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 Acupuncturists Ocean Grove, NJ

If you're new to holistic healing, acupuncture may seem intimidating. You might be wondering how needles pressed into your skin could possibly make you feel better. Wouldn't someone pushing a needle into your back be painful? As it turns out, acupuncture is far from painful and is quickly becoming one of the most sought-after treatments for chronic pain and for regulating issues relating to:

  • Digestion
  • Hormones
  • Breathing
  • Muscles
  • Nerves & Brain
  • Sex & Libido
  • Body Circulation
  • Organs & Heart

In fact, acupuncture has been studied and practiced for over 2,500 years and, more recently, has been researched and supported by many scientific studies. While acupuncture may not be a "miracle" treatment for every type of pain or condition, it has been shown to be effective in treating a wide range of issues, from depression and allergies to morning sickness and cramps.

Covering the Basics of Acupuncture in Ocean Grove, NJ

Acupuncture is a therapy in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) that aims to balance the body's energy, called qi, which flows through pathways called meridians. This balance is crucial for overall wellness, as disruptions to qi can lead to health concerns. According to TCM, inserting small stainless-steel needles into specific points called acupoints along the meridians can help rebalance the flow of qi and restore overall health.

These acupoints are believed to release certain chemicals when stimulated, which can trigger an immune response and promote physiological homeostasis. Recent research suggests that this therapy may help alleviate symptoms of various health ailments.

In fact, the National Institute of Health conducted a survey on complementary health approaches, revealing that acupuncture usage in the United States has increased by 50 percent between 2002 and 2012. As of 2012, 6.4 percent of American adults have reported using acupuncture as a form of treatment.

Acupuncture Near Me Ocean Grove, NJ

Is Acupuncture in Ocean Grove, NJ Actually Legit?

One of the most common questions from new patients interested in acupuncture typically revolves around whether it really works or whether it's all "new age" malarky. We get it - for most folks, the thought of inserting stainless-steel needles into one's back, arms, or neck sounds loony. However, with the ever-increasing popularity of acupuncture in New Jersey and other locations, numerous studies centering on acupuncture's effectiveness have taken place.

Extensive research has been conducted on the effectiveness of acupuncture for various conditions. A February 2022 analysis published in the BMJ, which evaluated over 2,000 scientific reviews of acupuncture therapies, revealed that acupuncture's efficacy is strongest for:

  • Neck Pain
  • Back Pain
  • Post-Stroke Aphasia
  • Muscle Pain
  • Lactation Issues
  • Lower Back Pain
  • Asthma
  • Allergies
  • Vascular Dementia
  • More

Additionally, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), acupuncture is most effective for pain relief in cases of chronic conditions such as osteoarthritis, lower back pain, and tension headaches. Additionally, a review of 11 clinical trials found that acupuncture may also alleviate symptoms associated with cancer treatment, as noted by the NIH.

What Happens During an Acupuncture Session at New Jersey Sports Spine & Wellness?

When meeting with your acupuncturist for the first time, they will discuss your condition with you before conducting a physical examination to identify areas of your body that might respond to acupuncture. The needles used in acupuncture are incredibly thin, sterile, and disposable, with your acupuncturist inserting them at different depths ranging from a fraction of an inch to several inches.

Acupuncture needles are less painful than medical needles used for vaccines or blood draws. This is because acupuncture needles are thinner and solid, not hollow. During the treatment, you may experience some muscle sensations like dull aches or tingling.

Your practitioner will ask you to report any deep heaviness or numbness, which are positive signs that the treatment is working. Depending on the condition you're treating and the supplemental treatments you're undergoing, like physical therapy, acupuncture needles will remain in place for several minutes or up to 30 minutes.

Once your first acupuncture treatment is finished, it's normal to feel extra relaxed and calm. For that reason, some patients like to arrange for a ride home after their first or second session. With that said, you shouldn't experience much pain at all, and it's quite possible for you to return to work after acupuncture.

How Many Treatments Until Acupuncture Works?

This is another common question that we get at New Jersey Sports Spine & Wellness. The simple answer is, "It depends." While we understand that that's not a satisfying answer for some, it's important to understand that every patient is different. Everyone has different bodies and, by proxy, different bodily conditions and issues that need to be addressed.

During your initial consultation at our office, your licensed acupuncturist will go over your needs and goals as it relates to acupuncture therapy. Once your therapist has a good sense of the scope of your needs, they can give you a loose idea of how many sessions you'll need.

Generally speaking, most patients have appointments once a week. Others may require more or less frequent sessions. It's important to note that the full benefits of acupuncture may not be immediately evident after the first or even the second session. It's common for normal patients to undergo up to five treatments to realize the full benefits of acupuncture.

What Conditions Are Treated with Acupuncture in Ocean Grove, NJ?

There's no question that acupuncture is more popular than ever as a non-invasive, non-addictive way to reclaim balance and well-being. But what types of conditions can this traditional therapy help alleviate in the modern world? Advances in acupuncture techniques and applications have resulted in some very promising benefits.

Relief from Chronic Pain

Did you know that regular acupuncture treatments can help reduce the pain associated with osteoarthritis? In May 2017, a meta-analysis was published, which studied approximately 18,000 patients with chronic pain, such as low back, neck, and shoulder pain, knee OA, and headache or migraine. The analysis found that the benefits of acupuncture therapy in reducing pain lasted for more than 12 months.

That's wonderful news for athletes and other people who push their bodies daily to accomplish goals or bring home money for rent and bills. In fact, many medical experts consider acupuncture as a viable option for managing chronic pain in conjunction with traditional methods like physical therapy and chiropractic care. The idea behind this approach is that acupuncture may trigger the body's natural healing response to alleviate pain.

When a licensed acupuncturist in New Jersey inserts an acupuncture needle, it penetrates your fascia, a connective tissue that wraps around your organs and muscles. Like a slight tickle on your arm, your body realizes that something is happening and responds by delivering lymph fluid, blood, and other important nutrients to speed up healing in affected areas like your knees, back, neck, joints, and more.

 Fertility Acupuncture Ocean Grove, NJ
 Best Acupuncture Ocean Grove, NJ

Migraine Headache Relief

If you're like other people who suffer from migraines, you know that once one of them hits, it can be next to impossible to function properly throughout the day. Fortunately, acupuncture in Ocean Grove, NJ may be a viable solution if you have to endure migraines often.

A study conducted in 2009 by the Center for Complementary Medicine at the University of Munich analyzed 11 studies involving 2,137 patients who received acupuncture treatment for chronic tension-type headaches. The researchers concluded that acupuncture could be an effective non-pharmacological solution for frequent headaches.

The study compared the effects of acupuncture sessions with sham acupuncture and no treatment at all. Both groups that received acupuncture treatment, whether needles were placed randomly or strategically, reported a reduction in headache symptoms, while the control group reported no change. The group that received real acupuncture treatment also reported a decrease in the number of headache days and intensity of pain in a follow-up survey.

Improved Sleep

For individuals who struggle with insomnia and other sleep disturbances, acupuncture is a promising therapy. Although sedatives are commonly prescribed for insomnia, long-term use can lead to negative side effects such as dependence and excessive drowsiness.

A study conducted on 72 participants and published in Sleep Medicine in 2017 found that individuals who received acupuncture three times a week for four weeks experienced significant improvements in sleep quality and anxiety compared to those who received sham acupuncture.

Similarly, a review of 30 randomized, controlled trials found that acupuncture was more effective in improving sleep quality and daytime functioning than sham acupuncture.

 Acupuncture Clinic Ocean Grove, NJ
 Facial Acupuncture Ocean Grove, NJ

Better Recovery from Surgery

While many patients choose acupuncture as a way to avoid surgery altogether, those who need surgery also use it for improved recovery. Because, at the end of the day, recovering from surgery is no easy feat. Patients may experience various symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, pain around the incision, restlessness, sleep troubles, constipation, and sore throat.

According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, healthcare providers may use acupuncture as a way to alleviate some of these symptoms and help with healing. A study published in Integrative Cancer Therapies in January 2017 involving 172 participants found that patients who received acupuncture after surgery reported significant improvements in sleep, anxiety, pain, fatigue, nausea, and drowsiness.

 Acupuncture Treatment Ocean Grove, NJ

The Surprising Benefits of Supplementing Physical Therapy with Acupuncture

Did you know that supplementing physical therapy with acupuncture and vice versa can have profoundly beneficial effects for patients in New Jersey and across the country? If you're like most, chances are you didn't.

The truth is that acupuncture and physical therapy have both been proven effective in reducing pain and inflammation. While many people view them as separate methods, combining the two modalities can produce a synergistic effect that enhances pain relief and delivers long-lasting benefits to patients.

Physical therapists work with patients of all ages and abilities, from children to elderly adults, to help them overcome physical limitations and improve their quality of life. At NJ Sports Spine & Wellness, our physical therapists help treat a wide range of conditions, from neck pain and spinal cord injuries to back pain and arthritis.

To effectively reduce pain and treat tissue injury, a combination of acupuncture and physical therapy can be very helpful. Acupuncture helps to reduce inflammation and release muscle tightness and trigger points, allowing the patient to better receive manual therapy or exercise-based physical therapy techniques. In doing so, acupuncture can actually create a window of time that allows your body to respond better to other treatments at New Jersey Sports Spine & Wellness, such as physical therapy and chiropractic care.

There are many benefits of combining physical therapy with acupuncture in Ocean Grove, NJ, including the following:

  • Increased Range of Motion
  • More Effective Long-Term Pain Relief
  • Enhanced Tissue Repair & Healing
  • Better Response to Physical Therapy Due to Pain Reduction
  • Less of a Need for Pain Medications
  • Boosted Mood & Energy
  • Better Quality of Life Overall

You may be wondering, "Are there any studies showing these benefits?" As it turns out, there are many. One such study, published on the NIH's website, was conducted on patients suffering from frozen shoulder.

 Acupuncture Therapy Ocean Grove, NJ

Patients who received acupuncture experienced a significant reduction in pain, while those who underwent physical therapy saw an improvement in range of motion. However, the best outcome was observed in patients who received a combination of both treatments, with reduced pain, increased their range of motion, and improved quality of life. This study highlights the potential benefits of using acupuncture and physical therapy as complementary treatments for frozen shoulder.

It makes sense, then, that people from all walks of life are combining acupuncture with chiropractic treatments at New Jersey Sports Spine & Wellness, including:

  • Professional Athletes
  • Football Players
  • Soccer Players
  • Baseball Players
  • Construction Workers
  • Landscapers
  • Accountants and People Working Office Jobs
  • Public Officials
  • Police Officers
  • More

Combining Acupuncture with Chiropractic Care for Pain Relief and Wellness

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At New Jersey Sports Spine & Wellness, our doctors, practitioners, occupational therapists, and physical therapist specialize in a range of therapies and treatments. Much like physical therapy and acupuncture, combining chiropractic care with acupuncture therapy gives patients a new way to reclaim their mobility, reduce chronic pain, and maintain a healthy quality of life.

Chiropractic care and acupuncture in Ocean Grove, NJ are natural healing practices that don't rely on drugs to improve the body's health. They focus on correcting imbalances in the body's structural and supportive systems, promoting natural healing, and ultimately leading to better health. These practices have a proven track record of helping patients improve their quality of life and overcome physical difficulties.

 Medical Acupuncture Ocean Grove, NJ

What are the Benefits of Using Acupuncture with Chiropractic Care?

Integrating chiropractic and acupuncture as a dual-modality treatment offers the most efficient solution for removing blockages from the body, promoting balance, and accelerating healing. Rather than using these treatments sequentially, a combined approach allows for maximum benefits at one time.

Chiropractic targets subluxations in the nervous system through manual adjustments, facilitating the central nervous system to promote healing, while acupuncture removes blockages that may hinder the body's internal balance. Together, these treatments work synergistically to optimize energy flow and restore harmony in the body.

 Cosmetic Acupuncture Ocean Grove, NJ
 Cosmetic Acupuncture Ocean Grove, NJ

What Conditions Can Be Treated with Acupuncture and Chiropractic Care?

When our physical well-being becomes imbalanced, and our innate healing mechanisms are compromised, illnesses can manifest. The integration of acupuncture and chiropractic practices can effectively address a wide range of health conditions that they individually target, such as:

  • Sports Injuries
  • Headaches
  • Sciatica
  • Lower Back Pain
  • Neck Pain
  • Insomnia
  • Chronic Conditions Like Diabetes
  • More

Curious if combining chiropractic care or physical therapy with acupuncture is right for your body? The best way to find out is to make an appointment at our sports rehab clinic in New Jersey. Once our team of medical professionals has a chance to evaluate your conditions, we can explore the best options to provide the most relief in the shortest amount of time possible.

The Premier Choice for Professional Acupuncture in Ocean Grove, NJ

New Jersey Sports Spine & Wellness consists of a team of athletic trainers, chiropractors, occupational therapists, physical therapists, and other professionals. We're very proud and passionate about caring for our patients, many of whom are suffering from debilitating conditions like back and neck pain, plantar fasciitis, sports-related injuries, and more. If you're trying to get on the road to pain relief and recovery, acupuncture may be the non-surgical solution you need to reclaim your life. Contact our office today to learn whether this exciting treatment is right for you.

phone-number732-526-2497

Latest News in Ocean Grove, NJ

State demands Jersey Shore community stop blocking beach access on Sunday mornings

State officials have sent a notice of violation to the landowners’ group in Ocean Grove that has restricted Sunday morning access to the beach from its boardwalk.The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection did not specify any penalties in its Sept. 14 letter to the Ocean Grove Camp M...

State officials have sent a notice of violation to the landowners’ group in Ocean Grove that has restricted Sunday morning access to the beach from its boardwalk.

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection did not specify any penalties in its Sept. 14 letter to the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association but demanded within 10 days compliance with mandated corrective actions, such as agreeing to no longer use chain and pad lock barriers to block beach access from the boardwalk Sundays between 9 a.m. and noon.

The DEP previously sent a warning letter Aug. 13 and said officials from the department’s Bureau of Coastal and Land Use Compliance and Enforcement observed violations of the Coastal Area Facility Review Act on Aug. 27 and Sept. 3, the last of 15 Sundays during the summer season.

Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association officials have said the nine “step entrances” — access points from the Ocean Grove Boardwalk onto the sand — are closed between 9 a.m. and noon on the Sundays during the summer season, from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend. It is a tradition stemming from Ocean Grove’s origins as a Christian seaside resort and destination for Methodists.

The boardwalk and pier remain opened throughout the summer season, with the beach accessible by walking along the sand either north from Bradley Beach or south from Asbury Park.

However, DEP is alleging that the restriction runs afoul of the law.

“The department recommends that representatives of the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association engage in compliance discussions with the Bureau of Coastal and Land Use Compliance and Enforcement aimed at resolving this matter as soon as possible,” regional supervisor Robert H. Clark wrote in his letter to the association’s director of operations, Steve Columbo.

Michael Badger, the president of the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association, said Friday that no fines have been issued against his organization.

Badger told NJ Advance Media that he has spoken with DEP’s director of land resource protection, Jennifer Moriarty.

“The OGCMA will meet with the NJDEP to ensure all the facts are heard,” Badger said.

Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association officials have said limiting beach access on Sunday mornings improves the “religious and secular” quality of life along its boardwalk.

Ocean Grove, a seaside community of roughly 3,000 residents, is not its own municipality, but a small section of Neptune Township set aside with a unique charter. was founded more than 150 years ago as a summertime, tent-revival religious retreat. It was governed by the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association as a religious enclave for 100 years until the New Jersey Supreme Court declared its original charter unconstitutional after a series of lawsuits. However, the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association still owns all the land and helps govern the beachfront community.

Protesters and counter-protesters were present Sept. 3 for the final Sunday of the season under the policy. The beach remained blocked with chains slung across the entrances and a sign saying the beach was closed — “An Ocean Grove Tradition.”

Some beachgoers jumped the barriers or went under the chains and sat on the beach.

The dispute over Sunday beach access is the latest in a series of controversies involving the Camp Meeting Association and some Ocean Grove residents. The Camp Meeting Association’s decision to rebuild a beach pier in the shape of a cross drew objections from some residents earlier this year.

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Ocean Grove Sunday Beach Closures Violate NJ Rules, DEP Says

OCEAN GROVE, NJ — The Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association has been issued a violation notice by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection over its continued practice of blocking public beach access on Sunday mornings.In a letter dated Thursday, Sept. 14, the NJDEP said the camp meeting association is in violation of a provision of the Coastal Area Facility Review Act that requires public access be maintained so the public can reach the sand below the mean high water line.A request for comment from the camp me...

OCEAN GROVE, NJ — The Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association has been issued a violation notice by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection over its continued practice of blocking public beach access on Sunday mornings.

In a letter dated Thursday, Sept. 14, the NJDEP said the camp meeting association is in violation of a provision of the Coastal Area Facility Review Act that requires public access be maintained so the public can reach the sand below the mean high water line.

A request for comment from the camp meeting association was not immediately answered Friday evening.

Under the Public Trust Doctrine in New Jersey, private ownership of a beach only extends to the mean high water line. From there to the water the beach belongs to the public. The NJDEP has fought — and won — repeated legal battles with private owners up and down the Shore over public beach access dating back to the 1980s.

The NJDEP warned the association and Neptune Township in an Aug. 10 letter that the closures had to stop. Ocean Grove is a section of Neptune; the camp meeting association owns nearly all the property in the section. It existed as a Methodist enclave for decades, though its residential makeup has changed some in recent years. Read more: Jersey Shore Town, State At Odds Over Sunday Beach Restrictions

Find out what's happening in Asbury Parkwith free, real-time updates from Patch.

The violation notice, signed by Robert H. Clark, region supervisor of the Bureau of Coastal and Land Use Compliance and Enforcement, gives the association 10 days to cease "all unauthorized activities," which the NJDEP said involve the use of chains and padlocks to prevent public access to the beach between the hours of 9 a.m. and noon on Sundays from May through September.

"The Permittee cannot limit vertical or horizontal public access to any dry sand area covered under this permit nor interfere with the public's right to free use of the dry sand for intermittent recreational purposes connected with the ocean and wet sand," Clark said.

In response to the Aug. 10 warning, the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association defended the closure, saying it “enhances religious and secular quality of life experiences in Ocean Grove which society recognizes as valuable.”

The policy to close Ocean Grove beach access has been in place for 154 years, Michael Badger, president of the organization, told NJ.com. This is the first year the policy has generated complaints, Badger said. Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association describes itself as "rooted in its Methodist Heritage," with the mission to "provide opportunities for spiritual birth, growth, and renewal through worship, educational, cultural, and recreational programs for persons of all ages in a Christian seaside setting."

The organization is not affiliated with the United Methodist Church.

The full violation notice can be read below.

NJDEP Violation Notice To Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association by Karen Wall on Scribd

I’ve Lived in a Tent Every Summer for 35+ Years and Always Will—Here’s Why

Four months, one tent: Welcome to Jennifer Walsh's paradiseSimple sounds of nature have such restorative effects on the body and brain. The trill of birdsong, the rasp of blowing leaves, the patter of rainfall and the crash of ocean waves are almost universally calming, which is why so many people use them to quiet the mind and lull the body into sleep. I, for one, relish those moments in which nature’s rhythms are louder than man-made noise. It’s one of the reasons I make an annual trek from the buzzing Big Apple to the q...

Four months, one tent: Welcome to Jennifer Walsh's paradise

Simple sounds of nature have such restorative effects on the body and brain. The trill of birdsong, the rasp of blowing leaves, the patter of rainfall and the crash of ocean waves are almost universally calming, which is why so many people use them to quiet the mind and lull the body into sleep. I, for one, relish those moments in which nature’s rhythms are louder than man-made noise. It’s one of the reasons I make an annual trek from the buzzing Big Apple to the quiet of Ocean Grove’s Tent City.

Each spring, I leave my New York City apartment and move into a tent in Ocean Grove, New Jersey. I’ve lived there every summer for the past 35 years, sharing a space with my family. For those four months of every year, the sounds of the natural world envelop me from sunup to sundown.

I like to say that I stay in a living structure with walls that ebb and flow with the breeze. I can hear the push and pull of the ropes that keep the canvas in place. I can smell the first drops of rain the minute they hit the soil. I can tell how foggy it might be at the beach, two-and-a-half blocks away, based on how fragrant the scent of the brine is coming off the ocean. I rise with the first light, and my home changes color—turning vibrant pastels in shades of orange, pink and purple—with the magnificent shades of the summer sunset.

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The making of Tent City

Courtesy Jennifer Walsh

Ocean Grove is a quaint and historic beach community located just shy of two hours south of New York City. Flanked by two lakes and bordering the Atlantic Ocean, it’s a summertime oasis with a long history. Methodist settlers set up camp here and established the town in 1869. They were part of the camp meeting movement of the 19th century, which saw groups of people of various Protestant denominations pitching their tents across America and gathering for camp activities like religious worship, singing and praying.

As tents and cabins were erected on this stretch of New Jersey shore, the story of Ocean Grove began. My Ocean Grove story begins anew each spring. On May 15, I join 113 other “tenters” for a move into our tents for the season. We stay until Sept. 15, when it is time to close up for the fall and winter months.

While we’re there, visitors from all over the country stroll through the town and meander through the tent community to get a look at what life is like in Ocean Grove’s Tent City. When asked, I always say it’s magical. It is such a unique way to exist and be part of something so special. I never take a moment here for granted.

Small-town life

Today, walking through the town is like stepping back in time. It’s full of beautiful old Victorian homes and crowned by the must-visit Great Auditorium. Surrounded by Ocean Grove’s Tent City, the Great Auditorium was completed in 1894 and can house nearly 7,000 people, who come for church services, concerts and speakers. In the past, it’s played host to speakers like presidents Nixon, Roosevelt and Wilson. And many who have performed concerts here compare the acoustics to that of the famed Carnegie Hall in New York City.

Main Street ushers guests through the main gates, past storefronts full of small businesses and lovely little eateries, and on to the ocean. One of the best aspects of living here is its walkability. When I stay in Ocean Grove’s Tent City, I can traverse the town with ease—and explore the surrounding areas too.

Just north of Ocean Grove, Asbury Park is full of hip restaurants, bars and countless shops. And then there’s the historic Stone Pony, where Bruce Springsteen and Bon Jovi used to play regularly and where you can catch indoor and outdoor concerts from some of the biggest names in music all summer long. There is always something going on in Ocean Grove, in Asbury Park and in the other adjoining beach communities, which are all connected along the boardwalk.

But I don’t have to go far to find something to do. In the summer months, most people entertain on their front porches in both the tent community and the Victorian homes residents live in year-round. The city is full of life and conversations with neighbors. We often joke about how long it takes to walk a block—there’s always someone (or someones) you can stop and speak with.

A summer community

Courtesy Jennifer Walsh

To the uninitiated, Ocean Grove’s Tent City may conjure images of national park camping, with its portable tents and potential for bear sightings. But tent life in this small New Jersey enclave is a different sort of experience, which may be why the tents are hard to come by. Right now, there is close to a 10-year wait-list for one.

These tents are family heirlooms of sorts, handed down from generation to generation. There are strict rules against renting out a tent or turning it into an Airbnb experience, so I’m not surrounded by strangers. I’ve known my neighbors for decades. Though we’re seasonal residents, tenters are an active part of the community all summer long, and most volunteer at the countless fun events the town puts together for locals and visitors alike.

The gift of time

Tent life is a simplified life, and that’s a good thing. Our quarters are small but offer everything we need. Each tent connects to a cabin that houses a bathroom, kitchen and living area. We have running water and air conditioning in the cabin, and almost everyone has Wi-Fi. (The cabin’s use goes beyond space: In the fall and winter, we move all our furniture from the tent to the cabin and board it up for safekeeping during the colder months.)

Most of these structures are more than 140 years old, and no two tents are alike. Our homes are full of personality, with almost all the 114 tents measuring slightly different in terms of square footage. Everyone decorates their tent in a unique way too.

Tenters come from all over the country, so when they get here, they often stay for the entire four-month season. I share this space with my parents. Many others live with multiple family members—and yes, it is a small space for more than two to three people. (If you’ve ever gone car camping, though, you could handle it with ease.)

Living with multiple generations is a gift that many other cultures take such pride and joy in. For me, the greatest gift the experience offers is time. I have time with my parents, and that is the ultimate joy.

The allure of living simply

During the summer of 2020, Ocean Grove’s Tent City gave me another gift: freedom. I lived outdoors for a full four months at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was a time when indoor activity was restricted. We said goodbye to indoor dining, movies in theaters, museum visits and so many other activities we were used to. But in this tent community, we sat on front porches and in backyards experiencing togetherness in a safer environment.

I rarely went home to my New York City apartment that summer, and why would I? Those four months of living outdoors transformed me and my work. It helped me step into a greater understanding of what it meant to live simply, to need very little and to have a solid community of people of all ages that would check on one another and share meals and food from our gardens.

I was so thankful for that laughter and joy in an otherwise challenging and uncertain time. It was honestly the best place to be to “hunker down” during the first few months of the COVID-19 storm.

Life lessons

Society today encourages nonstop stimulus from technology and jam-packed schedules. We’re trapped indoors, burned out and isolated. But living in harmony with nature and those around us is tonic for the soul.

If you get a chance to slow down for a day, a weekend or longer, I recommend finding spaces and places that fill your heart and soul with joy and kindness and offer a slower pace to life. Whether you nab a tent in Ocean Grove’s community, book a glamping vacation or do some free camping in your area, experience tent living with your whole body. Listen, smell and see the beauty of life and the beauty of nature. Notice how you feel. Seek the moments of quiet, stillness and beauty, and never underestimate the power of community for your health and well-being.

Another family of foxes sets up den on Ocean Grove beach

OCEAN GROVE - During their beachfront walks in recent weeks, Asbury Park residents Robert and Amy Pignatello noticed folks camped out with cameras near the remnants of the old North End Pavilion in the Ocean Grove section of Neptune.They were waiting for a peek at a family of red foxes that turned the spot into a den.“I said, ‘Why would people spend all this time waiting for foxes to come out?'” Robert said. “I have one word for these folks: Pinterest. You can get all the pictures of foxes...

OCEAN GROVE - During their beachfront walks in recent weeks, Asbury Park residents Robert and Amy Pignatello noticed folks camped out with cameras near the remnants of the old North End Pavilion in the Ocean Grove section of Neptune.

They were waiting for a peek at a family of red foxes that turned the spot into a den.

“I said, ‘Why would people spend all this time waiting for foxes to come out?'” Robert said. “I have one word for these folks: Pinterest. You can get all the pictures of foxes you want.”

On Tuesday, the Pignatellos discovered what the fuss was about. They were walking past the area when the fox family of five emerged onto the beach, the pups playing with each other and the mom grooming her young.

Ocean Grove:Cross-shaped pier opens to the public on April 15

“We saw the whole family of foxes and I was just dumbfounded,” said Robert Pignatello, who is a vice president at Fairleigh Dickinson University. “I never expected to see something like that on the beach. It was a beautiful thing to see.”

It’s not the first time the site has been used as a den. In the spring of 2021 a family of red foxes caused a similar sensation among the locals. Typically, pups emerge from the den about a month after birth and are weaned by 8 to 10 weeks. The family remains together until the fall after the birth, and then the young disperse.

Several generations of foxes may use the same den site, so this could well be part of the family that romped the Ocean Grove sands in 2021.

According to New Jersey’s Division of Fish & Wildlife, “healthy foxes pose virtually no danger to humans. Foxes can grow accustomed to human activity but are seldom aggressive toward people.”

'I should just open my own shop':How Ocean Grove yarn store makes you feel at home

Robert Pignatello snapped a few photos and some video with his iPhone. He no longer questions the camera-wielding enthusiasts staking out the spot.

“Now I understand why,” he said.

Jerry Carino is community columnist for the Asbury Park Press, focusing on the Jersey Shore’s interesting people, inspiring stories and pressing issues. Contact him at jcarino@gannettnj.com.

NJ ramps up pressure on landowners’ group to allow beach access on Sundays

They want to make beach access a Shore thing.State officials ramped up the pressure on the Ocean Grove landowners’ group that is banning beach use on Sunday morning by restricting access to its boardwalk.The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection sent the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association, a Methodist...

They want to make beach access a Shore thing.

State officials ramped up the pressure on the Ocean Grove landowners’ group that is banning beach use on Sunday morning by restricting access to its boardwalk.

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection sent the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association, a Methodist Heritage organization, a violation notice on Thursday demanding that the group allow people to enter the beach via the boardwalk there, NJ.com reported.

The DEP — which was following up a warning letter sent Aug. 13 — gave the group 10 days to comply by removing the chain and padlock barriers that block beach access from the boardwalk Sundays between 9 a.m. and noon.

Michael Badger, the organization’s president, said Friday that no fines have been issued.

The department also asked that representatives of the association “engage in compliance discussion” with the agency “aimed at resolving this matter as soon as possible,” Robert H. Clark, regional supervisor, wrote in his letter to the association’s director of operations, Steve Columbo. Badger told NJ.com that a representative of the group will meet with the state, to ensure all the facts are heard.”

Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association, whose vision is to “be the seaside community where all generations can know and grow in Jesus,” has for 154 years closed the nine access points from the Ocean Grove boardwalk onto the sand for three hours on summer mornings from Memorial Day to Labor Day weekends.

The group works to maintain the religious heritage of the town, which was founded in 1869 by Methodist ministers. After 100 years, the New Jersey Supreme Court deemed Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association’s charter unconstitutional, but the association still owns all the land and has a hand in governing the beachfront community of 3,000 inhabitants in Neptune Township.

However, despite their efforts to limit beach use on Sunday mornings, Ocean Grove’s boardwalk and pier stayed open throughout the summer, and the beach itself can be accessed by neighboring towns — in the north from Bradley Beach or south from Asbury Park.

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