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SLEEP TIGHT How to Counter Insomnia

ENOUGH FOR ALL In Pursuit of Grateful Living

Kids with Gratitude Making Thankfulness Second Nature

November 2019 | Washington, D.C. Edition | November 2019


What a


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Seven years without a 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 By Doug Cornell nighttime stuffiness if used just before cientists recently discovered time. He hasn’t had a single cold for 7 bed. One man said, “Best sleep I’ve had a way to kill viruses and years since. in years.” bacteria. He asked relatives and friends to try Copper can also stop flu if used early 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. he patented CopperZap™ and put it on placed 25 million live flu viruses on a Colds start the market. CopperZap. No viruses were found alive when cold viruses Soon hundreds soon after. get in your nose. of people had Dr. Bill Keevil led one of the teams Viruses multiply tried it and given confirming the discovery. He placed fast. If you don’t feedback. Nearly millions of disease germs on copper. stop them early, 100% said the “They started to die literally as soon as they spread and copper stops colds they touched the surface,” he said. cause misery. if used within 3 People have even used copper on In hundreds hours after the first cold sores and say it can completely of studies, EPA sign. Even up to prevent outbreaks. New research: Copper stops colds if used early. and university 2 days, if they The handle is researchers have confirmed that viruses still get the cold it is milder than usual curved and finely and bacteria die almost instantly when and they feel better. textured to improve touched by copper. Users wrote things like, “It stopped contact. It kills germs That’s why ancient Greeks and my cold right away,” and “Is it picked up on fingers Egyptians used copper to purify water supposed to work that fast?” and hands to protect and heal wounds. They didn’t know “What a wonderful thing,” wrote you and your family. about microbes, but now we do. Physician’s Assistant Julie. “No more Copper even kills 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 Pat McAllister, 70, received one have become resistant 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 works.” keep serious infection away. It may even Protection Agency) show germs die Now thousands of users have simply save a life. fast on copper. So some hospitals tried stopped getting colds. The EPA says copper still works copper for touch surfaces like faucets People often use CopperZap even when tarnished. It kills hundreds of 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, used to get colds after crowded flights. serious or even fatal illness. and saved lives. Though skeptical, she tried it several CopperZap is made in America of The strong scientific evidence gave times a day on travel days for 2 months. pure copper. It has a 90-day full money inventor Doug Cornell an idea. When “Sixteen flights and not a sniffle!” she back guarantee. It is $69.95. he felt a cold about to start he fashioned exclaimed. Get $10 off each CopperZap with a smooth copper probe and rubbed it Businesswoman Rosaleen says when code NATA14. 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

Copper in new device stops cold and flu


November 2019


letter from the publisher

Dear Friends, As I write this letter, the weather has finally started to feel like fall. We’re in that in-between season—enjoying the days before the holiday season starts in earnest. It’s the perfect time to reflect and express quiet gratitude for all of the gifts and experiences we’ve been given this year. Good—or not



EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Robin Fillmore

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

so pleasant—each moment is woven into our lives and gives us an experience to be thankful for. ­   There’s a lot to be thankful for in this November issue of Natural Awakenings. Ronica O’Hara offers parental tips for instilling thankfulness—one of the most teachable, grow-able strengths—in our chil-

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

dren. “Kids With Gratitude: Making Thankfulness Second Nature” is based on emerging research that shows gratitude to be one of the easiest, most effective ways to kickstart happiness and well-being—at any age. Benedictine monk Brother David SteindlRast, a leading figure in a worldwide gratitude movement, puts it all in perspective in

SUBSCRIPTIONS Subscribe online to receive FREE monthly digital magazine at

this month’s Inspiration piece: “Enough for All: In Pursuit of Grateful Living.”

This month’s feature, “Chasing ZZZZZs: How to Put Insomnia to Rest,” exam-

ines the many contributors and adverse health effects of compromised sleep, along with natural pathways to a good night’s rest. Georgetown naturopathic doctor, Isabel Sharkar, provides her additional thoughts on conquering lack-of-sleep issues. One of those considerations—optimizing thyroid function—is covered in-depth in our Healing Ways article, “The Happy Thyroid: Seven Ways to Keep It Humming.” Local nutritionist, Elizabeth McMillian, provides added information with nutrition tips for maintaining a healthy thyroid.

We’re also very excited to share with you some new twists to old traditions. In

“Antiques Rising: Discovering the Green in ‘Brown’ Furniture,” Green Living writer Yvette Hammett explains how Millennials (aka The Ikea Generation) are beginning to discover that Grandma’s old China cabinet might be pretty cool after all—and sturdy, well-made, eco-friendly and oh-so-upcyclable.

And last, but not least, hens with benefits take center stage in “Urban Chick-

ens: Coming Home to Roost.” Locavores with a hankering for fresh, organic eggs produced close to home have sparked a resurgence in backyard chicken keeping; even people that don’t like omelets are getting in on the trend. These chic chicks make great pets for vegans, too.

Wishing you a beautiful autumn and a Happy Thanksgiving.


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Contents 12 CHASING ZZZZZs


How to Put Insomnia to Rest

15 ENOUGH FOR ALL In Pursuit of Grateful Living

16 THE ART OF SLEEP How to Ensure Quality Slumber

18 KENNETH DAVIS ON Learning From the Last Global Plague

20 THE HAPPY THYROID Seven Ways to Keep It Humming



Making Thankfulness Second Nature

24 ANTIQUES RISING Discovering the Green in ‘Brown’ Furniture

25 YOUR THYROID Proper Nutrition for Optimum Functioning




in a Truly Integrative Manner

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Coming Home to Roost


28 URBAN CHICKENS DEPARTMENTS 6 news briefs 8 health briefs 10 global briefs 15 inspiration 16 natural health 18 wise words 20 healing ways 22 healthy kids 24 green living

25 conscious

eating 26 practitioner spotlight 28 natural pet 30 calendar 32 resource guide November 2019


news briefs

Hormone Replacement Therapy for Men: A Free Webinar


o often, men experience loss of confidence, anxiety, forgetfulness, irritability or a low libido and don’t know what to do about it. Or perhaps the man in your life is coping with a mid-life crisis. Male hormone replacement therapy is a way to balance male hormones. Join Dr. Alex Leon, from the Rose Wellness Center, in Oakton, Virginia, to learn a natural approach to dealing with hormonal imbalances in men and ask your questions. This free webinar will be offered at 7 p.m. on November 20. More than 25 million Americans and more than 408 million men around the world have low testosterone levels. Between the ages of 40 and 55, men can experience a decrease in hormones, often referred to as male menopause. When a man’s hormone levels begin to decline, he will experience both mental and physical changes. Luckily, researchers have developed hormone replacement therapy for men to minimize the symptoms of andropause. Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) offers numerous benefits. First, it helps improve testosterone levels, which can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Hormone replacement therapy is used to help improve the symptoms of low testosterone due to pituitary gland, testicle and brain disorders that are causing decreased hormone levels.  To register for this free webinar, visit See ad, page 28.

Free Webinar on Thyroid Disorders


bout 20 million Americans suffer from some kind of thyroid disease, according to the American Thyroid Association. Moreover, a large number of them are unaware of their thyroid disorder. To learn more about this condition and to discover the ways that it can be treated naturally, join Dr. Sushma Hirani, M.D., for a free, live webinar at 7 p.m. on November 6. Hirani specializes in functional and integrative medicine to treat chronic diseases, at the Rose Wellness Center, in Oakton, Virginia. She has a special interest in women’s health care, natural hormone balancing and detoxification. A low thyroid condition is frequently undiagnosed and often not well understood. Common symptoms of hypothyroidism include fatigue, depression, cold intolerance, weight gain, hair loss, headaches, constipation, mental slowness, menstrual irregularities and elevated cholesterol. The thyroid issues may be a result of autoimmune disorders such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis or other causes such as iodine deficiency, chemotherapy, pregnancy, hormonal changes, nutrient deficiencies or pituitary disorders. Stress, trauma, medications or toxins are also known to inhibit the production of thyroid hormones. Thyroid symptoms occur due to a multitude of reasons even when blood tests may appear to be within the normal range. In this webinar, you can learn how to create a personalized plan to manage hypothyroidism and thyroid disorders based on your individual health, genetics, hormone levels and medical history. To register for this webinar, visit IntegrativeApproachToThyroidConditions.eventbrite. com. See ad, page 28. 6

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Homeopathy for Women’s Health


earn about homeopathy for women’s health from the Montgomery County Holistic Moms Network. This event will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on November 17. This event is sponsored by BOIRON USA. Attendees will receive free samples and have the opportunity to win a “Women’s Health Set.” Their speaker, Marianne Rothschild, M.D., is a family physician who has practiced holistic medicine for over 25 years. She blends many traditions of healing in her work including herbs, nutrition, lifestyle modification, homeopathy, flower essences and aromatherapy, in addition to conventional Western medicine. Rothschild received her medical degree from the Medical College of Pennsylvania in 1990 with honors in emergency medicine and community and preventative medicine and completed her family practice residency at Chestnut Hill Hospital, in Philadelphia. After moving to Maryland, Rothschild worked with the Johns Hopkins Medical Services Corporation before establishing her own practice. Her new book, Dancing Life’s Rhythms: A Holistic Doctor’s Guide, will be available later this year. To learn more about Rothschild, visit her website, MarianneRothschildMD. com. Holistic Moms Network is a member-led organization. To learn more, visit For more information on the workshop, visit 2709155949310892/.

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November 2019


Eat Organic to Shed Insecticides Switching to organics has quick payoffs, reducing agrochemicals in the body by 94 percent within a month, Japanese researchers report. They tested the urine of study participants looking for six neonicotinoid insecticides and another substance generated as a result of their decomposition in the human body. “I think the research results are almost without precedent and are highly valuable in that they present actual measurement values showing that you can dramatically reduce the content levels of agrochemicals in your body simply by changing the way you select vegetable products,” commented Nobuhiko Hoshi, a professor of animal molecular morphology with the Kobe University. Another study from researchers at the University of California at Berkeley studied 16 children and showed that one week after switching to an organic diet, malathion pesticide urine levels were reduced by 95 percent; clothianidin pesticide levels


Washington, D.C.

Supapornkh /

Hibiscus rosa-sinensis is much more than a brilliant scarlet tropical flower: New laboratory research from Canada’s University of Windsor found that a hibiscus flower extract selectively kills off triple-negative breast cancer cells. This is one of the most difficult to treat types that affects 15 to 20 percent of breast cancer patients. Hibiscus is particularly effective when combined with chemotherapy, researchers say, and works as well with very low doses of the chemicals as with higher doses. The flower’s low toxicity and precise targeting of cancer cells also offers hope for long-term treatment. Previous studies have shown hibiscus to be effective on prostate cancer, leukemia, gastric cancer and human squamous cell

Caffeine has been the subject of controversy among the one in six adults worldwide that suffer from periodic migraines: Some say it triggers symptoms, while others report it wards them off. A new study from Harvard and two other teaching hospitals of 98 migraine sufferers used six weeks of daily journals to investigate the link and found that drinking up to two servings of caffeinated beverages a day had little effect, but three or more raised the odds of a headache that day or the next. Among people that rarely drank such beverages, even one or two servings increased the odds of having a headache that day. A serving was defined as eight ounces or one cup of caffeinated coffee, six ounces of tea, a 12-ounce can of soda or a two-ounce can of an energy


Take Hibiscus to Fight Breast Cancer

Say No to the Third Cup of Joe to Avoid Migraines

Dance to Improve Quality of Life With Dementia Older people with dementia, often viewed as being passive and immobile, responded to simple dance movement lessons with visible humor and imagination and reported a higher quality of life after six sessions, say researchers from New Zealand’s University of Otago. The 22 participants between the ages of early 60s and mid-90s had dementia ranging from mild to advanced. They took 10 weekly classes in which the music was “reminiscent” and the movement routines were intuitively easy. “Positive responses such as memory recalling, spontaneous dancing and joking with each other were observed in every session,” reports lead author Ting Choo.


health briefs


Try Acupuncture for Pain-Free Sleep

A Natural Solution to Sleep Apnea

Chronic pain, affecting 10 to 25 percent of adults, disturbs sleep for two-thirds of them, increasing the risk of depression and aggravating pain symptoms. Chinese researchers analyzed nine studies of 944 chronic-pain patients and found that acupuncture treatments were significantly better than drugs at helping patients sleep. It also improved their quality of sleep as self-measured by the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index and lowered their scores of perceived pain.

According to a National Institutes of Health study, most people believe that sleep apnea is caused by a sagging soft pallet or by some other obstructive tissue in the throat. Actually, it’s the result of a diminishing signal from the brain to the diaphragm (causing one to breathe) that can occur during the transition from initial semi-wakefulness into the next stage of lighter sleep prior to REM sleep. In some people, the unintended reduction in the signal is significant enough that breathing goes beyond being shallow and completely stops. After a short period of time, the brain, realizing the need to breathe, forces a rapid inhalation to restart respiration that literally drags the sagging localized soft tissues into the airway, as reported in Sleep Apnea: A New Approach to an Emergent Problem by Master Herbalist Steven Frank, of Nature’s Rite. For some, there’s no indication of potential problems when they are awake as the tissues remain in their normal state and the throat doesn’t close off during the day or when relaxing or resting, but then they can experience an obstruction problem when trying to go to sleep. Instead of resorting to surgery to remove neck tissue or using a machine to force air into lungs, try a natural, herbal solution that has been used for thousands of years. Lobelia acts as a respiratory stimulant and maintains deep, steady breathing through the stage 2 sleep period. Thyme improves the ability of the lungs to exchange CO2 for oxygen while chamomile and cramp bark help the upper trapezius muscles to relax supporting better nerve transmission.

Help Avoid Skin Cancer With Vitamin A Using the three-decade longitudinal health records of about 123,000 men and women from the Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study, researchers from Brown University found that people with diets rich in vitamin A had a significantly reduced risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) skin cancer, which occurs in 7 to 11 percent of the population. “We found that higher intake of total vitamin A, retinol and several individual carotenoids, including beta cryptoxanthin, lycopene, lutein and zeaxanthin, was associated with lower risk of SCC,” wrote the authors.


Pass Up Sugary Drinks for a Strong Liver Sugar-sweetened drinks, already linked to weight gain, diabetes and heart disease, carry another risk: non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). In a meta-review published in the European Journal of Nutrition, Iranian researchers analyzed six high-quality studies that included 6,326 men and women and 1,361 cases of NAFLD. They found those that drank the most sugary drinks had a 40 percent higher risk of developing the disease compared to those that consumed the least. Sugary drinks include soda, cola, tonic, fruit punch, lemonade, sweetened, powdered drinks, and sports and energy drinks.

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Bhang Bhang

Moms Launch Eco-Friendly Certification

The nonprofit (MAA) has launched its Moms Across America Gold Standard, a multi-tiered verification program for food, beverages and supplements that creates a simple, trustworthy resource for consumers while encouraging best practices by suppliers. It will be awarded to those brands that have achieved superior levels of organic practices and eco-friendly procedures, and is intended to make it simple for people to choose the healthiest products and use their wallets to take a stand against unhealthy alternatives and unethical business practices. The standard also provides a path for companies that know better and do better to prosper by shifting the buying power of millions of dedicated mothers behind their products.

Jaws of Life

California Bans Fur Trapping

California has enacted a ban on fur trapping for animal pelts, making it the first state to outlaw a centuries-old livelihood that was intertwined with the rise of the Western frontier. The Wildlife Protection Act of 2019 prohibits commercial and recreational trapping on both public and private lands. Legislators are considering proposals to ban the sale of all fur products, including fur coats, and to outlaw the use of animals in any circus in the state, with the exception of domesticated horses, dogs and cats. 10

Washington, D.C.

Gun Control in India Goes Green

In a northern India district, regulators require that applicants for gun licenses, in addition to normal background checks, must plant 10 trees and submit selfies as photographic evidence of having done so. To mark World Environment Day in June, Chander Gaind, the deputy commissioner of the district of Ferozepur in Punjab State, had an idea. “I thought about how much Punjabi people love guns,” he says. “We receive hundreds of applications for gun licenses from this district every year. Maybe I could get them to love caring for the environment, too.” India has more than 3.3 million active gun licenses. Tajinder Singh, 47, a farmer in the district, says he wants to protect himself from wild animals and bands of armed robbers.


Golden Rules

Methane Matters

Fracking Linked to Global Warming

As methane concentrations increase in the atmosphere, evidence points to shale oil and gas as the probable source, but the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has taken steps to stop regulating it. New Cornell University research published in Biogeosciences, a journal of the European Geosciences Union, suggests that the methane released by high-volume hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has different characteristics than the methane from conventional natural gas and other fossil fuels such as coal. About twothirds of all new gas production over the last decade has been shale gas produced in the U.S. and Canada, says the paper’s author, Robert Howarth, a professor of ecology and environmental biology: “If we can stop pouring methane into the atmosphere, it will dissipate. It goes away pretty quickly compared to carbon dioxide. It’s the low-hanging fruit to slow global warming.”

Svetlana Foote/

global briefs

Species Setback


The U.S. Department of the Interior is effecting significant changes that weaken how the Endangered Species Act is implemented, a move critics fear will allow for more oil and gas drilling on land that is currently habitat-protected, and will limit how much regulators consider the impacts of the climate crisis. The changes affect how the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration consider whether species qualify for protections, as well as how the agencies determine what habitats deserve special protections. It could make it more difficult to factor in the impact of climate change on species.

Myriad companies are pledging to make their products and packaging more sustainable, including the multinational food and drink giant Nestlé, which announced in January that it is committed to using 100 percent recyclable packaging for its candy by 2025. Miniature KitKat chocolate bars from its Japan confectionery branch will be wrapped in paper instead of plastic, with instructions for how to fashion it, post-snack, into the iconic origami crane, a traditional Japanese messenger of thoughts and wishes. Nestlé hopes that this will guarantee the paper remains in use longer rather than be disposed of immediately.

James McDowall/

Lone Wolf Photography/

EPA Weakens Protective Regulations

Candy Wrappers Reimagined as Origami

Polar Alert

Alaskan Sea Ice Melting Faster

Healing Hazard steph photographies/

Health Care Sector Impacts Climate

A new study by the international nonprofit Health Care Without Harm (HCWH), in collaboration with Arup, a British multinational professional services firm, claims that if the global health care sector were a country, it would be the fifthlargest greenhouse gas emitter on the planet. It provides, for the first time, an estimate of health care’s global climate footprint. Josh Karliner, HCWH international director of program and strategy and report co-author, says, “The health sector needs to transition to clean, renewable energy and deploy other primary prevention strategies to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.”

Abandoned Crops

Economics Drive Farm Food Losses

Farmer Cannon Michael left more than 100 acres of ripe cantaloupes unharvested last year because he couldn’t sell them for enough to cover the cost of labor, packing and shipping. According to a new study from Santa Clara University, in California, about one-third of edible produce remains unharvested in the fields, where it rots and gets plowed under. Most research on food loss and food waste has focused on post-harvest, retail and consumer levels. The new study offers a far more accurate look at on-farm food loss by relying on in-field measurements. ReFED, a coalition of nonprofits, businesses and government agencies that fight food loss and food waste, estimates that 21 percent of water, 18 percent of cropland and 19 percent of fertilizer in the U.S. are dedicated to food that is never eaten. November 2019


Sea ice along northern Alaska disappeared far earlier than normal this spring, alarming coastal residents that rely on wildlife and fish. The ice melted as a result of exceptionally warm water temperatures extending far out into the ocean. The last five years have produced the warmest sea-surface temperatures on record in the region, contributing to record low sea ice levels.


In reality, going to bed is the best me-time we can have.

CHASING ZZZZZs How to Put Insomnia to Rest by Marlaina Donato


ossing and turning most of the night while obsessing about the need for sleep is a torture we all go through every now and then, but for the 40 percent of Americans dealing with current or chronic insomnia, it can be a regular nightmare. In fact, 50 to 70 million adults in the U.S. suffer from some form of sleep disorder, according to the American Sleep Association. The causes are multi-faceted: stress, pharmaceutical side effects, hormonal imbalances, chronic pain, anxiety and too much caffeine all fuel the insomnia loop. Add to that the overstimulation from 24/7 technology, social pressures and unresolved emotional pain, and it’s easy to see why long, hard, sleepless nights have become a worldwide epidemic. The effects are profound. Compromised sleep not only leads to decreased quality of life, malnourished relationships, a heightened risk of accidents and inferior job performance, but also lowered immunity and chronic inflammation, raising the odds of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, weight gain and diabetes. About 90 percent of people diagnosed with depression also experience sleep deprivation, and many antidepressant medications can disrupt the ability to fall asleep and dream. However, a number of natural and holistic approaches can provide lasting


results without undesirable side effects. Along with tried-and-true methods like acupuncture, therapeutic massage and changes in diet and exercise, the National Sleep Foundation recommends mindful breathing and meditation. New options are emerging to help foster quality sleep, including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), non-psychoactive CBD oil and lifestyle changes supporting a healthy circadian rhythm.

Body and Mind, a Tangled Web Psychological, emotional and physical health all play a role in our ability—or inability—to get a good night’s rest. “Not sleeping well is a sign of a deeper imbalance that needs to be addressed. So, if we’re masking the problem with medication, the underlying cause remains unaddressed,” says Elina Winnel, a sleep coach who works online with clients at “Insomnia is a complex issue that has psychological components, but is also affected by deeper mechanisms, including an imbalance between the two main branches of the autonomic nervous system.” The intricate connection between emotion and sleep-robbing stress hormones explains why insomniacs are often caught in an undertow of racing thoughts and preoc-

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

cupations. Says Winnel, “Stress has become the norm, and most people don’t even realize they’re in that state. This produces stress hormones and can prevent the natural process of sleep from occurring.” Stress also depletes vitamin B and magnesium levels necessary for quality sleep, she adds. Cindy Davies, owner of the Holistic Sleep Center, in Ferndale, Michigan, has similar views on the role emotion plays in troubled sleep patterns. “We’re chronically suppressing our feelings throughout the day. Our inability to address these emotions culminates in a night spent in bed awake with fears and worries,” she says. “Pushing ourselves to the point of exhaustion can help defend ourselves against dealing with feelings or memories, but impairs our ability to sleep restfully or restoratively.”

Resetting Inherent Rhythms Circadian rhythm, our biological clock, is a cellular marvel that is affected by light and internal changes in temperature. Stephanie Silberman, Ph.D., a licensed psychologist in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, and Fellow of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, explains that it’s helpful to have a circadian rhythm aligned with societal norms so that we’re sleepy at bedtime and active during daylight hours. “When a person’s circadian rhythm

Ljupco Smokovski/

~Cindy Davies

is delayed, they will have trouble falling asleep at a regular bedtime, and when it’s advanced, experience sleepiness too early in the evening and then [have] early morning awakenings.” Circadian rhythm regulates digestion, cellular repair, hormones and many other functions. It also slows down the metabolism during night hours, helping us to stay asleep. “The circadian rhythm can be disrupted by many factors, including traveling to a different time zone, shift work and exposure to blue light late at night while binge-watching your favorite series,” says Winnel. Our natural hormonal rhythms

are wired to release melatonin at certain times, allowing us to rest frequently during the day. Davies explains that an adult’s body is designed for periods of rest every 90 minutes. “Most people don’t have the opportunity to rest every 90 minutes, but if we were able to, we’d be going to bed in a state of rest, instead of exhaustion,” she says. Our bodies start producing melatonin around 9 p.m., when we should already be winding down, but too often we push ourselves to stay up to watch TV or have “me-time”, says Davies. “In reality, going to bed is the best me-time we can have.” Herbalist and licensed psychotherapist

Stress has become the norm, and most people don’t even realize they’re in that state. This produces stress hormones and can prevent the natural process of sleep from occurring. ~Elina Winnel

Sleep Tips Ljupco Smokovski/

For healthy circadian rhythm and melatonin cycles, try:

4 Shutting off all screen devices, including the TV, two hours before going to bed 4 Going to bed when you get that 9 p.m. slump and just taping a favorite show 4 Walking barefoot and feeling the earth 4 Spending quality time outside in sunlight, preferably in a natural setting 4 Taking nourishing baths with natural soaps, lavender essential oil or herbs 4 Designating certain time slots to not answer the phone or answer emails 4 Exercising regularly and not within three hours of bedtime 4 Taking a break from work every 90 minutes for two minutes of slow, deep breathing 4 Breaking the caffeine habit by replacing coffee and tea with healthier alternatives

For emotional components of insomnia, try:

4 Going on a “worry fast” for five or 10 minutes, and then practice doing it for an hour or a full day 4 Reserving time with loved ones for in-person conversations and get-togethers 4 Checking in with yourself and acknowledging all emotions and fears without judgment 4 Setting aside ambitions for a day to recharge 4 Sleeping in without guilt—shopping and running errands can wait 4 Choosing not to compare your life with others

Jenn J. Allen, in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, adds, “People spend up to 10 hours a day on electronic devices, which directly impacts melatonin production and stimulates the fight-or-flight response system in the brain.”

Two Sides of Every Brain Smartphones and social media have piled even more on our plate, even if we enjoy them. “We’re expected to be constantly ‘on’ and reachable 24/7,” observes Winnel. “This leads to an excessive reliance on our sympathetic nervous system and difficulty switching brainwave states from beta—associated with alertness—to theta and delta, which we experience during sleep. Through practice and specific exercises, it can become easier for us to reach the state of mind needed to nod off.” To support healthier sleep patterns, Winnel emphasizes the importance of using both hemispheres of the brain while awake. “Particularly in our professional lives, logical and rational processes are rewarded, while creativity is seen as optional. This can cause a chronic imbalance in the way we use the two hemispheres of our brain. Optimal sleep requires equalized functioning in the neurological structures that are unique to each hemisphere.” Mindful breathing and alternate-nostril yogic breathwork can also bring harmony to both hemispheres of the brain and promote deep relaxation.

Promising Plant Allies Chronic pain can also prevent sound sleep. Allen stresses, “It’s important to understand what is actually causing pain and what type of pain it is. Some chronic pain comes from postural issues or injuries, so massage, chiropractic or gentle movement like yoga can help to drastically reduce the intensity of pain.” Identifying nutritional deficiencies and supporting the nervous system is also key. “Plants work both physiologically and energetically. Gentle nervine herbs like oats or chamomile can help to soothe the nervous system, and are effective for children and teens. Adaptogenic plants are known historically for helping the body to resist physical, chemical or biological stresses. Tulsi and ashwagandha, when November 2019 November


Learning New Tricks Many sleep-seeking people are reaping the benefits from cognitive behavioral therapy

People spend up to 10 hours a day on electronic devices, which directly impacts melatonin production and stimulates the fight-or-flight response system in the brain. ~Jenn J. Allen for insomnia (CBT-I). The American College of Physicians recommends it as the first-line therapy for insomnia ahead of medication, citing that it improves sleep and daytime functioning in 70 to 80 percent of treated persons, often without

supplemental medication. A meta-analysis published in The Journal of the American Medical Association in 2015 shows that CBT-I can resolve insomnia for 35 percent of people with sleeplessness linked to existing medical and psychiatric conditions such as fibromyalgia or PTSD. CBT-I helps to change long-held patterns. “CBT includes keeping sleep logs, improving sleep hygiene, learning ways to decrease anxiety and how to associate the bed as a place where we sleep well, instead of the maladaptive thinking that it’s a place to toss and turn,” says Silberman. CBT can also be helpful for chronic pain and other physical problems when underlying issues are treated in conjunction. A good night’s rest is indeed possible. Davies says, “In order to really change our ability to sleep, we need a complete cultural mindset shift that prioritizes sleep and our need to rest.” Marlaina Donato is the author of several books and a composer. Connect at

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adults to combat stress,” Allen says, reminding us to also check with a healthcare professional to avoid contraindications. Going for that extra cup of coffee during the day or pouring a drink or two in the evening are habits that only exacerbate sleep issues. “Caffeine suppresses our body’s ability to feel tired, not by giving us energy, but by increasing the production of adrenaline and suppressing the production of melatonin. Alcohol, like some prescription medications, can interfere with our ability to fall asleep, sleep deeply and experience dreaming states,” cautions Davies. CBD oil derived from the cannabis plant is an effective pain-reducer and helps to regulate healthy sleep patterns. Cannabidiol (CBD), which does not contain THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the chemical substance in marijuana responsible for inducing a high, is available as capsules, inhalers and tinctures.



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ENOUGH FOR ALL In Pursuit of Grateful Living


by Brother David Steindl-Rast

rateful living is the awareness that we stand on holy ground— always—in touch with mystery. Jewish sages interpret the words of Genesis 3:5 in a way that is of great relevance to grateful living. “Take off your shoes; the ground on which you stand is holy ground.” The soles of your shoes are leather—dead animal skin. Take off the deadness of being-used-to-it and your live souls will feel that you are standing on holy ground, wherever you are. It is pretty evident that greed, oppression and violence have led us to a point of self-destruction. Our survival depends on a radical change; if the gratitude movement grows strong and deep enough, it may bring about this necessary change. Grateful living brings in place of greed, sharing; in place of oppression, respect; and in place of violence, peace. Who does not long for a world of sharing, mutual respect and peace? Exploitation springs from greed and a sense of scarcity. Grateful living makes us aware that there is enough for all. Thus, it leads to a sense of sufficiency and a joyful willingness to share with others. Oppression is necessary if we want to exploit others. The more power you have, the more efficiently you can exploit those

below you and protect yourself against those above you. But grateful people live with a sense of sufficiency—they need not exploit others—thus, oppression is replaced by mutual support and by equal respect for all. Violence springs from the root of fear—fear that there may not be enough for all, fear of others as potential competitors, fear of foreigners and strangers. But the grateful person is fearless. Thereby, she cuts off the very root of violence. Out of a sense-of-enough, she is willing to share, and thereby tends to eliminate the unjust distribution of wealth that creates the climate for violence. Fearlessly, she welcomes the new and strange, is enriched by differences and celebrates variety. Grateful eyes look at whatever is as if they had never seen it before and caress it as if they would never see it again. This is a most realistic attitude, for every moment is indeed unique. Adapted from an interview with Brother David Steindl-Rast that originally appeared in Greater Good, the online magazine of the Greater Good Science Center. For more information, visit ABetterWorldThroughGratitude.

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202-505-4835 November 2019


natural health

The Art of Sleep

How to Ensure Quality Slumber by Dr. Isabel Sharkar, ND


isten up all of you sleep-deprived people: if you aren’t getting quality sleep you are decreasing your life span. High performance comes with good quality restorative sleep. If you wake up feeling refreshed every morning, move on to another article. The rest of you, pay close attention because it is time to make some serious changes. The benefits of good sleep include improved brain function, memory and focus, muscle recovery, longevity, balanced hormones, heart health, weight management and immunity. Lack of sleep may cause weight gain, inflammation, fatigue, irritability, moodiness, mental instability, poor concentration, hormone imbalance, leaky gut, brain fog and an increased susceptibility to sickness. Long-term sleep deprivation may cause an increased risk of diabetes, obesity, heart disease and stroke.   Could your belly fat be tied to your lack of sleep? Certainly! Sleep affects your metabolism. Poor sleep and weight gain go hand-in-hand—the better you sleep, the better you are able to lose weight. This is because sleep loss disrupts the hormonal system, resulting in high blood glucose levels, increased insulin resistance, high cortisol, increased hunger and decreased satiety—the perfect recipe for weight gain.   Sleep is not a luxury, it’s a necessity. 16

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If you want to perform at higher levels and have better cognitive ability, start by improving your sleep and sleep your way to success. Science-backed sleep hacks include figuring out your sleep chronotype, blocking out junk light, filling up on the right fats, using wearable sleep devices, changing your sleep position, meditating and taking certain supplements. Have a daily routine. Keep to a regular sleep and wakeup time. Consistency is key when developing a healthy sleep routine. When you wake up, go outside. By spending 15 minutes outside, natural light tells your internal clock that it’s time to start your day. Take a small break during the day to go outside and re-center. Sitting at a desk in front of a screen all day runs havoc on your nervous system. Reconnect with nature and breathe in fresh air. Balance is the key to life.   Exercise regularly. Exercise is proven to make you a better sleeper but if you work out too late, you can be left wired. Limit your vigorous exercise to morning or early afternoon hours.   Create a bedtime ritual. Two hours before retiring for the night, start winding down to signal to your body that it is

time for bed. During this time, shut down your blue-light emitting screens (computers, tablets and smartphones) and light up the candles. Blue light interferes with your brain’s production of melatonin— the sleep hormone that tells your body it’s time for bed. Instead, it tells your brain it’s daytime. Most smartphones have a warm light setting for nighttime so make sure to use this feature. LED lightbulbs also omit blue light so make sure to swap out your house bulbs. If you want to take it a step further, try on a pair of blue lightblocking glasses. Sleep-proof your bedroom. Your bedroom is made for two things—sex and sleep. Leave everything else out of it, that means no bringing work into the bedroom. The best sleep is in a dark room, use blackout curtains or a soft silky eye mask. Take out all electronics from your bedroom to minimize EMF exposure. If you have a partner that snores or are sensitive to noise while you sleep, earplugs are a great option or a white noise machine. Also, sleep in a cool room. Your body temperature needs to drop to induce sleep. If you are sharing your bed with another and one of you is prone to waking up in the middle of the night for a bathroom pit stop, instead of turning on the bright light that alarms your sleep cycle, opt for a toilet night light with a motion sensor.   Feng shui your bedroom. The bedroom is the most important room of the home in feng shui philosophy. Also, make sure your bed is faced in the right direction. Avoid sleeping with your head towards the North (unless you are in the Southern Hemisphere). This is because of the magnetic pull of the planet and the iron in our blood­—sleeping in certain directions causes unnecessary pressure on the brain which may lead to disturbed sleep and other health issues. The best direction to sleep in the Northern Hemisphere is with your head towards the east.     Invest in a quality mattress. Flame retardants and petroleum-based polyurethane

are not your friends. They release volatile organic compounds. The average person may spend over 2,000 hours a year sleeping. It makes sense to invest in a quality mattress. Look for natural materials with at least 95 percent organic content, whether it is latex, cotton or wool. According to the Global Organic Textile Standard, a GOTScertified mattress means all the foams and fibers will be at least 95 percent organic without volatile organic compounds. Cover your new mattress with a tightly woven organic cotton mattress cover to avoid dust mites. Avoid anything coated with antimicrobial solutions or added scents.

If you find yourself ruminating or feeling stressed or anxious before bed, journal and brain dump. Get everything off your mind and onto paper.

Relax the overactive mind. If stress or anxiety are getting in the way of your sleep when your head hits the pillow, it’s time to take up a daily meditation ritual. Research has shown that meditation decreases both stress and anxiety and helps to rewire and reprogram your brain. To start, five minutes a day will go a very long way. Add on a weekly Ayurvedic head massage and/or a full-body massage to help you decompress.

Practice deep breathing before bed. Deep breathing triggers your relaxation responses and helps to ease your mind. Trick your body to feel relaxed by practicing the 4-7-8 breathing. Lay down, place your hands on your abdomen, inhale for a count of four, hold for seven, exhale for eight. To melt away fear, focus on affirmations like “I am safe to relax and let go now. Whatever it is I will figure it out. My body will heal.” Get feedback. The Oura Ring, a sleeptracking device, can help you track and dial in your personal sleep routine with direct feedback. You can use the data to make appropriate adjustments for better quality sleep.   Take your supplements. Magnesium deficiency may cause fatigue, excess stress, low

energy, muscle tension, spasms, cramps and anxiousness. For a bedtime ritual, you can take a magnesium flake and Epsom salt bath with lavender essential oil before bed to relax. Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the main cannabinoids in the cannabis plant that is not psychoactive. Cannabinoids interact with your endocannabinoid system, which helps your body maintain a state of balance and stability. Other sleep aids like Kava Kava and Valerian root may be used for a short period of time. Avoid drinking caffeine and alcohol before bed. Both affect the quality of sleep. If you are having chronic sleep issues, check your adrenals, neurotransmitters and hormone levels with a holistic practitioner who will help guide you back to balance. Dr. Isabel Sharkar is a licensed naturopathic physician and co-owner of Indigo Integrative Health Clinic, in Georgetown. For more information, call 202-298-9131 or visit

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wise words

Kenneth Davis on Learning From the Last Global Plague


Tired minds don’t plan well. Sleep first, plan later. ~Walter Reisch

long with annual flu season warnings, there’s more news than usual on the dangers of microbes and transmittable diseases, including recent domestic measles outbreaks and the rise of resistant bacteria from the improper use of antibiotics. In his latest book released earlier this year, More Deadly than War: The Hidden History of the Spanish Flu and the First World War, Kenneth C. Davis describes the worldwide epidemic that killed millions only a century ago and warns of a potential relapse. Davis is also the author of In the Shadow of Liberty, an American Library Association Notable Book and a finalist for the Youth Adult Library Service Association Award for Excellence in Nonfiction. His New York Times bestselling and critically acclaimed Don’t Know Much About book series for both adults and children makes many, sometimes esoteric facts and figures on history, The Bible, the universe, geography and other subjects come alive. Davis is a TED-Ed educator whose lectures are globally available online.

What inspired you to tackle this deadly subject?

My editor had the flu and mentioned that 18

Washington, D.C.

her grandmother died of the Spanish Flu. I said that’s a fascinating subject. She said if you ever want to write about it, I’d love to know, and it was around the time that I was beginning to think about the 100th anniversary of the flu and the end of World War I. These were two extraordinary moments in modern human history that many people don’t understand.

What makes the Spanish Flu epidemic relevant today?

It was the most extraordinary pandemic in modern times, the worst since the Black Plague. So many aspects of the story can teach us lessons, like the role of propaganda that created the circumstances that allowed the flu to flourish, politicians ignoring sound science. In Philadelphia in September of 1918, the health commissioner was warned not to allow a big parade that was meant to sell war bonds. He did, and 200,000 people crowded the streets. Two days later, there was not a hospital bed left in the city. It was that sudden and explosive gathering of mass numbers of people that lit the fuse for a tremendous flu bomb to explode. It’s important to understand the connection between science and history. Often, we treat history as a collection of

photo by Nina Subin

by Randy Kambic

dates, battles and speeches, and we don’t connect with what was going in the scientific and medical world, but these things are always closely linked together. Disease has always been more deadly than war, and that makes it more relevant than ever, because there are crises and conflict zones all over the world today. The situation is ripe for that explosion of another infectious disease.

Should we take for granted that some health risks of the past have been totally eradicated via modern medicine?

We should not. It’s dangerous to be complacent. All too often, there’s a cost in disregarding sound medical advice—what we know to be true—because we might have heard something else, and this is truer than ever with social media. The nature of the flu virus, of infectious diseases, is that they change, evolve and mutate rapidly like the Spanish Flu did.

Why do you write, “Another pandemic is a distinct possibility”?

Such pandemic diseases are often diseases of crowds. We live in a world that’s more crowded, where high-speed transportation is much more readily capable of spreading a pandemic. When we have a world in which scientific risks and informa-

tion is disregarded, that’s when we have the possibility of another pandemic. Then there’s climate change. We are living in a world that’s wetter and warmer. This breeds the possibilities for more disease. When we weaken guardrails, when we don’t fund science and disease prevention properly, we take great risks.

What do you think about the stronger enforcement of vaccinations because of measles outbreaks?

We’ve had the largest outbreak of measles in decades, and it’s a disease we thought we had pretty much defeated a long time ago. But because of the spread of misinformation, rumors and unverified scientific medical information, we have a dangerous outbreak of measles in this country. People have traveled to places where there were no vaccinations, then return home. This is a clear and very present danger of the “anti-vaxx” movement, as it’s called. It ignores long-established, peer-reviewed science over decades and unfortunately, we are in a time when someone with a megaphone or microphone or another platform can reach a lot of people with a lot of very dangerous information. We ignore sound science at great peril. Randy Kambic, of Estero, Florida, is a freelance writer and editor.

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~Stacy Thewis

The Happy Thyroid Seven Ways to Keep It Humming


by Ronica O’Hara

uch of our day-to-day wellbeing—how energetic we feel, how clear our thinking is and how our body processes food—is governed by the activity of the butterflyshaped, thumb-sized thyroid gland at the base of the throat. When it’s working as it should, life is good. However, about one in eight Americans suffers from a malfunctioning thyroid, and women are five to eight times more likely than men to face the consequences. It’s a delicate balancing act. A thyroid that produces too few hormones makes us feel sluggish and constipated. We gain weight easily, have muscle cramps and experience heavy periods. Hypothyroidism, as it’s called, is linked to chronic fatigue syndrome, infertility and autism in newborns. A 2013 study published in Annals of Neurology found that pregnant women deficient in thyroid hormone are four times more likely than healthy women to produce a child with autism. If the thyroid produces too many hormones, we suffer from hyperthyroidism with a racing heart, irritability, light periods, unexplained weight loss and insomnia; it can lead to hardening of the


Washington, D.C.

arteries and heart failure later in life, according to a study in Circulation Research. The good news is that there are simple and effective strategies that can optimize thyroid function and avoid these potential health setbacks, say experts. Their recommendations:


Keep up mineral levels. The thyroid needs iodine to churn out hormones, and usually iodized salt or sea salt with natural iodine can supply most of our daily needs of 150 micrograms. Sardines, shrimp, seaweed, yogurt, eggs and capers are also rich in iodine. However, too much of a good thing can tip the balance in the other direction, so practice moderation with super-charged iodine foods like cranberries: A fourounce serving contains twice the daily requirement. In addition, our thyroids need selenium (one or two Brazil nuts a day will do it) and zinc (nuts, legumes and chocolate) to function optimally.


Eat fermented foods. About 20

percent of the conversion of inactive thyroid hormone (T4) into active hormone (T3) takes place in our gut,

which makes “good” bacteria critically important. Andrea Beaman, a New York City health coach and author of Happy Healthy Thyroid: The Essential Steps to Healing Naturally, recommends probiotics like cultured vegetables, kimchi, sauerkraut and sourdough bread, as well as prebiotics like root vegetables, plantain, burdock and dandelion root.


Filter drinking water. “Fluo-

ride and chlorine are elements that can block the absorption of iodine into the thyroid,” says Elizabeth Boham, M.D., a functional medicine doctor at the UltraWellness Center, in Lenox, Massachusetts. A reverse-osmosis filter or a high-end pitcher filter will remove chlorine, as well as fluoride, which British researchers have linked to a 30 percent higher rate of hypothyroidism.


Detox cosmetics. Phthalates are

endocrine-disrupting chemicals found in cosmetics, nail polish and shampoos; they are also in plastic toys, and 3-year-old girls exposed to phthalates have shown depressed thyroid function, Columbia University scientists report. Research cosmetics and find toxin-free alternatives at the Environmental Working Group Skin Deep Cosmetics Database. (


Wake up easy. About 85 per-

cent of thyroid diseases involve an underactive thyroid, says Beaman, adding that it is often the body’s pushback against frenzied, stressful lifestyles: “The thyroid is literally slowing down—our body is saying, ‘Slow, slow, go slow.’” For a low-key start to the day, she suggests not using an alarm clock if possible, and then doing some long, slow stretching and

Alexander Raths/

Poses such as plow pose, fish pose, boat pose and cobra can improve blood circulation to the thyroid gland, which is imperative for its health.

healing ways

deep breathing. “It takes just five minutes, and you’re starting the day not in fight-or-flight mode, but in a fully relaxed and fully oxygenated body.”


Talk it out. In Eastern philosophy, the thyroid in the

throat is located at the fifth chakra, the energy center of expression and communication, Beaman says. If we find ourselves either regularly shouting or choking back our words, “it helps, if you want to support your thyroid on a deep emotional level, to express yourself somehow, some way, to someone somewhere,” such as to a therapist, family member or good friend.


Do yoga asanas. “Poses such as plow pose, fish pose,

boat pose and cobra can improve blood circulation to the thyroid gland, which is imperative for its health,” says Stacy Thewis, a registered nurse, certified wellness coach and gut-brain expert in Mellen, Wisconsin. In a study in the Journal of Complementary and Integrative Medicine, 22 women with hypothyroidism that practiced yoga for six months needed significantly less thyroid medication. Ronica A. O’Hara is a Denver-based natural-health writer. Connect at

Help for a Troubled Thyroid T

o verify a possible thyroid condition, consult a doctor, endocrinologist, functional medicine doctor or naturopathic doctor. Ask for a range of tests, not only the standard thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) test, but also free T4, free T3, thyroid antibodies for autoimmune reactions, and thyroidreleasing hormone (TRH) tests for a full picture. The standard pharmaceutical approach for hypothyroidism, the most common condition, is the synthetic hormone levothyroxine (Levoxyl, Synthroid, Unithroid) that boosts T4 production; but it can cause depression and weight gain, researchers at Chicago-based Rush University Medical Center report in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. Ask also about Armour Thyroid, derived from animal thyroids, that contains both T3 and T4, and is often preferred by functional medicine doctors. Other testing can uncover a reaction to gluten, which is often linked to thyroid dysfunction. “For many with thyroid issues, gluten can provoke an autoimmune response via celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity,” says registered dietitian nutritionist and health coach Amanda Wikan, of Petaluma, California. If a celiac test is negative, she suggests trying a six-week, gluten-free diet and watching afterward for any signs of non-celiac sensitivity such as headaches, bloating, gas or brain fog.

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Kids With Gratitude Making Thankfulness Second Nature


by Ronica O’Hara

his Thanksgiving, there’s something to be especially thankful for—gratitude itself. Emerging research shows gratitude to be one of the easiest, most effective ways to kickstart happiness and well-being. “The good news about gratitude is that it is one of the more growable character strengths—and it’s never too late,” says Giacomo Bono, Ph.D., an assistant professor at California State University, in Dominguez Hills, and co-author of Making Grateful Kids: The Science of Building Character. It’s also never too early to “plant” it: Even toddlers love to parrot, “Thank you.” Research by Bono and others shows kids that are grateful are happier, more engaged and studious, and less envious, depressed, materialistic and prone to violence. It can be taught: After one week of daily 30-minute lessons on gratitude, 8- to 11-year-olds wrote thank-you notes for a PTA presentation that were 80 percent longer than notes by kids that didn’t have the lessons. To instill gratefulness in a child:


Be grateful and show it.

“Kids are more likely to do something if they see adults around them doing


Washington, D.C.

it,” says Bono. “Being specific with your words helps, too, because it shows what behavior mattered to you and why.” Adds psychologist Mary Jo Podgurski, founder and president of the Academy for Adolescent Health, in Washington, Pennsylvania: “If we express our gratitude by making eye contact, with sincerity and by providing an example of how much we are appreciative, the words are empowered. Telling the grocery clerk, ‘I really like the way you packed my berries on top. Thanks for taking the time to be careful with my purchases,’ will light up the clerk’s face.” That can translate into a child not simply saying, “Thank you” to a grandparent for birthday money, but also explaining how excited they are about the game they plan to buy with it.


Enact a small daily ritual.

“It’s also good for families to come up with gratitude rituals,” says Bono. “Everyday conversations about the good things and people we have or encounter in life, and being specific with words, helps young children understand the connection between kindness and feeling grateful better.” For writer Judy Gruen’s family in Los Angeles, this means a morning prayer:

“When we wake up in the morning, the first words we say are those of gratitude that we have awakened and have the opportunity for a new day.” At dinner time, some families play “a rose, a thorn, a bud”— with each person saying what happened that day that they’re grateful for, what problems came up and what they’re looking forward to. As a bedtime ritual, Heidi McBain, a counselor and author in Flower Mound, Texas, follows a routine with her two children that includes “reading, checking in about their day—the good/bad/ugly—and at least one thing they are grateful for from their day. And I often share mine, as well!”


Make gratitude fun.

By getting creative, we can make kids’ expressions of gratitude even more enjoyable. Business coach Kristi Andrus, in Denver, says that her family toasts a lot at mealtime, raising their glasses and clinking them. “Our toasts are simple, ‘Today I’m grateful, thankful, or happy to share ________.’ [fill in the blank]. The kids love it and the parents always smile at what the kids bring up.” Charlene Hess, in Eagle Mountain, Utah, a blogger and homeschooling mom to seven kids, has set up a gratitude door with a sticky note added each day from each child. “This really helps the kids become more aware of all the good things in their lives, particularly as time goes on and they have to get more creative with their responses.” “A rampage of appreciation” is what Jeannette Paxia, a motivational speaker and children’s book author in Modesto, California, does with her five children: “We spend 10 minutes walking around and appreciating all we see. My children love it!” In the home of northern New Jersey therapist Shuli Sandler, when one family member shows gratitude to another, a coin is put in a jar. “When it is full, the whole family can go out and do something together, like grab ice cream or something fun—remembering of course to say thank you,” she says. Ronica A. O’Hara is a Denver-based natural-health writer. Connect at

Gratitude-Building Resources Essays, practices and resources for grateful living. Making Grateful Kids: Advice from leading researchers at Psychology Today: How to Teach Gratitude to Tweens and Teens: TeachingGratitudeToTeens. TED talks playlist: Videos that inspire gratitude: playlists/206/give_thanks. Research on gratitude in children: YouthGratitudeProject.

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Whatever your health challenges are, we can help you get on the path to real wellness. Do youand need help balancing yourbyhormones? We believe in restoring maintaining good health strengthening the body's own healing power to prevent disease and overcome chronic illnesses. We strive to identify the Whatever yourget health we can help you get the pathintorestoring real wellness. We can help you on challenges the path are, to real wellness. Weonbelieve root cause and treat YOU rather than just your symptoms. We will help pinpoint hormone, and maintaining good health by strengthening the body’s ownthe healing We believe in restoring and maintaining good health by strengthening body's own metabolic, digestive, nutritional and food sensitivity issues. Our practitioners create perpower to prevent disease and overcome chronic illnesses. We strive to the healing power to prevent disease and overcome chronic illnesses. We strive to sonalized treatment plans based on your history as well as results from identify specialized diagidentify the root cause and treat YOU rather than just your symptoms. root cause andWe treathave YOU2rather than justMedicine your symptoms. We willanhelp pinpoint hormone, nostic testing. Functional Physicians, Integrative Nutritionist, a Classical Homeopath and an Acupuncturist. Let usissues. helpOur youpractitioners on your journey to healing. OUR KEY SERVICES AND TREATMENTS INCLUDE: metabolic, digestive, nutritional and food sensitivity create per-

sonalized treatment plans based on your history as well as results from specialized diag• Integrative and Functional Hypothyroidism Our key services Medicine and treatments•include: nostic testing. We have 2 Functional Medicine Physicians, an Integrative Nutritionist, a • Bio-Identical Replacement*Acupuncture (BHRT) • Acupuncture *Integrative andHormone Functional Medicine Classical Homeopath and an Acupuncturist. Let us help you on your journey to healing. • Fibromyalgia andReplacement other Chronic • Homeopathy *Bio-Identical Hormone (BHRT) Illnesses *Homeopathy *Hypothyroidism Nutritional Counseling • Women’s and Men’s Mood*Integrative Disorder Treatment Our keyHealth services and• treatments include: and other Chronic•Illnesses *Digestive Health Program • Food*Fibromyalgia Sensitivity Testing Integrative Nutritional Counseling *Integrative and Functional Medicine *Acupuncture and Men’s Health *Weight Loss Programs •*Women’s Digestive Health Program Loss Programs *Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement (BHRT)• Weight *Homeopathy *Mood Disorder Treatment *Thermography • Thermography • Infrared Sauna Therapy *Hypothyroidism *Integrative Nutritional Counseling *Food Sensitivity Testing

*Infrared Sauna Therapy

*Fibromyalgia and other Chronic Illnesses

*Digestive Health Program

*Women’s and Men’s Health

*Weight Loss Programs

*Mood Disorder Treatment


Dr. Sushma MD MD Dr. Alex Dr. Leon, McMillan,MS, LDN Michael Liss, Homa Hashime, Dr. Hiranii, Sushma Hiranii, AlexMD Leon , MD Elizabeth Elizabeth McMillan, Michael Liss, Homeopath Virginia Mitchell, Acupuncture *Food Sensitivity Testing *Infrared Sauna Therapy MS, LDN Homeopath Acupuncture

Located in Oakton, VA Call (571)529-6699 Let us help you on your journey to healing.

Regain Your Health & Vitality

Regain Your Health & Vitality

Oakton, VA • 571-529-6699 • Dr. Sushma Hiranii, MD

Dr. Alex Leon , MD

Elizabeth McMillan, MS, LDN

Michael Liss, Homeopath Virginia Mitchell, Acupuncture

Located in Oakton, VA Call (571)529-6699 November 2019


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green living


Discovering the Green in ‘Brown’ Furniture by Yvette C. Hammett


ast food and fast fashion are common in this amped-up world. There’s also fast furniture—the kind that often comes in a box, assembly required. It’s made of particle board held together by toxic chemicals; it is often flimsy and it’s consuming forests at an alarming rate. But millennials love it. That’s why they’re sometimes called the IKEA generation. “Your grandmother’s big sideboard and armoire are hard to sell,” says Todd Merrill, owner of the Todd Merrill Studio, a furniture and design gallery in New York City. “We have changed the way we live. Our houses are laid out differently— no more formal dining rooms. I think people are less inventive about how to repurpose, reuse and restore.” Grandma’s treasures, once passed down for generations, are largely passé. The new word for antiques is “brown furniture”; prices have plummeted 60 to 80 percent in two decades, say industry experts. The youngsters want no part of them, even though they are hand crafted out of solid wood extracted from old-growth forests that took centuries to mature. Large retail chains cater to strong consumer demand for disposable furniture, and it is driving a great deal of deforesta-


Washington, D.C.

tion, according to the Alliance of Leading Environmental Researchers & Thinkers (ALERT). IKEA’s own figures show that it uses 1 percent of the world’s commercial wood supply a year to manufacture these throwaway pieces. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reports that 9,690 tons of furniture—both fast and slow—ended up in the nation’s landfills in 2015, the latest year for which statistics have been published. The trend is at odds with millennials’ notable environmental sensibilities—and they do put a premium on authentic, handmade items and companies with social impact—so experts say the tide may be turning. Like the growing Slow Food movement, “slow” furniture enjoys a sense of character and provenance that doesn’t come in a box. When Merrill opened his furniture studio in 2000, it consisted of half pristine antiques and half mid-century modern furniture. He quickly saw a trend of people snapping up the mid-century and leaving the handcrafted antiques behind. “I pulled things out of trash heaps in the Upper East Side. People came in and started snatching up all the vintage modern.” Merrill’s vintage offerings now focus on mid-century modern and

upcycled, repurposed furnishings, something the millennials have taken to. The kids will continue to come around, he says. “If you go around Brooklyn, people are reusing and recycling antique furniture. With the antique market hitting bottom, it is hard to ignore it. As it bottoms out, kids are going to come back to these things.” There can be a cool factor in reusing something that is old, unique and odd, he added. “Oddity and ugliness is kind of in fashion right now.” Alex Geriner, of Doorman Designs, in New Orleans, began upcycling out of necessity. He had little money to furnish his 19th-century apartment. His need quickly became a business when the furnishings he created out of old wood pieces began flying out the door. “I think for millennials—I am a millennial—they want something with a story tied to it, some sort of bigger meaning. My generation is all about experiences. If they can say, ‘I found this in a dumpster’ or ‘in a roadside flea market,’ any story is an investment for millennials.” Terry Gorsuch, whose side business in Dolores, Colorado, Rustique ReInvintage, involves salvaging old theater chairs, church pews and other novel items, upcycling them and selling them for a tidy profit, says, “There is nothing special about a coffee table from IKEA. All our pieces have a story. They’re from a 1936 theater or an 1895 Grange Hall where farmers and ranchers met.” Gorsuch says he already has some “hipster” millennials buying items like old lockers or other odd pieces that they mix and match. “When you take something and put it back to use, you get a feeling of satisfaction,” he says. “The informality of today allows for the mix-and-match thing,” Merrill says. “Take an old door and repurpose it … Put it up in your house or upcycle it into a table. “What we are missing in our homes is character,” he says. “Repurposing is a very good thing to do.” Yvette C. Hammett is an environmental writer based in Valrico, Florida. Connect at

conscious eating

Your Thyroid

Proper Nutrition for Optimum Functioning by Elizabeth McMillan, CNS, LDN


he thyroid gland is a part of the endocrine system located in the neck. This small, butterfly-shaped gland produces, releases and stores a variety of hormones that affect a plethora of functions in the body. The thyroid helps to control and regulate metabolism, influences growth and development, regulates body temperature, energy levels and so much more. When the thyroid is not functioning properly, it can affect almost every system in the body. The thyroid produces hormones, specifically, triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4), to carry out its function. When the thyroid gland does not function properly, it can cause a variety of medical conditions. There are three common thyroid syndromes—hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s disease—these can be affected by our diet. Hyperthyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland produces too much thyroxine because of low TSH levels. The symptoms of hyperthyroidism include sudden weight loss, increased appetite, tremors in the hands and fingers, rapid heartbeat, irregular heartbeat or palpitations, sweating, menstrual pattern changes, fine brittle hair, thinning skin, sleep problems, increased sensitivity to heat, fatigue, changes in bowel patterns and

muscle weakness. From a dietary perspective, avoid refined foods, including sugar, pasta and white bread, alcohol, tobacco, caffeine and trans fats. Instead, eat foods that are rich in iron and B vitamins, including whole grains, sea vegetables and fresh, antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, such as tomatoes, squash, bell peppers, blueberries and cherries. Opt for lean meats, such as cold-water fish or beans for protein rather than red meat. Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid does not produce enough thyroxine due to high TSH levels. Often, those that have it experience weight gain and fatigue. As the condition worsens, sufferers may experience an increased sensitivity to cold, a puffy face, muscle weakness, dry skin, constipation, weight gain, hoarseness, painful and swollen joints, muscles aches, thinning hair, depression, impaired memory, slower heart rate, heavier or irregular menstrual periods and depression. For hypothyroidism, it is important to maintain proper iodine levels. Foods containing goitrogens block the release of iodine which can inhibit the production of thyroid hormones. These include cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and kale. Do not eat these cruciferous vegetables raw. Cook

them to release the iodine-blocking substance. It is equally important to consume the recommended daily allowance of iodine. Fish, seaweed and shrimp are wonderful sources of iodine. Enjoy leafy greens, such as lettuce and spinach to increase magnesium levels in the body. Cashews, pumpkins seeds, almonds and Brazil nuts are rich in iron which helps improve thyroid functions. In addition to iron, Brazil nuts are rich in selenium. Hashimoto’s disease is an autoimmune condition where the immune system attacks the thyroid gland, resulting in inflammation of the thyroid gland and low thyroxine levels. Hashimoto’s disease progresses slowly and causes damage to the thyroid gland. The symptoms of this autoimmune disease include a combination of the symptoms with hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism since this inflammation causes the thyroid to swing back and forth. Since Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune disorder, it is important to follow an autoimmune diet. This includes removing gluten, sugar and diary, and eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables that improve the immune system. A whole-food, anti-inflammatory diet that includes bone broth, raw green juice (spirulina, kale and spinach) and anti-inflammatory herbs such as oregano, basil, ginger and rosemary help to detoxify the body and heal a leaky gut. It is essential that the entire thyroid is monitored by blood tests to determine how well the thyroid is functioning. These blood tests measure TSH, T3, T4 and Free T4. A thyroid antibody test measures the amount of peroxidase and anti-thyroglobulin antibodies in the bloodstream to determine if a patient has autoimmune thyroid disease. Thyroid conditions can often improve with a healthy diet and lifestyle. Include thyroid-nourishing foods and herbs, antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, healthy fats and lean proteins to help heal the thyroid. Additionally, determine if you have any food intolerances, such as dairy or gluten, and avoid them as they can lead to leaky gut and inflammation in the body. Elizabeth McMillan, CNS, LDN, is a clinical nutritionist at the Rose Wellness Clinic, specializing in gut and thyroid health. For more information, visit See ad, page 23. November 2019


practitioner spotlight

A New Way of Approaching Functional Medicine

Rose Wellness With a Truly Integrative Approach by Amy Yusman


ushma Hirani, M.D., a family medicine practitioner, has been practicing integrative medicine using the best of conventional and alternative medicine techniques for the past 12 years. When a patient has what Hirani refers to as their “Aha! moment”—the moment they finally start to understand why their body is behaving the way it is—the healing process begins automatically because they not only feel empowered, they also have renewed hope. Hirani’s team at the Rose Wellness Clinic, in Oakton, Virgina, will look for the root cause of illness and focus efforts on treating it. They believe in restoring and maintaining good health by strengthening the body’s own healing power to overcome chronic illnesses. Hirani’s approach is to integrate the best of traditional and holistic medical care. It is a fulfilling experience to be in charge of your own health, and Rose Wellness will help you explore your power to do so. Hirani was motivated to transform her patient load into a subscription-based practice this summer. When you start transforming your health the natural way, it is a process that takes time. To provide her pa-


Washington, D.C.

tients with the most integrative care, she is providing more tools, resources and extra support. The reward for your dedication and commitment and our strong team of support is a strong mind and body and a gift of good health—which is long-lasting. Bringing in these extra tools and resources has already helped hundreds of people that joined the Rose Wellness subscription program. Their health coach has been helping bridge the gap between medical recommendations and helping to implement recommendations into their patients’ daily lives. By creating this supportive partnership, patients will achieve positive change. The team at Rose Wellness treats a multitude of conditions including hormone imbalances, thyroid disorders, autoimmune conditions, fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue, digestive issues, adrenal fatigue, women’s health issues, men’s health, allergies and chronic pain. Illness is not the only thing that brings people to the center. Preventive health care and health maintenance draw in patients as well. According to Hirani, there are five foundational elements to good health—a well-balanced diet, an

Dr. Sushma Hirani efficient digestive system, a good hormone or endocrine balance, a healthy emotional state and regular or adequate body detoxification. These elements are examined and discussed at each appointment to get the best picture of each individual’s health and healing journey. Their website,, contains information on the most common conditions they treat, as well as frequent articles and blog posts on health and wellness. Additionally, free webinars are held every month on a variety of topics. At the center, Hirani is joined by other highly trained and accomplished healthcare practitioners. Dr. Alex Leon, an integrative medicine physician, specializes in men’s health care, chronic pain syndromes, fibromyalgia, hormone replacement for men, GI and allergic disorders. Dr. Michael Liss, a classical homeopath, specializes in finding relief from various emotional and physical health problems including substance abuse, anxiety, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress, allergies, asthma, autism, childhood ailments, hair and skin disorders and sinus disorders.

Elizabeth McMillan, a boardcertified nutritionist and health coach, specializes in functional nutritional therapy and integrative health. She treats diabetes, metabolic syndrome, food sensitivities, gastrointestinal health, autoimmunity, hormone imbalances in men and women and other metabolic complications. Homa Hashime is a licensed acupuncturist and an Advanced Detoxification Specialist, with experience in auricular acupuncture for addiction and stress reduction. She has experience treating various acute and chronic conditions including stress, depression, anxiety, infertility, eating disorder, PTSK, menstrual problems, migraine headaches, and varies painful joints and muscular conditions using acupuncture, herbs, nutritional supplements, craniosacral therapy and cupping treatment. Rose Wellness incorporates innovations in traditional medicine, integrative health care and technology to provide the best care to their patients. With a warm and welcoming spacious office, they are gladly accepting new patients and providing excellent care for the entire family. Amy Yusman is a team member at the Rose Wellness Clinic. To connect with the Rose Wellness Clinic, call 571-529-6699, option 3 or visit See ad, page 23.

The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them. ~Ernest Hemingway

November 2019


URBAN CHICKENS Coming Home to Roost

stockphoto mania/

natural pet

by Julie Peterson



Washington, D.C.

change frequently, so be sure to get the facts for each area.

Bird Benefits Chickens are relatively simple and inexpensive to maintain. They come in a variety of sizes and colors, are easy to bond with and their entertainment value can’t be underrated. “You will enjoy watching them for hours,” says Andy G. Schneider, of Georgia, the national spokesperson for the Avian Health Program run by the Animal Plant Health and Inspection Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture who has authored three books on chickens. He says that keeping chickens is also a good way for children to learn responsibility and where their food comes from. He says, “They are living animals that depend on their owners and can live for 10 years or longer.” Backyard flocks readily compost food waste and hunt insects to eat. Their nitrogen-rich droppings and old bedding from the coop can fertilize gardens, or the chickens can be let loose in garden areas to fertilize and weed at the same time. However, they will eat desirable plants,

Pineapple studio/

ocavores with a hankering for fresh, organic eggs produced close to home have sparked a resurgence in backyard chicken keeping; even people that don’t like omelets are getting in on the trend. It turns out that the little descendants of dinosaurs make fascinating, low-maintenance pets. “You can’t watch a chicken running across the yard and not have your mood lifted,” says Shana Cobin, who has owned chickens for four years. A veterinary staff member, she takes in rescues on her small farm in Foster, Rhode Island. Her current flock of eight chickens has room to forage with a turkey, some goats and sheep. At night, her birds sleep in a predator-proof chicken coop. As a vegan, Cobin gifts the eggs to others. “It’s gratifying to give eggs to friends and family who might otherwise buy eggs from factory farms,” says Cobin. “It’s as if I’m helping those hens, too.” Those country chickens could be city chickens—if the municipality allows. An increasing number do, with a few rules. Roosters aren’t usually allowed (think crowing at 4 a.m.); the number of hens is limited; and they can’t roam the neighborhood. Local ordinances vary widely and

so consider fencing off a fallow section of garden where they can prepare the ground for the next crop. Composting, fertilizing, weeding and pest control are benefits that even matronly hens that have slowed egg production still provide. The miracle of producing an egg is a journey of its own. Rarely does a child— or grownup—squeal with as much glee as when the pet hen lays her first egg. Add the excitement of double-yolkers and tiny, yolkless “fairy eggs”, and collecting the hens’ bounty is a daily adventure.

Drawbacks Like all pets, chickens need regular maintenance. They can get parasites such as mites or worms, or become sick. But the hardest thing about maintaining chickens is keeping them safe, according to Lisa Steele, a rural Maine farmer and author of 101 Chicken Keeping Hacks From Fresh Eggs Daily: Tips, Tricks, and Ideas for You and Your Hens. “No matter where you live, there is something that wants to kill or eat your chickens. A secure coop and run or pen are important,” Steele says. The family dog, fox, coyotes, raccoons, owls and hawks are just some of the many potential predators.

If a rooster is in the flock, he instinctively protects hens from perceived danger—great for predators, but not necessarily a desirable pet. They crow louder, earlier and more often than most would expect. Unless eggs to hatch are wanted, no rooster is needed.

Starting a Flock After selecting breeds, a new flock can be started with adult hens or chicks from a hatchery or breeder. Steele points out that it’s important to get chicks from a reputable breeder and start them off with good-quality feed, room to exercise, fresh air and clean water. Coops can be built from plans or purchased. There is a trendy industry for palatial coops replete with window boxes, but the necessities include enough space for each chicken, roosting bars to sleep on, nesting boxes to lay eggs, good ventilation and predator-proofing. “The curtains, wallpaper and twinkle lights are fun, but not necessary,” says Steele. Julie Peterson lives in rural Wisconsin with her husband, dogs and chickens. Contact her at

Chicken Facts

n Newly hatched chickens are “chicks”. The young males are cockerels, the young

females are pullets. After one year, they are roosters and hens.

n Chickens see in color and can see UV rays, according to They have

It’s gratifying to give eggs to friends and family who might otherwise buy eggs from factory farms. It’s as if I’m helping those hens, too.

~Shana Cobin, vegan

The key to everything

is patience. You get the chicken by hatching the egg, not by smashing it. ~Arnold H. Glasgow

one eye sighted in for distance and one for close-up vision so that they can look for seeds and bugs on the ground while simultaneously searching the sky for aerial predators.

n The life expectancy of a hen varies from three to 12 years, depending on size, breed

and safety from predators.

n Roosters instinctively protect hens from predators or any perceived danger (including people) by sounding an alarm, and then facing the danger as hens run and hide. n Roosters have been known to ward off predators or die trying. n A rooster is not needed for hens to lay eggs. n Hens begin laying eggs as early as 16 to 20 weeks and have variable production, de-

pending on breed and amount of daylight. Egg production can continue through life, but slows after about 3 years old (

n Egg shell color can be white, pink, blue, green, brown or speckled, but it’s determined

by genetics and will remain basically the same throughout a hen’s life ( EggShellColorDetermination).

n Fresh eggs have a coating that prevents bacteria from entering the pores of the shell.

If eggs are washed, they must be refrigerated (

November 2019


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. Led by a therapeutic writing facilitator, this session is designed for people of all writing levels living with or affected by illness. Tap into the healing benefits of writing using prompts and other creative exercises. $20 (suggested donation). Smith Center for Healing and the Arts, 1632 U St, NW. Info: 202-483-8600 or

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 14 SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 2 Altered Book Healing Art Workshop – 10am-4pm. With Denise Feldman. Join us for a creative day of cutting, pasting, painting, ripping and writing. We will repurpose old, gently-loved hardback books to create a place for our personal journeys. $25 (suggested donation). Smith Center for Healing and the Arts, 1632 U St, NW. Info: 202-483-8600 or Introduction to Essential Oils  – 1-2:30pm.  Learn from a certified aromatherapist how to use essential oils to support your health and wellness. Make a roller bottle blend for your top health concern. $10. Flourish Counseling and Wellness Center, 3430 N High St, Olney, MD. Register:   

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 4 Qigong – 10:30am. Gentle form of exercise with simple movements, self-massage and breathing. All library programs are free. No registration required. Richard Byrd Library, 7520 Commerce St, Springfield, VA. Info: 703-451-8055. 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: ArlingtonLaughter

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 7 Getting Out of Your Head – 6:30-8pm. With Varahi Kelsang, MD, MA, MS. Explore what our own body expresses and creates through movement and dance. We will share our story and feelings and we can then enjoy the experience in each moment rather than thinking about it. Free. Smith Center for Healing and the Arts, 1632 U St, NW. Info: 202-483-8600 or

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 12 Why Isn’t My Thyroid Hormone Working Anymore? Stress and Hormones – 7-8pm. Learn how hormone imbalances, thyroid and cortisol can distort your midsection into a large belly and prevent weight loss, even with dieting and exercise. Learn how hormone imbalances affect your sleep and sex drive and what you can do about it. Regenasyst Wellness and Health, online webinar. Register: Info@TreatYourself Info: 703-454-9326 x0.

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 13 Writing for Healing – 6-7:30pm. With Susi Wyss.


Washington, D.C.

Tribute to the Fall – 6:30-8:30pm. With Chef Gérard. Learn how to prepare a balanced and healthful menu using seasonal ingredients and enjoy a meal prepared by 3-Michelin star Chef Gérard Pangaud. $35 (suggested donation). Smith Center for Healing and the Arts, 1632 U St, NW. Info: 202-483-8600 or

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 17 Aerial Rejuvenation – 2-4pm. Also Dec 22. This workshop is a delicious elixir to reawaken the energy body through play, rest and reflection. We will explore several techniques, including: Pranayama, Gyrokinesis, Aerial Inversions, floating meditation and free writing. $85/day. Elements Center, 2233 Wisconsin Ave, Ste 217, NW. Register: or

plan ahead MONDAY, DECEMBER 2 One-Day Silent(ish) Retreat – 9:30am-2:30pm. Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, a day of reflection, solitude and community care. $175. Lil Omm, DaySpring Silent Retreat Center, 11301 Neelsville Church Rd, Germantown, MD. Register: _id=119756897. 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



QiGong – 10:30am. See Nov 4 for details. All library programs are free. No registration required. Richard Byrd Library, 7520 Commerce St, Springfield, VA. Info: 703-451-8055.

Qigong – 10:30am. Gentle form of exercise with simple movements, self-massage and breathing. All library programs are free. No registration required. Richard Byrd Library, 7520 Commerce St, Springfield, VA. Info: 703-451-8055.

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 20 Quality of Life Workshop – 6:30-8pm. With Priya Shamsundar, NP. Review palliative care medicine as a medical specialty that improves quality of life and helps to relieve symptoms at home for all ages and stages of illness. Free. Smith Center for Healing and the Arts, 1632 U St, NW. Info: 202483-8600 or

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 21 What 3 Things You Can Do Today (Or Next), Because Your Stress is Making You Sick – 11am12pm. Learn how stress shows up in the body as symptoms that you thought were something else. Learn why counting calories does not help with losing belly fat. Regenasyst Wellness and Health, online webinar. Register: Info@TreatYourselfTo Info: 703-454-9326 x0 or Treat

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 22 Young Adult Cancer Supper Club: Friendsgiving – 6:30-8:30pm. With Chef Kara Garrett. Meet other young adult cancer survivors and share a healthy meal and good conversation. Enjoy healthy versions of classic holiday dishes and learn new recipes for your holiday feast. $25 (suggested donation). Smith Center for Healing and the Arts, 1632 U St, NW. Info: 202-483-8600 or

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 22 Aerial Rejuvenation – 2-4pm. This workshop is a delicious elixir to reawaken the energy body through play, rest and reflection. We will explore several techniques, including Pranayama, Gyrokinesis, Aerial Inversions, Floating Meditation and Free Writing. $85. Elements Center, 2233 Wisconsin Ave, Ste 217, NW. Register: FrontDesk@ or


special event The New Year’s Jump Wellness Retreat to Belize Through Jan 4. Join Hawah Kasat for an exciting, fun-filled, rejuvenating new year’s adventure to beautiful Belize. Build your own schedule, explore with wild abandon and create connections to catapult you into the auspicious year of 2020. $1,695.

Sunday, December 29

South Water Caye, Island of Belize. Register: Info:

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:

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

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:

saturday Accessing Health: Mind/Body Workshops – 10:30am. 2nd Sat. Dr. Farideh Sadeghi leads a monthly workshop on achieving mind/body health. All workshops are free. Topics include: Nov-Cultivating Peace and Dec- Creating Balance. Richard Byrd Library, 7520 Commerce St, Springfield, VA. Register: 703-451-8055 or

Two styles available:


n Calendar of Dated Events:

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

n Calendar of Ongoing Events:

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:

Designed for events on a specific date of the month. Designed for recurring events that fall on the same day each week.

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

Gifting Toppings – 6-9pm. Beautiful toppings in one session, design treats and add your favorites in the hottest glass ware. Baking Boutique. $75-250. Benefit Manufacturing LLC. RSVP: Making Lotions and Potions – 6-8:30pm. Product makers will design and formulate natural ingredients with preservatives. $199. Benefit Manufacturing LLC. RSVP:

202-505-4835 November 2019


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 23.


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 14.


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 23.


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.


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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 23.


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 19.


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 23.

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 23.


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 23.

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

Diane 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 23.


Rose Wellness Center 2944 Hunter Mill Rd, Ste 101, Oakton, VA • 571-529-6699 Dr. Sushma Hirani uses an integrative approach to wellness, utilizing conventional medicine and evidence-based complementary therapies. She strives to treat the whole person and emphasize s nut r it i on , preventive care and lifestyle changes. Dr. Hirani specializes in the treatment of chronic issues such as hypothyroidism, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, hormonal imbalances, digestive disorders, menopause and women’s health issues. Patients love her compassionate care and personalized attention. See ad, page 23.

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.


November 2019


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 23.

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 23.

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 •



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 23.


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 21.

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 23.

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Uplifting Humanity plus: Earth-Friendly Holidays

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Natural Awakenings, Washington, D.C. November 2019  

Natural Awakenings is Washington, D.C.'s green, healthy living magazine.

Natural Awakenings, Washington, D.C. November 2019  

Natural Awakenings is Washington, D.C.'s green, healthy living magazine.