Looking for Natural Pain Relief? Find a Holistic Physical Therapist!

Could a Holistic Physical Therapist become Your New Best Friend?
Nicole Tatro, Elite Health & Wellness
October 9, 2017
Wow! There sure are a lot of choices out there today when it comes to your health and especially your recovery (healing from an injury or pain of any sort).  Seeking out a physical therapist is a really good decision when it comes to getting help with your healing.  Your physical therapist should be someone you trust enough that you could call them your friend.
So…what is all of this craziness around the word “holistic“?  Especially when it is combined with Physical Therapy (PT).  Honestly, every physical therapist should be Holistic in their approach.  This trendy little word you hear a ton lately just simply means looking at the WHOLE BODY!  And to be even more specific when it comes to PT, it means looking at the whole body instead of just it’s parts.  For example, did you ever go to PT in the past or have a loved one attend PT and feel like your name was “Right Knee Pain” or “Left Rotator Cuff Strain”?  All joking aside many years ago when I was working in an outpatient hospital setting I had a patient that had a Left Total Knee Replacement (TKR) and then a few weeks later had a Right Total Knee Replacement.  I was pretty new in the field back then but I still can’t believe this patient had TWO charts. Seriously, one chart for the Left TKR and one for the Right TKR.  Now I am not in anyway bashing the facility that I worked at because a lot of that was based on the insurance companies that pay for the patient’s care. My point is…I personally couldn’t handle this for very long.  In school they teach you to say “a patient with right knee pain” instead of “the right knee pain patient”.  YUP, we have to be taught this! 😉 Don’t laugh or judge PT’s, we worked our butts off to get through a rigorous and challenging program in order to pass our board test to be able to receive a license to touch you!
Heart Centered Patient Care
Holistic = Whole Body Care
For me, as I gained more and more experience I knew I needed more when it came to my approach of treating patients and helping them find true healing.  Without giving you my whole life story, I have steadily sought more training and education towards a more holistic, whole body, alternative approach to patient care.  I was doing everything I was taught in school and from my mentors but my patients were still having continued issues or it would take longer than I thought it should for full relief.  Something was missing.

“I am a lifelong learner.  It’s just in my blood I guess.”

I truly believe we need many things to help our bodies truly uncover, unravel and heal all of the layers that have developed over time.  Physically and Emotionally.  There really is no such thing as a quick fix or a magic pill to end our pain or heal our suffering.  Unfortunately, our instant, gratification society is setting us up for failure or at the very least making it much more difficult for us.

Gentle.  Powerful.  Effective

Bowenwork Manual Release Technique

What is Holistic Physical Therapy? A PT or PT practice that looks at the whole individual.  Every single part of you.  The physical, emotional and even how the person looks, feels and acts.  What they love and don’t love.  How they live their life.  What they eat and drink.  I could go on but I think you get the point. I can’t speak for all Holistic PT’s out there but when I first set up an initial visit or AKA the Initial Evaluation I send out an extensive intake or health history that dives pretty deep into the persons life, even before I meet them!  (Did I mention that I send this online, less paper and increased efficiency for both of us!) I worked very hard at becoming a licensed PT and I feel incredibly blessed to have found my true calling right out of high school but I didn’t stop there.  I built on that solid foundation.  I have since become a Professional Bowenwork Practitioner and completely built my whole private practice (Elite Health and Wellness) based on this incredible technique.  I also pursued my Associate Instructor Certification through the American Bowen Academy and I am working on full instructor status now.  I also studied at the Institute For Integrative Nutrition out of New York City to become an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach.  I then added a Precision Nutrition Level 1 certification which focussed on sport nutrition therapy and I am currently pursuing the advanced Level 2 certification now!  I also have educated myself extensively on the use of therapeutic grade essential oils and use them regularly in my life and in my PT practice.  Oh so much more to tell but I will save that for another time!
Why Should You Find a Holistic Physical Therapist? If you want true, deep and longer lasting healing I highly suggest finding someone you can trust and even someone that you could call a friend to help you. I am not saying you have to be BFF’s with your PT but my point is you need to be open whole heartedly when it comes to your true healing whether it’s a simple ankle sprain or something like fibromyalgia or pain after cancer treatments. Physical Therapy should NOT hurt in my opinion.  True healing should be done when your body is in the parasympathetic state or AKA a relaxed state.  I can talk at length about this but I don’t want to bore you! Pain is our body’s mechanism to warn us that something isn’t right.  If we keep pushing through that I believe you are potentially doing more harm than good.   It’s OK to slow down, it’s OK to relax and let the body heal like the amazing machine that it is! In my practice I base my whole plan of care on LESS IS MORE and truly listening to my patients’ body inside and out! If you want true, lasting healing, I highly recommend looking for a Physical Therapist who really looks at the whole body and takes the time to know who you really are. Don’t be afraid of that word…HOLISTIC!  It really could change your life!

Pro Tip:  Don’t wait until you are in SO much pain that you can’t function in your normal activities.  Be an advocate for yourself.  Start tuning into your bodies different sensations, responses and reactions to anything and everything you surround yourself with.

Don’t wait!  A true Holistic Physical Therapist will be able to see you even when you feel that something is just plain “off” in your body.  

Maybe you are an athlete and you feel you aren’t performing at your potential.  Go see a holistic PT!  Maybe you are a Mom who is simply exhausted and feeling like you are on autopilot.  Go see a holistic PT!

There are many modalities that Holistic PT’s specialize in such as craniosacral therapy, dry needling, yoga, pilates and so much more.  My personal speciality as I mentioned above is Bowenwork.  I also do a lot of postural and targeted exercises and stretches to help support the manual work that I have done which addresses specific and individualized needs of each person. 

ENJOY your healing journey. My patients report that they look forward to their sessions and it’s the highlight of their week.  How awesome that Physical Therapy can be so relaxing and so rewarding!!

If you are local to the Vermont area I would be honored to have you join my smiling, relaxed group of patients/friends!

If you are not local feel free to reach out to me and maybe I can help you find someone closer to you or maybe start asking around in your area to see who might fit the Holistic PT profile we discussed here!

Don’t be shy…


I will get back to you as soon as I can!

4 + 10 =


The Best Winter Salad You Will Ever Eat

The Best Winter Salad You Will Ever Eat!



Elite Health & Wellness

with Nicole

You don’t often read winter and salad together, but I’ll tell you this is the secret to staying happy and nourished all winter long. Raw vegetables are rich in enzymes and vitamins that are easy to absorb and make digestion a breeze.


Sticking to seasonal vegetables for your winter salads is challenging, but not impossible. Both beets and kale are hearty winter vegetables that retain their tastiness and nutritional worth even through the harsh winter months. Pair with that some healthy fats from avocado and vitamin C from fresh lemons and you’ve got yourself a salad fit for a queen or king in the middle of January!

Beets are fantastic for the liver, kidneys and the gallbladder.

Here’s my absolute favorite winter salad recipe.


Chopped Red Beet Salad

Serves 2

1 to 2 large beets, steamed (OR use BPA FREE canned beets in water)

1 bunch of kale, chopped

handful of fresh basil leaves (OR 1 teaspoon dried basil)

1 avocado, chopped

1 lemon, juiced

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

sea salt and black pepper to taste

¼ cup pumpkin seeds

If using raw beets, place a large pot with an inch of water on the stove over high heat. Place a metal steam basket inside. Chop the beets into quarters and place in the steam basket. Cover and steam the beets for about 10 to 12 minutes until they can be easily pricked with a fork. Remove from heat and serve on top of the salad.

Add the kale, basil, avocado, lemon juice, olive oil, sea salt and black pepper to a large bowl. Use clean hands to massage the kale until all the ingredients are well mixed and the kale is wilted. Top with pumpkin seeds and beets.

A Salad Fit For a Queen

Want even more great tips to help you lose weight, improve your digestion and increase your energy?

Stay Tuned for my upcoming Winter Detox Course:


Ditch it.  Find it.  Love it.  

Winter 2017


Follow me on my Facebook page HERE where I’ll be sharing more information, tips and recipes to help you live a happier, healthier life.

Nicole Tatro

Holistic Physical Therapist &

Integrative Nutrition Health Coach

Nicole is a holistic Physical Therapist and Integrative Nutrition Health Coach.  She is the owner of Elite Health and Wellness and leader of The Elite Oil Team.  She believes that the body can heal itself if given a chance and given the right tools!

*Not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent any disease.  These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA.

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15 Practical Uses For Lavender Essential Oil

15 Practical Uses For Lavender Essential Oil


January 2017

Elite Health & Wellness

with Nicole

Lavender Essential Oil


Lavender is an essential oil favorite.  It is extremely versatile, the list of uses is long.  It has traditionally been known to balance the body and to work wherever there is a need.  It’s great for ALL ages – from tiny babies to the elderly.  You can almost never go wrong with lavender Essential Oil.

Essential Oils are not new.

They have actually been around for thousands of years.

There Are Three Major Ways To Use Essential Oils:


AROMATICALLY: Breathing the aroma of the oils in through your nose. The aroma of essential oils can have a positive impact on our mood and overall well-being and they can help purify the air naturally. There is a lot of research on the aromatic use of oils available. Besides inhaling essential oils right out of the bottle, you can diffuse essential oils in your home and your car. You could even place a drop or two on your hand, cup your hands over your nose and inhale that way. Some people enjoy wearing a drop of their favorite essential oil on a diffuser necklace. (Just like me!)

TOPICALLY: Wearing essential oils right on your skin. Essential oils have a small molecular size and are quickly absorbed. When applied topically, it’s in the body’s cells within 15-20 minutes, helping the body maintain optimal health at the cellular level.

There are two ways to topically use essential oils, neat and diluted.

Neat- undiluted, directly on the skin

Diluted-mixed with a vegetable oil like coconut oil, almond or olive oil or AKA carrier oil before putting on the skin.

*You should in general, dilute most essential oils before using them topically on a baby or small child.

INTERNALLY: My essential oil company of choice, Young Living has a line of essential oils labeled for internal use called: Vitality Essential Oil Line.

Internal use can help support the systems of the body and it’s a great way to maintain optimal health.

Body Systems Affected By Lavender:

Cardiovascular System, Emotional Balance, Nervous System, Skin


“So, When in doubt, use lavender”

15 Practical Uses For Lavender Essential Oil That You Can Use:


  1.  Take a Lavender Bath:  Drop a bit of lavender essential oil along with epsom salts to your bath water for an ultra-relaxing spa-like experience.
  2. Head To Toe Rest:  After a hard workout or a long day on your feet, rub lavender essential oil along with lemongrass on your legs and feet.  It will help soothe sore muscles and help you fully rest.
  3. Quick Fix:  Mix three parts fractionated coconut oil with one part lavender essential oil in a small spray bottle or roll on to help clear up skin irritation associated with chafing.  Great for little ones!
  4. Bring on the ZZZ’s:  Rub on the bottoms of the feet for a more restful sleep.
  5. Enjoy a Fresh & Clean Mattress:  Sprinkle a mixture of 1 cup baking soda and 10 drops lavender essential oil over your mattress.  Allow the mixture to sit for at least one hour then use the vacuum hose to clean it up.  You can combine with drops of Eucalyptus, Peppermint, Clove or Rosemary as well.
  6. Ouch! That’s hot:  The next time someone doesn’t realize the iron or the pan is still hot, apply Lavender essential oil to the affected area to soothe the skin irritation, relieve redness and ease swelling.
  7. Oatmeal Facial Scrub:  Fill a baby food jar with oatmeal and add 5-8 drops of Lavender Essential Oil.  When it’s time to wash your face, add water and it becomes an excellent natural scrub!  A little goes a long way.
  8. A Sleepy Time Trick:  A few drops of Lavender Essential Oil placed on a pillow will help a restless toddler (or adult) fall asleep and stay asleep.  (My kiddo’s each got a diffuser for Christmas and we diffuse lavender in their bedrooms at night!)
  9. Flavor Twist:  Lavender adds a unique and delicious flavor to marinades, custards, breads, cookies, icings and even honey and syrup. (Try the entire vitality line for some amazing added flavors to almost everything you cook or bake or even drink!)
  10. Homemade Aftershave:  Use after shaving to soothe and soften skin and and to lessen the redness and burning caused by razor burn.
  11. Take the “Ouch Out”:  One drop of Lavender will help relieve the pain and sensitivity of occasional sore gums, dry or chapped lips, occasional scrapes and abrasions, or after too much sun.
  12. Clear the Mind:  Apply Lavender Essential Oil to the temples and back of the neck to lessen the effects of stress and anxiety and to promote mental clarity.
  13. Care For Your Baby Belly:  Rub Lavender Essential oil onto an itchy tummy while pregnant.
  14. Therapeutic Dish and Laundry Soap:  If your liquid soap smells a bit flat (like mine-I get the plain, chemical and fragrance free stuff!), you can add Lavender Essential Oil for additional aromatherapy benefits.  It transforms your cleaning experience!
  15. Spring Time in your Dryer:  Instead of perfumed (chemical-toxic) dryer sheets – you can make a Lavender Essential Oil spray and lightly mist linens and clothing fresh out of the dryer.

*BONUS:  My favorite use of Lavender right now started as I attempted to relieve sore gums.  I put a drop of lavender vitality directly on my gums to relieve some new irritation that I was having but to my surprise I was almost instantly sleepy. Now, I use it before bed to get a luxurious night’s sleep.

Nicole Tatro

Interested in the therapeutic-grade oils I fell in love with?

Want to know how you can get your hands on some really good quality Lavender Essential Oil?

Would you be interested in starting your very own Essential Oils business?

Great, I am able to help you!  Get in touch!

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*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA*



kombucha_pixabyKombucha is a yummy treat. It’s a naturally carbonated beverage that is made by fermenting sweet tea with a starter. The starter is a culture of bacteria and yeasts. The good bacteria and yeasts eat the sugar and produces probiotics!

I started drinking  kombucha a few years ago. I purchased it from a health food store, and really liked the tangy taste and the carbonation was a nice treat for my senses. It has become quite popular and can be found at most grocery stores now. So if you haven’t ever tried it, go ahead and give it a go. If you already know you like it, you will probably like to learn to make your own.

It cost usually between $3 and $4  per bottle at the store in comparison to $1 or $2 per gallon to make your own! Plus it will taste better to you when it is made just the way you like it!



      The things you will need to get started:

  • Some kombucha starter and a SCOBY (Symbiotic Colony Of Bacteria and Yeast). You can get this from anyone who is already making kombucha- they will have a new one with every batch they make. You can also purchase them online, or you can start with a store bought bottle, but it takes a bit longer.


  • Tea.  Just regular black, green, or a combination those are the best choice. Herbal teas should be avoided since the oils can interfere with proper PH Balance.


  • Sugar. Just plain old white sugar.


  • Water.  You can use tap water if you have safe, natural well water go ahead and use that; DO NOT chlorine treated, if you have treated water, buy bottled.


  • A Glass Container.  Food safe of course.


  • Cover.  I use a coffee filter secured with a rubber band. You could also use a paper towel or a clean kitchen towel.  Something that is NOT AIR TIGHT, but keeps protected from contaminates like fruit flies and dust out.


  • Space. kombucha should brew at a temperature of  70-80 degrees F. It is best to not leave it in a place where you will need to move it around all the time. I put mine in a corner of the kitchen counter that will not be in my way. I have heard others leave theirs onto of the refrigerator or on a shelf in a closet to get the right temperature if their kitchen is too cold.

*Please remember NOT TO  use metal spoons,  metal containers or metal covers on your kombucha.

Kombucha absorbs metals- when you drink it, it can absorb metals that are in your body and help you expel them, but in a container it would just fill your kombucha with metal for you to then drink….no thank you. I also don’t use plastic containers for this reason also.


  1. Bring to boil half of the water you will need. It’s okay to use whatever pot you have in your kitchen. We are going to make sweet tea, not kombucha for this step.
  2. Add the appropriate amount of sugar. Remember the bacteria and yeast use it, so don’t freak out- you won’t be consuming all of that sugar.
  3. Add tea and let steep.kombucha collage 1
  4. Allow tea to cool. Temperatures that are too hot will kill this living thing.
  5. Combine the water and sweet tea, and add it to your designated kombucha jar.kombucha collage 2
  6. Add your starter kombucha, and your SCOBY.  Just drop it in, it doesn’t matter if it sinks or floats. (the new SCOBY will form at the top)
  7. Cover
  8. Let it be.  You can start sampling your kombucha for your preferred taste after about 6 days. The longer it brews the more sugars will be eaten, the less you will be consuming and the taste will get more tart/sour.  I typically use a straw, gently slide newly formed SCOBY aside a bit and get a little kombucha in my straw to taste.
  9. Flavoring you kombucha should be done AFTER this process. This is called a second ferment.kombucha collage 3




I was a little nervous the first time I made this, but give it a try….Let me know what you think.

better Jess Cut out Signature




Sleep Like a Baby Before The Baby Even Arrives

Sleep Like a Baby Before The Baby Even Arrives

Alleviate the not so fun before, during and after pregnancy symptoms with Bowenwork!

Nicole Pregnancy pictures

Photo Credit: Nicole, Owen, Aidan and Baby Ella – Photo Taken By: Photo’s By Vanka


Pregnancy is a miraculous and constantly changing event in a women’s life.  Some women breeze through all 9 months with a glowing complexion and a cute belly bump.  Others… not so much.  You know who you are.


Symptoms range from skin issues, heart burn, back pain to emotions that go up and down like riding a roller coaster.  The list goes on and on and is completely different for all.


I actually began my career and life changing Bowenwork journey a short few months after a terrible loss.  I believe it was emotionally driven when I decided to pursue my studies with Bowenwork but I didn’t realize I would benefit physically as well.  (I was learning a way to help others, not me)

After my first course I felt great.  When we learn the work we get to receive the practice moves from the other students.  I left with less aches and pains but also with increased energy.  I didn’t realize how much it did for me until I was pregnant for my daughter.

If I can back up a bit, I thought I was physically and mentally ready for trying to have another baby the month before my first Bowenwork class.  I timed everything perfectly as I had for all of my other pregnancies (I never had any issues getting pregnant in the past) but it just didn’t happen.  I now truly believe my body was holding onto something because after my first Bowenwork class I came home and had the worst period ever.  I had several emotional releases as well.  I didn’t realize that it was a good thing until after I successfully got pregnant the next month with our little princess.

(and just a little side note:  Another classmate of mine had a very similar situation and got pregnant almost at the same exact time as I did!—- coincidence—-  I don’t think so!)


I continued through my entire coursework to become a Professional Bowenwork Practitioner during my entire pregnancy.  In fact I took my test in the middle of January and I gave birth the next month!

I felt really great during the entire pregnancy and my daughter had a very uneventful, normal delivery.  We call her my Bowen Baby!


Photo Credit: My Little Bowen Baby Ella – Photo taken by Her Grandma— Photo’s By Vanka


This may be the reason I am very comfortable working with my pregnant patients.  I have been there, done that and it worked!


I actually see patients before, during and after their pregnancies.  I can honestly say I have helped women balance and reset their bodies so they were able to conceive!  (pssst… we have a Conception protocol and it worked!)


Megan and Lauren Barrette

Photo Credit: Megan and Lauren Barrette

 “Before trying Bowen therapy, I was having difficulty ovulating and had very irregular menstral cycles. It was not unusual for me to only have a couple periods per year. My husband and I wanted to have a baby. Obviously it was difficult getting pregnant when there is a lack of ovulation. We tried a lot of traditional medicine including six rounds of a medication to help me ovulate. It was unsuccessful each time. I was very discouraged and decided to take a break from “trying” and just see what happened. I knew I needed to relax and focus on my overall health.

My mother suggested I go see Nicole for some Bowenwork. I will admit I was a bit skeptical! I tried it anyway figuring it couldn’t make it worse! Well, I started my period after only 2 Bowen sessions! I was thrilled! Nicole and I decided to just focus on regulating my cycles. It was working! I began to see Nicole in the middle of April 2013. After trying to get pregnant for 16 months on my own with traditional medicine and after only about 3 months of Bowen work, we found out I was pregnant in July 2013! We were so happy! I honestly believe Bowen therapy is what helped my body ovulate. It helped in so many ways! I felt better physically and emotionally. I had never been a true “holistic healing” believer but now I can say it honestly changed my life.

I continued to receive Bowen therapy throughout my entire pregnancy. It really helped with all the aches and pains that came with pregnancy. It also helped me relax and prepare my body for labor and delivery. I still have Bowen therapy weekly to help my body heal after childbirth and maintain balance. We actually have Bowen therapy done on our baby girl. I really believe that it helps her sleep better and decrease her fussy times. She is a great baby because she is a Bowen Baby!

We cannot thank Nicole and Elite Health and Wellness enough for all they have done for us. She helped give me my miracle. She is so kind and passionate about what she does. She truly believes in the work she does and that makes me believe in her work! I would recommend Bowen therapy to anyone and everyone! ~Megan Barrette


I continue to work on my pregnant ladies all during their pregnancy.  I treat them the same as any patient with regards to assessing their symptoms and then choosing the appropriate procedure or procedures that would benefit them the most.  The difference is when they are not able to lie either prone (on their belly) or supine (on their back).  I have a preggo pillow that I use that allows room for their growing belly and I also have plenty of pillows in many different sizes for positioning.  Later in their pregnancy I have successfully used a zero gravity chair.  I simply make my moves around whatever position is most comfortable for them.


Photo Credit: Bowen Baby Ella – Happy again! Photo Taken by Photo’s By Vanka




I have to tell you that I actually see an amazing Mom-To-Be right now who is still running!







And when I say running I mean running in races!  She is phenomenal.  She gave me permission to share a little so I have to tell you that she has seen me prior to conception.  I believe her choice to receive Bowenwork may have assisted her pregnancy so that her body could become balanced and in greater harmony before creating another little human.  She had a rough start to her pregnancy with some sickness but she has done so well that now she continues to run!


Jordan Cota Running

Photo Credit: Jordan Cota running with Baby Cota


“I initially came to Elite Health and Wellness looking for relief from knee pain when running… I’ve gotten so much more. Better than regular physical therapy, stretching, icing, and all those routines runners are used to, Bowen is something else altogether. The next day I feel a difference in my run, and thankfully, as I’m one of those impatient, why isn’t it better, kind of people. Nicole has also helped me with the many aches and pains of pregnancy. The day I knew there was something truly going on in my body was when a move was done at the base of my skull; Nicole worked her magic, she left the room, and there was still a strong feeling that her hands were holding that spot. I kept telling myself, ‘no, she isn’t in here’, but my body kept saying, ‘work is still going on!!!’ I wish I could explain it all better, but I can tell you I’m hooked and my body truly benefits from every visit”. ~Jordan Cota


Photo Credit: Jordan Cota (Happy Mama-To-Be)


Besides the obvious physical symptom relief, Bowenwork may help alleviate morning sickness or even the emotional roller coaster we spoke about earlier.


Most often my Mommy’s-To-Be need support around their lower back and pelvis.  As they gain that inevitable baby weight I like to also support the lower extremities, knees and ankles which are very important for maintaining stability and balance and overall physical health while everything inside changes!  Something I never really thought of before until I experienced it was supporting the thoracic spine as the breasts grow and enlarge.  The body isn’t used to supporting all the weight on the front of the body.  As a therapist it is crucial that we support the posterior musculature to support the change in center of balance and the stretching and growing tissues.


Photo Credit: Bowen Baby Ella – Photo taken by Photo’s By Vanka



Once that cute little bundle arrives there is absolutely no reason to stop receiving Bowenwork.  I continue to encourage Moms to come in for treatment and… a lovely bonus is that I get to see the beautiful Bowen baby!




And we can not forget to talk about Baby Bowen.  Bowenwork is gentle yet effective enough to support itty bitty babies!  I think that might deserve it’s own blog post!  Stay Tuned!


Photo Credit: Amanda and Talin Giroux — Talin came for several weeks of Baby Bowen. Photo Taken By: Photo’s By Vanka



So often my new Mama’s will come for their own treatment, bring Grandma to watch the baby in the waiting room and I will sneak in a baby Bowen session on the baby too!





I am very passionate about treating Mom’s and Moms-To-Be and their little ones.  What an incredibly sacrifice.  Why not feel good!  Mom’s are always doing so much for everyone else.

It’s time to take a moment to provide yourself with some self care!


Find a Bowenwork practitioner near you.  If you are local to me… I would love to see you or if you know a Mama in need send her my way!


Cheers Mama’s

I {Heart} You,

Nicole Circle Head shot Spring white background

Nicole Tatro, MSPT, PBP, AI, INHC

Physical Therapist & Integrative Nutrition Health Coach

Professional Bowenwork Practitioner & Instructor

Elite Health and Wellness

248 North Main St.  Suite 2

St. Albans, VT  05478





Runners Find Relief With Bowenwork and 5 Not So Obvious Tips to Keep You in Full Stride

Runners Find Relief With Bowenwork and 5 Not So Obvious Tips to Keep You in Full Stride

Photo Credit: Ruth Cronin – photo taken by Jen Cummings at Maple Fest

As the weather becomes gorgeous and sunny more and more of my running patients are coming in to the clinic.  I have “regulars” who frequent my treatment tables looking for Bowenwork.

Although Bowenwork has been an overlooked or hugely misunderstood choice for many people, especially athletes.   Those who I like to call lucky, that have come to receive Bowenwork have had incredible results and sometimes even improvements from before the “fill in the blank” injury.

I actually have a gentlemen that comes for 3-4 visits, 1 week apart and then takes about 3-4 months off.  He returns when he feels he needs his “tune up”.  Runners and any extreme athlete are different in that even though we manage and improve their injury, they don’t stop.  So… in easy to understand terminology, they continue to re-injure themselves.  I have obvious mixed emotions about this because I am a trained, educated medical provider BUT… I am also a past and kind of sort of present day athlete.  So, I get it!


Thankfully my running patients also have a pretty good knowledge of their bodies.  They know when they need to come see me before a pain pattern sets in.  I have had at least two that I can think off of the top of my head that actually have taken my Introduction to Wellness in YOUR Hands course.  They have used their newly learned moves on themselves, on the go, and after their runs.  If you want more info about these valuable intro classes check it out HERE.


Photo Credit: Rene Bates photo taken by Stacey Bates

I do have to say that my running patients that participate in marathons give me the most challenge as they usually come in and say something like this “I have this (fill in the blank) injury could you help me so that I can run in the (fill in the blank) marathon in 3 weeks”.  Eeeek a whopping 3 weeks… that might sound like a long time to some but when you have had an injury it doesn’t just reverse itself overnight.  Our body needs some time and the right modality to help it on it’s way to full balance which will give optimum performance.  I have to say to date, I have yet to miss a marathon runners deadline!  Phewwww

Runners utilize many muscles during running but the major muscle groups involved are the Quadriceps, Hamstrings, Gastroc and Soleus, Gluts, Hip musculature and don’t forget about that very important Core.  ( By the way I am BIG on core stabilization and strengthening in everyone especially my athletes!!).  Making sure that these muscle groups are in a balance between optimal strength and flexibility will allow runners to perform at their very best.



Besides the obvious tips to strengthen and stretch properly and to make sure you have proper running footwear that works for your unique body… take a look at these not so obvious tips I wanted to share with you.


1.  Hydration:

Well you may think that is obvious.  Yes,  you are correct however, grabbing the coolest new flavor of a popular sports drink may not be your wisest choice.  The amount of artificial flavors and chemicals in these drinks is really disturbing to me.  Consuming water is a fabulous way to hydrate but sometimes you might need to replenish yourself with some true cellular hydration and get some minerals back into your system.


Try this natural gatorade recipe:

20 ounces of water

1/2 tsp of sea salt (my favorite is himalayan sea salt)

Juice from one lemon

1 tsp of honey or stevia to sweeten (optional)


Another way to re-mineralize is by drinking 4 ounces of coconut water

2.  Resistance training:

Try running on an incline or hill running.  Increasing the lower extremity musculature will improve running performance overall.  “Hill running is resistance training for runners”, Dallas-based running coach Chris Phelan to Runner’s World in 2004 [Source: Cooper:  Upward Mobility]

Other exercises such as body weight squats, one legged squats and bridges are other ways to improve the musculature used for running.


3.  Magnesium:

Using magnesium oil on your tense musculature especially at night time can help.  I like using Ancient Minerals but I am sure there are other good brands out there.  Sometimes magnesium oil can sting if you have sensitive skin.  I would suggest using a carrier oil to reduce the possibility of the stinging feeling.  I use coconut oil for myself and my kids.  Magnesium can also be relaxing so I like to spray the bottom of my feet at night.  Regardless of whether I have tight muscles or not.

Another way I like to absorb some magnesium into my body is taking an epsom salt bath.  I typically bump it up a notch and turn it into a “detox bath”  and I hand out this recipe to my patients:



4.  Flexibility:

If a muscle is always contracting in a shortened state it will begin to stay that way.  Remember when someone told you “if you make that face it will stay that way” when you were a kid making a funny face.  Well, maybe this is nothing like that but it made me think of it.  If you continue to allow your muscle fibers to be in a shortened, contracted state it will make it harder for it to elongate or stretch out.  This is a very simplified answer to a potentially complicated explanation so just take my word for it.  It is so incredibly important for you to stay flexible in all of your musculature especially your lower extremity musculature.  But do not forget about your trunk and arms too.  A great way to get some flexibility into your life is to try out some simple yoga moves.  You do not have to twist yourself up into a little pretzel to perform yoga.  There are many forms of yoga from restorative to hot yoga.  Simply finding a few yoga moves that you can handle could be fun and you may surprise yourself.

Since I am not a yoga expert and actually just barely a yoga beginner…  I encourage you to google yoga poses for runners and check out some of the great articles that have been written.  I just tried a few moves and actually felt a little boost of energy after a spinal twisty move!  Good stuff!  I plan on implementing more yoga into my life and into my practice!


5.  Bowenwork:

  And of course I saved the best for last…. (I know I know, I am biased)

Bowenwork Low Back circle

I can not stress to you enough how important it is to get and keep your body into a balanced state.  Your body should be in harmony especially when you are demanding such high performance outcomes from it.  Bowenwork can reset the body and stop the pain cycle.  Bowenwork can help eliminate pain and inflammation in the body.  When you continue to run you are continuing to cause micro injury to the body.  Bowenwork can help reduce that.  As I mentioned earlier I have had tremendous success with multiple patients that run and even marathon runners.  It’s been challenging and exhilarating at the same time to work with these particular patients.  Often times we work on areas of the body that they never would have thought that would help.  Working the neck and TMJ areas and even the shoulders have helped their running performance.  And of course the obvious hamstring and lower leg procedures.  I have had some of my happy runners pass my business card along while they were running on a trail, no kidding!  If you haven’t already I would seriously consider searching for a Professional Bowenwork Practitioner in your area.  Trust me!



If you are in my area give us a call at 802-782-8547 or check out our little website at www.elitehealthandwellnessvt.com for more information!



Photo Credit: Sarah Gonyeau and Matthew Gonyeau during the Sap Run Relay – photo taken by Tracey Pelkey

Happy Running to you All!


Nicole Circle Head shot Spring white background


Nicole Tatro, MSPT, PBP, AI, INHC

Elite Health and Wellness

248 North Main St, Suite 2

St. Albans, VT  05478






I’m sharing my LOVE of this funny looking tasty little root. The aroma is delightful! Just from the act of peeling it I instantly feel relaxed and energized at the same time.

I usually peel all my ginger at once and keep it nicely wrapped in the freezer. You will find that it grates so much easier this way and last so much longer (I’m a saver not a spender).

ginger love green

Beat the water Blah feeling.

I like to put ginger in my smoothies, in a veggie dish, or in a carrot ferment, but I find my most favorite way to use ginger is by cutting off a few slices and tossing it into my water. If I want a stronger ginger flavor I will steep some in a cup of water and mix into my cold water.   This is so refreshing, and just the thing for when water seems a little boring. And it’s super simple! I don’t like to waste money on store bought flavored waters that often have other nasty ingredients snuck in there.

I don’t think I was fully paying attention, but when I was a little girl I remember my grandmother telling me that when she was a girl and she would be working outside with her family on very hot summer days, her mama would prepare ginger water for everyone.  I now find this so fascinating an interesting. What did this generation intuitively know about the benefits of ginger? Did they know that ginger is an anti-inflammatory spice that is not only tasty, and refreshing, but it may have actually helped them with the aches and pains that can occur after working hard in the hot sun.  Oh, the things I may have learned if I had been paying attention.

According to herbwisdom.com  the benefits of using ginger include:

Treating nausea, motion sickness, and general tummy trouble.

It can be used to help comfort the symptoms experienced with colds.

Offer support in the lowering of blood cholesterol and blood pressure

Help with arthritis pain and other inflammatory issues.

AND  GET  THIS—some research is saying that ginger may suppress the growth of some tumors!

Don’t just sit there-

Go get yourself some ginger and a glass of water right now. And if you are still lucky enough have grandparent give them a call! If not take a minute to  cherish the tid-bits of information you got from them when you were only half listening.

In what ways do you use ginger? What is your favorite?

Jess cutout signature


Mother’s Day is Making Me Cry This Year


I remember being pregnant with my first babe, Matthew, on what I consider my first Mother’s Day. I was slightly bummed, and irritated after being on bed rest for WEEKS that he was not born on that day. Don’t get me wrong; I loved being pregnant, but I longed for him to be in my arms on Mother’s Day. Maybe it was just the raging hormones, but I have to admit I was a little emotional and weepy about not being able to celebrate Mother’s Day with my little bundle of joy.


I also have to admit that I had no idea what I was getting into when I signed up for the mother job.  I didn’t know he was not going to allow me to sleep…..EVER for that first year.  I didn’t know he was going to be so messy (honestly this boy could find dirt even when there wasn’t any). I didn’t know that there isn’t really much relaxing that happens on Mother’s Day. I didn’t know how thoroughly in love I would fall, the depths are unmeasurable. I didn’t know that there would be so many moments that being a mother would make my heart both leap and weep at the same time, and I never knew that my children would be my most prized possessions that never really belong to me.


Matthew’s birthday IS on Mother’s Day this year, and I find myself yet again feeling pretty emotional, (although I guess I won’t be able to blame the hormones this year) because this is my son’s SIXTEENTH birthday!! And honestly, I don’t know how this is happening. Sixteen years have flown by in just a blink of an eye. And I can’t seem to wrap my mind around how my son is getting older, but I don’t feel like I am at all. (Maybe I just did the math wrong).


No really, I don’t feel any older and I don’t plan on aging anytime soon! I have been dreading this teenage phase of parenthood for almost sixteen years now. That’s another thing I didn’t know about when Matthew was born….

I had no idea that they just KEEP GETTING BETTER!

So I am planning on staying young for a LONG TIME!

Happy Birthday, Matthew!


And Thank you, Matthew and Olivia for making me so proud to be your mom and inspiring me to stay young.

If you are planning on staying young like me, here are a few tips:

  • Cut the sugar. A spoonful might help the medicine go down, but I think it makes everything else go down too- your moods, your energy, and your immune system.

  • Eat more on the clean side and less on the processed side. How does the saying go? If it is a plant eat it, if it’s made in a plant don’t. You need to decide what foods are best for you, but generally eat real, whole foods most of the time.

  • Get Moving. It doesn’t really matter what you do, just find something you like doing and do it.

  • Give it to God. Some things are beyond our control; there is no sense in spending all your time and energy stressing about them. Take some quiet time and then let it go.

  • Get to bed. Get some rest. You need it!

  • Be Silly. Dance in the kitchen. Sing Loudly. Laugh at yourself. 


If you feel like you would like some support in reaching your health goals come and see me, and we’ll talk!Jess cutout signature



There Might Be Someone Following You

The Message in the Foot Path in the Snow

There was freshly fallen snow this morning on the ground. At the bus stop I watched two tween girls (my daughter and her friend) smile and chat. Like a silent movie I could see the picture, but the conversation was left to my imagination.

I have always thought that children have the ability to teach us so many lessons about life, if we would only take the time to observe and listen to them.  I just happen to love these two girls so watching and listening to them is my great pleasure, (on most days) but today the actions of this young lady spoke volumes to me  that I feel share worthy.

The children on my street take two different buses to two different schools depending on their grade. The girl’s older siblings had been in this very place several minutes before. The foot prints left behind in the snow were there to prove it. My daughter swiftly made her way up the steps of the bus (no doubt trying to make it to the very back and very best seat where the frost heaves can offer an entertainingly large bump this time of year).  Her friend on the other hand was taking her time. She slowly and carefully made her way to the steps of the bus. Her growing legs were reaching and stretching farther than was natural for her so that she could step directly into the very footsteps her sister had made earlier.

Photo credit: Smashcut / Foter / CC BY-NC

Photo credit: Smashcut / Foter / CC BY-NC

This small and playful action spoke volumes to me and served as a  great reminder; perhaps it will be for you also.

We all touch other peoples lives in different ways. There are people in our lives who are looking to us for guidance; you may know and love them, or you may not know them at all. Whether you know them or not the fact still remains they are watching, and they might be trying to follow in your footsteps.

The older sister didn’t get to see it, but I did… The three footpaths of four children.

I’m no angel. I make plenty of mistakes,  but for me, today (and I hope for you too) I am going to be a little more conscious than I was yesterday that the choices I make have a bigger impact than I might imagine. I may be little, but I can leave a big mark on this world.  I am more aware all thanks to the young lady taking the careful steps this morning. I plan to take some careful steps too.

Here are a few small things I can think of right now.


signs from pixabay edited choices

  • choose an apple instead of packaged food
  • read a book instead of watching t.v.
  • smile at a stranger
  • offer to help someone
  • Thank someone for their help
  • put your phone down and talk face to face
  • dance in the kitchen
  • Don’t talk negatively about yourself or someone else
  • make a mess, and be ok with it
  • forgive instead of resent
  • Rejoice instead of complain
  • Give a warm hug to someone you love

I would love to hear from you and have you add to this list- for the days when I am less aware of the impact one person can have on many….


Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts and ideas with me.


Jess cutout signature

From Picky Eater to Food Adventurer


A picky eater, I think every family has at least one. O, the dilemma of sharing your table with the picky
eater. For the parents of a picky eater it can be downright stressful to plan, shop for, prepare, and serve
a meal only to look at that disapproving face sitting at your table. With one look the face of a picky
eater can dash all of your hopes that your hard work will be rewarded with the tinging of the fork, the
smacking of lips, and empty plates. I have some simple tips to help you through days like these.
O.K. Before I get into that I have a confession to make. I’m not writing this as a hard working mom who
has mastered the secret recipes that fussy eaters love to love, I am writing as …dum, dum, dum…the
picky eater. I have been a hard to please, fussy eater who likes to eat things a particular way….MY WAY!
Even though I am a picky eater, I eat more healthy foods than most people that I know. I enjoy
so many foods in fact that most people who know me now as an adult probably think I am one of
the more adventurous eaters of the population- and they’re are correct-It’s official I am now a self declared food adventurer.

Hang in there. circle butterfly beauty

So here are a few tips and tricks for the picky eater from the picky eater turned food adventurer:

Have some fun dinners served buffet/bar style.

I think taco/nacho dinner night could be a great place to start and a great inspiration for other dinners. I
love how everything is prepared in a way for me to make my plate just the way I like it. Have different
foods and condiments to experiment with. I think dinners like this are such an eye opener to the
different ways that everyone in the family like to eat. One person will drown his food in a spicy sauce,
another choose something creamier. One person will choose one veggie and the other will get the
variety. I love how everyone gets to make their plate just the way they prefer without planning a
different meal.

Get divider plates. (I loved to keep my foods divided)

I love a lot of foods, but I don’t always love them together. I love yogurt and fruit, but those fruit at the
bottom yogurts disgust me-literally. Allowing for the opportunity for foods to be tried individually and
not influenced by another food is very important when you are trying to learn what you like and how
you like it. I think I was in my twenties before I ever ate a tuna fish sandwich or salad. I thought I hated
tuna for so many years until I tried eating it alone (that’s right, just a can and a fork). Turns out I just
hated the condiment that the tuna was prepared with. Make your life easier. Let the picky eaters taste
things separately and make it their way. Let them experiment with small portions to avoid waste and
hold back on your own yucky scrunch face. If they want to try their tuna with mustard, hot sauce,
yogurt, avocado, or whatever- let them try it and decide. Once choosy eaters get to know which foods
they truly like and do not like they will be able to get a little more adventurous with their food

“No thank you helpings.”

People usually gravitate toward foods that are comfortable and familiar to them. Familiarity comes with
exposure. When I was working in the preschool setting and serving meals family style we always offered
the option of a “no thank you helping.” For example if a child was unfriendly with green beans they could
ask for this no thank you helping and receive one or two green beans on their plate. These beans could be pushed as far over to the side as they wanted, touched, squished, smelled, tasted with the tip of their tongue, or covered with a napkin for only an occasional peek. This way even the more timid eater could gain some exposure, have no pressure to eat it, but have the option to explore at their own comfort level should they decide to dive in sometime during the meal, and add an opinion or observation during the meal. Which leads me to my next tip…

Use your words.

I’m sure as a parent you have used this phrase before. Wouldn’t it be nice to know all
the simple things that make someone form an opinion about a food? The dinner table can be a great
time for family to connect and talk. Sharing at the dinner table can be a great time to connect with the
ones you care about and become a part of the day that people look forward to. So encourage everyone
to stay at the dinner table for the duration of dinner, whether they eat or not. And talk, talk, talk; you
don’t want to only talk about food, but I think it is great to use a lot of words about the food to grow
vocabulary. Label the foods that are being served and while you are eating use some adjectives. How
will your child be able to share with you what it is they like or dislike about a food if they don’t know the
words. If you (and they) get to know what they like and dislike they will be able to MAKE MORE THINGS
LIKE-ABLE. If there is a food that you dislike you can talk about that too. Teach how to give productive,
and respectful feedback. Say things like “These carrots are a little softer than I like them, I like it best
when they are crunchy. I think I will make them crunchier next time.” (instead of these carrots are
yucky). In time and with practice they will be able to give great feedback. And don’t forget to use your
words for praise. Say things like “you are so brave to try the new food” or “thanks for trying, maybe you will like this food another day when your tastes have changed.” regardless of the fact that they liked it or not.

Hide it!

Exposure to whole foods is super important, but while picky eaters are learning to be more adventurous
you may be able to incorporate some veggie nutrients by mixing a blended bit into a more familiar food. Shred
some zucchini or carrots into a spaghetti sauce, or blend a bit of purple cabbage into a smoothie. (the
possibilities are endless).


Plant a garden together.

Your child may hate peas served from a can or mixed in a casserole, but may be shocked to see what
would happen if they are let loose in a garden. I still won’t eat a canned peas, but I am telling you I could
CLEAN UP an entire patch of peas and eat the pods too! The flavor and texture are completely different.

Share it.

When you eat foods with people who enjoy them those foods become much less intimidating. (and
again exposure is so important. My husband has never been a big fan of tomatoes, but every summer for years
when he sees how much my family enjoys eating them he cannot help but give them another try. (the
past few summers it has been he who purchases them and includes them in his diet because he actually craved
them.) I don’t even know how many times he tried a tomato before he decided they were lovely enough
to crave occasionally.


Presentation counts.

I’m a big believer in the idea that pretty food tastes better, and when I have the time I take care to chop
and plate my food beautifully. But I have been known to eat some food that is not considered  pleasing to
the eye. I think that might be one of the reasons why I decided to make a cozy for my smoothies in a
mason jar. (They are tasty, but not usually beautiful.)

mason jar cozys

Give some limited choices.

Instead of asking “what would you like to eat?” give limited choice that are acceptable to you for
example “would you like the blue plate or the orange?” “Would you like this food sliced or diced?”  “Do
you want the sauce over the top or on the side?”


Conduct experiments.

I’m famous for this one in my family; we are always conducting some experiments. Sometimes I am
curious about something on my own. Sometimes my family is a little more enthusiastic than other times,
but it’s all a fun learning experience. I like to experiment with different recipes and foods, but I also love
doing taste comparisons and test for example my family will have a taste test on the best tasting apple
by name or the best veggie on the platter or the best brand of cheese and we all vote. When I was
working in preschool we make a fun chart and the winner of the taste test (like the red apple) would get
a sticker next to it.   It’s fun!
I hope one or two of these tips and tricks will be helpful to you and your quest to discover the adventure
in food.

Jess cutout signature

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