Being mindful doesn’t mean you always have good days. It means when things are rough, you remember to breathe because you’ve practiced it. And when tears come, you don’t judge them. You just be with your feelings in the moment, notice your thoughts, tell yourself you are not the same as them, and call on wisdom you’ve read or heard or cultivated on your yoga mat. This can still look messy, don’t get me wrong. But as long as there is openness to believing there is something to be gained, even from pain, there is possibility. Even though I got there late, I found inspiration at the Achieving Optimal Health Conference.
One of the staples of the fall health & wellness circuit here in Metro DC is the Achieving Optimal Health Conference held annually at Georgetown University. This year’s AOHC takes place Saturday, October 14. The event features inspiring exhibitors, a delicious healthy lunch and a full slate of terrific speakers, including Iyanla Vanzant, Spiritual Lifecoach and New York Times best-selling author.
I’ve got FOUR tickets to give away for this great event!
“Some say it’s healthcare’s best kept secret” says Dr. Anne Berkeley about naturopathic medicine. “It takes the best of conventional and alternative medicine and blends them together to provide holistic care with an emphasis on wellness and prevention.” A naturopathic doctor (ND) practicing in NW DC, Dr. Berkeley shares her approach to wellness in this interview.
The ALF Educational Institute, a project of McLean’s Bronson Family Dentistry, is holding its first annual Interdisciplinary Health & Wellness Conference in Arlington March 24 and 25 to address many facets of dental health as they relate to whole body health. The subtitle of the event is “A focus on whole health – a new perspective on nutrition, breathing, dentistry, orthodontics and myofunctional therapy.” Read More
During this season of hibernation, bulbs are awaiting warm weather to shoot up through the earth and expose their colorful glory. So am I. I’m working on gathering some great material to push out come springtime while I spend these cold months conserving my energy.*
While the air is cold and the predominant colors brown and grey, there is a lot going on under the ground and under protective cover!
We’ve got a lot of great upcoming events listed in the calendar but wanted to compile them into this quick list so you’re sure not to miss them!
Thursday, February 19: Moms Clean Air Force Virginia Mama Summit, Virginia General Assembly, Richmond, VA, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Note: Mindful Healthy Life is a partner in this event
Thursday, February 19: “Raising Non-Toxic Kids in a Toxic World” presentation at Holistic Moms Arlington/Alexandria chapter, UUCA, 7-9 p.m.
Saturday, February 21: Traditional Foods daylong seminar with Sally Fallon Morell – just a few spots left!
Saturday, February 28: Rooting DC gardening conference, Wilson High School, Washington, DC, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
March 4-7: Green Schools National Conference, Virginia Beach, VA
March 17-29: Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital
Thursday, March 19: “Family Biking 101” panel, Holistic Moms Arlington/Alexandria chapter, UUCA, 7-9 p.m.
Monday, April 6: Growing Green Schools, Fairlington Community Center, Arlington, VA, 2:30-4:00 p.m.
Thursday, April 9: School Environmental Action Showcase, George Mason University Center for the Arts, Fairfax, VA, 9:00 a.m. -2:30 p.m.
Thursday, April 16: “Screen Time” presentation with Lisa Guernsey, sponsored by Holistic Moms Network Arlington/Alexandria Chapter and Arlington Unitarian Cooperative Preschool, UUCA, Arlington, VA, 7-9 p.m.
April 17-19: Mind-Body Week, The Mindfulness Center, Silver Spring, MD
Sunday, April 26: DC Birth and Babies Fair, The Hill Center, Washington, DC, 12:00-5:00 p.m.
Monday, May 11: NoVA Outside Networking meeting, Hidden Oaks Nature Center, Annandale, VA, 6:00-8:00 p.m.
Saturday, May 16: Peace Love and Yoga Fest, Washington, DC, 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Thursday, May 21: “Real Food with Nina Planck,” Holistic Moms Network Arlington/Alexandria Chapter, UUCA, Arlington, VA, 7-9 p.m.
Chances are good that if someone is holding a health- or wellness-related event in Northern Virginia, cellular hydration specialist Julianne O’Dwyer will be there or was involved in organizing it. Julianne, whose business is Vital Healthy Life, healed several chronic conditions with the help of proper hydration.
In today’s guest post, Julianne explains why hydration is crucial to health. In future posts, Julianne will delve into further detail about the health benefits of drinking water, particularly alkaline water.
“While a political prisoner in Iran in 1979, Dr. Freydoon Batmanghelidj was approached by a fellow prisoner who was struggling with crippling peptic ulcer pain. With no medications at his disposal, Dr. Batmanghelidj gave the ill man two glasses of water. Within minutes, the pain started to disappear. After drinking two glasses of water every three hours for several days, the prisoner became absolutely pain free for his four remaining months in prison. It was in this Iranian prison that Dr. Batmanghelidj discovered the healing power of water.
In his book, You’re Not Sick, You’re Thirsty , Dr . Batmanghelidj explains that dehydration can contribute to numerous health issues including angina, acid reflux, ADD/ADHD, allergies, Alzheimers, arthritis, asthma, Autism, colitis, constipation, dementia, depression, Diabetes, Dyslexia, fatigue, food cravings, fuzzy thinking, headaches, heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, joint stiffness, kidney stones, low energy, Lyme disease, menopause, migraines, obesity, pain, Parkinson’s, sleep issues, Sinusitis, and skin disorders. Read More
When the Freedom for Family Wellness Summit came to town in 2010, it was an impressive gathering, to say the least! For anyone interested in health and wellness, and especially the connection between healthy birth and future health or between a sound physical structure and optimal energetic wellness, this conference is not to be missed. The event is the third of its kind organized by the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA), which runs 150 seminars a year for 4000 members and publishes the Pathways to Family Wellness magazine, reaching an audience of some 35,000.
I attended the 2010 summit with my two-month-old daughter, who had been born at home (a home VBAC, or HBAC) four years after her brother had been born via c-section. I had my mind blown by the summit speakers, and while I was staffing the Holistic Moms Network table, I got to talk with midwife extraordinaire Ina May Gaskin, who was at the table next to us with Safe Motherhood Quilt project and who also got her first chiropractic adjustment at the event!
The HMN table was also right behind the table of Dr. Jennifer Mercier whose knowledge about women’s pelvic pain helped me to understand that it was my c-section scar that was causing me discomfort since my daughter’s vaginal birth.
I’m excited to go back this year to the large gathering for lots of reasons (including to watch Dr. Jennifer’s new movie about fertility, which I hear she will be screening at her exhibit hall booth), and I hope to to cover at least a slice of what I learn this weekend to share here.
But with more than 30 speakers and 50 exhibitors, the possibilities are endless. If you’re into family wellness, this is a stellar conference to attend! There’s no telling when or if an event of this magnitude will return. Ina May is coming back this year and is joined by numerous other speakers including Business of Baby author Jennifer Margulis, Karen Brody, author of Birth the play and founder of the BOLD method, and Jeffrey Smith of the Institute for Responsible Technology and Genetic Roulette.
I had a chance to speak with ICPA Executive Director Dr. Jeanne Ohm who referenced the event’s subtitle: “Celebrating the Shift to Conscious Choice.” She said she senses a powerful shift of people wanting to reclaim their right to informed choice, and she hopes the event will empower parents and practitioners to believe that we have the right to make informed choices for our children.
A chiropractor, Dr. Ohm says the event promotes respect: “Whatever you want is what’s best for you and your family,” she says. When parents approach her unsure what to do about a medical decision, she tells them that a state of fear is not the place from which a parent should make any choice. She recommends you ask yourself what resonates with your highest core value.”
And she also recommends having a respect and trust for the intelligence of life. She’s written about the paradigm called “vitalism,” which she wants to describe now simply as “life is intelligent.” She referenced a saying of Einstein’s that the most important decision we’re going to make is whether we live in a hostile universe or a friendly one. “It’s a friendly universe when you trust that the universe knows what it’s doing,” Dr. Ohm says. “If you think your body doesn’t know what it’s doing, you live in fear. When you believe it’s friendly, you can let go and enjoy life a little more.”
The purpose of the event is to bring together groups of people who are all saying the same thing but from different perspectives, that of holistic practitioners, psychologists, parents, educators, and more. “In chiropractic,” Dr. Ohm says, “we call it the above down inside out lifestyle. There is intelligence inherent in all of us. So respect the child and let her educate herself, respect the body in birth instead of trying to regulate and control it, respect the body that it will do the right thing rather than subject it to unnecessary intervention.”
What this weekend is about, she says, is that there is a sense of order and intelligence in life, and how can we respond accordingly in our personal choices. See registration information here.
See this full roster of speakers and the complete schedule of the event that opens Thursday, November 13 and runs through Sunday, November 16 at the Hyatt Regency Reston. In addition to these presentations will be a packed exhibit hall with practitioners, businesses, organizations and authors. See this list of sponsors and exhibitors.
Exhibitors include the following:
- Association for Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health (APPPAH)
- Biomat Network
- Birth Boot Camp
- Birthworks International
- Information Medicine
- Books Institute for Neural Freedom
- Chiro Ink
- Chiropractic Leadership Alliance
- DOTERRA Essential Oils
- Dr. Kate Engelhardt/ Bennie Gets Adjusted – A Chiropractic Story
- Educated Pregnancy
- Elizabeth Eyre Seltzer Designs
- Foundation for Vertebral Subluxation
- Full Circle Coaching & Co
- Holistic Moms Network
- International Chiropractic Pediatric Association
- International Federation of Chiropractors & Organizations (IFCO)
- League of Chiropractic Women
- Life Chiropractic College West
- Life University
- Love Your Body
- Makin’ Miracles
- Marialuchsinger.com – Sammy the Centipede Books
- McCoy Press
- Med-Chem Labs, Inc. (Lauricidin)
- Mercier Therapy
- National Vaccine Information Center
- OptiMOM Coaching
- Palmercare Chiropractic
- Pathways to Family Wellness Magazine
- Serola Biomechanics
- Sherman College of Chiropractic
- Smart Health, Inc.
- The BOLD Method
- White Light Media (Happy Healthy Child)
- Whole-Listic Children’s Foundation
- Wuji Firgrove
- Young Living Essential Oils-Lemon Dropper
- Wellesley Chiropractic Office
Also exhibiting are One More Page Books and authors: Maria Gavriel, Tara Gesling, Kathleen DiChiara and Nydia Kastra.
Photo credits (except Dr. Mercier demonstrating pelvic self-assessment): Christine Zichittella-Heeren.
Disclosure: I’ve been offered a complimentary press pass to attend this event.
The local conference phenomenon known as Take Back Your Health is coming back to Arlington on November 1 and 2 before it makes its Los Angeles debut next April. Conference founder and NoVA native Robin Shirley has followed her dream of moving out to Santa Monica but is keeping a foot firmly in the DC health & wellness community.
When I first interviewed Robin back in 2011, I was pretty amazed at how much she’d accomplished at such a young age, just 23 at the time. Creating a widely successful conference just a few years after leaving college to reclaim her own health from Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis and chronic Lyme disease — and way younger than I did anything noteworthy — seemed pretty impressive.
And all the conferences have been great. I’ve attended each of the TBYH events and have learned, roughly, a ton. Most I’ve attended on my own, but in April 2012, the hotel was a weekend escape for me and my kids from home renovations. My son got his Ayurvedic pulses read (and my kids got their photo taken – scroll down here for the blue eyes and redheaded mullet of my youngest). My whole family then somehow managed to spend three hours at the TBYH holiday market last December (thank you, iSchool for the Future and Kreative Kids for the crafts!)
The speakers Robin has brought through over the years have been pretty amazing, including Dr. John Douillard of LifeSpa on Ayurveda, Sally Fallon Morrell of the Weston A. Price Foundation on traditional diets, Lisa Wilson from the Raw Food Institute on juicing and Ann Marie Michaels from Village Green Network (and formerly of Cheeseslave blog) on healing from food allergies.
This November, the tradition continues. For parents in particular, the talks may be life-changing. Dr. Teresa Fuller, a pediatrician who joined the staff of National Integrated Health Associates earlier this year, will be speaking on the topic of “Raising a Brain-Healthy Child” on Saturday morning at 10:00.
Then, on Sunday morning, two huge names in family-friendly Paleo eating take the stage. Fairfax-based food star Stacy Toth of PaleoParents.com and the Northern Virginia Paleo Parents & Friends Meetup group will talk about “Paleo for Real Life: an Easy 3 Phased Approach for a Lifetime of Health” at 11:00 a.m. (based on The Paleo Parents’ new book Real Life Paleo) and her podcast partner Dr. Sarah Ballantyne of PaleoMom.com and author of The Paleo Approach will address “The Paleo Approach: Using Diet to Manage Immune & Autoimmune Diseases.”
Click here for the full schedule and topic titles. Children 17 and under may attend for free with a parent, but there is no special space or childcare, so parents are asked to keep them seated and quiet. If they need to move, the exhibit hall should provide a welcome distraction. Tickets are available for the weekend and for each day individually.
I’m running a giveaway for one free conference registration, closing at 12 noon on Wednesday, October 29. To get more entries, sign up for the Mindful Healthy Life email list (for blog posts delivered to your in box and a quarterly seasonal newsletter), like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. You can also gain entries by following TBYH on social media and commenting below.
And for anyone who doesn’t win the giveaway, Mindful Healthy Life readers can use the discount code “mindfulhealthy” for 20% off the conference registration through October 31.
Edited to add our referral code for those who want to attend future editions of Take Back Your Health. Please use http://www.profcs.com/app/?af=1636700 to register, and a portion of your ticket sale will come back to Mindful Healthy Life. Thank you for your support!
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