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Washington, D.C. Edition

Natural Living Directory 2018

January 2018



Washington, D.C.

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January 2018


letterfrompublisher Happy New Year, It seems unbelievable that we are ready to embark on a new year—full of new adventures and the potential of great change. Despite the overwhelming evidence that new year’s resolutions are most likely abandoned by February, I believe it is a good time for us to assess changes that would make us healthier, happier, more fulfilled in our work and in our relationships.     For those in the greater Washington, D.C. area, the lure of goals and benchmarks are a key to vocational survival. We show our worth but proving how “good” we are at what we do. We are busy, busy people and show how indispensable we are, on a daily basis. Yet, what affect does that busy-ness have on our health. I remember a time in college when I had something like the flu. I went to the university health center, looking for the magic pill that would make me feel better and enable me to get back to my coursework and all my extra-curricular activities. My very wise doctor sat me down and told me that I would not get better unless I slowed down and figured out a way to be less stressed. At that moment, I scoffed and told my friends, “This doctor doesn’t know me. He doesn’t understand the type of pressure that I am under to get everything done.” Looking back, I know that he not only understood my personality but, also had an understanding that the rising tide of illnesses among busy people was stress-related. Furthermore, he knew that no “magic pill” was going to make me well. Now, I won’t tell you what year that was (because it has been decades) but since then, the research on stress and its impact on an individual’s health has come full circle. Our great-grandparents knew that sleeping a full night, working a regular day, tending solid relationships, nurturing one’s soul, remaining active and eating a diet rich in grains, fruits and vegetables was the path to a long and happy life. Nowhere in that equation was working until you dropped over from exhaustion. Now here we are again, in 2018, unwrapping the mystery of a healthy life as one that incorporates those elements, and keeping free from stress. Our feature this month highlights the staggering toll stress takes on our bodies and provides us with ways that we can dial-down stress, without any magic pill. Also in this issue, you will find our annual Natural Living Directory, with a robust resource guide and spotlights on a number of amazing local practitioners, teachers and businesses that are available to help you and your family find a better way of living in 2018. We are blessed to live in a region of the country where whip-smart people come to live and share their wisdom with the rest of us. I feel blessed to be able to share their stories and their gifts with you. I encourage you to keep this directory edition all year long and refer to it often. Mark Twain once wrote “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born…and the day you find out why.” Rather than resolving to lose five pounds or learn to speak Italian, perhaps this is the year to turn inward. My hope for each of you is to make the space in January to ask new questions that support your health and then abide in the answers. I hope that these answers will lead you to a life that is balanced, and at the same time, fulfilling and laced with gratitude for your many blessings. To health in the year ahead! Peace,



EDITOR IN CHEIF Robin Fillmore

CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Randy Kambic Jessica Bradshaw DESIGN & PRODUCTION Irene Sankey


CONTACT US Natural Awakenings of Washington, D.C. Phone: 202-505-4835 4938 Hampden Lane, #214 Bethesda, MD 20814 SUBSCRIPTIONS Subscribe online to receive FREE monthly digital magazine at

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Robin Fillmore, Publisher 4

Washington, D.C.

Natural Awakenings is your guide to a healthier, more balanced life. In each issue readers find cutting-edge information on natural health, nutrition, fitness, personal growth, green living, creative expression and the products and services that support a healthy lifestyle.

Contents 16 DIAL DOWN STRESS How to Stay Calm and Cool




How They Differ from Health Store Supplements


Could Stress be the Reason You Can’t Lose it?




For Natural Stress Relief

25 HAROLD KOENIG on Why Science Finds Faith a Healthy Choice



HOW TO ADVERTISE To advertise with Natural Awakenings or request a media kit, please contact us at 202-505-4835 or email Deadline for ads: the 15th of the month. EDITORIAL SUBMISSIONS Email articles, news items and ideas to: Deadline for editorial, news briefs and health briefs are due by the 10th. CALENDAR SUBMISSIONS Submit Calendar Events online: within the advertising section. Deadline for calendar: the 10th of the month REGIONAL MARKETS Advertise your products or services in multiple markets! Natural Awakenings Publishing Corp. is a growing franchised family of locally owned magazines serving communities since 1994. To place your ad in other markets call 239-434-9392. For franchising opportunities call 239-530-1377 or visit

28 10,000 STEPS AND COUNTING Keep Moving to Stay Fit

31 LEAKY GUT How It Impacts Your Overall Health


WEIGHT KIDS Food Choices that Prevent Obesity

DEPARTMENTS 6 news briefs 8 health briefs 12 global briefs 20 healing ways 22 conscious eating 23 leading edge 25 wise words 26 first person 30 community spotlight

8 31 natural health 34 green

spotlight 35 mini-spotlights 40 calendar 43 natural living directory January 2018


news briefs

Illuminate Columbia Mind-Body-Spirit Festival


f you’ve ever wondered about trying reiki, acupuncture, massage, healing crystals, intuitive readings, astrology, essential oils or tarot (and more), the Illuminate Columbia Mind-Body-Spirit Festival from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on January 20 is a great place to start. The participating practitioners will conduct mini-sessions on a walk-up basis. Vetted intuitive readers, angel communicators, psychic mediums and astrologers will offer their services at special festival rates. There will be free intensive workshops every hour on a wide range of topics, from the power of crystals to accessing past lives. Or just shop your way down the feng-shui-inspired aisles for handmade jewelry, unique holiday gifts and clothing, luxurious spa products and fascinating books.  It’s a wonder-filled day of natural health and spiritual rebalancing. Illuminate Festivals seek to create a welcoming, inclusive place to learn, connect and enhance well-being. Festival founder Judy Bazis encourages attendees to “just look around, see what you are naturally drawn to, and give it a try.”  There is always plenty to discover, for everyone from the newly curious to the avid practitioner.  Cost: $4 online tickets in advance/$6 admission at the door, with free admission for active and veteran military, children 16-and-under. Location: 8975 Guilford Rd., Ste. 170, Columbia, MD.  For more information, visit

Conquer Doggy Breath Without Anesthesia


aintaining a healthy mouth is essential to your pet’s wellness and is a quality of life issue—for both pet and owner. Pets stay healthier with periodic dental cleaning and even a daily home brushing does not remove everything. Many vets agree that most cats and dogs over the age of three have some degree of periodontal disease. Houndstooth dental hygienists have more than 25 years of experience of cleaning the teeth of companion dogs and pets, and have cleaned more than half a million mouths, without anesthesia. They are offering a local dental clinic at Holistic Veterinary Healing, in Germantown. Appointments, required for the 15-to-20-minute procedure, are available January 13 and 14 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; January 15 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and April 13 through 15 and 22 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. In severe cases or if the pet requires extractions, the pet is referred to a veterinary dental specialist, so that those procedures can be done under anesthesia. Locally, Holistic Veterinary Healing is one of very few clinics that offers this service for your pets. The price range is from $210 to $250. Location: 12627 Wisteria Dr., Ste. C & D, Germantown, MD. For more information, visit or HolisticVeterinary To schedule an appointment, call 240-715-6570. See ad, page 21. 6

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Movie Night Returns to Neck, Back & Beyond


onthly movies have returned to Neck, Back & Beyond, staring in January. Now that they are in their new location in Fairfax, these monthly offerings showcase some of the best health-related documentaries currently available. The next movie, That Sugar Film, will be shown at 7 p.m. on January 25. That Sugar Film started as one man’s journey to discover the bitter truth about sugar. Damon Gameau, in his first film, embarked on a unique experiment to document the effects of a high-sugar diet on a healthy body—consuming only foods that are commonly perceived, or promoted to be “healthy’” The premise of the film rests on his decision, three years before, to eliminate refined sugar from his diet. With a “clean slate” he was able to test what would happen if he returned to the sweet stuff. In short, Gameau experienced liver disease, an increase of 10 centimeters of visceral fat around his waist, mood swings and (according to doctors) early signs of what could lead to coronary problems. Join the team at Neck, Back & Beyond to take a deep look at this film’s message and learn what the science behind self-defined “healthy snacks” may have missed. NonGMO snacks will be offered and there will be professionals on hand for discussion and to answer questions. Cost: $5 donation is appreciated. Location: 10195 Main St., Ste D, Fairfax. For more information or to reserve your spot, call 703-865-5690, email NeckBackAndBeyond@ or visit NeckBackAndBeyond. com. See ad, page 14.

Nonagenarian Rockville Author Inspires Others


ockville resident Frances Chavarria wrote an environmental awareness book, Let Us Dream of Turtles, to encourage people to protect the planet. She is now learning that her own personal story of publishing her first book at age 90 is inspiring others to follow their dreams as well.     Through this love story of two people from very different cultures, Chavarria takes the reader on an engrossing journey of the contrasting lives of a rich, Manhattan socialFrances Chavarria ite and a humble Costa Rican environmental attorney. Filled with suspense and intrigue, the author captivates readers as she weaves a story of the struggle between a greedy developer and a community trying to protect its vital resources and culture. At a recent book signing of her book, Chavarria met 72-year-old minister Rev. Gloria Lyles, a Silver Spring resident, who said that she had been procrastinating about completing her doctorate because of one difficult course. After reading in a local newspaper that Chavarria had published her book at age 90, after originally becoming discouraged and letting the manuscript sit on the shelf for several years, Lyles said she was encouraged to finally enroll in the course that will allow her to get her Ph.D. “I said that if this woman could publish her book at that age, then I could complete the course. She really inspired me.”

james jackson,

To learn more about Chavarria and her book, visit

New Year’s Eve Intention Setting and Yoga


he end of the year is always a very sweet time of the year for many. While the holidays can drum up their own levels of stress, sitting back to reflect on what actually took place this year is a deeply humbling and powerful experience. Consider doing something different to launch 2018 with a New Year’s Eve intention setting and yoga practice, led by Nya. Now in its fourth year, Nya facilitates reflections through chakra meditation, journaling, intention setting, and a yoga practice to seal what one hopes to manifest in the new year. It is an invigorating way to end the current year and start anew. This event is held from 6 to 8:30 p.m. on December 31, at Union Market. Nya offers, “There is a quote that I have returned to over the years because it helps shape the depth of my refection. It is by Zora Neale-Hurson and it reads, ‘there are years that ask questions and years that answer.’ When I reflect, I ask myself, what type of year was this year?” A very simple way to reflect on the year is by making a list of the top five things that happened to you. An example from Nya’s own list is “I got confirmed into the Episcopal Church this year.” She notes that once you have begun your list, it is helpful step away from it for a day or two and you will be surprised at how much more you recall from the year that is passing. As your list grows, you are taken through a valley of memories that help define whether your year asked questions or answered them. Cost: $45. Location: Dock 5 at Union Market, 1305 5th St. NE, Washington, D.C. Reserve your spot at and bring a friend. See listing, page 47.

Laughter Yoga Continues in Arlington


ecently, it was overheard, “Joy, peace, relaxed, tons of fun, amazing, it moved me out of my comfort zone, gratitude and less physical pain.” These are some of the comments from the people who attended a recent laughter yoga class. People of all ages laugh once a month from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Arlington Central Library auditorium. The next session will be held January 8. Dr. Madan Kataria, the creator of Laughter Yoga, says laughter yoga is “laughing for no reason.” The body doesn’t know the difference between spontaneous laughter and intentional laughter. We get the same physiological benefits. Research shows that laughter yoga lowers cortisol levels, increases oxytocin and endorphins, and reduces stress. According to Diane Cohen, a certified Laughter Yoga leader and facilitator/ executive certified holistic and mentor coach, the definition of the practice is yoga through the lens of laughter, joy, fun and playfulness. It focuses on the second prong—pranayama breathing— of the yoga triad of asanas, yogic breathing and meditation. There are no poses, no mats and no athletic clothes needed. Each class includes laughter exercises such as greetings, gibberish, giggling at what’s stressful, a pretend snowball fight and laughing at ourselves. Whether you’re feeling grumpy or upbeat, just stop by. They would love to laugh with you—and you might love it, too. Future dates for these free, “just show up” sessions are listed in Natural Awakenings’ calendar; on the Arlington Central Library’s website at ArlingtonVA.libcal. com/event/22953360; or at Facebook. com/ArlingtonLaughterYoga/. For more information, email ArlingtonLaughter January 2018


health briefs

Researchers at the Imperial College London say that five servings of fruits and vegetables is a good start, but more is better. After conducting a worldwide meta-analysis of 2 million people that compared early mortality rates from cardiovascular disease and cancer, they recommend eating at least 10 three-ounce vegetable and fruit servings per day, which could prevent up to 7.8 million premature deaths each year.

AEROBICS KEEP THE BRAIN YOUNG Simple movement turns out to be the best way to lift mood, improve memory and protect the brain against age-related cognitive decline, according to Harvard Medical School researchers in an article, “Aerobic Exercise is the Key for Your Head, Just as It is for Your Heart.” Even brisk walking or jogging for 45 minutes can alleviate depression. The Journal of Physical Therapy Science notes that aerobic workouts can help people feel less stressed by reducing levels of the body’s natural stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol. 8

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Daily Produce Servings Prevent Early Death


Healthy diet options of spinach and kale may also help keep our brains fit. In a study from the University of Illinois appearing in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 60 adults between 25 and 45 years old having higher levels of lutein, a nutrient found in green, leafy vegetables, avocados and eggs, had neural responses more on par with younger people than others of their own age. Lutein is a nutrient that the body can’t make on its own, so it must be acquired through diet. It accumulates in brain tissues and the eyes, which allows researchers to measure levels without using invasive techniques.

Natali Zakharova/

Lutein in Greens and Eggs Slows Cognitive Aging

Hemp Oil Cuts Seizure Frequency in Half

Stephen VanHorn/


Research from the New York University Langone Comprehensive Epilepsy Center has found that cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive extract of hemp oil, significantly reduces seizure rates in epileptics. Scientists there tested 120 children and young adults with epilepsy and found that the cannabidiol group’s number of seizures per month decreased from 12.4 to 5.9 compared to a statistically insignificant change in the placebo group.

RED WINE LESS TOXIC THAN WHITE Alcohol has been linked with cancer in about 3.6 percent of cases worldwide, due to the presence of acetaldehyde, which damages DNA and prevents it from repairing itself. A study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention that involved 200,000 people found a distinct connection between white wine in particular and melanoma, the deadliest type of skin cancer. Sun exposure is a well-known cancer risk, but this and other studies have found that subjects often develop melanoma primarily on the trunks of their bodies, which are usually covered by clothing, and it is almost always curable if the cancer is caught early.



Eating fish at least twice a week may significantly reduce the pain and swelling associated with rheumatoid arthritis,in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the joints, creating swelling and pain. Studies have already shown the beneficial effect of fish oil supplements on rheumatoid arthritis symptoms, but a new study of 176 participants at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, in Boston, found that increasing the amount of fish containing omega-3 they ate weekly as a whole food lowered their disease activity. The Arthritis Foundation estimates that about 1.5 million people in the U.S. have the disease; women far more often than men.

Coming Next Month

Meditation Styles plus: Living Courageously February articles include: Finding Your Perfect Meditation Style Heart Healthy Foods Pathways Toward Personal Resilience

To advertise or participate in our next issue, call 202-505-4835 January 2018


Inner Journey

Generosity Cheers Mind, Body and Spirit

by John Mays

A Swiss study gave volunteers $25 a week for four weeks, and told half of them to spend the money on themselves and the others to spend it to benefit others. Subsequent brain scans revealed a link between the altruistic acts and feelings of contentment, activating neurons in the ventral striatum associated with happiness. Even the intention alone to be more generous was enough to create these changes, and the amount spent did not influence the increase in levels of wellbeing. The discovery sheds fresh light on why many people feel gratified when giving, even when it costs them something.

The Surprising Benefits of Papaya by Laina Poulakos Papaya is a wonderful support for good digestion health. This delicious fruit is rich in many valuable proteolytic enzymes, such as papain, chymopapain and caricain which can help human bodies digest and process meat. This is useful because digesting meat proteins can be taxing on the pancreas and digestive system. This process can also cause unpleasant symptoms such as flatulence, due to unprocessed meat and protein in the gut. Other health issues that can arise from the undigested food in the colon are constipation, leaky gut and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The papain found in papaya has been found to be the strongest and most effective at breaking down meats and other proteins. When adding either papaya or the herbal enzymes to the diet, this can ensure the proper digestion of proteins and the amino acid for your body—enabling it to repair and then absorb them properly.   January is a great time to enjoy a papaya and start the year off with a new tool to overcome digestive concerns. Laina Poulakos is the founder of Mother’s Nature Store and a certified aromatherapist and herbologist. For a consultation and products, call 703-851-0087 or visit See ad, page 47.

The truth is that there is no actual stress or anxiety in the world; it’s your thoughts that create these false beliefs. You can’t package stress, touch it or see it. There are only people engaged in stressful thinking. ~Wayne Dyer 10

Washington, D.C.

Midlife can be a wonderful or stressful time in the life cycle of an adult. Many adults begin to question their purpose and direction in life. Many become more self-aware and restless as they struggle with concepts such as aging, their mortality and a renewed sense of purpose in life. Midlife is actually just a transitional stage of development, much like childhood to teenager and then from teenager to adult. Midlife is the central period of a person’s life, spanning approximately ages 40 to 65, where we get to re-evaluate and reassess who we want to be in the second half of our earthly existence. During this period, adults may take on new job responsibilities after raising children and therefore, often feel a need to reassess their personal, spiritual and professional standing. With introspection and the right support, they can make changes “while they feel they still have time.” While most people do not experience a severe crisis during their middle years of life, some individuals do develop mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety due to old belief systems that they no longer want to carry into the next stage of their lives. A combination of spiritual awareness, holistic health and fitness, and behavioral modification can help adults successfully transition into middle age and make the second half of life the most rewarding. Like a fine wine, we actually get better with time! John Mays is, owner of Fitness Together Chantilly and Midlife Refocus. For more information, visit FitnessTogether. com/Chantilly or See ad, page 29.


health briefs

Widi Design/

Mercury/Autism Brain Research Alert As the debate rages between health officials and vaccine critics about possible links to autism, mercury seems to be a specific bone of contention. It has long been present in the form of thimerisol, a preservative that inhibits bacterial contamination. Under government pressure, amounts have been reduced by the pharmaceutical industry to trace levels or eliminated, except in commonly recommended flu vaccines, some of which contain the food emulsifier polysorbate 80, which disrupts the blood-brain barrier and helps create an extremely effective delivery system for escorting neurotoxic ethylmercury and other heavy metals straight to the brain. The U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences reports that ethylmercury, in particular, gets metabolized into even more toxic inorganic mercury and remains in the brain for years.

Sugar Linked to Depression zhuk _ ladybug/

The journal Scientific Reports recently published a study that confirmed a link between a diet high in sugar and common mental disorders. In 2002, researchers from Baylor College found that higher rates of refined sugar consumption were associated with higher rates of depression. A 2015 study that included nearly 70,000 women found a higher likelihood of depression in those with high added sugar intake, but not in those with a high intake of naturally occurring sugars such as those found in fruit. The World Health Organization recommends that people reduce their daily intake of added sugars to less than 5 percent of their total energy intake; Americans typically consume three times that much. Meanwhile, one in six people worldwide suffers from a common mental problem such as a mood or anxiety disorder. January 2018


Urban Trees

City Greenery Boosts Public Health

Urban trees help reduce obesity and depression, improve productivity, boost educational outcomes and reduce incidences of asthma and heart disease for residents, yet according to The Nature Conservancy, American cities spend less than a third of 1 percent of municipal budgets on tree planting and maintenance. As a result, U.S. cities are losing 4 million trees per year. Each summer, thousands of unnecessary deaths result from heat waves in urban areas. Studies have shown that trees are a cost-effective solution. Too often, the presence or absence of urban nature and its associated benefits is tied to a neighborhood’s income level, resulting in dramatic health inequities. In some American cities, life expectancies in different neighborhoods located just a few miles apart can differ by as much as a decade. Not all of this health disparity is connected to the tree cover, but researchers are increasingly finding that neighborhoods with fewer trees have worse health outcomes, so inequality in access to urban nature can lead to worse health inequities.

Cigarette Cutback Higher Prices Lower Use

Research from the Medical University of Vienna found in a 30-year study that increasing prices for tobacco products by 5 percent reduced tobacco use by 3.5 percent.



global briefs

Veggie Doctors

Cardiologists Urge Plant-Based Hospital Meals

The American College of Cardiology (ACC) is advising hospitals in improving patient menus by adding healthy, plant-based options and removing processed meats, which have been linked to 60,000 cardiovascular deaths annually. The ACC Heart-Healthy Food Recommendations for Hospitals states, “At least one plant-based main dish should be offered and promoted at every meal.” ACC also urges that processed meats such as bacon, sausage, ham, hot dogs and deli meats should not be offered at all. These guidelines extend to hospital cafeterias and onsite restaurants. The American Medical Association has also passed a resolution that calls on hospitals to provide similarly healthy meals. Processed meats are now considered carcinogenic to humans, according to the World Health Organization. A 50-gram serving a day—one hot dog or two strips of bacon—increases colorectal cancer risk by 18 percent. “Too many heart disease patients have had their recovery undermined by bacon and hot dogs on their hospital trays,” says Dr. Neal Barnard, president of the nonprofit Physicians Committee. 12

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To read the white paper, visit

Meatless Millennials

Tim UR/

Peter Bernik/

Young Vegetarians Worry Meat Industry

The 2017 Chicken Marketing Summit in North Carolina involved hundreds of leaders from fast-food chains, marketing agencies and poultry production companies discussing the fact that Americans are eating less poultry—and what to do about it. Richard Kottmeyer, a senior managing partner at Fork to Farm Advisory Services, explained that Millennials need to be “inspired and coached” to consume more animal products, according to an article published on, an industry website. “Compared to their parents, Millennials are more likely to believe in evolution and accept that climate change is occurring. They seek out facts and science to better understand a complex world, but the poultry industry doesn’t have any fact-based information to defend its cruel, unsanitary practices,” states animal rights advocate Nathan Runkle via The majority of chickens raised for meat have been bred to grow so large so quickly that they collapse under their own unnatural weight. North Carolina has enacted an “ag-gag” bill, making it illegal to photograph or videotape animal abuse.

Eco Pesticide

Safer Product Controls Citrus Pests

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and California Department of Pest Regulation have approved CRS Plus, an aerosol pheromone biopesticide product that disrupts the mating cycle of Aonidiella aurantii, also known as California Red Scale (CRS). Pheromones do not kill or damage the target insects, and are species-specific, so pollinators and other beneficial insect species are not affected. CRS attacks all aerial parts of citrus trees, including twigs, leaves, branches and fruit. Heavy infestations can cause reduced fruit quality, yellowing and dropping of leaves, dieback of twigs and limbs and even death of the tree.

Friends are the siblings God never gave us. ~Mencius

January 2018


Crackdown Needed

Glyphosate Found in Breakfast Foods

Of 24 breakfast food samples tested by the Alliance for Natural Health USA, 10 showed the presence of glyphosate. Executive and Legal Director Gretchen DuBeau states, “We expected that trace amounts would show up in foods containing large amounts of corn and soy. However, we were unprepared for just how invasive this poison has been to our entire food chain.” In the study, the chemical, now revealed to be a probable carcinogen by the World Health Organization, was found in oatmeal, bagels, eggs, potatoes and non-GMO soy coffee creamer. The presence of glyphosate in dairy products may be due to bioaccumulation in the tissue of animals. DuBeau adds, “Glyphosate has been linked to increases in levels of breast, thyroid, kidney, pancreatic, liver and bladder cancers, and is being served for breakfast, lunch and dinner worldwide. The fact that it is showing up in foods like eggs and coffee creamers, which don’t directly contact the herbicide, proves that it’s being passed on by animals that ingest it in their feed. This is contrary to everything that regulators and industry scientists have been telling the public.”


global briefs

Plumbing Progress

Australia’s Centre for Advanced Design in Engineering Training at Deakin University is practicing an affordable way to increase the availability of potable (drinkable) water in needy areas of the world. The project involves collecting plastic garbage from around the Pacific Islands and turning it into pellets, which are then extruded as 3-D printer filament to make replacement plumbing parts, often in short supply in those locations. That effort is called 3D WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene), and the children’s charity Plan International Australia will be the first recipient (


Recycled Plastics Put to Good Use

Corporate Programs Boost Health and Bottom Line

Corporate wellness programs are linked to a 25 percent reduction in absenteeism and sick leave, 25 percent reduction in health costs and 32 percent reduction in workers compensation and disability costs, according to a 2016 meta-analysis of corporate wellness studies by Edelman Intelligence. For details, visit 14

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Wellness Works

Recycling Crusade

Jakub Krechowicz/

San Francisco Moves Toward Zero Waste

The San Francisco Department of the Environment’s list of materials allowed in blue recycling bins has been expanded to include plastic bags, paper coffee cups, ice cream containers, milk or juice cartons and textiles; it is also downsizing refuse bins. It’s all part of a shift to using dualcompartment trucks to collect refuse from black bins and organic waste from green bins, with a dedicated truck for recyclables. A national leader in recycling, the city is one of the first to attempt a zero-waste target year of 2020. California has a goal of 75 percent recycling by 2020, having achieved a 44 percent rate in 2016. Los Angeles is making progress with a new commercial waste recycling system. Washington, D.C., has also expanded its list of accepted materials for recycling bins, but still doesn’t include plastic bags. With recent improvements to automated and optical sorting technology, some companies are becoming more accommodating about what they will accept.

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DIAL DOWN STRESS How to Stay Calm and Cool by Lisa Marshall


hether from natural disasters, divisive politics, unmanageable workloads or a smartphone culture that makes it tough to unplug, U.S. adults are feeling more strain now than they have at any other time in the past decade, according to the American Psychological Association’s 2017 Stress in America Survey. One in three say their stress has increased in the past year and one in five rate the level at eight or more on a scale of one to 10. About three in five, or 59 percent, say they believe this is “the lowest point in the nation’s history” and nearly two-thirds say concerns about our nation’s future (including its health care, economy and international relations) are key sources of their stress. “We’re seeing significant stress transcending party lines,” notes Arthur C. Evans Jr., Ph.D., the association’s CEO. All that stress is having a powerful impact on health, with as many as 80 percent of visits to primary care physicians characterized as stress-related, according to the American Medical Association. 16

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Adopting the right attitude can convert a negative stress into a positive one. ~Hans Selye Workplace stress accounts for 120,000 deaths a year—more than influenza, diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease combined—according to a 2015 Stanford University study. Yet, empowering news has emerged amid this epidemic of anxiety-related illness. Research shows that by eating right, exercising and changing our mindset about stress itself, we can buffer our bodies from many health hazards. “Unfortunately, you can’t always avoid the things that stress you out. But you can control how you respond to stress before it takes over your life,” says Melanie Greenberg, Ph.D., a Mill Valley, California, psychologist and author of the recent book The Stress-Proof Brain: Master Your Emotional Response to Stress Using Mindfulness and Neuroplasticity.

Our Brain on Stress

Whether it’s an urgent email from the boss or a rude motorist driving unsafely, tense situations elicit a physiological response remarkably similar to what might occur if we were chased by a lion. Deep inside an almond-shaped region of the brain called the amygdala, an alarm goes off, signaling the release of hormones like adrenaline and cortisol that boost heart rate, usher extra blood to muscles, hasten breathing and spike blood sugar to provide more fuel for the brain to react. Evolutionarily, this response was key to early human survival, providing the energy boost needed to flee predators. Even today, it has its upside, says Greenberg. “In the short term, stress can be exciting and even beneficial, revving you up so you can put your passion and energy into something.” But chronic excess can lead to high blood pressure and blood sugar, inflammation, cognitive problems and a hair-trigger response to stress, in which our body overreacts even to mild annoyances. It can also, research suggests, accelerate aging by

eroding the protective caps on our chromosomes, called telomeres. “Think of the stress response as an elastic band,” says Dr. Mithu Storoni, a Hong Kong physician and author of the new book Stress Proof: The Scientific Solution to Protect Your Brain and Body — and Be More Resilient Every Day. “If you pull it and it snaps back immediately, that’s fine. But if you pull it too intensely or too frequently, it doesn’t snap back, and there are lots of downstream consequences.”

Stress-Proofing Our Body

Eating right can better protect our bodies, says New York City Registered Dietitian Malina Malkani. She recommends loading up on nutrient-dense, high-fiber foods like leafy greens, beans and lentils, nuts and seeds during stressful times, because they can slow our rate of digestion and minimize unhealthy dips and spikes in blood sugar. Beneficial, bacteria-rich foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut and kimchi are other foundational foods for stressresilience, says Storoni, because they can dampen bodily inflammation that arises from chronic tension. They can also replenish bacterial strains like lactobacillus and bifidobacteria which, according to studies of college students, tend to decrease when we feel pushed beyond our limits to handle what’s coming at us. One 2016 study of 171 volunteers, published in the Journal of Complementary and Alternative Medicine, found that those that ate yogurt containing lactobacillus plantarum daily for two months had fewer markers of stress in their blood. Another study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2007 found that when 132 adults drank a probiotic-infused milk drink daily for three weeks and were then subjected to an anxiety-prone situation, their brains reacted more calmly than those of a control group. “Probably the most important thing you can do to make your body stressresilient is to maintain a healthy ecosystem of bacteria in your gut,” advises Malkani, who recommends exchanging dessert for low-sugar yogurt every day and taking probiotic supplements as well as steering clear of sweetened beverages and refined

Seven Ways to Banish Stress by Lisa Marshall


e can take charge and do even more things to keep stress at bay in the first place, says Christine Carter, Ph.D., a University of California, Berkeley, sociologist and author of The Sweet Spot: How to Accomplish More by Doing Less. “I’m all about prevention,” she says. “There are many ways to set up your life to be less stressful.”


Multitask less, monotask more:

“The brain was not evolved to multitask and it can be stressful when we try to do so,” says Carter, referencing a Stanford University study. “At the end of the day, we end up feeling fried.” She recommends setting up a “fortress against interruption” for an hour or two each day when we feel most alert. Put the phone on mute, don noisecanceling headphones and ask coworkers or family members to not interrupt your focus on an important priority.


Don’t be a chronic media checker: Eighty-six percent of

Americans say they constantly or often check their email, texts or social media accounts, according to the latest Stress in America Survey. Half of U.S. workers say they respond to every email within a half-hour. Carter recommends instead scheduling a block of time at the beginning and end of each day for the task. During weekends and evenings, disable email and social media notifications. Research shows the more often we check, the more stressed we are. One recent study of British office workers found that checking email almost immediately boosts heart rate, blood pressure and cortisol levels, while refraining causes the stress response to subside.


Limit choices: Making decisions can

be stressful, and we are all faced with an increasing number of them every day. To limit a personal decision-making load, get boring. Devise a meal plan that doesn’t vary from week to week (unless it’s a happy creative outlet). Stock the wardrobe with favorite styles of shirts and shoes in different

colors. Select and stick with one brand of natural toothpaste or granola.


Don’t overthink things: Ruminating on past events and relationship problems can be a great source of stress in the present moment. If there’s nothing that can be done about it, stop thinking about it. Literally visualize a stop sign when the thought bubbles up.


Daydream: Idle times, like standing

in line, sitting in traffic or showering can allow our brain to rest and recover from hassles. Embrace such opportunities and don’t clutter them up with technology; leave the phone and radio off.


Meditate: Invest 10 minutes daily to

sit still, focus on breathing, visualize an image or stare at an object and try to keep thoughts from drifting. Brain imaging studies published in the Brain Research Bulletin show that “Through [such] meditation, it’s possible to rewire your brain to create a new, stronger circuit that keeps your emotional reactivity under control,” says Dr. Mithu Storoni, who has published a book on the topic.


Heighten spirituality: Whether it’s regularly attending religious services, yoga meditation sessions or quiet walks in the woods, a spiritual practice can be a powerfully effective means of coping with stress and mitigating its health impacts. Duke University research shows that people regularly engaged in a spiritual practice are more likely to survive heart surgery, recover better from stroke, have shorter hospital stays and become depressed and stressed less often. “Spirituality connects you to the broader world, which in turn enables you to stop trying to control things all by yourself,” explains Dr. Roberta Lee, an integrative physician, in her book The SuperStress Solution. “When you feel part of a greater whole, it’s easy to understand that you aren’t responsible for everything that happens in life.” January 2018


Stress-Proofing Our Mindset

While diet and exercise can buffer our body from the impacts of chronic stress, a shift in mindset can keep it from becoming chronic in the first place, says Greenberg.“The goal is not to eliminate stress, but to put it in its place—to use its energizing and motivating aspects to take care of what needs to be done, and then relax,” and stop paying attention to it. This, she says, requires being mindful of 18

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help to make a list of the things we have control over and a list of the things we can’t control—then make a plan to act on the manageable one and let the others go. “Mindfulness is also about keeping our self-judging and ruminating mind at bay, which may keep repeating, ‘I’m not doing enough,’” she says. “Realize that you do not have to listen to every thought that comes into your head. Ask yourself, ‘What is the most important thing for me to focus on right now?’” Greenberg also says it’s important to aim to broaden and brighten our view in tough times, explaining, “Feeling stress biases your brain to think in terms of avoiding threat and loss, rather than what you can gain or learn from the situation.” Start by jotting down three ways this challenging situation may be beneficial in the long run; also make a list of things and people we are grateful for, she suggests. “Practicing gratitude helps you realize that you have a choice about what to focus your attention on and you don’t have to let stressors take all the joy out of life,” according to Greenberg. As an added bonus, “You’re less likely to take your stress out on loved ones when you think about what they mean to you and how they have helped you,” she says.


carbohydrates. The spice turmeric is also a good stress-buster due to its anti-inflammatory properties and ability to help normalize blood sugar, Storoni notes. Despite our natural craving for comfort food, it’s a good idea to go easy on saturated fats in the immediate aftermath of a traumatic situation, because stress slows fat metabolism. In one recent study, Ohio State University researchers asked 58 women about their previous day’s stressors, and then fed them the fat-loaded equivalent of a double cheeseburger and fries; the stressedout women burned 104 fewer calories. “If a woman had a stressful day at work every day and ate a meal like this, she could easily gain seven to 11 pounds in a year,” says study author Jan Kiecolt-Glaser, a professor of psychiatry and psychology and director of the university’s Institute for Behavioral Medicine. Exercise, too, can help combat stress-related illness. But Storoni attests that not all exercise is created equal. One recent study in the Journal of Physiology found that in animals daily moderate exercise (the equivalent of a light jog) can boost levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a critical brain protein diminished by stress and sleep deprivation, significantly more than weight training or intense exercise. On the flip side, excess strenuous exercise (laps around the track or an intense gym workout) can boost inflammation, whither brain cells, and aggravate the physical impacts of stress, says Storoni. “If you want to exercise to relieve the stress you just experienced, keep it at low intensity,” counsels Storoni. If possible, work out in the morning, as it can boost melatonin levels at night, helping you get to sleep faster, she notes.

People with a stress-hardy mindset may temper stress as an “excite-and-delight” challenge in adventurous situations. Others “tendand-befriend”, reaching out to help and comfort in times of tragedy. Studies show that when participants are told, “You’re the kind of person whose performance improves under pressure,” it does—by as much as one-third. ~Harvard Medical School Healthbeat what’s happening in the present moment. “When you feel your heart racing at the sight of another urgent demand at home or work, stop what you are doing, take a deep breath and tune into what’s happening in your body,” advises Greenberg. She notes that when the highly reactive amygdala “hijacks the brain”, we often say and do things in the heat of the moment that we later regret. Waiting just a moment (like counting to 10) allows the more rational part of our brain (the prefrontal cortex) to kick in. “It allows you to go from panic to, ‘I’ve got this.’” Greenberg observes that we often feel most stressed when we feel out of control. When faced with a daunting task, it may

Lisa Marshall is a freelance health writer in Boulder, CO. Connect at

Be happy for

this moment. This moment is your life. ~Omar Khayyam

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㈀㔀㠀 䴀愀瀀氀攀 䄀瘀攀 䔀⸀

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㄀㈀㈀㐀㈀ 刀漀挀欀瘀椀氀氀攀 倀椀欀攀

刀漀挀欀瘀椀氀氀攀Ⰰ 䴀䐀 ⠀㌀ ㄀⤀ 㜀㜀 ⴀ㜀 㐀 

It’s kind of fun

to do the impossible. ~Walt Disney

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healing ways


How They Differ from Health Store Supplements by Linda Sechrist

Savvy consumers seeking products that might help them achieve and maintain good health may be noticing two new categories: medical food and nutraceuticals.


edicalized terminology is now being used to describe certain products we may already have been buying from brand-name dietary supplement companies and retailers, and they have a higher price tag. One common example: powdered protein mealreplacement shakes that can cost up to $16 more than a retail store brand, as nutraceutical and medical food purveyors want to differentiate their products as having clinical research and development behind them. This raises the bar on the quality of contents and assures consumers of third-party testing for proof of ingredients. Although both are regulated under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) of 1994, there is no legal distinction between dietary supplements and nutraceuticals, yet each serves different purposes. Dietary supplements, comprising vitamins, minerals and/


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or herbs and botanicals, are intended to enhance wellness among healthy adults. Nutraceuticals encompass nutrients, foods or parts of foods used as medicine to provide health benefits beyond nutrition and combat chronic disease. Some of the most popular formulations involve botanicals like ginseng, ginkgo biloba, St. John’s wort and echinacea. “Medical foods, formulated for dietary management of a specific medical condition for which nutritional needs are unmet by a normal diet, are regulated under the Orphan Drug Act of 1983,” explains Bill Shaddle, senior director of medical education at Metagenics, Inc. “Our nutraceuticals and medical foods are supported by verifiable science that provides solid evidence regarding the therapeutic benefits produced by ingredients in our products.” The word nutraceutical, blending nutrition and pharmaceutics, was coined in 1989 by Stephen L. DeFelice, the founder and

chairman of the nonprofit Foundation for Innovation in Medicine, in Mountainside, New Jersey, which promotes clinical research and development of dietary supplements and foods specifically for their health benefits. Reputable companies that manufacture private-label nutraceuticals, such as Metagenics and Xymogen, among others, research and develop products for functional nutrition and quality. While such products are solely distributed through partnerships with healthcare professionals such as medical doctors, nutritionists and pharmacists, some of the evidence-based, professional-grade formulas are available through online physician websites. Metagenics and Xymogen collaborate with institutions such as the Cleveland Clinic, Bastyr University and National College of Natural Medicine in conducting clinical research that demonstrates how their formulas impact healthy aging, cognitive function and overall health.

Federal Regulations Medical foods and nutraceuticals, orally administered dietary products formulated to support the management of conditions such

as compromised gut function, age-related muscle loss, metabolic syndrome, Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, are subject to standard food and safety labeling requirements of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. Although they may be used under medical supervision, patients don’t need a prescription. Many healthcare practitioners, including dietitians, currently recommend them under a physician’s direction. Unlike pharmaceuticals, which are accountable to the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, patent-protected and supported by expensive testing documentation, nutraceuticals are not. However, many manufacturers do choose to undergo costly testing. Like all dietary supplements, the majority of which do not undergo third-party testing, they are regulated by DSHEA, which defines and regulates labeling and claims of benefits related to classic nutrient-deficiency diseases.

Private Quality Control

manufacturing process, to avoid contamination and validate ingredients, every batch is third-party assayed by an independent laboratory, whereas some companies only do this for every fifth or 20th lot. Xymogen’s validation extends to packaging and controlling the level of humidity because it affects how ingredients oxidize,” says Burdette. Gary Kracoff, a registered pharmacist and naturopathic doctor at Johnson Compounding & Wellness, in Waltham, Massachusetts, researches the nutraceuticals that he carries and recommends for his clients. “I like professional-grade nutraceuticals because their formulas are researched and science-based. They are excellent products for specific purposes. Individuals that take the medical foods come to appreciate their disease-modifying therapeutic results. While pricier, they include healthier sources of carbohydrates and fats, as well as natural, rather than synthetic nutrients to provide what the body needs to return to a state of balance,” says Kracoff.

Xymogen is strictly a physician’s line of nutraceuticals, explains Cheryl Burdette, a doctor of naturopathy and director of clinical research and outreach for the company. “In our

Linda Sechrist is a senior staff writer for Natural Awakenings who blogs at

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conscious eating

That StubbornWeight Could Stress be the Reason You Can’t Lose it?


by Elizabeth McMillan, CNS, LDN

tress is a normal function in life. It helps us to meet deadlines, pass an important exam, face our fears and strive to pay our bills. It makes us feel tense, while making us feel more focused and alert. However, we often become over-stressed or chronically stressed. This can happen to anyone for any reason and we all respond to life’s daily stressors differently. When we are chronically stressed, the body releases the stress hormone, cortisol and places the body in “survival mode.” This affects metabolism, body-fat storage, blood sugar and food cravings leading to weight gain and a hard time losing weight. Over time, chronically stressed individuals have more hormonal changes, and this can result in adrenal fatigue. There becomes an imbalance between cortisol and DHEA which directly affects weight and metabolism. Initially, cortisol is an appetite stimulant and encourages cravings for carbohydrates specifically. This leads to eating more 22

frequently and eating more foods that affect blood sugar and fat storage. As an added effect, over a longer period, these hormonal changes alter the body’s ability to process sugar, therefore leading to fatigue, mood swings, high blood sugar and insulin resistance. Secondly, research states that too much cortisol will also slow metabolism. This causes the food that you eat to be stored directly as fat and is commonly distributed in the abdominal area. Abdominal fat, also known as visceral fat, is most commonly associated with chronic health issues like diabetes and heart disease. Typically, people respond to stress by eating or snacking. This is due to the nervous energy that the hormone imbalance causes. In addition, the fatigue caused by stress affects food choices, leading one to choose fast food or quick snacks instead of preparing a healthy meal or nutritious snack. There are many ways to decrease

Washington, D.C. NA Edition/Location website address

the stress response and trigger stubborn weight loss. The first thing that must be done is to determine what is causing the overwhelming feelings of stress. Not all stressors can be eliminated, but we can alter how we respond to the triggers by taking charge and finding healthy outlets. Some suggestions include: making weekly checklists, taking up yoga, tai chi or breathing meditations, making time for social support, engaging in enjoyable activities or hobbies regularly, exercising and eating for wellness. There is very strong research that supports how exercising naturally reduces cortisol and increases endorphins that improve feelings of happiness. A balanced, nutritious diet also help sregulate adrenal hormones and make you feel healthier and more energetic. Stress does not have to be the culprit of stubborn weight gain. To start off the new year right, be sure to engage in stress reduction techniques and have a balance daily diet. Elizabeth McMillan, CNS, LDN, is an integrative nutritionist at Rose Wellness in Oakton, VA, specializing on digestive health, hormone balance, sugar control and inflammation. Check out their monthly seminars at See ad, page 15.

Eating crappy food isn’t a reward —it’s a punishment. ~Drew Carey

leading edge


and Medical Cannabis by Patricia C Frye, M.D.


is the season to be jolly, but this time of year often brings more than good cheer. Shopping for the perfect gifts, finances stretched to the limit, travel, having houseguests, being a houseguest and other obligations of the season, while often enjoyable, can cause mental stress that can be detrimental to the body if allowed to continue over an extended period. This time of year can also bring sadness to those who are unable to be with family or bring to mind the absence of loved ones who are no longer with us. Economic conditions, familial dysfunction, high-pressure jobs, being a caregiver for a loved one or our own chronic illness can cause a stress response year-round. The stress reaction is essential for survival. It is via the hypothalamic-pituitaryadrenal (HPA) axis that we are able to react to a dangerous or threatening situation. It is what was required for our caveman ancestors to escape the fangs of the saber-toothed tiger. The physiological response to stress, however, is remarkably similar regardless of the cause. When stressful conditions continue over an extended period, it is as if we are faced with dealing with that saber-toothed tiger, day after day. Stress causes a chain reaction of chemical and hormonal signaling that begins in the hypothalamus, and puts the body on “full alert”. The hypothalamus sends neurotransmitters to the pituitary gland, which in turn, sends signals to the adrenal gland to release “stress hormones”. In this cascade of events, respirations, blood pressure and heart rate

increase. Blood is diverted away from the digestive tract, and is sent to the arms and legs where it is needed to fight or run away from danger. Glucocorticoids are released from the adrenal glands that increase blood sugar levels to provide fuel to the muscles that need energy for running and fighting. The stress response is adaptive, or a positive condition, when it sends us into a fright-flight state necessary to escape danger. Once there is no longer a threat, it’s important that we return to a state of balance, because being in a chronically stressed state can wreak havoc on our bodies. Elevated blood sugar levels can damage the eyes, heart, kidneys and nervous system. Focus and memory are impaired; there are alterations in thyroid function and sleep, and the body’s ability to fight infection is adversely effected. Thus, when the stress response is prolonged, it causes a number of physiological problems that can literally make us sick. Yoga, meditation, exercise and biofeedback are often effective ways of managing or reducing stress. When these methods are not enough, medical cannabis may be beneficial to some patients. Our bodies have an endocannabinoid system that promotes balance, or homeostasis. The receptors in this system are activated by substances that we make in our bodies called endocannabinoids. These receptors are also activated by phytocannabinoids, which are produced by the cannabis plant. THC and CBD are the most well-known phytocannbinoids.

Animal studies have shown that endocannabinoid signaling is involved in the regulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) stress response. When stress causes an increase in the secretion of stress hormones, a feedback mechanism stimulates the release of endocannabinoids, which shut down the release of these stress-related neurotransmitters and hormones. A recent double-blind study at the University of Illinois College of Medicine found that patients treated with low levels of THC experienced a greater reduction in stress than patients who received placebo or high doses of THC. Medical cannabis, with CBD and/or low dose THC, has been reported by many patients to alleviate stress. In addition to interrupting the stress response, cannabis elevates the mood, regulates glucose metabolism and promotes restorative sleep. Cannabis has a very high safety profile, is generally very welltolerated when used in small doses, and is without the depressive effects associated with benzodiazepines and alcohol. Medical cannabis is now available to Maryland residents. Patients have to first register with the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission at Registration is confidential and HIPAA compliant. The commission will issue a patient number that is needed by the patient’s healthcare provider to complete the certification. If the patient’s primary or specialty care provider is not registered with the commission, there are doctors who specialize in cannabis medicine who may be able to help. Once certified, the patient can purchase medical cannabis at one of the licensed dispensaries in the state. Currently there are nine dispensaries with new ones opening over the next few months. So if life, or pressure from the holidays, is stressing you out, consider low-dose medical cannabis as a possible way of getting things back in balance.

Patricia C. Frye, M.D., is certified in Cannabis Science and Medicine, is a Diplomat of the Society of Cannabis Clinicians and is the founder of Takoma Alternative Care, located at 6930 Carroll Ave., Ste. 502, Takoma Park, MD. For more information, call 301-328-3045 or visit See ad, page 21. January 2018


mindful life

Practice Mindfulness for Natural Stress Relief by Dr. Charles Gant, M.D., Ph.D.


he concept of mindfulness is now searched on the internet over 70,000 times a month. The concept of mindfulness is not: meditation, concentration, yoga, reflection, prayer, attention, awareness, enlightenment, inner peace or stress reduction. However, when practiced, mindfulness may play a role in all these things. Mindfulness-based approaches to psychotherapy in the last decade have revolutionized clinical psychology and counseling practices. In neurophysiological terms, mindfulness has been proven on brain imagery studies (fMRI, PET scans) to involve the “awakening” of about 20 percent of the brain’s hardware—the prefrontal lobes and associated structures. Conversely, virtually all mental disorders are associated with diminished prefrontal cortex activity. Mindfulness can improve emotional stability and is often credited for opening up a whole set of potential skills from executive functioning, attentiveness, compassion and empathy, and an ability to downregulate anger, fear, compulsions and addictions and 24

Washington, D.C.

symptoms of mental disorders. Mindfulness has been defined as: n A completely separate faculty of consciousness; not cognitive (thinking), sensory (the five senses), emotive (feelings) or motor function (behavior) n Paying attention in an accepting, nonjudgmental way n Paying attention and accepting of whatever thoughts, feelings or events arise in the present moment n Learning to observe thoughts, feelings and events in a neutral way n The letting go of the mind’s obsession to be preoccupied with thoughts, feelings or outcomes n A faculty of consciousness conferred by prefrontal lobe activity in the brain Be Here Now Mindfulness practice and mindfulness psychotherapies correct the fight/flight re-

sponse and chronic stress by assisting individuals in detaching from a preoccupation with the past (fight/anger) and the future (flight/anxiety) via well-defined inhibitory feedback pathways in the brain. Experientially, the stress-relieving benefits of mindfulness practice are thought to be related to the detachment from “toxic thoughts and emotions” which have trapped an individual’s mind in an illusory past which is over, and a future which has not yet happened, thus bringing those who engage in mindfulness on a regular basis into more contact with “the now” of life experiences. Observe and Accept our Thoughts When the mind encounters physical or psychological pain, it tends to resist and pull away in order to survive. Mindfulness-based practice and psychotherapies encourage the exact opposite—to open up to pain or joy, however unpleasant or pleasant, with neutral, non-judgmental observation. Resistance causes persistence and one immediate payoff to letting go of resistance to pain is a marked lessening of discomfort, much like the Lamaze approach to natural childbirth diminishes the pain of childbirth. The human brain is blessed with the anatomical structures which can mitigate fight/flight stress, and which improve relationships with others. Mindfulness has entered the curricula in elementary schools in the U.S. Our mindfulness-conferring, prefrontal cortex, when awakened through practice and psychotherapy, also lessens stress-caused medical and psychiatric disorders, which essentially boils down to all disorders. All healthcare providers should have this tool available in their toolboxes of healing modalities to facilitate the benefits that they provide for all other interventions. Dr. Gant, M.D., Ph.D., has practiced mindfulness for 45 years and he incorporates mindfulness-based psychotherapies into his integrative and functional medical practice as an essential tool for assisting his patients to lead healthier, happier lives. For more information, visit See ad, page 11.

wise words


on Why Science Finds Faith a Healthy Choice by April Thompson


hysician Harold G. Koenig, an international authority on religion, health and ethical issues in medicine, has dedicated his career to understanding the relationship between faith and health. Koenig, who has surveyed the scientific literature, shares the mounting evidence linking the power of faith to better health and well-being. Koenig struggled for three decades to determine his life’s purpose before a spiritual transformation in 1984 set him on a Christian path. “As I’m able to surrender my will and follow God’s lead, I’ve found an increasing flow of blessings. Even in those times when I’m self-centered, the blessings continue. I can only attribute it to the incredible undeserved grace and mercy of one who understands and forgives,” he says. He’s the director of Duke University’s Center for Spirituality, Theology and Health, an associate professor of medicine at the Duke University Medical Center, in Durham, North Carolina, and author of nearly 50 books. Titles include The Healing Power of Faith, The Handbook of Religion and Health, and the recent You Are My Beloved. Really?, musings on the nature of divine love.

What maintains people’s faith in the face of worldly adversity? Adversity can increase people’s faith; when things are going well, people don’t feel the same urgent need for religion. Why do hurricanes happen? Why do people experience chronic pain? When someone is in the midst of challenges, there is no easy explanation, even though there can be many answers. Sometimes all you can do is to have faith that a good God reigns, despite appearances. That can lead to a sense of well-being and spiritual purpose, even in the midst of bad material experiences. How you’ve dealt with life prior to a challenge matters. If you follow a spiritual

path and practice, when bad things happen, you can lean on your foundation of faith; you’re better prepared. Once you’re in the middle of it, all you may feel is the pain and a desperate desire to get rid of it. One of the most precious gifts we have as humans is the freedom to choose. We can be selfish and strictly pleasure-seeking, or we can be kind and altruistic. We can turn toward or away from our divine source.

What have you concluded from decades of studying the relationship between faith, prayer and health? Our research and that of many other major academic institutions, including Harvard and Columbia universities, shows that people of strong faith enjoy better social, physical and mental health, all else being equal. It drives healthy behaviors and attitudes, which leads to better health. A person’s religious beliefs and spiritual practices affect them across their lifespan. It begins in utero, based on parental behavior and care, and shows in the

sense of trust we have as infants. In this way, parents’ faith-based moral values also can favorably affect their children’s levels of stress, depression and drug use later on.

Is there a tension between the yearning for scientific certainty and the intuitive nature of faith? I feel that tension constantly as a scientist and a believer. I’m always challenging myself; you have to be objective as a scientist, to observe without reading into things. But the wisdom of the scriptures has endured through thousands of years, applied by believers through the ages in many different groups and cultures. About 80 percent of Americans today believe in God, nearly 90 percent in a higher power, and 84 percent of the world’s people have religious faith. Such faith must serve some kind of function for it to have persisted throughout the millennia. There is much that is still unknown, and may not be knowable from a scientific perspective. You need to use common sense and intuition. It requires a leap of faith, but once you do it, everything falls into line—though I admit as a scientist I keep trying to understand things from a rational perspective.

What are the pathways by which spirituality contributes to health? Science supports firsthand experience; that the virtues instilled by a religious path ultimately lead to better decision making, relationships and greater well-being. They help to neutralize negative emotions. These benefits accrue through adulthood and yield fruit into old age. The coping mechanism that spiritual practices provide is also important. It helps us to tolerate and navigate difficult situations and integrate meaning and purpose into daily life. I don’t think science can prove to us that faith leads to divine healing. But through natural mechanisms alone, ones that we can understand and study, tremendous evidence exists to show that it benefits health and maybe even longevity. Connect with freelancer April Thompson, in Washington, D.C., at January 2018


first person

Healing Relationships with the Hawaiian Prayer


by Carol E. Richardson, M.Div., MPH

he Hawaiian prayer has become one of my favorite tools for helping my clients. I recommend it because I have personally found it has healed dysfunctional work relationships, family relationships and increased my income. There are no limits to what the prayer can be used to heal. The Hawaiian prayer became famous through the story of Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len, who used the prayer as a psychologist at the Hawaii State Hospital for the criminally insane. Len used the Hawaiian prayer on himself and ended up curing the whole ward full of criminally insane patients, without ever seeing any of them. On the surface, the Hawaiian Prayer is very simple: “I am sorry. Please forgive me. I love you. Thank you.” The reason this prayer is so effective is that it is based on certain spiritual principles: that we are all one on the soul level; that we are responsible for what is happening in our lives; and 26

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that healing the outer manifestation of our lives depends on healing our own internal issues. The idea of our oneness makes all the difference in the world, for we are connected through the conscious energy of our souls, and the Higher Power of which we are all a part. To employ the Hawaiian Prayer, we first address our Creator, with gratitude for this opportunity to heal this issue, or to heal this issue between ourselves and someone else. Next, we ask this Higher Consciousness: “What is my part in this?” This internal reflection is essential for our own inner transformation, and the concomitant outer transformation of our relationships. One way to get a sense of our own inner contribution to the issue is to reflect on the principle of the spiritual mirror in relationships. The way I like to express the principle of the spiritual mirror in relationships is like this: If someone else has said or done something, and if we feel

upset about it, then we have a matching vibration in ourselves that needs to heal or clear. The matching vibration might be the same exact issue such as selfishness, or it may be the mirror-opposite, such as selfishness and failure to consider oneself as important. Once we become aware what our part in the issue has been, we pray in our heads, while visualizing the person and saying their name. For instance, one might pray, “Jack, I’m sorry I forgot to get you those postcards; I was so focused on what was important to me that I forgot what was important to you. Please forgive me, I love you, I’m sorry.” We continue to pray the Hawaiian Prayer until we feel clear, and feel unconditional love in the situation, or for the person. Since unconditional love is what unites us in Oneness, we need to continue doing the prayer until we feel the love flow. We can try praying several different ways, to make sure that the issue is cleared. For instance, we can pray, “Andrea, I’m sorry I put you last behind everything I cared about; please forgive me; I love you; thank you. Andrea, I’m sorry I didn’t pay attention to what’s important to you; please forgive me; I love you; thank you. Andrea, I’m sorry I put my own feelings first without really considering how you felt; please forgive me; I love you; thank you.” The more ways we address our own inner issue as it affects others, the more thoroughly the issue will clear. It’s important to remember that we are addressing the person as their soul, not their ego. We may not like their ego at all, but all our souls are of love and light, and on the soul level, we all really do love each other. It is our responsibility to ask forgiveness and to change all that we have said and done that has blocked the flow of that unconditional love. As we unblock the flow of divine love to others, we unblock the flow of love to ourselves as well. As we choose to accept responsibility for our own experiences, including the behavior of others toward us, we realize that there is no one else to forgive, for on the level of ego, we blocked the

divine flow. Once we unblock that flow, grace abounds for us all. It is important to notice that the Hawaiian Prayer ends with gratitude. We cannot clear ourselves unless we are grateful for the other person’s soul and for their forgiveness. We are also expressing gratitude to our Source for the whole process of forgiveness and healing. Central to healing our relationships is noticing whether we are remembering each person’s original innocence as divine soul. If we become aware that we have been focusing on another person’s ego self rather than on their soul self, then we need to ask forgiveness. Signs of focusing on other people’s ego rather than their souls include a lack of trust in them, anger, resentment or fear. The Hawaiian Prayer helps us grow spiritually, heal our relationships and transform our lives. What a great tool for bringing more love and light into ourselves and our relationships.

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Carol E. Richardson, M.Div., MPH, of Highest Harmony Healing and Coaching, is a body-mind-spirit coach, mystic healer, speaker and author, based in Rockville, MD. To contact her, call 269365-8939, email Carol.Dodson. or visit Highest Harmony.Guru. See listing, page 46.

the Hawaiian Prayer I am sorry. Please forgive me. I love you. Thank you.

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January 2018


10,000 Steps and Counting Keep Moving to Stay Fit


by Kathleen Barnes

e have become a nation of couch potatoes. The average American takes only 5,900 steps a day, somewhat better than the sedentary Brits that average less than 4,000. The notion that overall we need to take 10,000 steps a day to be physically fit started with manpo-kei, a 1960s Japanese marketing tool to sell pedometers. While the 10,000 steps concept lacks specific supporting science, it’s widely acknowledged that we are healthier the more that we move. Affixing a target number to it helped spread the notion of the benefits of walking, says Catrine Tudor-Locke, Ph.D., a walking behavior researcher at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Tudor-Locke is a proponent of the walking goal, although she readily admits the real objective is to get people moving more. “Any opportunity to walk more, more frequently and farther, wherever that is—it all adds up,” she says.

Making 10,000 Steps Possible For those already physically fit and physically active, 10,000 steps is a no-brainer. However, it’s never too late to start for those with exercise programs that have been supplanted by a too-busy-toworkout lifestyle. There’s probably no easier exercise than walking, says Dr. Melina Jampolis, the Los Angeles author of The Doctor on Demand Diet. “Walking is the number one exercise I recommend to most of my patients, because it is exceptionally easy to do, requires only a supportive pair of quality sneakers and 28

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has tremendous mental and physical benefits that increase just by getting outside in the fresh air.” The biggest bang for the increased effort is the first 3,000 to 4,000 steps between the sedentary baseline and 10,000 steps, Tudor-Locke explains. “Still, 10,000 steps is the magic number for the average American,” says Dr. Michael Roizen, chief wellness officer at the Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland, Ohio. “That specific number of steps seems to help break down insulin resistance, an underlying cause of Type 2 diabetes. We’re not exactly sure how this happens, but we know that this amount of exercise takes the glucose from the blood where it is a hazard to the cells, so that it becomes less hazardous.”

Exponential Health Benefits Many more well-documented health benefits of a walking program include: 4 increased heart health 4 lower blood pressure 4 stronger muscles 4 improved balance 4 weight control 4 natural stress relief Several studies from places like Harvard Medical School’s affiliate Brigham and Women’s Hospital also show that a brisk walking program nearly cut in half the risk of early death in breast cancer patients. Most exercise experts note that a walking pace that leaves the walker only slightly out of breath reaps the greatest rewards. “One hundred steps a minute is a good cadence,” advises Tudor-Locke. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends at least 150 minutes of exercise weekly, or 30 minutes five days a week, for virtually everyone. Many experts don’t believe it’s necessary to move for 30 minutes straight. Ten-minute increments work fine; so a quick morning walk around the block, another outing during the lunch hour and a refreshing walk with the dog after work can do the trick. Some evidence from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion suggests that varying walking speed is even more effective in overcoming insulin resistance and burning calories.

Counting Up Roizen recommends wearing a pedometer or using a free iPhone app (no need for a fitness band), mainly to keep up awareness of our daily step count. There’s no age when we don’t need to walk anymore. If a consistent 10,000 steps does wonders for health, some ask if more would be better. “Ten thousand is the answer for health and longevity, but 12,000 or more makes a difference for fitness and calorie burning, so go for it!” Roizen says. Kathleen Barnes is the author of numerous books on natural health, including Our Toxic World: A Survivor’s Guide. Connect at

Odua Images/

fit body

January 2018


community spotlight

Serving Community Through Integrative Health, Yoga and Mindfulness

Spotlight on LaShone Wilson and One Breath at a Time


aShone Wilson is an integrative health and wellness coach and the executive director of One Breath at a Time, Mindful Living and Wellness Services, based in Washington, D.C. One Breath at a Time is a rapidly growing company with the mission to empower others through health and wellness coaching, mind-body connection, mindfulness and yoga therapy. The company focuses on full-body wellness—beyond the treatment and elimination of disease. Individual and group services are tailored to empower and support the client toward the desired transformation. Particular focus is placed on self-awareness, reframing, selfregulation, pain relief and paradigm shifts. The company integrates the principles of healing presence, co-active coaching, yoga, mindfulness, emotional intelligence and breath-work into every client interaction. Curriculums are developed based on an agreed partnership and the clients’ particular needs. Clients are fully supported as they go through the discovery and awareness process. They are encouraged to take responsibility for their lives and make choices that align with their goals. One Breath at a Time assumes strength and capability instead of weakness and dependency from the client. This approach supports the client in assuming responsibility for the experience and empowers the client to take actions changing the experience, when desired. Wilson offers a variety of coaching packages for adults developed in response to


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what clients were seeking. More than a series of coaching sessions, Wilson takes her clients on a journey that requires full participation of the coach and client. While each package is designed to accomplish a goal, based on the wants and needs of the client, most of the packages include key components such a weekly one-hour coaching session, weekly supportive text messages and a 42-day partnership that empowers the client with self-care tools that support them in obtaining and maintaining full-body health. Several of the packages also include an optional massage, bodywork or a personal yoga session. She is certified to teach Bikram Hot Yoga and other hatha yoga styles and is trained in fertility yoga, yoga therapy, Pilates, hot barre, Aromatouch Therapy, Emotional Intelligence, as well as reiki level I. Although Wilson has a number of set packages in place, she is always eager to personalize a plan to make it most beneficial to the client. In addition to her packages for adults, Wilson offers a variety of health and wellness coaching programs that provide a safe, supportive, educational and healing space for children, youth and teens. These programs are specifically designed to acknowledge young people as valuable contributors to the world. Wilson integrates practical life skills, emotional intelligence, self-regulation, compassion, mindfulness, health, wellness and stewardship principles into each package, specifically tailored to the individual’s

LaShone Wilson learning style and preference. She is also able to incorporate and teach children’s yoga— including those with unique needs such as autism and ADHD. As a practitioner and teacher and teaching yoga and mindfulness for 13 years, Wilson continues to break down barriers by collaborating with hospitals, therapeutic programs, schools and nonprofit organizations teaching mindful living and wellness in addition to her personalized coaching work. Her selfless efforts were honored in 2015 when she was awarded the NAACP Hometown Champion Award. As a community-focused company, One Breath at a Time, under Wilson, is fully committed to teaching health and wellness to under-resourced communities or communities who are less likely to have access to holistic health and wellness. It hosts a free Women’s Empowerment and Wellness Forum yearly for women and children, as well as other health and wellness educational forums. It partners with nonprofit organizations that support women getting back into the workforce and transitioning back into society as productive citizens. For more information and upcoming events, visit See ad, page 2.

natural health


How It Impacts Your Overall Health


by Dr. Isabel Sharkar

happy gut is a healthy gut. Gut health is extremely important to restore health. Oftentimes a leaky gut is found where the intestinal permeability is compromised. Molecules that are not supposed to pass through the cells that are lining the intestinal wall travel into the blood stream. This causes low-grade chronic inflammation. Gluten for example, in sensitive people, has a tendency to cause gut cells to release zonulin, a protein that breaks apart tight junctions in the intestinal lining. The purpose of the tight junctions is to keep everything consumed contained in the gut. Toxins, infections and stress disrupt tight junctions, leading to leaky gut syndrome. When particles move from the gut into the bloodstream, the immune system triggers a response to these invaders and attacks them. Leaky gut triggers symptoms like gas, bloating, diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), seasonal allergies and asthma, PMS, PCOS, autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, lupus,

psoriasis, celiac disease, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, depression, anxiety, ADHD, acne, rosacea, eczema, candida overgrowth and food sensitivities. Quite often, the reason an individual has food sensitivities is because they have leaky gut. By fixing the condition, the individual will fix the way their body reacts to food sensitivities. With a food sensitivity test, you are able to eliminate the foods that are causing inflammation in the body so that you can give your gut a rest while it is healed. Foods like gluten, dairy, sugar, processed foods and alcohol trigger inflammation in the body, as does prescriptive and over the counter drugs, candida, intestinal parasites, small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), pesticides, herbicides, BPA, mercury and other heavy metals. Sometimes a person may not experience any gut symptoms and still have leaky gut. As a matter of fact, around 22 percent of people with gut problems can have significant damage to their small intestines without suffering any gastrointestinal symptoms.   The surface area of the gut is around

three hundred square meters, the size of a house. With such a large surface area, healing the gut takes time. A study from Harvard, published in the medical journal Nature, found significant changes in the makeup of gut bacteria occurring three days after a dietary change. What you eat matters and impacts the overall health of your gut, especially the bacteria that take residence. Eating clean and organic food is of utmost importance. If you suspect leaky gut, you can test the severity of your leaky gut with functional labs and perform a stool test to reveal if there is any dysbiosis, parasites or imbalances. It’s also very important to start an elimination diet to remove all toxic and inflammatory triggers from your diet and lifestyle. Lastly, stress is a great obstacle to cure as your gut is your second brain and is largely affected by chronic stress. Getting a handle on stress is the best thing you can do for your overall health and well-being. Dr. Isabel Sharkar is a licensed naturopathic physician and co-owner of Indigo Integrative Health Clinic, in Georgetown. She helps her clients with the Indigo Gut Restore program of removing the bad, replacing the good, restoring beneficial bacteria and repairing the gut with essential nutrients. For more information, call 202-298-9131 or visit See ad, page 3.

worry and stress affects the circulation, the heart, the glands, the whole nervous system, and profoundly affects heart action.

~Charles W. Mayo, M.D.

January 2018


Oksana Kuzmina/

healthy kids

Healthy Weight Kids Food Choices that Prevent Obesity by Amber Lanier Nagle

Small changes in daily eating routines translate into healthier weight for America’s kids.


n 2010, President Obama and Michelle Obama launched Let’s Move! as their signature initiative to tackle epidemic levels of U.S. childhood obesity. While modest progress has been made, it remains a public health crisis. A brief by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that the obesity rate remained fairly stable at nearly 17 percent between 2011 and 2014 for children 2 to 19 years old. Caused mainly by inadequate physical activity, unhealthy diets and rare genetic factors, obesity increases the risk of significant health problems, including high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes, plus joint and breathing issues. “We must launch our own family anti-obesity campaigns,” urges pediatrician Ricardo Riesco, co-owner of Peds Care, in Dalton, Georgia. “Along with increasing activity levels, we can encourage healthier eating habits at home and lead by example.”


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Portions Matter In today’s “supersize-me” climate, teaching youngsters about appropriate portion sizes is imperative in fostering healthy eating habits. “It’s often hard for parents to find time to cook a meal at home,” Riesco acknowledges. “Too often, parents will pick up fast food for dinner, which is typically higher in calories and fat, plus the portion sizes are far too large.” When parents can’t prepare a meal from scratch, a frozen, boxed meal can be a better alternative than fast food. “The portions are more appropriate, so there’s more control of how much a child eats.” Tasty frozen organic meals are now available at many grocers.

Rethinking Family Plates “A large part of the obesity problem stems from children consuming sodas and refined, processed, junk and fried foods,” says Daemon “Dr. Dae” Jones, a Washington, D.C., naturopathic physician and

author of Eat More Plants. “They are low in nutrients, and high in sugars and calories that pack on the pounds.” Jones says the best way to combat obesity and form healthy eating habits is to replace processed foods with a whole foods diet plentiful in colorful fruits and vegetables, with sides of whole grains, nuts and seeds, and beans and legumes. “These foods are high in vitamins, nutrients, fiber, proteins and healthy fats. Lean meats, chicken and fish are good choices for protein, as well.”

nutrient treats can also help children develop healthy eating habits for life and prevent obesity,” says Registered Dietitian Wendy Palmer, manager of child wellness and a certified health education specialist at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. “A medium-sized apple or banana, or a cup of baby carrots with hummus, is a nutrientrich snack for kids. Avoid snacks that have no nutritional value or are coated in sugar.” For more good ideas, see HealthySnackingOptions.

Breakfast and Snacks

No Sugary Drinks

Breakfast provides fuel for the body and helps young minds concentrate and learn, so experts warn against skipping or skimping on it. “I tell parents to, ‘Get out of the box,’” says Doctor of Naturopathy JoAnn Yanez, executive director of the Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges. “Offer them a balance of fats, proteins and complex carbohydrates.” She suggests making a batch of pancakes using an extra egg or almond meal for protein, served with fresh fruit and nitrate-free sausage. “I also recommend steel cut oats,” she says. “I make them in advance, and in the morning add in all sorts of good stuff such as fresh fruit, almond meal and almond milk.” “Although almost everything can be enjoyed in moderation, decreasing or eliminating high-calorie, high-fat, low-

“There’s a strong correlation between sugary drinks and overweight, obese children,” observes Palmer. “I recommend that parents remove all sugary sodas, sports drinks and juice boxes from their children’s diets. Water and unsweetened seltzer water are great alternatives.” Palmer notes that many eating patterns are set before a child turns 3, so limiting all sugary drinks, including juices, is an important component of teaching young children healthier eating habits that will last a lifetime. Studies suggest a strong link between obese children and obese adults, so for parents concerned that their child’s cute baby fat has turned into something more, the time to act is now. Amber Lanier Nagle is a freelance writer in Northwest Georgia (

Media Promote Junk Food Olesia Bilkei/

by Amber Lanier Nagle


econdary causes of childhood obesity include pervasive junk food marketing. A recent study in Obesity Reviews showed that young people exposed to advertising for foods and beverages high in fat, sugar and salt had a higher incidence of selecting the advertised products instead of healthier options. Parents can use simple strategies to limit their kids’ exposure to this mesmerizing influence.


Reduce Screen Time—Decrease the amount of time children spend viewing TV, computers, tablets and smartphones.


Teach Kids About Advertising—Watch some ads with children. Talk to them about misleading messaging, underscoring how most advertisers’ intentions aren’t in the audience’s best interests.


Fast Forward Through Commercials— Take control and bypass ads using a DVR player or streaming service; mute the TV during ads. Primary source: January 2018


green spotlight


Amicus Green Building Center


here is an undeniable trend in our area and throughout the country, where many individuals are realizing the path to wholeness is achieved beyond a healthy diet and exercise. What goes into the body is just as important as the environment in which a body dwells. Likewise, as many search for sustainable, farm-raised, locally sourced and organic foods, they are now also seeking products and materials that reflect their desire not to harm our planet as they build, renovate and furnish their homes. They are expanding their understanding of “home”. This is where Amicus Green Building Center, in Kensington, comes in. Since 2005, the staff at Amicus has been a key resource for those looking to do small and large projects in their homes. Specifically, Amicus is a design center and home improvement store that takes a fresh approach to creating spaces—fostering fresh designs, fresh air and water. No matter


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the homeowners’ or renters’ scope, goals or budget, they have products and expertise to help create a wonderful space that looks fantastic and feels great. Their stated mission is to “help people live, work, play and pray in sustainable, comfortable, healthy, affordable and responsible buildings.” According to the founder, Jason Holstine, the motivation to open Amicus grew out of his desire to grow a green business that makes a real difference. “I was drawn to the concept of green building because it can address so many aspects of improving our present and our future—making people more comfortable, healthy and productive; protecting forests, waters, air, flora and fauna; minimizing energy waste; and protecting our neighbors and economy by supporting domestic jobs. It really is an all-encompassing action that can move the needle,” notes Holstine. Working with homeowners, contractors, architects and renters, every project is

different, yet they all have a common core: running a smoother project to produce a better space. Amicus works on many kitchen and bath remodeling projects, plus home additions, new residential construction and commercial projects. They also work with people needing to solve specific problems— like to block offgassing paints and finishes (although, of course, the better bet would be to use their products to begin with). “Our greatest value is to help people think through their decision process and create nice designs and solutions, all without having to worry about the health or environmental considerations because those elements are already baked in. So, our focus is on good design and execution,” says Holstine. Just as their name implies (amicus means friend in Latin), they strive to provide products, principles and practices that support their customers. Location: 4080A Howard Ave., Kensington, Maryland, in the West Howard Antiques District. For more information, visit Amicus See ad, page 29.


A Holistic Approach to Medical Care


dvantage Integrative Health (AIH) offers holistic medical care to families in the Washington, D.C. metro area and worldwide. Complementing and supplementing traditional/allopathic treatment plans, Dr. John Bohlmann, N.D., provides expert care for patients dealing with issues that include sleep disturbance, weight management, fatigue, digestive complaints and detoxification issues, as well as overarching chronic illness that might John Bohlmann not have been alleviated by more traditional methods. Dr. Bohlmann’s mission of healing, education, and prevention empowers patients to take charge of their own health and wellbeing. In a collaborative, comfortable setting, each patient receives an in-depth, thorough evaluation, in which they are truly heard, completely understood and given a clear path to reach their health goals, armed with scientifically proven tools and knowledge. AIH is leading the D.C. area into the rapidly growing naturopathic medicine field, which expands traditional allopathic medical care by exploring the genetic, metabolic, functional, nutritional and structural causes of health imbalances, so they can be corrected at their root level. See what naturopathy means for you. AIH is accepting new patients now. For your convenience, AIH offers in-office, telehealth, and concierge visits to deliver naturopathic medical care where and when you need it. Dr. John Bohlmann, N.D., a board-certified Naturopathic Doctor licensed by the Maryland Board of Physicians, is AIH’s owner and chief provider. Contact him today at 301-304-4442 or DrBohlmann or visit See ad, page 33.

Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life. ~Mark Twain

Oneness Family School


hen Andrew Kutt founded the Oneness-Family School (OFS) in 1988, his vision was to provide child-centered learning with a global perspective to families in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. Rooted in educator Maria Montessori’s century-old adage “Follow the Child,” the school’s innovative, progressive and evidencebased curriculum places equal emphasis on personal growth, academic excellence and global citizenship. Located in Chevy Chase, the school serves 140 students ranging in age from 2 through high school, from more than 50 nationalities. The Oneness-Family High School (OFHS) launched last fall with grades 9 and 10, and will expand through grade 12 by September 2020. OFHS learners are challenged and supported to fully realize their “Unique Student Potential” and to find their own voice, emerging from the formative high school years—not only prepared for college success but confident in their distinct individual gifts and passionate about their contributions to the world. Through their emphasis on the Montessori tradition, projectbased learning, mentoring and internships, macro themes (like sustainability, global connections, democracy and human rights, innovation and design) and an International Baccalaureate (IB) program, OFHS embraces a paradigm for high school education that integrates learning across disciplines and empowers students to significantly contribute to the global future. For all students, the curriculum is shaped by a profound understanding that peace is a deep human value shared across race, culture, religion and nationality. One of the keys to the school’s success in achieving this goal is the staff. A diverse and dedicated group of international education professionals from more than 20 nations serve the students—each one passionate about nurturing the growth of each child’s unique gifts. According to Kutt, “We continually strive to challenge students and ourselves, to ensure we provide the best school and community experience for the students, the parents and one another.” Location: 6701 Wisconsin Ave., Chevy Chase, MD. For more information, visit See ad, page 33.

The number one root of all illness, as we know, is stress. ~Marianne Williamson

January 2018


Leanne Roque and Yoga 4 All Bodies


PEMF Therapy to Keep Cells Healthy


ur human body is made up of over 70 trillion cells and is broken down into organs, tissue, muscles, fat, blood cells, nerves, bone, teeth and skin. All living creatures need these five basic elements to keep our cells healthy and functioning properly.

gLou Stevens of Optimum Health and Wellness

n Water - Water hydrates our cells. It’s the catalyst for the electrical charges that occur within our cells. n Oxygen - Exercise and movement increases your O2 levels. Oxygen provides the chemicals required by our cells to stay alive. n Food - Carbs, fats, proteins n Organic Nutrients - Minerals, vitamins, salt, herbal supplements n Pulsed Electro Magnetic Field (PEMF) - Increases electrical charges and magnetic energy allowing the cell to repair and regenerate. While all of these are needed, PEMF is the foundation for all life on Earth. Without it, no life would exist because every cell is a miniature power plant that operates like an electrical battery. A battery, made up of cells, is the life of the vehicle. When one cell within the battery is weak, the vehicle won’t operate properly. It might start up and run for a bit, but then it stops. Your mechanic might put the battery on a charge to rejuvenate the weak cells, but this is a temporary fix. However, when all the cells in your battery die, nothing in your vehicle works. Your cells operate on the same principle. When they are deprived of PEMF, they gradually lose their ability to effectively repair themselves, which is manifested in the form of illnesses and disease. gLou Stevens of Optimum Health and Wellness offers PEMF therapy and consults on the many benefits associated with this not-so-new therapy. She notes, “Water, oxygen, food and organic nutrients are the key elements are aids in keeping your (power plants) cells, healthy and operating at peak performance, but only PEMF provides the ‘electromagnetic charge’ needed to help your cells repair themselves.” To learn more about PEMF therapy and how to begin recharging your cells and improving your overall health and well-being, call 240464-0544 or 888-444-6913 or visit See ad, page 20. 36

Washington, D.C.


t Yoga 4 All Bodies, the priority for founder Leanne Cusumano Roque is to help her students alleviate suffering and increase joy through yoga. ​​All students are welcome and poses can be adapted for all body types. ​As a certified Iyengar yoga teacher and an IAYT-Certified Yoga Therapist, Roque Leanne Roque focuses on making poses acof Yoga 4 All Bodies cessible to all while creating a warm, positive space for practice. ​ ​Students focus on proper alignment and technique ​to grow systematic intelligence​, which means they live more comfortably in their body and self. Students build strength, flexibility and equanimity, and improve overall health. Roque has been practicing yoga since 2006. A friend suggested she give it a try. “Although I had no idea what to expect, a book I read suggested starting when I could practice every day for six months. I waited until I could make that commitment, and started. At the end of six months of daily practice, I knew yoga was an incredible gift. I found yoga addresses the entire person—physical, mental, emotional and spiritual,” notes Roque. She found that a regular practice grounded her, and made her stronger and healthier than she had ever been in her life. For several years, she explored different yoga traditions—from Bikram to vinyasa to hatha to anusaura. When she discovered Iyengar yoga, she knew she had found a tradition and practice that would change her life. According to Roque, “Iyengar yoga has been a constant companion and help as I have navigated various injuries and life transitions. It has allowed me to have a positive influence on my ongoing health and well-being.” ​ Students at Yoga 4 All Bodies range in ages from 25 to 75 and come in all shapes, sizes, colors and genders. Many people who walk through the door have tried other types of yoga classes but haven’t yet found a match for them, sometimes due to physical matters. ​Students, whether practitioners or practitioner teachers, also find Yoga 4 All Bodies when they want to understand why they are doing what they are doing, what the effect is of a sequence or a particular pose or how to sequence a personal practice. When asked why she enjoys teaching yoga, Roque beams. “​I love-love-love when a practitioner gets to know their own body better and is then able to care for themselves in a way that brings long-term well-being. It is very exciting to see students have that breakthrough.” Location: 12021 Creekbend Dr., Fairfax County Pkwy., Reston. For more information, call 703-297-2224 or visit See ad, Page 14.

New Approach to Health Care for a New Age


Make Your Organic Garden Dream Come True with Prior Unity Garden


any folks are joining the organic home garden revolution. Newbies look for reliable information while others want their garden to be more fruitful. If you are looking to start a garden or gain help with a garden you already have, Prior Unity Garden has a suite of services for you. Classes, courses, workshops, presentations, consultations, coaching and products insure you’ll become a successful and savvy gardener. You’ll have your own personal garden coach. Founder Debby Ward will work one-on-one with you, allowing you to ask loads of questions and assist you in your garden. Prior Unity Garden’s banner course The Foundations of Organic Gardening is a hands-on, interactive, six-session course spread over six months, starting in September. The course is timed so students can take their knowledge and immediately apply it to be ready to plant when spring comes. It includes workshops, multimedia, a customizable binder full of handouts and worksheets. An added benefit of the Foundations course is the sense of community it fosters, including reunions with past students. Need a speaker for your organization? Ward has spoken for many groups and events and is sure to be a fun and professional hit. Enjoy a personalized presentation for your group. Achieve your abundant, beautiful, organic garden dreams and grow vibrant food, flowers, herbs and natives in any sized garden. Just some of the glowing reviews attest to this: “Prior Unity Garden provides an excellent basis for how gardening is achievable and repeatable; inspiring” notes TS, in Oakton; and “… exceeded my expectations, well worth the money …” states TK, from Reston.

hat if much—perhaps even most— of what we thought we knew and were taught about health and modern medicine was plain wrong? What would you do and how could you trust your doctor’s orders? AMERICAN NEW That distressing MEDICINE truth surfaced with Newsweek’s January 2011 cover story, “Why Almost Everything You Hear About Medicine is Wrong.” Industry peers determined that up to a half of all medical literature—the foundation of conventional medicine—may well be false. Which half, though, was and still is anyone’s guess. For producer and health researcher Jim Grapek, he knew something had to be done. Working along with industry pioneers, Grapek’s search for better ways to practice health care helped result in the creation of American New Medicine (ANM), which combines the foundational concepts of time-tested modalities like acupuncture, with high-tech energy medicine, genomics, better health assessments, better patient education and new scientific understandings. ANM’s holistic, systems-engineering approach to health also takes into consideration many internal and external stressors which the National Institutes of Health (NIH) believes is responsible for up to 90 percent of disease. Why is that number so high? Air, water, commercial foods, wireless technologies and even the earth’s geopathic stress levels, have become toxic—and now seriously impact human health. The good news? ANM, using highly sensitive, non-invasive devices such as the SCIO-EDUCTOR SCANS (SCIO) offered by Grapek, a certified biofeedback practitioner, can help identify toxic stressors so you can remove them and optimize your health. For more information, contact him at 240-505-1266, email at Jim or visit See ad, page 34.

To contact Prior Unity Garden or sign up for their services, call 703-2817743, email or visit PriorUnity See ad, page 15 . January 2018



Washington, D.C.


Natural device stops a cold before it starts

New research: Copper stops colds if used early.


ew research shows you can stop a cold in its tracks if you take one simple step with a new device when you first feel a cold coming on. Colds start when cold viruses get in your nose. Viruses multiply fast. If you don’t stop them early, they spread in your airways and cause misery. But scientists have found a quick way to stop a virus. Touch it with copper. Researchers at labs and universities worldwide agree — copper is “antimicrobial.” It kills microbes, such as viruses and bacteria, just by touch. Four thousand years ago ancient Greeks and Egyptians used copper to purify water and heal wounds. Now we know why it worked so well. Researchers say a tiny electric charge in microbe cells gets short-circuited by the high conductance of copper. This destroys the cell in seconds. Tests by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) show germs die fast on copper. So some hospitals switched to copper touch surfaces, like faucets and doorknobs. This cut the spread of MRSA and other illnesses by over half, and saved lives. The strong scientific evidence gave inventor Doug Cornell an idea. When he felt a cold coming on he fashioned a smooth copper probe and rubbed it gently in his nose for 60 seconds. “It worked!” he exclaimed. “The cold went away completely.” It worked

Some users say it also helps with sinuses. Attorney Donna Blight had a 2-day sinus headache. When her CopperZap arrived, she tried it. “I am shocked!” she said. “My head cleared, no more headache, no more congestion.” Some users say copper stops nighttime stuffiness if they use it just before bed. One man said, “Best sleep I’ve had in years.” Users also report success in stopping cold sores when used at the first sign of a tingle in the lip. One woman said, “I tried every product on the market over 20 years. Some helped a little, but this stopped it from happening in the first place.” The handle is sculptured to fit the hand and finely textured to improve contact. Tests show it kills harmful microbes on the fingers to help prevent the spread of illness.

again every time he felt a cold coming on. He reports he has never had a cold since. He asked relatives and friends to try it. They said it worked for them, too. So he patented CopperZap™ and put it on the market. Soon hundreds of people had tried it and given feedback. Nearly 100 percent said the copper stops their colds if used within 3 hours of the first sign. Even up to 2 days after the first sign, if they still get the cold it is milder and they feel better. Users wrote things like, “It stopped my cold right away,” and “Is it supposed to work that fast?” Pat McAllister, age 70, received one as a gift and called it “one of the best presents ever. This little jewel really works.” Sinus trouble, stuffiness, cold sores. People often use CopperZap Copper may even help stop flu if for prevention, before cold signs apused early and for several days. In a pear. Karen Gauci, who flies often for her job, used to get colds after crowded lab test, scientists placed 25 million live flu viruses on a CopperZap. No viruses flights. Though skeptical, she tried it were found alive soon after. several times a day on travel days for The EPA says the natural color 2 months. “Sixteen flights and not a change of copper does not reduce its sniffle!” she exclaimed. ability to kill germs. Businesswoman Rosaleen says CopperZap is made in the U.S. of when people are sick around her she pure copper. It carries a 90-day full uses CopperZap morning and night. money back guarantee and is available “It saved me last holidays,” she said. for $49.95 at or toll“The kids had colds going around and free 1-888-411-6114. around, but not me.” ADVERTORIAL

January 2018


calendar of events SUNDAY, DECEMBER 31

special event

special event

4th Annual New Year’s Eve Intention Setting

Stress, Hormones and Health

Join Nya Alemayhu for a special 2-hour practice on New Year’s Eve comprised of an empowering flow, focused meditation and journaling. Practice will conclude with restorative postures. $45

Sun., December 31 • 6-8:30pm Dock 5 at Union Market, 1305 5th St, NE. Info:

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 3 Beginners Iyengar Yoga – 12-1pm. Wednesdays through Jan 31. In this short course in which we’ll explore some fundamental principles of Iyengar yoga. $64 for students who have not already attended a class or $80 for students who have already attended a free sample class. Yoga 4 All Bodies, 12021 Creekbend Dr, Reston, VA. Register:


Imagine yourself without belly fat. Free talk given by Serena Satcher, MD. Seating is limited.

Saturday, January 6 • 11am Regenasyst Wellness/Om Wellness PC, 6820 Commercial Dr, Ste D, Springfield, VA. RSVP: 703-454-9326x0 or

Creating a Personal Practice – 12-2pm. Join us for an afternoon of yoga and meditation. The new year is a perfect time to refresh your commitment to wellness and explore practical ways to create a personal practice. The Mindfulness Center, 4963 Elm St, Ste 100, Bethesda, MD. Register: 301986-1090 or

MONDAY, JANUARY 8 Laughter Yoga – 6:30-7:30pm. Please join us for a playful and fun practice that has been proven to reduce stress and strengthen the immune system. The session ends with a silent meditation. Free. Arlington Central Library auditorium, 1015 N Quincy St, Arlington, VA. Info:

special event Winter Renewal Retreat in Sacred Circle Stoke your inner fire. Come together with other awakening women for a day to reflect on the past year and set intention for the year ahead. The day included gentle yoga, journaling, guided meditation, creative expression and sharing. $150. Open Heart Healing at The Blueberry Gardens Healing Center, Ashton, MD. Register: Info:

Sound Medicine Journey – 4-5:30pm. With Angela Blueskies. Let go of stress and relax while you are bathed in the healing vibrations of singing bowls, flute, chimes, sounds of nature and inspirational songs. $25-35. Sky House Yoga, 1111 Spring St, Ste 320, Silver Spring, MD.  Info:


Back School – 7pm. Learn how to take care of your back, mitigate back pain and tension, develop core strength and improve flexibility. $5 contribution. Neck, Back & Beyond Healing Arts, 10195 Main St, Ste D, Fairfax VA. Register: Info: 703-865-5690.

New Year’s Social and Reflection – 7-9pm. On the chapter’s nine-year anniversary, let’s connect with friends old and new to reminisce about how much we’ve grown and envision our chapter’s future. Holistic Moms Network Arlington/Alexandria, Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington, 4444 Arlington Blvd, Arlington, VA. Info: Chapters.HolisticMomorg/Chapters/VA-Arlington and



200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training – 6pm. Through Jan 14. This program is perfect for the avid yoga student who wants to become a yoga teacher or anyone that wants to deepen their personal practice. Scholarships available. The Mindfulness Center, 4963 Elm St, Ste 100, Bethesda, MD. Register: 301986-1090 or

Sound Medicine Journey – 7-8:30pm. With Angela Blueskies.  Let go of stress and relax while you are bathed in the healing vibrations of singing bowls, flute, chimes, sounds of nature and inspirational songs. $2530. Nourishing Journey, 8975 Guilford Rd, Ste 170, Columbia, MD. Info: 


Community Family Yoga Class – 11-11:45am. During this playful and fun vinyasa yoga class, learn the foundation to a safe and relaxing yoga practice for the entire family. This special 45-minute class is recommended for children, ages 3-11; attendance is limited to two children per adult. Epiphany Pilates, 9416 Main St, Fairfax, VA. Register:

Essential Oils 101 – 7pm. We will discuss the basics of essential oils: sourcing, science and standards. $5 (donation). Neck, Back & Beyond Healing Arts, 10195 Main St, Ste D, Fairfax, VA. Register: Neck Info: 703-865-5690.

FRIDAY, JANUARY 12 Mind-Body Therapies: Clinical Applications (M290 - 8hrs) – 6:30pm. Through Jan 13. This course reviews the mechanisms of action, including neurological, biochemical, energetic and other basis for the therapeutic effects of meditation practice. The Mindfulness Center, 4963 Elm St, Ste 100, Bethesda, MD. Register: 301-986-1090 or

Washington, D.C.


Sat., Jan. 13 • 9:30am-4:30pm

Intro to Herbal Medicine Weekend Intensive – 10am-4pm. Through Jan 7. With Molly Meehan. This weekend is meant for the beginner who is looking to learn to build a hands-on and personal relationship with area plants. Participants will learn how to create tea blends, make their own tinctures, herbal oils, herbal salves and more. Centro Ashé Farm, 1620 Chester Ave, Bryans Road, MD. Register:


Sound Medicine Journey – 7:30-9pm. With Angela Blueskies. Let go of stress and relax while you are bathed in the healing vibrations of singing bowls, flute, chimes, sounds of nature and inspirational songs. $25-30.  East Meets West Yoga, 8227 Old Courthouse Rd, Ste 310, Vienna, VA. Info:

SATURDAY, JANUARY 20 Mindful Eating and Mindful Yoga Retreat – 10am. Through Jan 21. Join Lil Omm founder, Pleasance Silicki and Allison Tepper Nutrition Consulting for a Mindful Yoga and Mindful Eating Retreat. This retreat will be an overnight stay in the beautiful area of Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia. Take time out of your busy life to unwind, connect with your body and learn how to incorporate self-care into your daily routine through the techniques discussed in this retreat and that we will experience together. The Barn at Two Rivers, Harpers Ferry, WV. Register: Mindful-Eating-Yoga-Retreat.

Baby and Me – 10:15-11am. Also Jan 27 and Feb 3. Experienced Montessori educators will lead parents and children through a variety of interactive and engaging activities. This is a hands-on way to explore Montessori as a family. $70 for all three sessions or $25 for individual session. Broad Branch Children’s House, 5608 Broad Branch Rd, NW. Register: Info:

Fierce Love for Yourself First – 7pm. Through March 18. This online program for women will teach you the practices that will help you to selfconnect in everyday moments so that you can live boldly in the world and be there for the people in your life who need you. $350. Healing in Service, online. Register: Info:

special event Illuminate Columbia Mind-Body-Spirit Festival Explore the best of local holistic wellness practitioners and products in a welcoming, one-stop venue. $6 admission at the door or $4 online tickets in advance. Free admission for active and veteran military and children 16-and-under. 

Sat., January 20 • 11am-5pm Nourishing Journey 8975 Guilford Rd, Ste 170, Columbia, MD. Info:

can hold them close during difficult moments and life transitions. $15 for members and $20 for nonmembers. Yoga Heights, 3506 Georgia Ave, NW. Register: Info: Healing Essential Oils for Pets 101 and How to Get Rid of the Toxins in Your Home – 3pm. With Carol Christophoratos. Carol will talk about the most dangerous toxins hiding in your pet’s environment and give you simple and effective ways to kick those toxins to the curb using high-quality essential oils and oil-infused products. Holistic Veterinary Healing, 12627 Wisteria Dr, Ste C and D, Germantown, MD. RSVP: 240-715-6570 or Info@

Mindfulness for Stress Management – 12-2pm. Explore the physiology of mindfulness, the evidence basis of self-care practice and the experience of mindfulness practices for stress management, health and relaxation. $40. The Mindfulness Center, 4963 Elm St, Ste 100, Bethesda, MD. Register: 301-986-1090 or TheMindfulnessCenter@


Bingo to Help Thrive Baltimore Thrive – 6-8pm. Bingo fundraiser to help Thrive Baltimore continue with its community outreach and its mission to help transition Baltimore to healthier food choices. $20. PEP Foods and Better Health Better Life at Thrive Baltimore, 6 E Lafayette Ave, Baltimore, MD. Info: or



special event Healing Your Life: Ayurveda Wellness Program Sundays through Feb 25. Learn how to bring the ancient teachings of ayurveda into your life. This program supports each participant to create a sustainable diet and lifestyle to prevent disease and promote longevity. $180 before Jan 7 or $210 after Jan 7.

Sun., January 21 • 1:30-3:30pm Ranjana Chawla, Certified Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist East Meets West Yoga Center Old Courthouse Rd, Ste 310, Vienna, VA. Register: Info:

Living Your Purposeful Life – 2:30-4pm. This workshop will support you to identify and remind you of your deepest personal values so that you

Movie Night: That Sugar Film – 7-9pm. This movie examines the devastating effect of sugar on the human body. $5 (donation). Neck, Back & Beyond Healing Arts, 10195 Main St, Ste D, Fairfax, VA. Register: Info: 703-865-5690. Open House – 12-2pm. Join us for a tour of our accredited Montessori programs serving children ages 2-6 years. Broad Branch Children’s House, 5608 Broad Branch Rd, NW. Info: BBCH@ or Healing Through Your Akashic Records – 1-4:30pm. Akashic Records are vibrational information of every soul’s journey in form. Resolve recurring patterns, heal challenges and empower choices through a combined individual/group healing gathering. $40. Raising Phoenix Holistic Center, 9028 Prince William St, Manassas, VA. Register: Info:

SUNDAY, JANUARY 28 Women Healing Women Through Sacred Circle –  1-3pm. 7-week program. Sundays, through March 18 (No Feb 18). Join this powerful selfdiscovery program in supportive sacred sisterhood where participants will learn tools and processes for connecting to one’s self while nourishing mind, body and soul. $245 by Jan 6 or $280 after Jan 6. The Happy Yogi, Olney Loft. Info: contact Karen Tasto at or The Shamanic Empowerment Collective - Intro to Shamanic Journeying – 2-4pm. Explore the shamanic practice of journeying to the rhythms of the drum and learn to make contact with your own intuition, as well as with guides, totem spirits and ancestors. $30-$35. East Meets West Yoga, 8227 Old Courthouse Rd, Ste 310, Vienna, VA. Info: 

plan ahead FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 2 Pause: Half-Day Yoga and Meditation Retreat – 9:30am-2:30pm. There should always be time for a day of purposeful reflection, contemplation, and community.  Whether you work full time or are a stay-at-home parent juggling everyone’s schedules, you can take a few hours and give yourself the break you need from your busy life in a simple, accessible way. Lil Omm, IMCW (Insight Meditation Community of Washington), 4708 Wisconsin Ave, NW. Register:

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 5 Laughter Yoga – 6:30-7:30pm. Please join us for a playful and fun practice that has been proven to reduce stress and strengthen the immune system. The session ends with a silent meditation. Free. Arlington Central Library auditorium, 1015 N Quincy St, Arlington, VA. Info:

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 8 Holistic Therapies – 3pm. With Dr. Pema Choepel Mallu. Dr. Pema will discuss the many holistic therapies offered at HVH and share case studies of a few of the modalities. This will help you decide what options may help your pet during their time of need. Holistic Veterinary Healing, 12627 Wisteria Dr, Ste C and D, Germantown, MD. RSVP: 240-715-6570 or Info@Holistic Aroma Home, Transforming Your Home with Essential Oils – 7pm. Discover the ways to have your home cleaner and greener by making a few easy changes with essential oils. $5 (donation). Neck, Back & Beyond Healing Arts, 10195 Main St, Ste D, Fairfax, VA. Register: NeckBackAnd Info: 703-865-5690.


special event Girls Empowerment and Wellness Workshop With LaShone Wilson. This free workshop will include therapeutic yoga, tea talk, journaling, a nourishing lunch, panel discussion and a closing meditation.

Sat., February 17 • 1-5pm The Hill Center, 921 Pennsylvania Ave SE, Register:

January 2018


on going events


A wonderful resource for filling your workshops, seminars and other events.

NOTE: All calendar events must be received via email by the 10th of the month and adhere to our guidelines. Email for guidelines and to submit entries.

sunday Sunday Morning Meditation Class – 10:30am12:30pm. With Hugh Byrne. An oasis in a busy week, including 30-minute guided meditations, a 10-minute walking meditation and 30-minute discussion. A mini-retreat. Drop-ins welcome. The Center for Mindful Living, 4708 Wisconsin Ave, Ste 200, NW, Tenleytown. Info: Mindfulness in Recovery – 6:30-8pm. This group is open to new meditators and seasoned practitioners alike with a common interest in the intersection of Buddhist teachings and 12 Step recovery. All 12 Steppers are welcome and we ask that participants have at least 90 days of continuous recovery and a working relationship with a home 12 Step recovery group be established before attending your first meeting. This group is not a replacement for our individual 12 Step programs. The Center for Mindful Living, 4708 Wisconsin Ave, Ste 200, NW, Tenleytown. Info:


Two styles available: n Calendar of Dated Events:

Designed for events on a specific date of the month. n Calendar of Ongoing Events:

Designed for recurring events that fall on the same day each week.

Contact us for guidelines so we can assist you through the process. We’re here to help!

Early Morning Meditation – 7:30-8:15am. A beautiful way to start your day, with a 30-minute meditation and optional 15-minute discussion following. Drop-ins welcome. A project of the Insight Meditation Community of Washington (IMCW). The Center for Mindful Living, 4708 Wisconsin Ave, Ste 200, NW, Tenleytown. Info:


Washington, D.C.


455-6553. Early Morning Meditation – 7:30-8:15am. See Mon for details. The Center for Mindful Living, 4708 Wisconsin Ave, Ste 200, NW, Tenleytown. Info:

friday Early Morning Meditation – 7:30-8:15am. See Mon for details. The Center for Mindful Living, 4708 Wisconsin Ave, Ste 200, NW, Tenleytown. Info: Mindful Families: Family Yoga and Art Night – 6-7pm. For families and children ages 6 to 10, this class features simple yoga poses, group games, mindfulness-based art activities and beginner-level meditation and relaxation. $31/ family. Dream Yoga Studio and Wellness Center, 1485 Chain Bridge Rd, Ste 104, McLean, VA. Register: 703-448-YOGA (9642). Info:

Prenatal Yoga – 6pm. Come and join a supportive community of beautiful, expecting Mothers-to-be as we explore the pregnancy experience and prepare for the blessings of motherhood. The Mindfulness Center, 4963 Elm St, Ste 100, Bethesda, MD. Register: 301-986-1090 or TheMindfulness

Mindful Families: Family Art and Yoga Night – 6-7pm. For families and children ages 11 to 17, this class features simple yoga poses, group games, mindfulness-based art activities and beginner-level meditation and relaxation. $31/family. Dream Yoga Studio and Wellness Center, 1485 Chain Bridge Rd, Ste 104, McLean, VA. Register: 703448-YOGA (9642). Info:



Early Morning Meditation – 7:30-8:15am. See Mon for details. The Center for Mindful Living, 4708 Wisconsin Ave, Ste 200, NW, Tenleytown. Info:

Tai Chi – 1:30-2:30pm. With Elizabeth Nyang. Relax and learn how to do a flowing tai chi meditation in a peaceful and judgement-free environment. Third Space Wellness, Silver Spring, MD. Register: 301693-5410 or

wednesday 202-505-4835

teen sangha provides a framework for exploring one’s inner life, understanding the causes of emotional stress and realizing the possibility of inner freedom. We explore key Buddhist teachings and how they can be helpful in navigating life’s inevitable challenges. The Center for Mindful Living, 4708 Wisconsin Ave, Ste 200, NW, Tenleytown. Info:

Early Morning Meditation – 7:30-8:15am. See Mon for details. The Center for Mindful Living, 4708 Wisconsin Ave, Ste 200, NW, Tenleytown. Info: Teen Sanga – 7:30-9pm. 2nd and 4th Wed. The

Refuge Recovery – 6:30-8pm. Refuge Recovery is a mindfulness-based recovery program and community that utilizes Buddhist philosophy as the foundation of the recovery process. Based on the Four Noble Truths and Eight-fold Path, emphasis is placed on both knowledge and empathy as a means for overcoming addiction and its causes. The Center for Mindful Living, 4708 Wisconsin Ave, Ste 200, NW, Tenleytown. Info:

natural living directory


Connecting you to the leaders in natural healthcare and green living in our community. To find out how you can be included in the Community Resource Guide email to request our media kit.


9028 D Prince William St, Manassas, VA 703-392-9200

and bookstore.

A team of healers and teachers offering classes, workshops and energy healing services to inspire health and well-being. Also a metaphysical gift


10195 Main St, Ste D, Fairfax, VA 703-865-5690 • Neck Back & Beyond in Fairfax, VA, offers chiropractic and naturopathic care, acupuncture, massage, , reflexology, lymphatic drainage and more. See ad, page 14.


Certified aromatherapist and herbalist offering lifestyle consultations and handmade pro-ducts, including soaps, balms and beard oils. Reach a better state of body and mind. See ad, page 47.


258 Maple Ave East, Vienna, VA and 12242 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 703-255-7040 (VA) or 301-770-7040 (MD) • Savvy Rest Natural Bedroom is the premier retailer of Savvy Rest organic mattresses and bedding, a Virginia manufacturer and retailer of fine bedroom furniture. See ad, page 19.


Rose Wellness Center 571-529-6699 •

Virginia Mitchell is board-certified acupuncturist specializing in pain management, fertility support and stress reduction. She also treats other conditions including allergies, anxiety, depression, arthritis, back, neck or shoulder pain, migraines, headaches, f ibromyalgia, autoimmune disorders, insomnia, and sports injuries. Virginia is also a trained massage therapist focusing on acupressure and zero balancing. See ad, page 15.


4963 Elm St, Ste 100, Bethesda, MD 301-986-1090


5225 Wisconsin Ave, Ste 402, NW 202-237-7000 •

If you are diagnosed with cancer, there are supportive treatments which may enhance the body’s ability to fight cancer and help the traditional cancer treatments work more effectively. Integrative, holistic medicine combines traditional and adjunctive complementary treatments to restore the patient to a better state of health and improve the quality of life. Whereas traditional medicine will focus on treating the tumor, the holistic approach is to focus on the patient and outcome. See ad, page 11.


10195 Main St, Ste D, Fairfax, VA 703-865-5690 • Dr. Allan Tomson, DC, director of Neck Back & Beyond Healing Arts in Fairfax, VA with a satellite office in Manassas, VA. He is not your ordinary chiropractor with skills and experience in functional medicine, visceral manipulation, CranioSacral Therapy and Cayce protocols. See ad, page 14.

DR. VISHAL VERMA, DC, CCSP Rose Wellness Center 571-529-6699

Dr. Verma specializes in functional ch i ropr a c t i c c are for p ai n management and active restoration of the body. He treating root causes using gentle chiropractic, physical therapy, cold laser therapy and rehabilitation for fast effective results. Dr. Verma treats back, neck, spine and joint pain, sciatica, sports injuries, fibromyalgia, and various other chronic and acute pain conditions. See ad, page 15.


4963 Elm St, Ste 100, Bethesda, MD 301-986-1090 The Mindfulness Center is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization which promotes health and self-healing, for individuals and the community, through classes, services, workshops and trainings. See ad, page 27.


4813-A Eisenhower Ave, Alexandria, VA 800-515-6243

We are Green Clean Certified, so you can have peace of mind that you r home w i l l b e healthier for you, your pets and the environment. See ad, page 27.

The Mindfulness Center is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization which promotes health and self-healing, for individuals and the community, through classes, services, workshops and trainings. See ad, page 27.

January 2018



Alexis Sullivan, ACC 650-224-4422 Alexis is a credentialed personal and professional coach who loves partnering with people to help them achieve results while bringing balance and fulfillment into their lives. She works with people who are facing or making change and who want to make intentional choices that lead to a successful and purposeful life.


Writing, editing, marketing/digital media support and strategy consulting for holistic-minded businesses and organizations from experienced local writer, blogger and event organizer Jessica Claire Haney.


A full-service corporate wellness company specializing in a wide-range of customized offerings from onsite farmer’s market, mindfulness, meditation, yoga, farm-totable catering, wellness workshops, health coaching and nutritional guidance. See ad, page 13.


571-344-1150 A private Montessori school offering preschool kindergarten, elementary, middle school and high school education to students from D.C. and suburban Maryland. See ad, page 33.


10440 Shaker Dr, Ste 203, Columbia, MD 410-292-5149 Inca Energy Integrative Health and Wellness Center is an ecofriendly holistic center offering energy medicine, energy psychology and meditation. Inca Wellness brings together authentic ancient healing traditions from around the world with contemporary therapies to nurture ones whole being. See ad, page 13.

OPTIMUM HEALTH & WELLNESS 1615 Rhode Island Ave, NE 888-444-6913

Boosting cellular rejuvenation through the use of PEMF therapy (energy medicine). Drug free, noninvasive. Therapy for over 200 health problems: pain, stroke, ALZ, dementia. See ad, page 20.


9028 D Prince William St, Manassas, VA 703-392-9200 • A team of healers and teachers offering classes, workshops and energy healing services to inspire health and well-being. Also a metaphysical gift and bookstore.


5225 Wisconsin Ave, Ste 402, NW 202-237-7000 • The professional health team at NIHA is comprised of holistic medical physicians, biological dentists, naturopaths, a chiropractor and health professionals highly skilled in acupuncture, nutrition and other healing therapies. See ad, page 11.


Washington, D.C.


We are full-service financial advisors with a vision of bringing socially responsible investing (SRI) and planning to individuals, families, small businesses and nonprofits.


A new kind of design center and home improvement store, creating fresh spaces, fresh air and water and a fresh take on our buildings. See ad, page 29.


571-277-1292 John Mays is a certified wellness coach with unique skills to get you to your goals, regardless of your age or ability level. Through private coaching, mindfulness, hypnosis and behavioral modification therapies, Mays will help you to refocus your life, help you gain selfawareness and take control of your future. See ad, page 29.

NATIONAL INTEGRATED HEALTH ASSOCIATES 5225 Wisconsin Ave, Ste 402, NW 202-237-7000 Rejuvenation-Detoxification.html

Rejuvenation & Detoxification program provides guidance to restore balance and health with lifestyle tips on diet, hydration, digestion and internal cleansing and detoxification with integrative at-home and spa strategies. See ad, page 11.


301-646-4385 Karen Tasto offers customized reiki healing s essions and leads awakening women in Sacred Circles through her unique selfdiscovery program, workshops and retreats, fostering sisterhood and transformation.



571-358-8645 Online lifestyle magazine for natural-minded parents with a blog, calendar, directory and eB o ok f illed with re s ou rc e s f or h o l i s t i c parenting and family wellness in metro D.C.

Jim Jimmy Grapek, MMH, CBP, is a certified SCIO-EDUCTOR biofeedback practitioner and sales rep serving the metro area. (And he DOES make house calls). See ad, page 34.

HEALTHY PETS WHOLE PET CENTRAL We are your one-stop destination for all things natural regarding your pet’s nutritional and grooming needs. Shop online or visit one of our stores locations in Rockville, MD, Herndon, VA or Ashburn, VA. See ad, page 15.


Certified aromatherapist and herbalist offering lifestyle consultations and handmade products, including soaps, balms and beard oils. Reach a better state of body and mind. See ad, page 14.


Elizabeth McMillan is a boardcertified clinical nutritionist specializing in functional nutrition. She believes in finding the root cause of aliments and creating a personalized dietary plan to restore optimal wellness. Elizabeth specializes in diabetes, food sensitivities, gastrointestinal health, autoimmunity and metabolic syndrome issues. Call today to see how she can help. See ad, page 15.


Holistic Moms Network is a national organization supporting natural-minded parents. Local chapters in Arlington/Alexandria, Burke, Fairfax, Gainesville and Montgomery County hold monthly meetings and more.


Holistic pediatric and young adult care combines the healing power of traditional Western medicine with safe, complementary healing therapies. This approach addresses the whole child, not just the symptoms that brought you to the doctor, and encourages the immune system to heal naturally. See ad, page 11.


Holistic primary care is an integrative approach that treats the whole person: mind/body and spirit. A primary care provider coordinates all of the health care a patient receives. This total patient care considers the physical and emotional needs of the person and how health issues may be affecting those needs. Whether you are coming in for an annual check-up or managing a chronic disease, we focus on the whole person, not just your disease or symptoms. We consider lifestyle, nutrition and stress management and put together a treatment plan to help you attain an optimum level of wellness. See ad, page 11. parenting.



Rose Wellness Center 571-529-6699 • Michael Liss is a Doctor of Classical Homeopathy and an integrative health practitioner. He specializes in using homeopathy to help you find relief from various emotional and physical health problems including addictions, substance abuse, anxiety, depression, allergies, asthma, childhood ailments, migraines, hair and skin disorders, immune deficiencies and sinus disorders. See ad, page 15.


Rose Wellness Center 2944 Hunter Mill Rd, Ste 101, Oakton, VA • 571-529-6699 Dr. Sushma Hirani uses an integrative approach to wellness, utilizing conventional medicine and evidence-based complementary therapies. She strives to treat the whole person and emphasize s nut r it i on , preventive care and lifestyle changes. Dr. Hirani specializes in the treatment of chronic issues such as hypothyroidism, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, hormonal imbalances, digestive disorders, menopause and women’s health issues. Patients love her compassionate care and personalized attention. See ad, page 15.

INDIGO INTEGRATIVE HEALTH CLINIC 1010 Wisconsin Ave, Ste 660, DC 202-298-9131 •

The body has an innate ability to heal itself and achieve balance from everyday stressors through non-toxic, non-aggressive and highly effective modalities. See ad, page 3.


Integrative Family Physician Rose Wellness Center 2944 Hunter Mill Rd, Ste 101, Oakton, VA 571-529-6699 • Dr. Alex Leon is a board-certified family physician specializing in integrative functional medicine to help restore and maintain your well-being. He has a special interest in men’s health care, chronic pain syndromes including mus c u l o skel e t a l probl e ms , f i bromy a l g i a , bi oi d e nt i c a l hormone replacement for men and women, chronic conditions including hyp othyroidism, gastrointestinal disorders and allergic disorders. He treats kids too. See ad, page 15.


5225 Wisconsin Ave, Ste 402, NW 202-237-7000 •

The professional health team at NIHA is comprised of holistic medical physicians, biological dentists, naturopaths, a chiropractor and health professionals highly skilled in acupuncture, nutrition and other healing therapies. See ad, page 11.

January 2018



2944 Hunter Mill Rd, Ste 101, Oakton, VA 571-529-6699 •

Suffering from chronic pain, fatigue, allergies, stress? Whatever your health challenges, Rose Wellness Center can help you get on the path to real wellness. We help identify hormone, metabolic, digestive, nutritional and food sensitivity issues to get to the root cause of your health problems, where true healing begins. Our services include digestive and women’s health programs, hormone balancing, acupuncture, Lyme treatment, homeopathy and thyroid management. See ad, page 15.

TAKOMA PARK ALTERNATIVE CARE 6930 Carroll Ave, Ste 502, Takoma Park 301-328-3045 •

Pediatric and adult evaluations for D.C. and MD by certified medicinal cannabis specialist. Tr e a t m e n t / d o s i n g recommendations; nonpsycho ac t ive proto cols available. No residency restrictions for MD program. See ad, page 21.


LaShone Wilson Integrative Living and Wellness Coach 202-487-1622 • OneBreathAtATime.Info With the mission to empower others through health and wellness coaching, Wilson focuses on fullbody wellness, beyond the treatment and elimination of disease. Individual and group services are tailored to empower and support the client toward the desired transformation. See ad, page 2.





Pediatric and adult evaluations for D.C. and MD by certified medicinal cannabis specialist. Tr e a t m e n t / d o s i n g recommendations; nonpsychoactive protocols available. No residency restrictions for MD program. See ad, page 21.

Advantage Integrative Health LLC is a naturopathic medical practice offering holistic care. We use a functional approach to uncover the root cause of health challenges and support the return to health using low-force, natural methods. See ad, page 33.


6930 Carroll Ave, Ste 502, Takoma Park 301-328-3045 •


1440 G St, NW 202-868-8369 • Meditate Ever ywhere LLC provides meditation programs for the workplace. See ad, page 29.


4963 Elm St, Ste 100, Bethesda, MD 301-986-1090 • The Mindfulness Center is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization which promotes health and self-healing, for individuals and the community, through classes, services, workshops and trainings. See ad, page 27.


Learn how to use tai chi and meditation to reduce work and life stress. I am a mental health therapist and can help you to develop a daily meditation practice to help you bring balance into your life.


Carol E Richardson, M Div, MPH Body-Mind-Spirit Coach, Mystic Healer, Speaker, Author 12803 Twinbrook Pkwy, Ste 204, Rockville 269-365-8939 • HighestHarmony.Guru Mastermind Stars: Mindfulness and Movement Programs for students, teachers and families. See article, page 26.


Washington, D.C.


Blog, calendar and directory for natural living, holistic parenting and family wellness



A short walk from the Vienna Metro 703-281-7743 • Achieve your abundant, beautiful, organic garden dreams. Grow vibrant food, flowers, herbs and/or natives in any sized garden with classes, courses, workshops, presentations, consultations, coaching and products to insure you are a successful and savvy gardener. See ad, page 15.


Great Falls, VA 703-738-4230 • Nurtured Bones provides a holistic approach to addressing osteoporosis and bone loss. Our BONES method will help you build strong, healthy bones for life. See ad, page 37.


Vegan-certified personal care and nutritional products - Swiss Heritage, gluten-free, GMOfree, botanically based, h y p o a l l e r g e n i c , P E TA approved, green commitment, formulated without parabens and phthalates.


571-277-1292 John Mays is a certified wellness coach with unique skills to get you to your goals, regardless of your age or ability level. Through private coaching, mindfulness, hypnosis and behavioral modification therapies, Mays will help you to refocus your life, help you gain self-awareness and take control of your future. See ad, page 29.


3914 Centreville Rd, Ste 125, Chantilly, VA • 571-323-2223 Personal training and hypnosis for weight loss. Fitness lifestyle training. Private studio setting for adults. Learn the art of self-awareness and progressive exercise for radical change. See ad, page 29.



4963 Elm St, Ste 100, Bethesda, MD 301-986-1090 • The Mindfulness Center is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization which promotes health and self-healing, for individuals and the community, through classes, services, workshops and trainings. See ad, page 27. .


Great Falls, VA 703-738-4230 •

Nurtured Bones provides a holistic approach to addressing osteoporosis and bone loss. Our BONES method will help you build strong, healthy bones for life. See ad, page 37.


Janice M Johnson 10195 Main St, Ste D, Fairfax, VA • 703-865-5690 Allow me to join you in creating your own individualized treatment program, which provides a safe and supportive experience for your healing process, with Polarity Therapy and Swiss Bionic Solutions MRS 2000 (Magnetic Resonance Stimulation) pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMF). See ad, page 14.


Nathalie Depastas 10195 Main St, Ste D, Fairfax, VA 703-865-5690 • Nathalie Depastas is a highly skilled acupuncturist and Shiatsu therapist with 30 years of experience in Chinese medicine, including medical qigong. See ad, page 8.


917-856-0841 • Jamie is a licensed clinical social worker dedicated to helping people improve sleep through the use of cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia. See ad, page 32.




10195 Main St, Ste D, Fairfax, VA 703-865-5690 • Neck, Back & Beyond in Fairfax, VA, offers chiropractic and naturopathic care, acupuncture, massage, reflexology, lymphatic drainage and more. See ad, page 14.


2944 Hunter Mill Rd, Ste 101, Oakton, VA 571-529-6699 •

Rose Wellness Center for Integrative Medicine offers Thermography or Digital Infrared Thermal Imaging (DITI). This noninvasive diagnostic technique creates thermal images that are analyzed for abnormalities and early signs of disease. Thermal imaging is painless, non-invasive, does not involve any compression and emits no radiation. Call today to setup your scan. See ad, page 15.




4963 Elm St, Ste 100, Bethesda, MD 301-986-1090 • The Mindfulness Center is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization which promotes health and self-healing, for individuals and the community, through classes, services, workshops and trainings. See ad, page 27.

YOGA 4 ALL BODIES 703-297-2224

Finally, a yoga class “that meets me where I’m at.” New to yoga? Physical matters? Experienced and want to learn more? Come visit Y4A. See ad, page 14.


202-212-9304 Nya Alemayhu is a wellness coach and yoga teacher based in Washington, D.C. offering private yoga instruction, private yoga teacher training, we l l n e s s c o a c h i ng an d workshops as a path to healing. See article, page 7.


Pema Choepel Mallu, DVM, CVA, M.Ac. L.Ac 12627 Wisteria Dr, Ste C/D, Germantown, MD 240-715-6570 • We offer integrative compassionate veterinary care. We view your animal as a whole focusing on the root cause of dis-harmony for long-term healing. See ad, page 24. .



Dr. Serena Satcher, M.D.’s program will work for all ages, but offers additional specifics to middle-aged baby boomers. She believes in an approach to health that looks at root causes. See her next event listed on page 40.

January 2018





Now Enrolling. Apply Today. Maryland University

Graduate Programs in Integrative Health

of Integrative Health

Naturopathic Medicine | Nutrition Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine

educates leaders

Yoga Therapy | Health & Wellness Coaching | Herbal Medicine

in health and

Health Promotion

wellness through transformative and relationshipcentered programs

How We Differ Comprehensive, scientific-based programs | On-site teaching clinic Foundational science courses built into our master’s programs

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Classes available on campus, online and weekends.


Washington, D.C.

Natural Awakenings DC Natural Living Directory 2018  
Natural Awakenings DC Natural Living Directory 2018  

Natural Awakenings is Washington D.C.'s green, healthy living magazine. This is our January issue as well as our annual directory.