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feel good • live simply • laugh more

Rethinking Heart Health


Pioneering Doctors and Patients Reinvent Heart Care


LOVE Attracting Our One True Love

RELAX Natural Ways to De-Stress

HOUSE Harmony

A Toxin-Free Home Nurtures Well-Being

February 2014 | West Michigan Edition | natural awakenings

February 2014



West Michigan Edition



contact us Publishers Kyle & Amy Hass Editors S. Alison Chabonais Amanda Merritt 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. © 2014 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.

ere’s how life happened at our house on a recent winter day. Counting the wind chill, the outside temperature of 25 below was so cold that I dared not let Thai outside to do his business. At just 6 pounds his bones freeze up on him in about 20 seconds. He won’t eat for fear he will have to go out in the frigid snowstorm he can see as he peeps out the window from his bed on my desk. Then the furnace clicked off for no known reason. So I traipsed down the basement stairs to manually switch it to the off position, and then wait a few seconds before switching it back to the on position. A few hours later we realize it must have happened again because the house is cold. This was vicious cycle that persisted to take place throughout the entire day. Next we headed out in the heated car to meet with our personal trainer. On the way there we hear a strange noise coming from the Jeep that sounds like we are dragging cans behind it. So we drop off the truck with our mechanic and learn this latest problem requires $3200 in repairs. Our alternate ride, a Prius, just doesn’t cut it very well with the northern winter we’re having. What to do... I could go on rehearsing such times when stress levels can go off the chart if we allow it. For some, every day feels stressful. On a small scale it can spur us on to surmount challenges, but many of us have far too much stress in our lives, which is detrimental to physical and mental health. “But life happens,” you say. That means we must have proven diffusers at hand. This is where Natural Awakenings comes in. Our February issue is all about Rethinking Heart Health and Relieving Stress. In the midst of crazy circumstances we can all use a timely reminder to pause, close our eyes and b-r-e-a-t-h-e. And then resume our day at a more measured pace. This month’s experts explain how we can equip ourselves with tips and know-how to better handle stress and keep our hearts happily humming, so we can all live long and healthy lives. In honor of Valentine’s Day, why not try out our Conscious Eating chocolate recipes with someone you love? If the special day is a reminder that you have yet to find the love of your life, again your go-to magazine can help, via You just might meet the kindred spirit you have been looking for all your life. Are you ready to meet your soul mate? With much love,

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.

Amy Hass Publisher

Natural Awakenings of West Michigan

natural awakenings


February 2014


contents 5 newsbriefs 10 healthbriefs

13 globalbriefs


15 ecotip 17 inspiration


18 naturalpet

20 greenliving 22 wisewords 28 healthykids 32 healingways 38 consciouseating 43 calendar


45 naturaldirectory

advertising & submissions HOW TO ADVERTISE 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.

NEWS BRIEFS & ARTICLE SUBMISSIONS 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:

follow us online... BEYOND OUR FULL “CARBON NEUTRAL” DIGITAL ISSUE EACH MONTH... Check us out and connect with us on Twitter & Facebook! Twitter — Find us at NaturallyWestMI Facebook — Find us at Natural Awakenings of West Michigan 4

West Michigan Edition

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


How to Keep Little Hearts Humming by Dr. Shawn Messonnier


Practical Pillars of Well-Being


by Christa O’Leary



Katherine Woodward Thomas on Drawing True Love Our Way by Debra Melani



Pioneering Doctors and Patients Reinvent Cardio Care by Linda Sechrist




Bringing Out the Best in Introverts by Meredith Montgomery


BUSTERS Natural Ways to Slide into


a State of Calmness by Kathleen Barnes



Alleviate Modern Day Stress

by Chitradevi Caradedios


Boosting Diets and Heart Health by Judith Fertig


newsbriefs Annual Natural Living Directory


e invite you to be a part of Natural Awakenings Annual Natural Living Directory for West Michigan, coming in March 2014. This special annual directory of Natural Awakenings Magazine will serve as a handy reference guide for consumers to keep at their fingertips all year long when searching for the products and services they want to live a healthier and more sustainable lifestyle. This A to Z directory will feature a glossary to educate our health conscious readers about the benefits of various natural health modalities, sustainable practices and more. Consumers trust Natural Awakenings information and its featured advertisers because we offer refreshing and educational editorial on natural health and green living. Natural Awakenings also provides the resources that support Health, Fitness, Sustainable Living, Personal Growth and Creative Expression. This Directory is a must for businesses that offer healthy products and/or sustainable services. Don’t miss out on this important issue! Natural Living Directory prices: $119.00 per category listing includes 5 contact lines, a 35-word description and a photo or logo. A second category is 50% off and a third category is FREE. Full and ½ page ads are also available. Call 616-656-9232 for details, examples and to reserve your space in the Natural Living Directory. Deadline to register is February 14th. See ad page 42.

Want to do something different this Valentine’s Day?


f you’re looking to mix it up and have fun, The Studio Yoga has a great way to reconnect and enjoy the day without the same old flowers, chocolate, and a movie. Join them on February 15th from 3:00-4:30pm for a special Partner Yoga workshop. Have some fun in a playful, low-pressure setting. If you’re a regular practitioner, you can introduce someone to yoga and try out new poses that can improve your practice. You’ll also learn some simple ways to help your partner relax, ease lower back pain, and stretch after a tough day. Don’t worry they are keeping the poses simple for those with little to no experience with yoga. There’s enough challenge to keep both you and your partner on your toes (not to mention hands, knees, feet, and back). It’ll give you a chance to find out why your yogi keeps coming to classes. It is also a nice way to show your support and share something new with someone you care about. They will cover some simple Thai massage and breathing techniques that can help you both relax and unwind. That way, you have something you can do together outside of class that can benefit you all year. This workshop is only $55 per couple ($45 for Members) and space is limited so sign up today! Visit to register. The Studio Yoga, 933 52nd St, Kentwood, MI. 616-209-8395. See ad page 16.

30 Day Cleanse


he next 30 Days Back to Health cleanse is kicking off Feb 20th at Grand Rapids Natural Health! This is an all-inclusive cleanse including dietary and lifestyle changes and education, supplements that aid in gentle detoxification, and personalized one-on-one time with Dr. Kelly Hassberger, ND, who will make this program

Circle Pines Center Summer Camp Serving locally-sourced, organic foods while teaching peace, social justice, environmental stewardship and cooperation as a way of life.

For More Information: Contact: 269.623.5555 or

“I have never seen so much talent for working with and engaging children!” - Camper Parent

Session I July 6-July 19 Session II July 20-July 26 Session III July 27-Aug 9 natural awakenings

February 2014


unique to you. Also joining us is Chef Jen Foley of La Bonne Vie Personal Chef Service who has created recipes for participants and will provide support throughout the cleanse, making the dietary changes easy and giving you ideas that you can take into your everyday life. This cleanse is limited to the first 30 participants. Find out more information and sign up at grnaturalhealth. com/30days/. Grand Rapids Natural Health, 5131 East Paris Ave, Kentwood, MI. 616-264-6556. See ad page 5.

Reiki Training & Yoga Nidra


eiki Master Chitradevi Caradedios is offering Reiki 1 and Reiki 2 Trainings on February 21 & 22 at Journey Home Yoga and Health’s studio located at 583 Ada Dr, Ste 203 in Ada, Michigan. Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that promotes healing that is being used by hospitals and hospice centers in the U.S. and in Europe. Reiki can be learned by anyone. Reiki 1 and 2 are taught during a 1/2 weekend intensive. Reiki 1 Training runs Friday evening through Saturday morning; Reiki 2 is offered Saturday afternoon. You may attend only Level 1 or both Levels. Level I must be completed before Level II. Class is a combination of lecture, discussion, and experience. JHYH is also offering monthly 90-minute Yoga/Yoga Nidra combo classes; an hour of gentle flowing yoga is followed by a 30-minute Yoga Nidra. You may attend one or both. Yoga Nidra is a practice that takes you to the deepest levels of relaxation while remaining fully aware; it is useful for stress relief and assisting healing on the physical, mental, and emotional, levels. For more information on Reiki, Yoga Nidra, or to register, visit or call JHYH at 616-780-3604. See ad on page 16.

2014 Sustainability Conference


ierce Cedar Creek Institute’s annual Sustain­ability Conference will address current environmental issues that are relevant to everyone. The conference held on Saturday, March 15 from 8:30am-4:00pm, will explore ways that individuals, organizations, and communities are working to build a more sustainable future. It will also help participants be better prepared to face ecological challenges while still identifying opportunities to become a proactive force for positive global change. This year, the Institute welcomes two keynote speakers. Douglas Jester of 5 Lakes Energy will update participants with the status of renewable energy and share his views on what the future of renewable energy might look like in Michigan. The program will conclude with Tony Kaufman, of Lake Village Homestead Farm, who will be sharing the history and goals of the farm as well as some of his personal experiences over the past 20 years. Breakout sessions fit into three broad categories: permaculture, humans and the natural environment, and sustainable energy. Register on or before February 21 and Members pay $35, Non-Members $45 and Students $20. Register on or after February 22 Members pay $40, NonMembers $50 and Students $25. You may register at www. For more information, visit or call 269-721-4190. Pierce Cedar Creek Institute, 701 W. Cloverdale Road in Hastings, Michigan. See ad page 21.

Mardi Gras Celebration


ired of Winter? Set aside March 4th from 7:00-10:00pm for Fountain Street Church’s First “Fabulous Mardi Gras Celebration” to benefit Fountain Street Church and the Red Project. Hot jazz and cool costumes and prizes for the best costumes. Gumbo, beads, beer, and beignets! There will also be a silent auction of arts, events, and summer weeks beside blue waters. All for only $30/person pre-paid or $40 at the door. Call 616-459-8386 today to reserve your place! 24 Fountain Street NE, Grand Rapids, MI. 616-459-8386. Visit for more information.

Harmony ‘n Health Colon Hydrotherapy

Mary A. DeLange C.C.T. C.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


West Michigan Edition

West Michigan Women’s Expo


est Michigan Women’s Expo returns to Grand Rapids for its 16th year with an Expo focused on health, home ideas and FUN - giving women something to feel good about. In celebration of 16 years, the Caribbean themed party for the 2014 Women’s Expo, slated this year for March 14-16, will feature products, services, and presentations that aim to provide a weekend of education, entertainment and enjoyment. As the largest single consumer event for women in the region, the expo will feature more than 375 women-owned and women-focused businesses during the three-day expo held downtown at DeVos Place. “Women’s Expo is the equivalent of spring break for women - it’s an opportunity to enjoy a fun-filled weekend with friends, focusing on feeling good and living and eating well,” said Denise Kolesar, President of Kohler Expos, which promotes the event each year. For many women in West Michigan, this is a destination weekend that allows them to connect with friends and family while pampering themselves. The expo is slated to run from 10am-8pm on Friday and Saturday and from 11am-5pm on Sunday. Advance tickets are $7 each and are available at all area Meijer stores. Admission at the door is $9 for adults and $7 for children ages 6-14. See ad page 19.

Partner Thai Yoga Workshop


ow about a no-calorie Valentine’s Day treat you can give all year long? Try a gift you can share that is better than chocolate! The Partner Thai Yoga Workshop with Brent

Doornbos and Brooke Dillane will guide you and your partner through a series of yoga postures with fluid movements, gentle pressure and stretching. Traditional Thai Massage evolved from ancient traditions of Ayurveda, yoga and Thai Buddhism. This therapy approaches the human being as a physical, spiritual, mental and emotional system and works with the whole body, incorporating principles of martial arts, yoga and excellent body mechanics. Thai massage is designed to be beneficial for both the giver and the receiver. Learn how to work together and offer relaxation for your partner as you gently support them in postures designed to help relieve muscle tension, and then change places, to enjoy the same benefits. This workshop takes place Saturday, February 15th from 6:00-8:30pm. Class may exceed 2.5 hours, dependent upon class size and participation. Cost is only $50 per couple. Expressions of Grace Yoga, 5270 Northland Dr. NE, Suite D, Grand Rapids, MI 49525. Call 616-361-8580 or visit online to sign-up or for more details. See ad page 16.

Chiropractic Care at HCA


olistic Care Approach (HCA) is pleased to announce the addition of Linda S. Squires, DC to their staff of holistic practitioners. A practicing chiropractor since 1987, she recently relocated to Grand Rapids from Boston and found that her technique and treatment philosophy line up well with HCA allowing patients the access to

(616) 301-3000 1801 Breton SE Grand Rapids (across the street from the Breton Village Mall)

Treatment of

back pain neck pain headaches stress


chiropractic massage therapy spinal rehab traction

Spa Services

massage therapy steam therapy ayurvedic bodywork reiki, meditation

natural awakenings

February 2014


a holistic approach to better health. “When I treat a patient, I apply non-force techniques along with muscle work and energy therapies. Finding out the underlying issues for each patient helps to determine the overall best treatment path,” says Dr. Squires. Dr. Squires will be accepting new patients at Holistic Care Approach located at 3368 East Beltline Court in Grand Rapids starting on February 18th. You can contact her at or call 800-987-1368. For more information visit See HCA ad on page 13.

Climate Ride


he first-ever Climate Ride Midwest takes place September 6-9th and spans three states and connects two vibrant cities, while exploring some of the best cycling in the country. The trip begins in Grand Rapids, MI and ends in Chicago. The ride will


challenge, inspire, and surprise you as you pedal and connect with 150 other interesting climate and bicycle heroes. On Climate Ride Midwest you’ll spend four days cycling through Michigan, Indiana, and Illinois on a scenic journey that explores the back roads of Lake Michigan. You’ll discover amazing scenery, stay at comfortable retreats and classic summer camps, and experience the thrill of touring by bicycle with a community united by their passion for sustainability, renewable energy, and bicycles the ultimate carbon-free form of transportation. All details are taken care of by Climate Ride. You just focus on riding the 60-80 miles per day of planned routes on back roads that wind through the countryside. The Climate Ride support team will always be nearby to assist you, keep you happy and healthy, and make your ride worry-free. For more information on each day’s riding visit www.

2014 Run for the House 5K


he Ronald McDonald House of Mid-Michigan’s Run for the House 5K has been added to the 2014 Playmakers Greater Lansing Race Series. The Run for the House, presented by Delta Dental, takes place Saturday, March 22, 2014, and will include the 5K race as a part of the Greater Lansing Race Series as well as a 10K race, which is not part of the Playmakers Race Series. The 5K and 10K races begin at 10am starting at Delta Dental’s campus, 4100 Okemos Road in Okemos. The 5K Run will be the first race of the 2014 Greater Lansing Race Series.



“I’ve been using Sleep Apnea Relief for the past three months and now my pulminologist wants to pass it on to his patients who wear CPAP.” - Florence, NY, NY


Maybe you have Sleep Apnea. What about the person you sleep with?

SLEEP TIGHT TONIGHT, with Nature’s Rite! Hi, I’m Steve Frank and I suffered from Sleep Apnea for years. I couldn’t sleep with a CPAP machine strapped to my face. It was a serious problem. A scientist and engineer by training, I studied the problem for years and finally found that both obstructive and central sleep apnea are caused by a diminution of the signal from the brain to the diaphragm. This results in a breathing stoppage. When the brain senses this, it initiates a rapid deep inhalation which sucks the airway closed and ruins the entry to sleep. As an herbalist, I diligently pursued a group of herbs that would correct this problem. Well thank goodness, it works! My patent-pending formulation has helped thousands and I use it every night. Why haven’t you tried it?

You owe it to yourself & your spouse to try Sleep Apnea Relief! 8

West Michigan Edition 1-800-991-7088

The Run for the House also features a Kid’s Half Mile and a Kid’s Sprint for kids 12 and under starting at 9:30am. In addition to the kid’s races, the Run for the House features the Independent Bank Kid’s Carnival with games and activities for the whole family from 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Delta Dental campus. “The House is focused on families, and we want our events to reflect that,” says Matt Dugener, executive director for the Ronald McDonald house of Mid-Michigan. “This is a great chance for the whole family to get out and kick off spring in a healthy way that gives back to their community.” Registration is now open for all of the Run races. To register or for further run details, visit runforthehouse/.

kudos WGCU Public Media has recognized Natural Awakenings founder Sharon Bruckman as one of its 14 exceptional women for 2014 Makers: Women Who Make Southwest Florida. The award coincides with the magazine’s celebration of 20 Years in Publication, a milestone recognized nationwide.

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February 2014



Early Warnings of Heart Troubles Differ for Women


omen may worry more about breast cancer, but in reality, heart disease is the top killer of American women, claiming 300,000 lives a year, 7.5 times the number that die of breast cancer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Although heart disease is more often perceived as a men’s issue, since 1984 more women have died of heart disease than men. Part of the reason may be that women’s heart attacks can differ from men’s and the American Heart Association (AHA) warns that women often fail to recognize the symptoms, ranging from torso aches and pains and nausea to anxiety, shortness of breath, dizziness and extreme fatigue. They may experience subtle symptoms for months and write them off as byproducts of menopause, heartburn or effects of aging. The National Institutes of Health states that 43 percent of women that have heart attacks experience no chest pain. The difference between the more subtle signs of a heart attack in women and the more dramatic signs in men may help explain why 75 percent of men, prompted to act quickly, survive a first heart attack, while only 62 percent of women do, according to the AHA. “Research shows that women may not be diagnosed or treated as aggressively as men,” notes the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, part of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

Nostalgia Arms Us for the Future


aving lingering fond memories of happy times, once actually thought to be a psychiatric disorder, have now been confirmed as a healthy and, ultimately, positive activity. Most people experience nostalgia at least once a week and nearly half of those surveyed reported experiencing it three or four times a week, say researchers at England’s University of Southampton. When speaking wistfully of the past, individuals are usually reconstructing happy memories of family and friends, and typically become more optimistic about the future, reports lead researcher and Social Psychologist Constantine Sedikides, Ph.D., who observes, “Nostalgia makes us a bit more human.” The Southampton paper, presented to the American Psychological Association, meshes well with another study confirming that nostalgic memories inspire positive feelings of joy, high self-regard, belonging and meaningfulness in life. In two studies, social psychologists at North Dakota State University found that past fond memories help us become more self-confident and cope better in the present. “We see nostalgia as a psychological resource that people can dip into to conjure the evidence they need to assure themselves that they’re valued,” says lead researcher Clay Routledge. 10

West Michigan Edition

FDA Moves to Ban Trans Fats


eart-clogging trans fatty acids may soon be a thing of the past. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has taken the first step to remove trans fats from its GRAS (generally recognized as safe) list, effectively banning their use in food products. Trans fats, also known as hydrogenated vegetable oils, can be found in many processed foods, including baked goods, microwave popcorn, peanut butter, frozen pizza, margarine and coffee creamers. Created by adding hydrogen to liquid oils to turn them into a solid form, trans fats have been used to improve the texture, shelf life or flavor of foods. For more than a decade, numerous scientific studies have documented that trans fats raise dangerous LDL cholesterol and lower good HDL cholesterol. The FDA’s proposed ban would require the food industry to gradually phase out all trans fats, likely over several months or years, noting their threat to health. Commissioner Margaret Hamburg said the move could prevent 20,000 heart attacks a year and 7,000 deaths. Many food manufacturers have already phased out trans fats since new nutrition labeling requirements were introduced by the FDA in 2006; plus an increasing number of local laws have banned them.

A Different Breathalyzer Test for Heart Failure


imply blowing up a balloon may help doctors test heart function, according to a new study from the Cleveland Clinic. Although such examinations usually require expensive and sometimes invasive procedures, the new test can be done in a doctor’s office in 30 seconds, according to the research findings published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. The patient simply breathes into a Mylar balloon, similar to a party version, and the air is passed through a machine to produce an individual “breathprint”. Researchers determined that exhaled breath contains volatile organic compounds that can be easily analyzed to determine potential heart failure.

Zinc Orchestrates Immune Response


any have heard that zinc can stop a cold in its tracks, and new research from Ohio State University tells us why; it turns out that zinc gently taps the brakes on immune responses, slowing them down and preventing inflammation from spiraling out of control. The researchers’ work with human cells and animals found that zinc serves to balance the immune response within the cells so that the consequences of insufficient zinc at the time of an infection include excessive inflammation. Of all the zinc contained in our bodies, only about 10 percent of it is readily accessible to help fight off an infection, notes Daren Knoell, professor of pharmacy and internal medicine and lead author of the study, published in Cell Reports. The research team suggests that proper zinc balance is especially important in battling serious and potentially deadly infections. Zinc deficiency affects about 2 billion people worldwide, including an estimated 40 percent of the U.S. elderly.

Happy Marriage, Healthier Lives


University of Missouri expert says that people in happy marriages are more likely to rate their health better than their peers as they age. Evidently, engaging with one’s spouse builds a strong relationship that can improve spirits, promote feelings of well-being and lower stress. Analyzing data from 707 continuously married adults that participated in the Marital Instability Over the Life Course panel study, a 20-year nationwide research project begun in 1980, researchers found that married people have better mental and physical health and are less likely to develop chronic conditions than their unmarried, widowed or divorced peers. Thus, researchers recommended involving spouses and families in treatment for any illness. They further suggested that in cases of a strained marital relationship, improving marital harmony would also improve health.



ver the years, a broad range of research has confirmed that omega-3 fatty acids found in fatty fish like salmon, tuna and sardines promote heart and brain health. Now researchers at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine have found that taking fish oil supplements isn’t as effective at keeping blood pressure under control as eating an actual fish. The animal study published in the U.S. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that eating oily fish helped open ion channels, a complex series of membranes in the cells that line blood vessels, letting sodium, calcium and potassium in and out of those crucial cells and helping reduce blood pressure. Because fish oil supplements did not activate the ion channels, they didn’t reduce blood pressure in the same way.



aintaining healthy blood pressure is vital for long-term heart health, and scientists have now discovered evidence that a component of egg whites may have beneficial cardiovascular effects. Researchers from Clemson University, in South Carolina, found that a peptide in egg white, one of the building blocks of proteins, reduces blood pressure in animals about as much as a low dose of Captopril, a prescription medication for high blood pressure. The RVPSL peptide acts as a natural ACE inhibitor, functioning similar to the entire family of prescription medications that treat hypertension.

natural awakenings

February 2014


Food Insecurity in West Michigan


ith the recent cutbacks in food assistance, some families have no choice but to buy cheap, poor quality, high calorie junk food just to feed their children. A lot more people are resorting to food banks, especially near the end of the month. When families run out of food, it can have a direct affect on a child’s ability to concentrate in school. Hungry children and those eating junk food don’t feel well and they can be disruptive to the entire classroom. Every child in that class can be affected when attention is diverted away from the lesson. Hunger may be the ‘new norm’ in a majority of classrooms in the local area. Another problem with a cutback to food assistance is that some of the people it affects are on prescribed diets for diabetes, celiac disease and other conditions. The diet keeps them healthy. Without the right foods, emergencies can develop that may require hospital treatment. When people on medical diets run out of food, they become dependent on the hospital and community for their care. Ottawa County has a Food Policy Committee looking into the issues of food insecurity in our area. This is a group of professionals who have been given a task of improving the nutritional quality of the food at our local food banks and congregate feeding locations. Their goal is to get nutrient dense food on shelves and also have food available that is appropriate for diagnosed conditions. Plans are also underway for a teaching kitchen to offer cooking lessons to help people stretch their food budget with nutrient dense foods. Your help is needed. When you donate to local food banks, step it up a notch and focus on nutrient dense foods. By doing this you may indirectly be improving classroom education. You also may be helping some of our residents stay out of the emergency room. It’s great to have starchy foods filling shelves, but it would be even better to see more canned vegetables, fruit in water, canned and dried beans, tuna, brown rice and other foods that are loaded with food value. Pamela Zinn, Ottawa County Food Policy Council and founder of Holistic Nutrition Center, 90 West 8th St, Holland, MI. 49423. 616-355-5333 or See ad page 22.


West Michigan Edition

Traditional Health Benefits of Hawthorn Berries


erbs comprise a substantial part of traditional health care. Many may be consumed with food or infused into tea while others work well applied directly to skin. Examples include celery used for joint health, sage for digestion and rosemary for circulation. According to the American Journal of Health (2003), Hawthorn berries prove helpful in supporting aging vascular systems, which can lose elasticity and become increasingly rigid due to lack of copper in the diet which authors note, helps build flexible collagen; and can be exacerbated by poor Vitamin C intake which results in scarring on the inside of the blood vessels (Nature Genetics, Feb 2004). With the heart continually pumping blood through the body, a rigid vasculature structure can raise blood pressure, causing the heart to work harder and all the systems become stressed. Hawthorn berries work to tone the heart muscle and relax vasculature tissues, according to most sources of herbal information ( This two-phased effect is generally noticeable within the first week of taking Hawthorn berries (Whole berries are preferred to tinctures or extracts that fracture or leave out essential nutrition components that work best in combination). Hawthorn berries have even been associated with the correction of some arrhythmias, easing of congestive heart-failure symptoms and improvement in the condition of the interior walls of blood vessels, according to Pittler, Schmidt and Ernst in the American Journal of Medicine (2003). Hawthorn berries, like many other herbs, are available in supplement form under a variety of brand names. It’s a good practice to test a few and find the one that works best, then keep the bottle refrigerated to extend shelf life. Primary source: Steve Frank, founder and managing partner, Nature’s Rite LLC. For more information, email or visit See ad page 8.

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

Wild Valentines

Many Animals Mate for Life Humans like to think of themselves as unique when it comes to taking vows of togetherness. But a surprising number of other species in the animal kingdom provide sterling examples of fidelity, monogamy and lifelong pairing. Gibbons, of the ape family, are the nearest relatives to humans that mate for life. They form extremely strong pairings and both sexes are on relatively equal footing in their relationships. Bald eagles, our national emblem, typically mate for life, except in the event of a partner’s inability to procreate. Wolves, often portrayed as tricksters in folklore, conduct a family life more loyal than many human relationships. Wolf packs typically comprise a male, a female and their offspring, making them akin to a human nuclear family. Swans form monogamous pair bonds that last for many years or even for life. Their loyalty is so storied that the image of two swans swimming with their necks entwined in the shape of a heart has become a universal symbol of true love. French angelfish are seldom found far from their mate, because they live, travel and even hunt in pairs. The fish form monogamous relationships that often last as long as both individuals are alive. In fact, they act as a team to vigorously defend their territory against neighboring pairs. Other examples include albatrosses, African antelopes, black vultures, Malagasy giant rats, prairie voles, sandhill cranes, termites and, of course, turtle doves. To view images, visit and MatesSlideshow.

Early Detection Saves Lives Thermography

Sweet Solution

Turning Agri-Waste to Good Use Cement that incorporates waste ash from sugar production is not only stronger than ordinary cement, it also qualifies as a greener building material. Researchers at the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen, in Denmark, have found that cement made with sugar cane ash mixed in is stronger, can withstand higher pressure and crumbles less than ordinary cement. In countries where sugar cane is grown, such as Cuba and Brazil, this agricultural waste product has been added to cement for years. Extracting sugar from the cane typically leaves a lot of fiber waste that is burned into ash, discarded and then requires disposal. Using sugar cane ash also can lower the energy use and carbon footprint of cement production. Heloisa Bordallo, a researcher at the Institute, comments, “You are saving both CO2 emissions and raw materials.� Source:

The addition of Thermography to the front line of breast health brings a great deal of good news for women.

Painless ~ No Compression ~ No Radiation

Call to Set up Your Appointment 3368 Beltline Ct NE, Grand Rapids 616-361-9221

natural awakenings

February 2014


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Shop Class Teaches Sustainability

Call Today for $30 off an 8-Week Session Amy Oostveen

616.723.7350 ~ 5366 Plainfield Ave NE Grand Rapids, MI. 49525

Tip Of The Month Before composting your used tea bags use them one last time while soaking in a bath. Tea has many health benefits for the outside of your body as well as drinking.

According to a report in The Boston Globe, some American schools regret that they replaced woodshops with high-tech educational forums in the 1990s. Shop class is valuable for students that may underperform in traditional academic settings and empowers them to learn and produce tangible results. Doug Stowe, a woodworker and teacher in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, writes in, “Our society has inadvertently created a dependent generation of young people that don’t know how to fix things and lack even the most basic manual competence. Putting girls and boys into shop class would challenge rampant consumerism because a person is less inclined to throw out a piece of furniture and buy a replacement if they know how to fix it. “With so many cheap imports flooding stores, it’s difficult for students to gain perspective on the resources and time required to create a piece of furniture, so shop class can teach students to appreciate long-lasting quality and its accompanying fair price tag. In this way, shop class is linked to sustainability.” Source:

Jumpin’ Jellyfish

Numbers Explode with Ocean Warming and Overfishing Favorite destination beach resorts around the world have seen huge increases in jellyfish “bloom” activity. “Jellyfish and tourism are not happy bedfellows,” says Dr. Lisa-ann Gershwin, Ph.D., a pioneering marine biologist and author of Stung! On Jellyfish Blooms and the Future of the Ocean. “In Florida, it’s not uncommon in recent years for a half a million people to be stung during an outbreak.” A report, Review of Jellyfish Blooms in the Mediterranean and Black Sea, written by Fernando Borea for the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean and the United Nations, cites both global warming and overfishing, which removes jellyfish predators, as causes for recent jellyfish population explosions. Of the more than 2,000 species of jellyfish swimming through the world’s waters, most are completely harmless. However, human contact with some types can cause excruciating pain, and the box jellyfish is among the handful of species that have caused fatalities around the globe. Gershwin says, “Australia is upfront about its jellyfish dangers and also assertive in safety management, whereas other places have them, but may understand less about them or in some cases, just don’t want to say. Tourists need to be aware of local hazards and not expect to necessarily be provided with pertinent information.” Source: CNN


West Michigan Edition

ecotip Beyond Bling

True Treasures Avert Eco-Harm Done right, Valentine’s Day and gifts of jewelry go together like love and marriage. Those that have no desire to support the unsafe worker conditions, widespread price fixing and waste associated with gold mining, also linked to pollution, financing wars and terrorism, look for better options. They wish to have no part in underwriting standard ring-making practices which, according to the Worldwatch Institute, create tons of toxic mining waste that can persist for decades and enter the food chain. Happily, there are far more ethical choices. Alternate routes. Among many sustainable and socially responsible options, jewelry made from recycled gold, silver and titanium plus synthetic gemstones is offered by GreenKarat ( while Brilliant Earth ( provides antiques and also custom makes or helps customers create their own treasured gifts utilizing minerals from pure sources; the company also donates 5 percent of its profits to support communities that have suffered from unethical industry practices. Heirlooms. A son or grandson gifting a grandmother’s or mother’s cherished piece of jewelry to a spouse or girlfriend expresses a tradition of love and family connectivity, plus gives new life to precious items. Michelle Ercanbrack, a family historian at, recommends using a family-treasured diamond in a more modern setting or making a ring into a pendant. “Heirlooms link the present to the past—they are part of a family narrative that can increase the present generation’s sense of belonging and identity,” she says. Native American jewelry. Deborah Nelson, owner of Silver Eagle Gallery, in Naples, Florida, and Highlands, North Carolina, attests that artful jewelry by Native Americans supports their culture and forges a connection to Americana with timeless appeal. Bracelets made by Navajo Indians incorporate turquoise pieces often linked together or set in mosaic form on a sterling band. Sterling silver and golden amber sunburst rings also make good gifts. “The handmade attention to detail is a stark contrast to what’s cast in a mold overseas,” says Nelson.

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February 2014


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All the Time in the World Transforming Anxiety into Artistry by Marney K. Makridakis


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sk American adults if they’re anxious about time and they’ll likely say yes. Our society even deems it expected, acceptable and normal to experience such stress, but is it necessary? It’s helpful to explore what is at the root of our problems with time and why we believe we benefit from worrying and complaining about it. Both are good first steps to releasing ourselves from the drama of getting caught up in and blaming time as a convenient catchall. Which of the following rationales apply to us personally? “If I can complain about being busy, I don’t have to examine other areas in my life.” “My schedule is wrapped up with my self-esteem; being ‘too busy’ means that I’m successful.” “Worrying about time gives me something to talk about.” “I don’t plan things I might enjoy because it can be too demanding or even scary—it just feels easier and safer to be bored.” “Worrying about time is a convenient excuse for not following my dreams.” Once we identify the perceived payoffs from worrying about time, we can see them for what they are: illusions that keep us from living our true potential. Awareness allows us to make a different choice and to partner with

time, instead of working against it. Einstein proved that time is subjective, illustrated every time we compare an hour in a dentist’s chair to an hour in the company of a loved one. Time behaves and feels differently based on many variables, like emotion, engagement, flow, desire, interest, pain and pleasure. Our perspective counts. With capricious factors dancing around in our every moment, we can see why time isn’t constant. Happily, we can use the relative nature of time to our advantage and choose what our relationship with it will be. Consider that with each instance we choose how we talk about, measure and experience time, we are actually creating a new paradigm of time for ourselves. We can relinquish general views and limitations of time that hinder us and emerge into the possibilities of time as anything but a defined line. It can be a vibrant, completely moldable, layered, multifaceted work of art that we may adapt as we wish, to custom design each and every day. Marney K. Makridakis of Dallas, TX, is the author of Creating Time: Using Creativity to Reinvent the Clock and Reclaim Your Life. She founded Artella magazine, the ARTbundance philosophy and the community.

natural awakenings

February 2014



Cardiac Care for Pets How to Keep Little Hearts Humming by Dr. Shawn Messonnier

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ymptoms that suggest a dog or cat’s heart is not pumping effectively include coughing and fatigue from light exercise. Before the signs are evident, it is far better to check for heart disease during regular twice-yearly visits to the veterinarian. Using a stethoscope, a skilled doctor can pick up telltale heart murmurs during the examination. A fairly common problem with cats, heart disease tends to occur as cardiomyopathy, an issue with the heart muscle. In most dogs, where cardiomyopathy is rare, it usually involves damaged heart valves, resulting in “leaks” that allow blood to flow in both directions. Upon an initial diagnosis of heart disease, one of two mistakes in treatment routinely occur: Either a doctor prescribes strong cardiac medications to “prevent” heart failure from happening (even though no medication has been shown to prevent heart failure), or he takes a wait-and-see approach, only intervening when the disease progresses to irreversible heart failure. The better approach is to do further testing and evaluation at the first sign of a murmur, including chest X-rays, an electrocardiogram (EKG) and a cardiac ultrasound to classify the stage of the disease and determine if conventional medications can help. Follow-up visits every six

months allow the doctor to identify the point at which heart disease has progressed toward impending heart failure. In general, pets with either a diseased or failing heart can benefit from supplements. Individual regimens vary, based on the nature of the patient’s case.


Fish oil contains beneficial docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) unsaturated omega-3 fatty acids. The principle metabolites derived from the metabolism of EPA and DHA tend to be anti-inflammatory. Contrariwise, omega-6 fatty acids, which are found in warm-weather vegetable oils, produce pro-inflammatory mediators. Because omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids compete with each other to be converted to active metabolites (pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory) in the body, decreasing the

intake of omega-6 fatty acids and/or increasing dietary omega-3 fatty acid levels, available through fish oil, is generally considered beneficial. The differing numbers identifying omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids simply refer to where the carbon-carbon double bonds are positioned in the molecules. Supplementing with fish oil may also reduce the occurrence of atherosclerosis, thrombosis, coronary heart disease, arrhythmias, heart failure and sudden cardiac death by decreasing inflammation throughout the body, including in the heart.

Coenzyme Q-10

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), also known as ubiquinol or ubiquinone, is a naturally occurring antioxidant synthesized in most tissues in the body. The highest concentrations are in the heart, kidneys, liver and pancreas. In the diet, CoQ10 is found in foods such as organ meats, poultry, fish, meat, nuts, soybean oil, fruits, vegetables, eggs and dairy products. The Professional’s Handbook of Complementary & Alternative Medicines explains that CoQ10 is used in electron transport in mitochondria—small organelles inside cells that convert carbohydrates and fats into energy. It reports that studies in people with hypertension showed a reduction in systolic blood pressure through CoQ10 supplementation. Benefits of such therapy studied in people with a heart that has failed in its pumping ability showed increased improved heart function and proper dilation of the blood vessels for improved circulation. It is proving to be one of the best nutrients to help an ailing heart.


The herb hawthorn is highly regarded for its suitability in the treatment of heart disease due to its flavonoid and other antioxidant content. It provides several beneficial effects for the heart—helping to maintain a normal heart rhythm with decreased risk of arrhythmias; bolstering the force of heart muscle contraction; increasing coronary blood flow; and decreasing the organ’s energy demands. It acts like angiotensin-1-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors such as the medicine Enalapril, used to help regulate blood pressure and reduce the workload of a failing heart. While other therapies can be used to help pet heart patients, these three are a sound starting point. In some cases, they may be suitable instead of medications that can cause side effects to the kidney and liver, or at least allow for smaller doses. Natural remedies provide a gentler alternative. Shawn Messonnier, a doctor of veterinary medicine practicing in Plano, TX, is the award-winning author of The Natural Health Bible for Dogs & Cats and Unexpected Miracles: Hope and Holistic Healing for Pets. For more information, visit natural awakenings

February 2014


Your surroundings subtly affect your emotional, physical and mental state.


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Done right, our home serves as an empowering foundation for wellbeing. Aligning with four key pillars of harmony will facilitate an inspired, healthy and vibrant home that supports body, mind and spirit.

Mainstays of a Home in Harmony

Creating an inspired and healthy home environment soothes the soul and recharges our proverbial batteries. Making healthful choices in the products we use and consume helps ensure we retain a healthy body and vibrant living in an era when we are inundated with disease-producing toxins in our homes, food, air and water. Applying simple solutions to slow down helps us maintain a calm mind amidst the frenetic pace of daily life. Periodically unplugging from the instant demands of technology is a good first step. Tuning into our life purpose and sharing it with others allows us to shine. We naturally radiate our inner light in ever-expanding ways.

Mindful Strategies

A study published by the International Academy for Design and Health shows 20

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that because our home influences us on many levels, the setting is continually either supporting or depleting its occupants. Consciously creating and sustaining a nurturing environment fortifies the roots from which family members evolve and grow. Experience shows us how improving our immediate surroundings, ranging from our wardrobe to household furnishings, helps to manifest positive internal transformations. The activity likewise reflects our inner landscape, allowing us to take a step back and observe how we are changing and hope to change. That’s why we periodically feel impelled to clear unsettling clutter from our private spaces. It’s an irritant that disrupts order and our sense of beauty; even when it’s stashed in drawers and closets, we still know it’s there. It competes for attention and distracts our focus. A recently relocated design client felt that her new house was beautiful, but didn’t feel like a home. The woman

explained that when she was there, she was shorttempered with her kids, a sharp contrast to her usual demeanor. She yearned to love her home, enjoy her kids and live vibrantly. A key part of the solution was tackling the home’s mudroom entrance that was cluttered with the kids’ detritus, a condition that irritated her the minute she walked through the door. Many of the home products we buy contain disquieting, hidden elements. Understanding which ingredients are hazardous is imperative to maintaining a safe home environment. Key decisions range from the choice of carpets, couches and bedding to cleaning products, laundry solutions and air fresheners. Knowing the products we use are healthful enhances peace of mind. As one homeowner said, “I am so relieved to have a better understanding of what products I shouldn’t bring home. I was so scared before that I just ignored the idea that chemicals could be harmful.” Being informed and alert to the composition of the items we bring into our home—including food— is vital. More than 80,000 chemicals make up the ingredients in commonly available products that end up in the typical American home, and a large portion of them are toxic. Nearly 20 percent of the chemicals are not divulged, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA also reports that the average person holds more than 700 toxic chemicals in their body. We inhale myriad chemical byproducts that fill the air both indoors and out, plus ingest numerous toxins in the foods and beverages we consume. Once absorbed, they remain in the body unless flushed out, throwing it out of balance and, as widespread research shows, causing a broad range of diseases. reports that the psychological impacts of feeling stressed, helpless and overwhelmed by the fear of lurking poisons can directly influence our physical health. Making informed choices can alleviate such feelings. It only requires taking a series of small and manageable, progressive steps to create our own style of a healthy and harmonious home life. On a spiritual level, we can rest assured that such caring for our inner temple and larger environment supports a greater good and fosters a deeper connection to life’s Source. We feel more physically, psychologically and spiritually vibrant. Our home becomes a vital wellspring that, cleaned and furnished with holistic awareness, continually refreshes us. Christa O’Leary is founder and CEO of Home in Harmony, Inc., combining expertise in marriage and family therapy, interior design and green living. Her book, Home in Harmony Lifestyle: Designing an Inspired Life, will be released in November. Connect at

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Explore ways that individuals, organizations, and communities can build a more sustainable future. This year’s opening keynote presentation will be from Douglas Jester of 5 Lakes Energy. Jester will discuss “Renewable Energy in Michigan’s Near Future.” The program closes with Tony Kaufman of Lake Village Homestead Farm who will speak about what it means to be part of a sustainable community for 42 years. Breakout sessions include:  Permaculture: Resilience and Abundance  Attracting Butterflies with Native Plants  Anaerobic Digestion—An Untapped Renewable Energy  The Journey to Zero Waste at Aquinas College  Advocating for Water Quality in Southwest Michigan Before February 21: Members $35 l Non-Members $45 l Students $20 After February 21: Members $40 l Non-Members $50 l Students $25

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February 2014


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West Michigan Edition

by Debra Melani


fter years of experiencing love going sour, Katherine Woodward Thomas set a goal: She would marry her soul mate within a year. Her quest inspired a surprising awakening that spurred her to look deep inside for the key that would unblock love. Thomas realized the transformation that enabled her success involved clear steps that could help anyone. Today, the licensed psychotherapist and relationship expert has guided thousands toward successful relationships via her national bestseller, Calling in “The One”: 7 Weeks to Attract the Love of Your Life, and subsequent books and seminars.

What catalyzed your Calling in “The One” professional journey? I was 41, a card-carrying member of one of America’s largest-growing groups—the never-marrieds. I had bought into the cultural belief that a woman my age had little chance of finding a great husband. I felt anxious and resigned, trying to come to terms with it, but sad inside. Fortunately, at the time, I was part of a small group supportive of each other’s intentions. So I set the outrageous intention that I would be engaged by my next birthday. I also recognized my longstanding pattern of attracting unavailable men who were engaged, married or alcoholics. A woman in the group said, “Katherine, I will hold that intention with you if you permit me to

hold you accountable to be the woman you would need to be in order to fulfill it.” Her wake-up call turned my focus from running out to find love to going within to discover the barriers I had against it. Thus I began what became the Calling in “The One” process.

How does it differ from other approaches to finding love? Many approaches focus on the external reasons love is elusive, such as all the good men are taken, men don’t like powerful women or just not having met the right person. This approach focuses more on the internal reasons—going within to discover and release one’s own conscious and unconscious barriers. For most of us, a gap exists between how much we think we want love and how much we are actually open and ready to receive it. Until we bridge that gap, we will covertly keep love at bay, and won’t even realize we are doing it.

What are the most common hidden barriers to love? One hidden barrier is resentment. We only resent people to the extent that we’ve given our power away to them. Uncover your role in what happened. Even if it was 97 percent their fault and 3 percent yours, zero in on that 3 percent, because you’ll only be able to trust yourself to love again once you’ve taken that responsibility. If you still feel resentful, you have not yet evolved beyond the person you were before.

Another centers on old agreements—the spoken and unspoken, agreements we make, usually in an emotional time—such as “I’m never going to let myself get hurt again” or “I’ll never love anyone the way I love you.” Such agreements live in our lives as intentions. They may no longer be conscious, yet still set our course. Another has to do with toxic relational dynamics. To find the best partnership, you need to be your best self. Maintaining a toxic dynamic drains personal power, making it hard to move forward in life. It’s vital to evolve out of this debilitating dynamic so you are in the center of your power everywhere in life. The fourth area, and probably the most important, revolves around the core beliefs you hold about both yourself and others. You might have a reasonably clear sense of yourself around money, career and friendship, but your core love identity might cause you to believe yourself unworthy of a quality partner. Identifying and challenging these beliefs is critical in learning how to break free from them, helping to raise your value in your own eyes and thus in others.

You believe the best way to find a needle in a haystack is to become magnetic and allow that needle to find you. How does one become magnetic to love? Being centered in the truth of your own value and the real possibilities you hold for true love is wildly attractive. Love yearns to embrace us, but can’t come to us if it can’t come through us. When we shift into this place of possibility, we can become profoundly magnetic to love.

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February 2014


RETHINKING HEART HEALTH Pioneering Doctors and Patients Reinvent Cardio Care by Linda Sechrist


n 1977, Dr. Dean Ornish began to think beyond an allopathic medicine paradigm that defined the reversal of cardiovascular disease, including coronary heart disease (CHD) and the hypertensive diseases such as heart failure and stroke, as physiologically implausible. Undaunted by the challenge of funding his research, he pushed forward. Results of his foundational 1986 to 1992 Lifestyle Heart Trial, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, proved that individuals with preexisting coronary atherosclerosis that make intensive, integrated lifestyle changes can begin to experience improvements in their condition after as little as one year without using lipid-lowering drugs. Based on his 30-plus years of clinical research, Ornish and his colleagues further showed that five years of following proper nutrition, fitness and stress


West Michigan Edition

management—which must include love and support—can reduce symptoms of CHD and other chronic conditions. He remarks in Love & Survival: 8 Pathways to Intimacy and Health that despite numerous studies showing a medical basis for its occurrence, the reason why CHD is reversible is still the subject of debate. Ornish’s work has paved the way for a growing corps of pioneering integrative physicians successfully collaborating with patients to reduce the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States.

Plaque the Culprit

The cause of cardiovascular disease is arterial plaque, a fine layer of fatty material that forms within the arteries and blocks blood flow. It is largely the result of food and activity choices, plus the degree of inflammation in the arteries. Dr. Steven Masley’s three keys

to improving heart health highlighted in his book, The 30-Day Heart Tune-Up, and an upcoming PBS special, concern lifestyle factors capable of shrinking plaque, improving circulation and strengthening the heartbeat. “Abnormal plaque growth is preventable 90 percent of the time,” states the president of Masley Optimal Health Center, in St. Petersburg, Florida. While conducting research on the heart health of nearly 1,000 patients over a period of 20 years, Masley suspected that the traditional assessment approach of measuring cholesterol, blood sugar and blood pressure didn’t effectively address the biochemistry within arteries. Testing intima-media thickness (IMT) using a simple 10-minute external ultrasound confirmed it. The test bounces high-frequency sound waves to measure the thickness of the carotid arteries’ innermost two layers on either side of the neck. “This valuable tool allows for an estimate of arterial age. A healthy, young cardiovascular system has less plaque and an unhealthy, old one has more,” advises Masley. IMT, a useful tool for preventing future heart attacks and strokes, differs from standard carotid Doppler ultrasound, which looks for artery obstructions suggesting surgery. A practitioner of functional medicine, Masley explains heart-related diagnoses differently than his allopathic counterparts. “Rather than diagnosing high blood pressure as hypertension, I categorize it as not enough exercise, not enough fruits and vegetables, high emotional stress and excessive body fat.” To optimize heart health, Masley employs a broad, holistic matrix of options that enhance the cardiovascular system—the interactions among diet, activity level, weight, environmental toxins, hormones, stress and biochemical factors such as blood sugar control and inflammation levels. He prescribes heart-healing foods that simultaneously help to manage the aging process, following a customized, heart-friendly supplement plan; engaging in exercise that strengthens the heart and arteries; and learning how to better manage stress. He contends that cardiovascular

Love and intimacy are at the root of what makes us sick and what makes us well, what causes sadness and what brings happiness, what makes us suffer and what leads to healing. ~ Dr. Dean Ornish, Love & Survival events remain the top cause of death because individuals are largely unaware of treatment options before they get into trouble. More, “Most people falsely assume that their condition has been fixed with a medical procedure and/or drugs, and that a lifestyle change isn’t necessary.”

Cholesterol’s Bad Rap

Dr. Stephen Sinatra, an integrative cardiologist, anti-aging specialist and bioenergetics psychotherapist in Manchester, Connecticut, has also shifted his heart health paradigm. He now prescribes a combination of conventional medicine, food, supplements, mind/body strategies and natural healing methods. His book, Heartbreak and Heart Disease: A Mind/Body Prescription for Healing the Heart, relates many inspiring case histories that address the psycho-emotional component of heart health and illustrate how to repair and reopen a broken heart by releasing long-repressed emotions. Following two years of Gestalt psychotherapy training and seven years of bioenergetics training, Sinatra likewise realized that heartbreak was one of the major causes of heart disease. An expert in the field of natural cardiology, he had once believed that cholesterol and fat were the primary causes before 40 years of treatment research taught him otherwise. “Cholesterol is not the reason for heart disease,” advises Sinatra, founder of and author of The Great Cholesterol Myth. “The body produces and needs cholesterol to convert sunlight to vitamin D, to make sex hormones, vital semipermeable membranes for the body’s trillions of cells, plus bile salts for digestion. Even your brain makes and uses cholesterol to build connections between the neurons that facilitate learning and memory.”

Real Perpetrators

Sinatra names the real perpetrators of heart disease—stress, inflammation and overeating sugar and processed foods containing saturated fat. He counsels that the heart benefits less from a lowfat, high-carbohydrate diet than one low in carbohydrates and higher in healthy fats, overturning widespread medical mantras. Also, a high-fructose, high-grain carbohydrate diet raises triglycerides, increases the risk of metabolic syndrome and contributes to insulin resistance, causing the liver to produce more cholesterol, as well as more inflammatory, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL) particles, all of which increase the risk for CHD, diabetes and stroke. The American Heart Association (AHA) estimates that metabolic syndrome, which affects nearly 35 percent of American adults, may overtake smoking as the leading risk factor for CHD. The AHA currently is focused on increasing awareness that heart disease is the number one killer of women. Its Go Red for Women campaign emphasizes the vital need to take preventive basic actions, including adopting an exercise routine, healthier diet and doctor visits for appropriate non-invasive tests.

A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination. Nelson Mandela

Essential Spirit

Dr. James Forleo, a chiropractor in Durango, Colorado, with 30-plus years of clinical experience, maintains that health is simple, disease is complicated (also the title of his book). He counsels patients, “If mental stress is present in your life, you owe it to your cardiovascular system to change to a healthier lifestyle. Your life may depend on it.” Forleo has recognized that an individual’s state of mind can be a big help or hindrance in maintaining a healthy heart. “The heart represents a different realm of experience entirely, one natural awakenings

February 2014


It is no coincidence that we address our physical and emotional heart by the same name. Our physical heart usually reflects the state of our emotional heart, and vice versa. ~ Dr. James Forleo that cannot be explained by logic and reason,” comments Forleo. He champions the link between maintaining normal spinal function and healthy heart function, along with supporting the inner presence of Spirit, which he calls the healthy heart’s ultimate elixir. “Its essence relaxes the heart, opens the mind to possibilities greater than itself and provides the perspective that the heart and the mind are complementary,” he observes. He explains that when our emotions get bottled up, something in our heart or circulation has to give. “If you or someone you know experiences heart problems, chances are that unresolved emotions lie directly below the surface,” he says. “There are exceptions, and genetic problems can explain many heart defects, but heart problems don’t usually show up unless emotions are involved.” Forleo’s concept is supported by the work of Rollin McCraty, Ph.D., executive vice president and director of research at California’s Institute


West Michigan Edition

of HeartMath. His research papers include The Energetic Heart: Bioelectromagnetic Interactions Within and Between People. “Today, evidence suggests that the heart may play a particularly important role in emotional experience. Research in the relatively new discipline of neurocardiology has confirmed that the heart is a sensory organ and acts as a sophisticated information encoding and processing center that learns, remembers and makes independent functional decisions that don’t involve the cerebral cortex,” advises McCraty.

To Happy Hearts

Pioneering integrative medical doctors Masley, Sinatra, Forleo and Mona Lisa Schultz, who also holds a Ph.D. in behavioral neuroscience, agree that in matters of heart disease, emotions take center stage. Schultz, who recently co-authored All is Well: Heal Your Body with Medicine, Affirmations and Intuition, with Louise L. Hay, a leading founder of the self-help movement,

applies her 25 years of experience as a medical intuitive with the best of Western clinical science, brain research and energy medicine. Shultz observes, “Every illness has an emotional component, which tells us intuitively that something or someone in our life or environment is out of balance and needs to be addressed. Our use of language—such as frustration makes our heart race, anger boils our blood—and our common sense are telling us what we don’t need more studies to confirm. If we can’t deal with our anger in a timely fashion, name our feelings, respond effectively and release them, we increase our chance of illness, ranging from hypertension to cardiovascular events.” According to the American Journal of Cardiology, the U.S. spends 10 percent of all healthcare dollars for cardiovascular disease prevention and medical management versus 90 percent on medical treatment procedures and hospital care. For individuals interested in taking charge of their heart health, working with a physician that embraces the emerging paradigm of integrative lifestyle changes and prevention can be a drug-free, lifesaving decision. Linda Sechrist is the senior staff writer for Natural Awakenings. Visit for full interviews.



by Amanda Merritt


ome people plant seeds in a garden; others plant seeds in people’s lives. Elle Ingalls, CEO and founder of PressureFree Living, LLC is easily recognized as the latter upon even the first few minutes a person interacts with her. Originally a high school athlete from New Hampshire, Ingalls made her way to Michigan to study at the University of Michigan where she obtained her Bachelor of Musical Arts, her Master of Music as well as her Master of Business Administration. The well-educated Ingalls began her journey pursuing music, and despite her very obvious talent, her life took her in a different direction. When two of her three sons asked her to hit the dugout with their high school baseball team to help the team perform better as athletes, Ingalls found her gift, her ability to provide the impetus for the true potential to come out of people. Once a high school athlete herself, Ingalls was reminded of when she was 17, injured, and assisting her track coach by giving her teammates the right words to help them perform as well as they could and to avoid the stresses of being an athlete. Of her knack for helping people in this way, Ingalls said, “It’s just something that’s very natural to me. It’s almost painful for me to see people that are trapped by stress.” This led her to enter into business in April of 2010, and set out to help as many people as possible with Pressure-Free Living, LLC, which essentially offers an on-the-go method to help people remain free of releasing stress hormones. Ingalls’ unique method can be used anywhere, anytime for any type of pressure that may get in the way, and her three primary reasons for offering her services include assisting in enhancing performance (i.e. athletic or academic), health, and relationships. Working both one-on-one and with groups, Ingalls’ flexible six week course is a blend of life coaching and a class. It offers the answers on how to stop stress at its source before it causes a release of hormones. If those hormones are released, Ingalls informed, it takes a female 24 hours to cleanse herself of the stress, and a male nine hours to do so. Stopping the stress at the source (that being the heart) avoids this process, allowing people to craft their lives as they please, providing room for much more potential. Ingalls also noted that it’s typical for people to trigger those hormones about something at least once a day, proving the need for this method of stress management.

Passionate about making a change, Ingalls said, “Stress is what’s destroying our society.” People are allowing themselves to get worked up over numerous things, which is both harmful and unnecessary. With Ingalls’ tools in tote, high school students have improved their academic and athletic performances, helping them get scholarships and lead better, stress free lives. College students have lessened their test anxiety. Adults have bettered their relationships at home and at work. Changes have been made in the lives of many, many people. Ingalls works with people ages 12 and up, all over the country, meeting in her own home office, the homes of others, businesses, as well as speaking engagements. She shared, “I like working with anyone who has a desire to experience a greater potential within themselves. The people who are real seekers are the ones I know that will use my tools.” The world needs happier, less stressed people, and Ingalls is ready to plant the seeds in those that are willing to begin making the change within themselves to become those people. Pressure-Free Living offers a simple way to make a big change and move from stress to success. It’s time to take the pressure off. For more information on Pressure-Free Living, LLC contact Elle Ingalls at 269-832-3573, email or visit See ad, page 9. Amanda Merritt is a frequent contributor to Natural Awakenings Magazine. You can contact her at mandi.

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February 2014


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Bringing Out the Best in Introverts by Meredith Montgomery


abrielle Perillo’s daughter, A’ngel, 11, is a deep thinker, compassionate for all beings (human and not), a defender of justice, spiritual and extremely creative. She pursues any subject she studies with focus and passion. Although other children are naturally drawn to her, A’ngel, a born introvert, generally prefers to play quietly on her own. At first, her mother worried that her daughter was being insensitive to others and not paying attention to her surroundings. But once Mom released her own emotional projections, she recognized how happy her daughter is in her own space and began to appreciate the benefits of this independence. At least a third of Americans are introverts, yet many parents are prone to mischaracterize their more private children as antisocial, selfcentered and lonely. Susan Cain, a former corporate attorney and author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, explains, “Introverts are not antisocial, they just prefer socializing in lower-key ways.” They usually form a few deep and intimate

relationships compared to extroverts that often cultivate many friends. Christine Fonseca, an educational psychologist and author of Quiet Kids, notes the danger in misunderstanding a child’s hesitancy or reserved nature. “Kids can benefit from understanding who they are and what it means to be an introvert. Otherwise, they may compare themselves to their extrovert friends and feel deficient.” Introverts own many exceptional qualities. They tend to be deep thinkers able to work independently in highly creative and innovative ways. They may prefer to learn a lot about a few topics instead of a little about many different areas. Often described as empathetic, conscientious and self-aware, introverts make authentic leaders and effective managers as adults. Introvert and extrovert temperaments are distinguished by how individuals generate energy. Introverts process the world and recharge through solitude; many can flourish in social situations as long as they can rejuvenate by being on their own. Fonseca notes a defining difference in physiol-

ogy. “Introverts use part of the nervous system that has a long pathway from point A to point B, so it takes them longer to process information.” Cain adds, “Introverts also usually have a longer runway than others, so it takes them longer to take off and fly. It’s crucial that the message they’re receiving from parents and teachers is, ‘That’s okay.’” It’s important that parents balance how they honor a child’s preferences with teaching them skills to thrive. “Don’t expect them to follow the gang,” says Cain. “Instead, encourage them to follow their passions.” Parents can empower children with tools to increase their comfort zone. If youngsters have difficulty speaking up in class, it helps to prepare them with what they want to say beforehand. Cain notes that this lessens anxiety and when they are able to speak up, they’ll feel like part of the class. Simple tips can offer relief in uncomfortable social situations. Perillo reinforces social manners before she and

A’ngel arrive at an event. She focuses on the greetings, reminding her to extend her hand first, speak clearly, make eye contact and smile. Also, because self-promotion doesn’t come naturally to introverts, they often need coaching to highlight their own assets when applying for a club, college or job. Fonseca encourages families to embrace digital technology. She observes, “Most introverts are extroverts online. While face-to-face communication tends to drain them, that doesn’t happen as much online, plus it’s easier to feel more adept socially there.” They’ll still need to disconnect and renew after socializing online, so it’s important to set usage boundaries. Fonseca, who has one introverted and one extroverted child, facilitates dialogue that teaches each of them to communicate with their peers about their needs. “My introvert tells her extrovert friends not to take offense if she needs to take quiet time alone. They offer each other a perspective that

makes their own point of view more well-rounded.” From a neuropsychological perspective, introverts and extroverts can learn from each other, as well. According to Fonseca, extroverts that habitually activate their sympathetic nervous system (“fight-or-flight”) can experience burnout if they don’t learn how to slow down and be calm. However, introverts, relying mostly on their parasympathetic system (“rest and digest”), can be overly calm and slow to respond to situations. Fonseca notes, “It’s not about one temperament being more positive than the other; it’s about understanding who everyone is, their authentic self and finding balance.” Meredith Montgomery is the publisher of Natural Awakenings Mobile/Baldwin, AL (

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February 2014



Simple Stress Busters Natural Ways to Slide into a State of Calmness by Kathleen Barnes


e all encounter everyday stressors and usually find our own ways of defusing them. However, when chronic stress remains unresolved, it extracts a toll on health that may range from heart disease and stroke to obesity, gastrointestinal problems and depression. Thankfully, Natural Awakenings has uncovered inviting ways to regularly de-stress that naturally make us feel good. Here are some refreshing ideas for immediate rest and relaxation. Eat Mindfully. Chocolate can be an excellent antidote to stress-related binge eating, advises Dr. Susan Lord, an integrative physician in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, who leads mind-body medicine programs at the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health, in Stockbridge. “We rarely eat mindfully,” comments Lord. “We’re usually gulping down our food while watching TV, arguing with the kids or reading a book.” She often leads a meditation in which participants are allotted one small piece of chocolate that they must eat slowly and consciously. “Most people discover they have never really tasted their food,” she says. “They are pleasantly surprised to discover that they feel satiated and satisfied on every level.” Lord’s teaching is supported by a study from an Oregon Research Institute affiliate in Albuquerque, New Mexico, showing that people lost


West Michigan Edition

significant amounts of weight by eating slowly and mindfully. Accordingly, Kripalu has encouraged eating in silence for nearly 40 years, a practice Lord heartily recommends to her patients for one meal a day. Walk a labyrinth. A meditative walk on a labyrinth may be just what the doctor ordered, says physician Esther Sternberg, professor of medicine and research director at the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona, in Tucson. “A labyrinth differs from a maze, which has high walls and many dead ends,” notes Sternberg. “Walking a maze is inevitably stressful; a labyrinth has the exact opposite effect. There is only one path in and one path out. You go to the middle, meditate and walk back out. It’s a perfectly calming walking meditation.” In physiological terms, Sternberg explains, the deep breathing induced by labyrinth walking activates the vagus nerve, which prompts relaxation. It does this by interrupting the brain’s stress response and halting the release of adrenaline and the stress hormone cortisol from the adrenal glands. Our ancestors built labyrinths as early as 4,000 BCE. They exist today in churches, healing centers and backyards all over the world. Finger labyrinths, even as simple as an outline printed on a piece of paper, also have proved to be effective relaxation tools, says Neal

Harris, a licensed clinical professional counselor in Barrington, Illinois. His study confirming its relaxing effects was published in the Annals of Psychotherapy & Integrative Health. Shake (or laugh) it off. Anyone that has ever felt like exploding from tight shoulders, indigestion, headaches or other conditions caused by accumulated stress can benefit from Lord’s recommendation to experience a whole-body shake. “Just stand with your feet firmly planted and start shaking—first your feet, then your legs, arms, head and neck and eventually, your whole body—for at least two or three minutes,” she counsels. “You’ll shake off all of that tension, energize every cell and probably start laughing, another great stress reliever.” A good belly laugh is likewise a powerful stress reliever, according to a study by researchers at Indiana State University, in Terra Haute, published in Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine. Results also showed that laughter increased production of the protective cells that boost immune function. Create a memory garden. For Sternberg, her personal place of peace is an unconscious re-creation combining the sights and smells of her grand-

mother’s garden with the comfortable “at home” feeling of her parents’ deck and mementos from a happy time in Crete. At the center of Sternberg’s happy memories are fragrant jasmine and gardenia trees, lavender and basil, all reminders of happy times in her life. She recalls, “It wasn’t until I was finished that I realized what I had done.” A review of relevant science reported in Neural Plasticity explains that the brain’s hippocampus region, a seat of memory, especially related to place, also normally regulates the production of cortisol. But an excess of cortisol due to stress can impair its memory functions. “When we are in a place that brings happy memories to mind, we let go of stress and stop the release of cortisol,” says Sternberg. “It helps to just think of a place where we have been happy.” She recommends creating a home space with some plants on a windowsill, photos of happy family gatherings, fabrics or paint in beloved colors and perhaps inherited items that trigger fond memories.

Breathe Deeply Perform this subtle de-stressor while in line at the market or driving. It slows heart rate, oxygenates the body, improves mental clarity and has a relaxing effect on the nervous system. n Sit or stand straight. n Put the tip of the tongue against the ridge of tissue just behind the upper front teeth, and keep it there throughout the entire exercise. n Inhale through the nose for a count of four. n Hold each breath for a count of seven. n Exhale completely through the mouth with a whoosh sound for a count of eight. n Repeat three more times. Source:

Kathleen Barnes is the author of numerous natural health books, including 10 Best Ways to Manage Stress. Connect at

Music Soothes the Soul Dozens of studies from leading institutions like Brandeis University, in Waltham, Massachusetts, the Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Center, in Yonkers, New York, and Colorado State University, in Fort Collins, show that music can offset stress, relieve pain, lower blood pressure, improve immune function and support restful sleep. So play a tune or two of much-loved music and let the calming effects induce a state of relaxation. According to research from the American Society of Hypertension, classical music, the blues and other soothing music work best because they cause the body to release endorphins and slow breathing rates. It’s better yet if our favorite music inspires stress-releasing body movement. Source:

natural awakenings

February 2014


Reiki and Yoga Nidra:

Ancient Practices to Alleviate Modern Day Stress by Chitradevi Caradedios


tress is a common factor in today’s fast paced, non-stop, world. Although stress can be positive by helping t o av o i d d a n g e r, i t becomes negative when we continuously face situations that elevate our stress levels, which never normalize. More and more individuals are affected by chronic stress and its negative side effects. Research shows that up to 43% of all adults suffer from stress-related health conditions and between 75 to 90% of doctor visits are for stress-related ailments. Stress can be a significant contributing factor in various health issues including headaches/migraines, neck, shoulder and back pain, high blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes, IBS, skin conditions, asthma, arthritis, depression, anxiety and insomnia. It is estimated that stress and its resulting health conditions costs American businesses more than $300 billion annually. How can we find relief from chronic stress short of quitting our jobs and moving to a tropical island? Perhaps by trying Reiki or Yoga Nidra, which are ancient, proven methods for alleviating chronic stress.


Reiki (pronounced “RAY key”) is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that promotes healing. Although it can be traced back thousands of years to ancient Tibet, Reiki was brought into its current format and popular use after it was re-discovered by Dr. Mikao Usui in the early 1900’s. The word “Reiki” means Universal Life Energy. It is considered to be the life force energy that flows around and through all living beings. The unrestricted and balanced flow of this energy is necessary for good health. If our life energy/prana is low or if there is restriction in its flow, we are more vulnerable to illness. Stress is a primary factor that restricts energy flow. Reiki treatments help to restore life force energy flow in areas within the body that are “blocked” due to physical, mental, spiritual, or emotional discord—i.e. stress. A natural result of such a treatment is stress reduction and relaxation. The treatment itself is a gentle, non-invasive, generally hands-on healing touch treatment. Recipients are fully clothed and are asked simply to relax while the Reiki Practitioner administers the treatment. Reiki is unique because it can be learned by anyone regardless of age, individual talent or acquired ability. Any


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individual that has received proper training from a Reiki Master has the capability to administer Reiki to others or one’s self. The benefits of Reiki extend beyond stress reduction and relaxation. It is commonly being used in hospital and hospice settings as a complementary form of treatment in the U.S. and Europe. Reiki has been found to: • Support the immune system • Promote better sleep • Accelerate healing of broken bones or burns & the trauma associated with the injury. • Accelerate physical and emotional healing from surgeries when done both before and after surgery. • Help cancer patients maintain a higher life force energy level during testing and treatments so treatments become more effective; assist in healing emotional and spiritual issues that may accompany a cancer diagnosis. • Reduce, and in some cases, alleviate physical stress reactions in the body such as IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). • Ease the symptoms of depression and anxiety; can assist in relieving grief, loss and forgiveness issues as well as trauma associated with physical and emotional abuse. • Assist in releasing muscular tension and trigger points that develop due to stress/emotions that are “stuck” and need to be released.

Yoga Nidra

Yoga Nidra, a powerful practice that developed in India thousands of years ago, also reduces stress, alleviates stressbased symptoms, and creates a deep state of relaxation. Like Reiki, Yoga Nidra can enhance healing processes, boost the immune system, and help with sleep disorders, depression, and PTSD. Additionally, when used consciously with set intentions, it can help reconnect us to the source of our own power, thereby increasing our intuition, creativity, awareness and slowing the aging process. It also can aid in releasing long standing behavioral patterns that no longer serve us—the same patterns that may actually contribute to high stress levels and health challenges. Yoga Nidra combines the core of “yoga” (which means “union”) and “Nidra” (which means “sleep”) by purposefully shifting our consciousness into the space that precedes falling asleep—essentially moving brainwaves from a beta wave state into theta and alpha waves. This “re-union” with our aware self in this profoundly relaxed condition in essence creates a reprieve from outward daily experiences and stresses.

It provides us with the opportunity to relate to life experiences from a more aware place and bypass the linear mind’s processes of trying to “fix” things through logic, reason, ideas, and memory. Working in this manner from the inside out, rather than the outside in, is a faster and more permanent way of dealing with patterns and health issues that may be contributing to high stress levels. Unlike Reiki, which is most often done in a private setting, Yoga Nidra is commonly done in a group setting. And while Reiki is non-vocal, hands on, and with proper training and practice, possible to be self- administered, Yoga Nidra at its most effective, is a vocally guided session led by a trained and experienced practitioner. Ultimately which one of these highly effective stress-relieving practices someone chooses comes down to personal preference. Although reducing the causes of stress in our jobs and lives may not always be in our control, our ability to handle stress and alleviate the symptoms of stress can be through the use of Reiki or Yoga Nidra… and perhaps occasionally that tropical island. Chitradevi Caradedios, M.S., E-RYT, is a Reiki Master and experienced Yoga Nidra practitioner. She is founder of Journey Home Yoga and Health as well as a yoga instructor, workshop presenter, and life and spiritual consultant. For more information on Reiki, Yoga Nidra, or to schedule an appointment with Chitradevi, contact Journey Home Yoga and Health in downtown Ada, MI,; 616-780-3604; See ad pg 16.

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February 2014


Matters of the Heart – Trust T

he tradition of Valentine’s Day is about love and relationships. Love and connection is not just about a season or a day. Love is present always. Many of you may remember the classic movie Love Story with Ally McGraw and Ryan O’Neil. There was this line in the movie, “Love means you never have to say you are sorry.” We all know that is absolutely not true. Love means you get the opportunity to say you are sorry over and over and over again. The line does have some interesting aspects, as many people think that relationships should be EASY and that is what that statement infers to me. Most of us know relationships are not easy. They challenge us in ways that nothing else can. Relationships can hurt us deeply. They can cause us to behave in ways that make us hardly recognize others or ourselves. You may find yourself asking, “Did I just do that? Did I just say that? What was I thinking?” Relationships can offer us our deepest blows and our most amazing, joyful experiences. When it is all said and done, everything is about relationships. There are the relationships we have with others, the relationship we have with our self and the relationship we have with God. Relationships are something that are all-inclusive and very important yet seem to be baffling, ambiguous and filled with myths and misconceptions. We often seem to lack understanding, education and skills to maintain healthy relationships. We are taught to do math problems, science theories, how to conjugate verbs, yet there are no classes in

school that teach us about the most important things in life, relationships and love. Many believe that the foundation for a loving, healthy relationship is trust. But, what is trust? Where does it come from? Is there a difference between TRUST and TRUSTING in someone or something? What do you need to be able to trust? Do you need to trust someone to feel safe with them? Or can you not fully trust someone and yet still feel safe and still love them unconditionally? We usually use TRUST as a noun. Remember nouns describe persons, places and things. Actually, trust makes more sense when we use it as a verb. Trust is a process. It is not a feeling. It begins where all things begin, in a belief. What you believe about trust, relationships and yourself will create your definition of Trust. There are those who believe that trust is earned. There are those who believe that trust is there until proven unwarranted. There are those who believe you can never fully trust anyone ever. There are those who believe trust is always about the other person. All of us have been hurt, lied to and about, deceived or let down. When that happens our humanness wants to recoil, become fearful and become untrusting. So what is the answer? If TRUST is the foundation for all relationships and we all have been hurt and want to avoid being hurt again, how can we TRUST? How can we have loving relationships? First, we must build our own inner resources so that our safety and security lie stably within ourselves, not based on

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West Michigan Edition

by Sherry Petro-Surdel

others. We need to trust our self even more than being concerned about trusting others. Second, we must develop an unconditional yes to life as it is! Third, we must continue on a path of developing a deeper relationship with God, the Infinite or whatever you choose to call it. Let’s look at each of these statements: A path of trust happens when we build a relationship with our self. This is when we trust our own capabilities to handle whatever life brings. We must have the ability to see our flaws and not turn against ourselves. We must trust our own journey. I think that TRUST is more about our self than others. If we trust our self we will not be so concerned about trusting others. The only way to trust yourself is to know yourself, your highest self, your divine holy spirit that is ever present within. When I see people in my practice that have been hurt and are trying to learn to trust again, the first thing that I do is have them look within. When I am hurt by the humanness of

life and my own relationships, I ask myself to look within for strength and answers. Lastly, trust is a result of developing a deep connection to the Infinite, our creator, God. Faith is what trust looks like when it transcends. It is all that has happened, all that is seen, or thought. In Return to Love, Marianne Williamson says “To trust in the force that moves the universe is faith. Faith isn’t blind, it’s visionary. Faith is believing that the universe is on our side, and that the universe knows what it is doing.” When we join our hearts in a faith-based reality with our own trust in ourselves and say yes to life as it is, we are on a transcendent plane. It then can be said that every experience is an epiphany. It is a realization that God and I are one. TRUST - is in all of our hearts. For you see it is not based on what has happened to you or what was done to you. It is based on your true nature, which is God’s true nature.

We are all capable of trust. It is more of a question of what are we trusting in, others or our self and God. If you trust yourself and God, you will see others differently.

Sherry Petro-Surdel is a gifted Life Coach, author, licensed clinical social worker, workshop presenter and the pastor at Spirit Space, a Spiritual Enrichment Center in Saugatuck, MI. She has over 25 years of experience inspiring and motivating individuals and groups to turn their dreams into reality. Excerpt above is from her book titled A Voice of Reason. Visit for more information. See ad page 15.

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study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that iodine deficiency in the developed world has increased fourfold in the past 40 years and now affects nearly three-quarters of all adults. Taking the right kind of iodine in the right dosage can rebalance thyroid function and restore health to the thyroid and the whole body.

A Few Drops Can Change Your Life! 4-6 week supply ONLY



Order Online Today at Or Call: 888-822-0246 SHIPPING *$5SPECIAL •up to 8 bottles Wholesale Pricing Available to Stores and Practitioners

Natural Awakenings Detoxifed Iodine is 100 percent natural, raw iodine in an ethyl alcohol solution. We thank all those that are benefiting from this product and enthusiastically telling us their great results.  Available only at  My wife, who suffered from extreme fatigue and other symptoms, saw a dramatic increase in energy after just a few days of taking the natural iodine drops. Now if she misses a day, she’ll end up falling asleep in the middle of the afternoon, like she used to do before taking the iodine. It works! ~ Aaron My doctor told me that I had a hypothyroid condition, prescribed medication and was happy with the follow-up test results, yet I noticed no positive effects on my overall well-being. Within two weeks of using the Natural Awakenings Detoxified Iodine, I had more energy, felt more awake and enjoyed clearer thinking and greater peace of mind. People even comment that I look younger. I am a fan! ~ Larry

For more information about advertising and how you can participate, call 616-656-9232

natural awakenings

February 2014




Shafts of light Through cathedral windows. Dappled shade Upon the leaves Beneath my feet. Bird song In the branches above. In the distance Hind and fawn Cross the forest track. The sweet fragrance of autumn Fills the misty air.

by Judith Fertig

A gentle breeze Moving colours To the forest floor.


So precious Such beauty, So hard to find Such peaceful sanctuary.


We meet again. The moment, Kind and generous, The beauty, Peaceful and serene. The spirit alive In all that is And not what could be. And all of this Born of love, In a moment That is timeless And always Enough. Poem submitted by Chris Roe. Visit for more of Chris’ work.


West Michigan Edition

CHOCOLATE AS HEALTH FOOD Boosting Diets and Heart Health esearch tells us that 14 out of any 10 individuals like chocolate,” quips cartoonist Sandra Boynton. American chocolate lovers buy 58 million-plus pounds around Valentine’s Day, according to Nielsen Research. Ideally, the dark treat would be as healthy as a salad or an apple. Fortunately, accumulating research is on the way to giving plant-based chocolate superfood status. All chocolate starts with cacao beans, seeds from the pods of the tropical cacao tree that thrives only in hot, rainy climates in Africa, Indonesia and South America. Local soil and climate conditions determine flavor characteristics, much as with grapes. Harvested beans are fermented to create the chocolate taste and then dried. Afterwards, chocolate makers add brand-specific ingredients to the cacao solids. “The percentage number on a bar’s wrapper represents the weight that actually comes from the cacao bean content,” says Robert L. Wolke, professor emeritus of chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh and author of

What Einstein Told His Cook: Kitchen Science Explained. “The higher the number, the lower the percentage of sugar and the less sweet, more bitter and complex the flavor.” This is significant because dark chocolate contains higher levels of antioxidants which can help reduce cell damage, according to the Integrative Medicine Department at the University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor. Alex Whitmore, founder of Taza Chocolate, in Somerville, Massachusetts, recently had one of its bars lab tested for antioxidant levels, called ORAC, or oxygen radical absorption capacity; the higher the value, the more antioxidants. Taza Chocolate’s 80% Dark Bar had a 65 percent higher ORAC than Himalayan goji berries, famed for being a superfood. “This is very high for a chocolate bar,” notes Whitmore. Cocoa also serves as a superfood for cardiovascular and metabolic health, report two recent studies from separate teams of Harvard School of Public Health researchers. A 2012 meta-analysis of clinical trials published in the American Journal of Clini-

cal Nutrition concluded that consuming dark, unsweetened cocoa powder and dark chocolate can improve blood pressure, vascular dilation and cholesterol levels, plus reduce metabolic precursors like diabetes that can lead to heart disease. In 2011, Eric Ding, Ph.D., a Harvard School of Public Health epidemiologist and nutrition scientist, reviewed short-term trials of subjects ingesting 400 to 500 mg per day of flavonoid-rich cocoa, which he equates to 33 bars of milk chocolate or eight bars of dark chocolate. While Ding feels this is an unreasonable amount to eat because of the extra calories from sugar and fat, he states, “Supplements with concentrated cocoa flavonoids may perhaps be helpful for garnering the benefits discovered. The key is getting the benefits for heart disease while avoiding the calories, and for that, chocolate bars are not likely the best solution.” Another observational study published in Nutrition shows that eating dark chocolate might help keep the pounds off for teenagers. Researchers with the Healthy Lifestyle in Europe by Nutrition in Adolescence program at the University of Zaragoza, in Spain, knew that chocolate consumption in adults already had been linked to lower body mass index. They found that chocolate consumption was also associated with lower total and midsection fat in European adolescents, reports Sayer Ji, founder of, a natural health research database. “The quality and cocoa content they used in their research is probably much higher than in America,” says Ji. “From my perspective, it appears that even when researchers don’t control for type, the results across the board are rather startling. Even American subjects, presumably eating common milk chocolate bars, see benefits.” So, this Valentine’s Day—and every day—we can happily relish that one-ounce piece of artisan dark chocolate melting slowly in our mouth and know we’re doing it for pleasure and for health. Judith Fertig blogs at AlfrescoFoodAnd from Overland Park, KS.

Chocolate Cookery Vegan Chocolate Pie

Serve this with fresh raspberries and enjoy a little romance. Yields 8 servings Chocolate Wafer Crust 6½ oz dairy-free chocolate wafer cookies, crushed into fine crumbs 1 Tbsp maple or date sugar 3 oz vegan buttery stick (such as Earth Balance), melted and slightly cooled Chocolate Filling 13 oz dairy-free semisweet chocolate chips (such as Ghirardelli) 1 /3 cup strong brewed coffee 1 tsp vanilla extract 1 lb silken tofu, drained 1 Tbsp agave 1 (9-in) prepared chocolate wafer crust Preheat the oven to 350° F. For the crust, combine the cookie crumbs, sugar and melted vegan buttery stick. Press this mixture firmly and evenly into the bottom, up the sides and just over the lip of a 9-inch metal pie pan. Bake on the middle rack of the oven until the crust is set and appears dry, 18 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely, about 1 hour.

For the filling, melt the chocolate chips with the coffee and vanilla in a medium metal bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring often with a spatula. Combine the tofu, melted chocolate mixture and agave in a blender or food processor until smooth, about 1 minute. Pour the filling into the crust and refrigerate for 2 hours or until the filling becomes firm.

Vegan Hot Chocolate

A comforting way to enjoy the benefits of chocolate on a cold day. Yields 4 servings 2½ cups plain rice milk 3 Tbsp maple or date sugar 3 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder ½ tsp salt ½ tsp vanilla extract 1 pinch ground cinnamon 1 pinch cayenne pepper Bring the rice milk, sugar, cocoa powder, salt, vanilla extract, cinnamon and cayenne pepper to a simmer in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Remove from the heat and whisk until frothy. Serve immediately. Source: Recipes courtesy of Judith Fertig

Chocolate Artistry Small-batch, artisan chocolate makers strive to make delicious chocolate in the purest, most ethical and sustainable ways possible. They often travel to meet the growers to source the best cacao beans (organic preferred), use fair trade principles and take a personal interest in making fine chocolate without filler ingredients. Here is a partial list of conscientious members of Craft Chocolate Makers of America: Amano Artisan Chocolate, Askinosie Chocolate, DeVries Chocolate, Patric Chocolate, Taza Chocolate, natural awakenings

February 2014


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by Julie Reynolds

Community Spotlight


f the thought of starting a new exercise program seems a little too intimidating or if you are just looking for something that works with your body and makes you feel better, Pilates might be a perfect fit. Lakeshore Pilates in Holland has many different programs that work for any body type. Newcomers start with introductory private or semi-private sessions where the instructors can assess which classes would be the most suitable for the needs of the clients. Whether seeking to tone muscles, become more physically fit or you are recovering from injuries, Lakeshore Pilates likely has a class to help. Pilates is not a new practice at all, but one that has been around for years and growing in popularity around the country. Many have enjoyed the various health benefits that Pilates offers and others may still wonder what exactly it is or how it works. It is simply a system of mind-body exercises developed by Joseph Pilates in the early 20th century. This flexible exercise system offers much enjoyment and can be done by people of various ages, body types and levels of health. Pilates works to align your body properly, instill proper breathing techniques and increase flexibility. The techniques and exercises learned offer many additional health benefits as well. Heather Dibkey, owner and creator of Lakeshore Pilates, began her interest in Pilates due to her continuous back pain and nerve damage resulting from childbirth. What she realized was that she found a movement system that she could use throughout her life to rehabilitate her body and one that she really enjoyed. Over the years, Dibkey has earned many exercise-related certifications to add to her undergraduate degree, which is in exercise science and cardiac rehabilitation. She also has a Master of Science degree in human movement. After time, practice and much study into the field, she created her business in 2003 out of a desire to help others achieve similar results. What started as a one-person business has grown to where it now staffs five certified Pilates teachers. It boasts 2,000 square feet of space and features three separate training rooms, which allow for both classes and private sessions to occur simultaneously. This fully equipped Pilates studio not only offers Pilates classes, but also offers post-

rehab services for people currently undergoing or following treatment from health conditions. Other classes that are available at the studio are: Stand-up paddleboard (SUP) Pilates, Cardiolates, Biocored suspension training and Barre training, which helps focus the body’s ability to lengthen against gravity. Dibkey networks with local physical therapists and physicians to help people with their postrehabilitation needs as well as overall fitness. The Physical Therapy services at the studio are offered through Vitality Physical Therapy and Wellness, PC. Lisa Hamilton is a Physical Therapist, Manual Therapist, and Licensed Medical Massage Therapist. To speak with her or schedule a consultation, please call 616-405-1005. For those interested in becoming certified to teach, Lakeshore Pilates is also proud to be a licensed certifying studio of McEntire Pilates. Master Teachers lead the courses and are committed to meeting individual success in their program. Certification is acquired through a two-step process developed by the Pilates Method Alliance (PMA). After completion of the comprehensive program, students will qualify to sit for the PMA National Exam and will be ready to start a rewarding career in Pilates. All classes require pre-registration. The class sizes are small and mat classes average six to eight participants and equipment classes average four per class. The studio and individual teachers are committed to quality and eager to share the benefits of Pilates with everyone. Visit their website at for more information. The website contains a great deal of additional information about the studio and may answer any other questions. Your pathway to a healthier lifestyle can start today by joining a class and getting involved. Lakeshore Pilates, 29 West 8th Street, Ste 200, Holland, MI. 616-394-4303. Visit for more information. See ad page 17. Julie Reynolds is a contributing writer for Natural Awakenings. She has a degree in journalism, and also is a certified teacher. Julie lives in the Muskegon area with her family and works as a real estate agent for Greenridge Realty, as a substitute teacher and has recently published her first novel.

natural awakenings

February 2014


Don’t miss out on the Annual Natural Living Directory for West Michigan! The complete Natural Living Directory readers reference all year long! This Directory provides the resources that support Natural Health, Fitness, Sustainable Living, Personal Growth, Creative Expression, Nutrition and so much more. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to reach over 30,000 readers and Attract New Customers!

(616) 656-9232


West Michigan Edition

Reserve Your Space Today! Final Deadline: Feb. 14th, 2014

calendarofevents Denotes an event sponsored by Natural Awakenings Magazine West Michigan.


Jump Start Your Year to Health- 9:00am-4:00pm. Would you like to lose weight, have more energy and learn the skills to continue all year long? Join us for a one-day class. Textbook, DVDS, lunch included for non-members. Register at The Wellness Forum: 616-430-2291 or scharfs@wellnessforum. com. Members $12.00 Non-members $75. 4990 Cascade Rd, Grand Rapids. Open Mind Fair- 10:00am-6:00pm. Relax with Chair Massage $1 a minute. Angel Communication, Astrology, Aura Photos, Palmistry, Intuitive Readings, Spiritual Readings. (Readings are 30min./$35 20min./$25). Treat yourself to that Special Book, Crystal, Incense or other well-deserved gift to help you grow. Call 616-863-8868 with questions. Open Mind, 39 Courtland St., Rockford. Bija Yoga Prenatal Program- 12:00-1:15pm. Enjoy the many benefits of yoga during and after pregnancy including better alignment, strength and breathwork. Learn modifications for other yoga classes and how to follow your intuition. $10 Drop In (free to members). Call 616-935-7028 for details. On The Path Yoga, 701 E. Savidge St, Spring Lake. Introduction to Aromatherapy with Linda Bayer1:00-3:00pm. You will learn what essential oils are and the benefits of several oils. Learn how to use essential oils to relieve stress. $20. Space is limited; call 616-361-8580 or www.expressionsofgraceyoga. com to sign-up online.


Guided Meditation and Healing Circle- 7:00-8:00 pm. Escape from stress and discover an inner world of calm, peace & joy through guided meditation, and energy healing from Healing in America-trained healers. $5 donation. Holistic Care Approach, 3368 Beltline Ct., NE, Grand Rapids.


New Graduate Class- Interpersonal Mindfulness: Cultivating Presence in Relationship- 6:30-9:00pm. 8-Week Interpersonal Mindfulness: A Class for MBSR graduates. This class is based upon the practice of Insight Dialogue and will be taught by Carol Hendershot. $300. for more info. Holistic Care Approach, 3368 East Beltline Court, Grand Rapids.


Free Stress Relief Seminar- 7:00pm. Stress can have far reaching effects in our lives. We will be using EFT/tapping to help alleviate stress and it’s underlying causes. You’ll be thinking clearer and feel calmer. To register email jon@globaltapping. com. 5330 South Division, Grand Rapids.


Introduction to Energy Healing- 2:00-3:30pm. Are you curious about Energy Medicine? Join Healing In America Certified Trainer, Connie Widdis for

an informative and practical workshop. $20. Register Call 616-846-8465. On The Path Yoga, 701 E. Savidge St, Spring Lake.


Yin Yoga with Jessica Roodvoets- 7:00-8:30pm. In yin yoga, poses are chosen to stimulate the connective tissues and direct chi energy, bringing health and vitality to the body, promoting stress relief and deeper states of relaxation. $18 pre-register, $25 day of. Visit to register.


Introducing Spiritual Sexuality- 7:00pm. Come and learn about: Quodoushka 1 & 2 coming to Michigan in May. Imagine that sex is natural, sacred and beautiful. Free Spiritual Sexuality from the Shamanic Tradition - For Singles and Couples. Call Owl Hawk at 616-856-4957 for info. NE Grand Rapids.


EFT/Tapping For Abundance Workshop7:00pm. We will explore the limiting beliefs and root causes for the reasons you do not have the abundance in your life you would like. EFT/tapping can help clear these blocks and open the path to increased prosperity. To register email jon@globaltapping. com. 5330 South Division, Grand Rapids.

Partner Thai Yoga with Brent and Brooke- 6:008:30pm. Better than chocolate for Your Valentine! Share Thai Massage techniques together! Learn to relax your partner through a series of yoga postures with fluid movements, gentle pressure and stretching. $50 per couple. Call 616-361-8580 or visit to order.


Nourishing Ways of West Michigan- 7:00pm. Pastured Makes Perfect presented by Jessie and Betsy Meerman of Free (donations accepted). For more info go to www. St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 134 N. Division Ave, Grand Rapids.


Ask The Nutritionist- 5:30-7:00pm. Why do you need a Nutritionist? How to choose quality vitamins and supplements? Ask YOUR questions of our Certified Nutrition Consultant during this seminar. RSVP’s appreciated to 616-558-8334 or BrandiG@ Keystone Pharmacy seminar room, 4021 Cascade Rd SE, Grand Rapids.


30 Days Back to Health- 6:00-8:00pm. An all-inclusive cleanse program, including dietary and lifestyle changes and education, supplements that aid in gentle detoxification, and personalized one-on-one time with Dr. Kelly Hassberger, ND, who will make this program unique to you. Visit www.grnaturalhealth. com/30days. Grand Rapids Natural Health, 5131 East Paris Ave, Kentwood. 616-264-6556.


Majic Concert Series- The Honeytones, “the deans of Grand Rapids’ pop-rock scene,” visual art the classical-inspired landscapes of Richard Muller. Bios of the performers and artists can be viewed at our website, Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 250 Commerce, Grand Rapids.

Reiki Training- Reiki Master Chitradevi Caradedios is offering Reiki 1 & Reiki 2 Trainings on 2/21 & 2/22. Reiki 1 Training runs Friday evening through Saturday morning; Reiki 2 is offered Saturday afternoon. You may attend Level 1or both levels. Level I must be completed before Level II. Journey Home Yoga and Health, 583 Ada Dr, Ste 203 in Ada. 616-780-3604.



Partner Yoga Workshop- 3:00-4:30pm. You’ll learn some simple ways to help your partner relax, ease lower back pain, and stretch after a tough day. Also learn some Thai massage and breathing techniques to help you both relax. $55/couple ($45 for Members) and space is limited. Call to register. The Studio Yoga, 933 52nd St, Kentwood. 616-209-8395.

FREE Practice ACT Test for Coopersville HS Students- 9:00am. Results are reviewed at a follow up meeting free of charge. Also included, free 30-day online ACT course trial. Call Lisa at 231-799-0613 to RSVP. Counselors are contact us to talk about free ACT testing at your school. Sylvan Learning of Muskegon, 5890 Harvey Street, Suite A, Muskegon.


Karuna Reiki® Level I Class- 9:00am-3:00pm. Prerequisite Reiki III/Master. Students attuned to Karuna Reiki® energy find it to be more powerful. Taught by Gayla Jewell, Karuna Reiki® Master. $200. Jan Atwood, LLC. 801 Broadway Ave NW, Ste 436, Grand Rapids. 616-915-4144.

Partner Yoga: An Alternative Valentine’s Date4:00-6:00pm. A fun yoga experience that encourages healthy relationships: working together, we will explore posturing, breathwork, and meditation. The evening will end with refreshments and social time. RSVP recommended! $25/couple. Call 616-9357028 for details. On The Path Yoga, 701 E. Savidge St, Spring Lake.

ACT Seminar Begins- 9:00am. Sylvan Learning’s next ACT seminar begins by taking the first practice test today. The course starts on 3/2 from 1pm-5pm. Call to register and for any questions regarding price for the program, scheduling, and etc. $50. Call Lisa at 231-799-0613. Sylvan Learning of Muskegon, 5890 Harvey Street, Suite A, Muskegon.

Making Every Day Sacred: A Mid-Winter Retreat Day for Women- 9:00am-4:00pm. Reconnect with your spirit and the Sacred through interactive exercises, reflection, and prayer/meditation. Participants are encouraged to dress in outdoor appropriate clothing for a brief walk, weather permitting. $45. Register by phone at 616-514-3325. Dominican Center at Marywood, Grand Rapids.

Visit for guidelines and to submit entries. All Calendar events must be submitted online by the 15th of the month prior to publication. natural awakenings

February 2014


Herbs to Calm the Mind, Body & Spirit10:00am-5:00pm. Stress is likely the single largest contributor to illness. Join herbalist Jim McDonald in a discussion of the herbs and behaviors that will support the body in times of stress. $75. Continuum Healing, 1324 Lake Drive, Suite 4, Grand Rapids.


Basic Women’s Self-Defense with Mike and Brent- 1:00-3:00pm- Learn techniques and strategy for compromising situations. Mike and Brent will provide valuable information, demonstrations, and explore various scenarios that women may encounter. $30 pre-order $40 day of. Call 616-361-8580 or visit Goin’ to the Y: A Pelvic Floor Workshop- 2:305:00pm. Over 28 million women suffer with at least one pelvic floor disorder. Learn the anatomical structure of the pelvis, common disorders and causes, as well as simple stretching and strengthening to create muscular integrity and balance. $30. Call 616-935-7028. On The Path Yoga, 701 E. Savidge St, Spring Lake.

savethedate March 14-16, 2014 West Michigan Women’s Expo- Over 400 exhibits and seminars tailored to women and their families. Bring your friends and family to explore all that the Women’s Expo has to offer: health, beauty, fitness, fashion, finance, and fun. Open to the public. For more info or to exhibit, call 616-532-8833 or visit DeVos Place, Grand Rapids.

savethedate March 15, 2014 2014 Sustainability Conference8:30am-4:00pm. We will explore ways that individuals, organizations, and communities are working to build a more sustainable future. Register on or before February 21 and Members pay $35, Non-Members $45 and Students $20. Register on or after February 22 Members pay $40, Non-Members $50 and Students $25. Visit www.cedarcreekinstitute. org or call 269-721-4190. Pierce Cedar Creek Institute, 701 W. Cloverdale Road in Hastings. 616-949-9550

savethedate March 15-16, 2014 Reading The Body- 9:30am-4:00pm. By knowing what the body has to say we can learn to prevent illness and live healthier lives. Join Margi Flint, author and herbalist, for a two-day seminar that will focus on various non-invasive diagnostic techniques and learn the language of the body. Wealthy Theatre Annex, 1110 Wealthy St SE, Grand Rapids.


West Michigan Edition

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.

Sunday Spirit Space Sunday Worship- 10:30am. Join us for inspiring messages called Reasonings. Spirit Space is an inner-faith spiritual enrichment center. Take a virtual tour at Free. 3493 Blue Star Hwy, Saugatuck. Sunday Worship and Youth Services- 10:30am. Variety of classes held weekly. Warm, welcoming, New Thought, spiritual community, inclusive and accepting of all, honoring diversity, for those seeking spiritual truth. Unity of Grand Rapids, 1711 Walker Avenue NW, Grand Rapids. www.

Monday Intermediate Hatha Yoga with Mitch Coleman – 6:15-7:30pm. All levels. Drop-ins welcome. Visit for more information. Classes meet at White River Yoga Studio, 8724 Ferry St. Montague. 231-740-6662. A Course In Miracles Healing Circle - 7:008:30pm. Space to feel; space to heal. An ACIMbased support/study group. All are welcome. Prior experience with the course unnecessary. Free. Fountain Street Church, Grand Rapids. 616-458-5095.

Tuesday At The Wall- 10:30am. Yoga provides support and assists with balance, stability and alignment for a deeper yoga asana practice. All levels. Beginner-friendly. Drop-ins welcome $12. www. The Studio Yoga, 933 52nd Street SE, Kentwood.

Wednesday $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 616-365-9176. Grand Rapids. A Course in Miracles Study Group- 10:30am12:00pm. The Course explores all the miracles that occur naturally in our lives. It guides us to forgive, and let go of fear, anger, judgments, unhappiness and see differently. Facilitated by Lin Anderson. Free. Fountain St Church, 24 Fountain St NE, Grand Rapids. Ageless Chair Yoga (For EVERYbody)- 11:00am. For anyone challenged by movement or physical limitations, Instructor adapts traditional yoga poses to meet the needs of each individual. Wheelchairs welcome. $12 drop-in. Call 616-209-8395 or www. The Studio Yoga, 933 52nd Street SE, Kentwood.

Anxiety Support Group- 4:30-7:00pm. Support groups for adults that are dealing with anxiety problems, including Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Free. Anxiety Resource Center, 312 Grandville Ave, Grand Rapids. 616-356-1416 Anxiety Support Group- 5:30pm. 1st, 3rd & 5th Wednesdays. A support group open to teens, ages 14-18, who have an anxiety problem, including Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Free. Anxiety Resource Center, 312 Grandville Ave, Grand Rapids. 616-356-1416. Discussion and Meditation- 6:00pm. Come, Let Us Reason Together every at Spirit Space. The evening starts with light refreshments, followed by a discussion from 6:30-7:15pm, ending with silent meditation till 8 pm. Spirit Space is an inner-faith spiritual enrichment center. Visit www.spirit-space. org. Free. 3493 Blue Star Hwy, Saugatuck. Creation’s Lessons for Living- 7:00pm. 2nd and 4th Wednesdays. 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 616856-4957 for more information. NE Grand Rapids. Restore- 7:30pm. A blend of restorative and yin yoga, pranayama and meditation to soothe the soul and heal the effects of stress. An excellent complement to your daily routine. $12 drop-in. All Levels. The Studio Yoga, 933 52nd Street SE, Kentwood.

Thursday Love Yourself Happy Hour- 5:00-7:00pm. Be good to yourself and the environment by using toxin free body care products! Come to Sérendipité Organiques for Love Yourself Happy Hour every Thursday in February! You’ll receive 30%-40% off Sappho Organic Cosmetics, Surprise Specials, plus Organic Snacks & Drinks! Free. 959 Lake Dr SE, Grand Rapids. 616-419-8115. Advanced Hatha Yoga with Mitch Coleman – 6:15-7:30pm. Drop-ins welcome. Visit for more information. Classes meet at White River Yoga Studio, 8724 Ferry St. Montague. 231-740-6662.

Saturday Sweetwater Local Foods Market- 9:00am-1:00pm. 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.



...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


Frequency Apps Wellness Center 616-755-8446 We are the leader in new generation homeopathic body applications known as the Frequency App! 50+ varieties of Apps including hCG, Weight Loss, Hormone, Sleep, Detox, Supplements, MSA Testing, Food/Environmental Allergy Analysis, Ionic Foot Baths.

BODY CARE PRODUCTS SÉRENDIPITÉ ORGANIQUES, LLC 959 Lake Dr SE, Suite 2, Grand Rapids, MI 49506 616-419-8115

*NEW LOCATION! A retail store exclusively offering organic non-toxic makeup, skincare & other products for your body, home, & pets! Products must score ‘Low Hazard 0-2’ on, or they simply won’t be considered! See ad page 22.


Certified Massage Therapist offering Therapeutic, Hot Stone & Matrix Massage. Certified Wholistic Kinesiologist, Certified Matrix Energetics Practitioner, Reconnection Healing Practitioner, Certified Herbalist, Certified Acutonics Practitioner, and a Certified Reflexologist. See ad page 23.


Kyle Hass Licensed Residential Home Builder 616-299-5815 Locally owned and operated. Specializing in building quality livable and affordable new homes that are Energy Efficient and utilize Green Building practices. Unmatched efficiencies and uncompromising quality. Call today for a free quote. See ad page 14.

CHIROPRACTIC CARE 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.

Natural Health & Healing Center 723 Kenmoor SE Grand Rapids 49546 616-481-9074 Offering an advanced clientcentered dimension of colonics: gentle, safe and effective. Eliminate toxins and enhance well-being. 16 years of experience. Also offering Quantum Biofeedback sessions. I-ACT certified Instructor.


Dr. Kevin P. Flood DDS 616-974-4990 Comprehensive Holistic Dental Services – Amalgam Removal & Replacement. Bio-Compatible, metal-free materials, Low-Dose Digital X-Rays, Gentle Anesthesia, Dentistry for Diabetes, TMJ, Chronic Head & Neck pain and Non Surgical Perio. See ad page 48.


Elizabeth Cosmos Grand Rapids AMA-DEUS energy healing method is a hand mediated technique. Love is the basis for this healing technique, which helps to enhance our spiritual growth, expand our awareness, and promotes physical & emotional healing. See ad page 23.


Dr. Andrew Schafer 1801 Breton SE Grand Rapids, MI 49506 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 ai n , a n d headaches. Also offering physical therapy, massage therapy, and postural awareness. Most insurance accepted. Breton Village area. See ad pages 7 & 30.


Mary De Lange, CCT. CMT. 1003 Maryland Ave, N.E., Grand Rapids 616-456-5033


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 23.

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 6.

natural awakenings

February 2014






Clara VanderZouwen 616-481-8587

”What you put on your skin, goes within!” Choose safe, effective essential oils for relief from pain, hormonal issues, diabetes, digestive issues and allergies. Also offering “clean” skin care products, GMO-free Meal Replacement Shakes, Masaji, NutriSmart, Liver Detox, Bio-feedback and Ionic detoxing Foot Baths. FREE monthly classes. See ad page 25.


Bob Huttinga PA-C & Rev. Barbara Huttinga 332 S. Lincoln Ave, Lakeview 989-352-6500 Affordable, natural approach to better health. Certified nutritional consultant with 22 years experience. Offering select, high quality vitamins, minerals, herbs, children’s products, essential oils, homeopathics, weight loss and more. Professional discounts and senior pricing. See ad in page 32.


doTERRA Essential Oils IPC #406390 616-340-5115


Our oils effectively reduce or eliminate many c h e m i c a l s , pharmaceuticals and general medicines in your environment. I offer Zyto Compass biofeedback scans, AromaTouch Technique application and free educational oils classes. Call to schedule an appointment today. See ad page 28.

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 32.



534 Fountain NE, Grand Rapids MI 49503 616-262-3848


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.

Shawn Merkel, ASID, IIDA 616-916-1071 Align your space to be a true reflection of who you are. Specializing in Wholistic design, repurposing and Feng Shui. Full service Residential and commercial Interior design. See ad page 20.



Educational programs for personal health improvement Workplace wellness programs Wellness Forum Foundation focused on school nutrition and children’s health - National conferences.


West Michigan Edition


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 23.


Jaci Timmermans, MT 4072 Chicago Drive, Grandville, MI 49418 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.

HANDS ON HEALING PROFESSIONAL MASSAGE THERAPY LLC Pattie Kooy, CMMT, CMT, HTP 5286 Plainfield NE Plainfield Twp, MI 49525 616-648-7217

Professional massage therapist offering Medical Massage, Manual Therapy, Hot Stone, Healing Touch Therapy, Essential Oils, Infrared heat lamp, Bio-energetic Therapy, Hot castor oil packs, Chinese herbal liniments & Detox Massage. Mention ad for $10 off hour massage.


Mary De Lange, CCT., CMT. 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 6.


0-11279 Tallmadge Woods Dr. Grand Rapids, MI 49534 616-791-0472 Wellness spa for massage, bodywork and skincare therapy. Offering a wide diversity of style to encompass the mind, body and spirit of today’s lifestyle. Come in and enjoy our stress free spa environment today.


Sheri Beth Schafer, CMT, Ayurvedic Bodyworker, Reiki Master 1801 Breton SE Grand Rapids, MI 49506 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.



FGXPRESS POWERSTRIPS Katrina Ryan 269-214-4432

Breakthrough technology. FGXPowerstrips treat pain naturally without the use of harmful pharmaceuticals. A blend of herbs, Minerals and Alpha 3 CPM Marine Phytoplankton. A FDA listed class 1 medical device. Call for your sample today!



iTRAIN CONSULTING LLC Aaron & Heather Cobb 616-541-5438

The only personal trainers in Grand Rapids offering a 100% Money Back Guarantee, no tricks, no gimmicks, just results. See ad page 35.


5286 Plainfield Ave., NE Grand Rapids 49525 616-364-9191

0-11279 Tallmadge Woods Dr. Grand Rapids, MI 49534 616-791-0472 State licensed school for massage and bodywork. Offering high quality, affordable massage certification courses as well as NCBTMB continuing education courses for the experienced therapist. Located conveniently to Grand Rapids, Standale, Walker and Allendale.


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.

LONDON STUDIOS SALON Ashley Woods: 616-443-9583 Jessica Willis: 616-460-0902 Sherry Minott: 616-633-5251 Sally Loew: 616-299-1796

503 East Broadway St. Mt. Pleasant, MI 48858 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 2.


Specializing in Organic Colour Systems. Ammoniafree, professionalo n l y, p e r m a n e n t , salon exclusive hair color with 100% certified organic ingredients, natural plant extracts, amino acids, natural anti-oxidants and nutrients that produce the healthiest, richest, colors. www. or LondonStudiosSalon.


Frequency Apps Wellness Center 616-755-8446 A variety of natural items for your weight loss goals! Frequency Apps patches including hCG, Weight Loss/Power Workout, Appetite Suppressant. Also Supplements including Diatrix (for Diabetics), Green Coffee Bean, and African Mango, MSA Testing, Food/ Environmental Allergy Analysis.

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

February 2014



West Michigan Edition

Natural Awakenings Magazine February 2014  

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

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