Letter From The Publishers

Enjoying Each Step Along the Way

As we enter this gorgeous month of June, we celebrate 13 years of publishing Natural Awakenings magazine in the greater Ann Arbor area. We thank everyone in this wonderful community that has welcomed us with open arms from the first issue. It is a pleasure making so many friends with kind faces and hearts of…

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Local Articles & Spotlights

Overcoming Brain Fatigue

By Dr. Darren Schmidt

by Darren Schmidt Executives, salespeople, administrators and office workers may likely feel brain fatigue symptoms such as poor concentration, rubbing the temples or forehead, slow thinking, bad mood, apathy, lack…

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Avoid the Sunburned, Mosquito-Ridden Summertime Blues

By Emily Herron

by Emily Herron Summertime is beginning in Michigan; school is out and vacations are imminent. Summer is a wonderful time here in the mitten, but it does come with some…

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The Brain’s Most Important Joint

By Allison, Downing

When thinking about brain health, we may include nutrition, supplements, reading, doing memory training and exercising, but not healthy brain circulation. The foundation of strong brain functioning is circulation, and…

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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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News Briefs

Envisioning a Sustainable Ann Arbor

The annual Mayor’s Green Fair will be held on Main Street from 6 to 9 p.m., June 14, to celebrate the community environmental leadership exhibited by citizens, nonprofits, government and businesses. This year’s theme is Envisioning a Sustainable Ann Arbor. Main Street will be closed to through traffic between Huron and William streets, remaining open…

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Food Gatherers Grillin’ Benefit Fights Hunger

The 30th annual Food Gatherers’ picnic with a purpose will take place at 3 p.m., June 9. There is live music, kids’ activities, complimentary massages, a photo booth and more. Participants can bid on silent auction and raffle items. All proceeds go directly to support Food Gatherers’ mission of fighting hunger in Washtenaw County. One…

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Get Pain Out of the Body with Massage

Sherrel Wells, a medical massage therapist at Arbor Healing, says, “It takes just a half-hour to get the pain out of your muscles and feel good again. It’s a very short time to feel good.” She specializes in auto accident victims, slips and falls, and chronic injuries. Wells is offering massage at $75 per half…

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A New Place for Spiritual Learning

The Emerald Temple Healing Center is a beautiful new space located at 6223 Sharon Hollow Road, in Manchester, for events that nurture growth, well-being and learning. Their mission is to offer experiences that vitalize the bodies, illuminate the minds and inspire the souls of those growing in spirit. It is a meeting place for the…

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Getting Back into the Swing of Life After Cancer

Nonprofit Grass Lake Sanctuary (GLS) will host a Women’s Wellness Retreat for Breast Cancer Survivors from July 19 through 21. Christine Morgan, GLS women’s wellness retreat coordinator, says, “For nine years, women that have recovered from breast cancer have been learning life-balancing skills and experiencing the transformative power of connecting heart-to-heart with other cancer survivors…

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Yoga Fest in the Northern Woods

YogaFest will take place from July 25 through 28 at Morning Yoga Retreat, in the northern woods of Michigan’s lower peninsula. It is a nourishing, joyful and spiritually authentic celebration of spirit, nature, community, service and all things yoga. There are workshops and discussions of beginner, intermediate and advanced levels covering subjects ranging from the…

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Ann Arbor Summer Festival

The Ann Arbor Summer Festival includes programs across the University of Michigan campus and downtown Ann Arbor. The indoor Mainstage series includes performances of world-class music, dance, theater and comedy. Top of the Park offers admission-free concerts, movies under the stars, open-air spectacles and unique family attractions. The Summer Festival is transforming into a zero-waste…

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Aunt Alberta’s Remedy Relieves Arthritis Pain

Aunt Alberta’s Remedy eases muscular aches and joint pain. This homeopathic pain relief cream penetrates deep into the skin and muscle tissues for relief from sciatica, fibromyalgia, arthritis, neuralgia, gout and more, using all natural ingredients that include oil of wintergreen, iodine and castor oil. The remedy combines oil of wintergreen with Atomidine iodine, a…

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Shakespeare in the Arb

The 2019 Shakespeare in the Arb play is Twelfth Night, Shakespeare’s story of love and identity that contains some of the Bard’s most well-loved speeches and songs. Performances will take place at 6:30 p.m., June 6 to 9, 13 to 16 and 20 to 23. Shakespeare in the Arb is unique in the way the…

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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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Health Briefs

Legal Pot Lifts Junk Food Sales

Apparently, the fabled marijuana induced “munchies” cravings don’t have people reaching for carrots. A new study from the University of Connecticut found that shortly after Colorado, Washington and Oregon legalized recreational marijuana, increases in purchases were recorded in those states for potato chips (5.3 percent), cookies (4.1 percent) and ice cream (3.1 percent).   NinaM/Shutterstock.com

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Take Magnesium to Optimize Vitamin D

Magnesium seems to optimize vitamin D, increasing the vitamin’s utilization for those with insufficient levels and decreasing it in those with excessive amounts. In a randomized trial of 250 people between ages 50 and 85 that were considered at risk for colorectal cancer, researchers at the Vanderbilt- Ingram Cancer Center found that changes in blood…

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Eat Med Diet to Boost Performance

What we consume can boost our body even in the short term, a new study from St. Louis University shows. After eating the Mediterranean diet for just four days, athletes ran faster than after eating a Western diet. In the study, published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, seven women and four…

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Sit Less to Live Longer

For those that don’t move vigorously throughout the day—whether stuck behind a desk or lying on a couch in front of a screen— there’s good news in a recent American Cancer Society study: Replacing just 30 minutes a day of stationary time with such moderate physical activities as brisk walking and dancing reduces the risk…

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Eat More Carbs to Lower Heart Risk

Regardless of the type of protein consumed, lowcarb diets significantly increase the risk of atrial fibrillation (AFib), according to a study presented at the latest annual meeting of the American College of Cardiology. Analyzing the records of almost 14,000 people over a 20-year period, researchers found that diets such as Atkins, ketogenic and paleo, which…

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Find a Green Space and Make a Friend

Integrating green spaces among living areas increases trust among strangers, according to a study from anada’s University of Waterloo. Participants in walking tours of a Vancouver neighborhood were asked to complete a smartphone questionnaire at six stops, including at a rainbowpainted crosswalk and both wild and manicured community gardens. Researchers found that colorful design elements…

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Imbibe Less to Lower Blood Pressure

Even moderate alcohol consumption—seven to 13 drinks a week—increases the risk of high blood pressure, according to a new analysis of the health records of 17,000 U.S. adults. Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center researchers found that the average blood pressure among nondrinkers was about 109/67, among moderate drinkers 128/79 and among heavy drinkers 153/82, based…

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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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Global Briefs

Algae Alchemy

Dutch Turn Seaweed into 3-D Household Items Dutch designers Eric Klarenbeek and Maartje Dros have been cultivating live algae and processing it into material that can be used for 3-D printing. This algae polymer can be turned into everyday items from shampoo bottles to bowls and trash bins. They hope it could replace petroleum-based plastics…

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Big Save

Big Save Conservation Project Protects Part of Amazon The Amazon Region Protected Areas Program (ARPA), a joint venture between the World Wildlife Fund and the Brazilian Ministry of the Environment, has reached the goal of protecting a network of conservation units comprising more than 231,000 square miles in the Amazon River basin, or about 15…

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Click on a Campsite

Website Opens Up Private  Land to Campers A Portland startup online at LandApart. com is expanding the share-economy Airbnb-model concept to private landowners and campers. People that want to camp or rent a cabin in a beautiful area can pay a private landowner for access. CEO ven Gist says the move is in part a…

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Lower Overhead

Green Energy Reduces  Utility Costs Cincinnati has contracted with the energy company Dynegy to purchase 100 percent renewable energy to operate most of its municipal facilities through at least 2021. The green energy will power police and fire stations, health clinics, recreation centers and most administrative buildings, including city hall. The city’s greenhouse gas emissions…

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Green Team

Seattle Mariners  Win Eco-Award CenturyLink Field and Safeco Field, homes of the National Football League Seahawks and major League Baseball (MLB) mariners, respectively, introduced a Strawless in Seattle campaign last September. More than 100 local businesses joined with the Lonely Whale Foundation to help eliminate plastic waste. Safeco Field is the most sustainable baseball facility…

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Eco-Villains

Cleanup Cites Worst  Plastic Polluters A week-long beach cleanup and audit at Freedom Island in the Philippines last September exposed the companies most responsible for plastic pollution in the critical wetland habitat. The Greenpeace Philippines and #breakfreefromplastic movement audit, the first of its kind in the country, revealed that Nestlé, Unilever and the Indonesian company…

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Quick Quarters

Simple Eco-Houses on the Upswing A new Ukrainian homebuilding startup called Passivdom uses a 3-D printing robot to produce parts for tiny houses. The machine can print the walls, roof and floor of the company’s 380-square-foot model in about eight hours. The windows, doors and self-contained plumbing, sewage and self-electrical systems are then added by…

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Deadly Cargo

Oil Spill Threatens Ocean Ecology Experts are warning that the Iranian tanker Sanchi oil spill in January in the East China Sea could potentially be one of the worst in decades. Scientists from the UK National Oceanography Centre and the University of Southampton are monitoring the disaster, believing it could severely impact important reefs, fishing…

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Boston Ban

Plastic Bags Get the Boot Boston will join 59 other Massachusetts municipalities and hundreds of others across the nation, including Seattle, Washington, and Washington, D.C., in banning single-use plastic shopping bags by the end of this year. Instead, Boston shoppers must bring their own totes or pay store owners five cents or more for a…

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Helping Hands

Recycled Plastic Transforms into Prosthetics The emerging technology of three-dimensional (3-D) printing can benefit the world in many ways. Re:Purpose for Good, in Australia, creates robotically 3-D printed prosthetic devices from recycled plastic and e-waste. It’s difficult to customize prosthetics, so more invasive surgery is often needed to make standard sizes fit the patient. Other…

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Eco Tips

Mold Matters

Kill It Naturally Heavy rains, leaky pipes and floods can lead to mold growth, which can create poor and even toxic indoor air quality. Irritating the eyes, skin, nose, throat and lungs of both moldsensitive and nonallergic people, mold can also cause immediate or delayed respiratory symptoms; some can be extremely severe in individuals prone…

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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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Action Alert

Action Alert

Banish Toxic Air in Plane Cabins Flying safety is more than making it to our destination; it’s about the air we have to breathe while in the skies. Toxic fume events can occur when air, contaminated by engine exhaust, fuel fumes, de-icing fluids and/or ozone, enters the aircraft cabin through the jet engine intake. Exposure…

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Save the Cranes

Natural Resources Commission to Designate Sandhill Cranes as a Game Species One hundred years ago, Michigan’s sandhill crane population was near extinction due to hunting and diminishing wetland habitats. The bird’s population recovered at a very slow pace and still remains vulnerable. Now, the Michigan Senate Natural Resources Committee has voted to pass SR 30,…

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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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