Sept. 1, 2016: New NA Buxmont Site Launch!

Our new website is now available in beta format until Oct. 1. You can preview it by clicking HERE. -Karen Meshkov, Publisher


Mindfulness for Musicians:
The Process of Practice

by Jonathan Flowers

“Music, the most abstract and uncanny art, is an eternal river of sound moving through time. We can free ourselves from whatever may be holding us back, and join that flowing river. “

             – William Westney           

Music is an art that so many love but so few pursue. Many people stand on the banks and listen to the river of sound, but so few stay in the water to play, sing or create music, either through independent practice or studying with a teacher.

What holds people back from exploring their musical potential? Four common obstacles are:

  • Self-Consciousness: “I lack talent. I’m too young/old/undisciplined. I’ll choke in performance!”
  • Impatience: “Practicing is tedious and lonely. I don’t have time or desire to correct errors.”
  • Closed-Mindedness: “Learning new techniques will stifle my musical creativity.”
  • Pragmatism: “Practicing music is impractical and self-centered. Children’s time is better spent on school work, sports, family and socializing. Adults need to focus on their jobs, homes and families.”  Musicians can overcome these impediments by realizing that they are just mindsets. They are not real—they exist only in the mind and can be set aside by focusing on process before product. This mental shift occurs when individuals suspend self-judgment and pay attention to what is happening inside and around them each moment.  How can musicians reclaim their powers of attention in today’s world of multitasking and digital distractions? Mindfulness meditation has received extensive press as a way to improve mental focus, relieve stress and enhance creativity. The following five-minute meditation can help musicians to tune the body, mind and spirit before practicing.

Meditation Before Practicing
1. Sit still and tall with eyes closed. Enjoy the full length of your spine and limbs.
2. Place your hands on your abdomen and count 10 slow breath cycles as follows: inhale-exhale-1, inhale exhale-2…
3. Continue breathing deeply as you listen to the sounds around you with curiosity. Which sounds are closest? Which are furthest away? Which sounds fade in and out with no clear end points?
4. To conclude, place your hands on your heart, and mentally recite the following intention: “As I play, I will listen with patience and curiosity and allow the music to breathe through me. I will embrace each challenge as food to nourish my creativity.”

Practice is not just a price musicians pay in order to perform—it is a rewarding journey of creative and self-discovery. When musicians learn to savor their process, they gain trust that their music will express their heartfelt intentions.

JonathanFlowersJonathan Flowers teaches piano, voice and music theory/composition at his studio, Mindful Music, LLC, in Bala Cynwyd. He holds music degrees from Yale University and the Eastman School of Music.

September 2016

Herbal Menopause Relief Now Available in North Wales

Natural Health International’s (NHI) Femmenessence, an herbal formulation that has been shown in clinical studies to significantly reduce menopausal symptoms for up to 80 percent of women, is now available locally at Holly Hill Health Foods, in North Wales.

In a 2006 study published in the International Journal of Biomedical Science, Maca-GO, the proprietary ingredient in Femmenessence, was observed to reduce the frequency and severity of hot flashes, excessive sweating, interrupted sleep pattern, nervousness, depression, headaches and loss of libido. The study further concluded that full benefit could be achieved after two consecutive months of use.

“The transition to menopause should be relatively symptom-free. After all, it’s not an illness, despite what women have been led to believe,” says Jan Roberts, pharmacist, clinical nutritionist and bestselling author.

According to a company spokesperson, “Femmenessence is organic, kosher, vegan, pure, global trade and environmentally friendly. By establishing infrastructure and manufacturing operations in Peru, NHI has created industry with year-round employment while engaging in environmentally sustainable and organic farming practices. Femmenessence is packaged in the United States in a GMP-, organic- and kosher-certified facility utilizing oxygen-barrier blister packs, which keep the product stable for up to three years versus six months for packs or bottles.”

Location: 1200 Welsh Rd., North Wales. For more information, visit NaturalHI.com.

September 2016

Rain Seed Nutrition Gets Certified, Introduces Coffee

NB_RainSoul_0916SOUL drinkable seed supplement—the flagship product of Rain International, which sells healthy products based on the potency and nutritional value of seeds—was recently certified “drug-free” by the Banned Substances Control Group (BSCG). BSCG is a supplement certifications program that addresses quality control and safety concerns in nutritional products and nutraceuticals.

SOUL is a drinkable shot of cold-pressed seeds hailed for its high concentration of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds, the first to be certified by BSCG as well as endorsed publicly on its social media channels.

This news comes as Rain introduces its newest product, Fused Black Coffee. The coffee is touted as “the healthiest on the market,” made with artisan-grown coffee beans and infused with 150 antioxidants to offer more health benefits than traditional coffee.

Rain seed products can be purchased locally through Dottie Gannotti. Gannotti offers free seed nutrition seminars at 7 p.m., the first and third Monday of each month, at the spiritual and nutritional education center, Soul Spirit Connection.

“These prestigious achievements not only serve as another validation to reinforce Rain’s good name, but they also give consumers, partners and potential members of the Rain family the confidence that our products meet a higher set of standards,” says Gannotti.

Location: 122 N. York Rd., Ste. 6, rear, Hatboro. For more information, call 215-858-4448, email DotGnot@gmail.com or visit HealWithSeeds.com.

September 2016

Hemp-Based Healing by DaCrema Botanicals: High-Concentration CBD Products for Holistic Relief

CRG_DaCremaBotanicals_0916

by Gisele Rinaldi Siebold

Helping people bring balance to their lives comes naturally to Mitchell Ebert, a health coach and advocate, and his business partner, Joe DaCrema, a reiki master and former nursing professor. DaCrema realized the healing properties of cannabidiol (CBD) when his wife, Marion, used hemp products to help ease the symptoms of her carpal tunnel syndrome. Ebert understood its benefits when it helped him manage his stress and improve his sleep.

The two soon realized that they weren’t alone—the hemp health movement is on the rise, as more and more people are using hemp products for relief from a variety of health conditions, including antibiotic-
resistant infections, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety attacks, diabetes, muscle spasms, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy and chronic pain.

In the fall of 2015, DaCrema Botanicals was formed with the mission of making the highest-quality CBD products: natural, safe, with superior therapeutic value and without the side effects of industrial pharmaceuticals. The company is headquartered locally in Plymouth Meeting.

Salve.fwCannabinoids occur naturally in hemp, a variety of cannabis that has traditionally been grown for its seeds and fiber. The fiber is used for industrial purposes, such as manufacturing clothing, paper, canvas and rope. The seeds are pressed to extract oil, and it’s the oil that possesses the healing properties.

“This botanical is an eco-friendly, renewable resource that has been around for thousands of years,” says Ebert. “The human body’s endocannabinoid system––a group of receptors located in the human brain and central nervous system––recognizes CBD and uses it, not to get high, but to supply the body with what it is lacking. It’s like eating broccoli and getting natural vitamin C from it.”

The CBD used in DaCrema Botanicals products is derived from contaminant-free, GMO-free and pesticide-free agricultural hemp seeds harvested in Eastern Europe. The oil is obtained using a critical carbon dioxide extraction process that does not involve harmful solvents. DaCrema’s topical salve, a healing balm that supports relief from muscle, joint and nerve pain, and accelerates skin and wound healing, is its most popular product. Its highly concentrated CBD drops are also popular for people seeking a holistic option for stress and anxiety.

Drops.fw“Education is key to reaching people that need us,” notes Ebert, “because when you start mentioning cannabis, people can get nervous.” He clarifies, “Industrial hemp and marijuana are both called cannabis sativa, but there are two species of the plant. The shared scientific name is very misleading, because marijuana contains THC, which is responsible for the ‘high’ that recreational users seek. Not all plants that contain cannabinoids contain THC—hemp contains high quantities of cannabinoids, particularly CBD, which contains the healing properties that the users of our products are seeking.”

DaCrema partners with the Hemp Heals Foundation, a nonprofit created by former Philadelphia Flyers player Riley Cote. The foundation aims to teach people about the power of nutrition and sustainable lifestyles and to demystify the hemp plant. One dollar from each purchase goes directly to support the foundation’s efforts.

DaCrema Botanicals products are available online and at many local retail locations. Ebert and DaCrema are now exploring partnerships with local chiropractors, acupuncturists and other alternative therapy providers interested in becoming vendors. In Ebert’s words, “The future of hemp is unlimited.”

For more information and retail locations, email MitchEb5@gmail.com or visit DaCremaBotanicals.com

Gisele Rinaldi Siebold is a contributing writer to Natural Awakenings. Connect with her at Gisele@NALancaster.com.

September 2016

A Label that Heals: Mysterium Music’s Award-Winning Sound

by Beth Hilton

ED_MysteriumMusic-TrishaBowden_0916Seeing, smelling, tasting, touching, hearing—our powerful senses can bring us great pleasure. We indulge the first four of them with beautiful views, great food, scented candles and warm hugs. But how do we honor our sensitive ability to hear? Are we mindful of the sounds in our environment, the noises we create and the ways that our lives can literally be more harmonious?

Sharing the mindfulness of music is a lifestyle for Trisha Bowden, a lifelong singer, kirtan fan and founder of Mysterium Music, the Pennsylvania-based record label dedicated to high-quality healing, relaxing and restorative music. As a child, Bowden sang soothingly to her pony and learned of music’s power as a healing tool. As she grew within this love of music, she became a professional singer and slowly realized that the type of music one sings and hears is essential to one’s health.

Today, Mysterium Music produces and sells music, with four Grammy-nominated albums by pianist Peter Kater, plus Kirtana Americana by Wynne Paris and Elders & Ancestors by Agrelia’s Castle, an award-winning album that has been embraced for relaxation and hospice care across the world. “All of our music is created with healing intentions and primarily acoustic instrumentation,” explains Bowden, “which makes us stand out as a music label.”

Recently, Bowden attended MIDEM, a global music conference in France, and was encouraged by other countries’ interest in the growing label’s music. Good news, considering they have three new projects in production, including Grammy winner Micki Free’s impending album, The Native American Flute as Therapy.

“It’s up to us to create our own bliss through music,” Bowden reminds us. “It’s always there for us, just a click, switch or chant away.”

Beth Hilton is founder of The B Company, a boutique PR and marketing firm based in Los Angeles, California. Connect at TheBCompany.com. Visit MysteriumMusic.com for interviews, videos, album previews and purchases.

September 2016

The Science of Healing and Wholeness with Dr. Susan Burger

SusanBurger.fwDr. Susan Burger and The Moonbeam Initiative will host an educational and inspirational workshop, The Science of Healing and Wholeness, from 7 to 9:30 p.m., October 12, at Dr. Susan Burger’s Vitality Center, in Morrisville. The evening workshop will begin with viewing the movie The Living Matrix––The Science of Healing. Discussion will follow and questions will be welcomed. Burger will offer simple ways to understand the bigger picture of healing physically, emotionally and energetically, and how to apply that healing to everyday life and relationships.

The movie uncovers new ideas about the intricate web of factors that determine health. “Modern biochemical medicine has not offered any explanations as to how healing really takes place, but we know that our bodies are self-healing,” offers Burger. “We are finding that the living matrix is a field that regulates the body at its most fundamental level. This new quantum biology looks beyond DNA, genes and cells, and uncovers a fascinating and deeper understanding of what controls and regulates our physiology.”

Burger, a chiropractor, educator and holistic life catalyst, serves as an instrument of positive change, compassion and well-being worldwide. For nearly 30 years, she has provided a nurturing, caring atmosphere for wellness and healing as the owner and director of Dr. Susan Burger’s Vitality Center, a thriving, multi-practitioner, holistic health center. “Everything is connected to everything,” enthuses Burger. “We live in a field of intelligence and information that connects us all beyond time and distance. Understanding this new science can lead to living a healthier, happier life.”

Cost: $20. Location: 300 W. Trenton Ave., Ste. 200, Morrisville. To register, call 215-736-3803 or email FrontDesk@LiveWithVitality.com. For more information, visit LiveWithVitality.com.

September 2016

Rolf Institute Expands Training Program

Rolf Institute Health Brief Image Aug 16The Rolf Institute of Structural Integration is now offering the opportunity to train as a Certified Rolfer in other parts of the country beyond its main campus in Boulder, Colorado. Beginning early next year, the complete Basic Rolfing Structural Integration training program will also be offered in Atlanta, Georgia; Bellingham, Washington; Brookfield, Wisconsin; Charles Town, West Virginia; and Holderness, New Hampshire.

The training, which typically lasts one-and-a-half to two years, is designed for career professionals that are licensed or have extensive training in complementary therapies and wish to become Rolf Institute members upon graduation. Courses are taught in a modular format, meeting at least once a month over extended weekends to accommodate busy schedules and professional commitments. The program allows established practitioners to expand their skills while learning about leading-edge research on the fascial system and how it affects body structure and movement.

For more information, including costs and a full schedule, call 303-449-5903, ext. 106, email Admissions@Rolf.org or visit Rolf.org. Register online at CanvasCatalog.rolf.org.

September 2016

Healing Touch Workshop with Kathleen Fennelly

NB_KathyFennelly-1_0916Certified Healing Touch Practitioner Kathleen Fennelly, RN, of Healing Touch by Kathy, will offer a Healing Touch workshop from 7 to 8:30 p.m., September 19, at the Phoenixville Middle School. The workshop will teach attendees the basic principle of energy therapy and some hands-on techniques. Fennelly sees clients at her private practice, in Bryn Mawr, as well as in various locations such as assisted living facilities, hospitals, private homes and outpatient facilities.

Healing Touch is a relaxing, nurturing energy therapy that uses gentle touch to assist in balancing the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of a person to achieve a sense of well-being. The practitioners use touch to clear, energize and balance the energy fields of the body to promote self-healing during this therapy, which is safe for all ages and works in harmony with traditional or allopathic medical care.

NB_KathyFennelly-3_0916The benefits of Healing Touch include stress reduction, anxiety and depression management, pain reduction, cancer care support, enhanced immune function, accelerated surgical recovery, hospice care support and deepened spiritual connections. A session begins with a consultation and a series of questions. Then, the client lies fully clothed on a massage table while the practitioner gently places his or her hands on the body. Sessions typically last 40 to 60 minutes, and patients report feeling peaceful and completely relaxed following the treatment.

“Ordinary stressors we face on a daily basis, being pulled in too many directions with family and work responsibilities, can slowly and subtly influence our ‘being’. Self-care is so important, because if we keep giving all of ourselves to family, friends and work without rejuvenating ourselves, we burn out,” explains Fennelly. “Healing Touch is one way to give you more control over your inner self.”

The workshop is being offered through the Chester County Adult Night School. Register at ChesterCountyNightSchool.org.

Cost: $29. Workshop location: 1000 Purple Pride Way, Phoenixville. Healing Touch by Kathy is located at 1062 E. Lancaster Ave., Ste. 13-A, in Bryn Mawr. For more information, call 610-698-8643, email HealingTouchByKathy@gmail.com or visit HealingTouchByKathy.com.

September 2016

Partnership Planned Between Ambler Food and Weavers Way Co-ops

NB_WeaversWay-AmblersCoop-1_0916The Ambler Food Co-op has announced a planned partnership with Weavers Way Co-op. The two organizations will work together toward the shared goal of bringing a new, community-run grocery store to Ambler-area residents. Weavers Way offers decades of experience, having operated two successful community-owned grocery stores in Chestnut Hill and Mt. Airy.

The co-ops plan to secure a space on Butler Avenue in downtown Ambler shortly, with a goal of opening the new store by April 2017. When the new store site is secured, likely in September, Ambler Food Co-op members will vote on joining Weavers Way Co-op.

A co-op is a community-owned and operated, full-service grocery store that offers an array of staples, including meats, dairy, fruits and vegetables, grains, pet food, health and beauty products, and more. Ambler-area residents are encouraged to become co-op members, as membership is what will make it possible to open the store.

“The store is a major project that will have tremendous, positive impact on the borough and beyond, creating jobs, improving access to locally sourced foods and products, and boosting local businesses,” notes the Ambler Food Co-op Board of Directors. “The scale and scope of the services offered will be directly impacted by the amount of funds raised and input gathered from the membership.”

Efforts have been made to keep membership affordable. The entry-level membership per household is just $30 per year (with the option to contribute more to help raise the capital for the store’s opening). A one-time payment of $400 gets members a lifetime membership investment with no annual fee. A full investment comes with a $100 sales promotion card to spend at either Weavers Way’s existing stores or at the Ambler Food store when it opens. Both the full investment and the partial payment entitle a household to full membership, with all rights and privileges as an equity shareholder and owner of the co-op.

“Store plans will be shared with members shortly to help the store development team create a vision for what the co-op can and will be,” board members explain. “We encourage people to join so they can have their ideas and opinions heard.”

For more information, call 215-326-9792, email Info@AmblerFoodCoop.org or visit AmblerFoodCoop.org.

September 2016

Mindfully Musical: 5 Ways to Start

1. Explore new styles of music that you normally don’t listen to. Select a different station every day for a week. Make a note of your favorite new songs and artists and how they make you feel.

2. Connect with your own singing voice—sign up for a session with a voice teacher; participate in a kirtan concert at a local studio; sing along as you fold laundry or sit in traffic. Try to focus on the feeling of the vibrations in the head and jaw, and notice how your energy and mood shift.

3. Experiment with listening to different types of music at various times of the day. Try a downtempo selection while preparing dinner and a brighter, more upbeat sound for the morning routine.

4. Attend a sound healing workshop, or book a few private sessions. Observe your experience before, during and after the sessions, paying attention to your stress level and heart rate.

5. Find a community drum circle in your area. Close your eyes and feel the vibrations moving through your body. See if you can “hear” the different types of drums. Consider taking a lesson, or just learning
by doing.

The Art of Relaxation with Lyn Hicks

EB_LynHicks-Relaxation_0916Lyn Hicks, health and beauty mentor at The Room at Meadowbrook, in Ottsville, is offering a four-week workshop, The Art of Relaxation, from 7 to 8 p.m., on Tuesday evenings, starting September 13 and ending October 4. Hicks will teach valuable and practical techniques she learned from four Himalayan masters to activate the parasympathetic nervous system––the restorative part of our innate health system––in order to retrain the human body to be in a state of awareness and relaxation.

The practical tools offered will support weight loss, stress management, anxiety reduction, body awareness and the state of being present, and will also increase daily pleasure and a sense of joy. Hicks, sharing about the process, says, “Learning how the body feels when it’s in a genuine, relaxed state, and learning how to apply practical techniques to achieve that feeling within minutes is a valuable tool. It allows us to naturally achieve this state throughout the day, so that well-being and rejuvenation become habits of the body system.”

Hicks is the published author of The Lotus Project: The Art of Being a Woman and a blog writer on health, well-being and practical living. She educates women and men in ways to relax and enjoy life, through tai chi, Aharaj yoga, nutrition, tantra of harmonious relationships, movement and energy management. Hicks also hosts a monthly woman’s circle.

“We are all in too much adrenal stress with cortisol flooding our bodies. Oxytocin, the hormone of relaxation, is the antidote that shifts us into the rejuvenation, restoration and renewal of the body,” explains Hicks. “Relaxation is the magic cure. Beautifully, the body wants health and will naturally bring in this state as we jump-start it with our awareness.”

Cost: $15. Location: 4089 Durham Rd., Ottsville. R.S.V.P. to Lyn@HarmonyHill
Gardens.com. For more information, call 215-813-4073 or visit LynHicks.com.

September 2016

Free Introductory Talks Explore the Transcendental Meditation Technique

EB_TranscendentalMeditation_0916This month, local Transcendental Meditation (TM) programs will present numerous free, introductory talks about the TM technique, in Doylestown, King of Prussia and Jenkintown. Practiced for 15 to 20 minutes, twice daily, the TM technique has been proven by over 600 scientific studies to provide a deep, profound rest, stress relief and improved clarity of mind. It can be beneficial for many health issues that are either caused or complicated by stress, including anxiety, depression, insomnia, high blood pressure, post-traumatic stress disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and more.

The introductory talks will be held at: 7 p.m., September 13, at the TM Center, 706 West Avenue, Jenkintown; 7 p.m., September 14, at the Best Western, 127 South Gulph Road, King of Prussia; 11 a.m., September 17, at the Doylestown TM Center, 5792 Carversville Road, Doylestown; and 6:30 p.m., September 19, also at the Doylestown TM Center. Pre-registration guarantees seating.

“The TM technique is a simple, natural, easy-to-learn and doctor-recommended technique to improve every aspect of your life,” says Gene Silverman, co-director of the Philadelphia Transcendental Meditation Program. “We have taught the TM technique to many thousands of people of all ages. The beneficial results are seen right from the start, and the long-term benefits of stress release are cumulative.”

The talks will cover clinical research, how TM works and the benefits that people receive from their daily practice of the TM technique. After the introductory talk, attendees can sign up for a TM course at either the Jenkintown or Doylestown TM Center. The course requires only about an hour a day for four consecutive days.

For more information about Jenkintown or King of Prussia events, contact Gene Silverman at 610-584-5017 or GSilverman@tm.org; For Doylestown, contact Carole Smith at 215-783-4629 or CSmith@tm.org. To register for Jenkintown and King of Prussia talks, visit tm.org/philadelphia. To register for Doylestown talks, visit tm.org/doylestown.

September 2016