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Powerful Ways to New Fusions with Yoga, Dance & Boxing Avoid Mental Decline



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November 2016 | West Michigan Edition | natural awakenings

November 2016



MARCH 11 - 18, 2017

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contents 8 5 newsbriefs balanced life. In each issue readers find cutting-edge information on natural health, nutrition, fitness, personal 8 healthbriefs growth, green living, creative expression and the products 11 inspiration and services that support a healthy lifestyle. 12 globalbriefs 11 THE ART OF BLESSING 17 chironews Sanctifying Everyday Life 18 wisewords 12 21 ecotip 14 STAY SHARP 22 healingways Powerful Ways to Avoid 24 fitbody 14 Mental Decline 26 consciouseating 29 community 18 KELLY BROGAN spotlight ON THE TRUTH 3 1 healthykids ABOUT DEPRESSION 21 Natural Awakenings is your guide to a healthier, more

by Dennis Merritt Jones

by Lisa Marshall

34 greenliving 38 naturalpet 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@ Deadline for space reservation is the 12th of each month prior to publication.

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


Why Meds Don’t Work and What Does by Kathleen Barnes

22 WORKPLACE WISDOM Mindfulness in Corporate Life by April Thompson

24 PILATES UNBOUND New Fusions with Yoga, Dance and Boxing by Aimee Hughes



Vegan Holiday Treats that Everyone Loves by Judith Fertig

31 THE SENSITIVE CHILD by Maureen Healy


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38 BOARDING SOLUTIONS FOR BELOVED PETS The Best are Pet, People and Planet Friendly by Sandra Murphy

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38 November 2016




his month we focus on helpful ways to beautify our lives inside and out. It all starts with eating a healthy balance of whole foods, supplemented as needed with vitamins, herbs and other beneficial nutrients, and drinking enough clean fresh water. The health of our skin, the body’s largest organ, reflects our diet, as does every other part of the body; employing organic skin care products and pure cosmetics free of harmful chemicals protects its youthful qualities.

contact us Publisher/Editor Pamela Gallina Editors S. Alison Chabonais Linda Sechrist

By now everyone is aware of the rewards of committing to healthy daily exercise. We might like to walk, hike or run, complemented by yoga, Pilates or strength building using free weights. Most of us are particularly fond of using relaxation and stress reduction techniques. Popular options include massage, facials, meditation, deep breathing and mindfulness in all our interactions. Seeking out holistic-minded professionals for counsel and therapy enables us to make needed lifestyle adjustments and stick with healthful practices.

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Subscriptions are available by sending $30 (12 issues) to the above address. © 2016 by Natural Awakenings. All rights reserved. Although some parts of this publication may be reproduced and reprinted, we require that prior permission be obtained in writing. Natural Awakenings is a free publication distributed locally and is supported by our advertisers. It is available in selected stores, health and education centers, healing centers, public libraries and wherever free publications are generally seen. Please call to find a location near you or if you would like copies placed at your business. We do not necessarily endorse the views expressed in the articles and advertisements, nor are we responsible for the products and services advertised. We welcome your ideas, articles and feedback.

COMMITTED TO SUSTAINABILITY Natural Awakenings is locally owned and operated.

West Michigan Edition

As we experiment with new and former options in response to our enthusiasms, environment and life circumstances, it’s good to understand that the important point is that we continue to learn and grow. By our very nature humans thrive as we integrate new spiritual ideas, find therapeutic modalities that feel right for us, try new methods of moving our bodies and generally keep our life force glowing and flowing. To conscious living,

Pamela Gallina, Publisher

Natural Awakenings

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.


I like change-ups in my routine because they keep things interesting. I may periodically discontinue one technique in favor of another for a time. Yes, I falter at times, as we all do. But sooner rather than later I dust myself off and get back on track. I admire people that are steadfast in all their daily practices. It’s comforting to understand that I’m a work in progress.

Magazine of West Michigan



Natural Awakenings Magazine of West Michigan


Naturopathic & Integrative Approach


rand Rapids Natural Health announces its expanded vision of providing patientcentered, whole-person medicine with our addition of new medical director Dave Johnson, MD who will integrate his care with our naturopathic team, Christine Schoenek, ND and Jennifer Kurinsky, ND. The goal of naturopathic and integrative medicine is to uncover the root cause of the issue and not to treat systematically. With access to many functional medicine tests and an approach that aims to optimize the natural healing capacity of the human body, we are able to take the time to understand what is really going on. By treating the individual holistically, we are able to utilize noninvasive, safe and effective methods to promote healing. For more information on the MD/ND collaborative services visit or schedule your 15 minute complimentary consult today by calling (616) 264-6556. See ad page 9.

Cellular Balance - Why Should You Care?


re you passionate about your health? Does it seem to you that life can be a series of exquisite moves keeping us in balance while outside influences continually work to take us out of balance? The ups and downs of daily activities are a reflection of what is going on in every one of our 100 trillion cells every minute of the day. If you are interested in a state-of-the-art understanding of how cellular balance and protection can support long term health, please attend the presentation by Wellness Collective GR members Tricia Gosling, B.Sci., and Linda Unterkircher, B.Sci. on Wednesday, November 16 at 7:00pm. at the Wellness Collective GR, 1324 Lake Drive, SE., Grand Rapids. They will translate current findings from peerreviewed, independent research to provide an understanding on the importance of how low level yet chronic stressors (i.e. six hours instead of eight hours of sleep) can lead to cell damage, aging, and inflammation, and potentially disrupt normal body functions. Peer-reviewed, independent research will be explained to show how affordable nutraceuticals address these concerns. If you are looking for long-term support to looking better and feeling better, this gathering will speak directly to you! For more information or to reserve your seat please email: Tricia Gosling at or Linda Unterkircher at See ad page 45.

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e Young Total Health will host Dana Clay Young, Owner/ Educator in Grand Rapids at the Ramada Plaza, Grand Rapids, 3333 28th Street SE, November, 17-19. The program includes: • Thursday Nov. 17, 2016, 6:30-10pm, Free, Learn the Signature P.A.T. Pain assessment & observe 3 lucky people receive it! • Friday November 18, 2016, 9:30am-4:00pm, Cost is $50 for 1 or both days. Everyday aromatherapy, the immune system and L-Forms. The P, S, M technique. • Saturday November 19, 9:30am-5pm, Cost is $50 for 1 or both days. The Emotional Aromatic Touch Program Are Emotions connected to the Physical? For additional information please contact:Clara Vanderzouwen at 616-481-8587 (be sure to leave a message) or, To register online please go to: , for hotel reservations for the Ramada at 616-949-9222 (You must say you are with the Be Young Event) $80 per night (includes breakfast)-your choice of 1 King or 2 Doubles, Reservations must be made by October 27, 2016 for reduced pricing. See ad page 45.

natural awakenings

November 2016



A Farewell Tribute


atural Awakenings Publishing Corporation’s family of 95 magazines bid a fond farewell to company President Larry Levine, with many joining in on a call and sending notes, prayers and good thoughts prior to his passing on September 23. Levine enthusiastically contributed his all with a host of talents focused on forwarding our collective mission of providing publishers and readers with the tools needed to help us all create a healthier, more sustainable world together. Founder and CEO Sharon Bruckman honors her partner, saying, “Our home office and publishers are truly saddened to lose the beautifully loving, guiding light that Larry generously shared with us throughout the past 12 years. His impact on our lives and Natural Awakenings‘ success will continue to bless our readers. We will miss him dearly.”

One of Levine’s last gifts to the company was recommending Pat McGroder as vice president of franchise development. “We welcome Pat, already feeling blessed by the 24 years of experience he brings in highly successful publishing and franchising endeavors,” says Bruckman. McGroder will now also assume some of the operational responsibilities formerly managed by Levine. Natural Awakenings Publishing Corporation’s home office is located in Naples, FL. Visit:, or call: 239-434-9392 for more information.

Be thankful for what you have; you’ll

end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough. ~Oprah Winfrey

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West Michigan Edition


Stephen Dinan Outlines America’s Noble Destiny Bridging Our Political Divide is Key


tephen Dinan, founder and CEO of The Shift Network, is a champion of the transpartisan movement that seeks to transcend America’s current political climate to realize greater unity and understanding. His new book, Sacred America, Sacred World: Fulfilling Our Mission in Service to All, offers innovative, practical solutions for engaging citizens in an emerging whole. Dinan has forwarded thinking in his work with the Institute of Noetic Sciences, where he helped shape the Shift in Action and One Minute Shift programs, and with the Esalen Center for Theory & Research, a think tank he helped create to explore human potential frontiers. He is also an active member of the Evolutionary Leadership and Transformational Leadership councils.

What political problem tops the list if we’re to make progress on anything? We all know that American politics suffers from extreme polarization. Just as the middle class has faded away from our economy, the bipartisan “middle” has dropped out of our political process. In the last two decades, moderates have become far less prominent, giving way to ideologues on both sides of the aisle. As a result, Congress is virtually unable to legislate, because politicians on the left and right insist they have all the answers. They often refuse to work with the president if he is from the other party. This childish behavior is a far cry from the bipartisan approach to solving problems that once made this country great. Our country is falling apart and we need to renew ourselves by finding a sacred vision of national unity. The fast-growing transpartisan movement offers an answer that can be aided by perspectives of transpersonal

psychology and a visionary spiritual dimension drawn from wisdom traditions of the East and West.

How is transpartisan best defined? Transpartisan means that Americans can rise above damaging divisions. It provides hope that if we supply the right intention, we can hold to a vision that honors the ideals of a wide range of viewpoints. No one can be 100 percent right or 100 percent wrong, and we transcend limiting conservative and liberal categories by using dialogue and maturity in embracing the truths of all parties, while leaving behind their excesses and errors. We can belong to any party and claim an important piece of the truth; a singular truth we stand for, such as liberty or social justice or economic growth, but it represents only a personal selection from a larger set of sacred American principles. To attain insight into these principles, we must move to an enlightened vision that honors all political perspectives, seeing each as a valuable, yet incomplete contribution toward the emerging whole.

Why have you called for a sacred America? “Sacred” is a word that binds us together in the mystery of life and links us into a single human family in which ultimately no one is our enemy. A sacred worldview leads to a life filled with respect and reverence. It informs and enables us as we reach for our highest destiny as a country, not built on a desire to be number one, but a humble sense of calling, animated by a spirit of service to all. America is being called to explore new frontiers politically, economically and spiritually, in service to our own citizens and the world. We are to embrace

a path away from the waste and tragedy of war and toward universal health, sustainability and prosperity. It requires the best of both progressive and conservative values and a collaborative style of politics that seeks higher ground. Global accords and councils will replace the endless posturing of every military era.

What have you, as a progressive, learned from conservatives? Conservatives tend to focus on preserving what has worked in the past, which is a useful function. In the human body, we have strong elements required for health that basically protect its homeostasis. Too much change happening too quickly can be dangerous to us. Conservatives often play the same role in society, minimizing the risk of chaotic change and preserving core values, commitments and culture. I’ve found that embracing conservative values and perspectives is a good form of cross-training in my role as a spiritually based CEO, where it’s imperative that I not risk everything on each new idea. A moderate path draws upon the best of conservative perspectives while opening to new possibilities for innovation and cultural expression, which tends to be a focus of progressives.

How can we replace political gridlock with a more perfect union? The ultimate solution comes in personally building bridges of curiosity, respect and understanding, and recognizing that true, lasting answers to extremely complex problems require the best thinking of all parties and ideologies so that some hybridization of solutions happens. We may not come to consensus on major issues, but we can come into deep dialogue and human exchange. Extending a hand of friendship across the aisle is ultimately one of the most important things we can do as citizens. The women members of the Senate have led the way in doing this, often creating breakthroughs through their personal connections with members of the other major party. For more information visit: Stephen or

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November 2016



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he human brain does not function optimally in society’s noise-filled environment. The brain, like the body, needs rest to function, and that comes with silence. A recent study in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience discovered that the brain is able to integrate both internal and external information into a “conscious workspace” when resting. Constant distractions and noises can detract from the brain’s ability to process critical information. Noise also elevates stress hormone levels within the brain. Research published earlier in Psychological Science examined the effects that the relocation of the main Munich airport, in Germany, had on children’s health and cognition. Gary W. Evans, researcher and professor of human ecology at Cornell University, notes that when exposed to constant noise, children develop a stress response that causes them to ignore it. The study’s subjects tuned out both harmful sounds and stimuli that they should be paying attention to, including speech. Silence has the opposite effect, releasing tension in brain and body. Exposure to chronic noise can also hinder children’s cognitive development, according to a study from the World Health Organization and the European Commission Joint Research Centre; this includes language skills and reading ability. To help counter modern noise pollution, attention restoration theory suggests that individuals placed in environments with lower levels of sensory input can recover some of the cognitive abilities they have lost.

Gut Bacteria Linked to Toddler Temperament


hio State University researchers have discovered a correlation between bacteria in the gut and behavior in toddlers. Scientists studied the bacterial microbes in stool samples from 77 girls and boys between the ages of 18 months and 27 months, while mothers filled out a questionnaire describing their children’s level of emotional reactivity. The study found that positive behavioral traits occurred more frequently in children with the most diverse types of gut bacteria. These included mood, curiosity, sociability and impulsivity. The correlation was particularly strong in boys. Lisa Christian, Ph.D., a researcher with the Ohio State Institute for Behavioral Medicine research, and her co-author, Microbiologist Michael Bailey, Ph.D., plan to use the information to help uncover some mysteries related to the origin of chronic illness. “There is substantial evidence that intestinal bacteria interact with stress hormones; the same hormones that have been implicated in chronic illnesses like obesity and asthma,” explains Christian. “A toddler’s temperament gives us a good idea of how they react to stress. This information, combined with an analysis of their gut microbiome, could ultimately help us to detect and prevent chronic health issues [from developing] earlier.” Pressmaster/



Source: Ohio State University Center for Clinical and Translational Science 8

West Michigan Edition


Silence De-Stresses the Brain

recent study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology reports that regular exercise during pregnancy can reduce the rate of Cesarean deliveries. Conducted by Thomas Jefferson University Medical College researchers, the study followed more than 2,000 pregnant women split into two randomized groups. Half of them exercised 35 to 90 minutes, three to four times a week, while the others did not. Just under 18 percent of the women in the exercise group ended up having Cesarean deliveries versus 22 percent in the non-exercising group. Exercising during pregnancy also appears to improve gestational health. The study participants that worked out regularly experienced a lower incidence of both hypertensive disorders and diabetes mellitus.

Heavy TV Watching Linked to Poor Bone Health


study published in the Journal for Bone and Mineral Research this summer suggests that excessive TV watching during childhood may be associated with lower bone mineral content in young adulthood. The researchers followed 1,181 children over time and measured their weekly hours of TV watching at ages 5, 8, 10, 14, 17 and 20. The bone mineral content (BMC) of each was measured at age 20. The study found that individuals that routinely watched more than 14 hours a week had lower BMC for their whole body and in their arms than those that watched less. Higher BMC helps protect the body against osteoporosis later in life. While all screen time should be monitored in children, TV appears to be the most harmful medium. A report published in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine studied 111 children between the ages of 3 and 8 and measured their TV viewing and other screen time, as well as their blood pressure levels. The study linked higher blood pressure with excessive TV viewing, but did not find the same link between the condition and computer usage.



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lara Vanderzouwen, owner of TotalHealth4Today, contends that Ketones are a byproduct of fat metabolism. Additionally, she says, you will find them in olives, avocados, butter, coconut oil, salmon and sardines. According to Vanderzouwen, It’s actually a superior fuel source for our bodies when compared to glucose, which include foods in the bread, pasta, and sugar families. TotalHealth4Today is now carrying a new product called Keto OS (operating system) which was developed using the research that answered the question as to why Navy Seal Divers were experiencing seizures while diving. It was discovered that by consuming a diet, which put divers into a state of Ketosis, it actually helped them overcome the seizures. Keto OS was developed by Pruvit, using this research, and according to Vanderzouwen, when taken orally it helps you to burn fat rather than glucose and the exogenous ketones are water soluble so there isn’t a build-up in the body. For more information: connect with Clara Vanderzouwen or visit see ad page 45.

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November 2016



Music Makes Exercise Easier

istening to music during a workout or any extended, physically demanding activity can reduce fatigue and improve performance. New research published in Psychophysiology shows that as individuals work out, their attention gradually shifts from the activity around them to internal sensations. Over an extended period, this attention shift creates a sense of exertion. Listening to music while exercising can help shift focus away from the internal fatigue and back to the external world. Researchers from the UK’s Brunel University and University of London tested 19 healthy adults that performed two physical exertion tests while listening to either music or silence. The scientists monitored brain activity using EEG and measured task performance. While listening to music, participants showed both reduced fatigue and decreased stress-related brainwaves. They also performed their tasks more effectively than they did when music wasn’t being played.

Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul. ~Henry Ward Beecher


reast cancer survivors are often plagued by chronic fatigue that lasts long after their treatment is finished. They have few options to relieve the condition, but acupressure shows promise. A study published this summer in the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded that acupressure can significantly improve two symptoms of fatigue experienced by breast cancer survivors: sleep quality and quality of life. The researchers tested 424 women that had completed cancer treatments at least a year prior to the study. They were divided into three groups—one self-administered relaxing acupressure and another stimulating acupressure, while the control group followed a conventional care plan. After six weeks, fatigue was reduced from 70 percent to 43 percent among those receiving acupressure, with two-thirds of the women in the acupressure groups reaching levels of fatigue considered normal. The relaxing acupressure group showed substantial improvements in sleep quality compared with the conventional care group at week six, but the two groups reached parity at week 10. The relaxing acupressure group was the only one that showed improvements in quality of life, making it a reasonable, low-cost option for managing fatigue symptoms. coka/

Joy is the simplest form of gratitude. ~Karl Barth

Acupressure Eases Fatigue in Cancer Survivors

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The Art of Blessing Sanctifying Everyday Life by Dennis Merritt Jones


ost blessings are done quietly, in the silence of one’s own mind and heart; most often others don’t even know about it. How a blessing is done is not as important as the fact that it’s done mindfully. There is nothing magical or mystical about conferring a blessing—it’s simply confirming the presence of God, divine Spirit, at the center of that which is being blessed. Masters, teachers, sages and saints from every spiritual tradition have used blessings as a way to consecrate, sanctify, purify and heal. Wedding ceremonies, memorial services, christenings and everything in-between have at one time or another been blessed. Anyone can offer a blessing. Ernest Holmes, author of Science of Mind, defined a blessing as constructive thought directed toward anyone or any condition. He says, “You bless a man when you recognize the divinity in him.” When things are good, it can seem easy to neglect the practice of blessing ourselves and others. Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote: “Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything that is beautiful; for beauty is God’s handwriting—a wayside sacrament. Welcome it in every fair face, in every fair sky, in

every fair flower and thank God for it as a cup of blessing.” We can always bless what’s good in our lives, but blessings can become even more meaningful if we remember to bless the bad times as well, when we most need to remember the truth that good is present then and there, too. Getting in the habit of embracing daily blessings is a good spiritual practice as we evolve and go forth and bless our world as we have been blessed. It’s a matter of remembering that the real blessing has already been bestowed; the gift of life itself. Take a moment to contemplate this and seal it in consciousness by silently affirming, “I am blessed and I am a blessing.” I Am is a name of God. In the words of Mary Baker Eddy in introducing her seminal work, Science & Health, “To those leaning on the sustaining infinite, today is big with blessings.”

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The most wasted of all days is one without laughter. ~E. E. Cummings

Dennis Merritt Jones, D.D., of St. Petersburg Beach, FL, is the author of Your (Re)Defining Moments, The Art of Uncertainty and The Art of Being, the source of this essay. He has contributed to the human potential movement and field of spirituality for 30 years ( natural awakenings

November 2016


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

Thanksgiving Lite

Turning the Tide for Turkeys

photo courtesy of the Farm Sanctuary

Turkeys and Thanksgiving go together for 88 percent of Americans surveyed by the National Turkey Federation. Each year, more than 46 million turkeys provide the entrée for gatherings, yielding leftovers for sandwiches, stew, chili, casseroles and turkey burgers. In 2011, 736 million pounds of turkey were consumed in the U.S., while a few lucky birds avoided the chopping block. The pardoning of a White House turkey began in 1863 when President Lincoln’s son, Tad, interceded on behalf of the bird and its life was spared. Now a tradition, two dressed birds and one live turkey are delivered to the White House each year. The live bird is “pardoned” and lives out its life on a historical farm. At the Farm Sanctuary, turkeys get sponsored or adopted instead of eaten. “Turkeys are friendly and follow you around like puppy dogs. They’ll try to sit on your lap to be petted,” says Gene Baur, president and co-founder of the sanctuary’s New York and two California locations. “At our Celebration for the Turkeys, we feed them cranberries, pumpkin pie and squash. People visit to see them enjoy it. Guests’ snacks are vegan.” Hundreds of turkeys have been adopted and given a lifelong home since the program’s inception in 1986. More than 8,000 people pledged to sponsor a turkey living at the sanctuary in a recent year, proving it’s not necessary to be a president to pardon a turkey. Source:

Message Received

Conventional Grocery Chains Go Organic Arina P Habich/

The Kroger grocery chain, with nearly 2,500 U.S. stores, including subsidiaries Ralphs, Fry’s, King Soopers and Food 4 Less, has decided to go all in on the organic food market as a follow-up to the 2012 release of its Simple Truth brand of organic foods. Kroger President Michael Ellis says, “We’re really just answering the customer’s call for more and better,” giving Whole Foods Market more competition. Walmart has also begun to satisfy the growing health concerns of its shoppers by integrating organic options in its supermarkets. Now the challenge is for organic farming—which intentionally works to minimize agricultural impacts on the health of people and the planet—to meet the greater demand nationwide for healthier foods. Although implementation will vary depending on climate, experts advise that it begins with farms adopting healthy soil practices. It’s up to consumers to keep the momentum going. Source: 12

West Michigan Edition

Stoned Doggies Dangers vs. Benefits of Pet Marijuana

As of June, half of the states and the District of Columbia have legalized the use of medical marijuana for humans. People wonder if it’s also suited for pets, too, and need to investigate the parameters and consequences carefully. “It’s not legal in any state for veterinarians to prescribe or recommend medical marijuana,” says Dr. Carol Osborne, owner of Ohio’s Chagrin Falls Veterinary Center & Pet Clinic. “Done properly, it could have applications, but it’s not standardized, dosage amounts are unknown and without U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulation, there’s no guarantee what you think you’re buying is what you get. “Dogs that get into the stash or sneak-eat marijuana-laced food can experience wobbling when walking, trembling and potential seizures,” Osborne notes. “I haven’t heard of any cases of death, but as with any prescription drug, practice responsible ownership by keeping it out of the reach of curious children and pets.” “THC [tetrahydrocannabinol] in marijuana produces the high,” explains Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Robert Silver, author of Medical Marijuana & Your Pet: The Definitive Guide. “Dogs are extremely sensitive to THC, much more so than any other species studied.” Silver believes there are uses for cannabinoid oil, derived from hemp, which has very low levels of THC; pet owners in an end-of-life situation with no hope of recovery have used it to ease pain, stimulate appetite and add quality to final days. Reference: MarijuanaGuide

Stark Mark

Zoo Zapped

Buenos Aires Moves Animals to Nature Reserves


Safer Citizens

Germany to Ban Fracking Permanently txking/

The German government has ruled to ban the practice of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, for shale gas in the country, but will allow test drilling in certain circumstances, reports Reuters. The industry has lobbied to continue fracking, which involves blasting chemicals and water into underground rock formations to release trapped gas, but strong opposition has persisted throughout the nation, with a powerful green lobby warning of possible risks to drinking water. Germany follows France and Bulgaria, which have already permanently banned fracking.

The 140-year-old zoo in Buenos Aires is shutting down to give the animals a better life. Mayor Horacio Rodríguez Larreta agrees with activists that keeping wild animals in captivity and on display is degrading, so the zoo’s 2,500 animals will be moved to more suitable living environments in nature reserves around the country. Older animals and those too sick to be relocated will remain in their current home, but not displayed. The 45-acre zoo will be transformed into an eco-park to give children a place to learn how to take care of and relate with the different species. It also will provide refuge and rehabilitation for animals rescued from illegal trafficking. Source:

Chemical Testing

The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act is a new federal law that restricts animal testing and requires regulators to develop technology-based alternatives. It updates the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976, which insisted non-animal tests be used whenever possible and established a precedent for developing animal-free testing, including vitro and silico (computer simulation) methods. Earlier this year, the John Hopkins University School of Medicine made strides in removing the use of animals from medical training and cosmetic testing. Now all new chemicals will have to meet specific safety standards. Clothing, couches and cleaning products, among many other consumer goods, contain chemicals linked to cancer, Parkinson’s and other serious health problems, but are not routinely tested for safety. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will now have new authority to require testing with a legal mandate to review existing chemicals on the market. Along with updating rules for tens of thousands of everyday chemicals, the law specifically sets safety standards for dangerous chemicals like formaldehyde, asbestos and styrene. It aims to standardize on the national level what is currently a jumble of state rules governing an $800-billion-a-year industry.


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natural awakenings

November 2016



Record carbon dioxide levels will surpass the symbolic threshold of 400 parts per million (ppm) this year and will likely never fall below it again in our lifetimes, according to a new study published recently in the journal Nature Climate Change. The findings highlight urgent concerns about global efforts to curb climate change as outlined in the Paris agreement negotiated last December and signed in April by nearly 170 nations. Carbon concentrations have passed the 400 ppm limit before, but never permanently. The authors state, “In the longer term, a reduction in CO2 concentration would require substantial and sustained cuts in anthropogenic [humanly influenced] emissions to near zero.” The determined safe level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is a maximum of around 350 ppm, according to climate advocates.

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Carbon Dioxide Passes Climate-Warming Threshold

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STAY SHARP Powerful Ways to Avoid Mental Decline by Lisa Marshall


slow descent into dementia seemed inevitable for a 66-yearold man that had been misplacing his keys, missing appointments and struggling at work. He failed doctor-administered cognitive quizzes and tested positive for a gene variant linked to an exponentially higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease. A brain scan revealed scattered clusters of sticky, amyloid plaque—a hallmark of the disease. His hippocampus, or memory center, had shrunk to rank in the lowest 17 percent of men his age. Told there wasn’t much that could be done, he sought the help of University of California, Los Angeles Alzheimer’s researcher Dale Bredesen, a neurologist and founding president of the independent Buck Institute for Research on Aging. He recommended a personalized, 36-point plan, including a high-fat/low-carb diet, intermittent 14

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fasting, strict sleep schedule, select dietary supplements and other lifestyle changes. Within three months, family members reported marked improvements in his memory. At 10 months, brain scans revealed his hippocampus had grown 12 percent. “Such improvements are unprecedented,” says Bredesen, who described this and nine other hopeful cases in a provocative paper published in June in the journal Aging. “These are the first examples of a reversal of cognitive decline in pre- and early Alzheimer’s patients.”

Addressing the Sources

Bredesen is among a small but growing group of researchers, physicians, caregivers and patients challenging the conventional wisdom that the road to dementia goes one way, with no cure or repair of damage done. They argue that the key to both prevention and

reversal, at least in early stages, is to pinpoint its numerous drivers—from nutritional and hormonal deficiencies and exposure to infection to environmental toxins and harmful drugs—and attack them simultaneously. It’s a stark departure from the classic, often unsuccessful, one-pill treatment approach. Of the 244 clinical trials for Alzheimer’s drugs between 2002 and 2012, all but one failed. “Imagine having a roof with 36 holes in it, and your drug patched one hole. You still have 35 leaks,” says Bredesen, who believes his synergistic approach—the Bredesen Protocol—can likely make Alzheimer’s drugs work better or render them unnecessary. Skeptical colleagues point out that Bredesen’s paper described only 10 case studies, not a clinical trial. “It is intriguing, but not enough to make recommendations to physicians or patients,” says Keith Fargo, Ph.D., director of scientific programs and outreach for the Chicagobased Alzheimer’s Association. “The current consensus in the scientific community is that we do not have a way to reverse dementia.” While agreeing that a larger study is needed, Neurologist David Perlmutter, of Naples, Florida, whose bestsellers Brain Maker and Grain Brain promote nutritional changes for supporting brain health, considers Bredesen’s study revolutionary. “To reverse Alzheimer’s in one patient is monumental, much less 10,” says Perlmutter. They recently presented together at a conference organized by Sharp Again Naturally, a New York nonprofit that educates patients and caregivers about natural means of slowing and reversing cognitive decline. After losing her mother to Alzheimer’s, the nonprofit’s co-founder, Jacqui Bishop, 74, stopped her own frightening decline by changing her diet and getting her thyroid hormone levels under control via supplements. Now she’s helping others do the same. She says, “We are trying to change the conversation from one of despair to one of hope.”

Mending Body and Brain

Key to Bredesen’s approach is the notion that instead of being one disease, Alzheimer’s consists of three sub-types

Lifestyle changes can prevent and slow cognitive decline. Some say they also reverse it. with distinct drivers: inflammation or infection; harmful environmental exposures; and/or lack of neuron-nurturing hormones. To determine which one to target, he tests patients for blood-sugar, inflammation and hormone levels, heavy metals and critical nutrients such as D and B vitamins. Then he crafts a personalized plan. He notes that the 10 years it can take to progress from subtle decline to full-blown Alzheimer’s provides a huge opportunity. “Ideally, we want people to come in when they have mild impairment or are asymptomatic,” says Bredesen, advising that tests be done for the APOE4, or “Alzheimer’s gene” in one’s 40s. “People have not wanted to know in the past because they’ve been told there is nothing they can do about it. We completely disagree.” One way to stay cognitively sharp is to eat fewer carbs (which boost blood sugar) and eat more fat, says Perlmutter. “There is a clear relationship between elevated levels of blood sugar and increased risk of Alzheimer’s.” One study, published in 2013 in the New England Journal of Medicine, tracked 2,067 healthy adults for seven years and found that the higher their average glucose level, even if

they weren’t diabetic, the more likely they were to develop dementia. For instance, those with a level of 115 milligrams per deciliter were 18 percent more at risk than those measuring 100 milligrams per deciliter. A 2012 study published in Neurology followed 266 adults for four years and found that those with higher blood sugar saw certain areas of the brain shrink 6 to 10 percent more than those with lower blood sugar. Gluten can also be problematic, advises Perlmutter, when it’s inflammatory and driving brain degeneration. In contrast, good fat, like that in avocados, fatty fish, coconut oil and walnuts, serves as a foundation for neurons and an efficient, clean-burning fuel source for the brain. This is particularly helpful in someone with early-stage Alzheimer’s, says Bredesen, because the disease can make it harder for the brain to use sugar for fuel. In some cases, both doctors recommend an extremely low-carb, or “ketogenic” diet (fewer than 60 grams of carbs per day). Starved of carbohydrates, the liver produces fat-like compounds called ketones, a brain-fuel source shown to stimulate growth of new neural networks.

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Bredesen also recommends 12 hours of fasting each night, with zero food intake within three hours of going to sleep. Fasting promotes a process called autophagy, by which the brain essentially cleans itself of damaged cellular material. Eight hours of sleep is also vital. According to University of Rochester research, the space between brain cells opens up during sleep, allowing cleansing channels of fluid to flow more freely. “If you were operating your house 24/7 with no time to rest or clean, it would be disastrous,” says Bredesen. “The same is true of your brain.” Also, they say, keep teeth clean because bacterial infections, including those in the gums, have been shown to hasten formation of neuron-killing plaque. Also critically examine the prescription drugs being ingested. A recent study of 74,000 people published in JAMA Neurology found that regular use of heartburn drugs like Prilosec and Nexium increased dementia risk by 42 to 52 percent. Meanwhile, anticholinergic drugs like Benadryl and statin drugs prescribed to manage cholesterol have also been linked to increased dementia. “We see ‘statin brain’ all the time,” observes Perlmutter, who says once patients go off the drugs, they tend to get better.

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November 2016


Fargo says researchers are keenly interested in many of the ideas in Bredesen’s paper. Although it’s too early to endorse them, numerous studies are underway. But he wonders if some patients that assert that they’ve reversed dementia actually suffered from something else, like sleep apnea or depression. Bredesen stands by his research, asserting that the 10 patients in his paper had all been formally diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or its precursors. One 69-year-old entrepreneur that was planning to close his business after 11 years of mental decline is now expanding it. A 49-year-old woman that scored poorly on neuropsychological tests showed no signs of cognitive decline when she was tested again nine months later. In all, more than 100 people have participated in the program. “We have people that are fourand-a-half years out and doing very well,” he says, noting that such strategies aren’t likely to work for someone with advanced Alzheimer’s. In some cases, the results may be more subtle, but for those caring for a sick loved one, any positive progress means a lot. Paul Tramontozzi knows. After his father, then 75, was diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia, the New York City financial advisor attended a Sharp Again Naturally

Resources Alzheimer’s Association, Thanthima Lim/

False Hope or Sound Advice

Buck Institute for Research on Aging, David Perlmutter, MPI Cognition, Sharp Again Naturally, meeting seeking advice. “I was skeptical, but when the answer you get from everyone else is, ‘There’s nothing you can do,’ you become more willing to listen.” He took his father off his cholesterol medication, fed him spoonfuls of coconut oil daily and put him on a specific supplement regimen. His balance improved and he could participate in family outings again. “If you had told me a few years ago we’d be able to take Dad to a restaurant for his 80th birthday, I would have said, ‘No way.’ But we did.” Tramontozzi says his father isn’t cured, but the advice he obtained facilitated more time together and insights on how to avoid a similar fate. “These are all things a healthy 37-year-old should be doing right now anyway. I just wish we’d found out earlier.” Lisa Marshall is a freelance health writer in Boulder, CO. Connect at

All profound things and emotions of things are preceded and attended by silence. ~Herman Melville

Get-Smart Supplements Curcumin: This potent constituent in turmeric (the yellow spice that gives curry its flavor) has been shown to combat many of the problems that contribute to brain degeneration, including inflammation, free radical damage and high blood sugar. It also boosts growth of new brain cells. Take 500 milligrams (mg) twice daily or eat a diet rich in curry. DHA (docosahexaenoic acid): This omega-3 fatty acid serves as a key building block for brain cell membranes. Take 1,000 mg daily (derived from fish oil or algae) or eat lots of fatty fish. Coconut oil: It’s rich in medium-chain triglycerides, an efficient, clean-burning fuel source for the brain. Take one or two teaspoons daily. Probiotics: These help fortify the intestinal lining, reducing the gut permeability and inflammation that can impact cognitive health. They also support production of key neurotransmitters and the brain-derived neurotrophic factor brain growth hormone. Look for supplements or foods containing Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus brevis, Bifidobacterium lactis and Bifidobacterium longum. B vitamins: High levels of the amino acid homocysteine have long been linked to increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease; have levels checked and if they’re elevated, B6 and B12 can reduce them. Source: David Perlmutter


West Michigan Edition

chironews This month’s focus is on Mental Wellness By Dr. Dan Gleason


ave you noticed how many people are getting diagnosed with Anxiety, Depression, Bi-polar, or ADHD?? Sometimes we are inclined to think of feelings as nouns instead of adjectives. Sadness. Depression. Anger. Anxiety. I am Sad. I am Depressed. I am Angry. I am Anxious. One cannot be sad in the way that one is a woman or is a human. I am feeling sad. I am having some depressing thoughts. I am feeling angry. I have anxious feelings. Are anxiety, depression, ADHD or bi-polar primary conditions or are they secondary to other factors? Based on my 38 years of clinical practice I find that there often is a cause or multiple causes. There is a tendency to make a diagnosis based on symptoms and then jump straight to the anti-depressant or anti-anxiety medication. Psych meds are powerful drugs, and while they can provide relief from painful feelings, they have many serious side effects. I believe that they should not be prescribed or taken lightly. Before starting down this road, a careful and comprehensive assessment needs to be done including diet, exercise, sleep, family of origin, parent/child and workplace issues. One would not be prescribed medications for blood pressure, thyroid, cholesterol, etc. without proper testing. But all too often, prescriptions for Prozac, Wellbutrin, Xanax, Adderall and even Norco are handed out based on a brief interview with a patient or parent. While these types of drugs are very helpful in some cases, I believe that they are over prescribed. Before starting on these medications one should weigh the benefits and risks and well as the chances for immediate relief versus long term impact. Withdrawal from these meds can be a very long and difficult journey. Both the New Age slogan “Happiness Begins Within” and advances in neurochemistry make it clear that money, social status, plastic surgery, beautiful homes, powerful positions will not bring you happiness. Lasting happi-

ness comes from serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin—the neurotransmitters that control our mental health. These powerful natural mood affecting chemicals are influenced by physical, mental and chemical inputs. In last month’s article I discussed these factors. PHYSICAL: I recommend finding regular physical activity that you enjoy. This may include taking classes, working with a personal trainer, bicycling or just taking the dog for a long walk. MENTAL: While some therapists focus on neuroses and psychoses, I suggest working with a therapist who focuses on what happy and successful people do. BIOCHEMICAL: A Naturopath, nutritionist or wholistic physician can test your blood, urine, saliva, stool, etc. to determine your nutrient and hormonal status and advise you on diet and supplementation. With proper testing doctors and other mental health professionals can determine whether psycho-emotional symptoms are due to: • nutrient deficiency • neurotransmitter imbalance • toxicity • hormone imbalance • sleep disturbance The medical literature includes many studies linking psychological and emotional symptoms with deficiencies of B vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, fat soluble vitamins, amino acids and cofactors to name a few. For example in 2011 the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry found that “an omega-3 supplement was effective against primary depression.” The Archives of General Psychiatry in 1999 found that “omega-3 has also been found to improve more serious mental disorders including schizophrenia, psychosis, and bi-polar.” Hormone imbalance with resulting hot flashes, sleep disturbance, irritability and pain lead to anxious and depressing thoughts and fatigue. If one is interested she or he might ask for testing in these areas.

Regular exercise has shown results that are comparable to or better than anti-depressants. Science also supports measures like prayer, yoga, meditation, hypnotherapy and breathing to change the stress patterns that lead to unhappiness. Here is an example of JH, a 35 year old mother of 3 with severe depression. She had a good marriage with a supportive husband. They were financially secure and lived in a good neighborhood. She had many friends and a strong faith. She had undergone psychotherapy and tried numerous medications in search of relief. Her family and friends realized that she was suicidal and one of them referred her to our office. Testing showed that she had several deficiencies including omega-3’s, B12 and particularly B6. She also had candida and fluctuating blood sugar. We started her on a low carb high fat diet along with vitamin supplements to address her deficiencies and candida. She made some improvement but last Christmas time she had stopped her supplements and was in a deep hole. We reviewed her lab results, restarted her on her vitamin protocol and increased her vitamin B6(P5P) to 50 mg/waking hour. Within a day she was remarkably better. Within a week she was a new woman. She was able to reduce her B6 intake after the first few weeks but continues to do well ten months later. I make the distinction between a noun and an adjective, between depression and depressed thoughts, in order to challenge my patients to look for the causes of these feelings and thoughts rather than suppressing them. In addition to being a doctor of chiropractic and applied kinesiology, Dan is a 4th generation builder— he correlates the two sensibilities in his approach, “A person’s health is similar to that of building a foundation for a home in that if one uses good quality products and methodology, you build your health to combat disease in the same way you build the foundation of your home to protect you from the elements”. Dr Dan Gleason is the owner of The Gleason Center located at 19084 North Fruitport Road in Spring Lake. For more info: go to or call 616-846-5410. See ad page 45.

natural awakenings

November 2016



Kelly Brogan on the Truth About Depression

Why Meds Don’t Work and What Does by Kathleen Barnes


ntegrative medical doctor Kelly Brogan, a women’s health psychiatrist and author of A Mind of Your Own, has turned the world of neuropsychiatry on its head by revealing that depression can be reversed without a single prescription drug. She asserts that depression

is not caused by imbalanced brain chemistry, but by lifestyle choices that unbalance the entire human physiology. That’s why conventional antidepressants generally don’t work. She instead prescribes eliminating foods that trigger inflammation in order to rebalance all body systems.

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According to the National Institute for Mental Health, depression annually affects 15.7 million adult Americans, or about 8.3 percent of the population.

What’s your stand on the illness model of medicine and how you arrived there? My training as a conventional doctor was predicated on a disease care model that offers patients only one solution—a prescription. We have never had a shot at true wellness, having handed over our health to corporations loyal to their shareholders, rather than to us. Conventional medicine is based on the notion that we are born broken and need chemicals to feel better; the body is a machine that needs recalibration; and doctors always know what they are doing. After investing thousands of hours researching what would aid my own journey back from health challenges, I saw how we have been duped. Health is our natural state, and we can restore it by natural means. The way to prevent and reverse illness is to communicate with the body in a language it understands. It’s so simple, yet society considers it an act of rebellion to consider this kind of lifestyle.

Which science supports your conclusion that antidepressant drugs don’t work for most patients? Taking an antidepressant for depression is like taking a Tylenol for a shard of glass in your foot. Wouldn’t you rather just remove it? Antidepressants don’t work the way we think they do and come with risks, including impulsive violence and debilitating withdrawal. They also can distract from an opportunity to identify the real cause of symptoms, one that is entirely reversible, in my experience. Selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors like Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil and Lexapro are commonly prescribed to treat depression by boosting serotonin levels. There are many studies debunking their use and effectiveness. The 2012 Ottawa Hospital Research Institute study led by Paul Albert, Ph.D., concluded, “Direct serotonin-enhancing effects of antidepressants disturb energy homeostasis and worsen symptoms.”

As far back as 1998, Irving Kirsch, Ph.D., an expert on the placebo effect at Harvard Medical School, published a meta-analysis of the treatment of 3,000 patients, finding that drugs improved depression in only 27 percent of the cases.

What’s the link between women, high blood sugar, diabetes, obesity and depression? When I meet a patient that complains about irritability, anxiety, foggy thinking, fatigue and insomnia, I visually plot her day-to-day symptoms on a mental graph. I find that the sugar rollercoaster accounts for the vast majority of diabetes, obesity, depression and other symptoms troubling my patients, especially women. Sugar disturbs mental health in at least three ways: It starves the brain by causing blood sugar highs and lows that can eventually cause insulin resistance, diabetes and even Alzheimer’s disease; promotes inflammation, which is closely linked to depression; and derails hormones by raising levels of the stress hormone cortisol in the body’s effort to balance blood sugars. Depression also has roots in thyroid imbalances, which are common in women more than 40 years old, and in food intolerances, especially to gluten, soy and corn, that can affect the brain in unpredictable ways.


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Is there a general protocol that seems to work best? While there are no quick fixes, I see turnarounds every week because I help my patients see the benefits of simple choices like avoiding wheat and wheat products. You need a month of serious commitment to quit sugar, alcohol, coffee, wheat and dairy. Then you discover you aren’t an irritable, tired, forgetful person, which is its own incentive toward feeling better. It’s the basis to make choices with your own fully informed consent. Applying such information leads to long-term change and healing. Kathleen Barnes has authored numerous natural health books, including Food Is Medicine: 101 Prescriptions from the Garden. Connect at

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The temptation to buy inexpensive clothes whispers, “It’s smart to trend with the latest fad,” or “Disposable wear can be tossed if it gets stained,” or “I can wear this outfit only once for a special event.” The lure to buy future throwaways seems especially prevalent during the holiday season of gifting and gatherings. Consumers can fall into the cycle of buying from inexpensive chain stores, wearing items a few times and then discarding them during spring cleaning purges. According to The Atlantic magazine, Americans now buy five times as much clothing annually as they did in 1980, yet recycle or donate only 15 percent of it. They simply discard 10 million tons as waste, reports the Huffington Post. Conscious consumers consider the extended consequences of their purchases. The production and transporting of an average shirt, for example, can deliver about nine pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, reports Eve Andrews, culture editor for She offers five tips: buy less; shop smarter and only for what’s truly needed; look for durability and design that won’t fall apart or look dated in a few months; decrease frequency of laundering to increase the life of the garment; and donate what no longer works. Buying items that are durable, timeless and made under fair labor conditions from selected organic, resale and outlet stores that sell high-end clothing that lasts at reduced prices will save money over time and reduce resource abuse and waste. Five top outlet chains for superior and lasting value per a 2016 Consumer Reports readers survey are Bon Worth, L.L. Bean, Haggar, OshKosh B’gosh and Izod. Quality labels are welcomed by consignment stores, so the wearer can even retrieve some of the purchase price for gently-used classics. Giving used threads to thrift shops, churches, The Salvation Army and Goodwill Industries is another way to extend the life of items, help others and save landfill space. Another option is to cut up portions of clothing earmarked for disposal so they can live on as cleaning rags for home and vehicles.

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WORKPLACE WISDOM Mindfulness in Corporate Life by April Thompson


he workplace can be filled with stress, egos and distractions that challenge the productive and happy atmosphere we desire. Both employees and employers are adopting mindfulness to help cope and transform both themselves and their work environment. Rooted in Eastern philosophies like Buddhism, most workplace mindfulness programs have stripped the techniques to a secular form more appealing to skeptics or adherents of other religions. The key practice—simply known as “sitting” or meditation—involves focusing our attention on our thoughts, breathing, emotions or bodily sensations for a set time period, while the term mindfulness refers to the ability to be aware of the present moment, whether meditating or in a business meeting. While Fortune 500 companies like Procter & Gamble, Aetna and General Mills have instituted formal mindfulness programs, Michael Carroll, meditation teacher, executive coach and the author of Awake at Work, says that the mindfulness revolution has been largely seeded from the ground up. It’s emerged through people exploring the practices in their personal lives, and then bringing them to work.

Personal and Professional Benefits

Jacqueline Gallo, operational excellence manager for Whitcraft Group, a manufacturing plant in Eastford, Connecticut, discovered meditation 12 years ago while seeking solace during a traumatic time. Today, Gallo does three short sits a week and occasionally participates in 10-day retreats. Whitcraft doesn’t offer meditation to employees, but Gallo 22

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says mindfulness enables her to be available to her staff and solve problems without getting “swept off my feet so easily by all the desires, agendas and emotions confronted at work.” Carroll cautions that it’s not about trying to eliminate our own or others’ emotional agendas or personal biases at work; rather, individuals use mindfulness to become more conscious of and relaxed about them. “Meditation helps develop agility in viewing… to self-regulate, drop fixed mindsets, become self-aware,” explains Carroll, who has coached university presidents, CEOs and nonprofit executives in mindful leadership techniques. “You learn things from a competitor’s perspective or pick up on social cues you may miss if you instead had a fixed lens on a situation.”

Corporate Acceptance

While meditation may be on the upswing in the workplace, it was a battle to legitimize it, according to Tara Healey, program director for mindfulness-based learning at Harvard Pilgrim Health Care (HPHC). A longtime meditation practitioner, Healey started the Mind the Moment program a decade ago while serving as an organizational capacity building consultant. Surveys had shown that employees were overwhelmed and dissatisfied, but lacked the skills to rectify their situation. “The leadership said, ‘Great, let’s do it, but not tell anyone,’” relates Healey. She notes that meditation, a core component of her multifaceted mindfulness course covering everything from workplace stress to mindful listening, wasn’t accepted in the workplace at that point. Today, 30 percent of her company’s 1,050 employees have completed a six-week class introducing them to the power of mindfulness; some go on to participate in a guided monthly group meditation practice or use company meditation rooms for individual practice. The health services company also offers the course to its member companies

throughout New England. To date, more than 12,350 people in 174 companies have participated, encompassing varied fields from higher education and health to finance and technology. A survey of employees showed that initially 99 percent felt it was a good use of their time; another taken six months later found that 87 percent were still using the techniques. HPHC informatics analyst Stephanie Oddleifson, who took the course nearly 10 years ago, says it transformed her way of thinking and behaving in the workplace and furnished a set of practices she uses every day. In times of conflict, “I was so quick to make up stories in my head and jump to conclusions previously,” she says. “Now I’m able to pause before responding and observe my thoughts without getting caught up in them. I can diffuse tense situations with humor and not take things personally.” Additional research substantiates the anecdotal evidence for meditation’s workplace benefits. In 2015, scientists from Canada’s University of British Columbia and Germany’s Chemnitz University of Technology compiled data from 20-plus neurology studies, finding significant correlations between meditation and areas of the brain related to capacities for self-regulation, introspection and complex thinking. A Rice University study specifically found a positive relationship between workplace mindfulness, job performance and employee retention. While workplace mindfulness programs vary and may incorporate helpful talks, encouraging readings and group discussions, Healey and Carroll both caution that reading or talking about mindfulness or meditation is no substitute for the practice itself, which many find challenging. “You won’t taste the benefits just reading about it,” remarks Healey. “The practice will come into play come showtime.” Connect with April Thompson, of Washington, D.C., at

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November 2016


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Pilates Unbound New Fusions with Yoga, Dance and Boxing


by Aimee Hughes

Natural Awakenings Magazine of West Michigan


West Michigan Edition


ith 11,000 studios across the U.S., “Pilates continues to grow because an increasingly wide spectrum of people are discovering how it can benefit them,” says Elizabeth Anderson, executive director of the Pilates Method Alliance, in Miami. Pilates instructor Amanda January, who works at The Carriage Club, in Kansas City, eventually became an instructor because, “I love the challenge of it. I had always been a dancer, and found Pilates provides the movement therapy that my dance classes lack.” Current trends are combining Pilates not only with yoga, but also dance and even boxing. “My favorite fusion Pilates class is barre,” says Halley Willcox, a certified Pilates teacher originally from Austin, Texas, now a grad student at the University of Arizona, in Tucson. Barre classes mix classical ballet exercises with yoga and Pilates (see The boxing variation, called piloxing, incorporates pugilistic moves and

barefoot interval training. “No prior experience is necessary; the possibilities are endless,” comments Willcox. Anderson believes, “The growth we’re observing is due to the fact that Pilates addresses fitness across the entire body, rather than parts. It creates a wonderful feeling of overall well-being; the exercise is done in a balanced manner on all planes and is coordinated with conscious breathing. Plus, it doesn’t cause injuries, it prevents them.”

Fosters Self-Confidence

“Through focus and breath awareness, Pilates, not unlike meditation and yoga, helps you become more aware of your body, which makes you more comfortable in your own skin,” says January. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy’s TED talk, “Change Your Posture, Grow Your Confidence, Follow Your Dreams,” shares the results of her Harvard University research, which demonstrates how people that assume what she calls “power postures” actually change the

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chemistry in their brains, boosting confidence on many levels. Pilates is recognized as a highly effective way to improve posture.

Helps Coordination and Rehabilitation Many dancers and professional athletes access the therapeutic qualities of Pilates to help them recover from injuries and enhance balance and coordination. Anderson remarks, “With a qualified teacher, Pilates can be applied as a post-rehabilitation modality once postsurgery physical therapy is completed, to further strengthen the body. Elite athletes such as professional dancers, baseball and football players, ice skaters and equestrians are also finding ways that Pilates can strengthen and assist them with their performances, wellbeing and injury prevention.” One of the ways that Pilates helps is by affecting body fascia. “Muscles work together, not individually, within the fascia, and the best way to change the muscle is through resistance,” says January. “It’s why Pilates uses spring tension, resistance bands and even jumping. Pilates improves balance and coordination because all the muscles work together. The entire body is learning how to dance in unison with itself.”

Boosts Immunity “The more I committed to a regular Pilates practice, the more I noticed I wasn’t getting sick as often,” says January. “Pilates helps boost the immune system through reducing stress, a well-known contributor to disease. It’s accessible to people of all ages. You don’t have to be flexible or strong to begin, just willing.” She offers this advice to beginners. “Check out all the local studios to see what they offer. It’s best to start out taking classes twice a week with a certified teacher for two to three months. That’s easy to commit to. Then you can see if Pilates is right for you.” Aimee Hughes, a freelance writer in Kansas City, MO, is a doctor of naturopathy on the faculty of the Yandara Yoga Institute. Connect at


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Festive Sips and Nibbles Vegan Holiday Treats that Everyone Loves by Judith Fertig


or those that like to eat plant-based meals most of the time, the holidays can present a challenge. Social occasions from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day abound, including multi-course dinners and potlucks; tree-trimming and baking parties; neighborly hospitality; nibbling on treats while wrapping gifts; and gathering to watch a holiday movie. Because so much is happening in such a short period of time, people often revert to serving traditional foods such as Aunt Mary’s cheese ball or Grandma Daisy’s three-layer chocolate bars. These vintage recipes, however, can be laden with processed ingredients. Foods that signaled holiday cheer ages ago need a tweak or two to satisfy today’s health-minded friends and family members. With traditional flavors of the season like aromatic spices, fresh rosemary and chocolate, plus a plantbased philosophy, family favorites can get a new twist. Natural Awakenings asked cookbook authors, chefs and bloggers from around the country to help us celebrate wonderful holiday moments, big and small. Adding a plant-based nibble or sip not only helps party hosts stay on track, it also helps keep guests from over-indulging, so that everyone ends up enjoying themselves even more.

Addictive Nibbles

American-born Sandra Gutierrez grew up in Guatemala and now lives in Cary, North Carolina. As the author of The New Southern Latino Table and Empanadas: The Hand-Held Pies of Latin America, she shows how fresh, seasonal, Latino foods can add grace and flavor to any table. “In the South, appetizers can be as simple as shelled pecans tossed with spices,” she says. She applies the same easy treatment to pumpkin seeds, or pepitas, tossing them with ancho chile powder, cumin, coriander and other flavorings to bake in the oven until crunchy. “These take only minutes to make and will keep for a few weeks if stored in an airtight container.” Then, when people drop by, she has a ready-made, plant-based, delicious nibble to offer with drinks. Brother chefs Chad and Derek Sarno, of Austin, Texas, are the co-founders of, a website devoted to plant-based eating habits. Chad has co-authored (with Chris Karr) Crazy Sexy Kitchen: 150 Plant-Empowered Recipes to Ignite a Mouthwatering Revolution. Derek is the former global executive chef for Whole Foods Market. “Shoot for 80 percent healthy and 20 percent wicked, and you’ll be 100 percent sexy,” they advise with a wink.

Natural Awakenings recommends using organic and non-GMO (genetically modified) ingredients whenever possible. 26

West Michigan Edition

A little indulgence is fine during the holidays, they say. “For vegans and vegetarians, think of your 20 percent as a chance to let loose every now and again and enjoy whatever makes you feel a bit wicked—fats, sugars, salts, beer; you get the idea—unless you’re following doctor’s orders. We want you to eat for health, and as chefs, we want eating healthy to taste great.” For the holidays, they like to have easy, yet big-flavor nibbles on hand such as homemade popcorn flavored with fresh rosemary and truffle oil, or crunchy, roasted chickpeas that pack a little heat from sriracha, a homemade or bottled hot sauce.

Celebratory Sips

Sophia DeSantis, of Carlsbad, California, changed to a vegan diet because of her husband’s health issues several years ago. “We ate plant-based for one month and just kept on going,” she says. “Within three months, he was off all meds and hasn’t needed them since.” That victory made her an impassioned vegan cook for their three children, as well. Whether preparing food for family or guests, she says, “I don’t even mention the type of food, because I simply make delicious dishes that just happen to be plant-based. There are a million and one ways to redo traditional favorites.” DeSantis makes her own pistachio milk for a special hot chocolate she serves during the holidays; she blogs her recipes at Other options for plant-based sips include chilled, dairy-free eggnog, perhaps topped with coconut creamer and a dusting of freshly grated nutmeg. Mulled cider or pomegranate juice, warmed in a stove pot with whole spices like cinnamon and cloves, plus slices of citrus fruits, add holiday flavors and aromas. Having already prepared nibbles and sips handy in the pantry, freezer or refrigerator makes both planned and spontaneous hosting easier, as well as providing ready-made goodies to bring to other gatherings. “Then, there’s always something available you can enjoy,” says DeSantis. Judith Fertig writes cookbooks and foodie fiction from Overland Park, KS (

Tasty Holiday Recipes photo by Stephen Blancett

Truffle Spiced Popcorn

Spiced Pepitas These crunchy pumpkin seeds are lemony, salty, spicy and zesty, all at the same time. A handful of these toasted tidbits whets the appetite. Yields: 2 cups 2 cups raw pumpkin seeds 1 Tbsp grated lemon zest 1 Tbsp lemon juice 2 tsp salt 1 tsp ground cumin ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper ½ tsp ground coriander ½ tsp ancho chile powder ½ tsp cayenne pepper ¼ tsp garlic powder ¼ tsp sugar (optional) Preheat the oven to 375° F. In a medium bowl, toss together the pumpkin seeds, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, cumin, pepper, coriander, chile powder, cayenne and garlic powder. Spread the mixture on a baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and shake to redistribute the seeds, and then bake for another 3 minutes. Pull it out to shake the pan again. Then finish baking for 1 to 2 minutes or until the pumpkin seeds are crispy and golden without burning them. Transfer to a cool baking sheet and cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

This wicked, fresh, piping-hot popcorn is kissed with a simple blend of rosemary, onion and truffle oil.   Yields: 9 cups 2½ Tbsp grapeseed oil A bit less than ½ cup popcorn kernels 1 Tbsp truffle oil 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast ½ Tbsp onion granules ½ tsp fresh rosemary, minced Sea salt to taste   On medium heat, warm the oil in a large saucepan with a lid. Remove from the stove and add all kernels in an even layer on the bottom of the pan. Cover for 20 seconds to allow all the kernels to become coated and reach equal temperature so they all pop at once. Place the covered pan back on the heat and shake it while it’s on the burner. The kernels will slowly begin to pop; once they start, crack the lid slightly to let out a bit of steam. Continue shaking the pan over heat until the popping stops. Remove from the stovetop immediately and pour all popcorn into a large bowl. Drizzle with truffle oil, nutritional yeast, onion granules, minced rosemary and sea salt. Shake and mix well before serving. Courtesy of Chad and Derek Sarno,

Beer-Miso-Sriracha Roasted Chickpeas Any favorite beer will work. Yields: 2 to 4 servings 1 (15½ oz) can chickpeas or garbanzo beans, drained and set aside 1 Tbsp sriracha 1 Tbsp organic miso paste (any color) 1 /3 bottle of beer Black and white sesame seeds Dried chili to taste Smoked salt for garnish to taste Preheat the oven to 375° F. Whisk wet ingredients until mixed well. Toss mixture with chickpeas. Place mixture on baking pan and roast for 20 to 30 minutes, shaking and stirring periodically until mixture is evaporated and chickpeas begin to get color; beware of burning. Garnish with sesame seeds and dried chili, maybe a little smoked salt. Courtesy of Chad and Derek Sarno,

Courtesy of Sandra A. Gutierrez, natural awakenings

November 2016


Moment of Peace Reiki Meditation Guided Relaxation Acupressure

Claire Crowley B.S., M.M., ERYT-500

1324 Lake Dr. Suite 7 616-295-1861

Your Journey Towards Wellness Begins Here QSM3 Upper Cervical Nutrition Response Testing Kinesio Taping Massage Therapy Laboratory Diagnostics

(269) 366-4146

Harmony ‘n Health Colon Hydrotherapy

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

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

Therapeutic Massage also available

Frothy Hot Chocolate with Pistachio Milk Cozy up and indulge in this thick, creamy and rich hot chocolate made with whole food ingredients. Yields: 2 servings Pistachio Milk ½ cup raw shelled pistachios 2 cups filtered water Cocoa ½ to ¾ cup unsweetened baking cocoa or cacao powder ¼ to ½ cup date paste 1 tsp cinnamon 1 tsp vanilla extract Dash Himalayan pink salt For the pistachio milk, soak the nuts overnight in a bowl of water. Rinse before placing them into a high-speed blender with the 2 cups of water. Blend until the mixture is completely puréed and milky. Strain mixture through a nut milk bag or cheesecloth; then add the nut milk back into the blender. Add all other ingredients and blend at a high speed until thick. Note: If using a regular, slower blender, re-warm the hot chocolate on the stove top. It may not be as thick and frothy but will taste good. Courtesy of Sophia DeSantis,


West Michigan Edition

communityspotlight Dr. Dave Johnson By Julie Hurley


avid Johnson, MD of Grand Rapids Natural Health says that his integrative cardiology practice represents a new vision in health care for West Michigan, one that could change the way we think about health care in this country. “We at Grand Rapids Natural Health use a collaborative model, utilizing different philosophical approaches to health, to expose patients to different modalities of healing and offer them a broader set of choices to help them reclaim their health,” Johnson says. Grand Rapids Natural Health was started as a naturopathic practice and with the addition of Dr. Johnson the scope of services has expanded significantly. Dr. Johnson, a cardiologist for nearly two decades, knew that his specialty was phenomenal in treating acute illness, but had its struggles with disease prevention and fully healing people of disease. “In an effort to help my patients, I began a self-study of integrative medicine and different alternative healing modalities. I knew that the next step in my journey would be to create a healing center, which could ‘prescribe’ lifestyle medicine, and serve as a mind/body center for creating optimal health opportunities for people.” Dr. Johnson’s transition toward an integrative-based approach to health began when he started gravitating toward preventive cardiology in order to help his patients. “I knew that nutrition and diet were strongly linked to heart health, but I didn’t have the resources to teach my patients in a way that could help them successfully initiate and maintain a meaningful lifestyle change. Big changes like this require support throughout the process. Patients had no access to programs like Dr. Ornish’s Program for Reversing Heart Disease, a program that helps patients with eating a healthier plant-

based diet, better manage their daily stress, incorporate exercise like yoga into their daily lives, and find the support they need within their community to help them thrive. Although now covered by some insurance, hospitals have refused to implement them. I took it upon myself to be the nurse, the coach and the psychiatrist, to a certain degree. But this wasn’t sustainable.” Traditional health care, or “sick care” as many call it, focuses on disease identification and management. While it certainly has its value and place in patient care, Dr. Johnson’s goal is to “simplify, not amplify” traditional health care by supporting the patient on their journey toward health and healing. He recognizes that the human body has the capacity to heal when it is adequately supported and that no healing profession has sole dominion over how health care can be provided. He therefore enjoys working collaboratively with the patients’ allopathic providers. “I don’t serve as a PCP or a cardiologist,” Johnson says. “I’m more of a consultant and patient advocate. Patients see me for a lot of different needs, and we do encourage them to maintain access to their general practitioner for acute care. Insurance is really good at providing sick care, which is why I opted out of it, as my focus turned towards health creation rather than simply managing disease. People are increasingly more informed about the ability to heal and recognize that prescription drugs alone are insufficient. However, there’s a time element here as we dig to the root of the problem, which includes identifying the imbalance in the physical body that manifests as a symptom or disease as well as the psychological or even environmental issues that lie beneath the symptom or disease. This approach takes an abundant amount of time. Insurance just doesn’t adequately

reimburse on the time element.” At Grand Rapids Natural Health, we have developed a combined naturopathic doctor (ND) and medical doctor (MD) evaluation. A patient gets “two sets of eyes” on their chart and their health. “Instead of making a choice between ND and myself - an MD - patients can see me for the first hour. We talk about their health and lifestyle. I can get lab tests ordered. They then can go see the ND for a visit, and then we formulate a plan of care that is unique to the patient,” Johnson says. This personalized approach brings together the experience and knowledge from two medical fields that have diverged from one another since the early 1900s but are now becoming reacquainted nationally through the integrative medicine movement. When a patient comes in with a chronic issue, Johnson looks to restore the balance in the body. “A symptom is an imbalance, a way the body makes you consciously aware of the imbalance. From there you are messaged to do something. In allopathic medicine, many times a ‘band-aid’ is used to cover symptoms, which can alleviate things in the short-term,” Johnson says. “Another way to look at it is to ask ‘what is my body trying to tell me’? My job is to get to those answers, find the root cause, and find meaningful suggestions on how to correct the problem.” Dr. Johnson says research is showing that many chronic diseases start in the gut, which is impacted by many different stressors: physical, psychologi-

natural awakenings

November 2016


cal, and environmental. “People are affected differently, and the gut, with its complex environment, takes on a lot of that, causing alterations in the immune system and increased inflammation. This sets up in the background and can lead to a variety of symptoms and disease. As a cardiologist, I recognize that the health of the vascular system, or blood vessels, may be the primary cause for many chronic diseases and accelerated aging,” Johnson says. “The endothelium, which is the lining of our vessels, is arguably our largest endocrine organ and is adversely affected by chronic inflammation. It controls how cells and tissues get their nutrients and oxygen as well as how cells get rid of unwanted waste products like carbon dioxide. If the endothelium isn’t optimally functioning, cells get sick. When cells get sick the body gets sick, which leads to chronic health issues.” When a patient presents with one or more symptoms, Dr. Johnson offers immediate and long-term solutions. The “prescription” for acute symptoms can include stress management, bo-

tanicals, pharmaceuticals and supplements. This can alleviate symptoms effectively enough so that long-term healing can begin. From there, he will discuss lifestyle choices, which include a healthy diet, more activity, avoiding environmental toxins and maintaining a healthy weight. Though not covered by insurance, Johnson says that treating the root cause of chronic disease can help reduce health care expenditures ten years down the road. “It may seem costly up front, but you have to look at it as an investment in you and in your health. Treating chronic disease is expensive, even with insurance.” The leading cause of bankruptcy in America is medical expenses. Dr. Johnson feels that his proactive approach will be less costly in the long haul than the reactive care provided by the current medical system. With health care costs continuing to rise, many people are looking for answers outside the traditional model. “People are already looking for a more holistic approach. Allopathic care is

specialization, which is contrary to holistic care. We’re trying to work people back into a position where they can heal and take advantage of our body’s own capacity to heal,” Johnson says. “Whether we focus on nutrition, stress management or complimentary medicine, we embrace and support people utilizing standard traditional medicine,” Johnson says. “We want to work with them to embrace the least toxic approach to their health as well. ‘Do no harm’ is a sentiment that we embrace daily. We want people to thrive and not just survive.” For more information: go to See ad page 23. Grand Rapids Natural Health is located at 638 Fulton W, Grand Rapids. For more information: visit or call 616-264-6556. Julie Hurley is a freelance writer, who helped co-found Principia Media and Kili Summit Club, two local businesses. Married with two children, Hurley summited Mt. Kilimanjaro in 2014.

Wood & Saw

REMODELING AND HOME BUILDING Toxic-Free | Energy Efficient | Sustainable 616.834.2480 Holland, MI


West Michigan Edition


THE SENSITIVE CHILD How to Nurture altanaka/

Special Gifts by Maureen Healy

It is primarily parenting that decides whether the expression of sensitivity will be an advantage or a source of anxiety. ~Elaine Aron


ighly sensitive children need extra nurturing care so that they can learn to see their sensitivity as a strength and begin empowering themselves with tools to tap into their positive traits such as insight, creativity and empathy, while simultaneously learning how to manage their rich emotional lives. Elaine Aron, Ph.D., a practicing psychotherapist in Mill Valley, California, who studies sensitivity using functional magnetic resonance imaging, advises, “A highly sensitive child is among the 15 to 20 percent born with a nervous system that’s highly aware and quick to react to everything.” She offers a free online questionnaire to help assess a child’s level of sensitivity at highly-sensitive-child-test. Highly sensitive children are incredibly responsive to their environments, from sounds and smells to the overall mood of people they encounter. Other indicators may range from a preference for quiet play to noticing details or asking many questions. With a sharpened sense of awareness, they are often gifted intellectually, creatively and emotionally, demonstrating genuine compassion early on.

The downside is that these intensely perceptive children can also be easily overwhelmed by crowds, noises, new situations or sudden changes. Criticism, defeat and the distress of others deeply affect them. Parenting a highly sensitive child can be highly rewarding, but some parents find it exhausting. Special skills help in gracefully raising a healthy, happy and well-adjusted sensitive child without wearing ourselves out. Accept, rather than seek to change them. Embracing a child as being highly sensitive is step one. No one can change them into less sensitive, more traditional kids. Accept their specialness as part of the family’s shared journey. See it as a gift. It’s easy to get frustrated or angry with a child if they continually cry, withdraw and shy away from social situations. Instead of viewing these behaviors as flaws, see them as providing the child a special gift. Sensitivity often characterizes artists, innovators, prodigies and great thinkers. Partner up. Sensitive children respond far better to requests for desired behaviors when acting in partnership with the adults in their life. Harsh discipline can elicit emotional meltdowns

and outbursts of energy in temper tantrums, crying or yelling. Partnering with a child includes learning to avoid their triggers and giving them ready tools to use when they feel overwhelmed, such as breathing exercises. Professional counselors can help shape the relationship. Focus on strengths. Remembering that a highly sensitive child may be incredibly talented is essential when they are acting out. Training ourselves to see a child’s strengths first—such as their incredible creativity, perceptiveness and keen intellect—helps us accept their challenges, such as being overwhelmed, highly emotional, introverted at times, shy, picky about clothes and other preferences, or overly active. Create calmness. It’s worth taking the time to create spaces that match a child’s sensibilities. Create a “peace corner” at home designed to deliver the serenity that highly sensitive children crave by using just the right lighting, colors, sounds and surroundings; elements might include headphones, favorite plush toys and coloring markers. Instill inner discipline. Establishing gentle structure and clear limits with respect goes a long way. Reasonable reminders of what’s needed now and why yield better results than shouting and warnings of consequences. Connect with peers. Like everyone else, highly sensitive children are drawn to other “birds of a feather”, and getting these kids together to nurture each other’s strengths is good. It may mean some extra effort by parents to help a child find kids that get along together and make play dates. A highly sensitive child can be steered in a helpful emotional direction by well-adjusted, happy and healthy sensitive adults. Sensitive children need especially good role models because they are learning how to use their incredible gifts in a world that sometimes doesn’t value their inherent worth. Maureen Healy, of Santa Barbara, CA, runs a mentoring program for highly sensitive children based on her social and emotional learning curriculum for K-8 students, child psychology training and current scientific research. She is the author of Growing Happy Kids and The Energetic Keys to Indigo Kids (

natural awakenings

November 2016



A Shop In The Right Direction By Julie Reynolds


he idea of shopping locally is not a new one, but a favorite recurring theme around holiday time. Most people can probably imagine how much small business owners appreciate their local communities supporting them throughout the year and most importantly during the busiest shopping time of the year. Supporting a local business not only results in finding unique gifts with a local flare, but also helps those business owners to support their families and others in their area including other small businesses. When considering what gifts to buy friends and family this year for the various upcoming holidays, consider what those people enjoy doing. Many people have too much stuff so it’s important to consider things like their hobbies, the restaurants they enjoy and what they do for fun. The best gifts are ones that are given with thought and purpose for the one receiving it. This year consider browsing through our magazine for the gift of yoga, Pilates, wellness, acupuncture, health food products or classes. Consider individuals and businesses who sell essential oils, soaps and other natural products. An essential oil diffuser may make a nice gift for someone who enjoys different natural scents or uses oils for medicinal purposes. A gift card to an organic food store might be a practical gift for someone who does not need or want more things. Massages and pedicures are fabulous treats to those who don’t often get them. The following is just a small sampling of local businesses with great ideas for unique, healthy holiday gifts. Before going directly to large chain stores or distant internet businesses, consider the brick and mortar shops or friends who have small online businesses or those who display at holiday exhibits throughout West Michigan. 32

West Michigan Edition

Nature’s Market: This business offers bulk options, gluten-free products, organic produce, supplements and more! Location: 1013 S. Washington St, Holland. Visit

Body Biz Inc.: Customers will find wellness services, various massages and classes here. Located at: 100 Blue Star Highway, Douglas. Go to The Healing Center: Search here for eco-friendly house items, gifts, music, vid-

eos, books, essential oils and various massage and healing techniques. Located at: 332 S. Lincoln, Lakeview. Visit

Moondrop Herbals: This small business specializes in herbs, tea, spices, bath products and essential oils. Also available here are various books, classes and gifts. Located at: 351 Cummings NW, Grand Rapids, Michigan. Visit CJ’s Studio Salon: Customers will find organic hair products, hair color, detox foot baths and of course hair cutting and styling services. Located at: 5286 Plainfield Ave NE, Grand Rapids. Visit Global Infusion: This market features an eclectic selection of fair trade merchandise, handcrafted gifts, bulk tea, spices, coffee and more. Located at: 143 Diamond Ave, Grand Rapids. Visit Hokey Pokey: This business has an amazing selection of unique finds and repurposed items. Find furniture items, jewelry, decor and clothing here made by local vendors. Located at: 107 and 111 E. Colby St, Whitehall. Visit

Rootdown Yoga: Several yoga classes are available along with a juice bar to enjoy before or after classes. Specials are available for newcomers. Located at: 333 West Western Ave, Muskegon. Visit

Live Gluten Free Bakery: Come here to find all gluten-free bakery items without the worry. It is a dedicated gluten-free facility offering cakes, pastries, muffins and more. A gift card might be the perfect gift for someone. Located at: 1062 E. Sternberg Rd, Norton Shores. Visit

Northern Edge Snow Sports: Find selections of skis, snowboards, boots, outerwear and accessories in this local shop that aims to please its customers. Located at: 2669 Holton Road, Muskegon. Visit

The Century Club Shops: This sweet spot in historic Muskegon offers furniture, clothing, jewelry, gourmet food and gifts, candy, hats, puzzles and games, soaps, lotions and much more from local contributors and shop vendors. Go downstairs to visit and purchase art from local artists, as well. Located at 356 W. Western Ave, Muskegon. Visit Wallflower Unique Finds: This little shop is quaint and cute with a lot to offer for gift ideas. Merchandise changes frequently and includes: furniture, wall and decor items, clothing, purses, jewelry, lotion and more. Located at: 413 Center Street, North Muskegon. Visit The Book Nook and Java Shop: This local shop is worth taking a look. Custom-

ers can browse books, music and other local merchandise in a comfortable, hometown atmosphere. Live events are also scheduled regularly. Buy gifts and enjoy a delicious baked good with a drink. Located at: 8744 Ferry St, Montague. Visit

Norse Laser: This online, locally-based business offers personalized engraving

to make gifts truly unique. Cutting boards, growlers, drink containers, bottle openers, corkscrews, wooden yard signs and more can be ordered with logos, artwork, names and initials. Visit for more information.

From The Heart Yoga and Tai Chi Center: This center offers a variety of classes in yoga, meditation and Tai Chi. This would be a truly relaxing gift. Located at: 714 Wealthy St SE, Grand Rapids. Visit Hypnotherapy Associates of Grand Rapids: For something

non-traditional, maybe a hypnotherapy session might be a unique and appreciated gift for someone struggling to overcome a problem. Hypnotherapy has been known to help aid in smoking cessation, weight management, overcoming fears, certain types of pain, childbirth pain management and more. Visit for more information on services provided. Located at: 1345 Monroe Ave NW, Grand Rapids.

Groupon of Grand Rapids: If stumped on finding a cool gift

for someone young or older, check out the local deals on the Groupon of Grand Rapids site. Many small, local businesses offer discounts through Groupon to gain exposure. It also offers newcomers a chance to try a company without investing too much. Gift options are available, too. There are restaurants, physical activities, health services, automotive and a range of other products. The kids might love an indoor trampoline park visit. Grandparents might enjoy a wine and cheese tasting event. There really is something for everyone.

A Sense of Flow: This might be the best gift someone receives this year. Massage, reflexology, flower essences, detox cleansing sessions and matrix energetics are offered. Gift certificates are available. Located at: 147 Diamond St, Grand Rapids. Visit Clothing Matters: Fashion is the world’s second most pol-

luting industry, but the good news is that there is a healthier way to buy clothing. Stop by 141 Diamond Street SE, Grand Rapids for a truly unique shopping experience. Apparel here is produced with organic cotton, bamboo, hemp, silk, soy and wood-based textiles. This company also partners with fair-trade vendors. Visit for more information.

Village Baker: The gift of delicious food is always a way

to please. This amazing bakery will lure people in with its irresistible aromas. A gift certificate will allow recipients breakfast, lunch, pizza, baked goods and various drink options. Visit Located at: 617 E Savidge Street, Spring Lake.

Heilman’s: This is the place to buy something delicious

for that special someone with a sweet tooth. Nuts, candies, cashew and peanut brittle, coffee, sealed gift tins, glass jars, made-to-order gift baskets and even sugar-free options are available. Located at: 1804 S Westnedge Ave, Kalamazoo. Visit for more information on all that this shop has to offer.

Bookbug: This independent bookstore for all ages offers books of all types. There are even staff book reviews listed and multiple ways on the website to help find just the right book. Online purchasing is available to make it just as convenient as the big bookstores. Located at: 3019 Oakland Dr, Kalamazoo. Visit for more information. West Michigan Charter Fishing: Almost everyone in Michigan probably knows someone who loves to fish. For something unexpected, look into giving a charter fishing trip this year. Group charter packages and rates are listing online. Visit or call 616-218-5918 for more information. Daisy’s Circle: Do not forget the furry friends this holiday season. Pets are an important part of life for so many people. What a wonderful gift food delivery would be for someone and their pet. This unique business offers pet food delivery with a list of food brands available. The online process offers payment online and a schedule sign up for pet food delivery right to the doorstep. Located at: 949 Cherry Street SE, Grand Rapids. Visit for more information.

Julie Reynolds is a contributing writer and has a background in advertising, teaching, writing and real estate. She can be contacted at

ADVERTISE HERE Contact us today for special ad rates.





grow | 616-604-0480 natural awakenings

November 2016




One-Person Pamper Party Natural Ways to Refresh and Renew by April Thompson


ampering ourselves isn’t a luxury so much as a necessity to refresh and renew mind, body and spirit.

A Spa Specialty

Spas have been synonymous with pampering throughout the ages. “Every civilization around the world has had some kind of communal gathering place for people to practice ‘self-healing’,” says Jeremy McCarthy, group director of Spa & Wellness for the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group and author of The Psychology of Spas & Wellbeing. From ancient Greek bathhouses to Japan’s beloved natural hot springs, spas have long served as sacred places of healing and restoration. Indeed, many treatments provided at today’s eco-spas draw inspiration from traditional uses of herbs, honey and olive oil to care for skin and hair. Locally, natural spas’ pampering services may range from botanically based facials and mud masks to herbal body wraps and hot stone massage. Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design certified spas take extra strides toward sustainability through efficient 34

West Michigan Edition

use of renewable energy, green building materials and sound stewardship of resources. “Spas are more important to people today than ever,” says McCarthy. “In the modern age, we all need places to escape from technology, experience moments of quiet contemplation and feel the touch of another human being.” He recently launched a new Digital Detox initiative at Mandarin Oriental hotels, where guests are encouraged to surrender their phones upon arrival at the spa to curtail online distractions. In spa relaxation rooms, they can instead access mindfulness activities such as journaling, note card writing, meditation or simply enjoying the silence.

More Pampering Spots

While busy people tend to put off selfcare, there are treats to suit any schedule or budget—from getting a quick manicure or pedicure at a neighborhood eco-nail salon to visiting a yoga or wellness center. “I build pampering into my week. If you don’t make time for you, who will?” asks Melanie Laporte, a make-

up artist and freelance writer in Washington, D.C. “When your significant other or family members see you taking care of yourself, they’ll honor your time more. I remember Mom taking power baths and telling us, ‘This is my time. I’ll be back in 30 minutes and then we can read together.’ We respected that.” For a quick, healthy pick-me-up, visit an organic juice bar. Opt for businesses that feature fresh, whole ingredients rather than pre-mixed powders or sugar-laden juices; to give the immune system an extra lift, add a natural booster shot of ginger or turmeric. Most grocery stores now carry cold-pressed juices that can pack as much as six pounds of produce into a single bottle. An honored ritual that continues to restore spent spirits is drinking a cup of tea. Whether sipped at home, as a British high tea featuring an organic Earl Grey or as part of a traditional Japanese green tea ceremony steeped in Zen, tea time allows us to slow down and savor the moment along with the aromas in our cup. Also, antioxidantrich tea is fortifying. Salt room visits, another healthy pleasure that has spread throughout the U.S., dates back 150 years to an indigenous Polish practice. Research indicates that salt therapy, or halotherapy, can help improve conditions such as asthma and allergies and support the immune, nervous and lymphatic systems (see Universally restful salt rooms also offer a unique sensory experience. Another highly accessible way to treat body and mind is to move in a joyful way. Consider taking up a playful new class for de-stressing and stretching such as trapeze yoga, conscious dance or any other dance. Aerial yoga, using suspended trapeze-like supports, helps lengthen the spine and strengthen muscles in ways not easily achieved on the ground. Dance delivers health and fitness bonuses in the midst of having fun. If we’re not in the habit of pampering ourselves, it’s time to stretch our beliefs about what we deserve. We’ll find bliss is an attainable luxury. Connect with freelance writer April Thompson, of Washington, D.C., at

Make Home a Spa Zone by April Thompson etween professional spa visits, a doit-yourself spa day at home can be a rewarding and economical treat. “You can create a full day of home spa treatments using ingredients most people have in their kitchen,” advises Lise Andersen, an expert in nature-based cosmetics from Copenhagen, Denmark, and the owner of, offering custom skin and hair care products, individualized formulations and beginner-friendly DIY kits. One of Andersen’s home skincare favorites is simple raw honey, used as a cleanser and face mask. “You can use it alone or in conjunction with an added ingredient like almond meal or ground oats. It rinses off beautifully and both softens and cleanses,” she says. A “facial tea” made with herbs like chamomile, lavender and elder blossom is another of the Scandina-



vian’s at-home favorites. Simply boil water and pour it into a bowl with a handful of herbs, drape a towel over the head, embracing the face and breathe deeply. “It smells wonderful while opening the pores and hydrating the skin,” Andersen says.

Dry brushing with a mitt made with a natural fiber like sisal or jute serves as a quick, everyday pick-meup. It stimulates and exfoliates the body and helps boost circulation. For beautiful cuticles, Andersen suggests a handmade scrub made from raw brown sugar or Himalayan salt combined with a carrier oil like almond or grapeseed. It exfoliates and hydrates, leaving hands feeling silky smooth. To get the most out of a home spa day, prep materials in advance and let family members know that it requires absolute solitude. Complete the spalike atmosphere with relaxing music and naturally scented beeswax candles. Visit for more home spa treatment tips.

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November 2016


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November 2016



LET YOUR LOVE LIGHT SHINE Watch It Brighten Up The Season Advertise in our

December Uplifting Humanity Issue

616-604-0480 West Michigan Edition

The Best are Pet, People and Planet Friendly by Sandra Murphy


he holidays bring buffet feasts, ribboned gifts, stockings of goodies, ornaments and tinsel that to animals all look good enough to eat. Pets can get into trouble, especially if they’re away from home. Boarding may be the best alternative when the family travels for holidays.

Take a Tour

To advertise or participate in our next issue, call 38

Boarding Solutions for Beloved Pets

Brad Nierenberg blogs about dogs at, from Wilmington, Delaware. He relates an experience when friends watched Bitsy, his Cavalier King Charles spaniel, and she escaped out the front door. Fortunately, a neighbor found her. Afterward, he says, “I asked other dog-crazy owners which kennel they’d recommend.” Kennels used to be an indoor cage with a dog door to a fenced run area outside. Dogs could see each other, but not play together. Well-heeled facilities offered fancy amenities, geared more

to impress the owner than comfort the pet and were generally bereft of enriching experiences. “Pets are living, breathing, loving creatures, and boarding facilities not yet up to speed need to catch up to how people feel about pets today,” says Charlotte Biggs, COO of the nonprofit International Boarding and Pet Service Association, near Austin, Texas. It helps its members create safe, responsible pet care facilities by including holistic, positive and green practices in their safety and training manuals. Susan Briggs, co-founder of the independent Professional Animal Care Certification Council for the pet care industry, in Houston, advises, “Take a tour. Kennels should be clean and organized. You should feel comfortable with the staff.” “Do the employees talk about your pet like you’re bringing the car in for an oil change? If it’s ignored in favor

photo courtesy of K-9 Resorts Daycare and Luxury Hotels


photo courtesy of K-9 Resorts Daycare and Luxury Hotels

of paperwork, maybe you should keep looking,” says Josh Brown, owner of Far North Kennel, in Anchorage, Alaska. “You want to go where the staff bends down and lets your pet come to them. It should be obvious your dog’s going to get positive human interaction. When you walk out after touring the facility, you should feel better about boarding than when you walked in.”

Ask Questions

Costs vary, so ask what’s included in the basic fee, such as group play, treats, administered meds, special bedding and feeding the same food as at home. The pet also should be able to have their bed, toys and favorite things with them. Also be clear about medications, health or mobility issues and special bedding or grooming preferences. An apparent bargain can be either less than expected or more expensive once all costs are totaled. “Ask if titers are accepted in lieu of current vaccinations, and don’t feel pressured to over-vaccinate,” advises Briggs, who explains that titers assess levels of immunity from previous vaccinations. She also suggests asking about the facility’s emergency plan, including evacuation. The more information everyone has, the better the pet’s stay will be. Socialized dogs or cats should be able to enjoy group playtime or a communal catio (enclosed indoor/outdoor space for felines); others would rather watch from afar. Stays should be individualized, not uniform. Facility owners suggest first booking a day visit and then an overnight as a test.

Before booking, also ask about unseen factors. Josh Parker, co-founder of K-9 Resorts Daycare and Luxury Hotels, in Fanwood and other New Jersey locations, recommends that boarding clients look for features such as ecofriendly cleaning products; air purifiers and ventilation systems to prevent spreading of germs; a floor plan that reduces stress by limiting views of other animals; lighting that dims at night for restful sleep; a good ratio of staff to pets that allows employees to spend time with nervous boarders, spot any signs of

illness or distress early on and intervene if quarrels arise; and availability of an oncall veterinarian with access to the family vet or nearest emergency facility. Leave a medical directive explaining what should be done if an owner can’t be reached. Flooring at better resorts is antibacterial. Outdoors, artificial grass made of recycled products is soft on paws, drains better than grass and is easier to clean. It’s eco-friendly because it requires no watering, mowing or pesticides.

Stay in Touch

“Some facilities like ours offer webcam options so you can ‘visit’ with your dog while you’re traveling,” says Brown. Texting kennel updates and selfies of an employee with a pet can also ease any worries. “I just want my pet in a place where she is safe, secure, well cared for and loved,” says Nierenberg. Though apart, pets and their people can all enjoy a fresh adventure. Connect with freelance writer Sandra Murphy at

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You Control Your Body’s DNA Expression Genetic Nutrition 616-355-5333 • 311 S. River Ave, Holland, MI 49423 natural awakenings

November 2016



West Michigan Edition

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


BVI School of Ayurveda Accepting Applications: Ayurvedic Consultant Certificate Program. Webinar and On-Site Courses, one weekend a month. State Licensed. NAMA Member. The Sambodh Society, Inc. 6363 N. 24th St., Kalamazoo, MI 49004. Info and Catalog. 269.381.4946. Total Control classes – Fall in love with your pelvic floor, reconnect with your feminine energy and help manage bladder problems. Total Control is a medically based exercise and education program for women of all ages that incorporates pelvic floor exercises, gentle strengthening and stretches for your core and lower back plus behavioral and lifestyle tips. New seven-week classes run Oct. 31-Dec. 15. $49 with scholarships available. Mercy Health Lakes Village, 6401 Prairie St., Norton Shores. Info: Marla Miller 231-727-7944 Complementary Consultation – A consultation is a conversation, not an examination and certainly not a high-pressure sales pitch. After all, we aren’t the right office for everyone, so doesn’t it make sense to discover that before you begin a relationship with our practice? Brain and Body Chiropractic, 833 E 16th St, Ste 175, Holland. Info & Appointments: 616-202-6368. New Client Gift – New Consultation Clients get a Welcome Gift worth over $300. Schedule a consultation with Dr. LeAnn Fritz, ND and you’re entitled to this welcome bag of products to get you started, absolutely FREE! Mention this ad to receive your gift. New Hope Health, 10373 Riverview Dr, Plainwell. Info: 269-204-6525 Inflammation Matters – Looking for ways to compliment your chiropractic care? Come talk with us about nutrition and supplements to reduce inflammation and nourish your nervous system. Open Mon -Fri 9:30 am-7:30pm Sat 10am-5pm, Closed Sunday. 169 Marcell Dr NE, Rockford. Info: or 616-433-9333. Emotional Balance ~ Bliss is Best –Vitamins, minerals, amino acids, essential fatty acids and herbs. Stop in to learn how to maintain mental emotional balance throughout Michigan winters and the entire year! Vital Nutrition, 169 Marcell Dr NE, Rockford. Info: chatterbocks1963@gmail. com or 616-433-9333.


Cooking Matters – 2-3:30pm. Tuesdays November 1–December 6. In partnership with the YMCA, GRPL is pleased to offer Cooking Matters, a sixweek nutritional education program that fights hunger by teaching families how to make healthy food choices on a budget. Participants will learn

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

how to select nutritious and low-cost ingredients and prepare them in ways that provide the best possible nourishment to their families. Participants will receive recipes, books and handouts as well as a bag of groceries containing the ingredients of the day’s lesson. Attendance to all 6 classes is required and registration is required. Grand Rapids Public Library, Main Library – 111 Library St NE. Free. Info: Sign up at 616-988-5400 or


Building Basic Computer Skills – 1-3pm. Are you often confused by computer terms and lingo? By learning the key concepts and basic terminology used in technology, you can build a foundation for digital literacy that will last a lifetime. In this class, you will begin the process of developing the skills you will need to navigate the Internet, mobile devices and many types of software. Free. Grand Rapids Public Library, 111 Library St. NE. Info: or 616-988-5400. Guided Meditation and Healing Circle – 7-8 pm. Escape from stress and discover an inner world of calm, peace & joy through guided meditation, and energy healing from Healing in AmericaTrained Practitioners. $5 Donation. Holistic Care Approach, 3368 Beltline Ct., NE, Grand Rapids. Info: or 269-908-1016.


Workshop: The Building Blocks of Being Upside Down: Inversions from the Ground Up with Hilaire Lockwood – 12-2pm. Inversions in the Yoga practice include any pose where the head is below the heart. Come learn the building blocks to do inversion poses safely. Suited for all levels beginner to advanced! Come with an open mind and an eagerness to explore your potential. (pre-registration & prepayment required $40) Bodhi Tree Yoga & Wellness Studio, 208 W 18th Street, Holland. Info:visit or call 616-392-7580. Prosperity Class – 10-11:30am. Our monthly prosperity group meeting. We will listen to a prosperity story, engage in discussion and create affirmations for our prosperity. This meeting will catapult your mind and provide a new way of prosperous thinking. Free. Spirit Space, 20 Wilderness Rd, Saugatuck. Info: 616-886-2716 or F ro m D o s h a t o D i e t : D i e t a r y B a l a n c e and Weight-Loss the Ayurvedic Way – 10:00am-12:30pm. Sambodh Center, 6363 N. 24th Street, Kalamazoo. Info: Ayurveda@


Reiki Share – 6-8 pm. 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. Contact to register 616-4434225. Info:


Healthy Holidays Group Workshop Series – 7-8pm. Do you struggle through the holidays with stress, eating, or sickness? Healthy holidays are possible! Our group workshop supports goals in nutrition, exercise, and gratitude to be balanced and happy. $10/per session or $50 for all 6 sessions. Grand Rapids Natural Health, 638 Fulton St. W, Suite B, Grand Rapids. Info: jen@ or 616-264-6556


Law of Attraction Class Series – 5:30-6:30pm. The Power of your Thoughts can change your life! Come find out what the law of attraction is and how to incorporate it into your life to create the life you desire. The Remedy House, 5150 Northland Dr, Grand Rapids. Class is donation based, space is limited so call to register at 616-443-4225. Info:


Mala Making Workshop with Chandra – 6:308pm. During this fun-filled workshop, we will go through the history, structure and purpose of Mala Beads. We will spend most of our time designing and stringing your own 108-bead Mala along with wine and appetizers. Fee includes all materials. (preregistration and payment required $45) Bodhi Tree Yoga & Wellness Studio, 208 W 18th St, Holland. Info: or call 616-392-7580 Experiential Reclamation Therapy for Men – 8:30am-4:30pm. A conference for therapists and others who work with men. Explore an effective, innovative, and integrated approach to Men’s Wellness, Recovery, Emotional and Relational Health. Presented by The Men’s Resource Center of West Michigan and Body and Soul Grand Rapids. Event address: 2025 Fulton St E, Grand Rapids. Info: visit Embracing our Belly: Women’s Weekend – The InTuit Institute presents a weekend of women’s events November 11-13 including workshops, yoga, meditation, dance, pampering, film and conversations all for the well-being of our wonderful bellies. On The Path Yoga, 701 E Savage St, Spring Lake. Info including full schedule, pricing, and other offerings: visit or email Sandy@ or call 616-935-7028

natural awakenings

November 2016



Annual Meniere’s Symposium – Burcon Chiropractic. 3501 Lake Eastbrook Blvd NE, Grand Rapids. Info: 616-575-9990 or Free To Be-Unlimited – Explore new realms in a nurturing atmosphere with Bonnie McPherson. Discover your talents for connection through a variety of modalities led by Psychic-Medium Bonnie McPherson. This event looks to be an experience you will not long forget. Class size limited to only 15. $125. From 1 to 5 pm in the quiet, comfortable Milham Room at the Four Points Sheraton on Cork Road in Kalamazoo. Info and register:,, or 269-447-1463.


Reiki I & II class – 9am-5pm - Introduction to Reiki, become attuned to the universal energy, learn how to give treatment to self and others and meet your Reiki guide. Class fee is $250. The fee includes a $50 deposit due at registration. The Remedy House, 5150 Northland Dr, Grand Rapids. Info: Call to register - 616-443-4225 or pawahania@


Read So Hard Book Club – 7-8:30pm. Do you read so hard you have callouses on your fingers from flipping pages? Share your passion for reading and great discussions with the Read So Hard book club! This club is intended for people in their 20s & 30s, but all are welcome. No registration required. Stop by the Info Desk at the Main Library to check out a copy of the next featured book, including audiobooks. Don’t forget about downloadable eBooks on Overdrive too! November’s selection: Strangers on a Train by Patricia Highsmith. Free. Grand Rapids Public Library, Main Branch. Location of event: Harmony Hall – 401 Stocking Ave NW, Grand Rapids. Info: or 6169885400


Law of Attraction Class Series – 6:30-7:30pm. The Power of your Thoughts can change your life! Come find out what the law of attraction is and how to incorporate it into your life to create the life you desire. Class is donation based, The Remedy House 5150 Northland Dr, Grand Rapids. Space is limited so call to register at 616-443-4225. Info: Healthy Holidays Group Workshop Series – 7-8pm. Do you struggle through the holidays with stress, eating, or sickness? Healthy holidays are possible! Our group workshop supports goals in nutrition, exercise, and gratitude to be balanced and happy. $10/per session or $50 for all 6 sessions. Grand Rapids Natural Health, 638 Fulton St. W, Suite B, Grand Rapids. Info: jen@grnaturalhealth. com or 616-264-6556, and gratitude to be balanced and happy.


Cellular Balance - Why Should You Care – 7:00pm. If you are looking for long-term support to looking better and feeling better, this gathering will speak directly to you! Tricia Gosling, B.Sci., and Linda Unterkircher, B.Sci will guide you through the research literature. Location: Wellness Collective GR, 1324 Lake Drive, SE, Grand Rapids. Info:


West Michigan Edition

Tricia Gosling at or Linda Unterkircher at


Guided Meditation and Healing Circle – 7-8 pm. Escape from stress and discover an inner world of calm, peace & joy through guided meditation, and energy therapy from Healing in America-Trained Practitioners. 450 Meadow Run - Suite 400, Hastings. Info: or 269-908-1016.


Meditation & Mindfulness Class – 10-11am. We will cover mindfulness, meditation and the many approaches to a healthy lifestyle through the regular practice of meditation in our monthly meditation class. We emphasize a path to your own meditation style that works with your lifestyle. All are welcome. $10. Spirit Space, 3493 Bluestar Hwy, Saugatuck. Info: or 616-886-2716 or


Suicide and Depression: Surviving the Holidays – 1pm. This is the topic of the November Inspire! event discussion. Participants include Robert Arterburn of Haven United and Sarah Pyne of Grand Haven Cares. Rich Moore will lead music and sing-along. The contemplative moment will be activity to help participants support each other during the winter holidays. The monthly collection will be for a veterans’ organization. Extended Grace, Ferrysburg City Hall building, 17290 Roosevelt Rd, Ridge Street entrance. Info: 616-842-8703 or


EcoTrek Fitness Thanksgiving Eve Adventure Workout – 5:45-7pm. Join EcoTrek Fitness Founder Cari Draft for an outdoor workout adventure suitable for all fitness levels. No RSVP required! $10 drop-in. Parallel park in front of Grand Haven State Park, 1001 S. Harbor Dr, Grand Haven. Info: at or 6162912851.


Ama-Deus Among Us – Last Monday of each month. Alternates between 1-3pm and 6-8pm. Energy healing forum. Meditation/healing sessions for balancing and replenishing. Open to Ama-Deus participants and those interested in experiencing Ama-Deus healing method. Love offering. Unity Center for Spiritual Growth, 6025 Ada Dr SE, Ada. Info: Kim at Building Basic Computer Skills – 7-8:30pm. Are you often confused by computer terms and lingo? By learning the key concepts and basic terminology used in technology, you can build a foundation for digital literacy that will last a lifetime. In this class, you will begin the process of developing the skills you will need to navigate the Internet, mobile devices and many types of software. Free. Grand Rapids Public Library, 111 Library St. NE. Info: or 616-988-5400.


Law of Attraction Class Series – 2-3:00pm & 6:307:30pm. The Power of your Thoughts can change your life! Come find out what the law of attraction is

and how to incorporate it into your life to create the life you desire. Class is donation based, The Remedy House, 5150 Northland Dr, Grand Rapids. Space is limited so call to register at 616-443-4225. Info:


Healthy Holidays Group Workshop Series – 7-8pm. Do you struggle through the holidays with stress, eating, or sickness? Healthy holidays are possible! Our group workshop supports goals in nutrition, exercise, and gratitude to be balanced and happy. $10/per session or $50 for all 6 sessions. Grand Rapids Natural Health, 638 Fulton St. W, Suite B, Grand Rapids. Info: or 616-264-6556

savethedate Save The Date Events

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

savethedate November 12

The Muteflutes in Concert – 6:30-8:30pm. A lyrically driven indie folk band from Grand Rapids. Their unique sound is created by a combo of guitars, piano, synthesizers, drums, banjo, bass, vibraphone, accordion and bells woven together with seamless vocal harmonies. They craft dynamic music that ranges from intimate acoustic folk to soaring post-rock. Unity Center for Spiritual Growth, 6025 Ada Dr. SE, Ada. Info: go to for details.

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

HELP WANTED MASSAGE THERAPIST - Must be licensed and very well experienced. $30/Hr. We provide everything including a gorgeous water view and hydraulic table that is handicap accessible. Must be able to work Mon, Wed, Fri afternoons and every other Saturday. Dr. Burcon will work closely with you on difficult cases in order learn the nuances of his patients. Must be able to perform deep tissue massage, and we have some calls for CranioSacral therapy. If you are knowledgeable in developing x-rays or have experience as a chiropractic assistant, the income is increased. We also have a generous bonus program. Burcon Chiropractic, 3501 Lake Eastbrook Blvd SE, Suite 252, Grand Rapids. Fax resume to 616-575-9995 or e-mail to For more info: 616575-9990 or

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

$20 off BioMeridian Assessments – Food allergies, environmental allergies, organ function and real food menus and shopping lists for families that are healthy and kid-approved. Grand Rapids. 616-3659176.


have it. Hint: You already do. All are welcome. Free. Fountain Street Church, 24 Fountain St. NE, Grand Rapids. 616-458-5095.

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

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



Cooking Matters – 2-3:30pm. November 1 – December 6. In partnership with the YMCA, GRPL is pleased to offer Cooking Matters, a six-week nutritional education program that fights hunger by teaching families how to make healthy food choices on a budget. Participants will learn how to select nutritious and low-cost ingredients and prepare them in ways that provide the best possible nourishment to their families. Participants will receive recipes, books and handouts as well as a bag of groceries containing the ingredients of the day’s lesson. Attendance to all 6 classes is required and registration is required. Grand Rapids Public Library, Main Library – 111 Library St NE. Free. Info: Sign up at 616-988-5400 or

Book Study – 10am-noon. The Mastery of Love by Don Miguel Ruiz. We meet each Friday from 10am – noon. We will discuss the teachings of the Toltec path and engage in creative expression. Free. Spirit Space, 20 Wilderness Rd, Saugatuck. Info: 616-886-2716

Spirit Space Sunday Worship – 10:30am. An interfaith, non-denominational gathering place for worship and spiritual enrichment. Join for inspiring messages called Reasoning’s. Spirit Space, 3493 Blue Star Hwy, Saugatuck. Info: 616-836-1555 or Sunday Series – 6pm. Explore spirituality, universal truths, self-mastery and balanced, positive, loving and joyful living with The Coptic Center and their ongoing offering of enlightening ministers, teachers and guest presenters. Love offering. 0-381 Lake Michigan Dr, Grand Rapids. Info: Community Yoga class – 9-10am $5.00 donation goes towards the charity of the month. $5. Bodhi tree Yoga & wellness Studio, 208 W 18th Street, Holland. Info: call 616-392-7580 or go to

Monday Chair Yoga – 10:30-11:30. Incorporate movements and breathing exercises designed to assist with relaxation and increase mobility, balance, and strength. A chair and other props will be used to safely modify this yoga class for all fitness and mobilit levels. This class is a great gentle option for those who use a cane or walker,have limited mobility,or have recent injuries. Special $10.00 per class. 208 W 18th Street, Holland. Info: call 616-392-7580 or go to The Practice of A Course in Miracles – 7-8:30pm. Learn miracle-mindedness. Got joy? This is how to

Answers to Weight Loss – 9am-3pm. Weight Loss efforts by almost all individuals is a repetitious circle of struggles. My goal is to assist people with this. Free. HEALTH COACH GREEN MEDICINE, Kroc Center, 2500 South Division, Grand Rapids. Info: 616-538-8216 or 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: 231-740-6662or

Wednesday Healthy Lifestyle/Weight loss Clinic – 6-7:30 pm. Enroll Now for our 13 week Healthy Lifestyle/ Weight loss program where you receive personalized coaching from a naturopath to help achieve your goals. Space is limited. $249 - Register by calling 616-443-4225. The Remedy House 5150 Northland Dr, Grand Rapids. Register by calling 616-4434225. Info:

saturday Beginning Yoga – 8:30-9:45am. This class will introduce you to basic postures, breathing techniques, and mindfulness with an emphasis on building body awareness. Gentle yet relaxing in nature, you will leave feeling relaxed, rejuvenated and having a greater sense of health and well-being. $12 drop-in. Hearts Journey Wellness Center, 6189 Lake Michigan Dr, Allendale. Info: visit us at or Hot Yoga – 10:15-11:30am. Sweat with this active, energetic, athletic style of yoga with traditional poses in a hot room. Not recommended for people with heart or lung conditions or those not engaged in regular exercise. $12 drop-in. Hearts Journey Wellness Center, 6189 Lake Michigan Dr, Allendale. or info@ Gentle Hatha Yoga – 915-10:15am & 11-12:15am. With Mitch Coleman. Drop-ins welcome. White River Yoga Studio, 8724 Ferry St, Montague. 231740-6662. Info: Sweetwater Local Foods Market – 9am-1pm. A double-up bucks and bridge card market. Hackley Health at the Lakes building on Harvey St. Located inside during inclement weather. Muskegon. 231-861-2234.

Stay Informed Throughout The Month @

natural awakenings

November 2016


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West Michigan Edition

Natural Awakenings recently received the prestigious FBR50 Franchise Satisfaction Award. Our publishers ranked us among the highest in franchise satisfaction for our Training, Support, Core Values and Integrity!



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


Vikki Nestico, R.Ac. Located at Renewal Skin Spa 6080 28th St. SE, Grand Rapids 616-940-1177 • At Grand Wellness, we focus on a holistic approach to wellness, promoting healing through acupuncture, herbal therapy and lifestyle modifications. Call to set up a free consultation to discuss how Chinese medicine can help your specific health concerns. See ad, page 21.


Andrew Gielczyk Licensed Builder 616-834-2480 • Wood & Saw is focused on creating a sustainable high quality of life for our clients. Building simple, costeffective, energy-efficient, toxic-free homes and remodels that achieve the healthiest possible indoor air quality. See ad, page 30.

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

Our doctors provide a comprehensive solution to resolving problems of the spine and nervous system. Dr. Semrow is one of 400 doctors in the country certified in the functional neurology protocol for neurostructural correction. See ad, page 28.

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

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



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

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


Dr. Denise Rackham 9396 Greenville Rd. Greenville, MI 48838 616-754-7717 Dr. Rackham has developed a unique adjusting technique that is special for the relief of headaches. Your Complete Alternative H e a l t h c a r e C e n t e r. Services include: Chiropractic, Massage, Acupuncture, Hydro Colonic Therapy, Hypnotherapy, Weight Loss program, Foot Bath Detox.


Mary De Lange, CCT, LMT 1003 Maryland Ave, N.E., Grand Rapids 616-456-5033 • Certified therapist since 1991 offering colon therapy in a sterile and professional environment. Using a holistic approach, colonics relieve constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating, poor digestion, back pain, body odor and more. See ad, page 28.


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


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

ESSENTIAL OILS BE YOUNG ESSENTIAL OILS Clara VanderZouwen 616-481-8587 Independent Sharing partner Keto OS (get your Ketones)

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


Rick Hayhurst Wellness Services & Education 100 Blue Star Highway, Suite D, Douglas 269-568-5556 or 888-489-9660 Info@BodyBizInc.Biz • BodyBizInc.Biz Young Living essential oils are time tested, researched based formulas that support every aspect of living. As seen on the Today Show, essential oils impact all areas of being by enhancing a positive emotional state, bringing mental clarity, supporting physical wellness, home cleaners, skin care and promoting a deep spiritual awareness. Income opportunities available! Member #: 3886397. See ad, page 48.

natural awakenings

November 2016



Cottage of Natural Elements 351 Cummings, NW Grand Rapids 616-735-1285 • Your local source for all things natural and botanical. Essential oils, bulk herbs, tea, hand-crafted bath & body products, raw ingredients, containers, local artwork, unique gifts. Practitioner discounts. Space rental and artisan consignment. See ad, page 23.

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


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


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 19.


Bob Huttinga PA-C & Rev. Barbara Huttinga 332 S. Lincoln Ave., Lakeview 989-352-6500 Naturopathic/Holistic Practitioners and retail health store. Natural health consultations, classes, oils, h e r b s , h o m e o p a t h y, hypnosis, foods, candles, crystals, books, CD’s, massage, reflexology, emotional clearing, raindrop therapy, foot detox, DOT/CDL health cards for truck drivers. See ad, page 15.


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


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


Jodi Jenks Natural Health Practitioner, Reiki Master 616-443-4225 Certified in bodywork, lymphatic drainage, raindrop therapy, CranioSacral, reflexology, iridology, natural health consultations including a zyto bio-communication scan. Emotional clearing with essential oils and energy work, reiki, Energy Touch. See ad, page 30.

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


Guided Transformations 9964 Cherry Valley SE, Ste. 2, Caledonia 616-401-7199 • Registered nurse specializing in lifestyle change, weight management and pain reduction. Restoring balance and harmony using Healing Touch, reflexology, aromatherapy, guided imagery & visualization practices.

Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced. ~Søren Kierkegaard


West Michigan Edition


332 S. Lincoln Ave., Lakeview 989-352-6500 A Certified PA since 1976, Bob Huttinga practices both traditional and homeopathic care. He finds the cause and the homeopathic remedy. Most insurance accepted, except Priority Health, Blue Care Network or Medicaid. See ad, page 15.


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 24.


Rick Hayhurst Wellness Services & Education 100 Blue Star Highway, Suite D, Douglas 269-568-5556 or 888-489-9660 Info@BodyBizInc.Biz • BodyBizInc.Biz Welcome to Community Massage at Body Biz, Inc. The Massage School in Douglas, Michigan, where students gift their time to raise money for our Scholarship Fund. Your $40 donation is used for tuition assistance. Your donation at work means future jobs for students who, with your help, can improve personal circumstance through short-term training for a long-term career! For your donation, you’ll receive a 55 Minute Student Massage Therapy Session for stress management and/or to reduce soft tissue pain and dysfunction. See ad, page 48.


Rick Hayhurst Wellness Services & Education 100 Blue Star Highway, Suite D, Douglas 269-568-5556 or 888-489-9660 Info@BodyBizInc.Biz • BodyBizInc.Biz As a Clinical Massage Therapist with 25 years of training and experience, Rick Hayhurst supports patients back to health from a whole person perspective. Through following conversational and visual cues, each session is a unique journey of discovery inviting underlying

traumas to be revealed. Sessions are about creating positive change, or healing, and may include any or all of the following tools: traditional massage and bodywork, guided imagery, wellness and energy coaching, quietude, breath work, work with colors, and specific vibrational frequencies or energies. See ad, page 48.

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

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


Mary De Lange, CCT., LMT. 1003 Maryland Ave. NE, Grand Rapids 616-456-5033 Over 24 years of professional experience and trained in a complete range of modalities. Whether you are seeking relaxation, renewal or treatment for a specific condition, Mary will help find an approach that is helpful for you. See ad, page 28.


Raechel Haller, LMT 302 Hoover Blvd, Holland 616-422-4717 Focused massage therapy to assist injuries and strains during rehab or recovery, decrease stress and anxiety, or ease symptoms of chronic or acute pain.


Rick Hayhurst Wellness Services & Education 100 Blue Star Highway, Suite D, Douglas 269-568-5556 or 888-489-9660 Info@BodyBizInc.Biz • BodyBizInc.Biz Meditation is an opportunity to receive energy, or vibratory frequencies, that can support you in your daily life. If you’re managing stress, pain, or the various demands of life, meditation can support you by bringing in the energies needed to nurture and nourish each aspect. As we meditate, together we’ll balance our bodies, clear unneeded and unwanted energies and traumas and then go on a journey to receive the desired vibratory frequencies. See ad, page 48.




Claire Crowley BS, MM, 500 hr ERYT 1324 Lake Dr, Ste 7, Grand Rapids 616-295-1861 An opportunity to experience emotional and physical wellbeing through meditation and reiki, Moment of Peace aspires to help you savor each moment, embrace all that your life offers and celebrate the joy of everyday. See ad, page 28.


Patrice Bobier CPM Hesperia: 231-861-2234 Jennifer Holshoe Grand Rapids area: 616-318-1825


Rick Hayhurst Wellness Services & Education 100 Blue Star Highway, Suite D, Douglas 269-568-5556 or 888-489-9660 Info@BodyBizInc.Biz • BodyBizInc.Biz Remember those days at Summer Camp where you were with your friends all day long; where you had classes, but it didn’t feel like school; where you were enriched by experiences unique to camp; where you look back fondly on the memories? Massage School is very much like summer camp. New friends, new experiences, and new skills; all the while, discovering new parts of yourself! Flexible schedule and financial plans available! See ad, page 48.


In private practice since 1982 - specializing in home birth and a team approach. Over 1,550 births attended. Offering midwifery care that maintains a family-centered safe birth experience. Empowering women to stay healthy during pregnancy, give birth naturally and parent in the best ways. Free initial consultations including prenatal check-up.

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

Ruth Small, Ph.D., Director 269-381-4946

School of Ayurveda. State licensed. Certificate program for healthcare professionals, doctors, nurses, yoga teachers, wellness educators, massage therapists, holistic health specialists, chiropractors, dieticians and those seeking to learn selfhealth-care. Instructors highly qualified (B.A.M.S.).

SKIN CARE LAKESHORE NATURAL SKIN CARE 10500 Chicago Drive Holland Twp • Zeeland 231-557-3619

Transformative counseling, workshops, energywork, breathwork, rebirthing and emotional clearing, all with confidential, caring support. Collaborative, active and affirming approach for adults wanting to break free and move into true authentic living. Close to downtown Grand Rapids.


Specializing in advanced, customized skin care with Elina Organics. Facials, body treatments, needle-free Mesotherapy, TriPolarRF, DermaLaser, Facial Hydratherapy, Oxygen Facial Therapy, LED, microdermabrasion, bamboo massage, Raindrop, reiki and more. See ad, page 35.



5286 Plainfield Ave, NE, Grand Rapids 616-364-9191 An award-winning hair stylist with 30 years advanced education, that uses and sells organic hair care products as well as uses a professional line of organic hair color. Ionic Detox Foot Baths also available.


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.

natural awakenings

November 2016


Is A New MASSAGE THERAPY career in your future?

Touching Lives, one Body aT a Time

Learn from industry experts about a rewarding career in Massage Therapy!

ClassEs offErED...

Diploma program • prEgnanCy massagE • Continuing EDuCation • swEDish massagE • Community massagE • aCE massagE Cupping • • shoshin shiatsu • stuDEnt CliniCs

rEgistEr toDay...

frEE massagE tablE, books & matErials whEn rEgistEring for our Diploma program!* * conditions apply

• prE-rEgistEr for ClassEs anD saVE monEy! •

Financial Plans Available — 700 Hour Massage Therapy Diploma Program

We welcome your call! 269.568.5556 or 888.489.9660 o V u a : t l m r



West Michigan Edition






100 Blue Star Highway, Suite D, Douglas, Michigan 49406 •

Natural Awakenings Magazine ~ November 2016  
Natural Awakenings Magazine ~ November 2016