You are currently browsing the monthly archive for June 2010.

Many of you will remember Kim Callaghan, an ND who used to see patients here at the clinic. Kim now works in Toronto and practices family natural medicine with a focus on women’s health and pediatrics. She has a special interest in treating behaviour issues including ADHD, autism spectrum disorder, ODD, and fetal alcohol syndrome. Kim is a proud mom of 2 girls — aged 4 years and 1 year. Her new address is below:

Kim Callaghan, ND
Innate Health Centre
5 Quebec Ave
Toronto, ON
M6P 2T3

We have a homeopathic practitoner joining us in August, Veronika Zhmurko. Veronika is a General Practitioner dedicated to Classical Homeopathy. She graduated from the Kiev Medical Institute in Ukraine with a specialization in Family Medicine. Veronika received her PhD in Clinical Immunology from the Kiev Medical Academy.

Not being satisfied with the conventional approach to medical treatment, Veronika has received intensive training in Homeopathy through the International Academy of Classical Homeopathy in Greece, as well as at the Canadian Academy of Homeopathy.

Veronica has practiced Classical Homeopathy for many years. She strongly believes in treatment of the person as a whole as the most effective way for restoration of health.

Mike Nickerson has joined us for a while, living in the westerly straw bale cabin and managing the garden.  In 2006 Mike wrote the book, Life, Money and Illusion; Living on Earth as if we want to stay. He’s working in a clinic office with an Intern on producing educational videos for the 7th Generation Initiative and also upgrading their website (see below).

As he noted in a recent email, “Our purpose is to add to the leverage of understanding that will ultimately redirect society from its present dedication to perpetual economic expansion to something that better suits the needs of our children and grandchildren.  The project in its present form is outlined at:”

Mike is interested in inviting the Carp Ridge staff and friends to a discussion about the concepts outlined in his book, and has facilitated many such discussions. He can be reached at:

by Dave Ferreira, blog editor

If you’re looking for summer reading during quiet time or a vacation, some staff and friends at CREWC have suggested a few fiction titles that they enjoyed.

Our theme was “imagining another place and time”. Check out web reviews for more info:

Prodigal Summer, by Barbara Kingsolver
The depth of Barbara Kingsolver’s love affair with nature is reflected in all her work, but perhaps nowhere so beautifully as in this novel. Each and every character in this richly woven novel has their hopes, dreams and fears set firmly within the larger ‘web of life’ they are an indelible part of. Their love stories – and this is a novel of love stories like you have likely never heard them told before – are played out in the wild grace and profusion of nature in the forested mountains and small farming homesteads of southern Appalachia.

Each chapter deals with one of three main characters and are titled, Predators, Moth Love, and Old Chestnuts. Forty-something Deanna, the predator lover, has left her small town life in the Zebulon Valley and now lives alone as a forest caretaker. Lusa, the moth lover, is a new bride who suddenly finds herself saddled with a farm and a family of strangers. Garnett, the chestnut lover, is an embittered old man who pines away for companionship and the extinct American Chestnut tree. (Review excerpts by Amy Lenzo & Dana Schwartz)

Fall On Your Knees, by Ann-Marie MacDonald
Set largely in a Cape Breton coal mining community called New Waterford, ranging through four generations, Ann-Marie MacDonald’s dark, insightful and hilarious novel focuses on the Piper sisters and their troubled relationship with their father, James.

Moving from Cape Breton Island to the battlefields of World War I, to Harlem in New York’s Jazz Age and the Depression, the tense and enthralling story contains love, pain, death, joy, and triumph. The narrative is multi-faceted, richly layered, and shifts back and forth through time as it approaches the story from different angles, giving it a mythic quality that allows dark, half-buried secrets to be gracefully and chillingly revealed. (Review excerpts from Random House and New York Times)

The Rule of Four, by Ian Caldwell & Dustin Thomason
The book is set on the Princeton campus during the weekend of Good Friday, 1999. The story involves four Princeton seniors, friends and roommates, getting ready for graduation: Tom, Paul, Charlie and Gil. Tom and Paul are trying to solve a mystery contained within an extremely rare, beautifully decorated and very curious book —  the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili. This very real work was published as an incunabulum (a book printed before 1501) inVenice; it is a complex text written in a bizarrely modified Italian interspersed with material from other languages as well as its anonymous author’s own made-up words.

The novel charts the relationship between the four roommates and how obsession can be both a boon and a burden. It is a story about growing up as much as decoding the riddles of the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili. The disciplines of Renaissance science, history, architecture, and art are drawn upon to solve a dark secret that has avoided human knowledge for centuries. (Review excerpt from Wikipedia)

One Amazing Thing, by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
When an earthquake hits a city, nine men and women of diverse ages and backgrounds are trapped in a damaged Indian consulate building. Cameron, an African American Vietnam vet, takes charge, striving to keep them safe. To pass the time as they wait for rescue, college student Uma suggests that they each tell an “important story” from their lives.

Their tales of heartbreak and revelation are nuanced and engrossing as Divakaruni illustrates the transcendent power of stories and the pilgrimage tradition. True, the nine, including an older couple, a young Muslim man, and a Chinese Indian grandmother and her granddaughter, are captives of a disaster, but they are also pilgrims of the spirit, seeking “one amazing thing” affirming that life, for all its pain, is miraculous. (Review excerpt from Donna Seaman)

The Book of Negroes, by Lawrence Hill
Abducted as an 11-year-old from her village in West Africa and forced to walk for months to the sea, Aminata Diallo is sent as a slave to South Carolina. Years later, she forges her way to freedom, serving the British in the Revolutionary War and registering her name in the historic “Book of Negroes”. This book, an actual document, provides a revealing record of freed Loyalist slaves who requested permission to resettle in Nova Scotia, only to find that the haven they sought was steeped in an oppression all of its own.

Aminata’s eventual return to Sierra Leone — passing ships carrying thousands of slaves bound for America — is a sweeping story that transports the reader from a tribal African village to a plantation in the southern United States, from the teeming Halifax docks to the manor houses of London.  The Book of Negroes introduces one of the strongest female characters in recent Canadian fiction, one who cuts a swath through a world hostile to her colour and her sex. (Review excerpt from

Galore, by Michael Crummey
vividly imagines Newfoundland’s early permanent settlements, established around the beginning of the 19th century when English and Irish immigrants, among others, set up cod fisheries. These tiny coastal settlements endured in a diificult environment with scarce resources. Focusing on two communities –- Paradise Deep and the Gut – Crummey depicts multiple generations of two families divided by wealth, status, politics, and religion, yet inextricably bound by duty, shame, clandestine love, revenge, and the challenge of survival in the New World.

Supernatural elements are numerous in the story: folk remedies for strange afflictions, ancient pagan rituals, merwomen, a murderer’s ghost that haunts his wife, and mummers with uncanny insight all contribute to a portrait of a people caught between the living and the dead, the real and the phantasmagoric. The most dramatic example of the novel’s otherworldly aspect is the presence of the mysterious, mute Judah, a seemingly ageless man (he appears unchanged throughout the two-hundred-year span of the novel) delivered to the settlements in the belly of a whale. (Review excerpt from Quill & Quire)

The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows
This story offers wonderful well-rounded characters, a genuine sense of historic time and geographic place, some real inspiring stories of courage under hardship during World War II and a sweet if rather predictable love story.  The book takes place in England during the mid 1940’s when the country was recovering from the effects of the long war years. The central character of the novel is Juliet, a thirty-something single Londoner who has had some success writing a humorous newspaper column and is now looking for a book subject.

Through chance and a mutual love of literature Juliet begins corresponding with a group of diverse people on the island of Guernsey who used books and the fellowship they found discussing them to help them get through the hideous occupation of their island by the Germans. The characters are all wonderful–you can’t help but wishing you’d known them yourself. Each member of the cast of this book has his or her own unique voice. Some of the stories told in this book are tragic; some are funny; but I guarantee that all of them will be touching. (Review excerpts from

By Karen Secord, Healing House and Marketing Manager

Towards Better Health and a Greener Earth

We have a vision. Health and education are at its core.

Health of individuals, our environment, and the communities in which we live.

Our philosophy in everything we do is to promote healing and sustainability.

Ideas. Innovation. Action. These are not just words in our recently launched marketing campaign. They are concepts that define CREWC — who we are and how we hope to get where we want to be.

One step at a time. Hand in hand. Sharing and listening and learning from each other.

Here is how you can help us spread the word:

  1. Give our new postcards to your neighbours, coworkers, friends and family. Drop by the Clinic during office hours and we’ll be happy to give you a handful to distribute.
  2. Tell your healthcare providers – doctor, nurse, dentist, naturopath and others – about the regular tours of CREWC. Starting in July Katherine will lead a tour during each monthly Open House. Who better to speak enthusiastically of the future than the person who has guided CREWC through its past?
  3. Bring a friend and come learn something new! Join us at the Open House FREE talks, our regular retreats or German New Medicine introduction sessions. Our natural health experts have the knowledge and experience we know you are looking for, and speak informatively on a wide range of subjects – Wednesday, July 7 Naturopathic Solutions to Allergies 6-7pm; Saturday, September 18 Natural Flu Prevention and Treatment 2-3 pm; Saturday, October 16 How to Cleanse 2-3 pm.
  4. Invite us to speak to your community association, at your workplace, school or organization.
  5. Treat yourself to a few days of rest and rejuvenation at the Carp Ridge Healing House. Our team of trained healing house hosts create a meal plan to specifically meet each guests needs and serve it in an environment that is full of nurturing and knowledge (
  6. We’re taking the enthusiasm of CREWC to a venue near you. Come see us! Whether it’s a mini-treatment, cooking demonstration, or free talk there is something interesting to see or hear or do when CREWC is in the house! We’ll be at the following events:

Herbfest July 25, 2010

3840 Old Almonte Road, Almonte

Talk by Katherine Willow about nature based medicine

Ottawa Folk Fest — August 13-15, 2010
Park (Community Tent)

Pakenham Fall FairAugust 14, 2010
9am to 4pm
“How to heal yourself with real food” by Katherine Willow ND (11-11:45 pm)

Healing in the Valley: Mind, Body and Soul Health Show — September 18, 2010
Nick Smith Centre, Arnprior

National Women’s ShowSeptember 25 & 26, 2010
Aberdeen Pavilion at Lansdowne Park, Ottawa


Have a suggestion about other events in the area where you would like to see us?

Is your employer looking for a motivational speaker to deliver a health & wellness message to the staff?

Would your group or organization benefit from a sharing of new ideas at one of its regular meetings?

Contact Karen at 613-422-5590 or

(Here are Part 1 & Part 2 of Karen’s story)

By Karen Secord

The new me is just the old me unwrapped.

A gift to cherish. Wrapped in the genes of my ancestors -– “big” folks as far back as memory serves. Padded by convenience and the cycle of sedentary lifestyles, because wielding weight is never easy yet easily becomes a habit.

Gastric bypass surgery has given me an opportunity to discover something, to share that discovery and revel in the challenge. That’s not to say that the future doesn’t scare me. As with all challenges there are risks. And the risk of failure looms large. Some Roux-en-Y survivors slide back into old habits over time. Tempting fate. Stretching out their stapled “pouch”, allowing past behaviours to resurface -– snacking on copious amounts of carbs sugar and fats, denying exercise.

“This procedure is only a tool”, are words I have heard over and over at the Ottawa Hospital’s Weight Management Clinic. The nutritionists, nurses, doctors, behaviourist and psychologist have all delivered the same message.

If I were looking for a magic potion to fix all that ails me, this wouldn’t be it. Having my innards reconfigured isn’t going to prolong my life unless I become an active participant. I can create my own game plan but I need to get into the game!

It is clear to me now that the secret to good health is really no secret at all. Our bodies need good quality food and daily physical activity to maintain optimal health. Sadly, for those of us accustomed (if that is at all possible) to being labelled “morbidly obese” the hushed tones and muted whispers surrounding our girth have only served to further immobilize us.

It is not surprising that there are people who are obese. What is surprising is that more people are not obese -– given a lifestyle where junk food is a beacon on nearly every corner, we no longer get up to answer the phone or change the channel, fast and easy determine our better and best choices in almost everything we do. This thought came to me from Dr. Dent, one of Canada’s preeminent authorities on obesity and head of Ottawa’s new bariatric surgical program, via CBC journalist Steve Fischer.

I-couldn’t-gain-an-ounce-if-my-life-depended-on-it Steve shocked me with his compassion and willingness to truly hear my story. It may have been a story he found hard to relate to, but still he felt it. I knew this by the tears in his eyes when the wobble in my voice indicated the physical onslaught of my own inner pain.

I am now three months post-surgery. I have lost 64lbs and gone from a dress size 24/26 to a 16/18. I have given almost all of my pre-surgery duds away. Some formerly fat folks keep a garment or two to remind them of the journey. I don’t ever want to stand in front of myself or others with the past stretched out before me. There won’t be any photos of me holding a big pair of slacks. It’s not a badge of honour for me. I did this for my health.

I feel success because when I stabbed my finger this morning my blood sugar was 4.6. I feel success because I am walking around my Westboro neighbourhood an average of two hours every day. It is a slow meandering walk with lots of window shopping. But I am doing it. Some days I even look forward to it. On others my mind tries to trick me into wanting to stop but I am learning to tackle those negative thoughts with gusto; wrestle them to the ground; never let them win the battle.  I start Aquafit classes next week. I have reactivated my membership at Curves.

I feel success because I am alive and embracing physical activity.

Still, something about all this rubs me the wrong way. It appals me that some might assume that because I am smaller on the outside that I am fuller or richer on the inside. It’s not true. I am the same person. I may be physically deflating and struggling towards emotional inflation; leaving loose grandmotherish skin and a reflection in the mirror that makes me squint my eyes.  But I am still Karen.

Does losing weight –- quickly, as the result of modifying your body through surgery –- change how you think and who you are? Does having a smaller, more socially acceptable body make you smarter or happier or easier to get along with? Will people like me better, share more of their time with me, give greater credence to the quality of my words?

To the “average” person these may seem like silly questions based on implausible assumptions. But to those of us who have faced the repercussions of a life lived on the sidelines they are the basis of a discussion that has to happen, both with others and within ourselves.

As my journey steps up, I will continue to see a behaviourist at the Weight Management Clinic. And once a month I will attend a bariatric support group to learn from the stories of some incredibly strong people.

Watch and listen for more of the story on CBC -– both radio and television -– in the coming week (June 28-July 3).

by Marion Westoll, Healing House student

I recently had the fortunate opportunity to enroll in the Healing House Host training program taught by Katherine Willow, ND at Carp Ridge Natural Health Clinic.

Two years ago friends and family said I really should use my innate gifts of healing and creativity, and put them to good use.  I concluded they were right — but how could I do this?

I did not have any recognized workplace skills in this particular area, and I had no formal training. Then I saw Katherine’s advertisement in a local magazine. It announced her vision of what a Healing House was, and invited me to an information session.

I simply knew intuitively that this was the path to follow.

Carp Ridge is currently in the middle of training sessions for Healing House Hosts. We are in our sixth class and I can honestly say I am learning something new, meaningful and beautiful. Our classes are once a week for two hours at the clinic.

We are learning basic principles of Ayurvedic healing, specifically the three main ‘doshas‘ and their respective characteristics. Ayurvedic medicine has been practiced for 5,000 years and it embodies the awareness of mind, body, and spirit for carrying out true healing.

It is truly fascinating to learn the basics of these teachings so easily, and it is a skill that anyone can learn and use.

We are also learning concepts of German New Medicine (GNM). I feel lucky to be able to be part of this exciting new journey into healing and learning. We explore GNM through lectures and the use of CD’s. Katherine presents this material in an easy to understand format, and I find it very empowering to discover the connection between emotions, thoughts and physical health. These two teachings will be very beneficial in the future and they will definitely be of use in my future Healing House.

I am also grateful for the opportunity to learn more about running a Healing House, and exploring different venues for promoting it and understanding the nature of the business. It is a holistic approach to healing -– an approach I am certain will be embodied in our conventional medical system in the future.

Knowing that my particular Healing House will operate under the guidance of Healing House Canada and Dr. Willow solidifies in my mind that this vision will become a reality. I now know that I will be doing something valuable with my gifts while creating an income for myself at the same time.

I urge anyone reading this article to call the clinic at 613-839-1198 to find out more, or email me at   I also urge anyone out there with an interest in the healing arts to seriously give this a try. The opportunities will be plentiful and hugely rewarding.

Editor’s note:  Fri – Sun, July 9-11 we’ll be hosting a Family Cooperative Retreat (open a pdf about details here).

Hosting retreats is one of the best things we do at Carp Ridge.

They are an efficient way to experience holistic living in balance.  The resulting feelings of well-being are great motivation to make changes.  At the same time we are building quite a lovely community of like-minded people who encourage and support one another in our healing journeys.

Highlights of the cleansing retreat in April included a magical spiritual walk led by Father Jack where we processed an issue  through the natural elements; an inspiring art workshop facilitated by local artist Bina Mirza — the results of which are decorating the clinic; the usual delicious food made by Cindy and Dean and an interesting final circle where Katherine got a chance to resolve some issues around her sexuality!  As you can see, cleansing is about more than just the colon . . . .

The latest retreat in May was something totally innovative: a retreat using the material known as German New Medicine, a map of matching emotional shocks with dis-ease.  This is where we have the opportunity to delve deeper into the issues that make us sick.  We start with an introduction to GNM and then integrate that with meditation, yoga, Journeywork, good eating, good company and safe sharing to learn how to heal our issues gently and compassionately.   Barb Pierce played a central role with her classes, Dr. Seth Yates gave an inspiring talk on natural pain management and Father Jack offered a spiritual perspective on healing.  We’ll be running this one again Nov 19-21 and hope to deepen the process each time.

Coming up July 9-11 we’ll be offering another new format: a Family Cooperative Retreat (open a pdf about details here)where we will work together in the kitchen and in childcare to make it affordable for all.  The classes will include yoga, meditation, learning how to use herbs, nature walks, cooperative games for all ages and special arts and crafts for the kids.  If we get enough teens, they can have their own retreat out in the woods with a special facilitator.  We are hoping to grow this retreat more every year so it can be a real boost to those families seeking to heal and live in a more natural manner.

Of course the fall will bring another cleansing retreat Oct 22-24, an opportunity to learn how to deal with the toxins in our modern world in a gentle and easy way.

We look forward to seeing you at some of these weekends!

Naturopathic health in the trenches / summer 2010
A monthly health diary by Katherine Willow, ND

It’s officially summer and we’ve had the nicest spring I can remember in 52 years.  Outside my rented city house window the sun is shining, birds are chirping — and sirens are wailing.  It’s a poignant reflection of what is happening in our world as nature continues its rhythms and we create painful dramas in the middle of it.

My life is turbulent at the moment.  This is the week I move back to Carp Ridge with my almost two year old grandson, Felix, whom I’ll be caretaking while his young parents further their education.  On top of that there are so many issues, events and the usual work that my mind has just given up trying to control it all and resigned itself to taking life one moment at a time.

In the midst of this, maybe because of it, there are palpable emotional and mental shifts taking place.  Instead of feeling anxious and irritable because of the stress, which is my usual reaction, there is a calm sense of trust and going with the flow.  Commitment to meditation is deepening and life perspective is broadening even while I can’t organize the next day.  Things are getting done as needed in the middle of chaos and I don’t even know how.  Dramas are taken in stride.  Nature is noticed and appreciated.  Breathing deepens.  I wonder about the truth of intensifying spiritual influences leading up to 2012. . .

Out of another corner of my awareness, I take in the ongoing information crossing my desk about the toxicity we are faced with in the modern world, including new studies about the damaging effects of electromagnetic frequencies (EMF’s).  I look forward to putting together information on how to cope with this barrage within the context: be conscious, avoid what you can and most of all, focus on building your resiliency, both physical and psychological.

In the middle of our planetary crisis there is tremendous hope.  It resides inside each of us and manifests as an ingenuity that develops ideas and discovers new inventions to help us deal with the challenges.  I see this in the material we use as a map for healing at the clinic, German New Medicine.  And I see it in every area of human endeavour, from agriculture to architecture to education to our ability to clean up polluted bodies of water with vibrational means.  The latter has been used successfully around the world and has recently been directed to the Gulf oil spill.

Often it’s hard to see the bright side when we are in the middle of difficult change.  I’m sure millions of people on the planet do not see anything positive in their hunger, wars, torture and sickness.  The deadening and depressing effects of modern life are not much better.  This pain motivates us to find ways to solve it.

I am fortunate, having the opportunities to educate myself about cutting edge holistic solutions and enough time to develop my inner life so that I can be used for moving forwards through this painful growing stage of humanity.  Our Centre is a haven where we can heal, learn and then give back.  It is a blessing to be doing this work of creative service!

Here’s wishing you increasing awareness of your own healing process and the tools to progress,

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June 2010
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