Hudson Valley Health & Wellness


A central part of Hudson Valley lifestyle is health—from getting outdoors to eating nutritious, sustainable food, people who live in the region care about living well-rounded, healthy lifestyles, with a focus on fitness, nutrition, mindfulness, and general wellness. Chronogram’s Hudson Valley online magazine focuses monthly on wellness coverage, including health trends and topics, diets and cleanses, medical treatments and facilities, alternative medicine and practices, yoga and movement, health myths and mantras, bone and heart health, sound healing, and wellness fairs and expos.

Practicing Kindfulness

Practicing Kindfulness

Karina Cousineau shows how helping others and volunteering can help boost endorphins and change brain chemistry for good.

Tags: General Wellness


Esteemed Reader | August 2020

Living in the Long Now
Publisher Jason Stern questions people's capability to look beyond themselves, long after they've died or within the scope of the world.

Tags: Esteemed Reader

A Guide to Business Reopenings in the Hudson Valley and Beyond

A list of ten businesses set to reopen their doors post Coronavirus.

Tags: Coronavirus

Columbia and Greene Counties Have a New Expert in Infectious Diseases

At the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, Dr. Manuel Revuelta joined the team at Columbia Memorial Health
The need for resources to fight the outbreak of infectious diseases, like skilled practitioners, accessible vaccines, and community education is currently at the height of public awareness due to Covid-19. For Dr. Manuel Revuelta, who has more than twenty years’ experience treating infectious diseases, the first line of defense for every community is access to a local expert like him.

Tags: Health

The Hudson Valley and Northeast's Museums Start Reopening

Hudson Valley museums adapted to life under lockdown by going digital, now they are slowly reopening with abundant safety precautions, reduced capacity, and the lessons of virtual programming under their belts.

Tags: Museums

Busy Mind? Try This Sufi Breathing Exercise to Relieve Stress

From the retreat guides at the Abode of the Message in New Lebanon
The Abode of the Message, an interfaith and spiritual retreat center in New Lebanon, is currently closed to outside visitors, so the center's retreat guides have offered this elemental Sufi breathing practice that you can do from anywhere.

Tags: Retreats

There Is No One-Size-Fits-All Way to Study Buddhism

At the Dharmakaya Center for Wellbeing in Cragsmoor, you can chart your own path
Located in picturesque Cragsmoor, the Dharmakaya Center for Wellbeing is a Buddhist center founded by incarnate lama Trungram Gyalwa Rinpoche. Under Rinpoche's guidance, the center's programming provides five contemporary learning paths to help discover how to apply Buddhist teachings to your own day-to-day.

Tags: Spirituality

Health & Wellness Winners

The 2020 Chronogrammies winners in the Health and Wellness category.

Tags: Chronogrammies

COVID-19 Response Winners

Winners of the readers’ choice awards for their Covid-19 community response.

Tags: Chronogrammies

Veterinarian Spotlight: Better Lives Animal Hospital

A spotlight on Better Lives Animal Hospital, Chronogrammies winner in the Health and Wellness category.

Tags: Chronogrammies

Shaman Spotlight: Adam Kane

A spotlight on Adam Kane, Chronogrammies winner in the Health and Wellness category.

Tags: Chronogrammies

Spiritual/Contemplative Space Spotlight: Omega Institute

A spotlight on the Omega Institute, Chronogrammies winner in the Health and Wellness category.

Tags: Chronogrammies

General Practitioner Spotlight: Dr. Elizabeth Costley

A spotlight on Dr. Elizabeth Costley, Chronogrammies winner in the Health and Wellness category.

Tags: Chronogrammies

Esteemed Reader | July 2020

History's Peaks and Troughs
Publisher Jason Stern tries to stay alert and aware as in meditation, during these trying times.

Tags: Esteemed Reader

Healthcare Reimagined

Three local changemakers explain their ideas for responsive, resilient, hyperlocal wellness.

Tags: The Future Is Now

Where to Do Outdoor Yoga This Summer in the Hudson Valley

Now that the Hudson Valley has entered the warmer seasons amid the COVID-19 pandemic, some yoga programs and studios have moved their classes from the virtual platform to the outdoors. Here's five programs offering outdoor yoga classes this summer.

Tags: General Wellness

3 Ways To Help Reset Your Mind-Body Connection

Advice from somatic therapy counselor Mary Campbell
Berkshires-based somatic therapy counselor Mary Campbell shares three basic elements of her nature-centric, body-based practices that can help you get out of your head and in touch with your senses.

Tags: General Wellness

Create Your Own Personal Getaway at This Secluded Catskills Nature Resort and Healing Spa

Now through July 31, Get 20 percent off all lodging rates at Menla
With New York State finally reopening, the Hudson Valley and Catskills are just a short car ride away for many New Yorkers looking to get out of town while still practicing safe social distancing. One getaway hotspot that’s just reopening its doors is Menla, a mountain retreat center located just two hours north of New York City in Phoenicia situated on over 300 secluded acres of mountains, woodlands, and streams in the heart of the Catskill Mountains.

Tags: General Wellness

This Wurtsboro Destination Has One of the Largest Selection of Crystals in the Northeast

At Crystal Connection, crystals are the gifts that keep on giving.
Crystal Connection in Wurtsboro is a destination all its own. Located in a circa-1890s Methodist church complete with hammered tin ceilings and stained glass windows, the shop contains over 120 thousand pieces of more than 420 varieties of minerals—one of the largest crystal inventories in the Northeast.

Tags: General Wellness

Witness to History: Rhinebeck Neighbors During COVID19

Amy Wu, Award-Winning Journalist and Filmmaker, Documents Her Neighbors During the Pandemic
Award-winning journalist and filmmaker and Rhinebeck resident Amy Wu has been interviewing one neighbor a day during the pandemic and taking their portraits, for a series in collaboration with the Starr Library called "Witness to History."

Tags: Visual Art

Esteemed Reader | June 2020

Reconciling the Heaven and the Horror
Publisher Jason Stern struggles with the duality of our circumstances; life and nature springing up while a pandemic is keeping us in.

Tags: Esteemed Reader

Two Potential Treatments for COVID-19 Unfold in the Hudson Valley

Two potential treatments for the novel coronavirus are taking root, right in our backyard. Dr. Richard Horowitz of Hyde Park islooking into alternative remedies and Regeneron in Westchester has shifted significant resources into COVID-related projects.

Tags: Coronavirus

Columbia Memorial Health's ER Is a Vital Community Resource Amid the Pandemic

Columbia Memorial Health in Hudson prepared for a wave of coronavirus patients that never hit.

Tags: Coronavirus

When Will the Libraries Reopen?

The Conflicting Guidance on Reopening Libraries in NYS
A library is a space for quiet reflection and research, but it also provides a sense of community: a safe space where children and teens can enjoy afternoon programs, a free resource for adults to further their careers, a haven for introverts who enjoy the calm of being among neighbors without the mundane small talk. Though virtual book clubs and celebrity-video story hours have become fun COVID-era trends, deep down we’ve all been looking forward to the glimmer of normalcy that the reopening of libraries will bring with it. The libraries which are government institutions have received the green light to begin their first phase of reopening, given they have an official safety plan and follow state guidelines. Curbside pickup is encouraged, and those who can open are typically starting there. Grinnell Public Library in Wappingers Falls, for instance, offers contactless pickup as of June 1. “Library patrons can browse the online catalog from home and request items from our collection by phone or email,” explains Executive Director Fran Harrison. Also reopening in June for pickup only: Fishkill’s Blodgett Memorial Library on June 2, the West Hurley Library and Field Library in Peekskill on June 15, and the Woodstock Library is aiming for the week of June 22. The Hurley Library is going a step further, offering both curbside service as well as a series of socially distant outdoor events on the library lawn starting June 15. “We have a phased approach with opening and will continue offering virtual programming,” says Library Director Kristen Campbell. These online events include Facebook art classes and a virtual Lego club. The outdoor series kicks off with the Bagels and Bios Book Club to discuss Dutch Girl: Audrey Hepburn and World War II by Robert Matzen; attendees are encouraged to bring their own coffee and refreshments. The Mid-Hudson Library System (MHLS), a cooperative system of 66 public libraries, created a status page to show which of the area libraries are opening and when. But many are still listed as “closed until further notice” since there has been a discrepancy in reopening policies according to library designation. “The state's guidance for libraries is uneven at this time, which is an oversight I'm sure. They only authorized the opening of three of the four types of libraries in New York State, and that fourth type—association libraries—are the predominant type of library in the region,” says MHLS director Rebekkah Smith Aldrich. “We’re actively advocating with the governor's staff to help get the guidance for libraries into alignment so it’s clear that all libraries are authorized to start curbside pickup.” These confusing guidelines affect cities like Hudson, where the association library provides relied-upon community services like youth programs, job searches, free internet, and other support. For the purposes of reopening, both Greene and Columbia counties are being considered part of the Capitol Region, not the Mid-Hudson Valley. “We are looking to begin offering curbside service as soon as possible, but we have not received guidance from the state as to which phase libraries such as ours will fall under, and when our region will enter the next phase,” says Emily Chameides, director of the Hudson Area Library. “Currently, libraries in the Capital Region are able to open if they are government facilities. Our library, and the majority of libraries in Columbia County, are association libraries and thus not permitted to open. We're not sure when the Capital Region will enter Phase Two, or if association libraries will even be included in that phase—and, if we are, what guidelines will be in place at that time.” The Millbrook Library is another association library waiting on these restrictions to be lifted; they, too, have planned an initial phase of curbside service but have no clear guidance on when they’ll be allowed to implement it. “Association libraries account for more than half of the libraries in the state, therefore impacting millions of New Yorkers,” says Interim Director Thomas Finnigan. “The uneven guidance currently provided is creating an undesirable situation in which only a handful of libraries in the region are authorized by the state to open, which could result in residents seeking library services to overrun the few libraries that can open.” ...

Tags: Books & Authors

Finding A Mind-Body Connection At Rhinebeck Pilates

Elaine Ewing of Rhinebeck Pilates utilizes some of Joseph Pilates' original equipment that was patented over 60 years ago to teach the authentic Pilates method.

Tags: General Wellness

Fighting On The Front Lines

Hudson Valley essential workers share their experiences with COVID-19 as they risk their lives to help others
Some names have been changed to protect the anonymity of individuals. For Melissa Walsh, a nurse at Orange Regional Medical Center, the worst part of being a health care worker during the COVID-19 pandemic is having to tell hopeful family members that their intubated loved one’s health is declining. “I have to talk to the family members on the phone as they're hysterically crying and give them updates about their loved ones who might not make it,” says Walsh. “It’s the worst feeling ever.” Currently, over 10,000 people in Orange County have tested positive for the virus and 419 people have died. Orange County has the second highest number of Coronavirus cases in the Hudson Valley, after Westchester. Walsh, who has spent every shift since February working with COVID-19 patients, is surprised by the virus’s versatility. She has seen some patients come in with the classic signs of a Coronavirus infection like a fever and coughing, while others complain of fatigue and shortness of breath but never experience a fever at all. Her typical shift is 12 hours long and the number and length of breaks depend on how busy you are, which, as of late has been very. Walsh wears a fitted N-95 mask for the entire shift, which usually rubs the skin on her face raw. “By the time I take that off, I've got indents all over my face and behind my ears get all red and irritated,” she says. Before Walsh returns home at the end of the day, she changes out of her scrubs. At home, she puts her clothes straight into the wash and hops into the shower. Walsh’s boyfriend, whom she lives with, is to stay away until she’s sanitized everything. “He stays away from me until I throw my clothes in the wash and jump in the shower to scrub my whole body down,” she says. Despite all of the PPE that Walsh wears, and her rigorous at-home disinfecting regimen, she is still baffled how she hasn’t been infected. “I don't know how I haven't gotten [the virus] already, because I am constantly around it,” she says. According to NPR, almost 9,300 health care workers in the US have contracted the virus since mid February, a figure that the CDC admits is most likely under counted. Over half of the infected health care workers surveyed believed that they had contracted the virus from work. Jane Doe, a psychiatric nurse from Poughkeepsie, is one of them. Doe works at the Four Winds Hospital in Katonah, where she says staff were only provided cloth masks in March due to the nationwide shortage of N-95 masks, but they weren’t required to wear them. One day, a coworker was complaining of a headache. Doe took his temperature and blood pressure, both of which read as normal. Writing it off as a sinus infection, Doe didn’t realize that her coworker was actually experiencing symptoms of a COVID-19 infection. “I didn’t think he had it, because a sinus infection isn’t a symptom,” she says. The next day, Doe found out her coworker had tested positive for COVID-19. Despite having had direct contact with this coworker, Doe was asked by her employers to continue coming into work, but to wear a mask in case she was indeed infected. “Literally that night I started spiking a temperature of 101 degrees,” she says. Five days later, she tested positive for the virus. At the end March, when Doe tested positive, the number of confirmed cases in Westchester County stood at around 10,600. That number is currently 32,517. For 20 days, Doe experienced a high fever, severe body aches, an inability to taste and smell, and fatigue. Two weeks after the onset of her symptoms, Doe was allowed to return to work at Four Winds provided that she wear a mask. According to Doe, Four Winds now has surgical masks to distribute to their employees.  Despite the severity of her symptoms, Doe admits that her experience with the virus was mild compared to other accounts. “It was like having the flu,” she says. Newburgh resident Ryan Griffiths was not so lucky. Griffiths didn’t think much of the headache he developed in mid-March. Figuring it was just a sinus infection, he simply took an Advil and went to work the next day. As an employee of the New York State Bridge Authority, he had delivered hand sanitizer and water to New Rochelle only a few days after the city had become New York’s first containment zone. Shortly after the trip, his headache turned into something more severe. Griffiths started experiencing textbook COVID-19 symptoms: fever, coughing, chest pain, fatigue, profuse sweating, nausea, and chills. At its peak, Griffiths’ fever reached 104.7 degrees, where it remained for several days. He was barely able to muster the strength to make it out of bed, which he had to do a few times a day so that his bed sheets could be changed due to how much he was sweating. “I can definitely see how people are passing away from this,” Griffiths says. As a high school football official, he keeps himself in good shape and has no preexisting health conditions. “I don't smoke, I hardly drink, I work out, but [the virus] just kicked my butt.” Griffiths had to wait four days to get tested. After a week,, the results came back as positive, and Griffiths became the 127th person in Orange County to contract the novel Coronavirus. Staying in bed for weeks on end, only able to keep down liquids, Griffiths subsisted on a mix of Gatorade, Pedialyte, and chicken soup. He says that he lost approximately 20 pounds in under three weeks during his fight against the virus. He can’t remember large chunks of the ordeal. “When you lose three or four days of your life and you don't know where they went, that's pretty bad,” Griffiths says. On April 13, the New York State Board of Health informed Griffiths that he was cleared to go back to work based on the number of days that had passed since he first started showing symptoms, nearly a month after he tested positive for COVID-19. “Even after they said I was cleared, it felt like someone was pushing on my chest,” says Griffiths. Although he is most likely no longer contagious, Griffiths is using utmost caution when he leaves the house for work, wearing a mask and gloves and maintaining social distancing. “Now I’m a clean freak,” he says. “If I could tell people anything, it would be to clean your mail, the door handles, your remote. Anything you touch, you have to clean.” Walsh also has a message for others: just stay home. “I've had people that have no previous medical conditions whatsoever in the ICU, intubated,” she says. “It’s just not worth it.” Both Griffiths and Doe plan on donating blood, since their plasma now carries the virus antibodies that could save someone else’s life. “I’d like to help somebody out if I can,” Griffiths says. ...

Tags: General Wellness

Co-Parenting During the Coronavirus Pandemic

A Conversation with Martin Butcher of Jacobowitz & Gubits
Attorney Martin Butcher talks about the difficulties the coronavirus pandemic is posing for people going through a divorce, or those co-parenting with a former partner or spouse during this unprecedented crisis.

Tags: General Wellness

COVID-19 Cripples Hudson Valley Tourism

While the Hudson Valley would normally be ramping up to receive the annual rush of summer visitors, the tourism industry is at a total standstill under COVID-19 restrictions. We check in with area venues, hoteliers, and other tourism businesses to understand the current state of affairs.

Tags: Coronavirus

Esteemed Reader | May 2020

Publisher Jason Stern looks at the definitions of 'quarantine' and compares their meaning to our current situation.

Tags: Esteemed Reader

Changes in the Labor Department: Pregnant in a Pandemic

Pregnant women are experiencing unexpected challenges as the coronavirus hits the healthcare system.

Tags: Coronavirus

The Chaplain’s Job

Rabbi Neal Loevinger, director of spiritual care at Vassar Brothers Medical Center, talks ministering under COVID.

Tags: Coronavirus

Hudson Valley Food Pantries Feed Growing Need

Demand for Food Assistance Programs Continues to Rise as COVID-19 Tightens its Stronghold on America
Food banks across the country are experiencing an unprecedented surge in those seeking food assistance amid the ongoing COVID-19 public health crisis. With a skyrocketing demand for food assistance, food banks operating with limited staff, budget, and resources have had to scramble to continue to serve their communities.

Tags: General News & Politics

Online Pet Therapy: Softening the Virus’s Bite with Cuteness Overload

With folks stranded at home unable to safely socialize, pets are doing double duty comforting their human companions and simulating some sense of normalcy. Pet owners in the Hudson Valley (and around the world) are convening online to share adorable photos of their furry friends, bond, and mutually uplift each other in this difficult time.

Tags: General Wellness

Feeding the Front Line

Despite Taking a Hard Economic Hit, Hudson Valley Eateries Take the Lead to Feed Health Care Workers
Even as restaurants in the Hudson Valley struggle to stay afloat, subsisting on pick up and delivery service alone, they are taking the lead in feeding the front line, delivering meals to health care workers and hospital throughout the region.

Tags: Restaurants

Therapy Goes Virtual in the Time of COVID-19

A Conversation with Lia Carroll, LCSW
A conversation with Lia Carroll, LCSW, on the changing nature of therapy in the time of COVID-19.

Tags: Mental Health

Hitting the Dimmer Switch: Lite Brite Pares Down Operations to Carry On During COVID-19

With a partially furloughed and work-at-home staff, the Kingston art manufacturing company Lite Brite Neon is keeping the lights burning throughout the COVID-19 shutdown.

Tags: Coronavirus

COVID-19 Forces Hudson Valley Private Schools Into Unchartered Territory

On March 25, Chronogram hosted a video roundtable with local heads of private schools to talk about the educational and institutional challenges posed by the coronavirus outbreak.

Tags: Schools

Esteemed Reader | April 2020

Publisher Jason Stern talks about the ever-changing roles we play in life and as the seasons shift bringing with them new possibilities, so will the current health crisis we face.

Tags: Esteemed Reader

Building an Autism-Friendly World

With autism rates soaring, it’s time to make safe spaces for those on the spectrum.

Tags: Development

Greene County's "Take Out Week" Initiative Aims to Support Local Restaurants

Greene County Chamber initiates Take-Out Weeks to support local restaurants during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tags: Greene County

These Hudson Valley Distilleries Are Pumping Out Hand Sanitizer

Local distilleries in the Mid-Hudson Valley have switched gears to make hand sanitize amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tags: Coronavirus


Hudson Valley Events

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Full Moon Crystal Sound Bath @

Full Moon Crystal Sound Bath

Tue., Aug. 4, 7-8 p.m. — The sound of Crystal Singing induces deep cellular healing within the meditation...
Blissful Yoga Class @

Blissful Yoga Class

Tuesdays, 11-11:45 a.m. Continues through Aug. 7 — This is an online interactive yoga session. The class is 45 minutes...

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Hudson Valley Fitness and Nutrition

The staples of health and wellness are exercise and diet. The Hudson Valley offers many resources for healthy living, including weekly yoga and fitness classes, cleansing workshops focused on nutrition and diet, organized hikes and outings through the region’s mountainous terrain, and fresh, locally grown food at farms and farmers’ markets.

Hudson Valley Spas

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle means finding ways to relax and unwind. Hudson Valley spas and resorts, like Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz and Buttermilk Falls Inn & Spa in Milton, offer services and amenities that include meditation, stress reduction, massage, body treatments, and saunas. Hudson Valley spas feature eco-friendly products and cafés and juice bars with local, organic meals and snacks.