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.
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.
Licensed 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’.”
It’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.
When it comes to the care of our beloved pets, one thing is certain: we want only the best. For many, this comes with finding a veterinarian we can trust that shares our point of view. Holistic veterinary care offers a unique approach using alternative methods to assess an animal’s health.
“Oftentimes conventional veterinary medicine looks at ways to put out fires but doesn’t look at how they started in the first place to prevent them from coming back, and this is where holistic care can really help,” says Suzanne Walski, DVM, owner of Meadowbrook Animal Healing, in Ottsville. “Holistic care takes a different approach, looking at the whole being and treating it emotionally, physically and even spiritually.”
Walski, who began as a conventional veterinarian, is not a purist when it comes to holistic health. Sometimes conventional care is needed, and she encourages people to continue with their regular vet while using her as a consultant. “My approach is: ‘What else can we do aside from what is necessary to do?’ I’m passionate about educating people about alternative methods that can be helpful not only for their pet, but for themselves as well.”
Oral health as central to one’s overall health is the philosophy at Dental Wellness Centre, in King of Prussia. Founded by Dr. Hyo “Tony” Lim, who has served the holistic community since 2000, the practice offers safe and effective, holistic dental options. “I encourage patients to make healthy choices in their daily life which, holistically, will benefit their dental health,” explains Lim, whose whole-health mentality extends beyond teeth and gums.
Dentistry is a second career for Lim, who started out working with computers. “I’ve always been fascinated by science, but I realized I liked working with people, too. Early on in my training, I learned about preventative and holistic dentistry, and that really resonated with me,” he says. Lim opened Dental Wellness Centre with the goal of providing the highest quality holistic dental care and stays on top of new techniques and findings through research and informative courses.
Imagine if a state-of-the-art dentistry practice had a lovechild with a holistic spa: the light aroma of peppermint and cloves would waft pleasantly though the air as the soft whir of a nearby air purifier commingled with the ongoing susurrus produced by gentle cascades of a zen waterfall. KIND bars would sit next to a Keurig, perched atop a hotel-style mini-fridge housing exotic, bottled iced teas. Nestled in the corner would be the deep, inviting cushion of a leather massage chair. Staff members would greet co-workers and patients with a radiant conviviality.
Fortunately, innovative imagination can become reality, as evidenced by Heritage Dental, in Montgomeryville.
Dr. David DiGiallorenzo, Dr. Henry Hsu and their team at the LANAP and Implant Center of Pennsylvania are dedicated to providing advanced periodontal and dental implant services to patients in need. The doctors are specialists, and that means two to three years of additional training, and thousands of hours of experience, to provide exceptional treatment. They focus on high-quality, single-visit, sedation dentistry using a holistic approach that takes a patient’s total-body health into account. This integrative philosophy sets their services apart.
The team at the LANAP and Implant Center of Pennsylvania is dedicated to helping patients achieve amazing results by using the latest dental technology, equipment and procedures, such as cone beam imaging technology, laser dentistry, biostimulation healing and stem cell technology. They work diligently to save patients time and energy by ensuring as much work as possible is completed in one visit.
Yardley native and competitive rower Dr. Katie Samsel is a licensed chiropractic physician and the owner 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.
While conventional medicine focuses on treating illness as it occurs, the approach at Samsel Integrative Health is to emphasize the importance of prevention and maintenance, which ultimately serves to reduce the risk of pain and illness. By developing a customized care plan, Samsel provides first-time and routine visitors a blueprint for maintaining overall health and wellness.
January is a time of transition, and, according to Jennifer J. Riley, managing attorney at the Law Offices of Jennifer J. Riley, it is a busy time in family law firms. “January is when most of us make personal promises of transformation and growth. We analyze the past year and make plans to improve in the new year. This is the time of the year when we focus on rejuvenation and health, both physical and spiritual. For many people, this is when they begin to investigate the possibility of a divorce.”
Associate Attorney Patrick Samanns notes the role of their firm in helping families in transition. “When clients come to our firm, they are often experiencing one of the most difficult times in their lives. As their lawyers, we have the opportunity to help them through this difficult time and to help give them the guidance they may need to get a fresh start,” he observes.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), mental illness is defined as “a condition that affects a person’s thinking, feeling or mood.” Although NAMI’s definition is accurate, it falls short of describing the frightening reality experienced by the one-in-four American families that are afflicted with mental illness.
In a world that seems to be getting bigger and busier every day, many people in the Philadelphia area and across the country are turning to cooperative businesses to form deeper connections with their community, and to feel a sense of ownership and control over the products and services that are a part of their lives. There are currently 30,000 member-owned cooperative businesses functioning in the U.S., serving 350 million member households.
Cooperatively run businesses and organizations are nothing new to the Philadelphia area—Benjamin Franklin founded the country’s first in 1752. The Philadelphia Contributionship insurance company was established by firefighters on the premise that members would share the risks of insuring against fire damage. The business is still in operation today, and visitors can tour the historic site and museum in Old City. Clearly, this is an idea with staying power. Continue reading →