Where the Sidewalk Starts: Randy Garbin Wants Walkable Communities

walkablejenkintownA walkable community is a healthier community, says Jenkintown resident Randy Garbin, who leads his community by turning the intricacies of local policy into opportunities for residents to effect change. His website, WalkableJenkintown.com, is a call to action, putting the spotlight on Borough issues and offering practical solutions that make the pedestrian the priority.

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Learn to Access New Spiritual Chakras

eb_elizabethjoyce_1116Participants in a two-day workshop entitled The New Spiritual Chakras and How To Work With Them, given by Elizabeth Joyce, will learn to access their higher self, connect with second dimension consciousness and third dimension reality, and expand perception to better access these energies and apply them to spiritual chakras. It will be held from 7:30 to 9 p.m., November 11, and 1:30 to 4:30 p.m., November 12, at the Hotel Roosevelt in New York City. Content is based on her books Ascension: Accessing the Fifth Dimension and The New Spiritual Chakras and How To Use Them.

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Giveaways at Grand Opening of Mind-Body-Soul Boutique

eb_spiritualdawn_1116Spiritual Dawn MBS Wellness, a mind-body-soul merchandise boutique and wellness center in Bristol, celebrates its grand opening by offering visitors a weekend of giveaways that include herbal tea tastings, angel card readings, raffles and product samples. Festivities will run from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m., on November 5 and 6.

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TRAINING AFRICA’S YOGA TEACHERS: How an Innovative, International Yoga Program Is Creating Jobs and Building Communities in Nairobi


by Sarah Grey

“I’m of service, leaving others in their greatness.”

That’s how Patrick Kiragu speaks of his work with the Africa Yoga Project (AYP).

Life in bustling Nairobi, Kenya, can be stressful—and for poor youth and those from marginalized communities, making a living isn’t easy. When a person is putting every ounce of time and energy into getting by, health and wellness just can’t be a top priority. That’s where AYP comes in. By fostering the yoga and wellness industry in Nairobi, they’re helping young Kenyans build their communities’ health and economies and improve their own lives—including their health, their incomes and their own empowerment—in the process.

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Wary of Whiter Teeth? Considering Safety and Sensitivity

by Hyo Lim

People visiting the dentist frequently want to know, “How can I get my teeth whiter?” Driven by the entertainment industry’s obsession for beauty and youth, Americans are striving for whiter, brighter smiles.

There are a variety of options for achieving whiter teeth. Let’s start by answering these questions: What actually is bleaching? Is bleaching safe? What products are effective, and what products and methods are more natural?

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A Chiropractic Maverick: Dr. Andrew Persky Innovates the Path to Pain Relief

ed_lifealigned-andrewpersky_0616It takes just a few minutes speaking with Dr. Andrew Persky, owner of LifeAligned Upper Cervical Treatment Center, to realize he is not a “typical” chiropractor, nor are his treatment and results typical. His revolutionary work in precise realignment of the craniocervical junction (joint between the head and neck) is changing the way doctors and patients throughout the tri-state area think about pain and how to address its underlying cause without drugs, surgery or their negative side effects. He is changing the lives of people that had lost hope of ever finding relief from debilitating conditions such as chronic headaches, seizures, tremors, post-concussion brain fog and fibromyalgia.

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Co-Ops Come Up: In the Birthplace of the Cooperative Movement, Residents Embrace a Time-Tested Model

by Carrie Jackson and Karen G. Meshkov

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.

coopCooperatively 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

Lowering Overhead, Customizing Care: Karen L. Smith Reimagines the Therapy Model

cs_fullliving_karensmith_0316Industry disrupters like Uber and Airbnb have changed the way customers shop for lodging or for a lift by matching services to potential clients through crowdsourcing. A similar concept is behind Full Living: A Psychotherapy Practice, founded and directed by Karen L. Smith, MSS, LCSW. Smith is setting her own trend by building a local network of personally selected and supervised experts in mental health that are then carefully matched with potential clients.

What makes your business model unique to the mental health care space?
The brilliance of businesses working in this “sharing economy” is their innovative use of people’s pre-existing resources. We took that idea and decided to apply it to therapy. We identified a large number of clinicians in the Philadelphia area that had an existing resource they were up for sharing—namely their own practices. These professionals have existing practices, with their own offices, their own malpractice insurance and clinical supervision. What they lacked was simply an adequate number of referrals to keep their practices full. Like Airbnb and Uber, however, it is not merely a referral service. The client continues to be a Full Living client, but under the care of the individual therapist. Nor is this a traditional fee-for-service system, since, given our low overhead due to shareable resources, the bulk of the client fee goes to the therapist.

How did Full Living come about?
As a national educator on issues of gender/sexuality/orientation/family constellations and, more recently, educating other therapists on enriching their work with analytic theory, I have always secured more referrals than my 20-year private practice could absorb. Rather than simply referring them out to other clinicians, I decided to create a group practice that relies exclusively on seasoned clinicians throughout the city and surrounding areas that I have hand-selected for excellence. This offers a reliable network of psychotherapy services.

What kinds of services does Full Living provide?
Full Living offers a full range of modalities, including individual, couples, family and group therapies from experienced therapists with very different backgrounds, educations, specialties, personalities and styles. These differences, along with my personal initial consult with the client seeking therapy, allow me to make a meaningful match. We assist in coordinating psychiatric services, psychological testing and referral services for other needs, including nutritional counseling and EMDR treatment.

What is Full Living’s approach to treatment?
We know the difference between counseling and therapy. Counseling has its goals to support and validate; to provide advice, suggestions, resources; and to offer motivation for change. Those tactics are great; however, they are not therapy. The terms “therapy” or “psychotherapy” should be reserved for a more complex intervention. Our therapists are trained and attuned to noticing many things that can alert us to information our unconscious might have about what ails us. A good therapist is one who knows the value, from personal history, of facing whatever truths must be faced, with boldness; the Full Living therapists are those kinds of professionals.

Location: Offices located across the Greater Philadelphia area. For more information or to schedule a free, initial consultation, call 215-494-7818, email KarenSmith@FullLiving.com or visit FullLiving.com.

November 2016

Signs of Love: Meg Miller Inspires Her Corner of Wynnewood

megmiller1Wynnewood resident and Natural Awakenings reader Meg Miller posts lawn signs with inspirational messages on her yard on a busy thoroughfare where Penn Road meets the Montgomery Avenue residential and Lancaster Avenue business districts.

Most lawn signs we see are about civic issues. Your signs are much more personal, asking the driver to consider a certain spiritual idea or question. What’s the backstory here?
Eight years ago, there were signs all over my neighborhood about redistricting the high schools. Then a Fast Signs store opened up around the corner from where I live. One day, when I was standing at my kitchen sink doing the dishes, I looked out my window and saw the discarded sign from a play my daughter had been in. All of a sudden the thought popped into my head, “Hey, I could put my own signs out!” I sat down and started listing all the words and concepts related to my spiritual path: love, gratitude, compassion and peace, among others. img_0960Then I began sculpting the words into phrases that could fit on the signs. I would sit and drop deeply inside myself and see what was important that day, what wanted to be expressed. Sometimes the inspiration came from the spiritual book I was reading, and often it was related to what I was studying in the Diamond Approach group I attend.

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Advocacy, Activism & Art: Matthew Pillischer Creates His Own Niche

profile_mattpillischer_cr-ryanbrandenbergCritically acclaimed filmmaker, artist, musician, actor, lawyer, organizer, podcaster: Matthew Pillischer has the sort of talent that’s hard to pin down. Binding it all together is a commitment to justice and a better world.

What are you working on now?
My new project is called The Thread: A Podcast Against Mass Incarceration. This work is like a thread, connecting people and ideas and activities from around the country to try to bring everyone together in ways that can strengthen the movement.

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Yogi Superheroes to Transform 10,000 Lives: Transformation Yoga Project Needs You

by Julie Vitto

yogisuperheroYoga means “union”, and when yogis unite, the strength of the community multiplies. This month, Transformation Yoga Project (TYP) presents an opportunity to join forces with partner studios in support of its annual fundraising campaign, “Yogi Transformers”, to transform 10,000 local lives affected by trauma, addiction and incarceration.

TYP is a nonprofit organization that teaches trauma-sensitive and mindfulness-based yoga via partnerships with local addiction treatment centers, prisons, Veterans Health Administration hospitals and yoga studios.

During the month of November, Transformation Yoga Project and its partner studios will seek donations to fund its programs for 2017, with the goal of raising $50,000. Donors can give as little as $5 to impact one life or as much as $5,000, which pays for one year of classes, to impact 1,000 lives.

“The larger goal of TYP is to make yoga accessible to people affected by trauma,” says Blakey Elkart Kornfeld, an instructor at TYP specializing in trauma-sensitive yoga. Kornfeld leads two donation-based, trauma-sensitive classes at partner studio Twisters Wellness Centers and is hosting a Gratitude class on Thanksgiving day. Proceeds go to TYP and other nonprofit programs that support addiction recovery.

Yogi Transformers can boost TYP’s transformational powers this month in the only major fundraiser it holds each year. TYP will also participate in #Giving
Tuesday, on November 29, as part of a global day of online giving. Donations collected go directly back into the communities of Montgomery and Bucks counties through increased programming and the expansion of existing programs.

Ways in which yogi superheros can flex their muscles in support of TYP during the campaign are many. By forwarding campaign emails to clients, sharing and retweeting posts made from TYP’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts, especially around #GivingTuesday, or connecting with a local partner studio or instructor, anyone can be a part of this heroic effort.

“We always need mats,” adds Kornfeld. “We let people take them so they can continue their practice at home, which is great, but then we need another mat!”

Natural Awakenings readers are encouraged to use their powers for good during this month of giving thanks and save a life, or 10,000, in need of transformational healing.

Send checks to: P.O. Box 762, Kennett Square, PA 19348, or click “DONATE” at Facebook.com/TransformationYogaProject or TransformationYogaProject.org. For more information and to discuss other ways to contribute, call 267-362-9216 or email Lynn@TransformationYogaProject.org.

Julie Vitto is a Pennsylvania-based writer and editorial associate to Natural Awakenings BuxMont. Connect at Julie.Vitto@gmail.com.

November 2016

A Farewell Tribute

larry-levine_cmykNatural Awakenings Publishing Corporation’s family of 95 magazines bid a fond farewell to company President Larry Levine, with many joining in on a call and sending notes, prayers and good thoughts prior to his passing on September 23. Levine enthusiastically contributed his all with a host of talents focused on forwarding our collective mission of providing publishers and readers with the tools needed to help us all create a healthier, more sustainable world together.

Founder and CEO Sharon Bruckman honors her partner, saying, “Our home office and publishers are truly saddened to lose the beautifully loving, guiding light that Larry generously shared with us throughout the past 12 years. His impact on our lives and Natural Awakenings‘ success will continue to bless our readers. We will miss him dearly.”

Natural Awakenings Publishing Corporation’s home office is located in Naples, FL. Visit NaturalAwakeningsMag.com, or call 239-434-9392 for more information.