Letter From The Publishers

Patience, Grace and Gratitude

Achieving balance on all levels is the true measure of vibrant health. We dedicate our February issue to the many ways to achieve a state of equilibrium. Seeking greater balance starts with an honest assessment of what we need and want out of our life; this inner awareness brings a sense of calmness and well-being.…

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Local Articles & Spotlights

Couples Communication Reaps Many Rewards

By Seth Kopald

by Seth Kopald Couples seem to push each other’s buttons and often say hurtful things. Perhaps the closer people are, the more they feel safe to let their guards down.…

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Step into Your Personal Power

By Natural Awakenings Publishing Corp.

by Mary Mazur Those in complete alignment with all aspects of themselves and the spiritual, mental, emotional and physical parts are existing in perfect harmony wake up feeling refreshed, relaxed,…

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Feeding the Organs for Winter Maintenance

By David Stouffer

Western medicine excels at treatment options for a variety of ailments, but often falls short of providing optimal prevention strategies. It’s true that recent changes in traditional Western healthcare phi­losophy…

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A Marriage of Creativity & Spirituality

By Natural Awakenings Publishing Corp.

Mara Evenstar is the co-owner of Evenstar’s Chalice, director of Conscious Rites, board member of the Intentional Living Collective and co-founder of Sophia Unfolds: These organizations were all created to…

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New Workshops at Castle Remedies

By Natural Awakenings Publishing Corp.

Castle Remedies and manager Mary Tillinghast have launched a new winter season of homeopathic classes. She says, “In these workshops, we will briefly touch on the history and theory behind…

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Huron River Watershed Council Needs Local Representation

By Martin Miron

by Martin Miron Sixty-seven local governments in the Huron River Watershed Council (HRWC) have the power to determine the location of houses, farms and businesses throughout the watershed. These land…

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News Briefs

Get Involved in Sustainable Housing

The University of Michigan Secret Lab Living Building Challenge (LBC) team will conduct a workshop, Sustainable Housing DIY, from 7 to 8:30 p.m., February 6, at the downtown library. The LBC provides retrofit designs for local buildings to help them become self-sustaining structures. This workshop/lecture will introduce LBC work and current sustainable housing solutions. Participants…

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Measuring and Tracking Sustainability

The city of Ann Arbor and the Ann Arbor District Library are hosting the seventh annual Sustainable Ann Arbor series. Their meeting, from 7 to 8:30 p.m., February 8, at the Ann Arbor District Library Downtown Branch, focuses on measuring and tracking sustainability. A think tank of local stakeholders, including community organizations, local government staff,…

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HeartMath for Teen Resilience

Rachel Egherman, LMT, and certified HeartMath coach, is teaching Transforming Stress for Teens, an opportunity for youths from 12 to 18 years old to come together in a small group to share and learn easy-to-use, evidence-based techniques for building resilience. The focus will be on identifying the emotions and situations that are depleting and learning…

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Expert Help with Getting Organized

Certified Professional Organizer, Certified Organizer Coach and Associate Certified Coach Nia Spongberg has been accompanying clients on their organizing journeys since 2012. Through her business, Nia Spongberg Organizing & Coaching, she says, “I love helping people tap into their greatness and become organized, confident thinkers and doers!” She notes, “For individuals that have had chronic…

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Community Massage from Students in Training

The Ann Arbor School Of Massage, Herbal & Natural Medicine massage therapy department offers a student clinic of bodywork, reflexology and energy balancing to the community for $25 by appointment on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, by trained interns in private, comfortable session rooms.   Location: 6276 Jackson Rd., Ste. B, Ann Arbor. For appointments, call…

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Natural Area Preservation Volunteer Outing

In observance of World Wetlands Day, volunteers will gather at Gallup Park from 1 to 3 p.m., February 3, to take advantage of a winter opportunity to explore and improve one of Ann Arbor’s special wetlands, usually inaccessible in warmer months. Rare native wetland plants along the river are threatened by invasive exotic shrubs. From…

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Top-Ranked Women’s Herbal Conference

The seventh annual Midwest Women’s Herbal Conference will be held on June 1, 2 and 3 in Almond, Wisconsin, and registration is open now. This premier event offers excellence in herbal learning opportunities and is renowned for its high-quality instructors, food and community experience. This year’s featured speaker, Dr. Tieroana LowDog, is the author of…

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Special Access Hours for ‘My Turn’ Exhibit

The University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA) is participating for the second year, in a program created for families affected by autism spectrum disorder (ASD). “My Turn” was developed by the Ann Arbor Hands On Museum to implement accessible and inclusive programming, particularly for families affected by ASD. From 10 a.m. to noon, February…

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Sylvester Offers Complimentary Coaching Session

Certified Life Coach Maria Sylvester, founder of the Life Empowerment Coaching Center, invites people to step meaningfully into 2018 by honoring and embracing their personal power and enjoy a complimentary life coaching session. She is a master at helping clients get to the heart of what really matters to them. “Living from the heart of…

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Learn Stress Reduction from a Pro

Paulette Grotrian, owner of Mindfulness with Paulette, is offering the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Intensive, a five-day program based on the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program (MBSR) with the same great content offered in an intensive format.  The program, taught as a healthcare practice, consists of five days of instruction, learning mindfulness meditation through guided practices, group…

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Health Briefs

Ashwagandha Normalizes Hypothyroid Levels

Ashwagandha, a traditional ayurvedic herb, can significantly improve symptoms of subclinical hypothyroidism, a condition that affects many women, a new double-blind clinical study shows. Researchers from India’s Sudbhawana Hospital tested 50 patients that had high circulating thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels. For eight weeks, half were given 600 milligrams a day of ashwagandha; the other half…

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Nuts Improve Blood Vessel Health

Munching on almonds and walnuts significantly increases blood vessel dilation and reduces artery plaque, say West Virginia University scientists. In a two-day study, 27 overweight volunteers ate 77 grams of almonds (about 2.5 handfuls) along with their lunch one day; on another day, they ate 60 grams of walnuts (about two handfuls) with lunch. Measurements…

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Bitter Melon Eases Knee Pain

Bitter melon (Momordica charantia), a spiky, cucumbershaped fruit, has traditionally been used in Asian countries to lower blood sugar. Now, researchers at Universiti Sains Malaysia report that it can significantly improve symptoms and reduce the pain of knee osteoarthritis. Half of 75 patients were given a placebo and the other half 1,500 milligrams three times…

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Harmful Bacteria Linked to Certain Showerheads

Harmful bacteria from the genus Mycobacterium have been shown to linger in showerheads and lead to lung infections through inhalation of steam. University of Colorado researchers analyzed 656 biofilms coating the inside of showerheads sent to them by volunteers throughout the U.S. and Europe, and found twice as much mycobacterium in showerheads from households receiving…

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Sniffing Dogs Can Detect Malaria

After years of worldwide decline, malaria is on a worrisome upswing, but researchers from Durham University, in the UK, have found a quick, non-invasive, low-cost detection method: dogs. Trained to sniff out malaria parasites in socks that West African children wore for one night, the canines correctly identified 70 percent among the infected and 90…

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The Power of Thank-You Notes

Practicing gratitude is a healthy habit, yet people often hesitate to write heartfelt thank-you notes to people that have touched their lives. Researchers at the University of Chicago and the University of Texas, in Austin, report that writers underestimate how much people receiving those notes are surprised, happy and appreciative. The researchers also found that…

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Zinc Combo Fights Aging Diseases

When zinc, a trace mineral, is combined with tea, coffee, chocolate and other foods that contain specific antioxidant compounds, it boosts protection against the oxidative stress linked to aging and diseases such as dementia, cancer and heart disease, report researchers from Auburn University,in Alabama, and the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, in Germany Zinc activates a plant…

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Holy Basil Fights Tooth Infection

Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum), an Indian herb also known as holy basil, has been proven effective in studies in reducing stress, lowering blood sugar and healing wounds. Now, research from India’s Rishiraj College of Dental Sciences has found that tulsi essential oil, used as a disinfectant, significantly reduced infection levels following root canals of primary molars…

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Screen Time Doubles Kids’ Risk of Anxiety and Depression

Children and teens that spend more than seven hours a day on screens have twice the risk of being diagnosed with anxiety or depression compared to those that spend one hour a day similarly engaged, concluded a San Diego State University study of more than 40,000 youngsters.   Tatyana Vyc/Shutterstock.com

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Walnut Leaves Improve Diabetic Health

In a double-blind study of 40 Type-2 diabetes patients, Iranian researchers gave half of them 200 milligrams of an extract of walnut leaf (Juglans regia) for eight weeks and the other half a placebo. Although the walnut leaf extract had no significant effect on their blood glucose levels or insulin resistance, it significantly lowered systolic…

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Global Briefs

Mind Meld

Translating Thoughts Into Speech Scientists are trying to translate speech-paralyzed patients’ thoughts into speech using brain implants. The technique will potentially provide a brain/computer interface (BCI) to enable people with a spinal cord injury, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, stroke or other paralyzing conditions to “talk” again. Experts think a system that decodes whether a person is…

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Horse Sense

Wild Horses Ride Out the Storm North Carolina’s freeroaming wild horse herds on the Outer Banks have “ridden out” their share of storms. When Hurricane Florence struck the area in 2018, the Corolla Wild Horse Fund of Currituck County, where the herd lives, announced on Facebook, “The horses have lived on this barrier island for…

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Bat Cave Rescue

Promising Progress Against Disease A cold-loving fungus known as white-nose syndrome (Pseudogymnoascus destructans) originating in Eurasia, where bats evolved to develop immunity to it, began infecting 15 species of hibernating bats in North America in 2006. As the fungus grows over bats’ noses and wings, it disrupts their winter sleep, causing them to expend too…

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Fish Revival

Shad Return After 174-Year Absence Following the removal two years ago of an obsolete dam in Manville, New Jersey, American shad are successfully spawning in the lower section of the Millstone River. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) recently observed juvenile fish there for the first time since 1845. American shad (Alosa sapidissima)…

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Bug Apocalypse

Sharp Decline Threatens Ecosystem Insects around the world are in a crisis, and a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that the problem is even more widespread than scientists first believed. In a pristine rain forest in Puerto Rico, the number of invertebrates—including moths, butterflies, spiders and grasshoppers—dropped…

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Ancient Canines

Presumed Extinct Dog Species Rediscovered After thinking the New Guinea highland wild dog had gone extinct in its native habitat, researchers have now confirmed the existence of a healthy, viable population, hidden on the island in one of the most remote and inhospitable regions on Earth. According to DNA analysis, these are the most ancient…

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Rare Breed

Exmoor Ponies Beat the Odds The Exmoor pony, which inhabits an area bordered by Devon and Somerset counties in England, is currently listed as endangered by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust. It’s believed that these ponies derive from the original prehistoric horse that made the trek from Alaska to Great Britain some 130,000 years ago.…

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Fire Hounds

Dogs Help Restore Burnt Forests in Chile Forest fires in Chile ravaged vast swathes of land in 2017, burning sturdy older trees in the El Maule region. Since then, three border collies belonging to Francisca Torres, a member of the environmental nonprofit Pewos, have been wandering through the charred remains with special satchels that spray…

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Happy Hoppers

Nature Finds a Way Frogs and toads are returning in parts of Panama after a deadly fungal disease devastated amphibians in Central America from 2004 to 2007. New research shows that evolution may have saved the day. In El Cope, at least four species disappeared, including the redstriped Rio San Juan robber frog. Four other…

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Smart Trash

Baltimore Rolls Out Sensor-Equipped Bins Baltimore is spending $15 million to deploy 4,000 sensor equipped trash receptacles that signal when they need emptying to increase collection efficiency. “The cans come with Wi-Fi; we will utilize this capability to allow the can to transmit information, including how full it is, so we can offer as-needed servicing of the cans,”…

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Eco Tips

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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Rebirthing Books

New Life for Old Friends Spread the wonders and joys of reading to others while conserving woodlands and other resources and keeping books out of landfills by donating them. Many outlets welcome books that may have been collecting dust at home, but can enrich the lives of others of all ages, both locally and worldwide.…

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Last Straw

Groups Work to Make U.S. Go Strawless About 500 million plastic straws are discarded daily in America, reports the U.S. National Park Service. Plastic that reaches waterways is ingested by marine life and our food chain. Individuals and municipalities are taking action to support options, including going strawless. The Last Plastic Straw (TheLastPlasticStraw.org), a project…

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Action Alert

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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