Fertility Massage – Ancient Tools Creating a Healthy Future

By  Guest Blogger, Shalon Da~Nai LMT
Like all massage, fertility massage was practiced by ancient civilizations. Before the advent of surgical intervention and hormonal therapies, healers were helping women conceive naturally. Rooted in the culture, was an understanding of the body and what it needs to function with ease. They used all of what nature provided e.g., physical touch, movement, plant medicine, energy and intention or prayer. For example, the Practice of belly dancing was designed to strengthen the core, open the hips and stimulate blood flow so that women could become pregnant easily and have healthy pregnancies and births.
Massage therapists, like myself, are continuing these powerful methods of hands on healing that our ancestors pioneered. These tools are even more valuable in our fast paced, modern world. Stress can impede the natural function of the body in many ways, especially when it comes to the delicate balance of hormones required to create a baby. Not only is there more mental stress, but also more physical stress, as we are exposed to more toxins in our environment.
The goal of Fertility massage is to help create the ideal conditions in which conception can occur. Bringing the body into balance allows it to work more efficiently. A combination of modalities are used to treat the client wholly, physically as well as emotionally and energetically. During the massage, reflexology points correlating to the endocrine glands are stimulated to help regulate hormones. Acupressure points are activated to open the flow of Chi through the body, allowing the energy to nourish all organ systems. Abdominal massage treats both the digestive and reproductive organs. Circulating blood into the soft tissue helps eliminate toxins and support cellular health with oxygen. Massage of the colon cleanses it of stuck waste, which will ease pressure in the abdomen and aid in the absorption of nutrients. Massage of the ovaries and fallopian tubes works to break down excess tissue from endometriosis, cysts and fibroids, and helps to remove mucus that can block the tubes. This makes for easy passage of the egg during ovulation. Massage also breaks down scar tissue caused by infections or surgical procedures. Misalignment of the uterus can be corrected with this gentle massage technique. Aside from enhancing fertility, this therapy can also improve cramping or clotting during menstruation, ease symptoms of PMS and regulate a woman’s cycle.
Science has advanced our understanding of the body beyond that of our ancestors. Medical doctors can diagnose imbalances that contribute to infertility. They have various procedures to help couples conceive, such as hormones, surgery, artificial insemination, in vitro fertilization and more. Many couples choose natural methods focusing on diet, exercise, yoga, herbal medicine, chiropractic, acupuncture and massage. Fertility massage enhances the success of both natural and medicinal approaches to regaining fertility. By creating a healthy environment for a baby to grow the chances of a full term pregnancy and healthy baby are increased.
Wanting to have a family is only natural. Unfortunately for some, it can be a long and stressful journey. Stress is one of the main things to avoid when trying to become pregnant. Massage gives us the opportunity to slow down, breathe, and get in touch with our bodies. It lowers the stress hormone cortisol and releases the love hormone oxytocin. Not only is it creating a better state of health for you and your future baby, but it feels good and makes you happy.
When it comes to fertility massage you must be an active participant in this process. This therapy does not end when you get off of the massage table. You will take with you, tools to continue healing yourself. With regular massage, women will find them selves feeling better and in most cases, achieving their dreams of motherhood.

Shalon Da~Nai, LMT offers massage therapy to Men, Women and Children. She is certified in Prenatal/ Postpartum massage. Her services can assist with pain, stress and infertility using various modalities. She also offers classes for families to learn hands on Labor support techniques and Infant Massage.
Shalon can be reached by phone at (603) 303-6968. Appointments can be booked online at ShalonLMT.com.
Shalon is available for massage at Healing Hands Chiropractic Family Wellness Center, 156 Harvey Rd. #2 Londonderry, NH 03053

Healing Hands Chiropractic Family Wellness Center is a full-service holistic family wellness center offering chiropractic care, massage therapy, acupuncture, nutrition, reiki, yoga & meditation, childbirth education, La Leche League breastfeeding support, RESOLVE fertility peer support groups. All of our practitioners specialize in fertility, prenatal, postpartum, pediatric and family wellness care.

10 Reasons to Take an Independent Birth Class

by Jenny Everett King, Childbirth Educator and Certified Yoga Teacher

1. Independent Childbirth Educators work for you. We are not obligated to support anyone’s procedures, or to ensure that our material agrees with hospital policy. That means you get unbiased, research-based information, not someone else’s agenda.

2. We’re specialists. Independent Childbirth Educators specialize in birth, not medicine. Hospital classes are often taught by medical professionals with secondary training in birth education.

3. You get the tour anyway. Many people choose to take classes at the hospital where they plan to deliver, because the class includes a tour of the maternity ward. However, most hospitals offer these tours apart from a childbirth series as well.

4. We trust your body. The fact that you are pregnant is excellent evidence that your body works, and works well. You deserve to get your information from sources who recognize this simple fact.

5. We have a wide demographic of students. You won’t just get the perspective of parents who have chosen the same care provider, hospital, or birth method that you have. You will have the opportunity to hear about other choices and get information on options you may not have considered. Fellow expectant parents are a great resource!

6. We recognize birth as a whole-person experience. We discuss the emotional and spiritual aspects of pregnancy and childbirth, not just the physical process.

7. We understand natural medicine. We can give you unbiased, well-researched information that you may not get from a mainstream source, including facts about vaccines, attachment parenting, and natural solutions for common pregnancy and birth concerns. (Healing Hands Chiropractic Family Wellness Center has practitioners on-site who treat sciatica, heartburn, breech presentation, and post-dates pregnancy, among other things.)

8. We support conventional medicine when it’s used appropriately. We’ll tell you honestly about situations where there may be a need for it, and when it’s just part of the protocol. Most importantly, we’ll help you know the difference.

9. We know that birth is an experience you help create and not something that just happens. Independent Childbirth Educators give you the tools to make the decisions that are right for your birth, your family, and your baby. We don’t teach you our way, we help you determine your way.

10. We LIKE birth! Independent Childbirth Educators know that giving birth can truly be enjoyable. We didn’t get into this field for the paycheck; we got here because we recognize (and have often experienced) the inherent power, mystery, and beauty of giving birth. Birth is not some arduous, joyless trial to overcome, but a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for ecstasy and empowerment. Wouldn’t you prefer to learn about birth from someone who will teach you how you can enjoy it?

Yoga Momma

by Jenny Everett King, CYT

Prenatal & Postpartum Yoga Teacher / Pregnancy & Childbirth Educator

It’s a quiet Monday morning, and I’ve returned from a weekend professional workshop absolutely determined to reestablish a consistent yoga practice. After feeding the kids breakfast, I  turn on the least guilt-inducing children’s programming I can find, vacuum the worst of the dog hair out of my practice space, unroll my mat, and promise myself that the next hour is my own time.

Five sun salutations into my practice, my 2-year-old wanders in and announces, in one simple word (which may or may not be in the dictionary), that he needs his diaper changed.

While changing him, I do my best to stay tuned into to my breathing and my body. But really, who takes a full, cleansing, energizing inhalation while handling a dirty diaper? It’s just a bad combination.

Before children, I was the perfect yogini. No, not really. But I had a consistent one-and-a-half to two-hour meditation, asana and pranayama practice five or six days a week, and a dedicated yoga room in the house. Then my morning practice gave way to morning sickness, and the yoga room became the office so that the office could become the baby’s room. While I continued to teach and attend classes, my own personal practice disintegrated.

To my surprise, the event that brought me back to the heart of yoga was the culmination of the factors that had distracted me in the first place: giving birth. At no other time in my life have I felt so completely present, so in tune with my body, so inherently certain of a higher power, as I have in the moments of giving birth to my children. But a regular asana and pranayama practice? I’m still searching for that.

Traditionally, children and household responsibilities have been considered incompatible with the ascetic lifestyle of a yogi – and for good reason. Hours of asana and meditation simply do not mesh with the demands of responsible early parenting. However, I believe that this necessary adaptation is the perfect illustration of what yoga is really about.

Yoga is not about hours of poses and breath work. It is not about sitting to meditate uninterrupted. Are these tools useful and important? Absolutely. But they are just that: tools. Asana, pranayama, and meditation are a means to an end, not an end in themselves. The end goal is absolute presence, mindfulness, complete awareness. Yoga offers everyone the tools to adapt to and cope with stress, adversity, and disappointment. It helps us to keep perspective, to remain conscious of the “big picture” in the midst of daily distractions. The ability to maintain perspective is valuable to every person on the planet, especially parents of young children.

After changing the diaper, I return to my mat. No sooner have I come into Paripurna Navasana than both kids enter. My four-year-old begins playing on the floor next to me, while my two-year-old climbs into my lap. After several admonitions that “Mommy needs some time for herself,” accompanied by creatively incorporating a 25-pound child into several seated asanas, they return to the TV. Eventually, the background music for my Savasana is not devotional chanting but the theme song to Caillou™.

In Mama & Baby Yoga later that day, I found myself explaining to a new student, “Don’t expect to practice all the poses in a single class.” Invariably, at least one mom is sitting on the floor nursing, or changing a diaper. Babies simply take priority over asana. Class does not end with a traditional Savasana (total relaxation), but rather a guided breathing time to promote relaxation and mindfulness.

As a parent and as a yoga teacher, I am not entirely convinced that mothers are meant to “let go completely,” the instruction so commonly heard at the end of yoga class. Mothers of young children, particularly breastfeeding moms, are not wired physically nor emotionally for complete detachment. Understanding and accepting this deviation from traditional yoga guidance is fundamental to offering women a yoga practice relevant to their lives.

All yoga classes at Healing Hands Chiropractic are designed to help you make yoga a part of your everyday life, not just a series of poses you do once or twice a week. Our personalized approach is rooted in our commitment to help you start yoga from where you are (and not from some place you think you “should” be). This applies to women at all stages of life, from pregnancy through menopause and beyond.


In honor of Mother’s Day, Healing Hands Chiropractic is offering a special discount on yoga class packages during the month of May: Buy one package, get the second at 50% off. This is a great opportunity to share your love of yoga with a mother, sister, or friend. Call 603-434-3456 for details, or stop by the front desk after your next class.

Please join us Saturday, May 22nd, from 12 to 3 pm, as we honor women of all ages at our Women’s Day of Wellness. This enriching afternoon will include complimentary chair massage, reiki, yoga, and refreshments. We will be accepting donations to benefit Elliot Hospital’s Postpartum Depression Taskforce.

Labor Pain: What EVERY Pregnant Woman Needs to Know

by Jenny Everett King, childbirth educator and prenatal yoga teacher

Because we promote natural childbirth at Healing Hands, some people assume that our practitioners are opposed to epidurals and other pharmacological methods of labor pain relief. This is absolutely not the case. Rather, what concerns us is the idea so prevalent in today’s culture that women need medication for labor pain. We encourage natural pain relief methods because we want every pregnant woman who walks through our doors to know that non-medicated birth is a viable option.

Some mothers who plan to use medication for pain relief do little else to prepare for the discomforts of labor. But women who plan on epidurals for labor and delivery still need other coping techniques. If you go into labor at home, you will still need to cope with contractions during the car ride to the hospital as well as the admission process. Even at the hospital, the window of opportunity for receiving an epidural can be relatively small – typically between four and eight centimeters cervical dilation. Request it before 4cm, and you’ll have to wait until your labor has progressed. Request it at 8cm or more – for most women, this is the most intense part of labor – and you’ll likely be denied because the “pushing” stage is imminent. It’s also a good idea to let an epidural wear off somewhat before pushing begins, so that you can feel your contractions enough to work with them. That means that you’ll probably have some discomfort during the second stage of labor. Additionally, epidurals do not always provide total pain relief. Planning in a scheduled cesarean? In the absence of medical need, it’s unlikely that one will be performed before 39 weeks gestation. But full-term labor can happen as early as 37 or 38 weeks. Every pregnant woman, therefore, needs to prepare herself to deal with labor contractions.

Our childbirth workshops teach several ways to cope with and minimize labor pain, including relaxation techniques, the best positions for labor, massage, counter-pressure, acupressure, and vocalization. We also discuss epidurals at length, so that parents who are interested in them can make an informed decision and know when pain medication may be the right choice.

The other services we offer at Healing Hands, particularly pregnancy chiropractic, acupuncture, and prenatal yoga, are extremely useful for minimizing labor pain, because receiving these treatments during pregnancy can help your baby get into the best position for birth. The worst discomforts women feel during labor are usually due to the baby being in a less-than-optimal position. (The horror stories told to vulnerable pregnant women about “back labor” are really stories of a baby facing backwards for birth!)

Our practitioners welcome your questions about handling labor pain and optimal fetal positioning. For more on coping techniques in labor, please join us for “Love Your Birth” on January 26th or April 20th.


By Christina Wolf, LaC

Congratulations on your pregnancy!  What’s that?  You’re too nauseated to celebrate?  Unfortunately, this is the reality for many women in their first trimester (and sometimes in the second and third as well).  Nausea, dry heaves, vomiting and heartburn can all eclipse the joy of knowing you’ll soon be a mother.  Luckily, there are tried and true ways to combat “morning sickness” (in quotes here because it isn’t just confined to the morning):

  • Try to eat frequent, small meals.  For some women, keeping their stomachs full will considerably reduce nausea, even though it seems counterintuitive to eat while you’re feeling queasy.
  • Ginger is a wonderful, readily-available herbal remedy that’s been prescribed for thousands of years by Chinese physicians.  Put a raw slice of ginger under your tongue, chew on a piece of crystallized ginger, drink ginger tea or take ginger capsules frequently throughout the day.
  • Trust your cravings!  Avoid the foods/smells that seem to make your stomach lurch and eat the foods you are craving, sometimes those foods will stave off nausea for a few hours.
  • Acupuncture can be very helpful for reducing the nausea and vomiting associated with pregnancy.  Pericardium 6, an acupuncture point located about two inches above your wrist crease, on the inside of your forearm, between the two big tendons there is well known for treating any kind of nausea and vomiting.  Some pharmacies sell wrist bands that apply pressure to this point and can be worn all day long.

Still sick after following these suggestions?  Get some help!  Your acupuncturist has other Chinese herbal remedies that may help you, the ND can offer homeopathy and other supplements, your chiropractor can make any necessary adjustments, etc.  Of course if you are seriously ill and cannot keep even water down, you may become dehydrated, so it’s important to seek medical treatment as soon as possible.

Remember that this too will pass and the rewards of parenthood will far outweigh the discomforts of pregnancy.  Hang in there mamas-to-be!

To make an appointment for acupuncture with Christina Wolf, Lic Ac, click here.

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Birth Your Way

“What do you think of your body?”

It’s a question that elementary school children have been asked recently, in hopes of shedding light on the body image crisis. But it’s also a question that every woman of childbearing age should ask herself – and most do, albeit unconsciously.

Medical anthropologist Robbie Davis-Floyd writes that a woman’s choices regarding her birth often reveal her deepest beliefs about the abilities of her body, and by extension, her beliefs about nature and technology. A woman who believes that nature has made her body powerful and capable will choose a birth with minimal interventions – a labor that begins spontaneously and is allowed to progress without interference. A woman who believes that technology is superior to nature and that medical knowledge is superior to natural (and often unpredictable) body processes will choose a more “controlled” birth, where the labor process is carefully monitored and perhaps managed by outside influences. Even if the type of birth is not consciously chosen in advance – in fact, it rarely is – these same belief systems are often evident in a mother’s choice of care provider (midwife or OB/GYN) as well as the location for her baby’s birth (home, birth center, or hospital).

Of course, many women begin pregnancy unsure of what they believe regarding medical technology and its relationship to nature. The attitude of today’s average expectant mother could be summed up like this: She wants to believe that a natural, low-intervention birth is safe, realistic, and worthwhile. But by the middle of her pregnancy, she has heard, read, and viewed so many birth horror stories, she is no longer confident in her body’s ability to birth without the “safeguards” of modern medicine. She likely still hopes for a normal birth, but has taken on more of a “wait and see” approach to her birth plan.

Several studies indicate that a mother’s level of satisfaction with her baby’s birth is only loosely related to the choices that were made, but very closely related to the mother knowing she played an active role in making those decisions. A mother who feels pressured to submit to an intervention she would prefer to avoid (or even a mother who feels she was denied an intervention she wanted) is often left feeling very dissatisfied with her birth experience.

Regardless of the decisions she makes, every mother deserves to give birth with confidence in her choices. Just as the physical work of pregnancy reaches its climax with labor and birth, much of the intellectual and emotional work of pregnancy is to be informed and stay confident. Pregnancy and childbirth classes are an excellent way to get information. The face-to-face interaction with childbirth professionals as well as with other parents gives both the mother and her birth partner the chance to ask questions and explore their beliefs about a natural pregnancy and birth. Most importantly, birth classes encourage dialogue between the mother and her birth partner. (This is often a more effective source of communication than handing your husband or boyfriend a copy of the latest pregnancy book and then wondering if he’ll actually read it.)

Prenatal yoga classes offer pregnant women another opportunity to increase confidence in their birth choices, no matter what they are. Yoga’s emphasis on “tuning in” to the self helps a woman build confidence in her intuition. Pregnancy hormone jokes aside, Woman’s Intuition is not cutesy sitcom fodder but in fact a powerful and valuable player during pregnancy and birth. For many women of childbearing age, the value of intuition has gone the way of body confidence: we lost it in early adolescence. Pregnancy is an opportunity to reconnect with both.

Not sure what you want for your birth? Be honest with yourself. Do research. But most importantly, practice tuning in to your deepest thoughts and feelings. With time, you will begin to discover the choices that are best for you and your baby.

Healing Hands Chiropractic offers a number of prenatal care services to help you have the healthiest pregnancy and birth. In addition to pregnancy and childbirth workshops, we offer prenatal yoga, prenatal chiropractic care (including the Webster Technique), prenatal massage, reiki, and acupuncture.


LONDONDERRY, NH – Healing Hands Chiropractic, A Family Wellness Center in Londonderry, NH announces additional prenatal education services. Healing Hands’ prenatal education program now offers two distinct classes: Celebrating Your Pregnancy, for women in their first or second trimester along with their partners; and Honoring Your Birth, for women in their third trimester and their birth partners.

The Celebrating Your Pregnancy series is designed to help parents make healthy choices for pregnancy and while planning baby’s birth. Topics covered include:

  • Nutrition for optimal health & complication prevention
  • Safe exercise habits
  • Choosing the right practitioner for you
  • Understanding prenatal testing
  • Physical, emotional, and sexual changes during pregnancy
  • Fetal development

Healing Hands Chiropractic offers some of the only classes in the greater Manchester and Nashua areas that are not affiliated with a specific hospital. This independence allows them to work for you, the parent, rather than an institution. While some hospital-sponsored birth classes may cost a bit less, parents can benefit significantly from the independent nature of these classes.

Classes are available in weekday evening or Saturday afternoon formats. The cost for either series is $59 per family. Upcoming class dates are Wednesdays, March 25th and April 1st, 6:30-8:30 pm; and Saturday, April  11th from 12-5 pm.  For more information, please call 603-434-3456 or email Jenny Everett King at jenny@healinghandsnh.com.

Also available at Healing Hands Chiropractic are prenatal chiropractic care (including the renowned Webster Technique), prenatal yoga, pregnancy massage, and childbirth education. For more information on Healing Hands Chiropractic, please visit www.HealingHandsNH.com

Pregnant? Live in New Hampshire?


 Healing Hands Chiropractic located in the Manchester|Nashua, NH Region, offers a comprehensive prenatal program with pregnancy chiropractic care, prenatal yoga, pregnancy & birth classes and massage. 
There is a very specific chiropractic technique that chiropractors use to adjust pregnant patients. The International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA) certifies these chiropractors in this technique after successful completion of course work and practical examination. This technique is called the Webster Technique.
Dr. Jessica L. Caruso, director at Healing Hands Chiropractic is certified in the Webster Technique. Currently Healing Hands Chiropractic is offering a free prenatal consultation. This consultation can be made by visiting www.HealingHandsNH.com and clicking the ‘Book Now’ icon. Potential patients may choose to see Dr. Caruso at her Londonderry, NH or Bedford, NH location.
Also, available at Healing Hands Chiropractic’s Londonderry, NH location conveniently located just seconds off route 93 in Landmark Crossing is Prenatal Yoga Classes as well Pregnancy & Childbirth Classes for expectant mothers and their birth partners. 
Empowered Birth classes at Healing Hands Chiropractic place labor and birth in the wider context of pregnancy and parenting. Our classes are not just about the day you have your baby. We also discuss proper nutrition for a healthy pregnancy, common challenges of each trimester, and what to expect during the postpartum period. While our classes are open to women at all stages of pregnancy, we suggest that you take class around the midway point (20-30 weeks). 
We offer one of the only classes in the greater Manchester and Nashua areas that is not affiliated with a specific hospital. Our independence allows us to work for you, the parent, rather than an institution. While some hospital-sponsored classes may cost a bit less, we believe that parents benefit significantly from the independent nature of our classes.

Pregnancy Chiropractic in New Hampshire

There is a very specific chiropractic technique that chiropractors use to adjust pregnant patients. The International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA) certifies these chiropractors in this technique after successful completion of course work and practical examination. This technique is called the Webster Technique.

Dr. Larry Webster, founder of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association discovered this technique as a safe means to restore proper pelvic balance and function for pregnant mothers. In expectant mothers presenting breech, there has been a high reported success rate of the baby turning to the normal vertex position. This technique has been successfully used in women whose babies present transverse and posterior as well. It has also successfully used with twins. Any position of the baby other than ROA may indicate the presence of sacral subluxation and therefore intrauterine constraint. At no time should this technique be interpreted as an obstetric, “breech turning” technique. (www.icpa4kids.com)

It is strongly recommended by the ICPA instructors of this technique that this specific analysis and adjustment of the sacrum be used throughout pregnancy, to detect imbalance and optimize pelvic biomechanics in preparation for safer, easier births. Because of the effect the chiropractic adjustment has on all body functions by reducing nerve system stress, pregnant mothers should have their spines checked regularly throughout pregnancy, optimizing health benefits for both the mother and baby.(www.icpa4kids.com)

Dr. Jessica L. Caruso, Director at Healing Hands Chiropractic is certified in the Webster Technique and is located at 195 McGregor St. Manchester, NH 03102 (across the street from Catholic Medical Center & St. Mary’s Bank).  Patients can conveniently book their appointments right online at www.HealingHandsNH.com

Dr. Jessica L. Caruso Announces Prenatal Program at Chiropractic and Family Wellness Center in Londonderry, NH

December 20, 2008

LONDONDERRY- Dr. Jessica L. Caruso (formerly Leavey), director at Healing Hands Chiropractic- A Family Wellness Center in Londonderry, NH is currently accepting new patients. Healing Hands Chiropractic is a full service wellness center offering chiropractic care, massage therapy, reiki therapy, yoga, meditation and childbirth education classes; focusing on prenatal care, family wellness, women’s health, and pediatrics.

Healing Hands Chiropractic is pleased to announce the addition of a comprehensive prenatal program to their schedule, beginning January 2009. Dr. Caruso is certified in the Webster Technique; a safe and effective technique for expectant mothers used to restore proper pelvic balance and function; allowing the baby to get into the best possible position for birth. In expectant mothers presenting breech, there has been a high reported success rate of the baby turning to the normal vertex position. This technique has been successfully used in women whose babies present transverse and posterior as well. More may be learned about this technique at http://www.healinghandsnh.com/chiro.html.

Healing Hands has also added additional pre- and postnatal yoga, as well as Yoga for Women’s Wellness classes to their schedule. Prenatal yoga classes are a traditional series of beginner and intermediate asanas, tailored to the specific needs of expectant mothers. The mission of their prenatal classes is to help you find the balance between preparing for the profound experience of birth, while also caring for yourself in the present moment.
Pregnant women may also participate in any of their traditional Asana classes. Instructors at Healing Hands can show you how to modify poses when necessary. Babysitting services are available on site for most yoga classes at Healing Hands Chiropractic. Classes with childcare may be found at

Healing Hands Chiropractic also has childbirth education classes available. Classes meet in two formats: Weekly classes are two hours each, and run for six weeks. The seventh week is a casual question and answer time, where students have the opportunity to speak with new parents as well as holistic health professionals who specialize in prenatal care and/or pediatrics. Weekend sessions, an alternative for those who can’t attend during the week, meet two Saturday afternoons for five hours each time. Exact dates and times of classes may be found at http://www.healinghandsnh.com/child_hours.html.

A free prenatal consultation is available with Dr. Caruso by appointment. Appointments may be made by calling Healing Hands Chiropractic at (603)434-3456 or online at www.HealingHandsNH.com by clicking the ‘Book Now’ icon.

Healing Hands Chiropractic is located at Landmark Crossing, 25 Nashua Rd., Ste F2 (RT 102); Londonderry, NH 03053.