Integrative Health Blog

Authentic Healing- What it Means for Our Brain and Others

Posted by on Wed, Jan 29, 2020

If I suggested that you invest in the stock market, and no matter how hard you worked and applied your creative abilities, that you would always fail- how interested would you be in investing? 

The business of healing can be like that, because everyone eventually gets old, gets sick and dies.  In fact, my Buddhist friends call old age, infirmity and death the Three Heavenly Messengers!  I googled this term and got over 2 million hits, suggesting that it is a very popular term in certain circles.

As a “healer,” a functional medicine physician,  I know how easy it is to get my ego wrapped up with my powers to end infirmity (for a while), extend life (for a while) and put death off (for a while).  Inevitably though, no matter how good I am at this trade, I too will always fail.  Therefore, I am constantly questioning my motives and asking my colleagues to engage in a little introspection and ask questions like, “Why am I in this business of healing, when the Three Heavenly Messengers, old age, infirmity and death, will always prevail?” 

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Tags: brain health, spiritual health

Rachel Cohen, D.O., Holistic Pediatrician, Joins National Integrated Health Associates

Posted by on Wed, Jan 08, 2020

National Integrated Health Associates, NIHA, is pleased to announce that Rachel Cohen, D.O., holistic pediatrician, has joined the integrative medical team.

Dr. Rachel Cohen is Board Certified in Pediatrics and a Doctor of Osteopathy, dedicated to helping children reach their fullest potential by focusing on holistic care and disease prevention.  

Her journey to becoming a medical doctor started with a desire to be a healer- focusing on the interconnectedness of body and mind.  Dr. Cohen places particular importance on understanding a child’s medical history, development, emotional wellbeing, environment, stressors and nutrition.  She takes great pride in being an advocate for all families that come to her for medical care. 


Dr. Rachel Cohen completed her undergraduate and graduate work at Tulane University in New Orleans, obtaining a Master’s Degree in Neuroscience.  From there, she moved to New York City to attend medical school at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine.  As a fully licensed physician, her additional training in osteopathy emphasizes a whole-person approach to treatment and care. Dr. Cohen completed 3 years of pediatric residency training at Harlem Hospital Center in New York City, an affiliate of Columbia University Medical Center.   Her time there was focused on delivering medical care to underserved populations.  Upon completion of residency, her family moved to the local area, where she has spent the last 2 years as a general pediatrician in Washington, D.C. 

Caring for the Whole Child

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Tags: children's health, pediatrics, holistic pediatrician

Limiting the Power of Sugar and Carbohydrate Addiction

Posted by on Mon, Dec 23, 2019

Just about everyone knows that sugar is bad for our health, but during the holidays, it appears with more frequency and is difficult to avoid. 

In case there are readers who have missed out on this fact, I will provide you with the crash course to start off this article.  The Atkins website   sums up 10 reasons why sugar is bad (listed below) and other websites go on to list 146 reasons why sugar is not a sweet thing for our health. 

10 Reasons Why Sugar Is Bad for Your Health

  1. Sugar causes glucose levels to spike and plummet, which cause mood swings, fatigue, cravings and headaches.

  2. Sugar increases the risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

  3. Your immune function can be affected by sugar. As if being sick wasn’t bad enough, studies have shown that sugar can interfere with the way your body fights disease. Bacteria and yeast feed on sugar, so excess glucose in the body causes these organisms to build up and cause infections.

  4. A high-sugar diet can lead to chromium deficiency. Chromium, a trace mineral, helps regulate blood sugar in the body. While it can be found in meats, seafood, and plant foods, 90% of Americans still don’t get enough chromium because of refined starches.

  5. Sugar accelerates aging. After sugar hits your bloodstream, it attaches to proteins. The mix of these proteins with sugar causes the skin to lose elasticity and leads to premature aging.

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Tags: addiction, sugar

Surviving the Holidays Unscathed! Maintaining Inner Peace by Letting Go of Expectations

Posted by on Wed, Dec 11, 2019

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.

~Albert Einstein

Expectations can cause emotional disturbances, especially when, as Einstein suggests, nothing is done to change them.  The old saying, “Expect the worst and hope for the best” is also a famous bit of good advice, because it scales down expectations, perhaps a bit too pessimistically, to counter our demands that life must happen in a way that we expect it to.  In my recent released book, Awaken Your Godly Brain, I devote a whole chapter (Chapter 9) to dealing with expectations.  Everyone, that I have ever known, wants inner peace and no one wakes up in the morning and says to themselves, “I wonder how many nutty expectations I can impose on the world today so that I can suffer from emotional turmoil!”  However, that is precisely what we do to ourselves when we generate emotional disturbances.

Avoiding the “Hot Spots” of the Holidays

As Einstein suggests, we can do something different to avoid upsets.  If a certain person or situation is likely to push your buttons, move your body to a different location so that you have no contact with that person or that situation. 

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Tags: emotional wellbeing

Detoxing from the Salon

Posted by on Tue, Dec 03, 2019

Looking our best sometimes means a little extra makeup and a monthly trip to the hair salon for a touch up of our “new growth”. But with all of the talk about chemicals found in our personal care products, how can we continue to look fabulous and at the same time, make sure we are not being harmed by our choices?

Beginning in the 1940’s, the US has introduced a few thousand new chemical products into the market each year. This equates to about 85,000 chemicals that our great grandparents were never exposed to and that our bodies now have to process. Such chemicals can be found in the foods we eat, the inside and outside environment in which we live, and the personal care products that we place on our bodies.

When we were young and invincible, our outward appearance often mattered most. We didn’t think about the long term consequences of our shampoo or lipstick - just as long as it did the job that it was marketed to do. As our bodies begin to age, however, could these same products be causing us harm? As it turns out, our increasing waist size, minor unexplained aches and pains, gastrointestinal problems and progressively aging skin changes can, in fact, be related to the same chemicals that once made us look gorgeous.

Over time, if we do not regularly and safely remove them from our body, these cumulative toxin exposures can impact the development of many chronic diseases.

So let’s be smart and learn to detoxify.

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Tags: detoxification, toxins

Essential Oils Class – How to Prepare for a Healthy, Stress-Free Season with Essential Oils

Posted by on Sat, Nov 02, 2019

Please join us in Washington, D.C. for an educational class on Essential Oils:

Title: “Prepare for a Healthy, Stress-Free Season with Essential Oils”

Date: Wednesday, NOVEMBER 20, 2019

Time: 6:00- 7:30 pm

Location: National Integrated Health Associates

                 5225 Wisconsin Ave. NW, # 402, Washington, DC

Presenter: Janette Coffee, CHC, Essential Oil Advocate


Learn how to take care of your health and the health of your loved ones using natural solutions!

Cinnamon Bark Oil

At this time of year, I just can’t get enough of the delicious aroma of Cinnamon Bark Essential Oil. 

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Tags: essential oils

POTS Syndrome, an Invisible Disease

Posted by on Wed, Oct 30, 2019

Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, or POTS, dizziness upon standing, is often called “the invisible illness” – and nearly every symptom is subjective.  It’s important to remember that although dizziness is the trademark symptom, POTS does a lot more than just make someone dizzy.

Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) is largely misunderstood by nearly everyone, including many doctors. So far,  only a small number of Functional Medicine physicians are probably aware and educated about POTS.  

What Is POTS Syndrome?

POTS is a form of Autonomic Nervous System (ANS)  dysregulation or malfunction that affects the flow of blood throughout the body, thereby causing orthostatic hypotension mostly manifesting as dizziness when standing up. Technically, someone has POTS if their heart rate increases by 30 beats per minute or their heart rate is greater than 120 beats per minute within 10 minutes of standing up.  Needless to say, this can be an alarming reaction for someone for something as simple as getting out of a chair.

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Tags: POTS syndrome, dizziness

Genes and Environmental Risks Are the Real Cause of Disease

Posted by on Wed, Oct 16, 2019

A quote from the Gene Environment Interaction Fact Sheet [1] from the Centers for Disease Control states that virtually all human…

“…diseases result from the interaction of genetic susceptibility factors and modifiable environmental factors, broadly defined to include infectious, chemical, physical, nutritional, and behavioral factors. This is perhaps the most important fact in understanding the role of genetics and environment in the development of disease. Many people tend to classify the cause of disease as either genetic or environmental. Indeed, some rare diseases, such as Huntington or Tay Sachs disease, may be the result of a deficiency of a single gene product, but these diseases represent a very small proportion of all human disease. Common diseases, such as diabetes or cancer, are a result of the complex interplay of genetic and environmental factors.”

As a functional medicine  physician, for years I have incorporated genetic testing to help me diagnose the root causes of health problems. I would often find that the CDC  was spot on about the environmental and genetic factors in the development of disease. Once identified, physicians can work to correctly reverse environmental factors such as chronic infections, gastrointestinal disorders and toxicities as well as altering genetic expression which underlie many diseases, disorders and rapid aging.

It is important to remember that genetics may be turned “on” or “off” depending on the environmental factors- genes are modifiable.

The Dominoes of Healthcare


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Tags: functional medicine, genetics, Dr. Gant

Winter is Coming! Prepare for a Healthy Season with Essential Oils

Posted by on Mon, Oct 14, 2019

Please join us for a fun and informative class and learn how to use essential oils to stay healthy and stress-free this winter!

Title: “Winter is Coming! Prepare for a Healthy, Stress-Free Season with Essential Oils”

Date:  Wednesday, OCTOBER 23, 2019

Time:  6:00- 7:30 pm

Place: National Integrated Health Associates

           Washington, D.C.

Presenters:  Janette Coffee, CHC, and Denia Tapscott, MD


As the weather is starting to cool and leaves are starting to change, we are heading into one of my favorite seasons.  Fall always reminds me of my childhood and the excitement of getting back to school, sweaters, boots and the start of the holiday season. 

However, as we head into fall and winter, we also enter the dreaded cold and flu season.  Plus, the added busyness of getting back to into a routine after the summer, and all the extra responsibilities as we prepare for the holiday season can increase our stress levels.   When we are stressed our immune system can be compromised, and we might be more susceptible to those unwanted “bugs.”

Using essential oils as part of a daily self-care routine may help support the immune system and promote relaxation and better sleep.  Essential oils are known to have powerful cleansing and purifying properties, which may help boost immunity and reduce feelings of stress. 

Wouldn’t it be great to truly thrive and experience abundant health and energy as we head into this season? 

Using Essential Oils

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Tags: immune system, essential oils

Meditation, Calming the Brain for Optimal Health

Posted by on Wed, Oct 09, 2019

Please join us for the Mind/Body Connection Series Talk:

Title: "Meditation, Calming the Brain for Optimal Health"

Date: Tuesday, October 22 

Time: 6:30 – 7:45 pm

Place: National Integrated Health Associates (NIHA)

           5225 Wisconsin Ave. NW, #402

           Washington, D.C. 20015

Speaker: Kuno Bachbauer, LMFT


I invite you to come enjoy an evening of meditation!

Learn how meditation works as a powerful tool to balance the emotional brain and how you can develop the "Meditation Lifestyle."

I learned about meditation over 40 years ago. It has changed my life from the first day that I tried it. In fact, the principles of meditation have become my lifestyle. It has become my preferred way of life. A way of being fully present in the world - as often and as deeply as possible.

I must confess, this path is not easy or natural for me. I have never been an “ideal meditator.”  Not even close! I can’t sit still. I fidget. I have a hard time with the routine. I often fall asleep, and when I am awake, my mind wanders all over the place.

So why bother with meditation? And why would I offer an evening of meditation?

The answer may be surprising, but, my experience is exactly what a lot of people experience when they begin to meditate! The struggle. The defeat. The failure at something that appears so simple.

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Tags: mind-body, emotional wellbeing, meditation