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Natural Awakenings Fairfield & Southern Litchfield Counties

Overcoming Chronic Pain: A Guide to Effective Modalities & Local Resources

There are as many as 1.5 billion people in the world who report suffering from chronic pain. The sad truth is chronic pain is a part of many peoples’ lives, whether it stems from the repercussions of an injury, the side effects of an illness or medication, the by-product of a chronic condition, or results from long-term poor nutrition and lifestyle choices. Conventional treatments and approaches often fall short of relief or cause unwanted side effects. With this backdrop in mind, Natural Awakenings has put together a brief guide to the non-conventional modalities which might help alleviate or even eliminate pain. Sometimes knowing the modality is helpful but finding local practitioners still presents a challenge. We have developed this resource guide to more than a dozen modalities demonstrated to be effective in easing or elimination of chronic pain and included basic contact information for practitioners and centers all over Fairfield and Southern Litchfield Counties. We caveat up front: this list is far from exhaustive! It is simply a place to start for someone seeking relief. If your favorites are not listed, please tell them about this and ask them to consider getting involved with Natural Awakenings so more people can find out about them.


Acupuncture is an ancient Traditional Chinese Medicine healing technique that stimulates the body’s ability to sustain and balance itself. It is based on the theory that an electromagnetic life-force (qi or chi) is channeled in a continuous flow throughout the body via a network of meridians. To correct imbalances, a practitioner inserts acupuncture needles at specific points along the meridians to stimulate or disperse the flow of life-force. Since the goal of acupuncture is to restore energy balance, it can benefit general well-being as well as a wide range of conditions.

Many clinical studies have shown that acupuncture has effectively helped painful conditions such as joint or spinal pain, rheumatoid arthritis, headaches, sprains and side effects of cancer treatments, among other issues.

Acupuncture Healing CT
Jody Eisemann, Lac
Norwalk and Southport

CT Acupuncture Center
Ingri Boe-Wiegaard, Lac
Fairfield, Wilton, Bethel
203-259-1660 •

Fairfield Naturopathic Health
Veena Verma-Dzik, ND
Ridgefield • 203-247-9496

Hudson Valley Natural Health
Kurt Beil, NC, Lac, MPH
Danbury • 914-362-8315

Kara Acupuncture & Wellness
Laura Shahinian Kara, MS, Lac Dipl
Bethel and Westport • 203-470-7072

Sophia Natural Health Center
Ken Hoffman, DACM, LAc
Brookfield • 203-740-9300

Valley Spirit Wellness & Cooperative
Jampa Stewart, MSOM, LAc
Washington Depot • 860-619-2788

Aromatherapy/Essential Oils

An ancient healing art that uses the essential oils of herbs and flowers to treat emotional disorders such as stress and anxiety as well as a wide range of other ailments and painful conditions. Oils are massaged into the skin, inhaled or added to a water bath. The oils are often used in conjunction with massage therapy, acupuncture, reflexology, herbology, chiropractic or other holistic treatments.

Research has shown that, in most cases, aromatherapy can be a safe, cost-effective addition to pain management measures. It can decrease cortisol levels, lower heart rate and reduce inflammation. With anxiety and energy depletion being a part of chronic pain sufferer’s lives, anxiety reduction and vitality rejuvenation have also been shown to be benefits with using aromatherapy. Since essential oils are made from plants, be aware of any allergic reactions, including headaches, skin rashes or wheezing.

Elysian Life Design
Stacey Lyons
914-336-7693 •

Holistic Heaven
Kerry Hardy, RN, HNB-BC, RMT, CCH

Johanne Rousseau-Holt
Woodbury • 203-393-9167

RS Holistic Counseling and Healing
Rebecca Schoenewolf
Danbury • 203-826-2558


Biofeedback, also known as neurofeedback, is a relaxation technique that monitors internal body states. It is used especially for stress-related conditions such as asthma, migraines, insomnia and high blood pressure. During biofeedback, patients monitor minute metabolic changes (e.g., temperature, heart rate and muscle tension) with the aid of sensitive machines. By consciously thinking, visualizing, moving and relaxing, they learn which activities produce desirable changes in the internal processes being monitored.

Biofeedback has been shown to be useful for chronic pain issues such as headaches and migraines, back pain, head injuries, muscle spasms, muscle pain and immobility, spinal cord injuries and other conditions with painful side effects.

Wellness Institute
Marvin P. Schweitzer, ND
Norwalk • 203-847-2788
[email protected]

Optimal Mind
Lawrence Edwards, PhD, BCN, LMHC
Armonk, NY
914-219-8600 •

Roseann Capanna-Hodge & Associates LLC
Ridgefield and Newtown
203-438-4848 •

Whole-Body Medicine
Adam Breiner, ND
Elena Sokolova, MD, ND
David Brady, ND, CCN
Fairfield • 203-371-8258


Chiropractic is based on the premise that proper structural alignment permits free flow of nerve activity in the body. When spinal vertebrae are out of alignment, they put pressure on the spinal cord and the nerves radiating from it, potentially leading to diminished function of the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system, and potentially to illness. Misalignment can be caused by physical trauma, poor posture and stress.

An ever-increasing list of research studies are showing services provided by chiropractic physicians help patients with acute and chronic pain, headaches, and back and neck pain, in addition to helping prevent injuries and increase overall well-being.

Associates in Family Chiropractic and Natural Health Care
Risa Sloves, DC & Mark Joachim, DC, FIAMA
Norwalk • 203-838-1555

Black Rock Holistic Health Center
Kristine M. DeMarco, DC, MS, MS
Fairfield • 203-333-6544

Jill M. Capalbo, DC, CCSP
Stamford • 203-323-0522

Corsello Chiropractic Clinic
Edward C. Corsello, DC, BCAO
Stratford • 203-381-1800

True Health Family Chiropractic
Peter Braglia, DC
Stratford • 203-923-8633

Westport Chiropractic
Westport • 203-293-7478

Craniosacral Therapy (CST)

A manual therapeutic procedure to remedy distortions in the structure and function of the craniosacral mechanism- including the brain, spinal cord, the bones of the skull, sacrum and interconnected membranes.

CST is used to treat chronic pain, migraine headaches, temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), eye and ear problems, learning difficulties, dyslexia and hyperactivity.

CT Center for Craniosacral Therapy
New Milford • 860-367-2926

Vincent Fraser, CST, CAT
Fairfield County • 203-570-2059

Sabita Holistic Center
Southport • 203-254-2633

Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)

Combining ancient Chinese medicine principles with modern psychology, the self-help procedure combines fingertip tapping of key acupuncture meridian points while focusing on an emotional issue or health challenge. Unresolved, “stuck” or negative emotions, caused by a disruption in the body’s energy system, are seen as major contributors to most physical pains and diseases. EFT is easy to memorize and portable, so it can be done anywhere.

Researched in more over than 10 countries, EFT studies have shown positive influence on issues such as anxiety, depression, PTSD, stress and emotional trauma. Findings also suggest that EFT can help reduce pain severity in addition to helping patients’ ability to live with the pain they are experiencing.

Bowen Healing Center
Jacqueline M Kane, Owner
Torrington • 860-307-0232

Marian Edvardsen
Norwalk • 203-858-2681

Alison Held
Westport • 203-557-4192

Integrative Health & Advocacy, LLC
Debbie Morgan
Ridgefield and Sherman

Roseann Capanna-Hodge & Associates, LLC
Ridgefield and Newtown
203-438-4848 •

Floatation Therapy

Floatation therapy—also known as floating, floatation, sensory deprivation or R.E.S.T (Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy)—involves a person lying in a warm, Epsom salt solution in a room or tank  without light and almost no sound. The reduction in stimuli helps people reach slower brainwave states, calming the nervous system, reducing stress and alleviating physical pain. Floating in this highly concentrated Epsom salt may also increase the uptake of magnesium, which is poorly absorbed by the gut, but well-absorbed through the skin.
The Fibromyalgia Flotation Project (FFP), an international study led by Dr. Rod Borrie from Long Island, New York, is investigating how sensory isolation floatation therapy can help people with this condition.

Initial FFP findings from Europe indicate that floatation therapy may dramatically reduce fibromyalgia pain by calming the nervous system and providing magnesium to patients that are deficient in this mineral. Affecting an estimated 2 percent of the general population and women 10 times more frequently than men, the disorder causes systemic musculoskeletal pain. The FPP in the U.S. has completed data collection and begun the data analysis portion of the study; results are expected before the end of 2017

Floatation has been demonstrated to provide relief from a variety of chronic and stress-related conditions, including pain associated with fibromyalgia, injuries and Lyme disease. Studies have also shown that floating lowers cortisol levels (the stress hormone) and high blood pressure.

Westport • 203-226-7378

PuREST Float Spa
Trumbull • 203-445-6918

Guided Imagery/Creative Visualization

Guided imagery uses positive thoughts, images and symbols to focus the mind on the workings of the body to accomplish a particular goal, desired outcome or physiological change, such as pain relief or healing of disease. This flow of thought can take many forms and, through the imagination, involve all the physical senses.

Research findings over the past several decades have shown that guided imagery has a positive impact on blood pressure, pain levels, headaches, cholesterol numbers, glucose levels, recovery from surgery and even morphine use after surgical procedures. It can also lessen the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

Muktinath Holistic Center
Monroe • 203-518-5808

The Ruby Tree
Woodbury • 203-586-1655

The Yoga Shala
Ridgefield • 203-544-8811

The Total Life Care
Center (TLC)
Beth Leas
Norwalk • 203-856-9566

Herbal Medicine

This oldest form of medicine uses natural plants in a wide variety of forms for their therapeutic value. Herbs produce and contain various chemical substances that act upon the body to strengthen its natural functions without the negative side effects of synthetic drugs. They may be taken internally or applied externally via teas, tinctures, extracts, oils, ointments, compresses and poultices.

There is evidence that many botanical medicines can offer effective primary and complementary pain management and inflammation reduction. Because botanicals contain active chemicals, it is important to be aware of possible interactions with medications or foods as well as for certain conditions, such as pregnancy.

Andrea Candee, Master Herbalist
South Salem, NY • 914-763-8889

Chamomille Natural Foods
Barry Sherr, RH, AHG, Nutritionist
Danbury • 203-792-8952

Natural Health & WellnessCenter
Lisa Singley, ND
Stratford • 203-874-4333

Northeast Natural Medicine, LLC
Newtown and Woodbury

Shalva Clinic
Westport • 203-916-4600

Twin Star - Connecticut School of Herbal & Energetic Studies
Lupo Passero, Herbalist, Director
New Milford •

Sophia Natural Health Center
Ken Hoffman, DACM, LAc
Brookfield • 203-740-9300

Valley Spirit Wellness Center
Jampa Stewart
Washington Depot • 860-619-2788


A therapy that uses small doses of specially prepared plants and minerals to stimulate the body’s defense mechanisms and healing processes in order to cure illness. Homeopathy, taken from the Greek words homeos, meaning “similar”, and pathos, meaning “suffering”, employs the concept that “like cures like”. A remedy is individually chosen for a person based on its capacity to cause, if given in an overdose, physical and psychological symptoms similar to those the patient is experiencing.

Although research is divided in terms of measuring the effectiveness of homeopathy, studies have shown that homeopathic treatment has helped improve disease severity and quality of life for the long-term care of patients with chronic diseases. Some studies have shown positive effects by homeopathy on conditions such as bronchitis, chronic fatigue syndrome, premenstrual syndrome, rheumatic diseases, allergies and vertigo, among others.

Debra Gibson, ND
Greenwich • 203-431-4443

Hudson Valley Natural Health
Kurt Beil, ND, LAc, MPH
Danbury • 914-362-8315

Ingels Family Health
Fairfield • 203-254-9957

IntegrativeMe, LLC
Yufang Lin, MD
Stamford • 203-290-1663

Natural Health & Wellness Center
Lisa Singley, ND
Stratford • 203-874-4333

Shalva Clinic LLC
Ellen M Lewis, ND, Director
Westport • 203-916-4600

Wellness Institute
Marvin P. Schweitzer, ND
Norwalk • 203-847-2788

Whole-Body Medicine
Adam Breiner, ND
Elena Sokolova, MD, ND
David Brady, ND, CCN
Fairfield • 203-371-8258


Hypnotherapy encompasses a range of hypnosis techniques that allow practitioners to bypass the conscious mind and access the subconscious. The altered state that occurs under hypnosis has been compared to a state of deep meditation or transcendence, in which the innate recuperative abilities of the psyche are allowed to flow more freely. The subject can achieve greater clarity regarding his or her own wants and needs, explore other events or periods of life that require resolution, or generally develop a more positive attitude.

When used as part of a treatment program for a variety of psychological and medical issues, research shows that hypnosis works. Pain relief is one of the most researched areas with hypnosis. Studies have found that patients had considerable reductions in their ratings of pain, desire for pain relievers or sedation, nausea, vomiting and length of hospital stay. Hypnosis has been used with chronic pain issues, such as headaches, backaches, fibromyalgia, cancer-related pain and mixed chronic pain. 

Kim Nagle
Cheshire and Woodbury

Healing Tree Wisdom
Thea Litsios
Stratford • 203-693-1493

Meg Reilly 360
Meg Reilly, MS, CH
Lower Fairfield County • 203-952-6272

Mind-Body Transformation
Diane Bahr-Groth, CHy, TFTdx
Stamford • 203-595-0110

Roots Rising Alchemy
Melissa Conroy, CHC

Infrared Sauna

Infrared light—experienced as heat—is the invisible part of the sun’s spectrum with the ability to penetrate human tissue. Infrared sauna therapy uses this penetrating characteristic to heat the body directly at the core rather than simply warming the air or skin’s surface.

Unlike hot rock or steam saunas, the heat in the infrared sauna is effective at 100-150°F, a more comfortable operating temperature. The waves also heat the body directly without causing ambient air temperature to rise, aiding the body with its detoxifying process. As compared to 3 percent with a traditional sauna, the infrared sauna can produce sweat composed of 20 percent toxins. The penetrating heat also helps increase circulation and oxygen flow, in addition to boosting white blood cell production, which can lessen inflammation and ease pain.

A significant decrease in pain was one of the noted effects in one study of patients suffering from fibromyalgia and another about leg pain in peripheral arterial disease. Other studies have shown pain reduction effects with those dealing with autoimmune issues such as rheumatoid arthritis.

7e Fit Spa
Stamford and Norwalk • 203-356-5822

Muktinath Holistic Center
Monroe • 203-518-5808

Whole-Body Medicine
Adam Breiner, ND
Elena Sokolova, MD, ND
David Brady, ND, CCN
Fairfield • 203-371-8258

Worden Wellness Center
Thomas Worden, DC
Danbury • 203-244-8801

Massage Therapy

Massage therapy is a general term for the manipulation of soft tissue for therapeutic purposes. It incorporates various disciplines and involves kneading, rubbing, brushing and tapping the muscles and connective tissues by hand or using mechanical devices. Its goal is to increase circulation and detoxification, in order to reduce physical and emotional stress and increase overall wellness.

A number of studies have shown that surgical patients who received massages reported reduced pain and anxiety both pre- and post-operation. Among cancer patients studied, the therapy reduced their pain, anxiety and fatigue. Massage therapy has also been shown to help with headaches, low back pain, circulation, joint pain and many other conditions.

Heidi Gaboardi, LMT
Bethel and New Fairfield
[email protected]

Jiiva Yoga, Reiki and Massage Center
Stratford • 203-345-7747

Kure Spa
Norwalk • 203-857-1500

Northeast Natural
Medicine, LLC
Newtown • 800-723-2962

Robin Ordan, LMT, LCSW, CICMI
Old Greenwich/Stamford
203-561-8535 •

The Ruby Tree
Kerrie March, LMT and Johanne Rousseau-Holt
Woodbury • 203-586-1655

Sabita Holistic Center
Southport • 203-254-2633

Shalva Clinic
Alexandra Mason, LMT
Westport • 203-916-4600

Susi Laura Massage & Wellness
Ridgefield and Redding
203-438-2900 (Ridgefield)
203-947-1599 (Redding)

Turning Point Healing Arts & Education Center
Mary Beth Johnston, LMT, RMT
Ridgefield • 914-419-7961


Osteopathy uses generally accepted physical methods of diagnosis, with a strong emphasis on body mechanics and manipulative methods to detect and correct faulty structure and function, in order to restore the body’s natural healing capacities. Doctors of osteopathy are fully trained and licensed according to the same standards as medical doctors and receive additional extensive training in the body’s structure and functions.
Cranial osteopathy is the art and science of applying touch and light pressure to the bones, tissues, and fluids of the head, spine, and sacrum. This allows restoration of circulation of blood, lymph and cerebrospinal fluid, helping the body heal itself from injury and disease. Benefits of osteopathic treatment include pain relief, better sleep, improved sense of well-being, relaxation and mental clarity.

Osteopathic Wellness Center
David L. Johnston, DO
Ridgefield • 203-438-9915

Pulsed Magnetic Field Therapy (PEMF)

PEMF is a non-contact, non-invasive, non-pharmacological technology used to stimulate cellular charge in order to repair at a cellular level. The PEMF therapy device delivers natural pulsating electromagnetic fields to the body with the specific frequencies and intensities tailored to the person. Applicators include a full body mat, localized pad applicators and/or pinpointed probes. PEMF can recharge cells by increasing oxygenation, circulation, hydration and nutrient absorption as well as help with detoxification.

The technology has been shown to help with arthritis, neck and back pain, sciatica, sport injuries, post-operative healing, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, Lyme disease and other conditions. People who have pacemakers, are pregnant or are at risk for epileptic seizures should not use PEMF therapy.

Kure Spa
Norwalk • 203-857-1500

Resonating Wellness
Westport • 203-429-8841

Wellness Institute
Marvin P. Schweitzer, ND
Norwalk • 203-847-2788

Whole-Body Medicine
Adam Breiner, ND
Elena Sokolova, MD, ND
David Brady, ND, CCN
Fairfield • 203-371-8258


Meaning “universal life-force energy”, Reiki is a method of activating and balancing the life-force (qi or chi). Practitioners use light hand placements to channel healing energies to organs and glands or to align the body’s chakras (energy centers). Various techniques can ease emotional and mental distress, heal chronic and acute physical problems, and achieve spiritual focus and clarity. Reiki can be a valuable addition to the work of chiropractors, massage therapists, nurses and others for whom the use of touch is essential and appropriate.

Due to the multi-layered complexity of studied healing practices such as Reiki, there is a debate as to how best to study integrative therapies. Randomized controlled trials and the current technological inability to document changes in the biofield present challenges. That being said, patients in a number of studies have indicated it can help reduce anxiety and pain, and improve relaxation, fatigue, depression and overall wellbeing. Reiki is now widely used in institutional settings such as hospitals and cancer centers.

Angelic Healing Center for Reiki
Gigi Benanti
Norwalk • 203-852-1150

Carrie Brady, Equine-Assisted Reiki
Possibilities Farm
Wilton • 203-210-7484

CT Wellness/CT Counselors
Sandy Hook • 203-270-9888

Holistic Heaven
Kerry Hardy, RN, HNB-BC, RMT, CCH

Hunter Healing Hands
Jessica C. Hunter
Bridgeport • 203-916-8381

Jiiva Yoga, Reiki & Massage Center
Stratford • 203-345-7747

Kindred Spirits Center
Redding • 203-938-3690

Muktinath Holistic Center
Monroe • 203-518-5808

RS Holistic Counseling and Healing
Rebecca Schoenewolf
Danbury • 203-826-2558

The Ruby Tree
Woodbury • 203-586-1655

The Sacred Spirit
Bobby Kitsios
Old Greenwich • 203-344-9311

Total Life Care Center (TLC)
Beth Leas
Norwalk • 203-856-9566

Turning Point Healing Arts & Education Center
JoAnn Inserra Duncan, MS, RMT / Turning Point Reiki, LLC
Ridgefield • 203-438-3050

Embody the Sacred
Deana Paqua
New Milford and Ridgefield
203-994-5045 •

Rolfing/Structural Integration

A hands-on technique for deep tissue manipulation of the myofascial system (muscles and connective tissue called fascia) in order to restore the body’s natural alignment and sense of integration. The range and freedom of physical and emotional expression increases as the body is released from old patterns and postures.

Rolfing has been shown to ease pain and chronic tension and stress, enhance neurological functioning, improve posture and restore flexibility.

Cody Smolik, LLC
Lower Fairfield County • 917-544-4412

Welcome to Gravity
Yoni Hormadaly, LMT
Ridgefield • 203-550-6888

Westport Rolfing
Westport and Fairfield
Sachi: 203-216-9720
Mikel: 203-216-9770


Vibrosaun—a heat/vibration therapy machine created in Australia and used for decades in Europe but newer to the U.S.— offers two modalities in one machine by providing a dry sauna heat as well as a padded vibrating bed. A patient lies down on padded vibrating plates for 30 to 45 minutes, with their head sticking out, while the inside of the pod heats to high temperature. Motors inside generate vibration, which helps alleviate pain in those with musculoskeletal injuries.

A study from Indiana University-Purdue University researchers in 2014 found that whole-body vibration exercise has the potential to help fibromyalgia patients reduce muscle spasticity and painful symptoms and improve quality of life. The whole-body vibrating machine’s vibrations transmit energy that forces the patient’s muscles to continuously contract and relax. The heat relaxes tension while vibrations stimulate the lymphatic system, helping the body to clear out cellular waste.

Kure Spa
Norwalk • 203-857-1500


Practical application of the ancient Indian Vedic teachings. The word yoga is derived from the Sanskrit root yuj which means “union” or “to join”, and refers to the joining of man’s physical, mental and spiritual elements. The goal of good techniques, including physical exercises called asanas (or postures), controlled breathing, relaxation, meditation, and diet and nutrition.

Quite a number of research studies have shown the long-lasting effect of practicing yoga on low-back pain. Yoga has also helped cancer patients to improve their quality of life, manage cancer treatment side effects of treatment and reduce pain. Yoga was shown to reduce both physical and emotional symptoms of chronic pain in women suffering from fibromyalgia.

Ah Yoga & Wellness Center
New Milford and New Preston
860-868-6707 •

Basil Yoga Center
Ridgefield • 203-403-2280

Jiiva Yoga, Reiki and Massage Center
Stratford • 203-345-7747

LifePath Yoga & Wellness
203-354-7070 • 914-393-9221

Naam Yoga Connecticut
Bethel • 203-730-2400

The Ruby Tree
Woodbury • 203-586-1655

Valley Spirit Wellness
Washington Depot • 860-619-2788

Yoga for Everybody
Fairfield • 203-254-YOGA (9642)

Yogi Brian
Norwalk • 203-838-9644

The Yoga Shala
Ridgefield • 203-544-8811

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