Healthy Concepts

Beware of dry cleaners making claims about dry cleaning your clothes using "organic" or "natural" methods. Marketing claims for dry cleaning are not regulated like food claims. The National Cleaners Association, a dry cleaning industry trade group, says some operators are using these terms in blatantly misleading ways.

What is organic dry cleaning?

When a food product has an FDA-regulated "organic" label, consumers can trust that no harmful chemicals were used in its manufacture. But "organic" means something very different when it describes the chemicals used in dry cleaning.

In dry cleaning, "organic" only means that the chemicals used to clean clothes are structured on a chain of carbon, the element found in all organic compounds. Gasoline is organic, and so are most of the petrochemical solvents used by the dry cleaning industry for the last 150 years.

Dry cleaners marketing "organic" cleaning methods are technically accurate but socially irresponsible. They are counting on you not to understand the difference between a chemical-free "organic" peach and a petroleum-based "organic" dry cleaning chemical.

The dangers of "organic" cleaning methods

If your cleaner claims to be using "organic" methods to clean your clothes, they are using either perchloroethylene, also known as PCE or perc, or petroleum (hydrocarbon) solvent, often marketed under the brand names DF2000 or EcoSolv. Perc is considered by the EPA to be an air and water toxin and dangerous to human health. Exposure can lead to increased risk of cancer, reduced fertility and eye, nose and throat irritation. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health estimates that 85 percent of dry cleaners still use this 1940s-era solvent.

Many dry cleaners also use hydrocarbon solvents. According to Judith S. Schreiber, chief scientist for the New York State attorney general’s Environmental Protection Bureau, hydrocarbons

are "a cleaned up version of gasoline" and only slightly less toxic than perc. Hydrocarbon solvents are classified by the EPA as VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and they are likely contributors to smog formation. They are also listed by the EPA as neurotoxins and skin and eye irritants for workers.

Environmentally safe dry cleaning methods

CO2 Cleaning. Converts CO2 gas under extremely high pressure to a liquid. Avoid CO2 cleaners using Solvair systems, which use glycol-ether during the wash cycle. Glycol-ethers are a family of VOC chemicals used in antifreeze and household cleaning products.

GreenEarth. Uses liquid silicone, essentially liquefied sand. Clear, odor-less and non-toxic, silicone degrades to sand and trace amounts of water and CO2 when released to the environment. Excellent fabricare benefits. 

Professional Wet Cleaning. Uses water, like home washing machines. Be sure to inquire if 100 percent of dry cleaning uses this method and whether detergents and pre-spotting agents have toxic or VOC properties. Wet cleaning machines drain directly into the city water system.

Caution about certified environmental dry cleaners

Any dry cleaner, even a perc cleaner, can hang up a "Certified Environmental Dry Cleaner" sign if they pass a test certifying they have the knowledge and ability to maintain their facility in an environmentally responsible way. Do not rely on signs in the window. Ask your dry cleaner to tell you exactly what process is being used.

For more information, visit:

www.findco2.com

www.greenearthcleaning.com

www.bestcleanersmadison.com

www.professionalwetcleaning.com

John Whitley is the owner of Best Cleaners of Madison, Inc., which in July 2002 became the first dry cleaner in the state of Wisconsin to totally commit to a 100 percent environmentally friendly dry cleaning operation by eliminating perc and using only "Green Earth Cleaning" or "Wet Cleaning." For more information visit www.BestCleanersMadison.com.

Diabetes is on the rise. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 151,000 people below the age of 20 have been diagnosed with either Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes and more than 13,000 children and teenagers are diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes each year. The World Health Organization estimates that more than 300 million people will develop diabetes by the year 2025. These rising numbers and the burden it adds to our current healthcare costs makes diabetes a national concern, and opens a great opportunity for naturopathic medicine.

What is Type 1 Diabetes? It is an autoimmune disease that destroys the beta cells of the pancreas. Beta cells are cells that produce and regulate insulin. The damaged pancreas is unable to secrete sufficient insulin, which causes an imbalance in blood sugar regulation. Insulin is a hormone secreted in response to food or glucose. Insulin’s job is to move the glucose into cells where it can be used for energy. If the pancreas cannot produce enough insulin for the breakdown of glucose, blood sugar begins to rise in the blood stream and over time it can damage the heart, arteries, eyes, nerves and kidneys.

Common symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes include: increased thirst, increased hunger, blurred vision, weight loss or gain and increased urination. The cause of Type 1 Diabetes is unknown, but there seems to be a combination of factors that lead to this destructive condition. A few theories are that it may be induced by a virus, hereditary etiology, wheat allergy, or early cow’s milk consumption in infants.

There are a variety of laboratory tests that can help diagnose Type 1 Diabetes. The most common is a random plasma blood glucose test. If the value is 200 mg/dl or more with the presence of diabetes symptoms, diabetes is often diagnosed. Also, some newer tests exist to help measure blood glucose levels over time. They include the fructosamine test, which estimates the average glucose level in diabetic patients during the preceding two to three weeks, and the hemoglobin A1C which detects an individual’s average blood sugar control over the last two to three months.

How can naturopathic medicine help Type 1 Diabetes? Naturopathic doctors will educate and help guide patients to eat properly in order to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Diabetic patients with poor blood sugar control often end up with devastating complications which can lead to nerve damage, blindness, amputations or even kidney failure. Naturopathic doctors can help prevent these common complications through dietary counseling and the recommendation of specific nutrients. Naturopathic care may also reduce the amount of insulin needed to regulate blood sugar, increase energy and enhance a patient’s well being. In addition to optimizing wellness for Type 1 Diabetes patients, naturopathic doctors can also provide many treatment options for Type 2 Diabetes patients.

As a naturopathic doctor, Dr. Rebecca Georgia utilizes a variety of research-based complementary and alternative modalities such as nutritional supplements, vitamins, herbs, homeopathy and diet and lifestyle changes. Dr. Georgia believes that personalized preventive care is essential in helping people achieve their health goals.

She is on staff at The Family Clinic of Natural Medicine, on Madison’s Southeast side. You can learn more about her by visiting her blog at georgiand.wordpress.com or call 608.222.2700 for more information.

Healthy Guidelines for Diabetes

Eat 30 grams or more of fiber per day

Eat a low-saturated fat, low-carbohydrate diet

Reduce dairy products in your diet

Avoid sugars and high fructose corn syrup

Eat small frequent meals through the day that contain protein.

Eat plenty of green leafy veggies, lean protein and other low-glycemic foods

Increase garlic and onions consumption

Increase the amount of fish and flaxseed to increase your Omega 3 fatty acid intake

Exercise 3-5 times per week

Almost eight years ago, after many years of collecting crystals, attending classes and studying metaphysics, Doris Deits took a leap of faith and opened Peaceful Heart Gifts & Books in Oregon, Wis. The momentous decision changed her life and she has never looked back.

With the help of her husband, Deits’ thoughtful efforts have culminated in a beautiful space that emanates healing and loving energy, palpable to all who enter. Shelves and racks are filled with CDs, aromatherapy, unique hand-crafted jewelry, colorful scarves and jackets, healing crystals and stones, statuary, books, cards and chimes. Soothing music and welcoming scents permeate the air, adding to the ambiance.

"I feel that we all need more fun and joy in our lives, so I’m always looking for new products that make me smile or spark that inner goddess energy," says Deits. Customers compare a visit to her store with a trip to State Street in Madison. "People seem pleasantly surprised to find a store like Peaceful Heart in Oregon, and I like to boast that we have ‘stress-free’ shopping here!"

Whether it’s a time of celebration or a time for support and encouragement, Peaceful Heart offers an abundant selection of specialty items throughout the year. Deits states, "I love shopping for the store, but the very best part of owning Peaceful Heart is talking with people and hearing their stories." This caring attitude is shared by staff, offering warm greetings and assistance to all who enter.

Because Deits sees the education of staff and customers as an important part of the store’s success, the lower-level classroom offers space to host monthly events and various classes, listed on the store’s web site. Says Deits, "This is a safe haven for people to explore new avenues for their own healing and upliftment." Reiki nights, group meditations and various healing topics are standard fare.

This year Deits invested in a newly designed web site, and gave the store front a facelift with brightly colored awnings, new signs and updated the door and windows with energy efficient glass. Excited with the changes, Deits heads into the 2010 fall and holiday season with "a burst of fresh energy and enthusiasm."

Peaceful Heart is located at 123 S. Main St. in Oregon, just a few miles south of Madison off Hwy 14. Store hours are Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. For more information please visit http://www.peacefulheart.net or call (608) 835-5288. With local restaurants, a coffee house and chocolate shop nearby, a visit to this welcoming oasis is well worth the trip.

There are two types of grocery shoppers. There are those who plan ahead, prepare lists, memorize the circular for sale items, clip coupons and shop judiciously and efficiently for healthy, economical foodstuffs.

Then there is the camp that likens a trip to the store to root canal. Distracted, they haphazardly grab items as they dash through the aisles, cursing big box retailers under their breath as they anticipate a quick exit, albeit with a cart full of things that aren’t very healthy made by companies with questionable ethics.

If the latter describes you, yet you aspire to a more Zen shopping experience, you need to try Willy Street Co-op. For 35 years, the Madison landmark has been a trusted establishment because of its unique business model. Located at 1221 Williamson St., it is owned and controlled by nearly 20,000 Owners, all of whom are eligible to serve on its board of directors and committees. The goal is to operate the store efficiently to generate a profit, which is then reinvested in the business.

The co-op has also been committed to providing the neighborhood and city with a variety of organic, local and natural foods since 1974, a category that has been growing phenomenally over the last 10 years. It’s also committed to sustainability. With solar panels on the roof, a composter and rain garden behind the store, and the practice of donating what would be well more than 10 percent of its profits to charitable organizations (many local), Willy Street Co-op is a refreshing alternative on the retail landscape.

Anya Firzst, who moved to Madison in 1985 and became an Owner shortly thereafter, considers the co-op to be a social center in the community.

"Every time I shop I see people I know and have a conversation with them," she says. "It’s not the kind of place you just drive to, get your groceries and leave, and I hear that sentiment from a lot of people. That’s what I like about it. Besides being able to get what I consider quality groceries, it’s that connection to people in the neighborhood and the employees and the people in the store that make it such a better experience."

So enamored with the concept, Firzst began volunteering at Willy Street in 1986 and was hired as an employee in 1987. Today she’s general manager.

It’s important to her that her employer’s values jive with her personal values.

"I like the positive impact that we’re able to have on the community where we’re located," she says. "I like working for a company that is conscious of where it gets the food, how we handle it, and how it’s working to improve the quality of things that people buy."

In an age of increased incidents in the food supply with issues like mad cow disease and salmonella outbreaks, the model is resonating with consumers.

"I’ve definitely seen an increase in people shopping here that I haven’t seen before and our growth in Ownership confirms that people are more engaged in the co-op, and that reflects a ‘buy local’ sensibility," she says.

This month, Willy Street Co-op will open a second store, Willy West, at 6825 University Ave., Middleton.

"We know that opening a second store will help us better meet our mission to provide the best in locally-grown, natural and organic food. Since over 40 percent of our 20,000 Owners live outside of the Williamson Street neighborhood, this Westside location will definitely provide better access for them and new shoppers," says Lynn Olson, director of cooperative services.

The new store will bring nearly 100 new jobs to the community and will reflect the needs and personality of the neighborhood. Owners and prospective Owners are encouraged to submit requests for products they’d like to see in the store.

Olson says that not only is she excited that the store brings with it employment opportunities to the area, but for the increased economic impact the co-op has to fulfill its mission of promoting sustainable agriculture and supporting various community organizations.

Willy Street Co-op has been supporting Community CHIP, a sister organization to Community Shares of Wisconsin that supports 65 groups committed to making Madison and Dane County a better place to live. Organizations work on a variety of issues including the environment, affordable housing, community development, violence prevention, services for people with disabilities, advocacy for people facing discrimination, consumer protection and much more.

Each time customers come through a check out line at Willy Street Co-op, they’re asked if they’d like "to CHIP."

CHIP is a voluntary 1 percent donation of the total bill and is added to the total. On a $10 purchase, a CHIP would raise the bill to $10.10. The small amounts add up — last year co-op Owners donated over $100,000 to Community CHIP.

"We are the only store that does that for them and now with another location, we’re able to do even more, which is very fulfilling, especially during these challenging economic times," Olson says.

You don’t have to be a Co-op Owner to walk in the door or even shop there, although there is a surcharge for non-Owners who shop. Currently that surcharge is 10 percent but they’ll suspend the policy at both stores from the opening of Willy West, then reinstate it in the new year at 5 percent.

It’s just one of the many ways the Co-op attracts new Owners, which not only benefits the co-op but the community as a whole.

"Supporting local businesses helps everyone, Firzst says. "More and more people advocate buying local and I think it’s great," she says. "At some point we all have to support our local economy because a strong local economy will keep all of us healthy."

Best Cleaners of Madison, Inc. is a Madison-based dry cleaner. Since 1996, owner John Whitley has built a solid reputation as Madison’s most trusted dry cleaner. Best Cleaners’ experienced staff is committed to providing quality, on-time service to the community. 

In 2002, the company became the first dry cleaner in the state to exclusively use a new technology called "GreenEarth Cleaning." The process, developed by General Electric and Procter & Gamble, uses a cleaning solution that is non-hazardous and odor free.

Becoming a greener cleaner

Whitley knew there had to be a better way to clean clothes. For years, dry cleaners had no choice but to clean clothes in solvents based on carbon chemistry, such as perchloroethylene (perc).

Whitley did his research and learned about GreenEarth Cleaning, a system that uses a dry-cleaning solvent not based on carbon chemistry, but instead uses a silicone solution that is chemically inert. GreenEarth is odorless, non-toxic and non-irritating to the skin. It does not require air quality permits, unlike perc which is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency and Occupational Safety and Health Administration. According to GreenEarth, its solvent degrades to sand, water and carbon dioxide.

Cleanest of clean cleaning

Because of Whitley’s foresight to be an industry leader, the company reduced its annual hazardous waste from one ton to nothing. Zero. As a result, the company was granted status as a non-generator of hazardous waste. Customers are happy, too. Thanks to the environmentally-friendly new process, customer clothes come back feeling softer, looking brighter and smelling fresher. In addition to all of the environmental benefits from the GreenEarth cleaning system, Best Cleaners now uses a degradable poly to protect your finished garments. The degradable poly bags look and feel like traditional plastic bags but offer the benefit of totally degrading in about 2 years instead of 400 years!

Today, Whitley spreads the word about clean cleaning, serving as a resource for environmental studies courses, educating students and hosting seminars about the impact of his environmentally-friendly process.

Best Cleaners of Madison, Inc. is located at 5712 Raymond Rd in Madison, and 6713 Frank Lloyd Wright in Middleton. For more information, call (608) 271-6769 or visit http://www.bestcleanersmadison.com.

First, choose a stone that you intuitively feel is right for increasing female fertility. If you are unsure, the following stones are universally known for their connection with fertility and reproduction: Druzy Chrysocolla, Jade (especially in the form of a four-footed dragon – either Jadeite or Nephrite can be used), Indian Moonstone, Apricot Moonstone, Rainbow Moonstone (also known as White Labradorite), Rose Quartz, Lavender Rose Quartz, Rhodochrosite, Boji Stone (use the smooth, female stones), Rhodonite, and Rutilated Quartz (especially with Red or Golden Rutiles, but Silver can also be used). For this purpose, the energy of the stones would be much enhanced if in the form of an egg, but this is not necessary.

Alternatively, you may need to choose a stone that will enhance male fertility. The following stones are connected with masculine energy: Pyrite, Shiva Lingam Stones, Limonite, Boji Stone (use the rough, male stones), Blue Pietersite, Blue Tiger’s Eye (also known as Hawk’s Eye) or Gold. It is best if you choose your fertility stone and your partner chooses theirs, but if this is not possible, you may choose both.

Next, create a "nest" for your fertility stones. This can be any small container of your choosing that you feel is suitable. Make this nest your own. You may choose to use a small box filled with soft fabrics, a basket, or even a real nest that you find in nature (as long as it is no longer being used by the mother bird who built it). Fill your nest with items that emit a safe, gentle and loving energy. These may be pictures, wishes that you have written on scraps of paper, other stones, sacred herbs or items that are special to you like pieces of jewelry, feathers, etc. Then, place the nest in a place of prominence where it will be able to inspire you daily. Again, it is best if this activity is done by both partners, but if this is not possible, you should create the nest with the intention of choosing materials and objects to represent both of you.

Once you have created your nest, you should dedicate your fertility stones. Create an intention for your stones by first dedicating them with love and light for the highest good of all beings. Visualize the stones being filled with healing, universal white light until they are glowing brightly. If you have a difficult time envisioning the light, you may take your fertility stones outside into the sunlight or light a candle and let its flame illuminate your stones (but do not place your stones into the flame). Then, program your stones for fertility by making a clear, concise statement about your intentions. This may be as simple as, "These stones will increase my fertility and will help me to become pregnant" or as specific to your fertility issues as possible. Then, place the stones into the nest (it would be best if you placed your stone into the nest and your partner theirs, but if this is not possible, you may place both).

You (and your partner, if possible) should take some time each day to sit with the nest. You may choose to meditate; you may want to add things to the nest or to occasionally change things as time goes by. You may even want to perform reiki or some other energy healing technique on the nest. However you choose to use the nest, remember what it represents and remember why you chose your specific fertility stones and nesting items. This is a healing space for you (and your partner). Maintain an open heart and an open mind and the possibilities are limitless.

Ashley Leavy is an accomplished author and lecturer on the subject of crystal healing, as well as on the interaction of crystals with other esoteric arts. Ashley is a Master of Crystology and is certified in the Level I & Level II Love is in the Earth workshops. She is also the co-owner of Mimosa Books & Gifts. Visit www.crystalhealer1.webs.com for more information, or visit www.mimosaspirit.com to browse Mimosa’s great selection of crystals and stones.

In a fireplace showroom where wood stoves blaze, it’s easy to get dazzled by the artful beauty of a particular stove. However, while loving the stove’s clean lines and form is essential, you should also consider the environment and follow current "green" criteria.

Because buying a wood stove is much like buying furniture, you will find a wide-choice of models that match every lifestyle and design interest, including antique, traditional, classic or modern.

While evaluating the right size, heating capacity and look of your future wood stove, we recommend that you follow these five eco-wise tips:

Only evaluate approved wood stoves equipped with a non-catalytic combustion system that exceeds EPA standards and are currently tax credit qualified.

Look for an eco-friendly seal and a recycled ingredients label that lists the many ways that a stove manufacturer has gone the extra mile to produce the highest quality and most energy efficient wood stove, possible.

Similar to grocery shopping, seek out the equivalent of an "organic section" in your local fireplace store to compare eco-wise content among the preferred green-savvy stoves.

Download educational videos that demonstrate how to fully realize the renewable benefits of local wood energy, without beginner missteps or old-school methods. There are five free videos that teach how to choose, install, operate, maintain, and fuel your wood stove that are available on www.morsona.com, Facebook, and YouTube. 

Review stove manufacturers’ literature and web sites to learn more about the company’s recycling, clean-burning technology and company-wide conservation practices.

Also, if you have owned a wood stove for quite some time, you should compare your stove’s performance and compliance in terms of today’s EPA standards or even stricter Washington State requirements. A 10-year-old or older stove might not measure up, which means it’s time to invest in a new high-performance wood stove. This simple change can minimize your carbon footprint, reduce fossil fuel use, lower your heating costs and even enhance your home value.

Additionally, if living by green principles is important to you – and it should be – you may want to seek out an experienced fireplace professional to help you evaluate the overall stove construction, components, and materials that differentiate the many wood stove brands.

Madison Fireplace Folks Owner Ernest Bingham is frequently called upon to explain the differences in stove construction and environmental practices. "Builders and homeowners seek out my advice because they know that I have spent over 30 years building chimneys and installing wood stoves," explains Bingham. "Wood stoves are home assets that last a long time, so it’s an important purchasing decision that requires research and consideration."

Whether you’re motivated by the benefits of naturally warm wood energy, flame-side ambience, or fall in love with a particular cast-iron wood stove style, this is great time to buy a new high performance wood stove. In addition to qualifying for a tax credit of up to $1,500 if you purchase before Dec. 31, 2010, you support local hearth and wood supply businesses.

To learn more about the energy conservation benefits of wood energy or to see stove options, please visit the Fireplace Folks at Great American Chimney & Masonry at 1902 S. Stoughton Road in Madison or call 608.221.4415. You can also find them online at www.fireplace-folks.com.

Article submitted by Fireplace Folks at Great American Chimney & Masonry on 1902 S. Stoughton Road, Madison. Fireplace Folks is a full service fireplace and masonry company that specializes in new wood stoves and fireplaces, chimney cleaning, masonry work, stove and fireplace installation, liners, chimney rebuilds and tuckpointing. For more information, call 608.221.4415 or visit www.fireplace-folks.com.

Recently I was listening to a report on a news station about the benefits of acupuncture and meditation for women trying to conceive children. As the reporter was giving a summary of some recent research findings on the benefits of these alternative therapies, he stated, "all of these homeopathic treatments have shown to be effective." As a homeopathic practitioner I am obviously more sensitive than the average viewer when I hear homeopathy misrepresented because I take my profession very seriously and also realize that in order to make homeopathy more well known, the public needs a little education. (Often clients walk in for their first appointment and tell me they have used homeopathy before I later learn they were taking an herbal or nutritional supplement.)

The father of homeopathy, Samuel Hahnemann, was born in 1755 in Meissen, Germany. He received his education in medicine but became disturbed with the harsh medicines that were being used. Hahnemann concluded that all too often the treatments were more toxic than the diseases that they were treating. This prompted his search for a more benign medicine. He came to understand that while the medicines were able to create a tremendous change in the human system, the change was often not for the better. In order to create a more benign drug, he began to dilute his medicines. Hahnemann set up a system of dilutions that left only the slightest trace of the original substance left in the medicine. In using these diluted medicines, Hahnemann found something mysterious: as a medicine became more diluted it became less toxic and more powerful and efficacious in the treatment of disease. Thanks to Hahnemann and his methods for making homeopathic remedies, today we have thousands of homeopathic remedies to choose from. Homeopathic remedies are made from plant, animal or mineral substances and are all FDA approved.

So how do we put this into practice? Let me give you a brief understanding of how homeopathy is practiced. Hahnemann stated that there are three Laws of Cure that together will shape the way we administer remedies and practice homeopathy. The first is the Law of Similars, which means "like cures like." Simply stated, the disease picture of the individual (the totality of their symptoms) is matched against a specific remedy that treats the range of symptoms present. When the symptoms are matched with the correct remedy, there is total removal of symptoms with the complete, gentle and permanent restoration of health. In applying this law, it reminds us that we are treating the entire individual so symptoms that impact the physical body also must impact us upon the mind, the emotions, and upon the spirit as well. We are always in the process of reaching for and maintaining health, so our symptoms always have meaning.

The second law is the Law of Simplex, which simply states to give one remedy at a time. This may be the hardest for people to follow since we were raised that more is better. In this case less is more; we want to create the least change in the human system to bring about a healing response. When people use combination remedies (multiple remedies combined in the same tablet) the case gets confused because you don’t know which one is helping and down the road it may interfere with long-term healing.

The third law is the Law of Minimum, which states that the properly selected remedy should be given in the lowest potency possible to evoke healing and the least number of doses possible. I like to give the analogy of starting a fire. After we have given the appropriate remedy and there has been marked improvement, you have lit the fire. As you continue to let the fire burn, you monitor and watch for continued improvement and if needed and only if there is no progress do you repeat the remedy.

One of the reasons I chose to be a homeopath is that homeopathy treats the individual. We all are unique beings with symptoms that mean what they mean to us and nobody else. My goal as a practitioner is to be an objective observer, keenly listen and keep silent while the client speaks. If I can understand what the client is experiencing, I am able to choose a suitable homeopathic remedy so that it may act as a catalyst to healing.

Lora Roberts, CHC (Cand) has a classical homeopathic practice in Monona. She received her 4-year homeopathic education from the Northwestern Academy of Homeopathy in Minneapolis and is continuing her education with a renowned master clinician from India. She can be reached by phone at 608.222.0321 or visit her web site at www.360homeopathy.com.

Everything in the universe contains energy, yet energy is something many of us don’t understand. Every month Tina Bensman, a practicing clairvoyant and energy healer, is here to answer any questions you have about your energy system. Topics may include energy anatomy, dream analysis, chakra balancing, manifestation, life patterns, etc. The ideas written here do not replace medical attention. Always listen to your body, mind and intuition when receiving advice of any kind.

Dear Tina,

How do crystals heal illness or distress? I’ve always been drawn to crystals and rocks, but healing with them seems a little out there. What’s the deal?

— Rocking the Skepticism

Dear Rocking the Skepticism,

I hear you! It does seem out there that a "rock" can heal a headache, depression or even cancer, but the way healing with crystals works is actually simple physics. Everything in the universe contains energy and all energy vibrates. The size, frequency and timing of oscillations can be measured in everything that exists: your hand, a plastic bottle, a tumor and even a feeling vibrate. The reason that the vibration of a crystal can heal is due to the phenomenon called entrainment.

Entrainment is defined as the synchronization of two or more rhythmic cycles. In other words, when you bring two vibrations in a similar frequency range, the weaker vibration will shift and synchronize with the stronger vibration. If you have a headache, that headache is using energy to exist. That energy vibrates at a certain rate. If you introduce a crystal that vibrates at a more balanced rate, your headache can entrain to the vibration of that crystal and seemingly disappear. This only works, however, if the energy of the crystal is stronger than the energy of the headache. The strength of any imbalance usually relies on how much you believe or need it.

Why would you need a headache? I know that sounds ridiculous, but there are actually many reasons. Maybe that headache is there to warn you that you are getting dehydrated or that you have a more serious condition like a brain tumor. Another benefit to pain is a difficult one to grasp (or admit to.) What if having a headache benefited you in some way. It might get you loving attention from your partner, a day off of a job you dislike or some much-needed rest. Maybe you feel that you don’t deserve to have these things normally unless you show an obvious need for them. In this case, until your deepest feelings about your imbalance are dealt with, the entrainment process will not take effect. Your feeling will hold much stronger energy than that of a crystal that can entrain a headache. In this case, you could try using crystals that vibrate in the same range as self-worth, replenishment and joy.

That was a lot of explanation. To sum it up, all crystals hold a constant vibration. When you introduce that vibration to an imbalance in your body, mind, emotions or spirit, the crystal can entrain the problem into balance if you are ready to be healed.


If you have a question, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. If your question is chosen, you will be notified before the article prints.

Tina, a Madison clairvoyant counselor and energy healer, is a lifelong student of the paranormal. She had her first clairvoyant vision at a young age and continues to see and hear energy. Tina is trained in clairvoyant reading and many modalities of energy healing, but through professional training she was disappointed in the methods many schools used to devalue everyone’s natural gifts. Tina started The Chakra House to teach how natural and easy it is to work with energy. She believes that everyone has natural psychic gifts and can access their abilities if they realized their potential.

 

"American consumers are paying high prices for low-quality food, and so are our public schools," says Jane Hersey, director of the non-profit Feingold Association of the U.S.

Hersey is one of many thousands of parents who use the low-additive Feingold diet to resolve their child’s ADHD symptoms (www.ADHDdiet.org).

"We learned how to shop smarter and find the foods our families love," she says. "You don’t have to give up the convenience of processed foods, just buy the brand that is free of additives like food dyes."

The Feingold Association researches food and compiles books listing thousands of acceptable brands, including mixes, frozen foods, snacks and even desserts and candies.

Many schools in the United States serve an astonishing stew of synthetic chemicals (most of them made from petroleum) that have been shown to trigger behavior, learning and health problems. Not only are these factory foods overpriced, but they are responsible for many of the troubling symptoms that are so expensive for schools to address. Back in 1979-1983, when the New York City school system removed additives like food dyes and artificial flavors, they found that test scores of all the students rose from the 39th to the 55th percentile on the California Achievement Test.

What’s more, the number of children who were 2 or more years behind grade level plummeted from over 12 percent to less than 5 percent. This translates to a huge saving in the cost of remedial services.

Schools can continue to use processed foods if they want, but simply switch to those versions that don’t have the Red 40, Yellow 5 and other petrochemicals. They don’t need to buy meat dishes that are loaded with high fructose corn syrup and MSG. In fact, the low-cost government commodity foods are a better alternative for any school, and a few items made from scratch can save even more money.

The Feingold Association applauds all of the initiatives that are being taken to bring healthy foods to schools, and offers options that can be adopted by any school. But while many find the issue to be complicated, Hersey maintains that it really is quite simple.

"If you turn the clock back to the 1950s school children were not plagued with ADHD, bi-polar disorders, diabetes, chronic asthma, depression, violent behaviors, chronic ear infections and all of the developmental problems we are seeing today. While there may be many contributing factors, one that stands out is the drastic change in the food children eat today. And one of the simplest and most effective solutions is to feed children food ... real food. If our school cafeterias today looked more like the school cafeterias of a generation or two ago, then our classrooms today would be far different as well."

For details on fixing school food, see http://www.School-Lunch.org.

SOURCE: Metro Creative Connection

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