Okay, so you all know about the herniated disc in my lower back already. After three months of not walking at the beginning of the year, I worked it out myself, without drugs, surgery, or therapy. I’m still in constant discomfort, and can’t exercise or wear heels, but I’m doing okay, knock on wood.

Massage room.

But, when I was in New York this Fall, I thought that “okay” meant “all better” and I was far from wrong. All of a sudden, I found myself driving and walking again, and in excruciating pain from doing so. My caring friend Lauren took one look at me and insisted that I visit her massage therapist, Alex Kaminski, at the Office of Integrated Medicine at their spanking new offices on the Upper East Side. She swears by him. (And by the rest of the place, too! Please make sure to read down to the part about the fabulous facialist, Liliya Chernova.)

Alex was fabulous! A former Olympic athlete with not one, but two herniated discs himself, he really knew his stuff, let me tell you. This was no fun namby-pamby massage! Alex was there to help me to get around comfortably and heal. He helped me a lot in just one session. I can only imagine how much good he could do if I lived there!

Lauren wanted to show me around the lovely new offices, but I was out of time. But I thought about it for a few days, and was so grateful to Alex that I wanted to go back and find-out more about their services. [Note: I hope to visit him again this trip, so I’ll report on any updates in January.]

The beautiful, classy waiting room.

It’s run by a well-thought-of chiropractor, but since that’s the wrong kind of doctor for a herniated disc, I didn’t need to meet him. But I did spend time with a couple of members of the lovely office staff. (More on them later.)

It was towards the end of my month in New York, so I thought it was time to relax with a therapeutic facial from the aforementioned Liliya Chernova. It was wonderful! Finally, an aesthetician who knows enough to include the most important neck and shoulders! (Most of them ignorantly stop at the chin.) This facial was truly the single best beauty treatment I’ve ever had. No wonder she’s billed as a “Beauty Therapist!”

During most facials I’ve received over the years, I lie there hoping that the aesthetician will do a long massage, but rarely do they. Liliya gave me one so long and thorough that, I swear, I think I was actually hallucinating! I was really in and out of consciousness because I was so relaxed. I could never even begin to emulate what she did, but it was just perfect. It’s what a facial massage should be, and never is!

And, the second best part was that she didn’t say anything bad about my skin, in an attempt to sell me products or set-up more sessions. Ladies–you know what I’m talking about! She even told me that I didn’t need any extractions! The others always try to make you feel bad and insecure, and Liliya was only complimentary. Loved her!

Then, I met Alex Aranjo, the manager of the cosmetic surgery division. He couldn’t have been nicer and less pushy, also. He answered only the questions I asked, and showed me how they do some basic procedures, without even once suggesting that I needed any “work.” I really appreciated that.

He introduced me to Isis Harris, who’s the medical aesthetician, as opposed to Liliya, who’s the cosmetic one. Isis said she loves doing little procedures to the skin, and showed me how easy some of them are. These two really seemed to love doing their jobs and improving patients’ looks and self-esteem.

I was so relaxed and comfortable that, had I not had a screening to get to, I could have spent a few more hours there! I felt I was among friends, and that they were really looking-out for my well-being. Which is actually more than many of my actual friends do!

635 Madison Avenue New York 212-277-4406



  1. Dear Karen thank you very much for your warm words!
    I hope you ok! And if not I will ship my self by UPS ( over night!) to CA and will fix your back! :)
    Happy and Healthy New Year dear!!
    Hope to see you soon!

  2. Fabulous facialist - Liliya Chernova :) on

    Dear Karen,

    I was touched and amazed by such wonderful things you wrote about me. I greatly appreciate it! Thank you so much and I will always be happy to see you in New York!


  3. Chiropractic for Herniated Disc on

    Great review of a wonderful office I just had the pleasure of meeting myself. However, you couldn’t be more wrong! Chiropractor the wrong type of Doctor for a herniated disc? Seriously?

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