Archive | May, 2015

The Naked Eye Book Tour at New Renaissance Books

Posted on 12 May 2015 by Jason

The Naked Eye Book Tour at New Renaissance Books
Nathan Oxenfeld wore glasses and contacts for 15 years before learning there was a way to improve his eyesight naturally. Regularly practicing yoga, meditation and the Bates Method helped him give up his glasses for good.
Oxenfeld is teaching an Eyesight & Insight Improvement Workshop at New Renaissance Books, located at 1338 NW 23rd Avenue, in Portland, on Sunday, May 24 from 1 to 4 pm. Call 503-224-4929 for ticket information.
Oxenfeld became a certified teacher of the Bates Method and began helping other people improve their vision naturally in Asheville, North Carolina, in 2013. In 2014 he wrote his first book, Give Up Your Glasses for Good: Holistic Eyecare for the 21st Century, and is now traveling the country with The Naked Eye Book Tour sharing his success story, raising awareness of holistic eyecare by giving talks and teaching workshops, and encouraging others to explore natural alternatives to glasses, contacts and surgeries. Follow along by subscribing to The Naked Eye Podcast on iTunes, which is documenting the three-month 15-city cross-country journey.
“Not enough people know that vision can improve,” says Oxenfeld. “I want to change that.” He adds that holistic eyecare addresses the root causes of vision problems instead of just treating the symptoms. People who have nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, glaucoma, cataracs and more will be happy to learn that there are ways to prevent and reverse these vision problems.

For more information, visit For more on Nathan Oxenfeld, visit

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Benefits of Prenatal Yoga

Posted on 12 May 2015 by Jason

Benefits of Prenatal Yoga
Prenatal yoga is one of the best ways to prepare for pregnancy and labor. It helps to reduce stress, ease the common aches and pains of pregnancy, and prepares the mother both physically and mentally for birth. Most of all, it will help establish a special bond with your baby. Some of the benefits include: nurturing a proper posture and flexibility, building strength and stamina, alleviating shoulder and upper back tension, releasing lower back tension and calming the nervous system.
As a yoga instructor for the last 14 years, Edith Shamrell has seen many mothers-to-be benefit from prenatal yoga. And as a mother of two healthy (and large!) baby daughters whom she had after the age of 37 and delivered naturally, she knows personally how important it is to properly prepare the body for the birthing experience. According to Shamrell, prenatal yoga is an excellent way to do this.
As with any activity during pregnancy, a mother-to-be should be prudent and discuss it with her doctor. During yoga practice, don’t hold your breath (some breathing techniques are not suitable during pregnancy). Stay hydrated. Avoid postures that put pressure on your abdomen. Don’t overdo it!

Edith Shamrell is a yoga therapist, pre- and postnatal yoga instructor, pre- and postnatal Pilates specialist instructor and on her way to becoming a child birth educator. She holds international trainings from Europe and India as well as the U.S.

To learn more, visit or contact Shamrell at

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Reflexology Couples Class at PCC

Posted on 12 May 2015 by Jason

Reflexology Couples Class
Nancie Hines, MA, LMT and National Board Certified Reflexologist, will be teaching a reflexology basics class for couples at Portland Community College (PCC), Sylvania Campus, on May 9 from 10 to 11:20 a.m. Cost for this 80-minute, non-credit class is $39 and includes hand and foot charts for each student.
Our hands, feet, and ears are mini-maps of our entire body. Learn how to use reflexology charts and thumbs/fingers techniques to clear sinuses, relax the back and more. Help yourself and help your partner.

For more information, visit and search reflexology for couples.

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Restoration Specialists Now Offering Same-day Full-smile Dental Implants

Posted on 12 May 2015 by Jason

Restoration Specialists Now Offering Same-day Full-smile Dental Implants
Locally owned and operated, Restoration Specialists is Portland’s new premier same-day, full-smile dental implant center. The team of world-renowned Restoration Specialists, prosthodontists and oral surgeons provides complete-smile dental implementation, which gives patients with dentally compromised mouths an entirely new top and bottom row of realistic, long-lasting prosthetic teeth in just one day.
Restoration Specialists becomes the only dental implant office to engage a patient’s primary dentist in the process and to make available comprehensive care beyond the first 12 months after surgery. Patients can opt to return for routine care and checkups in addition to or instead of regular dentistry visits. This flexible, comprehensive option is an industry first.
“At Restoration Specialists, you can go home with a completely new, permanent smile in just one day,” said co-owner Dr. Brian Bray. “And for as long as you require our care, we’ll be here to help.”
Headed by Dr. Bray, an experienced prosthodontist, and Dr. Bryce Potter, an accomplished 20-year veteran of oral and maxillofacial surgery, the team is made up of Portland’s leading oral specialists. Together, they deliver a fully coordinated, highly communicative treatment approach that gives the patient significant insight and lots of personal attention.
“Restoration Specialists makes the dental implant process as easy as possible for our patients while renewing their self-confidence, enthusiasm and overall health,” states Dr. Bray. “We believe our work to be truly life changing.”

For more information, visit

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QDoc Film Festival May 14-17

Posted on 12 May 2015 by Jason

QDoc Film Festival May 14-17

QDoc—Portland’s Queer Documentary Film Festival—kicks off its 9th festival with the screening of Game Face at 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 14 at The Hollywood Theatre. Filmed in several locations around the country, including Portland, the documentary follows MMA fighter, Fallon Fox, and rising college basketball player, Terrence Clemens, as they train and compete against other athletes in their respective sports. The resulting work is a powerful coming out story of two athletes at the top of their game, seeking to be seen, accepted and permitted to compete as equals among their peers. Filmmaker Michiel Thomas, Fox and Clemens will be in attendance. (Rumor has it that gay former NBA player, Jason Collins, who appears in the film, will also be attending opening night—stay tuned for more information.)
After the Q&A, from 9 to 11:30 p.m., there will be an Opening Night Party held at Velo Cult at 1969 NE 42nd featuring beer, wine and catering by Pambiche. Tickets for the film and Opening Night Party are $25. Festival Passes are $75 and include admission to all screenings and the Opening Night Party. Advanced tickets and passes are available at
QDoc is the only film festival in the world devoted exclusively to LGBT documentaries. The festival was founded in 2007 by Russ Gage, who has an extensive history in the film festival world, beginning with Frameline in San Francisco, and David Weissman, documentary filmmaker best known for the films We Were Here (2011) and The Cockettes (2002).

For more information, visit

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Rehabilitating the Digestive System Naturally

Posted on 12 May 2015 by Jason

Rehabilitating the Digestive System Naturally

Manufacturers add preservatives to food products in order to reduce spoilage by killing bacteria and fungus in the container. But that can do the same in the gut, killing good bacteria that help the body absorb nutrients and digest food. Diets high in sugar and carbohydrates also harm the gut, feeding intestinal fungus such as Candida and allowing it to take over.

According to Steven Frank, founder of Nature’s Rite, an herbal remedies company, a well-balanced, three-pronged approach can rehabilitate the digestive system. The first step is to kill off the bad bacteria and irritating fungus with a broad-spectrum antimicrobial that is biocompatible, yet effective. Frank suggests an enhanced aqueous colloid of silver that is optimized to help clear the microbes out of the digestive system. It’s best taken on an empty stomach, dosing two ounces every two hours for two to three days; this prepares the system for enhanced effectiveness of the following treatment.

The second step is taking a good probiotic daily for at least one month. Finally, take a combination of herbs to increase mucus to protect the digestive system and reduce histamine sensitivity, allowing the intestines to rebuild a healthy lining. Steven Frank, innovated herbalist, suggests a combination of plantain, licorice, aloe vera, peppermint, marshmallow root and slippery elm bark.

When working to heal the body, basic building blocks are required, so it’s critical that those using this approach take 2,000 milligrams of vitamin C, 10,000 international units of vitamin D and a good B-complex daily.

For more information, call 888-465-4404 or visit

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TEFF LOVE: Adventures in Vegan Ethiopian Cooking

Posted on 12 May 2015 by Jason

TEFF LOVE: Adventures in Vegan Ethiopian Cooking
Import the delicious flavors of Ethiopia right to your own kitchen! Kittee Berns, local author of TEFF LOVE: Adventures in Vegan Ethiopian Cooking, forges a new direction in vegan cuisine, demystifying the authentic flavors of Ethiopian food with easy to prepare, whole foods based recipes.
Berns introduces the three staples of Ethiopian cooking: a berbere spice blend, injera (fermented sourdough), and ye’qimem zeyet, a veganized version of clarified butter. Equipped with these basics, it will be easy to excite family and friends with many of the popular dishes found on veggie combo platters in restaurants all over North America.
Potatoes, Carrots, and Cauliflower in a Spicy Sauce (ye’atakilt wot), Split Peas in a Mild Sauce (ye’ater kik alicha), Tender Stewed Collard Greens (ye’abesha gomen) and Mocha Teff Brownies are just a few of the featured dishes in this book. Recipes are almost entirely gluten- and soy-free, or can be made so with easy adaptations.
Complete with grocery lists, ingredient resources, time-saving techniques, menu suggestions and tips for preparing multiple dishes for a crowd, TEFF LOVE provides everything needed to experience traditional Ethiopian dining at home.

Berns has been an ethical vegan for over 24 years, and a gluten-free vegan since 2008. She is the author of the cookzine Papa Tofu Loves Ethiopian Food and the creative force behind the popular blog Cake Maker to the Stars. Follow her online at

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Rethinking Breast Health Natural Ways to Keep Them Healthy by Lisa Marshall

Posted on 12 May 2015 by Jason

Rethinking Breast Health

Natural Ways to Keep Them Healthy


by Lisa Marshall


Natural ways to keep the girls smooth, pain-free and firm, while reducing the risk of cancer


We’ve been conditioned to narrowly define breast health in terms of pink ribbon campaigns, cancer awareness marches and cold, steel mammography machines. Nearly 30 years after anticancer drug maker Imperial Chemical Industries (now AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals) established the first National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October 1985, many women have come to equate healthy breasts with cancer-free breasts, and assume the most important thing they can do is undergo regular screening.


But amid this chorus, some women’s health advocates are striving to get a different message across: There are a host of steps women can take to not only fend off disease in the future, but keep their breasts in optimal condition today. “We need to change the conversation about our breasts from how to avoid breast cancer and detect it early to how to have healthy breasts and enjoy them,” says Dr. Christiane Northrup, an obstetrician and gynecologist from Yarmouth, Maine, and author of the new book Goddesses Never Age: The Secret Prescription for Radiance, Vitality, and Well-Being.


Healthy Breasts, Healthy Body


In adolescence, breast changes are the first to signal the arrival of womanhood. When she’s aroused, a woman’s nipples harden and change color. When a woman gives birth, her breasts fill with life-giving milk. “In all these ways, your breasts are deeply connected to your femininity, compassion and sensuality,” says Hawaiian Naturopathic Doctor Laurie Steelsmith, co-author of Natural Choices for Women’s Health. Because breasts are extremely sensitive to hormonal fluctuations throughout the body, they can also serve as a barometer of overall health. “If you’re having chronic breast symptoms, it can be your body’s wisdom saying ‘Help. Something’s wrong.’ Women need to listen.”


While some premenstrual swelling and tenderness is normal, exaggerated or persistent pain is often a sign of systemic estrogen dominance in relation to progesterone. It’s common in the years leading up to menopause, but can also hint at impaired thyroid function, because low levels of thyroid hormones have been shown to boost estrogen in breast tissue, advises Steelsmith.


Large, fluid-filled cysts or fibrous lumps, while non-cancerous, can also be a reflection of overexposure to harmful chemicals and toxin buildup, combined with poor lymph flow, notes Dr. Elizabeth Vaughan, an integrative physician in Greensboro, North Carolina. “If a woman has lumpy, bumpy, breasts, they probably contain too many toxins, and those toxins are primarily estrogenic.” Addressing such symptoms is important not only to relieve discomfort, but also because excess estrogen can fuel future cancer risk, says Vaughan.


Any new, suspicious lump should be evaluated by a professional. Also, severe breast tenderness combined with nipple discharge could be a sign of infection or a problem with the pituitary gland, so it should also be checked. But typically, subtle natural healthcare steps can go a long way toward restoring breast wellness.


For nipple tenderness, Steelsmith recommends chaste-tree berry (175 milligrams [mg] of powdered extract or 40 drops daily). The herbal supplement mimics naturally occurring progesterone in the body, helping to counter estrogen dominance. Vitamin E (400 to 800 international units [IU] per day) and evening primrose oil (1,500 mg twice a day) have also been shown to alleviate breast tenderness.


For fibrous or cyst-filled breasts, Vaughan advises supplementing with iodine (up to12.5 mg per day via kelp, seaweed or oral tablets) or applying an iodine solution to the breasts at night. A key constituent of thyroid hormones, iodine helps the liver convert unfriendly forms of estrogen into friendlier forms and flush toxins out of lymph nodes in the breast. Also, steer clear of chocolate and coffee, because caffeine is believed to interact with enzymes in the breast, exaggerating pain and lumpiness.


Also consider ditching the bra, says Vaughan. Brassieres can constrict lymph nodes and hinder blood circulation in breasts, locking toxins in and aggravating fibrocystic symptoms. The link between bras and breast cancer risk remains hotly debated, with one 2014 U.S. National Cancer Institute study of 1,400 women concluding unequivocally that, “There’s no evidence that wearing a bra increases a woman’s risk of breast cancer,” while smaller studies from the United States, China, Venezuela, Scotland and Africa suggest a link. Vaughan, the founder of, says the science is compelling enough that she has chosen to keep her own bra use to a minimum and advises her patients to do the same.


“Obviously, there are certain sports where you should wear a sports bra and there are certain dresses that only look right with a bra,” says Vaughan. At a minimum, avoid wearing a bra to bed and steer clear of underwires and overly tight bras that leave red marks. “This is not about guilt-tripping women into never wearing a bra. It’s about wearing a bra less.”


Beautiful Breasts Naturally


Too small or too big, lopsided or riddled with stretch marks… it seems almost every woman has a complaint about the appearance of her breasts. That’s a problem, says Northrup, because “Healthy breasts are breasts that are loved. We have to stop beating them up.”


According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the number of women getting breast implants for cosmetic reasons ballooned from 212,500 in 2000 to 286,254 in 2014. Physicians—including Northrup—claim that modern implants don’t, in the majority of cases, promote disease like older silicone implants did. Yet even plastic surgeons warn that having implants should be fully thought out, and at some point they’ll probably have to come out. “They are manmade devices, and are not intended to be lifelong. At some point, you will probably have to have further surgery,” says Dr. Anureet Bajaj, an Oklahoma City plastic surgeon.


Bajaj notes that implants can rupture, forming scar tissue and lending irregular shape to the breast. Often, as a woman ages and her body changes, the larger breasts she chose in her 20s no longer look right and may cause back and shoulder pain. In some cases, implants can also lead to loss of nipple sensitivity. For these and other reasons, 23,774 women—including actress Melissa Gilbert and model Victoria Beckham—had their implants removed in 2014, often following up with a breast lift (using their own tissue) to restore their shape.


Vaughan sees breast implant removal as a wise and courageous choice to restore optimal breast health. Better yet, don’t get implants in the first place. “There are a lot of other things you can do to improve the appearance of your breasts,” she advises.


Vaughan recommends breast-perking exercises like dumbbell bench presses and flys that tone the pectoral muscles beneath the breasts, making them more resilient and look larger. To prevent or reverse sagging, she again urges women to go bra-free. “We have ligaments in the upper outer quadrant of our breasts called Cooper’s ligaments, and they’re responsible for holding our breasts up. Just like your muscles atrophy when you put your arm in a sling, your Cooper’s ligaments atrophy if you wear a bra all the time.”


In one unpublished, yet highly publicized 2013 study, French Exercise Physiologist Jean-Denis Rouillon measured the busts of 330 women ages 18 to 35 over a period of 15 years and found those that regularly wore a bra had droopier breasts with lower nipples than those that didn’t. In another, smaller, Japanese study, researchers found that when women stopped wearing a bra for three months, their breasts perked up.


Those worried about stretch marks also have options. They can be a sign of inadequate copper, which promotes collagen integrity and helps skin stretch without injury, says Steelsmith. If rapid weight gain is occurring due to adolescence, pregnancy or for other reasons, try taking copper supplements or applying a topical copper spray on the breasts.


Remember to massage your breasts daily, not only as a “search and destroy mission” for early detection of cancerous lumps, says Northrup, but as a way to get waste products flowing out and loving energy flowing in.


“It concerns me that women feel pressured to think of their breasts as two potentially pre-malignant lesions sitting on their chests,” Northrup says. “These are organs of nourishment and pleasure for both ourselves and others. We need to remember that, too.”


Lisa Marshall is a freelance health writer in Boulder, CO. Connect at

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Eating Skinny Why Vegans and Vegetarians are Naturally Trim by Judith Fertig

Posted on 12 May 2015 by Jason

Eating Skinny

Why Vegans and Vegetarians are Naturally Trim

by Judith Fertig

We read the low-sugar, low-carb, low-fat and low-calorie labels. We try this and that diet, hoping the pounds will melt away. Yet more than a third of U.S. adults, nearly 80 million of us, remain overweight or obese, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in Atlanta.

The problem might be that we’re getting the wrong advice. While most weight-loss plans focus on reducing calories, recent research shows that vegan and vegetarian dietary patterns can result in more weight loss than those that include meat, without even emphasizing caloric restriction. Scientists at the University of South Carolina, in Columbia, point to their study, How Plant-Based Do We Need to Be to

Achieve Weight Loss?

Study participants were divided into five groups, according to eating style, from vegan to flexitarian to carnivore, and monitored for an eight-week period. At the end of the evaluation, those that followed an entirely plant-based diet achieved the greatest weight loss. Study leader Gabrielle Turner-McGrievy, Ph.D., notes, “Many researchers agree that vegan eating styles are tied to lower BMI [body mass index], lower prevalence of Type 2 diabetes and less weight gain with age.”

Can it really be that simple… eat more plants and lose weight? “Yes,” says clean food coach Jeannette Bessinger, of Newport, Rhode Island. “Most people could benefit from eating more vegetables.” Co-author of Natural Solutions for Digestive Health with Naturopath Jillian Sarno Teta, Bessinger advises her clients to start by eating more green, leafy vegetables.

Vegetables contribute to weight control in several ways, says Bessinger. They fill us up and help calm cravings. Plus, when plants become the bulk of what we eat, we naturally consume fewer high-fat, high-calorie foods.

For an easy appetite control strategy, Bessinger suggests having a cup of vegetable soup about 10 minutes before a meal. “It shuts off your appetite valve and you’ll eat noticeably less,” she says, while still feeling full. She also recommends slowing down and being mindful when we eat. Vegetables help us do that. “It takes two-and-a-half minutes to eat a piece of cheesecake, but much more time to eat a big salad,” she says.

For New York City-based Victoria Moran, author of Main Street Vegan and The Good Karma Diet, losing weight and maintaining a healthy lifestyle became easier once she adopted a vegan diet. “I’ve been through life and loss and ages 40 and 50, and my weight stays steady, some 60 pounds less than it once was,” she says. “Every year when I put away my winter clothes and get out my summer clothes, they fit.”

Her eating strategy is easy, too. “Make your plate look like a Christmas tree,” says Moran, “mostly green with splashes of other bright colors from vegetables and fruits.” She eats green veggies in several ways. She makes her own green juices—one favorite combines celery, kale, apple and lemon juice. She also adds tender greens like romaine or spinach to smoothies that might also contain fruit and citrus juice. She steams greens with plenty of garlic and makes big salads.

“I bought my salad bowl at a restaurant supply house,” Moran exclaims. Salads get an oomph factor with a selection of avocado, pumpkin or hemp seeds, mushrooms, chickpeas or red beans, artichoke hearts, chunks of steamed yam and sautéed tofu or tempeh. Moran cites benefits of increased energy, being up for more physical activity and “feeling really good” as additional outcomes of her dietary shift.

Sophie Uliano, a Los Angeles-based natural beauty expert and author of the new Gorgeous for Good, agrees, believing that eating a vegan diet 80 percent of the time can pay dividends in weight loss, well-being, energy and beauty. “Most of the time, eat clean and healthy,” she recommends. “It’s not a diet. It’s a ‘live-it’, a way of life.”

Uliano recently asked two colleagues on the Hallmark Channel’s Home & Family show to try eating vegan, while also eliminating gluten, alcohol, caffeine and refined grains. The pair lost weight, gained energy and improved their skin tone.

“Transformation comes in a series of small, consistent decisions over time,” concludes Bessinger, eating salad instead of cheeseburgers and vegetables instead of fries. For natural weight management, “Make strategic, long-term changes in stages that you can actually sustain over time.”

Judith Fertig blogs at from Overland Park, KS.

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Pet Vaccine Alternatives Natural Steps to Nurture Immunity by Shawn Messonnier

Posted on 12 May 2015 by Jason

Pet Vaccine Alternatives

Natural Steps to Nurture Immunity

by Shawn Messonnier

With pets, as with kids, vaccine safety and necessity are likely concerns. While holistic veterinarians tend to minimize the use of vaccines, their strongest stance is against unnecessary vaccinations. The point is to immunize only when needed by individual patients while maximizing natural immunity.

In the late 1970s, amid the discovery of the canine parvo virus, vets saw many puppies under 4 months of age suffer from this mysterious disease and die or be euthanized. Once a vaccine was made, we rarely saw pets dying from the parvo virus or parvoviral infection. So, in certain cases, vaccines can be life-saving.

However, unnecessary and multiple simultaneous vaccines can also be life-taking, which doctors rarely mention. The truth is that only minimal vaccines are needed for dogs and cats over the course of a pet’s life. No pet needs all of the vaccines that are currently manufactured, and none needs vaccines every six to 12 months.

Pets do need veterinary checkups once or twice a year to screen for diseases affecting the liver, heart, kidneys, lungs, gastrointestinal and urinary systems, as well as cancer. Blood and urine testing, including blood testing for undiagnosed cancer, is vital, easy and inexpensive (every six months for pets 5 years and older and annually for those that are younger)

A good protocol is akin to that developed by Dr. Jean Dodds, founder of Hemopet of Garden Grove, California, a holistic veterinarian and an expert in animal vaccination and immunology. Her system involves administering limited vaccines to puppies and kittens based on their individual needs, and not more often than every three weeks for those younger than 8 weeks. Following this course, by 4 months of age the pet has been injected with four to six vaccines, compared to double to triple the amount supported by vaccine manufacturers and administered by breeders and most conventional doctors.

Such a judicious, limited vaccine protocol offers protection against the worst diseases most likely to kill the puppy or kitten while doing no harm to its natural immune system. As needed, individual pets may also receive a natural detoxification protocol to minimize vaccine reactions if needed. Antioxidant supplements can boost the immune response, as well.

Adult pet patients can also be given blood titer testing instead of vaccines. This measures the animal’s individual antibody responses to prior immunizations or common disease exposure and assures us the pet has adequate immunity against a specific disease.

All of this assures the pet owner that the pet is protected against infectious diseases without the risks of annual multiple vaccinations. In most cases a protective titer is maintained for many years, which preempts disease and so further reduces the number of vaccines the animal receives over its lifetime.

Titer testing costs less than $100 for three common infectious diseases, is safer than routine immunization, protects the immune system, prevents vaccine reactions and assures owners, vets, boarding facilities, groomers and day care facilities that it is safe to introduce the pet into such environments.

This approach of minimal vaccinations is a prime reason holistic veterinarian patients tend to be healthier and live longer than the average pet, with even larger dogs regularly living in good health up to 15 to 20 years of age.

Holistic veterinarians perform limited vaccines supplemented by titer testing to ensure levels of care that meet accepted standards. They base their approach on supportive science from institutions including the American Animal Hospital Association and American Association of Feline Practitioners to provide safe, proven ongoing immunity for patients.

Shawn Messonnier, a doctor of veterinary medicine practicing in Plano, TX, is the award-winning author of The Natural Health Bible for Dogs & Cats and Unexpected Miracles: Hope and Holistic Healing for Pets. For more information, visit

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