Natural Medicine

naturalmedicine

Naturopathy, or Naturopathic Medicine, is a distinct, integrated system of primary health care offered by licensed physicians.  It consists of the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of human disorders by the therapeutic use of natural methods and materials.  These might include Nutrition, Herbs, Contrast therapy, Homeopathy, or ancient medical systems TCM. Naturopathic Medicine is a natural approach to health and healing that recognizes the integrity of the whole person.

The practice of Naturopathic Medicine includes six underlying principles of healing.  These are based on the observation of health and disease.  This observation process involves the use of modern scientific methodologies and language.

The following principles make Naturopathic Medicine different from all other medical approaches:

First do no harm:  Primum Non Nocere

Dis-ease is a purposeful process of the organism. The process of healing includes the generation of symptoms which are, in fact, an expression of the VITAL force attempting to heal itself.   The physician’s actions can support  (vis mediatrix naturae) — the healing power of Nature.  Therefore, conventional methods designed to suppress symptoms without removing the underlying causes are considered harmful and to be avoided or minimized.

The healing power of nature:  Vis Mediatrix Naturae

The body has an inherent ability to establish, maintain, and restore health.  The healing process is ordered and intelligent;  Nature heals through the response of the life force.  The physician’s role is to facilitate this process, to identify and remove obstacles to health and recovery, and to establish or restore a healthy internal and external environment.

Identify and treat the cause:  Tolle Causum

Illness does not occur without cause.  Underlying causes of disease must be discovered and removed or treated before a person can recover completely from illness.  Symptoms express the body’s attempt to heal, but are not the cause of disease.  Symptoms, therefore, should not be suppressed by treatment.  Causes may occur on many levels including physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.  The physician must evaluate fundamental underlying causes on all levels, directing treatment at root causes rather than at symptomatic expression.

Heal the whole person: Tolle Totum

The naturopathic physician must treat the whole person by taking these factors into account.  The harmonious functioning of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects are essential to recovery from and prevention of disease.  This requires a comprehensive approach to diagnosis and treatment.

The physician as teacher: Docere

A cooperative doctor-patient relationship has inherent therapeutic value.  The physician’s major role is to educate and encourage the patient to take responsibility for their own health.  The physician is a catalyst for healthful change, empowering and motivating the patient to assume responsibility.  It is the patient, not the doctor, who ultimately creates/accomplishes healing.  Teaching with hope, knowledge, and understanding, the physician acts to enable patients to heal.

Prevention: Prevention is the best cure

The ultimate goal of any health care system should be prevention of disease.  This is accomplished through education and promotion of life-habits that create good health.  The physician learns to assess risk factors and to sharpen their deductive reasoning, and understand the patient’s circumstances.  Appropriate interventions are then sought to avoid further harm or risk to the patient.  Building health works better and more surely than fighting disease.

Naturopathic philosophy serves as the basis for naturopathic practice.  The current scope of naturopathic practice includes, but is not limited to:

Nutrition–A cornerstone of naturopathic practice is that food is the best medicine.  Many medical conditions can be treated more effectively with foods and nutritional supplements than by other means, with fewer complications and side effects.  These methods can be used as either alternatives to mainstream medicine, or as complementary and in concert with it, depending on the desires of the patient.

Botanical Medicine–Many plant substances are powerful medicines.   Their organic nature makes botanicals compatible with the body’s own chemistry; they can be gently effective with fewer toxic side effects.  Their availability and safety make them more useful and affordable for home care of chronic conditions.

Homeopathic Medicine–Homeopathic medicine is based on the principle of “like cures like.”  It works on a subtle yet powerful electromagnetic level, gently acting to strengthen the body’s healing and immune response.  Because these are both effective and very safe, naturopathic physicians share a respect for this system of medicine with practitioners of many other healing arts.  Homeopathy is a central part of our comprehensive training for these reasons.

TCM–TCM is a complementary philosophy of natural healing brought to the medical community, largely through naturopathic medicine.  Asiatic and Oriental systems offer an important understanding of the unity of the body and mind, which add to those of the West.  Unification between philosophy and practice in the East and West offers health benefits for all of our cultures.  These promise to help harmonize the imbalances present in disease conditions and restore the dynamic balance of health.

Holistic Pediatrics

 

holsistc ped

My practice looks beyond the symptoms to determine the true causes of your child’s illness. Nothing is more important or valuable than the health of your child. If you’re one of the thousands of parents who feel frustrated and overwhelmed by the different kinds of medical advice you’re getting from doctors, or being bullied into care you do not feel is right for your child, this may be the practice for you.  At the Family Wellness Centre, Dr. Becker uses disciplines of homeopathic remedies, herbs, supplements as well as diet and lifestyle suggestions that are practical and effective. Dr. Becker incorporates the best of both mainstream and alternative medicine to aid parents in dealing with common and complex childhood concerns.

~~Vaccination is a very sensitive topic. Here in this practice we are not endorsing non vaccination we are supporting choice. Because of the mandates of the AAP and the mandates put forth by the state we were forced to make a decision about choosing ALL vaccines or NONE. So we have decided to offer supportive care to clients in the absence of vaccinations.  This is not a decision that has come easily and is not right for everyone but here are some of the reasons why we believe parents deserve choices in healthcare decisions. Let me first point out this post is NOT Reasons Why You Should Not Vaccinate Your Child. This is the direction we are going based on solid research.
Real pro and con discussions are rarely fairly portrayed in the media and usually twisted with fear based information that plays on the heartstrings of parents trying to protect their child.
Here are some things to think about that could be complications to vaccinations too early in life.
• The “long-term consequences of preventing natural exposure to agents covered by vaccine are not known.”
• Vaccine side effects are largely underreported because the passive nature of the legal system puts the onus on the victim to make the connection, file extensive paperwork, and report the issue.  The medical model of care rarely correlates vaccines and reactions.
• Here is just a small list of potential side effects, Increased risk of respiratory infections after receiving the flu vaccine, seizures, food allergies, asthma, eczema, sensory integration issues, and auto immune disorders
• Parents can always choose to vaccinate…but never choose to UN-vaccinate
• No vaccine is 100% effective. Natural immunity is clearly much more effective in the body
• Fully vaccinated children (and adults) can still get the infection the vaccines are designed to prevent.  In fact, in recent outbreaks of whooping cough, the majority of those affected were fully vaccinated.  Researchers have also speculated that some forms of whooping cough are becoming resistant to vaccines.
• Vaccines are the only type of “medicine” not put thru the rigors of clinical trials before being released to the public.
• Every doctor that purchases vaccines pays into a “vaccine injury fund”.  Compensation in 2010 was nearly $2 billion to injured parties who said their health issues were caused by vaccines.
• The mechanism of herd immunity is a myth.
• Being unvaccinated does not make the individual the “person Zero” because if vaccines work like the manufacturer recommends the unvaccinated would be the only one at risk.
• Most vaccines are proving to provide less durable immunity than previously thought, meaning disease can still thrive and spread in fully vaccinated populations.
• Many ingredients in vaccines are toxic, harmful and would never be allowed in levels found in vaccines in our water supply, food or medications.  (These include: Aluminum, egg protein, antibiotics, formaldehyde, MSG and thimerosal, to name a few.
Our take home message is make an informed choice about the health of your child and find practitioners that will allow you to parent your individual child in the way you see to be the most beneficial.

Dr. Becker Specializes in Asthma, allergies, Atopy (eczema), and Autism…She is Connecticut’s 4A Specialist.

The Sunshine Vitamin Free and Easy

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Dr. Kendra Becker

Summer is here with all its benefits and exquisite pleasures. Coats, cozy fires, and long cold nights are distant memories. It’s time to enjoy all that summer has to offer including long walks in your neighborhood or local park, as well as locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables. Take advantage of the free, easily available, and most important sunshine vitamin, Vitamin D. So open the windows and let the sun shine in!.

Even though Connecticut summers are full of sunshine, scientists still continue to report an overwhelming Vitamin D deficiency among the nation’s population. Vitamin D is beneficial for many vital body processes and a deficiency of Vitamin D can certainly leave the body out of balance.

Vitamin D is a fat soluble pro-hormone that is most well known for regulation of calcium absorption…. But wait there’s more! It is also very important to metabolism at the cellular level, and it is an important aspect of insulin production, immunity, and inflammation reduction. Low levels of Vitamin D have been shown in patients with cancer, diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, chronic pain conditions, and auto-immune diseases.

Most Americans get 90% or more of their Vitamin D from the sun.  The rest comes from diet. Sadly, recent increases in skin cancer rates worldwide and increasing nutrient poor foods that are consumed regularly, have allowed for long forgotten diseases like rickets to make a comeback.  Dietary sources of Vitamin D clearly play an important role in over all health.

There is a wide range of individuals managing chronic illnesses that are associated with low Vitamin D levels. The range includes those who are obese, or individuals with diseases of the colon or malabsorption problems (eg. Celiac or IBS); as well as individuals with MS, SLE, Crohn’s disease, RA, Psoriasis, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, Seasonal Depression, cancers, and most commonly, bone diseases such as osteoporosis. Age related Vitamin D deficiency is often found in the elderly.

For most people 15-30 minutes of sun a day, in most areas of the country gives the body adequate Vitamin D. Even on cloudy and cold winter days, the sun provides the Vitamin D the body needs. Always use safe practices and limit sun exposure to just enough to benefit health. It is important to note, that sunscreens decrease Vitamin D synthesis by nearly 99%.  As we age we lose the ability to utilize Vitamin D.  Darker complexions require 5 to 10 times as much sun exposure than lighter complexions in order to produce the same amounts of Vitamin D.

Choosing to get Vitamin D from food in combination with minimal sun exposure is also an option. Vitamin D can be found in large amounts in foods that have been enriched with Vitamin D. Research shows that Vitamin D3 is the best form absorbed in the human body; so when looking for enriched foods, look for the Vitamin D3 on the label.  Natural sources such as fatty deep sea fishes and orange juice are rich in Vitamin D. Another option is a tanning session at your local tanning salon.

When making decisions about Vitamin D sources keep in mind the following word of caution. Excessive levels of Vitamin D can cause serious consequences, such as kidney damage.  Although there are no reports of excess Vitamin D from the sun, over exposure to the sun causes skin damage which can lead to other serious health problems including skin cancer.  Be sure to see you healthcare provider and have your Vitamin D levels checked with a simple blood test before increasing your exposure and intake of Vitamin D.

Once we understand the importance of Vitamin D, each of us can more fully appreciate the health value of this vitamin. Adding more Vitamin D to the day’s activities will help us feel better and healthier which will feel as good as sunshine on a sunny day

Fever

It’s not unusual for children to have very high fevers. In fact, it is generally very helpful for kids to get robust fevers, as it signals a strong immune response which can quickly eliminate pathogens in a short period of time. A fever isn’t intrinsically dangerous until it reaches over 106° F at that point brain damage can occur. Febrile seizures can occur at temperatures below this point and may be related to a genetic predisposition. Febrile seizures in otherwise normal children can be safe.
Here are some guidelines for managing a high fever:
• Pay attention to how the child is looking/feeling than what the thermometer says. Use parental instincts and your own sense of touch to decipher how hot the fever is burning.
• Typical fevers range between 100.6 and 104° F
• Fevers around 105°F-106°F usually indicate a severe bacterial infection and should be evaluated
• High fevers in pregnant women are of concern, and should be evaluated.
• The brain has a set-point at which fever stops rising. It is a myth that offering a fever reducer will stop the infection. In fact it suppresses the immune system and allows the infection to strengthen. Cytokines that target infection work best at an elevated temp!
• High fevers that last over 4 days or a fever in a newborn should be evaluated by a healthcare provider immediately.
• Febrile Seizures- THIS IS TERRIFYING, but generally harmless. These seizures DO NOT result in brain damage; they can last a few seconds to a few minutes and can occur in 4% of the population between the temperature ranges of 101°F-103°F and febrile seizures only occur in kids’ ages 6 months to 5 years old. Fever reducers DO NOT prevent febrile seizures. General protocol is to have a child evaluated by a health care provider if they have a febrile seizure.
Avoiding a fever reducer is during a fever is very plausible. Acetaminophen is hugely liver toxic; it is the number one cause of liver failure in the UK, and the number two cause in the US. The way Acetaminophen/ Paracetamol are metabolized requires huge amounts of glutathione in order to make it less toxic. Acetaminophen is infamous for depleting glutathione. Acetaminophen overdoses can occur at remarkably low doses compared to other pharmaceuticals, can cause massive liver damage.

The constituents in Acetaminophen/Paracetamol require huge amounts of Glutathione to be eliminated from the cells; leaving excess free radicals. These Free radicals cause DNA and cellular damage, made worse by methylation defects such as MTHFR.
Another problem is that acetaminophen is in many combination products, including over the counter cough syrups, pain formulas, allergy medicines and more. So any chance we get to avoid liver damage in small children gives our kids an advantage in healing.

FEVER FACTs
• Fevers only need to be treated if they cause discomfort. Usually fevers don’t cause any discomfort until they go above 102° or 103° F. it is rare to have a high fever above 105°F, and are generally they are harmless.
• With pharmaceutical treatment, fevers only reduce by 1° or 2°
• Without pharmaceutical treatment fevers will normally last for 2 or 3 days until the body fights off the infection.
• The body’s temperature normally changes throughout the day. It peaks in the late afternoon and evening. An actual low-grade fever is around 101° F
• Try “Wet Socks”, homeopathy, chiropractic adjustments or tepid baths as a natural way to comfort a child with a fever.
‪#‎drkendrabecker‬
‪#‎fever‬
‪#‎mthfr‬
‪#‎ilovewatchingyouheal‬
‪#fever

MTHFR and Chiropractic

 

Recently there has been a lot of talk about MTHFR (methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase gene that contains the DNA code to produce the MTHFR enzyme. This enzyme, simply stated, helps us convert B vitamins into energy inside the cells) When there are mutations or variations in the MTHFR gene, there is enzymatic malfunction or decreased function, this is implicated in everything from serious genetic disorders to no so serious nuisance type problems.
Because MTHFR is genetic, and appears in 60% of the population, there is little we can do about what passes to us from our parents, but a host of things we can do to support functioning of this enzyme and support the proper energy production.
Many factors related to MTHFR, can cause a person to become deficient in vitamins, minerals, amino acids and antioxidants; and conversely have higher levels of inflammation. So the standard clean diet, good sleep, exercise and of course chiropractic apply here..however chiropractic can also be a useful tool in detection of a MTHFR problem.
Nutrient deficiency symptoms vary, but are very apparent to a physician educated about MTHFR. Deficiencies in calcium, magnesium, zinc, N-acetyl cysteine (NAC), glutathione, iron and vitamins B1, B2, B6, B9 (folate), B12, and Vitamin D very common with MTHFR, and can effect chiropractic care. Many of these deficiencies can affect how we heal, perceive pain and even how an individual holds adjustments.
Science has shown us time and again that low Vitamin D levels affect mood and increase pain, low levels of minerals cause muscle spasms, poor sleep and anxiety, and low levels of B vitamins increase our susceptibility to toxins and oxidative stress…all things patients visit the chiropractor for!
In the meantime don’t start guessing where you’re deficient and taking supplements randomly. Listen to your body:

Is your fatigue unrelenting even after treatment? This could mean that your MTHFR mutation gives you the inability to utilize B vitamins properly, and your cells are “starving” for energy.

Are you holding your chiropractic adjustments? If not it is likely your MTHFR issue is causing low mineral levels in your cells.

Are you constantly getting injured or taking an extra-long time to recover? It is likely your levels of inflammation are higher; this alone can lead to long term damage and should be addressed in a timely fashion.

Of course, the best approach is proper diagnosis and treatment by a skilled provider who can educate and empower your healing. Eat well, Sleep Well and of course TURN YOUR POWER ON!!
‪#‎mthfr‬ ‪#‎chiropractic‬ ‪#‎turnyourpoweron‬ ‪#‎ilovewatchingyouheal‬‪#‎drkendrabecker‬ ‪#‎sportsmedicine‬

SURVIVING the STOMACH FLU

 

Recently there has been a Nasty Stomach bug going around. It is affecting moms, dads, kids or ALL ages and even pregnant women! It seems to take no prisoners! Here are some useful tips to survive this bug! This bug does not seem to have a particular “person zero “origin that I have found so watch yourselves this bug can last 1 to 10 days, however it seems to be a 3 day average across the board; At least for the most acute aspects of the illness.

Here are some great tips to surviving!
Small sips of Coconut water, or water mixed with maple syrup or even natural gummy bears. All of these sources have high levels of sugar, sugar stabilizes blood-sugar and wards off nausea, it also causes excess fluids to “flood the colon” helping wash out the nasty viral perpetrator that caused this bug.
Another great tip is to prepare a coconut water or maple water “granita” a thin icy treat if even the thought of fluids is nauseating. A good rule of thumb to try is a teaspoon/ gummy every 15 minutes. Remember Fluids keep you hydrated especially when you are sweating, vomiting, and having diarrhea.

As the Nausea subsides, try tea and bone broth, both will help restore the electrolytes lost. As recovery begins try the BRAT Diet – bananas, rice, applesauce, and (gluten free) toast, these foods that are easy to digest, contain a lot of carbohydrates to replenish energy, and restore nutrients lost through vomiting and diarrhea.
Rest is paramount; forget the mounds of laundry you are acquiring. Sleep is the key to a quick recovery. In spite of the fact that it feels like your insides are churning with hot acid, the body needs rest in order to fight off the virus. Get plenty of sleep and reduce the amount of activity you normally do during the day. The body is working hard to fight off the virus and repair damage on the cellular level.

Try some homeopathy! There is little conventional medicine can offer to ameliorate suffering, so here are some tips to getting through it quickly, depending on your symptom picture, here are some suggestions
Ipecacuana- vomiting preceded by much nausea or Persistent nausea and vomiting is its chief indication.
Antimonium crudum -vomiting as soon as he eats or drinks.
Aethusa- when vomiting looks like large green curds of milk, followed by great exhaustion
Phosphorous- vomiting causes great thirst for cold water, but as soon a it becomes warm in the stomach it is vomited.
Iris versicolor-Periodical vomiting spells and especially vomiting of sour matters so sour as to set the teeth on edge.

Doing simple acupressure on the point PC3 (3 finger breaths below the wrist) can reduce the nausea, as well as a cold cloth on the forehead or back of the neck.

Restore with probiotics! As soon as the vomiting stops, boost your immunity and gut with high quality probiotics, this will help restore the proper balance in the gut and (hopefully) insulate the cells to reduce the possibility of this happening again.
Hang in there it will be over quickly, even though it doesn’t feel that way!

Bad Mood? Why?

Methyl Trapping and HIGH AMMONIA!
Methyl trapping is a situation in which folate becomes trapped and unusable by the body. It is defined as a functional folate deficiency, in the presence or absence of a MTHFR mutation. Methyl Trapping alters proper homocysteine metabolism such that folate–dependent synthesis of methionine is compromised.
Methyl trapping was originally described in Down syndrome where plasma levels of homocysteine, and methionine, both which significantly which decrease cellular methylation capacity. Depletion of glutathione (also observed in Down syndrome) due to the presence of an additional CBS mutation, can cause oxidative stress.
Methyl trapping is described as cascade of symptoms, cause by “buildup” of neuro-excitation following supplementation with folate, or B12 or SAMe in an attempt to treat MTHFR SNPs. The consumer, in an attempt to self-diagnose and treat, takes high dose supplements with “active” (or methyl) B vitamins in an incompatible dose or formulation. These individuals may experience varying degrees of neurotoxic symptoms such as unprovoked insomnia, rage, anxiety, brain fog and alcohol intolerance, and other mood lability. In some cases individuals may feel better initially, and experience better mood and energy, quickly to be followed by troublesome symptoms.
Low energy, low mood and irritability occur because of an imbalance within the methionine cycle due to an accumulation of Homocysteine in the Pathway. A buildup of homocysteine is the consequence, often worsened by a CBS mutation causing impaired homocysteine clearing. In many cases histamine can rise and breakdown can be impaired, further complicating this process.
CBS defects are actually upregulations (This means the enzyme works too fast). Neuroexcitatory and depression symptoms ensue with issues in the CBS and transsulfation resulting in incomplete ammonia-clearing by the urea cycle and reduced neurotransmitter formation. BH4 catalyzes the first step of the transsulfation pathway, from homocysteine to cystathionine. BH4 can also become depleted with a CBS upregulation, as BH4 helps regulate neurotransmitters and mood. Lack of BH4 can lead to mast cell degranulation and possibly mast cell activation disorder (MCAD). Therefore, it is common to see low levels of cystathionine and homocysteine since there is a rapid conversion to taurine which leads to high levels of ammonia.
Lastly, The NOS mutation can exacerbate ammonia issues. Furthermore, addressing CBS can help lower excessive levels of taurine and help detoxify ammonia. A great way to do this is with probiotics!
Clinicians should screen for conditions that may overwhelm transsulfation and detoxification pathways including infection, autoimmunity, toxic body burden, problems with blood sugar and fat metabolism and other inflammatory indications. Nutritional support, proper supplementation and stress and emotional management should be provided by a qualified provider, for mutations that are problematic for the individual. Continuing support and guidance should always be part of the plan!

NO NO N2O!!

The perils of Nitrous Oxide and MTHFR

The research is clear and indisputable that using Nitrous Oxide with a MTHFR SNP (mutation) puts those individuals at a higher risk for complications and death! In the last year, the news reported over 5 kids under the age of 8 who died receiving “routine” dental care. There is no need for another such sorrow!

As parents and genetic carriers of MTHFR, it is important to make our providers aware of our uniqueness. THIS should NEVER be disputed, if it is find another provider, there are lots of providers who are understanding and educated about MTHFR and will work with you and your mutation.

Nitrous oxide (N2O) has been used for well over 150 years in clinical dentistry for its analgesic and anxiolytic properties. It’s a simple inorganic chemical molecule has effects of analgesia, anti-anxiety, and anesthesia. Findings to date indicate that the analgesic effect of N2O is opioid in nature, and, like morphine, may involve a myriad of neuromodulators such as GABA and NMDA.

N2O is a known oxidizer of cobalamin (B12). Inhaling nitrous oxide halts methylation by inactivating the vitamin B12 reserves in the body, where natural B12 is rendered useless, unless there are adequate nutrients available to restore it back to its active and effective state. Vitamin B12 is essential for the maintenance of a healthy nervous system; because B12 and folate work together Folate is also destroyed by this process, compounded by a MTHFR mutation, which causes faulty methylation to begin with.

Decreased methylation activity results in increased homocysteine blood levels, which has been associated with changes blood vessel elasticity, increased coagulopathy and atherosclerosis in adults. Other research has demonstrated evidence of DNA changes in individuals with nitrous oxide exposures. Multiple studies have shown an increased sensitivity to anesthetics in the rapidly developing brain as well as the aged brain. These studies have even shown a long-term effect on learning. Currently, we lack a body of evidence about the long-term effects on health of workers exposed to chronic low levels of nitrous; this is an area that clearly needs more examination.

The symptoms of such damage vary, and have included severe weakness of the arms and legs in some, and in a handful of cases, episodes of mental illness. Treatment with high doses of B12 is effective, but some damage can be irreversible. It is likely that less severe vitamin B12 deficiencies caused by nitrous oxide overuse go undiagnosed, but cause milder symptoms, such as depression, forgetfulness and tiredness which may go uncorrelated to the N2O exposure.

Proper balance and function of both Methylfoalte and methylcobalamin are necessary for appropriate cell functioning as well as methylation and detox. Low levels of either due to faulty methylation or diet can put an individual at greater risk.

The Risk is highest for:
• Dentists and their staff who inhale second-hand gas all day long.
• Individuals with MTHFR polymorphism
• Individuals who are Vitamin B12 or folate deficient
• Individuals with any chronic condition/disease( ie. Lyme, autism, reflux, autoimmune diseases, to name a few)

In individuals with a COMT mutation as well could experience HIGHER pain levels with N2O; other mutations will cause a less desired outcome and may require higher dosing of N2O leading to further methylation damage.

Knowledge is always power, share your concerns with your provider and have an open dialogue about the risks and benefits for your particular situation!
‪#‎mthfr‬ ‪#‎drkendrabecker‬ ‪#‎mito‬

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18580170
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3919550/
http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa021867
http://www.goldenstatenewspapers.com/…/article_3a0565d0-7e9…
http://wwlp.com/2014/…/23/child-dies-after-visiting-dentist/
http://www.nj.com/…/…/02/irvington_dentist_probed_after.html