never mature in a claim. Life Settlements allow policyholders an option not previously available to policy owners.
A “Life Settlement” is a lump sum payment to the owner of a life insurance policy by one of many funding sources in exchange for the ownership of the policy. Never before have non-terminal policyholders been able to receive capital in excess of their policy’s cash or surrender value to increase their cash ow.
Typically, anyone over age 70 who has $100,000 or more in life insurance coverage that is beyond the period of contestability may qualify for a Life Settlement. Other factors considered in the negotiations are the policy’s cash surrender values and the cost of premiums. A basic principle to remember is that the older the age of the insured and/or the more health complications that exist, the higher the settlement.
The fundamentals of the Life Settlement transaction have technically been around since 1989 in the form of “Viatical Settlements”. Individuals at any age can qualify for a viatical settlement if they have a chronic or terminal illness such as Cancer or HIV. Viatical Settlements have always been contingent upon the health of the insured, whereas Life Settlements are based primarily upon the life expectancy of the insured. In most states, a terminally ill senior applicant will need to use a licensed Viatical Broker and/or Funding Source, in order to abide by state rules and regulations and to retain the tax-exempt status on the settlement.
An 80 year old woman owns a $1,000,000 universal life insurance policy with an annual premium of $26,860 and a cash surrender value of $14,509. In this case, the owner sold her life insurance policy for 8X the cash surrender value or $115,545. Now she is free to stop paying all future premiums and use that money for other necessities that are more important at this point in her life. Please note that often individuals are able to sell a portion of the death bene t for cash as well as retaining a signi cant permanent death bene t for nal expenses with no future premiums being required.
According to industry reports, Life Settlement proceeds are tax-free up to the cost basis (premiums paid since policy inception). They are taxed as ordinary income from basis to cash surrender value and proceeds above the cash surrender value are taxed as capital gains. We recommend that all applicants consult their tax advisor to address any tax concerns.
Once the Life Settlement change of ownership has been recorded with the insurance company and the policy owner has received their money, the Life Settlement Funding Source will continue to pay premiums for the life of the insured. Most types of life insurance qualify including: Whole Life, Universal Life, Convertible Term Life and Survivorship Life. Keystone Financial Advisors provides this appraisal free of charge and there is no obligation to accept a settlement at any time.
For more information about Life Settlement appraisals please call Andrew J. Cavaliere, CLTC at 914-682-2190 or toll free at 877-676- 9900. Andrew is certi ed in Long-Term Care (CLTC) from the Corporation for Long-Term Care Certi cation, Inc. Andrew is a member in good standing of the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT), which is the premier Association of nancial professionals nationally. Andrew’s of ces are located at 50 Main Street, White Plains, NY 10606 and at 263 Tresser Blvd, 9th Floor, Stamford, CT 06901.

Westchester Wellness Contributors
The Staff
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©2018 halston mEdia, llC
Salvatore M. Di Costanzo is a partner with the rm of Maker,Fragale&DiCostanzo, LLP located in Rye and Yorktown Heights.
Millie Elia, ANP-BC, CHWC is a Nurse Practitioner in oncology, and the owner of M. Elia Wellness, LLC located in Westchester County. She o ers integrative health
coaching and consulting to women with genetic or familial risk factors for breast cancer.
Anthony J. Enea, Esq. is a member of the rm of Enea, Scanlan & Sirignano, LLP of White Plains. His o ce is centrally located in White Plains and he has a home o ce in Somers.
Stephanie Gomme is a Parent Partner in the Family Empowerment Program at CoveCare Center in Carmel.
Dr. Deborah Hardy is an educational consul- tant focused on assisting students to achieve their post-secondary journey.
Dr. Somesh N. Kaushik, ND, BAMS, MPH, MPA, E-RYT500 is the owner and chief medical practitioner of Dr. Kaushik’s Ayurvedic
and Naturopathic Clinic in Cross River.
Lee Marcus, MD, MS, FACC, FASPC. Dr. Marcus is Board Certi ed in Cardio- vascular Disease and Nuclear Cardiology at Preventive Cardiology of New York.
Donna Massaro is the owner of e Freight House Cafe in Mahopac. She believes in healthy, locally-sourced food.
Ralph M. Newman of Ardsley is a freelance writer whose work includes articles for various special-interest publications.
Elizabeth Pasquale, LMT, CST, NLP is the creator and director of Well On e Way® LLC, holistic therapies in Ossining and White Plains.
Jaime Roche, MSW, RYT is
a 200 hr OM Yoga and Yin
Yoga certi ed teacher. She is
a seasoned practitioner who
enjoys helping her clients
develop a practice that supports
their physical, mental and emotional needs.
Dr. Gregory A. Rosner is a doctor with ENT and Allergy Associates and specializes in allergy immunology.
Mara Schi ren, PhD, is a Writer, Certi ed Functional Medicine Health Coach and Clear Beliefs Coach and Yoga Teacher.
C a r o l y n W i n u k , P T, S S F, T C R is a practicing physical therapist, an ISSA certi ed Specialist in Senior Fitness and a Tai Chi for Rehabilitation instructor.
Leslee Kavanagh, MS ACN, is a practicing Clinical Nutritionist, specializing in nutrition therapy for digestive, in ammatory and mood disorders. Leslee works with a wellness team practic Center in Somers.
at Bisogni Chiro-

What is Yoga Therapy?
is new eld of practice works on a variety of ailments
The practice of yoga is a well-known way to help manage daily stress and muscle aches. It’s also a fabulous preventative that heads o trouble before it begins.
But what does yoga have to do with therapy?
Yoga erapy is a relatively new eld. It’s perfectly positioned right now to take ad- vantage of the massive momentum yoga has gained in recent years. e more people prac- tice yoga, the more they see the advantages for body, mind and soul. e practice marries physical exercise with committed self-care.
Yoga erapy developed as a way to fo- cus on the speci c therapeutic advantages of yoga and to deepen its bene ts for individu- als dealing with a range of health issues. It is particularly helpful for chronic conditions.
Yoga therapy is also a way to bridge yoga and healthcare based upon individual needs. e o cial de nition of yoga therapy from the International Association of Yoga era- pists states that it’s a “process of empower- ing individuals to progress toward improved health and well-being through the applica- tion of the teachings and practices of yoga.”
So often in our society, people with chronic health conditions are unable to nd help that can reverse their symptoms, let alone cure them. Yoga therapists, along with other com- plementary medicine practitioners, help indi- viduals in this category. Such people can nd themselves in a state of overwhelm born from a sense of helplessness about their ongoing health issues. ey frequently feel powerless to remedy their situation for the good. Further, unspoken conventional wisdom in our society trains chronically ill people to feel disempow- ered about their situation since they have been
taught since childhood to outsource their bodies to medical experts. en, when doctors are unable to solve their problems, disempow- erment, stress and despair accumulate and be- come part of a vicious cycle of deeper illness.
us, the fact that Yoga erapy aims at empowering the individual to begin taking back their health through their own e orts is crucial. For many, this is the rst step at dissi- pating the overwhelm that leads to depression and helplessness. Yoga therapy helps establish a state where symptoms abate. Mind and body become balanced and more uni ed, so the indi- vidual with a chronic condition no longer lives only in their brain while resenting or despising the body that they feel is impeding their lives.
In practice, it’s a set of one-on-one sessions with a yoga teacher trained in yoga therapy to aid clients in solving their particular area of ill health or dysfunction. Each session is tailored to the individual’s symptoms based on intake forms.
Have chronic back pain? Yoga therapists are trained, using a variety of methods, to place you into postures that relieve your speci c ills.
Have depression or anxiety? Here, too, yoga therapists will move you through an in- dividual sequence of positions that will help relieve each of these states.
Other conditions treated: Autoimmune, cancer, cardiac patients, etc. Essentially any illness of dysfunction that needs a long course of care or is chronic.
Beyond the postures, there will be breathwork, meditation and a discussion of diet and daily habits
all tailored to improve a client’s particular state. Do you have chronic stress? e yoga therapist is trained to know how to help you de-escalate your stress using postures, breath-
work, ancient meditations, sound and food. One fascinating example is through the practice of Yoga Nidra. Yoga Nidra, which means yogic sleep, functions by transitioning your body from fully awake to that delicious liminal state between being awake and asleep
so your body achieves deep relaxation.
For the chronic stress su erer, whose body is stuck in a constant state of “ ght or ight,” the key thing is to move into a profound state
of “rest and restore.”
During Yoga Nidra the client lies in a dark-
ened room while the therapist directs attention to the limbs of the body. e client, in turn, brings awareness to each limb before releasing it fully. Each time this occurs, it is not only the limb that is released, but the entire neural pathway that leads back to the brain. e physical e ect of releasing each limb causes a deep relaxation in the brain, slowing down brain waves from the agitated to induce theta state, in which dreaming, imagination and creativity predominate.
Yoga erapy is a practice that bene ts many. It is well worth exploring if you are su ering from chronic illnesses and at the point where you are searching for complementary alterna- tive health care to improve your daily life.
Mara Schi ren, PhD, is a Writer, Certi ed Functional Medicine Health Coach and Clear Beliefs Coach and Yoga Teacher. You can reach her at mara.schi [email protected].

The doctor
will see you now
Cold and u remedies
that actually work
Google home remedies for the cold or u and you’ll nd there’s no shortage of wisdom about ways to pre- vent, shorten or cure what ails you.
But Dr. Gregory Rosner of ENT and Allergy Associates said there’s often no medical evidence to back up these claims. In dealing with a cold or u, Rosner said unless you’re not able to stay hydrated or have a high fever you can skip the doctor if you come down with a stu y nose. Antibiotics prescribed by a doctor won’t do anything in helping you heal
because colds and us are viral, not bacterial, infections. You might want to avoid the gym if you have the u or
fever, but with a mild cold it’s okay to break a light sweat. We asked Rosner about several popular home remedies like taking Vitamin C or echinacea, cutting back on dairy or using essential oils, but Rosner refuted all of those in favor of simple
tried and true methods for getting through a viral infection. Hydration. Rosner stressed that staying hydrated is the number one way to get through a cold or u. If you can’t keep liquids down, or feel yourself getting dehydrated, that’s
when it’s time to seek medical care.
Rest. Especially if you have a fever or just feel crummy.
Slow down and stay home to avoid infecting others.
Wash your hands. It’s the best way for you to avoid shar-
ing your own sick germs or picking up someone else’s. Maintain a healthy diet. It’s great to bulk up on fruits and vegetables when you get sick, but it’s better to have a good diet and exercise routine and get adequate rest year round to
avoid getting sick in the rst place.
If you are going to try some herbal remedy you found at
Whole Foods, Rosner did o er some practical advice: Be careful, because a lot of times those remedies aren’t regulated by the FDA. If you’ve taken it before and haven’t had an ad- verse reaction, it’s probably ne to continue using it.
His professional medical opinion is that often people think the home remedy they’re using is working when it’s actually just a coincidence that the cold has run its course.
And by all means, he said, let your mom feed you her chicken soup. No doctor in the world would argue against that.
An Intergenerational Adult Day Program
providing dementia care
Mount Kisco • 914-241-0770 White Plains • 914-422-8100
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from National Adult Day Services Association (NADSA)

An Ayurvedic Approach to Detoxing
A yur veda is the world’s oldest healing system, having been prac- ticed in India for over 5,000 years. It is called
“mother of all sciences” and de nes health as a balance of body, mind, and spirit. One way to maintain this bal- ance is to embark on a detox program, pref- erably seasonally, as seasonal changes cause a burden on the body and detoxing assists in cleansing and adjust- ing to those changes.
e cornerstone of
an Ayurvedic detoxi-
cation program is a treatment called Panchakarma. e process involves ve therapies which loosen deep seated toxins and moves them from the tissues to the lymph system so that they can be excreted from the body, either through the skin, urine, or feces. As toxins are fat soluble, oils are used to help loosen them. e ve therapies are: Abyhyanga (full body oil massage), Shirodhara (oil drip on the pineal gland or third eye to balance hormones), Nasya (nasal oil drip), Swedana (herbal steam with ozone), and Basti (oil and herb enema). Swedana will be highlighted in this article.
Swedana takes place after the full body oil treatment and the ob- jective is to remove the toxins from the body through sweating af- ter the oil treatment has dislodged them. Swedana is administered when the patient is seated in a steam chamber, with their head exposed, and includes the pumping in of ozone as an added detoxi- er along with medicinal herbs speci c to the patient’s condition. Pathogens cannot survive at high temperatures or in the presence of ozone and the combination of the two provides an accelerated detox. Ozone, in particular, has multiple mechanisms of action that stimulate detoxi cation and provide healing.
Ozone is one of the most powerful healing therapies. It reduces in ammation by mobilizing the body’s antioxidant defense mecha- nism and immobilizing free radicals that are usually causing dam- age to our bodies.
We know that an adequate amount of oxygen is critical for all bodily functions. Without that amount the body does not func- tion at its optimal level and becomes vulnerable to pathogens and illness.
Ozone is very e ective in the destruction of all pathogens. It kills bacteria by interfering with the bacterium cell metabolism, and it destroys viruses by di using through the protein coat, causing viral RNA damage. At a speci c concentration and duration of use, it is estimated that ozone kills 99.999 percent of lipid viruses and bacteria.
By activating cyto- kines, the immune re- lated messenger mole- cules, ozone is a potent immune system regu- lator. e balancing of overactive or underac- tive immune systems can be helpful in ad- dressing all chronic or acute infections.
During a Swedana treatment, the steam opens the skin pores and the ozone seeps through to reach the fat, lymph, and blood cells, thereby allowing toxins to be released. e body is detoxed and oxygen- ated at the same time.
In addition, ozone increases the amount of oxygen in our red blood cells thereby increasing our energy level. And, by repairing and rejuvenating the body at the cellular level, ozone is one of the most powerful anti-aging therapies.
Swedana, with ozone, increases circulation, reduces in amma- tion, relaxes muscles, rejuvenates tissues, relieves stress, and im- proves digestion and mobility. And, since toxins are stored in fat tissue, their removal results in the loss of fat as well. Swedana can be used individually in the treatment of many chronic conditions or in combination with the other components of Panchakarma for a fully e ective detoxi cation program.
Dr. Kaushik’s Ayurvedic and Naturopathic Clinic uses ozone with steam as part of the Swedana treatment of Panchakarma. Diet, supplements, herbal medicine, homeopathy, and lifestyle counsel- ing, including therapeutic yoga exercises and breathing techniques, may also be included in a detoxing regimen and treatment plan according to one’s particular constitution and health issues.
It is important to undertake a detox program with a practitioner who has experience with the process. Just as self-medicating has pitfalls, so too does detoxing. While detoxing on your own may be tempting, it may result in an adverse reaction if done too quickly, with incorrect components, or without attention to supporting the organs of excretion (liver and kidneys). And, as each one of us is a unique individual, a regimen that works for one person may not work for another. With Ayurveda, the whole person is taken into ac- count and a regimen is prepared particularly for that person’s unique and individual constitution, with progress monitored throughout. Ayurveda treats the body, mind, and spirit to achieve balance, har- mony, and total health. Complete overall wellness is the goal.
Dr. Kaushik’s Ayurvedic and Naturopathic Clinic, 792 Route 35, Cross River, NY 10518; 914-875-9088 (M, T, W ); drkaushik@;
e power of Ozone erapy

Keep Calm and Holiday On
10 tips for enjoying a happy and healthy holiday season
While the sentiment may be that it’s “the most wonderful time Bring a healthy option
of the year,” your mind and body may not always agree. e holiday Preparing a healthy option to bring to a party means that you
season is a busy time for gatherings and gift giving, which can lead many to feel stressed and to overindulge. If you fall into this cat- egory and tend to take your stress out on a tin of holiday cookies, try following these 10 simple tips. It may just help you to enjoy a
are guaranteed to have something nutritious to eat amongst a sea of sweet treats and unhealthy choices. Bring your favorite as- sortment of crunchy veggies (include every color of the rainbow) with a protein-packed Greek yogurt dip, or homemade hummus. is healthy and avorful organic spinach, pear and pomegranate seed salad (see the recipe) will keep you on track and is sure to be a
holidays starts in your gut
If your holiday season tends to be more stressful than festive, start with your gut. Our moods and our intestinal tract are inter- connected. In fact, many researchers refer to the gut as the second brain. Neurotransmitters are constantly sending signals back and forth between the brain and the gut. What we put in our bodies a ects our moods and our ability to react to situations; thus either heightening or lowering symptoms of stress and anxiety. Studies show that a balanced microbiome, with a good ratio of healthy bacteria, helps to improve our immune system and brain health (memory, mood, cognition and stress reactions) through signals sent via the gut-brain axis. Serotonin, a well known hormone, brain neurotransmitter and mood regulator is mostly produced in the in- testinal system with the help of these healthy microbes. Eating a diet rich in probiotics (yogurt, sauerkraut, miso, kimchi, ke r, pick- les, kombucha and tempeh) and prebiotics (onions, leaks, aspara- gus, chicory root, and Jerusalem artichoke), along with omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, magnesium and zinc during the holiday sea- son may ultimately help you to boost your mood and reduce stress
Never leave home on an empty stomach
Arriving hungry to a party is a recipe for overindulgence.
Planning ahead by eating a healthy snack with a mix of pro- tein, complex carbs and fat (such as avocado Ezekiel toast, smoked salmon and cucumber, an apple and cashew nut butter or a hard- boiled egg), or a smoothie (made with plain Greek yogurt, berries, spinach, chia seeds, a dash of cinnamon, ice and water) will help to ward o hunger pains and reduce your need to overeat unhealthy 3party fare.
Eat your greens rst
On average, Americans gain between 1-3 pounds during the
holiday season. While that may not seem like a lot, over the years, it certainly adds up. In addition, at a busy time when we need to have the most energy, we’re more likely to indulge in more high- calorie and high-sugar foods and beverages that make us feel slug- gish and depleted. When eating out, opt to start with a healthy salad or a non-starchy vegetable option. You’ll be eating lling ber and slow digesting carbs, packed with healthy vitamins and miner- als to help keep your energy up. You can then satisfy your craving with a small taste of some richer foods without overindulging.
appier and healthier holiday season.
Reducing the symptoms of stress and anxiety during the
An eight-inch plate verses an 11-inch plate makes a big dif- ference calorie wise. When eating at a bu et-style gathering, opt to ll an appetizer or dessert-sized plate instead of a dinner plate. at way, you’ll ensure that you’re serving yourself proper portion sizes, to keep those calories in check.
ig hit with the other party guests, too.
Size matters
Choose sweet treats wisely
ere’s no doubt you’ll be inundated with holiday cookies
hile in the midst of the holiday chaos.
and sweets this holiday season. It’s ok to give in to your sweet tooth every once in a while. Just
opt for homemade treats over mass pro-
duced confectionaries. Most homemade
baked goods are prepared with but-
ter and granulated sugar; while many prepackaged store-bought desserts and
boxed cake mixes contain hydrogenated
oils, corn syrup, preservatives, lard and ar-
ti cial colors and avors. To satisfy your crav-
ing, a healthier option is to choose fresh fruit
dipped in a bit of melted dark chocolate.
You’ll be getting the healthy bene ts of the vitamins, minerals and ber from the fruit
and important antioxidants from the cocoa.
Alternate between water and alcohol
Not only are holiday-themed drinks laden with added
sugar, research suggests that drinking alcohol can also in u- ence your cravings. is is a double whammy for those attempting to eat healthy during the holidays. Avoid these pitfalls by opting to sip a glass of water avored with lemon or lime, sparkly seltzer, or a zzy, gut-friendly kombucha tea between specialty drinks. You will reduce the excess intake of empty calories, be better hydrated and have a more restful night’s sleep.
Be a mindful eater
At parties, people tend to gather around tables and kitchen
counters piled high with food. Being at arms-reach while chat- ting with other guests often leads to mindless eating. Instead, choose to nd a spot away from the temptation. Take the time to eat slowly and savor a small plate of food. Before returning for seconds, drink

Organic Spinach, Pear and Pomegranate Seed Salad
a glass of water and wait ten minutes. You may just nd that you no longer need that next helping.
Hunting for that perfect gift may mean endur- ing crowded shopping malls and long lines. Pack yourself a bottle of water and some healthy snacks to avoid the food court. Snacking on healthy foods like apple slices and a handful of nuts or seeds will ll you up and keep your blood sugar stable. You’ll have more energy to navigate the crowds and be less likely to snap at one of Santa’s little helpers.
10Take time for yourself
Amidst the hustle and bustle, take time to de-stress with chiropractic care, a massage,
daily exercise, meditation and a cup of chamomile or holy basil tea. It’s also an opportunity re ect on your healthy choices. Taking some much needed “me time” will allow you to keep calm and holiday on.
Leslee Kavanagh, MS ACN, is a practicing Clinical Nutritionist, specializing in nutrition therapy for digestive, in ammatory and mood
disorders. Leslee works with an incredible wellness team at Bisogni Chiropractic Center in Somers. 914-276-4200
Be prepared
• 8 ounces organic baby spinach
• 2 ripe organic pears, thinly sliced (If making ahead, squeeze fresh lemon
juice over the pear slices to prevent browning.) • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
• 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
• 1/3 cup raw or roasted walnut pieces
• 2 Tbsp. organic extra-virgin olive oil • 3 Tbsp. cider vinegar
• 1 Tbsp. local honey
• 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
• 1/4 tsp. sea salt
• 1/8 tsp. freshly ground pepper
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma “Healthy in a Hurry”

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Shari Zimmerman 845-621-2557
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Mahopac, NY 10541 [email protected]
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W w a
Sip Away the
Winter Blues
A hot cup of tea can soothe a W cold winter night
inter is upon us, the weather is colder and these, by far, are the shortest days of sunshine during the year. e sun rises later and sets earlier making it di cult to feel energized in
the morning. e lack of light when you wake up can really take its toll on you by making you feel sluggish and rundown.
Ever notice you also get sick more in the winter? Tea can help. ere are high levels of polyphenols found in tea leaves, making tea a natural and healthy way to boost your immune system because polyphenols are a form of antioxidant avonoids essential for cell regeneration. Plus, the an- tiviral properties in tea can ght o the common cold and u symptoms.
Your mood can also take a nosedive in the winter. Tea helps to im- prove your mood because it’s relaxing and comforting.
Tea can also help keep you from packing on the pounds during the holidays. Drinking tea on a regular basis helps suppress your appetite and increases metabolism for extra energy to get moving and exercising.
We recommend these teas to keep you warm all winter long: Organic Darjeeling teas are an easy cup to enjoy daily.
Assam black teas have just what you need to pick-you-up in the
morning with less ca eine than co ee.
Green teas are high in antioxidants and the taste ranges from mel-
low to more grassy vegetal avor.
Herbal and wellness teas are energy boosters and naturally non-
ca einated.
Chamomile tea has calming properties and is an excellent natural
sleep aid.
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These lifestyle factors may contribute to cancer development
• Using hormone replacement therapy
• Routinely drinking more than 1 to 2 alcoholic beverages daily
• Smoking cigarettes
• Not exercising
• Being excessively overweight
Genetic testing doesn’t tell the full story
Nearly everyone has been touched in some way by cancer whether it’s a friend, a co- worker, or a family member. But in regards to breast cancer, you may be surprised to learn that only 5-10 percent of cancer cases are actually linked to gene mutations
passed down between generations. e rest are known as sporadic occurrences in individuals who—more often then not—have no other family history of breast cancer.
We obviously can’t modify our genetic makeup, but there are behavior and lifestyle changes we can make that may factor into disease development.
Genetic testing has shown BRCA 1 and 2 genes associated with hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome (HBOC) contain some of the more commonly known pathogenic variants found for breast cancer, but there are de nitely other lesser known ones.... and the list is growing.
Because these HBOC cancers often occur earlier in age and can potentially be much more aggressive, it’s important to recognize who has the greatest risk, to what degree, and how lifestyle changes can help to reduce modi able risk factors. is information helps not only
women currently at risk, but future generations as well.
Women with these mutations have from 40-80 percent lifetime chance of developing breast
cancer, and additionally are at much higher risk of developing it again. ey also have an in- creased risk of ovarian cancers.
Men can have the BRCA 1 or 2 mutations as well, and so may also develop breast cancer (al- though far more rare), and are at higher risk of prostate cancer.
As if that weren’t enough, both sexes with BRCA mutations are at greater risk of melanoma and pancreatic cancers.
e genes containing these mutations can be passed down from either the mother or father. In the general population, certain ethnic groups are known to have a higher prevalence, for example, those
of Ashkenazi Jewish heritage.
It’s important to keep in mind that while having a BRCA mutation increases a woman’s chance
of breast cancer it does not mean she will absolutely develop the disease.
What’s more, there is strong evidence of lifestyle changes that can reduce the risks of
breast cancer.
Case in point: we already know women with BRCA 1 and 2 tend to historically develop
breast cancer earlier in age, but even so, according to there’s some evidence that it appears to be occurring in younger and younger women in recent generations.
A study around this published online in 2016 found that some probable causes for this are due to environmental and lifestyle factors.
Because these lifestyle factors are being noted predominately in more recent gen- erations it was suggested that, just as in the general low risk population where genetics are not at play, healthy lifestyle and behavior changes around these areas can similarly reduce modi able risks for breast cancer for those even with the
BRCA mutation as well.
While there is no guarantees against developing cancer, it is empower-
ing to know there continues to be other major studies beyond this one researching how lifestyle modi cations can be implemented as part of a
greater action plan working towards prevention.
ese action plans can include more aggressive screening, prophy-
lacticdrugs,surgery,andincreasinglymoreoptionstheneverbefore for those with HBOC.
Millie Elia, ANP-BC,CHWC is an Nurse Practitioner in oncology, and the owner of M. Elia Wellness, LLC located in Westchester County. To learn more about her services visit She has an upcoming workshop series this January at e Mariandale CenterinOssining focusedonusingawholepersonapproachtobreastcancerprevention.
The Whole Picture on Cancer Prevention

Fall Prevention and Intervention
Risk reduction starts at the doctor
Falls and their related injuries are a pub- lic health concern considered by many health professionals to be of near epi- demic proportions. Last month, we identi- ed common risk factors that predispose older adults to falls. With this column, we will take a closer look at what can be done to reduce fall risk by modifying those things that throw us o balance.
Although the circumstances surrounding a fall may vary, the end results are often the same—a fracture, a head injury, lacerations, abrasions, and of course, a severely bruised ego.
e Centers for Disease Control and Pre- vention estimates that by 2030, one in ve Americans will be at least 65 years of age, and without preventive e orts, those older Ameri- cans will sustain 49 million falls and 12 mil- lion fall-related injuries annually. In addition, less than 50 percent of those who fall report their falls to their healthcare providers.
Staggering statistics, but more alarming still is the profound challenge to independence that ensues. With a growing number of older adults living longer and wishing to remain ac- tive and productive members of society, it is imperative that fall interventions are directed at prevention, as well as treatment.
Most falls are due to a complex interaction of physiological, environmental and psycho- logical factors which can be screened for by your healthcare provider. Simple, standard- ized assessments designed to evaluate gait, strength and balance de cits are combined with patient-provided information such as symptoms of unsteadiness, dizziness, weak-
ness and current or past fall history to pro- duce a “degree of risk.” A thorough medi- cation review, in addition to your medical screening, will further help your provider narrow down the appropriate intervention.
Fortunately, there are many healthcare pro- fessionals trained in treating and modifying the risk factors associated with falls including, but not limited to, physicians, physical and oc- cupational therapists, podiatrists, nutritionists, optometrists, audiologists, pharmacists and Tai Chi instructors, to name a few.
So, be proactive in preventing falls. Speak to your provider about your concerns. Stay ac- tive to maintain strength and balance. Keep your home environment safe to avoid hazards. Have your doctor or pharmacist review your current medications for interactions that could impair balance. Ask about vitamins that could improve bone health. Keep on top of your vi- sion and update your eyeglasses when needed. Remember, falls are preventable, not inevitable.
Carolyn Winuk, PT, SSF, TCR is a practicing physical therapist, an ISSA certi ed Specialist in Senior Fitness and a Tai Chi for Rehabilitation instructor. e former owner/founder
of Moms In Motion Physical erapy, PC, a women’s health physical therapy practice, Winuk currently devotes her time to providing physical therapy services for seniors. She is a public speaker on healthcare and wellness related topics and is currently pursuing her doctorate in physical therapy.
Examples of Physiological Factors that can alter leg strength, gait pattern, sensation of the feet, endurance and posture are:
• Diabetes
• Stroke
• Parkinson’s Disease
• Multiple Sclerosis
• Arthritis
• Amputations
• Foot impairments
• Pulmonary diseases such as COPD
• Auditory and visual deficits
• Urinary incontinence
• Nutritional deficiencies
• Negative effects of multiple medica- tions used alone or in combination
Examples of Environmental Factors that can lead to falls are:
• Ill-fitting shoes and pants
• Throw rugs
• Slippery floors
• Not using prescribed gait devices, hearing aids or eyeglasses
• Poor lighting
Examples of Psychological Factors that can lead to falls are:
• Dementia
• Depression
• Mental illness
Appheal Acupuncture & Integrative Health Care 222 Westchester Ave, Suite 405 White Plains, NY 10604
Tel 347-403-3946 | [email protected]

The Beginner’s Guide to Crystals
A gift guide for your
spiritual side
Curious about crystals but not sure where to start? For centuries, people have used crystals as conduits to at- tract qualities such as happiness, or serenity. At spas and wellness centers, certain crystals are used to promote healing and well-being.
Co-manager of Synchronicity in Brewster, Dominique Bourekas, gave Westchester Wellness some guidance to- ward the perfect beginner’s set. Now you can give the gift of serenity to yourself and others this season.
“To feel the e ect,it’s best to keep close to you,”Bourekas said.
She suggests wearing crystals as jewelry, keeping them in a pocket, or placing them near a desk, or another area where you spend a lot of time. At night, rest them on a nightstand or under a pillow.
Clear Quartz
Promotes: Everything. It ampli es whatever intention is put into it.
Promotes: Healing/protection.
Promotes: Happiness
Rose Quartz
Promotes: Love
Green Adventurine
Promotes: Prosperity in all areas of life.
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I provide individual attention and genuine caring service for you or your family member. Call or text me to schedule your full evaluation and let me customize a program for you.
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Sun-Powered Horse Farm Shines in North Salem
Dr. Matthew Eliot and Dr. Alexis Finlay PHOTO COURTESY OF ALEXIS FINLAY
On a recent Wednesday in October, it’s chilly inside Dr. Alexis Finlay’s home on RiverHorse Farm.
e retired ophthalmologist and her hus- band, Dr. Matthew Eliot, a veterinarian, will soon have all the heat they need at no cost— and no harm—to the environment with the installation of more than 400 solar panels on the roofs of their barns to power literally ev- erything around them.
Finlay, prepared for the weather inside her home with a sweater and coat, apologizes to her guests for the temperature and seats them around the replace. She’s in the mid- dle of transitioning from oil to electric heat.
Outside, it’s nearing peak fall. Her home is situated high up on the 50-acre Hunt Lane property looking out over the tops of the trees turning red, orange, and yellow.
Several years ago, Finlay began researching how to get the farm o the grid and called up Green Hybrid Energy Solutions (GHES) Solar, based in White Plains, to do the job.
Global warming is the motivation behind this lifestyle overhaul, Finlay said. And though it wasn’t the driving force, her electric bill and oil heating was costing more than $20,000 a year.
“I’m really in it because the United Nations just published a report that says we have 10 years to turn the climate around,” Finlay said. “So, I’m making this a net-zero place.”
RiverHorse Farm has an important history in North Salem. According to e New York Times, the rst hippopotamus brought to the United States roamed Finlay’s land and is the in- spiration for its name. e Greeks rst called the giant mammal a hippopotamus, or river horse, for its love of spending time submerged in the water.
e farm is also the site of a 1965 plane crash that killed four people and injured 50. Herb Geller, a columnist for the North Salem News, wrote in a 1995 North Salem Histori- cal Society Bulletin that an Eastern Airlines plane going from Boston to Newark Airport was ordered to y toward the Carmel check- point beacon in South Salem when it col- lided with a Trans World Airlines jet heading southeast from Bu alo to JFK airport.
Now, the farm is a rst for North Salem with solar panels providing enough electric- ity for the whole property—three barns with about 40 horses, two homes, and an electric car port—and extra for use by the community.
In 2015 GHES, owned by father and son Jamie and Alex Glover and led by project man- ager George Mallas, also a North Salem resi- dent, covered one of the stables in solar panels, enough to power 100 percent of Finlay’s home.
“Her house is net-zero, which is pretty cool, but there’s still the rest of the grounds so Dr. Finlay called us up again two and a half years later and said now I want to do the
next step,” Jamie Glover said.
at next step was recently completed, bring-
ing the total solar panels on the property to 443. Of the energy generated, Finlay will use the majority and about 10 percent will go to a program called Community Solar, which allows anyone who gets their electricity from NYSEG to instead buy power at a discount from Finlay.
Supervisor Warren Lucas said the town was enthusiastic about the project and its po- tential in North Salem.
“ e town is very excited about solar proj- ects and we have made it easy for any home to put in a solar system,” Lucas said.
Last year, the town approved a New York State Energy and Research and Devel- opment Authority Uni ed Solar Permit, which follows a standardized solar permit- ting process making it easier for companies like GHES to go smoothly through the ap- proval process. And with Community Solar, residents who don’t have panels can still take advantage of renewable energy.
“Since not everyone can put solar on their roofs due to the direction they face or the number of trees overhead, Community Solar is important and e ective,” Lucas said. “We have a number of large barns with expansive roofs in our town where Community Solar can work well. We ap- preciate what Dr. Finlay is doing to help the town become more environmentally friendly.”

Hit the Books
10 great reads to get you through winter
“ ingsMyDogHasTaughtMe About Being a Better Human”
by Jonathan Wittenberg
Nancy says: It’s a wonderful account about how our dog(s) teach us about appreciating all that the world of- fers us; speci cally friendship, kind- ness, generosity, sel essness, mind- fulness, grief and more. A great end of the year read about gratitude.
“ e 5-Ingredient College Cook- book: Easy, Healthy Recipes for the Next Four Years and Beyond” by Pamela Ellgen
Nancy says: e essential cooking “handbook” for your college student. Clear, organized and full of great advice and recipes for all palates, dietary restrictions, interest and bud- get. A great resource and foundation for cooking in college and beyond.
“Re nery 29 Money Diaries: Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About Your Finances And Everyone Else’s” by Lindsey Stanberry
Nancy says: Part of the Re nery 29 series; real life stories of how others spend, save and approach money. Great, reasonable advice from a stellar team of nancial advisers.
“Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America” by Beth Macy Nancy says: Riveting intense reporting on the devastating opioid addiction crisis in America by a reporter who was on the front line in the beginning in the southeast. A complex web of in uence, complicity and deceit that while eye-opening, is nowhere near conclusion.
“ e Forgotten: How the People of One Pennsylvania County Elected Donald Trump and Changed America”
by Ben Bradlee Jr.
Nancy says: A powerful report
on how the voters in one county, Luzerne, Penn., a swing state,
took their disenfranchisement to the polls, why, and how it changed American democracy.
“In uencer: Building Your Per- sonal Brand in the Age of Social Media” by Brittany Hennessey Nancy says: Detailed, essential information about building
your personal brand and valu- able insights into understanding strategies, mistakes and goals in the online lifestyle community.
“How to Read the Constitution and the Declaration of Inde- pendence” by Paul B. Skousen Nancy says: A thorough yet acces- sible guide to understanding the U.S. Constitution and the Declara- tion of Independence. Learn how to speak e ectively, knowledgeably and factually about our rights, freedoms and branches of government.
“Bedtime Stories for Elders: What Fairy Tales Can Teach Us About the New Aging” by John C. Robinson
Nancy says: e perfect analysis of 10 transformative fairy tales and how they can illuminate powerful insights on ag- ing at a time when we are living and embracing life much longer than ever.
“Love, Santa” by Martha Brockenbrough/Illustrated
by Lee White
Nancy says: Beautiful, hopeful series of letters from a young girl to Santa and his letters back to her. Perfect for all ages, believers and skeptics. is should be on every- one’s holiday gift list this year.
“Memory’s Last Breath: Field Notes on My Dementia”
by Gerda Saunders
Nancy says: Stunning, honest account of early-onset dementia.
A powerful illustration of living between the clear remains of memory and the void of those lost. Beautiful portrait of self re ection.
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Coping with Holiday Chaos
Foolproof tips for enjoying the season
Isaw a picture of a cute dog sitting in front a Christmas tree that was toppled over on the oor. e quote said “ ank goodness you are home. e tree fainted.”
I smiled as I re ected on my personal experience with the holidays. I have come a long way, but I remember the anxiety and sense of be- ing overwhelmed with celebrations. I put myself as the tree fainting!
For a couple of years now, I have had a di erent perspective that reduces the tension and redirects my mind to the excitement of be- ing together with family.
It all began with taking some time to re ect on why the holidays are so chaotic. I pondered and realized that once Halloween has gone by, we immediately moved on to anksgiving and then all the other ones that follow. Walking into stores that are putting out December holiday decorations while we are in October certainly is a lot to handle! Was I missing something? Was I on the wrong day or month? I had not even bought candy for trick or treating and had to begin determining who was naughty or nice.
I would look at the calendar and check the days remaining before we all got together. I had some time for planning, so I thought!
All this exposure to countdowns, songs, sale announcements, holiday catalogs and so much more was causing such a high level of
stress. After all, I was just trying to get by with my daily tasks and work. I had no time to think about the future beyond tomorrow.
So what was the underlying issue that caused such distress?
I came to realize that it was about making the events as “perfect” as possible to ensure everyone enjoyed themselves. e food had to be the best and catered to all needs. I needed to recognize everyone with a gift they really wanted.
It was not about what it was supposed to be: a time of calm, fam- ily connection and enjoying the moment we had together.
How do we get out of the spinning cycle of the holidays to really focus on what matters?
Make a list. Map out the activities related to the preparation of family gatherings. e meals, the gifts, the invitations and the decorations. Purchase whatever you can ahead of time so you can get organized and accomplish each item with enough time.
Set a calendar. By creating a calendar of when you must do what, it keeps the list in check. Be exible. Life will happen and what you have planned for a day may not happen. Flexibility is ne and should be a part of the process. Tackle one thing each day until the list is gone!
Be present. During the holidays, it is easy to focus on the com- fort of all the guests. Everyone’s experience is always going to be di erent, so it is best to be present in the moment and enjoy. Don’t worry about making everyone happy. Enjoy the conversations and build memories!
Be grateful. Be grateful to the group you have celebrating with you and your family. Be grateful for what you have and not what you don’t have. At the end of the event, send a thank you to those who were there with you. Letting them know their presence means a lot is the best gift ever!
Rest. When the moment is over, there is a time to recover. Find the “me time” where you can relax, breathe, and think about the wonderful moments.
Finding the right balance and a focused mindset removes
the anxiety that was
being established as
a result of other fac- tors that weren’t so important. Change the way you think and the holidays will be a spe- cial time with all!
Dr. Deborah Hardy is an educational consultant focused on assisting students to achieve their post-secondary journey. Learn more at
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Appreciation Alphabet
Recently I went to a production of “Seussical e Musical” at the Bedford Community eater. It was terri c! Won- derful children and adults singing together, beautiful cos- tumes, fabulous upbeat songs and whimsical stories.
e song that stuck in my head like a mantra was “Tell Yourself How Lucky You Are.”
Here’s a few lyrics:
When your life’s going wrong
When the fates are unkind
When you’re limping along
And get kicked from behind
Tell yourself how lucky you are...
So I was ready when the November snowstorm hit. You know
what I’m talking about because many of you were out there with me. We didn’t think it would be so bad. It was only Nov. 15. We
don’t get bad snowstorms that early.
So it had been snowing for hours when I left my friend and fab
chiropractor, Mark Filippi in Larchmont, to travel home to Os- sining. It’s usually a 30 minute drive and two hours later I was only three miles away in the neighboring town of Scarsdale. I creeped along with all of you, passed many of you crossways in ditches, you bumped into others, I shtailed on the road with little traction. I had that mantra in my head, calming me. “Tell yourself, how lucky you are!” it said. So I told myself. “I am still moving forward. I’m not there in that ditch with them. I’m in a warm car, how nice. It really is beautiful!” en my windshield wipers began to ice and my view gradually became more and more clouded. “I can still see out of this little patch,” I told myself. “It’s getting worse,” I thought. “I better pull over somewhere.”
So I began to look for a side street out of the way. ere was one right there. Just pull over? No, then I’ll be another obstruction for the others. Better a driveway. I found one. Now what? e voice in my head said, “Go ask for refuge.”
Well, I was taken in by the most lovely family. e husband told me his wife had come home from the store earlier with bags of snacks and he asked her, “Why did you buy all this?” and she said, “Because we are having company.” Ten minutes later, I showed up at the door.
ey invited me to stay and we had a lovely homemade Indian dinner. I told them I had just been visiting friends who are Indian
last week and I wondered, “How can I get an invitation to dinner?” We laughed. It was a most enjoyable night discussing philosophy, watching funny videos, and I introduced them to BEMER (Bio- ElectroMagnetic Energy Regulation) and CranioSacral therapy. I left in the morning when the sun shone beautifully on the new day. Yes when things are going wrong, tell yourself how lucky you are. When things are going good, tell yourself how lucky you are.
Why? Because the Law of Attraction is always at work. Like attracts like. You don’t believe in Law of Attraction? If you don’t believe in gravity, it’s working on you anyway. So is the Law of Attraction. So if you know about it, you can direct your life in a way that’s more pleasing to you.
It’s an energy world. oughts are energy and when you voice them, you give them more energy and that energy is always matched by like energy. If you are complaining, things are sure to get worse. If you are appreciating, things are sure to get better. If you don’t like something, rail against it in the moment. But keep it short and don’t repeat it again and again unless you want to add to it. You CAN hold your tongue.
People come to me with some very legitimate complaints, some very complex problems. Of course we address them with every e ective solutions, including manual therapies like CranioSacral and Lymph Drainage, nutraceuticals Vitamins and Minerals and electraceuticals, and BEMER therapy.
We also always teach the appreciation alphabet. It goes like this: Say the alphabet and think of something beginning with that letter that brings a smile to your face. A is easy for me. at’s ATLAS, my grandson! B is my BED, so warm and cozy! C is my daughter CATHERINE! and D is driving, I love to drive! And on down to Z. Do it in bed as you are falling asleep. I rarely get to E (that’s me! Elizabeth! I love being me!)
Pick it up in the morning as you wake up and throughout the day. You are more than this physical body that you see. You are energy and the energy you put out is the energy that is coming back to you. ere is no o button. With much love and adoration, Elizabeth.
Elizabeth Pasquale, LMT, CST, NLP is the creator and director of Well On e Way® LLC, holistic therapies in Ossining and White Plains. 914-762-4693.
Tell yourself how lucky you are

The Season of Stillness
Welcoming in winter with Yin Yoga
A ccording to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) the season of winter is related to the element water. Similar to a placid body of water, winter appears still, tranquil and re ective. During winter
we observe nature coming to rest, conserving its energy and rebuilding its strength in preparation for springs reawakening. And just as winter o ers nature this vital opportunity, so are we given this time to turn inwards, re ect and replenish of our mind, body and spirit. As Neil Gumenick says in his article “ e Season of Water,” “Like the seed that cannot sprout until it has gathered su cient strength, our ideas and plans cannot manifest with strength if our energy is dispersed or drained.”
Yet for many the winter solstice brings even more busyness. Holiday gatherings, shopping and traveling can leave us feeling exhausted and de- pleted. In addition, the dark, dry and long days of winter can create feel- ings of lethargy and stagnation and even lead to symptoms of depression. For these reasons it is essential that we intentionally make space in our busy schedule for activities that harmonize us with the energy of winter and help us to regenerate. By incorporating wellness rituals that encourage rest, nourishment and inward re ection into our daily lives we can move through this season of stillness with wisdom, intention, clarity and purpose.
One of the most bene cial wellness activities to engage in during the sea- son of winter is the practice of Yin Yoga. Yin Yoga is very much like winter
itself, still, quiet and re ective. In fact, according to TCM winter is the most Yin season of all so it seems only natural to incorporate it into our daily well- ness routine. Yin Yoga, as opposed to Yang (active) Yoga, focuses on opening the connective tissues of the bodies otherwise known as meridian tissues. In TCM each season and element is associated with particular organs and in winter, the season of water, the focus is on urinary/bladder and kidneys.
e following sequence is designed to target these organs by stimulat- ing the meridians that run down the front and back of the spine, as well as down the back of the legs and up the inner thighs. Postures that encour- age full circulation of the back line of the body, especially the spine and the lower back around the kidneys, will help replenish our vital energy.
Jaime Roche, MSW, RYT is a 200 hr OM Yoga and Yin Yoga certi ed teacher. She is a seasoned practitioner who enjoys helping her clients develop a practice that supports their physical, mental and emotional needs. Jaime is also a trained psychotherapist and certi ed parent coach for Tournesol Kids, a non-pro t organization that empowers children, families and communities by teaching holistic healthy child development strategies. You can nd Jaime’s current yoga class schedule as well the other services she o ers to children, adults, families, schools and communities on her website; To contact her directly email, [email protected].
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Guidelines for Practice
Before you being your Yin Yoga practice there are several guide- lines to keep in mind.
First, as you come into the posture, go only to the rst point of resistance. From that mild “edge” of sensation, observe what is be- ing felt. Sensation should be no more than a mild, dull ache. Back o if you feel sharp, stabbing or burning sensations.
Second, remain still. Keep muscles relatively relaxed so that the opening will transfer to the denser connective tissues. Keep in mind, you are not xed in a single spot for the duration of the pose. Be sure to change the angle of the pose to accommodate for any release or to back away from sensation that becomes too intense.
ird, Yin postures are held for longer peri- ods of time then Yang postures. Postures can be held anywhere from 3 to 20 minutes. Start with a time period that makes sense for you.
Fourth, “rebound” between each pose/side. Lie in Savasana for 1-2 minutes either on your belly or back after each pose is completed. Af- ter rebounding make any movements, large or small, that you feel your body might need be- fore moving into the next pose.
Lastly, be sure to release out of each pose slowly. ere will likely be a sense of fragil- ity in the body as the tissues respond to the stress. Don’t rush it.
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From a wide-legged seated position, start to release the spine into a forward fold. You may choose to stay up on your hands or deepen the pose by slowly re- leasing onto your forearms or onto a block. Hold for 3 to 6 minutes.
To come out, press your hands into the oor as you slowly lift your torso. en reach your hands be- neath your knees to bend them and draw the legs to- gether in front of you. Rest for at least 1 minute.
If you experience any discomfort or pain in the medial aspect of your legs below the knees narrow the legs or bend the knees.
If the back is very tight it is recommended to sit on a folded blanket or a cushion. If the adductors (outer hips) are tight then bending the knees will help and possibly putting a folded blanket as a support behind the knees will allow the muscles to relax and will also help in bend- ing forward.
Now come to lie on the back with both legs straight down the mat. Bend the right leg bringing the knee
toward the outer torso and grasp the outer edge of the right foot with the right hand. Allow the left leg to be heavy. If you have di culty grasping the outer foot a yoga strap or even a man’s tie can be used for assistance by placing the middle of the tie at the sole of the foot and grasping both ends with the right hand. Hold the pose for 3-6 minutes and then rebound before switching to the left leg.
Staying on your back bend your right leg to 90 de- grees and slowly allow the leg to fall over toward the
left, twisting through the mid-back. If the right shoulder lifts o the oor use a block under the right knee to allow both shoulders to release evenly. You may gaze at the ceiling or turn your head toward the right if this appropriate for your neck. Hold this side for 3-6 minutes then rebound for a min- ute on your back before continuing on the left side.
Sphinx pose allow a moderate compression of the lower spine. To enter the pose place elbows under shoulder, forearms on the ground
and keep the legs relaxed. Your head may be kept in a neutral position, fall forward, or rest on a block. Hold for 1-2 minutes.
*Resting the elbows on the top of a bolster or rolled blanket will give you more stimulation while allowing to rest.
To release, slowly slide your elbows to the side and rest on your belly.
As with dragon y if the back is tight placing a thin folded blanket under the seat will help decrease discomfort as well as assist in the release of the spine and hips.
Come to a seated position, bringing the sole of the feet together.
Draw the feet out away from the body forming a diamond like shape with the legs. With the pelvis tilted forward come to fold forward, hinging from your hips and bringing the head to either a block or the feet. Hold for 3-6 minutes.
6 CATERPILLAR Come to sit and extend your legs out in front of you. Keeping that forward pelvic tilt slowly be- gin to fold forward and come to hang over your straight legs either with a block under the head if needed. As always if the lower back is tight use a thin fold- ed blanket under the seat. Also a folded blanket under both knees can be used to assist in releasing tight hamstrings. Stay
here for 3-6 minutes.
To end your practice come to lie in Savasana, legs extended down
the mat, feet hip distant apart and arms out by the sides palms turned up to- wards the sky. Close your eyes and al- low the length of you body to release, noticing the connection of your back body with the surface mat and the con- nection of your front body to space that surrounds you. Turn your intention then inward observing any sensations taking place within your physical form. Notice any thoughts or emotions that are com- ing up as well. Although subtle, see if you can also notice sensations of your energetic body, ie. vibration, coolness, spaciousness and/or release. Rest in this period of inward re ection for as long as you feel necessary before slowly return- ing to your daily activities.

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10. Harney & Sons Holiday FFind it: 13 Main St, Millerton11. Chaga Mushroom Tea, CFind it: Sarah’s House of HeMahopac, sarahshouseofhea12. Something for everyoneserving pieces, stocking stuffFind it: Somers Custom

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Give the gift of relaxation
All of the spa services are available to be given to others via gift certi cates, including many varieties of massage, spa facials, laser skin treatments, laser hair removal and waxing, plus custom spa packages bundling these services in numerous combinations. Gift certi cates can be ordered in-store, for personal delivery to recipients in festive gift bags, or easily ordered online with print-at- home capability and delivery. With the holiday season upon us, this is not only extremely convenient, but an ideal solution for, literally, last-minute gift giving! Visit
Refresh, Rejuvenate
Spa treatments keep you
at your best when the
weather is at its worst
ouch is a powerful healer,” said Stephanie Hershkowitz, general manager of Tranquility Spa in Scarsdale, “and therein lies the vitalizing bene t of massage therapy.”
Having a knowledgeable massage therapist transmitting that energy to you with their expert, trained hands can have a major ef- fect on how you feel and function. e most commonly recognized bene t of massage is relaxation, which many of our guests regularly tell us helps them cope with the times we live in. Plus, there’s the added bene t of having some personal down time away from your phone and requirements to be constantly available.
Not to mention the feeling you get after a day (or even just an hour) at the spa, which can be hard to put into words. You oat away from your appointment, happy and peaceful, ready to take on whatever the next moment brings.

Massage therapy can support heart health and help improve sleep and circulation. Abdominal massage, combined with the intake of water, can help improve digestion, ush the body of toxins, and contribute to an overall feeling of improved well-being. Deep tissue massage can relieve headaches caused by the tension in one’s shoul- der muscles, a cause and e ect not commonly understood by those who su er such pain.
“In extreme cases you can actually hear the ‘crunch’ and feel a sort of ‘pop’ as the knots in the muscles dissipate during the treatment. In fact, deep tissue massage is becoming one of our most popular o erings, due to the stress level prevalent in society today,” said massage therapist Louisa Borell. “For example, take people who work at computers all day and are on constant call. ey don’t realize that their shoulders are up, their arms are in typing po- sition for hours, while their muscles are be- coming increasingly tense and leading to pain. With deep tissue massage, you get to ‘melt away’ and put the day behind you. A slight soreness may follow the next day, such as after working out, but overall you feel much better.”
Para n, Seaweed and Dead Sea Mud wraps can provide additional bene ts, including relief from psoriasis, joint aches, muscle aches and ar- thritis. One facet of body wraps that guests say are extremely enjoyable is the swaddled feeling they
provide: a very comforting, soothing, womb-like, security-inducing experience that allows them to relax in a deeper way. And, during the coming winter months, adding in hot stone massages can be particularly warm and comforting.
As we all learned during our elementary school science classes, our body’s largest or- gan is its skin. With each change of seasons come issues relating to skin, and this is par- ticularly true of the face. In addition to sum- mer sun damage and dryness of skin during winter, year-round environmental factors and seasonal changes in temperature, humidity and wind are constantly impacting one’s com- plexion and skin health. Spa facials deliver a signi cant bene t, exfoliating and cleansing the skin, opening the pores, and thereby cata- lyzing the e ectiveness of the various skincare products that people regularly apply at home. ese treatments include a form of facial mas- sage, which helps relax the facial muscles that the stresses of daily life can render extremely tight and a ect one’s appearance.
“Above all facials are exhilarating—they can make you feel especially good and produce im- mediate results,” said Tranquility’s front desk manager Natalia Leon. “While having fre- quent, regularly-scheduled facials is ideal, it is recommended at minimum to have a spa fa-
cial at least four times per year, once per season. To help you enjoy the continuing e ects and bene ts between spa visits, your esthetician can recommend a program of home skincare, using products such as exfoliating cleansers, hydra- tion formulations and various types of masks.”
According to Hershkowitz, a particular bene t of Tranquility Spa is that the facility has a stable, resident team of estheticians and therapists—many a xture there for over 15 years—who grow to individually know their guests and their particular needs, form caring relationships with them, and act as a year- round support resource to help them always feel and look their best.
“ ey know how your particular body func- tions, how it moves, what you do in life, while our guests know that ‘their’ esthetician or mas- sage therapist will be here and ready to ful ll their individual needs,” Hershkowitz explained. “People tell us that having these relationships are as much of a bene t to them as the treat- ments themselves. We have guests who have gone through cancer, come out the other side successfully, and come here to feel better and discover the warmth of the same support team they had before. Tranquility helps them cele- brate their success and support their emotional recovery. Even during cancer treatment, it is OK for patients to enjoy massages, as long as they are not undergoing radiation.”
Spinal Cord Stimulation
Pain Relief When All Else Fails...
Ask the Doctor
Alain C. J. de Lotbinière, MD
Medical Director,
Cancer Treatment & Wellness Center Co-Medical Director,
Gamma Knife Center
Northern Westchester Hospital
Learn more about
Dr. de Lotbinière, visit drdelotbiniere
400 East Main Street | Mount Kisco, NY 10549 (914) 666-1200 |
Q: How can spinal cord stimulation help
relieve chronic pain?
A: Pain pathways travel in speci c locations within the spinal cord. Based on knowledge that the spinal cord can, under certain conditions, turn off the pain signals, medical research has developed ways of in uencing the transmission of pain impulses passing through it.
Highly sophisticated computerized batteries have been developed that deliver individualized electrical impulses to the spinal cord. Today’s stimulator implant, which is similar to a pacemaker, can eliminate or signi cantly reduce chronic pain unresponsive to other approaches.
Q: Am I a good candidate for spinal
cord stimulation?
A: Do you have structural problems, such as a herniated disc? Or, perhaps you’ve undergone several spine surgeries. Most patients referred for spinal cord stimulation are managed by a chronic pain specialist. They’ve probably tried a host of medicines, including narcotics, but over time, their pain has become increasingly resistant to medications. Many have undergone physical therapy treatments, weight reduction programs and a variety of alternative medicine treatments such as acupuncture. Understandably, these people are desperate. They come to me to see if this will work for them.
Q: If I’ve been approved for the treatment, what’s next?
A: Guided by x-ray, an electrode is placed in your spinal canal. You’ll be brought into a state of light sedation in order to provide feedback as to placement. Once the electrode is in the area of pain, the patient is sent home to monitor its effect. If pain is reduced by 50 percent or more, you’re considered a candidate for permanent placement of a simulator.
Q: What are the outcomes of this procedure?
A: The permanent procedure takes about an hour and usually involves an overnight hospital stay. Post-surgery, the stimulator is individually programmed, and over the course of several visits with me, it is increasingly ne- tuned to provide the greatest pain reduction. Patients have different responses, with most people enjoying pain relief. For some, the implant eliminates virtually all pain. In others, pain is reduced by 50 percent. For a minority, the procedure is a failure. The battery life in today’s implants remains effective for about ten years.
Did you know?
85 to 90 percent of patients who have undergone spinal cord stimulation nd relief – with many no longer needing pain medication.

Katonah Au Pair Competes in NYC Marathon
Laura Giudici raised money for kids organization
Editors note: On Nov. 4, Laura Giudici completed the New York City Marathon with a time of 4 hours and 37 minutes.
e following is an interview from before the marathon about her time spent training
“When they told me I got in, I called my cross-country coach,” she said. “He sent me a training program and basically it was three or four runs per week, and every weekend a long run.”
In her six months of training, Giu- dici competed in a half-marathon (13.1 miles) and has run up to 18 miles in a single training session.
“When I decided to do it, I started out just running 40 minutes and 1 hour, just to get used to it,” she said. e hilly terrain of Bedford served her well in preparation for a atter marathon course, Giudici said.
One of the most challenging aspects of training, she said, is being alone with noth- ing but her thoughts for hours at a time.
“I just run by myself, so you spend a lot of time with your own mind and body,” she said. “Sometimes you’re tired and think, ‘Should I stop or not?’ You have to learn how to push yourself.”
In addition to helping out their host families, au pairs are given educational opportunities and can take classes at col- leges or universities. ey can also take weekend retreats and have vacation op- tions before heading back home.
“When they decide they’re done work- ing, they have a month before they have to go back home,” Viders said. “ eir visa will allow them to stay. Our last au pair ew to Los Angeles and did a 10-day trip to the Grand Canyon and Hollywood. It gives them a real chance to see the coun- try at a nominal cost.”
Giudici’s 12-month stay with the Vid- ers family will end in January, when she will move in with another
family in Chicago.
“You choose a family for one year, and then you can extend for another six, nine or 12 months,” Giudici said. “You can decide to stay with the same family or extend with another family. In my case, I decided to take the city because I wanted a new experience.”
Bergamo is located in northern Italy near the Alps, about an hour outside of Milan. Her host family in Katonah was a perfect t, Giudici said, because the towns are similar and the family has shared interests in skiing and other out- door activities.
Giudici said she is excited to return home with many new experiences.
“ e New York City Marathon is a very big thing, so I actually didn’t think it was possible for me to do it. It’s really hard to get in,” she said. “When I saw the email, I thought, ‘Now or never.’ It’s something you do to probably prove to yourself you can do whatever you want to do if you believe in it.”
Giudici said she is not setting any time-speci c goals.
“I just want to enjoy it as much as I can; nish it being proud of myself and happy with what I did,” she said.
some 4,000 miles. Since arriving here,
she’s spent a lot of time preparing to trav- el 26.2 more.
On Sunday, Nov. 4, Giudici joined 24 team members in running the New York City Marathon to raise money for the Cultural Care Kids First Founda- tion, a charity that supports needy chil- dren around the world. It is through this same organization that Giudici came to America as part of an exchange pro- gram. Known as an au pair, Giudici has helped care for her host family’s children, improved her English and learn about American culture.
“With these organizations, you can decide to have this experience,” Giudici said. “You can spend up to two years with a host family and you just help with the kids during the week. It’s so cool because you have this experience where you live in a new country.”
In March, the Kids First Foundation sent an email to au pairs and their host families, seeking 25 participants for this year’s marathon. All participating runners raised $500 for the organization. Both Giudici and her host mother, Daphne Viders, applied and were accepted.
“We both got in, but I got scared,” Vid- ers said jokingly. “I’ve run a marathon before but I know that it takes so much time. I didn’t feel like this particular year I have the ability to give it that time, but I’m a really good cheerleader.”
Giudici, on the other hand, has never trained or competed in long-distance running. She was, however, a cross-coun- try skier in Italy.
or the world famous race:
o get from her hometown in Ber- gamo, Italy, to her host family in Katonah, Laura Giudici traveled

Here’s some sage advice about a tea you can make if you are not
pregnant, breast feeding or have kidney problems.
Of course always check with your doctor first before
putting anything new into your body. This tea helps during
flu season and helps un-bloat you. It’s called thinkers tea.
• 1 liter of water
• 5 bay leaves
• 1 cinnamon stick • 10 sage leaves • 1 lemon
Boil the water first.
Add all the ingredients and let simmer for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and cover the pot for 5 minutes. Drink this all day long hot or chilled. You will thank me.
Wise Up to Sage
One plant, many uses
Sage it isn’t so...a perennial plant that grows for 1-2 feet of height, it is a member of the mint family and closely related to rosemary. Its botanical name comes from the Latin word “salvere” meaning “to be saved.” e intensity of this plant grows stronger as it ages. It original- ly came from the Northern Mediterranean Coast thousands of years ago.
You can purchase sage in the supermarket or health food store or you can grow your own.
Most people know sage by smudging it or burning it to hoard o evil spirits. As a Native American ritual, sage has most certainly been used for thousands of years to clear stagnant or negative energy.
Healers have also been using this mighty little plant for many di erent reasons. e leaf is used to make medicine. Sage has been known to help with digestive problems, loss of appetite, gas, stomach pain, diarrhea, bloat- ing and heartburn. It helps reduce perspiration and saliva, aids in depression, memory loss and Alzheimers, along with bacterial growth in the mouth. Having sage once a day could cut menopausal symptoms in half! Ill sage it again! It could cut menopause symptoms in half! You could use it on your face and hair and add it to aftershave lotion to make it soothing.
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‘Get Busy Living or Get Busy Dying’
Somers father and sons hike
Mount Kilimanjaro
If you want to take your original knees out for one last spin before trading them for newer models, there’s no place more challenging—or better—to do it than up a 19,341-foot-
high dormant volcano in Africa. Steve Wilson did just that.
e fact that he was having joint replacement surgery this month didn’t deter the Somers man from taking sons Ryan, 20, and Garrett, 19, on the hike of a lifetime on Mount
Kilimanjaro in August.
“Basically, I did it with no knees,”
Wilson said.
His wife, Meg, a speech pathologist,
and their 17-year-old daughter, Mer- edith, both begged o , citing a lack of burning desire to experience altitude sickness, days without showering, and, oh, “the bugs, and everything else that’s
out there.”
While the boys were o in Tanzania,
the history-loving mother and daughter seized the opportunity to make a long- postponed pilgrimage to Colonial Wil-
liamsburg in Virginia.
All agree that the “dynamic”would
have been di erent if the entire tribe gone along. Besides, Meg says, witti- ly if not pragmatically, if something dire had happened, “there would be
at least one parent left.”
Wilson—by day a 50ish mild- mannered wealth management advisor—straps on his “Iron Man” exoskeleton in his o hours
by participating in triathlons. Garrett, a sophomore and business major at the Univer- sity of Michigan, graduated from Somers High School where he played football and baseball. Ryan, a John F. Kennedy Catholic High
School grad, is now a senior at Fordham University, studying sociology and market- ing. He hiked a lot when a Boy Scout.
But they had never tackled something like this before.
Ryan broached the idea in February.
While at an “ice breaker” at college, a classmate turned to him and revealed that she had climbed Kilimanjaro.
Inspired, Ryan texted his dad to ask: “How about you, me and Garrett go climb a big mountain this summer?”
Wilson texted back: “How about Kili- manjaro?”
Ryan responded: “ at’s exactly what I was thinking.”
Kilimanjaro’s no Everest. It’s not a “technical climb” that requires speci c expertise or complicated equipment. But neither is it “easy” or “just a walk,” as some of the literature implies.
ere are dicey spots like Baranco Wall where, if you lose your footing, you will end up with a lot more than a twisted ankle and bruised ego; you could die. en there are the implacable boulders and barren ice elds.
It’s hard, but doable.
“What Kilimanjaro requires, I guess, is fortitude,” Wilson said.
e Wilsons built up their strength by taking long hikes, but the thin atmosphere is something for which nobody can prepare. It’s like trying to breathe through a straw.
Altitude sickness is inevitable, even for seasoned mountaineers.
ey took meds that lessened symp- toms, but still were beset by headaches. Wilson ruefully recalls bouts with “the dry heaves.” Garrett lost his healthy teen’s ap- petite and barely ate.
ere are no wild on the mountain critters that will kill you, though cheeky monkeys try to steal your lunch and there is a small noc- turnal mammal whose eerie shrieks make you think twice about answering the call of nature in the middle of the night.

After Wilson did some research, the in- trepid trio ew to Kilimanjaro, changing planes in Dubai on the Persian Gulf coast, and at Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s most pop- ulous city, before reaching base camp.
ey brought along warm clothing, hik- ing boots, backpacks, and bandages for blis- ters. Harder-to-lug tents and sleeping bags were rented.
When asked if bags were cleaned in-be- tween customers, Wilson, grimacing, ad- mitted: “I don’t like to think about that.”
Kilimanjaro is Earth’s highest free-stand- ing mountain, meaning it sits on a plain and isn’t part of a range.
You can only climb it if you sign up with a registered trekking agency that hires porters to schlep the gear and provides food and water.
Picking the right tour operator is tricky but not as hard as making the commitment to go. Do your homework, but don’t overthink things or take every horror story to heart or
you might get cold feet, Wilson advised. Because tourism is a serious moneymaker, some “cowboy” operations arti cially in ate their “success rates”—the chances customers
will reach the summit.
Be wary of any tour operator claiming a
100 percent rate. In reality, it’s usually be- tween 45 and 67 percent. e rate changes with the di culty of the route.
e Wilsons, limited by time, choose to trek Machame, a popular but di cult route that takes a minimum six days to get up and down. ey reached the top in ve days and took less than two days to get down.
Wilson praised the “excellent” porters who beat the group to each camp in order to set up, calling them “quite impressive.”
e on-the-trail menu, however, might have only rated a “meh” from Michelin had the food guide cared about high-altitude cuisine.
Unimpressed by the veggie patties and overcooked chicken, the boys dreamed of cheeseburgers, but were nevertheless grate- ful for whatever high-energy grub that fu- eled them whether it was guacamole, nuts, or protein bars.
After facing hardships and sharing joy with someone, bonding comes naturally.
“You’re all out there together experienc- ing despair, discomfort and, at times, anger and frustration. ere’s also exhilaration,” said Wilson, who stays in touch with the other fellow climbers in their group.
Going up Kilimanjaro is like walking from the equator to the North Pole.
To play on the quote oft attributed to Mark Twain: “If you don’t like the weather on Mount Kilimanjaro, just wait a few minutes.”
e mountain has ve climate zones rang- ing from tropical rainforest to arctic tundra. Temperatures can reach 80 degrees plus dur- ing the day and plummet to zero at night.
Camp showers only spray bone-chilling water, so it’s better to stay dirty.
Kilimanjaro has broken up couples. It could be the stress; on the other hand, the no-shower situation could be to blame. Anyway, sleep deprivation and using the bathroom outdoors isn’t anyone’s idea of “romance,” Wilson said.
If anyone had thoughts of quitting, they kept it to themselves, especially on summit day. Garrett said it wasn’t an option: “You were going to have to keep walking, or you were going to have to turn back and keep walk-
ing. You might as well just go the right way.” Everyone hit the hay around 8 p.m., rose
at 11 p.m., and started hiking at midnight. It takes eight hours to reach the summit
in time to catch the sunrise.
e Wilsons recalled seeing the headlamps of dozens of climbers like
re ies bouncing along in a giant conga line. e boys pressed on by gluing their weary eyes to the feet of the person in front of them. “ at last 500 feet was just brutal,” Ryan
e elder son thinks he will tackle anoth-
er mountain, if not Kilimanjaro, then one of the other seven summits.
Garrett “might need some time to re- cover” before he chooses his next adventure.
Wilson? “I could get talked into it.”
After healing from knee surgery, Wilson can do everything except run, which stresses joints.
Pushing things physically? “I think we all learned that the body is capable of more than we think. When the mind is determined to do something, the body can respond.”
“It was a wonderful experience for me to have with the boys; something I wouldn’t trade for anything”
Ryan and Garrett called the trip “unbe- lievable.”
Climbing is like life itself. Every day you face di erent obstacles. Just when you think you’ve got those nailed, there are new ones to tackle.
Metaphors aside, it’s all about the people with whom you take that journey.
Stats say that ve to 15 folks—mostly porters—die on the mountain each year.
Sure, there are risks to mountain climb- ing, but with the life’s unpredictability, you could just as easily snu it by falling o a ladder at home, so you might as well enjoy it and make some lasting memories.
To drive home this mountainous point,Wil- son quoted Morgan Freeman in his portrayal of an inmate in “Shawshank Redemption.”
“Get busy living or get busy dying.”

Think Twice Before
Shredding Your
Account Statements!
It was not too long ago that we were told we would be living and working in a paperless society.
I envisioned my desk not having a shred of paper on it. As I look around my o ce today, I think it is safe to say that the predictions of a “paperless society” were as accurate as those of the Y2K computer apocalypse.
Perhaps, most illustrative of how paper intensive a society we have become is the documentary proof required by Medicaid for nursing home eligibility. e applicant, often an ailing senior, is required to provide documentary proof literally from the moment of birth to the date the ap- plication is submitted. If the applicant
has not been in the habit of safekeeping biographi- cal documents such as birth certi cates, marriage certi cates, divorce papers, naturalization documents and military discharge pa- pers, the task of preparing and ling the application is daunting. is process can be especially di cult for an applicant who has not retained legal counsel and attempts to do it on his or her own.
e documentary proof required by Medicaid for a nursing home application is onerous. e applicant
is required to provide - nancial records for the ve years preceding the date nursing home Medicaid is requested to begin. ese records include copies of federal and state income tax returns with 1099s and W-2s, copies of all account statements, including bank and brokerage accounts. Copies of all checks, deposits and withdrawals
of $3,000 or more (for Westchester County applications) with expla- nations thereof must be provided. Perhaps more than any other docu- mentary proof, Medicaid’s require- ments for the account statements and explanations creates the greatest dif- culty for the applicant, especially in cases where the applicant has multiple bank, brokerage and mutual fund ac- counts and/or kept his or her nances separate from his or her spouse.
Even in the unlikely case where the applicant has been able to locate all
of the required account statements, the likelihood that he or she will also have copies of all checks, deposits
and withdrawals of $3,000 or more, with explanations thereof is unlikely. Fortunately, banks and major nancial institutions are required to keep elec- tronic copies of accounts. However, most banks don’t keep the records
for more than eight years, and bank mergers often create problems for the customers.
In conclusion, I suggest that one maintains all of his or her nancial records for at least ve to seven years as his or her eligibility for Medicaid may hinge on document availability.
Anthony J. Enea, Esq. is a member of the rm of Enea, Scanlan & Sirignano, LLP of White Plains. His o ce is centrally located in White Plains and
he has an o ce in Somers. He can be reached at 914-948-1500. Mr. Enea
is the Past Chair of the Elder Law and Special Needs Section of the New York State Bar Association, and is the Past President and a Founding Member of the New York Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA). He is also a member of the Council of Advanced Practitioners of NAELA. Mr. Enea is the President of the Westchester County Bar Foundation and a Past President of the Westchester County Bar Association.
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‘Tis the Season for Giving
Creating family memories can be a powerful gift
The holidays are coming and they are coming soon! As parents, caregivers, family members and friends, we are pre- paring our lists and pondering how to get ev- erything done. What was once seen as a lov- ing, genuine tradition of gift-giving now feels riddled with clearance specials, Black Friday deals, and endless advertisements. Children are being bombarded by commercials on TV, ads on their tablets, and elaborate store dis- plays. Of course, it is natural for children to want the latest toy or computer game, but for adults, it feels like the pressure is on!
An important question to ask yourself is: “What matters most?”
During the holiday season we, as adults, can look back on times during our childhood and young adulthood where speci c gifts meant the world to us. ese gifts usually t with who we were and what was important to us, and somehow the gift-giver zeroed in on something that we would love but would not have thought of buying for ourselves. I still remember receiving my rst interactive drawing book when I was young and how much it meant to me that someone noticed that I enjoyed drawing. We certainly do not remember every single gift, but we de nitely remember the ones that made a di erence.
Special gifts that are personal and loving are still the most treasured by anyone, at any age. As a parent, getting all the presents your child wants may seem ideal, but is it actually makingadi erence?YouandIbothknow that at least half of those trendy toys will be broken or missing pieces by the end of Janu- ary if not sooner.
Now, I am not suggesting calling o all presents. However, I am suggesting being more mindful in many ways. Regardless of how old your child is, giving him or her a present can be a teachable moment. Giving your child something that speaks to who he or she is versus an “awesome cool-looking ac- tion gure that shoots his arms out until the battery wears out” may make a di erence in your relationship.
Consider what matters most to your fam- ily and what values you want to teach. Don’t assume everything children point at will matter to them. A lesson in self-regulation— the ability to manage one’s emotions and behavior according to the demands of a situ- ation—can occur when children don’t get ev- erything on their list.
Decision-making skills can also be devel- oped around the holidays, for example by having children sort their toys and donate what they no longer use prior to receiving new ones. is practice can become a heart- warming tradition as your children learn the value of giving back to those in need. And it not only helps with organizational skills, but can also allow children to recognize what is important and meaningful in their lives.
ey will likely want to keep the items that speak to who they are.
rough my work, I have known many families who stress over holiday spending and gift-giving because they want to give their chil- dren the world, which is all any loved one wants for another. However, as caregivers and parents, we need to know what is meaningful and val- ued by our children. One lasting gift could be to start a family tradition of spending time to- gether and creating memories that will never be lost or forgotten in a toy box. Families can also spend time making gifts for each other. Photo collages, letters, cards and home-made puzzles are things you will want to hold on to for many years. roughthesedi erentactivitiesyouare spending time, valued time, with your chil- dren. You laugh, you play and you connect with them. is is the gift that matters.
Stephanie Gomme is a Parent Partner in the Family Empowerment Program at CoveCare Center in Carmel. CoveCare Center partners with individuals, families, and the community to foster hope, wellness, and recovery, and to restore quality of life by addressing mental health needs, substance use, and social and emotional issues. For more information, visit or call 845-225-2700.

The Kids Are Not Alright LIVE WELL
Vaping’s harsh e ects on young bodies
Is vaping truly a safe habit, and does it pose a higher risk for our youth? Cigarette smoking is the leading preventable cause of heart and lung disease in the United States. Smoking traditional cigarettes has been estimated to reduce the average chronic user’s lifespan by approximately 10 years, killing about 500,000 people yearly. Fortunately, cigarette use has been steadily declining over de- cades. Use of e-cigarettes (readily available in the US since 2006), or vaping, has become a popular alternative to those addicted to ciga- rettes and nicotine, presumably due to its lower overall risk pro le.
Recent studies have suggested that the majority (51 percent) of the nation’s estimated 10.8 million e-cigarette us- ers were under 35 years old, and that 44 percent of users who were between 18-29 actually never smoked cigarettes regularly prior to vaping. And unfortunately, use in the young population appears to be growing rapidly on a yearly basis, tripling to about 263,000 peo- ple between 2011 and 2013, with a signi cantly higher
number of users now. What is an e-cig- arette? It is simply nicotine and chemi- cals with avoring that is sold as a vaporizable liq- uid, which is
heated and inhaled by users. While these products may at rst seem safer to use than highly addictive traditional cigarettes, they pose an elevated risk to our young population. First, they obviously contain nicotine, which is highly addictive, and which causes elevations in heart rate and blood pressure, and increased risk of developing Type II diabetes. However, nicotine appears to have particularly profound e ects on younger brains, whose development is not mature until around age 25. Nicotine is especially dangerous for the developing brain, adversely a ecting brain areas that are related to attention, learning, mood, and impulse control. ese changes may lead to a predisposition to more dangerous addictive drug use in the future. In fact, young people who vape may also be signi cantly more likely to smoke traditional cigarettes in the future, studies have suggested.
Furthermore, in addition to dangerous nicotine, the e-cigarettes contain avorings, which contain chemicals such propylene glycol and glycerol. When exposed to the heat of the vaping systems, these chemicals break down to form the potent carcinogen formaldehyde. Some say that the risk of developing cancers from chronic exposure to these chemicals may in fact exceed that of traditional cigarettes. ey also often contain a chemical called Diacetyl. When inhaled, diacetyl can cause “bronchiolitis obliterans” (more commonly referred to as “popcorn lung”) a scarring of the tiny air sacs in the lungs resulting in the thickening and narrowing of the airways leading to coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath, and eventual chronic lung disease.
Bottom Line? Vaping is steadily on the rise among our young population, and while initially viewed as a safe alternative to tradi- tional cigarettes, it is in fact often the only form of nicotine delivery ever used in this group of people. ey are unsafe due to e ects of nicotine on the developing brain, and on the cardiovascular system. ey also contain lung- damaging and cancer producing chemicals, the long- term e ects of which have not yet begun to be fully appreciated. ink your son or daughter is at risk? It would be wise to have a frank discussion with them. For additional suggestions and information, go to
Lee S. Marcus, MD, MS, FACC, FASPC, 914-475-1055,
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Special Needs Trusts
Why you may need one
Special Needs Trusts are an integral part of almost every estate plan, yet, most people do not realize this. Typically, those who consult us on the applicability of Special Needs Trusts are either disabled or closely involved with a disabled child or other adult. In these instances, the need for a Special Needs Trust might be obvious. Less apparent, is the need for Special Needs Trusts in nearly every es- tate plan. Consider that a bene ciary of your estate may become dis- abled at any time. As discussed below, I use them in most of my estate planning documents to deal with unforeseen disabilities.
e purpose of a Special Needs Trust is to provide a pool of assets that can be used to supplement, not replace, government bene ts or as- sistance for which the disabled person may be entitled to receive. e assets of the trust are commonly used for things like medical equip- ment, transportation, vacations and other recreational items, personal care and other types of expenditures that are not covered by govern- ment programs. ere are two types of Special Needs Trusts: First Party and ird Party. Let’s spend some time discussing both.
A First Party Special Needs Trust is a trust created with the assets of a disabled person who is under 65 years of age. Often, this type of trust is used where a disabled person is already receiving government bene ts such as SSI or Medicaid and receives assets, for instance, by inheritance. If this trust is properly utilized, the disabled bene ciary’s government bene ts will not be discontinued.
Until recently, only a parent, grandparent or Court could establish a First Party Special Needs Trust for the bene t of a disabled bene ciary. Earlier this year, the law changed, now allowing a disabled person, who has capacity, to establish a First Party Special Needs Trust on their own.
Upon the death of the disabled person, a First Party Special Needs Trust must name the State as a remainder bene ciary for any bene ts paid to the disabled individual during his lifetime. is is called a “pay- back provision”. If the trust does not include this provision, the assets of the trust will be considered available assets for the disabled individual, thereby discontinuing any government bene ts.
A ird Party Special Needs Trust is a trust that can be created by any person, with that person’s assets, for the bene t of a disabled person. Consider a parent who has a disabled child. If assets are to be set aside for the disabled child, a properly drafted estate plan would include a ird Party Special Needs Trust for the bene t of the disabled child.
Unlike a First Party Special Needs Trust, a ird Party Special Needs Trust does not have a “payback provision”, thus, you can name any individual or entity as bene ciary of the trust after the death of the disabled person.
I use ird Party Special Needs Trust in most of the estate plan- ning documents I create for clients. As I mentioned above, anyone can become disabled at any time. For this reason, we provide in our docu- ments that where assets are being left to a bene ciary who is disabled at the time of distribution, a ird Party Special Needs Trust shall trigger and be used to hold the disabled child’s inheritance, thereby preserving the disabled bene ciary’s inheritance where there is an un- foreseen disability. is is called a “trigger trust”.
Special Needs Trusts are complicated areas of elder law and special needs planning. Please contact us to discuss their applicability. We can be reached at 914-925-1010 or by e-mail me at [email protected] to discuss your options. You can also visit our website at
Salvatore M. Di Costanzo is a partner with the rm of Maker, Fragale & Di Costanzo, LLP located in Rye, New York and Yorktown Heights, New York. Mr. Di Costanzo is an attorney and accountant whose main area of practice is elder law and special needs planning. He is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys while also being a current member of the executive committee of the New York State Bar Association’s elder law and special needs planning section. Mr. Di Costanzo is a frequent author and lecturer on current elder law and special needs topics. Since 2013, Mr. Di Costanzo has been selected each year by the rating service, Super Lawyers as a New York Metro leading elder law attorney. He can be reached at 914-925-1010 or via e-mail at [email protected]. Visit his practice speci c website at

a partner with the firm Maker, Fragale & Di Costanzo, LLP.
Practice areas primarily focused on
Practice areas primarily focused on
Medicaid Planning • Special Needs Planning
Medicaid Planning ● Special Needs Planning
Planning for Home Care • Planning for Nursing Care
Planning for Home Care ● Planning for Nursing Care
Wills • Trusts • Medicaid Applications
Wills ● Trusts ● Medicaid Applications
Guardianships and Estates • Asset-Protection Planning
Guardianships and Estates ● Asset-Protection Planning
• Selected since 2013 as a New York Metro Area Super Lawyer
• Past Chair of the Westchester County Bar Elder Law Committee
Selected since 2013 as a New York Metro Area Super Lawyer
• Member, New York State Bar Assoc. Elder Law Section Executive Committee
Past Chair of the Westchester County Bar Elder Law Committee
• Member, National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys
Member, New York State Bar Assoc. Elder Law Section Executive Committee Member, National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys
[email protected]
[email protected]
2074 Crompond Road
350 Theodore Fremd Avenue
Yorktown Heights, NY 10598
Rye, NY 10580
2074 Crompond Road
350 Theodore Fremd Avenue
Yorktown Heights, NY 10598 Tel: 914-245-2440
Rye, NY 10580
Tel: 914-245-2440
Tel: 914-925-1010
Fax: 914-245-7403
Fax: 914-925-1011
Fax: 914-245-7403
Fax: 914-925-1011
Tel: 914-925-1010

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Wake up!
Avoid drowsy driving this holiday season
Unless you’re Santa Claus, there’s no excuse for driving late into the night during the holiday season when you’re feeling tired.
According to the National Highway Tra c Safety Administration, nearly 100,000 tra c accidents can be attributed to drowsy driving; that includes more than 1,500 fatalities and over 70,000 injuries. Most drowsy driving accidents occur between the hours of midnight and 6 a.m. with drivers that are alone in their vehicle.
Dr. Praveen Rudraraju, a pulmonologist and Director of the Center for Sleep Medicine at Northern Westchester Hospital, shares his tips for reducing the danger of drowsy driving by being aware of risk factors and taking precautions.
Risk factors for drowsy driving include the following:
• Sleep loss, even as little as one hour, can cause marked drowsiness;
• e use of sleep aids, anti-anxiety medications or alcohol consumption can cause drowsiness;
• Driving long hours with few or no breaks or driving alone or with sleeping passengers;
• Undiagnosed or untreated sleep disorder that cause sleep loss or insu cient sleep.
Dr. Rudaraju suggests taking the following precautions to prevent drowsy driving:
• Avoid alcohol. Aside from the obvious dangers, alcohol increases drowsiness;
• Avoid taking sedatives, the majority of which are fast acting;
• If you feel drowsy when driving, nd a safe place to pull over and nap. Although a short nap can provide short-term relief, it’s best to get proper sleep;
• Speak with your physician about problems falling or staying asleep, especially if you are tired after a night’s sleep or if you snore with periods of gasping.Your doctor my recommend an overnight sleep study to diagnose sleep apnea or another sleep disorder.
To nd out if you are at risk for a sleep disorder, visit to take a sleep apnea self-assessment.
Northern Westchester Hospital (NWH), a member of Northwell Health, provides quality, patient-centered care that is close to home through a unique combination of medical expertise, leading-edge technology, and a commitment to humanity. Over 650 highly-skilled physicians, state-of- the-art technology and professional sta of caregivers are all in place to ensure that you and your family receive treatment in a caring, respectful and nurturing environment. NWH has established extensive internal quality measurements that surpass the standards de ned by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Hospital Quality Alliance (HQA) National Hospital Quality Measures. Our high- quality standards help to ensure that the treatment you receive at NWH is among the best in the nation. For more information, please visit and connect with us on Facebook.

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5K and 1Mile • Run or Walk • Kids Fun Run
Jingle All the Way to a Cure!
5K Course
Registration starts at 8:30 a.m. Race starts at 10:00 a.m.
Purchase College
It’s the original holiday race for charity . . .
Timed & USATF- certi ed
• Indoor Registration, Sponsor Expo & Team Tailgate
• Awards for Top Finishers in Each Age Group
• Kids Fun Run and Activities
Register today at
e • Costume
• Post Rac
• Holiday Running Shirt for every Participant!

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