Archive for the ‘Wellness of Chatham’ Category

Body Talk Access – Healing & Balancing with Energy

July 12, 2012
I’m so excited about last night’s Wellness of Chatham meeting information. Toni Stevens spoke with us about her background in energy healing and the incredible program she teaches called Body Talk Access.
I know those who attended are also excited about taking one of Toni’s classes, and we are currently working on getting Toni to come to do one here in Pittsboro, so stay tuned!
I also want to give special thanks to Mariah Wheeler at The Joyful Jewel for allowing us to meet in her beautiful space! It always inspires me and gets my creative juices flowing every time I step foot in the store!
So, a brief overview of some of the things we learned from Toni about Body Talk Access:
* Body Talk Access was developed by Dr John Veltheim, a chiropractor, traditional acupuncturist, philosopher and teacher. He created this program as a way to put health care back into the hands of the individual and family.
* A terrific overview of what Body Talk Access is can be found at
* There is a sequence of 5 balances in Body Talk Access that help to put the body in the most optimal balance available to it. They are:
Cortices – designed to improve the balance and communication between the two halves of the brain.
Switching – helps to restore normal brain function and reduce stress.
Hydration – assists in correcting the body’s ability to fully use the water available to it and move it into the cells.
Body Chemistry – helps to stimulate the immune system and direct it to address any chronic and/or acute conditions within the body.
Reciprocals – this involves reestablishing the integrity of the structures of the body and can have a significant effect on many forms of injuries, arthritis and circulatory issues, coordination patterns, spinal problems and chronic pain.
* There is also a Fast-Aid technique that is non-invasive, safe and very simple. It helps to resolve simple issues as a stand alone technique and can be used in serious conditions to support the body until health care arrives.

Hemp, Hemp, Hooray!

July 1, 2012
Thursday evening’s Wellness of Chatham meeting was incredibly interesting, and I thank our host, The Abundance Foundation for the use of their space. Special thanks to our speaker, Linda Booker for her informative and eye-opening discussion.
I really could not even begin to cover the vast amount of information that Linda shared with us about Hemp, its history and her upcoming documentary, Bringing It Home.
If you want to learn about hemp and the movie, check out Linda’s website for Bringing It Home at
Some other great references are articles that Linda shared with us.
* Why Choose Organic Hempseed Foods Over Soy Foods by John Nutiva, the owner of one of the largest hemp product companies in the world
* Hemp is Hip, Hot and Happening: So Why Are American Farmers Being Left Out? from Utne Magazine
* Yes, You Can Eat Hemp and Get Lots of Protein by High Energy for Life’s editor, Judith Zimmer.


May 13, 2012
Last Thursday evening’s Wellness of Chatham meeting was, in a word, enlightening. Not only was the talk informative, but it offered a link to many things that our society is suffering with in the field of health care. I know those who attended were glad they did!
I thank all who were there. You added so much to the Q & A portion of the meeting. I also send out our appreciation to Pittsboro Center for Natural Medicine and Roxanne Hollander for graciously providing the venue. It was perfect!
Our speaker was Dr. Christian Werness, and he spoke on the topic of Heavy Metal Toxicity. I wish I would have known the thorough content of the talk beforehand, as I would have marketed it WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TO SAVE YOUR HEALTH. The original title of the talk didn’t do justice to the true content of what was presented. Everyone I know should have been in that room learning about what Dr. Chris had to say.
Additionally, we were surprised with not one, but two experts in this field, when Dr. Puja Wentworth joined us. She and Dr Werness work together educating and treating health participants (clients) with a systematic approach to total health and wellness care. Both doctors integrate services such as chiropractic, bio-nutrition, therapeutic exercise, progressive rehab, massage therapy, functional medicine and cellular detoxification to meet the needs of those with whom they work. Dr. Puja is also a wealth of information, and we were so lucky to have her with us to share some points as well.
Some of the highlights of the talk were as follows:
Dr Werness began by telling us that heavy metal toxicity is an epidemic. The levels of heavy metals in the average American are leading to a wide range of major health issues.
The information that was presented by both doctors comes from the teachings of Dr. Dan Pompa. Dr. Pompa is internationally known for treating patients and educating doctors on nutrition, structural correction chiropractic care and most importantly neurotoxic illnesses such as autism, chronic fatigue, diabetes, fibromyalgia, heart disease, irritable bowel, weight loss resistance. His teaching is transforming the lives of thousands around the world.
Dr Pompa’s philosophy and treatment is founded upon 4 principles:
The Cellular Healing Diet – Inflammation, Cellular Regeneration, Hormone Regulation
Toxins– Heavy Metals, Biotoxins, General Toxins

Deficiencies – Vitamins, Minerals, Antioxidants, GSH Hormones

Nerve Stress – Physical Trauma, Emotional Trauma, Spinal Misalignments

Dr. Werness discussed that our culture is currently in The Death Zone. The Death Zone is defined as the state of having less and less oxygen, where the body begins to shut down to preserve vital functions until it cannot sustain this any longer and dies. As Americans, this is where we are in relation to our health care, both the system and our practices.
Dr Werness talked about a study where patients removed grains from their diets and they became well. He also talked about sugar as an exitotoxin that poisons our cells. There is far too much sugar in the American diet. We also need to keep in mind that sugar is referring to what the body utilizes, so carbs all break down to sugar in the system, therefore a bagel provides the same poisoning punch as a chocolate bar to our bodies.
As a chiropractor, Dr Werness works from the belief that the BODY HEALS ITSELF. When we stimulate the nervous system in a positive way, the body can reboot and heal.
A great YouTube video on mercury in amalgams is Smoking Teeth = Poison Gas
PubMed is a great resource for clinical data based on the latest research (for those who have to investigate for themselves).
Dr Werness discussed the concept of “The Bucket.” We come into this world with DNA stressors (like heavy metals) that are passed down 4 generations. If our grandparents had lead in their systems, so do we, if our parents had a mouth filled with mercury amalgams, we also have that mercury in our systems. Children born today are coming in with fuller buckets, so when they are subjected to things like vaccines and other toxic stressors, their bodies hit a “tipping point” much faster and become symptomatic. Dr Werness explained that this is what we are seeing with increases in diabetes, autism, ADD/HD, gastrointestinal disorders, etc. Many issues that we have seen in the past are happening at earlier and earlier ages.
What other things fill “The Bucket?” – Sugar, Bad Fats, Bad Thoughts
Make sure you eat well, think well and surround yourself with those who do the same (good environment).
Dr Werness and Dr Wentworth are trying to help individuals reach what is referred to as The Blue Zone. This is where a person reaches a health level in his/her body that gives him/her a 300% better chance of reaching 100 + years of age. This is also comfortable, pain-free aging.
For those interested in getting amalgams removed properly, both doctors recommended Holistic Dentist, Dr. Carl McMillan, in Cary.
If you are interested in heavy metal detox protocol, you can reach Dr. Werness at 919.410.9933 (Chapel Hill) or Dr. Wentworth at 919.463.0021 (Morrisville).
Some other great resources discussed:
Beyond Organic –
Linda Watson’s book, Wildly Affordable Organic, and site Cook for Good

Eden Energy Medicine presented by Suzi Snyder

April 29, 2012
Last Wednesday evening’s Wellness of Chatham meeting was educational and fun, and I thank our host, Mariah Wheeler for the use of space at her beautiful store, The Joyful Jewel. The turn out was great, and appreciation goes out to Susan Lomartire, Steve Gravely, Christiana Herndon, Chris Bouton, Aric Hearndon, Paul David, and Tracie Little for their participation and great questions.
Special thanks to our speaker, Suzi Snyder, for her discussion of Eden Energy Medicine. Both the information and practical movements that she taught us were fascinating and energizing.A brief overview of what was presented is as follows:

The energy medicine that Suzi practices and shares with her clients is Eden Energy Medicine, first developed by Donna Eden.
Dr. Oz says that ” Energy Medicine is the last big frontier in medicine.” It treats each client as an individual by utilizing treatment based on the patient’s personal needs, balances and imbalances.
Energy needs air to move. Do movements with plenty of space around you, and breathe deeply (taking in the breath through the nose and out through the mouth).
If you pull on your ears, it allows move space for energy.
Some good YouTube videos where Eden shows energy movements:
Donna Eden on Energy Medicine for Women:
Suzi Snyder, our speaker, can be found through her website She also conducts classes on energy movements at The Joy of Movement. You can check their calendar of classes at In July, Suzi will also meet with clients in Chapel Hill at Healing Earth Resources

Empowering a Community Through Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Education

April 17, 2012
1 in 4 girls
1 in 6 boys
Are sexually victimized.
But there IS something we can do about it . . .
It begins with discussing it
It involves learning about it
It requires understanding what to do when we are confronted with it
It empowers our community when we come together to do all of these things as a group
On Thursday, Jessica Wimberley, the Children’s Services Director for Chatham YMCA met with our group to present an overview of Stewards of Children, a Child Sexual Abuse Prevention program designed by the national non-profit group, Darkness To Light. Jessica educated us on some of the statistics locally
and nationally involving this topic as well as the overall initiative that both Orange County and Chatham County YMCAs have taken on to address this very serious issue.
Some of the highlights are following:
Stewards of Children is a community informational program geared to educate and train full communities on what to do about child sexual abuse.
Darkness to Light, a national non-profit based out of Charleston, developed this program.
Training for Stewards of Children is 2 1/2 hours and is presented in 3 parts, incorporating video, workbook and discussion-based learning.
Currently, the training for Stewards of Children through the YMCA is grant-funded, so it is free to all who want to go through the program.
Currently, about 1300 individuals have been trained locally. Community awareness leads to real change, and this comes from getting as many people trained as possible.
Everyone in Chatham knows at least one person who has been sexually abused even if you are unaware of it.
Survivors of child sexual abuse have a higher likelihood of psychological disorders, excessive drug and alcohol use, eating disorders, suicidal tendencies and violence. And this costs us as a community.
Each case of sexual abuse that is brought to the legal system costs taxpayers a bit over $14,000.
Stewards of Children is the only evidence-based training for this issue available nationally that is proven to increase knowledge and change child protective behavior.
The goal of the YMCA is to train 7,300 people in our community by the year 2016.

Visit to read more about the program and the facts.

Holotropic Breathwork

April 3, 2012
Wednesday evening’s Wellness of Chatham meeting was incredibly interesting, and I thank our hosts, Cheryl and Houston Blair of 458 West B&B as well as the participants Carl Theodore, Christiana Herndon, Aric Herndon, Chris Bouton, Jenna Harvey and Libby Ann Capaldi. Special thanks to our speaker, Bob Brame for his informative and eye-opening discussion.
I really could not even begin to cover the vast amount of information that Bob shared with us about Holotropic Breathwork. We actually only spent about 5 minutes at the end going over Touch for Health and muscle testing because there was so much to cover with the breathwork. Bob has been kind enough to offer to meet with our group at a later date to go over Touch for Health.
I will share with you some of the highlights of Bob’s discussion with our group:
* Bob mentioned his early interest in Taoist Master, Mantak Chia and his Tao Garden. For more information about this great Chinese educator who taught about principles of healing go to
* In March of 1991, Bob was introduced to the teachings of Stanislav Grof and Holotropic Breathwork .
* Bob conducts Holotropic Breathwork workshops with groups and utilizes music with a fast-breathing technique he teaches clients to allow for vignettes of “experiences” within the individual’s body and spirit.
* Holotropic Breathwork allows for participants to become “unstuck.” It relaxes and penetrates the psyche to determine areas that need healing. It can bring about a type of catharsis for the participant.
* The whole purpose of Holotropic Breathwork is to let go of the things we are holding onto that do not serve us. Holotropic means “moving towards wholeness.” Therefore, Holotropic Breathwork means moving towards wholeness through breath.
* There are only about 700 people in the world who have been trained by Grof as Holotropic Breathwork Facilitators. Bob is one of them.
* Bob conducts a variety of workshops at his retreat, Little Creek, in Mebane. For more information about him and what he offers, go to The next workshops on Holotropic Breathwork will be Sunday, April 29th and Saturday May 12th.

Native Plants – so beneficial to our environment!

March 22, 2012
I would like to thank Chris Bouton again for speaking with us last Wednesday about Native Plants. Chris provided some interesting information about the importance of not only utilizing native plants in our landscaping, but understanding, as well, the benefits to doing so.
Special thanks to Andy Upshaw for adding some interesting facts to our conversation.
Some of the highlights were:
A list of some great natives that can be used are – Purple Lovegrass, Goldenrod, Purple Passionflower, Coneflowers, Black and Brown-Eyed Susans, Loebilia, Yellow Root, Buttercup, Blue-Eyed Grass, Strawberry Bush, Sumac, Spice Bush, Rattlesnake Master, Beauty Berry, Butterfly Milkweed, Common Buttonbush, Golden Ragwort.
NCBG Plant lists:
The Botanical Gardens in Chapel Hill has a great Native Plant Studies Certificate Program within their Continuing Ed Program. Chris highly recommends the Native Pollinator class.
It’s important to remember that many native plants are weeds and a lot of them have great medicinal benefits.
If you want to boost native pollinator populations, plant native pollinator plants, since these pollinators rely on native plants for food and nectar.
Pollinators in the Southeast Mixed Forest [good PDF on plants for pollinator forage]
Flora of the Southern and Mid-Atlantic States, by Alan S. Weakley (large PDF, worth downloading because it is searchable):’s Wildflower Guide [Available at the Botanical Gardens bookstore.]
Excellent field guide key and illustrations, though some plant binomial names are now outdated. Still a great resource.

Chris has the plant lists she compiled for CCCC, and would be happy to share if you are interested.

She also is offering to share her native plant volunteers this year if you want to go by her place to get them. She suggested an organized social “dig” and seed swap over tea (or beer!) on her back porch, so contact me if you are interested and I’ll pass it on to Chris.
Hope to see you in the garden and in the meantime, Be Well!

Granite Springs Farm – a local farm, CSA and more . . .

March 5, 2012
Thursday evening’s Wellness of Chatham meeting was educational, connective and heart-warming.  I have to say that Meredith Leight of Granite Springs Farm is one amazing woman, and I thank her for sharing her incredible story as well as her openness, optimism and vision.  We all could learn so much more from her than how to grow kick-butt Kohlrabi!  A big shout out of appreciation as well to our host, Chatham Marketplace, for the use of their warm and friendly indoor dining space . . . almost warm enough to meet outside that night! 
Thank you also to those who attended: Christiana Herndon, Chris Bouton, Donna Poe, Debbie Cook, Cindy Shetter, Perrin Heartway and Barb Tesla.  It was wonderful to see you all!

So, what do I say?  Meredith began our meeting with the touching and incredible story of how she started Granite Springs Farm.  It is clear she is one connected person who is doing wonderfully enriching things for our community. A brief overview of what was presented is as follows:

* In 3 short years, Granite Springs Farm has grown its CSA to 50 shares.  Currently, there are about 5 spots left, so if you are interested in joining their CSA, contact Meredith at  There are 3 sessions throughout the growing year.  Eggs can be included in a share.

* Granite Springs Farm sits on 140 acres off of rte 87 in Pittsboro.
* Last year, the farm offerings were about 85 varieties of veggies/herbs and eggs.
* They currently provide fresh farm grown food locally to Small B&B, Angelina’s Kitchen, Neil’s Deli, Saxapahaw General Store, Kappa Delta Sorority and soon to be others.
* The farm employs a handful of young part-time workers in their early 20’s and has offered 5 teens from Meredith’s church their very first paying job! 
*Recently, Granite Springs Farm was awarded a RAFI (Rural Advancement Foundation International) grant to start a project involving the production of vertically-grown in pasterized medium, hoop-house oyster mushrooms.  We learned a bit about this new venture, and it sounds very exciting, not to mention great for local restaurants, chefs and those of us who LOVE these delicious mushrooms!
* Perhaps one of the most exciting ventures that Granite Springs Farm has begun planning is the creation of an Agrarian Community.  Check out their website for more information on that in coming months. 
Other shared information at the meeting:
Chris Bouton has launched a website blog called A Dash of Culture.  It’s about food and culture and so much more.  Visit and “like” on FB and view at   She’s a great writer, and I’ve enjoyed what she says about local food, history, culture and more!
Barb Tesla shared info on the TEDxManhattan event that took place on January 21, 2012, in New York City. The one-day event highlighted several aspects of the sustainable food movement and the work being done to shift our food system from industrially-based agriculture to one in which healthy, nutritious food is accessible to all.    Thanks Barb!

Accessibility of Local Food in our Schools and other Institutions

March 5, 2012
I would like to thank Tes Thraves again for speaking with us today about CEFS and FoodCorps.  Tes provided some interesting information about what the organizations do, what they offer and how we might get involved.
I would also like to extend a thank you to the following attendees who joined in on a very stimulating conversation about the issue of food in our schools: Donna Poe, Jenny Schnaak, Kristy Church, Chris Bouton, Rudy Mullis, Brystana Kaufman and Carly Erickson.  It was an extremely interesting and informative discussion, and I appreciate the interest and passion so many of you have surrounding this issue.  This is one of my favorite things about our Wellness of Chatham meetings, we all can learn so much from one another’s experiences and expertise.
So, let’s get into the highlights . . . there were many!
I will start with something that Tes said that really stuck out for me.  “Local Food= Social Consciousness”  She said this before mentioning that where we need
local food the most is in our institutions – schools, hospitals, elderly care, etc.  What we do with our food says a lot about where we place value as a society.
CEFS (Center for Environmental Farming Systems) “develops and promotes food and farming systems that protect the environment, strengthen local communities, and provide economic opportunities in NC and beyond.”  for more info
FoodCorps was established to identify and place motivated leaders in limited-resource communities for the purpose of working with local partner organizations to implement a three-ingredient recipe to positively impact the health of children and their families.
The 3 areas of focus are: to deliver hands-on nutrition education, to build and tend school gardens and to bring high-quality local food into public school cafeterias.
NC is one of 10 states in the US that has launched FoodCorp.
Since the importance is the VISIBILITY of programs, there are some things we can do to help out with supporting these efforts:
#1 Get involved with the 10% Campaign.  This allows our voting dollars when spent on local food producers, businesses and communities to count. 
  • Pledge to spend 10 percent of your existing food dollars locally
  • Email in the answers to a few simple questions each week
  • The program will track your progress, and you’ll see their progress statewide
For more info and to join, go to
#2 Join up with local projects like The Abundance Foundation Chef’s Challenge.  Right now, they need individual school buy-in and volunteers to facilitate at the
     various school locations.
#3 Get educated and educate others.  Join local groups like Wellness of Chatham.  Show up, learn, connect and do what you can to introduce others to the information, activities, projects and programs that are going on around town related to improving the availability of our local food and supporting our local businesses & the general health and wellness of our community.!/pages/Wellness-of-Chatham/257047840985230
Additional info:
A couple of local bakeries that are utilizing locally grown and milled grains for their breads and baked goods are:
Box Turtle Bakery
Chicken Bridge Bakery
Some of the programs that are going on locally that feed into what communities are trying to do to get more good food where it needs to be:
“PLANT” at Breeze Farm
Fickle Creek Farm


Organic/Sustainable Farming/Gardening

February 5, 2012
Thursday evening’s Wellness of Chatham meeting was educational and fun, and I thank our host, CCCC for the use of their classroom space in the Sustainable Tech building.  The turn out was great, and appreciation goes out to Nita Dukes, Libby Ann Capaldi, Christiana Herndon, Chris Bouton, Christi Costigan, Rudy Mullis, Cindy Shetter, Donna Poe and Judy and Mike Harrelson for their participation and great questions. 
Special thanks to our speaker, Hillary Heckler, for her discussion of organic and sustainable farming methods and practices.  Exciting and encouraging, to say the least!
I really appreciated the way Hillary opened the meeting up to question and answer right away, and our participants had a variety of great topics to address.
A brief overview of what was presented is as follows (also see attached photo “a picture is worth a thousand words” – thanks to Rudy Mullis!):
CCCC has the following community offerings – all choice offerings dictated by the needs and requests of the community – great thing about a community college!
Short-term Workshops
Continuing Ed. (1 day – 3 or 4 months)
Certificates & Certifications (1yr)
Associate Degrees (2yrs)
Check out CCCC website for more information
Some programs dealing with Organic/Sustainable and Green Environmental Education :
A.A.S. in Sustainable Ag: Robin Kohanowich & Hillary Heckler
Doug Jones – Piedmont Biofarm – Growing Organic/Sustainable Gardens (classes)
Biofuels – Bob Armantrout, program coodinator
Green Building – John Delafield, instructor
Green Technologies – Laura Lauffer, program director
Other related topics:
*Niche Gardens
*NC Botanical Garden
*Edible Landscaping
Definitions for consideration of what, where and how to plant:
Sustainability (Wikipedia)
Sustainability is the capacity to endure. For humans, sustainability is the long-term maintenance of responsibility, which has environmental, economic, and social dimensions, and encompasses the concept of stewardship, the responsible management of resource use. In ecology, sustainability describes how biological systems remain diverse and productive over time, a necessary precondition for human well-being. Long-lived and healthy wetlands and forests are examples of sustainable biological systems.
Permaculture – Harvy & Nancy Harmon
Principles on how to design a garden or food-growing space.  How to meet gardening needs in little space, very concentrated, considering concepts of sustainability and co-existence.
Permaculture is a theory of ecological design which seeks to develop sustainable human settlements and agricultural systems, by attempting to model them on natural ecosystems.
Biodynamics (Ag)
Aligning growing plans to cosmos.  Accounting for all cycles of life. 1920’s Europe (pre World Wars)
Biodynamic agriculture is a method of organic farming that emphasizes the holistic development and interrelationships of the soil, plants and animals as a self-sustaining system.  Biodynamic farming has much in common with other organic approaches, such as emphasizing the use of manures and composts and excluding of the use of artificial chemicals on soil and plants. There are independent certification agencies for biodynamic products; most of these agencies are members of the international biodynamics standards group Demeter International. Biodynamics originated out of the work of Rudolf Steiner, the founder of anthroposophy.
Historical Readings
Study locale from where foods originated.
Biochar (Wikipedia) – use of
Biochar or terra preta, is a name for charcoal when it is used for particular purposes. Like all charcoal, biochar is created by pyrolysis of biomass. Biochar can increase soil fertility, raise agricultural productivity and reduce pressure on forests. Biochar is a stable solid, rich in carbon and can endure in soil for thousands of years.
Best question to ask when planting – WHAT DOES THIS METHOD I’M PREPARING TO INCORPORATE DO
Key to soil fertility is to always have something growing on the land.
Other important resources:
1)Growing Small Farms (Debbie Roos-Chatham County Extension Agent/Organic specialist)
2)Brian Rosa – Organic Recycling Specialist/Vermicomposing workshops.  NCDENR Division of Environmental Assistance and Outreach.  919-707-8123  website:
3)Country Farm and Home Supply, Inc. – Melinda Fitzgerald  (919) 542-3353
203 S. Small Street, Pittsboro
4)The Garden of Concord, a community garden planted in Eli Whitney.
$10/season, $25/full-year memberships
Donna Poe, Garden Manager 336.512.7434