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

Food Co-op Benefits Available to All

The People’s Food Co-op is Ann Arbor’s first natural-foods grocery store, serving the community by offering a full-range of groceries, produce and environmentally sensitive cleaning products with local, natural and organic options in every department for more than 40 years. Although the co-op is a democratically run, member-owned organization, customers do not have to be…

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Transforming Our Local Food Economy

Agricole, soon to open in downtown Chelsea at the corner of Main and Jackson streets, brings together the convenience of grocery store shopping with the intimacy of a farmers’ market. Their mission is to encourage and improve small farm viability, increase community access to locally grown food and educate the public about maintaining local small…

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Healthy Meals Ready To Go

Zilke Farm Kitchen, in Milan, is offering healthy meal kits and prepared foods. Longtime Milan farmers Vicki and Tom Zilke know how to grow good food. After hearing from friends, neighbors and customers that they just didn’t have the time, ingredients or even recipe ideas to prepare quick healthy meals for their families, Vicki’s natural…

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We the People Matching Campaign

In the St. Joe $50K Challenge Match Campaign, the St. Joseph Mercy Health System will match every gift dollar for dollar through March 8 to begin building a We the People Grower’s Association (WTPGA) Opportunity Center that will create a farm and community space complete with a produce processing and packaging center, a horticulture lab,…

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Jesuit Pear Tasting and Grafting

Shannon Brines, of Brines Farm, will lead a hands-on demonstration of how to graft Jesuit Pear scions onto rootstock from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m., March 17, at Bløm Meadworks. The session will include a grafting workshop and a Jesuit Pear tasting. Meads and ciders produced onsite will also be available for purchase during the workshop.…

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New Chelsea Market Emphasizes Elegant Shopping

The New Chelsea Market is more than just a grocery store. It is an inviting food shopping experience. Like the neighborhood grocery of days past, they offer high-quality foods, quality ingredients and above all, warm and friendly services, including a wine-tasting event after 4 p.m. each Friday. Co-owner Francisca Fernandez says, “Our professional staff is…

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Spruce Up the Homestead for Less

Materials Unlimited is having a Spring Sale during March, with 20 percent off on everything in the store and online. The sale features home and garden accent items such as planters, wrought iron pieces, architectural salvage and much more. Materials Unlimited maintains a full-service antiques restoration facility housed in a massive art deco building in…

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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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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

Distributed Power

Energy Users Control Own Supplies Some municipalities spend between 20 and 40 percent of their annual budgets on the energy needed to operate wastewater treatment plants. The city of Thousand Oaks, California, has transformed their biggest energy user into an energy generator. Across the U.S., energy users of all sizes are taking control of their…

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‘Sink’ Setback

Tropical Forests Releasing Excess Carbon A study published in the journal Science found that forests across Asia, Latin America and Africa release 468 tons of carbon per year, equivalent to nearly 10 percent of the annual U.S. carbon footprint. Thus, tropical forests may no longer be acting as carbon sinks and could be releasing more…

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Veggie Renaissance

Brits Cutting Back on Meat Eating In 2015, the World Health Organization labeled bacon, sausage, hot dogs and other processed meats with the same carcinogenic label as for cigarettes. According to the Mintel Meat-Free Foods 2017 Report (Tinyurl.com/MintelMeatReport), 28 percent of Britons have now drastically reduced their meat intake. Reasons vary. About 49 percent of…

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Grassroots Gumption

Sweet Potato Project Encourages Enterprise The Sweet Potato Project, started by journalist Sylvester Brown, Jr., will work in partnership with St. Louis University and a small cadre of local nonprofits called the North City Food Hub to hold culinary, small business, horticulture, restaurant management, and land-ownership classes and business incubator opportunities this spring. The goal…

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Fossilized Financing

Renewable Energy Subsidies Lag Far Behind The G20 nations, comprising the world’s biggest economies, provide four times more public financing to support fossil fuels than renewable energy, says a report from the environmental coalition Oil Change International (Tinyurl.com/TalkIsCheapOilReport). This took place even though German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced climate change as the heart of the…

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Food Sourcing

Marine Algae Could Nourish Growing World Population According to the United Nations, more than 800 million people today are regularly undernourished. By 2050, a rise of another 3 billion in global population is expected to escalate pressure on food supplies. The challenge means providing not just sufficient calories, but also a balanced diet for good…

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Sickly Salmon

Uncontrolled Lice Threaten Fish Industry A surge in parasitic sea lice that attach themselves to and feed on salmon, killing or rendering them unsuitable for dinner tables, is disrupting salmon farms in the U.S., Canada, Scotland, Norway and Chile. Wholesale prices for the species have already increased 50 percent over last year, leading to higher…

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Wind Harvest

Floating Farm Helps Power UK Needs Hywind, the first floating wind farm in the UK, is located 15 miles offshore of Peterhead, in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. Its five turbines with a 30-megawatt capacity will provide clean energy to more than 20,000 homes to help meet the country’s ambitious climate change targets. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon says,…

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Auto Revolution

Industry Revs Up for Electric Car Future China, the world’s largest car market, is planning to stop production and sales of traditional energy vehicles in favor of electric vehicles (EV), and the decision has sped up competitive development by U.S. automakers. General motors is promising to launch at least 20 new electric vehicles in the…

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Bottle Buyback

Britain May Charge Deposit to Reduce Bottle Litter Britain only recycled 57 percent of the plastic bottles that were sold there in 2016, and is considering charging a deposit fee to reduce litter. Scotland is also introducing a deposit return policy for cans and bottles. Denmark recycles 90 percent and South Australia 80 percent by…

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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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