You are currently browsing the daily archive for May 12, 2012.

by Allie Brooks

As the summer creeps upon us, and days on the beach, lake, or just backyard become more frequent, the need for sunscreen is vital. But these days it is hard to pick between the hundreds of brands and prices for these chemical blockers are skyrocketing.

Even more, it is hard to pick a safe lotion for babies, children, or people with sensitive skin.

So to skip the stores lines and the up-scale prices, make your own sunscreen. Not only will this option be cheaper, it will be less harmful to the skin since it is not a chemical blocker, but a physical one.

Plus you can add your own little creative twist to your sunscreen and show it off to your fellow beach-goers.

There are two ways to make sunscreen. One is very simple, and requires only adding zinc oxide to the current lotion you use. Normally you want to you add about 10% of the lotion’s weight for the amount of zinc oxide. So if the weight is 5 oz. you want to add 0.5 oz of zinc oxide.

Some recipes say use titanium oxide, but I am not familiar with that compound and normally stick with zinc oxide.

The other way to concoct your personal sunscreen is to use some simple essential oils, shea butter or cocoa butter as a base, some aloe, and of course zinc oxide. Zinc oxide is the main UVA and UVB deflector and the rest are just scents, bases, and lubricant.

To give an easier example of some of these sunscreens, I will give a general recipe. You can change up the oils to make them more appealing or add your touch to the product.

Natural Sunscreen General Recipe

  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil (can also use: olive, sunflower, jojoba, soybean, etc.)
  • 1 tbsp. Shea butter
  • 1/2 tsp. sesame oil (or any scent or essential oil you want)
  • 1/2 tsp. aloe vera gel
  • 2 tsp. zinc oxide

1. Place the Shea butter and the oils in a small bowl set over a saucepan of boiling water (or double boiler) and heat until the butter has melted.

2. Pour into a glass mixing bowl and add the aloe vera gel and zinc oxide.

3. Pour into your jar or other container.

For best protection, put on a half an hour before you go out into the sun. Store in the fridge.


by David Shackleton (Contact David at

I became interested in the concept of balance about 25 years ago, when I discovered feminism and realized that it was unbalanced.  It was a profoundly unsettling thing for me to realize that my gender was represented only as the “bad guy,” the oppressor in the gender analysis accepted in society. 

It took some time, but eventually I realized that there was a whole other story missing from the feminist analysis, the story about how gender issues have advantaged women and disadvantaged men.  Once I realized that, I got to wondering why it was that half of the story could be left out, and few people seemed to notice, or even to care when it was pointed out to them. 

That question consumed me for about twelve years, during which time I edited and published a magazine on the missing half of gender issues, ran workshops and an annual conference, and even wrote a book.  And I realized that balance is actually a pretty tricky thing to achieve — we can have just one half of an issue and think that we have the whole thing. 

I have now generalized that realization beyond gender, to realize that it is part of the immature human condition to divide the world up into good and bad guys, and to feel complete about that.  A common example is the political left and right — each feels that they have the whole story, that the folk in their “camp” have the right of the matter and the guys on the other side have it all wrong.  

In fact, they are both mistaken, the left and the right each have only half of the story, they need each other to complete and balance their politics, but to them that feels like the last thing they should do.

Which brings us to the heart of the issue — onesidedness can (and usually does) feel right and good — it feels complete and righteous.  It comes with a set of bad guys that we can feel superior to, and a set of very reassuring rationalizations that can be used to defend readily against any suggestion that we might be wrong.  It can be a stuck place, and my sense is that much of the world lives in such stuck places for much of the time.

Consider, as an example, the process of growing up.  We start out, both boys and girls, in a mode that we might label as “feminine” — comfortable with intimacy and emotional expression, dependent on others, etc.  But by adolescence we leave that behind and move into a more “masculine” modality — withdrawn or confrontational, fiercely independent, etc.

The goal of these two modalities, according to Carl Jung, is for us to integrate them into an adulthood characterized by interdependence, where interdependence means that we can be dependent when that is appropriate, and independent when that is called for.  We can be emotional when the situation requires it, and we can suppress our emotions when that skill is needed.

In other words, maturity is about balance, and balance is about versatility.  To the extent that we can unstick ourselves from the one-sided issues of our culture and see the value on both sides (left and right, men and women, feminine and masculine, mainstream and alternative, etc.), we free ourselves to act with authority and wisdom in the world.

We become able to see questions clearly and fully rather than through an ideological filter, and we become competent to act with compassion, authority and leadership.  (Lest anyone think that I am coming from that place, let me hasten to correct them — my talent in this work is largely as a theorist.  I am no better at applying it to my life than the next person — but a clear theoretical description has a value of its own, and that is what I offer here.)

As always, I would love to converse and correspond with you about these questions — email me, or leave a comment below.

~ David

Sitting in my office with a view of the garden.  All the fruit tree blossoms are out, rather soggy in the rain.  The rain barrels are all overflowing. 

Felix and I have finished planting and are watching baby green things appear.  Our favourite is the acorn that is pushing up into an oak seedling, splitting a hard shell that we couldn’t split without a hammer.

Our application for a booth at the Carp farmer’s market wasn’t accepted after all, sorry about the hype.  But go anyway, it’s a nourishing place to buy organic produce, grass-fed meat and locally made gifts — and meet your friends.

I also didn’t run in the Diefenbooker race.  What happened was that my frequent advice to patients not to run kept going through my mind and on my first 5km trial out, I turned right off the driveway up the path towards the yurt, slowed down to a walk and had the best time on the trail through the forest.  My body felt alive and rejuvenated afterwards and I haven’t tried running since.  I’m dancing more.

We did enter 3 year old grandson Felix in the race in the 2-6 yo division.  When it came time for his age group and the whistle blew, he just stood there and watched everyone else take off, refusing to budge.  We walked together, hand in hand, up through the finish line and collected a purple ribbon for participation.  I think there might be some insights here, grin.

Now for the story of my healing crises, two of them (click here to read more about healing crises).  The first occurred after I had a shocking interaction with another health professional, so shocking my body just froze, my brain beyond words, obviously (but not at the time) triggered back to a similar unresolved event of being put down.   As the freezing wore off, it was replaced by a burning rage.

I brought it to my meditation practice, breathed into the feeling, spoke common sense to myself and sought advice from another human.  The last step, talking about it, brought resolution.  That evening, I felt waves of nausea and wondered what I’d eaten.  Then I remembered that the healing symptom of rage is vomiting — but my body is not yet strong enough to actually vomit.

The nausea lasted until the next day and gently subsided.  And no more hard feelings about a certain health professional, smile, the interaction now feels like a gift from the Universe!

The second one was more intense.  Stop here if you are overly sensitive.  I was reading from Kornfield to Stephen before sleep, the part about the “demons” that interfere with meditation — and life in general.  We came to “restlessness” and I suddenly didn’t want to read anymore, saying this was boring.  Stephen laughed and told me that this restlessness was exactly how I was.

I blurted out without thinking, yeah, running from sex with a two year old — and my body just plunged into another state.  And because Stephen is a safe person for me and I’m in a healing phase, I let it unfold.  Whoa Nelly — my body bucked and twisted and cried and screamed, clenched and unclenched — while poor Stephen watched helplessly, gracefully respecting my gasp not to touch me (made it worse).

He did croon comforting words, you’re ok, you’re safe now, I’m here.  And finally my body relaxed and he just held me.  Wow.  Whatever happened way back when, and I really don’t remember, it was released in that episode.  I was a bit raw for a few days and now my body feels more alive than ever.  (hope that wasn’t too harsh to read, sorry if it was. . . I think it’s important to know things can happen like this. . . if we suppress the movement, the body can’t let go of it. . . if you know what it is, it’s really a cause to celebrate. . . .)

I feel truly blessed to understand the healing process enough to continue rebuilding a body and mind that were just about toast at 30.  Now at 54 I feel like a new person, more with each passing month.

The next step?  Focus on helping the daughters that got wounded by me in the past, facing the deepest guilt and pain that I’ve ever known, too hot to touch all these years.  Maybe now I’m ready. . . .

Thanks for listening, again, sorry if this is hard.  Please be gentle and take time for you if it is.  Get support if you need it, I wouldn’t be alive without it and will still need it for the next phase.  I’ll keep reporting on the process, to encourage others with deep pain that there is hope.

A renewed springtime.

warm regards,

by Katherine Willow, ND

This is a fascinating topic about the symptoms we encounter in attempting to become well. They may be physical, emotional, mental or energetic and include fatigue, headaches, fever, water retention, joint pains, anger, sadness, scattered thinking, energy rushes, changes in consciousness, dizziness and countless others. They are what is meant when naturopathic doctors and alternative practitioners in general warn that you may feel worse before you feel better.

Healing crises are an integral part of homeopathic medicine, where one notices a “return of symptoms” on the road back to health. In other words, there is a brief repeat of symptoms one has had in the past, in backwards order of occurrence. Symptoms that were more recent will recur first, with symptoms from early childhood showing up much later. They can last from seconds to days.

In naturopathic medicine, a healing crisis is seen as a detoxification of the body as it unloads congestion and toxins that have been stored in the tissues. Many naturopaths integrate homeopathy into their practice and use both definitions of a healing crisis when monitoring a patient’s progress.

German New Medicine (GNM), a set of newly discovered biological laws about healing, explains healing crises in detail.

For instance, what causes them?

Briefly, healing symptoms are the result of moving from the part of our nervous system that responds to stress (sympathetic) to the relaxed part of our nervous system (parasympathetic), when the tissues are no longer tense and allow flow, detoxification, repair via inflammation and even infection. GNM shows that some cancers fall under this repair function and are self-limiting, including cancer of the breast ducts, ovaries, lymphatic system and brain.

How does one differentiate a healing crisis from a disease?

One looks at what came before. If we have experienced escalating stress and bad habits, we can assume disease. If we are improving our habits and resolving deeply held issues, we can assume healing. Sometimes there is a combination of both. Screening assessments like blood tests and hair analyses help uncover sources of disease that may not be obvious when we are following a good lifestyle.

How does one treat a healing symptom?

This can be tricky. Usually the best thing to do is to rest a LOT . One is more tired in a healing phase. Light food, remedies, energy therapies, appropriate herbs and supplements and bodywork are wonderful supports.

It is good to avoid suppressing healing symptoms, as they are the mechanisms by which we become well. When we override them with drugs, certain herbs, caffeine or just our willpower to push through, we weaken our vitality, including our immune system.

Why do some people have them and others don’t?

According to GNM, this depends on the intensity and duration of the stress phase, whether there are modifying effects such as drugs or caffeine, whether there are constant relapses back into the stress phase, ie due to triggers, and which tissue has been targeted. In naturopathic medicine and homeopathy, we also consider the vitality of the person—stronger people tend to have bigger healing crises, small consolation at the time!

Are healing crises dangerous?

Not usually. Even when there is alarm, the situation can usually be handled with gentle methods.

How can healing crises be avoided?

Go slowly in your healing program and take good care of yourself along the way with appropriate nutrition, lots of rest, moderate exercise, gentle cleansing, emotional support from inside and out and a connection with spirit, however you understand it.

Katherine Willow ND is a fourth generation registered naturopathic doctor with over three decades of experience. She is founder and director of Carp Ridge EcoWellness Centre ( and has a specific interest in German New Medicine and how emotions relate to disease, about which she gives monthly introductions.

from Peter Robinson, CEO of the David Suzuki Foundation

Dear friends,

The David Suzuki Foundation has joined Canada’s other leading environmental groups to launch a major national campaign to preserve two core Canadian values: nature and democracy.

Known as Black Out Speak Out (or Silence, on parle! in French), the campaign invites organizations, businesses and citizens from all sectors of society and all regions of the country to darken their websites on Black Out Monday, June 4, to protest changes introduced in the federal government’s budget act (C-38).

Our campaign has already attracted the participation of thousands of Canadians. And Canada is taking notice. Black Out Speak Out has gained broad national coverage in major print and broadcast media: the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, Montreal Gazette, Victoria Times Colonist, La Presse, CBC, CTV, and more.

And it is igniting conversations across the major social media.

This, however, is only the beginning. We would like you to join us in making this campaign really count.

The federal government is putting the future of our land, water and climate at risk with the recent federal budget implementation bill. More than a third of the budget is dedicated to weakening Canada’s most important environmental laws, including measures to make it more difficult for environmental charities to participate in the public policy process. This is not only undemocratic; it also undermines the government’s ability to make sound policy decisions and protect the environment.

We’re asking Canadians like you to join us in speaking out and letting the government know that silence is not an option for those who care about what could be lost.

Join the campaign today. Sign up for updates at or en français. In the days and weeks leading up to June 4, we’ll provide you with information on how you can get involved, online and in your communities.

We’ll also provide you with the tools you need to darken your own website, and make a statement on Facebook and Twitter. Follow the campaign on Twitter with the hashtags #blackoutspeakout and #silenceonparle, and join our groups on Facebook: Français or English.

We’re going black for a day, but we’ll be speaking out for as long as it takes. On June 4, 2012, join us.

by Matt Selic

(Email Matt about volunteering in the garden at

As the days grow longer and the sun graces us with her warmth, and as gentle rains fall from the sky and beautiful green things everywhere begin to poke their heads out of the soft earth, gardening season is upon us once again!

Here at Carp Ridge we’re excited to be blessed with another wonderful opportunity to dance with Mother Earth and prepare the ground for growing.  Enjoyable times lay ahead for all of us who enjoy digging around in the earth and planting food for our tables. . . the days are ripe with possibilities!

This year, in a lovely corner of eastern Ontario, we’re busy laying out beds in preparation of planting seeds and transplanting from pots all the various veggies and herbs that are currently growing indoors.  Straw is being used in abundance as a mulch, covering the beds to help supress weeds and to maintain the beds for future years.

A few simple trellis systems are in the works including a beautiful central one which will be used as a meeting place for staff, clients, children and visitors who would like to spend some time in the nurturing space of the garden.  We’re very excited to watch our garden take shape and yield the beautiful fruits of our collective love and labour!

Gardens and gardening can be a very healing experience.  Having a tangible connection with the earth and deepening that relationship can be a very beneficial and important aspect of people’s lives.  There will be many opportunities for people to come and share their time and experience in the garden in the coming months.

I encourage anyone who is interested in volunteering to contact me ( Join in the magic that is organic gardening!  Keep an eye out for us in the newsletter as I update you on all the wonderful happenings as our garden unfolds and blossoms.  Hope to see you soon!

by Lynn Fraser

How much time do you spend in your car?

Consider how much you’re driving your automobile.

Traffic congestion gets worse every year and the commuting distance between home and work continues to grow. The typical adult spends nearly an hour a day behind the wheel.

Parents have become shuttle bus drivers for children, taking them to school, to softball or soccer practice, lessons or tutoring, visits to play with friends who live outside the neighbourhood. Kids average between three and four trips every day.

In today’s lifestyle, everyone in the family spends several hours a week inside a car, truck, minivan or SUV.

The air in there

The air in the car may include the worst of both the inside and outside environment. Air is drawn in from the outside roadway. The interior of the automobile may contain its own pollutants, the same materials that can emit chemical vapours in a home – carpeting, finishes, cleaning agents. Household contaminants such as pet dander and dust may be carried into the car. Even more importantly, the space inside an automobile is limited. The occupants breathe air from a very confined area. All are good reasons for taking steps to make the atmosphere inside your car the best it can be.

Air on the go

The innovations in air quality introduced in Nikken Air Wellness Technology are repeated in the Traveler. The last stage of filtration is a HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter. Certified HEPA filters must meet a very rigorous standard: they remove particles as small as three-tenths of a micron (one micron is one-millionth of a meter) with – at minimum – 99.97% efficiency.

The Traveler also enhances the filtered air with a flow of negative ions. A walk through a forest or by a mountain stream (where high amounts or negative ions are present) is regarded as relaxing and energizing. Air conditioning tends to reduce or remove negative ions from the air. The Traveler can help to correct the balance.

Multiple-stage and HEPA filtration, negative-ion generation, ozone-free operation and an automatic setting are all included in a compact, versatile design that goes from car to office, school or almost anywhere.

On a personal note

My 85 year old father lived on an assistive living floor in a retirement home. He had the Air Traveler in his room initially because he was congested when he woke up in the morning. Not only did the Air Traveler solve the problem, but when you walked into his room the air was so fresh it was like being by a waterfall. There was a noticeable improvement in his mental functioning, attitude and mood. The only downside for him was the nurses wanted to watch the hockey game in his room.

The Nikken Air Wellness Traveler costs $311
($265 for readers of Carp Ridge EcoWellness Centre newsletter)

Contact Lynn:


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