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

Infectious: Organized Crime and the Human Biome

by Michael Cheikin

“Ecology” is defined as the relationship between organisms and their environment. Like global warming, there is a parallel ecological crisis in our bodies, contributing to the epidemic of chronic diseases of adults and children.

Individually, we are ecological webs. We were designed to carry trillions of organisms that are not us, both in us and on us. In fact, we comprise only 10 percent of the total cellular population. Despite our illusion of being in control, we are at the mercy of this ecology.  Continue reading

Vitality as Medicine: Cultivating Healthy Immune Systems in Pets

Louis Pasteur, French chemist, microbiologist and founder of the field of medical microbiology, was said to have declared on his deathbed, “I was wrong. The microbe (germ) is nothing. The terrain (milieu) is everything.” While his exact phrasing is unknown, the intent of his statement is clear: the health of an individual plays a key role in determining who gets sick after exposure to infectious agents.

Much of medicine focuses on the prevention of disease transmission (hygiene, vaccinations, quarantine) and combating illness. While those strategies have merit and can be life-saving, bringing the focus back to individual vitality is the only path to true health—for people and pets.  Continue reading

Healthy and Festive Party Snacks

Serving up healthy snacks for a holiday party is easier (and tastier) than ever. With a bit of advanced planning, it’s easy to create delectable party appetizers that are both healthy and delicious.

Holiday Favorite: Flatbread Pizza

Lighten it up: Grab some flatbread from the local bakery, add some low-fat mozzarella, a handful of fresh veggies (peppers, mushrooms and spinach is a popular combination) and a jar of organic tomato sauce for the makings of a crowd-pleasing party starter. “The veggies add a nutritional punch of healthy vitamins, minerals and fiber,” explains Stephanie Perez, retail dietitian supervisor at ShopRite supermarket. “The best part is that you won’t be lacking in flavor.”  Continue reading

Local Yoga: Screen Time Yoga

This past summer, I made an agreement with myself to significantly limit my screen time. I chose to deactivate all social media accounts, and vowed not to look at my phone immediately before bed and upon waking. By September, I noticed that my eyes were brighter, I had adapted a healthy sleep/wake cycle, and my mind felt refreshed. My screen time has definitely increased since then, but it is during this time of year that we need to be especially careful about how long we stare at our screens.  Continue reading

The Fall Shift

October represents change to me. The colors of fall are infectious as I watch the dramatic changing of leaves. Pumpkin patches glow in the fields, and apple trees sparkle as they wait to be picked. Sunsets become works of art. A new and invigorating energy seems to grip the air. Everything about fall and the change of seasons brings a new fresh energy to my life.

It is fascinating to watch how nature deals with change so effortlessly. If only it were the same for us. Nature moves without a push back—it simply adjusts and makes the necessary next move. I am amazed at the order of the universe—how complexity and simplicity work together to deliver exactly what is needed for the planet.  Continue reading

Inner Light Holistic Expo Empowers Community

Now celebrating its eighth year, the Inner Light Holistic Expo will be held on November 10 and 11, in Center Court at Coventry Mall, in Pottstown.

The expo will feature over 100 vendors from all over the East Coast exhibiting spiritual gifts and holistic services, including essential oils; alternative healing products; incense; massage therapy; reflexology; psychic, medium and angelic readings; aura photography; crystals; books; jewelry and more.  Continue reading

Intuitive Life Coach Enhances Spiritual Guidance with Reiki

Linda Harbaugh, intuitive life coach and founder of Journey to the Self, is adding reiki to her service offerings. This energy healing technique, combined with her intuitive gifts, allows her to provide enhanced spiritual guidance sessions.

Based on the concept of a universal life force energy, reiki is an ancient Japanese healing technique that alleviates stress and promotes healing. Reiki balances the mind, body and spirit though a gentle, hands-on or hands-slightly-above the body session. Through the release of energetic blockages, reiki opens the pathway to wellness. Left untreated, blocked energies can cause stress and illness.  Continue reading

Doylestown Veterinarian Receives Chiropractic Certification

Dr. David MacDonald, with Doylestown Veterinary Hospital & Holistic Pet Care, recently received certification in veterinary spinal manipulative therapy (VSMT) from Healing Oasis Wellness Center, in Sturtevant, Wisconsin.

The VSMT program is a post-graduate certification approved by the College of Animal Chiropractors and the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association. The American Veterinary Medical Association recognizes veterinary chiropractic as a complementary and alternative treatment, a category that also includes acupuncture.  Continue reading

Sleeping Our Way to a Healthier Neck

Neck pain ranges from minor irritation to debilitating, life-altering intensities. It can originate from various anatomical components, including sore muscles, torn ligaments, degenerative joints and disc herniation. Severe cases may require long-term use of pain medication or invasive procedures such as nerve blocks or spinal fusion.

A recent article published by Harvard Medical School offers simple guidelines that help avoid future neck problems and, in some cases, reduce, relieve or alleviate neck pain.  Continue reading

Cortisol: The Stress, Aging and Obesity Hormone

by Michael Cheikin

Stress. We all know what it feels like. We also know that it affects our health, but how?

Understanding Stress

Stress is defined in terms of a system pushed to its limits. For example, bridges are designed to handle the stress of a fixed weight, and no more. However, living systems, when subjected to normal amounts of stress, grow stronger. In fact, stress is necessary for optimal development, growth and fun. Homework and sports are examples of how controlled stress, or challenge, makes us better. All systems of our body are designed to handle stress and grow stronger (even into old age) so that we can survive and procreate.  Continue reading

Health in Spirit – Coping with the Emotional Toll of Childhood Chronic Illness

by Elizabeth Joyce

The child that is diagnosed with a serious and chronic medical illness has a high risk for developing emotional problems. The way children react to their diagnosis can depend on several factors, including the child’s personality and the specific illness. Some experts claim that big factors are the child’s developmental stage, as well as their order of birth. However, there is another factor that needs to be recognized, and that is their interaction with their parents, caretakers and family members.  Continue reading