Essential Wellness Blog

Health Fair Recipes; Eating Healthy Food on the Go!!

So this past week, I presented at Norfolk Southern and New Life Baptist Church teaching employees and patrons alike the magnificence of eating raw whole foods. The following are the recipes for the event below. If you have any questions please feel free to leave in the comments section and I will return them ASAP!!


raw granola recipe at living foods cafeSoak 2 cups of Almonds in Water overnight. Place them in a sealed mason jar. I tend to make sure the water covers the nuts and then I drain the water in the morning. 

2 cups dried cranberries, and figs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1 tablespoon Grade B Maple Syrup


Throw ALL ingredients into a blender or food processor. I prefer the Ninja. Pulse until evening mixed and you are done!!

You may also dehydrate your granola to make it more crisp for 12 hours or until desired consistency. If you do not own a dehydrator use your oven at 200 degrees witht he door open. 


Apple and Almond Butter

almond butter collage resized 6002 cups Diced Apples

Almond Butter (you can make your own almond butter by soaking nuts and blending with seasame oil) We buy ours from a local health food store

1 teaspoon Cinnamon

1 teaspoon Vanilla

1 teaspoon Grade B maple syrup


Place almond butter, cinnamon, vanilla, and syrup in a bowl and hand mix. If you would like you may dice the apples and hand mix the diced almonds into the bowl. 

To make this a protein packed breakfast soak oat groats or steel cut oats in water overnight, drain and blend ingredients together to make a porridge. 


Candied Walnuts

candied walnuts recipeSoak Walnuts in Water overnight in a mason jar

Drain walnuts

Add 2 tablespoons Grade B Maple Syrup

1 teaspoon Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Vanilla extract


Put all ingredients into a container and shake until walnuts are soaked with sweet topping. 

You may dehydrate these as well if you like or serve right out of the container. 

Food as Medicine

All of these recipes are packed with Omega Essential Fatty Acid's which are good for the brain, the hormones, and are natural antiinflammatories. All of the nuts and seeds in the recipes are also a solid complete cource of protein helping our bodies repair, and heal while generating muscle. 

Healing Foods on the GO!!

If you are interested in having a raw food class at your next event

Contact Essential Wellness

The Naturopath's: Top 5 Supplements

Top 5 Supplements for Health and Wellness 

Naturopath in Virginia Beach VAMost people that are taking multiple supplements each day could get more benefit from eating a wide variety of healthy whole foods instead. While most supplements that you can take aren’t as beneficial as you may think, unless you have an underlying medical disorder, there are a handful that everyone should consider taking. Working with a nutritionist or natural health doctor in Virginia Beach Va will help to customize the supplements for your individual situation, but you can discuss the supplements listed below with them to see how/if they can have a positive impact on your wellbeing. 

Over 50% of Americans take one or more supplements every day, and there are 5 major reasons that they give for taking them on a daily basis: 

1. Increasing health and wellness 

2. Add the nutrients that they may be lacking in their diet 

3. To boost their immune function 

4. To improve their energy throughout the day

5. To improve bone density and help with aging


There are a couple of things to consider before you begin taking any supplements, and working with a naturopath in Virginia Beach Va to develop a healthy eating plan that addresses your nutritional requirements prior to supplementation is the best place to start. Also taking vitamins in the right dose, often referred to as therapeutic dose, will ensure that they are working as intended. Using food to increase your nutrition carries much less risk than relying on supplements that you may overdose on if you are not careful. Working to develop an individualized plan that supplements exactly what you need in the specific dose will yield you the best results.


While it is important to work with a holistic health doctor in Virginia Beach Va to determine what you need, here are 5 of the best supplements to consider, which help to increase health and wellness in most people.


Fish Oil Naturopath in Virginia Beach VA


The exact brand and dose can vary, but most people should be supplementing with fish oil. It’s numerous benefits can be felt relatively quickly and include: reducing inflammation, enhancing brain function, improving the look of skin, stabilizing blood sugar, and reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. Be extra mindful to find a brand that sources its oil from fish that are not high in heavy metals and/or PCB’s. Also, you may apply fish or Omega's to the skin and since it is fat soluable the body will absorp the nutrients from it. The skin is the largest organ in the body and is capable of swallowing your nutrients.


Vitamin B Complex


As a way to increase energy and decrease the stress response, a B complex vitamin supplement is often recommended at times when the body is under a great deal of stress. Determining if you need to take this supplement regularly or just as a booster every few weeks is a determination that you should make with your natural health doctor in Virginia Beach Va, but this supplement is a great one to take in a bind. B complexes also help the body digest and assimilate carbohydrates as well as proteins, so it is important to support the appropriate amount of complexes in the system to ensure that you are digesting well. 


Vitamin D


Naturopath in Virginia Beach VAWhether live in a northern climate, or work in an office building all day, most people don’t get enough vitamin D through sun exposure and should then look to adding vitamin D. This potent little vitamin has been shown to be instrumental in optimizing immune function, balancing mood, maintaining bone health, and stabilizing to a healthy weight. There are a number of different forms of delivery and working with your naturopath in Virginia Beach Va to find the best solution for you is recommended. Remember Vitamin D is a fat soluable vitamin and requires absorption, if a person is unable to digest and assimilate fats they will not be able to digest fat soluable vitamins. Vitamin D is one of those and supplementing with Vitamin D may not raise these levels until fat utilization is improved. 




Because of the diet and environmental factors, most people in North America don’t get enough magnesium, and should be supplementing regularly. It helps by increasing the quality of sleep, decreasing cramps, regulating digestion, and increasing bone density. Our over stressed lifestyles attribute to magnesium deficiencies as the adrenal glands use magnesium thus creating magnesium deficiencies. 


Vitamin C


This powerful little antioxidant and immune booster is a must have supplement for almost everyone. Talk with your holistic health doctor in Virginia Beach Va to ensure that you could benefit from extra vitamin C, but as a water soluble vitamin it is likely to be safe for you to add (unless you have kidney problems).Vitamin C is also a network antioxidant and help recycle glutothione, the master antioxidant. Adding Vitamin C can not only boost your immune system, fight aging, and oxidation, but also replenshes the adrenal glands, which are always busy at work. 


Adding supplements to your diet can be confusing, expensive, and dangerous, but if you work with your naturopathic doctor in Virginia Beach to develop a nutrition plan, you can make sure that you are adding only the most necessary and safe solutions to boost your health. Functional laboratory testing can help you determine your needs for nutrients and the Naturopath at Essential Wellness Center is dedicated to reading laboratory panels and creating a plan of action versus supplementing for the sake of supplementing. 

Whole Food Nutrition versus Supplements

Whole Food vs. Pills (Supplements) 

Most people can obtain all of the necessary nutrients, vitamins and minerals, from eating a variety of healthy whole foods, and a health plan should always start with food. Once you have established a great eating plan, you can analyze your deficiencies with the help of a naturopathic doctor in Virginia Beach Va and/or nutritionist in Virginia Beach Va and determine if you can affect this with food or if you have to introduce supplements or herbal interventions. When there aren’t underlying conditions, most people should be able to - and it’s usually healthier - get all of their nutrients from whole foods. But if there is a medical condition or adjusting one or more of the nutrients with food is unreasonable then supplements and herbal remedies may be a great solution. It is important to understand that taking supplements, such as vitamins and minerals, on their own will likely cause a larger imbalance unless you have a good base with whole foods.

Natural Medicine Virginia Beach Va


Absorption, Bioavailability, & Expensive Urine

Many of the vitamins and mineral supplements that people take each day aren’t in the most bioavailable form and end up getting filtered by the body, which is literally sending money down the drain. Even with good intentions, taking a single nutrient supplement, or a handful, without proper guidance from your team of holistic health doctors in Virginia Beach Va, may be harmful and unnecessary. Supplementation done properly can give your body the boost that you are looking for, but it shouldn’t even be considered until you have looked at balancing your nutrition with as much nutrient dense whole foods as possible.  

The big difference between eating whole foods and refined single nutrient supplements is that the way that the body digests and absorbs them is vastly different. Often taking tablet vitamins will give your body a boost, but most of the vitamins aren’t in a bioavailable form, which can mean that you are excreting over half of the dose that you’ve taken. The only way to ensure that the vitamins that you are taking are making as good of an impact as possible is to work with a natural health doctor in Virginia Beach Va and adjust as necessary.


Do you really need supplements?

Natural Medicine Virginia Beach VaSupplements and vitamin neutraceuticals can be great to adjust and add certain nutrients that need the extra boost, but using healthy whole foods can give you much better results. Balancing a nutrient deficiency can be difficult as our bodies don’t respond as well to trying to adjust individual nutrient levels without looking at the body as a whole. Working with a natural health and wellness clinic in Virginia Beach Va and natural medicine doctor in virginia beach va can help you determine if you actually need to spend the time and money on supplements, or if you can just use whole foods. Another thing to consider is that there are less risks and it is usually much harder to do harm with whole foods, where you can overdose on certain nutrients quite easily with pills.


The magic pills

A big misconception with vitamins and mineral supplements is that you can eat whatever you want and just supplement your deficiencies and this will balance your health. Both the form and availability of nutrients makes a difference, and trying to supplement your way to health without looking at your diet is dangerous and unnecessarily expensive. Your kidneys and liver will also be taxed as they have to filter all of the excess nutrients that are taken in when you consume mass amounts of supplements to compensate for improper and innutritious eating habits. Consuming whole healthy foods can also help to ensure that you are getting a variety of nutrients and in a much better to digest form. 

Healthy people eat healthy foods Naturopathy Virginia Beach

For optimal nutrition and health you should focus on eating a variety of healthy whole foods and supplementing with foods whenever possible. There are a number of conditions and a few nutrient supplements that are beneficial to take, but everyone is different and in order to optimize your individual health you need to work with a naturopath in Virginia Beach that will consider the holistic approach. By looking at your body, mind, and spirit, all together, you can make a plan that helps to adjust and balance your nutrition in the best possible way.

Testing to be sure

There are a variety of ways to uncover the bodies nutrient deficiencies, but biochemical testing is the most accurate. Through an Organic Acids panel, the Naturopath in Virginia Beach, can pinpoint specific nutrient deficiencies and can set the stage for supporting those deficiencies. It is important not to load nutrients all at once because the body will have a difficult time processing nutrients AND the liver will not be able to keep up with the all the healing that takes place once you power the system. Working one on one with a natural medicine doctor in Virginia Beach can help you work slowly and steadly to heal the body efficiently. Schedule a complimentary 15 mins wellness exam to see how natural medicine can help you redefine your meaning of health. 


Natural Medicine Virginia Beach:Digestion, Immunity and the Emotions

Digestion, immune system, and the emotional body connection


natural medicine virginia beachAs the understanding of how emotions affects people’s bodies, and vice versa, is better understood, the roles of diet, stress, digestion, and other environmental factors are becoming more important in improving well-being. The body is affected by a number of factors that people are just beginning to understand. More understanding of the emotional connection to the digestive system and how food influences your feelings, and how your feelings influence your digestion, can help you to increase your well being, and protect against disease. Working closely with a natural health and wellness center as well as a naturopath in Virginia Beach Va to take a more holistic approach to your diet and emotional state can yield immense benefits.


Emotions and hormones

The emotional spectrum of a person can be very complicated and there are a number of factors at play for these resulting emotions to manifest. While the mechanisms that process and store emotions can be complex, the pathways - hormones - are fairly well understood. As people understand the relationship more and more, the role of diet in regulating mood and allowing you to better deal with difficult emotions is becoming more widely recognized. It is now understood that using fish oil supplements, that have a number of other benefits, can help to balance the two primary mediators of emotions (cytokines and eicosanoids), thus helping to cope with more stress in a healthier way. The determination for supplementation or use of whole foods, is best made with the professional guidance of a holistic health doctor in Virginia Beach Va. Just because it is natural does not mean that it cannot create harm for you in the body. 


Immune system affects emotions Natural Medicine Virginia Beach Va

While the science behind all of the hormonal interactions may be difficult to understand, the concepts are fairly easy to grasp. When your body is fighting a disease or is under a negative emotional load, the natural inflammation response hormones are set to work to try and fix the problem. As an emergency fix they work great and help to provide your body with the necessary tools to fight the acute problem, chronic inflammation has been shown to contribute to and cause most illness and disease. On the opposite end of the spectrum, when you experience laughter or other pleasant emotions your immune system elicits hormones that help to decrease the emergency response and beef up the preventative defenses of your immune system. Food can be an accelerator in either direction depending on the type that you are feeding yourself. Eating a clean healthy diet, and aiding more joy in your life is a great way to give your immune system a boost and keep yourself out of a negative reactive mode of operation - which can be a downward cycle. Working with your natural health and wellness center in Virginia Beach Va, you can develop an action plan that will help increase your immune system, and better understand your emotions. Homeopathy in Virginia Beach Va is based on the belief that disease first develops from a psychological componenet and then generates physical symptoms. 


Improving your emotional state for better health 

Emotions affect your health and well being and diet can affect your emotions, therefore, choosing what kinds of foods that will positively impact your emotions can have a tremendous effect, not only on physical health, but mental as well. Eating a variety of healthy vegetables, colorful fruits, lean meats, nuts, and other whole foods can give you the boost in your emotional system that further increases your wellbeing. Working with a naturopathic doctor in Virginia Beach Va at a natural health and wellness center in Virginia Beach Va is the best way to ensure that you are getting an individualized plan to help increase your health. 


Emotions can also control your eating 

Naturopath Virginia Beach VaWhile your eating can contribute to your emotions, the same can be said about your emotions controlling what you want to eat. If you find yourself in a fatigued state, possibly even depressed, you will have cravings for high sugar, carbohydrate rich comfort foods such as pizza, candy, and cakes. The boost in blood sugar provides a temporary high that gives your body the feeling that it is looking for, even if just for a few hours. This can be a vicious cycle as it creates worse emotions, which lead to even worse eating. Working with a team of holistic health doctors in Virginia Beach Va can help to balance your eating and stop this vicious cycle if it has already begun. 

Your emotions, immune system, and diet are all intertwined and it is important to look at the system as a whole for best results. Working with a natural medicine doctor in VA beach, or wherever it is that you reside, will produce the best results for your unique situation. Small changing in your mindset or diet (or both), can have large impacts on your wellbeing. Essential Wellness Center provides complimentary 15 mins wellness exams, in order to determine the best needs of the patients. We work with multiple people with various needs ranging from primary care services to cancer prevention to sick care to immune and digestive disorders. Essential Wellness Center's main focus is to provide whole foods nutrition, detoxification, and natural medicine services to all those that seek healing through holisic approaches. We use all western medical laboratory testing to determine needs and blend those with natural medicine treatments to initiate healing within the body that is safe and effective. 

Essential Wellness Center: Why Being Mindful about Eating Matters

Why being Mindful about Eating matters 

Eating nutritious and healthy food is vital to increasing and optimizing your wellbeing, and often the state that you are in when you eat is as important to what you are eating. In the ever busying pace that people face in their lives the role of food is often moved from the life bearing essence to the convenient bite sized foods that can be consumed quickly. Combined with other environmental stresses and the food is having a negative impact on your life instead of increasing your health as it is so capable of doing. Working with a natural health doctor in Virginia Beach Va is a great way to get the information and education on what to eat, and then just taking the time to appreciate the opportunity to eat can amplify the positive effects of the eating and food.


The importance of mindfulness during eatingNatural Medicine in Virginia Beach Va

Paying attention to the way that food impacts your body and learning, from a holistic health doctor in Virginia Beach Va, how to use food to improve your life allows you to be conscious and start making healthier decisions on which foods to buy and eat. Understanding the difference in mood and energy that eating a sugary muffin over a vegetable omelet will have on your body and life, can help you to make better decisions and enjoy life with more zest. Paying attention to what you eat as you are eating will also allow you to better digest the food, therefore allowing you to eat less but absorb more nutrients in the process. Remember we eat to fuel our organs, heal our tissues, feed our blood, etc not based on taste, emotion, or convienence. 


Slow down and destress your eating 

Natural Medicine in Virginia Beach VaEating for maximal health and nutrition takes effort and time. By slowing down your pace when you go to eat, and including social interactions, if possible, you are able to increase your digestion and decrease stress. Stresses can cause your body to improperly digest the foods that you eat, and crave foods that are higher in sugar and carbohydrates to boost serotonin levels. Focusing on what you are eating and being present while you eat will allow your body to regulate the stress hormones appropriately and help your digestive system work as it is designed to work. When the body is under stress it shifts the resources away from digestion, and can disrupt the ability to absorb nutrients that may be present in the healthy foods that you are trying to eat. Taking a few extra minutes to clear your mind and enjoy your food, before getting to work or back to your stresses will send the necessary signals to your digestive system, and increase well being, through absorption.


Benefits of mindful eating 

Developing the habit of mindful eating will help your digestion, immune system, and even weight management. Paying attention to everything that you put in your mouth allows your body to break down the food appropriately and send you the necessary signals when you are full or need a particular kind of food in your diet. Taking the time to appreciate the food and anticipate eating allows your body to begin the process called the cephalic phase, which will then initiate a number of bodily functions that are necessary for proper digestion. Some of these function include: production of saliva (helps break down carbohydrates); secretion of enzymes and stomach acid; and the rhythmic movement (peristalsis) of the digestive system, which moves the food along. It is estimated that about 35 percent of digestion occurs as a result of the cephalic phase, and if you are in a rush or super stressed, you could be limiting its effectiveness. This face also drives eating on impluse and for emotional reasons as well, which can prove to be unhealthy if in starvation mode. 


How to eat more mindfully 

Working with a holistic health doctor in Virginia Beach Va to understand how food impacts your body is a great place to get more information, but mindful eating could be as simple as analyzing what you are going to eat before you eat it. Take a few seconds to recognize the color, aroma, and then texture and taste, as you eat it. Being mindful about the surroundings and your general mood, will also help to understand why you are eating, as well as what you are eating at that particular moment. A naturopath in Virginia Beach Va can help you plan out and discover mindful eating for maximum benefit, but you can also start the next time that you eat anything, by taking a few seconds to appreciate anything and everything about the healthy food.

How Essential Wellness Center Can Help?

Essential Wellness Center Virginia Beach VaEssential Wellness Center has multiple avenues to help you interject more mindfulness in your eating through raw food classes held Monday & Wednesday from 6pm - 8 pm in addition to Saturday at 2 pm as well as one on one, Healthy Eating Programs. Our raw food classes teach about mindfulness in eating and positive nutrition, where participants understand where our food comes from, why we eat certain foods, and which foods are best for which condition. The classes are experiential and are two hours in length. Erica Steele, the founder of Essential Wellness Center and Naturopathic Practitioner in Virginia Beach VA teaches all of our classes where she answers health related questions as it pertains to food. Everyone leaves with the recipes from the class as well as enjoy the food which is made in class. 

If you would like to go deeper and more individual with your meal planning she offers a 30 days to healthy eating program where she explores your food blockages shedding light on where you are stuck in your eating program. She develops meals plans for you as well as works with you individually to ensure your success throughout the process. The goal of the program is for you to become empowered with your eating and rbuild upon your understanding of healthy eating. 

Natural Medicine in Virginia Beach Va; Proactive vs. Reactive Healthcare

Proactive versus Reactive Healthcare

naturopathy virginia beach vaMost of the focus from conventional medical advice and guidance seems to have been, and continues to be centered around reacting to the illness or disorder, without much consideration for prevention. The natural health practice in Virginia Beach Va on the other hand, is focused on fixing all of the ailments that people have at that moment in time, as well as, working to proactively treat anything that may become a problem later on. Usually once an illness or disorder becomes a problem, it has passed a critical tipping point that makes it more difficult to manage and/or eliminate. For the most part, most illnesses and disorders happen gradually over time and holistic health doctors in Virginia Beach Va tend to spend the time necessary to intervene before it becomes a problem. By taking the time to be more focused on preventing the illnesses and disorders, the natural health practice in Virginia Beach Va in a way, you are able to take action and improve your health before any serious disorders arise.



Past predicting future assumption 

Most people, even physicians tend to get lulled into the false sense of security that past health and freedom from illness will predict future wellness. Your body is changing every single day and there are a number of things that you need to do to adjust and prevent serious health complications, as best as you can. Working with holistic health doctors in Virginia Beach Va, you will be able to find any symptoms or behavior patterns that could lead to the development of illness or disease, and work on preventing them or at least lowering the negative side effects. Just because you have been pain and disease free in the past, does not mean that you are healthy or that you will remain this way into the future. 


Daily changes in health go unnoticed 

Often the reason that most physician practice reaction based medicine, is that people only usually go to see them when there is a problem, and the problems can creep up over months or years to the point where reactive medical attention is the only solution. Without mindful regular monitoring by holistic health doctors in Virginia Beach Va, or a good naturopath in Virginia Beach Va, you won’t be able to see the problems and symptoms until it is time to react. By taking a more proactive approach in the monitoring you will be able to solve and prevent a lot of the ailments and disorders before they manifest into disease. It is difficult to see the changes yourself, as everyday you move gradually in one direction or another, but working with a great team of holistic health doctors in Virginia Beach Va that you meet with every week or two, will allow them to monitor for changes so that you can take action right away. Naturopath virginia beach va


Monitoring and prevention

Instead of waiting for the illness to arise before you change your unhealthy behaviors and patterns, you can work with holistic health doctors in Virginia Beach Va to prevent the problem and save yourself the pain and duress. By working to optimize your health and take actions at the first-often unnoticeable-sign of illness or disease, you will be able to avoid or minimize the negative health effects and feel great in the process. It is much less work and much healthier for your body to make the little changes to improve your wellness and prevent disease, versus trying to reverse or cure a disease that has developed.

Disease and Healing

Just as it has taken time for a person's body to manifest disease it takes time for disease progression to slow and even reverse. Often times when patients are being treated with more proactive care they can feel as though they are not moving fast enough. They can often feel frustrated because they are not seeing the results they believe they should be seeing. This is where trust comes in for the patient. Understanding that disease progression as well as healing develops over time and accepting the bodies pace is imperative to healthy healing. Conventional medicine has done a great job at creating instantanoeous results for us, we have a headache here is a pill, headache goes away. However, we do not see the damage that the pill does in response to treating the headache. Remembering when you watch a drug commercial that lists all of the other side effects from taking the medication. This should show us that there are no short cuts to healing.  

Working with the Essential Wellness (Virginia Beach, VA) holistic health doctor-or any health and wellness center in your area-can provide you with the tools and advice to shift your healthcare focus from reactive to proactive. The more time that you invest in your health while you are still pain and illness free, the better your body will be prepared to take on any illness that it may encounter. Even once you encounter a disease udnerstand that your body will take time to heal, just as a plant is slow to grow, your body is slow to heal. While preventative medicine is not a magic shield to protect against all disorders, by taking the initiative and working with holistic health doctors, in Virginia Beach Va you will be able to live in a healthier state for looker, while lowering the odds of developing most illnesses. The team at Essential Wellness (Virginia Beach, VA) is waiting to help you realize your full potential. Essential Wellness Center offers complimentary 15 mins wellness exams to understand how natural health can help you redefine your meaning of heal. 


What Naturopaths can and can't do for your health


Depending on how much you know about naturopathic medicine, you may be surprised to find out all of the wonderful things that a natural health doctor in Virginia Beach, Va can do for your health, as well as what they don’t do. Finding a professionally trained Naturopath in Virginia Beach Va can help you increase your health and take a holistic approach to your wellness. The better that you can understand the specific role that they can play in your holistic health doctors team in Virginia Beach Va, the better that you can work with them to develop a plan for optimal health. Naturopaths in Virginia Beach Va can be beneficial for both acute and chronic health conditions, and they often have a preference to proactive medical treatment methods.


Using a Naturopath in Virginia Beach Va as your family physician

Naturopathic Doctor in Virginia Beach VaWith the approach of most natural health doctors in Virginia Beach Va having a holistic approach, it is no wonder that many people are choosing to see a Naturopath in Virginia Beach Va as their primary physician. With services and treatments ranging from acupuncture, homeopathy, nutrition and lifestyle counselling, to manipulation and detox guidance, the Naturopath in Virginia Beach Va can be the focal point of your professional health team. Taking a proactive approach to your health can completely change your quality of life and give you the health freedom that you’ve alway wanted. Just because you are working primarily with a naturopathic doctor in Virginia Beach Va, there will be times when you need to visit a conventional physician for medical care.


Education in Naturopathic medicine

As part of the holistic health doctors’ process, education on all of the treatments and why your body is reacting the way that it might be, is very important. The holistic approach affords the discussion and inclusion of the mental understanding for the healing and prevention of illness. The better that you understand how you are interacting with the illness and how to reduce the risks and/or treat the root cause, the better you will be able increase your health and reduce your risk of disease. By gaining the knowledge that you need to be proactive you can become empowered to take action and work synergistically with the naturopath in Virginia Beach Va.


Increasing responsibilities

The naturopaths in Virginia Beach Va are slowly gaining the recognition as health care professionals and with this recognition is coming some prescribing rights and collaboration with conventional physicians, or other healthcare professionals. Depending on the state that you are living in, your natural health doctor may have the ability to prescribe medications such as antibiotics. Although the focus for natural health doctors in Virginia Beach Va is more on prevention, this emerging trend helps to legitimize and bring their holistic health approach to the mainstream spotlight. By collaborating with physicians and other healthcare professionals, the future potential of holistic healthcare is bright.   Naturopathic Doctor in Virginia Beach Va


The limitations of Natural Health doctors in Virginia Beach Va

While most of your health needs can be addressed and satisfied by a naturopath in Virginia Beach Va, there are still a few things that call for a conventional physician. The biggest limitations are related to the inability of naturopathic doctors in Virginia Beach to recommend pharmaceuticals, however this is against the naturopathic physician's credo. Also if you break a bone or need most surgeries, you still need to go the allopathic medical routes. With this being said you can go to your naturopath in Virginia Beach Va first, and with their professional determination they can refer you for the appropriate treatment. The important thing to keep in mind is that a naturopath in Virginia Beach Va can be the primary health care person, but they are not specialists in every field and they can/will refer you to the specific professionals as necessary.

Natural Healthcare Services at Essential Wellness Center 

Finding and using a natural health doctor in Virginia Beach Va can increase your health, while decreasing your risk for disease. By integrating the different health professionals as necessary you can have the optimal team to help you optimize your health and well being. Using holistic health doctors in Virginia Beach Va in a variety of specializations that share your health information and are invested in helping you through education, proactive care, and necessary referrals, can keep you healthy and improve your quality of life by leaps and bounds. Essential Wellness Center is dedicated to providing premium Natural Health services to all those seking alternatives to conventional practices. We offer a complimentary 15 mins wellness exam to discuss your health goals and concerns to see if natural medicine is the right choice for you. 

7 Most Popular Natural Medicine Treatments in Virginia Beach Va

7 Most Popular Alternative Medicine Treatments


People that are suffering from any sort of pain or even that want to take their health to the next level often seek out a natural health wellness center in virginia beach va for some of the best alternative medicine treatments. Working with a naturopathic doctor in virginia beach va that you trust, can help you figure out the best treatment for your situation, and have a large impact on your health and wellness. With so many things to choose from in the natural health and alternative medicine sphere there isn’t many illnesses and disorders that can’t be addressed: but how do you choose? To help make the process a little bit easier, here are the 7 most popular alternative medicine treatments, so that you can learn more and discuss implementing them with a natural medicine doctor in Virginia Beach Va or your local area. 

7. Yoga

Naturopath Virginia Beach VaTaking a yoga class, or simply learning how to go through the movements in your own home can be a great way to supplement the treatment that you are receiving from your physician and naturopathic doctor in virginia beach va. Yoga is great for increasing flexibility, circulation, reducing stress, easing depression, and stabilizing your heart health. More than just the physical benefits from the motion, yoga can help to balance your mental and even spiritual health, for an overall wellness boost. 

6. Guided Imagery

As a newer alternative medicine treatment, guided imagery, or visualization, is a great tool that can be used anywhere and anytime, once you learn how. Working with your natural health doctor in virginia beach va to focus on certain images, will help you to reduce anxiety, and treat a variety of mental as well as physical disorders. With the proper guidance in a well appointed natural health wellness center in virginia beach va, you will be able to learn to use your own mind more effectively to help treat any symptoms that currently or will suffer from in the future. Hypnotherapy is an extension of this work retraining the subconcious mind to help health the body on all levels. 

5.Herbal Medicine - Supplements Naturopath in Virginia Beach Va

There are a number of supplements that you can use to increase the effects of your treatments. It is important to understand that nutritional supplements are not just magic fix-all pills that you can take to get healthy, but as a part of an overall wellness plan that you and your natural medicine doctor in virginia beach va put into place, they can work great. Learning about what the supplements and herbs can do for you and then taking them under the monitoring of your naturopathic doctor virginia beach va will ensure that you are not taking unnecessary pills, which are just marketed well. 

4. Massage 

Massage is usually seen as a luxury that is just for relaxing, but there are a number of health benefits that can be gained from a good massage. With the healing hands of a properly trained massage therapist, you can enjoy the relaxing feeling, while your immune function and circulation are increased, and your muscle pain is decreased. Talk with your naturopathic doctor in Virginia Beach Va - or local area) to see if adding massage to your wellness plan will be the most beneficial use of your resources. Naturopathy in Virginia Beach Va

3. Meditation 

Meditation is great for centering your thoughts and allowing the stresses of daily life to melt away. By focusing on proper breathing and trying to focus all of your mental energy in one direction, many natural medicine doctors in Virginia Beach Va find that you can get into a meditative state quickly and affect all kinds of physical and mental disorders. Working with your naturopathic doctor in Virginia Beach Va you can start with guided meditation and help to cure yourself through your thoughts. 

2. Spinal Adjustments 

While it is still considered an alternative medicine treatment, chiropractic care is becoming a more and more valuable resource as part of the nature medicine doctor’s natural health wellness center team. Chiropractors help to bring the spine back into alignment, which can increase flexibility and relieve pain. Talk with your naturopathic doctor in virginia beach va to see if adding chiropractic adjustments can be of benefit to your treatment plan. 

1. Healthy Nutrition - Naturopathy 

Naturopath in virginia beach vaThe food that you eat can be increasing or decreasing your health depending on not only the type, but also the way that you are eating. Working with a naturopathic doctor in virginia beach va will ensure that you can increase your gut health first and foremost. Focusing on improving your digestive system will help with proper digestion and elimination of foods, so that your body can be operating at the highest possible level.  


Working in a natural health wellness center in virginia beach va with a great natural medicine doctor in virginia beach va will help you to create a wellness plan that encompasses many of these alternative medicine treatments, and more. Whether you are looking to reduce your pain or increase your health, a naturopathic doctor in Virginia Beach - or your local city - can be exactly who you need to visit to determine your needs. At Essential Wellness Center in Virginia Beach Va we offer complimentary 15 mins wellness exams to see what treatments, services, or health care professionals may be right for you. 

Demystifying Detoxification in Virginia Beach Va

Demystifying Detoxification and Cleansing


Detoxification Virginia Beach VaDeciding whether or not to get go through a detox can be difficult unless you understand the process and have an educated discussion with a naturopath, working at a good natural health and wellness center. The more that you can learn about the benefits that a detox can offer you and how the process actually works, the better that you can decide if this is right for you at this time. Depending on your needs there are also a number of different treatment options within the detox and cleansing sphere, as they can encompass anything from changing your eating habits to a series of enemas, and everything in between. Just as there are a number of different types of cleanses and detoxes many people have a variety of different reasons for going on them, many pertaining to health improvement or weight loss purposes. Speaking with a holistic health doctors in virginia beach va will ensure that you are getting the appropriate detox for your situation.


Reasons that Holistic Health Doctors in Virginia Beach Va use Detoxes

Most naturopathic and holistic health doctors use detoxes and cleanses to eliminate stored body toxins that either have already or are starting to cause symptoms such as fatigue, depression, or general brain fog.
Detoxification Virginia Beach Va
With all of the toxins that you are exposed to on a daily basis, your body does a remarkable job at filtering and dealing with this onslaught of stresses. Everything from the food that you eat, products that you use, water that you drink, and even the air that you breath, is loaded with toxins and giving your body the extra help that it needs to eliminate the toxins can make all the difference. If left untreated, the toxins will build up and can do damage to the lungs, liver, colon, or any other organs that they are processed by. Finding a natural health practice in virginia beach va that understands detoxification, and can safely guide you through the process, is the best way to give your body an effective cleanse or detox.


Detoxification and Cleanses are only One Part of the Natural Health Practice 

There are a number of lifestyle changes that are equally as effective as regular detoxification and can help to increase your overall wellness. Working with a team of holistic health doctors can help you to work through these changes, including drinking enough water, consuming appropriate fiber, nutritional boosts, additional natural supplements, and even effective exercises. By taking and implementing a more complete natural health practice that includes all of the areas, your detoxification efforts will be amplified, and you will enjoy more energy and less illness.


Working with Natural Medicine Doctor in Virginia Beach to Find the right Detox/Cleanse for You 

There are a number of different types of cleanses that are targeted for different purposes: full body, liver, heavy metal, fat, colon, etc. Basically your body will store any toxins in a way that they can’t be absorbed into your system and do harm, but by storing instead of eliminating, these toxins can build up over time and negatively affect your health. Working with a holistic health doctor in virginia beach va will ensure that you ease into the process and only do a beneficial cleanse, decreasing the possible negative side effects.


Using Detoxes as part of an Upgraded Lifestyle 

Detoxification in Virginia Beach VaDetoxes and cleanses can be a great way to increase your health and give your body a break from all of the toxins, but it is important to work with your holistic health doctor in Virginia Beach Va to use them as a boost for overall wellness. Using a detox as a means of dieting or as a one off magic fix to your gastrointestinal disorders or pains, will likely do more harm than good. Instead, work with a natural health and wellness center in Virginia Beach Va to include proper nutrition, exercise, alternative therapies, and gut health improvements, in an overall plan for better health, which can include regular cleanses but is not based upon them. 

The only way to do detoxes and cleanses properly is to work with holistic health doctors in Virginia Beach Va and focus on a long-term health plan, versus a quick fix. Spending time to understand how your body feels, and why it is feeling as it does will allow you to work within the natural health and wellness center in Virginia Beach Va for maximum benefit. Making detoxes a part of your natural health practice will help to give your body a break from the toxins, and give it the boost that it needs to succeed.

Raw Food Recipe: Avocado Salad

This raw food recipe follows our Raw Food Class of the Week: Soups & Salads. Salads are essential in our daily diet, and they are a simple way to consume the nutritious fruits and vegetables that we need. Within five minutes, you will have prepared a raw food meal that naturally provides nutrients, fiber, and anti-oxidants, such as vitamins C and E. Anti-oxidants help to guard your body from free radicals that can cause impurities. Another benefit of eating salads is that if you are in the process of losing weight, salads with plenty of greens will conveniently fill you up in a healthy way.

Avocado Salad


avocado salad, raw food detox diet, nutrition, raw food recipe, nutritional remedy, organic foods, whole foods,


Mixed Romaine Lettuce

1 whole Avocado

1 half Cucumbers

1/2 cup Celery

Olive Oil (to taste)

Apple Cider Vinegar (to taste)


Begin with a bed of romaine lettuce. Add in avocado, cucumbers, and celery. Pour olive oil on top, then dress with apple cider vinegar. *You can also place these ingredients in a bowl and shake it up for even ditribution.

Food as Medicine or Medicinal Value of Food

Romaine lettuce is an excellent source of fiber and has the highest nutrient content compared to all other types of lettuce. Some key nutrients of romaine lettuce include iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium, sodium, zinc, copper, and manganese. It also contains phytochemicals of beta carotene, chlorophyll, and lutein.

Avocado provides healthy (monounsaturated) fats needed for the brain and also good for nerves, fatigue, hypoglycemia, urinary tract infections, and contain 4 grams of protein. Also are rich in B Complexes, Vit D, Calcium, Sodium, folate, iron, phosphorus, and small amounts of CoQ10. Phytochemicals beat, alpha carotene, tocopherols, tocotrienols.

Cucumbers are mostly water and can help maintain fluid balance in the body with a good source of fiber. The skin has vitamin A; phytochemical beta carotene, calcium, iron, mag, phosphorus, and some amino acids  

Celery contains amino acids, calcium, essential fatty acids, zinc, selenium, Vit A, B complexes, C, E, and K as well as photochemical beta-carotene, thymol, coumarin, caffeic acid, carvone, apigenin It reduces blood pressure, arthritis, kidney, acts as a diuretic, antioxidant, and a sedative.

About Raw Food

Our raw food cafe, Living Foods, is located in Virginia Beach VA and is consistent of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds, and we only use real whole foods to prepare delicious dishes. Living Foods Cafe believes in raw food nutrition through whole foods, raw food education through our raw food classes, and organic raw food through our delicious local food items. We serve delicious raw foods six days a week from 12pm - 6pm and we take orders via our website at -Place an Order as well as eating in our cafe during hours!

You can also take a class to learn how you can holistically better your health through nutrition.

Why Gut Health is so Important for your Overall Well Being?

Why gut health is so important for your overall well being

Everything that you eat gets processed by your digestive system. Whether you suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or even just occasional acid reflux, what you eat and the health of your gut has a significant impact on your overall health. It is likely that you have suffered from some form of digestive discomfort or may be battling with more serious digestive diseases, such as colitis or diverticulitis. Although, it is important and comforting to know that there are all natural steps that you can take to help alleviate or eliminate the problem(s) and restore your gut health, which will increase your overall well being. 

What is good gut health? 

Naturopath Virginia BeachYour health and the health of your gut is determined by how the nutrients are absorbed, while at the same time protecting you against toxins, allergens, and harmful microbes. Everything that you eat has a balance of things that you want and need in your body (nutrients), and things that you want to keep out (toxins, allergens, and microbes). Your gut, as well as your digestive system as a whole, is responsible for maintaining the delicate balance of absorption and protection. It needs to be in optimal condition to keep your body from developing irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), diverticulitis, or a range of other digestive diseases. The more you focus on increasing your gut health, through proper nutrition, supplements, and natural health treatments, the better that it can do its job efficiently supporting your immune system and overall health. 

Why your gut health may not be where you want it 

Even when you know what you are supposed to be eating and doing to balance your gut health, it can be difficult to adhere to these guidelines all of the time; for perfect gut health. There are plenty of different things that disrupt your gut health and digestive system that may lead to colitis, diverticulitis, irritable bowel syndrome, or even cancer, if they are not reduced or eliminated. These things can include:

  • Certain Medications - while it is important to take the medications as prescribed by your physician, the overuse of medications-especially over-the-counter anti-inflammatory or antacid medication, steroids, and/or antibiotics-can damage or block the normal functions of the gut.
  • Chronic bacterial imbalances - even having the digestive system slightly out of balance can have a significant impact over time, that can cause yeast overgrowth, parasites, colitis, or more damaging gut disorders.
  • Environmental toxins - ingestion of toxins such as mercury or mold, can have a significant impact on how your gut absorbs nutrients-leading to deficiencies. 
  • Stress - stress-particularly chronic stress-can impact your gut health and alter the ratios of good bacteria that are present. Natural Health Virginia Beach

How to keep your gut healthy 

Now that you understand the importance of your gut health there are a number of different things that you can do to increase the good, while minimizing the harmful things. The more that you can focus on increasing your gut health the less likely you will have to deal with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), or even frequent heartburn. Here are a few great things to focus on when wanting to increase gut health:

  • Cut out food allergens - depending on your own allergies (you may have more than you think) eliminating some or all of the following can have a tremendous impact on your gut health and overall well being: gluten, dairy, soy, corn, and yeasts.
  • Take supplements - there are plenty of good supplements that you can take to increase your gut health and the best include: digestive enzymes, probiotics, omega fatty-acids, and zinc 

Paying attention to your gut health will help you increase your energy and improve your overall quality of life. Now that you know a little bit more about your gut and what it needs to be healthy you can start by taking action, either by adding some of the good things or eliminating some of the bad. If you are in the area the Essential Wellness Virginia Beach, VA, health center is a great place to get more information and support for your gut health, as well as your overall well being. If you would like more information about your gut health, please set up a tour or a complimentary 15 mins wellness exam to discuss your health concerns. 

Raw Food Recipe: Cacao Walnut Fudge

This whole foods recipe from our raw food cafe, Living Foods in Virginia Beach, VA, follows our Raw Food Class of the Week. Chocolate and cocoa have long been considered unhealthy, sugary foods, but since they derive from cacao seeds, they are actually extremely beneficial to our overall natural wellness. Cacao is loaded with anti-oxidant flavanols, holding a higher amount than red wine and green tea. Cacao is also a nutritional remedy: it can lower blood pressure, which is why it is sometimes used to treat migraines. Learn how to incorporate cacao into a delicious whole foods meal.

Cacao Walnut Fudge

raw food recipes


1 cup Almond Butter (To create almond butter: take 2 cups of almonds. Place almonds in food processor. Process, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. It will take anywhere from 6 to 12 minutes for the butter to form. You will go through a few stages: first, a coarse meal; second, it will ball up; third, it will start to spread out; and finally, after the correct amount of time, you will see the oils have released and the butter is shiny. Be patient. The butter heats up but never gets over 100 degrees. Makes 1 cup of
almond butter.)

1/2 cup Cacao Powder

1/4 cup Grade B Maple Syrup

1/2 cup Walnuts (chopped)


1. Mix together almond butter, cacao powder and agave. It is easiest to do this with your

2. Once mixture is well combined, mix in the walnuts. You can put this in an 8 x 8 sq pan or 
use a mold.

3. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Food as Medicine or Medicinal Value of Food

Unprocessed cacao has an enormous 10% antioxidant concentration level. It is twice as high as the antioxidant concentration in processed cocoa and ten times as high as blueberries. This vasodilation has the benefit of lowering blood pressure. It is also key to why cacao can assist with migraines. It is thought that dark chocolate also improves the cellular functioning of those cells lining blood vessels. It causes the blood vessels to be more flexible and lowers the risk of hardening of the arteries. The antioxidants in cacao are also shown to lower LDL (bad cholesterol).

Walnuts are an excellent source of anti-inflammatory omega-3 essential fatty acids, in the form of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Walnuts are also rich in antioxidants, including being a very good source of copper. Many other minerals are provided by walnuts in valuable amounts. These minerals include calcium, chromium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, vanadium and zinc. Vitamin B6, while not especially concentrated in walnuts, may be more bioavailable in this food

About Raw Food

We serve whole, raw foods in our raw foods cafe, Living Foods, located in Virginia Beach VA. It is consistent of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds, and we only use real whole foods to prepare delicious dishes. Living Foods Cafe believes in raw food nutrition through whole foods, raw food education through our raw food classes, and organic raw food through our delicious local food items. We serve delicious raw foods six days a week from 12pm - 6pm and we take orders via our website at -Place an Order as well as eating in our cafe during hours!!

Take a class to learn more about holistic nutrition!


Raw Food Recipes: Kale Chips

This recipe is from our all things green themed raw food class of the week. It is important to add lots of greenery into our meals inorder to support the bodies ability to heal. Green foods mean oxygen for our cells, they also mean support for the body to repair. Plant based foods provide nutrients for our bodies for nourishing our cells and detoxifying our blood for healing. The more green foods we consume the more healthy our bodies become, the chlorophyll provides our body with key phytonutrients that we use for everyday tasks.

Kale Chips

Raw Food RecipeIngredients

2 cups Kale (many varieties are available I tend to like the dino kale)

1/2 cup Olive Oil (you can use just about any oil, such as flax oil, avocado, etc)

Seasoning of choice (I like Garlic, Onion Powder, Turmeric, Cayenne mix)

You can use fresh herbs, but I prefer the dried ones they stick the best to the kale leaves



  1. I grab two bowls (one for prep and one for finished chips)
  2. With one bowl I pour the oil, depending on how many kale chips will depend on how much oil you pour. Sprinkle the seasoning of your choice in the bowl and mix with a spoon for even distribution. Once you have your "batter" start dunking!!
  3. Dunk each "chip" into the bowl and then take it out. Massage the individual kale chip to straighten the kale as much as you can, but also massage all of the oil and seasoning into the leaf. You will get slightly messy with this recipe but not to worry the work will be worth it.
  4. Once your finished bowl is complete you can throw these in a dehydrator for 12 hours at 95 degrees or you can bake in the oven for severla hours with the door open at 200 degrees. The dehydrating times may vary and should depend on how crispy you want your chips. Food is still considered raw when heated at no hire than 115 degrees. Dehydration is ideal, however if you only have an oven that will work similarly. 

Food as Medicine or Medicinal Value of Food

Kale is a Vitamin K powerhouse. Amazing there is so limited research on this food, but it is excellent in vitamins and nutrients.  

The isothiocyanates (ITCs) made from kale's glucosinolates have been shown to help regulate detox activities in our cells. These ITC compounds boost the bodies immune system abilities alowing for more oxygen to enter the cell. Lipoic acid found in kale also recycles glutothione, the master antioxidant, necessary for compating oxidative damage. 

Olive Oil has healthy monounsaturated fat helpful for combating cardiovascular risk by providing anti-inflammatory nutrients to the arterial walls. The healthy fat also comes from oleilic acid, which is chalked filled with omega 9 essential fatty acids, helpful to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. Another interesting aspect of Olive Oil is the numerous polyphenols that prevent unhealthy bacterias from lingering in the digestive tract creating infections. One in particular is H.Pylori a type one carcinogen.

Depending on the herbs you use can have various health benefits. Garlic and onion are both expectorants as well as chelators that have the ability to draw toxins from the cells. Adding a tumeric supports more of the anti-inflammatory benefit as well as the cayenne which can speed metabolism.  

About Raw Food

Our Raw Food Cafe located in Virginia Beach VA is consistent of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds, and we only use real whole foods to prepare delicious dishes. Living Foods Cafe believes in raw food nutrition through whole foods, raw food education through our raw food classes, and organic raw food through our delicious local food items. We serve delcious raw foods six days a week from 12pm - 6pm and we take orders via our website at -Place an Order as well as eating in our cafe during hours!!

Welcome to my Natural Health Channel

Over the last 15+ years, I have researched, experienced, been taught, have taught, and practiced hundreds (if not thousands) of modailites in natural health. I believe in the idea and philosophy that the body can heal oneself and that natural health care treatment is a part of that journey. Through the years of working in various professional environments, I thought to myself (as many of us in natural holisitic healing), how can I build a natural health wellness center that incorporates all of these amazing modalities under one roof? How can I combine convience of conventional medicine with the wisdom alternative medicine, providing a natural health and wellness center, where people can go that healing is their number one priority. natural health and wellness center

I did not want a boring pastel natural medicine doctor office. I did not want a spa either, where people could come once a year and "pamper" themselves. As if taking care of oneself was really pampering or going to a natural healing clinic is a gift. Sure it feels good, but it is also good for you. Natural health care treatment practices should be a part of ones life, not as a treat or on an occasion, but as a regular regimen like brushing your teeth or combing your hair. You incorporate it into your daily life, making it a priority. It does not have to be everyday that you come to our natural wellness clinic, but at least once a week. You deserve a time out from all that life has to offer, because it offers a lot, and you need to time to heal and reflect.

natural holistic medicineSometimes in my life, the challenges outweight the circumstances, but in my mind I know that I have built a sanctuary for people to come and seek refuge. At Essential Wellness Center time often slows down, and although we keep to a schedule we want for the experience to be a healing sanctuary, one that is helpful and healing to ones body, mind, and spirit. When you come try to leave your cell phone in the car, it will be there when you come out, I promise. Try to close your eyes while you are in a detoxification service, or enjoying all of the flavors in the raw food cafe. Speak with the people around you, get to know other health seekers, just like you. We are all a part of a community, a network of people looking to get well, get healthy, and most of all help you along your journey.

I am proud to say, I have seen friendships built in essential wellness center, business being exchanged, and a true care of each other and each other's welfare. It has made me quite hopeful of the future of this world. I envision a world where we can help each other, on all levels. A place where people are connected in many ways and support one another for the greater good of humanity. Call me a humanitarian of sorts, but I want that for all of us. I want peace and healing for all of us, because we deserve it and are worthy to have it all. Natural Healthcare treatment

Today I introduce, my new YouTube channel; EssentialWellnessCtr. This is a video diary of my center, my philosophies, my reciepes, my interests, modalities, and experiences in natural health. I want to share this with you. So, when you can't make it to the Essential Wellness Center, the natural health and healing can come to you. I am excited to share things with you, I think it is going to be fun. Here is the link to my first video; a short two minute clip about the center. Tell me what you think; I'm excited to hear your feedback. 

Thank you for supporting my vision to bring natural holistic medicine to people, it makes every experience I have had on the planet more fulfilling knowing that I am making a difference in your life. ~Chow Bella


Raw Food Recipe Breakfast: "RAWgurt"

This raw food recipe was inspired by our raw food classes in Virginia Beach VA of the week: Raw Food Breakfast. This raw food fiber-rich and vitamin-dense vegan yogurt provides a healthy and nutritious boost of energy in the morning, while also healing your body with antioxidants. Those in search of a healthier start to the day will appreciate the benefits of RAWgurt. Raw foods ingredients used include energizing nutrients and minerals, and this vegan yogurt can serve as a healthier alternative in a raw foods diet to a cup of coffee. Read on to learn more facts about nutrition in this raw vegan organic breakfast recipe.



Raw Food Classes Virginia Beach Va1/2 Avocado

1/2 Banana

1/2 Apple

1 Teaspoon Cinnamon

1 Teaspoon Nutmeg

1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

(Blueberries and Granola to top)


Take a food processor and add the ingredients. Chop and blend all ingredients together until the vegan yogurt becomes smooth. Top with your favorite granola and enjoy!

Food as Medicine or Medicinal Value of Food

Bananas are essential in energy production. With their multitude of nutrients and vitamins, they also help relieve constipation, diarrhea, and stomach ulcers. Bananas are an excellent source of vitamin B6 and provide equally good amounts of vitamin C, potassium, dietary fiber, phosphorous, and manganese. Because of their abundance of vitamins and minerals, bananas can replace caffeine in a raw foods diet as an organic mid-day energy boost.

Apples are a good source of fiber, including the soluble fiber, pectin. These soluble fibers bind with fats in the intestine, a process that can lower cholesterol levels. They also provide vitamin C, a nutritional remedy and antioxidant that slows down the effects of damage from the free radicals that you'll encounter throughout the day.


About Raw Food

Our Raw Food Cafe located in Virginia Beach VA is consistent of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds, and we only use real whole foods to prepare delicious dishes. Living Foods Cafe believes in raw food nutrition through whole foods, raw food education through our raw food classes, and organic raw food through our delicious local food items. We serve delcious raw foods six days a week from 12pm - 6pm and we take orders via our website at -Place an Order


Why Most People Do Not Have Optimal Health.

Erica SteeleMany people come to my natural medicine office believing that they are going to be addressed with quick fixes, elixirs, potions, and magic. The truth is, natural medicine (naturopathy) is magic, however it takes time to work... effectively. We as a society have been spoiled with the emergent nature of allopathic medicine. We get sick, we go to the doctor, they give us a pill, we take it, and we are fixed. This is far from the case, unfortunately. Our illusion of health creates just as much disease as our actual disease process and denial is potentially fatal to your health. 

So, why do most people not have optimal health. Let's explore this for a moment. These are five factors that prevent people from having optimal health.

1. Fear - Many people are stifled with fear about their health. They assume the worse and so they bury their head in the sand hoping that it goes away. Well if you do not attend to your health it surely will go away. Additionally, people fear change, but you know what they say about doing the same thing and expecting a different result.

Stethoscope2. Control - Control is an illusion, however people assume that they will no longer have control over their lives if they change by getting well. This is far from the case. The current situation of disease is predictable, you know that you are going to be tired everyday, or you are going to feel sick and bloated, however you don't know that letting go could help you heal. Holding on to what no longer serves us is important to your healing process.  

3. Trust or a Lack of Faith - There are a lot of oil salesman about, believe me. With lots of information coming from many sources it is difficult to determine what to believe in regards to your health. One source says one thing while another source has conflicting information, both sound legitimate so it can be tedious to determine what is the right choice for you. This is where the help of a naturopath comes in as they are trained and exposed to emerging research, understanding differences between fads and healing. Additionally, they have your health and physical so they can see your bodies health. 

4. Undereducated - Many people are unfamiliar with naturopathy, natural medicine, and the like and assume that the only way is the way of allopathic medicine. In some cases allopathic medicine is recommended (If you break your leg, go to a MD for care). The purpose or job of your naturopath or natural medicine practitioner is to educate you on your body as well as possible courses of treatment. You are in a partnership with them to heal you. Asking questions is vital to this process. Help Books

5. Patience - We all want to get well and heal tomorrow. I often tell my patients if I could tell you when, or guarantee a time frame for you to get well, I wouldn't be here performing natural medicine in Virginia Beach. I would be on a beach, in Aruba, Belize, any island with warm weather, sandy beaches, etc. This is a journey, it takes time, however it is worth the perseverance. 


Natural holistic medicine takes time, patience, perseverance, trust, and a willingness to change. If you have at least an open mind, a good naturopath can guide you through the rest. I often ask my patients on a scale of 1 - 10 how ready are they to get well. It truly takes determination to persevere through health and at times your symptoms may get worse before they get better. Every persons healing process is so different, and I learn just as much as you learn in the process. That is why they call natural medicine, a practice. You never graduate, just continuously learn. That is what I love about natural medicine, you can never get bored and if you do, your not paying attention....

If you have any questions about how to get well, feel free to leave your questions in the comment box. It is a journey and sometimes a tour guide can help steer you on track. 

With the Greatest Of Abundant Health,


Erica Steele, 

DNM Natural Medicine

Founder of Essential Wellness Center & Living Foods Cafe

Wheatgrass Wednesday at Living Foods Cafe

Wheatgrass WedsThis Wednesday at our raw food cafe, Living Foods Cafe, in Virginia Beach, Va we will be featuring delicious samplings from our NEW Spring Menu. Locally grown wheatgrass will be served, tours of our facility, featuring our new HERBAL Compounding Room. 

These are some of our exciting offerings THIS WEDS 

  • Half Off Wheatgrass shots
  • Wheatgrass Subscriptions Available
  • Free Spring Menu Samplings
  • Tours of our Facility
  • Drawing for Detox Services
  • Drawing for Blood Work Review
  • ....and more!!

Living Foods Cafe is a cafe dedicated to whole food nutrition, raw foods, and healthy foods that are wholesome, anti-inflammatory foods, and delicious. We also educate the public on raw food nutrition, whole food nutrition, healing with foods, and using food as medicine. 

Healing Sound Therapy with Estaryia Venus

Sound TherapyEstarya is a brilliant woman and it is not often to run into those that resonate on a deep level, it is not a wonder that sound therapy is her calling as she is poised and graced with a deep soulful vibration. I came to the session completely open and intrigued with the therapy, as I had never experienced nor had any expectation for the experience. I laid down and a blanket was careful laid over me to keep me warm. 


As I laid there, a flickering tone appeared with an electrical vibration that shocked my system and reverberated my soul. I suddenly began to remember my eversion to noise, yet knew that I was in gentle company. I settled in and the coziness of the room reverberating with the sweet tones mesmerized my spirit and invigorated my soul. A deep vibratos echo belted out of this tiny spirit who by size comparison should not have been able to produce such a cry. Her voice was marvelous, hypnotic even, and the more she sang as the tones wafted in the air the more I felt connected to our native kinship. This is a healer, I thought. This was intriguing and just as my mind raced my soul detached from it. 

Sound Therapy  

Suddenly, I felt the energy generating around my heart and a release of tension. I was finally letting go and drifting into the unknown, leaving my body and clearing my mind. I allowed for the music to take hold of me, creating a trance for me to escape. This was my ministry. This was my energy. This was my connection to great spirit. I envisioned myself in my native lands, as the native american connection and energy to myself settled in between the notes. Toxins released, music wafted, and I became embraced with the sensations of great spirit reviving my soul. A sweet childlike energy emerged from my soul and I felt as though I generated great peace for myself in my experience. A calming synergy, and delicate embrace of mind, body, and spirit infused with sound that was powerful, rambunctious, and contagious. A true talent of serenity, braisen, and robust. Sound Therapy


Estaryia Venus is a gentle spirit, with childlike energy. She spoke with me afterward about her journey as a healer. In her early twenties she had an out of body experience while running and discovered her calling to incorporate breath, movement, and sound. Afterward, she was guided to different parts of the world to heal the land of ill will. Her travels brought her to many parts of the world making her an international sound healer. We are blessed to bring Estaryia Venus to Essential Wellness Center to perform Sound therapy combining breath, movement, and sound. She will be offering one on one sound therapy sessions at the center as well as group experiences. Classes are held on Tuesdays 7:00 - 8:10 pm. They are $30 for individual sessions or $99 for 4 sessions. Participants please wear loose, comfortable clothing. 

Creating a Community Health Center

healing community centerSo many people have lofty ideas of building community centers, specifically wellness centers. They believe they can slap a myriad of services under one roof, throw a name on the top of the building and people will understand their thought process. I learned on my journey that people will not understand your thought process unless you tell them. They will not see the synergy in the services or the organization unless you educate them. Indeed the very premise of a wellness center should be education. One should leave a wellness center learning more about their bodies, themselves, and become more inspired and invigorated to stay on the healthy path. After all, it does take a bit of tenacity and perseverance to maintain greater health. Especially with the plethora of temptations from food vendors and public health initiatives, as well as even our own mental limitations of what we believe health should be.Still we press on so that with a little help and guidance, we can maintain our health for years to come.

The only health care reform is through prevention. We must take care of ourselves or else we will get ill. Try not changing the oil in your car or exchanging the tires and spark plugs and see how long your "little engine that could" continues purring. It won't be long before you are stranded by the side of the road waiting for AAA to show to tow you back to safety. But where is the AAA for the body (surely the ambulance) and where are they going to tow you to? The hospital. Hospital in latin means 'a place to die', so hopefully those missed spark plug changes don't lead you into engine failure. Even if you know nothing about cars, surely there are manuals, books and too many seemingly credible Youtube videos that can steer you on the right path? When it comes to the health of the body, there are so many paths and directions that one can get lost just looking for a road sign.

Direction to health What saddens me the most is that people must wait until the inevitable before they do something about their health. "I won't change until I have a stroke or when I am on 10 medications and I get tired of consuming them". I feel as though these are the things we truly struggle with. Sometimes the change is so great, and the pain is so tremendous that we would rather stay where we are because the fear of the unknown is far too troubling. However, if we push past this pain, we can move forward both with our health and with our life. Until we face the pain of ourselves, health will always be just outside of our grasp. You do not need to be ready to change today, tomorrow, or in a week from now; but you can be curious. Hopefully my center will peak your curiosity, your inspiration, and your willingness and desire to change. Perhaps the people you meet here will change or add to your life. Perhaps the knowledge you will gain will complete your life. 

My wellness center is not intended to be a road map, but rather a compliment to your journey, a tour guide if you will. Over here we have raw food, while over here we have detoxification, and here we have classes. I never want to push my own agendas or say this way is the only way or the right way. What works for one can be detrimental to others, the idea of right and wrong soultions is illusionary at best. So it is important to be understanding, compassionate, and empathetic with everyone's journey. Over the many years I have been in natural health I have seen fads come and go (sometimes I went with them), while other times I have sat back and watched as the tide passed. One thing is for certain, health is not a fad. Health is a necessity. You can have the most abundant bank account, 401K, Stocks, Bonds, and liquid assets; but without your health, you are doomed.
Grow healthy

I am not trying to change your mind or fix anything that you feel may be broken in your life. I am just here to be your cheerleader, your support person, and share my passion with natural health; because maybe, just maybe, my passion will become your passion. And as our passion spreads and we can heal not only ourselves but each other and others, until the world is filled with health and healing. We can rise our consciousness up, advance our minds and open our hearts. Perhaps the center can be a place of unity. A place of peace. A place of community. After all, Essential Wellness is not just my center, it is your center too. Essential Wellness is a community center, very organic, naturally delicious, peaceful, and free from personal agenda. The raw food café offers a variety of experiences to bound with people of similar interests while learning to use food as medicine. Our detoxification center and alternative medicine consultations help to purify our bodies and minds. I do hope I see you around.

If you are looking for a place to share your passion, contact us. If you have something in mind that you are looking for, ask us. If you need a referral, tell us. We have a wealth of opportunities, relationships, and room to add you into our family. I hope that you feel like you are family when you come to the center. I hope that you feel heard when you come to the center and that you leave feeling as though you have gotten what you need. They say it takes a village to raise a child, yet I believe we never really grow up. We need more than a village. We need a community, we need a family, we need friends, and we need people to support us in our journey. Sometimes we need to laugh, sometimes we need to cry, and sometimes we need to escape. The center can serve this purpose and many more for you. This is the beginning of creating a community health center just for you.

Spiritual Wellness: The Medicine Wheel

native americanAside from my upbringing in medical labs I had an incredible experience growing up as a practicing Native American. My mother during my early upbringing had really connected with her Native American heritage as a Blackfoot and Cherokee, so I was able to work at the helm of her discoveries at a young age of around 9 years old. Growing up my mother was a great medicine women, and I attribute much of her struggle as a reason for her strong intentful energy. No one to this day have I met that comes close to matching that. I can only surmise that through her troubled upbringing of painful abuse that she developed this illustrious outer shell as a means of protecting herself. The energy that she put off reminded me almost of a bulldog protecting a junk yard, growling and snapping the choke chain as you near. Aside from the bulldog mentality I believe that inside that gate lye a very gifted person, as I see within many of those that are hurt within. It is truly up to us to uncover those hurts redirect our victim mentality to breathe new life and energy into our experiences converting them over into positives. My mother could never do that, she could never see past the chained linked fence, but instead continued to bark at those who ever got close to discovering the treasure that lye past all of that junk. Through her journey she was continuously attempting self healing. From Reiki attunements, to re birthing sessions, to channeling her Native roots she must have tried everything to heal herself and just as I was in tow in labs I was also in tow for these spiritual rendevouzes.chakra

I first became aware of my Native American roots from her and then later on learned of my Fathers Pottawatomie roots, a trifecta of Native bliss, which brings my Native heritage to the forefront of my multidimensional ancestry. Not only does it pigment my skin, but also my energy. I can feel the clarity of it, the grandfather, and grandmother nature of things. The dynamics and the force of all aspects of oneself. Growing up in this way gave me a greater understanding of energy and I feel so very blessed that my mother exposed me to such history. I was raised doing Native American ceremony, and sweat lodges much became my church until my mother decided to revisit Christianity. I have many fond memories of me making prayer ties out of gently cut colored fabrics, positioning balled up tobacco in all the six directions, and then bringing them to my heart (the seventh direction) for prayer before placing this now finely tight ball of tobacco in the center of the fabric wrapping it with yarn, creating a satchel of vision. I was a young visionary, bright, reflective, intensive, and very studious picking up all that was around me.

HasieAt the time a part Cherokee and Caucasian healer was very prominent and my mother followed her teachings almost exclusively. It wasn't until an incident in ceremony that my mother suffered a spiritual heart attack and this women layed on her almost to suffocate her that my God mother stepped into her life, Lakota Hasie, in an attempt to save it. This was a big turning point in my mothers life when she was able to take on a teacher to show her the way. Lakota offered her guidance with a genuine native approach. She was loving, kind, and had a soft yet powerful energy. I love her very much and still seek out her insight on unworldly things. She is Lakota, Albanoki, and Sioux blood with some French to boot. Her long native black hair reminded me of silk and her jawline was squared yet dainty serving her lips up in the perfect pout that reminded me of a cute little chipmunk. I adored her, her energy, and what she represented. Her teachings inspired me and helped me see much of my own turmoil past my mother's. She became a fixture in my upbringing and I have learned a tremendous amount of spirituality from this woman.

After that experience with the heart attack, my mother began taking us to Hasie's lodges. The heat from them was enough to burn off any aggressions, yet the cooling air of her land with animals at large brought a sense of natural beauty to the farm. After teachings in her living room that reminded me of a native american history museum we would set out to our walk to the back of her home where the fire tenders worked the fires and the wigwam was prepared for ceremony. I also became fond of firetending with my mom and bonded with her over things during these times. This became much of our mission. I was the older of three children that participated while my older sister was away at college. This was my time of bonding with my mom, not living in the shadow of my very productive sister, who I also love dearly. The native american medicine that my mother passed down to me was much of a blessing and I give her thanks and gratitude for her discovery.

Prayer tiesI learned about the medicine wheel early on. The four directions are the east, the south, the west, and the north followed by father sky, the masculine and mother earth the feminine. Each direction is represented by their perspective color. The east yellow, south black, west red, north white, father sky blue, mother earth green, and the final direction the heart where all things come to is represented by pink. You always enter in the east of the wheel in the physical body, and that carries into the south the emotional body, followed by the west the mental body, as well as the north the spiritual body. All these directions are applicable to all aspects of our lives and I can truly for the first time see my evolution of the wellness center into the future. medicine wheel


I began in 2009, in the physical working toward the building, working the physical aspects of self. Producing, making a name for myself, all physical aspects of self as it applies to business. Followed by the emotional aspects, the constant up and down the rollercoaster ride of success and failures on multiple levels. Facing myself and my emotional struggles, facing my past, the future having to come to peace and acceptance of self in order to bring my vision into reality. It has been a true journey and the mental capacities. The incorrect perceptions, lack of boundaries, and thoughts of inadequecies that plagued my company from day one serves to the west the mental, in which in the present I am finally breaking free. Finally, the north. I have never graced this frontier in my company, in my vision. How am I to bring Essential Wellness into the forefront without the spirit, surely it is unachieveable without it. And perhaps as I venture on to my discovery of medicine I understand that this is the originator of disease. The spiritual sickness that plagues many of us from health, people like my mother. Who could not overcome the depths of her journey and also akin to my father play the tapes again and again without a fast forward.

See as I perceive it disease develops in the spiritual plain, from there it progresses to the mental body, which then projects to the emotional body, after which it produces disease of the physical body. I believe we are looking at the systems entirely wrong and our idea of healing is that of superficial consciousness. How do we look at disease on the spiritual plane? How do we understand spiritual manifestations? How do we determine what arises? And how can we heal it? Well this is my life's work anyway. My discoveries and my aptitude for knowledge continue to be quenched because as I go deeper within myself I learn more and more answers. So therefore the healing must come from within all of us. We just have to determine when the journey will begin.

My Beginning in Natural Medicine by Erica Steele

My first experiences with medicine was before grade school and my love of medicine I credit to my Mother. My mother was a bachelors student with her heart set out on being a doctor. She took me to many college classes with her in lieu of hiring a babysitter. As a single mother of two girls undergoing a college education, it was expensive to hire nannies plus keep the necessities on the table. It was a nice consolation for me because I got to run around clinical laboratories. I still remember the strange smell of the lab rooms and the site of the test tubes with all the various microorganisms in them with interesting binoculars, which I would later identify as a microscope. My mother was still pretty put together at this point, and I gleaned at her with such respect. I never understood the depth of her pain and struggle until I got older, experiencing much of my own; but at this moment she was magical.MARC program

My mother was a medical genius. She was sharp, astute, educated, yet rageful. She could recite medical terminology as though it were her first language of fluency, but swore like the military person she was. She never really understood what adult versus child's language really was, yet she used both languages with poise and grace. Damn Sternocleidomastoid !! (OK so I am ad libbing here but you get the idea with a touch more vulgarity.) One of my mother's professors had taken in interest in her work and felt that she exhibited great prowess in her field of study, so he suggested that she enroll in the MARCS program. The MARCS program is developed by NIH to serve the underrepresented in the field of biomedical sciences. This includes populations of Hispanics, African Americans, Native Americans, and the like. My mother's heritage spanned over at least two sects and her skill set was also eagerly accepted.

The folks that are represented by the MARC's program are the highly anticipated new doctors of the up and coming classes. These are the pioneers, the scientists, the brains, and the new blood arriving into medicine (no pun intended). My mother was considered one of them, child in tow. I loved the labs. The smell. The coats. The white. The microscopes even reminded me of the old fashioned red viewmasters. viewmasterEverything intrigued me about them. A girl could explore for hours in these places. Consequently my father had also remarried a gal with much affinity to laboratories. She was/is a medical geneticist with an emphasis in DNA and embryology. I too was given the freedom to run and play around her lab. I was a lucky girl learning the ropes in the medical kingdom, far before I knew it would be relevant. 

organic chemistry cool kids keychain p146982974391214626env08 400 resized 600I vaguely remember an experience in my upbringing when I was being shlept to an organic chem class with my mom. The professor was lecturing on and on to this day I do not remember the subject, but it surely was appealing at the time. The professor asked a question of the class and I raised my hand. The professor called on me as almost a humorous gesture to entertain both undergrad and grad studies, perhaps to lighten the staunch mood of education and the mental anguish which ensued in studying the subject. To his and everyone's chagrin I answered correctly. Shocked the entire room turned towards me in dismay at this little person no older than 8 or 9. I believe this is when everyone discovered my beginning in medicine and I discovered my love of it, natural elements and all.

I fondly look back at that memory in earnestness. Now I am able to truly understand the magic of that moment. Perhaps if I would have gone on to become a journalist, an educator, or a musician I could not truly appreciate the depths of that discovery. I truly love medicine, everything about it. There is an art to it and where some learn to carefully color well within the lines I enjoy the absurdity of coloring outside of them. I love the bright colors that you can enrich the portrait with and whether those colors are biochemical analytes or multicolored Crayola's I can find the magic within them. For some odd reason when I look at lab results I don't just see high's and lo's. I see life. I see energy. I see the ability to heal the body. I can see where disease begins and where it can end. I can see cause and effect. And just as the labs intrigued me as a young girl, I now have found that biochemistry intrigues me even more, for now I understand what is behind those viewmasters and where the products of those test tubes originate from.

crayon zodiac diem chau sojourn packer schopf gallery resized 600 Medicine is magic, medicine is inspirational, and perhaps if you don't have a doctor that believes that still, perhaps you should find one that does. I'm not suggesting that that doctor be me, in fact, I encourage you to find a doctor that suits you. One that answers your questions, doesn't stop guessing, and is not afraid to break out a book or ask a question. Your doctor should understand you and connect with you, someone who is willing to look past the lines and perhaps see the person in front of their medical chart. I guess in order to understand the person in front of the medical chart, you first must understand the person reading the chart, as your perspective on your own experiences is going to color your appearance of others, multicolored Crayola's and all. 


Essential Wellness: To the Faithfully Departed: A Thanksgiving Story

To the Faithfully Departed: A Thanksgiving Story

Erica SteeleFirst, I would like to point out that I would not be who I am today without the people that I have encountered. Without their sheer determination and persistence to pull me down I would not have had the capacity, nor the resiliency to overcome. I have been beaten, battered, and bruised. Molested, insecested, abused, and used. Through my sheer determination I have seen my way through and for that I am thankful and appreciative to a higher source who guided me along the way.

To my Parents who after giving birth to me could not look past their own selfish agendas to see what I needed, and they were required to give as parents... I thank you.

To my Father, who was more interested in my breasts and what he can do to me sexually, than in my intellect and ability to prosper... I thank you.

To my Mother, her jealousy, rage and indifference searching aimlessly for a way to benefit from my pain... I thank you

To all the guidance counselors, school officials, and the like who turned away to avoid facing the truth... I thank you

To all of the people along the way who thought I was crazy for opening a business in 2009, when businesses were closing and banks were not lending... I thank you

To the women’s organizations in the area who pretend to be supportive of me and my company, but instead talk behind my back and drag my name through the mud... I thank you

To the countless staff members that I had to fire, that stole from me, ignored my direction, slandered my name, and almost cost me my business... I thank you

To my First husband, who was more interested in selling drugs and being a hot shot drug dealer than raising a child that we created... I thank you EWC

To my Second husband, who allowed his ego and need to control me ruin our marriage instead of listen... I thank you

To all the low life boyfriends, girlfriends, and sexual partners who wanted nearly more than a hot piece of ass than to actually appreciate me... I thank you

To all the previous contractors who attempted to rape me of profits, pillage my dreams, and build their own businesses to sacrifice mine... I thank you

To the Chamber of Commerces and their old, unoriginal ideals with their delusions of innovation... I thank you

To the people that did not believe in me. Spited me. Told me I was crazy. Berated me. Were envious, vindictive, and sought what they could get from me instead of how they could support me... I thank you.

To every company I worked like a slave for, gave my talents to, shared my insight with, and got little if nothing but experience in return... I thank you

IMG 6602 resized 600To the patrons who came into my center with nothing but ridicule, negativity, and criticism despite my efforts to please... I thank you.

For all of the people who reviewed me on Google, Yelp, and the like who decided it was best to passively and publicly rip me and my company apart instead of sending me an email or calling me on the phone... I thank you

To the oh holier than though, better than me, uppity, arrogant people who turn their nose up at me despite my efforts... I thank you

To the “business leaders” of the community who told me that I wouldn’t make it in this town... I thank you

To the multiple times I was passed over for awards or positions. Not recognized for my blood, sweat, and tears, but instead pacified with a fake pat on the back... I thank you and every time.

Granted I am not perfect. Surely I am not always right. Of course I need some improvement, but dammit I work hard. I put my heart and my soul into everything that I do. I can be given a notebook and turn into into a volume of ideas. I am a visionary, a heretic, a progression of our times. I think outside the box while folding it into origama. I break the mold, and melt the ice. I am comfortable in my own skin. I challenge peoples ideals, agendas, points of interest. I am against the grain, and I wear down the earth that I stand so grounded on. broken heart resized 600
I have seen unimaginable saddness, pain, and illness, yet I continue to count my blessings, heal myself, to hopefully become like the pide piper whistling a tune. With so many people in pain out there, someone has to stop the music and I have chosen to be the composer in a Natural Health masterpiece. No one understands or has seen my struggles, no one really knows why my life has gone this way up until now; yet I climb out of bed still slap a smile on my face and serve the public as the healer that I was born to be. See I was groomed for this from day one, as I was born into chaos to study insanity. Creating analytes from excercisim, turning peace inside out. I know what it means to be sick and now I finally know what it means to be well. I have learned the Essentials, branded my credentials and I will not stop until I reach the top. Essential Wellness is the mark of the future. All of us must take control of our health. The rise of chronic disease must end with us and the healing of both our minds and our bodies must unite in order to succeed. I have only begun the fight, but I need an army. I need you, each and every one of you. you. and you. Support through and find health in the body you must first find peace in the mind... I shall tell my story of how I found peace within myself and my mind through the most trying of times, so perhaps you can see the human being inside all of the carefully contructed business interactions, wellness center services, and perhaps a deeper understanding of how I came to build the wellness center of our times.

Diabetes Free A Naturopathic Approach to Healing

Diabetes is a condition that affects almost 26 million people in America with 79 million people that are prediabetic. Diabetes is a condition that can be prevented and reversed when treated properly. Understanding the condition is the first step in discovering how to reverse it.

Diabetes Diabetes begins with the inability to properly convert glucose in the blood. Energy comes from the digestion and assimilation of 3 macro nutrients Carbohydrates, Proteins, and Fats. The body must have an ample supply of B complex nutrients, B1, B2, B3, B5 as well as lipoate, to digest and assimilate Carbohydrates and Proteins. If the patient has deficiencies in these nutrients they will be unable to properly convert carbs into glucose. Furthermore, if deficiencies are even worse they will be unable to digest proteins effectively. Fats require carnitine in order to make energy.

The pancreas also produces little to no insulin and can be depleted of pancreatic enzymes. This can come from parasitic activity in the GI system and from a number of other autoimmune metabolic syndromes. leaky gut

B complex and lipoate deficiencies and the secretory IgA, the first mucosal barrier in the GI system, is broken down by stress, pharmaceutical usage, and a poor diet. Many times foods with bread, pasta, rice, yeast, etc are toxic (as well as destructive to the microvilli) and accumulate excessive amounts of unhealthy bacterias in the system. Rebuilding B complexes and lipoate as well as cleaning the GI tract of unhealthy bacteria is key to healing the body of diabetes and preparing it to be able to digest and assimilate again.Leaky Gut progression can contribute to the outcome of diabetic issues. As the cells begin to separate in the digestive lumen toxicities begin to seep through the cells building inflammation in the blood stream and developing autoimmune syndromes such as diabetes. Repairing the mucosal barrier is the first step in healing a patient with diabetes, improving their dietary habits, and rebuilding their healthy bacterias is key to obtaining optimal health.

Changing the unhealthy habits that brought you to this point is also incredibly helpful in reversing diabetes. The diabetic raw foodie class is a great way to learn more about what to eat and what to avoid. Type 2 Diabetes treatments such as use of Metformin and Victosa can have hazardous long term effects on your health and are not truly curing the poor lifestyle habits that contribute to this disease. Discovering new ways to prepare food in a healthy manner, learning to read food labels, and educating yourself on the various nutrients required to digest and assimilate nutrients are essential to healing from this condition. 




Diabetes Testing is available to look biochemically on the overall health of the patient as well as digestion and assimilation dysfunctions. A basic blood panel to include a Comprehensive Metabolic Panel and a Complete Blood Count with Differential is important to determine what additional tests may be necessary as well as Hemoglobin A1C , C Reactive Proteins. Reversing diabetes is easier than you may think and with dedication as well as determination one can find themselves well in no time. ~Dr. e

Statistics taken from .

Fibromyalgia & Natural Treatment

Fibromyalgia is characterized by muscluar pain and tension, fatigue, malaise, headaches, depressed mood etc. Fibromyalgia can be debilitating leaving the patient feverishly trying to understand the nature of their symptoms. From a conventional medicine perspective Lyrica may be the answer, along with trigger point injections, anti-inflammatories etc. but this often does little to correct the problem and in fact can be a culprit for making matters worse for the patient.

FibromyalgiaFrom a Naturopathic perspective Fibromylagia comes from accumulated toxins and nutrient deficiencies. The body is weakened and fatigued due to a lack of nutrients getting into the sysytem. This can also produce many irritable bowel like syndromes, especially if the patient is eating foods that create inflammation and sensitvites in the patinet. Stress, unhealthy eating habits, lack of water, decreased excercise are all contributing factors which can create even more impactful flare ups for the fibromylagia.

A diet deficient in Omegas can also attribute to increased inflammation. Omega fatty acids are helpful in relieving inflammation the source of pain in a fibromyalgia patient. EPA and DHA are important Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acids, which are primarily found in fish and walnuts. ALA, another omega is found in plants such as flax seeds, a precurser to EPA and DHA. Although diet is an excellent place to begin to nurture Omegas it may not be enough when treating high inflammatory conditions such as Fibromylagia, Rhematoid Arthritis, Asthma, Alzheimers, etc.

As far as detoxification is concerned, accumulated toxins found in the system from environmental exposures can attribute to pain. Heavy metals in the system such as mercury, lead, arsenic, and the like are found in many household products and building materials. Exposures may often be undetectable and unlinkable until high inflammtory conditions such as Fibromyaligia present themselves. Fibromylagia is preventable with regular detoxification practices and a nutrient supportive diet. Patients are encourage to participate in a quarterly detox as prevention as well as maintain a minimum of a multivitamin and a probiotic to help the overall health of the body.

As the body attempts to maintain amongst nutrient deficiencies and accumulated toxins the GI system which houses 60% of the immune system generates yeast and other bacterias as a protective mechanism. This can attribute to the irritable bowel like sympoms that often plague fibromylagia patients. Yeast and bacteria can further attribute to gas, bloating, fatgue, malaise, urinary tract infections, yeast infections, etc. The higher acidity that the body creates as a result further leaves it vulnerable to opportunitstic diseases viruses, flus, sickness, congestion, and additional bacterias.

Your naturopathic practitioner is able to run several tests to determine your udnerlying causes for disease. Essential fatty acid testing can be done to uncover deficiencies including Zinc, Mag, Selenium, Copper, etc as well as food sensitivities contributing to the mineral deficiencies creating more yeast and bacterias in the system. essential fatty acids 300x288 resized 600Candida tests can also be run, but is often an expected side effect from the other dis-ease factors. Heavy metal tests can determine the toxic exposures to correct, while organic acids tests can determine greater health through nutrients designed to help you digest, assimilate, and detoxify.

Overall Fibromylagia is capable of being treated through natural medicine and can be far more effective as well as comprehensive than conventional treatments. The use of pharmaceutical intervention may be needed initially until the problems are slowly uncovered. Transitions should be done gradually and with both your conventional and nonconventional doctor on board with your personal wellness goals.

Essential Wellness Center is available and offers many discounted testing and review options to help you kick fibromyalgia for good.

Healing with Foods: SuperMarket Me Tour

Health TipSo, De and I traveled to our local supermarket with our sites set on delicious fruits, vegetables, and vegetarian nacho fixings (delectably healthy food loaded with veggies and a zesty gauc and chili base). Searching aimlessly we decided to ask a helpful checkout girl where the nearest pre made guac could be found and she walked us to the exact location. As I grabbed the container my eyes nearly crossed in disbelief, enriched sour cream processed filling had somehow made its way into what should have been a collection of pico and avocado mix. Naturally, I placed the container back on the shelf grabbed some pre-chopped pico and a coupled of avocados and called it a day. On to check out we went as our stomachs rumbled awaiting the explosion of monounsaturated fats helpful in treating Urinary tract infections, neurological inflammation, and even four grams of protein housed in the delightful avocado.

SupermarketDe explained to the checkout gal (the one that helped us initially) that we decided not to go for the prepackaged gauc. The lady looked slightly confused as I explained the sour cream scare that prevented me from purchasing. Do you not like sour cream she asked, I replied a simple no and that I also did not like what sour cream did to the body. De winced and shook her head hoping to not begin a whole food inspired evangelical lecture in the middle of said popular raw food grocer (after all it was Sunday). Intrigued the checkout girl egged me on, what’s wrong with sour cream--- well I replied lets start with the hormones, antibiotics, and curd that it is created from not to mention the inflammation and acidity that the body ensues.


In a typically naive response the check out girl said well I believe that regardless of how we eat God has us predisposed to dying at a certain age and regardless about what we eat we will still die at that time, so we should just enjoy it all while we can. This is from a biscuits and gravy eater, milk and cookies connoisseur. Now don’t get me wrong I can appreciate that form of unhealthy food consumption but based on my education specifically my gross anatomy training I have discovered that nutrition is what feeds our cells and thus can have long lasting influence on how our bodies age. I explained that 12 out of 13 Cadavers we explored during gross all of their diseases could have been prevented through a change in food and nutrition. Just as I was going to expound on my knowledge and De shrink further into the candy bar selection by the cash register the lady behind us chimmed in about her husband most recently having a heart attack and her understanding know that she must read every label and monitor every calorie in an effort to keep him healthy. Even still she explained at how expensive eating whole foods, organic foods, and raw foods could be as she loaded bacon packages, soda pop, and fiber rich cereal on the conveyer belt. In a loving manner I suggested that you could either invest in your health or subsidize your illness and not to put salt on the wound suggest that the hospital bills were far more expensive after a heart attack than the ongoing maintainencing of your vehicle through eating food for health. Furthermore, eating in the produce section is label free so the need for laboratory knowledge is irrelevant when you are eating based on the medicinal value of food, what grows in the sun and is picked or planted, and one that is a natural food diet. I am unsure of the last time I found a Kashi cereal tree.

Organic Chicken StripsI liken the healthy eating through processed foods phenomena to a mullet. Business in the front and party in the back. Organic peanut butter cookies, organic oreos... The back label says organic high fructose corn syrup.. the thought makes my eyes roll in the back of my head but companies are brilliant in there efforts to trick the general public into eating “healthy” eating "low carb" eating "low fat" eating. What are we suppose to do? How do we learn or know how to eat healthy? How are we suppose to learn the medicinal foods or natural food remedies. As we left the grocery store I realized that so many american’s are unsure of how to navigate around the grocery store and understand the relationship between food and healing or the foods for healing, thus I create a 30 day to healthy eating program and a part of this is a grocery store trip.

The grocery store trip is entitled SuperMarket Me and determines the difference between marketing and eating healthy. The SuperMarket me Tour is complimentary and a community service provided by Essential Wellness Center. Let me teach you how to navigate the grocery store like a pro understanding the difference between health and marketing while educating you on foods that reduce inflammation, foods that are helpful for the thyroid, foods that heal diabetes, etc. Participants will leave the SuperMarket trip with a map of the grocery store, get to meet the manager, and of course leave educated on food as medicine.

Cynthia Gossman Podcast on Grief at Essential Wellness

Cynthia dedicates herself to teach the professionals of our community how to companion the mourner.  Society tends to have a ‘suck it up’ and ‘get over it’ attitude mainly due to ignorance and being uncomfortable.  Awareness of the grieving process can enrich you, the professional, and the connections with your clients, patients, customers, and colleagues, therefore developing stronger, safer and more productive relationships and referrals.  Cynthia’s mission is to help educate with compassion, insight, and love. Listen as Cynthia speaks to  Erica Steele at Essential Wellness Center.

 Cynthia Gossman


Rex Hammaker, Natural Health Cancer Survivor

rex & lisa hamakerRex Hammaker, and wife Lisa got the most devistating news in 2006. At 44, Rex had been diagnosed with Prostate Cancer. In an effort to restore his health and quality of life, Rex sought expert alternative medicine advice and beat the odds to restore his natural health through nutritional medicine. In this hour long podcast Rex speaks of his journey thorugh natural health and his desire to heal form the inside out.


Natural Childbirth Podcast with doula Leslie Cuffee

Dr. Erica Steele sits down with Doula Leslie Cuffee to discuss the role of a doula in Natural Childbirth. Leslie Cuffee is an affiliate of Essential Wellness Center and provides emotional, physical, and informational support during labor and delivery. She also provides Comfort measures, breathing, as well as positioning and is a natural/normal birth advocate for our prenatal, perinatal patients.

doula leslie cuffee


Birthing Bundles Website

Bridging the Gap: Choosing a Natural Medicine Primary Care Provider

In this edition of Bridging the Gap: How to choose a Natural Primary Care Provider

10 Steps to Choosing a Natural Medicine Provider, comprehensive guide to a natural medicine clinic

1. Knowledgeable - Receiving quality care means that your primary care physician has knowledge of patient treatment from all aspects of care. Understanding conventional practices as well as natural ones is a fundamental aspect of quality care. Ensuring that the practitioner is able to advise on options from all levels and is not afraid to refer you out of their scope of practice.

2. Skilled - The practitioner you select should have an understanding and clinical training as well as experience in your condition. Asking your primary care physicians about specializations is helpful when determining which practitioner is going to be best address your needs.

3. Compassionate - In natural medicine it is imperative that your primary care provider be a good listener, understands your needs, and is able to assist you in your health goals in a loving and supportive manner. Often times natural health providers treat holistically which is consistent of emotional, spiritual, mental, as well as physical aspects of healing. One that will honor all aspects of self is imperative so that you are able to feel safe enough to get well.

balance PCP

4. Open Minded - It is important that your natural medicine primary care provider does not take an "us against them" stance. This is often why EWC does not like the term alternative medicine, because it lends itself to believe that you have to choose which aspect of care you receive. We work in conjunction with conventional medicine to bring you comprehensive integrative health care.

5. Based in Science - Just like conventional medicine, your natural medicine provider should base their findings on science. Surely, clinical application is just as important but without definitive evidence how is the best course of treatment determined? Advanced testing is what makes conventional medicine so powerful and the natural approach is what makes our approach integrative.

6. Convenience - When your child is sick and needs to get in to see someone quickly, where do they go that will serve them naturally? When you have a question about a product or ailment that is minor is it important to schedule or will an email do? Having a practitioner that has availability to suit your needs and can be available when needed is important especially one that serves natural medicine. 

natural medicine

7. Affordability - Although price should never be a factor when choosing the right practitioner making sure your natural health care provider fits into your budget can provide a sense of security and feelings of encouragement throughout the whole process. In fact, if you feel as though you are enduring financial strain from the added expense this can be a henderance to your health. Looking at payment plans, cost depreciation, flex spending options, and the like can help offset some of the upfront expense of natural medicine.

8. Philosophy - If you desire to live your life a certain way the natural medicine doctor you choose should understand and respect your values and desire for treatment. Choosing a practitioner that understands and believes in how you choose to be treated and removes their ego as well as their own agenda from treating can help to encourage your personal growth and healing.

9. Comfort - Natural healing is hard, otherwise everyone would do it. Sometimes the processing can be difficult and emotions come up, set backs are made, and inevitably you may feel as though you are standing still instead of moving forward. Finding a practitioner that can recognize your impatience, can empathize with you, as well as be honest with you even if it is not easy in a gentle, loving, and supportive way can make a huge difference in your growth.

10. Bed Side Manner - This last variable lends itself to the 9th aspect of comfort, how is the practitioner at curbing their own issues while making way for yours to come through. Often in natural health things are mirrored to us in treatment (from a practitioner standpoint) being able to disconnect from the mirror to continue to help the patient rather than creating a role reversal is imperative in honoring your healing process as a patient.



2012 Mission Statement Podcast With Erica

2012 Mission Statement Podcast With Erica Steele


Essential Wellness Center Mission Statement for 2012

2012                 At Essential Wellness, our mission is to bring affordable, natural primary care medicine to all those that seek alternatives to conventional practices through metabolic testing and natural remedies including homeopathy, botanicals, and herbs. We focus on facilitating the bodies innate self healing process regardless of the patients age, gender, sexual orientation, or creed to bring spiritual, emotional, physical, mental pain relief, prevention, as well as renewed health to all those seeking natural healing.

Founder's Message

In 2012, We mark the beginning of a very exciting time for the center as well as for those that we serve at Essential Wellness in Virginia Beach. We will have fully completed our transition to our Primary Care facility. So not only will you enjoy detox services, massage therapy, chiropractic, and the like we are now here to serve you in the best capacity possible as your natural medicine resource and primary care provider. I have been working for the last 11 years since my beginnings in natural medicine to bring a center that offers complete natural medicine to the masses in an affordable manner. In the upcoming weeks you will learn more about what our new Primary Care system has to offer and how you can access the benefits and art of natural medicine for the cost of less than a cell phone payment. Gain the healing insight that you deserve with a team of wellness professionals interested in listening to your needs. We thank you for your continued support of Essential Wellness Center and encourage you to come in and see the new Essential Wellness Center in 2012 !! ~ Sincerely,

 E photo

   Dr. E, ND ; founder of Essential Wellness Center


Health Tip : Progress not Perfection

health tip                When embarking on any new health endeavor whether that is quitting smoking, weight loss, a new excercise regimen, and the like it is important to take things one step at a time. Remembering that a lifestlye change takes time is important to your overall mental health. Not beating yourself up about mistakes made, and patting yourself on the back for small success will prove to move you forward in your quest for better health. In 2012, make it about progress not perfection so by 2013 you are moving on to bigger and better things !


Detoxification = Weight Loss = Satiety = Oral Fixation = ME

oral fixationSo, even though my goal for this detoxification is not to lose weight, but rather get healthier; I am finding that I tend to crave food more towards the evening. I am not sure if that is a feeling of comfort or cozyness that I crave. I remember when I use to eat cooked foods, instead of raw food in the evening time, I would go right for potatoes. Something about a baked potatoe with veggies, soothed my soul.

For awhile I felt that way. French fries, dairy free mashed potatoes, etc it almost represented a feeling of womb like sensation. What kind of power does a starch have to create such sensation. I looked deeper to find answers. For one, even after eating the potatoes I did not feel more satisisfed, yet instead felt gross. By gross I mean heavy. YuCk! What is this brick that just hit my stomach? Nonethless I go for it again the next night.

lobster mashed potatoes resized 600

Food is medicine and food is healing. The feel of the fluffy consistancy, melting in my mouth like a freshly fluffed pillow. I think I just fell in love. Was I recapturing a simplier time in my life by eating this way? Surely. It must be. How else could I explain why I would eat something like this, even still I can intellectualize to myself what my body will do to with this potatoe once I consume it.

As the bulbous emulsifies, breaking down into smaller and smaller molecules I begin to explore WHY I continue to eat this way. And then it hit me, an oral fixation. Even as I grind with my RAWdom I acknowledge that I am not hungry. I haven't eaten since 6pm and I feel satisfied, my belly is full and I feel complete. Yet, I want to put something in my mouth, food sounds delicious until it hits my stomach. WHY would I gorge myself. It is SO unhealthy.

I begin to relate my conudrum back to birth. I rememember reading a David Wolfe post about oral fixation and truly I am beginning to understand. Our love affair with food, our sickness with food runs so much deeper. By putting something in my mouth (anything) I feel comfort. I feel loved, acknoweldged, at peace> what have you. I feel like I can handle things. I feel like an infant in the womb and breastfeeding. After all, those are some of our first associations with food; through breastfeeding (or for some formula) but still a nipple. Are we all trying to achieve that 'high' we once got from breastfeeding. That nurturing sensation or feelings of security completness and wholism. Will me eating potatoes right now retore that feeling, unfortunetly not. So what is the point? Why should I eat it? I shall never regain that feeling once more, so I should grow up and find a new sensation, perhaps ballet or singing, old movies, or board games. Something that won't kill me silently, cunningly without me even knowing. The only symptom of a heart attack is the heart attack itself. I thought I would point that out. XoXoXo with my thought of mashed potatoes, I love you dear friend but I think it is time to break up. Don't worry its not you its me, I think I want different things for my life and we are going in seperate directions. So long, far well, it's been swell but the swelling has gone down ~ your pseduofriend miss e


P.S. It has been three weeks since our break up and I have to tell you this time apart has been great. At first it was hard, but now I feel great. Hope life is great with you and that you have a new friend. For me I have my life back free from fatigue, irritability, gas, bloating, and the like. This has truly been for the best, I just want you to know that. Peace.

What is so HOT about a disc, a tale of a Herniated Disc

bad back


Once upon a time their was a disc. Her name was 4. This disc was a sweet disc she was flexible, agreeable, understanding and best of all she had lots of friends. All of her friends were from different families you have the Cervical family, the Thoracic Family,  and at the end of the street you have the Lumbar family which 4 belongs to.

One day Lumbar 4 was walking home from school when she ran into Lumbar 5. They usually walked home from school together but this time things were different. Lumbar 5 was a little irritated today, since he had a bad day at school.

"My teacher doesn't understand me, " he said.

"We are not communicating well, I feel like I talk and talk and I am not being heard."

Lumbar 5 was referring to his teacher, and mentor the Spinal nerve of the Lumbar Segment.

"Today I was trying to communciate with her when she cut me off, without notice. I tried not to create a bulging disc or a herniated disc. No matter how much I try we still lack communication".

"Then out of nowhere she shoots her pointer at the end of the hall and creates Sciatica for all the other discs to see. Next thing you know pain referral happens, acheiness, fatigue, I can barely walk with the weakness that is in the leg and feet. She just kept going and going making my disc hotter and hotter until I LOST it !!"


"Enough was enough, I couldn't allow her to create so much pain, nerve radiation, tingling, burning, and a series of other sensations just because she couldn't control her temper."

"What did you do", L4 asked

"Well that is why I am coming to you, I need your help"

" If I cannot get any relief from the other lumbars I can depend on you, we need to fight back. We need to go out of alignment and create a subluxtion as soon as we are able to so that we can stop her in her tracks "

L4 gulped , " Your talking about a degenerative disc ".

"Yes", If she doesn't stop we are going to have to begin to take matters into our own hands and begin to contract around that nerve, and muscle tissue after all the Lumen is only so big and the two of us shealry cannot fit" !!

"I don't know, L5 that seems rather risky"

" Watch me, she isn't going to do anything to help us, like cut out inflammation, sleep better, eat better, avoid allergic foods,  and continue to exercise, we might as well create more trouble!"

Suddenly a hand pressed down on the entire Lumbar family and in a blink of an eye the feud between the Nervous system and the Lumbars ended. A sigh of relief washed over the entire body as the Chiropractor saved the day.


Are you ready for DETOXIFICATION: Signs & Symptoms?

Detox is neededWe understand that our bodies and our environment are a very toxic place. But how do we know if the toxicity has taken over and is  creating an imbalance for disease. Is there a test you can take or skills you can develop to acknowledge if detoxification is the best choice for natural health solutions?



This is a list of sure fire signs and symptoms to determine if detoxification is the answer to your woes.

1. Congestion - Congestion comes from excess mucus and can be stimulated from toxicity. Often if you wake up with or are battling allergies on a daily basis, it may be time to detox.

2. Fatigue - Toxic metals, chemicals, and the like can bog down organs from operating efficiently. When the body is bogged down it cannot function properly if you wake up after a "restful" night sleep and still want to hit the pillow good chance that you are toxic.

3. Irritability - We all have stress, however some of us are better able to deal with it. Bacteria, fungus, and the like can invade and wreak havoc on the body as well as the mind. If you find that you are more grumpy than normal their could be underlying issues that detoxification can help alleviate.

4. Halitosis - Bad breath can happen to anyone especially after a garlic-filled meal, but aside from food if your breath is less than stellar; toxicity may be the culprit. Ensuring that the body is free from harmful substances such as yeast can turn your mouth from a breeding ground to an inviting place.

5. Foggy Mind - If you are having difficulty concentrating, feel like your head is not clear or lack that extra mental agility that you may need; detoxification could be your savior in completing a difficult assignment, working through projects, and just maintaining shear awesomeness!!

6. Pain - Usually excessive amounts of pain is a sign of increased inflammation that has built up. Inflammation is characterized by burning, tingling, nerve pain, throbbing, and heat, which can be decreased via detoxification.

 7. Lack of Flexibility - If inflammation is to come and play, though it can collect anywhere, its favorite place is the joints. Joints create movement and thus if you lack movement you may be inflammed. Detoxing can help you turn your downward cat into a downward dog!

8. Stool smell - So this is not a friendly subject, but if you leave the bathroom and people with gas masks go running in, there may be a problem. Your stool, even though it is waste, should not smell like a rotting carcass rather, omitting no odor whatsoever.

9. Perspiration - We are changing seasons and although the humidity may still be available, it is not intense. Furthermore if you sweat standing still, sitting down, or just sweat profusly doing most normal activities your body is trying to tell you something. Sweating is your bodies natural ability to detox, so excessive perspiration can be a good barometer to your need to cleanse.

10. Body Odor - Can you smell that? If your body omits a strong odor (anywhere) feet, crotch or the like, this is a sign and symptom of toxicity and potential infection. Cleansing the body is your first step on your path to recovery, so detoxification is a simple, safe, noninvasive means to heal.

11. Heavy Pharmaceutic Usage - Lastly, if your medicine cabinet looks like the back bar at Walgreens chances are you have inheriated many binders, fillers, and perservatives that are used to keep those chemicals fresh. Although using medication may be necessary at times it is important that once you come off of them that you seek detoxification and replenishment. To detox the harmful things that they could have contained and reenergizing your body with the minerals that they deplete.




Although, this is not an full list of reasons, signs or symptoms of a need for detox, this is a good start. Naturally, consulting with your Natural Health Care Practitioner will assess your full needs for detoxification as well as how to do a detox safely. It is important not to rush into detoxification too quickly as it will jeopordize your internal ecosystem. Some symptoms of a rushed detox include irritability, fatigue, exhaustion, illness, and the like so it is important to consult your Natural Health Care Practitioner before investing in your health. Google has many listings but does not have your health history and physical. ~ XOXOX

Raw Food Detox Diet Day 2

Erica and Bryan's video blog on their journey of the Raw Food Detox Diet.

Breastfeeding for Better Health

It is no mystery that nursing mother's provide more nutrients to their baby through breastfeeding, but why?

What makes formula so difficult for the body to process?

What if my nursing is not the most ideal, and I need support or help through the process?


Let us tackle these questions one by one, with dietary recommendations for mommy and baby.


First, Newborns are often Vitamin K deficient. Vitamin K is required for blood clotting, preventing hemmoraging and bleeding as well as promoting of calcium retnetion and healing fractures in the bones. Frail little bodies need this vital nutrient to avoid many issues.

Most newborns have a shot of Vitamin K upon birth because it takes a few weeks for this vital nturient to be manaufactured in the intestinal bacteria.

Some additional information is listed HERE

As a supportive measure Mother's I advise Women to consume large amounts of Vitamin K as a supportive measure. The body's requirement is 65 tp 80 ug daily requirement and a healthy itnestines manufactures most of this need it can be supportive to combat many digestive problems and further synthesis these benefits to youth.

Kale, Green Tea, Egg Yolks, Asparagus, Broccoli, Swiss Chard, Spinach, Cabbage, Cauliflower, and more all contain ample amounts of Vitamin K

Nursing mothers should also be mindful of Vitamin B12, which can be tricky for our vegan and vegetarian friends. Supplementation is key in supporting the body for B12, which prevents anemia and can impair nerve function.

Vitamin D is equally important and should be saught out from the Sun for proper synthesisation. Recently there have been many studies put out about Vitamin D deficiency in the body (perhaps another blog post).


newborn baby


Colic has been theorized to come from the consumption of cow's milk which can overbearing for developing kidney's with three tiems the amounts of proteins required in a newborns diet. This can prove to be troubling for the still developing kidney's as well as higher levels of minerals found in cow's milk. With a study claiming the usage can also create disease such as Crohn's disease. Read the source here: Cow's Milk Study

Colic mother's should also avoid eating yeast breads, and vegetables of the Brassaica famiy such as brussel sprouts, cauliflower, and cabbage.


Soymilk can also create further problems with many side effects for both mom and baby including vomitting, diaherra, ear infections, rashes, etc. Read another source here on potiential side effects: Dangers of Soy Milk


Naturopathy and nutritional testing as well as consultation can insure Mommy and babay are receiving all the necesary nutrients for success.

Our breastfeeding and lactation specialist can also help in our Free Monthly Breastfeeding and Lactation seminar held the First Tuesday of the month at 7 pm.

Essential Wellness Center's main goal is to educate and inspire patients to make healthy choice. Educated decision making is an important ingredient in living disease free.

Not every herniated disc require surgery or drugs.

"80% of patients with a herniated disc will respond to chiropractic care when followed over a five year period." Journal of Oslo City Hospital 1978

"About 70% of herniated discs can be successfully treated without surgery."
Dr. Patrick Boylan, MD Wilmington Orthopedic Group (Wilmington Magazine, Summer 2010)

herniated disc
Surgery is actually overutilized and largely ineffective for disc problems. "From 1980 to 1990, the number of neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons increased by 24%. In the same time period, spinal surgery increased 137% while the population on whom most of these operations are done rose only 23%."

Not all spinal alignment problems can be felt by the patient. "Not everyone with a herniated disc will have significant discomfort or symptoms." Spine 1984
"MRI abnormalities may be present in patients who are symptom-free." Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery 1990

Long-term misalignment can cause disc degeneration due to a lack of disc nutrition. The longer a joint remains subluxated and out of alignment, the more the disc material will starve for nutrition, leaving disc decay as the only logical next step in the cycle of breakdown. "Chiropractic spinal adjustments exert a positive nutritional affect on the disc."
Connective Tissue Research 1981



Do you Ask your Medical Doctor or Chiropractor the Right Questions?

Do you Ask your Doctor the Right Questions??

"Chiropractors might be preventing some of their patients from receiving procedures of unproven cost utility, value or dubious efficacy.” This quote comes from the latest study revealing chiropractic’s superiority to “traditional medical approaches” for a host of health problems.

The study, published in the April 2011 issue of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, was titled, “Health Maintenance Care in Work-Related Low Back Pain and Its Association With Disability Recurrence.”

It compared “physical therapy, chiropractic and (medical) physician services” as they relate to disability and health maintenance. Investigators found that “the likelihood of recurrent disability due to LBP (low back pain) for recipients of services during the health maintenance care period by all other provider groups was consistently worse when compared with recipients of health maintenance care by chiropractors.”

herniated or bulging disc

The authors state that “by visiting only (or mostly) a chiropractor or becoming a chiropractic loyalist, the patients do not receive other traditional medical approaches.” While this is obvious, it is no less significant because those who do receive traditional medical care experienced a greater likelihood of recurrent disability.

What makes the quote at the beginning of this article even more interesting is that the “procedures of unproven cost utility value and dubious efficacy” are those offered by the medical doctors and physical therapists. What will make this point even more powerful to most readers is that the lead author of this study is himself a medical doctor.

A few paragraphs later, the authors note that “the “only” and “mostly” chiropractic group and ‘chiropractic loyalists’ during both periods combined had fewer surgeries, used fewer opioid drugs, and had lower costs for medical care than the other provider groups.” Could low back pain “surgeries” and “opioids” (as well as other drugs) be considered among the “procedures of unproven cost utility value and dubious efficacy” the authors were referring to? That’s the way it reads.

This is the third of three great studies to appear in print in the past few months that suggest the superiority of chiropractic care over medical services.
Just one more great reason why you (and everyone you know) should be seeing a chiropractor for their primary healthcare needs.

The message in all of this is to question. Ask the right questions when treating with either Chiropractic or MD Practitioners. After all, that is what you are paying for through insurance or otherwise is their knowledge......


Cifuentes M, Willetts J, Wasiak R. Health maintenance care in work-related low back pain and its association with disability recurrence. J Occup Environ Med, 2011 Apr;53(4):396-404.
McMorland G, Suter E, Casha S, du Plessis SJ, Hurlbert RJ. Manipulation or microdiskectomy for sciatica? A prospective randomized clinical study. J Manipulative Physiol Ther, 2010 Oct;33(8):576-84.
Bishop PB, Quon JA, Fisher CG, Dvorak MF. The Chiropractic Hospital-based Interventions Research Outcomes (CHIRO) study: a randomized controlled trial on the effectiveness of clinical practice guidelines in the medical and chiropractic management of patients with acute mechanical low back pain. Spine J, 2010 Dec;10(12):1055-64.

Virginia Green Composting Webinar July 21st, 2011 !!

Essential Wellness Center in Virginia Beach, VA is a Virgina Green company through our lovely state. As a part of the program we are often invited to explore other renuable and sustainable practice happenings. Below are the details of the webinar... we hope you enjoy it and welcome your feedback!!

compost cycle


Greetings Virginia Green members:


The VREMS folks (Virginia Regional EMS partnership) is hosting a free webinar tomorrow on composting that I hope you or someone else in your organization will be able to join.


Sharon Baxter


Composting Webinar

July 21, 2011

11:00 am – 12:00 pm


Webinar Description:  McGill composts organic waste and turns it into products used in construction of low impact development and storm water treatment sites. Bob Broom of McGill Compost will discuss the sustainability loop for biodegradable materials from production through compost use, with a focus on whole-system integration and implementation for facility managers.



Health Alert: I am from the FDA and I am here to protect you !

 From the same people that want to put raw milk suppliers in jail and raid amish families at gun point:

FDA cartoon

Earlier this year, the FDA pulled the ever popular pain medication Darvocet from the market. Darvocet has been on the market since 1957 (over 50 years!)

No less than 10 million people took the drug last year alone and it was one of the top 25 most commonly prescribed medications in our country.It was pulled because it was causing irregular heartbeats and killing people.Darvocet was associated with more than 2,100 reports of serious problems – including suicide, overdose, cardiac arrest, and death.

In 2008 the consumer watchdog group, Public Citizen, filed a lawsuit against the FDA as a result of their failure to act on a petition filed in 2006, which called for the painkiller to be removed from the market. The petition claimed that Darvon, Darvocet and other generic painkillers containing propoxyphene which have been linked to thousands of deaths, are highly addictive and are no more effective than safer alternatives.

None of this should surprise us considering that medically-induced injury is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States.

By the way, the FDA advisory panel voted 14 to 12 to recommend that the FDA recall Darvocet from the market. That means that if one more person had voted to keep it on the market, there would be a 50/50 split. Kind of makes you wonder about those other 12 people who didn’t think the drug should be pulled after all those deaths. What did they stand to lose by protecting the health of our citizens? Could it be…MONEY?

Live in accordance with natural law. Stop looking for answers to your symptoms, and start looking for answers for the cause of your problems. Otherwise, you might wind up as a statistic ten years from now when the drugs you’re taking today finally get pulled from the market.

Are you in Pain ? Have you been suggested Pain Management as a SOLUTION to your problem ? Herniated Disk ? Slipped Disk? Bulging Disk ? Sciatica Pain ? Numbness ? Tingling ? Thinking sugery is the answer ?


Living Foods, Raw Foods Cafe in Essential Wellness is Open Today !!

Living Foods Cafe is Essential Wellness Center in Virginia Beach, Va's new raw food cafe. Our cafe is open for lunch Monday - Thursday from 10 am - 2pm and Friday & Saturday from 11 am - 4pm. Please keep in touch for our amazing menu items, whole foods, organic, and incredibly delicious wholesome meals that are delightful to the body as well as the taste buds.Our health foods are food for health!!


Chef Morgan is our resident "raw food" chef, bringing healthy organic raw food to Virginia beach. Here is an interview with Chef Morgan on his experience with Food....

 Chef Morgan at Living Foods Cafe

     Born in 1984 in Long Beach California Morgan and his family had the opportunity to travel as military dependents. He remembers growing up in a family very much in love with food and home cooking. Some of his fondest memories include walks during the holidays threw his grandmothers half acre garden in Charleston SC.

     “I remember being six and helping pick vegetables, I remember even better how great they tasted on the dinner table later that evening”

     “My parents always encouraged me to try everything at least once. I’m sure it’s because of them that I have such a voracious appetite and appreciation for food”

     Never staying in one place for two long, a self proclaimed “Navy brat”, helped guide Morgan’s adult and professional life.

     “I love to travel, I embrace change and thrive on new experiences”

     After serving in the United States Marine Corp he landed his first restaurant job as a server in a Greek Pizza place down the street from his family’s home in Virginia Beach.

    “It seems like such a long time ago. I was just looking for something to do while I tried to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up”

     That was seven years ago for Mr. Wood.

     “I’ve found what I love best and that’s preparing food for others to enjoy. I’ve tried my hand at everything in the restaurant business, from washing dishes to managing service staff, my favorite place has always been in the kitchen. Whether it’s prepping the Standard American Diet or embarking on a journey into Raw & Living foods I’m always eager to learn but even more eager to please”

     Morgan lives in Norfolk, VA and is the newest addition to the staff at Essential Wellness.

     “I look forward to the privilege of helping to open the Living Foods Café With Erica. These are new and exciting times!”


With the help of Chef Morgan we can bring delicious, healthy, tasty food items to Virginia Beach to help patients with nutrition, detoxification, and weight management. Come by and visit Chef Morgan for some amazing food here at Essential Wellness Center's Living Foods Cafe !

Essential Wellness adds a Mental Health Professional

The Mental body plays a vital role in healing and manifesting health. Without proper mental and emotional alignment disease manifests and regenerates. Through further explanation I have learned and developed new techniques as well as skills in order to cope with the ever changing stress of life. In my journey I ran across an amazing sage of wisdom and life, Beverly Orr.

Beverly OrrBeverly is able to provide new fresh thinking and new ideas to reprogram inhibiting thought patterns of the brain. Through her work she is able to get to the source of pain, anger, depression, mental health issues, and more. Theses symptoms manifest themselves into a myriad of forms including bipolar disorder, cancer, lack of prosperity, irritable bowel disease, and many more diseases.

Through a combination of Metaphysical Psychology, Neuro Linguistic Programming, and compassion Beverly is able to tackle the base of mental health treatment through work on forgiveness. Beverly has found that through forgiveness one can heal both themselves and the relationships with other people. This rescripting can be powerful and is a wonderful tool to realign thought patterns that do not serve us anymore.

In life we develop specific thought patterns in an effort to protect, restore, rebalance, and reconnect ourselves with the environment around us. However, when a situation has passed that is difficult; nothing is in place to allow us to return our minds and emotions to a new place. Through the work of Beverly Orr now you can. Now you can be, feel, do, and have all that you deserve through simple non-invasive approaches. Essential Wellness Center is delighted to include Beverly as a part of the Essential Wellness team. Together we can build dynamic health for many people on many different levels.

Beverly has both private and group transformational classes, where you can grow, learn, and support one another through the process of healing. Please visit Beverly's page to learn more about her individual sessions.

forgiving fathers

               She will have her first group transformational class on June 23rd at 7 pm entitled Forgiving Fathers. Through a supportive community mental health approach, Beverly can facilitate transformation into a new kind of thinking; one that allows for emotional support for our masculine energies. For More Information and to Sign up for the Class Please Visit: -Forgiving Fathers. Space is limited and must have a certain number of attendees to host. There is a minimal attendance fee for the event, but well worth it as you discover the forgiveness and healing of self and our fathers.

21 Day Nutritional Detoxification Program

Detoxification is an essential part of being healthy and well. Maintaining a solid nutritional protocol while you are on a detox is key to effective health enhancement. A detoxification diet is consistent of eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables as well as eliminating foods that are unhealthy for the body. The key to detoxification is avoiding these foods, while healing the body with clean organic, fresh fruits and vegetables.

When detoxing it is recommended to avoid animal products but is not possible for some. Reducing animal intake to once or twice a week and eating an enormous amount of vegetables after your protein can protect the intestinal system.

In holistic detoxification the person utilizes a protocol of detoxification treatments including ionic foot detoxification, steam, infrared dry sauna, one on one naturopathy consulting as well as naturopathic nutrition, and nutrition counseling, virginia beach to acheive desired results.

Our nutrition wellness center and 21 day detoxification program is an effective way to detoxifying the diet, replenish the cells, and rejuevenate the body. Weight loss is not uncommon in a detoxification program, but is more of a happy side effect than an absolute. Large intakes of water is paramount in healing the body.

Download information on our 21 Day Detox

Here are some FAQ's about our 21 Day Detox Program:

Will it be uncomfortable?
There is bound to be differing opinions about the change in diet but this detox is designed to be gentle and easy to follow. Remember, it is not a fast, nor is it a colon cleanse, which are very harsh on your system. You will be eating plenty of food and the shakes are pleasant tasting. You may feel a slight withdrawal in the first few days if you are giving up a lot of caffeine or a lot of sugar. PaleoCleanse is a scientific formula, a "medical food", which will assist you through some of the challenging days. Have faith, it will pass, and it will all be worth it!

Will I be in the bathroom all day?
It is very important to consume extra water while detoxifying to help flush out toxins. Therefore, most people urinate more often than usual on this program.

Will I lose weight?
This detox program is not designed to be a weight loss program. However, many people lose weight during the course of their detox program. Some of the reasons for this weight loss include: lower than usual caloric intake due to having shakes for meals, taking sugar out of the diet, decreased consumption of allergenic foods such as wheat and dairy and release of toxins from fat stores.

Will I get headaches?
Some people experience headaches during the first few days of their detox due to withdrawal from sugar and caffeine. Remember, the week prior to detox you will be decreasing intake of these substances to minimize discomfort. The PaleoCleanse powder will assist your body in cleansing out these substances as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Can I exercise?
You may exercise normally (monitor yourself, of course). Some days you may feel fatigued. On these days, you may want to limit yourself to gentle movement such as walking, stretching or yoga, etc.

Should I continue with my regular vitamins?PaleoCleanse contains many vitamins and other nutrients to help meet your daily requirements. You may suspend natural supplements during the detox if your health care practitioner agrees, but continue to take any medically prescribed pharma ceuticals. Ask your health care practitioner if you have any specific questions.

What about organic produce?Fruits and vegetables that are consistently the most contaminated with pesticides should be purchased organic.

These include:

  • Celery
  • Peaches
  • Strawberries
  • Apples
  • Blueberries
  • Nectarines
  • Bell Peppers
  • Spinach Cherries
  • Kale/Collard Greens
  • Potatoes Grapes (Imported)

If organic varieties are not available, fresh fruits and vegetables that consistently have the lowest levels of pesticides are the safest choices for conventionally grown produce.

These include:

  • Onions
  • Avocado
  • Sweet Corn
  • Pineapple
  • Mangos
  • Sweet Peas
  • Asparagus
  • Kiwi
  • Cabbage
  • Eggplant
  • Watermelon
  • Grapefruit
  • Sweet Potato
  • Honeydew melon

Not everyone is ready for an aggressive detox program. Please consult one of our skilled natural healthcare practitoners for advice to avoid a healing crises.

Click Here for a FREE Consultation

Is Traditional Medicine Failing Us?

How many times have you gone to the doctor, expecting to uncover the cause of an underlying condition, only to leave without answers and a handful of prescription medications? Don't get me wrong traditional medicine has its place, I just wish that it's place holder came with it. Alas, the burning questions must be asked in order to seek the truth. Are doctors educated enough on how patients can be treated naturally? Do they understand nutritional componenets to health? And are they seeking the advice of alternative medicine practitioners for solutions? Herbal medicine, Herbal remedies, holistic medicine, alternative medicine, homeopathy medicine?

I wish the answers were so simple.

Traditional Medical doctors do not know all the answers. They are in practice like the rest of us. They do carry a certain allure that may mesmerize, but in the end they simply are human such as I. They make mistakes, rush out at the end of a shift to go home, and misjudge things that they overlook. They are not superhuman. They have medical degrees not magnetic forcefields. They are armed with scalpels and stethoscopes, not potions and wands. They cannot cure cancer or fight disease. The body does this; they just facilitate and guess, educatedly. It is okay we all do it, however since when did a traditional medical practice become superior than anyone else's? After all it still is a practice and an art to treat the bodies symptoms.

This is the root problem with traditional medical practice; treating the symptom. Since when has the effect been related to the cause? If you were bleeding out of nowhere would you put a bandage on without asking yourself how the bleeding occured. Apparently so.


How much knowledge do MD's have on natural medicine?

I checked Harvard Med's curriculum, which I thought was a leader in the medical school industry to examine what wisdoms would be bestowed onto a rising series of doctors emerging into the patient care marketplace. In all the four year curriculum, no natural medicine, herbology, homeopathy, alternative medicine, integrative medicine, or the like is seen of any kind. What is even more interesting is that nutrition although mentioned as a cornerstone is not a required course. ODD?!? Is not how we feed our bodies, and regenerate cells a requirement? Perhaps they review that in pathology or molecular cellular based medicine. We can only hope.

Please review the curriculum for yourself as well as GOOGLE medical school curriculum. Naturopathic Medicine Schools and Chiropractic Schools have broad range nutritional education, however they are scrutinized for not being 'complete' doctors. Apparently prescriptions are a requirement for patient care. Harvard Medicine Curriculum

Which brings me to my next question; Do Medical Doctors or Traditional Medical Practitioners understand natural medicine practitioners? More importantly do they understand or know how to refer someone out of their scope?

My gut tells me NO. Otherwise, I would not get a series of patients who have been misdiagnoses with carpal tunnel syndrome, frozen shoulder, plantar fascitis, migraine headache with no relief outside of medicinal. Most of the time the only reason that I see these patients is because they have been offered surgery and they thought it was not a good idea. But how many patients slip through the cracks? How many patients unwittingly are convinced surgery is the answer without exhausting all non traditional medicine. The truth is that we could never know that number because the victims still are unaware that they are victims. The perfect crime ~ a recipe for ignorance, the ignorant leading the ignorant or rather the nieve being led by the ignorant. Take your health back ! Ask questions, do not take what Traditional Doctors say as gospel, question them like you do us; THEY ARE HUMAN LIKE EVERYONE ELSE and THEY ARE SICK LIKE EVERYONE ELSE.

Knowledge is power: Get a second opinon

Ask for a Second Opinon

Mother's Day Wellness Packages


Essential Wellness is proud to offer Four Special Wellness Day packages to enhance your mother's health !!

Click Here to Purchase a Mother's Day Package

Quick Get-a-Way               Day Dreaming
30 minute massage              60 minute massage
Simply Feet Detox                Simply Feet Detox
1 Hour - $65.00                   1 Hr. Yoga Lesson   2.5 Hours - $120


Mother's Day Flowers

PLUS ADD on a Flower Bouquet to ANY order for $49.99 with VASE included !!

Click to Purchase a Package


 Mini Vacay
                                            90 minute Massage
                                          Simply Feet Detox
                                       Mud and Steam
                                         3 Hours  $190

Because They Love You
90 Minute Massage
Simply Feet Detox
10 minutes in Dry Sauna
1 Hr. Integrated Yoga Session
Partial Body Wrap
All Natural Chocolate and Banana Smoothie
%50 Off gift coupon for return visit
4.5 Hours

Get your GroupOn !! EWC offers a Detoxification Body Wrap today !!!

Essential Wellness Center offers a detoxification body wrap on Groupon today for $39.00 !!

We live in a toxic soup where convienence practically kills us, slowly...Processed foods, formaldehyde in carpets, aespetos in old building walls, mold, bacteria, merca. Everywhere we turn around there is some new toxic chemical or pollutant that stresses our weakened immune systems.

As we OVER medicate our bodies, looking for that quick fix to return to our hectic lives of work and play we also neglect our bodies most powerful resource; the immune system. Our immune system when functioning optimally can heal the body of most things that ails us protecting ourselves from illness, if we allow it to function.

Keeping a detoxification diet as well as a detox regimen is critical. Participating in a regular body cleanse to incorporate your liver detox, colon cleanse, parasite cleanse, and more can help a person maintain health. Detoxifying the body ensures that your prevent disease, and maintain health over all. 

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     One of the many detoxification treatments that we offer at Essential Wellness Center is the detoxification body wrap. The herbal linens that the body is wrapped in is dipped in bentonite clay, which is highly absorbant and facilitates the cleanse. This cleanse faciliates detoxing by supplying pressure along with the ehaling herb to allow the toxins to draw from the cells. A person is then placed in a steam canopy for 30 minutes to sweat the impurities from the cells as the bentonite draws out the impurities. As the detox occurs the bodies cells shrink and the patient may then loose inches from the body.

This holistic detoxification treatment is just one of many that we offer at Essential Wellness Center and is our second most popular service. Essential Wellness Center also offers Ionic Foot Detoxification, a 21 Day cleanse program, a 28 Day Cleanse Program, a Colon Cleanse, a Blood Cleanse, a Parasite Cleanse, and many more specialized cleansers. The detoxification foot bath is our most popular form of detoxification !!

Grand Reopening of Essential Wellness Center

For Immediate Release:

Media Contact: Erica Steele

Direct Line:   714-732-9998

                  Essential Wellness Grand RE-Opening

Virginia Beach, VA – April 26th, 2011Essential Wellness Center will have their Grand RE-Opening April 26th, 2011 at 10 am. The Grand Opening will feature a formal ribbon cutting with Mayor Will Sessoms as well as special guests Sonja from The FOX will be live on air giving away 50 % off coupons for services, complimentary chair massage, basic steams, ionic foot detoxes, and more. Samplings from the Raw Food Café as well as Tea bar will also be available for people to enjoy. 

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        The Wellness Center has been open for 2 years, but most recently moved to Independence Professional Building in the Haygood area of Virginia Beach. Essential Wellness Center Virginia Beach offers over 25 wellness center services for body, mind, and spirit healing. Essential Wellness has a unique blend of complimentary wellness center services including medical massage therapy, relaxation massage therapy, medical yoga, nutritional counseling, chiropractic care, detoxification services, fitness classes and more under one roof. Essential Wellness Center also has many community-based activities including onsite wellness days for employees, corporate wellness programs, health talks, seminars, group mediations, group yoga, and more. Essential Wellness prides itself on being the educational resource for health and wellness in Virginia Beach, VA.

The CEO of Essential Wellness, Erica Steele prides herself on educating her staff as well as the public on complimentary medicine and the importance that prevention plays in healing the body. As a Medical Massage Therapist for 10 years, she has pioneered Medical Massage in Hampton Roads building awareness to treatment based care. She serves as a mentor for massage therapists, and works to bridge the gap between traditional, non-traditional medicine. With her diverse background of yoga, kinesiology, anatomy, and physiology instruction blended with years of management as well as business ownership experience at 26 years old, Erica Steele looks to inspire change within her community one-wellness service at a time. 

About Essential Wellness: our mission is to bring comprehensive holistic healthcare, mentorship, education, and inspirations to patients with a focus on facilitating the bodies innate self healing process by leveraging the skills of a holistic health care team under one roof. Our team therapy wellness model addresses the lifestyle, medical history, and daily activities of the patient to bring pain relief, prevention, as well as renewed health to all those seeking natural healing. For more information about our center please contact: 757-685-4325, or visit us online at


8 Massage Therapists hired at Essential Wellness Center!!

         Essential Wellness has hired their team of massage therapists to complete their extensive service menu for massage therapy. After careful consideration, our team of 8 massage therapists is eager to provide quality massage therapy treatment plans to Virginia Beach Va 23455. A massage therapist for 10 years, Erica Steele, has customized her hiring process to include only those therapists that have a true desire for the healing arts and massage therapy education. massage happyPatients may look forward to an extensive well-rounded treatment plan with the desire to feel better and improve upon their health with a wide variety of massage therapy techniques. We have massage therapists trained in myofascial release, reiki, orthopedic massage therapy, russian sports, neuromuscular therapy, and of course deep Swedish relaxation massage therapy. Whichever therapist that you choose they all have a wide array of experience in medical massage therapy, and education. The massage therapy team has combined 50 years of experience in hands on bodywork. Essential Wellness Center is the premier place for massage in va beach !

Learn about the Health Benefits of Massage Therapy HERE!!

Look for individual blog posts with the massage therapists bio's shortly !!

Essential Wellness & Dr. Matt Fentress, Doctor of Chiropractic

Dr. Matt Fentress            Dr. Matt Fentress is Essential Wellness's new Doctor of Chiropractic practing dynamic chiropractic techniques within Essential Wellness Center. Dr. Fentress balances advanced chiropractic medicine utilizing his skills in biophysics, as well as treatment of Car accident injuries, Workman's Compensation Cases, Personal Injury, Sports Chiropractic, Chiropractic seminars, Family Chiropractic, and more. Essential Wellness Center is delighted to have Dr. Fentress on board to provide chiropractic treatments as well as chiropractic adjustments.

Dr. Fentress is Southern Born to a medical based family practice. His family owns one of the oldest pharmacies in Richmond, where he learned first hand the principals of traditional medical care. As Dr. Fentress evolved he quickly realized that prescription medication was not the route that he wanted to take in his career and thus found Life Chiropractic school to learn and study.

Dr. Fentress practices at Essential Wellness Center Monday/Friday 10 am - 1 pm as well as Tuesday/ Thursday 3 - 6 pm. Enjoy educational seminars on What is Chiropractic, Chiropractic Therapy, Back pain Chiropractic, and Discover Chiropractic. Look for these and other dynamic seminars in the upcoming months.

First Ten Patients shall receive a FREE Consultation with Dr. Matt !!

Essential Wellness partners with Spafinder for Wellness Week

Essential Wellness Center

Virginia Beach, Va March 21- 27th – As part of a nationwide effort to help people jumpstart healthier and happier lives, Essential Wellness Center is offering a week of special discounts from March 21st to March 27th as a part of SpaFinder Wellness Week , where business nationwide promote wellness through 50%off of services and FREE wellness seminars.

For the week long promotion Essential Wellness Center will be offering Body Wraps, Mud & Steam, Massage, and Just for Feet treatments at 50% off.

Essential Wellness Center offers over 25 wellness center services under one roof, making a blend of complimentary health care practitioners including massage therapists, chiropractic treatments and chiropractic wellness, naturopathy and naturopathic treatment, raw food chef/preparation, breast feeding, lactation support and more.

Named one of the top eight wellness websites by Travel & Leisure, SpaFinder is the world’s leading spa and wellness resource.

To inspire local residents to take steps toward a healthier and happier lifestyle, Essential Wellness will also offer a free community event. Naturopathic Medicine made simple will uncover the healing property of herbs and aromatherapies on Tuesday March 22nd at 2pm with Dr. Bonnie Rose, N.D who provides naturopathy treatment at the Center. Medical Massage q + a with Erica Steele, NCMT to educate the public on the healing benefits of manual therapy and medical massage as a means of physical therapy on Weds at 12:30 pm. Dr. Matt Fentress is a Doctor of Chiropractic and Biophysicist presenting Brain Core therapy and ways that brain wave therapy can help facilitate healing in ADHD, Post Stroke, as well as Weight Loss patients on Thursday March 24th at 11 am. Dr. Fentress practices chiropractic within Essential Wellness Center.

“We’re thrilled to join with Essential Wellness Center in inspiring people to get healthier, de-stress, eat more wisely, and ramp up their fitness routines,” said Sallie Fraenkel, Chief Operating Officer of SpaFinder, Inc. “With deals on a wide range of treatments and classes, Wellness Week is a perfect way to shake off the winter doldrums and turn wellness into a year-round lifestyle.”

To reserve a Wellness Week appointment at Essential Wellness Center or register for a FREE seminar call 757-685-4325 or visit Receive Wellness Week Discounts Now . Reservations for services are booked on a first come, first served basis and space is limited. Essential Wellness has been open since 2009 and recently has moved to the Haygood community of Virginia Beach, Va.

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A Definition of Wellness Program

Wellness programs come in many shaped and sizes. Unlike baseball hats or T-Shirts one size does not fit all. Carefully constructing an effective health wellness program requires attention, perseverance, and skilled professionals without agendas; open to many options for healing. A wellness program that details various components to healing is key to healing the patient comprehensively.

health and wellness

Wellness Program Ideas

Let's say that you have an issue with Irritable Bowels or IBS, and it is an ongoing issue. We would carefully examine a few components such as your stress level, anxiety levels, hormonal productions assocaited with stress, stress management, nutrition, sleep, detoxification, bowel movements; just as an example. As we work to uncover the keys to your dicord, we develop versatile means to treat these ailments through a variety of practitioners; all available within Essential Wellness Center. 

Wellness Program Benefits

The benefits of building a comprehensive wellness program for you as the patient is that you are able to leverage the skills of multiple practitoners. As a practitioner, you are a part of a roundtable of health care professionals working together to facilitate the benefit of the patient. With egos aside we may work together to lead people to the path of healing, effortlessly and effectively.

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Employees Wellness Program

Our programs are very versitle and have the ability to cross over many platforms. Through employee health and wellness programs we are able to bring the support and cooperation to work, where perhaps you need it the most. Discovring effective ways to create health and wellness in your workplace is key to maintaining success in any wellness work program.

Employee Wellness Program Ideas

From health fairs to health screenings Essential Wellness Center provides as much onsite support as off. Incoporporating low cost to no cost employee incentives surrounded around health instead of donuts promotes longetivity and a sense of pride in the workplace. Proudcitivty begins with health and the more we are able to free our body from disease the more we are able to function in our daily lives.

A Wellness Program that begins with self is the best program imagineable. One that frees the body and self from judgement allowing healing to take place is the best nurturing campaign for growth inside and out. Freeing your body and mind from judgement and ridicule is imperative as you embark on the new path to healing.

Wellness Week at Essential Wellness Center Virginia Beach

Essential Wellness Center, in Virginia Beaches Haygood community, will be participating in Wellness Week Next week March 21st - 27th, sponsored by spa finder. All week Essential Wellness will sponsor giveaways, free seminars, 50 % off four wellness center services, and more.

naturopathy, natural medicine, natural wellness center

Essential Wellness is a medical wellness center in Virginia Beach, Va offering a variety of wellness services including chiropractic care, nutritional counseling, wellness consulting, naturopathy, medical massage, manual therapy, pilates, as well as raw food classes. With over 25 wellness center services Essential Wellness is jam packed with natural, alternative wellness methods to suit anyones needs. 

The natural wellness clinic will be offering three free seminars for wellness week on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday to provide more information from various wellness providers, that are exclusive to the natural wellness centre.

Dr. Bonnie Rose, N.D. shall be presenting a basic Introduction to Naturopathy with a brief presentation on herbs and their medicinal benefits. This seminar is a simple informational designed to grow your understanding of where natural medicine came from originally before they became the major pharmeceuticals they are today. Dr. Rose shall also speak about aromatherapy and their healing properties and present a basic first aid kit with aromatherapy. She will have some aromatherapy available for purchase on this day as well, for those super enthuased aromatherapists !


Erica Steele, NCMT will be presenting, How Medical Massage can help?, and will run through a Question and Answer session about various conditions treated with medical massage/manual therapy. TMJD, Sciatica, Frozen Shoulder, Neck Pain, Shoulder Pain, Low Back Pain, Plantar Fascitis, and the like have all been successful relieved with this ancient healing art. In this seminar Erica shall turn the dialogue to the audience and provide thought provoking information regarding a non invasive form of long lasting pain management.

Low Back pain, Medical Massage,  Chiropractic care

Dr. Matt Fentress D.C. practices advanced wellness chiropractic, where he works dynamically with patients both with BrainCore therapy and manual adjustments. He will be presenting a seminar on the amazing healing properties of BrainCore therapy and the remarkeable benefits of working with brain waves to facilitate healing. BrainCore therapy has had revolutionary impact on ADHD, Post-Stroke, Anxiety, Insomnia, Depression, Weight Loss and the like and is simple, effective, and non-medicinal.

Essential Wellness Center Va Beach is pleased to offer these free health seminars to the public for wellness week sponsored by spafinder. In addition to the free health seminars Essential Wellness is promoting four of the Detoxification Services for 50% off during Wellness Week only. Detoxification Services include Ionic Foot Detoxification, Body Wraps, Mud and Steam treatments, as well as a Relaxation Massage Therapy. 

Essential Wellness Center is an integrated wellness center in Virginia Beach that offers a wide variety of health and wellness services under one facility to schedule a Free Consultation during Wellness Week to find out which of our 25 wellness center servcies can help benefit you please contact our office at 757-685-4325 or email Erica Steele at

Positive Nutrition Programs: The detox diet

Holisitic NutritionOften with nutritional programs most people think that deprivation is the key to pleasing their nutritionist. This couldn't be farther from the truth, a nutrition program that involves deprivation can be difficult, painstaking, and can ultimetly result in failure. Constructing a nutritional program surrounded by holisitic nutrition is the key to success, while looking at realistic, measureable goals. The first thing that should be done is not the hardest, contrary to most nutritionist views. The first thing that should be done is the easiest, on your way to a detox diet.

Colon cleansing is also important as we rid the digestive tract of the unhealthy things that once polluted our bodies. Finding a balance between ridding the body of unhealthy things and finding balance to not replace them with more unhealthy things is the key.

This takes time, and as with any lifestyle change does not happen instantly but instead slow and methodical. Food choices are important in discovering a healthy diet, over an unhealthy one. Choosing a piece of fruit over a bag of chips can go a long way in discovering your inner health through detoxification. Looking at multiple variables is the point of holistic nutrition, examining your thoughts and feeligns while eating as well as when and where you are eating can also build upon healthier habits.

The most important thing is to start slowly, not to beat yourself up, and reward yourself when you do well, with more sleep, excercise, or a good movie rather than a piece of chocolate.

Essential Wellness Center has a New Haygood Location

 Essential Wellness logo           Essential Wellness Center in Virginia Beach, Va is moving to zip code 23455. March 2011, Essential Wellness will have a soft opening on March 15th, 2011. The Center is working to incorporate new practitioners including massage therapist, chiropractors, naturopaths, raw food chef's. Not to mention our newly remodeled and beautiful center that includes a raw food cafe area, personal shower, physical therapy treatment room, wet room, spacious treatment rooms, and upcoming revamped service menu to include over 25 wellness center services. The new Essential Wellness Center is excited to offer a new full service menu to include many wellness center services that may be used individually or incorporated into preventative wellness packages. Currently, the Grand Opening for Essential Wellness is scheduled for April 26th at 10 am with an Open House tenativly scheduled for the end of March for Wellness Week hosted by Spafinder. Essential Wellness Center in Virginia Beach offers over 25 wellness center services including chiropractic care, massage therapy, medical massage, medical yoga, ionic foot detoxification, steam treatments, wellness consulting, nutritional testing, and more under one roof! Come to Essential Wellness Center to regain balance, and health naturally as well as effectively as we help you redefine your meaning of health.