According to two studies, 25% or more of the population in the U.S. has a functional gastrointestinal disorder, or an FGID. That is one out of every four people! But what is an FGID, and if so many people have it, why don’t you know about it?
This column is a look at brave souls who have taken a leap of faith to open their own businesses in and around Ann Arbor. What follows are personal profiles of business owners following their dreams and thriving despite the odds. Featuring thrive juicery and Ann Arbor Pharmacy.
The Science of Breath and Spirit: A Young Scientist’s Adventures in Breath at the Ann Arbor Zen Buddhist Temple
“Are you connecting with your breath?” Rev. Haju asks me, leaning forward to inspect my posture. Her eyes are hawk-sharp but loving. It’s a powerful combination. I close my eyes and let go. I am not always good at that. For someone with ambition, letting go can be quite alien. Striving, trying to force things to be a certain way, are habits I slip into as soon as I stop paying attention. But the Rev.’s watchful eyes are incentive to pay attention. To prove that I can let go. That I know how. And the act of proving reminds me what it feels like.
Almost everyone I know worries at times, some more than others. A very few lucky people report little to no worrying. I’m not one of them. In periods of high stress, it even affects my sleep. I have a hard time falling asleep or I wake up frequently thinking about the same thing over and over. Worrying can involve anxiety, fear, anger, hopelessness, irritability, hostility, helplessness, and depression. It takes its toll on our physical health—headaches, stomach aches, migraines, sleeplessness, fatigue…the list goes on.
Clinical trial. Deductible. Dosing. Pre-op. Protocol. Blood work. If you are familiar with any of these terms, you’ve likely had some encounter with health care services in the United States. However, the traditional medical model – a condition-focused, interventional approach controlled by clinical providers – toward health and wellness has been challenged. In seeking recovery via alternative models, Americans are exploring options beyond the doctor’s office. The Ann Arbor area is a nexus for many of these resources, including Grass Lake Sanctuary, a nature-focused retreat space in Manchester that has served the region for over ten years.
by Shannon Roznay
Which of the following scenarios applies to you?
You’re feeling fine and you go to your medical doctor for your annual physical. You are shocked to hear that your blood work comes back showing borderline diabetes and your doctor is putting you on medication…
Or, your energy is dragging, you haven’t been feeling your best for a while. You feel like something is wrong and you go to your doctor for blood work and she tells you there is nothing wrong with you, you are perfectly healthy. You leave wondering how it is possible. Or, your doctor may even suggest that your symptoms are due to stress, or it’s all in your head, and then recommend antidepressants or antianxiety medications…
Or, you are somewhat overweight and no matter how hard you try, no amount of exercise or dieting takes any weight off at all? You are completely frustrated and are ready to give up, even though you really don’t like being overweight…
These are some of the most common complaints I see as a holistic health doctor, but there are many, many more. Joint pain, migraines, digestive problems, infertility, insomnia, high blood pressure, thyroid problems, sugar cravings, you name it! Hundreds of people are walking around experiencing symptoms that are preventing them from fully enjoying their life and reaching their fullest potential.
And I find one thing that everyone suffering from these various symptoms has and it’s this—they are all eating food that isn’t good for them.
Your whole body is made of cells — you may remember this from biology class — and your cells are always dying. But you are still alive because your body is constantly growing new cells. Have you ever stopped to consider where your body gets the material it needs to grow the new cells? Well, you may have guessed by now, but the material is acquired from the food you eat.
The ramifications of eating “bad” foods is that your body grows “bad” cells. And then one or more of the organs in your body develops dysfunction. And when that happens, you will develop symptoms. And it can be any of the symptoms we mentioned above or many others as well. Major illnesses like Alzheimer’s and cancer have this same root cause. From my 17 years in the holistic health field, I have found most Americans are eating way too much sugar, toxic chemicals, and other products that prevent their bodies from growing healthy cells. And when people are not feeling well, and their energy is flagging, what do they do? They reach for junk food! And thus a vicious cycle is created in which they keep feeling worse and worse and getting sicker and sicker.
Sugar, processed foods (including genetically modified foods), and excess caffeine are not only lacking in nutrition, but actually cause nutritional deficiencies because the body must use vitamins and minerals to try and stay balanced when we consume these things.
Stress is another cause of deficiency, depleting the system of magnesium, B vitamins, and Vitamin C to name a few. With chronic stress often comes chronic health issues like frequent colds, anxiety, insomnia, and hormone imbalance. Our organs take a beating, especially our brain and adrenal glands, which then cause all kinds of symptoms. Are you getting the idea? A lack of proper nutrition will cause organs to malfunction, which leads to symptoms and eventually disease.
So what is proper nutrition? Most people know they should eat vegetables, but beyond that things get confusing. Many subscribe to a low carbohydrate or ketogenic diet, while others say a vegetarian or vegan diet is best. How do you know what’s right for you?
Its’s true there are variations from person to person on what foods should be eaten and in what quantity. Some people don’t tolerate onions and garlic, although these are certainly very health foods for a lot of folks. Others have major trouble with tomatoes and peppers. These issues are usually identified through trial and error, noticing that you don’t feel well after eating a specific item, but often the real culprits can go unnoticed because sometimes the offending food doesn’t cause symptoms until several days later.
Over so many years helping people improve and recover their health using dietary changes and supplementation I have seen many types of conditions and just as many solutions. My advice for anyone struggling with their health would be to start by eating nourishing foods—minimally processed, whole ingredient, occurring in nature foods. A simple thing to change is the type of fats and oils you consume, ideally sticking with butter, coconut oil, avocadoes, and nuts, plus fat occurring in healthfully raised proteins like eggs, fish, and meat. Another strategy is to buy produce that’s organic, or even better, that’s local and hasn’t been treated with chemicals. And of course, check any labels for sugar because, as we discussed earlier, it’s a major cause of deficiency, inflammation, and ultimately ill health.
If making changes to your diet causes an improvement in how you feel, keep it up! It takes time to heal naturally and symptoms are the first thing to disappear, but full healing takes at least a few months and sometimes a year or more. Know that the body is an amazing machine that can endure and recover from major assaults if given the right tools.
If you think you are stuck in a vicious cycle of bad food and poor health, I have good news for you. There is hope! We have helped thousands of people restore their health, safely and naturally, without the use of drugs or surgery, by simply helping them sort out their diet and recommending specific supplementation to correct deficiencies and help the body heal. I have seen some very sick folks improve from simple dietary changes once they know the exact changes to make. It’s amazing how powerful food can be!
Dr. Shannon Roznay, D.C., is a doctor of chiropractic and specializes in using Nutrition Response Testing to help people improve every area of health. For more information you can visit Dr. Roznay online at thrive-wellness-center.com or give them at call at 734-470-6766. Thrive Wellness Center is located at 6901 State Road, Suite D in Saline.
A doula is a professional who is trained in childbirth and the norms of the childbearing months. A doula provides emotional, physical, and educational support to a mother who is expecting, is experiencing labor, or has recently given birth. The use of doulas has risen dramatically across the United States as more data becomes public about the rising rates of unnecessary intervention in childbirth, the increasing rate of cesarean section delivery, and how a doula can help lower the rates of both. With so many choices when it comes to hiring a doula, how does one decide?
“As within so without” is a universal law. What’s going on outside of us is often times identical to what’s going on inside of us. Reflections are everywhere. So it makes perfect sense that, in this time of overflowing landfills and homes bursting with too much stuff, our own internal trash receptacles, that is to say, our livers, are being inundated with an abundance of waste
Do you have areas of your life where you feel ‘stuck,’ even though you’ve tried many ways to make changes? What lasting upgrade would you like to make in your health, finances, or relationships? Beneath every problem are beliefs, feelings, and often-traumatic responses with which we resonate unconsciously. When we resonate with what is positive, we spiral up; we’re able to access opportunities for change in a creative and self-empowered way. We feel confident in our capacity to handle what life brings us with clear thinking and an open heart. Basically, our system is energized by these positive beliefs and feelings.
Many people are unaware that there are natural healing options for pets that are similar to methods used for humans. I am often asked how pets respond to these natural healing methods. “Do dogs really sit still for acupuncture?” “How do you get them to do their exercises for rehabilitation?” “Do you actually see any response to herbal therapy in pets?” “How do you do massage on a painful pet?”
The Crazy Wisdom Interview with Dr. Molly McMullen-Laird and Dr. Quentin McMullen, Founders of the Rudolf Steiner Health Center, on Anthroposophic Medicine
Quentin McMullen and Molly McMullen-Laird are a husband-and-wife doctor team and the founders of Rudolf Steiner Health Center, which is one of Ann Arbor’s leading alternative medical practices. Now celebrating its 20th anniversary, Steiner Health is unique as a “community-supported medical practice,” and it focuses on anthroposophic medicine, which combines conventional and integrative approaches to medicine and is based on the teachings of Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner.
In the fall of 2013 I attended a lecture on health. The presenter at the time used the term ‘body burden.’ I assumed that the burden he spoke of was that which most of us carry, meaning either our emotional burden or the burden of excess body weight. The term stuck with me for a very long time, piquing my curiosity. As a professor I have access to thousands of peer-reviewed scientific journals through the university online library, so one day I decided to see if searching ‘body burden’ would yield any published research. Much to my surprise over 420,000 journal articles were immediately at my fingertips and as I narrowed the search to only the previous three years, the database still revealed over 123,000 results.
Do you ever think about the nutrients that are in the foods we eat? Are you getting adequate amounts? Are they benefiting you in a positive way? These are important questions when it comes to nutrition. To ensure that you are on the right path to living a long healthy life, I invite you to pay close attention to the next bite you take. Proper nourishment is essential for the healthy development and growth of children, as well. Let’s set a good example and teach our children what healthy really tastes like.
The Healing Touch Center in Farmington Hills has been offering healing sessions to the general public for two decades, providing those who enter its serene healing environment the opportunity to balance their body, mind, and spirit. Represented around the world, and endorsed by the American Holistic Nurses Association, Healing Touch uses a gentle, light, or off body touch to balance chakra energies, reduce pain, and relieve mental and physical stress. It is a holistic model of care, working in tandem with modern medical practices, which encourages the client to participate in their own healing process. The practitioner is ‘the straw’, channeling high vibratory energy to the client for their highest and greatest good.
Webster Farmers Market: Preserving a Historic Neighborhood through Farming, Food, Craft, and Community
When my friends told me about a Sunday Winter Farmers Market, my husband and I jumped in the van and headed to Webster Township. It was a particularly cold day. Thankfully, aromatic hot coffee greeted us at the door. Violet Raterman, one of the market managers, helped us navigate the market for our first visit. The entire experience was moving for some reason, but I could not put my finger on it. I had to find out more about the people behind this market and the space in which it thrived.
Whether you’re a seasoned yogi or getting ready to roll out your mat for the first time, here you’ll find a variety of useful tips from local yoga instructor, Katie Hoener.
Plant-based remedies have been used for centuries. Chemical constituents found in plants are now synthetically created in sterile, replicable laboratory environments. Those medical advances have done wonders to further research and understanding of the intricacies of the human body. So, why has a sudden resurgence in using essential oils saturated newsfeeds, yoga studios, moms’ clubs, and more?
What comes to mind when you hear the word “detox”? You might think drug or alcohol detox. Perhaps fasting or eating and drinking things like wheatgrass juice is what comes to mind. It may surprise you to learn that detoxing is none of those things. In fact, my interpretation will change your entire outlook on what a detox is.
When I turned nineteen, a whole new world of food was opened up to me through the People’s Food Co-Op. Although my aunt and father had been members since the 1970s, and I was somewhat knowledgeable about natural food diets, I certainly did not know what the heck to do with a salty paste made of fermented soy beans, rice, or barley. I had enjoyed miso soup in Japanese restaurants, but that was not the best introduction, as it was thin and lacked vegetables and other ingredients we now use more abundantly, such as shiitake mushrooms, soba noodles, seaweed, lotus root, dried fish, and fermented vegetables. As western society’s knowledge of the world of natural foods has matured, thanks in part to the growing “foodie culture,” we have widened our awareness of whole food cooking and ingredients.
The word “hospice” is one of those terms to which each individual has a unique and palpable reaction. For some it brings a sense of fear or uneasiness. In others it arouses tender memories of a past experience as it relates to a family member. For a lucky handful, their faces light up when engaged in a conversation regarding end of life care in the capable and compassionate hands of hospice staff. These blessed few seem filled with peace and joy in the face of this word. As with all of life, we perceive it through our own lenses, which shape how we feel about any given situation. My personal experience and perception of hospice is filtered through many different experiences with friends, family, and from volunteering for a children’s grief program I helped create with Hospice of Asheville, North Carolina, in the early eighties. I’ve had several close friends cared for by their loving hands during end stages of life, and three of my grandparents and my mother-in-law were in hospice care before they passed out of this earthly plane with loved ones by their side. I know what it takes to be a volunteer and how impactful it was to receive comfort and care, both in facilities and in-home