Meet Our Staff: Q&A with Lisa

Lisa Manning, CST, CHt | Craniosacral and Myofascial Release Therapist, an Advanced Certified Hypnotherapist, and a Licensed Massage Therapist.

I use a combination of modalities to release fascial [tissue covering muscles or organs] restrictions and reduce stress on the nervous system. Depending on a client’s long-term needs, we establish personalized home treatment options incorporating self-treatment techniques, as well as visualization and self-hypnosis tools.

What was your first job? During my teen years, I worked in the restaurant industry; but, the first job that had a great impact on me personally was as a volunteer teaching a religion class for deaf students with multiple diagnoses and challenges. There, I learned the importance of allowing things to be ‘as they are’ and the importance of creating a space where people can naturally develop their own best expressions of learning and experiences.

What’s the first career you dreamed of having as a kid? I wanted to be an archaeologist!

If you could win an Olympic medal for any sport, real or fake, what would it be? Olympic medals don’t really have that much appeal for me. If I could magically excel at something, I think it would be to have the strength and agility of masterful rock climbers.

What’s your hidden talent? I trained in martial arts for many years. As a peace-loving person, my hidden ability is probably that I have a surprising amount of physical and emotional courage and confidence.

What is your favorite ‘guilty’ food? Tacos al Pastor! I lived for many years in Mexico and miss the wonderful street tacos.

If you could invite 3 people, dead or alive, to a dinner party who would they be and why? I’d love to have a gathering of great minds (on a philosophical level) sharing what they see in the world, and what the deeper implications are for the ways people have changed (even though we have not really evolved as beings).

So many to choose from… but I think these guests would make for an interesting evening: Plato; Hildegard Von Bingen (a lesser-known Saint who was a German Benedictine abbess, writer, composer, philosopher, and Christian mystic); and Hypatia (the earliest known female mathematician, and an astronomer and philosopher who lived 355-415 AD).

What’s your favorite book? It changes often. Right now my personal favorite is The Girl Who Drank the Moon.

What’s your favorite TV show or movie? The Matrix. The idea that we’re actually living as sleepers in a virtual reality is compelling.

When you’re not working, how do you like to spend your time? I love to explore the outdoors. I really enjoy the abundance of natural trails and water activities around here. There really is a little bit of everything within driving distance!

What was something you’ve done that made you feel extreme happiness? My kids. The four beautiful people that call me Mom fill my life with a truly inexpressible joy.

What do you give a damn about? I feel very passionate about discovering who I want to be in the world and letting go of how that needs to look. So much time is lost in the insecurity of “Am I enough?”… I want to be the best version of myself, by simply heading in that direction and not worrying about ‘when’ I’ll arrive.

Lisa is a Craniosacral and Myofascial Release Therapist. She’s also a Master Certified Hypnotherapist, specializing in Somato-Emotional Hypnosis to address chronic pain and anxiety. Lisa is trained in Ionic Foot Detox.

Lighter Living: Is Your Skincare Toxic?

By: Glynda Cullen, LMT, LE

Why go natural? The bigger question is: Why wouldn’t you?…

There are so many skincare options today it can make your head spin. And, the marketing strategies companies use can be very influential and deceptive. The packaging alone is enough to leave me mesmerized in the skincare aisle.

Even though I’m a Licensed Esthetician in Maryland, and I have more than 600 hours of education, I still have to be careful determining which products on the market are safe and effective to use!

Three of the biggest concerns when choosing a skincare line generally are:

1.) Price

2.) User experience

3.) Results

Two factors most people don’t consider enough are: benefits vs. toxicity. Benefits include the short- and long-term effectiveness and how the product affects your overall wellness – many familiar, beloved skin and body care products contain known toxic ingredients.

Why do ingredients matter so much? What you apply to your skin travels into your blood stream a short time after it’s applied.

So, how do you navigate this ‘minefield’ of cleansers, toners, moisturizers, masks…?

Choosing Skincare Products: Natural or Chemical?

Price and the experience. Both are obvious and important considerations for purchasing and enjoying your skincare regimen. The cost of a product is a factor for most everyone. But, how using a product makes you feel is a great place to start: the consistency of the product on your skin, if it has a pleasing aroma, and, yes, the packaging.

Naturally-derived and chemical-based skincare are almost on par regarding user experience. Honestly, though, chemical products (which are generally cheaper to produce) may have a slight lead when it comes to price.

Why do naturally-derived products cost more? I believe it’s because rather than being artificially replicated, over and over again, in a lab, natural ingredients are grown, harvested and carefully handled throughout the manufacturing and delivery process.

Results. This is undoubtedly important! We all have skin issues/goals (e.g., reduce wrinkles, firm, plump, tone, refine pores…), and both natural and chemical skincare lines can deliver.

Chemical skincare products often produce a result at the beginning of your regimen, before the cumulative effects are noticeable. Many of the common chemicals used in skincare products today are known irritants, creating allergies and skin sensitivities not previously experienced.

Results from naturally-derived skincare are superior – because our bodies recognize and integrate these ingredients to work with our skin, enhancing natural functions such as cell turnover.

Benefits vs. toxicity. Frankly, thousands of toxins are used in over the counter skin and body care products, with very little regulation or oversight to ensure safety or effectiveness. Carcinogens and endocrine disruptors are two primary concerns when choosing a skincare product that’s not naturally derived or organic.

Nature provides everything we need to survive and thrive; there can be no superior source than Mother Nature herself. I always use organic skincare products at home and when giving clients facials.

Natural Skincare Benefits

Holistic skincare is an approach that considers what you apply to your skin as nourishment. Natural and organic skincare products usually consist of whole fruit and herb pulps, fruit acids, organic plant oils, and butters and essential oils.

Some specific benefits of these common natural skincare sources include:

1.) Whole fruit and herb pulps. High vitamin and mineral content that’s easily understood and utilized by your body. Naturally-derived antioxidants neutralize free radical damage in your skin cells and encourage repair.

2.) Fruit acids. Naturally dissolve, smooth and cleanse pores without stripping your skin’s acid mantle (skin’s first defense against a sometimes harsh environment).

3.) Organic oils and plant butters. Skin food! This is not your great grandma’s night lotion that sits on top the skin and clogs pores; it’s true sustenance that absorbs into your skin, feeds it and protects it with essential fatty acids.

4.) Pure essential oils. Plant ‘medicine!’ Potent and vital oils have a multitude of advantages and an amazing ability to be absorbed. Some benefits include: antioxidant protection to skin cells, anti-inflammatory qualities and astringent properties.

The choice is clear: the benefits reaped from nature’s bounty can never be replicated (with chemical-based skincare) without side effects that are not worth the risk.

Choose to assist and boost your skin’s own ability to be radiant from the inside out. All that we require for wellness and beauty is supplied to us by our beautiful planet Earth.

If you have questions about specific toxins in OTC skincare, call me! While you’re at it, schedule an organic facial and I’ll include a complimentary skin analysis. I’m ready to buff, nourish and hydrate your skin back to its natural glow!

Glynda is a licensed Massage Therapist and a licensed Esthetician. She offers therapeutic massage and facial treatments (and after-hours appointments). Glynda is also trained in Ionic Foot Detox protocols.

Lighter Living: Minimize Off-gassing in Your Home

By: Cathy Logan, CHC, COT, CECP

Minimize Off-gassing in Your Home

Much like a new car, a freshly unwrapped piece of furniture often carries a distinct scent. It’s not the newness you’re smelling however – it’s the slow release of volatile organic chemicals (or VOCs) from the products used to create and finish your new furnishings.

Materials and finishes have numerous chemicals that are toxic. As these dry, and over time, chemicals are continually “off-gassed” into your home environment.

Sources & Consequences of Off-gassing

VOCs can cause problems for people, and pets, of all ages. These chemicals often lead to allergic reactions and many other health issues, such as: difficulties with memory, learning and behavior; congestion; coughing; skin irritation; fatigue; asthma; compromised immunity; cancer; and heart and lung diseases such as COPD.

The sources of VOCs seem endless… new carpets, paint, wallpaper, furniture, foam, pressed wood, glue, varnishes, mattresses, flame-resistant clothing, insulation, floor tiles, computers, heating sources (fireplaces, gas stoves, pellet stoves and kerosene heaters), and even cars all off-gas VOCs.

The chemicals released into your indoor air include:

  • Formaldehyde
  • Acetaldehyde
  • Toluene
  • Benzene
  • p-Dichlorobenzene (PDCB)
  • Perchloroethylene
  • And many other known carcinogens

So, how do you minimize or avoid VOC off-gassing in your home?…

How to Minimize Off-gassing

Some things you can do to absorb VOCs in your home include:

  • Allowing furniture, carpets, rugs and mattresses to air out someplace other than in the home
  • Sprinkling baking soda on carpets, rugs and mattresses; then use a vacuum with a HEPA filter
  • Looking for paint with zero VOCs (luckily most brands offer this option)
  • Purchasing a high-quality air purifier
  • Using essential oils (Thieves or Purification) to purify the air
  • Use Himalayan salt lamps to release negative ions into the air
  • Burning non-toxic 100% beeswax candles to release negative ions into the air

Houseplants are another great way to absorb VOCs: use one plant per 100 square feet of space. Purple waffle plant is the best; some other options are: English ivy, purple heart, foxtail fern and wax plant.

Other plants (e.g., aloe vera, aerac palm and dracaena) help reduce formaldehyde and additional toxins in the air. Interestingly, researchers at Penn State University proved that three common houseplants (snake plant, spider plant and golden pothos) all reduced ozone in a simulated indoor environment.

Reducing exposure to VOCs’ off-gassing can be daunting. But, the incentive is huge. By taking the time and energy to limit VOC emissions in your home, you’ll be investing in your health for years to come.

As always, we at Chesapeake Holistic are here to help you. Feel free to contact us with any questions.

Cathy is a Certified Health Coach, and a Certified ONDAMED® Technician and Emotion Code® Practitioner. She is also trained in Ionic Foot Detox.

Lighter Living: Reduce Electronic Toxicity in Your Home

By Jennifer Salos, MS, CNC

Environmental toxicity is a primary contributor to our overall toxic load, and some of us may be more sensitive than others to the invisible output emitted by the electronics throughout our homes.

There are several terms to describe this pollution. Radio frequencies, microwaves, and electromagnetic (electric and magnetic) fields are referred to as EMFs. Electromagnetic radiation is called EMR, both basically mean the same thing.

Essentially, harmful frequencies are created anywhere something that has wiring is turned “on.” Most of us are aware that cellphones emit radiation, but so do: cable boxes; computers; tablets; and even refrigerators.

What is more, EMFs/EMRs are also created anywhere something is simply plugged in. That’s right… and the list is long, including household items such as: TVs, lamps, fans, air conditioning units, space heaters, blow dryers, dishwashers, washing machines, dryers, microwave ovens, and electric blankets/mattress pads.

Truly, the amount of these frequencies radiating throughout our environments is growing exponentially. Why? Smart homes.

We rely on Wi-Fi (which is constantly in use) to replace hardwired modems/routers and printers, sync with our smart phones, and so much more. Think about all of the other smart-home equipment you use every day: smart TVs, digital assistants, thermostats, electricity meters, appliances… all filling your indoor environment with electronic pollution all of the time.

So, what harm do EMFs/EMRs cause? And, how can you mitigate the toxic pollution from electronics?…

The Evidence: Harmful Effects of EMFs/EMRs

Like the other sources of toxins we’ve written about, all forms of EMFs/EMRs can seriously affect your health. Low frequency magnetic fields, which are particularly harmful, affect biological systems.

“When we come to microwave fields, mobile phone fields, cellphone fields, Wi-Fi… The energy in them is actually quite low. You can’t break a covalent bond, but because the energy is low, there are billions and billions more electrons for a watt of energy. Our bodies are electrical, and so this enormous background stream of electrons is hitting us 24/7.”
Alasdair Philips, Technical Director of EMFields Solutions Ltd and founder of Powerwatch

What’s really going on inside your body? EMFs/EMRs activate voltage-gated intracellular calcium channels in your cells’ plasma membranes, which then open and allow an increased influx of calcium ions. These excessive ionic charges alter cellular activity, causing cells to malfunction.

It’s science. The BioInitiative Report (, for example, is a comprehensive publication of more than 2,000 studies by scientists and researchers from 10 countries – all about the adverse effects and diseases linked to EMFs/EMRs.

As well, in the research paper “The Cell Phone Poisoning of America,” Lynn Quiring (RPh, CCN, NMD) cites 66 scientific studies about electromagnetic toxins. She lists the conditions that may be, at least partially, attributed to long-term EMFs/EMR exposure, including: Alzheimer’s, autism, Parkinson’s, heart disease, fatigue, depression, immune system disorders, learning disabilities, memory loss, sleep disorders/insomnia, lowered sperm counts, DNA damage, hormonal imbalances, and cancer (e.g., brain tumors, leukemia).

Additionally, Connie Strasheim, author of the book, Beyond Lyme Disease: Healing the Underlying Causes of Chronic Illness in People with Borrelia and Co-Infections mentions the work of environmental health pioneer Dr. Neil Cherry. Cherry, a professor in New J Zealand, stated: “EMR confuses and damages the cells’ signaling system, which produces symptoms such as headaches, concentration difficulties, memory loss, dizziness and nausea, and long-term diseases such as Alzheimer’s, dementia, brain tumors and depression.”

Remediating Electromagnetic Toxins

So, what can you do to limit the electrical fields in the air and in your home’s walls? Here are some tips:

  • Unplug any appliances or other items you’re not using (e.g., blow dryers, toasters, coffee makers, lamps, microwaves, heating pads, cell phone chargers, and electric blankets). Also do this when you’re in a hotel room.
  • Move modems and routers as far away from sleeping areas as possible.
  • Be aware the headset or earbuds you’re using is likely sending frequency signals up through the cord (or directly to your head if using wireless versions). Air-tube (radiation-free) technology headsets are safer but may still expose you to EMFs/EMRs.
  • Keep computers, tablets and cellphones in “airplane mode” when not in use. And, turn all of these off at night.
  • Teach children not to place phones, tablets, handheld gaming systems or TV remotes under their pillows or near the bed.
  • Turn Wi-Fi off at night and flip the breakers providing electricity in your bedrooms, to create an electrically-neutral sleeping environment.
  • Opt for a desktop computer, which has a three-pronged plug/earth connection (vs. laptops which have two-pronged power cords).
  • Use battery power as much as possible, when using a laptop computer (and don’t place it in your lap).
  • Consider replacing your microwave with a steam convection oven, and avoid induction cookers.
  • Choose lower-tech appliances vs. smart refrigerators, freezers, washers, dryers, dishwashers and stoves with wireless capabilities.
  • Limit use of VR headsets, which requires having a cellphone close to the head and harmful blue light right next to your eyes.
  • Take a natural calcium channel blocker, like magnesium, to mitigate the increased influx of calcium ions from EMFs/EMRs. Per the Mayo Clinic calcium blockers, “prevent calciumfrom entering cells of the heart and blood vessel walls, resulting in lower blood pressure.”
  • Use shielding/protection devices on tech and appliances. At Chesapeake Holistic, we recommend Safe Connect (they make shields for cellphones, laptops, large electronics, and even whole-house sizes).
  • When building a home, use shielded cables.
  • Research your neighborhood (hopefully before buying a home) to find out how many antennas and towers (microwave, telecom and other towers) are within a four-mile radius. One source: will also tell you where future towers are planned.
  • Do research before having solar panels installed, some emit high levels of EMFs/EMRs. Some inverters are much cleaner than others.

These tips may seem overwhelming, and certainly isn’t an exhaustive list of how to limit electromagnetic exposure. But, making as many changes as possible will add up… every step you take to reduce your exposure will bring you one step closer to overall wellness.


Jennifer has a Master’s degree in Holistic Nutrition. She is also a nationally Certified Nutritional Consultant and Diplomat of the American Association of Nutritional Consultants.

Lighter Living: Water, Water Everywhere – But Is It Safe to Drink?

By: Katherine Sale, MSW, MAc, LAc, CNC 

Water is the basis of life. It’s second only to oxygen in importance for health and survival: up to 75% of the body is water, and every cell requires it to perform central functions.

As well, we all need water for drinking, cooking, and other purposes such as bathing, brushing teeth, and washing clothes and dishes. Access to clean water not only makes life more comfortable, it’s crucial for every family.

Unfortunately, poor water quality is an increasingly serious problem in the US. Toxins such as pathogenic microbes, pesticides, plastics, prescription meds, metals, chlorine, fluoride and other pollutants are poisoning our water supply.

The scarier fact is that many of these toxins have been shown to cause cancer, birth defects, cardiovascular issues, reproductive problems, and more health issues.

What else is lurking in your tap and bottled water? And, what can you do about it?…

The Truth about Tap Water

Drinking water straight from the tap is no longer an option.

If you live in the United States, there is nearly a one-in-four chance your tap water is either unsafe to drink or has not been properly monitored for contaminants in accordance with federal law. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates about 100 contaminants in our tap water, but a recent study shows tap water contains well over 300 harmful contaminants (including disease-causing bacteria, viruses and parasites).

Added to the contamination list are the chemicals and heavy metals used by agriculture and other industries, which find their way into our groundwater, and, in turn, add more pollutants to our drinkable water sources.

While some toxins are more harmful than others, arsenic, fluoride and chlorine present the greatest risk of harm to humans.

An extremely toxic heavy metal, arsenic in tap water poses grave potential health concerns. Classified as a Category I carcinogen, arsenic is almost certainly a cancer-causing agent. While the EPA has set standards for arsenic levels in tap water at 10 parts per billion, several US states have been known to exceed those standards from time to time.

Additionally, the presence of fluoride in most, if not all, tap water presents further negative potential health effects. Fluoride is one of the most toxic substances known to man, and is used in pesticides and rat poison; however, it’s deliberately added to tap water to presumably help prevent tooth decay.

While no significant scientific data exists to support this claim, fluoride is still widely accepted as an effective way to inhibit cavities. Proven to be more toxic than lead, many countries around the world have banned the fluoridation process of tap water.

Fluoridated water also increases absorption of aluminum (from deodorants, pots and pans, etc.) by 600%, a possible concern for Alzheimer’s disease.

Chlorine, another toxic chemical added to most tap water, poses additional potentially adverse health concerns. Injected into tap water to kill bacteria, chlorine triggers the creation of free radicals in the body by bonding with other compounds to form Trihalomethanes (THMs), causing serious cell damage.

According to a Global Healing Center research study (conducted about the potentially harmful effects of ingesting chlorine), rats drinking out of chlorinated water supplies developed tumors in their livers, kidneys and intestines.

So, What’s Wrong with Bottled Water?

Many people think that drinking bottled water is a healthier, safer way to provide the body’s need for water… but at what expense?

Due to increasing demand, 73 billion-plus half-liter bottles of water are consumed in the US per year, and 50 billion of those bottles end up in landfills or polluting our waterways and oceans. As a reality check, it takes more than 17 million barrels of oil to produce the plastic required for the bottled water Americans consume annually. This is enough oil to fuel more than 1.3 million cars in a year.

Equally alarming, the PVC plastic in bottles for water, sodas and other drinks leaches toxic petrochemicals called phthalates or bisphenol A (BPA). In 2005, the European parliament restricted the use of these chemicals on the basis of their hormonal, reproductive, developmental and liver toxicity.

Basically, phthalates block testosterone and other hormones. Water stored in plastic bottles for 10 weeks will show signs of this phthalate leaching. While phthalates in tap water are regulated, no regulations exist, at all, for bottled water.

A revealing, cross-sectional study published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism delved into the issues of hormones and reproductive health. Between 2011 and 2012, 2,208 people participating in the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey had their urine tested for phthalates. Afterward, their blood was tested for testosterone levels.

Across the board, from men and women to children, researchers discovered that phthalate exposure decreases testosterone levels in an inverse relationship. The loss of testosterone was even more apparent at specific life stages. Most disturbing, boys ages 6 to 12 exposed to di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate experienced a 24 to 34.1 percent drop in testosterone levels.

Phthalates are thought to mimic and displace hormones and interrupt their production. This can have a range of unpleasant effects, such as:

  • In 2009, a Taiwanese study on humans showed that phthalates passed from mother to fetus through the placenta affecting female babies, sometimes resulting in abnormal sexual development.
  • A 2009 study also determined that phthalate exposure correlated with premature breast development in young girls.
  • A 2007 study found that, in adult males, having higher than normal levels of phthalates is associated­­­  with increases in breast development, waist circumference and insulin resistance.

The Best Ways to Filter Water

Buying a water filtration system is so important!

If you’re on “city water” (versus well water) your county’s water department should provide you with an annual evaluation of the contents of the water in your area. Once you know what you need to remove, it’s much easier to choose the best water filter option for your family.

So, what are the options for those of us not interested in drinking a chemical cocktail every time we are thirsty? Here are some options:

Pitcher water filters. These water filters usually use granulated, activated charcoal to remove some contaminants. This is the least expensive filtering option upfront, but pitchers require frequent refilling and cartridge replacement. Since the carbon is not solid, these filters do not remove all toxins but will improve taste.

Reverse Osmosis (RO). This filtration system uses a membrane which removes many more contaminants from water; it’s usually paired with a granulated, activated charcoal filter to remove chlorine. It may be mounted under the sink or sit on a countertop.

Distilled Water. The distillation process uses heat to cause the water to become steam. The steam rises and moves to a cooling chamber where it turns back into liquid, leaving behind many contaminants. Unfortunately, it removes necessary minerals, which requires mineral supplementation.

Solid Block Carbon Filters. These filters are recognized by the EPA as the best option for removing chemicals like herbicides, pesticides and VOCs. Most are gravity-based and can safely transform any type of water into safe drinking water, including rain water, pond water and sea water. It will even filter water with food coloring to create clear water. The most common of this filter type is the Berkey. It comes in various sizes and has many uses (e.g., when camping to filter river water).

Under-counter, Multi-stage Filters. This type of filtration system meets and exceeds all of the criteria of other filters. It filters water through a 14-stage process that utilizes most of the methods above, along with others like UV, and it adds minerals back in. Of all the filter types listed, the multi-stage filter removes the widest range of contaminants.

So Let’s Not Forget About Shower Water

Shower water can be just as harmful (if not more so) than drinking water! Unfiltered shower water can contain an array of chemicals such as chlorine (which we need to avoid whenever possible) as well as bacteria and fungus from the shower head.

Apart from absorbing chlorine through the skin while showering, the heat of the shower water can cause chemicals to vaporize and be released in the air (at higher levels than are even present in the water itself). Chlorine and the chloramine vapors are associated with greater risk of asthma, and may damage the mucosal lining of the respiratory tract.

Using a simple shower filter or bath de-chlorinator is an easy way to remove chlorine and other harmful chemicals in bath and shower water.

Final Thoughts on Water Filters

As you can see, finding good clean water sources for you and your family is of utmost importance to maintain good health and help your body detoxify, assimilate and support your internal systems.

There are many water filtering options available and the quality can vary greatly. Since drinking (and showering with) clean water in today’s world is one of the most important things you can do for your health, having a reliable water filter (or another source of good clean water to consume) should be at the top of your natural living priority list.

Katherine is a Licensed, Board-Certified Acupuncturist, a Holistic Healthcare Practitioner, and an Integrative Energy Therapies Provider. She offers Acupuncture, Acupuncture Detox and Ionic Foot Detox at Chesapeake Holistic.

Lighter Living: Is Your Cookware Toxic?

By Carol Heckman, RN, CNHP, MH, CNC

Cooking Light… As a Natural Health Practitioner, I often write about food-based approaches to healing and vitality. Today, though, I’m focusing on another very important aspect of food-related wellness: your cookware!

Truly, the cookware you use to prepare food may be adding to your body’s burden of toxic chemicals. Here are some interesting facts:

Nonstick and ceramic coated pots and pans. The Good Housekeeping Research Institute finds, when used at very high temperatures, non-stick pans can emit toxic fumes that can make you feel like you have the flu (these fumes can even be fatal for small animals like birds).

As well, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), the carcinogenic present in nonstick cookware, leaches (along with other toxic chemicals) into foods, especially with repeated use over time, high heat, and utensil use.

What other types of cookware and utensils are toxic? What should you use instead? Read more…

Aluminum pots, pans and foil. Each of these leaches aluminum into foods. This metal settles into your system and creates a toxic metal burden.

Plastic wrap, bowls, containers, and cooking utensils. Plastics leach toxic endocrine disruptors when exposed to heat and hot food. According to the NIH, endocrine disruptors “may interfere with the body’s endocrine system and produce adverse developmental, reproductive, neurological, and immune effects in both humans and wildlife.”

What Cookware is Healthy?

It’s pretty easy to lighten your toxic load by switching your cookware!

  • Opt for bamboo or stainless steel instead of plastic utensils.
  • Switch plastic containers and bowls to glass ones.
  • Cook with stainless steel, cast iron and 100% ceramic items, versus nonstick and ceramic coated cookware.
  • Use natural parchment paper and silicon suction lids, as alternatives to aluminum foil and plastic wrap.

To create a natural health plan that includes holistic approaches to eliminating toxic environmental exposuresmaking healthy food choices, and creating beneficial lifestyle routines, schedule an appointment with me. Together, we’ll navigate your wellness journey.

Carol is a Registered Nurse, as well as a Certified Natural Health Practitioner, a Master Herbalist, and a Certified Nutritional Consultant.

Lighter Living: Natural Scents for Your Home

By: Glynda Cullen, LMT, LE

The fondest memories of home are often evoked by your sense of smell; vanilla reminding you of mom’s homemade cookies or sweet rose bringing you back to grandpa’s garden.

In fact, the power of smell’s potent effects on the brain are closely related to memory. Creating a warm, relaxing, energizing or uplifting home environment are goals we all aspire to achieve, but how?

Toxic Air

Did you know… some of the most common indoor air fresheners – even the ones we rely on to relax – are highly toxic? Contributors to indoor pollution include:

Candles. Petroleum-based paraffin wax and gel (which most candles are made of) create carcinogens when burned – the same toxins found in diesel fuel! Opt for 100% beeswax candles, which actually clean the air by burning negative ions.

Candle wicks. The wicks of most scented candles contain heavy metals such as lead. Even a few hours of burning can create levels of airborne metals that are considered dangerous. Be sure your candles have cotton wicks instead.

Aerosol air fresheners. These contain 86% phthalates, known hormone disrupters, as well as VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and formaldehyde. Instead, try simmering cinnamon, cloves and other herbs on your stove to create a yummy smell in your home.

Plug-in air fresheners. Lab studies have confirmed the toxic chemicals these release can accumulate in the human body causing health problems such as lung cancer and tissue damage. In your car, try keeping cheesecloth-wrapped charcoal under the seats to absorb odors.

If you’re looking for a an easy way to make your home smell good (that also has wellness benefits), diffusing essential oils may be the answer you’re looking for!

Diffuse Air with Essential Oils

An ultrasonic diffuser is the most popular method of getting essential oils (with their multitude of health benefits) into your home environment. An electric current creates a vibration that spreads the oils’ micro particles into the air in the form of a cool mist. No heat is applied to the oil; this keeps the healing properties intact.

The benefits of diffusing essential oils in your home include:

  • Emotional wellness – calming anxiety or tension, improving restful sleep habits, lifting the mood and easing depression, energizing and increasing motivation, and warming and comforting (scents that increase comfort and happiness).
  • Improved defenses against illness – powerful oils with antimicrobial properties are very effective at keeping a wide variety of pathogens from infecting the body.
  • Moistening your sinuses – the diffuser’s cool mist doubles as a humidifier that lubricates sinuses and helps keep infections at bay.

Some of my favorite ways to diffuse essential oils in my home include:

  • Lavender at bedtime to increase relaxation and aide in improving sleep.
  • Citrus oils such as bergamot in the morning to get everyone uplifted and energized.
  • Lemon and Frankincense when cleaning/clearing the energy in my home.
  • Diffusing Thieves oil (which is a powerful combination of cinnamon, clove, rosemary and other oils) keeps away seasonal colds and illness.

There are endless aromas and combinations of essential oils derived from nature to improve your family’s sense of wellness and health. Decide to lighten the toxic load in your home by getting rid of the artificial air fresheners once and for all… go with nature. For me, nature always wins.

Be sure to pay attention to which oils may have toxic effects on your pets. Essential oils are naturally derived, but should be respected regarding use by all family members, including the furry ones!

If you’d like more info about incorporating essential oils into your life, the practitioners at CH are here to help!

Glynda is a licensed Massage Therapist and a licensed Esthetician. She offers therapeutic massage and facial treatments (and after-hours appointments). Glynda is also trained in Ionic Foot Detox protocols.

Lighter Living: Lighten Your Home’s Toxic Load

By Jennifer Salos, MS, CNC

Indoor environments are two to five times more toxic than being outdoors. On average, Americans spend 90 percent of their time indoors. – Environmental Protection Agency

Environmental toxins are all around us, which contributes mightily, each day, to our overall toxic load. And, some of us may be more sensitive than others to chemical and microbial toxins.

Symptoms of Indoor Toxicity

If you haven’t been feeling well lately…

Ironically, those who tend to be the most vulnerable to pollutants’ adverse effects (e.g., the very young, older adults, people with cardiovascular or respiratory disease) are the very populations that spend more time at home.

Short-term symptoms from exposure to indoor toxins include: irritated or dry mucous membranes (in eyes, nose, respiratory tract and throat); dizziness; fatigue; fever; forgetfulness; headaches; irritability; lethargy and nausea. Often, the health effects of indoor air pollution are attributed to allergies and colds, but toxins can build-up into more serious conditions.

Long-term health concerns from allergens and toxins include: asthma; hypersensitivity pneumonitis (lung inflammation); Legionnaire’s disease; cancer; and childhood diagnoses of autism and Tourette’s syndrome.

While it’s difficult to protect against outdoor pollutants, there are many small ways to lighten that load in your home (to help yourself and your family). Knowledge is power!

Indoor Allergens & Toxins

Aside from tobacco and vape smoke, below are some common sources of indoor allergens and methods for minimizing contaminants.

Dust mites thrive in warm, humid environments such as bedding, upholstered furniture and carpeting. To minimize dust, wipe-down overhead fan blades often, try roller window blinds versus Venetian blinds, and vacuum often.

Mold and mildew can occur wherever damp conditions persist, or in air that doesn’t circulate freely in bathrooms, kitchens, basements, and closets. If you find mold in your home, don’t treat it yourself: call professionals who use green methods for removal.

Pet dander is a problem for many people. Although there is no such thing as a hypoallergenic dog, there are several low-/no-shed breeds (e.g., poodles and labradoodles).

Radon gas (which can contain radium or uranium) rises from the soil and bedrock beneath homes (especially in fracking areas), and it’s in some building materials. Exposure to radon is a top cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers. Test for it before buying a home, and every five years. Testing kits may be discounted through state resources. If radon is present, have it remediated professionally.

Additional tips for reducing indoor allergens and toxins:

  • Open the windows! This is the easiest way to vent toxins, which build up inside during winter months.
  • Avoid wall-to-wall carpeting in favor of tile or hardwood.
  • Clean window air conditioners regularly.
  • Install high quality HEPA air filters in central air and heating systems. Clean air ducts every 2-3 years.
  • Avoid curtains and fabric window blinds, if possible (otherwise, wash/vacuum often).
  • Keep wood and vinyl blinds and shutters clean.
  • Choose fabric shower curtains and wash frequently.
  • Use a high quality vacuum cleaner with HEPA filters.
  • Utilize de-humidifiers and keep these clean and free of microbes.
  • Opt for cotton bedding (vs. synthetic blends) and wash in hot water.
  • Use bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans to vent indoor toxins.
  • Buy a high quality air purifier (with ultrafine particle filters) for each level of your home. Check the square footage each purifier covers to ensure each room is adequately purified.

These are just a few of the indoor pollutants, and tips for lightening the toxic load in your home. Stay tuned for more articles in upcoming weeks!

Jennifer has a Master’s degree in Holistic Nutrition. She is also a nationally Certified Nutritional Consultant and Diplomat of the American Association of Nutritional Consultants.

Lighter Living: Are Your Cleansers Toxic?

By: Cathy Logan, CHC, COT, CECP

This week, we’re going to talk about “dirty cleaners.” Let me paint a picture…

You load the dishwasher with dirty dishes, and pop in a cleansing pod, powder or liquid. Then, you turn on the power button and the dishwasher “bakes” the cleanser, at high heat, into the dishes and glasses you eat and drink from!

Yep, you guessed it: dishwashing detergents contain particularly toxic ingredients. Really, most of the commercial cleaning products we use to clean our homes contain highly toxic chemicals.

This toxicity builds up through repeated exposure; some known effects include: lung and skin irritation, headaches, insomnia, hormone disruption, birth defects, and cancer.

If you’re looking to detoxify your home, using a chemical-free detergent is the first place you can make a change. What toxic ingredients should you look for on the label of a cleanser?

Read the Label: Toxic Cleansers

  • Phthalates – found in: many fragranced household products such as air fresheners, dish soap and even toilet paper.
  • Perchloroethylene or Perc – found in: dry cleaning solutions, spot removers, and carpet and upholstery cleaners.
  • Triclosan or TCS (has been banned!) – found in: most liquid dishwashing detergents and hand soaps labeled “antibacterial.”
  • Quarternary Ammonium Compounds or Quats – found in: fabric softener liquids and sheets and most household cleaners labeled “antibacterial.”
  • 2-Butoxyethanol – found in: window, kitchen and multipurpose cleaners.
  • Ammonia – found in: polishing agents for bathroom fixtures, glass and jewelry cleaners.
  • Chlorine – found in: scouring powders, toilet bowel cleaners, mildew removers, even tap water.
  • Sodium Hydroxide – found in: oven cleaners and drain openers.

Shocking, isn’t it? There are also no laws in place requiring manufacturers to list ingredients in laundry detergents and fabric softeners. Most laundry detergents contain toxic dyes and fragrances that can be irritants or even harmful carcinogens that also contribute to neuro-degenerative changes. Dryer sheets are especially toxic!

Some alternatives to commercial cleansers to consider:

  • Vinegar, salt and water (or baking soda and water) instead of ammonia-based cleaners.
  • 1/2 lemon dipped in Borax instead of abrasive cleaners.
  • 1 part lemon juice, 2 parts oil instead of wood polish.
  • Baking soda, salt and aluminum in boiling water to polish silver.
  • Cornstarch: sprinkle and vacuum, instead of rug cleaner.
  • Vinegar or rubbing alcohol with water instead of glass cleaner.
  • Wool dryer balls, with a few drops of essential oils, instead of dryer sheets.

These are just a few suggestions to help lighten your toxic load. If you have any questions, or more ideas, feel free to email me!

Cathy is a Certified Health Coach, and a Certified ONDAMED® Technician and Emotion Code® Practitioner. She is also trained in Ionic Foot Detox.

Lighter Living: Lighten Up with Laughter

By: Lisa Manning, CST, CHt

A smile starts on the lips, a grin spreads to the eyes, a chuckle comes from the belly; but a good laugh bursts forth from the soul, overflows, and bubbles all around.  Carolyn Birmingham

Our nervous system has its own natural ways of releasing stored emotional tension. When I’m performing myofascial and craniosacral bodywork on clients, their emotions come tumbling out: often in spontaneous tears, hiccups and even uncontrollable giggles.

Laughter (and other emotional release responses) is a great signal that the internal reset mechanism is kicking in: “Rest and recover to the rescue!”

What are your happiness triggers? Does “faking it ‘til you make it” work?

When I first heard the expression “fake it ‘til you make it,” I was a doubtful that significant change could result from just consciously pretending something had already occurred. I’ve since humbly deepened my understanding of the process.

It can really work. Signaling the body to change, by going through the motions, creates a matching biochemical response.

When your smiling muscles are engaged, your brain interprets that as a happy response and sends a message to the endocrine system to respond in kind. Plenty of medical research backs this up, but, as promised, we’re keeping this “light!”

A well-balanced person is one who finds both sides of an issue laughable.  Herbert Procknow

 He makes a good point. While we all have to put out fires at times, there’s always time to contemplate ways to promote peace and healing in an often troubled world. And, there is definitely enough time to embrace silly moments and share a deep belly laugh. Laughter is a simple, yet powerful way to reduce stress and increase emotional resiliency and contentment.

Truly, it’s not difficult… To promote balance each day, I suggest planning ways to lighten up. Try working some of these happiness triggers into your normal routine:

– Play music that’s uplifting or fun as you prepare for your day. Don’t let your mind wander into pre-worry or excessive mental list-making. You’ll be better prepared for whatever comes up when you start with a lighter mental load.

– If a happy thought or memory does cross your mind, stop and remember to smile. Let that feeling shine through physically, and the bonus is it’s great for undoing worry wrinkles!

– Practice finding the lighter side of things anywhere and everywhere. At the store, I used to sign electronic credit card readers with a smiley face. Why? I did it once, just to see if it really mattered how I sign those, and then noticed the cashier could see it too, and chuckled. After that, I started signing with a smiley face on a regular basis.

Lightheartedness is contagious. So the next time something tickles your funny bone, laugh out loud! Share this healing gift generously with those around you.

Lisa is a Craniosacral and Myofascial Release Therapist. She’s also a Master Certified Hypnotherapist, specializing in Somato-Emotional Hypnosis to address chronic pain and anxiety. Lisa is trained in Ionic Foot Detox.