Gua Sha: What the Heck is It?!?

As a manual physical therapist, I’m always looking for new ways to work with the body and was recently introduced to gua sha, a 2000-plus year old Chinese medical treatment involving scraping the skin with a spoon or a coin. Gua sha originally used either a spoon or a coin in order to scrape the lubricated skin in one direction in order to free the chi stuck in an area, such as the lower back, neck, shoulders, thighs, etc. I’ve been told this was often performed at home by grandma, who would just pull a soup spoon out of the […]

MENTAL HEALTH MOMENT – Break Free from Digital Addiction!

by Dr. Thomas Franklin As we begin a new year, it’s a good time to pause and reflect. When were we our best selves in 2019? What can we do differently or better in 2020? I believe one of the most important things you can do to be your best self in 2020 is to put down your phone. Here’s what I mean: we have all become addicted to our phones. It is understandable. Our smartphones provide real value to our lives. But their ubiquitous overuse has caused a digital addiction epidemic. This overuse is especially apparent in young people. […]

I’m overweight and Considering HCG

Is it safe and does it really work? A discussion with Dr. Eric Nager of Belcara Health By Dr. Eric Nager If you want to lose weight, an HCG diet program can be a great way to jumpstart your weight loss journey. It involves a very low-calorie diet, combined with injections of HCG, a naturally occurring hormone that has been used to assist with weight loss for decades. HCG helps by allowing men and women to lose weight rapidly, without hunger pains, weakness, irritability or muscle loss. HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin) is a hormone that women produce when they become […]

Sitting Down with Broadway’s ‘Phantom’

Laura Farmer: First and foremost, you’re the current “Phantom” from Phantom of the Opera on Broadway. What do you enjoy about the role and show? What are its challenges? Ben Crawford: Playing Phantom is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done! It requires so much energy to portray him well. But it’s such an iconic character. It has definitely become a labor of love to really bring the best I can to this role. The thing I appreciate about the show is that it brings so many themes to the audience to sort through, yet it doesn’t fully fill […]

Cats Claws its Way into Baltimore’s Hippodrome

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s classic, Cats, claws its way to the Hippodrome Theatre this January. Baltimore OUTloud recently chatted with performer Giovanni DiGabrielle who plays the role of Skimbleshanks in the performance. The Philadelphia-native began his academic career in the arts by performing in school musicals and community plays, before eventually launching his professional dance training when he was 19 years-old. Now in his fourth national tour, DiGabrielle shares with readers his belief as to why Cats has such an enduring legacy for audiences of all ages. Frankie Kujawa: What can audiences expect from this upcoming performance of Cats? Giovanni DiGabrielle: […]

Transition and Tragedy

I lost my darling husky, Rosa, on January 7th. We had eight amazing, frustrating, beautiful years together with my other husky, Misha. The decision to let her rest was the hardest choice I’ve ever made in my life. She was my family. Since then, I’ve grieved her and tried to get my life in order. Misha and I are going to be okay together – we’ll adjust and we’ll go on. But I’ve had this thought repeatedly about just how different this experience has been because I transitioned – or more specifically how it’s been better for it. Even just […]

Aloft Ocean City

Aloft Ocean City 4501 Coastal Highway Ocean City, Maryland 443-373-0800 Aloftoceancity.com   Put down that fork and change out of those sweatpants. With the holidays over, it’s time to get your ass moving around and get out of town for the weekend. Leash your two- or four-legged kids and head east to Aloft Ocean City for some off-season fun without the crowds. Aloft Ocean City is the latest addition in the middle of OC, overlooking a beautifully scenic part of the Assawoman Bay and still only a block from the beach. Its hip, lifestyle concept is kid-, pet- and couples-friendly, […]

Employee Wellness

Working in the healthcare arena has opened my eyes to the increased focus on mental health, and the importance of employee wellness. In years past, employers had the mindset that stress inducers were primarily emanating from personal or home-life situations. This thinking has evolved to acknowledge stress is also emerging from the workplace. In response to rising levels of stress, employers are rising to the challenge. According to the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans (IFEBP) 90% of US employers are offering some component of mental health coverage in the form of an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), mental-health coverage, substance […]

A Year of Firsts

Wow, what a ride! 2019 was a year of firsts for me. It was filled with triumphs, and considering where I was just a year earlier, these past 12 months were absolutely amazing. Let’s start where I was in January 2018. You see, I was at the end of the throes of a super deep depression. I mean, I was just getting off the precipice I’d stood on for a couple of years. You know, that place above the tenth floor of any high-rise building. I was ending a relationship of flirting with suicide, but it was still flirting back. […]

Warm Welcome

What an honor to be writing to the Baltimore OUTloud community! I’ll use my first column as an opportunity to talk about myself – don’t leave just yet! I also want to talk about the thoughts and intention behind this column, and encourage you to participate in the conversations to come. (@bmorequeer on Instagram). My name is Elizabeth Harring, I am a licensed therapist in Baltimore City and I specialize in work with LGBTQIA youth, adults, couples, and families. Before that I was an energized young social worker- advocating for at-risk youth in foster care, developing inclusive programs for the […]