Letter From The Publishers

Brimming with Insights

As you search for wisdom to lead a healthier life, look no further than this issue of Natural Awakenings, brimming with insights and information, because many small steps and daily decisions can lead to a world of change! This month, we focus on one of our favorite topics, as it is the foundation for all…

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Local Articles & Spotlights

Take Care of Your Walking Feet

By Natural Awakenings Publishing Corp.

Now that it’s spring, it’s time for a walk outside. Walking benefits us physically, mentally, and psychologically. It brightens our mood, gets circulation to the brain for mental acuity, moves…

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Discover the Key to Cellular Regeneration

By Natural Awakenings Publishing Corp.

K.WEST Skin Body Soul, Ann Arbor’s new luxury holistic spa located on North Main Street in a sophisticated, yet warm and inviting historic home, offers boutique treatments designed to support…

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Avoid Spring Wildlife Collisions

By Natural Awakenings Publishing Corp.

For many species of wildlife, this is baby season, and the time when vehicles accidentally injure and orphan millions of creatures. “We live in a community that loves nature and…

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Spend the Day at the Gardening Festival

By Natural Awakenings Publishing Corp.

The Ann Arbor Downtown Library will celebrate the 2019 Gardening and DIY Fest from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., May 18, with a host of free activities and exhibits sure…

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Climate Change and Spirituality

By Barbra White

By Barbra White We are all part of an intrinsic co-arising web of life. One part affects the whole. Through observations from space, we know that what we do in…

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Assessing the Body’s Environmental Chemical Burden

By Cindy Klement

by Cindy Klement We all swim in a slurry of chemicals during our day-to-day life on this planet. Some of these chemicals become stored in our tissue, where they can…

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News Briefs

Outdoor Fertility Therapy Benefits Mind and Body

Kathleen Nelson, LMSW, ACSW, GC-C, is hosting a five-week Nature & Nurture Fertility support group for those experiencing infertility struggles, which includes support, conversation, snacks and an outdoor walk. It begins at 6 p.m., May 5, at Washtenaw County Farm Park, and will become an ongoing event. She says, “Infertility treatments are often difficult, and…

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Revalue Socially Conscious Investment Firm Opens in Ypsilanti

Revalue, a values-driven registered investment advisory practice, will conduct a grand opening celebration from 4 to 8 p.m., May 3, at their new offices located at 220 West Michigan Avenue in downtown Ypsilanti, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 4:30 p.m. and remarks at 6 p.m. Revalue offers investment management and financial planning services as part…

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Natural Health Independence Freedom Festival

The Naturopathic Community Center, in conjunction with the Naturopathic Institute of Therapies & Education and Herbs Etc., will conduct the Natural Health Independence Freedom Festival from July 4 through 7 at Symbiosis Ranch, in Mount Pleasant. The family-friendly, educational, clean and fun-filled event features activities to celebrate natural health. National speakers include Don Huber, professor…

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Massage Therapist/Author Joins InnerSpace Holistic Staff

Allison Downing, a licensed and certified massage therapist, has joined InnerSpace Holistic to offer massage therapy that may improve digestive ailments and chronic abdominal pain. They offer innovative digestive care for IBS, GERD and chronic digestive dysfunction. Downing is the author of Stop Stomach Pain: How to Heal Your Gut and End Food Restrictions. Clients…

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Color and Style Without the Chemicals

Brianna Vago, of Organic Hair with Bri, is licensed cosmetologist and organic hair stylist who recently moved to the West End Hair Salon at 5100 Jackson Road, in Ann Arbor. She uses only products that are organic, cruelty-free and low-chemical. The color line she uses also follows these guidelines. When Vago was diagnosed with an…

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Enjoy More than May Flowers at Materials Unlimited

Materials Unlimited has extended their 20 percent-off Spring Sale on home and garden accent items such as planters, wrought iron pieces, architectural salvage and much more through May. Customers can save in the store and online. Materials Unlimited maintains a full-service antiques restoration facility housed in a massive Art Deco building in downtown Ypsilanti. The…

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Become a Holistic Nurse in Any Practice Setting

Rediscover the heart and art of nursing and meet the CE requirements for Holistic Nursing certification or recertification. The Integrative Healing Arts Program in Holistic Nursing (IHAP) is a unique, three-session, 84-hour continuing nursing education (CNE) program in a relaxing retreat setting. Graduates receive a certificate in Holistic Nursing and Integrative Modalities; become an instrument…

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Attend a Basic PSYCH-K Workshop in Ann Arbor

Mary Mazur, a certified PSYCH-K basic instructor, certified holistic RN and owner of Ignite and Heal Your Life, LLC,  will present a three-day Basic PSYCH-K workshop, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., from April 12 through 14 in Ann Arbor. She advises, “A health crisis may come into your life as an opportunity for you. This…

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Vegans Gather to Celebrate Meatless Living

The 20th annual Michigan VegFest 2019, hosted by VegMichigan, will take place from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., April 28, at the Suburban Collection Showplace. VegFest is the state’s largest event focused on promoting the health, ethical and environmental benefits of a plant-based lifestyle. There has been a huge increase in vegan eating, and this…

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Ann Arbor Earth Day Festival

The Ann Arbor Earth Day Festival is an annual celebration coordinated by the Ann Arbor Earth Day Festival Planning Committee, a coalition of local environmental nonprofits and agencies, and held at Leslie Science & Nature Center. This year, it will be held from noon to 4 p.m., April 28, with displays from 40 local environmental,…

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Health Briefs

Mindfulness May Ease Menopausal Symptoms

Women in menopause that are mindful and nonjudgmental of their thoughts are less irritable, anxious and depressed, reports a Mayo Clinic study recently published in Climacteric, the journal of the International Menopause Society. Researchers gave questionnaires to 1,744 menopausal patients 40 to 65 years old and found that those with higher mindfulness scores struggled less…

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Exercise Improves Young Brains, Too

Walking, cycling, climbing stairs and other aerobic activities may improve brain function not only in older people, but also in younger folk, according to a Columbia University study published in Neurology. The study recruited 132 people between 20 and 67 years old that didn’t exercise and had below-average fitness levels. Half stretched and toned four…

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Prenatal Yoga Reduces Caesareans and Labor Pain

First-time mothers that practiced yoga beginning in the 30th week of pregnancy had fewer caesareans, fewer low-weight newborns and milder and briefer labor pains. They were also less likely to require painkillers or labor inducement. The Mangalore, India, hospital study, published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, included 150 women 20 to 35…

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Fruits and Veggies Boost Moods

Simply changing a diet to include more fruit and vegetables can boost mental well-being, say British researchers from Leeds and York universities. Examining health data of 40,000 people, they concluded those that eat more produce have a better psychological state, and that eating just one extra portion of fruits and vegetables a day could have…

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U.S. Heart Disease on the Rise

Forty-eight percent of American adults have some form of cardiovascular disease, reported the American Heart Association (AHA) in its annual update. The increase is partly due to 2017 updated guidelines redefining high blood pressure as greater than 130/80 millimeters of mercury rather than 140/90, which raised the number of Americans with diagnosed hypertension from 32…

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Dancing Prevents Senior Decline

Japanese researchers interviewed 1,003 Tokyo women over 70 years old about which of 16 types of exercise they did, including dancing, calisthenics, jogging, golf, ball games, hiking, yoga, bicycling and tai chi. In eight years of follow-up, those that danced were 73 percent less likely to be classified as impaired in any of the “activities…

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Selenium and CoQ10 Provide Lasting Benefits

Swedish seniors that took coenzyme Q10 and selenium during a four year study were still benefiting 12 years later with a reduced cardiovascular mortality risk of more than 40 percent. In the original study, Linköping University researchers gave 443 independently living seniors over 70 years old either a placebo or 200 milligrams of CoQ10 and…

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Probiotics Ease Bipolar Disorder

Research on 66 patients with bipolar disorder found that patients receiving probiotic supplements were three times less likely to be rehospitalized than those given a placebo. The study from the Sheppard Pratt Health System, in Baltimore, gave half of discharged patients a placebo and the other half a capsule containing two probiotics, Bifidobacterium lactis (BB-12)…

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Curcumin Boosts Fertility in Men

Sperm counts have plunged by half in the last 40 years among American and European men, according to a recent review of scientific studies. In a new double blind study of 56 infertile men, researchers at Iran’s Qazvin University of Medical Sciences found that curcumin, an active ingredient in turmeric, can boost sperm counts. Each…

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Gut Susceptible to Food Additives

By mixing food additives with human gut microbes in petri dishes, scientists at the Czech Republic’s Institute of Microbiology found that gut microbes with anti-inflammatory properties were highly susceptible to being harmed by additives, while microbes with pro-inflammatory properties were mostly resistant. “We speculate that permanent exposure of human gut microbiota to even low levels…

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Global Briefs

Hatching a Record

Avian Senior Citizen Astounds Again Being at least 68 years old didn’t deter Wisdom, a Laysan Albatross, from recently hatching another chick. The world’s oldest known banded wild bird, which roosts at the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge, in Hawaii, has birthed and raised more than 30 chicks in her lifetime. She and her mate-for-life…

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Bear Blitz

Climate-Challenged Polar Bears Invade Town About 50 polar bears that usually hunt seals from ice floes have found new cuisine in the garbage dumps in the remote Russian island military town of Belushya Gubam, about 1,200 miles northeast of Moscow. Its 2,000 residents, long accustomed to the occasional bear strolling through, now call it a…

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Dim Prospects

Light Bulb Standards Weakened Higher federal standards for energy-efficient light bulbs established two years ago are in the process of being rolled back by the U.S. Department of Energy, part of a move toward widespread deregulation by the current administration. Consumers stand to lose about $100 per household per year in electric bill savings if…

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Post-Coal Cash

Miners Becoming Beekeepers As the Appalachian economy struggles with the loss of three-fifths of its coal mining jobs in the last three decades, a surprising option is emerging for some: beekeeping. The Appalachian Beekeeping Collective offers beekeeping training, including bees and equipment and ongoing mentoring, for displaced coal miners and low-income residents of mining towns;…

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Beyond Green Burial

Human Composting at the End of Life Washington is poised to become the first state to make it legal to compost human remains. A bill allowing for the process, called natural organic reduction, as well as another called water cremation, has passed the state senate and is making its way to the house for a…

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Poisoned Pastures

Nuclear Testing Linked to Radioactive Milk The hundreds of nuclear bombs detonated on a remote Nevada test site during the Cold War produced radioactive fallout that led indirectly to the deaths of 340,000 to 690,000 Americans, concludes a recent study by economist Keith Meyers, Ph.D., of the University of Southern Denmark. Meyers conducted the research…

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Over Dose

Citrus Crops to Receive Human Antibiotics Scientists at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) expressed concern over a recent ruling by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) that opens the door to widespread use of the antibiotics streptomycin and oxytetracycline to spray commercial citrus crops. The antibiotics, which are often used on people, can kill…

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Muddled Message

GMO Labeling Diluted Under final rules released by the current administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s national labelling standard for genetically modified organisms (GMOs) completely exempts foods made with highly processed ingredients grown with GMOs, including sugar made from sugar beets, high-fructose corn syrup and refined soybean and canola oils. The change will allow 78…

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Fuel Folly

Nuclear Waste Disposal Remains Elusive A new report issued by environmental watchdog Greenpeace details the growing global dangers of accumulating nuclear waste that will remain hazardous for hundreds of centuries. Several of the designated storage facilities in the seven countries surveyed are nearly filled to capacity now. Unresolved safety issues across the industry include fire…

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Balancing Act

Endangered Species on the Rebound The Endangered Species Act seems to be working, with more than 75 percent of marine mammals and sea turtles protected by the act recovering, according to a new peer-reviewed study by scientists at the Center for Biological Diversity published in the academic journal PLOS ONE. North Atlantic green sea turtle…

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Eco Tips

Skip the Slip

Digital Receipts Gain Momentum Compared to newspapers, magazines and junk mail, retail sales receipts may seem inconsequential in their use of trees and their footprint on the environment. Yet, getting and handling that tabulation of a sale is a health hazard that contributes to landfills. Certainly, some receipts are required for tax records and product…

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Healthier Dry Cleaning

Non-Toxic Ways to Lower Risks Chemicals used in dry cleaning clothes have long been linked to health concerns for both people and the environment. Perchloroethylene (“perc” for short) is most commonly used in this process. Federal regulatory agencies have documented myriad negative effects from exposure to the petroleum-based solvent. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health…

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Tips for a Tree-Free Home

Many Ways to Pare Down Paper Use If one in five households switched to electronic bills, statements and payments, the collective impact would save 151 million pounds of paper annually, eliminating 8.6 million full garbage bags and 2 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions, according to the PayItGreen Alliance. While computers continue to offer significant…

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Breathe Easy

Ways to Improve Indoor Air Quality For much of the country, winter means spending more time indoors—and exposed to potential toxins. Indoor air quality is critically important to children, the elderly and people with respiratory problems that may be especially sensitive to pollutants, according to WebMD.com. Recognizing and avoiding some of the most common sources…

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Earth Christmas

Guide to Sustainable Merry-Making There is symmetry between living in an ecoconscious manner and the spirit of Christmas. Striving for peace on Earth and good will to all can also be expressed in reducing the holiday’s impact on the planet. Alternatives to a cut or artificial plastic Christmas tree abound. Purchase a potted tree to…

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Action Alert

On the Brink

Monarchs Need Species Protections Being listed as part of the Endangered Species Act would protect monarch butterflies. In the 1980s, about 4.5 million butterflies spent winters along the California coast. This season’s stay is shaping up to consist of only about 30,000. Fully 99 percent of the species listed under the Endangered Species Act of…

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Support Citizen Action Against Plastics

Every minute, the equivalent of an entire garbage truck of plastic gets dumped into our oceans, reports the World Economic Forum. Many of the materials are disposable, single-use plastic products like straws, bags and Styrofoam containers, which some cities and towns have banned. This type of citizen action is increasingly blocked by the Plastic Industry…

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Youth Climate Strike Coming to U.S.

Demanding immediate action, students are taking part in climate strikes around the world, and on March 15, young activists in the U.S. will add their voices to the escalating #FridaysForFuture movement. It was bolstered in January by 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg, of Sweden, calling for the first global climate strike while attending the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Action in this country is being…

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Sway Congress

Save Wild Horses Campaign Update The Trump Administration’s Fiscal Year 2019 budget again calls on Congress to lift long-standing prohibitions on the destruction and slaughter of wild horses and burros. The budget seeks to cut approximately $14 million of the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management Wild Horse and Burro Program by selling as many as 90,000 federally protected…

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