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Volume 6 Issue 2

Spring/Summer 2010

FEATURE STORY

CANDACE MCKIM

KEEP YOUR BODY LIGHT AND YOUR MIND CLEAR WITH THE YOGIC DIET

ACUPUNCTURE A MEDICAL DOCTOR’S PERSPECTIVE

RELATIONSHIPS MAKING YOUR LONG DISTANCE RELATIONSHIP WORK

TRUST

DEVELOPING BELIEF IN AN IMPERFECT WORLD Display until September 2010

Body, Mind, Soul The only guide for holistic healing in the Peace Country Region


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Guided

Synergy

Body, Mind, Soul

‘The only guide for holistic healing in the Peace Country Region’

Spring/Summer 2010

3 Ask an Expert

by Robert Rogers, Herbalist Arthritis Responds Well To Natural Therapies

5 Book Review

by Harrison Koehli Detoxification and Healing

7 Our Roots Run Deep

by Cole McCullough, Arborist Planting A Little Bit Of Pride With Each Sapling

9 Relationships

by Gwen Randall-Young, Registered Psychologist Making Your Long Distance Relationship Work

10 Trust - Developing belief in an imperfect world by Roberta Brunin, Firewalk Instructor & Hypnotherapist Empower Yourself - Part 111

12 Candace McKim - Yogic Diet

submitted by Candace McKim Keep Your Body Light And Your Mind Clear With The Yogic Diet

14 Recipes - Vegetarian for Yogis submitted by Candace McKim Ghee - Clarified Butter Quick and Easy Dahl

18 Ask an Expert

On the cover

Candace McKim

Keep your body light and your mind clear with the Yogic Diet

12

by Karen Coogan, Intuitive Healer Understanding Grief

19 Changing Opinions

by Keri Tingstad Opening Your Mind To A New Way Of Thinking

21 Acupuncture: How Does It Work? by Dr. Shelyn Somani A Medical Doctors Perspective

9 Relationships

23 Sensory Processing Disorder

10 Trust - Developing Belief In An Imperfect World

24 Embracing Change

Making Your Long Distance Relationship Work Empower Yourself Part 111

21 Acupuncture: How Does It Work?

A Medical Doctors Perspective

by Dawne Hammerschmidt Journey Of A Mom With A Special Needs Child by Karen Coogan, Spiritual Communication Specialist Change Is Constant In Our Lives - How we work through it makes up the stories of our lives.

25 Pearl of Wisdom by Jen Jones The Reconnection

Spring/Summer 2010 Guided Synergy Magazine 1


Welcome

to Guided Synergy Magazine

T

his Spring/Summer issue brings more fantastic articles with a number of new contributors. Make sure to read Cole McCullough’s story titled, ‘Our Roots Run Deep: Planting a little bit of pride with each sapling’. In his early twenties, this young man has impressed me with his writing abilities. Cole is an Arborist who is quite passionate about trees and the environment. I think we will be hearing from him again. This issue we are also launching a brand new ‘Ask an Expert’ column. See what our experts have to say and watch our website for more information on new experts joining the panel. Send your questions to askanexpert@guidedsynergy.ca Karen Coogan tells us a personal story about how she embraced change when they moved to Penticton, BC last year. I remember when we moved 14 years ago and again 7 years ago how difficult it was to say goodbye to familiar faces and places but also how exciting it was for our young family to set out on a new journey together. 2010 is turning out to be a big year for moving in our family. My mother and her husband, mother-in-law, brother-in-law and family, sister-in-law and family and my oldest son - all moving! It will be fun to visit everyone in their new space as the year progresses. For our feature story, I asked Yoga Therapist, Candace McKim to shed some light on what it means to be a Vegan or a Vegetarian and how it relates to the Yogic Diet. Thank you Candace for en’lightening’ us and for the fantastic recipes you included. I would like to include recipes in each issue of Guided Synergy so please send in your recipes - vegan, vegetarian or otherwise. And finally, a must read is Roberta Brunin’s article on Trust. Roberta shares some shocking details of her personal experiences surrounding trust, which I think may serve as a valuable tool for anyone seeking guidance on how to re-build trust back into their life. Linda Warwick, Editor Drop us a note and let us know if you liked what you read to editor@ guidedsynergy.ca. Here are a few letters we received recently.

Synergy VOLUME 6 ISSUE 1

SPRING/SUMMER 2010

Editor Linda Warwick, editor@guidedsynergy.ca

Assistant Editors Susan Fitzgerald Christine Caskey

Contributors Karen Coogan, Tanis McRae, Roberta Brunin, Candace McKim, Robert Rogers, Shelyn Somani, Cole McCullough, Gwen Randall-Young, Keri Tingstad, Dawne Hammerschmidt, Harrison Koehli

Guided Synergy Team Nancy Seiz, nancy@guidedsynergy.ca Leanne Lempriere, leanne@guidedsynergy.ca

Photography Ramsay & Winsor Photography iStock, Dreamstime

Website Linken Marketing Services

Article Submission & General Inquiries: editor@guidedsynergy.ca Guided Synergy Magazine makes every effort to preserve the accuracy of all materials, references and claims. We cannot, however, guarantee them to be true. No guarantees are expressed or implied. Our readers and advertisers are health conscious individuals living a holistic lifestyle who use this magazine as a resource guide to find natural and holistic practitioners, products, services, courses, workshops & events in their region and beyond. Freelance contributions are welcome for consideration. Direct all freelance inquiries to the editor at: editor@guidedsynergy.ca Guided Synergy is produced and printed in Canada three times per year and distributed to health and wellness centers, health facilities, universities and colleges, coffee shops, cafes, recreational and cultural centers, clinics, libraries, bookstores and health food stores. For a complete list of locations visit our website. Subscriptions are also available.

I’m a writer and would love to receive “Guided Synergy” free-of-charge. (5th Anniversary Special Offer - see our website for details) Thank you so much. Two of my keenest interests fall into your area – meditation and shamanism. I lived in Dawson Creek for 27 years and apparently moved just before your premier issue. A friend sent me your Fall/09 issue, and I particularly enjoyed Karen Coogan’s article on animal guides. I only got the intuition to check you out on-line this morning. With best wishes, Linda Schaab, Vernon, BC

Subscriptions: subscriptions@guidedsynergy.ca

I really enjoyed reading the story ‘Follow Your Heart’ by Roberta Brunin. Sometimes we just need to hear it from a different source before we feel like taking action. Thank you for this inspirational story. LP, Sexsmith, AB

www.guidedsynergy.ca

Thank you Linda...I like what you have done (with the magazine). It’s concise, easy to read, colorful. Heather Mitton, Dawson Creek, BC

Cover and story photos for ‘Candace McKim’ were taken on a very cool day in April, 2010 at Kleskun Hills Park 20 km east of Grande Prairie, AB by Keith Ramsay, Ramsay & Winsor Professional Photographers. Credit to Keith Ramsay for the photos of Editor, Linda Warwick and Ask a Healer, Tanis McRae.

2 Spring/Summer 2010 Guided Synergy Magazine

Guided Synergy Magazine C/O Linda Warwick, Editor 6410 98A Street Grande Prairie, AB T8W 2M9 780.538.3150

On The Cover


Robert Rogers - Herbalist ‘Arthritis responds well to natural therapies’

Q

uestion: I am a 32-year-old mother of two recently diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. I do not like to take medications but without anti-inflammatory drugs my hands and feet are very painful. Any suggestions from the natural world? Vicky, High Prairie, AB

A

nswer: Rheumatoid arthritis is one of a number of auto-immune conditions that respond well to natural therapies. It may surprise you that one herb that helped a number of my clients over an eighteen year clinical practice was Echinacea. It is commonly called an immune stimulant but in fact is an immune modulator. A tincture taken in the acute, painful phase of RA will often reduce swelling, inflammation and tissue destruction. Another great herb is Black Cohosh (Actaea racemosa) formerly Cimifuga racemosa. Narrowly confined to use for menopausal symptoms in women, this herb relieves not only rheumatic and arthritic pain, but also muscular tightness in general, particularly in women suffering from abusive, possessive or manipulative relationships. Roseroot (Rhodiola rosea) is a herb that is drawing considerable interest of northern Alberta growers. It is hardy to -60 C, drought resistant and easy to grow. Herbalists know it as an adaptogen, which means that without changing biochemistry of the body it helps one, adapt and modify reactions to stress. That is, whether the condition is hyperactive or hypoactive, the herb helps improve concentration and memory, fight the effects of stress and aging, balance hormones, and ease anxiety and depression. I really love this herb and helped introduce this medicinal plant to growers nearly ten years ago. Where we specialize in therapeutic massage. Gift certificates available. Call to book your appointment today!

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Today, there is a new generation co-op with members all over the province. What is interesting is that this plant grows better the further north you go, as it needs over 14 hours of sunlight to thrive. Another great herb is tumeric with its content of curcumin, and bright yellow color familiar in curry. It is a powerful anti-inflammatory, taken in capsules, for conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis. Diet is important, especially the reduction of omega 6 fatty acids and increasing omega three from salmon and other fish oils. Work with a naturopath or herbalist in your area for best results. Robert Rogers is a professional member of the American Herbalist Guild, and author of thirteen books on medicinal plants of the prairies. He is on the faculty at Grant McEwan and Northern Star College in Edmonton, and is a director of the Edmonton Mycological Society.

No appointment needed. Let our experts help you find the answers you’re looking for . . . . write to us at:

askanexpert@guidedsynergy.ca Or mail your questions to: 6410 98A Street, Grande Prairie, AB, T8W 2M9

Spring/Summer 2010 Guided Synergy Magazine 3


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Book Review

Detoxification and Healing

D

r. Sidney Baker has written a remarkable book. This thin volume packs in so much useful information; it’s hard to believe it is only 200 pages. Detoxification and Healing describes body chemistry and detoxification in simple, engaging language, using case studies from his vast experience in treating patients with cancer, diabetes, autism, among countless other epidemic disorders plaguing large numbers of people today. Baker identifies several well known and some little known toxins and deficiencies that contribute to these diseases from mercury and aluminum poisoning to dairy allergies and fatty acid deficiencies. Possible symptoms range from headaches, fatigue and depression to IBS, epilepsy, osteoporosis, diabetes, schizophrenia and autism. Dr. Baker has found that many of his autistic patients experience recoveries after eliminating wheat and other gluten-containing foods from their diet for a period of weeks, as well as controlling yeast overgrowth like Candida. It has been suggested that Mercury build up is perhaps one of the worst problems we face today. Mercury is a highly toxic metal found not only in large fish like tuna and salmon but also in Mercury amalgam fillings in our teeth. Replacing our fillings and following the Mercury detox protocol developed by Baker can go a long way in ridding our bodies of this harmful material. A healthy diet, proper supplementation, and a good detoxification schedule all go far in optimizing health and effectively treating and managing disease.  Sidney MacDonald Baker, M.D., is a practicing physician, boardcertified in obstetrics and pediatrics, with a special interest in the environmental and biochemical aspects of the chronic health problems of children and adults. The new and revised edition of “Detoxification and Healing” features detailed information on medications, vitamins, and mineral supplements, including exact dosages and frequency, frequently misdiagnosed food allergies and drug reactions as well as new information on gluten allergies, mercury poisoning, and the harmful effects of aluminum. Dr. Baker also recommends learning diaphragmatic breathing to help with good health. Stimulating the vagus nerve using breathing techniques have scientifically proven to provide immediate and effective relief of stress, a large contributor to autoimmune diseases.

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One such technique, which I had discovered before reading Baker’s book, and would wholeheartedly recommend, is the Eiriu Eolas Breathing and Meditation Program (Irish Gaelic for ‘Growth of Knowledge). The controlled breathing techniques, which I learned from the program, have provided me with instant stress-relief, whenever I need it. That’s one of the benefits. It’s easy to learn, and easy to practice, anywhere or anytime. When you can approach the world with a clear mind and a relaxed body, nothing can stand between you and a successful and fulfilling life. Harrison Koehli works at The Rabbit Hole bookstore in downtown Grande Prairie, which has a large selection of health books, among thousands of other titles and genres. When he is not selling books, he likes reading or sometimes doing both at the same time.

A member of the International Pedicure Association

Spring/Summer 2010 Guided Synergy Magazine 5


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Julia is a certified yoga and meditation instructor. She lives and teaches in Grande Prairie, Alberta. Julia is fascinated with body's immense potential to heal. After studying extensively in Canada and United States, Julia is now on a mission to help the overworked, tired, tense and stressed to relax and smile more; to move, feel and look their best. Julia teaches Hatha Yoga at Grande Prairie Regional College and Therapeutic Yoga at her home studio. She regularly leads in-depth yoga, Ayurveda and Primordial Sound Meditation Workshops.

6 Spring/Summer 2010 Guided Synergy Magazine

Introducing Éiriú Eolas (Irish-Gaelic for “growth of knowledge”), a new breathing and meditation program based on ancient techniques which is THE TOOL that will help you relax and gently release stress. Enabling you to let go of the held emotions and mental blocks that stand between you and True Peace, Happiness, and ultimately, a successful, fulfilling life. Contact: Carolyn or Irini Red Pill Press, Grande Prairie AB 780-539-5776 or 866-706-7455 (toll free) www.redpillpress.com

eiriu-eolas.org


Our Roots Run Deep

Planting a little bit of pride with each sapling

T

his being my first article for Guided Synergy, I’d like to introduce myself as an arborist. Arbor was the Latin word for “tree.” An arborist is a practitioner, consultant and conduit of proper tree care. Preparing to write this article, I dug around for information on the impact that trees have on our health. Surprisingly, there isn’t much published on the topic. I’m slightly floored by this because of the long integrated history of mankind and trees. But it does look like interest in this subject is growing, and I’m certain we will see more research in the days to come. Consider a few examples of how you connect with trees on a daily basis: the wooden frame that forms your home, the maple leaf on our flag, the newspaper you read in the morning and, possibly, the reason why you landscaped your lot before you finished the basement. Now think about your yard, front and back, or about your neighbourhood, where evidence of this relationship likely survives—trees themselves, if you’ve watered them enough. Consciously or unconsciously, we have strong interpersonal connections to trees. Our ties run deep and they affect each of us on different levels. Fast forward to the summer months and to the mass exodus from the city to the campgrounds that happens every weekend. Why do we put ourselves through this hassle and expense, burning up our precious time to connect with the wilderness? It’s because we crave nature’s diversity. Tired of the organized chaos of the city, the unrelenting background noise, we opt to sooth ourselves among the trembling leaves of the aspen or the sway of the evergreens in the breeze. Maybe you have heard mentioned with increasing frequency the word greenspace. This term refers to parks, boulevard trees, backyards, botanical gardens, fields, or even just a window with a view of these. Research is showing that access to greenspace can significantly reduce anxiety and depression, as well as alleviate the slew of health problems that are by-products of anxiety and stress. Several studies have shown how important getting outside is to children’s physical, mental and social development. Another has shown that hospital patients who have a view of or access to nature have faster recovery times than those who don’t. In one study, office workers with a view of nature experienced less job pressure and greater satisfaction with their work. Even planting and maintaining trees has the restorative effect of giving back to our environment and communities. It can raise the actual self-esteem of a given population, as if we plant a little bit of our pride with the sapling. This is a time when our collective consciousness has been raised to focus on a healthy environment. We can all benefit from the simple beauty of a tree. From roots to shoots, it signifies a connection to an earth that we all desperately care about. Simply put, most trees will outlive us humans. Trees are living links to the past and will continue to be an essential part of our future. Renewing and maintaining our urban forest may make all the difference to how healthy that future is. Cole McCullough is a certified arborist through the International Society of Arboriculture. He’s been pruning, climbing and maintaining trees since 2006. Any questions may be directed to Cole@ UrbanTreeSpecialists.net. Spring/Summer 2010 Guided Synergy Magazine 7


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Looking for courses, workshops and events?

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Synergy

FREE for Guided Synergy Advertisers. Post your event details and keep it current with our NEW Online Event Calendar. For details contact 780.538.3150 or email editor@guidedsynergy.ca 8 Spring/Summer 2010 Guided Synergy Magazine


Relationships

Gwen Randall-Young

Making your long distance relationship work M

any couples that are married or in committed relationships find themselves spending as much, or more time apart than together. It may be that one works out of town, or serves in the military. This creates stresses on both parties, and may strain the relationship, even ultimately causing it to end.

It does not have to be this way, and there are many couples that make it work. It does take two strong individuals to do so. It requires maturity, patience, cooperation and compassion.

leannevw33@gmail.com • www.sacredessence.ca

The couple must recognize that they cannot compare their relationship to one where couples are together every day. They just won’t have the day-to-day interaction or even the same kind of connection. Telephone, texts and e-mails are just not the same as faceto-face relating. They can, however, achieve a deep level of intimacy and emotional connection nonetheless.Their communication may be more substantial and significant than that of couples who, though together, rarely make the time to just talk with one another. It is important that the see their roles as supporting each other, rather than complaining. If they work as a team with a job to do, they will fare better. It is powerful to form the intention to keep their relationship strong and to work together to deal with issues that come up. There can be re-adjustment problems when the one who is away comes home. It’s best to allow for a gradual re-entry, rather than handing him or her a big “to do” list of all the things that piled up during the absence. The couple also has to talk about how they will handle the sense that the one at home has been running things solo and that the one returning does not have an equal role. It is hard enough being away without feeling like an outsider when you return. At the same time, if you have the children into a routine you do not want things to drastically change either. Communication is the key. Couples who are pro-active and anticipate the rough spots and together make a plan for handling those will find they can keep their relationship strong. Being apart is hard, but the homecoming is so sweet. Gwen Randall-Young is a psychotherapist in private practice, and creator of the Wisdom Dialogues Relationship CD Series covering important aspects of relationships. For more information go to www.gwen.ca Spring/Summer 2010 Guided Synergy Magazine 9


Empower Yourself - Part 3 Trust - Developing belief in an imperfect world T rust—it’s a valued but rare commodity in our culture. How do we build trust? How do our life experiences shape whether we distrust or trust?

Webster’s defines trust as a “firm belief or confidence in the honesty, integrity, reliability, justice, etc. of another person or thing; faith; reliance” and a “confident expectation, anticipation, or hope.” Much has been written on trust, and much of it is rather negative. An unknown author wrote, “Trust is like a mirror; once it’s broken you can never look at it the same again.” B. Volcy advised, “Trust no one; tell your secrets to nobody and no one will ever betray you.” Even Shakespeare said, “Love all, trust a few.”

How do our experiences affect our ability to trust?

Whether we have a tendency to be trustful or distrustful can depend on what we have experienced in our lives. As a three year old, I experienced a sexual invasion of my body. As a five year old, I observed many devastating, alcoholic rages by my father: mothercowering, children-hiding, table-overturned, chair-smashing rages. As a twelve year old, I experienced the terrifying immobility of waking up in my bed with someone groping my vagina. As a thirteen year old, I experienced the panic-inducing fear of seeing my drunken father shooting at my brothers. As a fifteen year old, I felt the hurt of my mother calling me a whore, when I had never even been alone in a room with a boy. As a twenty-four year old, I was woken up by movement in the bed; I opened my eyes to see my girlfriend making out with my boyfriend. Years later, I walked into my husband’s office to find him sitting very close to his secretary. Having learned from my earlier experiences, I was immediately distrustful, and suspicions ran through my thoughts. You can imagine how hurtful such distrust is to a marriage.

How do we shed our distrust and learn to trust?

The first time I was actually aware that I was clearing out distrust issues and developing trust was in 1999, while I was participating in an Anthony Robbins’ seminar, “Unleash the Power Within.” At this seminar I was introduced to fire walking. When we fire walk, we have to trust: We have to trust that we are not going to get burnt; we have to trust our inner guidance that it is the right time to walk; we have to trust our creator that he or she will keep us safe and that we are meant to be there to walk the hot coals; we have to trust the seminar leader not to do anything that would put us in danger; we have to trust the crew to be there with support, encouragement and cold water. This is where I was gratefully introduced to trust.

10 Spring/Summer 2010 Guided Synergy Magazine

Up to this point in my life, I had never really had any trust or faith in myself or in my abilities. I was always second-guessing myself. I definitely did not trust outside influences like God or the Universe. They had never been there for me. I was very suspicious and wary of all the men in my life, and I certainly held my women friends at arm’s length. This trust-building experience began to change that. Before the seminar, I had been running a part-time business for seven years. After the fire walking, I decided to quit my part-time jobs and pursue my business full time, trusting that it would support me.

The importance of an environment of trust

Reflecting on my life and on its moments of creating trust, I had a wonderful “a-ha” moment as I realized how much my daughter has assisted me in developing trust. As she grew in body and mind, I learned to help her develop trust in herself by telling her how wonderful, intelligent, creative and powerful she was. I created an environment of trust. We should all have such an environment, one in which we can trust that we are safe, an environment that is filled with security, where we can trust our mother, our father, our friends. Now, in hindsight I can see that in wanting my child to be safer, more secure and happier, I developed the ability to build a trusting environment, and in doing so, became more trusting myself. It’s funny how, years later, we wake up and become aware of how we have developed behaviors.

Contemplate trust

Nowadays, learning to trust is one of the hardest things we have to do. It doesn’t come easily to most of us. Many of us have lost our trust in our relationships—whether with our children, our spouses or our parents. We may have lost our trust in the economy and the government. As the old saying goes, “In God we trust. All others pay cash.” Trust requires thinking that everything in this imperfect world, including its imperfect population, is in fact perfect. We have to trust that what we want in our lives will happen when we “let go and let God.” It’s true that life experiences lead you to distrust or trust. But the question is this: Which would you rather do? Live in awareness. Contemplate trust. Roberta Brunin is a Hypnotherapist, Reiki Master, Fire Walk Instructor and is the owner of Power Strategies for Life since 1999.


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Clinical Hypnotherapist with 10 years experience

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Candace McKim Keep your body light and your mind clear with the Yogic Diet

Photo by Ramsay Winsor Photography

L

ast summer my husband, Daren, and I went on a four-day mountain-bike trip to Canmore, Alberta. Before setting out each morning, we would have a breakfast of eggs with spinach, mushrooms and onions, along with whole-grain bagels. After a couple of days, my husband said, “I don’t think eggs are the best choice for me before bike riding.” A light bulb flashed in my head; I would never eat eggs before practicing yoga! What was I thinking? I am usually extremely careful of what I eat before I attend or teach any yoga class. My normal breakfast consists of probiotic yogurt with blueberries, two tablespoons of ground flax seed and a quarter teaspoon of cinnamon. Eggs, which are digested slowly and tend to come back on you, make your body feel uncomfortable and distract your mind from your activity. My husband was right—eggs were not a good choice. As our experience on that mountain-bike trip showed, what we eat can have a huge effect on how our bodies function, not to mention on the maintenance of a healthy weight. It can also affect our minds and our emotions, which in turn dictate how we relate to our world. 12 Spring/Summer 2010 Guided Synergy Magazine

The ways in which food reacts in our bodies and minds form the basis for the yogic diet. First and foremost the yogic diet is either vegetarian or vegan. What is the difference? While vegetarians do not eat any meat (which can be defined as anything with a face), lacto-ovo vegetarians may eat dairy products (lacto) and eggs (ovo). Vegans, on the other hand, do not eat any animal products at all—meat, eggs, dairy products or even honey. This includes food that has these ingredients in it. So, a vegetarian might eat a piece of birthday cake that contains eggs and butter, but a vegan would not. My own personal consciousness encouraged me to become a vegetarian at the age of 16. I was a lacto-ovo vegetarian until the age of 30, when, due to health issues, I began to eat fish and chicken. However, I soon realized that my health problems were in fact due to stress, and I have since reverted back to vegetarianism. In my yoga classes I encourage my students to embrace “Meatless Mondays.” I believe that any small step is worthwhile and that all


Above: Candace and husband Daren McKim during a stop near Canmore on their four day bike trip in the Summer of 2009. Right: Candace doing Yoga Tree Pose with the city of Canmore, Alberta and the Canadian Rockies in the background. Photos supplied by Candace McKim.

consciousness can be beneficial. Consciously not eating meat on one day of the week brings an awareness to your entire family. The reasons for which you do this can be your own: financial, environmental, out of concern for your health or weight, or as an act of kindness. If you are thinking about becoming a vegetarian, go slowly. If you change too quickly or force yourself to eat what you don’t like, you may feel deprived. Remember to do what works best for you and your lifestyle, and realize that there are a lot of alternatives available to help you enjoy your meals. Get creative and re-create your favourite recipes. For example, in place of meat sauce, I make a vegetabletomato sauce for pasta, chopping up a multitude of vegetables to get a texture similar to that of meat. If you normally plan a meal around meat, think instead of building a meal that is one-quarter grain, onequarter beans or legumes, and one-half vegetables. So, why no meat? In the yogic diet, there are two main reasons for not eating meat. The first, from Patanjali’s The Yoga Sutras, is the principle of ahimsa, which translates as “non-harming” or “causing no harm.” Followers of this concept strive to cause no harm to themselves (including during yoga class), to others, to our environment or to animals. Many yoga students become vegetarians for this reason: for consciousness and to honour their own ethics. The second reason for not eating meat is to keep our bodies and our minds light, calm, receptive and aware. You know that heavy feeling you get after eating a big steak or a large meal? As yogis,

we always want to avoid that experience. We don’t want to be dull and unreceptive; nor do we want to be overstimulated and anxious. The yogic tradition is to fill half of the stomach with food and one quarter with water, leaving the remaining quarter empty. And the type of food we choose is important. It can affect our emotions and our moods, ultimately impacting our bodies and our health. Our bodies are the means by which we communicate. Through them, we interact with and have an impact on the world around us. There is no separation between our mind, our body and, of course, our spirit. It is best to keep our bodies light and working as optimally as possible. Remember, your body is your temple. The yogic diet divides food into three categories—and they’re not carbs, sugars and proteins. Rather, the categories are based on the three gunas: sattva (essence), rajas (activity) and tamas (inertia). The sattvic diet is the purest and the one most recommended for yogis— or for anyone. Sattvic food calms the mind, yet deeply nourishes the body and maintains it in a peaceful state, thereby enabling it to function at its maximum potential. A sattvic diet ultimately leads to true health: a peaceful mind in control of a fit body, with a balanced flow of energy between them. Sattvic foods include most vegetables, fresh fruits, pure fruit juices, legumes (beans, lentils and chickpeas), whole grains (such as brown rice and quinoa), whole-grain bread, cereals, nuts, seeds, sprouted seeds, organic milk and cheese (unless you are a vegan), ghee (clarified butter; see recipe on next page), uncooked honey and herb teas. Spring/Summer 2010 Guided Synergy Magazine 13


Yogic Diet: Keeping your body light and your mind clear continued . . . Rajasic foods feed the body but also stimulate the mind. This can cause restlessness and increase hyperactivity, so people who want a calmer, more peaceful mind should avoid these foods. However, a rajasic diet benefits those who live an active life and need extra energy. Also, the spices included in this group can be good for our health; ginger, for example, helps with digestion. Rajasic foods include coffee; tea; chocolate; hot and spicy foods; bitter, sour or salty foods; fish and eggs. Eating quickly and eating on the run are also considered rajasic.

yourself additional stress by trying to live up to some perfect ideal. Guilt can be much more detrimental to your health than having a steak sandwich at the company barbecue. Remember, yoga is about acceptance. Love and accept yourself every day and feel the freedom to not get dragged down by your own restrictions. Om. Candace McKim is a Certified Yoga Therapist, Intuitive Healer and Life Coach residing in Grande Prairie, AB

The third group, tamasic foods, should be limited or avoided altogether. They are not beneficial for the mind or for the body. These heavy foods decrease our energy, or prana, and cloud our powers of reasoning. Some tamasic foods can lead to mental dullness, depression or even inertia. The tamasic group has also been regarded as making us more aggressive and angry. Tamasic foods include all meat, alcohol, onions, garlic, stale or overripe foods and fermented foods, such as vinegar. Overeating is also tamasic. Clearly, living in Canada, we have a vast array of foods from which to choose. Following a yogic diet does not need to be an allor-nothing decision. Our lives are stressful enough, so do not cause

Quick and Easy Dahl

Ghee (clarified butter)

1 pound unsalted butter (always use organic, if possible) Cheesecloth (optional for straining the final small particles) When choosing your butter, remember that the better the butter, the better the ghee! Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Keep it at a steady, gentle simmer. As the butter melts and cooks, it will separate, with solids falling to the bottom of the pot and a froth floating to the top. Do not stir the butter while it is simmering—this is very important. Cook until the sediment at the bottom of the pan begins to turn a golden brown and the clarified butter turns amber in color (approximately 20 minutes). Immediately remove from heat (before it burns!) and cool for 20 to 30 minutes. The liquid is very hot, so use extreme caution, as you would with any hot oil. Strain the liquid through cheesecloth into a container. If you plan to store the ghee, make sure you use a sterilized jar. Toss out the sediment. Ghee can last much longer than butter, as the solids and impurities are gone. If made correctly and placed immediately into a sterilized jar, ghee can last for many months. 14 Spring/Summer 2010 Guided Synergy Magazine

2 tsp ghee (or extra virgin olive oil) 1 large onion, chopped 1 large zucchini or eggplant, half peeled, cut into 1-inch cubes 2 carrots, diced 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and diced 4 cloves garlic, chopped 1 can diced tomatoes (398ml) 1 cup vegetable stock 2 rounded tablespoons mild red curry paste, available in the international foods aisle at the grocery store 1 can Lentils (540ml) or Chick Peas Salt Sliced or slivered almonds, toasted (optional) A handful of cilantro, chopped (optional) Basmati or Jasmine Rice Preparation: Heat a non stick skillet over medium to medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add the ghee, onion, carrots, zucchini and pepper. Cover the pan and cook for 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and tomatoes and cook about 1 minute more, then add the vegetable stock, curry paste and chickpeas. To serve, ladle the curry into shallow bowls, then scoop the rice into the center of the bowls. Garnish the curry with lots of toasted almonds, cilantro.

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Tanis McRae, Intuitive Healer - Photo by Ramsay Winsor Photography

ask a healer

Cellular memory And the emotional triggers of Asthma

Q

uestion: I’d be interested as a lifelong asthma sufferer to learn more about the emotions involved. A severe asthma attack is one of my earliest memories. It has been suggested that it may stem from a previous life.

A

nswer: I agree, usually things we are experiencing from a young age can be left over from a past life situation. I would like to use this opportunity to address how I see ‘past life’. As a society we believe that we can bring down, through our genetics, the color of our eyes, the shape of our nose, the features in our face and other physical characteristics – some even believe we can bring disease through our genetics, like diabetes and alcoholism so that being the case why can’t we bring through trauma or emotional trauma as well. That is how I understand ‘past life’ as a left over unresolved issue that gets triggered by a similar situation in this life experience. Asthma has many emotional triggers, it can be “smother love” where the child is being nurtured to the point of smothering, the overactive or overprotective mother who controls every aspect of the child’s behavior and leaves little room for the child to develop their own ideas, make good mistakes and learn from them. Asthma is also primarily suffered in the lung area which is where we carry grief. So unresolved or unfinished grieving can also be the cause. This was the case for me – I developed asthma when I was 35 and absolutely hated my inhaler, it gave me anxiety attacks and dizziness. So when I discovered the natural healing route I found out that I had unresolved, un-released grief – when I dealt with that, all symptoms of asthma disappeared and I have had no recurring episodes. What I feel may be the case with you is another way we can come into the world with an illness. It is possible that you may have developed these symptoms from the emotional state your mother was in during her pregnancy. Do you know if she was experiencing any emotional upheaval at the time? Sometimes when we are forming inutero we are already having human experiences – because the mother and the fetus share so much during this gestation they can also share emotional experiences. Your body may have ‘took’ on the emotional response of asthma if your mother was suffering from grief or other emotional upheaval. Can you resolve and move through this manifestation if it wasn’t yours? Yes, because you have the physical symptoms of it you most

certainly can. The following affirmations deal with the letting go of grief, you can use them to help you move through and integrate the information and see if you experience any relief from the symptoms of asthma. Remember to take a breath in through the nose and out through the mouth after each statement to integrate the words and beliefs into your being. I safely release all physical pain caused by grief I am able to express grief and then safely release it. I safely release grief from all levels of my being. I am able to express grief, release it and then move on with my life. I respect the grieving process and I give myself the nurturing I need. Grief no longer rules my life and I know it is important for me to allow joy back into my life again. ‘Affirmations from Rekindled Ancient Wisdom,’ by Pam Meyers & Sally Worth. If you can keep your mother in mind as you say these affirmations you can also help to release anything she may have held onto – even if she is passed away you are healing the energy of the time when it became part of who you are, so you are essentially healing back in time. Just as with a ‘past life’ situation, time and space do not really exist, because these are cellular memories and they have no concept of linear time. I hope you find some marked relief from this information please do not hesitate to call or mail me if you need to discuss anything further. The advice in this column is intended as information only. Take what speaks to you and leave the rest behind. Always exercise your right to choose!

Write to Tanis Tanis McRae answers questions from our readers about various alternative methods for healing the mind, body and soul.

askahealer@guidedsynergy.ca Spring/Summer 2010 Guided Synergy Magazine 15


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You

probably don’t take care of yourself the way you should. Today’s hectic lifestyle can be demanding ~ you deserve to be at your best. The L Spa and Wellness Centre is located in Grande Prairie and has a team of professionally trained therapists and estheticians to pamper and take care of your wellness needs.

Experience Comfort, Tranquility & Luxurious Sensation Whether you join us for a pedicure, facial or massage, we invite you to leave the hussle & bussle of life at the doorstep, wrap yourself in our plush robes and delight in your experience by allowing your mind, body & soul to unwind. Recline on a leather sofa near a fireplace, listen to the water wall trickle & savour our exquisite spa fare as you prepare to be pampered. Down the winding hallways lined with warmth and elegance, you will be led through to a tranquil setting where esthetic, health, wellness and holistic treatments are designed to exceed the most discerning spa junkie’s expectations. Our treatment rooms feature individual climate control, waterwalls, ambient sounds and Comfort Zone tranquility candles.

The Wellness Membership Program Our unique program is based on an on-going individual assessment approach, which enables our qualified therapists to help you determine your exact needs, map out your

goals and effectively monitor your progress. Whether you yearn for healthier radiant skin, a reduction of fine lines & wrinkles, a firmer looking body, assistance with weight management, stress reduction, better circulation, improved quality of sleep, or you simply are working towards a calmer you, we can help! With new age recommendations and building on the concept of a relaxing and rejuvinating lifestyle, we will custom design a program just for your unique needs.

Our Story Spa Director, Colleen Nunes is passionate about her role, “Everyone deserves to be spoiled!” Generally women, but also men, tend to put their needs on the back burner. By becoming a member, you are encouraged to book monthly services with our knowledgable therapists who customize these services according to you needs and wants. Members are entitled to preferred rates on services, some over 40% off regular rates, so “we are taking the guilt out of indulgence, so you will leave our spa feeling relaxed and refreshed.” Conceptualized by the owner, Leah Podollan, the spa is designed to encourage clients to come often, arrive early, delight in their experience to it’s fullest, and to stay late, enjoying their escape from the chaos of life. “The ambiance is alluring, relaxing and rejuvenating”, says Podollan, “unlike most spas, we do not want our clients to hurry out the door once their treatment is over. If they choose to linger a little longer, then we know we’ve achieved total bliss.”

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16 Spring/Summer 2010 Guided Synergy Magazine

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Spring/Summer 2010 Guided Synergy Magazine 17


Karen Coogan - Intuitive Healer Understanding Grief

Q

uestion from Seeking Wisdom in Grande Prairie. I have heard that those who are walking the path to true enlightenment shouldn’t have to feel sorrow. I can see how this could be possible with an understanding of universal connection, the eternity of the soul and the knowledge that separation is an illusion. With the grace of God we can transcend anything. What are your thoughts on this?

A

nswer: If you have the understanding that we are divine spiritual beings experiencing life on earth and that we have the ability to choose how we perceive and respond to stimulus, the idea that we no longer have to feel sorrow and grief could be a logical assumption. When you factor in that we are divine spiritual beings having a human experience we must come to a different conclusion. Being human, we are meant to experience dualities and our feelings are important markers. Sorrow and grief or joy and happiness, whatever the feeling, each is an authentic response to be honoured, accepted, and allowed to pass through. In order to transcend sorrow and progress spiritually you must first experience it. Too often we judge, stuff, or deny painful emotion. Sorrow is neither good nor bad. It is an emotion that helps us to identify endings within any cycle. If you deny or negate it you will be denying and negating your experience of life. My mother passed just before Christmas last year at the age of 97. From a spiritual viewpoint I was able to see the beauty of the process. I still felt sorrow, grief, and a deep longing for a physical connection that was no longer possible. I also experienced love and surrender, assisting me in acceptance and understanding. I have a deeper appreciation for the feelings of sorrow and grief, for they are accompanied by an equal expression of love and joy. What is most important to spiritual growth and enlightenment is not what we should be feeling, but in being authentic with what we are feeling. Karen Coogan is an Intuitive Healer, Reader and Instructor trained as a Reiki Master/Teacher, LoveBody Healer/Teacher, Care, Face and Hand Reader and also works with vibrational tools of Color Energy ® and Crystal Bowls. Karen currently resides in Penticton, BC.

No appointment needed. Let our experts help you find the answers you’re looking for . . . . write to us at:

askanexpert@guidedsynergy.ca Or mail your questions to: 6410 98A Street, Grande Prairie, AB, T8W 2M9

18 Spring/Summer 2010 Guided Synergy Magazine


Changing opinions

Opening your mind to a new way of thinking

E

veryone has an opinion! Opinion can be defined simply as a subjective statement that may be the result of an emotion, a belief system or an interpretation of facts. Two nineteenth-century historians wrote on the formation of opinions. Henry Buckle, in The History of Civilization in England, said that “although the origin of a new opinion may be thus due to a single man, the result which the new opinion produces depends on the condition of the people among whom it is propagated.” Similarly, in History of the Rise of Rationalism in Europe, William Lecky wrote that “the success of any opinion depend[s] much less upon the force of its arguments, or upon the ability of its advocates, than upon the predisposition of the society to receive it.” He went on to say, “As men advance from an imperfect to a higher civilization, they gradually sublimate and refine their creed. Their imaginations insensibly detach themselves from those grosser conceptions and doctrines that were formerly more powerful, and they sooner or later reduce all their opinions into conformity with the moral and intellectual standards which the new civilization produces.” Two years ago I began a new journey, following my passion and love of holistic healing. I opened my mind, challenged my beliefs and sought out new thoughts and modes of reasoning. Over this time, my opinions have been shaped by science, studies, facts, religious beliefs and experience. They have instigated many deep, passionate discussions and enquiries about healing. I believe without a doubt that the human body can heal, and that prayer and complementary modalities such as reflexology can help. Some of the following points have helped shaped my opinions. Many self-help books espouse the same theme for success: Believe it’s possible. This is not a new concept; it’s at least as old as the Book of Proverbs, which says, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so he is” (chapter 23, verse 7). We’ve all heard the phrase “mind over matter,” and respected authors such as Jack Canfield and Wayne Dyer suggest that you will get what you expect to get. Wanting scientific support for this concept, I did some research in psychology and cognitive thinking. Studies have shown that throughout our lives, our brains are conditioned and learn what to expect next. This is evident with the placebo effect. Placebos have been shown to alleviate illnesses, help pain, lessen symptoms of disease and even reduce tumors. How? The brain expects them to work. The evidence of the power of placebos is leading experts to view them as a key to understanding how the brain can control bodily processes to promote healing. William James, the father of modern psychology, said that “human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives.” The mind/body connection shows that our

bodies respond to the way we feel, think and act. Emotions can have very strong immediate effects on our health, both psychologically and physiologically. Stress can cause anxiety, chest pain, headaches, weight loss, ulcers, depression, anger, sadness and guilt. In fact, studies in the United Kingdom have shown that more heart attacks occur on Monday than on any other day of the week, and the World Health Organization has stated that 75 to 90 percent of adult visits to physicians are for stress-related problems. The most common problems are brought on by a mixture of anxiety and depression. Fear and distressing thoughts bring on stress hormones within seconds, putting our bodies into a fight-or-flight response. Given the negative effect that stress can have on our bodies, it makes perfect sense that the mind/body connection can also have a very powerful positive effect. Our bodies have an amazing capacity to heal, but our minds have to cooperate! When we choose to rest or to treat ourselves to one of the many complementary modalities available, our parasympathetic nervous system dominates. This is when healing and regeneration occur, allowing the body to build immunity and eliminate toxins. In addition, a biochemical reaction occurs when stress hormones are down. Rest and positive thinking can then bring balance and a sense of well being into our lives. Although it may seem as if there has been an ongoing war between proponents of pharmaceutical-based medicine and followers of holistic medicine, as evidence grows about the effectiveness of holistic choices, opinions are changing. Many conventional doctors are starting to incorporate holistic modalities into their treatment plans. The combination of conventional and holistic approaches treats body, mind and spirit as a whole and is a positive approach to better health and wellness. I challenge you to open up your mind and research your treatment options. Base your opinions on your own research and follow your intuition. Albert Einstein, one of the greatest physicists of all time, said, “The only real valuable thing is intuition.” And Bon Jovi tells us, “We weren’t born to follow.” These are especially important points to ponder now, when opinions are often shaped by panic and fear generated by the media. Believe that your body deserves to be healthy and that you are worthy of living life to the fullest. Give yourself permission to heal and then take the steps necessary to do so. A positive mindset, the belief in the treatment of your choice, your positive intentions and those of your practitioner, as well as comforting touch—together these can be a very powerful combination. This article was written and submitted by Keri Tingstad, Certified Reflexologist.

Spring/Summer 2010 Guided Synergy Magazine 19


Inspiring Women to discover wisdom and confidence. Rhonda Smith, CPC Communication Coach

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20 Spring/Summer 2010 Guided Synergy Magazine


Acupuncture: How does it work?

A medical doctor’s perspective A

cupuncture is a branch of Chinese medicine, originating over 4,000 years ago. Since it was brought to the West, many people have been pleasantly surprised at how effective acupuncture can be in treating a vast number of health conditions. When I first heard about acupuncture in medical school, I couldn’t at that time understand how sticking thin needles into people’s bodies could help their arthritis, and I certainly was not taught about how wonderfully effective this simple healing technique could be in helping people’s symptoms. Acupuncture was mentioned in passing in one of our lectures and that was that. In general, the Western medical profession is trained to start with medications, and only if these medications are not working to then look into alternative treatments like acupuncture— maybe. And for some reason, acupuncture is best known in Western medicine for its use in pain management, and not for treating other conditions such as digestive ailments, anxiety, skin problems and so on. It is good for pain management, but it is also effective for pretty much everything I’ve learned about in my medical training. In the Western medical model, the body is essentially seen as a physical machine made up of biochemicals and independent parts that can degenerate and malfunction. Therefore, like a mechanic repairing a car that isn’t working, the Western medical model says, for example, to give an antidepressant to someone who is depressed because he/she does not have enough serotonin in his/her brain. However, I think we are missing out on a large piece of the pie if we adopt such a limited perspective of our lives as human beings. We are multifaceted, complex and amazing beings, capable of much more self-healing than the Western medical model teaches. Acupuncture is one method that allows the body to heal itself.

In Chinese medicine, it is said that life energy, called qi (pronounced “chee”), circulates in pathways all over the body, called meridians. Qi comes from many sources in the body, but one place it originates from is the organs. So, for example, the qi of the heart meridian flows out from the heart and down the arm, all the way to the fingertip of the little finger. Also, in Chinese medicine the organs have not only the physiological function that is recognized in Western medicine (for example, the heart pumps blood throughout the body and the kidneys are for water regulation), but other functions as well (for example, the heart is an important emotional center in the body and kidney qi is necessary for hair and bone health). Most of the acupuncture points on the body also have multiple functions, so I have noticed that when I treat patients for one condition, other aspects of their health may also improve. Since the Western medical model and the Chinese medical model differ in such fundamental ways, viewing the body so differently, it is nearly impossible for Western medicine to explain how acupuncture works. Trying to study the effects of acupuncture using Western medical philosophy and research methods is like trying to compare apples and oranges. The most common question I am asked is “Does it hurt?” My response is that it usually feels like a mosquito bite but less intense, and once the needles are in you usually cannot feel them. Most people find it quite relaxing. If you have not yet tried acupuncture, try it! You might be pleasantly surprised at how it can help your health and wellbeing. Shelyn Somani is a medical doctor living in Grande Prairie, AB who believes that good health does not merely mean the absence of disease. On the contrary she believes good health is to feel alive, joyful, loving, purposeful - full of energy and vitality.

Here are a few examples of conditions that acupuncture can help with: • irritable bowel syndrome

• stress

• diarrhea

• asthma

• constipation

• nausea and vomiting

• arthritis (osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis) • tendonitis • back pain

• morning sickness

• induction of labour

• sinus problems • common cold • rashes

• poor immune system • weight loss • toothaches • headaches

And the list goes on! Acupuncture is also useful in disease prevention and for the maintenance of good health. Spring/Summer 2010 Guided Synergy Magazine 21


Pixiez enchanted muse

ood ender Gifts for the Mind, Body and Soul

22 Spring/Summer 2010 Guided Synergy Magazine


Sensory Processing Disorder Journey of a mother with a special needs child W

hen my son, Dane, now 3½, was born, I set off on a road of discovery, not only as a new mom, but also as the new mom of a special needs child. As I’ve travelled along this road, I have explored the wide territory of sensory processing disorder, or SPD.

a fear of one’s feet leaving the ground; constant motion or not being able to sit still, difficulty catching oneself when falling— the list goes on. SPD can also produce hypersensitivity (over responsiveness), hyposensitivity (under responsiveness) or even various combinations of the two.

When Dane was born, I, like any new mom, didn’t quite know what to expect. And, because he has Down syndrome, Dane’s birth also threw us into the abyss of special needs. At first I attributed many of Dane’s behaviors to my inexperience and his Down syndrome. However, not everything made sense. I was told he would likely be lethargic and hard to motivate due to low muscle tone and developmental delays, but the exact opposite turned out to be true. Dane is extremely active, and his active style extends into his sleeping hours. While sleeping he rolls, sits up and falls over and falls out of bed, despite the barrier that is there to protect him. He wakes up happy but not well rested. Certain textures cause him discomfort. Lotion, food, finger-paint and Play-Doh incite an immediate need to wipe off his hands. He fluctuates between being able and being unable to tolerate touch. At times he will crash into the couch or squeeze into tight spaces, but at other times the slightest touch bothers him.

There are a number of strategies to help those with SPD. For example, the use of a weighted blanket or vest can improve focus or rest while sleeping. Encouraging play with a variety of materials for short periods of time can build tolerance for different textures. Swinging, bouncing, squeezing and pulling or pushing heavy objects are also helpful techniques. Just as the symptoms are plentiful, so are the strategies for coping with them.

We have had the benefit of working with a number of professionals in early intervention, physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy. As I tried to understand the cause of Dane’s behaviors, they gently pointed me in the right direction. After reading and researching his incredible list of symptoms, I realized that Dane has SPD, and I began to look for ways to help him. SPD is a neurological disorder that affects one or more of the senses: tactile (touch), vestibular (movement), proprioceptive (body position), auditory (hearing or sound), oral (including taste, texture and temperature), olfactory (smell) and visual (sight). We all have difficulty processing some sensory stimuli. Some people prefer to sleep under heavier blankets. Others do not enjoy certain textures of food. These difficulties become an SPD only when they are extreme and impact one’s everyday functioning. Signs of SPD may include some or all of the following: avoiding using hands for play; being distressed by clothing or sock seams; craving touch or touching everything and everyone; a lack of awareness of a runny nose, a dirty face or dirty hands;

Dane’s SPD primarily affects his sense of touch, but he can also be visibly upset by noise as well, something his gleeful little sister is great at provoking! Dane benefits both from sleeping under a weighted blanket at night and from wearing a compression vest at times when he is very overstimulated. We continue to play with a variety of textures and temperatures and, although he still does not enjoy some textures, he has come a long way. Before walking this road of discovery, I used to look at people whose kids were crashing into things, bouncing everywhere and touching everything and I would think, “Can’t you control that?” But now, given what I have learned from Dane, I wonder if the child has SPD and if so, whether the parent knows what can help. If you suspect your child has an SPD, it is important to be proactive and to seek a diagnosis from a qualified professional. There are numerous websites available with information that may help. One of my favourites is the Sensory Processing Disorder Resource Center (www.sensory-processing-disorder.com), which provides symptom checklists, developmental checklists and a host of other resources. Two helpful books are The Out of Sync Child by Carol Stock Kranowitz and Building Bridges through Sensory Integration by Ellen Yack, Paula Aquilla and Shirley Sutton. Dawne Hammerschmidt, mompreneur of two children, is the owner of the Grande Prairie home-based business Sew Sensory.

Reconnective Healing® Schedule your appointment with a trained practitioner.

Parri Ulrich

Reconnective Healing Practitioner™ parri@reconnect4life.ca

For additional information

780.831.8921

www.TheReconnection.com

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Spring/Summer 2010 Guided Synergy Magazine 23


Embracing Change

Change is constant in our lives. How we work through it makes up the stories of our lives. ~ Karen Coogan

M

ost of you are probably aware that the Grande Prairie area is the nesting grounds for the Trumpeter Swan. I grew up in this area and always looked forward to the return of the Trumpeter each spring. I watched the progress of the cygnets through the summer and autumn, and appreciated the tenacity of these beautiful creatures, as they are some of the last to leave on the migratory journey south. Their unique trumpeting call has always stopped me in my tracks and I would look up to see them in flight, the distinctive curve of neck now straight as an arrow, flying true to its’ target.

feeling and knowledge of the ‘rightness’ of our decision provided my anchor in the center of a maelstrom of confusion - so many mixed emotions from excitement and happiness to fear, sorrow, and regret – the bitter/sweet experience of change. There were so many times that I had to stop and check in with my heart space, and each time I felt the ‘rightness’- the alignment to a higher purpose - with little or no comprehension of what the future held. Trust, faith, and the certainty of hope led me forward, regardless of the swirl of details calling forth responses, reactions, emotions, all surprising in their intensity.

About four years ago I embraced the swan as a symbol for my business, accepting the significant impact that the energy of the swan has had in my life. I identify with the archetypal story of the ugly duckling, understanding the importance of seeing and appreciating the beauty of my individuality. For me, the swan is a symbol of purity, grace, and beauty. It is the bearer of souls to heaven, and a symbol of Christ Consciousness, helping me to realize the perfection of my own imperfection. The Trumpeter serves as a reminder to use my voice, express my thoughts and feelings without fear of what others may think. Trumpeter Swans are known to mate for life. The significance of this is expressed in the commitment to my life mate and partner, Brian, as we celebrate thirty-six years of marriage this year.

What was no surprise were the swan energies assisting me during this time. In my meditations and dreams, where once I had swans leading me gracefully through the waters of life, now they were in flight, always pointing southwest. I could sense the soft, uplifting energy and their encouragement through the emotional ups and downs of goodbyes, as I, like a fledgling, took my first migratory journey.

Last year Brian and I chose to make a significant change in our lives with a decision to move to Penticton, BC. The understanding that we were ready to leave the Peace Country came in January. We listed the house that had been home for the last nineteen years. When we accepted the offer in May, the reality of moving was upon us. The

There were very clear physical reminders of the swan as well. On our trip to Penticton we stayed overnight for the first time in Valemont. We were right next to the Robert W. Starret Wildlife Sanctuary. I had the opportunity to wander the trails, climb the observation towers, and read the information posted there. Once I found out that this was a staging area for the migratory Trumpeter Swan, I knew -why now and why this place - as a stopover. The swans were guiding me. I have since learned that there are Trumpeter Swans that winter in the lakes around Penticton, just minutes from my new home. This provides me with positive affirmation of the decision to move and is a reminder that what Grande Prairie means to me and the memories of so many friends and family, will always be with me. Change is a constant in life. It can be so infinitesimal that we don’t even notice it, while at other times; it comes like a tidal wave. How we work through it makes up the stories of our lives. When I look at this move from a more enlightened view, I am aware of the cycles of change and that all aspects of my being were affected – physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. During this move it was essential for me to have trust in myself, have faith in the higher power and remember - guidance was always accessible when I connected through my heart space. The constant presence of the serene swan on this journey served as a reminder that I could meet these challenges with grace and ease. Karen Coogan is an Intuitive Healer, Reader and Instructor trained as a Reiki Master/Teacher, LoveBody Healer/Teacher, Care, Face and Hand Reader and also works with vibrational tools of Color Energy ® and Crystal Bowls. Karen currently resides in Penticton, BC.

24 Spring/Summer 2010 Guided Synergy Magazine


Pearl of Wisdom The Reconnection

I

Dr. Eric Pearl

n the age of social media, humans are either more connected or disconnected than ever—depending on whom you ask. Yet far beyond the realms of LinkedIn and Twitter, Eric Pearl and Reconnective Healing practitioners are exploring connection on a profoundly deeper level. The Los Angeles-based healing organization, The Reconnection, focuses on the idea of connecting not only to our selves and to others, but also to the universe as a whole. “We are four-dimensional beings—height, width, depth, and time,” says Pearl. “In science, time is illustrated as a bubble. We are this bubble, and everything inside is filled with energy. Suddenly, there is a shift in time that quantum physics acknowledges as time moving faster; if time is moving faster, what happens to our bubble? It expands out into the huge multidimensional universe, and our capacity to receive in our bubble has expanded as well. The result is a new, broader healing spectrum comprised of light, energy, and information.” So how does reconnecting to the universe overcome health ailments ranging from cerebral palsy to epileptic seizures to cancer? According to Pearl, it’s as simple as fine-tuning our greater awareness and accessing new availability’s of energy, light and information. “We are light, and not just in a spiritual, metaphysical way,” says Pearl. “When our health is diminishing, our light diminishes. As we return to a natural vibration of light, anything denser than that light—which would be most health challenges—has nothing left to hold on to. That health challenge falls away, and healing is just that simple.” Although Reconnective Healing does share similarities with well-known techniques like Reiki and Qi Gong, Pearl is quick to distinguish it from energy healing. “Reconnective Healing actually turns the laws of physics inside out,” says Pearl. “Energy healing gets weaker with distance, whereas this gets stronger with distance.” Pearl also says that the various energy healing techniques act as subsets of Reconnective Healing, likening each individual technique to one letter in The Reconnection’s full alphabet. The result? Previously untapped amounts of potential. “The gift is that this new level of healing allows us to transcend our energy healing techniques and access more than all of them together ever could,” shares Pearl. Indeed, Pearl’s patients have reported miracles with the advent of Reconnective Healing. Yet Pearl believes that we’ve just begun to experience the possibilities of its power. “I don’t believe the purpose of this work is limited just to children with cerebral palsy regaining the use of their bodies or for cancer to disappear—this is much more than that,” says Pearl. “This is about the introduction to our evolution as humankind.” Written by Jen Jones and submitted by The Reconnection ®

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