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Handling Conflicts in a Healthy and Transformative Way

Five Ways to Make the New Year Sparkle

December 2017 | Washington, D.C. Edition | natural awakenings December 2017


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December 2017


letterfrompublisher Love and joy, Come to you–, contact us Publisher, Editor-in-Chief Robin Fillmore

Contributing Editors Jessica Bradshaw Randy Kambic

Design & Production Irene Sankey

Outreach Director Samantha Hudgins

Natural Awakenings of Washington, D.C. Phone: 202-505-4835 4938 Hampden Lane, #214 Bethesda, MD 20814

©2017 by Natural Awakenings. All rights reserved. Although some parts of this publication may be reproduced and reprinted, we require that prior permission be obtained in writing. Natural Awakenings is a free publication distributed locally and is supported by our advertisers. It is available in selected stores, health and education centers, healing centers, public libraries and wherever free publications are generally seen. Please call to find a location near you or if you would like copies placed at your business. We do not necessarily endorse the views expressed in the articles and advertisements, nor are we responsible for the products and services advertised. We welcome your ideas, articles and feedback.

SUBSCRIPTIONS Subscribe online to receive FREE monthly digital magazine at

As we roll from our November holiday into the hustle and bustle of December, it is good to take stock. In our family and in many others (yours included, perhaps), December is the moment in our year where we make time to be with one another and to revel in the opportunity to be a family. I am blessed with a large and extended family that truly enjoys being together—sharing a holiday meal, purchasing the perfect gift and sitting around the table to play board games.    It is also our time to take part in the family rituals that have been nurtured throughout the years. As the family has changed with marriages, births, and relocations, it is good to hold on to a few simple activities that we use to identify the holidays. It wouldn’t be Christmas for us, if we don’t set aside a weekend to bake cookies and other sweet treats. The kitchen is a glorious mess—with about six different family favorites in some stage of preparation or completion at any given moment. Children are underfoot. Vince Gauraldi’s Charlie Brown Christmas is playing in the background. For us, that is the holiday. I am truly blessed, and I rely, in part, on these rituals to keep me grounded and at the same time, awakened. Our theme for the month is Peace on Earth, which seems to many at this moment in history, an elusive dream. Our world seems to be precariously perched on potential nuclear war, at the whims of unstable leadership. Just this morning, a dear friend from Zimbabwe shared on Facebook an African proverb that says “When elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers.” As she watches a potential coup in her homeland, she ponders the fate of her country and the family that remains there. That message plays all too well in our own backyard, as the “grass” on our national soil is being trampled under the feet of a forces beyond our control. Our world may feel out of whack, with powers and principalities above us and around us creating turbulence, prompting incivility and stoking fear. If you are one of those individuals who is finding our current state of unease a detriment to enjoyment of this season, I encourage you to read our feature article this month, “Peace on Earth: Conflict Resolutions that Work to Bridge Divides,” by Linda Sechrist. In this season of peace, we can look through the lens of those who spend their time and talents to see that a brighter future is possible for us all. A better world, a better nation, a better community—they are all possible and within our grasp if we only would add our hearts, minds, spirits and voices. Hearing and feeling the pain of others, even if we disagree on a list of important issues to us, is a first step. Learning and embracing how healing is happening all around us is another step. Then showing a new way and sharing the wisdom of peace and reconciliation will bring us closer to peace on Earth. This December, as I am surrounded by those who love me and those whom I love, I will remember these lessons. I hope that you will do the same. Good tidings, dear friends,

Natural Awakenings practices environmental sustainability by using post-consumer recycled paper and soy-based ink on uncoated stock, avoiding the toxic chemicals and huge energy costs of producing shiny, coated paper that is harder to recycle.

neverglossy.alwaysgreen 4

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Robin Fillmore, Publisher


6 newsbriefs

8 healthbriefs

1 2 globalbriefs

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

8 20 community spotlight

22 healthykids

23 naturalhealth

24 ancientwisdom

12 26 eventspotlight 27 inspiration 27 28 business spotlight

29 calendar 32 resourceguide

advertising & submissions


1 4 PEACE ON EARTH Conflict Resolutions that Work to Bridge Divides by Linda Sechrist


OUR BRAINS to Create Positive Change by Alexis Sullivan

18 12 HAPPY

HOLIDAY TIPS How to Really Enjoy the Season by Dianne Bischoff James



PERSONAL CHANGE with Trainer John Mays by Samantha Hudgins

HOW TO ADVERTISE To advertise with Natural Awakenings or request a media kit, please contact us at 202-505-4835 or email Deadline for ads: the 15th of the month.


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Raising Connected, Confident Kids by Judith Fertig


23 DETOXIFICATION by Dr. Mark McClure


What You Need to Know Now

by Dr. Isabel Sharkar


Learn More at the Healing Your Life: Ayurveda Wellness Program


by Ranjana Chawla

27 INSPIRED LIVING Five Ways to Make

the New Year Sparkle

by Kelly Martinsen natural awakenings

December 2017



Support Natural Awakenings publishers Luis Mendez and Waleska Sallaberry as they work to rebuild the community they have created the past 15 years. Become involved at: NaturalAwakeningsPR Fundraiser

newsbriefs Online and/or On-Site Meditation Teacher Training


he Mindfulness Center, based in Bethesda, offers two different options for those who wish to expand their knowledge and understanding of meditation, as a participant and/ or a practitioner. The Meditation Teacher Training program, developed by author, professor and noted meditation expert Deborah Norris, Ph.D., is a 160-hour immersion program that informs the participant through both didactic and experiential practices. The goal of this training in either format is to prepare students of meditation to become teachers of meditation, help to deepen and strengthen the participant’s personal practice and to prepare teachers to be able to relay the experiential qualities of the practice to others. For those in the community-based online program, informational content and experiential practices using podcasts of guided meditations, journaling, scripting and recording your own meditations, along with a library of content rich in information on the science, practice and application of mindfulness in health care, education and the workplace, guide students through the program. In the on-site program, discussion covers the role of mindfulness in health care, education and other community building roles, drawing on both ancient wisdom and modern evidence-basis. Experiential practice cultivates a deeper self-practice, and builds the foundation for teaching group and one-on-one sessions. On-site training takes place on selected Friday evenings and Saturdays. This program is co-sponsored by the National Association of Social Workers/ NASW, and offers up to 24 hours of CE to therapists and social workers. CEUs are also offered through Yoga Alliance. Location: 4963 Elm St., Bethesda. For more information, visit See ad, page 19.

Oneness-Family School Offers Holiday Bazaar


ll are welcome to attend and enjoy an evening of joyous student performances honoring winter season celebrations at the Oneness-Family School. As part of the festivities, everyone is invited to visit their Holiday Bazaar, with vendors offering handmade, fair trade pottery, jewelry, gifts and more. This is a wonderful opportunity to get in the holiday spirit, while taking care of some gift buying needs with lovely gifts that support and sustain those who made them. The event will be held from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on December 15, at the school in Chevy Chase. For those still looking for vending opportunities, a few tables are still available. Since 1988, Oneness-Family School has been serving the community as a private, nonprofit Montessori educational institution for children from preschool through high school. Their comprehensive curriculum and low student-teacher ratio provide an optimal environment for brain development and social and emotional learning during the key formative years of a child’s life.  Free to attend. Location: 6701 Wisconsin Ave., Chevy Chase. For more information, call Erynn Pawlak at 301-652- 7751, email or visit 6

Washington, D.C.

A Zero-Waste Grocery Store in D.C.? Tell Us What You Think!


n our throwaway culture, the average American produces 4.4 lbs. of trash per day, almost twice the global average. We discard more than 30 million tons of plastic per year, only 8 percent of which is recycled. But even such “recycled” products are, in fact, merely downcycled, meaning that they are re-purposed once and then wind up in a landfill, incinerator or the ocean. In most groceries and eateries, single-use plastic packaging is the norm, not the exception. This plastic pollution affects our food—by contaminating our soils and the fish we eat—and it even pollutes the air we breathe and the water we drink. Simply put, disposable plastic is unhealthy for our planet, our community and our bodies. Yet no store in Washington, D.C. offers a complete range of food, household and personal care products for purchase without packaging or in redeemable containers. Are you interested in making a zero-waste lifestyle accessible and available in the area? Please share your thoughts on a zero-waste grocery store in D.C. by filling out an online survey: or look for the link at

Comfort and Joy this Holiday Season with Essential Oils


he holiday season has a way of rattling us, no matter how determined we are that “this year is going to be different.” Family, finances, loneliness, shopping, parties, depression, colds, flu, and the overall idea that the month of December must be a Norman Rockwell painting, can bring us to our knees by the first week of January. Young Living has formulated many essential oils that target health and well-being, such as Thieves, Joy, Stress Away, Gratitude, Release and Sacred Mountain. Join Pam Snyder and Dr. Allan Tomson, at Neck, Back & Beyond, for their holiday event at 7 p.m. on December 7, to experience firsthand the magic of essential oils. The fragrance of an essential oil can directly affect everything from your emotional state to your immune system and truly bring you greater health, comfort and joy. When a fragrance is inhaled, the airborne odor molecules travel up the nostrils to the center of the olfactory sensation. In less than a second, a scent has the power to activate a number of physical and emotional responses. Research shows that inhaling the pure constituents in these oils can stimulate these olfactory receptors and activate the brain’s limbic system which is associated with memory, emotion and state of mind. The sense of smell is 10,000 times more potent than any other sense—touch and taste must travel thru body nerves and to the spinal cord before reaching the brain. Snyder is a Young Living educator who recently joined Tomson and their family of practitioners at Neck, Back & Beyond, bringing a wealth of knowledge through her health coaching and consulting work with individuals and groups. Location: 10195 Main St., Ste. D, Fairfax, VA. For more information and to register, visit See ad, page 8.

When Thyroid Hormones Fail Us— A Free Talk


ven though many women are taking thyroid hormones and their lab tests state that they are “normal”, up to Serena Satcher 90 percent continue to suffer from many of the symptoms. Dr. Serena Satcher is offering a free wellness talk to help break out of this cycle by discussing the root causes of hypothyroidism and natural ways to overcome it. The talk will be held at 10 a.m. on December 9, in Springfield. In her practice, Satcher has worked with women who continue to suffer from a list of symptoms, including: tiredness and insomnia, inability to lose weight, cold hands and feet, constipation, depression and lack of motivation, thinning hair and acne, memory problems or brain fog or feelings of nervousness and heart palpitations. The traditional approach is to drive the labs into the “normal” range by giving thyroid replacement hormones, such as synthetic thyroid hormones. This drugonly approach is not helping most of the women who try it. In her free talk, Satcher will provide information that will help women sufferers to understand the underlying cause of 85 to 90 percent of hypothyroidism in the U.S.; why it’s destroying not only the thyroid gland but other glands and tissues as well; why taking thyroid medication may not help and why a personalized approach is essential. Satcher, an M.D. and certified in PMR, functional medicine and integrative medicine, specializes in metabolic and autoimmune problems affecting the glands, nervous system and musculoskeletal system. Location: 6820 Commercial Dr., Springfield, VA. To qualify, call 703-454-9326, ext. 0 or email

natural awakenings

December 2017


Milk Chocolate Also Benefits Heart Health


igh-cacao dark chocolate contains high levels of flavanol, a compound known for its heart health benefits, but less is known about diluted foods such as milk chocolate candy. Harvard researchers followed 55,502 subjects for 13 years, comparing levels of high blood pressure, diabetes and cardiovascular disease to lifestyle traits. They found those eating one to three servings of chocolate a month (including milk chocolate) displayed a 10 percent lower risk of irregular heartbeat than those eating an ounce or less a month. Eating one serving per week of chocolate yielded a 17 percent lower risk and two to six servings a week 20 percent, and then leveled off after eating one or more servings per day. “Eating excessive amounts of chocolate is not recommended, because many chocolate products are high in calories from sugar and fat, and could lead to weight gain and other metabolic problems,� advises Elizabeth Mostofsky, author of the study.



Fifty healthy patients and 50 with chronic fatigue syndrome were tested for bacteria and immune molecules by researchers from Columbia University. They discovered that imbalances in the levels of certain gut bacteria are prevalent in individuals with chronic fatigue syndrome, a disorder often accompanied by extreme fatigue, muscle and joint pain, cognitive issues and insomnia.

Ben Schonewille /



esearchers from Northwestern University have found that acoustic stimulation using pink noise (random sound with more low frequencies than white noise) increases slow-wave brain activity, thus improving sleep-dependent memory retention. Thirteen mature adults completed two nights of sleep; one with the pink noise and one without, in random order. Specific brainwave activity increased during the periods when the pink noise was being delivered, suggesting that it could help older adults preserve some memory functions.


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Africa Studio/

Pink Noise While Asleep Helps Memory

Philip Stein is a Leader in Wearable Sleep Technology by Linda Sechrist


rom computers, cell phones, smart TVs, DVR players and programmable appliances to a seemingly endless list of other electronic gadgets, we are in constant contact with unnatural electromagnetic frequencies (EMFs) generated by technology. In today’s 24/7 society, invisible EMFs are inescapable; they permeate our working and living spaces. What we may not know is how they negatively impact our body’s natural sleep-wake cycle: suppressing melatonin, the hormone that controls the natural circadian rhythm, disturbing slumber and even affecting weight gain, according to University of Tel Aviv research. On the brighter side, some new technological products promise to restore balance to the body, including deeper and more restful sleep. From the Philip Stein sleep bracelet, sleep number beds and portable sleep trackers to sleep-related

apps, devices and applications, user-friendly innovations are addressing America’s sleep deprivation problem. “Philip Stein lifestyle accessories such as the sleep bracelet are designed to contribute to a better quality of life. The unique technology inside each one channels beneficial natural frequencies in the environment into your body,” says Will Stein, co-founder and president of the Philip Stein Group. “The result is to help the individual feel centered, balanced, grounded and more easily able to maintain a sense of well-being.” The company defines optimal well-being as a state of harmony achieved through physical, emotional, mental and spiritual alignment. Although natural-frequency technology was developed earlier by a group of engineers and scientists exploring various frequencies’ influence on water, the initial discovery has been attributed to ancient sages in India that intuited them. For example, 7.83 Hz, the frequency of “om”, happens to be Mother Earth’s natural heartbeat rhythm, now known as the Schumann Resonance. Aligned with the brain’s alpha and theta states, this technology of resonating frequencies has been carefully tuned and tested by Philip Stein researchers, technicians and sleep experts. Today, it is at the core of all Philip Stein products. Philip Stein’s tuning technology picks up and channels the beneficial natural frequencies that have always surrounded human beings. “We believe that all organisms have evolved or grown accustomed to these natural frequencies, and our systems are tuned to operate best with them, rather than with the increasing number of manmade frequencies we experience in the modern world,” explains Stein. For more information, visit See ad, this page.

BETTER SLEEP The Philip Stein Sleep Bracelet can be a natural solution for a truly restful night’s sleep. Its Natural Frequency Technology® promotes overall wellbeing. Recommended by

Wearers have experienced:

· Falling asleep faster · Increased quality sleep · Waking up more refreshed

Discover more at

natural awakenings

December 2017




esearchers at Orebro University, in Sweden, conducted a review of research reported since 1965 on the incidence of glioma brain cancer with continued use of cell phones. They found that the highest cumulative exposures to cell phone radiation correlated with a 90 percent increase in the risk of glioma cancer. The risk increased with time; after 10 years of cell phone use, it increased by 62 percent and doubled after 20 years.


Long-Term Cell Phone Use a Health Risk


Go on a journey of self-discovery

esearchers from the University of Oxford, in the UK, have found that infants that take more daytime naps tend to develop a larger vocabulary at an earlier age than their peers by examining sleeping patterns of 246 babies between the ages of 7 months and 3 years for 10 days. Parents also completed a language analysis at the start of the study and three and six months later to determine how many words each child understood from a list 416 words typically learned in infancy. Infants that napped more frequently during the day performed better on both understanding and expressing vocabulary than the others.


Naps Boost Toddler Talk

Through daily activities and self-inquiry you will learn to be your best self. Take the

Personal Growth Challenge Find it at


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Boston researchers found a reduction in depressive symptoms among people that practice tai chi via 50 Chinese-Americans diagnosed with depression. They were divided into three groups. One group participated in tai chi sessions twice a week and were encouraged to practice the movements at home three times a week. Another group attended twice weekly depression education sessions and a third served as the control group. After 12 weeks, the tai chi group reported significant improvements in depression symptoms, which continued after the study was completed, measured at 24 weeks.

Flashon Studio/


Herbal Support in Colder Weather


by Laina Poulakos ow that the weather has begun to change, cold and flu season is upon us. It’s a good time to think of an herb that can help the immune system stay strong. While there are several, echinacea root is a great herb for supporting the immune system during the colder time of the year. This amazing root has a powerful effect on fighting viruses and flu. It even benefits the skin with wound healing and by treating acne and eczema due to the roots, many mighty flavonoids, polysaccharides and vitamin C. It can also help reduce inflammation in your muscles and joints. By taking echinacea during the fall and winter, it can help shorten the duration of a cold. In fact, studies have shown that an individual taking echinacea is 58 percent less likely to catch a cold or get the flu. According to the University of Connecticut, the potent herb was used like an antibiotic before penicillin was discovered. Echinacea is a fantastic herb from nature’s medicine cabinet for the treatment of many common ailments.


Laina Poulakos is the founder of Mother’s Nature Store and a certified aromatherapist and herbologist. For a consultation and products, call 703-851-0087 or visit See ad, page 8.

We Are All Electromagnetic Beings by gLou Stevens he human body grounds electromagnetic radiation in the environment because of the electrical conductivity of our body. All living systems are based on electromagnetic energy. It is true that man-made electromagnetic radiation is not the only source of random photons in the environment, but the problem is these frequencies which we have never encountered before are a whole different spectrum of frequencies than the living system uses. People exposed to artificial electromagnetic radiation have been observed to have symptoms such as sleep disorders, headaches and migraines, chronic fatigue and exhaustion, over sensitiveness and internal unrest, memory processing disorders, general weakness and susceptibility to hormonal disorders. Scientific and medical research has given us a basis to undertake a strategy that will prevent the identified sources of “electrosmog”. The necessity for finding integrated solutions that consider the health aspects is supported by the World Health Organization (WHO) and other international institutions. For example, understanding how the environment is impacting one’s health is key to creating a safer home environment. Limiting our usage of high-tech devices gives us the ability to reduce some of the harmful health effects that many experience from the constant exposure to the synthetic electromagnetic fields being emitted from our high-tech devices. The other side of this proverbial “electromagnetic field” conundrum is to learn about and begin using Positive PEMFs (pulsed electromagnetic fields) equipment and devices that are specifically designed to counteract the harmful effects that occur from lengthy exposure to devices that produce high levels of electromagnetic fields that disrupt our physiology.


gLou Stevens is the founder of Optimum Health & Wellness Complimentary Alternative Therapies. For more information, visit See ad, page 10.

Choose to Do the Holidays Differently by Karen Tasto hat if there was a different way to approach the holidays this year—a way that left you with more energy, not less? Imagine how it would feel, come January 2, to not feel so drained from giving away too much of yourself all of December. It is easy to get caught up in the collective pressured energy that this time of year brings—the shopping-till-you-drop, the over-scheduling and over-indulging. All this, while nature is calling us in this season of darkness and hibernation to drop inward, to slow down, to receive so that we build our reserves for the coming seasons of new birth and growth. Our culture pushes us to do more and be more “on”, while our inner body rhythms are signaling to do the exact opposite, to do less, to reflect and replenish. We can feel like a fish swimming upstream. But there is a different way that, if you take baby steps this season, can have big payoffs come spring, like a plant acquiring enough energy to burst forth through the compacted ground once light and warmth returns. By choosing one less activity or spending some time each day in silence, we can begin to glide through the holidays, vital energy intact. Over the years, many people have learned to slowly pare down on activities, now choosing only those that bring more connection and sacredness into their life, letting the rest slip away. With intention and support, anyone can make this change too, in small steps.


Karen Tasto leads sacred circles, workshops and retreats and offers private healing. For her upcoming events, including the Women’s Winter Retreat, in Sacred Circle on January 13, in Ashton, MD, visit

natural awakenings

December 2017


globalbriefs News and resources to inspire concerned citizens to work together in building a healthier, stronger society that benefits all.

New Tech May Relieve Elder Isolation

Approximately a third of those older than 65 and half of elders at least 85 live alone, as do many people with illnesses and mental disorders. All can suffer from feelings of profound loneliness. Emerging virtual reality (VR) and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies provide avenues to alleviate such isolation, instilling contentment, peace of mind, enrichment, fun, a sense of companionship and contributing to physical and mental health. Instead of passively watching TV, seniors can travel virtually to World Heritage sites, revisit old haunts or even attend family events they would otherwise miss. In terms of benefits attained, VR is predicted to measurably improve seniors’ quality of life. Healthcare applications of AI and telemedicine include reminders to eat, be active or take medications, perhaps assisted by a robotic companion that can share information with practitioners, children, caregivers and emergency personnel. Social applications include helping to form and maintain social connections. It may also serve as a personal concierge by reminding seniors of appointments, playing games with them and initiating dialogue to spark outward engagement.

Animal Smarts

Eric Isselee/

Chimps, Zebrafish and Birds Communicate Like We Do Chimps, orangutans and bonobo apes are now known to be capable of understanding what others are thinking and recognize human thoughts, an ability once thought to be impossible. A team led by Christopher Krupenye, of Duke University, had apes take part in a visual experiment where they watched videos on a monitor while their gaze was being tracked. They discovered an anticipation of events that went beyond the visual cues presented. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has determined that zebrafish are social animals, similar to humans and other mammals— they form friendships, experience positive emotions and have individual personalities. The group advises people that eat fish or keep them as pets to consider the moral implications. Honey hunters in sub-Saharan Africa have a unique form of communication with honeyguide birds that fly ahead to point out beehives which the hunters raid, leaving wax for the birds to eat. A study in the journal Science reports that they listen for a specific call made by their human collaborators.   Dr. Claire Spottiswoode, of the University of Cambridge, in England, and University of Cape Town, in South Africa, observes, “It seems to be a two-way conversation between our own species and a wild animal.” 12

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Robot Roomies

Tree Tally

Digitalizing Data Helps Rainforest Census The Amazon rainforest is thought to harbor a greater diversity of trees than anywhere else on Earth, but the exact number has long been a mystery. In 2013, scientists estimated that the number of species was around 16,000, but no actual count had been done. In a new paper in Scientific Reports, researchers delved into museum collections from around the world to confirm the current number of tree species recorded in the Amazon and assess possibilities of those yet to be discovered. “Since 1900, between 50 and 200 new trees have been discovered in the Amazon every year,” notes Nigel Pitman, a Mellon senior conservation ecologist with the Field Museum. “Our analysis suggests that we won’t finish discovering new tree species there for three more centuries.” The study relied upon the digitization of museum collections data— photographs and digital records—of the specimens housed there and shared worldwide through aggregator sites like “It gives scientists a better sense of what’s actually growing in the Amazon Basin, aiding conservation efforts,” says Pitman.

Senior Sisterhood

New Options for Independent Co-Housing For 20 years, Maria Brenton, an outspoken proponent of older people living independently, has been campaigning and planning for the opening of a different kind of retirement home run by its residents, supporting each other through old age. She says, “Attitudes to older people in this country are out of date. Most members of the older population don’t wish to have everything done for them.” She attests that institutions and agencies dealing with older people encourage dependency and are patronizing and paternalistic. “Older people internalize it, and they learn to wait for people to do things for them,” advises Brenton. New Ground, in Barnet, North London, is the first UK cohousing development set up just for older women, with 26 women from age 50 to 87. Also in London, The Collective has created something similar with enhanced amenities such as a cinema room and a launderette with a disco ball. WeWork is an American company that has set up communal offices, and recently established WeLive, in New York City.

Tiny Baubles


Microplastic Mess Threatens World Oceans Scientists from the University of Hull and the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) have published research in the journal Science of the Total Environment showing levels of microplastics are five times higher in the Antarctic than previous estimates. Co-author Dr. Claire Waluda, a BAS biologist, says, “We have monitored the presence of large plastic items in Antarctica for more than 30 years. While we know that bigger pieces can be ingested by seabirds or cause entanglements in seals, the effects of microplastics on marine animals in the Southern Ocean are as yet unknown.” The tiny beads of plastic come from cosmetics or are shreddings from larger plastic items like clothing or bottles. According to United Nations sources, they may number as many as 51 trillion particles across the seafloor, throughout the oceans and on beaches worldwide. They are considered a serious threat to marine life in general. More international monitoring of the situation is needed, including a requirement for all polar research stations to provide waste treatment options. For more information, see

natural awakenings

December 2017


PEACE ON EARTH Conflict Resolutions that Work to Bridge Divides Healing happens when we handle conflict in a healthy and transformative way.

Call to Action

Roughly 30 years ago, notable voices began urging Americans to embrace a sustainable worldview of unity in diversity, recognizing our core oneness as a solution to an increasingly out-of-balance society. Success in this endeavor depends primarily on the “habits of the heart” of our citizens, developed in local milieus of families, neighborhoods, classrooms, congregations, voluntary associations, workplaces and public places where strangers gather.

Activating Answers

While mainstream media often largely focuses on the negative aspects of conflict—discord, divisiveness, intolerance, violence, incivility, injustice, chaos and complex problems—a countermovement is convening constructive conversations. Participants are initiating dialogue and deliberations intended to resolve conflicts and create cohesiveness, collaboration, cooperation and compromise among local factions that disagree on how to deal with everything from health care and social justice to environmental protection and climate science. Educational training materials and books are giving outdated models of conflict resolution a facelift. In The Revolution Where You Live: Stories from a 12,000 Mile Journey Through a New America, Sarah Van Gelder devotes a chapter to a Greens14

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boro, North Carolina, battle over a story about a deadly, racially charged incident from the city’s recent past. She quotes James Lamar Gibson, a 20-something AfricanAmerican activist and core organizer for the Counter Stories Project: “We’ve been stuck in an old conversation for a couple of decades. We want to have an army of people with restorative conversation skills, so we can get past the divisiveness and imagine together a different sort of Greensboro,” he says. The project began with facilitator training, and then developed story circles in which residents were able to have the difficult discussions that don’t ordinarily take place among the police, city council, churches and social agencies. Today’s conflict resolution experts are discovering that conflict is an essential and powerful call for applying spiritual principles and exercising spiritual practices.

Provocative Questions

“What if we considered conflict as a secret ally or a guidepost, showing us what really matters to us and how much we care? What if our intense emotions are sources of invincible energy, with the power to build the world we want, together? What does having conflict in a healthy and transformative way look like?” queries Ma’ikwe Ludwig, executive director of Commonomics USA,

an organization which educates and advocates for a world where a commons-based economy creates economic and ecological security for all. “Conflict has the power to bring to the surface what’s really at stake and to unite people toward a common goal,” advises Ludwig. Her thought-provoking questions can help shift perceptions toward the idea that we need to use conflict; maybe even welcome it. Ludwig, author of Together Resilient: Building Community in the Age of Climate Disruption, recently helped present new perspectives on conflict resolution during a webinar for Transition US members interested in creating inclusive and diverse communities through collaboration. The nonprofit inspires, encourages, supports and provides networking and training for grassroots initiatives seeking to build community resilience in the face of such challenges as oil spills, climate change and economic crises. Courtney Breese, managing director for the nonprofit National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD) and her colleagues, together with thousands of innovative thinkers, are helping by introducing people to simple dialogue and deliberation structures, processes and resources that invite meaningful and productive conversations leading to constructive civic

Little Perfect Stock/

by Linda Sechrist

Jacob Lund/

A community is a group that can fight gracefully… Chaos is not just a state; it is an essential process of community development. ~Dr. M. Scott Peck, The Different Drum: Community Making and Peace engagement. Breese remarks, “We’re open to working with anyone interested in learning processes that can help bridge divides. We also like sharing stories about what is working.”


The group’s downloadable free tools help newcomers: A beginner’s guide for exploring dialogue ( beginners-guide); a how-to-guide for Conversation Café (CC) hosts (Tinyurl. com/ManualForConversationCafe); and the American Library Association Libraries Transforming Communities: Models for Change Project ( ltc-models). “To date, we’ve had at least 800 librarians participate in free NCDD webinars,” Breese notes. CC is a simple tool useful in exploring difficult topics and provides a safe space to process different perspectives. “Initial agreement on basic rules includes suspending judgment while listening and seeking to understand others, refraining from persuading or converting and talking only from personal experience,” explains Breese.

One new network member, J. Scott Wagner, author of The Liberal’s Guide to Conservatives, speaks about the importance of using neutral language in dialogue. “I learned from him how words can be emotional triggers and signal one-sided perspectives, leaving some group members feeling angry or excluded because they feel the speaker won’t be open to hearing their perspective,” says Breese. After three tours of the U.S. and hundreds of interviews with conservative individuals, Wagner, founder of the nonprofit Reach the Right, was inspired to use his knowledge of five arenas—neurology/cognitive psychology, personality, bias, social conformity and morality—to help progressives understand conservatives that are not only their political leaders, but also their relatives, partners, friends and managers. He offers a simple explanation for anyone drenched in inaccurate biases. “We inherit unconscious genetic personality characteristics that lead us to develop our ideology, with which we construct our world and align with others that are in agreement. Differences in our personality characteristics are the culprits that create conflict.”

Community Needs Erase Enmity

Drawing on 25 years of experience of enabling sworn enemies to create peace in places such as South Africa, Northern Ireland and Colombia, Adam Kahane, author of Collaborating with the Enemy: How to Work with People You Don’t Agree with or Like or Trust, shares insights into the “enemyfying syndrome” that instigates conflict. This habit of thinking and acting as if people we are dealing with are our enemies and the cause of our problems is all around us and dominates the media. “The enemies are always the others, ‘those people’. Enemyfying, which feels exciting and satisfying— even righteous and heroic—usually obscures, rather than clarifies, the reality of the challenges we face. It amplifies conflicts, narrows the space for problem solving and creativity, and distracts us with unrealizable dreams of decisive victory from the real work we need to do,” observes Kahane.

Kahane sees the challenge of conflict becoming more acute. “People today are generally more free, individualistic and diverse, with stronger voices and less deference. Volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity are growing.” Yet, contrary to the common view, it is possible for people that hold contradictory positions to find ways to collaborate. That’s what he and 40 others representing military officers, guerrillas and paramilitaries; activists and politicians; businesspeople and trade unionists; landowners and farmers; and academics, journalists and young people, accomplished in the Destino Colombia project. They organized to contribute to ending their country’s 52-year civil war.


orld Café-style conversations used in Conversation Cafés to discuss issues that matter offer a powerful social technology to engage people in meaningful and constructive dialog in corporate, government and community settings. Understanding that conversation is the core process that drives personal, business and organizational life, it’s a way of thinking and being together sourced in a philosophy of conversational leadership. Embracing a combination of these guiding principles can foster collaborative exchanges, active engagement and helpful possibilities for action. n Clarify the Purpose n Create a Hospitable Space n Explore Questions that Matter n Encourage Everyone’s Contribution n Connect Diverse Perspectives n Listen for Insights and Share Discoveries Source: Principles

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December 2017


Jonathan Bender, founder of The Performance of Your Life, a public speaking and personal development business, has been on a lifelong quest of fostering personal growth and societal transformation. His therapeutic classes and workshops demonstrate how to connect, honor and deeply resonate with others, even if they have different worldviews, and how to listen and hear in the same way we want to be heard. Acknowledging the adrenalin rush that’s a common response to fear of conflict, Bender says, “When we learn to be mindful and speak from our entire body, rather than just from our head, we notice that the voice resonates and originates from a much bigger place. This teaches us to cultivate greater awareness of our emotions and how we express them. “Begin by acknowledging an emotion, and then reduce its intensity through slow, deep breaths, paying attention to the correlating physical sensation. Shifting our focus back to the heart allows us to recognize parts of ourselves in the stories of others and come to understand that our personal history is

Intense emotions can become sources of invincible energy with the collective power to build the world we want.

the filter through which we ‘enemyfy’,” says Bender, who speaks and presents publicly, educating audiences and clients about the universally challenging performances of everyday life. According to Robert Atkinson, Ph.D., author of The Story of Our Time: From Duality to Interconnectedness to Oneness, today’s rugged individualism amid conflicts comprises a crisis of consciousness. “No longer can we settle only on seeing things in opposition to one another; we need to shift our consciousness to be able to see the parts coming together in a new whole. Accepting the oneness of humanity as a biological fact, a social necessity and a spiritual reality will lead us further along our journey toward lasting world peace.” His observation fits with what Joanna Macy, author and scholar of Buddhism and deep ecology, believes is the call of our time: “As planetary citizens, we are being called to wake up together.” Linda Sechrist is a senior staff writer for Natural Awakenings who blogs at

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but that awareness allows us to lessen their effects. Talk to your brain and tell it that you are about to try something new. Acknowledge that it may be uncomfortable, but that you can deal with a small amount of discomfort to create positive transformation.

Outsmarting Our Brains to Create Positive Change by Alexis Sullivan


hy is change so hard? We frequently say that we want positive change in our lives, yet, when we try to transform ourselves for the better, we struggle. We know what we want, but when we try to put it into practice, we get stuck. It turns out that change actually is hard. Humans are hardwired to resist change. Our brains have evolved over time to maintain stability and predictability. Imagine what life was like thousands of years ago. Even small changes in our environment could lead to tragic results, so we developed defense mechanisms to avoid change. In current times, although our environment is different, our brains aren’t. Over the last couple of decades, scientific research has made major breakthroughs in understanding how the mind works. Part of our brain (the basal ganglia) is designed to guide us efficiently through life. It allows us to brush our teeth, put on socks or drive a car with very little thought and very little energy consumption. Another part of our brain (the pre-frontal cortex) is designed to use much more energy to process new information and change behaviors. This

is where those defense mechanisms appear. To create new thought patterns and change behaviors, we have to engage the pre-frontal cortex to process the change until it becomes routine. The good news is that neuroplasticity, the process of forming new connections in the brain that allow us to learn, happens thousands of time every day. This means that we have tremendous capacity for growth and learning. It was previously thought that our brains learned best when we were children and as adults our brains were less flexible. Now, science has shown this not to be true. We are capable of growth and learning throughout our entire lives. So how can these new findings help us to make positive change in our lives? By understanding how to tiptoe around the brain’s defense mechanisms. Since our brains are hardwired to resist sudden and big change, we can outsmart it by being aware and starting small. Awareness - By focusing our attention on a particular change, we can push past our brains automatic resistance. We know that our bodies will send us signals of physiological discomfort,

Size Matters - By starting with small changes in behavior and thought, we can tiptoe past the inevitable obstacles. The secrets are consistency and success. Each time we experience a small change, the brain starts to form a new neural path that, over time, becomes just as easy and comfortable as the old path. Then each time we successfully experience that change, our brains reward us by releasing dopamine, which reinforces the positive experience in our bodies. Knowledge is power and in this case, the power of creating positive change in our lives comes from the knowledge of how to outsmart our brains. Alexis Sullivan is a personal and professional coach and the creator of the Personal Growth Challenge—a game designed to create positive change, one day at a time, one step at a time. Find it at and contact her at AlexisSullivanCoaching@ See ad, page 10.

Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right. ~Oprah Winfrey

natural awakenings

December 2017




Cash is Convertible

12 Happy Holiday Tips

How to Really Enjoy the Season by Dianne Bischoff James


eelings of comfort and joy can seem elusive when the holiday to-do list looms or runs amok. The season can seem more like an endless burden than a parade of cheerful events and glad tidings. Amidst celebratory chaos, these simple rules will help restore inner peace and create greater happiness.


Eschew Perfection Guests are much more interested in filling their stomachs with great food than judging the scuff marks and wall dings. The perfection of the season is found in the special moments when families and friends sit down together.

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Pay Attention to the Smiles The approaching holidays encourage more shared smiles, kind words and thoughtful gestures. While out and about, look for the grins and well wishes. Hold the door open for others and offer a friendly greeting to store clerks. We’ll find ourselves smiling even more, because thoughtfulness is contagious.


Do Nothing for 15 Minutes It’s amazing how refreshed we feel when we take a few minutes to sit in a comfortable chair and simply expe-

rience a moment of stillness. Inner quiet allows the mind to relax and reinvest energy in the body, so we can return to holiday activities with renewed zest.


Give Each Person a Special Gift Think of something thoughtful that both the giver and receiver enjoy doing together and write a promissory note for the shared experience, such as a free backrub, a day spent downtown, a personal manicure or a movie the other person wants to see.


Take Advantage of Extended Shopping Hours To avoid crowds and lines, schedule a late-night power-shopping trip. This is the easiest way to manage a department store visit with sanity, have easy access to the shelves and get immediate service.


Take a Holiday Binge Day Designate a day with no limits and no self-judgment. For anyone that mentally monitors their calories or sweets, claim a binge day out loud with permission for total holiday munching freedom. The next day, we can reinstate discipline.


Sing While We Work Nothing makes meal preparation tasks go faster than crooning along to our favorite carols. Turn up Susan Boyle’s O Holy Night and soon your lungs will be full of air, your heart filled with sentiment, and the turkey stuffed with seasonal goodness will be ready to go into the oven.

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Express Feelings in a Healthy Way Family gatherings can sometimes test our boundaries and patience. Avoid repressing feelings by finding a way to speak a personal truth in the moment, in a calm and healthy fashion. It’s better than returning home stewing about what we wish we could or should have said.

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Assign Roles to Household Helpers The holiday load is lighter when everyone pitches in. Assign specific roles to household members with clear responsibilities, from taking out the garbage to setting the table and washing up.

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Leave Some Tasks for Later It’s unrealistic to think the house has to be in perfect order after festive gatherings. After guests leave, put the leftovers in the fridge and watch a movie. Cleanup will feel easier and faster after a good night’s rest.

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Go Outside for Fun in Nature Hiking in a nearby forest preserve, skating, sledding or building a snow fort with the kids not only burns energy, but is emotionally exhilarating for the whole family. Pick an outdoor activity, don appropriate togs, and share in the laughter and serenity of a sparkling winter day.

Dianne Bischoff James is a life transformation coach, actor, business consultant and author of The Real Brass Ring: Change Your Life Course Now. She specializes in facilitating the midlife reboot and lives in Boston, MA.


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Express Gratitude at the Table Loving feelings can never be expressed enough, so use the holiday as an opportunity to tell others how important they are to you. Create a heartfelt moment at the table by sharing at least one thing that you’re truly grateful for, and ask everyone else to do the same.

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December 2017



Making Positive Personal Change with Trainer John Mays by Samantha Hudgins


iddle age can be the best time in a person’s life cycle. As many aspects of life evolve, people in this age group have the opportunity to recreate their lives as they become empty nesters. Some things just get better with time, according to John Mays, certified hypnotherapist, behavior specialist and owner of Fitness Together in Chantilly. Behavioral change can be a difficult task for this particular cohort of adults. This applies to men and women. The first step in reaching any goal is to consciously think and believe it. This is especially true of physical fitness and inner well-being after a serious illness, divorce or death of a major loved one. Major life events make us rethink our current trajectory in life and contemplate making inner changes as we embark on middle age. But this can be a very beautiful situation, to be able to refocus and renew our core beliefs and motivations as we prepare for the second half of our lives. Where most people associate getting in shape or changing other habits, we realize that at middle age our habits have been deeply engrained into our minds. For individuals over 40, we realize that fitness is way more complicated than it was when we were 20. Mays teaches clients that “success comes from the conscious alignment of the mind, body and soul.” When a new client comes to Fitness Together, they are given a thorough as-


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sessment which is the first step to setting up a personalized plan that sets attainable short- and long-term wellness goals. Mays notes that a workout is different from exercise because it is more specific to a goal. Long-term goals are designed to build upon themselves, as wellness and fitness are part of a life-long process. Since long-term behavioral change often requires a change of behavior, hypnotherapy and neuro-linguistic programming—a process similar to hypnotherapy, can be incorporated. These focus on maximizing habits that are beneficial to human excellence and how an individual’s brain works and are offered to align a client’s mind with their goals, if necessary. For fitness-related goals, traditional methods of modifying routines include 45-minute workouts that can fit easily into busy schedules two to three days a week, as well as rotating workouts and trainers, so workouts don’t become stale. The studio is laid out for maximum comfort of mature clients. Workouts take place in separate rooms with varying equipment. In fact, the privacy and calm, much different from a typical gym, was a contributing factor for Mays’ decision to open Fitness Together Chantilly. Once a client has reached their fitness goal, Mays insists it is not time for them to maintain but rather set the next level of goals for their evolving lives. Mays is no stranger to creating and attaining goals himself. He has earned

John Mays advanced degrees in psychology, education and special education/behavioral modification and certifications in personal training, spiritual life coaching, hypnotherapy and neuro-linguistic programming. He was also a top-10 nationally ranked drug-free power lifter from 2009 to 2013. Mays often finds himself working with middle-aged clients, as this is the turning point for fitness and changes in perspectives in life. Fitness Together Chantilly currently consists of three personal trainers, that work together to fulfill Mays’s mission: “To help an individual align energies to get on the path to progress and remain on the path through each stage of the life journey.” Fitness Together Chantilly is located at 14014 Sullyfield Circle, Ste. E, Chantilly, VA. For more information, call 571277-1292 or visit Chantilly or This is an appointment-only business. See ad, page 3. Samantha Hudgins is a writing enthusiast and outreach director for Natural Awakenings.

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December 2017




AWAKE PARENTING Raising Connected, Confident Kids by Judith Fertig


ne of the greatest challenges parents face is connecting with their children in deep and meaningful ways. The aim of awakened families is to raise strong and emotionally resilient children. Parenting expert and clinical psychologist Shefali Tsabary, Ph.D., author of The Conscious Parent: Transforming Ourselves, Empowering Our Children and The Awakened Family: A Revolution in Parenting, offers mindful approaches to benefit the family—and the community. Via her practice in New York City, appearances on Oprah and online courses, Tsabary provides awareness, skills and strategies to revolutionize families. She posts videos and blogs at  

How do parents know if they’re on the right track?

To be awakened or conscious means to realize that we carry emotional baggage and conditioning from childhood that affects our relationship with our children. Our old ways of thinking and being from our own childhood shape the manner in which we react and interact today. Awakened parents are constantly evolving into their truest and most authentic selves. When parents undertake a daily practice of mindfulness and 22

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awareness, they begin to extricate themselves from blind reactivity to see how every problem with their children is a call to their own awakening. Parents will know they are on the right track because they will connect more with their children, empowering them to think and live autonomously—separate from a parent’s fantasies and expectations.

How can each family member connect with their true self? Parents need to understand that the path to creating a connected relationship with their children is to first create one with themselves. Realizing this, they consider their own inner growth a high priority. Children need to learn who they are and what they really enjoy. Parents can help by allowing children to just sit by themselves. If inundated with activities and subjected to numerous lessons, how can young people hope to recognize their authentic voice amid the din of all this “doing”?

before correcting them. Admonishing and punishing them becomes secondary to the main imperative of conscious connection. It’s crucial we realize we aren’t raising a “mini-me”, but a spirit throbbing with its own signature. Thus, it’s vital to separate in our mind who we are from who each child is. Children aren’t ours to possess or own in any way. When we know this in the depths of our soul, we tailor their raising to their needs, rather than molding them to fit our needs. Children raised in this way grow up to be fearless and infinitely resilient, knowing that their purpose in life is to live in their most authentic and true way. Conflicts decrease and conscious, connected communication increases.   

What can parents do when they fall back into old patterns, shaming children or doing other things that create distance?

When this happens, parents need to sit with themselves and look deeply within, asking: “What is it about me that feels the need to deride, scorn and shame my children?” In such introspection, they might discover triggers from old wounds that have nothing to do with a child’s behavior. When they can see the internal link, they can begin to make the transformations they need. As a parent, I have learned that my role is to step aside, stay in infinite possibility, heal my own wounds, fill my own bucket and let my child fly.  

How can closer, awakened families co-create a better world via the ripple effect?

How do children benefit from conscious or awakened parenting?

When children grow up feeling connected with their parents and deeply seen by them, they march into the outer world feeling self-confident and aware of who they truly are, secure in their own inherent inner-connectivity. Children raised in this manner naturally help advocate for peace and harmony in all of their relationships; incidents of bullying, anxiety and discrediting one’s self and others decrease exponentially.

Conscious parenting mandates that we place the task of connecting with our children front and center, especially

Judith Fertig is a freelance writer from Overland Park, KS (


exposures whenever possible—and practice detoxification for life. The first step is to start with the basics and to learn the list of common toxins: Heavy metals: lead, mercury, aluminum may destroy brain/nerve cells and immune systems Toxic chemicals: Environmental, food or water, personal care products Noxious energies: Electromagnetic frequencies (EMFs) from cell phones, routers, smart meters, wireless devices and environmental exposures Halogens: Chlorine, fluoride and bromide, which can especially disrupt thyroid function

Detoxification For Life by Dr. Mark McClure


hat do we mean by detoxification, and why for life? Let’s get some perspective. All of us want to be healthy, because without health, all the money in the world is worthless. So, what are the chances of remaining healthy? How healthy are you now and what is your biological age compared to your chronological age? Unfortunately, the answer is not very promising for you or your children, as many adults are aging beyond their chronological age, and doctors are seeing more chronic disease developing in children. The facts are undeniable; individuals and families are seeing the effects firsthand of the rise in chronic health problems such as cancer, heart disease, fatigue, allergies, neuro-degenerative diseases, autoimmune diseases, arthritis, autism, dementia, chronic pain and mental health issues. Integrative medicine addresses the root causes of disease and toxicity is one of the primary root causes of all diseases. This fact is the consensus of millions of doctors and their patients, and foundational to integrative medical strategies. Awareness is critical in order to treat or prevent illness; therefore everyone should understand the toxic

exposures they and their loved ones are exposed to on a daily basis by living in our modern world. What is detoxification? Detoxification, like weeding a garden, is the process of removing undesirable elements from the body. A simple explanation of detoxification is getting the “bad stuff out” of the body, but also the converse—putting the “good stuff in.” Undesirable elements can include heavy metals, toxic chemicals, bowel pathogens, other unwanted guests—such as Lyme and co-infections, parasites, molds and fungi, but also noxious energies from wireless devices. Why do we need to detox? The simple answer is that the laundry list of toxins affect the neuro-immune system that helps to maintain heath, and the toxic load can burden the neuroimmune system. Toxicity thus becomes one of the primary root causes of chronic inflammation, chronic infections and many diseases. It is essential to educate yourself and become an active participant in your health. To regain or maintain health, everyone should to be very conscious and learn how to reduce toxic

The food supply: Many people don’t eat real food anymore but processed foodlike stuff that can be stored, may be genetically modified, full of pesticides and other chemicals and has very little nutritional value. Drugs: The overuse of prescription and pharmaceutical drugs and substance use disorders create a burden on the systems of the body that must process them. Chronic infections: Lyme disease and co-infections, Candida and Epstein-Barr can overburden the body and contribute to inflammation and toxicity. Educate yourself to understand the toxicities you and your family may encounter on a daily basis. Then, use the list and begin to reduce toxic exposure in areas you can control, like a clean diet, healthy water, cellphone use, a healthy home, a healthy sleep sanctuary and using natural therapies that can assist with detoxification—for life. Dr. Mark McClure is a pioneer in biological and holistic dentistry. He and his dental and medical colleagues are available for consultations, gatherings and any other way they can spread their message of health and hope to clients and others. Location: National Integrated Health Associates (NIHA), 5225 Wisconsin Ave. NW, Ste. 402, Washington, D.C. For more information on detoxification, visit Health-Programs/Rejuvenation-Detoxification.html. For more information about NIHA, call 202-237-7000 or visit See ad, page 25.

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December 2017



Coming Next Month Understanding


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January articles include: Just What Are Nutraceuticals? Answers for Stress Reduction Solutions for Digestive System Health and so much more!

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Washington, D.C.


Medical Marijuana What You Need to Know Now by Dr. Isabel Sharkar


he use of marijuana has been around in America since the 1840s. Earlier, it was known that George Washington himself used to grow hemp. In 1937, cannabis oil was available over the counter and heavily used to treat a whole variety of ailments. That same year, the Marijuana Tax Act was passed and the anti-marijuana propaganda known as Reefer Madness shifted Americans’ perspective on the sacred plant, demonizing it and making people believe it is the “gateway drug”. By 1942, cannabis was out of the pharmacopeia. The reason why American people today continue to believe that marijuana is a “bad” drug is because of this propaganda. The rest of the world, like Israel and Germany, continued advancing their research on the benefits of cannabis and its effect on the endocannabinoid system (ECS).   Cannabis has more than 100 different cannabinoids, with THC and CBD being the most commonly studied; as well as terpenes, flavonoids and fatty acids. The ECS is comprised of endocannabinoids—fat-soluble neurotransmitters that bind to cannabinoid receptors and their proteins that are expressed throughout the mammalian central nervous system, including the brain. These endocannabinoids neurotransmitters mediate brain plasticity. The endocannabinoid anandamide (AEA), meaning “bliss” in Sanskrit, plays a role in pain, depression, appetite, memory and fertility.

The cannabinoid receptors, like CB1 and CB2, are widely distributed around the body in the brain, liver, fat and immune cells, bone tissue and skeletal muscles. They are involved in a variety of physiological processes including appetite, pain sensation (especially chronic pain), mood, memory, sleep, stress regulation, immune function, energy metabolism and reproductive function. Today, legal marijuana products on the pharmaceutical market include Marinol and Cesamet, used for a compromised immune system due to chemotherapy, and Epidiolex, an FDA-approved cannabidiol (CBD) for epileptic children. These two drugs have been allowed to use a patented version of cannabis to treat the immune system in such serious conditions. In naturopathic medical school, doctors are taught that for every ailment there is a natural remedy in the immediate environment. Now with the opioid crisis, doctors and patients need safer alternatives. Did you know that every 15 minutes, an American dies from an opioid overdose? That’s nearly 100 deaths a day. Cannabinoids have an opioid-sparing property, which means that adding cannabinoids to your protocol will lead to needing significantly less opioids to achieve the same effect. Opioids aside, cancer is taking more lives today than ever before. Current statistics state that one in three women and one in two men will get cancer in their lifetimes. Nature is our best ally.

Unfortunately, not all CBD and THC are created equally. The last thing you want is to use products sprayed with herbicides, pesticides, fungacides and other impurities. Make sure your CBD/THC has a toxicology report. Also, be mindful of the entourage effect, using the whole plant because it interacts synergistically together. We are not made to take single isolated compounds because our bodies need a full spectrum of molecules to be consumed together. This is why using medicines of just CBD or THC may not be sufficient in treating many medical conditions. Each person will respond differently to the different strains and dosages. One size does not fit all, nor will it ever. We still have so much to learn about this sacred plant, especially when it comes to dosing and titration. 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 See ad, page 36.

CONDITIONS THAT CAN BENEFIT FROM THE USE OF MEDICAL CANNABIS: n Autoimmune conditions n Multiple sclerosis n Muscle spasticity n Diabetes Type I n Neuropathy n Fibromyalgia n Chronic pain n Chronic fatigue syndrome n Nausea n Insomnia n Chronic inflammatory conditions n Epilepsy n Autism n PTSD n Lyme disease n Alzheimer’s disease n Cancer

A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work. ~Colin Powell

natural awakenings

December 2017



What is Ayurveda?

Learn More at the Healing Your Life: Ayurveda Wellness Program by Ranjana Chawla


Love and

compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive.

any of the health problems that we have today stem from the fact that we have become more and more disconnected from our bodies. The choices we make—including what we eat, how we eat, what we do, how we handle stress and what we think—profoundly influence our health. Ayurveda science believes that every person is 100 percent unique in every way, and our approach to living, growing and healing should show this too. This holistic science is practiced all over the world, originating in India nearly 5,000 years ago. It doesn’t just deal with curing ailments and diseases, it teaches people how to avoid disease. It focuses on how to proactively develop your health in the best way and keep up a healthy “state”. In ayurveda, you discover your own unique mind-body constitution, which is a mix of five elements: air, ether, fire, earth and water, and then practice a lifestyle designed to balance these elements and bring harmony to your being. The process of physical deterioration and disease is slowed down by proper balance of vital energies in the body. Illness is treated through proper eating, lifestyle changes and the use of herbal remedies.

~Dalai Lama


Washington, D.C.

Ranjana Chawla The goal is to “catch” the ailment by the root and produce cures. Ayurveda believes in treating the underlying root cause of the disease to help the healthy person to keep up good health and the unhealthy person to regain good health. This practice promotes human happiness at the physical, mental and spiritual levels. One of the main guiding princi-


Cost: $180 (before January 7)/$210. Location: East Meets West Yoga Center, 8227 Old Courthouse Rd., Ste. 310, Vienna, VA. For more information or to register, call 571-429-2716 or visit Ranjana Chawla, CAS, RYT, is a clinical ayurvedic specialist, trained at the California College of Ayurveda. She is a registered yoga teacher with Yoga Alliance and trained in Yoga Nidra and has a master’s degree in Indian history from Delhi University, India. She is a certified HR professional (PHR) and has worked as a HR professional for Fortune 100 companies before beginning her career in ayurveda and yoga.

INSPIRED LIVING Five Ways to Make the New Year Sparkle by Kelly Martinsen


nspiration may strike anywhere, at any time. The trick is nurturing the process to appear on demand when we need it most. Often, an inspiration is sparked when we perceive someone being selfless, courageous, physically extraordinary or deliciously creative. However, we don’t need to wait for outside stimulus when we can discover internal stirrings by invoking any of these self-inspiring tips. Just Do It – The Nike slogan has never been more appropriate. We all have something we’ve thought about doing or trying. Whether traveling to a new location, trying a different sport, joining a new-to-us group or club, or making more friends, don’t put it off— just do it.

Economics examined the relationship between volunteering and happiness in a large group of American adults, they found that the more people volunteered, the happier they were. Journal – People often journal as a way to reflect upon their lives. This can be helpfully revealing, but rather than looking back, look forward, using a journal as a blueprint to manifest the most inspired year yet. Write out plans and dreams with the steps needed to achieve them.

Defeat allodoxaphobia – It’s the fear of others’ negative opinions. Everyone suffers from this to some extent, and it can hinder us from living our best life. Former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt remarked, “You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do.”

Gratitude – This is the big one. One way to be and stay inspired is by starting off each day in a state of gratitude. Every morning before getting out of bed, think of at least three things to be grateful for. By doing this, we recognize the blessings we have and greet the day in a positive frame of mind. It’s a perfect way to end each day, too. When someone routinely inquires, “How are you?” answer, “I am grateful.” Our time on Earth is not infinite. With only so many days promised, let’s vow to live them inspired.

Volunteer – A common excuse for not volunteering is, “I don’t have the time.” Next year, make the time. When researchers at the London School of

Kelly Martinsen is publisher of Natural Awakenings Long Island and author of the new book A Year of Inspired Living (

Art Stocker/

ples of is that the mind and the body are inextricably connected. Nothing has more power to heal and transform the body than the mind. Meditation is just one of the most powerful tools the ayurvedic specialists prescribe for balancing the mind and body. It offers many other practices for expanding self-awareness and cultivating your innate state of balance. Ayurveda is a personalized approach to health, and knowing your mind-body type allows each person to make optimal choices about diet, and other aspects of your lifestyle. To learn more about your own unique ayurvedic mind-body type and explore the knowledge of ayurveda in a personal and meaningful way, Healing Your Life: Ayurveda Wellness Program will be offered on six Sundays, running from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., January 21 to February 25. This program supports each participant to create a sustainable diet and lifestyle plan to prevent disease and promote longevity, and will be offered in Vienna.

natural awakenings

December 2017


businessspotlight 2018 EDITORIAL CALENDAR

Maid Brigade’s Commitment to Cleaning Your Home the Green Way by Samantha Hudgins

Health & Wellness Issue


Feature: Natural Stress Relief Plus: Understanding Nutraceuticals Feature: Living Courageously Plus: Meditation Styles

Healthy Food Issue



Feature: Ethnic Cuisine Plus: Super Spices Feature: Climate Health Update Plus: Healthy Home

Women s Health Issue



Feature: Natural Care First Plus: Personalized Medicine Feature: Livable Communities Plus: Natural Beauty

Nutrition Issue


Feature: Farmers Rooted in Health Plus: Anti-Inflammatory Diet Feature: Simplified Parenting Plus: Multilevel Healing

Body Movement Issue


Feature: Joint Health Plus: Yoga for Flexibility Feature: Game Changers Plus: Chiropractic


Feature: Immune System Boosters Plus: Safe Drinking Water Feature: Uplifting Humanity Plus: Holidays

Health Defense Issue





Washington, D.C.


aid Brigade, in business since 1979, made a commitment to green cleaning in 2007 and has been a Green Clean Certified business ever since. In every aspect of the business, Maid Brigade takes their commitment seriously to create the safest indoor environment for their client’s families, pets and homes. To become Green Clean Certified, a company must abide not only by green business practices but socially responsible practices as well, including promoting from within the company. Local Customer Service Manager Tina Johnson points to one of their team leaders as an example of how the company supports growth in its staff. One particular operations manager joined the company 19 years ago as a house cleaning professional. Today she supervises 76 women, speaks fluent English, and was the 2016 Maid Brigade recipient of the National Open Heart Society award, recognizing her efforts in going above and beyond for both her customers and the staff she leads. Maid Brigade ensures a green cleaning experience on every front, starting with their home office. Every desk is home to a recycling bin and only reusable cups will be found by the coffee maker. From there, Maid Brigade’s uniformed house cleaning professionals take low-emission company cars to the homes they will be cleaning that day.

Once on location, many steps are taken to give each house Green Seal Certified cleaning solutions. Maid Brigade takes pride in only using sustainable cleaning products and systems, such as their efficient reusable color-coded microfiber cloths which ensure no cross-contamination from room to room, and allow for a sparkling clean in place of wasteful paper towels. Also highlighted is Maid Brigade’s four-filter HEPA vacuums, approved by the American Lung Association to improve indoor air quality. There are more than 400 franchise territories nationwide and in this area Maid Brigade franchisees cover the majority of the metro D.C. region from Leesburg to Annapolis, and Ellicott City to Fredericksburg and points in between. Maid Brigade also serves the community through its partnership with Cleaning for a Reason. With this organization, each participating Maid Brigade is able to provide up to four free monthly cleans for up to four latestage cancer patients per month. With the holidays in full swing and New Year’s resolutions of tidier homes are set, Maid Brigade is prepared to make houses cleaner and safer. To get an estimate, call 1-800-515MAID or visit See ad, page 19.

calendarofevents 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.

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 1 Weekend Meditation Retreat (Advanced Meditation Seminar M200 - 8hrs) – 6:30-9:30pm. Through Dec 2. Be guided deep into the realms of personal awareness and integration. As the practitioner, learn to deepen your practice and learn to guide others to do the same. The Mindfulness Center, 4963 Elm St, Ste 100, Bethesda, MD. Register: 301-986-1090 or

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 2 Local Art Fair – 10am-6pm. Knock out your holiday shopping at our 3rd annual Art Fair featuring juried, local artists, face painting, free vendor samples and more. Dawson’s Market, 225 N Washington St, Rockville, MD. Info: Mandalas for Managing Stress and Increasing Wellbeing – 11am-4pm. Use mandala imagery, writing and meditative practice to bring creativity, healing and an increased sense of balance and grounding and create your own mandala using painting, collaging and more. $45 (suggested donation) or $10 CEC fee. Smith Center for Healing and the Arts, 1632 U St, NW. Info: 202-483-8600 or Healing Through Your Akashic Records – 1-5pm. Akashic Records are vibrational information of every soul‘s journey in form. Resolve recurring patterns, heal challenges and empower choices through a combined individual/group healing gathering. $35. Intuitive Wellness Center, 8996 Burke Lake Rd, Ste 303, Burke, VA. Info:

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 3 Breathe and Move – 1-3:30pm. Come experience an hour of gentle yoga practice followed by one hour of practicing deep, full breathings which will allow you to feel good, open, clear and confident. The Mindfulness Center, 4963 Elm St, Ste 100, Bethesda, MD. Register: 301-986-1090 or Healing Through Your Akashic Records – 1-5pm. Akashic Records are vibrational information of every soul‘s journey in form. Resolve recurring patterns, heal challenges and empower choices through a combined individual/group healing gathering. $35. Fairy Fresh Farm, 3301 Black Steer Dr, Finksburg, MD. Register: 717-968-3577 or DC Young Adult Cancer Meet Up and Support Group – 5-6:30pm. Meet other young adult cancer survivors in a monthly facilitated group session. This gathering is a collaborative initiative of local hospitals, health organizations and cancer support groups. A healthy meal is provided. Free. Smith Center for Healing and the Arts, 1632 U St, NW. Info: 202-483-8600 or

MONDAY, DECEMBER 4 Viva La Vegan – 4-7pm. Calling all vegans and vegetarians. Learn about, taste products and gather recipes and tips for a plant-based lifestyle. Free event.

Come hungry, we’re serving up a holiday feast, vegan-style. Dawson’s Market, 225 N Washington St, Rockville, MD. Info: 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

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 7 Holiday Survival Guide Seminar – 6-7pm. With integrative nutritionist Elizabeth McMillan and licensed acupuncturist Virginia Mitchell. Healthy ways to brighten up your holiday table. Stressreducing pressure points and when to use them. Rose Wellness Center for Integrative Medicine, 2944 Hunter Mill Rd, Ste 101, Oakton, VA. Register: 571-529-6699 or 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training – 6:30pm. Through Dec 10. This program is perfect for the avid yoga student who wants to become a yoga teacher or anyone that wants to deepen their personal practice. Scholarships available. The Mindfulness Center, 4963 Elm St, Ste 100, Bethesda, MD. Register: 301-986-1090 or Roxanne@The Spreading Comfort and Joy with Essential Oils this Holiday Season – 7-8:30pm. This will be an evening of fun and creative planning for healthy gift ideas and recipes to eat and breathe. $5 (donation). Neck Back & Beyond Healing Arts, 10195 Main St, Ste D, Fairfax, VA. Register: NeckBack Info: 703-865-5690.

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 8 Friday Night Candlelight Yoga – 8-9:30pm. Through gently energetic and continuous flow we release tension and balance energy, while soft candlelight sets an ambiance to calm the mind and explore inner depths. $20. The Mindfulness Center, 4963 Elm St, Ste 100, Bethesda, MD. Register: 301-9861090 or

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 9 Kids Cooking Adventure – 10am. Children 3 years and older can join with their grown-ups to learn to make totally healthy, totally vegan snacks.

You must pre-register at customer service or by email. $5/child. Dawson’s Market, 225 N Washington St, Rockville, MD. Register: DThomas@ Info:

specialevent When Thyroid Hormones Fail Us: A Free Talk Dr. Serena Satcher will provide information to help women sufferers to understand the underlying cause of hypothyroidism in the U.S., why it’s destroying not only the thyroid gland and other glands and tissues as well, why taking thyroid medication may not help and why a personalized approach is essential.

Saturday, December 9 • 10am

6820 Commercial Dr, Springfield, VA. To qualify, call 703-454-9326, ext. 0 or Felted Power Animals Workshop – 1-5pm. Come discover your power animal and then create your animal in the form of a needle-felted pin. $25 (suggested donation). Smith Center for Healing and the Arts, 1632 U St, NW. Info: 202-483-8600 or

MONDAY, DECEMBER 11 Cancer Support Group – 6-7:30pm. This support group provides participants with the opportunity to explore their experience with cancer in a safe group setting with a trained social worker and to connect with others who are facing a similar challenge. Please RSVP by phone prior to your first visit. Free. Smith Center for Healing and the Arts, 1632 U St, NW. Info: 202-483-8600 or


specialevent Holiday Bazaar

An evening of joyous student performances honoring winter season celebrations. Featuring a bazaar with vendors offering handmade fair trade pottery, jewelry, gifts and more. Free admission and vending tables available for $60.

Friday, Dec. 15 • 5:30-8:30pm Oneness-Family School 6701 Wisconsin Ave, Chevy Chase. For information contact Erynn Pawlak at 301-652-7751, or visit

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 16 First Annual Centro Ashé Women’s Winter Solstice Gathering – 9am-6pm. A nourishing, rejuvenating and sisterhood building winter solstice event. Register: Centro-AsheAcute-Winter-Solstice-Gatheringon-December-16.html?mc_cid=10a2c0afac&mc_ eid=065231b6cd.

natural awakenings

December 2017



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


plan ahead SATURDAY, JANUARY 13

specialevent Women’s Winter Retreat in Sacred Circle

Stoke your inner fire. Come together with other awakening women for a day to reflect on the past year and set intention for the year ahead. The day includes gentle yoga, journaling, guided meditation, creative expression and sharing. $135 before Dec 23 or $150 afterwards.

Saturday, Jan. 13 • 9:30am-4:30pm Open Heart Healing at The Blueberry Gardens Healing Center, Ashton, MD. Register: Info:

Healing Your Life: Ayurveda Wellness Program

Sundays through Feb 25. Learn how to bring the ancient teachings of ayurveda into your life. This program supports each participant to create a sustainable diet and lifestyle to prevent disease and promote longevity. $180 before Jan 7 or $210 afterwards.

Sunday, Jan. 21 • 1:30-3:30pm

Ranjana Chawla, Certified Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist East Meets West Yoga Center, Old Courthouse Rd, Ste 310, Vienna, VA. Register: Info:

THURSDAY, JANUARY 25 Movie Night – 7-9pm. Health and nutritional related topics. $5 (donation). Neck Back & Beyond Healing Arts, 10195 Main St, Ste D, Fairfax, VA. Register: 703-865-5690.

SUNDAY, JANUARY 28 SATURDAY, JANUARY 20 Bingo to Help Thrive Baltimore Thrive – 6-8pm. Bingo fundraiser to help Thrive Baltimore continue with its community outreach and its mission to help transition Baltimore to healthier food choices. $20. PEP Foods and Better Health Better Life at Thrive Baltimore, 6 E Lafayette Ave, Baltimore, MD. Info: or

Women Healing Women Through Sacred Circle – 1-3pm. Sundays, through March 18 (No Feb 18). Join this seven-week program for supportive sacred sisterhood with this powerful self-discovery program. Participants learn tools and processes for connecting to the self while nourishing mind, body and soul. The Happy Yogi. Fee $245 (by Jan 6)/$280. For information, contact Karen Tasto at or visit

Two styles available: n Calendar of Dated Events: Designed for events on a specific date of the month. n Calendar of Ongoing Events: Designed for recurring events that fall on the same day each week.

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

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Washington, D.C.

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

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

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: Gentle Yoga – 10:30-11:45am. Gentle yoga classes to help reduce stress and balance the mind, body and spirit. All experience levels welcome. No class December 25. $10/class or $25/month (suggested donation). Smith Center for Healing and the Arts, 1632 U St, NW. Info: 202-483-8600 or

4708 Wisconsin Ave, Ste 200, NW, Tenleytown. Info: Gentle Yoga: Yoga EASE – 11am. This class is a gentle yoga practice emphasizing mind-body awareness, self-massage and breathwork, using the EASE wellness model developed by Tania Lanning (Golocovsky). The Mindfulness Center, 4963 Elm St, Ste 100, Bethesda, MD. Register: 301-986-1090 or Chair Yoga – 12-1pm. You are invited to relax deeply as we move through a series of gentle seated and supported poses that promote self-care. No class December 26. $10/class or $25/month (suggested donation). Smith Center for Healing and the Arts, 1632 U St, NW. Info: 202-483-8600 or Meet the Locals – 4-7pm. 2nd Tues. Come sample products from our favorite local vendors while you enjoy a glass of beer or wine. Free. Dawson’s Market, 225 N Washington St, Rockville, MD. Info: Gentle Yoga – 6:15-7:30pm. See Mon for details. No class December 26. $10/class or $25/month (suggested donation). Smith Center for Healing and the Arts, 1632 U St, NW. Info: 202-483-8600 or

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


Outside the Lines – 10:30am-12:30pm. 1st and 3rd Wed. Learn how to use art making as a tool for healing through guided creative projects. $10 (suggested donation). Smith Center for Healing and the Arts, 1632 U St, NW. Info: 202-483-8600 or

Early Morning Meditation – 7:30-8:15am. See Mon for details. The Center for Mindful Living,

Teen Sanga – 7:30-9pm. 2nd and 4th Wed. The teen sangha provides a framework for exploring one’s in-

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

thursday Early Morning Meditation – 7:30-8:15am. See Mon for details. The Center for Mindful Living, 4708 Wisconsin Ave, Ste 200, NW, Tenleytown. Info: Gentle Yoga – 10:15-11:30am. See Mon for details. No class December 7 and 28. $10/class or $25/month (suggested donation). Smith Center for Healing and the Arts, 1632 U St, NW. Info: 202-483-8600 or

friday Early Morning Meditation – 7:30-8:15am. See Mon for details. The Center for Mindful Living, 4708 Wisconsin Ave, Ste 200, NW, Tenleytown. Info: Move, Dance, Create – 11am-12pm. Stretch your creative capacity, feel good and connect with fellow participants using variety of movement styles. No class December 22 and 29. $10/session or $25/ month (suggested donation). Smith Center for Healing and the Arts, 1632 U St, NW. Info: 202483-8600 or Wine Tasting – 5-7pm. Free. Dawson’s Market, 225 N Washington St, Rockville, MD. Info:

saturday Beer Tasting – 5-7pm. Free. Dawson’s Market, 225 N Washington St, Rockville, MD. Info: Refuge Recovery – 6:30-8pm. Refuge Recovery is a mindfulness-based recovery program and community that utilizes Buddhist philosophy as the foundation of the recovery process. Based on the Four Noble Truths and Eight-fold Path, emphasis is placed on both knowledge and empathy as a means for overcoming addiction and its causes. The Center for Mindful Living, 4708 Wisconsin Ave, Ste 200, NW, Tenleytown. Info:

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202-505-4835 natural awakenings

December 2017


communityresourceguide 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



10195 Main St, Ste D, Fairfax, VA 703-865-5690 • Neck Back & Beyond in Fairfax, VA, offers chiropractic and naturopathic care, acupuncture, massage, , reflexology, lymphatic drainage and more. See ad, page 8.


Rose Wellness Center 571-529-6699 •

Virginia Mitchell is board-certified acupuncturist specializing in pain management, fertility support and stress reduction. She also treats other conditions including allergies, anxiety, depression, arthritis, back, neck or shoulder pain, migraines, headaches, fibromyalgia, autoimmune disorders, insomnia, and sports injuries. Virginia is also a trained massage therapist focusing on acupressure and zero balancing. See ad, page 3.


4963 Elm St, Ste 100, Bethesda, MD 301-986-1090 The Mindfulness Center is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization which promotes health and self-healing, for individuals and the community, through classes, services, workshops and trainings. See ad, page 19.

258 Maple Ave East, Vienna, VA and 12242 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 703-255-7040 (VA) or 301-770-7040 (MD) • Savvy Rest Natural Bedroom is the premier retailer of Savvy Rest organic mattresses and bedding, a Virginia manufacturer and retailer of fine bedroom furniture. See ad, page 3.


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

If you are diagnosed with cancer, there are supportive treatments which may enhance the body’s ability to fight cancer and help the traditional cancer treatments work more effectively. Integrative, holistic medicine combines traditional and adjunctive complementary treatments to restore the patient to a better state of health and improve the quality of life. Whereas traditional medicine will focus on treating the tumor, the holistic approach is to focus on the patient and outcome. See ad, page 25.



Certified aromatherapist and herbalist offering lifestyle consultations and handmade pro-ducts, including soaps, balms and beard oils. Reach a better state of body and mind. See ad, page 8.

Rose Wellness Center 571-529-6699

Dr. Verma specializes in functional ch i ropr a c t i c c are for p ai n management and active restoration of the body. He treating root causes using gentle chiropractic, physical therapy, cold laser therapy and rehabilitation for fast effective results. Dr. Verma treats back, neck, spine and joint pain, sciatica, sports injuries, fibromyalgia, and various other chronic and acute pain conditions. See ad, page 3.


4963 Elm St, Ste 100, Bethesda, MD 301-986-1090 The Mindfulness Center is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization which promotes health and self-healing, for individuals and the community, through classes, services, workshops and trainings. See ad, page 19.


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

We are Green Clean Certified, so you can have peace of mind that you r h om e w i l l b e healthier for you, your pets and the environment. See ad, page 19.


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 8.

Alexis Sullivan, ACC 650-224-4422 Alexis is a credentialed personal and professional coach who loves partnering with people to help them achieve results while bringing balance and fulfillment into their lives. She works with people who are facing or making change and who want to make intentional choices that lead to a successful and purposeful life. See ad, page 10.

A good conscience is a continual Christmas. ~Benjamin Franklin


Washington, D.C.







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

John Mays is a certified wellness coach with unique skills to get you to your goals, regardless of your age or ability level. Through private coaching, mindfulness, hypnosis and behavioral modification therapies, Mays will help you to refocus your life, help you gain selfawareness and take control of your future. See ad, page 3.

Certified aromatherapist and herbalist offering lifestyle consultations and handmade products, including soaps, balms and beard oils. Reach a better state of body and mind. See ad, page 8.







5225 Wisconsin Ave, Ste 402, NW 202-237-7000 • The professional health team at NIHA is comprised of holistic medical physicians, biological dentists, naturopaths, a chiropractor and health professionals highly skilled in acupuncture, nutrition and other healing therapies. See ad, page 25.


5225 Wisconsin Ave, Ste 402, NW 202-237-7000 Rejuvenation-Detoxification.html

Rejuvenation & Detoxification program provides guidance to restore balance and health with lifestyle tips on diet, hydration, digestion and internal cleansing and detoxification with integrative at-home and spa strategies. See ad, page 25.


Elizabeth McMillan is a boardcertified clinical nutritionist specializing in functional nutrition. She believes in finding the root cause of aliments and creating a personalized dietary plan to restore optimal wellness. Elizabeth specializes in diab etes, fo o d s ensitivities, gastrointestinal health, autoimmunity and metabolic syndrome issues. Call today to see how she can help. See ad, page 3.





10440 Shaker Dr, Ste 203, Columbia, MD 410-292-5149

Inca Energy Integrative Health and Wellness Center is an ecofriendly holistic center offering e n e rg y m e d i c i n e , e n e rg y psychology and meditation. Inca Wellness brings together authentic ancient healing traditions from around the world with contemporary therapies to nurture ones whole being. See ad, page 6.

Self-published author of poetry, my book Crying Tears of Teal concentrates on ovarian cancer awareness, also health and wellness writer and coaching student. Assisting people with Lyme disease. See ad, page 13.



1615 Rhode Island Ave, NE 202-506-3420

Optimum Health & Wellness provides therapeutic treatments for 200-plus health issues using PEMF (EMF) technology. Nutreceuticals, supplements and cannabis is also available. See ad, page 10.

Supportive communities for parents following natural lifestyles with six local D.C.-area chapters, Metro D.C. area chapters are in Arlington/Alexandria, Burke/Springfield, Northern Virginia/Fairfax, Loudoun in Virginia and in Anne Arundel County and Montgomery County in Maryland.





We are your one-stop destination for all things natural regarding your pet’s nutritional and grooming needs. Shop online or visit one of our stores locations in Rockville, MD, Herndon, VA or Ashburn, VA. See ad, page 16.

Online lifestyle magazine for D. C . - are a n atu r a l minded families. Event calendar, resource directory, blog. News, events, giveaways, profiles, tips for holistic healthy living and mindful parenting.

Maybe Christmas, the Grinch thought, doesn’t come from a store. ~Dr. Seuss natural awakenings

December 2017



Holistic pediatric and young adult care combines the healing power of traditional Western medicine with safe, complementary healing therapies. This approach addresses the whole child, not just the symptoms that brought you to the doctor, and encourages the immune system to heal naturally. See ad, page 25.


Holistic primary care is an integrative approach that treats the whole person: mind/body and spirit. A primary care provider coordinates all of the health care a patient receives. This total patient care considers the physical and emotional needs of the person and how health issues may be affecting those needs. Whether you are coming in for an annual check-up or managing a chronic disease, we focus on the whole person, not just your disease or symptoms. We consider lifestyle, nutrition and stress management and put together a treatment plan to help you attain an optimum level of wellness. See ad, page 25. parenting.



Rose Wellness Center 571-529-6699 • Michael Liss is a Doctor of Classical Homeopathy and an integrative health practitioner. He specializes in using homeopathy to help you find relief from various emotional and physical health problems including addictions, substance abuse, anxiety, depression, allergies, asthma, childhood ailments, migraines, hair and skin disorders, immune deficiencies and sinus disorders. See ad, page 3.


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 an d e mph a s i z e 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 3.

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

The body has an innate ability to heal itself and achieve balance from everyday stressors through non-toxic, non-aggressive and highly effective modalities. See ad, page 36.


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 3.


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

The professional health team at NIHA is comprised of holistic medical physicians, biological dentists, naturopaths, a chiropractor and health professionals highly skilled in acupuncture, nutrition and other healing therapies. See ad, page 25.


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

Suffering from chronic pain, fatigue, allergies, stress? Whatever your health challenges, Rose Wellness Center can help you get on the path to real wellness. We help identify hormone, metabolic, digestive, nutritional and food sensitivity issues to get to the root cause of your health problems, where true healing begins. Our services include digestive and women’s health programs, hormone balancing, acupuncture, Lyme treatment, homeopathy and thyroid management. See ad, page 3.

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

Pediatric and adult evaluations for D.C. and MD by certified medicinal cannabis specialist. Tr e a t m e n t / d o s i n g recommendations; nonp s ycho a c t ive proto c ols available. No residenc y restrictions for MD program. See ad, page 21. .


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

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


4963 Elm St, Ste 100, Bethesda, MD 301-986-1090 • The Mindfulness Center is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization which promotes health and self-healing, for individuals and the community, through classes, services, workshops and trainings. See ad, page 19.

We still do not know one thousandth of one percent of what nature has revealed to us. ~Albert Einstein 34

Washington, D.C.

MINDFUL HEALTHY LIFE OF METRO DC • 571-358-8645 Blog, calendar and directory for natural living, holistic parenting and family wellness.

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 8.


Great Falls, VA 703-738-4230 •


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



3914 Centreville Rd, Ste 125, Chantilly, VA • 571-323-2223 Personal training and hypnosis for weight loss. Fitness lifestyle training. Private studio setting for adults. Learn the art of self-awareness and progressive exercise for radical change. See ad, page 3


Great Falls, VA 703-738-4230 •

Nurtured Bones provides a holistic approach to addressing osteoporosis and bone loss. Our BONES method will help you build strong, healthy bones for life. See ad, page 31.



VETERINARIAN - HOLISTIC Pema Choepel Mallu, DVM, CVA, M.Ac. L.Ac 12627 Wisteria Dr, Ste C/D, Germantown, MD 240-715-6570 • We offer integrative compassionate veterinary care. We view your animal as a whole focusing on the root cause of dis-harmony for long-term healing. See ad, page 21. .




4963 Elm St, Ste 100, Bethesda, MD 301-986-1090 • The Mindfulness Center is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization which promotes health and self-healing, for individuals and the community, through classes, services, workshops and trainings. See ad, page 19. .

Rose Wellness Center for Integrative Medicine offers Thermography or Digital Infrared Thermal Imaging (DITI). This noninvasive diagnostic technique creates thermal images that are analyzed for abnormalities and early signs of disease. Thermal imaging is painless, non-invasive, does not involve any compression and emits no radiation. Call today to setup your scan. See ad, page 3.




John Mays is a certified wellness coach with unique skills to get you to your goals, regardless of your age or ability level. Through private coaching, mindfulness, hypnosis and behavioral modification therapies, Mays will help you to refocus your life, help you gain self-awareness and take control of your future. See ad, page 3.

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



Nurtured Bones provides a holistic approach to addressing osteoporosis and bone loss. Our BONES method will help you build strong, healthy bones for life. See ad, page 31.




4963 Elm St, Ste 100, Bethesda, MD 301-986-1090 • The Mindfulness Center is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization which promotes health and self-healing, for individuals and the community, through classes, services, workshops and trainings. See ad, page 19.



10195 Main St, Ste D, Fairfax, VA 703-865-5690 • Neck Back & Beyond in Fairfax, VA, offers chiropractic and naturopathic care, acupuncture, massage, reflexology, lymphatic drainage and more. See ad, page 8.

In recognizing

the humanity of our fellow beings, we pay ourselves the highest tribute. ~Thurgood Marshall

natural awakenings

December 2017


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Washington, D.C.

Natural Awakenings Washington, D.C. December 2017  

Natural Awakenings is the region's natural and balanced living magazine.