About Healthy Living Bucks and Montgomery Counties

Natural Awakenings magazine is the nation's largest and most established healthy living publication. This is the website for the Bucks/Montgomery area of PA. We have had a presence in Bucks and Montgomery Counties since January 2010. Readers use Natural Awakenings as the local educational resource for enhancing their lives through healthy living choices and the protection of our environment. Each month we publish informative and educational articles on a variety of ways people can safeguard or improve their family’s personal health while we also address the larger issue of planetary health. We have approximately 50,000 readers each month who are: - Overwhelmingly female (70%) - Over 51% have a household income of over 50K - 72% are between the ages of 25-54 - 80% purchase products or services from ads seen in Natural Awakenings - Natural Awakenings magazine rated higher over TV, radio, internet and other print publications as the #1 source for health-related information

Letter from the Publisher, October 2017

If you are one of the more than 30 million Americans who see a chiropractor for back pain each year, it won’t surprise you to learn that chiropractors are the highest-rated healthcare practitioners sought for low back pain treatment, above even physical therapists, specialists and primary care physicians.

A battery of recent studies confirm the efficacy of chiropractic care for low back pain: in 2017, the American College of Physicians released updated low back pain guidelines that recommend first using non-drug treatments, such as spinal manipulation, for acute and chronic low back pain. Another study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2017, also supports the use of spinal manipulative therapy as a first line treatment for acute low back pain.

What is perhaps less widely known is that many chiropractors are also multi-faceted holistic healers with broad-based expertise in disorders of the musculoskeletal and nervous systems and beyond.

Long before “organic” and “yoga” were household words, these chiropractic practitioners have been community health advocates at the cutting edge of natural health promotion and disease prevention. For some, that has meant specializing in a particular condition, issue or type of patient. For others, a comprehensive approach including strength and flexibility exercises, nutritional and dietary programs, fitness protocols, massage, stress-reduction and energy work may all be considered integral to a holistic treatment care plan.

The role of chiropractors in public health is even more critical today. With the rates of chronic disease at record highs, the opioid epidemic, the increasing cost of health insurance and prescription drugs and the risks associated with taking multiple prescriptions, the value of cost-effective, non-drug, lifestyle-based treatment options is incalculable.

We’re glad to have you with us this month as we profile BuxMont’s most inspiring, integrative chiropractors and learn what motivates their approach to health and healing.

Together we are “Making the Awakening” in Bucks and Montgomery counties.





Karen G. Meshkov, Publisher


Off the Couch, Into the World: Evergreen Counseling Does More than Just Talk

Licensed Professional Counselor Alexis Zankman Lee has a decade of experience working with children, teens, adults and families for issues including depression, anxiety, grief and loss, trauma, life transitions and ADHD. Her practice, Evergreen Counseling, in Warminster, offers a variety of treatment approaches because, Lee says, “Everyone is unique; no one person is the same as any other.”

Her practice focuses primarily on cognitive behavioral therapy with an emphasis on skill building. She describes putting this philosophy into practice, recalling a client that wanted to explore the outdoors but was prevented by obsessive-compulsive disorder. “After doing a lot preparatory work,” says Lee, “we went hiking together, just she and I, so we could put what we were talking about into action in her life.”

Lee often recommends yoga, meditation, sound therapy and acupuncture to her clients, as well as shamanic or energy healing, in some cases. At Evergreen Counseling, the names and schedules of nearby complementary healing facilities are kept on hand, and Lee expresses excitement over new relationships that will come from within the like-minded Natural Awakenings community.

“It’s not enough to tell someone that has anxiety, ‘Just bring your mind to the present moment,’” she explains. “We have to provide them with real tools for those actual moments.

Like, for a mom who is leaving work and feeling stressed: what can she do to calm herself before she comes home to her family? Maybe she can sit in her car and listen to an audiobook or call a friend. We work from this practical perspective so that what we do helps people live their real lives.”

Location: 5 Evergreen Ave., Warminster. For a free consultation and more information, call 215-323-4244 or visit Evergreen-Counseling.com. October 2017

Inspired Chiropractic with Andrew Persky

Andrew Persky, DC, founder of LifeAligned Upper Cervical Chiropractic, has a unique background that shows the promising results that are possible when engineering meets chiropractic.

When and why did you go into such a specialized field as upper cervical chiropractic?

I came to chiropractic later in life than many doctors. I had a 20-year background in computer-based image analysis and robotics, worked for the world’s leading developer of this technology, and was awarded a patent for my method of determining the orientation of three-dimensional (3D) objects based on two-dimensional (2D) images.

I always wanted to be a doctor, though, and my passion for helping people didn’t diminish over the years. When the opportunity presented itself for me to train in the healing arts, I took the leap.

In chiropractic there is nothing more powerful or potentially life-changing than restoring proper alignment of the joint between the head and neck, also known as the upper cervical region. And yet, very few chiropractors choose to do this work because it requires a lot of specialized equipment and training. But for me it feels like I’ve found my true calling: Upper cervical work involves determining the three-dimensional orientation of the head and its alignment with the first bone in the neck, C1, based on 2D imaging. It is the perfect marriage of my expertise and a skill that can make a huge difference in the lives of people in chronic pain.

How do your treatments differ from traditional chiropractic?

It’s completely different. I use a precisely aligned 2D digital x-ray system and computer software to determine if a patient’s head is improperly aligned with the top of their neck and to calculate exactly how to fix it. There is no guesswork. The treatment itself doesn’t involve any twisting or cracking of the neck and can be literally life-changing—there’s a lot of anatomy up there, including the brain, brain stem and the origin of every major nerve of the central nervous system, all of which can be affected if a person has a misaligned head.

Who do you see as your typical patient?

My patients often have lived years, sometimes decades, with headaches, dizziness, neck pain, brain fog, spinal pain or some type of neuropathy. There are so many people living every day on opioids and other drugs. I feel driven to help those people, and to share the message that for many of them a safe, gentle alternative is available.

Location: 1432 Easton Rd., Ste. 4A, Warrington. For more information, call 215-491-4200 or visit LifeAlignedHealth.com. Search “Dr. Andrew Persky” on Facebook or YouTube to view a personal video. October 2017

Inspired Chiropractic with Suzanne Walski

Suzanne Walski, DVM, has been serving the community since 1987 and is certified with the American and Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Associations, the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association, the American Association of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine and the American Holistic Veterinary Medicine Association. She owns and practices at Meadowbrook Animal Healing and is co-founder of The Room at Meadowbrook, both in Ottsville.

What complementary modalities are you trained in?

I am a conventionally schooled veterinarian with additional education in other forms of healing principles. In veterinarian school, I was not taught anything about keeping the spine mobile. It was when I took an intensive animal certification program alongside human chiropractors that I gained my expansive view on how the body can “heal thyself into a healthy self”.

How do you use these treatment options in your practice?

Most of the time, clients seek out my services when their pet is limping or when their dog has been diagnosed with a back issue that causes pain and mobility issues, or has chronic issues that have not responded to medications.

I look at holistic care as everything involved with the pet, especially food, environment and stress level, along with the physical ailment. I believe in medications because you must put out a fire before the house can be rebuilt, and yes, surgery may be necessary to correct a condition.

When an animal is on medications, my goal is to slowly wean it off the drugs, if possible. If the owner decides to have surgery, I use chiropractic treatments to prepare the animal’s body by making sure the spine/nervous system is working to its best potential.

What misconceptions do people have about animal chiropractic?

When people learn that I perform spinal manipulation on animals, the response is often, “I didn’t know you could do chiropractic on animals.” The funny part is that I, too, did not know this until I started the chiropractic journey for my personal health 20 years ago. Any animal with a spine can be adjusted if it allows you to touch it. So, yes, chiropractic care is for animals, too, and is especially great for horses!

Meadowbrook Animal Healing is located at 4089 Durham Rd., Rte. 412, Ottsville. For more information, call 610-847-2776 or visit SuzanneWalskiDvm.com. October 2017

Inspired Chiropractic with Katie Samsel

Katie Samsel, DC, is a licensed chiropractic physician and founder of Samsel Integrative Health, in Langhorne. Throughout her years of training, certification and experience, she has committed to helping patients achieve pain relief by using the most advanced and effective chiropractic techniques available, in addition to a variety of complementary modalities.

What complementary modalities are you trained in?

I have had training in several different complementary modalities over the course of my career, including applied kinesiology (AK), nutrition, Neuro-Emotional Technique (NET), Kinesio Taping and, most recently, ayurvedic medicine.

How do you use these treatment options in your practice?

Primarily, I use AK to determine what the best approach is for each patient on each visit, and commonly, more than one treatment option will be used. I do the chiropractic/physical exam first, then check to see if any nutrition may be needed to help with healing. I also consider whether or not Kinesio Taping can help support the muscles/joint and, lastly, if there is an emotional component. From there, I develop a treatment plan.

When and why did you start incorporating these modalities into your practice?

I started with an interest in diet and nutrition as a teenager and went on to get an undergraduate degree in dietetics and nutrition prior to pursuing my chiropractic education. In my first semester at chiropractic school, I discovered AK, which tied together chiropractic with nutrition and an emotional component. It seemed like a perfect fit for what I wanted to do with my career, and I started studying AK after my first year in chiropractic school.

After graduating, I wanted to further develop the third leg of AK, the emotional part, and pursued learning NET. Only in the last four years did I start to delve into ayurvedic medicine, which I find fascinating and believe will only improve my ability to help and serve my patients.

The nutrition and emotional work have served me and my patients well over the years, allowing me to take a truly holistic approach. I have found that using these other modalities to support chiropractic care has given patients faster, longer-lasting results, and I’m excited to continue to learn new things to further serve my clients.

Location: 305 Corporate Dr. E., Langhorne. For more information, call 215-944-8424, email Drs@SamselHealth.com or visit SamselHealth.com. October 2017

Inspired Chiropractic with Jeff Griffin

Jeffrey Griffin, DC, is the founder of the Center for Natural Healing, in Doylestown, and has been practicing chiropractic for more than 35 years. He specializes in using the Loomis System of enzyme nutrition in combination with chiropractic techniques to ease pain and achieve optimal health for his patients.

What other complementary modalities are you trained in?

Besides chiropractic, I have advanced training and diplomate status in maternity care and pediatrics through the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association. I’ve also completed training as a certified wellness practitioner through the International Chiropractic Association and have advanced training with the Loomis Institute as a digestive health practitioner. I also received certification as an internal health care provider through Logan College of Chiropractic, which focuses on multiple internal disorders associated with the human body.

When and why did you start incorporating these modalities into your practice?

A little over 15 years ago, I began blending my knowledge as a chiropractor and my training from Dr. Howard Loomis of the Loomis Institute. He helped “pull it all together” into a system of diagnosis and treatment that easily puts me on the ballfield and, in most cases, allows me to hit a home run with my patients’ health care.

What sets integrative chiropractors apart from traditional chiropractors?

Nothing against other chiropractors that focus specifically on the spinal adjustment. I get it… that’s what we all went to chiropractic school for—to learn how to identify and treat structural issues. But what if that’s not where your patient’s neck or back pain is coming from? Being able to look beyond structural issues to identify the source of stress allows me to add depth to the services I offer my patients.

How do you work in partnership with other medical providers in an effort to create a comprehensive health plan for your patients?

Partnering is never an issue. In fact, I enjoy it because, in most cases, the primary physician has already ruled out disease. In situations of disease, medication will work best. But what if no disease is found, yet the patient is symptomatic? These are the patients I love to treat. Clearly, they have no disease process but their body isn’t functioning normally. This is where a practitioner such as myself can look at things from a different angle that often reveals the source of the stress. Once you locate the source of stress, then the treatment becomes obvious.

Location: 252 W. Swamp Rd., Ste. 26, Doylestown. For more information, call 215-348-2115 or visit Center4NaturalHealing.com. October 2017

Prescription for Beauty: Bonnie McKinley, D.O., Discusses Regenerative Medicine and Aesthetics

Dr. Bonnie McKinley is the founder of Star Advanced Medicine, in Furlong, which offers non-surgical, regenerative orthopedic services alongside regenerative aesthetics.

How do you define regenerative medicine, and how are you using it in your practice?

Regenerative medicine is the regrowing and repairing of injured tissue. Typically, we use proliferative solutions, or the body’s own stem cells or platelets injected into the damaged area, using non-invasive techniques. We offer the Vampire aesthetics procedures, which can be used to treat fine lines, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, acne scars and even female sexual dysfunction and incontinence.

Why did you pursue a practice in regenerative medicine?

Being certified in sports and musculoskeletal medicine, in conjunction with having an affiliation with Bluetail Medical Group—who are innovators in the field and use research-based methods of treatment—has prepared me to use regenerative treatments for musculoskeletal injuries. Because of the high safety profile and increased number of people that I could help, I became a certified aesthetic provider as well. I found these treatments to be incredible and underused in medicine. This field is rapidly growing and I believe it’s going to change the way medicine is practiced in the future.

In layman’s terms, what is PRP?

Platelet-rich plasma. The process involves drawing blood, which is then spun in a centrifuge, and concentrated platelets are removed and prepared for injection into desired areas. Platelets release growth factors that increase collagen and renew blood flow, healing damaged tissue and rejuvenating skin.

What should people understand about what you do and what are some common misconceptions?

In many cases, these safe, effective treatments are viable alternatives to surgical procedures. However, there are some underlying ailments or comorbid conditions that may affect the way a patient responds to regenerative procedures. I evaluate each patient carefully to determine if PRP/stem cell treatments are a viable option.

A common misconception is that the stem cells we use are taken from human embryos. The stem cells primarily used in the regenerative medicine field come from one’s own body, bone marrow or fat aspirate. There are companies that manufacture products that promote healing which are derived from cord blood as well as amniotic fluid; however, in these cases, the products are donated by mothers, and no one is harmed in the donation process.

Another misconception is that stem cells are illegal. Outside of stem cell manipulation, they are completely legal. Some misconceptions come from recent FDA scrutinization; however, stem cell research is at the forefront of medical research.

How are stem cells used in aesthetics, and how does this differ from fillers and peels that dermatologists and plastic surgeons use?

In aesthetics, PRP is used to “signal” stem cells to migrate to the injection area, unlike orthopedic procedures, where bone marrow and fat grafting is used to regrow injured tissue. Using PRP in aesthetics is enough to create beautiful results. Unlike plastic surgery, it’s completely non-invasive. I am unaware of any major permanent side effects caused by an aesthetic PRP procedure. If you have a skilled injector, non-permanent fillers are generally very safe. When doing the Vampire facelift procedure, I use a filler to sculpt the face, if indicated, in addition to PRP to improve collagen production and skin tone.

What are ways that people can afford regenerative procedures?

We currently offer Care Credit and payment plans, depending on the patient’s financial situation. We’re also in the process of starting a loyalty program. We are more than happy to work with our patients so they can afford these safe and effective treatment options.

Location: 2325 Heritage Center Dr., Ste. 315, Furlong. For more information, call 267-544-0664 or visit StarAdvancedMed.com. October 2017

Deeper Connection to Self and Community at Empowered Light Holistic Expo


This fall’s Empowered Light Holistic Expo is just around the corner, running from 5 to 9 p.m., October 27, and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., October 28 and 29, at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center, 100 Station Avenue, in Oaks. Plenty of free parking is available.

The expo’s focus is on holistic lifestyles, spiritual classes and personal development. “Most people feel stressed and distracted, and are looking for more connection and answers,” says the expo’s founder, Sue Greenwald. “They need healthier ways to handle the increasing stress they’re facing. The expo offers connection with new friends, new ideas and, most of all, a community where people feel supported in a fun way.”

Empowered Light seeks to engage attendees through experiential types of classes, like yoga, meditation and sound healing, or mini-treatments, such as reiki and massage. Attendees can choose from over 50 workshops and lectures over the course of the weekend, all designed with the goal of enlightening and empowering, as well as encouraging participation. Most workshops and lectures are included with general admission tickets, with advance sale discounted tickets for the featured speakers.

Author and energy healer Ataana

Renowned Gaia TV host and intuitive Corey Goode is a featured speaker, as is author John Van Auken, director of the Edgar Cayce Foundation. Professor Semir “Dr. Sam” Osmanagich, who discovered the Bosnian Pyramids, will be presenting, as will Ataana, author and energy healer from Nashville.

Other scheduled speakers include psychic mediums, published authors and experts on a variety of health-related and spiritual development topics, including developing one’s intuition. Guests will be able to linger and shop in between workshops and talks with more than 150 holistic vendors. “Our vendor halls will host a variety of natural products and holistic merchandise like crystals, clothing or locally made jewelry,” explains Greenwald. “They can also try healing treatments, and many people come for psychic and intuitive readings to help guide them. Everyone will have an opportunity to get what they need out of the expo—connection, information, contacts, new experiences… it’s different for everyone. The expo is a fun and healing environment where the community can explore and connect.”

In keeping with its mission to promote healthy living in a healthy planet and engage with the community, Natural Awakenings magazines from Bucks and Montgomery counties, Philadelphia, Chester and Delaware counties, Berks and Lancaster counties and Lehigh Valley are proud to be this event’s media sponsors.

Natural Awakenings BuxMont publisher Karen G. Meshkov offers, “One of the most powerful ways we have to create transformation is when we are together, in community.”

Cost: General admission tickets, $7.50 to $27. For more information, visit EmpoweredLight.com, call 484-459-3082 or email EmpoweredLightExpo@gmail.com. October 2017

Who Am I? Where Am I? What Am I Doing Here?: Author, Community Leader Tony Kenton’s Metaphysical Journey

Pennsylvania native Anthony “Tony” Kenton was never one to accept simple explanations to questions about life and human existence. During his formative years, he explored beyond the status quo, and his quest to dig deeper into the enigmas of our world led him to metaphysics—a philosophy that explores the fundamental nature of reality.

“Unfortunately, our society and culture do not provide all the answers to life and our physical reality,” Kenton observes. “To understand life, we must first understand that man is spirit experiencing a human, physical life.”

Metaphysical practices maintain a central role in Kenton’s everyday life. He was president of the New Hope Channelers Support Group (now known as New Hope Metaphysical Society) and, in 1999, he co-founded the Society for Metaphysical Enlightenment (SME) with Rose Moyer, a gifted medium.

SME promotes metaphysics in eastern Pennsylvania and networks with other like-minded groups and organizations throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. Over the years, the study of metaphysics has grown to encompass astrology, meditation, self-help, psychic abilities, numerology and other holistic practices. “There are a lot of ways to help the physical body and mind exist in this physical realm, and these disciplines all help in life’s journey and growth,” Kenton says.

Through SME, Kenton leads a board of six directors to organize expos and events. Its annual fall event, Spiritfest, takes place this year from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., October 28, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., October 29. SME also hosts the Solstice Expo & Holistic Fair each June. Proceeds from both events benefit charities and interfaith churches.

“One of our strong suits is the quality of our speakers,” Kenton says of the expos. “We try to line up the most interesting and challenging speakers that we can get.” High profile lecturers have recently included psychic and author Elizabeth Joyce, numerologist Jack Toffler and Greek clairvoyant Thalia Alexiou.

Kenton believes metaphysical concepts can help others realize that, although negativity can divide the nation and the world, people will inevitably come together. He cites rescue efforts after hurricanes Harvey and Irma as recent examples of how people can work together for good, even in bad situations.

Kenton’s book, Who Am I? Where Am I? What Am I Doing Here?, can be read on the SME website. His forthcoming book works with the premise that we are all one, and that the universe exists mentally first and is then manifested into tangible reality.

“We’re in a physical reality, which is also a duality, so, we are closer to one another than people realize,” Kenton says, adding, “There’s always going to be an element of greed and self-indulgence, but I think we’re on the right track.”

For more information about the Society for Metaphysical Enlightenment or Spiritfest, call 267-261-2768 or visit WeAreSME.com.

Sheila Julson is a Milwaukee-based writer and regular contributor to Natural Awakenings magazines throughout the country.

Montgomery Integrative Health Hosts “Be Your Best Fest” Community Open House

To celebrate the opening of its new facility, Montgomery Integrative Health Group (MIHG) will host Be Your Best Fest, a community open house event, from 1 to 4 p.m., October 15, at its Wyndmoor location.

The day will kick off with a complimentary yoga class at noon (participants should bring their own mat) and will include a tour of the facility, which has been beautifully renovated and is located inside a historic schoolhouse. Attendees will meet MIHG’s team of functional medicine practitioners and health/life coaches, and they can browse the essential oils, jewelry and other offerings for body, mind and soul. Light, healthy fare will be provided.

Heidi Wittels, M.D., founded the practice in 2015 with the vision of providing “whole-person” clinical care. Daila Pravs, M.D., joined the practice this year and brings over a decade of family medicine experience, which she blends with her integrative medicine training.

MIHG also hosts an array of complementary providers offering support services in areas such as lyme disease, nutrition and lifestyle coaching, acupuncture, massage, chiropractic care, laser therapy, infusion therapies and genetic support. Their comprehensive set of services, as well as yoga classes, educational opportunities and community meetups, are accessible to all patients that become members of the center.

The practice is proud and excited to introduce itself to Springfield Township and surrounding communities. “Come and get to know us!” enthuses Practice Manager and Health and Corporate Wellness Coach Donna Butler. “If you have been looking for an integrative health provider, or just want to see what we are all about, this is a great way to learn more about MIHG’s practice and its specialties.”

Location: 1108 E. Willow Grove Ave., Wyndmoor. For more information, contact Donna Butler at 215-233-6226, ext. 107, or visit MontgomeryIntegrativeHealth.com. October 2017

Grand Opening Event for Holy Redeemer Holistic Care

L-R, Brenda Sonnie-Goldman, Susan Shaw, Merle Eskowitz

Holy Redeemer Holistic Care will hold an open house from 4 to 8 p.m. on October 4 to announce their grand opening in Bensalem.

Attendees will have the chance to meet therapists Merle Eskowitz, Susan Shaw and Brenda Sonnie-Goldman as they share their offerings and conduct mini-healing sessions and demonstrations of their services. The event will include healthy, light fare and raffle prizes, and attendance is free.

Eskowitz is a healthy lifestyle coach and stress management specialist with more than two decades of experience in holistic wellness. She is particularly interested in how we can use the mind and emotions to manage stress and create well-being. Shaw is a massage therapist specializing in organic spa services, and Sonnie-Goldman specializes in balancing the lymphatic system.

Location: 3300 Tillman Dr., 1st Fl., at the Rothman Specialty Hospital, Bensalem. For more information and to register, call or text Susan Shaw at 267-237-5536. October 2017

Weavers Way Ambler Celebrates Grand Opening

Weavers Way Ambler will celebrate its grand opening weekend from October 27 through 29. The new, community-owned grocery store features a café seating area, a full-service butcher, a large bulk department and a vast selection of prepared foods that includes roasted chickens, house-made soups, a hot bar, salad bar and made-to-order sandwiches. The store’s 10,000 square feet also houses departments for health, beauty and pet supplies.

More than 7,000 member households, including about 800 from the Ambler area, shop at and jointly own the Weavers Way Co-op stores, which are open to members and non-members alike. Its focus is on local and organic foods, but a variety of conventional items are also available. When individuals shop at Weavers Way, they are supporting local farmers, producers and community organizations.

Weavers Way Co-op locations in the Philadelphia area offer a friendly shopping environment and reasonably priced, high-quality products that are local, sustainable, organic, fairly traded and healthful.

Location: 217 E. Butler Ave., Ambler. For more information, visit WeaversWay.coop. October 2017