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April 2015 | West Michigan Edition | natural awakenings

April 2015


photo by MIGHT

contents Natural Awakenings is your guide to a healthier, more 10 5 newsbriefs balanced life. In each issue readers find cutting-edge information on natural health, nutrition, fitness, personal 10 healthbriefs growth, green living, creative expression and the products and services that support a healthy lifestyle. 13 globalbriefs 14 ecotip 24 18 consciouseating 18 THE FOOD ARTISANS NEXT DOOR 20 wisewords Homemade Delicacies, Direct from Our Neighbors 23 inspiration 27 healingways 20 HEALING JOURNEYS 13 32 healthykids Paul Stutzman Finds Universal by Lisa Kivirist and John Ivanko

34 greenliving 14 40 earthdayevents 4 1 calendar 44 classifieds 45 naturaldirectory

advertising & submissions HOW TO ADVERTISE

Truths on His Treks by Randy Kambic


STRONG ROOTS What Trees Teach Us About Life

by Dennis Merritt Jones

24 NATURE’S WISDOM Its Lessons Inspire, Heal and Sustain Us

To advertise with Natural Awakenings or request a media kit, please contact us at 616-656-9232 or email: Publisher@ Deadline for space reservation is the 12th of each month prior to publication.

by Christine MacDonald


by Lane Vail

Email articles to: Deadline for articles is the 5th of the month prior to publication. Submit News Briefs online at Deadline for news briefs is the 12th of the month prior to publication.

CALENDAR SUBMISSIONS Submit Calendar Events online at: Calendar deadline is the 15th of the month prior to publication.

WHERE TO PICK UP NATURAL AWAKENINGS If you enjoyed this magazine and would like to know where you can pick up a free copy in your area, please contact us at 616656-9232 or email us at:

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West Michigan Edition



Easy Ways to Detox a House

32 EARTH IN PERIL Children Confront Climate Change by Avery Mack


34 ECO-FRIENDLY FLOORS Sustainable Beauty Underfoot by Avery Mack


ORGANIC MADE EASY 10 Time-Saving Tips for a Healthy Garden by Barbara Pleasant


natural awakenings

April 2015




contact us

Photo: Allyson Regan

Publishers Kyle & Amy Hass

id you know? Redwoods, the tallest trees in the world, grow in clusters because their shallow root systems must intermingle to enable the community to stand tall. Otherwise, they would fall. I loved learning how these noble trees rely upon each another for their individual and species survival; humanity could learn a great deal from their example. Many of my fondest memories involve nature in one marvelous form or another. Hiking or biking our state’s wondrous trails for an invigorating workout, I often get caught in a downpour; no matter, I just soak in the experience and feel refreshed. Kayaking Michigan waters or other destinations, I’ve experienced everything from idly floating downstream to furiously paddling against winds, tides or rapids to stay afloat. It’s not an adventure until trouble happens, right? A few years ago, I even took a solo 10-day cross-country trip for the opportunity to silently commune with nature for hours and days on end. I count gazing up at the stars over a cozy campfire among life’s best delights. Even Michigan winters offer up nature’s abundant fascinations. Kyle and I recently spent a pair of weekends in our state’s northern reaches skiing, tubing and snowshoeing. I never tire of the feeling of standing atop a mountain at night psyched to float down with nothing in the way but fresh snow. It’s nature’s little surprises that most connect me with the miraculously intelligent balance that Mother Earth creates and inspires us to embrace: watching wild animals play, a shimmering rainbow after a brief mist, the feel of sand under my toes during a sunset beach walk. Even as a youngster I felt this unexplainable oneness with nature, which never fails to make me feel free and alive. I invite you to sit quietly this month and listen to nature; it’s the best inspiration around for taking beneficial action. I encourage you to reach out to friends and family to also encourage them to make small steps to tread lightly on our planet. Once we get everyone on board to do what is the highest and best for all that share our celestial home we can keep Mother Earth happy, and we’ll all be happier too. We each have the power to make a difference. Like the redwood trees, we are not individuals facing the struggle alone. We are part of a larger global community with shared roots, working together and supporting each other to create a better future for all life everywhere.

Assistant Publisher Amanda Grasmeyer Editors S. Alison Chabonais Linda Sechrist Design & Production Interactive Media Design Scott Carvey Printer Stafford Media Solutions Natural Awakenings 484 Sunmeadow Dr. SE Grand Rapids, MI 49508 Phone: 616-656-9232

Subscriptions are available by sending $30 (12 issues) to the above address. © 2015 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.

COMMITTED TO SUSTAINABILITY Natural Awakenings is locally owned and operated.

Make every day an Earth Day,

Never Glossy. Always Green. Natural Awakenings practices environmental sustainability by printing on post-consumer recycled paper with soy-based ink. This choice avoids the toxic chemicals and high energy costs of producing shiny, coated paper that is hard to recycle.


West Michigan Edition

Amy Hass, Publisher

Natural Awakenings Magazine of West Michigan


NaturallyWestMI Natural Awakenings Magazine of West Michigan

newsbriefs Giving Back to Grand Rapids


n Wednesday, April 15, Dr. Andrew Schafer of Schafer Chiropractic and Healing Spa will be “Giving Back to Grand Rapids”. For one day, all chiropractic services will be given at no charge in exchange for donations to be made to Kids Food Basket. Acceptable donations include: cracker packs, 100% fruit juice boxes, individual fruit cups, pudding cups and gelatin cups, peanut butter, 100% fruit packs (.9 oz. or similar), snack-size zipperlock bags, sandwich-size zipper-lock bags, brown paper lunch bags, individual serving size cereal, bulk pretzels and veggie straws (snack). New patients are welcome as this offer extends to new patient exams and x-rays if needed. This offer does not include massage services. Due to Federal regulations, this offer does not extend to Medicare patients. Please call ahead for an appointment 616-301-3000. See ads, pages 7, 30, 45 and 47.

Muskegon Area Earth Week


he 4th Annual Muskegon Area Earth Week is April 19-25. Plans include Creation Care Day, Sustainability Champion Awards, workshops, guided hikes, art, a film festival and more. The filled-week concludes with Earth Fair Expo on April 25 held at ReethsPuffer Elementary School, located at 874 E. Giles Road in Muskegon. The Earth Fair Expo is a great opportunity to learn more about sustainability efforts in Muskegon.

There will also be giveaways, free games and product demonstrations for a fun, educational experience. It will be a wonderful week filled with events that educate, inspire and encourage acts for change that benefit the Muskegon community and the earth. Muskegon has a lot to offer in terms of natural resources, eco products and services, green jobs, recreation and sustainable practices. Muskegon Area Earth Week promises to be an event that results in positive actions in the community as it encourages people to join in on the movement. If you have any questions please contact Joel Darling at 231-288-0999 or See ad, page 12.

Girl’s Night Out


oin Grand Rapids Natural Health for an evening of food, wine, manicures, massages and more! Stop in on April 16 between 6:00 and 9:00 p.m. to enjoy a mini massage from our massage therapist, Janelle Goltz, relationship advice from Kerry Hart, LLMFT and information from our naturopathic doctor, Christine Schoenek. Receive a manicure from Keeki Pure & Simple while you enjoy a glass of wine and raw food prepared by Audrey Byker, Health Coach. A $10 admission covers all of the fun to be had, with half of the proceeds going to Ele’s Place, a healing center for grieving children and teens. For more information, visit or find Grand Rapids Natural Health on Facebook. See ad, page 21.

Grand Rapids Wellness Collective Grand Opening


group of holistic health practitioners will soon be coming together to provide

Harmony ‘n Health

Depression? Anxiety? Insomnia? The Future of Brain-Based Health

Colon Hydrotherapy

FDA Cleared Medication-Free Treatment

Bethesda Health and Wellness, LLC Susie Daubenspeck 616-594-9005

Mary A. DeLange C.C.T. L.M.T. 616-456-5033

Some Benefits of Colon Hydrotherapy: ~ Remove Toxic Waste from ones body ~ Eradicate Constipation ~ Removes Stomach Bloat ~ Increase ones Energy

Therapeutic Massage also available

natural awakenings

April 2015


newsbriefs health and wellness services to the Grand Rapids area. The Grand Rapids Wellness Collective, located at 1324 Lake Dr. SE, will be hosting an official Grand Opening Week, which will go from April 20 to April 24 and will be open to the general public. The GRWC will have a total of 15 practitioners offering a wide variety of services which will include naturopathic consultations, life coaching, energy work, massage therapy, cranial sacral therapy, counseling, yoga and much more. Micah McLaughlin, Naturopath and Owner of Continuum Healing, shares his thoughts on the Collective and how it will impact the community, “I am so excited and proud of the community that we have created here. To establish a safe landing place for people to explore their relationship to food, the earth and their communities feels timely and important.” The Grand Rapids Wellness Collective is a community of holistic practitioners committed to cultivating physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health, offering individualized appointments, educational classes and transformational workshops. The new initiative will provide services that will benefit those wanting to deepen their relationship with the body and soul in a compassionate and safe environment. For more information, call 616-288-4700, email or visit

Free 6k Fun Run & Health Fair


oin Harvest Health Foods and Gazelle Sports at the annual Green Day 6k fun run on April 23 from 5:008:00 p.m. Each year thousands of people celebrate Earth Day to acknowledge and appreciate the amazing resources available in our world. Gazelle Sports and Harvest Health

Foods recognize the lifestyle choices that we make have a significant impact on our health and the environment. The Green Day 6k fun run is their way to say thank you for your support and to encourage those lifestyle choices that move us all toward a healthier, greener community. The health fair runs from 5-8 p.m. with plenty of vendors on hand with giveaways, samples and raffle items. The 6k run starts at 6:30 p.m. Strollers and bikes are welcome; however the roads are not closed so please pay attention to the course. Events take place at Harvest Health Foods located at 6807 Cascade Rd, SE in Grand Rapids.

Wege Speaker Series


he Wege Foundation will host the 19th Wege Speaker Series on Thursday, April 23 at 4:00 p.m. at the Aquinas College Performing Arts Center. It is the first speaker series event since the passing of Wege Foundation founder Peter Wege in 2014. The key speaker this year is Edward Mazria, founder and head of Architecture 2030, an organization designed to rapidly transform the built environment from the major contributor of greenhouse gas emissions to a central part of the solution to the climate and energy crises. His talk is titled “The Road to Zero”. “Peter Wege’s decades-long leadership in promoting green buildings makes Mazria the perfect choice to deliver the 2015 Wege Lecture and to inspire Grand Rapids to continue Mr. Wege’s Economicology legacy,” said Ellen Satterlee, CEO of the Wege Foundation. Mazria, an internationally recognized architect, author, researcher and educator, will powerfully illustrate a core principle of Economicology that creating a healthy environment generates a prosperous economy. Over the past decade, his seminal research of the built environment has redefined the role of architecture, planning, design and building in reshaping our world to create access to no cost/low cost renewable energy. Joining Mazria will be Vincent Martinez, Director of Research and Operations, Architecture 2030. For more information, visit The Aquinas College Performing Arts Center is located at 1703 Robinson Road S.E. in Grand Rapids. The public is invited and the event is free. Registration is required at


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Let’s Get Healthy


isit the Healthy Living Expo at The Lakes Mall on Saturday, April 25 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. This event will feature holistic approach products and services for a healthy lifestyle! “Goodie Bags” will be handed out to the first 300 people at the event. Healthy products, gifts and services can be purchased on the day of the event. The Healthy Living Expo is sponsored by Health Hutt, Semlow Chiropractic, WGHN, Aloe Coconut Balm, Johnny Dread Shampoo and Rime Time Productions. The Lakes Mall is located at 5600 Harvey St. in Norton Shores. For more information, visit HealthyLiving.

Passage Meditation


aswaran writes, “There is nothing like meditation on earth. Each day it is new to me and fresh. It fills me with unshakable security, inspires me with wisdom beyond the reach of the intellect, and releases within me the capacity to act calmly and compassionately.” If you have problems in life difficult to solve, if you are searching for meaning and purpose or if you are just Easwaran curious as to what meditation has to offer, come join us Thursday, April 30 from 7:00

to 8:00 p.m. at Unity Church, 1711 Walker NW for an introduction to meditation and the allied skills as taught by Eknath Easwaran. Interested adults welcome. No registration is needed. A free will offering will be collected. For more information, visit

Party for the Planet


celebration of conservation, recycling and our natural world! Party for The Planet takes place on May 2 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at John Ball Zoo located at 1300 W. Fulton Street in Grand Rapids. Join over 20 conservation-minded, green practicing organizations for a fun day of learning how we can help save our earth’s resources right here in your own backyard. Festivities will include zoo keeper talks, science experiments, giveaways, demonstrations and more. How do ponds keep themselves clean? How do you make your own green laundry detergent? Come on out to John Ball Zoo to find out. Cost for the event is only $5 for Adults and $4 for kids. For more information and details, call Krys at 616-3364374 or email

Introducing Total Health 4 Today


en and a half years ago Clara Vanderzouwen began her business known as Natural Health 4 Today. Now, Natural Health 4 Today has become Total Health 4

natural awakenings

April 2015


Today. After assisting hundreds of people through the years with their health challenges using essential oils, the name Total Health reflects how she is truly focusing in on total Clara Vanderzouwen health. In this day and age, we are all a product of our Environment. Our bodies are in need of anti-oxidants, pure personal care products and supplements containing nutrients which are Non-GMO, Gluten-Free, chemical and synthetic free and are life-restoring. Total Health 4 Today offers products and services which can meet these needs. They include Private Consultations, Biofeedback Scans, Detoxing Ionic Foot Baths and Essential Oils Assessments. Total Health 4 Today’s goal is to address every aspect of a person’s health inside and out, in the most wholesome, natural way possible. For more information, call 616-4818587, email or visit or See ads, pages 12 and 46.

Meniere’s Disease Symposium


he Meniere’s Research Organization will be hosting its 15th Annual Meniere’s Disease Symposium on April 11th in Grand Rapids and on October 21st in Rome, Italy. The Meniere’s Disease Symposium is open to doctors, patients and caregivers. For more information visit MenieresResearch. com and Contact or call 616-575-9990. See ad, page 37. 8

West Michigan Edition

natural awakenings

April 2015



Acupuncture Increases Quality of Life for Allergy Sufferers


esearch from Berlin’s Charité University Medical Center suggests that acupuncture is an effective treatment for patients with seasonal allergic rhinitis. Published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, in 2013, the study analyzed data on the costs and quality of life of 364 allergy patients that had been randomly assigned to receive one of three treatments: rescue medication alone (taken when symptoms are greatest); acupuncture treatment plus rescue medication; or sham (nontherapeutic) acupuncture plus rescue medication. Patients receiving acupuncture incurred higher total treatment costs, but also gained significantly more quality of life compared with the rescue medication-only groups.

Strawberries Reduce Blood Pressure


study published in the World Journal of Diabetes concluded that the regular consumption of a flavonoidrich strawberry beverage reduces blood pressure in people with Type 2 diabetes. The study divided 36 subjects, all with moderately high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes, into two groups—the first drank the equivalent of one serving of fresh strawberries per day made from freeze-dried berries, and the other group drank the same amount of an imitation strawberry-flavored drink over a six-week period. Blood pressure was tested at the beginning and end of the study for all participants. At the end, the group drinking the real strawberry beverage registered significantly lower diastolic blood pressure than at the outset; it was also lower than the imitation strawberry group. The average diastolic blood pressure of the group drinking real strawberries went down by 6.5 percent and the systolic dropped by 12 percent. The strawberry-flavored group’s systolic blood pressure was also reduced, but only by 3.7 percent.



esearch from the University of Essex, in England, suggests that viewing natural green images while exercising may be better than being exposed to other colors. The researchers tested 14 people doing moderate-intensity cycling while watching video footage of predominantly gray, red or green imagery. Each of the participants underwent three cycling tests—one with each of the videos— along with a battery of physiological and mood testing. The researchers found that when the subjects watched the green-colored video, they had better moods, with a lower relative perception of exertion than when they exercised while watching the red and grey videos. They also found those that exercised while watching the red video experienced greater feelings of anger during their exercise. 10

West Michigan Edition

Memory Works Better Reading Real Books


esearchers from Norway’s Stavanger University and France’s AixMarseille Université found that readers remember a story better if it’s on paper. The study tested 50 people that read the same 28-page short story. Half of the group read the paper version and the other half read the story on a Kindle e-reader. The researchers discovered that readers of the digital version could not remember details from the story or reconstruct the plot as well as the group that read the paper copy. The researchers found that the feedback of a Kindle doesn’t provide the same support for mental reconstruction of a story as a print pocket book does. “When you read on paper, you can sense with your fingers a pile of pages on the left growing, and shrinking on the right,” explains Stavanger University’s Anne Mangen, Ph.D. These findings confirm a study performed a year earlier, also led by Mangen. Seventy-two 10th-graders were given text to read either on paper or on a computer screen. The students that read the paper text versions scored significantly higher in reading comprehension testing than those reading digital versions.

Local Toxins Increase Risk of Autism


onfirming previous findings, a large study from the University of Chicago has found that autism is linked to toxic environmental exposure. The research examined data from nearly a third of the U.S. population, which showed that both autism spectrum disorders and intellectual disabilities increased as exposure increased in region-by-region testing. The research measured clusters of autism incidence together with exposure rates in different counties and states across the country. The areas with greater environmental toxin exposures had significantly increased autism rates. The correlation was significant among both boys and girls, but stronger among girls. Proximity to urban areas also increased autism incidence. For every 1 percent increase in urbanization, there was about a 3 percent rise in autism and intellectual disabilities. Influential toxins include pesticides, plasticizers, lead and pharmaceuticals.

Olive Oil Boosts Healthy Cholesterol


n an effort to understand what makes olive oil so good for heart health, a study from Europe’s Cardiovascular Risk and Nutrition Research Group and the U.S. National Institutes of Health has found that olive oil’s polyphenols significantly increase the size of high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL) in the blood and enhance the HDL’s ability to inhibit formation of the abnormal fatty deposits, known as plaque, within the walls of arteries. Polyphenols are natural compounds from plants known to help prevent cancer and heart disease. In the three-week study, researchers isolated the effect of polyphenols by dividing 47 healthy European men into two groups: one ate a diet containing polyphenol-poor olive oil and the other consumed polyphenol-rich olive oil. The enriched diet resulted in increased size, fluidity and stability (resistance to oxidation) of the HDL molecules by reducing their triglyceride core. The researchers note that the oxidation of cholesterol lipids such as low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is linked with arteriosclerosis.

Affordable Health Care from Mother Nature


nlike their Eastern counterparts, North American and some European herbalists seek to directly mitigate health issues or facilitate specific bodily functions using particular plants, roots and barks. Native Americans embraced the belief that Mother Nature provides, contending that the herbs of a local environment provide for all of the needs of the people dwelling there. For example, snake weed is prevalent in the Southwest, where encounters with rattlesnakes are frequent. Herbs such as comfrey, arnica and sage, which are found from coast to coast, are used to heal wounds, relieve pain and get rid of parasites, maladies common to people everywhere, according to the Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine. Every culture in the world has developed and maintained a system of healing based on their indigenous plants, relying on these natural pharmaceutical entities for thousands of years. A human that lived 5,000 years ago found preserved in ice in 1991 was carrying herbs and mushrooms to mitigate health conditions that scientists confirmed were present in his body. Despite their effective use for millennia, many modern-day people still question the efficacy and safety of medicinal herbs. Instead of looking to pharmaceutical companies—born of an industry with less than 200 years of experience—to handle our healthcare needs, perhaps the real affordable care act can be found in the plants, roots and barks provided by Mother Nature. For more information, call 888-465-4404 or visit See ad, page 25.

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A week filled with fun, family events that inspire & motivate. Find complete details on Facebook, including how to win terrific prizes. Follow MKGEarthWeek on Twitter. Made Possible in Part by:

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West Michigan Edition

The Phthalates– Diabetes Connection


hat we place on our skin might increase the risk for diabetes, based on findings by researchers at Uppsala University, in Sweden. They noted a connection between phthalates found in cosmetics and plastics and the risk of seniors developing diabetes; even a modest increase in circulating blood levels of such chemicals doubled their risk. Monica Lind, associate professor of environmental medicine at the Section for Occupational and Environmental Medicine, and Dr. Lars Lind, professor of medicine, analyzed new information from a study that involved more than 1,000 70-yearold men and women in Uppsala. The participants submitted blood samples for analysis of various environmental toxins, including several substances formed when the body breaks down phthalates. Even after adjusting for obesity, blood lipids, smoking and exercise habits, the researchers saw a definite connection between blood levels of some of the phthalates and an increased prevalence of diabetes. The Linds also found that certain phthalates were associated with disrupted insulin production in the pancreas. Most people come into daily contact with phthalates. These chemicals are commonly used as softening agents in plastics and as carriers of fragrances in cosmetics, personal care products, air fresheners and scented candles.


Local, Fresh Produce, Veganic and Sustainable

Soil Salvation

Organic Farming May Counteract Greenhouse Effect The nonprofit Rodale Institute, the United Nations and the Soil Association are reporting that modern, chemicalintensive industrial farming is stripping the soil’s natural ability to take carbon back out of the atmosphere through photosynthesis and store it in the soil. Rodale researchers say that by returning to small-scale organic farming, more than 40 percent of annual greenhouse gas emissions could be captured in the soil, and if the entire world’s pasture and rangelands were managed using regenerative techniques, an additional 71 percent of those emissions could be sequestered. Further, organic practices could counteract the world’s yearly carbon dioxide output while producing the same amount of food as conventional farming. Rodale claims that using regenerative organic agriculture—like low or no-tillage, cover crops and crop rotation—will keep photosynthesized carbon dioxide in the soil, instead of returning it to the atmosphere. The institute cites 75 studies from peerreviewed journals, including its own 33-year Farming Systems Trial, which directly compare organic farming with conventional farming.

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Thriving Eco-Towns

Malaysian Villages Model Sustainability

Natural Awakenings Magazine of West Michigan

photo by MIGHT

Innovations being successfully pioneered in Malaysia offer ideas for improving the world, according to the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), including the construction of high-tech, self-sustaining ecological “smart” villages. These villages are lifting incomes for scores of rural families while promoting environmental sustainability. Each 50acre community consists of about 100 affordable homes, advanced educational, training and recreational facilities and an integrated, sustainable farm system that provides villagers with food and employment that on average, triples their monthly income. Low-cost, 1,000-square-foot homes are built in 10 days and the communal farming operations include a cascading series of fish tanks, or “aquafarms”. Filtered fish tank wastewater irrigates trees, grain fields and high-value plants grown in “autopots”, a three-piece container with a valve that detects soil moisture levels and releases water as required, reducing the need for fertilizers and pesticides. Free-range chickens feed on the fast-reproducing worms that process the plant compost. This system optimizes nutrient absorption, minimizes waste and enables crops to be grown on previously non-arable land. The village’s solar-generated power is complemented by biomass energy and mini-hydro electricity. A community hall, resource center, places of worship, playgrounds and educational facilities equipped with 4G Internet service support e-learning and e-health services.

natural awakenings

April 2015


Learn How to Naturally Fight Cancer Mountain Sun Healing

Holistic Health Coach Cathy Ostema Owner/Founder 616-204-8585

ecotip Sustainable Shopping Tips

Smart Choices Help Our Home Planet The buy local movement and popularity of local farmers’ markets continue to grow, but we can do even better when it comes to sustainable shopping. A recent survey on environmental impacts of consumer behaviors in 18 countries reports that more Americans are eating local and organic foods and say they’re going to consume less meat and bottled water. Nevertheless, we continue to eat the most processed and packaged foods and the fewest fruits and vegetables of all the countries surveyed. Evidently, we need to literally put our money where our mouths are. The Greendex survey cites several basic ways to make our diets more sustainable. These include eating more vegetables and less beef and lamb (recognizing the greater environmental impact of raising animals); participating and supporting community supported agriculture and fishery initiatives; economizing meal planning; and storing food properly in the refrigerator to maximize space and freshness periods. When grocery shopping, peruse the perimeter aisles first, where whole foods are stocked, instead of the interior shelves, which typically comprise processed foods according to More cooperation between the public and private sectors and individual involvement can also increase sustainability in communities around the world. Rachael Durrant, Ph.D., a research fellow with the UK-based Sustainable Lifestyles Research Group, cites in a recent paper the need for improved understanding of the key roles that civil society organizations play within processes of large-scale social change and warned that many communities are vulnerable to grave environmental and social risks. Durrant lauds “greener, fairer and healthier practices, such as community gardening or cookery classes,” plus “those that change the rules of the game through campaigns or lobbying to coordinate and facilitate activities of other groups.” Supporting food and farming management that’s independent, cooperative and welcomes volunteers, for example, is highly beneficial.

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West Michigan Edition

Are Your Clothes Making You Sick?


pparel production is a significant source of toxins and waste affecting our health. In constant contact with our clothing, skin—the largest organ, is a living, breathing and highly absorbent carrier for toxins, yet conventionally grown cotton, often described as “natural”, uses more insecticides than any other crop (1/3 lb. per t-shirt). Numerous other toxins (including bleach, heavy metals, dyes, formaldehyde, volatile organic compounds & perfluorinated compounds) used in production of polyester and other synthetics (acrylics & rayon) are known to cause allergies, asthma and cancer, as well as neurobehavioral, immune, hormonal and reproductive disorders. Our clothing could be making us sick, yet the only thing we all have to do every day before leaving home (get dressed) is still missing from most sustainability conversations, classrooms, curricula and conferences. Why isn’t the apparel industry held accountable? Unprecedented consumption of apparel comes at a great cost with consequences for us all. 1,800 gallons of water are used to grow one pair of jeans and 400 gallons for one t-shirt. This water becomes tainted by insecticides. How many t-shirts or pairs of jeans does a person need? How many pieces of clothing are bought on impulse because they were “cheap”? How many items do people own that are nice enough to take the place of several others. As the species with the largest brain, humans are capable of making decisions that support personal, social and ecological well-being. If one values health, he/she should learn about what he/she is wearing or tempted to buy and decide what apparel is worthy of his/her investment and being put on his/her precious body. Buying power can be used to help hold the apparel industry accountable by asking questions of those from whom clothing is bought. Even doing a simple search of “apparel production and toxins” can teach a person a lot. By choosing healthy clothing, one helps prevent pollution, conserve resources and promote social justice and can then enjoy a fresh mindset that will support his/her capacity to make a difference! For more information, read Killer Clothes by Anna & Brian Clement or visit See ad, page 15.

How You Birth Matters!

Sara Badger, Midwife Jodi Borsk, Junior Midwife Casi Russo, Senior Student

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April 2015


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West Michigan Edition

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April 2015


Favorite Quote of the Month

“Good for the body is the work of the body, good for the soul the work of the soul, and good for either the work of the other.” ~Henry David Thoreau submitted by Nancy Jonker Ph.D. of Integrative Healing Centre, LLC


West Michigan Edition

The Food Artisans Next Door Homemade Delicacies, Direct from Our Neighbors by Lisa Kivirist and John Ivanko

Neighbors in most states can now legally buy fresh breads, cookies and preserves from local food artisans.


he locavore movement of eating locally produced foods continues to expand, thanks to 42 states passing cottage food laws that permit community members to make certain foods at home to sell to neighbors. Some enterprises use a contract packer to deliver on a scale not possible domestically, or even operate from a commercially licensed production facility. From sauerkraut and distinctive jams and organic jellies to gluten- or peanut-free cakes and regional artisanal breads, some of the most flavorful products are being produced with no chemical preservatives, artificial colors or other laboratory ingredients. Nearly all are made in small batches, and usually by the owner. Many source local ingredients or serve special dietary needs largely underserved or ignored by larger food businesses. “In a sharing economy, individuals look less to big chain stores for

their food needs and more to each other, making fresher, tastier and often healthier foods more accessible,” explains Janelle Orsi, co-founder of the Oakland, California, Sustainable Economies Law Center (SELC), citing its Policies for Shareable Cities report partnered with the nonprofit Shareable. The Specialty Food Association reports that sales of specialty foods— primarily at grocery retailers, but also cottage operators via farmers’ markets and direct orders when allowed by their state—grew 22 percent from 2010 to 2012, topping $85 billion.

Healthy as it Comes

“All of our products are made by hand and in small batches daily,” says Ruth Wardein, co-owner, with Andrew Amick, of Epiphany Gluten Free Bakery, in Naples, Florida, which she launched from her home kitchen. Besides gluten-free cookies, cakes and

photo courtesy of Epiphany Gluten Free Bakery, Naples, FL


breads, she’s always “perfecting” her Paleo cookies, brownies and pancake mix. Paleo recipes contain no grains, dairy, yeast or refined sugars, explains Wardein. “They require nut and seed flours, coconut oil and natural sugars like honey or maple syrup. So they are naturally higher in protein and fiber and lower in carbs than the average gluten-free recipe.” “We’re experimenting with the community supported agriculture model with local fruit,” says Erin Schneider. She and her husband, Rob McClure, operate Hilltop Community Farm, in LaValle, Wisconsin, which produces value-added products with organically grown crops. “We have salsas, pickles and jams. Our black currant and honey jam is sold before it’s made. Rob’s garlic dills have their own following.” Wisconsin’s cottage food law restricts sales to only high-acid foods.

Quality over Quantity

In Royal Oaks, California, Garden Variety Cheese owner, cheesemaker and shepherd Rebecca King feeds her 100 milking ewes organically raised, irrigated pasture grass and brewer’s grain to yield award-winning farmstead easier-to-digest sheep cheeses from her Monkeyflower Ranch. “Many first-time customers like my story as a small producer and want to buy direct from the farm. They keep buying because of the taste,” says King. “My marinara and pizza sauces are made in small batches by hand in a home kitchen, enabling us to hot pack them to retain the ingredients’ natural favors,” says Liz James, owner of The Happy Tomato, in Charlottesville, Virginia. Her sauces are also low in sodium and contain no sugar, saturated fat or gluten. James’ production is facilitated by Virginia’s home food processor license, which lets her work from home and sell wholesale. Whole Foods Market is among her major retail accounts. When home-based cottage food businesses are spurred into expansion to keep up with demand, a situation sometimes complicated by state limits on sales volume, many opt for renting space in the growing number of incubator, or community, kitchens nationwide. “We did farmers’ markets for three years and went from seven customers to thousands,” says Wardein, who now rents a commercial kitchen space. “Returning customers are the momentum that has pushed us forward.” “By growing food in and around our own neighborhoods and cities, we decrease our dependence on an oftentimes unjust and ecologically destructive global food system and build stronger, more connected and resilient communities,” affirms Yassi Eskandari-Qajar, director of SELC’s City Policies program. “We think it’s important to produce what grows well on our soil and then sell it, so that ecology drives economics, rather than vice versa,” says Schneider. “Random things prosper in our area, like paprika peppers, elderberries, hardy kiwi, garlic, pears and currants. It’s our job as ecologically-minded farmers to show how delicious these foods can be.”

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Lisa Kivirist and John Ivanko are co-authors of the new book Homemade for Sale, a guide for launching a food business from a home kitchen, plus ECOpreneuring, Farmstead Chef and Rural Renaissance. Learn more at natural awakenings

April 2015


An Interfaith Worship and Spiritual Enrichment Center


Healing Journeys

Paul Stutzman Finds Universal Truths on His Treks Sunday Worship: 10:30am Wednesday Discussion & Meditation: 6:30pm Pastor Sherry Petro-Surdel 3493 Blue Star Highway Saugatuck, MI. 49453 616-836-1555

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by Randy Kambic


aul Stutzman was a successful executive with a family restaurant chain and a happy father and husband married for more than 30 years when his wife, Mary, passed away from breast cancer in 2006. Questioning his faith as to why this happened, Stutzman quit his job to hike the 2,168-mile Appalachian Trail (AT), advising everyone he encountered, “Don’t take spouses and families for granted.” His book, Hiking Through, recounts this extreme adventure and relates his subsequent thoughts about grief, healing and life. Stutzman chronicled his second journey, a 5,000-mile-plus crosscountry trek, in Biking Across America. This time, he perceived a “noble, yet humble America that still exists and inspires.” More recently, the author has turned to fiction with The Wanderers and Wandering Home, both enriched with reflections upon the values of his Amish Mennonite upbringing and marriage.

What kept you going? Early on, I realized how soothing nature was to my grieving soul. Still, there


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were times it would have been easy to abandon my journeys and head for the safety of home. The desire to discover if my life held any meaning after such a great loss kept me moving forward. I kept telling myself on both journeys, “If my wife can fight cancer for four years, I can overcome any obstacle I encounter.” I was determined to write about what I was being taught by nature. I also believed books written by and about someone seeking solace via an incomplete pilgrimage would be cheating the reader.

What do such journeys teach about nature and our response to experiencing it? I find comfort in nature. I believe the beautiful streams and waterfalls, the grand views from mountaintops and the wildlife were all created for our enjoyment. When we absorb this beauty and wonderment, the stresses in life slowly melt away. Granted, not everyone will be able to do what I did; however, a stroll through a local park, along a beach or in a flower garden can have similar effects.

Did these extended physical endeavors make mental demands that catalyzed unexpected self-growth? Treks like these into the unknown are physically demanding. With time and effort, one’s body gets into shape for extended hiking and biking. The mental hurdle must be crossed next. You’ll miss home and loved ones. Loneliness will set in. This is where you discover who the real you is. Are you tenacious enough to push through the desire to abandon the pilgrimage or will you succumb to the allure of comfort and safety? On my journeys, I had to make difficult choices. There is a saying that applies to folks planning to hike the AT end-to-end through 14 states: “If hiking the entire Appalachian Trail isn’t the most important thing in your life, you won’t accomplish it.” My daughter gave birth to my grandson while I was hiking. Although she asked that I come home for the event, I declined. I kept on hiking because I knew I wouldn’t return to the trail if I went home. I’d spent my lifetime trying to do the right things for my three children, but now had to do what was right for me.

What did you learn about Americans along the way? I discovered that most Americans are kind, law-abiding citizens. Most are still willing to help a stranger in need. Unfortunately, I feel we focus too much time and energy on the minority of malcontents.

New Team. New Location. New Services.

How have these experiences informed your creative process? America is a great country. The beauty I’ve witnessed from a bicycle seat and on two feet hiking the mountains is a continual source of inspiration. Many folks are unable to do what I do. My ongoing desire is to describe the images imprinted in my mind in such a way that others can feel as if they are there walking with me. For more information, visit Randy Kambic is an Estero, FL, freelance writer and editor who regularly contributes to Natural Awakenings.

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April 2015



Healing Ways


here is a special, all-in-one place to go to calm and balance the body, mind and spirit. Healing Ways, in Kalamazoo, is just the place for people seeking a relaxing therapeutic massage, a more in-depth energy healing, a counseling session or something in between. Pastor and Casey Brian are two professionals who are truly passionate about the process of healing others and helping others learn how to self-heal. The husband and wife team seeks to help people get in touch with what is within them to get to the core truth and access that ultimate tool within themselves. Their business, Healing Ways, is only about two years old and is already on the pathway to success. The testimonials on their website are proof of how much their clients appreciate and enjoy the work they do. Since her early 20s, Casey has been on a spiritual path and has had personal experiences which have led her to want to help others find their own path to truth and wholeness as well. “Healing and wholeness is being in alignment with our source of existence. Our business is about getting people back to the organic basics of things and addressing the root issues,” Casey notes. Casey has had various types of formal training to prepare her to do the work that she does with her clients. For example, she is a Reiki Master, which is usually a hands-on therapy that helps bring one back to one’s true self. Additional healing energies to which Casey is attuned are 13th Octave LaHoChi, Pink Diamond and Angel Light Healing. Self-teaching and study are also important aspects of her regular routine, and she tries to always assess her own life and integrate the knowledge she learns as best she can into her life and work as a healer. “I feel called within my spirit to help people,” Casey states. Her ser22

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vices include therapeutic massage, integrative therapeutic massage and energy healing, distance energy healing and reflexology. She is also a Young Living Essential Oils consultant, using those products in some of her services upon request. Pastor is a self-proclaimed “lifelong seeker and realizer of truth”. He says he is called to embody and live out spiritual principles in daily life. From his experiences, he feels “moved into the realm of healing, in the form of offering to others the valuable transformative resources of energy healing therapy and spiritual life counsel.” He also has had Reiki training and is a Reiki Master initiated/attuned. Additional offerings by Pastor include mediation and distance energy healing/intercessory prayer. Pastor emphasizes that he and Casey work to help people reach the point where they are able to recognize their connection to their source, which is where they believe individuals will find the ultimate security or peace. “It’s like peeling an onion to get to the core truth. We are helping them to be independent in themselves and in Spirit and not reliant on another human,” states Pastor. Pastor notes, “We are all from the same Source. Basically, all religions are seeking to tap into a higher power of some sort.” Religions tend to help people who are going through some type of transformation and need some inspiration and clarity, and people from all walks of life seek the services of

by Julie Reynolds

Healing Ways and all are welcome. Working together in this business affords Casey and Pastor the ability to offer dual practitioner services as well, some of which are outlined above. Additional dual practitioner services include child energy healing therapy, animal/pet energy healing therapy, blessing and clearing of spaces and healing services for gatherings and groups. More detailed information on these services is outlined on their website. Casey and Pastor understand the busy world we all live in, and they work with people, teaching them techniques to help them focus their energies. However, there has to be both a desire within one and some discipline to do that. Pastor offers a tip to help individuals get started and says, “Focus on an inspiring word, phrase or mantra. Practice, practice, practice it. Develop a meditation practice of just sitting for three, four or five minutes at a time several times throughout the day. This will help the mind to be more even-keeled throughout various extremes.” Although Casey and Pastor offer spiritual guidance and ways to work with the Spirit to heal in some of their services, they do not focus on any one religion and anyone is free and welcome to take part in their services without feeling excluded or pressured in any way. If someone comes in simply for a massage or reflexology treatment, it can simply be just that – no agenda attached. Healing Ways is located at 6363 North 24th St. in Kalamazoo. For more information, visit or call 269-221-1961 or 269-303-3523. Payment plans are available if necessary. Days of availability are Monday through Saturday by appointment. See ad, page 46. Julie Reynolds is a contributing writer and has a background in advertising, teaching, writing and real estate. She can be contacted at


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Strong Winds Strong Roots

What Trees Teach Us About Life by Dennis Merritt Jones


great experiment in the desert called the biodome created a living environment for human, plant and animal life. A huge glass dome was constructed to house an artificial, controlled environment with purified air and water, healthy soil and filtered light. The intent was to afford perfect growing conditions for trees, fruits and vegetables, as well as humans. People lived in the biodome, for many months at a time, and everything seemed to do well with one exception. When the trees grew to a certain height, they would topple over. It baffled scientists until they realized they forgot to include the natural element of wind. Trees need wind to blow against them because it causes their root systems to grow deeper, which supports the tree as it grows taller. Who among us doesn’t long for a perfect growing environment for ourselves, with no disruptions from outside influences? We strive to avoid the times of contrast and tension, when life’s daily challenges push against us. When they do, the normal tendency is to curse them. If trees could talk, would we hear them curse the wind each time they encountered a storm? We can learn a great deal from nature’s wisdom at work if we are open to the lesson. Watch how a tree bends and sways gracefully when the wind blows against it. It does not stand rigid, resisting the flow of energy. It does not push back. The tree accepts the strong wind as a blessing that helps it grow. Such experiences develop our character and deepen our spiritual roots. When we grow deep, we too, stand tall.

Dennis Merritt Jones, D.D., is the author of Your Re-Defining Moments, The Art of Uncertainty and The Art of Being, the source of this essay. He has contributed to the human potential movement and field of spirituality as a minister, teacher, coach and lecturer for 30 years. Learn more at

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April 2015


Nature’s Wisdom Its Lessons Inspire, Heal and Sustain Us by Christine MacDonald

The environment is not separate from ourselves; we are inside it and it is inside us; we make it and it makes us. ~ Davi Kopenawa Yanomami, Amazon shaman


hile the idea that we humans stand apart from—or even above—nature is a prevailing theme in much of modern civilization, naturalists and other clever souls throughout the ages have observed that the opposite is true: We are part of, depend on and evolve with nature— and we ignore this vital connection at our peril. “If one way is better than another, that you may be sure is nature’s way,” admonished the Greek philosopher Aristotle, in the third century B.C.E. “Time destroys the speculation of men, but it confirms the judgment of nature,” Roman politician and philosopher Cicero ruminated two centuries later. Nobel Prize-winning physicist and philosopher Albert Einstein remarked, “Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” Today, more of us are looking to nature for ways to improve physical, mental and emotional health, develop 24

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intelligence, innovate, overhaul how we build homes and neighborhoods, and raise our children.

Healthful Nature

As Henry David Thoreau wrote in his classic 1854 book Walden, “We need the tonic of wildness.” While we know firsthand how walking in the woods can elevate mood, scientists have documented that a regular dose of nature has other far-reaching benefits. It can lower stress hormone levels, blood pressure and undesirable cholesterol; help heal neurological problems; hasten fuller recovery from surgery and heart attacks; increase cancer-fighting white blood cells; and generally aid overall health (Health Promotion International research report; also Nippon Medical School study, Tokyo). Regular playtime outdoors helps children cope with hyperactivity and attention deficit disorders, accord-

ing to research published in Current Problems in Pediatric and Adolescent Health Care. Exposure to nature can help adults escape from today’s wired lives; reinvigorate, be fitter and less likely to suffer from obesity, diabetes and heart disease, as reported in studies published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and a University of Washington research summary. It can also unlock understanding of the spiritual essence of life. Hours regularly spent by youth outdoors stimulate imagination and creativity and enhance cognitive development, helping them learn. Nature also helps youngsters develop social awareness, helping them better navigate human relations ( OutdoorHealthBenefits Research). “It’s strange and kind of sad that we are so removed from nature that we actually have to ask why nature is good for us,” says Dr. Eva Selhub, a lecturer at Harvard Medical School, author of the new book Your Health Destiny, and co-author of Your Brain on Nature. “The fact is our brains and bodies are wired in concert with nature.” Recognition of nature’s positive effects has grown so much in recent years that physicians increasingly write their patients “prescriptions” to go hiking in the woods, counting on the healthy exercise and exposure to sunlight, nature and soothing views to address health problems stemming from poor diets and sedentary lifestyles. Healthcare clinics and hospitals in Washington, D.C., New York City, Chicago, Indianapolis, Albuquerque, New Mexico, California’s Bay Area and elsewhere have launched Prescription Trails programs aimed at objectives from preventing obesity in children to healthful activities for retirees (Tinyurl. com/AmericanHealthTrails). Bestselling author Richard Louv calls the positive nature effect “vitamin N” in The Nature Principle. He contends: “Many of us, without having a name for it, are using the nature tonic. We are, in essence, self-medicating with an inexpensive and unusually convenient drug substitute.”

Such ideas are commonly accepted in many cultures. The Japanese believe in the restorative power of shinrin-yoku, which could be translated as “forest medicine” or “forest bathing”. Indigenous peoples like the Brazilian tribe led by Shaman Davi Kopenawa Yanomami, fighting to preserve their land and way of life in the Amazon, profess to be at one with the innate riches of sustainable rainforests (

Innovative Nature

Scientists, inventors and other innovators are increasingly inspired by nature. Biomimicry, part social movement and part burgeoning industry, looks to how Earth’s natural systems work and solve problems. University of Utah researchers, inspired by the durable homes built by sandcastle worms, are creating a synthetic glue that one day could help repair fractured bones. Architectural components manufacturer Panelite makes energy-efficient insulated glass by mimicking the hexagonal structure that bees use in honeycombs. (Find other precedents at BiomimicryCaseExamples).

Scientific studies show that a regular dose of nature has far-reaching health benefits. More doctors now write “nature” prescriptions for their patients. The inspiration for biomimicry comes from many places, says Dayna Baumeister, Ph.D. co-founder of Biomimicry 3.8, a Missoula, Montana, company working with other companies and universities to propel biomimicry into the mainstream. “People are recognizing that they’ve been disconnected to the natural world,” she says. “We also realize that [as a species] we are in trouble. We don’t have all the answers, but we can look to other species for inspiration” for clearing pollutants from our bodies and environments. Plants and fungi are now commonly used to clean up old industrial sites that resemble nature’s way of

removing pollutants from water and soil. A University of California, Berkeley, meta-study confirms that farmers currently using organic farming methods and solar power achieve roughly the same crop yields as conventional techniques with far less dependence on fossil fuels, reducing greenhouse gases and petrochemical pesticide and fertilizer pollution.

Cyclical Nature

These breakthrough technologies emulate the way nature uses the building blocks of life in an endless cycle of birth, reproduction, decay and rebirth. It’s part of a broad rethinking of the principles behind sustainability— building, manufacturing and living in greater harmony with natural systems, perhaps eventually eliminating landfills, air and water pollution, and toxic site cleanups. “A toxin is a material in the wrong place,” says architect William McDonough, of Charlottesville, Virginia. The only individual recipient of the Presidential Award for Sustainable Development, he is co-author of Cradleto-Cradle, a groundbreaking book that

natural awakenings

April 2015


Man is everywhere a disturbing agent. Wherever he plants his foot, the harmonies of nature are turned to discord. The proportions and accommodations that ensured the stability of existing arrangements are overthrown. Of all organic beings, man alone is to be regarded as essentially a destructive power. ~George Perkins Marsh, Man and Nature (1864) calls for re-envisioning even the nastiest waste, and The Upcycle: Beyond Sustainability—Designing for Abundance. McDonough imagines a world where waste becomes raw material for new buildings, furniture and other goods— akin to how a forest reuses every deceased tree and animal to nourish the ecosystem and spawn new life. With 80 percent of U.S. residents currently living in urban areas, architects, builders and municipal planners are likewise pivoting toward nature, prompted by the scientific evidence of the many ways that human health and general well-being rely upon it. While this contact is preferably the kind of “stopping by woods” that inspired New England poet Robert Frost, even a walk in a city park will work. “Urban nature, when provided as parks and walkways and incorporated into building design, provides calming and inspiring environments and encourages learning, inquisitiveness and alertness,” reports the University of Washington’s College of the Environment, in Green Cities: Good Health. The American Planning Association stresses the importance of integrating green space into urban neighborhoods. Not only does so-called “metro nature” improve air and water quality and reduce urban heat island effects, urban wilds such as Pittsburgh’s Nine Mile Run and Charlotte, North Carolina’s Little Sugar Creek Greenway also restore natural connections in densely populated city centers.

Natural Intelligence

A growing number of scientists say that research about our place in nature has sparked fresh thinking about our role and devastated quaint notions about our 26

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species’ superiority. “Single-celled slime molds solve mazes. Brainless plants make correct decisions and bees with brains the size of pinheads handle abstract concepts,” points out Anthropologist Jeremy Narby, author of the groundbreaking book Intelligence in Nature. At a national conference of Bioneers, an organization based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and San Francisco that gathers nature-minded social and scientific innovators, Narby said: “We are nearly identical to many animals. Many behaviors once thought to be exclusively human are shared by other species. The zone of the specifically human, as determined by science, has been shrinking.” We haven’t lost the ability to tap that primal animal inside, even if most of us are more likely to “venture into the forest” by watching a movie or playing video games. We may feel cut off from our instincts, but studies show time in the woods can do wonders to restore the keenness of our senses to connect with the subtle changes in natural habitat, the movements of other species and the changing seasons. The rise of human civilizations may have taken “survival of the fittest” in new directions, often decidedly tamer ones, but experts ranging from scientific researchers to lifestyle analysts say humankind is still hardwired by our more primitive past. Despite the ingenious ways we’ve devised to exploit other life forms, capitalize on Earth’s resources and protect ourselves from nature’s sometimes terrifying power, our fate remains linked to natural laws and limits, from nurturing our body’s immune system to resolving planet-sized problems like climate change.

True-Life ‘Aha!’ Reads 10 Lessons from Nature to Inspire Our Everyday Lives by David Miller, FromNature 9 Amazing Lessons from Nature to Inspire Your Everyday Life by Annie Hauser, FromNature Intelligence in Nature by Jeremy Narby Life Lessons from Nature by Elvis Newman Cathedrals of the Spirit by T. C. McLuhan Your Brain on Nature by Eva Selhub

“‘Nature’ is our natural environment,” according to Selhub. We don’t have to move to the country to reconnect, she says. “Even spending 20 minutes a day outside has an effect.” Houseplants, nature photos and aromatherapy Earth scents can also help indoor environments better reflect our own nature. The wealth of research and common sense wisdom is aptly summed up by celebrated author Wendell Berry in The Long-Legged House. “We have lived our lives by the assumption that what was good for us would be good for the world. We have been wrong. We must change our lives so that it’ll be possible to live by the contrary assumption, that what is good for the world will be good for us. And that requires we make the effort to know the world and learn what is good for it.” Christine MacDonald is a freelance journalist in Washington, D.C., whose specialties include health and science. Visit


Build Your Own Homeopathic First Aid Kit by Kelly S. Hassberger, ND


ust like a first aid kit with adhesive bandages and antibiotic ointment, a homeopathic first aid kit is a great tool to keep around the house to aid in any unexpected injury or illness. Homeopathy can help ease pain, increase healing and make people more comfortable. Homeopathy is a system of healing, which involves using highly diluted substances with the aim of triggering the body’s natural system of healing. This unique system of medicine is based on the principle that you can treat “like with like”, that is, a substance which causes symptoms when taken in large doses can be used in small amounts to treat those same symptoms. Homeopathic remedies are often used in aiding in a patient’s healing by matching their symptoms to the one most indicated remedy for them. In any acute injury or illness, homeopathy can also be used to speed the healing process. The following are suggested remedies to create a personal homeopathic first aid kit and can typically be found in a local health food store in a homeopathy section. Buy one vial of each remedy in a 200c potency. (If 200c is not available, 30c is also great.) Take three pellets under the tongue immediately at onset of symptoms and repeat every 2-3 hours. Remember to always consult your physician.

Strains, Sprains and Bruises: Arnica Montana- This is the most widely known and used homeopathic remedy. It can be used for bumps, bruises and injuries of many kinds. Keep it on hand for any accident at home to speed up the healing process. Ruta Graveolens- This is the remedy for strains and sprains, especially of the extremities (ankles, wrists). For acute injuries, arnica can be used first before switching to ruta for any remaining pain. Hypericum perforatum- Hypericum is the remedy for any crush injuries, such as a finger slammed in the door. It is particularly indicated for any pain that travels upward from the place of the injury. Phosphorus- This is a well-indicated remedy to help decrease bleeding, such as for nosebleeds. Burns: Urtica urens- This remedy is great to keep around the kitchen. It can be used for first-degree, minor burns. Take it right after a burn to reduce pain and decrease healing time. Causticum- This is indicated for more severe, second-degree burns to aid healing. Please note: this does not replace the need for medical care if burns are severe.

Fever, Acute Illnesses and Stomach Flu: Nux Vomica- Nux vomica is the remedy for stomach pain or nausea after over eating or over drinking and is a great choice for any acute stomach flu. Belladonna- This remedy can be used with any acute onset fever, particularly with a hot red face and coldness of the limbs. Aconite- This is great remedy for any sudden illnesses that comes on after exposure to cold air or wind. Pulsatilla- Pulsatilla is a great remedy for acute colds or sinus congestion with thick, yellow mucus. Someone who needs pulsatilla will also often be worse in a warm stuffy room and want consolation, such as a weepy child. It should be noted that none of these recommendations are to take the place of the care of a physician. In any acute illness or injury, please call a doctor. Anaphylactic reactions, fevers, burns and other injuries can be life threatening if not properly treated. Kelly S. Hassberger, ND is a Naturopathic Doctor and owner of Grand Rapids Natural Health. Call 616-2646556 today to learn more or to reserve a free 15-minute consultation or visit See ad, page 21.

Bee Stings and Rashes: Apis Mellifera- Apis can be used for any acute allergic reaction, such as to a bee sting. Allergic hives and any red, swollen rash will respond great to this remedy. Ledum- This is the best remedy for puncture wounds or bites. Use it with minor wounds, especially if the area feels cold. natural awakenings

April 2015


Spring Greening Easy Ways to Detox a House by Lane Vail


or most individuals, odorous chemicals are simply unpleasant. For those that are sensitive and susceptible, however, even common chemical exposures may evoke a toxicant-induced loss of tolerance (TILT) marked by multiplesystem symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, autoimmune disease, asthma, depression and food intolerance. Since the post-World War II expansion of petrochemicals, the incidence of TILT has increased dramatically, says Claudia Miller, a medical doctor, researcher and professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston and co-author of Chemical Exposures: Low Levels and High Stakes. “Fortunately, public awareness has also grown significantly in the last few years,” says Rick Smith, Ph.D., a Canadian environmentalist who co-authored Toxin Toxout. “Now companies and governments worldwide are moving toward making safer products.” We can support progress by leveraging some practical tips in greening our home. Start somewhere. Many volatile organic compounds (VOC) that in-


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clude formaldehyde and benzene are concealed in household items such as couches, chairs, particleboard furniture, mattresses, box springs, carpeting, rugs, synthetic flooring, wallpaper and paint. Green TV host and Fresh Living author Sara Snow implores us not to become overwhelmed, disheartened or fearful. “Creating a healthy home is a gradual process that doesn’t require throwing all the furniture out,” she advises. Start by scrutinizing labels and choosing not to bring new toxins in. For example, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is widely found to be associated with reproductive toxicity and is found in many waterproofed and flexible plastics. Select PVC-free toys, shower curtain liners and mattress covers. In the kitchen, avoid potentially carcinogenic perfluorinated chemicals (PFC) found in nonstick coatings of pots and pans. Toss the Teflon when it scratches, says Snow, and upgrade to stainless steel or cast iron. Weed out bisphenols, the DNA-disrupting chemicals found in plastics and epoxy resin can liners. Even “BPA-free” products likely contain alternative and equally harmful

substances, according to a recent study published in Chemosphere. Choose clear glass instead of plastic containers. When remodeling, look for zeroVOC items, Miller says, plus materials free of stain-resistant sprays and flame retardants whose efficacy is questionable. Consider natural fiber rugs like jute or wool. Forest Stewardship Council-certified hardwoods or alternative flooring like cork or glass tile are safer investments in long-term well-being. Clean green. Conventional cleaners are among the worst offenders, and even some “eco-cleaners” can be deceptively unsafe, says Smith. He recommends avoiding antibacterial products containing triclosan, which proliferates antibiotic-resistant bacteria that prolong and exacerbate illnesses, as well as phthalates, a chemical oil that carries artificial aromas and has been repeatedly linked to cancer and abnormal fetal development. “Even so-called natural fragrances are often complex petrochemicals that outgas and contaminate the air,” notes Miller. Snow advises formulating products at home using staple pantry ingredients, including distilled white vinegar for disinfecting, baking soda for scouring, liquid castile soap for sudsing, lemon juice for degreasing and olive oil for polishing. Freshen with fresh air. Americans spend about 90 percent of their time amid indoor air pollutants that are

Even small changes can measurably reduce your family’s daily exposure to healthdamaging chemicals. ~Rick Smith significantly more concentrated than outdoor pollutants, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports. “Most energy-efficient homes are well sealed with ventilation systems that recirculate indoor air, so opening the windows helps dilute accumulated airborne toxins,” says Miller. Snow further recommends bringing air-purifying plants into the home such as Gerbera daisies, bamboo palms and English ivy. Vacuum and dust. Vacuuming with a high-efficiency particulate arrestance (HEPA) filter and dusting with a moist cloth eliminates allergens such as pet dander, mites, pollen and mold, and helps remove phthalates, flame retardants, lead and pesticides that “latch onto house dust and accumulate in dust bunnies,” says Smith. Weed out lawn chemicals. “Organophosphate pesticides are profoundly neurotoxic,” says Miller, especially to the developing brains of children. Instead try integrated pest management, which involves controlling pests’ food

sources and applying non-toxic deterrents. Eliminating potentially carcinogenic herbicides might mean managing more weeds, says Snow, but it’s worth it. Eat green. “Buying produce as close to its source as possible, from a farmer or farmers’ market, provides threefold benefits,” says Snow—less wasteful packaging, reduced exposure to chemical plastics and greater concentration of health-promoting nutrients. Buy in bulk and favor glass containers or rectangular cardboard cartons. Take tests. Radon, an invisible, odorless gas that can emanate from the ground and accumulate in homes, annually causes 21,000 U.S. lung cancer deaths, according to the U.S. EPA. Lead, a neurotoxin that may occasionally leach from home water pipes, can also hide in pre-1978 paint. Testing for both and implementing reduction or precautionary measures is simple, advises Smith. Most hardware stores stock test kits. Take action. Join with other concerned citizens by launching a pertinent petition at; campaigning with organizations like the Environmental Working Group (ewg. org) or Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families (; and supporting cleaner, greener companies with family purchases. Lane Vail is a freelance writer and blogger at

natural awakenings

April 2015


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natural awakenings

April 2015



EARTH IN PERIL Children Confront Climate Change by Avery Mack

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA recently announced that last year was the hottest in 135 years of recordkeeping, with rising ocean temperatures driving the global heat index. Nine of the 10 hottest years have occurred since 2000. The odds of this taking place randomly are about 650 million to 1, especially without an El Nino influence, according to University of South Carolina statistician John Grego. “The globe is warmer than it has been in the last 100 years,” says climate scientist Jennifer Francis, Ph.D., of Rutgers University, in New Jersey. “Any wisps of doubt that human activities are at fault are now gone with the wind.”

At Sea

“We do more damage to the planet than we think.” ~Peri, age 9


his month, Home We only have Box Office (HBO), in collaboration with one home. If we New York City’s American mess this one up, Museum of Natural Hiswhere do we tory, will air the new documentary, Saving My Tomorgo next? row. Scientists representing the museum discuss how ~Hippocrates, age 8 temperature change affects life on Planet Earth, but the majority of voices are those of children. Their words cry out for universal action

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In the same 100 years, sea levels have risen seven inches, mostly due to expansion as the water warms. “We have over 2 million preserved fish in our collection. We study them to see the effect of temperature change,” says Melanie Stiassny, Ph.D., curator of ichthyology at the museum. “The mummichog fish is less than an inch long. It’s a bottom feeder and that’s where pollution like mercury lies. When the water is warm, fish eat more and mercury is stored in their bodies.” The contaminants move up the food chain, bringing the effects of pollution to our dinner table.

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A 2006 study by Nicola Beaumont, Ph.D., with the Plymouth Marine Laboratory UK, found that 29 percent of the oceans’ edible fish and seafood species have declined by 90 percent in the past 100 years. The international team of ecologists and economists led by Boris Worm, Ph.D., of Dalhousie University, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, predict total saltwater fish extinction by 2048 due to overfishing, pollution, habitat loss and climate change. Rising ocean acidity due to absorption of increasing carbon dioxide and other emissions from burning fossil fuels impacts creatures large and small, like dissolving the shell of the tiny sea butterfly, a vital link in the ocean’s food chain. Americans currently consume 4.5 billion pounds of seafood each year.

“The skins show us how birds lived years ago.” In just the past 100 years, bird species that have gone extinct range from the ivory-billed woodpecker (Campephilus principalis) to the onceabundant passenger pigeon (Ectopistes migratorius) and Carolina parakeet (Conuropsis carolinensis). In Colorado, 70 percent of the lodgepole pines have been lost, with pines in other states also in trouble. Pine beetles feed on the pines. Historically, winter brings death to both the beetles and weakened trees, which fall to feed a renewed forest. Due to warmer temperatures, the beetles are living longer and migrating to higher altitudes to kill more trees. Forest fires follow the dry timber line.

On Land

“I don’t have time to grow up before becoming an activist.” ~Ta’Kaiya, age 12

“Each species was put here for a reason. We are the caretakers.” ~a youth at a climate rally Scientists look back to look ahead. Henry David Thoreau fell in love with the wilderness around Concord, Massachusetts, 160 years ago. From his renowned journals, scientists know when flowers like the pink lady slipper (Cypripedium acaule), bird’s-foot violets (Viola pedata) or golden ragworts (Packera aurea) used to bloom. Today, with temperatures six degrees Fahrenheit warmer than in Thoreau’s time, these species now bloom two weeks earlier. The Canada lily (Lilium canadense), plentiful before, is now rare, unable to adapt to the new reality. Paul Sweet, collections manager of the museum’s ornithology department, studies “skins” (stuffed birds). He says,

All Are Needed

Forward Good Change Today 4 Reuse more, buy less. Less trash equals less pollution. 4 Bike or walk, instead of driving. Don’t use the car at least one day a week. Less use of fossil fuels equals less drilling, fracking and oil spills. 4 Substitute a planet-healing activity for the usual after school program. Replace lawns with native plants, which need less water and no mowing. Email manufacturers to urge them to use less packaging and plastic, auto makers to produce more fuel-efficient cars, grocery stores to carry more locally sourced foods and ban plastic bags, and government agencies to improve pollution control measures. 4 When eating meat, make sure the animals were humanely and locally raised, not factory farmed.

“Get your parents involved.” ~Teakahla, age 11 Children are more informed now than ever before. Schools offer classes on ecology, the environment, global warming and climate change. Disasters are instant news, constantly streaming through digital media. Kids are aware that they need adults to work with them to keep Earth habitable.

4 For fish, factory farmed is preferred when farmers are vetted by watchdog agencies for being devoid of disease, pollution and heavy metals; clean fish are especially rare among international providers. Learn more at SustainableFishFarming.

HBO will air all four parts of Saving My Tomorrow starting Apr. 22. Check local listings—and watch as a family. See

4 Support wildlife. Help hatchling sea turtles make their way to the sea. Predators and man are the biggest threats—only one in 1,000 hatchlings reach adulthood. Plant milkweed to feed monarch butterflies. Use natural insect repellants like basil or marigolds instead of killer sprays.

Connect with freelance writer Avery Mack at

4 Speak out and speak up. Search for event ideas and resources.

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mimic stone, granite, tile, marble and wood, while providing comfortable cushioning. “Cork assumes the ambient temperature in the room, keeping feet warmer. It holds up to dogs, too,” says Tim Tompkins, a Portuguese Cork Association committee member in Greenville, South Carolina. “Cork is both healthy for the consumer and sustainable for the environment.” Note: Due to its cushioning nature, heavy furniture or high-heeled shoes may make indentations.


FLOORS Sustainable Beauty Underfoot by Avery Mack


ruly good flooring is beautiful, practical and eco-friendly. The best choices may change from room-to-room, as well as with geography, depending on family needs. Here are some key factors to consider for an optimum installation.

Added Value–Hardwood

Wood comes in many colors, polished to a high gloss or textured, and can be refinished when styles change. “Timber used to float downriver to the sawmill and not all of it arrived. We salvage logs from the bottom of the Penobscot River for flooring and other products,” says Tom Shafer, co-owner of Maine Heritage Timber, in Millinocket. “Our wood is as fresh as the day it was cut decades ago.” Cold water preserves the resource and adds a natural patina. Removal of the estimated 700,000 cords of underwater wood will help restore the waterway’s natural eco-system. Note: Wood can scratch or dent and be susceptible to water damage. Even recycled wood might not be eco-friendly. “Wood reclaimed from manufacturing plants can contain machine oils, harsh chemical residue, lead paint or asbestos,” explains Shafer. “Know where it came from; follow the chain of evidence.” 34

West Michigan Edition

High Traffic, Pets, Long Life–Linoleum

Linoleum is made from linseed oil, wood powder, resins and ground limestone. Mineral pigments provide rich color throughout, which prevents paler worn spots. A personalized pattern may include borders using linoleum sheets or tiles. It’s long-lasting, durable, fireresistant, biodegradable, has no harmful volatile organic compounds (VOC) and repels dirt and dust. Note: Vinyl, made from unnatural chlorinated petrochemicals, won’t wear as well or last as long as linoleum.


Bottles recycled into glass tile reflect light, brightening smaller rooms like the bath. Long-lasting ceramic or porcelain tile has no VOCs, is easy to clean and won’t host germs, bacteria or dust mites. Note: Look for lead-free glazed tile. Glass tile may be cost-prohibitive for larger spaces. Most tile can be slick when wet; texturing increases safety.

Child-, Pet- and Elder-Friendly, Warm and Comfy–Cork Cork is lightweight, flexible and can

Wood-Like and Sturdy–Bamboo

Bamboo generally regrows in three to five years, is twice as hard as red oak and can be stained almost any color. Edge-grained bamboo, banded together, turns flooring into a statement. Note: “It’s shipped from Asia and may have formaldehyde glues and durability problems, so shop carefully,” advises David Bergman, a New York City green architect and author of Sustainable Design: A Critical Guide.

Long-Wearing Classic Look–Stone

Travertine, limestone, granite, slate and marble are all stone flooring options. Stone can increase home value, has a classic look and is a piece of history that adds to any décor, although it’s not a renewable resource. Cork or nonpetroleum-based laminated floors can give the look of stone without destroying an in-situ natural resource. Note: Large blocks of stone are cut at quarries and transported to processing plants, cut into slabs and transported to a processor to be cut again, shaped and polished before being shipped to the store—a big carbon footprint.

The Great Imitator–Concrete

Easy-to-clean, durable concrete never needs to be replaced. Small repairs can be patched. Large repairs, such as a broken pipe beneath the surface, may require refinishing the entire floor to match the stain color. Some homeowners have created a faux rug using other stain colors to disguise the repaired area. Finishes can make concrete look

FUN FLOOR FACTS n Mixed and matched floors create a planned flow in an open-concept house. Find fun ideas at FlooringTransits. n Most carpet is chemical-laden and not so health- or eco-friendly, although there are some exceptions. n Sustainably produced handwoven wool rugs backed with jute are susceptible to the jute retaining spills and pet odors; its yellow-tan pigment also can color rug fibers. Jute eventually disintegrates, leaving clumps of unsecured wool fibers. n In Portugal, bark is hand carved off the tree as cork, which is healthy for the tree. Trees are grown on protected land that also benefits insects and birds. NASA, Mercedes and BMW sometimes find cork a lightweight, durable replacement for steel. The Library of Congress has relied on its original cork flooring for 75 years. n Kinetic energy from people dancing or walking on special flooring can light up the area and send energy back to the grid (see energy-floors).

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Avery Mack is a freelance writer in St. Louis, MO. Connect via AveryMack@

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like hardwood, painted tile, carpet, marble or granite, including terrazzo options. For an entryway, homeowners can design a custom welcome mat, perhaps incorporating a family crest, monogram or motto. Finishes can be textured to varying degrees to increase foot traction. Note: Ensure the structure is sturdy enough to bear the extra weight of concrete. It feels cold underfoot in winter and cool in summer. Epoxy coatings don’t let concrete breathe, so any moisture emanating from the concrete slab will be trapped. Test for the moisturevapor emission rate; problem areas can include sections covered by furniture.

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natural awakenings

April 2015


Home-Grown Organic Made Easy 10 Time-Saving Tips for a Healthy Garden by Barbara Pleasant

Organic gardening experts share strategies for growing a great garden and having a life, too.


he arrival of planting season has a stunning effect on veggie gardeners. We talk to our seedlings as if they were children, and don’t mind working until dark if that’s what it takes to get the fingerling potatoes in the ground. Then, complications like crabgrass and cabbageworms appear, and keeping up with all the details feels impossible. We can lighten looming chores by using these time-saving tips, which will reduce later workloads when storms and the hot summer sun threaten to squelch the magic. Mulch to reduce watering and prevent weeds. “You can cut your watering time in half by mulching crops with a three-to-four-inch layer of straw or shredded leaves,” says Niki Jabbour, award-winning author of The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener and Groundbreaking Food Gardens: 73 Plans That Will Change the Way You Grow Your Garden. “Crops like tomatoes, potatoes, kale, broccoli, cucumbers and squash all benefit from a deep mulch, which reduces the need to water and also prevents weeds, saving even more time.” Grow herbs in convenient containers. Family cooks will harvest kitchen herbs every day, in all kinds of weather, so don’t waste footsteps. Grow some parsley, basil and other herbs in large containers near the kitchen door. Try promising perennials. Plant them once, and vegetables like asparagus and rhubarb come back year after year in cold winter climates like the Midwest and Northeast. Where winters are


West Michigan Edition

mild, artichokes or chayote (pear squash) are long-lived and productive. Many resilient herbs will return each spring, too, including sage, mints, thyme and oregano. Tarragon and marjoram make trusty perennial herbs in the Sun Belt. Stock up on organic seeds. “As a year-round vegetable gardener, I try to come up with a list of all the seeds I’ll need for every season when I place annual seed orders,” Jabbour says. “That way, I will place fewer orders and have everything on hand at the proper planting time, saving both time and money.” Organic seeds in consumer seed catalogs and retail racks won’t be genetically modified or treated with pesticides. Be generous with organic compost. With each planting, mix in organic compost along with a balanced organic fertilizer. Food crops grown in organically enriched soil are better able to resist challenges from pests and diseases, which simplifies summer tasks. Grow flowers to attract beneficial insects. Reducing or eliminating pesticides and increasing plantings of flowers can radically improve the balance between helpful and harmful insects in a

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garden. Horticulturist Jessica Walliser, co-host of Pittsburgh’s The Organic Gardeners KDKA radio show and author of Attracting Beneficial Bugs to Your Garden, recommends starting with sweet alyssum, an easy-to-grow annual that can be tucked into the edges of beds or added to mixed containers. “The tiny blossoms of sweet alyssum are adept at supporting several species of the non-stinging parasitic wasps that help keep aphids and other common pests in check,” Walliser says. In warm climates where they are widely grown, crape myrtles have been found to serve as nurseries for lady beetles, lacewings and other beneficial insects. Protect plants with fabric barriers. Pest insects seeking host plants won’t find cabbage or kale if they’re hidden beneath hoops covered with fine-mesh fabric like wedding net (tulle) or garden fabric row cover. “Cover the plants the day they are transplanted into the garden,” advises Walliser. As long as the edges are securely tucked in, row covers will also protect plants from wind, hail, rabbits and deer. Hoe briefly each day. Commit 10 minutes a day to hoeing. While slicing down young weeds, hill up soil over potatoes or clean up beds ready to be replanted. Look out for small problems to correct before they become big ones. No more misplaced tools. Time is often wasted searching for lost weeders, pruning shears and other hand tools, which are easier to keep track of when painted in bright colors or marked with colored tape. Jabbour uses a tool stash basket placed at the garden entrance. Stop to smell the flowers. Use moments saved to sit quietly, relax and soak up the sights, sounds and smells of the garden. Pausing to listen to the birds or watch a honeybee work a flower is part of the earned reward of any healthy garden that can’t be measured by the pound. Barbara Pleasant, the author of numerous green thumb books, including Starter Vegetable Gardens: 24 No-Fail Plans for Small Organic Gardens, grows vegetables, herbs and fruits in Floyd, Virginia. Connect at

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natural awakenings

April 2015



It’s Not Only a Desert Landscape


can’t believe how lush and green everything is here”, a woman visiting from Arizona exclaimed, thrilled with the color and beauty of Michigan gardens. She then explained Arizona gardens as, “A lot of xeriscaping – just rocks and cacti.” Mention “xeriscaping” and that’s the image many people have – a barren landscape, devoid of the lush green and colorful floral displays we expect out of our gardens here in Michigan. They wave their hands in dismissal, regarding the concept as an unacceptable or unnecessary form of landscaping for this area. Rocks and cactus are fine for Arizona – that’s what is suited for the climate, but a xeriscape needn’t be a hostile, harsh environment. The woman from Arizona was surprised to learn that the colorful, attractive garden she admired was a xeriscape as well. A lot of the misconception about xeriscaping comes from the word itself. The “x” is pronounced as a “z”, which can lead people to think “zeroscaping”, a term that is sometimes used as a synonym for xeriscape, but one that is very misleading. The term “xeriscape” is a combination of the Greek “xeros” for dry, and “landscape”, meaning it is landscaping created to withstand drought conditions and to conserve water. Other terms synonymous with “xeriscape” are water-conserving landscaping, drought-tolerant landscaping, and Smart Scaping. Xeriscaping was developed by the Denver Colorado Water Department in 1981. It was designed specifically for areas such as Arizona and Colorado that are susceptible to drought and where water conversation is imperative. However, as climate patterns shift, and more people are becoming water-conservation minded, xeriscaping is becoming widespread and mainstream. It just makes sense – plant a landscape that is adapted to the local climate and, consequently,


West Michigan Edition

by Cindy Murphy

it will require less water. So while cacti are an appropriate choice for an Arizona xeriscape that does not mean here in Michigan it will be the same. A lush garden can be achieved in a xeriscape suited to this climate. A big element in the xeriscape concept is the reduction, or complete elimination of lawn. This poses another form of resistance: Americans have a love affair with lawn, and are reluctant to break up their long-time relationship, but it’s not the best of relationships. Lawns are water guzzlers; turf grass is one of the least water-conserving and expensive to maintain forms of landscaping. As the price of water and fertilizers increase, by keeping a golfcourse type yard, we are throwing Aronia berries are edible, full of money antioxidants, and dried make a great down the drain as addition to homemade granola. well as chemicals in the form of run-off. Alternative lawn grasses that require less water are an option to consider, but some people feel they lack the aesthetics that turf grass offers. Cutting back on the expanse of lawn as an accent to the landscape rather than using it as a dominant element is another option. Not ready to give up the lawn yet? There are other components of xeriscaping that can be practiced without cutting down on lawn area. A xeriscape can be something as simple as a grouping of plants that have similar watering needs, making watering more efficient. Don’t plant a rhododendron in a bed of daylilies. Hybrid tea roses do not belong amongst sedums, black-eyed Susans and native grasses in a xeriscape.

One in the grouping requires constant moisture, the others, once established, require no supplemental watering. That is the key element, and perhaps the biggest benefit, of a xeriscape. Xeriscaping is landscaping that requires no supplemental irrigation, once established. “Xeric” plants are those that have adapted to adverse conditions of poor soils and little water by developing water-conserving characteristics. Some, like many of Michigan’s native plants, have extensive roots systems that are able to pull moisture from deep within the ground to get them through dry periods. Others, such as lamb’s ears, artemsia, sage and lavender, use their silvery-colored foliage to reflect light, keeping the plant cooler in hot weather. Sedums and hens-andchicks are succulents which store water in their fleshy leaves. Even cactus has its place in a Michigan xeriscape – our native prickly pear. With careful selection, plants introduced into a xeriscape withstand adverse conditions, such as drought, with minimal care once they are established and provide not only an environmentally sound and cost-effective landscape, but one that is lush and aesthetically pleasing. Cindy Murphy is a Michigan Certified Nurseryman, Advanced Master Gardener and freelance writer, living on the shores of Lake Michigan. The following is a list of some plants suitable for a Michigan Xeriscape. Remember, any plant, even those suited for dry conditions, will need consistent moisture for one to two years to become established:

Perennials and Grasses:

Yarrow (Achillea); Aster species*; Butterfly weed, (Asclepias tuberosa)*; Blue false indigo (Baptisia australis); Jupiter’s beard (Centranthus ruber); Purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)*; Globe thistle (Echinops ritro); Lavender (Lavandula); Catmint (Nepeta); Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia); Stonecrop (Sedum); Goldenrod (Solidago)*; Lamb’s ears (Stachys); Daylily (Hemerocallis); Blue fescue (Festuca ovina var. glauca)*; Little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium)*; Northern sea oats (Chasmanthium latifolium); Purple love grass (Eragrostis spectabilis)*; Switch grass (Panicum virgatum)*


American elderberry (Sambucus canadensis)*; Bayberry (Myrica pennslyvanica)*; Bearberry (Arctostaphylos uvaursi)*; Bush honeysuckle (Diervilla)*; Chinese juniper (Juniperus chinensis); Chokeberry (Aronia)*; Eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana)*; Forsythia; Fragrant sumac (Rhus aromatica)*; Rugosa rose (Rosa rugosa); Serviceberry (Amelanchier canadensis)*; Snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus)*; Spirea (* denotes Michigan native plants)


by Amanda Grasmeyer


t’s been said that pain in life is inevitable, but suffering is optional, and at Natural Choice Chiropractic, the staff has set out to help those suffering to become pain-free. Natural Choice Chiropractic opened its doors in July of 2002. It has since then vastly grown and moved into the state-ofthe-art facility in Kentwood, where it now hosts a highly educated, well-rounded team comprised of two chiropractors, four therapists and an acupuncturist offering services including, but not limited to, chiropractic care, massage therapy, acupuncture, aromatherapy, supplements, nutritional advice and more. The team has a common fascination with the way the human body works and that fascination fuels their passion to see their clients/patients move into a pain-free way of living. They pride themselves in their clients/patients showing improvements and reaching the point where they are putting an effort in and successfully getting better. Marcy Lentz, LMT of Natural Choice Chiropractic who specializes in deep tissue and clinical therapies says, “I’ve had clients that have looked at

me and have said that until they started coming here they didn’t know what feeling good really felt like.” As many have succumbed to the pain they experience on a daily basis, Lentz made it clear that relief from that pain is in fact achievable and people do not have to get used to living with it. With the many services available at Natural Choice Chiropractic, the team as a whole is able to help those living in pain to reach whole health. As Lentz says, “Bones go where your muscles put them,” alluding to the fact that, in reality, chiropractic care, massage therapy, acupuncture and the many other services offered at Natural Choice not only go hand in hand but work best when they are working together. Because of the highly educated, wellrounded team, Natural Choice Chiropractic clients/patients are able to gain a greater knowledge of what is going on with their bodies, and how to properly treat their bodies. The staff even goes one step further and works to encourage their clients/patients to adamantly consider what they are putting their bodies through every day, be it what they are consuming,

He who lives in harmony with himself lives in harmony with the universe.

~Marcus Aurelius

how they are using their bodies or even the state-of-mind they keep themselves in. Lentz admits, “Clients/patients can come in here and get all the treatment in the world, but if they’re not doing what they need to do out there, nothing is going to change.” In their ability to supply the proper care and the proper education to their clients/patients, it becomes clear as to why Natural Choice Chiropractic really is a natural choice. It’s a hope for a better, healthier life and it’s a means of achieving that life naturally. The team also offers workshops, screenings and corporate massage to further aid the need for healthier living. They seek to educate and are able to continue doing so due to the fact that they are constantly continuing their own education. As an example of the continuation of their education, Lentz just recently became certified to practice the AromaTouch Technique with doTERRA® essential oils. This particular technique acts as a detoxifier for the body, boosts immunity and brings the body back to homeostasis. By achieving this certification, Natural Choice Chiropractic is able to offer yet another means of getting their clients/patients body back to whole health. Natural Choice Chiropractic knows that people perform better when they are happy, healthy and motivated, and so they will remain committed to serving, educating and empowering their clients/patients to implement a wellness lifestyle for the expansion of human potential globally. Natural Choice Chiropractic is located at 5260 Kalamazoo Ave. SE in Kentwood. For more information call 616-827-2350, email or visit See ad, page 30. Amanda Grasmeyer is a frequent contributor to Natural Awakenings Magazine. You can contact her at

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Monday, April 20 Five Lakes Nature Sanctuary Guided Nature Hikes- 2:30pm and 5pm. Located near Fruitport, Five Lakes is a class C sanctuary, meaning it can only be visited with the assistance of an MNA guide. Registration required. Contact John Bagley, 517-580-3021.


Tuesday, April 21 Sustainable Champion Awards- 6pm. Do you know an individual or business who is a sustainability champion for environmental integrity, economic prosperity, or social equity? Why not nominate them for a Sustainability Champion Award to honor their contributions to our community? Book Nook & Java Shop, 8744 Ferry St., Montague.

DAY 2015

Hope for Our Future by Julianne Hale


hen we learn about the condition of our most valuable resource—this spinning planet we call home—we may feel a sense of urgency, desperation or even defeat. Global climate change is a powerful foe, and current efforts may seem like a losing race against time. Yet, mounting evidence suggests that the global community is making progress, giving rise to the possibility that climate change may not be the insurmountable obstacle we once thought. The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) article, “We Can Do This: 10 Reasons there’s Hope for our Climate,” by Dan Upham, summarizes a speech given by EDF President Fred Krupp at the 2014 Aspen Ideas Festival (Tinyurl. com/HopeForTheClimate). Here are some encouraging highlights. The price of solar energy panels has dropped by 75 percent in the U.S. since 2008, and affordable wind energy is increasingly available. According to a study published by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, carbon dioxide emissions from energy in this country dropped by 10 percent between 2005 and 2012. In addition, China, the world’s largest producer of greenhouse gases, is actively seeking ways to reduce emissions. Proof of progress is also found in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan to cut billions of tons of pollution, a goal supported by two-thirds of Americans, according to a survey conducted by Harstad Strategic Research. Aligned with this, the government is requiring that manufacturers double automobile fuel mileage by 2025.


West Michigan Edition

(If the weather is bad, we will move into the Grand Haven Community Center.)

Perhaps the best argument for hope reflects the priorities of America’s younger generations. A recent bipartisan poll of young voters conducted by Benenson Strategy Group and GS Strategy Group suggests that 80 percent of voters under the age of 35 support the president taking action to address climate change, making it an issue that both major political parties must take seriously. It’s time to realize that mankind is making decided progress, that the majority of us do care, that what local communities accomplish has a positive effect and that the global community can take the steps needed to avert catastrophic climate change. Become a part of the solution by attending one or more of the community events listed here. Saturday, April 18 Earth Day Celebration- 10am-3pm. Join Unity in visualizing the infinite possibilities Earth expresses. Share in singing inspirational music, sampling healthy snacks, enjoying activities and learning how we can use our creative powers to sustain and maintain the perfection of our planet and the life within. 1711 Walker Ave. NW, Grand Rapids. Free. 10th Annual Green Earth March & Earth Day Fair- 12:30-4pm. Green Earth March begins at the Ottawa County Court House parking lot at 12:30pm. Using earth friendly means, join the march to the Earth Day Fair at the Community Center for music, programs and booths with environmentally friendly products. Grand Haven. Earth Day Rock at Central Park- 4-7pm. Local bands, soloists and poets celebrating Earth Day! Takes place at Central Park - across from the Grand Haven Community Center, 421 Columbus Street, Grand Haven.

Solar Power 101- 6:30pm. Learn aspects of solar power that are not commonly known and about the different types of solar power and their costs. See examples of solar power being used in Michigan and talk to people who are already using it. Grand Rapids Public Library, 2025 Leonard St. NE, Grand Rapids. Wednesday, April 22

Earth Day Rain Barrel Workshop- 6pm. Join WMEAC for a Rain Barrel Workshop during Muskegon Area Earth Week for a lost cost rain barrel that will keep 1,815 gallons of storm water that can be safely used to irrigate your lawn/garden. $20. Registration required. Contact Becky Brown at bbrown@wmeac. org. Montague. Thursday, April 23 Green Day Health Expo & Fun Run- 5-8pm. Join Harvest Health and Gazelle Sports at the 6th annual Green Day 6k Fun Run and Health Fair! Run begins at 6:30pm. Call 616-975-7555 for more information. 6807 Cascade Rd., Grand Rapids. Native Plants Workshop- 6pm. Join Weesies Brothers Garden Centers and Landscaping for a workshop on native plants. 10022 Walsh Rd., Montague. Solar Power 101- 7pm. Learn aspects of solar power that are not commonly known and about the different types of solar power and their costs. See examples of solar power being used in Michigan and talk to people who are already using it. Grand Rapids Public Library, 111 Library St. NE, Grand Rapids. Saturday, April 25 Muskegon Earth Fair- noon3pm. Learn more about sustainability efforts in the community. Enjoy giveaways, games and product demonstrations for a fun, educational experience. Takes place at ReethsPuffer Elementary School, 901 E. Giles, Muskegon. Visit for more information.

$ave Time & Energy! Please call in advance to ensure that the event you’re interested in is still available.


Garden Of Life Demo- Garden of Life will be doing demonstrations once a month at Nature’s Market, 1013 Washington Ave, Holland. Contact Nature’s Market at 616-394-5250 or visit to find out which day they’ll be there each month.

calendarofevents Visit for guidelines and to submit entries. All Calendar events must be submitted online by the 15th of the month prior to publication. Denotes an event sponsored by Natural Awakenings Magazine West Michigan.


Free Coding and Robotics- Spring Break STEM camps, free at the library! Sylvan Learning will host a free robotics and free coding course at the Spring Lake and Grand Haven libraries the week of April 6th. Call Lisa at Sylvan for more details, 231-799-0613.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 1 April Fools Day

TUESDAY, APRIL 7 World Health Day

Early Bird Ticket Prices- Now through April 15, enjoy weekend tickets to the Buttermilk Jamboree, a three day celebration of music and arts, for just $70 (ages 16 and up) and $5 (ages 4-15). Ticket prices go up to $80 and $10 on April 16. Order yours at Delton.

HypnoBirthing The Mongan Method- 6-8:30pm. For the mother-to-be and her birthing companion— learn relaxation techniques in this 5-week session so that you can give your baby a welcome that is calm, gentle and safe. $300, all materials included. Midwifery Matters, 2119 Lake Dr. SE, Grand Rapids.

BVI School of Ayurveda Accepting ApplicationsThe BVI School of Ayurveda is accepting applications now through April 4. Learn “SelfCare Health Care” and earn a Certificate as an Ayurvedic Consultant. State-Licensed School, Call 269-381-4946 for more information. 6363 N. 24th St., Kalamazoo.

Historical Health-6:30pm. Turn back the clock with cod liver oil. Find out the health benefits of fermented cod liver oil with Dave Wetzel, founder of Green Pasture. Harvest Health, 6807 Cascade Rd., Grand Rapids.

Health & Wellness Talk- 6:15pm. Join Dr. Mike and learn about chiropractic as a lifestyle. Free snack and thank you is provided to those who join. Please RSVP. This event is open to the public and current patients. Morea Chiropractic Wellness Center, 388 N Third St. Ste. L, Fruitport. 231-865-7474.


Your Intelligent Body- 6:30-8:30pm, every Thursday April 2 - May 7. Develop your own Emotional Intelligence! Learn how your body constantly gives you the information to make good decisions, heal emotional pain, enjoy healthy relationships and deepen your spiritual journey. Dominican Center, Grand Rapids. $240. Call Ken Porter CHT 616262-3848 for information.


Beginner’s Meditation- 10-11:15am. Learn simple breath-awareness and mind-calming techniques to help counteract the “fight-or-flight response”. Improve your ability to go about your daily activities and work/play with greater lightness of spirit. Angel Touch Family Chiropractic, 4265 Grand Haven Rd., Ste. 203; Muskegon. RSVP 231-670-0179.

SUNDAY, APRIL 5 Easter Easter Sunday Service- 10:30am. Join us as Rev. Jim Ashby empowers us with a special Easter Sunday Worship Service. West Michigan’s own Carol Johnson will share a lively and joyful musical framework to celebrate. Unity of Grand Rapids, 1711 Walker Ave. NW, Grand Rapids.

month. Free. Dominican Center at Marywood, Room 4, 2025 E Fulton, Grand Rapids, Sunday Service- 10:30am. Come join our warm, inviting, New Thought spiritual community, inclusive and accepting of all for Sunday Service as guest speaker, Mike Rocque, empowers us with a Unity Truth based message. Unity of Grand Rapids, 1711 Walker Ave. NW, Grand Rapids.



Connecting with Our Spirit Guides- 6-8:30pm. A belief at the core of our being is that we are all related. We naturally feel the connection to nature and all of creation. This 2-hour class is all about how to remember your connection to Nature Spirits Guides and Animal Spirit Guides. TempleWithin. com. Lowell.

Gluten Intolerance Group of Southwest Michigan- noon-1pm. Discuss gluten-free flours with Vicky Mitchell and learn how to use them. Event held at Natural Health Center, 4610 W. Main St., Kalamazoo. Health Talk- 6:15pm. Join Dr. Mike and learn about chiropractic as a lifestyle.. Alight dinner and a thank you is provided! Please RSVP to join. This event is open to the public and current patients. Morea Chiropractic Wellness Center, 388 N Third St. Ste. L, Fruitport. 231-865-7474.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 15 Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day Giving Back to Grand Rapids- Schafer Chiropractic and Healing Spa is offering all chiropractic services at no charge in exchange for donations to be made to Kids Food Basket. Visit for more information. 1801 Breton Rd. SE, Grand Rapids. Call 616-301-3000 to make your appointment.

A Weekend of Iyengar Yoga- April 10-12. The Yoga Studio is thrilled to be hosting Senior Iyengar teacher Mary Reilly with a workshop to cultivate awareness, bring attention with intention and celebrate presence. Find increased engagement, focus and energy in your practice! Learn more at YWCA, 25 Sheldon Boulevard SE, Grand Rapids.

Reiki Share- 6-8pm. Come relax and wash all the stress away after having taxes done. Check out what Reiki is all about and have a mini session done. Open to those that know Reiki and those that don’t. Donations welcome. Contact 616-443-4225 to register. The Remedy House, 5150 Northland Dr. NE, Grand Rapids.


THURSDAY, APRIL 16 National Stress Awareness Day

Gluten Free, Dairy Free Cooking Demo- 1011:30am. Join Vicky Mitchell for this demonstration and learn how to bake gluten, dairy and egg free cookies. $5 includes tips, recipes and samples. Natural Health Center, 4610 W. Main St., Kalamazoo. Intuitive Interactive Spring Holistic Fair- 10am6pm. Holistic health practitioners, body and energy workers, aura photography, intuitive readers, wellness products. Free presentations on: Love Astrology, Sound Healing, Mediumship Gallery Reading, Flower Essences, Intuitive Awareness. $10. Washtenaw Community College, Morris Lawrence Building, Ann Arbor.


Sharp Memory & Focus at Any Age- 5:30pm. Pamela Wartian Smith, MD, MPH is an Anti‐Aging/ Metabolic Medicine specialist. Her discussion will cover brain health, hormonal balance and vitamins and mineral supplementation. RSVP to 616-5588334. Country Inn & Suites, 3251 Deposit Drive Northeast, Grand Rapids. Girl’s Night Out- 6-9pm. Stop by Grand Rapids Natural Health for an evening of food, wine, manicures and more. Enjoy a mini massage, a guided meditation and information from their naturopathic doctor. $10. Grand Rapids.


Eckankar- 10-11am. Join the monthly ECK Worship Service, “ECK Masters: Here to Help and Serve.” Services are the second Sunday of each

Grand Opening- 6-9:30pm. Celebrating our new School of Ayurveda, creating Ayurvedic Consultants. Learn about Ayurveda and our School. Meet

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April 2015


friends and fellow students. Enjoy an evening of festivities, film, food, fun and fellowship. Free. Public welcome. Sambodh Center, 6363 N. 24th St., Kalamazoo.

SATURDAY, APRIL 18 World Tai Chi and Qigong Day Beginner’s Series- For those who have never done yoga, this four-week series will teach basic poses and breathe-work and introduce common terms. No special skills or flexibility necessary. Pre-registration required, limited to 8 people. Cost $50.00. Bodhi tree Yoga & Wellness Studio 208 W 18th St., Holland. or 616-3927580 for more information or to sign up. Awaken to the Wisdom of Your Heart- 9am-3pm. Come to the Dominican Center at Marywood for a spring day for mothers, daughters, sisters and friends and learn how to let the heart guide you instead of the doubts/pressures of the rational mind. $45, includes lunch. 2025 E. Fulton St., Grand Rapids. Beginner’s Meditation- 10-11:15am. Learn simple breath-awareness and mind-calming techniques to help counteract the “fight-or-flight response”. Improve your ability to go about your daily activities and work/play with greater lightness of spirit. Angel Touch Family Chiropractic, 4265 Grand Haven Rd., Ste. 203; Muskegon. RSVP 231-670-0179. Transition to Barefoot- 2-4pm. Get your feet out of boots and ready for the world! Everyone is anxious to get out summer sandals, but feet that have been supported all winter need to “train” for spring, too! Learn how to strengthen your feet and save your “sole”!, 616-935-7028. Spring Lake.


Sunday Service- 10:30am. For those seeking spiritual truth, come join our warm, inviting, New Thought spiritual community, inclusive and accepting of all as Rev. Marchiene Rienstra returns for the season with help from 2012 Jazz Musician of the Year, Mark Kahny. Unity of Grand Rapids, 1711 Walker Ave. NW, Grand Rapids. West Michigan Spirit Faire- 11am-5pm. Intuitive Readers, Reiki, Aura Photos, Jewelry, Palmistry, Angel Messages, Stones, Crystals, Candles, Drums, Energy Tuning, Massage, etc. Held at Plainwell Comfort Inn, exit 49A off US-131. $3 admission, door prizes! Encompassed Body Experience- 1:30-3pm. This 6-month series focuses on your body, mind and spirit connection. See website for this month’s class description. Costs $15 per class or $75 if paid in advance. For more information and registration check out or call 616-392-7580. 208 W 18th St., Holland.


Grand Opening- April 20-24. Celebrate the Grand Opening of Grand Rapids Wellness Collective, opening at 1324 Lake Dr. SE in Grand Rapids. GRWC offers health and wellness services to the Grand Rapids area. For more information, visit or call 616-288-4700. Organic Women Meetup- 6-8pm. Come learn more about becoming an Organic Woman by using organic cosmetics, feminine products and organic foods. Contact 616-443-4225 to register. The Remedy House, 5150 Northland Dr. NE, Grand Rapids.


West Michigan Edition


Are Allergies Affecting Your Life- 7-8pm. Explore how NAET can eliminate your allergies. An introduction to NAET, how it works, and an athome muscle test will be discussed. Holistic Care Approach, 3368 Beltline Ct. NE, Grand Rapids.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 22 Earth Day In the Man cave with Dr. Dave- 5:30pm. For men only, this open forum Q&A event can cover most of your health-related questions. Everything is fair game from hormone replacement, nutrition, muscle mass, medication interactions, even tests your doctor may or may not suggest. RSVP to 616-558-8334. Keystone Pharmacy, Grand Rapids.


Wege Speaker Series- 4pm. Hear from internationally recognized architect, author, researcher and educator Edward Mazria at the 19th Wege Speaker Series at Aquinas College Performing Arts Center, located at 1703 Robinson Road S.E. in Grand Rapids. Free. For more information or to register, visit Healing Circle- 7-8:30pm. Join other like-spirited people, as we explore healing related topics and techniques. This will be an inter-active gathering, so bring your open minds and open hearts. Let us know you are coming by calling 269-221-1961 or emailing 6363 N. 24th St., Kalamazoo.

classes! Call to RSVP today, space is limited. 231799-0613. 5890 Harvey St., Muskegon.


Yoga ‘Round the Medicine Wheel-Eastern GateInstructor Ginjah Knuth. Visit or call 616-392-8750 for more information. $30 per person (pre-registration required). 208 W 18th Street, Holland. Advanced Reiki Class- 9am-5pm. Enhance energy work to a new level. Learn how to perform intuitive surgery and how to set up and utilize a crystal grid with energy work. Class fee - $275, includes a $50 deposit due at registration. Call 616-443-4225 to register. The Remedy House, 5150 Northland Dr. NE, Grand Rapids. Sunday Service- 10:30am. Join Rev. Marchiene Rienstra and our warm, inviting, New Thought spiritual community, inclusive and accepting of all for an uplifting message based on Unity Truths. Ray Gordon will provide a lively and joyful musical framework for the service. Unity of Grand Rapids, 1711 Walker Ave. NW, Grand Rapids.


Passage Meditation- 7-8 pm. Introductory presentation to passage meditation and the allied skills, as taught by Eknath Easwaran. Held at Unity Church, 1711 Walker NW, Grand Rapids. Interested adults welcome. No registration needed. Free will offering. For more information visit


Introduction to Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT)- 9am-noon. EFT is a groundbreaking healing tool that relieves negative emotions, thoughts and beliefs. This interactive course will introduce you to this highly effective method of unlocking your full potential enabling you to live a happier, healthier life! Spring Lake. Reiki I & II Class- 9am-5pm. Introduction to Reiki, become attuned to the universal energy, learn how to give treatment to self and others and meet your Reiki guide. Class fee - $250, includes a $50 deposit due at registration. Call to register - 616443-4225. The Remedy House, 5150 Northland Dr. NE, Grand Rapids. Natural Health During the Childbearing Year10am-noon. Learn how to safely and effectively use herbs, essential oils and natural remedies to address common ailments during the childbearing year for you and your family. Midwifery Matters Community Center, 6293 Kenowa Ave. SW, Grandville. Visit to get info. Healthy Living Expo- 11am-7pm. A holistic approach for a healthy lifestyle. Come support the local suppliers of natural products and servicesavailable at the event! “Goodie Bags” will be gifted to the first 300 people. Let’s get healthier! The Lakes Mall, 5600 Harvey St., Norton Shores. Find Your Edge STEM Bash- 12:30pm. You are invited to our huge EDGE event! Sylvan Learning will offer free coding, robotics and Math Edge

savethedate Save The Date Events

Must be submitted online each month at Events priced $80 or above require a corresponding display ad. There is a $40 charge per listing, up to 50 words. If you are a current advertiser, distribution site or non-profit you just use this listing in place of two of your free listings.

savethedate May 2

Party for the Planet- 10am-4pm. Celebrate conservation, recycling and our natural world at the John Ball Zoo, located at 1300 W. Fulton St. in Grand Rapids. Festivities will include zoo keeper talks, science experiments, giveaways, demonstrations and more.

savethedate May 2

Spring Celebration- 11am-6pm. Free angel gallery reading at 1pm with Joan Cranmore. We have vendors, food vendor on grounds, aura photography, card readers and mediums as well as healers. Vendors offer a wide selection of books, jewelry, music, gift items, candles, etc. Door prizes hourly. Vendors welcome!


savethedate May 5

Mini-Natural Health Consultations2-6pm. Enjoy free 15-minute mininatural health consultations by Dr Bessheen Baker, a Certified Naturopath for over 20 years at The Remedy House, 5150 Northland Dr. NE, Grand Rapids. Call 616-443-4225 to register.

savethedate May 5

savethedate May 2-3

Urevia® Practitioner - 10am-5pm. This class is devoted to creating a better you. It’s a prerequisite for the Integrative Health Program. Costs $290, requires a non-refundable $75.00 deposit prior to class. For more info visit ReikiConnect. com. To register call 800-260-4544. Held near Hickory Corners.

savethedate May 2-3

Spiritual Body Retreat- 10:30am5:30pm. Swami Bodhananda teaching the Swetaswetara Upanishad at the Sambodh Center, Kalamazoo. Teaching the vision of reconciliation of various paths to self-realization, this Upanishad takes the student from the stage of karma to upasana and ultimately to the wisdom of the infinite self. Veg potluck. Donationbased event. 269-381-4946.

savethedate May 3

Spring Cleaning for your Body, Mind & Soul- 1:30-3pm. Join this aromatherapy & herbal class with instructor Randi Plouffe. $25 per person (pre-registration required). To sign up for the class please email Randi at RootsBotanicalApothecary@gmail. com or call 406-647-6485. Bodhi Tree Yoga & Wellness Studio 208 W 18th St., Holland.

Free Community Class- 6-8 pm. Offered by Dr. Bessheen Baker on How to Find Your Balance, with Energy, Sex Drive and Weight Release at The Remedy House, 5150 Northland Dr. NE, Grand Rapids. Space is limited. Call 616-4434225 to register.

savethedate May 11-12

Usui Reiki I & II- 10am-5pm. These are the beginning classes for Usui Reiki. Cost of $225 includes a non-refundable $75 deposit prior to class. Learn how to use the Reiki energy, overview of the chakras system, hand positions and a meditation to meet your spirit guides. For more info visit To register call 800-260-4544. Hickory Corners.

savethedate June 6-7

Karuna® Reiki Level 1 & 2- 10am-5pm. Costs $225 with non-refundable deposit of $75 for each class required. These are the beginning levels of Karuna® Reiki focusing on compassionate action to be used on yourself and others. It’s the next step for the serious Reiki Practitioner. For more info visit To register call 800-260-4544. Hickory Corners.

savethedate June 30

savethedate May 16

7th Annual Open House- 10am2pm. Join us for the Natural Health Improvement Center’s 7th Annual Open House. Meet our local vendors, come meet and mingle with our staff and physicians and enter to win an awesome door prize! 4466 Heritage Ct. SW, Grandville.

HypnoBirthing The Mongan Method6-8:30pm. For the mother-to-be and her birthing companion—learn relaxation techniques in this 5-week session so that you can give your baby a welcome that is calm, gentle and safe. $300, all materials included. Midwifery Matters, 2119 Lake Dr. SE, Grand Rapids.


savethedate May 17

June 5-7

4th Annual Midwest Women’s Herbal Conference - Conference offers preconference work-shops, guest speakers, over 60 workshops and plant walks, kids and teen camp, plus swimming, evening entertainment, marketplace, red tent, film screenings, roundtable discussions on building herbal community and much more! Held in Almond, WI. For more info:

HypnoBirthing The Mongan Method6-8:30pm. For the mother-to-be and her birthing companion—learn relaxation techniques in this 5-week session so that you can give your baby a welcome that is calm, gentle and safe. $300, all materials included. Midwifery Matters Community Center, 6293 Kenowa Ave. SW, Grandville.

July 12-14

Buttermilk Jamboree- The Buttermilk Jamboree is a three day celebration of music and arts that takes place at the beautiful Circle Pines Center in Delton and features rustic overnight camping, local and regional musicians and bands, workshops, local food and goods vendors, craft beer tent, a dedicated kids & teen area and more.

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April 2015


ongoingevents Note: Visit for guidelines and to submit entries. Events must be re-submitted each month by the 15th of the month. Events subject to change, please call ahead.



Spirit Space Sunday Worship- 10:30am. Spirit Space is an interfaith, non-denominational gathering place for worship and spiritual enrichment. Join us for inspiring messages called Reasonings. Visit or call 616-836-1555 for more information. 3493 Blue Star Hwy., Saugatuck.

$20 off BioMeridian Assessments- Food allergies, environmental allergies, organ function and real food menus and shopping lists for families that are healthy and kid-approved. Visit or 616-3659176. Grand Rapids.

Community Yoga Class- 4-5pm for $5. All levels welcome. Proceeds donated to the charity of the month. Bodhi Tree Yoga & Wellness Studio, 208 W 18th Street, Holland. Visit for more information.

Kundalini Yoga Class- 7-8am. Known as the “Yoga of Awareness”, Kundalini yoga uses breath work, mantra and dynamic moment to help us access and express our rich inner selves. Hearts Journey Wellness Center, 6189 Lake Michigan Dr., Allendale.

Sunday Series- 6pm. Explore spirituality, universal truths, self-mastery and balanced, positive, loving and joyful living with The Coptic Center and their ongoing offering of enlightening Ministers, Teachers and guest presenters. Love offering. 0-381 Lake Michigan Drive, Grand Rapids. For more information see

Mindfulness, Meditation and Mudras- 7-8:15am. Classes will include various mindfulness practices including: gentle yoga, breathing exercises, mudras, candle gazing, silent and spoken mediations, gong meditations and yoga nidra. Hearts Journey Wellness Center, 6189 Lake Michigan Dr., Allendale.

Monday Intermediate Hatha Yoga with Mitch Coleman6:15-7:30pm. All levels. Drop-ins welcome. Visit for more information. Classes meet at White River Yoga Studio, 8724 Ferry St. Montague. 231-740-6662. The Practice of A Course in Miracles - 7-8:30pm. Learn “Miracle-Mindedness”. Got joy? This is how to have it. (Hint: You already do.) All are welcome. Free. Fountain Street Church, Grand Rapids. 616-458-5095.

Tuesday Gentle Hatha Yoga with Mitch Coleman- 7:459am & 9:15-10:30am. Drop-ins welcome. Visit for more information. Classes meet at White River Yoga Studio, 8724 Ferry St. Montague. 231-740-6662. Beginning Yoga Classes- 9:30am. This all-levels class invites you to give yoga a try in a safe and welcoming environment. No yoga experience necessary. Hearts Journey Wellness Center, 6189 Lake Michigan Dr., Allendale. Morning Flow Yoga- 10:15-11:30am. Unwind your body and your mind. A Yoga practice intended to gradually increase flexibility, strength and a range of motion. Laketown Healing Arts,, Holland. Ionic Detox Foot Bath- noon-4pm. CJ’s Studio Salon is offering Ionic Detox Foot Baths for the special price of 20 min. for $20 & 30 min. for $30. This is a great way to get ready for spring! By appointment only, call 616-364-9191. 5286 Plainfield NE, Grand Rapids. Natural Health Community Class- 6-7pm. Natural Health Community Classes at the Remedy House, 5150 Northland Dr. NE, Grand Rapids. Different classes each week - check website or call for weekly topic. Donations welcome. Contact 616-443-4225 to register.


West Michigan Edition

Chair Yoga- 10:30am. Chair yoga classes include movements and breathing exercises designed to encourage relaxation and increase mobility, balance and strength. This class is a great gentle option for those who use a walker or wheelchair or those with limited mobility. Hearts Journey Wellness Center, 6189 Lake Michigan Dr., Allendale. Beginning Yoga Classes- 5:30pm. This all-levels class invites you to give yoga a try in a safe and welcoming environment. No yoga experience necessary. Hearts Journey Wellness Center, 6189 Lake Michigan Dr., Allendale. Discussion and Meditation at Spirit Space6–8pm. Discussion to promote spiritual enrichment. Questions are welcomed followed by meditation at 7pm. Spirit Space is an interfaith church and spiritual enrichment center. Call 616-836-1555 or visit for more information. Saugatuck. Meditation- 7-8pm. We begin and end with live native flute music. We join together in our meditation room for various forms of going within such as guided, silent and affirmative meditation. Spirit Space, 3493 Blue Star Hwy., Saugatuck. Healing Clinic- 7pm. Seeking healing, clarity or reconciliation in your life? Looking for peace, joy and freedom? Call Pastor at Healing Ways, 269-3033523, to reserve appointment time. WaysToHealing. com. 6363 N. 24th St., Kalamazoo. Creation’s Lessons for Living- 7pm. 2nd Wed of month. Creation desires to help us grow, mature, evolve. Connect with Creation’s wisdom through the teachings and ceremonies of the shamanic Sweet Medicine SunDance Path. Donation. Call 616-8564957 for more information. Join me in learning to walk in beauty. NE Grand Rapids.

Thursday Morning Flow Yoga- 10:15-11:30am. Unwind your body and your mind. A Yoga practice intended to gradually increase flexibility, strength and a range of motion. Laketown Healing Arts,, Holland.

Ionic Detox Foot Bath- noon-4pm. CJ’s Studio Salon is offering Ionic Detox Foot Baths for the special price of 20 min. for $20 & 30 min. for $30. This is a great way to get ready for spring! By appointment only, call 616-364-9191. 5286 Plainfield NE, Grand Rapids. Chair Yoga- 4-5pm. Gently move your body using a chair to help you with fl¬exibility, strength and balance. Leave feeling refreshed and energized, yet calm and relaxed. Cost: $80. Dominican Center at Marywood, 2025 E. Fulton St., Grand Rapids. Advanced Hatha Yoga with Mitch Coleman - 6:157:30pm. Drop-ins welcome. Visit WhiteRiverYoga. com for more information. Classes meet at White River Yoga Studio, 8724 Ferry St. Montague. 231-740-6662. Yoga: Basic and Beyond- Beyond Basic, 5:306:45pm. Basic, 7-8:15pm. Come cultivate flexibility, strength and balance in your body, calm and quiet in your mind and peace and joy in your spirit. Cost: $80. Dominican Center at Marywood, 2025 E. Fulton St. Grand Rapids.

Saturday Hatha Yoga- 9-10:15am. A Little more invigorating, this is a great class to learn the foundations of a yoga practice. Laketown Healing Arts,, Holland. Gentle Hatha Yoga with Mitch Coleman9-10:15am & 10:30-11:45am. Drop-ins welcome. Visit for info. Classes meet at White River Yoga Studio. Montague. 231-740-6662. Sweetwater Local Foods Market- 9am-1pm. Hackley Health at the Lakes building on Harvey Street. We are inside if the weather is bad. We are a double up bucks and bridge card market. Hesperia. 231-861-2234.

classifieds FOR RENT Commercial Space for Rent - Professional office space available for rent. Up to 2500 sq ft with high ceilings and full basement. Great visibility, signage and off street parking. For showing please contact Erin Whiteford at 616-389-5166. Treatment Room For Rent - We are currently seeking a message therapist to work in our salon, it is a room rental situation in which you schedule your own appointments as an independent contractor. We are an up-beat, organic salon with four stylists working independently with a varied clientele. Our previous therapist was able to establish an active business through salon clientele and her own marketing. If interested please call 616-364-9191or Email We look forward to hearing from you!

HELP WANTED Licensed and Insured Massage Therapist needed for busy Kentwood Chiropractic clinic. Competitive pay and perks! Please email your resume to NaturalChoiceChiroAndMassage@ or fax to 616.827.2351. We will only look at resumes of those who are licensed AND insured all others need not apply.



...connecting you to the leaders in natural health and green living in West Michigan. To find out how you can be included in The Natural Directory log-on to


Vikki Nestico, R.Ac., Dipl. OM Acupuncture + Chinese Herbal Therapy 616-940-1177

Grand Wellness offers a holistic perspective on wellness and promotes healing through acupuncture, Chinese herbal therapy and eastern nutrition. Set up a free consultation to discuss how Chinese medicine can help your specific health concerns. See ad page 11.

BIO ENERGETIC SYNCHRONIZATION TECHNIQUE BRAIN & BODY BALANCING Spark of Life Studio 959 Lake Dr. SE, Ste. 201, Grand Rapids 616-516-1479

Living organisms strive to be in balance but everyday stress is preventing us from feeling our best. Let us restore balance to your brain and body and thus maximize your overall wellbeing as well as your body’s innate healing capacity.

BODY CARE PRODUCTS MOONDROP HERBALS, LLC Cottage of Natural Elements 351 Cummings, NW Grand Rapids 616-735-1285

Your Local Source for all things Natural and Botanical. Hand crafted bath & body products, tea, bulk herbs, essential oils, other raw ingredients, containers, local artwork, unique gifts. Practitioner discounts. Space rental and artisan consignment. See ad page 18.


Barbara Zvirzdinis, WK, CMT 616-581-3885 Certified Massage Therapist offering Therapeutic, Hot Stone & Matrix Massage. Certified Wholistic Kinesiologist, Certified Matrix E n e rg e t i c s P r a c t i t i o n e r, Reconnection Healing Practitioner, Certified Herbalist, Certified Acutonics Practitioner, and a Certified Reflexologist. See ad page 21.


Dr. Andrew Schafer 1801 Breton SE Grand Rapids 616-301-3000

Tr e a t i n g m u s c u l o s k e l e t a l conditions, but specializing in b ac k p a in , n eck p ain , a n d headaches. Also offering physical therapy, massage therapy, and postural awareness. Most insurance accepted. Breton Village area. See ad pages 7 & 30.

COLON HYDROTHERAPY HARMONY ’N HEALTH Mary De Lange, CCT. LMT. 1003 Maryland Ave, N.E., Grand Rapids 616-456-5033

Certified therapist since 1991 offering colon therapy in a sterile and professional environment. Using a holistic approach, colonics relieves constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloat, poor digestion, back pain, body odor and more. See ad page 5.

BETHESDA HEALTH AND WELLNESS, LLC Susie Daubenspeck 616-594-9005

Certified technician in Nexalin Technology, a medication-free t r e a t m e n t f o r a n x i e t y, depression and insomnia. The hypothalamus and mid-brain area are gently stimulated, supporting brain function resets. Treatments in your home or Holland office. Find us on Facebook and LinkedIn at Susie Daubenspeck. See ad page 5.



Holistic Energy Therapies 616-481-9074 Offering an advanced clientcentered dimension of colonics since 1996: gentle, safe and effective. Eliminate toxins and enhance well-being. Also offering Quantum Biofeedback sessions. I-ACT certified Instructor.


DYNAMIC FAMILY CHIROPRACTIC Dr. Ronda VanderWall 4072 Chicago Drive, Grandville 616-531-6050


Family owned and operated in the heart of downtown Grandville, Dynamic Family Chiropractic focuses on lifestyle improvements through living a maximized life. A safe and natural approach to health through the combination of exercise, nutrition, detoxification and chiropractic care.

Barbara Zvirzdinis, WK, CMT 616-581-3885 Matrix Energetics is a system used to heal, transform and create new possibilities in your life. Using the principles of quantum physics and subtle e n e rg y d u r i n g a M a t r i x Energetics session we are able to enter into different realties and download new possibilities for your mental, emotional, physical and spiritual selves. See ad page 21.

Look for this symbol throughout Natural Awakenings for Natural Awakenings Network (NAN) providers offering savings to NAN members.

natural awakenings

April 2015





3355 Eagle Park Dr. NE Ste. 107 Grand Rapids 616-262-3848

Clara VanderZouwen Independent Sharing Partner 616-481-8587

Be Young Total Health essential oils have undergone the 13 step E.O.B.B.D. evaluation by third party experts who are professionally trained for evaluating essential oils for purity, quality, and therapeutic value. Learn online, through free classes, or one on one from me, how you can use these gifts of nature to benefit your family and even your pets! See ad page 12.

YOUNG LIVING ESSENTIAL OILS Marilyn York Independent Distributor 1-877-436-2299, ext. 2

Become an Independent Distributor. Discover the high potency of therapeutically authentic Essential Oils from Young Living. Enhance your own health, as well as others who seek holistic wellness options. Free Training. See ad page 32.



1140 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids 616-889-9825 NAMA Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner and Personal Trainer. Ayurvedic consultations for better health and balance through diet, lifestyle, herbs, exercise and more. Fitness regimens that are tailored to your unique needs. Exercise with a higher purpose.

West Michigan Edition


Jodi Jenks Natural Health Practitioner, Reiki Master 616-443-4225 Certified in bodywork, lymphatic drainage, raindrop therapy, CranioSacral, reflexology, iridology, natural health consultations including a zyto bio-communication scan. Emotional clearing with essential oils and energy work, Reiki, Energy Touch. See ad page 19.


A fitness and nutrition coach, making your health and fitness a priority. Plans for people of all ages and fitness levels. Offering many free options, as well as cost effective solutions. Contact Missy to see how to achieve your optimal level of health & fitness.


Pastor & Casey Brian Kalamazoo & Portage 269-221-1961 Massage Therapy, Energy Healing, Spiritual Counsel, Healing Services for Groups and more. We fully support you in experiencing Healing in all aspects of your life: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual...




Hakomi Therapy can truly change your life. It’s a mindfulnessbased, experiential therapy for transforming the unconscious patterns that keep you from the love, joy, and fulfillment you deserve. Offered with exquisite care and attentiveness.


Educational programs for personal health improvement - Wo r k p l a c e w e l l n e s s programs - Wellness Forum Foundation focused on school nutrition and children’s health - National conferences.


Bob Huttinga PA-C & Rev. Barbara Huttinga 332 S. Lincoln Ave., Lakeview 989-352-6500 Naturopathic / Holistic Practitioners. Physician assistant, Certified Natural Health Professionals. Private consultations. Counseling & Classes. Blood typing, acupressure, emotional release, iridology, homeopathy, massage therapy, reflexology, cranial sacral, foot detox & more. See ad in page 28.

TOTAL HEALTH 4 TODAY Clara Vanderzouwen 616-481-8587

Private Consultations, Biofeedback Scans, Detoxing Ionic Foot Baths, Essential Oils Assessments and more. Total Health 4 Today’s goal is to address every aspect of a person’s health inside and out, in the most wholesome, natural way possible. Call or email for an appointment. See ad page 12.


332 S. Lincoln Ave., Lakeview 989-352-6500 A Certified Physician Assistant since 1976, specializing in naturopathic and homeopathic care. Family care. Also, certified Silva Method instructor. We use Clinical Homeopathy to assist traditional medications. We take most insurances. See ad page 28.


Barbara Zvirzdinis, WK, CMT 616-581-3885 Certified Wholistic Kinesiologist, Certified Matrix E n e rg e t i c s P r a c t i t i o n e r, Certified Massage Therapist, Reconnection Healing P r a c t i t i o n e r, C e r t i f i e d Herbalist, Certified Acutonics Practitioner and Certified Reflexologist. Specializing in muscle testing, massage, energy medicine, nutritional counseling, lectures and classes. See ad page 21.

MASSAGE THERAPY DYNAMIC FAMILY CHIROPRACTIC & MASSAGE THERAPY Jaci Timmermans, MT 4072 Chicago Drive, Grandville 616-531-6050

I offer Swedish massage with Integrated Te c h n i q u e s , c h o s e n specifically to your unique body. Relieve those tired and sore muscles and rejuvenate! Call for ongoing monthly specials and discounts.


Mary De Lange, CCT., LMT. 1003 Maryland Ave. NE, Grand Rapids 616-456-5033 Over 21 years of professional experience and trained in a complete range of modalities. Whether you are seeking relaxation, renewal, or treatment for a specific condition, Mary will help find an approach that is helpful for you. See ad page 5.


Sheri Beth Schafer, CMT Ayurvedic Bodyworker, Reiki Master 1801 Breton SE Grand Rapids 616-301-3000 We have multiple certified massage therapists offering relaxation, prenatal, deep tissue massage, and medical massage. We also offer Reiki, chakra balancing, and Ayurvedic bodywork. Breton Vi l l a g e a r e a . w w w. See ad pages 7 & 30.


In private practice since 1982 specializing in homebirth. Over 1450 births attended. Offering midwifery care that maintains a family-centered safe birth experience. Empowering women to stay healthy during pregnancy, give birth naturally and parent in the best ways. Free initial consultations including Prenatal check up.



Leslie Cornwell, CNM 616-258-2386


Looking for different care for your pregnancy outside the traditional maternity system, we have what you have been looking for. High quality care for preconception, pregnancy, and beyond. See ad page 11.


Sara Badger, Midwife Jodi Borsk, Junior Midwife Casi Russo, Senior Student A full service Midwifery group partnering with you to provide prenatal care, education, and choice. The first birthing center in Grand Rapids to add to women’s birth choices. Contact us for a free consultation 559-9075341. See ad page 15.

REIKI PRANA HOUSE REIKI & MASSAGE Jen Gemski, CMT Reiki Master Practitioner 1345 Monroe Ave. NE Ste. 204 616-970-3003 Find relief from anxiety, depression, grief, chronic pain, or pain/ discomfort due to cancer treatment. See how Reiki can transform your life from chaos to harmony, you can find balance again! Awaken the healing within. See ad page 30.

SALON SERVICES CJ’S STUDIO SALON 5286 Plainfield Ave, NE Grand Rapids 616-364-9191

An award winning Hair Stylist with 30 years Advanced Education, that uses and sells Organic Hair Care Products as well as uses a professional line of Organic Hair Color. Ionic Detox Foot Baths also available.

Attn: Ruth Small, Director 6363 N. 24th St., Kalamazoo

State-Licensed Post-Secondary AYURVEDA SCHOOL. Opening April 18, 2015. One-year Certificate Program for self-care, healthcare professionals, yoga teachers, massage therapists, chiropractors, dietitians, wellness and holistic-health educators. Highly qualified instructors. Accepting Applications.


503 East Broadway St. Mt. Pleasant 989-773-1714

Educational Programs Offered: Natural Health Program - Four Years (one weekend a month); Massage Therapy Program - One Year (two weekends a month); Holistic Doula Practitioner Program - Six Months (one weekend a month). Individual classes available. See ad page 48.


10500 Chicago Drive Holland Twp/Zeeland 231-557-3619 Specializing in advanced, customized skin care using all-natural, organic skin care products from Elina Organics. Facials, Back Facials, Foot Facials, Hand Facials, Tummy Facials, and “Beautiful Legs” services. Needle-Free Mesotherapy, TriPolarRF, DermaLaser, LED, Microdermabrasion, Peels, Body Wraps, Body Scrubs, Brow Shaping, Aromatherapy, Signature Scent, Hair Restoration, Bamboo Massage, RainDrop, Air Compression Lymph Drainage Massage, Acupressure, Reiki, Infrared and Ionic Cleanses, Ear Candling, and more! See ad page 12.


Grand Rapids SE 616-690-3527 ”Rejuvenate your body, mind and spirit while nourishing your skin with customized, therapeutic facials using all natural Elina Organics Products. Individualized, professional treatments provided in a warm, caring environment”.

natural awakenings

April 2015


The Path You Have Always Wanted Naturopathy

(each year 600 hours)

Inspire a world of health! Your diploma in Massage Therapy, Natural Health or Holistic Doula is here.

Natural Health Educator............. 1st Year Natural Health Therapist............ 2nd Year Natural Health Practitioner......... 3rd Year CertiďŹ ed Naturopath................... 4th Year 4th Year Graduates are Eligible for Doctor of Naturopathy National Test & Title

Massage Therapy

Therapeutic Bodywork Practitioner...1 Year

Holistic Doula Practitioner Doula....... 6 Months

All Classes Meet on Weekends

Fri: 5-9pm and Sat & Sun: 9am-6pm

Naturopaths: 1 per month - Massage: 2 per month

Individual Classes:

Herbology - Aromatherapy - Nutrition Live Food Preparaton - Light Healing Touch Reexology - Homeopathy & Much More!

(989) 773-1714 ~ Mount Pleasant, MI 48

West Michigan Edition

Over 19 Years of Experience ~ Licensed and Accredited

Profile for Natural Awakenings Magazine ~ West Michigan

Natural Awakenings Magazine ~ April 2015  

Natural Awakenings Magazine is West Michigan's premiere natural health, holistic living, green magazine focusing on conscious living and sus...

Natural Awakenings Magazine ~ April 2015  

Natural Awakenings Magazine is West Michigan's premiere natural health, holistic living, green magazine focusing on conscious living and sus...

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