May you live in interesting times,” is said to be an ancient Chinese curse. Well if you’ve listened to the news lately, you know that the times are interesting — or just plain crazy. Mortgage foreclosures and economic woes, job layoffs and bailouts for bankers and car dealers, now even the porn industry wants a bail out! Yes, the times are crazy. So how does a person keep their wits about them when everyone around them is losing theirs?

Looking after your health — both mental and physical — is one of the best ways to stay sane in these crazy times. You’ve probably made the usual New Year’s resolutions: you’re going to lose those extra pounds, exercise more, spend less time on the Internet and more with family and friends; and of course, you plan to do it all while spending less money.

It’s always more difficult to stay healthy and fit during the cold winter months, and this year, particularly, you may want to burrow under the covers and stay tucked up in your cozy comforter until the Dow rises. But now is the time to sign up for that exercise class, grab a massage, or just take a walk. Don’t neglect your health while you are pinching pennies. Here are some ideas for keeping your sanity intact, no matter how crazy it gets.

Keep Walking. What’s the least expensive, easiest exercise that anyone can do, no matter their age, or the shape they are in? Walking! Walking in cold weather can burn even more calories than walking when the temperature is warm. You can burn up to 50 percent more calories by walking on a cold day than on a warm one. But you do need to take some precautions if you are walking out-of-doors. Remember to go a little slower until you warm up and make sure that you keep hydrated. Exercise can make you sweat even if the temperature is below freezing.

Stress Reduction. If the pace of life is making you stressed look for the “peaceful place we all have within us,” advices Deborah Metzger, founder and director of the Princeton Center for Yoga & Health.

The center offers a wide variety of classes including a many styles and levels of yoga, which Metzger calls “meditation in motion,” meditation classes, drum circles, concerts, a varied menu of holistic workshops, “Magic Touch” aurveda beauty facials, and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). This class is based on key research studies of meditation and offers a structured educational approach with mindfulness meditation and gentle yoga as a core to guide people to take better care of themselves and to live healthier and more adaptive lives. “Mindfulness is as simple, and as difficult, as living in moment-to-moment awareness. It is invoked by first paying close attention to your breath and then to every other aspect of your life,” explains Metzger. These programs are offered at the Center several times a year. Look for the next MBSR session at PCYH beginning January 26.

For more information on wide variety of classes offered at the center, which is located in Skillman, call 609-924-7294, or visit the center’s website at www.princetonyoga.com.

Try an Indoor Sport. Basketball, volleyball, swimming, and tennis are a few of the sports that can be enjoyed throughout the year at a variety of facilities in the area, from the local Ys to various clubs and gyms. Or, for something new and different, how about dance?

Learn to Dance. You can work on losing weight, increase your strength, agility and flexibility, and find a relaxing way to have fun, all at the same time when you sign up for an adult class at American Repertory Ballet’s Princeton Ballet School. The school offers classes seven days a week at three convenient locations; in Princeton above McCaffrey’s in the Princeton Shopping Center, at 80 Albany Street, in New Brunswick, and on Main Street in Cranbury.

The school offers classes in a wide variety of dance styles including Ballet, Jazz, Modern, Spanish Dance, Hip-Hop, Tap, Middle Eastern Dance, and Pilates. They also offer multiple levels, so no matter what your skill, from beginner to professional, you can find a class that fits your needs and comfort level.

The classes are held in a relaxed atmosphere and often feature live musical accompaniment. What better way to find a little piece of sanity in an otherwise crazy world? For more information on classes call 609-921-7758 or visit the website at www.arballet.org.

Look Younger. “Facial rejuvenation requires the advanced skill and experience of a surgeon, the discriminating eye and talent of an artist, and the innovation of a scientist,” says Dr. Eugenie Brunner. Board certified by the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and the American Board of Otolaryngology — Head & Neck Surgery, she specializes in facelifts and rhinoplasty.

Her Skin Rejuvenation Laser Center allows her to treat all aspects of skin rejuvenation, such as spider veins, rosacea, age spots, melasma, sun damage, acne scarring, and wrinkles, with an ever-expanding number of cutting-edge lasers with innovative up-to-date technology. Her newest laser, the Fraxel Repair fractionated CO2 laser, can be used to smooth wrinkles and tighten the skin of the face and neck with much less recovery time than traditional surgery. “Ten years ago recovery time for this type of procedure was at least two weeks, today it is only one week and there is only mild discomfort,” says Dr. Brunner. “Laser treatments are an excellent alternative to surgery for tightening face and neck skin and removing sun damage.”

Dr. Brunner’s office is at 256 Bunn Drive, Princeton. For more information call 609-921-9497, or check www.brunnermd.com.

Take Care of Your Esthetic Appearance With a Woman’s Touch. Particularly when it comes to your face, taking that initial step to meet with a plastic surgeon can be somewhat intimidating. Being a woman, and a plastic surgeon, Dr. Schrader provides a uniquely feminine perspective to enhancing your appearance.

She believes in balancing state-of-the-art techniques and an artistic touch with warmth, respect, and a personalized approach. She feels that trust and good communication are essential to making your experience rewarding, and building a long term patient-physician relationship.

Dr. Schrader is double board certified specialist in facial plastic surgery, and head and neck surgery. She believes in “Identifying what is best in each individual and using those strengths to enhance the natural beauty. As a woman I understand the concerns of my patients.”

Dr. Schrader is an expert in Facelifts, Eyelidlifts and Rinoplasty. She is also offers non-surgical procedures like Restylane®, BOTOX®, chemical peels, and different skin laser treatments.

“A person’s natural beauty is challenged over time by an accumulation of sun, stress and changes in their life-style. These stressors, combined with a person’s genetic background, impact how we age. Fortunately, today’s technology can reverse many of the damages that occur over time. We truly can set the clock back by several years,” she says.

For more information call Dr. Schrader at 609-279-009 or check www.princetonface.com.

Get Fit. Yes, you’ve said it for years, “I need to get more exercise.” Of course, after you’ve spent that hour in the gym you need a massage to relax. There are plenty of options available, from sports massage to hot stone massage (always popular in the winter) to an old-fashioned Swedish massage.

Try a Massage. The certified therapists at Full Circle Family Massage & Healing Center are committed to providing therapeutic massage and bodywork for every member of the family, regardless of age or level of health. From maternity massage to bodywork for the elderly and terminally ill, Full Circle’s broad range of services meet many needs, and are performed by highly skilled, heart-centered practitioners whose goal is to work with their clients to reclaim a natural state of balance and comfort, in body, mind and spirit.

One of the most popular massages offered at the center is the integrative massage, a head-toe massage which combines a variety of strokes, techniques and pressure to increase circulation, reduce muscle tension, increase vitality, balance and general well-being. Integrative massage sessions are tailored to meet each individual’s needs and preferences from gentle touch to a firmer approach and it is ideal for stress reduction, relaxation and general wellness.

The comfortable, homelike feeling and support of the staff creates an atmosphere that promotes the ability to move out of pain and stress and back into a healing space of peace and stillness.

Full Circle Family Massage and Healing Center is located in East Windsor Township, at 329 Princeton-Hightstown Road. For more information call 609-371-0888 or check the website at www.fullcirclemassage.com.

Massage for Everyone. Massage can benefit people of all ages and all levels of fitness and health. Melissa Nelson, a massage therapist at Pivotal Physical Therapy and Wellness Center in Monroe Township, provides clients with massage that is customized to their individual comfort level and takes physical restrictions into account.

Pivotal’s signature hot stone massage, which includes aromatherapy, is a special favorite with clients. Melissa, who has ten years of experience in massage, provides massage services for clients of all ages and for those diagnosed with cancer. The American Cancer Society and many oncologists feel that appropriate massage complements other cancer treatments and can aid in recovery. Pivotal provides all clients with their “fifth massage free” to promote its use towards optimal health and well-being.

Pivotal Physical Therapy and Wellness Center is located at 239 Prospect Plains Road, Monroe Township. Call 609-395-9955 for more information.

Eat Healthy. Losing weight is number 1 on the top 10 of America’s favorite New Year’s resolutions. So why is it that so many of us make the same resolution, year after year, and seem to gain as many pounds as we lose? Some nutritionists are now saying that the whole concept of dieting is part of the problem.

Dieting involves deprivation: eating a minimum of calories, avoiding foods that taste good. The concept is also something that we do for a short period of time, a matter of a few weeks or months, before returning to the bad eating habits that made us overweight in the first place.

Nutritionists suggest that the best way to lose weight and keep it off is to change our eating habits. Instead of living on an artificial plan that includes only a few types of foods, learn to pick from a wide range of healthy food choices.

Another secret to changing our eating habits is to find a support group. If you have other people around you who understand how difficult changing your diet can be.

Dieting is just one part of taking care of your body. Make sure you see your physician, your dentist, and your optometrist for regular check-ups. Remember, making sure your body is healthy is just one more way to decrease your stress and to stay sane in crazy times.

The Green Dentist. You’re environmentally conscious at home, when you drive, when you shop, but what about your physician or dentist? Dr. Lehka Tull is Princeton’s Green Dentist. Her office, located at 214 North Harrison Street, is powered by solar panels and includes a back-up system in case of power outages. Her paperless office saves trees and her digital X-ray equipment means that those all important dental X-rays are not only safe for you, but also generates no hazardous waste to contaminate the environment. Her office uses bio friendly materials for sterilization, no mercury fillings, and all waste water is filtered and cleaned of any mercury before it is sent back into the city drains.

Of course, being green is only one part of the dental experience. Dr. Tull’s office includes a team of highly trained and skilled clinicians who pride themselves on providing the best care to keep their patients’ smiles healthy. They provide comprehensive treatment planning and use restorative and cosmetic dentistry for optimal dental health. Going green at the dentist will keep your smile white!

Take Time. Time is the biggest difference at Mosaic Health. A comprehensive medical practice that includes family medicine, psychiatry, and counseling, the group has offices in both Lawrenceville and Moorestown.

Where many practices see five to six patients in an hour, at Mosaic Health, between 45 minutes and one hour is set aside for each patient seen by the practice. The group’s multi-specialty approach aims to provide the best individualized care to its patients. Its unique comprehensive approach sets them apart from other medical practices. This allows the doctors the time to really get to know each patient and to discuss all of their health concerns and needs. The goal at Mosaic Health is to help each patient achieve their optimal state of health through prevention, management, and reversal of disease. The group’s clinicians will assess each patients’ individual risk factors for disease, focus on early detection and prevention, disease education, nutrition, diet, exercise, stress reduction techniques and overall well being. Among the services provided are weight loss, cognitive behavioral therapy, stress management, sleep medicine, cardiovascular testing and allergy testing.

For more information check the website at www.mosaichealthnj.com, or call 609-482-3701. In Lawrenceville, the group is located at 136 Franklin Corner Road.

Look for Great Service. Of course you want expert care when you visit an optometrist, but you also want friendly, personal service from doctors who remember your name and treat you as friends. That’s what you’ll find at Eyecare Associates. Located in Princeton Marketfair Mall, 3535 Route 1, Princeton, Eyecare Associates offers walk-in appointments seven days a week, with evening and lunchtime appointments available every day; no calling and waiting months for an appointment. They handle both routine check-ups and medical care, such as treatment for pink eye or corneal scratches. The Optos retinal imaging, which permits the doctor to examine the back of the eye without dilating, and the blurry vision it causes, allowing you to return to your routine more quickly after your appointment. For more information on Eyecare Associates, check www.icareassociates.com, or call 609-520-1008.

Are You Suffering From Pain? The Center for Spine Sports Pain Management and Orthopedic Regenerative Medicine is a state of the art facility that offers the latest treatments in the care of pain and musculoskeletal problems. Dr. Edward Magaziner is a pioneer in regenerative medicine with over 20 years’ experience repairing injuries and eliminating pain without surgery. He is a Clinical Professor at Robert Wood Johnson University and New York Medical College and teaches residents and fellows. He is CEO of the NJ Interventional Pain Society and is an authority in his specialty.

He treats disc herniations, neck and back pain, headache, arthritis, joint pain, tendon and ligament injuries from any location, sports injuries, TMJ syndrome, Fibromyalgia, chest wall pain, among others, and focuses on treatments to repair problems and avoid major surgery.

Platelet Rich Plasma and Stem Cell Grafts, using ultrasound or X-ray guidance uses the patient’s own stem cells and platelets to repair injured tendons and ligaments or remove the pain from arthritis to avoid joint replacement. Endoscopic Spine Surgery, with a small scope removes a disc herniation and scar tissue, or bone pressing on a nerve in the spine without cutting or hospitalization.

Prolotherapy, is an injection technique that stimulates the body’s own growth factors to repair injured ligaments, tendons, and joints, works under the same principle as a laser or chemical peel for repairing collagen in the face. Intradiscal Restoration and IDET are treatments designed to repair and decrease pain in a disc.

Dr. Magaziner uses the latest Generation IV laser to apply laser light to penetrate into the body to heal ligaments, tendons and joints from injury or arthritis.

Who should see Dr. Magaziner? Anyone with a new problem who wants to be evaluated with state of the art testing by a physician and given a stepwise treatment program to solve their problem, or anyone experiencing chronic pain from any cause that has not been eliminated with medication, physical therapy, chiropractic, or the standard treatments. Call 1-877-817-3273, or visit the website at paincaredoc.com.

Take a Holistic Approach. With so many treatment options, and so many concerns that involve both physical and psychological, a holistic approach is often advisable. Dr. Kate Thomsen was a teacher, environmentalist, and chemist before entering medical school. She has brought this broad and comprehensive perspective to her practice of medicine. With an MD, a Masters in Public Health, board certified in Family Medicine, fellowship trained in Women’s Health, and recently board certified by the new American Board of Integrative and Holistic Medicine, Dr Thomsen’s view of health is unique in our area.

She believes it takes more than five minutes to find the origin of a medical problem — so she spends an hour. She seeks to find the underlying cause of a condition rather than treating just symptoms. She puts many modalities in her doctor’s bag, from herbs and supplements to pharmaceuticals. She looks at the physical, emotional and spiritual issues that influence health. And she works to help patients improve their wellness and zest for life.

Trained in using the cutting edge tools of functional medicine and genomics, Dr. Kate is able to help patients with difficult and complex medical issues. She has over 10 years experience working with bio-identical hormone therapy. She has group programs in detoxification, nutrition, body composition analysis, gastrointestinal health, and prevention of breast cancer, cardiovascular disease, and osteoporosis. In this broken medical system, she is truly a breath of fresh air!

Give Back. Remember, we might not be able to change the world, but we can make our own little corner of it a better place. The last piece of advice on staying sane is to give a little back; find a cause you believe in and give an hour or two a week as a volunteer. Helping others may be the best way to bring a little sanity to a crazy world.

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