Health and Healing Blog

Get Outdoors!

A recent class I took was talking about the yin and the yang and finding balance within all areas of your life.  This really got me thinking to what helps me feel more balanced.  One of those things is getting outside and connecting with nature.  There have been lots of studies about the effects of being in nature on people.  They have found that people are healthier, less stressed, more creative, and even more compassionate when they have a connection to nature.  I have definitely found this to be true for myself.

Now that the weather is getting warm I am really looking forward to spending more time outside.  However, as much as I enjoy it, I also don’t feel like doing the same things all of the time.  Going to the park is nice, but it’s also good to mix it up.  If you’re like me and like some variation, here are some ideas to keep things interesting while keeping you connected. 

1)     Star gazing.  An oldie but a goodie.  And you don’t even need a telescope for it!

2)     Bird watching. There are lots of clubs and resources around town to get you started.

3)     Volunteer. Try a community clean up, volunteering for a race, or seeing what you can do at your local community garden. 

4)     Walk a labyrinth.  There are a few outdoor ones in different parts of the city.  Find one close to you or try them all.

5)     Get active.  Pittsburgh has so many ways to be active outdoors during the summer months.  Rent a bicycle or a kayakGo on a hike.  Go rock climbing.  Do yoga outside.  Walk the river path.  Join a boot camp. Go to a community pool.  So many possibilities!

6)     Start a garden of your own.  If you have a yard, that’s wonderful!  You’ll have lots of space to plant.  No yard?  No problem.  Try potting plants.  Bonus: plant fruits and vegetables for fresh food all summer long.

7)     Have a photo shoot.  Find a spot you think is beautiful and start snapping.  For an added bonus bring your friends or family long and get some pictures with them in it, too!

8)     Be entertained.  Go to an outdoor festival, see a movie, or hear some music in the park.

9)     Catch the sunrise or the sunset.  Get up early to see the sunrise or take a minute in the evening to stop and enjoy the sunset.

10)   Go to the farmers market.  Not only will this get you outside, but you can pick up fresh local food at affordable rates.


Have kids (or friends that act like kids)?  Here are a couple additional ideas:

1)     Make a map.  Explore your yard or a park and create a map of what is there.

2)     Create a scavenger hunt.  You could use your new map as a guide or try to find different things in nature.

3)     Design nature art. Paint rocks, create a flower scrapbook, or make clay nature stamps. 

4)     Run through a sprinkler.  Though I recommend this for more than just kids.

5)     Play angry birds.  With water balloons!


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Mental Health Month

Did you know that, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, one in five Americans will be affected by a mental health condition in their lifetime?  This means that virtually everyone in America has a friend or family member impacted by mental illness.  The goal of Mental Health Month is to help educate the public, combat the stigma that is often associated with mental illness, and find new ways to support ourselves and the ones we love.  

Because anxiety is something that is so common in our society, Pittsburgh Center for Complementary Health and Healing created a short meditation that you can do when you wake up in the morning, before bed, or anytime you are feeling tension.  



For more meditations, check out our YouTube channel here.

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Diane Brinsko's picture

Spring Cleaning

It’s that time of the year...


You’ve dusted and vacuumed your baseboards, pulled the weeds in the garden,
cleaned the gutters, washed the windows. What’s next?


This holistic practice is purported to improve oral health, whiten teeth, remove
bacteria that causes bad breath & gum disease (gingivitis), decrease formation of
plaque, and prevent tooth decay. It’s 5-6 times less expensive than commercial
mouthwash with chlorhexidine. It can strengthen your jaws, decrease sensitivity in teeth
and draws out mucous congestion from your throat, and loosens up sinuses.

Good general health involves a Body-Mouth connection. There are 500+ species
of bacteria in your mouth -- some beneficial, some harmful. Bacteria in the mouth
impacts so many other diseases in the body....we swallow, we absorb, we digest. If
absorbed sublingually, bacteria is directed into our bloodstream causing low-grade
inflammatory responses throughout our bodies, leading to stiff joints, skin disorders,
headaches, lung disease, insomnia, fatigue, digestive disorders, and heart disease to


It’s a simple “routine” to add to your daily oral hygiene practices. Before you
begin your busy, hectic day, put a tablespoon of unrefined, food-grade Sesame,
Sunflower, Safflower, or Coconut Oil in your mouth and gently SWISH the oil between
your teeth for up to 20 minutes. Try not to swallow. If your mouth gets tired, use less
vigor in your swishing! Don't forget to spit in the trsh and not down your drains.
Do this before eating or drinking. When finished swishing, rinse
your mouth out with water -- brush and floss your teeth, blow your nose and clear your
throat. You may activate your gag reflex The oil in your mouth will transform into a

Warning: Do Not use Oil Pulling as a replacement for standard, professional oral health

Have fun...hum a little tune, deep breathe through your nose, take a shower.


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Laura Pickens's picture

Being Present Each and Every Day

I have been hearing a lot of talk recently about how we here in Pittsburgh aren't going to have a Spring and that we will be heading right into Summer. I wanted to write a little bit about the ways we can make the most of it while it is here now. Also in how we can put a little pep in our step and clean house to make space for new things to come in.

So what can we do to be present during this lovely time of year?

Go out and be in the sun. Replenish your Vitamin D levels. I take a supplement also but use your own judgement as long as it doesn't interfere with other medications you may be on.

Go for a walk outside. Breathe in the fresh air. Walking helps wake up your body's energy system and boosts endorphins to help you feel good.

Relax and release. Take a pink Himilayan salt bath before you go to bed to let go of the stress accumulated throughout your day. I put 2 cups in a bath tub full of water.

Add a touch of color to your environment. You can switch out pillows in your house or add a new house plant or flower.

Garden. Go to the nursery and see what grows nicely this time of year. Or you can buy fresh flowers or replace a potted plant that might need it.

Find new scents to use in a diffuser if you have one. Let the aromatherapy help lift your mood.

Clean out you closets or kitchen pantry. Get rid of the stuff you don't use anymore by donating it and make space for new things to come in.

It's easy to think to yourself that when the weather truly turns to summer that you’ll be back to your energized self.  But just do it now. Take positive action for your health and well being, and do your best in the present moment.


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Infertility Awareness Week

April 24-30 is Infertility Awareness Week.  With Mother’s Day coming up, this is an exciting time of year for many people.  It can also be a difficult one for those trying to conceive. This week, we want to honor those women and families that are impacted by infertility and celebrate those who have walked through our doors and seen success in their journeys.  Here are a few of their stories below. 

“Massage has completely transformed my life. It helped to regain my physical health and more fertility. I have a daughter as a result and in the process of trying to create another.”  -M.A.

“Massage therapy has positively impacted my life by bringing relaxation and well being into my life.  The greatest impact though came when I was trying to get pregnant. I had been trying for 7 months and after one fertility massage I got pregnant with my son. I am very grateful for the benefits of massage.” –K.T.

“I absolutely love the people that work at PCCHH.  I've been going there once a month since August and they recognize me and are cheering me on in my pursuit to conceive.  I really appreciate that.  I'm sure they have a ton of clients and the fact that they take such an interest in me is very moving.  I recommend them to everyone; including my fertility doctor at Magee.  After she reviewed my fertility charts she agreed that my sessions at PCCHH has made a huge positive impact and she will be promoting the facility to other patients. Fertility struggles is SO frustrating and this is the one place I feel hopeful.  It's kind of become my 'safe haven' and I really look forward to seeing them.” – M.H.

"Massage therapy has been a godsend.  The digestive massages that I received at PCCHH helped me to be able to eat again.  It has helped gotten my gastroparesis under control. Now I am hoping fertility massages can help get me pregnant!" -G.S.

"I've always enjoyed massages but Angie's fertility massages were unlike anything I've ever had.  She is amazing.  It helped me conceive!" -M.H.

 Take a look at the ways that PCCHH can support you here.


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