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feel good • live simply • laugh more


Holistic Ways to Heal Addictions

Yoga for the Bros Men Find Yoga Builds Fitness

A Man’s Best Food Choices that Boost and Balance Testosterone

Hidden Treasures Neighbors Discover Their Wealth of Resources

June 2015 | West Michigan Edition | natural awakenings

June 2015


contents 8 4 newsbriefs 8 healthbriefs 10 globalbriefs 12 ecotip 13 greenliving 14 fitbody 10 20 healingways 3 1 inspiration 32 community

spotlight 34 naturalpet 36 consciouseating 12 40 healthykids 42 calendar 45 naturaldirectory 47 classifieds

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

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

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

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


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.


VACATION OPTION Mini-Dwellings Make Travel a Lark by Avery Mack

18 YOGA FOR THE BRO’S Men Find it Builds All-Around Fitness

by Meredith Montgomery


West Michigan Edition


Natural Ways to Avoid and Treat Lyme Disease by Linda Sechrist

22 WEEKEND WARRIORS Homeopathic Medicine for Sports Injuries by Dana Ullman

24 RETHINKING RECOVERY 34 Holistic Approaches to Healing Addictions by Lisa Marshall

31 HIDDEN TREASURES Neighbors Discover Their Wealth of Resources

by John McKnight and Peter Block

34 WALKING THE CAT Harness a Curious Cat for a Lively Stroll by Sandra Murphy


Boost Testosterone with the Right Choices by Kathleen Barnes

Check us out and connect with us on Facebook. Twitter, Instagram & Pinterest!

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How They Raise Conscious Kids by Lane Vail


letterfrompublisher I think my Dad MIGHT be Superman I’ve always been “Daddy’s Little Girl”. To me, my dad is both a personal hero and real life hero. His journey has not been an easy one, yet he always has a smile on his face and is willing to give others the shirt off his back. You might have been blessed with someone like that in your life. Fathers can teach us so much. I’ve learned from mine how to be a good business owner, stay organized using lists for everything, live within my financial means and, most importantly, how to stay positive even in hard times and appreciate everything you have. Dad learned some of the most valuable lessons he’s passed along to me from his time as a Marine in the Vietnam War. He doesn’t talk about that time much, but I know the daily battles he now fights just to keep going stemmed from the person he had to become over there. In the war, he was stabbed twice, shot once, lost his leg from stepping on a land mine, and witnessed the horrors happening around him. It can break even strong men, but not my superhero. He returned home to build a family, own and operate a business and live a happy life all while dealing with the kinds of leftover inner demons veterans have to face down. In recent years, my dad successfully struggled to overcome three types of cancer. I’ve consciously held onto this mental stand: “Cancer, meet my dad, he just might be Superman, so good luck trying to take him down.” Despite the pain and entailed lifestyle adjustments, this man has maintained a positive outlook and fighter’s mentality. Like Winston Churchill, he never gives up. Three weeks ago, my dad was in a car accident less than a mile from home that sent him to the emergency room. When the police officer called from the scene, for a split second I panicked, thinking this may be all she wrote. Then I recalled that my dad is the strongest man I know and felt assured that this latest challenge is just one more hurdle he needs to jump. Sure enough, following three weeks in the hospital and some rehab, Dad is back home recovering well and we’re all rejoicing. I like to think of myself as a strong person, too, but I have to admit I don’t think I could have handled what all he has had to endure in one lifetime, so you see this is why, I think my dad MUST be Superman! To all the superhero guys out there, Happy Father’s Day!

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

Subscriptions are available by sending $30 (12 issues) to the above address. © 2015 by Natural Awakenings. All rights reserved. Although some parts of this publication may be reproduced and reprinted, we require that prior permission be obtained in writing. Natural Awakenings is a free publication distributed locally and is supported by our advertisers. It is available in selected stores, health and education centers, healing centers, public libraries and wherever free publications are generally seen. Please call to find a location near you or if you would like copies placed at your business. We do not necessarily endorse the views expressed in the articles and advertisements, nor are we responsible for the products and services advertised. We welcome your ideas, articles and feedback.

COMMITTED TO SUSTAINABILITY Natural Awakenings is locally owned and operated.

Photo: Allyson Regan

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

Amy Hass, Publisher

Natural Awakenings Magazine of West Michigan


NaturallyWestMI Natural Awakenings

natural awakenings

Magazine of West Michigan

June 2015


newsbriefs Summer SUP Series


coTrek Fitness presents Fitness on the Board with Chris Armstrong, a 4-week mini-series on Mondays or Tuesdays, beginning June 8. Fitness on the board offers an unstable platform focusing on balance, core stability and total body workout. In addition to perfecting your paddling technique, the class will have strength, stretching, yoga, Pilates and a kick-butt cardiovascular workout. Enjoy the outdoor workout, discover what Chris Armstrong paddleboarding is all about, have fun and maybe even get wet! EcoTrek Fitness has partnered with Chris Armstrong to bring you this special summer mini-series. Armstrong brings experience and enthusiasm to her passions. She is a licensed Physical Therapy Assistant, a personal trainer, a certified lifeguard, CPR/AED current and has certification through the World Paddle Association. Amrstrong has years of paddle board experience and considers an individuals’ experience level as she approaches instruction. Classes are one hour long and cost $80 for four weeks or $30 for a single drop-in. RSVP required by emailing Visit for more information.

Movie Night at Spirit Space


oin Spirit Space on June 10 at 7:00 p.m. for the viewing of “An Introduction to Spontaneous Evolution” with Bruce Lipton, PhD. Just as a terminally ill patient can have a spontaneous remission - usually following a profound life change or change in beliefs - human society is now on the verge of a similar healing.

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West Michigan Edition

For more information, call 616-836-1555 or visit See ad, page 8.

Mercy Health Seaway Run


he Mercy Health Seaway Run is one of Michigan’s most scenic and most popular runs! It has been a tradition in Muskegon for over three decades; a celebration of healthy living and a healthy lifestyle. Please join us on June 27 for this fun, family-friendly event that has something for everyone. The Lake Michigan Half Marathon goes past a historic submarine and a signature lighthouse, along the beautiful shorelines of Lake Michigan and Muskegon Lake. The traditional and unique Seaway Run 15K also offers breathtaking lake views. The 5K and Community Walk wind through the historic Nims neighborhood, with friendly residents cheering on participants from their front yards. All events begin and end near the Muskegon Family YMCA, with an award ceremony following. Sign up quickly and easily online at; sign up by June 15 to avoid late fees and guarantee a t-shirt. Healthy choices lead to a healthier life and a healthier community. Be sure to join us for the Mercy Health Seaway Expo on Friday, June 26 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. The expo is free and open to the entire community. Visit the expo for free health screenings, food, music, kids’ activities, prizes, demonstrations and more! You can explore healthy options and learn how to optimize your family’s health. The expo will be held at Fricano Place, 1050 W Western Ave (near the YMCA); for directions and more information, visit See ad, page 5.

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SunRise Yoga at The Cottage


oondrop Herbals Cottage of Natural Elements is pleased to host this important and timely fund raising event featuring a morning yoga session, zentangle workshop and a silent auction on Saturday, June 20. Events are donation based and proceeds will go to Kid’s Food Basket. This event will start at 8:30 a.m. with a one hour vinyasa flow yoga class in honor of the Summer Solstice. Gina Clark will lead in practicing a union of breath, movement and spiritual connection to nature and the seasons. At 9:45 a.m., Cindy Bowles, CZT (certified zentangle instructor) will lead a one hour workshop where participants can learn mindfulness and meditative fundamentals to create a beautifully personal and unique piece of art to take home. Techniques are super easy and fun to learn – one stroke at a time. A Silent Auction offering goods or services donated by local businesses will also be held. Kids’ Food Basket is a force for attacking childhood hunger, ensuring that lunch is not the last meal of the day for nearly 7,000 kids at 38 schools in Grand Rapids, Muskegon and Holland. Sack Suppers are well-rounded evening meals that provide nutrition critical to the development of the brain and body.

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For more information, or to donate a good or service to the silent auction, call 616-735-1285 or visit our store at 351 Cummings NW, Grand Rapids. See ad, pages 14 & 45.

Cascade Village Karate Grand Opening


oin Cascade Village Karate for their Grand Opening on June 30 from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Sensei, Tedd O’Neill will be available all day to answer questions and show off the dojo. If you would like to learn more about natural awakenings

June 2015


newsbriefs how traditional Okinawa karate can benefit you, now is your chance to check it out. Sign up in June and receive two one hour private or semi-private orientation classes. No contracts. The mission of Cascade Village Karate is to provide a learning environment that is pleasant, encouraging and sustainable for all. For more information on Cascade Village Karate, call 616-676-6064. Drop-ins are welcome from 8-10am and 1-4pm at the dojo, 6747 Old 28th St. SE Grand Rapids. See ad, page 15.

The Yoga Studio is Moving


his July, The Yoga Studio will move inside the historic Blackport Building in the Easthills neighborhood. The new address is 959 Lake Drive SE, Suite 206 in Grand Rapids. (The Blackport Building is across the street from the back entrance of the current location on Cherry Street.) Not only will The Yoga Studio be part of a wonderful community of businesses within the Blackport Building, but it will also now feature a rope wall. Rope walls were developed by yoga guru B.K.S. Iyengar and are used to broaden the scope of practice. Kat McKinney, a Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher and owner of The Yoga Studio, says “Working with the ropes allows adaptation and support of poses so students can explore a broader range of poses than they could perform independently and they can also provide new challenges for more experienced students.” New and current students are invited to The Yoga Studio the week of July 6 for free classes and a summer series of classes will begin the following week. For more information, visit The Yoga Studio’s website at or follow them on Facebook at Facebook. com/TheYogaStudioGR. See ad, page 16.

Harmony ‘n Health Colon Hydrotherapy

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

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

Therapeutic Massage also available


West Michigan Edition

YogaFest 2015


ome to Song of the Morning on the 800-acre property in the Pigeon River State Forest in Vanderbilt for YogaFest 2015, July 30 to August 2. This four-day festival will include yoga movement, kirtan, meditation and spirituality workshops. Local food vendors will offer unique vegetarian meals. A weekend pass costs $140 and includes three nights of wooded camping, access to all programs and parking. For more information, or to get tickets, visit YogaFestMI. com. See ad, page 18.

Yoga & Wellness Retreat


oin local yoga instructor and retreat guide Jessica Roodvoets for a post-summer seaside getaway to one of the most loved islands in the world, Santorini. Santorini is famous for having the most beautiful sunsets on earth. It is the gem of the Aegean and a place where the abundance of crystalline beaches, ancient history, charming villages and breathtaking views all become within one’s reach. Enjoy daily yoga and meditation practice in a panorama of traditional Cycladic architecture, multicolored cliffs and the sapphire blue waters of the Aegean Sea. This retreat also includes farm-to-table vegetarian Mediterranean cuisine, wine-tasting at the local vineyards and a sailboat tour of the island’s picturesque red beaches and volcanic hot springs. Retreat packages start at $1,900. $200 will be taken off the total retreat price for the next two sign ups. Visit for more information or email See ad, page 12.

Ayurveda Yoga Specialist


oga is a powerful practice. Yoga and Ayurveda practiced together create an even greater alchemy as a conscious, enlightened pathway to navigating health and the challenges of your life—mental, physical How You Birth Matters!

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

A full service Midwifery group partnering with you to provide prenatal care, education and choice. Personal Prenatal Care ~ Nutritional Counseling ~ Labor & Birth Support Postpartum Care ~ Resources for Education ~ Water Birth Options

Contact us for a FREE Consultation The 1st Birthing House/Center in Grand Rapids to add to Women’s Birth Choices! (559) 907-5341 ~

and emotional. Sister sciences, together they dynamically propel positive momentum in overall health, and when used consciously and strategically, they become an alchemically potent and comprehensive natural health solution. With wise and skillful application of Yoga practices along Karen Palaszek with specific food and lifestyle routines framed by Ayurveda, Positive Force LLC can assist you in bringing intelligence, compassion and awareness to the areas of your life calling for attention. Consultations are designed and organized around your unique needs, challenges and wellness goals, with vibrant health and wholeness as the ultimate goal. Positive Force LLC joyfully looks forward to an opportunity to guide you on your path to discover true health: your Positive Force within. Positive Force LLC is located in Grand Rapids. For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact Karen Palaszek, 500 RYT, Ayurveda Yoga Specialist, at Please add Natural Awakenings in the subject line.

Yoga and 12 Step Recovery


hitradevi Caradedios of Journey Home Yoga and Health recently completed a two part Intensive and Leadership Training Program granting her certification and designation as a Yoga of 12-Step Recovery Leader (Y12SR). Modeled from the meetings of 12step programs, Y12SR is a 12-step based discussion and intentionally themed yoga practice open to everyone dealing with their own addictive behavior or affected by the addictive behavior of others. Y12SR recognizes the “issues live in our tissues”. Meetings combine the 12-step cognitive

approach with the somatic approach of yoga to address addiction as the physical, mental and spiritual dis-ease it is. Y12SR is not a replacement for 12-step meetings but rather is a relapse prevention program that provides practitioners with adjunct tools to address addiction holistically. Y12SR meetings are open meetings. All A’s are welcome (AA, NA, GA, ACA, SA, OA, Alanon, etc.) and no prior yoga experience is necessary. Y12SR meetings are available all over the United States and the curriculum is rapidly becoming a feature of addiction recovery treatment centers. Caradedios, who is also a 500- hour Professional Level Experienced Yoga Teacher, certified Trauma Sensitive Yoga Teacher and Transformational Wellness Educator and Provider, is currently establishing where and when new meetings will be offered in the Grand Rapids area. If you have an interest in offering meetings at your facility or for more information about Y12SR Meetings or Caradedios, visit, email Info@ or call 616-780-3604. See ad, page 17.

Seek Peace


oin Unity Center of Spiritual Growth, formally known as Unity of Greater Grand Rapids, in Ada on the second and fourth Sundays of the month at 11:30 a.m. to find a life with peace. These meets are for those who live a life of anger, guilt, shame, self-deprecation, disappointment, blame or an overwhelming sense of worthlessness. By answering four simple questions, you will be equipped to deal with anything life throws your way. It is the promise of freedom Rev. Gy from beliefs which you never knew you had but Ludwig are actually running the misery show. It is the promise of a life lived with a clear mind—a mind at peace. For more information, call 616-682-7812, visit 6025 Ada Dr. SE in Ada or visit

natural awakenings

June 2015


An Interfaith Worship and Spiritual Enrichment Center


R Sunday Worship: 10:30am Wednesday Discussion & Meditation: 6:30pm Pastor Sherry Petro-Surdel 3493 Blue Star Highway Saugatuck, MI. 49453 616-836-1555

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esearch published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology has found that breath testing can reveal potential heart disease and artery problems quickly and efficiently. Testing 31 patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) together with 34 healthy control subjects, the study found that concentrations of volatile gases such as propanol, ethanol and ammonia were significantly different among the heart disease patients. It also found that the breath can reveal specific details about the heart’s condition. The breath test can be analyzed in fewer than 30 minutes.

Acupuncture Treats Prostate Enlargement



esearch from China has found that a combination of acupuncture and moxibustion, a form of heat therapy in which dried plant materials are burned on or near the surface of the skin to warm and invigorate the inner flow of qi, or energy, can effectively reduce the symptoms of benign prostate enlargement. Researchers tested 128 patients with prostate enlargement for three months, dividing them into two groups. One group was given acupuncture and moxibustion; the other took a traditional Chinese herbal medication for prostate enlargement called Qianliekangi. The patients’ prostate symptoms were tested using the International Prostate Symptom Score, maximum urine flow rate and residual urine tests. At the study’s end, the patients given the acupuncture/moxibustion treatment reported significantly reduced levels in all three tests—calculated at an 89 percent total effective rate—compared to the herbal medication group.



n international team of scientists has confirmed that consuming berries such as strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, blackcurrants, mulberries and raspberries can significantly reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Blueberries, in particular, were found to be associated with increased memory and learning. Researchers from Washington State University, the U.S. National Institutes of Health, India’s Annamalai University and Oman’s Sultan Qaboos University’s College of Medicine and Health Sciences reviewed two decades worth of research relating to consuming berries and dementia. They found that the many biochemicals contained in berries provide antioxidant protection to neurons and prevent the formation of beta-amyloid fibrils found in the brains of Alzheimer’s disease patients.


West Michigan Edition

The Holistic Value of Allopathic Diagnostic Tools


olistic health practitioners must know the nature of a patient’s problem before they can design a protocol to address it. Advocates of natural medicine tend to disagree with the conventional medical community, but it is important to remember that although their methods may be different, traditional tools of investigation can still be valuable to holistic practitioners. “While there are some good natural diagnostic tools to determine a problem’s origin, sometimes the tools of allopathic medicine are simply superior. Ultrasound, MRI, blood tests and pathogen screening can all be of enormous value when considering how to heal a condition of damage or sickness,” says Nature’s Rite Founder Steven Frank. “If someone is bleeding internally, knowing the source—ulcer, tumor, hemorrhoids or liver disease—is of paramount importance. All of these have dramatically different treatment protocols. When a patient’s energy is low, knowing their blood work and pathogen load is of tremendous value towards designing a healing program.” While allopathic medicine may seek to poison, cut or irradiate the problem, natural medicine professionals may choose the appropriate combination of herbs, acupuncture, qigong or other natural products and modalities. “Having the knowledge of exactly what is damaged and then using the techniques that we know are most suited for healing this condition is what collaborative medicine is all about,” explains Frank. “In our quest to bring natural medicine to the community, we don’t have to shun the diagnostic benefits of the high-technology hospitals. We can use their tools to accentuate our skills.” For more information, email or visit See ad, page 9.

Stroke Risk Rises with Two Drinks a Day


ew research published in the American Heart Association’s journal Stroke has determined that drinking two alcoholic beverages per day during middle-age years increases the risk of stroke more than other known factors, including high blood pressure and diabetes. The study followed 11,644 twins from Sweden for 43 years, starting between 1967 and 1970. All began the trial when they were under the age of 60. The scientists compared the effects of having less than half a drink— classified as four and two ounces of wine for a man and a woman, respectively—daily to drinking two or more daily. The study found that consuming two drinks per day increased the risk of stroke by 34 percent compared to drinking less than half a drink per day. Those that downed two or more drinks a day during their 50s and 60s had strokes an average of five years younger than light drinkers. The increase in stroke risk was found to be higher than the danger generally posed by diabetes and hypertension.

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

Solar Harvest

New Technology Makes Windows Power Producers

SolarWindow Technologies, Inc.

SolarWindow Technologies’ new window coatings are a “first of its kind” technology that could turn the buildings we live and work in into selfsufficient, mini power stations. They can generate electricity on see-through glass and flexible plastics with colored tints popular in skyscraper glass. The coating can be applied to all four sides of tall buildings, generating electricity using natural and artificial light conditions and even shaded areas. Its organic materials are so ideal for lowcost, high-output manufacturing that the technology is already part of 42 product patent applications. When applied to windows on towers, it’s expected to generate up to 50 times the power of conventional rooftop solar systems while delivering 15 times the environmental benefits. For example, a single SolarWindow installation can avoid the amount of carbon emissions produced by vehicles driving about 2.75 million miles per year, compared to 180,000 miles for conventional rooftop systems.

Lost Lands

Salinity is Eating Away Farmland Worldwide Every day for more than 20 years, an average of almost eight square miles of irrigated land in arid and semiarid areas across 75 countries have been degraded by salt, according to the study Economics of Salt-Induced Land Degradation and Restoration, by United Nations University’s Canadianbased Institute for Water, Environment and Health. Salt degradation occurs in arid and semi-arid regions where rainfall is too low to maintain regular percolation of rainwater through the soil and where irrigation is practiced without a natural or artificial drainage system, which triggers the accumulation of salt in the root zone, affecting soil quality and reducing productivity. In the Colorado River Basin alone, studies peg the annual economic impact of salt-induced land degradation in irrigated areas at $750 million. The cost of investing in preventing and reversing land degradation and restoring it to productive land would be far lower than letting degradation continue and intensify. Methods successfully used to facilitate drainage and reverse soil degradation include tree planting, deep plowing, cultivation of salt-tolerant varieties of crops, mixing harvested plant residues into topsoil and digging a drain or deep ditch around salt-affected land. 10

West Michigan Edition

Farm Therapy Veterans Heal Through Agriculture

Of the 19.6 million veterans in the United States alone, approximately 3.6 million have a service-related disability, 7.6 percent are unemployed and they collectively make up 13 percent of the adult homeless population, according to the Independent Voter Network. Organizations worldwide are helping veterans heal their wounds through farming and agriculture. The goal is to create a sustainable food system by educating them to be sustainable vegetable producers, providing training and helping families rebuild war-torn lives. Eat the Yard, in Dallas, Texas, was founded by Iraq War veterans James Jeffers and Steve Smith to cultivate fresh produce in community gardens. The two began organic farming in their own backyards for both therapeutic and financial reasons, and then slowly began to build more gardens in their community. They now sell their produce to local restaurants and businesses. The Farmer Veteran Coalition (FVC) is working with veterans across the U.S. to transition them into agriculture. The coalition partners veterans with mentors experienced in farming and business, matches them with agriculture-related job opportunities and organizes equipment donations in Iowa and California. FVC is helping former members of the armed forces in 48 states. Source: news/2014/11/veterans-day

Creature Crime Feds Make Animal Abuse a Felony In October, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) classified animal cruelty as a class A felony and a “crime against society,” on a par with such serious crimes as homicide. The FBI intends to prosecute intentional abuse and torture, gross neglect, sexual abuse and organized abuse, which includes dog fights. Also, the onset of tracking animal abuse cases nationwide will assist local police and counselors in identifying and connecting with minors that show an early tendency to abuse. FBI studies show an alarming connection between animal abusers and perpetrators of extremely violent crimes against humans. The goal is that early detection and intervention will help certain children get the counseling and social support they need to live productive lives free of crime and abuse. “Regardless of whether people care about how animals are treated, people, like legislators and judges, care about humans, and they can’t deny the data,” says Natasha Dolezal, a director for the Center for Animal Law Studies at Lewis & Clark College, in Portland, Oregon. Source:

Plastics Ping-Pong

China Reverses Its Recycling Policy Plastic items we carefully separate from the rest of the trash and put in a distinct container may have a dubious fate, according to environmental watchdog Quartz. U.S. recycling companies have largely stayed away from accepting plastic, and most of it has been shipped to China, where it can be processed more cheaply. But China has announced a new Green Fence policy ( ChinaGreenFence), prohibiting importation of much of the plastic for recycling that it once received. Plastic categories #3 through #7 (shampoo bottles to butter tubs) may go into domestic landfills again until a solution is found, says David Kaplan, CEO of Maine Plastics, a post-industrial recycler. China controls a large portion of the recycling market, importing about 70 percent of the world’s 500 million tons of electronic waste and 12 million tons of plastic waste each year. These Chinese policy changes will put pressure on Western countries to reconsider their reliance on this formerly cost-effective practice of exporting waste and the necessity for increasing their domestic recycling infrastructure.

Euro Space

Forty Percent of Hamburg Will Be Green Space Hamburg, Germany, named Europe’s 2011 Green Capital by the European Union, is implementing an ambitious plan to create and link 27 square miles of new and existing green space, comprising 40 percent of its land area. The result will put nature within easy reach of every resident, provide connectivity for walking and bicycling to eliminate automobile traffic by 2035 and make the city more resilient to flooding caused by global warming. The metro area population currently numbers 4.3 million as Europe’s 10th-largest city. Since 2000, Germany has converted 25 percent of its power grid to renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and biomass. The architects of the clean energy movement energiewende, which translates as “energy transformation”, estimate that 80 percent to 100 percent of Germany’s electricity will come from renewable sources by 2050. Angelika Fritsch, a spokeswoman for the Department of Urban Planning and the Environment, says, “The more important result may be the provision of green infrastructure to absorb rain and flood waters.” Sea levels in the port city have risen by 20 centimeters over the past 60 years and are expected to rise another 30 centimeters by 2100. Source:

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Greek Island Yoga Retreat

Natural Ways to Keep Crawling Critters Away

With picnics and barbecues on the calendar, summer is a time for indoor/outdoor entertaining with family, friends and neighbors. To keep invading ants away, hosts will want to use natural materials, many of which can be found in the kitchen, instead of chemical products that may be hazardous to humans, pets and wildlife. Natural lines of defense. Applying ground cinnamon or mixing some of the spice with sugar, cloves and water into a thin paste and using a cotton swab to dab it in cracks and around doors and windowsills outside the house where ants might enter can be effective. The aroma is too strong for them, so they’ll either succumb or turn away. Another method recommended by the Mother Nature Network is to clean floors and countertops with a solution of one cup each of vinegar and water, with the option to enhance it with 15 drops of lemon oil. Try a simple spray. An organic insecticide for application in grassy locations, applied to the legs and sides of the picnic table or chairs, can help reduce intrusion by ants and other pests. suggests pouring one-and-a-half cups of water into a blender and adding two bulbs of garlic. Liquefy the ingredients to a smooth blend, strain out the remaining pieces of garlic, dilute the mixture with about a gallon of water and fill a spray bottle. Organic pest control. Some manufacturers specialize in eco-friendly products, including the Extremely Green Gardening Company ( that offers diatomaceous earth, Hasta La Vista Ant! and Bug Shooter insecticide. Other chemical-free bug traps can be found at many hardware stores. Avoid temptation. Keep food container lids and boxes tightly closed indoors and keep food covered as much as possible outdoors. Taking natural preventive steps now is timely because many ant species are highly active in early summer as they seek to increase the food stores for their colonies.

Join local yoga instructor and retreat guide, Jessica Roodvoets, for a yoga and wellness retreat to the beautiful Greek Island of Santorini. $200 off the total retreat price for the next 2 sign ups!

Visit or email for more information. 12

West Michigan Edition

Lettin’ the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier ‘n puttin’ it back in. ~Will Rogers

Going small can mean living large. The phenomenon even has its own newsletter at


photo courtesy of Pat Capozzi

THE TEENY-TINY VACATION OPTION Mini-Dwellings Make Travel a Lark by Avery Mack

Tiny vacation cottages offer a simple, cozy setting for taking time off together and spell crazy fun—a huge improvement over sterile motel rooms.


ost of us are oriented to a typical American house averaging 2,300 square feet, making it a childlike hoot to step into the petite footprint of a tiny house one-tenth the size. Vacation rentals of “tinies” are available nationwide in all shapes and styles—including treetop aeries. Tree houses range from rustic to luxurious. Marti MacGibbon and her husband, Chris Fitzhugh, spent a romantic weekend at the Out ‘n’ About Treehouse Resort, in Cave Junction, Oregon. “The Peacock Perch is a favorite,” says MacGibbon. “It also helps me overcome my fear of heights.” In Hawaii, Skye Peterson built a tree house from recycled materials in five native ohia trees outside Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park. The eco-friendly, solarpowered, passive-energy vacation home enchants guests with firelight at night and breakfast in the morning. For those that prefer ground-level vacationing, glamorous camping, or glamping, offers an outdoor experience

with the comforts of home. Yellowstone National Park’s Yellowstone Under Canvas has summer options for every budget through September 7, including an onsite gourmet restaurant. Tipis offer the basics, while a roomier safari tent adds a wood-burning stove with complimentary firewood. A deluxe suite with private bath sleeps a family with king-size and sofa beds. All face majestic views of mountains, water and wildlife. Rustic Karenville, eight miles from Ithaca, New York, isn’t on any map. Owner and builder Karen Thurnheer and her husband, Robert Wesley, live in a 270-square-foot cabin amidst a small village of tinies next to the 9,000-acre Danby State Forest. The little buildings don’t have running water; some have woodstove heat, electricity if the generator’s running and there’s a composting outhouse. “The houses are silly and fun,” she says. “There’s fresh air and at night a million stars.” Sarah and John Murphy welcome travelers to enjoy urban life with

amenities in the heart of Music City via Nashville’s tiniest guest house. With a complete kitchen and bath, conditioned air and Wi-Fi, its 200 square feet can accommodate four. Rhode Island’s Arcade Providence historic shopping mall took a hit from Internet shopping. Now it’s vibrantly alive as micro-apartments (bedroom, bath and kitchen in 300 square feet) fill the second and third levels, while first-floor stores cater to residents and destination shoppers. The “no vacancy” sign is regularly posted for apartments acting as dorms or pied á terres. On the West coast, near the 150acre Lily Point Marine Park, in Port Roberts, Washington, a secluded gingerbread cottage affords a gas fireplace, solarium and upstairs deck for viewing wildlife. “It’s relaxing and romantic,” says owner Pat Capozzi. Artsy and trendy, Caravan is the first tiny hotel in the United States. Since 2013, guests have enjoyed a choice of its six tiny houses in Portland, Oregon’s Alberta Arts District. Simple-living students, retirees and even families with small children and pets are embracing the concept longer-term. “The best part,” says Macy Miller, a Boise, Idaho architect who built her own tiny of recycled materials at a cost of $12,000, “is no mortgage.” To avoid local minimumsize zoning requirements, her house is mounted on a flatbed trailer. The 196-square-foot space is also home to her boyfriend James, toddler Hazel, and Denver, a 150-pound great dane. Recently, Miller blogged, “I’m designing what may be the first tiny nursery as we expect baby number two!” As Thurnheer observes, “There are lots of silly people like me who love living tiny.” Connect with freelance writer Avery Mack at

natural awakenings

June 2015




The Martial Arts Hold Deep Inner Lessons FOLLOW US!



West Michigan Edition


by Eric Stevens

ew words are as oddly coupled as martial and arts. The first means “relating to war and soldiers,” while the second means “something that is created with imagination and skill, and is beautiful or expresses important ideas or feelings.” All martial arts represent a paradox of push and pull, yin and yang, external and internal. Their practice represents the blending of our physical lives in harmony with our emotional makeup, allowing our external activity to mirror our internal being. Seldom is the fusion of body, mind and spirit easily achieved with one activity, but martial arts are an exception, because they focus equally on internal and external well-being. Here are five key life lessons that martial arts can teach us. Learn how to breathe. True connection with our breath permeates an artist’s realm. A vocalist must reach deep within the diaphragm to sing proficiently and a dancer must learn to time their breath while performing. A martial artist learns to control breath with stillness and speed, like juxtaposing yoga with intense contact sports. Breathing properly makes the

practitioner a better martial artist and a healthier one. According to a study published in the American Journal of Chinese Medicine, hypertensive qigong program participants were able to both lower their blood pressure after 10 weeks and increase their oxygen uptake by 20 percent. Avoid conflict by developing character. While it may seem counterintuitive that learning how to fight could avoid conflict, it’s an essential part of martial arts. The philosopher Lao Tzu said the best fighter is never angry. The martial arts are primarily about discipline, heightened awareness and honing an ability to face our own internal conflicts. Several studies corroborate that practicing martial arts produces positive behavioral changes. For instance, according to a study published in the Journal of Adolescence, participating students in the martial arts were characterized as being less impulsive and less aggressive. Connect the external (body movement) with the internal (energy movement). The energetic force that catalyzes expressive kicks, punches, blocks and other outward forms is as essential as the movements themselves. In Chinese

martial arts, that force is referred to as qi, the life energy that intrinsically unites body, mind and spirit. Be both an artist and athlete. Artistry and athleticism need not be divergent forces. The martial artist combines the grace of a creator and skill of a warrior, and watching a martial arts competition can be as riveting as watching a ballet or sports event. Most of us may not be talented artists or natural athletes, yet all students can learn how to integrate both worlds by blending physicality with stillness and expression through action. Let go of ego, find mental clarity and access the present moment. Jirōkichi Yamada, a master of Japanese kenjutsu, said, “The way of the sword and the way of Zen are identical, for they have the same purpose; that of killing the ego.” The focus of all true martial arts is the process, not the outcome. Whatever the style of execution, preparatory practice and meditative application, they all require the discipline of being purely present. Gaining such clarity requires grappling more with ego than with opponents; the real battle of a martial artist is waged within. Bruce Lee, the film star who revolutionized Western awareness of martial arts and founded jeet kune do, realized that martial arts’ transcendent philosophy gives us many lessons to draw upon. He suggested, “Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object and you shall find a way around or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves.” Eric Stevens has been a fitness professional and martial arts coach for 15 years. He writes about related topics from Denver, Colorado. Connect at

Learn classical Okinawa Karate Karate is a mind and body enhancing activity that is an effective way of self-improvement. Gain confidence, learn to defend yourself while improving your health and mobility through natural movements. Sensei Tedd O’Neill, 5th Degree Black Belt 6747 Old 28th St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546 616-676-6064

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June 2015


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esearch from Wayne State University, in Detroit, has found that hatha yoga can significantly improve cognitive health in as little as two months. Researchers tested 118 adults with an average age of 62 years. One group engaged in three, hour-long hatha yoga classes per week for eight weeks, while the other group did stretching and strengthening exercises for the same duration. The participants underwent cognitive testing before and after the eight-week period. At the end of the trial, the hatha yoga group showed significant improvements in cognition compared to the other group. The yoga group also recorded shorter reaction times, greater accuracy in high-level mental functions and better results in working memory tests. Source: Journal of Gerontology

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natural awakenings

June 2015


Yoga for the Bro’s Men Find it Builds All-Around Fitness by Meredith Montgomery


ive thousand years ago, most yoga teachers and students were men. Today, of the 15 million American practitioners, less than a third are males. However, this figure has increased in the past decade, with teachers in some areas reporting a balanced ratio of men and women in their classes. Yet, even as professional athletes add yoga to their training regimen, Power Yoga founder Bryan Kest, in Santa Monica, California, points out, “To the mainstream man, yoga is not masculine. You see men in ballet performances, but it doesn’t mean men are attracted to ballet.” Eric Walrabenstein, founder of Yoga Pura, in Phoenix, agrees. “To achieve the widest adoption of the

practice, we need to shift away from the notion that yoga is a physical exercise primarily for women, to one that embraces yoga’s holistic physical, mental and emotional benefits for anyone regardless of gender.”

Life Benefits

Physically, yoga can complement traditional workout routines by increasing flexibility, strength and balance, and also play a role in pain management and injury prevention. Kest says, “Yoga is the best fitness-related activity I know of, but the tone and shapeliness that results is a byproduct. The focus is on balance and healing.” He encourages students to challenge themselves without being ex-

treme. “The harder you are on anything, the faster you wear it out. If our objective is to both last as long and feel as good as possible, it makes no sense to push hard. Instead we should be gentle and sensitive in our practice.” Men will do well to learn how to stop what they’re doing and breathe, says Kreg Weiss, co-founder of My Yoga Online (now on Gaiam TV), from Vancouver. He emphasizes the importance of modifying poses as needed during classes and notes that doing so takes vulnerability that doesn’t come naturally to most men. “If you find yourself shaking while holding downward dog, allow yourself to go down to the floor without worrying about what others will think.” Societal pressures of masculinity sometimes dictate who a man thinks he should be. Breaking through such barriers enables a man to be relaxed with himself and unafraid as, “It changes what goes on off the mat, too,” observes Weiss. Bhava Ram (née Brad Willis), founder of the Deep Yoga School of Healing Arts, in San Diego, points out, “Men need yoga because it helps us deal better with stress and emotional issues. When we have more inner balance, we show up better for ourselves, spouses, friends and loved ones.”

Therapeutic Benefits

As modern science begins to document yoga’s healing effects, it’s being used in treatment plans for conditions ranging from addiction and trauma to multiple sclerosis and cancer. Ram was a Type A aggressive reporter and network war correspondent and, “Like many men with similar personality types, I struggled with anger and control issues. I had no interest in yoga; it seemed strange and unnecessary to me,” he 18

West Michigan Edition

recalls. The United Nations has says. “If you want to be After a broken declared June 21 the healthy, you have to look at mental fitness, not just back, that ended his International Day of the size of your biceps journalism career, failed Yoga, co-sponsored by or the strength of your surgery, advanced 175 countries includ- cardiovascular system. It’s cancer and dependance on prescription drugs, ing the United States calmness and peacefulness of mind that matter.” he found himself facing death. Inspired by his young son to take control of his health, Tips for First-Timers he embraced yoga as a healing way Weiss urges men new to yoga to take forward. After two years of dedicated time to find the right class. “When men practice, Ram says he turned 80 pounds that can’t touch their toes walk into some of physical weight and 1,000 pounds of preconceived notion of a class full of emotional toxins into gratitude, forgivewomen Om-ing, they feel apprehensive ness and loving kindness. “I left 90 and the experience does them no serpercent of my back pain behind and the vice.” Regardless of one’s state of fitness, cancer is gone.” it’s important to start slowly, with a focus Kest explains that yoga’s significant on the breath. “If you don’t have a good therapeutic value is based on its capacfoundation, you can miss a lot of yoga’s ity to reduce stress and its effects, while benefits. Seek teachers with a solid yoga teaching and strengthening techniques background educated in anatomy.” to cope with it. “Ninety percent of the Walrabenstein recommends that stress we put on our bodies originates first-timers find a class that meets their in the stress we put on our minds,” he expectations of targeted benefits. “Re-

member that yoga is supposed to serve you in enabling your best life possible. If for you that means a vigorous workout, go for it. Even the most physicallyoriented yoga styles can carry profound mental and spiritual benefits—and can lead to a deeper, more rewarding practice over time.” Arrive early to class to get settled and talk with the teacher about physical status, potential limitations or other concerns. Yoga is practiced barefoot and clothing should be loose and comfortable, allowing the body to sweat and move. Walrabenstein reminds men to have fun. “Yoga, like anything, can be awkward at first. Make space for your learning curve and remember, no one in class is judging you.”

Yoga Helps Vets Heal

Bootstrap, an online yoga system specific to the challenges of military duty-related stress, has distributed 70,000 yoga sessions to troops and veterans and their families since 2013. Designed to fill the many gaps left by traditional treatment strategies, it’s tailored to empower users to manage stressors and stressful episodes in a productive and ongoing way. Founder Eric Walrabenstein, a former U.S. Army infantry officer, notes that the program is curriculum-driven. Beyond breath and body postures, its 10-week structure makes it accessible to those that wouldn’t necessarily step into a studio. “The multimedia program has been clinically proven to derail chronic stress caused by military service in less than one hour per day,” he says. Bootstrap is presented as a stressmanagement program that just happens to use yoga techniques. “We did this because many men tend to self-select themselves out of the practice,” he says. “We wanted to avoid that as well as the idea that yoga is primarily about postures, when that’s only a small fraction of what the practice is.”

by Meredith Montgomery


ccording to the International Journal of Yoga Therapy, an essential aspect of recovering from trauma is learning ways to calm down, or self-regulate. As suicide, divorce, domestic violence, drug abuse, homelessness and violent behavior continue to plague veterans and members of the military, yoga is being regarded as a promising treatment or adjunctive therapy for addressing symptoms associated with trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Numerous studies indicate that veterans that practice yoga (including postures, breath work, guided visualization and affirmation) can better cope with PTSD and other emotional challenges, and realize enhanced physical and mental stability. Former war correspondent Bhava Ram founded Warriors for Healing (W4H). Launched online and through trained teachers this year, “We want

to spread the word that yoga science is proven to be extremely effective for coping with PTSD and life-based trauma,” he says. The intention is to help people unlock their inherent power to heal, and to assist in a journey of self-empowerment as they establish new lives. W4H and its foundation partners provide resources for veterans and their families to implement yoga’s transformational lifestyle practices, including nutrition, philosophy, breath work and postures. Studies from leading institutions including the University of California, Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital have shown that these practices can change the organism that is us down to the level of our genomes. “We’re not stuck where we are,” says Ram. “My own history illustrates this, and I’ve seen many others heal from remarkable challenges.”

Meredith Montgomery, a registered yoga teacher, publishes Natural Awakenings of Mobile/Baldwin, AL (

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natural awakenings

June 2015



Ticks hate these!

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Don’t Get Ticked Off Natural Ways to Avoid and Treat Lyme Disease by Linda Sechrist



Natural Awakenings Magazine of West Michigan


West Michigan Edition

n 1977, two Yale School of Medicine scientists identified the infected blacklegged deer tick carrying the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi as the disease-transmitting organism of Lyme disease. Since 1982, this most commonly reported vector-borne disease in the U.S. has gained notoriety, with its own resource book, Disease Update: Science, Policy & Law; research center (Columbia-Lyme. org/index.html); International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society website,; Lyme Times print journal (; and national informational organization, the Tick-Borne Disease Alliance ( The surge of activity appears justifiable. According to scientists at the Centers for Disease Control, approximately 300,000 cases are diagnosed annually in this country alone. Amy Tan, author of The Joy Luck Club, is a post-treatment Lyme disease patient and co-founder of LymeAid 4Kids ( that funds the diagnosis and treatment of uninsured children with Lyme. She disagrees with physicians that downplay late-stage cases and insist that the disease is cured with a simple round of antibiotics, as does Katina Makris, a classical homeopath from New Hampshire and host of Lyme Light Radio.

After experiencing mysterious symptoms, Makris spent five years suffering from debilitating symptoms familiar to individuals with Lyme—undiagnosed, relapsing fevers, lingering fatigue, joint pain, headaches, neurological symptoms and cognitive impairment. “Then I finally began my 10-year healing journey,” she says. Her book Out of the Woods: Healing from Lyme Disease for Body, Mind, and Spirit, is a recovery memoir and resource guide for alternative medical, emotional and spiritual support. Lyme evades detection by standard blood tests for bacterial antigens and antibodies. “The ELISA [enzyme-linked immuno assay] test is only accurate between two weeks and two months after the bite,” says Makris, who notes that the Western Blot test is somewhat more accurate, while the IGeneX Laboratory test is superior. She believes the best laboratories for testing are Clongen Laboratories and IGeneX Laboratory Services. Dr. Richard Horowitz has treated more than 12,000 Lyme disease patients as medical director of the Hudson Valley Healing Arts Center, in Hyde Park, New York. The author of Why Can’t I Get Better? Solving the Mystery of Lyme and Chronic Disease raises another red flag regarding detection.

Testing for coinfections frequently transmitted along with Lyme is unreliable. Horowitz, who will conduct a workshop with Makris at New York’s Omega Institute for Holistic Studies, in Rhinebeck, and online, from June 26 to 28, counsels that antibiotics are not effective because they don’t address all of the infecting organisms now frequently found in ticks. Stephen Harrod Buhner, of Silver City, New Mexico, an independent scholar and citizen scientist and author of Healing Lyme Disease Coinfections, says that the bacteria have jumped species and found new hosts that live in habitats formerly occupied by wild animals: “They have learned to exist in humans and are teaching each other how to resist antibiotics and more easily infect us. What they do together in the body is a great deal more complex than what they do alone, making them difficult to treat. Bartonella species utilize the immune system of whatever mammal they infect as part of their infection strategy. Any existing inflammation in the body, such as arthritis, facilitates the growth of Bartonella.”

Essential Oils to Repel Ticks 1 cup distilled water 2 drops geranium essential oil 2 drops Palo Santo essential oil 1 drop myrrh essential oil 4 drops grapefruit essential oil 1 drop peppermint essential oil 1 drop Thieves hand soap or castile soap Place all ingredients in a spray bottle and shake. Spritz on socks, sneakers/ hiking boots, ankles and legs at a minimum and consider other exposed skin. The weaker or more compromised one’s immune system, the more likely a debilitating course of illness will occur. An improved immune system can identify the outer membrane proteins of the offending bacteria and create countering antibodies in four to eight months. “Once the immune system creates the proper antibodies, the bacteria

are then eliminated fairly rapidly,” advises Buhner. Makris is grateful that she saw a nutritionist trained in functional medicine. “He worked slowly and methodically to reduce the inflammation, build up my immune system and restore my digestive, endocrine and nervous systems before killing the bacteria and opening up natural detoxification pathways to flush out the bacteria and their endotoxins. We used weekly acupuncture appointments, good nutrition and homeopathic formulas, plus various herbs, vitamins and mineral supplements,” says Makris. Ticks in high-vegetation areas wait for a passing host. To avoid these hitchhikers, wear light-colored long pants tucked into socks. A shirt should also be tucked in. Later, strip down and search hair, underarms, legs, behind the knees and ears, and in the belly button. As commercial tick repellants contain toxic ingredients, a targeted mixture of topically applied, therapeutic-grade essential oils is preferred. Linda Sechrist is the senior staff writer for Natural Awakenings.

natural awakenings

June 2015


We Have an Inalienable Right to Know What We’re Eating

Gentle Remedies for

Weekend Warriors Homeopathic Medicines for Sports Injuries by Dana Ullman


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West Michigan Edition

growing number of professional athletes and weekend warriors are spelling relief h-o-m-e-o-pa-t-h-y. Founded on a reputation for helping people suffering from chronic diseases, natural homeopathic medicines also are becoming recognized for their effectiveness in treating common sports injuries. Using them is considered easier than conventional drugs in addressing acute injuries, because applying homeopathic solutions doesn’t require a high degree of individualized remedies. When two people have sprained ankles, for instance, they can each be helped along in their healing by a similar homeopathic remedy, but two people suffering from arthritis will generally require different remedies that are individualized according to each person’s pattern of symptoms. Note that homeopaths recommend that homeopathic medicine be taken in conjunction with, not as a replacement for, conventional first-aid measures.

Form of Doses Homeopathic medicines are available as single remedies or as formulas of two or more remedies mixed together. Single remedies are recommended for injuries when all symptoms point to one homeopathic medicine and it is better to use a stronger dose or higher potency not available in mixed formulas.

The use of several remedies in a formula provides a broad-spectrum effect not available in a single remedy. Because injuries sometimes involve muscle, nerve and bone tissues, it sometimes makes sense to use formulas to help heal the various tissues involved.

Frequency of Use When taking homeopathic medicines, experts generally recommend taking as few doses as possible, but as many as required to reduce symptoms. At first, in the face of a great amount of pain and discomfort, this may necessitate taking the appropriate remedy every hour. Usually, after four doses the frequency can be cut to every other hour; as the intensity of pain diminishes, dosing every four hours is common. If no improvement is noticeable after one or two days, it is generally recommended that the patient stop taking any further doses. Although most homeopathic remedies come in pill form for internal consumption, some are available in external applications; such ointments, gels and sprays provide similar effectiveness. Dana Ullman has a master’s degree in public health and is the founder of Homeopathic Educational Services. His books include The Homeopathic Revolution, Homeopathy A-Z, Homeopathic Medicines for Children and Infants and Discovering Homeopathy. For more information, visit

Indicated Homeopathic Treatments Three key medicines for sports injuries are Arnica for shock and trauma to soft tissue and muscle; Hypericum for shooting pains and trauma to nerves or parts of the body rich with nerves, such as the fingers, toes and back; and Calendula for cuts or open wounds to promote healthy new skin formation. The information here indicates external use for common injuries.


n Arnica immediately after injury, especially if there is n n n n n

swelling and soreness. Rhus tox for sprains with annoying stiffness. Bryonia for sprains with excruciating pain whenever the joint is moved. Ledum for easily sprained ankles that feel better when ice is applied. Calcarea carbonica for chronic ankle sprains and repetitive stress injury. Ruta for tendon injury (especially helpful for tennis elbow or carpal tunnel syndrome).


n Arnica immediately after injury, also later if there is soreness. n Hypericum for sharp shooting pains that accompany a


n Arnica immediately after injury, especially if there is

bruising and/or large swelling that is sensitive to touch. n Natrum sulphuricum for a head injury followed by irrita-

bility or depression; always seek professional treatment for a head injury.


n Calendula to help prevent infection in scrapes and open

wounds; for any open wound and for blisters; do not use arnica, but instead apply calendula topically. n Hypericum to speed healing and lessen shooting pain in wounds to the tongue, fingertips and toes. n Ledum to repair injury from puncture wounds.

Note: Most health food stores carry homeopathic medicines in the 30C potency, considered a mid-range strength that is safe to use when self-prescribing for the sports injuries described here. For severe injuries and emergency care, contact a certified FRACTURE n Arnica immediately after injury, especially if there is bruising. professional homeopath who can prescribe remedies in higher, n Bryonia for fractures with severe pain made worse by motion. more appropriate potencies. For a state-by-state directory, visit n Ruta for injuries to periosteum (bone-covering membrane), common with trauma to the shin, skull, elbow or Helpful Resources: Everybody’s Guide to Homeopathic Medkneecap. icines by Stephen Cummings, MD and Dana Ullman, MPH; n Symphytum to promote bone growth (only to be given Homeopathy for Musculoskeletal Healing by Asa Hershoff, after a fracture has been set). doctor of naturopathy and chiropractic n Calcarea phosphoric to speed the progress of slow-healSource: Dana Ullman, MPH (master of public health) and ing fractures. Dr. Lauri Grossman, doctor of chiropractic certified in classical homeopathy dislocation.

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June 2015


RETHINKING RECOVERY Holistic Approaches to Healing Addictions by Lisa Marshall


hrough 15 years of alcohol and prescription drug addiction, one prominent Virginia business owner tried it all to get clean: three inpatient rehab centers; talk therapy; Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA), spending roughly $200,000 in the process. “I would follow through for about a year, and then start to feel like I was on top of things and get complacent,” says the 52-year-old, who asked that her name not be used. She’d treat herself to “just one drink” and soon find herself in a familiar downward spiral. She last relapsed in October 2012. Three months later, she was on the interstate in the morning, a half-empty four-pack of mini wine bottles on her front seat, when she swerved and slammed head-on into a semi-trailer truck. She escaped her flattened car with minor head trauma, gratitude that her children didn’t have to “bury their drunk mother,” and a renewed will to sober up and rediscover happiness. Today, she’s done just that, thanks to a comprehensive, holistic approach that included hiring a life coach that specializes in addiction, overhauling her diet, making time for daily physical and spiritual exercises and reframing her addiction, not as a disease she is cursed with, but as a predisposition she has the power to keep at bay. 24

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“Yes. I was passed a gene by my alcoholic father. Yet that only becomes a threat to me when I make a choice to ingest something that cuts the beast loose,” she says. “I work hard every day, using a whole bunch of different tools to keep that from happening again.” She is one of a growing number of alcoholics and addicts reaching beyond the standard trifecta of 28-day rehabs, 12-step programs and psychotherapy toward an approach that addresses mind, body and spirit. More than 40 million Americans over the age of 12 (16 percent of the population) are addicted to alcohol or drugs, according to the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at New York City’s Columbia University. Yet the standard treatments yield lessthan-stellar success rates. Sixty percent of addicts return to drug use within a year after rehab, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and only 5 percent of AA attendees continue with meetings after 12 months, according to AA research. David Essel, a Fort Myers, Florida, life coach who specializes in working with substance abusers, says that when examining all the data, only about one in 10 addicts or alcoholics that use conventional means alone are still clean after one year. Fortunately, because

people vary widely in emotional needs and physiologies, other complementary options are also catching on.

Mending Brain and Body

Enter a group meeting for recovering addicts or alcoholics and chances are there will be a pot of black coffee, plus donuts or cookies. “Having poor eating habits is a primary contributing factor to relapse,” says Registered Dietitian David Wiss, founder of, which provides nutrition consulting for recovery programs in Los Angeles. Because substance abuse can deaden appetite and many of the same neurological circuits that drugs and alcohol stimulate are also activated by salty or sugar-laden foods, newly recovering addicts tend to be ravenous and drawn to junk food. “After 30 days in treatment, people can gain 10 to 30 pounds. They often turn back to addictive substances they’ve abused to get their appetite back under control,” says Wiss. (Because smoking deadens taste buds, drawing people to seek out more intense salty or sugary flavors, it exacerbates the problem.) In a subconscious attempt to get maximum stimulation of now-neglected reward centers in the brain, users often eat little most of the day, then binge later, leading to erratic blood sugar levels that can impact mood, further sabotaging recovery. After years of abuse, addicts also tend to suffer deficiencies of proteins and good fats—key building blocks of a healthy brain. “The brain has been rewired due to the use of substances. Without healing it, you can attend all the meetings in the world and you’ll still struggle with cravings,” reports Essel. He starts new clients with 500 milligrams (mg) daily of the dietary supplement DLphenylalanine, an amino acid precursor to feel-good neurotransmitters such as norepinephrine. He also gives them tyrosine, an energizing amino acid said to quell sugar cravings. For relieving a craving in progress, he recommends 500 to 1,000 mg of glutamine, placed under the tongue. Wiss says he generally recommends food over supplements, yet asking newly recovering addicts to also revamp their diets can be tough. “I wouldn’t expect anyone to make a big nutritional change in their first week of sobriety,” he says.

After that, he encourages small steps: Drink eight glasses of water per day. Eat three meals and three snacks to keep blood sugar stable. Load up on fiber, which can help heal the gut and replenish it with healthy bacteria. Eat plenty of lean protein to promote production of feel-good brain chemicals. Load up on nuts, seeds, fatty fish and other omega-3 fatty acids that suppress inflammation in the brain and have been shown in some studies to quell depression. Daily exercise is also key as Wiss notes that it “circulates our blood and gets all those healthy nutrients into our brain.” Physical activities can also help fill the void and even provide a new sense of identity for someone whose selfesteem has been shattered, says Scott Strode, founder of Denver, Colorado’s Phoenix Multisport, which hosts group cycling, running and climbing outings for recovering addicts and alcoholics. Strode kicked his own cocaine habit 18 years ago by immersing himself first in boxing, then climbing and triathlons. He founded Phoenix in 2007 to help fill what he sees as a gaping hole in recovery support services—a place where people with similar pasts can gather and talk without dwelling exclusively on their dependence issues. He has since served 15,000 people in Colorado, California, and Boston, offering 60 free outings a week for anyone at least 48 hours sober. “By being part of something like this, you can let go of the shame of

being the addict, the junkie or the one that let down the family. Now you are the climber or the mountain biker,” says Strode. He stresses that Phoenix programs aren’t intended to replace treatment. Still, “For some, just that redefining of self may be enough. For others, it’s a powerful tool in a broader toolbox.”

Beyond AA

Co-founded in 1935 by an alcoholic named Bill Wilson, Alcoholics Anonymous now has 2 million members and has played an important role in many successful recoveries. However, its Godbased approach (five of the 12 steps refer to God or Him), a credo that alcoholics must admit “powerlessness” and its emphasis on alcoholism as a defining disease aren’t for everyone. Naysayers point to a 2006 finding by the nonprofit Cochrane Collaboration that states, “No experimental studies unequivocally demonstrated the effectiveness of AA or 12-step approaches for reducing alcohol dependence or problems.” Such concerns have prompted some alternative recovery fellowships, including Moderation Management (, which helps people that want to drink less; and Smart Recovery (, which supports an ethos of self-empowerment via cognitive behavioral therapy, nutritional changes and group discussions. Other programs focus on renewing the soul by applying metaphysical practices to the traditional 12 steps.

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“The conventional 12 steps talk about a higher power outside of you,” says Ester Nicholson, a singer, author and addictions counselor. In her book Soul Recovery: 12 Keys to Healing Addiction, she describes a descent into crack cocaine addiction beginning in her teens, and the long climb out of it. At first, she says, the 12 steps helped her break free of what she calls the “spiritual malady, mental obsession and physical allergy,” that is addiction. But after a decade of being clean, followed by a nearrelapse, she discovered meditation and other spiritual practices. “I realized that this higher power can restore me to sanity, but the higher power is actually within me. I found this wonderful bridge between the 12 steps and universal spiritual principals, and it is rocking my world.” Patti Lacey, 54, an Essel client, likewise found lasting sobriety by extending her toolbox, learning to focus not only on past pain, but on bringing forth her best self. According to the International Coach Federation, which reports an uptick in interest in recovery coaching, a coach helps to establish individual goals and map a journey to success. Two years into recovery, Lacey still takes her supplements daily, rises at dawn to meditate, attends 12-step meetings and is part of a nondenominational church community. She also regularly meets with her coach to report progress and update goals, including getting a handle on her finances, a frequent casualty of addiction. “Everybody’s journey is different,” Lacey confirms. “What I needed was someone to tell me exactly what to do in the beginning, and then be around to hold me accountable. That changed everything.” Lisa Marshall is a freelance health writer in Boulder, CO. Connect at

Complementary Healing Tools by Lisa Marshall

Ear acupuncture: Since 1974, addiction specialists have used an ear acupuncture needling protocol to ease cravings, decrease anxiety and improve sleep during withdrawal. Numerous published studies in The Lancet, the Archives of Internal Medicine and others support its efficacy. More than 1,000 U.S. programs now use it, according to the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association ( Neurofeedback: Also known as EEG biofeedback, this technique uses electroencephalography sensors attached to the head to enable someone to observe their own brain wave activity on a computer and learn to intentionally alter it via visualization and relaxation techniques ( Aromatherapy: Life coach David Essel recommends three aromatherapy oils to clients in recovery: lavender, a relaxant; lemon grass, for energy; and frankincense, a mood-balancer. Ibogaine: This psychoactive brew derived from the West African shrub Tabernanthe iboga has been used ceremonially for centuries. In

the 1960s, an opioid addict accidentally discovered that after experiencing an intense, four-to-eighthour dreamlike “trip”, his cravings for heroin ceased. Deborah Mash, Ph.D., a professor of neurology and molecular and cellular pharmacology at the University of Miami, traveled to Amsterdam in the early 1990s to see if there was any truth to such cases. “I saw a man that was on heroin and cocaine and addicted to benzodiazepines undergo detox with no withdrawal signs, and in 36 hours look like a new person,” she recalls. She has been studying it ever since. The drug is believed to serve as an addiction interrupter, acting on opioid receptors in the brain to quell withdrawal symptoms. Some describe it as “resetting the brain” to a pre-addicted state. Ibogaine is illegal in the U.S. Some offshore clinics are providing it, but Mash warns that some are unscrupulous, so buyer beware. ( offers medically supervised Ibogaine therapy in Cancun, Mexico).

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Redefining Addiction:

The Link Between Trauma, Addiction and Recovery by Chitradevi Caradedios

“What is addiction really? It is a sign, a signal, a symptom of distress. It is a language that tells us about a plight that must be understood.” - Alice Miller (Breaking Down the Wall of Silence)


n the arena of addiction, there has been a long-standing debate. Is addiction a disease or just a moral deficiency? Unfortunately, many in society still hold the belief that addiction is simply a quest for “pleasure” by society’s outcasts. Fortunately, the stigmas and misperceptions around addiction and addictive behaviors are slowly coming under fire by those that see beyond its appearance and symptoms to the underlying causes of the addiction itself. According to Diland’s Medical Dictionary, a disease process is defined as “a definite morbid process having a characteristic chain of symptoms. It may affect the whole body or any of the parts and its etiology (cause), pathology and prognosis are known or unknown.” There are two basic categories; infectious, or that which is contracted from the outside and chronic, or long lasting conditions that can be controlled but not cured. With chronic aliments, the symptoms of the disease are just the surface reminders of a larger issue. By this definition, addiction is a chronic disease, just like diabetes or heart disease. Yet, unlike addiction, there is no stigma attached to diabetes, no moral deficiency associated with heart disease. So what, then, is addiction at its core? According to Nikki Myers, founder of the Yoga for 12 Step Recovery Program (Y12SR), addiction is anything used to escape an intolerable reality, whether that reality is something true or just perceived. This includes not only substance addictions but process addictions as well. Many people assume addiction involves only substances such as drugs and alcohol. The reality is that addiction involves a much broader range of


West Michigan Edition

the population than we realize because addiction has many guises. According to the Umbrella of Addiction model developed by Tennie McCarty of Shades of Hope treatment and recovery center, addictions include not only the use of substances such as illegal and prescription drugs and alcohol, but also substances such as nicotine, caffeine and food. They also include process and behavior addictions such as gambling, sex, power and control, relationships, exercise, shopping, cosmetic surgery, self-harming, work/activity and even media. All of these, and others, may be addictions if they are being used to escape the reality of how we feel, what we are doing with our lives and why or who we are or aren’t. But why are we trying to escape reality in the first place? What is the underlying cause? Dr. Peter Levine, Ph.D., author of the best selling Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma, suggests that although some addictive behaviors also may have a genetic component, most are maladaptive responses to unresolved trauma. “Trauma is”, Levine states, “on a broad level, anything from one’s life that remains trapped and unresolved causing disturbances at the biological, physiological, emotional, mental and/ or behavioral levels; traumatic events challenge and overwhelm our capacity to cope and respond physically and/or emotionally.” This trauma can be from a one time major event, such as a natural disaster, being attacked or being in an accident, or from ongoing developmental and/or relational trauma experienced by abused children or adults. In Johann Hari’s book, Chasing the Scream, he shares that research has shown there

is a stronger link between childhood trauma and addiction than there is between obesity and diabetes and at least two-thirds of addicts report being abused as children. Gabor Mate, MD, author of In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction, states that although all addiction isn’t always necessarily linked to severe trauma, “addictions always originate in pain whether felt openly or hidden in the unconscious. They (the addictions) are emotional anesthetics. The very same brain centers that interpret and ‘feel’ physical pain also become activated during the experience of emotional rejection. When people speak of feeling ‘hurt’ or having emotional ‘pain’, they are not being abstract or poetic but scientifically quite precise.” In other words, trauma or emotional or physical pain can literally prevent us from being able to cope with our reality using healthy means. Addictive behaviors are used instead. Based on this, in Mate’s estimation, the real question we need to ask then when looking at addiction, treatment and recovery is never “Why the addiction?” but is “Why the pain?” So why is this reframing of addiction so important? According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, more than 22 million Americans are substance abusers. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) estimates that we spend over $484 billion annually in treatment and recovery services for those addicted as well as services for those affected by people with addiction. This number does not include those that struggle with other forms of trauma or pain-induced addiction such as gambling, eating, shopping, etc. What’s more, with the current misperception of addiction, effective treatment is even harder to accomplish. At the most basic level of treatment, our misperceptions prevent the necessary compassion and understanding needed to help addicts that may not be able to achieve full recovery, to at least reduce self-harm. On more advanced treatment levels, these same misperceptions and biases don’t recognize, and therefore don’t treat, the underlying causes of addiction. This reduces the likelihood

of sustaining recovery even if it is achieved. With the NIDA estimating relapse rates of higher than 40%, many addiction doctors, therapists and recovery centers are looking for new ways to approach addiction treatment by addressing the underlying addiction factors of trauma and pain. They are treating the disease of addiction using methodologies geared toward treating trauma. This includes utilizing a whole body approach that works not only with processing the addiction itself on a cognitive level, like in 12- step programs or talk therapy, but also includes the work of reconnecting addicts with the body in order to work with the feelings of pain and trauma that are covered up by the addiction. Holistic therapies like yoga, meditation, breath work and somatic experiencing are all ways beginning to be successfully employed to treat addiction, and general public programs like Y12SR and Recovery 2.0 are making this holistic type of approach available to more and more people. Even with this new understanding and approach to treatment, there is still a long way to go in the fight against addiction. The current addiction cycle is still largely aided and abetted by the misperception of who addicts are, why they are addicted and, therefore, how they should be treated—both for recovery and as human beings. Breaking the cycle requires thinking outside the existing treatment and recovery boxes and creating a new, more effective treatment paradigm. It requires that we overhaul and redefine what we believe we know about addicts and addiction. It requires the willingness to accept addiction as the disease it is and to recognize the pain and trauma people with addictions are dealing with. Only with this level of compassion and understanding is there the possibility for true healing and sustainable recovery for all addicts.

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Chitradevi Caradedios, MS, E-RYT is a Transformative Wellness Educator & Provider at Journey Home Yoga and Health in Ada. For more information, visit or call 616780-3604. See ad, page 17.

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June 2015


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HIDDEN TREASURES Neighbors Discover Their Wealth of Resources by John McKnight and Peter Block

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he essential promise of consumerism is that everything fulfilling or needed in life can be purchased— from happiness to healing, from love to laughter and from raising a child to caring for someone at the end of life. What was once the task of relatives and neighbors has been outsourced, costing the family its capacity to manage traditionally provided necessities. The community has been replaced by paid professionals and technology. Until the 20th century, the basic philosophy of rearing children was that they become effective grownups by connecting with productive adults and learning the community’s skills, traditions and customs from them. Youth had key household jobs to do. When they became adults, they were thus equipped to care both for the next generation and for those that had cared for them. Today, the most effective communities are those in which neighborhoods and residents have reclaimed their traditional roles. The research on this point is decisive. Where there are “thick” community connections, there is positive child development. Health improves, the environment is sustained and people are safer and have a stronger local economy. Neighbors Naomi Alessio and Jackie Barton were talking about family challenges when Alessio noted her son Theron’s encouraging turnaround after he began voluntarily learning metalworking skills with Mr. Thompson in his garage shop. Alessio could see Theron change and finally stopped worrying about what he was doing after school. Barton admitted that her son Alvin was in trouble, and asked Alessio if there might be someone in the neighborhood

whose skills would interest him. They discovered enough diverse talent for all the kids in the neighborhood to tap into. Three of the men they met— Charles Wilt, Mark Sutter and Sonny Reed—joined Alessio, Barton and Thompson in finding out what the kids on the block were interested in learning. Also, why not ask the kids what they knew? They found 22 things the young people knew that might be of interest to some adults on the block. The six neighbors named themselves the Matchmakers and created a neighborhood website. Many neighbors also formed a band, plus a choir led by Sarah Ensley, an elder who’d been singing all her life. Charles Dawes, a police officer, formed an intergenerational team to make the block a safe haven for everyone. Lenore Manse decided to write family histories with photos and persuaded neighborhood historian Jim Caldwell and her best friend, Lannie Eaton, to help. Wilt suggested that the Matchmakers welcome newcomers by giving them a copy of the block history, and then updating it with information about each new family. Three years later, at the annual block party, Barton summed up the neighborhood’s accomplishment: “All the lines are broken; we’re all connected. We’re a real community now.” Adapted from an article by John McKnight and Peter Block for YES! Magazine that appears in its anthology, Sustainable Happiness. They are co-authors of The Abundant Community: Awakening the Power of Families and Neighborhoods (Abundant 

natural awakenings

June 2015


communityspotlight by Amanda Grasmeyer


ears ago, an 8th grade student decided she wanted to be a massage therapist. As her life progressed, Jen Gemski, owner of Prana House Reiki & Massage in downtown Grand Rapids, made strides to make sure she did just that. “I’m one of those very rare and fortunate people in that I’ve kind of always known what I wanted to do and it just worked out that I actually really enjoy it as well,” says Gemski as she adds, “It’s a big part of who I am.” A graduate of the Naturopathic Institute of Therapies and Education, Gemski has been in the massage field since 2004 working in various locations such as a gym, a spa, her home and now, for the past year, at her space in the Cooper’s Landing building off Monroe. As the name suggests, Prana House Reiki & Massage offers more than the typical massage, in that Gemski is also a certified Reiki practitioner. As Gemski explains, “Reiki is a Japanese healing technique, done for relaxation. It’s not invasive. The practitioner places the hands above or on the client, and it is a therapy on its own - a touch therapy or an energetic therapy - and the practitioner is the channel that allows the energy to flow through them to the client.” Adding Reiki to her practice, Gemski has opened the door to a new level of massage, allowing her clients to really let go of whatever it is that is

holding them back in life. She says, “The goal is to bring the client to a level of sustainable healing that is acquired through not only regular massage, but also awakening a deeper awareness of self through reiki.” While Gemski obviously found her passion at a young age and is lucky to be able to practice it daily, she truly strives for her clients to experience practicing what they’re passionate about daily as well. She says, “I really want that for other people too. I try to listen to what people say and their frustrations. I think a lot of people’s stress comes from being in the wrong field. If I can inspire people to chase after what they really want, that makes me happy.” With Prana House, Gemski is able to help people live happier, healthier, pain free lives – showing them what healthy feels like as opposed to just being pain free, allowing people to be active and not worry about falling apart. Of her practice, Gemski admits, “Relaxation is just the first step. The things that come from there are what you’re really after.” She further explains, “I always try to keep myself in the background for the clients so it’s clear that I’m not the one ‘fixing’ them, but they have the power to make the changes. It’s their choice to walk in the door and take advantage of the time they’ve set aside for themselves.” As more and more people crave the potential of a happier, healthier, pain

free lifestyle, setting aside time to take care of ourselves is imperative and the ever-evolving field of massage therapy can be an ideal use of that time. Gemski embraces the changes that come with being in the massage therapy field and says, “If you want more, there’s always going to be more. There are always different therapies coming on and new techniques. There is always something to learn/somewhere to grow, and to be able to pass what I learn onto my clients is great.” Gemski also enjoys partaking in small events, being outside and even taking her office into the woods. Just this past month, for example, she was a part of the Yankee Springs Trail Run, offering massages to 10k, half marathon, marathon and double marathon runners. She continues to seek other opportunities to be involved in small events and to bring her work to the communities of the greater Grand Rapids area. There is no doubt that Gemski loves what she does at Prana House Reiki & Massage and, even more so, there is no doubt that through her services, she’s helping people find happiness and health while living pain free. For more information on Prana House Reiki & Massage, call 616-970-3003, visit or find Prana House Reiki & Massage on Facebook. See ad, page 30. Amanda Grasmeyer is a frequent contributor to Natural Awakenings Magazine. You can contact her at

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West Michigan Edition

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June 12 - 14

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Walking The Cat Harness a Curious Cat for a Lively Stroll by Sandra Murphy


ats live longer these days, due to improved food, regular veterinary care and indoor living, but there’s another aspect of health to consider. To thrive, cats need mental and physical stimulation, which outdoor adventures naturally deliver. “Leash walking’s a great way for cats to get fresh air, exercise and explore,” says Utica, New York, Veterinarian Debra M. Eldredge, author of Cat Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook. Kitty’s senses are activated in such expanded horizons. For trips outside the yard, Eldredge advises, “Choose your places and times; you don’t want to mingle with joggers and skateboarders.” Cats have definite preferences. “Jagger walks around the block with my husband, Rob,” says Anna Easteden, an actress in Los Angeles. Jagger has no problems with dogs he meets, but not all cats are so tolerant. “Star walks only in the yard, companioned by Fuzzy and Boots.” All four are microchipped in case of an escape. Carrie Aulenbacher, of Erie, Pennsylvania, author of The Early Bird Café, first got her cat Daisy used to a harness indoors before venturing outside. “Now he runs to the door and meows to go out,” she says. Daisy’s been hiking for 10 years. View some of his adventures at Boston insurance underwriting assistant, cat blogger and artist Koshka Koh routinely walks her Abyssinian therapy cat, Jake. “We can’t hurry. People ask questions and want to pet him. They say, ‘I wish my cat could do that.’”

Good to Know Tips

The Best Friends Animal Society, in Kanab, Utah, averages 625 cats in residence and Society Manager Michelle Warfle supports an enriched environment. “We teach as many cats as possible to leash walk,” she says. Her tips include: Don’t

June is Adopt-a-Cat Month 34

West Michigan Edition

Photo courtesy of Best Friends Animal Society

buttermilk j amboree


progress too quickly, keep walks fun and use a harness, not the collar. Warfle’s own cat, Earl, hikes about two miles before tiring. A backpack-like pet carrier lets a feline take a break. Adapt the walk’s length or location to a pet’s age and physical limitations, such as arthritis. “Jabez always loved to walk on Ventura’s wet sandy beaches,” says Californian Kac Young, a naturopath with a Ph.D. in natural health. “His second choice was a trip to Home Depot to ride in the cart.” Now 18, Jabez doesn’t travel as often. Routinely check kitty’s neck, tail, stomach and inner thighs to pick off fleas and ticks after an outing before they become a bigger problem. (For an infestation of fleas, comb the cat with natural dishwashing detergent and water to drown them and rinse kitty afterward.) Pet-grade diatomaceous earth is safe to rub into her fur and bedding. Consider yard plants like mint, lemongrass, sage and lavender to repel bugs. Multiple studies suggest catnip, which kitty can roll in, may be an even more effective mosquito repellant than the toxic DEET (mosquitoes spread heartworm). Cat companions agree that when kitty explores a blade of grass or pounces on a blowing leaf, it presents a delightful opportunity to be in the moment. A change of pace benefits those on both ends of the leash. Connect with Sandra Murphy at StLouisFreelanceWriter@

Cat Walk Savvy by Darlene Arden n Cats need to get used to an idea before embracing it. Proceed slowly. n A collar is for ID tags, not walking—a cat can wiggle out of a collar. A harness, properly fitted at the pet supply store, is best. Designate a comfortable, padded, wider harness solely for walking, not to restrain the cat in the car (a crate is safer). n Let a cat see and smell the harness before putting it on. Small treats help. Don’t let the cat bat it like a toy. Put the harness on for short spans each day until he’s used to it—cats tend to fall over, “paralyzed”, when it’s first introduced. n After the harness has been worn comfortably, add the leash and let him drag it around in an enclosed outdoor space. Never use a flexi-lead/retractable leash. A six-foot bungee (stretchy) or woven leash allows space to explore without getting tangled in a bush or beyond reach. n Leash walk around the house without pulling, yanking or dragging—just do some pet-paced walking. n Don’t force the next step, because the outdoors can be a big, scary place; most cats need to observe first before exploring. n Use lots of praise and treats. Darlene Arden is a certified animal behavior consultant from Boston and author of The Complete Cat’s Meow and Beautiful Cats. natural awakenings

June 2015



MANLY FOODS Boost Testosterone with the Right Choices by Kathleen Barnes

Today’s rates of male infertility and sexual dysfunction suggest that low testosterone is rapidly becoming a national problem.


ohns Hopkins School of Medicine epidemiologists estimate that 18.4 percent of all American men over the age of 20, totaling 18 million, have reported experiencing erectile dysfunction. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 7.5 percent of all sexually experienced men under 45, or more than 4 million, have consulted a fertility doctor, suggesting it’s a serious problem among younger men. “Both erectile dysfunction and infertility reflect elements of lifestyle choices, especially obesity, smoking and exposure to environmental toxins,” says Naturopath James Occhiogrosso, of Fort Myers, Florida, author of Your Prostate, Your

Libido, Your Life: A Guide to Causes and Natural Solutions for Prostate Problems and He says there are many ways to address low testosterone, a factor in both issues, and a healthy diet is crucial for healthy sexual function in both men and women. Some foods can help, while others can hinder a man’s sexual vitality, advises Craig Cooper, of Newport Beach, California, founder of the CooperativeHealth network of men’s health websites and author of Your New Prime: 30 Days to Better Sex, Eternal Strength, and a Kick Ass Life After 40. He identifies key no-nos that decrease testosterone as eating excess sugar, drinking excessive alcohol and being sedentary. Here are the best foods for increasing testosterone. Shrimp: Like fatty fish, this tiny

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crustacean is one of nature’s few food sources of vitamin D, which Harvard School of Public Health research confirms is linked to testosterone levels. Four ounces of shrimp contain 162 IU (international units), about 40 percent of recommended daily intake. Oysters, red meat and pumpkin seeds: All of these are rich sources of zinc, which Cooper notes has a direct link to higher testosterone levels. He cautions, however, that too much zinc can cause its absorption to diminish. Men need 11 milligrams (mg) of zinc a day. Oysters are considered a food of love for a reason: One shelled oyster contains 12.8 mg of zinc. Pumpkin seeds are zinc powerhouses with 7 mg in 3.5 ounces. By comparison, 3 ounces of beef liver or dark chicken meat deliver 4.3 mg and 2.4 mg, respectively. Lean, grass-fed beef, tuna and nuts: These are high-quality sources of omega-3 fatty acids. “Without obtaining at least 20 percent of our daily calories from fat (no less than 15 percent) we can’t function at optimum capacity, as hormones are produced through the components of dietary fats, including the sex hormones like testosterone,” advises Virginia Beach, Virginia, Registered Dietitian Jim White, a spokesman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “A diet high in carbohydrates and too much dietary fat—more than 35 percent—will cause a gain in body fat, which can decrease testosterone levels. Balance is the key.” Broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage: Cruciferous vegetables are rich sources of indole-3-carbinol, which helps both

balance testosterone and estrogen, and neutralize excess estrogen in men and women, says Occhiogrosso. Yes, men have estrogen, too, just less than women, and too much blocks testosterone production. Red grapes: This whole food is a good source of resveratrol and proanythocyanidin, which block harmful estrogen production, says White. Excess estrogen production spurred by eating foods like soy and flax and the growth hormones contained in big agriculture’s meat and dairy products lowers testosterone production in men. Strawberries: Due to their cortisollowering vitamin C, all berries help reduce stress, including when hormones are released during a heavy workout that can hamper testosterone production. One study published in the International Journal of Sports Medicine confirms that more cortisol equals less testosterone; another in the World Journal of Men’s Health shows that high cortisol lowers sex drive and results in

delayed ejaculation. Plus, two Brazilian studies showed animals with the highest vitamin C intake had the highest sperm counts among study subjects. Another good cortisol fighter is the allicin in garlic. Pomegranates: Occhiogrosso likes pomegranates for building testosterone levels. An impressive study from the International Journal of Impotence Research showed that the performance of 47 percent of the impotent male study participants improved after consuming a daily glass of pomegranate juice for four weeks. “Food is always the first choice when I’m treating men with testosterone and fertility issues,” says Occhiogrosso. “It’s often effective without the dangers of testosterone injections.”


Kathleen Barnes is the author of numerous health books, including Food Is Medicine: 101 Prescriptions from the Garden. Connect at

A hormone panel should include blood and/or saliva tests of the following:


ealth counselor James Occhiogrosso says it’s essential to know a man’s entire hormone profile, not just testosterone levels, to understand the best way to treat problems.

4 Testosterone 4 Free testosterone

Body Building Doesn’t Build Testosterone

4 SHBG (sex hormone binding globulin)

any people think that bodybuilders define he-man muscles by producing huge amounts of testosterone. Not so, says Naturopath James Occhiogrosso, who specializes in men’s health. “Bodybuilders consume huge amounts of protein to build muscles,” he says. “When a man’s pumping 100 to 150 grams of protein into his body every day, he will actually produce less testosterone.” For healthy testosterone levels, he recommends that a man derive a maximum of 25 percent of his daily calories from protein.

4 Progesterone and estradiol (hor mones not only present in women)


4 DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone), a precursor, or foundational hormone, that produces both estrogen and testosterone

natural awakenings

June 2015


Pass the Honey, Honey W

hile many people turned to artificial sweeteners after uncovering the many dangers of sucrose (table sugar), turning rather to an alternative sweetener may be a much better option, because local, raw honey isn’t just sweet, it has sweet rewards too. Honey is a natural sweetener and can replace sucrose in most cases. Because of its carbohydrate content, honey is a great energy booster. It’s also a very versatile ingredient, and can be used to add flavor and/or to help baked goods retain moisture or even as a binder/thickener for sauces and dressings. Beyond food uses, honey can also be used as a beauty product. Being a humectant, meaning it attracts and retains moisture; honey’s great for the skin and can be added to moisturizers, shampoos or soaps and even used in the treatment of minor burns. Also, due to its antimicrobial properties, it soothes sore throats and some people have even claimed that consuming local honey helps them deal with their allergies. However, arguably the best part about local, raw honey is that there’s absolutely nothing artificial about it. What exactly is raw honey? According to the National Honey Board, raw honey is “honey as it exists in the beehive or as obtained by extraction.” 38

West Michigan Edition

by Amanda Grasmeyer It is honey (nectar from flowers) that is pure, unheated, unpasteurized and unprocessed. This is perhaps one of the most important characteristics and health benefits of the final product, as it preserves all the natural vitamins, enzymes, phytonutrients and other nutritional elements. Much of the honey found on grocery store shelves is not raw, meaning it’s been subjected to high temperatures and finely filtered to keep it in liquid form for a longer period of time as it sits on the shelf. However, all pure honey eventually crystalizes. Buying honey from a local beekeeper is a great way for consumers to know exactly where their honey came from and the quality of the product they are consuming. Jonathan Englesma of

Jonathan Engelsma standing in his apiary. The bees produced a good honey crop during the summer of 2014, as the weather conditions were really good in the West Michigan area - just enough rain to keep the nectar bearing plants blooming, but not too much as to prevent the bees from foraging.

Hudsonville Honey has been working with bees since 1984 and shares, “Unless it is a local label you recognize you really don’t have a good way for knowing the source of much of the honey on the shelves in your larger retail grocery store, especially if the honey is not produced in the USA. Even if it is produced in the USA, chances are it is coming from a larger honey packer and is what we call a ‘blend honey’.” Blend honeys are honeys from all over the US, combined and packaged together for a consistent color/flavor, as opposed to honey from a local beekeeper which will be produced from local flora and will have a distinct, pleasant flavor and not the sort of bland homogenous flavor honeys from larger

A fresh comb of honey in the process of being “capped” with beeswax by worker bees.

packers have. The local honey will also vary in color/flavor based on the time of the year and what the bees have been foraging on. West Michigan is home to numerous apiaries (collections of beehives), owned and operated by bee-enthusiasts and offers plenty of opportunities for its residents to purchase local, raw honey. The Michigan Beekeeper’s Association notes that September is traditionally the height of the honey harvesting season. Therefore, September has also been deemed National Honey Month, a time to promote and encourage beekeeping in the United States as beekeeping becomes more and more important due to the alarming rate at which the honeybees are dying. Saving the bees is imperative as the benefits of honey are vast, but honey aside, the bees themselves are remarkable creatures. Englesma says, “I love

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Photos courtesy of Jason Pozner, MD

nothing better than to be out working in the apiary on a warm summer afternoon. The social harmony and manner in which individual bees sacrificially place the welfare of the greater colony above their own and their amazing productivity reminds me of how wonderfully our Creator created us originally, and how far short human society falls from the mark. Personally, I find this very inspiring. We can learn a lot from bees if we spend enough time with them and learn their ways.” Incorporating honey into our diets and into our medicine cabinets will, in return, better our health, put a greater demand on honey and encourage the suppliers of honey to grow their supply, allowing the honeybee population to thrive in their hives. We can “bee” the difference, saving the honeybees and saving ourselves from artificial sweeteners with this sweet alternative.

Photos courtesy of Jason Pozner, MD

Mieke Engelsma holds two beautiful frames of comb honey ready to be cut into squares and packaged.

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natural awakenings

June 2015




DADS How They Raise Conscious Kids by Lane Vail


athers are more involved in their children’s lives than ever before, embracing their roles of leader, nurturer and protector, and they’re reaping extraordinary benefits. According to a 2014 study published in the Academy of Management Perspectives, fathers that spend more time with their kids are both happier at home and more satisfied at work. Today, many mindful dads engaged in a natural lifestyle apply that same health consciousness to their parenting. Support Mama. Natural fathering begins during pregnancy, with an informed birth plan. “Support whatever birthing decision the woman feels will provide her the most comfort and relaxation,” advises Dr. John Douillard, an ayurvedic chiropractor and author of six books, including Perfect Health for Kids. Hold her hand, rub her back, advocate for her rights and after the birth, support her efforts to breastfeed whenever, wherever and however long she wants. “Fathers should recognize that the burden of care is clearly on the mother for at least the first year, so her opinions and wishes deserve special consideration and respect,” says Ben Hewitt, father of two, home unschooler and author of The Nourishing Homestead. Embrace physical closeness. Bonding through nurturing touch is powerful and rewarding for father and child. A recent study published in the Journal of Perinatal Education found that fathers that practiced infant massage experienced significant stress release and bonding with their offspring. Wearing a baby or toddler


West Michigan Edition

in a sling, wrap or carrier is another comforting way to spend time together. Co-sleeping helps foster a more natural sleep rhythm with a nocturnally hungry baby, while also offering another way to connect. “Any stress my family may have experienced during the day dissipated when we reconnected at nighttime,” Hewitt attests. “Looking back, I can’t imagine having missed out on that opportunity to be so close with my kids.” Feed healthy habits. Natural dads are educated about both naturopathic and Western medicine to make informed choices regarding prevention and intervention. Douillard applies the ayurvedic principle of seasonal eating in order to bolster the immune systems of his six children and clients. Cooling foods like fruits and vegetables in summer prevent overheating; warming foods like soups, nuts and meats in winter lubricate mucus membranes and facilitate fat and protein storage; light foods like leafy greens in spring detoxify the body. His experience is that when kids with robust immunity catch the occasional malady, its severity and duration are reduced, and natural herbs often provide a gentle first step toward recovery. Douillard treats colds with a spoonful of equal parts turmeric and honey mixed into a paste. “Turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory and antiviral herb that also helps liquefy mucus in the respiratory tract,” he says. For tummy troubles, he suggests offering kids an herbal tea of cumin, coriander or fennel. Above all, parents must exemplify good health habits. “Eat better, exercise

When dads are calm and present, they become a calming presence. ~Hal Runkel regularly, change your diet with the local season and your kids will follow along,” says Douillard. Impart green morals. Earth-conscious parents teach their children how to leave a faint ecological footprint by supporting local eco-friendly companies, reducing the presence of toxic chemicals in the home and consuming and wasting less. However, wagging a finger and imploring kids to be ecofriendly is not enough; model helpful behaviors and illustrate the implications of their choices. “Instead of saying, ‘You should recycle,’ show kids online pictures of the giant flotillas of plastics polluting the oceans,” says Hewitt. Maintain an experiential dialogue about respecting, preserving and enjoying nature. Encourage adventure and resourcefulness. “Historically,” says Hewitt, “children learned alongside their parents and community, immersed in their environment, an arrangement that allowed them continual opportunities to prove their own resourcefulness.” All dads, like homeschoolers, will find satisfying fun in sharing problem-solving, hands-on projects with their kids, like building a debris shelter in the woods, planting a garden, or using repurposed materials to engineer something with form and function. Learning doesn’t have to be a hierarchical activity, wherein dads teach children, says Hewitt. “The opportunity to learn and explore together is powerful.” Play. Hewitt encourages dads to look for opportunities to relieve kids of their often overwhelming and scattered schedules. “It’s incredibly important for kids and adults to set aside time for free play and exploration,” he says. “Go outside with them,” says Douillard. “Make up games, goof off, run around, roll around and just be with them. It makes a world of difference in their lives.” Lane Vail is a freelance writer in South Carolina and blogger at Discovering

Cool Daddy by Lane Vail


n terms of discipline, natural fathering is neither tough nor timid, punishing nor permissive. The mindful dad is calm, connected and capable. He’s able to harness introspection and observe himself as he parents, because he focuses more on managing his own behavior than that of his kids. “Fathering is a leadership role, not a management role,” says Hal Runkel, a licensed marriage and family therapist and author of the bestseller ScreamFree Parenting. “If I manage myself with calmness and clarity, I can lead my children to learn to manage themselves.” Runkel says the first step is “committing to cool.” Find an anxiety- or anger-managing technique that feels natural, such as meditation, yoga, deep breathing, visualization, prayer or counting beads on a bracelet, and call on that skill to maintain coolness when challenged by a child, advises Runkel. It’s a misconception that emotions need to be released or they will consume us, he says. “Emotions just are; it’s the thoughts about emotions that drive us crazy.” Learning to name, tame and befriend feelings through introspection and mindful exercises allows space for calm conversations with children to emerge. “We fathers have a special responsibility to lead with calm because we are physically imposing in children’s eyes,” he says. “The approachable dad has teachable kids, and he lets natural and logical consequences do the teaching.” natural awakenings

June 2015


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


Dad’s Save- Dad’s save $10 on any massage Monday-Friday during the month of June from Great Massages by Melissa! Text 616-528-8502 or email for more information. 1345 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids. OPI Polish Sale- Stop by CJ’s Studio Salon where OPI Nail Polish will be 50% off for the month of June. Regularly priced at $8, this is a great opportunity to try some new summer colors! 5286 Plainfield NE, Grand Rapids.


Health & Wellness Talk-6:15pm. Learn about chiropractic as a lifestyle. Come with questions! We provide a light dinner and give you a thank you for anyone who joins! RSVP to join. This event is open to the public and families are encouraged to attend. 388 N. Third St., Fruitport. Guided Meditation and Healing Circle- 7-8pm. Escape from stress and discover an inner world of calm, peace & joy through guided meditation, and energy healing from Healing in America-Trained Healers. $5 donation. Holistic Care Approach, 3368 Beltline Ct., NE, Grand Rapids.


Open House- 12:30-2pm. Gaslight Family Chiropractic is hosting our first Open House to introduce our new chiropractor, Dr. Monica Rasmussen and also our new massage therapist, Megan. Come for free chair massages, office tours, light appetizers and refreshments. 2249 Wealthy St. Ste. 240, Grand Rapids. Yoga for Golfers- 6-8pm. Stretch, strengthen and improve your game with Marti DeLong. Bring a club with you. $20., 616-361-8580. Expressions of Grace Yoga, 5270 Northland Dr. NE, Grand Rapids.

calendarofevents Visit for guidelines and to submit entries. All Calendar events must be submitted online by the 15th of the month prior to publication. Denotes an event sponsored by Natural Awakenings Magazine West Michigan. Sing Song Yoga- noon-12:30pm for ages 2-6 with parents, 12:45-1:30pm for ages 6-11. Introduce your children to the joys of yoga in an age-appropriate class full of music, movement and merriment! Costs vary by class. Learn more and register online at The Yoga Studio, 955 Cherry St. SE, Grand Rapids.




Summer SUPSeries- Join Ecotrek Fitness on Mondays or Tuesdays for Fitness on the Board with Chris Armstrong, a 4-week mini-series in June integrating standup paddle boarding and fitness. Classes are 1.5 hours long. $80 for all four or $30 for one. RSVP at SignUp@EcotrekFitness. com. Locations and times to be announced.


Summer SUPSeries- Join Ecotrek Fitness on Mondays or Tuesdays for Fitness on the Board with Chris Armstrong, a 4-week mini-series in June integrating standup paddle boarding and fitness. Classes are 1.5 hours long. $80 for all four or $30 for one. RSVP at SignUp@EcotrekFitness. com. Locations and times to be announced.


Unity Gently Used Sale- June 12-13, 9am-6pm. Join us and find gently used items available for purchase at a discounted price. 6025 Ada Dr. SE, Ada.

Innovations in Neuropathic Pain- 5:30pm. As a compounding pharmacist, Dr. Miller is uniquely qualified to assist both patients and prescribers with their most challenging cases of neuropathic pain. Seating is limited. Q & A will be included. RSVP’s encouraged to Keystone Pharmacy, 4021 Cascade Rd. SE, Grand Rapids. Reiki Share- 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 616-443-4225. The Remedy House, 5150 Northland Dr. Grand Rapids.


Healing Circle at Spirit Space- 7pm. Come raise your vibrations with like-minded people. We radiate our loving, healing energy to those in need. We also send energy and peace to our communities and to the world. We are one. Call 616-836-1555 or visit for more information. Saugatuck.



Urantia Book Study- 11am-noon. Join Spirit Space as we focus our attention on paper 1: The Universal Father. Following the book study, for those who would like to stay, we will meditate and journal from 12:05pm - 1:15pm. Call Jim Cooper for more information at 269-857-2287. Saugatuck.

Parks and Preserves Showcase- 2pm. Enjoy a hike through one of West Michigan’s most breath-taking natural areas, Rosy Mound Natural Area. We will see a classic healthy dune ecosystem, in addition to seeing the results of years of invasive spotted knapweed management. Visit StewardshipNetwork. org for more information. 13925 Lakeshore Dr., Grand Haven.

West Michigan Edition


Kombucha Workshop- 6:30pm. Learn the health benefits of, and how to make this tasty fermented drink, including flavoring tips! Register by June 6 and save $5. Facilitator: Janis Lutz Naturopath Educator and Health Coach. Fee includes starter scoby and recipes. Moondrop Herbals, 351 Cummings NW, Grand Rapids. 616 735-1285.

Restorative Sound Journey- 7-9pm. Weave together elements of yoga and live acoustic music and go on a deep, relaxing inward journey with Jeremy Arndt and Nancy Grzeszak at On The Path Yoga. For more information call 616-935-7028 or visit OnThePathYoga. com. 701 E. Savidge #3, Spring Lake.


Secrets to Sleep- 7-8pm. Do you feel tired during the day? Do you have a hard time falling asleep? Come hear some secrets for Healthy Sleep in our Conversations with Barb series. Holistic Care Approach, 3368 Beltline Ct. NE, Grand Rapids.

Restorative Yoga & Yoga Nidra- 6:30-8:30pm. Join Jessica Roodvoets for a relaxing evening with two different stress-reduction modalities. $30-35., 616-361-8580. Expressions of Grace Yoga, 5270 Northland Dr. NE, Grand Rapids.

Usui Reiki I & II- June 13-14, 10am-5pm. These are the beginning classes for Usui Reiki. Cost of $225 includes a non-refundable $75 deposit prior to class. Learn how to use the Reiki energy, overview of the chakras system, hand positions and a meditation to meet your spirit guides. For more info visit To register call 800-260-4544. Hickory Corners.

Karuna® Reiki Level 1 & 2- June 6-7, 10am-5pm. Costs $225 with non-refundable deposit of $75 for each class required. These are the beginning levels of Karuna® Reiki focusing on compassionate action to be used on yourself and others. It’s the next step for the serious Reiki Practitioner. For more info visit ReikiConnect. com. To register call 800-260-4544. Hickory Corners.

Chiropractic Wellness Talk- 6:15pm. Learn about chiropractic as a lifestyle. Come with questions! We provide a light dinner and give you a thank you for anyone who joins! RSVP to join. This event is open to the public and families are encouraged to attend. 388 N. Third St., Fruitport.

Eckankar- 10-11am. Join the monthly ECK Worship Service, “What is Spiritual Freedom?” Services are the second Sunday of each month. Free. Dominican Center at Marywood, Room 4, 2025 E Fulton, Grand Rapids.


Wise Women Workshop- 7-8:30pm. For women dedicated to personal development and expression who are ready to awaken, connect, and empower their inner wise woman with the support and camaraderie of other women. Workshops include activity, guided visual meditation and a personalized individual message for each participant based on class topic. 616-935-7028, Spring Lake.


Sunrise Yoga on Spring Lake- 8am. Enjoy watching the sunrise over Spring Lake with a gentle Sun Salutation practice on Spring Lake Beach. Free, donations accepted to local parks and recreation funding. In case of bad weather, classes will move to On The Path Yoga’s studio. 616-935-7028, Spring Lake.

Writing as a Spiritual Practice Retreat- 6pm, June 19-8pm, June 20. Come to the Dominican Center at Marywood for the fourth annual Spiritual Writing Retreat. Explore the power of the pen to deepen your relationship with yourself as a sacred being and with the Divine. 2025 E. Fulton St., Grand Rapids.


Fire of Transformation Advanced Practice- 6:308:15pm. Join Mimi Ray at Expressions of Grace Yoga, 5270 Northland Dr. NE, Grand Rapids., 616-361-8580.



Unity at Grand Rapids Pride- Come see our table and support our LGBT community at the Grand Rapids Pride Festival at the Calder Plaza in downtown Grand Rapids. 616-682-7812. SunRise Yoga Benefit- 8:30am. Vinyasa Yoga: Union of breath, movement, and mindfulness from 8:30-9:30am. Zentangle Art Workshop: Meditative & mindful art from 9:45 –10:45am. Silent Auction from 8:30am –noon. Donation based. All profits will benefit Kids Food Basket, GR. Cottage of Natural Elements, 351 Cummings NW, Grand Rapids. 616-735-1285. Urantia Book Study- 11am-noon. Join Spirit Space as we focus our attention on paper 1: The Universal Father. Following the book study, for those who would like to stay, we will meditate and journal from 12:05pm – 1:15pm. Call Jim Cooper for more information at 269-857-2287. Saugatuck. Good Vibrations- 1-3:30pm. Come to Cascade Yoga Studio for Understanding and Balancing Your Chakras with Susan Duesbery. Learn about the energy centers in your body and help promote vibrant health and greater joy. 5060 Cascade Rd. SE, Grand Rapids., 616-464-1610. Yoga Teacher Training Information Session- 7:358:30pm. For those interested in deepening their understanding and practice of yoga or becoming a yoga teacher, join Mimi Ray of Mimi Ray Yoga at Expressions of Grace Yoga, 5270 Northland Dr. NE, Grand Rapids., 616-361-8580.


Summer Solstice- 10am-noon. Join all of your favorite teachers from Seva for 108 Sun Salutations at Manhattan Park to celebrate the summer solstice. Event is FREE and open to all levels. 430 Manhattan Rd. East Grand Rapids.


Robotics and Coding Summer Camps- June 2226, 9am. Sylvan Learning is proud to offer coding, robotics and math camps this summer! On the cutting edge of STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) education, we’ve got you covered. Call today to reserve your spot: 231-799-0613. Muskegon. Summer Labryinth Walk- To walk a sacred path is to know and trust that there is guidance to help us live our lives. Come learn about the labyrinth, walk its path and learn to listen for the longing. $20. Dominican Center at Marywood, 2025 E. Fulton St., Grand Rapids. Drumming Circle at Spirit Space- 7pm. Come celebrate summer solstice on the beautiful grounds of Spirit Space. All are welcome! Call 616-8361555 or visit for more information. Saugatuck.

Essential Oil Workshop- 5-7pm. Therapeutic Grade Oils - Learn and understand essential oils how they work and how to use them. Workshop fee $25. Call 616-443-4225 to register. The Remedy House, 5150 Northland Dr., Grand Rapids.

Wellness Nights: Love Your Summer Body- 6-9pm. Stop by Grand Rapids Natural Health and receive free mini facials, make up touch ups, summer exercise tips, summer fashion and style tips, summer smoothie recipes, raw food, drinks and more. $10. Half of the proceeds will be donated to the Michigan Eating Disorder Alliance. 638 Fulton St. W Ste. B, Grand Rapids. Yoga Teacher Training Information Session- 7:358:30pm. For those interested in deepening their understanding and practice of yoga or becoming a yoga teacher, join Mimi Ray of Mimi Ray Yoga at Expressions of Grace Yoga, 5270 Northland Dr. NE, Grand Rapids., 616-361-8580.


Healthy Lifestyle Expo- 11am-7pm. Visit local businesses and health providers whose products and services promote a healthy mind, body and spirit, and includes health screenings, food samples, demonstrations, entertainment, kids’ activities, giveaways and more at The Event Center at Fricano Place, 1050 W Western Ave. in Muskegon.


Mercy Health Seaway Run- 7:15am. This run is one of Michigan’s most scenic and most popular runs. With courses that take advantage of the beautiful shorelines of Lake Michigan and Muskegon Lake. Run begins near the Muskegon Family YMCA and Fricano Place on W. Western Ave. in Muskegon. To register, visit Reiki I & II Class- 9am-5pm. Introduction to Reiki, become attuned to the universal energy, learn how to give treatment to self and others and meet your Reiki guide. Class fee is $250. The fee includes a $50 deposit due at registration. Call 616-443-4225 to register. The Remedy House, 5150 Northland Dr., Grand Rapids.


Advanced Reiki Class- 9am-5pm. Enhance energy work to a new level. Learn how to perform intuitive surgery, and how to set up and utilize a crystal grid with energy work. Class fee is $275. The fee includes a $50 deposit due at registration. Call 616-443-4225 to register. The Remedy House, 5150 Northland Dr., Grand Rapids.


Cascade Village Karate Grand Opening- 8am8pm. Learn about the benefits of Okinawa karate, see the dojo and come with any questions you have for Sensei, Tedd O’Neill. Free. Cascade Village Karate, 6747 Old 28th St., Grand Rapids. 616-676-6064. HypnoBirthing The Mongan Method- 6-8:30pm. For the mother-to-be and her birthing companion— learn relaxation techniques in this 5-week session so that you can give your baby a welcome that is calm, gentle and safe. $300, all materials included. Midwifery Matters, 2119 Lake Dr. SE, Grand Rapids.

savethedate July 7 Hawaiian Spirituality Program1-2:30pm. Join us starting July 7 on Sundays for a 6-12 week program. Register at Experience ho’oponopono, miracles, healing, inner child work and manifesting that which you desire. Costs $10. Unity of Muskegon, 2052 Bourdon St., Muskegon.

July 11-August 15 Saturday Yoga at Kollen Park- 8-9am. Bodhi Tree Yoga & Wellness Studio and Holland Recreation have teamed up to offer an outdoor yoga class at Kollen Park. Bring a beach towel and yoga mat and join us by the band shell. $5.00 donation will go to the Sal Perez Youth Scholarship program. Holland.

July 12-14

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

July 18-19

The Ayurvedic Understanding of the Mind- 9am-7pm both days. This weekend Ayurveda course is offered by the BVI School of Ayurveda. Information, visit Application, contact 6363 North 24th St., Kalamazoo.

July 30-August 2

YogaFest 2015 - Four-day festival will includes yoga movement, kirtan, meditation and spirituality workshops. Local food vendors will offer unique vegetarian meals. Weekend pass is $140 and includes three nights of wooded camping, access to all programs and parking. For more information or tickets, visit Song of the Morning on the 800-acre property in the Pigeon River State Forest, Vanderbilt.

natural awakenings

June 2015


savethedate August 15

Wildflower Walkabout- 10:30am. Come enjoy a free, guided hike of the Newaygo Prairie Nature Sanctuary and it’s amazing flora. This is the best and largest remaining example of dry-sand prairie in Michigan. Newaygo Prairie Nature Sanctuary, Newaygo.

August 15-16

Ayurvedic Apporoaches to Nutrition & Food- 9am-7pm both days. This weekend Ayurveda course is offered by the BVI School of Ayurveda. Information, visit Application, contact 6363 North 24th St., Kalamazoo.

savethedate September 13

Grand Rapids Vegfest - 11am-5pm. The first annual Vegfest in Grand Rapids! Presentations by top experts in the health field, a vegan food court, a cruelty free market place, cooking demonstration, children’s activities, a special program for teenagers and more. Held at the Delta Plex in Grand Rapids.

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



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

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.

Community Yoga Class- 6-7pm. New summer hours. $5. All levels welcome. Proceeds donated to 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

Monday Adaptive Yoga for People with Parkinson’s- Help ease symptoms and decrease stress with yoga. Cascade Yoga Studio, 5060 Cascade Rd. SE, Grand Rapids., 616-464-1610. Intermediate Hatha Yoga with Mitch Coleman – 6:15-7:30pm. All levels. Drop-ins welcome. Visit for more information. Classes meet at White River Yoga Studio, 8724 Ferry St. Montague. 231-740-6662. 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. Yoga Basics with Mimi Ray, eRYT5007:30-8:45pm. Learn the basics and grow your practice. For strong beginners and beyond. $9-15. Expressions of Grace Yoga, 5270 Northland Dr. NE, Grand Rapids.,


West Michigan Edition

Morning Flow Yoga- 10:15-11:30am. Unwind your body and your mind. A Yoga practice intended to gradually increase flexibility, strength and a range of motion. Laketown Healing Arts,, Holland. The Melodies in Motion™- Tuesdays and Thursdays beginning June 16, 2-3pm. Bring the melodies to life with yoga inspired dance movements and life readiness lessons for pre-schoolers, helping parents, teachers and children live a healthy, balanced life one song at a time. 616-935-7028, OnThePathYoga. com, Spring Lake.

Creation’s Lessons for Living- 7pm. 2nd Wed of month. Creation desires to help us grow, mature, evolve. Connect with Creation’s wisdom through the teachings and ceremonies of the shamanic Sweet Medicine SunDance Path. Donation. Call 616-8564957 for more information. Join me in learning to walk in beauty. NE Grand Rapids.

Thursday Advanced Hatha Yoga with Mitch Coleman – 6:157:30pm. Drop-ins welcome. Visit WhiteRiverYoga. com for more information. Classes meet at White River Yoga Studio, 8724 Ferry St. Montague. 231-740-6662. Morning Flow Yoga- 10:15-11:30am. Unwind your body and your mind. A Yoga practice intended to gradually increase flexibility, strength and a range of motion. Laketown Healing Arts,, Holland. Yoga with Mimi Ray, eRYT500- 6:00-7:30pm. Intermediate class for more experienced Yogis. Refine and practice your yoga chops. $9-15. Expressions of Grace Yoga, 5270 Northland Dr. NE, Grand Rapids.,



$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.

Hatha Yoga- 9-10:15am. A Little more invigorating, this is a great class to learn the foundations of a yoga practice. Laketown Healing Arts,, Holland.

Book Adventure Story Time- 11am. Sylvan Learning is hosting a Summer Reading Program at Target of Muskegon. Join us for prizes, snacks, stories and activities while you shop, June 10-July 15. Call Lisa at Sylvan Learning for more details. 231-799-0613. Muskegon. Meditation at Spirit Space- 6pm. Join together for meditation that begins and ends with live, native flute music. Gather in our meditation room for the full hour or any portion of the meeting. Call 616-836-1555 or visit for more information. Saugatuck.

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. Kentwood Farmers Market- Saturdays, June 13-October10, 9am-1pm. Enjoy our farmer’s market, featuring fresh vegetables, fruits, ready-to-eat foods, plants and crafts as well as entertainment and family activities. 4950 Brenton Ave. SE, Kentwood.



...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 26.

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

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

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

Your Local Source for all things Natural and Botanical. Hand crafted bath & body products, tea, bulk herbs, essential oils, other raw ingredients, containers, local artwork, unique gifts. Practitioner discounts. Space rental and artisan consignment. See ad page 14.


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 29.


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

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

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

Certified therapist since 1991 offering colon therapy in a sterile and professional environment. Using a holistic approach, colonics relieves constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloat, poor digestion, back pain, body odor and more. See ad page 6.

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

Certified technician in Nexalin Technology, a medication-free t r e a t m e n t f o r a n x i e t y, depression and insomnia. The hypothalamus and mid-brain area are gently stimulated, supporting brain function resets. Treatments in your home or Holland office. Find us on Facebook and LinkedIn at Susie Daubenspeck. See ad page 26.



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


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


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

Barbara Zvirzdinis, WK, CMT 616-581-3885 Matrix Energetics is a system used to heal, transform and create new possibilities in your life. Using the principles of quantum physics and subtle e n e rg y d u r i n g a M a t r i x Energetics session we are able to enter into different realties and download new possibilities for your mental, emotional, physical and spiritual selves. See ad page 29.

616.656.9232 natural awakenings

June 2015






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

Clara VanderZouwen Independent Sharing Partner 616-481-8587

Be Young Total Health essential oils have undergone the 13 step E.O.B.B.D. evaluation by third party experts who are professionally trained for evaluating essential oils for purity, quality, and therapeutic value. Learn online, through free classes, or one on one from me, how you can use these gifts of nature to benefit your family and even your pets! See ad page 20.

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 25.


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


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

West Michigan Edition


Jodi Jenks Natural Health Practitioner, Reiki Master 616-443-4225 Certified in bodywork, lymphatic drainage, raindrop therapy, CranioSacral, reflexology, iridology, natural health consultations including a zyto bio-communication scan. Emotional clearing with essential oils and energy work, Reiki, Energy Touch. See ad page 21.



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.

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 in page 23.


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 23.


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 29.

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 6.


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 7 & 30.


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


Sara Badger, Midwife Jodi Borsk, Junior Midwife Casi Russo, Senior Student A full service Midwifery group partnering with you to provide prenatal care, education, and choice. The first birthing center in Grand Rapids to add to women’s birth choices. Contact us for a free consultation 559-9075341. See ad page 6.

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




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.).

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

Specializing in advanced, customized skin care using all-natural, organic skin care products from Elina Organics. Facials, Back Facials, Foot Facials, Hand Facials, Tummy Facials, and “Beautiful Legs” services. Needle-Free Mesotherapy, TriPolarRF, DermaLaser, LED, Microdermabrasion, Peels, Body Wraps, Body Scrubs, Brow Shaping, Aromatherapy, Signature Scent, Hair Restoration, Bamboo Massage, RainDrop, Air Compression Lymph Drainage Massage, Acupressure, Reiki, Infrared and Ionic Cleanses, Ear Candling, and more! See ad page 36.

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


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.


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

FOR RENT Treatment Room for Rent - This is a room rental situation in which you schedule your own appointments as an independent contractor. We are an up-beat, organic salon with four stylists working independently with a varied clientele. Our previous therapist was able to establish an active business through salon clientele and her own marketing. If interested please call 616-364-9191 or email


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.

Massage Therapist Needed - Pulver Chiropractic in Spring Lake is looking to fill a part time massage therapist position. Must hold a massage license, malpractice coverage and share a passion for natural health. For full job description and to submit resume, please email

OPPORTUNITIES Massage or Natural Health Practitioners wanted- 360 Massage and Holistic Care is looking for passionate individuals to join our team. Must be licensed in massage or natural health field and have own clientele or be willing to build a clientele. Contact info@360Massage. com or 616-242-0034 for more information.

natural awakenings

June 2015


The Path You Have Always Wanted Naturopathy

(each year 600 hours)

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

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

Massage Therapy

Therapeutic Bodywork Practitioner...1 Year

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

All Classes Meet on Weekends

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

Naturopaths: 1 per month - Massage: 2 per month

Individual Classes:

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

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

West Michigan Edition

Over 19 Years of Experience ~ Licensed and Accredited

Natural Awakenings Magazine ~ June 2015  

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

Natural Awakenings Magazine ~ June 2015  

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