If you flip to the end of The Wellness Project book, you’ll come upon a little section called “The Golden Rules of Designing Your Own Health Odyssey.”
Spoiler alert: the first rule is…build your wellness brain trust.
Yes, I want you to “try this at home.” But I don’t want you to do it alone.
If you flip back to the author’s note at the front of the book, you’ll see my first disclaimer about my year of health: I had help doing it. A very qualified team of professionals, in fact. Professionals who it took me many years and recommendations to find, and whose identities I kept marginally concealed throughout the book because for whatever reason, naming them felt weird.
I do, however, pass along recommendations from my wellness brain trust on a regular basis. Because my inbox does not cease to receive a daily request to name names, and because I believe that sharing my rolodex of holistic all-stars who have helped me so much on my own health journey is one of the most powerful things I can do for yours.
I’ve finally put together this list of integrative doctors, bodyworkers, nutritionists, aestheticians, acupuncturists, gastroenterologists, and so on, who practice in New York City. Many of them, depending on their specialty, also see people via Skpe. In some cases, I’ve added people who I haven’t personally seen, but whose work I follow and believe in, and refer out to.
I tried to be as honest as possible about my personal experiences, including the things I think some practitioners do well, along with potential drawbacks and blindspots. Often times, as with all types of care, personality does play a role in finding people who are the right fit. So I encourage you to leave your personal Yelp review in the comments if you agree or disagree with any of the recommendations or have your own experiences to share!
There’s also a section at the bottom for reader recommendations that I’d love you to contribute to. Please let me know if there are any great doctors, practitioners or advocates you’ve found in your home city. Suggestions from a trusted source are so key for building your own wellness brain trust, so I hope you’ll share your rolodex with other Feed Me Phoebe readers! I’ll be updating this list frequently and hope it will be an ongoing resource for all who need it.
With health and hedonism,
Heidi Lovie, Acupuncture
If you’ve read the book, you know that at the top of my brain trust org. chart is Heidi. She is so much more than just a wizard with needles and Chinese herbs. In fact, she might be the wisest person I know. When people ask me for a referral for an endocrinologist, I often point them first to Heidi, who has Hashimoto’s herself and specializes in thyroid treatments. She also is an amazing starting point because of her own rolodex, and many of the practitioners on this list I’ve found through her. The most exciting development on this front is that Heidi recently opened the doors to her new multi-practice office, Bleecker Street Wellness, where you can find many of these all-stars under one roof.
Rob Pape, Chiropractic Bodyworker
Though his practice has moved to San Francisco, Rob still comes to NYC once or twice a month to work his magic on your alignment. His sessions are expensive, but extremely efficient, and include chiropractic-style adjustments and muscle work. What sets him apart from your average whack and crack operation is his intuition and study of multiple modalities. He’s been instrumental in opening up the front of my neck and chest to allow my thyroid more room to function, breaking up scar tissue around the gland itself, and getting to the bottom of other root causes. He suspected earlier this year that many of my upper body alignment issues might be stemming from a problem with my digestion. If only it hadn’t taken me 9 months to take a SIBO test and prove him right! You can contact him at email@example.com.
Juliet Maris, Bodywork and Alignment Therapy
I’ve learned so much from Juliet over the years about the connection between my emotions and the tensions I hold in my body. She adds a wonderful feminine touch to her work (semi-literally?) and is very intuitive when it comes to pulling out potential emotional sources of your pain that are leading to the physical ones. She’s also a yoga teacher and makes fantastic weekly videos in her newsletter that showcase easy everyday moves we can add to our routine to keep our bodies sailing through life. Juliet also now operates out of Bleecker Street Wellness and is available for alignment therapy (without any cracking, if you’re sensitive to this approach) and massage.
Katinka Locascio, Prenatal Massage, Labor Doula and FAM Educator
My main exposure to Katinka is through her educational work around charting with the Fertility Awareness Method. It’s on my bucket list to train with her as an educator myself. But I’m adding her to this list mainly for her work as a doula and prenatal bodyworker at Earth & Sky Healing Arts, which offers a whole variety of services to support you pre, post and mid-pregnancy.
Dr. Maurice Beer, Integrative MD
I’ve been to several integrative doctors. Each has added something to my arsenal and shed some light on a new piece of my health puzzle. Dr. Beer is the most recent, and I am endlessly grateful to him for telling me to get a SIBO test. No shade to his predecessors, but I can’t believe no one had ever suggested this before! There are several things I appreciate about his practice: first, he spends a long time with you on the first visit. This is true of many integrative doctors, but Dr. Beer went the extra mile. He also has a gentle bedside manner and is very thoughtful. Second, the office is down-to-earth and doesn’t appear to be in the business of selling you unnecessary supplements. They were also conscious of my budget and insurance situation, flagging what certain tests would cost and giving me advice on the most cost effective options for tackling them. Plus Oscar, my ACA insurance provider, covered a more generous portion of my first visit than I was expecting!
The Morrison Center, Integrative MD
Dr. Jeffrey Morrison was the first integrative doctor I saw, mostly because he came highly recommended by my chief referrer at the time…MOM! He was the one who got me off gluten and did my first round of comprehensive testing. It was also my first exposure to a highly buttoned up functional medicine practice. Based on my experience and those of several former patients, I’d recommend Dr. Morrison if you’re struggling to discover the root cause of an illness: Lyme, parasites, autoimmune disease. Many of the people I’ve talked to agree that there are practitioners who are better suited to supporting on-going treatment. I should also note, that his practice comes with a price tag and a bucket of supplements that are bought in-house. And though I was grateful for the initial elimination diet, I didn’t care for the on-going in-house dietary guidelines.
Parsley Health, Integrative MD for the Digital Age
I haven’t been a patient myself, but am a huge fan of Dr. Robin Berzin and what she’s built with Parsley Health. She cut her teeth in the functional medicine world at the Morrison Center, among other estemed practices, and has created a revolutionary new model for medicine in the modern age. The practice operates through a membership model, which drastically reduces the price per visit and encourages long-term, on-going care. I’ve had the pleasure of doing events with her medical directors in Los Angeles and San Francisco and can attest to their smarts, charm and empathy. Plus, health coaching is part of the package to ensure that you have a helping hand for achieving your prescribed lifestyle changes.
Dr. Alkmini Anastasiadou, Integrative Endocrinologist
Dr. A, as I lovingly refer to her, was one of the first practitioners (in addition to Heidi) who fully explained to me how each of my symptoms were a product of Hashimoto’s. You have to take her recommendations with a grain of unprocessed sea salt, as they can be on the extreme end of the lifestyle spectrum and delivered with tough love. But I really appreciate her thoroughness, passion, and attention to detail. The reason I stopped seeing her was because her practice took a slight turn for the woo-woo with NES energy treatments, which weren’t my cup of tea. If you have a good head on your shoulders and know how to pick and choose recommendations, and design your own wellness project to implement them, she’s a great resource. I also appreciate that her practice is the opposite of glitzy and she works directly with insurance companies to ensure copay. Their mission really is to help people.
Dr. Kevin Cahill, Parasitologist
Dr. Cahill is the end all be all of critter mining in New York. I know so many people who have had their amoebas discovered by Dr. C. Some take this as a criticism and believe he finds an amoeba in everyone. I go back and forth on this. I do know people who have been given negative results, and I do believe that if you reach the point of needing a parasitologist, given the state of our microbiome these days, chances are you’re not wrong about your assumptions. Instead of relying on stool tests, Dr. C goes right in there and extracts his own sample, which as he explains, gives the bacteria less of a chance of hiding. He looks at your slide immediately that afternoon. His bedside manner is a little gruff (all business) and you have to push him for more information. He’s also not someone who will offer much lifestyle advice on treatment beyond medication and a traditional BRAT diet. The practice is old school, so you’ll have to call to make an appointment. There’s no website!
Dr. Amy Wechsler, Dermatology
Though I can’t afford to see her annually, Dr. Wechsler is whip smart and has a very interesting approach to dermatology, using her experience as a psychiatrist to think about skin issues in terms of emotional and other lifestyle causes, specifically sleep and stress. She is not a big believer in (or user of) natural products. But I appreciate her integrative approach across these other areas.
Nichola Weir, Holistic Aesthetician
For more holistic skin care and dreamy facials, Pacific Touch is my go-to. Nichola is part Samoan and from New Zealand and uses so much island wisdom in her practice. She’s got fantastic nutrition advice and one of the kindest, warmest souls. Best of all, you leave each appointment with a thermos of warm lemon water and handmade raw cookie balls full of skin superfoods! She was the first to assist me on my transition to green skincare products, and thanks to her recommendations I fell in love with my new products on the first try.
Britta Plug, Aesthetician and Health Coach
Britta used to work at the Brooklyn studio Lashin, but is now on her own! She was the star of one of my very first Wellness Wednesday interviews and is incredibly knowledgeable about the intersection between skin and food. The massage portion of her treatment is super dreamy.
Jessa Blades, Natural Beauty Educator, Makeup Artist and Herbalist
Jessa is a one stop shop for so many modalities that affect beauty. She’s a makeup artist and can work with you on your wedding, combining nutrition and Ayurvedic rituals in the leading up to your big day, and do your natural makeup the day of! She also offers a host of other treatments and workshops that combine herbs and self-care. If you’re based in LA, she spends half of the year on your coast.
Kristin Arnett, Natural Beauty Educator and Makeup Artist
I made my initial transition to natural makeup thanks to Kristin’s help. She is based in Portland now, but offers Skype appointments to help you not only make the switch, but also learn how to properly do your makeup!
John Marcasella, Astrologer
I’ve been seeing John for over a decade, and consider him the most efficient therapy session you could ever need. He’ll give you a window into your soul without your having to utter a word. Like most raw talents, John is incredibly intuitive and poetic in his descriptions. If Heidi is the wisest woman I know, John is the wisest man.
Megan Hellerer, Life Coach
For those looking for a little direction beyond what to put on your plate or face, Megan is a much in-demand coach for “unfulfilled overachievers.” She combines a host of influences (including astrology and The Artists Way) to help you get to the root of your “why” and take some necessary steps towards transformation.
Alison Gilbert, Start-Up Business Coach
For solopreneurs who need a coach that can function as a second co-founder, offering outside strategy for growth and professional fulfillment, Alison is your girl.
Harper Spero, Business Coach
If you’re thinking about leaving your job to start your own shop or explore the fabulous life of freelancing, Harper is the perfect person to help you take the leap and figure out what the hell to do with yourself on day one (and two…).
Dana James, Nutritionist
Though I haven’t seen her personally, Dana’s approach to sustainable dietary changes that won’t demonize whole food groups is so in line with my ethos. She specializes in orthorexia and mixes functional medicine with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. I find myself nodding all the time when reading her writing.
Lisa Hayim, Nutritionist
I’m a fan and follower of Lisa’s Instagram (the wellnessecities), and love her real talk about body image, self-love, and the true meaning of “healthy.” She’s recently expanded her nutrition practice to include a workshop series called Quiet the Noise and a handful of other talented practitioners under her umbrella.
Isabel Foxen Duke, Disordered Eating Coach
Isabel is also a health coach who specializes in emotional eating and self-love. I know a few women who owe their recovery from disordered eating to her. She has an online program called Stop Fighting Food, but works with clients one on one as well.
I haven’t personally seen either of these ladies, but both came highly recommended as resources for those dealing with gastro issues, specifically SIBO. If you’re looking for someone to work with you on managing a SIBO diet, these are your gals!
Phoebe Lapine, Culinary Instructor
Yes…it’s ME!!! I hate to plug myself, but it always frustrates me when cooking is left out of the support network. Finding out what to do (usually from one of the above experts) is half the battle. But the other equally important half is how to actually apply it to your life. This is of course what I tried to do with The Wellness Project, and what my work is all about on this site. But it becomes very hard to heal without knowing how to cook. This is why, though less sustainable for my time, I still offer in-person cooking classes in NYC. I don’t advertise this service as much as I should (it’s on a totally separate site!), but teaching privately in your home is something I enjoy immensely. If the price is prohibitive, consider getting a larger group together. It’s more fun that way!
I will also say that if you’ve long wanted the help of a health coach or nutritionist, but paying for a series of one-on-one sessions is not in the cards for you right now, my online course 4 Weeks to Wellness might be a really good place to start. The program is not about quick fixes, grueling workouts or starvation-style cleanses. It’s about getting to the bottom of food vices and sensitivities, reevaluating your sleep, stress, hydration skincare and movement, and making over your habits for the long haul. We have two video coaching calls per session, and unlimited access to me via a private group. Plus, having a posse of accountability buddies supporting you along the way has a huge impact! You can sign up for the next session here.
READER RECOMMENDATIONS (FOR NYC AND BEYOND)
To help continue your rolodex in New York and beyond, I’ve put together some recommendations that readers have sent me. I haven’t vetted any of these people, but one would assume that if you are a fan of The Wellness Project and this site, you probably share a similar ethos on integrative health. I’m so happy to hear that the people below have helped some of you. Please add your recs in the comments section and I will continue updating this list!
Anor Spa, Facials (Brooklyn)
Joseph Giacona, Neighborhood Natural, Lyme Treatment (Brooklyn)
Gabrielle Francis, The Herban Alchemist, Naturopath (NYC)
Dr. Darcy McConnell, The Blum Center, Integrative MD (Rye Brook, NY)
Pailin Winkotaka, Think Needles, Acupuncture (NYC)
Fantastic for fibroid treatment.
Dr. Graham, Fresh Medicine, Integrative MD (NYC)
Dr Raichur, Pratima Skincare, Ayurvedic Aesthetician (NYC)
Dr Paul Salinas, Park Avenue Spine, Chiropractor (NYC)
Jeffrey Sheehan, Acupuncturist (NYC)
Nicole Weigl, Naturopath ( NYC + Virtual)
Emily Andrews, True Health and Fitness (Pittsburgh, PA)
Dr. Robynne Chutkan, Gastroenterologist (DC)
Dr. Riley, Health by Design (Alpharetta, GA)
Rouge, Organic Skincare and Spa Treatments (Ferndale, MI)
Dr. Margie Ikeda, Natural Medicine, Integrative MD (Seattle)
Morgan Yakus, Hypnotherapy (LA)
Harvey Health, Naturopath (Virtual)