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Eliminate Three Common Food Sensitivities

Then Listen to What Your Body Tells You


by Holly J. Niles, Licensed Functional Medicine Clinical Nutritionist

Many people report being sensitive to food. These sensitivities can cause digestive issues, increased pain and inflammation, headaches, brain fog or other issues. On the other hand, many people don’t notice any connections between food and feelings.

Food sensitives are not allergies, but they can create quality of health problems for some. What’s the difference between a sensitivity and an allergy?


Greater Vernon Healthfest


The Greater Vernon Holistic Healthfest returns on March 25 and 26, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., as one of the state’s largest educational fairs on holistic medicine with about 100 exhibitors and 40 workshops.


Classes on Sustainable Nutrition Practices Begin in September


A one-year certification program begins in September with The Institute of Sustainable Nutrition (TIOSN). TIOSN is reshaping nutrition education by teaching nutrition, soil health, soil re-mineralization, growing food, foraging, cooking, kitchen medicine and overall sustainable health.


Earth Day Kapha Yoga Retreat in April


A day retreat led by Laura Thomas RYT-500 and Anjali Desai CYT will be held on April 23 at Yoga Center of Collinsville. The event will provide a quiet space for attendees amidst their busy lives to reconnect with their inner needs and to the earth as the Kapha season begins. In the Ayurvedic system of health, Kapha season is connected to spring. Participants will leave the retreat feeling ready for the new season with a more balanced, grounded and centered sense of self.


Letter from the Publisher


A positive difference in hunger, cravings and energy levels when gluten is eliminated indicates a condition of gluten intolerance. –  Fiona McCulloch, Naturopathic Doctor

Food. It’s in everything we eat. The fuel for our body forms much of our biochemistry. But not all fuel is created equal. Many times, the real food is adulterated with other substances, which are commonly added during farming, processing and even cooking.


Fearless Eating

How to Move Past Food Sensitivities

by Kathleen Barnes

Complaints of digestive upsets, brain fog, headaches, relentless food cravings and unrelieved stress appear to be at epidemic levels these days.

“These symptoms may be part of newfound awareness of the wide-ranging and seemingly unrelated health problems caused by food sensitivities and intolerances, which are different from food allergies,” explains microbiologist Kiran Krishnan, from Chicago.


Thumbs-Up on Fats

Good Fat Doesn’t Make Us Fat

by Judith Fertig

In an era of too much information, the role of fats in our diet has been a victim of not enough information. Today’s turnaround in nutritional thinking acknowledges natural fats as being vital to heart health and weight loss.


Holistic Eye Care

Taking the Whole Body into Account

by Linda Sechrist

The “old wives’ tale” about eating carrots for healthy vision wasn’t wrong, but fell far short of a holistic approach to eye health. Today’s holistically trained healthcare providers and ophthalmologists believe that properly maintaining the marvelous phenomenon of eyesight requires taking into consideration genetics, diet, toxin exposures, life environments and our belief systems.


Music as Medicine
Music Soothes, Energizes and Heals Us
by Kathleen Barnes
As primeval drumbeats echo across an African savannah, the rhythms circle the globe, picked up by the chants and rattles of shamans gracing Amazonian jungles and Siberian tundra. They’re repeated in Gregorian chants filling medieval cathedrals and Om meditations resounding in Himalayan caves and yoga classes everywhere. They gently echo in the repeated tones of mothers’ lullabies, happy hummings as we go about our day and the melodies of Mozart.
Music is the soundtrack of our lives, whether we’re aware of it or not. It exists within, uniting and guiding us, and has helped heal body and spirit since the dawn of humanity. National Aeronautics and Space Administration scientists recently discovered that the universe itself has a song.
Pioneering Practitioners
From the soothing tones of a harp to the jarring screeches of a construction site, the stress-reducing or stress-producing properties of sound are familiar to us all. “Stress is an underlying cause of the vast majority of all illnesses, and sound and music are effective in relieving stress and bringing stillness,” says Jonathan Goldman, director of the Sound Healers Association and an internationally recognized pioneer in harmonics and sound healing, in Boulder, Colorado.
Through researching his many books, including The 7 Secrets of Sound Healing, Goldman is convinced of the profound effect sound has on the human organism. “The simple chanting of the sound ‘om, or aum,’ in addition to instilling calmness and relaxation, causes the release of melatonin and nitric oxide. It relaxes blood vessels, releases soothing endorphins, reduces the heart rate and slows breathing,” he explains.
“Sound can change our immune function,” wrote the late Dr. Mitchell Gaynor, former director of medical oncology at New York’s Weill-Cornell Medical College for Complementary and Integrative Medicine in his book The Healing Power of Sound. “After either chanting or listening to certain forms of music, your Interleukin-1 level, an index of your immune system, goes up between 12-and-a-half and 15 percent. Further, about 20 minutes after listening to meditative-type music, the immunoglobulin levels in the blood are significantly increased. Even the heart rate and blood pressure are lowered. There’s no part of your body not affected. Its effects even show up on a cellular and sub-cellular level.”
Practical Applications
Consider some of music’s scientifically validated health benefits:
Stress: Singing, whether carrying a tune or not, is a powerful way to combat stress, according to many studies. A recent joint study by German and British researchers published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience confirms that simply listening to soothing music results in significantly lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol. The more intensive engagement participants experienced in singing or playing an instrument, the greater the stress reduction. A collaborative study by several Swedish universities showed that group singing caused participants’ heart rates to synchronize, producing relaxation effects similar to that achieved through group meditation.
Cancer: Gaynor used music to treat even advanced cancer patients for decades, considering it a “disease of disharmony.” He advocated re-harmonizing the body with sound vibrations that affect virtually every cell, especially enhancing immune function and potentially preventing cancer from spreading. Gaynor primarily used crystal bowls to produce deep relaxation and harmonize dysrhythmic cells in patients, but also confirmed the healing effects of certain vibratory tones of drumming and Tibetan metal gongs.
Several studies confirm that listening to any kind of soothing music relieves anxiety in cancer patients; a large study from Philadelphia’s Drexel University confirms that it also relieves pain, lowers blood pressure, improves breathing and minimizes nausea associated with chemotherapy.
Depression: Drumming can better counter depression than the prescription drug Prozac, according to a recent study by England’s Royal College of Music. Those that participated in a weekly drumming group experienced significantly reduced symptoms compared to a control group.
Substance Abuse: University of California, Los Angeles, scientists found that drumming was especially helpful for a group of Native Americans struggling with such issues.
Smartphone Addiction: Korean research found that music therapy is helpful in overcoming this condition.
Immune Dysfunction: The same British study of drumming’s antidepressant effects saw similar improvement in immune function, plus an anti-inflammatory response that continued for at least three months after the study period.
Neuroendocrine Disorders: Researchers at Pennsylvania’s Meadville Medical Center Mind-Body Wellness Group found that drumming effectively helped drummers (skilled and unskilled) suffering from neuroendocrine disorders such as pituitary tumors and intestinal issues caused by disconnections between the endocrine gland and nervous systems. They further confirmed that group drumming reduced stress chemicals such as cortisol in the drummers.
Muscle Tension Dysphonia: Even tuneless humming sounds like “um-hum” can have a measurable therapeutic effect on individuals that have lost their voices due to overuse.
Pain: When a group of British citizens suffering from chronic pain joined a choir, a Lancaster University study found they were better able to manage their condition for improved quality of life. Just listening to harp music for 20 minutes decreased anxiety, lowered blood pressure and relieved pain in a group of U.S. heart surgery patients with short-term pain participating in a University of Central Florida study in Orlando.
Alzheimer’s Disease: In addition to reducing the agitation and anxiety frequently accompanying Alzheimer’s disease, researchers at Florida’s University of Miami School of Medicine found that a group of patients that participated in music therapy for four weeks experienced increased levels of the calming brain chemical melatonin.
How It Works
“Humming or singing causes longer exhalations than normal, helping to naturally eliminate toxins and acidity,” says Dr. Madan Kataria, of Mumbai, India, who has spawned 5,000 laughter clubs worldwide.
“We started experimenting with the vowel sounds and humming sound. An early unpublished humming study I did in Denmark showed that people that hummed anything for just 10 minutes were able to reduce their systolic blood pressure by 10 to 15 points, their diastolic by four to five points and their pulse rate by 10 beats per minute.” Kataria found that people with breathing problems like asthma and emphysema experienced especially positive effects because it strengthened belly muscles used in breathing.
Kataria is also a fan of kirtan—Hindu devotional call-and-response chants often accompanied by ecstatic dancing. “Kirtan takes away self-consciousness or nervousness and anxiety,” says Kataria.
Dr. Eben Alexander, who recorded his near-death experience in Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife, says the “indescribable” cosmic music he experienced has helped him come to understand the effects of specific sound frequencies on the brain. He now provides audio tools to help bring the brain to a higher state and help it match that higher and more conscious state. In his medical practice in Charlottesville, Virginia, he often employs music from a patient’s past to help them emerge from a brain injury or coma and even “reconnect pathways in a damaged brain.”
Alexander explains that binaural beats and other sound effects combine to create “brain entrainment” and also in theory, “monotonize” it to free awareness and access realms other than the physical. “It’s magical what the right type of music can do to the brain stem to free up our consciousness,” he observes.
No Talent Needed
Experts agree that people without musical talent are able to experience the same benefits as virtuosos, based on their degree of engagement with music. Anyone can hum, and most research confirms that benefits are enhanced in creating music rather than merely listening to it.
Group singing has become increasingly popular, especially following the hit TV show Glee. Time magazine reported in 2013 that 32.5 million American adults sang in choirs, up about 30 percent from a decade earlier.
The choice of musical genre matters. Recent data from Montreal’s McGill University shows that types of music tend to have specific effects; for example, blues slows heart rate and calms an anxious person, rock and punk can boost energy, and reggae can help control anger.
Spirit Moves
The spiritual aspects of virtually all types of music cannot be underestimated, says Michael Hove, Ph.D., a cognitive neuroscientist affiliated with Harvard Medical School and Fitchburg State University, in Massachusetts. His research has primarily focused on drumming to induce altered states of consciousness that shamans from diverse cultures use to bring about physical and emotional healing. What Hove calls a “boring and super-predictable” drumbeat of 240 beats a minute induced a deep trance state within minutes in most subjects, and brain scans confirmed that it enabled them to focus intensely and block out distracting sounds within eight minutes.
This aligns with Alexander’s view that, “The sound of music is absolutely crucial in launching us into transcendental awareness. For the true, deep seeker, sound and vibration and the memory of music can serve as a powerful engine to help direct us in the spiritual realms.”
Kathleen Barnes is author of numerous natural health books, including her latest, Our Toxic World: A Survivor’s Guide. Connect at
[pull quotes]
In Nigeria, we say that rhythm is the soul of life, because the whole universe revolves around rhythm; when we get out of rhythm, that’s when we get into trouble.
~Babatunde Olatunji, drummer and social activist
Free Eben Alexander meditation recording:
Free Jonathan Goldman chakra tune-up:
Nature’s Healing Sounds
The calming sounds of rushing water and gentle breezes are well known; science is now confirming the therapeutic effects of singing birds. Belgian researchers confirmed that bird song helps drown out the stressful effects of traffic noise, and Korean scientists found it makes people feel less crowded. A study published in the American Journal of Physiology showed that it can even help regulate participants’ circadian rhythms, contributing to restful sleep and overall wellness.

Music as Medicine

Music Soothes, Energizes and Heals Us


by Kathleen Barnes

As primeval drumbeats echo across an African savannah, the rhythms circle the globe, picked up by the chants and rattles of shamans gracing Amazonian jungles and Siberian tundra. They’re repeated in Gregorian chants filling medieval cathedrals and Om meditations resounding in Himalayan caves and yoga classes everywhere. They gently echo in the repeated tones of mothers’ lullabies, happy hummings as we go about our day and the melodies of Mozart.


New Holistic Health Center Seeks and Connects Natural Healers


Top healing practitioners are joining together to create a new holistic health center. The new Bridge Healing Arts Center (BHAC) in Farmington brings together naturopaths, energy healers, acupuncturists, yoga instructors, massage therapists, nutritionists and others specialists. Practitioners of the healing arts are invited to explore this location to grow or launch their practice at an exclusive sneak peek Open House on Thursday, March 23rd from 4 to 8 p.m.


Naturopathic Office Opens in Bloomfield


Naturopathic Doctor Jaquel Patterson is now providing naturopathic services in Bloomfield. Using natural therapies such as nutrition, homeopathy and herbal therapies, she restores balance and optimizes individual health care needs. She provides care to the entire family, with a focus on women’s health, autoimmune, inflammatory conditions and mental health concerns.


Six-Week Meditation Course Begins in April


Integrative Wellness and Physical Therapy of Bloomfield announces a new six-week meditation course beginning on Wednesday, April 19, from 6 to 7 p.m. Sessions will be led by meditation teacher and mindfulness coach, Josette Lumbruno.


The Reconnection


Dr. Eric Pearl, author of The Reconnection: Heal Others, Heal Yourself, demystifies the healing process. He teaches others (90,000 and counting) how to activate and use what he refers to as an all-inclusive spectrum of healing frequencies.


Foam Rolling for Myofascial Relief

Inexpensive Self-Care that Relieves Pain


by Becky Thompson, LMT, RYT

The body has many reasons for presenting with aches and pains. Legs can get achy after walking or running. Hips and back can hurt after too much sitting or standing. Arms or shoulders may feel restricted when reaching high. What is the cause of these aches and pains? One of the main reasons is due to myofascial restrictions and adhesions. These might feel like knots, ropey bands or achy inflamed trigger points around the body. They are caused by the fascia of the body being stuck and hardened into place—and they hurt.


Natural Remedies for Itchy Pets

Gentle Ways to Calm Allergies

by Sandra Murphy

Rather than routinely giving drugs to dogs and cats to relieve dry, itchy, skin or food allergies, consider more gentle natural alternatives. As with people, knowing what an animal is allergic to is key to finding the right remedy and preventing future outbreaks.


Silencing Cyberbullies

How to Defuse Bad Actors

by April Thompson

Whether it’s a damaging rumor posted on Facebook, a humiliating photo shared on Instagram or a threatening text, cyberbullying is increasing among today’s youth. A 2015 Cyberbullying Research Center study of middle school students found that 43 percent had been targeted, while 15 percent admitted to being online bullies. Meanwhile, students, parents and teachers are combating cyber-aggression with initiatives to make the phenomenon socially unacceptable in schools.


Dr. Joseph Mercola on Simple Steps to Well-Being

by Judith Fertig

Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine Joseph Mercola has practiced as a board-certified family physician for more than 30 years. His educational website,, has been the most visited natural health site for the past 12 years, with 12 million unique visitors each month. His three New York Times bestsellers include Effortless Healing.


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