How Emotions Are Connected to Your Mind and Health

We can all feel when stress affects our health, but what about other emotions? How do other negative emotions (like grief or fear) and positive emotions (like joy and hope) change our health?

More and more scientific evidence points to connections between emotions and physical illnesses. The intersection of mind, body, and emotion reach beyond blushing when we’re embarrassed. Think of stage fright, which causes muscle tension, stomach aches, sweating, nausea, parched mouths, shaking hands and knees, and more. If public speaking has this affect on our bodies, imagine how much grief or joy can change us!

Because we’ve already completed a series about how stress affects our health, for this blog post we will focus on how positive emotions affect our health.

 

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How Does Positivity Produce Vitality?

Positive emotions, like excitement, happiness, hopefulness, joy, appreciation, love, and respect, causes our bodies to produce oxytocin and endorphins. These cuddly and happy hormones help us feel good about ourselves, others, situations, and our place in the world.

These good feelings make us want to feel more of these good feelings, almost like an addiction. This is a good thing! As opposed to negative emotions, which can be trapped inside our bodies and cause a wide variety of physical, mental, and emotional health problems, positive emotions flow. Positive emotions remain fluid, creating cellular changes that optimize the way our bodies typically function.

In contrast to fear, sadness, and anger, which cut off our thoughts and actions to fight or flight, positive emotions actually widen our thoughts and actions. With this better perspective comes improved personal resources and endurance. Additionally, this broadened perspective can help to undo negative emotions within us; positive emotions can loosen the control that negative emotions have over our minds and bodies because we see new options for the circumstances in our lives. In fact, research demonstrates that joy and contentment help people improve more quickly from the cardiovascular side effects of negative emotions.

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What Does This Mean for You?

It is important to remember that we do have a form of control over our emotions: we determine how we interpret situations and feelings. For example, rather than seeing a bad review at work as embarrassing and hurtful, we can do our best to think of it as an opportunity to learn more about ourselves and grow. Choosing how we feel about emotions is crucial to connecting our minds, bodies, and feelings in a healthy way that won’t hurt us in the long run.

There are ways to overcome negative emotions on our own — eating healthy, getting enough sleep, practicing mindfulness and self awareness — but the significant roadblocks that negative emotions can place in front of us may need an extra kick to move them out of our way. This is where the Emotion Code can help! Contact us for an appointment with Dan Rupp, certified Emotion Code practitioner and therapeutic massage therapist.

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Below are two positive reviews about the Emotion Code from some of our clients. Their names have been changed to respect their privacy and confidentiality.

I have dealt with a physical issue for 17 years. Several years ago, I talked to a medical professional that told me my issue was a result of emotions and was not medical. She explained how we hold our emotions and it can cause physical issues. I’ve just learned to deal with it over the years not knowing what else to do. When I heard of what Dan is doing with emotional release, I was definitely interested although skeptical. During the session, he asked me about time frames for events in my life that left unresolved emotions. In some cases, I knew what he was asking about but in some cases, I couldn’t think of anything. He had explained that he was looking at my subconscious and not my conscious. I believe this is why I couldn’t recall some of the things he asked about until days later. I had a couple of rough days with my physical issue as my body processed the emotional release Dan performed. Since then, I am happy to report my physical issue has greatly improved!! I have seen a positive result and would recommend that you give it a try also – there’s nothing to lose and everything to gain!” -Andrea

“First of all, Dan is very calming. I wasn’t nervous after I started talking to him. It is amazing what can be done over the phone! I really wasn’t sure if it could work since we were not meeting in person…. Something that astounded me was he could tell I had some grief in my stomach from an event at about age 2 or 25. He was absolutely correct. I almost dropped the phone!!!!  Also, he found another event at about age 4 or 5. Again, absolutely correct!!! This is a fascinating field of study, I wish I could say more . I don’t know if my getting sick messed things up for more results. But I would definitely recommend this to anyone with an open mind.” -Jennifer

“I am doing MUCH better! I had trouble with gag reflex for 2 days following our session but I am not having any trouble brushing my teeth in the mornings now.  It is absolutely amazing!” -William

Schedule an appointment to learn how emotions are connected to your mind and health and continue your healing journey today!

CMT Dan Rupp Featured in Massage & Bodywork Magazine

We’re pleased to announce that Dan Rupp, Certified Massage Therapist, has been featured in Massage & Bodywork magazine. This bimonthly journal is distributed to national massage, bodywork and somatic experts who have ABMP memberships; each publication discusses subjects like professional trends, research, techniques, and more. Writers at Massage & Bodywork interviewed Dan Rupp about his business experience as a massage therapist. The next time you’re at Nature’s Trail Wellness Center for an appointment, pick up this copy of Massage & Bodywork to read the interview!

 

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Symptoms and Solutions: Magnesium Deficiency

The human body is connected and complicated in ways that reach beyond common sense. It can be fascinating to see how one seemingly small vitamin or mineral affects the entire spectrum of health in a body. Our next series focuses on specific vitamins and minerals, symptoms of their deficiencies, and foods and supplements to resolve the related health problems.

Symptoms

The symptoms of magnesium deficiency are commonly found with other health problems, which means this deficiency can be challenging to accurately identify. Magnesium is crucial for balancing the body’s biochemistry, affecting the entire body. Lacking this mineral can result in several serious health conditions and diseases.

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Nerve And Muscle Issues

Imbalanced magnesium levels can change calcium and potassium levels, causing muscle spasms, tics, muscle cramps, anxiety, seizures, and irregular heart rhythms. As these problems accumulate, a person could develop insomnia, migraine headaches, chronic fatigue, depression, and other health conditions. Modern scientists believe there is a connection between today’s chronic low magnesium and the chronic diseases we face today, like asthma, hypertension, and osteoporosis. Eventually, magnesium deficiency can cause the body to remove magnesium and calcium from the bones, adding even more health problems with damaged bones.

Neurological

Because of magnesium’s importance with nerves, people with magnesium deficiency can experience significant neurological problems. These include lethargy, behavioral disturbances, anxiety, irritability, poor memory, loss of cognitive function, loss of appetite, anorexia, seizures, vomiting, and nausea. In severe cases, it can also cause Parkinson’s disease, ADHD, epilepsy, and PMS.

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Structural

Structurally, magnesium deficiency ma cause muscle spasms, tics, hyperactive reflexes, weakness, tremors, difficulty swallowing, poor muscle coordination, vertigo, and involuntary eye movements.

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Digestion

Magnesium is crucial to digesting food properly. Without it, the body cannot absorb all the nutrients we eat. This causes hyperglycemia, heightened intracellular calcium, diabetes, and potassium and calcium deficiency.

Heart Health

Without the proper minerals, like magnesium, people can experience coronary spasms and rapid or irregular heartbeats. These health episodes can be frightening, and many times they’re confused with other conditions and illnesses.

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Solutions

There are several ways to resolve magnesium deficiency. One approach is to include more of the following foods in your diet. All of these are high in magnesium.

  • Dark leafy greens
  • Avocados
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Fish
  • Beans
  • Whole grains
  • Dried fruit
  • Bananas
  • Dried fruit
  • Dark chocolate

Please note that eating too much magnesium can cause diarrhea.

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Magnesium Deficiency Solutions at Nature’s Trail Wellness Center

Sometimes changing your diet isn’t enough, and magnesium supplements are needed. For more information about solving magnesium deficiency and finding a supplement that’s right for you, make an appointment with our naturopathic doctor at Nature’s Trail Wellness Center.

Symptoms and Solutions: Vitamin D Deficiency

The human body is connected and complicated in ways that reach beyond common sense. It can be fascinating to see how one seemingly small vitamin or mineral affects the entire spectrum of health in a body. Our next series focuses on specific vitamins and minerals, symptoms of their deficiencies, and foods and supplements to resolve the related health problems.

Symptoms

Vitamin D deficiency has several symptoms, including gut troubles (celiac, Crohn’s, inflammatory bowel disease), autoimmune diseases, seasonal depression, cancer, skin problems like psoriasis and eczema, weakened immune systems, and dementia.

Feeling “Blue”

There is a brain hormone, serotonin, that affects moods. This hormone increases with bright light (like during sunny summer months) and decreases in long-term darkness (like during gloomy winter months). People who have vitamin D deficiency are much more susceptible to depression than people who have health vitamin D levels.

Being Overweight, Obese, or Muscled

As a hormone-like, fat-soluble vitamin, the body uses fat to collect vitamin D. This means that people who are overweight or obese need more vitamin D than people who are slim; this also applies to people who have high body weights because of their muscle mass.

Aching Bones

Vitamin D deficiency can be related to osteoporosis because it can interrupt calcium storage in the collagen matrix of the skeleton. This causes aching bones, osteoporosis, and joint problems.

Sweating Heads

Years ago, doctors would ask mothers about their newborns having sweaty heads to determine whether the infants were vitamin D deficient. This is one of the first symptoms of a serious deficiency.

People who are most susceptible to vitamin D deficiency typically live in northern areas where there is little sunlight. Vulnerability increases with low fat diets, darker skin, weight loss medications, and steroids.

Solutions

There are several ways to take in more vitamin D. Be intentional about including more of the following in your lifestyle:

  • Sunlight
  • Fatty fish, like sardines, salmon, mackerel, and tuna
  • Raw milk
  • Eggs
  • Mushrooms
  • Caviar

There are also vitamin D supplements. Our favorite is Vitamin D3. It is made from lanolin, taken from wool fat from sheep.

Vitamin D Deficiency At Nature’s Trail Wellness Center

To learn more about vitamin D deficiency, symptoms, and solutions, schedule an appointment with our naturopathic doctor at Nature’s Trail Wellness Center.

Fast Metabolism Diet: Achieving in Weight Loss

Do you struggle with a slow metabolism? Many diets seem like they don’t work – we’re always hungry, we plateau before we reach our weight loss goal, or our cravings are too intense to withstand. For a new weight loss solution, try The Fast Metabolism Diet by Haylie Pomroy.

Pomroy’s experience includes over 22 years of education and entrepreneurship in the health and wellness world. She approaches diet through her “food is medicine” mindset, making eating a positive experience by transforming food from enemy to ally. She has worked with many celebrities, include Robert Downy Jr., Jennifer Lopez, LL Cool J, Raquel Welch, Reese Witherspoon, Cher, and even more Olympic and professional athletes as well as Fortune 500 corporate executives.

With Pomroy’s program, we lose weight without feeling hungry. No calorie counting, no measuring fat grams – just rotate through phases for what you eat every week. The simply plan uses food to naturally increase metabolism.

Pomroy makes her program easily available online. She outlines each phase, recipes, and food prep ideas on her website.

  • Phase 1: Carbs and fruits
  • Phase 2: Proteins and vegetables
  • Phase 3: Carbs, fruits, proteins, and vegetables in addition to healthy oils and fats.
  • Repeat Phases 1-3 for four weeks.

Eating in food cycles means our metabolisms are always kept on their toes, making it faster.

By rotating through different foods in different cycles, we can soothe our adrenals, decrease stress from our livers, and nourish our thyroids to work in sync, adding up to a fast metabolism. With all these health benefits and the decreased stress, there is less cortisol in our systems and so we remove belly fat.

Pomroy has developed her own app to help make the program easy to use. She has also published a cookbook with recipes specifically designed for the Fast Metabolism Diet. There is even a grocery list to follow for the diet, making it easier than ever.

The Fast Metabolism Diet At Nature’s Trail Wellness Center

To learn more about how to stay healthy while achieving weight loss, make an appointment with us today!

 

Whole Detox: A Whole-Health Perspective

For our next book blog, we’re focusing on Whole Detox by Dr. Deanna Minich. Minich’s background includes over 20 years of experience in functional medicine, nutrition, research, clinical practice, writing, product development, and teaching. Her work has been featured in more than fifteen scientific publications, and she has written five books. Internationally known, Minich uses her experience for her unique approach to seeing human health in all its aspects – mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual.

Minich’s groundbreaking approach unites nutrition, natural health, fitness, art, chakras, and science into a single method. In the book, she outlines her “whole detox” program that will last for 21 days. Each phase of the detox is broken down into chakras with the coordinating foods and fitness that chakra will need.

The basis of Minich’s research is that foods are different colors for a reason. Each natural color (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, and white) in food signals that this food has phytonutrients to nourish the coordinating chakra (root, reproduction, work, love, truth…) and the matching health system (thyroid, digestion, reproductive organs, and more). The book is thoroughly researched, with colored charts and diagrams to make the detox easier to understand and follow. Minich sees health as being a whole picture, not just the foods we eat or the exercises we do; her detox program detoxes everything from our bodies – emotional baggage, physical toxins, and more.

For example, the first chakra is the root. In traditional eastern medicine, this chakra is colored red. To detox this energy source, Minich outlines a guide with red foods, fitness to promote a “rooted” feeling, journaling exercises for reflection, and more. People with imbalanced roots experience a host of problems, from feeling emotionally “unrooted” to adrenal burnout.

Minich outlines her program through seven systems: Root, Flow, Fire, Love, Truth, Insight, and Spirit.

  • A healthy Root makes a vigorous bodies.
  • A strong Flow allows us to express our emotions.
  • A vibrant Fire powers everyday life.
  • An understanding Love deepens our passions.
  • A solid Truth improves our authenticity.
  • A sense of Insight helps us trust our intuition.
  • A robust Spirit guides us to lead purposeful lives.

With the Whole Detox program, heal health problems, eliminate toxins, increase energy, discover purpose, pursue passions, and enhance relationships. Use Dr. Deanna Minich’s Whole Detox program to step beyond the bounds of nutrition, science, and fitness to fully integrate yourself into a whole person with the health you’ve always wanted.

Whole Detox At Nature’s Trail Wellness Center

To learn more about improving your health, schedule an appointment with us today. We look forward to helping you achieve better long-term wellness! 

Understanding Your Blood Type: Nutrition, Exercise, and More

In our latest series, our goal is to highlight some of our favorite books that have changed our lifestyles for the better. These writers have encouraged us to put forward our best selves to improve our health, whether emotionally, mentally, or physically.

The next book we recommend is Eat Right 4 Your Type by Dr. Peter D’Adamo and Catherine Whitney. Using thorough research and common sense, D’Adamo states that “the secret to healthy, vigorous, and disease-free living might be as simple as knowing your blood type.” As opposed to the overall, general approach that some health professionals take to fitness and nutrition, D’Adamo believes that people should eat, exercise, and rest according to their blood types.

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We absorb nutrients, respond to stress, benefit from exercise, and need rest according to our blood types. Blood types manifest our internal chemistry, which can affect whether we’re sick, healthy, tired, emotional, or fit. Certain blood types are more vulnerable to various illnesses and deficiencies, and understanding these vulnerabilities enable people to prevent them from happening.

For sustaining the best health and weight for each blood type, D’Adamo outlines the most beneficial foods, vitamins, supplements, exercise, and more. He even includes whether certain blood types release stress more efficiently through meditation or intense aerobic exercise.

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For example, the book highlights research that shows O blood types benefit the most from intense aerobic exercise and extra meat for protein. In contrast, B blood types benefit more from yoga or mentally engaging exercises, and B blood types also find it easier to digest plant forms of protein compared to meat.

Have you read Eat Right 4 Your Type? How has it helped you improve your health?

Understanding Your Blood Type At Nature’s Trail Wellness Center

To learn more about your blood type and adjusting your lifestyle for optimum health, meet with our naturopathic doctor or therapeutic massage therapist. We look forward to helping you build a healthier future!

Use Emotional Freedom Technique Tapping to Take Your Health to the Next Level

In our latest series, our goal is to highlight some of our favorite books that have changed our lifestyles for the better. These writers have encouraged us to put forward our best selves to improve our health, whether emotionally, mentally, or physically.

The second book in our series is The Tapping Solution by Nick Ortner. In this book, Ortner discusses the basics of Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). By tapping on specific points in our bodies, we can reduce stress, face our fears, boost our self-esteem, release trauma, and improve relationships. The simplest way to explain EFT is to compare it to acupuncture – minus the needles; when we release energy trapped in our bodies by tapping on key meridian points (or energy channels), we can take our wellness to the next level.

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Reduce Stress And Increase Joy

Many people use EFT for a variety of reasons.

  • Mental Health: With tapping, we can release emotions that are trapped from traumas and stressors, like abuse, phobias, and more.
  • Emotional Health: All of us have experienced hurtful or empty relationships, but when we can put these feelings behind us to open ourselves to new, positive experiences, we can truly live.
  • Physical Health: Studies have shown that our mental and emotional health affects our physical health. By reducing stress, we can give our physical bodies the positive energy they need to heal.

When negative energy is trapped in our minds and emotions, we stand in our own way of healing our bodies. By letting go of the past and leaving it behind us, we can move into the future wholeheartedly.

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There is a cycle between our emotions and our physical bodies. When our emotions are stressed, our bodies respond to that stress; when our bodies are worn down, our emotions respond to the pain. This makes it crucial for us to take a whole-body approach to our wellness for thorough, complete healing.

Emotional Freedom Technique Tapping And Nature’s Trail Wellness Center

To learn more about EFT, we recommend reading The Tapping Solution by Nick Ortner. To learn more about improving your overall health through other natural, holistic techniques, make an appointment with our naturopathic doctor and therapeutic massage therapist at Nature’s Trail Wellness Center.

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Perfectionism and Your Health: Letting Go of Perfection to Enjoy a Stress-Free Life

In our latest series, our goal is to highlight some of our favorite books that have changed our lifestyles for the better. These writers have encouraged us to put forward our best selves to improve our health, whether emotionally, mentally, or physically.

The first book in our series is The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown. Through her countless hours of research, Brown studied what it means to live wholeheartedly – something she calls “vulnerability.” In her research, she saw that people living wholeheartedly would cast aside the habits that many of us use to show a false front of perfection – like severely judging others to deflect judgment from ourselves, or buying into busyness being a status symbol of our importance. This worthwhile read improves our lifestyles and health by showing us how to strengthen relationships, slow down our hectic lives, show gratitude, and become our better selves.

As if these aren’t enough reasons to love Brown’s work, there is a substantial amount of research that suggests perfectionism can be dangerous for our health. Perfectionism is linked to IBS, heart disease, obesity or anorexia, anxiety, depression, adrenal burnout, suicidal thoughts, and chronic pain syndromes, like fibromyalgia. and insomnia. In fact, some health leaders report that perfectionism could be just as unhealthy as smoking! Clearly there are significant links between perfectionism and your health.

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[Photo: Huffington Post]

Setting high standards for ourselves in our professional and personal lives can be a good thing, but when perfectionists set impossible standards, they can create psychological stress that causes many health systems. We’ve already looked at the many ways that stress can harm our health. When our minds perceive a something as stressful (whether or not it actually is stressful!) our bodies trigger the typical stress response: increased adrenaline, altered hormones, shallow breathing, and more.

For perfectionists, when they see that they are, in fact, human, their minds see this as stress, and their bodies experience the classic stress response. Because perfectionists have the ongoing challenge of perfecting everyone – and everything – around them while convincing others that they are perfect, they create a lifestyle of stress that is ultimately harmful.

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[Photo: Huffington Post]

Dr. Danielle Molnar, a psychologist at Brock University, Canada, has studied the health connections to perfectionism: “We’re always promoting perfectionism and its benefits of academic and professional achievement, but it’s such a strong factor for so many illnesses, including increased infection and early death, that I think it should be considered by doctors as part of a patient’s long-term health.”

Research shows that two out of every five people have perfectionist habits. Due to social media’s new pressure to showcase perfect lives, health experts are more concerned than ever that perfectionism could cause serious health consequences.

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[Photo: Psychology Today]

A team of scientists at Canada’s York University have labeled three kinds of perfectionism.

  • Self-Oriented Perfectionists who demand that they meet their own impossibly high standards.
  • Other-Oriented Perfectionists who hold impossibly high standards for the people around them.
  • Socially Prescribed Perfectionists who think that others require them to be perfect.

The team published their research in 2006 to show that socially prescribed perfectionists experience the worst physical health; they made more doctor visits and asked for more sick days from work. The other kinds of perfectionists did not fare much better.

Even more alarming, further research from Trinity Western University in Canada suggested that perfectionism could increase our chances of premature death. The study involved 450 adults (either perfectionists or non-perfectionists) who were 65 years old or more. Perfectionists showed a 51% greater chance of premature death than their non-perfectionist counterparts.

Beyond the physical stress response, perfectionists typically don’t ask other people for help, isolating themselves by insisting on their independence and by denying any support from their friends and families. This is harmful because having a strong sense of community is a significant contributor to having a long, healthy life.

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Perfectionism and Your Health: Read Brown’s Work and Visit Nature’s Trail Wellness Center

To begin your recovery from perfectionism, we recommend beginning with The Gifts of Imperfection. The simple ideas of taking time to be creative each day and enjoying time with family should be taken seriously. By removing the barriers that we concrete between ourselves and others, we are able to eliminate perfectionism for a better future. Schedule an appointment to learn more about reducing stress through lifestyle changes, nutrition, and supplements with Nature’s Trail Wellness Center.

How Stress Affects Eye Health

Welcome to our blog series about stress! We include research, health facts, and solutions to handling stress in each article.

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When stress affects our immune systems, weight loss goals, and heart health, we expect it. What we usually don’t expect is how stress affects our eye health. In today’s digital age, our favorite multitasking tools can cause something called “digital eye strain.” This condition, is growing more and more common among computer users.

A Modern Problem

When we use several digital devices, we develop digital eye strain: neck and back pain, headaches, and tired, irritated eyes. These symptoms can grow worse as days and weeks pass while we continue to use digital tools for both work and play.

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Experts attribute the pains of digital eye strain to technology: work follows us everywhere through our laptops, tablets, and smartphones. Because of this, we create makeshift workplaces on sofas and at coffee shop tables. These areas are not designed for the ergonomics that could help to relieve neck and back pain. But how is someone in our technology-run age supposed to avoid digital tools when they surround us on the streets, in our homes, and in our workplaces?

Three Practical Solutions

To stop the pains of digital eye strain without quitting work, some have found it helpful to set a timer that chimes every 30 seconds. (We recommend the 30/30 app available on iPhones and Androids!) When the timer chimes, it’s a reminder for us to look away from our screens. Look out the window or across the room and focus on a specific point while counting to 20 seconds. This brief reprieve helps our eye muscles and nerves to focus on something different, engaging new muscles and releasing the ones that spend too much time staring at a close-up screen.

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Another solution is to take time for creativity. When we avoid digital screens, even just for a little while, and we paint or sketch or exercise instead, we create a relaxed space for our entire selves – including our eyes. Refocusing our eye muscles on paper or the road instead of a bright screen rests our eyes.

Stress, Eye Health, and Nature’s Trail Wellness Center

For more information about relieving stress and improving your eye health, schedule an appointment with our naturopathic doctor at Nature’s Trail Wellness Center. We look forward to seeing you!

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