Doylestown Food Market Hosts Third Annual Celebrity Chef Farm to Table Dinner

Chef Matt McPhelinChef Matt McPhelin of Maize Restaurant, in Perkasie, will prepare a farm-to-table meal at the Celebrity Chef Farm to Table Dinner at 5 p.m., September 17, at the Bucks County Audubon Society at Honey Hollow, in New Hope. The event will benefit the Doylestown Food Market. It is the market’s largest fundraiser of the year and will showcase seasonal preparations from local Bucks County farms.

McPhelin graduated with honors from The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College, then refined his culinary skills in the award-winning kitchens of Philadelphia’s best restaurants before opening his own restaurant in 2009. Like the Doylestown Food Market, Maize supports local farms and features innovative recipes based on fresh, seasonal, locally grown ingredients.

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Letter from the Publisher, August 2017

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Karen_LFP_0516You know by now that it’s hip to be crafty… but did you know it’s healthy, too?

All about our town, and in towns across the country, painting parlors, knitting circles and pottery-making parties are wildly popular, proving the art of crafting is here to stay.

And the habit is a happy one; recent reports and studies attest to the incredible power of crafting—from knitting and jewelry-making to visual arts such as painting, photography and sculpture—to act as a therapeutic, meditative tool that reduces stress and depression and gives people a sense of accomplishment and control.

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Letter from the Publisher, July 2017

Karen Meshkov, Natural Awakenings BuxMontSummer has arrived, and for so many here in BuxMont, it’s that special time of year when being outside adds enormously to the enjoyment of life. We get to run through the fields, sink our fingers into the earth, lay back on the grass and dip into a cool river or watering hole.

It’s a joy worth preserving; research shows that being in the great outdoors makes us calmer, happier, more grounded and helps to cultivate our appreciation for wonder. It also helps to develop a recognition and respect for the plant and animal life surrounding us, and incentivizes us to learn more about what we can do to conserve and protect it.

Engaging with Mother Nature, though, comes with responsibility, and this year, our attention is on a set of precautions that may be new to some families. In addition to packing our sunglasses, water, sunscreen and first aid kits into our backpacks, we’ll also want to be equipped with the most up-to-date information on Lyme disease and the preventative steps we can take to keep ticks at bay. As Pennsylvania leads the country in new cases of Lyme disease, it’s critical that we are prepared to build new warm-weather habits that keep our families safe this and every summer season.

On pages 16 and 17 of this issue, we learn about organizations like the PA Lyme Resource Network, which has influenced legislative action to support education, prevention and treatment options for Pennsylvanians affected by Lyme disease. Its regional affiliate, Bucks County Lyme, organized by Evelyn Throne and Karen Meyers, holds a monthly support group, which has been an indispensable resource for individuals and families in need of support. We also meet some of the allied healthcare professionals from across the region that are working cooperatively as part of the movement to help boost Lyme literacy.

We are grateful for their excellent efforts to address this important public health challenge, and for sharing their work with the Natural Awakenings community.

Together we are “Making the Awakening” in Bucks and Montgomery counties.

Karen G. Meshkov, Publisher

Letter from the Publisher, June 2017

PAIN has an element of blank; / It cannot recollect

When it began, or if there were / A day when it was not.

It has no future but itself, / Its infinite realms contain

Its past, enlightened to perceive / New periods of pain.

~Emily Dickenson

Karen Meshkov, Natural Awakenings BuxMontPain is a chronic condition shared by 100 million Americans; it’s the leading reason people go to doctors in the U.S., costing the nation upwards of $635 billion a year—more than cancer, heart disease and diabetes combined, according to the American Academy of Pain Medicine.

WebMD explains how vast and amorphous the condition can be, saying, “Chronic pain can be mild or excruciating, episodic or continuous, merely inconvenient or totally incapacitating…the signals of pain remain active in the nervous system for months or even years.” Sometimes the cause is known, or eventually discovered; sometimes the source remains a mystery.

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Letter from the Publisher, May 2017

Karen_LFP_0516Anyone I’ve ever asked about my mother-in-law, Johanna Pillischer, hasn’t hesitated to tell me what an exquisite person she was. Johanna was an artist, trained at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and a bodyworker, certified in Rubenfeld Synergy and the Alexander Technique. A mutual friend described her as warm and open-hearted, “like a bodhisattva,” the Buddhist deity that represents an ideally awakened, compassionate being.

I never got the chance to know Johanna before she succumbed to breast cancer in 2001. Still, I think of her often, imagining how we would connect around our shared passion for spirituality, health and self-development, and all the things she would have taught me. I reminisce with her sister about their experiences in the 1960s, learning yoga when it was still a new age trend. Knowing what a beautiful and sensitive man Johanna raised in my husband, Matt, I’m wistful that my son, Asa, will miss the experience to know her.

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A New Paradigm for Health and Healing: Unite for HER Opens Doors for Complementary Therapies

by Karen G. Meshkov

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It’s early on a Sunday morning, but the lobby at Bryn Mawr Hospital’s Newtown Square facility is already abuzz. The space is teeming with women in stylish athleisure-wear; banquet tables are adorned with balloons and centerpieces. As guests make their way to their assigned seats, only the number of heads that remain fully covered by knit caps and scarves reveal that this is no ordinary Main Line brunch affair—this Wellness Day event is hosted by Unite for HER, a cutting-edge women’s health organization, and the attendees are Philadelphia-area women that have recently been diagnosed with breast cancer.

The “HER” stands for Healing to Empower and Restore, and Wellness Days are one of the organization’s signature programs. This interactive, one-day workshop will introduce these women to the range of services and education that will be provided to them over the next year through their fully-funded “wellness passports”.

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Letter from the Publisher, April 2017

Karen_LFP_0516My Bichon Frise is one of the great loves of my life: I adopted her from a pet rescue in New Jersey 10 years ago when she was just over a year old. I’ll never forget the first time I held her, how skinny and timid she was, and how quickly we bonded with each other.

The old adage about man and dog (and woman and dog, as it is) isn’t just lore; research shows the two species have been “besties” for over 34,000 years from the time when dogs and humans began to cohabitate.

Recent research also reveals that humans experience feelings of love for their pets in ways that rival what they feel for their children and mates; what’s even more interesting is it appears the feelings are mutual. Brain scans from a study in Japan show that oxytocin, the chemical released in the brain that creates the experience of love, is stimulated in both humans and their animal companions while they gaze into each other’s eyes.

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Proof of Poison: The Mercury Amalgam Debate Pushes On

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by Rebecca Antsis and Karen G. Meshkov

There is no topic in modern dentistry as controversial as the use of silver mercury amalgam dental fillings. Since the 1840s, the potential hazards of this common dental device have been a source of contention. Despite scientific evidence supporting the health and environmental hazards of mercury fillings, the American Dental Association (ADA) continues to endorse its safety, and the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) continues to side with the industry supporting its use.

While the debate continues, New York City’s Times Square is currently the site of a jumbotron projecting: “MERCURY DENTAL FILLINGS RELEASE TOXIC MERCURY.” The billboard is part of a massive effort to educate the public about the toxic properties of silver amalgam dental fillings. Highlighted is the “Safe Mercury Amalgam Removal Technique” (SMART) developed by its sponsor, the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT), a mercury-free dental organization that certifies dentists in an amalgam removal protocol to reduce the potential negative health outcomes of mercury exposure to patients, dental professionals, students, staff and others.

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Letter from the Publisher, March 2017

Karen_LFP_0516I remember so well being 8 or 9 years old, standing in the nurse’s office, reading the big E on the eye chart, and listening for the high tones coming through the headphones. And who can forget their first time having a cavity drilled?

As adults, though, even those considered health-conscious, we don’t pay nearly as much attention to our visual, oral or auditory health. I know it’s not uncommon for me, with my ever-busier life, to go “too long” between teeth cleanings, eye exams and other important acts of self-care. Frequently, we wait until something goes wrong before we give ourselves the attention we deserve. In this issue, we’ll seek to more fully understand how these aspects of our health are connected to whole-body, whole-being wellness, and can help us be more proactive in our approach.

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Letter from the Publisher, February 2017

Beautiful young people are acts of nature;
Beautiful old people are works of art.
                ~Eleanor Roosevelt

Karen_LFP_0516Many of us are enjoying longer, fuller lives. Our population will soon include 75 million people over the age of 60, and recent reports by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development show the average life expectancy for U.S. men is 76. For U.S. women, it’s 81.Certainly our extended lifespan is cause for celebration. But it also poses important questions: How can we live longer, better with improved physical and emotional vitality? How can we work against a cultural bias that favors youth and stigmatizes older age? How can we treat death with candor and compassion?

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Climb To New Heights with Indoor Rock Climbing Retreat

Sport climbingErin Owen, Transformational Life Coach for Leaders and President of EEO Balance Corporation, along with Karen G. Meshkov, publisher of Natural Awakenings BuxMont, will host a pair of indoor rock climbing and goal-setting retreats, from 1:30 to 5:30 p.m., February 26, at Philadelphia Rock Gym, in Wyncote, and February 27, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Doylestown Rock Gym, in Doylestown. No prior indoor rock climbing experience is required and newbies to climbing are welcomed—all training and safety supports will be provided by professionally trained staff. Early registration is strongly encouraged, as space is limited, and registration will close as soon as all spots are filled.

This invigorating half-day retreat is designed to help clarify and supercharge annual goals, as well as facilitate a new awareness of our innate talents and intuition. The event will include a learning lab exploring the cutting-edge neuroscience behind learning and change, and will then put theory into action through climbing. Participants will experiment with climbing, (safely) falling and climbing again, all in a supportive environment where participants are encouraged to go to their “edge” and see what growth and change is found there. The event will wrap up with a debrief session where participants can share their insights and takeaways. Climbers will celebrate their experience with newfound friends and leave feeling exhilarated, empowered and motivated.

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Letter from the Publisher, January 2017

Karen_LFP_0516Looking through the stack of 2016 Natural Awakenings magazines piled up on my desk, it’s hard to believe the year is already over. I marvel at every issue, remembering the rich tapestry of articles and interviews, events and offerings that made each edition unique. This past year has been abundant, filled with dynamic growth for Natural Awakenings of Bucks and Montgomery counties and our readers and contributors in the local, holistic health and wellness community.

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