The Rachael Pontillo Show
Want to Launch A Skincare Brand? Confidence Tips from Melinda Coss

Want to Launch A Skincare Brand? Confidence Tips from Melinda Coss

May 11, 2016
Something I noticed with some of my earlier students was that even though they learned how to make amazing and effective skincare products for themselves, they didn't yet have the confidence to make them for other people--let along launch a skincare brand!  Read more at
The Law of Attraction is at it again.
Oftentimes the students or clients we attract are a reflection of thoughts going on about ourselves in our own minds that we personally need to work out. Funny how the Law of Attraction brings others into our lives to serve as our teachers and mirrors--even if we're the ones who are supposed to teach. Anyway, these students caused me to take a look at my own thoughts surrounding creating skincare products for others--and I realized that I too had a lot of these same confidence issues when I first started.
Once I learned how to make my own boutique skincare products that were right for my skin, I found that my skin looked and felt better than it ever had before. In fact, whenever I was asked to try someone else's products, my skin would get angry and let me know with a rash or breakout (this is one of the reasons I stopped doing product reviews!). And I'd brag about it. A lot. To anyone who would listen. And of course, people starting asking me if I could make products for them.
I'd make excuses about how I only knew how to make products for MY skin, and everyone's skin is different, and this and that, and on and on. Finally I overcame these self-imposed barriers and started making custom products for my clients--and haven't looked back. Many people observe me to be a fairly confident person--and I consider myself a confident person. So what was my hang up?
What I've found for myself--being totally transparent here--is that no matter how much I study, research, practice, teach, write, or experience, I still have fears that I don't know enough. 
Today's episode is all about finding confidence--specifically confidence to launch a skincare brand.

Click HERE to read more and watch the video.
It sounds huge, doesn't it? I mean, it's such a huge topic that I felt compelled to ask soap-making legend and international skincare entrepreneur guru, Melinda Coss for her advice on how to find the confidence within to put yourself out there to launch a skincare brand. I've presented several webinars lately, many of them just for aestheticians. The questions asked during and after these webinars are primarily from aestheticians not wondering how to make skincare products, but worrying that the products they make won't be as good or effective as the 'professional' brands they use and sell in their practices. And of course there's the age old concern "I'm afraid I'll screw it up and someone will have a bad reaction." These are valid concerns!
The good news is that finding the confidence to launch a skincare brand as an aesthetician or other skincare practitioner is much easier than you'd think. In fact, when Melinda said what she thought about it, I'm not gonna lie--I had a mix of an 'aha!' and 'duuuhhhhh' moment.
About Melinda Coss:
Melinda Coss is widely credited with pioneering the cold process soap making movement in Europe and in the 90s she created what became the largest hand made soap company in the UK before selling it in 2004 and moving to France.
Melinda now runs business training and mentoring programs for skincare entrepreneurs  taking them on a journey she took herself, all the way from the kitchen to major international distribution.
Melinda is the bestselling author of 27 internationally published books on crafts including three dedicated to soap making.  She has also helped to set up three social enterprises in rural Africa.
For more information, and to learn more about Melinda's amazing mentoring program, click HERE. (affiliate link)
Do you want to launch a skincare brand?
The first step is to learn how to create beautiful, luxurious, professional quality skincare products. I can teach you how to do that online, in the comfort of your own home, in just 6 weeks. Our next semester starts soon, LIVE.
Go to for more information and to enroll!
Read the full post and leave a comment here:
How to Use Astrology for Clearer Skin: Interview with Anne Nordhaus-Bike

How to Use Astrology for Clearer Skin: Interview with Anne Nordhaus-Bike

April 24, 2016

Astrology is topic loaded with preconceived notions. Some people live their lives by it, others dabble in it for fun, others consider it too "woo woo" or "out there" to have any validity or practical uses in real life. Read more and comment at
In today's Spiritual Skincare Sundays offering, I encourage you to broaden your thinking about astrology--especially in terms of its uses for health and wellness, and specifically, your skin.
I'm going to start out with total honesty--when astrologer and artist, Anne Nordhaus-Bike, first expressed interest in talking to me about astrology's place in skin health, I was skeptical. I've always liked astrology, and have started utilizing it more for planning purposes, but much of it is still new to me. The idea of astrology as a mind-body-spirit healing system was completely new to me--but since I've had great experiences with other mind-body-spirit systems like Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda, I was very interested to learn more.
Astrology isn't just about horoscopes-it's about life.
Horoscope_imageIt's about our lives on this planet, at this time, and about our places in the Universe and in time. It's about how our individual bodies react and respond to Universal influences and nature as well, and though these concepts might seem deep, the practice of astrology itself is actually quite practical.
In today's interview, Anne Nordhaus-Bike talks to us about how each astrological sign under which we were born is attributed to a different element and season-much like the doshas in Ayurveda or elements of TCM. Different elements and seasons have different characteristics, as do skin conditions, and other ailments, and each element or season also has a balancing or pacifying counterpart. It also has a season or element that makes matter worse if imbalance exists. So in this way, astrology really can be interpreted as the mind-body-spirit healing system of Western Philosophy--which for many Westerners, might be more accessible and practical than TCM or Ayurveda.
About Anne:
Anne Nordhaus-Bike March 2016 eventAnne Nordhaus-Bike is an award-winning artist, astrologer, and journalist. She also has decades of corporate communication experience with clients including many Fortune 500 firms. She founded her own firm, ANB Communications, in 1993. Today, she blends her business savvy and spiritual smarts to provide a holistic, innovative approach in delivering communication and team building solutions for executives, business owners, and entrepreneurs. She is a frequent guest on WGN Radio in Chicago and serves on the board of the Gazette Chicago newspaper. She also served on the board for Democratic Leadership For The 21st Century- Chicago (DL21C) as recruitment chair and on the communications committee. The recipient of numerous communication awards throughout her career, she was honored by the National Women's Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls, NY, which added her to its "Wall Of Fame."
Learn more from Anne:
Get your astrological chart, and check out her art on her website, free Astrology and Art Toolkit, and newsletter 
I'd love to hear from you--is astrology part of your life?
How do you work with it now? What was your biggest takeaway from my interview with Anne? Please share in the comments at

Naturopathic Skincare with The Spa Dr. Trevor Cates

Naturopathic Skincare with The Spa Dr. Trevor Cates

April 13, 2016
People living with skin conditions like acne, rosacea, hyperpigmentation, eczema, and others today are very lucky. I know that sounds crazy! I don't mean that they're lucky to have a skin condition--what I do mean is that they're lucky to live in a day and age where so many skin health approaches and solutions are available and accessible. I wasn't that lucky--I had to figure out how to heal the acne that plagued most of my life on my own, and it wasn't until I learned about holistic skincare and began practicing Nutritional Aesthetics® that I had my own resolution. I certainly wish I knew about naturopathic skincare in my younger days, since conventional dermatology did not provide me with solutions for long-term skin health. Read more and leave a comment here:

Naturopathic skincare has a different approach.

Dermatologists prescribed me both topical and oral steroids and antibiotics (which destroyed my gut and didn't even work that well on the surface), Retin-A (which made my skin dry, tight, and peel), and a whole slew of topical products and treatments that were designed to scrub, burn, or bleach away the acne, pigmentation, and scarring that was on the surface of my skin. None of it worked, and ultimately I feel these drugs were largely responsible for health problems I developed down the line which took nearly 5 years to overcome. The gentler, more holistic approach of naturopathic skincare and medicine which encompass prevention

Of the many different holistic and integrative modalities I've researched, studied, and written about, naturopathic medicine has been my favorite. While I don't live in a state that currently licenses naturopathic physicians as primary care doctors, I am fortunate that my own work has led me to meet and collaborate with many, like Dr. Trevor Cates, ND. It is my hope that continuing to spread awareness of the holistic and integrative field of medical practice that is naturopathic medicine--and of course naturopathic skincare--might help make it available in every state in the US.

In our interview, Dr. Cates discusses the naturopathic skincare approach versus the conventional dermatological approach, common food triggers, the impact of inflammation on the skin and its possible causes, the 3 keys natural skincare products must have to be effective, and more.

About Dr. Trevor Cates:

Dr. Trevor Cates was the first woman licensed as a naturopathic doctor in the state of California and was appointed by former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to California's Bureau of Naturopathic Medicine Advisory Council. After working in several world-renowned spas, Dr. Cates became known as “The Spa Dr.” She sees patients in her private practice in Park City, Utah with a focus on graceful aging and glowing skin. She is also host of THE SPA DR. Podcast and the online Glowing Skin Summit. She is the author of Glowing Skin From Within ebook (#1 Amazon bestseller). She believes the key to healthy skin is inner and outer nourishment. Dr. Cates’ new skin care products, The Spa Dr.’s Daily Essentials, are available now at The Spa Dr. products are formulated with all-natural ingredients proven by science to give you clear, glowing skin at any age.

Take The Spa Dr's Skin Quiz HERE:

Get your free cheat sheet: The 5 Best and Worst Foods for Your Skin

Download the podcast of this interview on iTunes HERE:

Share your thoughts-2What part of Dr. Cates' naturopathic skincare approach made the most sense to you?

Please share in the comments at

How to Avoid Plastic Surgery: an Interview with Dr. Anthony Youn

How to Avoid Plastic Surgery: an Interview with Dr. Anthony Youn

April 6, 2016

It's no secret that I'm not a fan of invasive cosmetic procedures like injectables and plastic surgery--I've written several articles about some of the dangers of these procedures and have offered natural alternatives to Botox® and lasers like cosmetic acupuncture and LED light therapy. It's my belief that invasive procedures should be undergone with great care and consideration--if at all--and should be considered the last effort, not the first when seeking smoother, firmer skin. I'm not gonna lie--normally plastic surgeons and I don't have much to talk about, as our philosophies are usually quite opposite. However when I found out that a well known, board certified plastic surgeon--one who's talked about plastic surgery on TV shows like Dr. Oz, The Doctors, and The Rachael Ray show--wrote a book on how to avoid plastic surgery, my interest was certainly piqued!

Dr. Anthony Youn wrote a book about how to avoid plastic surgery with diet, lifestyle, and other holistic methods.

I wouldn't have been surprised at all if the book had been written by a naturopathic doctor, or even an integrative dermatologist (yes they do exist!)--but a plastic surgeon? That surprised me. When I first spoke with Dr. Youn, I found that we actually share many common core beliefs surrounding skin health. We both believe that healthy skin comes from within with a balanced diet consisting of nutrient-dense, fresh, whole foods--and not from processed food diets filled with unhealthy fats and sugar. We both believe that certain lifestyle habits harm the skin, while others help the skin. And we both believe in the power of topical skincare and clever makeup application to help skin look its very best. And finally, we both do what we do, truly, to help people feel better about themselves even though we go about it in vastly different ways in our respective practices.

Not only does Dr. Youn teach people how to avoid surgery, but he also advocates self-love.

I see a lot of people with low self-image who have a really tough time loving themselves in my practice. Many people believe that having clear, beautiful skin, will magically make their lives perfect and then they will finally be happy. Just like I tell my clients that happiness and self-love don't come in a bottle of moisturizer (although my moisturizer is pretty darn fabulous), Dr. Youn strongly believes that plastic surgery won't make someone happier either. In fact, he actually turns some people away if he feels they are only seeking surgery for that reason, or if he feels that they don't actually need the surgery. I found his approach very refreshing.

About Dr. Anthony Youn:

Dr. Anthony Youn is the rare plastic surgeon who does everything he can to keep his patients out of the operating room. He's spent the past 16 years researching the secrets of plastic surgeons, dermatologists, makeup artists, and dietitians--and he knows what works, what doesn't, and what's overpriced. Now he's compiled solutions to every cosmetic aging problem in his new book, The Age Fix: A Leading Plastic Surgeon Reveals How to Really Look 10 Years Younger (written with Eve Anderson). The Age Fix is an insider's guide to looking younger without having surgery, and includes the Age Fix Diet, the Age Fix skincare routine, and solutions to virtually aging and beauty problem you can think of.If you purchase The Age Fix by April 11, 2016, you'll receive up to 9 bonus gifts! Click HERE.

I'd love to know...

What was your favorite part of my interview with Dr. Youn? Tell me in the comments HERE. Download this podcast on iTunes and watch the video HERE--and remember to subscribe while you're there!

Grounding Tree Guided Meditation

Grounding Tree Guided Meditation

April 3, 2016

Two of the most common misconceptions about meditation and visualization are that:

  1. You have to do it for a really long time for it to be effective
  2. You have to be "that" kind of person--super zen, outwardly spiritual, surrounded by gemstones and crystals

While it's certainly beneficial to spend hours meditating or have a sacred space full of spiritual accoutrements, it's definitely not mandatory--and you don't need to *be* a certain way or not. Whoever you are, whatever you believe, you can benefit from even small doses of meditation and visualization, and often guided meditation and visualization exercise are a great way to add these practices to your life simply.

Today's offering is a guided meditation to help you ground and connect.

It's brief--less than 6 minutes--and is designed for anyone at any spiritual level or belief system. This is a meditation I often share with my clients, anytime they're going through stressful times--especially for my busy moms or CEOs (who actually have a LOT in common!). During stressful times, it's easy to feel "all over the place" or chaotic. When you're working on something for someone else, whether it's caring for children or tending to tasks and projects (or both!), it's common to also feel unsupported and disconnected from who you really are and what your needs are personally.I also recommend this meditation for my clients who are at the beginning stages of healing from a skin condition, and also for those who may have healed their physical condition but still experience the emotional and spiritual remnants. There's a lot of fear, uncertainty, and insecurity associated with having a skin condition, and those same feelings of disconnect, lack of support, and chaos are common.

Enjoy this grounding, connecting, guided meditation here:

If you'd like to own this guided meditation, you can download it FREE on iTunes--remember to subscribe while you're there!

I'd love to know, did you find this brief guided meditation helpful?

Please share here in the comments, or come over to the private Spiritual Skincare Sundays group on Facebook and join our discussion there. May you always have the peace that comes with feeling grounded and supported.So it is.

How to Fix Your Monthly Cycle Naturally: Interview with Bridgit Danner

How to Fix Your Monthly Cycle Naturally: Interview with Bridgit Danner

March 11, 2016

Women have the blessing, and sometimes the curse, of being governed by our monthly cycles for a large portion of our lives. What’s that, you ask? Blessing? Most women consider “Aunt Flow” a curse rather than a blessing. But like our skin and other organs and systems of the body, our monthly cycles can serve as a messenger that lets us know if something’s amiss within.Many women experience uncomfortable symptoms during their periods—cramps, bloating, fatigue, acne, migraines, mood swings—but did you know that those symptoms aren’t actually the norm? It’s true. Typical PMS or other uncomfortable period symptoms—or very irregular periods—are often the result of something else going on in the body. Food intolerances, hormone imbalances, malabsorption, micro-or macronutrient deficiencies can all affect your cycle, causing these typical symptoms. But there’s good news too—and that’s that it doesn’t have to be this way.

How do you know your cycle is normal—or not?

Hormone expert Bridgit Danner, L.Ac, FDNP joins us today, to shed light on what a ‘normal’ monthly cycle should look like, what it could mean if your cycle doesn’t meet those criteria, and she also gives great advice on what you can do to get things back on track.

About Bridgit Danner:


Bridgit Danner runs an online women’s health community called Women’s WellnessCollaborative. Through this community, she interviews experts in women's health through blogs, videos, podcasts and online summits, including Hormones: A Women's Wellness Summit. She's an experienced practitioner of Chinese Medicine with nearly 12 years and  over 12,000 treatments of experience. She's also a certified Functional Diagnostic Nutrition practitioner. She has worked extensively in the fertility field, and has worked with many professional women in helping them find health within their busy lives.Bridgit became passionate about women’s health after her own postpartum health crisis. Withthe help of life coaching, holistic nutrition, functional medicine and whole food cooking, she was able to recover from postpartum depression, epstein barr virus and adrenal dysregulation. She loves to share the tools and skills she’s learned, along with the tools of other experts, to help women everywhere find the energy and balance they crave. 

Connect with Bridgit and take her free Hidden Hormone Stressors quiz at

Remember Bridgit and I mentioned her amazing free program, Hormones: A Women’s Wellness Summit?


Bridgit created Hormones: A Women’s Wellness Summit because, well, just being a woman is difficult–career demands, dating and relationships, taking care of our families–and our hormones don’t always cooperate! The event is free and online for April 11-18, 2016, and features 35 experts such as myself, Dr. Keesha Ewers, Dr. Jolene Brighten, Dr. Kellyann Petrucci, Nicole Jardim, and many more. My talk is on Day 2 :) We'll cover popular topics for women such as PMS, PCOS, acne, Hashimoto's, fertility, perimenopause and more.  Solutions will be offered from the worlds of functional medicine, Ayurveda, Chinese medicine and nutrition.

Click here to get free access to all this great info, starting April 11.

I’d love to know…

What did you find most helpful from Bridgit’s interview? Please share in the comments at

When Probiotics are a BAD Idea: Interview with Dr. Anh Nguyen

When Probiotics are a BAD Idea: Interview with Dr. Anh Nguyen

March 3, 2016

I'm not gonna lie. I love probiotics and recommend them for almost every client I work with at some point in our work together. Skin health and a gut health are so closely related, and I know for me personally, I had a lot of issues with candida overgrowth and gut dysbiosis (when the 'bad' bacteria and microflora overtake the 'good'), which probiotics really helped to remedy. But was the gut dysbiosis and candida overgrowth the cause of my seemingly never-ending acne, or was it another symptom of a different cause?It's hard to tell, in my case specifically, but it is true that while many consider candida overgrowth and gut dysbiosis the cause of skin issues and other health conditions, these too have their own root causes. WHY is the balance of good/bad bacteria and microflora out of whack? WHY has the candida been allowed to take over? What happened FIRST for those two other events to be possible?

Are probiotics a cure or just another band-aid fix?

Today I share with you an interview with Dr Anh Nguyen, PharmD, BCACP, a board-certified pharmacist, certified health coach, avid foodie, and functional medicine practitioner who finds and fixes the root cause of chronic conditions, specializing in gut health. I wanted the scoop about why the link between skin health and gut health is so significant (because if you think about, it's not really a connection you'd hear of and just 'get it' right away!), and of course the conversation quickly moved to the topic of probiotics.What Dr. Anh explained, which I thought was really fascinating, is that probiotics alone can't be everyone's solution. Re-populating the gut with beneficial microbes might help make people more regular or reduce common discomfort and even visible skin conditions for a time, but if the cause of the imbalance isn't identified and addressed, the problems will return if the person discontinues the probiotic.The mentality of "I'm fine with x food as long as I have my probiotic" is in fact, an allopathic mentality--not necessarily a holistic or functional one. It's the same as people who eat lots of spicy foods and then follow them with antacids, or who overindulge in junk food and then spend hours at the gym to 'undo' the damage.

Does Dr. Anh recommend that people DON'T take probiotics?

2-2.jpgWell, in some cases, yes! Which might be shocking, since so many health professionals tout probiotics as a panacea (another allopathic thought process). There are some health conditions where the introduction of probiotics at the wrong time--while the allergen or irritant (the cause) is still present--can do more harm than good. There are also some chronic conditions that exist where a certain amount of healing has to be done before introducing a probiotic is safe or effective. I found this really fascinating.Dr. Anh also talks a lot about another cause of health issues facing Americans today--the source of our food-particularly how soil quality affects our health. This is something I learned a lot about whilst teaching at the Rodale Institute, and I'm really glad Dr. Anh brought it up because it's a topic that often gets ignored.Near the end of the interview, I decided to call out the white elephant in the room, and address how while functional and integrative medicine offers amazing benefits to people--many practitioners and preventative tests are very expensive and aren't covered by insurance. Dr. Anh and I discuss what people can do about that in the interview too.

Here's how to learn more from Dr. Anh:

  • Go to to get “The Clean Eating Rules: How to Eat to Lose Weight, Improve Your Biometrics, and Get More Energy”
  • Listen to Dr. Anh's #1-ranked iTunes podcast, Food as Medicine podcast at
  • Book a consultation with Dr. Anh at to get help with optimizing your nutrition, addressing food sensitivities, and healing your gut.

Do you take probiotics?

What's been your experience? Have they helped you? What do you think about what Dr. Anh said on the subject? Please leave a comment and share your thoughts! 

By the way, the Holistically Haute with Rachael Pontillo podcast is now on iTunes!

Click HERE to download episodes and subscribe.

Fourth Trimester Skincare and Self-Care: an Interview with Dr. Jolene Brighten

Fourth Trimester Skincare and Self-Care: an Interview with Dr. Jolene Brighten

February 24, 2016

The Fourth Trimester is rarely this picture perfect.

As a mom myself and a holistic health practitioner  who works with moms, it always amazes me how much attention goes into planning nowadays. Don't get me wrong, I certainly did a good amount of planning more than a decade ago, with my first child. I didn't know even a fraction of what I know today about health and wellness back then, but I did have the mindset to "pre-heat the oven" by taking prenatal vitamins, and dropping some bad lifestyle habits prior to conception. Once pregnant, I loved the planning that went into the pregnancy itself, the birth; and of course I loved the shopping. And while my childbirth educators and pregnancy forums had some mild discussion about adjusting to life after baby, what I learned once she was born was that THAT was the time I should have focused the majority of my planning on. The time that's hardest to plan of all, since it's nothing a new mom can even fathom until she experiences it herself. The Fourth Trimester.

The Fourth Trimester was the hardest thing I ever experienced.

I felt very prepared going into both my pregnancies and the actual birth itself, but I have to admit it that what I experienced after the fact made me feel the least prepared I'd ever felt about anything in my entire life. Sure, I was taught to expect a crying baby, feeling sore, sleep deprivation, and all that stuff--but all that is the tiniest tip of the very large iceberg that is the Fourth Trimester. It was the hardest physical and emotional time of my life, and not just the first time. The second time around I got all cocky during my pregnancy. I felt like an old pro. Toddler and newborn? No biggie. I was wrong. Though certain aspects of my second Fourth Trimester were familiar, other issues appeared that I'd never experienced before like weight gain, hypothyroidism, and even postpartum depression.At first I was really upset because I thought I was the only one who experienced this, but the more moms and grandmothers I talked to, the more I learned that I was not alone in feeling this way. Many, many moms of all ages have gone through their own version of the Fourth Trimester.

Why is the Fourth Trimester such a surprise?

Because it's not planned to the most minute detail the way conception (for many), the first three trimesters, and the actual birth itself are. It's not talked about enough among women anymore, and I don't know why that is. Maybe women are afraid of admitting that they're not supermom, like we're all expected to be these days. Maybe they're afraid they ARE the only person feeling that way since all the other moms at the baby gym and music classes seem to In my own case, when I asked my mother why she didn't tell me about her own Fourth Trimester experiences (though she had no problem sharing every detail about her births), she told me she didn't want to scare me. So many women enter into pregnancy without knowing anything at all about the fact that the Fourth Trimester isn't just about new life--it's also about death. Death of the old self to make room for the birth of the new self that is Mother. The death of the Maiden and the birth of the Mother. And it's hard. And scary. And it's not talked about enough.

That changes now.

Dr. Jolene Brighten

My friend, the wonderful Dr. Jolene Brighten, wrote a wonderful book to help women plan for the Fourth Trimester. It's called Healing Your Body Naturally After Childbirth: the New Mom's Guide to Navigating the Fourth Trimester, and it's something every mom-to-be--whether it's your first time or you're a seasoned pro--should read BEFORE that baby comes out. I'm very grateful that Dr. Brighten took time to talk about her book, and the Fourth Trimester itself in a very candid interview with yours truly.
During the interview we certainly address the skin issues that happen during pregnancy and often last into and beyond the Fourth Trimester such as acne, melasma, and of course stretch marks. But I'm not gonna lie--this interview is full of the truth about the Fourth Trimester. It's not sugar coated, and at times it might get a little gritty. If you've never had a Fourth Trimester, you might even find it a little scary. Listen anyway, and please share it with anyone you know who's thinking about being a mom, who is a new mom, or who is a Fourth Trimester survivor--because sometimes that experience still needs TLC years later.Of course we talk about fun stuff too like sugar scrubs and naming your skin a fun crayon color. Watch, listen, and enjoy (and subscribe too!).
About Dr. Jolene Brighten:

Dr. Jolene Brighten earned her doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine from the National College of Natural Medicine. She received her BS in Nutrition Science and completed graduate coursework in molecular nutrition at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. She has extensive training in Integrative Women’s Health and autoimmune disease management and is a practicing Holistic Pelvic Care(TM) provider. Having developed Hashimoto’s following the birth of her son, Dr. Brighten is a strong advocate for the Hashimoto’s community, with special emphasis in fertility, pregnancy, and postpartum thyroiditis. She is the author of the book, Healing Your Body Naturally After Childbirth: The New Mom’s Guide to Navigating the Fourth Trimester, and is launching a new program aimed to support fertility and healthy pregnancies for the Hashimoto’s community. She is a regular contributor to several publications and websites and lectures on the subject of postpartum care, autoimmunity, and women’s health to both healthcare providers and the public.

Connect with Dr. Brighten:



I want to hear from you.

What was your Fourth Trimester like? How did you cope? What advice can you give to expectant moms about to experience this type of "gang initiation?" Please share in the comments at

Common Misconceptions about Acupuncture: Interview with Sarica Cernohous (Part 2)

Common Misconceptions about Acupuncture: Interview with Sarica Cernohous (Part 2)

January 29, 2016
Though acupuncture and other holistic modalities have been established as firstline healthcare practices with success for thousands (literally thousands) of years, people often have misconceptions about acupuncture that prevent them from trying it.
Concerns like "it hurts," or "it's only for chronic pain," or "I'd have to commit to going all the time," or "I'd have to have tons of needles stuck in me for long periods of time," are common misconceptions. There are also blanket statements like "acupuncture is safe and appropriate for everyone regardless of age or condition," which though seemingly positive, still present misconceptions about acupuncture.
Are any of these common misconceptions about acupuncture true?
In Part 1 of my interview with Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner and nationally board certified acupuncturist, Sarica Cernohous, we discussed some of the misconceptions and safety concerns associated with the practice of microneedling and facial acupuncture. In Part 2, we go deeper to discuss how and why it works, and Sarica also shares the truth regarding some of the most common misconceptions about acupuncture. Read Part 2 of the accompanying blog post of my interview with Sarica Cernohous HERE


We also discuss when acupuncture isn't the best treatment for someone, and how that person should be treated instead; in addition to work with children and the importance of a proper homecare regimen. Sara provides so many gems of information in this interview.
Sarica Cernohous, L.Ac., MSTOM, BSBA; a nationally-certified practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Chinese Herbal Medicine, who practices Japanese-style acupuncture, including cosmetic acupuncture.
Sarica is also an instructor on traditional food preparation methods, through her program, “Fresh, Fun and Flavorful in The Funky Kitchen“, and is the author of The Funky Kitchen: One Soccer Mom’s Favorite Traditional Food Techniques and Recipes.  
She is also a coach for Metabolic Balance of Germany, a chapter leader for the Weston A. Price Foundation and serves on the Board of Directors for the National Association of Nutrition Professionals.  She resides in northern Arizona with her husband and two children. 

I want to hear from you!
What's been your experience with acupuncture? Have you tried it? Have you wanted to but were worried because you've read some of the myths and misconceptions discussed in the video above? Click HERE to share your thoughts and experience on the blog.
Want to take your first step towards better skin?
Take my free quiz, and get customized action steps to help you have the skin--and life--you want! Click here
Are Microneedling and Facial Acupuncture Safe? Interview with Sarica Cernohous, Part 1

Are Microneedling and Facial Acupuncture Safe? Interview with Sarica Cernohous, Part 1

January 21, 2016

Get the scoop on when microneedling and facial acupuncture are safe--and when they're not in part 1 of my interview with Sarica Cernohous. 

Read more, watch the video, and leave a comment HERE.

I first learned about the cosmetic benefits of facial acupuncture and first saw microneedling (also referred to as "derma-rolling) demonstrated live on stage at a trade show years ago. I was intrigued, but I'm not gonna lie--I had safety concerns. There are microneedling devices intended for home use and ones intended for professional or medical use only.

Unfortunately though all of them are available everywhere, without proof of licensure or proper training on usage and safety.

Once I realized that, anytime anyone asked me my thoughts on microneedling, I quickly responded that I don't think it's safe and that I don't recommend it for anyone.

Imagine my surprise years later when I saw an acupuncturist use microneedling as part of a facial rejuvenating demonstration!

Unknown.jpegI've always considered acupuncture to be a safe and effective mind-body-spirit healing modality. After all, it's part of the ancient tradition of Traditional Chinese Medicine, which dates back thousands of years and is still used successfully today. So when a highly regarded acupuncturist not only used a microneedling device on a model--but gave it to her to use at home--during a demonstrating at a holistic skincare event, I was again, concerned. I was less concerned this time though, because the acupuncturist gave the model a device that was .25mm and also instructed her how and when to use it.

Today I bring you part one of my interview with the lovely and wonderful Sarica Cernohous, L.Ac., MSTOM, BSBA; a nationally-certified practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Chinese Herbal Medicine, who practices Japanese-style acupuncture, including cosmetic acupuncture. Sarica is also an instructor on traditional food preparation methods, through her program, "
Fresh, Fun and Flavorful in The Funky Kitchen", and is the author of The Funky Kitchen: One Soccer Mom's Favorite Traditional Food Techniques and Recipes. She is also a coach for Metabolic Balance of Germany, a chapter leader for the Weston A. Price Foundation and serves on the Board of Directors for the National Association of Nutrition Professionals. She resides in northern Arizona with her husband and two children. 

So of course I had to ask Sarica her thoughts about the safety of microneedling and facial acupuncture. Some of what she said surprised me! Did you know that acupuncture itself isn't even safe for everyone? Listen or 
watch the video and get the scoop.

Don't miss part 2 of my interview with Sarica!

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