Is Stress Causing your Pain, or is Pain Causing your Stress?

By Guest Contributor Christine Prohl, BodyMind Coach and Integrative Massage Therapist

Edited by Mila McManus MD

We live in a world that values busyness and achievement and we’ve been taught to ignore the warning signs our bodies are sending us.

BodyMind coaching is a combination of a massage and a structured coaching conversation which helps guide people back into their bodies to create simple, yet powerful shifts so that they can move out of pain and frustration and into freedom and ease. It addresses all aspects of stress, physical and emotional.

A Custom Integrative Massage uses various advanced techniques which are customized to the individual client’s needs. For example, a person may have tight fascia with constant muscle aches, or might retain fluid that needs draining by stimulating lymph flow. Another person may need to focus more on relaxation and mood with a lighter massage and some essential oils.

Sessions may include any combination of the following:

  • Swedish Massage – The most commonly offered and best known type of massage.  Excellent for stress relief, boosted immune system, improved sleep, reduced anxiety and reduced fatigue.
  • Deep Tissue Massage – Similar to Swedish but with deeper more specific pressure. Designed to increase circulation and reduce restriction and pain in the fascia and muscle tissue.
  • Neuromuscular Therapy – NMT  is a form of soft-tissue manipulation designed to treat the underlying causes of chronic pain involving the muscular and nervous systems.  It benefits you through reducing pain, improving posture, relieving trigger points. This type of massage is beneficial for relief of chronic pain, recovery from injuries such as whiplash or sports injuries, repetitive stress injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome, postural problems, etc.
  • Sports Massage – Techniques designed to help prepare for or recover from strenuous activity or an athletic event.  It’s not just for athletes! It’s great for someone getting back into a workout routine or a weekend warrior who did too much yard work all at once.
  • Lymphatic Drainage – a very light touch technique to help clear out areas of lymph congestion.

Additional services that can be scheduled as individual appointments or as add-ons to the Custom Integrative Massage session include:

  • FasciaBlasting – Incorporates a massage tool specifically designed to reduce restrictions, adhesions and distortions in the fascia system of the body.  Great for pain relief and improved circulation.
  • Cupping – Includes the use of special cups on your skin to create suction.  Benefits include decreased pain and inflammation and increased circulation.
  • Infrared Sauna – There are many benefits to sitting in an IR sauna including pain relief and detoxification.
  • Essential Oils – Can be added to any service.  Certified pure therapeutic grade oils have been shown to help relieve pain, improve mood and promote a sense of relaxation.

Through a powerful combination of coaching and bodywork, we will notice where and how stress shows up in your body and learn to shift toward experiencing more clarity and contentment.  This intentional conversation is followed up with amazing bodywork to integrate these new insights on a physiological level.

The Woodlands Institute for Health & Wellness welcomes Christine Prohl to our facility!

She moved her office here on April 1, 2019.  She has been Dr. McManus’ personal massage therapist for years, and Dr. McManus recently transitioned to BodyMind coaching with her.

Testimonial from Dr McManus: “Christine is amazing at what she does! I’ve never known a massage therapist who offers, and excels at, so many different techniques.”

If you’d like to learn more about BodyMind coaching or integrative massage, you can contact Christine Prohl at 832-338-7792.

By |2019-04-23T13:47:03-05:00April 23rd, 2019|Articles, General|


By Allen Rikke



An Ozone Steam Sauna Therapy Session, sometimes referred to as an “Activated Oxygen” session, is one of the most effective methods of cleansing the body of toxins and enhancing the body’s normal metabolic processes. Medical-grade ozone has been in use since the early 1900s and is widely-used around the world today, in countries such as Germany, Italy, and Russia. An Activated Oxygen session is one of the most powerful methods in existence of detoxifying and oxygenating the body. Due to the moist heat in the steam sauna, the pores are opened up and the capillaries are dilated to allow for maximum ozone and oxygen absorption through the skin (transdermal infusion). As the ozone enters the body, it immediately oxidizes all toxins in the fat, lymph system, and blood. Ozone is incredible at rejuvenating, detoxifying, and regenerating.  Ozone is also an immune enhancer, and physical and mental energizer.

What benefits does ozone therapy offer?

  •  Ozone destroys bacterial and viral pathogens by oxidation, and purges the body of toxins.
  •  Ozone sessions burn about 400 calories per 20-minute session, which promotes safe fat-burning of cells.
  •  Ozone detoxifies the body, especially the blood (increases alkalinity pH by 2 points for up to 36 hrs.).
  • Ozone increases oxygenation and enhances nutrient delivery within the body (ATP/Krebs Cycle).
  • Ozone relaxes sore muscles and joints and reduces lactic acid, which allows for optimum recovery.
  • Ozone reduces inflammation, which allows for proper circulation and natural healing.
  • Ozone strengthens the immune system, including the production of white blood cells (T-Cells).
  • Ozone degrades petrochemicals, which place a heavy burden on the immune system.
  • Ozone significantly increases Interferon Levels.
  • Ozone stimulates the production of Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF).

Ozone is only dangerous if used in high concentration, or when inhaled, which can lead to lung irritation or damage. O3zone uses safe concentrations and there’s no need to worry about inhalation.

Please join TWIHW in welcoming Allen Rikke II and O3ZONE Therapy Services to our facility as of April 1st!  As a former top-level college football player, Mr. Rikke believes in the importance of healthy living.  He founded O3ZONE Therapy Services in 2013 and opened the first treatment center in 2014.  He believes that everyone can live better and healthier lives with consistent ozone steam sauna therapy sessions.

By |2019-04-06T10:42:47-05:00March 21st, 2019|Articles, General|

Transfer Factor By Researched Nutritionals

Transfer factors exist naturally in the human body and are short strands of amino acids and small bits of ribonucleic acid (RNA).

According to Aaron White, Ph.D. and author of Transfer Factors & Immune System Health, “research strongly suggests that transfer factors are effective for helping the body beat an array of disease states that involve faulty or overloaded immune function and can prevent infections before they occur.  Transfer factors seem to prime the body for battle against intracellular pathogens, like viruses, mycobacteria and cell wall deficient bacteria, and help squash infections before they can take root. Transfer factors turn non-immune-related white blood cells into immune-related white blood cells and stimulate the birth of new Helper and Cytotoxic T-Cells, Natural Killer cells and macrophages.  After stimulating an increase in T-cell counts, transfer factors orient these new T-cells toward a target presumably by influencing the nature of the antigen (protein of the pathogen) receptors expressed by the cells.  Further, by binding to antigens on infected body cells, transfer factors paint infected cells for destruction by Cytotoxic T-cells.”

In individuals with chronic immune-related conditions, Natural Killer activity is often suppressed.  Transfer factors, taken supplementally, are effective at promoting healthy NK cell function and strengthen the immune response.

Transfer Factor Multi Immune is a comprehensive immune support which fortifies the front line of our immune systems by promoting healthy natural killer cell function.

Formulas are also available to target tick-born pathogens, environmental challenges and fatigue.

By |2019-04-06T11:03:16-05:00March 20th, 2019|Articles, General|

Food Gums in “Healthy” Foods

By Nancy Mehlert, MS

Gums are common food additives used to add stickiness, thicken, prevent separation of ingredients, and improve texture.  In a small amount, they are generally considered safe.

When larger quantities are consumed, there can be reason for concern.  You may be surprised how easy it is to be eating a lot of them!  They are common in many organic, non-diary, non-GMO, certified gluten free foods, and are often chosen with the belief that these foods are cleaner. Look for them in nut milks, gluten free foods, salad dressings, protein powders, mayonnaise, non-dairy products, soups, and sauces.

Here are the ones I see most often: carrageenan, xanthan gum, gellan gum, guar gum, locust bean gum, and acacia gum ( a.k.a. arabic gum).  Only one of them, acacia gum, stands out with some favorable benefits and has the least negative impact when used in small amounts.  It is considered a pre-biotic, which means that it can actually feed the healthy bacteria in the gut.

Here are reasons to limit or remove the rest of them from your diet:

  • Multiple studies have shown that many gums create GI inflammation, especially carrageenan, which is believed to have the highest potential for harm, especially for those already suffering with gastrointestinal issues.
  • Many gums are very difficult to digest and cause diarrhea, bloating, cramping, and stomach pain. It is also common to experience symptoms unrelated to digestion such as a runny nose, congestion, hives or body pain.
  • Those with gluten intolerance, gluten allergy, or celiac disease should avoid xantham gum as it is produced by bacterial fermentation of corn, wheat and other grain based sugars.
  • Many gums can alter healthy levels of intestinal bacteria in some people. This happens by disrupting the normal mucous layer that lines the gut and contributes to chronic, low-level inflammation promoting changes to cells in the digestive tract, including the colon.
  • Agar gum, karaya gum, and konjac gum (a.k.a. glucomannan) can expand in the gut and, without adequate fluids, can cause esophageal and bowel obstruction.

If you already know your gastrointestinal health is compromised in any way, you may want to eliminate these gums entirely.  For most people, simply limiting their use to infrequent and small quantities would be wise.  Check all your packaged and bottled foods – you may be surprised!

Choose well, be well!

By |2019-04-06T10:58:17-05:00March 20th, 2019|Articles, NANCY’S NUTRITIONAL NUGGET|

Help Heal Your Body from the Inside Out

By Guest contributor Tyler Hamel, DC

Edited by Mila McManus, MD

Chiropractors evaluate the spine and nervous system to determine whether issues with these are affecting your health condition.  Your neck pain, back pain, sciatica, or migraine headaches may be caused by spine/nerve irritation and, if that’s the case, chiropractic treatment can help.

What is a chiropractic adjustment?

Oftentimes postural stress causes wear and tear on the spinal joints in your neck, mid-back and low back.  These joints become compressed which causes irritation, pain and muscle spasm. In the simplest explanation, here is what the chiropractic adjustment does:

  • Decompresses the spine
  • Realigns the spine
  • Takes pressure off of nerves
  • Restores proper function

Why be open to chiropractic treatment?

  • It’s very safe and more effective at treating neck and back pain than any other treatment out there, including, e.g., muscle relaxers, pain pills, or surgery.
  • Chiropractic helps the body heal from the inside out naturally by restoring proper alignment and nerve flow.
  • It’s affordable. Chiropractic adjustments are a fraction of the cost of long-term use of pain medicine, ongoing cortisone shots, and surgeries.
  • Everyone can be helped with chiropractic care. Our youngest patient was 7 weeks old, and our most senior patient 99 years old.
  • You don’t need a referral from a doctor.
  • We accept insurance, but keep in mind that sometimes insurance co-pays cost more than our cash prices.

Which Chiropractic technique is best for you?

  • Manual adjusting- you will hear pops and cracks when we release pressure from the spine during a chiropractic adjustment. This is very safe.
  • Instrument adjusting- we use vibrating adjustment tools that accomplish the same result as manual adjusting.

Why do we offer both?

  • Some patients do not want their neck or back “popped”, whereas others love the feeling of a manual adjustment.
  • Depending on the age of the patient, it may be easier and safer to use instrument adjusting. For example, if a patient has osteoporosis, or recently had surgery, instrument adjusting may be preferred.
  • Having more than one adjusting technique makes it easy for anyone to come and experience the benefits of chiropractic care.


Dr. Hamel cares for patients part time at our TWIHW facility, and part time at his Kingwood office.



By |2019-03-21T20:49:59-05:00February 26th, 2019|Articles, General|

The Doc’s Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad

The Doc’s Shaved Brussels Sprouts* Salad

Edited from

Serves 2


For the salad:

½ bag shaved Brussels sprouts

2 to 3 hearts of palm, sliced

⅓ cup pine nuts




For the dressing: (enough for 2-3 uses)

¼ cup fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon)

¾ cup olive oil

½ to 1½ teaspoons Dijon mustard

½ to 1 shallot, finely chopped or minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

Salt and Pepper, to taste



  1. 1. Combine the shaved Brussels Sprouts, hearts of palm and pine nuts in a large salad bowl.
  2. 2. Combine the dressing ingredients in a bowl or bottle and stir or shake.
  3. 3. Pour desired amount of dressing on the salad and toss well. Serve
  4. 4. Save the remaining dressing in the refrigerator.



*These little green mini cabbage like balls are named after the city of Brussels in Belgium.  Most people call them Brussel Sprouts, but the correct name has the “s” on the end.

By |2019-03-04T06:34:11-05:00February 20th, 2019|Articles, General, Recipes|

Love Cup Coffee Company’s CBD/Resveratrol Infused Coffee

The Woodlands Institute for Health & Wellness is proud to announce that we are selling CBD/Resveratrol infused coffee, both regular and decaffeinated, by Houston based, Love Cup Coffee Company.

Love Cup Coffee is a medium roast organic coffee made to bring you a loving cup of wellness every morning.  The Wellness Blend provides a nice amount of caffeine while taking the edge off in one soothing cup.  Each batch of beans is infused with CBD derived from industrial-grown hemp and contains 0% THC.  Research has suggested that CBD may help reduce pain, improve mood and focus, and help alleviate anxiety and stress. A Decaf Wellness Blend is also available.

Love Cup Coffee Company has partnered with Vera Roasting Company to infuse this blend with nature’s most potent antioxidant, Resveratrol, using Vera’s patented process.  Resveratrol is found naturally in red wine.  Each Love Cup provides the same heart health benefits equal to one glass of red wine but without any alcohol, sulfites or tannins.

Learn more about CBD Oil.



By |2019-03-04T07:03:53-05:00February 20th, 2019|Articles, General|

Regenerative Orthopedic Options

By Shaun Lehmann, MD  prp, prolotherapy, and stem cells
Edited by Mila McManus MD


The body is designed to heal itself. As we age, our bodies start to lose the ability to focus a sustained healing response to musculoskeletal injuries. Injuries can occur from multiple sources including trauma, repetitive stresses, or medications. The body’s healing response can also be diminished due to nutritional deficiencies, hormone deficiencies, and genetic conditions.
The field of Orthopedic Medicine is rapidly changing to now include many regenerative options aimed at improving our ability to heal. We are now learning that some of the traditional ways that we have been treating musculoskeletal pain and injuries may actually be causing problems by negatively affecting the body’s ability to heal itself. Steroid injections, for example, are now showing in research to decrease the local stem cell counts and could actually damage cartilage. NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) also have been shown to accelerate cartilage loss.
Regenerative medicine aims to accelerate our natural ability to heal after injury occurs. The goal of regenerative therapy is to optimize the cellular environment by stimulating growth factors and repair cells.

Some of these treatments include:
Point of Care Therapies (same day procedures)

Nutritional Growth Factor Stimulation

  • Prolotherapy
  • Ozone Therapy

Personal Cell Therapy (Autologous)

  • Platelet Rich Plasma (aka PRP)
  • Bone Marrow Aspirate
  • Fat derived Mesenchymal cells – or VSF “vascular stromal fraction:”

Donation cellular therapy (Allogeneic)

  • Umbilical Allograft Cells
  • Amniotic growth factors
  • Placental growth factors

Cultured Cellular Therapies (not a same day procedure… takes weeks to grow)

Nutritional stimulation treatments such as Prolotherapy and Ozone therapy aim to focus the body’s healing energies on the location that needs repaired. They aim to wake up the body’s local healing mechanisms by refocusing and restarting the healing process. These treatments can work well as long as the body is healthy, and the repair mechanisms are in working order.

Personal cellular therapies do the same as above; however, they also bring extra cellular workers to the job site. These treatments are usually deemed stronger than Prolotherapy and Ozone and are deemed relatively safe since the workers are your own cells.

Donation cellular therapies are from a donor person, are more potent than Personal cellular therapies, and are tested for safety (e.g., viruses such as HIV, hepatitis); however, the tissues are not tested for every potential infectious disease, so there may be some theoretical risk.

Cultured Cellular Therapies are not legal to use in the U.S. at this time, but it is legal to process and store these stem cells in the United States. One has to travel to another country to have the stem cells injected or infused. Cultured stem cells can be either Personal (autologous) or Donated (allogeneic).

There is a large body of research done on the efficacy of Prolotherapy and Platelet Rich Plasma, but more is still needed. Stem cells show so much promise that they are said to be “the future of medicine”.

By |2019-02-22T08:55:43-05:00January 30th, 2019|Articles, General|

Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup

From Affordable Paleo Cooking with your Instant Pot, by Jennifer Robins, ©2018


Makes 6 Servings

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes



6 cups (1.4 L) chicken broth

1 lb (450 g) chicken breast

12 ounces (340 g) fresh or high quality store bought salsa

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 cup chopped carrots

1 onion, chopped

Fresh Cilantro (optional)

Sliced Avocado (optional)



  1. 1. Place all of the ingredients except the cilantro and sliced avocado into the stainless steel bowl of your Instant Pot and secure the lid. Close the pressure valve, press the Manual/Pressure Cook button and adjust the cook time to 15 minutes using your +/- buttons.
  2. 2. Allow the cooking cycle to complete and then quick release the pressure valve and remove the lid once safe to do so. Use two forks to shred the chicken.
  3. 3. Serve topped with fresh cilantro and sliced avocado if desired.


Compliant with HRP diet (TWIHW), Keto, Low Carb, Paleo and just plain yummy simple!

By |2019-01-17T14:01:21-05:00January 17th, 2019|Articles, General, Recipes|

Viracid & WholeMune *

Viracid, by Ortho Molecular Products provides support for immune challenges and can be taken to immediately boost the immune system or for immune maintenance.  Viracid strengthens immune function and helps to maintain normal inflammatory balance. Viracid has a powerful combination of key nutrients and botanical extracts which significantly boost immune cell function including antibody response, natural killer (NK) cell activity, thymus hormone secretions and T-cell activation.  Viracid boosts immune defenses by providing nutrients such as L-lysine, vitamins A and C, pantothenic acid, B12, and zinc.  Also included is a synergistic blend of botanical extracts including black elderberry, astragalus, echinacea, and andrographis, all of which have been used traditionally for their clinically effective immune-modulating properties.  This supplement comes in a convenient pill pack to have handy at home or in travel, when you feel like you may be coming down with something. 


WholeMune, by Orthomolecular Products is used to prime and mobilize key immune cells and protects against immune challenges resulting from ongoing stress.  Wholemune is formulated with Wellmune WGP®, the most well-researched, single beta-glucan, proven in human trials to prepare and protect the immune system form repeated and ongoing stressors.  Wellmune WGP® is a highly purified, yeast -free beta glucan extract derived from Saccharomyces cerevisiae.  It is standardized to contain 75% pure beta-glucan and is considered the most effective single nutrient to naturally prime immune cells.  Wholemune increases immune vitality and mental clarity as well as protects against exercise-induced stress.



For information or to purchase, visit our office or call 281-298-6742.


*Information taken from Ortho Molecular Products, Product Info Sheet/pdf.

By |2019-01-05T10:08:00-05:00January 4th, 2019|Articles, General|
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