Tag Archives: Holistic Health

Wellness Planning 101: A Strategy for Stress Reduction

Wellness Planning 101: A Strategy for Stress Reduction


Tuesday, March 13th




Casino Ballroom


Free Admission

STRESS… is our bodies’ way of protecting us and getting us ready for whatever we perceive to be a threat. Having an awareness of the physical and mental responses to a stress inducing event will put you in control leaving you focused to manage your life. This experiential workshop will review the causes of stress, the physical and mental responses, as well as management by way of healthy, empowering interventions.

Come out to listen to GCU’s Master’s of Holistic Health student Eve Sicurella and Suzanne McMurray speak and teach ways to cope with stress. This will be more than a lecture with tips and exercises to have you leaving feeling more relaxed.

Eve Sicurella is a nationally certified massage therapist who has maintained a private practice in Toms River since 1999. Her vast trainings in bodywork and energy therapies have expanded her ability to provide relief of chronic pain patterns in the body. Eve instructed at Garden State Center for Holistic Health Care as well as at Lakewood Community Education Programs. She has facilitated workshops on stress management for the Ocean County Women’s Council of Realtors. Her passion for writing has an outlet through a monthly “Musings” column in the New Jersey Holistic Magazine.

Suzanne McMurray is a registered nurse with a variety of experience in oncology, neurology, nursing administration and clinical research. She is a Reiki Master and received her Graduate Certification in Integral Theory from John F. Kennedy University. She is currently pursuing her Master of Arts degree in Holistic Health Studies at Georgian Court University.







What’s On Your Plate and In Your Pantry/Refrigerator?

Nutrition Panel Discussion

Nov. 14, 2011 

5:30 – 7pm

Casino Ballroom

Panel members

Debra Dobies, RD                                                                                      

Kim Belanger                            

Sarah Lockenmeyer

Kathryne Ellis                                                                          

Sachiko Komagata


This panel discussion program will emphasize what healthy foods, herbs, & spices to purchase to build a healthy kitchen to attain/maintain wellness.  The program participants should stress positive choices in

  • Staples for the Pantry
  • Navigating the Grocery Store for Wellness
  • Important foods to eliminate from the diet
  • Importance of alkalinity in the body
  • Benefits of a plant based diet and some steps to get started
  • Typical Japanese (or Asian) pantry/ref for Wellness
  • Food that don’t support wellness/health
  • Portion control and my plate with food models & healthy breakfast plate
  • Recipes 

Panel Mini Bio

Debra A. Dobies, RD, MA, LDN –  Debra has over 30 years’ experience as a Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist. Debra attended Rutgers College where she received her Bachelor’s degree in Human Nutrition & Foods followed by a Clinical Dietetic Internship at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit Michigan. She also attended GCU and earned her MA in Holistic Health. Her work experience include serving as an inpatient and outpatient dietitian, health educator, Director of a hospital Food & Nutrition department and was the clinical advisor for an outpatient weight management program. Debra maintains a private practice and conducts classes, speeches and programs for healthcare, corporate and community groups. She has appeared on several television shows, radio broadcasts and featured in newspapers on various nutrition topics.  One of  Debra’s favorite quotes is “Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are.” (~ G. K. Chesterton)

Sarah Jane Lockenmeyer – Sarah is a holistic health coach currently practicing in Monmouth and Ocean County. She uses a mind, body, soul approach to both educate on proper nutrition and repair the relationship with foods. She believes in a primarily whole foods, plant based diet along with nourishing the spirit. Sarah Jane received her certification from The Institute of Integrative Nutrition, NYC and is currently enrolled in the Holistic Health program at Georgian Court University.

Sachiko Komagata, PT, Ph.D. – Sachiko is a consumer of food and food-like substances over the past half century. Her dietary habits were formed through Japanese tradition that originated in the continental Chinese and Korean traditions and as an adult immigrant to the US she has experienced American Standard Diet (SAD) with many questions and consequences.  She teaches/introduces Japanese, Asian food choices, such as sushi cooking whenever she can on campus as well as outside. After over a decade of physical therapy practice along with some part time teaching in graduate professional schools in the Philadelphia region, she began teaching both undergraduate and graduate courses in Holistic Health at Georgian Court University.  She currently serves as the Chair of the Department of Holistic Health and Exercise Science.  She also teaches Japanese culture, Japanese calligraphy as a mindfulness practice, complementary and alternative approaches to wellness, etc. as non-degree program at McAuley Institute for Lifelong Learning (MILL).

Kathryne Ellis MA, CN.  Kathryne Ellis is a certified nutritionist, homeopath, and holistic health practitioner who has been in private practice for over 17 years. She supports health and well-being from a biopsychosocial perspective. In order to support the needs of each person, she looks at a multitude of stressors that may contribute to physical, emotional, or spiritual imbalances. In doing so, she addresses diet, lifestyle, health status, and behaviors, thus addressing both acute and chronic health concerns. She received her undergraduate degree in Social Work from Monmouth College and her Master’s from Georgian Court University in Holistic Health Studies. She received her nutritional education and certification from the American Health Science University. She is currently working on her dissertation for her doctorate from Walden University in Health and Human Behavior.

Kimberly Belanger, Cand. MA – She is currently working as a Program Nutritionist for the Ocean County Health Department WIC Program.  Kim attended the College of Saint Elizabeth where she received her Bachelor’s degree in Foods and Nutrition. She currently provides nutrition education and counseling for low income families.  Her target population is pregnant women, breastfeeding women, and children up to the age of five.  She also has experience in hospital based dietetics where she worked as a Dietetic Technician.  Kim has followed a vegan diet for nine years and has experience working in health food stores and vegan restaurants.  Her goal is to be able to provide her clients with cost-effective diet plans while still incorporating nutritionally dense and unprocessed food options.  Kim is attending Georgian Court University and is working towards her Masters in Holistic Health. 


National Prevention Month… because Kris Carr says so!

Hello Everyone!!

In my world, Kris Carr is the best kind of inspiration around. For those of you who saw Crazy, Sexy, Cancer, Kris is the woman behind the whole movie. She was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer at a very young age. Instead of letting the cancer just take over her body, she took charge of her life, and more importantly her body’s healing. Now Kris Carr is a spreading her message of health, wellness, and prevention with the world. She named November National Prevention Month. I can’t think of anything better to celebrate. Below is an excerpt of a blog post she did on her web site crazysexylife.com.

Hope it inspires you!



Here’s the download that most of us missed: The majority of chronic diseases, including many cancers, are caused by diet, lifestyle choices, and environmental factors. Not just genetics. Actually, poor ole genetics often gets a bad rap. Enter … drumroll … epigenetics! The sexy science that teaches us that our genes are not always our destiny. We can actually have a predispostion for something and still avoid the trigger. And catch this, we can even change our DNA. Um, yeah, we’re that powerful.

What can you do to stack the odds in your favor to hopefully avoid an unwanted medical condition? Remember this very important snugget: Keep you inner eco-system as clean as possible. That’s right, you have rivers and lakes and sky on the inside. When you smoke and shout, eat dead foods and refuse to wean, cry on the inside, junk out on sugary crack, and slather chemicals on and around your body – you’re polluting the pristine environment that is you. If you’re a swamp on the inside, it’s time to cleanse the waters and get them moving again.

Here’s how … Eat LOTS of plants, less animals, real food, nothing fake, move your assets, dial down stress, breeeathe, don’t smoke (it will rob your beauty and your life), build a contemplative practice, love more than you hate, forgive (yourself), pray like you give a damn, take fun seriously, burn your to-do list, say no to other peoples “you-do” lists, dump stuff, make memories, poop, poop, poop, drink your holy green juice, take supplements based on what your blood work suggests ya need, pet your pet, smile like a child, live like it’s the first day of the rest of your life and it’s so delish that you can’t wait for another!


There is only one lasting cure … and it’s prevention. And it’s up to us to set an example, teach our children, and lead the way to health, spiritual wealth, and happiness through personal action. Prevention rocks!

Full Blog Post Here

Wellness is spreading on campus!

Hello Everyone!

I just wanted to share about the amazing panel we had Thursday night in the wellness center called “Sustainable Wellness.” Myself and my fellow classmates sat on a panel to talk about what sustainable wellness means to us and examples of what we do in our life.

For me, I had a hard time putting it into words because I feel as though I live my life to keep myself well. Whether it is watching what I eat or preventing a cold from getting worse, I live each day to consciously keep myself healthy. I shared a quote with the group because it summed up exactly what I was feeling...“Take care of your body because it’s the only place you have to live.”

We had a really amazing session with the students talking about their struggles with stress, healthy eating, time management, and their overall health. For all of you who were at this panel, please use this as your way to reach out to me about events you would like to see on campus. I am currently working on putting together two events before the end of the semester in regards to stress management. I will keep your posted on all of that.

Also, THIS WEEK we have 2 great events on campus.

Don’t forget TONIGHT we will have The Food Mood Connection in a new location. It is in A&S 165 at 5:30PM to 7:00PM. Learn how the food you eat affects your mood.

Tuesday night I will be showing an amazing movie called Food Matters! It is a personal favorite of mine and many of my classmates and I hope you can take the time out to see it. It talks about supplements, vitamins curing cancer, foods you should be eating to change your health, and how the food we eat makes up who we are and can actually be used as medicine!

Check out the trailer below.

Food Matters will be shown in the Little Theatre, Tuesday night at 6pm.

Hope to see all of you on campus this week!

The Food Mood Connection

Hi Everyone! 
We have a great events to look forward about nutrition for the beginning of November. 
Here is info on the first of three which takes place on November 7th. 
It is called The Food Mood Connection. 

Your daily food choices influence how you deal with stress and pain, experience fatigue,regulate your mood and stamina, and think. Your heredity (genes) determines your height, weight, and neurotransmitters the nerve chemicals that regulate brain and body processes. What you eat and drink dictates the activity of several neurotransmitters. Overconsuming or severely restricting specific foods or nutrients can trigger neurotransmitter imbalances that contribute to mood swings, thinking problems, food cravings, irritability, fatigue, and depression. 

Join us to review what nutrients and foods will help improve your mood.

Presenter: Debra Dobies, RD, LDN, MA, '06
Location: Little Theatre
Date: November 7, 2011 (Monday)
Time: 5:30–7:00 PM
Free and open to public
For more information contact the Department of Holistic Health at 732.987.2663


Debra A. Dobies, RD, MA, LDN (Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist)

Debra has over 30 years experience as a Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist. Debra attended Rutgers College where she received her Bachelor’s degree in Human Nutrition & Foods followed by a Clinical Dietetic Internship at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit Michigan. She also attended GCU and earned her M.A. in Holistic Health. Her work experience includes serving as dietitian, health educator, director of a hospital food and nutrition department, and she was the clinical advisor for an outpatient weight management program. Debra maintains a private practice and conducts classes, speeches, and programs for healthcare, corporate, and community groups. She has appeared on several television shows, radio broadcasts and has been featured in newspapers. One of Debra’s favorite quotes is “Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are.” (~ G. K. Chesterton)

Prevention Starts in the Kitchen!

Eat Your Veggies, but Kick the Can- We all know vegetables are great for us, but the lining in canned food can leach chemicals like BPA. Farmers’ market-fresh vegetables are a better choice, but if you can’t make it to the market or want something out of season, choose frozen over canned or look for brands that make BPA-free cans.

Eat Smart with Organic Foods – Organic produce is grown without harmful man-made pesticides and herbicides. Visit a farmers’ market for locally grown organic fruits and vegetables, or ask your grocer to stock organic produce. For extra points, look for antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables high in vitamin E, vitamin C and beta-carotene.

Eat Hormone-free Meat and Dairy- When we eat meat and dairy products, we’re also eating the residue of what those animals ate, including pesticides, growth hormones and contaminants. Choose hormone-free beef or dairy to eliminate those traces of hormones that can enter our bodies and contribute to an increased risk of breast cancer.

Catch Some Non-toxic Seafood – In addition to mercury, seafood can also be contaminated with high levels of PCBs and dioxins. Buy farmed fish that are lower on the food chain; for larger fish like salmon and sea bass, buy wild-raised. And limit consumption of fattier fish, like lake trout, or fish that are bottom dwellers, like wild catfish.

Cook Healthier Fish – When you do eat fish, careful preparation and cooking can reduce the amount of PCBs consumed. Fillet fish to remove as much fat as possible. Frying may actually seal some of the toxic chemicals within the remaining fat, so bake it or broil it instead, which will cook off natural fats and cause the accumulated chemicals to drip out.

Grill with Care – Found in cigarette smoke and car exhaust, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are also found in the char of heavily grilled foods. So when grilling, use a slower roast method, go for medium instead of well-done, and scrape off any of the black stuff that results from overcooking.

Include Soy, but Don’t Overdo It – Natural plant-based estrogens in soy may provide healthy benefits in low doses, but may be a risk factor for breast cancer in higher doses.




Hello Everyone!!!



This upcoming Tuesday, October 25th will be a very PINK day on campus in honor of breast cancer awareness.

There will be events going on all day long so be sure to take part in something.



My background is in holistic health which is all about preventing disease, treating the whole person (not just the physical body), and using complementary and alternative medicine to aid in healing. Truthfully, when it comes to breast cancer awareness, my passion does not lie in painting the town pink or raising money for the cure. My passion lies in the prevention of breast cancer altogether.  I hope for a day that we will not need to walk, wear pink ribbons, or lose mothers, daughters, grandmothers, sisters, best friends, and loved ones to this terrible disease.

I hope you all will stop by the table I will be sitting at on Tuesday, October 25th to learn about what you can do to prevent breast cancer. We live in an extremely toxic world and the choices you make today have the power to prevent disease like breast cancer for you and those around you.

I will also be showing Crazy Sexy Cancer in the Little Theatre at 6pm. This movie is shown in some of the holistic health classes and Kris Carr has been seen on all sorts of media including Oprah. Kris Carr, a cancer “thriver,” is an amazing woman who feels more alive by her own cancer diagnosis than she ever was before she found herself sick. She calls her tumors her beauty marks and is quickly becoming a healing guru.


I was lucky enough to turn on the TV this morning to see Kris Carr on the Gayle King Show. She said how while she supports the push for early detection of cancer, she pushes the no cancer/zero detection push. Tuesday night after the movie we will also have a discussion about the movie with all who are willing to share. Crazy Sexy Cancer will be shown on OWN this Sunday for those who can’t make it to Tuesday’s screening.



I promise you this movie will make you laugh, cry, smile, and be amazed at the journey you go on. Most of you will read this and wonder how CRAZY and SEXY go with cancer. Make sure you come to see the movie Tuesday night to find out.


Q&A with Acupuncturist Keith Koehler

Hi Everyone!

Keith Koehler is an acupuncturist practicing in Brick, NJ. He has been helpful with the Holistic Health department on campus and if you have taken some of Sachiko’s classes Keith may have even come into your class to give a talk about what he does. I am also a patient of Keith’s, along with my sister. We both feel we have really benefited from going to acupuncture and now go on a weekly basis. Acupuncture is used to treat a variety of ailments including pain, digestive issues, PMS, and acne. If you have any questions about acupuncture, please feel free to email me and I can pass it along to Keith. Keith will also be posting on the blog periodically through out the year.


What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a treatment involving the insertion of fine needles into the skin to relieve symptoms (such as pain), strengthen the body’s immune system, and balance the body to facilitate healthy body function.

How does it work?

Acupuncture works by stimulating the body’s qi (pronounced chee). Qi is the body’s life energy. It flows throughout the body in a series of channels. Each channel is connected with a specific organ and has specific physiological functions, as well as emotional and spiritual components. When the qi flow is disrupted the body can experience dysfunction, ill health and/or pain. When the qi is flowing freely through the channels all body functions, such as Sleep, Digestion, Energy, Immunity, Concentration, and Mobility are enhanced.

Does it hurt?

The insertion of the needle is generally painless. Many patients do not even realize when the needle has been inserted. This is because acupuncture needles are solid and hair- fine, unlike a medical hypodermic needle which is thick and hollow. Once all of the needles are in place, the patient usually becomes very relaxed. The lights are dimmed and gentle music is played. Many patients fall asleep during the treatment.

How long is a treatment?

During a treatment needles are retained for twenty to forty minutes, depending on the patient and the condition being addressed.

How many treatments does it take to feel relief?

Some patients feel some relief after the first treatment. Typically, patients feel some consistent relief after three to five treatments. It is usually recommended to receive two to three treatments for two to three weeks, followed by an evaluation to determine the need and/or frequency of further treatment. Complete relief varies from case to case. In general, acute symptoms resolve quicker than chronic or complex conditions.

Is it safe?

Yes. All needles are pre-sterilized, and packaged for single used. During treatment, the acupuncturist opens the needle packages, and inserts the needles, using proper clean needle technique. When the treatment is over, the needles are removed and placed in a biohazard container, just like at a hospital or doctor’s office.

Does insurance cover acupuncture?

Most insurance companies have plans that cover acupuncture, though coverage varies from plan to plan. The best way to find out if you have coverage is to come in for a consultation, and let the acupuncturist verify your benefits with your insurance company.

Who can be treated with acupuncture?

Everyone from infants to seniors can be treated with acupuncture. Treatments vary accordingly. Infants and toddlers may be treated with acupressure techniques or acupuncture with no needle retention. Children tend to respond very quickly to very little stimulus. With adults and seniors, sensitivity and response to treatment varies, therefore different treatment techniques can be used to achieve the best results for each individual.

What is the most common condition people get treated with acupuncture?

For adults and seniors, pain is the most common complaint. Low back pain tops the chart, followed by neck, hips and knees.

For children, the two most commonly treated complaints are digestive (colic) and respiratory (asthma and allergies) conditions.

Keith Koehler, MAOM, C.A. is a certified acupuncturist (NJ). He is also a member of the Advisory Council for the Holistic Health Graduate Program at Georgian Court University. He received his Masters degree in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine from the New England School of Acupuncture, the oldest school of Chinese medicine in the United States. Prior to acupuncture, Keith earned a Bachelor of Science in Health and Physical Education. Through his studies in acupuncture and health education, Keith has developed a passion for advancing his knowledge of the human body and how to maintain an optimal level of health. When he is not in the office, Keith enjoys staying active through surfing, tai chi, and coaching high school wrestling. His goal is to help others enhance their quality of health, through treatment and education. Keith practices acupuncture out of his office, Koehler Acupuncture location on Drum Point Rd. in Brick, NJ. Please call 732-262-0637 if you are interested in setting up an appointment.

Below are pictures taken in Sachiko’s HH340 Eastern Views of Holistic Health class. Keith came to class to teach the students about acupuncture and also have them try it out.



Wrap up of Transformational Menopause

Hello Everyone!

Monday night, Eve and Suzanne did an amazing job presenting. While I am only 24 and hope I am years away from menopause, there talk still had so much relevance on my own life.

First, Suzanne and Eve talked about how they don’t like the conotations we have in the Western world about aging. It is believed that as we age, we become degenerative and useless to society, and our way past our prime.  In the Eastern culture, as one ages they become a spiritual elder, a person who fosters empowerment, and a person who is respected for their ability to care for themselves, others, and the global community. As we get older, it is a time to get to know ourselves better which only gives us the opportunity to enhance the world around us.

Suzanne and Eve also looked at the symptoms of menopause not as things to hide or take pills to cover up, but as messages from our consciousness and our body. Food cravings could be a way of our body asking us are we really hungry for the sugary doughnut or are we hungry for a different place in out life? Insomnia could be your consciousness asking you what do you need to wake up from? Suzanne and Eve related the symptoms to menopause, but try relating this to any symptom in your life.  Do you get back pain or cramps during you menstrual cycle? What about feeling like an emotional wreck? Do you crave carbs, fats, salts, or sugars? What are you really hungry for? These conversations leads to a deeper relationship with yourself and a greater understanding of your body.

Suzanne and Eve have also created their Transformation Tool Kit which I feel is useful at all stages of one’s life since we are always at stages of transformation. Eve has used journaling as a way to explore who she is and who she was. She uses different exercises like committing to writing three pages a day and write whatever comes to you. If you write I don’t know what to say, I don’t know what to say, over and over again it is a way to work through the thoughts in your head. Journaling is about removing the censor in your head and saying anything you are afraid to say out loud.

Suzanne did a beautiful sharing of energy between the woman who attended. We were able to sending love, compassion, and peace to the other woman. We were both given the position to be giving energy and receiving energy. For Suzanne, taking the time to meditate and focus on giving love to yourself is important as you age.

I took notes during the presentation and something I wrote down pretty much sums up my feelings on the night.  I wrote, “I feel wiser for being in the presence of these amazing woman.”

Thank you Suzanne and Eve for such an amazing evening.



Eve Sicurella and Suzanne McMurray Presenting "Transformational Menopuase" at GCU on 10/17/11

Transformational Menopause Tonight!!!!

Monday, Oct. 17th at 5:30–7:00pm in the Little Theatre

Suzanne and Eve will be the presenters tonight. Below is their experience with their bodies’ journey through this time in their life.

My experience of peri-menopause taught me listening skills. I had no idea how intelligent my body is and now that I have started to listen and heed its sometimes insistent recommendations, I feel more control. I still get hot flashes but I know the triggers. I know what makes them worse and I can control them. This means that I can’t always have that glass of red wine or piece of chocolate so instead I get to experiment and try new things. Different doesn’t mean worse. In fact you may find that change is better.
– Suzanne

Suzanne McMurray is a registered nurse with a variety of experience in oncology, neurology, nursing administration and clinical research. She is a Reiki Master and received her Graduate Certification in Integral Theory from John F. Kennedy University. She is currently pursuing her Master of Arts degree in Holistic Health Studies at Georgian Court University. She lives in Allenwood with her significant other, their three sons, and one-year-old yellow lab, Sophie, who helps “balance out the excessive male hormones” in her home.

My experience of menopause has taught me to trust what I’m experiencing despite what I’m told by others (like the doctors who told me I was too young to be in menopause).  In order to support this new relationship,   I’ve created a “psychic first aide kit” (journaling, meditating, exercise and imagery) which allows me some level of perspective when faced with an emotionally perplexing situation.  No matter how bad it seems, my choices in perception can make it worse or better.
– Eve

Eve Sicurella is a nationally certified massage therapist who has maintained a private practice in Toms River since 1999. Her vast trainings in bodywork and energy therapies have expanded her ability to provide relief of chronic pain patterns in the body. Eve instructed at Garden State Center for Holistic Health Care as well as at Lakewood Community Education Programs. She has facilitated workshops on stress management for the Ocean County Women’s Council of Realtors. Her passion for writing has an outlet through a monthly “Musings” column in the New Jersey Holistic Magazine. Having spent a lifetime as a woman, being post-menopausal since her early 40s, and going back to school in her early 50s, she has great insight into what it means to be a woman in transition.

Hope you all are able to attend tonight!