sleep

Massage for Arthritis

massage-300x200by Jeanne Mancinelli, RN, LMT

Massage is often used to relieve common symptoms of arthritis by helping to reduce pain and stiffness, easing anxiety, improving range of motion in joints, and helping to promote restful sleep. People who experience the chronic symptoms of arthritis may consider using massage therapy regularly and even daily self-massage to help manage the joint pain and stiffness or help promote better sleep.

Massage is an ancient form of pain and stress relief that usually involves physical manipulation of the muscles as well as relaxation techniques. Swedish massage, the most common type of massage utilized for this, involves long fluid stroking of muscles and tissues to reduce soreness and stiffness in muscles and joints, reduce anxiety, and improve circulation. The therapist may utilize heat and cold applications to the muscles and joints. Certain essential oils may also be employed to relax the muscles or ease joint pain.

Be sure to tell your massage therapist that you have arthritis and point out the affected joints prior to the start of the session.  During the massage, the therapist should check in frequently with you to determine if the pressure is within your comfort range. If it is not, be sure to tell  them immediately.

Performing self massage can help manage muscle and joint pain between massage sessions. If done daily, you may be able to lengthen the time between massage sessions. Inform your therapist if you are interested in learning self massage. It is not difficult to learn and can be incorporated in your appointment. Before getting any type of massage, it is always best to consult your physician if massage is safe for your arthritis or any other health conditions you may have.

Call Jeanne Mancinelli today at 610-393-9676 for you FREE consultation!!!

Optimize ADD & ADHD Brain Function with LENS

ADHD written on a chalkboard, Learning and having ADHD

ADHD written on a chalkboard, Learning and having ADHD

Nearly one in five high school age boys in the United States and 11 percent of school-age children over- all  have received a medical diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.  This is new data from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These rates reflect a marked rise over the last decade and could fuel growing concern among many doctors that the ADHD diagnosis and its medication are overused in American children.  The Low Energy Neurofeedback System (LENS) is a proven modality with no side effects that can help with these children.

The LENS is a specific kind of Neurofeedback that operates very rapidly and has qualities that make it much easier to use with people who can’t sit still.

Why It Is Easy:

  • The child doesn’t need to “do” anything
  • There is nothing to learn
  • It works well for children who either cannot or will not pay attention to a computer screen for a longer time periods. The typical session with the LENS lasts 3-4 minutes
  • It works much faster than traditional Neurofeedback with the number of sessions ranging from as few as 1 to an overall average number of sessions of 20

The LENS helps with any of the Central Nervous System dysfunctions such as ADD and ADHD, which result in the body’s difficulty regulating itself.  This is a perfect example where the LENS is valuable.

Dr. Len Ochs, the inventor of the LENS, has discovered that one does not need to tell the brain what to do.  He has found that by feeding back the very same brain waves that various areas of the brain are emitting and adding the slightest amount of change, called an offset, the brain:

  • Self-adjusts
  • Self-regulates
  • Harmonizes
  • Minimizes its dysfunction

It does so with an extremely small radio-frequency input that is so tiny (far less than a cell phone and as short as a fraction of a second) as to be unperceivable.

The LENS process is not a treatment for any specific condition or directed toward a specific diagnosis. It is a general process that optimizes brain function. However, as self-regulation occurs, many symptoms that have their basis in central nervous system dysfunction begin to improve.

Benefits:

  • Clarity
  • Energy during the day
  • Relaxation
  • Sleeping at night
  • Sense of humor
  • Motivation to get things done
  • Ease of getting things done
  • Memory
  • Concentration and focus
  • Easier for students to initiate and complete homework tasks and to optimize their potential, abilities and performance in the educational setting
  • Brings about significant improvements in a relatively brief process of therapy in physical and emotional rehabilitation (shown in clinical use)

The Low Energy Neurofeedback System (LENS) has been used since 1998 with enough success to warrant respect from former and current patients, as well as from some of the top scientific institutions in the U.S.

To understand and experience the amazing benefits to the Low Energy Neurofeedback System (LENS), CALL 610-395-3355 to make an appointment with Maggie Narducci, MS, LBS.

 

 

 

Stress, Allergies, & Meditation

By Greg Schweitzer

Meditation can help bring our lives under control when we are under stress. Under chronic stress and relentless pressure, the fight or flight response is activated. You can see it everywhere. Drive thru a yellow light today and probably 3 cars are following behind.  Look to your right or left, drivers are on cell phones.  Most of us know that studies have proven that multi-tasking while driving at high speeds is fraught with unnecessary risk and danger.  Why do we live this way?  Is our priority to live fast or to live well? We need to heal our brains if we want a better quality of life.  A healthy brain creates a solid foundation for life.  So, how do we create a healthy brain?

The ancient traditions say the way to heal the brain is with:

  • Stillness
  • Daily experience of a quiet mind, if only for minutes

A meditation practice doesn’t have to be connected to a religion, philosophy, or lifestyle, but the restful alertness it produces can reduce stress, anxiety, and develop inner peace.  This restful alertness means that while the body is gaining deep rest and inner peace, the mind experiences quieter and quieter levels of thought. This can lead to a strong immune system that in turn will lower not only the risk of allergy suffering, but many other unwanted conditions.

Daily meditation practice benefits include:

  • Deep healing and rejuvenating zest
  • Release of stress and fatigue, more energy
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Relief from anxiety and depression
  • Improved memory, creativity and focus
  • Relief from headaches and pain
  • Stronger immune system, less illness and better sleep
  • Better moods and increased happiness
  • Mental clarity and peace of mind
  • Enhanced self-esteem and emotional stability

The message of well−being through training to heal the brain and mind with meditation, is resonating with people everywhere.

Join our Effortless Meditation™ class that is offered 4 times each month at Twin Ponds Integrative Health Center in Breinigsville, PA.. Call 610-3953355 for more information.

Greg has been teaching Effortless Meditation for more than 30 years.

 

How to Get Better Sleep…

Many experts are now recognizing that sleep is as important to a healthy life, if not more so, than exercise or the food that we eat. And yet we live in a world where many squeeze more and more into their day while minimizing the value of a good night’s rest.

Discounting the importance of sleep is one aspect of the problem, denial is sweet.  Another equally disturbing trend is that many find it difficult to get good quality sleep even though they make the time for it.  Lying in bed with your eyes open feeling anxious about not sleeping is stressful, to say the least.

The good news is that there are many lifestyle factors that can be addressed to turn this around.  And the solutions differ based upon the habits of the person suffering with the problem.  For some, excess stimulation (e.g. violent TV shows) before going to bed is an issue.  For others, irregular sleep hours are a contributor. Food and/or beverage consumption may be a problem for others.  Stress reduction, however, plays a key role for almost everyone.

Stress and worry excite our mind. Despite the fatigue in the body, our mind and brain under stress does not fall asleep easily or stay asleep.  You’d have to be living under a rock to not recognize that the world is in a state of chronic stress.  Releasing the pressure of a stress filled day is key to better sleep.

A particularly valuable tool to quiet the mind and reduce stress and worry is meditation.  With the practice of Effortless Meditation™, we directly experience and know calm and mental stillness.  When we establish the platform of deep relaxation and stillness in our lives, we can more effectively address other actions that will further promote a healthy night’s rest.

Many possibilities open up for us when our mind is still.  Bring your brain and mind to stillness every day and better sleep will come more effortlessly.

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

 

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.

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

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

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

The Best Vacation Ever

A client said, “this Effortless Meditation™ is like a mini-vacation, and I get to take it everyday!”

As the complexity of life increases, the need for balance is greater than ever.  Technology was supposed to simplify our lives, and it has in many ways done that.  For example, who would want to give up the instant information access provided by the internet?   And yet the pace of progress and life today is relentless, overwhelming.

In the area of marketing alone, every week or month there seems to be a new method of delivering your message.  And we’re always encouraged to grab onto the new in order to keep up. At the same time, overwork is practically seen as a professional virtue.  Is it any wonder that anti-anxiety medication sales are at record levels.

Yesterday, I was reading an article from a popular columnist who was saying that while on vacation at a remote island off the coast of South Carolina, his children were at a loss because there was no internet access.  What are we to do, they complained?  This is a sign of our times.  Let’s explore, he suggested, “there are turtles and salamanders in these waters, osprey and eagles in the trees, and an ocean for playing.” The kids weren’t buying it, they were frustrated.

Our children are not the only ones so afflicted.  Adult minds have become so busy keeping up or being entertained that the slower pace of nature can seem boring.  We are over stimulated and the solution is simple.  Regularly give our brain a rest.  Reach beyond all mental activity, that’s a true vacation.  Interior silence, in its essence, is freedom from thought.  We need to transcend the activity of daily life, go beyond thinking, watching, tasting, the activity of the senses, in order to be free.

Try Effortless Meditation, yoga, or just spend some quiet time in nature.  Learn to quiet your mind, and for maximum benefits make this a daily habit/vacation.  Your life will be happier and lighter, and you will become much healthier.

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

ARE YOU TAKING ANY MEDICATION?

Bernie and his wife attended an introduction class on Effortless Meditation™ that I was conducting at Penn State Hershey Medical Center. As I talked about stress and its influence on health, Bernie commented that stress was not an issue for him. “I have been retired for years. I’m 71 years old. I’m not here for stress relief. I’m here because of my blood pressure. Do you think this meditation will help me?” With a concerned look on his face, Bernie explained that his blood pressure averages around 190/90!

I assured him that it would help and I explained that the influence of stress is cumulative; so despite his retirement, many years of accumulated stress were taking its toll on his physical and mental health.

Bernie enrolled to take the EM course introduced that evening. In our third class, after doing two short 15-20 minute meditations each day for three consecutive days, he declared, “I just can’t tell you how good I feel.” The next day he made the same comment, and at a meeting 3 months later, he jubilantly proclaimed that his blood pressure was now 138/78. “My doctor can’t believe this; I never remember having blood pressure this good.”

Bernie had been taking blood pressure medication his entire adult life (50 years) and the best it could do for him with was manage his blood pressure at 190/90. Now, after three months of daily Effortless Meditation practice, bringing deep peace and rest to his mind and body, his pressure was normal.  The Lehigh Valley’s Helene Leonetti, M.D. reports that she sees EM “exponentially impact healing.”

Many taking medication for anxiety, depression, attention deficit, sleep problems, blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, asthma, fatigue, irritable bowel, or headaches, would be wise to attend an introduction class to learn more about Effortless Meditation. Bernie is glad that he did; in fact, after meditating for a couple months, he offered the course as a gift to everyone in his family.

by:  Greg Schweitzer, Director of Stress Reduction Resources and Meditation Instructor for more than 30 Years