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feel good • live simply • laugh more




Mobilizing with Love to Heal Humanity

Natural Motherhood Creating the Best Start for New Life



Herbs that Beat the Heat Favorite Varieties that Flourish in Summer

Jodi Jenks, Owner of The Remedy House

May 2017 | West Michigan Edition | NaturalWestMichigan.com natural awakenings

May 2017


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contents 7 5 newsbriefs balanced life. In each issue readers find cutting-edge information on natural health, nutrition, fitness, personal 7 ecotip growth, green living, creative expression and the products 8 healthbriefs and services that support a healthy lifestyle. 11 globalbriefs 17 chironews 14 NATURAL MOTHERHOOD 18 healingways Creating the Best Start 20 fitbody for New Life 8 22 consciouseating 24 wisewords 18 HEART-BASED LEADERSHIP 26 inspiration Women Mobilize 28 healthykids to Heal the World 14 Natural Awakenings is your guide to a healthier, more

by Deborah Shouse

30 greenliving 11 32 naturalpet 36 vaccinenews 41 calendar 42 classifieds 45 naturaldirectory

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

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by Linda Sechrist



Staying Aware Avoids Problems by Aimee Hughes


Evaluating Alternatives to Dairy by Judith Fertig

24 TAGGART SIEGEL Seeks to Seed an Agricultural Revolution by April Thompson

Let Spirit Steer Us by Mark Nepo


GRANDPARENTING How to Mindfully Love Little Ones

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Favorite Varieties that Flourish in Summer by Barbara Pleasant


Three Signals of Anxiety

by Susan Briggs

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May 2017


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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 Publisher@NaturalWestMichigan.com


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


Rising Thought


close friend of mine suffered a health crisis a few days ago, again reminding me of the impermanence of life and how vital it is that we view life with joy and brightly welcome each new day. I am learning that a big help with this is to stop waiting for certain things to happen before committing to others that can be just as good. Along the way, most of us come to discern how the law of the universe shows us that what we put out there comes back to us. If we worry about worst case scenarios then the likelihood of bad things showing up in our experience increases. If we think about how heavy we are, we gain weight. If we decide that no matter how bad we feel, we are going to put a smile on our face, greet the day with hope and treat everyone we encounter with love and respect, then when these delightful qualities return to us tenfold, our lives just naturally become better and better! Today, while spring is bountifully making everything fresh and new, I offer this: Let’s choose today to exchange any negative thought that occurs to one of respect and kindness, and then see what happens. A lovely centering point for this is to turn off outer and inner noise for 15 minutes a day to clear our mind with the aim of rediscovering our true nature, which can afford endless discoveries. We are meant to be joyful and loving beings free of any harmful intent and life here is too short not to be filled with good. To conscious green living,

Pamela Gallina, Publisher

Natural Awakenings is locally owned and operated.

Natural Awakenings Magazine of West Michigan

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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.



Jodi Jenks of The Remedy House By: Megan Lendman Photography – MeganLendmanPhotography.com


newsbriefs Mindful Meditation Class at Bodhi Tree Yoga

Sherry Petro-Surdel


oin a meditation class at Bodhi Tree Yoga & Wellness Center in Holland on Sunday, May 7 from 3 – 3:45pm. The class will offer an overview of helpful meditation hints that will encourage you to create or improve your meditation practice. You will also receive helpful information for outdoor meditations to use throughout the spring, summer and fall. This class will be taught by Sherry Petro-Surdel, Author, Life Coach, and Public Speaker. The cost is $10.

Thomas John — A Night with Spirit


homas John, known as the Manhattan Medium, is an internationally acclaimed psychic medium. On May 20 at 7pm he will deliver messages from the other side to those in attendance. He will also take questions about life after death. Tickets are $40. VIP tickets also available for $100 and include front row seating, meet-andgreet after the main event, an additional 30 minutes of messages, and a copy of Thomas’ book. Event will be held at Unity of Grand Rapids, 1711 Walker Ave NW, Grand Rapids. Info: UnityofGrandRapids.org or 616-453-9909. Tickets: thomasjohn.ticketleap.com See ad page 7.

Jodi Jenks Receives her ND

For more information and registration call 616-392-7580 or email at info@mibodhitree.com. You may also call 616-8862716 with any questions. Bodhi Tree Yoga & Wellness Studio is located at 208 W 18th St, Holland. See ad page 40.

7th Annual Ottawa County Grand River Cleanup


he Ottawa County Grand River Cleanup is being organized by the West Michigan Environmental Action Council and sponsored by the City of Grand Haven, with help from Friends of Ottawa County Parks. It will be held on Saturday, May 13th, from 8:30 am until 1 pm, rain or shine. Volunteers will gather at Harbor Island in Grand Haven for the kick-off program before going to the various work sites. Several of the sites are within Ottawa County Parks. Save the date, put it on your calendar, and tell your friends to join us! Volunteers are asked to register on wmeac.org to participate in this event. The West Michigan Environmental Action Council, a nonprofit 501C3, is located at 1007 Lake Dr SE, Grand Rapids. Online at WMEAC.org


odi Jenks, ND, owner of The Remedy House recently received her ND from the Naturopathic Institute for Therapies and Education (NITE) in Mount Pleasant. Jodi started her journey as a holistic healer 18 years ago when she began to see a homeopathic doctor who also eventually trained her in Essential Oil Therapy. She then took Reiki training from two Reiki Masters in Battle Creek, Michigan. Essential oils are powerful tools to enhance the energy work being done with Reiki, as they complement one other. In addition to her recent degree from the Naturopathic Institute for Therapies and Education (NITE), she also trained at the Energy Touch School of Advanced Healing. The Remedy House has a goal and mission to provide the highest quality education, services, and products to aid each individual in finding their own unique pathway to wellness. The Remedy House is located at 5150 Northland Dr. NE, Grand Rapids. Online at TheRemedyHouse.org See ad page 29.

natural awakenings

May 2017


newsbriefs Feeling Out-of-Kilter? Flower Remedies to the Rescue


arol Bennington, Ph.D., will teach an interactive, two-day course on the Bach flower remedies on June 24 and 25, in Grand Rapids, where participants will discover ways to help themselves and their family, friends, and pets reduce stress. All of the Bach remedies, their uses and applications will be reviewed, as well as experiencing how to make customized remedies. This Introduction to the Bach Flower Remedies is the Level 1 course of the Bach International Education Program, approved by the Bach Centre, UK. This course is for anyone interested in having confidence and a solid foundation in the use of the remedies, and it is the first step for those who wish to become a Bach Foundation Registered Practitioner. Bach flower remedies are floral infusions that help balance emotions, such as feeling out-of-kilter, overwhelmed, fear, lack of confidence and more. First developed by the English physician and researcher, Dr. Edward Bach, in 1928 as a simple self-help method for well-being, the system is safe and affordable. Teaching about flower remedies for more than two decades, Bennington, the owner of Awakening Hearts, LLC in Ann Arbor, is a Bach Foundation Registered Practitioner and international educator who offers courses, consultations and presentations. Class size is limited, enroll early for discount and to ensure you place. This is the LAST COURSE IN MICHIGAN. Pre-registration is required; 12.5 CEUs for NCBTMB or NCCAOM. For more information, call 734-726-4303 or visit Awakening-Hearts.com. Carol Bennington, Phd, BFRPJourney@Awakening-Hearts.com or 734-726-4303

The flower is the poetry of reproduction. It is an example of the eternal seductiveness of life. ~Jean Giraudoux


West Michigan Edition


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Greener Diapers

Cloth Better than Disposable for People and the Planet Disposable diapers are the third most common consumer item in landfills. When even those labeled “ecofriendly” are covered by other debris after being discarded and hidden from sunlight and air, they don’t readily biodegrade. Producing disposables also makes major demands on water, energy, nonrenewable resources like oil and renewables like wood. Many brands contain harmful ingredients such as polyacrylate, dioxin, phthalates and heavy metals that can be absorbed by a baby’s soft, developing skin and promote rashes. According to SmallFootprintFamily.com, 90 to 95 percent of American babies annually generate 27.4 billion single-use plastic diapers, or 7.6 billion pounds of garbage. While comparable statistics on adult diapers aren’t available, Euromonitor International forecasts a 48 percent increase in U.S. sales to $2.7 billion in 2020, up from $1.8 billion in 2015. In a decade, sales of diapers for adults could surpass those for babies at Kimberly-Clark and Procter & Gamble, attributed to bladder control issues related to health and age, according to the Urology Care Foundation and Mayo Clinic. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Public Health Association advise that in all cases, fecal matter and urine should be rinsed and flushed down the toilet instead of put in the trash, so that contaminants don’t enter groundwater and potentially spread disease. Traditional cloth diapers are the way to go for several reasons beyond budget:

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A Night with Spirit

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4 Using cloth facilitates earlier potty education by quickly communicating to the baby when they are wet. New cloth diaper systems like Nicki’s Diapers (NickisDiapers.com) can be easily cleaned in regular and high-efficiency washing machines. Some popular brands are listed at DiaperPin.com.

Internationally regarded psychic medium, Thomas John, will deliver messages from the other side to those in attendance, and will also take questions about life after death.

4 The nonprofit association at RealDiapers.org helps connect local groups of mothers to communicate and share best practices in use, cleaning and potty training, such as learning a baby’s cues for needing to go. It also hosts informative events such as the annual national Great Cloth Diaper Change.

thomasjohn.ticketleap.com Standard Ticket – $40 VIP Ticket* – $100

4 Cloth diapers in good condition can be resold on eBay and sites like DiaperSwappers.com.

*Includes: Seating in the first two rows, meet and greet after the event & a copy of Thomas’ book. natural awakenings

May 2017




esearchers from the United Kingdom’s University of Winchester have found that cycling improves brain function. The study tested the cognitive function of 17 physically active men in their 20s before and after two, 30-minute sessions on a stationary bike. The results showed significant cognitive improvements following each session. Biking to work is also a good way to reduce our carbon footprint, but breathing in exhaust fumes and other pollutants is a concern for street cyclists. Alexander Bigazzi, a transportation expert in the department of civil engineering and school of community and regional planning at the University of British Columbia, has studied the relationship between average-speed bicycle travel and inhalation of potentially harmful air. Using a U.S. Census-based computer model of 10,000 people, Bigazzi found that the ideal bicycling speed to inhale the minimum amount of pollution is between 7.5 to 12.5 miles per hour (mph), placing the lowest risk for women at nearly eight mph and for men at just over eight mph. “The faster you move, the harder you breathe and the more pollution you could potentially inhale, but you are also exposed to traffic for a shorter period of time. This analysis shows where the sweet spot is,” says Bigazzi.


Prenatal Omega-3 Reduces Kids’ Asthma Risk






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esearchers from the Copenhagen University Hospital, in Denmark, discovered expectant mothers that take omega-3 supplements while pregnant reduce the risk that their babies will develop asthma. Analyzing blood samples from 695 Danish women at 24 weeks of gestation and again one week after birth, the study tested the levels of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)—longchain omega-3 fatty acids found in fish, fish oil and DHA-algae supplements—in the women’s blood. The health of the babies was monitored for five years and compared with the blood analysis. The children of the mothers given 2.4 grams of long-chain omega-3 supplements during their third trimester displayed an overall 31 percent reduced risk of developing asthma. “Asthma and wheezing disorders have more than doubled in Western countries in recent decades,” explains Professor Hans Bisgaard, of the Copenhagen Prospective Studies on Asthma in Childhood at the hospital. “We now have a preventative measure to help bring those numbers down.”



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Not-So-Speedy Pedaling Boosts Benefits


study from the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, in Providence, Rhode Island, has linked alcohol consumption with an increased risk of melanoma, the most dangerous type of skin cancer. Using data from three studies, researchers followed 210,252 adults for an average of 18 years each using foodfrequency questionnaires to measure alcohol consumption. Comparing the results to instances of melanoma among the participants, they found that each alcoholic beverage consumed on average per day was associated with a 14 percent increased risk of melanoma. An associated conclusion was that individuals that regularly drank alcohol were 73 percent more likely to be diagnosed with melanoma on the trunk of the body than non-drinkers. “The clinical and biological significance of these findings remains to be determined, but for motivated individuals, counseling regarding alcohol use may be an appropriate strategy to reduce risks of melanoma, as well as other cancers,” explains Eunyoung Cho, Sc.D., the study’s lead author and an associate professor of dermatology and epidemiology at the university.

DNA Markers Link Lifespan to Nutrition


elomeres, located at the end of human chromosomes, protect DNA from deterioration. Multiple studies over the past decade have associated longer telomeres with increased longevity and a slowing of the aging process. A study from Kookmin University, in Seoul, Korea, collected nutrition data from 1,958 men and women between the ages of 40 and 69. The information included a baseline food frequency questionnaire assessing the consumption of vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, B9 (folate), C and E, as well as calcium, phosphorus, potassium, iron and zinc, during an 18-month period. Researchers measured the length of the subjects’ telomeres after 10 years in a follow-up examination and compared these results with the nutrition information. The study found an association between longer telomere length and vitamin C, folate and potassium intake in all participants. These nutrients are available in many fruits and vegetables.

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Even One Drink Daily Increases Melanoma Risk

Trauma Recovery Therapy relieves physical symptoms of trauma


rauma Recovery Therapy helps relieve the pain, anxiety, and negative feelings associated with trauma. Statistics show that over 70% of the population has experienced trauma from exposure to war, Rhonda Doll abuse, violence, car accidents, surgery, or personal loss. In the aftermath of life-threatening or over-whelming experiences the physical energy generated becomes stored in the body resulting in symptoms such as physical pain, emotional pain or “numbing out”, as well as PTSD. Frequently acting as collaborators, counselors help clients find meaning in the trauma, and refer them for bodywork sessions to help bring the emotional and physical wounds to the surface to be released. Trauma Recovery Therapy is an iterative process that extends over the course of 10 sessions, with the client fully clothed in a chair or on a massage table. In the calm environment of a massage studio, patients are gently guided through meditative exercises combined with safe, light touch designed to release the negative energy stored in the body. Rhonda Doll has built her practice for over seven years with therapeutic massage, reflexology, chakra balancing, and essential oils application. She is one of the few people in Michigan offering this advanced body work, and is certified through the Colorado School of Healing Arts and the Trauma Touch Therapy program founded by Chris Smith, LMT, TTT. For more information about Natural Massage and Trauma Recovery contact: Rhonda Doll, LMT, TTT™ at 616-893-7928, Rhonda@ RhondasNaturalMassage.com, or online at RhondasNaturalMassage.com. located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. See ad, page 16. natural awakenings

May 2017


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Latin American Tree Bark Improves Diabetes Markers


study from the University of Prague, in the Czech Republic, has found that extracts from the bark of the Hintonia latiflora, a tree grown in Mexico and South America, can help regulate blood glucose levels in people with Type 2 diabetes. Researchers administered a capsule containing a dry concentrated extract from the plant to 32 subjects with the condition and monitored their blood glucose levels for six months. The subjects experienced an 11 percent decrease in glycated hemoglobin, an indicator that the body can better regulate blood glucose levels during the period, as well as a slight reduction in cholesterol and triglycerides. The researchers also found the natural treatment resulted in a 25 percent reduction in fasting blood glucose levels and a 22 percent reduction in post-meal glucose levels. Liver enzymes showed improved levels in the subjects, as well. No adverse side effects were observed.

Negative Stereotypes Sabotage Girl Soccer Players

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esearchers from Germany’s Goethe University, in Frankfurt, sought to determine the impact that the belief held by some that females are poor soccer players would have on their performance. The study had 36 teenage female soccer players engage in a ball-dribbling drill before and after reading a pertinent article. Half of the subjects read about the perceived incompetence of female soccer players and the other half read a piece about the growing popularity of the sport. The players that read the negative article needed significantly more time to complete the drill than those that read the positive article, possibly highlighting the impact that negative stereotyping has on women.

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

Safe Harbor

The French government has expanded the Réserve Naturelle Nationale des Terres Australes Françaises, a highly protected marine reserve in Frenchcontrolled, sub-Antarctic waters of the southern Indian Ocean, from about 8,000 to more than 46,000 square miles; it now includes seven areas surrounding the islands of Crozet and Kerguelen. France intends to designate 10 percent of its oceanic territory by 2020, and this action brings the total as of the end of 2016 to 1.3 percent. These large-scale, fully protected marine reserves may serve as climate refuges for many species. The rich biodiversity of the new addition includes marine mammals, fish, seabirds, orcas, penguins, Antarctic fur seals and the critically endangered Amsterdam albatross.

Turtle Turnaround

Record Hatchlings Give Hope Worldwide, six of the seven sea turtle species are threatened or endangered because of human activity. A ray of hope now shining from conservation efforts is that nesting sea turtles have posted record numbers of successful hatchlings in South Carolina the last three years, with Georgia and Florida reporting similar results. Decades of helpful efforts are paying off due to increased public awareness of turtlefriendly practices at seaside locations. Heed these rules:

Source: PewTrusts.org

Cycling Chicago

Pioneering Bike Paths Promise Easy Commutes Chicago has created 100 miles of new bike lanes in the last five years and plans to add another 50 miles of upgraded lanes with curbs to protect riders from cars by 2019. Beyond that, a series of floating, solar-powered bike paths along the edge of the Chicago River is on the drawing board; each mile of pathway may cost between $5 million and $10 million. The architecture firm SecondShore first proposed the idea. “You look at the river, and while it used to be the main commercial artery in the city, it’s not much of one anymore,” says firm cofounder James Chuck. “This fits with the mayor’s general economic strategy for the city—how to make use of latent infrastructure.” The floating bike paths, named RiverRide, would give pedalers a truly autofree place to ride for part of their commute and connect with existing bike lanes. The system would fill gaps in the network, creating around a 17-mile stretch of continuous bike paths connecting 28 neighborhoods. Floating on concrete pontoons, the paths would use solar power for lighting. Solar panels could also heat the surface so the path doesn’t ice up in winter. Plans call for the path to intersect with river bridges so bikers can cross to the other side.

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Marine Reserve Preserves Ocean Biodiversity

4 Keep lights off on beachfront property during nesting season. 4 Refrain from using flash photography on the beach at night. 4 Keep beaches and oceans clean. Litter such as plastic bags and balloons can cause injury or death when sea turtles mistake them for jellyfish, a favorite food. 4 Respect sea turtles by observing them from a distance. 4 Report dead or injured sea turtles and nest disturbances to 1-800-9225431. Learn more about sea turtle conservation and how to get involved at dnr.sc.gov/seaturtle. Find an introductory video at OceanToday.noaa. gov/endoceanseaturtles.

natural awakenings

May 2017


globalbriefs Corporate Interests Oppose Private Rentals


Airbnb Battle

Local governments and hotels are struggling to come to terms with the growing phenomenon of Airbnb room rentals, which help residents find short-term paying guests that often provide an economic lifeline to help them pay their bills, rent or mortgage. It’s an affordable, convenient and comfortable alternative for travelers. Critics claim the service removes affordable housing units and official hotel rooms from the market by turning suitable apartments into unofficial hotels. Consequently, proposed ordinances are in the works in several U.S. metropolitan areas where Airbnb entrepreneurs and industry groups are also active in trying to shape future laws. Other on-demand grassroots industries such as ridehailing companies Uber and Lyft, which have flourished in unregulated “gray areas”, have learned they need to employ teams of lawyers and lobbyists to fight a stream of restrictive laws and lawsuits. Source: CNN

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New Seed-Sharing Law in California sima/Shutterstock.com

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

California is the fourth state to pass a law making it legal to swap seeds and collect them in non-commercial libraries. That’s good, because the U.S. Department of Agriculture Federal Seed Act, in place for 80 years, mandates that any activity involving non-commercial distribution of seeds must be labeled, permitted and tested according to industrial regulations that would be both costly and burdensome to the hundreds of local seed libraries operating in 46 states. Nebraska, Illinois and Minnesota also recently passed laws protecting non-commercial seed activity from regulatory requirements. Free seed libraries, swaps and exchanges increase access to local food and can play a large role in expanding and preserving biodiversity. Neil Thapar, the food and farm attorney at the Sustainable Economies Law Center, says, “We wanted to create the legal framework for an alternative system that is not reliant on large companies to provide open-pollinated seed varieties. Seed sharing has a direct connection to building local economic resilience.” The center is taking action to try to get laws changed in all 50 states.

Balloon Doom

Helium-filled balloons look pretty when released at special events, but they eventually become earthbound trash littering land and water, often traveling great distances before reaching their final resting places; spans of up to 1,300 miles have been recorded. The Ocean Conservancy recently picked up nearly 94,000 balloon remnants in the course of a year’s worth of cleanup operations. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, fish, dolphins, whales, seabirds and sea turtles have all been found with latex balloons in their stomachs, blocking their digestive tracts. One study of two stranded sperm whales in California attributed their deaths to huge amounts of consumed ocean debris. Another found that more than half of one species of sea turtle surveyed had trash in their gut; mostly balloons. The problem is so serious that several states and cities have already outlawed mass balloon releases. Latex balloons are technically biodegradable, but that process can take six months or more, according to the UK National Association of Balloon Artists and Suppliers. Celebratory alternatives include laser shows, music performances, bubbles, banners and reusable inflatable characters.

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Source: Grist.org

Choo Choo Breakthrough Wind-Powered Trains in Holland

Nederlandse Spoorwegen reports that all of its electric trains are now running on energy harvested from wind. Working with Eneco, a sustainable energy supplier in the Netherlands, the goal was to operate the trains via wind turbines by January 2018, but they beat their own deadline. Electric locomotives don’t use conventional engines; instead, they act like a component in an electric circuit transmitted via high-voltage power lines. Three options for usage include onboard energy storage systems such as batteries; an overhead wire; or an extra live rail, which has current flowing through it at all times. It’s used to power lights and air-conditioning, as well as for propulsion. According to the Global Wind Energy Council, turbines capable of generating 586 megawatts of electricity are the workhorses. In 2016, a 700 megawatt offshore wind farm near the town of Borssele became the most cost-effective of such installations in the world.



Far-Flying Rubber Harms Sea Creatures


Designing Cabinets and Chairs Made from Recyclables Swedish design firm and retailer IKEA is introducing a new line of “no waste” products that includes seating, vases and kitchen cabinets made of recycled materials. IKEA hopes that the design will help people see waste not as garbage, but as just another material that can be used in creating new and beautiful things. The Kungsbacka kitchen employs affordable, sustainable supplies that look stylish, including cabinet doors incorporating recycled plastic bottles and recycled wood; the entire cabinet is said to be 99.9 percent recycled. The Odger chair is 70 percent recycled plastic and 30 percent renewable wood. The design, available in a range of colors and wood finishes, is the result of collaboration between Swedish designers at Form Us With Love and eschews the environmentharming plastics of other chairs. IKEA also melts recycled glass to turn it into beautiful vases. Each mouth-blown vase is unique, thanks to the materials.

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May 2017


NATURAL MOTHERHOOD Creating the Best Start for New Life by Deborah Shouse


woman’s body is exquisitely designed to conceive, nurture and give birth,” says Dr. Carol J. Phillips, an Annapolis, Maryland, prenatal chiropractor, doula and author of Hands of Love: Seven Steps to the Miracle of Birth. Judith Lothian, Ph.D., associate editor of the Journal of Perinatal Education, professor of nursing at Seton Hall University, in South Orange, New Jersey, and a natural childbirth educator, knows the significance of women’s deep intuitive instinct. “Women who feel supported and encouraged can tap into their own wisdom and find deep satisfaction in giving birth naturally. The process itself perfectly prepares mother and baby to continue on their journey together.” Several gentle strategies help mothers-to-be prepare for the joys of natural pregnancy and childbirth.

research its benefits and healing qualities. The yearning for comfort foods like pizza, macaroni or ice cream may signal the need for more nurturing. Eyeing popcorn or chips could be a sign she’s stuffing down an emotion. She can ask herself, “What am I suppressing?” “Eat a lot of protein, including vitamin B-rich foods, during both pregnancy and breastfeeding,” advises O’Mara. “Nursing moms need to eat nutrient-dense foods frequently, along with getting adequate fluids,” says Wilson. She recommends foods that assist lactation called galatactagogues, like

Build a Baby-Friendly Body “Follow your urges,” counsels Peggy O’Mara, of Santa Fe, New Mexico, former editor of Mothering Magazine and author of Having a Baby, Naturally. “Eat when you’re hungry. Sleep when you’re weary. Go to the bathroom the moment nature calls. Practice this in pregnancy so you’ll be in the habit of listening to your instincts when you give birth.” This simple advice counters women’s common habit of attending to other people’s needs instead of their own. Along with eating organic whole foods, Kristy Wilson, of Las Vegas, a certified professional midwife, labor doula and placenta preparation specialist, recommends both a plant-based food supplement with iron and whole food prenatal supplement. Vitamin C is important for a strong amniotic sac; she suggests at least 500 milligrams daily. A high-strung mom can take magnesium chloride baths or sip a soothing cup of red raspberry leaf tea. “Women that are concerned about their diet can tune into the baby and ask what they need,” says Lori Bregman, of Santa Monica, California, a doula, birth coach and author of The Mindful Mom-to-Be. If craving a certain dish, she can


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Discover Intuitive Nutrition

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almonds, avocados, legumes, kale and spinach. To increase milk production, add fennel to meals or smoothies, or turn to capsules.

Spark the Spirit

Affirmations can positively state the mother-to-be’s intentions for pregnancy and birth. Examples include: “Birth is a safe and wonderful experience. Keep Moving with Intention I am choosing the right path for my Wilson recommends yoga, swimming, birth. I trust my body and my inwalking or light jogging three to five stincts. I have all the support I need.” times a week, for 20 minutes a day. Wilson recommends choosing two “Squatting like a child on your haunches to four that resonate, repeating them is a great exercise for childbirth,” she every morning while gazing into the says, noting that 20 squats daily will mirror, placing them on the refrigerastrengthen core muscles. Sitting on an tor door and even having them pop exercise ball instead of a desk chair or up on a smartphone. couch also engages core muscles, while “Meditation prepares you for childimproving posture. birth and can also be soothing during “Regular exercise brings more enlabor by offering tools that push away ergy, better sleep, reduced stress, higher fear,” says O‘Mara. She likes this manspirits, better odds of an easy labor, faster tra from Thich Nhat Hahn’s book, Being post-delivery recovery and reduced risk of Peace: “Breathing in, I calm myself, gestational diabetes and high blood presThe connections established breathing out, I smile.” sure during pregnancy,” Bregman finds. To begin, sit comfortably in a quiet between mother and She recommends a prenatal yoga practice room with eyes closed. For women that includes breathing and visualizanew to meditation, Wilson suggests child are much stronger tions. This restorative form of yoga offers lighting a scented or colored candle when she progresses through and noticing the colors and movement gentle stretching, promotes good circulation and naturally supports relief or healof the flame for something physical pregnancy and birth from ing of many possible pregnancy ailments. to focus on. “This calming practice is a natural perspective. “To alleviate physical distress, try important because labor becomes like chiropractic prenatal care,” says Phillips. a meditation,” she says. The mother ~Kristy Wilson Light finger contact from an expericopes through the contraction, then enced practitioner helps realign bony uses her meditation skills to reset, segments and restores the body’s normal tone. “A prenatal refocus and ground herself before the next contraction. expert can adjust so the mom’s body maintains its balance Wilson and Bregman both encourage expectant mothers and the baby is free to move.” to keep a journal during pregnancy. “Record thoughts and Craniosacral therapy reestablishes balance to the memexperiences. Sometimes dreams tell things about the child, branes that encapsulate the brain and spinal cord. who has a story too,” advises Wilson.

Prepare the Mind

“Just say, ‘No thanks,’ to friends who want to burden you with stories of their long, excruciating labors,” O’Mara advises. “Protect yourself from toxic people and their horror stories. Focus on maintaining your own good health and surround yourself with people that have experienced a normal birth. Plan to have uplifting support during the birthing process and in the postpartum period.” A woman easily influenced by others might ask her doula, midwife or spouse to be her advocate. A woman that needs to exercise control might seek such assistance for peace of mind, knowing that her wishes will be followed. “‘Pain’ is a fear-based word,” to be avoided in conversations about labor, Wilson explains. “Don’t fear the strength of contractions. They are doing exactly what your body needs to do to give birth.” As a midwife, she helps moms relax and embrace these intensely important sensations by focusing on what is going on in their body. Research published in the journal Cell Adhesion & Migration shows that the hormones released during labor enter into the baby’s immune system to also strengthen the child.

Design a Special Experience Create a Birth Plan

Those that prefer a home birth can find a compatible midwife through a natural birthing community such as the National Association of Certified Professional Midwives, International Childbirth Education Association and La Leche League. For a hospital experience, look for low-Caesarean rates, a personally compatible doctor and a distinct birthing center. Either way, a doula or midwife can help craft the desired birth plan. Upon selecting a venue, the expectant mother may imagine the ideal birth environment and write positive statements, such as, “I want to move around freely. I want my husband and sister with me at all times.” “If a home birth is a mother’s first choice, design two plans; one for home and one for the hospital,” suggests Phillips. “If the mother needs hospital care during labor, the attendants will know her wishes.” Wilson encourages the spouse to be involved from the beginning. “The partner’s energy plays a role in how the birth progresses during labor. Plus, being part of the natural awakenings

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Orchestrate a Childbirth Team

“The birthing mother needs continuous support from someone that can focus on her and her needs,” says Phillips. “The partner also needs to have access to experienced support. Both need to surround themselves with people that know how to enfold them in love.”’ A birthing team includes the medically trained attendant appointed to help deliver the baby; either a midwife or a doctor. Many women choose to have a trained doula collaborate, as well. She provides continuity of care and advocacy, lessens the need for medical intervention, stays with the mother, honors and includes the partner and supports the parents in making informed decisions. With home births, family members tend to invite themselves over. The mom needs to have control of her birthing atmosphere. “I encourage moms to be firm regarding who they want in the room when the baby is born,” Wilson says.

Deborah Shouse is a mother, writer, speaker, editor and health advocate in Kansas City, MO. Her latest book, Connecting in the Land of Dementia: Creative Activities to Explore Together, focuses on life’s meaningful moments (DementiaJourney.org).

by Deborah Shouse


he blessingway ceremony helps a woman prepare mentally, emotionally and spiritually for the work of birthing, opening her to instinctive abilities that will guide her in mothering,” says Donna Miller Watelet, interfaith minister and co-author of Mother Rising: The Blessingway Journey into Motherhood. Miller Watelet, a facilitator of dozens of blessingway rituals, shares an example of a nourishing gathering: In a comfortable and safe room, a group of friends circles the mother-to-be, signifying their support. They discuss the intention for the blessingway and invite the mom to symbolically let go of any fears blocking a harmonious experience. Once her fears are emptied out, they fill her up

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“Giving birth is the first big unknown of parenting,” says Wilson. “You plan for it and then you have to trust and accept the outcome.” She encourages postpartum appointments for discussing the birth. “A breastfeeding mother’s nutrient requirements are actually higher postpartum,” Wilson says. To prevent deficiencies, she suggests moms nourish themselves during this period, delaying any focus on weight loss and regaining muscle tone. The birth team and other friends can deliver meals, do light housecleaning, run a load of laundry and bring groceries. The new parents will welcome this generous and loving help.

Blessing the Birth “


Honor the Postpartum Mother


with affirmations, appreciations and adornments. Women can gift an object that has meaning to them, such as a bead, flower or scrap of cloth, as a sign of their commitment to her. These gifts will then be fashioned into something lasting, such as a necklace for the mother. The circle may then bind themselves together, each woman wrapping red yarn around her wrist before passing along the skein until everyone is connected. As they discuss this intertwining, they cut the binding yarn and keep the bracelets, a reminder of their caring for the new family. “Finally, we enjoy a feast together,” Miller Watelet says. “Sharing a meal reminds us to bring the intentions of the blessingway back into everyday life.”


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planning keeps him engaged and attuned to her wishes.”


Perceived Benefit from CAM

Great 65% Some 16% Only a little 12% None 7% Great 81% + Some

What is the most effective treatment for Low Back Pain? By Dr. Dan Gleason


ow back pain (LBP) costs the United States healthcare system about $100 billion a year. It results in over 150 million lost workdays per year and $16 billion annually in lost productivity. More than 80% of adults in the US will experience it at some point during their lifetime. Those with LBP are 3 times more likely to have limited functional ability and are more than 4 times likely to experience serious psychological distress. Conventional treatment includes medications, rest, ice and heat, exercise and physical therapy. Medications range from aspirin and Ibuprofen to opioids and steroid injections. Oral meds have risks including GI bleeding, kidney and liver damage. Many hospitalizations and even deaths result from taking these OTC products. Spinal injections are very expansive and carry the risk of infection and adverse reaction. The growing problems with opioids have made the news lately. These medications, like Norco and Vicodin, are addictive and over time can actually worsen the pain complex. What are the alternatives? Data was collected in 2012 on 34,535 adults with low back pain using the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS). It is the most current nationally representative data available on Complementary and Alternative (CAM) health practices. Here are some key conclusions from this study: 1. “A key goal of healthcare for patients with chronic back pain is to maximize their functional status so that they are able to carry out activities of daily living.” 2. “Many people suffering from LBP have found conventional medical treatments to be ineffective and unreliable for treating their pain. Therefore, due to dissatisfaction with conventional treatments for LBP, individuals suffering from LBP are increasingly turning to Complemen-

tary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) to find relief.” 3. “A growing body of evidence supports the use of CAM for improving pain outcomes, with back pain being the most common condition for which patients use CAM.” 4. “Overall, chiropractic manipulation was the most prevalent CAM therapy used within the LBP population.” 5. “The majority of respondents (58.1%) who used CAM in the past year for back pain perceived a ‘great deal’ of benefit.” 6. “For people with severe LBP, turning to CAM may seem a better alternative due to its more conservative, noninvasive nature as compared to more conventional medical treatments such as epidural steroid injections, surgeries, and prescriptive medications—all which may carry higher risks than CAM treatments.” 7. “Those with severe pain may have exhausted all other possibilities and may be looking for any possibility of relief” and as such seek CAM approaches. 8. “Over 40% of the US population used some form of CAM in the past year, with higher use reported among those with back pain.” 9. “Most adults who used CAM for back pain perceived a great deal of benefit.” 10. “CAM use appears to be an important and growing part of healthcare for the back pain population.” Use of CAM for LBP in Past 12 Months: Survey of 34,525 Adults CAM Therapy


Chiropractic 15% Massage 11% Acupuncture 2%

Acupuncture Chiropractic Massage 62% 55% 27% 31% 6% 9% 5% 5% 89% 86%

Chiropractic remains the leader of outpatient management choices for CAM for LBP, with an extremely high patient satisfaction rate; yet only 15% of those with LBP are using chiropractic. Surprisingly, acupuncture is only being used by 2% of those with low back pain. An important aspect of this study (mentioned but not quantified) is that all of the CAM approaches are extremely safe, with a very low risk of adverse occurrences. An underemphasized aspect of this study is that many who chose to use CAM do so because traditional approaches to the management of their back pain was ineffective.* *Global Advances in Health and Medicine January 2016; Vol. 5; No. 1; pp. 69-78 Neha Ghildayal, Pamela Jo Johnson, MPH, PhD, Roni L. Evans, DC, MS, PhD, and Mary Jo Kreitzer, PhD, RN Many chiropractors do not consider chiropractic to be “alternative” or “complementary” to medical practice, but rather a scientifically proven, non-drug, and nonsurgical approach to healthcare problems, including musculoskeletal pain. Inflammation due to poor food choices, infections and nutritional deficiencies is often the cause of chronic back pain. Other non-medical approaches include cold laser, yoga, meditation, stretching, visualization, affirmation, therapeutic oils and other topical and oral herbal formulas. 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 TheGleasonCenter.com or call 616-846-5410. See ad page 45.

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by Linda Sechrist

he Heart to Lead: Women as Allies for the Greater Good, a documentary film directed and produced by Cheryl Gould, of Naples, Florida, explores the emerging paradigm of heart-based feminine leadership and how it is attuning women to their inner strengths, beliefs, each other and our Earth. “Women’s deeper unity of being is empowering them to take action and lead. Women who once longed for a culture that would reflect their highest priorities are now creating one in which they support each other and make a difference,” says Gould. She notes that for centuries, a vast number of women have led and served as change agents. “Unfortunately, the majority of them never made it into the headlines or history books. A prime example—few individuals knew that 12 women ran for president before Hillary Clinton.” In a recent Yes! magazine article, Rucha Chitnis reports that women are rising up to push back against growing corporate power, land grabs, economic injustice, climate change and more. Women’s groups and networks offer a paradigm shift, she concludes, exposing links between unbridled capitalism, violence, the erosion of human rights and destruction of the Earth.


A woman’s style of leadership in America’s corporate boardrooms, activist-led movements or state and federal government may not be plainly evident. Feminine wisdom’s emerging solutions are compassionate, collaborative and consensus-building, and pursue universal outcomes and group cooperation. They contrast with conventional competitive strategies and solutions, according to The Legislative Effectiveness of Women in Congress study at Vanderbilt University’s Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions, in Nashville. Jean Shinoda Bolen, a medical doctor, Jungian analyst in Mill Valley, California, and author of Artemis: The Indomitable Spirit in Everywoman, has been advocating since 2002 for a United Nations Fifth World Conference on Women (5WCW). “Empowered and equal women are the key to peace and sustainability. We need to rise up together and fulfill the Dalai Lama’s words at the Vancouver Peace Summit: ‘It will be up to Western women to bring about peace.’” Bolen’s 5WCW vision joins millennial women worldwide now entering their era of activism with the feminist movement spearheaded by a boomer generation of women that’s forwarded the equality and empowerment of women this far. To this end,



she marched in Women Rising Resources members of RisWashington, D.C., ing Women Rising on January 21 in the World. Henderson Tinyurl.com/ Million Women’s contends that to WomensHeartToLeadFilm shape a future for March that globally attracted 5 million the good of all, participants. “To Vimeo.com/ondemand/ we must bring into make human rights balance the mascuAsSheIs women’s rights, we line and feminine need a united global energies and learn to women’s movement,” she states. value the long-marginalized qualities of Sande Hart, from Orange County, feminine wisdom. California, director of the Charter for Henderson’s Love Economy paraCompassion International-Women digm reflects the sharing and caring and Girls sector and president of the sector not presently reflected in the women’s global interfaith organization nation’s gross domestic product. “WomSpiritual and Religious Alliance for en’s unpaid work—raising children, Hope (SARAH), participated in the Los taking care of households, serving on Angeles Women’s March with 750,000 school boards, volunteering, caring for others. “There’s a sense that we’ve aging parents, etc.—constitutes 50 perhad enough. We’re not angry. We are cent of all production in the U.S. and morally outraged and seeking peaceful 70 percent of that in developing counsolutions wrapped in compassion and tries. This unvalued economic sector based in justice for all. In nearly 15 underlies and supports the public and years of women’s community building, private parts of the entire economy,” I’m convinced that healing our commu- advises Henderson, who observes that nities with resilience and a regeneracompetition cannot be the sole basis tive spirit is our biological and innate for an economy with any expectation of imperative. I see women emerging in high quality of life on a small planet. unprecedented ways to make this In her film, As She Is, producer happen,” says Hart. and director Megan McFeely, of Marin The Rising Women Rising World County, California, captures her own organization provides tools and training journey to understand the collective to help women and men develop femipotential of the feminine and how to nine wisdom and the qualities of potent live true to its innate knowing. She compassion, deep listening, intuition queries: “Can you imagine what might and inclusivity. Hazel Henderson, an happen if women here and around the evolutionary economist in St. Augusworld rose up together and used our tine, Florida, host of the Ethical Markets power of longing to heal the Earth?” online TV show and researcher of The Love Economy shared in her book The Linda Sechrist is a senior staff writer Politics of the Solar Age: Alternatives for Natural Awakenings. Connect at to Economics, has mentored staff ItsAllAboutWe.com.

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MASTERING SELF-DEFENSE Staying Aware Avoids Problems by Aimee Hughes


began my personal training in the Non-Violent System (NVS) of self-defense with Grandmaster Verkerke in 1996,” says Eddie Rose, senior instructor of NVS Peace in the Midst of Non-Violence at Shangri-La Springs, in Bonita Springs, Florida. This aspect of the martial art form seicho jutsu was created by Canadian Daniel Verkerke, Ph.D., as a simple self-defense system to teach and perpetuate nonviolence; he continues to share it with the public, law enforcement, corporations and private security firms in the U.S. and internationally. Nonviolent self-defense is akin to the dynamics of bullfighting. “The matador never matches his strength with the enormous animal; rather, he redirects the energy of the bull with simple and precise movements—counterbalancing— and letting the bull’s energy move past him,” explains Rose. He’s trained everyday people of all ages and walks of life in this approach, in the U.S., UK, Puerto Rico and Jamaica. “As they train, students begin to feel more secure wherever they go, because they are learning how to be safe even in the midst of physical confrontation,” says Rose. “They wind up feeling more empowered as they learn how to neutralize aggression simply and effectively.” Practicing NVS increases balance, coordination, overall flexibility and joint mobility. Its soft, circular, martial arts movements, combined with slow-to-fast linear movements, also enhance cardiovascular health. “Mental and spiritual training includes the awareness and development of a state of being conscious of energy and mind. Everyone’s actions and reactions directly reflect the development of their mind,” says Rose. 20

West Michigan Edition


Another nonviolent form of self-defense is Shaolin five animal kung fu, a martial arts style that mimics the characteristics of five animals—the tiger, leopard, snake, crane and dragon. Instructor Lloyd Fridenburg owns Fitness with a Purpose, in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, where he emphasizes the awareness and avoidance concept as the psychological heart of nonviolent self-defense. Fridenburg, founder and senior instructor of the Waterloo Kung Fu Academy, explains, “The concept emphasizes being constantly aware of your surroundings while avoiding obvious areas of potential danger.” He also stresses the importance of proper body language—being able to read that of others, as well as how to diffuse confrontation upfront in how we present ourself. “Martial arts are a two-sided coin,” he says. “There’s the martial aspect, which involves techniques that allow a person to defend him- or herself in a wide range of situations. Then there’s the art aspect, which encompasses a deeper study, encompassing forms of movement and mental, philosophical and meditative techniques.” “Overall health benefits are no different than one might expect of any disciplined fitness regimen,” notes Fridenburg. “However, the nature of a quality martial arts program forces practitioners to focus their entire attention on what they are doing. The mere act of staying grounded in the present moment dramatically reduces stress and sets martial arts practices apart from many other forms of movement.” Tai chi, an ancient, softer style of Chinese martial art, leverages relaxation, posture and energy work, rather than muscular tension. As a Taoist art, it embodies the way nature works, using minimal effort to accomplish a lot. “Demonstrating tai chi as a form of nonviolent selfdefense is much easier than describing it,” says Aaron D. Nitzkin, Ph.D., of New Orleans, a Tulane University professor, tai chi master and certified medical qigong instructor. “If someone attacks, you don’t resist; you can use tai chi principles to yield to their movements with a natural, circular, continuous motion, turning their own force against them. When you move aggressively against a master, it feels like you’ve just bounced off them and fallen down. In order to win at tai chi fighting, you need to remain completely calm and centered and most of all, listen to your opponent’s energy with your hands, so that you can yield to it and then redirect it.” It’s a profound lesson in interpersonal communication. “My students report stronger immune systems, greater clarity of mind, better sleep, less anxiety and depression, and greater emotional stability,” says Nitzkin. “Practitioners become much more sensitive to and conscious of the internal condition of their bodies, and even develop the ability to feel bioelectric fields.” Whichever form of nonviolent self-defense suits us, experts advise that students study with a certified and experienced instructor for optimum results and safe practice. Aimee Hughes, a freelance writer in Kansas City, MO, is a doctor of naturopathy and senior staff writer for Longevity Times online. Connect at Aimee@LongevityTimes.com.

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Milk Minus the Moo

Evaluating Alternatives to Dairy by Judith Fertig



hen dietary concerns, food sensitivities or curiosity prompt us to try alternative milks, it helps to know the basic facts about the leading types, to choose the best ones for us.

Almond Milk

Pro: Almond milk is low in fat and can be easily made at home, so ingredients are known. One cup of homemade almond milk has about 40 calories, one gram of protein, 6 percent of the daily value (DV) for calcium, three grams of fat and eight grams of carbohydrates. As for storebought options, one cup of Silk Organic Almond Original contains 60 calories, with one gram of protein, 10 percent DV for calcium, two-and-a-half grams of fat and eight grams of carbohydrates. Con: Almond milk is neither high in protein nor calcium; it’s not as nutritionally packed as other alternatives. Some might not care for the faint nutty flavor.

Coconut Milk

Pro: Dr. Josh Axe, a functional medicine physician who owns the popular natural health website, DrAxe.com, and the Exodus Health Center, near Nashville, Tennessee, points out, “High in mediumchain triglycerides, coconut milk is a very filling, fat-burning food.” One cup of homemade coconut milk has about 22

West Michigan Edition


450 calories, six grams of protein and 64 grams of fat, plus trace minerals such as manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, iron and copper. Canned coconut milk is similar: one cup of Native Forest Unsweetened Coconut Milk Classic contains 420 calories, three grams of protein and 45 grams of fat, plus trace minerals such as manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, iron and copper in each cup. Con: High in fat and calories, coconut milk may not be the best choice for drinking every day, but is delicious in Asian-style soups and curries.

Hemp Milk

Pro: Hemp milk, made from hulled hemp seeds, contains 10 essential amino acids, including key fats. “Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are vital for healthy functioning of the brain,” says Axe. Hemp milk works well for people with tree nut allergies. One cup of Pacific Hemp Original has 140 calories, three grams of protein, 50 percent DV for calcium, five grams of fat and 20 grams of carbohydrates. Living Harvest Tempt Hemp Milk has 80 calories per cup, two grams of protein, 30 percent DV for calcium, eight grams of fat and one gram of carbohydrates. Con: Grassy-tasting hemp milk tends to separate in hot coffee.

Rice Milk

Soy Milk

Pro: Soy milk provides more protein than other alternative milks. Look for a calcium-fortified, organic brand that doesn’t contain the thickening agent carrageenan, suggests Dr. Andrew Weil, founding director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, in Tucson. Different brands have different nutritional components. For example, one cup of Organic Valley Soy Original has 100 calories per cup, with seven grams of protein, 30 percent DV for calcium, three grams of fat and 11 grams of carbohydrates. One cup of Organic EdenSoy Extra Original Soymilk contains 130 calories, with 11 grams of protein, 20 percent DV for calcium, four grams of fat and 13 grams of carbohydrates. Con: Some people might not like the thick texture and soy aftertaste. Dr. Frank Lipman, founder and director of Eleven Eleven Wellness Center, in New York City, says that limiting soy is a good idea due to soy’s prevalent pesticide saturation and its researched links to thyroid, endocrine system and sex hormone dysfunction (Tinyurl.com/SoyDarksideStudies). If soy is eaten, “Choose certified organic, soy products—preferably fermented versions like miso, natto and tempeh—with the Non-GMO Project seal; and do so sparingly, no more than twice a week,” advises Lipman.

DIY Milks Looker_Studio/Shutterstock.com

With fresh ingredients, a high-speed blender and a reusable nut milk bag or strainer, we can make our own alternative milk in minutes at home.

Coconut Milk Yields: About 3 cups 2 cups hot water 1 cup fresh organic, unsweetened, shredded coconut

Almond Milk Yields: About 4 cups

Place hot water, and then shredded coconut, in a high-speed blender, starting on low speed and increasing to high for a total of three minutes.

1 cup raw, unsalted organic whole almonds ½ tsp sea salt 4 cups pure filtered water Sea salt, stevia, agave nectar, honey, a date, vanilla bean or lemon juice

Strain the coconut milk through a nut milk bag into a container.

Soak the almonds in salted water for at least 12 hours before blending.

Store covered in the refrigerator for up to three days.

Using a high-powered blender, start blending on low and increase to high to reach a smooth milk consistency. Strain through a nut milk bag to remove any almond skin or pieces. Optional: Add a preferred flavoring.

Pour into a container and store covered in the refrigerator for up to three days.


Pro: High in vitamins and calcium when fortified, rice milk made from brown rice is also high in vitamins. According to Ted Kallmyer, author of Flexible Dieting, in Bend, Oregon, rice milk is the least likely alternative milk to trigger an allergy. One cup of Pacific Rice Milk has 130 calories, one gram of protein, 30 percent DV for calcium, two grams of fat and 37 grams of carbohydrates. One cup of Rice Dream Organic Rice Drink has 120 calories, one gram of protein, 30 percent DV for calcium, 2.5 grams of fat and 23 grams of carbohydrates. Con: Low in fat and protein, it’s also relatively high in carbohydrates. It has a less creamy texture than hemp, coconut or soy milks.

Judith Fertig writes food health articles and cookbooks from Overland Park, KS (JudithFertig.com). natural awakenings

May 2017



Taggart Siegel Seeks to Seed an Agricultural Revolution by April Thompson


or more than 30 years, Taggart Siegel has produced award-winning films on little-known aspects of the natural and cultural world. His diverse documentaries range from the story of a Hmong shaman immigrant adjusting to American life to a Midwestern organic farmer that salvaged his family’s farm. Siegel’s latest film, Seed: The Untold Story, follows global seed keepers from Minnesota to India battling multinational agribusinesses in a quest to protect our agricultural heritage and

food sources—ancient seeds passed down through untold generations. Interviews with farmers, ethnobotanists and activists explore the importance of the genetic material that these tiny time capsules carry. Siegel is the founder and executive director of Collective Eye Films, a nonprofit media company in Portland, Oregon. He co-directed and produced this latest offering with documentary filmmaker Jon Betz, with backing from Academy Award-winning actress Marisa Tomei.

Why does the colossal loss of food crop diversity during the past century matter? Up to 96 percent of seed varieties have been lost since 1903. During this period, we have destroyed the infrastructure of traditional agriculture: 10,000 years of seeds saved from families and farmers. It threatens our survival. We can’t rely on genetically modified seeds to see us through climate changes. We need non-genetically engineered seed varieties like the thousands of different types of rice grown in India to be able to adapt to extreme events like floods and droughts. Universal responsibility to save seeds began to dwindle in the 1920s, when hybrid corn crops came onto the market, promising higher yields; instead of growing crops from seeds saved, borrowed or shared with neighbors, farmers bought seeds from stores. In the 1990s, huge corporations bought up some 20,000 seed companies, and the number of cultivated seed varieties dropped precipitously. Ten agrichemical companies now control more than two-thirds of the global seed market.

How do hybrid seeds differ from open-pollinated seeds?  You cannot save a hybrid seed; if you try to use it, the results are unreliable.

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Hybrids are engineered to be planted for one year only. With open-pollinated and heirloom seeds, you’re planting reliable seeds saved from year to year, generation to generation, bred for the consistency of their qualities. Indigenous people in Mexico’s Oaxaca Valley, for example, have successfully cultivated local seeds for at least 8,700 years, right up to today. Hybrids require high levels of chemical inputs to produce. Illustrating the contrast, Hopi corn, grown for thousands of years, requires little water and contains much more protein than today’s commercial crops, without poisoning the land with heavy industrial inputs. The Hopi think of seeds as their children, intimately connected with their heritage and culture, so they protect them. Beyond big, strong crops, farming is a spiritual act.

Why do so many farmers voluntarily choose hybrid seeds, given the troubling issues involved? Most farmers just want streamlined labor and the biggest yield. Often, commodity crops using commercial seeds and chemical fertilizers have the biggest yield and make them the most money, even though severe downsides like the loss of flavor and nutrients mean it’s ultimately not the best result.

In India, more than 250,000 farmers have committed suicide during the past 20 years to escape onerous debts accrued to purchase industrialized agricultural inputs. An Indian seed salesman interviewed for the film despairs, “The seeds we sell don’t taste good and require so many chemicals that many farmers kill themselves.”

What is the seed-saver movement achieving, and how can everyday gardeners and citizens take action? Seed libraries and banks are critically important because the seeds are adapted to the local environment. Seed libraries have multiplied from only a handful a few years ago to as many as 300 located in towns across America today. Public libraries check out seeds to plant in your garden, asking only that you return harvested seeds for others to enjoy. Farmers can now “back up” their seeds in local seed banks, which are also becoming important educational resources to teach students about these issues. To locate a screening or purchase a DVD of the film, visit SeedTheMovie.com. Connect with freelance writer April Thompson, in Washington, D.C., at AprilWrites.com.

natural awakenings

May 2017



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Let Spirit Steer Us by Mark Nepo


eaching me how to steer the 30-foot-long sailboat he built, my father would say, “It’s the sail that follows the wind, and the rudder that follows the sail.” The sail, by its nature, will catch the wind and lean into it. The rudder is for steering once we’ve set sail. Our soul is like a sail. Once hoisted, it’s filled by the wind of Spirit, which establishes our course and direction. Our will is our rudder; its job is to follow where the soul filled with Spirit leads, helping to steer our way. When we lean on will to make things happen, we can grow stubborn, confused or lost. Clear sailing comes when we’re being


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carried toward a vision greater than our self, feeling wholly alive along the way. Scudding along the sea, my father was living once for all time, feeling the sensation of all life in that moment. We all yearn to live in these moments forever, yet even a taste of aliveness can fill, sustain and refresh us in the midst of daily tasks. We all face times beyond our control when life doesn’t follow our designs and we’re asked to work with life and not fight, curse or hide from it. When insisting on our way, we can get so tangled in our will that we can’t find or feel the wind of Spirit. During these


times—when we fear there is no meaning and it seems there’s nothing holding us up—our will can puff, snap and flap about in a desperate attempt to fill what looms as an empty life. But even setting out on the sea, it’s never easy. My father remarked, “It’s always harder to sail toward a fixed point, because you will inevitably have to cross the wind several times to get there.” By contrast, a boat moves its fastest and cleanest when it simply follows the wind. It’s the same when we listen for where life is taking us, instead of busily thinking about where we’re going. Devoting ourselves to experiencing the journey, rather than determining a destination, we discover our way. Like a sail, our life must be out in the open before the wind will show its face. Likewise, Spirit fills us when we can inhabit our true nature. We miss what awaits us if we hover too close to the shore of our past, our family, someone else’s dream for us, or an old identity. To feel the wind in our face, we must leave the shallows and harbors for the deep. Only then will the larger, timeless destination show itself and our soul be filled enough with Spirit that our smaller self will have no choice but to engage in steering us toward all that matters. Adapted excerpt from The One Life We’re Given: Finding the Wisdom that Waits in Your Heart, by Mark Nepo (Atria). Connect at MarkNepo.com and ThreeIntentions.com.

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The Joys of Grandparenting How to Mindfully Love Little Ones by April Thompson


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eing a grandparent can be magical; an opportunity to create both lifelong memories and formative experiences for grandchildren. However, it can also pose challenges that need to be managed mindfully, say experts. For more than 25 years, Patricia Salem, of Louisville, Kentucky, a licensed and board-certified art therapist, has taught mindfulness practices and art therapy in such diverse settings as hospitals and schools. Aiming to help kids and adults learn to harmoniously ease life’s challenges, her work across generations has led her to seek ways to support entire family systems on their individual and familial journey to more mindful living. Her classes focus on skills like cultivating awareness, communication, self-compassion and self-care. “Teaching mindfulness and stress reduction to children is a start; however, teaching parents and grandparents is important, too. Children need reinforcement at home for practices they are learning in order for them to take hold,” says Salem. Carolyn Tucker, a psychotherapist in Atlanta, started offering classes on mindful grandparenting six years ago after witnessing a rise in grandparents seeking therapy. “In working with new


mothers, I’ve found that a common area of friction is too little or too much support from grandparents. I thought it wise to help prepare them,” says Tucker. She helps grandparents develop realistic expectations of their role. “It’s easy to revert to what you know—the parenting role—so it’s important to set mindful intentions,” she observes. Tucker encourages grandparents to make mindful memories during time spent with the grandchildren. “You can find joy by being still and marveling at a grandchild’s beautiful little hands and dimpled knees while registering how the air in the room feels to create a vivid mental snapshot of the moment. “Parents and kids can become too busy, and grandparents can help them slow down. Lie on the grass together and look at cloud shapes or blow a dandelion. To me, that is the romance of grandparenting, and mindfulness allows the romance to blossom,” she says. Susan Moon, a Berkeley, California, author and grandmother who has practiced Zen Buddhism for nearly 40 years, sees grandparenting as an opportunity to release expectations; this feat can be difficult for parents caught up in their youngsters’ identities. “It’s easier for grandparents to accept

what may have worked in raising their own children to react or jump in, but it’s important to avoid giving unsolicited advice,” Salem cautions. At the same time, grandparents can notice aspects a harried parent may miss and, if handled carefully, can provide important insights. “I was known as the ‘fairy mom’, offering magic, art and imagination. I was grateful my own mother was there, too, because one child needed more structure and stability than I was providing,” says Tucker, a mother of four. “She gave me mindful feedback without making me feel like she was trying to usurp my role.” Moon suggests practicing “right speech”—messages that are positive, affirming and loving—with everyone. “It’s important to be humble and recognize the huge job of parents and all they juggle. Let them know that you are there to support them in whatever way you can.” Connect with freelance writer April Thompson, in Washington, D.C., at AprilWrites.com.


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grandkids for who they are and just be joyful with them. They get to be in the moment with the kids without worrying about the day-to-day details of caregiving that can consume parents.” She explores such ideas in her book This is Getting Old: Zen Thoughts on Aging with Humor and Dignity. Being past their working years, grandparents are often more accepting and peaceful themselves, which can be inspiring for younger generations, adds Salem. For Moon, it’s vital to be mindful of the image of aging that’s projected; “I try to model that old age isn’t tragic, and show the joy in this stage of life,” she says. Yet grandparents also should be mindful of any physical limitations and set boundaries with grandkids as needed. “It’s okay to say, ‘I can’t hang on the jungle gym with you,’ and suggest an alternative,” says Moon. Good relationships with the grandkids begin with maintaining open relationships with their parents, experts note. To do this, consistently engage in compassionate listening. “It can be tempting for grandparents that know

Create new memories, but also share old stories. “Kids want to hear about how their parents were as children, and it gives them a sense of history,” advises author Susan Moon. Be open to learning new technology to communicate across the generational divide. “While grandparents learn about the world of social media from their grandchildren, they can also encourage them to cut back on checking their cell phones in favor of interpersonal activities,” says art therapist Patricia Salem. When visiting grandkids, especially if they live in different cities, “Always have some ‘grandma magic’ up your sleeve—like games, puzzles or craft projects that can be collaborated on—to maximize precious time together,” suggests Moon. Invite grandchildren to try out meditation or breathing techniques practiced by their elders. “It can help lessen the stresses they encounter in school and at home,” says Salem. “Be careful to foster cooperation rather than competition in any shifting relationship with a child-turned-parent,” advises psychotherapist Carolyn Tucker. Otherwise, it can create chaos, undermine a parent’s confidence and strain relationships. For more advice on being a great grandparent, visit GrandparentsLink.com.

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May 2017


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Herbs that Beat the Heat Favorite Varieties that

Mediterranean Flavors

Flourish in Summer by Barbara Pleasant


ome of the best plants to keep as summer companions are herbs that enrich life with their flavors, fragrances and beauty. It’s not too late to pot up a few herbs or plant them in the garden if we choose varieties that thrive in hot, summer weather.

Reliable Basils

“I place basil as the number one herb in popularity, as well as heat tolerance,” says Cristina Spindler,

owner of the Peconic River Herb Farm, in Calverton, New York. “Basil actually prefers heat.” There are many types, and greenleafed culinary varieties are easy to grow through the summer, provided they’re not allowed to dry out. Two particularly heat-hardy types are purpleleafed varieties such as red rubin and African blue, which debuted in 1983. “Purple basil is shockingly fragrant and beautiful on the plate. Plus, it’s easy to grow in a small space and produces quickly,” says Lisa Kessler, who for several years has co-owned with her

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husband, Ben, the White Hills Lavender and Herb Farm, in Dearing, Georgia. “The flowering tops are usable as herbs and as beautiful cut flowers, so don’t toss them away.” “African blue basil flourishes in summer heat and is an especially beneficial nectar plant for bees and other pollinators,” says Traci Anderson, who has been running Seminole Springs Herb Farm, in Eustis, Florida, in their family for more than 20 years. Vigorous and heavy-flowering, it can grow to over three feet tall, and usually persists as a perennial in Florida, Texas and other mild winter climates.

Rosemary is the most adaptable and heat tolerant of Mediterranean herbs; it can be grown as a perennial where soil doesn’t freeze hard in winter. “My top herb garden choice for the hot, humid conditions in the South is Tuscan blue rosemary, because it is beautiful, easy to grow and is wonderful in all kinds of foods and products,” Kessler says. “It blooms in several seasons and provides bees with off-season food.” Thyme is a top cooking herb, although too much summer rain can lead to mildew and leaf blight. This rarely happens with Summer savory, which has a punchy flavor that Spindler describes as “a peppery cross between

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oregano and thyme that’s perfect on all of the classic summer veggies—squash, green beans, tomatoes and corn.” Kessler recommends oregano as part of our summer planting list. “Let your kids or grandkids have the experience of putting it in the pasta sauce. It’s easy to grow in a small herb garden and will last through the winter in most parts of the South.” An unrelated tropical plant from Africa with strong oregano flavor, the leaves of variegated Cuban oregano are pretty enough to grow alongside flowers, and the plants thrive in humid heat. Cuban oregano readily grows through hot summers, and the plants produce more leaves each time leaf tips are harvested.

Tempting Tropicals

In Central Florida, Anderson recommends culantro, aka Mexican coriander, as a summer herb different from the

better-known cilantro. “Culantro equals the flavor of cilantro, but with no bitter or medicinal aftertaste.” A great longterm performer, it continues producing flavorful new leaves even after the plant starts blooming. Anderson also suggests growing West Indian lemongrass for its fragrant leaves and thick stalks. A vigorous, clump-forming grass, lemongrass can be grown in containers anywhere or served as an edible ornamental in landscapes where summers are hot. “Lemongrass enjoys a sunny and moist environment, so it benefits from being near an air conditioner drain or downspout,” she advises.

large drainage holes, so excess water can drain quickly. Make a habit of pinching off a few herbal leaves, crushing them between the fingers and inhaling their fresh aromas. For maximum benefit, repeat daily. Author Barbara Pleasant’s new book, Homegrown Pantry: A Gardener’s Guide to Selecting the Best Varieties & Planting the Perfect Amounts for What You Want to Eat Year Round, is now available (Storey Publishing). Connect at BarbaraPleasant.com.

Growing Tips

Herbs always need watering in hot weather, and pouring from a watering can at the base is far better than bathing the leaves with a hose. Should containers become so dry that they refuse to take up water, place them in a broad dish or pail filled with three inches of water for 30 minutes to rehydrate the roots. Always grow herbs in pots with

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Three Signals of Anxiety by Susan Briggs



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amily dogs frequently accompany us on errands and outings away from their familiar home environment and we want them to enjoy these expeditions, so understanding their view of the world is important. To a dog, every experience is either familiar or unfamiliar. The first time they encounter a new sound, place or person, they may feel anxious. We can help with the adjustment by introducing them slowly to each new experience and step aside to provide them distance or space to observe it first at their own pace. Knowing the “tells” that signal when a dog is comfortable or uncomfortable goes a long way to a harmonious experience. Allison Culver, assistant director of The Lightfoot Way holistic animal learning center, in Houston, remarks, “Knowing how to communicate with your animal can save a lot of heartache.” With a bit of applied attention, we can readily learn to understand the changes in canine body posture and behavior that communicate their emotional state. Start by observing the dog’s posture when they are relaxed at home. It’s


likely that their weight is balanced on all four legs and their mouth is slightly open; movement is relaxed, loose and agile. When a dog feels happy or playful, notice how their ears may perk up or tilt slightly forward. Their tail might rise and wag, and they may emit a cheerful bark. Using their visual and audio demeanor as a baseline prepares us to be alert for three secret tells that signal a change in their emotion. Closing their mouth routinely occurs when a dog is unsure or anxious. When their mouth remains closed for a minute or more, it’s a sure clue that they need more time to process information. Lip licking such as quick flicks of the tongue is meant to appease and may prevent an uncomfortable situation from escalating into anything resembling a confrontation. Dogs do it with each other and with us, too. A look away that avoids direct eye contact likewise signals that a dog is urgently processing their current environment. Norwegian dog trainer Turid Rugaas, author of On Talking Terms with Dogs:

Calming Signals, identifies the lip licking and averting of the eyes as selfcalming behaviors. She affirms, “When dogs are stressed by the environment, they start using calming signals to ease the stress.” When this happens, first try creating more space or distance between the dog and any perceived threat; this may return them to their body language norm. If not, consider using holistic calming aids like a properly mixed lavender essential oil spray or Bach Rescue Remedy Pet flower essences, keeping these well away from their face. Also try mentally engaging the dog with learned cues. A quick game of sit, down, sit plus high-five allows them to engage in a familiar activity while they adjust to a new environment. If the pet does not respond to normal cues and continues to display

multiple stress signals for an extended period, leave the scene altogether. Their anxiety hasn’t been relieved. If it’s still important that the dog learns to enjoy the troubling environment, work with a professional trainer that uses positive reinforcement tools to aid the transition (see PetProfessionalGuild. com or apdt.com). The trainer will assist in creating a plan that allows the pet to adjust at a pace that allows them to remain comfortable. By observing a dog’s posture, we can be confident of choosing mutually good outings. Susan Briggs, of Houston, TX, is co-author of Off-Leash Dog Play: A Complete Guide to Safety & Fun, co-founder of The Dog Gurus and owner of Crystal Canine (CrystalCanine.com).

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Should I Take Medication? The Mental Health Dilemma by Ashley Carter Youngblood, LLMSW, LLMFT, CADC


s a holistic therapist, this is the question I get most often. To me, being holistic means looking at the whole picture of a person’s health (e.g. mentally, physically, spiritually, financially, etc.). This includes living as naturally as possible with the Earth’s resources and following the body’s innate wisdom to address issues and move toward our natural, balanced state: homeostasis. But, for issues of mental health, like anxiety, depression, and addiction, taking medication can be a matter of living well or not at all. And, for those living a holistic life, we may not be sure if we can be “truly” holistic while also taking prescription medication. We may feel like a “fraud” or get mad that our bodies don’t react in a way that allows us to live our holistic values in every aspect of our lives. It’s understandable to be frustrated. But, it is necessary?


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The Argument for Medication

Medication has a whole host of benefits. First, mental health medication can get people through a crisis like a stressful life transition or losing a loved one. These situations are unplanned and temporary so they may require additional support via medication. Then there are the chronic symptoms that need to be managed. Those with mental health diagnoses that feel like a rollercoaster, whether it’s something like Bipolar Disorder or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), medication may be needed to reduce symptoms enough to make daily functioning possible. Third, and perhaps most importantly, medication for mental health symptoms can lower the intensity of symptoms enough so that people can do the work to address the underlying causes of the symptoms. We can’t always expect a medication to magically take away symptoms.


But, often symptom elimination isn’t necessary. Research done by The National Institute on Mental Health and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration suggest that the greatest and most sustained improvements are when medication is used alongside mental health treatment. So, for those simply taking medication and hoping it will “fix” them, the results are likely to not be as good as they would be if that person was also seeing a therapist. Rarely are doctors going to prescribe a medication for mental health and not encourage you to see a therapist. Medication and therapy are a package deal, even if your doctor doesn’t necessarily ask about what other steps you are taking to address your symptoms. And, if they don’t inquire, ask questions. Share information. Be your own advocate.

The Argument against Medication

Then there are the side effects. Often it feels like the list of side effects for a medication is longer and more severe than for what the medication is originally prescribed. This is a valid concern. And, this is a major reason why people, even if they are prescribed medication for mental health symptoms, don’t take it as they should. (As a side note, if you or someone you love is in this situation, I would encourage you to talk with your doctor about GeneSight testing. With this recent medical advancement, a DNA sample taken from a simple mouth swab can be analyzed to provide you with genetic suggestions for what medications would work well with your body. It’s an amazing scientific step to address concerns about side effects!) At the end of the day, the reality is that medications are just medications. As I remind people: “Medication may help address your symptoms. But, it won’t teach you coping skills.” This is what medication lacks. Although medication for mental health can “take the edge off” so that you can control your emotions better, medication does not teach you coping skills

on how to better manage your symptoms. Nor does medication teach you effective communication skills for the relationships that are contributing to your stress. This is why research suggests that medication be used while also working toward self-improvement in therapy. If medication can tone down the intensity of the symptoms long enough to address the causes underneath, real progress can be made.

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The Verdict

Those for whom medication is a matter of life or death, by all means, take it! Don’t let anyone talk you out of doing what is best for you. (We wouldn’t try to talk someone who is Diabetic out of taking their Insulin, right?) And, talk with your doctor before making any changes. In this way, the act of listening to your Self about needing to take medication can be a holistic act to honor your own wisdom. Know that taking medication does not make you weak nor does it mean that you are not “truly” living naturally. It simply means that you are brave enough to have identified an issue and are addressing it. Medication also does not have to be long-term. Consider taking medication during a time of stress in order to do the work in therapy that is needed to address the causes of such symptoms. Many people can do this and taper off the medication successfully in the future. But, every body is different. No one but you knows what is best for you. At the very least, give yourself a chance. If you suspect there is an issue to address, either with medication or therapy, you are probably right. Respect yourself enough to look into your options. And, work with your support system to find the method of treatment that is right for you. 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, and couples counseling. Find out much more about her at her website, Kalamazoo-counseling.com

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nscientific, emotion-laden outbursts and blatant, profitdriven lies blur the lines between vaccine truths and myths in the media. Fortunately, the population is waking up by taking research into their own hands. Many doctors just regurgitate what they’ve been spoon-fed in pharmaceutical-sponsored medical schools. Many doctors and educated people come to learn the truth about vaccines when a life event forces them to do so. As a doctor and a mother, I am sharing the results of my personal vaccine truthfinding mission. When I entered medical school, my physician mother shared alternative literature about vaccines – which I was reluctant to look at. She insisted that I learn more than what I was taught in medical school and residency, where I was told to adhere to the current “standard of care” without question. The growing, sick feeling in my gut became harder to ignore as I witnessed strapped-down, infant boys being circumcised without anesthesia (screaming in pain) and myself giving multiple vaccines at well-child checkups without knowing what risks or benefits they may hold for this child. As I approached motherhood myself, I conducted my own research into vaccines. I was shocked to learn that the ‘conventional wisdom’ I was taught was not based on well-supported scientific evidence and sound research. Medical safety studies were insufficient 36

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or nonexistent. Med school was teaching assumptions and doctrines as fact.

Illusion of Disappearing Disease According to Dr. Susanne Humphrey in Dissolving Illusions, vaccines have been credited with the eliminating diseases, but the data does not support this. The decline of many infectious diseases preceded the introduction of vaccines – sometimes by decades. By the time the measles vaccine was introduced in 1963, measles had already declined to its current prevalence 20 years prior. The true reasons for the decline in infectious diseases were better living conditions, like running water, less crowding and an increased priority on hygiene.1 It is illogical to think these diseases would increase without vaccines.

Advisory Board’s Integrity Patients and doctors want to believe that the agencies created to advise, research and guide us in decisions of choosing health options for ourselves and our children are doing just that; unfortunately these agencies’ alliances are not with patient’s health but with their own profits from the drugs and vaccines they are supposed to regulate. Scientific studies, manipulated in favor of profits, throw the principle of “First, do no harm” out the window. The pharmaceutical industry is the biggest defrauder of the federal government under the False Claims Act. Over the past five years, they have


been fined $19.2 billion for attempts to bring ineffective and malfunctioning products on the market – including vaccines. The controversial Measles Mumps Rubella vaccine (MMR), which was found in court several times to cause autism, has come under new scrutiny as its manufacturer, Merck, is now facing two lawsuits for deliberately falsifying study outcomes to make the vaccine look effective when actual outcomes suggest otherwise. According to Barbara Loe Fisher, the president of the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), “On Aug. 27, 2014 a senior scientist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) publicly admitted that he and other CDC officials, including the current CDC’s Director of Immunization Safety, published a study about MMR vaccine safety in 2004 that ‘omitted statistically significant information’ and ‘did not follow the final study protocol.’ Congress declared vaccines to be “unavoidably unsafe” creating the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act in 1986, which does nothing to protect children but shields the vaccine manufacturers from liability for any damage caused by their vaccines. In 2011 The U.S. Supreme Court ruled again that vaccines are “unavoidably unsafe.” The National Vaccine Compensation Fund(NVCP) was created to compensate vaccine-damaged children from taxpayer funds, rather than vaccine manufacturers’ profits. It has paid out over $3.1 billion to severely vaccine-

damaged patients from 1998 to 2015 with at least 1,943 cases still pending. Further, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons estimates only 10% of vaccine adverse reactions are reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), and the real numbers are much higher. To be preemptively exonerated from any liability does not give the manufacturing industry any incentive to try to produce safe and effective vaccines. Since no one can hold them accountable, is it any surprise that they are not? The measles’s vaccine alone has caused 98 deaths in the US since 2003

while the actual measles disease has caused none. According to a study that investigated the VAERS database from 1990 to 2010, “Our findings show a positive correlation between the number of vaccine doses administered and the percentage of hospitalizations and deaths.” Another study finds that most adverse drug reactions are related to vaccines. Between 1963 and 1999, millions of healthy children got infected with the oral live polio vaccine causing paralysis and death in many. The flu shot, notorious for its ineffectiveness, is completely experimental. It is never tested for efficacy nor safety before it goes on the market.

The CDC admits that the last year’s flu vaccine was again a failure, providing efficacy in up to 60% of patients, with other experts estimating efficacy as low as 0-7 %. Further, studies show the flu shot interferes with healthy immune response in children by hampering T-cell immunity20 and actually increases the risk for respiratory virus infections.21 While the flu shot has limited benefit, it may actually promote the disease it pretends to protect against. The flu shot was related to an increased influenza outbreak during the influenza pandemic between 2008 and 2009. The HPV vaccine, truly unnecessary, has caused thousands of severe adverse reactions, paralysis and deaths. Cervical cancer is preventable in other ways that are less harmful and more effective. I am sure that the popular Gardasil slogan: “one less” was not meant to mean one less girl... but in reality this vaccine seems to do a much better job of destroying girls lives than preventing cervical cancer. In our practice, we strive to create a welcoming environment where everyone can feel heard, accepted and cared for no matter where they stand on the topic of vaccines. We provide resources for further education and help our patients make truly informed decisions about their own and their children’s health.


with a A will finds a way.

view Practice Yoga Overlooking Versluis Lake

~Orison Swett Marden

www.expressionsofgraceyoga.com 5270 Northland Drive NE | Grand Rapids, MI 49525 | 616-361-8580

natural awakenings

May 2017




widespread, erroneous idea exists that vaccines create lifelong immunity, but this is not the case at all. Vaccine-created immunity is temporary at best and insufficient as it only stimulates half the immune system. It is unknown and unpredictable how long this immunity lasts as it has not been studied and most likely has a huge range in individual variations. Undergoing the actual disease process is the only way to achieve lifelong immunity and to be able to pass on this immunity to the fetus and newborn through breast milk- protecting the newborns for the first 2 years of their lives or longer. Vaccine-created immunity cannot to be passed on to the newborn. Vaccinations and immune status do not always correlate. To call vaccines “immunization” is wishful thinking since about 10% fail to produce antibody levels, even after two doses of the measles vaccine.

HERD IMMUNITY “Herd immunity” is the theory that when most of the population is immune to a disease, the vulnerable are protected. This theory does not apply to vaccine-created immunity because: 1. Vaccines never create lifelong immunity. Duration of any immunity created is unknown and untested. 2. Vaccine-created immunity is insufficient as it stimulates only half of the immune system. 3. Vaccine created immunity cannot be passed down to the newborn. 4. Vaccines containing live, attenuated viruses (MMR and the flu mist nasal spray) can cause the disease they are trying to protect against. 38

West Michigan Edition

For a population to acquire “herd immunity,” most members would have to undergo the disease process, acquiring lifelong and complete immunity – not immunity that wears off over time. They must also pass this immunity from mother to newborn. None of this is possible from vaccines. Therefore, unvaccinated people can’t destroy “herd immunity” that doesn’t exist. In fact, vaccine-created artificial, insufficient and temporary immunity undermines true “herd immunity” and increases the risk of disease for the most vulnerable members of society: newborns and the elderly.

ARTIFICIAL VACCINE IMMUNITY The artificial immunity created by the pertussis vaccine lasts up to three years and it does not stop the spread of the disease. Requiring those visiting a newborn to get a pertussis booster, may result in a false sense of security and an infection of the newborn. Real immunity may have more to do with an individual’s overall health and nutrition status. In fact, an unvaccinated person can have perfect lifelong immunity to measles or other infectious diseases without ever having any symptoms of the disease at all, though usually after having gone through the disease process. This is why it comes as no surprise that so-called “vaccine preventable diseases” sometimes break out in the vaccinated population. These outbreaks are sometimes caused by the actual strain of the virus used in the vaccination. These disease outbreaks are vaccine failures - not caused by failure to vaccinate.

TOXIC INGREDIENTS UNTESTED Vaccines contain many different toxic


ingredients – most of which have never been tested for safety but have been assumed to be safe. Independent research suggests otherwise. Aluminum, a known braindamaging toxin, has been used as an adjuvant to increase antibody response for the past 90 years. It has never undergone safety testing. When injected, it is 100% absorbed, and due to its very positive charges, finds its way into the brain where it may accumulate and cause damage. Aluminum is linked to Alzheimer’s dementia and other neurological diseases. Peanut oil, used in vaccines since the 1960’s, does not have to be disclosed as an ingredient on the package insert. The current peanut allergy epidemic is the leading cause of food-related anaphylactic deaths in the U.S. with between 100-150 deaths/year. Vaccines may contain egg protein, milk protein (casein), or soy protein. One has to wonder if the current food allergy epidemic has something to do with what we are injecting into our children’s bodies. Unfortunately no testing or disclosures are being done on this very life altering and life threatening medical risk of food allergies and vaccines. According to the WHO, the U.S. has one of the highest infant mortality rates compared to other industrialized countries; simultaneously it has one of the highest vaccination rates. Dr Viera Scheibner, SIDS researcher, states that “vaccination is the single most prevalent and most preventable cause of infant deaths”

What other factors lead to adverse reactions? Timing: One study suggests that African-American boys injected with the MMR vaccine before 24 and 36 months of age face a significant increase in diagnosis of autism. Glyphosate: The main ingredient in Monsanto’s RoundUp binds and eliminates manganese. Per Dr Sennef’s research, manganese deficiency can make the glutamate in vaccines more toxic to the brain.

Malnourishment: Vitamin deficiencies increase complication rates from both the vaccines and the disease itself. A good vitamin A status reduces risks for complications in measles and it’s vaccine. A low immune system can allow a live, attenuated vaccine virus to infect the receiver as well as spread to other healthy people. Research shows that some autistic children retain the vaccine strain virus permanently in their organs. Taking acetaminophen in conjunction with a vaccine may increase it’s toxicity.

Healthier without vaccines? A German study published in 2011 that compared the health of 8000 vaccinated and unvaccinated children showed that vaccinated children are 2-5 times sicker than unvaccinated children over the long term. Most of the study respondents were from the U.S. This correlates very well with my own medical experiences over the past 16 years including experiences

with the Amish community in Wisconsin where I worked for four years as a family practitioner.

SUMMARY Most vaccines are untested, and have not undergone double blind, randomized studies as required for any other medication; they are, by definition, experimental in nature. There is insufficient evidence that vaccines are safe and effective for everyone. Part of the Hippocratic Oath, “First, do no harm,” should warrant a more cautious look at vaccines, more safety studies and more research. But with current laws exonerating vaccine manufacturers from any liability, this is unlikely to happen anytime soon. The potential harm is great. Documented cases include: death, paralysis, permanent brain damage and lifelong illness after vaccination – a child’s God-given potential forever destroyed by just one injection. Although two out of three applicants are denied compensation, the government-funded National Vaccine Compensation Fund has already paid

out billions to those whose health was permanently damaged by vaccines. The families of the victims who are denied often face total financial ruin due to health care and legal costs. It is and should remain the patient’s choice to consent to a medical procedure freely after examining the risks and benefits with unbiased guidance from their doctor. The AMA is strongly behind this medical principle and human right, stating that “Informed consent is a basic policy in both ethics and law that physicians must honor.” “If we are to remain a free society, we must have the right to choose. We who support vaccine freedom of choice respect the choice to vaccinate. Given the above, the choice to refuse vaccines must also be retained, and equally respected.”44 America was founded on the principals of personal freedoms, but these freedoms don’t come free, they have to be defended constantly so we can all enjoy them and have them available for our children in the future. Article references may be found online at MileHighNaturalAwakenings.com. Dr Katia Meier of Clear Sky Medical can be reached at 303-790-7860.

natural awakenings

May 2017


Michigan to offer prize in fight against invasive Asian carp by Chris Ehrmann

Mar. 5, 2017 – Faced with the threat that Asian carp could enter the Great Lakes, Michigan is turning to the public for new ideas and plans to offer a prize to whoever comes up with a way to stop the voracious fish.


ichigan’s global search challenge comes after the U.S. government and others have spent hundreds of millions searching for a solution to stop the carp from entering the world’s largest freshwater system. If they aren’t stopped, officials fear the aggressive fish will crowd out prize native fish and hamper recreational boating in large sections of the lakes, which stretch from Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan in the west to New York and Pennsylvania in the east and from Ontario, Canada, in the north to Illinois, Indiana and Ohio in the south. “I think in the fight against Asian carp, there aren’t really any bad ideas,” said Molly Flanagan, vice president of policy for the Alliance for the Great Lakes. “We have to try a bunch of different things.” Michigan alone has a $38 billion tourism industry, much of it focused on the outdoors, and the Great Lakes region has a $7 billion fishing industry. Asian carp have been spotted 45 miles from Lake Michigan. If the fish make it into that lake, they could make their way into the other Great Lakes.


West Michigan Edition

Details on how much prize money will be offered are still being worked out. Officials also haven’t determined how many winners might be chosen. The Michigan Legislature and Gov. Rick Snyder allocated $1 million to develop the challenge. Most of the money will go toward a prize for an idea or ideas that are deemed feasible, Michigan Department of Natural Resources spokeswoman Joanne Foreman said. The rest will be used to create the challenge, which includes working with InnoCentive, a crowdsourcing company that will host the event online. The campaign is expected to go live this summer. “Somebody out there possibly could have a really good idea,” Foreman said. “Maybe they’re not in fisheries or hydro-engineering.” Asian carp were imported to the U.S. in the 1970s to gobble scummy algae from Deep South fish farms and sewage ponds. They escaped into the Mississippi River and migrated north, reaching dozens of tributaries, including the Illinois River, which is linked to Lake Michigan by a man-made shipping canal near Chicago. Electric barriers are set up to keep them out of Lake Michigan, but skeptics fear young fish will slip through. Since 2010, more than $388 million has been spent to battle the invasive species — mostly by the federal government.


Many researchers have developed ideas to halt their advance. Some have shown promise in lab trials but are still in experimental phases; others have failed. Leon Carl, Midwest regional director for the U.S. Geological Survey, said one idea called a “carp cannon” shot pressurized water to scare the fish. The carp eventually adapted. “They are highly evolved animals, pretty evolved fish,” Carl said. “They are not a primitive fish by any means.” Environmentalists favor putting physical barriers in the Chicago Area Waterways System, but shippers oppose that because they say it would slow the movement of millions of tons of cargo. The Army Corps of Engineers had been developing a plan to strengthen defenses at a crucial lock and dam near Chicago, but President Donald Trump’s administration recently put that on hold. Asian carp are like a vacuum cleaner, gorging on plankton that native fish need, which can unravel the natural food chain. Silver carp have the added danger of jumping out of the water at the sounds of boat engines and hitting boaters and fishermen. “They are ferocious eaters. They can get up to 60, 80, 100 pounds,” said David Hamilton, senior policy director for aquatic invasive species for The Nature Conservancy. “They eat a huge percentage of their body mass; a big fish eating many, many pounds is going to wreak havoc at the base of the food chain.”


$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. Info and Catalog: AyurvedaMichigan.org 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 Free welcome gift. 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, 4317 W U Ave, Schoolcraft. Info: 269-204-6525. Spring is in the Air – Mon-Fri 9:30am-7:30pm. Classes and appointments offered by Tonya Holcomb, New supplement Brands, Positive Energy is in the AIR...Stop in today! Vital Nutrition, 169 Marcell Dr NE, Rockford. Info: chatterbocks1963@ gmail.com, 616-433-9333.


Real Shapes, Real Sizes, Real Women – 9:30- noon. A light-hearted introduction to yoga, breath and meditation for women. Refreshments will be served. Cost $30. Blue Horizons Wellness, 1991 Lakeside Drive, Muskegon. Info: BlueHorizonsWellness. com or 231-755-7771. ANGER: FROM DESTRUCTION TO REDUCTION – 11:30 am-12:30 pm. Workshop conduction by Dr. Ragini Pierce. Learn simple tips and techniques you can apply to your life to help reduce the destructive effects in the body & mind. Free. Angel Touch Family Chiropractic. 4265 Grand Haven Rd, Muskegon. MUST PRE-REGISTER. By calling 231-670-0179 or angeltouchdoc2012@gmail.com Spring Celebration & Psychic Fair – 11am-6pm. Spring is here! Do you have any residual winter blahs hanging on? Come in and receive a free mini-cleanse to enhance your spring renewal. While you’re here, you can explore the outdoor vendors with their varied and unusual gifts. Our talented practitioners will be here to offer a Reading or Healing. We have psychics, card readers and mediums as well as healers practicing Reiki and Illuminata. We will also have Aura Photography. This is held at Choices Unlimited, 8887 Gull Rd, Richland. Info: ChoicesUnl@gmail.com, 269-629-5507.

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


Mindfulness & Meditation Class – 3-3:45pm. 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 MiBodhiTree.com


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. The 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. Info:Meetup.com/Nourishing-the-Lakeshore-ofWest-Michigan-Weston-A-Price 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 at 616-443-4225. The Paleo Diet, Bio-Individuality, and You – 6:30pm. Health Coaches, Audrey Byker & Andrea Hop of GRNH, provide insight & answers to popular food & lifestyle topics. Join us at Harvest Health Foods for information & advice on what & how to eat, what foods help your body feel its best, & guidance in food choice & meal planning. Free. Grand Rapids Natural Health. Location of event: Harvest Health Foods, 4150 32nd Ave, Hudsonville. Info and Register: hhf_paleo.eventbrite.com or 616-8966630, info@grnaturalhealth.com


Growing Food at Home: Affordable and Easy Ways to Get Started – 6:30-8:00 pm. Join us at Urban Root’s Community Farm and Education Center to learn the basics of growing food in the city. Get tips on starting an easy and low cost garden and learn about shopping at farmers markets. Discover ways to find fresh, local and nutrient-dense food in

your neighborhood. This program will be held rain or shine. Please wear closed-toe shoes and bring a bottle of water. Parking is available across the street from the farm. Free event by Grand Rapids Public Library. Location: Urban Roots, 1316 Madison SE, Grand Rapids. Info: jhight@grpl.org or 616-988-5400.


Herbal Detox Seminar – 2-4pm. The ABC+D Systems Natural Approach to Wellness, diving deep into each system of the body and discovering where to start the detoxing process for each person. $25 per person or $40 per couple. TheRemedy House, 5150 Northland Dr, Grand Rapids. Info and register 616-443-4225. Prosperity Class – 10-11:30am. Our prosperity group meets on Saturday, May 13 from 1011:30am. 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. Address of Event: 20 Wilderness Dr. Free. Spirit Space, Saugatuck. Info: call 616-886-2716, thespiritspace@gmail.com


Ask The Experts: Gut Health – 6:30pm. Join GRNH’s team for a FREE panel discussion & learn how a holistic, functional approach to gut health could help relieve your symptoms. Our experts will discuss their favorite tips, tricks, tests, & more for improving your gastrointestinal system. Free. Grand Rapids Natural Health, 638 Fulton St. W, Suite B, Grand Rapids. Info: Call 616-264-6556 or info@ grnaturalhealth.com to RSVP as space is limited to 20 participants.


Consciousness of Essential Oils and the Glia Brain – 6-8pm. We are bringing in a guest speaker, my mentor, Rev. Mary Hardy, Ph.D to speak about the Consciousness of Essential oils and understanding the Glia Brain. This is a more advanced Essential Oil class diving deeper into the understanding of how they work and how they affect the body through the relatively unknown Glia Brain. $25 per person or $40 per couple. The Remedy House 5150 Northland Dr, Grand Rapids. Registration is required - call 616-443-4225.

natural awakenings

May 2017



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 January-October of 2017. Each Goddess will be explored as she relates to the stages of a woman’s life. Pre-registration 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 OnThePathYoga.com or sandy@ OnThePathYoga.com, 616-935-7028.


ANGER:FROM DESTRUCTION TO REDUCTION – 11:30am-12:30pm. FREE workshop conduction by Dr. Ragini Pierce. Learn simple tips and techniques you can apply to your life to help reduce the destructive effects in the body & mind. Free. Angel Touch Family Chiropractic. 4265 Grand Haven Rd, Muskegon. Must Pre-Register. 231-6700179 or angeltouchdoc2012@gmail.com A Night with Spirit... with Psychic Thomas John – 7pm. “Manhattan Medium” Thomas John, internationally regarded psychic medium, will deliver messages from the other side to those in attendance. He will also take questions about life after death. $40 standard ticket; VIP tickets also available and include front row seating, meet-and-greet after the main event, additional 30 minutes of messages, and a copy of Thomas’ book. $100. Unity of Grand Rapids, 1711 Walker Ave NW, Grand Rapids. Info: UnityofGrandRapids.org or 616-453-9909, unityGRoffice@gmail.com


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


iRest® or Integrated Restoration – Both early morning and evening. A transformative practice of deep relaxation and meditative inquiry. When you leave an iRest practice, you will feel relaxed and restored. Begins May 23 and May 25 for 6 weeks. Cost for 6 weeks $49. Blue Horizons Wellness, 1991 Lakeshore Drive, Muskegon. Info: 231-755-7771 or BlueHorizonWellness.com.


Clean Eating 101 – 7-8:30pm. You’ve no doubt heard the term clean eating, but what does it mean? Chef educator Sue Stauffacher will share the meaning and practice of the clean eating movement. She will demonstrate some simple and effective ideas and recipes for substitutes for many common processed foods. Sample tastings will be provided. Seating is limited and available on a first come, first served basis. Free. Grand Rapids Public Library. Location of event: Central Reformed Church – 10 College Ave NE, Grand Rapids. Info: jhight@grpl.org or 616-988-5400. Maya New Moon/Venus Meditation – 8pm. Join author and Maya seer John Kralovec for a Maya New Moon/Venus meditation to understand the cosmic forces of the upcoming moon cycle, release the old and


West Michigan Edition

set intentions for the upcoming period. Free. Pathways to the Divine. By Teleconference: 319-527-3182. Info: 269-929-6796 or nancy@lakeshorehealing.com


Inner Vision Quest – 2-4pm. A traditional Vision Quest is a time to communicate with a Higher Being, exploring that which is within. Through guided imagery, drumming and song, this class is a means for people to meet their animal guides and receive life direction. Led by best-selling author Molly Larkin. $30. Holistic Care Approach, 3368 Beltline Ct. NE, Grand Rapids. Info: Nancy O’Donohue, nancy@ lakeshorehealing.com or 269-929-6796.


Your Body Never Lies, Learn to Muscle Test – 6:30pm. Empowering your personal health comes from within, learn how to Muscle Response Test. All are welcome. Take control of your health during Pregnancy, Childbirth and throughout the rest of life’s daily challenges. $15/person, $25/couples, $5 for Tonya’s current Clients. Vital Nutrition, 169 Marcell Dr.NE, Rockford. Info: 616-433-9333 vitalnutritioncf@gmail.com

savethedate Save The Date Events

savethedate June 23-24 2017 Mercy Health Seaway Run and Expo – The expo, now at the LC Walker Arena, means more space for participants and vendors. Start and finish line are now downtown Muskegon. Run and walk starting at the intersection of the 4th / Western. Better viewing area for fans and families of participants. After the race there will be post-race entertainment on Western, along with other fun activities and events. Muskegon. Info: SeawayRun.com

savethedate June 24-25 Introductory Course on the Bach Flower Remedies - Level 1 of the Bach International Education Program—All Day. Course approved by the Bach Centre, UK. Learn all the Bach remedies and how to integrate them into daily life. 12.5 NCBTMB or NCCAOM CEUs. Last course in Michigan. Register early to save. Awakening-Hearts.com. Awakening Hearts, LLC Grand Rapids. Info: Journey@ Awakening-Hearts.com

Must be submitted online each month at NaturalWestMichigan.com. 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.

savethedate June 5 Women, Wine, and Wellness – 6-8pm. The Remedy House, 5150 Northland Dr NE, Grand Rapids. Info: 616-443-4225.

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: MidwestWomensHerbal.com


classifieds Fee for classifieds is $1 per word per month. To place listing, email content to Publisher@NaturalWestMichigan.com. Deadline is the 15th of the month. FOR RENT/LEASE Space for Rent at the Remedy House – Small Consultation room available 5 days a week (Any day except Tuesdays) - ideal for Naturopaths, Doulas, and Holistic counselors. 9 X 8 room with one Naturopath using it once a week currently. Massage Room available also - Full day on Mondays and shared on Tuesdays. It is an nice large room 10 X 14 and is a shared space with another massage therapist and a naturopath. Info: Jodi Jenks, N.D., The Remedy House, 5150 Northland Dr, Grand Rapids. Call 616-443-4225.

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



Sunday Worship and Youth Services – 10:30am. A warm, inviting, New Thought, spiritual community, inclusive and accepting of all, honoring diversity, for those seeking spiritual truth. Unity of Grand Rapids, 1711 Walker Avenue NW, Grand Rapids. Info: unityGRoffice@gmail.com or 616.453.9909.

Veterans Yoga – 5:30-7pm. Yoga followed by a guided relaxation/iRest Yoga Nidra practice. $5 for Veterans, their spouses and family members. Blue Horizons Wellness, 1991 Lakeshore Drive, Muskegon. Info: BlueHorizonsWellness.com or 231-755-7771.

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. Info: HeartsJourneyWellness.com. or info@HeartsJourneyWellness.com.

Essential Oils for Living – 6:30-8pm. Every Wednesday Night from 6:30 – 8:00 pm. 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_Miller@yahoo.com .

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 Spirit-Space.org. 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: TheCopticCenter.org Sunday Worship and Youth Services – 10:30am. A warm, inviting, New Thought, spiritual community, inclusive and accepting of all, honoring diversity, for those seeking spiritual truth. Free. Unity, 1711 Walker Avenue NW, Grand Rapids. Info: UnityGRoffice@gmail.com, 616-453-9909.

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. Unity Center for Spiritual Growth, 6025 Ada Dr SE, Ada. Info: Unitycsg.org. 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. 616365-9176. IntegrativeNutritionalTherapies.com.

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 Spirit-Space.org.

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 wellbeing. $12 drop-in. Hearts Journey Wellness Center, 6189 Lake Michigan Dr, Allendale. Info: visit us at HeartsJourneyWellness.com or info@ HeartsJourneyWellness.com 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. Info:HeartsJourneyWellness.com. or info@ HeartsJourneyWellness.com. Gentle Hatha Yoga – 9:15-10:15am & 11-12:15am. With Mitch Coleman. Drop-ins welcome. White River Yoga Studio, 8724 Ferry St, Montague. 231740-6662. Info: WhiteRiverYoga.com. 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. 231-861-2234.

Spring is independent of our compulsion to manage and direct. It’s beyond our reach. ~Roger Fransecky


An Interspiritual Church

Healthy Lifestyle/Weightloss Clinic – 6-7:30pm. Enroll Now for our 13 week Healthy Lifestyle/ Weightloss program, starting May 1st, where you receive personalized coaching and education from a Naturopathic Doctor to help achieve your goals. Space is limited. $249. The Remedy House, 5150 Northland Dr, Grand Rapids. Info and Register by calling 616-443-4225.

An Alternative to Traditional Religion Radically Inclusive

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.

$35 for 30 days unlimited yoga for new students only


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

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 WhiteRiverYoga.com.

info@miBodhiTree.com www.miBodhiTree.com

(some restrictions apply)

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

May 2017



West Michigan Edition




Barbara Zvirzdinis, WK, CMT 616-581-3885 ASenseOfFlow.com

...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 NaturalWestMichigan.com/advertising.


Vikki Nestico, R.Ac. Located at Renewal Skin Spa 6080 28th St. SE, Grand Rapids 616-940-1177 • GrandWellness.net Grand Wellness uses the wisdom of traditional Chinese medicine to provide holistic healing and natural pain relief. Call to schedule a free consultation to discuss how acupuncture may be an effective treatment for you. See ad, page 33.


Sally Austin 233 Fulton E, Suite 114B Grand Rapids 616-293-5768 – BlackTortoiseQigong.com BlackTortoiseQigong@gmail.com 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 • WoodAndSaw.com 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 12.

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

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 TheGleasonCenter.com 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 • HarmonyNHealth.net 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 12.


Holistic Energy Therapies 616-481-9074 HolisticEnergyTherapies.net 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.


Rev. Elizabeth Cosmos, PhD elizabethcosmos@sbcglobal.net

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 35.

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 BeYoungth.com/partners/claravz Independent Sharing partner Keto OS (get your Ketones) WinItNow@PruvitNow.com clara.vanderzouwen@gmail.com 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 • MoondropHerbals.com 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 23.

YOUNG LIVING ESSENTIAL OILS Marilyn York Independent Distributor 1-877-436-2299, ext. 2 YoungLiving.org/NaturalHealth4u

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 35.

natural awakenings

May 2017




Dr. Steven Osterhout 5717 Oakland Drive, Portage 269- 323-4473 - DrOchiro.com

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

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 TheRemedyHouse.org 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 29.


332 S Lincoln Ave, Lakeview 989-352-6500 TheHealingCenterOfLakeview@gmail.com TheHealingCenterOfLakeview.com Naturopathic/Holistic Practitioners and retail health store. Natural health consultations, classes, oils, herbs, homeopathy, hypnosis, foods, candles, crystals, books, CDs, massage, reflexology, emotional clearing, foot detox, DOT/CDL health cards for truck drivers. See ad, page 24.

Clara Vanderzouwen clara.vanderzouwen@gmail.com 616-481-8587

Barbara Zvirzdinis, WK, CMT 616-581-3885 ASenseOfFlow.com 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.

NATUROPATH ON-CALL, LLP PO Box 391, Hastings 269-254-9760 x 102 NaturopathHolisticMedicine.com

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 10.


Coming Soon! Do you use a cell phone or computer, have Wi-Fi in your home, at work, school, church? Do you have children? Do you have pets? You just might be interested in Protxs EMF Shields. This is a new product launching May 1st.

West Michigan Edition


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 HeartsJourneyWellness.com

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 16.





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.


332 S. Lincoln Ave., Lakeview 989-352-6500 TheHealingCenterofLakeview@gmail.com TheHealingCenterOfLakeview.com AA 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 24.


LIFE COACH LIA COACHING AND CONSULTING Pamela Gallina, MA CMC 616-433-6720 PamGallina@LIAConsulting.org LIAConsulting.org

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 33.

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

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 HarmonyNHealth.net 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 12.

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

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 FullCircleMidwifery.com Jennifer Holshoe, CPM Grand Rapids area: 616-318-1825 WestMichiganMidwifery.com In private practice since 1982 – specializing in home birth and a team approach. Over 1,600 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, LondonStudiosSalon.com 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 18.


SCHOOL / EDUCATION BVI SCHOOL OF AYURVEDA Ruth Small, Ph.D., Director 269-381-4946 Ayurveda@SambodhSociety.us AyurvedaMichigan.org

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.).

Chronic Pain Plus: Hybrid Vehicles

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

June articles include:

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 Remedies for Pain Prevent and Ease Shingles Hybrid Vehicles Update and so much more!

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

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 2.

THERMOGRAPHY ADVANCED THERMAL IMAGING OF WEST MICHIGAN Julie Bennett 616-724-6368 AdvancedThermalImagingllc.com

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.

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