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Top 4 Nutrients for Pregnancy

Written by Lindsay Huttman (pictured left, with baby Natalie) Ahhhh the miracle of life, so amazing what the human body can accomplish! I just gave birth to a beautiful (well, at least we think so, but I'm sure we are biased) baby girl in December. What a journey! My research on pre and post natal health for the whole family always led me back to one common denominator: nutrition. Whether you are preparing to get pregnant, already pregnant or breastfeeding, nutrition should be a primary focus for all involved. I credit our approach to nutrition for helping me keep morning sickness at bay, reducing heart burn, relieving constipation and minimizing the baby blues. While I had my own ups and downs, I felt my approach to nutrition really gave me a sense of control and ownership over many common pregnancy woes. Funny thing...I still wasn't able to stymie my love of dark chocolate...I wonder why??! If you have read any of our articles in the past, you will know that we absolutely advocate for a properly prepared, nutrient-dense, whole food diet. All nutrients work in conjunction with many different aspects of our diet. No one vitamin or mineral works alone. You will be pleased to know that nutrient-dense, whole foods have naturally occurring complimentary vitamins and minerals. It takes the guess work out of it for you! I have put together some recommendations specific for fertility, pregnancy and postpartum nutrition. And as an added bonus, the whole family can benefit from incorporating these tips into their diets! Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine): This vitamin is involved in almost all bodily functions! In particular to our topic, it is required for the synthesis of RNA and DNA in cell replication and reproduction. The normal replication for each of the trillions (that's right, trillions!) of cells in the womb depends on this vitamin. Most people have heard about Vitamin B9 (Folate or Folic Acid) and it's importance in preventing neural tube defects, including spina bifida. Vitamin B6 and B12 are important in ensuring B9 is effective. In addition, it is essential for the normal absorption of fats and proteins. If you are breastfeeding, this vitamin helps the baby continue their rapid development and effectively use the fantastic breast milk they are getting from Mom. *Please note* that antidepressants, estrogen therapy and oral contraceptives diminish the body's reserves of B6. This is important because the first 6 weeks of life (when most women don't know or aren't sure they are pregnant) are when deficiencies in this nutrient can affect the baby. Since we now know that other B complex vitamins are involved in this process as well, B complex vitamin supplementation is recommended prior to getting pregnant (check out Vitamin Code's prenatal vitamins - something we carry right on our shelf in Studio C!) *Nutrient Dense Food Options: Animal sources of B6 tend to be assimilated in to the body better than plant sources. Fish (especially yellow fin tuna, halibut and sockeye salmon), liver (pastured beef and chicken), beef, garbanzo beans, banana, potatoes, brussel sprouts, and spinach. Source: Weston A. Price Vitamin B12 (Methylcobalamin): This vitamin works to protect the nervous system and cell replication. As a result, it is of the utmost importance for fertility (in both Mom and Dad!) When ancient societies prized foods high in B12 for fertility diets, they were on to something! In addition to B6, B12 works to assimilate iron into the body. Iron levels tend to dip in pregnancy as the blood thins out between Mom and Baby, but sufficient stores of B12 and B6 help the body to use iron reserves efficiently to prevent anemia. B12 is almost exclusively found in animal proteins, so strict vegetarians should take special care to ensure adequate amounts are in their diet. If you need recipes for liver, let us know! *Nutrient Dense Food Options: Mollusks, pastured Beef liver, Fish (Trout, Salmon), Pastured Beef, Yogurt (make sure it's raw, because B12 is destroyed by the high heat of the pasteurization process), Pork, Milk (raw), Pastured Eggs, and Pastured Chicken. Source: Weston A. Price Magnesium: Magnesium is needed to activate the enzymes in your body that carry out most of the functions in your body, especially energy production. In addition, it serves to help your muscles relax after contracting (i.e. LABOR!), helps relieve constipation and maintain a proper PH balance. Where would I be without magnesium?! This nutrient has been a lifesaver for me throughout my pregnancy and postpartum. I started even before I was pregnant with Magnesium supplementation, as some of my research indicated that a magnesium deficiency can exacerbate (or even be the cause of) morning sickness. My appetite did dip in the first trimester, but thankfully no morning sickness! I also kept up the routine to manage muscle cramps that sneaked up on me in the middle of the night, and it also helped me make it through Christian's workout routine (that might have been harder than labor!) Lastly, constipation relief! Very helpful in my last trimester and after giving birth. No need to elaborate, just trust me...it works! *Nutrient Dense Food Options: Leafy green vegetables like kelp and kale, seeds (e.g. pumpkin seeds), nuts (especially almonds) and whole grains *Please note* Phytic Acid - found in most grains - blocks the body's absorption of magnesium (as well as calcium, iron, copper and zinc) in all foods. The GOOD NEWS: Soaking or fermenting grains will neutralize Phytic Acid. Source: Weston A. Price Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) (DHA or Docosahexaenoic Acid): You've probably heard of this essential fatty acid and it's partner, Omega 6. These EFAs are not made by the body and so must come from our food. They are involved in every cell in the body and regulate chemical messages (such as hormones). EFAs are imperative for baby development, especially the brain, before and after pregnancy. The good news is that most people get plenty of Omega 6 EFAs in their diet. The bad news is the same can't be said for Omega 3 EFAs. Strive for sources that have a 1:1 or similar low ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3s. This occurs when the source is wild (as in fish, cod liver oil, or other fish oil) and grass-fed, pastured animals and animal products. *Nutrient Dense Food Options: Duck and Goose fat, fermented cod liver oil, pastured red meat, pastured eggs, and raw or pastured butter. Source: Weston A. Price If you have any questions, comments or thoughts please feel free to contact me. I will be a continuing resource on pregnancy and fertility related topics. Are there any other topics you might find interesting? I look forward to hearing from you, our readers! And please see our website for options on supplementation on how to obtain nutrient-dense, whole foods in your area! Lindsay is a trainer at Health and Wholeness - a multifaceted fitness and wellness business serving Arlington and Alexandria, Virginia, featuring: Private and Semi-Private Personal Training, Circuit and Mat Pilates classes, Muscle Activation Techniques, Run Coaching, Fitness Boot Camps, Nutrition Consultations and Food Sensitivity Testing, Acupuncture, Massage, Wellness Coaching, Infrared Sauna, Ionic Foot Soaks and more. Come check us out today!

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Client Spotlight: Q&A with Brandon Millett

What brought you to Health and Wholeness? Simply put, I had just “let myself go” too much. I was in the worst shape of my life. I was low on energy. I wasn’t sleeping well. I was having all sorts of aches and pains, and I knew if I didn’t get a handle on it now, then I’d probably never do it. I’m middle-aged (40’s) and figured it’s now or never. Plus, I know myself. I have tried many times over the last 20 years or so to get in shape on my own. And I’d get into that cycle…in shape, out of shape, in shape, out of shape. I needed more than a workout. I needed a totally new approach to my health and my life that was interesting, challenging and sustainable. And that’s what Health and Wholeness provides for me! How many days a week do you train? I train two days with my trainer (Christian) and work out one additional day on my own. What are your biggest motivators? If you asked me before I started working out, I’d say that I just wanted my energy back. And that’s certainly true. I also would have said that I didn’t want to be one of those overweight, unhealthy guys later in life. That’s true too.  But now, I’m starting to see other major changes in my body that I would not have thought possible! And while my initial goal was to just get back to "average," I know now that there is nothing standing in the way of getting in phenomenal shape. My goals and my motivations are evolving as my health and my body and my confidence improve. What is the most significant change you have noticed since you started at Health and Wholeness? I can say that my work with Health and Wholeness has changed virtually every aspect of my life. My energy has vastly improved. I am healthier and feel stronger. I am sleeping better and less stressed. In terms of the “quantifiable” changes, in just a few months of working out, my body fat went down by 6% while I added 5 lbs of muscle. And that’s without yet addressing my diet...(I’m “in process” with my diet now)...I’ve hit some key benchmarks in the gym, too.  But most of all, my work at Health and Wholeness has given me a ton of confidence, and that permeates every aspect of my life, from my relationships to my business. This is the best decision I ever made with regard to my overall health and well-being! What have you learned about yourself since you started working with us? A few years ago, I had a back injury as a result of a car accident. I thought my days of lifting weights (especially heavy weights) were over. Not true! I just needed a trainer to work with me to make sure my form is correct and to guide me through the process of getting in shape enough to really get into shape. It has been a revelation! Now my favorite part of the workout is hitting the weights. What advice would you have for others just starting their own health journey? Don’t go it alone. Don’t talk yourself into believing that all you need is to surf the net for some health tips and re-dedicate yourself to heading to the gym and you’ll hit your goals. Has that really worked for you? Or do you just hit the same “in shape, out of shape” cycle I’ve hit in the past? Do yourself a favor and hire a true professional, like you would in so many other areas of your life. And then just promise yourself you’ll stick with it for three months. That’s it…just three months. In that time, you’ll move past the hardest part of the process and the workouts will begin to be fun! You’ll also start to notice changes in your body (other people will notice, too!) and it will be harder to avoid the gym than it will be to make your workouts. When I’m not working out now, I find my body craves the gym, and I never thought I’d say that. I was never the “gym rat” type. But I am now, because I found the right place to train. What would you want others to know about Health and Wholeness? This is a welcoming and friendly practice. Everyone at Health and Wholeness is so positive and upbeat and they really want to help you reach your goals. At the same time, they are not afraid to challenge you when you need it. As I said, setting up that initial consultation at Health and Wholeness was among the best decisions I’ve ever made. If you’re on the fence, just make the appointment and see what these guys are all about. Believe me - it can truly change your life! *Want to be the next client highlighted? Email us at info@healthandwholeness.info and tell us your story! Health and Wholeness is a multifaceted fitness and wellness business serving Arlington and Alexandria, Virginia, featuring: Private and Semi-Private Personal Training, Circuit and Mat Pilates classes, Muscle Activation Techniques, Run Coaching, Fitness Boot Camps, Nutrition Consultations and Food Sensitivity Testing, Acupuncture, Massage, Wellness Coaching, Infrared Sauna, Ionic Foot Soaks and more. Come check us out today!

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Ready to Run? Join our Team!

Ever thought about running your first 10k or half-marathon? Or maybe you're already a cardio king or queen, but you'd like to improve your time and knock a few minutes off of your personal best? Whatever your motivation, the Health and Wholeness staff can help you reach your goal this year! Train with Certified Running Coach, Susan Colarco, for the St. Michael's Running Festival this Spring. What can you expect from the Training Program?
  • 16 week start-to-finish training plan with experienced coaching tailored to your pace and fitness level
  • Weekly coached training runs
  • A Health and Wholeness “in training” t-shirt
  • Informational email updates and training tips
  • Seminars on running gear, form, running nutrition, common injuries, and other hot topics
  • Motivation, inspiration, and camaraderie that can only be found with a like-minded training group!
Mark your calendar for our info session this Saturday, January 26th @ 9am - Meet us in Studio C! Get on the road to make 2013 your fastest yet...We promise you'll meet great new people and enjoy every step of the journey! Can’t attend the info session? No problem! You can still Register online for the Training Program (registration note: select "Running Club")...Still have questions? Contact Susan at 401-529-0625 or coachsooz@gmail.com. Health and Wholeness is a multifaceted fitness and wellness business serving Arlington and Alexandria, Virginia, featuring: Private and Semi-Private Personal Training, Circuit and Mat Pilates classes, Muscle Activation Techniques, Run Coaching, Fitness Boot Camps, Nutrition Consultations and Food Sensitivity Testing, Acupuncture, Massage, Wellness Coaching, Infrared Sauna, Ionic Foot Soaks and more. Come check us out today!

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Going the Extra "Yard" with Neal's Yard Remedies

What do Frankincense and Orange have in common? These lovely and invigorating scents are all part of the NEW body care line we're offering at Health and Wholeness. The UK's first Certified Organic health and beauty company -- Neal's Yard Remedies (NYR) -- is now on our studios' shelves! In our constant effort to offer you the best of the best, we're introducing NYR, a London-based company who pioneered the way for bio-dynamic practices in cosmetics 30 years ago. All NYR products are beyond organic, with standards that go beyond "just ingredients" and focus on how they are grown to maximize the products efficacy and the environmental impact. Plus, let's be real...they smell GREAT, too! (If that's what you consider the most important factor!) It's time to toss out those toxic lotions and scrubs you've accumulated in your closet and do something good for your skin! There's nothing fake in NYR formulas...just pure essentials that do wonderful things for your body, mind and mood. Don't wait to indulge your senses with our luxurious samples: try the hand cream, deodorant, powder and body salve next time you're in the studio! Rejuvenating Frankincense
  • The blend of firming, toning and deeply nourishing natural ingredients is a favorite among all who try it!
  • Pearls of Frankincense are sourced in a sustainable way from trees that grow wild - far from agricultural land and contamination by pesticides and polluting chemical fertilizers.
  • Enhanced with elasticity-boosting plant extracts to visibly firm the skin and fight signs of aging the natural way!
Nourishing Orange Flower
  • Great for dry skin, this leaves skin feeling re-hydrated, soft and supple.
  • A replenishing and elasticity-boosting blend of organic orange flower and nourishing plant extracts.
  • While not overpowering, the fragrance leaves a fresh, pretty scent while smoothing and moisturizing very dry skin.
Want more? Check out the  NYR catalog and "shop" for some great products (that are good for you and the environment!) And when you schedule a facial acupuncture appointment with our amazing acupuncturist, you'll get a first-hand experience with Neal's Yard Remedies. So go ahead...rub, scrub, later and savor... your skin and senses will thank you! Health and Wholeness is a multifaceted fitness and wellness business serving Arlington and Alexandria, Virginia, featuring: Private and Semi-Private Personal Training, Circuit and Mat Pilates classes, Muscle Activation Techniques, Fitness Boot Camps, Nutrition Consultations and Food Sensitivity Testing, Acupuncture, Massage, Wellness Coaching, Infrared Sauna, Ionic Foot Soaks and more.

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Raising the Bar: Introducing a New Ashiatsu Massage!

Here at Health and Wholeness, we make it our mission to always be offering the latest and greatest services to give you the best holistic wellness experience you can imagine! So what's on the "menu" this month? Our newest massage technique: Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy! The root word 'ashi' means foot and 'atsu' means pressure, so together they symbolize 'foot pressure' in a technique that delivers a consistent, luxurious massage. The compression stroke elongates and broadens the muscles at the same time and stimulates the lymphatic system of the body, giving you relaxation and detox at the same time! Bars are used above the head for the massage therapist's balance and we include lubricant, which is essential for its purest application. Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy combines flowing centrifugal and centripetal force and also incorporates push, pull, pumping movements. The results relieve symptoms of chronic soft tissue damage and in some cases when we're lucky, a structural change. We were so excited about this Ashiatsu method that we went ahead and built our own bar (see picture) so that our fantastic therapist can use it especially for this unique massage - it's something you'll be challenged to find anywhere else! *November Specials: A 60 minute session for $75 or 90 minutes for $105* So what do you have to lose except getting lost in the deep sense of relaxation and healing? Go ahead and book your appointment now...while this bar is here to stay, this offer won't last long! Special ends on November 30th ...and we know you're overdue for a little pampering! Health and Wholeness is a multifaceted fitness and wellness business serving Arlington and Alexandria, Virginia, featuring: Private and Semi-Private Personal Training, Circuit and Mat Pilates classes, Muscle Activation Techniques, Fitness Boot Camps, Nutrition Consultations and Food Sensitivity Testing, Acupuncture, Massage, Wellness Coaching, Infrared Sauna, Ionic Foot Soaks and more.

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Client Corner: Spotlight on Manny Barbosa

What brought you to Health and Wholeness? What first brought me to H&W almost three years ago was the need for a focused workout schedule and routine to keep my diabetes in check...I wasn't exercising as well on my own. How many days a week do you train? At least three days per week. What are your biggest motivators? Initially, it was simply the need for controlling diabetes, but now I have several motivators: Overall fitness, developing strength, and controlling stress. What is the most significant change you have noticed since you started at Health and Wholeness? I've developed muscle mass. What have you learned about yourself since you started working with us? I've become more aware of signals the body communicates. For example, I notice how the body reacts to an active/healthy lifestyle as compared to a sedentary one. A focused exercise routine brings healthy results and is key to achieving one's health and fitness goals. What advice would you have for others just starting their own health journey? Give the journey a fair chance. Don't drop out when reaching a so-called "plateau" and don't be discouraged by a set back. Both can be overcome. What would you want others to know about Health and Wholeness? It's much better than the membership gym model.  I believe the focused attention that personal training gives brings about better results than other gyms. And the coaches are great motivators! Manny trains at Health and Wholeness is a multifaceted fitness and wellness business serving Arlington and Alexandria, Virginia, featuring: Private and Semi-Private Personal Training, Circuit and Mat Pilates classes, Muscle Activation Techniques, Fitness Boot Camps, Nutrition Consultations and Food Sensitivity Testing, Acupuncture, Massage, Wellness Coaching, Infrared Sauna, Ionic Foot Soaks and more.

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Acupuncture Q&A: How Often Should I Schedule?

I'm new to this Acupuncture thing...How often should I schedule a treatment? There is not a set answer to that question, but rather something to discuss with your acupuncturist. Based on your personal preference, a typical treatment schedule varies depending on four factors: 1. How long the issue that brought you in has been a problem. 2. How acute your problem is. 3. How new you are to acupuncture. 4. How well you’re doing managing other important aspects of wellness (for example, your sleep schedule and diet). Like anything else in the "wellness world," there really are no quick fixes. To be effective, acupuncture should be done somewhat regularly. Most treatment plans involve coming 2-3 times a week in the beginning, then backing off to 1-2 times a month, and then coming at least once a month. The more familiar you become to acupuncture, the more you will know when you're due for another visit, and also when it's time to address something else in your life that may be out of balance. Acupuncture tends to find its niche in people’s lives as the modality that seems to help when other measures don’t quite get at the root of the problem. Read more questions, answers and information about acupuncture on our website to see if it's a fit for you! Health and Wholeness is a multifaceted fitness and wellness business serving Arlington and Alexandria, Virginia, featuring: Private and Semi-Private Personal Training, Circuit and Mat Pilates classes, Muscle Activation Techniques, Fitness Boot Camps, Nutrition Consultations and Food Sensitivity Testing, Acupuncture, Massage, Wellness Coaching, Infrared Sauna, Ionic Foot Soaks and more.

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Awards & Rewards for You!

Looking for something constructive to do with your time? Why not share your opinions in our survey? Do it and be entered to win some cool prizes! It only takes about 20-30 minutes, and we would appreciate your feedback as we look to build the best facility around! Fill out the survey and be entered for a chance to win: 1 FREE Body Bugg ($270 value) 1 FREE PT Session ($90 value) 2 FREE Blender Bottles (normally $8.50 each) 5 FREE Cloth Reusable Grocery Bags (normally $1 each) Aside from rewards we want to offer you, there are some awards worth mentioning - and another chance for your voice to be heard! The polls are open, and Health and Wholeness has made it to the final TOP 5 in three categories for Arlington's Best Business awards! Voting is now underway for the 2012 People's Choice ABBIE Awards, Arlington’s Best Business Awards. This is the 5th year of the “People’s Choice” awards, in which residents and business people get to weigh in. Last year more than 7,500 people participated in selecting Arlington's best businesses, and this year, we want to hear from you! Please take a moment to go to the link and cast your votes for Health and Wholeness in the following categories: Arlington's Best Place to Work Out Do you prefer high-energy classes? A great pool and sauna? Or perhaps you prefer a place where you can just truly pump some iron. Arlingtonians all have their own ways of working up a sweat and working off those calories. Tell us your favorite here.
Arlington's Best Customer Service
Is there a business in Arlington whose staff provides unparalleled customer service? Nominate the best customer service in Arlington here.
Thank you for your support! Be sure to spread the word to friends and family to help us snag the #1 spots! Health and Wholeness is a multifaceted fitness and wellness business serving Arlington and Alexandria, Virginia, featuring: Private and Semi-Private Personal Training as well as Group Runs and Individual Run Coaching, Mat and Circuit Pilates classes, Muscle Activation Techniques, Boot Camps, Nutrition Consultations and Food Sensitivity Testing, Acupuncture, Massage, Wellness Coaching, Infrared Sauna, Ionic Foot Soaks, and more!

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News from Around the Block – October 2012

Congratulations, Alisia - our newest "Mommy-to-be!" Congratulations to Health and Wholeness Pilates Instructor, Alisia Essig, who recently announced the exciting news that she is pregnant! Alisia is only 15 weeks along, but we're already counting down the days until we have another little one crawling around Studio B! ...Speaking of little ones... Health and Wholeness Massage Therapist, Jai Dee, is now certified in *Infant Massage* - which encompasses numerous benefits to the baby (for example: relaxation and better sleep, better digestion, and improved immune system, blood circulation, and skin condition...just to name a few) as well as the parents or caregivers. Infant Massage provides its benefits in four distinct ways: Stimulating all the body systems; Relaxing; Relieving; and Bonding and Attachment. Not in the "baby" phase? We still have plenty of great massage techniques to choose from, so check them out and see which is right for you! *End of October Indoor Boot Camp – Session starts Monday, October 22nd* Halloween is right around the corner (and the candy, sweets and other treats aren't far behind!) For many of us, late October marks the official holiday season kick-off, so start this festive time of year on the right foot! You'll get new challenges and more fun routines  to keep you on top of your game, so join us for another 4-week session of Boot Camp on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings at 6am at the Avalon Community Basketball Court in Arlington. Nina’s popular camps still have room, so read more and REGISTER today! *PLUS* Take advantage of the “Bring-a-Buddy to Boot Camp Campaign”:
  • Bring a friend who is new to boot camp and they get 2 FREE sessions (that's 12 for the price of 10!)
  • YOU get the same deal, too!
**For anyone following the Prop 37 news on consumers' right to GMO labeling, here is Michael Pollan's (author of The Omnivore's Dilemma) take on the California Ballot Initiative to label Genetically Modified Organisms...happy reading!** Health and Wholeness is a multifaceted fitness and wellness business serving Arlington and Alexandria, Virginia, featuring: Private and Semi-Private Personal Training as well as Group Runs and Individual Run Coaching, Mat and Circuit Pilates classes, Muscle Activation Techniques, Boot Camps, Nutrition Consultations and Food Sensitivity Testing, Acupuncture, Massage, Wellness Coaching, Infrared Sauna, Ionic Foot Soaks, and more!

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Acupuncture Q&A: Stress and how to deal with it!

Question: I have a lot of stress...Will acupuncture help that? Answer: Absolutely!  If you saw our post about acupuncture and relaxation, you’ll know that acupuncture can be a fantastic tool for helping you deal with stress. All the stress we have - no matter the form - eventually takes a toll on our adrenal glands. These two tiny glands sit like little "Napoleon hats" on top of your kidneys, and though they're small, they serve a big purpose! Adrenal exhaustion is a common problem in our society due to high-pressure work environments, hectic social lives, poor nutrition and non-food additives such as caffeine, environmental toxins, and even the stress that comes from family and friends. Not all stress is necessarily bad - and sometimes we need a little dose of it - but too much too often will overload our systems and create problems for us physically, mentally, and emotionally. Thankfully, acupuncture is one way to rejuvenate your adrenals and keep you moving in a "de-stressed" state, despite your busy schedule. By targeting specific points related to your stress management system, acupuncture directs blood flow and nerve energy to the areas of your body that are most affected by stress. If you're suffering from stress-induced headaches, stomachaches or any other "ache" and have not tried acupuncture, you’ve got to see what you’re missing! Who knew it would take needles to help you feel so relaxed? Health and Wholeness is a multifaceted fitness and wellness business serving Arlington and Alexandria, Virginia featuring: Private and Semi-Private Personal Training as well as Pilates, Muscle Activation Techniques, Fitness Boot Camps, Nutrition Consultations, Acupuncture, Massage, Wellness Coaching, Infrared Sauna, Ionic Foot Soaks and more.

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