Thermographic Diagnostic Imaging
Health Through Awareness
December 2016 Newsletter
Collage of coffee details. Coffee antique grinder coffee beans and cup of coffee. Turkish traditional coffee
A coffee culture

"Starbucks was founded around the experience and the environment of their stores. Starbucks was about a space with comfortable chairs, lots of power outlets, tables and desks at which we could work with the option to spend as much time in their stores as we wanted without any pressure to buy. The coffee was incidental."    Simon Sinek

"Just the other day, I was in my neighborhood Starbucks, waiting for the post office to open. I was enjoying a chocolaty cafe mocha when it occurred to me that to drink a mocha is to gulp down the entire history of the New World. From the Spanish exportation of Aztec cacao, and the Dutch invention of the chemical process for making cocoa, on down to the capitalist empire of Hershey, PA, and the lifestyle marketing of Seattle's Starbucks, the modern mocha is a bittersweet concoction of imperialism, genocide, invention, and consumerism served with whipped cream on top."    Sarah Vowell
Coffee is a hot topic (no pun intended).  When I am doing thermograms the question inevitably comes up in conversation, "is it OK to drink coffee"?  My answer is - do you really love and enjoy that cup of coffee?  If the answer is yes, then do it in moderation while being aware of the benefits and risks, which are listed below.  However, I do warn against those coffees that are full of sugary syrup and topped with whipped cream and look more like ice cream sundaes. For instance, a 16 oz Caffe Mocha is 360 calories and a 16 oz Caramel Macchiato is 250 calories.

As I was doing research for this newsletter, I came upon a book called "The Starbucks Experience,"  a fascinating look into the making of one of the world's "most admired" companies.  These days, coffee is synonymous with Starbucks.  Personally, I do not drink coffee and, to be honest, I find ordering at a Starbucks mildly intimidating.  I do, however, love their business model and the idea of a community gathering place.  W hether or not you like coffee, it's hard to argue with the success of Starbucks.   
What do coffee, the holidays, and businesses all have in common?
Now that the cold weather has arrived, a nice warm beverage, be it coffee, tea, or hot chocolate is a nice treat. For some, with the shorter days and the hectic holiday season underway, caffeine keeps them going.  Coffee is, essentially, an adrenaline delivery system that jolts the body's central nervous system, creating some short-term nervous energy.  However, it is apparent that drinking  coffee isn't just a matter of personal taste.  It has become a cultural habit, an entertainment, and a form of comfort and relaxation.  It's an enjoyable social moment, a ritual and a symbol of dynamic, busy working people.   Sitting around the kitchen table with loved ones or at your local coffee house with business associates enjoying your favorite warm beverage is a part of our culture, a way of connecting or reconnecting.  These "coffee breaks" seem to be even more frequent during the holidays with people trying to fit getting together with family and friends into their hectic schedules. 
It seems that the  "coffee culture" is really about building and maintaining relationships.  The same can be said about running a business.  Below I have highlighted several family businesses that are committed to  honesty, integrity , and  authenticity and endeavor to operate with the same principles as Starbucks which I have discussed in this newsletter.
At the Holidays, wishing you Joy that celebrates, Hope that shines, Peace that lasts.


A bit about Starbucks...

Starbucks is more than just a Wall Street Cinderella story.  Its culture, brand, and product excellence continue to win glowing accolades.  It has been consistently recognized by Fortune as one of America's "most admired" companies and best employers.  Business Week acknowledges Starbucks as one of the best worldwide brands.  Business Ethics places it on its list of most socially responsible companies each year.

From its original single store, the Starbucks brand has emerged as an unparalleled name that is virtually interchangeable with the word coffee.  Starbucks has introduced terms like
barista, chai, venti, and frappucino  blended beverage into our everyday vocabulary.  However, the most significant sign that Starbucks has changed not only coffee but our lives is how the stores have affected  our neighborhoods and communities.  Given the sheer number of retail outlets, it is likely that there is a store within five miles of your home or office.

Howard Schultz, Starbucks former CEO and current chairman, asked an intriguing question: "What would happen if you took the quality coffee bean tradition of Starbucks and merged it with the charm and romance of the European coffeehouse?"  His answer: Starbucks could transform the traditional American coffee experience from the ordinary to the extra ordinary.

How do you inspire a coffee drinker to give up his/her regular routine while also getting him/her to pay six or seven times more for rich, exotic coffee blends when "ordinary" is all she has ever known?  Besides, who would make time for a European-style coffeehouse experience when one could grab a cup while buying milk, gasoline, and a newspaper?        

Starbucks' management takes pride in the company being "the leading retailer, roaster, and brand of specialty coffee in the world," but also recognizes that people flock to the company's stores for the total Starbucks Experience.  In essence, people come into a comfortable setting where they are valued on a personal level, and where a meaningful connection is made. Everything the company does is intended to give the customer a positive, perhaps uplifting, experience while purchasing a quality beverage or food item.
While seemingly endless details go into producing the emotional bond that loyal Starbucks customers feel, often the most important aspect of this bond is the personal investment of Starbucks partners.  As Howard Schultz noted on, the success of Starbucks demonstrates that we have built an emotional connection with our customers.  We have a competitive advantage over classic brands in that every day we touch and interact with our customers directly.  

What is the true scale of Starbucks success?  If you had invested $10,000 in the Starbucks IPO on the NASDAQ in 1992, your investment would be worth approximately $650,000 today. Starbucks has grown substantially faster than the average S&P stock.  To get a sense of its profitability, one need only appreciate that since 1992, the value of the S&P rose 200 percent, the Dow 230 percent, the NASDAQ 280 percent, but Starbucks? ---- 5,000 percent!  In 2007 when the "Starbucks Experience" was published, Starbucks was opening five new stores a day, 365 days a year!!!  That's a lot of coffee!!!
Starbucks has to work to "stay small while growing big."  Anne Ewing, Director of Development, at the time the book "The Starbucks Experience" was written said, "Coffee is this amazing agricultural product that is Starbucks' vehicle to start the conversation with the customer.  It happens to be our bridge.  Coffee has a life of its own and a rich history, and we get to deliver it.  But at the end of the day, our success is linked to the nuances in the store that add up to something special.  We must be vigilant about so many things: our design, how our partners feel when they put on their green aprons, and creating a special place for our people to work and our customers to visit."   
Excerpted from "The Starbucks Experience," Joseph A. Michelli 
Current Starbucks Statistics

Today, Starbucks is the largest coffeehouse company in the world with 24,395 retail locations as of the first quarter of 2016, followed distantly by such coffee shop chains as Dunkin Donuts with about 10,000 restaurants, Tim Hortons with 4,300 outlets, and Costa Coffee with nearly 1,700 stores worldwide.

Starbucks was founded in 1971 in Seattle, Washington, and incorporated on November 4, 1985 to become the publicly traded Starbucks Corporation. Based on the company's positive, sustained operating results, it is ranked among Forbes' top-500 world's biggest public companies.  As of 2015,  Starbucks' profit was $2.5 billion and it had a market value of $70.9 billion.

While Starbucks initially focused on the domestic US market, in 1996 the company opened its first stores outside the US.  Since then, Starbucks' international footprint has expanded to 11,266 stores located in three main markets: the Americas, which includes Canada, Latin America, and the US; China and Asia Pacific (CAP); and Middle East and Africa (EMEA). The domestic market still represents more than half of all Starbucks stores.  California, with 1,863 locations, has more stores than any other state. 

Starbucks operates two types of stores: company-operated and licensed.  Currently, the store count is almost equally distributed between these two types - 51 percent of stores are company-operated and the other 49 percent are licensed - even under continuous expansion. During the third quarter of 2016, Starbucks launched 474 new stores, including the first stores in Andorra and Slovakia.  The company's growth is bolstered by low turnover of its stores. Only 443 Starbucks stores have closed throughout the company's history: 240 stores in 2009, the year of global financial crisis; 42 in 2010; and 161 in 2011.

Caffeine: friend or foe?  You decide.

Caffeine - everyday necessity or occasional treat?  Don't despair if you can't kick your caffeine habit.  Flavored teas, decaf coffee, and green juices are great alternatives to experiment with in lieu of your regular caffeinated pick-me-up.  Whichever way you prefer to consume caffeine, there are both health benefits and harms to consider.

Health Benefits
  1. Alertness - Even in relatively low doses of 250mg, caffeine has been shown to stimulate alertness and improve mental performance.
  2. Mood - At 250mg, some report an improved sense of well-being, happiness, energy, alertness, and sociability.
  3. Concentration - Studies suggest that caffeine can help you perform a variety of cognitive tasks, such as recognizing visual patterns more quickly.
  4. Performance - Some sources note that caffeine allows athletes to exercise for longer duration without hitting exhaustion.  Although the mechanism is not yet known, caffeine affects the utilization of glycogen during workouts.  Glycogen is the main fuel for muscles.  Once depleted, exhaustion occurs.  Caffeine decreases the use of glycogen stores during workouts up to 50% allowing for longer workouts.
  5. Reduced muscle pain - Some researchers have found that caffeine may potentially stimulate the release of B-Endorphins and hormones that depress the sensation of pain or discomfort.
  6. Faster effects of medication - Caffeine constricts the blood vessels and helps the body absorb medications more quickly, which is why it is added to some pain medications.
  7. Diabetes prevention - Coffee contains minerals and antioxidants which help prevent diabetes.  Frank Hu, MD, one of the authors of "The Harvard Study," theorizes it may be because caffeine stimulates muscles to burn fat and sugar more efficiently.
  8. Antioxidants - Antioxidants in caffeine help to stabilize free radicals and stop them from doing damage.  If a free radical is formed in a cell and it is not neutralized, it can damage the DNA of the cell. 
  9. Disease Prevention - Caffeine keeps dopamine molecules active, preventing diseases like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.  Harvard researchers have found that men who drink four cups of caffeinated coffee a day are half as likely to develop Parkinson's disease as those who refrain from consuming caffeinated beverages.
  10. Asthma Relief - Drinking a moderate amount of caffeine can be therapeutic for people with asthma.  Caffeine in the form of coffee may be used to prevent an asthma attack for emergency cases, but is not intended to replace medication.
  1. Cardiovascular Problems - Approximately four cups of coffee or a beverage with equivalent amounts of caffeine can raise blood pressure for many hours.  The elevated blood pressure levels are associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
  2. Stress - Caffeine consumption in the early morning affects the body until bedtime, amplifying stress levels throughout the day.  Caffeine increases stress hormones and elevates one's perception of stress.  Decreasing coffee and caffeinated beverages will help to lower often exaggerated stress-reactions.
  3. Emotional disturbances - When more than 2 grams of caffeine enters the body, the heart becomes stimulated and blood vessels dilate.  Shortly after, blood pressure increases causing bronchial relaxation in the lungs and increased breathing.  These physiological reactions tend to cause irritability, restlessness, insomnia, and agitation.
  4. Blood sugar swings - Type 2 diabetics should be aware that caffeine may potentially impair insulin's action, causing a detectable rise in blood sugar levels.  Approximately 2 to 2.5 cups per day may cause this effect.
  5. Gastrointestinal problems - Because it is a stimulant, caffeine can cause increased contractions of stomach muscles - possibly causing abdominal pain, diarrhea, and increased bowel movements.  Those who have irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn's disease, or colitis may want to be extra cautious before choosing caffeinated beverages.
  6. Nutritional Deficiencies - Caffeine inhibits the absorption of some nutrients and causes the urinary excretion of calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, and trace minerals.
  7. Male Health Problems - Research shows that men can significantly reduce their risk for urinary and prostate problems by making dietary changes, which include eliminating coffee and caffeine.
  8. Female Health Problems - Fibrocystic breast disease, PMS, osteoporosis, infertility problems, miscarriage, low birth weight, and menopausal problems such as hot flashes are all exacerbated by caffeine consumption.  Women on birth control pills are particularly at risk since they tend to have a decreased ability to detoxify caffeine.
  9. Aging - Caffeine tolerance may decrease with age.  Production of DHEA, melatonin, and other vital hormones decline with age.  Caffeine helps to speed up this process. Caffeine also dehydrates the body, contributes to aging of the skin and kidneys, inhibits DNA repair, and slows the ability of the liver to detoxify foreign toxins.
  10. Adrenal Exhaustion - Caffeine is a stimulant which binds to adenosine receptors in the brain.  This leads to a range of complex reactions, which causes an increase of stimulation at the adrenal glands.  This can increase vulnerability to a variety of health disorders related to inflammation and fatigue.
- Integrative Institute for Nutrition

Black Coffee in the Morning, and Green Tea in the Afternoon
While the research suggests you can have upwards of five cups of coffee per day without adverse effects, I believe this may be too much for many, especially with adrenal fatigue being so common.  One way to balance the risks and benefits would be to limit your  coffee consumption to one or two cups in the morning, and drinking green tea in the afternoon.  Also remember that to achieve therapeutic benefits from coffee, it needs to be:
  • Organic: Most coffee produced today is heavily contaminated with pesticides.  It's actually one of the most heavily sprayed crops.  So, any coffee you consume should be organic, pesticide-free coffee.
  • Fresh whole bean: You'll want to purchase coffee in whole bean form and then grind it yourself to prevent rancidity.  Pre-ground coffee may be rancid by the time you drink it.
  • Properly dried and roasted: The coffee should smell and taste fresh, not stale.  If your coffee does not have a pleasant aroma, it is likely rancid and of poor quality.  Darker roasts may provide greater health benefits and be easier on your stomach than light roasts.
  • Black: Drink your coffee black, without sugar or cream. Add sugar and you'll certainly ruin any of the benefits discussed above by spiking your insulin levels and causing insulin resistance.
One last caveat: Pregnant women are advised to avoid coffee altogether, as caffeine can significantly impact the growing fetus.  It is able to freely pass through the placenta, and one 2008 study found that just two cups of coffee ingested during pregnancy may be enough to affect fetal heart development and reduce heart function over the entire lifespan of the child.  Since caffeine does not provide any benefits to your baby, only potential hazards, I strongly recommend  pregnant women avoid ALL forms of caffeine, including coffee and caffeinated teas.
Black Coffee in the Morning and Green Tea in the Afternoon May Provide Valuable Health Benefits. January 18, 2016 Dr. Mercola

Can Coffee Bring You Closer To God?
November 26, 2014 
To read the full bog click  here
Just in time to find that extra special holiday gift for that extra special someone?  Listed below are several very interesting and unique local family businesses.  

I love to see people bring their passion and creative ideas to fruition.  While they may not "yet" have achieved the status of Starbucks, they embody the same principles Starbucks has utilized to achieve success.  I am proud to say that the business owners listed below are all family members.

Italian Architectural Salvage
la casa di mobili 
Ron and Denise Gallo, the creators and owners of
"Italian Architectural Salvage"
say their mission is
"To connect the dots between Centuries Old European Craftsmanship and Today's Lifestyle." 

The Gallos are importing decades-to-centuries-old, one of a kind furniture, lighting, and other unique treasures from Italy available for purchase.  T aking a stroll through their warehouse located in Cherry Hill, NJ is like taking a stroll back in time.  Every handpicked piece has a history and a story which makes the shopping experience just "experience." The  Gallos have created a warm and welcoming space to browse at your leisure and there is always time for a nice little chat with the owners.
The creation of Italian Architectural Salvage is the result of a very long journey.  You might say that it is a journey that has taken well over 100 years, and began in 1904.  This is interesting as the mission of their company is to " connect the dots between Centuries old European Craftsmanship and Today's Lifestyles ."  Many of the items available at Italian Architectural Salvage span this same time frame.  These items are available to you and bring either a provincial sense of Italian history or the rustic feel of the Italian countryside... but let's get back to the journey.
Read the rest of their heartwarming story here...
At Italian Architectural Salvage, not only do they bring you unique, old world craftsmanship, but they also continue to provide the full service interior decorating services of Denise Gallo.  
Serving the Philadelphia and surrounding areas, they cover every aspect of the design transformation to form a cohesive result.
Denise works with renovation and remodeling projects as well as projects with little or no construction, including:
- Complete design and decorating Services
- Planning and furniture placement
- Re-upholstering and Re-purposing  (see below)
- Color selection and coordination
- Custom Window Treatments
- Storage and organizati onal planning
- Project management
Any of these services are gladly provided together or on a stand alone basis.  
*Re-purposing services can be provided at their location or yours.

Italian Architectural Salvage
la casa di mobili 
603 Kresson Road,  Unit 2
Cherry Hill, NJ  08003
My husband and I purchased this beautiful  Settee  for our dining room.  Ron and Denise gave us a tutorial on the use of chalk paint and aging wax.  We had such a great time working on our very own piece of furniture from Italy.  This was a priceless experience and one we will treasure always.
You can see the results for yourself.
Bike King
Over the summer I unfortunately (or fortunately ) hit my bike backing out of the garage one day.  I took it to the shop and was told the frame was bent and it would cost more to fix it than I paid for the bike.  My old bike was nothing special so I wasn't too upset.   Shopping for a new bike was a little daunting; so many choices.  Ed Preston at Bike King made it easy.  He is so knowledgeable  and understood just what I was looking for.  He had the perfect bike for me.  What a difference a good bike makes!  My new bike just flies;  it's amazing.  Now when my husband and I ride together I am leaving him in the dust.  I think it is time for him to upgrade his ride and time for us to make another trip to Bike King. 
Ed and his knowledgeable staff are ready to help you find everything that you need.   If you are new to cycling, don't worry.  They can help educate you and create an experience you will not soon forget.  If you want to start your children out on their first bike, no problem.  They have what you want.  If you are an avid cyclist looking for the newest materials and technology, they are your source too!  They carry some of the most exciting and exotic brands in the industry including Giant, Pinarello, BH, and Haro.  With almost 60 years of riding and racing experience, Ed and his staff have traveled down the same trails and roads as you and understand your biking desires.  More importantly, they can help you realize them.
Ed Preston
Bike King
364 W Trenton Ave, Morrisville, PA 19067
Phone: 215-736-3350

Preston's Garage
When it came time to restore and repair my father's treasured 1961 Red Vespa, we went to the best.  Knowing how much it meant to my brother and I,  Dave Preston personally restored and repaired it bringing his years of knowledge and expert craftsmanship to the project..  My father made his transition in 1988 and all these years later I can't tell you how much it means to us to have his Vespa back in working order.
You can trust Dave Preston's Garage & Performance for all of your automotive needs including repairs,  PA State Inspection, and Emissions Testing.  They specialize in Motorcycle and Classic Car Restoration. 
Dave started his business in 1974 in a small garage in Langhorne.  It wasn't long before his business quickly outgrew the tiny shop where he started.  Dave eventually moved the shop to Hulmeville and was able to build his dream garage.  They now have 7 bays and 3 motorcycle lifts, along with the latest diagnostic equipment. 

They are a family owned and operated business 
dedicated to providing quality, personal service. 

They Are Members Of :
Bumper To Bumper Service Center
Penna. Gasoline & Retail Assoc.
Pendent Business Assoc.

Dave also is seated on the Board to advise the Bucks County Technical School and
has been heavily involved with the National Tech Program for Quarter Midgets of America. 
He was recently inducted into the QMA Hall of Fame for his contributions.

Preston's Garage
114 Reetz Ave.
Hulmeville, PA 19047
Phone Number (215) 752-3041

TDI/Health Through Awareness is happy to announce that the webinar series will resume on 
January 25, 2017
7-8 PM
Far beyond 20/20, our extraordinary sense of vision involves more than two dozen lesser-known skills that help us navigate our way through life.  When one or more of these skills are not functioning optimally, our capabilities are compromised in ways we are often not aware of.  When this occurs in a child, their ability to learn and succeed in school is greatly affected.
Astoundingly, vision-related learning problems affect 1 in 4 school-age children, yet knowledge about these types of vision problems is scant.  Consequently, many children are not receiving the correct diagnosis and the help they need in order to succeed in school.
Many symptoms of vision-related learning problems can mimic other conditions. There are, consequently, countless numbers of children who are classified as special education students or are medicated, or both, who may be wrongly diagnosed.  Few people are aware that a breakdown in the visual system can also be at the core of a learning disability.  Because of this, the potential for misdiagnosis is enormous.
At the present time, visual skills are not routinely and comprehensively examined to determine if a deficit is present and interfering with a child's capacity for learning.  As a result, we are missing critical information about a child's readiness for school.
The Hidden Link Between Vision and Learning - Why Millions of Learning Disabled Children Are Misdiagnosed puts these little-known yet correctable vision problems in the spotlight, making this life-changing knowledge available to everyone.  A groundbreaking book, it will offer hope and help to countless parents, teachers, pediatricians, therapists, and child study teams seeking answers to the root cause of a child's struggles.

About the Presenter:

Wendy Beth Rosen has had the privilege of teaching in many different learning environments throughout her diverse career as an educator.  A certified early childhood and elementary teacher who holds a dual degree in art, she has accrued extensive classroom experience.  In addition, her passion for all things nature motivated her to find opportunities beyond classroom walls where she immersed herself in the world of experiential education.  Wendy has been fortunate to have the beach, the forest, lakes, and streams, an agriculture museum, several farms, and day and overnight camps as her classrooms over the many years she has taught pre-school through high school students in the beautiful outdoors.
Currently, Wendy works as an education consultant specializing in vision-related learning problems, metacognition, and environmental education.  As a proponent of innovation and creativity in the field of education, she has developed numerous curriculum resources on a wide range of educational topics.  Additionally, she has facilitated professional development workshops for teachers, child study team personnel, and administrators ab out vision-related learning problems.  Most recently, Wendy has designed a workshop and supplementary handbook about metacognition for high school and college students.
Wendy is the author of The Hidden Link Between Vision and Learning - Why Millions of Learning Disabled Children Are Misdiagnosed , which was released on July 1, 2016.  It is available for order through Rowman & Littlefield, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon.

Follow the author's Pocket Blog at

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Disclaimer:   These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information in this newsletter is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. The contents of this newsletter are based upon the opinions and research of Liesha Getson and Health Through Awareness, unless otherwise noted. Individual articles are based upon the opinions of the respective author, who retains copyright as marked. The information in this newsletter is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Liesha Getson and Health Through Awareness. You are encouraged to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional.

In the spirit of full disclosure, this page contains affiliate links.  This means that we may get a small commission if you decide to purchase anything from any of the sites.  We only recommend programs and services that we think would be highly beneficial to you or programs that we have listened to, participated in, and/or used and have found extremely helpful. 
If you are interested in an individual holistic health coaching session, Reiki, or an infra-red sauna session in the "POD," please contact me to schedule an appointment.  

Wishing you abundant health.
Liesha Getson, BCTT, HHC
TDI/Health Through Awareness
100 Brick Road, Suite 206
Marlton, NJ 08053

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