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 Acupuncturists Oceanport, 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 Oceanport, 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 Oceanport, NJ

Is Acupuncture in Oceanport, 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 Oceanport, 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 Oceanport, NJ
 Best Acupuncture Oceanport, 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 Oceanport, 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 Oceanport, NJ
 Facial Acupuncture Oceanport, 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 Oceanport, 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 Oceanport, 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 Oceanport, 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


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 Oceanport, 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 Oceanport, 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 Oceanport, NJ
 Cosmetic Acupuncture Oceanport, 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 Oceanport, 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.


Latest News in Oceanport, NJ

New bar, restaurant set for old Fort Monmouth site in Oceanport, NJ

A new bar restaurant is the third and final tenant to sign onto the revamped commissary building at the former Fort Monmouth property.Baseline Social has been envisioned as a 17,100-square-foot “immersive dining and entertainment experience” from the same team that created Deal Lake Bar + Co in Loch Harbor.Among the planned features of Baseline Social are a 3,700-square-foot entertainment section containing five virtual golf bays with full-swing technology and an LED TV viewing wall.There will also be a 38-se...

A new bar restaurant is the third and final tenant to sign onto the revamped commissary building at the former Fort Monmouth property.

Baseline Social has been envisioned as a 17,100-square-foot “immersive dining and entertainment experience” from the same team that created Deal Lake Bar + Co in Loch Harbor.

Among the planned features of Baseline Social are a 3,700-square-foot entertainment section containing five virtual golf bays with full-swing technology and an LED TV viewing wall.

There will also be a 38-seat platform lounge that can accommodate live music or private events and an outdoor bar and lounge section with infrared heaters and a fire pit lounge.

The restaurant has an anticipated opening date in spring 2023, joining two neighbors within the revamped commissary building.

Birdsmouth Beer, a craft brewery and tasting room, just had its grand opening this month, after being first to sign on with Denholtz Properties for The Commissary at Baseline.

In September, a lease was signed with MGT Foods.

The third-generation family business — behind brands like Mr. Green Tea Ice Cream, Mr. Mochi, The Bear & The Rat Cool Treats for Dogs and Eat Mud Non-Dairy Ice Cream - plans to begin production in the Oceanport space next year.

Baseline Social is being opened by BarCo Brands — founded by Andrea Pappas, Greg Bartz and Phil Villapiano and joined this year by Tim McMahon. The group had been looking to open a second restaurant and bar when it locked in on this location.

Denholtz Properties will now focus attention on its second parcel at the decommissioned base — a redevelopment of the former Fort Monmouth Warehouse District.

Construction on more than 72,000 square feet spread across three buildings has been scheduled for completion in 2023.

Before the military base was shuttered in 2011, The Commissary was a 53,700-square-foot Army supermarket.

The Warehouse District previously included five administrative buildings and warehouses that dated back to the 1940s and 1950s, The Two River Times reported.

Everything is costing more these days — and housing is certainly no exception in New Jersey.

Data for 2022 from January through August, compiled by New Jersey Realtors, shows that South Jersey has been seeing homes hit the market and sell in less than a month, on average.

Median prices for single-family homes have reached $500,000 and above in nine counties in North and Central Jersey.

All but two counties have seen houses go for more than the list price, on average, this year.

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Oceanport music teacher lives the dream of making a living playing music

Jimmy Franklin, owner of Jam Academy in Oceanport, started teaching music before he could drive.“At age 16, I had different jobs here and there, but I really looked forward to teaching because it was my passion, even as a teenager,” Franklin said. “I started doing it for the money at first, but I found the more I did it, the more I found I wanted to do it constantly. I was pretty much self-taught with guitar since fifth grade and drums since second grade.“I would go and put out business ca...

Jimmy Franklin, owner of Jam Academy in Oceanport, started teaching music before he could drive.

“At age 16, I had different jobs here and there, but I really looked forward to teaching because it was my passion, even as a teenager,” Franklin said. “I started doing it for the money at first, but I found the more I did it, the more I found I wanted to do it constantly. I was pretty much self-taught with guitar since fifth grade and drums since second grade.

“I would go and put out business cards at the local video store in Oceanport and I got calls for lessons,” Franklin said. “My mom would answer the phone and be like my secretary, booking appointments for me to teach music to customers. Right now, I am 30 years old and I still teach my very first student. It’s great.”

When Franklin was in second grade, he started out trying to play piano, but his teacher told him he was too hyperactive. Instead being discouraged, Franklin channeled that energy into another instrument, the drums.

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“Drums were very classically trained and regimented for me,” Franklin said. “I had a lot of different teachers, as I pursued drums academically with every music program that was out there. I did this all the way up until high school, where I joined the marching band and took part in competitions. I became the leader of the marching band and that year was the most competitive year for my high school, Shore Regional, on record. I believe it is still the record to this day.

“At the same time, I was being recruited by the United States Marines Corps to come and play for them, but I ended up not pursuing that opportunity,” Franklin said. “I was really split between playing drums and playing the guitar, as I had already formed a garage band playing guitar, despite achieving so much playing the drums.”

When he was 13, he would walk around his neighborhood looking for other musicians who would play with him and stumbled upon a high school band in his travels.

“I would hear kids jamming out and playing music,” Franklin said. “I would bring my guitar and try to keep up with them because I just loved to play so much and I wanted to improve by any means necessary. I joined a high school band when I was only in middle school. They continued to play music with me and we eventually got really great.

“At one point, we opened for the Jonas Brothers at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park, as they were just coming up and becoming popular,” Franklin said. "They asked our band, Hollander, to be the opening act at that particular show and we were so excited and flattered that we immediately agreed and everything went great.”

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Becoming a professional

Franklin got to a point where he was undecided on how he wanted to pursue his music. He was still teaching guitar and drums to his students on a limited basis, but he also was playing drums in the marching band on Saturday mornings and then playing guitar in his own band on Saturday nights.

“The bottom line is that, anytime you can experience something out of your comfort zone, not just as a musician, but whatever your field is, it will always add to your own blend of what you can offer,” Franklin said. “I felt like I was a Clark Kent by day with my drums and then a Superman by night when I played guitar.”

By the time Franklin was in high school, he and his band had been signed to a record label so he pursued that path.

“We started recording in upstate New York with a well-known music producer and were touring at the same time,” Franklin said. “Unfortunately, the band would eventually dismantle amid some creative differences. That didn’t stop me from continuing to tour and play music with other bands. I would just go on tour a little bit and then come back and teach. That was my routine.

“With all the motions I was going through, I still loved to come back and teach music because it made my skills more refined,” Franklin said. “That was one of the most fun parts about it. It was more about figuring out who I could learn from musically and how I could just get better and better.”

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Franklin eventually decided to stop teaching music as a side gig and focus on it fulltime.

“I came back from a long tour to teach someone who was an intermediate and I did not know what to do,” Franklin said. “My chops were just not there and I just felt burnt out. I made a decision to buckle down and get back on track with practicing and sharpening the blade. That is really what sparked my desire to do this exclusively. It just felt right.”

Teaching as a career

On April 2, 2021, Franklin officially opened Jam Academy.

“To say that I was nervous was definitely an understatement,” Franklin said. “I knew I had the necessary plans in place to make sure that I was OK and it wasn’t such a blind leap. Even though I had a cushion in the form of my own band, Nick Ryan and the Mess, who I still play with to this day, and a YouTube channel called Working Class Musician that is always growing, I was not 100% certain of how things would turn out. I put my shoulder to the wind and didn’t look back.

“One thing that has kept me going, since I officially opened in 2021, is what I seem to hear a lot from my students,” Franklin said. “When asked about what they want to do when they grow up, they respond pretty assuredly that they want to play music for a living just like me. That is what fuels and drives me to do this consistently. It means a lot.”

Franklin currently teaches drums and guitar, but he has also extended his instrument variation to bass guitar and ukulele.

“Both of those instruments are ones that I picked up and had a lot of fun with and then didn’t want to put down,” Franklin said.

During the pandemic, Franklin continued his lessons online and was able to still do it effectively.

“The whole pandemic taught me what not to do with my business,” Franklin said. “I knew it was a good decision to shut down the physical studio and do strictly online sessions. That ended up working out and was just as effective as a face-to-face meeting.”

Franklin has achieved a lot in his career and life, but he does have plans for the future.

“I want to build up programs for my students to give them a similar sense of how I learned to play,” Franklin said. “I want my students to get into playing with their own bands. That is what is coming down the pipeline very soon.”

Owner: Jimmy Franklin

Phone: 732-440-9190

Website: jimmyrfranklin.com

Hours: 1 to 9 p.m. weekdays

NJ business owners to paddle from Oceanport to NYC for charity

OCEANPORT — The wind at their backs, a unique view of an oncoming New York City, and money raised for select, cherished charities.That would be the ideal outcome on Saturday, June 5 for a group of New Jersey business owners who plan to stand-up paddleboard from the Oceanport Paddle Club, which is run by Christopher Macioch, to the southern tip of Manhattan.As designed, that's a 30-mile trip, but Macioch said he has previously done a ...

OCEANPORT — The wind at their backs, a unique view of an oncoming New York City, and money raised for select, cherished charities.

That would be the ideal outcome on Saturday, June 5 for a group of New Jersey business owners who plan to stand-up paddleboard from the Oceanport Paddle Club, which is run by Christopher Macioch, to the southern tip of Manhattan.

As designed, that's a 30-mile trip, but Macioch said he has previously done a 26-mile paddle around Manhattan, and two other participants, Jeremy Julio and John Majeski, have taken part in 24-hour endurance runs.

So, while the voyage is semi-recreational, Macioch made clear that it's not an amateur pursuit.

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Macioch will be raising money for CASA of Ocean County. Julio, of Last Bite Mosquito and Tick Control, is paddling for the Lyme Light Foundation. Majeski, owner of SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch, is fundraising for the Kortney Rose Foundation.

A fourth participant, OPC co-founder and Summa Love Surfing & Yoga founder Bryan Zinski, plans to donate to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Coastal & Northern New Jersey.

Macioch came up with the idea to paddle from OPC to NYC years ago, but had put it on the back burner until Julio and Majeski approached him with a very similar concept.

Now, the countdown is on — provided the forecast cooperates on the 5th.

"No stormy weather," Macioch said. "We're hoping for a slight south wind so we have the wind at our back. We will be getting a boat ride back from our support boats, which we do have several very experienced captains who are familiar with those waterways."

And even though the paddlers will be coming ashore across state lines and may have to navigate shipping traffic as well as water conditions, it's still a small-scale event, so at this point no clearance from New York City is needed.

That could change in the future. Macioch hopes it will.

"We're really just going to get a lot of data from this year," he said. "We are considering, if it goes the way that we hope and plan, that this might be something you'll see year after year."

Macioch said he also expects the event to be live-streamed, to further the spread of what his group is doing and what organizations they are helping.

Patrick Lavery is New Jersey 101.5's afternoon news anchor. Follow him on Twitter @plavery1015 or email patrick.lavery@townsquaremedia.com.

A pageant in a pandemic? Oceanport woman details her Miss USA pageant experience

When Gina Mellish was crowned Miss New Jersey Teen USA in 2016, her entire family flew to Las Vegas to watch and support her in competition.Last week when the 21-year-old Oceanport native represented the Garden State as ...

When Gina Mellish was crowned Miss New Jersey Teen USA in 2016, her entire family flew to Las Vegas to watch and support her in competition.

Last week when the 21-year-old Oceanport native represented the Garden State as Miss New Jersey USA in the Miss USA pageant, only her mother was in attendance due to the competition's COVID-19 restrictions.

"My dad does have diabetes so we were nervous about (him flying with) his pre-existing condition," Mellish told the Press. "So we just thought that … it would be better (for him) to watch at home. So that was obviously sad but it was great to have my mom there."

Her mom, Lorri, had to lodge in a separate hotel room and the only time Mellish saw her was from on stage during the pageant.

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The restricted access was one of many COVID-19 safety measures implemented over Mellish's week in Memphis, Tennessee.

"We had to quarantine for two weeks before going," Mellish said. "They sent us an at-home test that we had to do over Zoom with them and mail it in before we got on the plane."

Delegates, again, had to quarantine for one night upon arrival and were permitted to participate in the week's events after producing a negative test result. Pageant staff and competitors were tested every 48 hours, according to Mellish.

"They took really good care of us. We were six feet apart the entire time, we had masks on every second we were outside of the room," she said. "Except for eating, but we basically ate at tables alone."

The only time the delegates had theirs masks off were the moments they were actually competing on stage for the big event, Mellish said. Originally scheduled for May, the pageant was postponed twice before it was finally held Nov. 9 at the Exhibition Center and the Soundstage at Graceland.

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The televised event showcased 51 delegates, one from each state as well as Washington, D.C., competing for the Miss USA crown. The contestants were judged in swimsuit, evening gown and interview competitions.

The interview portion of the pageant is Mellish's favorite. A survivor of domestic violence, Mellish's platform of domestic violence awareness is one that closely resonates with her.

"I got to tell my story of relationship abuse and how I've been championing women and teaching other young girls about the unhealthy side, and how I really have been dedicated to helping the next generation of women," she said.

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When the top 16 delegates were announced, Mellish, the competition's youngest contestant, was the first name called.

"It was a 45-second moment when my video was being played," Mellish said. "Being able to just take it in and see my mom, I could actually see her jump out of the chair which was the coolest thing because normally you're in a huge auditorium and you can't see the audience."

This year, the audience capacity was limited to 300 guests, according to WMC-TV.

In the next round, she was the final delegate to be named in the top 10.

You can watch Mellish's top 10 announcement in the video below.

In the end, 22-year-old Asya Branch won, making history as the first Miss Mississippi to win the Miss USA pageant.

Now that her reign as Miss New Jersey USA has come to an end, Mellish is looking forward to her next life venture.

"I'm excited to actually have a career," Mellish, a recent graduate of Marist College, said. While pursuing a degree in fashion merchandising, she interned with Giorgio Armani and aspires to work in public relations for a fashion brand.

"It's incredible because I'm only 21 and my pageant career is now behind me," she said. "That was a whole chapter in my life that I get to gracefully and gratefully close."

Jai-Leen James is a digital producer at the Asbury Park Press. She can be reached at jtjames@gannett.com or on Twitter @j_james17.

Oceanport Resident Honored For Volunteering In County Parks

An Oceanport resident was among those honored March 5 by the Monmouth County Park System for volunteerism:Patch Staff|Updated Mon, Mar 13, 2023 at 1:10 pm ETCOLTS NECK, NJ —Oceanport resident CJ Weir was among those honored March 5 by the Monmouth County Park System for volunteerism.The 110 volunteers were chosen because they each gave more than 40 or more hours 2022 improving and beautifying Monmouth County parks for other members of the public to enjoy.The awards banquet was held at Hominy Hill Go...

An Oceanport resident was among those honored March 5 by the Monmouth County Park System for volunteerism:

Patch Staff

|Updated Mon, Mar 13, 2023 at 1:10 pm ET

COLTS NECK, NJ —Oceanport resident CJ Weir was among those honored March 5 by the Monmouth County Park System for volunteerism.

The 110 volunteers were chosen because they each gave more than 40 or more hours 2022 improving and beautifying Monmouth County parks for other members of the public to enjoy.

The awards banquet was held at Hominy Hill Golf Course in Colts Neck.

Particularly of note were volunteers Beth Clarke, who gave 1,000 hours of her time last year, and Les Neiman, who gave 3,000 hours. Both Jim Gault and Gerry Linger crossed the 5,000-hours mark.

On any given day, volunteers can be found gardening, assisting in offices or leading a trip. They help with programs, lend a hand at cleanups and build trails. Docent volunteers welcome visitors and share information about exhibits, programs and facilities. They are an essential part of the Park System’s therapeutic riding programs.

Find out what's happening in Little Silver-Oceanportwith free, real-time updates from Patch.

Many special events and races such as the Wind & Sea Festival, Thompson Park Day and the E. Murray Todd Half Marathon depend on volunteers to run smoothly.

"We are grateful to each and every one of its volunteers for their service," said the Monmouth County Parks system.

Volunteers who gave more than 40 hours in 2022 are:

Werner Aehlich, Holmdel

Jodee Anderson, Brick

Andrew Antoniolli, Brielle

Charlotte Applegate, Middletown

Basil Baccash, Holmdel

Donna Baginsky, Eatontown

Larry Batori, East Brunswick

Cynthia 'Cindy' Bellino, Middletown

Patricia Bernstein, Colonia

Chris Bremseth, Tinton Falls

Tracey Brown, Atlantic Highlands

Joan Bruno, Highlands

Don Bunnell, Rumson

Rose Buono-Zimmer, Morganville

Sandy Burn, Red Bank

Maureen Byrne, Colts Neck

Judy Cappello, East Windsor

Joan Capriotti, Middletown

Bobbie Carey, Keyport

Tullio Carfagno, Whiting

Susan Cartmell, Matawan

Chung Chang, Holmdel

Polly Chu, Red Bank

James Church, Aberdeen

Beth Clarke, Tinton Falls

Dennis Costa, Old Bridge

Marie Costa, Old Bridge

Denise Day, Holmdel

Matthew DeFelice, New Egypt

Megan Delaney, Middletown

Louise Delcollo, Colts Neck

Joan Dubois, Wall Township

Pat Duplak, Tinton Falls

Kathy Elderhorst, Fair Haven

Nancy Endresen, Holmdel

Kathleen Evans, Tinton Falls

Steve Fratini, Eatontown

Donna Fugit, Brielle

Jim Gault, Hazlet

Loma Gault, Hazlet

Mark Gorman, Philadelphia

Beth Gough, Leonardo

Susan Halle, Middletown

Kevin Harjes, Rumson

Ellen Harrold, Wall Township

Melanie Hernandez, Middletown

Amanda Hintelmann, Rumson

Dawn Johnson, Aberdeen

Alison Kugler, Morganville

Art Lackner, Eatontown

Gale Lackner, Eatontown

Bob Laue, Hazlet

Olivia Layton, Middletown

Susan Levantino, Fair Haven

Elizabeth Lilleston, Atlantic Highlands

Anna Lindberg, Keansburg

Dan Lingelbach, Navesink

Jeanette Lingelbach, Navesink

Gerry Lingner, Long Branch

Lois Lyons, Tinton Falls

Joseph Mazzatta, Manahawkin

Alice Mccaddin, Ocean

Cathie Merker, Leonardo

Gene Miller, Brielle

Jayne Miller, Spotswood

Mary Jean Milner, Aberdeen

Eileen Murphy, Holmdel

Grace Musumeci, Matawan

AnneMarie Narcini, New Egypt

David Nass, Red Bank

Laurie Nass, Red Bank

Bridget Neiman, Belford

Les Neiman, Belford

Han Nguyen, Marlboro

Trinh Nguyen, Marlboro

Brooke Norton, Middletown

Jim Pegg, Tinton Falls

Bill Perkins, Aberdeen

Thomas Puskar, Howell

Steve Ralling, Red Bank

Steven Reed, Matawan

Margo Reynolds, Freehold

Carolina Rivera-Colon, Jackson

Michael Roche, Freehold

Rocky Rockhill, Spring Lake Heights

Linda Rovder, Tinton Falls

Beth Rys, Red Bank

Walter Salzmann, Sea Girt

Fritz Schwager, Manchester

Harry Shiau, Holmdel

Samantha Shwartz, Middletown

Holly Sieka, Red Bank

Carla Sinclair, Old Bridge

Carol A. Smith, Red Bank

Rita Smith, Keyport

Carol Smolinski, Freehold

Robert Sollazzo, Morganville

Leon 'Lee' Stab, Englishtown

David Steward, Englishtown

Eleanor Swanson, Long Branch

Hailey Tay, Freehold

Elise Teepe, Eatontown

Sunanda Thali, Marlboro Township

Rosemary Tunnicliffe, Tinton Falls

Eva Valiant, Brielle

David Wardell, Allentown

Elaine Weigl, Barnegat

CJ Weir, Oceanport

Brian Wilson, Rumson

Peter Zampella, Red Bank

To learn about Park System volunteers or to become one, please visit www.MonmouthCountyParks.com or call 732-842-4000.

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