May 2018

Page 1






Natural Strategies for Serious Illness

Paths to Wellness Finding Balance Inside and Out

May 2018 | FairďŹ eld County/Housatonic Valley Edition | May 2018


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May 2018



Contents THE BALANCE WITHIN Integrating the Shadow Where Beauty Hides


SEED CYCLING FOR HORMONAL HEALTH A Gentle Dietary Option for Women of All Ages



Use Nature’s Clues to Improve and Maintain Wellness



HEALING THE HARD STUFF Natural Approaches Resolve Major Illnesses





Answers to Common Questions


Y U to a free pilates class





Nature Helps Kids Build Skills and Character

DEPARTMENTS 7 news briefs 16 health briefs 18 global briefs 19 fit body 20 mastering yoga 30 healing ways 38 naturally Mind-Body Connection Pilates | New Milford, CT | 860.350.3643


Fairfield County/Housatonic Valley Edition

healthy pet 40 natural pet 42 pet resource guide

18 43 44 46 48 50 55 59 60 66 66

inspiration healthy kids therapy spotlight wise words inspired table calendar classifieds resource guide cosmic rhythms ad index

Natural Awakenings is your guide to a healthier, more balanced life. In each issue readers find cutting-edge information on natural health, nutrition, fitness, personal growth, green living, creative expression and the products and services that support a healthy lifestyle.

Expanding Possibility Through Vision h Eyecare Associates, PC • Comprehensive Eye Exams for All Ages • olutions or Dry Eyes, omputer se ports • Exceptional Treatment or Eye Diseases • igh uality Eyeglasses pecialty ontact enses • Iridology, ision Therapy Preventive ision Care


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ADVERTISING & SUBMISSIONS HOW TO ADVERTISE To advertise with Natural Awakenings or request a media kit, please contact us at 203-885-4674 or email Deadline for ads: the 12th of the month. EDITORIAL SUBMISSIONS Visit Deadline for News Briefs: the 12th of the month. CALENDAR SUBMISSIONS Visit Deadline for magazine calendar listings: the 12th of the month. Website calendar listings may be entered at any time. REGIONAL MARKETS Advertise your products or services in multiple markets! Natural Awakenings Publishing Corp. is a growing franchised family of locally owned magazines serving communities since 1994. To place your ad in other markets call 239-434-9392. For franchising opportunities call 239-530-1377 or visit

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FAIRFIELD COUNTY/ HOUSATONIC VALLEY PUBLISHER Nicole Miale EDITORS Michelle Bense Ariana Rawls Fine DESIGN & PRODUCTION Kathleen Fellows Erica Mills CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Robert Brody Karen Hand Ulrike Keck Gregg Kirk Mary Oquendo Lindsey Wells SALES & MARKETING Alexa Ferrucci Nicole Miale WEBSITE Erica Mills DISTRIBUTION Man in Motion LLC

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letter from publisher


ay is Women’s Wellness month at Natural Awakenings. That has had me thinking about what it means in this day and age to be “well”? It seems to me it has become a ubiquitous word but one without real meaning. It’s like answering “I’m fine” when asked, “How are you?” “How do you feel?” “I’m well.” Are you really? What do those words truly mean to you? On what are you measuring your wellness? As I’ve been ruminating on the questions, I’ve realized that, for me, wellness absolutely means feeling in alignment. Not just Nicole Miale physical in nature, wellness requires attention to all areas of life. It means that since I was a busy beaver at many Earth Dayrelated events on the weekends in April, I gave myself permission to take some weekday mornings off and enjoy time with my dogs…despite imminent deadlines. It means knowing when to push through inertia to get things done…and when to respect my body’s need for rest and rejuvenation by soaking in a long bath, visiting a salt cave or seeking out an energy treatment or massage. It means not only asking for help (lesson one), but also being happy to receive it rather than being ashamed at needing to ask (lesson two). Some of these lessons are easier for me than others; I suspect I’m not alone in having these experiences. Thanks to the miracle of modern technology, women around the world are able to share their stories of seeking wellness with each other, revealing their wisdom, and demonstrating their strength and faith in creating a better world in the face of sometimes overwhelming obstacles. As many amazing trailblazing women demonstrate every day, having a vision and believing in it can be enough to overcome a multitude of challenges, including lack of knowledge, uncertainty, doubting ourselves and limited resources. In my role as publisher, I am blessed to meet and work with many successful, brilliant women in our community. I am honored and grateful to have this continuous opportunity to both witness and support their endeavors, which also, in turn, affords me inspiration and support when my own balance is off-kilter. This month, our articles focus on common concerns of women who truly want to be “well” and not just say so. As always, our local and national contributors provide insight, information and empowering practical ideas to help you make changes that feel right for you. Being aligned with wellness intention makes life not only easier, but more enjoyable. Foster the positive rather than pushing against the negative. Seek what contributes to your well-being, whether it is a thought, deed, people, supplements, products and/or services. In doing so, you honor yourself, which in turn nurtures others and creates healthier communities. Celebrating the well-est version of you and the women in your life!

Natural Awakenings Magazine is ranked 5th Nationally in CISION’S® 2016 Top 10 Health & Fitness Magazines

See our advertiser index on page 66, making it easier to find the resources you need.

Natural Awakenings is printed on recycled newsprint with soy-based ink.


Fairfield County/Housatonic Valley Edition

news briefs

Using a New Lens to View Lyme


xperts from diverse fields collaborating to advance Lyme disease research, treatment and education will showcase their latest projects at Lyme Connection’s 12th Annual Patient Conference and Health Fair this month. Looking at Lyme Through a New Lens will take place on May 17 at Western Connecticut State University’s Westside Campus Student Center. Doors will open at 5pm, giving attendees time to visit the Lyme-focused health fair, featuring Lyme-literate practitioners, diagnostic laboratories, and manufacturers offering prevention and patient support products. The evening program begins at 7pm with the presentation of Lyme Connection’s second Courage in Journalism Award to Lew Leone, vice president and general manager of WNYW-FOX 5 TV. Leone conceptualized and was the executive producer of the Emmy Award-winning TV special, Lyme and Reason: The Cause and Consequence of Lyme Disease. His wife also suffers with Lyme. Attendees will then hear from internationally acclaimed speakers, including Wiltonbased internist and tick-borne diseases specialist Dr. Steven Phillips, Duke University oncologist Dr. Neil Spector (by video) and patient advocate Dana Parish. They will share treatment insights and news about research projects they are collaborating on. The trio is involved in a first-of-its-kind joint-research project through Duke University, Johns Hopkins University and Tulane University, taking the same precision medicine techniques for drug discovery used in the fields of cancer and HIV and directing them toward finding a cure for Lyme disease and Bartonella. A roundtable question-and-answer session with Phillips, Parish and Leone will conclude the evening. Admission is free thanks to the support of this year’s sponsors: Dr. Roseann CapannaHodge, Global Lyme Diagnostics, Hopkinton Drug, IGeneX, Inc., Nutramedix, SOPHIA Natural Health Center and Tick Box Technology Corporation. The event is free and open to the public for all parts of the agenda. For more information and registration, visit or LymeConnection. Location: WestConn Westside Student Center, 43 Lake Ave Extension, Danbury. See ad, page 36.

SUNDAY • MAY 6, 2018 • Albany The Desmond Hotel & Conference Center

Meditation Teacher Training Course Offered


nhance your personal practice or add to your yoga teacher training by becoming certified to teach meditation through a 100-hour Meditation Teacher Training course. Led by Berta Prevosti, owner of Stratford-based Jiiva Yoga and Wellness Center, the course will include the theory and philosophy of meditation, an in-depth study of different types of meditation and their applications, and teaching practicum. Graduates of this course will be certified as a 100-hour meditation facilitator. Weekly classes will take place from June 10 to October 29. The schedule is alternating Sundays from 6-9pm, Wednesdays 5-9pm and Mondays from 5-9pm (check website for exact dates). The fee is $1,200 with payment plans available. A $250 deposit is due upon registration. The deposit and tuition paid to date are non-refundable after May 13. For more information and to register, visit Location: Jiiva Yoga, 2900 Main St, Stratford. See ad, page 21.

There is nothing like a dream to create the future. ~Victor Hugo


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Physical • Social • Emotional • Intellectual • Spiritual • Financial • Environmental May 2018


Eco Chic Salon Encourages Being Well and Beautiful

news briefs

Hands-on Art Summer Youth Program


he Brookfield Craft Center is offering an exciting opportunity for our communities’ youth to explore their creative energies in the Hands-on Art Summer Youth Program. Weekly half-day and full-day programs will be offered during four weeks (July 9-13, July 23-27, August 6-10 and August 20-24) on the Brookfield Craft Center campus. Each of the week-long classes will be a guided learning experience in a supportive environment. Classes will include Blacksmithing, Glass Beadmaking, Clay, Fiber Arts, Fused Glass, Jewelry and others. Small classes with highly skilled and professional artist/craft teachers and assistants will offer lots of individual help; they will allow each child a hands-on exploration of their personal creativity and the process of artmaking. Some scholarships are available for the Summer Youth Program. If you know a child interested in a class that is deserving of a scholarship, complete a submission form on the website. For additional information and a complete list of classes, call 203775-4526, email or visit Location: 286 Whisconier Rd, Brookfield. See ad, page 4.


co Chic Salon Spa & Blow Dry Bar opened its doors in Wilton in April; their stylists are dedicated to the use of environmentally friendly products. In addition to Eco Chicbranded products—such as a new revitalizing and highlighting Marigold shampoo and conditioner— clients will have the opportunity for alternative hair services with less toxic variations from the typical salon experience. They also have the opportunity for a 100 percent chemical-free hair care experience. Additional unique elements of the salon include distilled pure water, recycled paper towels and glassware, and certified organic teas or European coffees with raw honey. There will be gift cards made with pre-wood and biodegradable material as well as marketing materials and business cards with plantable seed paper. Cleaning products will be non-toxic and live green plants in the salon will be specifically selected not only for décor, but to ensure naturally purified air. To schedule an appointment, call 203-286-9632. Location: 16 Center St, Wilton. See ad, page 26.


TOXINS Toxins drive neurological, metabolic (including weight gain), immune and cardiovascular illnesses – and any disease ending in “itis”. We have the knowledge and technology to help your body heal itself. For 25+ years, our patients have enjoyed remarkable success with naturopathic treatments which cleanse, detox, nourish, repair and balance. Call us to schedule an appointment:


Fairfield County/Housatonic Valley Edition



D r M a r v i n S c h w e i t z e r. c o m 2 0 3 . 8 4 7. 2 7 8 8

1 We s t p o r t A v e n u e Norwalk, CT 06851

Salt Cave Flourishes in Darien

The Salt Cave of Darien is excited to celebrate its six-month anniversary of being open and breathing healthfully. This salt cave surrounds visitors with tons of authentic Himalayan pink salt, which contains anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties as well as 84 minerals and nutrients. As the purest natural salt for inhalation, breathing the vapors takes healing properties deep into the respiratory system. It can help over time for some people with respiratory conditions and skin ailments while the negative ions it contains are great for stress relief and inflammation issues. Owner Arianne O’Donnell opened the Salt Cave of Darien as a direct response to her stress from work. Realizing that the high stress levels were not sustainable, she set out to learn more about the calming benefits of this salt. O’Donnell traveled to a famous Poland salt mine called Wieliczka, which has a health resort for treatment of patients. The facility also uses the brine in a line they created of cosmetic face and body products that O’Donnell sells at her location. In addition to adult and children sessions (where children play in the salt), the Salt Cave of Darien offers sessions like meditation, yoga, stretch and coffee chats. Clients can rent the entire cave for a group event up to 12 people for a happy hour. For more information on the salt cave and events, call 203-658-7667 or visit Location: 555 Post Rd, Darien.


Holistic Health Fair Focuses on Kids


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n May 12 from 10am to 4pm, New Morning Market in Woodbury will host a children’s holistic health fair featuring resources and fun activities for the whole family. Discover holistic options for and information about allergies, asthma and food sensitivity treatments with low-dose immunotherapy; autism, ADHD, ADD and SPD health coaching; epigenetics (root causes of disease); essential oils; family nutrition and healthy meal habits; herbalism; holistic psychotherapy; homeopathy; hypnosis; Juice Plus nutrition system; Lyme disease coaching; music therapy; naturopathic medicine; organic personal care products; PANS/PANDAS; and more. The keynote speakers for the day are Beth Lambert from Epidemic Answers and Gabriella True from New England PANS/PANDAS Association. There will also be other presentations, exhibitors, authors, children’s activities, a parents’ “lounge” and other attractions. Raffle prizes will be awarded all day. A New Morning Market coupon booklet and Children’s Holistic Health Magazine will be available while supplies last. Tickets are free (one per family). The Children’s Holistic Health Fair’s (CHHF) mission is to help families flourish and thrive by offering holistic resources for health and behavioral challenges. CHHF showcases programs, products and services to meet the demands of raising children with socialemotional, behavioral, learning, developmental and health issues such as ADHD, SPD, autism, executive function, allergies, asthma, motor function, constipation/digestion and ODD. For more information, a full list of participants and to sign up for the event, go to Location: New Morning Market, 129 Main St N, Woodbury. See ad, page 15.

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news briefs

Ideal Protein Clinic at The Ruby Tree


osing weight can be a challenge, but the process of weight loss is simple. The Ruby Tree, a metaphysical shop and healing space in Woodbury, has brought on Lose For Life 2. After seeing her brother Ed Boisits, Jr.’s 60-pound weight loss, Ruby Tree owner and clinical nutritionist Christina Boisits-O’Keefe decided to partner with him and Kathy Bellini, owner of the Lose for Life clinic in Thomaston. The Ideal Protein Protocol is medically designed, and is consistent with evidence-based guidelines for long-term weight loss management. The four-phase protocol features two key components: a 12-month stabilization period and healthy lifestyle education. It incorporates ongoing one-on-one coaching, customized lifestyle guidance tools, and a plan that is outcome-focused to maintain healthy, long-term results. The protocol tackles the root cause of metabolic syndrome, the body’s overproduction of insulin, by restricting consumption of sugars and carbohydrates, thereby achieving results through lowering poor fat intake while maintaining adequate protein intake to preserve muscle mass. For more information and updates on upcoming educational sessions, call 203-586-1381 or email See ad, page 22.

New Nonprofit Spreading Love and Positivity


n May 11 from 7 to 9pm, Love Has a Home, Inc. will celebrate its official launch with a community event in Westport at the Westport Women’s Club. This nonprofit organization is on a mission to spread love throughout the world through a diverse line of products featuring the phrase, “Love has a home here.” For the first time, the products will be on display and available for purchase. There will be live music, appetizers, cocktails and a surprise guest. The idea for Love Has a Home came to founder Bill Donaldson of Donaldson Financial Wellness Network LLC, after seeing far too much negativity everywhere he turned, even in messages that suggested resisting the negativity. He decided to create an organization dedicated to positivity and love. Donaldson refers to many of the great leaders that created change through peace, such as Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi, as his inspiration. For tickets and more information, visit Location: Westport Women’s Club, 44 Imperial Ave, Westport. 10

Fairfield County/Housatonic Valley Edition

Socially Conscious Dance Company Debuts

Victoria F. Shaw, PhD, LPC

Intuitive & Consultant LPC Shaw, PhD, F.Psychotherapist Victoria

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Combining the best of traditional psychotherapy with intuitive guidance in Combining the best of traditional psychotherapy with working with children, teens and adults. intuitive guidance in working with children, teens and adults. Offices in Wilton, Westport and Fairfield.

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hen her casting call for a new dance company hit dance publications, Michelle Sperry, director of CT Theater Dance Company, received inquiries from around the world. The establishment of CT Theater Dance Company is a longtime dream of Sperry; the company will share messages of social understanding and performance outreach with local families in Fairfield County venues and hopes to expand into New York. The company is comprised of local, national and international professional dancers coming together to bring awareness to social issues through movement, unique lighting, music and emotion. Its mission is to inspire empathy and internal awareness through prolific contemporary ballet choreography, deep emotions, pensive thought and compassionate inquiry. Each performance will champion the cause of a local nonprofit and contain dedicated pieces of choreography used to highlight the cause and the passion projects of these specific organizations. Dancers are training daily with worldrenowned choreographer Rodney Rivera and company resident choreographer Alejandro Ulloa at CT Theater Dance’s studios. The company also provides professional dance education to dancers of all ages, levels and interest. Scholarships are available to local youth through their ENCORE Youth Scholarship Program. Sperry recently unveiled the company’s new pieces at the Westport Playhouse in Blue for Dance, a production to raise awareness about autism.

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news briefs

Allergy Clinic Offered at UB

Forum Explores Mental Body and Gut Link


he Mental Gut Health Forum, a lecture, panel discussion and Q&A led by Brian R. Clement, PhD, will take place May 6 from 1 to 6pm at the Westport Inn. Francesca Vitale, founder and director of the Westchester, New York-based The Healing Force, organized this event to educate and bring awareness to mental illness, and the correlation between the Francesca Vitale mind and the gut. The author of Food Is Medicine, Clement is a licensed nutritionist and the director of the Hippocrates Health Institute in West Palm Beach, Florida. “He’s had five decades on the front lines of natural health care, which gives him the tools to explain in great detail, and in terms that are easy to understand, how we can fix this universal problem,” Vitale says. “How many people who are suppressing their minds with medicine and often residing in institutions just need to change their gut health?” After Clement’s lecture, psychotherapists, analysts and others in the field of alternative medicine will join a panel discussion based on this narrative, Vitale says. Panelists include Robert Inesta, a chiropractor, licensed acupuncturist and functional medicine practitioner; Elaine Zietler, a colon hydrotherapist; and Jane K. Gelsi, PhD, a licensed clinical social worker and the director of the Austin Group for Counseling. To register, visit or call Francesca Vitale at 914-837-6830. Location: Westport Inn, 1595 Post Rd East, Westport.


he University of Bridgeport’s College of Naturopathic Medicine is sharing some special offers to introduce the community to naturopathic medicine, including a special clinic focused on seasonal allergies which will take place on May 5 from 8:30am to 12:30pm. Allergy season is in full swing. Tired of sneezing in the spring and fall? Wondering why your eyes water? Look at some answers for these concerns and hear about natural approaches to get relief from your symptoms. On May 5, make an appointment to learn how to manage allergies naturally and safely without side effects. Therapies include herbal medicines, diets to reduce allergic reactions and nutritional supplements. In addition to the Saturday clinic, patients with other health issues they wish to be treated for can make an appointment to come in on other dates in May. The clinics are low cost and no insurance is needed. The naturopath school is extending a special May-only offer for new patients; their first three visits will be complimentary. To accept this offer, you will be required to complete a brief pre- and post-visit survey about your experience. After the third visit, your name will be entered into the raffle to win an iPad. Call 203-576-4349 to schedule an appointment for the clinic. For more information, visit UB-Clinics/Naturopathic-Medicine-Clinic. Location: 60 Lafayette St, Bridgeport.

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We offer non-medication alternatives for healing, including: Neurofeedback and Biofeedback , Counseling, Hypnosis, EFT/Tapping and our 360° Reboot® Program

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Fairfield County/Housatonic Valley Edition

We treat the following conditions: ADHD / ADD / Executive Functioning Anxiety & Anxiety-Related Disorders Autism Behavioral & Social Issues Chronic Pain / Fibromyalgia Concussion / TBI Depression / Mood Issues Learning Disability / Dyslexia Lyme, PANDAS/PANS Chronic Health Conditions PTSD / Trauma Seizures Sleep Problems

Holistic Psychotherapy Expands


fter 20 years as a solo practitioner, Sherry Minniti D’Elia, LCSW, is being joined by fellow therapist, Mary Frank, and the newly expanded practice has been renamed Holistic Psychotherapy. A licensed professional counselor, Frank received her master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling from Fairfield University. Sherry Minniti She has experience working in The CounselD’Elia ing Center at Sacred Heart University and LifeBridge Community Services. Holistic Psychotherapy’s approach helps people to align their body, mind and spirit to promote optimal physical and mental health. The therapists offer a variety of techniques including behavioral, cognitive-behavioral, meditative, emotional and energy healing Mary Ellen Frank techniques to facilitate lasting change. D’Elia and Frank work with children, adolescents and adults in individual, family and couples therapy. Their specialties include trauma, grief and loss, relationship issues, addiction, depression, anxiety, and chronic pain. They are considered out-of-network providers and offer a sliding scale rate. Evening and weekend hours are also now available. In addition to the primary location in Darien, they will now offer appointments at a satellite office in Fairfield. Free telephone consultations are also provided. For more information and appointments, contact Sherry D’Elia at 203-655-4854. See ad, page 27.

Creating Social and Spiritual Bonds with Wampum


he Institute for American Indian Studies in Washington is hosting a Wampum demonstration on May 19 at 1pm. Join Annawon Weeden, Mashpee Wampanoag, for a three-hour demonstration and discussion about this significant aspect of Native American culture in the Eastern Woodlands. Did you know that the purple and white beads carved from quahog and whelk shells known, as wampum, have been used for centuries in Native communities to create social and spiritual bonds? To Native peoples, wampum was never considered money, but it was always valuable. Today, Native artists and culture bearers continue to craft wampum jewelry and use wampum belts to record tribal history. The workshop is included in the price of museum admission at $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and $6 for children. The Institute for American Indian Studies members are free.

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news briefs

Clean Food 4 Ur Type Announces New Services

Workspace Education Broadens Independent Learning Options

lean Food 4 Ur Type has announced new and expanded services in the area, enriching its holistic wellness portfolio. Adding to her extensive culinary business, Chef Eliana Grubel, a boardcertified health coach by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners and member of the Unites States Personal Chef Association, is now offering shortEliana Grubel term detox solutions, ranging from five days to four weeks. Detoxes offer a personalized kick-start to get full control of your well-being in the comfort of your home. The detox solution includes nutritious, satisfying meals made with antioxidant-packed vegetables and fruits, plant-based proteins, detoxifying cold-pressed juices and smoothies, and probioticrich fermented foods. Menus are carefully crafted to use ingredients that will fully benefit individual clients. Chef Eliana is offering free workshops on DIY Detoxing to engage the community, as well as cooking classes during the year. These workshops and classes are an opportunity to learn about specific topics in a private setting. The basics cooking classes are taught in three modules, while the cooking for your blood type series explores each blood type per module (O, A, B and AB). You will explore the basics of a healthy kitchen, ingredients, techniques and lifestyle strategies to best suit you. Please check the calendar for information about her upcoming DIY Detox workshop, healthy cooking and cooking for your blood type classes.

orkspace Education, a Bethelbased nonprofit community focused on project-based learning for families, is an open source education model that caters to all types of learners by maximizing choice and flexibility. To that end, they are introducing two dropoff options in the fall of 2018. One is a traditional micro-school, Workspace: Golden Arrow. The second is an entrepreneurial, self-directed Acton Academy model. Workspace Education joins a growing network of Acton Academy affiliate schools worldwide. Implemented as a microschool within Workspace Education’s walls, the Acton Academy at Workspace welcomes independent learners who will benefit not only from the inquiry-based journey of the Action curriculum, but also the creative sandbox that is Workspace. The methods of learning include self-paced challenges, e-learning and educational technology, hands-on and quest-based learning, and more. Children will create and maintain personal goals, relational covenants and real-world work. Kids will learn to mentor and be mentored by one another. Mixed-age spaces, portfolios and exhibitions instead of grade expectations also set the model apart from traditional educational settings. Parents and students can track academic progress; access portfolios with rough drafts, photos, video and other creative work; and present work to experts, customers or the public in exhibitions.

For more information, call 203-559-8946 or visit See ad, page 27.

For more information, visit Acton-Academy. See ad, page 3.



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Hunter Healing Hands

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Recycling IQ

Take a Quiz to Help the Planet

As ambitious folks undertake spring cleaning, questions arise about what is and isn’t recyclable, as well as how to do the right thing on an ongoing basis. The world can benefit from our efforts: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reports that every ton of recycled paper saves the energy equivalent of 322 gallons of gasoline, while a ton of aluminum cans saves 21 barrels of oil. Putting the wrong items into a recycle bin demands extra time and effort at local facilities. We can test our knowledge by taking this short true or false quiz. Please note that local standards may vary, so check for specifics.

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1. Both paper and plastic bags are recyclable. 2. All paper in the form of phone books, newspapers, magazines, junk mail, office paper and paperboard, is recyclable. 3. Cardboard pizza boxes can be recycled despite absorption of grease and food residue. 4. Aluminum, steel and tin-plated cans can all go in the recycling bin. 5. Some of these items are recyclable: Styrofoam food containers and cups, used paint cans, sewing needles, non-empty aerosol cans, garden hoses and clothing.

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6. Recycling broken glass is the same as intact glass. 7. It’s easy to recycle a broken or outmoded cell phone or laptop computer. 8. It’s vital to recycle office and other paper. Answers: 1. False; generally, only paper bags are recyclable unless a grocer or big-box retailer has its own program for plastic bags.

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5. False; generally, none are recyclable. Notable exceptions for foam are detailed at; shipping storefronts may accept foam packing peanuts. 6. False; put broken light bulbs and other shattered glass in the trash; bring all fluorescent bulbs to a local building supply store. 7. True; many consumer electronics retailers and manufacturers, states and charities offer options to recycle or donate devices. Visit RecyclingForCharities. com,, or 8. True; 30 percent of landfill trash generated annually is paper, outweighed only by plastic and food waste.



New Guidelines Lower the Bar for Risky Blood Pressure

health briefs

Colonics Can Make Cleansing and Detoxing More Efficient For many people, spring cleaning is not just about mops and brooms—it’s also about physically cleansing and detoxing. “It just seems natural to want to feel cleaner and lighter when the weather begins to warm,” says Tovah Nahman of Lifetime Hygienics. “To that end, anyone planning a spring cleanse should consider doing colonics along with it.” Colonics can make cleansing and detoxing more efficient, says Nahman, a certified colonic hygienist. “It doesn’t matter if it’s a juice fast, an herbal cleanse or a diet change,” she explains. “When our bodies begin to rid themselves of accumulated waste during our cleansing, the waste can actually wind up in the colon. It may be more difficult to eliminate accumulated waste, as well as the waste from our cleansing, through our bowel movements.” Without colonics, she says, the waste from a detox can be reabsorbed back into the system, defeating the purpose of the cleanse or detox. She recommends having a colonic session at the start and end of a three-day cleanse, and adding a third colonic in the middle of a seven-day cleanse. “For optimal cleansing results, colonics will do wonders. If you haven’t tried a colonic before, this is the season to try it. There is no pain involved, and they aren’t odiferous.” Tovah Nahman has been in practice at Lifeline Hygienics for 26 years. She is also an author and lecturer. Contact her at 914-921-LIFE (5433). See Community Resource Guide listing, page 60.

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New guidelines that change the criteria for healthy blood pressure mean that nearly half of U.S. adults are now considered to have high blood pressure. The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association have redefined the condition as being 130/80 instead of 140/90, a change considered by critics as overly beneficial to pharmaceutical companies. This criteria includes 80 percent of people over 65, triples the diagnosis for men under 45 and doubles it for women younger than 45. The revised guidelines encourage adopting lifestyle strategies in early stages of rising blood pressure like exercise, diet, weight loss and smoking cessation. Evidence-based alternative methods noted in a Canadian study include coenzyme Q10, dark chocolate, qigong, slow breathing, Transcendental Meditation and vitamin D.

U.S. Midlife Women Choosing Natural Health Care In a survey of 171 midlife American women, more than 80 percent reported using complementary and alternative medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine researchers discovered. The most common choice was herbal teas, followed by women’s vitamins, flaxseed, glucosamine and soy supplements. Only 34 percent of the non-Hispanic white women and 14 percent of the Hispanic women discussed it with their doctors.

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Seniors Eating Mediterranean Diet Retain Independence Seniors that ate a Mediterranean diet high in vegetables, fruit, whole grains, nuts and legumes were able to live independently longer, had fewer falls and fractures, and were less frail, according to recent research. In a study published in the Journal of the American Geriatric Society, University College London researchers analyzed the eating habits and health data of 5,789 participants in studies in France, Spain, Italy and China. “People that followed the Mediterranean diet the most were overall less than half as likely to become frail over a nearly four-year period compared with those that followed it the least,” says lead author Katy Walters, Ph.D. The researchers also noted that the plant-based diet may help older people maintain muscle strength, activity, weight and energy levels.

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Africans Unite to Save Rhinos

The Black Mamba Anti-Poaching Unit aims not only to protect rhinoceroses in South Africa by patrolling the Balule Nature Reserve, in Greater Kruger National Park, but to also be a role model in their communities. It’s the first majority-female, anti-poaching unit in the country. Founded in 2013 by Transfrontier Africa NPC to protect the Olifants West Region of Balule, the Black Mambas were invited within a year to expand into other regions, and now protect all boundaries of the reserve. These 32 young women and two men want their communities to understand that the benefits are greater through rhino conservation rather than poaching, as they address the local social and moral decay that results from poach- ing. Their concern is also for their children’s sake because the sham economy has corrupted morals and brought narcotics into their communities. To make a donation, visit

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Women Warriors

Recycled Plastic Transforms into Prosthetics The emerging technology of three-dimensional (3-D) printing can benefit the world in many ways. Re:Purpose for Good, in Australia, creates robotically 3-D printed prosthetic devices from recycled plastic and e-waste. It’s difficult to customize prosthetics, so more invasive surgery is often needed to make standard sizes fit the patient. Other companies produce 3-D printed prosthetic hands and arms, but Re:Purpose for Good customizes both hands and feet at a much lower cost. The company’s robotics and prosthetics engineer Gerardo Montoya, who had been working on 3-D printing prosthetics for children in Mexico, merged the idea with a desire to do something about the 8 million tons of plastic entering the oceans. Along with plastic waste, they also use e-waste such as discarded smartphones that have all the circuitry and microprocessors needed for advanced features. The company even plans to teach their prosthetic-making process to children as part of their science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) curriculum, so they can learn 3-D printing skills. They’re making it open source so more people can get involved without patent restrictions.


Helping Hands

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10,000 Steps and Counting Keep Moving to Stay Fit


by Kathleen Barnes

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e have become a nation of couch potatoes. The average American takes only 5,900 steps a day, somewhat better than the sedentary Brits that average less than 4,000. The notion that overall we need to take 10,000 steps a day to be physically fit started with manpo-kei, a 1960s Japanese marketing tool to sell pedometers. While the 10,000 steps concept lacks specific supporting science, it’s widely acknowledged that we are healthier the more that we move. Affixing a target number to it helped spread the notion of the benefits of walking, says Catrine Tudor-Locke, Ph.D., a walking behavior researcher at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Tudor-Locke is a proponent of the walking goal, although she readily admits the real objective is to get people moving more. “Any opportunity to walk more, more frequently and farther, wherever that is—it all adds up,” she says.

Making 10,000 Steps Possible For those already physically fit and physically active, 10,000 steps is a no-brainer. However, it’s never too late to start for those with exercise programs that have been supplanted by a too-busy-toworkout lifestyle. There’s probably no easier exercise than walking, says Dr. Melina Jampolis, the Los Angeles author of The Doctor on Demand Diet. “Walking is the number one exercise I recommend to most of my patients, because it is exceptionally easy to do, requires only a supportive pair of quality sneakers and

has tremendous mental and physical benefits that increase just by getting outside in the fresh air.” The biggest bang for the increased effort is the first 3,000 to 4,000 steps between the sedentary baseline and 10,000 steps, Tudor-Locke explains. “Still, 10,000 steps is the magic number for the average American,” says Dr. Michael Roizen, chief wellness officer at the Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland, Ohio. “That specific number of steps seems to help break down insulin resistance, an underlying cause of Type 2 diabetes. We’re not exactly sure how this happens, but we know that this amount of exercise takes the glucose from the blood where it is a hazard to the cells, so that it becomes less hazardous.”

Exponential Health Benefits Many more well-documented health benefits of a walking program include: 4 increased heart health 4 lower blood pressure 4 stronger muscles 4 improved balance 4 weight control 4 natural stress relief Several studies from places like Harvard Medical School’s affiliate Brigham and Women’s Hospital also show that a brisk walking program nearly cut in half the risk of early death in breast cancer patients. Most exercise experts note that a walking pace that leaves the walker only slightly out of breath reaps the greatest rewards. “One hundred steps a minute is a good cadence,” advises Tudor-Locke. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends at least 150 minutes of exercise weekly, or 30 minutes five days a week, for virtually everyone. Many experts don’t believe it’s necessary to move for 30 minutes straight. Ten-minute increments work fine; so a quick morning walk around the block, another outing during the lunch hour and a refreshing walk with the dog after work can do the trick. Some evidence from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion suggests that varying walking speed is even more effective in overcoming insulin resistance and burning calories.

Counting Up Roizen recommends wearing a pedometer or using a free iPhone app (no need for a fitness band), mainly to keep up awareness of our daily step count. There’s no age when we don’t need to walk anymore. If a consistent 10,000 steps does wonders for health, some ask if more would be better. “Ten thousand is the answer for health and longevity, but 12,000 or more makes a difference for fitness and calorie burning, so go for it!” Roizen says. Kathleen Barnes is the author of numerous books on natural health, including Our Toxic World: A Survivor’s Guide. Connect at May 2018


Mastering Yoga

The yoga community in Fairfield County and the Housatonic Valley has never been more vibrant! This section provides connections to studios and teachers in the area, as well as helpful editorial to support your efforts to improve your practice. chores are very important (by no means are we discounting them), how can we balance both the chores and the pleasures we deserve? Completing tasks, chores and errands certainly help us to feel less anxiety and, more important, to feel complete in our “functioning life.” Begin to adjust the balance by incorporating heavy use of smartphone reminders, planners and calendars apps. They exist for a reason: they work!

Time Management for Ourselves - Personal Growth

Work and Life Balance Finding It off Your Mat in the Daily Grind


by Sherri Gallina

hether it’s meetings, work, children, family, and everything in between, including the laundry, dinner, cleaning, getting groceries, picking up and dropping off the kids, caring for your significant other, the pets… Oh! Have you shaved your legs or showered today?!? Sound familiar? Chuckle and keep reading. Where and how do you start to find balance and restore time for yourself? As cliché as it sounds, this is critical for your healthy self. The notion may make you may wonder, where do I find the time? The truth is, we all have the time we need. We have extra minutes, possibly even hours, that we waste. Instead of spending up to several hours on social media every day, learn how to incorporate time management tools and mantras to reduce anxiety and stress.

Practical Ideas

Go to work and give it all you got. After putting in the hard work, gift yourself with a break. Go check your phone, take a stretch, walk to the bathroom, or a co-worker’s desk or, even better, take one minute to breathe in and out (Apple incorporated this feature into their watch), or read a few pages of the book sitting in your bag or on your desk. Work time is not your time. What this means is if it is workrelated and a task, then it is still work. For instance, you want to visit a new place because you are interested in cross-promoting. Recognize this is not an act of self-love, it is still a task. Go, do the work piece and enjoy it, but remember to set different time aside for yourself and personal interests so you can enjoy and explore. For some of us this may take some thought; we may not have not really thought about time for ourselves in a while. Get rid of the doubt and overthinking. Just do it! One helpful idea is to set goals on a weekly and monthly basis. While our daily 20

Fairfield County/Housatonic Valley Edition

Now you know you can use smart tech to set weekly and monthly goals. Next, be honest with yourself -- make those goals realistic. Say you want to meditate daily. First, pick a time that works for your busy life so it’s a realistic goal. If 10 minutes sounds impossible, then set a reminder three times a day for three minutes each time so you don’t feel overwhelmed by the whole session. Just start somewhere. You can do this. Maybe this month you want to run, read, paint or work out: find a block of time and schedule one hour for your personal time at least once a week. Or break it down into ten minutes a day. By the end of the week your goal has been met. This will promote happiness and you will have more confidence and less stress. For longer-term goals, find an event or interest and pursue it. Some ideas: maybe learn another language, a new sport, an instrument, come up with a new business plan, attend a workshop, volunteer…the choices are wide open but look for something inspiring to you that will promote your personal growth. Never stop exploring and learning.


Is a little voice in your head stopping you? Do you often think, “I have no money, no time, no willpower, no love”? Change those negative thoughts ASAP!! Reframe those thoughts into more positive mantras that actually support your efforts. Try saying, “I am enough. Money flows to me freely. I have time and I manage my life exceptionally well. I am love and I am thankful to have love.” This way you are always projecting from a place of abundance and not loss. And remember, it’s called practice for a reason. We all slip, so don’t be too hard on yourself if you miss a scheduled break. Let it go and move on. Today is a gift. Give love and thanks daily and then begin again. Sherri Gallina is owner of YOGA 203, a yoga and wellness studio located at 3-5 Wall St, 2nd flr, Norwalk. For more information or to register for classes, visit or call 203-918-6757. See ad, page 21.

Recommended Reads • She’s Killin’ It: A 21-Day Journal for Manifesting a Kickass Life, by Katherine Zenkina • You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life, by Jen Sincero • A Return to Love, by Marianne Williamson

Yoga Soothes the Blues


aking a 90-minute hatha yoga class twice a week for eight weeks steadily lowered symptoms of depression in all 20 men and women with mild to moderate forms of clinical depression that participated in a recent University of California, San Francisco, study. Another 18 depressed adults attending an attention control class for the same period of time, afterwards had somewhat lower depression scores overall, but less than half the improvement, plus they showed greater mood fluctuation.

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yoga briefs

Yoga Shala Celebrates 15 Years; New Ownership


s The Yoga Shala celebrates 15 years of operation in Ridgefield, Valerie Schneiderman, owner of Yoga Shala, has announced that she is taking a sabbatical from daily teaching and pursuing other opportunities. Stan Woodman, fellow ashtangi, and owner of Kaia Yoga for the past 12 years, is buying the studio, taking on the directorship and Schneiderman’s teaching schedule. Woodman and the Yoga Shala teachers will continue the current schedule, expanding and adjusting as needed as Woodman gets to know everyone and settles in. Woodman is the only authorized level 2 Ashtanga Yoga instructor in Connecticut.


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For more information about The Yoga Shala, visit Location: 49 Ethan Allen Hwy, Ridgefield.

May 2018


The Balance Within Integrating the Shadow Where Beauty Hides by Anna Huff and Teresa Reyes Castillo


ithin the darkness, we may find our most beautiful attributes if we allow them to be illuminated in our lives. Take, for example, our experiences of the darkness of night. Imagine sitting through the stillness of the night, looking out at the world around us. The world is quiet and undisturbed. The night air seems

to breathe slow, motionless breaths. The moon shines high in the sky. Beauty and brilliance can be found in the shadows cast on the earth from the stark moon above. The world around us becomes calm and mesmerizing. One minute seems to stretch into an hour. Then, as we let ourselves take in the essence of the night, we begin to feel strong and steadfast. An owl hoots from a


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far away tree while a coyote bays in the distance in this seemingly endless darkness of night. And then the majestic sun begins to illuminate the sky. The sun seems to shine even through our darkest times. The birds begin to chirp, singing their multitude of harmonies. The dew glistens on the strands of grass. The hustle and bustle of the day begins to take hold, as the sun begins to peer over the horizon. The simplicity of the night turning to day can be a point of wisdom for us. It tells of the balance between light and dark; this balance can exist within each of us. It provides wisdom about finding a balance within our own inner darkness and light. Although we may find it easier and more pleasant to look at our inner light, the darkness remains. It is something we all experience, and yet, it can be frightening to examine. The darkness holds secrets, paradoxes and wisdom, ultimately leading us to our unburdened self. If we dare ourselves to peer through at both our darkness and light, we can find the beauty and wisdom contained within both. Carl Jung described the inner darkness as our shadow, similar to the gradually devouring shadow that spreads across the earth at night. Our shadow contains the darkness that is within us. Our shadow holds the attributes we do not necessarily like about ourselves and the attributes society does not necessarily like about us. Our shadow holds pieces of us we are not always comfortable with or we fear. Just as we often do not stay awake to learn the wisdom of the night, we often do not look to our own shadow to learn of the wisdom it can bring.



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Jung also described the concepts of the “anima” as the feminine and “animus” as the masculine. For a woman, her masculine is said to live in her shadow. For a man, his feminine is said to live in his shadow. These two sides, both feminine and masculine, are able to live harmoniously within us; they can bring us to a place of inner balance. However, particularly in the early years of our lives, our feminine and masculine sides are often separate and at odds with one another. This separation is further instilled by the lessons learned in society. Society often teaches us to separate our feminine from our masculine, and we are typically taught to act as our assigned gender. While there is value in learning to act as a particular gender, there is also value in learning of our remaining traits. As we grow out of our childhood and accept the role of being an adult, it is common to begin grappling with these pieces of ourselves and the pieces within our shadow. We are grappling with our own internal balance, and we are called to examine our darkness to find it. How can we go about connecting with our other inner halves? Often the answers are nearer than we think. Here is an exercise to try: • Settle in with a notebook or a piece of scratch paper. Begin thinking of people or characters we have come across to whom we are particularly attracted. Think of individuals who are opposite of our identified gender, whether they are people we’ve met, characters from books, cartoon characters from childhood, or someone or something else. We are identifying individuals based on a strong attraction or connection; this does not mean we have to like or respect or honor that individual. Maybe we are attracted to them because of their sinister nature or because they are funny. • Try to cast away any self-judgments. Now begin to think of traits that connect these individuals. At first, this may not be readily apparent. Frequently the individuals on the list are different from each other. It may be helpful to jot down a few attributes by each individual, until we can begin to see the relationships. The list of attributes can usually be reduced to two to five. These are often the traits about us that reside in our shadow, either from our anima or animus. The traits and pieces of us lying in our shadow often attempt to reach our conscious awareness. These traits are not meant to be stifled and shut down. They are meant to be integrated into who we are. Looking back at the list, consider ways we can start to integrate these traits into our daily lives. Our internal worlds call for us to find this integration slowly but surely in order to help us come into greater connection and harmony with ourselves. This allows us to offer our gifts, our true unique nature, to the world around us. Our answers lie deep within us and acceptance of the beauty and the wisdom found in the shadow and in the light can help guide us there. Teresa Reyes Castillo, PhD, and Anna Huff, PhD, are clinical psychologists at Being Centered Psychological Services, PLLC. They specialize in working with adults and couples in their Ridgefield office and on retreats. Connect at See ad, page 46.

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Seed Cycling for Hormonal Health A Gentle Dietary Option for Women of All Ages by Lindsey Wells


eed cycling is a gentle but effective tool to balance hormones with the use of different seeds during the phases of the woman’s menstrual cycle. This dietary intervention may be useful for women of all ages and all reproductive stages of life, including pre-menopause and post-menopause. Seed cycling can help to regulate the menstrual cycle for those with irregular periods. It can also decrease PMS symptoms, such as acne, menstrual cramps, tender breasts, sleep disturbances, headaches, mood swings, heavy bleeding and more. In addition, seed cycling has been shown clinically to help with infertility. This dietary intervention is a great example of how food is medicine.

Why Does it Work? The menstrual cycle is regulated by two main hormones: estrogen and progesterone. Both act as chemical messengers giving directions to the female reproductive organs about how they should behave. As a result, these hormones are responsible for the changes that our bodies go through on a monthly basis. A female’s hormonal composition will change throughout the month in order to prepare the body for pregnancy. Estrogen is the main hormone during the first half of the menstrual cycle. Responsible for regenerating the uterine lining after menstruation, it will spike half way through the menstrual cycle (around day 15), triggering the release of an egg, which is known as ovulation. After ovulation, estrogen levels will decrease. As estrogen


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levels decrease, progesterone levels increase to become the dominant hormone during the second half of the menstrual cycle. Progesterone is responsible for preparing the uterus to be able to provide the perfect environment to implant and nourish a fertilized egg. As a result, progesterone is needed to sustain a healthy pregnancy. It is important that both estrogen and progesterone are balanced during their correct phases of the menstrual cycle. If they are not balanced, it can lead to infertility, miscarriages, irregular menstrual cycles, low libido and more. Luckily, a woman can implement seed cycling into her daily routine as a powerful way to modify and balance hormones. The most effective results are seen after three months of seed cycling.

How to Seed Cycle From Day 1 (first day of bleeding) to Day 15, it is advised that a woman consume two tablespoons of ground flax seeds and/or ground pumpkin seeds daily. Both of these seeds increase estrogen levels. Flaxseeds and pumpkin seeds contain polyphenols known as lignans. They are able to be converted by the bacteria found in our gastrointestinal tract into compounds with active estrogenic properties. Therefore, the consumption of these seeds can increase estrogen activity in the body to help regulate estrogen levels during the first half of the menstrual cycle. In addition, these seeds are sources of essential fatty acids that increase antispasmatic/relaxing prostaglandins, which can be used for pain manage-

ment associated with menstrual cramps that a woman may experience in beginning of each cycle. Studies have shown that dietary consumption of flax seeds can be as effective as oral bioidentical hormone therapy to improve menopausal symptoms, insulin resistance, glucose levels, osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease; it can also help prevent hormone-associated cancers. Pumpkin seeds are also a good source of dietary zinc, which is helpful for proper immune system functioning. From Day 16 until Day 1 (first day of bleeding), it is recommended that a woman consume two tablespoons of ground sunflower seeds and/or ground sesame seeds. Both of these seeds support progesterone production, which needs to be in high concentrations during this part of the menstrual cycle to potentially support a fertilized egg. Sesame and sunflower seeds support this half of the menstrual cycle by providing omega 6 essential fatty acids to support progesterone production. In addition, these seeds are a source of protein. Studies have shown that higher protein and lower carbohydrate intake is associated with higher progesterone levels. Implementing a seed cycling schedule based on the lunar phases of the moon is an option for women who wish to regulate their cycle but do not have monthly menstrual cycles. Menstrual cycles following the lunar phases are based on a 28-day cycle: menstruating (day 1) on the new moon and ovulating (day 14) on the full moon. Please note that it is best to grind the seeds ourselves on a daily basis instead of purchasing them in the ground form. Preground seeds are subject to oxidization so their potency will be diminished. A coffee grinder is a useful appliance for grinding seeds. Also, the consumption of the seeds can be spread out throughout the day by sprinkling them in smoothies, yogurt, salads, toast and sandwiches. Dr. Lindsey Wells is a naturopathic physician at the Center for Integrative Health in Wilton. Her practice focuses on pediatric and primary care and consultative care for autism spectrum disorder, PANDAS/PANS and various chronic illnesses. Connect at 203-834-2813 and

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by Karen Hand

f we pay attention to how the animal and plant kingdoms adapt to the seasons, we can see that they adjust what they do to the energies of that season. In the winter, animals hibernate, slow down or head for warmer climates. Plant activity is almost non-existent with most of the plant’s dormant energy deep in earth. Each season has an energy and a purpose; animals and plants naturally keep in tune with those energies, allowing them to be healthy and to flourish in alignment with the laws of nature. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) principles, we too would benefit greatly from working with, and not against, the characteristics of each season. Based on TCM’s Five Element Theory, the universe is divided into five energetic elements: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water. Each element has its own season and a corresponding body system. The functioning of that organ system needs to be balanced for good health. The spring season is related to the Wood element and to our Liver energy, which is very susceptible to stress. The theory teaches us that not working with the season’s energy will throw that system out of balance, resulting in symptoms during the next season. For example, during wintertime, we should be expending less energy; becoming reflective; going within; and nourishing ourselves with warming foods, such as root vegetables, soups and stews. When we don’t follow those seasonal cues by, for instance, exercising excessively in winter instead of conserving our energy stores, we will pay for those mistakes in the spring season. This can result in potential symptoms such as seasonal allergies, migraine head-

aches, joint aches and pains, and hypertension as well as women’s health issues like PMS or painful periods. Most of us don’t adjust our activities at all from one season to the next. We are creatures of habit, going to the gym and doing the same workout routines with the same intensity every day, eating the same foods; we do this all with little attention paid to what is happening outside in nature. We can let nature’s wisdom be reflected in our lives by altering our daily routines to match the energy and purpose of the season as well as by easing ourselves into the next season. Let’s take a look at the current season. Spring, as a rule, is a season that doesn’t quite know if it’s coming or going. Generally, spring months are expected to be cold and damp. Honoring that natural law means we don’t want to jump right into summer fashions; instead, we want to keep our bodies warm and covered even when those teasing, warmer temperatures might have us thinking it is okay to switch to shorts and short sleeves. According to TCM theory, the spring season’s environmental factor is wind. That wind has the power to bring in illness through areas of the body that are left exposed, such as the neck, upper back and legs. Listen to the clues of the season to avoid change-of-season colds, or help reduce period pain and PMS by keeping bare legs covered until beach time. The spring season is a time for rejuvenation, cleansing, heightened creativity and, above all, being flexible. The tiny crocus doesn’t make its way through frozen snow and hard earth by being hard; its flexibility provides strength to overcome obstacles. Being flexible and “going with the flow” in springtime will keep our vital energy, or qi, flowing. Stuck qi means things aren’t moving. From an emotional perspective, that could mean a tendency toward anger and frustration. Physically, it can mean digestive upset, hypertension, joint pain or arthritis. Keeping moving with gentle activities such as tai chi, yoga, qigong or a walk in nature will match the energy of spring. There’s a reason why we are so inclined to declutter, cleanse, plant seeds and start new projects. We are intuitively matching the season’s energy. What additional things can we do to optimize our health now as we move toward the summer season? Energy modalities, such as acupuncture and craniosacral therapy, can help us transition to the vibrational frequency of the next season. We can also try to eat seasonally with liver-supporting foods, such as broccoli rabe, scallions and dandelion greens. Embrace opportunities for reducing stress. For a great way to reduce stress, try searching “Tree Shake Movement” on YouTube and have some fun getting things moving. Remember, it’s about aligning with nature’s spring tendencies of being flexible and going with the flow. Don’t forget to give a nod of gratitude to nature for providing all the answers. Karen Hand is a licensed acupuncturist, herbalist and founder of the Center for Seasonal Wellness, in Darien. She holds natural wellness and stress reduction workshops, and uses several healing modalities in her acupuncture practice. Connect at 203-836-3335 or

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HEALING THE HARD STUFF Natural Approaches Resolve Major Illnesses by Linda Sechrist


lthough natural health enthusiasts may recognize alternative healing modalities as a preferred approach to treatment, in the face of major health issues, even they tend to join the crowd that’s turning first to conventional medicine. Thus, many gentler modalities described in The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, co-authored by doctors of naturopathy Michael T. Murray and Joseph Pizzorno, remain largely untapped resources. Ignored because they are unsupported by traditional sciencebased medicine, holistic measures such as acupuncture, energy medicine, essential oils, herbs, detoxification, health-promoting diets, homeopathy, prayer and meditation, supplementation, yoga, massage and naturopathy are sacrificed in favor of often painful medical procedures and prescription drugs which can’t claim to permanently cure anything and can have many harmful side effects. 28

Lack of Awareness

“A patient that dabbles in holistic medicine for minor health issues such as indigestion, headache or insomnia often turns to conventional methods after receiving a serious diagnosis such as diabetes, heart disease or cancer because they are scared,” observes holistic physician Dr. Wendy Warner, medical director of Medicine in Balance, in Langhorne, Pennsylvania. The co-author of Boosting Your Immunity for Dummies suggests that relatively few people turn to natural solutions for both preventive and therapeutic measures because they’re unaware they exist. Integrative oncologists and endocrinologists that are aware of the benefits of natural complementary methods are scarce. Relatively few conventional doctors are educated in functional medicine. “Yet complementary modalities such as acupuncture, massage and some essential oils can support the immune system and help an individual deal with stress experienced from coping with their illness,” says Warner.

Fairfield County/Housatonic Valley Edition

Rob Wergin, an experienced energy medicine practitioner, speaks from experience regarding clients that consult him for lifethreatening diagnoses. “When I see them, they’re desperate and have exhausted all conventional methods. I’m their lastditch effort,” remarks Wergin. The most frequent reason he hears is, “My family, friends and doctor told me not to waste my money on charlatans.” “People find it challenging to put faith in natural methods and are nervous about going against a doctor’s advice until they feel or see positive results; even these may not provide sufficient motivation to continue with alternative treatments,” he says. “I believe this is the result of the influence of pharmaceutical ads promising results, the medical community’s belief in proof solely through clinical trials, websites like Quackwatch. com and well-meaning friends insisting that the conventional route is the only way to go. It’s sad to see the gravity of these influences pulling clients back into solely believing in the Western model of medicine,” says Wergin. Ann Lee, a doctor of naturopathy, acupuncturist and founder of the Health for Life Clinic, Inc., in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, notes, “This mindset continues to get reinforced by insurance companies that do not cover alternatives. Paying out of pocket for medical expenses also influences a patient’s choices.” Kelly Noonan-Gores and Adam Schomer, director and producer, respectively, of the documentary film HEAL, suggest that unconscious conditioning plays the biggest role in an individual’s choices. “We are deeply conditioned to view medical specialists and prestigious medical institutions as the ones with all the answers. Sometimes they do and sometimes they


Outside Pressure

don’t,” says Noonan-Gores, who intends to have her film awaken viewers to the possibilities of alternative paths of healing. As just one other example noted in the film, thousands have used the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), tapping on their body to help release the trauma and stress often associated with illness.

Resistance to Change

“The conventional medical community wants to maintain the model in which they have heavily invested centuries of time, energy and money. Patients that investigate integrative and complementary medicine may resist hearing that in order to get well, they might need to change their worldview and lifestyle, take a leave of absence from their job, develop a spiritual practice, exercise or maybe even leave a toxic relationship,” says Schomer. “Conventional medicine says take this pill and keep living your life the same way,” says Schomer. “We are not demonizing doctors, pharmaceuticals or the medical system. We simply believe that individuals are more empowered to heal when they take control of their health.” Eva Lee, a resident of Los Angeles featured in the documentary, suffers from a rare and unpredictable form of blistering skin inflammation. “I’ve tested negative for faulty genes and all sorts of rare viruses and bacteria, which helped point me towards holistic methods. So far, following the directives of Dr. Mark Emerson, a chiropractor specializing in nutrition, in Maui, Hawaii, who I met while filming, has helped my body become healthier and deal with inflammation levels that rapidly reduced as soon as I detoxed and eliminated meat and dairy from my diet,” says Lee. Still, it’s hard for her to accept that her condition could be due to the type of stress and suppressed emotions that Anthony William explores in his book Medical Medium: Secrets Behind Chronic and Mystery Illness and How to Finally Heal.

“Before, I wasn’t familiar with EFT, which I continue to use and benefit from. However, despite everything I’ve learned, I can’t give up on all Western medicine, put my faith in alternatives and let my intuition and faith guide me to healing. It’s easier to be skeptical than to have faith,” Lee says.

website that reaches hundreds of individuals worldwide. She advises, “Reach out to people that you see are having positive results with a different healing system than yours. Ask them to show, help and teach you. I’ve seen many people restored to health by using methods that science is only beginning to understand.”

Quiet Role Models

“Outside of any dominant paradigm, it’s easier to cast suspicion than to make curious inquiry and, over time, working within a dominant worldview creates polarity, the antithesis of ‘wholism’. An inclusive approach integrates all medical and complementary approaches, as well as interaction with the natural world,” says Patrick Hanaway, a family physician and founder of Family to Family Medicine, in Asheville, North Carolina. Hanaway, the former director of medical education for the Institute for Functional Medicine and the first medical director at the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine, explains, “Doctors have a rigorous job filled with responsibility. Change is difficult and investigating vastly different ways of practicing medicine requires a degree of curiosity and openness. I am heartened by thought leaders and heads of top medical schools who are presently opening up to functional medicine, natural medicine and complementary approaches.” “The paradigm shift we are ushering in has been 50 years in the making,” assesses Hanaway. “Some medical professionals are immersed in a polar view of right and wrong, offering personal attacks and disparaging comments to maintain control of the dialogue. This is not appreciated by patients who look to the doctor as a teacher—the Latin docere means to teach. “The movement to change medicine and the cultural paradigm of healing is a marathon, not a sprint, and those of us involved are prepared to stay the course.”

Sheila Tucker, a resident of Navarre, Florida, has been a registered nurse for 20 years, practicing in hospital settings such as critical care, emergency and administration. “I know and understand doctors, surgeries and pharmaceutical treatments and hospitals,” says Tucker, who recalls that throughout her life she was taught to believe in a system that suddenly stopped working for her. “In 2014, I was dying from a rare autoimmune condition, requiring fulltime care, and planning my funeral. Doctors had tried everything, yet my health continued to decline. When I saw a friend’s Facebook posts about her use of essential oils, I was curious, but reluctant to reach out, and didn’t want anyone to know that I called her for advice,” recalls Tucker. “Shortly after my friend arrived with her oils, my husband came home with our daughter, who had strep throat and a fever. She made us promise to use selected oils through the night and prayed with us.” Tucker attributes the miracle of her daughter’s turnaround the next morning to shifting her paradigm and opening her up to believing in the healing power of essential oils. Thanks to her friend and role model, Tucker learned how to use therapeuticgrade oils, supplements and a healthy diet to cleanse her body of the heavy toxic load accumulated from several years of expensive drug treatments. Today, she is a healthy and enthusiastic advocate, and her personal results opened the eyes of her physician to the point where she also shifted her own philosophy of healing. Tucker now offers educational classes in her office and online through her

It’s a Marathon

Linda Sechrist is a senior staff writer for Natural Awakenings. Connect at May 2018


New Standard of Care


Functional Medicine Leads the Way by Linda Sechrist

Historical Overview During the last 25 years, a less drug-based grassroots model for dealing with chronic illnesses in the U.S. has emerged. First labeled holistic, the movement gained momentum as alternative approaches morphed into being considered complementary to conventional medicine, war-

ranting studies by the National Institutes of Health. Responding to public interest, an integrative model of care that focuses on the whole person has taken root in medical institutions such as the Cleveland Clinic, in Ohio. The latest evolution to a systemsoriented, patient-focused clinical model

One of the best-prepared, traditionally trained medical professionals in explaining this approach is Jeffrey S. Bland, Ph.D., recognized as the father of functional medicine, and author of The Disease Delusion: Conquering the Causes of Chronic Illness for a Healthier, Longer and Happier Life. He co-founded, with his wife, Susan, the Institute for Functional Medicine, in Washington, which provides a system geared to understanding the complexity of chronic illness and design individualized programs for more effective healing. “Medical science didn’t have the advanced technology 25 years ago to perform the research that now helps us better understand the complexity of chronic illness, as well as our present ecological view of the body. Today we’re examining how all the networks of our biology intersect in a dynamic process that creates health when in balance or disease when out of balance,” attests Bland, whose career has focused on searching for a unifying principle behind all healing that can be used to discern the best possible therapy for specific individuals. Incorporating what he learned from Linus Pauling, Ph.D., two-time Nobel Prize laureate, and Lee Hood, M.D., Ph.D., as well as systems biology and practicing

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of functional medicine, which seeks to address causes of illness, rather than simply treat symptoms, has been garnering increasing interest by the public and pioneering medical professionals. It’s now maturing into personalized functional medicine.

healing ways

lifestyle medicine, Bland founded the nonprofit Personalized Lifestyle Medicine Institute ( in 2012. Seeking to transform the entire medical approach to chronic illness, the Seattle-based organization is a virtual and onsite hub for health professionals, researchers, educators and the public to share ideas and converse about how personalized functional medicine can be delivered to everyone as an improved standard of care.

Role of Genetics The National Human Genome Research Institute, in Bethesda, Maryland, maintains that an evolved approach to medicine starts with using an individual’s genetic profile to determine the best path to preventing, diagnosing and treating diseases. By 2003, scientists had delivered the first essentially complete sequence and map of all the genes in the human body.

”Today we’re examining how all the networks of our biology intersect in a dynamic process that creates health when in balance or disease when out of balance” ~Jeffrey S. Bland, Ph.D. Three decades ago, the medical fraternity had few reliable explanations for the origins of chronic health issues. Today, accepted factors include predispositions for a specific disease related to an individual’s genome, along with contemporary epigenetic influences such as nutrition, environment and lifestyle. None of these elements, however, necessarily define our destiny. “This genomic personalized medicine approach is creating friends among all healing arts practitioners because it facilitates our using information to design a less-toxic environment, lifestyle, diet and treatment to meet an individual’s specific needs and particular circumstances that led to a disease,” says Bland. “Diseases are only names assigned to a collection of symptoms,” says Bland. “They don’t indicate how the individual became afflicted. If 10 patients with Type 2 diabetes each had epigenetic variations that triggered getting the condition, it would be unwise to treat them all the same; it’s far better to treat those factors that specifically led to the disease.” Addressing the concern that genetic test results might be used to deny someone health insurance, Bland notes, “This is a significant misunderstanding about genetic testing. Our genes don’t tell us how we are going to die. They tell us how we should live. Understanding how our genes can help us live to 100 is a model of enlightenment. Those that practice this systems biology approach are counting on functional personalized medicine becoming the updated standard of care.” Physicians often offer genetic testing services. At-home DNA testing can be done using a saliva collection kit mailed to a laboratory, offering both ancestry and health information that must be interpreted by an informed professional.


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Linda Sechrist is a senior staff writer for Natural Awakenings. Connect at May 2018



or many, the warmer weather of spring comes as a relief. But for those with seasonal allergies, the warm weather also means additional pollen, ragweed and other outdoor irritants. Here are six ways to naturally reduce symptoms and overcome allergies.


Lower Stress Levels

6 Natural Ways to Overcome Seasonal Allergies by Robert Brody


Fairfield County/Housatonic Valley Edition

Studies show that seasonal allergy sufferers are likely to have more severe symptoms after completing a stressful activity or during periods of high stress. Stress raises cortisol, which is the “fight or flight� hormone. When that hormone is elevated, the body has more severe reactions, including to allergens such as pollen. To reduce stress levels, consider practicing meditation, deep breathing exercises, aromatherapy or any mild physical exercise that can be soothing, such as yoga.


Check Allergens at the Door

If allergic to outdoor substances, such as pollen, do everything to not track those allergens indoors. Change into different clothes upon arriving home and wash the ones worn outside. Also take a relaxing shower or bath, making sure to wash hair to remove any trapped pollen or allergens.


Keep it Clean

Consider investing in a HEPA filter to improve the home’s air quality. Breathing quality indoor air is critical for good health. Remember to regularly vacuum to suck up lingering allergens. Plenty of effective cleaning solutions can be made with natural everyday ingredients like vinegar. Proactively removing allergens from the home will help keep allergy symptoms at bay.


Take Antihistamines

Most allergy sufferers know what antihistamines are, and have probably already taken some. There are also natural antihistamine products. Though most over-the-counter antihistamines are synthetically manufactured, there are several

antioxidants found in nature that block histamines in a similar way. For example, quercetin is a common natural solution that is found in apples, onions and other produce. It is also available in a concentrated supplement form.


Stay Hydrated

Drinking plenty of water helps thin out mucus in the nasal passages, which helps flush everything out faster. Hot beverages like tea and broth also help hydrate; they have the added benefit of steam, which can also help open up nasal passages.


Eat Right for Your Type

Eating a healthy diet is an important step in making sure systems in the body are running smoothly and efficiently. A poor diet can cause inflammation. Inflammation makes it even harder for the body to effectively combat invaders such as allergens. There is no one diet that is best for everyone. Factors such as blood type and genetics come into play. However, a good place to start is eliminating processed foods and eating organically when possible. Dr. Robert Brody is a naturopathic physician at Personalized Natural Medicine in Newtown. Connect at or

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How to Avoid Lyme Disease Answers to Common Questions by Ulrike Keck


any people do not worry about ticks in the very early spring because they believe that cold temperatures in winter kill the blacklegged tick, brown dog tick or Lone Star tick. However, that is not actually the case; some tick species survive our winters despite freezing temperatures. For instance, Anaplasma phagocytophilum is a co-infection that can occur with Lyme spirochetes. It acts like an anti-freeze

within the tick and enhances the survival of the tick during winter months. It’s also worth noting that states with the highest rates of infections are located in the Northeast, which has harsh winters. Besides Lyme disease, other infections such as babesia, bartonella, mycoplasma, anaplasmosis, ehrlichiosis, chlamydia pneumonaie and more are often present in infected rodents, insects

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and ticks. What many do not know is that these co-infections can also be transmitted with Lyme spirochetes once a tick attaches to the human host. Unfortunately, these co-infections are not tested with the Western Blot test.

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The Myth of Transmission Time Who exactly do ticks feed on? Common hosts include the whitefooted mice, squirrels, chipmunks, deer and migrant birds. And, of course, unfortunately ticks feed on us too. Once a tick has attached itself and burrowed into the skin, the transmission of Lyme disease and other infections can happen within as little as 20 minutes. It can happen fast once the tick begins to feed. It’s actually a myth that you are “safe” for 24-48 hours (as declared in Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines). This myth is also touted in the media during the summer season, giving many a false sense of security if they find an attached tick on their body. If you do find an attached tick, some early signs to look out for include flu-like symptoms, headaches, neck stiffness, body chills, muscle aches, skin rashes and swollen lymph nodes.

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How Do Ticks Sense Our Presence? Ticks are functioning on primal survival instinct. They need to find a host to feed on in order to reproduce their species. They do not jump off of trees; instead, they are present in leaf litter or planted in groundcover, taller grasses, the bark of trees, bushy areas, space where the garden lawn meets the wooded areas, or plant stems. Spaces where they can crawl up and extend their front legs in anticipation of latching on to an unsuspecting host are also possibilities. Ticks’ front legs are used as a smelling device; think of them as their “nose”. They become alerted to a potential host’s presence by the following: breath; vibration from footsteps; sensing body temperature; smelling the ammonia in sweat. Ticks have highly developed senses and are ready to grab on to any passing host.

How We Can Get Infected by a Tick in Our Homes If you are trapping mice in the house (basement included), be careful how their remains are discarded. Infected ticks may be attached to a mouse’s face or body, and they are always looking for a new live host. Squirrels, chipmunks and raccoons that scurry around the patio and yard are often tick carriers. Our beloved pets can be transmission vectors too. Cats are associated with cat scratch disease (CSD), which is also known as Bartonella henselae. It can be transmitted to humans via a scratch or bite from an infected but asymptomatic cat. Dogs that roam around in the yard or accompany us on hiking trails are exposed to ticks. Check them regularly after outdoor activities and remove all ticks before coming into the house. Besides Lyme disease, dogs can also be infected with bartonella infections from fleas.

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Prevention Is Key There are a variety of chemical agents we can use to prevent a tick bite. A popular one is an insecticide called Permethrin. One application of it on clothes can offer protection for several weeks. (Sawyer Fisherman’s Formula Picaridin is also a popular tick repellent.) Another chemical solution is DEET, although Permethrin is more effective in getting rid of ticks. Make sure to thoroughly read the instructions, avoid contact with the skin, and do not inhale the neurotoxic vapors. For those who prefer non-chemical options on their clothes and body, there are essential oils we can use. It’s best to dilute concentrated essential oils with carrier oils such as olive oil before applying them to the skin. Tick-preventive natural sprays are available at various garden centers, online and in health-focused stores. All contain a variety of essential oils that are known tick and insect repellents. As a word of caution, essential oils are potent. Apply a little on the inside of the wrist to check tolerance. If spending a lot of time outdoors, consider re-applying the diluted essential oil or spray after a few hours in order to maintain protection against ticks.

Random Tick Facts • Fifty percent of individuals never recall seeing a tick on their body. • Fewer than fifty percent of those with Lyme disease never get a rash. • There are an estimated 25,000 new cases of Lyme disease per month. • The bullseye rash only occurs in roughly 40 percent of infected individuals. A fever, headaches and flu-like symptoms can occur without any skin rash. • About forty percent of individuals with Lyme disease remain sick despite antibiotic treatment. • One tick bite can transmit as many as 15 infections. With these kinds of statistics, it is clear we must be proactive when it comes to protection. Do use preventive measures to prevent a tick bite. In the


Fairfield County/Housatonic Valley Edition

meantime, keep your immune system strong with an organic diet, regular exercise, enough sleep, stress reduction and lots of laughter. That way, we can enjoy this spring and summer season—tick-free. Ulrike Keck, FDN-P, the owner of NY Integrated Health LLC, is also the author of Nourish, Heal, Thrive: A Comprehensive and Holistic Approach to Living with Lyme Disease and Nourish Your Brain Cookbook. Connect at

Top 10 Ways to Prevent Tick Bites • Wear lightly colored clothing. Avoid clothes made with a heavy fabric if going outside for a long period of time. • Tuck pants into lightly colored socks. • While outside working in the garden and once done, periodically skim over exposed body parts to check for any black or brown spots. • When wearing a sun hat, be careful not to brush the hat against higher grasses or bushes. • If engaging in sport activities, consider applying a nonchemical protective agent that will not irritate the skin. • Spray the bottom and top of shoes as well as socks before going hiking. • When entering the house, leave all outdoor clothing in the mudroom. • Toss clothes into the dryer on a hot temperature for 10-15 minutes. • Do a thorough tick check immediately upon coming indoors. It’s best not to wait until before bedtime to do a tick check on ourselves, children and pets. Check all the crevices especially the crotch, groin and armpit areas as well as behind the ears and scalp. Feel around for bumps or black spots. Visually check for creepers too. • Jump into a hot shower as soon as possible.

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Newtown Strut Your Mutt Event


The Monthly Naturally Healthy Pet Section Starts Here!

ark your calendars for Newtown’s 9th Annual Strut Your Mutt event on May 19 from 11am to 2pm with registration beginning at 10:30am. This dog-friendly event will include a 2K dog walk, the Strut Your Mutt Pageant, vendors, games and food. Admission is $10 per dog; there is a limit of three dogs per handler. Proceeds raised will support the Newtown Park & Bark, the off-leash dog park located on Old Farm Road in Newtown. It is run by a volunteer group of Newtown resident dog lovers who joined forces in 2009. The town provided a parcel of land. Private donations and annual fundraising events have raised funds to create and maintain the two-acre field adjacent to the animal shelter. For more information, email Event Location: Trades Ln and Keating Farms Ave, (at the flagpole), Fairfield Hills Campus, Newtown.

Strut with Mutts for River Valley Trail

T News, articles, resources, events— all dedicated exclusively to happy, naturally healthy living for our furred, feathered and scaled animal companions For information on how you can be a part of a future issue, call

203-885-4674 or email

he Norwalk River Valley Trail’s (NRVT) inaugural Mutt Strut will be on May 5 from 10am to 2pm (rain date is May 12). All proceeds will go toward building more sections of the NRVT in Norwalk, Wilton, Ridgefield and Redding. The fun event for all ages includes bandanas and treats for the dogs, wristbands for the hikers, goodie bags, selfies, trophies, medals, prizes (including most creative dog costume), and more. The registration is $30 for families or per person. You will be strutting your mutts on the NRVT at these starting locations: • Norwalk - The Lockwood-Mathews parking lot at the rear of the Pine Island Historic Cemetery. The Norwalk Mutt Strut will go from Lockwood-Mathews to the Maritime Aquarium and back. At a casual pace, this is about 20 minutes each way. • Wilton - The commuter parking lot at Wolfpit Road and Route 7. The Wilton Mutt Strut will go from the commuter parking lot to Sharp Hill Road and back. This walk is about 30 minutes each way. • Ridgefield - The parking area at the corner of Simpaug Turnpike and Route 7. The combined Ridgefield/Redding Mutt Strut will go from Simpaug Turnpike and Route 7 to Topstone Road and back. This walk is about 30 minutes each way. The Norwalk River Valley Trail will be a 35-mile, multi-use trail that will run from Norwalk to Danbury. In Norwalk and Wilton, segments of the NRVT are complete. In Redding and Ridgefield, segments of the trail have been selected for engineering and construction in 2018-19. To register, visit


Fairfield County/Housatonic Valley Edition

in current municipal laws surrounding vaccination and use of titer testing.


What Should You Do? Says Who? Controversies Confronting a Responsible Pet Owner by Mary Oquendo


pay and neuter? Don’t spay and neuter? Vaccinate? Don’t vaccinate? Choose between a modern or holistic veterinarian. You want to be an educated pet owner, but where do you find information that is not biased in one direction or the other? Before you can decide, consider the purpose of each decision and educate yourself to understand why there is even a controversy.

Spay And Neuter Spaying and neutering are surgical procedures that prevent unwanted litters and passing of unhealthy genes, as well as reducing the risk of certain cancers. Spaying removes the ovaries and sometimes the uterus of females, while neutering castrates males. They will be unable to reproduce. The controversy comes into play because of some medical concerns that have been linked to spaying and neutering pets when they are too young including those that may be orthopedic,

behavioral, immunologic and oncologic, in nature.

Vaccination Vaccination provides immunity from contagious and/or deadly diseases through inoculation with a live or killed antibody specific to the virus. Many of these diseases can cause a lifetime of chronic medical conditions if the pet survives the disease. In addition, some pet diseases, for example, rabies or leptospirosis, can be passed to their human families with serious or fatal results. The controversy centers on overvaccination, especially that of small pets, and vaccines that are not reliable or considered necessary. There is inconsistent information about the availability and efficacy of titer tests which measure the presence of antibodies in the blood, thereby indicating whether a new vaccine is warranted. Complicating matters further, there is a lack of agreement between veterinarians about the existing science and little scientific advancement reflected

Veterinarians provide medical care to your pet to keep them healthy or to treat and prevent chronic medical conditions. That seems clear and simple enough. So what’s the controversy? Some pet owners feel that modern veterinarians rely too heavily on invasive diagnostic procedures and medication, whereas others feel holistic veterinarians don’t employ those techniques when necessary. The reality is that while there are veterinarians who are clearly on one side of the fence or the other, many veterinarians will offer a treatment or maintenance plan that incorporates both conventional and integrative modalities. Talk to your veterinarian to find out what policies and practices their practice promotes or will refer for. Contributing to the dilemma, pet owners typically do not have access to scientific journals and studies. We can’t read them and come to our own conclusions. As such, we have to rely on the interpretation of a veterinarian.

Research Critically When researching information online, check many places and look for middle ground. Any website that draws a line in the sand that you must do it their way or risk killing your pet should be avoided. Such sites are not well balanced and will skew the studies and reports being presented to achieve the results that favor their position. This article cannot tell you what is right or wrong for any individual pet or family with individual needs, but by taking the time to research all the options and understand the questions, you will be more informed and make better choices on your pet’s behalf. Mary Oquendo is a Reiki Master, advanced crystal master and certified master tech pet first aid instructor. She is the owner of Pawsitive Education and Spirited Dog Productions. She can be reached at See ad, page 41. May 2018


natural pet

nature and make friends. At home, a cat’s hunting skill and human creativity can be tapped using do-it-yourself treat dispensers and toys or inventive games.

Five Reasons to Love a Cat by Sandra Murphy


s beloved and compatible pets, indoor cats provide emotional, mental and physical benefits.

Time spent with cats is never wasted.


They Bring Health and Happiness Home

Improved Health

ington Media School, Jessica Gall Myrick, Ph.D., now associate professor ~Sigmund Freud at Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications at Pennsylvania State University, in Companionship University Park, discovered watching cat videos isn’t just fun, but a way to feel more Loneliness is never a problem with a cat energetic and positive. With some 94 milaround. “Cats need to be fed, have litter lion YouTube tales of cat adventures online, changed and be brushed,” says Lisa Bahar, a there’s no lack of available mood boosters. therapist and clinical counselor at Lisa Bahar Marriage and Family Therapy, in Newport Exercise Beach, California. “Being comforted by a cat helps with depression and isolation.” Some cats enjoy leashed walks, presentWhile at Indiana University Blooming opportunities to mindfully enjoy

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Talking to kitty can make a bad day better. A lap cat prompts enforced timeouts and excuses to nap. Petting reduces tension and stress. Aimee Gilbreath, executive director of the Michelson Found Animals Foundation, in Los Angeles, points to a study from Life Sciences Research Institute, in Pretoria, South Africa, showing, “Simply petting a cat can reduce stress-related cortisol, while increasing serotonin and oxytocin.” The Second National Health and Nutrition Examination Study Mortality Follow-up concluded that having a cat lowers risk of myocardial infarction (heart attack) and cardiovascular disease including strokes, making cats a novel path to a healthier heart. When researchers reporting in the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America measured the purring sound of domestic cat purrs, they discovered these resonate at 25 and 50 Hertz (Hz), the two low frequencies that best promote bone growth and fracture healing. Purrs also have a strong harmonic near 100 Hz, a level some orthopedic doctors and physical therapists use for ultrasound therapy. A child under a year old living with a cat is only half as likely to develop allergies to pets, ragweed, grass and dust mites, much as inoculations guard against disease and boost immune systems. The study, published in Clinical & Experimental Allergy, followed children from infancy to age 18.

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French researchers discovered autistic children age 5 and older that had a cat were more willing to share, offer comfort to others and show empathy. Sharing cat responsibilities tightened family bonds. Cats like routine, especially for meals, making them good pets for Alzheimer’s patients that may lose track of time. Many people like the added warmth of a nearby sleeping cat at night. Fifteen minutes of exercise, followed by a snack, will put kitty on the owner’s sleep schedule.

Cats are Low-Maintenance Overall, cats are self-sufficient animals, requiring only love, food and a spotless litter box. Self-cleaning, most cats don’t require regular trips to the groomer for haircuts and a bath. Scratching posts keep nails short. A snack, playtime or welcoming puddle of sunshine persuades kitty that it’s naptime. “In rescue, we say dogs

are toddlers and cats are teenagers. Cats live without constant oversight,” says jme Thomas, co-founder of Motley Zoo Animal Rescue, in Redmond, Washington. “They’re good pets for busy people. Adopt two at the same time so they bond and aren’t lonely.”

Cats are Eco-Friendly A New Zealand study reports that cats have a lower carbon footprint than dogs, comparing dogs to a Hummer and cats to a Volkswagen Golf. Dogs eat more beef, incurring red meat’s huge footprint. “Because cats eat less than most dogs overall, it saves money, too,” says Gilbreath. Everyone needs someone to care for and love. With about 77 million cats living in U.S. households and more in shelters or rescues, there’s plenty of people- and planet-friendly love to be found. Connect with freelance writer Sandra Murphy at StLouis

May 2018


pet resource guide ADOPTION/RESCUE ANIMALS IN DISTRESS INC 238 Danbury Rd, Wilton 203-762-2006

BRIDGEPORT ANIMAL CONTROL 236 Evergreen St, Bridgeport 203-576-7727

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DANBURY ANIMAL WELFARE SOCIETY (DAWS) 147 Grassy Plain St, Bethel 203-744-3297

FRIENDS OF FELINES INC PO Box 8147, Stamford 203-363-0220


Fur to Feathers Pet Services Monroe • 203-610-2444 (call or text) Gwen Gangi has been an animal communicator all her life and has been doing consultations for the past 23 years. Practical for any situation, you enter into a 3-way conversation to get and give information needed. Consultations done over the phone or in person, including home visits. Workshops on animal communication available.


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The Nutmeg Spay/Neuter Clinic is a low-cost, high-volume facility for cats and dogs, the first such professional clinic in Fairfield County. The clinic offers other low-cost services during the spay/ neuter appointment. Nutmeg honors state spay/ neuter vouchers at face value from adopted shelter pets and qualified low-income families, and offers further low-cost incentives to nonprofit rescue groups. Pit bulls and mixes are welcome at an even more reduced rate, and the clinic offers spay/neuter and vaccine discounts for feral cats. See ad, page 41.


PO Box 2015, New Preston 860-355-PETS • Pet Assistance helps keep pets in their homes in times of financial and medical crises, providing emergency veterinary subsidies to pet owners in financial need. We only give grants for pets that have a good prognosis, unless the knowledge we gain from the treatment or surgery may help future animals in need.

Pet grooming in a relaxed one-on-one environment in your driveway by a leader in the holistic grooming industry. Mary also offers Reiki and crystal therapy for your beloved pets. See ad, page 41.

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Fairfield County/Housatonic Valley Edition


Caregiver, Soothe Thyself

“Nurturing yourself is not selfish – it is essential to our survival and your well-being.” ~Renee Peterson Trudeau


n 2016, Newtown author CJ Golden’s world fell apart when her cyclist husband Joe suffered multiple cancer-induced strokes. During the many months he was in the hospital, Golden felt it her duty to be at his bedside 12 hours a day, every day. There were nights she curled up in the lounge chair next to his bed and tried in vain to sleep through the beeping of infusion pumps, nurses’ interruptions and her own worry about his well-being. She felt she needed to be with him to make sure the medical staff was on top of things. In other words, Golden was the caregivers’ caregiver; she took it all on her shoulders. Recently, she shared with Natural Awakenings the story of her experience learning to care for herself and finding better balance while in the midst of caregiving for her husband, as chronicled in her new book, One Pedal at a Time.

Some of our readers may relate to what you went through when you were caring for your husband in the hospital, while still juggling all the responsibilities of “normal life”. Can you tell us what your experience was like?

All my caring friends and family members were concerned about me and kept insisting that I take care of myself. “Get help,” they told me. “You need professional guidance,” my family and friends chanted as I navigated this unfamiliar chapter in our lives. I said it wasn’t necessary because I give guidance for a living. I work with women and girls on dealing with life’s challenges. I figured I knew what to do; I’d simply employ the principles of the Tao, breathe deeply, and meditate—and I’d be just fine. Well, and maybe I’d swallow a few Ativan from time to time. Finally they told me to go speak to someone even just to prove them all wrong. It turned out that was the challenge I could not refuse.

What was it like when you did seek help for yourself?

Eventually I met with the social worker in the facility’s caregiver center. She was lovely, kind, caring, smart and offered many helpful suggestions—but none that I had not already come up with myself. That’s not entirely true; she did give me a few tidbits of new information and, even though I was reluctant, I had to admit that hearing her words validated and enhanced what I was already doing. She, and her point of view, gave me some measure of comfort.

What belief was holding you in that place where you felt you needed to resist help?

I remained by his side all day, every day because to not be there meant, to me, that I was deserting him. I had lost perspective. In the words of a very wise friend, truly deserting Joe would have meant flying off to Lake Como with George Clooney, not going around the block for a walk or getting my hair cut. Still, I remained resolutely calm, controlled and clinical. I knew I could not—should not—cry, be upset or throw a tantrum in front of Joe. What he most needed was my strength and love. That was true, but what I most needed was to cry, be angry, frightened and frustrated when I was away from him. Instead, I clung to being strong and not letting those feelings surface, not with friends, not with our kids, not even with myself.

It’s not surprising you couldn’t keep juggling all the balls; that’s a lot to bear. What happened when you finally let go of having to be all and do all?

It took a volcanic meltdown for me to grasp that I was not omnipotent and needed to take time and space to replenish my depleted body and soul. I erupted like Vesuvius. I phoned one of my closest friends and sobbed uncontrollably as I walked from the hospital to my hotel. While still on the phone, I stopped in at a CVS to pick up some medications I expected would be waiting for me. When I discovered that the pharmacy was closed, I cursed like a crazy woman. My friend on the phone heard all of it and she must have been nodding and perhaps pleased that I had finally allowed my emotions to come out. They should have been expressed sooner. I should have allowed myself the anger, frustration, concern and sadness, rather than assuming I was robotic and above those very human feelings. It took an eruption of tears and rage (not to mention an occasional apple martini and piece of chocolate cake) to teach me that I am mortal and vulnerable. It was not a pretty lesson, but it was the start of my learning that it was absolutely imperative to take care of myself physically, emotionally and mentally, while still taking care of Joe. Caregivers of the world, heed these words before you, too, are transformed into a volcano. It is not the best way to heal your fractured soul. Soothe yourself too, not just the others around you. Connect with CJ Golden at May 2018


INTO THE WOODS Nature Helps Kids Build Skills and Character by April Thompson


movement is afoot to get kids grounded in nature. Wilderness awareness programs, also known as primitive skills or Earth-based education, teach life-changing survival skills that build courage, compassion and camaraderie. “We help youth experience a true aliveness in nature. Kids gain knowledge of the outdoors and increase awareness, confidence and self-reliance, while having fun, positive experiences,” says Dave Scott, founder of the Earth Native Wilderness School (, in Bastrop, Texas. They often go on to enthusiastically share what they’ve learned about natural flora and fauna with their families.

Experiential Learning

Youth engaged with organizations like this one enjoy gaining nature-oriented survival skills, such as making bows, baskets, shelters and fire. “By making a bow out of a particular type of tree, children discover what type of habitat the tree prefers and how to harvest it sustainably. Indigenous skills like animal tracking also help them relate to wildlife and develop empathy for animals,” says Scott. “When you learn to trust rather than fear nature, you’re more likely to take care of it,” adds Rick Berry, founder of 4 Elements Earth Education (, a Nevada City, California, nonprofit that helps kids and adults connect with planet Earth via immer44

Fairfield County/Housatonic Valley Edition

sion in nature. Leaving room for spontaneity and improvisation is important. While infusing indigenous knowledge into their curriculum, wilderness programs emphasize universal principles such as deep understanding of local environments and life’s interconnectedness. “Fire making is for everybody. Shelter making is for everybody. We are all caretakers of the land,” says Berry. Physical and other challenges, such as walking blindfolded through the woods, heighten sensory perception while building confidence. “The landscape is a great teacher with its uneven ground and obstacles, posing an opportunity to learn agility, practice balance and ultimately, expand awareness,” says Simon Abramson, associate director of Wild Earth (, in High Falls, New York. Nature-immersion programs like Wild Earth’s further help kids sharpen their observation skills through activities like learning to identify birdsongs and trees. During a popular activity called “sit spot”, children learn to sit quietly, listen and observe from a specific location they may revisit over the course of a day or year to witness nature’s varied beauty. Another time, they may try “foxwalking”, creeping silently and slowly, or test their “owl vision”, using peripheral vision. For younger kids, instructors may incorporate such skills into a game like “coyote or rabbit,” where by staying still, they can avoid detection by a predator.

Hurst Photo/

healthy kids

Kids learn to listen both to nature and their own inner voice, which can be challenging in the midst of dominating peers and authority figures. “We build on the tradition of vision quest, in taking time to get quiet in nature and hear what the heart is saying,” says Berry. Activities may be patterned after natural cycles of the seasons, the four directions and diurnal rhythms. On a bright morning, emphasis is on high-energy, outward-facing activities; day’s end brings a pause to reflect, glean and share what participants have made and learned.

Lasting Life Lessons

Mother Nature’s lessons can be hard-earned, but the outdoor trials that kids experience are often their most honored and memorable moments. Whether youths try out a wilderness program for a season or stay on for years, Earth-based learning can have an enduring impact. They help foster healthy relationships not only with the Earth, but with other people, according to Samuel Bowman, a program coordinator with the Wilderness Awareness School (, in Duvall, Washington. Team-driven activities like building a communal shelter can help kids learn how to work through conflict, listen to others and appreciate differences. “The kids that have come through our programs prove to be creative problem-solvers prepared to handle just about anything. They have focus and commitment, and tend to be service oriented,” observes Abramson, noting that 60 percent of their instructors are alumni. “Thinking back on kids we’ve worked with, you can often see their wilderness journey reflected in their paths as adults, how they are making choices with their heart and pursuing their passions,” concludes Berry. Connect with April Thompson, in Washington, D.C., at

Local Resources AUDUBON GREENWICH Greenwich • 203-869-5272 • BARTLETT ARBORETUM & GARDENS Stamford • 203-322-6971 • COMMON GROUND New Haven • 203-389-4333 • CONNECTICUT AUDUBON SOCIETY Fairfield • 203-259-6305 • THE DARIEN NATURE CENTER Darien • 203-655-7459 • EARTHPLACE Westport • 203-557-4400 • FLANDERS NATURE CENTER Woodbury • 203-263-3711 • GARDEN OF IDEAS Ridgefield • 203-431-9914 • GREAT HOLLOW NATURE PRESERVE & ECOLOGICAL RESEARCH CENTER New Fairfield • 203-546-7789 • NEW CANAAN NATURE CENTER New Canaan • 203-966-9577 • ORCHARD HILL NATURE CENTER Newtown • 203-270-4340 • PRATT NATURE CENTER New Milford • 860-355-3137 • STAMFORD MUSEUM & NATURE CENTER Stamford • 203-322-1646 • TRUMBULL NATURE CENTER Trumbull • 203-452-4421 • TWO COYOTES WILDERNESS SCHOOL Newtown • 203-843-3112 • WESTBROOK NATURE SCHOOL Redding • 203-664-1554 • WOODCOCK NATURE CENTER Wilton • 203-762-7280 •

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A YEAR OF INSPIRED LIVING A Year of Inspired Living

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ver since skin cancer scares penetrated the national psyche in the mid-1980s, Americans have been conditioned to cover up and slather on sunscreen when we leave the house. Now experts say we haven’t been doing ourselves a favor, even when strictly using all-natural formulas. We’ve been blocking the sun’s life-giving rays, essential for the body’s production of vitamin D, and possibly prompting a host of health problems.

Safe Exposure Update

“Ninety percent of the vitamin D we get comes from the sun, and exposing arms and legs for a few minutes a day is enough for most people with no risk of skin cancer,” says Registered Nurse Sue Penckofer, Ph.D., a professor in the School of Nursing at Chicago’s Loyola University. She’s the lead researcher for the Sunshine 2 Study, a clinical trial investigating the vitamin’s vital role in relieving depression. “Every tissue and cell of your body requires vitamin D to function properly,” says Michael Holick, Ph.D., a medical doc-

Fairfield County/Housatonic Valley Edition

tor who has pioneered vitamin D research at the Boston University Medical Center. A 40-year professor at the Boston University School of Medicine, he’s a fervent advocate of sensible sun exposure. “Vitamin D is actually a hormone, essential for bone and muscle health. It plays a significant role in reducing the risk of infectious diseases, including cardiovascular problems and certain cancers, contributes to brain function and memory, and elevates mood, all while reducing early mortality,” explains Holick, author of The Vitamin D Solution: A 3-Step Strategy to Cure Our Most Common Health Problem. Yet, he says, about half of all Americans are among the 1 billion people worldwide that are vitamin D deficient. Published vitamin D research in the U.S. National Library of Medicine turns up 74,486 studies and citations dating back to 1922, with nearly half done in the past 10 years; 478 of the total were authored or co-authored by Holick or cited his research. His work confirms that sensible sun exposure and supplementing with natural

At least 10 hours a week outdoors in sunshine is crucial for children under 6 for development of healthy eyes. Otherwise, the risk of myopia increases, which in turn lends risk for cataracts and glaucoma in adulthood. ~University of Sydney Adolescent and Eye Study of 2,000 children vitamin D3 brings vitamin D levels to the optimal 40 to 60 nanograms per milliliter (ng/ml). New research from the University of Surrey, in the UK, found D3 twice as effective in raising vitamin D levels as D2, which is often synthetically produced. While the human body manufactures vitamin D as a response to sun exposure, eating certain foods like fatty fish, egg yolks and cheese can help. Fortifying foods with the vitamin is controversial. “It’s interesting that the right sun exposure will correct D deficiency rapidly, but won’t create an excess. Our bodies stop producing the hormone vitamin D once we have enough,” says Dr. Robert Thompson, an obstetrician, gynecologist and nutrition specialist in Anchorage, Alaska, and author of The Calcium Lie II: What Your Doctor Still Doesn’t Know.

Bare Minimum Holick, who differentiates between unhealthy tanning and healthy

sun exposure, recommends exposing arms and legs to noonday sun for five to 10 minutes three times a week for most people. He adds, “Everyone needs 1,500 to 2,000 international units of vitamin D3 [supplements] a day year-round, and obese people need two to three times that much, because their ability to manufacture vitamin D is impaired.” Penckofer’s research confirms that fair-skinned people absorb the sun’s rays easily and quickly, while darker-skinned people have a natural sunblock, so they need much longer sun exposure to absorb the UVB rays that trigger the production of vitamin D. She remarks that inadequate vitamin D is a possible explanation for the greater risk of high blood pressure observed in African-Americans. Holick contends that anyone living north of Atlanta, Georgia, cannot get enough winter sun exposure to maintain optimal vitamin D levels. “While vitamin D can be stored in the body for up to two months, a winter-induced deficiency is a convincing explanation for the seasonal affective disorder that strikes many in northern states in January, just two months after the weather turns too cold to get sufficient sun exposure,” explains Penckofer. “In Alaska, we eat lots of fatty fish and take D supplements in winter. We know there’s no chance we’re getting the D we need from the sun, even when we’re sunbathing in negative 30 degrees Fahrenheit temperatures,” quips Thompson. Kathleen Barnes is the author of numerous books on natural health, including Food Is Medicine: 101Prescriptions from the Garden. Connect at

May 2018


wise words

Ilona Selke on the

Power of Dreaming Big by April Thompson


or 30 years, international bestselling author, teacher and speaker Ilona Selke has inspired thousands of people worldwide to create a more fulfilling life by discovering the power of their consciousness. She’s the author of six books, including Dream Big: The Universe is Listening and The Big Secret, co-authored with Jack Canfield. Her Living from Vision course, available in six languages including Chinese, teaches how to use the power of visualization to tap into our highest potential and deepest dreams in order to manifest miracles. Born in the Himalayas to German parents, Selke spent her first three years in Afghanistan speaking Persian and German, and then grew up in Germany. She moved to the U.S. at age 20 to study philosophy, where she met her husband and partner, Don Paris. The couple spent 25 years studying and communicating with dolphins in natural waters, experiences shared through her books Wisdom of the Dolphins and

Dolphins, Love and Destiny. They split their time between a geodesic dome home on a Northwest Pacific island and the Shambala retreat center they founded in Bali.

What is key to manifesting our dreams and desires? It’s a four-step process. First, form a clear description in your mind, positively framed and based on your passion. No matter how big the dream, if you are behind it heart and soul, you will manifest miracles. Next, imagine the scenario as if it has already happened. The third and most vital step is to feel the feeling of your fulfilled wish as if it has already manifested. Fourth, create a metaphorical image that represents the feeling. By applying this method, our clients have manifested a desired pregnancy, funding for an overseas orphanage and redemption of a suicidal teen. In the latter case, the young man went on to focus on his dream of learning jazz piano well enough to play benefit concerts for children being treated for cancer.

Which universal principles are at work behind manifestation? We live in a conscious, interactive universe, and it is listening. Our Western scientific mindset may not support the idea, but thousands of years of mystical teachings, as well as new understanding via quantum physics, teach that the observer is an intri-

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cate part of what appears to be solid matter. In practice, it means we can communicate intentionally with the universe. When we learn to do so, it responds to us.

How do our thoughts affect our reality? All our thoughts, subconscious as well as conscious, affect how things manifest around us. If we have contradictory beliefs, it is hard to manifest things. For example, if we say we want money, but somehow believe that money is dirty, evil or undeserved, then we are pushing and pulling against ourselves. It’s important to dive into our subconscious mind and heart, and deal with the negative feelings that dwell there, such as hurt, sadness and trauma. Make this a daily activity—cleaning your emotional being. Eventually, your subconscious and conscious mind as well as the superconscious will all point in one direction and you will see your desired results. We guide people to build their success, aspirations and dreams in alignment with their deepest values as well as their purpose in life. Uniting purpose and direction is tremendous fuel for moving in the direction of your dreams.

Why does choosing goals aligned with our purpose make them manifest more easily? Personal goals and inner purpose are not always aligned for everyone. However, when you take time to become aware of your deepest dreams, you may find that a part of your purpose is embedded in them. Be aware that many people confuse their larger life purpose with their talents. Our talents are what we love to do, what we are good at. Yet our deeper purpose actually is to shine more light and share more love. That is the common true root to our purpose. My suggestion is to read books that share success stories from those that are living on purpose and provide step-by-step instructions on how to get there. Connect with April Thompson, in Washington, D.C., at

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i Celebrating 28 years in business! I 838 Main Street, Tollgate Plaza, Monroe, CT Tues & Fri 9-5 | Wed & Thur 9-8 • Sat 8-4 |

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1177 High Ridge Road, Stamford, CT 203-595-0110 May 2018




inspired table

Harbor Harvest Debuts Coffee Bar Hang your hat while enjoying a hot or cold beverage at Harbor Harvest’s new Harbor Joe Coffee Bar. Sample house-brewed coffees, Shearwater Organics, espresso and cappuccino while enjoying a product from the store’s new bakery area. Fresh breads and pastry will be offered everyday with Huckleberries and SONO bakery items. Harbor Harvest is dedicated to developing the relationship between farmer, harbor and customer. Their mission is to provide convenient access to healthy, nutritious food sourced from local and regional farms, and artisans at a price that supports the local community—bringing our fresh produce, dairy, meats, seafood and more to your table. For more information, call 203-939-9289, or visit or Location: Harbor Harvest, 7 Cove Ave, Norwalk. See ad, page 25.

Norwalk’s Farm Pollinator Dinner & Soirée

To advertise or participate in our next issue, call

203-885-4674 50

Sugar & Olives supports CT NOFA's mission to ensure the growth and viability of organic agriculture, organic food and organic land care in Connecticut. Executive Chef and Sugar & Olives Owner Jennifer Balin believes that together, businesses and communities can improve our food system. To that end, Sugar & Olives will host an exclusive dinner party on June 2 from 6:30 to 9pm, hosted by Chef Balin. Dinner will be followed by a "Pollinator Party" with dancing into the late evening. Sugar & Olives seeks to educate diners, and cultivate the relationship between farms and families. This summer dinner with Chef Balin will feature a wonderful selection of local, organically grown produce harvested to achieve maximum nutritional value. Ingredients for the Farm Pollinator Dinner will come from these and possibly a few other fine local farms: The Hickories, Gilbertie's Herb Gardens, Fort Hill Farm, Sport Hill Farm, Stone Gardens, Millstone Farm and Sepe Farm. All funds raised will support CT NOFA's new Cover Crop & Farm Pollinator Habitat Initiative planned for 2018-2020. Seating is limited; tables are available. Tickets cost $150 per person (includes beverages, tax, tip and donation). For more information, email To reserve tickets by phone, call 203-613-8813. Location: Sugar & Olives, 21 1/2 Lois Ln, Norwalk.

Fairfield County/Housatonic Valley Edition

The health benefits of chaga are well-documented, but conscious eating

perhaps its most impressive abilities are as an actual cancer treatment as identified by the Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. It is well known to curb cancer growth and can be used as an adaptogen tonic. Also most impressive is chaga’s ability to activate immune cells to stimulate lagging immune systems, reduce inflammation by limiting cytokine production, protect the liver by increasing antioxidants, and fight gastritis by reducing ulcer-causing Helicobacter pylori bacterium. Best ways to consume it: By making a tea out of its powder.


5 Medicinal Mushrooms for Lyme Disease by Gregg Kirk


ince May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month, it seems an appropriate time to review a form of treatment support many Lyme disease patients, doctors and practitioners may have overlooked. Used by ancient Greek and Asian cultures for thousands of years, medicinal mushrooms are just now making their way into our public awareness because of powerful medicinal properties that rival the most popular pharmaceutical and herbal remedies. The collection of mushrooms mentioned in this article have been “handpicked” for individuals with Lyme disease because of their abilities to curb inflammation, support nervous system repair, and fight viruses and bacteria. We intentionally left off Turkey Tail and Maitake mushrooms, varieties which have strong anti-cancer properties but do not seem as helpful to the average patient with Lyme disease as these following mushrooms.

Chaga Chaga is a mushroom that has been used by ancient cultures for thousands of years and given a reverent nickname, “Gift from God”. Its tough texture is similar to wood, with a dark black outer layer and a golden-brown interior. It is usually found co-existing with birch trees in some of the harshest and coldest climates in the world, including the northern U.S., Canada, Scandinavia and Russia. It not only survives in these climates, but it strengthens itself and its host tree in the process.

Cordyceps mushrooms have been used for centuries as a tonic herb in both Chinese and Tibetan medicine. It grows at high altitudes of over 3,800 meters above sea level in the Himalayan mountains where it was first noticed by yak farmers that noticed the health benefits their livestock enjoyed when consuming it. Cordyceps is known to boost metabolism, reduce fatigue, increase testosterone in men, and act as an immune stimulant and strong antioxidant. Well-known Lyme disease doctors, Dr. Stephen Buhner and Dr. Qingcai Zhang, both use cordyceps in their protocols because of the natural killer cell function, immune-boosting properties and anti-inflammatory abilities. Best ways to consume it: By tincture.

Lion’s Mane The Lion’s mane mushroom grows on broad-leaf hardwood trees in temperate areas of North America, Europe and Asia. It gets its name from its waterfall-like flowing tendrils. It’s also known by other nicknames, such as “bearded tooth” and the “pom pom mushroom”. Like other medicinal mushrooms, lion’s mane is excellent for the immune system. However, what sets it apart is its health benefits for the brain and nervous system. It has been shown to improve cognition and concentration, and to reduce depression and anxiety. Lion’s mane also has compounds that stimulate the production of nerve growth factor (NGF). NGF is a valuable tool in helping patients with nerve damage, which is a concern of many Lyme disease patients. Lion’s mane can indirectly stimulate the production of NGF without having to pass through the bloodbrain barrier to do so. And, finally, lion’s mane protects the network of connections that nerves use to send signals throughout the body. These can be compromised in Lyme disease patients. The mushroom is known to promote the growth of this insulation, called myelin. Best ways to consume it: Must be consumed by tincture to receive full benefits. May 2018



The Reishi mushroom has been used by physicians for thousands of years in China, where it was nicknamed the “mushroom of immortality” for its effectiveness at preventing illness and curing disease. Initially, it was only available to the ruling class in the Orient, however, more recently reishi mushrooms have become widely available and are one of the most studied natural medicines available. Reishi is what is known in Chinese medicine as a tonic, meaning it is recommended for it to be consumed regularly and in high quantities to achieve its beneficial effects. Reishi also falls into the category of adaptogen herbs due to its ability to help the body adapt to and blunt the negative effects of stressors, such as anxiety, fatigue, trauma and emotional distress. Its most impressive feature may be its ability to curb cancer growth. In a 2013 study, reishi mushrooms were found to shrink aggressive breast cancer cells in vitro and in vivo by 50 percent. Reishi has

The collection of mushrooms mentioned in this article have been “handpicked” for individuals with Lyme disease because of their abilities to curb inflammation, support nervous system repair, and fight viruses and bacteria. also been found to have antiviral, antiinflammatory and antibacterial properties.

mildly fragrant mushroom more than 600 years ago, and its medicinal properties have also been known for centuries. Shiitakes are heart-healthy because they can lower cholesterol and decrease the tendency of blood platelets to stick together. Like all medicinal mushrooms, they can help prevent cancer formation, even going so far as to stimulate cancer cells to destroy themselves. Shiitakes show strong antiviral properties with an ability to stimulate the immune system, which is important to Lyme disease patients. The mushrooms can even destroy the microbes that cause tooth decay.

Best ways to consume it: By making a tea out of its powder.

Best ways to consume it: Fresh in cooking or by tincture.


Gregg Kirk is a Lyme disease advocate, a former patient, and the current practitioner who runs the Lyme Recovery Clinic in Darien, the Ticked Off Foundation nonprofit patient fund and the Ticked Off Music Fest benefit concert series. Connect at 203-8589725 or

Found growing wild in the mountainous regions of China, Japan, Indonesia and Taiwan, the shiitake is the second-most widely cultivated mushroom in the world. It is commonly used in many Asian cuisines. The Chinese were the first to cultivate this

Thousands of Years of Food Wisdom in Twelve Months

The Institute of Sustainable Nutrition

Nourishment From The Ground Up Offering a One-Year Certification Program in Sustainable Health & Nutrition This Innovative School Integrates the Science of Nutrition with:

Practicing Sustainable Gardening Methods

Preparing Traditional Kitchen Medicine

Learning Kitchen Culinary Skills

Identifying Nutrient-rich Wild Plants

Embark on this life-altering journey and be part of the movement to change the paradigm of our food for future generations. Join our experienced staff one weekend a month as you use hands-on education to delve into and explore diverse aspects of how food and herbs enhance the health of your clients, friends, family, yourself and the environment.

Adventures on the Farm

May 11, 6-8pm June 9, 10am-12p


Now accepting applications for 2018 -19 | Call 860-764-9070 today!

Holcomb Farm | 113 Simsbury Road | West Granby, CT | www.tiosn.con 52

Fairfield County/Housatonic Valley Edition



conscious eating

coconut nectar/syrup, brown rice syrup, cane juice and cane crystals, vinegar, “spices” that is likely code for MSG, water and refined salt. All of this makes ketchup addicting,” she says. “While you could pay for pricey organic ketchup and condiments that come without added sugars, you can save money by spending five minutes in the kitchen to make your own.” Find a recipe at


CRAZY-GOOD CONDIMENTS DIY Versions Add Zest and Nutrients


by Judith Fertig

hile not essential to every dish or meal, condiments provide extra flavoring, final flourishes and added enjoyment to any dish. Such meal accompaniments range from vinegars to spreads and sauces, finishing spice mixtures and natural salts. America’s previous king of condiments was ketchup. Today, according to a 2017 poll from, it stands behind mayonnaise and mustard with soy and hot sauce rounding out the top five (generic product ranking at We often take familiar condiments for granted, yet a look at their ingredients can be startling. Many prominently include processed corn syrup and other sugars, sodium, gluten, monosodium glutamate (MSG), artificial flavors and unpronounceable preservatives, according to Dana Angelo White, a registered dietitian in Fairfield, Connecticut. Homemade versions of condiments provide a happy alternative. They not only taste great, but can be good for us. “Certain condiments add more to your meals than flavor—some actually improve your health,” says White. The potassium in homemade mustard is good for the digestive system through stimulating the flow of saliva, suggests a study in the Indian Journal of Medical Research. Homemade ketchup made with small cooked tomatoes is rich in lycopene, a nutrient that protects heart health, according to research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. White’s fresh-made “THE Green Sauce,” full of vitamin-rich avocado and cilantro, is replete with antioxidants (

Better Basics Ketchup

Heather McClees, a plant-based nutritionist in South Carolina who blogs at One Green Planet, once loved commercial ketchup; then she read the labels. “Most ketchup is made of tomato concentrates, sugars, including high-fructose corn syrup, cane sugar, agave nectar,

Serious Eats food writer Joshua Bousel uses only six ingredients to make a deliciously easy Grainy Mustard: yellow and brown mustard seeds, dry white wine, white wine vinegar, kosher salt and an optional pinch of brown sugar. Learn how at WholeGrainDijonRecipe.

Mayonnaise and Ranch Dressing

Eschewing eggs, J. Kenji Lopez-Alt, of San Mateo, California, uses aquafaba, the starchy liquid in a can of chickpeas, for a plant-based twist on emulsified mayonnaise. Find it at In her Mebane, North Carolina, kitchen, Kim Campbell, author of The PlantPure Kitchen, makes a plant-based ranch dressing with tofu for body and nutritional yeast, herbs and lemon juice to achieve the characteristic flavor. Find it at

More Exotic Condiments Pomegranate Molasses

Sweet and tart pomegranate molasses can be used like vinegar in salad dressings, as a marinade ingredient or as syrup over pancakes and waffles. Angela Buchanan, aka Angela Cooks, a professor at the University of Colorado, in Boulder, who blogs at SeasonalAnd, follows the Whole30 program, which bars sugar. Because she also likes Middle-Eastern food, Buchanan experimented and created her recipe for Pomegranate Molasses without added sugar (

Superfood Popcorn Seasoning

Green popcorn is fun. With a spirulina powder, garlic powder, sea salt and cayenne pepper spice mix, even a movie snack can be healthy. “Spirulina is one of the most potent of all superfoods. Available in a powder form, it’s a blue-green algae that provides protein, B vitamins and iron. It’s used as a natural energizer, digestive aid and detoxifier,” says Tara Milhern, a holistic health coach in New York City. She also likes it sprinkled on baked potatoes or vegetables as a finishing flavor. See Without preservatives, homemade healthy condiments don’t last as long as commercial versions. McClees advises, “I store mine in a glass mason jar for one week in the fridge. I choose a half-pint-size jar, since the less empty space there is at the top of the jar, the longer it keeps.” Judith Fertig writes cookbooks plus foodie fiction from Overland Park, KS ( May 2018


1 Tbsp lemon juice 1 tsp nutritional yeast 1 tsp dry mustard ¼ tsp paprika ½ tsp celery seeds 1 Tbsp dried chives ¾ cup filtered water Blend all ingredients in a food processor until smooth.

Plant-Based Ranch Dressing “Ranch dressing can be dairy-free and made with tofu, making it plant-based and oil-free,” says Kim Campbell. Yields: about 2 cups 2 lb tofu, about 2 (14-oz) packages 1½ Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped ¾ cup onion, finely chopped 2 cloves garlic 3 Tbsp distilled white vinegar 2 Tbsp agave syrup


Courtesy of Kim Campbell, from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies at

THE Green Sauce

“This sauce is a salad dressing, dipping sauce or sandwich spread,” says nutrition expert Dana Angelo White. “After tasting it, you’ll be putting it on everything.” Yields: about 2 cups 1 avocado, peeled and seeded

Fairfield County/Housatonic Valley Edition

Juice of 2 limes 2 cups fresh cilantro (leaves and stems) 1 jalapeno pepper 2 Tbsp white vinegar 1 Tbsp honey 1 tsp kosher salt ¼ white onion 1 cup filtered water Combine ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed. If mixture appears too thick, add a little more water. Courtesy of Registered Dietitian Dana Angelo White

photos by Stephen Blancett

DIY Condiment Recipes

calendar of events


All Calendar events must be received by the 10th of the month prior to publication and adhere to our guidelines. Calendar submissions must be entered online at click on “submit calendar” at the very top of the page.

WEDNESDAY, MAY 2 Essential Oils Make and Take: Essential Oils and Emotions – 7-8:30pm. Learn what oils work for you, and create products to bring them home with you. Bring your oils if you have them, but don’t worry as we are happy to share. Free. RSVP for Norwalk address.

THURSDAY, MAY 3 The Illusionists - Live from Broadway – 8-9:30pm. This mind-blowing spectacular showcases the jaw-dropping talents of five of the most incredible illusionists on earth. This non-stop show is packed with thrilling and sophisticated magic of unprecedented proportions. Tickets: $62; $82.50; $103.50. The Palace Theater, 61 Atlantic St, Stamford. 203-325-4466.

FRIDAY, MAY 4 Reiki Level 1 Workshop – 10am-5:30pm. With Gigi Benanti. Learn Western style from an experienced Reiki master (20 years). Includes latest info. Learn how to use Reiki for self-healing and healing for others. 2 manuals and certificate. $125. Angelic Healing Center for Reiki, 7 Morgan Ave, Norwalk. 203-852-1150.

markyourcalendar 13TH OCTAVE LAHOCHI PRACTITIONER TRAINING with Dr. Eilis Philpott Soul Healing Journey, LLC Thursday, June, 21 (evening) Friday, June 22 • Saturday, June 23 Sunday, June 24 (all day Fri, Sat & Sun, 10am-5pm) Eilis is one of two teachers approved by Linda Dillon and the Council of Love to teach the 13th Octave LaHoChi. This gift is the anchoring of our divinity in physicality, as we move from the ascension process to the creation process. The 13th Octave LaHoChi is the next step in energy healing; it is a quantum leap available now to the healers and people of Nova Earth. Investment: $600 Early bird price $500 - save $100 before 5/1/18 $100 deposit required to register Payment plans available Sharing the Light Wholistic Center, LLC 395 West Avon Rd, Avon Registration required: 203-767-5954 Practitioner-Training

SATURDAY, MAY 5 Reiki 1st Degree Workshop – 9:30am-5:30pm. With Gigi Benanti. Learn Western style from an experienced Reiki master (20 years). Includes latest info. Learn how to use Reiki for self-healing and healing for others. 2 manuals and certificate. $125. Angelic Healing Center for Reiki, 7 Morgan Ave, Norwalk. 203-852-1150. AngelHealReikiGigiB@ No-Till Veggie Gardening – 10am-noon. With Sharon Gensler, soil carbon expert, NOFA Mass. Take your backyard veggie garden to a whole new level. 1875 Noble Ave, Bridgeport. 203-308-2584. Acupuncture Works Anniversary Party/Open House – 2-6pm. Celebrate 6 years of Acupuncture Works. Appetizers will be served with tea and coffee. Live music performed by Chelsea Weir. Prizes and more. Free. Acupuncture Works, 132A State Rt 37, New Fairfield. 203-297-5399. Evening of Community Kirtan – 7-8:30pm. With Kristen Ambrosi and Jagadisha Petrovic. This transformative call-and-response practice is joyful, healing and beautiful. No vocal experience or yoga mats needed. All welcome. $25/in advance; $30/ at door. The Jiiva Center, 2900 Main St, Ste 1A, Stratford. 203-345-7747. Support@JiivaCenter. com.

SUNDAY, MAY 6 David Young Concert – 1-3pm. A Portal between Heaven & Earth Concert and Meditation with David Young. A heart-opening sound healing experience GRAMMY-nominated singer/songwriter double flautist. $30/in advance; $35/at door. Albertson Memorial Church, 293 Sound Beach Ave, Old Greenwich. 203-637-4615. Info@AlbertsonChurch. org. Make a Living While Making a Difference – 5-6:30pm. Join a successful growing team representing the #1 natural wellness company in the U.S. Find out if this is a good fit for you. Call or text Michael Rosenbaum to register. Free. 66 Judith Dr, Danbury. 914-589-3601. MichaelR@

TUESDAY, MAY 8 Rewiring the Brain: What is Neurofeedback? – 7-8:30pm. With Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge, EdD, BCN, LPC, board certified in neurofeedback. Neurofeedback therapy is a powerful, safe, non-medication treatment for common childhood and adult issues and disorders. Free. The Offices of Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge, 898 Ethan Allen Hwy, Ste 6, Ridgefield. 203-438-4848. Info@

Healthy Cooking Basics - Module I – 9:3011:30am. With Eliana Grubel, board-certified health coach and personal chef. Learn the basics of a healthy kitchen. In this class, explore green, sweet, sea vegetables and more. Small class sizes, please pre-register. Call for Bridgeport address. $30. 203-559-8946. Journey Through the Koshas with Priti Robyn Ross – 1:30-4:30pm. Experiential journey into yoga asana through the lens of the five layers of the body known as the Koshas. Participants will leave with an understanding that will enrich self-discovery, deepen yoga practice and broaden teaching skills. $45-$75. Yoga Studio at Club Fit, 584 North State Rd, Briarcliff, NY. 914-582-7816. YTAPresident@

SUNDAY, MAY 13 Cutting Cord Workshop – 1-3pm. Rid yourself of negative energetic ties. You will learn to identify and locate negative energetic ties that bind you to past relationships that no longer serve you. You will feel lighter and increase the flow of positive energy so that you can live a happier and freer life. $30. Albertson Memorial Church, 293 Sound Beach Ave, Old Greenwich. 203-637-4615. Info@

markyourcalendar ALBERTSON MEMORIAL CHURCH UPCOMING EVENTS: Spiritual/Psychic Fair Saturday, May 5th • 11am-2pm • $35+ Saturday, June 2 • 11am-4pm • $35+ A Portal Between Heaven & Earth Concert with David Young Sunday, May 6 • 1-3pm • $30/Adv; $35/Door Cord Cutting with Rev. Jessica Lawrence Sunday, May 13 • 1-3pm • $30 The Medium as a Practitioner with Rev. Maria Reluzco Sunday, May 20 • 1-3pm • $30 Community Drum Healing Circle with Oscar Recalde Saturday, May 19 • 4-6pm • $15

Ongoing Events: Sunday Service 11am-12:30pm

Beginner Psychic & Mediumship Class with Bobby Kitsios Wednesdays • 7-9pm • $20 Cancelled Services & Events will be posted on our website. Albertson Memorial Church 293 Sound Beach Ave, Old Greenwich 203-556-9521 • May 2018




Creating Positive Patterns plus: Natural Beauty

Autoimmune Autopilot plus: Inflammatory Triggers

calendar of events WEDNESDAY, MAY 16 Organic Management for Invasive Plants – 10am-2pm. With Mike Nadeau, organic land care leader. Learn how to take the synthetic chemicals out of your land management plan. Learn organic trade secrets for removing unwanted vegetation. Beardsley Zoo, 1875 Noble Ave, Bridgeport. 203308-2584.

SATURDAY, MAY 19 Detox DIY (Do It Yourself) – 10-11:30am. With Eliana Grubel, board-certified health coach and personal chef (13 years). Learn how to plan and execute your own cleanse that works with your taste, diet preference and lifestyle. Pre-register, space is limited. Free. Jewish Community Center, 1035 Newfield Ave, Stamford. 203-559-8946. Cleanfood4UrType. Thai Bodywork 2 Day Workshop – 5/19: 1:305:30pm; 5/20: Noon-4pm. Thai massage is a combination of assisted stretching along with acupressure on the muscles. Combined, they work to open and balance energies, help with aches and muscle pain, and increase mobility and relaxation, among other benefits. $175/early bird by 5/5; $200/ thereafter. The Jiiva Center, 2900 Main St, Ste 1A, Stratford. 203-345-7747. Support@JiivaCenter. com.

markyourcalendar UPCOMING ADVENTURES AT THE FARM! Friday, May 11 • 6-8pm and Saturday, June 9 • 10am-Noon

Soulful Parenting plus: Generational Healing

Join us for a lovely visit at the farm where you can learn about wild edibles, taste something delicious made by a student, share in a cup of delicious tea and more. You always learn something new when you head out on an adventure! Free Holcomb Farm 113 Simsbury Rd, West Granby RSVP: 860-764-9070


Contact us to learn about marketing opportunities and become a member of the Natural Awakenings community:



New Morning Market is turning 47 and we couldn’t have done it without our amazing customers! Bring the whole family to sample our favorite products, grab a bite from the grill, and win raffle prizes at our customer appreciation event! Free Event. New Morning Market 129 Main St N, Woodbury


Fairfield County/Housatonic Valley Edition

Community Drumming Circle – 4-6pm. Experience the sound and healing power of the drum. Drum circles are a great way to bring people together and create opportunities to connect, interact and share sacred group togetherness. $15. Albertson Memorial Church, 293 Sound Beach Ave, Old Greenwich. 203-637-4615. Info@AlbertsonChurch. org.

WEDNESDAY, MAY 23 Is Synthroid Really Fixing my Hypothyroidism? – 6:30-7:30pm. With Dr. Ellen Lewis. Have you been diagnosed with hypothyroidism? Have you been prescribed Synthroid? Is your TSH continuously being monitored? But do you still fight weight gain, can’t find your libido or suffer from brain fog? With the right tests and treatment, you should feel healthy, energized and focused. Free. Shalva Clinic, 8 Lincoln St, Westport. 203-916-4600. Admin@

FRIDAY, MAY 25 Reiki Second Degree – 10am-5:30pm. With Gigi Benanti, Reiki master/teacher (20 years). Learn to send distance Reiki healing, deepen use of Reiki for others and yourself. Two powerful energy connections from my short Japanese/Usa Linage. Two manuals and certificate. $215. Angelic Healing Center, 7 Morgan Ave, Norwalk. 203-852-1150.

SATURDAY, MAY 26 Cooking For Your Type: BTO – 9:30-11:30am. With Eliana Grubel, board-certified health coach and personal chef. Explore tested recipes developed following more than 20 years of research that revealed the connection between blood type, diet and health. Learn about the beneficial foods and lifestyle activities that can reset your metabolism. Small class sizes, please pre-register. Call for Bridgeport address. $30. 203-559-8946. ElyGrubel@gmail. com. Reiki Second Degree Workshop – 9:30am-5:30pm. With Gigi Benanti, Reiki master/teacher (20 years). Learn to send distance Reiki healing, deepen use of Reiki for others and yourself. Two powerful energy connections from my short Japanese/Usa Lineage. Two manuals and certificate. $215. Angelic Healing Center, 7 Morgan Ave, Norwalk. 203-852-1150.

SATURDAY, JUNE 2 Farm Pollinator Dinner and Soirée – 6:30-9pm. Join us for an exclusive dinner party, hosted by Chef Jennifer Balin, where we celebrate bees, butterflies, and local organic farmers who provide pollinator habitat on their farms. Dinner followed by a “Pollinator Party” with dancing into the late evening. $150/per person. Sugar and Olives, 21 Lois St, Norwalk. 203-308-2584. CTNOFA060218.

TUESDAY, JUNE 5 Rewiring the Brain: What is Neurofeedback? – 7-8:30pm. With Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge, EdD, BCN, LPC, board certified in neurofeedback. Neurofeedback therapy is a powerful, safe, non-medication treatment for common childhood and adult issues and disorders. Free. The Offices of Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge, 898 Ethan Allen Hwy, Ste 6, Ridgefield. 203-438-4848. Info@

ongoing events

sunday Tal Fusion: Sunday Sweat – 9:15-10am. With Tal Fagin. Get your heart pumping and blood flowing with this eclectic, spirited, high energy class. Class is 50 minutes in length, so get ready to get in high gear. $18/class; $16/senior. Valley Spirit Cooperative & Wellness Center, 6 Green Hill Rd, Washington Depot. 860-619-2788. Gentle Yoga, Pranayama, Meditation – 9:3010:45am. Relax, release and flow into wellness in beginner/level 1 yoga classes with work on mindfulness practices, breathing techniques, alignment, flexibility and strength. Modifications suggested and props used when needed. $5/donation per class. Hindu Cultural Center of CT (HCC), 96 Chapel St, Stratford. 203-521-0359. HCC.Yoga. Satsang Meditation – 9:30-11am. Satsangs are wonderful spiritual and community gatherings of like-minded people. Satsangs with Shanti Mission Healers are filled with music, mantra, meditation, spiritual instruction/discourse and spiritual blessings to help you reset, recharge and get ready for the week ahead. By donation. Muktinath Holistic Center, 731 Main St, Monroe. 203-518-5808. MuktinathHC@ New Beginnings in Community Sunday Service – 10am. Join this group of spiritually-minded people embracing and honoring all world religions, belief systems, cultures and traditions. Come together to share thoughts, experiences and wisdom in a supportive environment. Free. Mystics By The Sea, 394 New Haven Ave, Milford. 203-980-6272. Family Meditation Program – 10-11:30am. Second and fourth Sunday. Ages 4-13. While the adults are meditating in the main building, young people can connect with others in their age-group, learn about mindfulness, compassion toward self and others. 203-244-3130. Mahasati or Insight Meditation – 10-11:30am. Learn how to live your life more skillfully through the development of self-awareness and mindfulness simple practice that can be easily incorporated into


daily life, and discover the benefits of becoming more present. 203-244-3130. Celebration Service – 10:30am-noon. With Rev. Shawn Moninger. Inspiring message supports your spiritual unfoldment with thought provoking, soul -healing topics and uplifting music. By donation. Unity Center of Norwalk, 3 Main St, 2nd Fl, Norwalk. 203-855-7922. Sunday Morning Meditation – 11-11:45am. Experience stillness and peace, establish a regular practice, reduce stress and tension, and enhance health and well-being. Meditation class for beginners and experienced meditators. $5/donation per class. Hindu Cultural Center of CT (HCC), 96 Chapel St, Stratford. 203-521-0359. HCC.Yoga. Sunday Albertson Memorial Church Service – 11am-12:30pm. Join us for inspirational sermons, meditation, energy healing and messages from Spirit. By donation. Albertson Memorial Church of Spiritualism, 293 Sound Beach Ave, Old Greenwich. 203-637-4615. Monthly Mystical Market – 11am-4pm. Third Sunday. Psychics, mediums, intuitives, CT artisans, vendors and holistic practitioners. Free admission, vendors prices vary. The Ruby Tree, 670 Main St S, Woodbury. 203-586-1655. Christina@ Ignite your Spirit Healing Clinic – 11:45am-2pm. Second Sunday. Muktinath healing clinics are a great way to try out or receive ongoing assistance with anything life throws your way. Must register in advance. $20/suggested contribution. Muktinath Holistic Center, 731 Main St, Monroe. 203-5185808. Muktinath Reiki Healing Clinic – 11:45am -2pm. First Sunday. Experience the beneficial effects of relaxation and feeling of peace from Reiki healing. Reiki strengthens and balances the body, mind and spirit. Must register in advance. $20/suggested contribution. Muktinath Holistic Center, 731 Main St, Monroe. 203-518-5808. MuktinathHC@gmail. com. Karma Community Yoga – 5:30-6:30pm. Fourth Sunday. Our monthly donation-based class. Bring a non-perishable food donation, and enjoy an hour for your mind, body and spirit. The Ruby Tree, Sherman Village, 670 Main St S, Woodbury. 203-586-1655.



Sunday, May 6 • 1-6pm

Releasing The Heart Qigong – 9:15-10:15am. Monday and Friday. Practicing Releasing the Heart has the power to bring about peace by removing distinctions between people, and reducing conflicts and quarrels. It is a uniquely carefree and vigorous form. $25. Barefoot Living Arts, 85 Mill Plain Rd, Bldg V, Fairfield.

Learn how your gut can impact your mental health. A Lecture, Panel Discussion and Q & A $63 The Westport Inn, 1595 Post Rd East, Westport Call with questions: Francesca, 914-837-6830 Register: (Events)

Yoga All Levels – 10-11am. With Caroline. Class given according to whatever level of student happens to show up. All levels welcome. The class is hatha flow based with elements of relaxation,

meditation, breath work, strength and flow. $18/ class; $16/senior. Valley Spirit Cooperative & Wellness Center, 6 Green Hill Rd, Washington Depot. 860-619-2788. Mid-day Meditation – 2-2:45pm. Monday-Friday. Come re-center in a group setting and cultivate peace during your busy day. Every weekday at 2pm, join us for a free meditation session. Stay as long as you are able, the option to leave as needed is always available. Free. Barefoot Living Arts, 85 Mill Plain Rd, Sportsplex at Fairfield Building V, Fairfield. Mahasati or Insight Meditation – 7-8:30pm. Learn how to live your life more skillfully through the development of self-awareness and mindfulness, simple practice that can be easily incorporated into daily life, and discover the benefits of becoming more present. 203-244-3130. Reiki Share – 7:30-9:30pm. Fourth Monday. With JoAnn Inserra Duncan, MS, RMT. Practice Reiki in a small group setting. Share experiences and help each other develop in a safe, fun environment while providing a wonderful, relaxing, rejuvenating experience. $20. Registration required. Turning Point Healing Arts and Education Center, 100B Danbury Rd, Ste 101, Ridgefield. 203-438-3050.

tuesday Slow Yoga – 10-11am. With Lella Ilyinsky. Class is set to a slower pace, and may include elements of restorative yoga, yin yoga and foundational flow sequences, depending on the needs of the class. Beginners welcome. $18/class; $16/senior. Valley Spirit Cooperative & Wellness Center, 6 Green Hill Rd, Washington Depot. 860-619-2788. Info@ Mahasati or Insight Meditation – 12:30-2pm. Learn how to live your life more skillfully through the development of self-awareness and mindfulness, simple practice that can be easily incorporated into daily life, and discover the benefits of becoming more present. 203-244-3130. Monthly Information Sessions at The Graduate Institute – 6:30-7:30pm. Join us for an info session every 2nd Tuesday of the month at The Graduate Institute. Please contact us to let us know that you’ll be attending. The Graduate Institute, 171 Amity Rd, Bethany. 203-874-4252. Reiki Share – 7-8:30pm. First Tuesday of the month. With June and Tracy. Come join our circle of practitioners for sharing and caring and healing. All levels of practitioners are welcome. Please RSVP. $20/drop-in. Kindred Spirits, 197 Ethan Allen Hwy, Ridgefield. 203-938-3690. Reiki Share – 7-9pm. Second Tuesday. Practice and enhance your Reiki healing and grow your intuition. All will receive healing time and practice time. You must have completed at minimum Reiki Level I in order to fully participate. $15/suggested contribution. Muktinath Holistic Center, 731 Main St, Monroe. 203-518-5808. MuktinathHC@gmail. com.

May 2018


ongoing events Reiki Healing Shares—7:30-9:30pm. First and third Tuesdays. With Gigi Benanti, Usui Reiki Master/ Teacher. For Reiki practitioners only. Includes short instruction and discussion. Must RSVP. $20. Angelic Healing Center, 7 Morgan Ave, Norwalk. 203-852-1150.

wednesday Mat Pilates – 9-10am. With Suzette Caldwell. Classic mat Pilates work out, vigorous class but open to all levels. You set the challenge bar for your workout. $18/class; $16/senior. Valley Spirit Cooperative & Wellness Center, 6 Green Hill Rd, Washington Depot. 860-619-2788. Midweek Retreat – 3-4:30pm. With Dr. Tanvi Gandhi. This sacred time will consist of intention setting with a small tea ceremony, followed by breath work, and a combination of acupuncture and meditation. You will leave with insight on your experience and a self-care tip for the week. $30/drop-in; $150/series. Barefoot Living Arts, 85 Mill Plain Rd, Bldg V, Fairfield. Tai Chi Classes – 6:30-7:30pm. With June Fagan, Tai Chi Instructor. A slow movement meditation for all levels of fitness. Known to reduce stress, increase focus and balance and improve self and well-being. $25/drop-in; $85/1 class per week; $150/unlimited classes month. Kindred Spirits, 1197 Ethan Allen Hwy, Ridgefield. 203-938-3690.

Give a little love to a child, and you get a great deal back. ~John Ruskin

Gentle Yoga, Pranayama, Meditation – 6:45-8pm. Relax, release and flow into wellness in beginner/ level 1 yoga classes with work on mindfulness practices, breathing techniques, alignment, flexibility and strength. Modifications suggested and props used when needed. $5/donation per class. Hindu Cultural Center of CT (HCC), 96 Chapel St, Stratford. 203-521-0359. HCC.Yoga.Wendy@ Mahasati or Insight Meditation – 7-8:30pm. Learn how to live your life more skillfully through the development of self-awareness and mindfulness. simple practice that can be easily incorporated into daily life, and discover the benefits of becoming more present. 203-244-3130.

Gentle Yoga, Pranayama, Meditation – 6:45-8pm. Relax, release and flow into wellness in beginner/ level 1 yoga classes with work on mindfulness practices, breathing techniques, alignment, flexibility and strength. Modifications suggested and props used when needed. $5/donation per class. Hindu Cultural Center of CT (HCC), 96 Chapel St, Stratford. 203-521-0359. HCC.Yoga.Wendy@

Meditation – 7-8:30pm. Meditation that often includes chanting, music and requires your active participation. All faiths and cultures are welcomed. By donation. Muktinath Holistic Center, 731 Main St, Monroe. 203-518-5808. MuktinathHC@gmail. com.

Mindful Movies and More – 7:15-9:30pm. Fourth Thursday. Inspiring movies, documentaries, Ted Talks, new ideas, conversation and more. Movies: earth, evolution, new technologies, heart math, whole food, new economies, nature, quantum mind body, new education, community and more. $9. Yoga Space, 78 Stony Hill Rd, Bethel. 203-8094409. YogaSpace-CT. com/Events.

Holistic Moms Network Fairfield County, CT Chapter – 7:30pm. Second Wednesday. Associates in Family Chiropractic and Natural Health Care, 156 East Ave, Norwalk. HMNFairfieldCtyCT. Learn to Love Yourself – 7:30-9:30pm. Second Wednesday. With Ginny Brown and Ellen Kratka. Little-known spiritual truths applied to everyday life. Let go of negative judgment and unconditionally accept yourself. $40. By phone or internet. 203-263-2643. Turning Point S.H.A.R.E. Divorce Group – 7:30-9:30pm. Third Wednesdays. Offering support, healing, advocacy, resources and education for women in the process of, or recently divorced. $20, $150/10-session card. Registration required. Turning Point Healing Arts and Education Center, 100B Danbury Rd, Ste 101, Ridgefield. 203-438-3050.

thursday Kundalini Yoga and Music Meditation – 9:3010:30am. With Leesa Sklover, PhD, C-IAYT, Certified Yoga Therapist, Kundalini Yoga Teacher. Experience the yoga of awareness weekly to heal your mind and your life. All welcome. Register for first class. $15 per class/monthly discount. Short Beach Union Church, 14 Pentacost St, Branford. 917-860-0488. Mahasati or Insight Meditation – 9:30-11am. Learn how to live your life more skillfully through the development of self-awareness and mindfulness. Simple practice that can be easily incorporated into daily life. Discover the benefits of becoming more present. By donation. Redding Center for Meditation, 9 Picketts Ridge Rd, West Redding. 203-244-3130. Healing Gong – 10:30-11:30am. Healing Gong, a form of Sheng Zhen, is a restorative medical qigong that blends an ancient tradition with gentle, meditative movements performed seated on a chair. Healing Gong is an integration of healing traditions, using the power of nature to heal oneself. $25. Barefoot Living Arts, 85 Mill Plain Rd, Bldg V, Fairfield.


Fairfield County/Housatonic Valley Edition

Reiki Healing Circle – 7-9pm. First Thursday. All welcome. Share and experience Reiki. Please join us while we enjoy a peaceful, powerful night of healing. Hosted by Gigi Benanti, Reiki Master/Teacher. $20. Unity Center of Norwalk, 3 Main St, Norwalk. 203-852-1150.,

friday Releasing The Heart Qigong – 9:15-10:15am. Monday and Friday. Practicing Releasing the Heart has the power to bring about peace by removing distinctions between people, and reducing conflicts and quarrels. It is a uniquely carefree and vigorous form. $25. Barefoot Living Arts, 85 Mill Plain Rd, Bldg V, Fairfield. Reiki Share – 9:30-11:30am. First Friday. With JoAnn Inserra Duncan, MS, RMT. Practice Reiki in a small group setting. Share experiences and help each other develop in a safe, fun environment while providing a wonderful, relaxing, rejuvenating experience. $20. Registration required. Turning Point Healing Arts and Education Center 100B Danbury Rd, Ste 101, Ridgefield. 203-438-3050. Discussion with The Higher Realms – 7-9:30pm. Last Friday. Bring your heartfelt questions and receive the wisdom of The Ascended Masters and The Divine Feminine specifically for you as channeled by Ginny Brown. $45. Address provided upon registration.

saturday Find Your Edge Yoga – 9-10am. With Pauline Koinis. For yoga practitioners. A chance for yoginis and yogis alike to get a Saturday morning groove on; where laughter, challenge and heart all meet on the mat. $18/class; $16/senior. Valley Spirit Cooperative & Wellness Center, 6 Green Hill Rd, Washington Depot. 860-619-2788. Gentle Yoga, Pranayama, Meditation – 9:3010:45am. Relax, release and flow into wellness in beginner/level 1 yoga classes with work on mindfulness practices, breathing techniques, alignment, flexibility and strength. Modifications suggested and props used when needed. $5/donation

per class. Hindu Cultural Center of CT (HCC), 96 Chapel St, Stratford. 203-521-0359. HCC.Yoga. Mahasati or Insight Meditation – 10-11:30am. Learn how to live your life more skillfully through the development of self-awareness and mindfulness, simple practice that can be easily incorporated into daily life, and discover the benefits of becoming more present. 203-244-3130. Spondylitis Support Group – 11am-12:30pm. Last Saturday. Led by Dr. Andrew Cummins, naturopathic physician. Having lived with the chronic inflammatory disease Ankylosing Spondylitis for the last 18 years, Cummins understands what living with chronic pain and limited mobility is all about. Group provides education, empowerment, understanding and support. Free. Shalva Clinic, 8 Lincoln St, 1st Fl, Westport. 203-916-4600. Spiritual, Psychic and Healing Fair – 11am-4pm. First Saturday. Would you like a second opinion on your life issues, or a personal message from a departed loved one? Are you curious about your purpose in this life, or seeking a bit more direction and focus? Come join us. Please check website for monthly updates. $35+. Albertson Memorial Church, 293 Sound Beach Ave, Old Greenwich. 203-637-4615. Yoga Advanced Studies 2018 with Karen Pierce – 1:30-3:30pm. First Saturday. Ongoing training for students who want to expand their practice. Different topic each month. $39/single session; $339/10 sessions. Yogaspace, 78 Stony Hill Rd, Bethel. 203-730-9642.

See Me As I Am: Meditation and Float Yoga Class (2-3pm) and Women’s Spiritual Wellness Collaboratory (3-4pm) – Experience deep peace in a gentle water-themed yoga and meditation class. Followed by a women’s group focusing on empowerment, spiritual fitness and creativity through techniques and discussion. Choose one or both. $15/ one session. $30/both. Short Beach Union Church, 14 Pentacost St, Branford. Monthly Healing Circle – 4-5:30pm. First Sunday. With Susan Gagliardo, LPN, RM. Whether you are in need of healing or a healer wishing to share your gifts for the highest good of others, this group is for you. Everyone is welcome but you must pre-register. Free; $10/suggested donation. Acupuncture Works, 132A St, Rte 37, New Fairfield. 845-494-0090. Evening of Community Kirtan – 7-8:30pm. First Saturday. With Kristen Ambrosi and Jagadisha Petrovic. An evening of community Kirtan. Special musical experience of singing our hearts open. This transformative call-and-response practice is joyful, healing and beautiful. $25/advance; $30/ at door. The Jiiva Center, 2900 Main St, Ste 1A, Stratford. 203-345-7747. Support@JiivaCenter. com. Open Mic Night – 7-9pm, 3rd Saturday. Bring music printed out in your key and Kenneth Gartman will accompany you at the piano for your moment at the microphone. Comedians, poets, writers and musicians welcomed as well. Unity Center of Norwalk, 3 Main St, 2nd Fl, Norwalk. 203-855-7922. Office@

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community resource guide Connecting you to the leaders in natural healthcare and green living in our community. To find out how you can be included in the Community Resource Guide email FFCAdvertising@NaturalAwakeningsMag. com to request our media kit.


72 North St, Ste 100A, Danbury 914-362-8315 Naturopathic and Chinese medicine for acute and chronic disease, including acupuncture, botanical medicine, cupping, moxa, homeopathy, nutritional and lifestyle counseling, mind-body medicine, ecotherapy and functional lab testing. Helpful for muscle/ joint pain and headaches, autoimmune disease, digestive disorders, mental health, boosting immune function, balancing hormones, tobacco addiction, and stress reduction. See ad, page 23.

INGRI BOE-WIEGAARD, LAC Fairfield, Wilton, Bethel 203-259-1660 25-year full-time practice

Ingri’s treatments help alleviate pain, depression, neck and back, anxiety, headaches, stress, allergies, asthma, arthritis, digestive, menstrual, infertility, smoking, and weight-loss issues. See ad, page 25.

JAMPA STEWART, MSOM, LAC Board Certified Acupuncturist Valley Spirit Wellness 6 Green Hill Rd, Washington Depot 860-619-2788

Concierge care for those suffering from pain, internal disorders, menstrual issues and menopause, infertility, depression and anxiety, insomnia, addiction, fatigue, tune-ups and more. Facial rejuvenation/ cosmetic acupuncture also offered. See ad, page 23.



Modern-day apothecary offering tinctures, teas, essential oils, and CMYK 1, 99, 1, 0 professional supplements. Services include custom herbal CMYK compounding. Our 58, 79, 0, 0 wellness boutique features items for wellness, beauty and home, as well as artisanal items including jewelry, healing crystals and ceremonial Aleo – Bold items for sacred ritual. CMYK: 72, 66, 65, 79 P R O X I M A N O VA – S E M I B O L D

BIOFEEDBACK CMYK: 72, 66, 65, 79


The NeuroEdge Brain Performance Center Full Color Division of Whole-Body MedicineOne Color 501 Kings Hwy E, Ste 108, Fairfield 203-371-8258 • The NeuroEdge is dedicated to keeping your brain sharp and high-functioning. We treat head injuries and brain traumas—such as concussion and stroke—as well as help athletes, students and businesspeople improve their performance. Learn and view our cutting-edge neurotherapies at See ad, page 2.


898 Ethan Allen Hwy, Ridgefield Offices in Ridgefield and Newtown 203-438-4848 • Advanced Bio-Regulation (BRT) is a unique approach to health and wellness that uses Biofeedback and PEMF-based Electromagnetic Technology to help the body better self-regulate, adapt and heal naturally. It is used for chronic pain, depression, anxiety, hormonal issues, Lyme, etc. See ad, page 12.

BREAST THERMOGRAPHY ALBA THERMAL IMAGING LLC Safe, painless early detection 71 East Ave, Ste D, Norwalk 203-856-1421

Fairfield County/Housatonic Valley Edition

Thermography can detect breast disease at its earliest stages and monitor and assess pain in any part of the body. Safe, painless, non-invasive, FDA registered. See ad, page 15.


501 Kings Hwy E, Ste 108, Fairfield 203-371-8258 Breast cancer screening with medical-grade thermography is safe and noninvasive. We are pleased to have ThermaScan, the world’s premier source for the analysis and reporting of medical thermology, available at our health center. Early detection matters. See ad, page 2.


True Health Family Chiropractic 7365 Main St, Stratford 203-923-8633 As a member of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association, Dr. Braglia has received advanced Knockout White (For Darktraining Backgrounds)in Pediatric Adjusting and Prenatal Care, including the Webster Technique. We are proud to serve patients from all over Fairfield and New Haven Counties with our unique and gentle approach to health care.


914-921-LIFE (5433) Experience and personalized service you can trust. The finest in colonic irrigation and personal care. Serving the tri-state area since 1993.


501 Kings Hwy E, Ste 108, Fairfield 203-371-8258 Good health depends as much upon how well we eliminate wastes from our bodies as it does upon how well we eat. Our physiciansupervised colonics promote relief from a variety of disturbances by gently cleansing the colon and opening our body’s natural detoxification pathways. See ad, page 2.

CRANIOSACRAL THERAPY/ ALEXANDER TECHNIQUE VINCENT FRASER, CST, CAT, SEP Craniosacral Therapy, Alexander Technique, Somatic Experiencing Greenwich and Norwalk 203-570-2059

Vincent offers paths to wholeness which lead to resolving pain and trauma, ease of movement in one’s body and life, and a fuller conscious embodiment.


Western Connecticut State University Christel Autuori, RDH, RYT, MA, Director 181 White St, Danbury 203-837-8559 The mission of the IHHS is to provide the University and Greater Danbury area with an opportunity to engage in and explore different aspects of holistic and integrative health through programming and instruction. Programs include Wellness Wednesday lunchtime workshops, monthly meditation program, lecture series, health wellness and fitness fair.

WORKSPACE EDUCATION 16 Trowbridge Dr, Bethel 203-409-2028

Workspace Education is a vibrant community of parents, K-12 students, educators and professionals. With an authentic culture and the freedom to design custom educations, Workspace delivers not only on the foundational literacies, but also enables students to pursue their passions. See ad, page 3.


Transformative Healing • Tarot 203-856-9566 If not now, when? Inspire change on all levels—greater physical ease, emotional freedom, peace of mind and spiritual connection. 20 years of intuitive healing experience with adults and children of all ages. Reiki, Jin Shin Jyutsu, Tarot. See ad, page 34.

SOUL HEALING JOURNEY, LLC Eilis Philpott 40 Livingston St, Fairfield 203-767-5954

Eilis is a certified Rebirther having completed Rebirthing and Advanced Rebirthing training. She is a certified Soul Language practitioner and is certified in Akashic Field therapy. She is a Reiki Master in Usui/Raku-kei Reiki and Angelic Reiki. She is an approved teacher for 13th Octave LaHoChi. A transformational healing session supports you in healing all aspects of your life. See ad, page 9.


Functional Medicine and Integrative Care LLC 15 Bennitt St, New Milford 860-354-3304 Using Functional Medicine, Dr. Sachs prevents and treats chronic illnesses by addressing their underlying root causes, remaining respectful of the uniqueness, complexity and intuitions that make us human. Trained at Mt. Sinai Medical School and Yale University Hospital in Internal Medicine, in 2003 she opened Functional Medicine and Integrative Care LLC. She has great success with IBS, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, autoimmune problems, toxicity and more, by creating individualized, realistic and comprehensive Personalized Wellness Plans. She consults in her New Milford, CT office, and also by phone or video using telemedicine.


Metaphysical Shop and Healing Space Sherman Village, 670 Main St S, Woodbury 203-586-1655 Rocks and crystals, magical objects, singing bowls, herbal candles and more. Local artisans, an array of holistic practitioners, a monthly Mystical Market fair, regularly scheduled psychics/ mediums/intuitives, yoga, meditation, and workshops galore—all to enhance the health of your mind, body and spirit. See ad, page 22.

HEALTH COACH MARY GILBERTSON WELLNESS Mary Gilbertson, MS, BSN, CHHC Licensed RN, Nutritionist and Certified Health Coach 238 Monroe Tpke, Monroe 203-521-4733

Using the concept of “Food as Medicine” to create your customized nutrition and lifestyle plan for whole living. Working one-on-one, in groups and in corporations to develop customized healthy lifestyle plans. Works with patients on metabolism and weight loss, detoxification, gut health, cancers, inflammatory conditions and stress management. See ad, page 11.


Licensed and Insured In-home Cooking Services 203-559-8946 • As a Board-Certified Health Coach by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners and member of the Unites States Personal Chef Association, Eliana’s passion is her clients’ success. She has been serving CT for over 15 years, and is now offering new services including short-term detoxes, meals to freeze, dinner parties, cooking classes, personalized coaching programs and seminars. See ad, page 27.

HOLISTIC DENTIST DAVID L LERNER, DDS, CAC, FIND Yorktown Heights, NY 914-214-9678 •

We offer a unique approach to the health care of the mouth based on a holistic understanding of the whole body. I invite you to explore our website to learn how we can serve your needs. See ad, page 47.


Mark A Breiner, DDS 501 Kings Hwy East, Ste 108, Fairfield 203-371-0300 • Mark Breiner, DDS, is a pioneer and recognized authority in the field of holistic dentistry. His patients have found solutions to baffling, unresolved and seemingly unrelated dentalrelated health problems. He is the author of the award-winning book, Whole-Body Dentistry. See ad, page 2.

May 2018





Thea Litsios, CHy Locations in Norwalk and Stratford 203-693-1493 • Use the power of your whole mind to transform your life: Hypnosis for weight loss, smoking cessation, stress relief, and past life review. Certified teacher of Active Dream work. Individual dream consultations available, as well as workshops and monthly Dream Groups. See ad, page 11.

MIND-BODY TRANSFORMATION Diane Bahr-Groth, CHy, TFTdx 1177 High Ridge Rd, Stamford 203-595-0110

Fast, effective methods for weight, stress, fear, pain, smoking, etc. Certified Hypnotherapist, Thought Field Therapy, Time Line Therapy, NLP and Complementary Medical Hypnosis, since 1989. See ads, pages 17 and 49.


My name is Althea, which means healer. I work collaboratively with clients to release where they are “stuck” and get to where they would like to be. I use the modalities of hypnosis, coaching, emotional freedom techniques, among others, in a safe, tranquil environment.


Optimal Health Medical LLC 111 High Ridge Rd, Stamford 203-348-8805 • Advances in Regenerative Medicine allow Dr. Sobo to offer cutting-edge technologies such as PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) treatments and adult stem cell therapy. Dr. Sobo’s integrative approach addresses a variety of conditions such as: food allergies, Alzheimer’s/ dementia, chronic fatigue syndrome, weight loss, hormonal health, fibromyalgia, anti-aging medicine, and MTHFR-Genetic Mutation. See ad, page 33.



Ken Hoffman, DACM, LAc, Medical Director 31 Old Rte 7, Brookfield 203-740-9300 • INM.Center Using naturopathic and Chinese medical principles, we get to the source of your health concerns. Diagnostic methods include functional testing such as advanced bloodwork analysis, cardiovascular testing, hormone evaluation and thermography. Our customized treatment program includes acupuncture, herbal and nutritional medicine, diet and lifestyle counseling and more. Most insurance accepted.

INTEGRATIVE NATURAL MEDICINE WHOLE-BODY MEDICINE LLC Adam Breiner, ND, Director David Brady, ND, CCN, DACBN David Johnston, DO Elena Sokolova, MD, ND 203-371-8258

Using state-of-the-art science combined with holistic medicine, our caring integrative physicians correct underlying imbalances and address issues which may interfere with the body’s ability to heal itself. We treat many conditions including Lyme disease, fibromyalgia, immune disorders, allergies, thyroid conditions, pain, neurological conditions, stroke, concussion, ADD/ADHD, depression, insomnia and more. We offer hyperbaric oxygen, neurofeedback and neurotherapies, osteopathic medicine, functional medicine, IV nutrient and chelation therapy, energetic medicine, homeopathy, Japanese Reiki, nutrition, colonics and detoxification, enhanced brain, athletic, scholastic performance, and more. See ad, page 2.

Fairfield County/Housatonic Valley Edition


Purveyors of Positivity 51 Ethan Allen Hwy (Route 7), Ridgefield 203-431-2959 • A unique lifestyle boutique featuring the first Shungite room in the U.S., The Angel Cooperative has products and experiences designed to care for your body and soul while also offering beautiful and healing goods for the home. We offer a regular schedule of workshops, meditations, classes, and other holistic and spiritual events. See ad, page 45.


Dr. Randy Schulman, MS, OD, FCOVD Locations: 6515 Main St, Trumbull • 203-374-2020 444 Westport Ave, Norwalk • 203-840-1991 2600 Post Rd, Southport • 203-255-4005 1425 Bedford St, 1M, Stamford • 203-357-0204 We offer behavioral optometry, comprehensive vision exams, contact lenses and vision therapy. See ad, page 5.


2900 Main St, Ste 1A, Stratford 203-345-7747 We offer Traditional, Thai Massage and Prenatal massage. At Jiiva Massage, our goal is to provide our clients with a variety of experienced therapists and modalities to choose from. Our hope is to provide you with an assortment of different techniques so you can find what works best for your individual needs. See ad, page 21.

ROBIN ORDAN, LMT, LCSW, CICMI Licensed Massage Therapist and Reiki Practitioner Old Greenwich/Stamford 203-561-8535

Robin has been providing massage and Reiki for over 15 years. Specializing in Swedish, pregnancy, trigger point, injuries and infant/child massage instruction. Sessions are individualized to meet your needs. See ad, page 23.

CMYK 58, 79, 0, 0

Aleo – Bold


We teach and practice Mahasati meditation. Mahasati meditation cultivates self-awareness through attention to the movement of the body and, at more advanced levels, to the movement of the mind. No prior meditating experience is necessary. Ongoing weekly meditation classes, retreats and events. Please check monthly event calendar or visit for updated information.


6 Green Hill Rd, Washington Depot 860-619-2788 Meditation can be easier to master than you think. Taoist, Buddhist and generic meditation. Beginners and experienced practitioners both welcome. See ad, page 23.


Dr. Jaquel Patterson 22 Fairfield Pl, Fairfield 203-254-9957 • Natural Care for the Whole Body and Family. From treating disease conditions for individuals to preventive healthcare, Dr. Jaquel believes in treating the underlying cause to prevent disease and resolve health issues. See ad, page 10 .


Lisa Singley, ND, MS 2103 Main St, Ste 2, Stratford 203-874-4333 • We use advanced diagnostic testing with safe, effective, all-natural healing modalities and treatment options to treat acute and chronic conditions; restore balance; and treat the mind, body and spirit. Specialists in endocrine disorders, digestive issues, pain management and chronic fatigue. We offer comprehensive solutions to prevent illness and maintain optimal health for body, mind and spirit. See ad, page 26.



Nicole Fevrier Davis adeptly and professionally combines the science of wellness with the language of our souls to attain successful outcomes. Nicole’s personal training unlocks body wisdom and speaks to her clients’ needs on several levels. See ad, page 25.


Whole-Body Medicine LLC 501 Kings Hwy E, Ste 108, Fairfield 203-371-8258 Dr. Adam Breiner has helped patients with a wide variety of neurological conditions—including stroke, concussions, TBIs, ADD/ADHD, depression and anxiety—as well as seeing patients for enhanced sports, scholastic and workplace performance. His center was the first facility in the country to offer the powerful combination of hyperbaric oxygen therapy and neurofeedback. Dr. Breiner also has natural and cutting-edge approaches for the treatment of Lyme disease. See ad, page 2.

Wellness Institute 1 Westport Ave, Norwalk 203-847-2788

Family Health Care using all natural therapies for 25 years. Acupuncture, bioidentical hormones, homeopathy, Chinese/Western herbs, allergy/ toxin testing, oxygen therapy, Meridian stress assessment, nutrition/enzyme therapies. See ad, page 8.


Ellen M Lewis, ND, Director 8 Lincoln St, Westport 203-916-4600 Dr. Lewis offers comprehensive holistic care for women including well-women exams, fertility, thyroid and menopause support. She also has a special interest in pediatrics and utilizes a variety of natural modalities when working with patients with ADD/ADHD, autism, allergies, eczema and asthma. Treatments include herbal medicine, functional medicine, biotherapeutic drainage, homeopathy and more. See ad, back cover.

CMYK: 72, 66, 65, 79


P R O X I M A N O VA – S E M I B O L D CMYK: 72, 66, 65, 79


The NeuroEdge Brain Performance Center Division of Whole-Body Medicine Full ColorHighway E, Ste 108, Fairfield One Color 501 Kings 203-371-8258 The NeuroEdge is dedicated to keeping your brain sharp and high-functioning. We treat head injuries and brain traumas such as concussion and stroke as well as help athletes, students and businesspeople improve their performance. Learn and view our cutting-edge neurotherapies at See ad, page 2.

ROSEANN CAPANNA-HODGE, EDD, LPC, BCN, LLC 898 Ethan Allen Hwy, Ridgefield Offices in Ridgefield and Newtown 203-438-4848 • We work with children, adolescents, teens, adults and families around a variety of issues with non-medication therapies. We provide brain-based treatments like neurofeedback, biofeedback, EFT, hypnosis, meditation, etc. Our staff provides non-judgmental support to help alleviate stress and promote wellness. See ad, page 12.

OSTEOPATHIC PHYSICIAN DAVID L. JOHNSTON, DO 158 Danbury Rd, Ridgefield 203-438-9915

Dr. Johnston has been providing gentle, holistic, hands-on osteopathic manual treatment and nutrition for over 20 years. Excellent for newborns, birth trauma, concussions, headaches, sports injuries, neck and back pain, digestive issues, brain support, stress, fibromyalgia, detoxification and weight loss, specialized bloodwork. See ad, page 35.

May 2018


ORGANIC SALON ECO CHIC SALON SPA & BLOW DRY BAR 16 Center St, Wilton 203-286-9632

Eco Chic Salon Spa & Blow Dry Bar is committed to the healthy way of life so many people strive for each and every day. Mindful stylists are dedicated to the use of environmentally friendly products, including Eco Chic branded products, and alternative hair services with less toxic variations from the typical salon experience. Be well. Be beautiful. See ad, page 26.



Manage stress with relaxation techniques. Re-discover your creativity through writing and the expressive arts. Resolve trauma with EMDR, IFS or SE. Or book an experiential workshop! Nancy has over 20 years of experience with children, families, groups, adults and corporate wellness programs. See ad, page 30.

My name is Althea, which means healer. I work collaboratively with clients to release where they are “stuck” and get to where they would like to be. I use the modalities of hypnosis, coaching, emotional freedom techniques, among others, in a safe, tranquil environment.

Coaching/Psychotherapy/Consulting Offices in Danbury and Ridgefield 914-572-3167


REIKI GIGI BENANTI, USUI REIKI MASTER Angelic Healing Center 7 Morgan Ave, Norwalk 203-852-1150

Gigi is an experienced Reiki Master/Teacher. She offers all levels of Reiki training monthly. All classes and Reiki sessions include the latest techniques including Karuna, Angelic and Jikiden Reiki.

Dr. Teresa Reyes Castillo and Dr. Anna Huff are two licensed psychologists aimed at helping others find their truth and the courage to follow their path. Their psychodynamic approach helps individuals to find a deeper meaning within their lives. See ad, page 46.



ROSEANN CAPANNA-HODGE, EDD, LPC, BCN, LLC 898 Ethan Allen Hwy, Ridgefield Offices in Ridgefield and Newtown 203-438-4848

Our highly trained and experienced therapists utilize a variety of brain-based tools and techniques that allow the CNS to calm down so one can address their issues without heightened anxiety. We specialize in pediatrics, parenting and supporting individuals with chronic issues. See ad, page 12.

ROBIN ORDAN, LCSW Family, Child, Individual and Couples Therapy Old Greenwich/Stamford 203-561-8535


Redding 203-451-3383


Jessica C. Hunter 203-916-8381 Healing sessions in shamanic healing, Melody crystal healing, Reiki, shamanic intuitive readings. Accredited and certification training programs in Reiki, crystal healing and shamanic healing. See ad, page 14.


2900 Main St, Ste 1A, Stratford 203-345-7747

Linda Dohanos

Berta Prevosti is a Usui and Karuna Reiki Master and has been practicing Reiki for over 20 years. We also have several experienced Reiki Masters and practitioners. We offer private Reiki sessions for physical and emotional pain. We also have ongoing Reiki classes that are taught in the traditional Usui method by Berta. See ad, page 21.

With more than 20 years of experience teaching tai chi and qigong, I have developed a gentle, therapeutic exercise program for homebound seniors and seniors in rehabilitation. I teach to all levels and ages in a class setting as well. I also offer Reiki sessions. See ad, page 17.


Board Certified Acupuncturist Valley Spirit Wellness 6 Green Hill Rd, Washington Depot 860-619-2788

JoAnn Inserra Duncan, MS, RMT 100B Danbury Rd, Ste 101, Ridgefield 203-438-3050

Robin has more than 18 years of experience working with families and children. Specializing in divorce, parent/child conflict, grief, attachment/bonding, child development and parenting. See ad, page 13.



Fairfield County/Housatonic Valley Edition

JoAnn uses intuition, experience and a deep spiritual connection in her Reiki, IET and Reconnective Healing sessions. Specializing in care for individuals with cancer, Lyme disease and back pain. All Reiki levels taught.


Develop physical and mental fitness and find a new harmony of the mind, body and spirit using ancient Chinese arts. Starting with basic movements, warm-up techniques and breathing exercises, you will learn a set of flowing natural movements done slowly with calmness, balance and awareness. Weekly classes, weekend workshops and retreats. See ad, page 23.

d Thermal Imaging DITI THERMOGRAPHY DA approved ull body east screening WHOLE HEALTH ive • o THERMOGRAPHY adiation LLC 8 years earlier breast Rachel Mazzarelli, MS, CCT Locations throughout Fairfield County, ction vs mammogram Southbury, New Haven, Milford and New York ging or detecting and 203-257-3785 a number diseases hysical in uries

Digital Infrared Thermal Imaging (DITI) is an FDAapproved, noninvasive, -3785 no-radiation screening for the whole body. It offers possible ughout earlier detection of breast disease , outhbury, and can aid in diagnosis and Mil ord, improved prognosis of many health conditions York and injuries. See ad, page 9.



ESSENTIAL HOLISTIC HEALING, LLC Jackie Karabin, Reiki Master, LMT Wilton 203-984-1491

Find balance and enhance the health and well-being of your body, mind and spirit through Reiki and massage therapy. Offering a holistic approach with tailored sessions to honor the specific needs and goals of the client.


Transformative Healing • Tarot 203-856-9566 • If not now, when? Inspire change on all levels—greater physical ease, emotional freedom, peace of mind and spiritual connection. 20 years of intuitive healing experience with adults and children of all ages. Reiki, Jin Shin Jyutsu, Tarot. See ad, page 34.



246 Federal Rd, Ste C23-A, Brookfield 203-826-2558 RS Holistic Counseling, Coaching, and Healing offers Transformative Healing sessions in Brookfield. The sessions can be from one hour for pure healing sessions using a variety of methods including Reiki, guided meditations, crystals, essential oils specific to your needs. There is also a 1 1/2-hour session that consists of 45 minutes of coaching, and 45 minutes of transformative healing. See ad, page 27.


85 Mill Plain Rd, Fairfield 203-955-1955 Barefoot Living Arts is a wellness center in downtown Fairfield that provides acupuncture, craniosacral therapy, massage, qigong, meditation, counseling, yoga and more. Our practice consists of two naturopathic doctors, a licensed massage therapist, a licensed clinical social worker and an advanced practice registered nurse. We strive to gently assist our patients to develop a deeper, more authentic connection with themselves.


Berta Prevosti, Usui and Karuna Reiki Master 2900 Main St, Ste 1A, Stratford 203-345-7747 Jiiva is in the business of building a community for yoga and healing. We offer yoga classes, a school of Reiki, private Reiki treatments, traditional massage therapy, Thai massage, meditation classes, workshops and community events. See ad, page 21.

Enlightenment Center, Integrative Wellness Therapies 100 Danbury Rd, Ste 102, Ridgefield Additional locations in Greenwich and Southbury 203-525-5830 •


Experiential knowing gives meaning to the words and insights we have and leads to trusting our intuition. A transformational session encompasses all the senses, aligning the whole body. This can lead to a higher thought awareness that creates potential for actions that change our reality. See ad, page 16.

Fairfield County’s first and only therapeutic Himalayan salt cave provides relief from respiratory issues such as allergies, asthma, and side effects of smoking and pollution. Salt is naturally anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antifungal. See ad, page 17.


787 Main St S, Woodbury 203-586-1172 Combining an array of natural therapies that have been used since ancient times with today’s technology, Salt of the Earth Spa provides a sanctuary for deep transformation, healing and grounding for mind, body and spirit. See ad, page 31.

SALT OF THE EARTH HEALING ARTS SANCTUARY/ATHENA HALL 346 Main St S, Woodbury 203-405-2241 203-586-1172

A space of calm and beauty, healing and restoration of the body and spirit, Salt of the Earth Healing Arts Sanctuary offers a tranquil place to refresh and renew in a house charged with the energy of old. Beautiful Athena Hall, inside the Sanctuary, can be rented to like-minded people for classes, workshops, lectures and special events. Heart and Home is a unique store in the sanctuary; a cozy place to shop, have tea, scoop and bag salts, purchase a variety of artisan goods.


1492 High Ridge Rd, Stamford • 203-356-5822 515 West Ave, Norwalk • 203-814-1355 Soul Synergy Wellness offers a variety of aesthetic services and noninvasive techniques to support mind-body wellness. Services include anti-aging and oxygen facials with aromatherapy, Torc Plus bioelectric stimulation for muscle activation and weight-loss, infrared sauna and the DietMaster weight-loss program. See ads, pages 24 and 31.

590 Danbury Rd, Ridgefield 203-969-4327

May 2018


COSMIC RHYTHMS Air and Earth Signs Dominate May Skies


by Michele Leigh

fter the intense Full Moon at the end of April, the first half of May might seem pretty static. Then mid-month, our personal planets ingress into new signs, shifting the energy around communication, relationships and our ability to take action. We end the month with another powerful Full Moon. On May 13, Mercury enters Taurus. With this tangible earthy energy, problem solving may focus on practical solutions. It’s a good time to make travel plans or maybe arrange a “stay-cation” to take time off and enjoy the creature comforts of staying at home. The New Moon is exalted in Taurus when it becomes exact on May 15. This is a new 28-day cycle around connecting with nature. Think about exploring local walking trails or planting flowers in the backyard. Or put a flower box in a sun-filled window, plant some seeds and watch them grow. On May 16, Mars enters Aquarius. Our inner warrior is embodying this revolutionary sign that wants us to use our imagination when making decisions. When Mars is in Aquarius, we may tend to fight for things that benefit the group as opposed to the individual. Become aware of the subtle shift of Venus slipping into Cancer on May 19. This nurturing, watery energy may have us feeling the need to take care of others. Be sure to make time for a little self-love while Venus explores the energy of the introspective crab. On May 20, the Sun shifts into Gemini, kickstarting our social calendar. Gemini energy is mutable air; it’s chatty and curious, interesting and witty. There is a duality to this phase of the Sun when we may feel ourselves showing multiple sides of our personality to others. At the end of the month on May 29, we have a fiery Full Moon in Sagittarius. As the moon fills with light, this adventurous energy will encourage us to release something that frightens us. Use this enthusiastic moon to illuminate something that needs to be released in order to move forward. For the most part May should be a pretty mellow month. Kick back and enjoy it. Michele Leigh is an astrologer, writer and yoga teacher. A practitioner of ancient techniques, she is an active member of OPA (Organization for Professional Astrology). Connect at 66

Fairfield County/Housatonic Valley Edition

display ad index Alba Thermal Imaging


Natural Awakenings’ Franchise Sales

The Angel Cooperative


Natural Health & Wellness Center 26

Being Centered


Nature’s Rite

Bemer Group


Pat Bradley


Nature’s Temptations Healthy Food Market


Nature’s Way Health Foods


New Morning Market


Nutmeg Spay/Neuter Clinic


Optimal Health Medical/ Henry Sobo, MD


The Breiner Whole-Body Health Center: Medical


The Breiner Whole-Body Health Center: Dental


Brookfield Craft Center


44 59

Chamomille Natural Foods


Robin Ordan, LMT


Childrens Holistic Health Fair


Robin Ordan, LCSW


Clean Food 4 Ur Type/ Eliana Grubel


Organic Sleep at Sleep Etc


Osteopathic Wellness Center


Jaquel Patterson, ND


Pawsitive Education


Philip Stein: The Sleep Bracelet


CT Acupuncture Center/ Ingri Boe-Wiegaard


Dew Drop Oils


EcoChic Salon & Blowdry Bar


Embody the Sacred


Eyecare Associates


Final Journey LLC


Harbor Harvest


Healing Tree Wisdom/Thea Litsios 11 Holistic Psychotherapy


Hudson Valley Natural Health/ Kurt Beil, ND


Hunter Healing Hands




Riverfront Music Revival


Roseann Capanna-Hodge & Associates


Sarah Rotella


RS Holistic Counseling & Healing 27 The Ruby Tree


The Sacred Spirit


Salon Aponte


Saltana Cave



Salt of the Earth Spa & Sanctuary



Nancy Scherlong, LCSW


Jiiva Yoga and Wellness Center


Shalva Clinic


The Joy of Avatar


Victoria Shaw, PhD


Kula Kamala Foundation


Soul Healing Journey


Law Offices of Lawrence J. Costantini

Soul Synergy Wellness





TLC Center


The Institute of Sustainable Nutrition Nora Jaya Healing Arts

David L. Lerner, DDS/ Center for Holistic Dentistry


Lyme Connection Conference


The Market


Mary Gilbertson Wellness




Mind Body Connection Pilates


MindBody Mastery


Mind-Body Transformation Hypnosis Center


Mind-Body Transformation Hypnosis Center


Mindful Heart Tai Chi/ Linda Dohanos


Touch of Sedona


Unity Center of Norwalk


Valley Spirit Cooperative & Wellness Center


Wellness Institute/ Marvin Schweitzer, ND


Westport Farmers Market


Whole Foods Market


Whole Health Thermography


Workspace Education


A Year of Inspired Living


YOGA 203


THURSDAY, MAY 31 6:30-8:30 Soul Synergy Wellness Stamford, CT

TUESDAY, JUNE 26 5:30-7:30pm Possibilities Farm Wilton, CT RSVP to 203-981-2451 or

May 2018












T H E C E N T E R F OR NAT U R A L M E DIC I N E 8 LI N C O L N S TR E E T | W E S TPO RT, CT 06880 | ( 203) 916-4600 | INFO@ SH ALVACL INIC.OR G



Fairfield County/Housatonic Valley Edition

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