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Sacred Vessels The Lifeblood of Heart Health

Healing Pain Without Surgery

Learn Skills That Make Love Last

February 2020 | Washington, D.C. Edition | February 2020


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letter from the publisher

Dear Friends, February is in so many ways an “in-between” month when we transition from winter to almost spring. It can test our spirits and our resiliency, but it can also make our hearts yearn for the delightful signs of the coming warmer days. We all can agree it’s been in interesting



EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Robin Fillmore

ONTRIBUTING EDITORS Jessica Bradshaw C Randy Kambic DESIGN & PRODUCTION Irene Sankey

past 12 months of weather patterns. As climate variability affects our temperatures and precipitation, the extremes will become even more noticeable.     Despite the weather, love may be in the air this month, and thus, the Natural Awakenings editorial team has been focused on

CONTACT US Natural Awakenings of Washington, D.C. Phone: 202-505-4835 10411 Motor City Dr., Suite 301 Bethesda, MD 20814

matters of the heart—the one that keeps us alive and well. In “Sacred Vessels: The Lifeblood of Heart Health,” writer Julie Peterson examines the crucial role of the vascular system and how simple, natural lifestyle choices can prevent or remediate damage that can result in a heart attack, stroke, vision loss and cognitive decline.

SUBSCRIPTIONS Subscribe online to receive FREE monthly digital magazine at

In “Good Hearts Start Young: Boosting Kids’ Cardiovascular Health,” Ronica

A. O’Hara underscores why it is never too early to embark on the path to cardio fitness—beginning in the uterus where maternal choices can set the stage for conditions like high blood pressure in their offspring by the time they’re in grade school.

While lifestyle changes have the power to restore heart health, the field of regen-

erative medicine is making great strides in rejuvenating joints, ligaments, tendons and tissues by stimulating the body’s natural healing process using a patient’s own platelets, growth factors, adipose, stem cells and other methods.

In case you’re wondering, regenerative therapy isn’t just for humans, as Julie

Peterson explains in “Pain Relief for Pets: Prolotherapy Gives Joints New Life.” Veterinarians are treating cats, dogs and even horses with this non-surgical form of self-healing.

Our current issue also includes an eclectic stew, featuring April Thompson’s “A

Feast for All Seasons: Embracing the Rainbow Year Round,” Yvette Hammett’s take on “Disrupting Disposables: The Drive to Banish Single-Use Plastics” and much more. And of course, we top it all off with a large dose of love featuring Scarlett Lewis’ inspiring essay on “Choosing Love: How to Cope with Fearful Times” and a Valentine’s Day Wise Words interview, “Linda Carroll on Skills That Make Love Last.”

There is a lot of heart in our current issue. We hope that you will take the op-

portunity to make an investment in your own health and for the ones you love. Best,

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The Lifeblood of Heart Health


The Path to Vascular Fitness


Boosting Kids’ Cardiovascular Health

20 DISRUPTING DISPOSABLES The Drive to Banish Single-Use Plastics



on Skills That Make Love Last


With a Healthy Immune System


The Promise of Regenerative Medicine


Embracing the Rainbow Year Round



Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Levels are Key

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How to Cope With Fearful Times

DEPARTMENTS 6 news briefs 7 eco tip 8 health briefs 10 global briefs 16 fit body 18 healthy kids 20 green living 22 wise words

23 leading edge 24 healing ways 26 conscious

eating 28 healthy living 29 inspiration 30 calendar 32 resource guide February 2020



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news briefs

Get Heart Healthy and Manage Your Cholesterol: A Free Webinar


holesterol has received a lot of negative media attention because poor diet, stress and lack of exercise have resulted in higher incidences of heart disease. However, we also need cholesterol to survive. It is needed for the production of adrenal and sex hormones and essential to normal hormone function and brain health. Cholesterol also plays an important role in our immune system, including protecting against cancer. Join Dr. Alex Leon for a free, live webinar, Keep Your Cholesterol in Check, on February 12 at 7 p.m. When there is too much cholesterol in your blood, it builds up in the walls of your arteries, causing a process called atherosclerosis, which is a form of heart disease. Therefore, it is important not to rid the body of cholesterol but rather prevent excessive cholesterol and balance the the “good” against the “bad”. Many things can be done to help regulate cholesterol naturally, such as making healthier dietary choices, regular aerobic exercise which speeds up the heart rate, lowering LDL and increasing HDL, reducing stress levels and taking certain natural supplements. The presenter, Dr. Leon of Rose Wellness Center, in Oakton, Virginia, will be teaching how to take charge of your health by managing your cholesterol levels in a safe and healthy way and keep your heart healthy.   To register, visit CholesterolInCheck. See ad, page 25.

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Clean and Green Eco-Laundry Tips

By laundering clothes using simple ingredients and wise eco-practices, consumers can both save money and lower their carbon footprint. Natural cleaning ingredients cited by TheEcoGuide. org include white vinegar, baking soda, lemons, borax and castile soap, all of which “can be bought in bulk with minimal packaging and have known cleaning properties that make them safe, effective and carbon-friendly alternatives.” Coarse salt is also suggested due to its mold-fighting power. Look for biodegradable laundry detergents made with plant oils and other natural ingredients that are free of phosphates, bleach and surfactants such as petroleum-based nonylphenol ethoxylates. Consider coldwater washing. About 90 percent of the energy a washing machine uses goes toward heating water. By washing four out of five loads in cold water, a household could cut its carbon emissions by 864 pounds a year, according to Energy Star data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Because the cold setting may still heat the water to as much as 80° F, see if the washer has a preferable “tap cold” option. Also, the temperature recommendations on clothing labels represent “the highest spectrum clothes can handle,” Melissa Hockstad, president and chief executive of the American Cleaning Institute, recently told The New York Times, so the hottest water won’t necessarily clean clothes better. During rinsing, natural disinfectants that can be added include a few drops of peppermint or lavender essential oil; two teaspoons of tea tree oil; white vinegar (one-half cup per load); or one teaspoon of grapefruit seed extract. Always assemble a full load of laundry each time. Line drying outdoors or on a drying rack indoors also conserves energy and is gentler on fabrics. Further, learn how to make homemade, felted wool dryer balls at; tossing four to six of them in each dryer load saves time, energy and money plus reduces static cling. And consider running the dryer early in the morning or overnight: this shifts energy consumption to off-peak hours, which lowers the demand on power plants and could help reduce national reliance on fossil fuels. February 2020


Vichy Deal/

ooting DC is a free, all-day urban gardening forum that provides education about urban agriculture and food systems, cultivates health and protection of the environment and builds community. The program includes dozens of interactive workshops, cooking and food preservation demonstrations and panel discussions. The event hosts 60-plus green businesses and nonprofits from throughout the region at an Information Fair. This year’s event will be held on February 29, at Ron Brown Prep, in NE D.C. The first Rooting DC was held in 2008 to build relationships and share resources among gardeners and gardening organizations in DC. There was a lot going on with urban agriculture in the city, but little connection in the community. With a grassroots outreach effort, they hoped 25 community members would attend, but did not know what to expect. In what Washington Post garden writer Adrian Higgins later referred to as a “watershed moment in the D.C. gardening community,” 125 people attended. In the years since the event has continued to grow. When Rooting DC celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2017, more than 1,200 people, representing every ward in the city, and surrounding Virginia and Maryland communities, attended.  Over the past 10 years they have offered 450 workshops, mobilized 350 volunteers and unified voices of residents, farmers, schools, government agencies, the foodservice industry and nonprofit organizations in a shared goal of protecting and strengthening the regional food system and empowering individual engagement in food production. This event is made possible through individual donations and the support of DC Greens.

Use Pumpkin Seed Oil to Dodge Hypertension Postmenopausal women are more likely to develop hypertension than men their age, but taking pumpkin seed oil daily may head off that condition, report researchers from Marymount University, in Arlington, Virginia. In a blind study of 23 participants, women taking three grams of pumpkin seed oil for six weeks had significantly reduced systolic blood pressure, as well as better blood flow in their arteries. The oil “might be effective in the prevention and treatment of hypertension in this population,” write the authors. 8

Washington, D.C.

Use Probiotics to Reduce Bone Loss and Newborn Infections Bone loss leading to increased fracture risk occurs in half of postmenopausal women, but new research from Sweden offers a deterrent: a combination of three Lactobacillus probiotic strains. A total of 249 healthy, early postmenopausal women over the age of 50 that took the probiotics for a year suffered no significant bone loss in the lumbar spine compared to a placebo group, report researchers at Gothenburg University. They had slight reductions in bone loss at the neck and no changes at the hip or upper femur. In a British Medical Journal-published study on probiotics that spanned 10 years and involved nearly 1,000 at-risk babies, researchers from the UK’s Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital found that newborns with gut infections were twice as likely to recover when given probiotics as part of their treatment in intensive care units, with sepsis rates reduced from 22.6 percent to 11.5 percent. The strains used were L. acidophilus, Bifidobacterium bifidum and B. longum subspecies infantis. The babies were suffering from necrotizing enterocolitis, a rare infection and inflammation of the intestines which can affect lowbirthweight babies.

LightField Studios/

Qigong, a traditional Chinese massage technique and movement practice, may offer hope for the one in 68 American children suffering from autism spectrum disorder. Researchers at Portugal’s Oporto University reviewed 10 high-quality studies, all of which involved massage for children as young as 2, including two which also employed slow qigong movements and breathwork for older children. Previous studies have found that the qigong type of gentle massage practiced for 15 minutes daily by parents on autistic children helps the children tolerate touch, feel reassured by it and bond more deeply with parents that also feel less stress. The meta-study affirmed, “Qigong seems to be able to decrease severity of individual sensory, behavioral and language components of autism, and improve self-control, sociability, sensory and cognitive awareness, as well as healthy physical behavior.”

Get Nutritional and Antifungal Benefits from Celery Researchers from Cameroon’s University of Buea studied the properties of nine local vegetables and found that celery, Apium graveolens, had some of the highest levels of antifungal properties, as well as high levels of nutritional lipids, protein, vitamin C, copper, zinc and phosphorous. Also scoring high in nutritional and antifungal value were the seeds of Irvingia gabonensis, African or bush mango, sometimes used in the U.S. in weight-loss products.


Practice Qigong Massage to Improve Autism Symptoms in Children

Stacy Barnett/

health briefs

New Africa/

Try Mind-Body Options to Reduce Opioid-Treated Pain People suffering from acute pain often turn to addictive opioid treatments, but research from the University of Utah School of Social Work published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine concluded that certain mind-body therapies significantly reduce pain and the use of opioids. Reviewing 60 randomized, controlled, published clinical trials with more than 6,400 participants, researchers found that meditation/mindfulness, therapeutic suggestion and cognitive behavioral therapy all significantly reduced pain severity along with opioid use and misuse. Hypnosis also helped lower pain. Mind-body therapies proved effective at reducing short-term, acute pain from medical procedures, as well as chronic pain. Lead author and Associate Dean for Research Eric Garland pointed out that 82,000 Americans are projected to die from opioid overdoses in the next five years and noted, “If all of us—doctors, nurses, social workers, policymakers, insurance companies and patients—use this evidence as we make decisions, we can help stem the tide of the opioid epidemic.”

New Africa/

Consider Vitamins to Reduce Eczema Severity Eczema, or atopic dermatitis, affects one in five people over the course of a lifetime, causing itchy, red, swollen and cracked skin, especially on the arms, hands and feet. Genetics, immune system dysfunction and environmental exposure, including to chemicals, are some causes, and treatment usually involves moisturizers and corticosteroid creams. Research from China’s Chongqing Medical University reviewed clinical research on treating eczema with vitamins and found 10 studies totaling 456 patients. Their study concluded that supplementing with vitamin D3 significantly reduced symptoms for patients with moderate to severe eczema, and that a vitamin B12 cream was also effective in soothing symptoms, as was vitamin E supplementation. A combination of 600 IU of vitamin E and 1,600 IU of D3 scored highest in a study included by the researchers, lowering symptoms overall by 64 percent in 60 days.

Functional Medicine

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Seal Deal

UNESCO Adopts Resolution on Earth Charter

The 40th General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), held last November, adopted a resolution that reaffirms the importance of the Earth Charter ( as an ethical framework for sustainable development.   The Charter’s four pillars— respect and care for the community of life; ecology integrity; social and economic justice; and democracy, non-violence and peace—have guided and underpinned UNESCO’s sustainable development work. Taking into account the current world situation and environmental crises, delegates felt it was time to act and that the Earth Charter provides the needed principles and values. Although it has no binding force, like previous UNESCO resolutions, its ethical foundation may surface in future battles in international courts.

Thump Thump

In 1969, there were only 100 South American fur seals and sea lions along the coastline of Lima, the capitol of Peru, but that has increased to more than 8,000 today, thanks to local fishermen that have realized over the intervening years that a balanced ecosystem benefits all. Once hunted almost to the point of no return for their pelts and because they ate so many fish, the sea mammals have slowly rebounded since Peru established its first marine protection area there in 1979, the Paracas Marine Reserve. Today, the Fishermen’s Union has defined these areas, in which each local fishing collective is dependent economically, and has assigned responsibility to that group for protecting those marine resources. Impetus for species protection is also being driven by the rise of tourism and artisanal fisheries. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature, which maintains a “Red List” database of species and the degree to which they are threatened with extinction, has also been involved. It also compiles a “Green List” to recognize global best practices for areabased conservation, a program working with marine reserves along the Pacific coast.

Philip Bird LRPS CPAGB/

Clear Thinking

Fishermen Protect Endangered Sea Mammals


global briefs

Trees Exhibit ‘Heartbeat’


Washington, D.C.

Soot Cities

Alaska Battles Air Pollution

Alaska, which has some of the most pristine environments in the U.S., also has some of the worst air quality in its cities. According to the American Lung Association 2019 State of the Air report (, Fairbanks ranked third and a section of Anchorage ranked 21st in cities with high levels of short-term particle pollution between 2015-2017, the latest years that figures are available. Although the numbers are poor, they still represent an improvement from the last air quality report. “Particle pollution is made of soot, or tiny particles that come from coal-fired power plants, diesel emissions, wildfires and wood-burning devices. These particles are so small that they can lodge deep in the lungs and trigger asthma attacks, heart attacks and strokes, and can even be lethal,” warns Marge Stoneking, executive director at the American Lung Association in Alaska.


Scientists have discovered that some trees raise and lower their branches several times in the course of the night, indicating a cycle of water and sugar transportation, but they didn’t know why. Plants need water to photosynthesize glucose, the basic building block from which their more complex molecules are formed. For trees, this entails drawing water from the roots to the leaves. Dr. András Zlinszky, at Aarhus University, Denmark, used a laser scanning technique to measure the exact location of branches and leaves of 22 tree and shrub species, and published his observations of substantial unexpected movement cycles. He says, “We detected a previously unknown periodic movement of up to 0.4 inches in cycles of two to six hours. The movement has to be connected to variations in water pressure within the plants, and this effectively means that the tree is pumping. Water transport is not just a steady-state flow, as we previously assumed.” Some might call that pumping action a heartbeat.

Valentina Razumovar/

Alex Yuzhakov/

Climate Check

New Label Verifies Carbon Neutral Products

Green Horizons

A Billion Trees in Eight Years

Marrying forestry to technology, the startup Flash Forest, in Toronto, is using aerial drones to plant trees 10 times faster than human planters with a goal of 1 billion trees by 2028. Since testing prototype devices last year, it has already planted several thousand trees across Ontario using pregerminated seed pods containing a mixture of species. The drones are capable of planting trees at just 50 cents per pod, or a quarter of the cost of typical planting methods. Funded partly by a Kickstarter campaign, the group will start planting trees in April, with at least 150,000 in the ground by the end of this year. At full capacity, one drone operator will be able to plant 100,000 seed pods per day. Flash Forest spokesperson Angelique Ahlstrom says, “Our goals are to have a significant and measurable impact on mitigating climate change in the next decade, while combatting deforestation and biodiversity loss on a global scale. We feel we are one of the only ways that the federal government will be able to fulfill its pledge to plant 2 billion trees in the next 10 years.”

Water Win

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Fresh H20 Comes to Kenya Town

A drought-plagued Kenyan region is using a new, solarpowered, desalination plant from the international nonprofit GivePower to obtain clean water. Before the plant’s arrival in the town of Kiunga, villagers had completely run out of clean drinking water and had to use dirty well water and saltwater from the Indian Ocean. The new solar water farm produces enough drinking water that’s cleaner than typical desalination plants for more than 35,000 people every day. GivePower has a mission of using renewable energy as a means of bringing water, food and energy to places that need it most. They plan on building similar facilities in other drought-prone countries such as Colombia and Haiti.

A new Climate Neutral product label is joining others like Fair Trade, 100% Organic and Made in America, and is closing in on a Kickstarter ( CarbonNeutralKickstarter) funding goal to raise $100,000. The idea for the label was hatched by the founders of San Franciscobased backpack and camera equipment maker Peak Design and Brooklynbased Biolite, which sells sustainable energy products. Participating companies start by establishing baseline emissions, evaluating such factors as raw materials, the energy costs at their facilities, the amount that employees travel, and how and where their products are shipped. They work to reduce and balance them through greener strategies, switching to renewable power and investing in carbon offsets before they can display the label on their products. According to Climate Neutral, it only costs 12 cents to offset the carbon emissions required to produce a $120 running shoe. More than 40 brands have already signed up.

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by Julie Peterson

hen people think about heart health, what generally comes to mind is the fist-sized muscle that pumps and oxygenates the body’s lifeblood. However, the heart of the matter is not the pump itself, but the vascular system— the network of veins, arteries and capillaries that distributes blood to every cell in the body, delivering nutrients and eliminating waste. Each human adult harbors an astonishing 60,000 miles of blood vessels— enough to wrap around the planet twice. Keeping these hard-working vessels supple and open is the key not only to avoiding disease, but also to ensuring a long and healthy life. The alternative—arteriosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries—can slowly and silently bring on cardiovascular disease (CVD), which can result in a heart attack, stroke, vision loss and cognitive decline. CVD is the leading cause of death in the U.S., killing one in four Americans,

When a disease is lifestyleinduced, the only thing that can reverse it is a dramatic change in diet and lifestyle. We’ve seen over and over again that it works. ~Brenda Davis 12

Washington, D.C.

according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). By 2035, nearly half the population—45 percent—is predicted to have some form of the disease. “A hundred years ago, we were farming the back 40 with a team of horses, eating what we grew. Kids don’t get out and ride bikes; they’re playing video games and eating crap. There’s very little doubt how we got to this problem,” says John Osborne, M.D., director of cardiology at State of the Heart Cardiology, near Dallas. Yet, the nation’s number one killer, which can fester for decades without symptoms, is largely preventable and reversible. Only 15 percent of CVD is related to genetics; the rest is attributed to lifestyle, and the right choices can make all the difference. The key is to adopt heart-healthy habits before the body delivers a potentially fatal warning. “The initial presentation of heart disease can be an acute catastrophic event that results in death in half the men and two-thirds of the women. That’s not treatable,” warns Osborne.

Know the Risk Factors

The first step toward cardiovascular health is awareness. Important indicators of CVD risk include: 4 High blood pressure (over 140/90) 4 High cholesterol (over 240 mg/dL) 4 High triglycerides (over 200 mg/dL) 4 High blood glucose (over 140 mg/dL) 4 Obesity (BMI over 30) 4 Inflammation (hsCRP test above 2 ml/dL) 4 Physical inactivity (less than 30 minutes a day) 4 Smoking or vaping (any at all) 4 Chronic stress 4 Loneliness


The Lifeblood of Heart Health

Any of these factors can increase the risk of CVD, but possessing a cluster of the first five comprises a condition called metabolic syndrome, which significantly increases the potential for heart disease and Type 2 diabetes—itself a significant risk factor that can damage blood vessels, as well as the organs they support. “While diabetes is the seventh-leading cause of death in the United States, this figure belies the fact that most people with diabetes die of heart disease, kidney failure and other complications,” says Brenda Davis, RD, of Alberta, Canada, author of Kick Diabetes Essentials: The Diet and Lifestyle Guide. Metabolic syndrome, like CVD, has few obvious symptoms and is on the rise: Nearly one-third of adults in the U.S. have it, according to the CDC. The one distinct marker for the condition is an accumulation of fat around the waistline, characterized by a measurement of over 35 inches for women and 40 for men.

Take Action to Cut Risks

“When a disease is lifestyle-induced, the only thing that can reverse it is a dramatic change in diet and lifestyle,” says Davis. “We’ve seen over and over again that it works.”

n Know the Numbers

CVD flies under the radar even though it’s increasingly common at younger ages. The Journal of the American Medical Association released a study in December 2019 stating that about one in four young adults in the U.S. have pre-diabetes, putting them at increased risk for Type 2 diabetes and CVD. Lisa McDowell, director of clinical nutrition and wellness at St. Joseph’s Mercy Health System, in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and team dietitian for the Detroit Red Wings, works with elite athletes of all ages and notes that they more likely know their favorite player’s jersey number than their own health numbers. “Learn what your blood pressure is, know your body mass index, get your cholesterol levels and triglycerides and your [hemoglobin] A1C.

There’s not an excess of blueberries in the American diet; there’s an excess of relatively inexpensive, highly processed junk foods in large containers. ~Lisa McDowell Know these numbers early on and, if there’s a problem, fix it,” she advises. While simple blood tests help monitor indicators for CVD, more sophisticated tests can be even more revealing. In 2018, the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association (AHA) jointly issued new guidelines for patients over age 50 to get a computerized tomography (CT) scan to determine their calcium score. The procedure checks for hardening of the arteries and predicts the risk of a 10year future cardiovascular event. “This identifies people who have preclinical atherosclerosis, regardless of risk factors,” says Osborne. “It also helps people modify behaviors, because they are faced with a diagnosis.” Yale R. Smith, a Melbourne, Florida, M.D., who specializes in metabolic and functional medicine, utilizes the U.S. Food & Drug Administration-approved protein unstable lesion signature (PULS) blood test. Recommended for patients in their 40s, it measures inflammatory biomarkers for the body’s immune system response to arterial injury and provides a chronological heart age and risk of a CVD event. “If you can show someone the future, it’s a wake-up call to make lifestyle changes to increase longevity,” Smith says.

n Eat for Heart Health

Perhaps the single most important change that people can make is diet. “But a lot of people don’t want lifestyle medicine—they’d rather take a statin with their Big Mac,” says McDowell. Preventing or reversing CVD requires diligence, but it’s largely about eating real, whole food—and mostly plants.

This means avoiding processed foods and consuming less salt, trans fats, saturated fat and cholesterol; and more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds. “There’s not an excess of blueberries in the American diet; there’s an excess of relatively inexpensive, highly processed junk foods in large containers,” says McDowell. Overcoming the urge to grab fast and easy foods requires education. “Everyone needs to learn how to read a food label and avoid foods linked to vascular disease,” she adds. Vegans have healthier cholesterol levels in their blood compared to vegetarians, which in turn have better levels than meateaters. Study-verified diets that lower CVD indicators also include the Mediterranean diet, as well as two developed by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet and the Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes (TLC) diet, which also addresses exercise and weight control. “I don’t believe that one diet fits everybody, but there’s a preponderance of evidence that the more plant compounds you get, the better off you are,” says McDowell.

Some cardiovascular boosters:

Leafy greens flush out excess sodium and magnesium, and reduce inflammation. Berries improve circulation by boosting nitric oxide, which expands blood vessels. Pomegranate juice lowers blood pressure and reduces plaque formation. Walnuts, peanuts and almonds lower LDL, the “bad cholesterol”. Oily fish, chia and flax seeds with omega-3 fatty acids lower triglycerides. Soy with anti-inflammatory isoflavones helps dilate blood vessels. “We could eat tofu, tempeh, miso, edamame, soy beans or even organic soy ‘veggie meats’ in place of red meat,” says Davis. Yogurt, kefir and other fermented probiotic dairy products help improve glycemic control, blood lipids, cholesterol and blood pressure. Supplements can be very helpful: Red yeast rice extract, much like a statin, significantly lowers total cholesterol and LDL. February 2020


n Move It

Sitting all day and then briefly exercising doesn’t provide the same benefit as moving periodically throughout the day. Take more frequent breaks from sitting, get up to move around for a couple of minutes every 30 minutes. Exercise strengthens the endothelium, the innermost of an artery’s three layers, and produces nitric oxide, which helps

keep arteries open and healthy. Getting the blood moving lowers cholesterol and blood pressure, and increases oxygen and nutrients to the body. Exercising outdoors provides additional benefits. Research from the Barcelona Institute for Global Health found that exposure to green spaces helped prevent metabolic syndrome.

n Stress Less, Socialize More

sociability, as dogs tend to be tail-wagging ice-breakers. Further, merely stroking a pet lowers blood pressure. Apps like Headspace and Insight Timer make it easy to do meditation, which studies suggest may reduce overall CVD risk.

n Don’t Smoke

Spending even 20 minutes outdoors in nature can do wonders for high blood pressure and cortisol levels, studies show. Walking or talking with a friend deepens social engagement, a key factor in lowering CVD risk: “Having the right tribe is crucial,” says McDowell. “If you’re with people who support you and make you laugh, you feel less stress.” Walking a dog outdoors gets three cardiovascular pluses—exercise, nature and

Not starting to smoke or vape at all is ideal for cardiovascular health, but quitting allows the body to begin to heal, reducing the risk of coronary heart disease after one year by 50 percent, reports the AHA; 14 years later, the risk is the same as a non-smoker’s. “It’s not intuitively easy to make healthy decisions,” says McDowell. “We have to learn how to make good choices.” Julie Peterson writes from rural Wisconsin. Connect at



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Coenzyme Q10, a powerful antioxidant, lowers blood pressure and combats the side effects of statins. Omega-3s in fish oil supplements reduce heart risk in healthy people and those already diagnosed with CVD risk. Nicotinamide riboside improves blood pressure and arterial health in those with mild hypertension. Garlic, fresh or in capsules, can lower cholesterol and blood pressure.

Standard American Diet (SAD)


Previous studies have linked processed foods to hypertension and high cholesterol, and a 2019 British Medical Journal study of 105,000 adults reported that a 10 percent increase in the consumption of processed foods corresponded to a 12 percent overall increase in cardiovascular disease.


Assess Personal Risk High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure occurs when the force of blood pushing against the vessel walls is too high, making the heart and vessels work harder. The friction damages the endothelium— the inner lining of veins and arteries—plaque builds up, the vessels narrow and blood pressure increases even more. Contributing factors include being sedentary, overweight and consuming excessive alcohol or salt.

High Cholesterol

A waxy, fat-like substance found in all cells of the body, cholesterol can pile up (mostly as a consequence of poor diet) and stick to arterial walls, creating plaque that stymies blood flow to the heart.

High Triglycerides

The end product of digesting fats in food, triglycerides become fat in the blood that gives the body energy. Numbers climb with consumption of refined carbohydrates, simple sugars and fatty foods, contributing to arteriosclerosis.

Metabolic Syndrome

A cluster of conditions that affect up to a third of Americans, metabolic syndrome

is defined by high blood pressure; high levels of blood sugar, cholesterol and triglycerides; and excess fat around the waist. It’s closely linked to Type 2 diabetes, another CVD risk factor.


Obesity—which afflicts almost 40 percent of American adults—causes chronic inflammation, harms the endothelium and causes poor cholesterol numbers. A 12year study of 17,640 Europeans, published in the European Heart Journal, found that obese people with metabolic risk factors were two-and-a-half times as likely to have heart disease as those of normal weight.


When stressed by such factors as work overload, family strife or traumatic memories, the body releases adrenaline, which causes acceleration of breathing and heart rate, contraction of vessels and a rise in blood sugar. Chronic stress can cause constricted arteries that lead to arteriosclerosis and inflammation of the endothelium. Further, stressed people often turn to vascular-destructive activities such as smoking, drinking and binge eating.

Chronic inflammation, caused by such factors as fried and processed foods, smoking, obesity, alcohol and stress, can trigger the immune system to attack healthy tissues, including the endothelium, raising CVD risk. C-reactive protein (CRP), an inflammation marker, is measured by the hsCRP blood test. Men with higher CRP levels had three times the risk of heart attack and twice the risk of stroke, Harvard scientists have found.

Physical Inactivity

A lack of regular, ongoing physical activity has been shown to dramatically increase obesity, blood pressure, cholesterol and inflammation. A 2019 British study found that artery functions declined and CVD risk factors worsened in just two weeks when active exercisers reduced their daily steps from 10,000 to 1,000.

Smoking and Vaping

Nicotine, carbon monoxide and chemicals in cigarettes increase blood pressure and heart rate, damage the endothelium and cause blood platelets to clot more, which is why smokers are two to four times more likely to get cardiovascular disease. E-cigarettes and cigars may be worse due to higher doses of nicotine, the AHA warns.


People need people: Harvard researchers examined 23 studies that involved 181,000 adults and found that loneliness, social isolation or both were associated with increased risks of heart attacks (29 percent) and strokes (32 percent). February 2020


fit body


Coming Next Month


Plus: Thriving on a Plant-Based Diet

VITAL STEPS The Path to Vascular Fitness by Marlaina Donato


t is well-known that exercise combats cardiovascular disease by balancing blood pressure and managing blood sugar, but aerobic exercise, not resistance training, takes the prize for keeping the body’s thousands of miles of blood vessels more supple. A 2017 study published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise shows that all-extremity exercise like brisk walking improves arterial flexibility in older individuals; even those with a sedentary history.

For blood vessel flexibility, any sort of sustained aerobic exercise helps. Find something you enjoy so that you’ll keep doing it in the long term. ~Alex Hutchinson

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Moving the body regularly also lowers stress hormones like cortisol that can ignite damaging vascular inflammation. A West Virginia University study presented at the 2016 Experimental Biology meeting in San Diego showed that aerobic exercise fosters healthy blood vessels in rats exposed to chronic stress. Combining aerobic exercise with good diet and paying attention to triglyceride levels all help to keep us young from the inside-out.

Step It Up According to a 2015 study by the University of

Missouri School of Medicine published in Experimental Physiology, walking just 10 minutes after prolonged sitting can restore blood flow in the legs and improve impaired vascular function. Results like these are another reason to get up and move. Walking, running, swimming, cycling, jumping rope and playing tennis are all excellent options. “For blood vessel flexibility, any sort of sustained aerobic exercise helps. Find something you enjoy so that you’ll keep doing it in the long term,” says Alex Hutchinson, New York Times bestselling author of Which Comes First, Cardio or Weights? Fitness Myths, Training Truths, and Other Surprising Discoveries from the Science of Exercise. The Toronto-based, Outside magazine science columnist underscores that treadmills and walking outside foster equal benefits by increasing the heart rate. The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes per week of moderate aerobic exercise. Dr. Regina Druz, a boardcertified cardiologist and medical director of the Integrative Cardiology Center of Long Island, explains, “This translates into 30 minutes a day, five times a week. A specific exercise program may be helpful for those with a medical condition,

brisk walk /


but for overall vascular health, any physical activity like walking or taking the stairs will do.” Druz also highlights the role of nitric oxide: “One of the most studied mediators of vascular health is [nitric oxide], which makes arteries flexible.” Research findings published in 2018 in the journal Hypertension spotlight the correlation between the number of daily steps and arterial plasticity through a technique called pulse wave velocity, which measures how fast blood travels from the heart to the feet. The evidence suggests that 1,000 extra steps a day foster significant vascular improvement. Judy Heller, a walking coach and founder of Wonders of Walking, a fitness program in Portland, Oregon, concurs: “Moving throughout the day, not just once a day, is most important.” Heller is a firm believer in consistency. “My aunt lived to 107 and remained in her three-story house. Her words to me were, ‘Judy, don’t ever stop walking.’ Small changes yield greater rewards over time. We’re meant to move.”

Superfoods and Supplements

Nitric oxide, responsible for the dilation and contraction of blood vessels, is produced by exercising and helps to protect the smooth interior lining of the arteries from excessive plaque accumulation. Adding nitric oxide-boosting foods to an already healthy

diet can give us an extra edge over vascular conditions like stroke and peripheral artery disease. “Beets, arugula, spinach and rhubarb are all good sources of dietary nitrate. They’re not miracle supplements, but if you make these foods a regular part of your diet, you’ll have a positive effect on your arteries,” says Hutchinson. Research by Florida State University published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics reveals that a one-cup daily serving of blueberries helps to protect the arteries from stiffness. Watermelon, rich in the nonessential amino acid L-citrulline, also packs a nitric oxide punch. Full-spectrum vitamin E is another good option, especially for addressing peripheral artery disease and reducing serum triglyceride levels that are often seen as secondary to “bad” cholesterol levels, but which low levels are vital to cardiovascular health. Druz cautions against using supplements as substitutes for healthy nutrition and exercise, and underscores the importance of dialing down stress, “I advise my patients to build stress resiliency, which involves recognizing and practicing stress response. This, along with nutrition and consistent exercise, will lower inflammation and help build stress resiliency.” Marlaina Donato is an author and composer. Connect at

February 2020



healthy kids


Boosting Kids’ Cardiovascular Health

W Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love. ~Lao Tzu


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by Ronica A. O’Hara

e don’t often think of children as having cardiovascular problems, but evidence is mounting that many youngsters today—because of scant exercise, poor eating habits and excessive screen time—are on track to experiencing serious heart and circulatory problems later in life. “Instead of taking a wait-and-see approach by treating disease later in adulthood, we should help children maintain the standards of ideal cardiovascular health that most children are born with,” reports Julia Steinberger, M.D., director of pediatric cardiology at the University of Minnesota Medical School, in Minneapolis, and lead author of a 2016 scientific statement on children’s cardiovascular health from the American Heart Association (AHA). In a March 2019 update, the AHA noted that fewer than 1 percent of children meet all seven criteria, or metrics, for ideal cardiovascular health; half of all children meet merely half the measures, which include physical activity, healthy

eating, not smoking, attaining ideal body mass index (BMI), total cholesterol, blood pressure and glucose readings. Poor metrics in a child are linked to such adverse outcomes as heart attacks, heart failure and stroke in adulthood, advises Elaine Urbina, M.D., director of preventive cardiology at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, adding that poor metrics in teens are linked to fatty build-up in the neck arteries and arterial stiffness later in life. But starting in utero, crucial strategies can promote strong cardiovascular systems in kids. Children born to mothers with low vitamin D levels have about a 60 percent higher risk of elevated systolic blood pressure between ages 6 and 18, reports a Boston Medical Center study in the journal Hypertension; vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy may head that off. Other important strategies include:

Get them moving. Children should be physically active at least 60 minutes a day, the AHA recommends, but among

kids 6 to 11, only half of the boys and a third of the girls meet that guideline; by ages 16 to 19, merely one in 10 boys and one in 20 girls do. A review of 50 fitness studies in 28 countries involving 25 million children concluded that American kids today are about a minute and a half slower running a mile than their peers 30 years ago. “Aerobic exercises like running, swimming and cycling use the big muscles of the body and are excellent ways of stressing and strengthening the heart and lungs,” says study author Grant Tomkinson, Ph.D., professor of education, health and behavior studies at the University of North Dakota. Even simply walking to school in the morning for 10 minutes reduces stress in kids and curbs heart rate and blood pressure increases, a University of Buffalo study found.


Feed them well. About 91 percent of U.S. children

have what is classified as a “poor” diet that’s heavy in simple carbs like desserts and sugary drinks, the AHA reported. It recommends feeding kids a diet heavy in fruits, vegetables, fish and whole grains and low in sodium and sugary foods and drinks. A 2016 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study of 2,142 children found

Instead of taking a waitand-see approach by treating disease later in adulthood, we should help children maintain the standards of ideal cardiovascular health that most children are born with. ~Julia Steinberger

that nine of 10 kids exceeded recommended sodium levels. A Cleveland Clinic study found that obese children eating a low-fat, plant-based vegan diet for four weeks began lowering their risk of heart disease by improving their weight, blood pressure, BMI, cholesterol levels and insulin sensitivity.

Don’t smoke or vape. The risk of a child developing

carotid plaque in adulthood was four times higher if one or both parents smoked without taking care to limit the child’s exposure; when they did take care, the risk was still almost two times higher, according to an Australian study in the journal Circulation. Discouraging a teen from vaping is also critical to future health: New research from the University of Kansas School of Medicine shows that adults that vape are significantly more likely to have a heart attack, coronary artery disease and depression compared with those that don’t vape or use any tobacco products.

Restrict screen time. Australian

6-year-olds that spent the most time in front of TVs, computers and video games had narrower arteries in the back of their eyes—a marker of future cardiovascular risk— reported a study in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular. A study from Canada’s McMaster University found that kids with video game addictions sleep less, which in turn elevates blood pressure, lowers helpful HDL cholesterol and raises triglycerides. Ronica A. O’Hara is a Denver-based health writer. Connect at

If you don’t know your blood pressure, it’s like not knowing the value of your company. ~Mehmet Oz

It’s never too late to take your heart health seriously and make it a priority. ~Jennie Garth

Track your healTh from The comforT of your own home. Convenient, confidential and accurate health testing for women and men with online results in a matter of days. Visit today.

February 2020



green living


Thriving on a Plant-Based Diet

Disrupting Disposables

Plus: CBD

The Drive to Banish Single-Use Plastics

by Yvette C. Hammett


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niversities, sports There is momentum, Two-pronged efforts arenas, restaubut it is challenging. by businesses and indirants and other viduals to divert plastics businesses are taking up ~Eric DesRoberts from the waste system the call to “disrupt disposand replacing them with ables” as part of a global effort to dramatiEarth-friendly alternatives will eventucally cut down on single-use plastics. The ally pay off, experts say, but it will be a environmental problems caused by those long and slow process. However, momenubiquitous throwaways have become a tum is building, spurred by consumer mainstay of news reporting, and studies on demand and a growing number of enhow best to reduce them through public terprising businesses, organizations and policy abound. A recent Canadian research academic institutions. paper in the Marine Pollution Bulletin At Penn State University, agriculexplores strategies such as bans, tax levies ture and biological engineering profesand education. Experts agree that it is not sor Judd Michael is working with sports just a litter problem, but a sobering matter facilities to lower both plastics use and of human and planetary health. littering; the initiative is working so well As these plastics wind up in the oceans that their approaches may be taken up by and landfills worldwide, they can languish other schools across the nation. “One of virtually intact for up to 1,000 years, entanmy projects is with NASCAR’s Pocono gling and choking marine mammals and Raceway [also in Pennsylvania], where the terrestrial wildlife. Or, they break into toxic owners of the track wanted to continue microplastics that enter drinking water to make the venue more green,” he says. supplies, eventually ingested by humans. “There is zero waste in suites for that Because plastics are made from petroleum, track, and they are initiating a compretheir production also adds to greenhouse hensive recycling program. They try to get gases that contribute to the climate crisis. tailgaters to participate, as well.”


Coming Next Month

On campus, Penn State provides personal footprint—your cumulative imA lot of local folks have bags of different colors for tailgaters with pact, like how many single-use bottles you really changed their instructions for fans to separate recyclables have avoided,” she says. perspective. We see a lot in one bag and everything else in the other. On a smaller scale, Dana Honn and more customers coming That program was exported to Pocono. his wife Christina went completely plasticMichael is also working with PepsiCo, free upon opening Café Carmo, in New in and saying they which owns Frito-Lay, to develop alternaOrleans. “We only had about a dozen seats, appreciate that we are tive packaging. but determined to have as little waste as using compostable cups The University of Florida’s efforts possible. Every year, we were able to build and compostable straws. began in 2012, when the campus freed upon it,” he says. itself from plastic bags, getting buy-in from “A lot of local folks have really changed ~Dana Honn Chick-Fil-A, Subway and other eateries that their perspective. We see a lot more cusagreed to switch to alternatives. “We’ve been tomers coming in and saying they appreciStyrofoam-free since 2012, as well,” says Allison Vitt, outreach ate that we are using compostable cups and compostable straws.” and communications coordinator for the UF Office of Sustainability. It’s a slow, but steady effort, says Eric DesRoberts, senior “At the end of 2018, we officially switched over all to compostable manager of the Ocean Conservancy’s Trash Free Seas program. straws.” They feel like plastic, but are certified compostable, “We have worked with a number of restaurants talking about why she says. it is important to be taking action to keep plastics out of the waste UF has engaged with Cupanion, a company that developed stream and out of the ocean.” an app that has a “fill it forward” program, distributing money to More people are volunteering to clean up and cut back on clean-water charities worldwide. “Since 2016, we’ve been working plastics, and more businesses are asking the nonprofit, Washingwith them to reduce single-use plastic, rewarding people for reuston, D.C.-based, environmental advocacy organization how they ing their bottles,” says Vitt. can do their part. “There is momentum, but it is challenging,” Interested students, staff and faculty are given a barcode says DesRoberts. sticker to scan on their phone each time a bottle is refilled at a campus retailer or water fountain. The app provides points that Yvette C. Hammett is an environmental writer based in Valrico, can be redeemed for monthly prizes. “It also shows you your Florida. Connect at

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February 2020


wise words

Linda Carroll on Skills That Make Love Last by Kajsa Nickels

photo by Le Studio NYC


sychotherapist Linda Carroll was drawn into the dynamics of couples’ counseling three decades ago when she saw how in her own marriage, petty disagreements could turn into full-blown arguments with the potential for deep wounds. She and her husband Tim worked on their issues by attending workshops across the country, including Imago therapy and PAIRS (Practical Application of Intimate Relationship Skills), which were so effective that she developed a curriculum called Love Skills by combining those tools, her experience as a married person and counselor, personal training from consciousness pioneers and resources from ancient mythology and spiritual/religious traditions. She has co-taught the course with her husband for more than 25 years. Her first book, Love Cycles: The Five Essential Stages of Everlasting Love, has been translated into several languages and details stages in romantic relationships. Her new book, Love Skills: The Key to Unlocking Lasting, Wholehearted Love, is a guide to developing a relationship toolkit.

What is the Love Cycles model?

It is based on the fact that feelings of love are seasonal. Like the seasons of the year, they are a natural progression of a relationship. If you understand the seasons, you 22

Washington, D.C.

can pass through them. All relationships are teachers. If we allow them to teach us, we become free to love deeper and better.

What is the most difficult Love Cycles stage, and why?

Each stage has its own unique challenges. For example, the first stage, the Merge, has a magic to it due to the chemical cocktail that floods your body when in the presence of your significant other. But this stage can be treacherous in that you can mistake your feelings for evidence that this is the “right” person for you. In the Power Struggle stage, feelings will have worn off and power struggles will start to show up. The third stage is Disillusionment. Differences between both of you really start to show up at this time. The fourth stage is the Decision stage. At this point, many couples find themselves wanting out. The key to making it through this stage is to remember that this, too, shall pass and to commit to working it out. It’s important to realize that life is not about getting an A+ at all times. Sometimes, we need to accept that a C- is okay; and if you do need to leave a relationship, it is possible to do it in a wholehearted way at best—at the least, to minimize damage. The fifth stage I call Wholehearted Love, a stage reached only through mindfulness and unconditional love. Because love has changing seasons, a couple will not stop at

the fifth stage forever, but getting back to this state will become easier and easier as time goes on.

What was your impetus for writing Love Skills?

I have been teaching the program for 25 years and drew from my almost 40 years as a couples therapist, many trainings all over the country and own life experiences in my relationship with my husband to compile the program. Most couples lack the skills to manage the troubles of life. There is a skill to every aspect of a relationship, especially in communication: listening, speaking, knowing when to speak and when to be silent.

Who is most likely to benefit?

The relationship you have with yourself is a core part of the Love Cycles model. If you do not have a good relationship with yourself, you cannot have a solid and meaningful relationship with another person. This is a couples’ book, although it can also be gone through by a single person if the partner is not interested in it. What I tell people is that you can only work on your part. If the other person doesn’t want to buy in or isn’t wholeheartedly on board—or at least partially willing—there is nothing that you can do about it. You need to be able to be okay and confident in yourself. You cannot change another person, but you can always change yourself.

What is one of the most important pieces of advice you have for couples?

I hope that couples come to realize that feelings of love are like clouds, always changing. A good relationship requires a skill set, which we practice whatever the feelings are. We are not born knowing how to love skillfully, but this skill set can be learned by anyone and will make you able to listen better and appreciate each other more. Kajsa Nickels is a freelance author who resides in northeastern Pennsylvania. Connect at

leading edge

FIGHT CANCER with a Healthy Immune System by Allan Tomson


n an article in last month’s Natural Awakenings, the basic components of the immune system, namely the innate and adaptive parts, were discussed—including a discussion on how they work together to keep us safe from microbes. Just as a reminder, the innate “arms” include barriers like the skin and membranes, as well as macrophages and neutrophils that can engulf the microbes and kill them. The innate system also has the natural-killer cells that attack anything that doesn’t register as one’s own body’s cells and uses fever and inflammation to kill invaders.  Alternatively, the adaptive system relies on specific microbes and antibodies that create an exact copy of the viral membrane identity so that it can be tagged for destruction.  To carry on with this topic, this article will focus on how some microbes and disease processes have mechanisms that block or fool the immune system.

Just as all living things have done over time to ensure survival, they have adapted over time. Specifically, cancer is a master at hiding out and self-preservation. At any given time, every human has cancer cells floating around in his or her body. Luckily, the job of the immune system is to seek them out and destroy them. Certain white blood cells tell the T-cells to attack. These same proteins can also tell the T-cells to remain idle and not attack. Over time, cancer cells “learn” this and have developed a way to tell the T-cells to stand down—thus protecting itself from attack.  Not only does cancer fool the immune system, but it is also very good at two other things. First, it can take over gene expression in processes like cell division and make them run nonstop without interference from the normal mechanisms that cause it to stop. Therefore, cancer

cells don’t die. They just keep dividing, growing and proliferating. (Indeed, proteins that can make genes code for cell growth are much higher in cancer cells.) The second thing is that when cancerous cells number about 1 million, these cells can’t get enough nutrition from the surrounding tissues so it has to get it from the blood and has developed the ability to take over the genes that code for angiogenesis (blood vessel production). Cancer causes one’s body to produce new blood vessels that go right to it, ensuring endless nutrients for endless growth. To protect oneself, it is important to keep one’s body in a high-functioning state with a strong immune system. However, we tend to do things that are detrimental to its maintenance, like eating a high-fat, high-sugar diet and drinking alcohol or smoking. We might skip exercising, or we do too much of it. Also, we push ourselves to make deadlines or to achieve higher performance that uses up our energy reserves. Maybe we don’t give ourselves time to rejuvenate fully, giving ourselves enough sleep, which is to recharge one’s nervous system. There are some things that we can do, like eating a live-food diet full of antioxidants (lots of berries), getting regular exercise and including vitamin supplements into one’s daily regime, such as green tea extract, quercetin, resveratrol and curcumin. Some form of relaxation, like meditation, is very useful to stay in balance as is regular bodywork like chiropractic, acupuncture, massage or other therapies. These techniques help clear blockage in the nervous system, meridians and soft tissue that occur in the activities in our busy lives. Allan Tomson, DC, is the executive director of Neck Back & Beyond Healing Arts, an integrative wellness center in Fairfax, with a satellite office in Manassas. Tomson is a chiropractor and has skills and experience in functional medicine, visceral manipulation, CranioSacral Therapy and Cayce protocols. To learn more on this topic, contact Dr. Tomson at 703-865-5690 or visit See ad, page 9. February 2020



healing ways

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HEALING JOINTS FROM WITHIN The Promise of Regenerative Medicine


by Marlaina Donato

omeday, medical science will allow us to infuse damaged or aging organs with new cells, or to manufacture made-to-order organs on a 3-D printer. These emerging techniques to revitalize worn-out body parts are on the drawing board in the field of regenerative medicine. However, for the injured college athlete or the grandmother with compromised joint function, healing and pain relief can already be found in the form of prolotherapy and other non-invasive approaches that stimulate the body to heal itself. Injection therapies using dextrose or the patient’s own platelets or stem cells are being used to naturally stimulate the body to produce collagen and rejuvenated tissue, offering hope to those with soft tissue injuries, osteoarthritis, degenerative disc disease and even pain syndromes like fibromyalgia. A recent review in the British Medical Bulletin of 10 high-quality studies of

dextrose prolotherapy in adults with mild to moderate osteoarthritis of the knee showed patients experienced significantly less pain and improved range of motion in both the short term and long term without adverse effects. Eighty-two percent of patients were satisfied with the treatment.

Controlled Inflammation

A type of regenerative medicine innovated by osteopathic physician Earl Gedney in the 1930s, prolotherapy induces low-grade, temporary inflammation with the intention of triggering connective tissue cells called fibroblasts in and around the injection site. “If you cut your arm or twist your ankle, various immune cells rush to the area to begin the repair process. This is a very basic comparison of what prolotherapy does with injections directed to specific anatomical points,” says Ross A. Hauser, M.D., founder of Caring Medical Regenerative Medicine Clinics, in Fort Myers, Florida, and Chicago.

“Prolotherapy is used to treat osteoarthritis because it helps correct the underlying reason why it has occurred, which is joint instability. The body overgrows bone as a long-term response in an effort to stabilize an unstable joint,” Hauser says. Naturopathic physician Brent Cameron, of Aurora Natural Medicine, in Gilbert, Arizona, suggests individualized treatment plans for best results. “My recommendations are very patient-specific, which is an important piece in prolotherapy.” Cameron says his patients are likely to start seeing relief in the first week. “In many instances, they experience complete relief and mobility after a series of treatments.” While Cameron attests to the efficacy of dextrose prolotherapy, he is cautious with recommending it for people with systemic inflammatory conditions. “Someone with a history of joint-related autoimmune response tends to mount stronger inflammatory responses. Other forms of regenerative medicine can be helpful for rheumatoid arthritis [RA], but not in the inflammation-mediated way, like prolotherapy and platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections.” One option, according to the Institute of Regenerative Medicine, in Boca Raton, Florida, might be very small embryonic-like stem cells (VSELS), an emerging form of regenerative stem cell therapy. These have shown promise in dealing with RA and other autoimmune diseases. Meanwhile, the Mayo Clinic Center for Regenerative Medicine is ramping up its research into approaches that stimulate the body to repair itself, with numerous ongoing clinical trials utilizing different injection therapies for the treatment of osteoarthritis.

The Power of Platelets PRP injections are similar to prolotherapy, using platelets from the patient’s body instead of dextrose. “As blood flows through an injury site, the inflammatory chemicals trigger the platelets to release growth factors, which causes the torn fibers of the damaged structures to heal,” says Fort Worth osteopath Gerald Harris, of Texas Prolotherapy and Neural Therapy. PRP is sometimes used in conjunction with stem cell therapy, which is typically applied in cases in which something needs to be replaced, to help fill in gaps in ligaments or tendons, Harris says. PRP injections have proven to be effective in easing chronic low back pain from damaged vertebral discs. An overview of research published in the Journal of Spine Surgery in 2018 found it to be safe, effective and feasible, with promising potential for the treatment of musculoskeletal disorders. Harris says that people that wish to avoid surgery or cortisone injections can benefit from PRP, which can also be applied topically to treat non-healing wounds like bedsores and diabetic ulcers. Harris subscribes to the power of persistence. “Don’t give up. With proper treatment there is a strong likelihood that you can live a happy, healthy life free from chronic pain.” Marlaina Donato is the author of several books and a composer. Connect at

February 2020


~Brigit Binns

A Feast for All Seasons Embracing the Rainbow Year Round


by April Thompson

o matter where we live, eating seasonally in winter doesn’t have to be boring or limiting; a culinary adventure awaits the home chef that’s willing to leave avocados and asparagus to their rightful seasons and embrace the winter rainbow of bitter greens, sweet potatoes, sunny citrus and fuchsia beets, among other timely delicacies. “Sometimes people think of winter foods as brown and soft and boring, and it’s absolutely not the case. Winter brings bright things like pomegranates, beets and citrus, which offer color and acidity,” says Brigit Binns, the Paso Robles, California author of 30 cookbooks, including Cooking in Season: 100 Recipes for Eating Fresh. Eating seasonally is especially important in winter, says Shannon Stonger of Texas, author of Simple Food for Winter: 30 Grain-Free Recipes to Get You Through the Dark Days. “Winter foods like fermented vegetables, root vegetables, squashes and hardy greens are especially helpful in the colder, darker months, when our bodies are in need of comfort foods as well as pre- and probiotic foods,” says Stonger, a homesteader and founder of the blog There are plenty of other reasons to stick to a seasonal diet in winter, adds Binns. “Food always tastes better in the season


Washington, D.C.

it was intended to be eaten in. Seasonal foods are naturally ripened, rather than harvested early and trucked in. In addition to enhanced flavor, eating seasonally helps minimize use of fossil fuels to bring our food to us, and is likely to be less expensive.”

Winterizing the Kitchen

Much of the fall harvest, particularly root vegetables, stores well through the winter (hence the idea of a root cellar), extending produce across seasons, according to Steven Satterfield, chef and author of Root to Leaf: A Southern Chef Cooks Through the Seasons. There are lots of root vegetables beyond just carrots and potatoes to be enjoyed in winter, including sunchokes, parsnips and turnips, which can be used creatively rather than “boiled to death,” says Satterfield. For example, the Atlanta restaurateur incorporates parsnips into an upside-down cake with winter spices like nutmeg, black pepper and ginger. Binns like to add texture to winter dishes with nuts, color with herbs, and crunch with a winter vegetable like fennel. Warming soups are always comforting during the coldest season, but she also likes warm salads, like a beet and escarole salad drizzled with a warm sherry vinaigrette. Satterfield suggests that specialty citrus like blood oranges, Meyer lemons

Winter Health Boosters

Beyond selecting seasonal produce, chefs recommend a few key dietary tweaks in winter, such as stepping up vitamin D consumption. “Since you’re not seeing a lot of sun this time of year, it’s more important to get it through colorful vegetables like carrots, cabbage or radicchio. Watermelon radishes are another winter vegetable full of vitamins,” says Binns. “You can grow your own sprouts throughout the winter as a great microgreen option. Sprouts are incredibly high in enzymes, something often lacking in other winter dishes,” suggests Stonger. “Fermented vegetables and other fermented foods can make up the difference in winter.” April Thompson is a freelance writer in Washington, D.C. Connect at


Food always tastes better in the season it was intended to be eaten in.

and cross-hybridized varieties such as tangelos and pomelos are fun to intersperse with winter vegetables to maximize brightness and freshness. A lot of winter produce can be great in raw form as well, he adds, including Brussels sprouts, rutabaga or daikon radish, shaved thinly or julienned into a salad. Winter squash is a favorite staple of the Stonger family in the cooler months. “It is easy to grow, easy to store and so deliciously sweet and rich. We roast it as a side dish, mash it as a sort of breakfast porridge or make soups and curries from it,” says Stonger. Satterfield suggests using all the parts of winter vegetables to maximize the harvest and minimize food waste. For example, the seeds of winter squashes can be roasted with herbs and spices and eaten as is, churned into other dishes such as a squash seed granola or blended and strained into a homemade broth to add some texture, fat and flavor. After roasting carrots with Moroccan spices, Satterfield suggests taking the leafy carrot tops and chopping them with cilantro and garlic to make a green sauce to crown the carrots. Swiss chard stems can also be chopped and cooked into Portuguese bread soup, with leftover stale bread made into olive oil croutons and egg whites stirred in at the end.

Winter Salad Wonders

For the vinaigrette: Fresh orange juice or as needed 1 Tbsp champagne vinegar ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

photo by Ray Kachatorian

Cut the celery in half lengthwise. Using a serrated vegetable peeler or a mandoline, shave the celery into thin strips lengthwise down the ribs. Cut the strips in half crosswise and place in a bowl of water. Set aside. Separate the mâche leaves and transfer to a shallow serving bowl. Working on a plate to capture all the juices, use a serrated knife to cut a thick slice off the top and bottom of each citrus fruit. Working with one fruit at a time, stand it upright and, following the contour of the fruit, carefully slice downward to remove the peel, pith and membrane. Set the fruit on its side and cut crosswise into slices about ⅜-inch thick, discarding any seeds. Transfer the slices to the bowl with the mâche, reserving the juices for the vinaigrette.

Mixed Citrus Salad With Mâche, Fennel and Celery Winter is the height of citrus season, with an appealing display of oranges, mandarins, tangerines, tangelos, pomelos and more in the best-stocked markets. Use a varied mixture of sweet-tart types for the prettiest, tastiest salad.

photo by Ray Kachatorian

Yields: 4 servings 2 ribs celery 2 bunches mâche 2 lb mixed citrus fruits, such as navel oranges, blood oranges, tangerines, mandarins and pomelos ½ fennel bulb, trimmed 8 kumquats ¼ cup sliced almonds, toasted

Cut the fennel lengthwise in half. Using a mandoline or a sharp knife, cut the fennel crosswise into very thin slices and tuck among the citrus slices. Drain the celery and distribute evenly over the salad. Using the serrated knife, cut each kumquat crosswise into very thin slices, discarding any seeds. Scatter the kumquat slices evenly over the salad, then sprinkle the almonds over the top.

You can grow your own sprouts throughout the winter as a great microgreen option. ~Shannon Stonger

Chard and Squash Salad 1 small winter squash, such as sweet dumpling, acorn or golden 2 small beets, trimmed 1 Tbsp olive oil 1 bunch Swiss chard, tough ribs removed and leaves torn Red wine vinaigrette or vinaigrette of choice Sea salt and freshly ground pepper Cut the winter squash into wedges and remove the seeds, if desired. Transfer the wedges to a baking dish. Halve the beets and add to the dish. Drizzle with the oil and toss to coat. Bake in a preheated 450° F oven, stirring once, until tender and lightly browned, 20 to 40 minutes. Let cool. Peel and slice the beets. Place the chard in a bowl, drizzle with some of the vinaigrette. Toss to coat. Add the squash and beets, drizzle with the remaining vinaigrette, and season to taste with salt and pepper. From Cooking in Season: 100 Recipes for Eating Fresh, by Brigit Binns

To make the vinaigrette, pour the reserved citrus juices into a measuring cup. Add enough additional orange juice to measure ½ cup then add the vinegar. Whisking constantly, slowly add the olive oil and whisk until well combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad, toss gently to coat, and serve. From Cooking in Season: 100 Recipes for Eating Fresh, by Brigit Binns

Natural Awakenings recommends using organic, non-GMO (genetically modified) and non-bromated ingredients whenever possible. February 2020


healthy living

pressure and protect your heart health. Many of these modifications help lower cholesterol levels too. Let’s take a look at each modification you can make to your lifestyle to improve your heart health. Healthy Diet: Decrease sodium consumption to less than 1500 milligrams, limit sugar and fats. Exercise: Get a minimum of 30 minutes of brisk exercise each day to help decrease blood pressure readings. Weight Loss: Losing as little as 10 percent of your body weight can significantly improve blood pressure readings.

Heart Health

Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Levels are Key by Alex Leon


hroughout the day, your heart beats approximately 108,000 times per day. The heart pumps oxygen and nutrients to the cells in your body via the blood. When you do not protect your heart, you are at risk of a heart attack or stroke. We have collected the top tips to help improve your heart health.

Know Your Numbers

The two most important numbers to understand when it comes to heart health is your blood pressure reading and your cholesterol levels. If either of these is too high, it can increase the risk of heart disease. High blood pressure, also called hypertension, occurs when the blood inside your arteries and veins press too forcefully against the walls of your blood vessels. High blood pressure is linked to heart disease, as well as several health issues. Blood pressure readings consist of 28

Washington, D.C.

a top and a bottom number. The top number on a blood pressure reading shows the pressure inside your arteries when your heart contracts. Conversely, the bottom number indicates the pressure inside your arteries when your heart relaxes.

High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure occurs when the force of your blood increases inside your arteries. If elevated blood pressure/ hypertension, is not treated, damage can happen to your arteries, kidneys, heart and other organs in your body. This damage can lead to kidney failure, stroke, heart attacks, memory loss, chest pain, erectile dysfunction, respiratory issues, circulation problems and a host of other health issues. How to Lower Blood Pressure Readings There are quite a few lifestyle modifications you can make to reduce your blood

Avoid Tobacco: Tobacco usage and secondhand smoke can increase blood pressure. Limit Alcohol: Do not drink more than one to two servings of alcoholic beverages daily.

Cholesterol Levels

If you are like most people, you have heard of cholesterol and know that it is vital to protect your cholesterol health, but you may not know exactly what cholesterol is and what it does. In addition to cholesterol from the foods you eat, your body creates cholesterol. There are two different types of cholesterol in the body. High-density lipoproteins are known as good cholesterol, while low-density lipoproteins are known as bad cholesterol. The body uses highdensity lipoproteins to create hormones and vitamin D, aid in digestion and help protect against heart disease. Conversely, low-density lipoproteins can cause plaque to build up in your arteries, increasing the risk of developing heart disease.  How to Lower Cholesterol Levels There are various things you could do to improve your overall heart health. Making healthy lifestyle changes can lower your cholesterol levels and improve heart health. Even if you don’t suffer from high cholesterol, making these changes can reduce the risk of developing heart disease.

Diet: You can improve your heart health with a healthy diet plan. Eating a hearthealthy diet includes including a plethora of fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains. These high-fiber foods help to remove all excess bad cholesterol from the body. When choosing meats and dairy products, opt for low-fat options. Finally, limit the amount of fatty foods and red meat you consume. In addition to this, avoid foods and drinks high in sugar. Following a cholesterol-reducing diet plan can also aid in weight loss. Exercise: Exercise is good for the heart. When you perform aerobic exercises, your heart pumps faster and harder, which gives it a workout. In addition to this, exercise increases your respiration rate, which provides the heart with more oxygen. To safeguard your heart and prevent heart disease, get at least 30 minutes of exercise daily.  Avoid Tobacco Products: Cigarettes and secondhand smoke can increase the risk of heart disease. If you smoke, stop smoking. If you do not smoke, avoid being around others who smoke.  Following these recommendations to decrease your blood pressure and cholesterol level helps improve your heart health. In addition to these tips listed above, ensuring you get enough omega-3 fatty acids through diet and supplementation can help improve cholesterol levels, decrease blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease. Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids include salmon, trout and tuna.  Taking care of your heart through healthy lifestyle modification lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels. When you have a healthy heart, your risk of having a stroke or heart attack or developing cardiovascular disease is reduced.  Alex Leon, M.D., is a board-certified family physician, specializing in integrative functional medicine at the Rose Wellness Center, in Oakton, VA. See ad, page 9. He will be offering a free webinar on heart health at 7 p.m. on February 12. To register, visit Cholesterol See ad, page 25. For more information, visit


CHOOSING LOVE How to Cope With Fearful Times


by Scarlett Lewis

t’s hard to make sense of some of the troubling things we see on TV and read about in the news. Our kids ask us, “Why are these things happening?” It’s an important question and it all comes down to two competing feelings: fear versus love. When we see disturbing images such as school shootings or political opponents attacking one another, it cultivates anxiety, which is epidemic in our society. When left untreated, it can lead to negative outcomes including substance abuse, depression, suicide and violence. Often, we look to those in perceived power to solve these issues. Perhaps what we haven’t considered is that these are not political issues; rather, they are issues of the heart and only we can solve them. So we continue to see pain and suffering played out before us. We feel powerless and this feeds our unease. Our personal safety is a priority and external safety measures sometimes fail. If we don’t feel safe, nothing else matters. There is a solution. The opposite of anxiety and fear is love. When we examine the trajectory of most societal ills, there is often an arc of loneliness, depression, isolation and often abuse. From a young age, we can learn to choose love as a thoughtful response to any situation. When we do this, we take back our personal power. We become part of the solution to the issues we see, and science tells us that others will do the same.

There is a formula for choosing love. It starts with courage. My son Jesse was a 6-year-old boy who stood up to the shooter that came into his first-grade classroom at Sandy Hook Elementary School and saved nine of his classmates’ lives before losing his own. We all have that courage within us: the courage to be kind, to speak our truth, to do the right thing. We can only have one thought at a time, so we can shift our thinking by replacing a negative thought with a grateful one. Forgiving helps us to take back our personal power and is a gift we give ourselves. It is the foundation of healthy relationships that lead to greater happiness and connection in our lives. Compassion in action helps us step outside our own busyness, distraction and even pain to help others. When we do this, we’re choosing love and helping to create a safer, more peaceful and loving world. When we model the practice of these character values as a thoughtful response for our children, they grow up to do the same. Scarlett Lewis is the founder of the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to ensure every child has access to social and emotional education and support. Connect with her at February 2020


calendar of 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. No phone calls or faxes, please.

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 6 New Year’s Reset: Learn How to Flip the Switch on Metabolism and Shred Fat and Weight – 11:45am. Online live webinar introducing our new easy to follow online program with personalization. Learn what can shut down the metabolism and what can rev it up to shred fat and weight. Free. Regenasyst Wellness and Health, online webinar, link provided with registration. Info:

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 13 SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 1 Material Woman Gallery Talk – 1-3pm. With the artists of Material Woman. The artists in Material Woman share an interest in exploration and transformation of everyday materials, some historically associated with feminine hands and some newly provocative and gender-free. Join us in hearing from these women and their inspirations for their works. Free. Smith Center for Healing and the Arts, 1632 U St. NW. Info: 202483-8600 or

MONDAY, FEBURARY 3 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: Arlington

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 5 Caregiver Workshop: Self-Forgiveness and Guilt – 6:30-8pm. With Erin Price, LGSW, and Samantha Evans. A workshop for caregivers of a loved one at any stage of cancer treatment. We will incorporate writing and creativity to process the topics of self-forgiveness and guilt. Free. Smith Center for Healing and the Arts, 1632 U St, NW. Info: 202-483-8600 or

Stress and Hormones: Learn What Stress is, How Much is Good and How Stress Affects Health – 6:15pm. Learn what stress is and how much is good. Learn how stress affects health. Regenasyst Wellness, online webinar, register to receive the link. Info: Orientation-Seminar.

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 14 Tami and Friends Concert Series – 7-9pm. With Smith Center’s Artist in Residence Manager, Tamara Wellons and featuring Kinard Cherry. Please join us for a new concert series at the gallery hosted by our very own Tamara Wellons, artist-in-residence manager at Smith Center for Healing and the Arts and Washington, D.C.-based vocal artist. Each quarter, Wellons will host a series of different accompanying artists and musicians. The first series will debut on Valentine’s Day as we celebrate love with the smooth rhythms of Wellons and her husband, Cherry. $15. Smith Center for Healing and the Arts, 1632 U St, NW. Info: 202-483-8600 or

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 15 Feel Good Foods in February – 10am-2pm. With Chef Laura Pole. 30-minute healthy living consultations for members of the Smith Center community who may be unable to access medical integrative services in a clinical setting due to cost limitations. By appointment only. $25 (suggested donation). Smith Center for Healing and the Arts, 1632 U St, NW. Info: 202-483-8600 or

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 20 Healing Haiku Workshop – 7-8:30pm. With international prize-winning Haiku poet, Rick Black. Take some of your most cherished and beloved memories and turn them into haiku or short poems to share with others. An experienced poet will help you along the way to make these poems memorable for you and others. $20 (suggested donation). Smith Center for Healing and the Arts, 1632 U St, NW. Info: 202-483-8600 or

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 22 Boost Your Immune System with Essential Oils 2pm. Essential oils can play a significant role in improving your overall health, learn how to support your body through the winter months. Neck, Back


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and Beyond Healing Arts, 10195 Main St, Ste D, Fairfax, VA. Info:

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 23 Comedic Relief: Coping Through Comedy Workshop – 12-4:30pm. Six-week course through March 29. With Charity Sade. In this course, young adult cancer survivors will learn how to prepare, polish and perform a five-minute comedic storytelling piece or stand-up comedy set by working on timing, delivery, story structure and comedy writing. Patients/Survivors and Caregivers/Co-Survivors welcome. $50. Smith Center for Healing and the Arts, 1632 U St, NW. Info: 202483-8600 or Rediscovering Your HeArt: Finding Joy and Creativity Through Expressive Writing – 2-4pm. Start the new year off with writing prompts and exercises to help you jumpstart creative projects that have languished, or simply to find ways to live a more expressive, joyful life. $250. Dragonfly Communications, LLC, I/O Spaces Silver Spring, 8222 Georgia Ave, Silver Spring, MD. Register:

special event

Thermography Clinic for Breast Health

Thermography is a painless, non-invasive and inexpensive breast scan approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for women of any age.

February 23 and 24 • 1-3pm

Neck, Back and Beyond Healing Arts 10195 Main St, Ste D, Fairfax, VA For more information or to book an appointment, call 703-865-5690.

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 27 Movie Night – 7pm. I’ll Push You: A Camino Journey of 500 - Two Best Friends and One Wheel Chair. I’ll Push You is one of the most genuine testaments to friendship found on film, but its impact is augmented all the more when we see what happens with the other pilgrims on the trail. Neck, Back and Beyond Healing Arts, 10195 Main St, Ste D, Fairfax, VA. Info: Neck


special event

Experiencing Our Touchstones Together: A Workshop with Helen Frederick

Exploring the concept of site-specific space and working from a probe the instructor will provide, you will experiment with one element that can be repeated, expanded or interfaced with itself to plan a small artwork. With personally defined activities derived from objects that act as touchstones, you will take a role in exploring a sensorial or physical experience, as seen in the artworks of Material Woman. Bring one or two objects with you that you feel represent a deep connection about you, a material that you respond to and may relate to your cultural roots. $15.

Saturday, February 29 • 1-4pm Smith Center for Healing and the Arts, 1632 U St, NW. Info: 202-483-8600 or

plan ahead MONDAY, MARCH 2 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: ArlingtonLaughterYoga@

THURSDAY, MARCH 5 New Year’s Reset: Learn How to Flip the Switch on Metabolism and Shred Fat and Weight – 11:45am. Online live webinar introducing our new easy to follow online program with personalization. Learn what can shut down the metabolism and what can rev it up to shred fat and weight. Free. Regenasyst Wellness and Health, online webinar, link provided with registration. Info: Orientation-Seminar.

THURSDAY, MARCH 19 Sress and Hormones: Learn What Stress is, How Much is Good and How Stress Affects Health – 6:15pm. Learn what stress is and how much is good. Learn how stress affects health. Regenasyst Wellness, online webinar, register to receive the link. Info: Orientation-Seminar

SUNDAY, MARCH 22 Illuminate Frederick Maryland Local Arts and Wellness Festival – 10am-5pm. The finest local holistic wellness practitioners, products and amazing artisanstry sample sessions; find crystals, jewelry, essential oils, spa products, gifts and art. Free workshops. $5 online or $6 at the door and free for active/veteran military, emergency responders and children 16 and under. Illuminate Festivals, Clarion Inn Frederick Event Center, 5400 Holiday Dr, Frederick, MD. Info: 575-519-5883 or

ongoing calendar 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. No phone calls or faxes, please.



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:

Early Morning Meditation – 7:30-8:15am. See Mon for details. 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:

monday 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: Healing Circle for Moms with Cancer – 11am– 12:30pm. With Manju Nair. This ongoing healing circle will focus on the unique needs of mothers, with children of any age, who are living with cancer. No matter where you find yourself on your journey you will have a chance to be with others who share in your experience. Smith Center for Healing and the Arts, 1632 U St, NW. Info: 202483-8600 or Mindfulness and Meditation – 12-12:45pm. With Erin Price, LGSW. Mindfulness skills can help combat stress, anxiety and uncertainty in everyday life. This series will explore various mindfulness skills and is open to all experience levels. Free. GW Cancer Center, 2150 Pennsylvania Ave, NW (1st floor in the Katzen Board Room). Info: 202483-8600 or Healing Circle for People Living with Lymphedema – 2:30-4pm. With Danielle Ferris, MS, OTR/L, CLT, Maude Fish and Bonnie Vermillion. This ongoing healing circle will focus on the unique needs that people who are living with Lymphedema face. No matter where you find yourself on your journey you will have a chance to be with others who share in your experience. Smith Center for Healing and the Arts, 1632 U St, NW. Info: 202-483-8600 or

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

thursday Early Morning Meditation – 7:30-8:15am. See Mon for details. The Center for Mindful Living, 4708 Wisconsin Ave, Ste 200, NW, Tenleytown. Info: Naturopathic Consultations – 5-7pm. With Deirdre Orceyre, ND, MSOM, L.Ac. A 30-minute healthy living consultations for members of the Smith Center community who may be unable to access medical integrative services in a clinical setting due to cost limitations. By appointment only. $10-$40 (suggested donation, sliding scale). Smith Center for Healing and the Arts, 1632 U St, NW. Info: 202-483-8600 or Healing Circle for Young Adults with Metastatic Breast Cancer – 6-8pm. With Kimberly Parekh. We are a new demand-driven and patient-led in-person and online community support group for young women and men (diagnosed between the age of 18–45ish) with metastatic breast cancer (MBC) in the DC, MD and VA area. Peerled and expert-led information on living with breast cancer. Free. Smith Center for Healing and the Arts, 1632 U St, NW. Info: 202-483-8600 or

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: Healing Circle for Young Adults with Metastatic Breast Cancer – 6-8pm. See Thurs for details. Free. Smith Center for Healing and the Arts, 1632 U St, NW. Info: 202-483-8600 or

February 2020


community resource guide


Connecting you to the leaders in natural health care 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.

ACUPUNCTURE HOMA HASHIME, ND, M.AC., L.AC., DIPL. AC Rose Wellness Center 2944 Hunter Mill Rd, Ste 101, Oakton, VA 571-529-6699 •

Homa Hashime is a licensed acupuncturist and naturopathic doctor. She obtained a master’s degree in acupuncture from Tai Sophia Institute and her doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine from Bastyr University. She is also an Advanced Detoxification Specialist in auricular acupuncture for addiction and strion. She has experience treating various acute and chronic conditions including stress, depression, anxiety, infertility, eating disorders, PTSK, menstrual problems, migraine headaches, and painful joints and muscular conditions using acupuncture, herbs, nutritional supplements, craniosacral therapy and cupping treatment. See ad, page 9.


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 3.


Neck Back & Beyond Wellness Center 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 9.


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 7.


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.


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.


Washington, D.C.


Neck Back & Beyond Wellness Center 10195 Main St, Ste D, Fairfax, VA 703-865-5690 • We design interactive sessions for you and your staff to better understand the physical, mental and emotional costs of many common work management habits. Individual or team coaching for ongoing leadership, management and health development support to create the peak performance habits you need. See ad, page 9.


Dr. Sheri Salartash, DDS, FAGD, FICOI, FAAP Certified Holistic Mouth Doctor 3116 Mt. Vernon Ave., Alexandria, VA 703-745-5496 • Dr. Salartash offers comprehensive integrative care for the mouth, including general and preventative family dentistry, cosmetic smile design and implants, orthodontics and clear aligners, Chao Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation Therapy, mercury-safe removal, TMJ, sleep apnea and snoring treatment. From her green office, using sustainable practices and materials, Dr. Salartash treats both adults and children. See ad, page 3.


Neck Back & Beyond Wellness Center 10195 Main St, Ste D, Fairfax, VA 703-865-5690 • Let us help you integrate the healing power of essential oils into your home and personal care routines. We offer free ongoing classes each month. Individual and group consultations are available by appointment. See ad, page 9.

HEALTH COACHING 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.


Elizabeth McMillan is a boardcertified clinical nutritionist specializing in functional nutrition. She believes in finding the root cause of a liments and cre at ing 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 9.


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 9.

HYPNOSIS FREE YOURSELF HYPNOSIS Michelle DeStefano 301-744-0200 • Life strategies and techniques to rewrite the software of your mind and change the printout of your life—become stress-free, stop smoking, manage pain or lose weight. We work with PSTD, birthing, peak performance, PSYCH-K, Graphology, meditation and qigong. See ad, page 7.

HYPNOTHERAPIST DIANNE RHODES HYPNOTHERAPY AND DREAM INTERPRETER Neck Back & Beyond Wellness Center 10195 Main St, Ste D, Fairfax, VA 703-865-5690 •

Dianne Rhodes is a NGH-Certified Hypnotherapy Practitioner and a Certified Projective Dreamworker. For five years, she has been using a client-centered approach to help people make positive behavior changes utilizing the powerful tool of hypnotherapy. She guides people to overcome issues such as: overweight, fears/anxiety, stress, chronic pain, difficulty sleeping, sadness/depression and lack of confidence, fear of public speaking, nail biting, poor academic/sports performance and clutter/hoarding. See ad, page 9.


Rose Wellness Center• 571-529-6699 2944 Hunter Mill Rd, Ste 101, Oakton, VA Dr. Sushma Hirani uses an integrative approach to wellness, utilizing conventional medicine and evidencebased complementary therapies. She strives to treat the whole person and emphasizes nutrition, preventive care and lifestyle changes. She 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 9.

INDIGO INTEGRATIVE HEALTH CLINIC The Waterfront Center 1010 Wisconsin Ave, Ste 660, NW 202-298-9131 •

Are you living with a health problem which you aren’t sure how to handle? Give yourself the opportunity to describe your symptoms in detail, how those symptoms make you feel and how having them affects your life. With proper diagnosis and treatment you can be restored to vibrant health.


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 wellbeing. He has a special interest in men’s health care, chronic pain syndromes including musculoskeletal problems, fibromyalgia, bioidentical hormone replacement for men and women, chronic conditions including hypothyroidism, gastrointestinal disorders and allergic disorders. He treats kids too. See ad, page 9.

NATIONAL INTEGRATED HEALTH ASSOCIATES 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.


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 9.


D r. T i m S a l o t t o o f f e r s naturopathic treatment for all your medical conditions, treating the cause and not just the symptoms. See ad, page 7.


717-789-4433 • 100% USDA-certified organic all grown at our farm in southcentral Pennsylvania. Join for our weekly produce deliveries t h rou g h a C om mu n it y Supported Agriculture (CSA) membership. See ad, page 11.


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 9.


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 non-invasive 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 9.

Where there is love there is life. ~Mahatma Gandhi February 2020


Share the love not the cold

had colds going round and round, but not me.” 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 used just before cientists recently discovered bed. One man said, “Best sleep I’ve had time. He hasn’t had a single cold for 7 a way to kill viruses and in years.” years since. bacteria. Copper can also stop flu if used early He asked relatives and friends to try Now thousands of people are using it it. They said it worked for them, too, so and for several days. Lab technicians to stop colds and flu. placed 25 million live flu viruses on a he patented CopperZap™ and put it on Colds start CopperZap. No viruses were found alive the market. when cold viruses soon after. Soon hundreds get in your nose. Dr. Bill Keevil led one of the teams of people had Viruses multiply confirming the discovery. He placed tried it and given fast. If you don’t millions of disease germs on copper. feedback. Nearly stop them early, “They started to die literally as soon as 100% said the they spread and they touched the surface,” he said. copper stops colds cause misery. People have even used copper on if used within 3 In hundreds cold sores and say it can completely hours after the first of studies, EPA prevent outbreaks. sign. Even up to New research: Copper stops colds if used early. and university The handle is 2 days, if they researchers have confirmed that viruses curved and finely still get the cold it is milder than usual and bacteria die almost instantly when textured to improve and they feel better. touched by copper. contact. It kills germs Users wrote things like, “It stopped That’s why ancient Greeks and picked up on fingers my cold right away,” and “Is it Egyptians used copper to purify water and hands to protect supposed to work that fast?” and heal wounds. They didn’t know you and your family. “What a wonderful thing,” wrote about microbes, but now we do. Copper even kills Physician’s Assistant Julie. “No more Dr. Bill Keevil: Copper quickly kills deadly germs that Scientists say the high conductance colds for me!” cold viruses. of copper disrupts the electrical balance have become resistant Pat McAllister, 70, received one in a microbe cell and destroys the cell in for Christmas and called it “one of the to antibiotics. If you are near sick seconds. best presents ever. This little jewel really people, a moment of handling it may Tests by the EPA (Environmental keep serious infection away. It may even works.” Protection Agency) show germs die save a life. Now thousands of users have simply fast on copper. So some hospitals tried The EPA says copper still works stopped getting colds. copper for touch surfaces like faucets even when tarnished. It kills hundreds of People often use CopperZap and doorknobs. This cut the spread of preventively. Frequent flier Karen Gauci different disease germs so it can prevent MRSA and other illnesses by over half, serious or even fatal illness. used to get colds after crowded flights. and saved lives. CopperZap is made in America of Though skeptical, she tried it several The strong scientific evidence gave pure copper. It has a 90-day full money times a day on travel days for 2 months. inventor Doug Cornell an idea. When back guarantee. It is $69.95. “Sixteen flights and not a sniffle!” she he felt a cold about to start he fashioned Get $10 off each CopperZap with exclaimed. a smooth copper probe and rubbed it Businesswoman Rosaleen says when code NATA17. Go to or call gently in his nose for 60 seconds. people are sick around her she uses “It worked!” he exclaimed. “The cold CopperZap morning and night. “It saved toll-free 1-888-411-6114. Buy once, use forever. never got going.” It worked again every me last holidays,” she said. “The kids ADVERTORIAL

New device stops cold and flu



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