Natural Awakenings New Haven & Middlesex CT AUGUST 2021

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21st- Century SHAMANISM

Back–to–School Wellness Tips August 2021 | New Haven-Middlesex | NaturalNewHaven.comAugust 2021


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August 2021


letterfrompublisher “I have chosen to be happy because it is good for my health.” ~Voltaire

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The human race is richly diverse, yet there is one thing we all have in common—our desire for happiness. So, why does happiness elude so many? Mental illness, physical and/or chemical imbalances can negatively influence our experience of happiness, and should be ruled out first by seeking out a health professional. Grief, due to recent loss of a loved one, can also temporarily block happiness. Fortunately, there are local support systems in place to help with the healing process in those who are grieving, such as bereavement groups at the Branford Hospice and The Caring Network in Milford (see calendar section on page 28 for information). However, if the aforementioned causes have been ruled out and feelings of unhappiness are still present, there may be some habitual ways of being that are blocking the experience of joy. A big culprit is our addiction to complaining. The complaint culture is rampant and held in place by our inner critic, participation in gossip, and attention to negative stimuli, such as toxic images and language on social media. Diet and physical activity can also have profound effects on our mood. Whatever the particular reason is for our discontent, there is a common thread among all of them … and that is, its roots in our own thinking and behavior. By making some simple lifestyle changes, shifting our focus and attitude, and being open to coaching and support, we can reconnect with our naturally good-feeling selves again. Our August editorial offers some insights and basic strategies to help boost your happiness and overall well-being. These suggested methods are supported by research explaining why they actually work. For me, routine exercise such as walking in nature and swimming, consistently lifts my mood—no matter what kind of day I have had. I always feel better afterward. Another feel-good daily practice is to name 5 things I am grateful for. Meditation helps quiet the negative mind chatter. Laughter is a huge mood booster. I can feel the release of endorphins instantly releasing negative physical and emotional tension. There is a reason it has been called the best medicine. After a year of virtual schooling, parents in many areas of the country will be sending their kids back to school with some feelings of uncertainty regarding concerns about proper nutrition and how they will adjust to changes in the learning environment. Read our Healthy Kids back-to-school wellness tips, including a list of some satisfying and healthy kid snacks. We hope you are inspired and uplifted by our reads in this issue and take the time to explore the local resources and holistic offerings in our news briefs and community calendar. Enjoy the rest of your summer! Don’t worry … Be happy.

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Welcome to our August issue, themed Happiness!



Natural Awakenings is a family of 50+ healthy living magazines celebrating 27 years of providing the communities we serve with the tools and resources we all need to lead healthier lives on a healthy planet.


Contents 12 THINK YOURSELF HAPPY Seven Ways to Change Your Mind and Be Happier



Tips to Keep Kids Healthy


Cool Ways to Stay Fit this Summer



Working with a Life Coach Can Help



on Shamanic Healing

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Classic Ways to Store Garden Bounty All Year

DEPARTMENTS 6 news briefs 10 global briefs 11 eco tip 16 healthy kids 18 fit body 20 healing ways 22 inspiration

23 wise words 24 conscious eating 26 calendar 28 classifieds 29 resource guide August 2021


news briefs

Two Retreats Offered in New Milford


eturn To The Fire is holding the Men’s Retreat: Accessing the Masculine Archetypes on August 13-15 to help inspire and guide attendees to lead a more authentic life. Come to re-awaken your long-forgotten dreams. The cost is $325 per person. In addition, Return to The Fire is offering its Father & Daughter Retreat Weekend on August 21 and 22. The event is for fathers with daughters ages 7-16 Jody Grose to expand and deepen their relationships. The cost is $295. Both retreats will take place on a private island retreat center on the Housatonic River in New Milford, Connecticut. Jody Grose is the founder of Return to the Fire. His organization provides healing and growth opportunities for men and women, including weekend workshops, one-to-one sessions, and wilderness canoe trips for men and father-and-son teams. Men’s work has been a central focus for Grose since 1984. For more information and to enroll, call 203-731-7755, email or visit

businesses, professionals and industry presenters. STGF created this platform to showcase its neighboring small businesses and sponsors to help them recover financially and socially from the pandemic’s devastating effects. The Divinely Fit Fest’s mission is to amplify its commitment to reaching the community-at-large and finding what moves them individually, collectively and culturally. The Divinely Fit Fest is an evolution of the annual Divinely Fit Summit. The Fest will be outdoors in consideration of the COVID pandemic. The day will consist of interactive spiritual, mental and physical fitness with special guest presenters, panel discussions, demonstrations, interactive workouts, food and vendor stations, resources, raffles, and giveaways with music all day. For more information, visit Find out more about the vendor/sponsor package at Location: Berlin Fair Grounds, 430 Beckley Rd., Berlin, CT.

Swim Across America Fairfield County Open Water Swim Scheduled


wim Across America Fairfield County is making waves to fight cancer. Celebrating its 15th year in Fairfield County, this year’s swim will be held August 8. It takes place on the Greenwich/Stamford border in the waters of Long Island Sound at the headquarters of the Swim’s local beneficiary, Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy. There are three different swim lengths

Divinely Fit Summit Returns


or the fourth year, Sudor Taino Group Fitness (STGF) is bringing its Divinely Fit Summit to the Berlin Fair Grounds in Berlin, Connecticut on August 21 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. This year’s event will feature an indoor and outdoor festival venue. In 2018, STGF produced its first Divinely Fit Summit. Since that time, they have continued in 2019 and 2020 to bring together hundreds of wellness enthusiasts from Connecticut and beyond. With their faith- and fitness-centered ideology, STGF has provided them with health and wellness resources,

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news briefs available: half-mile, one-and-a-half miles and three miles. Boaters, kayakers, paddle boarders and land volunteers participate in this event with close to 300 swimmers and 100 volunteers. Funds raised by Swim Across America Fairfield County go directly to support scientific cancer gene therapy grants administered by the Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy. This year’s Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy research fellows funded by Swim Across America Fairfield County include three worldrenowned researchers studying better ways to treat pancreatic cancer, pediatric sarcomas and brain cancer. The researchers are Sidi Chen, PhD (pancreatic cancer), assistant professor Yale University School of Medicine Department of Genetics, System Biology Institute and Cancer Center; Stephen Gottschalk, MD (pediatric sarcomas), chair of the Bone Marrow Transplantation and Cellular Therapy at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital; and Noriyuki Kasahara, MD, PhD (glioblastoma brain cancer), principal investigator at the Brain Tumor Center at the University of California, San Francisco. To learn more about Swim Across America Fairfield County or to register, swim, volunteer or donate, visit

Exploring Total Motion Release


ichael D’Aquila, MS PT, is offering 10-minute complimentary screenings in August to assess if the Total Motion Release (TMR) technique might be right for you. TMR is a scientific method of full-body exercise designed to relieve pain. It is a form of self-muscle energy techniques that

enables the body to naturally re-align and heal. Once you grasp the concepts, it enables you to tap into the innate wisdom of the body. Physical Therapy Services of Guilford, located in Branford, Connecticut, will hold screenings on August 12 and 19 from 3:40-4:30 p.m. For more information, call 203-315-7727. Location: Physical Therapy Services of Guilford, 500 East Main St., Ste. 310, Branford, CT. See ad on page 19.

Connect in Person with Other Holistic Parents


ake some time with your family on Saturday, August 14, from 2:30-5 p.m. to meet in person with other holisticminded parents as part of this summer meeting of Holistic Moms Network’s New Haven County chapter. Enjoy a simple networking time for parents while you watch your children play at the Ansonia Nature Center’s playground in Ansonia, Connecticut. In addition, you can find out more about the chapter’s upcoming events and member benefits.

The mission of Holistic Moms Network, a nonprofit support and discussion network, is to connect parents who are interested in holistic health and green living. It welcomes people wherever they are on their own holistic path in an environment that does not judge. The monthly meetings, open to the public, are held the third Tuesday evening of each month. To RSVP for the event, visit For more information on the organization, visit Meeting location: Ansonia Nature Center, 10 Deerfield Ln, Ansonia, CT.

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news briefs

Pink and Flow Yoga Event to Benefit Breast Cancer Treatment


mily Laput, a high school senior who is passionate about the fight against breast cancer, is the Event Coordinator for a special yoga fundraising event, Pink and Flow, held on August 14 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Riverwalk Circuit Training, in Seymour. The event will start with a one-hour, all-levels vinyasa yoga class and end with raffles and smoothies provided by Robeks, all to benefit the nonprofit organization Seymour Pink.

Seymour Pink has been funding local breast cancer patients’ treatment for over 12 years. Laput has been volunteering for Seymour Pink since 2017 and has so far raised over $10,000 for various local charities. “The strength of the Seymour Pink community is unmatched. I’ve never seen a nonprofit with such passion, connection and support from various people and businesses,” explains Laput. “One of the most striking aspects of this organization is that it’s all-volunteer—a community fighting passionately.” Victoria Mellah from Yoga Mobile Studio will be leading the yoga class. “She is amazing and provides modifications for various experience levels so that anyone can be able to participate in the flow,” explains Laput. Raffle tickets are $1 each and will be available to purchase online and in person. Over 20 raffles are available. “I was very conscious of having a diverse selection of raffles because I knew that my audience was also diverse. Raffles range from healthy snack baskets, to gift cards to various businesses, to massages, to books. You’ll be sure to find something that catches your eye,” says Laput. Registration is $25 per person and closes on August 14. If registering more than one person, use code BRINGAFRIEND to save $5. The event is sponsored by Brown Roofing, a frequent supporter of Seymour Pink. For more information and to register, visit Contact Emily Laput at Location: Riverwalk Circuit Training, 32 Progress Ave, Seymour.


New Haven/Middlesex

International Coastal Clean-Up Day at Hammonasset


he Hammonasset Beach State Park International Coastal Clean-Up Day is being organized by Save the Sound and Friends of Hammonasset for September 18 from 9 a.m. to noon. Keeping the beach clean and free of debris not only improves the appearance for everyone’s enjoyment but is important for the health of birds and aquatic animals. Cleanup supplies will be provided by the organizers. Due to COVID, they ask everyone to bring their own water bottles and water. The organizers will not be providing water or drinks but will have individually wrapped snacks. All volunteers are welcome. Come as an individual or with your family. This is also a good club or group activity, such as school clubs, scout troops, church groups or business volunteer groups. Turtles, fish, and other species you love seeing in Long Island Sound can become entangled in fishing line, nets, and six-pack rings. Marine life and birds mistake trash like Styrofoam, plastics and cigarette butts for food, which can poison their bodies with toxins and lead to starvation. That’s why Save the Sound organizes coastal cleanups each spring and fall to help keep trash away from wildlife and out of the waters where you fish and swim. In the past nine years alone, 15,000 volunteers have removed over 100,000 pounds of trash from Connecticut’s shoreline, protecting countless creatures and communities. Not only does marine debris threaten the Sound’s fragile ecosystem, it weakens coastal economies by sapping dollars from the tourism and seafood industries. Save the Sound is the Connecticut coordinator for Ocean Conservancy’s annual International Coastal Cleanup, the largest volunteer effort of its kind. Every September for more than 30 years, ICC has motivated over 11.5 million people around the world to pick up over 210 million pounds of trash from nearly 390,000 miles of shoreline. Thanks to the hard work of volunteers just like you, the International Coastal Cleanup is a success year after year. Last year, Save the Sound’s Coastal Cleanup program helped bring together 1,495 volunteers, who removed 7,498 pounds of trash from Connecticut’s shoreline. Pre-registration will help with an attendance estimate and to have enough supplies for everyone. For more information, visit To pre-register, contact Jim Mazur at For more information about this international effort, visit Location: Meet at the Meigs Point Nature Center, located at Hammonasset Beach State Park, 1288 Boston Post Rd., Madison, CT.

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Soil Regulators Soft on Pesticide Use Pesticides cause significant harm to earthworms and thousands of other vital subterranean species. These invertebrates, nematodes, bacteria and fungi filter water, recycle nutrients and help regulate the planet’s temperature. The most comprehensive review ever conducted on how pesticides affect soil health, published in the journal Frontiers in Environmental Science, reveals that beneath fields of monoculture crops, a toxic soup of insecticides, herbicides and fungicides is wreaking havoc on the ecosystem. The study recommends changes in how regulatory agencies like the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) assess the risks posed by the nearly 850 approved pesticide ingredients. Presently, regulators ignore pesticide harm to earthworms, springtails, beetles and many other subsoil critters. The EPA relies on one insect, the European honeybee, to represent the thousands of species that live or develop underground. The ongoing escalation of pesticide-intensive agriculture and pollution are major driving factors in the precipitous decline of many soil organisms that are critical to maintaining healthy soils. This contamination has been identified as the most significant driver of soil biodiversity loss in the last decade.

Thorny Problem

Cactus Poachers Are Denuding Deserts

More than 30 percent of the world’s 1,500 or so cactus species are threatened with extinction, and criminal scavengers are primarily to blame. A 2020 seizure by authorities in Italy yielded more than 1,000 of some of the rarest cactuses in the world, valued at more than $1.2 million on the black market. Some were over 100 years old. President of the Association for Biodiversity and Conservation Andrea Cattabriga helps police identify specimens taken from tourists or intercepted in the mail. He says, “Here is an organism that has evolved over millions of years to be able to survive in the harshest conditions you can find on the planet, but that finishes its life in this way, just as an object to be sold.” Trafficking can take a serious toll because many species are highly localized and often extremely slow-growing, thus quite sensitive to over-harvesting. Cactuses and other succulents have become popular on social media, promoted by indoor plant influencers for their unusual Superfund Mine-Polluted Stream Restorations See Success appearance and minimal Large investments have been made to clean up acid drainage into streams and rivcare requirements. The ers polluted by toxic metals from abandoned mining sites. A new study published in pandemic has increased Freshwater Science based on long-term monitoring data from four U.S. Environmentheir popularity, with shops tal Protection Agency Superfund sites in California, Colorado, Idaho and Montana unable to keep some speshows that cleanup efforts can allow affected streams to recover to near natural cies in stock. Sales of legally conditions within 10 to 15 years after abatement work begins. sourced plants could help David Herbst, a research scientist at UC Santa Cruz and co-author of the paper, offset illegal trade, with the says, “The good news from them all is that Superfund investments can restore the proceeds going directly to water quality and ecological health of the streams.” Researchers combined data communities living alongfrom long-term monitoring during periods of 20 years or more using aquatic insects side the plants, creating an and other diverse invertebrate life such as flatworms and snails as indicators of the incentive to protect them. restoration of ecological health, with nearby unpolluted streams as standards for

Reversing Ruin

comparison. Much of the recovery occurred within the first few years of treatment. Herbst says that the promising results suggest that even daunting environmental problems can be remedied. 10

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Bugs Matter

dmitry kovalchuk/

global briefs

eco tip

Bug Battle

How to Keep Mosquitoes at Bay



It’s no fun fending off uninvited airborne guests at the family cookout, but bloodthirsty bugs are an inevitable part of summer. Mosquitoes aren’t just an annoyance; they can carry infectious diseases like West Nile and Zika viruses, so it’s important to know the best ways to keep them at bay. Sprays containing the chemical DEET—developed by the U.S. Army after World War II and made commercially available in 1957—have long been the go-to option for mosquito repellant. DEET sprays came under scrutiny after isolated reports of seizures; these were subsequently dismissed as involving “off label” applications such as ingesting DEET (it’s best not to drink bug juice). DEET can occasionally cause a rash or skin irritation; however, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have both deemed DEET sprays as generally safe and effective for both adults and kids as young as two months. DEET also breaks down quickly in the environment, posing minimal danger to wildlife. For outdoor lovers seeking a more natural bug repellent, one formula performs as well as DEET at stopping mosquitoes and even better at repelling ticks: products containing oil of lemon eucalyptus extract, which contains the naturally occurring compound para-menthane-3,8-diol (PMD), a byproduct of the leaves of Corymbia citriodora tree. In a study published in the Journal of Insect Science in 2015, researchers from New Mexico State University found that it deterred mosquitoes for up to six hours, unlike largely ineffective candles, bracelets and ultrasonic devices. The PMD compound differs from lemon-eucalyptus essential oil, so look specifically for repellents containing PMD, found at most outdoors sports stores and major retailers. Lemon-eucalyptus essential oil itself is also sometimes touted as a natural mosquito deterrent, but like other essential oils like clove or citronella, the limited protection it offers is short-lived, as their volatile compounds evaporate quickly. While DIY insect repellents made from essential oils smell wonderful and are easy to make, they can also irritate the skin at higher concentrations and in some cases, such as clove oil, be toxic to pets. Products containing essential oils are also not registered by the EPA, and therefore not tested for efficacy. Products containing Picaridin, a chemical modeled on black pepper, also have proven to be as effective as DEET. Picaridin-based products are better at deterring mosquitoes from landing than DEET, and are less oily and strong-smelling. The percentage of DEET or Picaridin in a product determines how long it protects, with higher concentrations providing longer protection with fewer reapplications. Those benefits taper off at 30 percent DEET and 20 percent Picaridin. Covering up with long sleeves and spraying clothes, not just skin, with insect repellent will help keep skeeters at arm’s length and also help keep off ticks.

Susane Grasso

Relaxation Therapy Chakra Balancing Aura Readings


August 2021


THINK YOURSELF HAPPY Seven Ways to Change Your Mind and Be Happier

jenko ataman/

by Ronica O’Hara


hat is happiness? Aristotle pondered it, our country’s founders encouraged its pursuit, but only now—thanks to the thriving field of Positive Psychology—have we learned more precisely how to attain and sustain it. In thousands of studies in the last two decades, researchers have watched babies share crackers, put Tibetan monks in brain scanners, asked college students to do kind deeds and explored databases, among other strategies. A major finding has emerged: Happiness is, to a great degree, in our own hands—or more exactly, our own minds. “You get to choose,” says trailblazing researcher Barbara Fredrickson, author of Positivity and Love 2.0 and a professor at the University of North Carolina. “No matter where your river of emotions flows today, over time and with continued effort and attention, you can change its course and location to live a happier, more positive life.” Using advanced brain imaging technology, neuroscientists and psychologists have discovered that the brain is “plastic” and malleable. When we change our thinking and actions in positive ways, brain neurons start rewiring themselves to make newfound happiness settle in, especially if our practices are repetitive. 12

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“Interestingly, changes can start quite quickly,” says neuroscientist Andrew Newberg, who has authored 10 books on the brain, emotions and spirituality, including Words Can Change Your Brain. “For those changes to become more fully ingrained, it can take a few months, but it does not necessarily require hours a day for many years.” A change in thinking shifted the behavior and life of John Peterson, a sales manager at a major West Coast auto retailer and editor of “I was unhappy and miserable, so I decided to give gratitude a shot,” he recalls. “It was mechanical to start, but the reactions I got turned into a domino effect.” Instead of giving cursory thanks, he praised a co-worker’s kindness in handing him a daily cup of coffee; now they chat about their families. Instead of “keeping myself to myself,” he offered to help a neighbor he barely knew to clean gutters; now they’re “barbecue besties,” he says, adding, “I was kind of blown away at the incredible effect gratitude had on my life, both in improving my mental health and boosting my relationships. It was a real revelation to me!” Positive psychologists offer two major approaches: adopting habits that encourage happiness and clearing away the mental

debris that blocks it. Many books and websites offer a wide range of theories, techniques and tips. “The most effective practices for you are the ones that you enjoy and are willing to do more often,” says Tchiki Davis, Ph.D., a Psychology Today blogger and founder of The Berkeley Well-Being Institute. The following are researchbased methods to enhance happiness:

for a three-to-one ratio of 1Aim positive to negative experiences

The difference between languishing and flourishing, says Fredrickson in her book Positivity, is constructing a life in which heartfelt positive experiences outnumber the negatives by three to one. Positive experiences that flow from feelings such as gratitude, serenity, hope, awe and love can be as simple as exchanging smiles with a passerby, patting a friend on the back, joking with a cashier, picking up something that someone has dropped or planting a kiss on a son’s head. She emphasizes that the experiences must be authentic and heartfelt: acting “Pollyanna-ish” out of habit or pasting on a smile can actually make us feel worse, and positivity can turn toxic if it’s relentlessly turned on 100 percent of the time. “True happiness is not rigid and unchanging,” she says. When it comes to marriage, five positive interactions for every negative one is the “magic ratio” that makes it happy and stable, according to studies by renowned relationship psychologist John Gottman, author of What Makes Love Last. “Successful long-term relationships are created through small words, small gestures and small acts,” he writes.


Flip negativity by reframing experiences

Positive reframing involves shifting misery-making thinking to see the positive side of any situation. Canadian researchers reported in a 340-person survey at APA PsycNet that during the pandemic, reframing was the most effective mental health strategy; people practicing it gradually felt better, while people that vented, distracted themselves or disengaged from others fared worse. Reframing strategies include viewing a problem as a challenge, a learning opportunity or a way to help others; finding the higher purpose or divine order in a bad situation; exploring what the unexpected benefits might be; and finding humor in a situation.

jenko ataman/


Defuse the inner critic with caring self-talk

Berating ourselves for our shortcomings is a sure route to suffering, but applying self-compassion powerfully lowers the volume. It involves three elements: treating ourselves as kindly as we would a dear friend; realizing that making mistakes is intrinsically human so we’re not alone; and non-judgmentally facing our emotions without denying or indulging them, according to its major theorist, psychologist Kristin Neff, author of Self-Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind. Numerous studies show that people that practice self-compassion have less selfdoubt and fewer negative thoughts, are less likely to feel anxious

or depressed, enjoy better health and relationships and are more resilient and motivated to change. Another way to handle the inner critic is to transform it by befriending and chatting with it, a method used in voice dialogue therapy and in the Internal Family Systems approach. Jackie Graybill, a Seattle songwriter and piano teacher, calls her “mean girl” inner critic Brutista Dynasticus. “I’ll find myself responding to an inner thought like, ‘You look fat. Just how much weight have you gained over COVID?!’ with a recognition like, ‘Oh, Brutista, that wasn’t very nice. I may have some extra pounds, but this healthy body has gotten me through a freaking pandemic! Show a little respect, okay?’ This quiets her down because I’ve recognized her and addressed her, and I feel an inner sense of victory because I’ve brought a positive truth to bear. It’s a very empowering practice.”


Clear away pain by questioning assumptions

Of our estimated 12,000 to 60,000 thoughts per day, about 80 percent are negative and 95 percent are repetitive, says the National Science Foundation. Those noisy mental loops dampen our spirits by repetitively telling us that something regretful should not have happened in the past or is going to happen to blight the future. Few worries have real credence: A Cornell University study found that 85 percent of what people worry about never happens. Of the 15 percent of worries that did happen, 79 percent of people found they handled the problem better than they had expected or that they learned a valuable lesson from it. Cognitive behavioral therapists help clients to examine those beliefs and assumptions, challenge the dysfunctional ones and try out different interpretations to uncover the truth. Victor Blue, a Tampa transportation engineer, examined his difficult relationship with a tyrannical father by asking himself two questions that spiritual teacher and author Byron Katie suggests applying to any painful thought: “Is it true? Can you absolutely know it’s true?” Self-inquiring deeply, Blue realized he had a distorted view: His father had in fact loved him, but had lacked the capacity to show it with warmth or tenderness. “My father started with very little and saw a tough world and treated everyone tough,” he says. “And I came to realize that yes, I am able to father myself.”

the heart by 5Open deepening gratitude

Perhaps the most popular and direct approach to happiness is gratitude. Research shows that feeling and expressing thankfulness significantly boosts emotional well-being, makes us feel more connected and generous to others, and improves health and sleep quality. In one study, writing a few sentences of August 2021


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Well-Being Basics Besides using mental strategies, choosing happiness involves taking daily actions that enhance our well-being, as studies demonstrate. Eat a happy-making diet A gut-wisdom axis may exist. People with a greater diversity of the gut microbiome—the mark of a healthy diet—had higher levels of wisdom, compassion and social support, and lower levels of loneliness than people with less diverse microbiomes, University of California San Diego scientists reported in Frontiers in Psychiatry. A study of 12,000 Australians found that the more they increased their fruit and vegetable intake over a seven-year period, the happier and more satisfied with life they became. Eating eight servings a day was as happiness-producing as going from being unemployed to employed.


Exercise even a little Whether it’s lunges or sun salutations, movement lifts us up. In a review of 23 published studies involving half a million people published in The Journal of Happiness Studies, University of Michigan researchers found strong evidence that any kind of exercise increases happiness; even as little as 10 minutes a day raises spirits. People that exercise at least 30 minutes on most days are about 30 percent happier than those that don’t exercise.

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Go for the doze Surveys show that getting enough sleep is the most influential factor in how people rate their daily mood, with good sleepers more likely to rate their life as happier overall. A University of California, Berkeley, study found that inadequate sleep makes our brains 60 percent more reactive to negative stimuli; in other words, being tired makes us grouchy.


Love a lot A landmark study that began in 1938 and followed 724 Harvard students and working-class Boston youth for 80 years found that fame and achievements didn’t make them truly happy—warm, loving relationships with their family, friends and community did. In a 2020 study, Pennsylvania State University researchers found that simply becoming aware of daily experiences of “felt love”, defined as “micro-moments when you experience resonance with someone,” increases those heartwarming episodes and improves well-being. Do good deeds Performing five acts of kindness one day a week, such as helping a friend with a task, writing a thank-you email or donating blood, had a more powerful and long-lasting effect on college students’ happiness than spreading five good deeds over a week, reports University of California, Riverside, researchers. A four-year study of 13,000 retirees found that those volunteering more than two hours per week were happier, more optimistic and less lonely and depressed than people that never volunteered. Be nurtured by nature After walking in a natural setting, people ruminated less and showed increased activity in the subgenual prefrontal cortex, an area of the brain that lowers depression and anxiety, Stanford researchers found. In one study, people watching five minutes of Planet Earth felt 46 percent more awe and 31 percent more gratitude than people watching the news or a comedy show. Biological diversity also matters: European scientists found that an additional 10 percent of bird species in an area increases residents’ life enjoyment as much as a 10 percent increase in their income.


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gratitude once per week for 10 weeks increased optimism and hope in participants; they even exercised more and had fewer doctor visits than those writing about aggravations. Writing a thankyou letter to someone we haven’t appreciated enough in the past can induce a sense of well-being that lasts for at least six months, a University of Pennsylvania study found.

Online Resources positive psychology news and self-tests Martin E.P. Seligman, a University of Pennsylvania professor and bestselling author who coined the phrase “positive psychology” in 1998, designed this comprehensive website that includes new research and dozens of self-questionnaires. research and curriculums Resources offered by Barbara Fredrickson, Ph.D., author of Positivity and Love 2.0, include an overview of research, online courses and curriculum suggestions.

Gratitude can be cultivated simply by daily journaling; writing a list every few days often works even better, research indicates. The more concrete the items are and the more freshly observed, the better: Rather than, “I’m grateful for my daughter,” it might be, “I’m grateful for my daughter because she made me laugh at breakfast by making a funny face.” Some people kick off their day by writing two thank-you emails; others find creative ways to fold gratitude into relationships. During the pandemic, Nadia Charif, a San Jose-based wellness and health advisor at, shared with her boyfriend a note-taking phone app in which they wrote the ways they appreciated each other during the day. “Somehow, no matter how frayed our nerves were, we remembered the last lovely entry and melted like ice to water,” she says. “It diffused many arguments before they escalated.”

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the noisy mind with meditation, 6 Quiet prayer and mindfulness

Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, Newberg and other neuroscientists studied meditating Buddhist monks, prayerful Catholic nuns and mindfulness meditators. They found that each practice has its own distinctive pattern of brain activity, yet all three deactivate the brain regions that underlie mind chatter. That “default mode network” is constantly ruminating, nagging and making sure we avoid trouble. Sustained spiritual practices gradually turn down its everyday volume, which may explain in part the well-documented link between spiritual practices and well-being. Even brief meditations can have a quieting effect, counsels New York City psychologist and mindfulness teacher Loch Kelly, author of Shift into Freedom. In a quiet moment, he suggests, “Ask yourself, ‘What is here right now if there is no problem to solve?’”

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up others with 7 Lift a positive outlook

The more we give with a full heart, the more happiness we experience, studies show—and the benefits radiate far beyond ourselves. Following nearly 5,000 people over 20 years, Harvard researchers found that one person’s happiness triggers a chain reaction up to three degrees away, lifting the spirits not only of friends, but friends’ friends, and their friends’ friends’ friends. Effects can last up to one year. It’s a vital way to help the world, says Fredrickson. “The happiness that you experience together with others has ripple effects, both biological and behavioral, that make whole communities healthier.” Health writer Ronica O’Hara can be reached at

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Back-to-School Wellness Tips to Keep Kids Healthy by Ronica O’Hara

are needing support or are feeling overwhelmed or concerned, they can always talk to you to work through the issue together,” she says.

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Reset bedtime creep


fter a year dealing with the ups and downs of pandemic-era schooling, many parents are anticipating their children’s return to school with mixed emotions. “Families indeed have had a rough time in the pandemic, resulting in increased food insecurity, weakened social skills, splintered attention spans due to constant multitasking and arguments over screen time, yet many families also feel that they grew closer together as they coped with the adversity,” says Jenifer Joy Madden, author of How To Be a Durable Human. As we wave our children off to classes, we can draw on those hard-won, deeper ties by taking steps to ensure our children’s health and well-being. Here are some suggested strategies:

Hold a family sit-down Meet as a group to talk about schedules and logistics to make sure everyone’s commitments will work together, recommends Erika Beckles Camez, Ph.D., a licensed family therapist in Temecula, California. “Talk as a family about how everyone feels about going back to school and intentionally tell your student that throughout the year if they 16

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“During the summer, bedtime tends to creep later and later. Two weeks before school starts, begin to reset bedtime by reversing the creep by 15 minutes every few nights,” suggests Amber Trueblood, a licensed marriage and family therapist in Culver City, California, and author of Stretch Marks. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children 6 to 12 years of age sleep nine to 12 hours a night and teenagers 13 to 18 sleep eight to 10 hours. Getting enough sleep, it advises, leads to “improved attention, behavior, learning, memory, emotional regulation, quality of life, and mental and physical health.” Sleep experts recommend not allowing kids to be on device screens beginning an hour before bedtime, and perhaps storing devices in another room.

Buoy them with breakfast According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, children that eat a complete breakfast have been shown to work faster, make fewer math mistakes and show improved concentration, alertness, comprehension and memory. “Get in the habit of a healthy breakfast that contains a mix of lean proteins, healthy fats and unrefined carbohydrates and fiber,” advises Amy

Children need healthy, whole-food, nutritious snacks after school to fuel both their bodies and their brain. Spindel, a functional holistic nutritionist in Plano, Texas. “That might be something like eggs scrambled with spinach in olive oil; a smoothie with greens, coconut milk, nut butter, cherries and steamed cauliflower; or a small bowl of steel-cut oatmeal with berries and almond butter alongside some turkey sausage. These types of combinations help promote stable blood sugar until lunchtime, which means your child will be able to focus on learning and social interactions instead of their tummies.”

Satisfy them with healthy snacks There’s a metabolic reason students head straight for the fridge when they get home—but it’s best if they can’t grab sweets. “Children need healthy, whole-food, nutritious snacks after school to fuel both their bodies and their brain,” says Uma Naidoo, M.D., a Harvard-based nutritional psychiatrist, professional chef and author of This Is Your Brain on Food. To support optimal brain development and help lower kids’ anxiety and hyperactivity levels, she suggests snacks rich in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins A, B12 and D, and iron and folate, such as: n “Fries” cooked in an air fryer to crisp up zucchini, carrots or green beans n Veggie dips or hummus made with chickpeas, carrots, beets or spinach n Almond butter on celery sticks, or seed butter for dipping sweet peppers or apple slices n Homemade fish sticks made by heating salmon pieces in an air fryer n Granola that includes walnuts, chia seeds and flax seeds

Take allergy precautions About one in 14 U.S. children has a food allergy. Anisha Angella, an early childhood specialist and author of Easing Allergy Anxiety in Children, recommends taking special precautions with an allergy-prone child, including frequent handwashing; carrying an EpiPen for sudden, severe reactions that require an epinephrine injection; and not sharing foods. “Connect with their teachers,” she advises. “They want to help in any way, too. When a child sees an adult that supports their allergy safety in all environments, they feel comfortable, and that lessens anxiety.” “Readjusting from the pandemic will take patience and perseverance on the part of parents,” says Madden. “Having the family start simple wellness habits can help.”

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fit body

Water Sports for a Total Body Workout Cool Ways to Stay Fit this Summer

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by Marlaina Donato


hether it’s adrenaline-fueled kiteboarding or peaceful paddle boarding, getting active in the water helps to improve bone density, elevates mood and engages major muscle groups without stressing the joints. The highlight of a vacation might be rafting down a river, surfing at sunset or waterskiing on a mountain lake. Whether done regularly or occasionally, water sports offer a good workout disguised as play. While some water sports require a higher level of fitness, most are beginner-friendly and only require the willingness to try something new.

Core Adventures “Many lifelong skiers call waterskiing the fountain of youth. My friends who are in their 70s, 80s and even 90s that still ski are living proof,” says pro water skier Corey Vaughn, owner of Bum Pass Water Ski Club, in Bumpass, Virginia. “Waterskiing is one of the best total body workouts on the planet, yet you are having so much fun it never feels like a workout.” For Natali Zollinger, a raft guide, river surfer and whitewater stand up paddle boarder, it’s about trusting and working with 18

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the current: “Either rafting or paddling, our core has to engage way more than it would with other sports, and you’ll definitely notice the internal strength.” Based in Moab, Utah, Zollinger says that in only one week, paddling and kayaking produce noticeably more tone in the triceps and biceps, adding, “If you row boats, you’ll see the traps, shoulders and back muscles develop.” Stand up paddle board (SUP) yoga on the water, although seemingly placid, challenges the abdominals and cultivates balance. Christy Naida Linson, yoga instructor and owner of Prana Yoga Center and Aligned Flow Floating Studio, in Denville, New Jersey, says, “Paddling is excellent exercise for the core, back, shoulders, arms and legs. Postures are done in relationship to the current of the water and recruit many of the smaller stabilizing muscles.”

Getting the Feet Wet SUP yoga is accessible to both new and experienced students that can swim and are comfortable in the water. All postures can be modified to be done in positions lower to the board, such as kneeling, to make balancing easier. “A typical class is 90

minutes long and begins with instruction on land. We go through paddle strokes and safety, how to get onto the board kneeling, transition to standing when feeling stable, paddle and stop,” says Linson. “The worst thing that happens if you lose your balance is that you go for a little swim!” Fitness requirements for river rafting can vary, depending on the type of trip and location. “Usually a couple months of ‘stair-stepper’ and some squats and lunges will do the trick,” says Zollinger. When it comes to gear, commercial trips offer the most freedom, especially for beginners, she says. “Normally, commercial trips pack all the gear that you need for basic camping, and all you have to bring is your personal gear like clothes, toiletries, etc.” Waterskiing can be a challenge, but learning is easier with proper instruction, optimal equipment, an experienced, skilled boat driver and positive encouragement. “People tell me about Uncle Fred just throwing them behind the boat with a couple of old skis, telling them to hang on tight and then gunning the boat. This is not what I would consider best practices,” says Vaughn. A typical lesson lasts about 30 minutes, involves six to eight passes up and down the lake and includes technical guidance on body positions and timing. For optimal waterskiing, Vaughn prefers private lakes to avoid interruption in the rhythmic flow of skiing that can occur on busier lakes or bodies of saltwater due to boat traffic, winds, tides and currents. Vaughn marvels when everything comes together; “There is nothing quite like the smile of a first-time skier when they get up [on their skis] and realize they are gliding across the water.” In the end, water sports are all about embracing possibilities.“It is a genuine joy to see people who may be new or doubt their ability come away feeling empowered,” says Linson. Zollinger passes on wisdom about time on the water. “The river continuously teaches me to be in the flow and appreciating the little things.” Marlaina Donato is an author and composer. Connect at

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healing ways

iring a life coach can be an empowering decision for people that want to understand themselves better and lead fulfilled lives. Coaches may specialize in distinct topics like business, parenting or weight loss, but, “It’s all life coaching,” says Patrick Williams, a master certified coach by the International Coach Federation, licensed psychologist and founder of the Institute for Life Coach Training. “If I hire a specialist like a wellness coach, I assume they’re going to know something about wellness, but I’m not hiring a consultant to tell me what I should do in diet and exercise. I want to be coached in living a more well life.” According to master certified coach Fran Fisher, with 30 years of experience, “Life coaching is a safe environment or sacred space of unconditional love and acceptance where learning, growth and transformation naturally occur. It’s a partnership of two experts. The client is the expert of the content: who they are, what’s important to them and what they believe, think and feel. The coach is the expert of the process. They’ve been specially trained to help the client access their deeper wisdom and make better choices that align with who they are.”

Unleash Your True Potential

Working with a Life Coach Can Help by Sandra Yeyati


Going for Gold


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Martha Beck, Ph.D., a Harvard-trained sociologist, renowned coach and bestselling author of The Way of Integrity, says, “Most problems can be resolved by simply talking to someone who is willing to listen compassionately and deeply to whatever is going on in their lives and to give them good feedback. A coach will get you to high levels of happiness, self-fulfillment and self-expression. Unlike therapists, coaches don’t deal with the mentally ill. They deal with the mentally well who want to maximize their performance.” “A coach helps you think and say and dream of things you hadn’t thought before,” says Williams. “I can advise myself all day long, but as soon as I have a conversation with a trained coach, I hear myself differently. I get new ideas, and that motivates me to make change. The value may come monetarily. It may improve someone’s business or money decisions, but it also may come in how you live your life. There may

Life coaching is a safe environment or sacred space of unconditional love and acceptance where learning, growth and transformation naturally occur. be value in having less stress, more time, more fun. Anybody who is motivated to make a change or maybe is in the midst of change and they don’t know what to do; that’s who benefits from coaching.”

Limiting Beliefs and Turtle Steps According to Beck, one of the most common issues a coach must address is their clients’ limiting beliefs. “It’s about freeing yourself from beliefs that are preventing you from moving forward or convincing you that you can’t have what you want, so you never try,” says Beck. “There’s something in your behavior that’s not allowing you to move forward. Let’s find the behavior, figure out why you’re doing it and change that belief. It’s good old-fashioned problem solving in partnership with the client.” Beck’s favorite tool for making changes is what she calls onedegree turns, or turtle steps, defined as the smallest steps you can take toward a goal. “Research shows that large steps tend to get discouraging,” she notes. “We could do them at the beginning of a

really passionate, goal-seeking time, but we almost never sustain it. If we go in tiny steps toward what we really believe and what we really want, we get there. The tortoise wins the race.”

Achieving Goals and Feeling Free

When it comes to setting and achieving goals, coaches have different approaches. Williams, for example, considers himself an accountability partner. “I won’t punish you if you don’t achieve your goals,” he says. “If you report progress, we celebrate and talk about what’s next. If you say, ‘I didn’t get it done,’ then we talk about what got in the way, what needs to change. We never make the client wrong. It’s what’s true for you.” For Beck, goals take a back seat. “My clients tend to give me goals that are culturally based on what they think they should do. People move forward much more rapidly when you don’t hold them to a goal. When they have permission to do whatever they want, they actually start doing the things that all the goal setting in the world won’t allow them to do. We have such a strong response to freedom. When we feel like we’re forcing ourselves to do something, we won’t do it because it’s not free. When we’re free, we do the things that are best for us.” For more information, visit, FranFisherCoach. com and Sandra Yeyati, J.D., is a professional writer. Reach her at

Finding the Right Coach The search for a coach often begins online to check credentials, training and experience, and to understand the coach’s approach and personality. “Trust your gut,” says renowned coach and author Martha Beck. “See how you feel when you’re looking at somebody’s website or when you email them and get a response.” Master certified coach Patrick Williams recommends asking for referrals from friends or through the International Coaching Federation ( and the European Mentoring and Coaching Council ( “A coach should have some level of certification. You want to ask about their training and how long they’ve been coaching,” he says. Most experts recommend interviewing at least three coaches. Many offer a free, 30-minute sample session. “There has to be a feeling of safety and rapport with that person. You want to feel seen and heard,” says master certified coach Fran Fisher. “Any coach worth their salt will help you find out that you already know your path through life, so although you may feel challenged by this person, you should also feel excited, like this could set you free. If a coach gives you a list of things that will never fail you, and it doesn’t feel like freedom to you, and you don’t feel like your real self, find someone else,” Beck says.

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August 2021



Smiling Can Make Us Happier by Julie Peterson



smile makes the brain happy. As it turns out, it doesn’t matter if we smile at first because we’re genuinely happy or if we simply fake a smile. The brain doesn’t know the difference. When we are happy, we naturally smile. But research has shown that the act of smiling can also induce happiness. It happens because the muscles required to lift the mouth into the shape of a smile are connected to nerves that send signals to the brain. Once the brain gets the message that a smile is happening, it releases dopamine, endorphins and serotonin throughout the body. These feel-good chemicals make us feel less stressed, less pain and happier, which can effortlessly transform a fake smile into a genuine one. Platitudes through the ages have urged us to “Turn that frown upside down” and “Put on a happy face.” In 1872, Charles Darwin hypothesized that facial feedback could alter emotions and, ever since, the topic of smiling and mood has been a subject of discussion and research. Whether or not forced smiles can have a strong enough impact on our state of mind to effectively boost overall mental health is still being debated, with some research indicating that “false” smiles can lower mood if used continuously to avoid expressing certain feelings; however, there are several more positive aspects of smiling to take into consideration. Smiling is contagious. Seeing other people smile stimulates our mirror neurons, which discharge; they discharge similarly whether we’re doing an action or observing someone else do it. So, being around smiling people, seeing them smile, affects our brains as if we were doing the smiling. Smiling also provides the health benefits of reduced anxiety and lowers both blood pressure and heart rate. Over the long haul, these attributes add up to improved cardiovascular health and a measurable reduction in risk for stroke. Get more smile time by working these muscles at every opportunity. Fake it if you must until it comes naturally, watch funny shows, spend time with cheery people and when things are looking down, grin and bear it. You might just feel better right away, and better long-term health is certainly something to smile about. Julie Peterson is a Random Acts of Kindness activist ( and an advisor for Kindness Bank, a nonprofit invested in improving community health and well-being. 22

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wise words

Alberto Villoldo on Shamanic Healing by Marlaina Donato

Shamans mediate between the visible world of matter and the invisible world of energy and consciousness.


n his mid-20s, Alberto Villoldo, a psychologist and medical anthropologist, was the youngest clinical professor at San Francisco State University, where he founded and directed the Biological Self-Regulation Laboratory to decode the effects of energy medicine on the human brain. Villoldo eventually set aside the limitations of the microscope in search of a broader, more ancient perspective. His 10-year deep dive into the heart of shamanic culture in the Andes and the Amazon regions filled in the missing pieces of his research, but a dire health crisis decades later drove him to explore shamanic transformation. Today, Villoldo is in vibrant health and the author of bestselling books translated into several languages, including Grow a New Body: How Spirit and Power Plant Nutrients Can Transform Your Health. He is the founder of the Four Winds Society, which trains energy medicine practitioners in its Light Body School.

What is shamanism and the shaman’s role? Shamanism is a philosophy and a lifestyle similar to Buddhism in many ways. It includes healing practices for clearing the imprints of trauma from the luminous energy field (LEF) that surrounds the physical body, and that organizes the body in the same way that a magnet organizes iron filings on a piece of glass. Shamans mediate between the visible world of mat-

ter and the invisible world of energy and consciousness. The understanding of the shaman is that what we call reality is simply the projection of a map of the world we carry within us. To change the world, you need to change the map, but the map only changes through sacred ceremony. Shamanism is making a comeback because we have exhausted our masculine, reductionistic and predatory Western paradigm. It offers a more feminine, participatory worldview that is founded on the notion of becoming Earth Keepers—stewards of the garden of nature.

How does shamanism address body, mind and spirit?

We need to think of the quaternity, including Gaia, the great mother. There is only one illness—disconnection from the great mother. There is only one cure, which is returning to Gaia. The luminous energy field is an information field. It contains all your genetic history—the story of the drama that runs in your family that you have programmed into the neural networks in your brain. Shamans discovered how to upgrade the quality of the information in the LEF. Out of the 40 million different species on Earth, only humans, whales and dolphins don’t have death programmed into their DNA. There are no grandmothers in nature; menopause doesn’t exist. The minute you cannot make babies, you are eliminated. We have the opportunity to take part in an experiment to grow bodies that are disease-proof, where our health span can equal our long lifespan.

What shamanic principle can we apply daily? Our Western diet and antibiotic use have decimated our gut flora, and in the process, ruined our “gut instinct”—the basis of the shaman’s “second sight”, the ability to see the hidden nature of reality. You cannot meditate, heal yourself or others, forgive those who wronged you or stop feeling like a victim if your gut flora is compromised. If your gut is riddled with Candida, you will only perceive strife and be angry. Even if you live in a city, you can cultivate sprouts and make probiotic-rich foods.

How do you see our future? I was trained as a medical anthropologist, yet what I do today is to train modern shamans; men and women versed in the ancient wisdom teachings and cutting-edge neuroscience. This is where the magic of science and shamanism meet. Western science and religion are very patriarchal and repressive of the feminine, confusing information for knowledge. We know how to diagnose, but do we know how to heal? I love science, but we must understand that most science, especially in medicine, is bogus. Studies are poorly designed; results are cherry-picked to support the authors’ beliefs. The greatest science is the one that explores the soul’s journey through infinity, which is what shamans are concerned with. This is where we discover true healing. Marlaina Donato is an author and recording artist. Connect at August 2021


conscious eating

levels can be increased with lemon juice. Vegetable pickles become acidic through the addition of vinegar. Heat-sealed jars are shelf-stable if the seals remain intact. Paul Fehribach, chef and co-owner of Big Jones, a restaurant in Chicago, gives canning tips in The Big Jones Cookbook. For pickles and preserves, he recommends using a simple canning kit with a tool to lift jars in and out of boiling water, a jar rack that sits in the bottom of a stock pot and Mason jars with new canning lids to hold the food. Both Paster and Fehribach suggest using professionally tested recipes. “Go to a reliable source, whether it’s a cookbook or a website, because there are some food safety issues. Recipes have been calibrated to have the right ratio of water and vinegar to vegetables to ensure it’s acidic enough,” says Paster. “Pickles are a great place to begin because they’re really hard to mess up.”

Preserving the Harvest Classic Ways to Store Garden Bounty All Year by Julie Peterson


Refrigerator Pickling


hether gardening, purchasing at farmers’ markets or ordering from a community supported agriculture farm, preservation techniques capture the bounty of the harvest and ensure availability of fresh flavors year-round.

Dehydrating “Dehydrating machines can be purchased for about $50, but an oven that goes down to a temperature of 150 or less will work,” says Brekke Bounds, educator at City Grange, a garden center in Chicago. Before dehydrating, consider the end use. Peaches or cherries can be cut into bite-size pieces. Roma or cherry tomatoes, sliced or cut in half and dried, can go in winter soups and stews. “Apple chips are super-easy,” Bounds says. “Core and slice with a mandoline, dunk in a lemon solution, sprinkle with cinnamon, dehydrate and store in an airtight jar.” Foods can be seasoned or marinated before drying. “We make zucchini bacon for vegan BLTs,” says Anthony Damiano, chef proprietor at Counter Culture restaurant, in Vero Beach, Florida. Dried herbs chopped in a food processor can be stored in airtight containers and used up to a year later as flavorful salad toppings or soup mixes.

Canning “One of my go-to methods is water bath canning,” says Emily Paster, author of The Joys of Jewish Preserving. “It’s a really safe and effective method of home preservation for highacid foods. Certain kinds of microorganisms, most specifically botulism, can’t live in a high-acid environment.” Fruits that go into jams and jellies are typically acidic enough, but 24

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The pickling process can be done without water bath canning, but the jars must remain refrigerated. The fun is in the quickness and variability of the recipes. Beyond traditional cucumber pickles, excellent pickles can be made with green beans, carrots, onions, cauliflower and green tomatoes. Brine can be dill, spicy or sweet. Damiano makes refrigerator pickles with a variety of local organic produce, including radishes, okra and other vegetables. The pickles are great for eating and can be used in salads and recipes like plant-based tostadas.

Fermenting “Fermentation is an essential part of how people everywhere make effective use of food resources,” says Sandor Ellix Katz, fermentation revivalist in Liberty, Tennessee, and author of The Art of Fermentation. “Fermentation produces alcohol, helps preserve food by producing acids and makes foods more digestible, more nutritious, more delicious and sometimes less toxic.” Cultures around the world developed fermentation techniques as a practical method to prevent food decomposition. Studies show that fermented foods and beverages provide beneficial probiotics

to the gut microbiome. Anyone can give fermentation a try with ordinary kitchen tools—a knife, cutting board, mixing bowl and a jar. “Certain ferments, such as yogurt or tempeh, require specific temperature ranges,” advises Katz.


Cold Storage Many fruits and vegetables freeze well, but a basement or backyard root cellar is a noelectricity, cold storage method. Items that store well in a root cellar include most root crops and firm fruits like apples and pears. “Root cellars use the natural, cool, moist conditions underground for fruit and vegetable storage. Earth-sheltered options work best for cooler climates where the ground temp is naturally cooler,” says Laurie Neverman in Denmark, Wisconsin, creator of CommonSenseHome. com. Those with no outdoor spot or cold basement room can still use cold storage. “Some crops like onions, garlic, potatoes, winter squash, apples and carrots keep well in dark, dry, cool room temperatures of about 55 degrees,” says Neverman. Food preservation methods extend the blessings of the harvest. A little preparation now will provide edible delights for months to come. Julie Peterson writes from rural Wisconsin. Reach out at

‘Clean the Garden’ Kimchi This easy kimchi recipe turns common garden veggies into a spicy probiotic ferment that’s loaded with good bacteria and health benefits. yield: 32 servings 4 Tbsp sea salt and 4 cups water 1 lb Chinese cabbage (napa or bok choy preferred, but other cabbage will do) 1 daikon radish or a few red radishes 1 to 2 carrots 1 to 2 (minimum) onions (or shallots or leeks) 3 to 4 (minimum) cloves garlic 3 to 4 hot red chilies to taste (seeds removed, dried is fine, nothing with preservatives) 2 to 3 Tbsp (minimum) fresh grated ginger root Prepare brine in a nonreactive container such as a glass bowl or large measuring cup. Mix water and salt, and stir thoroughly to dissolve salt. Cut up cabbage, radishes and carrots. (Add in other vegetables as an option.) Mix vegetables together and move them into fermentation vessel. Cover vegetables with brine. Use a fermentation weight or plate with a heavy object to weigh the vegetables down and keep them below the brine. (Mix more brine if needed to make sure vegetables are completely submerged.) Put a cloth over the fermentation vessel and wait for vegetables to soften (a few hours or overnight). Drain the brine from the vegetables, reserving it. Give the vegetables a taste. They should be salty, but not too salty. Sprinkle on additional salt, if needed, and mix; rinse if too salty. Mix the onion, garlic, chilies and ginger into the drained vegetables and blend well. Pack the vegetable mix into the fermentation vessel. Use the fermentation weight or plate to press it down until the brine covers the kimchi-in-progress. Add a little brine back, if needed, to make sure the vegetables are completely covered. Cover the fermentation vessel with a cloth and leave it on the counter for about a week. Taste test to check the fermentation. When happy with the flavor, the kimchi is done. Store in the refrigerator in a glass container to stop the fermentation. Recipe by Laurie Neverman at

Food Preservation Resources National Center for Home Food Preservation: Ball & Kerr recipes and products for canning: Complete Dehydrator Cookbook, by Carole Cancler The Pickled Pantry: From Apples to Zucchini, by Andrea Chesman Root Cellaring: Natural Cold Storage of Fruits & Vegetables, by Mike and Nancy Bubel

Natural Awakenings recommends using organic, non-GMO (genetically modified) and non-bromated ingredients whenever possible. August 2021


calendar of events TUESDAY, AUGUST 3 Spirituality, Addiction & Recovery: Leaving Religion at the Door – 9am-12pm. Virtual on Zoom. Trainer Richard Eisenberg, Rabbi, MA, CAC will explain the ways addiction can impair human relationships and how a spiritual orientation in recovery breaks down human barriers. In addition, the impact of trauma history upon addiction and spirituality will be discussed. 3 CECs. $60. Register at

TUESDAY, AUGUST 10 It’s Not Your Fault: Overcoming the Shame, Stigma, and Guilt of Trauma – 9am-12pm. Virtual on Zoom. While everyone’s lived experiences vary, many people can relate to the thought of living a life with a secret or dealing with some form of dysfunction. Learn about shame, stigma, guilt, and gain skills crucial for working with clients struggling with these feelings after traumatization. 3 CECs. $60. Register at CWC Lunch & Learn: Tools for Building Community Resilience – 12pm-1pm. Virtual on Zoom. This past year has taken a toll on many of us and the lingering effects of the pandemic will continue for quite some time. During this 1-hour Lunch & Learn Rebecca will provide a healing space for all people to come together to learn simple resiliency-based wellness skills for self and community care. No CECs. Free. Register at

THURSDAY, AUGUST 12 Young Living Essential Oils – 6:30pm-8pm. Help align your mind, body, spirit. Learn to take control of your health with therapeutic grade oils. Free class. Hosted in Zoom. 203-631-7803 or


New Haven/Middlesex



Return To The Fire is offering Men’s Retreat: Accessing the Masculine Archetypes to inspire and guide a more authentic life – (August 13-15 Arrive Fri. By 7pm). Held on a private island retreat center in New Milford, CT. Come re-awaken your long forgotten Dreams. Cost: $325. To enroll, call now: 203-731-7755 or email:

Forage walk with Qi Gong practice-learn wild edible, medicinal plants and mushrooms of late summer – 1pm-3pm. In this workshop you will learn how to identify different wild edible and medicinal plants that grow in the summer. Class will begin with opening Qi gong exercises to help us get grounded and connected to the earth! This in-person class will be near Middletown. $25. For more information, go to

SATURDAY, AUGUST 21 Return to The Fire is Offering Father & Daughter Retreat Weekend – (Aug. 21-22). Come expand and deepen your relationship! For Daughters ages 7-16. Held on a private Island Retreat on the Housatonic River, New Milford. Cost: $295. For more information, call: 203-731-7755 or email:

SUNDAY, AUGUST 22 Sonic Alchemy – 2pm-3:30pm. This sound healing meditation concert combines Bradford Tilden’s inspiring piano music, crystal bowls and channeled vocal tones to create a powerful activating, and healing experience. Bring own pillows, mats, etc. $20 Cash at door. Red Barn in Durham, 352 Main St, Durham. Contact Bradford 860-830-5841 LIVESTREAM access for $4.99 at CrystalMusicHealing. Full Moon Meditation w/Gayle Franceschetti – 6:30pm-8:30pm. Align w/new energies of this Super Full Moon. Opportunities for letting go of the old and allowing spiritual energies to reach human hearts and minds. $25. Hosted on Zoom. For questions, please call 203-631-7803 or

MONDAY, AUGUST 23 Young Living Essential Oils – 6:30pm-8pm. Help align your mind, body, spirit. Learn to take control of your health with therapeutic grade oils. Free class, Hosted on Zoom. 203-631-7803 or

Lemurian Intuitive Healing Level 2: August 28 & 29 – 9am-6:30pm both days. Prerequisites: LSINHL1 or permission from instructor. This advanced course explores multi-dimensional crystal and sound healing, balance of light and dark energies, shamanic principles of energy-work, animal spirit guides, ascended masters, angels, and deep healing. Tuition: $400 Braulttree Wellness Center, 415 Killingsworth Rd, Ste. 9A, Higganum. Contact Bradford 860-830-5841.

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 7 New Earth Teachers Courses – 6pm-9pm. (Tuesdays, Sept 7-Nov 9). This 10-week ascension preparedness course covers important information about the coming Earth changes, visiting the New Earth in meditation, raising your frequency, releasing karma, our evolving chakra systems and more. ($750 Value) 35% off Paid up front: $495 (save $255); 15% off 2 installments of $320 (save $112) Some segments have optional additional costs for materials. Taught via Zoom. Register: Contact Bradford, 860-830-5841.


sunday Individual and small group tutoring sessions available for Summer 2021 with professional, experienced educators at CELC Middle School in Branford – Reasonable rates. All subject areas, grades K-9th. Maintain academic skills, rebuild engagement from a “lost” year, develop greater confidence and understanding. 28 School St, Branford. Contact or call 203-433-4658.

monday Come see CELC Middle School in action – Tours by appointment only! Middle school specialists, 5th – 8th grade. Small class sizes, personalized instruction, robust academics. Limited openings still available for 2020-21. 28 School St, Branford. Contact or call 203-433-4658. For more information, visit Individual and small group tutoring sessions available for Summer 2021 with professional, experienced educators at CELC Middle School in Branford – Reasonable rates. All subject areas, grades K-9th. Maintain academic skills, rebuild engagement from a “lost” year, develop greater confidence and understanding. 28 School St, Branford. Contact or call 203-433-4658. Make the Most of Summer with CELC Middle School Explorers’ Summer Program ages 9 -12 – 9am-3pm. CELC Middle School teams up with Mathnasium of Guilford for The Arithmetic of Architecture! and Debunking Billiard Math! Work with Colombian-born Instructor for Tell Your Story in Spanish to discover the world of native characters by learning about their countries and traditions. Other Summer Program activities include science investigations, local hikes, music, visit to local farm, and more. Limit 10 participants / week. Register now to reserve your spot! To register now: or contact: or 203-433-4658.

tuesday Come see CELC Middle School in action – Tours by appointment only! Middle school specialists, 5th – 8th grade. Small class sizes, personalized instruction, robust academics. Limited openings still available for 2020-21. 28 School St, Branford. Contact or call 203-433-4658. For more information, visit Individual and small group tutoring sessions available for Summer 2021 with professional, experienced educators at CELC Middle School in Branford – Reasonable rates. All subject areas, grades K-9th. Maintain academic skills, rebuild engagement from a “lost” year, develop greater confidence and understanding. 28 School St, Branford. Contact or call 203-433-4658.

Make the Most of Summer with CELC Middle School Explorers’ Summer Program ages 9 -12 – 9am-3pm. CELC Middle School teams up with Mathnasium of Guilford for The Arithmetic of Architecture! and Debunking Billiard Math! Work with Colombian-born Instructor for Tell Your Story in Spanish to discover the world of native characters by learning about their countries and traditions. Other Summer Program activities include science investigations, local hikes, music, visit to local farm, and more. Limit 10 participants / week. Register now to reserve your spot! To register now: or contact: or 203-433-4658.

Make the Most of Summer with CELC Middle School Explorers’ Summer Program ages 9 -12 – 9am-3pm. CELC Middle School teams up with Mathnasium of Guilford for The Arithmetic of Architecture! and Debunking Billiard Math! Work with Colombian-born Instructor for Tell Your Story in Spanish to discover the world of native characters by learning about their countries and traditions. Other Summer Program activities include science investigations, local hikes, music, visit to local farm, and more. Limit 10 participants / week. Register now to reserve your spot! To register now: or contact: or 203-433-4658.

Weekly Qi Gong class – 6pm-7pm. Qi gong integrates physical postures, breathing techniques and focused intention to heal the body, mind, and spirit. There will be brief meditation integrating with a combination of singing bowls, aromatherapy, and an inspirational reading at the end of each class. $15. For more information, go to At The Red Barn in Durham, 352 Main St, Durham.

Weekly Qi Gong class – 9:30am-10:30am. Qi gong integrates physical postures, breathing techniques and focused intention to heal the body, mind, and spirit. There will be brief meditation integrating with a combination of singing bowls, aromatherapy, and an inspirational reading at the end of each class. $15. For more information, go to ChiForHealing. com. Location: Elizabeth Park in West Hartford.

New Earth Teachers Courses – 6pm-9pm. (Tuesdays, Sept 7-Nov 9). This 10-week ascension preparedness course covers important information about the coming Earth changes, visiting the New Earth in meditation, raising your frequency, releasing karma, our evolving chakra systems and more. ($750 Value) 35% off Paid up front: $495 (save $255); 15% off 2 installments of $320 (save $112) Some segments have optional additional costs for materials. Taught via Zoom. Register: Contact Bradford, 860-830-5841.

Open Healing Arts Exchange – 6pm-8pm. (Aug 11 - Every 2nd Wed of the month). Gather and experience each other’s unique healing modalities. While featuring White Time Energy and Gemstone healing, we welcome all practitioners and anyone interested in giving and receiving a healing and/ or curious about the healing arts. $20. Braulttree Wellness Center, Higganum. 860-344-9573.

Sound Healing & Reiki Meditation – 7pm-8:15pm. Explore energy healing, relaxation modalities, release pain/stress, and rejuvenate your body from the inside out. $35/Session or $25/ prepay multi sessions. The Red Barn in Durham, 352 Main St, Durham. for information or to register.

Come see CELC Middle School in action – Tours by appointment only! Middle school specialists, 5th – 8th grade. Small class sizes, personalized instruction, robust academics. Limited openings still available for 2020-21. 28 School St, Branford. Contact or call 203-433-4658. For more information, visit

wednesday Come see CELC Middle School in action – Tours by appointment only! Middle school specialists, 5th – 8th grade. Small class sizes, personalized instruction, robust academics. Limited openings still available for 2020-21. 28 School St, Branford. Contact or call 203-433-4658. For more information, visit Individual and small group tutoring sessions available for Summer 2021 with professional, experienced educators at CELC Middle School in Branford – Reasonable rates. All subject areas, grades K-9th. Maintain academic skills, rebuild engagement from a “lost” year, develop greater confidence and understanding. 28 School St, Branford. Contact or call 203-433-4658.


Individual and small group tutoring sessions available for Summer 2021 with professional, experienced educators at CELC Middle School in Branford – Reasonable rates. All subject areas, grades K-9th. Maintain academic skills, rebuild engagement from a “lost” year, develop greater confidence and understanding. 28 School St, Branford. Contact or call 203-433-4658. Make the Most of Summer with CELC Middle School Explorers’ Summer Program ages 9 -12 – 9am-3pm. CELC Middle School teams up with Mathnasium of Guilford for The Arithmetic of Architecture! and Debunking Billiard Math! Work with Colombian-born Instructor for Tell Your Story in Spanish to discover the world of native characters by learning about their countries and traditions. Other Summer Program activities include science investigations, local hikes, music, visit to local farm, and more. Limit 10 participants / week. Register now to reserve your spot! To register now: or contact: or 203-433-4658.

August 2021


ongoingevents The Caring Network: Free virtual support group through Microsoft Teams for adults who have lost a loved one – 6pm. (Thurs, August 5 & August 19). Bridges Healthcare, 949 Bridgeport Avenue, Milford. Information about grief and loss; facilitated open discussion. Adults do not need to register. The group is facilitated by a Bridges counselor and is sponsored by Bridges Healthcare and Cody-White Funeral Home. For more information, please call the Group Facilitator, Brooke Torres M.Ed., at 203 878-6365 ext. 480. or email Healing Class for Chronic Illness/Pain using Tong Ren therapy through Zoom – 7pm-8pm. For this class we focus on helping people struggling with chronic illness and chronic pain. Tong Ren Therapy is based on the power of our mind creating energy for healing. Using the hammer technique, we hit points on an acupuncture doll to focus the energy on a person. During the Tong Ren class people will sit and receive energy. 3 things will be tapped on for each person. Group energy healing will be received and we will send distance healing also. This class also utilizes meditation, sound healing, and inspirational readings. $10. For more information, go to

Gemstone Clinic – 7:30pm-9pm. (Aug 19 - 3rd Thurs of the Month). Come get stoned with us! Experience gemstone treatments for only $10 each and learn about Universal White Time Healing and what it has to offer. $10-20. The Red Barn in Durham, 352 Main St. Durham. RSVP preferred. Bradford: 860-830-5841 or

friday Come see CELC Middle School in action – Tours by appointment only! Middle school specialists, 5th – 8th grade. Small class sizes, personalized instruction, robust academics. Limited openings still available for 2020-21. 28 School St, Branford. Contact or call 203-433-4658. For more information, visit Individual and small group tutoring sessions available for Summer 2021 with professional, experienced educators at CELC Middle School in Branford – Reasonable rates. All subject areas, grades K-9th. Maintain academic skills, rebuild engagement from a “lost” year, develop greater confidence and understanding. 28 School St, Branford. Contact or call 203-433-4658.

Make the Most of Summer with CELC Middle School Explorers’ Summer Program ages 9 -12 – 9am-3pm. CELC Middle School teams up with Mathnasium of Guilford for The Arithmetic of Architecture! and Debunking Billiard Math! Work with Colombian-born Instructor for Tell Your Story in Spanish to discover the world of native characters by learning about their countries and traditions. Other Summer Program activities include science investigations, local hikes, music, visit to local farm, and more. Limit 10 participants / week. Register now to reserve your spot! To register now: or contact: or 203-433-4658.

saturday Oracle Card Readings via zoom anytime or in person – 9am-1pm. Receive guidance, wisdom, and healing. $99/hr or $49/30min. In person at The Red Barn in Durham, 352 Main St, Durham. Email for appointments. Individual and small group tutoring sessions available for Summer 2021 with professional, experienced educators at CELC Middle School in Branford – Reasonable rates. All subject areas, grades K-9th. Maintain academic skills, rebuild engagement from a “lost” year, develop greater confidence and understanding. 28 School St, Branford. Contact or call 203-433-4658.

classifieds ALS SUPPORT


THE ALS ASSOCIATION CONNECTICUT CHAPTER – Leading the fight to treat and cure ALS through research & advocacy while empowering people w/Lou Gehrig’s Disease and their families to live fuller lives w/compassionate care & support. 4 Oxford Road, Unit D4. Milford. 203-874-5050.

CT LYME RIDERS, INC. – Founded in 2007 by motorcyclists Sandy Brule & Tony Gargano. A 501(c)(3) non profit public charity aiming to bring awareness to the public about Lyme Disease. Events & info. 860-537-0255,

DISTRIBUTORS WANTED DISTRIBUTORS WANTED – For monthly deliveries of Natural Awakenings and other local publications. Perfect for a retired person or stay at home mom looking to earn some extra income and connect with their local community. Honesty and dependability are the most important characteristics of our distributors.

ARE YOU LOOKING FOR GUIDANCE ON YOUR LIFE’S PATH and are you seeking an ethical intuitive reader to guide you? Feel free to reach out to A 30-minute reading is $75.

New Haven/Middlesex

HYPNOSIS THERAPY CENTER – There is a meaning behind every ailment and condition people have. It's your body speaking to you. If you are tired of being sick and are ready to help yourself heal, then consider having a Discovery Session so you can learn the cause and 'cure.' Madison. 203-245-6927.





M E N TA L H E A LT H / W E L L N E S S P R A C T I T I O N E R S – D a y r e n t a l a v a i lable or partner in practice, residential (East Haven) shoreline suburb, 1st floor home built 1900 (1000 sq ft), quaint character, 4 blocks from beach, on bus line, parking, 2 large porches, outdoor waterfall system built in megalithic stone, pricing/ level of involvement negotiable, if interest renting or partnering w/LPCA, Sandy: 203-468-6277.

Pets are humanizing.

They remind us we have an obligation and responsibility to preserve and nurture and care for all life. ~James Cromwell

community resource guide APPLIED KINESIOLOGY KC CHIROPRACTIC & WELLNESS Kevin Healy, DC 17 Woodland Road, Madison, CT 203-245-9317

Applied Kinesiology i s a n e u r o logical evaluation to find and treat dysfunction. Different because it addresses causes instead of chasing pains, Dr. Healy tests if a therapy alleviates dysfunction, finding immediate answers as to which provides the most improvement. Chiropractic, craniosacral, myofascial and acupressure are among the therapies Dr. Healy uses. Generally, no single cure exists as disease and dysfunction typically involve multiple areas of the body. The goal of any therapy—physical, chemical, or emotional—is to improve function; a combination of therapies typically yields the best results. See ad on page 15.


CT Experiential Learning Center (CELC) Middle School provides experientially-based education with a personalized approach to learning, designed to empower young people to thrive. Our students come from a variety of towns throughout Connecticut, from families looking for a program that engages and deepens learning, where their children can flourish during these important and impactful 5th - 8th grade years. See ad on page 6.

MASSAGE THERAPIST A MOMENT IN TIME MASSAGE, LLC Jill Andrzejewski LMT #9900, RMT & Psychic 3490 Whitney Avenue, Suite 205 Hamden, CT 203-909-1108

I use a holistic approach to treat my clients—We work as a team, setting goals to move forward to get you where you wish to be physically, mentally and spiritually. My intention is to empower people to empower themselves. I am an advocate for gentle stretching, crystals and breath work to maintain a feeling of being grounded and calm. Services available: massage, 30-minute sessions for chronic pain management, Reiki, chakra balancing, angel tarot, oracle card readings, couples Reiki, foot baths with hand made all natural herbal ingredients, group events and classes. A Moment In Time Treasures items available for purchase. Sessions available by appointment only.


April Beaman 2 Forest Park Dr. Farmington, CT 212 New London Turnpike Glastonbury, CT 860-415-1150 CT Thermography specializes in medical thermal imaging, also known as Thermography. Thermography is the use and study of thermograms for detecting and measuring variations of heat emitted for the surface of the body. A thermogram is produced by a highly sensitive, medical infrared camera that accurately maps the temperature variations which are then interpreted by Board Certified physicians known as thermologists. Thermography does not expose the body to radiation or involve contact and is used to aid in the detection of inflammation, disease and cancer. See ad on page 7.



Robin Barros, IMT-C, CSC, CPLC 5 Gavin Drive, Columbia, CT 860-709-3903

Spirit of the Lotus is a sacred space, warm and welcoming, where you can go for holistic health and healing. Robin uses many modalities to get to the heart of what’s caus-ing you to be in pain, out of alignment or just frustrated with what feels like a block to living your best life. Integrative Manual Therapy, gently helps you release tension from injury, illness or surgery. Intuitive guidance helps you release Physical, Mental & Spiritual baggage, carried for years, lives or generations. As an Advanced Soul Coach & Past Life Coach (R), we clear away inner debris in order to connect you with the wis-dom of your soul. With years of experience and training, you can experience optimal health & wellness.

Kristen Klie, D.V.M. 203-645-5570

Final Journey, LLC is an in-home euthanasia service for your animal companion that brings comfort and peace during a sensitive and challenging time. See ad on page 15.

PHYSICAL THERAPY PHYSICAL THERAPY SERVICES OF GUILFORD 500 East Main Street, Suite 310, Branford, CT 203-315-7727 (Phone) 203-315-7757 (Fax)

At Physical Therapy Services of Guilford, we specialize in manual therapy using hands-on techniques to help the body’s natural healing process. We also incorporate traditional programs and modalities to maximize health. 40-minute sessions are conducted one-on-one in private treatment rooms. See ad on page 19.

August 2021


community resource guide REIKI SUSANE GRASSO, RMT 2489 Boston Post Road Guilford, CT 203-500-6950

Stress is the plague of the 21st century and the cause of physical and emotional woes. Because of this, my sessions combine my ability to see auras with Reiki, Theta Healing, acupressure and Sound Vibrational Healing to provide deep relaxation and balance. “Tension out! Wellness in” is more than a phrase. For my clients it is a statement of fact. Distance Healing available. See ad on page 11.



Elm City Wellness is an independent, womanowned wellness center with a focus on community healing. Services include a variety of skilled massage, CBD massage, community and private acupuncture, Reiki, craniosacral therapy and organic skin care, including signature, microderm and high frequency facials. Skilled therapists specifically tailor each and every session. Our wellness store features local products, candles, wellness supplies and books, smudge kits and a large range of third-party tested, pharmaceutical grade CBD products. See back cover ad.

787 Main St, S Woodbury, CT 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 transformations, healing and grounding for Mind, Body and Spirit.

GREEN IS SEEN when you advertise with us. 203-988-1808


New Haven/Middlesex


Bradford Tilden, MM, CMT, UWT 860-830-5841 My goal is to empower you to develop spiritually and professionally. I offer sessions and teach certification classes in Universal White Time (UWT), Lemurian Intuitive, Crystal, and Sound Healing, transformational voice coaching, and guided visualization. I use these techniques, and more to help you to obtain authentic expression, empowerment, and transformation. You can purchase personally attuned crystals, through me. My clients and students gain a renewed clarity and a sense of purpose in working with me.

Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you. ~Frank Lloyd Wright

CELEBRATING 27 years in THE business of

August 2021



New Haven/Middlesex