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feel good • live simply • laugh more


Align Mind, Body & Spirit

Connected Care Centers Blossom in CT Successful Weight Loss is Not Just Physical

Women’s Wellness

Leadership Resilience Fertility

Agricultural Revolution! Taggart Siegel on Seed-Saver Movement

May 2017 | Fairfield County/Housatonic Valley Edition |

The Natural Choice – The Breiner Whole-Body Health Center

Optimize Your Smile and Your Health! Whole-Body Dentistry® provides comprehensive oral health care using traditional and holistic approaches. We understand the “mouth-body connection.” Mark A. Breiner, DDS

Fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry Fellow of the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology Speaker and best-selling author of Whole-Body Dentistry®

Mercury-free for over 30 years, Dr. Breiner is a pioneer and recognized authority in the field of biological and holistic dentistry. 203-371-0300

501 Kings Highway East, Suite 108, Fairfield CT

Doesn’t it make sense to see the authority?

The Natural Choice – The Breiner Whole-Body Health Center Caring Naturopathic Physicians Offering the Best in Holistic Healing

Our integrative approach treats a widerange of conditions including: ADD/ADHD Allergies Anxiety & Depression Autism Brain Injuries Candidiasis Chronic Fatigue (or Fatigue Concerns) Difficulty Concentrating Female Concerns Fibromaylgia

Gastrointestinal Concerns Healthy Aging Hormonal Issues Immune Disorders Lyme Disease RSD Sports Injuries Stress-related Symptoms Thyroid & Adrenal Issues Toxicities Weight Gain

Learn more about our approach. Watch our new therapy videos – all on our website!

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From left to right:

Dr. Adam Breiner, ND, Director Dr. Elena Sokolova, MD, ND & Dr. David M. Brady, ND, CCN, DACBN

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) EEG Neurofeedback Acupuncture Chinese Medicine Homeopathy Energy Medicine Electrodermal Screening Metabolic Typing 203-371-8258

Functional Medicine Colon Hydrotherapy Natural Hormone Therapy Herbal Medicine Nutritional Assessment Allergy Desensitization FDA-cleared Phototherapy Detoxification Abdominal Manual Therapy

FREE CDs on our Whole-Body approach to Lyme Disease. Call now for details.

501 Kings Highway East, Suite 108, Fairfield CT


Whole-Body Medicine, LLC – The Natural Approach for Optimal Health

Fairfield County/Housatonic Valley Edition

natural awakenings

Why Is Organic Plant Care Important to You? can help you find the answer we set the standard for organic plant care solutions in fairfield county. We help provide the highest quality services for organic lawn care, ornamental tree and shrub care, tick control, and lawn conversions.

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May 2017


Looking to make a change to better the world? Genuine spirituality is a valuable and unique contribution to offer.





how you can



contents 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.



WORLD Explore new perspectives of universal Truth and Love with Tom McElroy

FOR FERTILITY by Patricia Almeida


Women Mobilize to Heal the World by Linda Sechrist





Free Admission • Open to the Public Thursday • May 18th 2017

Weight Loss Involves

Body, Mind and Emotions

by Angela Pascopella

7: 30pm


Westport Woman’s Club 44 Imperial Avenue, Westport, CT

SO TIRED? Stressed Adrenals May

Copies of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy will be available.

Be the Culprit

by Nina Manipon


40 ALIGN MIND, BODY & SPIRIT Connected Care

Centers Blossom in CT

by Sheri Hatfield



Follow Mother Nature’s Model by Meg Reilly

Sponsored by First Church of Christ, Scientist, Westport For more information call 203-612-1010 or visit

Tom McElroy, CS Practitioner, lecturer and a member of the Christian Science Board of Lectureship, Tom McElroy is devoted to the public healing ministry of Christian Science.


VACCINE DILEMMA Movement Seeks to Reduce

Overdosing and Over-Vaccination

by John Robb


An Agricultural Revolution! by April Thompson


GRANDPARENTING Mindfully Love Little Ones by April Thompson


Fairfield County/Housatonic Valley Edition

natural awakenings





7 newsbriefs 18 globalbriefs 19 healthbriefs 22 healingways 24 masteringyoga 36 wellnessprofiles 44 wellnessprofiles 53 wellnessprofiles 58 naturallyhealthypet 62 petresourceguide 64 inspiredtable 67 wisewords 68 healthykids 7 1 calendar 75 resourceguide 81 classifieds 82 displayadindex

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 239-449-8309. For franchising opportunities call 239-530-1377 or visit

Sanctuary & Wellness Center plus

Heart & Home Store 346 Main Street S., Woodbury


Workshops • Classes • Seminars • Retreats

Spring into Spring with Salt of the Earth! May 13 Amp Up Your Life! Wellness Day Featuring Paulo Fernandes of Energise for Life Health and Wellness Vendors All-day programming from Inspirit Healing Studios Master Herbalist Andrea Candee presents an Integrative Approach to Lyme Disease.

May 17-19 Melanie Sachs of Diamond Way Ayurveda Kansa / Tibetan Ayurvedic facials Workshop May 17 Private appointments May 18 & 19

May 19 at 7pm Spiritual Musician David Young Athena Hall $30 advance tickets | $35 at the door

May 2017




contact us Publisher/Executive Editor Nicole Miale Editor Ariana Rawls Fine Design & Production Kathleen Fellows Erica Mills Contributing Writers Lisa Cheney, Sheri Hatfield, Nina Manipon, Angela Pascopella, Meg Reilly, April Thompson Sales & Marketing Leslie McLean Nicole Miale Debbie Morgan Distribution Man in Motion LLC Natural Awakenings Fairfield County 54 Danbury Rd, Ste 323 Ridgefield, CT 06877 Phone: 203-885-4674 Fax: 203-516-2392 © 2017 by Natural Awakenings. All rights reserved. Although some parts of this publication may be reproduced and reprinted, we require that prior permission be obtained in writing. Natural Awakenings is a free publication distributed locally and is supported by our advertisers. It is available in selected stores, health and education centers, healing centers, public libraries and wherever free publications are generally seen. Please call to find a location near you or if you would like copies placed at your business.

ome months selecting a cover is the hardest part of putting an issue together. Not this time. For the themes of this issue—Women’s Wellness and Mind-Body-Spirit— I could not imagine a more fitting image than Mother Nature herself. It turns out many cultures from around the world have a similar belief in woman as a force of nature (or nature as born from woman), including the Mycenaean Greek mentions of Mother Gaia in the 12th/13th century BC, Algonquian legends of Earth-Mother, Native American Nicole Miale belief in the Grandmother and Inca mythology about the Pachamama fertility goddess. Pachamama is usually translated as “Mother Earth” but more literally means “Mother Universe,” which is an appealing notion to me at this time on our planet. The cover image’s historical context provides a backdrop for this month’s content. Our national and local experts have outdone themselves as a variety of voices weigh in on varied topics relating to the many roles women play, their needs and the importance of mind-body-spirit alignment to maintain wellness. Among other things, we look at the heart-centered leadership women are providing in the world, the resilience exhibited in the face of change and adversity, the nurturing women need (and deserve!) and the many wellness centers and practitioners available to serve each other, our communities and ourselves. Overwhelm is common among both women and men of my acquaintance; it has sadly become commonplace to hear comparisons to riding a wave on the edge of control or skiing a downhill slope at top-speed. Recognizing the inseparable connection between mental/emotional states and what happens in/to our bodies, some innovative mental health centers are developing models of connected care to address this epidemic of overwhelm and foster healthy coping mechanisms. Local journalist Sheri Hatfield spoke with some of these centers about what they’re doing, why and how it’s working. Does this refrain sound familiar to anyone… “I’m eating well and exercising, but I’m still gaining weight!” Local journalist Angela Pascopella discussed this phenomenon with expert practitioners and explores the idea that healthy physical weight is very rarely as simple as the old adage “eat less, move more.” We are whole beings; to achieve our best selves, attention to all areas is necessary. By finding the right support, modalities and practitioners to fit individual needs, we will each soon be on a path to better health. There are many inspirational and educational events around the area this month. Be sure to check out the news briefs, ads and calendar for happenings that interest you. We hope to see you at some of them in the coming weeks! Wishing you vibrant health and happiness with lots of love and light,

We do not necessarily endorse the views expressed in the articles and advertisements, nor are we responsible for the products and services advertised. We welcome your ideas, articles and feedback.

SUBSCRIPTIONS Subscriptions are available by sending $30 (for 12 issues) to the above address. Natural Awakenings is printed on recycled newsprint with soy-based ink.


Fairfield County/Housatonic Valley Edition

See our advertiser index on page 82. Making it easier to find the resources you need. natural awakenings

newsbriefs Lyme Connection May Educational Events


yme Connection will present three important Lyme Disease events in the area in May. First, Lyme Connection and the Ridgefield Library will present an author talk on May 2 at 7pm with Lori Dennis to discuss her recently released memoir, Lyme Madness: Rescuing My Son down the Rabbit Hole of Chronic Lyme Disease. The program is co-sponsored by Lyme Connection and the library, and is part of the Noreen L. Papa - Mothers: Live Your Life series. Lyme Madness chronicles the medical odyssey of both the author and her adult son while capturing the current landscape of immeasurable suffering, politics and medical madness that ensues around this disease worldwide. The book provides a platform for the many voices of chronic Lyme sufferers, caregivers and activists, along with the few doctors and politicians fighting for awareness, support and justice. Lori Dennis, MA, is a registered psychotherapist in private practice with a focus on depression, anxiety, grief, ADHD, interpersonal conflict and more. Tick-borne disease prevention expert Dr. Neeta Connally and Master Gardener Tessa O’Regan are teaming up to teach effective strategies for staying safe from ticks while still enjoying the outdoors. This program will be held at the Ridgefield Library on May 6 at 10am. Weekend gardeners, avid hikers, pet owners or parents will all benefit from hearing the latest research on Lyme disease prevention, along with landscaping tips for reducing ticks in yards. Connally is an associate professor of biology and oversees the Tickborne Disease Prevention Laboratory at Western Connecticut State University. O’Regan, a certified landscape designer, lighting designer and master gardener, has been gardening professionally in Fairfield County for the past 15 years. This program is sponsored by the BLAST Program, Lyme Connection, Rotary Club of Ridgefield, Western Connecticut Health Network and the Ridgefield Library. Lastly, on May 18, Beyond Lyme: Redefining the Future of Tick-borne Diseases is the theme for the 11th Annual Lyme Connection patient conference and health fair at Western Connecticut State University in Danbury. The evening begins at 5pm with a Lyme disease-focused health fair, followed by speaker presentations and a question-and-answer period. Free and open to the public, the conference will be held in the Westside Campus Student Center ballroom; no pre-registration is required. Event sponsors include Roseann Capanna Hodge & Associates, IGeneX, Inc., NutraMedix and Select TCS Tick Control System. To register for Ridgefield Library events, visit Read more about programs at Location: Ridgefield Library, 472 Main St, Ridgefield. Lyme Conference location: WCSU Student Center, 43 Lake Ave Extension, Danbury. See ad, page 32.

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May 2017



Sportsmanship Tactics for Life and Business


Holistic Healing Practice Opens in Danbury


ebecca Schoenewolf, principal of RS Holistic Counseling and Healing, recently moved to the Danbury area from Providence, Rhode Island, and is now developing her second thriving holistic healing practice. Schoenewolf holds a master’s degree in holistic mental health counseling and is licensed in New York, Connecticut and Rhode Island. As a counselor, her Rebecca primary focus is on emotional healing, Schoenewolf communication skills, facilitating groups and workshops, and healing trauma. She is trained in CBT, DBT methods, communication skills and EMDR. She is also developing a holistic healing practice, based in her certification as a Reiki master/teacher in Usui and Holy Fire. Energy healing and intuitive channeling along with sound and scents are some of the other natural ways she will help to enhance clients’ healing abilities. “My definition of ‘holistic’ is that for clients to achieve their goals, I have to take into consideration the multitude of levels in which any person operates—the personal level, the family levels, the economic and educational levels, the societal levels, etc—as well as the modalities that would best assist them,” Shoenewolf explains. “But the modalities are mere tools, as it is the connections forged in sessions that are the foundation for healing.” For more information or to make an appointment for a free initial consultation, call 203-826-2558, email Rebecca. or visit anita chu intro.pdf 1 4/13/17 11:03 PM Location: 152 Deer Hill Ave, Ste 119, Danbury.

n May 16 at noon, the National Association of Professional Women (NAPW) in Fairfield County is presenting an interactive experience with Joan Cavanaugh at a monthly chapter meeting to demonstrate how sportsmanship can heighten your chances for success in business. Are you struggling without a coach to guide you? Do you ever wish you had a team to save the play? Are you finding yourself wanting to play a bigger game? Research demonstrates that females who play sports have better health, higher self-esteem, stronger leadership skills and greater economic opportunity. Joan Cavanaugh is a Canon Businesswoman of the Year, co-author of Teeing Up for Success, and has had four careers spanning 45 years. She will share her compelling message on how women can earn parity in business through sportsmanship. There is a $10 registration fee for members and guests. Walk-ins are welcome. Bring a brown bag lunch. Dessert and drinks will be served at the Ned Dimes Marina Clubhouse at Compo Beach. NAPW is the largest networking organization in the country, with more than 850,000 women. The organization provides an interactive networking forum for aspiring entrepreneurs and executives to connect with other like-minded professionals. For more information, call 347-437-0270, email or visit Chapters/Fairfield-County-Chapter. Location: Ned Dimes Marina Clubhouse at Compo Beach, 50-60 Compo Beach Rd, Westport.










Fairfield County/Housatonic Valley Edition

natural awakenings

Dancing with Hope for Chronic Childhood Illnesses


oyd Wellness’ Jennifer Boyd, PA, and Julie Blitzer of Authentic Matters, both Westport residents, have teamed up to bring awareness to the Documenting Hope film on May 4 at Mora Mora in South Norwalk. The documentary project focuses on changing the course of chronic childhood illnesses, such as autism, ADHD, Lyme disease, PANDAS, allergies and diabetes. Documenting Hope is part of, of which Boyd is the new chairperson. The mission of the group is to raise awareness that although one of two American children is diagnosed with a chronic ailment, recovery is possible. A documentary following the progress of several affected children is under way. This pioneering project will include a Harvard medical study to validate these modalities. This event will show the trailer and celebrate the progress of the enrolled children. Boyd and Blitzer are inspired to see this project change the paradigm. “It’s important to me to create community around these issues. Too few people are talking about how affected our children are and this is an amazing way to give back,” says Blitzer, co-founder of Authentic Matters, which offers consciousness-raising programs. Tickets for the May 4 casual party are fully tax-deductible and only $95 thanks to a group of local sponsors. For more information, visit, or contact Jennifer Boyd at BoydWellness@ or Julie Blitzer at Location: Mora Mora, 17 Washington St, South Norwalk.

Only do what your heart tells you. ~Princess Diana


Spiritual Medium & Healer

Inspirit HEAL



Find yourself within this peaceful space of Mind, Body and Spirit

(203)788-9338 346 Main St Woodbury, CT 06798

• Healing Sessions • Intuitive Art Classes • Energy & Sound Healing Massage • Medium Readings • Workshops • Boutique • Nutritional Guidance • Spiritual Counseling • Health & Wellbeing Lectures

Vicki Sara Blumberg, m.D. “I believe the body heals itself with sound advice, listening with love, and proper self-care.”

Specializing in • Low Dose Immunotherapy (LDA/LDI) • Second Opinion/Consultation for Chronic Medical Illness • Treatment for Opiate Use Disorder and Post-acute Withdrawal in conjunction with Insight Counseling • Medical Marijuana certification for appropriate patients with qualifying diagnoses. 158 Danbury Rd. Suite 3 • Ridgefield, CT 06877 • 203-403-3907

The 7th Annual


SUNDAY, MAY 7, 2017 11am - 4pm • WILTON TOWN CENTER

Join us for a great day of music. food, collaboration, inspiring conversations and amazing initiatives around food, land, water, materials management, energy and transportation that are taking root!

Dog Parade • Fire Engine • Solar Powered Merry-Go-Round Art Projects • Nature Walk • Furry Animals • Exotic Reptiles & MORE! Title Sponsor: HOME COMFORT PRACTICE • A Community-wide Celebration of Green Living! Hosted by Wilton Go Green Inc. and the Wilton Library Association

May 2017


newsbriefs The Alexander Technique Comes to Stratford

sk inca re • n utr ition • aromat herapy

Donna Fallacaro Cosmetologist/Skincare Consultant | Nutritarian Advisor | Certified Aromatherapist




Change Your Story, Change Your Life! Restoring Creativity, Wellness, and Balance Nancy S. Scherlong, lcsw,ptr, m/s Coaching, Psychotherapy, Expressive Arts Workshops HOLISTIC PSYCHOTHERAPY • COACHING • EXPRESSIVE THERAPIES/TRAINING

914.572.3167 | 898 Ethan Allen Hwy, Suite 7 | Ridgefield, CT 06877

Journey through Personal Movement

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Trumbull, Fairfield, Westport, Norwalk, New Canaan, Wilton, Weston and Darien

Massage Therapy

The Gift of Relaxation Specializing in: Swedish • Pregnancy • Injury • Infant Trigger Point • CranioSacral Therapy

Robin Ordan, LMT 203-561-8535 Located on the Old Greenwich/Stamford Border Fairfield County/Housatonic Valley Edition

eginning June 2, Joan Frost, MAmSAT, will be teaching a five-week introductory Alexander Technique class at The Baldwin Center in Stratford. The century-old method focuses on posture and movement re-education. Our daily movement patterns—such as how we sit, stand, eat or walk—result in what we think of as posture. When our habits inadvertently work against us and cause pain or discomfort, it bears bringing these Joan Frost patterns to consciousness. Frost has been teaching the technique for the past 34 years in the greater metropolitan area and has a private practice in Stratford. She is a former director of teacher certification at The American Center for the Alexander Technique in New York City. She has taught at The Juilliard School and at Sarah Lawrence College, was a presenter for The Arthritis Foundation, and also teaches at a medical facility in White Plains. For more information, call 203-386-9282, email Joan@ or visit For the group class, contact the Baldwin Center at 203-385-4050.

The Cleanest Touch LLC




elley Boianghu, MA, is offering Journey Dance at Valley Spirit Cooperative & Wellness Center in Washington Depot on May 13 from 7 to 8:30pm. The workshop allows you to move and play freely, clear your mind, get into your body, and release that which no longer serves you. Journey Dance is a structured and safe process to experience the therapeutic effect of movement and Kelley Boianghu dance. Boianghu holds a bachelor’s degree in communication and theater arts and a masters in drama therapy and has completed two levels of training in Journey Dance. She has served as a school counselor for 13 years, incorporating the healing arts into her work to allow students an opportunity to express themselves in an authentic way. The fee for the event is $30 for adults, $26 for seniors and students, and $22 for children under 16. For more information, call 860-619-2788. Location: Valley Spirit Cooperative & Wellness Center, 6 Green Hill Rd, Washington Depot. See ad, page 14.

natural awakenings

7: 30pm Westport Woman’s Club Volunteers Sought44for Repair Café Imperial Avenue, Westport, CT


ew Milford Public Library is looking for volunteers to help mend, repair or restore items Copiesduring of Science brought in by people in the community an and Health with Key upcoming Repair Café. Mechanics, seamstresses, to theare Scriptures electricians, and IT and tech experts Mary Baker Eddy will Repair Cafés are beginning to pop up worldbe available. wide, encouraging salvaging items instead of simply purchasing another new one. Normally held at a fixed location, Repair Cafés bring volunteers and community members together to repair household electrical and mechanical devices, computers, bicycles, clothing and more.

Hands-on Art Summer Youth Program Announced


he Brookfield Craft Center (BCC) is offering an opportunity for 11 to 14-year olds to explore their creative energies in a summer youth program. To volunteer, contact Val Fisher at or 860-355-1191 (extension Half-day and full-day options will be 203), or Rachael Schuster at or 860-355-1191 (extension offered on four weeks (July 10-14, July 206). For more information on Repair Cafés, visit 24-28, August 7-11 and August 21-25) Sponsored by First Church of Christ, Scientist, Westport on the BCC campus. Each week-long class will be a guided learning expeFor more information call 203-612-1010 or rience with skilled and professional visit artists, craft teachers and assistants. Classes will include glass bead making, n May 18 at 7:30pm, Tom McElroy, CS, a member of fiber arts, blacksmithing, fused glass, Tom McElroy, CSshare the Christian Science Board of Lecturers, will clay and jewelry. how general spirituality can change the world. Practitioner, lecturer Summer youth program scholar At a time when many people thinking about andare a member of the ships are available. If you know a child how to make change in the world for the Science better, genuine interested in a summer youth program Christian spirituality is a valuable and unique contribution to make. class who is deserving of a scholarship, Board of Lectureship, It’s not about joining a club or blind faith, but discoverplease complete a submission form on Tom McElroy is ing new perspectives of universal truth, love and a higher the website.  power that embrace everyone.devoted to the public   healing ministry of This free lecture is offered by First Church of Christ For a list of classes and more informaChristian Scientist in Westport and will take place atScience. the Westport tion, call 203-775-4526, email Info@ Woman’s Club. or visit Brookfield Tom McElroy Location: Brookfield Craft For more information, call 203-612-1010 or visit Center, 286 Whisconier Rd, Brookfield. Location: Westport Woman’s Club, 44 Imperial Ave, Westport. See ad, page 4. See ad, page 39.

Bettering the World through Spiritual Discovery


Hunter Healing Hands

Integrative & Intuitive Shamanic Wellness Jessica Hunter

Integrative & Intuitive Healing Sessions

Quality Holistic Healing Education that is Personal, Professional, and Passionate!

Professional Space Clearing & Blessing for Homes, Land or Businesses

Certification & Accredited Programs in Reiki, Crystal Healing, & Shamanic Healing

Drum & Rattle Making Sessions

Shamanic Teacher, Practitioner, Shamanic Medium, Crystal Healing Teacher, Melody Certified Crystal Healing Practitioner, Reiki Master, OM, Circle of the Sacred Earth

Shamanic Healing, Shamanic Mediumship, Melody Crystal Healing, Acupressure, Reiki, Shamanic Spiritual Counseling

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203-916-8381 | www. hunterhealinghands. com | hunterhealinghands@hotmail. com

May 2017



Making Wellness Solutions Accessible for Family Caregivers


New Reel Innovation Means Better Mowing


ver the winter, MOWGREEN’s owner, Fairfield resident Dan Delventhal invented something customers have been asking him about for years. The Reel2Reel gang assembly adapter is designed to yoke two or three Scott Classic 20-foot push reels together, increasing the area mowed with each pass, saving time in an environmentally friendly way. Reels were the only mowers MOWGREEN used when it was founded in 2007. “It’s definitely the most ‘natural way to cut grass, and by far the least polluting,” says Delventhal, winner of TownVibe’s Green Award in 2016 and 2017. Reels feature five heat-treated steel blades, nine grass heights controlled by quick-snap adjusters, and dual tracking wheels with radial tires. MOWGREEN sells both new and refurbished reels as well as the adaptors. All of MOWGREEN’s equipment is battery-powered, recharged by solar or electricity from the renewable portfolio. And the company’s service offerings have expanded beyond to also include spring clean-up, trimming and hedging, soil optimization, aeration and gardening. Organic treatments for tick control and fertilizer are also available. For more information about Reels or MOWGREEN, call 203-254-9999 or visit For Reel2Reel specifics, select “gear” from the top menu on the website.

table Ground Counseling LLC is now offering wellness counseling specifically designed for caregivers—such as parents, caretakers of elderly or disabled family members—and healthcare professionals. The Norwalk-based counseling service provides highly individualized, home-based counseling services, taking into account that most caregivers often don’t have the time to visit a counselor or coach at their office location. Counseling can be provided on a flexible schedule throughout Fairfield County. Stable Ground Counseling LLC’s manager, Sabrina Donalies-Schell, MHC, is a mental health counselor as well as a certified life coach and certified medical technician. “Caregivers often focus their entire energy on their loved ones, which is incredible and deserves so much respect. Unfortunately, this job is often completely underestimated and caregivers exhaust their resources without looking after their own wellbeing,” she says. “We empower them with self-care, mindfulness and resilience tools, as well as skill coaching, to help the entire family system.” In addition to the home-based counseling services, Stable Ground Counseling LLC provides equine assisted learning workshops to complement their clients’ personal development. Clients work individually or in small groups to develop problem-solving approaches. Sessions do not involve riding, and no previous horse experience needed.

For more information, call 201-470-1617, email or visit

You Have a Choice!

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

203.438.4848  12

Fairfield County/Housatonic Valley Edition

natural awakenings

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

Empath Support Group and Workshop Debuts in Black Rock

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Ingri Boe-Wiegaard Licensed Acupuncturist


unter Healing Hands is now offering Empathy for the Empath, a monthly peer support group for empaths and energetically sensitive individuals. The first meeting will take place May 11 from 7 to 9pm. The focus of the support group is to provide a constructive and nurturing environment for empaths to interact with others who understand the struggles and challenges of day-to-day life as an empath. It offers an opportunity to openly express experiences, and give and receive support with group members. Anyone over the age of 18 who is an empath, or struggling with navigating being an empath, is welcome to attend. The fee is $25 with pre-registration. Space is limited so registration is required. Jessica Hunter, the owner of Hunter Healing Hands, is also offering an ongoing workshop, Energy Healing for the Empath – Self Healing and Survival Techniques for the Empathic Individual. This workshop provides the opportunity for empaths to learn skills and selfhealing tools to assist them in managing how to work with being an empath in daily life. The workshop is offered in group format periodically throughout the year; it is also available all year for individuals by private appointment.

Call today for an appointment

Mention code NA44 for 20% discount Fairfield 203-259-1660 | Bethel 203-778-6551 | Wilton 203-762-3646 | Most insurances accepted

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We’re Dedicated To Every Client Because of you there is a change for the better! Beautiful Hair Shouldn’t Be Hazardous To Your Health The best thing about our products is what we leave out! No Ammonia | No Parabens | No Scalp Staining | No Scalp Discomfort

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For more information, call 203-916-8381, email or visit Location: Hunter Healing Hands, 215 Harbor Ave, Bridgeport (Black Rock area). See ad, page 11.

Independence is happiness. ~Susan B. Anthony

May 2017


newsbriefs A new dimension 1B)4%3'0453:% +4%)./0%12304"5)6%''7%//)*%70%:) 1?%:/)3)41'"/0"5)322:1354)01@ A9/5'%)23"7 headaches sciatica asthma sports injuries birth trauma stress disorders

ear and sinus infections 53:23')0977%') syndrome back and neck pain A%7/0:93')23"7

89221:0);19:)<1#;=/)7309:3') 4%3'"7$),"04)$%70'%()437#/>17) treatment.

Dr. David Johnston, DO & Associates 158 Danbury Road, suite #6 !"#$%&%'#()*+ ,,,-./0%12304"56%''7%//-7%0 Phone: 203.438.9915


the co-op: gallery, shop, design studio, art openings, 1st fridays in the depot!, performance events, jewelry from nepal, knitting workshop, essential oils, organic skin care, chinese herbal apothecary

the wellness center: acupuncture, yoga, tai chi, massage, meditation, organic facials, pilates, chi nei tsang, reflexology, neural reset therapy, medical qi gong, aromatherapy, shamanic healing, biomat, chinese medical massage, sound healing, facial rejuvenation acupuncture, cupping, barre, qi gong, chinese herbal consult

where art meets wellness


6 green hill road washington depot, C T



Fairfield County/Housatonic Valley Edition

Spring into Spring at Woodbury Healing Sanctuary


oodburyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Salt of the Earth Healing Arts Sanctuary and Wellness Center is planning a full roster of educational, inspiring and nurturing events this month to celebrate spring and inspire good health habits. May 13 Amp Up Your Life! Wellness Day will feature renowned health and raw food expert, microscopist and lymphatic massage specialist Paulo Fernandes of Energise for Life and Master Herbalist Andrea Candee, who will present on Integrative Approach to Lyme Disease Health. A vendor fair will include a variety of health and wellness products and services, while a variety of healing and spiritual programming will also occur upstairs at Inspirit Healing Studios. From May 17-19 Melanie Sachs of Diamond Way Ayurveda will be at the sanctuary for a Kansa/Tibetan Ayurvedic facial workshop on May 17, then private appointments May 18 & 19. A certified Ayurvedic Lifestyle Counselor, Melanie Sachs' skill as a teacher and therapist have made her sought after by some of the world's leading spas and beauty schools. Her book, Ayurvedic Beauty Care (Lotus Light Publications), is considered a must for those interested in natural and conscious body care. On May 19 at 7pm renowned spiritual musician David Young will appear at the sanctuaryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Athena Hall for a meditative and soul-inspiring event. His soul ascension meditations and music are used by healers around the world to tune in and elevate the vibratory quality of their work. The evening will feature two meditation experiences and a group question-and-answer session and discussion afterward. Tickets are $30 in advance, $35 at the door. This event is likely to sell out, so ordering tickets early is strongly encouraged. Salt of the Earth Healing Arts Sanctuary offers a tranquil place to refresh and renew in a house charged with energy of old. It calls on the spirit of the past, the energy of the present, and the promise of the future to be a space of calm and beauty, healing and restoration of the mind, body and spirit. The second floor is home to Inspirit Healing Studios, offering a variety of healing services to illuminate mind, body and spirit with peace and insight. Heart and Home, a unique store located inside the sanctuary, offers artisan and hand-crafted items curated to cultivate the senses and inspire well-being. For more information about Amp Up Your Life wellness day, contact Salt of the Earth at 203-405-2241 or Location: 346 Main St S, Woodbury. See ads, pages 5 and 41.

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Shamanic Healing Empowering Writing Workshop SupportRetreat Connecticut newsbriefs in Redding Businesses at Expo in North Carolina oin shamanic Art of Bewilderment: A practitioners and he Made 7eFit Spa Open House The Poetry & Memoir Generative T in ConJ teachers Deana Paqua and Jessica in Stamford Workshop will be held June necticut Expo Hunter for a 8-11 day of shamanic healing


in North by Nick is returning for Led gratitude, transformation, abuntamford hasCarolina. and Newtown’s Keane, and enlightenment. for its third dance,Jojo discovery a Flynn new option this workshop writers year at the This all-day healing retreat is open for those seeking empowers to go thresholds Farmington to anyone and all levels who wish to look andbeyond feel psychic their work and unexplored Grounds from 11am to 6pm on tointo learn more about Polo shamanism and their in best during ™ territory. Discover how to access May 13and andtech14. Come to support local shamanic healing practices the holiday seadeeper, unconscious psychic businesses and new entrepreneurs large niques that can be incorporated into son and beyond. 7eFit Spa has opened on High Ridge Road, Deana Paqua realms in your writing in a supand small who are producing goods, daily life for transformation and posioffering a variety of aesthetic services and non-invasive techportive, generative creating jobs andatsupporting the local tiveenvironment. changes. The event will be held niques to support mind and body wellness. An open house is In order to access this uneconomy right here at home. the sanctuary at The Redding Center scheduled for November 22 from noon to 7pm. conscious realm, we will incorporate short writing exercises, along with radical More than 100 Connecticut entrefor Meditation on November 14 from The regular service offerings—which will be available as revisionswhile of existing work, each introduced by brief meditation and/or movement preneurs and artists will be featured, Relax our technology 10am to 5pm. brief demonstration sessions during the open house—include work. Come with openness questioning why you tell the stories youA do. You of will including and drink, handcrafted . towith does work variety techniques andfood teachanti-aging andthe oxygen facials oxygen therapy, Torc Plus biowithor a invasive multi-page document made up of newly generated material as well as products, manufacturers, apparel and Noleave surgery procedures. ings will be incorporated throughout electric stimulation for targeted muscle activation (also available radically revised older work. fashion designers, artists and artisans, Infrared Sauna therapy) • Micro-dermabrasion with oxygen and weight loss, infrared sauna for detoxifi- the day, including shamanic journey Myolift The retreat will include morning, afternoon and evening course modules with farm producers, local authors doing book • Torc Body Waxing personal weight loss program. work, shamanic ceremonies, crystal cation, Reiki and• the DietMaster free time in between. Free-time activities include hiking, pottery, Shankara Ayurvesignings, health and beauty product Diet Master • Oxygen Bar • Reiki The Torc Plus has been FDA-cleared and is known to be healing, various spirit medicine healing da Spa services, meditation and yoga. The food at the retreat will teachings be vegetarian. companies, pet for products and services, Dermalogica Facials • Oxygen Facials and shamanic techniques effective for muscle tightening, toning, cellulite reduction Jessica Hunter The maximum attendance for the retreat is 54 people. The price range is $822 to local gourmet food Teeth Whitening clearing and manifestation practices. trucks, furniture makand inch loss. $1,122, which includes all meals, accommodation, taxes and course tuition. Acers, upcyclers and more. Beer and wine Paqua and Hunter bring a unique and informative combinaSave Tracey Now with Founder a long-time resident commodations rangeScalzi, from triple, doubleStamford and single retreat-style rooms to single/ selections will be available from local Introductory Prices! tion of shamanic healing and teachings to their gatherings. and business decided to open 7eFitSpa double deluxeowner, hotel-style rooms, all with privatebecause baths. she Connecticut breweries and wineries. Paqua specializes in Andean and South American shaCall new 203-356-5822 business dedicated to writer, helpingplaywright people look wanted NickaFlynn is a highly acclaimed and poet with many pub Admission is $8 for adults and chilmanic traditions, while Hunter focuses on North American and feel their best. The |spa had opening in June butcreative lished works and film Heaissoft also a professor in the writing program dren under 12 are free. Parking at the 1092 High Ridge Roadcredits. Stamford, CT 06905 shamanic traditions. Together, they provide educational and was operational with| all equipment services at thefully University of Houston. Jojo Keane isand a JourneyDance instructor and yoga grounds is $5 per car. inspirational shamanic gatherings that encompass a variety able in mid-September. teacher who practices energy healing and shamanic arts. She runs workshops in of teachings and a global connection of a variety of Shaconscious dance, meditation, mindfulness and fine art for university dance proFor more information, visit Facebook. manic Healing practices. For more information, visit the grams, athletic teams, theatrical troupes and and visit actors. com/MadeinCTExpo. For booth space, Stamford location, email or call sponsorship and media information, visitMadeinConnecticutExpo@gmail. and 203-356-5822. 1092 High Ridge Rd, Stamfordor visit For more information, For reservations,Location: email email See ads,Farmington pages 10 Polo and 20. (inside Salon Cheveaux). SeeFor ad,more pageinformation 15. on the retreat, com. Location: Grounds, visit 152 Town Farm Rd, Farmington.

Fit Spa

A new way to looking and feeling good.

transformative natural healing are you ready for a change? Naturopathic Family Medicine For over 25 years, Dr. Debra Gibson has provided caring, personal treatment in a friendly, comfortable environment to support healing transformation of body, mind and spirit. Her thorough, wellness-oriented approach investigates the root cause of chronic health concerns, and uses effective natural therapies to heal imbalances underlying conditions such as fatigue, overweight, allergy and autoimmunity, hormonal imbalance (thyroid, PMS, menopause), gastrointestinal disorders, and children’s health issues. (thy

100 Danbury Road, Suite 102, Ridgefield, CT Ph. 203.431.4443 12

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Debra Gibson, ND

May 2017


newsbriefs Celebrating 15 Years Practicing Structural Integration

New Integrative Pharmacy Opens in Westport

oni Hormadaly, a licensed massage therapist in Ridgefield, is celebrating 15 years of practicing Structural Integration. Developed by Dr. Ida P. Rolf, a biochemist, the method addresses how the structure of the human body relates to gravity. “By working with the soft tissues of the body in a methodical and systematic way, over a numYoni Hormadaly ber of sessions—usually 10—the whole structure gets addressed in a wholesome and lasting way,” Hormadaly says. The changes that are acquired with Structural Integration tend to be long lasting and improve over time, he adds. Once the old pattern begins to change toward a more energy-efficient one, every step a person takes further reinforces the new pattern.

new type of pharmacy that combines conventional medicine with natural options has opened in Westport. The Shoreline Integrative Pharmacy offers doctor-prescribed medications as well as natural remedies. Shoreline Integrative Pharmacy carries practitionergrade supplements and natural remedies while employing a knowledgeable staff to guide and you and your family toward achieving health goals. Their curated skincare collection offers natural and laboratory-developed products. Education is another focus with a dedicated “living room” where health professionals—such as nutritionists, practitioners, chefs, vendors and others—share their knowledge.

For more information or a free phone consultation, call 203-550-6888. Location: 109 Danbury Rd, Ridgefield. See Community Resource Guide listing, page 80.

For more information, call 203-309-3783 (store) or 203-309-3784 (prescriptions), email Info@ or visit Location: 1835 Post Rd East, Westport.



Fairfield County/Housatonic Valley Edition


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N E W I N 2 01 7

EMERGING PRACTITIONERS’ SHOWCASE A special section for practitioners just launching their practice or recently relocated to the area. Naturopathic Physician & Licensed Acupuncturist Holistic, Natural Medicine for Health and Wellbeing Botanicals, Nutrition, Acupuncture, Homeopathy, Lab testing & more

Mother Earth

Anxiety/Depression • Auto-Immune Disease • Chemical Toxicity Digestive Issues • Fatigue • Hormone Imbalance • Insomnia Muscle/Joint Pain • Tobacco Addiction • Stress Reduction



Jenness Cortez

Renewal and purpose are repeating themes in the contemporary works of Jenness Cortez, symbolically portrayed in luminous layers. Internationally recognized and collected as a master realist painter, Cortez is revered for her remarkably intimate landscapes. Her vision comprehends all nature as a manifestation of the divine. Inspired by the light, color and form of the great masters, Cortez’s dynamic and rich compositions invite the viewer’s eye to move eagerly through her paintings again and again, savoring every nuance. Cortez says she hopes her work inspires the beholder to rediscover, revalue and reintegrate their own creative force into the hurried regimen of modern life. “I want to lead people to something good and eternal,” she says. The Indiana-born artist began her studies under the guidance of noted Dutch painter Antonius Raemaekers. She further developed her fine arts background as a graduate of the Herron School of Art, in Indianapolis, and a student of Arnold Blanche, at the Art Students League of New York. View the artist’s portfolio at CortezArt. com. Cortez is also co-founder of the nonprofit American Meditation Institute (

y New York

72 North St. Suite 100A, 4 Smith Ave, 2nd Floor Mount Kisco, NY, 10549 Danbury, CT 06810

Kurt Beil, ND, LAc, MPH


914-362-8315 | |

IntegratIve HolIstIc nursIng Specializing in Cancer and Chronic Pain Personalized Healing Energy Sessions Aromatherapy • Essential Oils • Crystals Guided Meditation Sound, Light & Color Therapy Breathing Techniques • Music Therapy Nutritional Recommendations Lifestyle Modifications Promoting peace, love, & healing for mind, body & spirit.

Kerry Hardy rn, hnb-bc, rmt, cch Call 203-895-5134

to schedule your session in-home, by phone, or skype.

Providing personal growth and expression through music education, mentoring and energy healing. Suzanne Vick 203-605-6587

To find out if you might qualify to be a part of the showcase section, call or email today! 203-885-4674

May 2017



Detect critical health issues 8-10 years BEFORE mammograms with Thermal Imaging

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

Cycling Chicago

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


• 100% safe & FDA-registered • Safe for implants, mastectomy & pregnancy • No radiation or painful breast compression • Monitor & assess pain & pathology anywhere on the body

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Safe Harbor

The French government has expanded the Réserve Naturelle Nationale des Terres Australes Françaises, a highly protected marine reserve in French-controlled, subAntarctic waters of the southern Indian Ocean, from about 8,000 to more than 46,000 square miles; it now includes seven areas surrounding the islands of Crozet and Kerguelen. France intends to designate 10 percent of its oceanic territory by 2020, and this action brings the total as of the end of 2016 to 1.3 percent. These large-scale, fully protected marine reserves may serve as climate refuges for many species. The rich biodiversity of the new addition includes marine mammals, fish, seabirds, orcas, penguins, Antarctic fur seals and the critically endangered Amsterdam albatross. Source: 18

Planting Progress

New Seed-Sharing Law in California



Marine Reserve Preserves Ocean Biodiversity

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

Fairfield County/Housatonic Valley Edition

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William Perugini/

Pioneering Bike Paths Promise Easy Commutes


Healing Trauma’s Root Cause go back to the moment of origin of the issue, incident or trauma; and remove it from the cellular memory so it can no longer affect the client in the present or the future. The area of the body where the memory was stored instead is filled with positive healing energy to restore a sense of well-being. It usually takes one or two sessions per trauma for the client to feel lighter and more at peace.


motional trauma can result from an emotional or physical experience that overwhelms the nervous system. The natural healing ability of the mind can often assimilate the event and heal on its own. Extremely painful memories, however, are often tucked away or repressed so the individual can continue to function. Unfortunately, such unresolved trauma can develop into post-traumatic stress disorder, chronic anxiety or depression, affecting all areas of an individual’s life. Several healing modalities have been shown to address the root cause and heal effects of trauma. Cell Memory Technique With this modality, advanced energy techniques are applied to help heal the “cellular memory”, or the original cause of the pain, illness, mental or emotional imbalance. This “cell memory” practice aids in clearing past traumas and unwanted patterns by healing the core issue. Usui Reiki symbols are used to cross space and time;

Shamanism/Soul Retrieval Shamanic healing—including Soul Retrieval practices—are some of the oldest forms of healing and help address the spiritual aspect of healing, which shamans believe is the foundation of health and life. When someone experiences trauma, part of their vital energy or life force can get stuck in the past, or leaves altogether. Medicine people and shamans call this “soul loss”. This means the person does not have all of their energy and spirit available to them in the present moment to meet life’s demands or help them heal. Anyone who has experienced physical or emotional trauma can experience soul loss; many say they have never been the same since the trauma occurred. The person might feel scattered, drained, depressed, or have lost interest in aspects of their life that previously brought them happiness and joy. A skilled shamanic practitioner, trained in Soul Retrieval, can assist a person in restoring his or her life energy and spiritual vitality through this gentle yet powerful healing technique. Clients

report that they have renewed energy, and they feel “lighter” and empowered to move forward. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a quick, effective energy psychology technique that helps clients release negative thoughts and feelings associated with painful memories. A traumatic memory is stored in a raw, fragmented form in the primitive survival brain. Eye movements—or other forms of bi-lateral stimulation— activate both hemispheres of the brain, allowing access to a lifetime of wisdom and positive experiences; the traumatic memory is freed from the irrational survival brain and gains perspective from the higher brain. EMDR jumpstarts the mind’s natural healing mechanism, allowing the trauma to be processed, understood and stored like a normal memory. Clients often report feeling relief and hope after a couple sessions. Unlike talk therapy, EMDR allows clients to resolve the most embarrassing memories without having to discuss the details. Source: Turning Point Healing Arts & Education Center in Ridgefield. Practitioners include: JoAnn Inserra Duncan, MS, RMT, a Reiki master teacher, Advanced Integrated Energy therapist and Level III Reconnective Healing practitioner; Deana Paqua, MA, LMT, a spiritual, holistic health and shamanic practitioner and teacher; and Stacy Raymond, PsyD, a clinical psychologist certified in EMDR. See ad, page 28.

May 2017


Nutritional Supplementation Benefits During Pregnancy


ost pregnant women can benefit from nutritional and multivitamin supplementation at least one year before conception, and throughout pregnancy and the post-partum period until they are finished breastfeeding. The effects of poor nutrition during pregnancy can be seen in the increase of birth defects during times of famine. Unfortunately, a standard Western diet and the depletion of soil in which crops are often grown affect us as well. A lack of necessary essential vitamins and minerals can lead to a potential compromise in the health of a mother and her children. A well-balanced, varied diet includes fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, beans and lean proteins. There is a limit on refined sugars, processed foods and saturated fats. Organically grown, GMOfree produce and meats are preferable; the avoidance of artificial colors and sweeteners, synthetic hormones and chemicals is critical. In addition to a healthy diet, there is often a need for high-quality vitamin and mineral supplementation during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. Even prescription vitamins are often lacking in proper quantity and quality. It is recommended that women consult a physician knowledgeable in nutrition to make an informed purchase. Here is


Consulting with a physician who cares for pre-and post-natal mothers is highly recommended. Risa Sloves, DC practices with her husband, Dr. Mark Joachim, at their Associates in Family Chiropractic and Natural Health Care office in Norwalk. Sloves is one of 10 chiropractic physicians in Connecticut who is board certified in maternity and pediatric care. Connect at 203-838-1555. See Community Resource Guide listing, page 76.

yoga • meditation • massage • reiki • facials


Metaphysical Shop & Healing Space (203) 586-1655 Sherman Village, 650 Main St. S Woodbury, CT

Monthly Mystical Market, 3rd Sunday of Every Month crystal healing • psychic readers Fairfield County/Housatonic Valley Edition

• aroma touch • rocks & crystals

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• psychotherapy

events • workshops

a list of some essentials a good supplement should have and the food sources in which they are most prevalent. Proper quantity and the ratios of vitamins and minerals need to be evaluated. • Thiamine (vitamin B1): sunflower seeds, wheat germ, brown rice, oatmeal, legumes, peanuts, bell peppers and green peas • Riboflavin (vitamin B2): brewer’s yeast, almonds, organ meats, whole grains, wheat germ, mushrooms, milk, yogurt, eggs, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, spinach and fortified flours/cereals • Niacin (vitamin B3): wheat germ, crimini and shiitake mushrooms, brewer’s yeast, chicken, seafood (be careful of mercury), grass-fed beef, turkey, beets, asparagus, peanuts, green peas and garlic • Pyridoxine (vitamin B6): fortified cereals, beans, poultry, fish, dark leafy greens, papayas, oranges, cantaloupe and egg yolks • Folic acid (vitamin B9; best in the form of methyltetrahydrofolate): black eyed peas, lentils, green leafy vegetables, asparagus, avocado, nuts, liver, mango and oranges • Cobalamin (vitamin B12): fish, meat, poultry, eggs, dairy products and fortified breakfast cereals • Vitamin A: sweet potatoes, carrots, dark leafy greens and butternut squash • Vitamin C: bell peppers, guava, dark leafy greens, kiwi, broccoli, strawberries, citrus fruits and tomatoes • Vitamin D: Sunshine, fatty fish, liver, cheese and egg yolks • Vitamin E: Nuts, seeds, vegetable oils, green leafy vegetables and wheat germ

• Vitamin K: Green leafy vegetables, such as kale, spinach and Swiss chard • Calcium (best in forms of calcium citrate/malate): dairy products, dark green leafy vegetables, pumpkin seeds and sardines • Chromium: whole-grain products, high-bran cereals, green beans, broccoli, nuts and egg yolk • Cobalt: milk, dairy, chocolate, fish and crustaceans • Copper: nuts and seeds, avocados, potatoes, beans, peas and green leafy vegetables • Iron: nuts, beans, vegetables, fortified grain products, molasses, brewer’s yeast, egg yolks and organ meats • Magnesium: Green leafy vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains, honey, dried fruits and potatoes Potassium: bananas, bran, green leafy vegetables, olives and potatoes • Zinc: oysters, red meat, chicken, beets, broccoli, fish, lentils and wheat germ • Bioflavinoids: fruits and vegetables • Essential fatty acids: raw seeds, flax, chia, hemp, sunflower, walnuts, nuts, fish, shellfish and leafy vegetables • Methione: fish and seafood •Phosphatidycholine: meat and fish • Taurine: shellfish, fish and dark poultry

cycle. The goal is to help women enter their cycle with a healthy environment within the pelvis to ensure a successful IVF cycle. Many women choose the Shared Journey Fertility Program as a stand-alone regime because IVF/IUI is costly and/or they prefer an all-natural approach to conception. The fertility program is unlike other in that it is purely holistic and natural. There are no medications used and no negative side effects. The program also includes education and support in the areas of cycle monitoring, herbs, nutrition, essential oils, exercise and movement, meditation and relaxation techniques.

Natural Options for Fertility by Patricia Almeida


ost pregnant women will eat healthier, avoid toxic chemicals and refrain from certain activities in order to have a healthy baby. It’s important to note that a natural holistic approach to fertility can also be helpful, especially for the 7.5 million women in the U.S. who the CDC reports have impaired fecundity (impaired ability to get pregnant or carry a baby to term). There are many natural and effective options to improve women’s fertility; one of these is Mercier Therapy. Mercier Therapy was developed by Jennifer Merciér, PhD. It’s a soft tissue visceral manipulation therapy technique that is used to help restore health and well-being within the female pelvis. The goal of Mercier Therapy is to decrease adhesions in the abdomen and around the organs, ligaments, muscles, joints and support structures of the pelvis, abdomen, hips and lower back. It increases blood flow and enhances function of pelvic organs. Mercer Therapy is a six-hour regime, which is broken up into various sessions to achieve desired goals. The technique is done abdominally and requires no vagi-

Patricia Almeida, BSN, LMT, is the owner and director of Mercier Therapy of Connecticut LLC, a wellness center for women specializing in fertility, pregnancy and women’s health, located at 20 Avon Meadow Ln, Ste 230 in Avon. For more information or to schedule a consultation, call 860-987-3823 or visit See ad, page 31. nal work. This gentle and noninvasive technique was created to help women reconnect to their divine feminine and allow the pelvis, a highly emotional space, to open to healing and balance. Mercier Therapy has been shown to be helpful for women with infertility, anovulation, amenorrhea, pelvic pain, painful intercourse, endometriosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome, blocked fallopian tubes, pelvic scarring or adhesions from previous pelvic surgery and other conditions that cause impaired fecundity. Mercier Therapy is part of The Shared Journey Fertility Program, which can be used as a stand-along natural therapy or as an adjunct to other assisted reproductive technology. An IVF cycle can be costly, rigorous, and physically and emotionally draining. There are some who have a medical necessity for IVF/IUI and will need to go through more than one IVF cycle to achieve a pregnancy. The Shared Journey Fertility Program was developed to help limit the number of cycles needed. The therapy protocol is started and finished prior to the stimulation portion of a medically assisted

Digital Infrared Thermal Imaging (DITI) offers safe, FDA approved full body or breast screening.

Non Invasive • No Radiation • Possible 8 years earlier detection vs mammogram • Clinical imaging for detecting and monitoring a number of diseases and physical injuries. Rachel Mazzarelli ms,cct

203-257-3785 Offices throughout Fairfield County, New Haven, Milford, Southbury, Brewster and Cross River, NY

May 2017




HEART-BASED LEADERSHIP Women Mobilize to Heal the World by Linda Sechrist


he Heart to Lead: Women as Allies for the Greater Good, a documentary film directed and produced by Cheryl Gould, of Naples, Florida, explores the emerging paradigm of heart-based feminine leadership and how it is attuning women to their inner strengths, beliefs, each other and our Earth. “Women’s deeper unity of being is empowering them to take action and lead. Women who once longed for a culture that would reflect their highest priorities are now creating one in which they support each other and make a difference,” says Gould. She notes that for centuries, a vast number of women have led and served as change agents. “Unfortunately, the majority of them never made it into the headlines or history books. A prime example—few individuals knew that 12 women ran for president before Hillary Clinton.” In a recent Yes! magazine article, Rucha Chitnis reports that women are rising up to push back against growing corporate power, land grabs, economic injustice, climate change and more. Women’s groups and networks offer a paradigm shift, she concludes, exposing links between unbridled capitalism, violence, the erosion of human rights and destruction of the Earth. A woman’s style of leadership in America’s corporate boardrooms, activist-led movements or state and federal government may not be plainly evident. Feminine wisdom’s emerging solutions are compassionate, collaborative and consensus-building, and pursue universal outcomes and group cooperation. They contrast with conventional competitive strategies and solutions, according to The Legislative Effectiveness of Women in Congress study at Vanderbilt University’s Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions, in Nashville. Jean Shinoda Bolen, a medical doctor, Jungian analyst in Mill Valley, California, and author of Artemis: The Indomitable Spirit in Everywoman, has been advocating since 2002 for a United Nations Fifth World Conference on Women (5WCW). “Empowered and equal women are the key to peace and sustainability. We need to rise up together and fulfill the Dalai 22

Fairfield County/Housatonic Valley Edition

Lama’s words at the Women Rising Resources: Vancouver Peace Summit: ‘It will WomensHeartToLeadFilm be up to Western women to bring about peace.’” Bolen’s 5WCW vision joins millennial women worldwide now entering their era of activism with the feminist movement spearheaded by a boomer generation of women that’s forwarded the equality and empowerment of women this far. To this end, she marched in Washington, D.C., on January 21 in the Million Women’s March that globally attracted 5 million participants. “To make human rights women’s rights, we need a united global women’s movement,” she states. Sande Hart, from Orange County, California, director of the Charter for Compassion International-Women and Girls sector and president of the women’s global interfaith organization Spiritual and Religious Alliance for Hope (SARAH), participated in the Los Angeles Women’s March with 750,000 others. “There’s a sense that we’ve had enough. We’re not angry. We are morally outraged and seeking peaceful solutions wrapped in compassion and based in justice for all. In nearly 15 years of women’s community building, I’m convinced that healing our communities with resilience and a regenerative spirit is our biological and innate imperative. I see women emerging in unprecedented ways to make this happen,” says Hart. The Rising Women Rising World organization provides tools and training to help women and men develop feminine wisdom and the qualities of potent compassion, deep listening, intuition and inclusivity. Hazel Henderson, an evolutionary economist in St. Augustine, Florida, host of the Ethical Markets online TV show and researcher of The Love Economy shared in her book The Politics of the Solar Age: Alternatives to Economics, has mentored staff members of Rising Women Rising World. Henderson contends that to shape a future for the good of all, we must bring into balance the masculine and feminine energies and learn to value the longmarginalized qualities of feminine wisdom. Henderson’s Love Economy paradigm reflects the sharing and caring sector not presently reflected in the nation’s gross domestic product. “Women’s unpaid work—raising children, taking care of households, serving on school boards, volunteering, caring for aging parents, etc.—constitutes 50 percent of all production in the U.S. and 70 percent of that in developing countries. This unvalued economic sector underlies and supports the public and private parts of the entire economy,” advises Henderson, who observes that competition cannot be the sole basis for an economy with any expectation of high quality of life on a small planet. In her film, As She Is, producer and director Megan McFeely, of Marin County, California, captures her own journey to understand the collective potential of the feminine and how to live true to its innate knowing. She queries: “Can you imagine what might happen if women here and around the world rose up together and used our power of longing to heal the Earth?” Linda Sechrist is a senior staff writer for Natural Awakenings. Connect at

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Loving, Sacred Passage

My mother is good content, isn’t she? One of the reasons I wanted to become an end-of-life doula was missing out on having that experience with my dad. I want to be present with my mom when it is her time. Being an end-of-life doula is about finding out how to be present for someone who is in the dying process and the family with their fears and anxiety of the family member’s passing. One thing I have noticed in my work is that how we live in this present moment is going to translate into how we will leave.

Weston Mother and Daughter Discuss Death and Dying by Ariana Rawls Fine


atural Awakenings sat down with Susan Broody and her mother, Margaret, to ask about their experiences being part of the Alliance for Conscious Transitioning’s The Conversation meeting in April 2017, and what has led them to talk about the dying process and death. Many topics are explored during the monthly Conversation event, including life, death and end-of-life options. The mother/daughter pair, who live close to each other in Weston, discuss their planning for and philosophies about death from a sacred and loving perspective, rather than morbid or sorrowful. They hope their own process will be a meaningful last journey for all involved.


Barbara Slaine, of Liphe Balance Center, and I started the Conversation meetings a year ago. It has allowed community members to come together and have a safe environment to share emotions and experiences about death and the dying process with those in their lives, and talk about the fear and anxiety about it. My mother, Margaret, has been involved in the last two to three Conversations.


I am very old at 93. I said goodbye to

my husband five years ago. It was very hard, especially because of his dementia. As we proceeded through the dying process, I started developing my own ideas about how to pursue it for myself before Susan had even started this with Barbara. Intellectually we all know we will die. But on a visceral level, we are frightened, concerned about the process. When you have a family with aging people, they don’t want to face it. I have no use for family secrets; you should not have secrets going out. Let the sun and air come in. I don’t care how old I am as long as I am feeling well. I am letting Mother Nature have her course. And, for me, just because there are tests, treatments and surgeries, doesn’t mean we need to do anything medically speaking to stay alive. I want to try to live as well as I can and not be a burden to those who I love and my community. As we reach our middle ages, we have to confront our issues. The more you talk about dying with your loved ones and your differences, the better it can be. Are you more afraid of death or of dying? Being able to sit in a quiet place such as The Conversations with like-minded people who are not afraid to let their fears and thoughts out can be therapeutic.


There is also a generational thing with this process and being open-minded. In the era in which I grew up, we didn’t talk about these things. I didn’t really start until I reached my 50s. It is like opening a window that is locked so the fresh air is let in. At this point, and over time, we conquered communication even if we are at odds. Communication is the way to stay connected. I have worked very hard to keep it going. I am becoming, in some ways, more childish. Susan and I have to approach a reversal of roles with the needing of help. And we’re finding common ground wherever we go. Never stop learning. And sometimes you have to live longer to learn these lessons. I am more and more comfortable with it—whatever it is—and this whole concept of the afterlife and the lead up to it. Some parts of it I will never believe in because I don’t understand and that’s ok. The Conversation, held in Weston on either a Sunday afternoon or a Thursday evening, is a monthly discussion on various topics regarding life, death and end-of-life options. The next evening will take place on May 25 from 7-9pm. Contact Barbara Slaine at 203-912-2791 or to reserve a space. See Community Resource Guide listing, page 76 Ariana Rawls Fine is editor of Natural Awakenings Fairfield County/Housatonic Valley, CT and New Haven/Middlesex Counties, CT. She resides in Stratford with her family.

May 2017


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.

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Learning More about Teaching Chair Yoga


he Yoga Teachers Association (YTA) of the Hudson Valley will be hosting Teaching Chair Yoga with Julia Hough on May 13 at Club Fit in Briarcliff Manor, New York. Chair yoga brings yoga to those who cannot stand or who lack the mobility to move from standing to seated postures. Warming up in a chair can also help those with flexibility issues, and chairs can provide feedback for beginners doing standing poses. In this three-hour workshop, participants will learn adaptations of traditional asanas using a chair, including a standing and a seated sun salutation. Hough will share a joint-freeing series and other movements for increasing range of motion, as well as techniques for sharpening students’ focus. She will also share mudras that she often uses and lead participants through a fully satisfying seated savasana. The cost is $45 for YTA members and $65 for nonmembers who register in advance; it is $55 and $75 , respectively, at the door. Preregistration is requested at Parking is available. Bring a yoga mat and arrive early to check in and set up. When Julia Hough began taking yoga classes in the 1970s, she felt she had come home to her body. In 2000, she left a career in academic publishing to become a yoga therapist; she has been teaching classes, workshops and private sessions ever since. Hough trained in Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy and Integrative Yoga Therapy in addition to studying with Judith Lasater, Amy Matthews and Ellen Saltonstall. For four years, she taught 200-hour yoga teacher training as an affiliate of Integrative Yoga Therapy. For the past six years, she has been teaching chair yoga to yoga teachers. For more information, visit, or contact Audrey Brooks at or 914-582-7816. Location: Yoga Studio at Club Fit, 584 North State Rd, Briarcliff Manor, NY.

Retreat into Yoga…in Jamaica


Several different styles of yoga classes to choose from throughout the week. Two Beautiful Studio Locations 65 Bank Street, New Milford, CT 168 New Milford Tpke., New Preston, CT

860-868-6707 Anne Hungerford Owner, Director 24

tratford-based Jiiva Center will host its second all-inclusive yoga retreat in Jamaica on July 15-21. The sevenday retreat, led by Jiiva Center’s owner, Berta Prevosti, and her son Mingo Perez, will include daily yoga, meditations, beaches, cliff diving, hiking, cultural dancing, healing workshops, community and more. Space is limited. The fee for shared sleeping arrangements and bathrooms is $1100. The private individual hut with shared bathrooms is $800 while semi-private huts with semi-private bathrooms are $1450. Private rooms with private bathrooms are also available. All prices are allinclusive, which include three meals a day. Airfare is not included. Jiiva Center will also offer many May weekend workshops covering earth and sky, drumming basics, drum circles, Acro yoga, male/female energy topics, thirdeye chakra, crown chakra, healing your inner child through writing and quantum sound, and ongoing Reiki I and II classes. For more information and to register, call 203-347-7747 or visit Workshops.html. Location: The Jiiva Center, 2900 Main St, Stratford. See ad, page 25.

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The Elements of Moon Yoga


n May, join Michele Leigh, a yogi and astrologer, for one or two yoga series workshops dedicated to the phases of the moon. The first takes place at ah Yoga in New Preston on Tuesday nights at 6pm; the second will be at Valley Spirit Wellness Center in Washington Depot on Wednesday nights at 7pm. Conducted in candlelight, each 90-minute class will focus on the current state of the moon while the poses will be based on the energy of the moon in a particular sign of the zodiac. The first class is April 25, the New Moon is in Taurus. In the element of earth, dependable Taurus energy will ground you as you set your intentions for the new Michele Leigh moon. Taurus the bull is associated with the neck and throat. On May 2, the Waxing Moon is in Leo. In the element of fire, the courageous Leo energy will spark a new idea as the moon begins to fill with light. Leo the lion governs the spine and the heart. The Full Moon in Scorpio class will be on May 9. In the element of water, the transformative Scorpio energy will rise to the surface at its most potent, during the full moon. The Scorpion energy is associated with the pelvis. The focus on May 16 is the Waning Moon in Aquarius. In the element of air, the eccentric Aquarius energy will accompany the darkening of the moon, indicating a time to reflect. Aquarius governs the ankles. The price of $99 includes four 90-minute classes. Space is limited. Leigh discovered yoga while treating a degenerative disk in her lower back and has been practicing yoga for more than a decade. She earned her 200-hour certification from Lotus Gardens Yoga School and blends astrology into her yoga style. For more information and to register, visit Location: ah Yoga, 168 New Milford Tpke (Route 202), New Preston. See ad, page 53.

Yoga for Spiritual Seekers


n June 4 at 1:30pm, join Rosa Fiore Esposito as she leads a meditation and a book discussion on her book, Gateway to Healing, at Basil Yoga Center in Ridgefield. Answer that inner calling with a spiritual yoga class that includes sustained silent meditation. We live in exciting times where there seems to be a widespread desire to reenter God’s story and connect to the divine indwelling. Befriend our God-given emotions through a series of postures and meditation. “E-motions” connote movement and are the raw energy that enlivens and heals human hearts. It is $40 a person for the workshop if paid by May 29 or $44 after. A copy of the book is included in the price. You may pick up your book and read it in advance of the workshop. For more information, call 203-4032280 or visit Location: Basil Yoga Center, 31 Bailey Ave, Ridgefield. See ad, page 43.

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May 2017


Healthy Mind, Lighter Body

Successful Weight Loss Involves Body, Mind and Emotions by Angela Pascopella


mericans have a cultural obsession with weight and weight loss. This is evidenced today by the growing annual revenue of the U.S. weight-loss industry, which at this time is approximately $20 billion including diet books, diet drugs and weight-loss surgeries. The obsession has gone high tech as more gadgets—such as GoFit and Polar bracelets—now keep track of calories consumed, daily steps and heart rate. Despite all this, obesity and diabetes are still on the rise nationwide. Nearly 37 percent of U.S. adults have some level of obesity, according to 2014 statistics available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Obesity-related conditions include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer, which are named as some of the leading causes of preventable death. The estimated annual medical cost of obesity in the U.S. was an astonishing $147 billion in 2008. To explain this, many experts point to the explosion of processed foods lining about 62 percent of most grocery store shelves. It makes sense since more


than 80 percent of calories consumed from grocery stores in 2012 were from ready-to-eat or ready-to-heat food items. While the idea of keeping a healthy diet and/or losing weight has consumed many Americans for decades, new information is leading us to understand that our physical weight is tied to thoughts, emotions or possible past traumas and, ultimately, is less about the food we eat than most would think. Food choice, of course, plays an important role; however, until we can make peace with issues around the why, what, when and how we eat, we may continue to try and fail again and again. “Everyone has a complicated relationship with food,” says Melissa Conroy, a health coach at Roots Rising Alchemy in Naugatuck. “Diets are not a one-size fits all.” Conroy points to the Eat Right for Your Blood Type book, written by Fairfield County resident Peter J. D’Adamo, ND, as a revolutionary approach when it was first unveiled because it was individualized. The eating program revolves around how each blood type has a unique way of digest-

Fairfield County/Housatonic Valley Edition

natural awakenings

ing and metabolizing certain foods. Those with blood type O, for example, thrive on lean meats, seafood and vegetables, whereas those with blood type B thrive on green vegetables, eggs and low-fat dairy. Conroy says another problem with weight is that we’ve been brainwashed by society in how we feel about ourselves and our bodies. “Some people have lost touch with their body’s intuition,” she explains. Roots Rising Alchemy, like other Fairfield County and New Haven County practices, offers a mindset change to create results over time. Conroy offers a 90-day total transformation program, which is designed to increase energy with a dozen 45-60-minute sessions, and a 14-day plant-based cleanse, which is a simple elimination diet to remove toxins in the cells. Conroy says they both help shift mindset. “One big part of losing weight is not just the action people take to get results, but it’s the underlying beliefs and thought patterns that come up if you lose the weight,” Conroy explains. Her program digs deeper into the subconscious brain, where emotional and energetic issues may be associated with food. Conroy works to help clients unbury those feelings. She points to one client who used to eat well. Then she had children and life “got a little bit crazy”; she started buying and eating more processed foods, and baking muffins and cookies. “Providing these foods for her family was one of many ways of creating love, safety and belonging with them. So on the quest to lose weight, subconsciously, there is a fear about no longer baking sugary baked goods on her own personal quest to no longer eat sugar to lose weight. And that by failing to do so, there would be a possibility that the love, safety and belonging that baking goods created would be negatively impacted,” Conroy says. She also notes that even if we don’t have a supportive partner or friend in life, the true weight loss shift is internal; it comes from loving and taking care of ourselves. Conroy asks her clients investigative questions, including why they want to make changes. If the answer is just

about fitting into a bikini, Conroy considers that superficial and digs deeper to find out if maybe the client is really wanting to feel more confident. The second question is about what foods gives her clients energy or makes them feel good? And, on the hand, what saps their energy? She also asks why they eat certain foods and when. Eating junk food—and a lot of it—is often “mindless”, Conroy says. It’s possible, someone is “head hungry” Conroy calls it, which means they are looking for something else-like relaxation or stress release after a hectic and long work day. Maybe they really need a massage. “So bring awareness to what you are eating, why you are eating it and when you are eating it. And stop and ask, ‘Am I physically hungry?’. Conroy helps people get more in tune with actual physical symptoms of hunger. Once they are able to identify when they are actually physically hungry or not hungry, as a coach she can aid them in developing alternative activities. Next, Conroy helps clients to chew food, enjoy it, and stretch a meal to at least 20 minutes. She asks them to try using visual tools to envision scenarios. For example, if we want to start running regularly, imagine putting on running shoes, start running and think about what we hear and smell and see, and then finish the run in our mind. It creates positive feelings in the brain. “It essentially creates a habit, a rehearsal,” Conroy states. “The more you have practice doing something, the more times the brain is wired to do that. You’re rewiring the neural pathways in your brain.” Until we are guided to dig deep to the underlying thoughts and feelings that are stopping us from acting and getting the results we want, “this is where you usually end up doing the same thing over and over and never getting the results that you want,” Conroy divulges. “The definition of insanity!” Diane Bahr-Groth, a hypnotist and the owner of the Mind Body Transformation Hypnosis clinic in Stamford, says by the time people arrive in her office, they are often at the end of their

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May 2017


ropes and have no control over their eating. Similar to Conroy’s experience, Bahr-Groth sees weight problems that align with anxiety or past traumatic experiences. People are eating to push the emotions down; they eat white flour and white sugar, which release endorphins, and makes them feel better temporarily. “It’s like a brain on cocaine—the same areas of the brain lighten up when on sugar,” she says. “And chemically, your brain learned it will help you feel better if you just eat a cookie or have a piece of bread. Then it becomes a habit or addiction. And you feel awful.” Bahr-Groth also uses kinesthesiology (also known as applied kinesiology) as a “human lie detector” test. When people are forced to lie, they become weak and can’t hold the same strength, so she’s able to push their arm down. “I have people think about losing weight. And that weakens their energy and that releases anxiety, because they have learned that they feel better by eating chips and pizza; if you’re taking that food away, that will create more stress.” If someone doesn’t want to give up bad foods consciously, Bahr-Groth suggests she probably cannot help. “They may have an unconscious desire to sabotage that we can help with but they need to want to change something or improve something in order for any change to happen,” she says. For those who want to break the pattern, she uses Thought Field (TF) therapy, discovered by psychologist Dr. Roger Callahan of Westport. BahrGroth says she can help clear mental

and physical ailments using “tapping”. It’s the act of tapping fingers at meridian points on certain parts of the body and hands, where she can sense which areas are undercharged or overcharged; this means where blocked or negative feelings or beliefs are stored, preventing someone from being free of unwanted behaviors or responses. At some point, she asks which emotion is the root cause of the weight problem, and then discovers the age and circumstances surrounding the issue. “It’s usually related to a past traumatic moment which causes an unwanted emotion, response or behavior,” Bahr-Groth explains. Hypnotist Joann Dunsing of Milford also uses a tapping therapy, called Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), which is like acupuncture without the needles. It “clears up the negative energy and thought processes” clogging the body. Dunsing adds that diets don’t work because they deprive the body. Some people might want to hold onto weight after they marry because they don’t want to be sexually attractive to oth-

ers; they may be using the weight as a safety mechanism. One type of hypnosis is a virtual gastric band program; people are hypnotized to feel as if they physically had surgery to shrink their stomachs, but nothing changed in their bodies. Their minds changed, Bahr-Groth says. Christina Surtees, an eating psychology coach and owner of, says the time in which someone eats is almost more indicative than what someone is eating. She points out the difference between eating during holidays and during the typical work week. More people can “get away with” actions— like drinking more and not feel badly afterward or eating more sweets during holidays—when they are relaxed. But during “normal life”, when most people are more stressed, the body often shifts from optimum digestion to being in a stress or “fight or flight” response; this reaction comes from man’s early days of existence when the body would shut down digestion if predators such as lions are literally chasing them. Surtees first asks her clients ques-

More Resources • Institute for the Psychology of Eating, • Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat for Binge Eating by Michelle May • EFT Founder Gary Craig on documented blood changes, • Michael Pollan’s “Food Rules”, • Thought Field Therapy,

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natural awakenings

tions about relationships, work life and if someone is happy. “What I’m looking for is their routine. Are they happy? Are they skipping meals and eating a lot at dinner? Or are they coffee junkies?” Coffee isn’t necessarily bad, but it is a powerful substance that has different effects on different people, Surtees says. Some might thrive on it, or some get agitated or jittery after a cup or two; the latter is the body trying to say it’s bad for them. She associates ingesting too much coffee and sugar with “being whipped”, or feeling extremely tired and lethargic. In addition, medications can sometimes have the side effect of draining our energy. Surtees will look up the side effects of a medication after a session to consider if that might cause energy loss in someone. Or someone might be seeing various doctors who prescribe different medications, and they don’t interact well with each other, thereby triggering energy loss. Having lived in Switzerland for years, Surtees realized how most Swiss ate whole foods, mainly because processed foods weren’t sold at local markets. “In Europe, people like food and enjoy their meals,” she says. “Here, we have an ambivalent relationship to food. And a lot of people worry about the last five pounds they want to lose. But then they have to face the fact that their marriage isn’t so great, or their job stinks, or they have kids that are draining them.” And it’s always socially acceptable to talk about weight and dieting. “They see food as the enemy and every time they eat, it’s a battle,” Surtees says. “That’s tiring for them. But they also know its nourishing.” Dunsing concludes that the most important element to remember is that it’s not about the food. “We have to change the programs that we have running in our heads,” she says. “Being able to love and accept yourself, just the way you are, is so important. It lightens your load, literally.” Angela Pascopella is a 26-year journalism veteran and frequent contributor to Natural Awakenings. She resides in Fairfield County and is the editor of a national, monthly trade publication.

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May 2017


Why are We So Tired? Stressed Adrenals May Be the Culprit


by Nina Manipon

e lead busy lives juggling between family responsibilities, job demands, emails, social media and a constant “to do list”. Add trouble sleeping at night and we wind up in a vicious cycle of being tired and wired. Many of us expend more energy than we have and rely on coffee, energy drinks and bars, or a sugary treat, to keep us awake and alert. Being in overdrive all the time negatively affects our mental, emotional and physical health. Our bodies constantly adapt and adjust to stress, which is a normal and healthy process. The issue is when

we are constantly exposed to stress and unable to manage it, putting strain on our whole system, especially our adrenal glands. The adrenals are vital to our well-being. They have an important role in producing hormones that are necessary during times of stress. The adrenal glands are tiny pyramids about the shape of a walnut that sit on top of the kidneys. These glands produce neurotransmitters such as epinephrine and norepinephrine, hormones that regulate our metabolism and how we adapt to stress by producing cortisol.

The adrenal glands also regulate blood sugar, affect our cardiovascular system by controlling blood pressure, and have an effect on our immune health. When we are stressed, the brain communicates to the pituitary gland to release a hormone called ACTH, or adrenocorticotrophic hormone. ACTH then acts on the adrenals to release cortisol. There are three stages of the stress response: alarm phase (acute stress), resistance phase (chronic stress) and exhaustion phase (burnout). The alarm phase is also known as the “fight or flight” response, where cortisol levels rise quickly. For example, if a bear is coming towards us, our heart immediately races and our eyes grow wider; we start to run away because cortisol and epinephrine are released. If the stress is applied over a long period of time, the alarm phase plateaus; this is called the resistance phase. In the resistance phase, levels of cortisol and epinephrine stay elevated, which results in weight gain, an increased risk of infections, and can lead to depression and high blood pressure. If chronic stress is not resolved, this can lead to the exhaustion phase with the adrenals unable to keep up. The exhaustion phase gives rise to conditions such as low blood sugar, hypothyroidism, low motivation and anxiety. Adrenal fatigue is the suboptimal functioning of the adrenal gland. When the body is under stress, a number of hormones are secreted; if the stress

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becomes too severe, the adrenals cannot respond the way they need to. Some symptoms of adrenal fatigue include lack of energy—such as morning fatigue or mid-afternoon slump—trouble sleeping, low blood sugar, low blood pressure, difficulty concentrating, consistently feeling sick, weight gain and mild depression. There are several ways to measure cortisol levels. This can be done through saliva, blood and urine. Salivary cortisol can be taken four times during a 24-hour period (morning, noon, afternoon and midnight) to find the cortisol rhythm. Blood draws are collected two times in one day at 8am and 4pm. Cortisol levels are highest in the morning before waking up and gradually decrease throughout the day. The thyroid gland and adrenals work closely together and checking thyroid function is also helpful. If tests show signs of low adrenal function, there are some ways to boost the adrenals for healthy functioning. • Eat a clean diet with good-quality proteins and oils, vegetables and fruits. • Organic foods, when available and affordable, are also helpful. •Avoid processed foods, refined carbohydrates, sugars and alcohol. • Exercise daily to keep energy levels up or stress reduction methods through yoga, meditation and deep breathing. • Get adequate sleep and exercise proper sleep hygiene (i.e., shut down electronics such as televisions, smartphones and laptops) two hours before bed and get to sleep by 10pm each night. • Adaptogenic herbs, such as ashwagandha, Siberian ginseng and rhodiola, can help a body respond to stress. • B vitamins can help with energy production. •Acupuncture can be beneficial in calming the mind and stimulating key energy areas. Nina Manipon, ND, is a naturopathic physician with offices in Fairfield and Stamford. She has a family practice that focuses on women’s health, pediatrics and gastroenterology. She can be reached at Ingels Family Health in Fairfield at 203-254-9957 or, or at Revitalize Wellness Center in Stamford at 201-362-3166 or

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May 2017


A Natural Approach to Cervical Dysplasia HPV is a ‘Women’s Health Concern’ Affecting Their Partners by Ellen M. Lewis


ysplasia isn’t a word that comes up very often in conversation, even among women who might have received a diagnosis of cervical dysplasia. Despite that, the occurrence is more common than many would think. Although it doesn’t create any symptoms, a routine pap smear can find abnormal cells on the surface of the cervix; this is called dysplasia. Dysplasia can be mild, moderate or severe. Mild dysplasia is the most common form and often resolves on its own.


Cervical dysplasia requires attention as the abnormal cells are considered a precancerous condition. Moderate to severe dysplasia conditions have a higher rate of progression to cancer and require intervention. The words “abnormal cells” strike fear into the heart of any woman, which is why it’s easy to agree to suggested conventional medical treatments that include electrocauterization, cryosurgery, laser vaporization, or surgical removal of the affected area.

Fairfield County/Housatonic Valley Edition

natural awakenings

However, there is a naturopathic solution for dysplasia. Often, an underlying health issue makes women vulnerable to the HPV virus, the precursor of a cervical dysplasia diagnosis. One approach is to look at a woman’s entire body and current lifestyle, and seek to improve overall health as a first step. This is an integral part of treating any disease or condition, and often is a primary difference between seeking specialized, localized medical treatment and using a naturopathic approach. Cervical dysplasia can be the first warning sign a woman receives that she needs to change her lifestyle, diet and nutritional supplementation. A next step is either a vaginal suppository protocol that can be performed at home, or an escharotic treatment performed in a naturopath’s office. Rather than using a heated electrical loop to cauterize abnormal tissue, or a carbon dioxide cooled probe to freeze affected tissue, escharotic treatment relies on a topical treatment of the cervix, including zinc chloride along with a gentle, botanical formula. A cervical bath, along with naturopathic suppositories, can be coupled with a systemic treatment to treat both externally and internally at the same time. A typical escharotic in-office treatment protocol requires 12 visits (twice weekly for six weeks), followed by retesting and a maintenance schedule.

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HPV Affects Men Too Abnormal pap smear results are not just a woman’s problem. For sexually active women, an infection with HPV can be transmitted between partners. The virus often clears on its own, but when it doesn’t, men can be affected with anal cancer, genital warts, or genital and oral cancers. More than half the men in the U.S. will have HPV at some point in their lifetimes; many will clear the infection on their own, just as many women do. But if a woman has HPV, chances are her partner will too. That’s why testing for men is so important. The same type of HPV that is found in the genitals can be present in the mouth and throat, and can cause oropharyngeal cancers. Michael Douglas’s cancer ( of this type was spotlighted in the media, and added to the conversa tion about HPV. Men should be encouraged to get baseline blood work and oral HPV   testing, particularly when their partners are found to be HPV positive or have a   diagnosis of cervical dysplasia. A visual and tactile exam will be  performed in addition to a salivary test sent to a laboratory for analysis. There are more   than 100 HPV types with some slow   aggressive. growing and others highly A suspicious lesion on the tongue or   be immein the mouth should always diately investigated. Because it does   sometimes clear on its own, a naturopathic approach to immune   system support can be an important strengthening agent for the body’s own   ability to fight the virus. That’s a first step in the process, although any positive   HPV result should be taken seriously with ongoing   plan. monitoring or a treatment HPV does not create symptoms in   its early stages; in an intimate relationship, if one partner has tested positive   for the virus, the other should be tested. Naturopathic medicine is   the least invasive, most natural and safest approach to protecting your health. Ellen M. Lewis, ND is a naturopathic physician and the clinic director of Shalva Clinic, LLC, located at 8 Lincoln St, Westport. Connect at 203-916-4600 or See ad, back cover.

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May 2017


Restore Vitality and Healing Life Force

The Osteopathic Perspective by David L. Johnston


e have all heard the body has an ability to heal itself. We have seen healing occur on some level, whether it is a cut or a broken bone, or recovery from a major illness, injury or even emotional trauma. But what is this unseen force or energy that allows the cells and tissues to regenerate, or for a person to recover from the brink of death? Why do some heal faster than others, especially when we are younger? Throughout the world, it is commonly recognized across different healing traditions that a universal energy or life force exists in the body for healing. In Chinese medicine and acupuncture, this vital energy is called chi, or ki in Japanese. Prana, a word from Sanskrit translated as “breath” or “vital force”, is part of the Hindu philosophy, including in yoga. Kundalini, meaning “coiling like a snake” in Sanskrit, is a type of primal energy that sits dormant at the base of the spine; it can be activated for spiritual enlightenment by certain forms of meditation. Life force is defined as the spirit

or energy that animates living creatures and the soul. Vitality can be defined as the state of being strong and active with energy, liveliness, life energy, spirit and vivacity. There are many ways a person can help maintain life energy for everyday living. Adequate sleep, regular exercise, and proper nutrition with organic greens and whole foods are very helpful, as are nutritional supplements, herbs and homeopathy, when needed. Avoidance of processed foods— like sugar and white flour—and minimal use of chemicals and preservatives is essential to reduce toxic load on the body. Detoxification and methods of ridding the cells of inflammation, restoring balance to hormones and vital organs, and strengthening the immune system are all essential methods to allow our cellular and molecular systems to perform optimally. Meditation as a way to quiet the mind and control stress and deep breathing to increase oxygenation and balance the energy in the body are other methods. Osteopathy is a method of healing that understands that the human being consists of body, mind and spirit, along with structure and function. It appreciates that the body has an inner wisdom about how to maintain balance and restore itself back to health. Cranial osteopathy is the art and science of applying touch and light pressure to the bones; tissues (muscles and fascia); and fluids of the head, spine and sacrum. This allows the circulation of blood, lymph and cerebrospinal fluid to be restored, helping the body to heal itself from injury and disease. Dr. Andrew Taylor Still, MD, the founder of osteopathy, said the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is the highest known element in the body. It contains potency and vitality and can be utilized as a fluctuating fluid force to restore balance and health in an individual. These concepts are based on natural laws and involve quantum theory. The osteopath’s perceptual ability to sense—in the present moment, without judgment or interference—and observe dynamic stillness of the health is key in this method of treatment. This allows the innate wisdom of the body—as part of the primary respiratory mechanism—to organize and prioritize the treatment as it unfolds to produce a profound expression of the healing forces within the body. This usually results in an improved sense of well-being, relaxation, pain relief, better sleep, and improved energy and mental clarity. Bob Fulford, DO, was a remarkable osteopath who em-



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phasized the concepts of vital energy and the healing power of nature. He described the life field, which envelops and surrounds the body and is composed of electromagnetic energy. This energy also exists within the body as the life force. Fulford believed that life force flow is regulated by the mind. The mind controls the body, and so a person’s emotional reactions and thoughts can tighten up or block his or her physical being. This is evident after an accident that causes us to hold our breath, which in effect means we’re blocking the flow of energy through our bodies. For many, that flow never fully returns. Fulford described the life force as a tingling or prickling sensation he could feel in the tissues when flowing correctly in a healthy person. If his fingers would stick rather than glide while running his hands over a patient, the body is static and the life force is being blocked. Osteopathic treatment could then be applied to those areas to free up the anatomy and restore the flow. Fulford also discussed vibrations and realized every living thing pulses with the flow of electric life force that pervades the universe. Individuals also vibrate at their own particular frequencies; this can influence their ability for physical strength, stamina and mental capacity as well as their health. He also believed that this universal life force may well be another name for God, or the universal creator. “And I believe that God therefore exists within all of us, embodied in this energy”, Fulford says. We now live in the midst of challenging times. As a global community, now more than ever, we need to focus on restoring vital life force and healing ourselves and others so we may say, “Love one another as I have loved you.” David L. Johnston, DO, is a board certified osteopathic physician in neuromusculoskeletal medicine and osteopathic manipulative medicine. He is a diplomate of the American Board of Integrative Holistic Medicine and holds additional certification in cranial osteopathy. He practices at the Osteopathic Wellness Center, located in Ridgefield. Connect at 203-438-9915 and OsteopathicWellness. net. See ad, page 14.

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May 2017


wellnessprofiles Shalva Clinic

Mind-Body Connection Pilates

Ellen Lewis, ND 8 Lincoln St, Westport 203-916-4600

Marion Cooper Farrell 143 West St, Door W, New Milford 860-350-3643 • Practice/Business summary: I’m a licensed naturopathic physician and medical director at Shalva Clinic, offering natural, comprehensive family health care and diagnostics. I also serve as academic faculty at the University of Bridgeport.

What drew you to health and wellness as a profession? I began as an athletic trainer, where I realized human potential was firmly connected to health care and lifestyle. Fitness and good nutrition were the starting points for my interest. How long have you been in practice? I earned a doctorate in naturopathic medicine from the National College of Natural Medicine in Portland in 2011, after my first career working with high-performance athletes. What training and/or certifications do you have? I’ve completed a two-year mentorship in integrative women’s health, offering natural treatment for cervical dysplasia and HPV, with additional studies in midwifery and pediatrics, biotherapeutic drainage and homeopathy. What is your particular specialty or niche? Many women travel long distances to see me for Escharotic Therapy, a systemic anti-viral treatment relying on vitamins, minerals, herbs and homeopathy for abnormal paps, cervical dysplasia and HPV. What should a client expect from a session or series of sessions with you? I use both conventional and natural modalities with sciencebased diagnostics, treating patients with botanical medicine and lifestyle counseling for care that may be the most personal you’ve experienced. What do you most want Natural Awakenings’ readers to know about your work? Naturopathic physicians are truly the first functional medicine doctors. We heal by looking for the root cause of illness, never content to just treat symptoms.


Fairfield County/Housatonic Valley Edition

Practice/Business summary: MBC Pilates is a fullservice Pilates studio offering private, semiprivate, group training using Pilates apparatus. We create individualized workouts focused on our client’s goals. What drew you to health and wellness as a profession? I started by practicing. The sessions transformed my body, reduced my stress levels and increased my energy. My instructor suggested becoming a Pilate’s instructor since I loved the work.   How long have you been in practice? I have been in practice for eight years. Mind-Body Connection has been open for six years.   What training and/or certifications do you have? I have a Balanced Body comprehensive certification and over 40 CECs focusing in various areas, such as spinal stenosis, back and pelvic imbalances, rotator cuff injuries and myofascial stimulation.   What is your particular specialty or niche? I love helping clients become stronger, more active, pain free and overall feel better. I especially like to teach clients how to bring Pilates into their everyday lives. What should a client expect from a session or series of sessions with you? At Mind-Body Connection, clients should expect a tailored workout. They should expect to participate in their workout, learn about their bodies, find their strengths and weaknesses, and provide feedback to their instructor.   What do you most want Natural Awakenings’ readers to know about your work? Pilates is for everyone, no matter the age, injury or fitness level. As Joseph Pilates said, “The mind, when housed within a healthful body, possesses a glorious sense of power.” 

natural awakenings

7e Fit Spa

Dr. Michael E. Doyle, MD

1492 High Ridge Rd, Stamford • 203-356-5822 515 West Ave, Ste 8, Norwalk • 203-814-1355

Stamford Integrative Medicine 22 Fifth St, Ste 201, Stamford 203-324-4747

Practice/Business summary: Come visit our two locations in Fairfield County to experience the seven elements of wellness. We offer a variety of services, including our color therapy infrared sauna, non-invasive body contouring, facials (micro-dermabrasion, oxygen facials, anti-aging, Myolift and acne treatments), Cavi lipo, Torc Body contouring, Vibra Fit, oxygen bar, teeth whitening and spray tanning. New mind-body wellness services include massage and energy healing like acupressure, reflexology, hot stone, aromatherapy, sports, deep tissue, craniosacral and Reiki.

Practice/Business summary: Dr. Michael Doyle says his practice goes above and beyond simply treating symptoms and numbers. “My goal is to identify and treat the root causes of illness by focusing on nutrition, hormones and lifestyle,” he says, noting that undetected nutritional and hormonal disturbances, in particular, are at the root of many common illnesses. “By focusing on these core issues, I have helped many patients dramatically improve their health and quality of life.”

What drew you to this nurturing work? Initially it was my own passion for healthy living. I wanted to share it with others and help people feel better without invasive procedures. Areas of specialty, training, and/or special certifications: Our team includes licensed cosmetologists, estheticians and a massage therapist. We recently added a Reiki master, reflexologist and licensed acupuncturist as well. Spa employees also receive training with 7e Fit Spa. Are you offering any special products or services for Mother’s Day? Ask about special service packages for special celebrations like Mother’s Day, graduations and proms. We will offer 25 percent off any service to the moms during the month of May. What new products or services are you offering in 2017? We’re excited to announce that we recently opened our second location in Norwalk! Also new this year are our massage and energy healing services as well as lymphatic facial, infrared sauna with color therapy, and Vibra Fit.

Wellness services offered: Conventional and alternative medicine, including bio-identical hormones, nutritional and herbal therapies, IV nutrients and more. Areas of specialty: Thyroid and adrenal problems, fatigue, depression, anxiety, insomnia, weight gain, allergies, menopause and female hormone deficiencies, male hormone deficiencies, fibromyalgia, digestive problems, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high cholesterol and much more. Philosophy of healing: Listening carefully and focusing on natural solutions are crucial steps in finding the safest and most effective ways to help our patients improve their health.

145 Grassy Plain St. Bethel, CT

Positive & Nature Based Psychology Promoting well-being and resilience.

Happiness • Strength • Hope • Wisdom • Coping • Flourishing

Ann C. Reeves, Psy. D, CAPP Licensed Psychologist

203-451-6208 • Offices in Newtown & Wilton, CT

Soul Focus Mela Rispoli 203-570-3868

May 2017


wellnessprofiles Salt of the Earth Therapeutic Spa

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

787 Main St S, Woodbury 203-586-1172

Practice/Business summary: Salt therapy, BioMat, crystal light, sound therapy, yoga, meditation, energy healing, plus a variety of massages and healing facials. Mind, body and spirit work in unity, nurturing the whole self. Disruption of the delicate harmony of elements within the human body gives rise to disease. Salt of the Earth offers services to help you shift from imbalance to balance. What drew you to this nurturing work? Beginning this venture had to do with what my husband and I experienced in our lifetime, everything from climbing the corporate ladder, financial stress and loss of loved ones to cancer; the toll of it all affected our health. We started looking beyond traditional medicines to alternative therapies and realized there was an abundance of natural treatments that can be just as effective in healing, while supporting one’s immune system. Areas of specialty, training and/or special certifications: All therapists are certified. Salt therapy, BioMat, Ayurvedic and Kansa facials. What new products or services will you offer in 2017? Workshops, seminars, children’s programs, sinus and headache treatments, weekend retreats. We are developing new ecotherapy programs. What do you most want Natural Awakenings’ readers to know about you and your work? We are here to educate our surrounding communities with safe, alternative and holistic treatments. We offer a stress-free therapeutic experience, healing from the inside out.


Fairfield County/Housatonic Valley Edition

Practice/Business summary: Stewart offers both Chinese and Japanese-style acupuncture therapy, Chinese herbal medicine and various styles of Asian bodywork therapy. He also teaches several styles of tai chi, qigong and meditation, including healing Tao energy meditations of Taoist master and author Mantak Chia. What first drew you to this profession? I was drawn to the healing arts through my energetic experiences from Zen meditation and tai chi. I wanted to learn more about Chinese medicine and the energy pathways and points to use my energy for healing others. I also had some remarkable acupuncture experiences that inspired me to learn. How is your work different from that of others in your profession? My Chinese medical training included in-depth Chinese herbal studies. We offer a comprehensive herbal medicine apothecary to support your acupuncture treatments. I also give customized qigong exercises and dietary prescriptions for helping you to be proactive in your healing journey. What should a patient expect from working with you? As a new patient, you’ll receive a thorough health history evaluation and exam, a Chinese medical diagnosis, acupuncture (or acupressure/bodywork) therapy and a customized Chinese herbal prescription. You may also get dietary advice and a specific exercise prescription for your condition. How is your practice/work evolving as you head into 2017? We will be offering in-depth training through class series, workshops and retreats in qigong, Asian bodywork therapy, meditation and tai chi. What is the most important thing you want Natural Awakenings’ readers to know about you/your business? We are a cooperative arts venture, offering healing arts, fine arts, graphic arts and movement arts. In addition to services already described above, we also offer over 16 weekly yoga classes and massage therapy.

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SunRaven: The Home of Slow Medicine 501 Guard Hill Rd, Bedford, NY 914-218-3113 SunRaven: The Home of Slow Medicine, a center for integrative medicine and wellness, is owned by life partners Robin Queen Finkelstein and Dr. Michael Finkelstein. It houses their private consultative practices and holds workshops, special events and talks. The center is dedicated to teaching people about holistic living as a lifestyle, and nurturing their health on the emotional, spiritual, mental and physical levels. Services offered: Integrative medicine, counseling for individuals and couples, family lifestyle counseling, cooking workshops and classes, financial abundance coaching, astrology readings and coaching, Jungian-oriented dream work, Garden Co-Op CSA, addiction counseling (12-step support), community building, grief counseling, trauma healing, yoga and other movement classes. Areas of specialty: Autoimmune and inflammatory conditions, cancer, heart and gastrointestinal disorders, anxiety, stress, depression, eating disorders, PTSD, chronic fatigue, migraines and neurological conditions, infertility, nutrition, addiction. Philosophical approach: Dr. Michael Finkelstein founded Slow Medicine and its philosophy, which teaches us that in this fast-paced world which promotes a constant “fight or flight” reaction, we must learn to slow down and rebalance, connecting with ourselves, nature and other people. “The Slow Medicine principles of Reflect, Honor and Love teach us how to live in the present instead of reacting to the past, how to own feelings instead of projecting them, how to attain a healthy balance between I and we, and how to communicate lovingly,” he says.

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NATURAL HEALTH AND WELLNESS CENTER 203.874.4333 2013 Main Street, Stratford, CT 06615 •

May 2017


Align Mind, Body & Spirit

Connected Care Centers Blossom in CT

ity to treat everything from indigestion to insomnia and gout to gallstones. We also spend roughly $201 billion a year in America tending to mental health care, according to a study published by Health Affairs on May 18, 2016. It states that while Americans spend as much money on mental health conditions and care, it does not receive as much funding for research as do cancer and diabetes conditions. Now add to that the fact that, according to a 2016 Yoga in America study by Yoga Journal and Yoga Alliance, the number of yoga practitioners grew 50 percent from 2012 to 2016 and annual spending grew from $10 billion the $16 billion annually. As a society, we are searching for mind-body and, often, spiritual wellness. We are willing to spend a quite a bit of money to find it. We are really searching for connected care.

Connected Care Centers Flourish

by Sheri Hatfield


he mind-body connection in care goes by many names—whether it is mind-body wellness, holistic health, alternative care or another term—and is often considered by the mainstream to be pseudo-science. In Western society, we have spent many years treating the mind, body and spirit as separate entities. We visit a physician if the body is unwell, a mental health professional if the mind or emotions ail, and a spiritual practitioner if the soul aches. Often the three are not taken into consideration as a whole unit or three pieces of a complete puzzle. This is changing as psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) gains traction in mainstream medical research. PNI is the study of the interaction between the psychological processes and the immune systems of the human body. It often encompasses an interdisciplinary approach, incorporating psychology, neuroscience and immunology with genetics, physiology, pharmacology, behavioral medicine and endocrinology; it seeks to understand the interactions between the nervous and immune systems and the relationship between mental and physical health. As the study of PNI moves deeper into the mainstream, it legitimizes what some in other cultures have known for years: there is a deep connection between the mind and the body. As Western medicine developed into the super-power that it is, it often focused on only the body-based ailments and developed medical treatments for them. This has resulted in many fantastic leaps in diagnostic medicine, and the abil40

Fairfield County/Housatonic Valley Edition

As mental-health practitioners seek to better serve their clients, more practitioners across Connecticut are incorporating a PNI-focused holistic approach into their practice and wellness centers. The Center for Cognitive and Behavioral Health (CCBH) in Westport is one example. Started by Michelle Feeny, LCSW, the practice provides mental health services for dialectical behavior therapy, cognitive behavior therapy, marriage and family therapy, and/or trauma therapy for kids, teens and adults. It also offers meditation classes, naturopathic medicine, and individual and group yoga classes. The inspiration came from Feeny’s own strong, personal mindfulness practice. In addition to being a licensed clinical social worker, she studied mindfulness in Costa Rica and India. She saw the opportunity to add some of her own mindfulness practice into clinical work with patients and saw how it helped. CCBH is located in an airy home-like space, set back from the road. The high-ceiling waiting area features comfortable couches, a chessboard and framed geodes on that wall. A smiling Buddha gazes down on the room. A faint scent wafts through the room as if someone was using essential oils for relaxation. “I wanted to create a place from first point of contact that is a calm, open space,” says Feeny. A set of glass doors open onto a grassy courtyard where the practice sometimes holds meditation classes, circling participants around a tree and having them root into the ground. “Some people get the growing roots and ground connection, and for some it’s an exercise in imagination,” explains Feeny. “Either way it helps them have something they can do and focus on when they get anxious. It becomes a tool for them.” The team of eight psychotherapists, a psychiatrist and a naturopathic doctor have protocols in place to help them stay grounded in mindfulness and ensure they are serving both the emotional and physical sides of their patients. The team will refer patients to one another, so a client seeking traditional psychotherapy may be referred to the psychiatrist for a medication evaluation and the naturopath for diet and homeopathic treatments. A therapist may also recommend yoga poses and breathing to help reduce anxiety, anger or

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stress. One of the therapists in the practice is a licensed yoga teacher who offers individual and group yoga classes. “We were seeing the physical manifestations of emotional pain and wanted to create a space that treats the mindbody connection,” says Feeny. “We see people who are very open to that connection, who have their own mindfulness practice, and are looking for consistency to people who are not open at all. We tailor our conversations to what they are looking to do.” In the heart of Sandy Hook, overlooking the Pootatuck River and quaint restaurants and shops, is another wellness center that focuses on the mind-body-spirit connection. The CT Wellness Collaborative offers a multitude of health care options for the whole family. “It is where Eastern and Western modalities meet,” says Co-founder Vicki Scataglini, LPC. “We are a one-stop shop for people who are savvy and know what they want and we match them up with a practitioner.” Officially the cooperative positions itself as “a collaborative group of independent practitioners, serving the mind, body and spirit.” Started by Scataglini, Karen Schaum, LPC, and Kim Morello, MS, NCC, LPC, the group now has 13 therapists, two naturopathic physicians, one chiropractor, a psychiatric nurse practitioner, a family medicine nurse practitioner, a massage therapist and a hypnotist. Each individual practitioner has his or her own unique story and a blend of mind, body and spirit healing. Alex V. Colondona, DC, is a chiropractor who offers traditional chiropractic, applied kinesiology, Traditional Chinese Medicine, nutritional therapy, detoxification programs and counseling. Across the hall, Dr. Sarah Barnes is a clinical health psychologist who specializes in the treatment of eating disorders. Ronna Brier, the consulting hypnotist, holds a masters degree in psychology and has researched the biological basis of the brain and how changes in the brain affect behavior. She also studied shamanistic healing and is a master-level Usui Reiki practitioner who uses hypnosis to help stop or change behaviors, build relationships, improve memory and learning, treat infertility and work with past life regression. She may also combine hypnosis with Reiki for healing the chakras or dealing with physical manifestations in the body. Scataglini combines her conventional training with her spiritual understanding of the human path into her practice. She uses her personal journey where she feels it might resonate and incorporates or filters it into her clients as appropriate. “Everyone has their own niche,” she says of her business partners and practitioner team. “We believe that you cannot treat anything in isolation. We are a true wellness center.” The Fairfield County area is home to a growing number of wellness centers, including Crossroads Wellness Center in Stratford, Insight Counseling in Ridgefield, and Roseann Capanna Hodge & Associates in Ridgefield, offering traditional psychotherapy along with a variety of other healing modalities.


Y U to a free pilates class

Mind-Body Connection Pilates | New Milford, CT | 860.350.3643

Sheri Hatfield is a freelance writer and marketing professional who lives in Shelton with her son. Connect at

May 2017


Take a Mindful Break Meditation Relieves Stress, Improves Resilience


by Mara Davidson

s a society, we are so overstressed. Unfortunately, very few of us habitually take the time to decompress, instead allowing everyday stressors to build up until we reach the breaking point. It is time to stop taxing our minds and bodies without giving them a respite and recharge. It is vital to implement tools to help reduce the stress we find ourselves in daily. Otherwise, we could be facing severe and debilitating burnout. One empowering tool to help cope with life’s stressors is mindfulness meditation. A significant number of people utilize meditation for stress as well as stress-related conditions. It is also used by many to help promote general health and wellness in the body (Goyal et al, 2014). Deeply rooted in Buddhism as an ancient spiritual tradition dating back over 2,000 years, the practice of mindfulness has been successfully introduced into Western medicine and psychology. The word, “mindfulness”, has several descriptive definitions, including a practice of cultivating mindfulness such as mindfulness meditation, along with a psychological process, a state or mode of awareness,


or a psychological trait. Several common conceptualized understandings of mindfulness discuss the increasing awareness of one’s moment-to-moment experience. The crux of this concept is that this is accomplished non-judgmentally as well as with acceptance (Kent, Smoski & Robins, 2011). A strong correlation exists regarding a meditative state known as open awareness. This is where our senses are piqued and alert, but a conscious decision is made to not mentally acknowledge and involve ourselves in engaging, judging or identifying with anything which may happen to come to the senses. When beginning the practice of mindfulness, it is necessary to perform a scanning of the body while somewhat simultaneously observing it. It is vital to keep that awareness of the body, along with a non-judgmental attitude that is both understanding and compassionate. It has been suggested that the potential and capability to thoroughly inspect and examine the body, all the while keeping that awareness, may actually be a sixth sense helping to increase and enhance the ability to regulate stress (Fjorback, 2012). Through training and

Fairfield County/Housatonic Valley Edition

natural awakenings

mindfulness, the subconscious mind can be conditioned to calm the body and, therefore, decrease tension. When observing the mind, it is important to take note when emotions and thoughts arise. In Tibetan, the word for meditation actually means familiarization. Essentially, the point is to not stop any incoming thoughts while, at the same time, not letting them invade the mind either. When it comes to meditation, people work toward familiarizing themselves to a new way of the handling of thoughts which happen to come to their minds. This enables the meditator to recognize when a powerful thought inducing a strong emotion arises and recognizing that thought is on the horizon (Fjorback, 2012). This can be a powerful tool allowing the mind to process emotional thoughts without undue anxiety. The practice of mindfulness is generally described as being in a state within the here and now; it does include knowing and acknowledging the past as what has lead to this moment. Additionally, the future is included as a part of this picture and that the moment before that has already gone (Fjorback, 2012). Mindfulness training has the ability to help improve the regulation of emotions and stress. It can also assist in training individuals and providing them with the ability to be attuned to the times when thoughts, emotions and bodily sensations arise; it then assists them to embrace the sensations with an understanding, compassionate, nonjudgmental awareness. Undergoing training in mindfulness could provide an individual with an awareness of the process or filters in the mind that work to help with the regulation of the flow of both information and energy (Fjorback, 2012). Embracing mindfulness can make the difference between feeling overwhelmed and stressed or being aware and recharged. Mara Davidson, ND, MS, MBA, a naturopathic physician at Shalva Clinic in Westport, focuses on anxiety, depression, anti-aging, neurodegenerative diseases and integrative cancer care in her practice. Connect at 203-916-4600, or DrMaraDavidson. See ad, back cover.

Yoga for Spiritual Seekers: Meditation & Book Discussion Sunday, June 4th at 1:30-3pm with Rosa Esposito

Gateway to Healing by Rosa Fiore Esposito

Answer that inner calling with a spiritual yoga class including sustained silent meditation. We live in exciting times where there seems to be a widespread desire to reenter God's story and connect to the divine indwelling. Befriend our God-given emotions through a series of postures and meditation. E-motions connote movement and are the raw energy that enlivens and heals human hearts. Join our sacred circle! *You may pick up your book and read in advance of the workshop.

$40 for Workshop by 5/29; $44 after *Book Included

31 Bailey Avenue, Ridgefield, CT 06877 | (203) 403-2280 | May 2017 43


Insight Counseling, LLC Anita Chu, MD 103 Danbury Rd, Ste 1, Ridgefield • 203-431-9726

CT Wellness/CT Counselors 107 Church Hill Rd, Ste 1, Sandy Hook 203-270-9888 Practice/Business summary: CT Counselors and Associates is a collaborative group of advanced, independent practitioners serving the body, mind and spirit, all under one roof. Originally started by three therapists, we now have 12 therapists, naturopathic physicians, hypnosis, psychiatric nurse practitioner services, holistic chiropractic and nutrition services, and spiritual life coaching. Law of Attraction groups and energy healing groups are currently being offered. Do your practitioners hold any specific credentials/certifications? We serve children, adolescents, adults, couples and families in a wide variety of treatment modalities. Many of us hold advanced certifications in cognitive behavioral therapy, transformational therapy, psychodynamic, rational-emotive, behavioral, existential, EMDR, Emotional Freedom Technique, parenting, trauma, brainspotting , personal development, aromatherapy, Reiki, cranial sacral, acupuncture, ayurvedic care and more. What should a client or patient expect from working with your office? Our office is a welcoming, safe, accepting, spa-inspired space. Most of our practitioners take insurance. How is your practice/work evolving? In 2016, we expanded from four offices to nine. Clients can choose more contemporary therapies and care as well as non-traditional healing modalities rooted in Native American and Chinese origins. Recently, our office welcomed Dr. Alex V. Colondona, a healer/practitioner who specializes in traditional chiropractic, applied kinesiology, traditional acupuncture, Traditional Chinese Medicine, nutritional support and counseling. What is the most important thing you want Natural Awakenings’ readers to know about your work? We are inviting advanced area practitioners in the bodymind-spirit field to become a part of our center. The “turnkey” concierge service is ideal for practitioners that want to remain independent business owners but enjoy working in a collaborative setting with like-minded peers. How long have you been in practice? Our office opened its doors in 2009. 44

Fairfield County/Housatonic Valley Edition

Practice/Business summary: I am the medical director at Insight Counseling, a collaborative group practice that provides assessments and counseling services in a warm and compassionate environment. I work with therapists within the practice and in the community to provide consultative psychiatric services, prescribe medications, and offer recommendations for treatment. What drew you to health and wellness as a profession? Since I was a child, I was always seeking a holistic, integrative approach to physical, emotional and spiritual well-being as the three are interconnected and necessary to lead a full, balanced life. How long have you been in practice? I have been in medical practice for almost 10 years. I have been involved in some form of study, training or practice of physical and emotional well-being for the past 20 years. What training and/or certifications do you have? I am board certified by The American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. I received a bachelor of science degree in neuroscience and doctor of medicine degree, and completed a residency in general psychiatry. Previously, I worked as a staff psychiatrist at Silver Hill Hospital in New Canaan and for the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services before joining Insight Counseling. I am also completing a 200-hour yoga teacher training certification at Basil Yoga Center in Ridgefield. What is your particular specialty or niche? Adolescents and young adults are a key focus, including those who may struggle with substance abuse and disorders such as depression or anxiety. What should a client expect from a session or series of sessions with you? At the initial visit, a comprehensive evaluation is completed. Any past treatment, as well as medical history and family history, are also reviewed. At the end of the visit, initial treatment goals are established and recommendations are made, including those for medication, if needed, or any additional testing or referrals. At follow-up visits, we track progress being made toward treatment goals and response to any medications that were started. What do you most want Natural Awakenings’ readers to know about your work? I believe in a holistic, integrative approach and collaborate with other professionals to optimize physical and mental wellbeing. My goal is to provide compassionate and comprehensive care that takes into account the biological and psychological factors that are part of each person’s unique makeup.

natural awakenings

Darlene Alvarez Maddern

Dark Moon Astrology

Create with Your Thoughts 860-488-2619

Michele Leigh Practice/Business summary: I provide astrological readings, the process of interpreting the position of the planets at a particular moment in time. I am available for private readings and group events.

Practice/Business summary: Darlene Alvarez Maddern, MA, is a life empowerment coach, a QSCA-certified Law of Attraction coach, teacher, speaker and mentor. Using the laws of attraction and social sciences to understand the power of our thoughts, concepts of ourselves and others, clients come to learn how “thoughts become things” and create our experiences. Individualized and group programs help clients understand how to move beyond their limiting beliefs to create the experiences they desire.

What drew you to health and wellness as a profession? While performing research for a fantasy novel, I quickly grew interested in astrology. My rising Virgo was drawn to the analytical nature of casting a chart and my Pisces moon was interested in the mystical element of interpreting the data.

What first drew you to this profession? I love to teach and coach. My passion is to see people create joy, love and success in their lives with a method that really works!

What training and/or certifications do you have? I am a member of the Organization for Professional Astrology. I also completed my Yoga Alliance teacher training, which allows me to incorporate astrology into my yoga classes.

What can a client expect from working with you? Clients can expect a safe, caring and supportive environment to learn and grow. They will discover themselves in a way they never have before. With a focus on love and compassion, clients will uncover thoughts and behaviors that do not serve them and develop new ways of thinking and being that empower them to create the joy and success they want.

What is your particular specialty or niche? I have started offering workshops in yogastrology, the art of blending astrology and yoga. Each sign of the zodiac corresponds to a different part of the body; we explore the energies with a series of yoga poses.

What do you most want Natural Awakenings’ reader to know about you and your work? The focus of my practice is to help people discover and own the essence of who they really are, how we are all connected, and the energy that created everything is within each and every one of us. I coach and teach clients to empower themselves to be deliberate creators of a life of love and joy!

Family and Child Psychotherapy Support and Guidance • Divorce Anxiety • Parent/Child Conflict Attachment and Bonding • Trauma • Grief Professional/Executive Coaching

Robin Ordan, LCSW 203-561-8535 Located on the Old Greenwich/Stamford Border

What should a client expect from a session or series of sessions with you? A candid, down-to-earth style that is accessible and useful. My goal is to share ancient techniques in a way that they can be applied to our day-to-day life. What do you most want Natural Awakenings’ readers to know about your work? An astrological reading is not hocus-pocus. Understanding your chart can be invaluable for self-awareness and personal growth.



Deana Paqua, MA, LMT

spiritual teacher, holistic health educator, shamanic healer and reiki master teacher

Spiritual, cross-cultural and holistic health education for healers and spiritual seekers... transform trauma into triumph, heal yourself and make a difference.

ridgefield & new milford ct Ph. 203.994.5045

May 2017



Roseann Capanna-Hodge, EdD, LPC, BCN, LLC

Nancy S. Scherlong, LCSW, PTR, M/S

Educational Psychologist and Board Certified Neurofeedback Practitioner 898 Ethan Allen Hwy, Ste 6, Ridgefield Satellite location in Newtown 203-438-4848 •

898 Ethan Allen Hwy, Ste 7, Ridgefield 914-572-3167 Practice/Business summary: I offer life, wellness and creativity coaching as well as experiential and holistic psychotherapy, utilizing techniques such as EMDR and brainspotting, IFS, SE and expressive arts-based groups and workshops. What first drew you to this profession? Originally an artist, I have been a psychotherapist for 20 years. I began helping others after my own recovery from an automobile accident in 1991; I received many of the methods I now use with my clients. How is your work different from that of others in your profession? My work is strength-based and focused on positive psychology and creative problem solving. I will help you find and express your own unique voice through journal work, poetry and psychodrama. What should a client expect from working with you? My philosophy is that we can all change our lives by changing our story or mindset. Once we have shifted how we view things, we can approach them in a new and fresh way. How is your work evolving as you head into 2017? I find I am teaching more and more workshops, facilitating groups and providing training in person, online and at conferences. Consultation services to professionals is also an exciting addition to my business. What is the most important thing you want Natural Awakenings’ readers to know about you/your business? Healing is a collaboration or a partnership involving mind, body and spirit as well as a chosen practitioner. Contact me today for a free discovery session about how we can work together to achieve your goals!

A woman is like a tea bag— you can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water. ~Eleanor Roosevelt 46

Fairfield County/Housatonic Valley Edition

Practice/Business summary: 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, advanced bio-regulation therapy, hypnosis and EFT. What drew you to health and wellness as a profession? Becoming a psychologist has truly been my calling. Even as a very young child, I knew that was what I wanted to do. I love helping individuals and families with brain-based therapies that offer an alternative to medication. How long have you been in practice? I have been working in mental health for 25 years and in private practice for 16 years. Currently, we have a team of 15 professionals that support individuals and families with solution-focused, brain-based therapies. What training and/or certifications do you have? I am a trained psychologist with three graduate degrees, including a doctorate in educational psychology. I am a certified school psychologist, a licensed professional counselor and am board certified in neurofeedback. What is your particular specialty or niche? Our niche is that we offer integrative, brain-based mental health support. The mental health system in our country is broken and medication is the primary tool in treatment. We help people every day achieve wellness without medication. What should a client expect from a session or series of sessions with you? We combine psycho-education and direct coaching and couple it with highly effective, research-based tools and techniques that provide an alternative to medication. Most importantly, our clients get and stay better. What do you most want Natural Awakenings’ readers to know about your work? Through constant training and following the latest research, our expert team is ahead of most of the therapy practices in the country. We support clients from all over the United States.

natural awakenings

Robin Ordan Coaching

RS Holistic Counseling and Healing

2001 West Main St, Ste 142, Stamford 203-561-8535

Rebecca Schoenewolf 152 Deer Hill Ave, Ste 119, Danbury • 203-826-2558

Practice/Business summary: I will be your partner and guide as you make dynamic changes in your personal and professional life that will elevate you to a place of true success. I provide goal-driven executive and individual coaching using powerful questions and a positive mindset to help you identify your goals and clear steps to obtain them. What drew you to health and wellness as a profession? I am committed to, and passionate about, working with the complex issues each person brings to our coaching work. I focus my energy and intention on creating a safe, judgmentfree, accepting environment for you to explore, be creative and feel safe making mistakes as we walk through the process of change together. How long have you been in practice? Over five years. What training and/or certifications do you have? I am an active member of International Coaching Federation and an Erickson International alumni. I am also a licensed clinical social worker and a member of the National Association of Social Work with over 20 years of experience. What is your particular specialty or niche? Small business, and executive and life coaching. What should a client expect from a session or series of sessions with you? Our sessions will be 30-50 minutes in length. We can meet either in person, or talk over the phone or through videoconference. Coaching is not therapy or a quick fix; it is a proven leadership development process that accelerates learning, increases self-awareness and enhances communication skills. What do you most want Natural Awakenings’ readers to know about your work? Coaching is a partnership between you and me. You define the problem areas to be worked on; I use my special knowledge and experience to help you make the changes you want to make. Coaching requires your best efforts to vision, imagine, commit and be excited about changing thoughts, feelings and behaviors to obtain your goals.

Practice/Business summary: I am a licensed holistic mental health counselor, Reiki master/teacher and holistic energy healer. I am trained in a variety of holistic counseling and healing tools, including EMDR, Reiki, energy healing, crystal work, essential oils, personal coaching and spiritual guidance. What drew you to health and wellness as a profession? As a child, I was drawn to helping my peers through difficult times, and discovered my intuition at an early age. As I have become clear with myself, it’s apparent that my life purpose is to assist and empower people in their own healing process. How long have you been in practice? I’ve been in the mental health field since college. I have been offering energy healing sessions since 2005. I dove into private practice for mental health full-time in 2013 in Rhode Island. I quickly developed and maintained a thriving practice until I moved to the Danbury area in early 2017. What training and/or certifications do you have? I received a bachelor’s in psychology in 1990. In 2006, I attended graduate school and received my master’s degree in holistic counseling. I’ve been involved in energy, sound (singing and drumming) and crystal healing since 2000, became an Usui Reiki master/teacher in 2005, and most recently became a Reiki master/teacher in Holy Fire Reiki. I’ve also taken courses on intuition, channeling and meditation. I became certified in EMDR and in Holy Fire Reiki (master/teacher level) in 2015. What is your particular specialty or niche? I’ve developed a unique style of energy healing that encompasses various tools, depending on what the client’s needs are. I have also developed several groups for mental health clients: The Art of Communication and Coping Skills for Everyday Life. For my energy healing clients, I offer a 1 ½-hour session with 45 minutes of coaching and 45 minutes of energy healing. What should a client expect from a session or series of sessions with you? The most important piece is to make sure that the client and I are a good match. Rapport with energy healers is high priority so I will ensure that the client feels comfortable with me. This happens through deep listening to their needs and matching them with the services I can provide. What do you most want Natural Awakenings’ readers to know about you/your work? I offer free initial 15-minute consultations with clients. Also, I am welcoming new clients, both mental health and energy healing.

May 2017


Surf the Waves of Change

Follow Mother Nature’s Model by Meg Reilly


hange is hard. It is also inevitable. Good, bad or indifferent—change is necessary to life. It can come in all sorts of guises and layers. It might be a new job or home. Change happens in the beginning— like falling in love—or at the end with a retirement. Sometimes it’s both at once, such as with a graduation. Sometimes it comes from within, such as wanting to quit smoking, learn a new language or meet new people. Change can be instigated from without with damage from natural disasters, a family member passing away or a relationship breaking up. And sometimes change just happens with no warning whatsoever, such as a tree limb falling on a parked car, an accident, or discovering we have an illness. No matter when a change is taking place, it can bring with it anxiety, fear, concern or worry. Even so-called good changes—think of a wedding or job promotion—can surprise us by making us feel uncomfortable. Think of change using the metaphor of the lowly lobster. A lobster is an arthropod with its structural support system on the outside. In order to grow, it has to molt. If it does not break out of its shell, it will die. But when it molts, the lobster is highly vulnerable. It takes several weeks for a new exoskel-

eton, or shell, to harden. There’s a period of exposure—almost defenselessness—while the lobster adapts to its new level of maturity and regains that structure that supports it. We’re like that too. In our comfort zone—be that school, home, relationship, job or anything we’ve known for a while—we know where we stand. We know how to navigate with confidence. When that is changed, by our own decision or because of events outside our control, we may feel as if we’ve lost our support system. We may feel unprotected and untethered. There are many models for understanding change and classifying the process. We have organizational models like Kurt Lewin’s, with unfreeze, change and freeze stages. There are social models like Prochaska’s, with precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, action and maintenance concepts. Kubler-Ross’ model for the changes associated with loss is widely known: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Models like these have been around for decades and have broad application; they’ve been studied, improved, embellished and further developed by many students and practitioners. Then there is the oldest model of all: Mother Nature and women.

Mother Nature’s Change Model Women seem to embody a physical litany of change. From breasts that grow to periods that flow, women experience change on a monthly basis for decades. We learn to manage life around change which comes whether we want it or not. Sometimes, women put a hold on that monthly cycle by becoming pregnant, but that introduces a whole other level of change as an entire human is formed in the womb and a woman’s body changes to nurture the fetus and growing infant. A woman’s brain quickly adapts to all the new requirements necessary to protect and clean the baby, all while teaching the child to walk, talk and become more self-reliant. While that’s going on, a woman’s body also returns to its monthly cycle of change. Eventually, women experience a stage that is actually referred to as “The” change, in which menses pauses, childbearing is no longer an option and hormones change again. We discover an entirely new self, one which is older, bolder and hopefully wiser. Mother Nature expresses a cyclical pattern of change. Nature is constantly giving birth to itself, nurturing growth,


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supporting independence, acknowledging maturity, counseling the transition from old age to death, and patiently expecting birth again. Women live these cycles all their lives. To repeatedly go from vulnerable to adaptive to ready is to be strong—similar to the lobster and to Mother Nature. When we next find ourselves in the midst of a change, it can be challenging but the task is to just let it be what it is. Once we accept the change that has happened, we can acknowledge how, as a result, we may feel out of our element, out of control, overwhelmed and vulnerable. Whether it’s brief or long-lasting, change always includes an aspect of vulnerability.

“To repeatedly go from vulnerable to adaptive to ready is to be strong— similar to the lobster and to Mother Nature.” With acceptance comes the beginning of resuming our personal power. As we acknowledge our own vulnerability, we realize that we still retain the mastery of personal choice. Although vulnerable at the moment, this change is coming from necessary personal growth. We need to realize that we are the creator of our own lives. We alone get to decide how and when we will move forward. We alone will adapt to whatever new reality is before us with a maturity that likely was fundamental to the change happening in the first place. As we begin developing that support system again—that exoskeleton—we create a structure that provides us with a strong, stable base until the next change comes along. When that inevitably happens, then we also remember the model of Mother Nature, continuously cycling through mild and extreme changes, patiently enduring, adapting and emerging ever stronger and wiser. Meg Reilly, MS, CH, is a holistic lifecycle counselor and consulting hypnotist who holds regular meditation workshops at TLC Center and LifePath Yoga & Wellness in Norwalk. Connect at or MegReilly360@

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ROBIN QUEEN FINKELSTEIN Psychospiritual Counseling Specializing in Individual, Couples and Family Counseling

SunRaven: The Home of Slow Medicine The Center for Integrative Medicine and Wellness Founded by Robin’s partner, Dr. Michael Finkelstein 501 Guard Hill Road Bedford, NY 10506 914-218-3113 • •

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May 2017


Rise Above Expectations!

Use Law of Attraction to Align Inner and Outer Experience by Darlene Alvarez Maddern


ith the many expectations we face daily, feelings of stress and anxiety are common for most people. Stress and anxiety can do severe damage to our cells and organs, causing an array of illnesses. Where does our stress come from? The stress and anxiety we experience is a result of how we interpret our daily life experiences. It is how we interpret the social and cultural expectations we have integrated, placed upon ourselves, and how successfully we think we maintain those expectations. Scientific research continues to show us that having a positive self-concept and spiritual connection directly impacts our physical health and wellbeing in a positive way. Our self-concept develops through our social experiences. Let’s explore how our social experiences influence how we think and feel about ourselves and our spiritual connection. In other words, let’s explore our exterior and interior experiences. To understand how our social relationships impact us, we begin by examining the thoughts and feelings that are a result of those relationships. If we have a positive self-concept and feel


good about our social experiences and relationships, we are in alignment with our “Source”; we allow ourselves to co-create with the universe in a positive and loving way. We are socialized at a young age as to what women are expected to think and do. The many roles we fulfill speak directly to our social experience. These roles are often minimized, undervalued and unseen, which adds to stress levels. In order to understand and appreciate the immensity of women’s role in our society let’s take a walk through the short list and allow ourselves to get a feel for all that women do. We are the caretakers of our

Fairfield County/Housatonic Valley Edition

natural awakenings

children, grandchildren and, increasingly, our aging parents. We are the nurses, teachers, coaches, housekeepers, cleaning crew, cooks, shoppers, designers, organizers, managers, hosts and entertainers. We nurture, guide, discipline, uplift, love and encourage. A large percentage of us work full-time jobs and come home to bear the major responsibilities of our “second shift” with our family and home responsibilities. We push the envelope to expand our opportunities, we break glass ceilings, we advocate, we speak out to enhance the experiences of women and children, we withstand the judgment of not marrying, not having children, and who we choose to love. We withstand the inequalities of working the same hours for less pay, with a greater level of inequality experienced by women of color. Many of us suffer abuse and have limited resources. We are barraged with body images that are unrealistic and make us question our worth. We withstand the lack of government representation to address our needs. Yet we persist. As we embody creation, we are the hopeful spirits that constantly look for and expect a better world. Amidst the social and institutional challenges, we are still the champions of love, empathy and compassion. When we allow ourselves to closely examine all we do, we empower ourselves. In that process we gain clarity on what we want for ourselves, which is one of the most important things we can do to create well-being. We have been socialized to think and behave according to the norms and values of our society. But we have the power to decide—regardless of what society dictates—what it is we want. We must love ourselves enough to take the time to understand what that is. How do we want our lives to be? How do we want our relationships to be with family, significant others and in our careers? When we uncover those answers, we empower ourselves to the possibilities and opportunities that are available to us to create what we want. This is where the power of our mind comes into play. The “Law of Attraction” is a universal law and it is always working. It states that we have the power within us to create what we want in our lives. We tap into that

power when we decide what is it we want, believe we can have it, and feel the joy and happiness that desire will bring. We then keep our thoughts and feelings in joy and happiness so we can be a match to our desire and manifest it. “The universe is always at the ready to co-create with you,” says Dr. Jean Houston, a scholar, philosopher and researcher in human capacities and one of the principal founders of the Human Potential Movement.

Scientific research continues to show us that having a positive self-concept and spiritual connection directly impacts our physical health and well-being in a positive way. Our selfconcept develops through our social experiences. The overwhelming common experience we share is we don’t spend much time, if any, thinking about our own desires and needs. This is because we have successfully integrated the role of being the caretaker, always putting others before ourselves. We’ve integrated the idea that taking care of ourselves is selfish. But that idea is a false premise. Taking care of ourselves is our birthright and the best thing we can do for ourselves and others. When we take care of ourselves, we learn to love, nurture and develop who we really are. When we love ourselves, we enhance our connection to the energy of our higher self, the energy of Source. We see ourselves as Source sees us. That connection allows for unlimited love and opportunities to flow into our lives. Everyone benefits—our children, our family, friends and co-workers—as we set a healthy, loving example of how they should treat themselves as well. Be mindful, be empowered and create that positive mind, body, spirit connection!

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Darlene Alvarez Maddern is a life coach, mentor, teacher and speaker. Connect at 860-488-2619, and See Community Resource Guide listing, page 78.

May 2017


Balancing Feminine Energy Call it In for Your Self by Stacey Lyons


eminine energy resides within each being—regardless of gender. Finding balance within the feminine energy is extremely important and something many overlook. This year, there is a lot of feminine energy available in the world for us to claim, work with and allow to empower us in our life journey. Female energy is often associated with the left side of our bodies, so noticing any discomfort of any kind on that side of the body can be the first sign that perhaps something is off with your feminine energy. When talking about feminine energy, here are some characteristics associated with that energy: • Compassion • Creativity • Emotions • Empathy • Intuition • Multi-tasking • Nurturing Being unbalanced can affect many aspects of our lives. People who are high in their feminine energy tend to


be toxic towards themselves. A person with a weaker feminine energy will tend to blame others and not take responsibility for her own actions. If we are out of balance, we may also notice that we feel out of control, irritable, ungrounded, an overall feeling of loneliness, closed off from others and a tendency to be greedy; we may isolate ourselves because we do not want to give of ourselves or share anything we have.

So how can one find optimum balance? There are many different ways to create balanced feminine energy. First, however, we have to be honest with ourselves and recognize we have an imbalance. Once we do, we will find out what we need to balance those energies and, at the same time, create balance in our physical, emotional and spiritual energies. Essential oils like rose, ylang ylang, patchouli and citrus scents are great for feminine energy. Also, say positive affirmations such as, “I now embrace my balanced femi-

Fairfield County/Housatonic Valley Edition

natural awakenings

nine energy for the sake of my highest good,” or, “I am in perfect alignment with my feminine energy now.” We may also find that connecting with a divine feminine energy like Mother Earth, a goddess, angel or other deity may be what we need. Another key way to keep our feminine energy balanced is to have our overall energy grounded. There are many different ways that we can achieve grounding our energy. These include eating vegetables or red meat, taking a salt bath, exercising, spending time in nature reconnecting with the Earth’s energy, and even using stones or crystals. Spiritual healing methods such as Reiki, shamanic healing and any healing energy work can also assist us in achieving balance. Also try specific grounding meditations, yoga, dancing and singing; take some time to self-nurture. Even volunteering for something we are passionate about can raise our feminine vibrations. When working on balancing feminine energy within, we often overlook the simple fact that we have to care and nurture ourselves in order to be balanced within our own energy. This means that, every now and then, we make sure we take time to do things for ourselves that we would not hesitate to do for another person—such as getting a haircut, having a spa day, catching up with friends or going for a walk on a nice day. By doing these things, we engage our feminine energy, and strengthen the connection by granting permission to allow it to be a part of our day. Working with and balancing out our feminine energy will allow us to connect more with our own inner energies. It will also allow us to learn to love and appreciate who we are and where we are in the moment on our journey as we support and nurture the energy within. Stacey Lyons, owner of Elysian Life Design, is a certified life force energy healer and medium. Her spiritual writings and readings have reached more than 90 countries. Lyons also creates spiritual-based herbal products. Connect at and Contact@ See Community Resource Guide listing, page 80

wellnessprofiles Hands And Paws Reiki For All Mary Oquendo In-home appointments 203-994-5308 Practice/Business summary: We offer Reiki and crystal therapy to pets, as well as educational opportunities for pet parents. I teach similar programs nationally at professional pet industry educational conferences. What drew you to health and wellness as a profession? My dog, Marcus, was not responding to modern veterinary care. It was only after we introduced complementary modalities that we affected real improvement in his overall health. How long have you been in practice? 10 years What training and/or certifications do you have? Reiki master teacher and advanced crystal master What is your particular specialty or niche? Reiki and crystal therapy for pets What should a client expect from a session or series of sessions with you? All pet owners are invited to stay during their pet’s session(s). What do you most want Natural Awakenings’ readers to know about your work? I want their pets to reap the same benefits that my own pets receive.

Beth Leas Norwalk and by phone/Skype 203-856-9566 Practice/Business summary: Growth depends upon movement. My powerful transformative healing sessions support you as you grow through change—using energy healing (Reiki and Jin Shin Jyutsu), meditation and intuitive guidance through tarot. What first drew you to this profession? My own journey towards wholeness over the past 40 years has made me a rich resource for others. Experience taught me you can change your way of being with yourself and being in the world. What training and/or certifications do you have? I have worked extensively for 25 years with adults and children using energy healing in a medical setting and my own private practice. Do you have a particular specialty or niche? My special areas of expertise are women’s health and people facing challenges such as cancer, divorce and other life stressors. What should a client expect from a session or series of sessions with you? You will be fully supported as I work with you to energetically release what is holding you back, show you practical tools to find clarity and balance and help you open to receive your heart’s desire. What do you most want Natural Awakenings’ readers to know about you and your work? All healing comes from within. The greatest gift a wellness practitioner can offer is supporting you in tapping into your unlimited potential. I am dedicated to empowering you to live life well on all levels—physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.

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May 2017



Embody the Sacred Deana Paqua, MA, LMT Ridgefield and New Milford 203-994-5045 

Angelic Healing Center Gigi Benanti Norwalk 203-852-1150, Practice/Business summary: Reiki master/teacher (Western style), Karuna Reiki master/ teacher. Jikiden Reiki Shihan kaku (Eastern Style). Integrating the styles with Angelic energies as needed in private Reiki sessions. I teach all levels of Reiki workshops. My Reiki practice is full time.

What drew you to this work as a profession? Starting at age 5, I naturally gave healing to those in need. I just missed being hit by lightning in college and it felt like a new energy had been given to me. Reiki is a calling for me and became a way to deepen my gifts. I wanted to learn how to help others to help themselves. Areas of specialty, training and/or special certifications: I have been a small business owner since age 23, with a BA in art and education. I have many certifications, including Reiki, Young Living essential oils, bioenergy, angels, angel cards and sound healing. I am a Reiki therapist for a hospice agency. What can a client expect from a session or series of sessions working with you? Whatever your reason is to receive healing, I can address and help with my popular Reiki practice and my natural intuition. How has your work/business evolved? What new are you offering heading into 2017? I also teach classes about Reiki and angels at a local college and for adult education. I look forward to deepening my education with my continued commitment to learning the latest techniques. What do you most want Natural Awakenings’ readers to know about you and your work? I look forward to helping you to bring the light, love, blessings, joy and peace into your life.


Fairfield County/Housatonic Valley Edition

Practice/Business summary: Classes, training and certification programs in shamanic healing, Reiki, Integrated Energy Therapy and Andean energy medicine. Also spiritual and holistic health education for healers, spiritual seekers and the energy sensitive. Offering healing sessions, intuitive readings, space clearings, Munay Ki, Despacho ceremonies and Andean Rites. What first drew you to this profession? I was first led to the field of holistic health from my own experiences of healing from major and minor health challenges, including a near-fatal car accident. I have found that a spiritually-based, holistic approach provides maximum benefits for many health challenges including helping resolve trauma. I felt naturally drawn to Reiki, other forms of energy medicine and shamanic healing that offer possibilities of deep healing and transformation. Do you hold any specific credentials/certifications? I am a certified Usui and Karuna Reiki master teacher, Integrated Energy Therapy master instructor, licensed massage therapist and ordained minister. I have a master’s degree in integrative health studies and am an adjunct professor at WCSU in holistic health studies. I’ve also participated in shamanic training with contemporary and indigenous shamans for over 14 years and been in practice for 18 years. What should a client expect from working with you? My sessions and classes are personalized, practical, down-toearth, spiritually based and educational. They are designed to empower and support each individual’s spiritual path and healing journey. Are you planning any practice enhancements or changes in 2017? I am looking to offer a second-year shamanic training program in addition to the foundational program I offer. Other classes are in the works. What do you most want Natural Awakenings’ readers to know about you and your work? My approach is focused on supporting clients and students in developing their own unique gifts, talents and skills for their own self-healing and self-empowerment, and to serve their communities.

natural awakenings

Bobby Kitsios at The Sacred Spirit

Turning Point Healing Arts & Education Center

293 Sound Beach Ave, Old Greenwich 203-344-9311

JoAnn Inserra Duncan, MS, RMT Turning Point Reiki, LLC 100B Danbury Rd, Ste 101, Ridgefield 203-438-3050 •

Practice/Business summary: I am a talented tarot reader, psychic and medium with clients nationwide. I also offer energy healing and am a certified reiki practitioner and teacher of tarot, meditation and psychic/ mediumship development. I am in the process of becoming a Spiritualist Minister. What drew you to health and wellness as a profession? Curiosity initially drew me to the health and wellness profession. My life has never been the same. A deep desire to help people in any way and to be of service to spirit developed as a result. How long have you been in practice? I have worked as a spiritual healer for over 10 years, a tarot reader for 5 and a medium for 2 ½ years. What training and/or certifications do you have I am certified as a Reiki Master and Certified through the Lilydale Assembly in Healing Mastery. I also have a certification in Restructuring. What is your particular specialty or niche? In energy healing I specialize in the use of crystals during the healing (placed on chakra system) In psychic and evidential mediumship I specialize in bringing a practicality to life’s lessons and evidence of loved ones who have crossed over in a caring and loving way. What should a client expect from a session or series of sessions with you? A client should expect a healing- in whatever way he or she may need it or be ready to accept it. Hopefully they will leave more peaceful, centered and in some way better than they were when they entered. They can also expect a practitioner who cares about them as a person, as a spirit and as a spark of the divine. Clients can expect me to be there for them in whatever way I can – even if it’s just through continued prayer for their well-being. What do you most want Natural Awakenings’ readers to know about your work? My work is on behalf of spirit which we are all a part of. This is a great responsibility for me that I take seriously. I truly wish to help people be the best they can be – physically, emotionally and spiritually; and live the best life they can live.

Practice/Business Summary: Turning Point Healing Arts & Education Center is a resource for healthy living and wellness in Ridgefield. The center is dedicated to integrating conventional medicine, cutting-edge alternative modalities and ancient healing wisdom to achieve optimum wellness for the body, mind and spirit. Skilled practitioners and teachers offer holistic services and educational programs to empower and enhance both the individual and community by teaching all age groups essential life skills. JoAnn Inserra Duncan, MS, RMT, is the founder of Turning Point Healing Arts & Education Center, which incorporates Turning Point Reiki, LLC, and Turning Point S.H.A.R.E. Divorce Group, and is home to a team of skilled practitioners offering a variety of modalities. Services Offered: Duncan uses intuition, experience and a deep spiritual connection in her Reiki, IET and Reconnective Healing sessions. She specializes in care for individuals with cancer, back pain, Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses. Duncan teaches all levels of Reiki as well as other specialized classes. She is also the facilitator of the monthly S.H.A.R.E. Divorce Support Group. Other practitioners at the center offer Alexander Technique; private yoga; essential oils; meditation; chakra balancing; Usui Reiki; Karuna Reiki; Reiki with crystals; sacred childbirth with Reiki; shamanic Reiki; Soul Retrieval; drum circles; seasonal ceremonies; Integrated Energy Therapy; Reconnective Healing and The Reconnection; Cell Memory Technique; Reiki shares; Turning Point S.H.A.R.E Divorce Support Group; Swedish, relaxation, deep tissue and sports massage; chair massage; energy psychology techniques; EMDR; EFT and inner balance. Practitioners at Turning Point Healing Arts & Education Center: • Mary Beth Johnston, LMT, RMT, 914-419-7961, • Brenda Story, RMT, 203-948-0841, • Deana Paqua, MA, LMT, 203-994-5045,, • Stacy Raymond, PsyD, 203-493-0344,, • Valerie Rich, (AmSAT), RM, 203-482-2278,,

May 2017


wellnessprofiles Elysian Life Design

Meg Reilly 360

New Fairfield 914-336-7693

In Norwalk area by appointment only 203-952-6272 Practice/Business summary: Elysian Life Design specializes in spiritual consulting, space/land clearing, energy healing, herbal- and essential oilbased spiritual products and more. We’ve got all your spiritual and energy needs covered!

What first drew you to this profession? Honestly, the profession chose me. Since I was young, I was able to hear things or had feelings about people or places. I ignored the signs until I had no choice to follow the gift that was given to me. How is your work different from that of others in your profession? A lot of people think that being face-to-face is the only way one can connect with the energy of the client. I find that I can connect just as well from a distance to see what is going on or messages that need to be passed along. What should a client expect from working with you? A client can expect truth and compassion, regardless of the situation. I think there is a way to deliver things in a gentle and effective manner. I like to teach ways people can connect with their own energy to empower them in the process. How is your practice/work evolving as you head into 2017? In 2017, I am going beyond comfort boundaries and listening to what people are requesting as far as products and services and providing those to the community. What is the most important thing you want Natural Awakenings’ readers to know about you/your business? That anything is possible if you are open to it. We have the ability to connect with the Divine around us, and that is what we at Elysian Life Design are here to help you with.


Fairfield County/Housatonic Valley Edition

Practice/Business summary: Holistic personal counseling services. I help you examine ordinary lifecycle issues with an inclusive view of body, mind and spirit through one-on-one deep conversation, guided meditation, hypnosis and/or intuitive card reading.

What first drew you to this profession? Being helped in my time of need by a kind, wise counselor made a powerful difference in my life. I gained the benefit of a stable, objective, informed resource and knew immediately I wanted to pay it forward. How is your work different from that of others in your profession? There are a lot of wonderful healers in my profession; the key is finding someone you click with and that’s who will help you most. I take a humanistic, eclectic approach. What should a client or patient expect from working with you? My goal is helping you be clear about what you seek to change and moving you forward. I collaborate with you and support you with compassion, honesty and kindness. How is your practice/work evolving as you head into 2017? I am providing more group guided meditations in more locations. Guided meditation is an inexpensive, easy and powerful self-care technique to promote overall healing and well-being. What is the most important thing you want Natural Awakenings’ readers to know about you/your work? I model what I counsel: to live mindfully, intentionally and with compassion for myself and others. Together, we can create the life you want.

natural awakenings

Mind Body Transformation Hypnosis Center Diane Bahr-Groth, CH, TFT-Adv 1177 High Ridge Rd, Stamford 203-595-0110 Practice/Business summary: Mind-Body offers fast, easy, natural, powerful and successful techniques for weight loss, smoking cessation, public speaking, fear, stress, anxiety, insomnia, pain, trauma, grief, anger and more. What drew you to this work as a profession? I have always wanted to help people in a meaningful way. My own mysterious illness caused me to search for a successful, holistic approach to health for myself and for others. Areas of specialty, training, and/or special certifications: Registered certified consulting hypnotist, Thought Field Therapy-Adv and Voice Technology, virtual gastric band hypnosis, neuro linguistic programming (NLP), time line therapy, complementary medical hypnosis, hypnobirthing, Touch for Health. What can a client expect from a session or series of sessions working with you? Our powerful, natural and dramatic mind-body therapies and methodologies can elicit immediate and lasting lifelong results to those suffering from a wide variety of issues and emotions, often in just minutes. How has your work/business evolved? What new are you offering heading into 2017? Mind-Body uses a unique, powerful and effective system of therapeutic techniques that can naturally and easily help create life-changing experiences and result in feelings of deep peace and relaxation for children and adults. We are incorporating new LED red light technology to naturally reduce fat from almost anywhere on the body and to help the body develop more collagen to create a more youthful appearance. What do you most want Natural Awakenings’ readers to know about you and your work? In today’s world, we may often find ourselves or loved ones filled with stress, fear and anxiety. There is hope. Mind-Body can help restore peace and harmony quickly and easily.

~ equestrian gifts ~ pottery ~ buddas ~ crystals of all sizes ~ books ~ angels

Touch of Sedona A unique boutique with a heartfelt purpose


452 Main Street, Ridgefield

Open Every Day Until 5:30

DBT: Dialectical Behavior Therapy Do you want to: Increase joy and happiness and decrease stress? Create a lifetime of fulfillment by learning how to establish and maintain meaningful relationships, while building mastery and skillfulness in all areas of your life. yoga • meDITaTIon • mInDfulneSS DBT InDIvIDual TheRapy • DBT gRoup TheRapy CognITIve BehavIoRal TheRapy

1-888-745-3372 5 Sylvan Road South, Westport, CT 06880 fax 203-307-5788 •

May 2017


naturallyhealthypet Hearts for Horses Fundraiser

O The Monthly Naturally Healthy Pet Section Starts Here!

n May 21 from 2 to 5pm, a Hearts for Horses fundraiser will be hosted by Rising Starr Horse Rescue at John’s Best Pizza in Ridgefield. Tickets are $30 per person for food and fun. A cash bar will be available. All proceeds go to Rising Starr Horse Rescue to support rescue efforts for slaughterbound horses and education on the reality and responsibilities of horse ownership. Silent auction items will be available. Sponsorships are still available as well as a few silent auction spots. All donations are 100 percent tax deductible. Tickets must be purchased in advance. Once registered, you will receive a number via email that will go into a drawing to be held at the event. Located at Moonlight Farm in Redding, Rising Starr Horse Rescue saves one equine life at a time from cruelty or slaughter. They educate the public about the cruelty of horse slaughter and to create solutions to decrease the number of unwanted horses in the United States. ​ To purchase tickets, call 203-257-8345, visit, or pay by mail at 39 Picketts Ridge Road, Redding, CT 06896 (include return address for mailing of your ticket). For more information, email RisingStarr100@, visit or Event Location: Johns Best Pizza, 955 Ethan Allen Hwy, Ridgefield.

Strut Your Mutt in Newtown


News, articles, resources, events— all dedicated exclusively to happy, naturally healthy living for our furred, feathered and scaled animal companions

ark your calendars for Strut Your Mutt on May 13 from 11am to 2pm in Newtown. This dog-friendly event will include a 2K dog walk and the Strut Your Mutt Pageant. A Doggy Fair will include vendors, games and food. Admission is $10 for one dog and $5 for each additional dog. There is a limit of three dogs per handler. Proceeds raised will support the Newtown Park & Bark, an 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 and private donations and annual fundraising events have raised funds to create and maintain the two-acre field adjacent to the animal shelter. Further enhancements are planned, including tree plantings, reseeding and electrical connections.   For more information, email or visit BringFido. com/Event/30924. Event Location: Fairfield Hills Campus, 3 Primrose St, Newtown.

For information on how you can be a part of a future issue, call

203-885-4674 or email


Fairfield County/Housatonic Valley Edition

natural awakenings

Five percent of dogs and 3 percent of cats are nonresponders to the rabies vaccines. That means no matter how many rabies vaccines they are given, they don’t produce antibodies and will get rabies if exposed. When a blood titer is taken, the results are “0”, meaning no response to vaccination. Without the titer test currently being done, these pets are issued a rabies vaccine certificate, which gives a false sense of security to the pet owner and the community. When the pets get sick, rabies is not considered likely since they were previously vaccinated and whole families may actually be in danger.

Protect the Pets Movement

The Rabies Vaccine Dilemma Movement Seeks to Reduce Overdosing and Over-Vaccination by John Robb


here is a simple inexpensive blood test, called a titer, which indicates immunity against rabies, and veterinarians have known this for years. In many cases, such as my own, one rabies vaccine was given many years ago. When blood titers were recently checked—decades after that one administration of a rabies vaccine—my titers were still 10 times the protective level needed. Why does this matter? Because the rabies vaccine is the most toxic of all vaccines given to pets. Millions of pets have already died due to overdosing and over-vaccination from the rabies vaccine, and many have developed chronic disease following administration. Overdosing happens because the vaccine is dose-dependent: smaller pets require less volume to achieve immunity then larger pets. Yet state law says the veterinarian must give the same dose to all size pets. Science has clearly shown that vaccine reactions go up as the pets weight goes down and the titer goes up as the pets weight goes down. So it’s clear we can produce immunity to rabies in smaller pets with a lower volume and yet the “bad” rabies law in Connecticut requires veterinarians to overdose the smaller pets mandating 1 cc volume to all pets regardless of size. It is over-vaccination because once a pet has established immunity measurable by a rabies blood titer, there is no need for a booster vaccine. However, the law as currently written requires the vaccine to be given every one or three years regardless if it’s medically warranted or not. Does that not seem like medical malpractice to inject a pet with a vaccine that has no medical value and can, in fact, potentially injure or kill the pet? The veterinarian, once educated, essentially must either live up to their Hippocratic Oath to do no harm or follow a law that potentially causes them to injure or kill their patient. That is the rabies dilemma.

The good news is that there is a movement of people, under the name Protect the Pets, that is growing around the country and the world. This movement is composed of pet lovers— pet owners, veterinarians and legislators—who now better understand the science and are rapidly introducing legislation to amend the “bad rabies” law. Right now in the State of Connecticut, Proposed Bill No. 5659 is currently being debated by the Public Health Committee.

An Act Concerning the Vaccination of Animals This bill proposes two things: that the general statutes be amended to allow the veterinarians to (1) vary vaccine dosage protocols when in the best interest and health of an animal, and (2) administer rabies antibody titer to determine the need for a rabies booster vaccine. The Statement of Purpose is to allow veterinarians to make decisions that is in the best interest of an animal’s health and to prevent animals from being over-vaccinated. This is the time to take action in Connecticut. This bill will pass when pet lovers educate each other and contact their elected officials. The best way is an email giving legislators our phone numbers and asking them to call us. Another excellent opportunity is to see them in person when they have local town meetings asking input from their constituents. This amended rabies law is long overdue; this is an opportunity for Connecticut to make history by being the first state to amend it and protect lives of pets and the public by identifying non-responders. Dr. John Robb is a doctor of veterinary medicine from New Fairfield. Connect with Dr. John Robb at 203-731-4251,, or

Final Journey,


( Pet Euthanasia Service )

Kristen Klie, D.V. M. and Associates

( 203 ) 645-5570

May 2017


the health and medical fields. The one thing the women polled had in common was that they were looking to substitute a job for a career they were passionate about.

Acting on Your Passion Women Transitioning to Own Pet-Related Businesses by Mary Oquendo


eassessing a career choice later in life is not unusual. Needs and options may have changed since initial career decisions were made. Life requirements may bear little resemblance to the essentials of five, 10, 20 or even 30 years ago.

“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” ~ Mark Twain

An informal survey done with the Women in the Pet Industry Network (WIPIN) found that women moving into a second career within the pet industry know no age boundaries. The poll found it was evenly split along age groups between 25 and over 50. The message seems to be that it’s never too early or too late to change careers. Another WIPIN poll found those first careers had quite a range, from being a stay-at-home mother, lawyer, marketer, “cubicle dweller”, upper management, lower management, military, software developer to being involved in

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” ~ Harriet Tubman How to Get Started

Talk to area professionals but keep in mind that they may be busy. An option is to offer a financial incentive to spend the day with them to get a feel for what they do. A busy professional taking the time to allow shadowing will lose money. They cannot schedule the same number of clients, as they will be slowed down by your presence. If, after surviving the first day, inquire about mentoring or apprenticeships as well as suggested necessary structured education. If they cannot help, they may be able to recommend someone who can or at least point you in the right direction.


Search sites such as Facebook for specific industry professional groups and groups geared towards women professionals. They can be a wealth of information.

A spacious fully air-conditioned and heated facility outfitted for the safety and comfort of your dog with two fully-supervised outdoor play yards, securely fenced for running, playtime, and socialization with other dogs. OVERNIGHT BOARDING Slumber party style with a staff member present TRAINING CLASSES Puppy Kindergarten, Basic and Advanced Obedience classes LIVE WEBCAMS! Watch your dog from anywhere on your computer, iPad or iPhone.

860-799-7979 90-B Danbury Road, New Milford, CT 06776 New Milford area’s only cage-free dog daycare and boarding facility! 60

Fairfield County/Housatonic Valley Edition

natural awakenings


Consider traveling to professional educational conferences. Most trade publication will list upcoming events. For the pet industry, check out Petage. com,,,, and These are all free subscriptions. Many professional conferences are restricted to those already in the industry. However, an email or phone call explaining an interest in changing careers will usually result in

allowed access. Other options include local chambers of commerce and meetups. is an online social portal that allows members to set up local meetings with those of like interests and professions.


Next is thinking about how to transition from a job to a career. Can you continue working at your current employer while taking the time to start or learn a new profession? Is there a nest egg to rely on if you quit or take an apprenticeship position that will most likely be a cut in pay? We need to also take into consideration a potential lapse in health insurance. And for those setting up a business, the Connecticut chapter of the Small Business Development Center ( and the Connecticut office of the Small Business Administration ( Hartford) can help with advisors, small business loans and grants, as well as offering online and on-site educational seminars.


Making life-changing decisions can be tough even with the full support of family and friends. But what if we do not have someone cheering us from the sidelines? Searching the terms “career transitions” or “career changes” on sites such as and can help us find local or online groups specific to our needs.

“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” ~ Maya Angelou To avoid common missteps, take a look at a Forbes list of the five biggest mistakes that career changers make. • Waiting until you are totally burned out at your current job. This is more of a mindset. Starting a new career

requires a positive, upbeat attitude. • Not creating a financial plan to oversee the transition. The danger is in quitting your passion too soon because of money concerns. • Choosing an incompatible with our talents career change. This is why shadowing and apprenticing can help narrow the focus before investing time and money. • Not taking the time to research your career change and business setups. Money and time spent on education will pay for itself in the long term. • Giving up too quickly. Overnight successes are a thing for the movies. Making a life altering career change can be scary. However, taking the time to plan it out can result in a rewarding profession. It’s never too late to follow our dreams. Mary Oquendo is a Reiki master, advanced crystal master and certified master tech pet first aid instructor. She is the owner of Hands and Paws Reiki for All. She can be reached at See ad, page 58.

May 2017


petresourceguide ADOPTION/RESCUE ANIMALS IN DISTRESS INC 238 Danbury Rd, Wilton 203-762-2006 BRIDGEPORT ANIMAL CONTROL 236 Evergreen St, Bridgeport 203-576-7727 BULLY BREED RESCUE PO Box 953, New Canaan • COMMUNITY CATS PO Box 4380, Stamford


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.

DANBURY ANIMAL WELFARE SOCIETY (DAWS) 147 Grassy Plain St, Bethel 203-744-3297 FRIENDS OF FELINES INC PO Box 8147, Stamford 203-363-0220 •


203-994-5308 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 58.

LOOKING GLASS ANIMAL RESCUE Ridgefield On Facebook, Twitter and Instagram NFSAW 223 State Rt 37, New Fairfield 203-746-2925


PET ANIMAL WELFARE SOCIETY INC (PAWS) 504 Main Ave, Norwalk 203-750-9572


PET PROTECTORS 2490 Black Rock Tpke, #453, Fairfield 203-330-0255

Nutrition is your pet’s best friend. We create handmade, personalized pet food and treats with ingredients that are organic, free of GMOs, synthetic chemicals, added growth hormones, unnecessary antibiotics, and preservatives. Food is handmade in small batches. See website for details about ordering or customizing for your pet’s special needs.

RIDGEFIELD OPERATION FOR ANIMAL RESCUE (ROAR) 45 South St, Ridgefield 203-438-0158 STRAYS AND OTHERS PO Box 473, New Canaan 203-966-6556 TAILS OF COURAGE 1 Pembroke Rd, Danbury 877-63-(TAILS) WESTPORT ANIMAL SHELTER ADVOCATES (WASA) 1 Tower Ridge, Westport 203-557-0361


PO Box 794, New Milford 603-706-0739


PO Box 389, Bridgeport 203-258-3069 • A Hand for a Paw, Inc is a local non-profit dedicated to keeping animals home. Programs include mobile clinics providing pet families with affordable vaccines, micro-chipping and pet food pantry. Visit Animal Artisans at 187 Ferry Blvd, Stratford to support our cause.

NUTMEG SPAY/NEUTER CLINIC 25 Charles St, Stratford 203-690-1550 •

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 lowcost 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 61.


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.

UNLEASH YOUR EARNING POTENTIAL Fetch new customers by advertising in Natural Awakenings’ Naturally Healthy Pet monthly section

Fairfield County/Housatonic Valley Edition

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Natural Awakenings appreciates the generosity of its distributors throughout the area. Please consider supporting these major distributors by shopping there and picking up the magazine each month from one of the racks. Thank you!



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May 2017

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inspiredtable Training in Sustainable Nutrition and Gardening


ecome immersed in sustainable food practices through a year-long program from The Institute of Sustainable Nutrition (TIOSN). The program begins in September 2017; participants move through life-changing, hands-on practices in the science of nutrition, local/sustainable gardening practices, culinary skills, kitchen medicine and sustainable foraging. Housed at the Holcomb Farm in West Granby, TIOSN has become a haven in the field of sustainability and food. Students learn how the body and food work together and change with the seasons. Additional teaching include the cycles of plants/weeds, soil, bees and planets, preparing and sharing food in the kitchen, making traditional remedies, teas, tonics and brews in addition to outdoor exploration of wild food. TIOSN also offers gardening workshops each month and is holding an open house on May 28 from 10am to noon. All are welcome to attend and learn more about the farm and and any of the programs offered. To reserve a space for the open house or for questions on any of the training programs, call Joan at 860-764-9070, email or visit Location: Holcomb Farm, 113 Simsbury Rd, West Granby. See ad, page 65.

Fairfield Film Screening of What the Health


To advertise or participate in our next issue, call

203-885-4674 64

resented by Catch A Healthy Habit CafĂŠ, the What the Health documentary will be screened on May 10 from 7:30 to 9:45pm at Showcase Cinemas Fairfield Cinemas at Bullard Square. What the Health is a follow-up film from the creators of the award-winning Cowspiracy documentary. The film exposes the collusion and corruption in government and big business that is costing trillions of healthcare dollars and keeping us sick. After the screening, a panel of experts will discuss the film and answer questions. General admission is $12 a ticket. For more information and tickets, reserve soon at What-the-Health-Lfys. Location: Showcase Cinemas Fairfield Cinemas at Bullard Square, 40 Black Rock Tpke, Fairfield.

Fairfield County/Housatonic Valley Edition

natural awakenings

Celebrating the Remarkable Tomato

Food Matters for Inner Peace


osted by White Flower Farm in Morris, the 12th Annual Great Tomato Celebration will feature dozens of varieties of heirloom, beefsteak and cherry tomato seedlings as well as herbs and vegetables. In addition to plants, there will be a wide selection of fertilizers, mulch, containers, ties, stakes, and other supplies needed for a spring kitchen garden. The event runs 9am-5pm on May 19-21. Every year on the weekend before Memorial Day, White Flower Farm brings its vast selection of tomato and vegetable seedlings from the greenhouses and puts them up for sale on the lawn next to the store. The farm chose this date because it’s the ideal time for planting in the area; the threat of frost has usually passed and it’s the best time to get edible plants in the ground to give them the longest possible growing season. Craig LeHoullier, the author of Epic Tomatoes, will be giving lectures and will be available for a Q&A on the first day of the event only. White Flower Farm’s staff experts will be on hand each day to answer your questions. For those looking for more information about growing tomatoes and other vegetables, there will be lectures and demonstrations on Friday and Saturday. A list of tomato varieties that may be offered at the sale can be found at theme/whiteflowerfarm/pdfs/GreatTomatoCelebrationList2017_031617.pdf. For more information, visit Tomato-Celebration. Location: White Flower Farm, 167 Litchfield Rd, Morris.


oin Cora Ragaini, RDN, RYT, for an evening of reflection into your body, mind and spirit on May 11 from 7-8:30pm at Wainwright House in Rye, New York. She will discuss how the food you eat impacts your energy levels, mood and, ultimately, your inner peace. Learn how your environment influences your decisions around food and learn ways to empower yourself to make healthy choices. Ragaini will also lead you through a peace-enhancing meditation and mindful-eating exercise. She will be accompanied by Maxon Cora Ragaini Keating, a community farmer, who will discuss where your food comes from and how to use gardening and plant life for a more peaceful existence. Register by May 8; space is limited. The preregistration fees are $20 for members, $30 for non-members, or $35 at the door. ​ Cora Ragaini, RDN, holds a bachelors in nutritional sciences and a 200-hour yoga teacher certification; she is a Reiki Level II practitioner and a kids’ yoga teacher through Full of Joy Yoga in New Haven. She also continues to serve lower Fairfield County as a registered dietitian. For more information and to register, visit Food-Matters-for-Inner-Peace. Location: Wainwright House, 260 Stuyvesant Ave, Rye, NY.

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

Thousands of Years of Food Wisdom in Twelve Months The Institute Of Sustainable Nutrition Offering a one-year Certification in Sustainable Health & Nutrition This innovative school integrates the Science of Nutrition with:

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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, family, yourself and the environment.

Now Accepting Applications for 2017-18. Call 860-764-9070 Today! • West Granby, CT •

May 2017


Buy Fresh Direct from Producers at Shelton CT Farmers Market by Lisa Cheney


ot the usual Connecticut Farmers Market, all produce and products at the Shelton CT Farmers Market, located at 100 Canal Street in Shelton, are grown, raised or created by the farmers and artisans at the market. The market is managed by an association of farmers, artisans and citizens that are involved as board of director members, market masters, marketing committee members and members-at-large. The market’s mission is to provide fresh local foods and artisanal products to its members and customers in an environmentally, economically sustainable fashion while still maintaining its integrity as a producer-only venue. The market has a long history in Shelton, dating back to its creation in 1993 by a local farmer, Guy Beardsley, on a barren dirt field on Canal Street. In 1997, the town of Shelton acquired the land on which the farmers’ market building now stands. It was part of the city’s revitalization plan, which called for the cleanup and restoration of targeted brownfields to provide new open space, commerce and housing. It was then determined that a farmers’ market would be a viable and appropriate reuse for this property. The heated building, erected in 2005, includes restrooms, storage space for the 66

Fairfield County/Housatonic Valley Edition

market, seven automated “garage doors” for easy access for loading and unloading, indoor and outdoor lighting, electricity, and space for as many as 50 vendors indoors and outdoors. The building has a paved courtyard surrounding it and ample free parking. It is adjacent to the Shelton Riverwalk and Veteran’s Memorial Park. In 2015, then market master, Guy Beardsley, stepped down after 22 years of running the successful market. A new association was developed and Stacia Monahan, another local farmer, stepped in to head up the market’s board of directors. The 2017 season will begin on May 6; the market will be open on Saturdays from 9am to 1pm weekly until Thanksgiving. In June, the market will be open on Wednesday afternoons as well from 3 to 6:30pm until the end of October. This year brings the possibility of an additional market day during the week in Huntington Center. The market offers a market membership for a donation of $25. This will enable the market association to continue to grow the market, to provide community outreach speakers and workshops, to provide live music at every market and to offer special events for the community. Members will receive a membership card, market tote and special offers from all vendors at the Saturday markets from May to Thanksgiving. The market accepts cash, credit and debit, SNAP, EBT and Farmers Market WIC FMNP. In addition, the market is launching a new The Valley Sprouts children’s club this year at the Shelton CT Farmers Market. The cost to families will be $10 for the first child and $5 per sibling thereafter. The Valley Sprouts tent will be open each Saturday. Once a month in June, July, August and September, there will be twohour Saturday special events. These will include yoga; music sessions; and agricultural education, nutrition and craft activities. Each Saturday, children who are Sprout members can access the sensory table, coloring pages and newsletter in the tent and participate in self-guided crafts. They will also be able to shop at the market for a vegetable each week in an effort to encourage healthy choices that will carry on through their adult lives. Vendors for the 2017 season will offer local farm produce and meats, fresh eggs, local fresh flowers, honey, baked goods, wine, all-natural, homemade dog treats and essential oil sprays. Salves for dogs and hand-crafted bandana blankets and beds for pets will be available. Other vendors offer handmade furniture, reclaimed wood signs, a mobile bike repair service, local alpaca and llama yarn, soaps and candles, and hand-made goods by local artisans. The market offers live local music, breakfast, lunch sandwiches and soup weekly. For more information on the market, call 203-404-0489, email or visit Location: Shelton CT Farmers Market, 100 Canal St, Shelton.

natural awakenings


Taggart Siegel Seeks to Seed an Agricultural Revolution by April Thompson


or more than 30 years, Taggart Siegel has produced award-winning films on little-known aspects of the natural and cultural world. His diverse documentaries range from the story of a Hmong shaman immigrant adjusting to American life to a Midwestern organic farmer that salvaged his family’s farm. Siegel’s latest film, Seed: The Untold Story, follows global seed keepers from Minnesota to India battling multinational agribusinesses in a quest to protect our agricultural heritage and food sources—ancient seeds passed down through untold generations. Interviews with farmers, ethnobotanists and activists explore the importance of the genetic material that these tiny time capsules carry. Siegel is the founder and executive director of Collective Eye Films, a nonprofit media company in Portland, Oregon. He co-directed and produced this latest offering with documentary filmmaker Jon Betz, with backing from Academy Award-winning actress Marisa Tomei.

Why does the colossal loss of food crop diversity during the past century matter? Up to 96 percent of seed varieties have been lost since 1903. During this period, we have destroyed the infrastructure of traditional agriculture: 10,000 years of seeds saved from families and farmers. It threatens our survival. We

can’t rely on genetically modified seeds to see us through climate changes. We need nongenetically engineered seed varieties like the thousands of different types of rice grown in India to be able to adapt to extreme events like floods and droughts. Universal responsibility to save seeds began to dwindle in the 1920s, when hybrid corn crops came onto the market, promising higher yields; instead of growing crops from seeds saved, borrowed or shared with neighbors, farmers bought seeds from stores. In the 1990s, huge corporations bought up some 20,000 seed companies, and the number of cultivated seed varieties dropped precipitously. Ten agrichemical companies now control more than two-thirds of the global seed market.

How do hybrid seeds differ from open-pollinated seeds?  You cannot save a hybrid seed; if you try to use it, the results are unreliable. Hybrids are engineered to be planted for one year only. With open-pollinated and heirloom seeds, you’re planting reliable seeds saved from year to year, generation to generation, bred for the consistency of their qualities. Indigenous people in Mexico’s Oaxaca Valley, for example, have successfully cultivated local seeds for at least 8,700 years, right up to today. Hybrids require high levels of chemical inputs to produce. Illustrat-

ing the contrast, Hopi corn, grown for thousands of years, requires little water and contains much more protein than today’s commercial crops, without poisoning the land with heavy industrial inputs. The Hopi think of seeds as their children, intimately connected with their heritage and culture, so they protect them. Beyond big, strong crops, farming is a spiritual act.

Why do so many farmers voluntarily choose hybrid seeds, given the troubling issues involved? Most farmers just want streamlined labor and the biggest yield. Often, commodity crops using commercial seeds and chemical fertilizers have the biggest yield and make them the most money, even though severe downsides like the loss of flavor and nutrients mean it’s ultimately not the best result. In India, more than 250,000 farmers have committed suicide during the past 20 years to escape onerous debts accrued to purchase industrialized agricultural inputs. An Indian seed salesman interviewed for the film despairs, “The seeds we sell don’t taste good and require so many chemicals that many farmers kill themselves.”

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

May 2017


Ruslan Guzov/


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


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


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

Fairfield County/Housatonic Valley Edition

natural awakenings

grandkids for who they are and just be joyful with them. They get to be in the moment with the kids without worrying about the day-to-day details of caregiving that can consume parents.” She explores such ideas in her book This is Getting Old: Zen Thoughts on Aging with Humor and Dignity. Being past their working years, grandparents are often more accepting and peaceful themselves, which can be inspiring for younger generations, adds Salem. For Moon, it’s vital to be mindful of the image of aging that’s projected; “I try to model that old age isn’t tragic, and show the joy in this stage of life,” she says. Yet grandparents also should be mindful of any physical limitations and set boundaries with grandkids as needed. “It’s okay to say, ‘I can’t hang on the jungle gym with you,’ and suggest an alternative,” says Moon. Good relationships with the grandkids begin with maintaining open relationships with their parents, experts note. To do this, consistently engage in compassionate listening. “It can be tempting for grandparents that know what may have worked in raising their own children to react or jump in, but it’s important to avoid giving unsolicited advice,” Salem cautions. At the same time, grandparents can notice aspects a harried parent may miss and, if handled carefully, can provide important insights. “I was known as the ‘fairy mom’, offering magic, art and imagination. I was grateful my own mother was there, too, because one child needed more structure and stability than I was providing,” says Tucker, a mother of four. “She gave me mindful feedback without making me feel like she was trying to usurp my role.” Moon suggests practicing “right speech”—messages that are positive, affirming and loving—with everyone. “It’s important to be humble and recognize the huge job of parents and all they juggle. Let them know that you are there to support them in whatever way you can.” Connect with freelance writer April Thompson, in Washington, D.C., at

Spiritual Discovery and Improving Our World by Jenny Sawyer and Karla Vallance


om McElroy of Boston, Massachusetts, thinks helping the world is so important that he’s traveled across the globe to talk about it and to do it. But don’t expect to find McElroy with a hard hat on and a set of construction plans in hand. McElroy’s tools—and the tools he claims are everyone’s to use—are those of a spiritual practice which he says has helped him, and can help the most underserved areas in our own communities. McElroy’s own life serves as a kind of sneak preview for the way prayer can have powerful results beyond the walls of our personal lives. After what he calls a “tough upbringing”, he dug deep into his spiritual practice looking for answers to everything from relationship problems to health issues. And he found what he calls “genuine healing”—fundamental shifts in perspective that transformed his life. Such results might sound cliché, except that McElroy has seen them repeated in the lives of others he has been able to

help through this same approach to spirituality. As a volunteer chaplain with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, McElroy talked and prayed with men, women and youth across a range of correctional facilities. “Here I was striving to put into practice what had inspired me and seeing that it had effects that went far beyond the perimeters of my own life,” he said in a recent interview. “And I wanted to do more.” That volunteer work eventually grew into a full-time career as a Christian Science practitioner, a role which McElroy describes as, “someone who helps others make the kind of spiritual discoveries that bring about a tangible difference in their lives—including their health, finances, relationships, anything.” From there, McElroy began speaking to audiences worldwide about the Christian Science approach to prayer and healing. “I was getting to do what I loved—meeting lots of different people and learning how this message about spiritual discovery and its unique role in our lives connected with them and their own spiritual framework,” he explains. Best of all, he says, was getting to collectively consider some big questions. Does spirituality have anything to offer to the tough situations we’re facing worldwide? Can a fresh perspective of spirituality, God and prayer actually help us help others—offering something beyond just a coping mechanism or a placebo effect? Is it possible to say with any kind of scientific certainty that our spiritual practice could make a difference for people on the other side of the planet? If so, how does that work? Tom McElroy will present a free talk, Spiritual Discovery: How You Can Better the World, on May 18 at 7:30pm at the Westport Woman’s Club in Westport. See ad, page 4.


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Magazine calendar events must be received by May 12 (for June issue) and adhere to our guidelines. All calendar submissions must be entered online at click on “submit calendar” at the very top of the page.

TUESDAY, MAY 2 TLC Networking Breakfast – 8:30-10am. Are you a healthy living professional/entrepreneur looking for your tribe? The TLC Center is a vibrant, supportive and growing community celebrating 20 years in Norwalk. Bring a friend. Free. TLC Center, 152 East Ave, Norwalk. 203-856-9566. TLCBethLeas@


1 Year In Georgetown – 6pm. It has been one year in our Georgetown location and we love making you #FeelGoodNow. Bring friends, and enjoy wine and cheese, door prizes from local businesses and a LulaRoe trunk show. Free. Susi Laura Massage, 4 Old Mill Rd, Redding. 203-438-2900.


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.


Shelton Farmers Market — 9am–1pm. The Shelton Farmers Market will be opening for the full season on Saturday May 6th from 9am to 1pm!

markyourcalendar The Liphe Balance Center Presents… Booksigning and discussion with Henry Fiersko Weiss Caring for the Dying: Doula Guide to a Meaningful Death May 1 • Free Melanie Sachs Ayurvedic workshop: Joyful Beauty Secrets May 13 • 1:30-5:30pm • $75 Ayurvedic Kansa Wand Facials May 14, 15, 16 • $90 The Conversation Open discussion about life and death. Complimentary May 25 RSVP/Details: Call: 203-912-2791 Email: Visit: Liphe Balance Center, Weston

Our producer only market vendors sell local fresh veggies, meats, baked goods, cheese, eggs, wine, handmade items, dog treats, and more. Free. The Farmers Market Building, 100 Canal St, Shelton.

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@ Om Pajama Trunk Show — 1–5pm. Naam Yoga hosted event for the Madurai Charitable Trust, a non-profit service organization dedicated to assisting the poor and needy in India with healthcare and education. Show features a new shipment of unique, handmade clothing. Prices range from $1535. Naam Yoga Connecticut, 164 Greenwood Ave, Bethel. 203-730-2400.


Introduction to Feng Shui — 3–5pm. With Allison Valentino. Practiced in China for over 3,000 years, Feng Shui is a system of arranging your surroundings to live in harmony with them. Learn the basics of applying this wisdom and utilize it to re-charge relationships, careers and even finances. $30. Naam Yoga Connecticut, 164 Greenwood Ave, Bethel. 203-730-2400.


Free Introduction to Reiki — 7–8pm. This is the place to start if you’re simply curious about Reiki or interested in learning more about how to heal yourself and others. Beth Leas will share 25 years experience using Reiki in this fun, explorative and interesting evening. Free. TLC Center, 152 East Ave, Norwalk. 203-856-9566. TLCBethLeas@gmail. com.


Wise Woman Wedndesday: Herbal Way to Sacred Sexuality — 6:30–8:30pm. Wise guys welcome, too. Discuss how to open the door for pleasure and indulgence using breathwork and healing herbs. Go home with a customized flower essence. $25/pre-registration, $30/at the door. Twin Star Herbal Education, 65 Bank St, New Milford. 203-460-2854.


Empathy for the Empath: A Monthly Support Group for Empathic Individuals — 7–9pm. Focus of this group is to provide a safe, compassionate and constructive environment for Empaths to be able to express themselves, support each other and assist each other. $25. Hunter Healing Hands, 215 Harbor Ave, Bridgeport. 203-916-8381.

Healing Energy Meditation — 7–8pm. Learn to identify healing, positive energy sources. Experience full relaxation under the guidance of soothing imagery and the vibrational healing of various singing bowls. Leave feeling deeply soothed, relaxed and revived. $30/one-hour session. LifePath Yoga, 430 Main Ave, Norwalk. 203-952-6272.

Full Moon Celebration — 7–8:15pm. With Regina Snyder. The Full Moon Class is an opportunity to come together in community to align for spiritual connection and growth. Bring your mental, emotional and physical bodies into balance. $17 or class pack. Naam Yoga Connecticut, 164 Greenwood Ave, Bethel. 203-730-2400. Metaphysical Movie Night: The Healing Field — 7–9pm. Explore breakthroughs in quantum physics, genetics, energy medicine and mind-body techniques. Meet renowned practitioners; see inspiring healing stories; and discover how energy medicine is changing our health, our society and our future. $10/suggested donation. Unity Center of Norwalk, 3 Main St, 2nd Flr, Norwalk. 203-855-7922. Office@ TLC Tarot Evening — 7–9pm. What’s in the cards for you? Find out during this playful event designed for everyone from novices to long-time tarot friends. Explore the tarot or develop a deeper relationship with the cards. Receive a reading from Beth Leas. Bring a deck or use on of ours. $40. TLC Center, 152 East Ave, Norwalk. 203-856-9566. TLCBethLeas@


Bird Banding and Bagels — 7:30–8:45am. Celebrate the seasonal return of our feathered friends and see a unique, up-close demonstration of bird banding at The Connecticut Audubon Society’s Birdcraft Sanctuary. Pre-registration required. $7/per person. Connecticut Audubon Society Birdcraft Sanctuary, 314 Unquowa Rd, Fairfield. 203-630-5109. JGuenther@CTAudubon. org.

Do the Rot Thing: Composting Basics — 10:30am– 12:30pm. Ever wonder how banana peels, crackers, coffee grounds and an apple core get transformed into soil? Learn the basics of composting. Free. The Connecticut Audubon Society Center at Fairfield, 2325 Burr St, Fairfield. 203-630-5109. JGuenther@

Intuitive Art Book Signing and Talk — 1–3pm. If you’ve ever thought, I wish I could understand my intuition better now is the perfect time to learn how. Demonstration of Intuitive Art, including readings for the group, and a book signing. $30. Sound Center Arts, 31 Hawleyville Rd, Newtown. 203-701-9624. Teaching Chair Yoga — 1:30–4:30 pm. With Julia Hough. Chair Yoga brings yoga to those who cannot stand or who lack the mobility to move from standing to seated postures. $45/YTA member; $65/non-members in advance; $55/$75 at the door. The Yoga Studio at Club Fit, 584 North State Rd, Briarcliff Manor, NY. 914-582-7816.

May 2017


calendarofevents Journey Dance — 7–8:30pm. Journey Dance is a structured and safe process to guide others through the magical experience and therapeutic effect of movement and dance. $30/adults; $26/students and seniors; $22/kids under 16. Valley Spirit Cooperative and Wellness Center, 6 Green Hill Rd, Washington Depot. 203-994-7517.

meditation with Beth Leas and an opportunity to receive and/or give energy work. $20. TLC Center, 152 East Ave, Norwalk. 203-856-9566. TLCBethLeas@


Health Talks-Asthma and Allergies — 7–8 pm. Please join us at Ingels Family Health for a discussion on Asthma and Allergies led by Dr. Nina Manipon. Please RSVP, seating is limited. Free. Ingels Family Health, 22 Fairfield Pl, Fairfield. 203-254-9957.

Akashic Field Therapy Group Healing — 7–8:30pm. Brief discussion about the Akashic Field, combined healing for the group and for each individual in the group. To do this 3 Life Programs will be identified along with potential growth experience for each of the life programs and any integration tools if needed. $30. TLC Center, 152 East Ave, Norwalk. 203-767-5954.




Angel Light Healing Initiation — 7–8:30pm. With Eilis Philpott. Invoke the Healing Light of the Angels for purifying, balancing and integrating the chakras and align the energetic bodies with the higher realms of angelic consciousness. Wear white clothing. Free. TLC Center, 152 East Ave, Norwalk. 203-767-5954.


Intro to Ayurveda — 1–4pm. Become familiar with the working language of Ayurveda, the doshas and learn many simple techniques to help you balance your constitution naturally. $63. Twin Star Herbal Education, 57 Bank St, New Milford. 203-3137883. TwinStarTribe. com/Events.


TLC Healing Circle/Reiki Share — 7–8:30pm. Everyone from the curious to seasoned practitioners of all modalities and levels are welcome here. Healing

markyourcalendar 13TH OCTAVE LA HO CHI TRAINING The Most Powerful Healing on the Planet with Eilis Philpott, Soul Healing Journey, LLC  

This magnificent gift is the anchoring of our divinity in physicality, as we move from the ascension process to the creation process. 13th Octave LaHoChi is the next step in energy healing – a quantum leap available now to the healers and people of Nova Earth. Friday, June 23, evening, Saturday, June 24 and Sunday June 25 Inspired Soul Studio (private yoga barn), 11 Tory lane, Newtown $350 including all materials

Healing Energy Meditation — 7–8pm. Learn to identify healing, positive energy sources as you experience full relaxation under the guidance of soothing imagery and the vibrational healing of various singing bowls. Energy flows freely and generously in each session. $30. Total Life Care Center, 152 East Ave, Norwalk. 203-952-6272.


Reiki Second Degree Workshop — 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. 2 powerful energy connections from my short Japanese/Usa Lineage. Two manuals and certificate. $215. Angelic Healing Center, 7 Morgan Ave, Norwalk. 203-852-1150.

Meditation with Tibetan Singing Bowls — 6:30–7:30pm. With Judy Vuozzo and Linda Fiske. Last Friday of each month. Relaxing hour of guided meditation with the live playing of Tibetan singing bowls. $17 or class pack. Naam Yoga Connecticut, 164 Greenwood Ave, Bethel. 203-730-2400. New Moon Celebration — 8–9:15pm. The New Moon marks the beginning of a period when the universe is on your side for manifesting and bringing new things into your life. Come and learn how you can apply universal laws to live in service of your highest self. $17 or class pack. Naam Yoga Connecticut, 164 Greenwood Ave, Bethel. 203-730-2400.

SATURDAY, MAY 27 Reiki Second Degree – 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. 2 powerful energy connections from my short Japanese/Usa Linage. Two manuals and certificate. $215. Angelic Healing Center, 7 Morgan Ave, Norwalk. 203-852-1150. AngelHealReikiGigiB@snet. net.

Sunday, May 28 10am-noon Join to learn about or training program and sample delicious food made by our students, sip tasty tea, go on a foray, hear a garden talk and more. Free Holcomb Farm 113 Simsbury Rd, West Granby RSVP: 860-764-9070

markyourcalendar Communication with Spirit through Trance States With Chris DeSerio, MA, CHt, Trance Medium, Energy Healer and Metaphysical Teacher Saturday, May 20 10am-6pm • $150 Enhance your mental mediumship abilities in this unique, all-day workshop. Discussion and hands-on practice with the various aspects of Trance - including the trance states of Inspired Speaking, Channeling and Trance Communications. Learn methods to achieve, maintain and move amongst the different states. Level: Advanced Call to Register: 203-637-4615 Albertson Memorial Church 293 Sound Beach Avenue Old Greenwich

markyourcalendar Spiritual Discovery How You Can Better the World Thursday, May 18 7:30pm Explore new perspectives of universal Truth and Love with Tom McElroy Free and open to public

For more information, call 203-612-1010 or visit

Registration Required • 203-767 5954 Register at 13th Octave LaHoChi Training Fairfield County/Housatonic Valley Edition

OPEN HOUSE The Institute of Sustainable Nutrition

Westport Woman’s Club 44 Imperial Ave, Westport

$100 Deposit required to register



natural awakenings

ongoingcalendar sunday Naam Yoga Connecticut at lululemon – 9:3010:30am. Naam Yoga will be the featured Studio of the Month (May) at lululemon athletica in the Danbury Fair Mall. Come in any or all four Sundays for a free class. Free. lululemon athletic, Danbury Fair Mall, 7 Backus Ave, Danbury. 203-792-3436. Yoga, Pranayama, Meditation – 9:30-10:45am. Gentle yoga, pranayama, meditation by Candlelight Relax, release and flow into wellness. Beginner/level 1 yoga classes with work on mindfulness practices, breathing  techniques,  alignment, flexibility and strength in a way that is correct and nurturing for every body. $5. Hindu Cultural Center of CT, 96 Chapel St, Stratford.

Satsang Meditation – 9:30-11am. Satsangs are spiritual and community gatherings of like-minded people. 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, 755 Main St (Rte 25), 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 Flr, Norwalk. 203-855-7922. Albertson Church Service – 11am-12:30pm. Includes an inspirational talk from caring ministers, guided meditation, time to receive healing energy and spirit messages from those we continue to love. Free. Albertson Church of Spiritualism, 293 Sound Beach Ave, Old Greenwich. 203-637-4615. Ignite your Spirit Healing Clinic – 11:45am2pm. Second Sunday. Healing clinics are a great way to try out or receive on-going assistance with anything life throws your way. Register in advance to participate. $20/suggested donation. Muktinath Holistic Center, 755 Main St (Rte 25),

Monroe. 203-518-5808. Reiki Healing Circle – 4-5pm. Fourth Sunday. With Nina Antolino. Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. Based on the idea that an unseen life force energy flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. Please pre-register. $22 or All Access Pass. LifePath Yoga & Wellness4, 430 Main Ave, 2nd Fl, Norwalk. 203-544-8551. Monthly Healing Circle – 4-5:30pm. First Sunday. 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. Group limited to 8, please RSVP. Free or $10/suggested donation. Acupuncture Works, 132A State Rt 37, New Fairfield. 845-4940090. Ups and Downs – 4:30-5:30pm. Three sets of weights, different weights bring it up and bring it down, then continuing for muscle exhaustion. $20. Forza 5, 26 Cannon Rd, Wilton. Bliss Out! Dance to Live Drumming – 7-8:30pm. Dirst Sunday. With Jojo. Find your tribe. Open Sky Yoga Barn, 95 Cross Hwy, Redding. Keane.Jojo@

monday Foundations of Herbalism: Level 1 – 9:30am-5pm. First and third Monday March through October. Program provides the opportunity spend time outdoors in Nature’s classroom discovering the numerous healing benefits of the plants that grow all around us. Twin Star Herbal Education, 65 Bank St, New Milford. 203-313-7883. TwinStarHerbs@ foundations-of-herbalism-level-1. Monday Morning Meditation – 11:30am12:30pm. With Beth Leas. Great for those new to meditation and sage meditators. Explore different meditation techniques including breathwork, guided meditation, mantras (sound), yantra (sight), and slow motion movement. $30/drop-in; $100/5-classes. TLC Center, 152 East Ave, Norwalk. 203-856-9566. Gentle Yoga – 5:45-6:45pm. With Nina Antolino. Focusing on slow, purposeful stretching and basic postures, breathing and balance. All skill levels and ages. $22/drop-in. $10/new student, drop-in. LifePath Yoga & Wellness, 430 Main Ave, 2nd Fl, Norwalk. 203-354-7070.

The Original 4T’s Prosperity Program – 7pm. 12week church-facilitated, spiritual program dedicated to the idea of living an abundant life. It is based in tithing of time, talent and treasure. Learn to put God first and experience wonderful changes within you. Unity Center of Norwalk, 3 Main St, Norwalk. 203-855-7922. Core Yoga Fusion – 7-8pm. With Diana Deaver. Strengthen the muscles that support the low back, abs, thighs and core. $22/drop-in. $10/new student, drop-in. LifePath Yoga & Wellness, 430 Main

Ave, 2nd Fl, Norwalk. 203-354-7070. Nina@Life 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. Free Guided Meditation – 7:30pm: second Monday. 1pm: first and third Wednesday. With Dr. Allen Levy. Session is catered towards providing information about the way in which meditation can assist with specific social, emotional and physical health need. Free. Sabita Holistic Center, 3519 Post Rd, Southport. 203-254-2633. Monday Meditation for Everyone – 7:30-9pm. This is Meditation Guided Imagery for relaxation and stress reduction. It also helps you move forward on your spiritual path. No experience necessary. $20. Soul Focus, 145 Grassy Plain St, Bethel. 203-570-3868. 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 Tai Chi Classes – 9:30-10:30am. With June Fagan, Tai Chi Instructor. A slow movement meditation for all levels of fitness. Known to reduce stress, increase focus, balance and improve self and well-being. $25/drop-in, $85/1-class per week $150/unlimited classes month. Kindred Spirits, 59 Ledgewood Rd, Redding. 203-938-3690. Toastmasters – Noon. Interested in public speaking? Monroe-Trumbull Toastmasters is a chartered club of Toastmasters International dedicated to improving members’ communication and leadership skills. Meets alternate Tuesdays. Body Smart, Crescent Village, 115 Main St, Unit 11, Monroe. 203-459-6773. Franny. 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. The Art of Meditation – 6-7pm. Whether you are new to meditation or seasoned, this class will help you access inner peace and experience more clarity, purpose and joy. Chairs available. $10/ suggested donation. Any offering, large or small accepted. YogaSpace, 78 Stony Hill Rd, (Rte 6), Bethel. 203-730-9642. Yoga – 6-7pm. Yoga with Julia. $20. Forza 5, 26 Cannon Rd, Wilton. Meditating Holistically – 6:30-8pm. With Urgyan, a Western Buddhist lama sharing a rich practice of traditional meditation guidance directed toward holistic integration. Group meditation and discussion, devoted to our mutual innermost truths. $15. ah Yoga, 168 New Milford Tpke, New Preston. 860-868-6707 or Danbury Area Vajrayana Buddhist Meditation on

May 2017


ongoingcalendar 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, 59 Ledgewood Rd, Redding. 203-938-3690. Angelic Healing Group – 7-9pm. First Tuesday. Experience the healing energy of the Angelic Realm. Your energy body will be infused with the love and light of the Divine through meditation and hands-on touch. $20. Stevens Memorial Church, 8 Shady Ln, South Salem, NY. 203-438-4893. Yoga Class or Yoga/Float – Yoga: 7-8pm. or Yoga/ Float package: 7-9pm. Enjoy the benefits of yoga in the beautiful PuREST relaxation room. $15/yoga only. $65/yoga and float package. PuREST Float Center, 35 Corporate Dr, Trumbull. 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 donation. Muktinath Holistic Center, 755 Main St (Rte 25), Monroe. 203-518-5808. Reiki Shares – 7:30-10:15pm. First and third Tuesdays. Gigi Benanti Usui/Karuna Reiki Master/ Teacher. For Reiki practitioners only. Exchange ongoing since 1996. Instructions included. $20. Angelic Healing Center, 7 Morgan Ave, Norwalk. Pre-register: 203-852-1150.

wednesday Apothecary Hours – 10am-1pm. Meet like-minded folks and learn about what we do at Twin Star Herbal and Energetic Studies. Free. Twin Star Herbal Education, 65 Bank St, New Milford. 203-313-7883. Women’s Wisdom Group – 10:30am-12:30pm. Women support each other through the process of recognizing and embracing one’s full, authentic beings and, in doing so, nurturing their highest potential. $30. SunRaven, 501 Guard Hill Rd, Bedford, NY. 914-218-3113. Free Guided Meditation – 1pm. First and third Wednesdays. With Dr. Allen Levy. In 20 minutes, you will be meditating for the first time. Please RSVP. Free. Sabita Holistic Center, 3519 Post Rd, Southport. 203-254-2633. Yoga, Pranayama, Meditation – 6:45-8pm. Gentle yoga, pranayama, meditation by Candlelight Relax, release  and flow into wellness.  Beginner/level 1 yoga classes with work on mindfulness practices, breathing  techniques,  alignment, flexibility and strength in a way that is correct and nurturing for every body. $5. Hindu Cultural Center of CT, 96 Chapel St, Stratford. High-Powered Healing – 7pm. First Wednesday. Easy ways to well heal on all levels. Intuitive insight, easy methods for daily wellness, how to determine quality foods and abundance. $20. Newtown Congregational Church, 14 West St, Newtown. 203-426-9448. A Course In Miracles – 7-8:30pm. Study group where anyone can come without fear of being judged, a place where feelings can be shared in


a loving, accepting atmosphere and above all, a place to enhance fun and inspire a sense of joy and laughter. $10/suggested donation. Soul Healing Journey, LLC, 40 Livingston St, Fairfield. 203-767-5954. 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. Meditation – 7-8:30pm. Experience bliss, peace, joy and deep healing. This is not your traditional silent or guided meditation class. This meditation will bring change into your life. By donation. Muktinath Holistic Center, 755 Main St (Rte 25), Monroe. 203-518-5808. Journey Group – 7-9pm. First Wednesday. With Cindy Miller. If you are looking to get unstuck, learn more about self-empowerment, becoming a healing facilitator, than this is the group for you. $20. Newtown Congregational Church, 14 West St, Newtown. 203-426-9448. Sacred Spirit’s Reiki Shares — 7-9pm. Second and fourth Wednesday. With Valerie Tarangelo R.M. Mini healing sessions. In healing others healers are also healed themselves. All welcome. $10. Albertson Memorial Church, 293 Sound Beach Ave, Old Greenwich. 203-344-9311. Using Smart Body (Kinesiology) for Everyday Situations– 7-9pm. Third Wednesday. Learn how to sense the energy of foods, supplements, books, places and more. Learn how to change energy. Presentation and discussion. $20. Newtown Congregational Church, 14 West St, Newtown. 203-377-6162. 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 educrcation 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 Tai Chi Classes – 9:30-10:30am. With June Fagan, Tai Chi Instructor. A slow movement meditation for all levels of fitness. Known to reduce stress, increase focus, balance and improve self and well-being. $25/ drop-in, $85/1-class per week $150/unlimited classes month. Kindred Spirits, 59 Ledgewood Rd, Redding. 203-938-3690. JTKindredSpirit@gmail. com.

Fairfield County/Housatonic Valley Edition

natural awakenings

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. Thursday Morning Meditation for Moms – 9:3011am. Come and unwind with a Guided Meditative Journey geared to release stress and a healthful more positive understanding of self. $20. Soul Focus, 145 Grassy Plain St, Bethel. 203-570-3868. EFT Tapping Circle Meetup – 7-8:30pm. Second and fourth Thursdays. Come learn about your energy body. Every month will be a different topic or exercise. No experience needed, all are welcome. $15. Location given with RSVP. 203-247-1318. Robin@ Meditating Holistically – 7-8:30pm. With Urgyan, a Western Buddhist lama sharing a rich practice of traditional meditation guidance directed toward holistic integration. Group meditation and discussion, devoted to our mutual innermost truths. $15. YogaSpace, 78 Stony Hill Rd, Bethel. 203-730-YOGA or Danbury Area Vajrayana Buddhist Meditation on Reiki Healing Circle – 7-9pm. Second Thursday. All welcome. Non-Reiki and Reiki practitioners share and experience Reiki. See details on Unity website. Hosted by Gigi Benanti Reiki master/teacher. $20. Unity Center for Practical Spirituality, 3 Main St, Norwalk. 203-852-1150.,

friday 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. Free Mommy and Me Yoga – 10am. With Brooke de Weaver. We supply water and mats - just bring yourself and your kids. Free. Yogasmoga Townhouse, 68 Greenwich Ave, Greenwich. Women’s Wisdom Group – 10:30am-12:30pm. Women support each other through the process of recognizing and embracing one’s full, authentic beings and, in doing so, nurturing their highest potential. $30. SunRaven, 501 Guard Hill Rd, Bedford, NY. 914-218-3113. Student Massage Therapy Clinic – 11am-noon. Relax and enjoy a 50-minute, full-body massage for only $20 at our Danbury Campus public clinic. $20. 44 Shelter Rock Rd, Danbury. KMCCaffrey@ Apothecary Hours – 11am-4pm. Meet like-minded folks and learn about what we do at Twin Star Herbal and Energetic Studies. Free. Twin Star Herbal Education, 65 Bank St, New Milford. 203-313-7883. Pilates for Teens – 4:30-5:15pm. Ages 12-18. Improve posture (prevents or corrects text neck, improves core strength, tones and strengthens muscles, increases flexibility, compliments athletic conditioning, helps prevent sports related injuries, teaches body awareness. Sign up required. $15. The Black Rock Pilates Studio, 2889 Fairfield Ave, Bridgeport. 203-335-1987.

Teen Meditation – 5-6pm. This is an enjoyable approach to the understanding of self and how you fit into the world in which you can grow with confidence. Come and explore a guided meditative journey that helps to melt away stress and anxiety. For teens and up. $15. Soul Focus, 145 Grassy Plains St, Bethel. 203-570-3868. Discussion with Spirit – 7:30-9:45pm. Last Friday. An evening of messages from Spirit and loved ones. Bring questions, receive channeled information specifically geared to you. Receive help in empowering yourself to navigate this lifetime. $40. Call or email for location.

saturday Angelic Reiki Meditation with Essential Oils – 8-9am. Receive short, hands-on Angelic Reiki, experience powerful techniques to reduce stress and relax. $10. Angelic Healing Center, 7 Morgan Ave (in the back, downstairs), Norwalk. Pre-register: 203-852-1150. Love Yourself Fit Meetings – 8:30am. Support for your sacred journey of real weight loss. Meetings offer you a place to be accountable to your highest vision for your healthiest self. $15. Insights Wellness Center, 458 Monroe Tpke, Monroe. 203-260-9353. Yoga, Pranayama, Meditation – 9:30-10:45am. Gentle yoga, pranayama, meditation by Candlelight Relax, release and flow into wellness. Beginner/level 1 yoga classes with work on mindfulness practices, breathing  techniques,  alignment, flexibility, and strength in a way that is correct and nurturing for every body. $5. Hindu Cultural Center of CT, 96 Chapel St, Stratford. 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. Intro to Power Vinyasa Flow – 10:30-11:30am. With Janelle Taylor. Powerful, energetic form of yoga where students fluidly move from one pose to the next while connecting their breathing to their movements. $22/drop-in. $10/new student, drop-in. LifePath Yoga & Wellness, 430 Main Ave, 2nd Fl, Norwalk. 203-354-7070. 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, Dr. 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. Astrology with Laura – Noon. Second Saturday. We are thrilled to host–the wonderful and wildly popular Laura Watkins, Astrological Counselor in our apothecary for reading. Call for an appointment. $45 for 1/2 hour session. Twin Star Community Apothecary, 57 Bank St, New Milford. 860-350-0077. Open Mic Night – 7-9 pm, 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 Flr, Norwalk. 203-855-7922. Office@

communityresourceguide Connecting you to the leaders in natural health care and green living in our community. To find out how you can be included in the Community Resource Guide (CRG) in print and online email FFCAdvertising@ to request our advertising rates. ASTROLOGY




Michele Leigh LLC

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, mindbody 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 17.


Providing birth chart analysis, synastry readings, progressions and solar returns. A practitioner of ancient astrology and planetary magic, Michele is an active member of the International Society of Astrological Research (ISAR). She is the author of the fantasy novel, Tales of the Deer Witch and produces a monthly podcast to coincide with the full moon. See ad, page 53.

BEHAVIORAL THERAPY THE CENTER FOR COGNITIVE & BEHAVIORAL HEALTH (CCBH) 5 Sylvan Rd South, Westport 888-745-3372 • 203-307-5788

Fairfield, Wilton, Bethel 203-259-1660 • 25-year full-time practice Ingri treatments help alleviate pain, depression, neck and back, anxiety, headaches, stress, allergies, asthma, arthritis, digestive, menstrual, infertility and smoking and weight-loss issues. See ad, page 13.


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, tuneups and more. Facial rejuvenation/ cosmetic acupuncture also offered. See ad, page 14.

The Center for Cognitive and Behavioral Health (CCBH) provides individualized mental health services in a warm, holistic environment. Our Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) teams offer individual, group, and family sessions, as well as skills coaching for all age groups. Our CCBH team offers these therapies along with yoga, mindfulness, meditation and naturopathic services. See ad, page 57.

BIOFEEDBACK ROSEANN CAPANNA-HODGE, EDD, LPC, BCN, LLC 898 Ethan Allen Hwy Offices in Ridgefield & 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.

May 2017








Biofeedback/neurofeedback for ADHD, enhanced focus, peak performance, test stress, anxiety, chronic pain, headaches, insomnia, anger, meditation, mindfulness training and more. Dr. Edwards is board certified and NYS licensed. Physician and self-referrals welcome.

As a member of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association, Dr. Braglia has received advanced training 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.

Ecoscapes is an ecological landscape company that combines more structural design, such as Japanese-style spirit gardens, with wildlife habitats and native plantings. We construct functional landscapes that bring the human spirit closer to our beautiful, natural planet and create healthy environments for us, our children and pets. See ad, page 48.

Lawrence Edwards, PhD, BCN, LMHC 2 Byram Brook Pl, Armonk, NY 914-219-8600


Safe, painless early detection 71 East Ave, Ste D, Norwalk 203-856-1421 •

True Health Family Chiropractic 7365 Main St, Stratford 203-923-8633

JILL M. CAPALBO, DC, CCSP Stamford 203-323-0522

With over 30 years experience in bodywork, Dr. Jill Capalbo is a certified chiropractic sports physician with additional certifications in Graston Technique, FAKTR and KinesioTaping as well as being a licensed massage therapist and Reiki Master.

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 18.

CANCER SUPPORT THERAPIES DORETTE LEWIS-SENIOR, ND, MSAC, BS-RN, LCM Yale New Haven Health, Integrative Medicine 5520 Park Ave, Trumbull 855-735-2533 •

Dr. Lewis-Senior has been a Naturopathic physician and healthcare provider for more than thirty years combined. Her focus is on womens’ health, especially cancer, diabetes, weight and pain. She is experienced using multiple modalities to establish health and bring about healing. Some insurance accepted.



Associates in Family Chiropractic and Natural Health Care 156 East Ave, Norwalk 203-838-1555 • Dr. Risa Sloves is 1 of 12 Chiropractic Physicians in Connecticut with Board Certification in Maternity and Pediatric Care including Webster and Bagnell Turning Techniques. Also provided: acupuncture, BioSET Allergy Elimination Technique and the DRX9000 Spinal Decompression.


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.

Holistic Heaven 203-895-5134

As a holistic nurse, I understand the importance of balancing traditional medicine with alternative complementary therapies to heal the mind, body and spirit. Offering health and nutritional counseling as a Certified Holistic Cancer Educator, Reiki, pranic healing and crystal therapy, aromatherapy with dōTERRA essential oils. Specializing in working with patients experiencing chronic pain, chronic disease and cancer. See ad, page 17.



501 Kings Hwy E, Ste 108, Fairfield 203-371-8258 • Ready to start feeling healthier? Take your first step with this gentle cleansing procedure. Watch our colonic and detoxification videos on our new video website located at Call for free CD on detoxification. See ad, page 2.

Fairfield County/Housatonic Valley Edition

natural awakenings

Rick Bednar 18 Eleanor Rd, Seymour 203-414-4605


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, certification programs for yoga teachers, Reiki practitioners and shamanic practitioners.

WESTBROOK NATURE SCHOOL 7 Long Ridge Rd, West Redding 203-664-1554

A nature-based education on six acres of trails, streams and meadows, with an organic garden and natural playscapes. Our curriculum builds physical and emotional resilience, moral awareness and the foundation required for intellectual growth. See ad, page 49.


At the Liphe Balance Center of Weston 203-912-2791 Our mission is opening the conversation and providing resources, programs and services, to support and embrace end-of-life transition. The Alliance was born out of a deep desire to honor, respect and meet the needs of individuals and their families at the end-of-life.


Transformative Healing • Tarot Offices in Norwalk & Ridgefield 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 intuitive healing experience  with adults and children of all ages. Reiki, Jin Shin Jyutsu, Tarot. See ad, page 33.


Associates in Family Chiropractic and Natural Health Care 156 East Ave, Norwalk 203-838-1555 • Dr. Joachim has been in private practice since 1990, specializing in nutrition, natural allergy elimination and functional medicine. Through specialized testing, he identifies subtle changes in individual physiology which may be at the root of troubling symptoms. Addressing the underlying dysfunction can help you feel better, for good. See ad, page 7.


Functional Medicine & 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.

HAIR LOSS & TRICHOLOGY LISA PRIMPS, TRICHOLOGIST, HLP, AT The Primping Place Spa 999 Summer St, #401, Stamford 203-325-9565 •

Fairfield County’s first location offering the XTC Multi Theraputic Hair Growth System including non-invasive, low level laser therapy—clinically proven and shown to be safe and effective at regrowing hair and creating a healthy scalp. The Primping Place also offers electrolysis and clinical skin care since 1992.




Metaphysical Shop & Healing Space Sherman Village, 670 Main St S, Woodbury 203-585-1655 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 20.

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

livingbetter, LLC 79 S. Benson Rd, Fairfield 203-912-3863 As a Cosmetologist, Certified Aromatherapist and Nutritarian Advisor, I offer clients natural approaches to gain a healthy lifestyle. Whether it’s swit-ching to safer skincare, offering custom aromatherapy options or interested in becoming a Nutritarian, help me help you be you. See ad, page 10.

HOLISTIC DENTIST MARK A BREINER, DDS, FIAOMT 501 Kings Hwy East, Ste 108, Fairfield 203-371-0300

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 13.


Dr. Mark A. Breiner is a pioneer and recognized authority in the field of holistic dentistry. With over 30 years of experience, he is a soughtafter speaker and lecturer. His popular consumer book, Whole-Body Dentistry, has been sold worldwide. See ad, page 2.


Melissa Conroy, CHC 203-673-9491 Offering 1:1 health coaching services including the “The 90 Day Total Transformation Program” and “14-Day Cleanse Reset”. Book your free Total Transformation Discovery Session now at to discover what has been keeping you from having the health and body you want, develop a powerful vision for what a total transformation means for you and your life, discover which foods and lifestyle habits are sapping your energy and bringing you down (and what to do about it!), and get crystal clear on a stepby-step plan to create a total transformation in 90 days or less. Change your Habits, Change your Life.

Thea Litsios, CHy 2103 Main St, Ste 2, 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 49.

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 35 and 51.

May 2017



Tatiana Fleischman, MD 47 Oak St, Ste 110, Stamford
 Experienced physician Tatiana Fleischman, MD combines internal and integrative medicine to achieve long-term wellness goals. Full range of services: internal medicine, primary care, advanced testing, weight control, holistic assessment and more. Comprehensive approach. Major insurance accepted. See ad, page 19.

MICHAEL FINKELSTEIN, MD, FACP, ABIHM SunRaven: The Home of Slow Medicine 501 Guard Hill Rd, Bedford, NY 914-218-3113

Insightful health evaluations with customized medical guidance. Consultation and holistic-lifestyle teaching and coaching aimed at attaining enhanced health and wellness on every level.Uniquely qualified to offer a second opinion from a Holistic Perspective. See ad, page 49.



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.


Randy Schulman, MS, OD, FCOVD Stephen Carr, OD, Narvan Bakhtiari, OD Brian Rodrigues, OD Locations: 6515 Main St, Trumbull • 203-374-2020 444 Westport Ave, Norwalk • 203-840-1991 2600 Post Rd, Southport • 203-255-4005 We offer behavioral optometry, comprehensive vision exams, contact lenses and vision therapy. See ad, page 35.


Optimal Health Medical LLC 111 High Ridge Rd, Stamford 203-348-8805 • Dr. Sobo provides Natural Hormone therapy, weight-reduction programs, IV vitamin/minerals treatments, allergy evaluation and treatment, fibromyalgia care and treatment for a wide variety of problems utilizing an Integrative Medicine approach.

STAMFORD INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE Michael E. Doyle, MD Conventional & Alternative Medicine 22 5th St, Ste 201, Stamford • 203-324-4747

Specializing in Natural and Alternative approaches to restoring health. Focusing on underlying causes of illness. Hypothyroidism, hormonal imbalances, nutrition and much more. See ad, page 29.

LEGAL SERVICES LAW OFFICES OF KIRSTEN E. BENNETT 27 Mill Plain Rd, Danbury 203-648-9883 50 Main St, White Plains, NY 914-246-2906

Advocacy, Representation, Communication. Kirsten Bennett is a solo practitioner with offices in Danbury and White Plains, NY. Her practice handles real estate, estate planning and probate, personal injury and criminal defense. “My firm is committed to providing you with effective advocacy, quality representation and the highest level of personal service.”

The flower is the poetry of reproduction. It is an example of the eternal seductiveness of life. ~Jean Giraudoux 78


Fairfield County/Housatonic Valley Edition

natural awakenings

Create With Your Thoughts Life Empowerment Coach, Teacher, Speaker and Mentor QSCA Certified Law of Attraction Coach, MA Sociology 860-488-2619 I empower my clients to move beyond their limiting beliefs, strengthen their sense of self worth and confidence to create the happiness, abundance, home, health and relationships they have always wanted. Create the life you want!


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 25.

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 10.

MEDITATION REDDING CENTER FOR MEDITATION 9 Picketts Ridge Rd, West Redding 203-244-3130

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 14.


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 39.


Shawn M. Carney, ND 19 Church Hill Rd, Ste 1, Newtown 129 Main St N, New Morning Market, Woodbury 800-723-2962 Integrative naturopathic medicine clinic and therapeutic massage center for the whole family. Services include advanced diagnostic testing, detoxification programs, personalized nutrition, acupuncture, low level laser and botanicals. Insurance accepted.


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 69.



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.

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 14.



Adam Breiner, ND, Director Elena Sokolova, MD, ND David Brady, ND, CCN, DACBN 501 Kings Hwy E, Ste 108, Fairfield 203-371-8258 • Using state-of-the-art science combined with centuries-old healing modalities, our caring naturopathic doctors correct underlying imbalances and address issues which may interfere with the body’s ability to heal itself. Treatment protocols or therapies include: Abdominal Manual Therapy, Acupuncture, Allergy Desensitization, Chinese Medicine, Colonics and other Detoxification Protocols, Electro-Dermal Screening, Energy Medicine, FDA-cleared Phototherapy, Functional Medicine, Herbal Medicine, Homeopathy, Hormonal Balancing, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, Metabolic Typing, Nutritional Assessment, Real-Time EEG Neurofeedback and other therapies. See ad, page 2.


PsychoSpiritual Therapy and Coaching 203-260-9353 Non traditional holistic sessions to free and empower yourself on your path of healing and awakening with a blend of psycho-spiritual therapy, energetics and universal wisdom.


SunRaven: The Home of Slow Medicine 501 Guard Hill Rd, Bedford, NY 914-218-3113 Offering a whole-being, integrative approach to wellness, nurturing clients into health on the emotional, spiritual, mental and physical levels. Following one’s heart to Re-envision life in order to flourish. See ad, page 49.



898 Ethan Allen Hwy Offices in Ridgefield & 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.

898 Ethan Allen Hwy Offices in Ridgefield & Newtown 203-438-4848

Our highly trained and experienced therapists utilize a variety of brainbased 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.

May 2017




MARIA C. CASTILLO, MSW, LCSW 238 Monroe Tpke, Ste B, Monroe 203-445-8966 •

Past-Life Regression, trained by Brian Weiss, MD. Life Between Lives Hypnotherapy, trained by TNI and Michael Newton, PhD. Traditional psychotherapy with a spiritual approach; Reiki. Connect with your soul self and let your inner wisdom guide you.


Lawrence Edwards, PhD, BCN, LMHC 2 Byram Brook Pl, Armonk, NY 914-219-8600 Integrative psychotherapy: depression, anxiety, addictions, relationships, and more. Dr. Edwards is a NY lic. psychotherapist with 40 years of experience compassionately working with adults to realize their goals. Meditation and mindfulness training are also offered.



111 High Ridge Rd, Stamford 203-539-1149

Yoni Hormadaly, LMT 109 Danbury Rd, Ridgefield 203-550-6888

Chronic illness develops over time.With Regulation Thermography you discover the disturbances that are important to address in order to restore and optimize your health. Healing begins by providing the information to diagnose, assess, and treat complex health conditions. FDA approved test and reports.

Yoni has been practicing Structural Integration since 2002. Specializing in improving the relationship between the human body and gravity. Flat feet, chronic pain and discomfort, improvement in athletic pursuits, general self improvement, are some of the reasons clients of all ages have sought out this work. Free phone consultation.  



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.


Family, Child, Individual and Couples Therapy Old Greenwich/Stamford 203-561-8535 • 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 45.


JoAnn Inserra Duncan, MS, RMT 100B Danbury Rd, Ste 101, Ridgefield 203-438-3050 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. See ad, page 28.


Coaching/Psychotherapy/Consulting Offices in Danbury and Ridgefield 914-572-3167 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 experience with children, families, groups, adults and corporate wellness programs.




2900 Main St, Ste 1A, Stratford 203-345-7747 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 25.

Fairfield County/Housatonic Valley Edition

natural awakenings


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 11.


Stacey Lyons is a Certified Energy Healer and Certified Medium who has performed international medium readings. Specializes in Spiritual Consulting, Space/Land Clearing, Energy Healing, Herbal and Essential Oil based spiritual products and more. Start your spiritual journey with us today.


Board Certified Acupuncturist Valley Spirit Wellness 6 Green Hill Rd, Washington Depot 860-619-2788 • 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 14.


Transformative Healing • Tarot Offices in Norwalk and Ridgefield 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 33.


Richard Wlodarski, RMT 2505 Main St, Ste 209B, Stratford 203-605-0773 Richard is a Reiki Master/Teacher and intuitive reader. He specializes in home and property cleansings. Come and experience the healing attributes of Reiki and discover spiritual guidance and awareness, with over 30 years of experience.


1492 High Ridge Rd, Stamford • 203-356-5822 515 West Ave, Norwalk • 203-814-1355 7eFit Spa offers a variety of aesthetic services and noninvasive techniques to support mind-body wellness. Services include antiaging and oxygen facials with aromatherapy, Torc Plus bioelectric stimulation for muscle activation and weight-loss, infrared sauna and the DietMaster weight-loss program. See ad, page 7.


590 Danbury Rd, Ridgefield 203-969-4327 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 antiinflammatory, antibacterial and antifungal. See ad, page 31.



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 ads, pages 5 and 41.

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. See ads, pages 5 and 41.

Fit Spa


Berta Prevosti, Usui and Karuna Reiki Master 2900 Main St, Ste 1A, Stratford 203-345-7747

Relax whileJiivaour is in technology the business of building

community for .yoga and healing. does aWe the work offer yoga classes, a school of

501 Guard Hill Rd, Bedford, NY 914-218-3113 Promoting and supporting health and wellness; facilitating community-centered experiential and reflective learning for individuals, families, and groups, by offering educational programs, events, and resources designed to build integrative skills and understanding for those looking to holistically care for themselves, others, and the world in which we live. Transformative programs, holistic medicine, psychospiritual counseling; women’s, men’s and couples groups, garden co-op, cleansing program; special 12-week “immersion”. See ad, page 49.

No surgery or invasive Reiki, privateprocedures. Reiki treatments, traditional massage therapy, Thai Infrared Sauna •massage, Micro-dermabrasion meditation classes, workshops andWaxing community events. Myolift • Torc • Body See ad, page 25. Diet Master • Oxygen Bar • Reiki Dermalogica Facials • Oxygen Facials Your ad could be featured here Teeth Whitening Reach over 60,000 Natural Awakenings readers Save Now with by placing your ad here. Call for more info. 203-885-4674

Introductory Prices! Call 203-356-5822

1092 High Ridge Road | Stamford, CT 06905

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PRODUCTS “GROWING YOUR OWN GROCERIES” is much more than a book about gardening. All nutrition begins in the soil and I also include a low-maintenance growing system.


A new way to looking and feeling good.

To place a Classified Listing: $1 per word. $25 minimum. Magazine deadline: 12th of month prior to publication. Email copy to

HOME OF THE $10 YARD STATUE. Pet memorials, Angels, Buddha statues, Bird baths. Many dog breeds. Shipping worldwide.75 Laura St, Tiverton, Rhode Island. 401-314-6752. Open year round.

PSYCHOLOGICAL SERVICES TESTING SERVICES FOR CHILDREN AND ADULTS. Cognitive processing, gifted learning, personality. Thirty years experience, reasonable rates and completion time. Dr. Margolies 203-929-2093.

SERVICES TEACHING PLEASURE-BASED POSITIVITY TO ADULTS: sex education classes, oneon-one consultations. Featuring high quality, ecofriendly, body-safe adult products. BettySaybe@ or 646-581-6010

May 2017


COSMIC RHYTHMS Mutable Energy Inspires Us to Make Changes by Michele Leigh


his month Mercury ends its retrograde and moves into the earthy sign of Taurus the bull so we may find ourselves inspired to break new ground. Later in the month, the sun ingresses into the inquisitive sign of Gemini and challenges us to explore new opportunities. It is a time for fresh beginnings and the energy in the sky will illuminate new paths for us to wander. On May 3, Mercury goes direct, ending its retrograde period. Mercury not only governs how we communicate with others but the quick moving planet also governs our inner monologue. Since Mercury is now moving forward, we have a clear head to sort through issues that seemed to have no rational solution during the retrograde. The full moon in Scorpio is on May 10. This probing, resourceful energy invites us to dive into the depths and illuminate those things that have been hiding in the dark corners of our mind. Scorpio is unafraid to take on topics that others might consider taboo. Use this full moon to dust out the cobwebs and let the light in. Come May 15, Mercury enters the pragmatic sign of Taurus the bull, representing the plow breaking open the soil to create growth. This is a good time to plan for the future. Use this energy to organize resources—similar to a farmer cultivating his crop for the season. Mercury will be in this prosperous sign until June 7. On May 20, the sun enters Gemini, the sign of duality, highlighting all forms of expression. Gemini energy is extremely curious; we may find ourselves accepting invitations from a variety of different sources. Use the chatty aspect of Gemini to get out, be sociable and meet new people. We end the month on May 25 with a new moon in Gemini magnifying the mutable energy. The beginning of a new lunar phase will stimulate our luminaries as they meet in the sign of Gemini. In addition, Mars, our inner warrior, is also in the sign of Gemini. This combination of energy could manifest as the desire to talk, write and teach about things that motivate and inspire us. Michele Leigh is an astrologer, author and podcaster. A practitioner of ancient astrology and planetary magic, she is an active member of the Organization for Professional Astrology. Connect at See ad, page 53.


Fairfield County/Housatonic Valley Edition

displayadvertiserindex 7eFit Spa 7 Ah Yoga 24 Alba Thermal Imaging 18 Associates in Family Chiropractic and Natural Health Care 7 Vicki Sara Blumberg, MD 9 The Breiner Whole-Body Health Center: Medical 2 The Breiner Whole-Body Health Center: Dental 2 Brookfield Craft Center 39 The Center for Cognitive and Behavioral Health 57 Chamomille Natural Foods 63 The Cleanest Touch 10 CT Acupuncture Center/ Ingri Boe-Wiegaard 13 Dark Moon Astrology/ Michele Leigh 53 Michael E. Doyle, MD/ Stamford Integrative Medicine 29 Ecoscapes 48 Noreen Ehrlich 27 Embody the Sacred 45 Eyecare Associates 35 Final Journey LLC 59 Gateway to Healing event 43 Debra Gibson, ND 15 The Graduate Institute 27 Hands and Paws Reiki for All 58 Harbor Harvest 29 Healing Tree Wisdom/ Thea Litsios 49 Holistic Heaven/Kerry Hardy 17 Hudson Valley Natural Health/ Kurt Biel, ND 17 Hunter Healing Hands 11 Insight Counseling 8 Inspirit Healing Studios 9 The Institute of Sustainable Nutrition 65 Integrative MD/Tatiana Fleischman, MD 19 Jiiva Yoga and Wellness Center 25 Keller Williams/Miale Team 51 Beth Leas 33 Life Works Wellness Center 16 The Liphe Balance Center 31 Living Better/Donna Fallacaro 10 Lyme Connection Conference 32 The Market 63 Mary Gilbertson Wellness 13 Mercier Therapy of CT 31 MicroCurrent Research 51 Mind Body Connection Pilates 41 Mind-Body Transformation Hypnosis Center 35

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Mind-Body Transformation Hypnosis Center 51 Money Coaching/Bill Donaldson 33 Natural Awakenings’ Franchise Sales 83 Natural Health & Wellness Center 39 Nature’s Temptations Healthy Food Market 63 Nature’s Way Natural Foods 63 New Morning Market 63 Nutmeg Spay/Neuter Clinic 61 Robin Ordan, Coach 35 Robin Ordan, LMT 10 Robin Ordan, LCSW 45 Roseann Capanna-Hodge & Associates 12 Organic Sleep at Sleep Etc 30 Osteopathic Wellness Center 14 Patricia’s Presents 53 Premier Lawn Solutions 3 Ann Reeves 37 The Ruby Tree 20 The Sacred Spirit 13 Salon Aponte 13 Salt of the Earth Healing Arts Sanctuary 5 Salt of the Earth Healing Arts Sanctuary and Spa 41 Saltana Cave 31 SeaBear Wild Salmon 83 Nancy Scherlong 10 Shalva Clinic 84 Victoria Shaw, PhD 29 Soul Focus/Mela Rispoli 37 SoulSong 17 Spiritual Discovery event 4 Sun Raven, the home of Slow Medicine 49 Hilda Swaby 33 Total Life Care Center 33 Touch of Sedona 57 Triple Goddess Remedies 48 Turning Point Reiki Healing Arts and Education Center 28 Unity Center for Practical Spirituality 34 Unleashed 60 Valley Spirit Cooperative & Wellness Center 14 Wellness Institute/ Marvin Schweitzer, ND 69 Westbrook Nature School 49 Westport Farmers Market 63 Whole Foods Market 63 Whole Health Thermography 21 Wilton Go Green 9 The Yoga Shala 24

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Fairfield County/Housatonic Valley Edition

natural awakenings

Natural Awakenings Fairfield County May 2017  
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