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March Issue of Natural Alternatives
March 01, 2013

Natural Alternatives for Your Total Health

March 2013

Hello, and welcome to this edition edition of my Natural Alternatives Newsletter!

I hope you will enjoy reading this issue.

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“The natural healing force within each one of us is the greatest force in getting well.” ~Hippocrates




By Kathy Ryndak and Gord Riddel

In days gone by our health care was seen to by the resident family specialist who knew all the folk remedies to take care of whatever was ailing us. If in doubt or for more serious ailments, the shaman or wise woman may be have been consulted. Their combined knowledge of plants, herbs and the healing properties of the natural world soon had us back on our feet experiencing life.

With the advent of the microscope a new understanding of our inner physical workings came to light. The concept of infectious agents like bacteria and viruses would forever change the face of health care. The advent of hygiene and then drugs would soon make natural health care obsolete for many people. A pill became the solution to any if not most problems.

In the shift from folk medicine to allopathic medicine we have given up much of our own responsibility to learn from the illness and given our power to the latest medical discovery. Now, there is no denying for a second the changes that medicine has brought to the human condition. We live longer and die less often from natural events like childbirth. A broken bone is reset and we are left with little, if any disability, from the event. People rarely die from the common cold.

The question becomes in this age of mounting health care costs and cut backs, what more can we do to take back greater responsibility for own health care? This is truly why the concept of Holistic Health is so crucial at this time. Not just to cut costs but to reclaim our responsibility in own wellness. Holistic Health Care when properly and fully applied is multi-faceted and dynamic. Here are some of the areas that Holistic Health embraces.

The Physical

1. Body Work- whether it be Swedish, Shiatsu, Reflexology they all provide an important role in releasing blocked energy and muscles but also they re-enforce the importance of touch in our wellness.
2. Aromatherapy- not only provides the above advantages of bodywork but also is enhanced by the use of aromas and fragrances, which stimulate and/or soothe our immune and nervous systems. No home should be without lavender to soothe us and citrus scents to stimulate and clear our thoughts.
3. Herbal medicine and Homeopathy- provide important and complementary adjuncts to any treatment program.
4. Diet and Exercise- goes without saying the importance of these two areas in any wellness program. The research is pretty irrefutable as to their benefits.

The Emotional

1. Clear old emotions- The more old hurts and anger we hold onto from our past, the more problems we will potentially have with our health. The key here is not just to be aware of them but to actually clear and transform the old energies into something we can learn from and put into our history. Recycling our old feelings is not good for the environment or our body!
2. Let go of situations and relationships that no longer work for us- Moving on is part of the human experience. Many people get stuck and then ill, if they do not allow the natural movement of life to be part of their experience.
3. Know your inner dialogue- we all have beliefs and messages from the past that we use to stop us in our tracks from doing what we need to do. We use these same messages to beat ourselves up with. All affect the robustness of our life.

The Spiritual

1. Looks for a deeper meaning for our experiences- This idea is based on the concept that things happen to us at the physical and emotional levels in order for us to more closely examine our life and see what or where we may need to shift or learn. It is NOT a concept we use to beat our self up with because we are sick. It is a tool to move forward, with or without our illness.
2. Spiritual Tools - Meditation, yoga, prayer, the use of sound are only a couple of the tools that the spiritual area can provide to us to enhance our search for deeper meaning and wellness. All the research studies to date back up the importance and effectiveness of these tools.
3. Spiritual Clarity- a knowledge of the human soul and its needs will move us from emotional recycling and the 'Why me" syndrome toward understanding and inner peace about our life, our health and our journey.

The above list of areas embraced by the Holistic Practitioner barely touches on the vastness of this important and comprehensive approach to health and wellness. It does need to be stressed that this is not an either or situation, with Holistic on one side and Allopathic medicine on the other. The two can and do work together very nicely. While acute medical needs such as accidents, heart attacks, and severe infections are blessed with the knowledge and expertise of the allopathic medical community, Holistic treatment when done knowledgeably can enhance and speed up a person's recovery time.

Much of what we need to do in taking back personal responsibility lies within prevention. The Holistic approach to wellness addresses many areas of our lives and provides tools to potentially circumvent illness before it takes its toll on our life. Our resistance to change is probably the biggest stumbling block to lifestyle and emotional shifts which would enhance our wellness. Our innate need to maintain the status quo even if it is hurting us is a leading contributor to our lack of well being.

The Holistic Practitioner addresses these areas not only for themselves, but those who help others professionally, do enormous service in the health and wellness of individuals. Human's are very complex and need to be treated accordingly. All things are interconnected at many different levels and the kindest thing we can do is recognize that complexity and address as many levels of the human experience that is available for us to learn from and to enhance, in our self and in others.

Gord Riddell and Kathy Ryndak are therapists and co-founders of the Transformational Arts College of Spiritual and Holistic Training. The College offers professional training programs in Spiritual Psycho­therapy, Spiritual Director, Holistic Health, Coaching and Psychospiritual courses through a 10-part program “Discovering the Total Self”. The part-time Holistic Practitioner Program plus many other courses have start dates in January 2013. For more information or to obtain a calendar, call the College at 416-484-0454 or toll free 1-800-TAC-SELF or visit To receive our monthly e-newsletter please email


When Dr. Edward Bach put his 38 flower essence healing system together, he included the Gentian plant as one of what he called the “happy fellows of the plant world.” If it were possible to get a dose of encouragement from a bottle, taking Gentian would be the way to do this.

Even people with a consistently optimistic outlook would agree that life has its ups and downs. Gentian is the remedy to reach for when we feel ourselves on the down side of our luck. It is very helpful to those who are discouraged during an illness that seems slow to heal.

Another time to use it would be when a successful reducing diet suddenly reaches a plateau and the dieter is uncertain of ever attaining the weight-loss goal. It also can help students who are not doing well in school or the job seeker who receives yet another rejection letter. A few drops of this flower remedy can prompt such individuals to get back on track and keep working at it.

On another level, this benefit extends to the plant world. Since plants are living things, they respond as well as humans and animals to the healing properties of Bach’s flower remedies. Gardeners will be pleased to know that using a few drops of Gentian in water can encourage the growth cycles of house and garden plants. Indications would include plants whose leaves are wilting or slow growers that appear reluctant to flower or bear fruit.

Gentian is most often used as the antidote for a disheartened mood that needs balancing or for any being that needs an acute boost of optimism. However, some personalities might call for this remedy on a more consistent basis.

The Gentian personality type is someone who sees the glass as half empty rather than half full. According to Bach scholar Mechthild Scheffer, Gentian types are, as a rule, “easily discouraged, skeptical, doubting and pessimistic.”

Dr. Bach divided his remedies into seven categories, and Gentian fits into the group labeled “Uncertainty.” To clarify, the individual who is in need of this remedy has lost faith in a positive outcome. Taking Gentian restores this faith by allowing the individual to see any outcome as positive, even if it is not the one expected or hoped for.

Such a restoration of faith in the grand scheme of things can contribute to a sense of well-being and a happier life. So to coin a popular catch phrase, Gentian can help even the most pessimistic individuals to see that “it is all good.”

Linda M. Crider, BFRP, has been a promoter and educator of botanical healing practices for 15 years. She specializes in flower essence therapy and is a Bach Foundation registered practitioner and founder of Blooming Vibrations, LLC. or 602-774-2382.
Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 31, Number 6, December 2012/January 2013

By Dr. Edward Group III, DC,ND

A vegan is someone who follows a diet that avoids all meat, fish, poultry, and dairy products. It might be described as being similar to vegetarianism but vegans will also avoid consuming food where animal derivatives are used during the production process. Such products include refined sugar, certain wines, and even honey. It’s common for this sentiment to extend to other areas of life and vegans often avoid wearing clothing made from animal skins or fur. Many also avoid products that are tested on or derived from animals.

What do Vegans Eat?

Vegan diets consist of a wide range of fruits, grains, vegetables, juices, water, and various forms of milk, such as hemp, almond, or coconut, that are derived from vegetable sources. While it is not mandated by vegan principles, most vegans typically consume organic foods or foods that are certified all-natural and pesticide free. In recent years, the popularity of vegan dietary habits has led to the development of many popular food products that are made with animal derivative substitutes. You can now purchase vegan friendly variations of hot dogs, ice cream, cheese, and mayonnaise.

Why be Vegan?

he health benefits from adopting (raw) vegan eating habits are innumerable. There’s a growing amount of evidence to suggest adopting a vegan diet will reduce the risk of many degenerative diseases, and it really shouldn’t come as a surprise. Vegan diets are high in vitamins, fiber, and nutrients… and low in saturated fat, cholesterol, and other toxins. Meat, poultry, dairy, and alcohol are linked to a broad spectrum of health problems and simply avoiding them is the best way to avoid the risks associated with eating that stuff. However, for some, veganism is just as much an ideology as it is a type of diet and there are reasons beyond dietary health benefits why an individual may want to adhere to vegan principles.

Spiritual World View

Some vegans believe that all life is sacred and that just as human beings are to be taken into consideration, so are animals. Some religious traditions teach reincarnation and practitioners believe human souls can be reborn as an animal. Consequently, eating the flesh of an animal, or using an animal for medical testing or commercial product testing is considered barbarous, cruel, and morally analogous to cannibalism. Likewise, keeping animals in captivity for the purposes of extracting something from their bodies is equivalent to slavery.

Sensitivity to Animals

Some vegans aren’t interested in religion at all but are simply acutely sensitive and do not feel comfortable with the killing, mistreatment, or commercial exploitation of animals. Many extend these personal feelings toward animals into a broader circle that governs how they live their life. For example, in addition to not eating meat, they also avoid leather products.


Many vegans object to agribusiness in general and feel that boycotting products produced by animal farming will slow down the impact that commercially-motivated farming and ranching has on the natural environment. It’s viewed as a sociological duty to make personal lifestyle changes that will send a strong message to their surrounding community that a more earth-conscious, sustainable, and fundamentally GREEN lifestyle is essential to the future survival of the human race.

Regardless of your spiritual, political, or environmental perspectives, it really is worth your while to consider adopting vegan food habits in your own life.


Thank you for reading.

Brampton, Ontario, Canada

P.S. If you have a comment or suggestion, just reply to this e-mail. Your feedback is important to me.



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This newsletter is for educational purposes only. It is your right to educate yourself in health and medical knowledge, to seek helpful information and make use of it for your own benefit, and for that of your family. You are the one responsible for your health. You must educate yourself in order to make decisions in all health matters. My views and advices are not intended to be a substitute for conventional medicine, but simply a help you to make educated changes in order to help your body heal itself. If you have a medical condition or concern you should consult your physician.

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