Heart Rate Variability

Heart Rate Variability (HRV) is the measure of biological age. Using it to gain an objective assessment of your Autonomic Nervous System is a huge advantage in gauging progress toward the ultimate goal of living longer with better health and energy so we can then continue to develop cognitively and emotionally and maintain full social, intellectual, artistic, and sexual lives.

Living Longer, Stronger, Healthier

The body’s inherent ability to heal and self-stabilize erodes with age; the older we get the more we tend to lose energy, memory, and resilience to stress. It becomes harder to mend from injuries or illness and can take days to recover from workouts or overindulgence. We also are more likely to develop diabetes, hypertension, heart failure, and other afflictions as we age. Extending our lifespan does no good if it means poorer health and higher healthcare costs. The goal is to live healthier and stronger, which ultimately means you will also live longer.

The comedian George Burns once said, “You can’t help getting older, but you don’t have to get old,” and we tend to agree! You can’t do anything about your chronological age, but you can definitely change your biological age. Studies show biological age is a better measure for determining health status and risk than chronological age. The Kaplan Center’s Anti-Aging treatments aim to provide the maintenance needed to return the body to a more youthful state.

What is Heart Rate Variability (HRV)?

Heart rate variability is the variation in the time interval between consecutive heartbeats. Unlike a metronome that beats at precise one-second intervals at a rate of 60 beats per minute, a healthy heart might beat at .87 seconds, .93 seconds, 1.03 seconds, and so on. Such variation is important as it indicates the heart’s ability to respond to its environment, both internal and external, whether that is mental stress, physical exercise, metabolic change, or sleep. A strong and supple rubber band can be stretched in any direction and snap right back. However, a rubber band that is old and brittle will no longer have the flexibility to withstand much stress and may never regain its equilibrium. A system with high HRV shows that same strong and vibrant flexibility. The higher the HRV, the more resilient and robust the system.

“Fight or Flight” versus “Rest and Digest”

HRV is a biomarker of the balance in the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS)

HRV gives us a glimpse into the health of our autonomic nervous system, the part of the body that unconsciously controls vital functions such as heartbeat, blood pressure, breathing, and digestion. The ANS is tied to every automatic process in the body and is comprised of two main branches that work together to control the body’s stress and recovery processes. Under stress, one branch of your nervous system, the “fight or flight” branch, becomes very active. When this happens, HRV goes down and there is an imbalance between the two branches. In an ideal situation, the stress is only temporary, the “rest, digest, and recover” branch of the nervous system kicks in causing the HRV to go up again, and the nervous system returns to equilibrium. However, a busy, frenetic, and stressful lifestyle can cause the imbalance to persist throwing the system into a chronic state of fight or flight. Because this shift happens at such a gradual pace, we might not even notice there is a problem. In fact, a chronic state of fight or flight can become so familiar that any other way of being can just feel wrong and unfamiliar. Since the insidious effect of long-term stress may be the single most harmful assault against our body’s health, getting an objective measure of it is important. HRV biofeedback is a simple, noninvasive, and accurate measure of stress in our nervous system and of our overall health.

Stress depletes energy and disrupts thoughts

Emotions, even more than thoughts, activate and drive the physiological changes in the stress response. Feelings of anxiety, irritation, frustration, impatience, and hopelessness are what people mean when they say they are “stressed out.” For optimal health and resilience, it is important to regulate emotional reactions because they are what push the imbalance in the nervous system. The heart is a key component of the emotional system and negative emotions sap our energy and rob us of the ability to think clearly. You can either deplete or renew your physical, mental, and emotional energy reserves.

HeartMath HRV: Biohack for Better Energy and Better Brain

HeartMath developed an HRV-based program to transform a chronic state of energy depletion caused by stress into health, resilience, and vitality. It is based on a simple but powerful self-regulation technique called “heart coherence” that trains you to consciously turn off the stress response and increase your personal stress tolerance. You simply sit quietly using biofeedback to synchronize your brain, breath, and heart for optimal stress resistance. The program includes a professional assessment program for healthcare clinics and can also include a small handheld or phone device for personal use. Using HeartMath on a daily basis is one of the easiest and most important bio-hacks available to improve mental performance and live a longer, fuller, and healthier life.

Frequency Specific Microcurrent

What is FSM?

FSM uses low-level electrical impulses, measured in hertz or pulses, to deliver microcurrents to targeted areas of the body to initiate healing. It has been used by licensed & trained practitioners for decades to treat a variety of conditions from joint and muscle pain to IBS and GERD. FSM is a safe, effective and non-invasive alternative treating pain & injury for anyone who is looking for non-opiate/non-pharmaceutical treatments.

How does it work?

As we know, the body hosts its very own electrical system and each type of tissue is known to operate at a specific electrical frequency. However, injury and illness can disrupt those frequencies making recovery more difficult. FSM delivers similar frequencies to targeted areas of the body with the goal of increasing cellular energy production (ATP), reducing pain and inflammation, and repairing and restoring tissue function.

What is it used for?

FSM can benefit a wide variety of conditions, including:

  • Sports Injuries
  • Neuromuscular Pain & Inflammation
  • Low Back or Neck Pain
  • Joint & Muscle Pain
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Myofascial Pain and Trigger Points
  • Nerve Pain / Peripheral Neuropathy
  • Scar Tissue
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Abdominal Adhesions
  • Pelvic Pain
  • Sciatica
  • Ehlers Danlos Syndrome
  • IBS / GERD
  • Lymphedema
  • Anxiety & Depression
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Headache / Migraine
  • TMJ
  • Tennis Elbow
  • and many other conditions not shown on this list

The results?

Physical Therapists Jeanne Scheele and Pat Alomar are now using Frequency Specific Microcurrent (FSM) therapy in the plan of care for their patients and have seen some amazing results so far! The following are testimonials from patients who received FSM as part of their physical therapy care.

“I have been receiving FSM on my shoulder and knee. It always gives me pain relief right away.” D.S., Patient

“I have been using FSM for my anxiety. My anxiety noticeably disappeared within the first few minutes of use and lasted throughout the day.” L.R., Patient

“You guys are not just restoring my body, you are taking me to what I can’t conceive of. I had never heard of FSM until now.” A.B., Patient

What about risks?

FSM is not recommended if you have are pregnant or if you have a known cancer.

How can I learn more?

If you would like to find out if FSM is appropriate for your medical condition and can help you recover, please call 703-532-4892 and ask to speak with Jeanne Scheele or Patricia Alomar today.


Sharp SJ, Huynh MT, Filart R. Frequency-Specific Microcurrent as Adjunctive Therapy for Three Wounded Warriors. Med Acupunct. 2019 Jun 1;31(3):189-192. doi: 10.1089/acu.2019.1366.

McMakin CR, Gregory WM, Phillips TM. Cytokine changes with microcurrent treatment of fibromyalgia associated with cervical spine traumaJournal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies. Volume 9, Issue 3, July 2005, Pages 169-176

Seegers JC, Lottering ML, Joubert AM, Joubert F, Koorts A, Engelbrecht CA, van Papendorp DH. A pulsed DC electric field affects P2-purinergic receptor functions by altering the ATP levels in in vitro and in vivo systems. Med Hypotheses. 2002 Feb;58(2):171-6.

Seegers JC, Engelbrecht CA, van Papendorp DH. Activation of signal-transduction mechanisms may underlie the therapeutic effects of an applied electric field. Med Hypotheses. 2001 Aug;57(2):224-30.


The O-Shot® is a Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) procedure for women that revitalizes genital tissue for more enjoyable sex and urinary health benefits that can last longer than a year.

The O-Shot® procedure has helped countless women restore their self-esteem and strengthen relationships that have suffered because of sexual dysfunction. Vaginal dryness, painful intercourse, stress incontinence, and difficulty or inability to achieve an orgasm all factor into decreased sexual pleasure, but these issues can be corrected.

O-Shot® Benefits include:

  • Increased sensitivity and sexual desire:
    The O-Shot® increases a woman’s desire and sensitivity for sexual activity. The O-Shot® will help restore the intimacy that you and your partner have missed.
  • Enhanced orgasm and ability to orgasm
    Are orgasms currently a thing of the past for you? The O-Shot® will let you experience the orgasms you once had, but recently have been missing out on! Women also report stronger and more frequent orgasms after receiving the shot.
  • Improved lubrication and urinary control
    Vaginal dryness and a loss of urinary control, or stress incontinence, can ruin your quality of life. If these are issues you are currently coping with, the O-Shot® is a great option for you. By stimulating tissue growth, natural lubrication is improved which in turn makes intercourse less painful.  You’ll also see improvements in urinary control and feel more confident to do all the things you want to do.
  • A safe, effective, non-surgical and drug-free procedure with no recovery time
    The O-Shot® injection is a safe, effective, drug-free and non-surgical procedure. What’s even better is that there is NO recovery time.

What does the O-Shot® Procedure Entail?

The O-Shot is performed by our certified O-Shot® provider, Dr. Lisa Lilienfield. It entails drawing the patient’s blood and separating the platelet rich plasma (PRP) from the white blood cells. The PRP, full of growth factors that stimulate cellular regeneration and accelerate tissue repair, is then delivered by injection to the genital tissue. A local anesthetic is first applied to the area so there is little or no discomfort to the patient.

O-Shot® Results

Immediately, the growth factors in the platelets begin to stimulate blood flow and begin to rejuvenate the genital tissue. This revitalization results in an increase in sensitivity, more lubrication, and over time, improved urinary control from the new, tighter tissue.


The cost of the O-shot is $1.500.00. This procedure is not typically covered by any insurance.

Are you ready?

If you are interested in learning more about the O-Shot® and how it can improve your sexual health, please contact our office at 703-532-4892, ext. 2, to get more information.

Cosmetic Acupuncture / Facial Rejuvenation

You Deserve to Look Your Best

Cosmetic acupuncture* (also known as facial rejuvenation) is for people who are looking for a natural alternative to reduce the signs of aging and improve inner vitality for a healthy appearance to their face.

Acupuncture provides a non-toxic, non-surgical way of looking and feeling your best at any age. The main benefit is a brighter and healthier-looking complexion. It reduces the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and dull skin by increasing circulation to the face, nourishing the skin and stimulating natural collagen production. It relaxes tension in the facial muscles for a more relaxed face. It’s not just a cosmetic process, you also get the benefits of an acupuncture treatment that has been shown to boost the immune system, reduce pain, relax and calm the body.

Initial visits with Rebecca Berkson, who is a licensed acupuncturist and is NCCAOM Board certified in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, are typically ninety minutes long and include a 30 minute consult followed by the first treatment. Follow-up sessions are one hour. It generally takes six sessions and one month to start building collagen. Many report a glow to the skin after the first session. It’s recommended to get a series of twelve sessions, with weekly visits initially, and then every other week or once per month for maintenance.

Acupuncture can be a complement to other cosmetic treatments, but people should consult their providers as to how long to wait after fillers, injections, and other dermatological treatments.

* It is recommended that cosmetic acupuncture patients have received a diagnostic exam by a licensed physician within the last 6 months and get a documented recommendation for the treatment.


Required 30 minute consult for all patients (including current patients): $50.00
This appointment can be done separately or at the time of 1st treatment.

1-hour sessions: $195.00

12-session package (including initial consult): $2,390.00*
Free Aculift Derma Roller with purchase of a full 12 session package.

*Get 10% off a complete 12-package purchase now through December 31, 2019.

Cautions and Modifications:

Facial acupuncture directs the body’s energy and resources to the face for cosmetic purposes. If there are active or chronic conditions, it may be suggested to first address the current medical problems before doing the full cosmetic acupuncture protocol. Modifications may be made for those who have a history of the below conditions or are managed by medications. Consider a 30 minute consult to discuss a plan.

  • High blood pressure
  • Severe migraine headaches
  • Problems with bleeding or bruising
  • Vertigo


Active, current infections or malignancies:
– Herpes outbreak
– Cold or Flu
– Cancer
– Hepatitis
Botox Treatment (in last 2 weeks/ after 2 weeks will avoid areas with Botox)
Dermal fillers (contact provider to ask about cosmetic acupuncture timing)
Surgical procedures


Please print and fill in the two forms below before your first appointment.

Cosmetic Acupuncture/Facial Rejuvenation Informed Consent Form

Recommendation for Examination by a Physician

Ready to make an appointment?

Call 703-532-4892, ext. 2 to book your appointment with Rebecca today.

To learn more, watch Rebecca in this presentation on the anti-aging benefits of cosmetic acupuncture.

This is a segment of a joint presentation Rebecca did with Dr. Lisa Lilienfield, called “Looking Good & Feeling Good… Through 100!” To view the entire video, click here.

Regenerative Medicine

Patients are increasingly seeking non-surgical treatment options for orthopedic and sports injuries. Regenerative medicine, which enhances the body’s natural healing process to repair damaged tissues, is one of the fastest growing fields in medicine. If you have sustained a tendon or ligament injury, or suffer from chronic back or neck pain, you may be a good candidate for Prolotherapy, Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP), or Stem Cell Injections, depending on your unique medical condition.


Prolotherapy, which is short for “proliferative therapy,” is an injection technique where natural solutions (from a simple dextrose solution to more complex stem cells) are delivered to the injury site to restart and maximize the body’s own healing process This healing technique is applied to unstable and injured joints, ligaments, and tendons to encourage the restoration of normal, healthy tissue. As such, prolotherapy can help people avoid surgery.

Where and how does prolotherapy work?

The amount of clinical research on prolotherapy has increased substantially over the last several years.  Multiple studies have demonstrated its effectiveness in treating neck pain and instability; low back pain; sacroiliac dysfunction; chronic groin pain; osteoarthritis of the knee and hand; tennis elbow (lateral epicondylosis); knee tendon, ligament and meniscus injuries; and Achilles tendon injury. In everyday clinical practice, prolotherapy is used to treat painful conditions in virtually every major area of the body with excellent results. The healing response itself is triggered when the prolotherapy solution causes the injured tissue to release specific growth factors that attract tissue-healing cells to the injury site.

Who can benefit from prolotherapy?

Good candidates for prolotherapy include people who have joint or muscle pain. Prolotherapy works synergistically with treatments such as physical therapy, manual adjustments, massage therapy, and other treatments. The root causes of the pain can be wide-ranging, including osteoarthritis, sports injuries, post-surgical complications, ligament laxity from hypermobility, and direct trauma caused by an event such as a fall or car accident.

What is a prolotherapy treatment like?

After answering any questions, the doctor will examine the area to be treated via ultrasound or fluoroscopy (x-ray) and may note a few anatomical “landmarks” on the skin surface with a pen. The treatment area is then thoroughly cleansed and sterilized, so treatment can begin. Although prolotherapy involves injections, sometimes to multiple areas, it is generally very well tolerated. Because the areas of the body that are being treated are already injured and sensitive, the injections typically cause some temporary pain and discomfort. Our highly trained doctors take several measures to minimize this discomfort, such as using the smallest and thinnest needles possible, prescribing medications to reduce pain, and sometimes recommending anesthetic creams which numb the skin before the procedure. Since the body’s natural healing response can be a slow process, it may take two to four weeks before patients notice significant improvement. The results, however, are often long-lasting and may even be permanent in some cases.

What is the bottom line?

As with any other medical treatment, prolotherapy does not work in all cases. But it can provide long-term pain relief in situations where multiple other therapies have been unsuccessful. When performed as part of a comprehensive treatment strategy that maximizes your healing potential by improving your overall health, prolotherapy can be the catalyst that helps to bring you out of pain and back into the game of life.

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)

Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy is an exciting treatment that uses one’s own blood platelets to activate tissue regeneration and accelerate tissue repair following an injury, surgery, or degeneration.

How does PRP work?

Treatments are a multi-step process that is completed in one doctor’s visit, PRP involves:

  1. drawing a patient’s blood;
  2. placing it in a centrifuge to separate the plasma from the red blood cells; and
  3. injecting the plasma solution back into the patient’s body at the site(s) of the injury.

The high concentration of platelets in the plasma solution creates a localized inflammatory reaction that stimulates the growth of new ligament and tendon fibers, cartilage, and bone. The PRP process replicates the body’s natural healing response where blood swells around an injured area of the body to protect it and facilitate healing.

This technique can help shorten the rehabilitation time following an injury or surgery and can often help patients to avoid surgery or the need for cortisone injections. Compared to surgery, PRP carries a substantially lower chance of infection, leaves no scar tissue or irreversible destruction of cartilage. Visits, which include preparation and injection of the plasma solution, take approximately 50 minutes. In addition, the recovery period post-PRP is considerably shorter than post-surgery, and PRP is considerably less expensive than surgery.

In addition to orthopedic injuries, PRP can be used to improve painful intercourse (dyspareunia), vaginal dryness and even enhance orgasm. For more information on the O-Shot®, click here.

Depending upon your particular circumstances, your Kaplan physician will utilize ultrasound or fluoroscopic guidance during the PRP procedure.

Article: New State-of-the-Art Fluoroscopy Suite Expands Treatment Options for Patients

Stem Cell Therapy

As people are living longer and engaging in activity well into their golden years, the prevalence of musculoskeletal degeneration and orthopedic injuries have also increased. Stem cell therapy is another type of regenerative medicine treatment that is revolutionizing the way injuries and degeneration of muscles, tendons, and ligaments are treated.

Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are a type of adult stem cell that can be found and collected from bone marrow. Stem cells have the distinct ability to turn into various specialized cells that repair degenerated or damaged tissue. Because of their ability to develop into other tissue types, stem cells accelerate the healing process, alleviating pain symptoms and providing a faster recovery from injury or illness.

Sources of Adult Stem Cells

At the Kaplan Center, we use stem cells obtained from either bone marrow or umbilical cord tissue, primarily the latter. While adult stem cells can also be derived from adipose (fat) tissue, we do not utilize this method.

  • Umbilical cord-derived stem cells: Women who are undergoing a cesarean section birth can choose to donate placental tissue and umbilical cord to a laboratory which harvests the Wharton’s jelly, connective tissue from the umbilical cord. This tissue from healthy births would otherwise be medical waste. Wharton’s jelly is very rich in young mesenchymal stem cells, cytokines, and growth factors. Mesenchymal stem cells are different and should not be confused with embryonic stem cells.
  • Bone marrow-derived stem cells: The process of collecting bone marrow stem cells is surprisingly quick and simple. Like other regenerative injection treatments, this is a same-day procedure that takes approximately 90 minutes. After collecting bone marrow from the patient utilizing ultrasound or fluoroscopic guidance, the different compounds are spun in a centrifuge and separated. The stem cells, proteins & growth factors are then extracted and injected into the site (Depending on the site, dynamic ultrasound and x-ray fluoroscopic guidance are used to selectively target the injured structures as painlessly as possible.)

Fertility/Pregnancy Strategies

For women who are pregnant or trying to conceive, the Kaplan Center for Integrative Medicine offers a number of strategies for optimizing a woman’s health before, during, and after her pregnancy. We recommend the following strategies to women who want to experience a successful pregnancy and deliver a healthy baby.


At the Kaplan Center, we recommend that women who are undergoing in-vitro fertilization consider whole system, traditional Chinese medicine (WS-TCM) as an adjunct treatment to increase their chances of pregnancy.

WS-TCM is a multi-disciplinary intervention that can include acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, nutritional supplementation, and dietary/lifestyle recommendations based on the individual’s specific presentations. Medical research has shown that WS-TCM when combined with IVF, was associated with greater odds of live birth in donor and non-donor cycles.

Dr. Gary Kaplan, Dr. Lisa Lilienfield, and Rebecca Berkson, all perform acupuncture services at the Kaplan Center.

Hormone Replacement Therapy

We sometimes find that patients who are having difficulty getting pregnant have been living with hormonal imbalances that have never been properly diagnosed, such as Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). PCOS is an ovulatory disorder that makes it more difficult to lose weight and become pregnant (Semin Reprod Med. 2008 Jan). The Kaplan Center offers a number of alternative and conventional treatments for hormone replacement, including prescription medications, bio-identical hormones, herbal remedies, acupuncture, and lifestyle changes such as dietary improvements, regular exercise and relaxation. Kaplan Center physicians are skilled in identifying hormonal problems. If you are having trouble getting pregnant, your Kaplan Center doctor may explore the need for hormone replacement therapy with you.


Most pregnant mothers make a point of eating well because they understand that what mom eats, baby eats. But proper nutrition prior to getting pregnant is also critical to getting pregnant and delivering a healthy baby.

Clinical research has demonstrated that the quality of the hopeful mother’s diet can have a large impact on her chances of becoming pregnant. The woman’s weight also affects her ability to conceive. Whereas underweight prospective mothers may not have enough nutrient stores to ovulate or become pregnant, overweight women may experience hormonal changes that lower fertility.

Osteopathic Manual Therapy (OMT)

OMT throughout pregnancy can help a woman’s body more easily accommodate the growing life within. Furthermore, by alleviating many of the typical muscular and myofascial stresses of pregnancy, OMT can facilitate an easier delivery. Finally, continued treatment after delivery, while the ligaments involved in the pregnancy are still loose, encourages more rapid healing of the muscle and connective tissue, and can even lead to the correction of prior structural imbalances that may have existed in the mother’s body.


For women having difficulty conceiving, sometimes the biggest roadblock to getting pregnant is their emotional state and stress level. The Kaplan Center’s psychotherapist, Jodi Brayton, can equip individuals with meditation and stress reduction techniques in order to more effectively manage stressful life situations, allowing their minds and bodies to prepare for pregnancy.

The Bottom Line: If you’re trying to get pregnant, work with a medical team that understands the important role nutrition and stress management play in increasing your chances of conceiving and having a healthy pregnancy.

We’re here for you, and we want to help. Our goal is to return you to optimal health as soon as possible.

Please call (703) 532-4892 to schedule an appointment, or for more information, please click here.


Sleep Evaluation & Management


Sleep deprivation, caused by insufficient sleep or poor quality of sleep, impairs the body’s immune system, physical reflexes, emotional stability, and cognitive functions. It can also lead to increased muscle, joint and nerve pain. Sleep disorders can be caused by pain, or they can be a symptom of other serious illnesses such as clinical depression, heart disease or sleep apnea.

Before speaking with your physician, a first step that you can take at home to see if you might have a sleep disorder is to answer the Eight Questions of the Epworth Sleepiness Scale. If your score is equal to or higher than 10, please make sure to tell your doctor. Your initial medical evaluation at the Kaplan Center for Integrative Medicine will include a comprehensive assessment of your sleep history. In developing your treatment plan, your Kaplan physician will consider all of your options, including the need for a comprehensive sleep study and specialized medication to help restore healthy sleep patterns.

Our physicians understand the relationship between sleep disorders and pain, and they have experience prescribing the newer medications that can help restore delta-wave sleep. They also have expertise using alternative approaches, such as mind/body relaxation techniques, acupuncture, herbal and homeopathic remedies and lifestyle changes including better nutrition and increased exercise that can improve both your sleep and your overall health.

Biotoxicity & Neurotoxicity Protocol

There are a variety of treatments available to patients suffering from biotoxicity or neurotoxicity disorder, but there is certainly no “one-size-fits-all” remedy. Your treatment plan will be individually tailored after consideration of your overall medical history, your current symptoms, your genetic makeup, your history of exposure to biotoxins and your lifestyle. The essential aspect of treatment is the detoxification regime, a 2-step process whereby the biotoxins are first drawn out of whatever tissue in the body is storing them, and then toxins are bound at the molecular level so they can be eliminated from the body via urination.

Medications used to treat biotoxicity and neurotoxicity include Cholestyramine (CSM), Welchol, Chemet, Amphotericin B nasal spray, Antibiotics, Anti-yeast remedies, and Anti-fungal compounds. We also prescribe dietary changes such as an amylose-free diet, and nutritional supplements including Glutathione, Activated Charcoal, Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Chlorella, Vitamin D, Magnesium, and Probiotics.

The Kaplan medical team also offers patients who are undergoing detoxification complementary therapies, such as acupuncture, osteopathic manipulation, and Chinese and American herbal remedies. These alternative modalities can provide patients with significant relief from their symptoms and from any side effects of the detoxification process.

For more information about how the Kaplan Center physicians diagnose Biotoxicity/Neurotoxicity please click here.