Try a News Fast!

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Try a News Fast!

The 24/7 media is constantly bombarding us with information! Real news, fake news, one sided news, sensational news, corporate influenced news, anything to grab at our attention and pull at our heart strings.  

How are we supposed to find our center when everything is tying to pull us in different directions. Taking a break from the news can be an amazing way to get back to center which will ease anxiety, calm stress, and renew your spirits. 

I'm not saying that you should unplug and become uninformed about the state of the world. We are all in this together. However, a periodic news fast will give us clarity and help bring a certain ease and perspective back into our hearts and minds. 

The How-To is simple:

1. Decide to take a break from the news (radio, papers, magazines, internet news, conversations) for one to two days.

2. Note down how you are feeling and pay attention to any changes that you notice!

After your news fast, decide how you want to reintegrate the news back into your life. You may want to be more specific about your sources or limit your exposure.

And finally, remember to be the change you want to see in the world!

Lots of love,

Lance

meditation news fast

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Yummy & Nutritious Chia Seed Pudding (vegan, paleo)

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Yummy & Nutritious Chia Seed Pudding (vegan, paleo)

chia seed pudding

My best friend Wendy recently made me Chia Seed Pudding! It was soooooo good!!! This pudding is delicious, nutritious, great to take with your probiotics (belly bacteria love the fiber!) and easy to make!

This recipe is:

  • gluten free,
  • sugar free,
  • paleo and 
  • vegan!

Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 2 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardomom
  • 1/2 tsp cacoa nibs
  • Optional fresh raspberries and blueberries to 

Instructions:

  • Mix all the ingredients together in a mason jar or glass bowl
  • Refrigerate  for 1-2 hours (or at the very least 30 minutes)
  • If you wish add your fresh berries!

ENJOY!!!

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Holistic Beauty. The Art of Cosmetic Acupuncture

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Holistic Beauty. The Art of Cosmetic Acupuncture

Holistic Beauty Cosmetic Acupuncture at Village Wellness is a safe, natural way to slow down the aging process and rejuvenate your look. Our style of  cosmetic acupuncture has a very natural look. If you are  looking for an alternative to Botox or other fillers, interested in feeling beautiful inside and out, and able to commit to the 10 session series, Holistic Beauty Cosmetic Acupuncture is for you! 

What is unique about Cosmetic Acupuncture at Village Wellness?
2 words: Holistic Beauty. Our holistic approach means that you will ALWAYS receive a full mind/emotion/body/spirit balancing treatment along with the cosmetic acupuncture. Our goal is to have you feel beautiful from the inside out. Beautiful mind, beautiful heart & beautiful body.  

Read more about Cosmetic Acupuncture and Book Online!

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$35 Community Acupuncture at Village Wellness

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$35 Community Acupuncture at Village Wellness

If you are looking for affordable and easy to access acupuncture, this is it!

During your sessions you will share a beautiful healing space with up to 5 other patients. This helps us keep the cost down for you. Our awesome team of Licensed Acupuncturist will tend to your needs and help you feel better. If you would prefer a private treatment, we have that too. 

Are you ready to try it out? 
We have made the process super simple!
Just head to the community Acupuncture page for the whole scoop !

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National Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AOM) Day.  Oct 24th

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National Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AOM) Day. Oct 24th

October 24 marks National Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AOM) Day. 

It is part of an effort designed to increase public awareness of the progress, promise, and benefits of acupuncture and Oriental medicine.

DId you know?

  • An estimated 38% of US adults use some form of alternative medicine*
  • 1 in 10 US adults has used acupuncture at least once**
  • 60% of those who have used acupuncture would consider it again for treatment options**
  • 48% of those same people were either “extremely” or “very” satisfied with their treatment***

Resources

* https://nccih.nih.gov/research/statistics/2007/camsurvey_fs1.htm
** http://www.acupuncturetoday.com/mpacms/at/article.php?id=28126
*** http://www.aomday.org

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How to bring Shamanism into Your Life Right Now

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How to bring Shamanism into Your Life Right Now

By Amy Mermaid Isakov

Shamanism is a word many people use to mean a variety of things but for my purposes, it means a way of walking in the world that recognizes that all things, great or small, have a soul and are inherently part of one web, one life. It's a path and practice of honoring and relating with both the seen and unseen from a place of LOVE!

A simple way to bring this awareness into your life is by reclaiming a simple, possibly daily, ritual - the shower.

SHOWER RITUAL

  1. Offer Gratitude to the Water 
  2. Invite it to clean away that which is not yours and no longer serves you

These 2 simple steps transforms your shower into a shamanic experience. They restore to awareness the Magic of Reality. 

You can watch me talk about this as well as a few other things (in concert with the slightly chaotic presence of my daughter) below.

In the video I talk about:

  • Why Shamanism is relevant for our world
  • My experience of a radical awakening on a meditation retreat
  • Some time ago, I realized I was so much more willing to experience grief and heart ache. So while I have great capacity to experience sadness, I realize needed an equal or greater capacity to experience joy, love and beauty.  

Shamanism restore the narrative of mystery, magic and healing in the world. Today’s problems stem from disconnection. Most people believe that we are separate from our surroundings and I believe that this is why they can wreak havoc and do harm.  It’s a disease.  

The Universe is primed to support us in remembering who we are and what our capacities are.

It's our birthright to connect with the Divine so let's bring our intention there. In order to do that we must create the space, a moment to carve out of time and shift our focus.  

I hope you take some time to honor yourself and this miraculous world we live in, whether it be in the shower, in the space of a breath, or in a weekend with me.

Hope to see you soon!

Amy

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A Practice of Connection When You are Feeling Overwhelmed

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A Practice of Connection When You are Feeling Overwhelmed

It would be hard not to feel a sense of overwhelm when reading or watching updates about world events these days—from catastrophic weather to the testing of nuclear weapons to proposed policy changes in healthcare and human rights. 

The most important thing to know is that being able to “feel” this overwhelm is a beautiful sign of how well your system is working. I would be worried if someone told me that they didn’t feel anything in response to things that are going in the world these days. 

That said, it can feel like too much. When it does, take these 4 steps: 

body scan meditation

connect with your body

1. Connect with your body.

Take a moment and notice what this feeling is like for you. Where does it sit? In your gut, in your heart, in your head? Try a simple body scan: sit or lie down on a blanket, a soft rug or a yoga mat and say each body part aloud, starting with your toes and going all of the way up to the crown of your head. Notice how each part feels. Another option is to use Village Wellness' free 5-minute body scan.  

In a quiet space (this can be anywhere: the shower, sitting outside, under the covers, in your car in a Wawa parking lot), consider the information that you got from connecting with your body. Are you someone who gets the “feels” in your gut? Maybe a pit in your stomach; an unsettled feeling deep inside? Or, are you someone who processes overwhelm in your brain by seeking answers to questions about how we got here and worrying about what is coming next. Or, perhaps you simply don’t know where it all lies—you just know it’s in your body somewhere. 

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honor yourself

 2. Honor yourself. 

Wherever this overwhelm lands in you, honor that space. Place your hands on your belly and send it gratitude for the way in which it serves as a vessel for your experiences, especially those that feel like they are too much to handle sometimes. Remind your gut that it is doing exactly what it is designed to do—send you signals when the big “feels” are happening, They are everything from falling in love to sensing imminent danger. Thank it for allowing you to feel all of this—for giving you the experience of being so alive and connected to the world you live in. 

Similarly, wrap your hands around your head and send gratitude to your exquisite mind—the space where your magnetic poetry kit creates all sorts of questions, stories, predictions, worries and what-ifs. Thank it for its ability to manage so many feelings and so much data with grace and creativity. Specifically honor its ability to bring the dark alive and not allow you to hide from the reality of human suffering that comes from hurricanes and fires. Celebrate the ways in which it connects you with the universality of human suffering, even to those whose magnetic poetry sets have entirely different sets of words.

just breathe

breathe

3. Breathe. You are okay. Your feelings of overwhelm are normal—they are expected responses to unexpected events. 

holistic psychotherapy main line

connect with others

4. Connect with others.

Close your eyes and notice which sentient being (or beings) comes into your consciousness—it might be a human, a pet, a tree, your garden. Make a plan to connect with that being today or in the days to come. A call, a hug, a silent walk, a letter or a text. “I’m feeling pretty overwhelmed with all that’s going on in the world right now. I don’t necessarily want to talk about it, but I would like to connect.”

Know that your act of reaching out to connect with others will likely be just as soothing to them as it is to you—maybe even more so. 

With abundant love for all that you are, 

Dr. Page
Holistic Psychotherapist , Yoga Teacher


Learn More About Dr. Page

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Re-Calibrating with Deep Nourishment... and Healing Trauma

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Re-Calibrating with Deep Nourishment... and Healing Trauma

By Antanas Vainius, Nourishment Coach

Living in a processed food culture, our bodies and our minds have lost the ability to perceive what is truly nourishing.  We can easily trick ourselves by believing what advertising tell us -- that what is nourishing is actually only temporarily and momentarily satisfying.  Access to that deep wisdom that our bodies have is key as we navigate how to regain/maintain our health, cultivate wellbeing and open up to our true potential. 

processed foods

Many of us are so removed from the healing power of deep nourishment that often it is hard to imagine what intrinsic wisdom lies in real food. The life force in these foods can be awakened which animates their life-giving nutrients and helps awaken our cells to a level of vitality that manufactured, lab-created foods cannot.  Metaphorically, processed food that employs non-traditional preparation techniques does not speak the language of the body or our cells. The body does not know how to engage with these 'foreign' substances. Normally these foreign substances are tagged as invaders and efficiently scuttled away.  I’m talking about synthetic foods that don’t have any resemblance to foods that previous generations would put on their tables.

nutrition acupuncture mainline

There is something profound that happens when we experience being deeply nourished. We experience, remember a new baseline. In fact we get to remember what satisfaction feels like - deep, belly-soothing, bone-filling satisfaction - not the glamourized fake Coke fix. The slight of hand has become even more sophisticated and defies detection,  distracting us from our deep hunger -- and birth right - for nourishment.  Eating food that is properly prepared -- soaked, sprouted, fermented, etc -- helps our bodies remember what true food is supposed to taste like and feel in our bodies, eliminating the need for things like heart burn medication. Food is not supposed to be dangerous and unfamiliar, and its digestion does not need to create discomfort  for the body. In a way this discomfort can be understood as a trauma for the body.  In a reverse engineering kind of way, learning what ease, comfort, and relief feels like gives us an embodied - in the body - understanding of how nourishment feels. So any food that doesnt feel that way, isn't nourishing, but stressing.  Such long-term stress can lead to deprivation, deep hunger, numbness, hopelessness,  and general despair that safe nourishing food does not exist.

This baseline of embodied food trauma can set the stage and makes us tolerant of other trauma because it prepares our bodies and psyches for accepting anything but ease, comfort and goodness from our interactions with the world, and then becoming distrustful of the ease when we do have it.

nutrition philadelphia

We have an opportunity to recalibrate with true  nourishment.  The path of discovering real nourishment can offer you tremendous if not momentary relief from a life of trauma and stress, and a reminder in the intrinsic goodness of your body and our world, and its capacity to heal, rebuild and recover. 

The possibility of remembering what deep goodness is only a bite away.   


nutrition+mainline.jpeg

Antanas Vainius, Nourishment Coach is a deeply gifted wizard of nutrition and nourishment, knowing how to make change and healing easy, delicious and fun. His knowledge extends into somatics, energy psychology and breathwork which he uses to help clients move through blocking beliefs and stuck emotion to return to ease and flow.

Get in touch, email Antanas.

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Yoga Yoga Yoga

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Yoga Yoga Yoga

Hi all!

Hope you are having a fantastic weekend! I've been out in Colorado this past week enjoying time with friends and family. The mountain air, farm fresh food, and rainbows, does a body, mind, & spirit good! (here are some pics on Instagram). 

It's been great to get away, but I'm missing my Village Wellness family and can't wait for all our Fall Happenings!!! The biggest of which is.......

VILLAGE YOGA
Weekly Yoga Classes!

What makes Village Yoga different from other yoga studios?

HOLISTIC YOGA
All of our classes are holistically focused, meaning the focus is not only on the physical body, but also on subtle energy & depth of soul.

UNIQUE STYLES with Teachers/Healers
Each experienced teacher brings a unique essence and style to their classes. All of our teachers also have holistic healing private practices so they are particularly attuned to an integrative perspective!

JUDGEMENT FREE ZONE
Everybody is welcome! Everybody is respected and the class atmosphere is totally judgement free. All sizes, shapes, colors, creeds, genders, and abilities are welcome.  

ALL LEVELS
Classes are for all levels and beginners are encouraged to join!

SMALL CLASS SIZE
We keep our class size small so we can give as much individual attention as possible. 

VILLAGE YOGA SCHEDULE
note: Stu's Tuesday & Wednesday classes have already begun and the rest start September 11th! Class size is limited so please reserve your spot!

Mondays:

Amy's Yoga with a Heart - 9:30-11:00 AM
Soulful Flow with Page - 7:00-8:15 PM

Tuesdays:
Raja Yoga Evening Flow with Stu - 6:00-7:15 PM

Wednesdays:
Raja Yoga Morning Flow with Stu - 6:00-7:15 AM

Thursdays:
Amy's Yoga with a Heart - 7:30-8:30 PM

Note: It is important to reserve your spot using our Online booking system

For Full Class Descriptions and to
Reserve your Spot visit the Village YOGA page!

We also have some other fantastic fall happenings coming up!!!! Including:

Thank you so much for being part of Village Wellness. We are all so honored to be able to share the work we love with you and to be in service to our awesome community!


lots and lots of love,

Lance

Lance Isakov, M.Ac., L.Ac., Dipl.Ac., CYT
Village Wellness. a little healing oasis on the main line.
(610) 203-3747


Other announcements: 

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I got bitten by a deer tick.... now what?

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I got bitten by a deer tick.... now what?

Yup, I pulled the little deer tick off of my belly .  I thought about saving the tick,   but was hoping it wouldn't matter. You can send the little buggers off to be tested for Lyme Disease or other infections which can really help in a diagnosis and treatment, but like I said, I didn't do that this time.

Whenever I see a tick, I pray it's not a deer tick. Lyme's Disease is mainly transmitted by deer ticks and it's no laughing matter. I have too many patients who suffer from this incredibly destructive bacteria. My hope is that the more people who know about this disease and the more seriously they take it, the less people will suffer. Before I tell you my course of action, you need to know that I'm not someone who jumps to antibiotics for a cure. In fact I think that they're generally over used and cause a lot of problems — but if a deer tick is involved, I want act as swiftly and as strongly as I can — and that means antibiotics. 

Unfortunately, this was not my first bite. About 8 years ago, I had early onset symptoms of what seemed to be Lyme:  fever, chills, sweating, and unusual drowsiness. My wife asked me if I had been bitten and I actually found the tick under my arm while driving! I took immediate action. After a full course of antibiotics and Chinese herbs, I felt much better and hoped I was in the clear for good. 

This time, I had no immediate symptoms, except a rash around the bite, not even the classic bullseye. It looked more like a giant mosquito bite, but red. After a few days, when it didn't go away, I got worried. I checked in with my Doc and she recommended a 30 day course of antibiotics, which I am currently on.

I have so many patients who struggle with the long term effects of tick born diseases like Lyme and I am all too aware of the mysterious, bizarre, and harsh symptoms that a little tick bite can potentially bring. 

In the spirit of 'better safe than sorry', I am writing to share one possible course of action.  If you've found a tick on yourself, please contact your doctor right away.  More and more MDs are beginning to take Lyme and other tick born diseases seriously and the faster you take action, the more likely you'll be to have a clean bill of health.

Here's what I did when I got bitten by a tick, along with some of what I wish I'd done: 

1. Stayed Calm

2. Carefully pulled the tick out with tweezers placed under its head. Try not to squeeze the body of the tick as it could release its stomach contents into you.

3.  I should have saved the tick in a baggie. You can send the tick off to be tested for Lyme. 

4. I noticed a rash. It wasn't the classic bullseye, but it lingered and didn't go away after a few days, so I got concerned.

5. Used medicinal grade essential oils of Rose, Helichrysum, and Laurel leaf locally on the bite. You can do this a few times a day. I unfortunately only did it a couple times. 

6. Called my doctor.  If you get worried, you have a bullseye rash, a rash that seems to grow, a fever, pain, or flu-like symptoms. 

essential oil mainline

7. ***Note: this is where you go see your doctor and they advise you - I'm not a doctor and don't prescribe or advise about medication. 
My doc prescribed me:

  • a 30 day course of Doxycycline (antibiotic - 100mg taken twice a day) along with
  • Nystatin (anti-yeast) to be taken with the Doxy. This prevents non-beneficial organism from flourishing in the gut in the absence of healthy bacteria.  
  • Probiotics to be taken 3 hours after the Doxycycline. This also helps to maintain healthy guy flora.

8. Get  acupuncture:  Acupuncture is amazing at helping the body heal itself and easing any adverse symptoms of the drugs and tick stuff! Plus I'm an acupuncturist and I love acupuncture, so... I'll be at receiving Acupuncture this week. I heard there was a great place nearby.....

9. When  I'm done the antibiotics, if I am not feeling like myself, I will start taking Chinese Herbs. In the past I've used a combination of Lightning and Thunder Pearls from Classic Pearls. Read this awesome article on Chinese Medicine and Lyme  by founder and herbalist Heiner Fruehauf.

note: There is an interesting study on Stevia helping Lyme in petri-dishes. But it has not been tested on humans yet and I have no idea about dosing etc. 

All in all, I trust I will be just fine, because I'm taking fast and strong action against this invasive disease.

I hope this is of some help to you and/or your loved ones on this journey.

If you have any questions or are interested in acupuncture treatments  feel free to reach out via email. 

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Welcoming Dr. Page & Introducing... VILLAGE YOGA!

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Welcoming Dr. Page & Introducing... VILLAGE YOGA!

I hope you are keeping cool on this sweltering day!

chinese medicine philadelphia

Did you know that in Chinese Medicine, Watermelon is an herbal remedy for too much heat in the body?! 

It rehydrates, refills electrolytes, cools the system, and promotes urination. Watermelon also calms the spirit and can help with anxiety! PLUS its delicious! Hint: The best watermelons sound hollow when knocked on! 


Read More Holistic Health Tips to Stay Cool.

Version 2

Speaking of cool, we are so happy to welcome our new Holistic Psychotherapist, Dr. Page Buck, to The Village Wellness practice.

Page is now accepting new Holistic Psychotherapy & Wellness Partnering clients on Thursdays and Saturdays. If you know anyone who may benefit from this work, please share. Page is one of the most experienced and deeply caring holistically-minded therapists in Philadelphia. LEARN MORE

best of the mainline acupuncture holistic medicine
Mainline yoga

Page is going to also be part of our spectacular NEW team of Yoga teachers that will be forming VILLAGE YOGA. Page will be joining Stewart SnyderMary Mayer, and Amy Gordon of Amy's Yoga with A Heart to offer yoga classes in Berwyn. Our schedule starts in Mid-August with 5 weekly classes! Our class size will be limited so if you are interested, we are encouraging folks to sign up in advance!  LEARN MORE

Lastly, I want to thank our fans [Seriously!! Thank you guys sooo much!!] for choosing Village Wellness for Best Holistic Medicine on the Mainline 2017. We feel so honored to have been chosen!

Thank you for your continued support!!!
Much love,
Lance

Lance Isakov, M.Ac., L.Ac., Dipl.Ac., CYT
Village Wellness. a little healing oasis on the main line.
(610) 203-3747

P.S. Just a gentle reminder to patients booking evening appointments, please feel free to schedule a few weeks ahead as those spots are filling up quickly. Thanks!
 

 

Other announcements: 

  • NEW! Holistic Psychotherapy & Wellness Partnering with the deeply skilled Dr. Page Buck. Wellness is a lifelong journey that often ebbs and flows through the stages and phases of life. The paths we take to sustain wellness evolve as life commitments change, as health needs arise, and as healing practices emerge...Read More.
     
  • NEW! Acupuncture Facials! These mini-cosmetic sessions are aimed at preserving the face, brining color to the face, and brightening the eyes! Perfect for getting reading for a special occasion! Learn More.
     
  • $35 Community Acupuncture happens Tuesdays, Wednesdays & Thursdays. Scheduling last minute? call us at 610-203-3747. Don't forget your "frequent flyer" card and get your 11th session for free!

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How Acupuncturists Treat Menopause and Its Symptoms

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How Acupuncturists Treat Menopause and Its Symptoms

How Acupuncturists Treat Menopause and Its Symptoms
By Alicia Shulman, L.Ac., Dipl.Ac

Key Takeaways from this article:

  • East Asian medicine views menopause as a natural part of the aging process
  • Menopause does not have to be symptomatic
  • Acupuncture works to bring the body back in balance, thereby easing symptoms
  • Dietary & lifestyle advice: omega-3 fatty acids, herbal infusions, and energy medicine

Acupuncturists and Doctors of Oriental Medicine view menopause as a woman’s normal physiological transition to a nonreproductive stage—a natural course of aging.(1) In fact, Linda Joy Stone, OMD, L.Ac., Dipl.Ac., proposes that menopause slows the aging process by conserving the body’s vital essence that would normally be lost each month.(2)

Rather than considering it as a hormonal deficiency, acupuncturists characterize menopause as a decline in Precious Essence and a corresponding increase in yang energy. Precious Essence is a form of energy that the Chinese call prenatal energy, which is stored in the kidneys, and it bestows elasticity and strength to the tissues, regenerative properties to the body, and enhances fertility and libido.(3) 

If we take care of ourselves, the menopausal years can be a time of great vibrancy, enjoyment, and productivity. Once their cycles have ceased, many women find that they have more energy, have a clearer sense of who they are and what they want, and they find it easier to speak their minds. Lesley Tierra, L.Ac., writes: “This can be a rich time, and deep inward direction can come out of it.”(3)

acupuncture women's health

According to East Asian medical theory: 

  • Kidney yin deficiency is responsible for the most common menopausal symptoms: thinning hair, reduced menstrual periods, vaginal dryness, hot flashes, night sweats, dizziness, tinnitus, itchy skin, insomnia, and joint soreness. 
  • Liver qi stagnation produces the symptoms of emotional unease such as nervousness and irritability, as well as constipation, palpitations, and insomnia. 
  • Blood deficiency may present as dizziness, hot flashes, dry skin, insomnia, and also emotional unrest. 
  • Uprising deficient heat is associated with severe symptoms of hot flashes and night sweats, emaciation, and dizziness, nervousness, and irritability. 

How Acupuncture Supports Menopausal Symptoms

Menopause does not have to be symptomatic. The acupuncturist’s goal is always to bring the body and its systems into balance, and thereby reduce the frequency and severity of your symptoms. Your practitioner will diagnose your personal imbalances by questioning you about your symptoms and lifestyle, taking your pulses, and examining your tongue. Common treatment strategies for menopausal symptoms include supporting the kidneys, clearing stagnation from the liver, promoting blood flow and volume if necessary, and clearing any signs of excess heat in the body.

Dietary Support

As holistic practitioners, acupuncturists usually make dietary recommendations to support women through their transition. These generally include: 

  • Eliminating stimulants such as caffeine, chocolate, and alcohol, as well as refined foods such as flours and sugars, and processed foods such as fried foods. 
  • Foods that support the body during menopause include whole grains, dark leafy greens, lots of cooked vegetables, seaweeds, and small amounts of fish and animal protein. 
  • It is important at all ages to make sure our intake of essential fatty acids (EFAs) is balanced. Most people who eat a standard American diet are deficient in omega-3 EFAs and consume too much omega-6 and omega-9 EFAs due to the consumption of seed oils and grain-fed animal meat. Flax seed oil is one of the riches sources of omega-3 EFAs and also of lignans, a type of beneficial phytoestrogen. Flaxseed, which is best consumed ground, is one of the best sources of dietary fiber. If you buy flaxseed pre-ground, make sure it is golden flaxseed, as the dark seeds go rancid too quickly to be of value. Fish oil (and particularly krill oil) is another great source of omega-3 EFAs.
  • Herbal infusions are powerhouses of nutrients that support women’s bodies during all stages of life. Two of my favorites for menopausal women are (1) nettles (Urtica dioica) for their ability to support the adrenal glands, increases energy, help prevent night sweats, build blood, and soothe the liver; and (2) oatstraw (Avena sativa) to strengthen the nerves, ease emotional distress, promote sound sleep, and assist libido. (Eating stone-ground oats is another way to benefit from this plant.) For loads of information about herbal infusions and their benefits, read Susun Weed (www.susunweed.com/).
  • Acupuncturists often encourage patients to eat seasonally. This means including more raw, cooling fruits and vegetables in the warmers months and more cooked, warming foods in the cooler seasons.

Another Form of Energy Medicine

Although acupuncture is one form of energy medicine, there are many others. One of the country’s foremost experts on energy medicine is Donna Eden, whose book Energy Medicine for Women contains valuable information and exercises anyone can do to help support their health and energy on a daily basis. A multitude of Donna’s videos can be found on YouTube for free.

Research that Supports the Efficacy of Acupuncture and TCM for Menopausal Symptoms

A mounting body of published literature supports the efficacy of acupuncture and Chinese herbs for managing the symptoms of menopause. A small study conducted in China found that the use of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine together was as effective as hormone therapy in treating the symptoms of menopause.4 Other studies have suggested that acupuncture alone is more effective at controlling hot flashes than herbal therapies.(5) Furthermore, a qualitative study published in 2009 concluded that women who receive acupuncture treatment for hot flashes may experience many more benefits than reported by the outcome measures in clinical trials.6 Finally, a pilot study of acupuncture versus sham acupuncture found that not only did acupuncture significantly reduce the severity of the subjects’ hot flashes, but it also lowered their levels of LH and raised their levels of estradiol compared to the effects of the sham treatment.(7) 

References 

  1. Maciocia G. Obstetrics & Gynecology in Chinese Medicine. London; Churchill Livingstone. 1999.
  2. Cunningham D. The Moon in Your Life—Being a Lunar Type in a Solar World. Weiser Books; Revised edition (March 1996)
  3. Griffin J. Menopause from the Chinese perspective. The Spirit of Ma’at. http://www.spiritofmaat.com/archive/jun2/chinese.htm. Accessed June 5, 2017. 
  4. Azizi H, Liu YF, Du L, et al. Menopause-related symptoms: Traditional Chinese Medicine versus Hormone therapy. Alt Ther Health Med. Jul/Aug2011;17(4):48-53. 
  5. Nedeljkovic M, Tian L, Ji P, et al. Effects of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine (Zhi Mu 14) on hot flushes and quality of life in postmenopausal women: results of a four-arm randomized controlled pilot trial. Menopause. 2013 May 13. [Epub ahead of print].
  6. Alraek T, Malterud K. Acupuncture for menopausal hot flashes: a qualitative study about patient experiences. J Alt Compl Med. Feb 2009, Vol. 15 Issue 2, p153-158.
  7. Sunay D, Ozdiken M, Arslan H, et al. The effect of acupuncture on postmenopausal symptoms and reproductive hormones: a sham controlled clinical trial. Acupuncture in Medicine. Mar 2011;29:1:27-31.

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FOOD and EATING: AWARENESS & COMPASSION - the most important ingredients on your plate

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FOOD and EATING: AWARENESS & COMPASSION - the most important ingredients on your plate

By Antanas Vainius, Nourishment Coach

As a Nourishment Guide, people come to me looking to change and heal.  By far the most common question I receive is "What do I eat?” 

food awareness

My answer is always the same. There are 2 ingredients that really matter: Awareness and Compassion.  

Initially it may be confusing to have these two 'invisible' ingredients be so central - after all you can't eat them — but you can eat with them. When we bring these two elements into our food, the soul is fed. When the soul is fed, the mind and body will, in time, receive the benefit.

What does it mean to eat with Awareness? It means being aware of where your food comes from, who grew it, and how it was grown or made. Learning about these aspects of our food begins the process of painting a fuller picture of what we are putting into our bodies and how it connects us to the world. 

food compassion

With the ingredient of Awareness, food transforms into nourishment....even a slice of pizza can become a source of goodness and celebration that can feed the soul. 

There are limits to pizza magic though, as you may have suspected.  This is where Compassion comes in to our food choices. Compassion is critical whenever we want to make new and lasting choices. 

If we choose to eat something without Awareness or Compassion, we will likely end up feeling charged in a negative way which can come out sideways. We may blame our spouse, kids, dog, the crazy driver or the red light, but this ultimately becomes an opportunity to explore our relationship to self. 

When it comes to our food choices, Compassion helps us hold ourselves with gentleness, neutrality, and curiosity. These qualities inherently make more awareness possible. When Awareness and Compassion co-arise, vistas of possibility open and our relationship with food can become a playground for pleasure and exploration.

The subject of food, nourishment and eating is so vast. There are spiritual and psychological dimensions, there is individual physiology that impacts our body-mind, not to mention the implications for our planet's body.  

With awareness and compassion we can uncover connections that will allow us to more easily hold the question 'what do I eat?' and find our way toward deep nourishment... without punishment!

The more awareness and compassion we can summon, the greater the potential for true change we can access. 

I want to invite you to join me as we begin to explore....


nourishment coach philly

Antanas Vainius, Nourishment Coach is a deeply gifted wizard of nutrition and nourishment, knowing how to make change and healing easy, delicious and fun. His knowledge extends into somatics, energy psychology and breathwork which he uses to help clients move through blocking beliefs and stuck emotion to return to ease and flow.

Get in touch, email Antanas.

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Try This Simple 4-Minute Acupressure Routine for Seasonal Allergy Relief (Video)

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Try This Simple 4-Minute Acupressure Routine for Seasonal Allergy Relief (Video)

As an acupuncturist, i am always trying to get to the root cause of upsets, and in the case of allergies, I practice a style of acupuncture called NAET (Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Technique). NAET Is a safe and natural approach to detecting and helping to reduce all types of allergies.

When clearing environmental allergies like pollen or hay, it is best to go through the NAET process when those allergens are not around us... ideally in winter. So what can we do in the mean time? 

Well, there are some amazing acupunture points that can help to bring relief to those itchy and watery eyes, sinus pressure, and tickle in the throat. In this short video i go through a 4 minute routine, that should have you feeling much, much better, and making funny faces =)!

I cover 3 main acupuncture points:

Welcome Fragrance: (next to the nostril)
- Opens the nasal passages
- eases itching & sneezing
- Reduces inflammation 

Gathered Bamboo (on medial end of the eyebrow)
- eases itchy & watery eyes
- stops twitching of eyes
- reduces inflammation
- clears sinus pressure

Between the Valley (on the mound between thumb and index finger)
- regulates the face, nose, mouth, & ears
- eases sinus pressure and headaches
- relaxes the face & jaw
- stops sneezing
- reduces inflammation

Enjoy the demonstration!

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Acupuncture for Women's Health & Fertility Support. An Interview with Alicia Shulman, L.Ac.

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Acupuncture for Women's Health & Fertility Support. An Interview with Alicia Shulman, L.Ac.

This is part of a series of interviews I am conducting with practitioners of holistic medicine with the aim of answering this question: "How can we increase our quality of life?” 

I find that people who are drawn to help others tend to be ignited with a deep passion and purpose. These interviews delve into that drive and aim to discover insight and supply tips for living life to its fullest. 

Alicia Shulman is an Acupuncturist with a specialty in Women's Health & Fertility Support. She is currently practicing acupuncture in both Philadelphia and on the Main Line

Enjoy the interview!
Love,
Lance

Q: Alicia, thank you so much for taking some time to answer these questions! Where did you are you from originally?
ALICIA: I’m a local girl! Grew up in Media, PA

Q: What inspired you to become an acupuncturist?
ALICIA: I've always had a deep interest in natural health. I believe in the body's innate ability to heal itself when we give it the right conditions. When I sought acupuncture for my own healing, I discovered that I could feel the energy moving through my body. It made a powerful impression on me, and at the subtle prompting of my acupuncturist, I finally decided to study it.

Q: What did you do before you studied acupuncture?
ALICIA: I worked as a medical editor for 15 years on a magazine for ophthalmologists. Working with doctors—interviewing them for articles about the latest medical innovations, and attending scientific symposia—gave me a unique view into the world of Western medicine. It is undeniable that Western medicine continues to make brilliant advances in all specialties. However, the very model of specialties, coupled with a lack of integration in the delivery of care in this country, results in a piecemeal approach to health/healing that ignores the entirety of a person. This is where East Asian medicine excels: at considering the individual’s needs as a whole person. That is why nutritional and lifestyle counseling is included in acupuncture treatments.

Q: Why do you love being offering holistic medicine to your patients? 
ALICIA: I want people to know that they have effective alternatives to drugs and surgery when they are unwell. Acupuncture is the original "do no harm" medicine, because it does not have the negative side effects that surgery and pharmaceuticals often entail. Sometimes, pharmaceuticals and surgery offer what may seem like a quicker fix to a health issue, but these treatments often have lasting side effects that patients must then manage the rest of their lives. Acupuncture and East Asian herbal medicine may offer an equally effective remedy for a given condition, plus a much better quality of life for the patient long-term. It is certainly worth trying!

Q: What is your primary mission as an acupuncturist?
ALICIA: To help people understand their bodies better so they can take better care of themselves. To help people experience firsthand that everything they eat, every thought they think, and every emotion they feel has either a negative or positive consequence, and that we have the power to make better choices for ourselves. Again, we can choose a better quality of life for ourselves by making healthy, informed choices!

mainline fertility

Q: I know you focus on acupuncture for women’s health and fertility. Can you tell us about that?
ALICiA: Acupuncture is amazing for women. Multiple women I know claim that acupuncture is the only treatment that worked for them after they’d tried everything else. I have known women who haven’t slept well in years finally get a good night’s rest after one treatment. I have seen monthly cycles find their natural rhythm after acupuncture. I have seen countless conditions—stress, anxiety, menopausal symptoms, adrenal fatigue, thyroid issues, hair loss—all managed safely and effectively with acupuncture. 

The needles stimulate a positive interaction between the body’s endocrine, immune, and nervous systems. In the simplest terms, needle stimulation moves qi and blood, and that increased circulation enables all of the body’s tissues to receive nourishment. In Western terminology, studies have shown that acupuncture increases the count of white blood cells and antibodies (boosting the immune system), lowers cortisol (calms the fight-or-flight response), and boosts the secretion of endorphins and the activity of neurotransmitters in the body (thus energizing myriad bodily functions). 

Q: What is your ultimate goal when you are working with your clients?

ALICIA: For them to feel listened to and cared for. I have heard too many horror stories of people being shuffled around the expensive, inefficient, and impersonal American healthcare system. I think people are looking for quality healthcare that is simple, easily accessible, and has something more to offer than pharmaceuticals and/or surgery.

Q: What are 5 healthy lifestyle recommendations you think will help people lead healthier lives?ALICIA: My answers to this are the boring old standards, but there are no substitutes! We must all be responsible for ourselves!

  • Half the battle is avoiding things that harm us! Be mindful of the water you drink, the food you eat, and the products you use on your skin and around your house. 
  • Exercise. This is not optional; it is the best way to prevent aging. Choose something you enjoy, but move your body every day.
  • Get outside. Sunshine and fresh air are necessities.
  • Sleep. Your body needs it. Figure out what works for you so that you get enough sleep of good quality.
  • Work on your relationships. People with healthy relationships live longer, happier, and healthier lives. Along with this: forgive and let go of past hurts. Holding on is only hurting you.

Q: What book do you recommend the most?
ALICIA: Right now, I have three, all of which are valuable tools in today's world.  

  • "Lessons From the Miracle Doctors" by Jon Barron;
  • "The Adrenal Thyroid Revolution" by Aviva Romm, MD; and
  • "Anatomy of the Spirit" by Caroline Myss.

Q: What do you like to do in your free time? what do you like to do for fun?
ALICIA: I love to get outside! Hiking, walking, gardening, exploring new places. I also love to dance. A few times per month I attend a drumming circle, which I love.
 
Q: Do you have a favorite quote?

ALICIA:  I have too many to count! But Perhaps the one I refer to most is from Pema Chodron: "May you be filled with lovingkindness. May you be well. May you be peaceful and at ease. May you be happy."

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Bhakti CranioSacral: An Interview with Stewart Snyder

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Bhakti CranioSacral: An Interview with Stewart Snyder

This is part of a series of interviews I am conducting with practitioners of holistic medicine with the aim of answering this question: "How can we increase our quality of life?” 

I find that people who are drawn to help others tend to be ignited with a deep passion and purpose. These interviews delve into that drive and aim to discover insight and supply tips for living life to its fullest. 

Stewart Snyder is a Craniosacral Therapist practicing on the Main Line, Philadelphia. He has developed a unique style of Craniosacral called Bhakti CranioSacral Therapy

Enjoy the interview!
Love,
Lance

Q: Stewart, thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions. Its sounds like you have had an interesting journey. How did you end up practicing holistic medicine?

STEWART: "End up" is an appropriate phrase. It's been a bit of journey. Five years ago, I quit a really successful corporate career to be a writer. One of the first things I did was take Yoga Teacher Training. While everyone was blown away by the deeper teachings, I just sat thinking "Huh, someone took the way I've been living my life, wrote it down and called it Yoga." I learned about Craniosacral Therapy (CST) there and began that piece of the journey shortly after Teacher Training ended. It's the most fulfilling work I've ever done. Being of service to others and helping them feel happier feels like I've won the job lottery.

Q: Why did you make the switch from a successful Corporate job to working for yourself as a writer?  Can you tell us about the challenges and gifts that came with that switch?

STEWART: This is a can of worms, really. I was always the guy everyone looked up to. I've had a strong "successful" career since my early twenties. I'd learn something on the job that would cause someone would offer me a job with more money or a better title. It was that way for 15 years. It worked... until I realized "success" was not more money. True success is about a fulfilling life... and what I was doing wasn't fulfilling anyone really. 

It was really hard. We're raised to get an education, then get a job, then work for the weekend until you can retire, then try to enjoy your life while you're struggling through everything your life did to your health. Getting out of that mindset was the biggest challenge. Handing in a two-weeks notice with no other job lined up was the hardest thing I've ever done. It shouldn't have been, but when our head is wrapped into one way of thinking, our mind doesn't want to change it. Our brain just isn't designed to do that.

Honestly, the best part - the gift - started with failing at being a writer and finding sustenance doing a hobby. The realization that we don't really know what's going to make us happy, until we experience it, is true freedom. It gives you the permission to just try things that look cool... like teaching yoga... or CranioSacral Therapy... for example.

Q: Now, you developed your own style of CranioSacral Therapy. How did that come to be? 

STEWART: Totally organically, really. I don't even really like to promote that it's my own creation. When I first started doing the CranioSacral work, I found that the biggest feedback came in the spaces where I was stalling, trying to remember the next step in the official protocol. In those spaces, what was really happening was that the body was accepting all the energy without me trying to control what was happening - without me trying to dictate the healing. The body knows what it needs.

I began to create places of stillness within the protocol whenever my intuition (their body, really) seemed to dictate it. It has been natural to draw on the concept that love and compassion can heal and transcend all things (Bhakti Yoga). So, that energy gets folded in.

Q: So, what is your mission with your healing work?

STEWART: You know, some people are trying to change the world. I just want to help our neighbors. What I mean by that is essentially, "doing good" in the world doesn't just come from large sweeping changes. It's in the little daily acts, too. I want to get Linda to the airport on time, help Eunice get her car out of the snow, let Tom out of the parking lot and into traffic. Those "little" things make someone's day and can do even more. Linda's flying to see her mom for the last time. Eunice is a nurse; getting to work to save someone's life. Tom is just trying to get home to raise his kids... to be the type of adult that lets someone into traffic. Showing up in the world isn't just about grandiose change; it's about contributing to the experience of someone else's life. Ultimately,  I love helping people experience bliss in the human experience. This machine - the body & soul - is truly amazing and beautiful. 

Q: What are 3 healthy habits or lifestyle recommendations you want to share with our audience?

STEWART:

  •  Sleep! Work, then rest. We need that rest part.
  • Love this body. Use good fuel and make sure it all moves correctly.
  • Some type of waking time absent from the world. Of course, I'm going to say meditation, but a walk in the woods works, too.

Q: Do you have a spiritual practice? If so what is it?*

STEWART: Ha ha ha. Yeah! It's called yoga. Every minute of every day.

Q: Can you describe what it means to live life like a yogi?

STEWART:  Faith and Ethics. It's that simple. The core teachings of Yoga describe everything as being one - that we are to treat one another, the world around us, and all things as if they are ourselves. Looking at the world from the view that all things are divine is Yoga. Whether it's done through love, action, wisdom, or union doesn't matter as long as it's for the good of all things. Yoga was designed to be practiced in the real world, not shapes confined to a sacred space.

Q: What book do you or would you like to give away most?

STEWART: I always have a copy of the Dhammapada that can be given to someone who feels lost. It's a good place to start.

Q: Do you have a favorite quote?

STEWART: "Trust what you find in yourself to succeed." - L. Kilmister

Q: What are you currently most passionate about?

STEWART: The energy cycle of the soul... and good beer.

Q: Can you tell us what you mean by "energy cycle of the soul"?

STEWART: As the CST work moves forward for me, more and more subtle pieces become visible. Everything is energy. Energy moves in waves. The human body has an energy to it and thus a wave to that energy. Imagine sine and cosine graphs back in Math. Those waves can be all sorts of shapes, but the equation creates a pattern - length, height, amplitude. So, too, the human's wave can, and is, unique to the individual. Some high/low and excited. Some smooth an easy.

A wave of energy that encompasses all pieces of you - the body, the breath, the consciousness, the experience you give others. Sounds like a pretty good definition of the soul, doesn't it?

The way two waves overlay - interact - is how we resonate with others. It's why we feel like home with some people and why others feel like bad ju-ju.

Q: What do you like to do in your free time? What do you like to do for fun?*

STEWART : I think "good beer" answers this question, too.


Stewart is best described as having one foot in the modern world - and one squarely in the old world of mystical healers. The first half of his professional life was in front of a computer supporting systems and infrastructure in what we “typically” define as a great career. This gave him a deep and personal understanding of the health sacrifices our “typical” path requires of us. The second half of his professional life has been devoted to helping you counter those lifestyle demands by decoding old-world magic into contemporary methods.

He first dug into CranioSacral work studying Hugh Milne’s visionary approach. Milne considers the work a spiritual art paired with a sense of awe for the individual. Stewart continued his education with certified training by the Upledger Institute which has a strong focus on the mechanical aspects of the craniosacral system and rhythm. 

You may also find Stewart offering yoga classes teaching the aspects of yoga that shine beyond Instagram and the covers of magazines. His yoga wisdom stems from far more than 200 hours of training and even more than the 1,000 hours of teaching required for the e-RYT designation - it is informed by years of deep inquiry into the history, theory and practice of yoga through svadhyaya, travel and discovery. It turns out, if you immerse yourself, physically, mentally and spiritually in study, you find (almost) all the pearls hidden within.

Drawing on an intimate understanding of what the mystics could never quite write down, Stewart has built his practice into a fully adaptable system designed to couple the mechanical art and spiritual essence of the craniosacral system giving people a more positive experience in the human body.

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Have Allergies? Here are 10 'feel better' tips!

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Have Allergies? Here are 10 'feel better' tips!

Here are 10 suggestions I give to my patients to help relieve their allergies. If you are suffering, try them out and let me know if they help! Also if you have any other suggestions let me know and I will add to this list for everyone!

  • Vacuum weekly with a HEPA Filtered Vacuum cleaner
  • Use a dehumidifier programmed to 50%. Mold cant grow under 60% humidity. 
  • Regularly switch out filters in your ac/heater unit. This will help keep your home's air clean!
  • Close windows during peak allergy season.
  • Use the re-circulate air button in your car on heavy pollen count days
  • Don't track the outside in. Be barefoot at home.
  • Use raw local honey: try 1 teaspoon honey, 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar in warm water!
  • Avoid eating dairy, melon, banana, cucumber, sunflower seeds, and chamomile.These can make allergies worse
  • Use a Neti pot or Saline Spray
  • Use Eucalyptus oil. Create a steam, add 1 drop of oil and inhale.
  • BONUS #11 - get acupuncture! 

Have a beautiful day!

Lots of love,
Lance


Lance Isakov, M.Ac., L.Ac., Dipl.Ac., CYT
Village Wellness. a little healing oasis on the main line.

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Upcoming Holistic Happenings! Yoga, Journeying, Sound, Speaker Series

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Upcoming Holistic Happenings! Yoga, Journeying, Sound, Speaker Series

Hi Everyone! Happy sunny day!! Our Spring events calendar is full of unique opportunities to learn, relax, bliss out, and be with like minded individuals. Heres whats happening:

See you around the Village!
Love,
Lance & the whole Village Wellness crew
Lance Isakov, M.Ac., L.Ac., Dipl.Ac., CYT
Village Wellness. a little healing oasis on the main line.

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Introduction To Shamanic Journeying

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Introduction To Shamanic Journeying

Im not sure if I have expressed how much I love the people I am lucky enough to get to work with at Village Wellness. I am just so grateful to be surrounded by such heart centered practitioners. 

About a year ago, a woman named Stephanie walked into Village Wellness, and said "I just came back from Peru after studying shamanism and I am really attracted to your center and would love to offer my work here. By the way I am also an EMT and Veterinary Nurse."

I had a session with her and was totally wowed - just like pretty much ALL of her clients report! I have witnessed people sitting with her for just 5 minutes, with tears streaming down their face after being touched by her words. A year later Stephanie has a beautiful practice. 

Stephanie is now offering a workshop called An Introduction to Shamanic Journeying and it's guaranteed to be amazing! It will be held on Friday, April 7th from 7:00-9:00 PM. Class will answer the 'What is' and 'How to' of Shamanic Journeying and give you an experience as well. 

This workshop is designed for those brand new to shamanic journeying and will also be suitable for the advanced journeyer. There is always wisdom to be gained as we revisit these ceremonies together. Space will be limited so Stephanie an give each participant the highest level of attention. Please reserve your spot here.

Hope to see you there!

Lots of love,

 Lance & the whole Village Wellness crew

Village Wellness. a little healing oasis on the main line.

P.S. Please check out all of our upcoming event below. thanks <3
Other quick announcements: 

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