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It would be remiss of me not to mention the picture on the cover of the August 7 edition of the 5TJT. Larry and Esta Gordon were honored guests at our daughter’s wedding in Israel. They took care to arrange their schedule to be there for a wedding that I promised would be a true simcha–and certainly not a run-of-the-mill event! I am pretty sure they would agree that I delivered. Larry was snapping pictures on his iPad the whole time. As always, he was covering the news, events, and s’machot even across the globe.

While I don’t usually write about my family, I must say that the wedding was exceptionally beautiful and uplifting. I have tried to raise my children to be free thinkers and follow their own paths. The Carlebach-style wedding was an exemplary display of the uniqueness and individuality that is my daughter and son-in-law. The magic and spirituality was felt by all.

Individuality is something that is often lost today. Within our society, we try to keep up with the rigorous minutiae of our daily schedule. Whether it’s at work or in our children’s school day, we try to ensure that everything follows the routine we have established without deviating much from the plan. At times, however, it may still fluctuate between the mundane and being nonstop hectic. Thus, all too often, that which makes us unique can be lost in the shuffle.

As the summer teeters closer to a close, we are trying to savor the last weeks of relaxation, the last few weeks when we can honor our individuality and feel like we are free from the rigors of our schedule. Making time to put your feet up, take long walks, and clear your mind is essential. Self-expression is important to establishing ourselves and letting go of old inhibitions. Rooting our spirit is imperative to gaining a foothold as we embark on the months ahead, during which we may not have the time needed to properly cultivate the conditions that will allow the freedom of expression as we get back to a full schedule.

The beauty of holistic medicine is that it encapsulates both the mind and body. It does not separate the two. One is recognized as a product as well as a condition of the other. Learning how to take in the moments and relax the mind and body is imperative for mental health and physical wellbeing. Without it, anxiety and illness can set in and become consuming. Acupuncture can help with emotional dilemmas, stability, and even promote decisiveness and encourage and foster greater confidence. Because acupuncture taps into both the qi and spirit of the person, it is beneficial for so much more than mere back pain. Patients often come to me when they are stagnant in their lives and feel that they have misplaced their drive or motivation. Often it can even lead to depression. In children, this may manifest as ADD or ADHD. Our environment, relationships, and even food all play a role. Proper focus, especially in children, is essential for a streamlined thought process. Without it, children may feel a cloud lingering over them, blocking clarity of thought. Defogging the mind is essential to allow the continuity of thoughts and ideas. It also enables confidence in oneself. Without clarity of mind, it is impossible to feel certain in one’s path and goals.

It is helpful to try and get young children on the right path now before school begins, bringing with it the pressures of maintaining a schedule to keep up with the workload. Some foods to avoid are milk, cheese, and dairy in general. These can be used in moderation but should be avoided with children who have difficulty focusing. Utilizing proper nutrition with brain foods such as kale and spinach, nuts and seeds, along with red meat, can be helpful. Encouraging a good night’s sleep and some exercise can help the body recondition itself as well.

Remember to focus on the individual and encourage growth and freedom of expression. We are all byproducts of our environment. However, having the space and encouragement for self-expression enables growth, productivity, happiness, and self-confidence. Whether in Woodmere or in the woods, peace and harmony and self-expression are always essential to achieving “Serenity Now.”  v