It’s all about health

Drs. Carlos and Elena SandovalAs health care providers, Las Vegan Drs. Carlos Sandoval and Elena Sanchez Sandoval want to take their patients’ health to the next level. They believe you can unleash your body’s innate ability to heal, and are trained to help you get there. Their chiropractic office, Infinite Health Care in Santa Fe, NM, provides a range of services with that in mind. The couple earned their doctorates in chiropractic medicine at Life Chiropractic College West in San Jose, Calif. Below they respond to questions about their health philosophy.

Q: You had different experiences that influenced your decision to become chiropractors. Would each of you talk briefly about those experiences?
Carlos: We both discovered chiropractic the same way the majority of people discover chiropractic, a low back injury. I was 21, and at that time had no idea what a chiropractor was or did. I was working out one day. When I went to rack the weight after a set of squats, I missed the rack and dropped 350 pounds on my back. It was the worst injury and pain I had ever experienced in my entire life. The low back pain was excruciating. I went home and took painkillers, and iced it, thinking it would go away in a day or so. I was wrong. I woke up the next morning not able to stand up, and the pain was worse. This continued for the next five days. I finally went to my medical doctor and he did the only thing he knew to do to get me out of pain, which was to prescribe opioids. Little did I know a person is not supposed to take opioids for more than four days. My prescription was good for two months; it got me out of pain, but didn’t fix the problem. I took the pills but was not back to living my normal active life. I was on opioids for a month a half before I ran into a friend who was a nurse. She explained to me the dangers of opioids and suggested I go see her chiropractor. I immediately made an appointment with Dr. Powers, the local chiropractor at the time, to see if he could help me out. After a consultation and a couple of x-rays he sat me down and explained exactly what was wrong with me, and laid out his recommendations to fix it. I followed his recommendations and just after a few visits I was completely out of pain and no longer in need of the opioids. I thought it was the coolest thing ever. The longer I stayed under care, the more I noticed how other health issues such as digestive problems and chronic sinusitis, started to improve or diminish. At the time I was going to school at NMHU to become a physical therapist, but after my time in Dr. Powers office, it inspired me to become a chiropractor. I applied to schools and that’s where my journey to become a chiropractor started.

A: Elena: When Dr. Carlos started chiropractic college I was trying to figure out what I wanted. I knew I wanted to be in the health field, I wanted to have opportunities to teach others about health through nutrition and exercise, and was also fascinated by the field of radiography. The college we went to offers something called “Champions Weekend.” They host you at the college for a weekend to learn what chiropractic actually is. I went into the weekend thinking it was all about pain relief. My world was completely turned upside down. Not only did I learn that chiropractic is about health and how our bodies heal and function, but I also realized how my own body had changed while under chiropractic care myself. When Dr. Carlos was under care with Dr. Powers in Las Vegas, I got under care as well, not really knowing what it was for or about, I did it because Carlos said it would be good for me and that it would help with my workouts. After about three months I noticed that I no longer needed my inhaler to be active; I could breathe and recover completely on my own. My menstrual cycle was for the first time since it started completely normal and regular; it used to come and go and last for weeks to a month at a time and the cramps were unbearable. Seasonal allergies I had every spring no longer existed. Chiropractic has given me my life and potential back.

Q. After practicing in California following graduation, what brought you back to New Mexico and why Santa Fe?
After California, we initially moved to Colorado Springs, Colo., thinking that was going to be the place we called home. However, after living there for three months we realized that it wasn’t the place for us. New Mexico is our home and we felt called to come back to our home state to serve the people here. There are not that many chiropractors in the area and we felt that our friends and family were not getting the care they deserve. So we packed up, left Colorado and settled down in Santa Fe. The moment we got back to New Mexico, we knew we made the right decision. It’s been amazing to help our friends and families who have come into the office, as well as all the other amazing people we have come across.

Q: In life, we look at obstacles as challenges or opportunities. What are the opportunities you face in building your patient base in the City Different?
Two things come to mind and both have to do with educating our community. First, there is a major misconception about chiropractic. People think it is only about neck pain and back pain. There is so much more to chiropractic than that. Chiropractic has the ability to influence a person’s overall health because of the intimate relationship between the spine and the nervous system. Your nervous system is made up of the brain, spinal cord and individual nerves. This system is what controls every function in the body. The main point of the spine is to support and keep us upright, but also – and more important – to protect the spinal cord. A healthy spinal cord is essential to our overall health. If the spine is not in its normal position, this could affect the function of your overall health.

Second, people don’t value their health enough to be proactive about it. Health is our greatest asset and if we lose our health, we lose everything. The majority of people wait until they get a symptom or get sick, then want to cover it with a pill, lotion or potion. They think that if they look good or feel good then that must mean they are healthy. The unfortunate problem with that is, by the time someone is experiencing a symptom it can be a lot harder to get back to health, or too late for successful treatment.

Q: Talk about some of the ways you are getting your name before the public?
One is utilizing social media such was Facebook and Instagram. We do our best to put out tons of valuable information to the public on chiropractic and health. Another way, and one of our favorites, is doing corporate health talks and lunch and learns. We partner with local businesses to arrange a day we can take them to lunch and do a health talk for them. They are always fun and a great way to get our name out and educate the community as well.

Q: What services do you provide that address your patients’ overall health?
What sets us apart is that our office is a “health center” not just a chiropractic center. Chiropractic is the foundation to getting our patients back to 100 percent health. We know there is a normal position for the spine, which is perfectly straight from the front, and from the side there should be 3 perfect 45-degree curves. When our spine is in that position, there is no stress on the nervous system, the brain is communicating with the body the way it should at 100 percent, and the body is functioning and healing the way it is intended to do.

Most people we see don’t have spines in that position. This is where we implement our spinal corrective technique to get the spine back to its normal position, which allows for better overall health, functioning and healing. We also work with our patients on nutrition, exercise, developing a positive mindset and becoming more aware of the toxins around them. We do one-on-one consultations, but the big thing we do is our monthly educational workshops on specific health topics. This is to help our patients become more health conscious and to make better-informed decisions about their health.

Q: What do you most want potential patients to know about you as providers of health care?
Health is a journey, and we are with our patients the entire journey. We truly care about people, want to see them well. Our goal is that people are THRIVING and not simply surviving, we want our patients to enjoy their lives with their loved ones doing what they love doing. We offer our help and guidance to everyone.

Q: What can a patient expect when he or she comes to your office?
Our office is unique compared to most other chiropractic offices. It takes a little more to become a patient because of the specific spinal corrective process we implement. It is a 3-day/step process. Day 1 is data-gathering day. This is the visit during which we gather all the information we need to determine if we can help that patient. This includes a comprehensive consultation, examination and necessary x-rays. The second visit, we bring the patient back the next day to let them know if they are a good candidate for our office, spinal correction and chiropractic. If they are, they will receive their first chiropractic adjustment and a follow-up stress x-ray to see how they responded to the chiropractic adjustment. At this time, we have all the information we need to determine how many visits and how long it will take to correct the patient’s spine back to its normal position. That brings us to the third visit, our required new patient workshop. In the workshop we teach them what normal x-rays should look like, how it affects their health and why it is important to get adjusted. We teach them and give them all the information they need to be the doctor so that it is a doctor-doctor relationship not a doctor-patient relationship. This helps our patients understand their problem in more depth and detail, which helps them get better, quicker results. After the workshop, which is about 20-30 minutes, we go into private rooms, go over the patient’s x-rays, the care plan on what it’s going to take to correct the problem, and the financial investment.

Once the patient signs up, every time they come in for a visit they follow a three-step process. Step 1 is to warm up the spine. We teach our patients specific spinal corrective exercises to help warm up their spines for the adjustment, build strength and mobility in the spine and help hydrate the discs. Step 2 is the adjustment. We meet with the patient at the table to deliver the specific chiropractic adjustment. At the table we have the x-rays pulled up along with the listings of subluxations (misalignments in the spine) that we found, and we use a variety of techniques and tools to adjust. After the patient gets adjusted, they go to our spine and posture rehab area. This is step 3. We use complete body weighting systems and high frequency vibration platforms to reconstruct the spine and posture back to the normal position that it is supposed to be in. This 3-step process is repeated every time they come into our office for the number of recommended visits. We also give our patients a homecare kit and teach them specific exercises to do at home. This a way they can support what we are doing in the office.

Q: Do you treat children and teens as well as adults? How are treatments methods different based on age, or are they?
As chiropractors we do not treat anything. We practice a salutogenic model, which gives birth to health, not the treatment of a specific condition. What we know and do is improve the function of the nervous system, which allows the body to heal and improves overall health. We do have specific CARE for infants, children and teens. We are a family-based office and aim to help our patients from womb to tomb. Dr. Elena is the pregnancy and pediatric specialist and one of the very few in the state. Adjusting and caring for children is different from adults. Infants, children and teens have different spines. Adjustments for children are very gentle, safe and effective. The amount of pressure used to correct the spine of a child is about the same amount of pressure you would use to test a tomato. Since children have not lived and accumulated the stressors that adults have, their care and frequency is much less than that of an adult, and they respond quickly to care, in some cases instantly. Parents have reported that through chiropractic care their children have improved immune systems (get sick less often and recover from colds quickly), improved sleep (especially with infants, they sleep through the night) and improved disposition.

Q: What do you most enjoy about the work you do?
The thing we enjoy most is seeing the health transformations people go through, which allows them to get their lives back. We have truly seen some amazing things happen while people are under chiropractic care.

Infinite Health Center is located at 2860 Cerrillos Rd., Suite C-2, Santa Fe, NM. For appointments contact their office at 505-772-0114. For more information e-mail and check out their website at,


Writing is what I do

Thunder Prime Hunter's LightAuthor Sharon Vander Meer: I love sci fi and I love contemporary fiction and I love mystery/adventure and I love poetry. As a writer, I’m told I should stick with one thing or the other, but if a story or poem pops into my head, it will end up getting written. Not everything gets published, but the work of creation is my heartbeat. A writer is what I am; writing is what I do. My dream is that you will enjoy the results of my labor of love.

Character and plot development are like 1000-piece puzzles: you start with the edges and work toward the heart. You don’t get the full impact of the image until the last piece is in. Therein lies the secret of storytelling.

My latest novel – Thunder Prime, Hunter’s Light – is now published. The last piece of the puzzle is in place. The book is available as an e-book  ($2.99), or as a paperback ($15). I will have copies available by April 5 if you would like to buy directly from me and get a signed copy.

Sci-fi action and futuristic politics combine in this story of a young woman who is on a quest to find her mother. Pella Soames will allow nothing to stand in the way of her search for Trish Soames, taken from Earth by a known galactic trader in slaves. Not a downed transport, attempts to abduct her and well-meaning friends who want to stop her mad and dangerous search for a woman who may not even be alive will stay her resolve. Fate, unexpected help and Pella’s wily sense of self-preservation keep her out of the hands of abductors… mostly.

When events conspire to bring her closer to reaching Chandor, a planet at the edge of the galaxy, Pella is faced with the difficult choice of protecting the children who have come into her care or using them as a means of reaching the holding of the hated Chandorian chieftain who took Pella’s childhood away.

This is my fifth novel. If you are looking for genre fiction from me, you will be disappointed.  If you’re looking for stories about independent female protagonists, then I have great tales to tell.

 Thunder Prime, Hunter’s Light may be purchased from online retailers and directly from the author. For more information contact

Other works include Blind Curve, Finding Family, Future Imperfect, and The Ballad of Bawdy McClure, two chap books of poetry and a book of daily inspirational readings.

Follow Sharon at:
Amazon Author Central


The Creative Spirit Freed


You have made art in some magical form.
The thing you made is ready to sell.
Excitement pounds! Gallops, if you will,
stirring the heart and mind
to unnamed and unnameable possibilities.
Think of the thrill, the accolades, the glory!

But, wait! What if your brilliant creation
falls flat, has no resilience, gains no traction,
ends up on the scrap heap, a dud, a flop, a bomb?
Snickers and derision scrape like thorns
across your naked heart leaving you only slightly alive,
hope buried under insecurity, a shuddering fear of failure.

Stop. Right. There.
Doubt never lit a fire under anyone.
Fear frustrates flights of fancy,
stabs the brain with “I can’t! I Can’t! I CAN’T!”
That kind of thinking mocks the creative spirit,
binding her with thorny creepers.

You are ART. You are WRITER. You are CRAFT.
Believe in your work. Everything begins
and ends with your confidence in what you
have made, through your sweat and tears,
laughter and fears, worries and joys.
Believe in your WORK or no one else will.

Let excitement pound!
Thrill at the galloping hooves of hope!
You are an innovative life force.
Put it all out there and trust your gift –
whatever that gift may be.
Leave a mark. Inspire laughter. Arouse passion.

You cannot know what your work
will do to, or for someone else.
And does it matter?
What your work has already done
is made a difference in you.
You have done something no one else can do.

Ply your craft with dedication
and single-minded focus.
Create to your heart’s content.
Let excitement permeate the sweating artistic process,
believe and be proud. You produced something unique.
Put it out there with courage and not an ounce of doubt.

Color Graphic

A creation story

Blanket Flower


God created people in his own image.
What an amazing thought.
The Spirit that permeates every molecule of creation
is in us as much as it is in
the nurturing soil that brings forth food,
the flowing streams that give life to all,
the neighbor who looks different
but who is of and from God, too.
We and they, are part of a woven blanket,
each thread laid in a pattern we cannot know or see,
which touches us as we touch the other threads.
Our actions
become part of the blanket,
the Spirit that covers us all.

Inspired by Genesis 1:27

Prairie Madness

Prairie MadnessPrairie Madness – Conspiracy at Fort Union
Author: Edwina Romero
Publisher: Random Horse Press
Cost: Paperback $18.81, Kindle e-book, $3.99
Available at: Amazon

Edwina Romero is the author of three books about Las Vegas, N.M. history. Prairie Madness – Conspiracy at Fort Union is her first novel. For more about the author go to

If you like historical novels, you will thoroughly enjoy Prairie Madness – Conspiracy at Fort Union, by Edwina Romero. If you like a plain old good read, you are in for a treat.

Patti RomeroRomero has blended history and mystery to write an intriguing puzzle surrounding the death of personable Sean Flannery, a first sergeant at Fort Union in the late 1800s. The story involves the complex social structure of fort life with its military personnel, civilian workers, and privately-owned trader’s store. The ever-present winds sigh and bluster across the barren landscape, lending a haunting backdrop to this story of two women and the men in their lives.

Forget stereotypes, with washer women being the low rung on the social ladder, and think instead of the hardy women who ended up at the edges of the wild west. Their resilience is the true story behind this window on the past.

When army laundress Mary Margaret O’Keenan learns Sean is dead, she is convinced from the get-go that it was no accident. Who took the life of the man she had come to love? Mary Margaret intends to find out, ready to confront authority and bring to light clues she comes upon in her determined investigation.

Despite threats and pushback from military officials, she forges ahead with the unlikely but welcome help of Olivia Foote, wife of the post’s contract trader, a man whose motives appear to be less than honorable.

Mary Margaret and Olivia form a bond of trust and friendship that helps them in their pursuit of truth. The historical facts and setting take the reader back to an era when changes were underway for forts across the country. Howling winds batter at adobe walls and trickle through the mind, perhaps scouring away sober judgment and replacing it with the bare bones of greed and self-interest.

Place and character define a good story. In Prairie Madness, these elements are woven together beautifully. The tale moves apace revealing a conspiracy that reaches right into the office of the fort’s commanding officer and beyond.

Mary Margaret has good instincts, but deciding whom to trust isn’t easy. All she knows for sure is that the facts of Sean Flannery’s death must be revealed and the culprit brought to justice.

Paper Trail in Las Vegas, NM, will host a book signing on Saturday, March 16, at 1 p.m., featuring Romero and  Prairie Madness – Conspiracy at Fort Union. The book is also available online in paperback and Kindle format.



The Death of Bernadette Lefthand

The Death of Bernadette LefthandA good story is made up of a collection of elements, the most powerful is that magical thing called voice. Who is speaking and what is the storyteller saying from the heart to engage the reader? In The Death of Bernadette Lefthand, author Ron Querry nailed it with Gracie. As the primary source of insight into Bernadette’s life and tragic death, Gracie can’t know everything, so we get to hear from a few other perspectives. But at the core, this is as much Gracie’s story as it is Bernadette’s.

Through Gracie’s eyes we get to see her sister’s world falling apart, attributable to human foible as much as anything, but assigned to fable and witchcraft Native American style, with Singers/medicine men making chilling appearances that portend no good thing.

Gracie reveals the meanness of living on a reservation with little to rely on other than family and tradition. She is not described, but you get the sense of a young woman whose appeal lies in the heart, not in outward appearance. Without guile or jealousy, she concedes to her lovely sister all the attributes she does not have. Her admiration of Bernadette’s spirit, her beauty, her charm, her talent dancing to the music of the drums, all serve to create the love story between sisters. Gracie seems content in Bernadette’s shadow, as though it is the perfectly logical place for her to be. In this shadowland, perhaps she sees what’s coming before anyone else can as Bernadette’s handsome Navajo husband’s life takes a nosedive into the bottle.

The bittersweet truth of the novel is the unanswered question of whether the bad buy gets his comeuppance. It’s left to the reader to decide, but I like to believe that in this good-vs-evil story, evil met his doom in fitting Native American fashion.

The Death of Bernadette Lefthand was first published in 1993 and won the Border Regional Library Association Southwest Book Award and the 1994 Mountains and Plains Booksellers Association Book Award. It has since received critical acclaim for the author’s ability to depict the intersection between white and native worlds.

Regarding this 25th anniversary edition of The Death of Bernadette Lefthand, Kirkus Reviews wrote: This…beautiful story deserves to be back on the bookshelves of American readers with its innovative, organic use of Indigenous prose form and strong, lovely personalities.

The Death of Bernadette Lefthand is published by Cinco Puntos Press and is available online and in bookstores.

Querry lives in Northern New Mexico in a century-old Queen Anne Victorian house, with his wife, fine art photographer Elaine Querry, and their three cow dogs.

Cover image from Cinco Puntos Press