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feel good • live simply • laugh more



WHY FRIENDS MATTER How Friendship Shapes and Enriches Our Lives


Wholehearted Attention Is Our Greatest Gift

Gluten-Free Alternatives for Planet-Friendly Eating

Oral Health Offers Clues to Whole-Body Health

February 2016 | West Michigan Edition | natural awakenings

February 2016


contents balanced life. In each issue readers find cutting-edge 8 4 newsbriefs information on natural health, nutrition, fitness, personal 8 healthbriefs growth, green living, creative expression and the products and services that support a healthy lifestyle. 1 1 globalbriefs 14 MINDFUL MINUTES 14 13 ecotip FOR LITTLE ONES Yoga Helps Kids Focus and Relax 11 14 healthykids 20 inspiration 22 HANDLE LOVE 27 fitbody WITH KID GLOVES 3 1 healingways 24 THE POWER 34 naturalpet OF FRIENDSHIP 13 It Sustains, Nourishes 36 consciouseating and Supports Us 22 42 calendar 45 naturaldirectory 28 GLIDING ACROSS Natural Awakenings is your guide to a healthier, more

by Julianne Hale

by Sherry Petro-Surdel

by Judith Fertig


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Cross-Country Ski to Explore Winter’s Wonders by Randy Kambic



Functional Dentistry Connects Oral Health to Sleep Apnea and Heart Disease by Linda Sechrist

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contact us Publisher Pamela Gallina Assistant Publisher Amanda Grasmeyer Editors S. Alison Chabonais Linda Sechrist Design & Production Interactive Media Design Scott Carvey Printer Stafford Media Solutions Natural Awakenings PO Box 330 Spring Lake, MI 49456 Phone: 616-604-0480

Subscriptions are available by sending $30 (12 issues) to the above address. © 2016 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.

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e all awaken to different aspects of ourselves as we journey and the opportunity to publish this magazine appeared when I became open to the idea of a new venture. Two years ago, as my 60th birthday loomed, I decided to contemplate how I wanted the last third of my life to look. To facilitate the process I began simplifying my life, getting rid of anything nonessential that was clogging my energy. My niece and I worked our way from the garage to the attic, removing anything no longer working for me. I also began studying life coaching with Anthony Robbins. I learned that although I’ve always viewed myself as a work in progress and felt fairly accomplished, I needed more work. So next I began overhauling my posture, breathing, eating habits and exercise routine. Being ever mindful of where I am, what I am doing, and who I am speaking with became a daily goal. Becoming quiet enough to rediscover my instincts was a challenge amidst the barrage of incoming messages from every direction, epitomized by keeping an iPhone and iPad at hand in case I need a fix at 3 a.m. Revamping my finances included shucking time wasters like cable TV, opting instead for Apple TV and streaming news from the Internet. I had my tech guy set up my house with free cloud storage and consolidated my computer files for added peace of mind. Instead of buying every book I read, I began downloading and making weekly trips to the library, with the side benefit of falling in love again with this community resource. I’ve always been big on planning life goals and business plans, but I noticed that my whole life began to change when I created a morning ritual that begins with setting an intention for the day. During meditation time I name all I am grateful for and state my goals. Along the way it became clear that the way I was earning my living was no longer working for me. It was scary, but because I was committed to being open to possibilities and on a quest for authenticity, I allowed new ideas to enter my world. I arrived at a place of dedication to helping those around me awaken to their own possibilities and subsequently hung out my life coaching shingle. As soon as I begun advertising my new service in Natural Awakenings, Amy and Kyle Hass decided to sell the magazine so they could follow their cherished dream of moving to Alaska. I don’t remember once thinking that I want to own a healthy living magazine, yet I’ve been writing and publishing most of my life and have a sustained interest in exploring all aspects of living a naturally healthy lifestyle. The whole idea evolved organically and the next thing I knew it was real. Working on this magazine has become my natural awakening and it’s cool that I get to do it full time! I look forward to hearing your own stories of how you are continuing to grow in healthy, green living. My best,

Pamela Gallina, Publisher

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.

Natural Awakenings Magazine of West Michigan


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February 2016



readers with the resources they need to create a healthier, happier world that works for all living things.” For a list of locations where Natural Awakenings is published or to learn more about franchising opportunities, call 239-530-1377 or visit See ad, page 40.

Dr. Daniel Siegel in Grand Rapids

T Natural Awakenings Family of Franchises Keeps Growing


atural Awakenings Publishing Corp. (NAPC) recently welcomed new publishers that completed a training program in early December at the corporate headquarters in Naples, Florida. NAPC staff spent several days with entrepreneurs launching a new Natural Awakenings edition in the Dominican Republic and those taking over publication of the existing Western Michigan and North Central Florida magazines. Founded by Chief Executive Officer Sharon Bruckman with a single edition in Naples in 1994, Natural Awakenings has grown to become one of the largest, free, local, healthy living lifestyle publications in the world, serving nearly 4 million readers each month via 95 magazines serving cities across the U.S. and in Puerto Rico. “Living a conscious lifestyle that supports our well-being and the sustainability of Planet Earth has become more important than ever,” says Bruckman. “Our dedicated family of publishers, supported by loyal advertisers, connects



West Michigan Edition



SPARK | February 11 | 9am - 4pm Tune into inner guidance, let go of beliefs that no longer serve you and gain awareness of God’s vision for your prosperous future.

OASIS Retreats & Workshops was developed by MINDY HILLS & NICOLE ZAAGMAN to offer sanctuary for those seeking insight for their life vision.

Essence + Valor | April 11 | 9am - 4pm Balance feminine and masculine roles in leadership and provide a road-map to developing purpose driven initiatives.

Whether you’re a busy parent, working professional or passionate entrepreneur, the retreats will provide sage wisdom, expert advice and spiritual truths to help you achieve peace, passion and prosperity in your life.

Brave Boundaries | July 11 | 9am - 4pm Implement and define mindful, respectful, lifestyle boundaries to best serve your circles and inner voice.

MINDY & NICOLE look forward to holding a sacred space for your personal and professional development.

INTUITION | October 11 | 9am - 4pm Understand the importance of trusting your God guidance, tap into soul tools and walk with open hands towards divine destiny.


he Grand Rapids Center for Mindfulness is proud to bring Dr. Dan Siegel to Grand Rapids for the first time on February 26 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Watermark Country Club. In Dr. Dan Siegel this workshop, “Mindfulness, Mindsight and the Integrated Brain: What is the Mind and Mental Health?”, Dr. Siegel will explore interesting questions about the mind and mental health. By looking into the definition of ‘mind’ in this way, we can begin to move more deeply into understanding the interconnections between brain, interpersonal relationships and the mind. Dr. Siegel will outline strategies to monitor and modify energy and information flow within the mind with more clarity and power. Workshop objectives include exploring the nature of mind, examining what a healthy mind might be, discovering how chaos and rigidity reveal impaired integration and learning how to cultivate integration for more harmony and health. Author of three New York Times bestsellers, Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., is a clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine, founding co-director of UCLA’s Mindful

Detox YOUR SPIRIT IN 2016 Register

Awareness Research Center, founding co-investigator at the UCLA Center for Culture, Brain and Development and executive director of the Mindsight Institute. Tickets range from $139 to $229, with an early registration discount through February 12. For more information or to register, visit or call 616-3613660. See ad, page 8.

Christina Sell Returns to Michigan


hristina Sell returns to Michigan for her fourth visit this February. The workshop, The Heart of the Matter, will be held at PeaceLab Yoga in Grandville, February 26-28. Join Christina Sell for a dynamic weekend Christina Sell of asana studies and personal contemplation designed to help you stretch and strengthen your body and mind. Expect to sweat, laugh and learn. This workshop has sold out every year, so be sure to register soon. For more information or to register, call 616-745-0310, email or visit PeaceLabYoga. com. See ad, page 17.

Mindfulness & Meditation Class


oin Spirit Space on February 20 from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. for a Mindfulness and Meditation class. This course is for people with all levels of meditation experience. Different meditation styles will be introduced, experienced and practiced and participants will also

have an opportunity to walk a canvas labyrinth, learning more about the healing powers and the spiritual growth possibilities while journeying through the labyrinth as the brain focuses on the path. Class participants will receive information to reinforce the multiple paths to mindfulness and some exercises to promote practicing meditation throughout the month. Spirit Space asks that participants contribute a $10 love offering for the class. Sherry Petro-Surdel is the instructor. In addition to being a meditation teacher, Petro-Surdel is also a Pastor, Psychotherapist, Life Coach, Public Speaker and Workshop Presenter with over 20 years of experience. She weaves wisdom from a multitude of sources (Psychology, World Religions, New Thought and Universal Truths) into life lessons that are easy to apply. She recently released a meditation CD. Petro-Surdel is inspiring, gentle, loving and deeply spiritual in all her endeavors. She is the author of the book A Voice of Reason. For more information, call 616-886-2716, email info@ or visit See ad, page 13.

West Michigan Women’s Expo


est Michigan Women’s Expo returns to Grand Rapids for its 18th year with an Expo focused on health, home ideas and fun giving women something to feel good about. In celebration of 18 years, the Caribbean themed party for the 2016 Women’s Expo, slated this year for March 11-13, 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 400 womenowned and women-focused businesses during the three-day expo held downtown at DeVos Place. “Women’s Expo is the equivalent of spring break for

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February 2016


newsbriefs 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 $8 each and are available at all area Meijer stores. Admission at the door is $10 for adults and $8 for children ages 6-14. See ad, page 33.

5th Annual Midwest Women’s Herbal Conference


he fifth annual Midwest Women’s Herbal Conference will be held June 3, 4 and 5 at Camp Helen Brachman, in Almond, Wisconsin. Speakers include internationally acclaimed herbalists and authors for both newbies and experienced herbalists. Winona LaDuke, Susun Weed, Isla Burgess, Dr. Jody Noe and many others

Rosemary Gladstar

332 S. Lincoln, Lakeview, MI 989-352-6500

Rev. Barbara & Bob Huttinga PA-C Certified National Health Practitioners & Naturopathic Educators


West Michigan Edition

complement more than 60 workshops, plant walks and a kids and teen camp. Serving the Great Lakes and beyond, the conference is a “wholistic” gathering of the feminine, including a wide spectrum of Midwest herbalists and Earth-based speakers on topics that include herbs for family health, wild edibles, fermentation, permaculture, movement, herbal wisdom, the Wise Woman way, personal growth, spirituality and much more. Highlights include swimming, evening entertainment, a marketplace, Red Tent and roundtable discussions on building herbal community. The organizers have experienced herbal apprenticeships in the Wise Woman tradition, and the Red Tent is a communal space invoking the spirit of generations of women and celebrating women’s inner wisdom. In addition to the main conference, three-day immersion certificate programs include Clinical Herbalism, with Isla Burgess, and a Radical Doula program with Whapio, of the Matrone. Just prior to the conference on Friday morning, five, three-hour preconference workshops will be held: Herbs for Digestive Health, Herbal Pharmacy: Outside The Box, Recovering the Sacred, Arrow in Her Bow; Initiating the Next Step in Your Life’s Promise and Rhythm, African Dancing and Drumming. In Celebration of the fifth anniversary, an additional event will be held October 7, 8 and 9 with elder herbalist Rosemary Gladstar and friends. Discounts are offered for those registering for both of these events. For more information, visit Sponsored in part by Natural Awakenings magazine. Enter for your chance to win a free full conference ticket, including meals and lodging, at contests. See ad, page 10.

Holistic Health

Healing Body, Mind & Spirit

Healing Techniques


Healing & Nutrition Consultation Muscle Testing Reflexology Therapeutic Massage Light Touch Healing Natural Hormone Therapy Iridology Reiki Virtual Gastric Band Acupuncture

Homeopathic Remedies Essential Oils Bach Flowers Personal Care Eco-Friendly Household Items Herbs Gifts, Music, DVD’s Food Many Books Including: Put Your Health in Your Own Hands by Bob Huttinga

communityspotlight Hypnotherapy Associates


complicated world means complicated issues. People’s lives are filled with complex relationships, anxieties, stress, sadness, illnesses, abuse, addictions and other problems. Identifying the root issue is not always easy to do and may require someone trained to help. Hypnotherapy Associates of Grand Rapids is a place where discoveries are made and healing occurs using the mind as the main tool. The mind is a powerful, yet complex, part of the body deserving more credit than it usually receives. Linda Knight and Stacey PreFontaine, the women behind the name, share an office focused on hypnosis therapy, which is effectively used for a variety of problems. Both women are highly educated and trained in different modalities of healing. Linda Knight founded Hypnotherapy Associates ten years ago. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in psychology from Calvin College and a Master’s Degree in Family Services from Regent University. Knight worked in an adoption services program for 16 years involving counseling before reaching into the field of hypnotherapy. She is currently certified in hypnotherapy through the American Council of Hypnotist Examiners and received her specialized certification from the Hypnotherapy Academy of America. Hypnotherapy Associates is her creation and was founded with the intent of bringing positive changes into the lives of people, hoping that the changes will extend to their communities. Stacey PreFontaine is a native of Grand Rapids and graduated from Hope College with a Bachelor’s Degree in education. She also earned a graduate endorsement from Calvin College in Learning Disabilities, which she used in teaching special education for many years prior to joining the field of mental health. PreFontaine received her certification from the Hypnotherapy Academy of America located in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She carries with her over 400 hours of hypnotherapy and medical hypnotherapy training and is a fellow of the International Board of Hypnotherapy. PreFontaine states, “My background illustrates my passion for caring for and empowering people at all life stages to live their fullest, healthiest lives.” Knight explains that people need to discover what the root of the problem is in order to solve what shows on the surface. “Hypnosis is a natural, yet altered, state of mind in which the critical factor is relaxed and communication between the conscious and subconscious is facilitated. It involves a deep quality of relaxation, a heightened responsiveness to beneficial suggestions and an emotionalized desire to fulfill these suggestions,” according to their website. When under a trance, people are still in control and able to talk. It is a safe place to discuss difficult things. Knight states, “We try to create a mental disconnect between the problem and the problem behavior.” The outcomes of the sessions may dictate whether more counseling is necessary.

by Julie Reynolds However, on average Knight estimates that people see success between 1-12 visits. Knight sees many people who want to quit smoking, and she finds helping them quit this dangerous habit to be a very fulfilling part of her work. She explains that some people started for a particular reason and, through hypnotherapy, realize that reason no longer makes sense. Knight used to smoke herself, but quit while she was in her hypnotherapy training. Her father was also a heavy smoker and died of emphysema, so helping others quit is important to her. She wants to help others become healthier and avoid the lethal side effects of smoking. Unlike some medicines, hypnotherapy does not have any side effects. It is a healthier way to heal. “If you set your mind to achieve a goal, you can achieve it if you remove the block from your brain,” she states. Knight uses her counseling skills in her hypnotherapy practices, but by using hypnotherapy she is able to help her patients in a faster time period. Together, these ladies work to help people overcome their ailments, addictions and personal struggles. Hypnotherapy can help victims of PTSD, aid a mother to experience a pain-free birth, release anxiety, relieve phobias, conquer self-confidence issues, offer relief from fibromyalgia, aid in smoking cessation, help with weight loss and more. Because PreFontaine has the medical hypnotherapy training, she is able to expand therapy to address more physical issues. Knight believes that many people seek hypnotherapy as a last resort, but it should be sought out sooner rather than later for faster results. Many people try hypnotherapy because they know someone who has experienced success using it. Some have already experienced success with one problem and are curious if it could also work on a different problem. “Others come,” Knight notes, “because of the Groupons.” Groupons are available, making hypnotherapy less expensive to try. Hypnotherapy offers a natural way to address problem areas in a time-effective manner, and often does not cost any more than typical co-pays to see a counselor. This proven therapy has yielded success for many people in a private setting. Because of the success, Knight receives many clients through referrals of those who have experienced the benefits of hypnotherapy. Help is available and accessible for those who seek it. The office of Hypnotherapy Associates is located at 1345 Monroe Avenue NW in Grand Rapids. For more information, visit or email Linda Knight at See ad, page 5. Julie Reynolds is a contributing writer and has a background in advertising, teaching, writing and real estate. She can be contacted at natural awakenings

February 2016



Meditation Improves Brain Health


arvard Medical School researchers working at the Massachusetts General Hospital have determined that meditation can improve brain health. The researchers studied 16 volunteers that took part in an eight-week mindfulness meditation study at the University of Massachusetts Center for Mindfulness. The participants conducted mindfulness meditation exercises for an average of 27 minutes a day. Before and after the trial, the subjects were given tests and magnetic resonance imaging of their brains. The researchers found that the practice of mindfulness meditation resulted in increased gray matter density in the hippocampus of the brain, an area associated with increased memory and learning capacity, plus a greater sense of compassion and introspection.

 February 26 in Grand Rapids


online or call 616-361-3660

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Mindfulness, L Dr. Dan Mindsight Siegel and the Integrated Brain Q SIGN UP BY FEB 12, SAVE $30! 8

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esearchers from São Paulo’s School of Medical Sciences of Santa Casa have found that secondhand smoke negatively affects a child’s hearing. The researchers tested 145 students between ages 8 and 10 that showed normal hearing in standardized tests. Their secondhand smoke exposure was measured by the level of a nicotine metabolite in the children’s urine. The 60 youngsters that had been exposed to secondhand smoke showed significantly lower responses to certain frequencies in both ears when compared to the others that weren’t exposed to the smoke. Researchers suspect that the affecting mechanism may be the acrolein gas that forms from burning tobacco cigarettes. The chemical was found to damage ear cells in a study published in the International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology. A 2012 study of diesel exhaust, which likewise produces acrolein gas, by the Republic of Korea’s Dongguk University, also showed damage to middle ear cells. Supporting these results, a study published in the American Medical Association Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery journal found that smoking during pregnancy almost triples the risk of lowfrequency hearing loss in the child. The study tested 964 adolescents between ages 12 and 15, of whom 16 percent were exposed to prenatal smoking.

Bifidobacteria Probiotic Fends Off Colds and Flu



n a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, researchers found that supplementing with bifidobacteria probiotics will reduce colds and flu. The study followed 581 college students for six weeks as they prepared for their final exams. During the study period, the students consumed a placebo or a daily supplement with one of three probiotics, including Bifidobacterium bifidum. The students given the bifidum supplement experienced significantly fewer cold or flu infections, and when they did succumb, the infection was generally less severe. The other probiotic supplements did not reduce colds or flu compared to the placebo for the six weeks.

High-Fructose Sweetener Aggravates Asthma and Bronchitis


large study from the New York Medical College and the University of Massachusetts found that high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is linked to a greater risk of asthma and chronic bronchitis. The research included 2,801 people between the ages of 20 and 55 years old. The scientists utilized health data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey of 2003 to 2006 to compare people with a history of chronic bronchitis. The study measured the types of soft drinks consumed, eliminating risks related to known asthma relationships such as smoking. The researchers found those that drank five or more HFCS-containing sodas per week had an 80 percent increased incidence of chronic bronchitis. Greater intake of HFCS has also been linked with higher risk of other health conditions, including diabetes and obesity.

Mediterranean Diet Sustains More Youthful Brain Sizes


s we age, our brains shrink, a condition linked to cognitive impairment. According to a study from Columbia University, a healthy diet can help reduce such occurrences. The researchers studied 674 adults with an average age of 80. They were divided into two groups, depending upon their diets, and given magnetic resonance imaging scans to measure total brain volume and thickness. It was found that those following diets that most closely resembled the Mediterranean diet—less meat and more vegetables and fish—had larger brain sizes with less shrinking. The researchers equated the average size difference between the groups to about five years of aging. Dr. Yian Gu, a neuropsychology professor at Columbia University, says, “This is another study consistent with previous studies that indicate the Mediterranean diet is an overall healthy diet.”

We Are All in This Together Kelly Simpson Cover artist and schoolteacher Kelly Simpson paints exclusively with acrylics and pure color, maintaining that white “dilutes the passion and fierceness of a painting.” The artist covers a wide array

of subjects with her vibrant palette, from still-life renderings of fruits and flowers to abstracts and portraits. Simpson’s grandmother taught her to paint at an early age, and she later returned to the art form after developing health issues. “It started out as a therapeutic activity, but then became something greater. I like to take ugly events and transform them into something positive,” she says. Much of her inspiration comes from stories in the news or her elementary school students, many coming to the U.S. to escape conflict in their home countries. “I like to portray cultures working together,” she says, depicting multicultural women linking arms across the globe, as on this month’s cover. Simpson’s work has appeared across the Pacific Northwest and graced the pages of a children’s coloring book, an Indian college magazine and booklets promoting women’s issues. She lives in Portland, Oregon, with her family and a chocolate Labrador. Visit the artist’s portfolio at

natural awakenings

February 2016


What to Expect in a Counseling Relationship


ften, people may consider going to a counselor for months or years before taking the first step. Someone who hasn’t participated in counseling may find making a commitment challenging. Frequently, people seek counseling for depression, anxiety, stress, grief, trauma, addiction, relationships, low self-esteem and dissatisfaction with life. When considering counseling, here are some ideas to ponder: Counselors typically provide phone consultations before scheduling. Do they have experience in your area of need, and what theories/techniques do they use? Ask for clarification on anything you don’t understand, and make sure you feel that it’s a good fit. Ask whether or not they provide advice/guidance if that’s important to you. Some counselors lend a listening ear, others will also discuss patterns they see and guide you in formulating solutions. Make sure cost, payment methods, location and hours are compatible with your needs. Check their website or search online listings for information. A first counseling session is typically used to gather history, build rapport and set goals. Sessions tend to be weekly or biweekly, but can vary. Professional counselors are collaborative and non-judgmental; they protect your privacy, self-disclose sparingly and inquire if you believe it’s a good fit. You may feel out of your comfort zone at times in session. However, trust is essential to therapeutic gain, and if a counselor’s methods, interactions or setting are uncomfortable, she/he should welcome your honest feedback. Counseling should work for you and be an experience that feels well worth your time and investment. Laurie Schmit, LMSW practices at In The Heart Counseling in Grand Rapids. For more information, call 616-426-9226 or visit See ad, page 47.

Why Choosing the Right Essential Oils Matters


ore and more consumers are taking charge of their health by making their own soaps, personal care products, cleaning products, etc. For many, the primary motivation—in addition to enjoying their own creativity—is to by-pass the toxin-laden, synthetic scents used in commercially made products. As a result, many turn to essential oils to enhance their products. However, most are unaware that there is a distinct difference in the quality of oils available from the different brands in the market place. Because essential oils have become so popular, many companies reduce their production costs by either utilizing oils distilled from genetically modified seed, grown in soils that have utilized pesticides or herbicides, are totally synthetic and/or have been diluted with carrier oils that also may not be holistically pure. As a result, unfortunately, the consumer’s desire to create toxinfree products for themselves and their family (which they assumed they were creating by making their own items) may not be achieved because of the less than pure essential oils they may use. Therefore, it is incredibly important for individuals to do their research and be sure they are investing in essential oils that will give them everything they want without the toxins they are trying to avoid. Marilyn York is a Wholistic Health Advocate and Independent Distributor of Young Living Essential oils. She can be reached at NaturalHealth4U, or EssentialNaturalHealth@ See ad, pages 11 & 46.

Midwest Women’s Herbal Conferenceating Registration Now Open! 5th Anniversary Special Herbal Traditions Retreat with Rosemary Gladstar Oct 7, 8, & 9, 2016

nt le Eve Multip nts Discou e! bl Availa


West Michigan Edition

June 3, 4 & 5 2016

Isla Burgess

Celebr Our 5th ! ry Anniversa

Winona LaDuke

Susun Weed

Camp Helen Brachman Almond, WI

Join us for a gathering of the feminine. Internationally acclaimed herbalists and earthbased speakers, plant walks, topics including herbs for family health, wild edibles, fermentation, permaculture, herbal wisdom, the wise woman way, and much more!

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

Green Goalposts

“Sick and Tired” of Feeling “Sick and Tired” Explore the benefits of

Super Bowl Eco-Stadium Gains National Spotlight The 50th Super Bowl will take place February 7 at the brandnew Levi’s Stadium, in Santa Clara, outside San Francisco, and the anniversary isn’t the only thing that’s historic. As part of a trend toward sustainability in athletic facilities, it’s the greenest and most technologically advanced professional football stadium in the U.S. The structure is designed to support sustainability, located on a site with accessible public transportation plus a bike path to encourage fans to pedal to and from games. Its predominantly open and airy, environmentally friendly building plan also takes advantage of the Silicon Valley climate. One outstanding feature is the green roof atop the suite tower on the west side of the stadium. Another is the three solar bridges connecting the main parking area to the stadium that generate energy from hundreds of solar panels. All of the wood used was repurposed from a local airplane hangar at Moffett Field, in Mountain View, California, and other reclaimed building products were used where possible. Reclaimed water sources serve potable and non-potable uses, including playing field irrigation. The local suppliers providing farm-to-table food menus also are required to practice composting and recycling to the greatest extent possible. For more information, visit

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McCormick Going Non-GMO McCormick, the world’s largest spice company, plans to eliminate almost all genetically modified (GMO) ingredients from their product line by 2016. In response to increased consumer demand for healthier options, 80 percent of its overall gourmet herb and spice business in the U.S. will be both organic and non-GMO by 2016, as well as all McCormick-branded herbs, spices and extracts sold in the U.S. They will voluntarily label the updated products to inform consumers as part of a commitment to transparency and consumer education. The first product introduced, a non-GMO vanilla extract, is already available. McCormick also uses steam treatments in its processing to preserve the health benefits of spices instead of the ionizing irradiation used by competitors. Although food radiation is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, some studies link it to significant health problems. “Our consumers are increasingly interested in quality flavors with pure ingredients in their food,” says McCormick President and Chief Operating Officer Lawrence Kurzius. “Our efforts prove that we are listening to consumers and are committed to continuing to evolve.”

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Source: natural awakenings

February 2016


Lions Untamed

Shrine Circus Ends Wild Animal Acts Bill Cunningham, CEO of Dallas-based Fun Time Shows, the largest Shrine Circus producer in the country, says he’ll no longer produce shows featuring elephants, tigers, lions or other wild animals. Cunningham says, “These animals are very special; we cohabit the Earth with them and they are deserving of our respect and awe. They’re not here to perform tricks for our entertainment.” He says, “I’ve tried to listen to the mothers that said they didn’t want their kids to grow up and learn that the animals they saw had been probed, poked, prodded and chained to a floor.” The move has received an outpouring of support from outside the industry, including People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Cunningham’s Shrine Circuses will still feature high wire acts, human cannonballs, trapeze artists and motorcycle tricks, along with performing horses and dogs. “The horses and dogs act in true collaboration with their owners,” says Cunningham. “We feel the audience still wants to see domestic animals.”

Pioneering Aspen Ski Town Runs Entirely on Renewables


Athletic shoemaker Adidas has teamed up with New York-based Parley for the Oceans, a multidisciplinary organization with a passion for protecting the oceans, to make footwear out of garbage. Available soon, the soft upper part of the shoe is knitted entirely from waste and debris pulled from the ocean, including yarn and fibers—just some of the estimated 5.25 trillion pieces of trash in the sea. With no extra material left over, nothing goes to waste; the shoes also incorporate illegal fishing nets taken from poachers. Adidas executive Eric Liedtke suggests the technology could move beyond shoes and find its way to T-shirts, shorts and other apparel. A full line of similar consumer-ready products will be integrated into the Adidas line this year. The larger issue goes beyond recycling and repurposing to avoid waste altogether. Plastic takes more than 450 years to decompose, so conservationists and researchers at Parley for the Oceans hope to re-imagine plastics by designing a renewable solution. In cleaning up our oceans, we protect ecosystems, food sources, jobs and local economies.

Aspen, Colorado, with a population of 7,000, has become the third municipality in the country, along with Burlington, Vermont, and Greensburg, Kansas, to receive all of its power from renewable sources. Its energy portfolio now consists primarily of wind power and hydroelectric, with smaller contributions from solar and geothermal. The development reflects a decadelong effort made possible in part by a significant drop in the price of renewable energy and new government regulations that internalize some of the pollution costs of fossil fuels, making energy sources like coal increasingly uncompetitive. More than one-third of American coal plants have been shut down in the past six years and new carbon rules make it possible that no new coal plants will ever be built in the U.S.

Source: Upworthy


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Reducing Coffee Shop Waste For many, getting a coffee to go at a favorite spot on the way to work or while dropping the kids off at school and running errands is a weekday ritual. It also warms up the body on cold mornings in northern regions this time of year. The java might taste even better if we reduce the amount of waste traditionally involved. Here are a few ways to better cherish Earth’s resources. Avoid the paper cup; carry a reusable thermos or insulated bottle instead as a matter of routine. Author and activist Beth Terry, in her book Plastic Free: How I Kicked the Habit and How You Can Too suggests both stainless steel beverage containers and mugs. She also recommends glass mason jars and points out that EcoJarz recently began making stainless steel caps and lids instead of plastic. Learn more at MyPlastic Terry further cites the unhealthy aspects of continual use of paper cups because, “Many are lined with plastic, and the plastic lids are often the equivalent of Styrofoam.” If caught without a favorite reusable container,’s Katherine Martinko recommends at least giving an old paper cup one more turn. “It’s not a zero waste solution, but if you’ve already got a paper cup in your car or kitchen, you might as well extend its life. Wash and hand it over the next time you get a coffee,” she suggests. “It will still do the job.” For those that add cream, milk or sugar to coffee, consider the waste involved just in the plastic and wood stirrers provided by the shop that are tossed in the trash after serving their one-time function. “Avoid all of them,” advises Terry. “Carry a clean utensil in the car,” such as a bamboo tableware or a spork (combination spoon and fork). Cutting down or weaning off of dairy, sugar and especially sugar substitutes is another healthful move.



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February 2016


and violent solutions are modeled, yoga empowers children to pause and take a breath so they can own what’s happened, move through it and move on.” “I like yoga because it makes me feel like there is calm all around me,” says 8-year-old Biko Cooper. Dee Marie, the Boulder, Colorado, founder and executive director of Calming Kids, a nonprofit program that integrates yoga into the classroom to foster a nonviolent atmosphere, says, “When a child learns through yoga how to feel a sense of themselves and begins to understand their self-worth and stand tall in their power, they can begin to regulate their breath and their emotions.” These invaluable skills stay with children through adulthood.


Mindful Minutes for Little Ones Yoga Helps Kids Focus and Relax by Julianne Hale


merican kids’ school, after-school and weekend schedules now rival the hectic pace of their multitasking parents. Like their adult counterparts, youngsters need time to decompress from the pressures of life and be present in their own skin, and yoga provides the tools to accomplish this. Most adults take to their yoga mat to create harmony in their body and mind, increase flexibility and balance, build muscle tone and strength, and because it makes them feel great. These same benefits apply to children as their developing bodies and minds respond to yoga on a deep level, both on and off the mat.

Start with Watching Breath “Breathing and mindfulness practices are important for children,” explains Mariam Gates, the Santa Cruz, California, creator of the Kid Power Yoga Program and author of Good Morning Yoga and the upcoming Good Night Yoga. “There is so much that children are not in control of in their everyday lives; to give them a way to physically 14

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process their experience, to self-soothe and find their own internal source of strength, is crucial.” “Having kids experience simply paying attention to their breath as it comes all the way in and moves all the way out can serve them well in every area of their lives going forward,” says Gates. In the classroom, it transfers to learning skills benefited by the ability to focus. From toddlers to teens, children can have a difficult time processing and controlling their emotions, which are vital life skills. Carla Tantillo, founder of Mindful Practices, a Chicago-area wellness organization, has found that yoga and the practice of mindfulness help children express themselves in constructive ways. She observes, “In any situation, especially in communities where reactivity, impulsiveness

Step into Yoga Together

Educators are starting to take notice of yoga’s benefits for children, including those with attention deficit disorders or autism, but yoga practice is still rare among school-age children. As encouragement, “Make it fun,” advises Gates. “It’s essential to create experiences that feel accessible and enjoyable for kids. They must feel empowered to do it themselves and take over the experience.” Six-year-old Carmen Wheeler likes doing yoga with her dad. “Yoga gets me feeling strong and it really calms me down,” she says. Music can help children relax and focus during their practice. Soothing basic instrumentals are good to start; an Internet search for yoga music for kids reveals many options. Parents can assist by incorporating yoga into a child’s daily bedtime ritual. “Do whatever they are willing to do with them,” counsels Marie. “Start by lying on the bedroom floor, doing stretches and focusing on breathing. Then move to the bed and teach some relaxation and visualization techniques.” Marie cautions parents against insisting that their child’s yoga practice mirror their own. “We have to meet children where they are.” Adults think that yoga has to look a certain way, but sometimes children don’t

necessarily want to do the postures we’re familiar with. The best teaching reaches each individual child in a way that resonates with them because yoga is a lifestyle, not an exercise regimen,” she says. Yoga novices and parents that prefer specific guidance can take advantage of local studio classes for children and families or use DVDs, online streaming services and instruction books. Kevin Day, age 5, regularly starts his days with a Boat pose. “I like it because you can do it with a friend,” he says. Lisa Flynn, the Dover, New Hampshire, founder and chief executive officer of ChildLight Yoga and Yoga 4 Classrooms, is optimistic about the future. “In 10 years, I envision social and emotional learning, yoga, and mindfulness integrated at every school and mandated by educational policy,” she says. In addition to improved physical, social, emotional and cognitive health and wellness of the students, teachers and parents, she foresees “a positive shift in the overall school climate.” Julianne Hale is a freelance writer and Natural Awakenings franchise magazine editor in Cleveland, TN.

Cultivating Mindfulness in the Classroom by Julianne Hale


hen Scott Frauenheim, director of the Chicago International Charter School (CICS) West Belden, noticed that some students in his kindergarten through eighth grade urban classrooms were not fully engaged, he decided to focus the 2014-2015 school year on mindfulness for both students and faculty. He enlisted the help of Mindful Practices, a Chicagobased school wellness organization founded by Carla Tantillo. Using the strategies Tantillo recommends in her book Cooling Down Your Classroom, teachers were taught to involve students in mindful minutes—short bursts of simple yoga poses, breathing exercises and other techniques—to

cultivate mindfulness. The initiative proved to be powerful and helpful, explains Frauenheim. “Soon students were able to identify areas of personal need throughout the day and cultivate mindfulness within themselves using what they learned.” The program concluded last year, but CICS West Belden teachers and students continue to use designated time to practice mindfulness in the morning and as a classroom mental reset when they notice that students are distracted or unfocused during the day. Mindful Practices’ innovative programs have achieved similar success in other elementary, middle and high schools in the Chicago area.

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February 2016


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communityspotlight by Penelope Alexa

D e t o x Yo u r S p i r i t i n 2 0 1 6


he rhythm and continuum of the calendar year is prompting us to reset and revisit what we choose to align within the months to come. Often, life offers us a series of choices. Doors open or close, paths that were uneven become straight and we awaken to discern that which serves our highest good. Just as life gives us cues, the body gives us signals of disharmony and imbalance. This is the mind, body, spirit connection alerting us to pay attention. When we feel unhappy in life, this is our spirit sending us a message to discover the reason for our lack of inner joy. To detox the body, we look at what we’re currently eating, how much we exercise and the ways it affects our wellness. Our body is a divine machine, what we feed it is fuel – if we don’t use premium fuel we won’t experience premium energy. The same thing goes with the spirit. If we sense our feelings and notice there is no “sparkle” or connection to inner wisdom, this is a call to listen. A call to listen often comes to us through unconventional means. Radiant Spiritual Guide, Mindy Hills, received her call at a young age. Mother of five beautiful children and first born of seven, she grew up surrounded by adults who gave her the opportunity to listen quietly with a compassionate heart. As she matured, she was providentially placed with individuals


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transitioning from life to death. Not surprisingly, health care called to her. At 15, she was selected as a Physical Therapy aide at a local community Hospital. She became a Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) and studied Health Administration. What others considered work, Hills regarded as a vocation of service to ease pain and suffering for patients by enhancing physical wellness. She began discovering her true life’s purpose to “walk” with others through difficult transitions on the edge of life and death. As a result, she pursued a formal degree in Spiritual Direction. Spiritual guidance offers others a graceful opportunity to deepen their awareness of how God illuminates their soul promptings and faith centered journeys. Certified as a Reiki Master and Emotional Freedom Technique Facilitator, Mindy is attuned with spiritual wisdom and loving intentions to balance and fortify the soul’s purpose. A second call to listen beckoned to Nicole Zaagman in her early teens. Desiring to make a larger impact in the world, but without the guidance to develop or words to express the longing she felt in her heart, she pursued a career as a graphic design and branding expert. Upon her first job, post-graduation, she was challenged unexpectedly by a critical health crisis leaving her body and spirit tarnished, broken and confused.

Zaagman set out to embrace her healing crisis and resurrect the calling she felt years prior. After working with mentors, performing hands on healing and mindfully creating a holistic lifestyle, she became in tune with her soul purpose. In detoxifying her own health, Zaagman became catalyzed to assist other women in discovering and acting on their unique contributions to humanity. In 2014, as she launched “LUX CHIX” (Lux means light), directing her focus toward working with holistic and spiritual based professionals to help them initiate their own entrepreneurial brands. She hosted a radio show interviewing numerous entrepreneurs worldwide and presented a two-day intensive conference at the Amway Grand Hotel, highlighting and impacting both speakers and attendees from all over the world. Through Divine timing, both Zaagman and Hills would realize that their individual soul promptings had joined when they became connected through a dear friend for specific needs in web design that Hills required in reaching her audience. As we align with higher calling, our souls call for deeper connection as well. The soul resonance experienced between Zaagman and Hills began to unfold and “spark” inspired action

in partnering to teach others tools of empowerment. OASIS Retreats & Workshops were developed to offer a place of sanctuary for individuals seeking insight for their life vision and feature four soul-filled retreats for 2016. The calling is to be part of a collaborative community of like-hearted, joy-filled individuals poised to play life at a higher level. Molecular Miracle, an organization bringing state-of-the-art technology and healing sciences together, will be a featured brand partner this year. Founded by Julie Philips, a woman gifted in connecting others who desire to impact the world in a positive way, will be present to share her vision and brand with those in attendance. Phillips says, “These retreats are an opportunity to meet authentic, holistic, world-class individuals. Many of us need to embrace self-love and understand that, deep inside us, we have gifts to bring to the world. Nicole and Mindy’s vision is not just about helping inspire individuals but also geared towards bringing the right people together to heal the community as a collective.” Whether a busy parent, working professional or passionate entrepreneur, the retreats and material presented by Zaagman and Hills will provide sage wisdom, expert advice and spiritual truths to help attendees achieve peace, passion and prosperity in their lives. They invite participants to be open and willing to revisit the way they feed their spirit. They’re privileged to help nurture and hold a space for other’s expansions as they encourage their spirits to shine radiantly. Hills concludes with, “When we ‘detox’, we attune our spirit, enabling us to function at optimum health. This renews our sense of inner joy thereby empowering and mobilizing our soul purpose to reveal itself.”

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February 2016


is more volatile than stable. In its most extreme form, these patterns can turn into abusive behavior, which may be emotional, verbal, sexual or physical in nature, and is never an acceptable part of a good relationship.


Growing a Healthy Relationship by Joelle Lucido and Megan Rotar


s any good gardener will tell you, a well-tended garden provides the best fruit. Likewise, relationships that are well nurtured tend to be the healthiest. It may take some effort to “prepare the soil,” laying the foundation for a meaningful relationship, but doing so has a significant impact on the quality of the “crop.” By doing this work early on, it allows well-established, deep roots to form, which yield a bountiful harvest year after year, as long as the soil continues to be cared for and nourished.

The Seeds The type and quality of relationship you end up growing greatly depends on the seeds you begin with. Most of us know that love, respect and true consideration are essential to a healthy relationship. However, loving and respecting your partner does not mean that you will love every one of his or her traits. Acceptance and tolerance of another’s idiosyncrasies needs to accompany love, to foster the confidence that who you are, is enough for your partner. Other seeds go beyond your internal perspective and involve communication with your partner. Conveying interest, appreciation and positive regard, both through verbal and nonverbal messages, can be accomplished in many ways. In Gary Chapman’s book, The Five Love Languages, he describes how each of us desires to receive love and appreciation in our preferred language. The names he uses for the five love languages he has identified are: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Gifts, Acts of Service and Physical Touch. When each partner correctly 20

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identifies and communicates via their partner’s preferred language, these healthful seeds of love and appreciation can be planted easily and deeply.

The Weeds Healthy growth also requires pruning and weeding. Many times, human nature tends to overlook negative factors until it is too late; crooked branches and the weeds of neglect become “overgrown,” and can get in the way of or even overpower the love we are trying to grow. To successfully grow a healthy relationship, we must be aware of such destructive factors, not only in potential partners, but also in ourselves. Leading marriage researcher, John Gottman, Ph.D., explores four of the most deadly weeds in a relationship in his renowned book, The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work. One is criticism, in which a partner feels attacked by comments that are biting and hurtful. Another is defensiveness, which makes a couple unable to listen to each other and solve problems effectively. Stonewalling involves a complete emotional shutdown; this unresponsiveness and lack of participation in conflict resolution causes a great deal of frustration and disappointment in the other partner. Contempt is the most deadly of the four, because it communicates a complete lack of respect and positive regard, and often causes a partner’s selfesteem to wither away. Of course, there are other pesky weeds that become insidious and indicate an unbalanced and unhealthy relationship. Patterns of jealous, possessive or controlling behavior, for instance, can lead to a relationship that

Healthy Soil Wise farmers know that to maintain a proper balance of nutrients in their soil, they must rotate crops. Relationships also must rotate in their form to meet the ever-changing needs we have as individuals. For example, a typical day may begin with a business relationship between the couple, in which they discuss who is picking up the dry cleaning. It quickly changes gears into friendship when one calls the other share great news about a promotion offer. A playful email exchange makes one partner giggle. An intellectual conversation over dinner about the politics of the day paves the way for an intimate moment, when both partners feel a strong connection about sharing their mutual dreams for their future. After an hour or two of relaxing time, reading or watching a good show on television, they adjourn to the bedroom for a sexual connection. Like a prosperous farm, a healthy relationship is one that maintains balance among all its forms, so that each seed has the nutrient-dense soil it needs for growth. A consistent desire for growth over time, both individually as well as jointly can, like clean water, feed and nourish a relationship through the seasons. When generously poured out over the right combination of seeds and healthy soil in a bed actively controlled for weeds, growth occurs instinctively, whether it’s in a garden or a relationship… just as nature intended. Joelle Lucido, MA, is a nationally certified psychologist, limited licensed professional counselor and co-owner of the Mental Fitness Center, in Rochester, MI, where she serves as a wellness counselor for individuals and couples. Megan Rotar, MA, is a limited licensed psychologist and holistic wellness therapist who works with adolescents and adults in individual and family therapy. For more information about the services and classes at the center, located in Rochester, MI, visit or call 248601-3111.

Effective Listening Practices


by Kay Lindahl

Our Wholehearted Attention Is Our Greatest Gift

Pay attention to the environment. Stop other activities to listen. Clear your desk. Turn off background noise or move to a quiet corner.

by Kay Lindahl


erhaps one of the most precious and powerful gifts we give another person is to really listen to them with quiet, fascinated attention and our whole being; fully present. Deep listening occurs at the heart level, and we must ask ourselves how often we listen to each other so completely. Such listening is a creative force. We expand, ideas come to life and grow and we remember who we are. It brings forth our inner spirit, intelligence, or true self, and opens up the space for us to thrive. Sometimes we have to do a lot of listening before another’s inner being feels replenished. Some people just need to talk and go on and on, usually in a superficial, nervous manner. This often happens because they have not been truly listened to. Patience is required to be a listening presence for such a person long enough that they get to their center point of tranquility and peace. The results of such listening are extraordinary. Some would call them miracles. Listening well takes time, skill and a readiness to slow down to afford time

for reflection and to let go of expectations, judgments, boredom, self-assertiveness and defensiveness. When two people listen deeply to one another, we sense that we are present not only to each other, but also to something beyond our individual selves; something spiritual, holy or sacred. Once we experience the depth of being listened to like this, we naturally begin to listen to be present with another. We notice what occurs when we interrupt someone and when we don’t. We watch what unfolds when another stops speaking and we ask, “Is there anything else?” Listening is an art that calls for practice. Imagine if we all spent just a few minutes each day choosing to practice the art of listening; of being fully present with the person we are with. Being truly listened to and understood yields a sigh of contentment and joy. Kay Lindahl, of Long Beach, CA, is the author of The Sacred Art of Listening, from which this was adapted with permission from SkyLight Paths Publishing.

Be present. Listen with an open, appreciative and curious mind rather than evaluating what’s being said. Put your own agenda aside. Stop talking. One person speaks at a time without interruption. Listen for understanding. No one is required to agree with or believe what they hear. Let empathy and compassion take the lead; put yourself in their shoes. Ask for clarification. It can help a listener understand what’s being expressed. Pause before speaking. Allow the speaker to complete their thought, and then wait a few seconds before responding. Also ask, “Is there anything else?” There almost always is. Listen to yourself. Inquire of your inner voice, “What wants to be expressed next?” Signal that they’ve been heard. Encouraging body language includes empathetic facial expressions, nodding and sympathetic postures. Adapted from The Top Ten Powerful Listening Practices on the author’s website

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Handle Love with Kid Gloves by Sherry Petro-Surdel


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ebruary is the month that draws our need a special balm of sensitivity, the attention to love. While most of that individual will respond with the love of attention revolves around romantic or kid gloves. human love, it is not absurd to ques So is there anything greater or tion if there is something beyond love more precious than love? The story of - something greater than love. Could it an interaction that Buddha was said to be that love is complete and uncondihave had with a young devotee could tional? In fact, in the Christian writings, speak to this question; “Master, would 1st Corinthians 13:13 reads, “And now it be true that the cultivation of loving these three remain: faith, hope, love. kindness and compassion is part of our But the greatest of these is love.” practice”, asked the student. Because love Buddha reBeing listened to is so close to plied “No! It would is the greatest, it is precious being loved that most people not be true to say and should be that the cultivation cannot tell the difference. handled with “kid of loving kindness ~David Augsberg gloves”. Handling and compassion is something with kid part of our practice.” gloves, metaphorically, means to treat The young student looked puzzled. with extreme kindness and gentleness Buddha then said, “It would be true to and with a special sensitivity. Literally, say that the cultivation of loving kindit can mean that one does not want ness and compassion is all, not part of to leave any smudges as one handles our practice.” precious objects. As Thich Nhat Hana said in Teach Handling love with kid gloves ings on Love, “From the teachings of infers that the individual is treating his/ Buddha, when your mind is filled with her ability to love with an awareness love, send it in one direction, then a of the precious gift of love, choosing to second, third and fourth, then above not leave any smudges made from the and below. Identify with everything imprints of resentment or a lack of com- without hatred, resentment, anger or passion upon his/her heart. It means enmity. This mind of love is very wide. that even when situations come that It grows unmeasurably and eventually is

Silence the angry man with love. Silence the ill-natured man with kindness. Silence the miser with generosity. Silence the liar with truth. ~Buddha able to embrace the whole world.” Before we can embrace the whole world with kid gloves of love, we must begin with ourselves. Each person is precious and priceless. Individuals need to begin by being gentle and kind to their selves. As that work is done, they’ll begin to see all others as precious and priceless. Love grows, goes beyond what the human mind comprehends as love. Put kid gloves on this month and love with gentleness, loving kindness and compassion and remember to treat one’s self the same. Sherry Petro-Surdel is a Pastor, licensed Psychotherapist, Life Coach and Workshop Presenter with over 20 years of experience. For more information, visit See ad, page 13.

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THE POWER OF FRIENDSHIP It Sustains, Nourishes and Supports Us by Judith Fertig

For a reason, a season or a lifetime, friends help us cope with challenges, motivate our best work and celebrate life. Friendships take many forms, crossing generations and self-imposed boundaries, and even spring up between unlikely confidants.


hildhood friends Matt Damon and Ben Affleck collaborated on the Oscar-winning screenplay for Good Will Hunting. Fierce tennis competitors Serena Williams and Caroline Wozniacki like to get together for a gal-pal getaway after a major match. Country music artists Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood married following an 18-year friendship; “We had a lot more in common than I ever dreamed we did,” says Brooks. Rafts of research confirm how friendship enriches us. Carlin Flora, of New York City, spent years as a Psychology Today writer and editor before penning Friendfluence: The Surprising Ways Friends Make Us Who We Are. She notes that among the varied and perhaps unforeseen benefits, friendships can help us “shed pounds, sleep better, stop smoking and even survive a major illness.”


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An ongoing, two-decade-plus study of nearly 1,500 seniors by the Flinders University Centre for Ageing Studies, in Australia, found those with a large network of friends outliving others with the fewest friends by 22 percent. The University of Chicago National Opinion Research Center also reports people with five or more close friends as 50 percent more likely to describe themselves as “very happy” than those maintaining fewer confidants. “Friends past and present play powerful and often unappreciated roles in determining our sense of self and the direction of our lives,” says Flora. “Even in a supposedly meritocratic society, friends give jobs and assignments to each other, so having friends that share your career interests and aspirations can get you much farther than you could ever get on your own.”

Make New Friends, Keep the Old Today, making and keeping friends can be challenging, due to distance, frequent life changes, overprotective parenting and substituting social media for more intimate face time. It all makes friendship more fluid than we might realize, says Shasta Nelson, the San Francisco founder of GirlFriendCircles. com, a women’s friendship matching site and author of Friendships Don’t Just Happen: The Guide to Creating a Meaningful Circle of Girlfriends, plus the upcoming book, Frientimacy, about deepening such relationships. “Most of us replace half of our close friends every seven years,” says Nelson. Although this might seem alarming, she considers it a natural ebb and flow. “We all need a couple of very close friends, while others that come and go might just be what we currently need—at work or school, among firsttime parents, in a new neighborhood, starting a job, in retirement or during some other life change,” she says. Canadian Greg Tjosvold, a married middle school teacher in Vancouver, Canada, has enjoyed great friendships with women, including his wife, partly because he doesn’t relate to men’s generally competitive nature and interest in sports. But when a close female friend moved away, he wanted to expand his circle to include men. He joined a group called The Barley Brethren that sample craft beers and talk about life. Although not into suds, he values “having a safe and enjoyable place to discuss deep issues, victories and temporary setbacks.” He admits, “That’s over-simplification, though.” Finding a group of men he can feel a part of has validated him, making this unique man still feel like one of the guys. Nelson categorizes the concentric circles of developing friendship as starting with a mutually agreeable acquaintance or contact, and then moving emotionally closer with someone that we find similarities with. Then the original bond can enter the confirmed friend category. A group of friends, like a longtime book club, can constitute a community. The highest level is the committed friend that has evolved into a trusted and valuable life companion.

Sarah Huntsman Reed, a medical counselor in Kansas City, Missouri, has such a lifelong friend. She met Doug Reed, now a pharmacist, when both were in their high school musical, Once Upon a Mattress. Reed had a great sense of humor, Sarah remembers. “He’s still the most honest yet kindest person I’ve met,” she says. Soon, their mothers became friends, too, and the two teens would pair up for family weddings. Then she went to college and married and he moved away; yet they stayed in touch through mutual friends and their moms, catching up in person when he returned to his hometown. Seventeen years after they first met, by which time Sarah was divorced, the two discussed taking their friendship to the next level and soon married. “It was a big decision to commit, because we knew so much about each other,” she says. “But we prefer each other’s company, and it was the best thing we ever did.”

Safety Net In trying times, friends can surround us with positive energy, says Madisyn Taylor, co-founder and editor-in-chief of the spiritual blog DailyOm, in Ashland, Oregon. “The people we love form a protective barrier that buffers and shields us from many of the world’s

Hallmarks of good friendship include staying in touch and being consistently positive and vulnerable, so as we reveal ourselves over time, we can be authentic with each other.

more crippling blows,” including receiving hurtful slights from others. How we make friends has been altered by today’s social landscape, which includes working parents and Amber Alerts. The days of children freely roaming their neighborhood discovering friends to play with are, unfortunately, over, says Jennifer S. White, a Toledo, Ohio, blogger and author of The Art of Parenting: Love Letters from a Mother. “My long-term friendships from childhood were all built around being neighbors and playing together just because we wanted to,” recalls White. With today’s safety concerns and work-life challenges, parents now set up playdates, a more structured, less organic way of fostering childhood friendships, and they must be proactive to ensure success. White has some misgivings about this modern-day approach. “When I think about that one little gleaming seed of truth at the heart of why, it’s often because I don’t think it’s fair that I have to be a popular ‘playdate mom’ for my kid to have some friends.”


Besties and Buddies Automatic playdates—with siblings—often enhance family ties through lifelong friendships. Sally Ekus is a culinary talent representative in Florence, Massachusetts. Her younger sister, Amelia, is the general manager of Twitter Cafe, in New York City, and lives in Brooklyn. Both foodies have knife-and-fork tattoos. Sally is more into meal ingredients and preparation, while Amelia loves pouring wine and making sure everyone is comfortable. “Together,” says Sally, “we create total hospitality, from lavish Passover seders to Friday nights with friends.” She notes that her sister is the only other person who understands what the world looks like through the Ekus girls’ perspective. Some adults might never meet faceto-face, but become friends via social media. American Jamie Schler, co-owner of the Hotel Diderot, in Chinon, France, with her native-born husband, says, “Social media [especially Facebook posts] is how I meet and make personal friends and keep in touch on a daily basis. As an expat, this is important because I often feel far from family and friends that

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Everyone from contemporary scientists to ancient philosophers agrees that having strong social bonds is probably the most meaningful contributor to happiness. ~Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project understand me, share common interests and ideas and speak the same language—and I don’t necessarily mean English.” Her high-tech circle ranges from hometown pals to new friends in the food community and political forums. She raves, “It’s a place where I find them all at the same time!” Nelson remarks, “No one is saying Facebook should replace visits, nights out and phone calls, but in a world where most of us wish we felt closer to a few more people, it doesn’t hurt to use every tool at our disposal for creating connections.” Differences in age needn’t be a hurdle in forging friendships. Candelaria Silva-Collins, an arts marketing professional in Boston, attended area social gatherings where she regularly encountered a museum director and his wife. “They seemed like a fantastic couple,” she says, and began a friendship with the older woman, despite their being from different generations. “My friend teaches me a lot about being vital and vibrant,” she says.

Expanding Circles

Becoming friends with people of different ages, languages and social standing gives us a spiritual workout, advises Nelson. With a master’s degree in divinity, Nelson views friendship as a type of health club in which we develop our empathy, forgiveness and compassion muscles through practice. “Friendships are the way we become better people,” she says. Furthermore, the process, especially with people unlike us, leads to a better world. “Being able to inherently care for people we know makes it easier to do the same for people we’ve not met yet,” says Nelson. World peace happens one friend at a time. Freelance writer Judith Fertig also blogs at from Overland Park, KS.



ost Traumatic Stress Disorder is a condition discussed and found in the news more and more frequently in our society. While it is commonly associated with military members coming back from dramatic, stressful situations, it can also affect many others in other professions and situations. According to the Mayo Clinic website, “Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event — either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event.” This is not to be confused with a bout of stress from work or other general events that may require adjustment or coping. The Mayo site elaborates by explaining that if symptoms continue on for months or years, it could be PTSD. When PTSD is present, this is where yoga can come into play. Founder of The Body Mind Being Project, a newer non-profit organization that’s combatting PTSD with yoga in Grand Rapids, Bettina Cousineau, states, “Our goal is to educate our communities about PTSD, alleviate the suffering caused by ‘invisible’ wounds and empower people and families to re-integrate. We want to make PTSD part of our conversation.” Cousineau started with two other women using yoga classes as a way to raise awareness about the condition. Now, with a volunteer-based staff and yoga teachers that are paid by way of donations, The Body Mind Being Project wants to help impact anyone who is living with PTSD, their family and their



caregivers. This includes people with military experience, children in foster care, parents and at-risk kids. Although it is just getting off the ground, she has already been able to reach out and help people. Cousineau studied and practiced yoga, and is currently certified in traumatic yoga. Her husband is in the military and stationed overseas, which is how she became aware of how much yoga is used in the military. There are even yoga classes on bases. Cousineau knows about the healing effects of yoga and noticed there was a community need. “We reach everyone, regardless of race, age, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation,” she notes. Another organization, PTSD United, Inc., is a California-based nonprofit dedicated to supporting those who suffer with this condition, as well. Their website states, “PTSD affects an estimated 7.7 million adults each year.” It also notes that one out of nine women suffer from PTSD. Of all outpatient mental health patients, 50% have PTSD. These are startling statistics and proof of a serious growing problem. Society needs to find ways to help those who suffer, because while the condition may initially affect one person, in the end, many people are affected. What begins with the health of a father, mother, co-worker, friend, child or spouse can greatly impact the health of a family, neighborhood, business or community. In addition to the personal and relational repercussions of PTSD is the financial aspect of it. PTSD United, Inc. states, “People with PTSD have among

PTSD by Julie Reynolds

the highest rate of healthcare costs, and the annual cost to society for anxiety disorders is well over $42.3 billion.” Although there are many awareness organizations and websites available for information, The Body Mind Being Project is an organization that helps the local community. Every Thursday at the City of Grand Rapids Fitness Studio, The Body Mind Being Project holds a free veteran-only yoga class starting at 7:00 p.m. At 1:00 p.m. on Thursdays, they have a strictly womenonly veteran trauma yoga class. Occasionally, they will have community classes where people come and donate. “The Grand Rapids community is so eager to give back to causes,” Cousineau explains. Through feedback, The Body Mind Being Project found that the kids who participated found that doing yoga made it easier for them to concentrate, and yoga helped the adults get through the day with less anxiety. In addition to yoga classes, The Body Mind Being Project is utilizing other ways of getting the word out about PTSD through town meetings, word-of-mouth and partnering with other non-profits. For more information on The Body Mind Being Project or to find out how to get involved, visit or call Bettina Cousineau at 616-427-6390. Julie Reynolds is a contributing writer and has a background in advertising, teaching, writing and real estate. She can be contacted at

natural awakenings

February 2016


Innsbruck Games—helped popularize the recreational sport in America. On February 20, the 2016 Slumberland American Birkebeiner, North America’s largest annual cross-country ski race, is expected to attract about 10,000 participants on a 55K course from Cable to Hayward, Wisconsin (

Any Season Warm-ups

Gliding Across Snowscapes

Cross-Country Ski to Explore Winter’s Wonders by Randy Kambic


hile downhill Alpine skiing offers spurts of intense action in-between times spent driving to and from resorts and standing in line at lifts, all that’s needed for Nordic cross-country skiing is a few inches of snow and strap-on skis to transform any nearby park, wooded trail or spacious backyard into a quiet, serene eco-playground. The similar dry-land recreation of Nordic walking that uses poles can be enjoyed year-round.

Ski Season Techniques

Both the standard Nordic form of what’s also known as free-heel skiing and the more challenging Telemark style, able to incorporate hilly terrains, have northern European roots. Cross-country skis are longer and thinner than downhill versions. Instead of placing the entire foot in a bulky, stiff boot affixed to an alpine ski, only the toe section of a sneaker-


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like boot adheres to a cross-country ski, enabling a fuller gliding motion. Gliding over relatively flat terrain while leaning slightly forward, it’s important to keep weight evenly distributed over both skis. Continuously moving ahead in a left-right-left-right motion with a long gait creates a full-body workout as each opposing arm plants a pole and pushes on it to carry the skier into the next step. Cross-country skis aren’t made for sudden stops, so stay alert; gentle, sideto-side skidding employing both legs or turning the front of both skis inward to form a triangle effects stopping. With experience, the skis can be used more like long ice skates, pushing both ahead and outward on them to move slightly faster on wide, groomed, flat surfaces. Vermont native Bill Koch, the only American to win an Olympic crosscountry ski medal—silver at the 1976

“Many of the movement patterns of Alpine and Nordic skiing are similar,” explains Michael Wood, chief fitness officer of Koko FitClub (, which is reflected in a new eight-week Snow Sports program at many of its 130 locations in 30 states. “Our Smartraining equipment offers more than 100 different exercises, many of them ideal for preparing for cross-country skiing, like the squat, hip extension, and trunk and hip rotation.” For post-ski stretching, he and club coaches often recommend yoga-type flows like downward dog, child pose and the one-legged pigeon move. “We like to customize programs to enhance dynamic stretching, intensive knee analysis and specific routines to improve individual performance,” says Wood.

Winter Weight Loss

Outdoor winter recreation can help shed pounds. Harley Pasternak, a celebrity trainer, nutrition expert and author, recently reported in Health magazine, “Being outdoors in the cold air enables your body to burn more calories as it makes an effort to warm up. When you’re chilled, you shiver and shake, which is your body’s way of warming itself by increasing its resting metabolic rate.” Pasternak says that spending time outdoors in cold weather can increase calories burned by as much as 30 percent and advises, “Take up ice skating, cross-country skiing or snowshoeing.”

Anytime, Anywhere Walking

Nordic walking, launched in Finland in the late 1990s and since spread throughout Europe, incorporates some motions similar to cross-country skiing. Walking while using special poles on dry land or at the beach extends associated health and fitness benefits year-round. Initi-

ated 11 years ago, the American Nordic Walking Association (, based in Palisades, California, conducts classes and other events nationwide. Founder, president and master coach Bernd Zimmerman reports significant growth in its popularity in recent years. “Both cross-country skiing and Nordic walking are great full-body workouts that use 90 percent of your muscles and treat both the upper and lower parts of the body like machines.� Suitable for all ages, including those that have balance or health issues or can’t run anymore, the walking poles act as extensions of the hands. Their rubber or metal tips work on any surface, such as streets, sidewalks, gravel,

sand, dirt or grass. Compared to regular walking, Zimmerman says the Nordic style burns up to 40 percent more calories, tones the arms and upper body, reduces stress on knees and joints, and safely boosts the intensity of exercises to yield additional heart and lung benefits. Ski and general sports equipment retailers that sell and rent equipment also host informative clinics. Check out local retailers for local ski club group outings. Randy Kambic is an Estero, FL, freelance writer and editor, including for Natural Awakenings.

natural awakenings

February 2016


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healingways Spinal Alignment’s Far-Reaching Effects Internal Organs and Immune System Respond by Mark Joachim


he World Health Organization defines health as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. Dorland’s Medical Dictionary claims it is a state of wholeness where your body’s organs are functioning 100 percent of the time. Chiropractic, a distinct science, art and philosophy of health and healing, concerns itself with the relationship between the structure (mainly the spine) and the function (primarily coordinated by the nervous system) of the human body as that relationship affects the restoration and maintenance of health. Since the brain and nervous system control the function of cells, tissues and organs, it is important for the nervous system to operate at 100 percent for optimal health. The spine protects the spinal cord; when a spinal bone shifts out of normal alignment, it may produce abnormal motion and damaging pressure on spinal nerves. If this vertebral subluxation condition is present, it may interrupt the vital nerve flow within a body. Doctors of chiropractic are the only doctors who are trained to correct subluxations by performing gentle spinal adjustments. Research over the years has shown that correcting vertebral subluxations is effective in eliminating symptoms such as pain without the use of drugs or surgery; chiropractic care has also been shown to have profound effects in restoring health to the body. In fact, in the November 1921 issue of Medical Times, Henry Winsor, M.D., questioned the ability of chiropractic care to correct subluxations, remove nerve interference to the body’s organs and improve health and prevent disease. As part of an experiment, he dissected human and animal cadavers to see if there was a relationship between any diseased internal organs discovered on autopsy and the vertebrae and nerves that went to the organs.

In a three-study series permitted through the University of Pennsylvania, the doctor found a nearly 100 percent correlation between “minor curvatures” and vertebrae subluxations with diseases of the internal organs. For examples, he found that all 20 cases with heart and pericardium conditions and all 26 cases of lung disease had subluxations in the upper thoracic area T1 through T5. In all nine cases of stomach, 13 of liver, five of gallstone and three of pancreatic diseases had mid-thoracic subluxations from T5 to T9. All 17 cases of kidney disease had misalignments from T10 to 12, while the eight of prostate and bladder disease had L1-3 misalignments and the 2 uterine conditions had L2 issues. Other researchers have confirmed Winsor’s discovery and chiropractic’s effectiveness on people of all ages, even newborns. A German medical doctor, G. Gutzman, examined more than 1,000 infants. He concluded in a paper published in 1987 in Manuelle Medizin that blocked nerve impulses at the atlas—the first vertebrae in the neck that sits under the skull—cause many clinical features from central motor impairment to lower resistance to infections, especially in the ear, nose and throat. Gutzman concluded that approximately 80 percent of all children have atlas subluxations. He further stated that “chiropractic and radiological examinations are of decisive importance for diagnosis of the syndrome.” Gutzman also mentioned that he was “constantly amazed how, even with the slightest adjustment with the index finger, the clinical picture normalizes, sometimes gradually, but often immediately.” Chiropractic adjustments have been shown to boost the coordinated responses of the nervous system and immune system. In 1975, Ronald Pero, Ph.D., chief of cancer prevention research at New York’s Preventive Medicine Institute and professor

in environmental health at New York University, began researching the most scientifically valid ways to estimate individual susceptibility to various chronic diseases. He has conducted a tremendous amount of research in this area that includes over 160 published reports in peer-reviewed journals. Pero was fascinated by the relationship cancer-inducing agents had on the endocrine system. Since the nervous system regulates hormone balance, he hypothesized that the nervous system had to also have a strong influence on one’s susceptibility to cancer. To support this argument he found a substantial amount of literature linking various kinds of spinal cord injuries and cancer. Pero found that these injuries led to a very high rate of lymphomas and lymphatic leukemias. This understanding led Pero to consider chiropractic care as a means of reducing the risk of immune breakdown and the onset of disease. Pero’s team measured 107 individuals who had received long-term chiropractic care. The chiropractic patients were shown to have a 200 percent greater immune competence than people who had not received chiropractic care. In addition, they had a 400 percent greater immune competence than people with cancer or serious diseases. Interestingly, Pero found no decline with the various age groups in the study demonstrating that the DNA-repairing enzymes were just as present in long-term chiropractic senior groups as they were in the younger groups. “Chiropractic may optimize whatever genetic abilities you have so that you can fully resist serious disease...I have never seen a group other than this show a 200 percent increase over normal patients,” he concluded. Doctors of chiropractic are not only interested in treating your spinal symptoms but they are also concerned with your overall health and wellness. They distinguish between dis-ease in the body and disease under the hypothesis that the body was malfunctioning (dis-ease) long before the disease was diagnosed. Their work is focused on restoring normal function proactively rather than waiting to treat the disease. Marc Joachim, DC, FIAMA, can be reached at 203-838-1555. His practice, Associates in Family Chiropractic and Natural Health Care PC is located in Norwalk, CT.

natural awakenings

February 2016




Functional Dentistry Connects Oral Health to Sleep Apnea and Heart Disease by Linda Sechrist


he focus of functional medicine—whole person health care—easily expands to include dentists trained in oral systemic health. Currently embraced by a small percentage of today’s farsighted dentists and doctors, this relatively new field of prevention and wellness views the mouth as a key portal when considering the status of the whole body. Similar to the way doctors of Oriental medicine assess the heart’s pulse to help diagnose health issues throughout the body, these systemic health dentists consider the gums, tongue, teeth and throat to be key signals of overall health. American Academy for Oral Systemic Health (AAOSH) Executive Director Bobbie Delsasso was a periodontal hygienist for more than 30 years before becoming a consultant and public speaker on the larger perspective. “I taught patients about the importance of good nutrition and alerted them to consult their physician regarding what their mouth health might indicate about

their body’s health,” she says. While the academy educates dental professionals to understand the internal workings of nutrition and what the mouth reveals about overall well-being, “Less than 6 percent of physicians even learn adequate basics of nutrition in medical schools,” she notes.

president, explains that heart attack and stroke are triggered by an inflammatory process which can be initiated or exacerbated by periodontal disease and abscessed teeth. Thomas Nabors, a doctor of dental surgery and an authority in molecular analysis and genetic risk assessment for periodontal diseases, provides clinical proof that supports the growing association between medicine and dentistry. “Since our inaugural AAOSH conference [in 2010], Bradley, Amy and Tom have continued to provide the current science and clinical backdrop to the oral/systemic connection to cardiovascular wellness,” says Milligan.

Respiratory Health Links

Other vital advances in oral systemic health involve treating airway concerns

Cardiovascular Health Links

Beyond nutrition, academy curricula for dentists now include such titles as Arteriology and Vascular Inflammation – The Oral/Systemic Connection, based on a course designed for medical professionals by physician Bradley Bale and Amy Doneen, an advanced registered nurse practitioner, co-founders of the Bale/ Doneen Method for the prevention of heart attack, stroke and diabetes. Mike Milligan, a doctor of dental medicine, founder of Eastland Dental Center, in Bloomington, Illinois, and AAOSH

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such as snoring and sleep apnea. “Snoring is typically caused by muscles and tissues relaxing in the throat and mouth, resulting in decreased space in the airway passage and vibration of tissues. Eventually, individuals can develop sleep apnea, which can also result in hypertension and other problems,” advises Milligan. In sleep apnea, the sleeper’s breathing pauses often or produces hypopnea, slowed or shallow breathing for 10 or more seconds at a time. Fewer than five episodes per hour is normal, with five to 15 considered mild apnea, 15 to 30 moderate and more than 30 severe. Although 20 percent of Americans may have sleep apnea—typically associated with insomnia, tiredness and less oxygen in the body—95 percent of affected individuals go undiagnosed. To help, Milligan suggests that before going to bed we lower the thermostat in the bedroom and avoid drinking alcohol, smoking, watching television or working on a computer. Improved breathing helps assuage snoring, sleep apnea, asthma, hay fever and nasal congestion. Milligan cites Patrick McKeown’s work, explained in his book The Oxygen Advantage. An authority on the Buteyko Breathing Method, McKeown explains how improved breathing dramatically improves oxygenation, releases more energy and supports lifelong health and well-being. Muscle retraining using orofacial myofunctional therapy can help prevent sleep apnea and also abate temporomandibular joint disorders. This new field is concerned with orofacial functional patterns and postures when teeth are apart, their status 95 percent of each day and night. It also retrains muscles to keep the tongue at the roof of the mouth and the lips together to prevent breathing through the mouth, correct swallowing function and eliminate poor oral habits such as thumb sucking. Three mechanical treatments for sleep apnea include mandibular advancement oral devices used to move the lower jaw forward, a continuous positive airway pressure machine to aid airway functioning, or surgery, which is the last resort. “The real opportunity for catching and preventing this is with children 5 to 10 years old, when their jaws are developing,” says Milligan. He further cites links discovered between the mouth and brain. “Oral spirochetes, which normally live in the mouth, have been found in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. Dr. Judith Miklossy, from the International Association for Alzheimer’s, spoke at an AAOSH conference about the link between oral bacteria and dementia, and Garth Ehrlich, Ph.D., professor of microbiology, immunology and otolaryngology at Drexel University College of Medicine, addressed rheumatoid arthritis and certain types of cancers. All of these links are more than enough reasons why good oral hygiene is essential to good health,” says Milligan. Linda Sechrist is a senior staff writer for Natural Awakenings. Connect at

natural awakenings

February 2016



Bird-Watching for Beginners Start with a Bird Feeder and Binoculars by Sandra Murphy


or those that love animals but can’t provide a home to a domestic pet, wild birds are just outside the window. Between 50 and 60 million Americans list bird-watching as a hobby. To start, all we need is a bird feeder. For safety and comfort, position feeders near a tree or bush at least 15 feet from windows. Scott Logan, an Audubon Society board member in Sherman Oaks, California, cautions, “Birds stay alert for predators. An unmarked window looks like an escape route. They won’t see the glass.” Products like Window Alert, a decal that reflects ultraviolet rays birds see but humans don’t, can prevent a crash. A book on local birds will describe the best food to attract them, whether residents or just passing through. Bluebirds love mealworms. Hummingbirds like floral nectars and orioles prefer citrus flavors. Cardinals and jays dine on sunflower seeds. Always provide unseasoned, unsalted seeds. In cold weather, also remember to hang homemade suet combining one part organic regular fat peanut butter with five parts organic, nonGMO (genetically modified) corn meal. Pour fresh water in the birdbath daily, change hummingbird nectar every three days and discard moldy seeds and old suet. Feeding year-round doesn’t interfere with migration, according to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, in Ithaca,


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New York. Migration, nest building, feeding a new family and staying warm in colder weather require substantial calories. “American goldfinches are social and will stay to eat,” adds Logan. “Blue jays and titmouses are ‘grab-andgo’ birds.”

Join in the Fun

In Arlington, Texas, Cathy Stein, owner of, will participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count this year from February 12 to 15 ( “One easy resource for identifying birds is Merlin, the free app from Cornell Lab,” says Stein. “Take the bird’s picture, which is helpful in identifying details that can be overlooked or forgotten otherwise.” Merlin works like facial recognition for birds, comparing eyes, beaks and tails to species in its database by location ( Audubon’s free app includes birdcalls (Tinyurl. com/AudubonFreeBirdApp). Jon Weber-Hahnsberg, a 12-yearold volunteer at the Dallas Zoo, and his seven-member team won last year’s statewide birding competition hosted by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department by identifying 72 species in 12 hours. “Now I’m hooked,” he says. “Outside the city, there are snowy egrets, waterfowl, hawks and owls to see.” National wildlife refuges managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are suitable birding sites for both

novices and pros. Here are some tips for beginners. Focus on big, easy-to-see birds. Sandhill crane tours are a hit in Mississippi and other Gulf Coast states ( Sandhill_Crane). Concentrate on birds that travel in flocks. Common redhead ducks migrate in great numbers to the Texas coast each winter ( LagunaAtascosaBirdlife). Look for standouts, birds with characteristics that capture the imagination, like the speed of a peregrine falcon, large wingspan of a California condor or unusual color of Florida’s roseate spoonbills. (Visit Cape_Meares and JN_Ding_Darling.) In Maine, see puffins at the only colony that allows visitors to go ashore for a close-up look (MaineBirdingTrail. com/MachiasSealIsland.htm). Not a

I think the most important quality in a birdwatcher is a willingness to stand quietly and see what comes. Some people are very competitive in their birding. Maybe they’ll die happy, having seen a thousand species… but I’ll die happy knowing I’ve spent all that quiet time being present. ~Lynn Thomson, Birding with Yeats: A Memoir

Fine Feathered Facts What to do with a stranded baby bird: Comparing bird and human vision: Find wildlife refuges by state: Live bird cams:

Going to the Birds

refuge, ownership of the island has been disputed for two centuries.

Incredible Hobby

“Keeping a life list of birds you’ve seen, when and where, is not only fun,” says Nate Swick, author of the recent Birding for the Curious, in Greensboro, North Carolina. “It brings back memories of a time and place. Birding takes you places you wouldn’t think of. I’ve birdwatched in local landfills, as well as in India and Central America.” A particularly impressive sight was a shearwater, found 30 to 40 miles into the Atlantic Ocean off the North Carolina coast, a species that only comes to land during breeding season. “Each bird has an incredible story,” he says. “Migrating birds that arrive exhausted and hungry after flying hundreds of miles will often look for local birds like chickadees that act as the welcome wagon, showing where food, water and a safe rest area can be found.” Erika Zar, a catalog copywriter in Madison, Wisconsin, happened upon the nearby Horicon Marsh Bird Festival ( “Everyone seemed so meditative, hiking in quiet groups. It was peaceful,” she says. “Listing the birds they saw on checklists was like a scavenger hunt for adults.” Zar immediately bought binoculars, but soon traded them for a better pair. “Bird-watching opened my eyes to a new world right in front of me,” she says joyfully. “I’d just never looked or listened closely enough before.” Connect with Sandra Murphy at

by Sandra Murphy


hris Santella, author of Fifty Places to Go Birding Before You Die, offers these top sighting spots. n Pointe Reyes National Seashore, California, is on a migration route between Alaska and Mexico and renowned as a resting spot for upwards of 500 species. n Tucson, Arizona, welcomes hummingbirds and exotics like the brilliantly plumed elegant trogon from the tropics. n High Island and Galveston, Texas, are the first stop for birds crossing the Gulf of Mexico.

n Cape May, New Jersey, hosts shorebirds year round plus it’s en route to Canada. n Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge, in Chatham, Massachusetts, yields sightings of shorebirds such as plover, sandpipers and terns. n Prairie Pothole Region stretching from Iowa to Minnesota, Montana and the Dakotas is especially good for watching waterfowl. n Cleveland, Ohio, near Lake Erie, celebrates hundreds of species flying to Canada in May. “It’s great for anybody with a life list,” says Santella. “You can add scores of species to your list in one day.” In the fall, raptors migrate and Birds lists some of the best spots to watch hawks.

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n Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, in Kempton, Pennsylvania n Golden Gate Raptor Observatory, in Sausalito, California n Hazel Bazemore County Park, in Corpus Christi, Texas n Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory, in Duluth, Minnesota n Florida Keys Hawkwatch, Curry Hammock State Park, in Marathon, Florida n Cape May Hawk Watch, Cape May Point State Park, in New Jersey. As rivers freeze over, eagles migrate south to follow the food supply, often near dams where fish gather. During the spring thaw, they return north to nest. Prime Wisconsin eagle watching sites include Lake Pepin, Necedah Wildlife Refuge, La Crosse, Prairie du Sac refuge, Sauk City and Wyalusing State Park. Alton, Illinois, is also along the Mississippi Flyway for eagles. Florida eagles tend to stay year-round.


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Ancient Grains for Modern Palates Gluten-Free and Eco-Friendly Grains Gain Favor by Judith Fertig


ncient grains are making a comeback. Grown since Neolithic times about 10,000 years ago, varieties of barley, corn, millet and rice have helped assuage the hunger of many communities. Today, yellow millet, dark red wholegrain sorghum, brown quinoa and exotic black rice can help alleviate food shortages. According to Harry Balzer, an expert surveyor of food and diet trends with The NPD Group, concerns about grains and gluten have prompted about a third of Americans to try to cut back on both since 2012. About 1 percent of the population has celiac disease, estimates the Celiac Disease Foundation, but many more prefer not to eat gluten. Many ancient grains are naturally gluten-free, including amaranth, buckwheat, millet, quinoa, rice and teff. “Some think that a grain-free way

of eating is healthier and also better for the planet,” says food writer Maria Speck, of Cambridge, Massachusetts, author of Ancient Grains for Modern Meals and Simply Ancient Grains. “But that may be too simplistic, a characteristic of many diet trends.”

Better for Our Health

Whole grains fill us up and provide fiber, both necessary for maintaining optimum digestion and weight, says Kathleen Barnes, a widely published natural health expert in Brevard, North Carolina. Eating more whole grains has been previously associated with a lower risk of major diseases such as Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, based on studies by the University of Minnesota and Lund University, in Sweden. Qi Sun, assistant professor in the Harvard School of Public

Natural Awakenings recommends using organic and non-GMO (genetically modified) ingredients whenever possible. 36

West Michigan Edition

Health department of nutrition, agrees that whole grains are one of the major healthful foods for prevention of major chronic diseases. He’s the lead author of a new Harvard study of data associating consumption of whole grains with a 9 percent reduction in overall mortality and up to 15 percent fewer cardiovascular fatalities during two 25-yearlong research initiatives that followed 74,000 woman and 43,000 men. The researchers cited substituting whole grains for refined grains and red meat as likely contributors to longer life. “Whole grains are nutritional powerhouses, packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, beneficial fiber and even some protein,” observes Speck. With a German father and a Greek mother, she grew up in two cultures where grains are a part of everyday meals. “We eat them because they taste good.”

Better for Local Farmers

Sourcing and eating more organic and GMO-free whole grains (absent modified genetics) can help support local farmers, Speck maintains. Choose barley from Four Star Farms, in Massachusetts; heirloom grits from Anson Mills, in South Carolina; quinoa from White Mountain Farm, in Colorado; or heirloom Japanese rice from Koda Farms, in California.

Better for the Planet

Ancient grains require fewer natural resources to plant, grow and harvest. According to the Water Footprint Network, a pound of beef, millet and rice require 1,851, 568 and 300 gallons of water, respectively, to produce. Substituting grains in diets is a sustainable alternative to meat, and they grow on grasslands that now inefficiently support livestock. According to University of Cambridge Professor of Engineering David MacKay, it takes about 25 times more energy to produce one calorie of beef than one calorie of natural grain. Ancient grains can add variety and flavor to meals and a wealth of them are as close as the gluten-free aisle of a neighborhood grocery or health food store. Judith Fertig blogs at AlfrescoFood from Overland Park, KS.

Favorite Ancient Grains by Maria Speck


t’s best to cook up a batch of ancient grains ahead on the weekend for use during a busy week. To inject more color and flavor, add a pinch of saffron to turn the cooking water golden, or cook the grains in pomegranate juice. Cooked grain keeps in the refrigerator for up to seven days, ready to enhance salads, soups, yogurt or desserts. Amaranth. The seed head of pigweed, amaranth can be baked into a custard or added to a soup. Grown by the Aztecs, iron- and protein-rich amaranth can be popped raw in a skillet like popcorn, and then added as garnish to soups and salads. Buckwheat. The seeds of a plant related to rhubarb and grown in northern climates, buckwheat can be ground into flour for savory French crepes or simmered whole in soup. Quinoa. Grown at high altitudes, quinoa has become a popular addition to salads or yogurt, as well as its own side dish. Millet. A tiny, drought-tolerant grain, millet can be added to bread dough for texture or cooked as a healthy breakfast with toasted almonds and cardamom. Teff. From Ethiopia, the flour of this tiny grain is fermented and used to make the flatbread known as injera. Try a teff waffle with caramelized pineapple. Source: Adapted from Simply Ancient Grains by Maria Speck.Â

natural awakenings

February 2016


Photo by Erin Kunkel © 2015

Cooking with Ancient Grains

Buckwheat and Beet Soup Yields: 4 servings

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil 1½ cups chopped red onion (1 medium) ¾ tsp fine sea salt 2 tsp minced garlic (2 cloves) ¼ tsp dried thyme ¾ tsp dried savory or ½ tsp more dried thyme ¾ cup raw buckwheat groats (not kasha) 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper 2 cups raw shredded beets, preferably red (1 large or 2 small) 1 to 2 tsp honey 1 cup purified water (approximately) 2 tsp sherry vinegar, or more as needed

To make the soup, heat a large heavy saucepan over medium heat. Swirl in the oil and wait until it shimmers.

Horseradish Yogurt ¾ cup whole milk or 2% Greek yogurt 3 Tbsp retail horseradish, with liquid ¼ tsp fine sea salt ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper

Add the broth (beware of splatter), the remaining ½ tsp salt and the pepper and bring to a boil, scraping the bottom of the pan.

Add the onion and ¼ tsp of the salt. Stir occasionally, until the onion just starts to brown at the edges, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and the herbs thyme and savory, and then cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Watch closely, so as not to burn the pieces. Stir in the buckwheat groats and cook, stirring occasionally and monitoring, until the grains take on some color, about 2 minutes.

Decrease the heat to maintain a simmer, cover and cook until the buckwheat is tender, about 15 minutes. While it simmers, prepare the horseradish yogurt topping: Combine the horseradish, salt and pepper in a small bowl and beat until smooth using a fork. Season with more salt and pepper to taste. To finish, stir in the beets and 1 tsp of the honey and then add about 1 cup of water to reach a preferred consistency. Remove the pot from the heat, cover and allow to sit for 5 minutes until the vegetables soften. Add the vinegar and taste for seasoning. Depending on the beets’ sweetness, maybe add another teaspoon of honey and a bit more vinegar to balance it, and perhaps a tad more salt and pepper. The seasoning is forgiving because the topping will bring the flavors together. Ladle the soup into four bowls, garnish with a dollop of the yogurt topping and serve at once.


West Michigan Edition

Photo by Erin Kunkel © 2015

Greek Millet Saganaki with Shrimp and Ouzo Millet 1¼ cups purified water ¾ cup millet 1 bay leaf Pinch of fine sea salt Saganaki 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil 1 cup finely chopped yellow onion (1 small) 1 clove garlic, peeled and slightly crushed 1 small hot green chili, minced (optional) ¼ tsp fine sea salt 2 Tbsp tomato paste 1 (28-oz) BPA-free can whole tomatoes, crushed in a bowl ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper ½ cup green pimiento-stuffed olives, halved if large 4 oz coarsely crumbled Greek feta cheese (about 1 cup), preferably made from sheep’s milk Shrimp 1 lb jumbo shell-on shrimp from a reputable fishmonger, deveined and patted dry (or substitute firm tofu, cut into bite-sized pieces) Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil 1 /3 cup ouzo or other aniseflavored liqueur ¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley To prepare the millet, bring the water, millet, bay leaf, and salt to a boil in a 2-quart saucepan. Decrease the heat to maintain a simmer, cover and cook until the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit covered for 5 to 10 minutes. Uncover, remove the bay leaf and set aside to cool. Meanwhile, make the saganaki. Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat until it shimmers. Add the onion, garlic, chili and salt; cook, stirring frequently, until the onion softens and turns light golden, about 5 minutes.

Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, until it darkens, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes with their juices and the pepper; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Decrease the heat to maintain a light boil and cook, uncovered, for 3 minutes. Stir in the millet and green olives. Taste for salt and pepper and adjust (keeping in mind that olives and feta cheese are typically salty). Remove the pot from the heat, sprinkle with the feta and cover to allow the cheese to soften. To prepare the shrimp (or tofu), season them with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a 12-inch skillet over high heat until it shimmers. Add the shrimp. Cook, undisturbed, until the shrimp or tofu pieces turn golden, 1 to 2 minutes, and then flip them with a spatula and cook until the shrimp are just opaque throughout or the tofu has warmed through, 1 to 2 more minutes, depending on the size. Add the ouzo and cook until it’s syrupy, about 30 seconds. Using a spatula, briskly remove the shrimp from the pan and arrange on top of the millet. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve at once. All recipes adapted from Simply Ancient Grains or Ancient Grains for Modern Meals, by Maria Speck, courtesy of Ten Speed Press.

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Low-Sodium Diets

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February 2016



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


Complementary Consultation- At Brain & Body Chiropractic, a consultation is a conversation, not an examination and certainly not a high-pressure sales pitch. After all, we are not the right office for everyone, so doesn’t it make sense to discover that before you begin a relationship with our practice? Call 616-202-6368 to schedule. Holland. Love is in the Air- Love is in the air at Vital Nutrition. Stop in for some friendly heart health tips. Find out how our dental health has an impact on our hearts and minds as well. We are open MonFri 9:30am-7:30pm and Sat. 10am-5pm. 616-4339333. 169 Marcell Dr. NE, Rockford. Multi-level Fitness Classes- Multilevel Fitness Classes offered at various times on weekdays to fit your busy schedule. Positive atmosphere. Individualized coaching to help you reach your personal goals offered at no charge. Get your results now. Call 616-340-9822 for more details. NutritionN-More, LLC, Kentwood.


Writing Workshop- 6-8pm. Recharge your creative spirit and discover your unique voice through writing. All experience levels invited. Join us for writing prompts and compassionate support in a cozy writing studio. Five Mondays, starting Feb. 1. Register at Grand Rapids.

Meditation & Mindfulness Workshop- 10am4pm. This workshop will open you up to a world of possibilities for a healthy mind, spirit, body and life. From Buddha to The Beatles, people have practiced medication. So, there must be something to it., Saugatuck. Zentangle II with Cindy Bowles, CZT- 6:30pm. Learn Heart and Flower pattern techniques on Bijou tiles. Students should have taken a Basics Zentangle class. Bring starter kit, adhesive, scissors and (optional) colored pens/pencils. Registration and prepayment required. 616-7351285. Moondrop Herbals Cottage of Natural Elements, 351 Cummings NW, Grand Rapids. Weight Loss Support Group- 7pm. Join the Happy! Healthy! 2016 and Beyond support group. This is a free group for those who want to make lifelong changes in their health in 2016. Try some tasty, healthy treats and explore ideas that will change your relationship with food forever. RSVP at 616401-7199. Guided Transformations, Caledonia.

West Michigan Edition

Denotes an event sponsored by Natural Awakenings Magazine West Michigan.


Register or sponsor at $111. Byron Center.

Writing Workshop- 9-11am. Recharge your creative spirit and discover your unique voice through writing. All experience levels invited to this 5-week series, led by a Certified Leader of the Amherst Writers & Artists Method. Join us for writing prompts and compassionate support in a cozy writing studio. Register at VoiceandVessel. com. Grand Rapids.



Couples Yoga Workshop- 7-8:30pm. Just in time for Valentine’s Day! This relaxing and fun class is designed to build trust, communication, joy and intimacy through the power of compassionate touch. Both experienced yoga students and beginners are welcome. for more info. $30. 5570 Wilson Ave. Ste. M, Grandville.

A Weekend Workshop with Betsey Downing6:30-8:30pm Friday, 10am-12:30pm and 2-4:30pm Saturday, 9:30am-12:30pm and 2-4:30pm Sunday. Join Betsey Downing, international yoga teacher at Expressions of Grace Yoga. Call 616-361-8580 for more information. 5270 Northland Dr. NE, Grand Rapids.


I n s p i r e! C o m mu n i t y G a t h e r i n g - 1p m . Community Collaborative Gathering will wrap up discussion of mental health issues in the Tri-Cities and review accomplishments. Collection is used computer parts for refurbishing and redistribution. Music, brainstor ming, ref reshments. More information: Spring Lake.

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 8 Chinese New Year

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 2 Ground Hog Day World Wetlands Day


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

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 9 Mardi Gras Share the Vision Tour- 6:30pm. Are you ready to stop surviving, and start thriving? Come meet Dr. James Rouse author and speaker, share the amazing Well and Company community that is passionate about self-care, and the “Daily Well” of products and daily practices to support us on our journey. RSVP to Michelle@PeaksOfPossibility. com. Wyoming.


SPARK Retreat- 9am-4pm. A sacred sanctuary, Oasis Retreats and Workshops are for those seeking awareness for their life vision. Tune into inner guidance, let go of beliefs that no longer serve you and gain awareness of God’s vision for your prosperous future. Includes lunch and activities.

Partner Yoga- 6-7:15pm. Enjoy the support and help of a loved one as we explore yoga together. Following the class there will be an option to stay and mingle with light refreshments served. A nice alternative to the busy restaurants on Valentine’s weekend! Registration required-visit to sign up. Spring Lake.


Self-Compassion Seminar- 9am-noon. Celebrate Valentine’s Day by loving YOU. Build a selfcompassion practice, let go of “shoulds” and starting living from your authentic self. Includes workbook, meditation, heart chakra balancing, empowerment exercises, stirring discussions and more. Limited to 6 participants! At In The Heart Counseling, RSVP required, 616-426-9226 or InTheHeartCounseling@ Grand Rapids. Sing Song Yoga for Kids- Noon-12:30pm, ages 2-6, 12:45-1:30pm, ages 6-11. Introduce your children to the joys of yoga in an age-appropriate class full of music, movement and merriment! Learn more and register at $6 for ages 2-6, $8 for ages 6-11. The Yoga Studio, 959 Lake Dr. SE Ste. 2016, Grand Rapids. Childbirth after Cesarean: Making Informed Decisions- noon-3pm. About 1/3 of West Michigan moms deliver their babies via cesarean, which can limit future childbirth options. This class seeks to inform and empower families between and during pregnancies to make the best decisions for themselves and their families. $40. Midwifery Matters Community Center, 6293 Kenowa Ave SW, Grandville. Yoga 101- 1-2:30pm. This 90-minute introductory workshop is structured to help students new to yoga start at the beginning in a warm, welcoming environment. We will discuss yoga and its benefits. Essential poses will be broken down and explored. For more information, 5570 Wilson Ave. Ste. M, Grandville. Prenatal Prepare- 2-4pm. Ease discomforts during pregnancy while helping your body prepare for a natural birth. Whole body alignment,

breathing techniques and pelvic floor health will be covered through both discussion and movement practice. Taught by Sandy Parker, a Restorative Exercise and Movement Therapist. Sign up at Spring Lake. GR Veg Fest Fundraiser “Veggie Prom” 7 -10pm. Dress beautiful and enjoy the dance with DJ Buck. Ticket includes a vegan taco bar, decadent vegan dessert bar and a beer & wine cash bar. $20/ single, $35/couple. Perfect gift for your Valentine’s Day! 24 Fountain St. NE, Grand Rapids.

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 14 Valentine’s Day Eckankar- 10-11am. “Dreams, Your Window to Heaven,” is the theme for the ECK Worship Service, always the second Sunday each month. Free. Dominican Center at Marywood, Room 4, 2025 E Fulton, Grand Rapids,


Essential Oils 101- 6:30pm. New to using essential oils? This workshop teaches the basics of essential oils. Learn how they work, how to use them, and what to stock for everyday health and wellness support in your home. Call 616-401-7199 to RSVP. Guided Transformations, Caledonia.



Mindfulness & Meditation Class- 10-11am. For people with all levels of meditation levels, learn different meditation styles and have the opportunity to walk a canvas labyrinth, learning more about the healing powers and the spiritual growth possibilities. $10. Saugatuck. Usui Reiki I and II- 10am-4pm, Feb. 20-21. Ken and Dana Gray have over 45 years of combined experience teaching Usui Reiki classes. The classes are informative and spiritual. Students learn how to heal self and others. Call Subtle Energies & D’ Rose Institute for more information, 269-8384079. Delton.


A Weekend with Gabriel Halpern- February 2628. Join Cascade Yoga Studio for a weekend with Gabriel Halpern. Register at EOGAndCYSYoga. com. Call 616-464-1610 for more information. 5060 Cascade Rd. SE, Ste. G, Grand Rapids. Asana Studies with Christina Sell- February 2628. Join Christina Sell for a dynamic weekend of asana studies and personal contemplation designed to help you stretch and strengthen your body and your mind. Expect to sweat, laugh and learn. For more information or to register, PeaceLabYoga. com. Grandville.

March 11-13

West Michigan Women’s Expo - Over 400 exhibits and seminars tailored to women and their families, focusing on health, beauty, fitness, fashion, finance and fun! Tickets available at the door or in advance at Meijer. DeVos Place, Grand Rapids.

savethedate April 2-3

Body Mind & Spirit Expo-Largest 2nd Annual spirit expo to exhibit in Kalamazoo, professional mediums, intuitive communicators, and healers gathered under one roof. Many free lectures, speakers & demonstrations. Radisson Hotel & Suites, 100 W Michigan Ave, Kalamazoo. $10 per day, 12 & under free.

April 16-17

Inspired Life Grand Rapids - 8am4pm. Transform your life and become your healthiest self. Join this 2-day health and wellness conference addressing topics of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health. $160. Register at InspiredLifeGr. com. Grand Rapids.

Give Yourself the Gift of Clear Beautiful Skin7-8pm. This conversation with Barb will explore how our exterior reveals secrets to our inner health as well as how to reverse skin aging. Free. Holistic Care Approach, 3368 Beltline Ct. NE, Grand Rapids.

Mindfulness, Mindsight and the Integrated Brain- 9am-4pm. Join Dr. Siegel and explore the mind and mental health at the Watermark Country Club in Grand Rapids. Tickets range from $139 to $229, with an early registration discount through February 12. For more information or to register, visit or call 616-361-3660.

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 17 World Human Spirit Day


Midwest Women’s Herbal Conference - Hear from guest speakers, herbalists and authors and enjoy swimming, evening entertainment, workshops, film screenings and more. Almond, WI.


Check Us Out:

Healing Circle- 7pm. Following group meditation from 6-7pm, join us in a Healing Energy Circle at 7pm to promote wellness for ourselves and others. Join us for all or part of the gathering. Call 616-8361555 for more information. All healing modalities are welcome., Saugatuck.


7 Day Inch Loss Challenge- 6:30am-8pm. Join our 7 Day inch Loss Challenge trying our amazing inch loss product. First week information and instruction for product use. Second week is results week and prize distribution! Get your results and become a winner! Nutrition-N-More, LLC, Kentwood.


Prosperity Seminar- 10am-noon. Join Spirit Space for a 6-week series. Listen to seminar content, engage in discussion, question and answers. Catapult your mind and provide a new way of prosperous thinking. Call 616-886-2716 for more information. Saugatuck.

Reiki Level I & II- 9am-4:30pm. Training and Attunement, Usui Linage, led by Gayle Campbell, Reiki MasterTeacher. Training includes; class, certification and internship. $270 For information and registration call Gayle at 616-916-0701. Cottage of Natural Elements, 351 Cummings NW, Grand Rapids.

Breast Health: The Truth About Thermography7pm. Learn about the benefits of thermography, how it works and the importance of making it part of your breast health protocol. Call 616-724-6368 to RSVP. Space is limited. Advanced Thermal Imaging of West Michigan, 3093 Broadmoor SE, Grand Rapids.

savethedate June 3-5

savethedate Save The Date Events

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


natural awakenings

February 2016


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.



and coaching weekly to help achieve your goals. Space is limited. Register by calling 616-443-4225. The Remedy House, Grand Rapids.

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

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


Community Yoga Class- 4-5pm. $5 donation goes towards the Charity of the Month. Bodhi Tree Yoga & Wellness Studio, 208 W 18th St., Holland. Visit for more information.

Healthy Lifestyle/Weightloss Clinic- 5-7pm. Enroll now for our next 13-week Healthy Lifestyle/ Weightloss program where you receive education and coaching weekly to help achieve your goals. Space is limited. Register by calling 616-443-4225. The Remedy House, Grand Rapids.

Hot Yoga- Sunday at 4pm, Monday at 5:30pm, Thursday at 7pm. Experience hot yoga to produce greater muscle flexibility and release of toxins in the body. $12. Hearts Journey Wellness Center, 6189 Lake Michigan Dr., Allendale. Sunday Series- 6pm. Explore spirituality, universal truths, self-mastery and balanced, positive, loving and joyful living with The Coptic Center and their ongoing offering of enlightening Ministers, Teachers and guest presenters. Love offering. 0-381 Lake Michigan Drive, Grand Rapids. For more information see

Monday Gentle Yoga- 5-6pm. A class focused around those who may have chronic pain or physical limitations preventing them from taking a “traditional” yoga class, or for those who just want to take it easy. Your Inner Space Yoga & Healing Arts Studio, Holland. The Practice of A Course in Miracles - 7-8:30pm. Learn “Miracle-Mindedness”. Got joy? This is how to have it. (Hint: You already do.) All are welcome. Free. Fountain Street Church, Grand Rapids. 616-458-5095.

Tuesday Gentle Hatha Yoga with Mitch Coleman- 7:459am & 9:15-10:30am. Drop-ins welcome. Visit for more information. Classes meet at White River Yoga Studio, 8724 Ferry St. Montague. 231-740-6662. Beginning Yoga- 9:30am. Be introduced to basic postures, breathing techniques and mindfulness with an emphasis on building body awareness. Hearts Journey Wellness Center, 6189 Lake Michigan Dr., Allendale. Prenatal Yoga- 5:30-6:45pm. NEW! Weekly Prenatal Yoga classes now offered. Yoga has been proven beneficial to pregnancy through gentle stretching, alignment and breath awareness. Babies welcome postpartum, too!, Spring Lake.


West Michigan Edition

Kundalini & Meditation- 5:30pm. Use breath exercises, body posture, movements, sound, relaxation and meditation to energize and balance all of the systems of the body. $12. Hearts Journey Wellness Center, 6189 Lake Michigan Dr., Allendale. Yin Yoga- 5:30-6:30pm. Yin Yoga takes a more passive and meditative approach holding and melting into poses for 3-5 minutes. It teaches you to listen, connect and be with stillness. Your Inner Space Yoga & Healing Arts Studio, Holland. Meditation at Spirit Space- 6-7pm. Join together for meditation that begins and ends with live, native flute music. Join us for the full hour or any portion of the meeting. Call 616-836-1555 or visit for more information. Saugatuck. Discover the Power Within You- 6:30-8pm. Learn the ways in which we can release the power locked within us for better health, greater confidence, increased success and inspired openness to let our “light shine” forth for others. Office@UnityCSG. org. Ada. Yoga Lab- 7-8pm. Let’s break down this thing called Asana and fine tune your practice! Focusing on alignment, form and breath. Your Inner Space Yoga & Healing Arts Studio, Holland.

Thursday Advanced Beginning Yoga- 9:30am. A logical next step for beginners, this class emphasizes building strength, flexibility, mindfulness and selfacceptance. Hearts Journey Wellness Center, 6189 Lake Michigan Dr., Allendale. Rising Strong- 10:30am-noon, Thursdays Feb. 11-March 24. Join the path to more love, belonging, creativity and joy. Though we stumble and fall, rising strong afterward is how we cultivate wholeheartedness and learn the most about who we are. $60. Ada. Healthy Lifestyle/Weightloss Clinic- 5-7pm. Enroll now for our next 13-week Healthy Lifestyle/ Weightloss program where you receive education

Gentle Hatha Yoga with Mitch Coleman 9-10:15am & 10:30-11:45am. Drop-ins welcome. Visit for info. Classes meet at White River Yoga Studio. Montague. 231-740-6662. Sweetwater Local Foods Market- 9am-1pm. Hackley Health at the Lakes building on Harvey Street. We are inside if the weather is bad. We are a double up bucks and bridge card market. Hesperia. 231-861-2234. Soulful Saturday Flow- 10-11:30am. A teacher’s choice flow that connects mind, body and spirit. Your Inner Space Yoga & Healing Arts Studio, Holland.

One of the most

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Vikki Nestico, R.Ac. Located at Renewal Skin Spa 6080 28th St. SE, Grand Rapids 616-940-1177

At Grand Wellness, we focus on a holistic approach to wellness, promoting healing through acupuncture, herbal therapy and lifestyle modifications. Call to set up a free consultation to discuss how Chinese medicine can help your specific health concerns. See ad, page 23.


Barbara Zvirzdinis, WK, CMT 616-581-3885 Certified Massage Therapist offering Therapeutic, Hot Stone & Matrix Massage. Certified Wholistic Kinesiologist, Certified Matrix E n e rg e t i c s P r a c t i t i o n e r, Reconnection Healing Practitioner, Certified Herbalist, Certified Acutonics Practitioner, and a Certified Reflexologist. See ad, page 19.


Andrew Gielczyk Licensed Builder 616-834-2480 Wood & Saw is focused on creating a sustainable high quality of life for our clients. Building simple, cost-effective, energyefficient, toxic-free homes and remodels that achieve the healthiest possible indoor air quality. See ad, page 21.

CHIROPRACTIC CARE BRAIN & BODY CHIROPRACTIC Drs. Lily & Kody Semrow Holland, MI 616-202-6368

Our doctors provide a comprehensive solution to resolving problems of the spine and nervous system. Dr. Semrow is 1 of 400 doctors in the country certified in the functional neurology protocol for neuro-structural correction. See ad, page 32.

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.

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

Certified therapist since 1991 offering colon therapy in a sterile and professional environment. Using a holistic approach, colonics relieves constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloat, poor digestion, back pain, body odor and more. See ad, page 34.


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


Kelly O’Brien Pahman 616-617-3130 A gentle, effective, healing touch for anxiety, chronic pain, fertility and pregnancy concerns, head trauma, and more. Kelly offers services to all ages as a certified holistic doula and a craniosacral therapist (Upledger).


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 19.

ESSENTIAL OILS BE YOUNG ESSENTIAL OILS Clara VanderZouwen Independent Sharing Partner 616-481-8587

Be Young Essential Oils are E.O.B.B.D. guaranteed 100% pure for the safety and benefit of your family, pets - even horses! Offering FREE monthly classes, Zyto Compass Bio-scans, Ionic Detoxing Footbaths and aromatherapy jewelry! claravz@



Cottage of Natural Elements 351 Cummings, NW Grand Rapids 616-735-1285

SERENDIPITE ORGANIQUES Teri Kelley 616-719-0610

Your online source for organic, non-GMO makeup and body care! Offering several lines, you’ll find everything you need to cleanse and beautify your body head-to-toe. Serendipite also carries a 100% organic dog care line!

natural awakenings

Your Local Source for all things Natural and Botanical. Essential oils, Bulk Herbs, Tea, Handcrafted bath & body products, raw ingredients, containers, local artwork, unique gifts. Practitioner discounts. Space rental and Artisan consignment. See ad, page 13.

February 2016


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


Become an Independent Distributor. Discover the high potency of therapeutically authentic Essential Oils from Young Living. Enhance your own health, as well as others who seek holistic wellness options. Free Training. See ad, page 11.

HAKOMI THERAPY KEN PORTER CST, CHT 3355 Eagle Park Dr. NE Ste. 107 Grand Rapids 616-262-3848

Bob Huttinga PA-C & Rev. Barbara Huttinga 332 S. Lincoln Ave., Lakeview 989-352-6500 Naturopathic / Holistic Practitioners and Retail Health Store. Natural Health Consultations, Classes, Oils, H e r b s , H o m e o p a t h y, Hypnosis, Foods, Candles, Crystals, Books, CD’s, Massage, Reflexology, Emotional Clearing, Raindrop Therapy, Foot Detox, DOT/CDL Health Cards for truck drivers. See ad, page 6.


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.

Guided Transformations 9964 Cherry Valley SE Ste. 2, Caledonia 616-401-7199 Registered Nurse specializing in lifestyle change, weight management and pain reduction. Restoring balance and harmony using Healing To u c h , R e f l e x o l o g y, Aromatherapy, Guided Imagery & visualization practices.


Jodi Jenks Natural Health Practitioner, Reiki Master 616-443-4225


Certified in bodywork, lymphatic drainage, raindrop therapy, CranioSacral, reflexology, iridology, natural health consultations including a zyto bio-communication scan. Emotional clearing with essential oils and energy work, Reiki, Energy Touch. See ad, page 15.

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



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


332 S. Lincoln Ave., Lakeview 989-352-6500

A Certified PA since 1976, Bob Huttinga practices both Traditional and Homeopathic care. He finds the cause and the homeopathy remedy. We accept most insurance, except Priority Health, Blue Care Network or Medicaid. See ad, page 6.

HYPNOTHERAPY HYPNOTHERAPY ASSOCIATES OF GRAND RAPIDS LLC Linda D Knight, CHt, Stacey PreFontaine, CClHt Certified Medical Support Hypnotherapist 1345 Monroe NW, Ste. 201, Grand Rapids 616-550-3231

Hypnotherapy services for Smoking Cessation, Weight Management, Pain Management, Personal and Professional Growth, and much more. Also offering Stress Management services for individuals, couples, families, and the workplace with certified Stress Reduction Specialists. See ad, page 5.


Barbara Zvirzdinis, WK, CMT 616-581-3885 Certified Wholistic Kinesiologist, Certified Matrix E n e rg e t i c s P r a c t i t i o n e r, Certified Massage Therapist, Reconnection Healing P r a c t i t i o n e r, C e r t i f i e d Herbalist, Certified Acutonics Practitioner and Certified Reflexologist. Specializing in muscle testing, massage, energy medicine, nutritional counseling, lectures and classes. See ad, page 19.

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

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


Mary De Lange, CCT., LMT. 1003 Maryland Ave. NE, Grand Rapids 616-456-5033 Over 24 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 35.


Patrice Bobier CPM Hesperia: 231-861-2234 Jennifer Holshoe Grand Rapids area: 616-318-1825 In private practice since 1982 specializing in home birth, and a team approach. Over 1550 births attended. Offering midwifery care that maintains a familycentered 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.

PERSONAL GROWTH IN THE HEART COUNSELING, PLLC Laurie Schmit, LMSW Grand Rapids, 49505 616-426-9226

Transformative counseling, workshops, energywork, breathwork, rebirthing and emotional clearing, all with confidential, caring support. Collaborative, active and affirming approach for adults wanting to break free and move into true Authentic Living. Close to downtown GR.

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

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

SCHOOL / EDUCATION BVI SCHOOL OF AYURVEDA Ruth Small, Ph.D., Director 269-381-4946

SCHOOL OF AYURVEDA. State licensed. Certificate program for healthcare professionals, doctors, nurses, yoga teachers, wellness educators, massage therapists, holistic health specialists, chiropractors, dieticians and those seeking to learn Self-Health-Care. Instructors highly qualified (B.A.M.S.).


0-11279 Tallmadge Woods Dr., Grand Rapids 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.

Produce the Right Balance

NATUROPATHIC INSTITUTE OF THERAPIES & EDUCATION 503 East Broadway St., Mt. Pleasant 989-773-1714

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

SKIN CARE LAKESHORE NATURAL SKIN CARE 10500 Chicago Drive Holland Twp/Zeeland 231-557-3619

Specializing in advanced, customized skin care with Elina Organics. Facials, Body Treatments, NeedleFree Mesotherapy, TriPolarRF, DermaLaser, Facial Hydratherapy, Oxygen Facial Therapy, LED, Microdermabrasion, Bamboo Massage, RainDrop, Reiki and more!

Weigh the advertising choices that Natural Awakenings offers. Display your products and services in our

March Food Matters Issue To advertise or participate in our next issue, call

616-604-0480 natural awakenings

February 2016


The Path You Have Always Wanted Naturopathy

(each year 600 hours)

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

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

Massage Therapy

Therapeutic Bodywork Practitioner...1 Year

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

All Classes Meet on Weekends

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

Naturopaths: 1 per month - Massage: 2 per month

Individual Classes:

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

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

West Michigan Edition

Over 19 Years of Experience ~ Licensed and Accredited

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Natural Awakenings Magazine ~ February 2016  

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

Natural Awakenings Magazine ~ February 2016  

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

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