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Body Mind & Spirit

Spring 2009

A semi-annual health and wellness supplement monday mag.com


2 BODY, MIND, SPIRIT MAY 2009


Dying to Look Good How the products that claim to make us look and feel healthy are harming us—and how the industry that produces them doesn’t seem to care By E.G. ANDERSON

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f it seems like life itself is getting more toxic these days, that’s because it probably is. Despite a turn towards greener products and a greener philosophy on the consumer side of things, many manufacturers appear to only be paying lip service—at best—to making the world (and, by extension, our lives) any healthier. “This is about products we all put on our bodies every day,” says Stacy Malkan, co-founder of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and author of Not Just a Pretty Face: The Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry. Part documentary and part research paper, the book describes the ongoing battle to get toxic ingredients out of personal care products—everything from soap to nail polish. The cosmetics industry is self-regulated, meaning it is expected to evaluate and correct itself, free from the FDA. Not shockingly, the industry is doing a poor job. Skin Deep, a 2005 report by the Environmental Working Group, concluded one third of cosmetics ingredients were linked to cancer and over half had the capacity to disrupt hormones, impair reproduction or harm a baby’s development. “L’Oreal, Proctor & Gamble, Avon, Mary Kay, Estée Lauder, Revlon, MAC, Clinique—all these companies are using problematic chemicals,” says Malkan, who adds that some of the worst offending companies also have a “green” line of products. “If Estée Lauder already knows how to make products that are free of hazardous chemicals, why don’t they reformulate all their brands?” Some of them have. In 2000, the European Union banned hundreds of chemicals from cosmetics products and companies like Estée Lauder, L’Oreal and Revlon responded by creating new versions of their products without banned ingredients—but they refused to make those versions available in North America. “Canada is ahead of the U.S. in many respects,” says Malkan. While we don’t have the equivalent of the EU ban, she says, we do have a “hot list” of problematic chemicals that are restricted from cosmetics, unlike America. Canada also requires INCI standardized names on labels, which makes it easier for chemical-aware consumers to avoid specific ingredients. What are the ingredients to avoid? There are about 10,000 of them, which is one major obstacle consumers face; limited availability of non-toxic products is another. Though 1,000 companies have signed the Compact for Safe Cosmetics, few of those lines can be found in major stores. For example, Vancouver-based Tana Lynn Cosmetics, a non-toxic brand of mineral make-up, is available online and in a few mainland stores. “I wanted people to be able to put something on their skin that would actually heal it, instead of something that would harm it while they were wearing it,” says founder Tana Lynn Moldovanos, a former film make-up artist. Malkan admits she’s lucky, because living in Berkeley, California means she has access to many natural products companies. “I won’t buy products from any of the major companies until they commit to cleaning up their products across the board,” says Malkan. For her, that boycott includes Aveda,

which was started by natural entrepreneur Horst Rechelbacher and bought by Estée Lauder in 1997. She adds that while Aveda products are admittedly better than some others, there is room for improvement. Consumers might expect that buying from high-end product lines is one way to avoid toxic ingredients, but they would be wrong. In a recent test of lipstick, for example, Malkan and her colleagues found lead in a Author and cosmetic $24 tube of Dior Addict activist Stacy Malkan lipstick but not in a $1.99 tube of Wet & Wild lipstick. “The expensive products often contain the same chemical recipes as the cheap drug-store brands—the major difference is the packaging and marketing,” says Malkan. Multi-million dollar marketing is a powerful tool in the cosmetic arsenal. Terms such as “natural,” “pure” and “organic” can be used to sell toxic products, warns Malkan, and the misdirection doesn’t end there. “It is outrageous that the big beauty companies are using their pink-ribbon promotions as a marketing strategy to sell more products, but they are not willing to remove carcinogens from their products,” charges Malkan, who names Avon, Estée Lauder and Revlon as the major “pinkwashing” offenders. “In the last few years, how many of the big companies have started selling mineral make-up?” Moldovanos wonders, whose products are paraben-free. “You might see a mineral make-up compact from L’Oreal but look at the ingredients.” While there is no easy answer for concerned consumers, Malkan has some advice. “Simpler is better,” she says. “Choose products with fewer chemicals, avoid synthetic fragrance and use fewer products overall.” The good news is that as cosmetics safety has garnered increased attention, things have improved slightly. Nail polishes have been reformulated to remove formaldehyde (a known carcinogen) and dibutyl phthalate (a reproductive toxicant) and many conventional companies have been quietly removing phthalates from their products. “The beauty industry is shifting course,” says Malkan. “It’s possible to make wonderful products without toxic chemicals.” Malkan adds that while Canada is ahead, there is still a long way to go—governments need to pass laws that require companies to make the safest products they can make and that incorporate the knowledge we now have about the health hazards of low-dose chemical exposures and the ubiquitous

Beauty Myths Not Just a Pretty Face scrapes the sheen off the beauty industry Stacy’s Malkan’s book is not about make-up; it’s about war. With a revelation on every page, Not Just a Pretty Face: The Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry (New Society Publishers, 176 pages, $18.95) tells the story of a grassroots movement gaining ground against an entrenched $250 billion global industry. As she captures both the outrage and hope that come from such a fight, Malkan shows how women have bought into a dangerous and false concept of beauty. The book follows Malkan’s journey, and that of others like her, from disbelief to a building frustration with a massive industry irrationally opposed to change. With science on their side, she and her colleagues build databases of toxicity information, sneak into cosmetics industry conferences and wage their own media campaign and demonstrate how to make a change. Malkan covers many issues that go beyond cosmetics, including gender politics of the environmental movement, the charitable hypocrisy of corporations, the literal and figurative “whitening” of women around the world, and most importantly, the growing understanding that there is no such thing as personal choice when it comes to chemical contamination. Both empowering and maddening, Not Just a Pretty Face is a fascinating condemnation of a massive and seemingly innocuous industry, which has ingratiated itself into our lives, bodies and identities.

—E.G. Anderson nature of chemical contamination. “The recent science on chemical contamination shows that we truly are all connected,” says Malkan. “When we see this picture—babies being born into the world pre-polluted with industrial chemicals—it’s time to recognize that we need to do things differently.” M

PUBLISHER: Jim Parker EDITOR: John Threlfall

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CONTRIBUTORS: E.G. Anderson, Stephanie Dawson, Penelope Hagan-Braun, Jim Leard, Christine Matte, Robert Moss, Jason Youmans

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SPRING 2009

BODY, MIND, SPIRIT MAY 2009 3


Better Together Integrated health clinics prize prevention and collaboration By JASON YOUMANS

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here’s a change afoot in how we understand what constitutes quality health care. Slowly, but ever so surely, the notion that prevention is the best medicine is making inroads in a medical world that once prized short-term treatment over the simple act of living well. In Victoria, this shift is evident in the increasing number of health-care facilities operating under the premise that to equip clients with the knowledge and skills they need to avoid hospitalization makes sense not just for the individual, but can also take pressure off a medical system burdened by inadequate financial and staff resources. These so-called “integrated” health facilities are characterized by medical doctors—or other “traditional” health professionals—working alongside and under the same roof as any number of now not-so-alternative health practitioners, where collaboration is the key to keeping patients out of hospital beds, off prescription drugs and moving steadily toward a more healthy lifestyle. Patients visiting Dr. Divi Chandna’s office at the Shanti Health Centre, for example, could still find themselves prescribed a bottle of pills for what ails them, but more often than not, the physician-cum-yoga instructor will suggest her clients report to any one of the therapeutic and restorative yoga classes offered at Shanti or Bikram Hot Yoga Victoria, perhaps supplemented by a visit to the staff acupuncturist. Chandna says during her early years as a physician she grew disillusioned with prescribing medications to patients while rarely having an opportunity to explore the root of their health problems. After her own immersion in the yoga world and enjoying the benefits it brought to her life, she realized the practice could go a long way to healing her clients too. “My approach is—and most doctors will tell you that 99

percent of what we see in the hospital and offices is related to stress and imbalance in our lives—that rather than just going the treatment approach, which is, ‘Okay, take a pill,’ we say ‘Step back and let’s deal with the stress that’s underlying it, and let’s get that balanced and get the balance back in your life and you’ll be happier.’ And that’s exactly what I’ve seen.” Dr. Steven Gordon is a co-owner of the Cook Street Village Health Clinic. Under its roof, clients can visit a family and cosmetic physician, chiropractor, naturopathic doctor, osteopathic practitioner, a Chinese medicine acupuncturist, an athletic and physiotherapist, massage therapists and a medical esthetician. Gordon says changing societal norms have forced changes within the medical establishment, and integrated health care is the natural upshot of this trend. “What happened in the generation after the baby boomers is that we are aggressively seeking a high quality of life.” says Gordon. “And particularly the younger generation are prepared to spend the time and the money to make sure that they are balanced, high-functioning, disciplined individuals. Along with that shift goes the need to put some time into health maintenance, instead of just disease prevention.” Society, of course, moves more quickly than our bureaucratic institutions, and the province’s Medical Services Plan is a long way from covering many of the naturopathic and alternative forms of medicine that are part of the integrated health model. That means patients must dig into their own wallets to finance these services. A five-treatment acupuncture package at Gordon’s clinic, for example, goes for $250. But people are coming around to the idea that good health sometimes comes at a small price, says Gordon. “Honestly, the amount of money you need to spend to get yourself feeling physically better is way, way less than a car payment,” he says. “People spend crazy amounts of money on car payments, but they won’t spend $100 a month on health maintenance? Well, would you rather have a good car or a good body? You choose.” Gordon adds that clients truly are beginning to take charge of their own health. “I often get people coming to me and saying, ‘Listen, I don’t actually feel unwell in any way, shape or form, but I want to make use of the expertise available in this facility of yours, to see whether I can do better,’ which is a completely different philosophy. What we know now is that almost every outcome in every disease is dictated by how early we find out about it, and we now also have a bunch of expertise that helps us prevent disease, before we even get it.”

It’s Time to Feel Good!

Sukhi Lalli has your integrated health at heart

Local pharmacist Sukhi Lalli has been operating the Lalli Care Clinic—a “collaborative integrated clinic”—for the past four years. At Lalli’s clinic, clients can visit pharmacists, a registered massage therapist, an acupuncturist and a chiropractor. Lalli maintains that housing multiple services under one roof allows his team to share ideas and suggestions when helping clients toward their health objectives. “I’ve been a pharmacist since 1975 and I quite often came across that I could help a person to a certain point, and then beyond that I couldn’t. So, even if I recommended they go see an acupuncturist, or go see a chiropractor, I never got to talk to the chiropractor or the acupuncturist, or massage therapist or any of the other practitioners they might go to.” If Lalli had it his way, everyone would visit their health professional periodically for a wellness assessment, to determine where they sit on the health scale and what changes could be made in their lives to boost their health indicators. These assessments would offer a strong incentive for clients to adopt healthier lifestyles to ward off illness. Of course, many people still seek medical attention only when things take a steep turn for the worse. But with professionals like Dr. Divi Chandna becoming more commonplace, the preventative medicine revolution is gathering steam. “I turn 40 this year and I’m healthier than I was in my 20s,” says Chandna. “And I want to be healthier in my 60s than I was in my 40s. That’s my goal. So, I think we’re getting there.” M

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Need Help? There’s no diagnostic map when it comes to mental health By E.G. ANDERSON

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ccording to that old axiom, thinking you need help is the first step in seeking help. But is there any truth to that? “People decide to go to therapy for different reasons,” says Victoria psychologist Dr. Sylvain Boies. Some people are driven to therapy by a traumatic event like a death or sexual assault, she explains, while others begin seeing someone as a path to personal reflection. “Some people really want to grow as a person,” says Boies. “There might not be anything wrong with them per se, but they feel like there’s something ‘off ’ in their life.” Though mental health is hard to observe, several things can indicate whether we are experiencing a rough patch or a breakdown. Disrupted sleep, high anxiety, dramatic changes in energy—either lethargy or manic overdrive—can all be signs of systemic problems. “Look at the level of despair,” says Dr. Boies. “If someone feels like, ‘I can’t handle this anymore,’ their mind has gone into criticism and they need new imput.” Even if we’re not aware of what’s going on in our heads, substance abuse and obsessive behaviour are two external symptoms that other people may pick up on. The symptoms we show—if any—are determined a number of factors,

including gender. “A lot of men are uncomfortable with emotions— they don’t know how to process them,” says Boies. “They can express their depression through anger.” What makes it difficult to define who is in need of therapy is the diversity of our psychological reactions. Two people could experience the same event and one could be devastated, while the other simply coped and carried on, explains Boies. It can be a matter of personal resiliency. Once someone figures out that they want help, they still have to figure out what kind of help they want. Do they want a psychologist or a counselor? Help through interpersonal psychology or behaviour modification? “It can be quite confusing for the general public,” admits Boies. Psychologists are licensed by the College of Psychologists and hold PhDs in psychology, while counselors’ qualifications vary between doctorate and masters degrees in psychology, counseling or education. The two groups also differ in their approach. “Counselling is more solutions-focused and advice-giving,” says Boies. “Psychotherapy—what most psychologists do—is about changing behaviour and understanding the internal dynamics and the interpersonal dynamics.” Within the field of psychology, treatment approaches range between psychodynamic psychology, which has people identify patterns in their lives and learn to make different decisions, to body-centred psychotherapy, which has them focus

on their physiology. “Instead of asking the mind to control the body, we use the body,” explains Boies. Certain approaches are especially effective on different disorders. Body-centred therapy generally works well on anxiety disorders while cognitive-behavioural therapy can be particularly helpful to people suffering from depression. When looking for a therapist, ask about their treatment approach as well as their expertise in treating your specific issues– and how much how they charge, says Boies. “It’s very important people inform themselves about the qualifications of their therapist or counselor,” says Boies. “Any psychotherapist should be retraining and consulting with other professionals to stay on top of their field.” Finding the right person to help you means finding someone with the right qualifications who works in a way you feel comfortable with and who you can trust. Though proper therapy won’t hurt you, the process can be demanding. “As part of psychotherapy, there are moments when people experience internal turmoil,” says Boies. Examining the issues they have set aside, whatever they may be, can make them more distressed temporarily, but overall, the experience should have more benefits than disadvantages. If there is a chance you need help, it’s worth looking into. “Some people don’t realize something’s wrong,” says Boies. “They adjust to feeling negative about their lives—they think it’s normal.” M

BODY, MIND, SPIRIT MAY 2009 5


Finding Stillness Ocean Resort is the perfect place for a holistic holiday By JOHN THRELFALL

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ou don’t need to read the news to know we live in a hectic world; between the overload of consumer technology and endless chorus of recession fears, sometimes a sense of peace can be almost impossible to find these days. So it was that my wife and I found ourselves signing up for a Stillness Experience weekend at the West Coast’s newest holistic retreat centre, Ocean Resort. Granted, the thought of getting up at 6:30 a.m. to start my day with a one-hour meditation isn’t what usually comes to mind when I think about relaxing getaways, but as a spiritual traveller who’s tried everything from sweatlodges to hiking along ley lines, I’m

Dr.

game for anything. A scenic three-hour drive from Victoria brought us to Oyster Bay, just 20 minutes north of Courtenay, where Ocean Resort sits on a beautiful, two-acre stretch of waterfront. Recently renovated to the tune of $1.5 million, Ocean Resort offers two buildings (one for guest rooms, the other for amenities), a spectacular ocean-view lawn just begging to be used for yoga or Tai Chi (coming soon: a driftwood labyrinth) and a specific request for cell phone quiet (ah, heaven). From your first step into the aromatherapy-infused lobby, it’s clear this isn’t the typical resort destination; at Ocean Resort, you’re more likely to receive a heartfelt “Namaste” from the staff than a bland “Have a nice day.” The rooms—28 in all (starting at $89), half with ocean views, plus a onebedroom, kitchen-equipped suite—feature blonde hardwood floors and comfy beds with cotton sheets and duvets, and all-natural products in the bathroom. Better still, there are taps throughout the resort featuring the unique Hexahedron 999 restructured drinking water (veracity of the health claims about this biophoton-enhanced water aside, it definitely tastes

Joan Borysenko

Relax with a book in the spacious library or just sit back and watch the ocean

In Victoria

workshop lecture conference

An Experiential Workshop

Saying Yes to Change: Essential wisdom for your journey The world is moving through a time of profound change generating fear and anxiety about an uncertain future – but at the same time raising hope of renewal and positive shifts. The time between 'no longer' and 'not yet' is called the liminal stage – a sacred space, pregnant with both danger and opportunity. Successfully traversing it requires a set of nonlinear competencies that tap into an expanded way of knowing. Join Joan on a journey along a path of innate wisdom and infinite possibilities. A workshop at the University of Victoria; on-site registration at David Lam Auditorium

May 29, 9:00am-12:00pm, $75+GST Register online at www.spiritheals.ca or call 250.472.4747. 6 BODY, MIND, SPIRIT MAY 2009

Fri, May 29, 7:00pm, McPherson Playhouse Spirituality and Healing:

Making the Great Global Shift Together One of the deepest forms of modern suffering is a sense of alienation from the deeper currents of life. The resultant feelings of emptiness often lead to hostility, depression, anxiety, addiction, prejudice, and stress. Unable to live and love from the fullness of our humanity, we lose health, resilience, and creative potential. Spirituality heals the rift between human beings and Life by restoring a sense of deep connection to a larger, meaningful whole. That connection results in a constellation of positive emotions including awe, gratitude, compassion, forgiveness, love, peace, and joy. Research demonstrates that these emotions lead to better physical and emotional health, inspired leadership, and the enhanced creativity so needed in this historic time of shift in global values, goals, and cooperation.

Presented in conjunction with

INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE CONFERENCE

Joan Borysenko, PhD is a pioneer in integrative medicine with a doctorate and fellowships from Harvard Medical School. She is the author of the Joan Raymond Borysenko Moody New York Times best seller, Minding the Body, Mending the Mind. Tickets: $24.50 & $32.50 Presented by tax/fees incl., 250.386.6121 (included with conference registration). A N I M A T E C O M M U N I T Y and

An exploration of spirituality in health and healing Edgar Mitchell

May 29-31, 2009 Victoria, BC Canada www.spiritheals.ca info@spiritheals.ca


better) and there’s even a recycling program in place, which guests are encouraged to use. Meals are served at a communal dining room and, while leaning more towards hearty and healthy than gourmet or gastronomic, they’re definitely filling and absolutely tasty: our weekend menu included halibut with pineapple salsa, fresh granola, french onion soup, mushroom chicken on barley, clam chowder and a variety of yummy treats baked fresh daily by the cook . . . who is also an on-site masseuse. (“If you liked my cooking,” she quipped, “you’ll love my massages.”) Another dining room highlight is the enormous driftwood sculpture suspended from the ceiling, which can’t help but kickstart conversation with the other guests; failing that, you can always comment on the seals gliding along the nearby tideline. Our Stillness Experience ($399 per person for double occupancy, $499 for single, all meals and sessions included) began with a brief post-dinner introductory talk by resort owner Lucas Stiefvater, who also facilitated many of our meditations. (Another of Ocean Resort’s appealing aspects is the staff are welcome to participate in open meditation sessions; clearly, they aren’t afraid to walk their talk.) Morning meditation starts at 7 a.m. sharp in the resort’s sanctuary, which is indeed full of peace; it’s silence inside and shoes off at the door, please—but help yourself to the complimentary slippers. Just down the hall from the sanctuary is the spacious library, where spiritual books, CDs and DVDs on a variety of topics and paths are available for use. (The library also serves as a central meeting room for extended discussions and evening film screenings; we took in an Eckhart Tolle video session.) There’s also an exercise room, treatment spaces, a pair of infrared saunas, a conference room and an office for in-house life coaching. (My own 30-minute session, a new experience for me, turned out to be both awareness-raising and affirming.) About a dozen people were participating in our Stillness Experience, ranging from mid-30s to early 60s and hailing from the likes of Edmonton (by WestJet to nearby Comox), Tofino, Salt Spring, Courtenay and Victoria. Between our scheduled meditation sessions and facilitated workshop, we had free time to wander the beach or nearby nature trails, soak up the radiant sauna heat, partake in solo meditation or book a variety of bodywork sessions. But it was participating in the actual Stillness Experience that made this weekend more than just another getaway. Clearly, the intention was to do more than just relax, and, if truly embraced, it is possible to experience a sense of stillness; everything about Ocean Resort is set up to allow you the opportunity of distancing yourself from the chaos of daily life . . . but

Awaken your healing potential. Ocean Resort’s retreat building offers an ideal sanctuary

to also return to it with a few new coping methods in place. Our collective meditative practice was simple: sit quietly, track your thoughts and follow your breath; if distractions intrude, simply return to your breathing. Simple, yes, but effective. And sure, it may be easy to achieve this when you’re booked into a holistic resort but what about once you’re back in real life? Well, three weeks and a serious helping of work-related stress later, I’m please to report that I can still feel the stillness—if I take a moment to pause, step back and breathe. It seems stillness is always there, just waiting for us to take the time to notice. If you’re new to the idea of a holistic retreat, Ocean Resort offers an ideal place to start; but even if you’re a workshop veteran, there’s a lot here to like—right down to the fact that the resort is part of the David Suzuki Foundation, that five percent of all sales are given to local and international charities, and that they’re working toward becoming a carbon-neutral zone. As a quote from Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi on the sanctuary’s wall says, “We all have to return to our source. Every human being is seeking his source and must one day come to it. We came from within; we have gone outward and now we must turn inward.” But if you’re not sure how to begin your own individual journey—or simply need a break from our big-box life—Ocean Resort offers a good place to start. M For more information, visit oceanresort.ca or call 1-877-561-3425.

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May 18-24th!

“Yesterday” and “Let It Be” are just two of many popular songs inspired by dreams By ROBERT MOSS

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n The Secret History of Dreaming, worldrenowned dream expert and author Robert Moss explores the vital role dreams, coincidence, and imagination have played throughout history. The following is an excerpt from this inspiring new book that offers both a manifesto and a challenge, showing how dreams of all kinds can and do change the course of history, and how it is possible for us to reclaim and use that power now.

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One God, Many Paths Unity Church offers an inclusive community and approach to God and the Divine. Its practical spirituality fosters love, compassion, acceptance and self-responsibility. We are culturally Christian and spiritually Universal. If you’re attracted to the works of Deepak Chopra, Catherine Ponder, Eckhart Tolle and Wayne Dyer, you’ll be at home with Unity’s teachings. Reverend Doris Trinh Lewis invites you to grow with us on your spiritual journey. Unity Church of Victoria is affiliated with Silent Unity, which publishes The Daily Word. Sunday Services begin at 10:30 a.m. and are held in Alix Goolden Hall, 907 Pandora at Quadra. A Children’s Program is available. See website for events, classes, and meditation schedule.

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250-382-1613

8 BODY, MIND, SPIRIT MAY 2009

www.UnityVictoria.ca

“Truth moves through us when we sleep,” Roseanne Cash wrote in a song she titled “The Wheel.” Many musicians and composers will recognize what she meant. Billy Joel has kept a notepad by his bed to jot down ideas and lyrics for songs that come to him in his dreams. Sleeping in an attic room in London in 1965, Paul McCartney dreamed he heard a classical string ensemble playing and woke with “a lovely tune” in his head. He played it on an upright piano in the room. “I liked the melody a lot, but because I’d dreamed it, I couldn’t believe I’d written it. I thought, ‘No, I’ve never written anything like this before.’ But I had the tune, which was the most magic thing!” When fellow Beatles reassured him the tune was something new, he found the words and recorded the hit song “Yesterday.” In the pop music scene, many performers have described encounters with dream

Robert Moss is the author of The Secret History of Dreaming and The Three “Only” Things: Tapping the Power of Dreams, Coincidence and Imagination. His website is www.mossdreams.com. Printed with permission of New World Library, Novato, CA. newworldlibrary.com

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visitors—often departed family members or fellow musicians—who have provided counsel and inspiration. Another popular McCartney song, “Let It Be,” was based on a dream visitation by his dead mother, Mary. He was run down from drug use and the Beatles were beginning to break up. He fell into bed, deeply troubled and dreamed his mother came to him and told him, “It’s all right. It’ll be all right.” When he woke, he wrote down these words for a new song: “Mother Mary comes to me, speaking words of wisdom, let it be.” John Lennon frequently received his inspiration in dreams or hypnagogic states. He told his biographer Frederic Seaman that he felt his “inspired” songs were usually far superior to “formula songs,” as he characterized many of those that he and Paul McCartney had produced in the early years of the Beatles. “Writing formula songs is like painting by numbers.” The good stuff comes to you in the middle of the night, out of a creative space, and you have to get up and write it down. M

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Angela Gerhart

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Jason D. Kilsch Clairvoyant Medium / Reiki “With a little help from above” Twitter & YouTube ~ Psychicjay

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Alone . . . and Loving It! The Spa Guy goes solo at Spa Space By JIM LEARD

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ey guys, where are you? I’m out here alone—and loving it. I’ve discovered the ultimate pleasure, the ultimate gift . . . I am the Spa Guy and I’ve learned there’s just not so many of us men going to the spa, having massage, facials, reflexology, enjoying wraps and rubs, submerging ourselves into a sensual experience that energizes and relaxes at the same time. And men, I can only say one thing: you don’t know what you’re missing! As the Spa Guy, I feel it is my duty to pass on my experiences to everyone—but my emphasis is to encourage more men to buck up and take the spa plunge. My most recent experience was at Spa Space at 4510 Chatterton, just south of the Broadmead Village shopping centre. (Check out spaspacevictoria.com and peruse their well-laid out website.) Rather than have a couple’s experience this time around, my wife and I went for separate treatments together—and gentlemen, if you are looking for a gift to impress your wife, your date, even your mother, then a trip to the spa will give you points that will last from now through Christmas and beyond. When I mention “spa time” to some of my female friends, their eyes glaze over and they smile enviously as they soften up and sigh and fall into a dream state . . . imagine what sending—or accompanying—your wife or girlfriend to a spa will do for you. Trust me; I know. I’ve done it. Meanwhile, back at Spa Space, we are met in a most friendly way by Fiona, with whom I had talked on the phone. She was charming and greeted us by name; eager to get started, I was willing to get undressed right in the lobby and allow my treatment to start then and there, but Fiona took our coats instead and informed our therapists that we were here. We sat briefly as Fiona chatted with us in a casual, but friendly, manner; products they had for sale were mentioned but not pushed. (Better still, my wife was given small samples at the end of her treatment for her to try at home.) Our therapists arrived: Wanda for my wife, who was getting a facial, and Irena for myself, who was off on a Lavender Wrap adventure. I followed Irena into a small room. There was the massage table, a side table with candles glowing and music playing softly in the background. She explained the treatment process completely to me, step by step, and then left me alone to remove my clothes and get under the blanket. I did, but apparently I forgot (or neglected to hear) whether I should be face up or face down; I had a 50-50 chance on being right . . . but when Irena returned, she held the blanket discreetly for me as I turned over. She quietly began the process. First an exfoliation with a special cream and then lovely warm facecloths wiping it off: a leg, and a leg, then an arm and an arm, then the front and the back—always discreetly covered beneath the blankets. Ah, and then began the lavender treatment itself. All those parts that had been exfoliated—which was almost everything— were then covered in a lovely warm and silky lavender paste; I was then wrapped in plastic with blankets on top to keep me all cozy as I “cooked.”

Relax and enjoy a high-frequency Guinot Hydradermie facial at Spa Space

I was left alone for a few minutes with a cloth over my eyes and allowed to just “be.” Irena checked on me with a a quiet entrance and a soft voice. “How are you doing?” she asked. I sighed a response and she left me alone again. I floated, thinking this was better than a deprivation tank; I let my mind drift as my body relaxed in a womb-like, warm cocoon. (I think my spirit communed with someone important but, like many dreams, I can’t remember the details.) I’m not sure how long I drifted, but all too soon it was time to shower; Irena removed the blankets and I made my way into the adjacent shower room with its delightfully heated floor tiles, peeled out of my plastic bag and stepped into the prepared shower. Water from several nozzles cleared away the lavender paste and, in a few minutes, I was back on the table getting another treatment of a moisturizing lotion. And then it was over. I felt good—clean and soft, and very relaxed. I spent 90 minutes and felt wonderful for days. I waited in the lounge and my wife appeared from her facial. She had a similar wonderful time: a consultation and then creams, a facial massage with the addition of small, electrical vibrators that firmed and toned the muscles under the skin, and then a soothing mask treatment. She, too, had relaxed, felt better and her face had a refreshed clean glow— healthy, firmer. We wanted to stay longer but had only arranged one treatment each . . . this time. So, men, where are you? I talked with Grazyna, the owner of this relatively new spa, before leaving and she confirmed my suspicion that they were mostly visited by women. So here I am, the Spa Guy, surrounded by lovely women, asking me to undress and lie down; wherever my spa duties take me, they cover me in creams, gels and essential oils, stroke my tired tense muscles, keep me warm and ask me if I’m comfortable before bringing me tea or water. I’ve found something that is truly delicious and my wife loves it too. It’s so perfect I’m not even sure why I’m sharing this; maybe I should keep it to myself. But men, if you’re looking for a place to start your own spa adventures, give Spa Space a call. You will definitely not regret it. Just tell them the Spa Guy sent you. M

Holistic Dentistry for the Sensitive Patient Experience loving kindness and beauty when you visit Dr. Deanna Geddo’s tranquil and serene office. Her deep knowledge of dentistry and relaxation / meditation techniques, her appreciation of patients as whole persons, and her kind-hearted, gentle approach ensure your visit will be pleasurable and joyful. Dr. Geddo offers a full range of dental services including amalgam removal, metal-free crowns, bridges, dentures and aesthetic work. Smile-enhancement is one of her areas of expertise. She will give you a dazzling, whiter smile with cleaning cleaning, whitening or hand-crafted veneers. In the words of a happy patient, Dr. Geddo has “not just helped my teeth, she has helped me smile. She has been such an inspiration. She truly cares about your health and you as a person. She has made such a difference to my whole life.” Come find out how your visit to the dentist can be a pleasurable and healing experience.

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250 389 0669 BODY, MIND, SPIRIT MAY 2009 9


STEPHANIE DAWSON

The Sound of Healing Craig Paterson’s Sound Journey offers a different kind of meditative practice By STEPHANIE DAWSON

F

or those willing to try meditation but are not quite comfortable with a silent form of rumination, sound and music can make the whole experience of switching the thinking, analytical side of the brain off and embracing the present moment much easier. Navigation into the land of meditation combined with music is nothing new to Craig Paterson who, for the past five years, has practiced this kind of work in various forms in Victoria and Duncan. Groups are led into his Sound Journeys that take place either at Euro Studios on Cook Street once a month, or individual private sessions that can be arranged in people’s homes. Walking into a Sound Journey session at Euro Studios finds individuals (27 at the most) lying or sitting on mats, ready for Paterson to begin guiding them into a more relaxed state. Resting comes surprisingly easily as Paterson’s voice, breath and hands do all the work, taking us on an inner journey by playing various instruments (didjeridu, rattles, frame drums, flutes and mbira, a type of thumb piano from Zimbabwe). The sounds pull us out of the thinking mind and into a more intuitive open awareness—a true meditative state. A wide range of people from all walks of life seek to experience this complementary form of health care. “I am surprised by straight-laced people who say, ‘That was incredible.’ They are blown away by the power of the sound and how it affects their consciousness,” says Paterson. Throughout the one-hour session, Paterson also plays the didjeridu over each person’s body so that she or he can intimately feel and receive the vibration of the sound which cleans up stuck or blocked energy. “My intention is that everybody leaves feeling better than when they came in,” he explains. “It works on the principle of entrainment—an aspect of sound that is closely related to rhythms and the way these rhythms affect us—whereby we are all made of sound energy. When we’re in a place of stress, using these sounds helps bring the

body and spirit into alignment to a more centred place and one of peace. Sound is a powerful tool for that.” Music has always been a big part of Paterson’s life. His father, a Scotsman, was a kit drummer and his parents always brought different kinds of music into their home. Paterson himself grew up singing, playing the sax and guitar, and was even in a Scottish bagpipe band as a young teenager. He was eventually introduced to hand drumming at UVic, as well as on the streets of downtown Victoria. “The drums caught my attention,” he recalls. “Before finishing my degree in political science, I realized that I was miserable. Then I bought a drum and knew that I needed to study music; the drum opened up something in my soul— joy.” Travelling and studying African drumming soon followed, after which Paterson played African rhythms in bands; African music, he says, appealed to him because it’s circular in nature and more about being than doing. He picked up the didjeridu from the person who made his drum, Chris Bertin, who is also an expert didgeridu player. Naturally, Paterson added it to his musical repertoire. In 2002, things were not going well; Paterson ended up working at a Jasper hotel, where his health quickly declined. “I was exhausted and had chronic fatigue,” he recalls. One day, Paterson turned on the hotel TV and saw a feature on a sound practitioner working at a European spa. “I saw it and started weeping; it was so inspiring and I said to myself, ‘This is what I need to be doing—using music in a therapeutic way.” Paterson then moved back to Victoria to find out how to do this and met up with two sound healers from the famed Hollyhock retreat centre on Cortes Island. “My health improved when I came back to Victoria,” he says. “The more I played, the better I felt.” From there, Paterson started making many of his own instruments and his home now displays

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an impressive array of flutes and didjeridus. “I have worked on cancer patients, people who have anxiety issues and it helps with relaxation,” Paterson says. “When the body and mind are in a state of relaxation, we can heal ourselves.” And for anyone out there who feels they should be doing something like this but finds it hard to get into, Paterson’s quiet and sensitive manner can only help. By using sound to guide people through a meditative, relaxed state, healing is a natural byproduct. M For more information on didjeridu Sound Journeys with Craig Paterson, visit templewindflutes.com or call 250-386-0201

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Craig Paterson demonstrates one of his Sound Journeys

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Go Your Own Way Victoria Community Health Co-operative defines its own health priorities By CHRISTINE MATTE

H

ave you ever felt so rushed through a medical appointment that you had to rely on hardball-style rapid fire interrogation tactics to get the level of advice you want? Or maybe you’ve always wanted to explore reflexology for that nagging spinal irritation or trick knee, but your recessionwhacked wallet just can’t take it. If you’re looking for long-term wellness in a diseasefocused and overburdened public health care system, you might just find true healing as a member of the Victoria Community Health Co-operative. What began as a conversation in a clinic waiting room three years ago is now a 130-member-strong co-op advancing its vision for a health-care system that treats the individual, community and environment as an interdependent whole. As with any co-op, member participants direct and retain common ownership of the organization’s programs and assets, and they determine the services and practices

they want available to their members. The Community Health Co-operative is fundraising to buy a physical space this year, and their success to date has largely been built on virtual momentum, connecting with members and organizing meetings through e-mails, phone lists and their web site. Monday last spoke to Dr. Mark Sherman, the co-op’s board president, this time last year when the steering committee that pre-dated the co-op was in the midst of public consultation. From that, says Sherman, “we found that people wanted [a co-op] very similarly to what we originally thought, but with a lot of added layers. They want integrative health, they want to be empowered, they want to be educated and they wanted access based on need, not ability to pay.� Truly integrative care is somewhat unprecedented and according to Kurt Lenfesty, a reflexologist, hypnotherapist and board member, it’s a priority that distinguishes the

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Victoria co-op from others across the country. “We’re trying to have different practitioners working together functionally,” explains Lenfesty. “There are often practitioners of different modalities that work in the same building but they don’t actually share information with each other. We’re trying to build a model of how that should work.” Working under the same roof, adds Sherman, “is not really a systems approach of ‘How do we work together as a team?’” To accomplish that, the Community Health Co-operative is creating a cross-modality code of practice and set of policies that allows practitioners to learn from each other’s philosophies and better serve their members by referring them outside their field as needed. “People go to different practitioners as a journey to find out what works for them,” says Lenfesty. “In an ‘I feel’ system, you would be able to choose the modality that works best for you, and we’re trying to more or less bring that into the public sphere so people find their own journey of wellness.” Through their integrativecare model, the co-op’s practitioners help members navigate that journey. As a physician for the James Bay Community Project, Sherman sees consequences to individuals, the community and the public system overall when patients lack knowledge and a sense of power over their own health to view wellness that way. “We’re coming from a culture of health care where, as a family doctor, I’m supposed to be the expert,” he says. “In our culture, we see doctor as ‘fixer.’” As a result, the majority of public funding is tied up in the treatment of disease. The fix-it approach, according to co-op member Janine Bandcroft, also fails to reward or promote health-conscious self-care. “The public system, for people who are low income, is great if you happen to break a leg or you have to go to a doctor— but if you want to engage in preventive health and you want

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to assess your health and work toward detoxifying your body, the public system really doesn’t do much for you.” The Community Health Co-operative’s bi-monthly clinics allow members to explore services from acupuncture to homeopathics, counselling and hypnotherapy—at negotiated rates—and their donations contribute to a common accessibility fund. Practitioners contribute as much as 15 percent of their income from member sessions to the fund and local business partners like Bob Mehr Pharmacies and the Good Planet contribute a portion of members’ purchases back to the fund. The principle, explains Lenfesty, is that members promote overall community health by helping fellow members access care. While the community clinics address individual care, community forums and education programs build members’

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knowledge of healthy living and promote broader community health. In forums, members of the Community Health Co-operative meet regularly to define their own health priorities and learn the related skills to address them. Local nursing students facilitate the groups by linking them with local resources like dieticians and physical therapists. The co-op is also delivering a pilot education program through Central Middle School to explore the body’s systems and foster a self-aware “I feel” thinking model with kids. “Practitioners are so interested in education,” adds Sherman, “because we see the results of people in the community not having that education and not having the tools to take care of themselves, and the results in their health care.” One of the goals of the Community Health Co-operative, says Sherman, is to demonstrate that the co-op’s model saves money and is a better investment in the long-term. “If we have a team of practitioners, with a patient as a participant, where everybody works together towards improving individual and community’s health, I think that you’re saving resources because everybody is doing what they do best, including the person who is seeking health services,” he says. “They’re listening to recommendations, dealing with their health, educating themselves, gaining skills and tools, and they have teachers. That’s an efficient use of resources.” The success of any co-op depends on its members’ willingness to collaborate and contribute to bringing their shared vision to life and with the Victoria Community Health Co-operative rounding up its first formally incorporated year, there appears to be no shortage of that. M

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Find Your Centre CorUnum is a spiritual community unto itself By STEPHANIE DAWSON

CorUnum founder Louise Taylor

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have crossed the rural landscape and through the yurt’s doors: men’s retreats, yoga dance, dream workshops, circle dance workshops, native and Shamick traditional celebrations, even Dancing Wolf’s popular One Heart dances started out here, all forming a part of CorUnum. Taylor used to teach the circle dancing, but now focusses on special event circle dances using traditional and contemporary music and choreography. A quick tour reveals extensive grounds that include meadows, a labyrinth, an organic garden, a rose garden, a medicine wheel, a pond, a peace gong and a peace pole gifted by a Japanese friend—the first peace pole in Victoria, erected back in 1988. “People come to be in touch with nature here: the rocks, the water, the trees . . . the natural beauty of the setting,” Taylor says. “When people come they always say how peaceful is it.” This sense of peace is something close to Taylor’s heart. Her parents fled from Germany to Russia in 1931 when Hitler came to power; then, after people who were considered foreigners started disappearing in Russia, the family settled in the United States in 1936 when Taylor was just five years old. As such, a big influence in Taylor’s life has been the Russian painter, philosopher and Nobel Peace Prize nominee Nicholas Roerich, who coined the phrase “Culture of Peace.” He believed in bringing the arts, spirituality and science together—and that, says Taylor, is what she also believes. Over the past 10 years, CorUnum has grown a strong community with a sense of connection and depth of feeling, even if the practices differ. But for Taylor, this only adds to the belief that a culture of peace is happening right here—through dancing, music, and community. M

CorUnum founder Louise Taylor has been the steward of the 10 acres of land, where the yurt resides, since 1968. “A yurt is a very embracing building because people have to sit in a circle,” she says. “It’s comforting and inclusive.” Taylor was born in Russia to European parents, who kept their original German culture alive through celebrations and folk dancing. This background led Taylor to travel and teach music in Malaysia for eight years. Then, in 1968, she started a folk dancing group at UVic, later becoming interested in circle dancing from the Findhorn Community in Scotland, famed spiritual community, ecovillage and an international centre for holistic education. “The unique thing about circle dancing is done with intention of re-creation,” she says—what Taylor describes as “working with ‘all there is.’” The name CorUnum (“one heart” in Latin) came to Taylor one day while standing on the land admiring its beauty and saying a prayer. “At that moment, I realized my happiest time was spent during my summers at a music camp called the Trapp Family Sing Weeks at Stowe, Vermont, where I lived at a family home called Cor Unum,” she explains. “I put the two words together and came up with CorUnum.” When an unexpected sum of money came to her from an aunt 10 years ago, Taylor jumped at the chance to buy a yurt kit and realize her dream. “When I received the money, I realized I had to make this happen. With this gift from my aunt, the door had opened for putting roots to wings,” Taylor recalls. And while it was originally only intended as a place for Sacred Circle Dancing, she says “the yurt has become a meeting place for expressing one’s deepest beliefs, exploring new dimensions of one’s being, celebrating through ceremony the diversity of spiritual expressions—sometimes formal, other times spontaneous and of the moment.” The land that surrounds the yurt also has many uses. In 1985, there was an Earth Healing celebration where local craftsmen showed their wares; Silk Road even had a tent out here before they opened shop on Government. Since that time, many people

STEPHANIE DAWSON

J

ust 25 minutes away from the busy streets of downtown Victoria, CorUnum, a peaceful spiritual community tucked away in rural farmland, thrives by sharing ideas and theologies including a broad spectrum of practices. A circular domed yurt lies at its centre, a space for sacred circle dancing, yoga, meditations and more.

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BODY, MIND, SPIRIT MAY 2009 13


Bellyfit embraces the emotional as well as the spiritual

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I

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f you ask me, aerobics is for weenies. When I think of aerobics, I envision my mother wearing shiny spandex tights in front of a large mirror on a frigid winter day, trying to work off five straight years of meat and childbearing. Desperation, in a word. So, naturally, I wasn’t too excited about attending one of Alice Bracegirdle’s much-lauded Bellyfit classes. Entering that grey cavern of a cardio room at the downtown Y, I felt cold and nervous and lumpy. Bracegirdle’s down with that. “It’s our culture,” she says in response to my hesitation. “It’s cold here, for one thing, and we just get locked up. Everybody’s doing yoga and pilates, which is great, but it’s all linear . . . the hips are not releasing.” Bellyfit promises to undo those knots. Inspired by traditional bellydance, African dance, bhangra (Indian folk dance) and Bollywood, it’s a fitness class to do away with the 1980s spectacle of repetitive, soulless cardio. Instead of trying to look skinny as we pump our knees to pop music, Bellyfit calls women to embrace, appreciate and emphasize their curves while enjoying a stimulating workout. From the opening meditation to the yogic cool-down, Bellyfit focuses on grounding and energizing women emotionally, physically—and spiritually, as Bracegirdle emphasizes. “Essentially, the spirit dwells in the body. If the body is stagnant, the spirit is stagnant,” she explains. “When you start to move the body, the spirit moves as well, and then you start to be able to connect to the energy around you— this latent powerful spiritual energy that’s ready to move and expand and blossom and grow.” If that sounds like fluff, don’t worry. Bellyfit offers one of the best fitness workouts I’ve experienced in a while. The dance sequences are creative yet sweat-inducing, and they allow each woman to choose her own levels of activity and impact. The pumping electronic grooves are fun and inspiring, as well as lending a special exoticism to the atmosphere. Bracegirdle’s inspiration to start Bellyfit resulted from her

youthful experiments with all-night raving, her life-changing visit to India at the age of 21 and her own training as an aerobics instructor. “[Aerobics] was super-fun because I was getting a great cardio workout, but there was no sensuality to it, no focus on feminine energy. There was a bit of a fun element missing as far as a ‘sexy-groovy-funky’ kind of feel,” she says. Once she discovered techno music and acquired training in belly dance and yoga, Bracegirdle was ready to fuse everything together to make Bellyfit. As the mother of a new baby girl, she also experienced a “really intense revelation about the role of the mother.” “Mothers on this planet are not honoured the way they should be; they’re not being given the support they need,” Bracegirdle elaborates. “The mother is the centre of community, and without a strong community we don’t have a strong world.” She found dancing the best way to empower herself during her early days of motherhood. While she was in the midst of developing the Bellyfit choreography, DJ Rowan entered the picture. Bracegirdle calls him her “yang”— he’s also her business partner and best friend, creating all the electronic mixes used in Bellyfit workouts, and managing the company’s website. So far, business is booming. Since its inception in early 2007, Bellyfit has spread like wildfire across Canada. In March, the company launched its 2009 National Training Tour, which includes 12 instructor training courses in major cities coast to coast. Each week, 10 classes are offered in Greater Victoria, with more taking place up-Island and in Vancouver. And there’s Bellyfit Live, a monthly Saturday night dance-off with DJ Rowan spinning as women get into the groove. But Bellyfit is more than a business—it’s also Bracegirdle’s passion. She sees it as her role to repair some of the damage done by the mass media to the collective female image. “The mass media has given us a portrayal of the female body that is completely unrealistic. Every time I go to the grocery store, there are 10 or 15

Bellyfit’s Alice Bracegirdle

magazines with air-brushed abs and I just want to rip them all up,” she fumes. “Every woman coming through that line is looking at that body and feeling self-deprecation because she doesn’t look like that.” Bellyfit counteracts that message with its focus on moves that “honour the hips,” Bracegirdle says. “We’re made to have fat on our bodies—we’re meant to feed our children, for god sake.” One caveat: Bracegirdle already looks like a model for one of said magazines, and her abs don’t even need airbrushing. This woman wouldn’t know a lump of fat if it tapped her on the shoulder. But still, she means well. It’s not her fault she’s gorgeous and perfectly built; after all, she does teach fitness for a living. And Bellyfit’s onto something. It combines a positive spiritual vibe with physical fitness to offer a refreshing new trend in women’s exercise. It’s not aerobics, but it’s not just dancing either. And yes, it is uplifting to the spirit. When I left the class, I was glowing— and not just because I’d burned off a few calories. M Bellyfit headquarters offers Bellyfit,yoga, pilates, dance and more, and is located at 1303 Broad Street, on the corner of Broad and Yates. Visit bellyfit.ca or call 250-384-2348 for class information—and watch for the new Instructional DVD Bellyfit Earth being released June 27.


Can even excessively healthy eating be a problem?

STEPHANIE DAWSON

Finding Balance By STEPHANIE DAWSON

A

telltale emaciated figure that isn’t eating or is instead purging food are dramatic clues to an eating disorder. But what about obsessively healthy eating? On occasion, this level of dietary self-control can translate into rigorously monitoring every bite you take in the form of “orthorexia,” a term first coined by Dr. Steven Bratman in his book, Orthorexia Nervosa: Overcoming the Obsession with Healthy Eating. Orthorexia is described as thinking constantly or excessively worrying about eating healthy food, proselytizing some dietary theory and acting superior to others who simply don’t worry so much about eating. Not yet mentioned by the American Psychiatric Association in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, orthorexia may end up on this list in the future. Michelle Morand, founder and director of the local Cedric Centre, agrees. “Orthorexia is quite rampant,” says Morand. “It is an eating disorder under the guise of eating healthy. It is great to eat well . . . but a balance needs to happen.” The Cedric Centre’s three counsellors (including Morand), two body workers, yoga instructor and homeopathic physician (also

a GP) offer help to people who struggle with a stressful relationship with food and/ or their body by finding the underlying causes and triggers—be they in the form of bulimia, anorexia or simply a very restrictive diet. “The question is whether you are using food to cope,” Morand explains. “I consider these disorders as coping strategies for stress or trauma. We store trauma in our body and if each piece is not attended to, healing can’t happen. We treat all of these pieces here: body, mind and spirit.” It’s surprising to learn from Morand that 90 percent of eating disorders start with some form of a diet or restriction. “How preoccupied are you with food or diet?” asks Morand. “Your degree of guilt and shame over food lets you know if it is harmful to your self-esteem. For example, do you work out for two hours because you feel guilty after eating a hamburger? How is food impacting your social interactions, your conversations?” Morand relates her own experiences with disordered eating starting with diets and binge-eating due to childhood issues. “My parents were very concerned with my appearance,” she recalls. “I was placed on a diet at age 10 and I would sneak food to soothe myself; I wasn’t

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Shockwave Treatment spells relief for Islanders suffering Plantar Fasciitis European Pain Reduction Treatment Now Available in Victoria

Michelle Morand

allowed to have dessert. There was a message that being thin was the most important thing. My own experience spurred me to find a therapist and name it as disordered eating, and then my own healing made me want to get into this work.” In Orthorexia Nervosa, Bratman describes how his own ritualized eating habits got out of control and how his road to recovery was guided by his guru, who offered this sage advice: “Rather than eat sprouts alone, it would be better to share a pizza with some friends.” Isolation from others is an additional problem when food issues get out of hand. It’s ironic that the quest for the perfect diet, the right combinations of food or dealing with severe dietary restrictions could lead you down such an unhealthy— and possibly even life-threatening—path. Accepting that there is more to life than food offers much more of a balance. M

VICTORIA, BC – Vancouver Island’s first Extra Corporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT) unit, designed to provide relief to those who suffer nagging chronic ailments such as Plantar Fasciitis, has been introduced by Victoria’s Synergy Health Management. According to Dr. Jamie Grimes, local chiropractor, Plantar Fasciitis “is a painful inflammatory condition. The pain is usually felt on the underside of the heel, and is often the most intense during the first steps you take in the morning.” Plantar Fasciitis is common in runners and athletes as well as individuals whose jobs require a lot of walking on hard surfaces or those who have flattening of the arches. Sometimes known as “the flip-flop disease,” some individuals put themselves at risk for developing Plantar Fasciitis by wearing shoes such as rubber sandals and flip-flips without sufficient arch support. “I was treated in an ESWT study six years ago and it resolved my two and a half year old tennis elbow issue” says Grimes. “All conservative treatments including cortisone injections had failed to that point. We loved the treatment so much that Synergy eventually bought the technology for our treatment center on Quadra Street.” Grimes was his own first patient when he received the new technology in Victoria. “I used Shockwave Therapy to work on a painful Plantar Fasciitis problem I’d endured for 2 years. Six weeks later I was pain free and now I am hiking and running again” ESWT uses short, intense energy waves that travel faster than the speed of sound to actually regenerate tissue, encourage re-growth of tendons and bone, increase blood vessels and stimulate specific cell growth. In addition to stimulating the healing process, Shockwave Therapy has a direct effect on nerves and diminishes pain. “Synergy has had Shockwave for just over two years now” says Grimes “and the results we are seeing are consistent with all the research.” Professional athletes in the NBA, PGA, MLB and more have been using Shockwave Therapy for more than 10 years. Victoria’s Rich Harden, major league baseball pitcher, has said, “Our clubhouse uses shockwave therapy regularly to help us heal faster from nagging tendon and bone injuries. It definitely works and gets me back on the field sooner.” Synergy Health Center offers consultations to anyone suffering Plantar Fasciitis or other painful joint and tendon injuries and wants to determine if Shockwave can help them. “A lot of people mistakenly believe they have to live with the pain, or that if they rest it will get better and that’s just not always true,” says Grimes. “Most of us can’t interrupt our lives to stay completely off our feet for very long.”

Visit cedriccentre.com or call 250-383-0797.

ESWT - focused shock wave therapy RSWT - radial shock wave therapy

#106-3960 Quadra St 250-727-3737 FAX 250-727-3732 www.synergyhealthmanagement.com

• Chiropractic

• Shockwave Therapy

• Physiotherapy

• Naturopathy

• Massage Therapy

• Acupuncture

• Active Release Technique

• Athletic Conditioning

• Custom Made Orthotics

• Exercise Rehabilitation

• Family Doctors

• Nutrition

www.synergyhealthmanagement.com

#106 - 3960 Quadra St. 250-727-3737 BODY, MIND, SPIRIT MAY 2009 15


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