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feel good • live simply • laugh more

The Rise of Functional Medicine


New Paradigms Gets to the Root Cause of Disease

Healthy Seasonal Soups Delicious Ways to Warm Body and Soul

Dance Your Way to Health and Happiness Good Reasons to Try Acupuncture It’s Easy to Be Green At Home and On the Road

January 2016 | West Michigan Edition | natural awakenings

January 2016


contents 4 newsbriefs

8 healthbriefs

11 globalbriefs

8 13 actionalert 18 wisewords 11 20 greenliving 22 naturalpet 32 healingways 36 fitbody


38 consciouseating

4 1 inspiration 42 calendar 45 naturaldirectory

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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.

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FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE New Paradigm Gets to the Root Cause of Disease



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anuary feels like a natural time to contemplate the state of our personal health and wellness. A new year conjures the innate need to activate change toward a fresh start, new views and a chance to better life. This year, I’m learning to look at my fresh start differently as my interest in achieving certain physical feats is changing. Although still relatively young at the age of 26, I see how such accomplishments might eventually come less easily than before, and I’m okay with that. I’ve already won a gymnastics meet, participated on a college cheerleading team and run the 25K race at Grand Rapids’ Fifth Third River Bank Run, all of which I’m grateful to have as elements of my life story. While I still might be able to train to, more-or-less, do these things again, I’m instead looking forward to engaging in inviting change-ups. For me, that means looking beyond past specialties to explore a myriad of opportunities to be active in new ways. Until this year, for instance, I never knew how much I naturally love being outside, hiking and biking area trails. When I’m hiking the woods in one of West Michigan’s beautiful state parks or biking along the shores of Lake Michigan, I feel joyously alive, and I believe that’s how good health and wellness is supposed to feel. That feeling affects my whole world for the better—enabling me to feel and behave like a better person, and enabling me to play a helpful role in our society. Philosopher, theologian and civil rights leader Howard Thurman said it this way, “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” So this year, I’m committing to nurturing my health and wellness, not by scheduling a strict workout regimen of daily runs, lifting weights or maximizing a gym membership, but by feeling alive and continuing to do the things that make me feel alive. Will you join me in finding and pursuing whatever it is that makes you feel most alive? Wishing you the joys of love and liveliness in the new year,

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

Natural Awakenings Magazine of West Michigan


NaturallyWestMI Natural Awakenings

natural awakenings

Magazine of West Michigan

January 2016


newsbriefs Creating a Resolution That Works


oin Grand Rapids Center for Healing Yoga to create a resolution that works on Tuesdays, January 5 through January 26. Almost every New Year’s Resolution starts with two words: “I will”. They seem to almost always fail because they start from the assumption that who you are is not good enough. This series introduces the practice of preparing and following your Sankapla, the vow of the soul and a resolve. The tradition of yoga offers a profound method for realizing your heartfelt desires without asking you to change who you are. Instead, work towards creating new neurological pathways by using mindfulness and body awareness techniques. Understanding our samaskra’s (habits) and how they can positively or negatively influence decisions will be explored. Come enjoy yoga poses, breath work, philosophy and meditation. No yoga experience is necessary. Please wear comfortable clothing and bring a journal and a pen. It’s recommended that participants read and continue their studies with “The Four Desires”, by Rod Stryker. For more information or to register, call 616-202-4077 or visit The cost for this course is $140. See ad, page 34.


West Michigan Edition

Visions of Success


t’s time to dust off those New Year’s resolutions you made last year (but didn’t keep) and start anew for 2016. Many people increase their chances of resolution success by making a vision board. A vision board is a visual representation, using pictures cut from magazines, of your innermost dreams for your body, mind and spirit. It’s based on the theory of the law of attraction that says we can attract our hearts desires into our lives by our thoughts and intentions. Just thinking about the life we want to live is not enough. While that can be a lot of fun, in the long run, we have to act on where those thoughts are nudging us. With that in mind, Bodhi Tree Yoga & Wellness Studio in Holland is offering a Vision/Action board afternoon on Saturday, January 9, from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. The cost is $15, and includes all materials. While there will be plenty of magazines to choose from, if you have some at home that are of special interest to you, please feel free to bring them along. You can also bring a picture of yourself to put on your board if you wish. You will leave with a completed board to remind you of the life you want to live physically, spiritually and mindfully, along with your own personal commitment for action. For more information or to reserve your spot, call 616566-3916 or visit See ad, page 17.

Nature’s Market Seminar


oin Nature’s Market in Holland on Tuesday, January 19 for a night of information from Dr. Dave Johnson M.D. on “Taming the fire: Inflammation and Vascular Disease”.

Dr. Johnson is a preventive cardiologist with specialized training in integrative medicine through Dr. Andrew Weil’s program at the Arizona Center for integrative Medicine. He will speak on the role inflammation plays in vascular disease and discuss how to naturally reduce inflammation in the body. His primary focus will be on the role of an anti-inflammatory diet and stress management preventing vascular disease as well as the need to reduce environmental toxin exposure. The class begins at 6:30 p.m. There is limited seating. Please sign up in the store or by calling the number below. For more information or to reserve your seat, call 616-3945250. See ad, page 22.

Whole U GR


hole U GR celebrates three years of bringing local and health focused exhibitors to St. Cecilia Music Center on January 23. The New Year is a perfect time to renew your commitment to healthy living. It only takes a few small changes to start your journey to a healthy lifestyle. This year we will be offering fun filled swag bags to the first 50 attendees, new speakers including Dr. Tom Rutledge’s “I scream, you scream, we all scream, let’s stop!”, Jennifer Reifinger presenting a workshop on “Essential oils to boost your immune system” and many new exhibitors who are passionate about sharing their knowledge. The Whole U GR expo is a beautiful network of like-minded people working together as a whole to create a positive, holistic environment where visitors can develop a relationship with the exhibitors and speakers. The expo takes place from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the St. Cecilia Music Center in Grand Rapids. Tickets are $8.00 in advance and $10 at the door.

Christina Sell Weekend Workshop


idden beneath the many instructions we receive in a yoga class is the invitation to pay attention, to respect one’s limits and to develop one’s abilities intelligently. While on the surface, postural practice is very physical, it also has subtle, more energetic aspects aimed at the alignment of mind and spirit. More than simply outer contortions, asana practice can point us inward and assist us on a journey of inner discovery and awakening to the Heart of who we are and to the Heart of what matters most to us. Join Christina Sell, February 26-28, for a dynamic weekend of asana studies and personal contemplation at PeaceLab Yoga, designed to help you stretch and strengthen your body and your mind. Expect to sweat, laugh and learn. Sell has been practicing asana since 1991 and teaching since 1998. Known for her passion, clarity and creativity, Sell’s teaching style is a dynamic and challenging blend of inspiration, humor and hard work. Masterful at synthesis, Sell’s ability to harvest and transmit the unique contributions of various yoga methods is unparalleled. Sell is the founder and director of The San Marcos School of Yoga and Christina Sell Yoga Programs and Trainings. For more information or to register, visit PeacelabYoga. com. See ad, page 17.

Tickets on sale now. For more information, visit See ad, page 11.

Your Journey Towards Wellness Begins Here

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QSM3 Upper Cervical Nutrition Response Testing Kinesio Taping Massage Therapy Laboratory Diagnostics

natural awakenings

January 2016


newsbriefs Body Mind & Spirit Expo


oin many talented mediums, intuitive communicators, holistic healers, aromatherapist, essential oils, numerology, astrology, palmistry, pet communicators, angel readers, spirit artists, stone healers, spiritual merchandisers, jewelry, stones, rare crystals and more under one roof at the Radisson Hotel & Suites in downtown Kalamazoo for the Annual Body Mind & Spirit Expo. The expo will take place on April 2 from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and April 3 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Beverly and John Stephan have been participating in Body Mind & Spirit Expos for many years across the US and Canada. They are excited to bring a piece of Spirit to the Kalamazoo area. Spread the word to others about this exciting upcoming event and enjoy the many professional mediums and healers from across the US that will spread their amazing light to our local community. Cost is $10.00 daily, children 12 and under free. Included with the daily pass is free lectures, speakers and demonstrations. There will also be free prizes on both days of the expo. For more information, visit See ad, page 26.

Health & Wellness Conference


r. Kelly Hassberger, ND of Grand Rapids Natural Health along with Chris Wheeler and Mary Johnson of 1Breath4All, are pleased to announce their first annual health and wellness 2-day conference, InspiredLifeGR 2016, to take place April 16-17 at the Wege Ballroom at Aquinas College. The founders of InspiredLifeGR are excited to provide a platform to inspire the people of West Michigan to live the life they have always dreamed of, by providing the resources, practitioners and community, to help individuals optimize their physical, mental, emotional and spiritual lives. The founders have put together a leading group of speakers and panelists, including Grand Rapids’ top health and wellness practitioners, to inspire people to transform their lives and health forever. This two-day conference will also include exhibitors to give all attendees access to 6

West Michigan Edition

everything they need to begin their healing journey. The event is currently seeking health and wellness companies to join their team, as well as individuals to participate who are ready to change their health forever. For more information, visit See ad, page 19.

Experiential Counseling


xperiential counseling is a form of counseling in which clients use experiences (role playing, verbal/ written expression, imagery, arts, movement, etc.) to identify and address their underlying (or subconscious) issues. Experts liken experiential counseling techniques to examining an iceberg from below (root causes of distress) versus from above the surface (thoughts, behaviors), and the varied techniques can prove to be therapeutic. Conventional counseling frequently focuses on talking about thoughts and behaviors, and sometimes practicing new thinking or behavior. Both conventional and experiential counseling have much research behind them to back up their effectiveness, so people often ask which one is better. However, the better question may be, “Which one is better for me?” Some people who have never tried counseling, because they can’t envision “just talking” as being helpful for them, have found experiential counseling to be quite valuable. Others who have participated in conventional counseling and felt it was not meeting their needs have also benefitted from trying experiential counseling. Everyone has different needs and preferences when it comes to counseling, as it is a deeply personal experience. If you are considering counseling, or have been participating in conventional counseling and not getting the results you would like, consider whether experiential counseling might be a good fit for you. For more information, call Laurie Schmit, LMSW of In The Heart Counseling at 616-426-9226. See ad, page 47.

The Birthright of Mary Magdalene


udington author, Joan Riise’s, The Birthright of Mary Magdalene is now available! This book tells the story of a seven year-old Mary Magdalene, before she was the target

of the early church fathers. Drawing from the mystical spark of inspiration that comes from nowhere and everywhere, this story moves back in time through seven generations of women, Mary’s foremothers. This book is for those who hunger for a spiritual nourishment not typically available in the male dominated religions of our youth. It’s a woman’s book to re-awaken the inner child, to gift our daughters and to read to our granddaughters.

important that you care for your skin daily, with healthy products that will optimize your health and wellness. Lauren Ramey’s services include: a 75 minute corrective skin care facials, a 30 minute rejuvenation mini skin care facials and back facials. She offers skin care services using Elina Organics’ clean, food grade, organic products during all of her services. These products are formulated to penetrate and work in harmony with the skin. Similar to Ramey’s organic skin treatments, Rachel Gautreau, LMT has partnered with Keeki Pure and Simple to provide a vegan, cruelty free, organic massage oil for her clients. Gautreau’s modalities include: Relaxation/ Swedish, Therapeutic/Sports and Pregnancy massage. Give yourself or a loved one the gift of health and relaxation this new year with a massage or facial at Grand Rapids Natural Health. For more information, call 616-264-6556 or visit See ad, page 25.

2016 Annual Natural Living Directory

To purchase the book, visit or The Book Mark in Ludington.

New Team Members


e invite you to be a part of Natural Awakenings Annual Natural Living Directory for West Michigan, coming March 2016.


t Grand Rapids Natural Health, we strive to create health and wellness in all aspects of our clients’ lives, including mind, body and soul. With this in mind, we are pleased to announce the newest members of our team, Rachel Gautreau, Massage Therapist, and Lauren Ramey, Esthetician! As the largest organ in the human body, what you put on your skin will affect your overall health. Therefore, it is

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

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

Call 616-656-9232 for details, examples and to reserve your space in the Natural Living Directory. Deadline to register is February 12th. See ad, page 43.

Holistic Health

Healing Body, Mind & Spirit

Healing Techniques


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

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

January 2016


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Feel Young, Live Long


esearch published in the Journal of the American Medical Association has found people that feel younger than their years have a lower incidence of earlier mortality. Conducted by scientists from the UK’s University College London, the research analyzed data from 6,489 people and measured their self-perceived age with the question, “How old do you feel you are?” Then, over more than eight years, the scientists tracked the number of deaths from all causes. Almost 70 percent of those that averaged a little over 65 reported feeling at least three years younger than their chronological age. Only a quarter said they felt close to their age and about 5 percent said they felt more than a year older. The research found that deaths among those that felt younger were 14 percent, while more than 18 percent of those who felt their own age and more than 24 percent of people that felt older died during the follow-up period. The research further found that individuals that felt at least three years younger were less likely to die later from heart disease or cancer. These relationships prevailed even when other health and lifestyle factors were eliminated. Co-author Andrew Steptoe, Ph.D., says, “We expected to find an association between self-perceived age and mortality. We didn’t expect that the relationship would still be present even when wealth, other socio-demographic indicators, health, depression, mobility and other factors were taken into account.”

Vitamin E and D Supplements Hinder Alzheimer’s and Falls Among Elderly


wo common vitamins are making headlines in medical research. A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that supplementation with vitamin E may reduce the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. The five-year study followed 561 Alzheimer’s patients and included a placebo and the pharmaceutical drug memantine. Those that took vitamin E had a reduced progression of the disease compared to both a placebo group and the memantine group. Also, researchers from the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center found that vitamin D supplementation reduced the risk of falling for elderly folks. The study had a vitamin D supplement or a placebo delivered through a Meals-on-Wheels program to 68 people. The subjects were given blood tests and their history of falls was measured. Diaries revealed that the individuals taking vitamin D supplements fell less than half the number of times than the placebo group.

Autism Spurs Creative Thinking


he UK’s University of East Anglia and the University of Stirling conducted a study of individuals with autistic traits among 312 people recruited through social media, including 75 diagnosed with autistic spectrum disorder. Each of the subjects completed a series of creativity tests in which they determined uses of mundane objects. Published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, the study found that while the autistic people chose fewer uses for each object, their choices were significantly more original and creative. The subjects developed a greater range of “divergent thinking”. Martin Doherty, Ph.D., co-author of the study, confirms, “People with high autistic traits can have less quantity, but greater quality of creative ideas. They are typically considered to be more rigid in their thinking, so the fact that the ideas they have are more unusual or rare is surprising. This difference may have positive implications for creative problem solving.” The researchers found that while the average person will utilize simple mental strategies to produce more obvious answers first, autistic people tend to first utilize more demanding strategies during their processing, thus producing the more creative result.

Sunlight Reduces Risk of Pancreatic Cancer


esearchers from the University of California (UC) School of Medicine at San Diego have determined that regions with greater exposure to ultraviolet (UV)-B radiation from the sun and reduced cloud cover have significantly lower incidence of pancreatic cancer. In an analysis of global rates of the disease, the research, published in the Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, demonstrated that areas with more sunshine had only one-sixth of the pancreatic cancer rates of areas with less sunshine. The farther from the equator, the less is the exposure to UV-B radiation, leading to less body production of vitamin D. Study author Cedric F. Garland, doctor of public health, a UC professor and member of the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center, says, “If you’re living at a high latitude or in a place with a lot of heavy cloud cover, you can’t make vitamin D most of the year, which results in a higher-than-normal risk of getting pancreatic cancer.” According to World Cancer Research Fund International, 338,000 new cases of pancreatic cancer are diagnosed annually, and it is the seventh most lethal form of cancer.

Let your life lightly dance on the edges of time like dew on the tip of a leaf. ~Rabindranath Tagore

Leave Them at the Door: Shoe Soles Harbor Risky Bacteria


esearch from the University of Houston has determined that a species of bacteria that has become resistant to many antibiotics might be tracking into homes on the soles of shoes. More than a third of randomly tested homes were contaminated with Clostridium difficile bacteria, and 40 percent of doorsteps were also infected with the bacteria. Depending upon the strain, C. difficile can cause intestinal infections, inflammation and severe diarrhea. Study author M. Jahangir Alam, Ph.D., comments, “Shoes are contaminated from diverse sources, and we are regularly contaminating our doorsteps by shoes.” The researchers tested three to five household items within 30 houses in Houston, Texas. They collected 127 environmental samples— from 63 shoe bottoms, 15 bathroom surface samples, 12 house floor dusts and 37 other household surfaces They found that 41 of them harbored C. difficile and nearly 40 percent of the shoes were positive for the bacteria. They also found that a third of the bathroom surfaces harbored the bacteria, a third of house dust and 19 percent of other surfaces maintained the bacteria. The cause of many intestinal disorders, this bacteria species has become increasingly resistant to antibiotics and many household cleaning products.

natural awakenings

January 2016



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Playing Outside Before Lunch Spurs Kids to Eat Healthier


esearchers from Brigham Young University and Cornell University have determined that simply moving recess to precede lunch significantly increases students’ consumption of fruits and vegetables at lunch. The researchers tested first- through sixth-graders from seven schools in Utah for 14 school days. In three schools, recess was switched from after to just before lunch. In the other four schools, recess still followed lunch. Published in the journal Preventative Medicine, research found that when recess was just prior to lunch, students ate 54 percent more fruits and vegetables. Moving recess also resulted in 45 percent more kids eating at least one serving of fruits and vegetables during school-provided lunches. The researchers concluded that results show the benefits of holding recess before lunch and suggest that if more schools did this, there would be significant increases in fruit and vegetable consumption, particularly among students that eat school lunch as part of the National School Lunch Program.

Scientists Urge Ban on Non-Stick Pan Coatings

A new construction & remodeling using green building products & practices. kyle hass 616-299-5815 10

West Michigan Edition

new paper published in the Environmental Health Perspectives journal warns of the continued health risks of chemicals used for non-stick pan coatings and water repellents on clothing. The chemical is being found in some municipalities’ drinking water. More than 200 scientists signed the statement, which presents the dangers of poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). These chemicals are persistently used as pan coatings, despite more than a decade of research showing associations with liver toxicity, neurological disorders, cancers of different organs and types, and heart conditions. The paper noted that many manufacturers have discontinued long-chain PFAS production and substituted shorter-chain PFAS. The scientists caution that these shorter-chain PFAS may not effectively reduce PFAS exposure because more has to be used to achieve the same effectiveness, maintaining PFAS in the environment with exposure levels relatively unchanged. It calls for scientists, governments, chemical manufacturers and consumer product manufacturers to participate in halting all PFAS production.

All great achievements require time. ~Maya Angelou

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

Fish Folly

Drive-Thru Vegan

The nonprofit World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the Zoological Society of London have jointly determined that industrial-scale overfishing, pollution and climate change have killed half of all marine life over the last 40 years. The Living Blue Planet Report cites that species essential to the global food supply are among the hardest hit, partially due to humans catching them faster than they can reproduce. Large swaths of coral reefs, mangroves and sea grasses have also died, further decimating fish populations. Statistics show that the family of fish that includes tuna and mackerel has declined by 75 percent since 1970. The number of species is also declining; a quarter of all shark and ray species face extinction. Half of all coral has already disappeared, and the rest will vanish by 2050 if temperatures continue to rise at current rates. “Coral reefs occupy less than 1 percent of the ocean surface, but they harbor a third of ocean species,” says French biologist Gilles Boeuf. The WWF report argues that protected global ocean area should be tripled by 2020 and fish retailers should source from companies that follow certified best practice standards.

California now hosts the nation’s first Amy’s Organic Drive-Thru restaurant, in Rohnert Park, with a vegetarian menu sporting veggie burgers, salads and dishes served in both regular and vegan varieties. Ingredients are sustainably grown and GMO-free (no genetically modified ingredients). The company’s signature frozen pizzas have been popular for years in health food and grocery stores nationwide, and now Amy’s first restaurant is serving them hot, with toppings ranging from spinach and diced tomatoes to a choice of mozzarella cheese or vegan “cheeze”.

Marine Life Drops by Half since 1970

Amy’s Opens Organic Fast Food Restaurant

While some other fast food restaurants import almost all of their products from factory farming operations and give nothing back to the community, Amy’s Drive-Thru grows produce sustainably on its own roof. Amy’s Kitchen, a family-owned, privately held organic frozen food company, reportedly pays workers a living wage with health benefits. On the inaugural restaurant’s popularity, Manager Paul Schiefer remarks, “It’s given us a lot of hope that this is a concept that works.”

Whole U GR Grand Rapid’s 3rd Annual Holistic Expo January 23, 2016 | 10am-4pm


Spirit, Mind & Body

natural awakenings

January 2016


Puppy Cuddles

Students De-Stress by Petting Dogs At least three universities in England have offered puppy rooms to stressed students. More than 600 students signed up last year in Bristol alone. Gordon Trevett, from the University’s Centre for Sport, Exercise and Health, says, “Every year I see students fretting about their exams, and I thought this would be a great way to ease the stress and take their minds off it. People with dogs have lower blood pressure in stressful situations than those without a dog, and we know that playing with a dog can elevate levels of serotonin and dopamine, which calm and relax.” Jo Woods, from the Bristol Students Union, says, “It’s important to do fun and different things to de-stress during exams, and cuddling a puppy is a perfect way to release some endorphins.” Source: BBC

Sci-Fi Solution

Beaming Solar Power to Earth from Space A great deal of solar power falls on our planet, but a lot more misses us and goes off into space. Scientists at JAXA, Japan’s space administration, have made a major breakthrough in accurate wireless power transmission on Earth that bodes well for solar space technology. The team beamed 1.8 kilowatts of power, enough to power an electric tea kettle, more than 50 meters to a small receiver without any wires whatsoever. The researchers were able to accomplish this task by first converting the electrical energy to microwaves, and then beaming them to a remote receiver before converting them back into electrons. The program’s goal is to harness a constant supply of solar energy directly from space using orbital solar farms, and then beam that energy for use on Earth. Solar power generation in space has many advantages over current technology, including the constant availability of energy regardless of the weather or time of day. Source:

Unique Character

Sesame Street Addresses Autism After working with organizations such as Autism Speaks and the Autism Self Advocacy Network, Sesame Street has been aiming to help reduce the stigma associated with autism spectrum disorder. A new autistic character, Julia, already has her own digital storybook, We’re Amazing, 1,2,3 as part of the campaign See Amazing in All Children. According to Dr. Jeanette Betancourt, senior vice president of U.S. social impact at Sesame Workshop, Sesame Street producers are waiting to hear back from the autism community before introducing Julia to the TV show. For more information, visit and 12

West Michigan Edition

Doctor’s Orders

GMO Labeling Endorsed by Physicians Even as the federal government pursues H.R. 1599, aka the “Deny Americans the Right to Know” (DARK) act, mainstream medicine is urging the government to abandon its resistance to GMO (genetically modified organism) labeling. They are bolstered by a recent announcement by the World Health Organization that glyphosate (the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer) is probably carcinogenic in humans. The genetic engineering ends up making crops resistant to the herbicide so more must be applied. According to contributing doctors from Harvard, Mt. Sinai Medical Center and the University of Wisconsin reporting in the New England Journal of Medicine, “GM crops are now the agricultural products most heavily treated with herbicides, and two of these herbicides may pose risks of cancer.” A recent notice in the same journal, “GMOs, Herbicides and Public Health,” reports: “The application of biotechnology to agriculture has been rapid and aggressive. The vast majority of the soy and [feed] corn grown in the United States are now genetically engineered. Foods produced from GM crops have become ubiquitous.” Sixty-four countries, including Russia and China, have already adopted transparency in labeling laws, but U.S. Big Food and Big Ag lobbyists have stonewalled efforts domestically. For more information and petitions, visit

actionalert No-Choice Vaccines

California Mandates Shots for Childcare Workers After passing the state House and Senate, California Senate Bill 792 was approved by Governor Jerry Brown on October 11. The unprecedented law mandates vaccines for adult childcare workers and volunteers, including all individuals working in private and public school early childhood education programs, with no religious exemptions permitted. SB 792 reads, “Commencing September 1, 2016, a person shall not be employed or volunteer at a day care center if he or she has not been immunized against influenza, pertussis [whooping cough] and measles. Each employee and volunteer shall receive an influenza vaccination between August 1 and December 1 of each year.� The same regulations also apply to family home day care workers and volunteers. Failure to comply with these requirements can result in a loss of licensing for the facility/center. For more information, visit Let California lawmakers hear what the people want via

National Radon Action Month The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has designated January as National Radon Action Month. We can’t see, smell or taste radon, but it could be present at a dangerous level in our home. Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer deaths among nonsmokers in the U.S. and claims the lives of about 21,000 Americans each year. The EPA and the surgeon general urge all Americans to protect their health by testing their homes, schools and other buildings for radon. Exposure to radon is a preventable health risk, and testing radon levels in the home can help prevent unnecessary exposure. If a high radon level is detected in a home, individuals can take steps to fix the problem. Four things they can do during National Radon Action Month include: Test the home - Testing is easy and inexpensive. Attend a local National Radon Action Month event Look for radon events in the community. Spread the word - Encourage family, friends and others to learn about radon and test their homes. Consider planning an event in your community to help raise awareness. Buy a radon-resistant home - Look for builders that practice radon-resistant construction techniques. For more information about radon-resistant new construction, visit and choose Building Radon Out: A Step-by-Step Guide to Build Radon-Resistant Homes.

Michigan Radon Information The Michigan Indoor Radon Program is a non-regulatory program. Its purpose is to increase awareness of the health risks associated with exposure to elevated indoor radon levels, to encourage testing for radon and to also encourage citizens to take action to reduce their exposure once elevated radon levels are found. The program resides in the Radiological Protection Section of the Resource Management Division of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.



For more information on the Michigan Indoor Radon Program, e-mail natural awakenings

January 2016



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The Hidden Deficiency Having the proper amount of iodine in our system at all times is critical to overall health, yet the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition finds that iodine deficiency is increasing drastically in light of an increasingly anemic national diet of unpronounceable additives and secret, unlabeled ingredients. This deficit now affects nearly three-quarters of the population.

Causes of Iodine Deficiency


Almost everyone is routinely exposed to iodine-depleting radiation

Low-Sodium Diets

Overuse of zero-nutrient salt substitutes in foods leads to iodine depletion

Iodized Table Salt

Iodized salt may slowly lose its iodine content by exposure to air


A toxic chemical found in baked goods overrides iodine's ability to aid thyroid

Iodine-Depleted Soil Poor farming techniques have led to declined levels of iodine in soil

A Growing Epidemic Symptoms range from extreme fatigue and weight gain to depression, carpal tunnel syndrome, high blood pressure, fibrocystic breasts and skin and hair problems. This lack of essential iodine can also cause infertility, joint pain, heart disease and stroke. Low iodine levels also have been associated with breast and thyroid cancers; and in children, intellectual disability, deafness, attention deficient hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and impaired growth, according to studies by Boston University and the French National Academy of Medicine.

What to Do The easy solution is taking the right kind of iodine in the right dosage to rebalance thyroid function and restore health to the whole body.

communityspotlight by Sophie Charles


dvanced Thermal Imaging of West Michigan is a bit of a hidden gem, but when noticed, its services and the benefits shine ever so brightly. Tucked into Inside Out Chiropractic on Broadmoor Avenue in Grand Rapids, the cozy, welcoming office of Julie Bennett resides—a space where men and women can easily step into a health plan with a preventative mindset as opposed to reactive. Thermal imaging is not a new concept—it has been available for decades and Bennett has personally been utilizing this approach for about ten years—yet many men and women have yet to fully release the potential of what it can do for them. Offering breast, breast and thyroid, full body and partial body imaging, Advanced Thermal Imaging uses a sophisticated infrared camera and computer system which images the body surface temperature patterns. These patterns of heat are altered when biochemical messages from within the body change the amount of heat given off at the surface of the skin. Thermography uses the body’s physiology while structural imaging (e.g. MRIs, ultrasounds and mammograms) look inside the body for tissue changes. Bennett explains, “Neither one can replace the other; they are completely different, but both provide very valuable information.” The process is safe, painless and extremely effective, requiring no radiation, compression or contact with any body tissues, and yet it has proven helpful in the adjunctive risk assessment of ailments such as breast cancer, diabetes, headaches, neck and back problems, arthritis, soft tissue injury and other physical problems. While thermal imaging is not a be-all/end-all procedure in the realms of health, Bennett explains her hope is high for this physiological approach as people continue to become more aware of what

is happening in health care and begin to take control of their health. She says, “Our goal is to help others by providing their doctors with information that can be very important and potentially life-saving.” Breast thermography has been extensively researched. On the basis of that research, Bennett states, “Breast thermography has an average sensitivity and specificity of 90%.” Also, “Studies have shown that breast thermography significantly augments the long-term survival rates of its recipients by as much as 61%,” and, “When used as part of a multimodal approach (clinical examination, mammography and thermography), 95% of early stage cancers will be detected.” These statistics clearly indicate as to why thermal imaging can be a significant first step in a preventative approach to health. In addition to the various issues thermal imaging can detect that were previously mentioned, it may also play a role in helping doctors identify women with hormone imbalances in their breasts, which structural imaging (e.g. MRIs, ultrasounds or mammograms) cannot do. Of her services, Bennett shares, “One of my goals is to educate people on the benefits of thermography and the truth of what thermography can do. There are a lot of people who don’t understand or know a lot about thermography, but it’s a remarkable, potentially life-saving procedure.” Having studied under world-renowned William Amalu, DC, DABCT, DIACT, FIACT, Bennett chose to continue working with him, by sending her images to him for interpretation. Dr. Amalu has been in the industry for over 25 years and is a Fellow of the International Academy of Clinical Thermology and a board-certified clinical thermolo-

gist. He is currently a board member of the International Academy of Clinical Thermology and the Medical Director of the International Association of Certified Thermographers. Residing in Redwood City, California, Dr. Amalu’s research, teachings and insight have made a significant impact on Bennett’s practice and greatly increased her passion for and knowledge of thermal imaging. Noting that it’s never too late to begin taking a preventative approach, Bennett shares that on the breast thermography front, she encourages women to begin using her services in their 20s and to get even more serious about it in their 30’s since breast cancer is often more aggressive in younger women. She explains simply, “Because thermography is so effective as a risk assessment tool in early detection, it is important for women to start at an early age.” Mandi, a client of Bennett’s, shares of her experience and says, “We’re told time and time again that breast health and certain steps toward maintaining breast health are important. As a 26-year-old, I didn’t know where or when to start getting serious about this. Julie answered all of my questions, explained the process with ease, gave me all the information I needed before my thermal imaging session and helped my session run with comfort and ease. My results were returned in a timely manner, were easy to understand and included suggested next steps to ensure best breast health tactics. My apprehension toward breast exams has been drastically lightened, and while I know I’ll still need to take other steps toward securing proper breast health, this first step was a breeze and I am so glad I decided to take it.” Though thermography is certainly not new, it is clear that it is still under-utilized despite its many benefits. Making thermography a part of a comprehensive preventative health plan is a simple step that has the potential to make a significant difference. For more information on Advanced Thermal Imaging, call 616-724-6368, email or visit See ad, page 40. Sophie Charles is a frequent contributor to Natural Awakenings Magazine.

natural awakenings

January 2016


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Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini has introduced free yoga and meditation classes for employees of the health insurance giant, and more than 13,000 are participating. On average, they experienced a 28 percent reduction in their stress levels, 20 percent improvement in sleep quality, 19 percent reduction in pain and 62 minutes per week of extra productivity. “We have this groundswell inside the company of people wanting to take the classes,” says Bertolini. “It’s been pretty magical.” He sells the same classes to businesses that contract with Aetna. Google now offers emotional intelligence courses for employees and General Mills has a meditation room in every building on its Minneapolis corporate campus. Even conservative Wall Street firms such as Goldman Sachs are teaching meditation on the job. Some programs, from yoga sessions for factory workers to guided meditations for executives, are intended to improve overall well-being; others to increase focus and productivity. Most aim to make employees more present-minded, less prone to make rash decisions and generally nicer people to work with. More than 21 million individuals now practice yoga nationwide, double the number from a decade ago, and nearly as many meditate, according to the National Institutes of Health. Source:

natural awakenings

January 2016



Bruce Lipton on the Epigenetics Revolution Our Beliefs Reprogram Our Genetic Destiny by Linda Sechrist


ruce Lipton, Ph.D., author of The Biology of Belief and The Honeymoon Effect, is a stem cell biologist and internationally recognized leader in bridging science and spirit. He is a visiting fellow lecturer on immunology at the New Zealand College of Chiropractic and participated in the Foundation for Conscious Evolution’s seventh Worldwide Meeting on Human Values, in Mexico. His research explains the interplay between individual consciousness and body biology.

pick our DNA genes, we are powerless to control our life, so that the only option is seeking help from someone in the biomedical community to fix our genes. I introduced a new vision about the understanding of genes a half-century ago that is now the new science of epigenetics. Epi- means “above”. Here, we can realize control by regulating the environment in which we live and our perception of it, making us the master of our own genetics rather than a victim of heredity.

Why do you start with epigenetics as a foundation for health?

Do you believe epigenetics is the future of medicine?

Many people, programmed with the concept of genetic determinism, believe that genes in the fertilized egg at conception determine character and fate. Unable to

Epigenetics is a revolution in our knowledge and awareness of heredity. This new concept of biology is so big that it promises radical change capable of revolutionizing civilization. Its dynamics

are equivalent to the leap from Newtonian physics to quantum physics, which led to everything from computers and cell phones to Martian rovers. We are freed to abandon the belief that genes cause cancer, for instance. In changing our lifestyle, beliefs and perceptions, we also change our genetic expression. Remember, this works because how we individually interpret our world is translated by the brain into chemical information that adjusts the behavior and genetics of cells to complement our perception. We could live in the healthiest environment, but if our mind perceives it as threatening and non-supportive, our biology will become less healthy and can generate disease. The cells’ response is based on the brain’s information, which actually is only an interpretation. Personal perceptions and the way we live, including our spiritual nature, adjust genes to manifest either a functional state of health or one of dysfunction.

Where is the “self” that makes people different? No two people are the same biologically. If I inject my cells into another human, their immune system will recognize it as “not-self” and begin to eliminate them. On the surface of virtually all our cells are thousands of protein receptors that function like miniature antennae. They read and respond to environmental signals similar to the larger receptors on the skin’s surface, such as the eyes, ears and nose.

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Each human also possesses a unique set of “identity” receptors, a subset of which are called “self-receptors” by the biomedical community, found on nearly all of our cells, with the primary exception of red blood cells. Self-receptors are unrelated to the cell’s function contributing to muscle, bone, brain or heart. Conventional medicine studies the physical aspect of self-receptors as being the source of “self” but overlook the environmental signals they receive. In other words, individual identity is linked to the signals received by the antennae. When I reached this point in my research, I realized that we can’t die, because our real identity is represented by the invisible environment-derived “broadcast”, which might legitimately be referred to as spirit. My personal identity signal is received by each of my 50 trillion cells endowed with the unique set of “Bruce” self-receptors. While my physical body is like a TV, the “spiritual broadcast” representing the Bruce Show is an eternal, energetic element of the environment.

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What is entrainment and why is it important today? A group of heart cells in a Petri dish will each beat to its own vibrational frequency. After a couple of days, they start beating in synchrony, because the stronger heart cells control the tempo. The other cells organize their behavior to entrain with the more powerful one. This happens in women’s college dormitories when residents start the school year with different menstrual cycles, but later experience entrainment, with their cycles beginning and ending about the same time. They link to a pulse and a beat, just like the heart cells. Humans become entrained to a higher force that’s an invisible broadcast of energy in harmony or in discordance. As more of us hold the intention for living a life of love and peace, the broadcast of that harmonic energy amplifies and those not yet there will eventually entrain to the stronger signal. This is the shift we need to make for conscious evolution to occur.

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Linda Sechrist is a senior staff writer for Natural Awakenings. Connect at natural awakenings

January 2016



Check Us Out:

It’s Easy to Be Green At Home and On the Road by Avery Mack


iving green means living well, using what you create with minimal waste,” says Mike Bond, an ecologist and bestselling activist author in Winthrop, Maine. Here, he and other savvy sources share tips to go ever greener in ways that are painless and affordable.


Start Small 4 Choose the best bulb for the job. Light bulbs can confuse even informed shoppers. Incandescent bulbs last more than 750 hours, but aren’t energy-efficient. Fluorescent bulbs use 75 percent less energy than incandescent and last 10 to 15 times longer. A 20-watt compact fluorescent light (CFL) uses 550 fewer kilowatt-hours than a 75-watt incandescent bulb. For additional information, check InfoLightBulbs. For a free app showing the best buy, visit 4 Use appliance thermometers. Widely available, this useful tool will confirm a correct operating temperature of 37 to 40 degrees in the refrigerator and zero degrees in the freezer. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, a warmer fridge allows bacteria to grow, while 10 degrees cooler than


West Michigan Edition

the ideal range increases energy use 25 percent. Chiller units work harder if the room temperature exceeds 70 degrees, so keep appliances out of direct sunlight and away from the stove. 4 Find the right seeds and plants. Then get quick advice on how many to buy and how and when to plant using the step-by-step app. It encompasses more than 3,000 organic, GMO-free, edible varieties. 4 No dishpan hands. A full load of dishes in a water-efficient dishwasher uses four gallons of water versus 24 gallons for handwashing them, according to Seametrics, which manufactures flow meters. 4 Test the toilet. If a few drops of food coloring added to the toilet tank colors water in the bowl, replace the flap. It’s an easy and inexpensive DIY task. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reports that one in 10 homes leaks a cumulative 90 gallons a day. 4 Fix the faucet. One drip per second equals 3,000 gallons a year wasted, Seametrics calculates. 4 Reset the hot water heater to 120 degrees. This safe and efficient setting also reduces corrosion and mineral buildup.

4 Discover soap nuts and wool dryer balls. Dried soapberry fruit shells contain saponin, which works like most detergents and soaps. Toss five or six whole shells (one-half ounce) in a wash bag with the laundry. They’re good for five to eight reuses. All-natural sheep’s wool dryer balls shorten drying time, soften and fluff fabric, reduce static and help keep pet hair off of clothes. 4 Change the car’s air filter. Maintain a clean filter according to manufacturer’s guidelines and visual inspection, about every 30,000 to 45,000 miles. 4 Use an oil-change service. In Connecticut alone, do-it-yourselfers change 9.5 million gallons of motor oil a year, and 85 percent of it ends up in sewers, soil and trash as a major groundwater pollutant. Earth Talk reports that one quart can create a two-acre oil slick; a gallon can contaminate a million gallons of fresh water. While the more costly chemicals in synthetic oil create the same amount of pollution as traditional oil, it doesn’t need to be changed as often. 4 Carpool. The Green Living Ideas media network condones Uber, Lyft and Sidecar apps for making ridesharing ultra-accessible.

Go Greener 4 Replace old appliances with energyefficient models. Check out a unit’s Energy Star rating. Consider a tankless heater for hot water on demand, rather than 24/7 heating. 4 Choose eco-tires. Low rolling resistance improves gas mileage and reduces emissions. Keep tires properly inflated and periodically rotated for

longer wear. Watch for future innovations in sustainable materials currently in research and development. 4 Ban idling. Don’t idle an electronic fuel-injected engine for more than 30 seconds when parked in cold weather; it warms up faster by being driven, explains the U.S. Department of Energy. Fuel injection engines took over in the 1980s and early 90s. Only older carburetors need a couple of minutes’ warm-up. The Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory further advises, “Idling for more than 10 seconds uses more fuel and emits more CO2 than engine restarting.” 4 Ask for pet- and eco-friendly antifreeze. Choose less toxic red-orange propylene glycol antifreeze instead of green ethylene glycol antifreeze, which is poisonous to pets and people. Dispose of both types properly, as they are toxic to wildlife and fish via groundwater, as well. 4 Green-clean car windows. Choose a brand like EvergreeN Windshield Washer Fluid, which is plant-derived, eco-friendly, non-toxic and biodegradable. Traditional blue fluid is methanol, combined methyl alcohol and wood alcohol, and extremely poisonous, especially to children and pets.

Go Big 4 Switch to a heat pump. “A heat pump works the reverse of a refrigerator; it takes cold air from the outside and turns it into warm air inside, and uses no oil or gas,” explains Bond. 4 Go solar. It’s the eco-alternative to conventional electricity generation. “Solar means that you’re creating your

own power,” says Bond, who has used solar for years. “It works on an elegant cycle—create energy, use energy.” Leased solar panels reduce the cost of equipment, which has dropped dramatically in recent years. 4 Get a hybrid car. In combination with solar power, a hybrid vehicle can reduce or eliminate daily energy costs. “An electric car is perfect when commutes are not long,” Bond discloses. “If charged in the day, it can serve as the battery for a solar home at night, when no power is being created.” Connect with freelance writer via

Go-Green Apps Here are three apps we suggest among the many available. n Green You is a free app. It calculates our eco-friendliness and suggests steps toward a deeper shade of green. greenyou n Recycle offers a free national database of 100,000 recycling and disposal locations for 200 products. Specify the item and find local options with contact information. eco-tech/irecycle-now-on-android n eEcosphere helps users discover, adopt and share the best sustainable living ideas and makes it easy to share specific actions and ideas with friends via social media.

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The Right Vet for Your Pet

Animals Thrive with Gentle, Safe and Natural Approaches by Shawn Messonnier


et parents have many criteria to consider when choosing a healthcare provider for their prized pet, and among the most vital is trying to find a doctor that uses holistic therapies, because the advantages are many. Wellness care is more than vaccines. While many conventional vets consider giving vaccines and flea medications to all of their patients to be their best form of wellness care, holistic vets know these aren’t always necessary and can potentially be harmful. Instead, true wellness care involves careful consideration of proper diet, blood titer testing instead of vaccines, natural parasite control when appropriate and a heavy dose of diagnostic testing (blood, urine, fecal) to monitor organ function, check for parasites, screen for disorders of the urogenital system, liver and pancreas and early screening for cancer and other inflammatory conditions. There’s also a full physical check for common diseases like dental and heart disease and tumors. Individualized prescriptions for a proper diet and supplements to maintain health are big reasons many owners prefer a holistic vet. Natural treatments include disease prevention. Many pets treated via a more natural approach have an easier experience with occasional illness than those that don’t enjoy this specialized care. Natural therapies can quickly restore an ill pet to his homeostatic balance without the side effects often associated with multiple drug doses.


West Michigan Edition

A team approach is expected. A holistic practice is a team effort, and the family doctor will suggest options for care, helping an owner decide on the best therapies for each pet. A fuller range of options is available. While holistic vets prefer a more natural approach, they know that if necessary, conventional therapies can sometimes be an appropriate complement if they follow holistic principles, which means infrequent use of lowdose medications and only when absolutely needed. In general, most conditions can be treated successfully without drug therapy, extending the health and life of the patient and reducing medical costs. Gentler anesthesia means quicker recovery. A naturally balanced and gentler approach means less drugging if anesthesia becomes necessary, close monitoring of an anesthetized pet, a smooth and quick recovery for prompt discharge from the hospital and natural forms of follow-up treatment to control post-operative pain and inflammation. New hope rises for the hopeless. Many pets are brought to holistic doctors after conventional care has failed to help them. Some have been turned away by practitioners of conventional medicine because their cases are diagnosed as “hopeless”. Holistic vets and pet parents alike experience considerable satisfaction in helping to give a joyful pet a whole new lease on life.

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Shawn Messonnier, a doctor of veterinary medicine practicing in Plano, TX, is the award-winning author of The Natural Health Bible for Dogs & Cats and Unexpected Miracles: Hope and Holistic Healing for Pets. For more information, visit

Just because something doesn’t do what you planned it to do doesn’t mean it’s useless. ~Thomas A. Edison natural awakenings

January 2016


medical system and got nothing,” says Mills. With functional medicine, “In a very short time, they had me feeling nearly 100 percent.”

Distinctive Characteristics

The Rise of Functional Medicine New Paradigm Gets to the Root Cause of Disease by Lisa Marshall


y the end of 2014, Trina Mills, of Parker, Arizona, had given up on conventional medicine. She’d been diagnosed with a thyroid disorder 17 years earlier and taken medication ever since without feeling her symptoms of fatigue, muscle aches and stomach problems ever fully subside. She’d visited endocrinologists, gastroenterologists and a half-dozen other specialists, each of which offered a different diagnosis and prescribed a different drug. At one point, she had her gallbladder removed. At another, her doctor suspected she had bleeding in her brain and sent her for a computerized axial tomography (CAT) scan. Some thought she was a hypochondriac; others said she was depressed. “I would tell them, ‘I’m just depressed that you can’t figure out why I’m so sick,’” she says. 24

West Michigan Edition

Weighing a skeletal 82 pounds, the 54-year-old mother of three finally wrote out a living will and braced for the inevitable. Then she heard of a new Center for Functional Medicine opening at the prestigious, century-old Cleveland Clinic. As the first clinic of its kind to open at an academic medical center, it promised to look at the underlying causes of disease, while focusing on the whole person, rather than isolated symptoms. Intrigued, Mills caught a flight to Ohio and soon was offering up 30 tubes of blood, stool and saliva samples, as well as an exhaustive life history. One year later, thanks to a series of personalized diet and lifestyle changes, she’s 10 pounds heavier and feels better than she has in decades. “I spent a lot of years and money in the traditional

In the 25 years since nutritional biochemist Jeffrey Bland, Ph.D., of Gig Harbor, Washington, coined the term, this science-based, whole-body approach to addressing chronic disease has gained widespread traction. More than 100,000 physicians—60 percent of them medical doctors—have trained with the Institute for Functional Medicine he founded in Washington and New Mexico, and numerous medical schools have added its tenets to their curricula. More naturopaths and chiropractors are also distinguishing themselves with a functional medicine emphasis. “It is not alternative medicine at all,” stresses Bland, whose latest book, The Disease Delusion, details how functional medicine can curb chronic diseases like arthritis, diabetes, dementia, and heart disease, which constitute 78 percent of U.S. health care costs. “It’s the basis of 21st-century health care,” he says. For most of the 20th century, conventional medicine centered on a singular objective: Arrive at a diagnosis and treat it with drugs or surgery. Then, the alternative medicine movement proffered a toolbox of more natural therapies, including acupuncture, herbs and massage to address these same diagnoses. The 1990s brought integrative medicine, a best-of-both-worlds approach. “While all of the above have merit, they lack the necessary guidance to help practitioners determine which tools work best for which patient,” says Dr. Mark Hyman, director of the Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Functional Medicine. “Alternative therapies and conventional treatments are tools. We need a new map that can teach us how to skillfully use those tools,” maintains Hyman. “That map is functional medicine.” Because one chronic disease such as diabetes can have dozens of underlying causes, or one culprit such as a genetic predisposition or exposure to toxins can lead to multiple chronic conditions, functional medicine focuses on systems, rather than organs, and origins, rather than diseases. “It’s about listening

to the patient’s story in a different way, where the objective is not simply about arriving at a diagnosis,” explains Bland.

Ferreting Out Key Clues

Key to discovering the underlying origins of a health issue are a host of new gene, blood and gut health tests. “They allow us to look under the patient’s ‘metabolic hood’ at the genetic and biochemical factors influencing health,” says Naturopathic Doctor Kara Fitzgerald, who heads up a functional medicine clinic in Newtown, Connecticut. For instance, certain genes influence how a person burns and stores fat. Depending on which variant a patient has, based on a genetic test, they might be guided toward a higheror lower-fat diet. Those genetically prone to difficulty in metabolizing the amino acid homocysteine (an excess of which can raise the risk of heart disease) might be advised to take folic acid supplements. If a patient displays intractable gut problems, rather than simply look for blood or pathogens in the stool, Fitzgerald also looks at the DNA of their gut microbiome, mapping out which strains of good bacteria are present or absent and prescribing prebiotics, probiotics or whole foods to promote a healthful balance. For another patient with thinning hair and aching joints, she might use specialized blood tests to look for micronutrient deficiencies, signs of allergies or certain autoantibodies—proteins produced by the immune system that mistakenly attack one’s own tissues—

that might herald a brewing autoimmune disorder. “Research shows that predictive autoantibodies can show up in the blood 10 or even 20 years before an autoimmune disease such as Type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis or rheumatoid arthritis makes itself known,” says Fitzgerald, pointing to a seminal review published in 2007 in Scientific American: “If a patient with mild, early-stage symptoms is proactive with diet and lifestyle changes, they may be able to fend it off.” High-tech tests aside, Bland stresses that what’s most important is “a tool that has been largely lost in medicine today: Knowing how to listen to the patient.” In a typical exam, Fitzgerald thoroughly inspects often neglected body parts, including the tongue and fingernails, which can hold important clues to underlying health. She asks about past emotional trauma which might trigger chronic disease, and inquires about what environmental toxins and harmful chemicals both the patient and their birth parents may have been exposed to. One example might be a patient exposed to cigarette smoking in utero having a bias toward an allergic disease. If their parents grew up in a period of famine, they might have inherited a genetic disposition for rapid weight gain. “She spent two-and-a-half hours with me,” in her initial consultation, recalls 52-year-old Lauren Zambrelli, of Long Island, New York, who credits Fitzgerald for helping her tame her multiple sclerosis into remission. “It was like having a sister for a doctor.”

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Lobby for Change To lobby for consistent insurance coverage of more complementary therapies, check out these resources. CoverMyCare ( This national grassroots advocacy campaign, a project of the Integrative Healthcare Policy Consortium, aims to support the proper full implementation of Section 2706 of the Affordable Care Act, which states that insurers cannot leave licensed practitioners like naturopaths, chiropractors, massage therapists or Oriental medicine practitioners out of their provider networks. It still lacks enforcement at the state level, although Oregon and Rhode Island recently passed legislation to fix the existing loophole; California, Hawaii, Minnesota and New Mexico are working to do the same. American Sustainable Business Council ( Reimbursement). The organization recently launched a campaign to urge insurers to cover integrative practices. natural awakenings

January 2016


Healing Body and Spirit Expo Holistic Fair 2016 Radisson Plaza Hotel & Suites 100 W Michigan Avenue Kalamazoo, MI 49007

(Located 1/2 between Detroit & Chicago on I-94)

Saturday April 2nd 10am – 8pm Sunday April 3rd 10am – 5pm Daily Passes $10.00 Children 12 & younger free Experienced mediums, tarot, astrology, aura photos, pet communicator, body workers, healers, palmistry, spirit artists, stones, jewelry, crystals, numerology, angle readings, essential oils, nutrition, dream catchers, clothing, stone healers, and more!!!

Free Seminars and Lectures daily Keynote Speakers:

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Who Pays

Functional medicine doctors don’t shy away from prescription drugs when necessary, but they do lean decidedly toward the lower-tech modalities, using dietary supplements, allergen-free diets, exercise, mind-body practices and toxin avoidance as their primary tools. “We basically take out the bad stuff from the body and put in the good stuff,” says Hyman. Maintaining good health is priceless, but without conventional insurance coverage, it can be expensive. While Mills’ doctor visits were covered by insurance (which is rare), she spends roughly $1,000 a month on supplements to address her diagnosed leaky gut syndrome, nutrient deficiencies and mercury poisoning. Zambrelli has paid thousands out of her own pocket, too. Some people worry that, like most conventional physicians, some functional medicine practitioners place too much emphasis on expensive tests and too little on the most crucial and affordable remedy—self-care. “Functional medicine as a concept is an important step forward,” says integrative medicine pioneer Dr. James Gordon, founder of the Center for Mind-Body Medicine, in Washington, D.C., and San Francisco. “However, some practitioners do a lot of tests and prescribe a lot of supplements and work on cleaning out the gut, but neglect the psychological, spiritual and social issues. That concerns me.” Bland and Hyman concede that some practitioners overtest, but say that will fade over time as they learn to better discriminate which ones are useful for specific patients. Several efforts also are underway to get more functional medicine providers and the acupuncturists, massage therapists and nutritionists they work with covered under the Affordable Care Act, which expressly emphasizes a need for more preventive medicine. Viewing the big picture, Bland believes that functional medicine is just what the country needs to save on exploding healthcare costs. Rather than spending dollars on extraordinary measures to save heart attack victims or diabetics in emergencies, we can prevent such dire situations by identifying underlying problems sooner and halting their progression. In the meantime, some patients are finding priceless relief. “Am I poorer right now? Yes,” says Mills. Cleveland Clinic Center for “Am I healthier? Functional Medicine Way. It’s been so worth it.” FunctionalMedicine Lisa Marshall is a Dr. Kara Fitzgerald’s blog freelance health writer in Functional Forum Boulder, CO, who specializes in health care. Dr. Mark Hyman’s blog Connect at LisaAnnMarshall. Institute for Functional Medicine com

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Native American Dance by Amanda Grasmeyer


true honor and blessing it is to be and the singers usually perform in their an American, but this has not been native languages.” Each tribe has its own the case for every people group to have ceremonies and songs, to which additions set foot and taken up residency on have been made from time to time. American soil. Oppression-stricken and While dances are quite important continuously stripped of their rights, to the Native American heritage, they the Native Americans (or American haven’t always been practiced with ease. Indians) have had their land invaded, Since the late 1400’s, Native Americans their culture restricted and their ways have had their religions suppressed of living forever changed, yet they’ve (sometimes brutally and violently) and also contributed a great deal of good to denied. With the formation of the United America, as we know it, today. States in 1776 and the adoption of the Of the many things the Native Bill of Rights in 1791 (which speaks of Americans brought to America, some of freedom of religion), this freedom had the most beautiful things they contribbeen denied to American Indians based uted were rich forms of art: painting, on the notion that they were not citisculpting, storytelling and, arguable zens. Eventually, the period of time from the most awe-inspiring and thought 1870 to 1934 came to be known as the provoking, Native American dance. Dark Ages for American Indian Religious reads, “To the Freedom. During this time, the active untrained eye, these Native American suppression of American Indian religions dances may look like nothing more reached its peak. than interesting movements designed In fact, the United States formally to match the rhythm outlawed “pagan” “When the Sun died, I went up ceremonies in 1884 of a song. On the to Heaven and saw God and and Native Americontrary, dances in all the people who had died a cans who were found this culture each have long time ago. God told me to guilty of participating a deeper purpose come back and tell my people in traditional religious and significance that exemplifies how they must be good and love one ceremonies were to powerful this medium another, and not fight, or steal be imprisoned for 30 can be in expressing or lie. He gave me this dance to days. Congress saw an idea.” The movethis as an important give to my people.” ments of the dance step in the “neces~Wovoka demonstrate the sary” destruction of purpose of the dance. the “Indian” way of Native American dances were/are life. Eight years later, Congress strengthheld for amusement, solemn duty, religious ened the law against Native American ritual and more in attempts to guarantee religions. Under the new regulations, feats such as successful hunts, harvests or even those who openly advocated giving thanks. Held both in public and in Native American beliefs, those who private, the dances usually take place in a performed religious dances and those large structure or in an open field around a involved in religious ceremonies were to fire and are sometimes lead by an individbe imprisoned. ual, include a solo, include a leader and As shared in “Let’s Dance: The chorus or are specific to groups (based on Ghost Dance Movement” in the Marygender, age, etc.). land State Archives, The Ghost Dance Many tribes use only a drum and religion (or movement) was an answer to their voices to accompany the dances, and the subjugation of Native Americans by some use bells and rattles as well. Acthe U.S. government. It was an attempt cording to, “The to revitalize traditional culture and to dances are regionally or tribally specific find a way to face the increasing poverty,


West Michigan Edition

hunger and disease that had become the reservation life of the Native Americans in the late nineteenth century. The Ghost Dance originated among the Paiute Indians around 1870, amidst the Dark Ages for American Indian Religious Freedom. However, the tide of the movement came during a sun eclipse in 1889 when a Paiute shaman, Wovoka (Jack Wilson), had a vision. In this vision he saw the second coming of Christ and received warning about the evils of white man. The messianic religion promised an apocalypse that would destroy the earth and the white man. The earth then would be restored to the Native Americans, and the salvation of individuals was to be achieved by “purging oneself of the evil ways learned from the whites”. The religion required frequent ceremonial cleansing, meditation, prayer, chanting and, of course, dancing the Ghost Dance. Repeated every six weeks, each ceremony lasted for five consecutive days with the participants dancing each night and, on the last night, dancing until morning. Within a year, the new religion spread throughout the Native camps in the West, giving Native people a much-needed hope. The white man reacted differently to the new religion. While some traveled to the reservations to observe the dancing, others feared the possibility of a Native American uprising. The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) eventually banned the Ghost Dance, because the government believed it was a first step toward renewed Native American militancy and violent rebellion. However, the reaction of the BIA is somewhat ironic, since one of the goals of the agency was to convert the Natives to Christianity. The agency did not recognize that the Ghost Dance religion’s fundamental principles were quite similar to those of Christianity and brought many Native Americans to believe in one God. Misunderstanding and ignorance were part of the BIA decision. Wovoka’s message clearly promoted pacifism and warned before making any trouble with the whites or refusing to work for them. However, spreading rumors of Native American treachery ignited fear and panic in the white man. Therefore, in November of 1890, president Benjamin Harrison ordered the military to take

control over the Lakota Sioux reservation in South Dakota. On December 29, 1890, 300 Lakota men, women and children were killed in an event that came to be known as the Massacre of Wounded Knee. Started as a peaceful religious movement in 1889, the Ghost Dance was brutally ended a year later by the U.S. military. Several years later, in 1934, Congress passed the Indian Reorganization Act with the goal of, among other things, reversing the former goal of assimilation of Natives into American society, and to strengthen, encourage and preserve the tribes and their historic traditions and culture—including Native American dance. Finally, in 1978, Congress passed the American Indian Religious Freedom

Act, which stated, “Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, that henceforth it shall be the policy of the United States to protect and preserve for American Indians their inherent right of freedom to believe, express and exercise the traditional religions of the American Indian, Eskimo, Aleut and Native Hawaiians, including but not limited to access to sites, use and possession of sacred objects and the freedom to worship through ceremonials and traditional rites.” The Native Americans that reside in the United States today are primarily located throughout the Plain states, parts of northern United States and parts of the South. However, the original Algonquian (Native American

languages)-speaking inhabitants of the area that is now Michigan included the Fox, Sauk, Kickapoo, Menominee, Miami, Ojibwe and Potawatomi tribes, and eventually the Huron and Ottawa tribes as well. In fact, according to, the very name, “Michigan” is an Algonquian Indian word that means “big lake”, which refers to Lake Michigan. Today, Native Americans are free to dance—to practice their cultural and religious rituals—a beautiful art form that came scarily close to being forever restricted merely to memories and history books. Amanda Grasmeyer is a frequent contributor to Natural Awakenings Magazine. She can be reached at Mandi.

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communityspotlight by Julie Reynolds

West Michigan Massage Therapy


t is high time that massage receives the recognition it deserves. It is important to recognize that massage should not be just a once-a-year pampering event or something reserved only for a birthday. Massage should be part of a regular self-care routine, which is possible with a little planning. Although it is still seen as something of a luxury, some therapists want to get away from that mindset. It can definitely feel luxurious to have that special time to rejuvenate, but therapists want people to understand that it offers so much more than just being a treat on a special day. Any day is a great day for a massage and requires no celebration or holiday to justify scheduling one. Massage offers a multitude of health benefits and is much too important for the body, mind and soul to only experience once or twice a year. Unfortunately, many have yet to experience this spectacular practice. Joseph Workman, co-founder of West Michigan Massage Therapy (WMMT), quotes the Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals in saying that as many as 60% of people in the United States have never received a massage. He aims to change that number through his work as a massage therapist in the Grand Rapids area. WMMT shares a building and some marketing services with other massage therapists who work and schedule appointments independently. Previously, Workman spent ten years in the tech field until he had his first massage. This one time was literally

life-changing. He also practiced yoga and met someone there who introduced him to the world of massage. He was amazed at the way his body felt and was able to move after experiencing massage. Three months later, he began training at Everest Institute in a massage therapy program, which consisted of a 750-hour training over the course of nine months. After graduating in 2012, Workman began the process of creating a space for multiple therapists to work in a community. “The work I love the most is helping people find a meditative state of rest and relaxation. We try to create a lower-energy space where people can relax, enjoy aromatherapy and prepare their mind for the service they are getting,” Workman notes. By also having training as a hypnotherapist, he is able to utilize those skills in his massage work to best treat his clients. He works to change the state of mind of his clients through mindfulness practices. Through guided visualization and breathing exercises, he can help clients slow down their busy minds, witnessing the thoughts that pop into the mind without having to be completely connected to them. Those who have had at least one full-body massage in their life are able to appreciate all that this holistic health practice has to offer. Those who have not experienced the wonders of massage may have different reasons, which could be financial, fear of something

new or simply time. A common misconception about massage is that it may be uncomfortable or that the person will be exposed either emotionally or physically. Workman states, “A good therapist meets you where your comfort level is.” Some people are unsure of what to wear to a massage. He suggests to wear whatever is comfortable and keep on as little or as much clothing as desired for the massage. At WMMT, the therapists offer massages that are tailored to clients’ needs. Their integrated massage uses deep tissue, sports and medical massage techniques to provide multiple benefits. Through a full-body massage, Workman is able to address patterns of dysfunction while also being able to accommodate focusing on problem areas of the body, such as the back, neck and/or shoulders. Although the cost of massages on a regular basis may seem costly, if worked into a monthly budget, it can be done and viewed as a preventative health practice. This could potentially save money down the road by reducing stress-related illnesses. The best medicine is preventative practice. WMMT offers memberships for added benefits, which are further described on their website, as well as hours of operation. Gift certificates are available either online or in the office. Massages are made by appointment only with no walk-ins. While they do not process insurance, they do accept payments from FSA and HRA accounts. For more information on West Michigan Massage Therapy, call 616-734-1411 or visit Mention this article and receive a discounted massage rate of $49. See ad, page 30. Julie Reynolds is a contributing writer and has a background in advertising, teaching, writing and real estate. She can be contacted at

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he ancient Chinese art of acuchemical serotonin and relieving inflampuncture is gaining popularity mation, as well as bringing many other in modern Western medicine for body processes into normal function. many reasons. “There’s lots of research Brevard, North Carolina, licensed to support the effectiveness of acupuncmaster acupuncturist Paul Buchman, ture for a wide variety of conditions,” adds, “Acupuncture differs from consays Thomas Burgoon, a medical doctor ventional Western medicine in many who practices internal medicine in West ways, primarily in that when it treats Chester, Pennsylvania, and is president a disease on the physical level, it also of the American Academy of Medical has far-reaching effects on our mental, Acupuncture, an asemotional and spiriThe U.S. Library of sociation of doctors of tual aspects.” medicine and osteoChronic back Medicine database pathic medicine that pain: Chronic low back lists more than 23,000 pain affects 80 percent use acupuncture in conjunction with conus at some time and studies on acupuncture. of ventional treatments. is the second-most Acupuncture treatments typically common cause of disability in Ameriinvolve the nearly painless insertion of can adults, according to a University very thin needles to stimulate the body’s of North Carolina at Chapel Hill study natural repair and regulation mechanisms published in the Journal of the American based on the fundamental Chinese medi- Medical Association. cine principle that the inside of the body A recent study of Australian can often be treated from the outside. patients arriving in Melbourne hospital Burgoon explains that acupuncture works emergency rooms complaining of low by stimulating and releasing the body’s back pain found that those treated with natural pain relievers, including endoracupuncture experienced as much pain phins, producing the feel-good brain relief in an hour as those given drugs.

“When I treat a person for low back pain, I always take pulses in several parts of the body, and then take into account many factors, including age, gender and life situation,” says Buchman. “The underlying causes of the pain may be different in a 20-something student with a stressful academic load than a 50-something woman that’s a recent empty nester redefining her future,” he explains. When researchers at China’s Central South University reviewed 13 studies on acupuncture and low back pain, they concluded that comprehensive treatment plans that involve acupuncture are urgently needed. Headache: Acupuncture has long been used to relieve the pain of migraines and tension headaches. Australian research published in EvidenceBased Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that 16 acupuncture sessions cut in half the number of days that patients experienced migraines, significantly reducing pain. “Acupuncture is a must-try therapy for anyone with migraines or chronic or tension-type headaches,” says Burgoon. He notes that Aetna Insurance Company policy considers acupuncture among accepted, medically necessary treatments for migraines, chronic low back pain, knee osteoarthritis, postoperative dental pain and nausea associated with surgery, pregnancy and chemotherapy. Asthma and allergies: More than 25 million Americans have asthma, including 6.8 million children. Danish research published in the journal Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine showed that 10 acupuncture sessions given over a three-month period reduced asthma symptoms and use of inhaled steroids, but only when acupuncture was ongoing. Benefits diminished when treatments were discontinued. German researchers at Berlin’s Charité University Medical Center found similar effects for seasonal allergies by comparing it with the effects of antihistamines and sham acupuncture. “Patterns of bad health get more ingrained in our body systems as we get older,” says Melanie Katin, a licensed acupuncturist specializing in treating children in New York City and profes-

sor at the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine. “If we can catch an illness in a child’s first seven or eight years, we may be able to prevent it from becoming chronic in adulthood.” Digestive problems: Acupuncture has been found to be effective for treating colic in babies, irritable bowel syndrome, morning sickness and postoperative nausea caused by anesthesia and chemotherapy treatments, verified in research from Australia’s University of Sydney on patients after surgery for metastatic liver cancer. Several other studies, including one from the Milwaukee’s Medical College of Wisconsin, show that acupuncture rebalances the nervous system and restores proper digestive function, while relieving pain. The World Health Organization review of research notes how acupuncture relieved gastrointestinal (GI) spasms better than atropine injections, and also recommends acupuncture for relief of nausea. “Acupuncture helps calm down an overactive GI tract and stimulates an underactive one,” explains Burgoon. Acupuncture is a non-pharmaceutical remedy for many health problems, Burgoon says. “I fell in love with acupuncture when I discovered I could use it to treat some problems that nothing else helped. I almost never prescribe any medications. Instead, I help people get off pharmaceuticals.” Kathleen Barnes is author of many natural health books, including The Calcium Lie 2: What Your Doctor Still Doesn’t Know, with Dr. Robert Thompson. Connect at

No Needles Needed for Kids by Kathleen Barnes


cupuncture can be helpful for children, especially in treating asthma, allergies and childhood digestive disorders, including colic, says Melanie Katin, a licensed acupuncturist who specializes in treating children in New York City. “Acupuncture for children rarely involves the use of needles. Since their qi (life force) flows very close to the surface of their skin, it doesn’t require a lot of movement to get things flowing in the right direction,” she explains. Acupuncture for kids typically involves light, fast brushing of the skin to encourage a healing circulation of energy. Katin teaches parents to continue treatments at home. She explains that it’s still technically acupuncture, not acupressure, which would involve prolonged stimulation of the body’s energy meridian sites. Sometimes she includes the use of small instruments for tapping or brushing the skin and tuning forks to stimulate the meridian points. She remarks, “The kids love it.”

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Cool Your Nerves Naturally by Bessheen Baker, ND


t’s not uncommon to “eat’ down the house” while making dinner. Amidst great plans of healthy vegetables and a side salad, many people find themselves stuffing their mouths with corn chips or potato chips. Most likely, they missed drinking their water today and maybe, even skipped out on lunch, or at best, ate their lunch in 15 minutes or less. Yes, they’re hungry and a little wound up, and what they are really trying to do is cool their nerves. Carbohydrates, as a food type, have a natural cooling effect on overheated nerves, which is why we crave them. In a society of busy and stressed people, it’s easy to observe the carbohydrate cravings: everything from French fries, to cookies, chocolates, breads and pasta. Unfortunately, it’s also easy to observe the overabundance of unhealthy carbohydrate consumption. Foods and herbs can be categorized by their ability to speed up or slow down the body, as well as their ability to warm or cool the body.

For example: fruits are cooling and speeding (cleansing) to the overall body functions, while onions, garlic and other great spices are heating and speeding (cleansing) to the body. Meats and other proteins, like beans, nut butters and eggs have a warming, slowing and toning (building/repairing) effect, and carbohydrates have a slowing and cooling (building/repairing) effect, which makes them perfect for stressed hot nerves at the end of the day. Minerals must also be taken into consideration. Many people know how important calcium is to the bones, teeth, muscles, nerves, heart and the many other organs that rely on this essential mineral. Calcium is present in every part of our body that contracts. Each heart beat, lung contraction, digestive process and, essentially, every body movement happen because calcium allows a muscle to contract. We call calcium the ‘Builder’. Yet, its counterpart, magnesium, is often overlooked. For each calcium muscle contraction, magnesium is the ‘relaxer’ of that movement. The heart contracts with calcium and relaxes with magnesium. The nerves are built by the presence of calcium and cooled by the presence of magnesium. The ability to relax is directly related to one’s magnesium supply. When we use carbohydrates to “cool our nerves at the end of the day,” we need to realize an important mineral is most likely missing. What our hot, stressed nerves, muscles and body organs may really be calling for is mag-

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nesium. In Naturopathy, we affectionately call PMS, ‘Person’s with Magnesium Shortage,’ as we have discovered that the lower the magnesium supply is in a woman’s body, the more likely she is to suffer from pre-menstrual syndrome. Now, she may not even feel like she can control those hot, frayed and tired nerves, and symptoms will be intense when magnesium is low. Even chocolate cravings can be curbed by using a good magnesium supplement! This important mineral can be found abundantly in our food supply. A few simple guidelines will help: magnesium foods are naturally yellow, so organic corn, yellow peppers, summer squash, grapes, apples, pears and other natural yellow foods are a good start. Yellow pigments can also be found in all green vegetables; therefore, all the leafy green lettuces, broccoli, onions, celery, green beans and peppers are also great sources of magnesium. Children are great examples of ‘Persons with Magnesium Deficiency.’ These little PMDers are suffering from hot nerves, internalized stress, muscle cramps, mood swings (related to their processed food diets) and exhaustion. Whether one suffers from PMS, PMDers, or PMD, consider that the cooling of nerves is best accomplished with the foods and supplements containing the overlooked miracles of magnesium.

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Exploring Tendonitis and Bursitis by Bob Huttinga


endons are the fibrous bands that connect our muscles to our bones. This attachment to the bones is to a bone covering called the “periostium”. The periostium is like the thin membrane that we see inside a hard boiled egg shell. Bursa are small sacks that are located around our joints. They are positioned under tendons or muscles at strategic points and they act like lubricating pulleys. Inside the bursa are a few drops of slippery lubricating fluid that helps the tendon or muscle operate smoothly with very little friction. This lubrication comes from the omega 3 oils consumed. Some tendons run inside sheaths made of the same material as the bursa. This is all intended to make for smoother operation of these moving parts. When these structures become injured, people typically go to a doctor who will then diagnose tendonitis or bursitis. These injuries can be acute (sudden and forceful) like a fall or chronic (slow and gradual) like the overuse of repetitive work. Common places for tendonitis and bursitis are

the shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips and knees. There may be pain, redness, heat and swelling. Sometimes there may be a grating sensation. The medical term for this is “crepitus”. In some situations, a vibrating or almost squeaking sensation around a painful, swollen joint even occurs. This crepitus is caused by a roughness of the lining of the tendon or the inside of the bursa. Under the microscope the inflamed lining looks like sandpaper, so the motion is no longer smooth and painless. Traditional treatment is antiinflammatory medications like Motrin or Aspirin. Sometimes “cortisone” pills or shots are given to reduce the swelling and inflammation. Often physical therapy is needed to help repair this damage. Heat or cold packs are usually helpful depending on which one feels better on a personal situation basis. Cold reduces swelling and “overcrowding” of tissues in a small area. Heat relaxes muscle, improves blood flow and brings more of the necessary healing chemicals that the body naturally makes to repair the damage. Alternating hot and cold may also help. While the pain occurs to stop people from moving that area so it can heal, it is not encouraged to just take pain pills as that may make the damage worse during the period of pain reduction. Natural treatment could begin with Homeopathic Arnica 30C. Dissolve

one pellet in the mouth every 15-30 minutes for an acute injury or three or four times per day for chronic over-use injuries. As things improve, reduce the frequency of the Arnica. For the more chronic bursitis and tendonitis one pellet of Homeopathic Ruta Graveolens (30C) can be taken four times per day. If no change is seen in a week, it may be time to increase the strength or change to Rhus Toxicodendron which is for pain that gets better with motion or Bryonia which is for pain that gets worse with motion. With homeopathy it is often suggested to use IF Relief (by Nature’s Sunshine) and Flaxseed Oil (2000mg twice per day) which are natural anti-inflammatories, and all of which are very safe. Bob Huttinga and his wife, Barb, are the owners of The Healing Center in Lakeview. For more information, visit See ads, pages 7 & 46.

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January 2016


Connecting “within” through free and inspired body movement is the power of conscious dance.


The Power of Conscious Dance Creative Movement Connects Body, Mind and Spirit by Gail Condrick

A growing tribe of movers and shakers are discovering and unleashing their power in conscious dance, a combination of moving meditation, soul-stirring music, self-expression and sweat.


ost are familiar with the performance or competitive dance world of learned steps. Conscious dance is a non-competitive, body-based way of raising consciousness. There’s no wrong way to move and your shape and measurements don’t matter,” says Mark Metz, of Berkley, California, founder and executive director of the Dance First Association (DFA) and publisher of the Conscious Dancer Magazine and UpShift Guide. The group identifies more than 100 forms of conscious dance, ranging from ecstatic dance to somatic movement therapy. Commonalities include body awareness, barefoot movement, inspiring global music and minimal structure facilitated by leaders. With 1,000 DFA studio locations, many are finding the power of


West Michigan Edition

conscious dance suits their search for movement with purpose beyond improved fitness as it’s practiced in drug- and alcohol-free club-style events and ecstatic dance experiences, as well as dance fitness programs. “It’s about honoring body intelligence and paying attention to the body and mind-body connection,” says Metz. “The modalities mentioned most often are 5Rhythms, Soul Motion, Open Floor, JourneyDance, and the Nia Technique,” says Metz. A brief look at three of them shows how each has its own style.

5Rhythms In St. Petersburg, Florida, 22 women have gathered to seek the bliss promised by 5Rhythms, one of the original conscious dance forms, founded by

the late Gabrielle Roth. “Find your flow. Feel your connection to the Earth through your feet and release your head,” guides facilitator Amber Ryan, of New York City, who travels the world for dance sessions. “Use your body as a gateway into the now.” For two hours, dancers move freely and individually, swaying, sensing and interacting in an experience called “the wave”, intended to move energy through the body, release emotions and heal the psyche. It’s based on Roth’s premise that, “Each of us is a moving center, a space of divine mystery. Though we spend most of our time on the surface in daily ordinary existence, most of us hunger to connect to this space within, to break through to bliss, to be swept into something bigger.”

JourneyDance Toni Bergins, from the Massachusetts Berkshires, is a frequent presenter at the Kripalu Center and Omega Institute for Holistic Studies. After years of studying and teaching movement, drama, creative visualization and gestalt techniques, she combined them in creating JourneyDance. More than 400 trained facilitators now offer it in 60- or 90-minute classes worldwide based on the philosophy, “Move into a new story!” Every class includes visualization, creative movement, affirmations and evocative music, all working together to release emotions and connect with spirit. “You learn to love your body, expand your emotional intelligence, clear your mind and connect with your inner source,” explains Bergins. “You express yourself, infuse life with creativity and connect with a dancing community.” Participants engage in a ritual journey of physical transformation, cleansing the body through breath, sweat and expression. In this safe space, “Dancers discover their power and personal heart medicine, their true essence,” says Bergins.

Nia Technique For those that prefer more structure, the Nia Technique is the original barefoot mind-body-spirit fitness practice, activating sensation and awareness in a workout adaptable for everybody. More than 2,600 instructors in 51 countries offer 60-minute classes where enthusiasts move the way the body is built to move, reaping cardiovascular fitness and therapeutic benefits while having joyful fun. Dancers, guided by instructor’s moves, feel the rhythm of the music and ground themselves in spirit, equipping themselves to take the selfhealing experience into everyday life. “Nia has always blended form and freedom,” says Debbie Rosas, of Portland, Oregon, co-founder and creator of the technique. “We are now introducing new FreeDance classes to bring what we have learned through Nia to embody consciousness in new ways, conditioning the whole body and nervous system. It’s an invitation to move in free, unbound, unstructured ways to offset the tendency we have to move less as we age.” Dancers move to music designed to animate each chakra through an eight-stage process via a Nia DJ. They’re guided to listen to body feedback through sensation, release emotions and relish being in the present moment. “Regardless of how you act, dress or think, the way you feel inside reveals the most accurate truth of oneself and this is reflected in dance,” says Rosas. “Moving without interference allows your unconscious creative self to shine. You can connect to the sacred artist within; the one that holds a palette with endless colors, shapes and possibilities.” She sees life as ultimately a free-style dance into the self that supports a philosophy of “Love your body, love your life”. “Dance is in everyone’s family tree, a universal message,” says Metz. “In conscious dance, you disconnect from gadgets and reconnect with yourself and others around you. People need that.” Gail Condrick is a Nia faculty member, retreat leader and archetypal soul coach in Sarasota, FL. Connect at natural awakenings

January 2016


SUPER SOUPS New Twists on Old Favorites Heal, Nourish and Soothe by Judith Fertig


inter season soups on chilly days can warm us, both body and soul. Whatever our food preferences or time constraints, some new twists on traditional favorites will satisfy everyone’s taste buds—with an accent on healthy pleasure. Here’s where to start.   Reinventing the past. From her Colorado mountain home, Jenny McGruther, author of The Nourished Kitchen, celebrates the wisdom of traditional foodways, making nutrientdense, healing soup broth from bones, water, vegetables and seasonings. McGruther’s twist is to make it in a six-quart slow cooker. Once her family has dined on organic roast or rotisserie chicken, she simmers the bones with purified water, a bay leaf or two, a few whole peppercorns and a few chopped organic vegetables like onion, carrot and celery

on the low setting for 24 hours. Then she ladles the broth through a coffee strainer into another container, refreshes the slow cooker with more water and simmers the bones and seasonings for another 24 hours. Eventually, the broth will have less flavor and color, and that’s when McGruther starts all over again. “I call this perpetual soup,” she says. She blogs at Slowing it down. With homemade broth on hand, it’s easy to make the Italian winter staple of Tuscan Vegetable Bean Soup. Cookbook authors and slow cooker experts Kathy Moore and Roxanne Wyss, from Lee’s Summit, Missouri, love to make this when they’re working on a cookbook deadline. They simply use what they have in the refrigerator, freezer or pantry. “With a soup like this you can always substitute one vegetable for

Natural Awakenings recommends using organic and non-GMO (genetically modified) ingredients whenever possible. 38

West Michigan Edition

Photo by Stephen Blancett


another, adjusting the recipe to what you enjoy and have on hand,” advises Moore. The pair blogs at PluggedInto Speeding it up. Sometimes, we need a single serving of homemade soup fast. Award-winning recipe developer and cookbook author Camilla Saulsbury, of Nacogdoches, Texas, whips up a Pumpkin Sage Soup that can simmer in a saucepan within minutes, ready to be enjoyed in a mug. Saulsbury uses organic canned pumpkin, full of vitamins, which can vary in sweetness. “If needed,” she suggests, “add a drizzle of maple syrup to enhance the flavor of the soup.” Making “bisque” in a high-speed blender. Karen Adler is an avid grower of organic tomatoes in her Kansas City garden. When the seasonal harvest comes to an end, Adler grills or oven roasts the tomatoes, along with organic peppers and onions, and then freezes them, ready to make Roasted Tomato Bisque any time of the year. “My secret to a light bisque without using cream is to blend all the roasted vegetables together with a high-speed blender to give it body. A swirl of extra-virgin olive oil at the end finishes ensuring the satisfying flavor,” she says. Going cold. Douglas McNish, head chef at Toronto’s raw and vegan restaurant Raw Aura, serves a popular Lemon, Cucumber and Dill Soup, which is easy to make in a food processor. “This soup is amazing this time of year, when most of our diets may be lacking in healthy fats and trace minerals,” says McNish.   Warming up. Two cookbook authors teamed up across many miles to write 300 Sensational Soups. Meredith Deeds lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, while Carla Snyder resides in Cleveland, Ohio. They’ve mutually discovered the naturally warming properties of curry powder in Curried Coconut Chickpea Soup. Snyder observes, “A good soup nourishes the heart, as well as the stomach, spreading a feeling of satisfaction and contentment.” Judith Fertig blogs at AlfrescoFood from Overland Park, KS.

SOUP’S ON! Tasty Recipes for Winter Meals In a saucepan, bring the broth, pumpkin and sage to a simmer over medium-high heat. In the mug, stir broth, pumpkin and sage until blended. Stir in cream and heat for 1 minute more. Season it to taste with salt and pepper before pouring into a mug. Garnish with roasted pumpkin seeds. Adapted from 250 Best Meals in a Mug, by Camilla V. Saulsbury

Pumpkin Sage Soup Yields: 1 serving ¾ cup ready-to-use chicken or vegetable broth 2 /3 cup pumpkin purée (not pie filling) ¼ tsp dried rubbed sage 3 Tbsp half-and-half, whole milk or coconut creamer Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Tuscan Vegetable Bean Soup Yields: 6 servings 2 Tbsp olive oil 1 large yellow onion, chopped 3 carrots, chopped 1 stalk celery, chopped 1 cup frozen, cut green beans 2 cloves garlic, minced

1 can (14.5 oz, BPA-free) diced tomatoes, with liquid 4 cups bone broth or 1 carton (32 oz) vegetable broth 2 tsp Italian seasoning 1 /8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, optional Salt and pepper, to taste 1 cup chopped fresh broccoli 1 can (15 oz, BPA-free) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained 2 Tbsp minced fresh basil, plus additional for garnish Freshly grated Parmesan cheese Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add onions, carrot and celery and cook, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes. Stir in the green beans and cook, stirring frequently, for 2 to 3 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Stir in garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in tomatoes, vegetable broth, Italian

natural awakenings

January 2016


seasoning, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Heat, covered, until boiling, and then reduce heat to a simmer and cook 15 to 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 425° F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Arrange the tomatoes, bell peppers and onion on the baking sheets and drizzle with the two tablespoons of olive oil. Roast for 30 minutes or until soft and browned at the edges.

Stir in broccoli, cannellini beans and minced basil. Simmer for 5 minutes or until the vegetables are as tender as desired. Ladle into bowls. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese. Garnish if desired with additional minced basil. Adapted from, by Kathy Moore and Roxanne Wyss

Roasted Tomato Bisque Yields: 8 servings 4 large beefsteak tomatoes, sliced 2 red bell peppers, seeded and sliced 1 large red onion, peeled and sliced

2 Tbsp plus ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil ¼ cup red wine vinegar 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce 1 tsp kosher salt 1 tsp hot pepper sauce Bone broth or vegetable broth, if necessary Add fine dry or gluten-free bread crumbs and sliced green onion for garnish

Transfer to a Vitamix or similar blender. Add the remaining half-cup olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt and hot pepper sauce and blend until smooth. Add a little bone broth or vegetable broth if the soup is too thick. Serve each bowl with a sprinkling of breadcrumbs and thinly sliced green onion. Adapted from The Gardener and the Grill, by Karen Adler and Judith Fertig

Photo by Stephen Blancett

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West Michigan Edition

2 cups chopped peeled, seeded cucumber ½ cup chopped romaine lettuce ¼ cup filtered water ¼ cup chopped fresh dill fronds 1 clove garlic 3 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil ½ tsp fine sea salt In a food processor fitted with its metal blade, process cucumber, lettuce, water, dill, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and salt until smooth. Transfer to a bowl. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 1 hour or up to 3 hours. Serve garnished with a dollop of vegan sour cream, if preferred, and additional dill. Adapted from Eat Raw, Eat Well, by Douglas McNish


Key Signs We’re Approaching a Defining Moment by Dennis Merritt Jones


ur authentic self is constantly trying to get our attention so it may be more fully expressed. When we set our intention to genuinely evolve, we naturally begin to pay attention and see how redefining moments appear as needed. They are drawn to us sequentially to support us in the process of staying the course on our pilgrimage, each one a perfectly aligned portal in space and time, opening and closing, creating whatever experience is required to guide us to heightened awareness of our authentic self. While the possible circumstances that preclude such a moment are limitless, there are key signals to watch for. When they pop up, it helps immensely to stay engaged in the moment, rather than zipping past them on to another distraction. Rather, consider ways in

which this might prove to be a pivotal point forward in our life journey. n Moments that challenge our ego and moments that our ego challenges us n Unexpected events n Times of significant loss n First-time experiences n Discontentment n Disappointment n Experiencing someone or something that instantly inspires us to grow n Birth of a loved one n Death of a loved one Personal growth and evolution can be motivated by either inspiration or desperation. Both may prompt us to ask big questions of ourselves and the universe that cause us to dig deep. The

deeper we dig, the closer we come to merging with our truest self. We know the answers to such questions are correct because they will lead to actions that honor life—like harming no one, including ourself— and affirm the presence of a prevailing power for good that lies within; a power that guides, protects and sustains us. Satisfying answers seek only the highest and best of us and bless all. They connect our mind, heart and soul, moving us forward on the path of wholeness as a fulfilled and joyfully self-expressed person. When we are impelled to ask an important question of our self and the universe, don’t rush the process and are willing to embrace the answer we receive, it pushes a reset button as to what defines us. It brings us an enhanced sense of authentic wholeness. The lesson is that when redefining moments appear, we must be open and prepared to go where we had no plans of going—because that’s where our bliss awaits us. Dennis Merritt Jones, D.D., is the author of Your (Re)Defining Moments, the source of this essay. He has contributed to the human potential movement and field of spirituality as a minister, teacher, coach and lecturer for 30 years. Learn more at

Whatever you are, be a good one. ~Abraham Lincoln

Subtle Energies & D-Rose Institute of Urevia® Healing Usui Reiki Classes ~ Urevia® Practitioner Level One ~ Karuna® Reiki Classes February 20 & 21

March 5 & 6

May 21 & 22

We offer certified and professionally accredited education for healing practitioners, holistic practitioners and health-care professionals. The classes provide everything a person needs to become a successful healer. Serving SW Michigan: Centrally located between Battle Creek, Kalamazoo & Grand Rapids.

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January 2016



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

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



Sparking Champagne Facial- Mention Natural Awakenings Magazine and receive $10 off a Sparkling Champagne Facial at Lakeshore Natural Skin Care, 10500 Chicago Dr., Zeeland.

Happy Health, 2016 and Beyond- 7pm. Time to make health habit changes for 2016! Free event to get you on track. Fun, interactive discussion, menu ideas & tasting, tips and tricks to help meet your goals. Please RSVP 616-401-7199. Guided Transformations, 9964 Cherry Valley SE Caledonia.

Complementary Consultation- At Brain & Body Chiropractic, a consultation is a conversation, not an examination and certainly not a high-pressure sales pitch. After all, we are not the right office for everyone, so doesn’t it make sense to discover that before you begin a relationship with our practice? Call 616-202-6368 to schedule. Holland.

Dance Like No One is Watching- Bring your questions here for down-to-earth healthy choices/ solutions. Vital Nutrition, 169 Marcell Dr. NE, Rockford. 616-433-9333. New Client Special- Receive $10 off your first craniosacral session with St. Brigid’s Craniosacral Center in January! Call 616-617-3130 and see our directory listing in this magazine. 525 Greenwood Ave. Ste. 200, East Grand Rapids.


Yoga 101- 11am-12:30pm. This 90-minute introductory workshop is instructed to help students new to yoga start at the beginning in a warm environment and includes two weeks of unlimited yoga. For more information, visit PeaceLabYoga. com. $39. PeaceLab Yoga, 5570 Wilson Ave. Ste. M, Grandville.


Inspire- Community discussion/brainstorming of mental health needs in the Tri-Cities. Special guest Sarah Lewakowski of TCM Counseling. Features music, refreshments, socializing and action planning. Collecting gas cards and gift cards for TCM. 102 W. Exchange St., Spring Lake.

MONDAY, JANUARY 4 World Hypnotism Day All Fitness Class Registration- 6:30am-8pm. Register at Nutrition-N-More, LLC for any/all of our various daily fitness classes—nutrition included. All fitness levels welcome. Opportunity for families to work out together and hit those New Year Resolutions! 5394 Division SE on the NE corner of 54th St. in Kentwood.


West Michigan Edition

New You Weight Loss Challenge & Nutrition Class- 6:30pm or 10am on January 6. Take your New Year’s Resolution and make it happen! Learn healthier lifestyle choices through nutrition to reach your goals with Nutrition-N-More, LLC. Lose weight, build muscle, have more energy! Cost is $35. 4462 Forest Park Dr. SW, Wyoming.


Essential Oils 101- 6:30pm. Learn how to choose and use essential oils. Free. Guided Transformations, 9964 Cherry Valley Ave. SE, Caledonia.


Sing Song Yoga for Kids- Noon-12:30pm, ages 2-6, 12:45-1:30pm, ages 6-11. Introduce your children to the joys of yoga in an age-appropriate class full of music, movement and merriment! Learn more and register at $6 for ages 2-6, $8 for ages 6-11. The Yoga Studio, 959 Lake Dr. SE Ste. 2016, Grand Rapids. Vision Board Construction- 1-3pm. Join Bodhi Tree Yoga for an Annual Vision Board construction session. $15 – all materials included. Call Nancy at 616-566-3916 to reserve your spot. Space is limited. 208 W. 18th St., Holland.


Eckankar-10-11am. Monthly ECK Worship Service, “Love Is a Graceful Thing (Detachment & Patience).” Services are the second Sunday of each month. Free. Dominican Center at Marywood, Room 4, 2025 E Fulton, Grand Rapids,



Yoga 101- 11am-12:30pm. This 90-minute introductory workshop is instructed to help students new to yoga start at the beginning in a warm environment and includes two weeks of unlimited yoga. For more information, visit PeaceLabYoga. com. $39. PeaceLab Yoga, 5570 Wilson Ave. Ste. M, Grandville.

MONDAY, JANUARY 18 Martin Luther King Jr. Day Relaxation for Body, Mind & Spirit Day- 10am5pm. Includes gentle yoga class, lunch and time in the quiet. Optional Pure Meditation Foundation class available. Self Realization Meditation Healing Centre, 7187 Drumheller Rd., Bath. Pre-registration required, call 517-641-6201 or email, Pure Meditation Foundation Class for Adults3pm. Conquer stress, improve concentration, find inner peace and so much more! See our website for other dates. $60. Self Realization Meditation Healing Centre, 7187 Drumheller Rd., Bath. Pre-registration required, call 517-641-6201 or email, Emotional Clearing Oils Class- 6-8pm. Learn and understand the power of essential oils and how they can facilitate emotional releases. Class fee $25 - Contact to register, 616-443-4225. The Remedy House, 5150 Northland Dr., Grand Rapids.


Taming the Fire- 6:30pm. Join Nature’s Market for a night of information from Dr. Dave Johnson M.D. on “Taming the Fire: Inflammation and Vascular Disease”. Sign up in store or by calling 616-3495250. Holland.

SATURDAY, JANUARY 23 Women’s Healthy Weight day

Reiki Share- 6-8pm. Come check out what Reiki is all about, and have a mini session done. Open to those that know Reiki and those that don’t. Donations welcome. Contact to register, 616-4434225. The Remedy House, 5150 Northland Dr., Grand Rapids.

Whole U GR Expo- 10am-4pm. Join a network of like-minded people working together at Whole U GR for an intimate expo that focuses on mind, body & spirit—a day filled with exhibitors, speakers and workshops. Tickets on sale now. For more information, go to Grand Rapids.

FRIDAY, JANUARY 15 Makar Sankranti (Hindu)

St. Brigid’s CranioSacral Center at Whole U GR- 10am-4pm. Check in with Kelly from St.Brigid’s and enter to win a gift certificate towards a craniosacral therapy session! CST can relieve

migraines, chronic pain, head trauma, fertility and more. Any questions, call us at 616-617-3130. Grand Rapids. Kids & Family Expo- 10am-5pm. Bring the family and come and play, celebrate, get active, explore, build, learn and discover at the DeVos Place in Grand Rapids. Tickets are $7 for adults, $3 for kids ages 3-15. Visit for more information.

SUNDAY, JANUARY 24 Tu B’Shevat (The New Year of Trees) (Jewish) THURSDAY, JANUARY 28

Beginner Qigong Class-6:30-8pm. Gain better knowledge on this ancient Chinese healing art. Using a balanced diet, stretching exercises and qigong breathing techniques to ground yourself. Visit for more information. Alternative Care Solution Wellness Center, 3790 28th St. SW Ste. B, Grandville.


Restorative Yoga Workshop- 6:30-8:30pm. Enhance your yoga practice through restorative yoga. Using props and gentle movement, restorative yoga provides balance and gentle recovery for the body, mind and spirit. $30. Peace Lab Yoga, 5570 Wilson Ave. Ste. M, Grandville.

savethedate February 13

Childbirth after Cesarean: Making Informed Decisions- noon-3pm. About 1/3 of West Michigan moms deliver their babies via cesarean, which can limit future childbirth options. This class seeks to inform and empower families between and during pregnancies to make the best decisions for themselves and their families. $40. Midwifery Matters Community Center, 6293 Kenowa Ave SW, Grandville. GR Veg Fest Fundraiser “Veggie Prom”7-10pm. Dress beautiful and enjoy the dance with DJ Buck. Ticket includes a vegan taco bar, decadent vegan dessert bar and a beer & wine cash bar. $20/single, $35/couple. Perfect gift for your Valentine’s Day! 24 Fountain St. NE, Grand Rapids.

Don’t miss out on the Annual Natural Living Directory for West Michigan!

February 26-28

Asana Studies with Christina Sell- 6-8:30pm Friday, 10am-12:30pm and 2:30-5pm Friday, 10am-12:30pm Sunday. Hidden beneath the many instructions we receive in a yoga class is the invitation to pay attention, to respect one’s limits and to develop one’s abilities intelligently. Join Christina Sell for a dynamic weekend. PeaceLab Yoga, Grandville.


No More Time to Waste- 10am-1pm. Replace your aggravation with motivation. Learn why your resolutions keep duping you and how to conquer self-limited beliefs. Register by calling 616-2143111. Resurrection Life Church, 5100 Ivanrest Ave. SW, Grandville. Raindrop Technique Class- noon-5pm. Come and experience this amazing technique, the MOST powerful way to strengthen your immune system for the season. It’s relaxing, too! Pure Young Living oils used. Must RSVP by Jan. 15 by calling Ilka at 616-259-7509. For more info go to Grand Rapids.


Yoga Nidra Workshop- 5:15pm. Yoga Nidra has been found to decrease anxiety and stress. This practice will relax the body, assist in managing restlessness/sleep disorders and help focus the mind. Join us for this informative workshop on Yoga Nidra. $20. Bodhi Tree Yoga & Wellness Studio, Holland. or 616-392-7580 for more information.

savethedate Save The Date Events

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

savethedate March 11-13

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

savethedate April 2-3

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

April 16-17

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

Don’t miss out on the opprotunity to reach over 40,000 readers and Attract New Customers! Call by Jan 29th to Advertise for the entire year for only $99 616.656.9232

natural awakenings

January 2016


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


the body, create energy, calm the mind, refine the breath, balance the mind and body and brighten our Spirit., 6025 Ada Dr. SE, Ada.

Yogahour- 10-11am. “Yogahour” is an accessible, affordable, expertly taught flow class that offers clear and specific alignment instructions. $6 credit card or $5 cash. 5570 Wilson Ave. Ste. M, Grandville.

A Course in Miracles- 6:30pm. Take part in a complete self-study spiritual thought system that teaches the way to universal peace by undoing guilt through forgiving others in a non-sectarian, nondenominational spiritual approach. 6025 Ada Dr. SE, Ada.

Spirit Space Sunday Worship- 10:30am. Spirit Space is an interfaith, non-denominational gathering place for worship and spiritual enrichment. Join us for inspiring messages called Reasonings. Visit or call 616-836-1555 for more information. Saugatuck. Community Yoga Class- 4-5pm. $5 donation goes towards the Charity of the Month. Bodhi Tree Yoga & Wellness Studio, 208 W 18th St., Holland. Visit for more information. Sunday Series- 6pm. Explore spirituality, universal truths, self-mastery and balanced, positive, loving and joyful living with The Coptic Center and their ongoing offering of enlightening Ministers, Teachers and guest presenters. Love offering. 0-381 Lake Michigan Drive, Grand Rapids. For more information see


Yoga for Athletes- 7:30-8:30pm. This 4-week series is designed for the athlete in mind and is intended to support an active lifestyle. $44. 5570 Wilson Ave. Ste. M, Grandville.

Wednesday $20 off BioMeridian Assessments- Food allergies, environmental allergies, organ function and real food menus and shopping lists for families that are healthy and kid-approved. Visit or 616-3659176. Grand Rapids. A Course in Miracles- 9:30am. Take part in a complete self-study spiritual thought system that teaches the way to universal peace by undoing guilt through forgiving others in a non-sectarian, nondenominational spiritual approach. 6025 Ada Dr. SE, Ada.

The Practice of A Course in Miracles - 7-8:30pm. Learn “Miracle-Mindedness”. Got joy? This is how to have it. (Hint: You already do.) All are welcome. Free. Fountain Street Church, Grand Rapids. 616-458-5095.

Living an Authentic Life- noon. Unique, weekly healing group focused on developing self-compassion and taking ownership of participants’ authentic selves, all with confidential, caring support. Registration required. Call 616-426-9226 for cost/details.

Hot Yoga- 7pm. Incorporate traditional yoga poses into an active flowing sequence that is held in a hot room to produce greater muscle flexibility and release of toxins in the body. $12. Hearts Journey Wellness Center, 6189 Lake Michigan Dr., Allendale.

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

Tuesday Gentle Hatha Yoga with Mitch Coleman- 7:459am & 9:15-10:30am. Drop-ins welcome. Visit for more information. Classes meet at White River Yoga Studio, 8724 Ferry St. Montague. 231-740-6662. Robotics at the Y- 4:30pm. Make new friends and develop new skills, all while having a blast with STEM. Tech Tuesday Robotics 6-week course: January 12 through February 23. Call to reserve your spot! 616-842-7051 ext. 242. Grand Haven. Creating a Resolution that Works- 5:45-7:15pm. Join Grand Rapids Center for Healing Yoga and follow your Sankapla, the vow of the soul and a resolve to create a resolution that works. 616-2024077. Grand Rapids. Yinfusion Yoga- 6pm. An age-old, time-tested holistic practice which aims to purify and strengthen


West Michigan Edition

Kundalini & Meditation- 5:30pm. Use breath exercises, body posture, movements, sound, relaxation and meditation to energize and balance all of the systems of the body. $12. Hearts Journey Wellness Center, 6189 Lake Michigan Dr., Allendale. Meditation at Spirit Space- 6-7pm. Join together for meditation that begins and ends with live, native flute music. Join us for the full hour or any portion of the meeting. Call 616-836-1555 or visit for more information. Saugatuck.

Thursday Advanced Beginning Yoga- 9:30am. A logical next step for beginners, this class emphasizes building strength, flexibility, mindfulness and selfacceptance. Hearts Journey Wellness Center, 6189 Lake Michigan Dr., Allendale.

Yinfusion Yoga- noon. An age-old, time-tested holistic practice which aims to purify and strengthen the body, create energy, calm the mind, refine the breath, balance the mind and body and brighten our Spirit., 6025 Ada Dr. SE, Ada. Hot Yoga- 5:30-7pm. Incorporate traditional yoga poses into an active flowing sequence that is held in a hot room to produce greater muscle flexibility and release of toxins in the body. $12. Hearts Journey Wellness Center, 6189 Lake Michigan Dr., Allendale. Yogahour- 7:30-8:30pm. “Yogahour” is an accessible, affordable, expertly taught flow class that offers clear and specific alignment instructions. $6 credit card or $5 cash. 5570 Wilson Ave. Ste. M, Grandville.

Friday Restorative Yoga- 10-11:00am. Center your breath and body while aligning the physical and mental by practicing stillness or gentle movement with the use of yoga props. $5 first class. 616-994-8087. Your Inner Space, 451 Columbia Ave, Holland. Yin Yang Fusion- noon-1pm. Movement and stillness come together in this Yin Yang Fusion class. Flow from the heart and connect within. $5 first class. 616-994-8087. Your Inner Space, 451 Columbia Ave, Holland.

Saturday Gentle Hatha Yoga with Mitch Coleman– 9-10:15am & 10:30-11:45am. Drop-ins welcome. Visit for info. Classes meet at White River Yoga Studio. Montague. 231-740-6662. Sweetwater Local Foods Market- 9am-1pm. Hackley Health at the Lakes building on Harvey Street. We are inside if the weather is bad. We are a double up bucks and bridge card market. Hesperia. 231-861-2234. Creative Intention/Vision Board Workshop- 2nd and 4th Saturdays from 9:30am-noon. Start the year prepared with your vision of what you intend to manifest for your life! All materials provided. Limited seating, registration required on Eventbrite. $25 pre-pay, $30 at the door. In the Heart Counseling, 1345 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids. Absolute Yoga Beginners- 11am-12:15pm. This 6-week series gives absolute beginners the tools to build a yoga practice. $60. 5570 Wilson Ave. Ste. M, Grandville.



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


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

At Grand Wellness, we focus on a holistic approach to wellness, promoting healing through acupuncture, herbal therapy and lifestyle modifications. Call to set up a free consultation to discuss how Chinese medicine can help your specific health concerns. See ad, page 33.


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


Kyle Hass Licensed Builder 616-299-5815 Locally owned building company. Specializing in building quality, livable and affordable new homes that are Energy Efficient and utilize Green Building practices. Unmatched efficiencies and uncompromising quality. Call today for a free quote. See ad, page 10.


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

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

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


Our doctors provide a comprehensive solution to resolving problems of the spine and nervous system. Dr. Semrow is 1 of 400 doctors in the country certified in the functional neurology protocol for neuro-structural correction. See ad, page 35.

SERENDIPITE ORGANIQUES Teri Kelley 616-719-0610

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

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

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

SCHAFER CHIROPRACTIC AND HEALING SPA Dr. Andrew Schafer 1801 Breton SE Grand Rapids 616-301-3000


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


Tr e a t i n g m u s c u l o s k e l e t a l conditions, but specializing in b ac k p a in , n eck p ai n , a n d headaches. Also offering physical therapy, massage therapy, and postural awareness. Most insurance accepted. Breton Village area. See ad, pages 4 & 30.

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


Barbara Zvirzdinis, WK, CMT 616-581-3885 Matrix Energetics is a system used to heal, transform and create new possibilities in your life. Using the principles of quantum physics and subtle e n e rg y d u r i n g a M a t r i x Energetics session we are able to enter into different realties and download new possibilities for your mental, emotional, physical and spiritual selves. See ad, page 19.

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

natural awakenings

January 2016





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

Be Young Total Health essential oils have undergone the 13 step E.O.B.B.D. evaluation by third party experts who are professionally trained for evaluating essential oils for purity, quality, and therapeutic value. Learn online, through free classes, or one on one from me, how you can use these gifts of nature to benefit your family and even your pets! See ad, page 8.

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


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

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

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


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


Bob Huttinga PA-C & Rev. Barbara Huttinga 332 S. Lincoln Ave., Lakeview 989-352-6500 Naturopathic / Holistic Practitioners and Retail Health Store. Natural Health Consultations, Classes, Oils, H e r b s , H o m e o p a t h y, Hypnosis, Foods, Candles, Crystals, Books, CD’s, Massage, Reflexology, Emotional Clearing, Raindrop Therapy, Foot Detox, DOT/CDL Health Cards for truck drivers. See ad, page 7.


3355 Eagle Park Dr. NE Ste. 107 Grand Rapids 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.

West Michigan Edition

Certified in bodywork, lymphatic drainage, raindrop therapy, CranioSacral, reflexology, iridology, natural health consultations including a zyto bio-communication scan. Emotional clearing with essential oils and energy work, Reiki, Energy Touch. See ad, page 39.




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

Guided Transformations 9964 Cherry Valley SE Ste. 2, Caledonia 616-401-7199

Registered Nurse specializing in lifestyle change, weight management and pain reduction. Restoring balance and harmony using Healing To u c h , R e f l e x o l o g y, Aromatherapy, Guided Imagery & visualization practices.


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


332 S. Lincoln Ave., Lakeview 989-352-6500 A Certified PA since 1976, Bob Huttinga practices both Traditional and Homeopathic care. He finds the cause and the homeopathy remedy. We accept most insurance, except Priority Health, Blue Care Network or Medicaid. See ad, page 7.

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

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


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

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

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


Mary De Lange, CCT., LMT. 1003 Maryland Ave. NE, Grand Rapids 616-456-5033 Over 24 years of professional experience and trained in a complete range of modalities. Whether you are seeking relaxation, renewal, or treatment for a specific condition, Mary will help find an approach that is helpful for you. See ad, page 34.


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

We have multiple certified massage therapists offering relaxation, prenatal, deep tissue massage and medical massage. We also offer Reiki, chakra balancing and Ayurvedic bodywork. Breton Village area. GRChiroSpa. com. See ads, pages 4 & 30.


Patrice Bobier CPM Hesperia: 231-861-2234 Jennifer Holshoe Grand Rapids area: 616-318-1825 In private practice since 1982 specializing in home birth, and a team approach. Over 1550 births attended. Offering midwifery care that maintains a familycentered safe birth experience. Empowering women to stay healthy during pregnancy, give birth naturally and parent in the best ways. Free initial consultations including prenatal check up.

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

Offering individual, couples and group counseling, workshops, energywork, breathwork, rebirthing, and emotional clearing, all with confidential, caring support. My approach is active, collaborative, affirming, and ideal for adults wanting to move forward into true Authentic Living.

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

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



10500 Chicago Drive Holland Twp/Zeeland 231-557-3619

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

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

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

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


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

Specializing in advanced, customized skin care using all-natural, organic skin care products from Elina Organics. Facials, Back Facials, Foot Facials, Hand Facials, Tummy Facials, and “Beautiful Legs” services. Needle-Free Mesotherapy, TriPolarRF, DermaLaser, LED, Microdermabrasion, Peels, Body Wraps, Body Scrubs, Brow Shaping, Aromatherapy, Signature Scent, Hair Restoration, Bamboo Massage, RainDrop, Air Compression Lymph Drainage Massage, Acupressure, Reiki, Infrared and Ionic Cleanses, Ear Candling, and more! See ad, page 20.

We’ll introduce you to thousands of our friends when you advertise in the

February Friendship and Dental Health Issue To advertise or participate in our next issue, call

616-656-9232 natural awakenings

January 2016


The Path You Have Always Wanted Naturopathy

(each year 600 hours)

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

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

Massage Therapy

Therapeutic Bodywork Practitioner...1 Year

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

All Classes Meet on Weekends

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

Naturopaths: 1 per month - Massage: 2 per month

Individual Classes:

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

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

West Michigan Edition

Over 19 Years of Experience ~ Licensed and Accredited

Profile for Natural Awakenings Magazine ~ West Michigan

Natural Awakenings Magazine ~ January 2016  

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

Natural Awakenings Magazine ~ January 2016  

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

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