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Welcome to Naturna Institute

Where the best of Eastern medicine and Western science converge to form a comprehensive, cross-discipline approach. Listening, instead of dictating, allowing a deeper dialogue to manifest a more complete diagnosis. Revealing the true root causes behind symptoms and conditions and crafting unique health plans that empower you through education and inspiration to conquer bad habits and create better ones.

Mon-Thurs 11am-8pm, Friday 9am-6pm, Saturday 10am-3pm

(646) 609-4250

129 E 90th Street #1W, New York, NY, 10128

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What is ear acupuncture and how does it work?

In the 1950s, Dr. Paul Nogier, coined as the “father of Auriculotherapy,” discovered that certain points in the ears correspond directly with specific parts of the body. The process of inserting hair thin needles into these specific points within the ear is called Auricular, or “ear,” acupuncture. Auricular is different from "regular," or body, acupuncture because it does not utilize the meridian system. Auricular utilizes points or areas within the ear to stimulate specific organs or to obtain certain results. It is similar to reflexology in that certain groups of cells gather in certain areas, like these specific points, and represent or dedicate themselves to specific parts, functions, and/or organs of the body. Therefore, “stimulation of a reflex point in the ear can relieve symptoms...

Top 10 Sleep Hygiene Tips

We spend over 30% of our lives sleeping. Sleep is when our mind and body repairs itself. We understand the importance of sleep for babies and kids, yet as adults we often neglect to value our own sleep. If you’ve ever pulled an all-nighter or suffered from any degree of insomnia or sleep disturbance, you know first hand that poor sleep has a detrimental impact on mood, performance, and general wellbeing. On the flip side, getting a good night’s rest can be rejuvenating for soul. There is a Chinese adage that says replenishing health with medicine is not as good as replenishing health with diet, but that replenishing health with sleep is the best treatment of all. So how can you judge if you have healthy sleep?...

Get the Skinny on Fats

The Skinny on Fats Many believe they need to avoid dietary fats in order to maintain a healthy diet. Nutritional guideline plans have even been created to accommodate this trend by recommending higher amounts of carbohydrates and very low fats. Now, low-fat and nonfat foods have been normalized to become part of the common diet. However, in order to enhance the flavor of these products, companies replace the fat with high amounts of sugar. Many healthcare communities and social media make claims about dietary fat that are often misleading and false. The idea that high fat diets with saturated fat and cholesterol would lead to heart disease has been has been exposed to be false by studies such as in Siri-Tarino, Sun, Hu, & Krauss’s (2010)...

A Lactation Counselor’s Tips for Breastfeeding

As a Nutritionist and Certified Lactation Counselor, most mothers I work with have many questions when it comes to breast milk and breastfeeding, so here are some helpful tips.How long should one breastfeed?It is recommended that the infant be exclusively breastfed for first 6 months of life, unless otherwise advised by your physician. To benefit the baby, breastfeeding should be continued for one to two years or longer with the addition of human food after 6 months.Foods to boost the nutritional content of breast milkThe composition of breast milk is pretty consistent, except for fats. Studies have found that the fatty acid profiles in breast milk varies in relation to the mother's diet, particularly when mothers eat too many omega-6 fats, which are inflammatory, and...

A Safe Solution for Treating PCOS

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder that affects between 8%-20% of reproductive-age women worldwide. It has numerous symptoms, many of which can seem unrelated, but health care providers will typically look for these common characteristics in a potential PCOS patient:Absence of ovulation Cysts on the ovaries Excess androgensHealth care providers look for several PCOS related symptoms in order to establish the diagnosis. Additional symptoms can include: irregular menstruation, infertility, excess hair growth, persistent acne, and/or stubborn weight gain, particularly around the stomach area. Unfortunately, while researchers understand there are genetic and environmental factors that contribute to the development of PCOS, they do not know the exact cause of PCOS. This makes it difficult to have a definitive diagnosis, as the diagnosis...

Best Tea for Fertility, Pregnancy, and Birth

Raspberry leaf tea is one of the best herbal teas for women’s health. Whether you are trying to get pregnant, already pregnant, or preparing for your baby’s birth, you’ll benefit from this! Raspberry leaf is traditionally used as a reproductive tonic. It contains vitamins and minerals (like calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, niacin, selenium, and vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, C, and E). When made into a tea or infusion, these nutrients are made easily available to our bodies. Raspberry leaf is a pleasant tasting herbal remedy with a mildly sweet flavor. Some people liken its taste to that of black tea, without the caffeine. Additionally, it is gentle on the stomach. You can find this tea at your local health food store or online at mountainroseherbs.com....

Rebalancing Your Gut

Health issues, such as thyroid imbalances, chronic fatigue syndrome, joint pain, psoriasis, autism and many other illnesses originate in the gut. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, upward of 60 million Americans are affected by digestive diseases. The secret to restoring your digestive health is balancing the good and bad bacteria in your gut. Research shows that probiotics can help you attain optimal health. What Are Probiotics? Probiotics are bacteria that line the digestive tract and support the body’s ability to absorb nutrients and fight infection. There are 10 times the amount of probiotics in your body than there are cells! How Do Probiotics Work Your gut, or intestines, contains both beneficial and harmful bacteria. Digestive experts agree that the balance of...

The Science of Aromatherapy: How to Use Essential Oils for Emotional Wellbeing

Have you ever smelled something while walking down the street, and then be instantly taken back to a memory, a place, or a situation? That response comes from each of our olfactory nervous systems. Of all the five human senses, smell is the most direct way to access our mood, memory, emotions, and even physiology. That is why aromatherapy is so powerful. While it may seem like you are just simply smelling something, it’s actually a direct way to impact your mood and, therefore, your health at any given moment. Deliberate use of essential oils can radically transform your perspective and interrupt negative emotions or stress, which we know is the leading cause of illness. Aromatherapy isn’t just a fad or trend. Scientific research into...

Natural Medicine for Children

When my three year old daughter had an ear infection recently, I was reminded of the power of Chinese Medicine when it comes to pediatric care.Otitis media, which is an inflammatory condition of the middle ear, is extremely common in children. The conventional medical approach is a course of antibiotics. However, given that my daughter had a mild case of otitis media, I opted to pursue natural remedies first and use antibiotics only if necessary. Our pediatrician fully supported this approach.Research has suggested that the microbiome affects our digestion, metabolism, immunity, skin health, mood, and even brain performance. Overuse and misuse of antibiotics leads to declining variety within the microbiome, which has been linked to autoimmune disease and increased susceptibility to chronic conditions...

Nutrition and Cancer: Can you “starve” cancer?

Dominant cancer theory is based on genetics: that is why Angelina Jolie had a double mastectomy – she showed positive for a genetic mutation deemed the breast cancer “gene.”  There are also other theories (and case histories of miraculous remission) that beg to differ with cancer as a fatalistic “you were born with it” idea. Different theories (with a base in discoveries as early as the 1930s) are popping up more and more in articles about how we live and what we can do to REVERSE our risk for cancer. The concept that we can turn cancer causing genes on or off and prevent cancer with lifestyle changes continues to pop up in the health media.  

One school of thought gaining steam is that of Dr. Otto Heinrich Warburg. Warburg won the Nobel Prize in 1933 and 1941 for his research on cancer. His theory was that cancer happens because the cells are fermenting sugar as a fuel source instead of using oxygen (the preferred option). Specifically, he found that sugar feeds tumors and he hypothesized that to shrink a tumor you should starve it of this very substance. While this fell out of favor and dominant theory continues to point towards genetic mutation, the new research based on this old idea is promising. “Warburg revival has allowed researchers to develop a hypothesis for how the diets that are linked to our obesity and diabetes epidemics — specifically, sugar-heavy diets — may also be driving cells to the Warburg effect and cancer.” It is likely that sugar and cancer may be prevalent theory five to ten years from now.

It is important to remember that most types of cancer develop slowly over the years. More and more research is pointing to the fact that cancer happens because people have been eating poorly and living an unhealthy lifestyle for years and THEN they get cancer. Overall lifestyle (even from a young age) is the most important factor to minimizing cancer risk.  

Some nutrition and lifestyle mantras to REVERSE cancer risk:

  • Avoid sugar as much as possible
    • Sweetened beverages
    • Soda (even artificially sweetened)
  • Don’t smoke
  • Avoid anything with corn syrup
  • Stay a healthy weight “BMI
  • Avoid processed foods
    • Processed meats
    • Processed oils, trans fats, canola oil, and vegetable oils
    • Refined “white” carbohydrates
  • Find an activity you enjoy and get some movement every day
  • Eat a variety of veggies (non starchy as much as you can) and antioxidant rich foods
  • Eat smart fats (please see the end for further reading about fats)
    • Olives and olive oil
    • Coconuts and coconut oil
    • Butter made from grass fed organic milk
    • Cacao butter
    • Raw nuts like macadamia, and pecans
    • Seeds like black sesame, cumin, pumpkin, and hemp
    • Organic pastured egg yolks
    • Avocados
    • Grass fed meats
    • Wild caught fish like salmon
    • Lard, tallow, and ghee (try and see if these agree with your system)
    • Animal based omega 3 fat like krill oil
    • Purslane
  • Watch alcohol consumption (be as moderate as you can)
  • Watch out for hormone therapy
  • Find ways to manage stress  
  • Get outside every day and expose yourself to sunlight and fresh air
  • Protect your skin from sun overexposure