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You can embrace a brighter, pain-free future.

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  • Back PainBack Pain
  • Elbow PainElbow Pain
  • Ankle PainAnkle Pain
  • Hip PainHip Pain
  • Shoulder PainShoulder Pain
Physical Therapy Ocean Grove, NJ  Sciatica Pain Therapy Ocean Grove, NJ

Physical Therpy For Injuries and Pain in Ocean Grove, NJ

If there's one universal truth in life, it's that it can be unpredictable. Everyone experiences unexpected events that throw us off. While some surprises may only affect our bank accounts, such as home expenses, others can cause physical harm, such as car accidents that result in long-term pain and discomfort. Many Americans suffer from chronic neck and back pain - according to research, half of Americans over 18 develop musculoskeletal injuries that last longer than a year. These injuries often cause a range of mobility issues that make everyday tasks seem hard to do. Unfortunately, many people with chronic pain turn to addictive medications and invasive surgeries for relief, which tends to lead to further complications.

However, if you are experiencing chronic pain or mobility issues, there's good news: Safer and more effective options are available to you. Physical therapy in Ocean Grove, NJ is one of the best solutions for eradicating pain, maximizing mobility, improving range of motion, building muscle strength, and helping you regain control of your body. At NJ Sports Spine & Wellness, our physical therapists and trainers offer customized programs designed for your body and address your pain symptoms. That way, you have the best possible chance of reclaiming a normal, active life, without surgery or harmful pills.

With the incorporation of therapeutic exercises and manual therapy as well as newer techniques and modalities like AlterG® Anti-Gravity Treadmills and DRX9000 Spinal DecompressionMachines, our physical therapy services can help address conditions such as:

  • Sciatica Pain
  • Ankle Pain
  • Back Pain
  • Elbow Pain
  • Headaches and Migraines
  • Hip Pain
  • Knee Pain
  • Neck Pain
  • Shoulder Pain
  • Wrist Pain
  • TMJ Pain
 Headaches And Migraines Therapy Ocean Grove, NJ

Service Areas

When it comes to physical therapy in New Jersey, few clinics can match the care, compassion, and effective treatment options that NJ Sports Spine & Wellness can provide.

Why is Physical Therapy in Ocean Grove, NJ So Important for Wellness?

Physical therapy can provide numerous benefits, such as pain reduction, enhanced joint and body movement, improved range of motion, proper alignment, and more. While the main goal of physical therapy is to restore function and facilitate a return to regular activities, these outcomes usually result from a broader rehabilitation process, wherein many patients learn a brand-new way of moving.

At NJ Sports Spine & Wellness, our physical therapists work closely with patients to understand their unique goals, preferences, and abilities. Based on their findings, they create a customized treatment plan that caters to the patient's specific needs.

Here are just a few specific examples of why physical therapy is crucial when recovering from an injury:

  • Physical therapy helps restore function and mobility after illness, injury, or surgery.
  • Physical therapy promotes healing and pain management by utilizing therapeutic modalities and exercises.
  • Physical therapy helps patients suffering from neurological conditions improve their independence.
  • Physical therapy helps seniors avoid falls by improving balance.
  • Physical therapy can improve flexibility and strength to enhance sports and physical activity performance.
  • Physical therapy facilitates injury prevention through education and analysis of proper body mechanics.
 Shoulder Pain Therapy Ocean Grove, NJ

Whether you're searching for long-term pain relief or need to improve your strength and balance as you age, physical therapy from NJSSW can help.

Now that you understand why physical therapy is crucial for recovery and wellness, let's take a closer look at some of the most effective treatments at our physical therapy clinic in New Jersey.

 Wrist Pain Therapy Ocean Grove, NJ

The DRX9000: Relief from Chronic Back and Neck Pain

Are you sick of living day-to-day with long-lasting neck or back pain? Have you searched high and low for a safe and effective alternative to surgery? The DRX9000 may be the answer you're looking for.

Beloved by high-level athletes and even celebrities, this advanced medical device employs non-surgical spinal decompression therapy to treat painful conditions such as:

  • Bulging Discs
  • Herniated Discs
  • Spinal Stenosis
  • Facet Syndrome
  • Sciatica
  • Arm Pain from Nerves in Your Neck

The DRX9000 is a device that has been approved by the FDA for treating herniated discs through spinal decompression therapy. This therapy works by applying equal amounts of pressure on your vertebral columns, which stretches your spine and creates a gap between spinal discs. This gap allows for better nutrient flow through your spine, which can help heal injuries gradually with regular treatment sessions. The DRX9000 also utilizes servo motors that rely on nested closed-loop feedback to customize therapy to your unique needs. By using DRX9000, you can often speed up your recovery by addressing your spinal disc issues ASAP.

No Harmful Medications Needed (Do we really need this paragraph or could we just mention it int he beginning about how it is a non-pharmaceutical method)

Perhaps the most significant advantage of the DRX9000 is that it provides a non-pharmaceutical method for relieving pain. With the opioid epidemic affecting the entire nation, many patients are reluctant to take prescription painkillers. The DRX9000 offers a secure and non-addictive alternative for pain relief that does not require medication.

During the course of the treatment, the patient will lie down on a specially designed table that is connected to the machine. The table will then be gently stretched as the machine creates negative pressure within the affected disc. This process will be repeated over a series of sessions, typically ranging from 20 to 30 sessions, depending on the patient's specific condition.

The DRX9000 treatment is considered to be safe and effective for many patients. It is designed to be gentle on the body, and patients usually experience little to no discomfort during their sessions. The machine is also equipped with advanced safety features, including sensors that can detect any sudden movements and stop the machine if necessary.

Expedite Rehab and Training with the AlterG® Anti-Gravity Treadmill

The AlterG® Anti-Gravity Treadmill boasts NASA Differential Air Pressure (DAP) technology, which is a highly accurate air calibration system that leverages your actual body weight to achieve exceptional results in rehab and training. By utilizing a pressurized air chamber, the AlterG allows you to move freely and without pain, as it uniformly reduces gravitational load and body weight by up to 80% in precise 1% increments. This process helps foster improved muscle strength, balance, function, range of motion, and overall fitness.

What Makes the AlterG® Anti-Gravity Treadmill So Effective for Physical Therapy in CItyname, State?

AlterG®'s state-of-the-art treadmill provides an entire range of benefits, such as mimicking natural movement and rhythm without the contrived feel of hydrotherapy or harnesses attempting to imitate real-life strides and motions. Additionally, it's beneficial for speeding up recuperation after orthopedic injuries or surgeries by enabling early mobilization and retaining strength. Furthermore, it's excellent for sports recovery since athletes can utilize it to maintain their physical fitness.

Some of the numerous benefits of using the AlterG® Anti-Gravity Treadmill include:

  • Accelerated Recovery Time
  • Relief from Impact-Related Pain and Discomfort
  • Customized Programs Suited to Your Needs
  • Effective Solution for All Ages
  • Safe and Controlled Environment
  • Improves Motivation and Confidence
  • Used by Elite Athletes and Celebrities

The AlterG® Anti-Gravity Treadmill is a revolutionary piece of equipment that has transformed the field of physical therapy. With its list of unique features and superhero-worthy benefits, this anti-gravity treadmill is a game-changer that can help you achieve your fitness and recovery goals while also minimizing the risk of injury.

 Chronic  Pain Therapy Ocean Grove, NJ
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Physical Therapy Ocean Grove, NJ

Experience Optimized Healing with LiteCure Low-Level Laser Therapy

After reading the headline above, you might be asking yourself, "Are lasers really used for physical therapy in cityname, state?" The answer to your question would be a resounding "Yes!" This advanced type of laser therapy harnesses the power of light through photobiomodulation (PBM), which is revolutionizing how patients heal and deal with pain.

Photobiomodulation (PBM) is a medical process that utilizes targeted light to activate the body's natural healing mechanisms. By penetrating deep into the tissue, photons interact with mitochondria (the cellular powerhouses in your body) to increase energy production. This interaction triggers a biological cascade that leads to increased cellular metabolism. As a result, PBM can reduce pain, accelerate tissue repair, and enhance overall well-being.

Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) is a non-invasive and painless treatment that utilizes specific wavelengths of light to stimulate healing and reduce pain. It works by penetrating the skin and tissues to promote cellular activity and increase blood flow, which in turn helps to reduce inflammation, relieve pain, and accelerate the healing process.

LLLT has been shown to be effective for a variety of conditions, including musculoskeletal injuries, arthritis, neuropathy, and more. It is a safe and gentle treatment option that can aid in regaining function and mobility from injuries, accidents, surgeries, and other conditions. That makes it a viable and trustworthy addition to your personalized physical therapy plan from NJ Sports Spine & Wellness.

LLLT has shown promising results for challenging conditions that other treatments can't match. Some of the most common conditions treated include:

  • Muscle Pain
  • Pain from Tendinopathy
  • Osteoarthritis Pain
  • Swollen Joints
  • Myofascial Pain
  • Back and Neck Pain
  • Pain from TMJ
  • Achilles Tendon Injury Pain
  • Plantar Fasciitis Pain
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If you're slogging through life and suffering from one or more of the conditions above, you should know that there is hope for pain relief. Contact NJ Sports Spine & Wellness today to find out if low-level laser therapy is right for you.

Freeze Away Pain and Swelling with Ice Compression Therapy

Game Ready Ice Compression Therapy is an advanced treatment technique that combines the advantages of modern cryotherapy (ice therapy) with the proven benefits of compression therapy. This clinically proven, synergistic approach is widely used in sports medicine, physical therapy, orthopedics, and post-operative care to speed up recovery, alleviate pain and inflammation, and enhance rehabilitation.

Understanding the Powerful Benefits of Ice Compression Therapy

 Sciatica Pain Therapy Ocean Grove, NJ

Game Ready Ice Compression Therapy is an advanced treatment technique that combines the advantages of modern cryotherapy (ice therapy) with the proven benefits of compression therapy. This clinically proven, synergistic approach is widely used in sports medicine, physical therapy, orthopedics, and post-operative care to speed up recovery, alleviate pain and inflammation, and enhance rehabilitation.

The "cold" component of ice compression therapy helps nullify nerve-ending sensitivity, which provides pain relief. The extra compression gives you even more pain relief by reducing swelling and pressure on limbs and other body parts.

By improving lymphatic flow and enhancing blood circulation, compression therapy can help reduce swelling and edema, thereby improving your recovery process and simultaneously reducing pain and discomfort.

The concurrent use of cryotherapy and compression can enhance the body's innate healing mechanisms by reducing inflammation, mitigating tissue damage, and stimulating tissue repair.

Game Ready's combination therapy has been shown to be effective in improving joint flexibility and range of motion by promoting tissue healing. This treatment can be a great option for those looking to alleviate discomfort and improve overall joint health.

 Headaches And Migraines Therapy Ocean Grove, NJ

Whether you're recovering from surgery or you're trying to manage chronic pain in your back or joints, ice compression therapy may be the advanced treatment you need. Contact NJSSW today to learn more about how this treatment can help you live an active life free of pain.

NormaTec Compression Therapy:

A Non-Invasive Option for Enhanced Recovery

Game Ready Ice Compression Therapy is an advanced treatment technique that combines the advantages of modern cryotherapy (ice therapy) with the proven benefits of compression therapy. This clinically proven, synergistic approach is widely used in sports medicine, physical therapy, orthopedics, and post-operative care to speed up recovery, alleviate pain and inflammation, and enhance rehabilitation.

What Makes NormaTec Compression Therapy Best for Physical Therapy in Cityname, State?

Game Ready Ice Compression Therapy is an advanced treatment technique that combines the advantages of modern cryotherapy (ice therapy) with the proven benefits of compression therapy. This clinically proven, synergistic approach is widely used in sports medicine, physical therapy, orthopedics, and post-operative care to speed up recovery, alleviate pain and inflammation, and enhance rehabilitation.

NormaTec's compression therapy devices have undergone continuous refinement and improvement since their inception. The adjustable settings of their system enable users to regulate the intensity, duration, and pattern of compression, thereby enabling our skilled providers to tailor treatment to suit the specific requirements and comfort levels of each patient.

 Shoulder Pain Therapy Ocean Grove, NJ

Experience Holistic Wellness with Cupping Therapy in New Jersey

In the realm of holistic wellness, cupping therapy is a venerable and time-honored practice that has proven to be an effective technique for managing pain and enhancing blood flow. At NJ Sports Spine & Wellness, we recognize the diverse benefits of cupping therapy, which we offer at both our Matawan and Marlboro, NJ locations.

This ancient technique creates suction on your skin using specialized cups that help promote blood flow, muscle relaxation, and pain relief.

Why is Cupping Therapy Helpful for Physical Therapy in CItyname, State?

 Wrist Pain Therapy Ocean Grove, NJ

At NJ Sports Spine & Wellness, we believe that incorporating holistic treatments into physical therapy can greatly benefit our patients. As part of our efforts to alleviate stress and manage chronic pain or conditions, we offer cupping therapy as one of those holistic treatments. This modality has been proven effective and offers numerous benefits for physical therapy, which include:

Cupping therapy can help release muscle tension and relieve back pain. The suction from the cups releases fascial restrictions, decreases muscle tightness, and relieves muscle knots, providing relief from pain caused by muscular tightness or strain.

Our skilled practitioners and physical therapists use modern cupping devices and techniques to create consistent suction on the skin, which stimulates blood flow and encourages oxygen-rich blood to flow into muscles and tissues. This improved circulation can reduce inflammation, remove toxins, and promote healing.

Cupping therapy can relieve back pain by improving circulation, reducing muscle tension, and increasing lymphatic drainage. It's a natural and non-invasive approach that can improve mobility and quality of life.

Cupping therapy uses a gentle suction and pulling sensation that helps ease back pain and reduces stress by creating a calming effect on the body and mind, promoting physical and mental healing.

Reclaim Your Mobility with Physical Therapy in Ocean Grove, NJ

At NJ Sports Spine & Wellness, we always prioritize your well-being and offer comprehensive care tailored to your needs. With customized physical therapy tailored to your specific needs, we provide a drug-free, non-invasive, and highly effective treatment path for pain relief and recovery. From tried-and-true techniques to cutting-edge treatments, we're New Jersey's top choice for innovative physical therapy.

Take the first step towards a pain-free, vibrant life by contacting our office today. It all starts by scheduling your initial consultation. With our highly-trained and licensed specialists by your side, you can embrace a brighter, pain-free future.

 Chronic  Pain Therapy Ocean Grove, NJ

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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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