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

Reiki Treatments Enhanced by New Technology

Andrea Kennedy, reiki master practitioner, instructor and owner of Mainstream Reiki, now offers the PEMF Inframat Pro First Edition Chakra Mat, the newest technology in healing mat therapy, as an add-on for $20 in addition to the regular reiki appointment fee. The mat consists of 16 pounds of seven different natural gemstones and offers five…

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Everything Depends on Clean Water

Jeremy Smiley, owner of the Fuller Life Water Company, says, “Tap water contaminates chlorine, fluoride, and silicone phosphate are at all-time highs and that does not include agricultural runoff, industrial waste and unused pharmaceuticals entering the water supply. One solution is reliably pure bottled water delivered to a home or business. Fuller Life Water has…

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Easy Introduction to Holistic Health Care

The Ann Arbor School of Massage, Herbal & Natural Medicine offers a full student and professional clinic in a peaceful setting, offering bodywork sessions for integrated therapeutic massage, reflexology, Polarity Therapy and energy balancing. Additionally, the wellness center maintains an Herbal Pharmacy and Dispensary, with medicinal and therapeutic herbal formulas. Check out and come to…

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Food Summit Highlights Local Access

Slow Food, Huron Valley’s 11th annual Local Food Summit will be held February 16 in Towsley Auditorium at Washtenaw Community College. The Summit, brings together farmers, consumers, consumers, academics and retailers committed to creating a vibrant, sustainable and just local food community. In addition to education and networking, participants will enjoy a local meal curated…

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Find Antique Building Resources in Ypsilanti

Materials Unlimited, a full-service retail antiques store and restoration facility housed in a three-floor, 15,000-square-foot 1920s Art Deco building in downtown Ypsilanti, showcases all varieties and styles of antique lighting, hardware, home decor, leaded glass windows, doors and furniture. The staff is adept at helping customers choose the proper style and function for the period…

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Outdoor Art Program Looking for Artists

SculptureWalk, a year-long community arts project in which juried sculptures are installed at 12 locations in historic downtown Chelsea, is celebrating its 10th year. Artist are invited to submit entries for the 2019 season. Through a juried selection, winning artists receive a $750 award and a yearlong, highly visible platform to display their work. Sculptures…

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An Evening of Classic Compositions

Celebrating its 40th year, the Washtenaw Community Concert Band’s Celebration of the Community concert at 7:30 p.m., February 28, will include the William Tell Overture and musical highlights from West Side Story and Oklahoma. A local high school band student winner of a concerto competition will perform and win a $1,500 prize. Refreshments are provided.…

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Auditioning Talent for Chelsea Sounds & Sights Concert Series

Sounds & Sights on Thursday Nights, one of Michigan’s premier summer concert series, is accepting applications to be considered for this summer’s entertainment lineup. Auditions will be held from 5 to 8 p.m., March 4, in downtown Chelsea. This year’s schedule begins June 6 and continues every Thursday through August 15. Each week, 11 different…

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KUDOS

The trustees of Legacy Land Conservancy, Michigan’s oldest local land trust, have appointed Diana Kern to lead the organization as executive director. Kern brings more than a dozen years of experience in nonprofit executive leadership, fund development, relationship management, budget management, board support and staff development to her new role at Legacy. She recently served…

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K.West High-Tech Luxury Spa

K.West Skin Body Soul is a high-vi­brational luxury spa in Ann Arbor offering advanced skin and body ther­apies rooted in ayurvedic and Chinese traditions. They feature non-invasive, non-thermal DNA skin rejuvenation for complete support and renewal of all skin conditions including acne and aging. Offerings include: 12-session nutrition­al and life coaching programs integrated with skin…

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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

Scouts Updated

Name Change Embraces Guys and Gals The Boy Scouts of America’s flagship program has been known simply as the Boy Scouts for more than a century, but with girls soon entering the ranks, the group says that iconic name will change. A new name, Scouts BSA, will take effect in February. Mike Surbaugh, chief executive…

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Breathing Room

Growing Cities Must Add Woodlands The U.S. Forest Service has determined that as the acreage of urban environments more than doubles between 2010 and 2060, green spaces and urban forests need to expand to maintain air quality, moderate climate change and lower energy use. The federal agency, a division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture,…

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Alcohol Fallout

Beer and Wine Contaminated with Monsanto Poison In 2016, beer testing in Germany revealed residues of glyphosate, a suspected carcinogen, in every sample of beer. The environmental organization EcoWatch has found glyphosate in all of the most popular brands of wines in America and the world. One common factor in the tests is the presence…

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Really Natural

Organic Labeling Evolves to Meet Challenges Organic shoppers may see additional labeling on produce. More than a dozen farmers and scientists from around the country met to create the standards for an additional organic certification pilot program called the Real Organic Project (ROP), which they plan to initially introduce at 20 to 60 farms. Under…

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End Game

Extinctions of Threatened Species Continue The death of the world’s last male northern white rhino has rendered the species functionally extinct, which means the only hope of reviving the population is through in vitro fertilization. World Wildlife Fund head of campaigns Colin Butfield calls this a “uniquely bad situation.” Two other animals, the vaquita, a…

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Dumping Disincentive

Big Bank Acts to Protect Oceans from Mine Waste Citigroup is no longer financing mining projects that dump mine waste into the ocean. The move comes in response to pressure from the Ditch Ocean Dumping campaign, which calls on financial institutions to divest from any project or company that employs the practice. “Banks and financial…

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Plastic Pushback

Countries Ban Single-Use Plastics Bans on plastic consumption have been increasing globally for the last two years. Single-use plastics will be officially banned in the Bahamas by 2020, including plastic bags collected at the point of sale, straws, Styrofoam food containers and plastic utensils. Also, the release of balloons in the air will be illegal.…

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Teeny Town

Tiny Houses Can Benefit Seniors The University of Southern Indiana (USI) is building a small, modular home on its Evansville campus to demonstrate how the tiny housing model could make independent living accessible for people of all ages and abilities. It’s part of a larger effort aimed at creating a cultural transformation related to aging…

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Soybean Slowdown

Chinese GMO Regulations Dampen U.S. Exports Even before recent disruption of U.S. trade with China through increased tariffs, China had made importing  genetically modified (GMO) soybeans more difficult after a regulatory crackdown last December. The agricultural GMO regulation scheme strengthened the soybean approval process, leading to delays at Chinese ports. Certificates for certain GMO import…

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Breathe Easier

Hamburg Gets Serious About Diesel Fumes Hamburg, Germany’s second-largest city, is experimenting with restricting diesel-powered vehicle access to portions of two major streets, with exemptions for new, cleaner models. Environmentalists and ecologically minded politicians celebrate the move as a breakthrough on the path to cleaner urban air. A German court ruled last February that cities…

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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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