It does a body good

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Once upon a time you went to the doctor when you were sick or needed an annual physical.

Those days are gone. Now it’s all about taking a proactive approach to aging and preventing disease in a suite of offices that provides all the services needed to support your passion for living.

“This is what patients are asking for,” Dr. Timothy Morley says. He’s the medical director of NY Health & Wellness Westchester, a new, 6,000-square-foot center that’s part of a modern white and glass building that stretches out along Mamaroneck Avenue in Harrison.

Morley’s background is in emergency medicine, and he’s also certified in pain management. But along the way, he became interested in integrated approaches to anti-aging and opened up an office in Manhattan. Among his patients was Mitchell Suss, who became an advocate and the founding CEO of New York Health & Wellness. As earthy as Morley is urbane, Suss explains his passion for anti-aging medicine with an automotive analogy:

“What the center is about is natural hormone optimization. Think of hormones as premium gas for people. … It’s so easy in today’s society to get in a hormone imbalance. We’re trying to balance the body naturally through stress reduction, fitness, nutrition and bioidentical hormone replacement therapy.”

Suss knows what you’re thinking: Hormone replacement therapy has been a hot-button issue ever since the 2002 Women’s Health Initiative study of women taking synthetic estrogen and progestin was suspended due to increased risks for breast cancer, heart attacks, strokes and blood clots.

But bioidenticals are made from yam and soy extracts. “Molecule for molecule, they’re what your body makes,” Morley says. “They’re extremely safe if you do it right.”

And that means proper testing and an extensive blood panel to see what if any hormones a perimenopausal or menopausal woman may need. (About 80 percent of Morley’s patients are women, though he says men also go through the change of life, called andropause.)

Hormonal imbalance resulting from the change of life is not the only problem Morley sees.

“Many times when we do blood and urine analysis, we find that people have elevated levels of heavy metals, such as mercury, iron, lead or aluminum, among others. Heavy metals in the blood can cause hormone imbalance, extreme fatigue, allergic reactions, brain fog, problems losing weight, headaches, skin problems, frequent colds and low immunity.”

Diet is the usual suspect. Morley says the average American eats four pounds of pesticides a year, including arsenic, which is present in things like chicken and rice. Supplements – up to 90 percent of which contain fillers – can also be a culprit. “It’s almost impossible to find fish oil that doesn’t contain some amount of mercury,” Morley says.

To treat metal toxicity, Morley relies on chelation therapy.

“The therapy includes either oral or IV infusion of binding agents, which allows your body to eliminate the toxins. We continue the chelation until the blood work shows that the toxicity is gone.”

Other patients might be exercising in a manner that causes them to gain weight instead of losing it.  That’s where Lisa Avellino, the center’s fitness and movement therapist, comes in. Or patients may be gluten or lactose intolerant, which is where nutrition director Jacqui Justice steps in. (The other key members of the team are Nina Chaifetz, a licensed clinical social worker/certified holistic health counselor, and Carol Cummings, practice manager and clinical assistant.)

“Everybody has a different specialty,” Avellino says. “We are experts as a team at creating customized programs.”

“Our philosophy,” Suss says, “is to give the body what it needs.”

For more, visit nyhealthandwellness.com.

THE NY HEALTH & WELLNESS TEAM

Dr. Timothy Morley, medical director

Timothy Morley, D.O., is a board certified physician specializing in hormonal changes with a focus on women’s health, especially in the perimenopausal and menopausal stages. He is among a select group of physicians  pioneering a new approach to wellness that integrates the cornerstones of optimal health — nutrition, fitness, quality sleep and stress management — with bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) and vitamin therapy, as well as detoxification programs. Morley received his degree in osteopathic medicine from Ohio University and did his emergency medicine residency at South Pointe Hospital, now part of the Cleveland Clinic health system. He has also completed a fellowship at the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine. In addition, he has a degree in law and is a member of several medical organizations, including the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine and the American Osteopathic Association.

Lisa Avellino, fitness and movement therapist

Lisa Avellino is creator of the “ISO-Towel Weight Loss Workout” DVD series and presenter for the AFAA (Aerobics and Fitness Association of America). Avellino started teaching classes as a teen at the Susan Marlowe Fitness Club for Women in Scarsdale, a center she now owns. A master certified instructor, personal trainer and health club owner for more than 15 years, she is also a published author who has been featured in The New York Times, Shape, Fitness, Prevention and First for Women magazines and seen on Fox, NBC, ABC’s “Good Morning America,” News 12 and others. She has hosted several TV and radio shows that focus on wellness, fitness and nutrition. Additionally, Avellino is a blogger on diet.com.

Nina Chaifetz, licensed clinical social worker/certified holistic health counselor

Nina Chaifetz, a licensed clinical social worker and a certified holistic health counselor, has provided counseling and support to people for 15 years. Chaifetz is an active member of the National Association of Social Workers.  She has her masters in social work from New York University, is certified in art therapy as well as holistic health counseling and is expected to receive her certification in gestalt therapy in 2015.

Jacqui Justice, nutrition director

Jacqui Justice holds an M.S. and C.N.S. in clinical nutrition as well as a certification in functional clinical nutrition from Designs For Health in Suffield, Conn. Justice has been in private practice since 1996 with offices in Eastchester and Scarsdale. Specializing in weight-loss resistance, digestive wellness and menopause management, Justice’s focus is on identifying and addressing her clients’ underlying factors and then designing a sound customized plan to help them reach and maintain their wellness goals.

Carol Cummings, practice manager and clinical assistant to Dr. Timothy Morley

Carol Cummings is a graduate of the Mandl School, The College of Allied Health. She is a certified medical assistant and phlebotomist with more than 35 years of experience. She has extensive training in integrative medicine and has completed postgraduate courses in functional medicine.

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