Breaking a Sweat Exercising?

atm_class1[1]Do it Easier and Better with The Feldenkrais Method®           

By Carolyn J. Reese

The best exercise for me, so I thought, was to move fast and push myself as much as possible.  Then I learned how important it is to exercise slowly and gently so that my body/mind system can work together more efficiently. Yes, when the body moves, the mind changes for the better! This new way of exercising has greatly helped with my arthritis and Post-Polio Syndrome. It is called…The Feldenkrais Method.        

WHAT OR WHO IS FELDENKRAIS?  The “who” is Moshe’ Feldenkrais, a physicist, mechanical engineer and one of the first Western black belts. After reinjuring his knee, having surgery and going to rehab, the doctors told him that he might spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair.

His understanding of how the laws of gravity and motion affected the mechanics of movement allowed him to develop short exercises that helped educate his body in easier, more efficient movement patterns. He eventually used this knowledge to teach patients effective techniques for self-rehabilitation.

THE FELDENKRAIS METHOD, based on the principles of physics and biomechanics, was developed from his experience and understanding of human physiology and the connection between mind and body. 

With this discipline, commands are carried from the brain to the muscles, tendons, joints, and skin, and then reports on their condition are sent back to the brain. The purpose is to improve movement patterns rather than treating specific injuries or illnesses.

The Feldenkrais Method claims to be successful in training the nervous system to find new pathways around areas of damage.

At first, lying on the floor in a relaxed way and moving slowly, I mean really slowly, didn’t make much sense!  Little did I know that the slower I moved, the more my brain was engaged (mindful) and the more my body responded. Even visualizing a movement changes the brain and helps the body!  Being a “senior,” has given me years of incorrect exercising and therapy, but now with the Feldenkrais way of exercising, I don’t have to worry about hurting myself the way I used to and my body is retaining the improvements I made.

The Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement classes consist of a series of verbally directed and carefully structured movement sequences involving the body and the imagination. The movements are performed in a variety of positions – lying down, sitting, standing – which address a range of functions necessary for the safe, effective and powerful use of one’s body.

This safe and easy way of exercising can help with:

  • Reducing pain, back and neck aches, headaches
  • Re-educating the brain and nervous system to develop new ways of moving and perceiving the body
  • Orthopedic problems in bones and joints (poor posture or habits of movement that may cause pain)
  • Stroke patients, head trauma, Multiple Sclerosis, Cerebral Palsy, neuropathy
  • Degenerative arthritis, Fibromyalgia
  • Recovery from surgery
  • Segments of our society: athletes, children, elderly, martial artists, artists, musicians, movement teachers and health care providers

“…the Feldenkrais Method can undo many of the aches and pains that plague us, and I currently recommend it to patients whose movement has been restricted by injury or chronic pain.  I also believe the Feldenkrais Method can help older people achieve greater range of motion and flexibility, and help all of us feel more comfortable in our bodies.”        –Andrew Weil, MD 

This style of exercise is not only revolutionary, but an enlightening experience! 

Attend a Feldenkrais Class or experience a private session of Functional Integration call Carol Siddiqi 610-618-0467


Un-Forgiveness Hurts

Patterns-Training-Center-Loby Betsy Wetzig, BA, CCPT

Un-forgiveness hurts us both physically and mentally because the whole forgiveness process ( from the moment we receive the injury or loss, until the moment we can finally forgive) is a bio-electric process of our basic self. We each have a neuromuscular, bio-electric nerve-muscular-brain system.  It is our body-mind link.  It is what makes us psychosomatic, but its “not all in your head!”

1) We receive the hurt and react with our habituated stress reactions >. Might be tightening ribs, or back of neck or any place in your body you have often reacted to stress.  Our brain is put on alert… “Danger, Danger.”  Plus our old chronic pains often show up.

2) We are reminded or think of the hurt. > Our “gut” reacts. Emotions are both physical and mental. Our brain may get stuck in a loop of anger, depression, and fear.  Ye old chronic pains act up…backache, headaches or more.

3) We try to will our forgiveness but it doesn’t work because all behavior is both physical and mental and willing won’t make a difference without the physical half of our ‘self.” Un-forgiveness gets stuck in our whole being.

>>>GOOD NEWS…. Our forgiveness process is part of our DNA and can be fully accessed with the same bio-electric processes that get us stuck. Your Coordination Patterns and Dynamics are the bio-electric system of the mind-body and movement-mind link.

The Forgiveness Workshop on Dec. 2nd at Twin Ponds will teach you how to use this system with fun, simple movement exercises and understanding.

“For 10 years I could not completely forgive two friends who hurt me during my husband’s funeral,,,    but within the 3 hours of Betsy’s workshop the deed was done!” *Seattle, WA Workshop Participant.


A Gut Feeling

Twin Ponds celebrateLaunches a Decade of Growth

by Carolyn J. Reese                 

Listening to my “gut feeling” ten years ago has helped many people with stress, physical aches and pains, along with mental and emotional challenges.  The message I received from my gut was that it would be very convenient to have highly-trained holistic practitioners collaborating under one roof for natural health and wellness. This was very appealing to me because I not only knew that I needed it, but I felt as though our community could also benefit from such a place. This realization wasn’t slow, but an “aha moment” that came like a bolt of lightening – a gut feeling, an intuition that I knew I wanted, and needed to act upon it.

Twin Ponds Integrative Health Center was opened with a hand full of holistic practitioners and over the last ten years has grown to more than twenty experts in their various fields of natural health modalities. This Center has become one of our country’s most diverse holistic health centers. It continues to grow and always welcomes additional practitioners to join our team.

Our holistic practitioners are committed to facilitating a way of life that moves one towards vitality, optimum wellness and awareness. In our safe, supportive environment, people can learn natural healing techniques to address:

  • pain, joint and muscles
  • stress, sleep difficulties and relaxation
  • optimal brain function
  • nutrition and lifestyle support
  • emotional distress of anger, fear, guilt and sadness
  • disease and illness
  • success in all areas of life

The real blessing of the Center is not only the dedicated practitioners, but all the clients and patients who have come to achieve health maintenance, improve their lives and recover from illness or pain.

Our “Coming Events” to help with these issues are:

 Our future looks bright with New Events in the planning:

  • Retreat Days: Programs designed for Individuals, Corporations and Organizations
  • Food & Lifestyle Support Program

Our practitioners believe in holistic health that considers the whole person – body, mind, emotions and spirit and collaborate to help our clients become healthier.

Albert Einstein once said that intuition is our most valuable asset, and one of our most unused senses. He described it as “a feeling for the order lying behind the appearance of something.” Sometimes it is referred to as gut feeling, sixth sense, innate wisdom, inner sense, instinct, inner voice, or spiritual guide.

If your “gut” talks to you, don’t ignore it! It is a powerful message and can be a big blessing to you and others as well.  I believe my whole life prepared me to open Twin Ponds Integrative Health Center, but it was listening to my “gut” that launched this amazing place for healing.

Join us to Celebrate our Decade of Growth

Sunday, October 22, 1:00-4:00 pm



Is There Untapped Power in Your Voice?

VoiceDo you know that you can increase your energy, become more calm and focused, and release pain and tension – all with the sound of your own voice? 

Make Sound!

We are wired for vocal expression; we’re supposed to make sound. As infants we came into the world wailing and then spent years learning to be quiet.  Sometimes, those lessons were less than ideal.

How many times in your life was there a command to be quiet? How well did you learn to stuff your feelings? How often did hold your tongue because it wasn’t safe or because no one would pay attention anyway?  And, were you someone who was told you can’t or shouldn’t sing?

Toning is a process to begin to free your voice – to free your bodyvoice.  It starts with audible sighs, yawns, and groans. Letting yourself make sound, giving yourself permission to sound sends a message of freedom to your body. You may be surprised by what comes out.

frustrated_at_my_desk_800_clr_8478Creating a resonant sound with your voice can relieve pain.  The next time you feel a headache coming on, instead of reaching for a bottle of pain reliever, find a pitch that resonates or vibrates in your head and gently tone on “ee.”  If you’re feeling grouchy, add a smile, even if you really don’t feel like smiling, and see what happens.

Your journey to free yourself begins here.



Help for My Muscles – Finally!

With the Multimaster Pilates Table

by Carolyn Reese

The warning from a Polio specialist in the 50’s was to not over-tax my muscles or I would lose the strength of the muscles affected by the Polio virus. But, as most of us do, I went on with life not believing that would happen to me.  However, the weakness crept up slowly and is now to the point that I need to use an electric scooter if I want to go any distance; for short distances I use a cane.

An amazing electronic table called the Multimaster Pilates, a power assisted exercise and rehabilitation machine, is now giving me the hope for stronger muscles and easier walking that I thought I would never have again.

Physical therapy couldn’t help. It was too strenuous and I wasn’t able to improve fast enough for the insurance to cover it.  I have tried other exercises and always seemed to end up in pain and discouraged, and consequently stopped doing them. So, where does that leave me?  I have admitted that I’m tired of trying and just want to go on with life the best I can – even working daily at my business of owning and managing a large holistic health center.  I have jokingly been accused of building my own old-age rehab.  Even with all the good intentions of the practitioners, I still have major muscle weakness in my legs and core muscles.

Recently, I found out about toning tables. One of the practitioners, who has helped me over the years, and I did some research and found a company in England that makes the Multimaster Pilates Table.

What a coincidence that the table was developed in the 1930’s by Bernard Stauffer, a physiotherapist, whose wife suffered from Polio. He wanted to find a way of improving her mobility, flexibility and circulation without having to spend a lot of time massaging and manipulating her each day…and it worked!

Since then it has been on the cutting edge of health care – especially in Europe.

The unbelievable advantage of this table is that it provides power assisted exercise and rehabilitation.  It works at my ability, passively or actively at multiple speeds with no muscle strain and no fatigue.  Wow!  For my needs, one can’t get any better than that.  I just lie on the table and for 3 or 6 minutes, depending on which program is I choose, the table moves me.  How can that help if I’m not doing the “grunt work?”

On this electronic machine, the muscles are exercised in a semi-passive state, known as Continuous Passive Motion or CPM, which works through repetitive, isokinetic movements to isolate muscle groups.  These slow, continuous, smooth, and controlled workouts can even improve my overall health – physically, mentally and emotionally.

This Multimaster Pilates Table is suitable for people who

  • Lack or want to improve muscle tone, strength, endurance and range of motion
  • Want to lose weight
  • Use cross training to improve their favorite sport or exercise approach
  • Need to manage or rehabilitate physical challenges
  • Want new innovative ways to deal with stress and improve their mind

Over the years, the benefits of this machine have been proven again and again.

This way of exercising can help manage and rehabilitate many health conditions, including MS, Fibromyalgia, Parkinson’s, mobility issues, post-stoke, issues of aging and so much more.

Research at Oklahoma State University showed that 78 year olds exercising on this equipment for just 30 minutes, 2 times a week for 10 weeks resulted in

  • 34% increased leg and 30% arm strength
  • 50% improved muscle strength,
  • 22% increased mobility, agility
  • 33% increased balance
  • improved emotional benefits

 This shows an amazing amount of improvement in just 10 weeks.

I have been on this table now a couple times a week for several weeks and when I get off, I walk so much easier. People have noticed that my gait has improved and I’m just getting started.  I can say that the Multimaster Pilates Table is on its way to giving me back a much more productive, fun and healthier life.  There is nothing greater than “hope” for the future and that is another gift the table is giving me.

FREE Multimaster Pilates Table Demonstration

March 21, 7:00-8:00 pm

Betsy Wetzig, Coordination Pattern™ Training

Pre-register 610-395-3355

Healing with Daily Food – Daikon Radish

macrobiotic-diet-chartby Stephen Hoog

The daikon radish is a long white root vegetable sometimes up to a foot in length. It can be boiled, steamed, sauteed or pickled. It has pungent taste when raw and sweet taste when cooked. One of its main actions is to disperse animal fats that may have accumulated in and around organs  When one eats a meal high in oil or fat it is beneficial to fine grate a daikon then add a few drops of good quality soy sauce or tamari. By eating this simple dish as a condiment the meal is more easily digested. Daikon radish, also, can be obtained in the dried form. Soaked and eaten as a vegetable this form can help dissolve fatty deposits deep in the body such as those found in the prostate ovaries or uterus. Fresh daikon is more helpful in dissolving fats in more superficial parts of the body but can have a general effect.

There are special radish drinks which can be used for other medicinal purposes . One for fever is called Daikon Drink #1.  It is made by mixing 3 tbsps. grated radish, 1/4 tsp grated ginger and 2tsps. soy sauce. Then one pours 2-3 cups hot kukicha tea [twig tea] over it. It should be drunk warm–as much as possible. Then one should wrap oneself in a warm blanket or go to sleep. It makes you sweat and lowers body temperature. Some have used it for animal food poisoning and appendicitis. It is best used by strong and active people who get a fever from extreme foods. It shouldn’t be taken more than 3x a day.

Daikon Drink #2 is used to induce urination to relieve swollen feet or ankles. It is prepared by grating a 1/2 cup of radish and squeezing out the juice. Next one takes 2 tbsp of juice and adds 6 tbsp of hot water with a small amount of soy sauce or sea salt. This mix is brought to a boil and simmered for 1 minute, then drunk.   It should be used only  once a day and no more than three days in a row.

There is also a special carrot-daikon drink which helpful for liver problems and aids in discharging eggs, cheese and animal fats from almost any where in the body . It can dissolve calcified stones in the gall bladder and kidneys. It is being used for dissolving tumors and numerous other conditions.  It is made by grating 1/2 cup each of carrots and daikon. This is put in a pan with 2 cups of water and brought to a slow boil. Then  1/3 sheet of nori seaweed and 1/3 of an umeboshi plum should be added.  All ingredients are cooked for 3 minutes  with a few drops of soy sauce included  at the end. Everything then is eaten.

Numerous other daikon drinks can be prepared for varying conditions. Adding foods like shiitake mushrooms, lotus root, cabbage, burdock,  or roasted rice to the drink can target a variety of organs and conditions.

Daikon leaves are not to be wasted, They are very valuable, They can be eaten as a vegetable, pickled, made into a tea or used as a compress[for allergies].  Daikon leaves can be boiled and made into a hip bath for warming the lower abdominal area which loosens stagnation in that area. Cysts and tumors are helped by this.

Daikon roots are pickled at old farmhouses by hanging the root up to dry for a few days until they are limp then placing in a crock. They are mixed with rice bran and salt and layered. The following year they  are removed.  These pickles are high in vitamins and minerals and digestives enzymes. They can be eaten one small slice at a time usually during the colder months.

Some local food stores carry daikon  all year.  Chinese stores often carry it.  Locally grown is usually available in the fall . It is not always easy to grow the early varieties as they get buggy easily. Some farmers actually use daikon to loosen the soil so when they harvest it in the fall there is often an abundance of daikon available at farmers markets.

The list of use for the daikon is much longer than this article can cover..It is a fascinating common food that has marvelous healing properties and it needs no prescription to obtain.

The Macrobiotic Way of Eating involves assessing how one is making balance, both internally and in relationship to the environment then making choices to maintain that balance.  It also involves seeing the situation in terms of energy. A formal consultation includes looking at a persons medical history, using oriental diagnosis such as facial clues and   pulse reading, discussion of emotional factors and finally muscle testing to clarify what a persons individual needs are.  In most cases the result is a recommendation for a plant based diet however some animal may be included if a person so desires as well as herbal supplements if needed. This way of eating is changing constantly  throughout the seasons and as ones’ condition improves.

Read about Stephen Hoog and Macrobiotic Way of Eating.

Keeping Your Inner Well from Running Dry

Close-up of a young woman receiving back massage at spa

by Jeanne Mancinelli, RN, LMT, Reiki Practitioner

Constantly giving to family, friends, job, life events all help to drain your energy. When the inner well is full, we are able to give as the situation needs. If these events or situations begin to drain our energy and we do not take the time to replenish our supply, then we run into trouble.

As the body approaches this level, it begins to send out warning signals. These can include:

  • Fatigue
  • Poor quality of sleep
  • Feeling “down”
  • Irritable, Etc.

Now we are entering a “dis-ease” state. If left unchecked, it will spiral downward and become more systemic. You may experience:

  • An increase in blood pressure
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Frequent severe headaches

How to replenish the well?

  • First is to recognize the situation
  • Secondly, realize that if you do not take care of yourself, you could end up with a physical or emotional breakdown.

What do do?

What helps you relax? Make some “you time.” This is where massage can help. As early as 15 minutes into the massage, the body releases endorphins. These are the “feel good” hormones. During this time your blood pressure begins to lower. Further into the massage, your muscles begin to relax and tension begins to ease. Clients frequently report improved sleep.

The type of massage will depend on the needs of the client. The therapist should discuss the expectations of the client. Some people prefer a more vigorous massage, while others enjoy the long, slow strokes of the Swedish massage. Incorporating essential oils can help ease muscle tension, help elevate moods, and help alleviate stress.

Taking time to refill your inner well is good preventative medicine.

According to a statement issued by the American Massage Therapy Association, there is a growing body of research supporting the health benefits of massage. They have listed 25 conditions that are positively affected by massage.

Included in this list are:

  • Relieve stress
  • Decrease anxiety
  • Reduce muscle tension
  • Relieve tension headaches
  • Improved sleep, Etc.

Massage is so much more than what a lot of people think it is.

Massage is not just a frivolous activity. It improves your health and well-being, it is good preventative medicine.

Join Jeanne Mancinelli, licensed massage therapist, for a cup of tea in our homey kitchen and learn about the different kinds of massage and their benefits.

Tuesday, February 9th at 5:30-6:30 pm

Register with Jeanne at 610.393.9676.






Tips to Reduce Holiday Stress

Anxious-WomanThe holidays are here and for many of us it is a time of celebration and stress. For example, the holidays bring up memories of my deceased parents who I miss dearly.  They loved the holidays and provided me with my first tastes of Christmas magic. My mother lived a long, full life and passed away suddenly the week before Christmas.

Many share bittersweet experiences and stress 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 nostalgically remember the good times in the past 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.

A few tips to lighten the holidays

  • 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 some time outdoors – in the sunlight would be ideal.  Go for walks, exercise, meditate, eat nutrient dense food, and meet 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.

I teach a mental technique that will be help – Effortless Meditation™. Meditation practice will do wonders to ward off stress and lighten your spirits at any time of the year.  It brings balance into your life.

Greg Schweitzer Director, Stress Reduction Resources Meditation teacher, Wellness coach, Speaker

Chiropractic – Your Spine Works Harder Than You Think!

Woman having back pain while sitting at desk in office
Are you working hard?  Your spine is working even harder!

Most of us—80% of Americans—experience back or neck pain at some time in our life.

More than half of sufferers say that sitting in the same position for long periods at a time has the most negative impact on their back health and thousands of workers admit that they spend virtually the whole day in the same position.

Sitting causes up to twice as much pressure on the spine as standing, so your back is always hard at work even when you think it’s resting.

Research suggests that one half of all working Americans have back pain symptoms each year.

Here are some helpful tips:

  • Sit up straight: Have your bottom against the seat back and shoulder blades touching the back of the chair. Keep arms relaxed and close to the body and placed on the desk when typing.
  • Drive well: Drivers’ seats should be set slightly backwards, and elbows should be at a comfortable and relaxed angle.
  • Be computer compatible: The top of the screen should be level with your eyebrows and the chair titled slightly forward – knees should be lower than hips and feet flat on the floor.
  • Take regular breaks: Don’t sit for more than 30 minutes without standing to stretch or taking a little walk. Use your feet instead of the internal phone or have meetings standing up.
  • Drink Up: Try drinking water instead of tea or coffee.

Most times we don’t realize how hard we are working our spines – actually abusing our spines!  Our spine and pelvis may be out of alignment, keeping us from sitting straight, and we don’t realize it until we experience PAIN. Since the health of our entire body may depend on being in alignment, it is wise to have regular Chiropractic adjustments to insure that we live a healthy life. Your chiropractor can also advise you on simple daily exercise regimes to combat the stress of sitting.

We take our cars for routine check-ups!  Do you do that for your spine?

We take our cars to the garage if it is running poorly!  Do you see a Chiropractor if your back is working poorly?

Chiropractic Care is available at Twin Ponds Integrative Health Center, 628 Twin Ponds Rd., Breinigsville, PA, West Lehigh Valley

Be smart…if you are experiencing pain or if you want to prevent pain,

Call 610-841-3395 today for an appointment.




20 Simple Ways to Be More Mindful Right Now

  1. Pause right where you are and take two deep breaths.
  2. Look directly into your loved one’s eyes as you talk.
  3. Eat a snack with your full awareness – no reading, no screens, no conversation.
  4. Gaze out the window and take in the sights.
  5. Step outside and take a few deep breaths of fresh air.
  6. Pause and notice the sounds around you, both near and far.
  7. Move just the slightest bit more slowly and with more awareness.
  8. Imagine a time machine has transported you from 1915 to 2015 — notice what you typically take for granted.
  9. Consider what you appreciate about someone and tell him.
  10. Imagine you live in an underdeveloped country where having your basic human needs met is not a given.
  11. Name five things you are grateful for right now.
  12. If any of these are people, let them know you are grateful for them.
  13. Drop your shoulders.
  14. Sit up straight.
  15. Stretch.
  16. Hug someone and allow him to be the first to let go.
  17. Perform one simple random act of kindness.
  18. While waiting in line, resist checking your phone and look around.
  19. Smile. Make it genuine. What changes in your body, thoughts and mood?
  20. Smile at someone else. Notice the same.

Connection is the energy that is created between people when they feel seen, heard and valued- when they can give and receive without judgment.” ~ Brene Brown

In my last post, I wrote about balance and connection as my guiding words of 2015.  Crafting a flexible plan to bring me closer to my intentions, I divided up the areas of connection into categories where I had been lacking: self, husband, and friends.

Connection with self.

If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy. I would add — when Mama’s been meditating, the peace is increased.  Mood is infectious and the benefits of meditation are as well.

As counterintuitive as it may seem, it is vital to start here — with the need to get quiet in order to foster wisdom and clarity.  Call it prayer, meditation, or simply sitting in silence for a few minutes. Without it, awareness of our inner thoughts and experience is much more difficult to assess.

Although I currently meditate daily, I recommitted to 5-30 minutes of practice a day.  This also means offering myself compassion and honoring my need for sleep, rest, fun, and balance.

Shonda Moralis, MSW, LCSW, Psychotherapist