Lifestyle Counseling – In addition to creating individualized nutritional programs for patients, Dr. Rapkin counsels patients on making lifestyle modifications that aim to bring more balance and wellness into their lives. For example, patients are advised to re-establish healthy sleep-wake habits, are given specific exercise or movement recommendations, and are encouraged to embrace a daily practice of some form of mindfulness. Lifestyle counseling also involves teaching patients to be aware of negative thinking, unhealthy behaviors, and resistance to change, while at the same time encouraging patients to develop skill at and motivation for consciously making better choices.
Nutritional Counseling and Therapeutic Nutrition – These therapies involve the use of whole foods, nutritional supplements, and dietary changes (including elimination diets, detoxification diets, and anti-inflammatory diets) to build a healthy foundation of general wellness. In addition, individualized nutritional programs are created to support the adrenal, immune, endocrine and nervous systems. By restoring or cultivating a mindfulness of what food choices we make (including what foods we buy, where we buy them, how we prepare our meals, and when and where we eat our meals), Dr. Rapkin works with patients to re-establish a healthy relationship with food.
Narrative Body Therapy – Dr. Rapkin has developed and practices a unique form of bodywork called Narrative Body Therapy. This bodywork operates under the assumption that every body has a story to tell, and that given a voice, every body can find increased wellness, vitality and healing. It explores how our life experiences, memories, and stories imprint upon our bodies and consciousness. The work is unique as it combines touch therapy with the active participation of a patient, integrating imagery, mindfulness, dialogue, and narrative. Narrative Body Therapy’s purpose is to facilitate change and transformation in patients’ lives by initiating a dialogue between our body and mind.
Herbal and Homeopathic Medicine – While herbal and homeopathic medicines are used to treat all forms of illness, Dr. Rapkin uses these therapies to complement her mind-body techniques by specifically addressing imbalances in the adrenal, immune, nervous, and endocrine systems of the body.
Mind-body techniques – The following techniques are the tools Dr. Rapkin uses to give patients new coping mechanisms, new methods of managing stress, and new ways of looking at themselves and the world around them. All of the techniques involve the conscious participation of the patient.
Meditation – Under Dr. Rapkin’s guidance, a patient is introduced to body-centered meditation, where the mind quiets and focuses on the physical experiences and/or sensations of the body.
Guided Imagery and Visualization – Dr. Rapkin will use imagery and visualization to aid in relaxation and the physical release of muscle tension. While some of the imagery is offered by Dr. Rapkin herself, she encourages patients through their own imagination and experience to find and use their own images and memories.
Breath Awareness – Breath awareness is simply another form of meditation; it focuses the attention on observing the patterns, holdings and waves of the breath.
Biofeedback – Dr. Rapkin uses the HeartMath System to allow patients to monitor their heart rate variability while experiencing the above techniques to see a beneficial physiological response. Patients can then use this technique on their own to practice and replicate the relaxation response.
Mindfulness “Homework” – Dr. Rapkin is known with her patients to give “homework” between visits. These are not reading or writing assignments but rather the chance to put the concepts and techniques learned in session to practice in a patient’s daily life. One thing that she stresses with patients is that real change is a commitment and takes daily awareness and practice. Dr. Rapkin urges and teaches patients to practice their mindfulness techniques not just in the comfort of their homes but in everyday tasks, conversations, and routines.
Testing — In addition to conventional laboratory testing, Dr. Rapkin offers neurotransmitter, adrenal testing, food allergy testing, gastrointestinal assessment, and nutritional evaluation testing. If appropriate, Dr. Rapkin orders these tests to give her more information regarding patients’ adrenal function, their immune and endocrine function, their brain chemistry, and their specific nutritional deficiencies.