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

Many Paths To Healing: Exploring Modern Mental Health Practices, Treatments and Modalities

by Karen L. Smith, Rebecca Antsis and Karen G. Meshkov

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Life is not without its ups and downs. At some point in the journey, we will likely be presented with circumstances that upset our mood and behavior. Though many tools and resources are available that can help us on our path to optimal mental health, the first challenge is figuring out what kind of help we need, and where we can get it.

As an advocate of integrative, holistic and complementary approaches to healing, Natural Awakenings offers this guide as our attempt to survey the contemporary healing landscape and raise awareness of the myriad resources available to those seeking inroads to a more emotionally healthy, happy and balanced life.

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Stress Signals: Listen to Lessen

by Christine Tentilucci

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The term “mind-body connection” can evoke a multitude of subjective definitions. One interpretation is the relationship between mental stress and physical health. Research illustrates that stress that affects the mind directly relates to the health of the body. Therefore, mind-body awareness — remaining aware of how our mental and emotional state correlates to experiences within the body — can be a valuable tool in managing the stress response.

When reacting to stressors, the body releases cortisol, known as the “stress hormone”. If the mind is in a continual state of stress, the cortisol level remains constantly elevated, wreaking havoc on a number of the body’s functions. Chronic stress has been linked to digestive disorders, suppressed immune function, internal inflammation and even cancer.

Women’s health is significantly tied to the body’s delicate balance of hormones, which includes cortisol. This is why decreasing the stress response, and conversely increasing the relaxation response, is a key component of women’s health. These are just a few ways increased stress can affect women’s health:

Periodic Periods. Considering cortisol is part of the hormonal system, it’s no wonder that stress may cause irregular periods.

Bouts of Blemishes. Ever wonder why pimples often pop up during times of stress? Raised cortisol levels can cause excess oil production, contributing to acne breakouts.

Tummy Trouble. Prolonged stress can increase stomach acid, causing indigestion, discomfort and the potential development of IBS or ulcers.

Distressed Sleep. Mental stress and the accompanying mind chatter can be a sleep-interrupter. Plus, a common side effect of increased cortisol is a pattern of waking up during the night. Lack of sleep can lead to fogginess, irritability and low energy, causing more stress and continuing the cycle. The body’s functions rest and reset during the sleep cycle, making healthy sleep a n important part of lowering the stress response.

Weight Woes. Research has linked heightened levels of cortisol to weight gain and belly fat. In addition, stress may trigger emotional eating and increased cravings. To add insult to injury, cortisol-related weight gain can be difficult to reverse, making weight loss a more challenging task.

Seeking advice from a trusted healthcare provider is important for any woman that thinks stress and cortisol may be affecting her health, but mind-body awareness should also remain integral to her day. Take time to stop, breathe deeply and be aware, and then explore ways to turn down the volume on stress.

Christine Tentilucci is the marketing manager for Inner Spa, a fully organic, holistic, eco-friendly wellness spa in Newtown. For more information, call 215-968-9000, email Christine@InnerSpa.org, or visit InnerSpa.org and InnerVitalitySpa.com.

May 2016 Issue

Matters of the (Female) Heart: 10 Things Women May Not Know About Heart Disease

CRG_AbingtonCardio_DrMeshkov_0216_1by Arnold B. Meshkov

  1. Heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women in the United States.
  2. The incidence of heart disease has been increasing in women for the last 30 years.
  3. Women may not have the typical symptoms of cardiac chest pain, or angina pectoris, as a symptom of a blocked artery or atherosclerosis.
  4. Often, the only symptoms women may experience are shortness of breath and fatigue.
  5. When women do experience cardiac chest pain, it is often due to problems with the very small blood vessels of the heart, and not due to atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries.
  6. Heart disease in women presents on average about 10 years later than in men; with the population living much longer now, women without any history of heart problems are presenting with heart disease for the first time much later in life.
  7. Women are treated with invasive procedures such as angioplasty and cardiac surgery less often than men.
  8. Women have the same risk factors for heart disease as men, such as family history, cigarette smoking, “metabolic syndrome”, elevated cholesterol and lipids, high mental stress levels, high blood pressure (hypertension), being overweight and diabetes.
  9. Women have a significant risk of heart disease after menopause, but treatment with estrogens has been shown to increase that risk even further.
  10. Women are much more likely to suffer from “broken heart syndrome”, which presents with the typical symptoms of a heart attack but is not due to hardening of the arteries, and is often associated with major life stress events.

Arnold B. Meshkov, MD, is board certified in internal medicine, cardiology and echocardi-ography. For more information, call 215-920-0815, email Info@AbingtonCardiology.com or visit AbingtonCardiology.com.

May, 2016 Issue

Thyroid Health and Menopause: A Naturopathic Approach

by Lynn W. Feinman

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A woman’s natural life cycle presents an ever-changing landscape of potential health issues. Hormones, in particular, can be affected by the milestones of puberty, childbirth and menopause. Menopause-related hormone imbalance can be increasingly problematic due to lowered functioning of an aging thyroid, a gland that plays a large role in regulating hormones.

Thyroid imbalances can cause weight issues, anxiety and depression, fatigue, skin and hair changes, indigestion, sleep issues and more. Since thyroid imbalances can also be caused by autoimmune diseases and can have a genetic component, or can even be triggered by viruses, the first step in treating imbalances should always involve a proper medical diagnosis. Once the diagnosis is made, a naturopathic treatment plan can be created.  Because no part of the human body operates independently of the rest of the body, a holistic perspective is essential when addressing thyroid issues.

A founding naturopathic principle holds that if the body is in proper balance, it can tolerate the fluctuation of hormones. Traditional naturopathy considers the health of all major organ systems in the body, acid/alkaline balance and naturopathic detoxification. Specifically, naturopathy seeks to remove offenders (allergens), replace what nutrients might be missing and repair damage (inflammation). While a naturopathic approach to hormonal imbalance considers many factors, including exercise , stress and emotions, nutrition and sleep play a central role in restoring health.

Research shows that certain nutrients can nourish the thyroid gland, such as antioxidants and the herbs ashwagandha, schisandra and ginseng. Additionally, women  experiencing menopause benefit from specific nutrients, such as B vitamins and minerals.

Adding to the nutritional challenge, certain foods, especially when refined, often become  difficult to digest as we age. Eating more plant-based foods can be beneficial, with the caveat that soy and wheat are not nourishing foods for the thyroid and are common allergens. Engaging in nutritional cleansing can help reduce overload in the liver, the essential organ that manages hormonal fluctuations.

The lack of restorative sleep often underlies all other health challenges, especially during menopause. Naturo-pathic approaches integrate sleep hygiene, restoring sleep cycles and nourishing the nervous system. Commonly used herbs include chamomile, passion flower, valerian and skullcap.  Supplements may include melatonin and minerals, which help to calm the body. Since sleep is a naturally occurring human phenomenon, natural sleep cycles can usually be restored, depending on how long the imbalance has occurred.

Aging is a natural part of life, but with the proper whole-system approach to changing needs, delicate balances can be not only maintained, but enriched.

Lynn W. Feinman, owner of Natural Health Options, in Paoli, is a naturopathic doctor and yoga instructor specializing in health recovery and detoxification programs. For more information, call 610-608-1430 or visit NaturalHealthOptions.us.

May 2016 Issue

Bioidentical Hormones: Getting Past Misconceptions

by Monica Gavin

CoupleMatureExercise_7702511_xlWhile most people are aware of hormone replacement therapy (HRT), key misconceptions still exist. HRT is most typically associated with women and menopause. And while it’s true that many women seek out help for hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms, bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) can offer benefits far beyond this one issue, improving patients’ lives in a variety of ways.

It’s important to note the difference between bioidentical and synthetic hormone replacement therapy.  Because synthetic hormones do not match the molecular structure of human hormones, they often result in unpleasant side effects, some as severe as cancers and cardiovascular issues. Conversely, bioidentical hormones, derived from natural plant sources, provide an exact match to those produced by the human body, offering relief from symptoms while minimizing the potentially dangerous side effects. As Marla Viturello, of Philadelphia Professional Compounding Pharmacy, states, “The value of customized BHRT is critical in restoring balance.  Because these prescriptions are naturally derived and can be compounded in different strengths and dosage forms, patients can benefit from a regimen designed for their distinctive needs.”

So, what are the top misconceptions regarding BHRT?

BHRT is for women only.  The truth is that men can suffer the effects of declining hormones just as much as women do. Symptoms of andropause (often referred to as male menopause) include decreased libido and muscle mass, impotence, and mood and sleep disorders.

Sleeplessness is just a fact of modern life.  Insufficient sleep can have a detrimental effect on health and negatively affect all other areas of life. Sound sleep is possible at any age and is often a reflection of proper hormonal balance.

Declining enthusiasm for life is a natural result of growing older.  While life events can certainly present challenges at times, middle age is not a disease of waning vitality. Restoring hormonal balance can elevate and even out mood, resulting in a better overall outlook and renewed flair for life.

Memory and concentration naturally decrease with age.  Properly balanced hormones can and often do greatly help to restore cognitive function, resolving what many term “foggy thinking”. After BHRT, patients often report that they are better able to concentrate at work, with sharper thinking skills.

Decreased libido is a normal part of aging.  The truth is that libido is a direct reflection of  hormonal balance, in both men and women. Restoring the proper balance of estrogen, progesterone and testosterone to optimal levels will restore the libido, enabling patients to have a healthy, fulfilling sex life at any age.

Considering each of these benefits, it’s easy to see that the number one benefit of BHRT is a greatly improved quality of life. Vibrant health and vitality are possible at any age.

MonicaGavin_0516Monica Gavin, MD, is a Diplomate of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine. She provides BHRT services in Bethlehem and Hatboro. For more information, call 610-625-3000 or visit AzaniMedicalSpa.com.

 

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Philadelphia Professional Compounding Pharmacy is located at 23 South York Road, in Hatboro. For more information, visit PPCPharmacy.com or call 877-637-7727.

May 2016 Issue

Free Online Fibromyalgia Summit for Patients and Caregivers

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Ruschelle Khanna, LCSW, is offering a free, online Fibromyalgia Summit from May 12 through 14, with more than 30 speakers and downloadable resources to aid in healing and recovery. The virtual conference, designed for both caregivers and those healing, includes interviews with some of the top specialists in fibromyalgia healing, as well as with individuals that have recovered, lifestyle experts and more.

“Too many people suffer endlessly with fibromyalgia and chronic pain. Often they have a very difficult time being diagnosed or even getting validation that they are not well,” says Khanna.  “This online event will give people the tools and inspiration to heal from within.”

Khanna says she was inspired to develop this summit upon her own recovery from Lyme disease. “I understand the connection between undiagnosed infections and chronic pain, and I want to share the tools that helped me heal,” she says.

Early registration for the Fibromyalgia Summit is open now at TinyUrl.com/FibroSummitBuxMont.  Opportunities to purchase the summit for reference, along with a host of downloadable healthy living resources from experts around the world, are also available. The summit will feature a comprehensive wellness bundle and an action plan for those interested in applying the principles to their lives.

Cost: Free from May 12-14 or available for purchase online.

May 2016 Issue

Functional Origins with Audrey Fleck Preps Perkasie for Optimal Nutrition

NB_FunctionalOrigins-AudreyFleck_0516Functional Origins, a Perkasie-based practice providing customized integrative and functional nutrition services by principal dietitian-nutritionist Audrey Fleck, rolls out several new programs this spring. On May 10, new and prospective clients can receive Spectracell micronutrient testing at a discounted rate. May classes include a Liver Rinse  session on May 12 — an introductory regimen for those interested in learning the why and how of liver cleansing — and a month-long Function with Food Detox program for new and existing clients interested in a seasonally appropriate cleanse, which begins May 23.

Starting June 1, Fleck will present “B3 Metabolic Roadmap: A Beginner’s Small Group Nutrition” and “Exercise Program with Body by Brent”, a four-week introductory program blending functional nutrition with exercise. Two classes per week will be offered: one will focus on nutrition and will be held at Functional Origins, in Perkasie, and the other will focus on exercise and will be held at B3 Personal Training, in Doylestown.

Fleck is a registered and licensed dietitian-nutritionist who blends this training with functional medicine to create individualized nutrition plans tailored toward the whole self.  “In my practice, we work beyond the ‘conventional nutrition bubble’ and think about health functionally and holistically. We address nutrition from its roots rather than a ‘Band-Aid approach’ that just manages symptoms through diet without resolving the core issues,” says Fleck.

For more information, call 215-257-5301, email Audrey@FunctionalOrigins.com or visit FunctionalOrigins.com.

May 2016 Issue

When Information Is Medicine: Using NeuroModulation Technique in Thyroid Therapy

by Lisa Rhodes

ManNeuronsMedical_10743692_lA malfunctioning thyroid can have many underlying causes, including poor nutrition, toxicity, diet, overwhelming stress and medication such as birth control pills. Regardless  of the cause, the end result may be an autoimmune process that affects either the thyroid gland itself or the enzymes needed to convert inactive thyroid hormone to the active form. In order to relieve thyroid conditions, not only does the originating cause need to be addressed, but also any autoimmune process that is the end result.

In an autoimmune condition, the immune system creates antibodies that mistakenly perceive the body’s own tissues, such as the thyroid gland, or its own enzymes, such as  conversion enzymes, as the enemy. It is this misinformation that makes NeuroModulation Technique (NMT) especially effective as a therapy.

NMT has been called “informational medicine” because it operates on the principle that the body naturally heals itself, and that illness and disease result from miscommunication within the other-than-conscious operations of the body. Either the wrong information is being communicated, or the correct information is being sent to the  wrong place, or at the wrong time.

Using a unique form of dynamic muscle-response testing, the NMT practitioner taps directly into the patient’s mind-body connection, following carefully developed questions and corrective training statements to determine the appropriate therapeutic path for the patient.

NMT is used to 1) desensitize the body to any immune triggers that are contributing to the production of antibodies, 2) initiate breakdown and elimination of these antibodies and 3) assist in the healing and optimal function of tissue damaged as a result of autoimmunity.

Anyone suffering from thyroid dysfunction should, of course, implement lifestyle changes, such as a non-inflammatory diet, stress reduction and exercise. They should also consult with a nutrition expert to ensure their individual nutrition needs are addressed.  But many people who have one autoimmune condition have multiple autoimmune diagnoses. A therapy modality as versatile and fundamental as NMT can help ensure that miscommunication in the body is recognized and addressed on all levels.

LisaRhodesLisa Rhodes is a doctor of podiatric medicine and a licensed acupuncturist at Integrative  Health Care, in Fountainville. For more information, call 215-230-4600 or visit IntegrativeHealthCarePA.com.

May 2016 Issue