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feel good • live simply • laugh more


GET FIT In Just 20 Minutes a Day

Autism Update

Dietary Changes Offer New Hope


Truths and Consequences

Sustainable Weight Loss 5 SECRETS YOU SHOULD KNOW

January 2013 | West Michigan Edition | natural awakenings

January 2013



West Michigan Edition




9 5 newsbriefs 9 healthbriefs 12 globalbriefs 14 ecotip 17 fitbody 20 wisewords 28 healingways 3 1 inspiration 34 healthykids 36 naturalpet 38 greenliving 40 consciouseating 4 1 calendar 43 naturaldirectory 46 classifieds

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


Health and Safety are Question Marks by Melinda Hemmelgarn

24 HEALTHY LIFESTYLE by Kathleen Barnes

28 BE SUPPLEMENT SAVVY How to Choose Wisely for Optimal Health by James Occhiogrosso

31 NO DUST ON THE MIRROR Reflections on a Life of Conscious Wholeness

by Michael Bernard Beckwith


34 ADDRESSING AUTISM Families Have Reasons for Hope by Brita Belli

36 RAW FOOD DIETS FOR PETS Weighing the Pros and Cons

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by Sandra Murphy

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How to Sizzle, not Fizzle by Debra Melani



by Sandra Steingraber

WEIGHT LOSS Five Secrets for Feeling

Like Yourself Again by Judith Fertig

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January 2013




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

Subscriptions are available by sending $30 (12 issues) to the above address. © 2012 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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ne of my favorite things about January is the possibilities it brings. It’s a perfect pivot point for a fresh start. I love the hope that comes with the excitement in the air. As last month’s Awakening Humanity issue highlighted, we live in astonishing times and can’t wait to see what 2013 manifests. A good place to start is with the first annual Living Well Grand Rapids: A Health and Fitness Show on January 11 and 12 at the DeVos Place Convention Center downtown. Experts will be on hand to help with informative seminars and classes that include healthy cooking demos. Bring your sneakers to join in a workout and stroll around indulging in some free loot. Be sure to stop by Natural Awakenings’ booth where we will be giving away free NAN discount cards for some lucky winners along with some other useful giveaways. Visit our website at for a $2 discount on tickets to the Living Well event. Also, “Like” us on Facebook to qualify for a drawing of complimentary gate tickets in the weeks leading up to the event. Isn’t it superb how many joyful winter activities Michigan offers that also happen to keep us in shape? We can’t wait to hit some snowshoeing trails and take advantage of some downhill skiing. Did you know an hour of snowshoeing burns from 400 up to 1,000 calories, depending on your pace, packed gear and the terrain? Trekking trails during winters and summers is always on our wish list, but if your family sometimes wants to stay indoors, mall walking offers alternative advantages, starting with convenience and protection in all weather conditions. A brisk walk, covering three-and-a-half miles in an hour, burns about 280 calories. Repeated each day, this excellent habit burns an estimated 3,900 calories—more than a pound of fat—every two weeks. According to the National Wildlife Federation, “The average American boy or girl spends just four to seven minutes in unstructured outdoor play each day, and more than seven hours each day in front of an electronic screen.” It goes on to note that childhood obesity rates have more than doubled the last 20 years. In this brand new year filled with good possibilities, let’s all challenge ourselves to be healthier, setting an example for our youth. Round up your own children, grab your niece or nephew or the kids next door and head outdoors to indulge in some wholesome childhood play, which is good for us on so many levels. Ice skating and sledding alone can yield hours of fun. May 2013 bring you and yours the health and wellness you deserve,

Natural Awakenings is printed on 100% recycled newsprint with soy based ink.


West Michigan Edition

Amy and Kyle Hass, Publishers

newsbriefs Foundations Course with Practical Peace


oin us Monday evenings for seven weeks beginning January 7 from 7:00-9:00pm at Unity of Grand Rapids for our Foundations Course. We will also be offering this course at Fountain Street Church Thursday afternoons from 2:00-4:00pm and as a weekend Intensive, January 18-20. This class is based on the Elizabeth Beau principles introduced by Dr. David Mutchler. We will learn and explore together the “One Simple Practice” to remain present in a changing and challenging world. Required reading will be 14 Inches to Peace, by David Mutchler and Elizabeth Beau. Participants have called the class “a perspective that heals the pain caused by ego and gives us access to the authentic self” and “a clear and simple way to apply your existing Spiritual knowledge.” Taught by Elizabeth Beau at Unity (A Love offering will be gratefully accepted). Taught by Elizabeth Beau & Mark Walstrom at Fountain Street Church. Call 517-414-1600 or email to register. Visit See ad page 46.

Make 2013 Your Healthiest Year


ttawa Village Chiropractic of Holland is exited to announce its free online program, “12 Weeks to Whole Health.” This program is designed to create a balanced lifestyle that nourishes your body, mind and spirit. Each week, participants will be given tools to incorporate into their lives that promote whole, balanced health. The topics included will be nutrition, meditation, balance and wholeness. In addition to the weekly tools, participants will learn a gentle yoga routine that evolves as the course does. Yoga is a great tool that incorporates strength of body, mind and

spirit. The routines can be modified for the very beginner through the very advanced yoga practitioner. This weekly program will begin on the first Monday of each month through March. Please contact Ottawa Village Chiropractic through www. or to enroll in this FREE course. See ad page 15.

Celebrate New Year’s Day the Cascade Yoga Studio Way


his year, Cascade Yoga will offer four distinctive workshops throughout New Years’ Day – a great way to learn more about yoga, Ayurveda, and Cascade Yoga Studio. Sessions begin at 10:00 am and include: Healthy Happy Hips with Viki Distin, An Ayurvedic Lifestyle with Laura Burkett, Yin/Yang Yoga with Jessica Roodvoets, and Manifesting Positive Change with Raechel Morrow. Each session is two hours, and costs $25. For more information, and to register for sessions, call the Studio at 616-464-1610, and check our FB page for updates. Email See ad page 16 & 21.

Grand Rapids Natural Health Now Open


elly S. Hassberger, ND would like to announce the opening of Grand Rapids Natural Health, inside Chiropractic Unlimited. Grand Rapids Natural Health provides Naturopathic Health Kelly S. Hassberger, ND

natural awakenings

January 2013


Consultations to the greater Grand Rapids area utilizing homeopathy, dietary and lifestyle management, food allergy assessment, nutritional supplementation and more. Hassberger graduated with a Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine in 2011 from Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and went on to complete a one-year general medicine residency. She believes in the healing power of nature and the innate ability of the body to heal if given the right environment. Hassberger works with clients to develop individualized plans that empower them to reach their health and wellness goals. Interested clients can call Grand Rapids Natural Health at 616-940-4647 or go to for more information.

Working Together With Steve Guarino


ife Coach Steve Guarino has been “there”. He has experienced illness, as well as anxiety issues and has had to take action steps to make changes in his own life, and now he has the knowledge and desire to help others do Steve Guarino the same. Partner with Steve Guarino to get where you want to go. With reflective listening and thought provoking questioning, Steve looks forward to helping you meet the goals you have for your life. Work with Steve to find out what it really is that you want, knowing that you do not have to work through hard times and situations on your own. Work with someone who has been there and made the changes necessary to find peace, health and happiness—he is just a phone call away. Contact Steve Guarino at 888-552-8880 or steveguarino@ See ad page 5.

New Faces & Services at Expressions of Grace Yoga


xpressions of Grace is pleased to welcome new owners Brent Doornbos and Andy Groggel. Doornbos and Groggel plan to offer Expressions of Grace’s full complement of classes in Yoga as well as Reiki sessions and training, Thai Bodywork and Thai Yoga Massage, Wellness Coaching, and Shamanic Healing. Doornbos is a yoga teacher, bodywork practitioner, Reiki Master, and a Black Belt in multiple Martial Arts. Groggel is also a Reiki Master and is completing a Masters Degree in Integrative Health at the California Institute of Integral Studies. They are looking forward to serving the community by helping others to enhance their personal wellness.


West Michigan Edition

After 10 years at the helm of the flourishing yoga community, Carol Hendershot is shifting her energy to the Grand Rapids Center for Mindfulness, where she and her partner April Hadley will teach and mentor others in the growing field of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction. The Grand Rapids Center for Mindfulness will continue to be an important presence at Expressions of Grace as well. Expressions of Grace Yoga is located at 5270 Northland Drive NE, Grand Rapids. Visit www.expressionsofgraceyoga. com for more information. See ad page 16. See ad for Grand Rapids Center for Mindfulness in the Living Well Grand Rapids Program.

Mindfulness and the Helping Relationship


aul R. Fulton Ed. D., Co-Founder of the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy and Co-Editor of Mindfulness and Psychotherapy will present on Strategies for Caregivers and Their Clients on Tuesday, January 29. Paul R. Fulton Participants will learn the meaning and definitions of mindfulness, how a mindfulness approach differs from medical model treatment, basic instructions for practicing mindfulness, the benefit of mindfulness practice for the clinician, regardless of his/her client population, how to teach mindfulness to clients, and things to consider when tailoring mindfulness to the needs of individual clients, application to particular populations (e.g., those challenged socioeconomically) and the role of compassion in preventing professional burnout. Extensive research has shown that mindfulness training can improve mood and lessen symptoms in many medical and psychological conditions. This workshop teaches caregivers the way to best integrate these powerful practices into our work and our lives.

Living Well Grand Rapids


ark your calendars now, and don’t miss West Michigan’s only show that’s completely devoted to improving all aspects of health. Living Well Grand Rapids, a Health and Fitness Show, will be taking place January 11-12 at DeVos Place in Grand Rapids. It is an opportunity for the community to connect with valuable resources, experience classes, competitions, demonstrations and more. Locally grown healthy food will also be available along with opportunities to speak with health counselors, take advantage of health screenings or attend a seminar enhancing your journey to a healthy balanced life. Living Well is the act of balancing the pleasures of life with the requirements. Exercise and rest together in balance make a body strong. Personal responsibility, along with medical intervention, aids physical healing. Eating well balances nutrition, energy and pleasure. Living Well is not just about any one of these components, but a balance of all. The show takes place from 12:00 pm to 8:00 pm on Friday and from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm on Saturday. Admission is only $8 for adults and $4 for children 6-14 years old (5 & under are free). Stop by the Natural Awakenings Magazine booth for your chance to win a Free NAN~Natural Awakenings Network Card. For more information visit See Program pages 48-56.

Fresh Air Fitness


n Saturday, January 26, Michigan DNR & EcoTrek Fitness brings you: Fresh Air Fitness from 1:00 pm-3:30 pm. Join us for an awesome EcoTrek Fitness AllSeries Special FREE Event. Break your cabin

Registration is 8:30-9:00 am, and the workshop runs from 9:00 am-4:00 pm. Workshop costs $79 for professionals and $49 for students (price includes boxed lunch). The workshop will be held at the Wege Conference Center at Cathedral Square at 360 Division Avenue S, Grand Rapids.

Harmony ‘n Health Colon Hydrotherapy

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

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

Therapeutic Massage also available natural awakenings

January 2013


fever by experiencing the joys of winter adventure at Yankee Springs State Recreation Area. This park is located in Gun Lake, halfway between Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo. Parking requires a State Park Recreation Passport. Bring your cross country skis or snowshoes if there is enough snow to use them. If there is no snow, we will go for a winter hike. Exact meeting location with GPS coordinates will be determined soon. Please send RSVP (required) via email by Friday, January 25th to or call Cari at 616-291-2851. See ad page 11.

Same Great Food, New Location


aking Thyme Kitchen has moved, right next door, to 966 Cherry St. in Grand Rapids. Their retail store is now located inside YT Galleria, just 10 steps west of their old store. Be sure to stop in and say hello. Making Thyme Kitchen is your access to made from scratch, ready-to-cook entrées, soups and sides, fresh salads and desserts. Created from whole foods, and locally raised, hormone and chemical free meats.



ourney Home Yoga & Health (JHYH) is pleased to announce its certification as West Michigan’s only Kripalu Affiliate Studio (KAS). The Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health in Lenox, MA, is North America’s largest yoga and health center of its kind, receiving over 30,000 visitors a year. To become certified as a KAS, JHYH’s facilities, service offerings, teaching skills and practices were all evaluated to make sure they adhere to Kripalu Center’s high standard of providing exceptional service and a true Kripalu Experience. Congratulations to JHYH! To learn more about JHYH or Kripalu Center, visit www.,, or email charlotte@ See ad page 17 & 23.

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Few U.S. Adults Regularly Practice Healthy Habits


recent American Heart Association (AHA) survey reports that only 12 percent of American adults regularly practice the healthy-life trifecta of good nutrition, exercise and oral care. The most common excuse is a lack of time. Of those surveyed, 80 percent said that eating at least nine servings of fruit and vegetables daily is a struggle. About 60 percent find it difficult to log the association’s recommended 150 minutes of moderate physical activity each week. At least 25 percent don’t brush and rinse twice daily and floss at least once daily. Yet, 90 percent of Americans like the idea of improving their health. The AHA “My Heart. My Life.” initiative offers a straightforward set of solutions to help families understand how to make incremental changes that have long-term health impact ( “Whether it is simply adding a 30-minute brisk walk to your day, eating a few more fruits and vegetables with meals, balancing your calories and physical activity to achieve a healthy body weight or creating routine oral care habits—it all contributes to an overall healthier lifestyle,” says Cardiologist Tracy Stevens, a professor of medicine with Saint Luke’s Cardiovascular Consultants, in Kansas City, Missouri.

Black Pepper Fights Fat


simple, widely available spice and kitchen staple may help us trim our waistlines. New research published in the American Chemical Society’s Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry gives the nod to black pepper. The study provides evidence of a long-sought explanation for the beneficial, fat-fighting effects of the common seasoning. Piperine, the pungent-tasting substance that gives black pepper its characteristic taste, helps block the formation of new fat cells.

Wisdom from Water


imply drinking a glass of water can prompt better choices at the dinner table, concludes new research by T. Bettina Cornwell, Ph.D., of the University of Oregon, and Anna R. McAlister, Ph.D., of Michigan State University. In separate studies, young adults and children were tested according to their food and beverage choices. When the participants were served a soda, they selected foods that tended to be more salty and calorie-dense. However, when the provided beverage was water, participants ate more raw vegetables.

A GMO-Free Grocery List


ccording to a recent article published in Green American magazine, 93 percent of Americans believe that genetically modified foods should be labeled. However, only USDA-certified organic products cannot intentionally contain genetically modified organisms (GMO), so identifying GMO foods and products in a typical U.S. grocery store is difficult. The following information can help. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) confirms that large percentages of the nation’s crops were genetically modified in 2011: 94 percent of conventional soy and soy products; 90 percent of cottonseed, a common ingredient in margarine, salad dressings and oils; and 88 percent of corn, contained in breakfast cereals, corn flour products such as chips and tortillas, high-fructose corn syrup, soups and condiments. More than 90 percent of the U.S. canola crop also is now genetically modified. The Independent, one of England’s leading newspapers, reported in 1999 that the artificial sweetener aspartame has been made with genetically modified bacteria since 1965. Aspartame, inconclusively linked with numerous health risks, is present in more than 6,000 products, including diet sodas. Two other ubiquitous artificial sweeteners, Nutrasweet and Equal, also contain aspartame. The USDA further lists 95 percent of the 2009 U.S. sugar beet crop, used to produce conventional sugar, as genetically modified. NonGMO alternative sweeteners include pure cane sugar and honey from organic farms. Source:

natural awakenings

January 2013




Keep Tabs on Radiation Exposure



Maybe you have Sleep Apnea, Restless Legs or Leg Cramps? What about the person you sleep with?

Hi, I’m Steve Frank and I suffered from Sleep Apnea for years. I couldn’t sleep with a CPAP machine strapped to my face. It was a serious problem. A scientist and engineer by training, I studied the problem for years and finally found that both obstructive and central sleep apnea are caused by a diminution of the signal from the brain to the diaphragm. This problem results in a breathing stoppage. When the brain senses this, it initiates a rapid deep inhalation which sucks the airway closed and ruins the entry to sleep. As an herbalist, I diligently pursued a group of herbs that would correct this problem. Well thank goodness, it works! My patent-pending formulation has helped thousands and I use it every night. Why haven’t you tried it? My Mom asked me what to do about persistent leg cramps. She had tried all the suggested supplements but still had problems. I put together a group of herbs to relax nerves, reduce tension and increase circulation. It worked great for her! Later, I found that it works for Restless Legs as well. Now you can use it too.

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West Michigan Edition

he cumulative exposure to ionizing radiation used in medical diagnostic tests from dental and chest X-rays, mammograms, heart health exams and other procedures adds up, often reaching or surpassing the recommended lifetime limit of 100 milliSieverts (mSv) set by the American College of Radiology, according to a recent Harvard Medical School advisory. Among the tests that emit ionizing radiation are computerized tomography (CT scans), cardiac catheterizations, coronary CT angiograms, cardiac calcium scoring and some types of stress tests. Heart tests that pose no radiation risk include electrocardiography (ECG), echocardiography, ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Dr. Warren Manning, chief of noninvasive cardiac imaging and testing at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, in Boston, and a Harvard Medical School professor, advises, “One or two CT scans over a lifetime is appropriate. But if you have a condition that requires repeated monitoring, a test that does not expose you to ionizing radiation may be preferred.” Many radiologists take precautions to minimize clients’ radiation exposure, such as performing cardiac CT scans with one-sixth the conventional radiation dose.

Supplementation Cuts Colon Cancer Risk


diet enhanced with multivitamin and mineral supplements may dramatically lower the risk of developing precancerous colon cancer lesions, according to research published in the Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology. Nearly 150,000 men and women in the United States are diagnosed with this second-most common form of cancer each year. In the study, rats were fed a high-fat (20 percent) diet for 32 weeks. Those fed a high-fat, low-fiber diet and also exposed to a carcinogen, developed precancerous lesions of the colon. The animals that underwent a similar diet and treatment, but also received daily vitamin and mineral supplements, showed an 84 percent reduction in the formation of precancerous lesions and did not develop tumors.

Frying Pan Faux Pas


ried foods may please the palate, but cooking them in the wrong medium, such as sunflower oil, can present a health risk. Researchers from the University of the Basque Country, in North Spain, have discovered that organic aldehyde compounds become toxic when heated. These chemicals, previously linked with some types of cancer and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, are generated by the degradation of fatty acids in sunflower and other oils high in polyunsaturated fats, and some remain in food after frying. Oils with higher concentrations of monounsaturated fats, such as olive, peanut or coconut, are less worrisome if frying is the only cooking option.

Flame Retardant May Pose Health Risks


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besity, anxiety and developmental and reproductive problems have all been linked to small quantities of a flame retardant frequently used in furniture and baby products, according to a recent, limited study on rats by researchers at Duke University. Baby rats with mothers that ingested small amounts of the chemical Firemaster 550 gained more weight than those that weren’t exposed, and exposed female offspring displayed more anxiety, reached puberty earlier and exhibited abnormal reproductive cycles. Study co-author Heather Stapleton, Ph.D., associate professor of environmental chemistry at Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment, is a leading expert on flame retardants, particularly children’s exposure to the toxic chemicals they can release. She specifically notes that the new research assessed exposure to doses far lower than those of earlier studies. “This raises red flags about a widely used chemical that we know little about,” advises Stapleton. “What we do know is that it’s common in house dust, and people, especially kids, are being exposed to it.” “Firemaster 550 was put on the market with almost no study,” says Linda Birnbaum, director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, which funded the new research. She says the preliminary findings strongly suggest the need for more studies.

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January 2013


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

Cut Abuse

Government Steps In to Curb Greenwashing The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has issued updated green marketing guidelines intended to stop advertisers from making deceptive or unqualified claims about products being environmentally beneficial or eco-friendly, called “greenwashing”. The FTC said that few products deliver the far-reaching environmental benefits that consumers associate with such claims, and they are nearly impossible to substantiate. The revision is the first since 1998, when phrases like “carbon footprint” and “renewable energy” were relatively new. Using input from consumers and industry groups, new sections address the use of carbon offsets, “green” certifications and seals, and renewable energy and renewable materials claims. Marketers are warned not to make broad, unqualified assertions that their products are environmentally benign or eco-friendly. Arthur Weissman, president and CEO of Green Seal Inc., a nonprofit environmental certification organization based in Washington, D.C., says, “We hope that there will be enforcement to help rid the marketplace of the many less-than-credible seals and greenwashing that exist.” The new guidelines are not rules or regulations, but general principles that describe the types of environmental claims the FTC may find deceptive. They do not address use of the terms “sustainable”, “natural” and “organic”. Source: The Christian Science Monitor

Shell Game

Turtles Facing Extinction Get Help The Turtle Survival Alliance Foundation (TSA) is opening a facility to house some of the world’s most endangered freshwater turtles and tortoises near Charleston, South Carolina. The 50-acre Turtle Survival Center will maintain living groups, or assurance colonies, of many species facing an uncertain future in the wild. The center will house 20 species of freshwater turtles and tortoises ranked “critically endangered” by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. Nine are also on the Turtle Conservation Coalition list of the world’s most endangered tortoises and freshwater turtles. According to TSA President Rick Hudson, “No group of animals is under greater threat or faces a higher risk of extinction than freshwater turtles and tortoises.” The center will focus on species that have little chance of being recovered in nature because of habitat loss and intensive hunting pressures. Some species have undergone such dramatic declines that without intervention, their extinction is imminent. It’s hoped that offspring born at the center will eventually repopulate their ancestral habitats. Contribute to the TSA Turtle Survival Center capital campaign to help at 12

West Michigan Edition

Dirty Pool

Great Lakes Under Siege by Global Warming Don Scavia, director of the University of Michigan Graham Sustainability Institute, stated in a regional leaders’ conference that climate change is aggravating the effects of devastating algae blooms in the Great Lakes by increasing the intensity of spring rains that wash phosphorus into the water. Rampant algae levels degrade water quality because as algae decompose, oxygen levels can drop low enough to kill fish. After the United States and Canada signed the initial Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement in 1972, many local governments banned detergents containing phosphorus and the algae problem faded, but it has returned in the past decade. Analysts note that while the practice of planting crops without plowing the ground may help prevent erosion, it leaves high concentrations of fertilizer phosphorus in the upper layers of soil, where it easily runs off into waterways. A task force of academic and government experts has recommended more than 50 helpful practices, including providing funding and technical assistance for phosphorus reduction projects; authorizing state regulators to require pollution reduction measures in stressed watersheds; and working with farmers and equipment manufacturers to develop fertilizer application methods that avoid runoff. Source:

globalbriefs Zapped Tap

UV Light Cleans The Big Apple’s Water Supply New York City has opened the world’s largest water disinfection plant, using ultraviolet (UV) light as a sanitizing agent to eliminate cryptosporidium, giardia and other pathogenic microorganisms that can cause nausea, cramps, diarrhea and more serious ailments. Fifty-six massive UV units will neutralize waterborne pathogens in all drinking water derived from the city’s major sources. The Catskill and the Delaware water supply systems, completed in 1927 and 1967, respectively, provide about 90 percent of the city’s water. The facility will process up to 9 billion liters daily, adding a second layer of sanitation to the city’s traditional chlorine treatment. While cryptosporidium is highly resistant to chlorine, UV has proved effective at controlling the parasite. Adenovirus is resistant to UV disinfection, but can be killed using chlorine. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requires that if unfiltered surface water treatment systems don’t filter drinking water, another barrier for microorganisms besides chlorine treatment needs to be installed. The alternative to UV would have been to build a much more expensive filtration facility that passes drinking water through a series of porous materials such as layers of sand, gravel and charcoal to remove chemicals, hazardous materials and toxins. Source: Scientific American

Follow your instincts. That’s where true wisdom manifests itself. ~ Oprah Winfrey

People Power Modified Bicycles Recycle Electronic Waste Harvard graduate Rachel Field, 22, has invented the Bicyclean device, a contender for an international James Dyson Award recognizing the next generation of design engineers. The Bicyclean helps people in Third World countries separate valuable recyclable materials from the mountains of refrigerators, computers, cell phones and other electronic e-waste dumped in their “backyards” by richer nations. She aims to show that the needlessly harmful process can be made healthier, using simple bicycle technology that can be implemented virtually anywhere. Her solution is to stand up a bike in the normal position, but with the back wheel removed and replaced with an enclosed, pedal-powered, grinder-andseparation system. Pushing bits of circuit board down an attached chute onto a grinding mill of coarse cement ejects crushed e-waste fragments. Magnets collect the ferrous metals, and a battery-powered electromagnetic current pushes away non-ferrous metals. The device is more sustainable, plus it deposits and emits much less pollution into nearby waterways and air than other methods.

natural awakenings

January 2013


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

Let your interior nurture you Complete interior design services that align your physical space with your personal expression.

Resonate within your space and elevate your wellbeing! Feng Shui Green design Holistic design approach Repurposing your existing treasures

Align Design LLC Shawn Merkel - ASID, IIDA 616-916-1071

ecotip Easy Does It

Best Snow Removal Tips For homeowners in colder regions, winter calls for snow removal. Driveways and walks need to be cleaned off for function and safety with as much ease as possible. Here are some tips from OldHouseWeb. com that can help. Clear the snow early in the day and then let the sun’s radiant heat warm the surface to keep it safe and dry. Be kind to yourself—shovel before the snow reaches more than a few inches high. Removing relatively low layers several times is less taxing on the body than waiting and trying to deal later with a higher pile from a major storm. Make sure to bend at the knees and keep the back as vertically straight as possible when shoveling, to avoid back strain. If opting for a snow blower, an electric machine is cleaner, quieter and easier to maintain, especially if it has solar panels. For more power, consider a dieselpowered unit that uses bio-diesel fuel. As a step up from old-fashioned fossil fuel machines, Honda makes a hybrid model with emissions 30 percent lower than Environmental Protection Agency Phase 2 standards. Putting down some sand or black wood ash on dry surfaces will effect more traction during snow removal, plus help melt and evaporate some snowflakes when they land. A green option is EcoTraction, made by Earth Innovations from hydrothermal volcanic materials that absorb water. Sand should be used sparingly because it can clog local storm drains and create excess silt in waterways. When considering ice-melting agents, be careful and wise. Many products claim to be green or eco-friendly, but contain harmful chlorides or acetates. Salt is bad for pets, grass, plants and vehicles, and will pollute local waterways. Products containing acetates are generally less corrosive than salts, but recent research has shown that potassium acetate, often used at airports, is toxic to marine life.

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West Michigan Edition


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Community Spotlight


by Amanda Merritt


For more information contact The Well Being, LLC, 1118 Front Avenue NW in Grand Rapids. 616-458-6870 or visit www. See ad page 44. Amanda Merritt is the Assistant Publisher of Natural Awakenings of West Michigan. She is a recent graduate of Cornerstone University with a degree in Communication Arts and Journalism/Public Relations. You can contact her at

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to settle for the lifestyle they have been pressured into by life circumstances and culture, living with pain, depression, anxiety, etc. The Well Being offers a special place where you can come in and do the work of recovery from emotional health damage and regain what has been lost. Pieri and Kelly work with individuals, groups, and organizations to create more positive lifestyles for their clients and the community-at-large. In addition to the traditional outpatient mental health services, The Well Being offers access to an on-site fitness center exclusively for the use of their clients and provided at no additional cost. They set out to have each client include a goal for exercise into their Treatment Plan, so that exercise becomes an integral part of their treatment overall. This on-site fitness center eliminates many of the different barriers that might prevent a person from exercising such as the high cost of gym memberships, self-confidence concerns, etc., and it is open to clients during business hours. Most important to The Well Being is helping their clients achieve the goals they set for counseling and exercise. They seek to aid people to sustain change for the rest of their lives one step at a time. Sometimes all it takes to begin making a change is the knowledge of the first step that needs to be taken. To share the knowledge of the alternative, yet evidence-based approach to bettering mental health, on April 27, 2013, The Well Being will team up with the Grand Rapids community for the first annual “Rx Run”. The purpose of this event is to increase public awareness of the fact that exercise is a valid and effective form of treatment for many mental health issues, and to raise funds which will be used to provide increased access to exercise facilities and equipment for members of our community who are of lower socioeconomic status.

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ith the simple realization of what exercise can do for a person’s entire being, Brendan Kelly and Timothy Pieri were off and (sometimes literally) running with The Well Being LLC, Behavioral Health and Fitness Center. This one-of-kind treatment center provides traditional outpatient mental health services, and furthermore incorporates exercise directly into treatment. As they teach their patients, exercise has been established by scientific research to be the third valid option for mental health treatment, improving our mental health by improving the health of our brains. When discussing the unique approach of The Well Being in mental health services, Kelly, with almost 10 years of experience as a therapist, noted, “It’s a very holistic approach to mental health treatment, and one that represents a real alternative to medications, because it’s soundly backed by scientific research.” According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey conducted by the Center for Disease Control, one in ten people over the age of twelve in the United States are taking an antidepressant. With antidepressants comes a myriad of side effects such as dry mouth, nausea, headache, dizziness, insomnia, weight gain, increased appetite, etc. On the contrary, exercise boasts side effects such as a healthier heart, a better mood, a better fitting wardrobe, a better night’s sleep and overall, a healthier, well being. Pieri, who holds 27 years of experience as a therapist said, “The Well Being is about changing the culture one person at a time. It’s about physical, mental and emotional health. It doesn’t happen without work.” So often people exercise for the benefits offered in physical health alone, primarily emphasizing weight loss. Motivation to continue exercising in these cases is quickly lost when the desired results don’t happen right away. However, if the focus is on the immediate benefit—that of the improved mental health, it is much easier to stick with it. Kelly stated, “We provide people with motivation, encouragement, support and accountability, which can help a person who feels ‘stuck’ become ‘unstuck”. With our dominant culture promoting such a sedentary lifestyle, it is easy to see where this concept was lost. Pieri stressed that we have to change the way we live in order to achieve a healthier lifestyle, which takes a certain level of willingness to truly move forward. People are quick


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Get Paid to Lose Weight by Amanda Merritt


he start of the New Year often brings resolutions that don’t always make it past even the first month. We challenge ourselves to do things such as eating healthier, quitting bad habits, spending more time with friends and family, and, probably most commonly, losing weight. The challenge to lose weight is by no means a resolution to simply let slip away after the first few weeks of making healthy choices. There is a reason why this resolution comes up so frequently, and that’s because it is necessary. In 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the state of Michigan had a 31.3% prevalence of obesity, making Michigan one of twelve states that fell into the highest category of prevalence in the nation. This is not exactly a statistic to boast about. Obesity, as defined by the Mayo Clinic, is “having an excessive amount of body fat”. It increases your risk of disease and health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, etc. We cannot deny that obesity is not a trend we want to see continue. It is harmful to ourselves, our families, our nation, and there is no better time to tackle this problem than the New Year. The dreaded fad diets and gym memberships may help for short periods of time, but they are often less than desirable cures to obesity, as they are difficult to maintain for prolonged periods of time. What we need is a little incentive to lose weight, aside from looking good and feeling great. offers just that. “HealthyWage designs and organizes weight loss challenges and contests in which participants can win money for losing weight.” What better incentive than to get paid to keep your New Year’s resolution on top of the health and cosmetic benefits of backing away from obesity? With a simple sign-up online, you can be on your way to getting paid to lose weight. HealthyWage offers three challenges. The first is the 10% challenge. Participants of this challenge pay $100 to enter, and are given six months to lose 10% of their bodyweight. If the goal is achieved, the participants receive $200 at the end of the six months. The second challenge is the BMI (Body Mass Index) challenge. In order to enter this free challenge, a participant must begin at an obese BMI (30 or higher). The participant is then given an entire year to lower his/her BMI to a normal level (less than 25). Upon doing so, the participant wins $1,000. The third challenge is The Matchup. This three month, $75 challenge encourages participants to get a team of five together and compete against other teams they have been “matched up” with to lose the greatest percentage of weight. The winning team receives $10,000 (second place receives $5,000 and third place receives $3,000). With the New Year and opportunities like HealthyWage, big changes can be on the horizon if need be. There are many ways to achieve your goals, whatever it is that you have set out to do. In the weight loss process, teaming up in general can be an enormous help. Whether your team simply holds you accountable, gives you helpful tips and tricks or hits the gym with you, together you can accomplish more. The late Henry Ford once said, “Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.” This New Year, let’s work together to achieve our goals and maybe even pull Michigan out of the staggering obesity statistics it is currently chewing away at. Amanda Merritt is the Assistant Publisher of Natural Awakenings of West Michigan. She is a recent graduate of Cornerstone University with a degree in Communication Arts and Journalism/Public Relations. You can contact her at natural awakenings

January 2013



STAND UP A ND MOVE! How to Sizzle, not Fizzle by Debra Melani


s millions of Americans ponder quitting newly launched fitness resolutions after finding it tough to squeeze in toning workouts or sweat off a few extra pounds, researchers implore: Don’t give up. Just pump out 20 minutes a day of any kind of exercise—take a brisk walk, jog, lift weights—and stop sitting so much. Results can bring a healthier, more youthful feeling of well-being, akin to what explorer Juan Ponce de León sought in the Americas long ago. In a recently completed study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, researchers followed up with more than 18,000 middle-aged men and women that had been tested an average of 26 years earlier for cardiorespiratory fitness via a treadmill test. They compared those results with the individuals’ current Medicare data at the Cooper Institute Clinic, in Dallas, Texas “We found those who were fitter had a much lower rate of heart failure, chronic kidney disease, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, certain kinds of colon cancer and coronary artery disease,” says coauthor Dr. Benjamin Willis. “Fit people that did become ill did so at a much later age than their non-fit counterparts. 18

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They were able to enjoy a healthier life longer.” Researchers found that for every higher MET fitness level (standard metabolic equivalent, a unit for measuring fitness related to the amount of oxygen used by the body during physical activity), the risk of chronic disease decreased by about 6 percent. “So those that can raise their fitness levels by three METs have an estimated 18 to 20 percent reduced risk of developing a chronic disease,” Willis explains. The take-away message is, “Just move,” says study co-author Dr. Laura DeFina. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends investing in a weekly total of 150 to 300 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous exercise, either of which can be broken down into two or three 10-minute increments a day, DeFina confirms. As simple as it sounds, few people are doing it, something New York Times fitness columnist Gretchen Reynolds underscores in her recent book, The First 20 Minutes: Surprising Science Reveals How We Can: Exercise Better, Train Smarter, Live Longer. “Most of us sit an average of eight hours a day,

whether it’s at a desk or in front of a television,” Reynolds says. “The human body was not meant to be sedentary.” More than three-quarters of Americans are not meeting exercise recommendations, with one-quarter remaining completely sedentary, the CDC reports. Breaking this cycle does not need to be difficult, Reynolds notes. “You get the benefits from just moving. Start by standing up more and moving around in your office.” Reynolds, who hops on one foot while brushing her teeth and reads standing up using a music stand, says studies have shown that bad things happen to bodies that sit for long stints, even those that start each day with an hour of exercise, and good things happen to bodies that stand often, even if it’s just for two minutes every half-hour. “For instance, when you stand, the big muscles in your legs and back contract, releasing enzymes that stabilize blood sugar,” Reynolds says, echoing findings of a study of more than 120,000 men and women published in the American Journal of Epidemiology. The researchers found that the combination of both sitting more and being less physically active was associated with a significant increase in accelerated death rate, particularly in women, at 94 percent, as well as men, at 48 percent. As Reynolds’ book title suggests, the majority of health benefits are derived from the first 20 minutes of exercise and begin to flatten out after 30 minutes or so. Dr. Carl Lavie, medical director of cardiac rehabilitation and prevention at the Ochsner Medical Center, in New Orleans, points out that this timeframe supports general health. He and Reynolds agree that to reach specific goals, such as increased running speed or dramatic weight loss, moderate levels won’t do the trick, so do more, if possible. The most vital message, experts agree, is to do something every day, consistently. Willis observes that, “The effects can quickly reverse if you stop.” Freelance journalist Debra Melani writes about health care and fitness from Lyons, CO. Connect at Debra or


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January 2013



GMO Truths and Consequences Health and Safety are Question Marks by Melinda Hemmelgarn


he food industry tells consumers that genetically engineered foods are safe. On university campuses, agriculture students learn that such genetically modified organisms (GMO) are both safe and necessary to feed the world. The Council for Biotechnology Information, a biotech industry-supported nonprofit, even created a coloring book to teach children about the many benefits of GMO crops, including improved nutrition. Most GMO crops have been genetically engineered to withstand spraying with herbicides, such as Monsanto’s Roundup-Ready soybeans, or to produce their own pesticides, such as “Bt” corn and cotton. Bill Freese, a science policy analyst at the nonprofit Center for Food Safety, warns us to be leery of simplistic claims that don’t take into account unintended consequences. For example, he points out that, “GMO crops have nothing to do with feeding the world, because almost all genetically engineered crops are corn and soybeans... used to feed livestock in rich countries, or to feed automobiles.” Approximately 40 percent of corn currently is used to make ethanol. Freese adds, “They don’t increase yields and they don’t increase nutrition.” But GMO crops have led to a staggering increase in herbicide use, putting both farmers and consumers at greater risk for exposure to these toxins


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and related diseases, according to the Center for Food Safety. So the question is: Are GMOs the panacea industry wants us to believe, or are they contributing to chronic disease? Here are three claims commonly heard about GMOs, generally made by the biotechnology industry and their funded researchers.

Claim: GMOs are safe. Fact Check: Little research exists

on the long-term effects of consuming GMO foods. According to Douglas Gurian-Sherman, a senior scientist with the Union of Concerned Scientists, safety assessments have left us with significant uncertainties about whether GMO food is safe or not. However, concerns voiced by the Center for Food Safety revolve around potential allergens and toxins from both herbicide and pesticide residues and new genetic material. New research from the European Union published in Food and Chemical Toxicology adds to growing concerns about the risks. Researchers discovered that rats fed GMO corn and drinking water containing Roundup herbicide experienced negative health effects during their two-year lifespan, including mammary tumors and disabled pituitary function in females, and liver and kidney damage in males. These outcomes were attributed to the endocrine-disrupting ef-

fects of Roundup, as well as the genetic makeup of the engineered corn. What makes this study unique and troubling is that it’s the longest such study period to date. Most studies funded and conducted by industry last just 90 days—not long enough to fully document potential harm. Michael Hansen, Ph.D., a senior scientist at Consumer Reports, states in a memo to the American Medical Association’s (AMA) Council on Science and Public Health, “Unlike all other developed countries, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not require safety testing for GE [genetically engineered] plants.” Hansen explains, “In addition to the FDA not requiring any premarket safety testing, there is virtually no independent safety testing of these crops in the United States, due to intellectual property rights. When farmers buy GE seed in the U.S., they invariably must sign a product stewardship agreement that forbids them from giving such seeds to researchers.” Plus, “Researchers must get permission from the biotech companies before they can do research, which means there is a paucity of independent research.” The good news is that last June, the AMA recommended mandatory pre-market safety testing to better characterize the potential harms of bioengineered foods.

Claim: GMO crops use fewer pes-

ticides, and those used are safer than most others and break down quickly.

Fact Check: Roundup herbicide is increasingly sprayed on a growing number of herbicide-resistant GMO crops, including corn, soy, canola, sugar beets and most recently, alfalfa. By tracking the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s pesticide use data, Charles Benbrook, research professor at the Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources, at Washington State University, discovered that herbicide-resistant crop technology led to a 527-million-pound increase in herbicide use in the United States between 1996 and 2011. With the growing presence of herbicide-resistant weeds, new GE forms of corn and soybeans have been developed to resist stronger and more

dangerous herbicides, such as 2,4-D, one of the two ingredients in Agent Orange, a defoliant used in the Vietnam War. Benbrook projects that these new GMO crops could drive herbicide usage up by about another 50 percent. According to Warren Porter, Ph.D., a biologist and environmental toxicology professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Theo Colborn, Ph.D., president of The Endocrine Disruption Exchange, glyphosate, the active chemical ingredient in Roundup, is an endocrine disruptor, meaning it interferes with hormone systems. Porter says we can expect higher levels of herbicide residues in GMO food crops. A report from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) found that glyphosate is now commonly found in rain, streams and air during the growing season. “Though glyphosate is the most widely used herbicide in the world, we know very little about its long-term effects to the environment,” cautions Paul Capel, a USGS chemist. A Canadian study showing that the Bt toxins from GMO corn are showing up in umbilical cord blood and the blood of pregnant women is another concern. Monsanto claims Bt is harmless and will break down in our digestive tracts. But we have no way of knowing the effect of these toxins on developing fetuses, says Marcia IshiiEiteman, Ph.D., a senior scientist with the Pesticide Action Network.

Claim: GMO labeling isn’t necessary. Fact Check: Hansen believes that if

there are unexpected adverse health effects resulting from consuming GMO foods, a product label would allow people to begin connecting symptoms with foods consumed. Until there is consistent, national GMO food labeling, everyone is just dining in the dark. Learn more and take action at Melinda Hemmelgarn, aka the “Food Sleuth,” is a registered dietitian and award-winning writer and radio host at, in Columbia, MO (Food She advocates for organic farmers at Enduring-Image. natural awakenings

January 2013


Hands On Healing Professional Massage Therapy LLC


f you are looking for relief from chronic pain or are in need of a “reset” button from all of the holiday festivities, Pattie Kooy CMMT, CMT HTP at Hands on Healing in Grand Rapids can provide a wide array of alternative therapies, including Massage Therapy, Hydrotherapy, Chinese Herbal Liniments, Hot Stone Massage, Therapeutic Essential Oil Pattie Kooy Treatments, Aromatherapy, Medical Massage and Manual Therapy for conditions such as headache pain, spasms, inflammation, arthritis, sports injuries, fibromyalgia, limited range of motion, low back, neck and shoulder pain. Kooy is a board certified Medical Massage/Manual Therapist, which means that a client can submit the treatment sessions to his or her insurance company or save for year-end tax return medical deductions. She also provides treatment for acute and chronic painful muscles and joints, therapeutic medical massage therapy, relaxation massage therapy, therapeutic essential oil treatments, including some new blends for detox and cellulite, therapeutic hot stone massage and Healing Touch therapy treatments for energizing and balancing our chakras and energetic fields. Kooy says that she’s “been a healer”, more than anything else, her entire life. Before starting Hands on Healing, she worked direct bedside care for Hospice for more than 20 years and says that she was way before her time when it came to alternative healing methods. “I’ve been talking about nutritional therapy, probiotics and herbal medicine for decades,” said Kooy. “During my time at Hospice, I used vibrational medicine in the form of Healing Touch treatments; I’m intuitive to what the client feels and where energy


West Michigan Edition

Community Spotlight by Julie Hurley

needs to go, where they have blocks in their life energy.” It’s taken Kooy eight years of education and working on herself in the development of a healer to get to this point in her practice. “Over the course of my education, I’ve studied and practiced nutritional therapy to heal my own body, also healing myself mentally and spiritually. ‘Healing the Healer’ is an important step in the process. I needed to get rid of all my own blocks, the lower vibrational things that I had going on. It takes a long time. It’s like peeling an onion, layer after of layer, of old stuff has to go. Healing is a process, not an event.” Easily worth the wait, Kooy now educates and councils her clients on a wide range of subjects, including nutrition and the origin of dis-ease. “I always begin at the source. Is the patient not drinking enough water? Not getting enough sunlight? Magnesium? Individually and as a society, we need to get to the source before reaching for a painkiller and only treating symptoms.” Kooy’s passion is in patient education. “I love to teach people how to feel better through healthy food and lifestyle choices, People my age can remember chicken when it tasted different – it had more flavor. Sugar feeds cancer cells. Sadly, many hospitals feed patients Ensure, pudding, Jell-O. If it were up to me, I’d be making patients green smoothies made from organic whole fruits and vegetables,” she said. “Food that still carries life energy, natural vitamins and minerals.” Many of Kooy’s therapies include the Healing Touch energy. “I don’t hold the energy and it’s nothing I possess; I’m just sensitive to this energy,” she said. I just become the vessel in which it flows through.” The energy helps guide Kooy to find blockages in a client’s body, where she can further investigate and send the energy to heal. Hands on Healing, which shares space with Cj’s Studio Salon and Birds of a Feather retail shop offers products and classes from local vendors and artists, which includes essential oils, natural bath products, healing salts, handmade local gifts, books and environmentally harvested items. Custom-made gift baskets are also available.

As we head into the heart of the cold and flu season, Kooy has some tips for staying healthy throughout the winter months. • Hot Epsom Salt/Sea Salt Baths: Sea salt removes the toxins from the body, including radiation. Epsom salts remove inflammation from the body’s cell tissue (inflammation causes pain and chronic inflammation can even lead to arthritis). The magnesium in Epsom salts has many health benefits. It’s also a natural muscle relaxer. Massage after-care should always include an Epsom Salt bath. Directions: Dissolve 2-3 cups of Epsom salts, a handful of sea salt, a handful of baking soda and 3 drops of your favorite essential oil (optional) a sliced lemon (optional) into a hot bath. Relax up to your neck in the bath for minimum 30 minutes three times a week. • Essential Oils: Essential oils are another form of herbal medicine. Herbs can be dried and drank as teas or harvested and distilled into oils. Directions: As a general rule, mix 8 drops of essential oils with 1 ounce of base oil (grape seed, sweet almond or jojoba oil). For muscle, body aches and congestion, use the following combination: 2 drops Eucalyptus oil, 2 drops peppermint, 2 drops lavender, 2 drops wintergreen. Apply to affected areas as needed. • Eucalyptus Essential Oil: Eucalyptus oil is an expectorant and anti-inflammatory agent, which helps loosen and remove mucus. Directions: Place 2 drops of oil into the water reservoir of a console humidifier or bath, which allows it to be vaporized. Never inhale eucalyptus oil directly. • Stay Hydrated: Fresh squeezed lemon-water is essential for any detox therapy. Increase any fruits or herb teas. Get enough additional fluids to prevent a healing crisis. A healing crisis happens when we release more toxins from our body tissues and organs than we can eliminate, which can cause a headache or nausea. This is especially important after a massage. General rule of thumb is one half of your body weight in ounces. If you weigh 150 pounds, you would need to drink 75 ounces of water or healthy fluids daily. • Probiotics: Take a probiotic every morning before breakfast. Our immune system is in our guts, and probiotics strengthen our immune systems. Pattie considers herself an example of what she preaches. She eats clean, whole organic foods and consumes a lot of fruit. To clear her mind and stay healthy she spends a lot of time in nature. “I’m outdoors a lot,” said Kooy. “I enjoy taking walks in nature, I have a garden. Meditation is a part of my life. It helps me to reflect and stay grounded and balanced.” For more information contact Pattie Kooy at Hands on Healing Professional Massage Therapy, 616-648-7217. See ad page 45. A married mother of two young children, Julie Hurley is a freelance writer with a strong interest in natural living. She is also the Director of Public Relations at Principia Media, a publishing house in Grand Rapids, www. natural awakenings

January 2013


Healthy Lifestyle Tweaks Surprisingly Simple Changes for Feeling Good by Kathleen Barnes


ll of us have heard the admonition: “Eat lots of veggies and exercise daily and you’ll live a long, healthy life.” There’s no question this advice is sound, but what about other helpfully healthy lifestyle adjustments we can make? Experts attest that doing easy things, such as going braless, walking barefoot or using a plug-in model instead of a cordless phone can all support wellness. Results range from stress relief to prevention of cancer, heart disease and other ailments often associated with aging. “Making some of the simplest changes can have far-reaching positive effects on your health,” contends Frank King, a doctor of chiropractic and naturopathic medicine, president of King Bio Natural Medicine, in Asheville, North Carolina, and author of The Healing Revolution. “When we consider the huge negative effects shadowing the field of prescription drugs, it is just good sense to try things foundational to our health that are 24

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natural, inexpensive, effective and free of problematic side effects.”

Muscle Testing

“The human body is an excellent lie detector. It is the world’s most sophisticated laboratory, with more wisdom than all medical professionals put together,” says King. His favorite technique is to tap into the body’s vast wisdom using applied kinesiology, or muscle testing. “The principal is simple. When you are telling a truth or when something is good for the body, whether you are conscious of it or not, your body loosens up. When you are telling a lie or the body is rejecting something, your body tightens.” Many holistic practitioners use applied kinesiology as a diagnostic tool. An easy way to use muscle testing at home is to bend forward, fingers stretching toward the toes. Set a baseline truth by saying out loud, “My name is _______,” and notice the length of the stretch. Then utter an untruth, like calling yourself by a different name. Most people

will find their range of motion is noticeably limited in the event of an untruth or something else that is not helpful. A practical solution: Apply this technique in making any choice related to personal health.

Control Electronic Pollution Turn away from using cordless phones and turn off the Wi-Fi. Keep cell phones out of pockets and purses. Move the TV out of the bedroom. These devices emit enormous amounts of radiation, disturbing our sleep patterns, thickening our blood and causing inflammation and a number of associated diseases, according to Dr. Stephen Sinatra, an integrative cardiologist and co-author of The Great Cholesterol Myth. Recent findings of Sinatra’s research team at the University of California-Irvine, published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, confirm that physical contact with the Earth naturally thins blood. “Grounding appears to be one of the simplest and yet most profound interventions for helping reduce cardiovascular risk and cardiovascular events,” the researchers concluded. A recent study of animals by the Bioelectromagnetics Laboratory at Zhejiang University School of Medicine-Hangzhou, in China, shows that exposure to radio and electromagnetic frequencies (EMF) like those found in cell phones can alter some genes. An Indian study by the Bioelectromagnetic Laboratory at Jawaharlal Nehru University-New Delhi suggests that EMF exposure increases the production of free radicals in animal brains, which can lead to inflammation, cancer, heart disease and other serious diseases. Swiss research published in the journal Somnologie by University of Bern scientists shows a clear connection between radio frequencies (RF) and sleep disturbances. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) admits a possible link between extensive cell phone use and exposure to RF waves and brain cancer. Sinatra calls Wi-Fi signals “the new coronary risk factor” and warns, “Be aware that if you are on a computer at home on Wi-Fi, that is toxic to your body.”

A practical solution: Use an ethernet cable to connect computers rather than wireless; switch to an old-fashioned plug-in phone with a handset attached; and stay three feet away from cell phones—never wear them. Sinatra says his research shows that men that put a cell phone in a pocket experience a reduction in testosterone within four hours.

Change Footwear In addition to unplugging from potentially harmful devices, Sinatra recommends plugging into Earth’s healing energies. “Our ancestors walked barefoot and slept on the ground. They were connected to Earth’s electrical energies that kept them balanced and healthy,” explains the co-author of Earthing. New research from the University of California-Irvine published in the Journal of Environment and Public Health explains how modern lifestyles tend to separate us from the healing electrical energies of the Earth. Because we rarely walk barefoot or sleep on the ground and most people wear rubbersoled shoes that break the currents, few are benefitting from this wealth of easily accessed healing energies that benefit the heart, brain, muscles and nervous and immune systems. “Practically no one has the slightest notion of an electrical or energetic connection between his or her body and the Earth,” explains Sinatra. “The ground provides a subtle electric signal that governs the intricate mechanisms that help maintain health and make our bodies work, just like plugging a light into a power socket.” Taken together, the research points to many health benefits gained by staying connected with our home planet, which Sinatra reports in Earthing, including reduced inflammation, relief from chronic pain muscle tension and headaches, lower blood pressure and tempered hormonal swings. As a practical solution, Sinatra prescribes taking a little

Ditch Antiperspirant Along with the Bra Most commercial antiperspirant deodorants contain aluminum compounds, which have estrogen-like properties. Because estrogen imbalances can promote the growth of breast cancer tissue, aluminum may have the same effect when absorbed through the skin. Source: National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health “vitamin G” (for grounding) every day: Walk barefoot as much as possible. Sit or lie on the ground with as much skin as possible in contact with living things such as grass, trees, pine needles or earth. During the winter, touch grounded electrical outlets or metal plumbing pipes. Also, wear comfortable, leathersoled shoes without socks indoors and out, because leather is an excellent conductor of Earth’s energies.

Ditch the Bra “Breast cancer is caused by bras,” medical anthropologist Sydney Ross Singer states unequivocally. He is coauthor of Dressed to Kill, with Soma Grismaijer, and director of the Institute for the Study of Culturogenic Disease, in Pahoa, Hawaii. “Bras are designed to change the shape of a woman’s breasts to a culturally approved image,” remarks Singer. “But bras also create a pressure band between the breast and the lymph nodes, causing inflammation and swelling, and causing lymph to back up, restricting the body’s natural detoxification system.” “Cancer-causing toxins are delivered to the breast tissue by the bloodstream and are kept there by the bra,” he explains, likening the toxins to bullets. “The bra holds them in place, pointed directly at the breasts.” Singer’s research, conducted in the early 1990s, showed that women that wore bras 24/7 had a breast cancer risk 125 times that of women that never wore bras. Yet Singer’s findings have

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January 2013


Simple Stress Relief Resets Brain Function Using the index fingers, find two small knobs, usually about an inch above the midpoint of the eyebrows, known as the neurovascular reflex points. Rest fingers very lightly on these points until a pulse is felt. It may take several minutes. Be patient. Mentally review a current stressor using all the senses; see, feel, smell, hear and taste it. Source: Dr. Frank King, president, King Bio Natural Medicine, Asheville, NC

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been largely dismissed by the medical community, and bra manufacturers still offer few wire-free styles. A Harvard School of Public Health study, published in the European Journal of Cancer Care in 1991, also discovered that bra-free women had a lower rate of breast cancer. Because the results were not central to the focus of the university’s research at the time, there’s been no follow-up. A practical solution: Wear a bra as little as possible. If it is sometimes necessary, wear one without wires, and engage in regular breast massage. This can be enjoyable and is an ideal partner activity.

Hum Often Another Singer assertion is that simply humming “mmmmmmmmm” a couple of minutes a day can stimulate the thyroid and increase the produc-

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Adopt a Pet “Animals are among our best teachers,” says Dr. Carol Roberts, the author of Good Medicine: A Return to Common Sense, who teaches holistic care at the University of South Florida’s Morsani College of Medicine. “Animal companions give us so much more than they ask for and live in a state of unconditional, open-hearted love.” Roberts notes numerous studies that show the simple presence of a loving animal can lower our blood pressure and slow the heart rate. A CDC heart study, for example, showed subjects that had owned a cat at any time were 40 percent less likely to die of a heart attack. Japanese researchers from Azabu University, in Kanagawa-ken, found that dog owners experienced a spike in oxytocin—a neurotransmitter that helps us cope with stress—by simply meeting their pet’s gaze. While people widely recognize that walking the dog is great exercise, other loving interactions with our pets support happiness and health, as well.

Exercise Artistic Skills

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tion of thyroid hormones of those with an underactive thyroid. The butterflyshaped gland wraps around the larynx, or voice box, which Singer contends is part of nature’s elegant design, meant to be stimulated by sound. The Cleveland Clinic reports that 10 percent of the U.S. population age 65 and over suffers from hypothyroidism, with the rate in the general population between 1 and 2 percent. The condition is a special problem for women encountering perimenopause or menopause, when hormone levels can fluctuate wildly. “The medical community has considered the effect of the thyroid on the voice but not the vibratory effect of vocalization on thyroid function,” says Singer. “It stands to reason that humming, singing or quietly talking is preferred to the overstimulation of shouting or yelling.”

Giving oneself artistic license is also healthy, advises Roberts. “Just bring a little beauty into your life, whether it’s choosing which clothing and acces-

Supplement Cocktail Counters Radiation Coenzyme Q10 – 100-200 mg a day Melatonin – 1-5 mg a day Nattokinase enzyme – 50 mg a day Vitamin C – 100 mg a day

sories to wear, arranging a vase of table flowers or dancing to favorite music. Just do something creative every day.” Energy therapists maintain that exposure to creative activities improves circulation to the brain and thyroid; on a psychological level, it also works to improve self-confidence and self-expression. A recent study at the University of Colorado published in the journal Palliative & Supportive Care confirmed that individual art therapy is useful in supporting cancer patients during chemotherapy. Fifty-one of the 54 participants said it helped them to relax, talk about their situation or explore and express emotions to their benefit. Roberts adds, “It’s even better if you join a group engaged in a creative activity. I think people in general do better when we come together to create something beautiful.” These experts’ prescriptions for such simple lifestyle changes have shown how commonsense adjustments in everyday living can have profound, health-altering results, with only good after effects. Kathleen Barnes is a natural health advocate, author and publisher. Among her many books is The Super Simple HCG Diet (Square One). Connect at natural awakenings

January 2013



Be Supplement

SAVVY How to Choose Wisely for Optimal Health by James Occhiogrosso

According to the U.S. Office of Dietary Supplements, nearly half of us regularly use some kind of dietary supplement, including vitamins, minerals and botanical herbs.


hile mainstream media have recently targeted supplements with alarming coverage about their value and safety, James J. Gormley, former editor of Better Nutrition and author of User’s Guide to Brain-Boosting Supplements, helps set the record straight. In an open letter on the Citizens for Health website, at, he contends the worst part about misleading articles is that they can scare readers away from benefits that safe supplements might offer. He notes that although nothing in life is 100 percent risk-free, supplements are inherently benign, while pharmaceutical drugs frequently have unhealthy side effects. Controversy over supplements seems to arise primarily from misinformation. Following are some guidelines and resources to help ensure their wise use and maximum benefit.

gether. However, pharmaceutical drugs are typically synthetic, single-action chemicals that target one body system or organ, causing it to alter its function; they mask symptoms, but do not cure disease. On the other hand, the goal of vitamins, minerals and plant-derived supplements is to provide nutrients to help a troubled body system by supporting health and healing. Some confusion occurs because many pharmaceutical and supplement manufacturers take advantage of people’s desire for a one-bullet solution, which rarely exists in either source. Stephen Lawson, administrative officer of the Linus Pauling Institute, at Oregon State University, maintains that, “Lumping together items like vitamins, minerals and botanicals, each of which can have profoundly different physical profiles and effects on the body, is dangerous and misleading.”

Supplements Versus Pharmaceutical Drugs

Who Needs Supplements?

Natural health practitioners report that their clients tend to mentally group pharmaceuticals and supplements to28

West Michigan Edition

Everyone can benefit from taking the right supplements to address specific health needs. Numerous studies attest that many diseases, especially in older adults, are caused by a deficiency

of certain vitamins or minerals. For example, pernicious anemia, common in adults over the age of 60, is due to a long-term deficiency of vitamin B12. The condition often proved fatal until researchers discovered that taking such supplements could effectively treat it. Another common nutritional deficiency disease among aging adults is osteoporosis, a loss of bone minerals that often leads to fractures. Its primary cause is chronic deficiencies in calcium and vitamin D levels. The latter is crucial for absorbing calcium—a primary mineral for building bone. According to the National Institutes of Health, older adults are likely to spend more time indoors, plus, even when they are exposed to the sun, their skin does not synthesize vitamin D as efficiently as when they were younger. Serious nutrient deficiencies rarely cause fatal outcomes, but deficiencies of certain vitamins and minerals can deter organs from optimal functioning. General medical tests do not always show minor shortfalls, and practice shows that supplementing with the appropriate vitamin or mineral can often both eliminate symptoms and resolve an underlying problem.

Choosing Helpful Supplements Determining which supplements can best meet individual needs requires sound information. First, determine if a perceived condition could be caused by a vitamin or mineral deficiency, and then identify the best dosage. It is also vital to know how a supplement might interact with any current medications. Most vitamin and mineral supplements are safe when used properly, but always consider asking an experienced professional for guidance; this is especially true for botanicals, because some manufacturers make unsupported claims based only on their own research. Generally, nonprofit organizations such as the Linus Pauling Institute (lpi.Oregon that do not sell supplement products, present unbiased information.

Final Word Although conflicting information continues to circulate, abundant scientific

195 calories

Helpful Resources


Alliance for Natural Health Dr. Andrew Weil Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Information Center National Institutes of Health

evidence verifies that commonsense use of vitamin and mineral supplements is safe and usually helpful. The recommendation is to take enough, but not too much, of a deficiencyspecific supplement, along with nutritious foods, in order to achieve a normal balance. A 2009 report by the U.S. National Poison Data System indicated that the number of serious adverse events that year from the use of vitamins, minerals, amino acids or herbal supplements was extremely low, with no related U.S. deaths. Many natural healthcare experts, including naturopaths, nutritionists and dieticians, conclude that supplements are useful and in some cases, necessary, especially when treating a significant nutrient or hormonal deficiency. It’s wise to consult a knowledgeable professional before buying the antioxidant du jour mentioned by a friend from the gym.



Find them at 100+ local retailers like Harvest Health, Health Hutt, Earth’s Edge, The Orchard Markets, all WESCO gas stations and all 197 MEIJER locations! *growing list of retailers found on our website:

James Occhiogrosso, a natural health practitioner and master herbalist, specializes in salivary hormone testing and natural hormone balancing for men and women. Find helpful articles at Connect at 239-498-1547 or DrJim@

natural awakenings

January 2013


Hypnotherapy and Your New Year’s Resolutions by Dr. Jeanie Friedland CHT


any of us have made New Year’s resolutions for the upcoming year as we usually do. Whether by choice or not, the resolutions seem to be re-occurring and typically re-failing as well. What exactly is it that causes this annual phenomenon of getting our hopes up for change and then letting ourselves down? Why is it that by January 23 (and sometimes sooner), all of our resolutions have been dropped in favor of less desirable behaviors? The answer is simple. When we commit to a resolution, we commit the wrong part of our minds to it. We have a conscious mind and a subconscious mind, each being in charge of different tasks. The conscious mind is rational, analytical and good for short bursts of will power, with emphasis on the “short” part of that. In further explanation, the “rational” part of the conscious mind tells us that 2+3=5 whether it’s Tuesday or Sunday, night or day, etc. The “analytical” part of the mind figures out what needs to be done and goes about making it happen. It is the analytical part of the conscious mind that looks at the flat tire on our car and says, “I have a flat tire and I need to get out the spare tire, the jack, and pray that I can turn the lug nuts that hold on the tire and put on the spare!” The “short burst of will power” part of our conscious mind may say something like, “I am not going to eat that piece of cake.” As we continue to let little things slip by, a small bite here and there, eventually, there is no will power left and, in this case, we’re indulging on daily desserts. So what happened to those initial good intentions? For the answer to that, we must look to the subconscious mind. Our subconscious mind houses all of our physiological processes, our impulses, our emotions, our habits and our strategies. Thankfully, we do not need to think to make our heart beat, our diaphragm move to take in air, or our digestion and excretory processes to work; they work automatically. We understand that we have impulses, emotions, strategies and habits (for example: eating, smoking, drinking, nail biting etc.), all of which are governed by our subconscious minds.

So why don’t our new year’s resolutions stick? We are merely speaking to the wrong part of our minds, the conscious part, when we need to be speaking with the subconscious mind. If you are having an attack of appendicitis, you double over in pain and recognize you need help, you don’t drive to the neighborhood Laundromat. Now, there’s nothing wrong with the Laundromat. It’s clean, well lit and has all of the essentials to properly take care of your laundering needs, but they cannot help you with your appendicitis. You need to go to a hospital. You were simply going to the wrong place. Similarly with your New Year’s resolutions, if you want to change a habit, you need to “go to the right place” and talk with the subconscious mind instead of the conscious mind. How exactly does one do that? The simplest answer is through hypnosis, whether it be self-hypnosis or hypnosis from a trained hypnotist. A hypnotist or hypnotherapist is skilled and trained to speak to the subconscious mind. They know how to give you suggestions that are beneficial, protective and forward moving that your subconscious will accept. Hypnotherapists cannot make you do anything that is against your morals or principles. It is said that all hypnosis is self-hypnosis and by this it is meant that you have the choice to accept the suggestions or not. It is as if you are driving a car and are told to turn left. If you want to turn left you can, but if you don’t want to, you will continue driving straight ahead. This New Year, if you have any behaviors you would like to change, resolutions that you would like to keep, hypnosis may be the route for you. Allow your subconscious mind to be spoken to, and you’ll be amazed at the results.

Allow your subconscious mind to be spoken to, and you’ll be amazed at the results.

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For more information on Hypnosis or to schedule an appointment contact Dr. Friedland at Jeanie. or call 616-558-0252. See ad page 23.

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No Dust on the Mirror Reflections on a Life of Conscious Wholeness

by Michael Bernard Beckwith


e spend a good deal of time gazing at ourselves in a mirror with the physical eye, as well as into the mirror of our mind with an analytical eye, endeavoring to size ourselves up in our own estimation, and also determining how others might evaluate us. Both of these mirrors are clouded with ego-related dust that distorts our vision. Only when we turn our gaze inward with the intuitive eye of awareness can we perceive our innate wholeness, for there is no dust on the mirror of the soul. Consider this: A consciousness of wholeness reunifies us with our authentic self, so that even during those times when we are unaware of it, our wholeness is intact and utterly dust-free—only our awareness of it is missing. When awareness returns, we live free from ego’s bondage and its ignorance-soaked history and habits. We are reunified with the reality of our being. Our daily practice is to be ever mindful—on the dot—the moment we lose sight of our true nature. Everyday experiences grace us with reminders by mentally tapping us on the shoulder and returning us to the qualities we wish to express in our interactions with our self, others and all of life. We are continually given the opportunity to reconnect with the high vision we hold

for ourselves in our mental, emotional, spiritual, physical, professional, relational and communal life structures. It serves us well to remember that we are here learning to mother our consciousness, just as the universe mothers us throughout our lifetime and beyond. Intelligence, wisdom, intuition, joy and creativity—these are the qualities we want to mother within ourselves in order to unveil our original face. As we set a conscious intention to evolve, we live as the master artists we are—creating, directing and producing our lives. The more time we set aside for meditation, contemplation and life visioning, the more we can have 20/20 vision in foresight, rather than hindsight. Through practice, we activate our intuition, clean off egoic dust and enter a more consistently clear-sighted state of mindful being. Thus we actualize our highest potential and realize our organic, enlightened consciousness. Michael Bernard Beckwith is the founder of the Agape International Spiritual Center, in Los Angeles, California, author of Life Visioning: A Transformative Process for Activating Your Unique Gifts and Highest Potential (Sounds True, 2011/2013), and originator of the Life Visioning process.

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West Michigan Edition

What Your Shoes do to You by Sandy Parker

fracture, and “the number of falls and the severity of injury increase with age and in seniors who, for whatever reason, experience loss of physical conditioning, mobility, and balance.”

Heel Height and Forward Pitch


ew individuals, other than Healthy Foot Specialists and their clients, know about the Restorative Exercise Institute, although they should. The institute is dedicated to analyzing human movement, which is the Biomechanical model of “Preventative Medicine” created by Biomechanical scientist, Katy Bowman MS, who also created its movement educational program, previously reserved largely for athletes and special populations. Today, health professionals interested in becoming a Healthy Foot Specialist, as well as individuals, can attend an exercise and alignmentbased therapeutic program to learn correct movement skills and exercises that are adaptable in daily life. A series of self motor-skill evaluations serve as indicators to healthy muscle activity, joint articulations, and proprioception—a physiologic feedback mechanism between the muscles and the brain, better known as “muscle sense”. They also determine whether the way an individual moves is actually creating their injury or causing pain. Based on physics, physiology, anatomy, and engineering, the premise of proprioception is that over-all muscle use is a requirement of human health—and not an option. Unfortunately, our current modern lifestyle has reduced our neuro-muscular patterns to a fraction of what they should be. As a result, the decrease in our body’s natural, reflex-driven processes of regeneration means that individuals are unknowingly inflicting physical damage with every step, particularly when it comes to low bone density, cardiovascular disease, pelvic floor disorders, joint disintegration, and foot issues. Although Bowman’s research not only points to the “detrimental effects” that men and women’s shoes have on the feet—she especially warns women regarding the effects of high heels and stiff shoes. Men’s shoes may be more conservative; however, many still have at least a one-inch heel and very little flexibility.

Stiff or “Supportive” Shoes

Wearing stiff or “supportive” shoes reduces the intrinsic muscular activity of the foot. Similar to wearing a cast, it causes the loss of muscle tone due to immobility. Likewise, stiff or “supportive” shoes immobilize the feet and, over time, muscles that move the toes and hold up the arches weaken.

Determining Muscle Strength

Muscle strength can partially be determined by attempting to stretch the toes wide apart. If this is difficult, there is reduced control and strength of the muscles in the feet, which may result in poor balance. According to the Cleveland Clinic, about a third of adults over the age of 65 will fall and suffer a disabling

Heel height is an especially important aspect of men and women’s shoes that needs addressing when considering overall health. Recently, Christopher McDougall examined running shoes in his popular book, Born to Run. The barefoot running craze is the result of concern regarding running shoes with raised heels and increased knee injury incidence. Even a “conservative” one-inch rise in a shoe pitches the body forward approximately 30 degrees. To compensate for this forward pitch, ankles, knees, hips and spinal curvature must realign or the load of the weight shifts from strong bones to weaker connective tissues and eventually joint tendons and ligaments wear out. When this occurs, depending on individual postural misalignment, foot, knee, hip or low back injuries occur. Bowman’s research reveals that postures, such as a forward pitch, shifts our body weight out of alignment and can lead to bone loss. In other words, poor posture causes osteoporosis—rather than the other way around. Along with overall body pitch, positive-heeled shoes shift the weight of the body from the heels toward the front of the foot. This creates stress in the smaller bones of the toes and the arch, which are not designed for such load bearing. Additionally, the toes are frequently pressed into shoes that do not match their shape. As a result, toes turn out, and malformations such as bunions or hammertoes, as well as soft tissue irritation such as plantar fasciitis, make the feet really hurt.

Orthopedic Inserts and Surgical Intervention

Orthopedic inserts may help to alleviate pain, but do nothing to repair damage, especially if they are inserted into poorly designed shoes. Surgical interventions may help remediate the malformations. However, if body alignment and load bearing is unchanged, improper forces on the foot may continue to damage bones and joints. Strengthening exercises for the back and feet, as well as stretching for hips and calves, may help to alleviate risk of falls, improve body alignment, and reduce tissue and bone deterioration. Holistic health is about balance and overall health— not just going to the gym to workout. It is also about what we do every day, including the shoes we put on our feet. As consumers, we can demand better designs and support shoemakers who offer stylish shoes with smart designs. Sandy Parker, BS, is a Certified Personal Trainer, Yoga Instructor and Healthy Foot Specialist. She is the owner of On The Path Yoga in Spring Lake. For studio information about classes and upcoming workshops, visit OnThePathYoga. com. See ad page 16. natural awakenings

January 2013



Addressing Autism Families Have Reasons for Hope by Brita Belli


arents of autistic children are encouraged when they witness improvements after eliminating gluten (wheat) and casein (dairy) from their kids’ diets. Now a parental study supports the correlation—for some kids on the autism spectrum, the gluten- and caseinfree (GFCF) diet appears to be connected with remarkable changes. Laura Cousino Klein, associate professor of biobehavioral health and human development at the Penn State College of Medicine, helped lead research that surveyed 387 parents or caregivers with affected children. For those diagnosed with combinations of autism

and gastrointestinal issues or food sensitivities, the GFCF diet brought marked improvements in their autism spectrum disorder (ASD) behaviors—reducing hyperactivity and tantrums; minimizing constipation and seizures; and improving social behaviors. Klein says scientists are still working to understand the interaction between the brain, gut and behaviors, but recent findings suggest that significant links exist. “One hypothesis is that by eliminating dietary triggers in the presence of food allergies or gastrointestinal distress, you’re reducing inflammation or irritability of the immune system, and that’s affecting the way the brain is functioning,” she says.

Dietary Turnaround One Racine, Wisconsin, mom, Cindy Schultz, a tireless advocate for her autistic son, says, “As an infant, he either had constipation or diarrhea. There was never a happy medium.” The GFCF diet has improved his health and his ability to communicate. Shauna Layton, in Clinton, Indiana, says her son experienced similar bowel problems and she also saw a remarkable turnaround in his language abilities and social interactions as they adhered to a GFCF diet and eliminated sugar and yeast. Other parents from her online support group, Together in Autism, report similar success. “Some children have never talked, and now they are saying ‘Mom,’ ‘Dad,’ or ‘I love you,’ for the first time,” Layton says. A definitive gut-brain link with autism has yet to be identified. Some scientists suggest that kids with




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West Michigan Edition

autism are more likely to have leaky gut syndrome (intestinal permeability), which allows peptides from gluten and casein to escape from the digestive tract, cross the intestinal membranes, enter the bloodstream and go to the brain, causing the neurobehavioral symptoms known as ASDs, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. While the AAP knows of no scientific proof that a GFCF diet will bring benefits, they note that it’s possible, especially in people suffering from celiac disease. Parents have also observed that food dyes can exacerbate hyperactivity in children, a connection unconfirmed by the federal government. In 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Food Advisory Committee suggested further testing, while voting against additional food labeling requirements for potentially problematic dyes. Meanwhile, some parents affirm that eliminating such dyes has helped them better manage their children’s attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). A 2011 study taking into account 35 years of research found that many ADHD children showed significant improvement after eliminating dyes

from their diets; it also registered that greater than 70 percent were positively influenced by various dietary changes. The results were promising enough for researchers to conclude, “A trial elimination diet is appropriate for children that have not responded satisfactorily to conventional treatment.”

The Role of Vitamin D A 2012 study in the Journal of Neuroinflammation found that autistic children had significantly lower levels of vitamin D than control subjects. Vitamin D, the study notes, regulates immune function and thus autoimmunity; when the immune system is disrupted and the body attacks itself, it may play a role in the development of autism. Dr. John Cannell, founder of the nonprofit Vitamin D Council, remarks that fear of sun overexposure has led to the deficiencies. “Vitamin D is not a vitamin,” Cannell clarifies. “It’s a steroid hormone system that begins in the skin. If children aren’t getting any photons of UVB light, they’re not making any vitamin D.” He notes that the rise in autism rates during the last 25 years tracks with increases in 50-plus SPF sunscreen use,

more time spent indoors and a rise in breastfeeding. Because breast milk contains low amounts of vitamin D, since 2003 the AAP has emphasized the importance of parents giving vitamin D supplement drops to breastfed infants. The same vitamin D study showed that the severity of autism correlated strongly with deficiencies of this vitamin and that the higher the level, the less severe the symptoms. Cannell has witnessed this phenomenon via a clinic hosted by the Vitamin D Council, recommending increases in vitamin D levels for autistic children to “high normal levels” and reducing vitamin A, which blocks the action of vitamin D. “We have children on 5,000 to 10,000 units of vitamin D a day,” Cannell reports. “We see improvements in terms of sleep, meltdowns, eye contact, cognitive capacity, fine motor skills, language and reading— across the spectrum.” Brita Belli is the author of The Autism Puzzle: Connecting the Dots Between Environmental Toxins and Rising Autism Rates.

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January 2013



Raw Food Diets for Pets Weighing the Pros and Cons by Sandra Murphy


meals, but know-how is key. “A big risk s with their own food, dog and with home-prepared diets is that they are cat owners are reading pet food almost always nutritionally inadequate labels more closely these days to evaluate ingredients and their sourc- for long-term feeding, even when using published recipes,” advises Dr. Brennen es. American pet food companies may McKenzie, president outsource to foreign “You can spend of the Evidence-Based manufacturers, sometimes with disastrous money on vet visits Veterinary Medicine Association. “Consult a results. Various brands or on better food.” board-certified nutritionof dry dog food (kibble) ist for the unique nutriand treats have been ~ Veterinarian Laurie Coger tional needs of the pet, recalled for melamine based on age, breed, contamination or other health condition and other factors. Don’t problems—even brands manufactured here have been recalled for salmonella substitute ingredients.” Cooking for pets can be timecontamination. consuming. Some owners have found To ensure that what we’re serving dehydrated foods like those from The our dogs contains a proper balance of Honest Kitchen, made in the United protein, vitamins and minerals for overStates using human food-grade ingreall health, the Dog Food Advisor rates dog foods and treats by brand name, ex- dients, both cost-effective and easy plains the ingredients, including byprod- to prepare. While the purchase price ucts not fit for human consumption, and can be higher than other options, the food rapidly rehydrates to four times its recommends the best options. Owners can sign up for emails about recalls and other alerts at Other reasons to read labels include potential allergic reactions to foods, especially chicken and corn, common ingredients in kibble. The educational website notes, “Corn is an inexpensive and controversial cereal grain of only modest nutritional value to a dog.”

Homemade Meals

To have more control over what the family dog or cat eats, many owners turn to home-cooked 36

West Michigan Edition

original weight by adding warm water. A meatless variety allows owners to add their choice of raw meat, meaty bones or cooked meat and can be suitable for sensitive dogs, raw feeders and dogs that need a unique protein source. “Dehydrated foods are also a good way for a squeamish owner to start a raw diet for their dog,” remarks Dr. Laurie Coger, an associate veterinarian at the Bloomingrove Veterinary Hospital, in Rensselaer, New York, who also offers consultations through Coger suggests, “First, determine what a dog or cat needs in his diet, then transition gradually from kibble to a cooked or raw diet. Cats may resist change, while dogs can be more flexible.” Pet food maker Steve’s Real Food is another option as it does not use lamb, pork or venison. Each poses a greater risk of carrying toxoplasmosis, a parasitic disease that can be passed on to pets, especially cats. “If you decide to incorporate raw foods, find a wholesale meat supplier so you can buy in bulk. You’ll need a freezer to take full advantage,” suggests Coger. “Feeding raw is not an all-ornothing proposition, so mix and match. Cook when you have time, feed raw several days a week and use high-quality dehydrated or dry food when traveling.” Dr. Cathy Alinovi, owner of Hoof Stock Veterinary Service, in Pine Village, Indiana, found that switching to a raw diet solved an itching problem with her mixed-breed dog. She reports that, “Eighty percent of the reasons my clients bring their pets to me are cured by changing to better food.” Alinovi points out two drawbacks of serving raw food: “You can’t leave it out all day and it can be a challenge to transport home on a hot day.” But she’s found that the benefits are many, “Dog and cat furs shine and shed less; even their behavior improves.” Dog owners also note cleaner teeth, with no tartar buildup, cutting down on trips to the vet.

Not Everyone Agrees

Feeding a raw food diet is not without controversy. The American Veterinary Medical Association voted last summer to advise veterinarians to recommend clients against feeding raw meats and bones to pets. Pet Partners, formerly known as the Delta Society, which registers pets as therapy animals, has instituted a policy that states, “Animals may not be fed a raw protein diet. Animals previously fed [such] a diet must

be off it for at least four weeks before registering them.” (See rawdiet.) Deciding which foods to feed our pets requires extra research and meal preparation time, as well as money, but motivated owners like the results they see in their pet’s health. Missourian Sandra Murphy may be reached at StLouisFreelanceWriter@

Safe Pet Food Prep To handle raw meat and bones safely, follow the same guidelines as when cooking for family members. When shopping, keep meat, seafood and poultry separate from other foods—double-bag them to keep juices contained. In the fridge, store meat products in sealable containers on the lowest shelf, so that potential drips won’t touch other foods. Fridge temp should be 40° Fahrenheit or lower. Use one cutting board for meats and another for produce. Wash hands before and after handling meat. Sanitize countertops, wooden cutting boards and knives with white distilled vinegar (5 percent), undiluted, heated to 130° F and left on the surface for one minute; then dry with a recycled-paper towel or air dry. It will kill 99 percent of germs. Plastic cutting boards go in the dishwasher.

Deep clean wooden boards by scrubbing with natural coarse salt and lemon juice (the second half of the lemon face works as a scrubber); rinse with hot water and dry upright. Keep wood from drying out by periodically applying beeswax or walnut or almond oil. Refrigerate or discard any uneaten food, wash dog bowls after every feeding with soap and hot water, and then let air dry or wipe with a recyclable paper towel. Sponges hoard germs. If used, sanitize them in the microwave at least every other day. Make sure the sponge is wet, not dry. Two minutes will kill 99 percent of most diseasecausing germs. Let it cool before handling. Primary sources: U.S. Food and Drug Administration;

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January 2013



FRACKING WRECKS AMERICA’S BEDROCK Clear and Present Dangers by Sandra Steingraber

Current environmental policies must be realigned to safeguard our health, sustain planetary life-support systems and free us from dependence upon fossil fuels.


nder the misleading banner of clean and green, the global natural gas rush is on, and nowhere more so than in the United States. We are literally shattering America’s bedrock to bring methane out of the Earth and consuming enormous quantities of precious fresh water to do so, without any clear knowledge of the health or environmental consequences. Due to economies of scale and required infrastructure, fracking is an all-or-nothing proposition, and each state decides its own fate. The Marcellus Shale forms a 600-mile-long basement foundation for communities spanning New York, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio. As the largest natural gas deposit in the country, it has become ground-zero for high-volume, slickwater hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. Many more states are equally vulnerable (see In a two-to-200-foot-thick bedrock


West Michigan Edition

layer up to a mile below Earth’s surface, the shale and its captured methane, uranium, mercury, arsenic and lead have remained locked in place for millions of years. Above it lie drinking water aquifers. Prior to the 21st century, capturing methane gas bubbles dispersed within such a horizontal formation, instead of a vertical well, was deemed uneconomical and labeled unrecoverable. Now, modern drills can bore down steel piping, some portions encased in cement, and direct pressure-packed explosions of up to 10,000 pounds per square inch of water, sand and chemicals into the rock, fracturing it. Next, hundreds of chemicals are injected to reduce friction (thus the term slickwater) so that the fracking fluid can flow easily. The mixture includes acids, rust and scale inhibitors and pesticides to kill microbes, plus sometimes gelling agents, petroleum distillates, glycol

ethers, form­aldehyde and toluene. The result is that gas flows back up the borehole along with 30 to 60 percent of the injected cocktail of water and chemicals. The rest is left behind. Fracking a gas well once requires 2 to 8 million gallons of fresh water, 10,000 to 40,000 gallons of chemicals and at least 1,000 diesel truck trips. Wells can be fracked multiple times before they run dry. Between 34,000 and 95,000 wells are envisioned for New York State alone, according to Cornell University Engineering Professor, Anthony Ingraffea, with 77,000 likely over the next 50 years. While New York residents are watching the result of fracking in other states and have elected a temporary moratorium on fracking, Pennsylvania has issued thousands of permits since 2004. Continued unknowns stir debate. Meanwhile, scientists across leading institutions are certain of five universal impacts. First, fracking industrializes rural landscapes, clearing and fragmenting vital woodlands and wetlands. Second, fracking brings urban-style air pollution to the rural countryside. Third, accidents happen, necessitating the evacuation of surrounding communities. Fourth, fracking makes huge volumes of Earth’s limited fresh water disappear forever. Fifth, sooner or later, the gas will run out, while the environmental damage remains.

Known and Unknown Dangers

Beyond these certainties lie questions. Drilling proponents may claim that there have been no confirmed cases of drinking water contaminated by fracking. Yet in Pavillion, Wyoming, residents noticed a few years ago that their water was yellow, cloudy and oily, bubbled and smelled like chemicals. Some people felt sick. A joint investigation by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry found petrochemicals— including diesel fuel, benzene, cyclohexane, methane, propane and ethane, plus traces of arsenic and a microbe-inhibiting pesticide—in 20 water wells. The EPA

recommended that residents not drink their water. Turning on a fan while showering to avoid possible methane explosions was also suggested. Fracking enjoys special exemptions from many regulations—the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, Superfund Act and National Environmental Policy Act—that govern other types of industrial activities. Fracking also gets a pass on federal right-to-know laws, because natural gas operations do not report their air and water emissions under the EPA Toxics Release Inventory. A special amendment to the 2005 Energy Policy Act grants fracking exclusion from the Safe Drinking Water Act, which authorizes the EPA to regulate all injection of toxic chemicals into the ground. Thus, a drilling company doesn’t have to disclose the formulation of its fracking fluids.

Eco-Horrors and Economics

Biologist Theo Colborn and her research team at The Endocrine Disruptor Exchange report that of the 353 chemicals tested as presumed ingredients of fracking fluid, 60 percent can harm the brain and nervous system, 40 percent are endocrine disrupters and one-third are both suspected carcinogens and developmental toxicants. What should we do with this lethal fluid—a million or more gallons with every wellhead? The trend, say gas industry service providers like Halliburton, is to recycle it, but flowback water gets more poisonous with every reuse. At some point, this highly concentrated toxic liquid still has to be disposed of via designated underground wells or municipal sewage-treatment plants or else it’s clandestinely dumped. Then there’s the lure of fracking’s economics. In many cases, a homeowner can receive $5,000 per acre, plus 12 to 20 percent royalties, from leasing land to a gas company. The Marcellus Shale may be worth a trillion dollars and possibly provide enough natural gas to supply the nation’s consumption for six years, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s most recent estimates. (It’s unknown how much gas is recoverable or how often wells may need to be refracked to stimulate production.) No study of the cumulative impact of fracking on public health or agriculture, including its full lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions, has been conducted; it’s an economic gamble and a bona fide environmental crime. Take a stand at, and (scroll to petitions). Note: Find films at; and FilmPromisedLand. Biologist Sandra Steingraber, Ph.D., is the acclaimed author of Living Downstream, now also a documentary film, and Having Faith, on the threat of environmental toxins to infant development. A visiting scholar at New York’s Ithaca College, she often testifies at hearings. She adapted this article from Raising Elijah: Protecting Our Children in an Age of Environmental Crisis, reprinted courtesy of Da Capo Press. natural awakenings

January 2013



SUSTAINABLE WEIGHT LOSS Five Secrets for Feeling Like Yourself Again by Judith Fertig

Health experts agree that many foods can play multiple roles in weight loss.


tarting in the 1970s, natural foods advocate and journalist Kathleen Barnes, of Brevard, North Carolina, avidly practiced vegetarianism, yet through the years she still gained weight. Searching for answers, she shared her findings in an array of books that include 8 Weeks to Vibrant Health: A Take Charge Plan for Women (co-authored with Dr. Hyla Cass) and Rx from the Garden: 101 Food Cures You Can Easily Grow. “When I at last learned which key foods to add to my diet, I lost 100 pounds—and kept them off,” says Barnes. Burn fat. Foods with thermogenic properties help heat up the body and may help burn fat. “You feel a flush when you eat or drink them,” Barnes notes. Chili peppers, curry powder, horseradish, mustard, garlic, onion, wasabi, ginger, black pepper and radishes are especially good choices in cold weather, when we want to feel warm anyway. The intense flavors delivered by such foods help us to practice the principle of portion control, Chester KuLea, a health and nutrition consultant in Vancouver, British Columbia, says, “Adding these foods to dishes generates a higher rate of caloric burn, and their powerful flavors prompt people to eat far less than they normally would. Plus, red, cayenne and jalapeño peppers, hot sauces and any other spicy foods are all very low in calories.” Enhance mood. We don’t want to feel hungry or deprived when trying to lose weight. The protein in turkey, chicken and cold-water fish like salmon and mackerel helps us feel


West Michigan Edition

more satisfied and on top of things. Barnes also suggests eating low-fat cottage cheese, avocado, wheat germ, whole-grain crackers and bananas to help increase serotonin levels and feelings of well-being. “When you crave something sweet or feel like you’re crashing mid-afternoon, that’s the time to eat a small amount of these foods to get you back on track,” she advises. Julia Ross, author of The Mood Cure and The Diet Cure, agrees. This Mill Valley, California, nutritional psychotherapist recommends complex carbohydrates such as whole grains to keep us on an even keel during weight loss. “This means pushing away the leftover cake and eating sensible carbs to stimulate serotonin,” she says. Promote digestion. The fiber in fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains helps move things along in the digestive system, making our bodies work more efficiently. Barnes favors drinking peppermint and other herbal teas and incorporating sage, dill, oregano and other herbs in savory dishes to aid digestion. According to a recent University of Illinois

study, soluble fiber found in oat bran, fruits, vegetables and nuts not only facilitates digestion, but also supports the immune system. Professor Gregory Freund, who teaches at the university’s medical school in Champaign, explains, “Soluble fiber changes the personality of immune cells—they go from being pro-inflammatory, angry cells to antiinflammatory, healing cells that help us recover faster from infection.” Feel full. Hunger pangs can derail anyone’s best efforts to eat better. Barnes learned that liquids, including up to two quarts of water a day, help retain a satisfied feeling. In cooler months, she makes soups that incorporate leafy green vegetables, onion, garlic, chili peppers and herbs. An apple a day might keep the doctor away—and help in other ways, as well. “Apples have a high water content and are packed with fiber, two factors that leave you satiated,” says Keren Gilbert, a registered dietitian and founder of Decision Nutrition, in Great Neck, New York. “For a tasty proteinpacked snack, top apple slices with natural almond butter.” Accept treats. Leaving room for a treat, like a piece of fine chocolate, can leave us feeling satisfied rather than stuffed, says Katherine Harvey, a registered dietitian in Kansas City, Missouri. Indulging in a little sweet treat from time to time reinforces the perception that eating right can be simple and pleasurable, says Barnes. In cold months, she likes to bake apples sweetened with Stevia and cinnamon, or poach pears in fruit juice and spices. She might break open a pomegranate and slowly munch each rubycolored seed, or stop at a coffee shop to sip a latte made with low-fat milk. Barnes’ evolved natural foods strategy has helped her maintain a desirable weight for many years now. “Sustainable weight loss involves sustainable eating,” she says, “finding healthy foods that we can enjoy for the rest of our lives.” Award-winning cookbook author Judith Fertig blogs at AlfrescoFood AndLifestyle.


Sunday, January 13

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

Friday, January 4

Fire of Transformation with Mimi Ray - 6:30-8:30 pm. Light the inner fire of the heart; transform and refine your practice. Play your edge; develop strength, flexibility and joy in community. $18 pre-order, $25 day of. Expressions of Grace Yoga, 5270 Northland Dr. NE, Grand Rapids. Register online at www. or call 616-361-8580.

Saturday, January 5

Yoga Immersion with Mimi Ray-Informational Meeting Saturday- 12:30 pm. Course begins January 12 & 13. A 100 hour program. Explore the Universal Principles of Alignment, Lifestyle, philosophy & the art of the practice of Yoga in community. Expressions of Grace Yoga, 5270 Northland Dr. NE, Grand Rapids. Register online at www.expressionsofgraceyoga. com or call 616-361-8580.

Sunday, January 6

Introduction to Yoga Philosophy- 1:00-2:00 pm. Questions about yoga? This is the class for you! This is an informational format class; although poses will be demonstrated, no one will be asked to participate in a physical practice. FREE. On The Path Yoga, 617 E. Savidge, Spring Lake. 616-935-7028. Introduction to Yoga Practice- 2:00-3:00 pm. Learn a few foundational poses and feel alignment in the pose. Find out about props such as the rope wall and how these can help you achieve ease and alignment in each pose. Yoga is for everybody. 617 E. Savidge, Spring Lake. 616-935-7028.

Monday, January 7

12 Weeks to Whole Health Kick-Off- All day. Ottawa Village Chiropractic of Holland kicks off its first installment of 12 Weeks to Whole Health, a free online program for your body, mind and spirit. See for more details. 451 Columbia Avenue, Holland. Momsbloom Volunteer Training- 6:30pm. Learn how to help a family after the birth of the baby to get a strong start. The only requirement is a heart for working with families and experience with babies. Please contact Angie for more information at angie@ 555 Midtowne NE, Grand Rapids. Guided Meditation and Healing Circle- 7:45-8:45 pm. Escape from stress and discover an inner world of calm, peace & joy through guided meditation, and energy healing from Healing in America-trained healers. Satya Yoga, 133 Butler St., Saugatuck. 269-929-6796.

Wednesday, January 9

Taizé Sung Prayer Service- 7:00 pm. Worship consists of simple choruses, prayers, scripture and periods of silence. Open to all people and a wonderful way to connect with God in the midst of a busy week. First United Methodist Church – 227 East Fulton St, Grand Rapids. Guided Meditation and Healing Circle- 7:00-8:00 pm. Escape from stress and discover an inner world of calm, peace & joy through guided meditation, and energy healing from Healing in America-trained healers. Holistic Care Approach, 3368 Beltline Ct., NE, Grand Rapids.

Thursday, January 10

Heavenly Healings Holistic Health Services Open House – 4:00-6:00 pm. Come share and learn about Young Living Essential Oils, my services and classes. Come sample products & services. There is no charge but donations welcome. 4434 Knapp St NE, Grand Rapids. Call Jodi with any questions, 616-443-4225 or email . Mastering the Art of Mindful Eating- 6:30 pm. Why do We Eat What We do? Naturopathic practitioners, Micah McLaughlin Geoff Lamden will share how our bodies dictate what we eat and how we can change to healthier habits. RSVP to 616-975-7555. 6807 Cascade Road, Grand Rapids. Meditation– Pranyama- Circulate the life force (prana) within you through the use of breath. Learn how to energize and create stillness through the balance of the breath. Gentle yoga stretching and meditation included in this experience. Serving the Standale, Walker, Allendale. 616-791-0472. Registration required at http:// html or email at

Friday, January 11

Living Well Grand Rapids- 12:00-8:00 pm. A health and fitness show where you can visit vendor booths, join in an exercise demonstration, try some locally grown healthy food, speak with a health counselor, take advantage of health screenings or attend a seminar enhancing your journey to a healthy balanced life. DeVos Place, Grand Rapids. Visit LivingWellGR. com for more information.

Saturday, January 12

Reiki I & II class- 9:00 am -5:00 pm . Become attuned and learn how to give treatment to self and others. $200 includes manual and the $50 deposit required to register. 8 CE Hours. Call Jodi at 616-443-4225 to register or email 4434 Knapp St, Grand Rapids. Living Well Grand Rapids- 10:00 am-8:00 pm. A health and fitness show where you can visit vendor booths, join in an exercise demonstration, try some locally grown healthy food, speak with a health counselor, take advantage of health screenings or attend a seminar enhancing your journey to a healthy balanced life. DeVos Place, Grand Rapids. Visit for more information. Yoga 101- 1:30 pm-3:30 pm. This workshop welcomes you to the space, offer tips and guidelines so you will feel comfortable in ongoing classes, and gets your yoga practice started. $39 cost includes two weeks of unlimited yoga after the workshop. Register at or by calling 616-7450310. PeaceLab Yoga, Grandville. Pure Meditation Foundation Class for Adults3:00-5:00 pm. Conquer stress, improve concentration, find inner peace, and so much more. Includes book: Self Realization Through Pure Meditation by Mata Yogananda, follow-up appointment & continuing support. Self Realization Meditation Healing Centre, 7187 Drumheller Rd, Bath. Pre-registration required. 517-641-6201,,

ECKANKAR Worship Service-10:00-11:00 am. Join the monthly ECKANKAR Worship Service where people of all faiths are warmly invited to experience the Light and Sound of God. Services are the second Sunday of each month. Free. Dominican Center at Marywood, Room 4, 2025 E Fulton, Grand Rapids. 616-245-7003. Bill Diedrich- 10:30 am. Unity of Grand Rapids welcomes Author Bill Diedrich back to the pulpit to share his message “Growing Into Spiritual Adulthood.” Diedrich will be available for a book signing after the service with his new book, Adults at Work. 1711 Walker Ave, Grand Rapids.

Monday, January 14

New Member Open House- 6:30-8:30 pm. The Grand Rapids Chapter of Sweet Adelines is auditioning new members to join our Barbershop Chorus. Come see what we are all about and meet the chorus to see if we are the musical group for you. 616-4524542. 1675 84 St. SE, Caledonia.

Tuesday, January 15

Learn Trigger Point Massage- 6:00 pm. Dr. Michael Kwast, DC, CSCS will help workshop participants learn all about Trigger Point Massage. Seating is limited to the first 30 callers. RSVP today by calling 616447-9888. 4150 East Beltline Suite #4, Grand Rapids.

Thursday, January 17

Naturally Knocked Up – 6:30 pm. Preparing your body for healthy conception and birth, Author Donielle Baker will share her story of health and healing through natural living and nourishing foods. Please RSVP to 616-896-6630. Harvest Health Foods, 4150 32nd Ave, Hudsonville.

Friday, January 18

Healthseekers Free Class- 6:15-7:15pm. There is a high level of vitality and healing beyond the absence of pain. Find out how homeopathy & chiropractic are a perfect fit, restoring balance & optimizing functioning of your entire system down to the cellular--and vibrational--level. 231-670-0179. Muskegon. Weekend Workshop with Moses Brown - January 18-20. A weekend of freedom, joy and happiness at Expressions of Grace Yoga. Moses brings focus, concentration, and mindfulness to his classes, weaving them together with playfulness, joy and FUN! Appropriate for any level student. Go to www. for details or call 616361-8580. Grand Rapids.

Saturday, January 19

Going Upside Down-Inversion Workshop- 1:30 pm-3:30 pm. Join us for an uplifting Inversion Workshop. Start your Inversion practice, or take it deeper. All levels of student are welcome. Register online at, or by calling 616-745-0310. Costs $29, Members $19. PeaceLab Yoga, 5570 Wilson Ave., Suite M, Grandville. Jazz Vespers – Jim Cooper Quartet- 6:00 pm. Jazz Vespers is meant for jazz and worship lovers of all ages, featuring jazz ensembles from around West Michigan in a liturgical setting. Free of charge. Located at First United Methodist Church – 227 East Fulton St, Grand Rapids.

Wednesday, January 23

Mastering the Art of Mindful Eating- 6:30 pm. Why do We Eat What We do? Naturopathic practitioners,

natural awakenings

January 2013


Micah McLaughlin Geoff Lamden will share how our bodies dictate what we eat and how we can change to healthier habits. RSVP to 616-975-7555. 6807 Cascade Road, Grand Rapids.

Thursday, January 24

Healthseekers Free Class- 6:15-7:15pm. There is a high level of vitality and healing beyond the absence of pain. Find out how homeopathy & chiropractic are a perfect fit, restoring balance & optimizing functioning of your entire system down to the cellular--and vibrational--level. 231-670-0179. Muskegon. Naturally Knocked Up – 6:30 pm. Preparing your body for healthy conception and birth, Author Donielle Baker will share her story of health and healing through natural living and nourishing foods. Please RSVP to 616-975-7555. Harvest Health Foods, 6807 Cascade Road, Grand Rapids.

Friday, January 25

Reiki I/II Training Class- 9:00 am-5:00 pm. Learn this hands-on energy healing method to practice on yourself and your family. Costs $225. Lunch and text book included. Jan Atwood, Reiki Master/Teacher. Call 616-915-4144 to Register. 801 Broadway Ave NW, Grand Rapids.

Saturday, January 26

Therapy Dog at Ottawa Village Chiropractic- 10:00 am-12:00 pm. Meet Grace Kelly, Ottawa Village Chiropractic’s therapy dog. Call 616-399-9420 to make an appointment. 451 Columbia, Holland. Relaxation for Body, Mind & Spirit- 11:00 am-5:00 pm. Includes gentle yoga class and delicious home cooked lunch & refreshments; with time in the quiet for your spirit, $39. Optional Pure Meditation Foundation class for your mind available. Self Realization Meditation Healing Centre, 7187 Drumheller Rd, Bath, 517641-6201.,

Sunday, January 27

Cupping as a Massage Modality- 8:30 am-5:30 pm. Learn this natural technique that compliments the therapeutic benefits of massage as well as cupping on the face, a great enhancement to any massage. All equipment needed for class except sheets are supplied during class - 16 CE’s. NCBTMB. $250, early bird $210. html 616-791-0472. Essential Oil Training: I (Basic)- 9:00 am – 11:00 pm & II (Everyday Oils) 11:00 am– 1:00 pm & III (Raindrop) 1:30 – 3:30 pm. Learn the basics of the benefits and uses of Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils. $25 per class includes class materials & preregistration required. 6 CE Hours. To register call Jodi at 616-443-4225 or email heavenlyhealings@yahoo. com. 4434 Knapp St, NE Grand Rapids.

Monday, January 28

Cupping Massage as a Modality- 8:30 am-5:30 pm. Learn this natural technique that compliments the therapeutic benefits of massage as well as cupping on the face, a great enhancement to any massage. All equipment needed for class except sheets are supplied during class - 16 CE’s. NCBTMB. $250, early bird $210. html 616-791-0472.


West Michigan Edition

Wednesday, January 30

Reiki Share- 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm. Come share & learn about Reiki. Open to all that care to share Reiki, and those who would like to try receiving Reiki. No charge - donations are welcome. Call or email if questions, 616-443-4225 or 4434 Knapp St NE, Grand Rapids.

Thursday, February 7

Couples Yoga- 7:00 pm. Explore relationships through the practice of yoga. Using the Chakras, you will explore your relationship with yourself as well as others, and, practicing various postures, with a partner; strengthen feelings of trust, power, and love. $20 per person, registration required. Serving the Standale, Walker, Allendale areas. 616-791-0472.

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



Sunday Worship- 10:30 am. A spiritual community that is warm and welcoming, inclusive and accepting of all, honoring diversity, for those who are seeking spiritual truth. Nursery & youth programs provided. 1711 Walker Ave. NW. www.

$30 Off BioMeridian Assessments- State-of-theart profiling and tracking of all 58 meridians in the body with take-home computer generated results to assess progress. Grand Rapids. 616-365-9176. For more info visit


A Course in Miracles Class- 6:00-8:00 pm. With Cindy Barry. Free will offering. The Healing Center. Lakeview. TheHealingCenterOfLakeview. com. 989-352-6500.

$30 Off BioMeridian Assessments- State-of-theart profiling and tracking of all 58 meridians in the body with take-home computer generated results to assess progress. Grand Rapids. 616-365-9176. For more info visit

Pilates at The Well Being- 6:00-7:00 pm. Build strength, endurance and flexibility throughout your body while learning proper breathing techniques which help to decrease stress. $10 per class. Equipment provided. Drop-ins welcome. grwellbeing. com. 616-458-6870.

Tuesday Gentle Hatha Yoga with Mitch Coleman- 7:459:00 am & 9:15-10:30 am. Drop-ins welcome. Visit for more information. Classes meet at White River Yoga Studio, 8724 Ferry St. Montague. 231-740-6662. Beginner & Intermediate Tai Chi- Tues & Thurs 6:30-8:00 pm. Yang form for health, focus and self defense. $45 for one class/week, monthly. Kentwood. Taijiquan. 616-425-1344. On Being a Spirit having a Physical Experience6:30 pm. 2nd & 4th Tuesdays. From the Shamanic Teachings of the Sweet Medicine Sundance Path w/ Marie Moon Star Seeker. $10. Owl Hawk Clan. Open Mind in Rockford. 616-447-0128. Mystic Angel Classes- 7:00-8:30 pm. With Denise Iwanwi. $15.00. The Healing Center. Lakeview. 989-352-6500. Kripalu Yoga- 7:00-8:00 pm. Experienced or beginner welcome. Classes begin with breath awareness, and end with relaxation/meditation. $12 Drop in / $60 a 6 class pass. We help guide your yoga journey at your own pace/comfort level. www.\sanative_yoga Serving the Standale, Walker, Allendale. 616-791-0472.

Thursday Reiki Healing and Detox Foot Spa Treatments w/ Danielle Alandt- 11:00 am-4:00 pm. Reiki healing treatments with Detox Footspa Treatments $50/30mins. Reiki Treatments $50/hr. Specials available. By appointment or Walk-ins. 616-3649191. Grand Rapids. Acupuncture Now at Cj’s Studio Salon LLC4:00-7:00 pm. Acupuncture by Raymond Wan, D.Ac., MMT, HHC. Costs $40-80. Call 616-3649191. 5286 Plainfield Ave. NE, Grand Rapids. Spiritual Classes- 6:00-7:30 pm. Astrology, numerology, tarot, etc. with Gail Brumeister. $15.00. The Healing Center. Lakeview. 989-352-6500. Awakened Women’s Support Group- 6:00-8:30 Starting Jan. 3, every other Thursday. $10 at Open Mind Store. For women who want to apply their personal/spiritual development knowledge to their daily lives and challenges. 616-754-9672. Rockford. Dancing From Within/Dance Improv for Women6:00-6:45 pm. Dance to funky world beat music. Every other Thursday starting January 10 at the Wealthy Theater Dance Annex. $10,, 616-754-9672. Grand Rapids. Oils Classes- 6:30-8:00 pm. Every 3rd Thursday with Barb Huttinga. The Healing Center. Lakeview. 989-352-6500.

Friday Village Farmers Market- 1:00-7:00 pm. Buy fresh & local from producers that utilize organic farming practices -eggs, meats, cheese, fruits & vegetables, organic Michigan milk and more. Please visit us on Facebook. Spring Lake. 616-935-7312.

Saturday Kripalu Yoga- 8:30–9:30 am. Experienced or beginner welcome. Classes begin with breath awareness, and end with relaxation/meditation. $12 Drop in / $60 a 6 class pass. We help guide your yoga journey at your own pace/comfort level.\sanative_yoga Serving the Standale, Walker, Allendale. 616-791-0472.

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


Sweetwater Local Foods Market- 9:00 am-1:00 pm. Hackley Health at the Lakes building on Harvey Street. We are indoors if the weather is bad. We are a double up bucks and bridge card market! Hesperia. 231-861-2234. Mixed Level Tai Chi- 9:30-11:00 am. Yang form for beginner to intermediate students. Open class format, traditional warm up. $45 for one class/ week, monthly. Kentwood. Taijiquan, 616-4251344, Pre-natal Yoga- 12:00-1:00 pm. On The Path Yoga series, designed with moms-to-be in mind. Come into fullness and make time to breathe, relax, and connect with body and baby. Spring Lake. 616-935-7028. Path to Transformation- 8 week series includes yoga, weekly group meetings, two sessions body work, a personal counseling session & book to make a lasting change. $300. On The Path Yoga. 616-935-7028. Spring Lake.

savethedate February 8-10, 2013 Dignity, Discipline, Dedication, and Delight: A Weekend of Yoga with Christina Sell- Explore your own relationship to yoga in this dynamic, challenging and inspiring weekend of asana studies. Register online at www.peacelabyoga. com, or by calling 616-745-0310. 5570 Wilson Ave., Suite M, Grandville.

savethedate February 22-24, 2013 A Weekend of Iyengar with Mary Reilly- The Yoga Studio is honored to host Mary Reilly, Senior Certified Iyengar teacher for a weekend of inspired yoga. $175 for full weekend. Visit for details. 1110 Wealthy SE, Grand Rapids.

Barbara Zvirzdinis, WK, CMT 616-581-3885

MOONDROP HERBALS, LLC Cottage of Natural Elements 351 Cummings NW Grand Rapids, MI 49534 616-735-1285

•Body & Comfort Care products made naturally since 1998 •Essential Oil Blending & Consulting •Bulk herbs, oils, etc. by the ounce •Candles, Spa accessories, Unique gifts •Reference Library •Practitioner discounts •Workspace Rental & Consignment. See ad page 11.

Gentle Hatha Yoga with Mitch Coleman – 9:0010:15 am & 10:30-11:45 am. Drop-ins welcome. Visit for info. Classes meet at White River Yoga Studio. Montague. 231-740-6662.


SÉRENDIPITÉ ORGANIQUES, LLC Teri Kelley- Owner 944 Cherry St SE Grand Rapids, 49506 616-419-8115

The only retail location in Michigan to exclusively carry organic, non-toxic products scoring ‘Low Hazard, 0-2’ on skindeep! Product lines are Zum Clean, Face Naturals, Rejuva Minerals Makeup, Elemental Herbs Sunscreen, and Sappho Organic Cosmetics. See ad page 26.


Certified Massage Therapist offering Therapeutic, Hot Stone & Matrix Massage. Certified Wholistic Kinesiologist, Certified Matrix Energetics Practitioner, Reconnection Healing Practitioner, Certified Herbalist, Certified Acutonics Practitioner, and a Certified Reflexologist. See ad page 27.


Kyle Hass Licensed Residential Home Builder 616-299-5815

Locally owned and operated. Specializing in building quality livable and affordable new homes that are Energy Efficient and utilize Green Building practices. Unmatched efficiencies and uncompromising quality. Call today for a fee quote. See ad page 29.

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


CranioSacral Therapy (CST)/Reiki Master Jamie VanDam 4456 Miramar Ave. NE Grand Rapids, 49525 616-365-9113

CST is a gentle noninvasive form of body work that addresses the bones of the head, spinal column and sacrum. The goal is to release compression in these areas which alleviate pain and stress.

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. See ad in Program Section.

GASLIGHT FAMILY CHIROPRACTIC 2249 Wealthy St. SE, Suite #240 East Grand Rapids, 49506 616-458-CFIT (2348)

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

Experience an individualized, holistic healthcare approach! We combine spinal adjustments, Contact Reflex & Nutrition Response (Muscle Testing), Whole Food Supplementation Orthotics, Massage & Aromatherapy. Common conditions we see include: Chronic Fatigue, Headaches, IBS, Back & Neck pain and Fibromyalgia.

natural awakenings

January 2013



Dr. Andrew Schafer 1801 Breton SE Grand Rapids, MI 49506 616-301-3000 Tr e a t i n g m u s c u l o s k e l e t a l conditions, but specializing in back pain, neck pain, and headaches. Also offering physical therapy, massage therapy, and postural awareness. Most insurances accepted. Breton Village area. www.grchirospa. com. See ad pages 14 & 32.


Clara VanderZouwen, NORWEX Consultant 616-698-6148



We provide counseling to individuals dealing with mental and emotional health issues. We utilize exercise as a research-based form of treatment, for a more holistic approach to mental health care.

Learn how to address issues of Pain, Stress, Hormone Imbalance, Weight Management, ADD, Allergies, Diabetes & more with Essential Oils, Ionic Foot Baths, BioEnergy scans, Nutritional & NEW Earthing products! Free monthly classes. See ad page 25.

Behavioral Health and Fitness Center 616-458-6870

dentistry / holistic DENTAL HEALTH & WELLNESS CENTER

Dr. Kevin P. Flood DDS 616-974-4990 Comprehensive Holistic Dental Services – Amalgam Removal & Replacement. Bio-Compatible, metal-free materials, Low-Dose Digital X-Rays, Gentle Anesthesia, Dentistry for Diabetes, TMJ, Chronic Head & Neck pain and Non Surgical Perio. See ad page 2.

Imagine cleaning with only water! Improve the quality of your life with Norwex products by radically reducing the use of chemicals in personal care and cleaning. Save Time & Money.

cOlon hydrotherapy HARMONY ’N HEALTH

energy healing

Mary De Lange, CCT., CMT. 1003 Maryland Av., 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 relieve constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloat, poor digestion, back pain, body odor and more. See ad page 7.


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

essential oils

Elizabeth Cosmos Grand Rapids: 616-648-3354

Ama Deus® healing energy method is a hand mediated technique aligned with love. The energy helps to enhance one’s own and others growth and awareness or physical and emotional healing. See ad page 21.


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 27.

Clara VanderZouwen 616-698-6148

HEAVENLY HEALINGS HOLISTIC HEALTH SERVICES Jodi Jenks - Reiki Master 4434 Knapp St NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525

I am a Reiki Master that also does Essential Oil therapies including Raindrop Therapy, Emotional Clearing and Spiritual Journey work. Call or email for appointments or questions, 616-443-4225 or See ad page 7.

HAKOMI THERAPY KEN PORTER CST, CHT 534 Fountain NE Grand Rapids MI 49503 616-262-3848

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

health education center THE WELLNESS FORUM

4990 Cascade Road, Grand Rapids 616-430-2291 Educational programs for personal health improvement - Workplace wellness programs - Wellness Forum Foundation focused on school nutrition and children’s health - National conferences.

Look for this symbol throughout Natural Awakenings for Natural Awakenings Network (NAN) providers offering savings to NAN members. 44

West Michigan Edition

health food stores AFFORDABLE NUTRITION

Joel D. Manning, CNC®, Owner 4693 Wilson Ave. SW Suite 1, Grandville 616-667-1346 Affordable, natural approach to better health. Certified nutritional consultant with 22 years experience. Offering select, high quality vitamins, minerals, herbs, children’s products, essential oils, homeopathics, weight loss and more. Professional discounts and senior pricing.


Grand Haven 616-846-3026 Muskegon 231-739-1568 North Muskegon 231-744-0852 Natural & organic foods, vitamins & herbs, sports nutrition, gluten free food, natural body and homecare products. Open 7 days a week. See ad page 27.

holistic health centers THE HEALING CENTER

Bob Huttinga PA-C & Rev. Barbara Huttinga 332 S. Lincoln Ave, Lakeview 989-352-6500 Affordable, natural approach to better health. Certified nutritional consultant with 22 years experience. Offering select, high quality vitamins, minerals, herbs, children’s products, essential oils, homeopathics, weight loss and more. Professional discounts and senior pricing. See ad in page 37.

WEST MICHIGAN PAIN MANAGEMENT THERAPY CENTER P.L.L.C. Herbert Schlichting M.S., CPT., OPT. 6745 E. Fulton, Suite A, Ada 616-706-6132

We offer various neuromuscular therapy treatments pertaining to acute or chronic condition. We o ff e r p h y s i c a l f i t n e s s training in our own facility. Our focus is to eliminate pain while educating patients own ways to prevent injuries.





332 S. Lincoln Ave, Lakeview 989-352-6500 A Certified Physician Assistant since 1976, specializing in naturopathic and homeopathic care, ApoE Gene Diet and Family care. Also, certified Silva Method instructor. We take most insurances. See ad page 37.

hypnotherapy JULIE E. MOORE

Certified Hypnotherapist Hastings MI 269-948-1990

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 Practitioner, Certified Herbalist, Certified Acutonics Practitioner and Certified Reflexologist. Specializing in muscle testing, massage, energy medicine, nutritional counseling, lectures and classes. See ad page 27.

massage therapy

Any issues can be positively addressed thru hypnotherapy weight loss, smoking & other addictions, anxiety, stress, night terrors, pain, irrational behaviors, etc. Counseling for many years, Moore is a Reiki Master, ordained minister, author & lecturer.

insurance HEALTHCARE SOLUTIONS TEAM Rachael Larabel 616-329-6178

Local independent agent representing providers of dental, health, and accident insurance for individuals and small business. Products are compliant with healthcare reform, offer free preventive care, and dental benefits with no waiting period.


Jaci Timmermans, MT 4072 Chicago Drive, Grandville, MI 49418 616-531-6050 I offer Swedish massage with Integrated Te c h n i q u e s , c h o s e n specifically to your unique body. Relieve those tired and sore muscles and rejuvenate! Call for ongoing monthly specials and discounts. www.

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

Professional massage therapist offering medical massage, manual therapy, stretching, range of motion, hot stone, healing touch therapy, essential oils, infrared heat lamp, bioenergetic therapy, hot castor oil packs, Chinese herbal liniments, therapeutic and relaxation massage therapy.

interior design services ALIGn DESIGN, llc

Shawn Merkel, ASID, IIDA 616-916-1071 Align your space to be a true reflection of who you are. Specializing in Wholistic design, repurposing and Feng Shui. Full service Residential and commercial Interior design. See ad page 14.


Sheri Beth Schafer, CMT, Ayurvedic Bodyworker, Reiki Master 1801 Breton SE Grand Rapids, MI 49506 616-301-3000

natural awakenings

We have multiple certified massage therapists offering relaxation, prenatal, deep tissue massage, and medical massage. We also offer Reiki, chakra balancing, and Ayurvedic bodywork. Breton Village area. www.grchirospa. com. See ad page 14 & 32.

January 2013


editorial calendar


health & wellness plus: weight loss


Grand Rapids, MI 801-557-2723 Experience simple, effortless techniques that allow you to move into a direct experience of inner peace, happiness and clear mental chatter with our free meditation meet up groups. Personal coaching, courses and weekend workshops available.



plus: relationships MARCH

food & garden

plus: natural pet APRIL

green living

plus: earth-friendly transportation MAY

women’s wellness plus: spring detox JUNE

inspired living

plus: men’s wellness JULY

food watch

plus: summer living AUGUST

rethinking cancer

plus: children’s health SEPTEMBER


midwifery FULL CIRCLE MIDWIFERY SERVICE, INC. Patrice Bobier CPM Hesperia: 231-861-2234

In private practice since 1982 specializing in homebirth. Over 1200 births attended. Offering midwifery care that maintains a family-centered safe birth experience. Empowering women to stay healthy during pregnancy, give birth naturally and parent in the best ways.

salon services CJ’S STUDIO SALON

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

I am an award winning Hair Stylist with 30 years Advanced Education. We use and sell Organic Hair Care Products, including Organic Hair Color. We also offer Ionic Detox Foot Baths.

plus: natural beauty aids OCTOBER


plus: energy therapy NOVEMBER

personal growth plus: mindfulness DECEMBER

awakening humanity plus: holiday themes


0-11279 Tallmadge Woods Dr., Grand Rapids, MI 49534 616-791-0472 State licensed school for massage and bodywork. High quality, affordable 6 month certification course with small class sizes. NCBTMB CE courses in Bamboo-Fusion®, cupping and more. Convenient to Grand Rapids, Standale, Walker and Allendale areas.


West Michigan Edition

NATUROPATHIC INSTITUTE OF THERAPIES & EDUCATION 503 E. Broadway St Mt. Pleasant, MI. 48858 989-773-1714

Educational Programs: Natural Health 1-4 Years (one weekend per month), Holistic Labor Companion – Doula 6 months (1 weekend per month), Massage Therapy 1 Year (2 weekends per month), Individual Classes available. Over 15 years of excellence. See ad page 47.


Elizabeth Beau

Practical Peace is a catalyst for Spiritual Transformation. We offer weekend classes to help you move from ego-consciousness to Spiritual Awareness to become a more authentic “you”. For more information contact Barbra at

classifieds To place a Classified Listing: Email listing to Must be received by the 15th of the month prior to publication. $1.00 per word; must be pre-paid.


Energy Healings and Training, Reiki & Urevia Healings/Classes - held near Hastings at Subtle Energies w/ Ken & Dana Gray. Learn a variety of techniques that can heal your life. Reiki I & Urevia Practitioner classes are eligible for NAN 20% discount. Visit for more information.


Hardy Dam/Muskegon River near - 80 acres, 6 bedroom home, outbuildings; garage, barn. Fishing and hunting area. Robb Breen: 1-231327-1147.


Holistic & Green Business Owners Wanted for Health Network - NAN, the Natural Awakenings Network, is a green and healthy living network that will allow members to enjoy discounts on products & services focused on wellness, green/ sustainable living and healthy lifestyles. If you are interested in becoming a provider (a business or organization that offers discounts to members) in this innovative network or want more details, contact Natural Awakenings at 616-656-9232 or Participating as a Provider is FREE for the 1st year.

natural awakenings

January 2013


Natural Awakenings Magazine January 2013  

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

Natural Awakenings Magazine January 2013  

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