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It’s an evening after putting grandson Felix to bed, reading his night-time story, listening to the events of his day. He was made bus monitor, helping the other children with the bus rules, and he is proud of himself.

As I lay beside him, listening to his breathing calm down and move into sleep, I wondered how our future will unfold. There is such a burning desire in me to get back into the healing work. At the same time, there is an equal burning need for personal and family healing. It’s not a new problem, laugh! The conclusion always comes back to having enough faith to move slowly, one step at a time, one day at a time. Not a new solution either!!

This week Felix and I move into the basement of the clinic while my daughter Coral and partner Ashley move into my house on the same property. We’ll be neighbours for the sake of a six year old boy. A therapist has been enlisted to help us grow through the inevitable rough patches. We are all excited and nervous; family relations haven’t been spectacular over the last two decades. Fortunately they have improved markedly these past six months due to ongoing efforts on both sides and some breakthroughs in my personal trauma work with experienced EMDR therapist Mary Ann Carmichael.

These breakthroughs and retirement have come at a good time—just as my sister Lili needs support for her health, as I described in my last blog. It’s meant driving or flying to New York City or upstate NY five times in the previous two months. And the results are so far wonderful: her last brain MRI was totally clean. Thank you to all the people who have responded with such kind, thoughtful and uplifting messages. It has meant a lot. The next MRI is at the end of October.

As for the birth of my friend Stephen’s first grandchild, I missed the birth. All is well—Sophie and son Francis are strong and healthy. I so look forward to seeing him. This connection with other families and their children is new to me, a long-time dedicated loner, and I marvel at the strong feelings of affection that are increasing in my life.

All this would have toppled me even a few months ago. Yet I have never felt as strong, even and clear, leading to a sense of awe and humility. In the past my meditation practice would have bitten the dust; instead it has magically deepened. I can only acknowledge and thank Grace. Now it’s a matter of setting up a new home, continue supporting my sister and start going through my work papers with the intention of finding my next step. The obvious thing would be to finish my book on German New Medicine and move forward from there.

In the meantime, the monthly Carp Dinner Talks are back and I am presenting on Sunday, October 19th on how to do a fall cleanse if you need to hear it again, smile…

Back to packing boxes and trying to keep the threads of everyday life during the move.

By next blog I hope to be settled and preparing to write. And I do intend to get back to everyone who is still waiting on me for a reply—so sorry!

happy autumn transitioning,



Off-Grid LivingSunday October 5, 2014
10am – 5pm
Cobden, ON


View the Off-Grid Living poster for more details.

Root CellaringNov. 2, 2014
10am – 5pm
Cobden, ON


View the Root Cellaring poster for more details.

A stick bug joins in the fun on Jessica Spirak's arm!

A stick bug joins in the fun on Jessica Spirak’s arm!

Why we call them red oaks...

Why we call them red oaks…

The woods were alive with activity on a cloudy, drizzly Saturday, September 20 at Carp Ridge EcoWellness Centre during a collaboration with the Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust to provide opportunities to be creative in nature.

Inspired by MMLT’s Creativity Blitz on 200 acres near Pakenham in May, CREWC director Katherine Willow decided to do something similar with them on the Carp Ridge.

Neil Carleton leads people in creative experimentation with leaf and bark rubbings.

Neil Carleton leads people in creative experimentation with leaf and bark rubbings.

Participants registered with a donation to MMLT to continue preserving precious wilderness. Then they were given a map of the trails and activities: drumming, Soundscaping (listening with a dish and electronics…extraordinary), nature journaling (with gorgeous bark and leaf rubbings), meditation at Father Jack’s Sacred Space, visiting beaver ponds, exploring a children’s nature museum (compliments of the Ridgewood Nature Program outdoor preschool) and observing the “Poo Tree” where generations of porcupines have lived.

Healthy, local, organic and gluten-free food was available—and delicious—thanks to volunteer Tanya Spirak. And the general consensus was that this event had infinite potential and will happen again in some form. Thank you to all who contributed.

If you are interested in finding out when the next nature event will happen, please sign up for email newsletters at: and/or and we look forward to seeing you in the woods!

The speaker at the Carp Dinner and Talk on Sunday, Sept. 21 had many people asking for recipes–and no wonder: who knew how good for you homemade pickles were!

Sylvia Mcgee - Speaks about the benefits of Pickles and Fermented Food.

Sylvia Mcgee – Speaks about the benefits of Pickles and Fermented Food.

Retired local teacher Sylvia McGee began her talk with stories about how fermented foods probably came as a result of needing to preserve food. She went on to describe the difference between pickling and fermentation, the latter creating its own acidic liquid, lactic acid, thanks to the help of the Lactobacillus bacteria which just happens to be around everywhere.

This same lactic acid helps maintain the bacteria we need for good absorption and helps food become more nutritious and bioavailable. For example, properly made sauerkraut has twenty times the amount of vitamin C than in fresh cabbage! The beneficial bacteria in fermented foods also help to keep bad bacteria at bay, strengthening our immunity. They can even slow or reverse some diseases such as bowel conditions. Finally, fermented foods are easy on the pocketbook.

Sylvia also regaled us with anecdotes from her childhood when she learned to make fermented foods herself, pointing out that almost everything can be fermented. At the dinner we were treated to the usual fermented cabbage as sauerkraut and cucumbers as pickles, but there were also spicy fermented green beans and carrots as well as tasty fermented radishes and green tomato chutney. A lovely fermented drink was homemade ginger ale!

The other parts of the dinner included a variety of sausages and wieners from local Bearbrook Farm just east of Ottawa, who generously donated a portion of the meal; sautéed mushrooms, peppers and onions; millet grain; and a lentil dish. Dessert was an apple crisp made from local apples with yogurt topping. Kudos to Kim Trott for another great meal.

Jessica Spirak demonstrates the art of making leaf rubbings to Simaren and Devinder Serai.

Jessica Spirak demonstrates the art of making leaf rubbings to Simaren and Devinder Serai.

Tanya and daughter Jessica Spirak helped youngsters make paper rubbings of leaves and parents took home enough to wallpaper a spare room and then stayed to wash the dishes.

Music was again provided by volunteers from the Carp Celtic Music Jam and we even had two brave souls dance to one of the waltzes.

Our next Dinner and Talk will be Sunday, October 19 (always the third Sunday) at the Carp Memorial Hall from 4:30 to 6pm. The evening is free with a donation to the local food bank and volunteers are always welcome to set and clean up.



New volunteers from West Carleton Secondary School: ninth graders Alex Jordan and Vicki Turner.

Next month’s talk will be about how to undertake a fall cleanse, given by local naturopathic doctor Katherine Willow. RSVP: or call Lori at 613-839-1198 ext 232. All ages are welcome and we hope to see you!

Katherine Willow N.D.

Brain cancers are relatively uncommon in adults, accounting for 2% of cancers world-wide but second only to the incidence of leukemia in children with a rate of 20-25% of childhood cancers. There are a variety of types of tumours depending on the kinds of cells involved, each with its own prognosis.

In a brief summary of the approach by mainstream medicine, brain cancers are considered abnormal growths that start primarily in the brain or spread from another cancer in the body (metastases). They can be safe and left alone or fast-growing and needing treatment, usually surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. Prognosis can be decades or months. Symptoms vary depending on the location of the tumour and whether it grows enough to create pressure in the brain.

Forty years ago in Germany a physician named Dr Geerd Hamer discovered marks on brain catscans that led to a radically new way of understanding brain cancers and disease in general. He eventually called his discoveries German New Medicine.

In short, he found that the brain is immediately affected when a shock occurs, resulting in a target ring, a series of concentric circles that can be seen on a catscan. Cell loss or ulceration causes these lesions.

The location of the rings is related to the nature of the shock. For instance, sudden worry for a loved one in a woman will affect her breast gland relay and stimulate growth in a gland on one side. The side is determined by the kind of relationship involved: mother and children worries affect the non-dominant side, for most of us the left; worry about anyone else will affect the dominant side, for most of us the right.

For each shock, there will be a mark on the brain and symptoms in the organ or tissues affected by that area in the brain. Often we don’t notice this; many of the organ/tissue results are asymptomatic or below our radar and we resolve the shock without any obvious physical symptoms.

Back to the brain: when the shock is resolved, the rings fill in with new cells which eventually re-integrate with the existing brain tissue, leaving a small mark. Most often this process goes unnoticed unless the shock is large, in which case the rings are bigger, affect more tissue and could cause symptoms.

It is this tissue regrowth during the healing phase of the rings that receives a diagnosis of brain cancer.

When one considers that these lesions are not a disease but a process of repair, it is understandable why treatments for brain cancers are often unsuccessful. If the person is vital, their brain cells will keep attempting to finish healing the damage from the shock; this is interpreted as a cancer recurrence, resulting in more treatment and strain to a person’s immune system.

Even if the original healing process is completed, the damage from the treatments themselves, especially the radiation, will at some point require a new healing process which will again be understood as disease and treated. It is not uncommon for brain cancer patients to undergo multiple surgeries and rounds of chemo-therapy and radiation in this frustrating cycle.

This leaves us with the question of treatment within this new paradigm.

German New Medicine is not a treatment but a revised understanding of medicine. Each patient needs to be individually assessed to determine the most intelligent treatment plan. This could be mainstream medicine and/or alternative treatments, or even taking a wait and see position to ride out the healing phase.

September 3, 2014

As many of you may already be aware, the Carp Ridge Natural Health Clinic where I have been practicing since January 2013 is closing its doors as the owner, Dr. Katherine Willow, ND, has made the difficult decision to retire.

I have subsequently made the decision to take a sabbatical from November 1, 2014 until March 2015. I will use this time to spend time with my family, work on several research projects as well as to do a bit of travelling.

While it is an exciting time for my family, it was also a very difficult decision for me to leave patients for even these few short months. To that end, I’ve taken careful steps to ensure that all patients are able to continue with the quality care you have become accustomed to as seamlessly as possible.

The next page will answer many of the questions you may have, but here are a few important points:

  • The clinic will remain open with regular hours for both me as well as the IV clinic until Friday October 31, 2014.
  • New patients will continue to be welcomed up until the time that I leave.
  • Every effort will be made over the next two months to accommodate all patient appointments. If you or anyone you know needs to see me before my departure, please call the office as soon as possible to book your appointment. We are open 3 days a week by appointment only.

I have enlisted two colleagues that I trust wholeheartedly with your care. Both Dr. Kandis Lock, ND, and Dr. Maureen MacDonald, ND have spent significant time training with me over the years and have agreed to take over patient care in my absence. Additionally, they both have IV suites in their respective offices, so they will be able to accommodate any appointments, treatment protocols, or concerns you may have while I am away.


Leesa Kirchner, ND, FABNO


Answers to Your Questions

Who will be looking after your practice?

Starting in November, Dr. Kandis Lock, ND, and Dr. Maureen MacDonald, ND, who may be familiar to some of you who have received IV therapies at our office will continue your existing treatment plan, run your IV treatments, and be able to deal with acute visits during my absence.

Dr. Kandis Lock, ND is located at:

Somerset Health and Wellness Centre
190 Somerset St W (corner Elgin)
(613) 627-3880

Dr. Maureen MacDonald, ND is located at:

Holistic Clinic
2211 Riverside Drive (at Bank)
Suite 200
(613) 521-5355

Please contact us and let us know if you would like a copy of your file to be transferred to one of these two doctors prior to October 31st.

If we do not hear from you prior to October 31st, your complete file will remain safely locked in storage at the Carp Ridge premises and will follow me to my new location to be determined upon my return. Should your medical team require access to your file after October 31st, but prior to my return, please contact Carp Ridge, 613-839-1198.

How will I get supplements while you are away?

For patients who have used the Healthwave supplement ordering system, you can continue to do so in my absence. Your account will remain unchanged and you can order as before.

For those of you who have not used the Healthwave system, it is an online ‘store’ that has almost all supplements that I recommend on it. If we have an email address for you on file, check your inboxes and junk mail folder in the next few weeks for a message from Healthwave with the subject line: “You have a new prescription”. This will give you a link to list of recommended supplements and will allow you to order directly through the website. FYI- they are normally sent out the same day for a nominal fee.

For hard to find items that are NOT on the Healthwave system, specifically:

AveUltra, Honopure, and Helixor (Mistletoe), Carp Ridge will be taking prepaid orders up until October 1st. We recommend that if possible you order enough of these products to get you through until at least March or April of 2015. They will be ready for pick up at the office (or be shipped to you at your expense if required) by the end of October.

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