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Meet Our Naturopathic Doctors at Connecticut Natural Medicine

Dr. Sarah Schindler, ND, MS, IFMCP, LMT-Medical Director

A blonde woman wearing glasses sitting on a green velvet couch.

Education:

  • Master's of Science in Nutrition-University of Bridgeport

  • Northeastern University, Boston, MA - Bachelor's of Science in Healthcare management

  • The Institute for Functional Medicine

  • Connecticut Center for Massage Therapy, Newington, CT

I completed my Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine at the University of Bridgeport and went on to receive post-doctoral training in Functional Medicine from the Institute for Functional Medicine and have also completed a Master's degree in Nutrition.  For 20 years I practiced as a Licensed massage therapist in many settings including a physical therapy clinic and have worked on thousands of bodies.  I went on to specialized in prenatal massage and trained with Rosita Arvigo to learn the ancient tradition of Maya Abdominal Therapy which has helped countless women to live a fuller life no longer troubled with menstrual or reproductive issues.  I also practiced as a birth doula for over 7 years while in medical school.  In this role I had the amazing privilege of seeing life in all stages from infertility, preconception, through pregnancy, attending births and postpartum.  It brings me so much joy to watch all of these babies grow, learn and find their way in the world!  I’ll always welcome an updated picture of one of my little ones!

It was my own health struggles that led me to seek out a Naturopathic Doctor who was able to get to the root cause of my health issues which was undiagnosed Lyme disease.  I’m a pretty open book about what happened to me and my struggles finding a diagnosis and treatment and I want to help others to know that 100% recovery IS possible!  It is for this reason that I chose to pursue a career in Naturopathic medicine and for this reason that I totally understand how it feels to be slighted by the medical community and what chronic pain really feels like.  When a patient tells me no one has been able to help them, I immediately put on my detective brain and will do what I can to find them answers and treatment.  

My current focus and areas of expertise include:

 

Infertility

PCOS

Endometriosis

Menstrual irregularities, hormone imbalance and menopause

Lyme disease

Chronic pain & Chronic fatigue

Thyroid disease

Gut dysfunction including SIBO 

Adrenal health

Anxiety, stress & depression

 I see patients from all walks of life, all ages and I have really grown to love doing men’s health as well.  

Additional Training & Certifications

2017-Arvigo® Institute-Arvigo® Maya abdominal massage practitioner

2017-Arvigo® Institute-Advanced pregnancy training

2015-Upledger Institute International- CranioSacral training 

2014-present-Nelson’s Bach Flower Remedies-College advocate and educator

2014-Sudharma Institute-Certified Postpartum Doula

2014-International Placenta and Postpartum Association-Certified placenta encapsulation specialist and educator

2013-MotherMassage Certification-Elaine Stillerman 

2012-WomanCraft Midwifery program

2012-Sudharma Birth Services-Birth Doula Training

Appearances & Publications:  

Thesis: “Methylenetetrahydrafolate reductase polymorphisms: Mitigating Genetic midline deformities in the Pediatric Population.”

2017-Guest on Dr. Kendra Becker, APRN, ND-Television show.  

Topic: What is a doula and why do I need one?

2017-Guest Speaker on Dr. Kulveen Virdee, ND LAc. Radio Show WPKN- 

Topic: What is a doula’s role in the birth process?

Dr. Jennah Bakke, ND

A brunette woman wearing glasses.

Dr. Jennah Bakke is a licensed naturopathic physician practicing in Connecticut. She was born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota where she grew up with an appreciation of the outdoors and a love of helping others. 

 

Dr. Bakke received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Montana. She spent the following seven years working as a behavioral therapist with children with autism. During this time she was experiencing chronic migraines and generally in poor health. She was introduced to the world of natural medicine which changed her life drastically and led her to pursue a career in natural medicine. 

 

After relocating to the East Coast with her family, Dr. Bakke graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Bridgeport with a Doctorate degree in Naturopathic Medicine. During her time as a student her interest in pediatrics, family medicine and disease prevention grew. 

 

Dr. Bakke uses conventional, functional and alternative diagnostic methods to identify root causes of illness. She prioritizes using the least invasive treatment modalities including: nutritional therapy, herbal medicine, supplements and homeopathic remedies. She aims to educate and empower her patients to take charge of their own health and reach a state of optimal wellness. 

 

Her specialties include: 

Pediatrics 

Family Medicine 

Gastrointestinal Health 

Pre-natal and Post-natal Care 

Hormone Imbalance 

Autoimmune Disease 

Thyroid Disease 

Adrenal Health 

Genetics 

Lyme Disease 

Asthma 

Allergies 

Eczema 

 

During her free time, she enjoys cooking, hiking and camping with her husband, sons and black lab named Bleu. 

Dr. Monica Benco, D-TCM, L.Ac
 

A selfie of a brunette woman.

Dr. Benco is our wonderful acupuncturist.  She was raised in the Southwest and moved to Connecticut in 2010. Growing up, she was inspired by her mother who practiced herbalism.  In their household, there was always a natural remedy at hand for any ailment. While pursuing her undergraduate degree, Dr. Benco became particularly interested in the study of Eastern cultures and went on to receive her Bachelor’s degree in Religious Studies from the University of New Mexico.  Shortly thereafter, she discovered a passion for yoga and eventually became a Certified Yoga Instructor in 2014. Inspired by her background in Eastern thought along with the mind-body connection she found central to her yoga practice, she went on to obtain her Doctorate in Traditional Chinese Medicine from the University of Bridgeport Acupuncture Institute. During her education, Dr. Benco focused on TCM with an emphasis on practicing in an integrative setting. She practiced Acupuncture and Chinese Herbalism as a student intern at the UBAI clinics.  In addition, she practiced Acupuncture in integrative settings such as the West Haven VA and Optimus Clinics.  Dr. Benco is passionate about treating Mental Health and Women’s Health with Acupuncture, Herbalism and Dietary Therapy.  As a student, she wrote her senior Capstone project on the issue of Postpartum Care in America. She hopes to help bridge the gap and help new mothers nourish themselves while settling into the important role of motherhood as a TCM practitioner.  Conditions Dr. Benco has experience treating include back pain, dysmenorrhea, anxiety, depression, generalized muscle pain, digestive issues and has provided fertility support to patients.

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