Multi-Dimensional Design

Studio808hairThe snow blew past my salon windows sideways while my heaters worked overtime to maintain a cozy temperature. All but one client had canceled. And while I was tempted to close, I thought if she needed her hair done bad enough to come out in this, I would be available. Finally, headlights pulled into my parking lot. When she opened the door, the wind blew her in with a spray of wet snow.

“I can’t make it until spring” she gasped as she took off her gloves. “The holidays are over and there’s not even so much as a birthday until spring. I’m going crazy, I need a diversion.” Well, tweaking your image is a great diversion for this time of year. Sit down, make yourself comfortable and we’ll talk, I said.

As the outside grew colder and darker, inside, her hair became warmer and lighter. That evening we advanced her regular color formula to a multi-dimensional design. We added a sprinkle of strategic highlights while wrapping her shoulders with deep warm lowlights. Her cut simply needed to be readjusted to her head shape, and presto… winter blahs gone. As my client’s new look took shape, she began planning the rest of her transformation.

The next day called for a make-up adjustment. Then a more colorful winter coat and scarf. A few window shopping trips to get more ideas, a volunteer position to show off her new look, and finally a free online university course for entertainment. As my client woke with the sun in her eyes on the first day of spring, she realized she really did make it through the winter. And now… what could her new spring image be?

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Warm Travel Destinations

travelChilly temperatures got you down? Tired of shoveling your driveway and scraping ice off your car? Maybe its time for a trip to the warmer side. How about hiking in a rainforest or sunning yourself on a white sand beach. Got your attention? Then it’s time to start planning a warm-weather getaway. So, grab your flip-flops and start planning!

  1. Costa Rica

Costa Rica has vibrant rainforest, diverse wildlife, clean, white-sand beaches (bordering both the Pacific and the Atlantic), and a laid-back local culture. Travelers seeking real adventure can head to wilderness lodges deep in the rain forest, where electricity, Internet access and room service are practically extinct. The winter months mark Costa Rica’s dry season. This is the best time of year to find stunning weather (and crystal-clear diving conditions) in the region.

  1. Bonaire

This tiny island in the Southern Caribbean, measuring just 112 square miles, is one of the world’s best diving destinations. The western side of the island is rimmed by colorful reefs swarming with parrot fish, sea turtles, butterfly fish, eagle rays and hundreds of other marine species. Bonaire enjoys warm, sunny weather year round and is located south of the Caribbean’s hurricane belt.

  1. San Diego, California

Sunny San Diego is well known for its year-round temperate climate (highs are typically in the 60’s during the winter months), and its dozens of world-class museums. You could easily spend a week exploring these museums alone, but don’t forget to allow time to wander the city’s historic Gaslamp Quarter and walk along the beach.

  1. Mexico

Mexico‘s sunny climate and abundance of resorts in all price ranges make it a great place to treat yourself to a relaxing spa getaway. Many of the unique spa treatments draw on Mayan traditions, such as a detox herbal wrap incorporating local honey and healing herbs.

These are just four of the most popular getaways during the winter season. But if you cannot afford to travel, you can always make a vacation at home!



The Benefits of Tea

TeaDust off those old China cups and get sipping.  Tea is officially awesome for your health! But before loading up the good stuff, make sure that your “tea” is actually tea. Real tea is derived from a particular plant (Camellia sinensis) and includes only four varieties: green, black, white, and oolong. Anything else (herbal “tea”) is an infusion of a different plant and isn’t technically tea.

What real tea lacks in variety, it makes up for with some serious health benefits. Researchers attribute tea’s health properties to polyphenols (a type of antioxidant) and phytochemicals. Here are some of the benefits:

  1. Tea can boost exercise endurance. The catechins (antioxidants) in green tea extract increase the body’s ability to burn fat as fuel, which accounts for improved muscle endurance.
  2. Drinking tea could help reduce the risk of heart attack. I may also help protect against cardiovascular and degenerative diseases.
  3. The antioxidants in tea may help protect against some cancers: breast, colon, colorectal, skin, lung, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, pancreas, liver, ovarian, prostate and oral cancers.
  4. Tea is hydrating to the body.
  5. Drinking tea is linked with a lower risk of Parkinson’s disease.
  6. Tea may provide protection from ultraviolet rays. Green tea may act as a back-up sunscreen.
  7. Tea could be beneficial to people with Type 2 diabetes. Compounds in green tea could help diabetics better process sugars.
  8. Green tea has been found to improve bone mineral density and strength.
  9. Tea might be an effective agent in the prevention and treatment of neurological diseases, especially degenerative diseases (think Alzheimer’s). Polyphenols in green tea may help maintain the parts of the brain that regulate learning and memory.

Now that you know tea the benefits of tea, why not give a cup a try…and don’t forget that scone!



Hearing Loss Associated With Other Health Issues

Williamsport Hearing Services

Dr. Sandra Chamberlin, Au.D., CCC-A is a PA state licensed audiologist with over 20 years of experience. Education: B.S. Marywood College, 1989, M.S. Vanderbilt University,1991, Au.D. Pennsylvania College of Optometry, 2007

Much research has taken place recently to look at the relationship between hearing loss and other health issues. Studies have linked hearing loss with Cardiovascular Disease, Chronic Kidney Disease, Cognitive Decline and Dementia, Depression, Diabetes and Falling.

A 2011 study found an association between Cardiovascular Disease and poorer hearing sensitivity. A 2010 study found that Chronic Kidney Disease also   known as Chronic Renal Disease was associated with a 43% increased risk of hearing loss. A 2011 and 2013 study found that hearing loss was associated with accelerated cognitive decline and cognitive impairment in older adults. Hearing loss was associated with developing dementia. A 2014 study found that hearing loss was associated with depression, particularly in older women with moderate hearing loss. A 2012 study found that hearing loss was twice as common among people who had diabetes compared to those who did not. A 2012 study found for every 10dB increase in hearing loss, the risk of falling increased one and a half times. A 25dB hearing loss was associated with a nearly threefold increased risk of falling.

What is not known is, does “X” lead to hearing loss or does hearing loss lead to “X?”

Call for your consultation today!

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MeditationThe word meditation can immediately conjure various images but meditation is about training your brain to bring your thoughts and feelings into awareness. It’s about examining who you are and your place in the world. It teaches you to appreciate every moment for what it is. Meditation tones and strengthens the mind.

Those who practice meditation have long known the benefits it has on the body, mind and soul. Only recently have scientific studies been able to delineate the effects it has on the brain, including stress reduction, improved attention and productivity, better memory and even increased creativity and feelings of compassion.

  1. The Brain Benefits of Meditation

Meditation has been shown to increase gray matter in the brain — particularly in areas associated with muscle control, sensory perception, memory, emotions and speech. People who meditated at least 30 minutes a day for eight weeks increased gray matter density in their hippocampus — the part of the brain associated with learning and memory.

It’s also been shown to help reduce distress from chronic pain and depression. The benefits of mindfulness training go beyond the brain, too. A 2012 study suggests that meditation may reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.

  1.  The Happiness Benefits of Meditation

There are also many ways meditation improves quality of life. Evidence suggests meditation can impact how you approach life, how you react to things, and how you interact with others. In some cases, it can allow you to see things more clearly, fill you with a sense of calm, and help you to better deal with the demands of the modern world.

Mindful meditation, also called vipassana, is the heart of Buddhist meditation and the most widely practiced form in Southeast Asia. It emphasizes mindfulness and develops an awareness that is carried into every aspect of your daily experience.

Now that you know the benefits, let’s begin.

To begin the practice of mindful meditation, find a quiet room with few distractions. Set a timer for five minutes and sit comfortably on the floor or in a chair. Keep the body upright, but not uptight. Rest your hands on your knees, relax the shoulders, open the chest and soften the belly.

Close your eyes and connect with your breath by focusing on your breathing without trying to direct it. Your breath is your anchor to the present moment and will guide you back when your mind wanders off in thought.

Count your breaths. Count one breath in, one breath out, and continue through 10 breaths, then return to one again. This process helps connect your mind to your breath, especially when thoughts can sometimes break your concentration. Every time your thoughts wander, start back at one. Eventually, you’ll be able to just follow your breath without counting.

During your meditation, you may experience feelings of frustration, boredom, fear, anxiety, pain or anger, this is all normal. Acknowledge them, and then let them go. The key is not to bring the burden of intense self-judgment into the practice with you. The mind will wander almost instantly, and it will wander often. The point is not to prevent your mind from straying, but rather, bring it back to the present when it does. These moments are when the magic happens.

When your timer goes off, you can slowly open your eyes and resume your day. Like a fish returned to water, you may notice that things flow more easily.

Once you start practicing meditation, be mindful to do it daily. Set aside a time where you will have at least 2-5 minutes of uninterrupted time. As you get into a regular routine, you can up the time to 30 minutes…even longer.

Although it might sound easy, meditation is in fact hard work and it takes a lot of practice to get better. The more you do it, the easier it becomes. And just think, in as little as two minutes, a happier outlook can be yours for the taking.


Six New CASA Volunteers

Susquehanna Valley CASA Jan 27 2015 Induction Ceremony

Front Row (left to right): Jennifer Handlan (Susquehanna Valley CASA Case Manager), Betsy Snook (new CASA volunteer), Heather Strassner (new CASA volunteer), Rachael Smith (new CASA volunteer), Judge Joy Reynolds McCoy (Lycoming County), Judge Anthony J. Rosini (Northumberland County), Jennifer Rempe (Susquehanna Valley CASA Case Manager)
Back Row (left to right): Bill Fairl (new CASA volunteer), Carolyn Fairl (new CASA volunteer), Christine Matthews (new CASA volunteer, Judge Michael H. Sholley (Snyder and Union Counties)

Susquehanna Valley CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) – Voices for Children inducted its fourth corps of trained advocate volunteers to serve local abused and neglected children on Tuesday, January 27, 2015 at the Union County Courthouse. The Honorable Judges Joy Reynolds McCoy (Lycoming County), Anthony J. Rosini (Northumberland County), and Michael H. Sholley (Snyder and Union Counties) presided over the ceremony.

The six new inductees are: Carolyn and Bill Fairl (Selinsgrove), Christine Matthews (Sunbury), Rachael Smith (Beavertown), Betsy Snook (Lewisburg) and Heather Strassner (Lewisburg). Tom Fisher (Lewisburg) also completed the training course, but will be sworn in at a later date. “We are excited to welcome this set of diverse individuals to our organization. Their dedication and passion will be of great benefit to the local children they advocate for. It’s quite an endeavor for someone to say ‘I want to be a CASA’,” said Judith Jones, Executive Director of Susquehanna Valley CASA – Voices for Children, a non-profit organization serving Lycoming, Northumberland, Union and Snyder counties.

Susquehanna Valley CASA – Voices for Children is a volunteer-powered network of committed citizens – from all walks of life – who are specially trained to fight for abused and neglected children, to make sure their basic rights and essential needs are not overlooked or ignored by the overburdened foster care and child welfare systems. Appointed by Judges, CASA volunteers assist the Courts in determining what is in the best interest of the child. Over the course of a case, the advocate meets directly and regularly (at least once per month) with his or her assigned child (or sibling set), and also speaks with everyone of significance in that child’s life: parents and relatives, foster parents, teachers, neighbors, medical professionals, attorneys, social workers, and others. CASA considers and investigates every aspect of the child’s life – placement/permanency, visitation, educational, medical, behavioral, social, financial/physical needs, vocational and life skills. The CASA volunteer then informs the Court and the other parties involved what the child’s needs are, and makes recommendations regarding a permanent home and any needed support or services for the child.

During the ceremony, the judges shared their perspectives on CASA and the important role the volunteers play. “CASA is the watchdog for the Court. I learn lots of invaluable information from the volunteers’ reports – information that I did not have from any other source. I wish we had a CASA for every child,” said The Honorable Judge McCoy. The Honorable Judge Rosini mentioned how much he values the volunteers’ time, and complimented the thorough and helpful volunteer reports. The Honorable Judge Sholley concluded, “Judges can’t get enough information about the children and families that come before us. These children are in these situations through no fault of their own, and the most important thing we can give to them is well-informed permanence.”

Despite just completing the 40-hour volunteer training course, the Susquehanna Valley CASA – Voices for Children staff is already gearing up for the next volunteer training class starting in April. Said Jones, “Even with these six new advocates joining us, there are more children waiting than we have volunteers to supply.” According to Jones, 55 abused and neglected children across the organization’s four-county service area are wait-listed for a CASA of their own. “We are continually recruiting compassionate adults who can think critically, make reasonable recommendations and work well with others. All it takes to make a difference in the life of a maltreated child is a caring adult, and every single one of those children deserve a CASA volunteer,” appealed Jones.

Individuals interested in becoming a CASA volunteer, or making a donation to expand CASA’s services to more abused and neglected children, are asked to contact the Susquehanna Valley CASA – Voices for Children office at (570) 988- 2200, or

Profiles of the New CASA Volunteers:

Retirees Carolyn and Bill Fairl relocated to Selinsgrove from Northern Virginia about two years ago. Bill retired from a long career in engineering and management; Carolyn was a graphic artist. They are proud parents of four grown children. Their motivation for becoming CASA volunteers comes from missing their own children, their gratitude to the loving foster family that raised Bill’s father, and to the inspiration provided to them by dear family friends, Jonas and Lisa Beiler.

Sunbury resident Christine Matthews looks forward to helping abused and neglected children find their voices. She has two teenage sons of her own, one of whom is adopted, and knows how important a safe, secure and stable home is for children to thrive. She owns and operates the Shear Delight Styling Salon in Northumberland.

Rachael Smith, a Beavertown resident, is an educator with teaching certificates in Early Childhood Development and Special Education. Smith comes to CASA with some awareness of the child welfare system, having babysat many foster children over the past ten years, and having a family member who works for Children and Youth Services in a neighboring county.

Betsy Snook, of Lewisburg, comes to CASA with decades of exposure to foster care, as her family took in foster babies during Snook’s childhood. Snook is a registered nurse and is the Chief Executive Officer of the PA State Nurses Association. She has three children of her own, and five grandchildren, with another shortly on the way. “Advocacy is second nature to me as a mother and a nurse. I look forward with great excitement and honor to advocate on behalf of children as a CASA volunteer,” stated Snook.

Lewisburg resident Heather Strassner is a purchasing assistant for a local non-profit organization. She first heard about Susquehanna Valley CASA – Voices for Children through her church, which happened to be around the same time multiple instances of local children were making the news for getting into serious trouble – the Interstate 80 rock-throwing incident, arsons and vandalism. Strassner then knew she wanted to do something to make a difference for children in her community. Strassner said, “As a CASA volunteer, I can make sure that a child’s voice is heard just when they need it the most.”

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Resolutions For January and Beyond

Now that all the parties and family dinners are a distant memory. We tend to make New Year’s resolutions like be a better person, lose weight and declutter. At least they are my usual. This year, I am determined to declutter my office, home and life. So declutter the home is where we start. Closets are overflowing, pantries are low on staples (darn holidays!!!). Get out your To Do List and lets get started. Nothing feels better than checking off something on the list that is completed.

Start with the pantry. You need the staples like tomato sauce, pastas (whole grain of course remember your other resolution to lose weight), flour, sugar, canned veggies etc. You can throw together a simple meal without having to stop at the grocery store.

Remember if you start small, you will be successful. Check pantry off your list.

Then move to the hall closet where all the winter coats are kept. If you don’t have hangers that match, get them. Really helps to keep things neat and they aren’t very expensive.

Continue your way through your home, one closet, one drawer at a time. My personal worst is the sock drawer. I always think I am going to find that one sock that is missing. Forget about it; pitch.

So you are thinking, if I attempt to carry out my resolutions, how can I possible still clean my home? Well that is where the “Mollies” come in. Call on the Mollies to do your weekly, bi-weekly cleaning and you won’t mind cleaning out those drawers and closets.

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Warm Up At Whistle Stop

We now feature a “Patty Crew ” on our lunch menu. It includes a cup of Chef created soup and a halfWhistle stop image 2 sandwich of your own creation for only $6.50! this is a perfect combination for the cold winter months. Get a group together and warm up at the Whistle Stop.

To entice you, here are a few of our most popular soups:

Potato Cheddar Bisque

New England Clam Chowder

Vegetarian Split Pea

Tuscan Vegetable

Get a pint TO GO!

Specialty Dinners:
Our dinner menu features Continental Classic favorites like Chicken Picatta, Beef Burgundy, and Turkey Devonshire all served in old world ambiance.Whistle Stop image

To dine in a place loaded with history and different from any other, with Chef inspired creations, The Whistle Stop is a short, pleasant driving destination from any location.

The Whistle Stop is located on Route 144 in Centre Hall, Centre County, just 15 minutes from State College and 25 minutes from Lewistown. Hours are; Wednesday and Thursday 11am to 8pm: Friday and Saturday, 11am to 9pm; Sunday, 11am to 7pm. Closed Monday and Tuesday. We are on vacation until January 16th, 2014. And remember to bring your favorite wine or beer to enhance your experience.

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Varicose Veins

Advanced Vein Care Leg imageDo you experience:

• tired, achy, painful legs?

• heaviness or swelling in lower legs or ankles?

• veins that are dark purple or blue in color and appear twisted or bulging?

• tenderness around the veins in your legs?

• an itchy or irritated rash on the legs or near the ankles?

• a sense of restlessness in the legs?

If you answered yes to one of more of these questions, you may be a candidate for varicose vein treatments.

What Is Vein Disease?

Healthy veins have valves which open and close to assist the return of blood to the heart. Venous disease occurs if these valves become damaged, allowing the backward flow of blood in the legs. When blood cannot be properly returned through the vein, it can pool in the legs, leading to a feeling of heaviness and fatigue—causing varicose veins and other skin changes. While usually not life-threatening, venous disorders still affect your circulatory system and can lead to more serious complications, such as ulcers, blood clots and/or stroke if left untreated. Spider veins are similar to varicose veins, but are usually fine and superficial. Spider veins are found closer to the skin’s surface and are often red or blue.

What causes Vein Disease?

Most vein disease has a strong genetic link, however, the more time we spend sedentary or standing on our feet, the more we increase the likelihood that our veins will have difficulty returning the blood.

The most common factors are::

• genetics

• body weight

• sedentary lifestyle

• age

• gender

Women are about two times more likely to suffer from varicose veins than men. Pregnancy and hormonal changes can increase susceptibility to varicose veins.

Vein Treatments:

There are many minimally-invasive options to treat your venous conditions—with a short recovery and quick return to everyday activities. A personalized plan of care will be determined to meet your individualized needs.

Preventive Vein Care:

Self-care—such as exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, eating well, elevating your legs, wearing compression stockings and controlling other health conditions—can help prevent varicose veins or keep them from getting worse. However, if you are concerned about how your veins look and feel, you should know there are virtually pain-free treatments available. Walk in, walk out.

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Knowing Your Breasts

SusquehannaBreastHealthChanges in the breast, such as lumps or masses, typically trigger cancer concerns. But did you know that only about 20 percent of lumps discovered turn out to be cancerous? Knowing your breasts well makes you an active participant in your breast health and guides your provider as they examine and evaluate you. Your own assessment can guide therapies and make your treatment plan easier.

The breast is a complex structure made up of lobules, connective tissue, fat, lobes, ducts and lymph nodes. Breast self-exam (a regular, five minute visual and physical inspection) helps you learn your breasts’ unique makeup and characteristics both of which change cyclically and over time. A young woman typically has denser breasts with more hormonally active tissue than an older woman who has gone through menopause. Beginning breast self exam in your 20s is ideal, but any time is a good time!

If you have a cycle, examine your breasts at the same time in each cycle. Examining just after your period is often easiest because your breasts are not as dense. If you don’t have a cycle, pick the same time each month. With routine exams, you’ll learn what is normal for you. Promptly report
these conditions to your healthcare provider:

■ A distinctly different area of the breast
■ A lump or thickening in the breast that does not change with your cycle
■ A change in the size or shape of the breast
■ A change in the texture or appearance of skin or nipple
■ A discharge from the nipple

Imaging, biopsy, and/or monitoring are used to further evaluate changes in the breast. Many
benign conditions require no treatment at all. These include:

Cysts—fluid filled collections in the breast that may be deep or closer to the skin surface. Cysts may have the consistency of a water balloon or be a bit firmer. They often don’t require treatment but may be aspirated or drained if they become too large or painful. Breast cysts typically go away after menopause unless you are taking hormones

Fibroadenoma—solid, noncancerous tumors that are most common in women under the age of 30. The tumor may change in size or even go away. They can be monitored, biopsied or completely removed depending on the patient’s symptoms and the doctor’s impression

Many lifestyle choices that promote general good health also benefit breast health. Choose a diet high in fresh fruits, vegetables, and fiber and low in fat and sugar. Exercise at least 20 minutes daily and maintain a healthy weight. Women who are overweight or obese have a higher risk of developing breast cancer as do women who smoke and/or drink more than four to five glasses of wine per week.

Mammograms, starting at age 40, are an excellent screening tool that can detect small changes in
your breasts before you can see or feel them.

You are the best advocate for your breast health. Learning how your breasts change, understanding
your risks for breast cancer, living a healthy lifestyle and receiving annual mammograms give you the best opportunity for detecting and treating any breast disease at its earliest stage.

Renee Quarterman, MD, FACS, is part of the breast health team at Susquehanna Health’s Kathryn
Candor Lundy Breast Health Center. She has more than a decade of experience treating breast cancer and non-cancerous breast diseases and was founder and medical director at The Breast Center at Milford Regional Medical Center in Milford, Massachusetts. She earned her doctor
of medicine degree from Duke University School of Medicine and completed her residency in
general surgery at Oregon Health Sciences University.

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