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

Well-Being and Meditation

By Kapil Castoldi

The solution to all human problems is summarized in this short paragraph by spiritual teacher Sri Chinmoy (1931-2007). “I am in preparation. I am in preparation for a new dawn,…

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New Farm Bill Boosts Michigan Agriculture

By Natural Awakenings Publishing Corp.

The 2018 Farm Bill supports the one in four jobs related to food and agriculture in Michigan, the state’s second-largest industry. It will provide five years of certainty for Michigan’s…

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How to Weave Hemp into Gold

By Richard L. Steinhart

The dilemma facing socially conscious people is how to justify making money through the capitalism system.  Buying shares of stock means owning part of a company. Finding small cap, undervalued…

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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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News Briefs

Try Using a Health Coach this Year

Radhika Kakarala, M.D., MS, CHWC, owner of My Peak Wellness, is offering Introduction to Health and Wellness Coaching Conference calls from 1 to 1:30 p.m., January 15, 22 and 29. “Most people set new year goals to improve their health and wellness with very little success. When you work with a health and wellness coach,…

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Learn to Act From a Professional

Registration is underway for Redbud Productions’ 19th season of their Winter Acting Class for Adult & High School Actors, taught by local teacher, director and actress Loretta Grimes. Using the techniques of acclaimed acting teacher Sanford Meisner, sessions will focus on emotional work, improvisation and scene study. Classes take place from 3 to 6 p.m.…

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Michigan Farm to Family Offers Neighborhood Delivery

Michigan Farm to Family, a door-to-door organics wholesaler, now offers locally raised, organic and GMO-free meat, dairy products and other local, healthy food options throughout lower Michigan. Instead of delivering direct to the home, Michigan Farm to Family recruits location leaders that provide their driveway for the company van to park, where customers meet to…

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Acupuncture Clinic Expands Services in New Digs

Asian Healing Traditions Acupuncture Clinic has relocated to a medical facility on the west side of Ann Arbor at 3200 West Liberty, Suite C6. Co-owner Meagan Duggan Bretz, RAc, has added an additional acupuncturist Melea Alexander, RAc, as well as massage therapist Kim Brown, LMT. Bretz says, “We are able to offer more appointments and…

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Volunteer with Natural Area Preservation on MLK Day

The city of Ann Arbor Natural Area Preservation will lead Ann Arbor residents in volunteer service from 1 to 3 p.m., January 15, at Barton Nature Area, to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. They will join hundreds of thousands of people across the country on this national day of service, answering…

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Natural Movement Promotes Natural Health

Pharmacist Arnold Andreasen, the founder of Prescription Movement, wants to help people live a better lifestyle by focusing on improving their daily habits. He says, “Natural movement is a lifestyle you can take with you wherever you go. I am level 2 certified in MovNat,” an affiliate Gym with MovNat, as he has a long…

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Apprenticeship Studio Creating Permanent Roots

The Michigan Folk School has a new campus and is holding an online fundraiser through December 15. With a goal of $40,000, the contributions will be matched by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. One of their goals is to have a person certified in natural building code and skills to help others get started on…

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Remodeled State Theatre Opens This Month

The Michigan Theater Foundation (MTF) will reveal the newly remodeled State Theatre, located at 233 South State Street, on December 8 for members and December 9 for the general public. The State Theatre was built in 1942 and designed by architect C. Howard Crane, who also built the Fox Theatre, in Detroit. MTF purchased the…

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Celebrate Slow Food with a Great Meal

Silvio’s Organic Ristorante e Pizzeria is making a special dinner on December 11 for Terra Madre Day, the International Day of Earth. It’s a price fixe menu, with four courses of organic, local “Italian slow food” for $75. Silvio will donate the 15 percent of this dinner to Slow Food Ann Arbor and gift a…

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Classes Now Enrolling at Peaceful Dragon

Since 1990, the Peaceful Dragon School has offered year-round comprehensive programs in tai chi (yang style-short form) and qigong (energy work) for adults. Focused on relaxation, balance, health and convenience, they have added more day and evening classes, practice sessions, private sessions and intensives. Once enrolled in one class, students can attend other classes held…

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Health Briefs

Herbs Make Worthy Prebiotics

Ginger, black pepper and holy basil, mainstays in traditional medicines as anti-inflammatories, also contain significant prebiotic potential that could help gut health, report researchers from India’s National Institute of Nutrition, in Hyderabad. Holy basil (Ocimum sanctum) and ginger (Zingiber officinale) showed significantly higher prebiotic activity, especially of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species, when compared to the…

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Pine Bark Soothes Prostate

Benign prostate hypertrophy (BPH), a condition that affects half of men older than 60, is related to increased prostate land size and a reduced flow of urine from the bladder. To test the effectiveness of the pine bark extract Pycnogenol on BPH, researchers from Italy’s D’Annuncio university divided 75 men with the condition into three…

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Zyto Biofeedback Records Subtle Changes

The ancient Chinese discovered that there is a vital life force energy flowing through the body. They called this vital force chi. They also found that there are 12 life energy meridian lines that flow through the body that transport energy between different organs and systems of the body thus keeping the body in harmonious…

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Meditation and Music Slow Cellular Aging

Meditating or listening to classical music altered biomarkers associated with cellular aging and Alzheimer’s disease in adults experiencing memory loss, according to a recent West virginia university study. The 60 participants had subjective cognitive decline, including forgetting familiar names and losing objects, a condition that may be a preclinical stage of Alzheimer’s. For 12 minutes…

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Vegetables and Orange Juice Protect Memory

A Harvard study was conducted on the diets of nearly 28,000 male health professionals spanning two decades between their 50s and 70s and published by the American Academy of Neurology. It found those that drank orange juice and ate leafy greens, berries and dark orange and red vegetables suffered significantly less memory loss than others.…

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Lemon Balm Lowers Blood Pressure, Reduces LDL

Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis), a soothing herb from the mint family, can significantly improve the condition of patients with chronic stable angina, reports a recent study in the Journal of Herbal Medicine. Researchers at Iran’s Ahvaz Jundishapur university of medical Sciences tested 80 patients with the condition, which involves chest pain linked to a lack…

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Rose Hip Reduces Cold Symptoms

During the six months of Denmark’s frigid winter, 107 study volunteers took either two grams of liquid rose hip (marketed as Hyben vital) or a placebo daily. university of Copenhagen researchers found that the rose hip group experienced 18 percent fewer colds, as well as significantly fewer symptoms such as coughing, headache, muscle stiffness and…

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Light Pollution Disturbs Sleep

Being exposed to high levels of artificial outdoor light at night contributes to insomnia and greater use of sleeping pills, reports a new study from South Korea’s Seoul National university College of medicine. The researchers studied the records of 52,027 people without diagnosed sleep disorders—60 percent of them women—and correlated their sleeping pill use with…

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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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Global Briefs

Wave This

Planet Earth Has a Flag A new project by Oskar Pernefeldt, a graduate student at Beckmans College of Design, in Stockholm, Sweden, has designed a new flag for the entire planet to be used worldwide in a move toward unity. Its minimalist design shows seven rings intertwined on a deep, sea-blue background, forming a flower…

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Fake Foliage

Bionic Leaf Tops Plants in Photosynthesis Bionic Leaf 2.0, a new, artificial photosynthesis system developed by a team headed by Harvard university scientists, takes in carbon dioxide, water and sunshine to create a sugary fuel. Solar energy splits up a water molecule, and bacteria turn hydrogen and carbon dioxide into liquid fuel, mainly isopropanol, which…

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Eco Fill-up

Liquid Fuel Stores Solar Energy Solar power is cheap and plentiful, but there has been no way to store it efficiently. Scientists from Chalmers university of Technology, in Gothenberg, Sweden, are developing a liquid molecule composed of carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen that when exposed to sunlight, rearranges the bonds between its atoms into an energized…

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Spring Decluttering

Many Benefits of Reorganizing Spring is the season of renewal, and on the home front, that means cleaning, organizing and reducing clutter. While we apply natural, eco-friendly cleaning agents, the act of moving items around offers the opportunity to rearrange or eliminate some of them, providing a fresh look and a sense of comfort, order…

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Techno Timber

Artificial Wood Resists Fire and Water A new, lightweight synthetic wood has been created that is as strong as wood, but without its traditional vulnerability to fire and water, as reported by Shu-Hong Yu, a materials chemist at the university of Science and Technology of China, in Hefei, and the author of a study published…

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Poles Apart

Earth’s Extremities on the Edge The North Pole and South Pole each have unique, pristine environments, virtually untouched by civilization, but a air of federal studies cast doubt upon their future status. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), in a study based on satellite data, warned that ancient glaciers in West Antarctica, thought to…

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Transcendental Meditations

Near-Death Experiences Can Be Learned “Meditation-Induced Near-Death Experiences: a 3-Year Longitudinal Study,” published in Mindfulness, concludes that some Buddhist meditation practitioners can willfully induce near-death experiences (NDE). These profound psychological events typically occur in people close to actual or perceived death. The ability to willfully induce such experiences could help scientists better understand the phenomenon,…

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Shocking Development

Oceanic Blasts Harm Ecosystems Oil companies have received federal permission to use seismic airguns to find oil and gas deep beneath the Atlantic Ocean floor during offshore oil exploration from New England to Florida. Repeated every 10 seconds, 24 hours a day, for days and weeks at a time, the airguns are so loud that…

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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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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

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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