Archive | May, 2014

Embracing Your Moontime and Nurturing You

Posted on 04 May 2014 by Jason

“It’s my moontime” sounds much lovelier than “It’s that time of the month,” right? In Eastern medicine, the menstrual cycle is looked at as being one of the clearest ways to assess the overall health of a woman. Here are some tips for your own personal journey towards embracing your moontime.
1. Learn it! Download the app Fertility Friend or a similar one that allows you to track your temperature and other signs and symptoms. These apps are free and very helpful for getting to know your hormonal rhythm and understanding possible imbalances.
2. Diet. Modify it to be gentle and easily digestible prior to and while on your mooncycle. Focus on foods that are warm, well spiced and blood-building.
3. Slow Down. Use your moontime as an opportunity to reconnect to your inner Self by giving yourself time to reset, rest and digest.
4. Yoga. Keep it minimal and simple. Practitioners at Ahara Rasa suggest “Queen’s Pose” which is restorative and nurtures the divine feminine within us.
5. Herbs. Shatavari, vidari, raspberry leaf and cramp bark are proven holistic remedies among many to address menstrual problems and restore balance.
6. Breathe. Alternate-nostril breathing is one of the most corrective pranayamas (breathing exercises) available to balance our hormones.
For more information about understanding your moontime from an Ayurvedic perspective check out Ahara Rasa’s chapter in the book A New Cycle: Your Guide to a Better Period, Naturally, a collection by Gladrags. Also visit

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Hypnosis Can Help When Everything Else Has Failed

Posted on 04 May 2014 by Jason

Loving Kindness_Laney's Head Shot May '14Loving Kindness Hypnosis (LKH) is a professional practice upholding the highest levels of ethics and standards. Using a variety of techniques, which include the advanced and highly effective 5PATH(R) Five Phase Advanced Transformational Hypnosis and 7th Path Self-Hypnosis(R) methods, Laney Coulter, a Board Certified Hypnotist, customizes sessions to suit every client’s individual needs, background and personality.
Whether it’s to overcome obstacles to success, lose weight, stop smoking, be less stressed or just wanting more clarity, hypnosis can help. Coulter can help clients who are plagued by fears, misperceptions or limiting beliefs from the past, present or about the future to shed those limitations and guide them to a path to success.
Recognized by the American Medical Association since 1958, hypnosis is a safe and successful therapeutic tool for many conditions, addictions and limiting habits. Loving Kindness Hypnosis has had many successes working with difficult cases and helping most people resolve their problems, usually in four to six sessions. The American Health magazine February 12, 2007, reported on a study that shows the effectiveness of hypnotherapy over more traditional therapies: Psychoanalysis has a 38 percent recovery rate after 600 sessions, Behavior Therapy has a 72 percent recovery rate after 22 sessions and Hypnotherapy has a 93 percent recovery rate after six sessions. If not now, when?
LKH is accepting new clients. Special for the month of May: a free 30 minute consultation.
For more information, call 503-289-3614 or visit

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The Art of Self-Transformation

Posted on 04 May 2014 by Jason

Beginning April 21, for six weeks, journey into Hatha yoga with Joanne Matson, Certified Ayurveda Wellness Counselor and Yoga Instructor. The focus of this course is to expand your consciousness and improve your health through the timeless tools of mediation, pranayama (breathwork), asana (yoga postures) and ayurveda. Dive deeper into your practice or begin a new practice with this ancient art of healing following Patanjali’s Eight Limbs of Yoga.
This course, intended to restore your strength, balance and internal peace, will take place Mondays and Wednesdays from 8:30 to 9:45 a.m. Cost is $175 for 12 classes.
Location: Trinity Natural Medicine, 1808 Belmont Dr., Hood River. For more information, email or visit

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Online Course in Natural Recovery from Incontinence, Pelvic Prolapse and Pain

Posted on 04 May 2014 by Jason

Join natural health care practitioner Dr. Sandy Bevacqua in her unprecedented online course to help women recover from bladder issues, incontinence, sexual dysfunction, pelvic pain and organ prolapse in their own homes. The first session in her six-month Pelvic Health Transformation Program begins at 3 p.m. EST on May 9.
“More than half of all women, including those in their 20s and 30s, have pelvic floor issues,” explains Bevacqua, whose onsite healing practice is in Tucson, Arizona. “Many will take meds or select surgery in seeking relief but often these solutions don’t work. What isn’t so well known is that pelvic floor issues can be successfully addressed using natural methods.”
With a Ph.D. in molecular and cellular biology, “Dr. Sandy” is known as an expert in nutrition, genetic engineering and human biology. She also had her own healing journey with pelvic damage from the traumatic birth of her son that she healed using entirely natural methods.
The new online program combines lessons learned in both her personal and professional experience to guide women in regaining a completely healthy pelvic floor and organs. Participants receive bimonthly calls and personal support from her and her team of women’s health care specialists plus bonus classes on female sexual health and recovery from childbirth. All calls are recorded and available for replay.

Meet Dr. Sandy at; register at

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New Book Contains Self-Help Tools for Menstrual Symptoms

Posted on 04 May 2014 by Jason

GladRags Book Cover for n_b May'14For many women, the monthly cycle of menstruation feels like a curse. This new collection of essays by women’s health experts aims to transform that experience by providing easy-to-implement “self-health” tools. With perspectives including Ayurveda, uterine alignment, Traditional Chinese Medicine, and more, A New Cycle: Your Guide to a Better Period, Naturally presents natural techniques to alleviate common symptoms of PMS and enhance feminine vitality all month long.
A collection by Portland-based GladRags, A New Cycle was created as part of their mission to educate and empower women to make healthier, more sustainable choices for their periods. Since 1993, GladRags has promoted healthier, more sustainable choices in menstrual protection by providing high-quality reusable cloth menstrual pads and menstrual cups. Learn more about why GladRags are better for your body, your budget, and the environment at or call 800-799-4523. GladRags cloth pads and menstrual cups can be found in natural groceries and pharmacies nationwide.
For more information and to download your complimentary preview of A New Cycle, visit

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Spring Cleaning: A Holistic Approach in the Northwest

Posted on 04 May 2014 by Jason

Wellspring n_b Image for May '14In the Pacific Northwest, spring has arrived. Grey skies have been replaced with sunshine, warmer temperatures, blooming flowers and intermittent days of rain that make everything green and lush. Spring is also the time associated with cleaning up what’s accumulated over the colder winter months on all levels—physical, environmental, mental and spiritual. Transitioning from winter’s hibernation mode to spring activity means letting go of dusty boxes, a sluggish liver, bad habits or whatever else weighs you down.
Taking a holistic approach to spring cleaning starts with nutrition. In spring, the diet begins a transition from heartier, warmer fare such as stews and crock-pot recipes, to lighter, upward moving foods such as tender spring shoots and veggies. Juicers come out as gentle cleanses are instituted.
The longer daylight hours also inspire increased physical activities. While mindful movement practices such as yoga, tai chi or qigong are great to pursue year-round, they can be especially helpful in awakening our minds and bodies to the spring season.
One perfect place to seek support for your holistic spring cleaning is The Wellspring School for Healing Arts. The school offers ongoing community classes in tai chi and qigong, as well as nutrition and holistic health, and enrollment for the next Amma Therapy program starting in September just opened. Grounded in Chinese Medicine, Amma Therapy combines nutrition, herbs, Asian bodywork and mindful movement.
For more information, visit or call 503.688.1482.

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Aura, Chakra and Energy Imaging for Discovery and Wellness

Posted on 04 May 2014 by Jason

What color is my aura? What do my chakras look like and which ones need balancing? Until recently we were unable to see and utilize this information for ourselves. Now, advances in science and technology have combined with body, mind, spirit wisdom to allow us to actually see our aura and chakras. Our internal and external energies have a huge impact on our health and wellbeing and can tell us much about ourselves. So, how does this all work and what can we do with this information?
Join Bonnie Van Schyndel, of Aura Wisdom, on Tuesday, May 27 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. for New Connexion Wellness Night and an evening of discovery and enlightenment as Science meets New Age. Van Schyndel will discuss how East meets West by viewing humans as energetic beings and demonstrating the latest in interactive technology for seeing and experiencing our own unique energies in real time and full color. Discover how it works, what we see, and how it can empower you in finding healing, balance, and choosing the right tools for your journey.
Volunteers from the audience will be invited to participate in the live demonstrations. Cost is $12.
Event location: New Renaissance Bookshop, 1338 NW 23rd Ave., Portland. For more information on Energy Imaging, visit

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Body Ease Fluid, Flexible Movement Can Be Ours by Sarah Todd

Posted on 04 May 2014 by Jason

Bad habits are hard to break—and it’s even harder to eliminate the ones we are unaware of. Many people experience pain from unconscious physical patterns such as hunching over a computer keyboard or holding a musical instrument at an uncomfortable angle, but don’t know how to identify and change limiting positions. This calls for body movement re-education.

Alexander Technique

“Let’s say you’re a runner and didn’t realize that you were running in a lopsided way,” explains Alexander Technique practitioner Beret Arcaya, who has taught the practice in New York City for almost 30 years. Students learn to retrain their thinking, movements and posture for better natural alignment. “It helps you understand how you’re making an argument between yourself and gravity,” she says.

Invented by Australian thespian F. Matthias Alexander at the end of the 19th century as a means of improving his onstage presence, the Alexander Technique is highly regarded by actors and entertainers, yet anyone can benefit from it, according to Arcaya.

In typical one-on-one sessions, Alexander movement practitioners use a light, gentle touch and verbal instruction to show students how to realign their head, neck and upper back while standing in front of a mirror, which helps the rest of the body attain a more natural position. Next, students learn to move through routine activities like sitting, walking and bending in ways that replace damaging habits with easier movements.

The technique is easily modified to meet individual needs, Arcaya says, citing a former student that suffered from hemophilia. “He could hardly bend his knees, and he had little mobility in one elbow; he was terribly stiff,” she recalls. While the technique couldn’t treat the disease, “It allowed him to skillfully use his remaining uninjured tissue.” One day, when he returned from a three-mile walk with his young son, he was beaming. “‘I walked with a freedom and a lightness,’ he said, ‘I didn’t want to stop.’”

A 2008 study in the medical journal BMJ found that patients with chronic back pain experienced long-term benefits from Alexander Technique exercises and lessons. People with Parkinson’s disease also improved their walking, speech, posture and balance through Alexander training, according to a 2002 study in Clinical Rehabilitation

Feldenkrais Method

Others in need of movement re-education use the method founded by physicist, electrical engineer and judo black belt holder Moshé Feldenkrais in the mid-20th century. Feldenkrais was familiar with the Alexander technique, and the two methods share the same fundamental goal of helping students change harmful patterns by combining movement training, touch and dialogue.

The Feldenkrais Method avoids giving students direct instructions, instead encouraging individual exploration toward fluid physicality. In one-on-one sessions with practitioners, students lie on a massage table while teachers help them discover freer movements. In group classes, students lie on the floor, sit on a chair and stand while being guided through a sequence of movements to increase flexibility and physical self-awareness. “What I’m after isn’t flexible bodies,” Feldenkrais stated, “but flexible brains; to restore each person to their human dignity.”

Seniors that practiced the Feldenkrais Method enhanced their balance and mobility, according to a 2010 study published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. It may also alleviate symptoms of nonclinical depression, according to a 2011 pilot study reported in the Journal of the South Carolina Medical Association.

Trager Approach

Another entry point to such a bodily reawakening is the Trager Approach, invented by Dr. Milton Trager, an athlete who suffered from a congenital spinal deformity. “The intention of the practitioner in a Trager session is to introduce the client to a series of playful and pleasurable sensations as the session unfolds,” says practitioner Martha Partridge, of New York City, who works primarily with people that have Parkinson’s disease.

During tablework sessions, practitioners “bring awareness” of a specific movement by rocking, cradling and gently rotating a client’s body, Partridge explains. The feeling of effortless movement is further ingrained through a series of mental gymnastics, termed mentastics, that clients can do at home. The objective, says Partridge, is to help people have a sense of joy in everyday, common movement.

All three bodywork techniques can help people banish bad habits for good. “Gradually, aches and pains will go away,” Arcaya says. “You can undo the imbalances that have done you wrong.” Then go forward doing things right.

Sarah Todd is a freelance writer in Brooklyn, NY. Connect at

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Contraceptive Pill Chill Dangers Include Cancer, Strokes and Fatigue by Kathleen Barnes

Posted on 04 May 2014 by Jason

For more than 50 years, women have appreciated the freedom that birth control pills offer. They simply take a little pill every day and rest easy, fairly assured that an unplanned pregnancy won’t occur. However, there’s actually a lot not to love about “The Pill”, especially its long-term side effects.

“The sexual freedom that women have fought so hard to obtain has been won at a terrible price,” advises Naturopathic Doctor Sherrill Sellman, of Tulsa, Oklahoma, author of The Hormone Heresy: What Women Must Know about Their Hormones.

That price includes blood clots and even death from heart attacks and strokes in young women. As early as 1963, an article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association linked The Pill to venous thrombosis, or blood clots. By 1968, at least one cancer journal, CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, had linked cancer to the use of the steroid hormones contained in oral contraceptives. In 1973, Scandinavian researchers warned of the link between oral contraceptives and strokes.

“In December 2002, the U.S. government published its biannual Report on Carcinogens that added all steroidal estrogens to the list of known human carcinogens,” says Sellman, “The gravity of this finding cannot be overstated: All estrogens used in HRT [hormone replacement therapy] and oral contraceptives have now been proven unequivocally to cause cancer.”

Yet, regardless of the many downsides, The Pill remains the most common method of birth control worldwide, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with usage by 16 percent of married American women. Elsewhere, users include 29 percent of British women and 40 percent of women in France and the Netherlands.

Filches Vitamins

“Birth control pills are vitamin robbers, and this is the source of the health risks that accompany the use of The Pill,” says Ross Pelton, a registered pharmacist, certified clinical nutritionist and author of The Pill Problem. Oral contraceptives deplete more bodily nutrients than any other class of drugs, says Pelton, who blogs regularly at

However, he adds, women taking The Pill even as long as 10 years may not notice any obvious health problems. “Maybe she’ll first notice a lack of energy, but doesn’t connect the dots and realize that magnesium, B12 and numerous other nutrients involved in energy production are depleted,” he explains.

The nutrient-depleting effects of The Pill were recognized as early as 1975 in a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, but it carried no recommendations for replacing them. Some of these nutrients are essential for the production of brain chemicals, called neurotransmitters, including mood-elevating dopamine. An effected woman can become depressed, a condition closely linked to the use of The Pill, according to a German study published in 2013 in the journal General Hospital Psychiatry.

The Pill’s steroidal hormones also reduce the body’s natural accumulations of disease-preventing antioxidants, increasing vulnerability to diseases of aging, including cancer, diabetes and heart disease, according to Pelton.

Women that decide to keep taking The Pill should add an array of specified supplements to counterbalance the nutrient loss, advises Pelton. Replacing nutrients should, in the long term, neutralize the negative effects of The Pill, even cancer and blood clots, he assures. Better yet, say Sellman and Pelton, stop taking The Pill and switch to safer forms of contraception. It may take months or even years for the nutrient imbalances to be fully corrected, so start now.

Natural Contraceptives

Although no natural forms of estrogen are suited for birth control, safe and effective natural forms exist, advises women’s health expert Holly Lucille, a naturopathic doctor and registered nurse in West Hollywood, California. She cautions against the potential risks of using estrogen patches, shots and vaginal rings, and recommends avoiding anything that contains estrogen. “Not using The Pill doesn’t mean you have to rely on withdrawal or the rhythm method, both of which are notoriously unreliable,” says Lucille, preferring what she terms “barrier methods”, like diaphragms, cervical caps and male and female condoms.

She notes, “Cervical caps are just as effective as The Pill and you can put them in and leave them a little longer for a bit more spontaneity.” Female condoms are even more convenient, she explains: “They fit much like a diaphragm and they can be left in place as long as eight hours.” Instead of potentially toxic spermicides, Lucille recommends using lemon juice, which, she says, is equally effective.

Kathleen Barnes is the author of numerous natural health books including the Basic Health Publications User’s Guide to Natural Hormone Replacement. Connect at

Nutrients Women on the Pill Need

Bio-identical hormone replacement for perimenopausal and menopausal women
Coenzyme Q10
Folic acid
Natural progesterone
Nettle root
Omega-3 oils
Vitamin B2
Vitamin B6
Vitamin B12
Vitamin C
Source: Ross Pelton,

Dangerous Downsides Mount

Birth defects
Blood clots
Cancer (breast, uterine and colon)
Cardiovascular disease
Decreased sexual desire
Fatigue, low energy and anemia
Fluid retention and weight gain
High blood pressure
Heart attack
Sleep disorders
Vaginal yeast infections
Weakened immune system

Sources: American Heart Association; University of Milan, Italy; Berlin Center for Epidemiology and Health Research, Germany; Women’s College Research Institute, Canada; Columbia University, NY; University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; University of Parma, Italy; Wingate University, NC; Cooper Medical School of Rowan University, NJ; Institute of Health Sciences Research, Melbourne, Australia.

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Pain-Free Pooch Five Natural Therapies that Work by Jennifer Kachnic

Posted on 04 May 2014 by Jason

Because dogs won’t always let us know when they’re hurting, some people assume they don’t experience pain the same way we do, but that’s not the case. Instincts retained from their wild heritage will generally prompt them to hide pain as a sign of weakness.

The truth is that arthritis and muscle or joint injuries are just as uncomfortable for dogs as they are for us, and many canine illnesses also generate significant pain. While conventional medications can ease discomfort, they’re not the only or even the best options in many cases.

Alternative therapies can be helpful in managing and relieving pain and work best as part of a whole body wellness program designed for a dog’s individual needs. To that end, always consult with an integrative veterinarian before starting any new treatment. Together, practitioner and owner will note that some of the following modalities may be contraindicated in some situations—for example, massage should never be performed on or near a tumor.

Canine Massage: Dogs love massage because they crave being touched. Physical contact from another being provides a calming effect and brings comfort. Skin, the largest sense organ in the body, is loaded with sensory receptors and nerve endings that register touch, temperature and pain, and send information to the brain. Massage therapy relaxes muscles and also stimulates endorphins, increases circulation, elevates oxygen levels, flushes toxins, helps with inflammation, strengthens the immune system and accelerates healing. All of these benefits can contribute to effective pain management.

Acupuncture and Acupressure: Both of these time-honored modalities are based on the concept of keeping vital energy flowing through the body and seek to stimulate key points along the energy meridians beneath the skin. Acupuncture involves the insertion of small needles at these points, while acupressure uses fingers to apply pressure to the same points. Both modalities are widely known to assist in managing pain and anxiety.

Energy Healing: Here, the practitioner improves the flow of energy in an animal’s body using a range of gentle and powerful natural therapies. During a treatment, the trained healer sends subtle energy through the hands to promote physical and emotional balance and healing. While conventional medicine follows the belief that treatments for disease or injury must be strictly biological, energy medicine works to restore the patient’s health by treating the mind, body and spirit in a nonphysical ways. Energy healing modalities available for dogs include Reiki, qigong, Healing Touch and Tellington Touch.

Cold Laser Therapy: Developed more than 20 years ago, cold laser therapy has become a popular alternative treatment around the world for aches and pains in dogs. It directs highly concentrated coherent light waves to muscles, tissues and organs, reducing inflammation and muscle spasms. It’s also applied to disc and other spine-related issues. Low-level cold laser therapy is painless, noninvasive and takes only minutes. The effects are similar to those provided by non-steroidal medications, with negligible negative side effects.

Hydrotherapy: The benefits of swimming are renowned. Like people, when dogs swim, they feel a resistance to movement, which makes a five-minute swim virtually equivalent in energy expended to a five-mile run. Some dogs like swimming even better than running. Hydrotherapy, which includes exercise on an underwater treadmill combined with swimming, is particularly helpful. The effect on senior dogs is especially dramatic, affording them a painless and enjoyable way to move about and exercise. Water’s natural buoyancy supports the dog, lessens stress on joints, facilitates greater movement and provides a safe and healthful form of exercise for those suffering injuries, disease or pain.

The best choice of therapies for an individual animal will depend on the dog’s condition and recommendations by the family veterinarian. Selected and practiced properly, these complementary modalities can make a major impact in a canine companion’s physical and emotional well-being, while minimizing or even eliminating the need for medications.

Jennifer Kachnic is the author of Your Dog’s Golden Years: Manual for Senior Dog Care Including Natural Remedies and Complementary Options. She is a certified canine massage therapist, animal Reiki practitioner and certified therapy dog handler with the American Humane Association. Learn more about this president of The Grey Muzzle Organization at

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