MEET OUR TEAM
RPh, HC, FDN-P
Elsa was a pharmacist in big-box pharmacies for more than 25 years. During her tenure, she noticed too many people were sick with chronic illnesses. She got tired of watching people stay sick and tired. Elsa developed her vision to combine pharmacy services with nutritional education support to help people live healthier and happier lives, and she brought this vision to life by creating Golden Health Pharmacy in 2015. As an active member of the local community, Elsa encourages clients to be in charge of their own health, to educate themselves, and to seek help to understand nutrition and wellness. Elsa received her Bachelor's degree from Massachusetts College of Pharmacy in 1990 and her certification from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition in 2013.
Natural Health and Wellness Advocate
Rachel is an avid proponent of clean living, nutritious eating, and natural healing. After developing some chronic issues of her own, she began researching the effects of nutrition and lifestyle on overall health and well-being, and started implementing changes to necessitate healing. Blown away by the positive impact and also the amount of misinformation by which most people live, she saw an opening to make a difference in the lives of those around her, and has committed to educating others to help them achieve optimal wellness. Rachel understands that overall well-being is about more than just food and should encompass the mind, body and spirit. She has a special interest in cooking and baking to accommodate food intolerances, developing healthful meal ideas for children and busy parents, and physical fitness. She is a graduate of the George Washington University, works for the online farmer's market Seasonal Roots, and will be pursuing the Nutritional Therapy Practitioner certification beginning in September 2018.
RH [AHG] Master Herbalist and Pharmacy & Herbal Compounder
For more than six years, Alka has worked as a licensed pharmacy professional, helping pharmacists research and develop compounding formulations to meet individual patient needs. Due to her experience in pharmacy and herbal medicine, Alka understands and utilizes the relationships between drug chemistry and plant chemistry, as many pharmaceutical drug sources are originally plant-based. She received her Master Herbalist Diploma from the Natural Healing College of California and pursued further education in advanced clinical skills with internship hours through IIEI, under the supervision and mentorship of Dr. K. P. Khalsa, one of the foremost natural healing experts in North America. Alka strongly believes that herbal medicine requires a solid nutritional foundation in order to heal, so she is presently studying nutritional therapy at IIEI. Her expertise is in Ayurveda as well as western herbalism, and she has experience working with GI issues, thyroid imbalance, hair loss, and skin problems. She presently practices as a clinical herbalist in the Northern Virginia Community.
Lara believes that the key to good health is balance and mindfulness. She enjoys being a member of the Golden Health Pharmacy team and helping people on their journey to true wellness. She is passionate about organic farming and soil health. Because of her experiences working in farming and nutrition, she hopes to combine these two passions to influence the way people think about their nourishment for body, mind, and soul.
Certified Qigong Instructor
Josee Arel has always been interested in being healthy and living well. Her passion for health brought her to Chinese Medicine and the soft martial arts. She has been a practitioner of Therapeutic Qigong for over 17 years and a Level 2 instructor. Qigong is a gentle exercise using the whole body, mind and deep breathing to promote relaxation, focus, and healing. Josee also has a black belt in Taekwondo.
Josee earned her B.A. degree in Chemistry and has been working at Waters Corporation for over 20 years supporting liquid chromatography. Her hobbies include gardening, hiking, and working with Golden Retriever Rescue Education and Training. Josee teaches Qigong class once a month at Golden Health Pharmacy and believes that we are incredible beings and by listening to our bodies, treating ourselves with kindness and love that we can heal ourselves.