Astrology: Libra, open your heart and go for the win-win!
Jan16

Astrology: Libra, open your heart and go for the win-win!

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Many American women did not have the right to vote until August 18, 1920. On that day, the Tennessee General Assembly became the 36th state legislature to approve the Nineteenth Amendment, thus sealing the legal requirements to change the U.S. Constitution and ensure women’s suffrage. The ballot in Tennessee was close. At the last minute, 24-year-old legislator Harry T. Burns changed his mind from no...

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Free Will Astrology: It’s Leo Makeover Season!
Jan08

Free Will Astrology: It’s Leo Makeover Season!

ARIES (March 21-April 19): I’m happy to inform you that life is giving you permission to be extra demanding in the coming weeks — as long as you’re not petty, brusque, or unreasonable. Here are a few examples that will pass the test: “I demand that you join me in getting drunk on the truth”; “I demand to receive rewards commensurate with my contributions”; “I demand that we collaborate to outsmart and escape the karmic conundrums...

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Editorial: Taking Up Running to Slow Down
Jan02

Editorial: Taking Up Running to Slow Down

I’m in my mid-30s, and “getting fit” is something I think about more now. It took me a long time to come around on the idea of exercise for exercise sake — but it has become something that I actually enjoy (even if I don’t do it as often as I should). In middle school, if memory serves, I was literally the last person to finish our required “mile run” in gym class. I don’t remember my time, but I remember walking for most of the...

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Changing Lives While Living With Chronic Illness
Jan02

Changing Lives While Living With Chronic Illness

Erica Verrillo of Whatley has written more than half a dozen books and launched a non-profit national organization, all while being partially bedridden for the past three decades. Verillo has Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (M.E.), a chronic and fluctuating neurological disease characterized by extreme exhaustion, muscle weakness, sensitivity to pain, confusion, forgetfulness, a weak immune system, and a lack of concentration. In 1998,...

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Fat freezing: Non-surgical process said to eliminate flab that’s hard to lose
Jan02

Fat freezing: Non-surgical process said to eliminate flab that’s hard to lose

There is a way to actually to get rid of your fat while lying down. It’s a method called CoolSculpting and it’s a machine connected to a hose with a plastic suction cup that hums as it vacuums up and freezes fat. Patients recline on a table as the cold kills the fat cells, without harming the surrounding tissue, says Dr. Katherine White in Northampton, who has had a dermatology practice in the area for over a decade. It’s an...

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Free Will Astrology: Fly Your Freak Flag, Aquarius
Jan02

Free Will Astrology: Fly Your Freak Flag, Aquarius

ARIES (March 21-April 19): In 2018, your past will undergo transformation. Your memories will revise and rearrange themselves. Bygone events that seemed complete and definitive will shimmy and shift, requiring new interpretations. The stories you have always told about how you became who you are will have to be edited, perhaps even rewritten. While these overhauls may sometimes be disconcerting, they will ultimately be liberating....

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Free Will Astrology: Pisces Theme is Secret Freedom
Dec26

Free Will Astrology: Pisces Theme is Secret Freedom

ARIES (March 21-April 19): “I need more smart allies, compassionate supporters, ethical role models, and loyal friends, and I need them right now!” writes Joanna K., an Aries reader from Albuquerque, New Mexico. On the other hand, there’s Jacques T., an Aries reader from Montreal. “To my amazement, I actually have much of the support and assistance I need,” he declares. “What I seem to need more of are constructive critics,...

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Free Will Astrology: Your Mission for 2018
Dec18

Free Will Astrology: Your Mission for 2018

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Your life in the first half of 2018 will be like a psychological boot camp that’s designed to beef up your emotional intelligence. Here’s another way to visualize your oncoming adventures: They will constitute a friendly nudge from the cosmos, pushing you to be energetic and ingenious in creating the kind of partnerships you want for the rest of your long life. As you go through your interesting tests and...

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Free Will Astrology: Don’t Listen to Mozart, Scorpio
Dec11

Free Will Astrology: Don’t Listen to Mozart, Scorpio

ARIES (March 21-April 19): According to a Sufi aphorism, you can’t be sure that you are in possession of the righteous truth unless a thousand people have called you a heretic. If that’s accurate, you still have a ways to go before you can be certified. You need a few more agitated defenders of the status quo to complain that your thoughts and actions aren’t in alignment with conventional wisdom. Go round them up! Ironically, those...

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Wellness: The Importance of Exercise at Every Age
Dec04

Wellness: The Importance of Exercise at Every Age

On a blustery and cold November morning last week, people inside the Northampton Senior Center were keeping warm in a group exercise class and in the fitness room. Stan Plaza and his wife, Darlene Plaza, try to come to the Fitness Center a few times a week to use the exercise machines in addition to participating in outdoor activities. Stan Plaza was using a machine to do arm curls while Darlene Plaza used an elliptical. “It’s a good...

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Free Will Astrology: Don’t Sell Out, Aries; You’ll Get Rich Quicker
Dec04

Free Will Astrology: Don’t Sell Out, Aries; You’ll Get Rich Quicker

ARIES (March 21-April 19): You may get richer quicker in 2018, Aries — especially if you refuse to sell out. You may accumulate more clout — especially if you treat everyone as your equal and always wield your power responsibly. I bet you will also experience deeper, richer emotions — especially if you avoid people who have low levels of emotional intelligence. Finally, I predict you will get the best sex of your life in the next 12...

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Free Will Astrology: Leos Probably Won’t Date Models or Millionaires
Nov27

Free Will Astrology: Leos Probably Won’t Date Models or Millionaires

ARIES (March 21-April 19): I hope that everything doesn’t come too easily for you in the coming weeks. I’m worried you will meet with no obstructions and face no challenges. And that wouldn’t be good. It might weaken your willpower and cause your puzzle-solving skills to atrophy. Let me add a small caveat, however. It’s also true that right about now you deserve a whoosh of slack. I’d love for you to be able to relax and enjoy your...

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Free Will Astrology: Don’t Hang Dildos from your Christmas Tree, Gemini

ARIES (March 21-April 19): In alignment with the current astrological omens, I have prepared your horoscope using five hand-plucked aphorisms by Aries poet Charles Bernstein. 1.) “You never know what invention will look like or else it wouldn’t be invention.” 2.) “So much depends on what you are expecting.” 3.) “What’s missing from the bird’s eye view is plain to see on the ground.” 4.) “The questioning of the beautiful is always at...

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Free Will Astrology: Don’t Lose Your Lotto Ticket, Sagittarius

ARIES (March 21-April 19): “Many people go fishing all their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after,” observed Henry David Thoreau. The spirit of Thoreau’s observation is true about every one of us to some extent. From time to time, we all try to satisfy our desires in the wrong location, with the wrong tools, and with the wrong people. But I’m happy to announce that his epigram is less true for you now than it has...

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Free Will Astrology: Pimples Are Your Friends, Taurus
Nov06

Free Will Astrology: Pimples Are Your Friends, Taurus

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Adriana Martinez and Octavio Guillen got engaged to be married when they were both 15 years old. But they kept delaying a more complete unification for 67 years. At last, when they were 82, they celebrated their wedding and pledged their vows to each other. Are there comparable situations in your life, Aries? The coming months will be a favorable time to make deeper commitments. At least some of your reasons...

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Wellness: Your friendly gut bacteria
Oct30

Wellness: Your friendly gut bacteria

Madeleine Vanstory was visiting her sister, Melissa Redwin of Westhampton, when they decided to come to Nourish Wellness Cafe in Northampton for lunch with Melissa’s newborn, Lucena. “I finally made the connection, after decades of bad eating, (between) how you nourish your body with food and how you feel,” said Vanstory, a physician and health consultant in Oregon. “And I just know that I feel better when I eat things that require...

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Free Will Astrology: Johnny Cash Didn’t Take Voice Lessons Either, Scorpio
Oct30

Free Will Astrology: Johnny Cash Didn’t Take Voice Lessons Either, Scorpio

ARIES (March 21-April 19): America’s Civil War ended in 1865. A veteran from that conflict later produced a daughter, Irene Triplett, who is still alive today and collecting his pension. In the coming months, I foresee you being able to take advantage of a comparable phenomenon, although it may be more metaphorical. Blessings from bygone times, perhaps even from the distant past, will be available to you. But you’ll have to be alert...

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Free Will Astrology: What the Stars Say You Should Be for Halloween
Oct23

Free Will Astrology: What the Stars Say You Should Be for Halloween

ARIES (March 21-April 19): I share Vincent Van Gogh’s belief that “the best way to know life is to love many things.” But I also think that the next twelve months will be an inspiring time for you to be focused and single-minded in your involvement with love. That’s why I encourage you to take an approach articulated by the Russian mystic Anne Sophie Swetchine: “To love deeply in one direction makes us more loving in all others.”...

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Free Will Astrology: Stick with Garfunkel For Now, Scorpio
Oct16

Free Will Astrology: Stick with Garfunkel For Now, Scorpio

ARIES (March 21-April 19): “I am my own muse,” wrote painter Frida Kahlo. “I am the subject I know best. The subject I want to know better.” Would you consider trying out this perspective for a while, Aries? If so, you might generate a few ticklish surprises. You may be led into mysterious areas of your psyche that had previously been off-limits. You could discover secrets you’ve been hiding from yourself. So what would it mean to be...

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Free Will Astrology: Thrillseeking Snails Ride on Turtles
Oct09

Free Will Astrology: Thrillseeking Snails Ride on Turtles

ARIES (March 21-April 19): In his book The Logic of Failure, Dietrich Dorner discusses the visionaries who built the Aswan Dam in Egypt. Their efforts brought an abundance of cheap electricity to millions of people. But the planners didn’t take into account some of the important effects of their innovation. For example, the Nile River below the dam no longer flooded its banks or fertilized the surrounding land every year. As a result,...

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Zapping Depression
Oct02

Zapping Depression

Armené Margosian, 52, of Greenfield, sat waiting in a medical chair at Achieve TMS East’s Northampton office on Pleasant Street, her hands holding a pillow alongside her car keys. Her head was covered in a dark blue cap, while strapped into a metal, robotic-looking helmet. A magnetic pulse the machine delivered 36 times over the span of two seconds caused her right eye to twitch, but didn’t cause her any pain. Margosian is...

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Free Will Astrology: Follow Samsung By Transcending Dried Fish
Oct02

Free Will Astrology: Follow Samsung By Transcending Dried Fish

ARIES (March 21-April 19): You wouldn’t expect a five-year-old child to paint a facsimile of Picasso’s Guernica or sing Puccini’s opera, La Boheme. Similarly, you shouldn’t fault your companions and you for not being perfect masters of the art of intimate relationships. In fact, most of us are amateurs. We may have taken countless classes in math, science, literature, and history, but have never had a single lesson from teachers whose...

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Free Will Astrology: Pink Underpants, Not Purple, Taurus
Sep25

Free Will Astrology: Pink Underpants, Not Purple, Taurus

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Conceptual artist Jonathon Keats likes to play along with the music of nature. On one occasion he collaborated with Mandeville Creek in Montana. He listened and studied the melodies that emanated from its flowing current. Then he moved around some of the underwater rocks, subtly changing the creek’s song. Your assignment, Aries, is to experiment with equally imaginative and exotic collaborations. The coming...

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Free Will Astrology: Emily Dickinson Knows The Size of Aquarius Brains
Sep18

Free Will Astrology: Emily Dickinson Knows The Size of Aquarius Brains

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Psychologists say most people need a scapegoat — a personification of wickedness and ignorance onto which they can project the unacknowledged darkness in their own hearts. That’s the bad news. Here’s the good news: The coming weeks will be an excellent time for you to neutralize that reflex and at least partially divest yourself of the need for scapegoats. How? The first thing to do is identify your own...

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Free Will Astrology: Move Forward Like An Emu, Aries
Sep11

Free Will Astrology: Move Forward Like An Emu, Aries

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Two animals are pictured prominently on Australia’s coat of arms: the kangaroo and the large flightless bird known as the emu. One of the reasons they were chosen is that both creatures rarely walk backward. They move forward or not at all. Australia’s founders wanted this to symbolize the nation’s pledge to never look back, to remain focused on advancing toward the future. The coming weeks will be a...

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Acupuncture Becoming More Mainstream, But Still Not Fully Covered
Sep05

Acupuncture Becoming More Mainstream, But Still Not Fully Covered

Northampton resident Bob Flaherty, a radio personality on WHMP, was practicing for a golf tournament earlier this year when he missed the ball and hit the dirt. Pain shot through his arm; he thought he broke it. “I couldn’t do anything,” he said. “I figure I’m not going to do tennis, golf, kayak. Riding a bike is the thing I do most, and I couldn’t even make the brakes work. My arm didn’t work.” Flaherty wound up seeking acupuncture...

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Third Eye Roaming: So Over THE Yoga Body
Sep05

Third Eye Roaming: So Over THE Yoga Body

Google yoga images and you’ll find a sea of thin, white women who look as if the road rises to greet them. Their bodies are ideologically perfect. Their yoga attire and accessories are meticulous. They are serene and smiling. Gee — if they’re so perfect, then do they even need yoga? Of course. Even those who ascribe to society’s view of perfection need yoga. Everybody does for better mind and body health. That’s a philosophy that most...

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Free Will Astrology: Leo, Eating The Buddha’s Snot Is Good Luck
Sep05

Free Will Astrology: Leo, Eating The Buddha’s Snot Is Good Luck

ARIES (March 21-April 19): You’re half-intoxicated by your puzzling adventures — and half-bewildered, as well. Sometimes you’re spinning out fancy moves, sweet tricks, and surprising gambits. On other occasions you’re stumbling and bumbling and mumbling. Are you really going to keep up this rhythm? I hope so, because your persistence in navigating through the challenging fun could generate big rewards. Like what, for example? Like the...

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Free Will Astrology: Capricorn: Be Improbable Like Oscar Wilde
Aug28

Free Will Astrology: Capricorn: Be Improbable Like Oscar Wilde

ARIES (March 21-April 19): “We are continually faced by great opportunities brilliantly disguised as insoluble problems,” said businessman Lee Iacocca. You are currently wrestling with an example of this phenomenon, Aries. The camouflage is well-rendered. To expose the opportunity hidden beneath the apparent dilemma, you may have to be more strategic and less straightforward than you usually are — cagier and not as blunt. Can you...

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Free Will Astrology: Sensitive Swashbuckler Sagittarius
Aug21

Free Will Astrology: Sensitive Swashbuckler Sagittarius

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Welcome to Swami Moonflower’s Psychic Hygiene Hints. Ready for some mystical cleansing? Hint #1: To remove stains on your attitude, use a blend of Chardonnay wine, tears from a cathartic crying session, and dew collected before dawn. Hint #2: To eliminate glitches in your love life, polish your erogenous zones with pomegranate juice while you visualize the goddess kissing your cheek. #3: To get rid of...

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Free Will Astrology: Lay Off Metaphorical Bombing Campaigns, Scorpio
Aug14

Free Will Astrology: Lay Off Metaphorical Bombing Campaigns, Scorpio

ARIES (March 21-April 19): “To disobey in order to take action is the byword of all creative spirits,” said philosopher Gaston Bachelard. This mischievous advice is perfect for your use right now, Aries. I believe you’ll thrive through the practice of ingenious rebellion — never in service to your pride, but always to feed your soul’s lust for deeper, wilder life. Here’s more from Bachelard: “Autonomy comes through many small...

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Free Will Astrology: Believe In Woo-Woo, Juju, Mojo
Aug07

Free Will Astrology: Believe In Woo-Woo, Juju, Mojo

ARIES (March 21-April 19): I hope you’re making wise use of the surging fertility that has been coursing through you. Maybe you’ve been reinventing a long-term relationship that needed creative tinkering. Perhaps you have been hammering together an innovative business deal or generating new material for your artistic practice. It’s possible you have discovered how to express feelings and ideas that have been half-mute or inaccessible...

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Free Will Astrology: Love Is Your Gritty But Sacred Duty
Jul31

Free Will Astrology: Love Is Your Gritty But Sacred Duty

ARIES (March 21-April 19): In my astrological opinion, your life in the coming days should draw inspiration from the ancient Roman festival of Saturnalia, a six-day bout of revelry that encouraged everyone to indulge in pleasure, speak freely, and give gifts. Your imminent future could (and I believe should) also have resemblances to the yearly Doo Dah Parade in Pasadena, which features a farcical cavalcade of lunatics, like the...

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Third Eye Roaming: Weed and Yoga
Jul31

Third Eye Roaming: Weed and Yoga

Yoga may free you from your suffering, but sometimes you’re suffering too much to do yoga. That’s where the marijuana comes in. Knee aching too much for warrior pose? There’s a THC-infused lotion that works well. Stress of the day weighing you down too much for yogic liftoff? Try a strain high in cannabinoids. In a nation increasingly open to lifting laws against marijuana, we’re entering a new age of exploration for yogis. For the...

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Wellness: The Health Benefits of Massage
Jul31

Wellness: The Health Benefits of Massage

Many people think of massage as a great way to relax and pamper yourself. That’s true, but it’s not the only reason to get one. Massage in and of itself has a number of health benefits. Darius Greenbacher, medical director of Baystate Medical Practices in sports and exercise medicine, said he often prescribes massage not just to treat injury, but to get at the root cause of why the injury happened in the first place. “Just therapeutic...

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