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 Acupuncturists Vail Homes, 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 Vail Homes, 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 Vail Homes, NJ

Is Acupuncture in Vail Homes, 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 Vail Homes, 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 Vail Homes, NJ
 Best Acupuncture Vail Homes, 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 Vail Homes, 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 Vail Homes, NJ
 Facial Acupuncture Vail Homes, 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 Vail Homes, 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 Vail Homes, 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 Vail Homes, 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 Vail Homes, 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 Vail Homes, 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 Vail Homes, NJ
 Cosmetic Acupuncture Vail Homes, 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 Vail Homes, 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 Vail Homes, NJ

Vail skier death was from accidental hanging according to initial investigation

Eagle County coroner rules death an accidentJason Varnish, 46, of Short Hills, New Jersey, died Thursday of positional asphyxia while riding Chair 37 in Vail’s Blue Sky Basin, according to the Eagle County coroner.Coroner Kara Bettis said the death has been ruled an accident.Bettis, in a text, wrote: “We are still investigating how this whole situation happened. According to our initial investigation, the deceased slipped through the seat of the chair lift and his ski coat got caught up in the chair. The co...

Eagle County coroner rules death an accident

Jason Varnish, 46, of Short Hills, New Jersey, died Thursday of positional asphyxia while riding Chair 37 in Vail’s Blue Sky Basin, according to the Eagle County coroner.

Coroner Kara Bettis said the death has been ruled an accident.

Bettis, in a text, wrote: “We are still investigating how this whole situation happened. According to our initial investigation, the deceased slipped through the seat of the chair lift and his ski coat got caught up in the chair. The coat ended up going up around his head and neck area putting his neck in a position that compromised his airway.”

Bettis said that the chairlift’s folding seat was in the upright position, according to witnesses, instead of being folded down so riders could sit on it, leaving an open area which one could fall through if they did not notice the seat was not in place.

Skiers in the area witnessed CPR being performed on Varnish at the base of Chair 37. Blue Sky Basin was closed for about 24 hours following the incident, re-opening Friday around 11:30 a.m.

Numerous questions

Questions on the incident Friday were being referred to Bettis, who, after releasing the details of her initial investigation, referred questions to the Eagle County Sheriff’s Department.

The Sheriff’s Department then referred questions to Vail Resorts, which issued the following statement:

“Vail Mountain confirms a serious incident that took place yesterday involving a 46-year-old man from New Jersey. The incident occurred when the guest attempted to load the Skyline Express lift (Chair 37). Vail Mountain Ski Patrol responded to the incident and performed CPR and emergency care on scene before the guest was transported to Vail Health, where he was pronounced deceased.

“We take all incidents seriously and are conducting a full investigation.

“The lift has been thoroughly inspected and is operating normally.

“’Vail Mountain and the entire Vail Resorts family express our sincere condolences and extend our support to the guest’s family and friends,’ said Beth Howard, chief operating officer.”

Similar circumstances to 2009 incident

Skiers mourning Varnish on Thursday were quick to remember a similar incident from 2009 on the same chairlift when a man found himself suspended upside down, pantless, in Blue Sky Basin.

The story went viral when the truTV website thesmokinggun.com picked it up, using the memorable headline “Skier suffers exposure.”

The man in the 2009 incident had also slipped through seat of the chairlift, which was not folded down properly, reported witness Marty Odom.

—Vail Daily Editor Nate Peterson contributed to this report

Alfred Vail School Welcomes New Principal

This post was contributed by a community member. The views expressed here are the author's own.SchoolsJanet Kellman takes on the challenge.Dw. Dunphy, Neighbor|Updated Wed, Aug 25, 2010 at 11:40 am ETOn Sept. 7, students at Alfred Vail School will meet their new principal.Janet Kellman succeeds Anita Barber, wh...

This post was contributed by a community member. The views expressed here are the author's own.


Janet Kellman takes on the challenge.

Dw. Dunphy, Neighbor

|Updated Wed, Aug 25, 2010 at 11:40 am ET

On Sept. 7, students at Alfred Vail School will meet their new principal.

Janet Kellman succeeds Anita Barber, who retired after 40 years. The run-up to this year's semester has been, in Kellman's words, "hectic, but not chaotic."

Kellman's prior duty was as principal of the Lamont, Lamont Annex and Lafayette elementary schools in Bound Brook. She has been an educator since 1991, a career track she said "is near and dear to my heart. I truly believe I was born and called to do this."

The path to being a principal started out in a much different manner. Although she always wanted to be a teacher, Kellman said she was discouraged initially by her sister, a great influence in her life. Kellman changed course and went on to receive a Bachelor of Science degree in management and economics at Ithaca College in New York, and used those skills in various positions with A&S Department Stores and Sharp Electronics.

Fate intervened after the birth of her first child in 1989 when, after extended periods of working from home and on a limited schedule, Kellman recognized her first love was still education and chose to pursue this as her life's work. She went on to receive a master's in early childhood education from Adelphi University.

Education is a path Kellman feels she would always have found, regardless of circumstances, she said.

While having a background in the managerial sector is a useful skill set, Kellman is quick to add, "[The educational training] programs offered now have a nice blend of those same skills. People entering the field of education really understand the concept of management now."

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

She also said her previous work has enabled her to become a force within the educational structure, recognizing the value of motivating people and of collaborative decision-making.

"It has worked very well for me," Kellman said.

"Her experience as an educational leader, her track record of successful professional development initiatives and strong interpersonal skills made her stand out from among a pool of highly-qualified applicants," Superintendent Thomas Ficarra said of Kellman.

"The process of selecting a new principal starts with the applications submitted to the human resources department," said Mary Donohoe, director of public relations for the Morris School District. "The applications go before a committee comprised of the administration, parents and teachers. After they've made their selection, it goes to the superintendent."

From there, a sight visit was made with Kellman at the Bound Brook school for further evaluation. Finally, Ficarra made his decision.

Kellman said she's honored to be asked to fill Barber's "huge shoes."

For 2010/2011 school year, Kellman said, she'll need to first evaluate what is working in the school and what needs improvement, while making certain that the vision of the district's educational goals is being implemented.

This first year's priority will be that of getting to know her staff, her students and the Morristown community. She said her main intention is to make sure all the children and the staff have a safe learning and working environment.

Also, Kellman is impressed by Morristown in general.

"It's the richness of cultural diversity here. Everyone has something to bring to the table," she said.

Kellman said even as the Morris School District—like other school systems throughout the state—faces difficult financial times, the district will persevere.

"Great teachers have the capacity to turn nothing into something. That's why you want to attract the finest, most passionate teachers into the system," Kellman said.

Kellman currently lives in East Brunswick and plans to commute to the Alfred Vail School this year, after which she may choose to move to the area, a life change she has discussed with her husband. Moving now is not a consideration, as she has no intention of uprooting her daughter, currently in her final year of high school.

Kellman said she doesn't mind the nearly hour-long commute, as she appreciates the time for reflection. She also takes the coming autumn weather into account.

"It's going to be lovely," she said.

The views expressed in this post are the author's own. Want to post on Patch?

More from Morristown

Miss Kansas interview: Theresa Vail is more than just her tattoos (video)

VIDEO: Meet Miss Kansas, Theresa Vail Miss Kansas, Theresa Vail, sat for an interview with The Star-Ledger on Thursday at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City and shared a few of her thoughts. Watch to see what she had to say about being the first contestant to reveal a body tattoo during the swim suit competition, speaking Chinese, and why event organizers wouldn't let her perform archery during the Miss America talent compe...

VIDEO: Meet Miss Kansas, Theresa Vail Miss Kansas, Theresa Vail, sat for an interview with The Star-Ledger on Thursday at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City and shared a few of her thoughts. Watch to see what she had to say about being the first contestant to reveal a body tattoo during the swim suit competition, speaking Chinese, and why event organizers wouldn't let her perform archery during the Miss America talent competition. Video by Mike Roy/The Star-Ledger

When she was just 10 years old, Theresa Vail felt like dying.

She was bullied, she says, and her mind turned to suicide.

"I nearly took my own life," says Vail. Now 22, she finds herself on a national stage, being critiqued for something she says helped her climb out of that despair. As Miss Kansas, she's made waves for deciding not to cover the large tattoo on her right side, a rendering of the "Serenity Prayer." When she was 10, she didn't know all the words, she says, but the ethos was the same. She wanted peace.

On Tuesday, at Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall, she became what pageant officials assumed was the first contestant to reveal a tattoo so prominently during competition — in the swimsuit portion.

Actually, says Vail, she doesn't agree with anyone that would get inked just because it looks good to them, and calls herself "conservative." Purely ornamental tattoos just aren't her thing.

"Why put something on your body that means nothing?" says Vail. She wore a white pantsuit to her private interview with the judges, and last night, a gown that covered one of her two tattoos, the larger one of that caused a bit of a commotion.

"I don't think they're taboo anymore," she says. "It's 2013. Half the girls have tattoos, they're just choosing to cover them." She says showing her tattoos is actually quite reasonable, considering the "target age group" of the pageant, teens and women who are 17 to 24 years old.

Vail, who's in the Kansas Army National Guard, wanted to bring her archery skill to the Miss America stage — "archery has never been done, either," she says — but the pageant wouldn't permit her to do so. Apparently the insurance involved doesn't quite match that of a production like "America's Got Talent."

So she switched to opera singing. By the sound of her high-powered "Nessun Dorma" performance last night, she's wholeheartedly embraced the genre.

"Tell me no and I go 'head and do it," she says. Vail hasn't won in any of the preliminary categories so far, but speaks clearly about her drive.

"When I set my mind to something, I give it my all."

She also speaks Chinese, which is one of her majors at Kansas State University. The other is chemistry. Her ultimate goal is to become a prosthetic dentist and chief in the Army Corps.

"It was either that or becoming a nun," she says, matter-of-factly. One who, yes, would also have tattoos.

She says her father, a dentist in the Army and solider for 33 years, inspired her path. Vail's smaller tattoo, on her left shoulder, is of the U.S. Army Dental Corps insignia.

Next up for Miss Kansas in the last round of preliminaries tonight — the onstage question. If this week is any indication, it's looking like Vail won't be at a loss for an answer.

The Miss America pageant airs live from Boardwalk Hall 9 p.m. Sunday on ABC.


NJ's most romantic restaurants

Looking for a romantic restaurant ? North Jersey has a slew of terrific restaurants for you and your honey to enjoy one another. .Here's a list of the most romantic restaurants in North Jersey.Jockey Hollow Bar & Kitchen, MorristownFrom the outside, Jockey Hollow Bar & Kitchen looks like a tux-and-gown kind of place. After all, this Italian Renaissance palazzo was once AT&T President Theodore Vail's home and art gallery. But while it may look grand with enough marble to fill a small Italian q...

Looking for a romantic restaurant ? North Jersey has a slew of terrific restaurants for you and your honey to enjoy one another. .

Here's a list of the most romantic restaurants in North Jersey.

Jockey Hollow Bar & Kitchen, Morristown

From the outside, Jockey Hollow Bar & Kitchen looks like a tux-and-gown kind of place. After all, this Italian Renaissance palazzo was once AT&T President Theodore Vail's home and art gallery. But while it may look grand with enough marble to fill a small Italian quarry, this three-level extravaganza with beer hall, oyster bar, cocktail lounge and fine-dine seafood restaurant.is refreshingly welcoming and surprisingly unpretentious — and romantic of course (dim lights, fireplaces, fresh flowers, and...marble).

Get dressed up, if you'd like, or dress biz casual to dine on celery root lasagna, bourbon-glazed pork ribs and a burger at the Rathskeller beer hall (and enjoy a live band); a house-made charcuterie platter and cheese board at the Vail Bar as well as the Oyster Bar; and squid ink garganelli, butter-basted lobster and Denver leg of venison at its white tablecloth second-floor dining room, daPesca (by far the most romantic room; just walking up the grand staircase to it can make you feel lovey-dovey).

Have a cocktail or two, a nice bottle of wine (owner Chris Cannon is a wine guru who is a whiz at finding really good affordable bottles), and sit back, relax and enjoy.

Go: 110 South St., Morristown; 973-644-3180, jockeyhollowbarandkitchen.com.

The Grand Café, Morristown

Starched pink tablecloths with matching folded napkins. Fresh-cut flowers. Upholstered chairs. Crystal chandelier, darling wall sconces, thick carpeting and floor-to-ceiling plush drapery. The dining room of this longtime French restaurant would not be out of place in a French chateau. Only at this elegant old-world space there's no risk of feeling intimidated. Proud hosts Desmond and Alice Lloyd, who have been running this restaurant right off the Morristown Green for 38 years, are experts at making guests feel right at home.

While the menu is primarily French — sautéed foie gras, steak tartare, mussels Provencal and grilled sirloin au poivre — there are dishes with lots of American and Asian touches throughout it, like pan-seared tuna on a bed of soba noodles, breast of Peking duck with sticky rice and pan-roasted Angus filet-mignon with celery root purée.

Get yourself a bottle of wine, too. It not only goes well with the food but the atmosphere; residents of chateaus do not drink Coke with dinner.

Elia, East Rutherford

Think dining on a Greek island would be romantic? Save yourself the plane fare and snag a table at Elia, a stunning modern Greek restaurant that opened nearly two years ago. It took Rutherford native Annamaria Adinolfi and her mother Anna Rosati four months to transform the space that had housed four-decades-old East Rutherford institution Park & Orchard into a striking, airy, whitewashed setting with Carrara marble bar and a big open kitchen. The furniture was all handmade in Greece; the wall art and knickknacks hail from Greece too.

The fish (fresh, whole, and charcoal grilled) are the stars of the menu from European sea bass to Mediterranean dorado. Too difficult to decide on one dessert? Get Elia's tasting dessert board. It may be a bit pricey — $30 — but how happy it will make your sweet tooths is priceless.

Ivy Inn, Hasbrouck Heights

There's no better word to describe the Ivy Inn than romantic. This near century-and-a-half old rambling house exudes romance — even from the curb. Ivy, white lights, darling awnings. And that ooh-la-la romantic feeling doesn't end at the door; inside there's piano music, a roaring fireplace, brick walls, fresh-cut flowers. As for the food? It's not the draw here, though when The Record's reviewer last dined at the Ivy Inn, she appreciated the desserts.

Café Matisse, Rutherford

Any wonder Valentine's Day is the biggest night for Café Matisse. This enchanting beauty of a restaurant, with lovely colorful paintings and walls, whimsical chandeliers, starched white tablecloths and tasteful window dressings, year after year has been voted by numerous media outlets as one the most romantic restaurants — and not only in North Jersey or New Jersey, but the nation. Diners of Open Table, the online reservation service, have repeatedly named Café Matisse one of the "100 Most Romantic Restaurants in America."

As for the food? Café Matisse is the only restaurant in Bergen to have received a four-star review from The Record — twice to boot.

Ho-Ho-Kus Inn, Ho-Ho-Kus

Vaulted ceilings. Marble fireplaces. Classic moulding. Soaring windows. If your idea of romantic is dining in a beautifully restored two-century-old structure, head to the Ho-Ho-Kus Inn. Established in 1790, the Inn, once known as The Mansion House, consists of five distinct rooms: Chateau, Hermitage, Tap, Zabriskie, and Wine Room (formerly the Crystal Room, which recently got a makeover).

There's a a room to suit every taste.

Go: 1 E. Franklin Turnpike, Ho-Ho-Kus; 201-445-4115, hohokusinn.com.

Saddle River Inn, Saddle River

What is it about well-preserved old places that make our hearts flutter? The Saddle River Inn, housed in a beautifully restored 1840s barn that once operated as a saw mill and basket weaving factory, shows its age the way a fine wine does: with good taste and class. The woods are dark, the linen starched, and the staff professional. But no food lover goes to a restaurant for decor alone. The food here is stellar; Bring a bottle of your favorite wine — nearly everyone else does. This is the kind of place you want to enjoy a good wine with a fine, expertly prepared meal.

Haven Riverfront Restaurant & Bar, Edgewater

When a restaurant is located a mere 20 feet from the Hudson River, you can presume it's going to draw many to it. Haven's floor-to-ceiling windows afford its diners stunning views of those big buildings on the other side of the river, and even the bridge that connects North Jersey with New York City. The decor is modern. The bar is lively. The colors are soft. And the chairs are comfortable. So linger over dinner as you stare at that spectacular view across the river.

Café Panache, Ramsey

Few restaurants last five years let alone nearly 37 years. There are reasons for Café Panache's longevity: good food (the restaurant received 3½ out of 4 stars from The Record) and charming decor. The front room, which founding chef Kevin Kohler (he passed away a year ago and now his very capable protegé Michael Matonti heads the kitched) added a decade ago, is flooded with sunlight, thanks to multiple tall windows. The main dining room sports warm hues. Both have an elegant look, courtesy of white tablecloths, fresh-cut flowers and long-stemmed wine glasses. The food is seasonal and deftly prepared. It's a BYOB, so bring a bottle of wine along or, better yet, Champagne. You've got your love to drink to.

Sear House, Closter

Ultra-modern, this two-story steakhouse is stunning, with a tall ceiling and tall windows, a zen-like water wall, a cozy fire pit, beautiful walnut burl and mahogany wood, and a drop-dead-gorgeous back-lit honey onyx bar. As for the eats? In a word: porterhouse. A few more: rib-eye, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes and Colorado lamb chops.

Tattooed Miss America contestant Theresa Vail is first to show ink during pageant

miss-kansas-tattoo.jpgOne of two visible tattoos on Ms. Kansas, Theresa Vail, during the preliminary round of the swimsuit competition Tuesday in Atlantic City.(Aristide Economopoulos/The Star-Ledger)ATLANTIC CITY — She isn't the only one with a tattoo.Miss Montana, for instance, has a big bold one on her foot, with a cross and an inscription.But ...


One of two visible tattoos on Ms. Kansas, Theresa Vail, during the preliminary round of the swimsuit competition Tuesday in Atlantic City.

(Aristide Economopoulos/The Star-Ledger)

ATLANTIC CITY — She isn't the only one with a tattoo.

Miss Montana, for instance, has a big bold one on her foot, with a cross and an inscription.

But Theresa Vail's ink was front and center last night at the first round of Miss America preliminaries. Exposing a tattoo seemed a far cry from the pageant queens of old who came to visit, like BeBe Shopp, from 1948, who once, it was reported, told media she didn't think bikinis were appropriate for American women.

Between Vail's red bikini, on her right side, spanning her ribs and hip, is the "Serenity Prayer," written in a sizable series of vintage font.

She is Miss Kansas, and while she wasn't there to wear them — the ladies will don their parade shoes Saturday — her plain tan boots also stood out in a table of glitzy, glittery heels yesterday at a preview for the

Vail, 22, joined the Kansas Army National Guard at 17, lists her employment as being in the medical detachment, and has double majored in Chinese and chemistry at Kansas State University.

Her pageant platform: "Empowering Women; Overcoming Stereotypes and Breaking Barriers."

Her career goal? "To become a prosthodontist for the Army" (prosthetic dentist). Vail did not win her turn at the swimsuit category.

Vail is believed to be the first contestant in a major pageant to display ink.

The senior at Kansas State University has one other tattoo: An insignia for the U.S. Army Dental Corps on her left shoulder.

the "Serenity Prayer" helped her get through her adolescent years when she was bullied, leading her to get the tattoo. She said she added the military tattoo because she's always had "a strong passion for service."

"My whole platform is empowering women to overcome stereotypes and break barriers, Vail wrote on her blog. "What a hypocrite I would be if I covered my ink. How can I tell other women to be fearless and true to themselves if I can't do the same? I am who I am, tattoos and all."

She is the second service member to compete in Miss America, following Miss Utah Jill Stevens in 2007, who was a combat medic in Afghanistan.

Sharon Pearce, president of the Miss America Organization, says organizers were aware that Vail wouldn't be covering her tattoos. Pearce didn't think it was a problem.

"We believe each contestant definitely has the ability to show their individuality," she says. "We're happy to support them."

Chelsea Rick, Miss Mississippi, won the swimsuit competition on the same night that Vail strutted the stage in her bikini.

"I just expected that she was going to cover them up," says Rick, who wore a black and gold bikini. She thinks Vail is just representing herself by choosing not to cover something so permanent. Besides, she says, if Vail covered the ink now and won the title, she would have to do it all the time.

Mario Barth, owner of Starlight Tattoo shops in Rochelle Park, Belleville and Las Vegas, and the producer of the Inked Out tattoo convention taking place this weekend at the Meadowlands Expo Center in Secaucus, calls body art "the ultimate statement of self-expression."

It's a natural choice, he says, for a woman to share her tatoos on a national stage.

"I think it's a great thing that they're showing it and on such a big competition," says Barth. Plus, he says, by showing her tattoos in such a visible and large way, Vail is actually reflecting the chosen adornments of many women in 2013, in the United States and elsewhere.

"The biggest trend currently in the last year is that 75 percent of the clients are females and that all of them go for very large-scale tattoos," he says. "Angelina Jolie can show it on the red carpet, then Miss America can show it on the show."

Pearce says the mission of the pageant is to view the women in totality and not fixate on one detail.

Miss Alabama is one contestant whose very name, Chandler Champion, has drawn attention. Talking about Vail's body art, she lit up.

"She's such a cool girl," said Champion, eyes wide. "She's so full of surprises."

Star-Ledger staff writer Jeff Goldman contributed to this report.


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