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123 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA, 19106

215-627-3782

The Healing Arts Center provides everything you need to reach your health and wellness goals. Whether you're seeking acute or chronic pain relief, stress reduction, help with infertility, physical rehabilitation, anti-aging treatments or just plain relaxation, our staff are here to provide safe, effective treatment and classes to help you on your way. Our center's goal is to maximize your body's function, increase energy, give you a higher self-esteem and provide an overall improvement in your quality of life.

We named it the Healing Arts Center because every practitioner on the team has a wide repertoire of integrative techniques and treatments to draw upon. We believe the art of healing is in the creative application of techniques and the mix should always be fresh, responding to the demands of the moment. After all, we believe every patient is unique and every day presents a new challenge that demands our creativity.

Blog

The Healing Arts Center of Philadelphia promotes a holistic health approach for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Through our blog, we hope to share information that covers topics like acupuncture, acupuncture for chiropractic, fitness, yoga, pilates, Tai Chi, Chinese herbs, Oriental Medicine and tips and tricks for maintaining your health from our talented practitioners and instructors. 

Risk Factors for Male Infertility

Lauren Moreno

In honor of Men's Health Week, we're exploring common men's health issues.

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Infertility is a common problem for both men and women. The latest statistics show that one in eight couples in America and one in six in Canada will experience some sort of difficulties conceiving. Currently, we think that one-third of these cases are due to a problem with the man. 

There are a number of risk factors that are linked to male infertility. These include:

  • Aging
  • Smoking tobacco or marijuana
  • Drinking alcohol excessively (effects are very mild after 5 drinks per week, bad effects with more than 25 drinks per week)
  • Being overweight (according to a 2006 study, the odds of infertility increase by 10% for every 20 pounds a man is overweight)
  • Exposure to environmental toxins
  • Having past or present infections
  • Overheating the testicles (bike rides, laptops, saunas & hot tubs, tight underwear consistently)
  • Having medical conditions, including tumors and chronic illnesses
  • Taking medication or undergoing medical treatment such as radiation for cancer (chemotherapeutics and possibly male alopecia meds)

Changes in lifestyle can effect male fertility. Weight loss, especially in high bmi patients, can have very fast effects. Other changes like eliminating smoking, moderating drinking, implementing a mild exercise routine and regulating temperature can sometimes increase fertility in as little as three months. 

Listen to one couple's experience with male infertility on Steve's podcast, Waiting for Babies.


Steve Mavros, L.OM., is co-founder of The Healing Arts Center of Philadelphia. He has been an acupuncturist and herbalist since 2001. Though he treats a wide variety of conditions, he has been focusing on female and male infertility since his first month in practice. Working hand-in-hand with reproductive endocrinologists and even treating on-site at fertility clinics, Steve has helped pioneer the acupuncture for fertility field in Philadelphia. His practice also includes other focuses including chronic pain, headaches and migraines, menstrual issues and menopause, anxiety, stroke rehabilitation and fibromyalgia. 

 

The views and nutritional/herbal advice expressed by Steve Mavros, L.OM. is not intended to be a substitute for conventional medical service. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, promptly contact your health care provider. No information offered here should be interpreted as a diagnosis of any disease, nor an attempt to treat or prevent or cure any disease or condition. Information and statements regarding products and/or services made available by Steve Mavros, L.OM. and the Healing Arts Center have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.  

 

My Survivor Story

Lauren Moreno

Dr. Barry Silverman is co-founder of The Healing Arts Center, a chiropractor with over 25 years experience and a 2nd degree Black Sash in Tai Chi. Dr. Silverman teaches Tai Chi at The Healing Arts Studio in Old City. 

Dr. Barry Silverman is co-founder of The Healing Arts Center, a chiropractor with over 25 years experience and a 2nd degree Black Sash in Tai Chi. Dr. Silverman teaches Tai Chi at The Healing Arts Studio in Old City. 

It was like a finely timed punch to the belly. Explosive and literally gut-wrenching. It snapped me out of my colonoscopy drug induced haze. The Doc said, “you have a tumor in your ascending colon. I want you to get it out next week, don’t wait, and then you’ll be fine.” Wow - that was mortality right up in my grill. I was 55, with a 1-year-old baby, a wonderful wife and feeling good about life.  So, I did what the Doc said...and I’m still here 13 years later.

Why me? Why not me? A well thought out approach to regaining health or just a confluence of luck? Well, here’s how it happened. You be the judge.

During the summer of 2004 I developed a cough. No cold or anything else, just a cough. Being a chiropractor and interested in natural healing, I self-medicated with various herbs and nutrients. Nothing really worked that entire summer and into the fall. Finally, I broke down and went to see my primary care doc. He said, "it’s probably just a virus but I’ll give you an antibiotic in case it's bacterial. Come back in 10 days.” I did, but it was no better.

Next, the doc said, “I’m taking blood, come back tomorrow.” The blood test showed I was anemic.  The doc said, “I need a stool sample, come back tomorrow.” The stool sample was positive for bleeding. The Doc said, “You need a colonoscopy now - you’re bleeding somewhere.” As I left he followed me out the door and into the street. He said, “This is serious. I’m setting up a colonoscopy for Friday." You know the colonoscopy story, so my primary care doc then set me up with a surgeon the following Monday and I had surgery the next day. I was home by Friday. I didn’t really want to go home, but the attending Doc on Friday morning said, “look, you ate, you farted and you didn’t vomit. Go home - you’ll be better off there.” He was right. My bed felt great.

Ten days later at the surgeon’s office he told me no one he had ever taken care of had left the hospital that soon after having one third of their ascending colon removed (by the way, my scar is terrific.) I asked if I needed chemotherapy. He said it would probably be up to me but I should see an oncologist. As expected, the oncologist confirmed that it was up to me whether to have chemotherapy. Without it, I was looking at an 80% 5-year mortality. With it, 83%. The oncologist told me chemotherapy helped only one out of 49 people, but I agreed to do it anyway. Why? Because I wouldn’t miss work and it was only for six months - I felt I could do anything for six months.

Before I began treatments, I decided I would make chemotherapy just a matter-of-fact part of my life. I would go to have chemo for two hours early in the morning, bring work with me and then go to my office and see patients. I did this once a week for six weeks then off for two weeks, for six months.

My wife and friends wanted to come and visit me during the treatments, but I said no. I preferred to not make an event out of my chemotherapy, but just make it feel like a part of my regular life - like going to the cleaners or the bank. It helped make me feel normal in a very abnormal situation with the environment of the oncology suite and its rows of lounge chairs with people of all ages hooked up to IVs.

The chemotherapy didn’t cause me to lose my hair. I already had. I never missed work either. I didn’t feel great but I just kept going. To counter the side effects of the chemo, I had acupuncture every week. It must have helped because I suffered no nausea or diarrhea as the oncologist had said I would suffer. Post-chemo, I decided to clean up my diet. I no longer eat red meat or pork. Many of my meals are still meatless. The Tai Chi I had been practicing became even more precious to me. I trained more and competed successfully in many Chinese martial arts tournaments over the following 13 years. Today I continue to practice Tai Chi as well as teach five Tai Chi classes per week.

In some ways my cancer has been very, very good to me. Absent cancer I doubt whether I would have practiced Tai Chi as much and competed in tournaments. I am, at my core, an introvert and performing in front of others was very challenging. Experiencing cancer has made me a more empathetic doctor towards my patients, especially those who have had cancer themselves, who are presently going through it, or who have family and friends who are going through it.    

Now 13 years later the cancer diagnosis has become part of who I am, no more or less than other facets of me: like being a chiropractor, husband, father, friend, Jew, political progressive and a male. At times when I am at my most vulnerable I remember what I went through and gain strength from that ordeal. I'm older now, 68 to be exact. I have always resisted calling myself a survivor - never really wanting to give cancer that kind of prominince in my life or defining myself in that way. 

But then again, I have survived.  

 

 

 

Self-Care During Pregnancy

Lauren Moreno

When you are expecting a baby, your mental and physical well-being is often considered secondary to that of the life growing inside of you. However, taking the time to nurture yourself will have many positive effects on both you and your baby’s health. Pregnancy is a perfect opportunity to indulge and engage in self-care; all while doing what is also best for your baby. Here are some tips to help you maintain your balance throughout your pregnancy.

Nutrition

Eating for two can be tricky. From cravings to aversions to nausea, your relationship with food is just one of many changes brought on by pregnancy. If you need to be more expansive or selective in your eating practices while pregnant, view these changes as an opportunity to cultivate flexibility, which you'll most certainly need after baby arrives. Eating nutritious foods, listening to your appetite, and taking prenatal vitamins are important steps to ensure a healthy diet. Also essential to gaining optimal nutrition is the practice of mindful eating. How we eat is as important as what we eat. Eating with awareness is an excellent way to connect with yourself. Start with a peaceful environment. Allow yourself to experience the flavors, sensations, aromas, and memories evoked by each bite of food. Notice how your food nourishes your body and your baby.

Managing Stress

With all the highs and lows in your energy and emotions, it is normal to feel overwhelmed during pregnancy. Although we cannot ensure that our lives are stress free, we can learn to stay centered during the ups and downs. Reducing your reactivity to life's challenges is important for your baby's development. Learning to be mindful of situations that trigger stress is essential to reducing it. One exercise you can adopt to help manage stress is journaling. Taking time out of your day to turn your attention inwards has many benefits. Writing in a journal can you help you identify and release stressful and negative emotions. Furthermore, taking note of the things in your life that bring you joy will help you manifest peace. Two journaling exercises to try are:

  • Write and Burn: Write down your negative feelings. Reflect and give yourself permission to let go of those emotions that no longer serve you. Burn the paper to symbolize the release.
  • Gratitude List: Write down 5 things that you are grateful for each day. It can be as simple as a hot cup of tea.

Meditation is another extremely valuable practice to help manage stress. Taking the time to quiet your mind has been scientifically proven to reduce stress and has immense benefits to your developing baby. A regular meditation practice can help you prepare for the challenges of labor and the life changes after childbirth. From a biological standpoint, meditation can help reduce stress and anxiety, increase endorphin production, boost the immune system and balance brain chemistry. Another wonderful benefit of meditation is that it can enhance the connection between mother and child. You only need minutes to bring your awareness within, focus on your breath and quiet your mind. 

Prenatal Yoga

Yoga is an amazing way to stay fit and balanced during pregnancy. Consider it a gift that you give to yourself and your baby. Practicing gentle stretches and poses (asanas) can help you bring balance to your changing body as well as prepare for a positive and healthy labor. Yoga poses can help relieve many discomforts of pregnancy as you release tension in your body. As you practice, you will learn how to surrender to places where you feel tight or out of balance. Not only does yoga help you connect with your body, it also teaches you how to connect with your breath. Learning breathing techniques (pranayama) is an incredible tool to have for pregnancy, birth and beyond. Another bonus of prenatal yoga is the community. As you attend class you are certain to meet and connect with other moms-to-be. Your prenatal yoga class will provide you with a sacred and safe place to share your experiences, learn from others, and form bonds that will continue far beyond your yoga mat. There is still time to sign up for our new prenatal yoga series here!

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Dahvia Dalton is our newest instructor. Dahvia began her yoga journey in 2001 as a way to relieve stress and stay fit during her demanding job in film and television production. During her pregnancy she practiced prenatal yoga daily and found it so inspiring that she decided to take her love of yoga to the next level. After having her son, Dahvia completed a 200 hour Vinyasa Yoga teacher training followed by a 300 hour Yoga Mentorship with a focus on Prenatal Yoga. She is also certified as a Postpartum Yoga teacher. Since 2012 Dahvia has been teaching Vinyasa, Gentle Vinyasa, Prenatal, Postpartum and kids yoga classes. She also teaches wellness workshops that focus on mindfulness, meditation and yoga at community centers for low income families. All of her classes emphasize pranayama, meditation and gentle yet challenging exploration of movement. Dahvia feels honored to share her passion for yoga and wellness to all of her students.