A Season to Slow Down


Rejuvenating Ideas For The Weary Winter Warrior

Envision a dark snowy winter evening, a roaring fire in the fireplace and you are covered with a puffy down comforter.

Early in the day, just before dawn, you wake up slowly while gently stretching and quietly doing a yoga series called Salute to the Sun.

Your breakfast, eaten after a warm hot tub, consists of organic oatmeal with raisins, a scoop of vanilla protein powder in yogurt and homemade multigrain toast with fresh whole blueberry jam. After reading the Alternative Medicine Journal and finishing your last cup of organic hazelnut decaf coffee, you slip into your work clothes for a short day of chopping wood for your wood burning stove which heats your house naturally.


Getting up just before dawn, retiring before 8 p.m., eating more earth foods that are slow burning and doing long meditations is actually what the good health doctor ordered for the winter season.

The human body functions exactly like our seasons. In the winter, the natural tendency for our biological clock is to slow down, hibernate, rest, repair and store up nutrients, allowing time to process past seasons and rejuvenate for new and better growth.

Bringing silence and stillness into your winter days is not only beneficial for stress reduction but actually very necessary to be in synch with the purpose of winter. Many cultures use the winter season to connect with their families, eating long relaxing meals at home and finishing projects. Slowing down is winter’s message, but Americans have a hard time with being quiet, still or silent.

Bring winter into your life. Be aware of the purpose of winter. Here are some ideas for the weary winter warrior:

  • Relieve winter stress with silence. Silence provides relief from constant stimulation and disoriented mental chatter.
  • Go to bed earlier than usual and get up slowly in the morning.
  • Work a flexible schedule, go in later or ask for vacation days then work a four-day week for eight weeks.
  • Plan one day a week with truly nothing to do.Get consistent bodywork. In the winter, getting regular polarity therapy prevents the winter blahs.
  •  Take extra vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E and beta carotene in the winter, besides an herbal immune builder.
  •  Eating less in the winter is actually more, and eating before 6 p.m. is best for winter digestion.
  •  Juice organic vegetables daily, celery, cucumber, or other greens. Drink within 30 minutes because the live enzymes. which are so healing for the body are best when fresh.
  •  Rest often in winter. Your immune system requires more rest because your body slows down and is in a state of repair.
  •  Sweat as often as you can. It helps eliminate toxins from your system and relaxes your muscles. Take a hot bath with one cup of epsom salt. Soak for 30 minutes, wrap up in a bathrobe, lie down, cover up and sweat. Take a cool shower after.   Using a infrared sauna is wonderful for the winter blues.  See November article here.  
  • Do nasal flushes weekly. Use a nettie pot with a saline solution or diluted liquid chlorophyll (gargling with chlorophyll also helps).
  • Last but not least, drink water. More than 70 percent of the body is water, and the balance of minerals in the body depends upon drinking six to eight glasses every day. No, coffee doesn’t count!
  • Winter can be a blessing in disguise.  It Offers an opportunity to reflect, to slow down and to be still and heal.  The body knows what it needs, but the mind often gets in the way.Mary Jo Ruggieri PhD. satnam170@aol.com

Healthy Tidbits 

2 Minute Stress Busters for the Holidays     

  • Sit for 2 minutes, spine straight and consciously breathe in and out your nose. As you inhale and exhale try each time to make your exhales slower and longer.
  •  4/4 Breath for Energy: sit straight in a chair or cross-legged on a pillow. Place palms together at center of chest – press thumbs to sternum (chest bone).  As you inhale, break the breath into 4 equal parts (like sniffs). As you exhale, break the breath equally in 4 parts. Continue powerfully for 2-3 minutes. Then do some long slow breaths at end.
  •  Sit comfortably in chair. While breathing normally, pump or suck your belly in and out for 10-15 seconds, rest. Then do long breaths 10-15 seconds, keep repeating belly pumping with rests and long breaths for 2 minutes. Best to do on an empty stomach!
  •  Standing straight, feet apart elbows into sides, fists tight. For 10 seconds pretend to punch an imaginary bag in front of you. Pull your arms back, take a deep breath and hold. Repeat punching again for 10 seconds. Repeat for 2 minutes then sit quietly for two minutes.
  • Treat yourself to a Bodywork Session, soft music, a massage, a foot reflexology or a relaxing Polarity Session will keep you relaxed during the Holiday Season!! Try it – it works.


Good energy will come from each of our stress busters.

RECIPE: Holiday Apple, Nuts and Greens Salad

*Submitted by Jan Jensen, from Rhonda’s new book Hallelujah Holiday Recipes.

1 handful organic Baby Salad Greens

2 Golden Delicious Apples (peeled and diced)              

¼ cup Pecans (cut into large pieces)

1 Celery rib (diced)

1 Orange (juice from)

1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Place greens in bottom of bowl. Add diced apple, then celery, and top with pecans. Place orange juice and olive oil in a small blender and blend, pour into a small jar with a lid and shake, and pour dressing over salad. (Option: May add a few organic raisins for a sweeter flavor). ENJOY!

Reference: Chi Living Foods News

Acupuncture and Depression

Today, more than 28 million Americans are taking antidepressant and anti-anxiety drugs. According to the Physician’s Desk Reference, the top antidepressant drugs only address signs and symptoms associated with depression and can cause many side effects.


Reference: Acupuncture Today; December 2001.

Acupuncture will help alleviate the signs and symptoms accompanying depression because it can address the underlying imbalance that cause the problem. Acupuncturists are aware of the mind/body connection and how physical problems can effect emotions. Over time disruptions lead to what the acupuncturist calls “stagnant or depressed Qi.” Eventually these emotions and physical blocks can cause serious imbalances within our bodies leading to depression.

Acupuncture will activate the movement of Qi throughout the entire body which addresses the root cause of imbalances. Like turning the circuit breakers back on.

So try some acupuncture sessions before you jump on those medications.

Reference: Reuters,  acupuncture media works 


Remedies For The Winter Blues

1. Exercise, Exercise, Exercise!

2. Get outside whenever possible even in cold to feel sun on your skin for 20 minutes per day.

3. Reduce sugar and add more protein, fruits and veggies. Increase your H2O intake.

4. Try some acupuncture – it is shown to improve signs of depression.

5. Use homeopathy – try Pulsitilla if very emotional or Ignatia if very moody.

6. Take vitamin D3!  A must!

7. Use aromatherapy – try citrus aromas like orange, lemon or tangerine.

8. Meditate for 10-20 minutes a day (use controlled breathing).

9. Increase B vitamins and minerals.

10. Consider St. Johnswort (300 Mg 3X’s a day).

11. Avoid artificial sweeteners (phenylalanine).

Consider a light box (10,000 lux of full spectrum) use at least a half hour a day.

12. Use the Infrared Sauna!

By Dr. Kathleen A. Jones, D.C., N.M.D. Elements of Health (614)985-1435


Facts That We Should Know

* 1.7 million patients get infections each year in hospitals

* 99,000 die from hospital acquired infections each year

References: Empowered Patients CNN 2009

Holistic Health Research

Magnesium for Winter Health

In addition to helping keep colds and flu at bay during the winter season, Magnesium may also help beat the seasonal blues.  Magnesium is involved in hundreds of our body’s metabolic functions ranging from a steady heart rhythm, and stable blood sugar levels to energy and blood pressure. Numerous studies also indicate this important mineral may have antidepressant effects:


Possible signs of deficiency include: fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, weakness, muscle cramps, headaches.

The National Institutes of Health provide additional information about magnesium, diet, side effects and daily recommended requirements through  Medline Plus


Heidi Beke-Harrigan, MLS, APP
hbharrigan@malone.edu or  irharp1140@yahoo.com


Whole Grains May Reduce Hypertension

Third Hand Smoke More Dangerous Than You Think

1. Here’s some great info about the nasty third hand smoke.   

2. Better yet, here’s one from the NY Times!



 By Dr. Mary Jo Ruggieri

Polarity Therapy is a complete system of Holistic Healthcare with the focus being in Ayurvedic Medicine.

Need Balance and More Energy in your life try Polarity!
 Polarity based on balancing the five elements of life (ether, air, fire, water and earth)   works on identifing where stress is being held and locked in the body and then how to unlock those blocks.  Polarity has four components  Energetic Touch (acupressure and body reflex points) , Energetic Foods,  Polarity Yoga  and Life Styles Skills.

Learn more about Polarity Therapy…listen to this valuable Pod Cast.    


 “Watch our Holistic Health NOW series”: YouTube

Herbal of the Month

Elderberry  (Latin name”Sambuccus)

We all know this bushy plant from its famous byproduct, Elderberry Wine!
Elderberrty bark, leaves, flowers and berries have many other uses?

Here are some:

Leaves, Berries and Flowers:

Strong antioxidant due to their high Vitamin C content and other Flavonoids.  Valuable antiviral, both internally and externally:

  • Externally:  leaf tea  or ointment applied to the skin soothes and heals wounds, and different eruptions, including herpes conditions.
  • Internally:  as an extract, leaves, flowers and berries are excellent for
    Viral Bronchitis,  and Herpes Simplex.  Very safe and effective for children’s fevers caused by colds, flus, measles, chicken pox.  A touch of Peppermint added to the tea makes it especially easy to use with children.  Good also for adult coughing condition.
    It is an immunostimulant, i.e. it assists the system in strengthening the immune system, thus preventing disease.

Good diuretic and purgative. (relieves constipation).

All of the above, make Elderberry an important addition to our First Aid Kit, useful for all colds, flues, fevers, and also to help us weather change of seasons conditions.

Thankfully, it seems to have no known contraindications if used in a manner suggested by your herbalist.  Please seek the advice of your health practitioner and herbalist before handling and using any herbs, including safe ones like Elderberry!
Written by:
Charoula Dontopoulos, RPP , Herbalist



The is for educational purposes only.  This information is not intended to diagnose, treat illness or prescribe any type of treatment.  Consult with your Medical Doctor.


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The information in this email is for educational purposes only.  This information is not intended to diagnose, treat illness or prescribe any type of medication or treatment.  For medical needs, we recommend consulting your Medical Doctor, Dietitian or Mental Health Practitioner