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

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


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.

Continue reading

Samsel Integrative Health Offers Holistic Chiropractic Care and Applied Kinesiology

nb_samselintegrativehealth_katiesamsel_1216Samsel Integrative Health, an integrative chiropractic practice, recently opened its office in Langhorne. With a focus on holistic care and applied kinesiology (AK), they correct physical, nutritional and emotional imbalances and teach lifestyle changes to prevent future recurrences.

Founder and chiropractic physician Katie Samsel works with her clients to discover what’s causing the problem, and she then uses a variety of tools to help them through the healing process. “In addition to the more traditional chiropractic evaluation, I utilize techniques such as AK and Ayurvedic Pulse Diagnosis to understand the root cause of the issue. Through the use of non-invasive muscle testing, AK helps us to identify a connection between a symptom and the underlying cause. There might be a nutritional deficiency or emotional component that’s manifesting itself via back pain,” says Samsel. Traditionally, AK evaluates the structural, chemical and mental aspects of health for a holistic overview.

Continue reading

CBD Package Makes a Unique Holiday Gift

nb_dacrema_holidayitemsDaCrema Botanicals is offering a Holiday Stress Combo/Gift Pack containing cannabidiol (CBD) sublingual drops, healing salve and lip balm for those looking for a unique healing gift option for family and friends. The sublingual drops assist with stress reduction; the healing salve topical application gives local, fast and enduring relief to skin, joints, muscles and the deeper fascia; and the lip balm is effective for soothing damaged, dry and problem lips, and has the naturally occurring SPF of CBD. This special holiday gift basket is being offered for the discounted price of $60––$14 off the regular selling price.

Continue reading

Ascend Hospice Volunteers Tenderly Offer Holistic Therapies

by Gisele R. Siebold

Ascend Hospice, serving eight counties throughout Pennsylvania, believes in using a personalized and holistic approach to hospice care in their work with patients and their families at home, in skilled care facilities and in nursing home facilities.

As part of their focus on caring, Ascend relies upon volunteers to offer specialized services, including aromatherapy, massage therapy, reiki and pet therapy, to enhance the hospice experience and offer a loving touch to those nearing end of life.

According to Volunteer Coordinator Marina McGough, Ascend is always open to welcoming new volunteers. “We provide a comprehensive training program, and volunteers then utilize their specialized skills with each patient and their families, as well as with facility staff, for comfort, relaxation and personal growth.”


Continue reading

Green Street Luxuries: Services and Handcrafted Products that are Pure Art for Mind, Body and Soul Renewal

by Gisele R. Siebold


Green Street Luxuries, owned by aromatherapist Candy Pack, offers first-class platinum service that includes a variety of organic facials, reflexology/detox and massage therapies, as well as LED Light Healing Therapy and Amethyst BIOMat, which contains far infrared technology that improves bodily functions and assists with detoxification.

Continue reading

EFT: Tapping the Way to Holiday Ease

by Delia Nessim

The holidays can be a lot of fun, but this time of year can also be a stressful time for many people. There are a lot of decisions to make about purchases, time allocation and finances. In addition, the holidays typically involve spending time with extended family, which in itself can be very emotional for people, especially when it involves returning to the family home. The sights, sounds and smells can easily invoke memories that may or may not feel good.

How does one deal with the obligations of the holidays while staying calm and centered? One way is to use a mind-body technique called EFT, or Emotional Freedom Techniques. This modality has existed for about 30 years but has really gained momentum in American mental health circles over the last five years. EFT is a form of acupressure, and it uses the traditional acupuncture energy meridians, but without the invasiveness of needles. Instead, tapping uses just a hand or a fingertip to touch on these energy points while thinking about a specific problem and validating all the feelings that arise. An example might be, “I’m so mad, I could scream.” This allows the emotions to flow and dissipate faster.

Continue reading

Stepping Up and Filling In: 4 The M.I.N.D.S. Creates a Grassroots Safe Space for Mental Illness

by Rebecca Antsis


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.

Continue reading

Upper Bucks Web Builds Custom Websites for Local Small Businesses

For small businesses on a tight budget, Upper Bucks Web offers affordable web design services, building websites that are mobile-friendly and search engine optimized. Owner Thomas Knoble stresses the importance of a strong, professional, online brand identity that is vital for any business seeking to build value and trust in the eyes of online customers.

Since 1997, Knoble has navigated the ever-changing pace of new opportunities in the digital marketing world, specifically the role of web services in marketing. As a result, businesses and creative agencies he has worked with have been able to leverage new ways of reaching customers. “A high website search ranking is one of the most important ways for a business to get visibility,” explains Knoble. “In order for a business website to be effective, it must contain value both for customers as well as keyword optimized content for search engines. I love working with individuals, and businesses already have too many hats to wear to keep up with changes in digital marketing. I can alleviate some of those issues regarding their web presence.”

Continue reading

Letter from the Publisher, December 2016

Karen_LFP_0516Sometimes when I am having a hard day, I like to imagine all of the readers and contributors of Natural Awakenings standing around in a giant circle, participating in a huge group hug. This month, I’ve had a couple of those days.

Continue reading

Yoga Improves Lives of Autistic Children

by Lisa DiFalco

ed_autismyoga_brianaubin_cralexthomasAutism and autism spectrum disorders can be challenging for affected individuals and their families. However, children and adults with autism and other developmental disabilities create an opportunity for service providers to think differently and find ways to embrace everyone within their practice, helping children, teens and adults with autism, Asperger’s and other special needs. Brian Aubin is that type of wellness provider, offering customized yoga instruction focused on the specific needs of those with autism and special needs. He is also different from the average yoga instructor in another way.

Aubin has a personal connection to autism. Although now a yoga instructor on a mission, he was diagnosed with Asperger’s, a “mild form” of autism, at the relatively old age of 17. He was spurred by the benefits he felt when he started to practice yoga in 2013, and he began to train as a yoga teacher. He has dedicated his life to providing yoga to an underserved population and offers classes throughout Long Island.

Continue reading