Archive | January, 2013

First MELT Method Book Available this Month

Posted on 01 January 2013 by Jason

The MELT Method is a revolutionary approach to wellness and longevity that’s helped tens of thousands of people get out, and stay out, of pain. With The MELT Method: A Breakthrough Self-Treatment System to Eliminate Chronic Pain, Erase the Signs of Aging, and Feel Fantastic in Just 10 Minutes a Day!, Sue Hitzmann is making a healthier, pain-free body accessible to anyone.
MELT is the first self-treatment method that simulates the hands-on techniques that manual therapist Hitzmann uses to eliminate accumulated stress, pain and dysfunction in her private clients. With easy-to-learn techniques that use a soft body roller and small balls, this groundbreaking program quickly rehydrates connective tissue, which allows the body to release long-held tension. This “stuck stress”—created by the repetitive motions and postures of daily living—is the true cause of most common aches, pains and chronic symptoms. MELT also rebalances the nervous system and boosts the body’s natural healing and repair mechanisms.
MELT has helped more than 50,000 people across the country avoid surgery, shed excess body fat, regain mobility and flexibility, and even progress from “bad knees” to marathon training. There are more than two dozen MELT instructors in the Portland-area alone. With the release of the very first MELT Method book on January 22, now anyone can benefit from the same techniques that have made MELT a red-hot word-of-mouth success. Hitzmann will be in Portland in February teaching a number of 90-minute Intro Classes that will be open to the public.
For more information about finding a MELT class near you, go to

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Stand Up and Move! How to Sizzle not Fizzle by Debra Melani

Posted on 01 January 2013 by Jason

As millions of Americans ponder quitting newly launched fitness resolutions after finding it tough to squeeze in toning workouts or sweat off a few extra pounds, researchers implore: Don’t give up. Just pump out 20 minutes a day of any kind of exercise—take a brisk walk, jog, lift weights—and stop sitting so much. Results can bring a healthier, more youthful feeling of well-being, akin to what explorer Juan Ponce de León sought in the Americas long ago.

In a recently completed study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, researchers followed up with more than 18,000 middle-aged men and women that had been tested an average of 26 years earlier for cardiorespiratory fitness via a treadmill test. They compared those results with the individuals’ current Medicare data at the Cooper Institute Clinic in Dallas.

“We found those who were fitter had a much lower rate of heart failure, chronic kidney disease, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, certain kinds of colon cancer and coronary artery disease,” says co-author Dr. Benjamin Willis. “Fit people that did become ill did so at a much later age than their non-fit counterparts. They were able to enjoy a healthier life longer.”

Researchers found that for every higher MET fitness level (standard metabolic equivalent, a unit for measuring fitness related to the amount of oxygen used by the body during physical activity), the risk of chronic disease decreased by about 6 percent. “So those that can raise their fitness levels by three METs have an estimated 18 to 20 percent reduced risk of developing a chronic disease,” Willis explains.

The take-away message is, “Just move,” says study co-author Dr. Laura DeFina. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend investing in a weekly total of 150 to 300 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous exercise, either of which can be broken down into two or three 10-minute increments a day, DeFina confirms.

As simple as it sounds, few people are doing it, something New York Times fitness columnist Gretchen Reynolds underscores in her recent book, The First 20 Minutes: Surprising Science Reveals How We Can: Exercise Better, Train Smarter, Live Longer. “Most of us sit an average of eight hours a day, whether it’s at a desk or in front of a television,” Reynolds says. “The human body was not meant to be sedentary.” More than three-quarters of Americans are not meeting exercise recommendations, with one-quarter remaining completely sedentary, the CDC reports. Breaking this cycle does not need to be difficult, Reynolds notes. “You get the benefits from just moving. Start by standing up more and moving around in your office.”

Reynolds, who hops on one foot while brushing her teeth and reads standing up, using a music stand, says studies have shown that bad things happen to bodies that sit for long stints, even those that start each day with an hour of exercise, and good things happen to bodies that stand often, even if it’s just for two minutes every half-hour. “For instance, when you stand, the big muscles in your legs and back contract, releasing enzymes that stabilize blood sugar,” Reynolds says, echoing findings of a study of more than 120,000 men and women published in the American Journal of Epidemiology. The researchers found that the combination of both sitting more and being less physically active was associated with a significant increase in accelerated death rate, particularly in women, at 94 percent, as well as men, at 48 percent.

As Reynolds’ title suggests, the majority of health benefits are derived from the first 20 minutes of exercise and begin to flatten out after 30 minutes or so. Dr. Carl Lavie, medical director of cardiac rehabilitation and prevention at the Ochsner Medical Center, in New Orleans, points out that this timeframe supports general health. He and Reynolds agree that to reach specific goals, such as increased running speed or dramatic weight loss, moderate levels won’t do the trick, so do more, if possible.

The most vital message, experts agree, is to do something every day, consistently. Willis observes that, “The effects can quickly reverse if you stop.”

Freelance journalist Debra Melani writes about health care and fitness from Lyons, CO. Connect at or

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Sustainable Weight Loss Five Secrets for Feeling Like Yourself Again by Judith Fertig

Posted on 01 January 2013 by Jason

Health experts agree that many foods can play multiple roles in weight loss.

Starting in the 1970s, natural foods advocate and journalist Kathleen Barnes, of Brevard, North Carolina, avidly practiced vegetarianism, yet through the years she still gained weight. Searching for answers, she shared her findings in an array of books that include 8 Weeks to Vibrant Health: A Take Charge Plan for Women (co-authored with Dr. Hyla Cass) and Rx from the Garden: 101 Food Cures You Can Easily Grow.

“When I at last learned which key foods to add to my diet, I lost 100 pounds—and kept them off,” says Barnes.

Burn fat. Foods with thermogenic properties help heat up the body and may help burn fat. “You feel a flush when you eat or drink them,” Barnes notes. Chili peppers, curry powder, horseradish, mustard, garlic, onion, wasabi, ginger, black pepper and radishes are especially good choices in cold weather, when we want to feel warm anyway.

The intense flavors delivered by such foods help us to practice the principle of portion control, Chester Ku-Lea, a health and nutrition consultant in Vancouver, British Columbia, says, “Adding these foods to dishes generates a higher rate of caloric burn, and their powerful flavors prompt people to eat far less than they normally would. Plus, red, cayenne and jalapeño peppers, hot sauces and any other spicy foods are all very low in calories.”

Enhance mood. We don’t want to feel hungry or deprived when trying to lose weight. The protein in turkey, chicken and cold-water fish like salmon and mackerel help us feel more satisfied and on top of things. Barnes also suggests eating low-fat cottage cheese, avocado, wheat germ, whole-grain crackers and bananas to help increase serotonin levels and feelings of well-being. “When you crave something sweet or feel like you’re crashing mid-afternoon, that’s the time to eat a small amount of these foods to get you back on track,” she advises.

Julia Ross, author of The Mood Cure and The Diet Cure, agrees. This Mill Valley, California, nutritional psychotherapist recommends complex carbohydrates such as whole grains to keep us on an even keel during weight loss. “This means pushing away the leftover cake and eating sensible carbs to stimulate serotonin,” she says.

Promote digestion. The fiber in fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains helps move things along in the digestive system, making our bodies work more efficiently. Barnes favors drinking peppermint and other herbal teas and incorporating sage, dill, oregano and other herbs in savory dishes to aid digestion.

According to a recent University of Illinois study, soluble fiber found in oat bran, fruits, vegetables and nuts not only facilitates digestion, but also supports the immune system. Professor Gregory Freund, who teaches at the university’s medical school in Champaign, explains, “Soluble fiber changes the personality of immune cells—they go from being pro-inflammatory, angry cells to anti-inflammatory, healing cells that help us recover faster from infection.”

Feel full. Hunger pangs can derail anyone’s best efforts to eat better. Barnes learned that liquids, including up to two quarts of water a day, help retain a satisfied feeling. In cooler months, she makes soups that incorporate leafy green vegetables, onion, garlic, chili peppers and herbs.

An apple a day might keep the doctor away—and help in other ways, as well. “Apples have a high water content and are packed with fiber, two factors that leave you satiated,” says Keren Gilbert, a registered dietitian and founder of Decision Nutrition, in Great Neck, New York. “For a tasty protein-packed snack, top apple slices with natural almond butter.”

Accept treats. Leaving room for a treat, like a piece of fine chocolate, can leave us feeling satisfied rather than stuffed, says Katherine Harvey, a registered dietitian in Kansas City, Missouri.

Indulging in a little sweet treat from time to time reinforces the perception that eating right can be simple and pleasurable, says Barnes. In cold months, she likes to bake apples sweetened with Stevia and cinnamon, or poach pears in fruit juice and spices. She might break open a pomegranate and slowly munch each ruby-colored seed, or stop at a coffee shop to sip a latte made with low-fat milk.

Barnes’ evolved natural foods strategy has helped her maintain a desirable weight for many years now. “Sustainable weight loss involves sustainable eating,” she says, “finding healthy foods that we can enjoy for the rest of our lives.”

Award-winning cookbook author Judith Fertig blogs at

Bonus Diet Tips

Be mindful. Hunger may be more mental or emotional, rather than physical, says nutritionist Katherine Harvey. “Becoming more aware of where in our bodies we’re feeling hungry—our heads, chests or stomachs—can help us discern if we’re eating out of boredom, emotional distress or true physical need.”

Celebrate each meal. If we can focus on each bite and do nothing else—no reading, watching TV or working at our desk—we’ll eat less, says health writer Kathleen Barnes. “It helps our focus to bless our food, the people who grew it, where it came from and the good work it is doing in our bodies.”

Drink lots of water. Staying hydrated is important. To keep track of her allotted two quarts of water a day, Barnes drinks it from a two-quart canning jar.

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PDX Local Beats A musical highlights in our fair city

Posted on 01 January 2013 by Jason

January comes from the Latin word Januarius meaning “of Janus.” Janus is the Roman god of beginnings and transitions. For us Portlanders, January is the start of a brand new year and the kick-off to what looks to be a stellar season of sounds.

If you’ve ever watched the opening credits to AMC’s Mad Men, you’ve heard RJD2. He is the guy responsible for the catchy intro “A Beautiful Mine.” Raised in Ohio, the talented and prolific DJ has Oregon roots, born Ramble John Krohn, in Eugene, in 1976. Fans of Electronic soul and hip-hop take note. Chicago DJ Manic Focus supports.

Sat. Jan. 12, Roseland Theater, 8 NW 6th Ave,. Portland, 9pm

Dar Williams
Pop-folk songstress Dar Williams has been called “one of America’s very best singer-songwriters.” On her ninth studio album, In the Time of Gods, Williams sounds as rich and sweet as ever so I can only imagine what the seasoned singer will sound like in person. Grammy award-winning songwriter and humorist Loudon Wainwright III opens.

Sun., Jan. 13, Aladdin Theater, 3016 SE Milwaukie Ave., Portland, 7pm

Lady Gaga
Pop superstar Lady Gaga returns to Portland for her “Born This Way Ball.” Expect a spectacle of magnetic dance tunes, incredible stage production, and some of the best crowd watching you’ve ever witnessed (hello “Little Monsters”). Eccentric, rock and Roll DJ Lady Starlight opens.

Tues., Jan. 15, Rose Garden, 1 N Center Ct., Portland, 7:30pm

Niki & The Dove
You can never have too much Swedish indietronica in my opinion. So thank heavens for Stockholm trio Niki & The Dove. Their electronic pop is super catchy and danceable and their live shows are rumored to be awesome. Dreamy, Vampire Weekend-like band Vacationer, opens.

Thurs., Jan. 24, Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E Burnside St., Portland, 9pm

To contact Molly King, go to

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Celestial Living Arts Monthly Forecast January 2013

Posted on 01 January 2013 by Jason

We ring in the New Year with an astrologically-themed chart suggesting we should “party like it’s 2013,” inviting us to consider our own creative reserves as our greatest resource in configuring our goals and aspirations for the year ahead.
A few questions to ponder as the month progresses—Jan 3: How can I give my need for freedom and individuality a functional and structured container? Jan 6 & 7: How can I react with skill and tact? Jan 19: Am I willing to go off the grid when necessary to align with universal intelligence? Jan 30: What have I learned from my digressions and dabblings? How can I apply this to the 2013 map?

Mantras and musings for January’s movements:
Aries (Mar 21-Apr 19): Who aims at excellence will be above mediocrity; who aims at mediocrity will be far short of it. ~ Burmese Saying
Taurus (Apr 20-May 20): Nothing contributes so much to tranquilize the mind as a steady purpose— a point on which the soul may fix its intellectual eye. ~ Mary Shelley
Gemini (May 21-Jun 20): In absence of clearly defined goals, we become strangely loyal to performing daily acts of trivia. ~ Author Unknown
Cancer (Jun 21-Jul 22): When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps. ~ Confucius
Leo (Jul 23-Aug 22): We are all inventors, each sailing out on a voyage of discovery, guided each by a private chart, of which there is no duplicate. The world is all gates, all opportunities. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Virgo (Aug 23-Sep 22): What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals. ~ Henry David Thoreau
Libra (Sep 23-Oct 22): If the wind will not serve, take to the oars. Destitutus ventis, remos adhibe. ~ Latin Proverb
Scorpio (Oct 23-Nov 21): The only way of finding the limits of the possible is by going beyond them into the impossible. ~ Arthur C. Clarke
Sagittarius (Nov 22-Dec 21): A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds. ~ Francis Bacon
Capricorn (Dec 22-Jan 19): Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success. ~ Pablo Picasso
Aquarius (Jan 20-Feb 18): The significance of a man is not in what he attains but in what he longs to attain. ~ Kahlil Gibran
Pisces (Feb 19-Mar 20): If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else. ~ Yogi Berra

© Liz Howell. Liz Howell is available for personal astrological consultations and can be reached at

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Only $99 Unlimited Training for One Month at Form & Function

Posted on 01 January 2013 by Jason

Get Lean. Get Strong. For Good. Form and Function personal trainer, nutrition advisor and holistic lifestyle coach, Josh Sabraw, has special offerings to those wanting to get the most out of their workouts and a jump start on the New Year.
As a C.H.E.K practitioner—a specialist in Corrective Exercise and High-performance Kinesiology—his driving goals are to enhance vitality, relieve pain and improve the lives of each and every person with whom he works, whether for one session or for ten years.
Call now to jump into his 21-day body transformation program which includes metabolic analysis, holistic lifestyle inventory, qualitative movement evaluation and strength and cardio training.
Bring in a Natural Awakenings magazine and receive one month of unlimited training for just $99. This offer sign-up is good through February 28 but why wait.
For more information, visit or call 503-593-0179.

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Yoga for Back Pain Begins this January at Heart Fire yoga

Posted on 01 January 2013 by Jason

The spine thrives when it is both stable and mobile and yoga can be a wonderful practice to achieve this balance. Yoga tones and stretches the supporting structures of the spine leaving the back feeling amazing!
Heart Fire Yoga will be hosting a five-week series with Zeyah Roge focusing on the different components of maintaining a healthy spine, including: optimal postural alignment, strengthening the core and back muscles, stretching the legs, and aligning the pelvis and shoulder girdle. Each class will start with a brief introduction to anatomy and alignment principles before diving into movement. Everybody can benefit from this class, especially those who have had a back injury in the past or for those with chronic aches due to work, stress, habitual poor posture, etc. The class will be accessible for students of all levels.
The cost for the workshop series is $55 and runs on Friday nights, beginning January 11, from 5:45 to 7 p.m. Please note that the class will not meet on January 25.

Please contact Roge at if you have an acute back injury and are interested in taking the class, or if you have any questions about the workshop.

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PDX Networking Event – Health & Green living

Posted on 01 January 2013 by Jason

Natural Awakenings magazine is hosting a networking event on Tuesday evening, January 15, from 6 to 8 p.m. Come meet and mingle with other like minded people who care about health, wellness and green living.
The mixer event is free and everyone is welcome so join in for some networking fun. Light snacks and beverages are provided.
Locations rotate throughout the greater Portland/Vancouver area. January’s event will be at Form & Function, located at 2214 NE Oregon Street, Portland.

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