Aikido is the "loving protection of all beings," in the words of Morihei Ueshiba, who created the martial-arts style. Although it sometimes incorporates wooden weapons, at its heart, aikido seeks to act as a replacement for violence. Greg O'Connor, founder and chief instructor at Aikido Centers of New Jersey, brings Ueshiba's tenets to his students, who have included children and seniors, as well as members of the New Jersey State Police, the Department of Homeland Security, and the US Secret Service. O'Connor and more than 40 other instructors teach students self-defense tactics that redirect attacks, as well as more advanced methods that include wooden sword and staff training and aikido's dramatic falls and rolls.
At Dancing on the Edge NJ, instructors Ms. Sandra and Ms. Maria Teresa—who have trained at renowned institutions such as the Dominican National Ballet Company and the Joffrey Ballet—lead dance classes for students of all abilities. They specialize in ballet, which they believe is the foundation for every dance form with its formalized and precise movements. They also specialize in tap dance and jazz dance, an energetic and rhythmic technique featuring fancy footwork and improvisation.
Catherine Bello finds the solution to stress where others rarely think to look: the bottoms of their feet. She and her team of certified reflexologists manipulate pressure points on the feet that correspond with specific glands, organs, and other body parts in order to promote holistic wellness in their clients. These treatments can address specific ailments from headaches and sinusitis to digestive problems.
Reflexology sessions aren't strictly medical, though. Instead, Sole Revival Reflexology aims to provide a spa experience for clients, offering soothing foot soaks and leg massages as well as a variety of add-on services such as paraffin-wax treatments. Foot treatments also incorporate a skincare mask in a variety of scents, including one that will make your soles smell like champagne even if you weren't recently kickboxing at a New Year's Eve party.
Many of the staff members are also nail technicians and provide pedicures with chemical-free polish to complement their reflexology sessions. Others perform the balancing art of reiki, which involves laying on hands to regulate the body's flow of energy. During all treatments, a spa-like environment aims to enhance their calming work as guests relax surrounded by decorative plants and the sound of quiet, relaxing music.
New Health Centers consists of more than 300 health-care practitioners across the country, each working to alleviate corporeal discomfort with natural techniques. Doctors work in conjunction with experienced practitioners to soothe aches, pains, and lawn-gnome infestations.
At Carin Williams Acupuncture, a licensed acupuncturist—who is also a registered nurse—uses thin, sterile needles during treatments that attempt to remove blockages that may affect underlying bodily energies. By removing these blockages, the treatments can help restore bodies to a natural balance and may offer relaxation and respite from health conditions, such as migraines, lower back pain, or insomnia. These acupuncture treatments can also have effects in weight-loss treatments, potentially stimulating metabolism.
Not even x-rays see all. Dr. Henry Slomowitz recognized this more than a decade ago, becoming an early adopter of diagnostic ultrasound, which can identify problems that a foot might normally hide from an x-ray. Diagnostic ultrasound is only the tip of the technological iceberg—aided by his staff of four, Dr. Slomowitz performs laser nail-fungus treatments and radio-frequency heel pain relief, among other advanced services.
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