Page 1





feel good • live simply • laugh more


Healthy Eat For Holistic FATS Wellness Eye Care

Boost Brain Health and Metabolism

How to Move Past Food Sensitivities

Taking the Whole Body into Account

March 2017 | West Michigan Edition | natural awakenings

March 2017


A Bridge to Better Health

Integrative Health Spring Speaker Series March 7, 14, 21 & 28, 2017 | 6:30PM – 8:00PM The Donnelly Center at Aquinas College Cost: Free | Grand Rapids, MI MARCH 7TH Spring Awakening: Get Up, Get Out, Get Moving A N GELA ESSIC K DYK ES



Neurologist, Board Place-Based Educator, Laughter Yoga Certified Sleep Physician Grow Wise Learning Instructor Mercy Health St. Mary’s Come out of your winter hibernation and explore invigorating lifestyle changes, such as renewing your energy level, increasing movement, and interfacing with nature. Panel discussion.

MARCH 14 TH Nature’s Answers to Allergy Symptoms BA RBA RA MEC ON IS, RN , B S

Holistic Nurse Consultant, Holistic Care Approach Allergies are on the rise. Hear why and learn about some holistic alternatives to traditional treatments.

MARCH 2 1ST The Essentials of Essential Oils MA RY MITUS, RN , MS

Aromatherapy Practitioner and Health Coach, Health Everlasting Discover essential oils and their multitude of uses, including as home remedies, safe replacements for chemical cleaners, aromatherapy, and personal care products.

MARCH 2 8T H Stress in Children: What it Looks Like and How You Can Help SARAH COVILLE, MA, TLLP



Limited License Psychologist, Middle School K-12 Mindfulness Hulst Psychology Counselor Instructor Today’s world brings a new level of stress to our children; learn ways to help manage and minimize it. Panel discussion.

Learn More & Register for Free: 2

West Michigan Edition

Join Universal Health Solutions for its upcoming Spring Speaker Series as we explore medicine beyond medication: complementary and alternative health treatments and the local professionals who provide them.

contents 10 5 newsbriefs balanced life. In each issue readers find cutting-edge information on natural health, nutrition, fitness, personal 10 healthbriefs growth, green living, creative expression and the products 14 globalbriefs and services that support a healthy lifestyle. 19 naturalpet 20 healingways 16 FEARLESS EATING How to Move Past 22 fitbody Food Sensitivities 14 23 ecotip 24 consciouseating 19 NATURAL REMEDIES 26 wisewords FOR ITCHY PETS 28 inspiration Gentle Ways to Calm Allergies 30 healthykids 16 Natural Awakenings is your guide to a healthier, more

by Kathleen Barnes

32 greenliving 34 community

spotlight 23 37 chirosnews 41 calendar 45 resourceguide

advertising & submissions HOW TO ADVERTISE

by Sandra Murphy

20 HOLISTIC EYE CARE Taking the Whole Body into Account by Linda Sechrist


Workouts Use Natural Body Patterns by Aimee Hughes

To advertise with Natural Awakenings or request a media kit, please contact us at 616-604-0480 or email: Publisher@ Deadline for space reservation is the 12th of each month prior to publication.



by Judith Fertig

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 616604-0480 or email us at:

Good Fat Doesn’t Make Us Fat

26 DR. JOSEPH MERCOLA On Simple Steps To Well-Being by Judith Fertig


LIFE STORY Create Your Own Hero’s Journey



How to Defuse Bad Actors

Facebook — Find us at Natural Awakenings Magazine of West Michigan Twitter — Find us at NaturallyWestMI Instagram — Find us at NaturallyWestMI Pinterest — Find us at Natural Awakenings Magazine of West Michigan


by Kim Schneiderman

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


CYBERBULLIES by April Thompson


Eco-Burial Options Grow by Avery Mack

natural awakenings

30 March 2017


letterfrompublisher Dusty Brown Photography /

W contact us Publisher/Editor Pamela Gallina Editors S. Alison Chabonais Linda Sechrist Design & Production Interactive Media Design Scott Carvey Printer Stafford Media Solutions Natural Awakenings P.O. Box 330 Spring Lake, MI 49456 Phone: 616-604-0480 Fax: 616-855-4202

Subscriptions are available by sending $30 (12 issues) to the above address. Š 2017 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.

ith spring tantalizingly near, nature reminds us how each day offers a new beginning: a fresh chance to start over and do things better; to forgive ourselves and others; to be renewedly grateful for every bit of abundance, sometimes in advance; to be on the lookout for healthy ways of taking better care of ourselves and those we love.

In particular, I am reminded of our gratitude for the abundance of good people involved in creating each new issue of this magazine for our dear readers. Our local and national writers share helpful know-how in well-being by expert sources. Our editors search for news in healthy living, tediously fact check and labor over words and punctuation to clearly communicate the intended meaning. Our designers and local photographer apply a keen eye to bring subjects alive so that readers enjoy the experience even more. Our local layout staff performs miracles during production rushes. Our magazine distribution people worked tirelessly this year helping us reorganize and improve delivery. Our wonderful advertisers make it all possible. As do our thousands of loyal readers. Everyone on the team unites to move in one direction, with passion, each playing a unique role in sharing and making the most of beneficial news and information on mission to help you happily experience a healthy life. To conscious living,

Pamela Gallina, Publisher

COMMITTED TO SUSTAINABILITY Natural Awakenings is locally owned and operated.

Natural Awakenings Magazine of West Michigan

West Michigan Edition



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.



Raymond Wan of Academy of Alternative Healing Arts By: Dusty Brown Photography •

Natural Awakenings Magazine of West Michigan

newsbriefs Universal Health Solutions to Host Integrative Health Spring Speaker Series


niversal Health Solutions (UHS) is hosting its second Speaker Series, a signature event for the organization, this March at the Aquinas College Donnelly Center. Topics for this 4-part series are: (1) Spring Awakening: Get Up, Get Out, Get Moving; (2) Nature’s Answers to Allergy Symptoms; (3) The Essentials of Essential Oils, and; (4) Stress in Children: What it Looks Like and How You Can Help. Attendees will learn about breathing to renew energy levels, healthy sleep patterns, increasing movement, and reconnecting with nature; non-invasive, drug-free, natural solutions for alleviating allergies of all types; essential oils and their multitude of uses, including as home remedies, safe replacements for chemical cleaners, aromatherapy, and personal care products; understanding the types of stress that today’s youth experience and some evidence-based, drugfree techniques to help them manage and reduce their stress. The first speaker series UHS presented this past October, was attended by members of the Greater Grand Rapids community and was extremely well received. These events were developed in support of the organization’s mission, which is to inform, educate, and advocate for increased awareness of and access to integrative health care treatments, and to truly integrate complementary and alternative treatment modalities into the more traditional and mainstream healthcare approaches. In a continued effort to shine a light on evidencebased integrative health and medicine, These topics will be presented by local health experts including nurses, a physician, a psychologist, and area educators. There will be both panel discussions and individual presentations, and all sessions will include Time for Q&A. Event Cost: Free. Session Times: 6:30PM – 8:00PM. Location: The Donnelly Center at Aquinas College, Grand Rapids. For more information, speaker details, and to register, please visit See ad, page 2.

Announcing New Academy of Alternative Healing Arts


tart a new rewarding career in massage therapy. The new Academy of Healing Arts, opening Tuesday, April 11, is a State of Michigan Certified Proprietary School, featuring clinical acupressure and TuiNa massage. Small class sizes

allow students plenty of one-on-one time with instructors. After Completing this massage program, you will be able to: Take the State Massage Board Exam; Become a State Licensed Massage Therapist; Be your own Boss; Work at high-end Spas, Professional Athletic Clubs or Fitness Centers, Chiropractic Offices or other Medical Facilities. The new Academy of Alternative Healing Arts, LLC is Located at 3790 28th St SW, Suite B, Grandville. For more information and to register: go to or call 616-419-6924. See ad, page 8.

Kalamazoo’s 3rd Annual Largest Body Mind & Spirit Expo


eld at the Wings Event Center in Kalamazoo, many talented mediums, intuitive communicators, holistic healers, aromatherapist, essential oils, numerology, astrology, palmistry, pet communicators, angel readers, spirit artists, stone healers, spiritual merchandisers, jewelry, stones, rare crystals & more will be gathering under one roof at Wings Stadium, 3600 Vanrick Dr for the 3rd Annual Healing Body and Spirit Expo. Beverly and John Stephan have been participating in Body Mind & Spirit Expos for many years across the US and Canada. They are excited to bring a piece of Spirit to the Kalamazoo area. Join us in spreading the word to others about this exciting upcoming event!! We will be bringing in many professional mediums and healers from across the US & Canada to spread their amazing abilities to our local community. Sponsoring The Kalamazoo Humane Society. Keynote Speaker: Candace Smith who communicates with spirit connecting people to their Loved ones, Pets and Angels. Her mission is helping people along their life path through clairvoyance. An extremely gifted medium for over 40 years, she teaches others how to expand their own skills; a resident of Camp Chesterfield. She is well known throughout the US, Virgin Islands and Canada for her amazing abilities. Featured on numerous radio shows in the US & Virgin Islands. Cost is $10 daily, weekend $17, children 12 and under free. Pet friendly environment, Including with daily pass ~ free lectures, speakers and demonstrations, free prizes will take place both days of the expo. The expo will be held Sat, March 25th, 10am-8pm and Sun, March 26th, 11am-5pm in Kalamazoo at Wings Event Center, 3600 Vanrick Dr. For more information visit See ad, page 36. natural awakenings

March 2017


newsbriefs You Might be a Crazy Cat Lady if...


verybody knows one––a woman who has an affinity for cats. She feeds the local ferals, takes in the friendly strays and is the go-to person when you have a cat question. Does the phrase ‘Crazy Cat Lady’ come to mind when you think of this person? If so, you’ll enjoy reading Janet Vormittag’s latest book You Might be a Crazy Cat Lady if... With this collection of stories, Janet is coming out of the closet as a Crazy Cat Lady. She gives us an intimate peek into the mindset of a woman who might have too many furry friends. In this book you’ll meet more than 20 cats including Lucy, a partially paralyzed kitty who loves hunting mice; Buddy, the Basketball Cat, who has a slight eating disorder; Frosty Flake, a foster kitten who never left; Wild Cat, who took more than a year to domesticate; and semiferal littermates Pumpkin and Pearl. This book will give you a better understanding of why and how someone ends up with a house full of cats. You might even be convinced to replace the word crazy with compassionate. You Might be a Crazy Cat Lady if... is being released March 10 and will be available at, and at select bookstores. Janet Vormittag, publisher of Cats and Dogs, a Magazine Devoted to Companion Animals, has also authored two novels. She will be at the 3rd annual Great Lakes Writers Book Expo, which is part of the West Michigan Women’s Expo, March 10-12 at DeVos Place, 303 Monroe Ave., Grand Rapids. Janet will be speaking March 11, at 6 p.m. on the Main Stage at the Women’s Expo. Janet will also be at the West Michigan Pet Expo April 1 & 2 at the DeltaPlex in Grand Rapids.

3rd Annual Great Lakes Writers Book Expo


f you love books and would like to meet people who write them, the 3rd Annual Great Lakes Writers Book Expo is for you. The Expo provides an opportunity for readers to buy books directly from their 6

West Michigan Edition

authors and to ask questions about the writing process, subject matter and anything else that piques their curiosity. Authors will also be happy to autograph their books. More than two dozen authors will be attending the expo including Norma Lewis who has written six books on Michigan history, photographer Phil Stagg who has a series of guidebooks on Michigan waterfalls, Patricia McClure-Chessier who writes about her mother’s battle with Alzheimer’s and Tricia McDonald whose miniature bull terrier is the princess star of four Life with Sally books. McDonald is also the owner of Splattered Ink Press and can answer questions about book publishing. There will be an array of fiction and non-fiction books–– mysteries, romances and memoirs and historical, humorous and inspirational writings. There will be books for all ages–– adults, young adults and children. “There’s something for everyone,” said Janet Vormittag, author of three books and organizer of the book expo. “Stop by––we love to talk about our books.” The Great Lakes Writers Book Expo is part of the West Michigan Women’s Expo. The Women’s Expo is in its 19th year and is held March 10-12 at DeVos Place, 303 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids. For information on the Women’s Expo visit www.kohlerexpo. com. For information on the Book Expo visit www. and click on 2017 Women’s Expo in the menu or call 616-777-0645.

Empaths, Intuitives and the Sensitive


mpaths, Intuitives and Sensitive People: What the Heck is going on and how do I cope with shifting energies? There is no doubt that there is a lot happening in the world around us. We are bombarded by endless information about the world that can be helpful or disturbing. For many, the solution may be as simple as shutting off the television or agreeing to abstain from social media for a time. For other individuals, such as empaths, intuitives and sensitives, changing events in the world can be even more overwhelming due to their heightened gift of sensitivity. This 2 hour talk will include methods for staying grounded during these interesting planetary times and will highlight some of the energy shifts that are currently happening and how those may impact you. Please join Marianne Huff, LMSW, Reiki Master, at Spirit Space, 3493 Blue Star Highway, in Saugatuck on March 25 from noon - 2:30pm. The cost is $10.00 per person. For more information: See ad, page 25.

GRNH Expands Their Team


rand Rapids Natural Health is pleased to welcome two new practitioners to our Team! Laurie DeDecker, RN, MHIA is a certified trainer and healer member of the NFSHHealing in America and is actively involved in local efforts to integrate energy therapy and other complimentary forms of medicine into health care. Her many years of work in the field of cancer prevention, health promotion and wellness have allowed her to teach, write and advocate on a local, state and national level. Her mission is to allow each client to reach their full potential through relaxation, stress reduction, healing and better balance. Devi Daining Fongers, LCSW, C-SSWS, MAA is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over twenty years of experience working with children, adolescents, and adults in a variety of settings. Her counseling approach is relaxed and personable. She views therapy as a partnership where the client and therapist work together to discover solutions that build on strengths and address what is standing in the way of personal growth. Her special interests include: adolescents, young adults, and women who struggle with depression, anxiety, loneliness, or relationship issues. She also has a strong interest in strengthening marriages, and family life as children are added to the mix. We are thrilled to expand our services to include Energy Therapy and Therapy services incorporating Art Therapy and Trauma Sensitive Yoga Therapy. Please help us welcome Devi & Laurie! Call (616) 264-6556 or visit our website at to schedule your appointment. For more information: visit online at or call 616-264-6556. Grand Rapids Natural Health is located at: 638 Fulton St W Suite B, Grand Rapids. See ad, page 44.

Inclusive Therapy in Grand Rapids


r. Sue Dilsworth has joined a new therapy group in Grand Rapids called Advanced Counseling and Therapy Services. She also owns and operates Heart’s Journey Wellness, but joined this group to spread her services to the Grand Rapids area, as well. At Advanced Counseling and Therapy Services, Dilsworth takes pride that she offers counseling and therapy services to

all demographics, including the LGTQIA+ community. She will also be including yoga therapy, which involves one-onone enhancing therapy utilizing yogic principles including Ayurvedic strategies. Specific areas include: managing moods, grief, addiction, stress management, coping with cancer and more. “We need to give ourselves permission to go inward and find ways to take care of ourselves,” owner and operator Dr. Sue Dilsworth says. “Through various treatment approaches, individuals will have an opportunity to explore unhealthy life patterns, address immediate personal challenges and explore alternative ways of dealing with personal conflict/turmoil.” Advanced Counseling Therapy Services is located at 2020 Raybrook Street SE, Suite 305 on the corner of Beltline and Burton Avenue in Grand Rapids. For more information on Advanced Counseling and Therapy Services, visit or call 616-2024444, extension 3. See ad, page 46.

The Reconnection


r. Eric Pearl, author of The Reconnection: Heal Others, Heal Yourself, demystifies the healing process. He teaches others (90,000 and counting) how to activate and use what he refers to as an all-inclusive spectrum of healing frequencies. “Reconnection teaches people how to transcend the ego and its judgment, and reach a state of non-judgment observation,” explains Pearl. “Many of the individuals I have taught describe their experience simply as an internal activation of an advanced level of consciousness, in which awareness allows the perception of a multidimensional universe.” Pearl posits that as part of our growth as human beings, stating, “We not only discover that we have become more, we understand that we can’t stand in fear, lack and limitation, and we can only offer ourselves as a vessel for healing for ourselves and others when we reside in oneness and love.” Pearl believes that it is part of everyone’s life journey to discover that they are an empty vessel, born to be filled with spirit. He advises, “By letting go of beliefs that block our ability to deeply understand this, we can harmonically converge with the lives of others at the level where we are all energy, as physics indicates.” For more information on the Online Level I Course and Integrated Combinations with Live & In-Person Level II schedules, visit Mention the promotional code word AWAKE and receive a 20% discount. See ad, page 40. natural awakenings

March 2017


Start a New Rewarding

Career in Massage Therapy! Education is the Key to Success

Clinical Acupressure & TuiNa Massage Programs Small Class Sizes • Extra One-On-One Time Academy of Alternative Healing Art Quiet & Clean Learning Environment



For More Information & To Register, Log-On or Call: • 616.419.6924

3790 28th Street SW, Suite B • Grandville, 49418

newsbriefs Cellular Balance Why Should You Care?


re you passionate about your health? Does it seem to you that life can be a series of exquisite moves keeping us in balance while outside influences continually work to take us out of balance? The ups and downs of daily activities are a reflection of what is going on in every one of our 100 trillion cells every minute of the day. If you are interested in a state-of-the-art understanding of how cellular balance and protection can support long term health, please attend the presentation by Wellness Collective GR members Tricia Gosling, B.Sci., and Linda Unterkircher, B.Sci. on Wednesday, March 15 from 6:30 to 7:30pm at the Wellness Collective GR, 1324 Lake Drive, SE., Grand Rapids. They will translate current findings from peer-reviewed, independent research to provide an understanding on the importance of how low level yet chronic stressors (i.e. six hours instead of eight hours of sleep) can lead to cell damage, aging, and inflammation, and potentially disrupt normal body functions. Peer-reviewed, independent research will be explained to show how affordable nutraceuticals address these concerns. If you are looking for long-term support to looking better and feeling better, this gathering will speak directly to you! For more information or to reserve your seat please email: Tricia Gosling at or Linda Unterkircher at See ad page 45.

We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools. ~Martin Luther King, Jr.


West Michigan Edition

Tur� Your Passion Into a Business

Own a Natural Awakenings Magazine Our publishers ranked us among the highest in franchise satisfaction for our Training, Support, Core Values and Integrity!*

As a Natural Awakenings publisher, you can empower yourself and others to create a healthier world while working from your home earning an income doing something you love! No publishing experience is necessary. You’ll work for yourself but not by yourself. We offer a complete training and support system that allows you to successfully publish your own magazine.

• Meaningful New Career • Low Initial Investment • Proven Business System • Home-Based Business • Exceptional Franchise Support & Training

Natural Awakenings publishes in over 85 markets across the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic (listed below). Contact us about acquiring an existing publication FOR SALE highlighted in RED*. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Huntsville, AL Gulf Coast AL/MS Phoenix, AZ* Tucson, AZ East Bay Area, CA San Diego, CA Boulder/Ft. Collins, CO Denver, CO Fairfield County/ HousatonicValley, CT Hartford, CT New Haven/ Middlesex, CT Washington, DC Daytona/Volusia/ Flagler, FL NW FL Emerald Coast Ft. Lauderdale, FL Jacksonville/ St. Augustine, FL Melbourne/Vero, FL Miami & the Florida Keys Naples/Ft. Myers, FL North Central FL Orlando, FL Palm Beach, FL Peace River, FL Sarasota, FL Tampa/St. Pete., FL Treasure Coast, FL Atlanta, GA Hawaiian Islands Chicago, IL Chicago Western Suburbs, IL Indianapolis, IN Baton Rouge, LA Lafayette, LA New Orleans, LA Boston, MA Worcester, MA Ann Arbor, MI East Michigan Wayne County, MI* Western MI Minneapolis/ St. Paul, MN* Charlotte, NC

• Raleigh/Durham/ Chapel Hill, NC • Bergen/Passaic, NJ* • Central, NJ • Hudson County, NJ • Mercer County, NJ • Monmouth/ Ocean, NJ • North Central NJ • South NJ • Santa Fe/Abq., NM* • Las Vegas, NV • Albany, NY* • Long Island, NY • Hudson Valley W., NY • Manhattan, NY* • Westchester/ Putnam Co’s., NY • Central OH • Cincinnati, OH* • Toledo, OH* • Oklahoma City, OK • Portland, OR • Bucks/Montgomery Counties, PA • Chester/Delaware Counties, PA • Harrisburg/York, PA • Lancaster/Berks, PA • Lehigh Valley, PA* • Northeast, PA • Philadelphia, PA • Rhode Island • Charleston, SC • Columbia, SC • Greenville, SC* • Chattanooga, TN* • Austin, TX* • Dallas, TX • Houston, TX • North Texas • San Antonio, TX* • South Houston/ Galveston, TX • Richmond, VA • Seattle, WA • Madison, WI* • Milwaukee, WI • Puerto Rico • Dominican Republic

* Existing magazines for sale Start a magazine in an OPEN TERRITORY • • • • •

For more information, visit our website or call 239-530-1377

*Natural Awakenings recently received the prestigious FBR50 Franchise Satisfaction Award from Franchise Business Review. natural

Los Angeles, CA Riverside, CA Sacramento, CA San Bernadino, CA Santa Barbara/ Ventura, CA • Santa Clara Co., CA • Southern, MA • Annapolis, MD • Baltimore, MD • Kansas City, MO awakenings

• Saint Louis, MO • Bronyx, NY • Brooklyn/ Staten Island, NY • Cleveland, OH • Pittsburgh, PA • Nashville, TN • Ft. Worth, TX • Salt Lake City, UT Inquire about

other open March 2017areas 9

healthbriefs HTU/

No Benefit to Cutting Fat in Cheese

nyone that has struggled to reduce their intake of low-density lipoprotein (LDL or “bad” cholesterol) may have considered avoiding saturated fat in their diets, although the latest metastudy published in the Annals of Internal Medicine now refutes this. Researchers from the University of Copenhagen, in Denmark, conducted a test to determine if consuming low-fat versus regular cheeses impacts LDL cholesterol levels. The study divided 139 people into three groups. One ate regular fat cheese, one consumed reduced-fat cheese and one didn’t eat any cheese at all for 12 weeks. Both LDL and high-density lipoprotein (HDL or “good” cholesterol) levels were tested at the beginning and end of the period. Researchers found no significant difference in the LDL levels of any of the groups and no difference between the HDL levels of the reduced-fat and regular cheese groups, suggesting that consuming low-fat versions has no measurable metabolic benefit. An increase in HDL levels among those that abstained from eating cheese altogether was noted.

The Five-Second Rule Debunked


he five-second rule is a belief that food that falls to the floor can be safely eaten as long as it’s picked up quickly. Researchers from Rutgers University, in New Brunswick, New Jersey, sought to test its veracity. Four different food items were tested, including watermelon, bread and butter, plain bread and gummy candy, using four different surfaces—stainless steel, ceramic tile, wood and carpet. Each surface was contaminated by bacteria and completely dry before the scientists dropped each item for one second, five, 30 and 300 seconds. A total of 128 separate scenarios were repeated 20 times each and 2,560 measurements were taken and analyzed for contamination. The results proved that longer contact time resulted in more bacterial contamination, but there were also cases of instantaneous contamination, which disproves the five-second rule. The wet surface of a watermelon yielded the most contamination and gummy candy the least. The surface tests yielded surprising results, with carpet transferring significantly fewer bacteria than tile and stainless steel, while wood floors exhibited varied results. The secret of getting ahead is getting started. ~Mark Twain


West Michigan Edition

Kids Going Online at Bedtime Sleep Poorly


Joe Belanger/

Yeko Photo Studio/


new study from King’s College London has found that children’s use of electronic devices close to bedtime can reduce their chances of a good night’s sleep. Researchers examined 20 existing studies encompassing 125,000 children between the ages of 6 and 19. They found that youngsters using a device within 90 minutes of falling asleep had an increased likelihood of poor and inadequate sleep quality and excessive daytime sleepiness. Study author Ben Carter, Ph.D., says, “Sleep is an often undervalued, but important part of children’s development, with a regular lack of sleep causing a variety of health problems.” These can include obesity, sedentary lifestyle, reduced immune function and poor diet. Poor food choices and excessive eating can start young, as illustrated in a study from Colorado University, in Boulder, which found a link between sleep deprivation and poor diet choices in preschool children. The Colorado study followed five girls and five boys, ages 3 and 4, that were regular afternoon nappers. They were deprived of their naps for one day, during which their food and beverage consumption was monitored and compared with their choices on a day when their sleep routine remained intact. During the sleep-deprived day, the children ate 20 percent more calories than usual and their diet consisted of 25 percent more sugar and 26 percent more carbohydrates.

Make educated choices regarding your health!


esearchers from the Harvard School of Public Health, in Boston, used data from previous studies to discern the association between dairy and animal fats and cardiovascular disease (CVD) in American adults. The study reviewed dairy fat and other fat consumption data using validated foodfrequency questionnaires from more than 43,000 men and 175,000 women during three different studies, each spanning at least 20 consecutive years. Of the subjects studied, 14,815 developed some form of CVD, close to 7 percent of the total. The researchers found that replacing dairy foods with foods containing polyunsaturated fats—primarily found in vegetables, nuts and fish—in just 5 percent of a subject’s diet reduced the risk of CVD by an average of 24 percent. But replacing the same percentage of dairy fats with other animal fats increased the incidence of CVD by 6 percent.

Get Started Today! Contact us to book a Free 10 Minute Consultation.

Naturopath On–Call

All appointments can easily be conducted over the phone or video chat!


Eye Health Nutrients Also Aid the Brain


utein and zeaxanthin are known key carotenoids for eye health, filtering out harmful high-energy blue wavelengths of light and helping to protect and maintain cells comprising the eye. The human body does not make enough of either nutrient, so we must get them from supplements or food sources such as kale, spinach, collard greens, turnip greens, corn, green peas, broccoli, romaine lettuce, green beans and eggs. Researchers from the University of Georgia, in Athens, investigated the relationship between levels of lutein and zeaxanthin and cognitive function. They measured the levels of each nutrient in the retinas of 43 older adults with a mean age of 72 and asked that the subjects learn and recall pairs of unrelated words. The study found that those with higher levels of both nutrients did better on the test, suggesting that the enhanced neural efficiency that comes from consuming these nutrients leads to better brain function.

Yuganov Konstantin/


Veggie, Fish and Nut Fats Preserve Heart Health


NaturallyWestMI ing 7! en 201 p O CH R MA

ACUPUNCTURE: TRUE PAIN RELIEF! • Infertility • Pain • Headache • Insomnia • Anxiety • Hormone Imbalances • Digestive Disorders

H O L I ST I C CA R E A P P ROAC H For more information... Call 616.361.9221 Today!

Meet the team and learn more @

Visit Our New

Yoga Studio 1991 Lakeshore Drive Lakeside Business District Muskegon, MI 49441 (231) 288-1076 Register for Classes Online Mind-body practices for health, healing and well-being

natural awakenings

March 2017




study from Dijon, France, found that a specific nutrient combination supplement can help reduce feelings of anxiety and tiredness. Researchers studied 242 subjects between the ages of 18 and 70 that complained of stress and fatigue. Each was given a supplement containing magnesium, probiotics, vitamins and minerals to take for one month. Researchers measured the subjects’ stress and fatigue levels before commencing the test period and again one month later. They found a 22 percent reduction in psychological stress and a 45 percent reduction in fatigue. Thirty days after the supplementation was discontinued, the subjects’ stress and fatigue levels remained reduced.

Reduce Thinning Hair Prevent Oxidative Stress Add Volume & Shine...

Wheezing Toddlers Prone to Food Allergies

with proven organic ingredients!


616-299-1796 LondonStudiosSalon 12

West Michigan Edition

DHA Boosts Elder Brain Function


esearchers from Tianjin Medical University, in China, have discovered that regularly taking docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) improves brain function in older adults with mild cognitive impairment. A total of 219 adults over the age of 65 participated in the randomized, double-blind, 12-month trial. Half of the subjects were given two grams of this omega-3 fatty acid daily, while the others received a placebo. The researchers measured cognitive function, including a full-scale intelligence quotient (IQ) test and two IQ subtests which serve as indicators of both short and long-term memory. The tests were administered after six months and again after 12 months. The DHA group showed a 10 percent higher IQ than the placebo group. There were also significant increases in both IQ subtests and brain hippocampus volume in the DHA group. Decreased hippocampus volume is a primary indicator of Alzheimer’s disease.


Hair Artist • Educator Organic Color Specialist

6455 28th St SE, Grand Rapids, Suite 1


esearchers in Singapore studied the relationship between eczema and wheezing in babies and food allergies in toddlers. They collected data from 849 children that had completed skin prick testing for inhalant and food allergies, including eggs, peanuts and cow’s milk at 18 months and 36 months of age. The resulting data were compared to information obtained from questionnaires administered to the children’s mothers at several intervals throughout their first three years of life to determine the prevalence of allergic diseases such as eczema and rhinitis, along with wheezing. The researchers found children that experienced eczema or wheezing within their first 18 months were more likely to have an allergy at 36 months. Occurrences of eczema or wheezing after youngsters were 18 months old appeared to have no notable impact on the later allergy skin test results.

Call Sally Ann

for your next appointment!

ESB Professional/

Stress and Fatigue Abate with Combo Supplement

If You Are Reading This, So Are Your Potential Customers.

Contact us today for ad rates... 616-604-0480

natural awakenings

March 2017


globalbriefs Jessie Eldora Robertson/

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

Botanical Breakthrough

In many large commercial chicken farms, the animals are fed antibiotics to keep them healthy and fight off infections. But due to consumer demand, McDonald’s has eliminated antibiotics used in human medicine from its entire restaurant chicken supply. Meanwhile, a farm in Pennsylvania owned by Scott Sechler is among the first to rely solely on a mix of oregano oil and cinnamon in the treatment and care of its chickens. In addition to being completely natural, oregano oil supplies the chickens with health advantages, producing a much higher quality of natural chicken in a far more humane method than that attained using antibiotics. Like antibiotics, the oil assists the chickens in battling any infections, reducing the number of birds lost to disease. Bob Ruth, president of another Pennsylvania farming business, has been testing oregano on his pigs for six months to see if it can outperform prescription antibiotics. Related problems arise when animals live in dirty conditions, making them more susceptible to infections and viruses, which can also be triggered by insufficient cleansing of slaughterhouses that must be hosed down and completely sanitized after each act of butchery. He thinks that drugs should not be a requirement if the farmers keep things tidy.

Raw Hide

A Veggie Leather Alternative Researchers from Iowa State University have developed a new form of synthetic leather using cellulose fibers taken from kombucha tea, along with vinegar and sugar, made in shallow plastic tanks. When a colony of bacteria and yeast is added, the material grows on the top of the liquid’s surface, where it can be harvested and dried. The researchers have successfully used the material to make prototype garments, including shoes and a vest. It’s 100 percent biodegradable, so when the fabric gets wet, it softens and becomes less durable; in very low temperatures, it can become brittle. Young-A Lee, Ph.D., associate professor of apparel, merchandising and design at Iowa State University, in Ames, says, “Fashion, to most people, is an ephemeral expression of culture, art and technology, manifesting itself in practical form. Fashion companies keep producing new materials and clothing, from season to season, year to year, to fulfill consumers’ desires and needs. Think about where these items eventually go. They will take up tremendous underground spaces of the Earth, like other trash.” Spanish designer Carmen Hijosa has created Piñatex, another faux-leather product made from pineapple leaf fibers as a more sustainable and cruelty-free alternative. She acted after seeing how leather tanneries operate. Source: 14

West Michigan Edition

Igor Gorelchenkov/


Oregano Oil Proves a Safe Antibiotic for Poultry

Clean Jeans

Laundry Machines Boost School Attendance Kids in middle schools with attendance problems may simply lack clean clothes to wear. An experiment by the Whirlpool company has taken on the issue with significant results. The Whirlpool Care Counts Program donated 17 pairs of washers and dryers to school districts in St. Louis and Fairfield, California. Kids with attendance problems were asked to bring their laundry to be cleaned while they were in class. Each student had approximately 50 loads of laundry done at school during the year, and more than 90 percent increased their attendance, with at-risk students attending almost two more weeks in class. Whirlpool is now expanding the program. Compared to factors such as economic opportunity, unemployment and institutional racism, laundry might seem inconsequential, but for a 10-year-old facing stacked odds, having nothing clean to wear could be the deciding factor in whether or not they want to face their classmates that day. Seventh-grade teacher Alison Guernsey, in Fairfield, says, “One of my students had more or less withdrawn from school completely. After we started the program, he was more excited about coming and started to actively engage in class. He didn’t feel like an outsider anymore.”

Oil Wastewater Irrigating California Fields In the nation’s produce basket, some California water districts are knowingly selling oilfield wastewater to farmers, putting a huge portion of our fruits and vegetables at risk of contamination. Watchdog group Water Defense uncovered one district buying oilfield wastewater to include in the water it sells to farmers to irrigate crops in California’s Central Valley. This year, Food & Water Watch uncovered another district buying this potentially toxic wastewater and selling it to farmers. A threat to California’s agriculture is a threat to the entire country’s food supply. Some staples of which California is the primary U.S. producer include 99 percent of olives, 99 percent of almonds, 98 percent of garlic, 96 percent of broccoli, 95 percent of celery, 91 percent of strawberries, 91 percent of lemons and 83 percent of fresh carrots. The government is allowing oil companies to sell their wastewater for use on crops. Citizens must call on their elected representatives to fix this broken system and protect our food supply.

Dima Sidelnikov/

Richard Thornton/

Toxic Crops

Junior Achievement Take the Kids to Work

The Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Foundation (TODASTW) is holding its annual national event on April 27, offering new toolkits and activity guides based on this year’s theme of Dependability at The group assists businesses, families, schools and organizations throughout the year initiate their own special work day for children and mentees. Each year, more than 3.5 million American workplaces open their doors to about 39 million employees and their children on TODASTW Day. “Human resources and marketing professionals are typically responsible for creating this day within their companies,” says Carolyn McKeucen, the foundation’s executive director. “We provide templates and automated planning elements to save them time while ensuring success for planners and participants.”


Bag Ban

California’s ongoing ban on single-use plastic carryout bags, approved by 52 percent of voters, is setting a notable precedent for other states. A coalition of environmental groups, grocers and others are collaborating, and Mark Murray, of Californians Against Waste, welcomes elimination of the 25 million plastic bags that pollute California every day, threatening wildlife. In 2007, San Francisco first banned plastic shopping bags, setting off a movement that led nearly half the state, including its biggest cities, to do the same. Although the legislature passed a statewide ban on plastic bags two years ago, paper bags are still for sale at grocery stores and other outlets for a nominal fee.

Fish Story

African Aquaculture a Success Fish farming has become a way for many Africans to beat poverty and hunger. Hillary Thompson, who lives in Milton Park, a low-density area in the Zimbabwean capital of Harare, says, “For more than a decade, fish farming has become a hobby that has earned me a fortune.” He has been able to acquire properties that he rents out as one of many residents that have profited through fish farming. In many African communities, swimming pools and backyards have been converted into small-scale fish farming areas. Faced with nutritional deficits, some Africans have taken up the practice to improve their diets. In Zimbabwe, an estimated 22,000 people are involved in fish farming, according to the ministry of agriculture. Behind the success of many of them stands the Aquaculture Zimbabwe Trust, established in 2008 to mobilize resources for the sustainable development of environmentally friendly fisheries nationally. Across Africa, fishing provides direct incomes for about 10 million people and provides food for 200 million more.


Pavel Kubarkov/

California Outlaws Single-Use Plastic Bags

Source: natural awakenings

March 2017


Fortunately, food allergies that trigger such a dramatic, fast, immune response are fairly rare, particularly in adults. “Most of what we’re seeing today is an uptick in food sensitivities and intolerances, terms that are often used interchangeably to describe foods that are not digested well and can challenge the immune system,” says Solana Beach, California, nutrition and fitness expert JJ Virgin, author of The Virgin Diet. Newark, Delaware, medical doctor and allergist Junfang Jiao, Ph.D., attests to increased levels of testing for food allergies and sensitivities in recent years. “I can’t say there are more allergies or sensitivities, but more doctors are aware of the wide-ranging symptoms and more people are getting referred for testing,” he reports. Many experts agree on at least one underlying cause behind the trend—a widely studied condition called leaky

FEARLESS EATING How to Move Past Food Sensitivities by Kathleen Barnes


omplaints of digestive upsets, brain fog, headaches, relentless food cravings and unrelieved stress appear to be at epidemic levels these days. “These symptoms may be part of newfound awareness of the wideranging and seemingly unrelated health problems caused by food sensitivities and intolerances, which are different from food allergies,” explains microbiologist Kiran Krishnan, from Chicago.

Food Allergies

Food allergies seem to be plaguing America’s children now more than in the past. We know that peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, once standard lunchbox fare, have become a no-no. They’re often outlawed by schools to protect the students that experience extreme peanut allergies. 16

West Michigan Edition

The symptoms of food allergies in adults and children, often including hives, rashes and itching, can range from being annoying to life threatening. For extremely sensitive people, the tiniest fragment of a peanut or a bee sting, exposure to latex gloves or certain medications like penicillin can cause such a sudden strong allergic reaction that it results in anaphylaxis, which makes breathing passages swell shut. If untreated, such extreme allergies can even prove fatal, which is why people with severe allergies carry the antidote epinephrine (adrenaline) with them. Food allergies are diagnosed by blood and/or skin testing under the supervision of a medical professional, usually a doctor of medicine, osteopathy or naturopathy. Effective treatment, which must be customized to the individual, typically entails avoidance of allergy triggers.

gut, characterized by intestinal permeability. Microscopic pinholes in an unhealthy small intestine can allow undigested nutrients to pass through intestinal walls, triggering mild immune responses, inflammation and, potentially, the onset of some diseases. Theories of what causes leaky gut are diverse and sometimes contradictory but experts recommend consulting a medical professional if one suffers from food sensitivities. Each individual is unique, so there is no “blanket solution” for everyone. Dysbiosis: Leaky gut is often caused by an imbalance in “good” and “bad” intestinal bacteria, sometimes called dysbiosis, says Krishnan. It can be brought on by the use of antibiotics, antibiotic residues in meats and dairy products or a diet high in sugar and processed foods. Most interesting, he believes, is the discovery that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s weed killer


Some More Common Issues

Roundup used on genetically modified (GMO) corn and soy crops, contributes to dysbiosis, as verified by Massachusetts Institute of Technology scientists in a study published in Interdisciplinary Toxicology. They concluded with a plea to world governments to reconsider policies regarding the safety of glyphosate residues in foods. GMOs: While this issue has been less widely analyzed, a 1996 study published in the Journal of Applied Microbiology found that the Bacillus thuringiensis toxin added to Monsanto’s GMO corn crops to kill pests is not destroyed during human digestion. Danish researchers at the Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University suggested it may damage cells of the intestinal lining. Gluten: “Gluten causes leaky gut,” says Port Jefferson, New York, naturopathic doctor Doni Wilson, author of The Stress Remedy, voicing one side of the controversy based on her review of scientific literature. She’s concluded, “Whether you are sensitive to it or not, gluten increases the production of zonulin, which can result in damage to intestinal walls and cause the cells on the outside of the intestines to set off an immune response to anything that passes through. In this condition, what we’re eating—cheese, milk, eggs, corn, soy—is leaking through the gut lining, triggering an immune response and potentially creating multiple food sensitivities.” Wilson also notes that in her clinical experience, only about half of her patients with gluten sensitivities complain of digestive issues. “I’ve found that gluten causes the immune cells on the outside of the small intestine to affect the nervous system, causing headaches, anxiety, depression and insomnia,” she says. Her findings are backed by research from the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Celiac Research and Italy’s University of Catania. The same researchers confirm that non-celiac gluten sensitivity or intolerance can also foster depression; a University of Cincinnati study published in the journal Headache links gluten and headaches. Other proteins in wheat can be problematic, advises Fiona McCulloch, a Toronto doctor of naturopathy, citing a study presented at the annual European Gastroenterology Conference, in Vienna,

As a gluten tolerance test, substitute an amount of non-gluten carbohydrates for the same amount of gluten-containing products. For example, instead of two pieces of bread, substitute three-quarters of a cup of brown rice—a rough equivalent in carbohydrate content. A positive difference in hunger, cravings and energy levels when gluten is eliminated indicates a condition of gluten intolerance. ~Fiona McCulloch last October. The report showed that a family of proteins called amylase trypsin inhibitors can lead to the development of inflammation in tissues beyond the gut, including the lymph nodes, kidneys, spleen and brain. Glyphosate residues can be a factor in gluten intolerance. Although wheat crops produced in the U.S. are not yet genetically modified, many non-organic wheat crops are sprayed with glyphosate to promote rapid drying, according to the Environmental Working Group. Inadequate digestive enzymes: Lactose intolerance is the most common result of missing digestive enzymes like lactase, according to the Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, Minnesota. Avoiding milk products may relieve digestive distress for some.

Eliminate Items, Then Challenge

Most experts believe the easiest way to deal with food sensitivities is to stop eating the food in question. The so-called “elimination and challenge” diet, which has been in use for decades, is effective, free and addresses the foods responsible for common food intolerances, says Virgin.

Simply avoid the food of concern completely for at least three weeks, then eat a small amount of it and catalog the results. For some people, it may only take a couple of hours for symptoms to return after eating a piece of bread, cup of milk, an egg or bit of tofu. Virgin’s seven-food challenge is a bit more rigorous, but improves feelings of general well-being so readily that many people don’t even want to bring back the eliminated foods because they feel so much better, she says. Her threeweek diet completely eliminates the most common food sensitivity triggers: gluten-containing foods (largely wheat), dairy, eggs, soy, corn, peanuts, sugar and artificial sweeteners. “When I say eliminate these foods 100 percent, I mean it,” cautions Virgin. “You need to give your immune system at least that much time to cool off.” She adds, “You can do anything such as this for just three weeks.” Virgin also recommends the elimination diet for weight loss because it helps overcome food cravings triggered by the immune system response and leptin resistance, leveraging the hormone that turns off the body’s hunger signals, a finding confirmed by independent studies performed by Sweden’s Lund University and Italy’s University of Palermo. She’s also documented other positive effects through her own research and experience with participants in her programs, including improvements in energy, focus, joint pain, skin clarity and bloating, all in the designated short time frames.

Other Approaches

People with food sensitivities may be able to tolerate occasional indulgences in their trigger foods once they’ve healed their digestive systems, notes Krishnan. Probiotics can help, especially those encapsulated in spores so they can pass through the barrage of stomach acid and reach the small intestine where they are most needed. Krishnan’s research, to be published this spring, showed that half of otherwise healthy young people suffering from leaky gut had a dramatic reduction of symptoms by taking a spore-forming probiotic Bacillus indicus product for 30 days. After the healing period, sensitive people may be able

natural awakenings

March 2017


Monkey Business Images/

to eat small amounts of certain foods with the assistance of dietary aids and supplements, adds McCulloch. Get dirty: Johns Hopkins University research has shown that kids raised in an excessively hygienic environment experience much higher rates of allergies and sensitivities. University of Wisconsin researchers found that youths growing up in households that are less than obsessively sanitary among four or five other people and dogs will strengthen and challenge their immune systems as they mature. Adults need to challenge their immune systems, too, says Krishnan. Eat organic and fermented foods: A widely varied diet helps spread out the immune system challenges of trigger foods. Organic foods don’t contain glyphosate and other potentially harmful chemicals; fermented foods contain digestive enzymes. Eat prebiotics: Raw onions, garlic, leeks and asparagus are prebiotics. They help feed probiotic bacteria and improve gut health. Block sensitivity triggers: Many people with lactose intolerance are able to consume dairy products if they use lactase, the enzyme that helps digest lactose. Similarly, some people with gluten intolerance find they can eat moderate amounts of wheat products with protein supplements like lectin, carb blockers and digestive enzymes that help break down the gluten molecules, according to Virgin. Supplements that might help: Glucomannan (konjac or elephant yam fiber) contributes to a feeling of fullness and stabilizes blood sugar, says McCulloch. She also recommends the amino acid L-glutamine and digestive enzymes to assist in gut healing. Kathleen Barnes is the author of numerous natural health books. Connect at 18

West Michigan Edition

Food Intolerances Self-Questionnaire by JJ Virgin Answer each question with never (0), seldom (1), sometimes (2) or often (3). 1. I need a cup of coffee or another caffeinated pick-me-up to jumpstart the middle of my morning or afternoon. _____ 2. I crave baked goods, pasta and other high-sugar impact foods. _____ 3. I have difficulty falling asleep or I awake during the night feeling anxious and struggle to get back to sleep. _____ 4. My bowel movements occur infrequently (less than one a day), which can sometimes be painful and involve straining. _____ 5. My mood can change swiftly and I take out my crankiness and irritation on coworkers and family members. _____ 6. I want to lay my head down on my desk mid-morning or afternoon because I have little motivation to remain productive. _____ 7. During meetings or conversations I zone out and struggle to concentrate for long periods of time on my work. _____ 8. After eating a big meal, I’m hungry and craving more of what I ate several hours later. _____ 9. Doing routine and important tasks takes all the energy and initiative I have. _____ 10. Even as an adult, I struggle with acne, rashes or blotchy skin, even though I use expensive skin cream. _____ 11. I head to the bathroom or step outside after a meal because of gassiness, bloating or other uncomfortable gut issues. _____ 12. The smell of a scented candle, perfume and detergent bothers me. _____ 13. Walking or moving around can create cramping, achiness or joint pain. _____ 14. I develop headaches that prevent me from enjoying the moment and leave me scrambling for a pain reliever. _____ 15. Even though I don’t have other cold/flu symptoms, I suffer from a scratchy throat or sinus trouble. _____ 6. I eat all the right foods in moderation, exercise religiously, and yet struggle 1 intensely to lose every pound. _____ Total Score: ______

What Scores Mean

18 or above – You most likely struggle with food intolerances that create many unpleasant symptoms and stall fat loss. By removing the seven target foods for just three weeks, you’ll see these symptoms disappear and the scales will start moving again. 10 to 17 – You display some of the symptoms that food intolerances can trigger. You would greatly benefit from eliminating target foods to lose symptoms and those last few pounds. Below 10 – While you suffer few of the symptoms brought about by food intolerances, you could still benefit from the same regimen. Even the healthiest person can take their game up a notch and ditch those last few stubborn pounds. Source: The Virgin Diet, by JJ Virgin


Gentle Ways to Calm Allergies even just nibbles the eliminated food, you have to start all over again,” says Dohmen. Whether commercially prepared or home cooked, the number of ingredients can substantially extend a test period. Each item must be completely avoided for about six weeks for an accurate assessment. Environmental allergies, which encompass everything unrelated to food, range from common grasses to inhaled pollutants. New carpets or rugs, cleaning supplies, a neighbor’s pesticides, dust and pollen are among the culprits that can cause an allergic reaction. Common symptoms are itchy ears or skin, ear infections, sneezing, runny eyes, scratching, vomiting or diarrhea. Veterinarian Judy Morgan, owner of Naturally Healthy Pets, in Clayton, New Jersey, also uses herbs in her practice to alleviate food and environmental allergy symptoms. “They can be tinctures or poultices; one herb or a blended mixture. Some are applied externally, some internally.” Giving the proper dosage for the size of the pet is vital. She particularly likes calendula for hot spots, despite its

pterwort/ Patryk Kosmider/


ather than routinely giving drugs to dogs and cats to relieve dry, itchy, skin or food allergies, consider more gentle natural alternatives. As with people, knowing what an animal is allergic to is key to finding the right remedy and preventing future outbreaks. With dogs, about 20 percent of itching and scratching can be attributed to food ingredients. Symptoms can show up as early as 5 months or as late as 12 years old, often combined with inhalant or contact allergies. Chronic ear infections are often traced to food allergies. “If a pet is suffering mightily, see your veterinarian for shots or pills for immediate relief. Then ask the vet to allergy test for the specific problem,” advises Veterinarian Laurie Dohmen, owner of Purple Moon Herbs and Studies, in Hartly, Delaware. “This isn’t something you can do yourself. I’ve seen pet owners use what worked for a friend’s dog and make their own pets sicker, despite research and good intentions. What works for one pet won’t necessarily work for another.” While food elimination testing works, it’s a long process that must be done with precision. “If your pet

Susan Schmitz/

by Sandra Murphy

odor, because it’s antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral, followed by witch hazel to dry them, and then coconut oil or aloe to soothe and soften affected skin—plus Echinacea to boost the immune system. She uses ginger or peppermint to counteract nausea. “Many people think an allergic pet should be switched to a lamb and rice diet. In some cases, that makes dry, itchy, skin worse,” she says. “That’s why it’s important to know what they are allergic to before trying out new foods or herbal remedies. Find a holistic vet to work with.” Morgan often prescribes a mixture of herbs for the best results. “I like licorice because it works like a steroid without the side effects. Probiotics help keep gut bacteria and the immune system healthy. Parsley works well for dry, itchy, skin caused by a blood deficiency, or imbalance. “Parsley brings a protein, as well as several vitamins, to the party,” notes Kimberly Gauthier, a dog nutrition blogger in Marysville, Washington. “It’s a natural anti-inflammatory and also great if your dog’s breath needs a freshness boost.” She suggests rosemary and thyme as ingredients in an antibacterial, antifungal salve; she mixes these essential oils with extra virgin coconut oil and beeswax to create paw balm. Morgan reminds us that essential oils can be harmful, even life-threatening, for cats. “If Kitty has itchy skin, lavender tea can be used as a rinse on cooperative cats,” she suggests. “For a less cooperative feline, chamomile tea as a drink or as leaves mixed into the food soothes itches.” Dohmen cautions, “Herbs and other homeopathic remedies or flower essences are medicine and should be given as a prescription by a qualified veterinarian.” Connect with freelance writer Sandra Murphy at StLouis FreelanceWriter@

natural awakenings

Patryk Kosmider/


March 2017



TuiNa Massage • Acupuncture Acudetox • Qi Gong Class

Alternative Care Solution Education & Wellness Center Raymond Wan P.Ac., LMT, ADS, HHC

Owner & Best-Selling Author

Taking the Whole Body into Account

3790 28th St SW, Suite B Grandville, MI 49418

616 |419 |6924

by Linda Sechrist



Natural Awakenings Magazine of West Michigan


West Michigan Edition

Holistic Eye Care he “old wives’ tale” about eating carrots for healthy vision wasn’t wrong, but fell far short of a holistic approach to eye health. Today’s holistically trained healthcare providers and ophthalmologists believe that properly maintaining the marvelous phenomenon of eyesight requires taking into consideration genetics, diet, toxin exposures, life environments and our belief systems. “The body does not work as a series of parts in isolation, but as a dynamically integrated living system,” says Marc Grossman, a doctor of optometry, licensed acupuncture physician and co-founder of Natural Eye Health, in New Paltz, New York. “The reductionist method of referring each symptom to the domain of a particular specialist, isolated from the whole person, is slowly being replaced with a complementary view of health care that may include acupuncture and other forms of Traditional Chinese Medicine. We are beginning to look at each person as an integrated being.” Progressive health providers now consider dietary preferences, general exercise regimens, environmental factors and physical, emotional and mental issues, as well as an individual’s particular symptoms, in determining treatment strategies. “To improve vision, the condition of the whole person needs to be addressed,” says Grossman, whose books include Natural Eye Care: Your Guide to Healthy Vision. Board-Certified Ophthalmologist and Homeopathic Doctor Edward Kondrot’s practice at Healing The Eye &

Wellness Center, which he founded in Zephyrhills, Florida, embraces traditional and alternative therapies. He uses microcurrent, ozone therapy and U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved stem cells from a newborn’s umbilical cord in treating serious eye disease. Kondrot, the author of 10 Essentials to Save Your Sight, systemically understands the eyes as windows to overall health. For instance, his perspective is founded on the fact that a balanced diet is one of the best preventive measures for maintaining eye health. Systemic disorders such as high blood pressure, diabetes, stress-related effects and nutritional deficiencies are easily determined under the scrutiny of his holistic biomicroscope. According to science published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, chiropractic spinal manipulation may also contribute to normal vision; in one case study, 20 treatment sessions helped an individual recover the function of optic nerves and normal vision. It’s generally accepted that chiropractic adjustment realigning the spinal column allows the nervous system to function properly, reduces tension and frees up the body to better transport blood to locations such as the eyes. Additionally, the second vertebra below the skull contains nerves that affect the eyes, optic nerves, auditory nerves and sinuses. Common eye conditions generally develop so slowly that they may not present noticeable symptoms until deterioration has become severe. “Many factors can affect our eyesight, including


Ready to feel like yourself Ready again? to feel like yourself again? & Time to Try Acupuncture Its Massage time to try Acupuncture & Massage

other health problems. Having a family member with eye disease may mean you’re genetically prone to having that condition as well, but living a healthy lifestyle may prevent the gene from being activated,” advises Kondrot. Viewing the condition of the eyes as a reflection of whole body health means that lifestyle and diet choices play major roles. The Vision Diet and supplement program recommended in Grossman’s Natural Eye Care has been shown to reduce the intraocular pressure in the eyes of study participants by five to seven millimeters, which generally equates to 10 to 15 percent. In general, a diet high in beta-carotene, vitamins C and E, and sulfur-bearing amino acids can be helpful. Foods containing such nutrients include garlic, onions, beans, spinach, celery, turnips, yellow and orange vegetables, green leafy vegetables, seaweed, apples, oranges and tomatoes. Other dietary and lifestyle options recommended by Grossman are daily drinking one pint of juice made from mostly green vegetables and drinking eight to 10 glasses of purified water to keep eyes hydrated. Managing stress and doing palming and other eye exercises, such as those found at ComputerEyeStrainExercises, as well as daily aerobic exercise for at least 20 minutes, are also beneficial. Additionally, Kondrot’s use of multimodal protocols such as hyperbaric oxygen therapy, homeopathy, and detoxification can be applied to reverse visual loss. Kondrot advises that avoiding foods that trigger allergic reactions is important. “A study of 113 patients with chronic simple glaucoma showed an immediate increase in pressure in the fluid inside the eye when they were exposed to foods to which they were allergic. Take up meditation, yoga, tai chi or any other practice that helps you manage stress and relax,” he advises. “Some consider glaucoma a stress-related condition.” The best strategy for healthy eyes is to have regular eye examinations. Early detection and prompt treatment can prevent significant vision loss.

Spiritual Energy Healing

Ama-Deus is a healing method from a whole or soul perspective that is used to access a stream of consciousness that is Love, the force that draws us back to Source.

International Association of Ama-Deus, LLC P.O. Box 93 • Lowell, MI 49331 • Advertorial

With so many companies selling essential oils, are you confused????

How to Choose Essential Oils

“We take the stewardship of our planet seriously. Our State of the Art production process brings you the purest (essential) oils on Earth. We call it Seed To Seal®. It’s not a slogan — it’s our Calling.” (By the Founder of YOUNG LIVING™ ESSENTIAL OILS)


OUNG LIVING ESSENTIAL OILS — established over 20 years ago—laid the foundation for the company’s total commitment to using the purist seed, sustainable cultivation, optimum distillation, extensive testing of each batch of oils, and quality control inspection of each bottle to assure the purest, most potent essential oils available in the world. ( Today, YOUNG LIVING’S Vision has grown into a world wide, essentialoil trend, and the trend is fueled by the consumer’s strong desire to bypass toxin-laden, synthetic scents used in many products. Unfortunately, as with any trend, many competitive companies have been spawned that attempt to convince the consumer that their products are “pure essential oils” too, but instead may utilize synthetic oil imitations, or oils made from genetically modified seeds, or oils diluted with carrier oils, or oils distilled from plants grown with pesticides and/or herbicides—all of which distorts, weakens and chemically changes the innate power of essential oils.


OUNG LIVING ESSENTIAL OILS set the standard for authenticity 20 years ago, and that same high standard is still our “Calling” today — via our strict, Seed To Seal requirements used on all our company-owned farms and distilleries (in Utah; Idaho; France; Ecuador; British Columbia; Croatia; Israel, Taiwan) as well as on our Certified Partner-farms around the world. YOUNG LIVING also Partners with local Frankincense Harvesters in Oman to obtain our exclusive Sacred Frankincense Resin (from centuries-old Frankincense trees).

If you value true authenticity, always choose YOUNG LIVING ESSENTIAL OILS Info at: or 877-436-2299 Income opportunities also availabile This Advertorial Sponsored by Young Living Member # 489656

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

March 2017


Find an illustrative video and search classes by postal code at

Hello Gyro Workouts Use Natural Body Patterns by Aimee Hughes


magine an exercise system that strengthens the body enough to be used in training world-class athletes, stretches more safely than any form of yoga and expands the core training concepts of Pilates into natural full-body movements like those used in everyday reaching and walking, along with jumping and swimming. This is the Gyrotonic system,” says Angela Crowley, a Gyrotonic master teacher, trainer and exercise spa owner in Coral Gables, Florida. A former gymnast and dancer, Crowley took to the Gyrotonic approach after being severely injured in an automobile accident. “Traditional physical therapy only addressed certain aspects without bringing me back to normal,” she says. “Running and yoga felt intolerable. Gyrotonic exercises became a perfect bridge. I was able to rehabilitate safely while challenging myself to return to normal expectations and now, beyond.” The system of fluid movements leverages specially designed equipment that can be customized for every individual. “The Gyrotonic system combines elements from many different modalities into three-dimensional, circular movements. A primary focus is on all the different motions of the spine and how to create rhythmic, flowing movement within the entire body,” says Stefani Schrimpf, Gyrotonic instructor and studio owner of Physiques, in Overland Park, Kansas. “The exercises strengthen, lengthen and stretch muscles, while stimulating connective tissues around the joints. They also improve balance, flexibility and coordination. This system allows you to push beyond specific limitations and to isolate and fine tune movement skills,” says Schrimpf. While a Gyrotonic workout has similarities to yoga and Pilates, it is also unique. According to Melissa Jutras, a Pilates instructor, weightlifting coach, personal trainer


West Michigan Edition

photos courtesy


and gym/studio owner of Big Blue Strength, in Lexington, Kentucky, “Hatha yoga is a series of static postures, whereas Pilates and Gyrotonic movements focus on flow, using equipment to enhance core strength, stability, control, coordination and flexibility. The difference is that Gyrotonic exercises works on three dimensions with every circular movement, like the body naturally moves. It uses weights and a pulley system, whereas Pilates is more linear and uses spring tension.” Jutras believes the Gyrotonic system, Pilates and yoga all complement weightlifting and strength training, affording a mind-body balance. “The body then experiences low- and high-threshold exercise, low-intensity and highintensity, weight-bearing and non-weight-bearing activity,” she says. Crowley sees the Gyrotonic approach complementing virtually any activity. “The exercises help practitioners learn how to move more efficiently, easily, powerfully, gracefully and successfully in every facet of life.” The method is also offered without equipment in the form of Gyrokinesis, a flowing class done on a chair, mat and standing. This affordable option can be practiced independently at home. “My youngest client is 7, my oldest is 94,” relates Crowley. “We have clients that have become bored by repetitive exercise and enjoy the limitless variations of movements that keep both their minds and muscles alert. We have chronic pain clients that have exhausted other medical options and are improving their ability to function more optimally and enjoying their lives again.” Both Schrimpf and her husband, Juan Trujillo, teach the Gyrotonic method. “Our greatest reward is the feedback we get. Once people try it, they’re hooked,” she says. “It transforms how people think about movement and brings a sense of joy and accomplishment. They feel their joints becoming more supple and balanced, and find their bodies responding well to the natural movement patterns.” Aimee Hughes, a freelance writer in Kansas City, MO, is a doctor of naturopathy and consultant for the Yandara Yoga Institute. Connect at ChezAimee@


Making a Cuppa More Planet-Friendly A Gallup poll last year reported that 64 percent of U.S. adult coffee lovers consume one or more cups daily and the average number of cups quaffed each day is 2.7. We can express our affection for both java and the Earth by following these eco-tips. 4 Forego the convenience of single-cup, plastic pod makers like Keurig. As Mother Jones magazine recently reported, only 5 percent of current pods are made with recyclable plastic, and even those, having hard-to-remove aluminum tops, pose recycling challenges. Keurig plans to make all of its pods recyclable by 2020. 4 Many other simpler coffee-making devices maximize energy use by facilitating more servings and reducing waste. recommends the Moka Pot, a pressure-driven aluminum stovetop brewer; the Chemex Coffeemaker, a funnel-shaped glass unit with a wooden collar; the Canadian wood product Aeropress; an old-fashioned vacuum pot with two glass chambers connected by a thin neck; and a traditional non-electric stovetop percolator. 4 Some coffee farms exploit their workers, paying subsistence wages, damage rainforests and use unsustainable farming practices. Jake Carney, co-founder of, founded Lucy’s Bru, an organic whole-bean coffee that’s exclusively shade-grown under fair trade conditions, sustainably farmed and free of harsh fertilizers and pesticides. 4 Reuse steel and aluminum coffee cans. details how they can make effective dehumidifiers for damp basements when filled with salt; soak paint brushes in thinner solutions; store items in a garage or work space; and serve as a spot lawn or garden seeder after punching holes in the bottom. The website also lists ways that coffee grounds can be used as a beauty, cleaning, deodorizer and dying agent. 4 Use better filters at home. Instead of paper, single-use filters, INeedCoffee. com suggests reusable or unbleached, biodegradable alternatives such as the Medelco cone permanent filter and a French press. 4 For to-go drinkers, many coffee shops and restaurants will pour fresh brew into mugs that patrons bring in. Keeping a clean spoon in the car can save on plastic stirrers.



How glorious a

greeting the sun gives the mountains. ~John Muir

natural awakenings

March 2017


Craevschii Family/


Thumbs-Up on Fats Good Fat Doesn’t Make Us Fat by Judith Fertig



n an era of too much information, the role of fats in our diet has been a victim of not enough information. Today’s turnaround in nutritional thinking acknowledges natural fats as being vital to heart health and weight loss.

Heart Health Benefit

A recent metastudy in the Annals of Internal Medicine, a journal of the American College of Physicians, concluded that saturated fat does not appear to increase heart disease risk, overturning almost 60 years of accepted medical thought. The researchers analyzed data from 76 studies involving more than 600,000 people and found that those that ate the most saturated, or “bad”, fat did not show a higher risk of cardiovascular disease compared with those that ate the least. Note that processed trans fats remain a villain, still deemed a risk to heart health per the metastudy. The misleading information began in the 1950s, when Physiologist Ancel Keys, Ph.D., discovered a correlation between diets high in saturated fats and higher cholesterol levels. Soon, the lowfat diet was born.  In 2000, further research introduced the concepts of good and bad fats. More 24

West Michigan Edition

recent analysis confirmed this finding with the refinement that saturated fats increase both types of cholesterol. However, the latest research from the journal BMJ shows that saturated fat does not increase the number of LDL, or “bad”, particles, a predictor of cardiovascular disease. Instead, it makes existing LDL particles larger, a fairly benign situation in regard to such disease.

Weight Loss Benefit

Fat doesn’t even make you fat, claims Mark Hyman, a well-known medical doctor in Lenox, Massachusetts, and author of Eat Fat, Get Thin: Why the Fat We Eat Is the Key to Sustained Weight Loss and Vibrant Health. “The theory that all calories have the same impact on your weight and metabolism remains one of the most persistent nutrition myths,” says this practitioner of functional medicine who points out that we’ve been sidetracked by wrong thinking. “Eating fat can make you lean. Healthy cell walls made from highquality fats are better able to metabolize insulin, which keeps blood sugar better regulated. Without proper blood sugar control, the body socks away fat for a rainy day. The right fats also in-

crease fat burning, diminish hunger and reduce fat storage,” he notes. Whole30, a 30-day diet revolving around clean eating, also emphasizes healthy fats. Devised in 2009 by Dallas Hartwig, a functional medicine practitioner and certified sports nutritionist, and Melissa Hartwig, a certified sports nutritionist, the program aims to reduce inflammation, detoxify the body and reset metabolism. The Salt Lake City, Utah, authors of the New York Times bestselling The Whole30 recommend healthy fats to keep us full and rev up metabolism. Recommended healthy fats include coconut milk and oil, avocados, olive oil, organic ghee (clarified butter) and raw nuts. Josh Axe, a natural medicine practitioner and clinical nutritionist in Nashville, Tennessee, recommends the healthy fats contained in avocados, organic butter and ghee from grass-fed cows and goats, coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, and other foods high in omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon, sardines, walnuts, chia seeds and flax seeds. “Butter’s experiencing a comeback as a healthy fat as its benefits become more widely known,” says Axe. “The omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids in butter help the brain function properly and improve skin health.” Ghee, an ancient Indian version of butter,

is lactose- and casein-free, while being loaded with fat-soluble vitamins A, D and E, says Axe. These vitamins are best absorbed by the body when they’re in a fat substance and then stored in the gastrointestinal tract, keeping metabolism and digestion on track, he notes. Ghee’s high level of vitamin K2, best known as a natural blood coagulator, “also helps strengthen bones, while the fatty acids found in it improve digestion and reduce inflammation.”

Healthy Levels of Fat

“If you’re active, about 40 percent of your calories should come from carbohydrates, another 30 percent from protein and the other 30 percent from fat in general,” says Axe, adding that this has the added benefit of helping prevent arteriosclerosis. “Some people may consume a greater percentage of healthy fats if the goal is to become a fat burner.” “There is no one-size-fits-all approach to weight loss and health,” Hyman reminds us. “Low-carb, higherfat diets work for most people, but for some, they may not be optimal in the long term.” Judith Fertig writes food health articles and cookbooks from Overland Park, KS (

Prime Sources of Healthy Fats Functional medicine physician Mark Hyman suggests that we include four to five servings of fat in our diets every day. “In the last five years, the scientific evidence has been mounting that high-fat diets outperform low-fat diets for weight loss and for revising every single indication of heart disease risk, including abnormal cholesterol, diabetes, hypertension and inflammation,” he says. Each amount listed indicates a serving size. Nuts (a handful of walnuts, almonds, macadamia nuts or cashews) Seeds (a handful of pumpkin, sunflower of flaxseed) Most plant-based liquid oils (one

Relieve Stress and Anxiety Call Today to Schedule Your Massage Appointment 5260 Kalamazoo Ave SE Kentwood, MI. 49508 616.827.2350

Join our Natural Awakenings group on Facebook and we’ll directly alert you of upcoming happenings and events.

Find us @: Natural Awakenings Magazine of West Michigan

Facebook is a registered trademark of Facebook, Inc.

tablespoon of olive, safflower, sesame, avocado, macadamia, grape seed or walnut oil) Fatty fish (4 ounces of salmon, herring, mackerel, sardines, tuna or trout) Avocado (one-half to one avocado)

An Interspiritual Church

An Alternative to Traditional Religion Radically Inclusive

Extra virgin coconut oil (one tablespoon) Organic coconut milk (one-quarter cup) Olives (one-quarter cup) Grass-fed animal butter, clarified butter or ghee (one tablespoon) Aim to eat fats that remain liquid (not solid) at room temperature; it’s a sure sign of heart-healthy, unsaturated fats. Source: Adapted from Eat Fat, Get Thin, by Mark Hyman, M.D.

Sunday Worship: 10:30am Wednesday Discussion & Meditation: 6:00pm Pastor Sherry Petro-Surdel 3493 Blue Star Highway Saugatuck, MI. 49453 616-836-1555

natural awakenings

March 2017



Dr. Joseph Mercola on


$35 for 30 days unlimited yoga for new students only (some restrictions apply)

by Judith Fertig

208 W 18th Street Holland, MI 49424 616-392-7580


octor of Osteopathic Medicine Joseph Mercola has practiced as a boardcertified family physician for more than 30 years. His educational website,, has been the most visited natural health site for the past 12 years, with 12 million unique visitors each month. His three New York Times bestsellers include Effortless Healing.

With today’s overload of conflicting health information—and the temptation to self-diagnose—how can we accurately assess our status in terms of optimal wellness?


with a

view Practice Yoga Overlooking Versluis Lake 5270 Northland Drive NE | Grand Rapids, MI 49525 | 616-361-8580


West Michigan Edition

One of the major principles I strongly embrace is to listen to your body and adjust your lifestyle based on the feedback it’s providing you. The seven clinically proven gauges I advise you to assess now and continue to monitor every six months or so are fasting insulin level (normal is less than five micro-international units per milliliter of blood; ideal is less than three); vitamin D level (normal is 40 to 60 nanograms per milliliter); waist-to-hip ratio (ideal for men, 0.8; for women, 0.7); body fat percentage (fitness level for women is 21 to 24 percent; for men, 14 to 17 percent); HDL to total cholesterol ratio (ideally 24 to 30 percent or higher); blood pressure (ideal numbers are 120 over 80 systolic/diastolic without medication); and uric acid level (ideal is three to five milligrams per deciliter).

It is important to get these levels checked, because it is impossible to know without testing.

In your opinion, what is the greatest health risk Americans face today and what can we do about it right now? I’m convinced that for the typical American, the most important health step to take is to stop drinking soda, sports drinks, fruit juices or artificially flavored and sweetened waters and replace them with pure water. Most people are now aware that sodas are laced with processed sugars like high-fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners, but many don’t know that their favorite sport and vitamin drinks contain these sweeteners plus a host of frightening extras, including toxic chemicals like chlorine, fluoride, phthalates, BPA [bisphenol A] and disinfection byproducts.

What role do carbohydrates play? Carbs are a far dirtier fuel than fat and generate far more reactive oxygen species than fat. Some 70 years of following low-fat diet recommendations has resulted in the vast majority of dieters losing the ability to burn fat as their primary fuel. One of the most powerful strategies to regain this ability is to start a practice of regular intermittent fasting, restricting your eating window to six to 14 hours a day and fast the rest of the day.

Of course, you will want to replace a high net carb intake, or total carbs minus fiber, with healthy fats such as those in avocados, coconut oil, seeds and nuts. Avoid industrially processed omega-6 vegetable oils like corn, soy and canola.


Because an indoor, climatecontrolled, sedentary lifestyle may lead to slowly developing chronic disease, what changes do you suggest we make? Spending time outside with bare feet in contact with the ground even for short periods can yield significant benefits. It’s even better to do it with the sun shining on your bare skin. The Earth is an abundant source of free electrons, and when the sun shines on your skin a vital biological circuit forms that helps transfer energy to water throughout the body, which serves as a cellular battery. Albert Einstein won a Nobel Prize for describing this process, called the photoelectric effect. Reducing the length of time sitting each day and regularly moving is even more important for most of us than getting regular exercise. A good rule of thumb is to stand up every 15 minutes or so.

What can we do better to maintain optimal health?

Two-thirds of Americans are overweight. The problems with carrying excess weight are more than aesthetic. At the root of obesity is mitochondrial metabolic dysfunction. Metabolic disorders go hand-in-hand with many of the chronic diseases plaguing Americans in record numbers—including diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, dementia and cancer—according to numerous studies such as research by the Centers for Disease Control and the Center for the Study of Chronic Metabolic and Rare Diseases, at George Mason University. The most potent strategy to address such metabolic dysfunction is to make a strong commitment to reaching and maintaining a personally healthy level of body fat. Judith Fertig writes food health articles and cookbooks from Overland Park, KS (

Kevin Trudeau

503 E. Main St. | Edmore

989.427.3457 FIND US ON



Vikki Nestico R.Ac., Dipl. OM

located at:

Renewal Skin Spa 6080 28th St SE Grand Rapids

Make 2017 Your Healthiest Year Ever! Restore balance in your life, visit

Pain Relief • Fertility • Digestive Disorders • Depression Hormone Imbalance • Cancer Treatment Support • Insomnia

For appointments or to schedule a FREE consultation call 616-940-1177 or go to

New Students

One Month of Unlimited Yoga & Tai Chi Classes for $49!

Love e v o L

e f i L r u o Y Your Life

Celebrating Our 15 Year Anniversary! 616.336.YOGA |

natural awakenings

March 2017



Reframing Your Life Story Create Your Own Hero’s Journey

Medical Massage

by Kim Schneiderman

Plus: Eco Yards

Our Readers are Seeking Providers & Services for Therapeutic Massage & Earth-Friendly Landscaping

To advertise or participate in our next issue, call

616-604-0480 28

West Michigan Edition


very life unfolds as a uniquely dynamic, purposeful and potentially heroic story that is open to interpretation, especially our own. We are the star and spin doctor of this work-in-progress, with the power to tell our stories as triumphs, tragedies or something in-between. Our life story is filled with suspense: Big and little decisions affect our storyline, including the relationships we choose, our goals, how we live and the ways we nourish ourself physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. How we tell our story matters. We are constantly sifting through competing narratives to make sense of our world for ourself and others. Whether we consider ourself a heroic figure overcoming obstacles or a tragic victim of destiny often depends on how we choose to read the text of our life and tell our story. Creating a personal myth is a fundamental way we find meaning. We are always the protagonist, with supporting characters providing love and assistance and antagonists posing challenges that push us beyond our comfort zones. Rather than narcissism or navel-gazing, the more intimate we become with our own story, the more we realize that everyone has an equally valid and vital narrative in which they are the central character. Understanding that everyone is on their own story journey can help us establish connection and empathy. In every myth, the protagonist has a character arc; a particular way they mature and develop due to shifting tides in their life story. Similarly, each of us is on an ever-evolving journey of self-discovery with choices about how

to respond to situations, conflicts and happenstance. By reframing our lives as personal growth adventures, we can adapt to plot twists and view unexpected difficulties as opportunities for self-transformation. With gusto, we can reclaim and shape our personal narrative through choice and voice. Thinking of ourself as the main character in our story can help us shift to novel perspectives on situations we repeatedly face. Instead of staying stuck in the same old storyline, try asking: If I were a character in a novel or movie‌ n What would I hope the hero would do when faced with these circumstances? n What actions or outcomes would I prefer as the observer of this story? n What might this situation be teaching the star? n How might the protagonist maximize this situation, perhaps becoming a more compassionate, caring, creative or stronger person? n Why would a benevolent author place this character in a particular situation? With imagination and well-directed self-inquiry, we can step out of our story, check out the landscape and determine whether to stay on our current path or go in a different direction. We can then transform obstacles into opportunities to break bad habits and improve character to become the real hero of our own living, evolving story. Kim Schneiderman is a New York City psychotherapist and author of Step Out of Your Story: Writing Exercises to Reframe and Transform Your Life. Visit

Lucky Team Studio/


things that are inspirational to remind you of all that is going well. Or, maybe don’t be on social media at all. No one knows what you need but you. So, surround yourself with others who understand and encourage you to be your amazing self, allowing you to disconnect when you need to recharge.

How to Survive and Thrive as an Empath

5) Care for your Self constantly

by Ashley Carter Youngblood, LLMSW, LLMFT, CADC


n my professional Facebook page, I recently posted a link to an article by the famous holistic practitioner, Deepak Chopra, on how to be emotionally healthy as an Empath. It got nearly ten times the number of likes my posts usually get! This means there are a lot of people hungry for learning how to survive living in world that is complex both externally and internally. For those of you who don’t know, an Empath is someone who is sensitive to pretty much everything. An Empath feels things deeply, knows what others are thinking and feeling often before that other person does, and is highly sensitive to their environment. Empaths are hyper-aware of things like body language, words used to communicate, and the emotional experiences of others. Do not mistake Empaths with those who are offended easily. Empaths are sensitive not because they are easily offended. They just feel everything, even the emotions of others, very deeply and often physically in their bodies. This sensitivity is thought to explain why Empaths have higher rates of chemical sensitivities and chronic illness/pain than the rest of the population. In the field of psychology, there is a term for this experience: a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP). Psychology Today published an article in 2011 titled Sense and Sensitivity describing the science behind this 20% of the population. If you know an HSP, I recommend you give it a read. But, for those who are highly sensitive, the point is not to understand it. The important thing is learning how live well with such a powerful experience. Here are a few tips on how to not only survive, but thrive as an Empath.

1) View your sensitivity as a gift

Hearing “you’re just too sensitive” is the ultimate slap in the face for an Empath. Being sensitive is not a curse. It is a blessing! Empaths are creative, loving, and make up a large portion of the helping professions because of their natural tendency toward care-giving. They see the needs of and can connect to others quickly. For the average person, life is lived in shades of gray. But, for an HSP, the world is full of millions of vivid colors, emotions, and sensory information. This different view on the world is what makes HSPs so special. They see a world others can’t comprehend.

2) Stop your own critical self-talk

For those who identify as an Empath, the dialogue of “just get over it” can be internalized. But, don’t believe it! Don’t scold yourself for feeling or reacting a certain way. Listen to what your body and mind is telling you. And, heed that advice.

3) Know your limits

To heed our body and mind’s advice on how to be healthy as an Empath, we must know our limits. Give yourself permission to set boundaries with others who drain your energy. When you turn on the news and, after 15 minutes of watching, you feel sick to your stomach, turn it off. For HSPs, our own bodies are the best tool to use when identifying what is healthy for us. Use it as a way to take the temperature of the situation to know if it is something that will add to your wellness or draw from it.

4) Pick your surroundings wisely

In addition to knowing your limits, surround yourself with a supportive environment. Take social media, for example. If scrolling through your news feed makes you anxious, stop. Maybe follow only

Not all HSPs are introverts. But, often those who identify as Empaths need to spend time alone with their thoughts to be able to process through their emotions and identify their own needs. This is particularly the case as Empaths tend to give to others constantly but forget to give to themselves, too. As the saying goes, “You can’t pour from an empty cup. Take care of yourself first.” This should be the personal mantra of the HSP. Think of energy as a bank account. You have to have money in order to give it. Self-care is a foundational part of how to live well as an Empath so that we can continue to share our gift with the world.

6) Skip the apologies

Not everyone is going to understand the need to separate from things that create strong emotional reactions. Others may criticize “why can’t you come to the party tonight?” or “I don’t see you around much anymore”. Resist the urge to justify or apologize for your self-care. Respect yourself enough to not have to explain why you have made a certain choice. Others may not understand. But, they aren’t you. And, you wouldn’t tell Superman how to fly, would you? Here’s what I hope you take away from this article: self-care isn’t selfish. It is self-preservation. As an Empath, give yourself permission to feel your experiences and share your gift with as many as you know. But, also know your limits and give yourself permission to respect those boundaries. Only then can you truly thrive as an Empath. Ashley Carter Youngblood is both a limited licensed clinical social worker and marriage and family therapist who practices at Meaningful Connections Counseling in Kalamazoo. Her specialties include a holistic approach to women’s issues, anxiety/trauma, mindfulness, couples counseling, and spiritual/cultural issues. For more information go to:

natural awakenings

March 2017




Silencing Cyberbullies How to Defuse Bad Actors by April Thompson


hether it’s a damaging rumor posted on Facebook, a humiliating photo shared on Instagram or a threatening text, cyberbullying is increasing among today’s youth. A 2015 Cyberbullying Research Center study of middle school students found that 43 percent had been targeted, while 15 percent admitted to being online bullies. Meanwhile, students, parents and teachers are combating cyber-aggression with initiatives to make the phenomenon socially unacceptable in schools.

New Student Special

Grassroots Action

2 Weeks Unlimited Yoga Only $29 5570 Wilson Ave, Suite M. Grandville 616.745.0310


West Michigan Edition

Tyler Gregory, 23, attended a small, insular high school in rural Ohio where bullying was problematic. As a senior with younger siblings approaching their high school years, he aimed to change the local culture to make bullying uncool. Gregory decided to make a movie to submit to the NO BULL Challenge, a national organization that provides students a platform to develop and dis-

seminate materials that spark dialogue about such troubling issues. Challenges ranged from teaching himself filmmaking and persuading students to participate to mustering the courage to present the project to his school. He achieved the transformation he sought, beginning with 70 students participating in his production. “I appealed to classmates by asking, ‘How do you want to be remembered? Why not choose to be viewed positively, as leaders?’” says Gregory, who later became a spokesperson for NO BULL Challenge. To date, the challenge has received 600 submissions, garnering 23 million impressions through digital and social media, the vehicles of cyberbullies. A recent graduate of Dayton, Ohio’s Wright State University, Gregory has spoken to about 45,000 students in 27 states in school assemblies. Nancy Willard, director of Embrace Civility in the Digital Age, headquartered in Creswell, Oregon, believes that such initiatives, which shift schools from punitive approaches to making

bullying incompatible with accepted social norms, are the only way to bring lasting change. “We need to cultivate a climate where being hurtful is contrary to a school’s expressed values. Most young people don’t like to see their peers being hurtful and admire those that stand up to peers and have them make amends,” says Willard. The educator’s website,, offers free materials with concrete steps for students and teachers to foster positive school environments.

Protecting the Vulnerable

Cyberbullying isn’t limited to attacks on unpopular kids that lack satisfying peer relationships. It’s seven times more likely to occur between current or former friends and romantic partners than between strangers, according to a study led by Diane Felmlee, professor of sociology at Pennsylvania State University. Felmlee’s research further found that non-heterosexual youth are four times as likely as their heterosexual peers to be cyberbullied, while popular kids are also frequently targeted. Two social dynamics seem to be at work: “One involves individuals that violate social norms, such as LGBTQ youth, and the other revolves around status struggles,” reports Felmlee. “In the latter case, bullies are vying for popularity, recognition and self-esteem. Those with higher social status may be attacked because they’re viewed as competition.” Cyberbullying’s impact can exceed face-to-face aggression, as offensive remarks can spread far and fast, and live online in perpetuity instead of fading away, observes Felmlee. Gregory adds that it can also affect students’

ability to learn when some skip school to avoid tormentors.

Muting Meanness

Helpful Responses

Most youths don’t report cyberbullying, feeling embarrassed, afraid the situation will get worse or doubtful of remedial action. “Schools need to step up their response to bullying, make it known that it won’t be tolerated, set clear policies and enforce them,” counsels Gregory. Because most bullied youths don’t speak up, parents need to communicate openly with kids and be aware of their online activities, advises Felmlee. Willard notes that it’s also important to address the bullies themselves through understanding their motivation, and then persuading them to accept responsibility and take steps to rectify harm. “This should be about reparation, not punishment.” Gregory’s high school film assures bullies that it’s never too late to make amends. While it can be hard to stand up to bullies, caring peers can easily express support. “Bystanders have the power to change the atmosphere,” agrees Gregory. “Kindly approaching a student being picked on who may feel alone and ashamed goes further than most students realize.” Those affected by cyberbullying also can cut off their aggressors, suggests Gregory. “The ‘block’ button is powerful. Cyberbullies want to see a reaction. Blocking them from social media exchanges or texting takes away their power.” Connect with freelance writer April Thompson, of Washington, D.C., at

Here are some tips to help keep digital spaces safe and civil. * Think twice before posting a photo or comment that could be taken out of context and misappropriated. * Report bad behavior to an adult that can help figure out the right course of action. * Don’t portray youth as victims, which can perpetuate the idea they are weak and vulnerable targets. * Save cyber evidence to help officials take appropriate action. Some schools now have online reporting systems that allow students to anonymously submit screenshots from social media. * Don’t retaliate. It likely will only aggravate unwanted behavior and drag everyone down to the cyberbully’s level of consciousness. * Keep watch. Apps like Online Guardian for Families, CyberSynchs and YouDiligence allow parents to monitor children’s exposure on social media via keywords related to bullying. Resources:;; PreventionTips; BlockBullies; cyberbullying.

Your Journey Towards Wellness Begins Here

(269) 366-4146

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

natural awakenings

March 2017




Eco-Burial Options Grow


by Avery Mack




Contact us today for special ad rates.

616-604-0480 32


West Michigan Edition

Winston Link/


atural burials allow those that lived their principles of an environmentally sound life to complete their days in a planet-friendly, personalized way. “The number of U.S. cemeteries allowing natural burials has increased by 30 in the last year,” says Elizabeth Fournier, owner of Cornerstone Funeral Services, in Boring, Oregon. “More than 150 cemeteries allow them now. We encourage replacing cut flowers with plants. A multipurpose wooden casket can serve as a bookshelf until needed, or a casket can be made of natural wicker, paper or grass.” Formaldehyde-free embalming fluids made of non-toxic and biodegradable essential oils allow for a synthetic chemical-free burial. “Green burials tend to be unique and can last from one to four hours,” says Brian Flowers, green burial coordinator for Moles Farewell Tributes, in Bellingham, Washington. “One funeral had 50 Civil War re-enactors in blue and gray outfits, along with a 21-musket and two-cannon salute. Another was led by a shaman. Natural burial isn’t just for the Birkenstock/patchouli crowd. Our area is farm-rich, so a green burial fits with the idea of living close to the land.” The Moles’ four-and-one-half-acre meadow for natural burial will expand in the next two years to eight acres. Flowers explains, “It’s an ecological

restoration site. We manage invasive species and plant three native plants for each burial.” In Houston, Terry Ward, president and CEO of Country Communities, notes how fast-paced lifestyles can prevent intimate connections among siblings. “At Indigo Fields, we’re able to implant an app-accessible microchip into an urn or stone. The information can include photos, details of the person’s life and stories that might otherwise become lost. It can be updated at any time and serves as a gift for anyone researching the family tree. It helps the living heal and talk about their fears, too.”

Added Green Alternatives

Cremation has always been an alternative to burial, but is energy intensive; recycling medical parts helps green up this option. Many choices are available for the cremains, the ashes that remain after a cremation. Many states outlaw burying pet remains in a human cemetery, so Lisa Brambilla, of Yorba Linda, California, invented 100 percent biodegradable Bio Urns. “Before, pet lovers had few choices when it came time to say

goodbye. Laying a cremated pet to rest this way makes a loss easier because it’s a physical manifestation of a pet in plant form. It hurts a little less,” she says. Each urn comes with a seed for a tree or shrub and the proper soil to help it grow. “Maka, a keeshond, was the dog my son’s heart bonded with; he was 6 when she died,” Brambilla relates. “After she grew into a tree, he could smile when he talked about her. It teaches kids to create a new life and to treat the planet well. Death is nothing but a word. The only thing real is life.” Bio Urn expanded to include human clients after Brambilla’s fatherin-law requested to be remembered via a redwood tree and her mother, a Christmas tree. Eternal reefs are made of ashes mixed with cement placed in the ocean in a military-style ceremony to help support marine life for at least 500 years. Family members retain the reef’s GPS coordinates and can boat or dive to visit it. Music lovers can choose to have their ashes compressed into a vinyl record. A live recording of goodbyes, a last will and testament or compilation of

favorite songs can be prerecorded. Ashes can also be compressed into colorful memorial gemstones ready to be set into jewelry to keep a loved one close. Resomation, or bio-cremation, liquefies the body in a heated alkaline bath, using far less energy than traditional cremation and without environmentally harmful chemical emissions; afterward, the bones are ground, resembling cremains, and are returned to the family. Promession is a way to freeze-dry the body by immersion in liquid nitrogen at -321° F. When it becomes brittle, vibrations shake the corpse into small pieces, water is evaporated and the dust that remains can be used as compost. Invented by Swedish biologist Susanne Wiigh-Mäsak, she feels it’s the utmost Earth-friendly way to return a body to the soil. As people opt to avoid the higher costs of a traditional funeral and elect practical, eco-friendly ways to exit the human scene, natural burials can become more accepted ways to achieve Biblical dust-to-dust while doing no harm.


Connect with the freelance writer via

Source: Casket and Funeral Supply Association of America

Each year, traditional funerals use and bury: n Hardwoods for caskets (30 million board feet) n Steel for caskets (90,272 tons, plus 14,000 tons for vaults) n Copper and bronze for caskets (2,700 tons) n Reinforced concrete for vaults (1.636 million tons) n Embalming fluids (827,060 gallons)

Earth-friendly methods: n Cost about half as much as a traditional funeral. n Use non-toxic embalming fluids. n Offer biodegradable caskets. n Replace quarried headstones with natural stone or greenery. n Restore native plant areas, reducing invasive species, mowing and herbicides. n Contribute to peace of mind with a green legacy.

natural awakenings

March 2017


communityspotlight Heart’s Journey Wellness Center By Julie Reynolds


eart’s Journey Wellness Center is a place that offers much to the communities that surround it. The owner, Dr. Sue Dilsworth, prides herself on offering an open-minded and understanding approach to therapy and yoga practices that welcomes people with varied lifestyles and situations. Newcomers can be assured they will be respected in a non-judgmental environment. Dr. Dilsworth started her business in 2011 after falling in love with the practice of yoga and completing various yoga teacher trainings. Previously, she worked as a psychologist at Grand Valley State University and Michigan Tech University, as well as with nonprofit organizations. She received her Masters at Western Michigan University and her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Capella University. Dilsworth also has a Holistic Health Certification from Western Michigan University. Currently, Dilsworth owns and operates Heart’s Journey Wellness and has recently joined Advanced Counseling and Therapy Services in Grand Rapids. In this new practice, she offers both counseling and therapy services. Services are inclusive to all demographics, including those who align with the LGBTQIA+ community. “Through various treatment modalities, individuals will have an opportunity to explore alternative ways of dealing with patterns personal conflict in what is intended to be a welcoming environment.” according to Dilsworth.


West Michigan Edition

A unique feature of her therapy practice is the ability to offer yoga therapy to her clients at both practices. Yoga Therapy is a one-on-one individualized opportunity to include the biopsycho-social component of counseling and integrate yoga principles including Ayurvedic practices. “At times in traditional therapy, people may have a road block and get ‘stuck in their story.’” Dilsworth says. She further explains that after a while “a story is just a story, and people need to be able to realize they are more than the story they have been living. “Yoga Therapy is a more holistic way of integrating the body, mind and spirit.” Her goal is to provide clients with the skills to cope and care for themselves independently. “Although there can be a genetic predisposition, in general, people aren’t born anxious or depressed, but often develop symptoms and patterns of unhealthy behaviors over the course of their lives. My goal is to help people get back to that blank slate, that sense of peacefulness and contentment,” Dilsworth states. Although her endeavors are ambitious, Dilsworth truly enjoys what she does for a living and being able to help others. Her hope for the future is that insurance companies will be more open to accepting yoga therapy as a billable service so that more can take advantage of the benefits. “Yoga is a great adjunct to physical therapy and occupational therapy,” she says. It can be healing and beneficial, because it draws from the physical as well as the psychological aspects of prevention and treatment.” For those who seek yoga options, Heart’s Journey Wellness center in Allendale offers many styles and levels to meet almost any need. Kundalini yoga, Ashtanga yoga, beginning and advanced yoga, Vinyasa yoga, restorative yoga, hot yoga and chair yoga all provide useful relaxation, strength and wellness benefits to those who prac-

tice. Yoga allows opportunities to really focus on the importance of breathing techniques, postures, releasing negative energy, detoxing, clearing the mind, stress relief and so much more! These are all skills and techniques that can last a lifetime and aid people throughout tough times. “The first and last things we do in life is to take a breath, but we don’t focus much on the breath in between birth and death. It is in the breath that we often times find our greatest healing,” Dilsworth says. In addition to the many yoga offerings, Heart’s Journey Wellness also offers periodic classes in meditation and mindfulness practice. These types of classes include gentle movements, breathing exercises and quiet experiences. The meditative movement class can improve body strength, flexibility, concentration and help with relaxation techniques. Dilsworth, along with several other instructors, bring together decades of experience and knowledge to the business with a focus on inclusion. All yoga is therapeutic, but Heart’s Journey Wellness is intentional in creating a therapeutic environment. Each instructor offers their unique approach to the classes they teach. There is surely a practice and an instructor for everyone. Information on the instructors can be found on the website. Different packages and prices are available for yoga classes, as well as student, senior and military discounted pricing. Cash, check or credit card payments are available. Most major insurance is accepted for psychological services. Heart’s Journey Wellness is located at 6189 Lake Michigan Drive in Allendale, Michigan. For additional information on Heart’s Journey Wellness Center, visit or call 616-307-1617. There is also an informational fact page on the website with answers to many questions. Advanced Counseling and Therapy Services is located at 2020 Raybrook SE Suite 305 in Grand Rapids. Call 616-202-4444 x 3 or visit for more information. See ads, pages 23 & 46. Julie Reynolds is a contributing writer and has a background in advertising, teaching, writing and real estate. She can be contacted at

Are You Ready To...

Put Your Health in Your Hands? Holistic Healing Services Diet & Nutrition Health Consultations Muscle Testing • Reflexology Therapeutic Massage Light Touch Healing Natural Hormone Therapy

Iridology • Reiki • Acupuncture

The Healing Center

Store Hours: M-F 10 am to 6 pm Sat. 10 am to 3 pm • Closed Sunday

Holistic Health Products Homeopathic Remedies Essential Oils Bach Flowers Personal Care Eco-Friendly Household Items Herbs • Food Gifts, Music, DVD’s & Books

The Healing Center

332 S. Lincoln, Lakeview, MI • 989.352.6500 •

B o d y, M i n d & S p i r i t — B o d y, M i n d & S p i r i t — B o d y, M i n d & S p i r i t — B o d y, M i n d & S p i r i t — B o d y, M i n d & S p i r i t

The Path You Have Always Wanted! Accepting Registrations for March 2017! Naturopathy

(each year 600 hours)

Natural Health Educator ............... 1st Year Natural Health Therapist............... 2nd Year Natural Health Practitioner ........... 3rd Year Certified Naturopath ..................... 4th Year

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

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

Friday: 5-9pm and Sat & Sun: 9am-6pm Naturopaths: 1 per month - Massage: 2 per month

Individual Classes:

Herbology - Aromatherapy - Nutrition Live Food Preparation - Light Healing Touch Reflexology - Homeopathy & Much More!

(989) 773-1714

Mount Pleasant, MI

Over 20 Years of Experience ~ Licensed and Accredited natural awakenings

March 2017


Harmony ‘n Health Colon Hydrotherapy

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

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

Therapeutic Massage also available

Stay Informed Throughout The Month @


West Michigan Edition


The Heart of Things By Dr. Dan Gleason


re you paying attention to your heart? Do you know your personal risk for having a heart attack or a stroke? How does this compare with your other risks? For example, do you know what the chances are of dying from a terrorist attack? Since 9/11 Jihadists have killed 94 people in the United States. According to President Trump’s recent list, there have been 753 deaths and 1721 wounded worldwide. From 2004 to 2015 Jihadists killed 45 people and right wing extremists killed 48 here in the US. So, if terrorism represents a miniscule risk, what is most likely to get you? Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer, with Heart disease taking 610,000 lives each year and Stroke accounting for 130,000. Cancer is number two taking 565,000 lives per year. Medicine is number three, including mistakes, infections, medications, etc., accounting for 400,000 deaths per year. Auto accidents claim 38,000 lives annually and Firearms 35,000. 100,000 Americans die each year from prescription medication, taken as directed (1994 study). And there are 450,000 preventable medication adverse events, per year, costing $136 Billion. 1 in 5 hospital admissions results in an adverse reaction. Vioxx, a popular pain remedy, killed 60,000 people in five years, in contrast to the Vietnam War, which killed 58,000 Americans in ten years. Prescription opioids cause 70 deaths and 1,000 ER visits per day. They accounted for 183,000 deaths in the U.S. between 1999 and 2015. Heart disease is clearly the greatest threat. If you believe the pervasive myth that total cholesterol levels predict heart attack and stroke, I recommend

two excellent books on the subject, The Great Cholesterol Myth by Bowden and Sinatra and Low Cholesterol Leads to an Early Death by Evans. These and many other books, journals and studies address the basic question: does having elevated total cholesterol predict heart attack and stroke?

As you can see from the above graph, there is very little change in risk with cholesterol levels between 160 and 260. This graph also shows that very low cholesterol is just as risky as very high level when it comes to all cause mortality. It is clear that abnormal cholesterol levels are not a primary cause or even predictor of heart attack and stroke. It is established science that consuming a high-cholesterol diet does not significantly raise cholesterol levels. All LDL is not bad and all HDL is not good. According to David Brownstein, M.D., in his 2015 book The Statin Disaster, the overemphasis on cholesterol has led to an over-prescription of a group of anti-cholesterol medications known as statins. Statins do reduce cholesterol levels but does it make sense to manipulate our internal chemistry with these powerful drugs? Brownstein concludes that: • Using statins to lower cholesterol does not significantly increase life expectancy.

• Only among young men with a family history of heart disease who already have had a heart attack is there a very slight benefit. • Taking statins increases the risk of muscle damage, dementia and cancer. • Some sub-fractions of HDL are in fact protective. • Some LDL’s are damaging. • It takes specialized testing to determine if these apply to you. Look at the statistics. Heart disease is by far the most likely thing that will kill you. It behooves all of us, no matter the cost, to get the most comprehensive testing and take the indicated preventative measures. Leading doctors in the field recommend one or more of the following tests: • VAP • Particle Size • The Berkeley Panel • Boston Heart Diagnostics Typical lipid testing only includes cholesterol, HDL, LDL, and triglycerides. Of these four, only triglycerides are truly predictive. Your triglyceride value should be less than 100. Elevated triglycerides indicate a 4 to 16 fold increased risk. You can lower your triglyceride level by the following methods: • Most importantly, eat a low carb diet (Less than 30gms/day) • Supplement your diet with fish oil (3-4000mg/day) • Exercise • Take niacin or niacinamide • Eat coconut oil, ghee, and MCT oil • Eat avocados daily It is a fact that your greatest risk of early death is from cardiovascular disease. Relying on a typical lipid panel to assess your risk is clearly not enough. Comprehensive heart testing can help

natural awakenings

March 2017


determine if you have these most common causes of heart attack and stroke: • Diabetes or pre-diabetes • Inflammation • Toxin accumulation • Genetic factors Sugar and complex carbohydrate consumption cause type 2 diabetes and pre-diabetes and is the leading cause of heart disease and stroke. Testing should include: Fasting glucose (< 90), Hgb A1c (< 5.5), Trigs (<100), HDL (>60). Inflammation causes lesions and plaques in your coronary arteries. Inflammation is caused by carbs, infections, smoking, SAD (Standard American Diet), and particularly low omega3: omega 6 ratio. Testing should include HS-CRP, Sed Rate, LpPLA-2,

and omega6: omega 3 levels. To reduce inflammation: • Reduce carbs to 20-30 gms/day. • Eat fish or take fish oil daily. • Quit smoking. • Check for infections particularly in the mouth. • Take anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant supplements including C,D,E,A, CoQ10, Lipoic acid, Zn, & Selenium. Toxins contribute to heart disease and stroke by direct poisoning and by depleting your nutrient levels. Testing of blood, urine and hair can determine if you have exposure and bioaccumulation of toxins or nutrient deficiencies. Common offenders include processed vegetable oils, heavy metals and petrochemicals in food and

smoke, as well as medications and skin care products. Detoxification should be a regular practice. A combination of foods, herbs and amino acids will facilitate the detoxification process and sauna, exercise, massage and salt baths can help remove toxins. Genetic factors can be determined by testing. Many of these factors can be compensated for by diet and supplementation. Genetic testing can suggest susceptibility to damage from statins as well as whether taking them can in fact be helpful. Genetic testing can also indicate susceptibility to clots and strokes. Your greatest risk for early death and disability is from heart disease and stroke. Insist on comprehensive testing to properly evaluate your risks. Then take the steps suggested in this article to reduce your risk. Your efforts can pay big dividends and save your life. In addition to being a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) and an Applied Kinesiologist, Dr. Gleason is a 4th generation home builder and engineer— he correlates the two sensibilities in his approach, “A person’s health is similar to that of building a house- good planning, good science, good materials make for good health as well as a good home”. Dr. Dan Gleason is the owner of The Gleason Center located at 19084 North Fruitport Road in Spring Lake. For more info: go to or call 616-846-5410. See ad, page 45.

Subtle Energies & D-Rose Institute of Urevia® Healing Usui Reiki, Karuna® Reiki, Urevia® Healing, Spirituality & Integrated Health Classes Classes offer life and spiritual skills for wisdon, healing of self and others, and happiness.

Learning in a retreat like setting, on a beautiful private lake, providing nourishment, peace, growth, education, and healing. Individual healing sessions are available by appt. Serving SW Michigan. 38

West Michigan Edition


What’s Poop Got to do with it? By Christine Schoenek, ND


o you experience brain fog, unexplained headaches, joint pain, skin rashes or eczema, mood swings, or fatigue? These are just a few of the many symptoms that can be caused by leaky gut and food sensitivities. Many health practitioners believe the gastrointestinal tract is central to our overall health and wellbeing. Anatomically, it is a tube that runs through the middle of us, acting very much like our skin, protecting us from outside invaders, wastes and toxins. Nothing is truly inside the body until the GI tract allows it pass through into the bloodstream. Along with this very important function, the GI tract also contributes largely to our immune system, produces many neurotransmitters that influence mood, is responsible for breaking down foods that provides us with health promoting nutrients, is home to trillions of beneficial bacteria, and eliminates much of our waste. It’s no wonder that gut health can have such a profound impact how we feel. The cells that make up the lining of the GI tract are vital for keeping us healthy. Adjacent cells are held close together via “tight junctions” that are modulated by the protein zonulin. These tight junctions are very selective and necessary for keeping unwanted material from entering our systems. If the GI tract becomes inflamed, via overuse of antibiotics, unhealthy or processed foods, stress, yeast overgrowth, or bacterial or parasite infections, an overproduction of zonulin ensues and the integrity of these junctions becomes compromised. The result is increased intestinal permeability, or “leaky gut”. Toxins, waste, undigested food particles and more can pass freely into the body, creating an array of health ailments. Food sensitivities are mediated by an IgG antibody, and occur when a leaky gut allows undigested food particles to enter the bloodstream. The immune system does not recognize these undigested particles and will go into overdrive to fight against them in an attempt to protect us, ultimately creat-

ing more inflammation. Unlike allergies, that are mediated by an IgE antibody, and are very quick to create a reaction, sensitivities can take a few hours to days to manifest symptoms. This makes them much more difficult to recognize. Fortunately, there are several tests that can help identify these food intolerances, along with other aspects of gut health. Tests to determine and optimize gut health: • IgG food sensitivity test: via dried blood spot, determines if and how much IgG antibodies are mounting an immune response against a wide range of foods. Some variations in foods tested can be ordered based on one’s diet • Zonulin or Lactulose test: zonulin, which increases with intestinal permeability, can be measure from the serum via enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The sugar molecules, lactulose and mannitol, can also be measured in the urine to determine the degree of malabsorption or permeability. • Comprehensive Stool Analysis: a 3-day stool collection providing in-

formation regarding beneficial bacteria, pathologic bacteria, parasitic infection, yeast/fungal overgrowth, inflammatory marker, digestion, and overall gut function. These tests can be useful tools in identifying weaknesses in your GI tract that may be contributing to disease. Finding a practitioner to help you understand these tests is key to beginning a path toward health. Grand Rapids Natural Health offers a wide range of services and functional testing, with board certified naturopathic doctors who are experts in the field of natural medicine. They focus on treating the whole body and getting to the root cause of illness. Call or visit their website to learn more about how GRNH can help empower you to create health and wellness in your life. (616) 264-6556, See ad, page 44.

natural awakenings

March 2017



West Michigan Edition


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


BVI School of Ayurveda Accepting Applications: Ayurvedic Consultant Certificate Program. Webinar and On-Site Courses, one weekend a month. State Licensed. NAMA Member. The Sambodh Society, Inc. 6363 N. 24th St., Kalamazoo, MI 49004. Info and Catalog. or 269-381-4946. Complementary Consultation –A consultation is a conversation, not an examination and certainly not a high-pressure sales pitch. After all, we aren’t the right office for everyone, so doesn’t it make sense to discover that before you begin a relationship with our practice? Brain and Body Chiropractic, 833 E 16th St, Ste 175, Holland. Info & Appointments: 616-202-6368. New Client Gift –New Consultation Clients get a Welcome Gift worth over $200. Schedule a consultation with Dr. LeAnn Fritz, ND and you’re entitled to this welcome bag of products to get you started, absolutely FREE! Mention this ad to receive your gift. New Hope Health, 10373 Riverview Dr, Plainwell. Info: 269-204-6525.


Wisdom Circle with the Mahavidyas –7-8:30pm. The Tantric Wisdom Goddesses--known as the Mahavidyas--will be the subject of a 10 month women’s circle with meetings on the third Thursday JanuaryOctober of 2017. Each Goddess will be explored as she relates to the stages of a woman’s life. Preregistration by 1/15 for the series, which will include a book. $15 drop in/$100 for 10 month series. On The Path Yoga, 701 E. Savidge #3 Spring Lake. Info: at or sandy@OnThePathYoga. com, 616-935-7028.

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

Prosperity Class –10-11:30am. Our monthly prosperity group meetings are held the 1st Saturday of the month from 10-11:30am. We will listen to a prosperity story, engage in discussion and create affirmations for our prosperity. This meeting will catapult your mind and provide a new way of prosperous thinking. Free. Spirit Space, 3493 Bluestar Hwy, Saugatuck. Info: Call 616-886-2716,


Power of Being –6-8:30 pm. Mondays February 20, 27 & March 6. What causes you to feel stuck, trapped or overwhelmed? Do you notice your energy being drained by it all? This class offers information, exercises and tools to answer these questions and more. Learn effective ways to shift your thinking and energy, that unlocks your potential and to live your true self. David Schroeder, LMSW, CPC. $55. Unity Center for Spiritual Growth, 6025 Ada Dr. SE, Ada. Info: or 616-682-7812,


Integrative Health Spring Speaker Series –6:308pm. Every Tuesday in March. The Donnelly Center at Aquinas College, Universal Health Solutions, Grand Rapids. Info: Healing Power Hour –7:30pm. An oasis of peace and healing conducted by healers and Spiritual teachers of over 30 years, Gary and Chrissie Blaze. This interactive event includes simple Qigong exercises, breathing, affirmations, guided imagery, group healing, a talk on an aspect of healing: all designed to distress and revitalize. Donations welcome. The Aetherius Society, 3119 N. Campbell Road, Royal Oak. Info: chrissieblaze@msn. com 248-588-0290





Mindfulness & Meditation Class –3-3:45pm. On the last Sunday of every month Sherry Petro-Surdel from Spirit Space in Saugatuck will join us for a class in enrich and deepen our Mindfulness and Meditation practice. Each month will focus on a different aspect. Please join us at 3:00 pm for a 45 minute practice for only $10.00. Bodhi Tree Yoga & wellness Studio 208 W 18th St, Holland. Info: 616-392-7580 or

Community Quiet Day & Labyrinth Walk –10am3pm for contemplation, centering prayer, healing prayer and walking meditation. Come and go as your schedule allows. Where ever you are on your journey you are welcome; this day will be what you need it to be. Lunch available from 12-1pm o’clock at no charge. Donations are welcome. St. Paul’s Episcopal Church 1006 Third St, Muskegon. Across from Hackley Park. Call Linda 231-744-0377 or lindareynolds21@ to learn more.

Full Moon Anniversary Celebration –The Cottage is FIVE -4-9pm. Come help us celebrate! In store specials, Henna art, Grace card readings, Drawing for $50.00 worth of product, refreshments, and good cheer. Moondrop Herbals Cottage of Natural Elements 351 Cummings, NW Grand Rapids. Info: Reserve your Henna or Reading spot by calling 616-735-1285,

West Michigan Women’s Expo –Fri. 10-8, Sat. 108, & Sun. 11-5. Celebrating 19 years! DeVos Place, 303 Monroe Ave NW, Grand Rapids. For info:


Nourishing the Lakeshore –7pm. Meetings the second Tuesday of each month. Open to the Public! Formed to provide education on the health enriching

benefits of traditional diets, to increase access to clean, nutrient dense foods, and to teach traditional preparation and storage methods. Nourishing the Lakeshore of West Michigan is a chapter of the Weston A Price Foundation serving Ottawa, Muskegon, and Oceana counties. Our main purpose is to act as a resource for local, clean, nutrient dense food. We also provide informational meetings on health related topics, often those which are politically incorrect. Nourishing the Lakeshore respects that everyone is at a different point on the path to better eating. Our goal is to educate and enrich the wellness of our community. Location The Century Club on Western Ave, Muskegon.


Indoor Labyrinth –5:30-7:30pm. Group meditation gathers from 6-7pm. Come join for one or both activities. Free. Spirit Space, 3493 Bluestar Hwy, Saugatuck. Info: Call 616-836-1555 or visit for more information.


Reiki Training | Level I | Usui Linage –1-5:30pm. Fee includes level I & II training (see level II offering on March 21). Level I covers Reiki techniques, student Reiki manual, starter gift bag, introduction to Chakra system, and attunement certification. $275.00. Moondrop Herbals, 351 Cummings, NW, Grand Rapids. Info: Gayle Campbell at (616) 9160701 for questions and registration. Inspire! Event –1 p.m. “Addiction” is the discussion topic for the March Inspire! event. Panelists include Chris Streng, Veterans Administration; Dan Qualls, M.S, licensed professional counselor; Doy Dowsett, Supported Recovery Services; Officer David Scott, Grand Haven Department of Public Safety; and a representative of The Grand Rapids Red Project. Barbara Lee Van Horssen, Extended Grace executive director and experi-mentor, will lead the gathering. Inspire! includes discussions, music, refreshments, socializing, and plans for action. All are welcome. Extended Grace is a grassroots social lab that seeks to build community while solving problems. It has no religious or political affiliations. Free. Extended Grace, Ferrysburg City Hall building,17290 Roosevelt Rd, Ridge Ave entrance. Info: lindabengston@ , 616-842-8703.


Writing Circle –6- 8 pm. Join us for a reflective writing circle and find what’s calling for your creative attention. Includes writing prompts and creative practices to connect with your voice and stories. All experience levels invited. $10. Voice & Vessel, 3355 Eagle Park Dr NE, Suite 108, Grand Rapids. Info: Register at,, 616-350-6210.

natural awakenings

March 2017


Deeper Dive –6pm. “Addiction” is the topic for the March Deeper Dive, which provides opportunity for in-depth discussion of the topic introduced at the March 19 Inspire! event. Panelists include Chris Streng, Veterans Administration; Dan Qualls, M.S, licensed professional counselor; Doy Dowsett, Supported Recovery Services; Officer David Scott, Grand Haven Department of Public Safety; and a representative of The Grand Rapids Red Project. Barbara Lee Van Horssen, Extended Grace executive director and experi-mentor, will facilitate the discussion. All are welcome. Extended Grace is a grassroots social lab that seeks to build community while solving problems. It has no religious or political affiliations. Free. Ferrysburg City Hall building, 17290 Roosevelt Rd, Ridge Ave entrance. Info: , 616-842-8703. Ten Oils | Ten Herbs for Stress & Anxiety –6:459pm. Learn the basics of blending essential oils for topical use and herbs for tea. We will discuss 10 essential oils and 10 herbs to help manage everyday stress and acute anxiety. You will leave with both an herbal tea and an aromatherapy product. $35. Moondrop Herbals, 351 Cummings, NW, Grand Rapids. Info: 616-735-1285,


Reiki Training | Level II | Usui Linage –6:30-8:30 pm. Fee includes level I & II training (see level I offering on March 19). Level II covers sacred symbols, self-healing and unblocking, distance healing, chakra balancing, certification document and training internship. $275.00. Moondrop Herbals, 351 Cummings, NW, Grand Rapids. Info: Contact Gayle Campbell at 616-916-0701 for questions and registration.


Reiki Share –6-8pm. Come check out what Reiki is all about, and have a mini session done. Open to those that know Reiki and those that don’t. Donations welcome. The Remedy House ,5150 Northland Dr, Grand Rapids. Info and register: call 616-443-4225.


Empaths, Intuitives and Sensitive People –122:30pm. There is no doubt that there is a lot happening in the world around us. We are bombarded by endless information about the world that can be helpful or disturbing. Please join Marianne Huff, LMSW, Reiki Master at Spirit Space for this seminar. $10. Spirit Space,3493 Bluestar Hwy, Saugatuck. Info:, 616-886-2716.


Body Mind & Spirit Expo –3rd Annual Holistic Expo in Kalamazoo, professional mediums, intuitive’s, healers & more gathered under one roof. Free lectures & prize giveaways. Admission $10 per day, 12 & under free. Wings Event Center, 3600 Vanrick Dr. Kalamazoo. Info:


Mindfulness & Meditation Class –3-3:45pm. On the last Sunday of every month Sherry PetroSurdel from Spirit Space in Saugatuck will join us for a class in enrich and deepen our Mindfulness and Meditation practice. This month we will focus on the understanding of and how to use the seven main Chakras to enhance your meditation and promote balance. Chakras are energy vortexes that run throughout your body. Please join us at 3:00 pm for a 45 minute practice for only $10.00. Bodhi Tree Yoga & wellness Studio 208 W 18th St, Holland. Info: 616-392-7580 or



Save The Date Events

April 1

Must be submitted online each month at Events priced $80 or more require a corresponding display ad. There is a $40 charge per listing, up to 50 words. Current advertisers, distribution sites or nonprofits, use this listing in place of your two free listings.

Natural Joy Learning Center –10am-12pm & 1-4pm. A new style of learning for all ages, the classes will present “Buddhist Wisdom” in the morning session, and “Volunteer Training Academy” in the afternoon session. Free. Unity Church of Muskegon, 2052 Bourdon St. Muskegon. Info: For a full description or to register, email , 616-634-8031

There is nothing on this Earth more to be prized than true friendship. ~Thomas Aquinas 42

West Michigan Edition

Reach Your Target Market Secure this ad spot! Contact us today!


savethedate April 23 Spirit Faire –11am-5pm. Try out intuitive readers, Reiki, massage, palmistry, energy tuning, chakra balancing, Angel messages. Shop jewelry, crystal wands, tarot & oracle cards, metaphysical books, candles, stones, runes, soaps, lotions. $5 admission, door prizes, speakers, free parking! $5 Admission. DoubleTree ballroom, 4747 28th St. SE, Grand Rapids. Info: , 269-948-1990

savethedate June 9-11 Midwest Women’s Herbal Conference – Honoring the Wise Women of the Past, Present and Future. Speakers: Tammi Sweet, Ubaka Hill, Lisa Ganora, Whapio, and Robin Rose Bennett and many more. Over 60 workshops and Plant walks, Kids’ camp and Teen Spiral. Includes pre-conference classes and workshops. Personal growth workshops, singing, dancing, plant walks, meals, swimming, red tent communal space and more. Enter to win a free full conference ticket, including meals & lodging, at NA/Chicago. com/CHI/Contests. Contest ends Mar 31. Camp Helen Brachman, Almond, WI. For more info:

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.




Hot Yoga –5-6:15pm. Sweat with this active, energetic, athletic style of yoga with traditional poses in a hot room. Not recommended for people with heart or lung conditions or those not engaged in regular exercise. $12 drop-in. Hearts Journey Wellness Center, 6189 Lake Michigan Dr, Allendale. or info@

Gentle Hatha Yoga –7:45-9am & 9:15-10:30am. With Mitch Coleman. Drop-ins welcome. White River Yoga Studio, 8724 Ferry St., Montague. Info: 231-740-6662 or

Outrageous Openness Book Study –10am-12pm. Join in discussion and art expression following Outrageous Openness by Tosha Silver. Fridays from January 27 through March 17. This book brings a breath of irreverent fresh air; it is spot on and hilarious as well as exhilarating as it exposes freedom from dogmatic beliefs. $25 for art supplies, Bring your own book or $16 extra to buy it from us. Spirit Space, event location 20 Wilderness Dr, Saugatuck. Info: or 616-886-2716.

Spirit Space Sunday Worship –10:30am. An interfaith, non-denominational gathering place for worship and spiritual enrichment. Join for inspiring messages called Reasoning’s. Spirit Space, 3493 Blue Star Hwy, Saugatuck. Info: 616-836-1555 or 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 Dr, Grand Rapids. Info:

Monday Chair Yoga –10:30-11:30am. Incorporate movements and breathing exercises designed to assist with relaxation and increase mobility, balance, and strength. A chair and other props will be used to safely modify this yoga class for all fitness and mobility levels. This class is a great gentle option for those who use a cane or walker, have limited mobility, or have recent injuries. Special $10.00 per class. Bodhi Tree Yoga & Wellness Studio, 208 W 18th Street, Holland. Info: call 616-392-7580 or go to Total Control Classes –6-7:15pm. Looking for a new type of exercise? Total Control is a unique, medically based pelvic health program for women of all ages and fitness levels. The class focuses on core and pelvic floor strength and awareness and includes education on pelvic and bladder health. This total-body workout incorporates pelvic floor exercises with gentle stretches and strength moves based in yoga and Pilates to improve back, core, and pelvic floor strength. Classes meet for seven weeks: Feb. 6-March 20. $49 with scholarships available. Mercy Health Lakes Village, Harvey St, Muskegon. For info: 231-727-7944 A 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, 24 Fountain St. NE, Grand Rapids. 616-458-5095.

Essential Oils Class for Living –6:30-8pm. Every Wednesday we will meet and discuss a variety of subjects from the use of Essential Oils for spiritual growth and healing to “Oils of the Bible”. Every other week will be a support group discussion. Facilitated by Allegra Miller, Plant Wisdom, Quantum Wellness Educator. Free. Unity Center for Spiritual Growth, 6025 Ada Dr SE, Ada. Info: Contact Allegra_, 616-682-7812. A Course in Miracles –9:30-11am. A complete self-study spiritual thought system. It teaches that the way to universal peace is by undoing guilt through forgiving others. The Course focuses on the healing of relationships and making them holy. It expresses a non-sectarian, non-denominational spirituality. Love offering. Unity Center for Spiritual Growth,6025 Ada Dr. SE, Ada. Info: office@ or 616-682-7812, $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. Grand Rapids. 616-3659176. Meditation –6-7pm. Join together for meditation that begins and ends with live, native flute music. Attend the full hour or any portion of the meeting. Spirit Space, 3493 Blue Star Hwy, Saugatuck. Info: 616-836-1555 or Total Control classes –1-2:15pm. Reconnect with your feminine energy, strengthen your core, pelvic floor and lower back, and gain valuable information for lifelong pelvic health. Women of all ages and fitness levels can benefit from this unique exercise and education program. Classes meet for seven weeks: Feb. 8-March 22. $49 Scholarships available. Mercy Health Lakes Village, Harvey St, Muskegon. Info: 231-727-7944 or

Saturday Beginning Yoga –8:30-9:45am. This class will introduce you to basic postures, breathing techniques, and mindfulness with an emphasis on building body awareness. Gentle yet relaxing in nature, you will leave feeling relaxed, rejuvenated and having a greater sense of health and well-being. $12 drop-in. Hearts Journey Wellness Center, 6189 Lake Michigan Dr, Allendale. Info: visit us at or Hot Yoga –10:15-11:30am. Sweat with this active, energetic, athletic style of yoga with traditional poses in a hot room. Not recommended for people with heart or lung conditions or those not engaged in regular exercise. $12 drop-in. Hearts Journey Wellness Center, 6189 Lake Michigan Dr, Allendale. or info@ Gentle Hatha Yoga –915-10:15am & 11-12:15am. With Mitch Coleman. Drop-ins welcome. White River Yoga Studio, 8724 Ferry St, Montague. 231740-6662. Info: Sweetwater Local Foods Market –9am-1pm. A double-up bucks and bridge card market. Hackley Health at the Lakes building on Harvey St. Located inside during inclement weather. Muskegon. 231861-2234.

Thursday Total Control classes –10-11am. Reconnect with your feminine energy, strengthen your core, pelvic floor and lower back, and gain valuable information for lifelong pelvic health. Women of all ages and fitness levels can benefit from this unique exercise and education program. Classes meet for seven weeks: Feb. 9-March 23. $49 Scholarships available. Mercy Health Lakes Village, Harvey St. Muskegon. Info: 231-727-7944 or

natural awakenings

March 2017



The original OUTDOOR group workout  company  founded in 2006


Join us in Grand Rapids,  Holland, Grand Haven,  Lansing, Coopersville and Traverse City for our famous outdoor workout adventures for ALL fitness levels!

COMING THIS SPRING TO PETOSKEY, BOYNE CITY, GAYLORD and California! Are you a personal trainer or group fitness instructor with a genuine love of nature? Email your cover letter and resume to to be considered as our NEXT EcoTrek Series location leader! Join us for outd oor group work all over Michig outs an! schedules + locations:

Actively seeking a leader in Kalamazoo area!


West Michigan Edition



...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 27.


Sally Austin 233 Fulton E, Suite 114B Grand Rapids 616-293-5768 – A practice of gentle dynamic movements that can be done lying, sitting or standing, built for you to use daily and promote your health and well-being. Promotes empowerment, wellness, spirit connection, awareness, confidence.


Andrew Gielczyk Licensed Builder 616-834-2480 • Wood & Saw is focused on creating a sustainable high quality of life for our clients. Building simple, costeffective, energy-efficient, toxic-free homes and remodels that achieve the healthiest possible indoor air quality. See ad, page 8.

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

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


Dr. Dan Gleason 19084 North Fruitport Road Spring Lake, MI 49456 616-846-5410 An alternative, holistic approach combining chiropractic and kinesiology as well as the latest in metabolic and hormone testing. Using a variety of techniques, we work with our patients to determine the scope and duration of care that’s right for each individual.


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 relieve constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating, poor digestion, back pain, body odor and more. See ad, page 36.


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.


MicroLife Nutritionals by Vasayo 616-481-8587 • Superior Bio-availability with Advanced Liposome delivery technology: Our proprietary Liposomal-encapsulation technology ensures vastly improved nutrient delivery and absorption within the body over traditional supplements.

Rev. Elizabeth Cosmos, PhD

Ama-Deus individual sessions for balancing and prevention, as well as group classes are being offered. Ama-Deus is a method that taps into Love to support your healing path. See ad, page 21.


Barbara Zvirzdinis, WK, CMT 616-581-3885 Matrix Energetics is a system used to heal, transform and create new possibilities in your life. Using the principles of quantum physics and subtle energy during a Matrix Energetics session we are able to enter into different realties and download new possibilities for your mental, emotional, physical and spiritual selves.


Clara VanderZouwen • 616-481-8587 Independent Sharing partner Keto OS (get your Ketones) Be Young Essential Oils are exclusive E.O.B.B.D. guaranteed 100% pure & safe for your entire family and pets! Wondering what to use? Just call or email me, I’m here to educate you! Now offering Keto OS. Ketones flowing through your body within 60 minutes!


Cottage of Natural Elements 351 Cummings, NW Grand Rapids 616-735-1285 • Your local source for all things natural and botanical. Essential oils, bulk herbs, tea, hand-crafted bath & body products, raw ingredients, containers, local artwork, unique gifts. Practitioner discounts. Space rental and artisan consignment. See ad, page 24.

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 21.

natural awakenings

March 2017






Barbara Zvirzdinis, WK, CMT 616-581-3885

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

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




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 33.


Bob Huttinga PA-C & Rev. Barbara Huttinga 332 S. Lincoln Ave., Lakeview 989-352-6500 Naturopathic/Holistic Practitioners and retail health store. Natural health consultations, classes, oils, h e r b s , h o m e o p a t h y, hypnosis, foods, candles, crystals, books, CD’s, massage, reflexology, emotional clearing, raindrop therapy, foot detox, DOT/CDL health cards for truck drivers. See ad, page 35.


Dr. Steven Osterhout 5717 Oakland Drive, Portage 269- 323-4473 - Vitality Healthcare offers a cutting-edge approach to medicine. We integrate the best medical approaches with the most advanced natural therapies to address the underlying causes of poor health. We offer: Physical and Functional Medicine / Chiropractic and Massage / Metabolic and Hormone Evaluations / Nutrition and Detoxification / Food Sensitivity and GI Issue Testing / Medical and Natural Weight Loss. Our highly-qualified team of doctors, nutritionists and therapists have extensive training to serve all your healthcare needs.


West Michigan Edition

Certified Matrix Energetics Practitioner, Certified Wholistic Kinesiologist, Certified Massage Therapist, Reconnection Healing Practitioner, Certified Herbalist, Certified Acutonics Practitioner and Certified Reflexologist. Specializing in muscle testing, massage, energy medicine, nutritional counseling, lectures and classes.

PO Box 391, Hastings 269-254-9760 x 102

Naturopath On-Call combines scientific knowledge with traditional, natural and holistic medicine. Conducted completely over the phone or by video-chat, we give you the tools and information necessary to make healthy lifestyle choices and changes. See ad, page 11.


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 homeopathic remedy. Most insurance accepted, except Priority Health, Blue Care Network or Medicaid. See ad, page 35.

LGBTQIA COUNSELING ADVANCED COUNSELING AND THERAPY SERVICES, PLC Sue Dilsworth, Ph.D, ERYT-500 2020 Raybrook Ave. SE, Suite 305 Grand Rapids, MI 49546 (Corner of Burton and E. Beltline) 616-307-1617

Psychological services tailored to meet the needs of the individual. Through various treatment modalities, you will have an opportunity to explore life patterns, address immediate personal challenges, and explore alternative ways of dealing with personal conflict/ turmoil, moving you on to a healthier, happier life. See ad, page 23.


Pam works with highly – motivated individuals as they focus on their complex life agendas and aim for their very best life-work balance. This provides a powerful framework for building more effective relationships while maintaining a balanced and fulfilling personal life. See ad, page 27.

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

Offering Swedish massage with integrated techniques, chosen specifically for your unique body. Relieve those tired and sore muscles and rejuvenate. Call for on-going 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 36.

MOBILE MASSAGE WORKS Dania Vandermeer, LMT 3234 S. Westnedge Avenue Kalamazoo, MI 49008 541-325-1429

Licensed Massage Therapist offering 5 years experience in Swedish, Deep Tissue, Chinese Cupping, Pregnancy and newly trained in Oncology Massage. Personalized Massage experience with stretching homework to provide balance and stress management.


Patrice Bobier CPM Hesperia: 231-861-2234 Jennifer Holshoe Grand Rapids area: 616-318-1825 In private practice since 1982 - specializing in home birth and a team approach. Over 1,550 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.


Sally Ann Loew, Hair Artist/Educator Organic Colour Speciality 6455 28th St. SE, Suite 1, Grand Rapids 616-299-1796, London Studios Specializes in: Organic Color Systems, Color Corrections, Multidimensional Hair Color, Restorations for Vo l u m e a n d L e n g t h , Organic Keragreen Keratin Treatments, European Cutting Techniques, Natural Hair Extensions, I n t e g r a t i o n , B r i d a l S e r v i c e s , We d d i n g Consultations and other services. See ad, page 12.



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


Educational programs offered: Natural Health Program: four years (one weekend a month); Massage Therapy Program: one year (two weekends a month); Holistic Doula Practitioner Program: six months (one weekend a month). Individual classes available. See ad, page 35.


Julie Bennett 616-724-6368

Thermography is a safe, tested, painless, and effective procedure providing information for breast cancer risk assessment, breast cancer prevention and early detection, possible hormone imbalance, thyroid dysfunction, diabetes, musculoskeletal inflammation, and neurological problems.

LAKESHORE NATURAL SKIN CARE 10500 Chicago Drive Holland Twp â&#x20AC;˘ Zeeland 231-557-3619

Specializing in advanced, customized skin care with Elina Organics. Facials, body treatments, needle-free Mesotherapy, TriPolarRF, DermaLaser, Facial Hydratherapy, Oxygen Facial Therapy, LED, microdermabrasion, bamboo massage, Raindrop, reiki and more.

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 selfhealth-care. Instructors highly qualified (B.A.M.S.).

NATURAL JOY LEARNING CENTER Community Outreach Classes Unity of Muskegon 2052 Bourdon St., Muskegon 231-759-7356,


A new form of education for all ages. Ongoing sessions in four courses, presented for all ages and backgrounds. Grandparents can bring their grandchildren, if the child has a hungry mind. Call or e-mail for a complete catalog of courses.


natural awakenings

March 2017




Natural Living


Your Healthy Living, Healthy Planet Resource Guide Natural Living Directory PRICING

ATTENTION LOCAL BUSINESSES! Don’t miss out on this opportunity to reach more than 50,000 Natural Awakenings readers all year long. Attract new customers and increase your business with our costefficient advertising, in print and online.

• $119 for 1st Listing • 2nd Listing 50% OFF • 3rd Listing FREE! PUBLICATIONS NATURAL AWAKENINGS WEST MICHIGAN PO Box 330 Spring Lake, MI 49456 616-604-0480

Reduced Pricing for DISPLAY ADS in our Annual Directory

Natural Awakenings is a free publication distributed locally and supported by our advertisers. It is dedicated to providing health-conscious individuals with insights and information to improve the quality of life physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

Each Listing Includes:

• 1 Category & 4 Contact Lines • Description (up to 35 words) • Photo or Logo 48

West Michigan Edition

• 10% OFF new display ads with registration now extended through March 31st • Add a 2nd display and enjoy low 12 month rate

Call now to reserve your space! 616-604-0480

Natural Awakenings Magazine ~ March 2017  
Natural Awakenings Magazine ~ March 2017