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Sitting at my kitchen window again, I’m listening to birds and enjoying blossom-scented air wafting in through screens keeping an army of mosquitos at bay.  It’s my favourite time of year despite the insects and I’m hoping that spraying with garlic oil will discourage them enough for us to be able to enjoy the outdoors in peace.  I’ll let you know, as it’s a non-toxic product and would be a marvellous solution if it works.  If so, I’m even going to take it camping!

For the April blog I wrote about the struggles of my sister Lili with her treatments for brain cancer and how hellish it was to watch her suffer.  Since then we almost lost her.  And then things turned around. The medications were changed and, miracle of miracles, resulted in an end to her pain and nausea.  Our cousin and his partner took over my sister’s care and spirited her away to their home in Pennsylvania where they helped her eat/drink/take meds regularly.  She was 103 pounds 1 1/2 weeks ago and now is 118, able to walk and enjoy life again, currently on holiday on Fire Island.

I’ve been relegated to watching from a distance as I have a stubborn infection from my breast reduction surgery that prevents travel.  My stress around the situation increased to the point where my whole body tightened, breathing felt like I was in a straight-jacket and sleep became impossible.  It took me a while to understand that I am being triggered by a black hole of childhood issues.   With everything I have learned, I am still unable to relax.  Prayers and meditation don’t penetrate the tension, I can’t make myself do what I need to do and I am just making it through each day doing what is most necessary for Felix.  He is starting to act out a bit, bouncing off my tension and preoccupation.

I know I desperately need to rest and face myself most of all and find I can’t do it enough to catch my balance, recover from the infection and regain my energy.  I take all kinds of supplements and remedies, make compresses, see my therapist…and it’s all a drop in the bucket if I don’t slow down.

Don’t feel sorry for me please.  If you came to my home right now you would not know I was in such a state—except for the chaos everywhere as I finally get to organizing the place!  It will not last very much longer.  Once I became aware of what this is about, it already started to lose its hold.  And most importantly, I do realize that this is how growth happens and am accepting the stress as inevitable.   I am hoping that my home will become orderly as my mind does, smile…

Another side of the tension is a positive one: I have finally decided how to move forward with the centre.  This creates a rush of ideas and enthusiasm and some normal anxiety.  Luckily I know from painful experience that I like to bury my mind in projects to avoid emotional stress.  Not this time.  I am firmly dedicated to moving ahead slowly and in balance with my personal life so that I can contribute back all that I’ve been given, enjoying the process into my old age!

I look forward to planning out the future of the centre to a point where it can be shared.  Then I hope to see some of you again at the exciting programs that will be offered.

Until then, let’s take care, breathe into what really is and trust that our vital energies do everything they can to heal us in this lovely spring weather. And do some rain dancing…

warm regards,



Drop by our Annual Open House & BBQ!

This year we’re part of the local Red Trillium Studio Tour route ( Come for a lovely Spring day in the country!

Stop by for lunch & tours, demos, talks, and spring fun — we’re serving an organic BBQ, doing wellness treatments, showing art glass from Kitras Artglass ( We’ll also have some of the centre’s artwork collection up & a few craft demos on site if the weather’s good. And some health related bookselling & recommending just because we know of several good wellness books — See OPEN HOUSE SCHEDULE below.

We’ll have stuff for kids too (fun yoga, face-painting, kids-in-nature walks)!

And if you want to drop by earlier, our monthly Community & Spirituality gathering/healing circle will be from 9-11am (read more about that here).

Click here for directions on how to get to Carp Ridge Ecowellness Centre (2386 Thomas Dolan Parkway, Carp, Ontario)

CREWC’s Open House also coincides with Naturopathic Medicine Week. As part of the Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors (CAND), our practitioners take this opportunity to teach people about natural medicine, health promotion and disease prevention. During the week of May 3-9, 2010, NDs across Canada will conduct free presentations at community venues and in their own clinics.

(Note: Some events will have specific times, other will be running throughout the afternoon off & on)

BBQ, salads, drinks, etc. will be served til we run out of food!

At Carp Ridge Healing House, Carp Ridge Learning Centre, and around the property:

Lise Nickerson, Reiki & Reflexology treatments

What’s Going On at the LC! ~ Families in Nature, Preschool, Camps, Retreats, etc.

11am-3pm: Tea-tasting & tours of Healing House, Clinic, LC & property

11:30am-noon: Gluten-free cooking talk & demo

12:15-12:45pm: Bellies, Boobs & Babes!A Naturopathic Guide for Pregnancy with Kealy Mann, ND

1-1:30pm: Natural Pain Management with Seth Yates, ND

2-2:30pm: Gluten-free cooking talk & demo

Kids’ activities: yoga, face painting, nature walk, etc.

At Carp Ridge Natural Health Clinic:

  • Practitioner demos
  • Food sensitivity testing
  • Tongue & pulse analysis
  • Clinic tours
  • Massage demos

by Rebecca Word, ND

Well, I think it is safe to say spring is here!  In holistic health, this is the time of year that we automatically begin thinking about cleansing.  Cleansing is not just about bitter tasting potions and militaristic meal planning (although these do help), but looking at multiple ways of clearing out our personal temples.  Coming out of the sedentary sofa surfing and comfort food craving months of winter it only makes sense to make it a yearly ritual to “spring clean.”  I like a multi-pronged approach to detoxification.  This includes clean diet, lots of water, alternating showers, deep breathing exercises, fiber supplementation, castor oil packs and individualized remedies.  Let’s focus on a detox powerhouse: the Far Infrared Sauna.

So what are some of the benefits of IR Saunas?

  • Adults have approximately 2 square meters of skin surface area through which to sweat out toxins.  Infrared saunas penetrate more deeply at a lower temperature with greater sweating than do regular saunas.
  • Saunas increase the movement of blood and lymph therefore increasing detoxification.
  • Regular sauna usage can normalize our ability to sweat.  We all know that person who claims to never sweat, or just glistens, even with strenuous exercise.  He or she could benefit from IR saunas.
  • Many toxins are stored in our fat cells.  This is the body’s protective mechanism to keep these dangerous molecules away from vital organs.  (Keep in mind the brain is predominantly composed of fats.)  Infrared saunas help to mobilize these toxins from fat stores and sweating promotes elimination.
  • Saunas increase metabolic rate.  Some sources say an infrared sauna will burn 600 calories per 30 minute session.  Now doesn’t that beat jogging!
  • Saunas can improve weak heart function (increased stroke volume and ejection fraction without raising blood pressure).
  • Saunas are extremely beneficial in cancer patients.  They help to mobilize the body burden of toxins and also aid the body in ridding itself of chemotherapeutic agents that can have lasting effects in the body.
  • Regular sauna usage can improve disturbed sleep patterns.

Sounds great, right?  So who needs to be careful with saunas?  People with metal implants, pacemakers, diabetes, lymphedema, decreased kidney function, seizure disorder, drug or alcohol addiction, and pregnant women should be cautious with sauna usage and definitely should be under the supervision of a doctor.  Everyone who uses sauna should be sure to have a cool rinse afterwards, and to replenish lost fluids and electrolytes.  If you aren’t sure about any of the above make an appointment with your practitioner before setting out.  Infrared sauna is a great way to relax, pamper yourself and detox at the same time.  Bring a friend, and happy cleansing.

Now that the cold is behind us, it’s time to get out & into the warm season. That means a trip to Carp Ridge where you can have some family fun on ‘Families in Nature’ days, learn to activate your psychic skills, do a sweat lodge (good for body and soul), go to summer camp, have your body cast (see the related blog article: Women wanted for future art show).  Click  Learning Centre to check out the schedule:  Body Casting May 16,  Psychic Development May 23,  Families in Nature June 7,  Sweat Lodge June 21,  Summer Camp July & August – registration open now!


The 12 most-contaminated fruits & veggies:
Peach, Apple, Bell Pepper, Celery, Nectarine, Strawberries, Cherries, Kale, Lettuce, Grapes (Imported), Carrot, Pear

The 15 cleanest fruits & veggies:
Onion, Avocado, Sweet Corn, Pineapple, Mango, Asparagus, Sweet Peas, Kiwi, Cabbage, Eggplant, Papaya, Watermelon, Broccoli, Tomato, Sweet Potato

Why Should You Care About Pesticides?

The growing consensus among scientists is that small doses of pesticides and other chemicals can cause lasting damage to human health, especially during fetal development and early childhood. Scientists now know enough about the long-term consequences of ingesting these powerful chemicals to advise that we minimize our consumption of pesticides.

What’s the Difference?

EWG research has found that people who eat the 12 most contaminated fruits and vegetables consume an average of 10 pesticides a day. Those who eat the 15 least contaminated conventionally-grown fruits and vegetables ingest fewer than 2 pesticides daily. The Guide helps consumers make informed choices to lower their dietary pesticide load.

Will Washing and Peeling Help?

Nearly all the studies used to create these lists assume that people rinse or peel fresh produce. Rinsing reduces but does not eliminate pesticides. Peeling helps, but valuable nutrients often go down the drain with the skin. The best approach: eat a varied diet, rinse all produce and buy organic when possible.

How Was This Guide Developed?

EWG analysts have developed the Guide based on data from nearly 87,000 tests for pesticide residues in produce conducted between 2000 and 2007 and collected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. You can find a detailed description of the criteria EWG used to develop these rankings and the complete list of fruits and vegetables tested at our dedicated website,

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