Archive | February, 2012

PCC’s Nutritional Therapy Program Earns National Accreditation

Posted on 06 February 2012 by Jason

A Portland Community College program designed to prepare students for careers in nutrition counseling has been recognized by a national nutrition organization.
The Nutritional Therapy Program, offered through PCC’s CLIMB for Health Professionals, received accreditation from the National Association of Nutrition Professionals in September, 2011. Graduates of the program will now have the opportunity to take the organization’s board exam in holistic nutrition.
“Once they pass their exams and complete 500 hours of practicum, they will become fully certified,” said Sharmila Bose, coordinator of the Nutritional Therapy Program. “Then they can start a consulting business as a nutritional therapist, work in food research and development or in a health food store, partner with other health providers, teach, go into sales … the career options are numerous.”
Nutritional Therapy courses are taught over the duration of four terms, with most courses held on Saturdays and Sundays. Participants can enter the program in any term. Classes will cover such topics as nutritional assessment, pathophysiology, Ayurveda, traditional Chinese herbalism, and business practices.
“This is an innovative and cutting edge program,” added instructor and renowned herbalist K.P. Khalsa, who teaches nutritional assessment and food therapy. “PCC CLIMB for Health Professionals is a leader in this field and always presents quality education. This is a great opportunity for students to enter a rapidly developing field and embark on a career with tremendous current and future potential.”

For more information, visit or call 971-722-6673.

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Natural Awakenings PDX Fit Club Program

Posted on 06 February 2012 by Jason

Want to make a difference in your health and well-being? Peaceful Roots and Natural Awakenings magazine are teaming up so that YOU, the Natural Awakenings reader, can get fit Mind-Body-Emotion style!
Three lucky Natural Awakenings readers will receive eight (8) weeks of personal training, group training and nutrition counseling, balanced with yoga, flexibility and stress reduction. Whether you’re looking to lose weight, increase strength, train your mind or build muscle, you will be working under the guidance of holistic fitness practitioners to meet your goals.
Here’s the scoop: The group will meet three (3) times a week for a full eight (8) weeks (Yes, HUGE commitment) Tuesday and Thursday evening and Saturday mornings, April 7 through June 2. You must want to put in the work. Making changes requires a commitment‑‑two evenings each week as a group and Saturdays from 8 to 11 a.m. There will be homework and you will be asked to write about your experiences. It’s a lot, but we know you can do it!
You must also be willing to disclose personal information about yourself to Natural Awakenings readers: Name, Age, Occupation, Weight (oh yes) and Goals. So if you’ve wanted to be a star, this is your moment! Progress will be tracked and results will be reported to Natural Awakenings readers at the halfway point and at the end.

If you are interested, go to and complete the application on the Fit Club page. (Deadline is March 12.)

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Dental Designs Community Spotlight by Robin Will

Posted on 06 February 2012 by Jason

When he sees where his new patients are coming from, Dr. Lance Heppler notices a change‑‑for the good. Lance Heppler, DMD, FAGD, calls his practice “Dental Designs.” Located in southeast Vancouver, WA, it is one of the few holistic dental practices in the Portland area, offering everything patients expect in family dentistry‑‑except exposure to mercury.
More than 1500 names show up on an internet search for dentists with Portland addresses. Of those, “… there are seven or eight dentists like me,” Heppler estimates. Patients come from as far away as Albany to the south, and Centralia to the north.
Two years ago, about 30 to 40 percent of his new patients came specifically because Dental Designs was a mercury-free practice. Some of them were sick from exposure to mercury. Some of them intended not to risk any exposure to mercury, ever. Recently, that number has climbed to about 70 percent. New patients, overwhelmingly, are coming to Dental Designs specifically for holistic dentistry. The referral grapevine is working well for people who suffer from mercury exposure, Heppler surmises, and patients are becoming more educated about choosing the dentist, and the care, that will work best in the long term. To keep up with demand, Heppler has added another dentist to the staff at Dental Designs.
Holistic, or Biological, or Mercury-Free Dentistry‑‑all of those terms apply‑‑is still a controversial field. Holistic spokesmen cite evidence about the dangers of traditional dentistry; traditional voices characterize holistic practitioners as new-age kooks. Heppler is in a position to see the bigger picture. He is one of only about 2 percent of American dentists entitled to write the initials FAGD (Fellowship in the Academy of General Dentistry) after their names, which indicates continuing education verified by rigorous exams. It took him 10 years to earn the FAGD, and he’s familiar with the arguments on all sides of the issue.
The key, he explains, is seeing individual differences. Some people take in heavy metals, which flush out harmlessly. Other people will experience a slow buildup of mercury on peripheral nervous tissue until they start showing symptoms‑‑tremors, depression, fatigue, unclear thinking, chronic pain‑‑that can be misdiagnosed in a variety of ways. Symptoms start adding up somewhere in a patient’s mid-30s, and some patients suffer for years before the problem is diagnosed correctly.
Once a problem is diagnosed, treatment happens in phases. First, the old amalgam fillings are removed. “Getting them out is riskier than putting them in,” Heppler explains, and there’s a strict protocol for removing the fillings without risking further exposure. When the amalgam is gone, patients are referred to a naturopathic physician who can prescribe ways to remove the residual mercury from their bodies.
Of course, the obvious way to deal with toxicity issues is to never risk them in the first place. That’s the point of a holistic dental practice. Most of the patients at Dental Designs aren’t in crisis. Grownups and kids are getting mercury-free fillings, non-metallic bridge- and crownwork, a metal-free approach to straightening teeth and careful attention to individual tolerances for anesthetics and medications. There’s nothing here that’s likely to make anybody sick‑‑not now, and not 30 years down the road.
There are now two more outposts in the Dental Designs practice. Silver Falls Family Dental ( is operating in Silverton, Oregon, and Astoria Family Dental ( is thriving in Astoria. There are full-time dentists in each location, and Dr. Heppler visits once a week. Staff is hand-picked in all locations, and Heppler can’t stop singing their praises. He describes them collectively as gentle, wonderful, smart and understanding. Because of the broader perspective of the Dental Designs practice, they are especially alert to patients’ concerns and questions.


Dr. Lance Heppler’s practice, Dental Designs, is located at 900 SE Chkalov Drive, close to I-205 on the southeast side of Vancouver. The office phone is 360-896-1449, and the website is

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The Better Living Home, Garden & Lifestyle Show is returning to Portland by Robin Will

Posted on 06 February 2012 by Jason

The Better Living Home, Garden & Lifestyle Show is returning to Portland Expo Center, March 23-25, 2012. Admission to the event is free, thanks to the sponsors and exhibitors.
For the fifth year, Portland’s Blue Ocean Events is turning the home-show concept inside-out. Instead of offering an out-of-the-way pavilion for green “alternatives,” Blue Ocean has created a wall-to-wall celebration of green technologies, showing us choices that restore health to our lives and our planet, and inviting us to enjoy ourselves heartily while we do it.
There are several points being made here, and this event makes them with panache. First, it’s possible to live well, have fun, and still minimize the impact we have on the earth. The word “celebration” is not just fluff at this event. Second, no matter how green visitors think they are ‑ or are not ‑ everybody will find something useful here. Leave with a good recipe that uses locally-grown produce or a fresh idea about storm windows, and the earth is that much better off! Third, business thrives in a green environment, or all of these exhibitors wouldn’t be at the show.
Look at the event itself: for five years, Blue Ocean Events has produced this show, remaining profitable while eschewing the admission charges that usually make up 40 percent of the revenue for an event such as this one. They’re smart, they’re productive, they’re green. No problem. This isn’t a hype- and sales-driven event, and it does not feel like one. In past years, it has felt like a house party, with guests strolling from room to room. The harsh overhead lighting at Expo is turned off, and each exhibitor is responsible for his or her own ambiance. There is lots of music, there’s absolutely no pressure, and nobody seems to be in a hurry.
Lots of stuff is given away. There will be wine-sampling; food vendors will be handing out freebies; and the folks in Vegan Village will be cooking up a storm. A regional creamery gave away more than 7,000 organic ice cream bars at one of these events. Visitors can come early, stay late, and probably skip dinner.
The Better Living Show is made up fresh every year, reflecting the gathering momentum of green, sustainable, holistic awareness, so old things get a new spin, and there are new developments around every corner. One of the big changes for 2012 is a matter of emphasis. Blue Ocean Events organizers Michael O’Loughlin and Stephanie Frisch realized that everything they were doing was related to health and wellness: healthy bodies, minds and spirits; healthy organizations and cultures; healthy Earth … and as a result, there’s now a dedicated Wellness Pavilion. Natural Awakenings magazine Portland and The Portland Clinic are sponsoring it, and exhibitors will be sharing advice and the best of healthcare practices through the ages.
Another change is a matter of sheer success: the Vegan Village will be bigger this year ‑ again. There is a trend towards healthy cooking with local ingredients, and these folks know how to make it work. Visitors line up for the free samples.
This year, there will be numerous electric cars—because there are more electric cars everywhere. Guests can learn about the cars in a hype-free environment, and talk to the folks from PGE who keep them plugged in. Schnitzer Steel will be hosting a Recycling Plaza ‑ in case anybody needs to be reminded they’re not at an ordinary home show. Bring hard-to-recycle items to the show, and Schnitzer, or one of their recycling partners, will take care of it. The Oregon Food Bank will get a check from Schnitzer for the value of the steel they recycle at this event. The Energy Trust of Oregon will be there to help homeowners figure out what kind of energy-saving upgrades or renewable energy alternatives are appropriate to their situations. Help figuring out the cash incentives and tax credits can be priceless. Many of the energy upgrades will be showcased in NW Natural’s Blue Home. Planet Kids has nature encounters, story times and enough other neat stuff to make parents envious.
Of course, there’s a whole slate of presentations in addition to the floor exhibits. Daryl Hannah will be the keynote speaker; she has been actively practicing a low-impact lifestyle for decades. Who knew? There will be programs on Eco-Fashion. Oregon State University’s “10-Minute University™” will be back with their short and intense classes in sustainable garden and lifestyle topics.

For more information, visit which previews the March, 2012, show, provides contact information, and even lists volunteer opportunities for those who are interested.

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