I’ve recommended various body care products, supplements, books and more on this blog and in my private practice. Now, for convenience, I’ve consolidated the most popular items on this page. These are goodies I recommend that can add to your knowledge, skills, and well-being. Most links are to Amazon, and I get a small percentage of each sale to help offset my time and expense maintaining this blog. There’s no extra charge to you!
Body Care Products
Essentiel by Adele, $49 for big bottle plus travel size, $33.15 every other month if you auto-replenish. Prices may be discounted for holiday sales. This all-in-one moisturizer works for your face, hands, and body. Formulated professionally and brought to market by top parts model Adele Uddo, who’s made her living for years in ad campaigns featuring her hands, face, eyes, lips, legs, body, etc., Essentiel by Adele is a quality product at an affordable price. Loaded with botanicals, essential oils, and other healthy ingredients, Essentiel smells great (as one reviewer said, “like a spa” — from essential oils, not artificial fragrance), has a great consistency, goes on easy, absorbs well without oily residue, and leaves skin feeling soft. Cuts back on the bathroom clutter. It’s vegan and cruelty free, too. Check out the ingredient list and the FAQ.
Adissage Athletic Sandal. $17-30, depending on color and size. These sandals are the bomb for getting a foot massage with each step. Tiny nubs do the job, providing you with easy-on, easy-off treats for the feet. Whole sizes only, and sizing may run large (if you wear 7.5, order 7). Wear them around the house, when running errands, after a workout, after being on your feet all day — or make them your everyday shoe if lifestyle permits. Some reviewers say they relieved their foot pain and plantar fasciitis.
CranioCradle Home Therapy System. $42. Place it under your head, neck, shoulders, back, or sacrum, or use two of them at once under head and sacrum — position to induce relaxation and provide profound renewal for body and spirit. Takes only 2-5 minutes a day to relieve your neck, back, hip, or leg pain. Here’s a video showing ways you can use it. Try one on your next visit to my office.
Sacro Wedgy. $54. Have you ever had a bodyworker slide their hand under your sacrum and just let your pelvis rest there? Did you feel a sense of relief? Here’s how to get that relief at home. For people with low back and/or hip pain, sciatica, pelvic girdle tension, fatigue, or pain or numbness radiating down the legs, the SacroWedgy can help. Slide it under your sacrum while reclining and rest for up to 20 minutes. You’ll feel relief from tension you didn’t even know you had. The pink version is wider and shorter for typical female pelvises, and the blue version is narrower and longer for typical male pelvises. Used regularly over time, it works with gravity to help your muscles rebalance, correcting poor posture.
ProKinetics Natural Body Balance Insoles. $60. These insoles are specially designed for people with Morton’s foot/Morton’s toe/Greek toe, a common condition in which the second metatarsal is longer than the first metatarsal, which can cause postural issues over time. These insoles keep your feet from pronating each time your foot rolls forward as you walk. My hunch is that having this condition may not bother you much when you’re young, but as the decades pass, it can create postural problems and pain up the body’s structure. These insoles are a fairly inexpensive and simple solution. When I first started wearing them, I quickly felt more stable in my hip joints. If you have this foot condition and you have musculoskeletal issues, it’s well worth your while to try these to see if you get some relief. Google “Morton’s foot” to learn more about it.
Therapeutica Sleeping Pillow. $81 and up, depending on size. Comes in 5 sizes based on shoulder width. Designed by a chiropractor and an ergonomic designer, this pillow will serve you well if you sleep on your side or back, keeping your neck vertebrae properly aligned and relieving pressure on the jaw. Since you spend a third of your life sleeping, this is an investment in your immediate and long-term well-being. Measure your shoulder width before ordering. Comes with a 5-year warranty — works out to $15-25 per year to relieve your neck, TMJ, and sleep issues.
Gravity Pal Portable Low Angle Inversion Table. $480 plus $14 shipping. This is a wonderful way to decompress your spine safely and easily in just a minute or two every day. Imagine a little more space between each pair of vertebrae. Imagine a little more ease for the spinal nerves. I’ve used a chin-up bar in a doorway with a sheet tied to it, the kind of large inversion table that you strap your feet in, even hanging from a ceiling with gravity boots on my feet. This is way easier. Blood doesn’t rush to your head, and it’s very easy to get on and off. (Sit in the middle and carefully lower yourself down with your head at the low end. Stay for a minute the first time, then gently roll onto your side onto a pillow for your head and rest for another minute.) It folds and can be checked as airline luggage.
What if you could buy quality supplements without the huge markup?
Wellevate is an online dispensary that carries many top supplement brands and wellness products: Allergy Research Group, Designs for Health, Gaia, Garden of Life, New Chapter, Pure Encapsulations, Thorne, and many more.
Besides supplements, Wellevate also carries Dr. Hauschka skin care products, Mychelle Dermaceuticals, Amrita Aromatherapy, Boiron homeopathics, Yogi Teas, Badger sunscreens, and other desirable wellness products.
If you’d like to get a bigger discount on supplements, you can register, search, and order from my Wellevate online dispensary. It costs you nothing to check it out, and you get 30% off and free shipping on orders of $49 or more.
I’ve put together protocols for adaptogens, adrenal exhaustion, and digestive aids. Click Protocols in the left panel to view them. You can also click Dispensary in the left panel to search for anything you like.
Here are supplements I’ve found helpful. I can’t provide direct links but you can register and look these up. Please let me know if you have any problems — allowing online orders is an experiment. (Normally I make recommendations specific to my clients based on research and experience.) Note that the “standard patient price” (SPP) listed below does not include the 30% discount. Also, these prices may change.
- Hyaluronic Acid Collagen Peptides by Hyalogic (6.4 oz, SPP $20.97) for healthy skin, bones, joints, connective tissues, hair
- L-Glutamine Powder (1 lb., SPP $25.20) for healing leaky gut, stress relief, building immunity, relieving muscle pain, and reducing sugar or alcohol cravings
- N-Acetyl Cysteine by Designs for Health (900 mg, 120 caps, $24.23) for detoxifying, healing infections, increasing immunity, speeding recovery — NAC is one of the three precursors of glutathione, the master anti-oxidant (the others are in collagen and glutamine above)
- Adaptogens to help balance the body’s systems, especially helpful for adrenal support during times of stress — try one or more:
- Rhodiola Rosea from Pure Encapsulations (100 mg, 180 caps, SPP $22.05)
- Eleuthero Root from Gaia Herbs (554 mg, 60 caps, SPP $20.29)
- Ashwaganda from Pure Encapsulations (500 mg, 120 caps, SPP $26.04)
- Schizandra from Nature’s Way (580 mg, 100 caps, SPP $8.39)
- Holy Basil Force from New Chapter (268 mg, 120 caps, SPP $51.07)
NEW! Wellevate now offers an app! Download it, take a two-minute health assessment, and track your progress toward your goals. You can get support, reminders, and more. Here’s a video about how it works:
Diet and Food
Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Weston A. Price, 2009 (8th edition, 23rd printing). $24. Weston A. Price (“the Charles Darwin of nutrition”) was an American dentist and researcher who traveled the world in the 1930s studying the relationship between diet and health. He identified groups eating traditional diets in which nearly every member of the group enjoyed superb health, compared to members of the same group that were eating a modern Western diet consisting largely of industrially-processed foods, who suffered from rotten teeth, infectious diseases, infertility, and degenerative illnesses. He observed that the Western diet of refined carbohydrates and denatured fats and oils, as well as the lack of fermented foods and nourishing bone broths, led to poor health. Weston A. Price is credited for discovering much that has become the basis for eating a Paleo diet and for recovering from autoimmune diseases.
The Nourished Kitchen: Farm-to-Table Recipes for the Traditional Foods Lifestyle by Jennifer McGruther, 2014. $9 (used) to $48 (new hardcover). Recipes for the traditional foods lifestyle. Jennifer McGruther teaches you how to cook with animal fats, avoid using refined sugar in sweets, make bread with ancient grains and leaven with sourdough, make your own butter (and buttermilk!), cook wild game like rabbit and elk, ferment food and beverages, and much more. Her recipe for roast chicken gets many kudos, and you can use her recipe to make your own sour cream and olive oil mayonnaise. Includes many photographs. This cookbook is a must-have for Paleo/Weston A. Price Foundation diet cooks.
Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods by Sandor Ellix Katz, second edition, 2016. $30. Sandor Katz, a James Beard Award winner and Craig Claiborne lifetime achievement award winner, is one of the world’s foremost experts in how to ferment foods. Michael Pollan calls him the “Johnny Appleseed of fermentation”. This new edition includes color photos throughout and many new recipes. The book includes nearly 100 recipes for fermenting vegetables (such as sauerkraut — “the gateway ferment”, kim chi, and pickles), beans (miso, tempeh), dairy (yogurt, kefir, cheese, and vegan alternatives), grains (sourdough bread and more), and alcohol (beer and wine, cider and champagne), as well as vinegar-making.
Stainless Steel Drinking Straws from SipWell. $7. Have you had it with ugly plastic trash everywhere in our environment? Concerned about the possible ill effects on human health of the proximity of the food we eat to plastic packaging, plastic containers, and plastic utensils? Here’s one simple switch you can make: use stainless steel drinking straws. This pack of 4 comes with a cleaning brush. (You could also not use straws at all, but they are convenient.) This size is recommended for cups holding less than 30 ounces; for 30 ounces or more, get the extra-long version.
Books for Well-Being
The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have, by Mark Nepo, 2020 (20th anniversary edition), $12.65 (paperback, Prime). This is a book to savor over time, with one reading for each day in the year. Mark Nepo is a poet and a gifted human being who has suffered disappointments and serious illness. Each day’s reading is a reflection on life, followed by some suggestions that you can follow, or not. Full of inspiration, insight, humility, and compassion for the human condition, you may want to read it over after over, year after year. It makes a wonderful gift for someone who appreciates a poet’s sensibility, but in prose. It is also wonderful to read daily with a friend or family member. New York Times Bestseller.
Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art by James Nestor, 2020, $16.75 (hardcover, Prime). I listened to it twice on Audible and ordered a hard copy for easy reference. If you are curious about (or suffering from) breathing problems, snoring, sleep apnea, scoliosis, crooked teeth, weak jaw, mouth breathing, and/or other issues relating to the nose, mouth, jaw, and throat, the author (a science journalist) dives deep into these issues and why we have them. He also shares his experiences working on his own issues, which makes his experiences more relatable. New York Times Bestseller, Best Book of 2020 by NPR, and Best Science Book of 2020 by Amazon, among other accolades.
The Inner Bonding Workbook: Six Steps to Healing Yourself and Connecting with Your Divine Guidance by Margaret Paul, PhD, 2019, @21.77 (paperback, Prime). Margaret Paul is an amazing, energetic, brilliant 81-year-old psychotherapist who looks to be in her 50s. She created this workbook which some therapists recommend their clients use and some people find on their own. This self-healing program teaches you how to fall in love with yourself by getting to know yourself better and working with your parts — your inner child, your wounded self, and your divine guidance.
How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence by Michael Pollan, 2018, $16.99 (hardcover). This is my favorite wellness book of 2018. It turns out that the strict prohibition of psychedelics that occurred in the 1970s may have been throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Science writer Michael Pollan investigates a new revolution — more grounded and responsible than the one in the 1960s — and finds that psychedelics have a place for enhancing wellness — for instance, dying people may find peace, acceptance, and transcendence. The book tells the history of psychedelics, identifies the key players, includes new research results — and Pollan tries three different psychedelics himself (he’s a very “Eagle Scout” type person, so that’s fun) and relates his experiences, including his exploration of what a “spiritual experience” consists of to someone who’s an atheist.
Altered Traits: Science Reveals How Meditation Changes Your Mind, Brain, and Body by Daniel Goleman and Richard J. Davidson, 2017, $15 (hardcover). Goleman and Davidson are old friends who went to graduate school at Harvard together, traveled in India in the 1970s meeting teachers and going on meditation retreats, and have collaborated through the years as well as worked separately. Goleman is the author of the groundbreaking best-selling book Emotional Intelligence and has written for the New York Times. Davidson runs the Center for Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, investigating the brains of Tibetan monks (at the request of the Dalai Lama) as well as ordinary meditators. They followed their intuition that meditation was transformative in the days when psychology was focused on behavior, and they contributed to and elevated the science of studying the effects of meditation. They posit here that even a little meditation results in positive changes, and that long-term meditation turns those altered states into altered traits such as having more equanimity and compassion and being able to be more present. I found this book inspiring to increase my practice hours.
The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma by Bessel van der Kolk, MD, 2015, $14. Dr. van der Kolk is a professor of psychiatry, founder and medical director of a trauma clinic, and director of a trauma treatment network. Arguing that trauma is an urgent public health issue, he draws on stories from his 30 years of experience working with people who have been traumatized, learning how trauma affects us, and finding what is most helpful. (By the way, he learned a lot from bodyworkers. Also, yoga is good.) This isn’t a dry, technical psychology book. As one Amazon reviewer wrote, this book has become a bible for anyone affected by trauma or who works in the field. If you’re not sure you want to buy it yet, Dr. van der Kolk has done some podcasts and videos that can help you get acquainted with his ideas.
In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction by Gabor Maté, MD, 2010. $10. With a foreword by pre-eminent trauma researcher Peter Levine, this book explores addiction with a holistic, compassionate approach. Dr. Maté declares addiction to be one of the most misunderstood phenomena in modern society, stating that it occurs not just from personal choice or medical conditions but that public policy plays a major role. He says almost anything can become addictive, and that it’s an attempt to ease one’s own suffering, i.e., to feel good. We all want that, right? He shares anecdotes from his own traumatic history as well as from his medical experience working with skid-row addicts. The “hungry ghosts” in the title come from Buddhist mythology: beings with tiny mouths, scrawny necks, and huge bellies that can never be filled.
Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom by Rick Hanson, 2009. $12. Change your brain, change your life. Describes how the flow of your thoughts actually sculpts your brain and includes neuroscience breakthroughs as well as ancient wisdom. Written in easily-understandable language, contains guided meditations and mindfulness exercises. Contains an appendix by the author’s acupuncturist wife on nutrition and supplements you can take for optimal brain health. (I intend to create a Wellevate protocol when I have time.)
Starfish on the Beach by Tom and Lindy Schneider, 2012. $5 used, $9 new. A children’s version of the starfish story in book form, with beautiful illustrations. The lesson in this story reminds me of Mr. Rogers relating that when a tragedy occurred, his mother told him to “look to the helpers.” This story helps teach children that they can be helpers, that helping anyone — even when a problem seems overwhelming — will make a difference, and that doing something is better than doing nothing. This book is often given as a gift.
In an Unspoken Voice: How the Body Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness, by Peter A. Levine, 2010. $12. The latest book from the renowned trauma recovery pioneer whose first book was the groundbreaking Waking the Tiger, which changed the understanding of trauma, locating it in the body as well as the mind. Trauma is an injury that can be healed through learning how to self-regulate intense experiences. The part I found most valuable was Levine’s recounting of being a pedestrian who was hit by a car. His subjective, moment-by-moment experience of the trauma, which included feeling a wide range of intense emotions and unusual, unexpected physiological reactions, concluding with his realization that he was going to be okay, is affirming. He describes the reactions of different witnesses and helpers, noting which were helpful and which were not. Provides a template for how to process a trauma and for how witnesses/bystanders/helpers can behave to facilitate a victim’s healing process so that they recover from the trauma.
The Revolutionary Trauma Release Process: Transcend Your Toughest Times by David Berceli, 2008. $14. David Berceli, a Catholic relief worker who worked in places torn and exhausted by war and disaster, after much personal experience, psychotherapy, and extensive research, developed these exercises to help people recover from trauma especially where psychotherapy is not available by releasing it from their bodies. Berceli studied bioenergetics, yoga, martial arts, and more to develop the exercises. The book includes photos and instructions for doing the exercises that help release the debilitating, depleting effects of trauma.
The Trauma Releasing Exercises, video instruction with demonstrations by David Berceli, 2008. $28. These exercises are helpful for those who’ve experienced trauma (especially when there’s no other help) as well as for those living with prolonged stress. The exercises help the body “shake off” the trauma and return the nervous system to equilibrium. If you learn better from viewing a video, get this video instead of, or in addition to, the book.