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March 26, 2015



The start of our new Adult Ballet class here at WTWC is quickly approaching. We’ve been so happy to see the excitement around this new offering and can’t wait to see you in class! To help you decide if Adult Ballet is right for you and how best to prepare, we’ve gathered some frequently asked questions and instructor Maegan Beishline has answered them here for you. If you still have questions or would like more information, you can email us or get in touch with us on Facebook!


1. What should I wear to class? 

Wear something comfortable that you can move easily in. I would refrain from super baggy pants, as your foot could potentially get caught in them. I have been wearing standard yoga gear when I practice (yoga pants and a t-shirt). 


2. Do I need ballet shoes?

You definitely don’t need ballet shoes…although if you have your heart set on getting a pair, I say go for it! You may practice barefoot or in socks. I prefer to wear athletic socks as they seem to be less slippery than others and I still have a little cushioning for the bottom of my feet.


3. I can’t make the preview class. Will you be having another one?

Unfortunately the preview class is just that…a preview. But the class will be part of our regular class schedule and will be held Saturdays at 11:15am. The drop in cost for this class is $13, but we offer class packages and monthly memberships as well. 


4. I’ve never taken dance before. Can I still attend?

Absolutely! The class is designed for beginners as well as more experienced dancers. I will be offering modifications and instruction to help all levels have a good experience and get the most out of the class. 


5. Can I use my class package or my unlimited yoga membership towards ballet class?

Yes! Adult Ballet will be treated as any of our other scheduled classes. You may use your 10-class package or unlimited yoga membership towards ballet with no extra surcharge. 


The first class of this new offering at WTWC is FREE! There are just a couple of spaces available in this first preview class. You can pre-register online to secure your space! 


March 23, 2015


by Shawn Clavelle, WTWC Health Coach


America seems to have this obsession with finding that one food, supplement, or

component of a food, that will magically make them feel better. People are becoming so

desperate for these “secrets” that when Dr. Oz makes a suggestion for

supplementation, health food stores are bombarded with orders for these products. So

what is it that people are looking for? What are we lacking that makes us crazy for

anything that is said to improve our health?


Well, the answer is complicated, but also very simple: the Standard American Diet

(S.A.D.) is nutritionally bankrupt. We are also overworked and stressed which leads to

inadequate sleep and rest. Our bodies are not designed to work fifteen hours a day,

especially when those hours are mostly sitting at a desk and looking at a computer

screen. Elizabeth Somer, nutritionist and author of Food and Mood, Nutrition for a

Healthy Pregnancy, and The Essential Guide to Vitamins and Minerals, says that in her

opinion, 50% to 70% of suffering could be eliminated by what people eat and how they

move. Even if you are eating a healthy diet, adding superfoods to your diet can make

an enormous difference in the way you feel and can aid in combatting certain lifestyle

induced illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and high blood pressure.

I use the theory of “crowding out” when it comes to losing weight or eating healthier.

Get more of the good and the bad will fade away or become significantly reduced.

Getting more of the good can include superfoods to give you an additional nutrient

boost. Superfoods are defined as a category of foods found in nature that are calorie

sparse and nutrient dense. They contain superior sources of antioxidants and essential

nutrients we need but cannot make ourselves.


I am going to highlight a few of the more popular superfoods that are pretty solid in

terms of the research that has been done to back up certain health claims. Keep in

mind that there is no formal process to the classification of a superfood and anyone can

make a health claim. Because of the exploding supplement industry, there have been

many false claims when it comes to these foods and lawsuits that have ensued.

Nutrition is an ever-changing and controversial science so if a claim seems too good to

be true, it probably is, however, it does not diminish the power some of these foods

have on health.


1. Coconut Oil: Saturated fat had been demonized for a while starting in the 90’s, but

has made a comeback as research began to disprove many of the myths surrounding

it. Coconut oil is a great example of a healthy saturated fat source. The body quickly

converts it into energy and it can help you lose weight. It contains lauric acid which is

especially important and rare because the only other natural source of this is in

human breast milk.


2. Blueberries: High in antioxidants and phytoflavonoids (natural chemicals found in

plants to protect them), blueberries also contain potassium and Vitamin C. They

have anti-inflammatory properties that make them very powerful in fighting chronic



3. Raw Cacao/Dark Chocolate: One of my favorites and packed with antioxidants,

cacao may help lower blood pressure as well. If you use raw cacao, it is 100% pure.

A dark chocolate bar, for example, has fat and sugar added to make it more

appealing to the taste buds. The darker, the better, and the darker the chocolate, the

less fat and sugar they need to add. Try for 60% or higher to reap the maximum

benefits of this delicious treat.


4. Maca: A Peruvian plant coming into popularity, the nutritional value is in it’s root.

The root is dried and sold mostly in a powder or flour form. It is said to be an

aphrodisiac, increasing fertility, energy, and vitality. Other benefits include alleviating

menopausal symptoms and correcting hormonal imbalances.


5. Turmeric: A plant of the ginger family, turmeric is native of Southwest India and is

mainly used in the United States as a dried spice, the main spice in curry that gives it

that bright orange-red color. It has been documented to have a number of health

benefits including regulating the menses, aiding digestion, dissolving gallstones, liver

decongestion, and overall healing of trauma or injuries.


6. Goji Berries: I debated including goji berries because of the several documented

false health claims, but I don’t like to rule something out all-together just because a

few companies threw some false statements out there. Also known as the wolfberry,

goji berries are usually sold in a dried form and can be made into an herbal tea or

used in baking or smoothies. The important thing to remember with this berry is that

it has a high interaction rate with other medicines. These interactions can be

potentially harmful so it’s important to rule these out with your doctor before using



These are just a few of the many foods classified as superfoods. One of the best

sources of micronutrients are dark leafy green vegetables. You can eat them as is or

buy them in a concentrated powder form at many health food stores and add them to

smoothies. Superfood smoothies are a great way to lose weight when part of a healthy

diet so experiment with different recipes that suit your taste. You can also bake with

many of these foods for an added nutritional punch.


If you are struggling to stay healthy or need guidance in making a change, consider

speaking with a Health or Nutrition Coach. We offer 30-minute FREE consultations.

Health is wealth so invest in your health and be the best YOU you can be!


Shawn Clavelle earned her bachelor’s degree in Nursing from the University of Vermont. She is currently a student at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition working toward certification as a holistic health coach. Shawn’s vast clinical experience and knowledge of the healthcare system makes her proficient at helping others design their own treatment plan through structured goal setting and continuous evaluation of progress. Using a holistic approach with a focus on nutrition, she helps uncover the obstacles to good health and provides simple options for making better lifestyle choices.  


You can learn more about Shawn's Health Coaching & Weight Loss services here.

March 18, 2015



By: Nicole C. Iacovoni, LCSW, Willow Tree Wellness & Counseling, LLC


As a couple’s therapist, I’ve come to recognize some of the common struggles experienced

by married couples, but there is one prevalent problem I have discovered that leaves a bitter taste

in my mouth and sets me on fire. I have heard countless stories about unfair distribution of

responsibilities, discrepancies in decision making power, and inequality surrounding mutual

respect and caring for the family. In most cases, the husband maintains the power, control, and

“light duty”, but not in all. I’ve seen it the other way around too, but in far fewer instances.

Marriage Inequality is a societal problem that has existed for decades, but with the progress

of Women’s Rights and the increase of women in the workplace, one would think the inequality

gap wouldn’t be nearly as wide as it is today. Before I go on a rant about why this is such a

disgusting problem, let me first say that not all marriages are this way. Each marriage is as unique

as each of the people in them, and to overgeneralize and assume that inequality exists in all

marriages would be false. Furthermore, not all men take advantage of their wives or abuse their

power and authority in their relationships. That being said, I have worked with a startling

number of women who have, or still do, encounter the problems I describe here, and the need for

change is great.


So, what does marriage inequality look like? Here are statements I often hear from wives:

“My husband seems to believe his only job is to bring home a paycheck. He goes to work

and provides financially for our family, but when it comes to helping with housework, child care,

cooking, or managing the bills, he’s unwilling to help.”

“ My husband tends to place his own desires before the needs of our family, so I’m often the

one stuck with the majority of the responsibility, and that leaves little to no time for myself ”.

“My husband isn’t present and is often distracted with work, hobbies, spending time with

friends, video games, the computer, or his phone. I receive very little emotional support from


“My husband doesn’t involve me in any of the decision making. I feel out of the loop and

when my husband makes a bad decision, we all pay the consequences. I feel like I don’t have a

say in what happens”.

“Even though I work outside the home, my husband expects me to do all the housework,

keep track of our schedule, and take care of the kids. When we got married, I thought we would

both share the responsibility of contributing income and the responsibility of running a

household and raising a family”.


When I hear these stories as often as I do, it pisses me off. There are so many things wrong

with this picture. I can’t help but wonder, “Where is this problem coming from”? We no longer

live in the 1950’s, a time when gender roles were black and white, and the norm was for men to

bring home the bacon and women to run the household. Yet, it seems that kind of mentality

prevails and stereotypical gender roles remain intact for many marriages, even with the shift of

women working outside the home. Is it the way we’re raising sons that’s contributing to this

phenomena? Are we in some way teaching our little boys they don’t need to concern themselves

with laundry, vacuuming, or changing diapers? Is the problem in the way we’re raising

daughters? Perhaps we’re still instilling the belief in our little girls that their role is to provide for

the needs of each family member, even at the sacrifice of their own. Gender roles are developed

through observation and mimicking, so perhaps the answer lies in the way we model behavior for

our children or in the way behavior was modeled for us growing up. In many two parent working

families, wives are still taking on majority of the household chores. Is it because they saw their

mothers doing this? Did their mothers also work outside the home or were they stay-at-home



No matter what the cause, the problem is a big one. The wives of husbands who aren’t

stepping up to the plate are left feeling a deep sense of lack. Many women struggle with feelings

of resentment, anger, sadness, loneliness, and frustration. More so, these women feel betrayed,

hopeless, and helpless. By today’s standards, most women enter marriage with an expectation

that their husband will serve as their best friend, teammate, co-parent, and partner in all aspects

of life. It seems reasonable to believe that if both partners are contributing financially, both

partners would also contribute similarly in regards to chores, parenting, planning, and decision

making. The women I have worked with tend to say the same thing; they feel like they’ve been

fooled by their husbands in a preverbal bait and switch scheme. During courtship, they were

given the distinct impression that the relationship was equitable and fair, but when the going got

tough with the addition of demanding jobs, children, and more responsibility, their husbands let

them carry the load alone. This dynamic creates an “I didn’t sign up for this crap” notion, which

leads to feelings of resentment and bitterness.


What we’re seeing as a result of marriage inequality is that many women are seeking

divorce. Ironically, couple’s therapy is usually ineffective in these instances. In most of the cases

I’ve worked with, the husband is in deep denial that a problem even exists. Many husbands

simply can’t understand what their wives are so upset about and are unable to gain the self

awareness necessary to take ownership of the problems they create in their marriages. After failed

attempts to change their husbands and the relationship for the better, wives simply give up and

throw in the towel. When the begging and pleading for help falls on the deaf ears of their

husbands, there are few other options. Sadly, these women are given a bad rap for “giving up” on

their marriage. The worst part though is that most of these men are actually decent people. Most

of the husbands I’m talking about here are good providers (in the financial sense) who care about

their families and are well liked by others. It’s terribly sad to see loving wives of good men end a

long-term relationship because the burden of responsibility was shifted too much in their

direction…and the men either didn’t notice or weren’t willing or able to make it better.


Which brings me to my next question. Is it that men aren’t willing to take on more domestic

responsibilities or aren’t able to? Are the demands and stress of today’s workforce too much to

cope with? Are these husbands being overworked, underpaid, or not afforded ample time for self

care, which would allow them more energy and time to devote to their families? Are today’s men

ill-equipped to handle parenting issues, household problems, or multi-tasking? Are husbands

turning a blind eye to the stress their wives are under because they can’t tolerate it themselves?

If I had to choose which way to look at the problem, my choice would be to believe that

both men and women in today’s society are under extreme amounts of pressure, stress, and

unrealistic expectations from themselves and others, and that is the real root of the problem.

Viewing this issue from a lens in which women are the victims and men are selfish assholes

doesn’t seem humanistic or realistic. What makes more sense is that both partners feel the

demands of life are simply too much for them to deal with, so they either turn toward their

spouse for help or they withdrawal from their spouse and hide. In either case, the outcomes of

these behaviors are grim.


Wives tend to reach out to their husbands for help and support, while husbands tend to

withdrawal and avoid. If the theory that inequality stems from a husband’s inability to cope

effectively is true, it makes sense that men would withdrawal from women who are seeking

support. They can’t help their wives if they can barely help themselves. There’s nothing left to

give. So, wives are basically on their own; “every man for himself ”. It then becomes a matter of

mere survival. The husband does what he needs to for himself to get by, make do, and keep from

going insane, which usually involves disconnecting from the family in some way. The wife does

what she needs to do to take care of her family, which usually involves self sacrifice and overextending herself.


Feeling as though you can’t rely on your spouse certainly doesn’t bode well for intimacy, and

over time, the emotional gap widens into a great divide. As the distance increases, so does the

tendency to perceive each other more negatively, jump to false conclusions, and take things

personally. This combination is the perfect cocktail for marriage disaster. So, what can we do

about it? The answer isn’t simple or clear, but I have a few suggestions that could improve upon

this problem, and they require action on the part of both men and women.


First, wives living with marriage inequality must take a no-tolerance stance and make a

commitment to change the power distribution in the marriage. However, change won’t occur by

force, nagging, threats, or ultimatums, which is typically what most women do in pursuit of

changing their situation. On the contrary, love, patience, kindness, and empathy toward the

husband is the only means by which progress has any potential. This concept may not make

sense at first. It seems counterintuitive to extend empathy, understanding, and kindness to

someone who appears to have it made in the shade with pink lemonade. Women must remember

that we tell ourselves all sorts of stories about how easy our husbands have it, but it’s all made up

in our minds. It’s incredibly easy to make ourself the main character in our own life story and live

in a world that revolves solely around ourself. The same holds true for men, but if we can

become aware of this tendency in our brains, we can rebel against the lies we tell ourselves and

finally see the truth. When the real reason for why a husband slacks off is discovered, the truth is

finally revealed, and it can only be done through love, communication, and understanding.

Without a doubt, when wives learn about the deep vulnerabilities their husbands possess, the

power dynamic instantly changes. Women become more empowered and men stop having the

need to hide.


Second, men need to rid themselves of the stigma that was created long ago and realize

that being emotional or vulnerable is not a sign of weakness. Withdrawal and avoidance are

directly related to feelings of shame and guilt, and many men believe that admitting to their

wives they can’t handle the stress of the life they willingly created is the ultimate emasculation.

Rather than maintaining an attitude of superiority to fend off feelings of inadequacy, men need

to own up to their perceived short comings and have honest discussions with their wives. Men

tend to make excuses for their actions rather than providing reasons, which can send women

through the roof with anger. If men can take the time to explain the legitimacy behind doing

what they do (or don’t do), and express a willingness to work together with their wives so they

both can feel better than just ok, many marriages will be saved from divorce.


These are just two suggestions which could potentially improve the problem of marriage

inequality, but the problem is much greater than the power of these proposed solutions. Without

knowing the exact cause of the problem, it’s incredibly difficult to pin point any resolutions with

great accuracy. However, all change begins with awareness and ends with action. Without the

awareness that marriage inequality is a terrible problem in our society, nothing will be done

about it, and without action to bring forth positive change, all we will have are theories and ideas.

It’s time to bring this real issue to the forefront and give it the attention it deserves. It’s time for all

of us to start talking candidly about our marriages so we can gain the answers to our questions

and discover what’s really going on here. Most importantly, it’s time for us to work together to put

an end to marriage inequality so more marriages can be filled with love, mutual respect, integrity,

and team work. What can you do today to improve the chances of those qualities existing in your

own marriage, in the marriages of the people you care about, and in the marriages throughout

our country?




 Nicole Iacovoni, Founder & Executive Clinician, received her master’s degree in Clinical Social Work from The University of Denver. Utilizing scientific based techniques, she is masterful at helping clients navigate and address family transitions, mood management, relationship issues, life trajectory, and general self care concerns. She also has expertise in cultivating emotional resilience and healthy identity development in young adults. Nicole has dedicated her career to building a wellness center where clients generate positive change, enhance esteem, overcome obstacles, and create a peaceful, well-balanced life course. Her vision has resulted in a multifaceted therapeutic setting that provides complete mental health services, yoga and meditation classes, massage therapy, nutritional counseling and health coaching, educational workshops, and community building groups and events.


You can get more information about our counseling services, including Marriage Counseling with Nicole, here.

March 11, 2015

 by Maegan Beishline, WT Marketing Consultant & Creative Deveopment Specialist


I believe in the mind body connection and have had many epifanic moments while exploring my personal edges in the throes of an intense workout. There’s something about the use of breath, the movement, and repetition that can be found in many forms of exercise that opens me up spiritually and transforms my body into a kind of church where I find peace and meaning.  You may be thinking that you abhor exercise or perhaps you don’t mind it but you would never call it “spiritual” due to the amount of swearing going on in your mind. But perhaps it’s just a simple flip of internal perception that’s preventing you from getting the most out of your workouts for your mind, body, and your spirit.


1. Take Your Workout Outdoors


Even on the coldest and hottest days, being in nature can restore parts in all of us that we don’t realize are hurting. Breathing in fresh air and looking at things that are real (and naturally beautiful) contribute to well-being in ways that artificial air, screens, and industrial carpet never could. It may mean that you have to work out first thing in the morning when it’s still a little cool…or later in the day to allow more time for the sun to rise, but monitoring these changes in light and season can help to anchor us to the cyclical elements in nature that mirror the cyclical elements within us. And as a total bonus, exercising outside when it’s snowing is pure magic and during the rain is downright baptismal!


2. Set an intention.


Our best efforts always come forth from our best intentions. Giving yourself a motivational point to focus on during a workout can help you push harder and do more than you thought you were able to. Your intention can certainly attach itself to your physical “whys” for working out: a tighter waistline, more arm definition, or a skinny jean worthy backside. But for a more spiritual experience, try making your intention about someone else. Think of someone near or far who is needing help or ease in their lives and turn your attention to them and the comfort and love you’d like to send them each time your being pushed past your own comfort levels in your workout. This practice teaches us to think of others when we are being challenged the most…it’s a practice that can change your life!


3. Don’t pay attention to external measures of “success”.


Any form of exercise should be about overall health and how it makes you feel. It’s not about how far you went today, how many pounds you lifted, how many reps you banged out. It’s about how your body feels and that you simultaneously pushed and respected it. This is the ideal balance of both life and spirit: to find the place where suffering meets grace and breath into it. There are many moments in a workout or in life where you need to assess if you need to pull back or push through. That deep listening to our bodies, learning to understand its signals and beginning to honor its requests, is the foundation for spirituality. Our bodies are our sacred vessels; all love and goodness stems from what we have inside. If we give our vessels love, respect, and compassion; we will be able to deliver all those things back out into the world. 


4. Pay attention to your breath.


The cardiovascular nature of exercise forces us to be in control of our breath, to use it as a tool to avoid fatigue and release heat. We need to constantly be aware of our breathing and keep it regulated so that we can have the endurance we need. By placing a conscious awareness on our breathing, we’re focusing our mind similarly to what we do in meditation. In addition, we can use that mentality to “breathe into” areas of tightness or resistance. The practice serves us well in life as well as in our physical workouts as we’re often asked to respond to tightness and resistance with a softer approach, with grace, with breath. We learn it in our minds, we practice it in our body, and then we find that we have the ability to apply it within our spiritual lives. 


5. Be mindful of what you’re listening to.


Exercise doesn’t just benefit us physically, it can also help to restore us mentally and emotionally and set us back on course with our best selves. In order to tap into this benefit in full effect, it’s helpful to be aware of all stimuli contributing to our experience and this includes sound. If you’re outside, the chirping birds and whirling wind might be enough of a soundtrack to carry you along. But if you’re someone who prefers a good beat to get down to, try to choose an artist or genre that makes you feel good, inspires ideas, or touches something in your soul.  Music can often be a great connector of the mind, the body, and the spirit. And we can use this tool to make big mind-body connections in our workouts that will stay with us and fuel our lives long after our adrenaline has calmed down.


6. Give it that little extra push at the very end. 


Make it a habit to push a little harder during those final moments of a workout. At first, maybe it’s a mental practice to ramp up our motivational self-talk during those last ten reps. But work towards a big push of actual energy and output right at the very end when it feels like you have nothing left to give. This practice teaches us that we can push on a little more than we think when going through something difficult in our lives. It also helps us to give a little more of ourselves when needed even if we’re feeling depleted (hello, motherhood!). Rest and knowing our limits is good (and essential!); but often, we’re more capable than we believe ourselves to be and much stronger than we think we are. If we tap into that potential during our workouts, we’ll have more faith in ourselves when we need it most.






Maegan Beishline, Marketing Consultant and Creative Development Specialist, is a Bloomsburg University graduate with a BS in Business Marketing & Administration. Her post graduate experience includes performing marketing tasks for various businesses as well as starting and growing a natural soap making enterprise and a portrait photography business. While entrepreneurship lives in her heart, she has found that her true calling lives not in running her own business but rather in helping others to build theirs. Her writing and photography have been featured in Artful Blogging magazine, Somerset Life magazine, multiple issues of Kindred magazine, and on various websites including I Heart Faces, Tracey Clark’s I Am Enough collaborative, and regularly on The Creative Mama. She is passionate about living creatively and is dedicated to helping others find their authentic paths of self-expression in both business and life.


Maegan will be teaching an Adult Ballet class at Willow Tree WC beginning in April! You can find out more about it and the FREE Preview Class she's offering here!


March 9, 2015


by Scott Young, WT Children's Counselor    


The learning process demands that the student pay as much attention to the teaching method as possible in order to assimilate the data provided. If this occurs, then cognitive processing of the data can occur which leads to integration and organization with prior information in the learner’s memory. A child with diffused attention, such as in ADHD, receives bit and pieces of the lesson information. This typically results in the transfer of bits and pieces of information being transferred to long term memory.                                                                                

Some of the ways ADHD effect learning are the inability to recognize other people's needs and desires. A child with ADHD may interrupt talking and may have trouble waiting their turn for things like classroom activities and when playing games with other children. A child with ADHD may have difficulty keeping emotions – both good and bad – in check. They may have outbursts of anger at inappropriate times or temper tantrums (in younger children).  They may have trouble paying attention even when being spoken to directly. They'll say they heard you, but when asked to repeat back what you just said, they will have no idea what it was. They may have trouble following instructions that require planning and executing a plan, which leads to careless mistakes. Children who can’t concentrate due to inability to pay attention only receive part of the spoken message in classrooms. But there are some things that teachers and parents can do to help  learning come easier for those with diffused attention.  



Some effective ways to help children with ADHD learn better in school:


 1. Provide interactive and hands-on learning. Children with disabilities learn better by doing things than by talking about them


 2. Pair written instructions with oral instructions.


3. Give clear, concise instructions and repeat the directions


4. Speak when the child is paying attention 


5. Establish a nonverbal cue to get the child’s attention 6. Establish a routine so the child knows what to expect (this may be a daily agenda or checklist that can be posted visibly in the classroom    


Some effective ways to help with homework:


1. Help the child find his strength and capitalize on it. Pursue skill and competency in that area. You may have to try several activities to find the right one for the child.


2. When doing homework create a "completed work" folder. This folder will serve as a reminder for what needs to go back to school. For children who have trouble remembering to tell their parents about homework, a sheet for parents to sign once the work is finished and packed in the child's school bag may help.


3. Create consistent routines for doing homework. 


4. Make sure homework comes home. If your child has trouble copying down homework assignments, tell his teacher. She may have ideas on how to help him remember or may be willing to e-mail you the assignments at home


5 Don't let her procrastinate. Make sure your child understands the assignment and gets started. Stay nearby so you can offer support.


6. Schedule breaks. Concentration takes a lot of energy for kids with ADD. A five-minute break every 20 minutes helps them recharge.   



Scott Young, MS, CCC, LNC earned a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing in 1992 and has been a nationally certified Christian Counselor since 2003. Having worked professionally in inpatient psychiatry for 16 years and with children and adults as a mobile therapist, Scott specializes in family counseling, children’s counseling, parenting concerns, individuals with special needs, developmental and learning disabilities, anxiety, ADD/ADHD, anger, social skills, self esteem, depression, and character building. Scott has seen the importance of looking at each person holistically and considers all areas of health when working with clients. Scott earned a doctorate in Naturopathy in 2014 and offers a comprehensive approach to overall health and well-being by integrating counseling, botanical and herbal medicine, naturopathic and holistic medicine, and lifestyle therapy. Scott is passionate about working with children and serving as an advocate for children with special needs.


Click here to find out more about our Children's Counseling program.

March 4, 2015

by Sara Bowman, WTWC yoga instructor and nutritional counselor


It comes easier to some of us than others. I am one of the others. My head is not only naturally in the clouds, I actually enjoy it there quite a bit. However, a lot of life happens here on earth and sometimes spending too much time ungrounded can lead to feelings of overwhelm. Over time I've noticed that some of the easiest shifts can have a great impact on me feeling grounded which leads to dramatically reduced levels of anxiety and a diminishing of that sense of overwhelm. Having an awareness of my roots makes it feel safe to grow and blossom in a different way. I can still flutter around if I choose but I'm not blown around by the lightest breeze against my will anymore.  Below are some body-mind-energetic strategies to get grounded. Some are an in-the-moment fix and others work over time, especially some of the nutritionally related ideas. Get grounded and things don't seem so overwhelming.... and reduce the sense of overwhelm and you'll feel yourself take a deep breath and drop into your body much easier.




*No sugar/caffeine – if you just laughed out loud it's okay. Maybe you can switch to a lighter version -  replace the 3rd cup of coffee with green tea for example. Sugar leads to crazy blood sugar swings and when your body is that literally overwhelmed it's really easy to start feeling emotionally overwhelmed. Cut it down slowly to avoid a crash or a pendulum effect. And when things slow down – schedule a nutrition appointment with me :)


*Root veggies – they come from they ground and they will seriously help you feel grounded. Go for sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, beets if you like them.


*Take some magnesium –  A really important nutrient that helps you relax. Also leached out of the body by coffee, sugar, carbonated drinks and alcohol. Hmmmmm does anyone see a cycle there? My favorite way to take it is a product called NATURAL CALM.





*More sleep – it's a pretty obvious one but always good to hear another reminder that you really can let that last thing slide another day and get an extra 45 min. It will be so worth it tomorrow.


*Touch the ground – when was the last time you did this? The ultimate in getting grounded.


*Go outside – now, but without your phone – barefoot and FEEL you feet touching the earth. And take 5 deep breaths. You will feel better. You just will. If you want a little bit of science – proven to reduce inflammation and neutralizes free radicals in your system. If it's still too cold when you're reading this - make it a priority for when the weather finally breaks.

Awareness to your feet for a few deep breaths –  even if you can't run outside and take your shoes off during that stressful meeting you can still do this. Anytime anywhere in fact.


*Yoga pose for 10 breaths – forward folds or hip openers (like reclined pigeon) are perfect. Great way to wind down in the evening. Stretching, even just a tiny bit, releases tension in the body. Releasing tension in the body releases it in the mind. Things just don't feel like as big of a deal all of the sudden.




*Release perfectionism-  Do some things 'good enough' style for a while. And catch yourself mentally beating yourself up for not having it 'more together' or 'shoulding' on yourself. Let it go for right now. Let the laundry pile up for awhile. Buy dinner a few nights. Leave the toys all over the floor before you go to bed. Seriously no one will be traumatized by it at all.


*Cut something out – TV!!! That's a whole other post but really think about trying this for a week or even a couple days or just reducing screen time if it's a big part of your life. It's psuedo-satisfying and leaves us rather disconnected from our bodies and in fact our lives. Try some new ways (or return to forgotten favorites from the pre-Netflix days) to wind down or entertain yourself – your body and mind will thank you. And you'll probably get more sleep so you can put a check mark next to that too.


*Notice your mantra! and change it if necessary - we all have mantras (repetitive statements) running over and over again in our mind. It's estimated that 80% - 90% of our daily thoughts are the same every day. What are you repeating and reinforcing in your head all time? I can catch myself with "I'm so overwhelmed, I'm so overwhelmed" or "I'll never have time for all this" or something similar. I can't tell you what to change it to because it has to feel right to you. Trying to switch it to "I have time for everything" for example might not feel realistic but a simple "present with one thing at a time" might ease the tension enough to get rolling.


*Yoga and movement classes are still my ultimate way tool for calming my mind and dropping into my body.  As an instructor, it's always part of my intention to create space for the experience of being grounded in the moment, present with the now and aware of the mind-body-energy connection. Even more importantly I want you to practice the tools to be grounded and present in your everyday life, so I try to incorporate that idea into our yoga sessions as well. Notice what leaves you feeling the most grounded during your days and let me know - I'm always interested in new strategies. Enjoy these very beginnings of spring from your roots all the way up :)



Sara Bowman earned her certification as a Holistic Health Practitioner from the Mt. Nittany Institute of Natural Health. She also holds certification in Holistic Nutrition from the Global College of Natural Medicine and is certified in yoga and meditation instruction. She provides expert nutritional coaching, yoga instruction, and guided meditation classes focused on addressing each client’s individual needs and goals. Sara is deeply passionate about assisting others on their paths of rediscovery. She is dedicated to creating an environment where students can learn at their own pace and practice the art of being at ease in body and mind. 


Click here to find our more about Sara's Nutritional Counseling services or here to learn more about our yoga & meditation offerings. 


March 2, 2015

by Kelly Freeman, WT massage & bodywork therapist


"Hands make the world each day."
--Pablo Neruda

This month at Willow Tree, we are "extending our branches" and exploring new things. From a bodyworker's perspective, our arms and hands are our branches--reaching out to experience the world around us. But chronic pain and discomfort in our arms and hands can prevent us from exploring outside our normal daily habits. Becoming aware of the habits that cause repetitive strain or tension is the first step. These can include long hours at a desk or on a computer or something like gripping the steering wheel too tightly while driving. Once you are aware of these daily activities, take action to "un-do" them: shake out your hands if they've been tightly gripping something or take a movement break while at your desk to roll your shoulders up, back and down. If you spend long periods working on a computer, read through and follow along with the stretch below...

First Aid for Your "Mouse Arm"
(courtesy of Mary Bond, a fellow Structural Integration practitioner)

This practice stretches the pathway through which the nerves to your hands run. Stand sideways to a wall and about two feet away from it. Place your right hand on the wall with the heel of your hand at the level of your armpit and your elbow slightly bent. Spread your fingers so that every possible millimeter of skin on your palm and fingers touches the wall. Breathe slowly and moderately. Adjust your arm position by rotating it so that your elbow points directly down at the floor. In this position, you should feel a breadth across your clavicles. You may also begin to feel a burning sensation through your arm as the stretch releases fascial adhesions that have been trapping the nerves. Breathe! Keep your fingers flat against the wall. Tolerate a moderate degree of the burning sensation while holding the stretch for at least three slow breaths. When you release your hand from the wall, pause to notice the after effect. The arm you stretched will probably seem longer than the other one. Be sure to stretch both arms to even out the shoulders. Practice this stretch during breaks in your work, especially after a long session on the computer. Work up to sustaining it for eight slow breaths.



Kelly Freeman has been studying massage and bodywork for over 10 years, passionately pursuing an understanding of the human body. She received her training at The National Massage Therapy Institute in Delaware and studied Structural Integration at Kinesis in Maine, studying with some of the top leaders in manual and movement therapy. Kelly is skillful in multiple bodywork modalities with advanced training in Structural Integration, Neuro Mobilization, and Visceral Manipulation. Drawing on her extensive education and experience, Kelly is dedicated to providing a personalized, whole body approach to wellness for her clients.


Click here to see our massage & bodywork services at WTWC. 


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