Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Demystified by Amber Hollis

29 Jan

Amber L. Hollis, L. Ac, Dipl.OM, a Chinese Medicine Practitioner from the Vitality Center presented an introduction on the ancient, curative and preventative tradition.


Traditional Chinese Medicine or “TCM”, is a functional approach to health where the focus is upon keeping people healthy and enhancing vitality.  Amber discussed the benefits of acupuncture (the physical therapy of the tradition), diet and herbal treatments employed in her practice.
Her discussion included an interesting introduction that made a case for why there are many misconceptions about TCM that come from the mistranslation of 4,000 year-old Chinese texts.  She described a common notion of chi = energy,  as a mistaken translation which has led to an erroneous “Energy Model” of practice.  In Amber’s view, Chi is better understood as “air” or oxygen, while Jing-mai (author’s phonetic spelling) which can be assessed through pulses, describes a distribution system or circulatory system, also once wrongly translated in the 19th century as the  “meridian system”.   She went on to describe the importance enhancing our circulatory system to bring nutrient-rich supplies to all tissues.
Amber’s discussion outlined a fascinating discussion of the mechanism of action at work in the TCM.  Much of the talk was devoted to question and answer, which elicited a great discussion. MomTime members largely volunteered great stories of the benefits of acupuncture they had personally experienced.  Our audience members shared stories of successful treatment of nerve pain, headache, sciatica, infertility, immobility, carpel tunnel syndrome, and anxiety. One woman shared that the treatment was more relaxing than a massage or a nap.  The speaker joked, “so good it will make you drool.”  She has a long list of ailments she is able to treat.

Amber encourages us to discover what vitality feels like.  Check back here for more information.





Developing ‘CORE’ Confidence by Dr Melissa Gressner, PsyD

19 Jan

Melissa Gressner, PsyD, Licensed Clinical Psychologist, kicked off the new fall session with a presentation on the importance ‘CORE’confidence for ourselves.20160115_110729We can model the benefits of strong self-worth for our children.  Melissa used the CORE acronym to open up the topic of confidence building.  CORE represents: Create realistic, positive thinking, Orient to the internal self as opposed to the external world, Reconnect with mind/body/ soul and Excel is to practice these principals until automatic.

She stressed the importance of starting this kind of work with a thoughtful assessment of “the why” to explore our motives.  When one is purposeful or intentional in the effort, success in building confidence is more assured.  Melissa got the group to contribute ideas that motivate our actions.

Confidence is many things: a belief that things will be okay, that “I am enough” that what one does aligns with one’s authentic self, that the self is nurtured by deep reserves, that feeling of being at home in one’s skin, not caring so much what others think, and that we are ‘works in progress’ were ideas elicited by the group.

The talk was full of examples to illustrate the usefulness of the CORE tool in building self-worth.  A favorite success story Melissa shared was about a client’s effort to improve her body image.  By creating a mantra (hers was ” I am made in the image of God. I am beautiful”), setting her sights on internal change (framing her self-talk), reconnecting with a sense of self (what resonates in order to help her feel herself again, for example, running, not yoga, brings her joy), and excelling- putting into practice the process-she was able to make great progress in feeling whole about her body.

To learn more, visit Dr Melissa Gressner’s website.


New Session Beginning

9 Jan

See the Spring Schedulemomtime flier spring 2016 for image copy

December ReCap

23 Dec


It has been a busy month for MomTime!

Amy Usalavage organized a successful holiday bake sale benefiting our fall service project Harvesting Hope, raising funds for Prader-Wili research AND a scholarship fund for Momtime participants  supporting members in the group.  Over $1000 was raised toward these goals.

Our own Jill Eleson, Certified Holistic Health Coach, got us ready for self care and good spiritual and physical hygiene with a presentation called ” Why Am I Toxic?” that explores to handling different types of toxicity.  Highlights to follow.  Please see her helpful site.

Tanya and Dave Duffy hosted a holiday party replete with good cheer welcoming the season.

Finally, we enjoyed cookies and conversation during our last session of the season on December 18th.  What a gift to enjoy such fellowship.  

cookie exchange

2015 Holiday Party: a Festive Occasion!

11 Dec

The annual Christmas Party was held at the Duffy home December 5th.  Thank you to Tanya and Dave Duffy and to Kathy Price for hosting and organizing such a fun evening.  As usual, the potluck food and refreshments were wonderful. What a nice way to celebrate the season! Thank you for all who were able to attend.


Why Am I Toxic?

4 Dec

IIN pic

Certified Holistic Health Coach, Jill Eleson, AADP, presented a presentation on how to rid ourselves of toxins enabling each of us to live our most vibrant selves.

Jill’s discussion outlined the common problems that suggest a build-up of toxicity: feeling tired regularly, struggling with digestive issues, persistent skin problems, poor sleep quality, difficulty losing weight.  These issues can be alleviated by holistic practices that can leave you feeling like a whole new person.

Although highlighting the presence of “2 brains”- the gut brain is often overlooked; Jill has a program ” Live Healthy Beyond Vegetables” that includes fun ways to address inflammatory processes in our bodies and toxins in the world around us. Key factors include getting enough sleep, drinking ample water, spiritual hygiene ideas like fostering appreciation and gratitude.  Other things we can do to decrease toxicity are to prioritize “me” time, try a periodic cleansing regime, eat mostly vegetables and nutrient rich foods, decrease stress with essential oils, decrease sugar intake, and increase intake of probiotics.

Also, check out her Wholelistically Nourished.

Click here to view her presentation: Why-Am-I-Toxic_share

Styling Your Husband, for the Holidays and Beyond

22 Nov

Our own Carmen Mix, J. Hilburn Custom Menswear Stylist and former owner of a boutique stationary store among many other things,  presented tips and tricks on how to dress up your spouse.  She stresses that guys ” don’t need a lot of items, just the right items” in the closet. She reviewed information on fit and ideas to dress up a look.


Carmen reviewed the correct method to select proper fit.  For chest size, measure the circumference of the chest to determine the jacket size.  Normally there is a 6 inch drop between waist and hip in all off-the-rack pants.  Shirt length is important in dressing up or down a look.  Untucked shirts are stylish if the tail hangs two inches above the bottom of the zipper.  Dress shirts are usually at or below the bottom of the zipper. Other notable tips: charcoal pants go with everything, undershirts are not to be seen. Also, multiple patterns may be paired if 2 patterns per one solid are at play:  for example a patterned shirt with a solid tie, then a pattern jacket, OR, a solid shirt, patterned jacket and tie.

Check here to see the slides Styling your guy for the Holidays and Beyond for more details on styling tips.  Happy dressing for the holidays and every day!


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