Sarah J. Halstead
Aug 7, 2017 · 4 min read

I first met Dr. Elizabeth Trattner in Miami, back in 2014, when I was suffering from debilitating skin allergies. Think Will Smith’s character in “Hitch” when he ate the shellfish, only I wouldn’t be eating, or drinking, I would simply be in a business meeting and all of the sudden my face would conform into an unrecognizable creature! I was 41, and had never had allergies of any kind before. That year of my life was spent in and out of emergency rooms, seeing every conventional specialist in the state, undergoing tests, expensive procedures, sterilizing my home, investing in all new cosmetics, detergents, soaps, and anything I could that may have been causing the issue — nothing worked. My life revolved around Benadryl, Claritin, and EpiPens. I was groggy from the drugs and had weight gain from lack of energy to exercise. I was depressed. One evening, I was having dinner with my good friend whom had been trying to conceive. She was excited for her upcoming appointment with Dr. Elizabeth Trattner. Dr. Trattner was the protege of the renowned Dr. Weil, and had the highest accolades and testimonials of any alternative doctor in the area. My friend had been on Dr. Trattner’s waiting list for quite some time; however, much to my surprise, she graciously offered me her appt.

“Sarah, I think you need this appointment more than me. Your allergies could be an indicator of a bigger issue.” I was overwhelmed with my friends selfless and beautiful gesture! I gratefully obliged.

I remember Dr. Trattner’s office was all white with a serene stillness. I was admiring the sound of a Buddhist waterfall fountain, when an elegant, supermodel-like, silhouette emerged from the Feng Shui shadows. She took my hand and looked at me with the utmost caring concern.

“I’m Dr. Trattner and we’re going to get to the bottom of this issue. I promise.”

I don’t know what came over me, but I wanted to tell this ethereal, God-like, women everything, so I did. I told her my entire life story starting from the age of 5. My childhood in Michigan, my struggles after high school, moving to NYC to become an actor, my mother’s death, leaving acting behind for the wine industry, moving to Miami, getting married, getting divorced, my corporate job in the Champagne business, my current relationship, and how the skin allergies were now running my life. She listened intently and took notes.

“This is what we’re going to do. We’re going to put you on the table for acupuncture, I’m going to assign some changes to your diet as well as some supplements and herbs, and you’re going to take an acting class.”

“Excuse me?” I was puzzled. I’m sure I took a long pause as I was trying to digest the assigned protocol. “I’m 41. I’ve already been an actor and I have no desire to go down that road again.”

“I understand. Please call Marc Durso. Tell him I referred you. He’s the best acting coach in the Southeast. See you in two weeks.”

I had tried everything else to be rid of the allergies, so what was one more laundry list from another specialist?

I did everything she said. I omitted dairy, sugar, and gluten from my diet. I took fish oil, a probiotic, other supplements, and I took the acting class.

Two weeks later, I had lost weight, had the most energy in years, and the skin allergies were completely gone. We did more acupuncture as I excitedly told Dr. Trattner how much I was enjoying Mr. Durso’s acting class and I hadn’t felt this exuberant in years! She had a pleased smile.

I continued to see Dr. Trattner for the next six months. My body had a complete transformation. I was now 20 lbs lighter, and fit from oodles of energy spent doing yoga and power walks on the beach. I was attending acting class, had a talent agent, and was tip-toeing into stand up comedy. I eventually sold my home, quit my job, rented a 30ft RV, and began the voyage from Miami to Los Angeles to begin a new life. Now, in 2017, I’m a full-time actor and comedian. I’m still in the wine business, but on a much smaller scale, and on my terms. I feel I’m the healthiest, most focused and balanced I’ve ever been. My life isn’t perfect, and I have ups and downs like everyone, but my skin allergy is gone, my energy is high, and I feel like I am the director of my life. Words cannot express how deeply grateful I am to Dr. Trattner’s treatment and guidance. In hindsight, I believe my friend was right, the skin allergies were indeed an indicator of a bigger issue. The issue was unhappiness accompanied with a poor diet and lack of balance. We all get off track sometimes, but I’ve learned that it’s never too late to get back on, and to make sure it’s on the right side.

Thank you, Dr. Trattner. Thank you, Mr. Durso. Thank you, dear friend. xo

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