Meditation, a Stress Relief Strategy to Ease Allergy Symptoms

Do daily pressures make your allergies spike?

 Anyone with allergy symptoms knows about chronic stress. Common allergy symptoms include: difficult breathing, poor sleep, fatigue, and problems concentrating. While medications may help, they may produce side effects such as: changes in appetite, low energy, or irritability.  All these symptoms are stressful in themselves.

There’s the catch-22, when you’re stressed out, your body releases the hormone cortisol and other chemicals including histamine, a powerful chemical that leads to allergy symptoms – a runny nose, sneezing, etc. So while stress doesn’t cause allergies, it makes an allergic reaction worse. 

Allergy symptoms are said to be an overreaction by the immune system to otherwise harmless substances. Under stress, our immune systems are compromised; they do not function as designed. Our immune systems are not responding appropriately.  A psychologist said that “stress makes us stupid.”  It seems that stress has the same effect on our immune system.

Stress, Allergies, & Meditation

Meditation can help bring our lives under control when we are under stress.

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to deduce that the level of stress in the world is increasing.  Drive through a yellow light today, and there’s probably 4 cars following you.  Look to your left and right and you will see the driver next to you talking on their cell phone.  And yet, most of us have heard that multitasking while driving is fraught with risks.  Is our priority to live fast or live well?

Here’s some evidence of how we are doing.  In the 1960’s, an estimated 1 in 10 people reported some form of allergy and now up to 1 in 3 suffer from allergies of some kind.  To say something is amiss, is an understatement.  Clearly we need to do better in the way we handle stress if we want relief from allergies.

To reduce stress, making the following lifestyle adjustments will work wonders.  Getting plenty of sleep each night will help us restore balance and heal our allergic bodies.  Making time for some regular exercise is a key to reducing stress and building a strong immune system.  Even during a short walk, your body will release epinephrine which acts as a natural decongestant, helping you breathe easier.

Finally, neuroscientists on the forefront of healthy aging research are telling us that we need to create a healthy brain in order to enhance the quality of our life.  In that regard, the above lifestyle strategies are important.  However, nothing is more important for your healthy lifestyle than relaxation and bringing peace to our brains.  We need to restore ourselves from the frantic pace of modern life.  And, there’s good news.  For over 40 years, scientists having been researching the influence of meditation and the results are conclusive. 

A meditation practice doesn’t have to be connected to a religion or philosophy.  One physician described his meditation practice as a mini-vacation, and then happily declared that he now vacations every day!  This practice restores us and keeps us healthy.  Allergies and many other ailments often disappear for those that meditate regularly; and at the very least, they become much more manageable, less stressful.

Greg Schweitzer, a meditation teacher for more than 35 years, teaches at Twin Ponds Center Integrative Health Center in Breinigsville, PA.

The daily practice of meditation is shown to lift anxiety and depression, restore balance and strength to our immune system, increase energy, improve breathing, reduce stress and so much more.  The scientific evidence is undeniable, people who meditate regularly live longer and healthier lives.

Of Two Minds: Crossing the great divide between head and heart

Is there a gulf between your head and your heart? Do you live in your head, where you are safe from feeling…well, anything? Or, are you a little bag of feelings reacting to…everything?

Many of the people I see fall into the first category – residing in their heads. After all, this is our culturally accepted place to be. To be successful we have to think things through, to organize, to plan, to see the whole picture. Thinking is a very good, necessary thing. Some people, however, live only in thought land, where it’s safe from uncomfortable things, like feelings. Feelings are the territory of the heart, but did you know that your heart also has a brain?

Your Heart Has a Brain

The new field of neurocardiology shows that the heart is not simply the mechanical pump we’ve been taught it is. The heart has its own nervous system; it’s a little brain that communicates with the larger brain. It also has a stronger electromagnetic field, but that’s another conversation. Just remember your heart has its own intelligence, almost its own personality.

Think of the ways we talk about the heart.  We use words like having a wounded, broken or foolish heart, having heartache or being heartsick, or we speak of having a calm, peaceful or brave heart. How would you describe your heart?

Your Healthy Heart

Do you have a healthy relationship with your heart?  Do you exercise and eat well to keep your heart strong? Do you have a regular stress managing system to take physical pressure off of your heart? If yes, great!  You’re taking care of your physical pump. How about the emotional level?  Do you accept and release feelings as they happen? Do you think of your heart as being intelligent?  Or, do you, or someone you love, avoid feeling-land at all costs?

Most of how we handle feelings comes from what we learned. Do you know someone who was taught that to feel or to show feeling is weakness? Although this one is common for men, women also have received this message, and so they learned to close off to their feelings to gain approval.  If there is a lot of emotional pain, we learn to close off – I’m not gonna let myself be hurt, again. Some become masters of the close off, but then forget how to open up, when the threat is gone. It would be simple if there were no consequences to this and we could all live happily in thought land. Oops…happy, that’s in feeling land.

We don’t get happy, when we can’t feel our hearts. We do get anxiety, though. When something is wrong, the brain receives signals from the heart in the form of neurotransmitters. And, just because we aren’t aware of our specific feelings does not mean we don’t have them.

Feelings 101

We are designed to feel.  Every feeling is a chemical, a neurotransmitter that sends information to the body. When feelings are buried rather that released, those chemicals can cause us harm. Repressed emotion has been linked to a wide variety of illness, including cancer and autoimmune diseases.  By the way, EFT is a remarkable tool to clear the old stuff.

It’s easy to get stuck up in your head.  However, when you find yourself spinning your wheels in thought land

Place your hand over your heart.

Feel the rise and fall of your hand as you gently breathe in and out.

Bring all your awareness to the space around you heart.

Feel yourself sinking down into that space.

Now, listen.

The heart speaks in its own way.  Be patient.

Your heart has information about you, a deeper knowing about what emotions might be buried.  Your heart mind knows what you need, and you can learn to communicate with it.  When the head and the heart are in full communication, decisions and actions are clear and balanced. Life takes on a new ease.  Take a leap, and cross that great divide between your head and your heart.

Meg Deak, MCAT, LPC

Chiropractic & Allergies

Sneezing!  Blowing!  Itching!  Tired!  Miserable!

 Do you have a certain time of the year that you dread because you are miserable from allergies? Are your symptoms so intense that it prevents you from going outside? You probably feel even worse by staying indoors and taking medications.

There is another solution; however, and that is Chiropractic Care and Functional Diagnostic Medicine.  While you might know that chiropractors can help provide relief from back pain, you might not understand how beneficial Chiropractic and Functional Diagnostic Medicine is for helping people with allergies.

You know what the symptoms of allergies are, but do you understand what causes them?  Many people make the mistake of thinking that whatever substance they are allergic to causes the allergy attack.  But, if it really was the pollen, seafood, hay, or dust that caused the allergies, wouldn’t everyone that encountered these substances have some sort of an allergic attack? 

Allergies are actually your own immune and nervous system functioning improperly that gives rise to allergies.  It is also what dictates who has allergies and who doesn’t.

When your nervous system sends improper messages to your immune system, your body begins to mistake harmless substances like pollen as dangerous invaders such as the flu.  Once this abnormal pattern has been established, your body will release a substance known as histamine and then the misery of itchy eyes and throat, sneezing, and runny nose begins.

Typically, these responses would be beneficial in stopping a harmful substance from traveling further into your body, but when it is simply dust or pollen, the reaction causes more harm than good. This is why people with allergies are often referred to as having a hyperactive immune system.  Instead of determining which substances are good and which ones are bad, your body simply reacts to everything.  Just as some people have allergies whereas others don’t, there are also varying degrees of severity for people with allergies.  This is often due to the amount of nerve interference present and its resultant effect on the immune system.  In fact, some people’s allergies can become so severe that they actually lead to death.

Research shows that symptoms and disease are simply the end result of something else gone wrong. Therefore, it is best to treat the cause naturally and not the symptoms.

How can chiropractic help provide relief of your allergies?

If you had the choice, would you rather gain relief from allergies by taking medications each time you have an attack or prevent them from happening in the first place by treating the underlying cause.  Unfortunately, the large majority of allergy medications only function to stop the release of histamines each time you are exposed to an allergen.  While this can stop the symptoms of allergies, it never addresses that overactive immune system which is the actual cause.  As a result, people with chronic allergies are often stuck taking allergy medications their entire life.

In contrast, Chiropractic and Functional Diagnostic Medicine offers a different approach for the treatment of allergies by concentrating on the underlying cause.  As mentioned earlier, your immune system depends on normal signals being transmitted from your brain and through your nervous system to function properly.  In order for this message to reach its destination, it must travel along nerves located within your spinal column.  As a result, there are a number of different areas in your back that can become problematic and result in the development of a hyperactive immune system.

Chiropractors are highly skilled at locating and correcting the most common cause of this interference, subluxations (misalignments of the vertebrae in the back).  Through the correction of these subluxations, the nervous system is allowed to send the proper messages to your immune system enabling it to interact with your environment normally.  In other words, your body will no longer interpret that harmless dust or pollen as a dangerous virus or bacteria.  As the underlying cause is addressed, you will begin to gain relief from the symptoms caused by your allergies.

Chiropractic Care and Functional Diagnostic Medicine correct the underlying dysfunctions that can lead to chronic illness and help the body to function properly and reach its optimal potential.

Dr. Tom Wachtmann, D.O.

Dr. Thomas Wachtmann uses his knowledge, experience, and expertise to accurately treat health problems at their source. He will be happy to consult with you to plan your individualized course of treatment.  Please call 610-395-3355 for your appointment.

Reducing Holiday Stress – by Greg Schweitzer

Reducing Holiday Stress

The holidays are here and for many of us it is a time of celebration and some sadness. For example, I have a great life, and I miss my deceased parents. They loved the holidays and provided me with my first tastes of Christmas magic. For me, the season accentuates their absence.

Many share bittersweet experiences at the holidays.  Perhaps your family is still intact, but your relationship with them is less that you would like.  At the holidays, we often remember the better times and regret the situation as it is today.  For others, holidays remind us of economic uncertainties.  Job security and unemployment are issues that haunt many.  For those trying to lose weight or battling an addiction, the holidays can present an especially challenging time.  For others, the winter climate in the Northeast can throw us off center.  As the daylight hours shorten, seasonal affective disorder brings on moods of sadness even depression.

Here are a few ideas to lighten our experiences at this time of year. 

  • First, take stock of the situation. What is in your control and what is not?  If you get depressed in the cold cloudy days of winter, you can’t change the weather however you could buy a “light box.”  Light therapy can help.
  • If you’re concerned about your weight or addictions ramping up over the holidays, find a support group or friend with whom you can discuss your concerns.  Enroll in a cooking class and learn how to make tasty healthy treats vs. high calorie low nutrient fare.
  • As for the family, having realistic expectations of their behavior always helps to keep us grounded during reunions.
  • Most importantly, practice self care.  If possible, spend time outdoors in nature – in the sunlight would be ideal.  Go for walks, exercise, meditate, eat nutrient dense food, and spend time with people who bring joy to your life.
  • Laughter is great medicine anytime of the year. And take a few conscious breaths when you are feeling overwhelmed.
  • Finally, there is nothing more important for our health than regular periods of rest.  Do not short change sleep in order to do more. If you feel tempted to answer some email or watch another TV program at night when you’re exhausted, ask yourself, “how important is it?”  Get some rest, go to bed.  You’ll wake up with more energy and be happier because you listened to your body and gave it rest.

Greg Schweitzer, MBA, D.Ay., Director of Stress Reduction Resources and Effortless Meditation™ Instructor for more than 30 years

 

How You Can Live A Healthy Lifestyle

We are asked constantly “How can I live a healthy lifestyle?”

It’s about choosing new, healthy habits in your daily routine. I know, easier said than done.  Don’t be hard on yourself.  Start with taking small steps to change patterns. Most importantly, if you fall off track, which we all do once in awhile, just get back into it.

With the daily stresses most of us find ourselves dealing with, fast foods on every corner, the constantly pushing of fattening and tempting comfort foods, it’s no wonder we’re gaining so much weight and having health issues.

“How can I mentally and physically get on the right track?”

  1. Understand how you can benefit from a healthy lifestyle.
  2. Breaking bad habits can lead you to a better quality of life.
  3. Making healthy changes will reduce the risks of many health problems like heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
  4. Get up and move!

Reasons why people find it hard to live a healthy lifestyle:

  1. Stress:  How many times have you heard “stress eater”?  Well it exists. Most people gain weight and don’t exercise due to the stresses in their life. Some great stress reducers: Yoga, Pilates and Meditation
  2. Too Busy: Rushing around, never the time? That quick meal at a chain seems an easier solution. You’ll have to find the time to do this! You will need to create a plan and do your best to stick with it. Use a calendar or journal to help you. Go to the grocery store once a week with a well planned out list.
  3. Difficulty already with movement: Most individuals that are already overweight don’t think they are able to exercise enough to make a difference, so they just give up. Start slow.Starting off with a nice walk in the morning or early evening is a great way to start the body moving.
  4. The “I can’t do it” mentality:  There will be ups and downs, but don’t give up. You have what it takes and just because you attempted a diet or exercise program in the past determines your success this time around.Read a daily quote or find your inspiration from a friend or someone you know who has been there.  Ask them questions on how they did it!  Also, the practitioners at Twin Ponds Integrative Health Center are available to support, motivate, and guide you.

People make changes every day,today should be your day!

The Benefits of Cold Laser Therapy

People all over the world are discovering the benefits of relieving pain, inflammation, effects of injuries and tension through non-invasive as well as medication-free methods that are available today.

Cold laser therapy, also referred to as low level laser therapy and low power laser therapy, is one such method that is being employed to provide relief from pain for people who are suffering from osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic and acute neck pain, etc. This supplemental treatment provides several healing as well as soothing effects to pain sufferers. The surface administered treatment makes use of specialized low-level light waves of the near-infrared spectrum so as to penetrate the body’s soft tissue layers. The light energy is directed to the affected area with the help of a handheld wand. The light energy acts to stimulate the internal cells and improve the circulation of blood. This in turn relieves inflammation, eases tension and removes internal blockages.

Cold laser therapy works on the principle of absorption of light into your body’s cells. Light stimulates synthesis of protein and cell metabolism. This serves to improve the health of the cells and restores their functionality. The light used in cold laser therapy is of a much lower intensity compared to that used in other laser treatments.

For most individuals, the versatile as well as safe cold laser therapy provides beneficial effects.

However, this therapy is more effective in treating some specific problems than others and the only way you can find out whether it suits your needs is to try it. It is, therefore, important to understand as to which of the issues it can provide relief for:

  • Easing pain caused because of acute injury or chronic conditions such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, and carpel tunnel syndrome. This therapy can also be used by targeting the application of low-level light waves on the affected area in case the pain you experience is local to a specific part of your body. In such cases, the therapy provides prompt relief.
  • Pain in the neck and back areas can be relieved in this manner. It is also helpful in treating extremity pain that occurs in the shoulders, knee joints, elbows and wrists.
  • It is possible to relieve inflammation as well as edema caused because of inflammation and minimize and dispel swelling as well as lymphatic blockages with the help of cold laser light waves. The therapy helps to stimulate lymph vessels and arteries throughout your body and improve the blood circulation in the affected areas and naturally enhance your body’s healing process and anti-inflammatory response.
  • Internal strain, muscle spasms and scar tissue that are likely to occur because of injuries can be treated and minimized with the help of cold laser therapy. The light waves promote faster regeneration of tissues and optimizes the internal healing process of your body in order to prevent irregular healing which is responsible for the development of scar tissues. If you are suffering from traumatic scarring, sports injuries and other issues, regular sessions of cold laser therapy will be greatly helpful in reducing rigidity and tissue pain.

Most of the patients experience the soothing effects of the low level laser therapy immediately as they go through the treatment session. However, you must consider this treatment method as part of your ongoing rehabilitation and wellness plan instead of viewing it as an isolated treatment effort. You may have to go through multiple sessions in order to experience significant as well as long-lasting results. Moreover, it is possible to integrate cold laser therapy into the chiropractic therapy, employing manipulations and other techniques, which you are currently undergoing. As the cold laser therapy is noninvasive as well as gentle, the risk of over treatment does not arise at all. Further, as far as the side effects of this therapy are concerned, it ranges from little to none at all. However, you must be aware that even in the case of most versatile treatments cold laser therapy is not a one-stop solution for all your problems. It is, therefore, important that you fix up an appointment and ask questions and develop a clear understanding as to how it can be effective in meeting your specific needs.

Contact us today to hear more about this therapy and schedule your appointment.

What to expect during a Carotid Ultrasound

What to expect during a Carotid Ultrasound and the beneifts of the test.

Carotid ultrasound is a painless and safe procedure that tests the structure and functioning of the carotid arteries in your neck and cardiovascular system.

Every person has two carotid arteries that are located on each side of the neck and they help to deliver blood from the heart to the brain. During a carotid ultrasound, sound waves are used to test if these arteries are blocked or narrowed since that can determine your risk of suffering a stroke or heart attack.  Results from a carotid ultrasound essentially, help you decide your course of treatment action to reduce your risk of stroke or heart attack.

What to expect during a Carotid Ultrasound

The need for Carotid Ultrasound

If you fear an increased risk of stroke or heart attack, you must undergo a carotid ultrasound to test for narrowed or blocked carotid arteries. Carotid arteries may be narrowed or blocked by plaque, calcium, fat or cholesterol buildup if these substances exist in excess in your bloodstream. It is highly recommended that you have a carotid ultrasound if you have certain conditions that heighten the risk of stroke or heart attack. These conditions include:

· Diabetes

· High blood pressure

· High cholesterol

· Recent stroke or transient ischemic attack

· Family history of heart disease or stroke

· Abnormal sound in bruit or carotid arteries

Carotid ultrasound, also known as Doppler ultrasound, can be combined with other tests to check for blocked or narrowed blood vessels in other parts of the body.

What to expect from a Carotid Ultrasound

When you go for your carotid ultrasound, a sonographer will use a transducer (a small, hand-held device) that produces sound waves and records the echo when the waves bounce off blood cells, organs and tissues. Thereafter, these echoed sound waves will be translated into a live action image or a graph by a computer. The procedure is painless and safe and takes about thirty minutes to complete.

Before the procedure begins, the sonographer will apply a warm gel on your skin that will eliminate the formation of air pockets between the transducer and your skin. Finally, the sonographer will press his transducer on the side of your neck to emit sound waves and record the echo.

The results of Carotid Ultrasound

After you undergo the carotid ultrasound, a radiologist will examine and interpret the results if there is a risk. The test will surely explain everything you need to know, including the different ways in which your condition can affect your health. If the test shows that you are at high risk of a stroke,  recommendations such as the following will be made:

· Eat a healthy diet that has a balanced quantity of whole grain breads, cereals, fruits and vegetables

· Limit your intake of saturated fat

· Incorporate exercise in your daily routine

· Maintain a healthy weight

· Avoid smoking

· Take medicines to lower blood pressure, blood cholesterol and prevent blood clots

· Undergo carotid endarterectomy, a surgical procedure to remove plaques in your carotid arteries

· Undergo stenting or carotid angioplasty, a surgical procedure to open up your carotid arteries so that they can be supported

 Contact us to learn more on how you can get yours today!

 

The Trager Approach

Rocking to Health  

Movement Education & Mind/Body Integration 

Have you ever been in an accident? Do you have weak posture? Are you fearful?  Perhaps you have developed emotional blockages or experiencing daily stress.

Dr. Milton Trager developed The Trager Approach, a psychophysical integration therapy, to treat his own chronic back pain. He became fascinated by how the body coordinated its patterns of movement in response to chronic pain or injury.

A Trager treatment consists of gentle, rhythmic rocking, and lengthening movements creating a state of deep relaxation and flexibility, which can allow the body and mind to achieve a state of balance and integration.

As the rhythmic motions progress, it is thought that deeper states of relaxation can facilitate the release of unhealthy patterns of tension between mind and body at an unconscious level.

By teaching the mind to unlearn these patterns of “blockage,” the body can also release chronic states of tension and become more flexible with less pain.

Conditions treated with the Trager Approach:

  • Back and neck pain
  • Joint irritation
  • Soft tissue discomfort
  • Improving athletic performance
  • Flexibility
  • Balance
  • Physical injuries
  • Neurological events (limited or restricted movement like stroke)
  • Tension headaches
  • Stress-related disorders
  • Emotional imbalances
  • Postural problems
  • Mobility issues
  • Pain relief
  • Increase physical mobility
  • Mental clarity
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Depression
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome 
  • Sports injuries
  • Back and leg problems (sciatica)
  • Breathing issues (asthma and emphysema)

Two aspects of Trager Therapy:

Table Work: The client lies on a well-padded table in a safe, comfortable environment while your body is supported and gently moved within its pain-free range of movement and natural rhythm. You may choose to be fully clothed, or partially clothed and appropriately draped.

Mentastics: Dr. Trager developed simple, effortless movements to encourage playful exploration of “what could be freer” for your body. Integrating Mentastics into your daily life will allow you to enhance and recall feelings of ease, freedom, flexibility and joy. Mentastics can become part of the way you take care of yourself by relieving stress and tension. Instruction is offered in private sessions or class.

Bonita Cassel is a Nationally Certified Massage Therapist and has been practicing the Trager Approach since 1985.

For Table Work or Mentastics instruction, please call 610.395.3355

 

 

 

 

 

What is Reflexology?

A Form of Bodywork that Focuses on the Feet

Reflexology is the application of pressure to areas on the feet, hands and ears.  The theory behind reflexology is that these areas correspond to organs and systems of the body and applying pressure to these reflex areas can promote health in the corresponding organs through energetic pathways.  The results may include reduced pain, anxiety, stress, and depression; and enhanced relaxation and sleep.

A study in the American Cancer Society journal found that one-third of cancer patients used reflexology as a complementary therapy.  Reflexology is also used for post-operative or palliative care.  Several studies funded by the National Cancer Institute and the National Institutes of Health indicate that reflexology may have many health benefits.

 Reflexology should not be painful; however, some areas may be tender or sore, and the reflexologist may spend extra time on these points.  The soreness should decrease with pressure.

 Reflexology may help with:

  • Stress and stress-related conditions
  • Tension headaches
  • Digestive disorders
  • Arthritis
  • Insomnia
  • Hormonal Imbalances
  • Sports injuries
  • Menstrual disorders, such as premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
  • Digestive problems (constipation)
  • Reduced pain
  • Improved circulation
  • Soothed tired feet
  • Overall better healing

Most people feel calm and relaxed and even sleepy after a treatment. As part of the healing process, one may feel nauseous, anxious, or tearful, but this is temporary and considered part of the healing process.

Although reflexology is not used to diagnose or cure health disorders, millions of people around the world use it to complement other treatments when addressing conditions like anxiety, asthma, cancer treatment, cardiovascular issues, diabetes, headaches, kidney function, PMS, and sinusitis.

Reflexology is growing increasingly popular across Europe and Asia as both a complement to other treatments and as a preventive measure.  One example is Denmark, where various municipalities and companies have employed reflexologists since the early ‘90’s.

According to several studies, this practice in Denmark has resulted in reduced leave and absenteeism (and significant economic savings for the employers).  Employees have consistently reported complete or partial improvement in conditions where they sought reflexologists’ help and even relief for additional problems related to stress. In one municipal district, almost one-third of the employees reported greater satisfaction with their jobs after completing six sessions with the reflexologist.

If you are pregnant, consult your doctor. Reflexology is a complementary therapy and should not replace medical treatment.

 

The Feldenkrais Method ®

Reconnect with Your Natural Abilities to Move, Think, and Feel

Experiencing back, neck, shoulder, or knee pain? Having trouble focusing your attention? Not enjoying activities anymore? Gentle Feldenkrais lessons can help you reconnect with your overall well being.

Learning to move with less effort makes daily life easier. The Feldenkrais Method focuses on the relationship between movement and thought allowing Increased mental awareness and creativity to accompany the physical improvements. Everyone can benefit from the Feldenkrais Method because you will learn to fully use yourself and this self learning leads to full, dynamic living.

The Feldenkrais Method is a gentle and effective approach that helps with:
• Pain reduction and relief from chronic muscle, joint or headaches
• Recovery of lost movement abilities
• Recovery from surgery
• Neurological conditions such as MS or stroke, neuropathy, etc.
• Improved breathing and sleep
• The ability to shift habits of movement and holding – which may have begun as a response to your injury or condition and are now a source of pain or restriction in themselves
• A range of skills to help yourself recover function in your daily life

After attending Feldenkrais classes, one has the experience of the body feeling completely different – much more free and pleasant.

Positive change doesn’t come from using willpower, strength, or holding the body in certain ways to move. These behaviors and attitudes caused the problem in the first place.

The Feldenkrais Method teaches how to allow the body to do its own thing according to a natural flow principle. It is all about slowly repeating simple moves while intuitively searching for an easier way. This method of rehabilitation is designed to change movements of the body by re-training the nervous system.

Feldenkrais offers particular benefits for all kinds of people who move for a living or enjoyment: entertainers, athletes, movement teachers, & health care providers, etc.

Carol Siddiqi, a Guild Certified Feldenkrais practitioner has been teaching Feldenkrais since 1999 following a 4 year training program. Carol is also a certified instructor of Kripalu Yoga and Deepak Chopra’s Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga.

Staying on Track for Life

Mehmet Oz, M.D., in his talk at the 2013 Integrative Healthcare Symposium held in New York City, declared that health care in America will bankrupt our nation unless we make changes to our lifestyles.  We need to eat better food, move more and decrease stress, he said. 

Many clients say it is difficult for them to stay on track.  The fast pace and pressures of daily life overwhelm them.  Over years, such a life negatively impacts us mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. How to stay on track? 

In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto, Michael Pollan’s excellent book, gives a candid assessment of the complex web of scientific, economic and industrial forces shaping our unhealthy food choices.  Importantly, he also provides simple methods that will help us all choose better food.  One example, check labels; if it has more than five ingredients, it’s heavily processed and nutritionally suspect.  He discusses Sarah Lee’s “whole grain white bread.”  It has over 40 ingredients, many unrecognizable to anyone other than chemists and food scientists.  Is it really food?  In contrast, his grandmother’s bread had 4 ingredients – flour, water, yeast and salt.

And what about stress?  How do we make wise and healthy choices in the face of pressure to do what is expedient.  

Three important stress relievers are exercise, meditation and sleep.  Stress wears us down while these strengthen us.  Meditation and sleep provide vital rest that restores us for the activity ahead.  Meditation also quiets the mind and enhances awareness. 

Movement and exercise release pent up tension in the body.  At the same time, our body grows stronger so that the challenges of the day are less taxing.

A healthier life is achievable for everyone.  It does require change, developing new habits.   The rewards are well worth it.  What would you pay for extra years of quality life?  It’s all available for a minimal financial investment.  

A good place to start is with meditation.  After 15 minutes of meditation, your mind will be quieter.  You will perceive your needs more clearly, make better choices, and be happier.  Quieting the mind is fundamental for staying on track in life.  Effortless Meditation is part of my personal daily hygiene.

Greg Schweitzer, MBA, Director of Stress Reduction Resources and Effortless Meditation™ Instructor for more than 30 years

 

 

 

Myofascial Release, Structural Integration (Rolf Method)

FASCIA  IS WHAT?

Do you know what’s holding your body together!  Think again, it’s not your muscles or skin.  They weren’t made to do that job, but the “fascia” within your body was.  By now you’re thinking, “What in the world is the fascia?”

Well, the fascia is a structure of fibrous connective tissue distributed throughout the body that surrounds our muscles, organs, blood vessels, bones, and nerves.  Together, muscle and fascia make up what is called the myofascia system. The function of muscle fasciae is to reduce friction to minimize the reduction of muscular force.

Does it sound like a well tuned state-of-the-art mechanism to you? It is, but it can go wrong!  For various reasons, including disuse, not enough stretching, or injuries, the fascia and the underlying muscle tissue can become stuck together resulting in restricted muscle movement along with pain, soreness and reduced flexibility or range of motion.

Symptoms may be:

  • Back pain
  • Headaches
  • Pelvic
  • Pelvic pain
  • Neck pain
  • Sports injuries
  • Chronic pain
  • Disc problems
  • Neurological dysfunction
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Adhesions
  • Carpal tunnel
  • Jaw pain (TMJ)
  • Painful scars
  • Scoliosis
  • Sciatica
  • Women’s health issues
  • …and more

Fascia Care:       

Move it: First thing in the morning roll around in bed and really stretch out                   

Stay lubricated: Drink, drink, drink! It works better, moves better and feels better when it’s wet.                                                                                                                                      

Stretch your muscles: Keep the muscles from getting chronically tight.

Stretch your fascia: To stretch the fascia, hold gentle stretches for three to five minutes – relaxing into a hold.

Relax: Fifteen to 20 minutes in a warm Epsom Salt bath can coax tight fascia to loosen up – follow up with 10 minutes of light activity.                                                                 

Use a foam roller: Be gentle and slow in your movements, and when you find an area of tension, hold sustained pressure for three to five minutes.                                         

Respect your body: Even after your injury is gone, you may maintain that same movement pattern. That’s a recipe for an injury cycle. It’s better to take some extra time, see a fascial specialist, and join a movement class.  Don’t set yourself up for long-term trouble.

See a fascial specialist: Myofascial Release or Structural Integration (Rolf Method) practitioner.                                                                                                                       

Join a movement education class: The Feldenkrais Method®, Coordination Pattern™ Training, Tai Chi, Pilates, and Yoga are highly recommended.

Immune System Boost

Protection
From Foreign Invaders!

We depend on our national military to protect our country from foreign invaders, but do you realize that YOU NEED TO PROTECT YOUR BODY from its foreign invaders?

Your personal military is your immune system.  How successful is it?  Is it supported and well trained by you?  Are you confident that you are well protected?

Your immune system is a network of cells, tissues, and organs that work together to defend your body against attacks by “foreign” invaders. These are tiny organisms such as bacteria, parasites, and fungi that can cause infections. Your body provides an ideal environment for many of these invaders and it is the immune system’s job to keep them out or, failing that, to seek out and destroy them.

When the immune system hits the wrong target, however, it can unleash a torrent of disorders, including allergic diseases, arthritis, and a form of diabetes. If the immune system is crippled, other kinds of diseases result and an immune system boost is necessary.

The immune system is amazingly complex. It can recognize and remember millions of different enemies, and it can produce secretions (release of fluids) and cells to match up with and wipe out nearly all of them.

The secret to its success is an elaborate and dynamic communications network. Millions and millions of cells, organized into sets and subsets, gather like clouds of bees swarming around a hive and pass information back and forth in response to an infection. Once immune cells receive the alarm, they become activated and begin to produce powerful chemicals. These substances allow the cells to regulate their own growth and behavior, enlist other immune cells, and direct the new recruits to trouble spots.

Sound like a war zone? Don’t wait until war breaks out. Get an immune system boost with a healthy lifestyle of eating well, exercising, and managing stress, and your immune system will support you physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

Carrie Lowry, Twin Ponds Integrative Health Center

                                                                                                                        

 

8 Steps to Mindful Eating

“Do you eat mindlessly?”

“One of the easiest things we can do to promote health is to eat in a calm, mindful manner.”

What is Mindful Eating?

Mindful eating is an ancient practice of bringing one’s full attention to all the tastes, smells, colors, textures, temperatures, sounds, thoughts, and feelings that arise
around eating and food. It is eating with intention and attention by bringing
awareness to our automatic and reactive responses to food without judgment.

Through the practice of mindful eating you can learn to experience the natural joy of eating, develop a more compassionate attitude toward your body, and quiet your critical mind.

Is there a Benefit?

Some of the benefits of mindful eating include reduced occurrences of over eating, increased enjoyment of food, improved digestion, and being satisfied with less.

Other benefits may include:

  • Increased self-esteem and acceptance
  • Increased confidence and ability to reach your goals
  • Tools for living a healthier life and losing weight
  • Insight into patterns and habits that lead to poor health and overweight
  • Increased awareness of what you experience in your body, thoughts and feelings
  • Help in recognizing and handling stress and your reactions to it

Now that you know the benefits, here are my 8 simple steps to mindful eating:

1. Rate your hunger before you eat

2. Choose food that will satisfy both your body and mind

3. Sit down

4. Eat without distractions and stop multi-tasking

5. Eat like a Foodie

6. Slow Down

7. Pause

8. Notice how you feel when you’re finished eating

Old habits die hard.  It may be challenging to practice mindful eating within your hectic lifestyle, especially if you are always on the run.  Don’t try to make drastic changes.  Lasting change takes time, and  is built on many small changes. Start by choosing one meal or snack per day to eat mindfully.

Gina Consalvo, MA, RD, LDN, NCC
Eat Well with Gina, LLC
Nutrition Counseling & Consulting

Structural Integration, the Rolf Method

I  Want to Dance Again!

Mary Beth was a middle aged woman who taught ball-room dancing when she was younger and now was complaining about neck and upper back pain.  It became chronic and she didn’t know what to do for it except take pills.

 

One night Mary Beth had a dream. A wonderful dream where she was back dancing across the ball room floor. When she awakened from the dream, she remembered how it felt.  Oh, she could feel it so clearly –

  • how energized she was,
  • centered inside and feeling balanced
  • moving with ease, pain free
  • so very fluid, graceful and present - floating across the dance floor

As she laid there remembering, she gradually came to the realization that there must be a way to get all that back.  She was determined!  She wanted to dance again, be her old self!  But, she knew that this positive change for herself had to be in a natural way. No more pills!

After doing some on-line research, Mary Beth learned about Structural Integration and felt hope for the first time in years that she could enjoy dancing again. These treatments, she learned, could bring her body into balance. She was committed and made an appointment.

For sure her injuries and lifelong habits disrupted the natural alignment of her body and prevented her from being able to move freely.  Pain and strain was her body’s way of telling her that it was out of balance.

The Structural Integration sessions focused on her body’s complex matrix of connective tissue in a way that brought all her body’s parts into more smoothly functioning relationships – it integrated her whole system.

Some months later, Mary Beth was back to dancing and as she floated across the ball room floor, she felt like she was back in her dream – gracefully dancing with ease, pain free. She was enjoying life again!

She realized that even at her age, it paid off to be open to change!

Andrei Kazlouski, Structural Integration (Rolf Method) Practitioner

 

 

Step by Step…Breath by Breath

A Meditation Walk

A Tip from Coordination Pattern™ Training

For some people, like me, meditation is the most fun when it is done while walking.  You can still quiet your mind and relax.  The secret of doing it, I call the butterfly breath. Try it sitting down first.

1) The exhale>Blow your air out as you would do if you were trying to blow a butterfly off a flower.

2) The inhale>Open your mouth and allow the air in.  Don’t pull the air in with face, throat or upper chest muscles…. Just allow it in. (Note: You may feel your hip move slightly forward and back as you do this breath.)

After you have mastered this breath sitting then try doing it as you walk.  Some people take 3 steps for each exhale and inhale.  Some people take 4.  Just experiment and find a comfortable stride and number of steps for you. 

Next try counting your breaths and try to relax.   You can even say in your mind “One relax.  Two relax.” Etc.  Count to 10 and start again. When you have this moving along easily, just keep your mind on the count, letting yourself just witness what is around you without becoming involved or making judgments.>> Your mind and body are quieting.

Next stop counting as you walk and just think of one neutral word.  You can use the word “relax”.  Say it over and over as you walk, at first replacing the count.  You can eventually let go of keeping it in rhythm with your walk if you want to, but you do not have to

Just let it simplify. Let everything you do be easy.  Keep just witnessing your environment.  You are there and have a knowing of what is around you but you are not engaged with thoughts of it.  Keep mentally saying your word or the word “relax.”

This type of meditation may not give you the full benefits of sitting meditation; but, It does:

  • quiet the mind
  • helps you relax
  • burn calories while gently exercising.

Coordination PatternTraining improves the use of the whole brain and gives improved access to all its intelligence and skills. It can be applied to improve Communication, Leadership, Creativity, and, Learning skills. Join us for class on Tuesday and Thursday, 7pm.

Betsy Wetzig, Originator of Coordination Pattern™ “Breakthru” Training, Co-author of Moves For Greatness: Focusing the Four Essential Energies of a Whole and Balanced Leader.

Insomnia

Are you making these four sleep-depriving mistakes that keep you from getting in a good night’s rest?

Mistake #1: Thinking about all the things you have to do tomorrow.

What to do instead:
Make a list, before you go to bed.  No, really…  Just write it down so you know you won’t forget.  As you write, breathe and say “I can take care of this tomorrow.” 

Mistake #2: Drinking caffeine too close to bedtime.

What to do instead:
Know your cut off time.  This is different for everyone, and figuring it out takes a little effort.  And let’s face it – limiting caffeine is a really good idea.  Pay attention to the last time you consume coffee, soda or tea (don’t forget black and green tea have a lot of caffeine) and cut back by two hours each day until you find a time, when you are not wired before sleep. You may be surprised.

Mistake #3: Going non-stop all day long.

What to do instead:
Take a nap.  Power naps are really…well, powerful.  A 20 to 30 minute nap can make all the difference: you can boost your energy, get your mental focus back, increase memory and creativity. 

Mistake #4: Taking the problems of the day to bed with you.

What to do instead:
Use EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques)  to resolve any uncomfortable feelings left over from the day.  EFT is a powerful self-help tool that is easy to learn and can quickly neutralize disruptive feelings and anchor peace, joy or any other feeling you might desire.

Then there are those times, when it’s really hard to turn off the thinking part of your brain.  You worry or jump from one topic to the next, and it seems you just can’t stop.  Your brain may be having trouble shifting into slower brainwave states. It’s the slower brainwaves that are the most healing.  Deep, dreamless sleep is needed for your body to turn on the most powerful part of your immune system. Mounting daily stress and age can affect your brain’s ability to shift down into these healing frequencies.

If your brain is stuck in overdrive, and all you do it is worry, toss and turn, or you just want to make sure you are accessing those healing frequencies, vibroacoustic therapy and brainwave entrainment may be just what you need.

To learn more about how you can have a more restful sleep call Twin Ponds Integrative Health Center at 610.395.3355.

Meg Deak, MCAT, LPC, EFT & Neuroacoustic practitioner

Are Yoga Classes for Seniors, Physically Challenged & Intimidated?

Have you attended a yoga class that didn’t feel right for you? Did you feel like you were too old, too stiff, or in too much pain to do what the teacher was teaching the class to do or what the person beside you was capable of doing?  Maybe you even felt too intimidated to try a class!

Here are some tips to have a good yoga experience:

1.  Spend some time looking for the right yoga class. Do some research.  Audition
different teachers, and see if they’re right for you! Simply going to whatever yoga studio is closest to home or work and taking from whichever teacher teaches at a convenient time, probably won’t give you the best experience.

2.  There needs to be a mutual respect between you and the teacher. This is true for everyone, old or young, male or female, slim or overweight, flexible or stiff, healthy, or ill. Find the teacher who makes you feel accepted. Do some research. Audition different teachers and see if they’re right for you!

Finding the right yoga teacher is similar to looking for a therapist or medical doctor; you find out pretty quickly when you click with someone.

3.  It is also very important to be in the right class as far as the degree of challenge that is being taught.  Some people may be more up for a fast paced, more challenging class.  Others may need a class that is more gentle, slower, and less challenging.

If you don’t have a qualified teacher who is right for you, you can get injured and stop attending, Don’t let this happen to you!  Make sure you look forward to your class and benefit from this wonderful mind, body, spiritual practice.

 ________________________________

Our yoga instructors at Twin Ponds Center teach at different levels. We have classes for beginning students, experienced students, and classes especially for those who have physical challenges.

You might want to also try our other Movement Training Classes: Pilates/Yoga Fusion, The Feldenkrais Method & Coordination Pattern Training. Click for class schedule.

Please call 610-395-3355 for help in deciding which class is best for you!

 

Play the Ball Where the Monkey Drops It

A good friend and business colleague, Wendy Kershner, just sent me this wonderful story that I’d like to paraphrase for you.  The story comes from a book with the above title written by Gregory Knox James (2001).

As the story goes, during the colonization of India, the British settled in Calcutta. They missed their game of golf tremendously so they decided to build a course.  Once it was ready for play, the monkeys moved in as this area of India was home to many of them.  They quickly disrupted the golfer’s pleasure by picking up the ball after it was hit and moving it.

Not to be undone the British built a high wall around the golf course to keep the mischievous monkeys out.  But, this was just a game for the monkeys – scaling the wall, was no problem!  The Brits then decided to trap the monkeys and transport them far away.  This was impractical as there were far too many monkeys, so they gave up.

Then came a creative thought.  They decided to change the game.  The new rules were that you would play the ball where the monkey dropped it. This turned out to be a “win” for both the golfers and the monkeys.

Maybe you have noticed that life does not always go as we plan.  Others do not want to follow our script or direction.  They seem to have a mind of their own.  How dare they?  Anyone with children, a spouse or significant other probably sees this playing out quite often.

So what do you do when the monkey drops the ball far from where you hit it?  Do you grumble, get angry, sulk or worry yourself sick?  Or do you make lemonade, when everything is turning up lemons?

I’ll suggest that you create some “space” in your brain so that creative solutions can come.  An excellent way to do that is with a meditation practice.  Relieve the pressure of daily life and you might just find that life is good.

Greg Schweitzer, Director of Stress Reduction Resources and Effortless Meditation™
Instructor for more than 30 years

 

Look and feel revitalized!

Mei Zen COSMETIC ACUPUNCTURE

Reclaim a Radiant & Youthful Appearance!

We are lucky to grow old. The down side is that we have to watch our bodies change while our minds still think young. But when we look into the mirror, sometimes we just can’t relate to what we see. There may be crow’s feet, wrinkles, dark circles, frown lines, or even bags under our eyes.

Many factors contribute to the visible signs of aging including sun damage, smoking, stress, diet, and lifestyle.

There is a procedure called Mei Zen Acupuncture that the Chinese nobility used for thousands of years as a beauty secret. It reverses the aging process naturally! No cosmetic surgery facelifts, Botox, or anti-aging skin creams are needed to achieve beautiful skin. You can now experience this time-honored wisdom to reclaim a radiant and youthful appearance.

The skin is our largest organ and reflects the state of our internal health.  It is the only organ that we have to take care of from both the inside and the outside. In Chinese Medicine the state of physical health, emotions, and spirit is reflected on the skin, particularly on the skin of the face. You look your best when your healthy inside reflects on your face!

Today, surgical procedures, laser resurfacing, various modes of injectable therapy and “non-invasive” procedures are being used to create a youthful appearance. These procedures only address the “outside,” can be expensive, and can carry significant risks.

The Mei Zen Cosmetic Acupuncture System utilizes an ancient needling technique that is superficial. The needling brings increased energy (Qi) and blood flow to the face.  Also, the production of collagen and elastin is enhanced.  Since this system is based on Traditional Chinese Medicine, the Mei Zen practitioner also uses point selections on the body to complete the balancing of energy.  This results in an overall rejuvenating effect of body, mind, and spirit.

Diet, lifestyle and skin care are also evaluated and addressed.

If you want to look and feel revitalized while maintaining the essence of who you are, you are a good candidate for Mei Zen Cosmetic Acupuncture.

Feeling good about your “self” is very therapeutic!

Rochelle Aubert, MAcS, LAc, has completed post-graduate studies in Mei Zen Cosmetic Facial Acupuncture. Call 610-395.3355 today to make an appointment.

 

Good Bone Health

Osteoporosis:
A Serious Silent Condition!

Osteoporosis is a common condition in postmenopausal women that can reduce mobility, quality of life, and lead to other serious health problems. In fact, you may have osteoporosis and not even know it!

A broken wrist may be the first sign of osteoporosis. See your doctor and find out if an underlying problem could be making your bones brittle.

Osteoporosis is a childhood disease, even though we may not see the effects until we are older. Encourage young people to build strong bones by choosing calcium-rich food and getting lots of exercise−two key elements to building healthy bones.

Losing two or more inches in your height—something often chalked up to normal aging—could be a sign of spinal fractures, a marker for serious bone loss.  Healthy bones are slightly flexible and are meant to withstand most impact. Freak accidents aside, bones aren’t supposed to break.

Diabetes, breast cancer, gluten intolerance, Crohn’s disease, hyperthyroidism, and depression have all been linked to bone loss. If you have any of these conditions, you may be at higher risk for fractures.

Preventing hip fractures should be as important as warding off cancer. One in five women and one in three men will die within a year after suffering a hip fracture. Because they commonly occur after age 75, hip fractures are often the catalyst for severe health declines. But rarely are they taken as seriously as cancer or heart disease

If you don’t fall you won’t break your bones. Improve your stability and reduce your risk of falling with core work and resistance training.

Improve and maintain good bone health with regular weight-bearing exercise and proper nutrition, with an emphasis on protein, calcium and vitamin D (it helps the body absorb calcium).  A simple blood test can check your vitamin D level.

Twin Ponds Center offers multiple services to help keep your bones strong: Nutritional Counseling, Pilates, Fitness Training, and Functional Medicine. Please call 610.395.3355 today to learn more about how you can strengthen your bones!

Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired?

In the busyness of the day, it’s amazing that we can consistently ignore our highest good. Under chronic stress, life becomes very complex. In the state of overwhelm, our brain’s rational thinking gets short circuited. Stress makes us stupid!

And yet life does not have to be so difficult. To turn things around, pay attention to your most basic needs. And then take action on those needs. Corrective action, however, can only come if we are AWARE of our needs.

As an example, how many of us have found ourselves pressing to finish tasks when we are very hungry? This is not healthy, we are building stress. When I’m really hungry, I can’t focus on the task at hand because my hunger is shouting for attention.

And how many of you keep pushing on in the face of anger? Anger clouds perception and judgment. Rather than ignoring or denying its presence, why not take a break, get some exercise, relax, meditate, or just take some mindful breaths.

Arguably, our most serious limiting issue is fatigue. There seems to be little understanding of how seriously fatigue is affecting our performance, enjoyment, and health. Rest is an enzyme of life as necessary as air. We need it to keep going and to heal. If you’re tired, get more sleep. If you are not sleeping well, learn how to quiet your mind. Regular meditation practice will work wonders to reduce fatigue and enhance the quality of your life.

The bottom line is that we need to set healthy boundaries for ourselves. When you cross the boundary, take corrective action. If we don’t, life will catch up with us. Accidents and illness are two examples of ways that nature gets our attention. While unplanned and unpleasant, these interruptions can provide us with an opportunity to take stock of our life and create a better future.

Let’s take a proactive approach and create a healthy lifestyle. Pay attention to your needs and take action on them. Let me know if I can help.

Greg Schweitzer, MBA, D.Ay., Director of Stress Reduction Resources and Effortless Meditation™ Instructor for more than 30 years

Lymphatic Drainage by Vera Lovewell, RN, LMT

Lymphatic System
by Vera Lovewell, RN, LMT


The lymphatic system is so important to our health. It plays a vital role in balancing our body’s fluid distribution. The lymph system is also a major component of our immune system. It aids in filtering bacteria and toxins out of the body and assists the body to fight infection.

As with any system of the body, there are things we can do to optimize its function. Unlike the circulatory system, the lymphatic system doesn’t have a central pump (heart) to move fluids. It depends on the pumping action created by the movement of muscles; so exercise and activity are important to the functioning of the lymph system. The muscle movement of the diaphragm is a major mover of the lymph; therefore, good deep breathing is important.  A good balanced diet that maintains a healthy weight is also important. Treat yourself well and you’ll treat your lymph system well.

Unfortunately, despite good effort, not everyone is blessed with a healthy lymph system.

Whether it is residual damage from a surgery or a traumatic injury, or a genetic trait, some people experience an insufficient lymph system that causes chronic edema in their  leg (s) or arm (s); lymphedema. Many people are never adequately treated. In the USA manual lymph drainage wasn’t really practiced until the 1980’s – 90’s. Manual
lymphatic drainage and complete decongestive therapy can treat this problem, reducing the edema and supporting the lymph system.

Lymphatic drainage is beneficial to many people. It is used to reduce lymphedema caused by dysfunctions or impairments of the lymph system. It assists with the edema and healing of chronic leg wounds often found with venous statis/peripheral vascular disease.  Manual lymphatic drainage reduces the chronic inflammation suffered by people with various forms of arthritis, fibromyalgia, and other autoimmune diseases. And, it is also beneficial to the healthy population who desire to detox their bodies and give a boost to their immune systems.

Manual lymphatic drainage is a very gentle massage technique that encourages the flow of lymph from the extremities back toward the body’s center and to the circulatory system.  Decongestive therapy is the wrapping done with special bandages after manual lymphatic drainage treatments. It helps maintain the flow of lymph and furthers reduction of edema.

It’s an exciting field that is beneficial to many people and I’m happy that it can now be offered at Twin Ponds Integrative Health Center.

If you have a need for Lymphatic Drainage or Complete Decongestive Therapy, please
call 610.395.3355

Raw Food Diet

Help for Digestive Problems, Diabetes, Nutrient Deficiency, Aging & Weight Gain

Brook OckermanHave you ever mentioned “Raw Foods Diet” to anyone? If you have, you probably saw them turn up their nose and heard them say. “I can’t eat that way.”  Well, it isn’t what you think!

A raw food diet isn’t limited to living on salads and smoothies. Some of the types made are Italian, Middle Eastern, Asian, Latin American, all American, breakfasts, and, of course, desserts. They are not only delicious and easy, but exotic and comforting. Aromatic herbs, warming spices, and pungent flavors are used just like any other delicious food preparation.

Any appetite will be satisfied, especially when it comes to desserts. The raw desserts are great for those who love sweets, but want to avoid refined carbohydrates, sugars, dairy products, and unhealthy fats. They are divine, rich, and sweet!  Just sample a raw dessert and you will say that it has more flavor than baked desserts. It will be hard for you to believe that it didn’t come out of the oven…and your next word will be, “Wow!”

The raw food diet is based on the belief that the most healthful food for the body is uncooked. Although most food is eaten raw, heating food is acceptable as long as the temperature stays below 104 to 118 degrees.

Cooking food can diminish its nutritional value. For example, the cancer-fighting compounds in broccoli, sulforaphanes, are greatly reduced when it is cooked.  Also, certain vitamins, such as vitamin C and folate, are destroyed by heat.

According to raw foodists, enzymes are the life force of a food that helps us digest food and absorb nutrients. If we over consume cooked food, our bodies are forced to work harder by producing more enzymes.

If you want to find lasting health from better food choices, investigate the Raw Food Diet. Join our fun, delicious, and informative classes.

Instructor: Brook Ockerman is a certified Raw Chef & Instructor with an additional certification in Raw Pastries.

Are You Creative?

Do You Need to Be?

If your first answer is “not really,” you are probably one of the crowd who thinks creativity is just about Art and maybe Inventions. The new brain/mind/body science will tell you, “you are wrong.” Creativity is needed in just about every succesful behavior including: parenting, playing games, marriage relationships, business leadership, learning, and communicating. You are already creative and you can be better at it.

The good news is that you can easily become more creative and thus more successful in all you want to do.  A key way is through movement training.  Yes, movement training can improve the way your mind functions, including creativity, and it is never too late to start.

 

All behavior has both physical movement and mental components including creative types of behavior. We are all psychosomatic (mind/body/movement) beings and our psyche-soma system can be used to make us healthier and better functioning both physically and mentally.  It can also react to stress negatively and make us depressed, unhealthy and minimize our ability to be creative.

 

A major part to the secret of how to keep yourself in the positive use of the psyche-soma system is good movement training.  Movement by itself works so well that doctors tell depressed patients to “get out and exercise.” This truth is also why yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi, golf training and other physical training can bring you clarity of mind, while it is making your body healthier.  But we can now also use this psyche-soma system more specifically for your particular neuromuscular (brain/body) pattern use.

 

We can use movement exercises which will train you to handle stress better and actually use it to be more successful. You can also learn how to use your Psyche-Soma to turn on its Dynamics of Play, Dreams, Movement, Art and Creativity.  Yes, you can easily and with fun increase your ability to be more creative in all you do.

 

To solve your problems and enrich your life you need to be creative.  As Rich Pastorella, owner of the Pastorella Health and Fitness Center, Weatherly, PA  said. ” Betsy Wetzig’s system of Coordination Pattern Training uses the human system of movement and thought and it allows you to understand them from multiple perspectives and to apply them to the problems that you are facing in your life.”     

Betsy Wetzig – Originator of Coordination Pattern™ “Breakthru” Training, Co-author of Moves For Greatness: Focusing the Four Essential Energies of a Whole and Balanced Leader, Choreographer/Dancer, Educator and co-originator of Full Potential Learning.

Improving Sleep & More

With State-of-the-Art Vibroacoustic Chair  

What a drag it was to get up in the morning to go to work. When the alarm went off, I just wanted to throw it out the window. I felt like my eyes didn’t want to open and my body felt like a load of bricks.  I finally had enough of this tossing and turning every night and decided to search for some way to get my nerves under control to enjoy a restful night of sleep.  With a stressful and demanding job, I couldn’t afford to work in a fog all day long.

 Then I saw an ad in a magazine about a state-of-the-art vibroacoustic chair at a health center that helps people with sleeping problems, among other things. I wanted to learn about this chair and experience it so I made an appointment with the counselor who is certified in this type of therapy.

I was fascinated that the process of hearing “sound vibration” through the body’s nerves, skin, and bones heals so many physical and mental problems.

Wow!  Just sitting on the o-gravity chair was incredibly comfortable.  I felt like I was floating as my muscles got more and more relaxed. The chair acted like electronic tuning forks that vibrated my whole body.  I was hearing multi-layered sounds from the ear phones and wearing glasses that transformed what I was hearing into mandala-like patterns of light while feeling the chair vibrate. The whole experience took my brain and central nervous system into a deeply relaxed-healing state – my brain was in balanced harmony!

Now that I had a session with the counselor and knew how to work the chair, I can visit the chair at my convenience and go home relaxed and ready for a good night’s sleep. This vibroacoustic chair has done wonders for my health–and it’s easy on my pocketbook.

 Meg Deak, MCAT, LPC, is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Vibroacoustic Sound Practitioner, Certified Emotional Freedom Techniques Practitioner, and Music Therapist

Meditation is Personal Hygiene

Greg SchweitzerWho among us would start our day without making time for personal hygiene? At the minimum, we clean our teeth, wash our body, and brush our hair. Why do we take the time? We feel better, we’re healthier and we receive good feedback from those we personally contact!

Meditation is a personal hygiene practice.  It prepares us for the day in front of us.  The day goes more smoothly; it is more enjoyable and meaningful as a result of making the time to meditate.

A few weeks after Mary and John learned to meditate; Mary said that John had changed. He’s much happier when he comes home from work, she said. 

John has a stressful one-hour drive to get to work each day. Add to the stress of the drive a long pressure-filled workday and the same return drive home, and you realize what many of us face every day. We then carry the fatigue and pressure of our workday into the evening hours with our family. Now, since taking the Effortless Meditation™ course, John sits in his car to meditate in the garage for 15 – 20 minutes following the ride home. The deep rest of his meditation releases his tension and stress. He then walks into the house with more energy and he’s happier, he’s feeling lighter.

After 38 years of meditation practice, my most obvious benefit from meditation is the increased mental and physical energy and happiness that I feel. Fatigue and stress wear us down; they dull our nervous system and brain. I’ll never forget watching a busy friend, a small business owner, fall asleep as he was talking! When the brain is compromised by stress and fatigue, it’s impossible to be at the top of our game, and it’s hard to find much to enjoy and appreciate in life.

Effortless Meditation™ practice is an antidote. During the practice, we experience levels of rest that are deeper than sleep. The stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol decrease as we experience a deeply relaxed state of inner wakefulness. Similar to recharging the battery of your phone, this is a preparation for a higher degree of satisfaction and success in life.  

For maximum benefits, all it takes is fifteen to twenty minutes twice a day. For many, this is as essential as any daily personal hygiene practice.

Greg Schweitzer, MBA, Director of Stress Reduction Resources and Effortless Meditation™ Instructor for more than 30 years

 

 

 

How to stop food cravings!

Shaving the Food Cravings!

-“Super Brain” by Deepak Chopra

These strong feelings called cravings can make any dieter a failure. Research tells us that cravings light up the same pleasure and emotion-driven areas of the brain that are activated by cocaine and nicotine.The important thing is to know your triggers and how to avoid them.  When a craving does strike, have your plan ready so you can stay in your rational mind and ride it out− eat sensibly and feel a sense of control.

The following suggestions will help:

  1. Practice “out of sight, out of mind.” Keep them out of your house.
  2. Don’t watch commercials. Tape shows and fast-forward commercials. Create your own affirmation such as, “I eat only healthy foods.”
  3. Eat healthy food throughout the day. This will improve blood sugar, control, and provide the nutrients needed for proper brain chemistry.
  4. Be aware of the stages cravings go through. They will pass in about 15-20 minutes. Focus on something else, drink a glass of water, or take a short walk.
  5. Use the executive part of your brain. Practice mindfulness eating daily – brings your attention back to what you are doing.
  6. Watch your sugar intake. It may be your comfort food, but it can trigger all sorts of cravings. Satisfy your body with fresh organic vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and healthy protein. This will help balance your blood sugar and stabilize your energy levels, appetite, and mood.
  7. Get enough exercise and sleep. This will help you maintain a normal hormonal balance which helps with mental clarity to focus. This is needed not only to maintain a healthy weight but an overall healthy lifestyle.

Deepak Chopra, MD, says in his book, “Super Brain,” that when you have trained your brain to recognize emotions, impulses, and the non-satisfaction attached to overeating, you reach a turning point where you are confident about using your brain instead of letting it use you.  You will easily choose not to overeat!

Check out our food and lifestyle offerings including: Ayurvedic Wellness Coaching, Macrobiotics & Chinese Medicine, Nutritional Counseling & Wellness Coaching, Whole/Plant Based Foods, Whole/Raw Living Foods. For  more information, call 610.395.3355.

Do Less

Accomplish More

The day flies by and at the end, there’s something missing.  You’ve checked many things off your “to do” list and yet that seems like a hollow victory.  You’re not satisfied with the day and what you’ve accomplished.

While many may feel this way from time to time, in my early years, this nagging feeling was always present.  At the age of 26, I was an industrial engineer working for a Fortune 100 company in the Lehigh Valley.  My friends and family thought I had it made. I was young, drove a hot sports car, had a good income and was upwardly mobile in a major corporation.   And yet every workday I was counting the hours till I could leave work and begin my life.

The inner me was sick, maybe dying.  Then one evening, with nothing else to do, I accompanied a friend to a lecture about meditation.  The teacher presenting the talk told us that there’s something missing in most people’s lives.  He said what’s missing isn’t “out there” in the world, it’s inside!

Was I looking for contentment and satisfaction in the wrong places?  I was climbing the ladder of success at work, but was it against the wrong wall?  I was trying to be a good engineer, a good employee, a good son and a good friend.  There was lots of pressure and it was tiring.  My employer, for example, told me that I needed to spend a minimum of 10 hours a day at work if I wanted to get ahead. 

In desperation and with hope, I followed up on my gut instinct that night and enrolled in the meditation course. Almost immediately, I experienced a significant shift toward greater happiness and well-being. Two years later, I found myself enrolling in a year-long training program to become a meditation teacher.   

In training, our teacher frequently told us that we were learning to “do less and accomplish more.” Just sit, close your eyes and be still.  Inside you will find the peace and contentment that you have always desired.  It’s our essence, pure awareness, and it’s found at the source of thought.  Life is not meant to be a struggle. Make a practice of returning to the quiet mind every day. The positive influence on the quality of your life will be magical. 

Let me know if I can help.   

Greg Schweitzer, Director of Stress Reduction Resources and Effortless Meditation™ Instructor for more than 30 years

 

INTEGRATIVE

The Whole is Greater Than the Sum of its Parts

Each of us is made up of many interactive systems. Being healthy in mind and body happens when these systems work together harmoniously.  Often, we humans separate one part of one system and work on it to make it function better.  This is not the best route to take because it does not take care of the whole problem and the whole problem is the problem.

Almost everyone, sooner or later, has a lower back ache.  Is it purely caused by the muscles, nerves and bones in your lower back? No! There are many interactive mental and physical systems which cause it to exist. Since we use the same body to express our mood, attitude, and meaning and things like anxiety and anger cause tension in our muscles, the psychosomatic (mind-body) connection is always involved. Moreover, like the truth of the old song, “the knee bone is connected to the..,” no part of the body acts in isolation from the rest.

Back aches can be caused or made worse from stress, the way you walk and stand, a
nutritional problems, overweight, etc.  All your systems and parts are always working together. The whole is indeed greater than the sum of the parts!  The integration of the body and mind systems and parts can be addressed to become healthier.

Experts from various holistic disciplines at Twin Ponds Integrative Health Center work together to improve the “whole self.” Our programs address stress, emotions, nutrition, lifestyle, movement, alignment, energy, and so much more. Applying this added power of an “integrative approach” to a physical, mental, emotional concern will assure your success!

Betsy Wetzig, Originator of Coordination Pattern™ Breakthru Training