Berks Chamber hosts 1st Work­ing Lunch.

Mem­bers learn about ex­er­cise, holis­tic ther­a­pies, well­ness ini­tia­tives

The Kutztown Area Patriot - - FRONT PAGE - By Lisa Mitchell lmitchell@21st-cen­tu­ry­media. com @kutz­town­pa­triot and ham­bur­gitem on Twit­ter

The North­east Berks Chamber of Com­merce in­tro­duced the new Work­ing Lunch se­ries, hold­ing the first pro­gram on well­ness at Key­stone Villa at Fleet­wood on Feb. 15.

“My in­ten­tion with the Work­ing Lunch se­ries is to bring mem­bers to­gether with other mem­bers,” said North­east Berks Chamber Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor Lori B. Donofrio-Gal­ley. “We’re look­ing to en­gage all of our mem­bers and to let mem­bers know what th­ese other busi­nesses are.”

She said the Chamber has about 35 per­cent of Chamber mem­bers in at­ten­dance at pro­grams and events, held at var­i­ous times of the day, break­fast, lunch and evenings.

“The goal is to ac­com­mo­date the sched­ules of all mem­bers, so for those peo­ple who can­not make day­time meet­ings they can come to evening net­work­ing events,” said DonofrioGal­ley. “The goal is to en­gage as many mem­bers as pos­si­ble at dif­fer­ent times of the day.”

Held on Wed­nes­days from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., the Work­ing Lunch se­ries will be held in Fe­bru­ary, April, June, and Oc­to­ber. The 90-minute ed­u­ca­tional pro­grams will be led by a panel of mem­bers who con­trib­ute on a given topic based on their busi­ness ex­per­tise.

“The most in­ter­est­ing part is not only learn­ing about the mul­ti­tude of ser­vices but also the level of in­vest­ment... they are re­ally in­vested in the work that they do,” said Donofrio-Gal­ley. The Feb. 15 pro­gram was spon­sored by Rel­a­tive Care/ Ad­vance Home Health, West Read­ing, which was es­tab­lished in 2006 as a non-med­i­cal home care agency.

“We pride our­selves in con­ti­nu­ity of care,” said Rel­a­tive Care Pres­i­dent Justin LaFazia. “The hall­mark of our care is re­ally get­ting in there and get­ting to know some­one and be­ing an ex­ten­sion of their fam­ily.”

Ser­vices in­clude com­pan­ion­ship, per­sonal care and skilled ser­vices, from phys­i­cal ther­apy to skilled nurs­ing.

Well­ness was the topic for the Feb. 15 pro­gram. Ex­er­cise, holis­tic ther­a­pies, and health and well­ness ini­tia­tives were pre­sented by chamber mem­ber pan­elists Dr. Brian Ghessi of Ghessi Chi­ro­prac­tic, Fleet­wood; De­sha Dick­son, Read­ing Health Sys­tem; Megan Dougherty, Tri-Val­ley YMCA Fleet­wood; and Tamu Ngina, MEND Soul Holis­tic Arts, Kutz­town.

Ghessi has more than 10 years of chi­ro­prac­tic and nat­u­ral heal­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. He spent the last 17 years in Cal­i­for­nia and re­cently re­turned to Fleet­wood in 2015. Ghessi Chi­ro­prac­tic, 12 West Main Street, Fleet­wood, will hold a rib­bon cut­ting cer­e­mony on March 6, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Dur­ing the panel dis­cus­sion, Ghessi talked about the range of health is­sues that may orig­i­nate from the spine. Demon­strat­ing with a model spine, he showed how too much pres­sure and com­pres­sion can af­fect the spine.

“The ner­vous sys­tem is the com­mu­ni­ca­tion sys­tem of our whole body,” he said. “If those sig­nals are con­stantly be­ing in­ter­fered with be­cause of this pres­sure, we can get all types of things hap­pen­ing, not just pain. Th­ese nerves go out to all of the mus­cles, joints, or­gans and tis­sues of our body.”

For ex­am­ple, chronic ten­sion in the spine that goes out to the lungs can lead to such health prob­lems as asthma and res­pi­ra­tory func­tion is­sues, he said. In ad­di­tion to pain, in­di­ca­tors of a prob­lem could be mus­cle tight­ness, re­stric­tion in a joint, and chronic ill­nesses.

“Spinal Sublux­a­tions are the mis­align­ments of the ver­te­brae putting pres­sure on our nerves,” said Ghessi, ex­plain­ing that restor­ing the spine align­ment “makes not only the spine and body feel bet­ter but it re­stores the proper flow of in­for­ma­tion in our body.”

While many be­lieve chi­ro­prac­tic is for bones he said it pri­mar­ily ad­dresses the health of the nerves and the ner­vous sys­tem.

Dougherty talked about the many pro­grams of­fered at Tri-Val­ley YMCA Fleet­wood for ages 6 weeks up to age 90.

“A child is play­ing youth sports with us while Mom is in a fit­ness class and Dad is work­ing out in the weight room and we got grand­par­ents vol­un­teer­ing be­hind the front desk so we re­ally try to en­com­pass the fam­ily,” said Dougherty. “We’re not just a gym, we of­fer so much more... It’s a fam­i­ly­cen­ter fa­cil­ity.”

Pro­grams in­clude day­care; af­ter-school pro­grams at Fleet­wood, Brandy­wine Heights and Ham­burg school dis­tricts; youth sum­mer camps; youth bas­ket­ball of more than 300 par­tic­i­pants; swim les­sons; fit­ness pro­grams for all ages; and pro­grams for se­nior cit­i­zens.

“Our motto is for youth devel­op­ment, healthy liv­ing and so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity. We try to ac­com­plish this, all three of them, in all of our pro­grams,” said Dougherty. “We never cap our pro­grams, we will find a spot for ev­ery­body.”

Ngina, from MEND Soul Holis­tic Arts, Kutz­town, talked about some of her ser­vices, in­clud­ing Reiki, med­i­ta­tion ses­sions and re­flex­ol­ogy.

“Re­flex­ol­ogy is an art, a modal­ity, that has been around for thou­sands of years... prac­ticed all over the world,” said Ngina. “Cer­tain parts of the feet are ma­nip­u­lated for cer­tain rea­sons.”

Not­ing that re­flex­ol­ogy is not foot mas­sage, she used a foot chart de­pict­ing dif­fer­ent parts of the body to show how re­flex­ol­ogy works.

“My pas­sion is re­flex­ol­ogy. I also do mas­sage ther­apy. I like to help peo­ple to learn how to cen­ter and take care of their body from their brain all the way down to the soles of their feet,” said Ngina. “When you take care of th­ese two re­gions (the head and feet) ev­ery­thing else helps to fall into place.”

Dick­son dis­cussed some of Read­ing Health Sys­tem’s com­mu­nity health ini­tia­tives in­clud­ing an ini­tia­tive to ad­dress ad­dic­tion fo­cused mostly on the opi­oid epi­demic. Oth­ers ini­tia­tives aim to in­crease men­tal health ac­cess, ad­dress obe­sity and im­prove ac­cess to care. She said that while there are more peo­ple


Well­ness was the topic for the Feb. 15 Work­ing Lunch. Ex­er­cise, holis­tic ther­a­pies, and health and well­ness ini­tia­tives were pre­sented by chamber mem­ber pan­elists Megan Dougherty, Tri-Val­ley YMCA Fleet­wood; Tamu Ngina, MEND Soul Holis­tic Arts, Kutz­town; Dr. Brian Ghessi of Ghessi Chi­ro­prac­tic, Fleet­wood; pro­gram spon­sor Rel­a­tive Care Pres­i­dent Justin LaFazia and De­sha Dick­son, Read­ing Health Sys­tem.

Pan­elist Dr. Brian Ghessi of Ghessi Chi­ro­prac­tic, Fleet­wood, talks about the spine.

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