Michael Cheikin, M.D., Gets to the Root of Wellness

by Sheila Julson

Michael Cheikin, M.D., founder of the Center for Optimal Health, in Plymouth Meeting, had always had a profound curiosity about how things work. While growing up in New York, he attended a hypnosis demonstration, where he realized that the mind has potentials that are typically not accessible. That experience set him on a path of brain research that led him to question conventional models of function and health. He did his first experiments with pyramids, trying to capture “life energy” on the roof of his college dorm. Continue reading

Center for Natural Healing: Specialized Approaches to Overcome Health Challenges

by Sheila Julson

Chiropractor Jeffrey Griffin, founder of the Center for Natural Healing, in Doylestown, has over 34 years of clinical experience in nutrition and spinal care. In 2003, he was introduced to the work of Howard F. Loomis, an influential chiropractor and nutritional scientist. Loomis’ approach to healthcare focuses on the importance of digestion and, specifically, the assimilation, absorption and elimination systems of the body and their relationship to overall health. Continue reading

Dr. Jennifer Redmond

by Joe Dunne and Kathy Tarbell

Born with a compassionate nature, it’s no surprise that Dr. Jennifer Redmond was naturally drawn to helping and healing others. After achieving two degrees, a B.A., and a doctorate in chiropractic, Redmond founded Samsara Chiropractic Wellness Center, a fixture in the Somerville community for over eight years. The word samsara has Hindu and Buddhist origins and means “the cycle of life, death and rebirth, and the resistance to such is the source of existential suffering.” Working to alleviate this suffering through respecting the body’s ability to heal and self-regulate is the foundation of her practice. Continue reading

Dian Freeman: Wellness Simplified

by staff writers Joe Dunne, Kathy Tarbell and Melanie Rankin

Sometimes we meet people whose accomplishments are so vast and eclectic that it’s hard to comprehend their total scope without referencing something visual, such as climbing a mountain or navigating stepping stones. Clinical Nutritionist Dian Freeman is one such person. From Texas to New Jersey, from small town to the big city, Freeman never saw a mountain she couldn’t climb. She never turned away from stepping stones that appeared before her, even when she couldn’t see where the path would end. In fact, traversing those stones taught her that often it’s the unexpected side step that takes us where we need to go in our journey.  Continue reading

The Green Remedy Advocacy Center and Clinic: Bridging the Gap

by Karen G. Meshkov

The rollout of PA’s medical cannabis program has not been without its hiccups: it’s taken longer than anticipated to go into effect; the Department of Health has been criticized for lacking the budget to do a proper marketing and education campaign; the ratio of doctors registered in the program to patients registered for care is woefully lopsided. The concern is that despite the landmark ruling of Act 16, people that suffer from the 17 “serious medical conditions” included in the initiative will also suffer from an inability to access services.

Enter The Green Remedy, a medical marijuana advocacy center and clinic on the outskirts of Northwest Philadelphia whose efforts are all about easing suffering. The clinic, which opened its doors in October, helps people that want to get into the medical cannabis program connect with a certified doctor so they can get their card and access the dispensaries. “The program was officially in place as of November 1,” says the company’s founder, Chanel Rousseau, her eyes sparkling. Continue reading

Local Organization Interrupts Conflict, Promotes Peace

The Peace Center, in Langhorne, is a nonprofit organization staffed by educators and volunteers dedicated to furthering peace in the local community, the nation and around the world. It is the only organization in Bucks County whose sole focus is peace education to address, interrupt and transform conflict and violence.

Founded in 1982, The Peace Center’s roots began as B.A.N.D. (Bucks Alliance for Nuclear Disarmament). After the Berlin Wall fell, the international movement toward disarmament inspired The Peace Center to work on the prevention of violence on the local level.

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Beyond Maria: Coming Together to Help Rebuild Puerto Rico

Luis Mendez and Waleska Sallaberry, the publishers of Natural Awakenings Puerto Rico (PR) edition for the past 15 years, have a simple request: “Please help us rebuild.”

Mendez and Sallaberry are remarkable community leaders, having not only launched what is now PR’s number one health and wellness publication, but also having originated and managed the most important annual health and wellness expo in PR and the Caribbean, created a natural health network of discounted services with more than 1,000 providers and 250,000 members and founded an alternative eco-school to serve PR’s western coast.

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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.

The Doctor’s Office, Evolved: Local M.D.s Launch Fully Integrative Health Center

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by Karen G. Meshkov

Montgomery Integrative Health Group (MIHG), located inside a beautifully renovated, historic schoolhouse in Wyndmoor, feels more like a community center than a doctor’s office. Announcements for yoga classes and acupuncture sessions are handwritten in brightly colored chalk while patients and staff bustle about, creating an energy that’s warm and inviting.

The differences between MIHG and traditional medical practices are many. Here, patients are “members” that experience a host of unique benefits, such as personal health assessment coaching, an onsite chiropractor, acupuncturist and massage therapist, as well as community classes and meetup groups.

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Anahata Yoga Expands Mind, Body in New, Larger Space

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by Lauren Johnson

Kathleen Tooley, owner of Anahata Yoga and Wellness Center, in Lederach, has a simple mission: to show that yoga is accessible to anyone.

Tooley, a teacher of Kripalu-style yoga for seven years, became a yoga teacher to do just that. “People who felt like they couldn’t do yoga inspired me to become a teacher so I could show them that they actually can,” she says. “When folks come into the studio apologizing for being inflexible, I say, ‘I know, that’s why you’re here!’”

Kripalu yoga, which originated at the Yoga Society of Pennsylvania in 1965 and was named after kundalini yoga master Swami Kripalvanandji, uses standard yoga poses and breathwork to encourage inner focus, meditation and relaxation. At Anahata Yoga and Wellness Center (“Anahata” is the Sanskrit word for the heart chakra), yoga is taught from a more therapeutic perspective rather than a fitness perspective.

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Lisa Gercie: Eclectic Healer Melds Counseling, Metaphysics and Hypnosis

by Gisele M. Siebold

CRG_LisaGercie_0816Licensed professional therapist Lisa Gercie is a uniquely eclectic healer. She has worked in the field of psychology for over 20 years and is board certified in the state of Pennsylvania and by the National Board of Certified Counselors. She is also a gifted metaphysical healer, skilled in traditional and metaphysical hypnotherapy. Gercie incorporates both traditional and spiritual teachings to fulfill client requests for expansion of growth, awareness, healing and optimal health. Gercie specializes in rebuilding life after death or divorce, grief issues, relationships, anxiety, depression, stress management, psychosocial oncology, work and career issues, self-esteem and self-image.

“I believe that when you change your thoughts and behaviors, you can change your life,” says Gercie. “As a solution-oriented and interactive therapist, my goal is to help others live a life where they are thriving versus just ‘living’ or ‘existing’.”

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Cutting-Edge Vets: Doylestown Vets’ Integrative Care Ethos

by Rebecca Antsis and Karen G. Meshkov

DoyltestownVeterinaryHospital-Buddy1_0417It’s a Monday evening at Doylestown Veterinary Hospital and Holistic Pet Care (DVH) and Buddy, a senior golden retriever, is lying belly down on the examination table. To one who has never seen a dog with a collection of acupuncture needles sticking out of his back, the scene might seem a bit strange. Acupuncture treatment sessions are an essential part of Buddy’s wellness regimen, as are similar treatments for many people who rely on this 2,000-year-old healing modality.

When his owners first came to DVH, he was suffering from pain and lameness. Buddy’s situation was serious with no conventional treatment options left to try. It was one year ago that they were lucky enough to find Dr. David MacDonald, one of the hospital’s resident veterinarians who specializes in acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Buddy turns 13 years old next week, and his condition continues to improve.

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