Letter from the Publisher, January 2018

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We are living in a historic moment for natural health and wellness in the United States. More than half the country—29 states—have legalized medical marijuana. Pennsylvania did so in April of 2017. Despite decades of stigmatization and criminalization, polls show that 71 percent of Americans support full legalization, and nearly 90 percent favor marijuana for medicinal use.

The cannabis plant has demonstrated powerful healing effects on the quality of life for thousands of suffering men, women and children. Medical marijuana (MMJ) has been shown to be an effective treatment modality for PTSD, epilepsy, autism, chronic pain, nausea, insomnia, anxiety, Crohn’s disease, arthritis, neuropathy, asthma, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and other conditions. Continue reading

The 101 on Act 16: MMJ PA Basics

The Pennsylvania Department of Health passed Act 16, signing the state’s Medical Marijuana Program into law on April 17, 2016. The program is still in the rollout phase—patients began receiving their certifications a few months ago, on November 1, and dispensaries are scheduled to be open early this year.

Here’s what you need to know about the subject: 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

PA Vets Push for MMJ Access, Relief

by Carrie Jackson & Karen G. Meshkov

George Armstrong, from Western Chester County, is at the forefront of a movement to allow veterans in Pennsylvania legal access to medical marijuana, or MMJ. With more than 800,000 veterans, Pennsylvania hosts a large community of people that could benefit from treatment of combat-related conditions, such as chronic pain, post-traumatic stress disorder and mental illness. Armstrong is an outspoken advocate for the PA Vets for Cannabis Program, with the aim of convincing the federal government to legalize marijuana. Continue reading

Mind of a Chemist, Heart of a Healer: Local Medical Cannabis Pioneer Joe DaCrema

With cannabis legalization taking root across the U.S., and Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program rolling out in 2018, there is no shortage of people looking to be a part of the “green rush”. For Philly-area native and owner of DaCrema Botanicals, Joe DaCrema, however, recognizing the medicinal potential of cannabis is nothing new—much like the path to legalization in this country, his journey has been decades in the making.

DaCrema’s introduction to medicinal cannabis came in 1988, during his sister’s struggle with cancer. Like many, she became a believer in the plant’s power from personal experience. “She tried all the medications the doctors prescribed her; she said that marijuana was the only thing that took away her pain,” says DaCrema. He was not as surprised as he might have been, then, to discover that marijuana offered relief from his own issues with an asthmatic condition. Continue reading

Gut Health: 15 Minutes of Fame for a Timeless Topic

Health and wellness trends come and go. Lately, there has been abundant information presented about digestive health, the body’s microbiome and their impact on overall health. However, digestive health is hardly a new topic or a trendy fad. Over 2,000 years ago, Hippocrates said, “All disease begins in the gut,” and modern research continues to support his theory.

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Shirodhara Stress-Relieving Treatments: An Ayurvedic Approach

Neilson Company audience report that surveyed media usage during the first quarter of 2016 found that the average American spent nearly 75 hours per week in front of a screen. Experts are confident that the number is even higher as we head into 2018. The rapid pace of life overloads us constantly and shows up as heartburn, insomnia, anxiousness and forgetfulness. In light of widespread stress and anxiety, it is no wonder that the ancient mind-body healing system, ayurveda, has become so popular. Continue reading

You Can’t See What You Can’t See

Several years ago there was a remarkable case of a man whose routine wisdom tooth extraction turned out to be anything but routine. A typical panoramic X-ray showed that the roots of the tooth were close to the critical, main nerve that courses through the lower jaw and innervates the teeth, so extra care would be needed.

After proper loosening, the tooth should have simply popped out with a gentle tug. Astonishingly, it sprung right back into place, as though it were attached to a rubber band. A close, physical examination showed that the root had grown completely around the nerve, like a string through a Life Savers candy. Luckily, the nerve had not been severed, and a quick protocol change allowed the tooth to be removed without damaging the nerve.

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Master Coach Tanya Tecce Blends Neuroscience, Spirituality, Psychology

Tanya Tecce helps empaths, entrepreneurs and executives overcome stress and anxiety and find peace without the use of medication.

“I help my clients discover their center and remember their passion, using methods that most counselors don’t use in their day-to-day practice,” says Tecce.

Steeped in education, Tecce holds undergraduate degrees in math, psychology and sociology and is an experienced, registered yoga instructor and certified holistic health coach. Her latest certification is in mastery level transformational neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), an advanced coaching method that informs her approach.

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A New Approach to Grooming

Liz Sines is the lead groomer at Holiday House Spa on State in Doylestown. A lifelong animal lover and equestrian, she began bathing and handling dogs at a local horse farm as a teenager. She has been a full-time groomer since 2002 and completed both National and International Master Groomer Certifications in 2014.

What is your approach to pet grooming?

Grooming allows me to pursue both the stewardship of animals and the art involved in executing a balanced and practical haircut for any dog’s job description. Whether a dog lives on the farm, is a home companion or a therapy aid, I love to find a beautiful style that suits the companion’s lifestyle as well as the owner’s budget. I craft balance, symmetry and breed/type nuances into every cut. I hear from clients that while they cannot specifically say what I’ve done differently, for some reason, their dog just looks “right” or “more natural”. Continue reading

What to Expect from a KonMari Tidying Lesson: With Certified Consultant Christina Rosenbruch

What can I expect during my first organizing session?

We’ll spend the first part of the session doing a walk-through of your home and discussing your ideal vision for your home and life. Starting with one category of things, we’ll put everything in one place, and then we’ll do the “joy check” of your items—keeping only what sparks joy.

Will you make me throw things away?

It’s your decision. As Marie Kondo says, “If it makes you happy then the right choice is to keep it confidently, regardless of what anyone else says.” Over time, you will develop sensitivity and be able to quickly discern what brings you joy and what does not.

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Philadelphia Eyeglass Labs Innovates, Offers Tele-Optometry

Philadelphia Eyeglass Labs (PEL), the oldest and largest independently owned optical chain in the Philadelphia area, is by definition, “old school”. Its five area locations are part of a century-long legacy of providing quality eye care to hundreds of thousands of patients.

But while the company’s longstanding connection to the communities it serves has become a Philadelphia tradition—it’s not unusual to see whole families in its stores, buying glasses together—innovation is never out of view.

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