Fall Local Lifestyle Playlist 2023

Discover the Magic of Circus Arts with Liz Nix

The Trapezium and The Cotton Mill

Surrounded by the Green Mountains, Brattleboro, Vermont, is a charming town that loves to celebrate life and the arts. If you attend one of the many festivals or events that take place throughout the year, you’re bound to see some amazing feats of circus acts. You might spot acrobats and stilt walkers in a parade up the town’s steep Main Street or catch a glimpse of aerialists performing with long silks in the park.

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Elsie Smith

These performers are most likely connected to the New England Center for Circus Arts (NECCA), a nonprofit circus training center that offers classes for all levels, from beginners to professionals. NECCA was founded in 2007 by twin sisters Elsie Smith and Serenity Smith Forchion, who are both internationally renowned circus artists and coaches.

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Elsie Smith

NECCA offers a range of programs and services, such as recreational classes, in-depth workshops, professional training, youth camps, outreach programs, and performances. You can learn from some of the best coaches in the world, who help students explore their creativity and potential in a safe and supportive environment.This fall, NECCA will participate in several Brattleboro community events.

One of the highlights is the Kids Fair, where children can try out circus skills, play games, and win prizes. The fair will be held at the Brattleboro Town Commons on Saturday, October 14, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Or catch the NECCA circus act at the New England Street Food Festival, also on the Brattleboro Town Commons, on Sunday, October 15, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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Elsie Smith

In addition, you can register for their Fall Session 2, which runs from October 16 to December 9, or sign up for one of their fall workshops, including aerial, acrobatics, and juggling. Don’t miss their 25th Circus Weekend, which runs from November 3 to 5, featuring more than 40 workshops and immersions facilitated by coaches from around the world.

If you’re interested in joining NECCA or watching one of their shows, visit their website necenterforcircusarts.org to find out more!

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Zane Defiant

Patti Powers, Owner of Cheshire Garden - A small, organic farm specializing in heirloom berries, fruits, herbs, and preserves. Tiny Farmstand at 277 Burt Hill Rd. in Winchester open all season or shop online!

“Autumn cooking is a cozy task that brings warmth to the kitchen and comfort to both baker and eater, and the aroma of simmering fruit is therapy all its own.

And, the days are long enough for a daily hike when the air is crisp and the hills beckon."

Brinda Charry’s The East Indian

A Journey Through Time and Space With Sonja Bolton

Full disclosure: If you continue reading, you will bear witness to details much more artfully told by the Author herself and will learn some of her novel’s page-turning secrets. Indeed, Brinda Charry’s debut American novel cannot be missed or put down. The East Indian will be your next fall read. And as PBS says, “the following content is not suitable for all audiences.”

Charry herself expressed, "The East Indian is my contribution to narratives of early colonial America. I wanted to write about how the settlement of America involved large, global forces at play. I also wanted, at the same time, to write an adventure story and a coming-of-age tale.”

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Now picture a young boy, “insatiably curious, deeply compassionate, with a unique perspective on every scene he encounters” derived from an unlikely beginning in the early days of colonialism in the Coromandel Coast of eastern India. Endeavoring to make his way in the world, he embarks to London only to be spirited away against his will as an indentured servant to the brutal Virginia tobacco fields.

With “large, watchful eyes and thick, wavy lock of hair, I was the loveliest child in Armagon” says our tale’s hero, Tony.

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He left his former name and renowned beauty behind when a fellow, more worldly, East Indian explained that “the world is a big place full of wise people, but they might find the name your mother gave you too difficult to utter.” Charry speaks so insightfully here of how cultures and individuals must overcome ignorance and lack of fluency.

Tony’s masters are unsure if they should label him as a moor, American Indian, African, or just keep him down in the mud. He soon learns that masters and workers of all races are unable to relate to his origin. They scorn and abuse this plucky young man who was the first East Indian to wash upon the shores of so-called American Freedom.

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In the New World, they are mostly blind to Tony’s charm; his loveliness, intelligence, and vivacity. Even once he becomes accomplished in the art of healing, in a time when doctors are few and sickness is rampant, Tony faces many prejudices that lead to both bodily and mental harm. A sad reality that too many today still face.

I will not tell you whether he was able to break the chains of oppression to regain his early independence but know that his heart never gave up hope. You’ll have to pick up your own copy of Charry’s bold and deeply moving tale, which quickly became a New York TimesⓇ and Publishers Weekly Bestseller.

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Meanwhile, you can listen to Charry discuss her novel with Laura Knoy, the much-beloved, longtime host of The Exchange on NHPR. She now hosts a podcast called ReadLocalNH, which strives to “broaden your literary horizons by reading from your own backyard.” Tune into their conversation here.

Thoroughly researched and inscrutable in her writing, Charry will strengthen your vocab with her classic yet entirely new style that is all her own. Her words fall on you like a beautiful puzzle, where every word has a purpose to make the surrounding words brighter until all is clear.

As a professor at Keene State College, Charry specializes in English Renaissance literature with a focus on race and cross-cultural engagement in the 1600s and 1700s. Visit her website to order her novel.

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"Harvest season in the Monadnock Region is pure magic - the crisp cool air, friends and family coming together, the saturated colors in foliage, and seasonal flowers!"

Anthony & Pamela
Owners of 603 Floristry
Floral Design Studio
179 Pearl St. Keene, NH
Open Mon-Sat 8:30am-6pm
Order Online or Call (603)-338-1752

Imagination Gone Wild with Nathan Bagster

A Creative’s Paradise

Imagine stepping into a world where the possibilities are as limitless as your imagination. Picture a woodworking workshop, where a young artisan breathes life into their timber creations, while a metalworking area reverberates with the sounds of the next big innovation. A jeweler delicately crafts their masterpiece, while textile enthusiasts and printmakers bring vibrant designs to life. A place where you can learn a new skill or improve your own craft, all under one roof.

That place is MAXT Makerspace in Peterborough.

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Launched in 2015, the 10,000-square-foot facility offers resources to a diverse community of creatives within Southern New Hampshire. This means access to equipment and educational programming for those who otherwise might not have it.

The space is a sanctuary of creation and collaboration. With a vast expanse of offices, studio spaces, and dedicated workshops, individuals of all creative pursuits can find space to call their own. Whether your passion lies in printmaking, textiles, repair work, or something else, you’re sure to find shared tools and resources to further your goals.

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MAXT routinely hosts a wide spectrum of classes, training sessions, and community events. From wooden bowl-making and 3D printing to tabletop gaming and quilting, the space finds the edge of every niche and is sure to have what you’re looking for.

Most recently, MAXT unveiled a new Sharing Arts Community Ceramics Center in Dublin, NH. The state-of-the-art facility now plays host to a range of pottery classes, including one-on-one instruction and unfettered access to the tools of the trade.

So how does it work?

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The Makerspace runs on memberships, much like your local gym, which help cover things like equipment costs, programs, and other fees. In order to keep the space accessible to all, membership rates are reasonable and based on a tiered system. All tiers include 24-hour access to the facility, catering to the schedules of all.

At a time when many schools are cutting back on traditional, hands-on skills and art-infused learning in the classroom, places like MAXT are providing an opportunity to continue learning and growing. They’re also a haven for like-minded individuals to exchange ideas, pick up knowledge from each other, and build community.

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Erin Girouard
 Owner of Rainbow Crown Bakery
Custom decorated and hand-painted sugar cookies

"As a baker, I love creating new recipes and designs inspired by the beauty of Autumn in New England. "

Touring the Monadnock Region in style
with Sandy parsons

Top Spots for Fall Crusin'

It is a beautiful day outside and what better way to spend it than enjoying the crisp fall air with the top down. Join me (Sandy) and my friend, Barbara, as we take a fall cruise along the back roads of the Monadnock Region.

Our first stop was Alyson’s Orchard in search of maple syrup and apples. We had a snack in their breathtakingly beautiful orchard setting, as well. Alyson’s in Walpole, NH was chosen as one of the best orchards by Travel & Leisure. It’s easy to see why!

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We then cruised on to L.A. Burdick’s Chocolate Shop & Cafe, also in Walpole, for a quick chocolate fix before hitting the road to The Summit Winery in Westmoreland. There we had a fun wine tasting before resuming our backroad adventure to Mount Monadnock. We passed through the center of historic Fitzwilliam, dipping our feet in the cold yet refreshing water of Laurel Lake before heading home.

What’s going to be on your fall cruise list?

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Here's mine:

Alyson's Orchard New England Wedding Venue Alyson's Orchard ‹ One of New England’s most acclaimed, year-round wedding and special event facilities (alysonsorchard.com)

Walpole, NH Chocolate Shop & Café | L.A. Burdick Chocolates

Wine Bar and Tasting Room Westmoreland NH — The Summit Winery

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"72% of Americans believe “the arts unify our communities regardless of age, race, and ethnicity” and 73% agree that the arts “helps me understand other cultures better”—a perspective observed across all demographic and economic categories."

A Tune or Two with Nathan Bagster

Healing Hearts with Music for Seniors

Music is the best medicine.

We’ve all heard the saying at some point in our lives, and it’s these exact words that encapsulated the heart and soul of Chris Ekblom, or as you might know him, The Monadnock Storyteller. Armed with his grandfather’s 1944 Gibson Jumbo J45 guitar and a heart cascading with tales and tunes, Chris has set out on a mission to spread healing through song - one senior community at a time.

But this Storyteller's tale began as a simple act of love for his grandmother.

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Like many, she held a deep love for music and the emotions it stirs within us. After a long and well-lived life, she spent her final years in a nursing home, where Chris would visit her with his grandfather's cherished guitar in tow. There they would sing and play songs together that his grandfather once performed, honoring the soundtrack to his life.

With each visit, Chris found these moments, filled with music and memories, elevated her unfamiliar nursing hall room into a sanctuary of comfort and nostalgia. He began to understand that music held in it the power to bridge the gap between past and present, making residents feel like home was merely a song away.

"I want to create the same experience in your community as I did with my grandmother because the better we feel, the better we heal," Chris explains, with passion evident in every word. 

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But what about the moniker of “Monadnock Storyteller.”

The connection comes from his roots - Monadnock, a Native American term meaning "mountain that stands alone," pays homage to the region's namesake, Mt. Monadnock located in Jaffrey, NH. The mountain stands as a symbol of resilience and strength for many. Couple that meaning with his memories of hiking the mountain growing up, and it becomes a fitting name for a man on an undertaking to uplift others through music.

However, it’s the ‘Storyteller’ portion that holds true significance.

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See, Chris not only sings and plays music, he also weaves narratives between the songs. He tells tales from the era and talks about family traditions and the legacy of the guitar. It’s not just about the music – it’s the journey through the ages and celebration of the human experience.

As for the style of songs he plays, Chris specializes in folk and country, ranging from Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard to Elvis and the Beatles. He tailors each performance for the audience he stands before, carefully curating a beautiful blend of harmony and memories.

Today, the Monadnock Storyteller continues transforming senior living communities, one melody and memory at a time, reminding us that music is indeed the best medicine.

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Sonja Bolton
 Owner of Centre Square Farm
Growing plants: flowers, fruit, vegetables, native species - for a sustainable future.

"A dream of mine came true this past summer. A farmstand to share the flavors with neighbors. The local Weare, NH community has swelled with support and I couldn't be more grateful & joyful. Our late May freeze & perfect summer for ducks demonstrated how a regerative approach promoting healthy soil biomes & pest predator habitat builds sustainable, local food systems."

Lost in Creativity with Erin Scollans

Falling for Indie Art at Dragon’s Bite

Do you feel that? Fall is in the air! For many, this time of year is considered New Hampshire’s time to shine. There are many reasons to travel to the Monadnock Region in any season, but something about the autumnal return makes our home feel extra magical.

In addition to picturesque hikes, myriad apple orchards and corn mazes, and tasty local brews and grub, the Monadnock Region offers plenty of shopping opportunities for those who wish to buy local and support the small businesses. It’s shops like Dragon’s Bite Handmade Retail that help promote the endless local craftsmanship the region is so abundantly lush with.

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Located off Jaffrey Road in Peterborough, Dragon’s Bite Handmade Retail is fairly new, having opened in June of last year. Mandy Carter is the owner of this wonderful little shop and has worked tirelessly to transform her space into a friendly, safe and creative oasis for all. Dragon’s Bite is fully equipped with something for just about everyone. Our local craft skill is on full display - from clothing to jewelry, accessories to bath and beauty products, gems and jewels to home decor, totes and kitchen items. The list is endless, and it’s easy to get lost in the enchanting wonder that the store has to offer.

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Not only is Dragon’s Bite a marketplace for authors, artists, and creators that reside in the region and beyond, but it serves as a haven for folks who might not have something to sell but want to expand on their creative horizons. Since opening, Dragon’s Bite has held several workshops, craft fairs and paint parties for residents of all ages and backgrounds.

The retail shop even features several kid artists’ work, encouraging children to better understand the basics of business while also introducing their craft to the community. Their next craft fair - The Autumn Craft Fair - will be held on September 17th from 9-3, with room for one or two more vendors! Make sure to reach out to Mandy to secure a spot if you are so inclined.

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Perhaps the most wonderful thing about purchasing an item from Dragon’s Bite Handmade Retail is that you are supporting the nurses, teachers, stay-at-home-moms, non-profit employees - the folks you interact with everyday who wish to share their craft. It’s just another reason why the region is so unique and special—the talent we have in our very own neighborhoods. What could be better?

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Nathan Bagster, Founder & Content Director
Monadnock Hit & Run
A Digital Car & Driver Magazine for the Monadnock Region

"Fall is the time to truly enjoy our rides. To take our final yearly glamor shots, with turning leaves and the melancholy lighting in the background. To breathe in the crisp, chilled air mixing with raw fuel as we take our final late-night drives. It’s the time to savor these moments before our four-wheeled babies hibernate in their winter slumber."  

A Hub for Everything Local with Nathan Bagster

A Living Chronicle of Community Resilience

If you happen to find yourself traveling through the quiet town of South Acworth one day, you may see a little shop amidst the classic New England scenery. While it may not look like much at first glance, the building holds an impressive legacy that spans 158 years.

Woven with threads of change, resilience, and unwavering community support, the Acworth Village Store stands as a tapestry of time and history that has established it as an integral part of the local community - blending the past with modernity in a way that is nothing short of enchanting.

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Its tenure began as Union Hall, built during the final days of the American Civil War. After the closing of the war, the Hall became a beacon of hope for the local community in the aftermath of war. It served as a focal point for holding public gatherings, church services, and other town fairs. The majority of the time, its dance hall echoed with laughter and celebration.

Today, the Acworth Village Store continues to uphold its legacy as a lifeline for the community.

What was once a center for dance and festivity has evolved into a modern-day market, providing a range of goods and services that cater to the changing needs of Acworth residents. It has become a hub where local farmers bring their goods, a place for folk to find freshly prepared hot and cold foods, and home to an assortment of locally made gifts.

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But the commitment to community engagement doesn’t stop there. After the Acworth Historical Society stepped in and purchased the property, recognizing the building's historical significance, the preservation of the Village Store led to the introduction of several community-based events. Every Saturday night from spring to autumn, the store hosts Summer Saturdays, during which they serve freshly made dinners accompanied by live, local music.

Over the years, these events have become a beloved tradition, showcasing the talents of local musicians and the culinary skills of the store's kitchen.

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If this history isn’t proof enough, reviews from patrons paint a vivid picture of what makes the Acworth Village Store special. As one reviewer described, "It’s an amazing place to buy locally. The food is great and the Saturday night shindigs keep me coming back.” This sentiment encapsulates the spirit of the Acworth Village Store.

It isn't just a store but a place where residents and travelers alike savor local harvests, discover unique, homemade gifts, and relish in nostalgic New England charm. It’s a place that fosters a sense of togetherness lost in our fast-paced world.

It's a place where the past and present coexist harmoniously, reminding us that history isn't just something to remember; it's something to embrace and celebrate.

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"Hot cocoa, mulled cider, apple picking, foliage walks, warm blankets under the stars, jumping in leaves, campfires, carving pumpkins, baking pies, decorating with mums, friendsgiving &, of course, the perfect Autumn Playlist. Fall is our Favorite Color."

Caroline Tremblay
Owner & Content Director, Owl & Pen
Exceptional Written Content to Help Local Businesses Thrive...
Wherever Your Local Is

Turning Nature into Art with Liz Nix

Petals Like Paintbrushes

Pamela Adorno is passionate about creating art in a unique way—using floral and plant materials. She brings that passion to 603 Floristry, the floral design studio she runs with her husband Anthony. They source their flowers from local growers, using unusual vessels and designs to individualize arrangements for every customer.

“We take extra care in personalizing each and every piece we create. We both absolutely love speaking with and learning about our customers and who they are—how they express emotion,” Adorno shared.

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While 603 Floristry does offer traditional arrangements, the duo excels at designing distinctive pieces, including their best-selling Garden Box line. These feature wooden garden boxes bursting with colors and textures.

“We create art, with many mediums—wild organic styles, unusual upcycled vases from the community, locally crafted ceramics, asymmetrical design, preserved mushrooms, tree branches—all kinds of things you may not see in standard floristry.”

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Pamela and Anthony have found a way to balance creativity with the operational aspects of running their flower shop. They work as a team, with Anthony managing the technical and financial side and Pamela focusing on design. “It’s an absolute joy being able to work with your best friend every day!” she said.

With a strong set of skills and a natural eye for design, Pamela has the added experience of having worked with two Monadnock Region floral legends: Eric Anderson of Anderson the Florist and Mary Scofield of In the Company of Flowers.

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“Mary is an artist through and through. I learned so much about flower care from her. She has a wealth of knowledge, and her intuition is unbelievably spot on,” Adrono wrote.

“Eric uses tried and true methods, and no-nonsense techniques—he is, to this day, the fastest floral designer I have ever seen. He taught me how to be efficient, and to have a sense of urgency while maintaining the quality of work.”

603 Floristry is committed to supporting local flower growers and the community. “Apart from the ecological and sustainable benefits, there is just something about locally grown flowers that simply hits different,” Adorno described. “You can feel the heart and soul that went into each and every bloom.”

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Pamela and Anthony have a network of local floral and plant connections, from larger, mainstream, New Hampshire wholesalers to local farms and even neighbors’ gardens. They have dedicated a section of their website to acknowledging each year’s contributors.

If you are interested in ordering flowers from 603 Floristry, visit their website 603floristry.com.

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It's Wine O'Clock with Sandy Parsons

Sip. Snack, Repeat.

“Sip, Snack, Repeat” is the motto of DiVINE on Main, located in Peterborough, NH. Relax and feel at ease in this ultra chic, but cozy, wine bar. Wine is served by the glass, bottle, or flight. Not knowing what wine I wanted to “Sip” first, I ordered the First Class Flight.

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Donna, my server, taught me not to worry about pairing my wine with my snack. She suggested I just pick a wine I like with a snack that tempted me and I couldn’t go wrong. She then helped me pick the rest of my wine flight while offering insights about wine tasting techniques. (If you are not a fan of wine, there is a secret beer selection of three beers on tap. Shhh, don’t tell anyone.)

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Next on the to-do list was “Snack.” I chose both savory and sweet bites. The savory was a warm, salty pretzel with three dipping options. The sweet was a fall special, a spiced pumpkin lava cake with cream cheese frosting and salted caramel gelato topped with a drizzle of caramel. Oh my goodness, I could be dipped in that gelato and die a happy woman! Speaking of ice cream (gelato actually) they plan to open an ice cream shop next door soon, so stay tuned.

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All that’s left to do is “Repeat,” and I happily obliged. I love this place! Owner Lisa has outdone herself achieving a sophisticated but fun and laid-back, wine bar. Make sure you join the free Stem Club to earn points for future visits that you can use towards wine, snacks, t-shirts, or a glass.

Sip, Snack, Repeat. Cheers!

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A New Perspective with Nathan Bagster

A Healing Approach Focused on Harmony

Acupuncture, a practice that supports the body and mind in their natural healing, has been around for 3000 or so years, originating in China. It involves penetrating specific points on the body with fine needles to alleviate pain and balance the flow of energy or life force. If this holistic practice is one you’ve been curious about, you’re in luck!

Founded in 2016 by Allison Millar, BS, MS, LAc., Basic Balance Acupuncture in Keene was established as a sanctuary for those in need. With Allison’s profound goal of providing pain relief and emotional well-being to those who seek it, as the core belief, BBA has helped hundreds of folks around the region.

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From clients who had experience with this style of healing to those just starting down the path, many have walked into Allison's care and left feeling they made the right decision.

“As an acupuncturist,” Allison said, “I use the language of Traditional Chinese Medicine to diagnose my patients. With each treatment, I facilitate the movement of energy to help their bodies function more efficiently. Traditional Chinese Medicine is an incredibly rich medicine that can also be used to interpret and navigate life in general- to teach patients to live more harmoniously with the seasons, for example. By assisting the body in carrying out its innate healing process, the sky's the limit to how it can help!”

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Her journey to this point began with a fascination for the science of nature and the human body at a young age. It fueled her desire to learn and led her to chase a Major in Behavioral Neuroscience, Psychology, and Biology at Northeastern University in Boston. It was there that she began to practice Western Medicine and found several strengths and weaknesses. This experience convinced her to take another approach.

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Before starting Basic Balance, Allison completed a four-year master's program at Southwest Acupuncture College in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She then spent time traveling the world and visiting multiple countries while she practiced her new vocation on a cruise ship. Each new day helped to build knowledge that she now uses in her field.

She ultimately returned to New Hampshire, where she created her now seven-year-old business. Since then, Allison has built a relationship with many in the community. She uses a unique blend of holistic medicine and unwavering hope, to show many who suffer that tomorrow can bring relief from any pain.

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